Living a Pure Life....

Living a pure life can mean different things to different people and even to the same person it can mean different things at different times. In my current mindset, living a pure life means that I am authentic. What you see is what you get. I am honest, I wear my heart on my sleeve. I'm not afraid to cry, to show weakness, to ask for help. But I am also strong; physically, mentally, emotionally. I'm not afraid to take make changes, take risks, and live a life worth living. It also means that I eat pure foods. Foods that help energize and nourish my body. I rarely eat processed anything. And when I do, I pay for it by not feeling pure. I feel dirty, contaminated, not the real me.

I have had the opportunity to do some amazing things in my 41 years on this planet. I am farily well-traveled, and in 1995 I was able to spend some time in beautiful Costa Rica. Costa Rica is a breathtaking place (minus the potholes that are big enough to swallow a SUV.) The people are authentic. Genuine. They walk around with a smile on their face. And that smile is contagious. I often think about the time I spent in Costa Rica and recently I've been thinking more and more about that special period in my life. Why? Well, you know I'm going to tell you, right? A short time ago a friend of mine (hi LuAnne!) told me that an indoor cycling studio was going to open in Wesley Chapel. I filed that information away in my brain, not really thinking too much about it and then another friend (hi Julie!!) and I were chatting one evening while our kids were in gymnastics and she reminded me about the studio. We sat together loooking through their Facebook page on my iPad and I went on the "About Us" tab. And this is when it all clicked for me.

The name of the studio is Pura Cycling Studio and they incorporate the Costa Rican mantra of Pura Vida into their cycling/business philosophy. The studio opened a few weeks ago, but due to my previous schedule I was never able to get in there and try out a class. But now that my life has charted a new course, I was finally able to make it in today. And I am so glad I went. The studio is beautiful. I am used to cyling in a room that is refered to as "the pit" or "the cave." Today I cycled in a room that would never be called those names. I am used to cycling on bikes that are old, rusty in many areas, and frankly have seen much better days. Today I cycled on a brand new bike. I am used to cycling in a dark room never really knowing what I look like when I am on a bike. Today I cycled in a room with beautiful lighting (not bright by any means, it was actually the perfect amount of light), but here is the kicker...THERE ARE MIRRORS!! I could actually see what I looked like on the bike. And anyone who works out knows how important it is to be able to see yourself. Not for vanity, but for form and technique. You can really hurt yourself if you are not exercising with proper technique. And I must form ROCKS (now I am being vain Wink)

Here is my honest review.


The studio is beautiful. The bikes are smooth. It smells good. The stereo system and mic actually work.  It is an encouraging, motivating environment. I know many of the instructors and they are top-notch. I loved being able to watch myself and work on my technique.


Cost. It's $70 (and that's their grand opening price, it is going to go up) for a month of unlimited cycle. But the owner did tell me that they are working on a Groupon, so I'll be sure to post that when it becomes available.  But they have several packages available, so maybe there is one that would better fit your budget. I know for me, I love to cycle. Love it. And would do it every single day.  But at $70 per month, it's just not in my budget when I have other gym memberships that I am paying on. So I'll likely wait for the Groupon and participate for how ever long the Groupon is good for.

Showers. There are none. This isn't an issue for me, but it might be for someone else. But they do have a nice bathroom Wink

Childcare. There isn't any. Again, this isn't an issue for me. Though I have heard that they might be working out a deal with Monkey Bizness at Wiregrass Mall to provide OFF-site care while you cycle.

Schedule: I would want a mid-morning class every day. Though I expect as membership grows this will happen.

Overall, the only thing holding me back from joining is the cost factor.

But enough of my rambling, let the pictures speak for themselves.



The cycle room is just beautiful. Wood floors (I forgot to ask what type of wood but I'm guessing bamboo??) And notice the mirrors? So nice.

Here we are post-ride. Stephanie, the owner, is the one in the jeans. She didn't cycle today. And next to Stephanie is my friend, LuAnne. The other woman was there trying it out. We've cycled together for years at LFF/LAF. There were others there, but left before I got out my camera. Lucky them. Wink

And the instructor for today's class, my friend Julie.

And the calorie burn. BOOYAH! 770 dude, 770.


And then I came home and made this wonderful lunch. Romain lettuce, steelhead trout, apples, cucs, tomatoes, avocado, green onions and feta. It's pure, it's delicious.

**I received no compensation for this review. All opinions are my own.**

Removing the Chaos

Anyone who really knows me knows that I am somewhat of a pack rat. And since I've spent the last four years working outside of the home, the clutter around my house has really gotten out of control. Adding to that, we have 5 people living in a 2,000 square foot home and three of those 5 people are kids who are also pack rats, and they don't pick up after themselves without a lot of nagging encouragement from me. And my husband isn't much better. It seems as though we all have stuff that we like to collect. 

When I began my weight loss journey in 2008, I had to do some decluttering. Not of "stuff" but of people. These weren't bad people, they were just people that had their own issues and I needed the time to focus on ME as I tried to navigate through the peeks and valleys of a drastic lifestyle change. It was hard. I went from having a lot of friends, to virtually having none. Now as time has gone by, I have made new friends, but I am longing for that "best friend." I haven't had one in over 4 years. My mom, my sister and my husband are my sounding boards, and as awesome as they are, I still miss having that one great girl friend that I can sit around and chat with. 

Did I remove too much chaos? Maybe. But if I hadn't would I have been as successful in my transformation? Who knows. Do I regret it? Not one bit. I had to do what was best for me at that time. 

And today I started to remove the chaos in the areas around me. I'll take it in baby steps, just like I did with my weight loss. One drawer, one closet, one room at a time. Today I did my car and one of my closets. It's a start. I didn't lose 212 pounds in one day, and I won't remove all the chaos in one day either.

 All my "hair pretties' for the gym are now in one place around my shifter.

My cycle shoes and HRM are nice and neat in my center console. 


 The dreaded closet!! Here it is before:




 Then I helped to declutter my fridge by eating the rest of last night's dinner for lunch. It was good! Tongue Out

Speaking of decluttering, my current gym LA Fitness has decided to declutter the Spinning room by removing 17 bikes. Leaving only 12 behind! I hope my favorite bike survived! I can't wait until Strive Athletic Club in Wesley Chapel reopens with a larger group fitness room and will be adding LES MILLS™ RPM™ to their group fitness schedule!

 And yes, this is me this morning!

Then I decluttered some extra calories from my body Wink

Today was a good day, though I wasn't able to find that perfect coffee cup. The quest for that will continue tomorrow.

Fail to plan, plan to fail. A lesson in improvising.

Day 2 of my life as a stay-at-home-mama started off as well as yesterday. I took the advice from one of your comments and got a bigger coffee cup. This is actually my 2nd place "trophy" from the Venice Triathlon. It was good advice. I only needed one refill.

My little dudes have been so happy to just chillax in the morning instead of rush, rush, rush. It IS a nice feeling. And I don't feel like such a maniac. And that's always good. Cause if mama ain't happy, no one is happy.

It's been so relaxed that I'm even able to make their lunches in the morning! They do love their Natural Jif Peanut Butter and Polaner fiber jelly. Typically I buy the Arnold DOUBLE FIBER bread, but Publix was out, and I had 3 kids with me, so I grabbed and ran.

And sandwiches are always more fun when they are cut into butterflies. 

And then there is the snacks. Oh lordy, the snacks. They need a snack for during school, and then they need a snack for after-school, and then they just need snacks, well because they are 6, 7, and 8. And let's face it. Snacks are yummy.

And let me tell you....those Stacy's Simply Naked Pita chips ARE THE BOMB!! And dipped in Sabra Hummus...OMG!!  Now for some reason, my son would prefer pretzels over pita chips. I have no idea why, but he's dipping into chick pea goodness, so whatever. And yes, I buy single servings of items. 1) it's easier on me, and 2) PORTION control!! 

Now Publix had a BOGO on these this week. We've never tried them, usually I go with the Dark Cocoa Almonds, but a BOGO and pre-packed, I was all over it!

For breakfast, one had eggs, one had oatmeal, and one had oatmeal AND eggs. And another BOGO from Publix, Jones cooked turkey sausage links. Now these, these were a HIT. THEY ATE THE ENTIRE PACKAGE! I'll be going back to stock up while they are still BOGO.


Now...if you are still with me, this is probably the reason you are here....MY WORKOUT!!

Today was supposed to be an outside circuit conditioning workout with the amazing Jill Gore from Fitness Fanatics and her cohort Kristin S. Kristin is the talented do-it-all mom who made my headband for the Women's 1/2 marathon last year. Okay, I digress. I just really dig both these ladies and am so fortunate to be able to know them.

Okay, so the workout. I was all pumped, ready to get it going, when the sky opened up and the rain began to pour. I jump online and of course they have already posted alternate plans. THEY HAD A BACK-UP PLAN! Kristin generously opened up her garage (quite literally) for us to workout in! Jill arrives and they go to work setting up our stations. 12 stations. Each station lasted one minute with a 7 second break between each station (basically just time to get from one station to the next.) Jill went through and demonstrated what we'd do at each station, Kristin showed some ways to improvise (she's good like that.) After we completed all 12 stations we took a short break, and then we repeated, and repeated. 3 times total. By the time we were done, I had burned 600 calories. Then we went on a cool down walk where I burned another 100something. I think my total burn was 741, and this was a full-body workout. So without further ado, the photo proof.

Station 1: The Burpee 

Station 2: Jumping Jacks and Star Jacks. And while there is a number listed, remember you are going for one full minute, so you are alternating between sets of 5. 

Station 3: Planks and/or mountain climbers on the wall  Hands down, the plank is the BEST exercise for your core. My blogging friend Denise is running a plank challenge on her blog  so if you tweet, etc., you can join in!  

Tired yet?

Station 4: Hurdles or long jump. But this is where Kristin jumped in (jump, get it LOL) with her improvising skills and had us jump over an overturned Home Depot bucket. 

Station 5: Plyo Lunges!!   I do love lunges! And squats (those are still coming!!) They have really helped my booty to become more J-Lo like ;) 

Station 6: Pushups! And all of us do them on our knees! Go strong girls!! Cool

Station 7: Squat Jumps. One of my favorites!! It also happens that Les Mills incorporates squat jumps in track 7 (lunges) in releases 82 and 83 to give you a little cardio kick. Awesome.

Station 8: Push Up Jacks 

Station 9: Tricep dips  With another improv from Kristin. We were originally going to do them in the little chair, but then K brought out that metal ladder and had us dip down the ladder with our feet on the chair. Don't worry, I got a picture to show you what it looks like ;) 

Station 10 had us doing high knees, but by the time we got there, the rain had stopped, so we ran outside and sprinted for a minute.

Station 11: Tuck jumps and tricep pushups. I just did the tricep pushups b/c I get dizzy going up and down. 

Station 12: Wall squat with weight

And there you have it!! An A.M.A.Z.I.N.G workout with very little equipment, done in the garage. 

Here I am pre-workout, all smiles and my Honey Badger Don't Care attitude. Good thing I came with that attitude b/c this workout kicked my butt, and I loved every single second of it.

 Those mountain climbers on the wall are NO JOKE!!

And doing bicep curls while doing a wall squat, ya I got that.

Oh, and look..tricep dips and I am still smiling Laughing

And every workout needs push-ups!!


It was a great morning; we laughed, we b!tched, we grunted, sweated. And we were all made a little bit stronger, a little bit fitter. And I'd like to emphasize that EVERY exercise we did today could easily be modified for the most basic of beginners, so don't think that you can't do it! You can! It just takes some improvising!!

And then I came home and had lunch. A romaine lettuce salad with steelhead trout, feta cheese, apples and avocado. And it was good.

I think I'm going to like this stay-at-home and blog gig.