Achieve Fitness: On Saying Goodbye

As I mentioned in my last post, Thursday was my last day at Achieve Fitness. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but in the end I know that it is the best decision for our family at this moment. It takes me 20-30 minutes to get there even when I go to a 6 am class, and evening classes are not an option because of traffic, by the time Nick gets home from work I just would not make it. Obviously, there is hope that I will get pregnant again sometime within the 2014 year, but I am not naive to think that it could take longer. IF it happens in 2014 though, Achieve just wouldn’t be a fiscally responsible decision.



I was first introduced to Achieve by Amanda, and while I was intimidated at first it was definitely one of the best decisions I have made for myself in a long time. I have always loved strength training and cardio, but I had never been in a gym that approached these two things like the way Achieve does. Metabolic Conditioning and Strength Training classes were held the most often, with a few kettlebell classes as well.

Photo via Achieve Fitness. Just another action packed MetCon class!

Photo via Achieve Fitness. Just another action packed MetCon class!

I was part of a gym family, something I had never experienced before. I looked forward to seeing my favorite 6 am folk and even though I already loved the gym, they made me happy and excited to be there before the sun came out.



I participated in my first ever triathlon with members of Achieve. I also went through one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. These friends were there for me, even when they didn’t realize it, it made a huge difference in my mental health. I don’t know that I will be able to separate the triathlon from the miscarriage, but it will also remind me of how lucky I was to have all these people in my life.



I have always been a fan of kettlebells, and I would one more than one if they weren’t so darn expensive. I love that Achieve had a class solely focused on kettlebells and we were constantly working on our strength!

Turkish Get Up - Proud Moment Photo!

Turkish Get Up – Proud Moment Photo!

I know that with Achieve I have gotten a 100 times stronger than I would have if I had not ever joined. Mentally, I am in a better space because of the support from Lauren and Jason and the rest of the members of the gym.


I definitely suggest if you are nearby that you check it out, I am hoping to be back after our kids are at least in pre-school.

I do have some plans for the future. I am going to continue my favorite classes at Studio Poise: Pound, Poise Fusion, The Remix, and Zumba! And for the next month I am participating in the Pure Barre Lynnfield Pure Madness Challenge.



While I can’t continue with Pure Barre after my package expires, it was a great deal and it will help force me into a routine with studio classes. Plus, I love a good competition. I also bought a few online deals for yoga studios nearby.

Thank you Lauren, Jason and all my fellow 6 AMers, you’ve made it one hell of a strong year.

Have you ever left a gym with sadness? I have not, I have always left gyms willingly.

Weekly Updates: 02/17/14 – 02/23/14

Another week, another update!

Weekly Workouts

Monday -

As usual, Monday was a rest day. I am trying to not make my rest days back-to-back, but lately we have had a very long drive on Sundays and getting home late, so I am usually exhausted.

Tuesday -

My plan was to get to Achieve for the 6 am class, but B decided to come in our bed at 4:30 am, which was disrupting enough to wake me, but not enough that I could just get up. When my alarm went off 30 minutes later I turned it off. My mom was visiting so I ended up taking Studio Poise’s new class The Remix {Description from the website: A hip-hop inspired express cardio workout. 40 minutes of the latest and old school hits that will get your heart beating and body sweating!}. I would say that it is similar to Zumba, where every song has a set routine, so the more you go the easier the routines get to remember, but you are still working every time.

I really loved it, I felt like I was in the Vegas week of So You Think You Can Dance! The class flew by, and I especially loved her song selection (old school Nsync, hell yes). Since this was the first class a lot of us struggled with following and it took a minute to grasp the routines. The ones I found to be the hardest was when there were turns involved and everyone was looking back to see what we were supposed to be doing, whoops. I only wish there were more classes, maybe even a 6 am. Right now the only classes are 12 pm on Tuesdays and 11:30 am on Sundays. I’m pretty sure this is one class that Caitlin and Jane would love it too!


Also, I sort of need these sneaks for this class, right?

Wednesday – 

Since it snowed all night on Tuesday, I ended up spending 90 minutes shovelling, it took longer than normal because I couldn’t find a place to put all the dang snow. Afterwards my arms and legs were killing me (bend with your knees not with your back = a hundred squats) so I decided to forgo another workout.

Thursday -

Was a very sad day, my membership at Achieve is officially over and that was my last workout. I have a post about this coming soon, but my last MetCon was awesome and pushed me. I am glad I have this experience and I can’t wait until I can go back.

Friday – 

Took my favorite class at Studio Poise, Pound Fit with Emily. Seriously, I love this class and I hate the weeks I miss it. For those of you curios about what Pound is? Pound is a full-body cardio jam session that combines light resistance with constant simulated drumming. The workout fuses cardio, Pilates, isometric movements, plyometrics and Isometric poses! It’s another class I am trying to get Caitlin and Jane to come too but Emily doesn’t teach on the weekends, womp womp.

Saturday & Sunday -

I did some yoga at home on Saturday and took Sunday off for the above mentioned driving, etc… I am trying to get better workouts into my weekends, which should be a bit easier the next few weeks.

Food – 

It was pretty much an exact replication of last week. Creatures of habit, much? I am still working on a baked oatmeal that I like after I re-heat it. A lot of the ones I’ve made are great right out of the oven, but get a little rubbery after a microwave heating during the week.

How were your workouts this week? Do you have a baked oatmeal recipe you love?

Weekly Updates: 02/10/14 – 02/16/14

Weekly Workouts


My plan this week was: Monday at home workout, Tuesday – Thursday at Achieve, and Friday & Saturday at Studio Poise.

Monday – 

My good friend that is a trainer came over and trained me for a little bit on Tuesday afternoon. Lots of kettlebells, weights, core, etc… I do a fair number of at home workouts on my own, but it is always nice to have someone push you extra hard.

Tuesday -

I made it to Achieve for kettlebells class, this one was a doozy. It was a lot of short sets but the exercises were intense, and I loved it.

Wednesday – 

I was planning on hitting Achieve, but B ended up in our bed and was waking me every 10 minutes. I ended up turning off my alarm and taking a rest day.

Thursday – 

We live at the top of a pretty steep hill that has a tight curve and no barriers, and it is always last to get salted, plowed, etc… I don’t feel safe leaving my house early in the morning unless I know it has been sanded or salted and I won’t go flying down it. That being said, I stayed home and did another home workout, this time with the TRX.

Friday – 

Because of the snow and ice prediction for the overnight, my Studio Poise class was cancelled. This winter is getting ridiculous. I ended up doing a bit of a yoga dvd that Caitlin let me borrow. I need another shot at the dvd, since B decided he also wanted to participate and it wasn’t the yoga I was expecting ;)

Saturday & Sunday – 

Nick and I had some family things to deal with so I ended up canceling my classes to deal with it.


I was much better with food this week, I had prepped a ton of breakfast, lunch and dinners.

Breakfast was always a pre-made baked oatmeal heated up and topped with half a serving of peanut butter. Of course with a side of coffee.

Lunch was salad with spinach, greens, edamame, quinoa, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, goat cheese, avocado and grilled chicken sausage. If we had leftover veggies from the night before those got tossed in as well.

Snacks: apples, oranges, and almonds

Dinners: Turkey Meatloaf, Buffalo Chicken Burrito Bowls, Breakfast for Dinner (aka eggs)


How was your week? Are you still getting snow?

Toddler Time Workout!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or trainer, please consult with your doctor before starting any new diet or exercise routine.

Let’s catch up on last weeks food and exercise first. I posted my plans last week, they were Tuesday – Achieve Kettlebell Class, Wednesday – at home workout, Thursday – Achieve MetCon, Friday - Studio Poise Pound, Saturday – Studio Poise Zumba & Pound Xpress.

So how did I fair? Tuesday, Friday & Saturday went as planned. Wednesday was a crazy day and it just didn’t happen so I figured I would hit up a Sunday class at Studio Poise instead of taking a rest day. Wednesday night my ulcer started flaring up, again. I went through everything I ate and there was no caffeine, no acidic foods, no stress. It was extremely frustrating. On the plan for dinner was spicy chili. It was already made and I needed to eat, so I ended making a grilled cheese. Not exactly on the plan, it was extremely frustrating. As one Instagrammer pointed out, it’s not me falling off the plan, it is me taking care of myself which is #1 on the plan. Because of the pain, lying down is actually very painful, so I ended up going to bed late and not getting up at 5 am to get to the gym. I ended up pulling together a short but sweaty at-home workout.

I didn’t end up getting that Sunday class at Studio Poise because B ended up very sick Saturday night, including a fever, throwing up, and feeling very uncomfortable. He wanted his momma and I was more than happy to oblige.

Here is the workout I ended up doing on Thursday:


photo 4

What you need:
A set of weights
One kettlebell
TRX (or you can modify)

Warm Up:
3 rounds of 15 squats and 15 push ups

Each section has 3 exercise done three times.
1. squat press, one arm kettlebell swing, sit ups
2. knees to chest, squats, TRX rows or pull ups
3. Right Side Plank for 30 seconds, Plank for one minutes, Left Side Plank for 30 seconds.

For the kettlebell and TRX portions please make sure you have had practice with these as you can get injured if done with incorrect form.

It’s not a long workout and you can make it as hard as you need and if you have a toddler like mine, you know the one that sometimes won’t take a nap, it’s easy to do while they play with their toys.

My plan for this week is to eat healthy for the week. We are hosting a Superbowl Party on Sunday and I would like to be able to indulge in a few of the less healthy things. So far so good.

For workouts: Monday – Strength at Achieve, Tuesday – KB’s at Achieve, Wednesday – preview class at a new barre studio in the area, Thursday – at home workout, Friday – Pound at SP, and Saturday – Yoga & Zumba at SP. Because of B’s stomach bug (it got worse and included a late doctors visit) I haven’t made any of my scheduled workouts. I might change my schedule, just to get in some great workouts in.

What are your workouts this week? Have you ever trained with kettlebells or a TRX?

Five Things Friday: Links I love

Welcome to another addition of Five Things Friday. I will be back to alternating this and Confessions of a Mom on a regular basis now.

This weeks post is dedicated to some awesome bloggers, some I have met, some I have only interacted with online. All the same, I want to share some important posts and causes this week.

1. Boston Marathon Fundraising


My pretend twin (I mean we have the same irrational fear of crickets) Jane is running the 2014 Boston Marathon for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, read all about her fundraising here, and she is also hosting a virtual valentine’s 5k and selling some super cute New Balance tech tanks and long sleeves. Please think about donating, participating in the 5K, or buying a shirt. I can’t wait to cheer Jane on during Marathon Monday, and I hope you can cheer her on virtually by helping her raise some money for such an important cause.


I mean how cute are those shirts!?

2. Struggling with fertility & miscarriage


It’s no secret that I have been struggling with dealing with my miscarriage and not being able to get pregnant, and I hate that more people are experiencing this. I am however glad that more women are opening up and talking about this. As women we should rally around each other and become lifelines of support and love.

Please read these three posts from Lindsay, Charlotte, and Colleen. Share them. Let women know it’s okay to talk about the pain and struggle, the sadness, the anger, and the hope. My raw posts about my feelings have never made me feel more exposed or more cared about.

3. On the Marine Corps Pull Up Requirement for Women

IMG 6657
That’s Lauren in the green tank on the right – the leader of the Achieve Fitness Triathlon Team

Lauren from Achieve Fitness wrote this AMAZING post about the Marine Corps eliminating the pull up requirement for women. Her thoughts are much more eloquent than mine and I really hope you take the time to read this article and share your thoughts. Also, there is an amazing video at the end of the post that I encourage you to watch.

4. Defeating Unhappiness

After having my breakthrough moment in yoga, I have been really into yoga and what it can do for me. Just like I loved reading about runners and their experiences, I want to immerse my self in the yogi world, so please send your favorite yoga websites, blogs, instagram accounts, etc… my way. This article on defeating unhappiness really spoke to me!

5. On Goal Making

PR & I

PR & I

Sometimes as bloggers we put all our goals out there in the blog world, almost keep us accountable. So what happens when we don’t accomplish those goals? I think my pal Pavement Runner handles this so well. He didn’t accomplish his goal, but he ran the best damn race he could that day. I have no doubts he will accomplish this goal and get that sub 3:30 soon. Stop by and show him some love.

What links are you loving this week?

Back on the Wagon

I made no secret that I was letting many things slip after the miscarriage. For the first week or so I wasn’t working out I was obviously very depressed and I definitely turned to the comfort of sleep and eating. Not exactly the healthiest ways to deal with things, but it is what I did. The holidays came quickly after that, followed by a nasty bout of the flu, and here we are today.

I learned a lot about nutrition and how to eat well for my body when I met with Amanda, and I know I need to get back on the eating right plan.

I have a few tools that I plan on utilizing.


I love the Lose It! app, it helps Nick and I take accountability for the food we eat and for portion size. I love that it has both a web and app for you to use. I like that it keeps things real, losing weight is not something that happens overnight, you input your weight, goal weight, and can choose between 1/2 lb and 2 lb loss per week. It can be a bit daunting to see you won’t get to your goal weight for 6-8 months, but it is the healthiest way to get there.

Turkish Get Up - Proud Moment Photo!

Turkish Get Up – Proud Moment Photo!

I write out my workouts, and I plan on blogging about them here, just for accountability’s sake. This week my plan is: Tuesday – Kettlebell class at Achieve, Wednesday – at home workout, Thursday – MetCon at Achieve, Pound Workout at Studio Poise, Saturday – Zumba and Poise Xpress at Studio Poise. I am hoping to throw in a yoga class at some point this week, because honestly, it has been doing wonders for my mind and stress.


I also need to meal plan. This is something that I really struggle with. I like to see what the sales are, but I also prefer to shop on Monday or Tuesday’s because it is less crowded and there is usually a shipment in the morning. This makes things a bit hectic since I don’t have X amount of hours to meal prep sans kiddo. I do my best but it can big a struggle.

The last thing I need to do is keep up on my water intake. I used to be so so good at getting 90-100 oz of water in a day, but for some reason I haven’t been great about it lately. I know that I can do it, I just need to get better about it.

So that is my plan, what do you do stay on track or get back on the wagon?

Studio Poise: My Afterthoughts

Since I have finished my month at Studio Poise (you can read more here) I have a lot to think about when moving forward with my fitness options.


I loved my time at Studio Poise, it came at a time in my life when I needed something to help me heal. I needed to find a place where I became more in touch with my body, and in a place where my emotions could catch up to my body. Physically the miscarriage was over, but emotionally I had (and still have) a long way to go. The classes at Studio Poise brought me to a place where I could do a lot of thinking of where I was in my life, and a place where I could relax and try to be at peace with where my life is.

That’s not to say that the classes didn’t give me a killer workout, because they did, but they are something completely than running and lifting weights. I focused completely on my movements and my body, and pushing my body and my mind to a different place.

The yoga especially brought me to a place that I hadn’t allowed myself to be in, at least not around other people. I thought that I would be in a bad head space (since the teacher was/is pregnant and due right around when I would be) but it actually helped me move in a more positive place, and that really surprised.

It is really hard for me to pick favorite classes, but if someone made me, I think I would pick Pound Fit and Zumba.

So now that we know I love Studio Poise, what’s the next step?


I still have my membership to Achieve Fitness, but that is up at the end of February. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the team at Achieve, I love the other members (or at least most of the 6 am crew) and I love how I feel after a workout. I definitely don’t have the bond with the other members at Studio Poise that I do with the members of Achieve/

I don’t love how far away Achieve is, now that I have found a place that is pretty much next door, I realize just how far it is. It’s not that it’s not doable, but the easier I can make it for me the better. The other traffic factor is that I could never make it to an Achieve class at night and make it back at a reasonable hour. At Studio Poise I can leave my house 20 minutes before class and still have plenty of time to change into studio footwear and get my class equipment set up.

A con for both places is that neither have childcare. Even if one had childcare 2 times a week that would be a sell for me.

So for now I have purchased a class package deal, thanks Santa, and I am taking about 1 class a week at Studio Poise and I am back to my regular schedule at Achieve. I think I will let future Kelly figure out what to do when her membership at Achieve ends.

Have you ever struggled with figuring out your workout routine?

At Peace

I love running, I do, but at this point in my life I think it is time to take a break.

Last year’s jingle run

The thing is, I had a hard time getting back into running after my miscarriage. I KNOW that the running didn’t affect it, BUT, my body hasn’t felt the same.

I had registered for a second half-marathon, just in case my goal PR didn’t happen at Zooma, and if I did PR, then it would be a fun congratulatory 13.1 hilly miles.


To be honest, I had forgotten about that I even signed up for the Newton Chilly Half, it wasn’t until I received the emails about packet pick-up and race day that I remembered. It was a relatively cheap registration, $40, that I had made back during the summer. If the race had a shorter option (a 5 or 10k) I probably would have still gone to the race and just downgraded.

There wasn’t an option, so instead I decided to soothe my soul…I took my first yoga class at Studio Poise, and I let my body enter healing.

Someday I will come back to running, I am not sure when that day will be, but it will happen. For now I am sticking with my strength and Metcon at Achieve and my favorite classes at Studio Poise.

IMG 7063

Hyannis Sprint Triathlon II

It’s been a long time since this event even happened (September 7), but the day after was when my miscarriage started and I have had a hard time blogging about it, even just thinking about without feeling guilty.

The triathlon was on a Saturday morning and packet pick up was the night before. Unfortunately, I could not make it in time, but one of my relay team mates could get everything except the bib. I met the rest of my gym family at a local restaurant for dinner.

I had some ziti and bread and we made our way back to one of the gym owners families house that was down the street from the race. We had a fun slumber party, and the next morning we were out the door and at the race start bright and early.

There were about 12 people who did the entire triathlon and 4 relay teams. I was part of one of the relay teams, I was going to be tackling the run. We had a teammate that had a work conflict, so at last-minute we got a swim replacement.


Our Team and J’s husband!

As soon as we got my bib, our team got marked up, with our number. We sent our swimmer to the beach, while the biker and I waited back in transition. I will say the race was not over crowded and it started on time. It was certainly efficient and well run.

With no training, our swimmer gave us a great start, he came in right after the elite and collegiate level swimmers, I was impressed.

Our biker took off and I started to get race nerves. No one knew that I was pregnant, and I knew my running would be slower than normal. It was also getting warmer out and I ate breakfast long ago. I tried to gauge when the biker would be coming in and took some honey stinger bites.

As soon as J came in from the bike, I took off running. I saw Nancy during the first mile and that made me smile, her daughter was cheering and giving high fives, definitely a mood booster.

After that first mile, I felt pain in my stomach and was having a hard time keeping hydrated. I ended up walking until the last .2 miles of the race. I saw the majority of my gym family cheering at the finish.

We waited until everyone was done and we took a bunch of group photos.


YAY! We are all finishers!

I obviously did not complete 2/3 of the race, but I will say the sand at the finish was extremely difficult to run in. I know the swimmers had some difficulty with waves and the bikers had some difficulty with not being able to pass on the road due to obstructing vehicles and those who didn’t understand the rules of the road.

I am extremely grateful to have done this race with Lauren and Jason (owners of Achieve Fitness) and other members from the gym. Everyone was extremely encouraging and helpful, not only on the course but during training. I was even more thankful with the days that followed, as they were all rocks for me to lean on when I was going through the miscarriage.

For a triathlon, the race was efficient and without any major hiccups. They had plenty of pizza and other food post-race (although no regular water, weird). If I ever get the balls to do an entire triathlon, I will definitely want to do this one.

Photo’s courtesy of my gym family!

Have you ever ran a full or part of a triathlon? What was your favorite part?

Achieve Fitness: What it means to me

Disclaimer: This is my 100% honest review of Achieve Fitness, I am not being compensated at all, but I wanted to share my thoughts on the gym!

I know I have mentioned in a few posts that I have changed my workout regimen but I haven’t really talked about it much more. The gym I am currently at definitely deserves at least one post, although I am sure there will be more. (I do still meet with my personal trainer once a week or every two weeks, and while he is a great trainer, he and I both agree that I need more consistency)

I was first introduced to Achieve Fitness by Amanda. When I first went to her about upping my nutrition game, we talked about my fitness routine. While I have been very vocal about the fact that you can maintain fitness while working out at home, it has become clear to me that in order to LOSE weight I needed some additional help. Since the gym Amanda owns with her husband, Skill of Strength, isn’t close enough for me to visit on a regular basis, she helped me find a gym that is. Amanda introduced me to Lauren and Jason at Achieve Fitness.


Achieve Fitness is located in Somerville, MA, pretty close to where Nick and I used to live, and only about a 15 minute drive from where we currently are. The gym is relatively new in the area, I was constantly on the hunt for a gym that would “fit” me before we moved out of the area, and I am so glad there is one there now! I set up an initial meeting with Lauren and after some nasty snowstorms that hindered our original plan we met.

The first meeting was what they call a strategy session, I talked about my fitness and health goals, health history, injuries, and previous training experiences. After discussing my goals Lauren took me through a Functional Movement Screening, I felt okay after this. I was frustrated that I had a low score, but I felt confident that with work I could raise this score.

The next step was deciding if Achieve was right for me or not? It’s not cheap and as a stay-at-home mom, the money I spend needs to be spent on things I love and need. After a series of emails and my initial time spent in the gym I was sold, sometimes you just know!

Before telling you a bit more about my experience, I want to share more about Achieve as a gym.


Lauren and Jason wanted to create a space where the trainers are more invested in the clients than the money. Where the atmosphere is welcoming and un-intimidating and where the clients had a clear vision of where they wanted to be and HOW to get there.

I joined Achieve in February and have a little over 3 months experience in the gym. I can whole-heartedly say they hit the nail on the head. I feel like Lauren and Jason are pushing me in ways I wouldn’t do on my own, they are constantly encouraging me in class and I feel like I have learned so much about my body and fitness.


There are three types of classes at Achieve.

Strength Training: which is a full body strength workout. These are set up in exercises for specific repetitions. Usually in 15 minute segments, we are given a set of 4 or 5 exercises and we do as many rounds as possible.

MetCon: stands for metabolic conditioning, these are the group cardio workouts. The classes use lots of equipment, TRX’s, kettlebells, medicine balls, ladders, ropes, sleds, etc… We usually do 3 or 4 rounds of 40 seconds on 30 seconds off for each workout.

Kettlebell: Both Lauren and Jason are RKC certified, and the Kettlebell class shows the members basic and advanced moves with the kettlebells. There are strength portions and cardio portions.

I love all these classes, I always leave drenched in sweat and feeling like I accomplished something. Jason and Lauren do really encourage the members to lift heavier and will always be there to help. I also love that they show the move that is supposed to be done, along with a modified version and an advanced version. It encourages members to go at their own pace but it doesn’t single someone out and make them feel uncomfortable that they are at a different pace.


Photo via Achieve Fitness. Just another action packed MetCon class!

Photo via Achieve Fitness. Just another action packed MetCon class! (you can find me on the ropes)

We dreamed of creating an environment where your gym is comfortable and inviting. Where after each workout you feel empowered and excited by the progress you are making. A place where lifestyle changes happen naturally because of the community of like-minded individuals on the same journey.
via Achieve Fitness

I have never been a member of a gym like this, everyone is encouraging of one another. Members push other members in a positive way. For example, Lauren is starting a program to help members train for a Triathlon (Hyannis Sprint) however it is a few weeks before Zooma and I don’t want to end up injured. Within minutes of telling another member this, we pulled together a relay team, I could still participate with my Achieve family, and not worry of injuring myself, win.

They also have had some really fun activities, they had a couples competition recently (I am linking to the video because it is AMAZING), a workout to benefit the One Fund, in the future there will be a members potluck and the triathlon, and I am sure many more.

My Journey

Since my FMS score was lower than what Jason and Lauren would like for members in the Achieve classes, I used some of my one-on-one training sessions to bring my skills up to par and before I started taking classes, I worked out on my own, based on the plan Lauren had written out from me. Eventually I was able to participate in classes. Now I feel gross if I don’t make it to my usually classes. It is the best thing that I can do for myself, Achieve really helps me remain sane.

My core is definitely weakest and these exercises needed some serious improvement!

My core is definitely weakest and these exercises needed some serious improvement!


I have noticed a huge difference in how my clothes fit, in how much I am lifting, in how I feel. Lauren graciously took some pictures for me so I can show you my progress.

Reverse Lunges with a 10k kettlebell

Reverse Lunges with a 10k kettlebell


TRX <3

TRX <3

Turkish Get Up - Proud Moment Photo!

Turkish Get Up with an 8k kettlebell – Proud Moment Photo!

Join & Follow

If you are interested in joining, but you are nervous or intimidated let me know, I will definitely be glad to introduce you to the team. You can also follow Achieve on twitter, facebook, and their blog.