Fit chicas

A fit chica tells her story v.8

Here we are on the eighth version of fit chica friday and I've realized that I've yet to share the amount of details that the women on these posts have shared, and this is my blog. I've decided that this week, I'd answer my own questions - and give you a little peek as to who I am and why I choose to lead a health conscious lifestyle. First off, tell us about yourself.

My name is Melissa. I was born and raised in the Bronx. I wasn’t always so interested in a healthy life . . . dinner to me was once ice cream and cookies; well just because its what I was in the mood for. I love to dance, sweat, and test my limits. I enjoy any opportunity to be near the water – whether its sitting by the Hudson River or going on vacation. Something about the ocean brings me peace and makes me feel alive.

What gave you the motivation to take working out and fitness seriously?  Was there a catalyst?

As a kid, my calorie burning activities consisted of dance

classes. I was a student of Ballet for many years. Up until my Junior Year in High School, I attended Ballet classes non-stop. In hindsight, I realize that it was my form of exercise - as a kid ....it was just fun.

My senior year in High School, I took my VERY first aerobics class. I hated gym class. I hated the competitive aspect, the running, everything. So I signed up for an aerobics class and I LOVED it. It was like dance but different. I think that class laid the foundation for "the future me" to seek aerobics instruction as a part-time job.

Once I graduated High School, I attended Pace University. At the time, there was no fitness center and unless you were an athlete or had a car, the opportunity to workout was not very easy. I silently struggled with knowing what to eat. Sometimes I would choose not to eat at all. Once I stopped caring as much, I was 145 lbs. I’m short (5' 3") and small so that makes a difference. I sit comfortably at 125 lbs now. Use your imagination and math skills.

Fitness has CHANGED ME. It’s changed who I associate with, what I do everyday and how I feel about myself. Due to being a sick child, I always thought of myself as a weak person, someone who needed people to take care of them. I believed there were things “I couldn’t do.” It’s no ones fault - my experiences made me feel that way. Working out has given me confidence I never thought I could have. It feels good to say, “I did 15 pushups today because I could, because I built up to it.” I’ve learned that you can accomplish anything if you take it step by step. It’s also improved my leadership skills and focus. After deciding I would teach my own aerobics class, and becoming certified in Zumba, I’ve seen a new me emerge – a leader - a person who wants to help others take their lives into their own hands. It's amazing.

Any tips for someone who may feel overwhelmed by the idea of changing one's lifestyle?

It’s a task like any other. It’s been 10 years for me and I’m still learning. You need to commit to yourself to start. Always start slow. If you want to add more vegetables to your diet, begin by introducing some of the more common ones slowly into your lunch or dinner plate. Don’t do a complete overhaul or else you will overwhelm yourself. Add some broccoli, and then some carrots perhaps once a week to start off and then make it more frequent. It’s a necessity for me to have vegetables with every meal but I had to build myself to get there.

When it comes to fitness, it’s the same story. You need to lay the foundation. You can’t expect to get to the gym – do an hour of cardio, lift weights, do crunches ... etc etc. and not feel the horrible soreness the next day. It’s also not healthy to do that. Many trainers say two hours at the gym is too long. I say two hours at the gym is too long if you are new to the game. Some people love the gym and spend more time there but they know what they’re doing (I hope) and if that’s theit happy place – then go for it. As a beginner, take it easy . . . find something you love and do it often. You will see results and start looking for more things, just because.

Currently, what's your favorite workout? Why?

Dare I say it? KICKBOXING. I just started taking Kickboxing lessons at Grandmaster Kim’s and I love it. The instructor is great. He pushes me and takes advantage of the entire hour. And of course, I LOVE ZUMBA.

How do you incorporate fitness in your everyday life?

When I plan my days, I think, “when can I find time to workout?” I don’t believe in lifting everyday, doing cardio everyday, etc. I do what I want, when I want. There is some method to my madness – but for me its no longer “will I workout,” it’s “how (or when) will I workout.” It's a priority for me and I fit it into my schedule whether I have to wake up in the morning to do it, take a lunch break at work, or find time after work.

Anything else you'd like to share with our readers?

Without sharing too much about my family, I have many family members with some serious diseases, that in my eyes can be maintained with a healthier lifestyle. Blood lines run deep, and while I was in college, I realized that I needed to take control of my lifestyle or else I too could fall victim to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity etc. When I first started working out, many people thought I was crazy. I heard things like, "you are skinny, you don't need to" or "that's for bodybuilders, do you want those man muscles?" Not everyone will support your decision to say no to that chocolate cake or to skip happy hour because you are going to the gym, but in the long run, it's up to you to decide what's better for you.

You can control your health so go for it and if you need help . . . just ask me! Many of you were once active - perhaps you played a sport as a kid. Bring that inner child out to play with some exercise! Get ready to feel life and feel fabulous.

If you or someone you know, should be a fit chica, please send me an email at funfitchicblog {at} gmail.com

A fit chica tells her story v.7

I hadn't realized how many of my friends have committed their lives to healthy living, but I guess birds of a feather really do flock together. Except this "bird" flew away to another coast.
This week's fit chica is a friend of mine living on the West Coast. Claudia, and I met in New York. Salsa dancing brought us together. For a year, the "salsa crew" was inseparable. The West Coast has given her a renewed understanding of her health and has allowed her to reach fitness goals, that wouldn't have been a priority in New York.

FFC: First off, tell us about yourself. Claudia: As an only child growing up, my parents would get me involved in a lot of things. I realize now they were attempting to tire me out, since I was a super active child. I drove my parents nuts because I was "bored" all the time. Looking back on those interests much of it involved the performing arts. Whether it was dance, music or theatre, I thoroughly enjoyed performing and entertaining people around me. I was often the class clown, inserting wise crack comments, generally a lot of them were inappropriate, LOL. Despite that, I was a diligent student, often surprising people at how smart I really was and I enjoyed learning. I was the 1990s version of "Glee". Performing was not only my creative outlet, but it was a physical experience for me. When I was 19, I went with a couple of girlfriends who were a few years older than me to Latin Quarters on a Thursday night. That was way back when it was located on 96th & Broadway. The good old days, LOL. I had no business being there since it was 21 and over, but one of the girls I went with was dating the bouncer, and well... you know the rest. So it was my first time going to a Latin Club and it was an eye opening experience for me. I grew up watching my family dancing cumbia and "living room" salsa, but nothing like what I saw that night. This couple was incredible on the dance floor and I just sat at the bar with my 'Sex on the Beach' in hand and thought, "I WANT TO DO THAT!" I've had a love affair with salsa dancing on and off ever since.
FFC:What gave you the motivation to take working out and fitness seriously? Claudia: Growing up I was told I was "too skinny". I did sports throughout high school and would dance every day for hours in my living room when my parents weren't home. I ate anything and everything and would finish your plate, too. I thought for years I was naturally slim and athletic. In reality I was simply moving all the time. I NEVER wanted to sit still. However, (violins playing) that all changed after college, working a sedentary office job and eating the same way, of course. I didn't even realize how heavy I got! I was 28 by the time I decided that working out would be good because I needed to 'tone up'. My best friend, Aimet, and I hired a trainer together and in our first session he asked me to step on a scale. When he read my weight back to me, I had gained 30 lbs. I said, "SHUT UP! No way!" I was in such denial. Aimet and I went diligently to that trainer and I never lost a pound. He would yell at me to get on the treadmill and follow the diet plan or else his efforts were meaningless. Shortly after that I had a life changing break up. I simply stopped eating. I was in so much shock that I could not eat anything at all. I didn't have a scale back then so I can only estimate that I lost 20 lbs in a matter of a few weeks. I threw myself into salsa dancing and went dancing pretty much every night for hours. Those workouts with the personal trainer came into full effect because my unhealthy weight loss revealed a kickass body with scuplted muscles that I had not seen since high school. I wanted to maintain what I lost, but it all came back, courtesy of my unhealthy eating habits. That was around the time that you and I met, Melissa! You remember how I would hit the McDonald's dollar menu! I would order 2 cheeseburgers and a small coke, but no fries because "fries were not healthy". Ridiculous, I know.
FFC: Have you changed your eating habits? If so, what's different?  Was there a catalyst?
Claudia:Four and a half years ago I relocated from NY to the San Francisco Bay Area. In California I was surrounded by fresh produce, half of which I never heard of or tasted before. I remember ordering at a sandwich shop, and thought this is not your ordinary NYC deli. The sandwhich was served on whole wheat bread, came in a reasonable size, and had a salad on the side. Did I mention that my sandwhich had bean sprouts in it?!?! I mean, really, who does that? Californians do, apparently, LOL. So much of my move was a cultural shift from the way I lived in NYC. I bought a mountain bike and started to ride every day to explore my new area and enjoy the fantastic weather. I started to drop a few pounds without even noticing. I began to teach myself to eat reasonably. I bought cook books and enjoyed Cooking Light magazine for healthier recipes. For me, I really pay attention to my calorie intake. It keeps it very simple for me. Anything difficult would require forethought and planning, and I lack the time for both. Between working full time and grad school, I am running all the time and I can easily reach for the foods that are easy, yet unhealthy. So for me it's all about making sure I eat a salad and incorporating vegetables with all of my meals so it keeps me full. I am diligent about the portions of my meals, and eat off of small plates at home. Ultimately food is my biggest battle. I want to eat anything I want and not pay the consequences. BUT I HAVE to continue to make good choices and limit the occurrences of me going overboard.
FFC: How do you feel fitness has changed your life?
Claudia: I thoroughly love being fit. Yes, there is a vanity factor, I admit. Nothing beats having abs you love to show off. But there's another element for me that is a lot more crucial. Working out and eating well has really become important now that I'm approaching my mid thirties. I had a knee injury from running that was humbling and I didn't snap back as fast as I would've in the past. For that reason, I have to limit how much I run now. If I don't maintain a healthy weight, my knees hurt. You only get one body and for it to go the distance you need to take care of it! I want to defy the aging process and be a hot mama at 50! Being fit and working out also helps me to process the stress of balancing work and school. Working out also keeps me from driving my husband crazy. He knows me so well. He'll just look at me pout in the corner and know that I'm simply miserable, frustrated and "bored". His response is always the same. "Did you work out? Go for a run or something, you know you'll feel better." I fight him every time, but love his "amazing" suggestion when I'm done. Working out simply keeps me centered.

FFC: I know you workout with your husband often, how has it affected your relationship?
Claudia: LOL. I laugh because I don't think Matt could be married to someone who was not active at all. (I just asked him that question and he said he could, but it would drive him crazy. Oh wait, he just changed his mind. "No, I guess not. Dating them would drive me crazy so I don't think it would last at all.") Matt works out regularly with friends and also golfs with them. He enjoys moving as much as I do. We take our road bikes and go for rides together on the weekends, we go on long walks after dinner during the week, and we hike alot when we go sightseeing on vacations and weekend getaways. Those are all things we do together and we talk, catch up and simply connect during that time. Lots of couples schedule date nights, and we do that on occasion so that we don't have to cook and we can go out. But we really value the time we spend together doing something active. It keeps us fit, connected, and we're better to each other knowing that we have done something good for ourselves. We both watch what we eat. Its great to have someone that shares the same values as you do when it comes to eating and staying fit. I can't imagine how difficult it would be for me personally not having him share that mindset with me. I view food as fuel, but throw in a chewy chocolate chip cookie in my face, and I HAVE to have it. Matt knows there are certain foods that I simply have no restraint for and he knows I work hard to stay fit. For that reason, we don't keep that stuff in our house since I'm a big snacker. We always have fruit on hand, and that's what I reach for. Thank God!

FFC: Any tips for someone who may feel overwhelmed by the idea of changing one's lifestyle?
Claudia: Change one thing or do one thing differently until it becomes a habit. Then incorporate one more thing until that becomes a habit. Next thing you know, you've changed you life. This may sound stupid, but right now I'm working on how I prepare my coffee. Not eliminating it, that's just crazy talk! I've always enjoyed my coffee, light & sweet. The last couple of months, I've been putting less milk and sugar. I just started drinking it black this week, with a little bit of sugar. At some point my coffee will have no sugar. It's the little changes that reap huge differences over time. Too much change at once sets you up for defeat because it becomes difficult to maintain everything all together. It's all about baby steps. Small victories.
FFC: Currently, what's your favorite workout? Why?
Claudia: I joined a gym recently because I wanted to incorporate it as a habit in preparation for the winter months. Right now, I'm loving their "Body Pump" class. It's a total body strength training class set to music. You do your bicep curls to the lyrics of Pink and your squats to the beats of Pitbull. The class works your muscles to the point of failure. I think I've moaned and grunted in that class really loud in pain. Good thing the music is loud enough that the class doesn't really hear me, LOL. The workout shapes my body and I love how strong I feel when I'm done.
FFC: How do you incorporate fitness in your everyday life?
Claudia: I HAVE to incorporate it into my life. I run my life though my Outlook calendar so I have my workouts scheduled during the week along with my work meetings, study times and my get togethers with friends. If it's not on Outlook, it doesn't happen. On the weekend it's whatever Matt & I are in the mood for. It's part of our routine so it's not a question of if. It's a question of what and when. We pretty much talk about it when we're having breakfast that morning or during dinner the night before.

 

FFC: Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Claudia:I'm training for my second organized bike ride on October 1st, 36 miles. Matt is doing a metric century, 62 miles. It's a family affair, as I'll be riding with Matt's mom, and he's riding with his dad. We did it last year as a family so it's a bit of a tradition for us. :-)

 

I love reading everyone's personal stories and journeys. It helps me stay motivated and I hope they help you as well. Doesn't matter where you are in your journey to a healthier you, there's always someone else who has had or is having similar experiences. Yay to that! Thank you Claudia for sharing! I miss you.

A Fit Chica Tells Her Story v.6

It's Fit Chica Friday!  I love Fridays for many reasons but personally because I get to introduce you all to some awesome women. This week's fit chica is another woman who reached out to me via my call-to-action. I googled her, found her youtube channel, and thought "oooh interesting!"
So let's welcome Nichole as Fridays Fit Chica. "W-E-L-C-O-M-E, N-I-C-H-O-L-E!"

Nichole is a freelance reporter and self-taught makeup artist. She created sugaRushtv for interviewing, makeup tutorials, product reviews and more. It's all on YOUTUBE for our viewing pleasure. I'll probably add a few of the videos on the Chic portion of the site once I get an opportunity to view them all.

On to the interview:

FFC: What gave you the motivation to take working out and fitness seriously?  Was there a catalyst? Nichole: I have always been a slender girl, at 5'7 108 pounds, I took after my parents mainly my slim father. However, I never wanted to take that for granted.  After seeing what 40 and menopause can do to a woman (thanks to a few ladies in my family) I wondered if that would happen to me!  So I decided to change my life.  I began working out religiously 2 years ago during the spring. It paid off, from crunches to body sculpting to yoga and power walking, I had a routine that was golden.  Last year I dropped the power walking and incorporated jogging.  3 miles is all I do, as I jog to maintain my body and stay fit.  My body began to feel different, behave differently and my posture, though never a slouch, improved.
FFC: Have you changed your eating habits? If so, what's different?
Nichole: In high school we believe we're made of steel with an iron stomach. I know I did.  I'd eat all this stuff for breakfast and lunch, ranging from a Burger King croissanwich to a toasted buttered bagel with basil and mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar, or a bacon egg and cheese with a can of coke. What a meal! Imagine this on a daily, with some variation, for 4 years?  That's high school, that's not even college.  College being plagued by the hustle and bustle of class, homework and a social life, your sort of robotically forced to eat on the go and we all know those choices aren't always the best.  Greasy gooey cafeteria pizza and fries to well- you can imagine the rest.  Add this diet on top of the high school diet and well, you pretty much get the picture.  What havoc did that wreak on my system? I really wouldn't know until years later when I decided to become a vegetarian.  Turning my back on meat, loads of starch/carbs was not a very difficult choice, living the life to support that decision can be, but it's oh so rewarding and your system will thank you for it. As I love to say, 'V your mind and your health will follow!'
FFC: How do you feel fitness has changed your life? Nichole: When you're serious about fitness/getting in shape, you become a slave to obedience and discipline.  This doesn't mean I became this work-out maniac with a vigorous routine.  But it does mean I dedicated time in my schedule to get in touch with muscles I didn't know I had.  I also listened to my body, paid more attention to it and learned it's likes and dislikes.  Fitness has fine tuned my 'ear' if you will, to hear my body's voice.  I obey it when it asks for water, nutrients, vitamins and more.  I discipline it when it craves those unhealthy things, not by starvation but by munching on healthy snacks like roasted seaweed or raw cashews.  Sometimes, my body wakes me up just to stretch or go jogging, maybe even a power walk. When I ignore it, I pay.  I know it's sad and unhappy with my decision.  When I obey... oh yes- the happy is on!  I'm more focused and energetic when I stick to my routine and when I veer off, not so much.
FFC: Any tips for someone who may feel overwhelmed by the idea of changing one's lifestyle?

Nichole: When changing one's lifestyle I strongly recommend keeping this in mind: Change is not an event, it's a process.  This is crucial and imperative for a healthy turnabout in life.  Do not use this as an excuse to delay your change, as the process has to begin some time, if not, then you're stagnant and stagnation is the key to death while procrastination is the thief of blessings.  Take it one day at a time and educate yourself along the way. Ask questions, even the dumb ones you're afraid to ask.  Step out of your comfort zone and step out on faith knowing you're headed in the right direction.  Another tip, accept the fact you will face lows during this change.  We all slip or fall when changing. It's natural.  But the difference between a loser and a conqueror, the conqueror got back up and continued the process.

FFC: Currently, what's your favorite workout? Why?
Nichole: My favorite kind of work out... right now it's jogging and body sculpting.  That includes squats, crunches, push ups and sit ups... aerobic style work-out taken to the next level.

FFC: How do you incorporate fitness in your everyday life?

Nichole: I'm a very fast walker.  I naturally speed down the block unless I've set in my mind I'm taking a leisurely stroll.  This I consider part of every day life work outs! :)  When I begin to feel tight or pent up, even emotionally, I stretch.  Right where I am, I just stop, bend down to touch my toes or stand up tall and reach for the sky.  Some times I do a squat or some leg stretches.  Every day life may not always present an opening to work out though, so there will be times and there are times I have to make an opening.

FFC: Anything else you'd like to share with our readers? Nichole: What else would I like for your readers to know about me? Let's see... I'm not as intimidating as I look!  LOL! In all honesty, I'd love for your readers to know that I'm a girl who loves the Lord and loves all things girly. I know the two don't necessarily have an obvious common thread, but hey- there's another thing about me... my proverbial dots don't always connect! Let's see what else is there... hmmm.  Oh! I'm the girl who loves life and loves to laugh loud every day of it.  So if you hear a burst of loud laughter anywhere, just smile and know that's me!

I think my favorite part of this read was the description on how she feels when she doesn't work out. It's nice to hear someone else talk about it. We are creatures of habit, once you get into a routine, it becomes difficult to deviate.
Thanks Nichole for sharing!

A fit chica tells her story v. 5

Last week, I posted about my desire to learn and meet "fit chicas" out of my circle of influence. Within hours of posting, I received many responses from awesome women that were interested in sharing their stories. One woman, was Stacy, a fellow blogger and a complete stranger to me (although we share a mutual friend). I like her story because its one of commitment, struggle, perseverance and a great outcome. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. FFC: First off, tell us about yourself. Stacy: HI! I'm Stacy, 44 yrs old, live and work in White Plains, NY and been battling some 'extra' weight all my life. Started Jenny Craig 3/2008, lost some weight but had to get off it because I lost my job at the time, Gained some wieght back and joned again 3/2010...lost more but for a while just maintaing and got sick of that. I wanted 'more'. In May 2011, I hired a trainer and lost more weight, inches and gained more confidence and gained more definition in my body. LOVE IT! and I admit i'm addicted ;)

Some tidbits: fav color : purple and green I have a beautiful cat named Smokey and she has the most gorgeous sparling green eyes. She is 8 yrs old. I have a butterfly tattoo on my right ankle..over a yr old..its kind of unique looking too :)

FFC: What gave you the motivation to take working out and fitness seriously? Was there a catalyst? Stacy: When i was younger, i rec'd all kinds of insults and criticism about my weight..no support. So in my late 20's, i quit smoking and got my body in gear, joined a gym and took tons of step classes and learned about weight training. Over the years, I took time off from it and I was basically in and out of gyms. The past year I am more serious about it and for the past 2 1/2 months I have a personal trainer. I am seeing results which = more motivation! My clothes are falling off me and people that I havent' seen in awhile, barely recognize me. Its a wonderful feeling.

FFC: Have you changed your eating habits? If so, what's different? Stacy: I still have struggles w/ junk food but for the most part, my relationship with food has changed a lot and for the best. I dont keep junk at home but do get tempted if i go out to eat or i'm at the supermarket. Luckily, I dont like liquor, I love fruits /veggies, salads etc. Eating right is the best way, especially after training hard at the gym, I want to see a learner body, I want to see muscle tone..and i am! Bottom line, its all in your head! If I am at the store and see my fav candy, i think , think, think! I have greek non-fat yogurt waiting for me, or some fruit, or whatever it may be..to make me STOP thinking about that piece of candy or cookie.

FFC: How do you feel fitness has changed your life?

Stacy: More confidence. I feel GREAT. I can look in the mirror more often and not see a chubby, full face. I love muscles and defintiion. I"m totally addicted. It has made me more healthier and I appreciate what foods I eat and what I'm doing to my body to be the healthiest I can be. I don't take my body for granted anymore.

FFC: Any tips for someone who may feel overwhelmed by the idea of changing one's lifestyle? Stacy: This is a tough one. You can't tell someone how to act, how to feel, how to be..BUT if they really want to make changes, they will have to dig deep and make a commitment to it and know WHY they are doing it. Is it a quick fix before a wedding, a party, etc? For me its a lifestyle change, my weight comes off slow but I always say: slow and steady wins the race. It will most likely stay off for the rest of my life. Also, along with a new lifestyle, take a bit of sacrifice .At the beginning, I wasn't going out as much. Yes i still met friends for a movie or cup of coffee but no happy hours, no junk food out, etc etc...no junk at home, no temptations...you have to really make a COMMITMENT and be consistent..if not, well, it would be a waste of time. IN addition do it YOURSELF!.  A lot of ppl want partners for the gym or healthy eating. Yes, I know for some, it would help but for me I hate waiting around for anybody ..if you really want to do it...then do it TODAY ..don't wait for others. If you want to work out, don't wait for others. DO IT! That shows a true, committed person. You have to be independent and not rely on others.

FFC: Currently, what's your favorite workout? Why? Stacy: I love my spinning classes. I sweat A LOT, I get in a zone, and it's easy on the joints. At my age, I just can't run or jump around too much. My knees are getting up there in age. LOL....i also love WEIGHT TRAINING! Mostly legs, some upper body...(i do it all but my fav is legs, biceps and shoulders) i used to hate abs but now I like it more! I'm stronger now in my legs and I love doing squats and lunges...I don't like triceps or back as much but I do them w/ my trainer..but basically I love everything more now because i am seeing wonderful changes! and results :)

FFC: How do you incorporate fitness in your everyday life? Stacy: It's part of my life..like brushing my teeth! I have my spin schedule (3x week ) and I train with my trainer on Sat for 1 hr. I go to the track once a week and do abs at home. I don't come up with excuses. My idea of a clean day is eating great and working out. Thats a perfect day for me. :)

FFC: Anything else you'd like to share with our readers? Stacy: I am someone that always wants to better myself-my new committment to health is just one of those things. I like to challenge myself and feel good that I can accomplish my goals. It's a good feeling to know you can always re-invent yourself ...be happy, you only live once :)

I have chicas scheduled all the way into September now but if you or anyone you know deserves to be featured on this blog, email me at funfitchicblog {at} gmail.com

A Fit Chica Tells Her Story v.4

Okay so I have to admit that when I was a very little girl, I thought this week's fit chica was SO COOL. She and my sister have been friends for a very long time and we grew up in the same building. Her light brown/blonde hair was rare in the South Bronx and she was one of the sweetest people I knew. Enter the world of Facebook. A good friend of mine goes to a salsa event and "friends" Daisy Santana. I see her on my friends wall and think, "OMG . . .how do they know each other?" I immediately contact Daisy and find out that she loves to dance salsa, bellydance, run, and work out. From then on, I've followed her on Facebook and viewed first hand her many fitness accomplishments, including becoming a personal trainer.

Below, you'll get to meet Daisy Santana and see why I STILL think she's so awesome and an inspiration to women around the world. I love how she focuses on HOW fitness MAKES YOU FEEL vs. WEIGHT LOSS, TONING and the many other secondary benefits of Fitness.

FFC: Tell us a little about your journey towards a becoming a healthier you. Daisy: I‘ve always been very active from rollerblading to ice-skating, belly dancing for 2yrs and when I was in school I was always the teacher’s pet in gym class since the 5th grade. I guess you can say I was a tomboy when it came to gym activities. Although I was in track for 1 year in 5th grade and softball in the 11th grade, that was as far as a jock I went haha. I’ve always loved working out and when I started working in the corporate world I joined the gym in my company and loved taking spin class, hitting the weights and pilates. I did Tiger Schulman for a month and loved it but it became too expensive and decided to buy a punching bag for my house and do my own workout, I followed a book called: The Gleason's Gym Total Body Boxing Workout for Women, it was a great workout especially if you’re the kind of person that doesn’t like working out in a gym but in your own home.

FFC: What gave you the motivation to take working out and fitness seriously? Was there a catalyst? Daisy: I think working out gives you peace of mind and makes you feel good physically and mentally which is what I love about it. I was unemployed for about 2yrs and going to the gym made me less stressed about not having a job. I started running in Oct 2009 and became hooked on racing and what running has done for my body; it is a total body workout. Although running is a great workout it’s not for the faint of heart, in the beginning as your body adapts to running you will start to feel aches and pains you never felt before until you get used to it.

FFC: Have you changed your eating habits? If so, what's different? Daisy: My eating habits area somewhat healthy, I try to cook as healthy as I can at home brown rice instead of white, multigrain/whole-wheat pasta instead of white pasta but it’s not cheap to eat healthy so I try my best. I just started eating Greek yogurt because the protein content is higher than other yogurts but again, not cheap.

FFC: How do you feel fitness has changed your life? Daisy: I get this euphoric feeling when I work out whether it’s running, weight training or boxing. I can’t see my life without being active, even on weekends I would have to do something active, although I do listen to my body when it needs rest.

FFC: Any tips for someone who may feel overwhelmed by the idea of changing one's lifestyle? Daisy: Hmm, having an active lifestyle is a great stress reliever and no matter what, you

will feel good after you have worked out. I say find something you love first and foremost, whether it’s taking a walk everyday or doing a yoga class or Zumba find something you are passionate about and you will stick to it. Also start one day at a time, don’t overdo it in the beginning because you will get burnt out and not enjoy it as much.

FFC: Currently, what's your favorite workout? Why? Daisy: My favorite workout is a boxing class I take 2 to 3 times a week, i had to cut down from 5 days a week to 3days but I absolutely love it. We get to hit the bag and we have 2 sessions on focus mitts (pads that the instructor holds and you punch) which is my favorite part. We do different stations throughout the class as we rotate which is what I enjoy about the class too. We do ab work, mountain climbers, pushups ... it’s very addicting.

FFC: How do you incorporate fitness in your everyday life? Daisy: I workout 5days a week and on weekends I run or participate in a race.

FFC: Anything else you'd like to share with our readers? Daisy: There are plenty of ways to incorporate fitness into your life and you don’t have to join a gym to do that. Video games nowadays have motion sensors that you can play sports, dance or workout with your game in your own home. You can take walks everyday. You can start with as little as 10mins a day then work your way up by 5mins each day. There are plenty of activities in the city that offer free workout classes or activities everyday on nyc.gov they offer yoga classes, boot camp, kayaking or bike rentals.

Pretty awesome right? If you know or are a fit chica and want to be featured on the blog, hit me up at funfitchicblog {at} gmail.com.

If you live in the Bronx and are interested in learning more about Daisy's Personal Training business, send her an email at daisyss30 {at} gmail.com. I believe she has ran some bootcamps in the past that can help you get into shape and kickstart your health. You too can be a FIT CHICA.

Casting Call - Looking for Fit Chicas

Hello Ladies: I have a blog feature all about fit ladies. The thought process behind this is to feature a fit chica WEEKLY - every Friday - and help inspire and motivate other women to move, eat healthier, and in turn, live happier lives. I've had some awesome women volunteer in the past BUT I am looking for more.

The month of August isn't looking too good and I am asking for your help. Volunteer or Forward To A Friend. The questions are easy and the feature inspires and honors YOU for taking care of YOURSELF.

If you are worried about what people "see" when they Google you. Take control and make sure they see a positive and amazing story of YOU instead of some nasty ex-bf's post about you (jk . . . sort of).

Hit me up if you are interested and I will send you over some questions. All I need are the answers and some photos of you doing fun, fit, and chic things. How easy is that?

funfitchicblog {at} gmail.com

Below you can find the other women I've featured: