A Thank You Note To My Fitness Blog Inspirations

Social media has changed my life.  Today, I’m a blogger attending Fitbloggin’ 13′.   The first blog I ever read was PerezHilton.com (very highbrow, I know) but then I started using Twitter and got hooked deeper into the online abyss.  Through Twitter, I discovered a wonderful group of bloggers/Tweeps that provided more than health and fitness motivation, they gave me inspiration to launch thevalentineRD.com.  This post is my thank you note to them.

I almost titled this post “To All The Girls I Loved Before” but it sounded a bit creepy/stalker-like because I heard Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson in my head AND because many of these bloggers are women nearly half my age.  The title became wholly inappropriate when I added 2 dudes on the list.  Bad initial titles aside, I hope that this post is received as a letter of thanks to some fabulous fitness related bloggers who often make my day (and maybe make yours too)!  Thank you all!

Thank You, Bloggers, Fitness, Fitbloggin', running

Image: EpSos.de


I want my ponytail to swing like this!

FitChickInTheCity.com – One of the first blogs I started reading on a daily basis was Jess Underhill’s FitChickInTheCity.com.  Jess was one of the first people I started interacting with on Twitter and when I finally realized how many followers she has, I’ll admit that I felt special.

Jess is a fitness expert, runner, and running coach for Lululemon and the non-profit organization, Girls On The Run.  She has a way of making running feel very accessible even through injury rehabilitation (hers and mine).  I can’t wait to go with her on the journey to the ING NYC Marathon 2013!


AliOnTheRunBlog.com – Ali is inspiration personified.  She’s a dancer and a runner who loves spin classes, puppies, her young nephew and (still) believes in handwritten lists.  I discovered Ali via Twitter while she was training for her first marathon.  This girl is super bubbly in a way that makes you want to hug her (not slug her) and that’s rare!  Ali loves exercise so much that she had T-shirts made with I Heart Sweat emblazoned upon them.

Aliontherunblog.com, Crohn's Disease

Ali with her finisher’s medal from the Hampton’s Marathon

Did I mention that Ali also has Crohn’s Disease?   This autoimmune disease keeps wanting to take this powerful girl down but she doesn’t let it get the best of her.  Ali shares her struggle and still makes you want to go out and get sweaty.  Despite running next to each other at races, I still haven’t introduced myself to this powerhouse yet.

Theodora Blanchfield, Losingweightinthecity.com

Woo hoo!

LosingWeightInTheCity.com – Another NYC based runner, Theodora has taken readers on her over 50 lb weight loss journey and showed them what it’s like to train (and complete) 3 marathons and a few triathlons.  Theodora reminds me a little of myself in my 20’s – enjoying the NYC lifestyle and getting bitten by the exercise bug (however, I was never as cool or as speedy as this chick).  I love Theodora’s honesty – she’s blogged about her previous unemployment/job search, food/weight struggles and race disappointments and successes.  There are few people I could forgive for not knowing that it was John Denver who originally performed “Sunshine On My Shoulders” and not the Dave Matthews Band.  Theodora and Tina from carrotsncake.com were in front of me in the corral at the 2011 NY Mini but due to feeling like a creepy old lady, again, I didn’t say hello.


Ashley, HeathyHappierBear.com, RunningHealthyHappierBear.com – Ashley is another Twitter to blog conversion for me.  Ashley is a runner and travels extensively for work and pleasure.  I’ve loved getting to be along side Ashley as she has progressed as an athlete and a blogger (the vicarious travel isn’t bad either).  Ashley is one of the few bloggers I’ve actually flagged down and introduced myself to at a race.  You can’t miss a tall, elegant Southern Belle who runs in pearl earrings who doesn’t come off as stuffy.

Dori brought her dog to her exercise Bachelorette party.

Dori brought her dog to her exercise Bachelorette party.


DorisShinyBlog.com – I found Dori on Twitter because she talked about running, running music playlists and her quest to find the perfect workout in NYC.  Because of her, I found additional running motivation and discovered the Refine Method (which needs to come to LA – do you hear that, Brynn?).

It seems fitting that Dori is adorable (I mean it’s in her name, right?) and her energy is infectious on her blog and Twitter.




Deanna’s First Half Marathon


TheUnnaturalMother.com – Deanna’s blog title and Twitter personality spoke to me immediately.  It didn’t hurt that when I “met” her on Twitter that Deanna was training for a triathlon!

Deanna was one of the first fitness enthusiast parent I followed on Twitter.  I love both her parenting and fitness attitudes.  I love our Tweets back and forth to support each other.



Jess Sutera@JessFit654:  Jess Sutera is one of the few non-NYC based Tweeps that gave me fitness inspiration.  Jess is a triplet, a half-marathon and marathon runner and is downright BRAVE!  She not only left the corporate world to be a full-time Bar N9ne instructor (after a 60 Day Challenge – sound familiar?) but she recently let her blog go so she could become more present IRL.  The blogging world can be a vortex – sometimes supportive but always all-encompassing.  Jess is active on Twitter and continues to inspire me.


RunStrongerEveryday.com – Abby is a personal trainer, student (she’s studying to become of AbbyDoctor of Physical Therapy right now), coach, wife and mid-western gal in NYC.  Abby is strong!  She has completed 9 marathons and has been very open about her battle with Ulcerative Colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which included having her colon removed in 2012.  It was for Abby that I ran my own Kick Ass 5K to aid in her effort to raise funds her Chicago Half Marathon run with Team Challenge for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation earlier this month.  Maybe this summer when I’m in NYC, I’ll finally get to meet Abby.


Stacy, WillRunForGlitter.comWillRunForGlitter.com – Stacy is more than just your average 20-something runner. She likes exercise, food and family.  I love how Stacy writes about her running journeys (both literally and figuratively) and takes pictures documenting her runs.  It took me years and a talking to from a wise running friend (and photographer) to actually enjoy both running and my surroundings while doing so.  For a girl born on Valentine’s Day, I may have also been drawn to Stacy because chocolate runs in her veins too (her family owns Lazar’s Chocolates).


RunEatRepeat.com – Monica was my first West Coast runner/fitness blogger representative.  Monica is a runner and personal trainer who likes her food!  Monica has a positive attitude toward life in general and it’s evident in the way she writes about fitness and food.  Now that I live on the West Coast, I’ve found that Monica knows some of my local runner friends and I’m hoping that I finally get to meet her at Fitbloggin this weekend!

Monica, RunEatRepeat.com


EricaSaraDesigns.com – If you run, you’ve seen Erica Sara Design jewelry.  Erica has designedEricaSaraDesigns.com for well-known races and her work has been featured in numerous fashion and fitness magazines.  Not only are ESD products beautiful, you can see and almost feel the love in each product and on the ESD blog.  I marvel at Erica’s spirit (she went to Nicaragua alone on vacation) dedication to her business, running and her continuous support of fiercely strong women everywhere.   I love that ESD honors one inspirational person each month with a gift of jewelry.   Only after being tweeps for sometime did I find out that Erica also studied nutrition at NYU!


LoveLifeSurf.com – I’ve known Christine since 2007 when we both became first time parents.  cy-boys-1024x680We were in a ridiculously large moms group in Brooklyn together.  After the haze of first time parenthood lifted and I decided to join the human race again, I again found Christine on Twitter and later, we reconnected as bloggers-to-be at the Fitness Magazine Tweet Up in 2012.  Now, my friend is a fitness blogging rock star!  It’s been amazing to go along with my friend as she’s made her way back from knee surgery to running and doing some of the fiercest yoga poses ever!  Christine is ridiculously smart, fun and I’ve loved getting to know her as more than my “mommy friend” through blogging and Twitter.


Gerard Pescatore, The Music of Running TheMusicOfRunning.Tumblr.com – I’ve always been on the quest to find the best songs to add to my running playlist and when I found Gerard on Twitter, I hit the jackpot!  Gerard is not only a runner but he has a deep love of music.  We have great conversations on Twitter about music and running,  If you need tunes to add to your playlist, see Gerard’s Tumblr because he has over 700 great running songs for you.  Congratulate this speedy guy for winning his age division in the 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut 1/2 Marathon last week!


Those are my fitness blogging inspirations but I couldn’t have ever become a blogger without the support of my husband (and fellow blogger), Jay Fleischman and the So Cal Lady Bloggersa rare and fantastic group of women who live the adage “share, support, succeed”.


With love and deepest gratitude,



Do you have fitness or blogger inspirations?  Who are they and why?


  1. says

    Thank you!!! Melissa, this is really amazing and I am so flattered. You make me want to try harder (which I clearly haven’t been lately). I hope we finally get to take Refine together one day soon! Thanks for including Larry!

  2. Jess says

    Wow. I am HONORED to be in such amazing and talented company. I feel like an outsider on this list! THANK YOU so much for your words, you are awesome. And ps? I SO wish I *had* left the corporate world to teach full time, but alas, I just teach a heckuva lot and work full time at a 9-5 job too :) Someday it WILL happen though, I’m convinced! xo!

    • says

      Jess, Oops. I know you mentioned sometime ago about leaving a job and I thought it was to go to Bar N9ne full time. Sorry! I’ll edit the post.

      Thanks again for being inspirational.

  3. says

    I feel the same way about bloggers who have inspired me to start my blog and keep blogging. Such a good idea to say thank you! I’m excited to check your blog out some more!

    Great meeting you at Fitbloggin! :)

    • says

      Hi Brittany! Great meeting you as well. Love your blog title. Balance in food, exercise, work and life is so very important. Added you to my bloglovin feed today.

    • says

      Thanks Kimberly. I had a few more stalker-like moments at Fitbloggin’ too (including Tina and Julie but didn’t say hi). So glad that I got to meet you and can’t wait to have some Christie’s with you and Schnelle. Maybe we should take one of Schnelle’s Zumba classes before we go?!

  4. says

    I jumped here from TheSITS girls FB post today and I’m so glad I did! I’m a newbie blogger, runner, fitness freak and twin mom. You have given me a GREAT list of all kinds of seemingly amazing fitness blogs to check out!…not to mention YOURS. I’ll def be adding you to my Bloglovin roll:-) THANK YOU!!!!

    • says

      Allie, you are one awesome chick! I’m thrilled to be connected to you (adding you to my reading blogroll as well). Can’t wait to get to know more about you. PS – You look like THAT after having TWINS!? Wow!


  1. […] (my words not his), Gerard Pescatore aka The Music of Running.  I’ve mentioned Gerard in my Thank You Note To My Fitness Inspirations.  Gerard has great taste in music and has helped me with expanding my musical horizons and has […]

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