Personal Training

I’ve hired a personal trainer to help me get back to a fitness routine.
I’m super excited because the trainer is my friend Jess Lanzoni.


Me & Jess post November Project workout on my birthday in August 2014.

My first workout with Jess as my personal trainer was Wednesday.

It was a great first session – setting goals and then getting in baseline fitness levels.

I ran a little over a 1/2 mile in 12 minutes – so one of my goals is to work on that speed till I feel comfortable running for most of the ZOOMA 10K in late September.

I haven’t been on a scale since my daughter was born. She’s 6 months old now. I estimated my weight over 20 pounds higher than it turned out to be when I stepped on a scale at the gym! I’m happy that I’m back under 200 pounds. I did not set any weight loss related goals because I want to get back to feeling fit again.

Another of my goals is to work on my cardio endurance so I don’t feel winded when I push a stroller up hills during hikes or when I return to November Project Friday hill workouts.

I was proud of my performance on baseline arm strength related tests. Carrying around a 14 pound child daily got my arm muscles in shape more than I’d realized.

I look forward to great workouts and checking in here to share progress updates.

Ditching the Diet, Healthy is Sexy: Nutrition Workshops

My friend Laura wrote a book on nutrition that launched in paperback the week of the Boston Marathon. (Some of you know Laura as the DJ for November Project Boston.)


She’s hosting some free workshops in Boston called Ditching the Diet, Healthy is Sexy: Nutrition Workshops on May 11, May 18, June 1, & June 8.

I’ve already registered for all 4 workshops and I encourage you do the same!

Here’s what I wrote in a Goodreads review of Laura’s book:

Laura nails the argument that healthy is much more important than skinny.

I’m a woman in my 30s that’s successfully dieted, but never kept the weight off in the long run.

Thank you to Laura for writing exactly what I needed to hear to stop blaming myself for my body size and focus on health instead.

Will I see you at the workshops?

Also, if you’re interested in reading Laura’s book, the Kindle version will be free for five days starting tomorrow, 5/5.

Reflections on 2014 Goals and Goals Set for 2015

My little space on the internet, Getting Fit in MA, is a year old!

It feels like time has just flown by since the 1st post.


My goal for 2014 is to lose another 25 pounds, to get myself down to a healthy BMI, and then keep the weight off.

I’m planning to join my 1st November Project work out on 1/1 at 6:30 AM.

I also set a goal to run at least one 5K a month for all of 2014.

So how have the 2014 goals gone?

Weight Loss
Lets start with the not reached – I did not lose any weight in 2014 and it has been ridiculously frustrating.

My strategy for 2015 to change this is tracking my fitness & food with my Fitbit flex. I quit Weight Watchers.

November Project

I requested a work schedule change so I could regularly attend Wednesday morning stair climbs with November Project Boston.

It’s the best decision I’ve ever made in my life.

I have a whole section of this blog dedicated to my workouts with November Project.

5k Running

I didn’t end up sticking to the letter of my goal, getting in at least one 5K a month for all of 2014, but I think I stuck to the spirit of the goal – getting in more than 12 5Ks, 24 runs to be exact, during the year.

Here are the results:

2013 – Dedham Turkey Trot, Jingle Bell 5K (wicked emotional – morning of the wake for my Grandpa)


Frozen 5K 44:10 Minutes to Finish 14:15 Pace

3 Social Boston Sports 30 Day Fitness Challenge Runs – My GPS watch didn’t work for all of them but here are the results I did track – 56:53 Minutes for 3.55 Miles & 1:00:13 Minutes for 4.02 Miles


Super Sunday 5K 40:56 Minutes to Finish 13:10 Pace  – Current PR (Personal Record)

Stop Stroke Shuffle (Virtual 5K) 54:24 Minutes to Finish 17:34 Pace

Cupid’s Chase 5K 49:27 Minutes to Finish 14:07 Pace for 3.5 miles


Run with Jess & Alan

Cambridge 5K Fun Run 38:48 Minutes to Finish 14:15 Pace for 2.72 miles

Cambridge 5K Craicfest 43:12 Minutes to Finish 13:54 Pace


Boston Athletic Association 5K 43:19 Minutes to Finish 13:56 Pace

Spring Classic 5K 42:04 Minutes to Finish 13:32 Pace & very sore from a fall at the finish line


Color Me Rad 5K


AIDS Action 5K 41:47 Minutes to Finish 13:26 Pace

Runners World 5K 46:34 Minutes to Finish 14:59 Pace


Finish at the 50 48:54 Minutes to Finish 15:44 Pace

Boston Brunch Runners Castle Island

Team Luna Chix run


Boston Brunch Runners Arnold Arboretum 53:47 Minutes to Finish 15:47 Pace for 3.45 miles


No 5ks so I could taper for the Jimmy Fund Boston Marathon Walk


Cambridge 5K – Oktoberfest 44:48 Minutes to Finish 14:25 Pace

New Balance Girls Night Out


Dedham Turkey Trot 43:33 Minutes to Finish 14:00 Pace

Ugly Sweater Run 38:20 Minutes to Finish 15:18 Pace for 2.51 miles


I’m considering the Ugly Sweater Run my December race but 2014 isn’t over yet so I may get a Boston Brunch Runners run in before the year ends.


So what do I think of my running project? I’m proud of myself for sticking with it. I actually identify with being a runner. I have a long way to go, but everyone starts somewhere & it takes practice to improve.

Overall, I feel I set realistic goals for 2014.

In addition to all the running, I took many fun group fitness classes.

I even went from thinking that spin classes would never be for me to loving spin classes and finding a favorite studio – Flywheel in the Prudential Center.

I found a dance class I love too – BollyX!

2015 Goals


I want to keep running in 2015.

My goal is to increase the distance raced (adding in at least one 10K) and set a faster PR for my 5ks.

I’ve already signed up for some 5Ks for 2015. I’ll be running in the Frozen 5K & Super Sunday 5K once again. I’ve also registered for the Blacklight Run in August on the “GLOvember Project” team.

November Project

I’m going to keep attending Wednesday morning workouts, and any Monday & Friday workouts I can (days off from work). I’d love to attend all 3 days of the week every week, but that isn’t possible with my crazy work commute from Quincy to Natick (about 4 hours round trip).

Weight Loss

I’m going to try not to worry about what the number on the scale says and will focus on feeling fit & healthy. I will wear my Fitbit to track my fitness, and their dashboard to track my food – just to keep me accountable.

Did you set goals for yourself for 2014? How did they turn out? What’s your plan for 2015?

Thanksgiving Food Plan

There was one Thanksgiving that I was following Weight Watchers Points Program and I actually lost weight the week of Thanksgiving.

That is not my goal this year.

I plan to enjoy my favorite twice a year foods (Thanksgiving & Christmas) in moderation but not feel deprived.

I’m going to drink water and have a snack like a banana before arriving at my 1st Thanksgiving meal. (My side of the family around lunch then my husband’s side of the family around dinner.) I think staying hydrated will be the best way to not be tempted by food that looks good but isn’t my favorite/worth it to me.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers! I hope you have a wonderful day filled with family, friends, and fun conversation. Enjoy the day and do not deprive yourself!

Warmer Workout Gear

Living in MA all my life, I knew it was only a matter of time before wicked cold weather hit, so I’d need to get layers for my outdoor November Project workouts.

I was lucky enough to win the Fitfluential Wellness Challenge Week 4 and the prizes were a Grokker Prize Pack with lululemon gift card. I haven’t received the Grokker Prize Pack yet but the lululemon gift card was just waiting to be spent.


I headed to lululemon in the Natick Collection on my lunch break to check out some lined running tights.

A lot has changed for me in the last year fitness wise – but I still had a feeling that lulelemon was not a store I belonged in. I may not be plus sized anymore, but even with a 24 pound weight loss I’m still the largest size tight that’s stocked in the retail stores. I was a bit self conscious when I walked in to browse and didn’t see my sizes right away. (They’re on the lowest shelf to the ground – I just wasn’t looking low enough.)

The sales staff approached me and asked if they could help me. At first, I was defensive because when they asked what I was looking for clothes for their first suggestion was “just lounging around”. (My brain went into critical mode and I thought. “Really?! All my hard work this year and they think I don’t even work out?!!”) I responded proudly however, “Actually – I’m a November Project member. Since I was out climbing the Harvard Stadium stairs this morning in freezing temperatures, I’m looking for a warmer layer of pants.” There were 2 staffers helping me and one of them said “What’s Movember Project?” but before I could respond to correct her and explain what NP is another staffer swooped in and interjected with suggestions. (One of the November Project founders is an ambassador for lululemon for their Prudential Center store but evidently that info isn’t shared with other stores…)

The helpful sales woman suggested a pair of lined tights that I eventually ended up purchasing. (Speed Tights – Tech) But the kicker was – she asked my size, and when I responded said, “I think you should try a (1 size smaller than the one I said) in these. I know what you just said, but I’m looking at you and I think the ___ size would fit!” I laughed and said I’d try it but that I heard that the sizes here run small so I wouldn’t get my hopes up. I went into the dressing room with those tights, some I’d picked myself, and suggestions from the other staffer.

Well helpful saleswoman was right! Holly cow! Not only did I belong shopping there – but I’m a smaller pants size there!

Here’s what the lululemon blog says about the Speed Tights Tech:

Made with our tech fleece, these babies are crafted in our coldest weather run fabric.

They’re insulating and warm, as well as moisture-wicking, and have four-way stretch that enables you to move in every direction.

Why we love it: Each pair is brushed on the inside for super soft coziness.

I’ll let you know how the tights hold up to NP workouts.

When I got home that night, some long sleeve workout tops I’d ordered from Kohl’s last week had arrived, so hopefully they fit and all I’ll need to look for is some gloves to cover my running gloves & add warmth.


On Sunday, I started wearing my Fitbit Flex.

I love it so far! The step tracking, sleep tracking, and food tracking have all been great.

There’s even a silent alarm that I used to wake myself up for the early morning November Project workout on Wednesday without waking up my husband too! (Our alarm clock is on his side of the bed.)

Here’s a look at what my Fitbit dashboard looks like on my computer:

FitbitIt also tracks sleep, water consumption, and calories eaten too (they just weren’t worth a second screenshot).

Another cool feature is it shows how your steps for the last 7 days compare with friends who use Fitbit. I’m a bit competitive so it does motivate me when I have rainy days like yesterday & I end up at the bottom of the leaderboard – to figure out a way to get more steps in. You can also cheer your friends on by clicking on a smile icon next to their name on the dashboard and send them messages too. Thank you to the friends who have cheered me and sent me messages so far!

Sweetgreen Passport – Nutrition + Yoga workshop

It’s hard to believe it’s October in MA and I was able to take an outdoor yoga class on Tuesday night – wearing short sleeves & capri pants! There is a unseasonable warm snap happening this week which is awesome – and I’m making the most of it!

yoga 10.14.14I’m on the left in the pink shirt

Julie Starr-Wood from JSW Nutrition lead us both in the yoga class and nutrition discussion post work out.

Both the workout & nutrition discussion felt really needed to me and the timing of this on the same week I’ve starting using Fitbit to track my food & activity was perfect. I joked with Julie that I’m a “recovering Weight Watchers member”. She mentioned limiting fruit as part of a healthy diet (due to the high sugar content) and that runs very counter to WW’s “free fresh fruit” mentality. Julie’s approach to nutrition and exercise seemed very reasonable to me. She’s anti the food fads of “Superfoods” and “Juice Cleanses”. She stressed trying to eat local food as much as possible and that eating “organic” doesn’t mean much so it’s not worth putting local farms out of business that can’t afford to get an “organic” seal for their product.

yoga 10.14.14_groupHere’s the whole group post dinner & nutrition discussion

Weight Loss Update

I weighed in at Weight Watchers today and was down 0.8 pounds – 24 pounds lost total.

While I’m happy that my weight is going in the right direction again, I’ve made the decision to cancel my membership with Weight Watchers at the end of October.

After my last post about my frustration of gaining & losing the same 25 pounds over the past 2 years with Weight Watchers, many friends reached out to me on Facebook.

I’ve bought a Fit Bit Flex & I’m going to try using the Fit Bit app to track my food and activity. I have other friends trying to lose weight who own Fit Bit so I’ll have a support system there – plus many other friends who’ve offered to support me too.

If that works, I’ll be saving $50 a month and that’s worth it to me.

Trying to Focus on Non-Scale Victories

Live Life Active

When I weighed in at Weight Watchers today – I had gained 1.2 pounds.

I was very aggravated – but I’m trying to re-frame and focus on some awesome non-scale victories I had this week instead.

When I was waiting for the WW center to open, I leaned against a wall, and a passerby said “I thought you were a poster!”. I laughed and said “after version, right?” She said, “Yes – the replacement for Jessica Simpson!”

I told her that she’d made my day – no matter what the scale said when I weighed in – so I’m trying to keep that positive attitude.

Yesterday, I was shopping for some clothes for an upcoming cruise vacation. I took in 2 sizes of pants & in every instance, the smaller size was the one that fit! Even if the scale doesn’t show it – all my fitness activity is changing my body shape for the positive!

Finally – it was a huge victory for me to wear sleeveless tanks when I worked out in public 2 times this week. In the past, I’d have been too self conscious to try the workout at all & when I joined November Project – I’d only work out in short sleeve shirts and long workout pants. Now I’ve worn shorts to NP workouts too! Who is this new woman?!

Boston Brunch Runners – Arnold Arboretum

BBR_8.10.14_GroupGroup picture – I’m in the front with the green tank top

On Sunday morning, I met the Boston Brunch Runners at Arnold Arboretum for a 3 mile run.

I was planning to just walk most of the route alone – but to my surprise – 2 BBR members stuck with me saying “we don’t leave anyone behind”. I really appreciated that!

My pacing was crap but I still had a fun morning. I got in 3.5 miles of running and about a mile of walking back from our end point to my car.


Photo of me Elin snapped when I was actually running

The coolest thing about the day though was feeling comfortable enough in my own skin to wear a sleeveless workout tank instead of short sleeves. (It is an August out door workout after all!)

When I saw the group photo. above, posted to Facebook, I thought “Wow! I look like an athlete!”

I may not be losing weight at the speed I’d like to, but my body shape is changing in a positive way.