Hello!! Today I thought it would be fun to cover a collection of questions I have received from you guys over the last year or so. Some of the same questions keep popping up, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to address them publicly and make a post out of it.
Blogging is an interesting little world. Who knew that starting an itty bitty wedding blog three years ago would turn into a love for creative writing, then bring me to chat with you all almost every single day?
My goals in keeping this spirited corner of the Internet alive and running is to provide health and fitness tips, along with my every day musings on fashion, travel, and fun.
I often receive personal questions via email or the comments section. I love hearing from y’all, so thank you for taking the time to write me!
The most popular questions I receive is on my dance background, half marathon training, blogging, and beauty tips. In an attempt to save future readers from having to ask the same questions, here is a full post dedicated to answering the most frequently asked questions.
It’s a long one… so brace yourself!
Frequently Asked Questions
>> ON DANCING
• how long have you been dancing?
I have been technically trained in close to every main style of dance since the age of three. I grew up with the dance studio as my after-school care and frequently lived there on the weekends as well in my high school years. I have performed in The Nutcracker more times than I can count, but never tire of hearing that magical music.
I started dancing in sports at the University of South Florida.
After realizing I had a love for entertainment and making people smile, I tried out for the Orlando Magic Dancers in 2007 and completed four wonderful seasons. (Check out some of the highlights!) I took a little over a year off from dancing when Scott left the Magic in 2011.
We moved up to the Metro Detroit area in 2012, and I started dancing for the Detroit Pistons soon after. I finished my second season with them last April and hung up my NBA dancing boots after six years of dancing professionally in sports entertainment! Today, I still enjoy dancing for my church, taking classes, and incorporating dance movements into barre workouts.
• what did your diet/fitness routine look like?
Maintaining your fitness as part of your job (literally) can be tricky. I have to admit that I eat a bit differently now than I did when I was a dancer who needed to have abs in a two piece at all times. That said, I still never used to cut out anything from my diet entirely. I still enjoyed my desserts, pizzas, and baked goods, but definitely in moderation. That’s the key!
I never worried about my numbers on the scale or with BMI testing, and instead focused on what I looked like and how I felt in costume. If I wasn’t in the best shape I knew I could get to, I would make an extra trip to the gym that week, go for a long run on the weekend, and maybe watch the excess carbs.
I think it’s important to note, however, that I never cut out certain foods completely! My years as a dancer is when I found a love for consistently eating healthy, and I started experimenting with how to make my meals and recipes healthier. I was lucky to find a balance between it all early on, and hope you find inspiration to eat more of the rainbow too!
• do you have any audition tips?
I covered my experience auditioning for my last year on the Pistons in order to answer questions about what the experience is like.
I didn’t get to finish the series, but here are the posts those of you interested in auditioning to dance for a professional sports team might find helpful:
Also, check out my audition fashion tips on Fullout.TV!
• why did you stop dancing in the NBA?
The short version? It was time to move on and start a career outside of dance. I wanted to focus more time on blogging, get back into the fitness industry, and eventually settle down to start a family.
• do you miss dancing?
Yes and no. To be honest, I don’t really miss dancing here in Detroit. Everything is just so different. I was the oldest one on the team and nothing about the style of dancing came natural to me. In Orlando, however, it was hard for me to go to a game without tearing up. Those girls were like family to me, and I still miss dancing with them on that court every day!
Overall, I am very happy with my decision to retire from dancing professionally. I don’t regret it at all. I enjoy going to the games to support Scott and am keeping plenty busy with my new job as a personal trainer.
>> ON FITNESS
• how often do you work out?
I try to keep my trips to the gym as regular as possible. Generally, I do a variety of group fitness classes, weight training, and cardio 4-5 times a week with one long run outside on the weekends.
Obviously, my routine changes a bit when I am training for a long distance race. Even so, I try to keep a consistent balance between cardio, strength training, total body workouts, and rest days. I always listen to my body and rest as much as I need to for a proper recovery.
• what is your best tip to trim my waistline?
The number one question I get from people about loosing weight is “What can I do to trim my waistline?” My number one answer is cardio! A huge part of keeping trim is your diet, but an equally important part of living a healthy lifestyle is fitting exercise into a consistent routine. Long-term results come from a commitment to living a healthy lifestyle, not a quick-fix diet or workout splurge.
My hopes in you following this blog is to get inspired to get active and incorporate healthy meal and snack ideas into your every day eating habits!
• do you ever go through spells of not wanting to work out?
Totally. The good news is that I usually snap out of it in a day or two. I don’t exercise because I have to, I work out because it keeps me happy and healthy.
If I go even a couple days in a row without exercising, I can tell I’m more irritable, more short winded, and less energized than I usually am to go about my day. Whenever I get into a fitness funk, I’ll try out a new group fitness class or even revisit some of my favorites like barre, yoga, Pilates, PiYo, or kickboxing.
Refer to my tips on how to overcome the annoyances that come with healthy, active living for tips for staying on track!
• do you have any specific tips on training for a half marathon?
This is actually a post I idea I currently have drafted. I’ll be sure to go into more detail very soon!
If you are completely new to running, I would suggest building yourself up to running for a consistent 30 minutes without stopping before you start any type of training plan. From there, you can research different half marathon training plans that make sense for you and your schedule. The first time around, I used this 10 week training plan and it worked really well for me.
I went two years between running my first and second half marathon. The second time around, I could already run 6 miles (or close to a 10K) without training, so I made an intermediate level 6 week training plan and that also worked very well for me.
I have plans to run more halfs in the future, and will be sure to share more plans and training tips along the way!
• do you have any tips for running in the snow?
My biggest tip for winter running is to make sure you are wearing the right gear first and foremost!
Running in the snow and ice is still something I am very much getting used to. I am becoming more acclimated to running in the cold, but I still dodge ice patches and fear for my life (and hips) at times. I have heard of special running cleats and spikes you an put on your running shoes, but I’ve never tried anything like that. Maybe it’s time I invest?
This thread on Runner’s World has some great suggestions, and would make a great blog post topic. Check back soon!
>> ON BEAUTY/FASHION
• what are some of your favorite beauty products?
I highlighted a handful of my favorite beauty products earlier this year. I could probably revisit that and come out with another edition!
For now, you could add this Lee Stafford Treatment for Hair That Never Grows Past a Certain Length (amazing, affordable treatment!) and the derm exclusive anti-aging skin care line (Fill & Freeze = life changing) to the list. You laugh now… but what was purchased as an impulse buy at 2 a.m. turned into my favorite anti-aging skin care line to date.
• how do you curl your hair?
I used to get this question almost weekly when I was dancing! Back then I did more of a loose curl, and now I strictly use a curling wand.
Here are my tutorials to show you all of my ways!
(and, just for fun…)
• do you have any tips for spray tanning?
Definitely. I couldn’t even tell you how many spray tans I have applied myself or gotten professionally sprayed on. (Tons.)
Here are my best tips on spray and self-tanning at home!
• do you have any makeup/beauty tips and tricks from dancing?
I could definitely dedicate an entire post to this. For now, check out my Top 20 Photoshoot Tips + Tricks post. That should cover a lot of what I do to prepare for a photo shoot, audition, big event, etc.
• where did you get your glasses?
I got my glasses from my optometrist’s office. They are Michael Kors and are from the Men’s line, believe it or not. Whoops.
>> ON OUR FUR KIDS
• what do you feed your cats?
I actually received this question followed by “they look so fit” after it. Ha. Maybe it’s the angle I take pictures of them… but they are anything but little.
Aspen (the grey one) is smaller than Cali (the calico), and I know the difference in their weight comes from their activity level. Aspen is always up and about and Cali is the sleeper/snuggler.
I have a bit of a weakness when it comes to giving them treats. All three of them have learned to follow me into the kitchen and stare at me every time I go in there to get something. I’m pretty sure that’s where the extra “fluff” comes from. I try to stick to buying all natural treats for them, but have learned that sometimes just the “healthy” treats can upset their stomachs.
• how did you get Roadie to start running with you?
We found roadie as a stray.
When we decided to finally keep him (after weeks of trying to locate his previous owners), I took him for a long walk with my running shoes on and he kept pulling me. I could tell he wanted to run, so I started jogging and he loved it. From that day forward, he absolutely loves to go running with me and the longest we’ve gone together is close to 5 miles!
Since we moved up north, it’s harder to take him in the winter time. When there is snow and ice on the ground, I resort back to long walks with him.
He still stops to sniff, darts across me, and becomes a lunatic when he sees a wild animal, but overall running with him is great for both him and I.
>> ON SCOTT
• how did you and Scott meet?
I have mentioned that we met working together for the Orlando Magic many times on the blog. I was a dancer and he was an Entertainment Director. Funny story… he was also my dunk coach.
We were friends for a while and then grew really close as time went by. I often joke that he stole my heart on a plane ride to China.
I got the opportunity to travel and perform with my team to both Shanghai and Macau, China my rookie season! Scott sat next to me the entire 20 hour plane ride over and I just remember how much I needed to study for the GRE. Needless to say, I never studied. We talked for hours and became instant best friends for the next few months. We finally went on our first official date on New Years Day in 2008. That’s what I like to call our Date-iversary.
Come New Years, we will have officially been together for seven years!
• how did he propose?
• what are Scott’s feelings towards the blog?
I am very fortunate. Scott has always been a fan of the blog… once I found an on and off button, that is.
When I first became interested in monetizing the blog, it was hard for me to pull myself away from the computer. I always wanted to be working on something. Eventually, I got the hang of things and figured out that it is important for me to stick to “office hours”. They vary from day to day now that I am working outside of the home again, but, in general, I try to disconnect when Scott is home from work for the night or on the weekends.
As long as blogging makes me happy, me running this site makes him happy. I think he secretly loves the fact that I can document our life travels and whereabouts…
I plan to continue blogging for years to come, as long as it makes sense for what I am doing and our family!
• has your 11 year age difference been a problem at all?
I met Scott at the age of 33 when I was just 22 years old. As you can imagine, my first instinct wasn’t to date him. Over time, however, I realized that age is just a number and love is love.
We have always been on the same page of where we are in our walks of life, and I often joke with friends that I am the more mature one. Our age difference used to bother me, but it hasn’t for quite a while. We are who we are and I love the relationship we have grown to have in our marriage!
• Scott cooks?
Yes! Scott is a fabulous cook. He isn’t home much to prepare meals on a daily basis, but he is great at throwing appetizers and pot luck dishes together for parties. Every once and a while he will get the itch to cook a stew, dessert, or holiday themed meal.
Here are some of his recipes featured on the blog!
>> ON BLOGGING
• Blogging FAQs
You can find all of my tips and beginning blogging tips in the Blogging FAQs series. Feel free to shoot over any specific questions you might have!
>> ON BECOMING A CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER
• What made you choose this specific certification through NASM?
I wanted to get certified in personal training so I could study the science of fitness. Whether I use it to actively train clients at a gym or not, I wanted to back my workouts and information I share with you all with facts and research. I wanted to really dive in and understand how the body functions.
After doing an extensive amount of research and talking with a handful of people in the industry, becoming a CPT is what I needed to do to move forward and the National Academy of Sports Medicine seemed like the clearest answer on how to get there.
NASM is one of the (if not THE) most accredited and highly respected online fitness education programs you can get certified with, and is immediately recognizable on professional resumes. I am currently scoping out my next educational move, and getting certified specifically in group fitness will hopefully happen sooner than later.
• What do you plan to do with your CPT?
I am excited to share I am now working as a personal trainer for small group, semi-private, and private one-on-one sessions! Soon, I will also be offering web-based coaching and will be sure to share the details when they unfold.
On top of personal training, I am hoping to get back into teaching group fitness classes. I truly miss being at the barre!
• What exact program did you purchase?
NASM offers several different levels of study programs. The cheapest is taking the Exam only (no textbook) for $599, and they keep building up to in-person learning classes and programs. I chose the CPT Self-Study program that includes the textbook and online resources.
The CPT Self-Study starts at $699, and I received a generous discount off of my package after speaking with my contact.
(See my NASM Study Guide for a special discount offer if you’re interested!)
• what other specializations are you interested in?
I am currently enrolled in the Behavior Change Specialist program. Once I complete that, my next steps are to become a Fitness Nutrition and Weight Loss Specialist. Who knows where I will go after that!
Whew! I think that should cover all of the questions for now. I will share more down the road as groups of them come up, and hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into some of the personal aspects of the blog!
I have to report to the gym later this afternoon, then get ready for a dinner party we are hosting, so I will see you back bright and early tomorrow with Friday Favorites! <3
Have a great rest of your Thursday!