Friday’s Featured Female – 4 From FitBloggin’ Special

Posted on by Melissa Burton in Friday's Featured Female | Leave a comment

Welcome to Friday’s Featured Female!

Friday's Featured Female, #FFF
This weekly series features inspirational stories from admirable women.  IMHO, it’s always good to be reminded of how strength, determination, hard work, heart and ingenuity can impact the quality of one’s life and I’m proud that these women will allow me to share their stories here.


Today I’m not featuring one female, I’m featuring 4 women that I met at FitBloggin’.  I met most of these women for just a few minutes but they all had impact on me.  I’ll be following all of these women in the future and hope you might too.  None of these ladies know that I’m featuring them here so I hope they know it’s in admiration:


1.  Antonieta Reyes@TheExtraPounds:


Toni spoke up in the “Maintaining Your Mojo” session and I liked her attitude about her health journey.  We met for a few minutes between sessions but a girl with a with a business card like this makes an impression:


To connect with Toni:



Instagram: @antonieta305

Facebook: @antonieta.reyes


2.  Ashley@FierceForwardForLife:

I was introduced to Ashley by one of my favorite bloggers, Kelly@NoThanksTo Cake.  The two of them together made quite a pretty picture.  Ashley had such a friendly smile that it was easy to feel like she was your best friend just upon meeting her.  She was also one of the small group that ran the 10K with Jeff Galloway so I feel that even though we didn’t talk much, we share a pretty special experience.

Upon returning home, I looked up Ashley’s blog – FierceForwardForLife and realize that not only has she gone upon her own interesting healthy living journey but that she is a community builder (her Facebook page has over 40K Likes!) and jewelry designer.  Ashley also seems to be a girl who is definitely her own woman.  I need to get to know her better!



To connect with Ashley:








3.  Jennifer@ItSuxToBeFat:

Jennifer was my Bootcamp Partner.  When you spend some swampy, sweaty time doing awkward high fives at 6am in the name of fitness, you bond a little.  Last year during Erin@DigDeepPlayHard‘s bootcamp, I met Bobbi@NHerShoes during and since FitBloggin 2013, Bobbi and I have had the chance to work together so I believe in the power of bootcamp partnership potential.

After getting home and checking out Jennifer’s site ItSuxToBeFat, I’ve learned that Jennifer has lost over 100 lbs, is an elementary school teacher and is a runner.  Jennifer writes her blog with her sister, Katherine.  It seems both Katherine and Jennifer were at FitBloggin’ and I only seemed to have met Jennifer (sorry Katherine).  I hope they both don’t mind that I blatantly stole this shot from their site to show just how cute they both are!

Jennifer, Katherine,

Jennifer, Mickey and Katherine at FitBloggin’. Image:


I look forward to following the journeys of both Jennifer and Katherine and if you want to also, you can connect with them via:







4.  Gail@GoGoGail:

Gail was the leader of the “Blogging Over 40″ Discussion Session.  I was hesitant to attend this group but the discussion was very enlightening.  I still can’t get many of the discussion topics out of my brain and I plan to share many of them here in upcoming posts.


Like me, Gail has a Tunes For Tuesday series (I wonder if she has any Duran Duran or 80′s New Wave) and as a freelance editor and writer who’s been blogging since 2006 (under Shrinking Sisters), I think I can learn a lot from this lady!

If you’d like to connect with Gail, you can do so via:







Happy 4th of July and I hope you enjoy this special 4 Bloggers From FitBloggin’ special!


I’d love to know which blogger out there inspires you!  Have you ever been to a conference and been inspired by someone you saw speaking or someone you met?  How did it change you? 

Getting Nourished at FitBloggin’

Posted on by Melissa Burton in Fitness | 34 Comments

Ever feel hungover from a vacation?  After a two week trip which included a long stay in Chicago with friends and the FitBloggin’ 2014 Conference in Savannah, Georgia, I was happy to get home.  Being away for so long can sometimes be depressing but when I sat down to write today this lyric from Train’s “Drops of Jupiter” popped into my head:


FitBloggin', health, fitness, conference, blogging, Train, Drops of Jupiter


The past 2 weeks were most definitely a soul vacation.  Chicago and Savannah were nourishing.  Good friends always fill your heart and soul but few people can say that a conference can have a similar effect.


FitBloggin' 2014, health, wellness, fitness, blogging

FitBloggin’ 2014 Attendees: Image: Carrie D Photography


Last year FitBloggin’ was life changing and this year FitBloggin 2014 was soul nourishing.  When you get the chance to spend a weekend with a bunch of people who share a passion for community, health, wellness, fitness and blogging, you can’t help but feel refreshed and invigorated.  Nourished isn’t a word that normally doesn’t apply to conferences but FitBloggin’ is different and here’s why:


N – New (and old) friends

If you’ve ever thought that maybe the social media friends you have aren’t really your friends, here’s where you’ll find out.FitBloggin’ is the place where you’ll get to see if you can crossover from virtual friend to IRL friend…and likely, you will.  It certainly happened to me!


My SoCal Ragnar team was born at this conference last year - Amy@It’sAllAboutTheJourney, Jill@TreeFitness, Carrie@FamilyFitnessFood, Jamie@FitApproach (who got married this past weekend!) and Kia@BodhiBear (who was not only my ride to and from Atlanta but she was very visible during the conference).


Ragnar So Cal 2014

Ragnar So Cal 2014


I met the amazing Kimberly@ManifestYourself and Nellie@BrooklynActiveMama at FitBloggin’ last year.  Kimberly and Nellie teamed up with Cassandre@LosingInTheCity in May for A Healthy U Conference.  I never would have been invited to speak at their conference if I hadn’t met these ladies through FitBloggin’.,,

Kimberly, Cassandre and Nellie

Even though the conference runs from Thursday night to Sunday morning, I still did not get enough time with many friends including Kelly@NoThanksToCake, Melissa@MelissaRunningIt, Erin@DigDeepPlayHard, Aliah@TheGetFitDiva, Alyssa@DoubleChinDiaryTammy@GingerMantraDanielle@TheTRexRunnerShannyn@FrugalBeautiful, Erica@EricaDHouse and Kat@KatrinaElle just to name a few.

Although we didn’t meet at FitBloggin’, it was also a time to reunite with my good buddy Allie@VitaTrain4Life

Allie, VitaTrain4Life

Me with Allie@VitaTrain4Life


There were also so many fabulous new people that I met as well – Stephanie@FoodandFitness4Real, Ashley@FierceForwardForLife, Shannon@BadAssFitness, Allison Carter (girl, I don’t even know your blog), Jesica@rUnladylike, Sarah@RunFarGirl and I finally got the chance to hug and hang out with the wonderful Alan@SweatingUntilHappy!


Leopold's, Savannah, FitBloggin'

Alan@SweatingUntilHappy in a Melissa sandwich with me and Melissa@MelissaRunningIt – a great ending (with delicious ice cream) to a first night of FitBloggin’.


O – OMG! Moments

So, it rains a lot in Savannah.  Unexpectedly, so there were a lot of OMG moments including:

  • Got to meet and take a selfie with the vegan athlete, Arian Foster of the Houston Texans.  I’ll admit that not only did I not know who Arian was, I didn’t even know that there was an NFL team called the Houston Texans.  I’m certain with a son that has embraced sports this is the type of stuff that I’ll get to know soon.
Arian Foster, Health Warrior, Chia Bar

Me mugging with Health Warrior’s Chia Bar and Arian Foster of the Houston Texans.

  • 80′s Zumba - I’ve taken one Zumba class before but there was no way that I was going to miss this one.  Sadly, no Duran Duran was played during the class.


U – Unexpectedly Good Eats

Who knew that an old fashioned town like Savannah had such modern restaurants?  The restaurants I went to in Savannah rivaled many of the establishments in both NYC and LA in both food and feel!

The Coffee Fox, Ampersand, The Bee's Knees, Augusta, Savannah, Metter, grits, sweet tea, breakfast tapas

Deliciousness in Georgia


Normally, I’d classify myself as not a fan of southern food but I believe I’ve been converted. Here were some of my favorite things – the Horchata Latte at The Coffee Fox, Fried Green Tomatoes at Bohemian House’s Rocks on the RiverGouda Grits and Athena Cocktails at Ampersand, the Turkey Burger, beer and Oreo Pie at The Crystal Beer Parlor (none pictured but the place is absolutely worth mentioning) and the sweet tea and breakfast tapas at the Bee’s Knees in Augusta (a stop made on the way to the Atlanta airport).


R  - RunDisney 10K Savannah Bridge Run with Jeff Galloway

I still can’t believe that not only did I run an unexpected 10K over the massive (and scenic) Savannah Bridge but that I did it with Olympian and run coach extraordinaire Jeff Galloway (and his lovely wife).  I’m a sucker for bridges so it was almost a gimme when I found out that the bridge was only included in the 10K (vs the 5K or the 1 miler) at the end of FitBloggin’. The fact that Jeff Galloway was running the 10K made it an even quicker yes.


RunDisney, Jeff Galloway, 10K

#EpicSelfie fom top left corner: Jeff Galloway, Ashley@FierceForwardLife, two people I don’t know, Margarita@CupcakeCardio, Me, Stephanie@FoodFitness4Real and Barb Galloway.


This run was so unbelievably life changing for me that it will get it’s own separate post in the near future.  All I can say is that Jeff and Barb Galloway may have altered my running life forever and I’m thrilled to have taken this #epicselfie to prove the awesomeness.


I – Ignite Presentations

Ignite is the Key Note of FitBloggin’ and it allows multiple speakers to each present on their topic of choice for 5 minutes with 20 slides to help tell their story.  Presentations vary from the funny like Sarah@LosingWeightandHavingFun’s – How To Make A Proper Cuppa Tea or Andre@MissionMeltdown’s rap to the inspiring from Allie@VitaTrain4Life, Alan@SweatingUntilHappy or KrisOlsen.  Every single speaker did a great job!

Ignite Fitness

Ignite makes everyone at FitBloggin’ friends whether they meet each other or not.  Being in a room when people share some of their innermost thoughts and feelings to a crowd is something that has an impact.


S – Sessions

Conference sessions at FitBloggin’ come in 3 varieties – educational, emotional or exercise.  Here’s my take:

  • Education: I wasn’t particularly interested in most of the talks this year.  Some seemed to repeat from last year and 2 were about podcasting.  I was particularly disappointed with 2 of the sessions I attended but I did love the presentations by Katy@KatyWidrick about Media Kits and with Shannyn@FrugalBeautiful about Blog PlugIns and found them both very interesting and helpful!  The How To Survive Your First Triathlon discussion session could (and likely should) have been made into a presentation.


  • Emotional: Last year I found myself in quite a few small discussion groups and it was both wonderful and draining.
  • Blogging Over 40 with Gail@GoGoGail was very eye opening.  It reminded me of how much age-ism there is in the fitness/health culture and that I am part of an untapped group of smart, savvy females that need to convince PR people what we’re worth!  #noelderbloggers
  • Maintaining Your Mojo with Kat@KatrinaElle and Dubya@DubyaWife impressed me with how prepared both moderators were and how the attendees really spoke up and supported one another.
  • Blogging Without Losing Yourself had 4 moderators – Kimberly@ManifestYourself, Nellie@BrooklynActiveMama, Maddie@FoodFitnessandFamily and Presley@RunPretty (which seemed a bit excessive) but perhaps it was the sheer number of moderators that gave a wider perspective of the subject matter.  This is a topic that could have been discussed for a very, very long time.


  • Exercise:  Cards on the table, the trampoline class from last year was sorely missed BUT having Erin@DigDeepPlayHard reprise her outdoor bootcamp (along with her husband and infant daughter to help motivate the group) was amazing!  I’m a fan of hot vinyasa yoga and I can say that I’ve never sweat so much in my life.  Erin is a powerhouse that makes exercise accessible, fun and challenging which is a quite a feat!
DigDeepPlayHard, FitBloggin'

Brave Bootcampers after a 6am class.


  • I also found the 80′s Zumba class a ton of fun.  Even though it was light hearted, I was sweating and sort of emotional.  Kia’s yoga class was not the yoga I typically like but after lack of sleep, a slow stretchy almost restorative class was what my body needed even if my head disagreed.


Zumba, FitBloggin'

80′s Zumba


  • I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to attend more of the exercise sessions but they clashed with some of the other discussion groups or presentations.  I wish that there was another afternoon exercise session at a different time because I’m especially sad that I missed PiYo/Insanity.


H – Hell Yes! Attitude

After two weeks away and some soul vacation, the fire of inspiration for blogging, my business and for fitness was reignited.  Ever since I went to my first blogging conference (Bloggy Bootcamp by the SITS Girls), I’ve loved the quote, ” If the answer isn’t a ‘Hell Yes!’ then it’s a ‘No!’” but it never resonated with me until I got home from this conference.

We all want to be healthy and happy human beings but sometimes we do our best to stand in our own way.  It’s not easy to say no or choose the path that would better suit us but it may be the only way each individual can really thrive.

I went for a 5 mile run Monday (which is long for me – especially after running 6.2 miles the previous day) and it was glorious.   My mind was clear, my body felt strong (even though I barely slept and was jet lagged) and my soul felt nourished.  I”m looking forward to the latter half of 2014.  You never know what might happen….


Post 5 miler post FitBloggin'

Post 5 miler post FitBloggin’


What nourishes you and who’s with me for FitBloggin’ Denver in 2015?

Tunes For Tuesday – The 70′s

Posted on by Melissa Burton in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Welcome to Tunes For Tuesday!

Music, Tunes For Tuesday

Image: Daisy


It’s Tunes For Tuesday and welcome to July!  Since it’s the 7th month of the year, we’ll be celebrating the 1970′s this month.  I did it last year (remember this 1970′s song with the awesome mondegreen?).  If you don’t know the term mondegreen, it’s a great one and you ALL do it even if you don’t know it).


Today’s tune is Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”.  This song always gets me running and this particular weekend I got the chance to run with the Olympian and famous run coach Jeff Galloway (the founder of the Run Walk Run method) – more about that with the upcoming FitBloggin’ recap but let’s just say that this FitBloggin’ run was life changing and this song might need to be my new theme song!





What was the last life changing thing that’s happened to you?

#14in2014 2nd Qtr Check In

Posted on by Melissa Burton in #14in2014 | 22 Comments

Welcome to the #14in2014 2nd Quarter Check In!

2014, fusebeads

My logo is from a fusebead project so I had to use this image from ArtisRams


Last year, I made the commitment to yearly goals and I followed up on them every 3 months.  I did the same thing this year and invited anyone who wanted to do it again with me in 2014 to join in on the effort.  Today is the second check-in of the year (here’s the first).  How’s it going for all of you?  I can guarantee that anyone and everyone has made more positive progress on their goals than I have this quarter but here’s my check in:



1.  Fully launch a Women’s Health Focused Nutrition Private Practice by 3/31/14 – Revision made from 3/31/14 to 12/31/14.

  • I haven’t made many steps toward my launching the practice I’ve been talking about for ages.  Many things have come up (like selling my Brooklyn apartment and traveling) that have shifted my focus this quarter.  I hope to make more progress in this area by next check in.


Private Practice Nutrition, RD

Gotta get my ducks in a row


2.  Cultivate at least 5 professional referral sources for nutrition clients – Needs work

  • I’ve made a few connections but given the stagnation of my practice development, I’ll also need to put more effort into this area as well.


3.  Redesign blog and promote to raise traffic and subscribers 25%. – Not. At. All.

  • I’ve taken quite a few breaks from blogging this quarter.  They’ve been long breaks and instead of gaining traffic and/or subscribers, I can be sure that I’ve lost some.  The redesign has also not happened yet.  I have a new theme but haven’t utilized it yet.  I hope that at the next check-in I can say that I have at least redesigned the site and worry about stats later.
  • I also have failed in providing certain posts like the follow-up to the Fabletics Review post.  Fabletics Review Round 2 will be published in July.


4.  Develop (and stick to) a system to maintain/grow social media presence/blogger interaction and achieve life/work balance. – See #3.

  • Right now I need to get back to blogging more regularly.  I’ve definitely been active on Facebook and Instagram but my Twitter presence has been lacking.
  • Once my blog redesign is done, I’ll make the decision on whether I’ll start a separate Facebook page for the blog.
  • The life/work balance is a unicorn that I’m not sure that can be achieved but I do want to be able to improve my writing efficiency and spend time with my family while not staring at my phone.

Work Life Balance


5.  Become an ambassador for a favorite brand and/or receive revenue from blogging – Sort of.

  • While I wasn’t made an official Ambassador for the Live Ultimate Run Los Angeles, I do now have a relationship with this very special race.  Once I refresh the site and resume regular blogging, I will identify 3 brands that I’d like to connect with.

LU Medal and Bib


6.  Showcase at least 50 women for the weekly Friday’s Featured Female series. – Revision required.

Friday's Featured Female, #FFF

  • Due to my blogging breaks, I am not on track to feature 50 women.  However, I do want to get this series back up and running starting in July.  Any nominee requests?  Let me know in the comments.


7.   Engage in a monthly Professional Development endeavor. – Surprisingly, yes.


  • My June endeavor marks a year since my favorite fitness event of the year, FitBloggin‘!  I’m looking forward to learning new things, connecting with new and old friends and multiple workouts per day in Savannah this week!




8.  Run 2+0+1+4 (7) races (including So Cal Ragnar Relay) – Yup!

  • For 1st Quarter, I ran 3 races, the LA Chinatown Firecracker Run, the LoziLu Mud Run and the So Cal Ragnar so I’m doing all right with this goal.  In this quarter, I ran the Live Ultimate Run LA and a race while on vacation in IL (post pending).  I’m eyeing the Awesome 80′s Run in August and one or two more races so this may be my only easy goal to achieve!
Proof: SuperSports Photography

Proof: SuperSports Photography


9.  Perform 14 Random Acts of Kindness – Maybe?

  • I haven’t been keeping track.  However, I did just sign up for a “Pay It Forward” random gift to 6 of my Facebook friends so I guess this counts.


10.  Improve self-care with focus on one monthly/quarterly goal – Fail. Fail. Fail.

  • My goals for the quarter were: April: To get organized, May: Overhaul the blog and June: Focus on the private practice and I failed on all 3 counts.
  • The 3 goals are still viable but need to be reprioritized and clarified so here’s what I plan to focus on for 3rd Quarter – July: Write Blog and Business Plan, recommit to consistent fitness and blogging, August: Begin Blog Overhaul and September: Private Practice focus.

Laura Ingalls Wilder, Organization


11.  Try one new fitness class/video per month – Stretching it again for Check In #2

Healthy Living Bloggers, JambaFit, Jamba Juice, FiTrends Expo

Katy@JoyLaughterSweat, Monica@RunEatRepeat, Shrimpy me, Gillian@That’sG, Tiffany@RunningHutch – I may need to retire these leggings, I seem to wear them everywhere.


  • I did try a new class on my vacation in Chicago and have a pending review post in the works.  I also resumed some indoor cycling classes but since a lot of this blog began with me talking about indoor cycling, it certainly wouldn’t be considered a new class.  I have a few classes that I’d still like to review like Studio Metamorphosis in Pasadena, Orange Theory Fitness, Aura Yoga and 4 of the 5 fitness classes I mentioned in this old post.  Anyone up for a date with Richard Simmons anytime soon?


Richard Simmons, Slimmons, Beverly Hills, LA

And I want this t-shirt!
Image: Rusty Blazenhoff


12.  Read 14 books (it’s scary that I need to make this a goal). – Sadly no.

  • I read a lot of crap on my computer but not books and I need to make an effort to change this.  I have no problem with reading electronically but I spend way too much time on social media and fluff and not enough time reading books.  I complain that I’m busy but I always seem to make time for this:
One Tree Hill, Chad Michael Murray, Hilarie Burton,  Sophia Bush

It’s not my new obsession because there’s an actress with the last name Burton but it’s great teen drama with an excellent soundtrack.


and not this:

The Fault In Our Stars, fiction, movie

The bestselling book – The Fault In Our Stars


  • Must step it up.  Book suggestions are welcome.


13.  My secret goal:  To be revealed at year-end. – Still in progress.

  • Still not giving any hints but the target may be shifting.  You’ll all know when the time is right.


14.  My shallow goal: Meet Simon Le Bon on the next Duran tour.  - :(

  • Since there will be Duran tour this year, this won’t be happening.  I’ll have to make due with this for now:
Duran Duran

Yes, this is my pillow from the 80′s. Thanks Jay for bringing it back for me.

  • I do have quite a few other concerts for this summer though – like the Retro Futura tour with Howard Jones, China Crisis, Midge Ure and Tom Bailey of Thompson Twins.  I also hope to go and see the free Stan Ridgway/English Beat show in Pershing Square.  I’m toying with the idea of going to see Counting Crows but I’m pretty sure that they won’t play “August and Everything After” in it’s entirety so it’s likely going to be a no.


Bottom line for 2nd Quarter Check In: Whomp Whomp; Not such great progress BUT since the year is only half over, I still have 6 months of time to put in some solid work.  Digging out of a rut isn’t easy but it is required if change is desired.


The link-up at the end of the post is not just for those who originally signed up for the original #14in2014 post.  Link up if you’d like to join for the remainder of the year!  We’ll check in for two more quarters (in September and December) not only to keep us honest and on track but to support one another to keep the goals/resolutions/intentions that were important in January top of mind year round.


How has your 2014 been going so far?  Think you’d like a little support.  Join in, blogger or not in the comments and we’ll loop you in at the quarterly check-in.

Tunes For Tuesday – Erasure

Posted on by Melissa Burton in Music | 2 Comments

Welcome to Tunes For Tuesday!

Music, Tunes For Tuesday

Image: Daisy


The countdown to FitBloggin’ 2014 is on!  This amazing conference is being held in Savannah, GA from June 26 – 29th.  If you know me at all and my love for 80′s music, this week’s Tunes For Tuesday should be an easy guess.  Yes, it’s Erasure with Blue Savannah but it’s a country version (live in Nashville) and it’s pretty fabulous!  Enjoy!



Did you know Erasure is on tour August – December 2014?!  Check out this link (this not an affiliate link) for details:

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