Friday Five: Finding the Fitness Real

27 May

In keeping it real – y’all know I kind of suck at running. You know…sticking to running, not falling during running, not injuring myself during running.


This was totally 100% me during a recent class at my favorite new Charlottesville fitness spot last week. Nobody laughed out loud.  This is why it’s my favorite.  (#TreadHappy #LoveYou #MeanIt #Real)

So, I tried out Tread Happy, a new fitness studio recently and truly liked it. Get that! I liked running. WHY?  Oh, because you only run for a little bit. THAT’S WHY!

“Classes alternate between interval running/walking on the treadmill and dynamic body-weight exercises (think squats, push-ups, burpees) and/or other activities (yoga, Pilates) to burn calories, increase endurance, improve flexibility, and develop core strength and stability.”

Oh yeah, that’s my jam. A little running and a little bit of all the other stuff.  It breaks up your workout into manageable qualities of running and working out.  It’s HIIT with a treadmill.  It’s everything.

I was grumbling to a friend about how fake a lot of fitness club/boutique fitness/ etc. pages are. The sweat-less, make up perfect, hair done, super model women peering back at me from my Instagram feed intimidated me into not wanting to go to the classes being offered. The real me needs to keep it REAL. I don’t have the energy to look cute at the gym. I’m a sweaty beast.  I’m ok with that.

There I am. Post class. Full sweat, smeared make-up hidden by my shutter shades, rocking my (love them) loud pants, hair a mess. It was the best workout I’ve had in awhile because these ladies welcomed me and made me feel totally comfortable!

The real in me wants you to find the real in you. You want a workout that makes you feel alive. Step out of your comfort zone and go find it. You want to wear loud pants here go get some, but if you don’t they have black too and THAT IS OK. YOU DO YOU. You want to wear makeup at the gym – that’s OK. There are places out there for you! You can find it.

Here are my some tips for learning to let go and find the real fitness lover in you:

Find workout clothes that make you feel comfortable. You know KatieK is my favorite.  In sizes small through 3x every woman can find something that works for her workout. And you can use my code Aimee25 to help save you 25% and get you free shipping. If you want shorts, joggers, capris, pants or a skirt to cover your bottom – they have it all! Plus cute ts, tanks and cover-ups for every style.

Try Before You Buy: There are a lot of places that will let you try your first class free.  Heck, I just did fitness for a whole month basically free by trying things for free. A cycle class, a crossfit, at home videos – so many free things. Call and ask if you can try out a studio for free.  I swear they’ll say yes. Even online video programs let you try free for a month.  Daily Burn has everything – dance, crazy bad ass things, daily challenges.  Once you find something you LOVE you’ll be less tempted to skip.

Recruit a friend.  Or let a friend recruit you. Having a friend drag you out of bed at 5:30 a.m. is sometimes exactly what you need.


Don’t be afraid to mix-it-up! I get bored fast with a workout routine. By having several options to go or do I can stick to an overall plan of attack of staying active instead of feeling uninspired. Because uninspired Aimee will sit on the couch and play Candy Crush. Don’t be that Aimee. Be you.  Find your Real. Find your tribe. Find YOU and have fun doing it.

Happy weekend.  Enjoy this long one if you can and get ready for SUMMER!

Join the Friday Five Link Up hosted by the DC area bloggers Eat Pray Run DC,Mar on the Run and You Signed Up For What?! This week is a FREE FRIDAY, so you never know what you can learn from them and the other bloggers who link up this week.

Sparkle on, Be Real, Love Yourself:


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Is It Too Late Now

26 May

The Evolution of Mrs. Aimee C started as a place where I could vent and share and spread some love.  I wanted to be “Bad Moms” funny – making fun of the BS that we hear every day that we ought to do, must do, should do for us, our kids our families, the earth. Blah Blah Blah.  It’s all just so much.  I wanted this space to be more practical.  Real life.

I started to fail. I listened too much to what I was supposed to do in sponsored posts and from blogging experts and got a little preachy along the way.  I started to hate writing because it felt like a chore, not something that I loved to do.  And I LOVE to write and share and feel.  So I quit.  And that doesn’t feel good.

I’m going to let Justin Bieber, take it away.

So, I’m back.  I’m going to keep it real.  I’m going to post full body shots and tell you the real.  My real.  Us 4 Carter’s real.

Us 4 Carter’s and The Evolution of Mrs. Aimee C is a total junk show. You’re about to see the real.

Sparkle on, Be Real, Love Yourself:


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About That Girl

15 Mar

I was itching to work out.  Like, really, really, if I didn’t get in a good sweat my head was going to explode.  The Girl wanted to be with me, I didn’t want her to run in the rain so we decided to do a workout video together (Hello, Shawn T, I still love you. )

Well, this sweet sweet child. Bless.

Our Girl

She’s the best and worst possible personal trainer a woman could ever have. If you thought television trainers said mean things to their clients to motivate them – you’d be on the right track thinking about how this girl trains me.

Look mom, my abs showed up.  You’re going to need to keep working to get yours.

Keep working mom. You’ll get guns soon.

Mom, you can do it.  You won’t look like the people on The Biggest Loser Soon.

The next time I think about working out with her, one of you might suggest that I get some earplugs.  I need alone time with my man Shawn T.

The thing is, I love my time with her.  I feel like I’m showing her how to be strong.  How to love yourself.  Working out, food prepping, doing nails – it’s all a part of self-love isn’t it? Isn’t it?

When I heard her say these words to me, I wondered if I’m doing it right or doing it wrong?  Is she getting the right messages from me?


Oh, baby girl, please let me know I’m doing the right thing for you.

Sparkle on,








Goals On Goals On Goals

4 Jan

Goals on goals on goals! Every post on Facebook is about goal setting, planning, how to stick to it. Anyone else kind of over it?

All I know is, you gotta do what works for YOU. I MUST plan and track and set MY own course or it all goes to hell. For others they need someone else to write the plan. For some they have incredible will power to not eat all the snacks in the house and others ban snacks and “junk” from the house so they have no temptation.

YOU do YOU. Ok? Just make that the first goal you accomplish this year. Don’t let ANYONE tell you what is your “best you” (side eye at all the commercials for WW, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem over the holidays… especially YOU Oprah. et tu, Oprah?!?) or that you have to pay them and they’ll get you there.

There are PLENTY of free apps and sites and menu plans and work outs that you can use if “fitness” is a part of your plan. But if you need someone to help you, that’s ok too! Just be sure they are qualified and reputable and will keep your best interest first, aren’t selling you a scheme, and aren’t going to injure you.

You got this. LOVE YOURSELF.

Sparkle on,

Good Riddance Day

28 Dec

Peek. Peek. I’m just wondering if I wrote something if anyone would actually listen. So, here we go again.

I could write about why I stopped blogging and all that has happened in my life since I happily ran across the finish line of the Pittsburgh Half Marathon and turned forty in May. But I won’t bore anyone with that.

I thought what I’d done was “forgot to put on my own oxygen mask” but what I honestly did was threw in the towel. I gave up on myself. I stopped working out, I stopped accepting offers to meet up with friends, I stopped setting goals for myself personally and professionally. I had worked out my schedule to run to the gym at lunch but what I’d end up doing is sitting at my desk. Not working, just sitting. And I’d do the same thing when I got home. Come home, make dinner, and sit. Except for one night out with DOC, I was basically sitting letting life pass me by. I was in a full on funk – not just a set-back.

So here we are.  The start of the new year.  As I’ve said in year’s past, it’s my favorite part of the year. The quiet time after Christmas with the thoughtful hope for the New Year is on the horizon.  It feels peaceful and hopeful and that’s just what I need right now with all the crazy that is the world and how I’m feeling.

I have absolutely no idea where this started or the theory behind it – but I like it, so THERE! – today is Good Riddance Day.  “Good Riddance Day,” is a day where you’re encouraged to say goodbye to whatever troubled you in the past year, so that you may start the new year with a clean slate.

I am saying good riddance to beating myself up for past mistakes.  I’m saying good riddance to people that don’t make me feel good about myself. Good riddance to not speaking my mind and letting people off the hook for hurting me or my family.  And as always, good riddance to not living my happiest, healthiest life.

What will you say goodbye to today?

Sparkle On,


ps – I’m going to try to start blogging again.  It’s not always going to be health or fitness or tips – it’s just going to be me.  Moving on after good riddance.

Oxygen Mask

8 Oct

A while ago (Way back in January of 2014) I wrote a post called “Prepared for Takeoff“.

Somewhere in the past several months I have forgotten to do just that.  I became the worst kind of hypocrite.  I preach and preach and preach on my facebook, instagram, this blog, to my friends in real life to give themselves a break, to apply their own oxygen mask first and to LOVE YOURSELF.  And somewhere, some how, lately I let my mask fall off.

So, I come here today to tell you.


I’ve seen this picture everywhere lately so I have no idea where to share the credit.
If someone tells me, I swear I’ll share the credit.  

I’m working on repairing myself.  I’m working on controlling my emotions and temper and anxiety and releasing some of my responsibilities.  It meant not writing for a while. It meant after the Charlottesville Women’s 4 Miler stopping running to repair a hip that’s been hurting and giving up on running the Richmond Half. It means saying no to some volunteer opportunities, asking for help and scheduling my yearly doctors appointments.  Such little things that I would preach to you to do that I stopped doing for myself.

I have put a lot of goals out here – running, fitness, weight loss, fitting into a dress and on and on and on. Now I have just one goal.  Ok, two. To pay attention to my body and take a breath. To act with intention – meaning, paying attention to how I’m feeling about working out and eating and my mood before I act.  And two – to get myself well and give my self the space to do that.

Sparkle on.  Love Yourself.


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Friday Five: Five Strategies for Winning The Day

11 Sep wintheday

Recently my mantra has been “Win The Day.”  I may not win every choice I make, but my goal is to not lose the day. I might make the choice to eat hot wings for dinner and drink two beers because it’s the first night of the football season, but I also walked more yesterday and ate sensibly the rest of the day.

The thing with me, and why I’m so much better at “winning the day” during the school year is because I have a set schedule.  I can be more organized, in fact, I MUST be more organized so that the kids get to after school activities, I get to my evening work functions, I get to my volunteer functions, all without the wheels coming off the whole shebang.  My wellness and weight-loss is a priority for me so I must schedule it into the day.

But here’s the kicker – I am just NOT good at remembering. I never ever take my weddings ring off (except when making meatballs and doing mud runs) because I would forget to put them back on.  I never could rely on “the pill” because I couldn’t remember to take the thing at the same time every day.

So, I really REALLY have to set my self up for success if I want to Win The Day.


Fit Bit

Here’s the thing about me and my Fit Bit.  I forget to put it on. I forget to put it on and then I forget to charge it.  But I’m trying to get better at remembering!

What I use the Fit Bit for is to remind myself to just move.  I’ve set an alert on the Fit Bit to remind me to get up and walk once an hour.  I have a sedentary work job for the most part, so having the Fit Bit buzz on my wrist is a good reminder to get up, refill my water bottle, take a walk around and get in some squats before I sit again.

Lay Out Clothes

I’ve mentioned before that on Sunday’s I’ll pack up my workout clothes for the week and take them with me to work. I have a drawer reserved just for my workout clothes.

If you’re not a workout at lunch kind of person, here are some other tips

Morning Workout?:  Lay out your clothes the night before or sleep in your workout gear (minus your sports bra!)
Evening workout?: Why not take your workout clothes with you and change before you leave work?  It’s so easy to go home, throw on the pajamas (it’s not just me, right?).  If you’re already in your clothes, you’re more likely to put in the work.


Meal Prep

I know, I feel like I keep clanging the same bell. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  I think I’ve probably said it a million times but it is because it’s the truth.  If I had PLANNED better on Sunday for us to eat better this week, I wouldn’t have resorted to ordering the hot wings and would have made Peace Love and Low Carbs amazingly amazing zero carb boneless buffalo wings.

Here’s one of my favorite tricks for meal planning, using my Pinterest boards. There are many plans out there that you can purchase or even those that you can use to have your weekly meals delivered to you. Whatever process works for you – it’s just that you DO it.  Plan ahead, shop well, prepare your meals in advance and win the week.

When all else fails, have easy to prepare meals in your arsenal.  (Yesterday I posted a one pot chicken and rosemary sage freekeh recipe and a giveaway!) Life is going to interrupt your plans, just knowing what you have in the pantry and fridge are half the battle.

Back Up Plans and Avoiding the Perfection Trap

Of course life gets in the way.  You oversleep a workout.  Your boss needs to meet over lunch.  The kids homework over takes the evening.  Having a back-up plan in place is crucial.  My favorite blog, podcast and bloggers right now are the girls over at WYCWYC – What You Can When You Can. This is not about losing ten pounds or finding a solution to whatever is stopping you from finding balance, wellness, weight loss, whatever – it’s about not beating yourself up if you aren’t perfect.  LIFE HAPPENS.  So, have a plan, have a back up plan and when all of that doesn’t happen for whatever reason – WYCWYC it.  Just make the next right decision.  The next right day. Get in the next workout.  Do squats at your desk instead of the long run you planned because it’s raining and you have an afternoon meeting and you can’t look like a drowned rat.  Don’t beat yourself up – don’t let perfection get in the way of progress.

I could beat myself up over beer and hot wings – and throw the week away, or I could just start today making good decisions and be OK with beer and hot wings every now and again.

Recruit a Friend

The only way I survive, thrive and keep going is simple.  I blog about it so you all will hold me accountable.  Virtual friends, facebook support groups and the like are perfect ways to find a friend to hold you accountable.

I have two friends that I love to workout with.  I ran this summer with my mom.  All three of these people will call me on my BS if I cancel.  Having a friend that will call you on your BS and will run, walk, squat, dance, or lift with you is critical.  If this person isn’t in your home or work, find a virtual friend to text you and ask you if you’ve worked out today.  Share pictures. Laugh.  Cheer. Cry.  Allow each other to be frustrated. Don’t allow each other to quit.

When you get this picture from Confessions of an Unlikely Runner: A Guide to Racing and Obstacle Courses for the Averagely Fit and Halfway Dedicated  texted to you from your best workout friend with the caption “so clearly, we followed this pro tip when we ran our first race”  you know you have found your right workout partner.


What are your strategies for Winning The Day?  Besides WYCWYC and Win the Day – what are other mantras you use to stay on track while also not beating yourself up?

Join the Friday Five Link Up hosted by the DC area bloggers Eat Pray Run DC, Mar on the Run and You Signed Up For What?! This week is a FREE FRIDAY, so you never know what you can learn from them and the forty or so other bloggers who link up this week.

Make it a great weekend!

Sparkle on,


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