Health and Fitness on the Carnival Vista

Disclosure: I was provided with a free cruise from Carnival, however all opinions about fitness on the Carnival Vista are my own.

As people who work out on the regular, it is important to us to have active and healthy things to do, even while on vacation. I was so pumped to see that the Carnival Vista has plenty of options for health and fitness lovers, and we took advantage whenever we could, which meant more dessert for us!

fitness on the carnival vista

Up on the open decks, the Vista has a great sports and activities area. There was a huge caged in basketball court, and even though we never had the chance, we saw where they play volleyball up there, too!

There is also a really fun obstacle course, mini golf, ping pong, and other games you can play with your family.

Fitness on the carnival vista

Don’t forget about the one of a kind sky ride where you pedal all the way around the boat, up in the sky! Talk about a workout with a view. A walking/jogging track also goes around this area if you just want to take in the view or chat with a family member while walking and burning some calories.

Our favorite however, was the fitness center which is located int he Cloud 9 Spa.

They had tons of treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, weight machines, dumbbells, bosu balls, medicine balls, and even a foam roller. There was definitely not a shortage of workouts to do here! They also had health and fitness seminars you could attend, personal training, and Pilates.

The treadmills have the best view in the house, looking directly out the front of the ship. it was gorgeous!

Fitness on the carnival vista

After you are done with your sweat session, you could pay a little extra to have access to the thermal suite (we got it free with our spa stateroom.) Here you can go into the sauna, hot tub, steam room, or several different cool showers.

I spent some time on the heated tile loungers to relax my sore muscles, which was just what I needed.

We worked out three of the five days we were on the ship, which I think is a great balance for a vacation. There is no need to ruin your routine or hard work just because you go on vacation. I love knowing that Carnival gives me great options and cares about my health, and hope you too will enjoy fitness on the Carnival Vista!

Strength to Run

On November 2, I started working out four days a week participating in a boot camp class at my gym. It was WAY out of my comfort zone, but I knew I needed a change. Bobby had done a week long trial of the boot camp and assured me I would do great, so I hesitantly signed up and started the class. Everyone was super friendly and I ended up LOVING it. I was admittedly in a running rut, and this was just the change I was looking for.

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Was I still running? Yes! But just twice a week instead of 3-4 times, and I have been keeping very low mileage. Now that I am a month into the boot camp, I can honestly say I feel so much stronger. Before, I was so injury prone when I ran because I have weak glutes and hips. The strength work has made me stronger all over, and I love how I feel at the end of a class (I average burning around 625 calories!)

Anyway, one thing I wasn’t expecting was for it to help my running so much, since I was only running 2-3 miles twice a week. Imagine my surprise when I went for a run the other day and ran FASTER with LESS EFFORT than before I started the class when I was running 3-4 times a week and averaging 15-20 miles a week. Call me a believer! I know I still need to work on upping my mileage, but I am impressed with myself so far. Never did I think I would be running up and down a field pushing a sled, doing dozens of burpees in a row, or squatting with weights on the bar and saying it’s not heavy enough.

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I have done “strength work” on my own for years, but I never really pushed myself like this class pushes me. I just work so much better in a class environment with a coach yelling at me to go faster. Everyone is different, but this is definitely my jam. I just want to encourage anyone who is afraid of trying something like this as a supplement to your running, to just DO IT! I know with the new year coming up a lot of new classes and programs will be offered, an dI hope you will jump outside of your comfort zone like I did, you may find something that you LOVE!

QOTD: Have you ever done a boot camp class? Have you done a workout outside of your comfort zone?

Getting Over Gym Fear

A lot of people really don’t like the gym, but I’m sure you already knew that. I totally get it. A lot of gyms can be intimidating, especially if they are large, or full of super star looking athletes throwing weights around and grunting loudly (not knocking superstar weightlifters, but you have to see how it can be intimidating to some folks), or are filled with perfect looking young women who don’t look like they have an ounce of fat on them, and are always in the most perfect gym outfits.

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My parents are some of those folks. They are 60, and want to stay fit but don’t fit in with heavy lifters, or young moms in spandex shorts taking classes or playing tennis (again, nothing wrong with those things, but it intimidates a lot of people!) They used to go to a very large, fancy country club type health club simply for convenience (it’s right across the street from their house), but they slowly started going less and less because they just didn’t feel comfortable working out there. This made me really sad, and I am really glad my parents did some research and found the type of gym that works for them.


That’s the great thing about the gym industry and it’s growth right now, there are so many options! Something for everyone! There are 24 hour gyms, country club type gyms, crossfit boxes, Koko fit club (where my parents go) among other things. So what if you don’t have a lot of options? What if you have one gym to go to, and you just have to make the best of the situation, then what? Below are some of my best tips for getting over any fear or anxiety you may have about going to your gym.


1.) Schedule some time with a trainer: One of the biggest reasons people don’t use machines at the gym is because they don’t know how to use them and don’t want to look stupid if they can’t figure something out, or are using a machine wrong (this used to be me before I started strength training!) A lot of gyms will give you a free hour with a trainer or employee to get you familiar with all the different machines, and help you to know how much weight you should use, and how many reps you should do. This is a great resource!

2.) Go with a friend: When I first started lifting, I would go with my husband and he would help me get going. Not being there alone really helped to build my confidence in the beginning.


3.) Avoid busy times: Early in the morning and after work are very busy times for gyms. You may not have a choice, but if you do, try to go in an off peak time so there will be less people in the gym to make you feel awkward.


4.) Mentally prepare yourself: Remind yourself that there are probably other people nervous to be at the gym, too. Remember that most likely no one will ever even know you are having any anxiety about being there. Also, most people are so busy and into their own workouts that they don’t even notice other people (I don’t notice most people at the gym, I’m in the zone!)

5.) Suck it up: You have to decide what is more important to you. If getting to the gym is your top priority, then you just have to do it. Most likely, the more you go the more comfortable you will become and soon your fears will be gone. Take a step out of your comfort zone and just do it, one time. The second time should be easier, so it’s just taking that first step. You can do it!

QOTD: Do you like going to the gym? Were you ever intimidated by going?

Body After Baby: Four Months

Hey guys! Sorry this month’s update is a little late, but I wanted to get it written. After this month’s post, I will skip month 5 and do a 6, 9, and 12 month update. Progress is much slower month to month now, so there isn’t as much to say, but here we go!

I am now 4 months postpartum, and January was a tough one. Coming off of the holidays not really losing any weight, and the cold made for slow progress. Also, I dove head first into marathon training, and when I do lots of long runs, I eat. When I marathon train I typically gain a little weight because I am hungry ALL THE TIME, so this has been a tricky balance.

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I joined the gym, but am not happy with their childcare situation, so I’m not sure what to do about that one. So, because of this, I haven’t gone as often as I would like. I have been going on Tuesday and Thursday when Emma Kate is at daycare for part of the day, but then that cuts into my time to work so it has been difficult. I try to make it at least one more time, whether it be when Bobby comes home from work or on Saturday when Bobby can watch EK, but, I also need to long run on Saturday so again, haven’t really found a balance yet.

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My weight fluctuates a lot, but I am pretty sure I only lost .5-1 pound this past month. I’m not sure what to think of it, except hopefully it will be easier once the marathon is over and I’m not running so many miles. Since I have such limited time to workout, I have really only been running. I run 5 days a week as opposed to my ideal which is to run 3 days a week, and cross train/strength train 2-3 days a week.

I still feel much “thicker” in the middle, and have about 9-9.5 pounds to go to be where I would like to be. I feel like my body has shifted where my weight is held, and I am just shaped differently now. I would be lying if I said looking back on old photos didn’t irritate me a bit.

I successfully ran my first post baby half marathon, and am looking forward to running the runDisney Princess half marathon at the end of this month. I am running with Jen, and we are running for fun/stopping to take lots of character photos etc., so thankfully there is no pressure.

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I am still taking my Advocare products, the Catalyst and Spark seem to give me an extra boost in my workouts so I don’t feel as tired, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to eat all the things after. I have recently started taking another one of their products, called Fibo-trim, that will hopefully help with my portion control.

I FEEL good which is really important to me, and I have been sleeping well, but I know if I can get a few more pounds off it will help my running and my confidence. I can finally fit into my old athletic skirts (they are cut a bit bigger than the running skirts) so that was a nice surprise, I was able to wear one under my tutu at my race in New Orleans. I have a ton of cute workout clothes I am dying to get back into, so hopefully soon!

Be looking for another update at the end of March for my 6 month progress, and hopefully I will have more to report by then!

QOTD: When you train for a race and log a lot of miles do you eat more/feel more hungry?

Tour of the YMCA Vlog


Hello friends! I am back to my vlogging today, and this time it’s not just me staring into the camera. Well…the first part is but that’s ok. Below you will find three videos. The first is the introduction to what I am doing. The second is a video explaining our running trails and village green area. The third is a tour of the actual YMCA in my neighborhood.

I am sure you are aware that my state, Mississippi, is the most obese in the nation. However, there are plenty of active and healthy things to do here if you look hard enough. I am going to start showcasing these things, and thought my neighborhood Y would be a good place to start.

(check out the site before the building was built)

Intro to what I am planning to do and why:

Village green and running trails:

YMCA tour: I decided to go in right when they opened as not to disturb gym goers. The only people working out were the other employees, and I got their permission.

Thanks for watching!

QOTD: If you had to do a vlog to share a healthy location in your city, what would you vlog about?

Sunday Randoms


Hello friends! I am actually typing this post on Friday morning for Sunday (today now, I guess) so I hope by time this is posted you will have all had a fabulous weekend! More on mine later. This morning…er…I mean Friday morning, our new neighborhood YMCA FINALLY opened! Just in the nick of time, because I was starting to go stir crazy in the boot with nowhere to workout! (we cancelled our other membership at for the end of November.) Bobby and I had a great early morning weights workout before he went to work, then I hit the stationary bike for an hour.

Our view while working out:


Can I just say I know I am going to be really, really sore.



It felt really good to sweat again, and it totally changed my mood. I realized the past couple weeks I haven’t been really doing much I have been tired and grumpy, and I felt SO much better after that workout!

Moving on to more randomness, here are a couple of Christmas pictures from my house. I color coordinated my wrapping paper this year. Trying to be all pinterest cool and stuff.



Bella appreciates the wrapping paper.


I hope you all have a great day! See you back here tomorrow for another work week. I can’t believe Christmas is two weeks from today! I want time to slow down so I can enjoy it!

QOTD: What kind of wrapping paper did you use this year? Any reason?

Grand Floridian/Polynesian Resort Gym


Baby it’s cold outside! It was warm and muggy yesterday, but the rain brought in a cold front, and it’s in the 40’s this morning. BBbbrrr! I like it though, it felt more like April than December yesterday. Today I have a good bit of work to do, calls, etc. and I hope to get in an ab/arm workout. I am on day 8 of the boot, and pray all the time it is actually working .

*The spa part of the fitness center is closed for 18 months for refurbishment. This started mid September, but the workout/gym area is still open for use.


Due to some construction at the Grand Floridian, the walkway has been re routed to get to the gym. Just head towards the beach/waterfall pool and you will see signs directing you down the path towards the building. Coming from the Polynesian, head towards the wedding pavilion along the sidewalk and it will be on your left.


You walk into a nice Lobby area, where you are greeted by an employee who will check your key card to insure you are in fact a guest of the Grand Floridian or the Polynesian. You turn to the right and go through a door into the gym area. Not only does the gym have pretty much all the equipment you will need to workout, but they have towels, magazines, and a place to get (very cold I might add) in the corner.


There are plenty of treadmills, bikes, and elliptical all facing flat screen televisions for your boredom breaker enjoyment.


There are also plenty of weight machines, as well as free weights.



The back wall has mirrors all the way across the wall as well.


There are also mat’s and an exercise ball you can use for floor work or ab work.

Generally, if I am going to workout I will walk fast or jog the path to the gym as my warm up, and then walk or slow jog back for a cool down. It’s the perfect distance away for that purpose, and I hope I will continue to be able to go back to the gym to get my sweat on!

QOTD: When you workout on vacation, do you just run, or do you hit the gym for weights or cross training as well?

YMCA Grand Opening


Hi guys! Yesterday was a beautiful day here in the south. It got a little too warm for November (78 degrees) but the morning was just perfect for the YMCA grand opening and the St. Jude give thanks walk. Our neighborhood was selected again this year to be the build site for the St. Jude Dream home, so we hosted a charity walk this morning in conjunction with our new gym’s grand opening. Bobby and I did not participate in the walk (I waved from the front porch) but we did walk down to the Y for the grand opening fun. (You can check out my original YMCA post, too.)

This is walking up to the building from our house.



We arrived just as they were doing the ribbon cutting.


The market and café are not open just yet but they had menus we could look at and some prize giveaways


Then, we got to go in and tour the facility. I was pretty impressed. I didn’t see how they were going to fit enough equipment in there to make it a well done gym, but it has pretty much everything we will need to workout, and all within walking distance!


Looking out from the fitness room to the pool and lake


Looking across the lake to the nature trails



There is even a child watch area so moms can come workout even if they have small children. (it’s through a door back behind the counter and there is a big window so you can see in and check on the kiddos)


Lockers and bathrooms by the door heading out to the pool


excited to attend some (hopefully) yoga classes in here!



I thought this sign was funny. Closed for construction….and water. Yes yes, the pool doesn’t have water in it yet.


They had some refreshments, and YMCA staff members to show us around. I am personally excited about the TV’s on the treadmills, say no to treadmill boredom! There is even a place to hook up your I pod to the treadmill.

After the grand opening fun, we walked back to the house and grabbed a couple things and went out for an easy 3 mile run, my foot felt alright so hopefully I am on the road to recovery! Then we hit up our favorite Mexican restaurant for lunch and went to Lowe’s to get some Christmas garland for outside. I can’t wait to get the outside of the house decked out for Christmas next weekend! Then it was football, football, and more football. What a great day. The Saints have a bye week so I can relax and not have a near heat attack for just one Sunday.

QOTD: When you run on the Treadmill do you listen to music, watch tv, neither? Something else?



Evening all! Today was a good day. We scoped out a new church, had Mexican for lunch, went to Lowes for some home improvement stuff, worked in the yard, went for a golf cart ride, made dinner, all before 6:00. We got some pine straw and automatic lights for the front and back yard and we put up some plants that we had gotten before we moved in. We still have more plants to plant but that’s for another day! I will have to remember to take pictures of our finished front yard later.

Anyway, I want to back track to yesterday. Some of you MAY have remembered me saying that one of the draws for us to move into this neighborhood was the town center about to be built. They just started phase one which includes a pool, café, market, amphitheater, boardwalk around the lake, and a YMCA! I am STOKED. I will be able to walk to the gym, it’s so close! They broke ground back in December and are finally about to pour the slab! The projected open date is August. I wish they would hurry it up a but but you know how that goes.

So yesterday we went on a walk and I took so pictures of the area they are working on for you all!

quick shot of the house in the late afternoon


sorry for the obnoxious sun picture


they just planted the trees this morning. I saw them on my way to town yesterday and since I am so nosy we had to go scope them out.

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NERD ALERT pictures coming up…..


I told you.

last one is the site where the building is going! woo hoo, we have DIRT!


As I said before I am hoping this opens in August, because that is right when I will start gearing up for half marathon season again, and having a treadmill/machines/classes to have a well-rounded training cycle would be really nice!

Speaking of training, Bobby and I are running a 5k Saturday and I have run twice in the last 10 days, but very slow jogs of 2-2.5 miles each. oops. My knee has really been bothering me since all the moving, lifting climbing stairs, but hopefully I will still manage to pull out a PR.  First race in my new town!!!

Also as promised here are a couple sneak peek pics of the house. More to come I promise!





PS-my article in the New Orleans Health magazine called Fit should be out this week!!!

PPS-Giveaway coming soon!

PPPS-I don’t have anything else to say I just felt like saying “PPPS”

QOTD: Can you walk or bike to your gym? Do you like your gym?