8 simple tips (from a mom of four and a personal trainer) that will make your at home workouts more successful

I used to be a gym rat. I had finally found success with weight loss and exercise when I was in my early twenties. I associated working out with leaving my house, away from the distraction, (and snacks) and I would get it done.

8 tips for working out at home

But after becoming a mother and a failed attempt at going to the gym, (while my son screamed the entire time he was in the daycare my gym provided), I knew that I had to find a way to workout at home.

So, little by little I carved out a space, did my research and invested in a few pieces of equipment. This little haven became even more important as I had my second child, and eventually my third and fourth: twins.

newborn twins

There would be times that I would find getting up in the morning, before anyone else, my sweet spot, and other times in the evening, just after putting my kids to bed would be when I could get my workout in.

But it was always nice to know that I didn’t have to rely on childcare, or waste time driving somewhere to workout.

For me it was and is the perfect fit.

After having my twins I was on a roll. I worked out almost daily, starting after I was three months postpartum and I eventually lost sixty of the seventy pounds I had gained. But those last ten pounds have stuck to me like glue.

Mom in bikini

Occasionally I will shake things up and find some success, but then life will happen and boom, back to square one.

That’s when I decided to work with an in home personal trainer twice a week in my home, and it has made a massive difference. I have realized that I was stagnant and not really pushing myself enough.

My husband has got in on the action too, which has held us both accountable. I am now working out six days a week, and not only have I watched the scale start moving again, but muscles I have never seen before are popping up, and I am happier and more patient with my entire family.

I have already learned so much over the past month working out with a personal trainer, and have seen such incredible results, I wanted to share some home workout tips with you.

I asked Rob, from Trainers On Site to share his tips, and I have also included some of mine…

Personal trainer tips:

1. Invest in home fitness equipment. What is worth the investment? Essentials like small dumbbells, (5-10lb dumbbells are a must if not adjustable dumbbells), a stability ball to act like a bench, or a stepper (bench and cardio in 1), 2 different levels of resistance bands (light and medium), a door anchor to attach them to, a cardio machine that lasts like a treadmill, rower or an elliptical machine. Using different equipment not only freshens up your workout, but it puts different stimulus reacting to your muscles being worked, therefore greater results!

2. Use your technology and entertainment devices. You can tap into great music from your smart device, (I personally like FitRadio). Or for boring or mindless cardio, you can watch a show or movie. (Netflix is great for this). Many studies have proven that music enhances your performance. Why sit on a couch to watch TV when you can be active, moving and burn calories?

3. Track your workouts. Don’t just track the days you worked out, but also the sets, reps, load pushed or pulled. Use a notebook or journal, or go high tech and use an app like we do with our clients. In order to achieve better results you need to know what results you had before. Using the Progressive Overload approach and adding more load, or more reps, or more sets, makes a big difference in increasing lean muscle while burning stubborn body fat.

4. Involve someone to help keep you accountable. This could be your partner/spouse, a friend with similar goals, or a personal trainer to keep you on track. Adding a workout partner for motivation and drive allows both parties a win/win scenario. Make sure it is someone you can count on when you don’t feel like showing up to your own workout. Personal Training at home works!

5. Carve out ME TIME. There could be many options here so you have to figure out what works, (early before anyone gets up, during nap or school time, late at night when kids go to sleep), the earlier the better (a moms day never ends! This is an essential tip that might go overlooked. Get in a groove and find out what works best for you and your family and then stick to it. Home workouts are great for efficiency and convenience but can also end up being minimal if you don’t stick to a regular schedule.

Tips from a mom of four who has fallen in love with working out at home:

6. Have a carrot. I find planning a little getaway, or get togethers with friends the best motivation. It can be so easy to not leave your house for days on end without really realizing it when you are in the trenches with your kids. Make plans and get excited about them.

7. Take progress shots. When you are so busy and in comfy sweats most days it can sometimes be hard to see any progress. I love referring back to the photos I have just after having my kids and thanking my body for creating those humans and how far it has come since.

8. Dress up like you are leaving to go to a gym. After having many months of success working out at home, I slowly started to let everything slide. At first it began with me being too lazy to put on my running shoes, then a bra, and eventually I was rolling out of bed and doing a couple sit-ups in my pjs and calling it a day. Putting the effort in to dress the part will set you up for a better workout.

Want to join in on a workout with us? Check out our Facebook live video as Rob, from Trainers On Site, myself and two special guests lead you through a workout you can do at home.

Trainers On Site has been servicing the GTA since 2008 bringing workouts to clients homes and workplaces.

Their mission is to help the world get a little bit healthier one workout at a time.

They offer:
– one on one personal training
– small group personal training
– corporate fitness

They service:
– Milton and Halton Hills
– Oakville
– Mississauga
– Brampton
– downtown and west Toronto

You’re their perfect client if you’re a busy mom or dad who has no time or motivation to get to the gym.

In order to try out their service they’re offering first-time customers a free fitness assessment, personal training session and meal plan to help them get started.

Check out Trainers On Site at www.trainersonsite.com or call them at one 188-826-91867.

Workout at home

Disclosure: Nesting Story is in partnership with Trainers On Site and has received free services from them.

I will stop seeing myself as broken and finally see what my body is capable of

This is it. This is the year. I am done hiding behind my kids in photos, and pulling at my clothes as I sit down. I am ready for change. But I know now that I have to change the way I see myself, before any real change can happen.

mother and baby

When I was around my oldest daughter’s age, (so that would be around age six), I had two minor surgeries. Then I jumped into my parents’ pool backwards, smacking my chin, resulting in stitches. The years following I had many bouts of strep throat, tonsillitis, pneumonia and mono. Then at the end of high school came the big finish… a tumour on my thyroid resulting in a complete thyroidectomy.

I know right? I am starting to look a little like a thirty-four-year-old quilt.

I was one of four kids, and can’t imagine the worry all of this would have caused my parents. Now as a mother of four, I know how easily you can start placing your child into a certain description or type, even if you shouldn’t. I was the charismatic, sunny, slightly chubby, bubbly, non-athletic one.


My mom was very quick to let me know that I was beautiful the way I was, that I would always find my place in the world because I was not only smart, but had incredible street-smarts, and to not over-do it. I credit this kind upbringing to my current post-four-babies, (including twins), self-love attitude. I do think I am pretty awesome, despite some scars, stretch marks and cellulite I have collected over the years.

But truth be told, I have played the “broken” card one too many times in my life. After having mono, I was able to negotiate a doctor’s note that exempted me from phys-ed for an entire year. I was a smooth talker, and would turn my fear of letting team members down, into a joke about how I don’t play any sports that involves a ball, or a team.

Ahem… this one is still true and I will stand by it. Basically, the idea of me playing volleyball is my worst nightmare.

But when it came to physical exercise and getting in shape, I would attempt my goal for a short time, and then give up.

Finally, in my second year of collage, after ballooning to an all-time high on the scale, I set my mind to it… I would lose the weight and become the fit person I always wanted to be. Guess what, I did it. I reached my goal. I lost almost 30 pounds and became this badass, strong person that I had never met before.


How did I do it? I did the zone diet, (which Jennifer Aniston made cool at the time), I worked out a lot, (I had lots of free time between classes), and I indoor rock climbed, (one of my favourite non-team/ball sports), with my boyfriend at the time, Mike, (he’s now my husband).

I remember that this time in my life was one of my happiest.

This was following one of the darkest times in my life, after having my thyroid out, my family dog dying, family health scares and not yet finding my path to my future career, I had fallen into a depression, which I eventually pulled myself out of with the help of a therapist.

But now I was soaring. I would sometimes come home from a late night indoor climbing workout, or running faster than I thought was possible on the treadmill and be met by family or friends with comments that I was becoming “too thin,” or “too obsessed.”

These comments slowly wore me down. They took roots inside of me, and began to blossom into feelings of guilt about my progress and that maybe everyone liked me a little more as the bubbly, slightly chubby, non-athletic one.

Since the height of my personal physical fitness goal being reached, and the subsequent fall back into old habits of considering a light stroll a workout, resulting in being so weak I pull my neck picking up my kids toys, this idea that I am broken or more liked when out of shape, has haunted me.

Well, that was until I was met with the biggest challenge yet in my life… my twin pregnancy. The mental, physical and emotional toll this challenge took on me has been life changing. I think the fact that I couldn’t just give up and take my belly off was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.

twin pregnancy

Truthfully, I thought my twin pregnancy would break me. I surely wasn’t cut out for that kind of marathon. Every day I would think to myself, “this is it, the day that my body gives out, that it exposes itself for what I always thought it was… a weakling.”

But instead, the opposite happened. My body shocked me at its incredible ability to be an incubator, creating two people at once. Even when I would almost black out when I reached the top of the stairs, or the day I lost my vision while driving. It did it’s job. It was a mighty vessel.

twin pregnancy

My mind even shocked me. Out of isolation and a feeling of being trapped inside of my body, I was able to eventually push past the fear and create change in my life.

It has taken me a long time to get where I am after having my twins. It has taken a lot of perseverance and hard work. But most of all, it has taken a lot of patience and love for myself.

weight loss after twin pregnancy

Rewiring my brain isn’t easy. I know what has held me back and I am slowly chipping away.

I have created a visual in my head, and I am constantly closing my eyes and returning to that vision of strength and determination. A person who isn’t afraid anymore. A person who is going to let go of the comfortable weight and soar again.

working out

I have come so far and have been through so much. It is time to recreate who I see myself as, knowing that although I will be changing some things, that doesn’t mean that I am losing the best parts of me.

I want this change to come from a place of self care and of giving back to my body after everything it has given and created.

I’m not broken, I’ve just been scared. It’s time to let that fear help propel me forward so that I can reach my goals, drop the excuses, be secure within my success and know that wanting to reach the finish line is not selfish, it’s self-love.


What am I doing about it?

I have been researching, reading, sharing, exploring and have been asking for help. I have partnered with a personal trainer who is going to help me stay focused and stand by me when I think that I am not enough.

Rob from Trainers On Site has been working with me, (and Mike), since the beginning of December and already I am feeling stronger and closer to my goals.

I am so excited to start bringing all of you on this journey with me. I will be raw and honest with you along the way, sharing my fears and my triumphs as I peel back the layers of self doubt I have been carrying around with me since childhood.

I will be sharing what I’ve learned, including my exercise routine, fitness tips and meal ideas on Facebook (including live videos), here on the blog, on my YouTube channel and on Instagram.

Progress photos will be posted each week, and I will motivate and inspire you with your goals along the way.

Trainers On Site is an in-home personal training service. Servicing Toronto, West GTA and Halton.

Disclosure: Nesting Story is in partnership with Trainers On Site and has received free services from them.

What I Learned, And How I Surprised Myself With My Two Week Cardio Challenge

I woke up this morning and finally felt, for the first time in a long time, that my body was stronger. As I started to take a few steps after getting out of bed, I noticed that everything felt, well… less loose, to put it bluntly.

This wonderful feeling piqued my curiosity and I decided to hop on the scale. I was down three pounds. Three hard-earned pounds in two weeks, and I felt good.

Two weeks ago, I started a cardio challenge that was inspired by a recent bout of anxiety. My anxiety had lead to me taking up running and I could feel my anxiety melting away. This was when I realized that my body and mind craved cardio, something that I had been avoiding for a long time.

Going into the two-week challenge I had three main goals:

  1. To incorporate daily fitness into my routine and help strengthen my body.
  2. To use running as stress-release and to control my anxiety.
  3. To not only set a good example for both my kids and my husband, but to include them in my cardio journey as well.

But the challenge ended up going far beyond these three goals.

For the first few days I found it hard to work cardio into my day. I was constantly pushing it to the end of my to-do list and not making time for it before the day was over. Finally I had an epiphany. I had to make cardio my priority. So I began running mid-morning each day, which was the perfect fit.IMG_3718

It was a great feeling to know that I had got my run in and didn’t have to fit it in for the rest of the day. I also enjoyed breaking up sitting at my computer all morning and getting some fresh air and sunshine… even when a squirrel tried to throw a branch at me.IMG_3678

Next it was time to add my family to the mix. Although we haven’t done any bike rides yet due to some much-needed bike repairs, we have gone on many nature hikes. We even found a pond near our house and have enjoyed watching the frogs hop around.IMG_6450


One realization my husband Mike and I had was to not only bring a double stroller for our twin toddlers, but also a wagon for our older kids. This way they could hop out and explore and run here and there, but when they got tired they could jump back into the wagon. This saved us from lots of complaining and the pushing and pulling added to Mike and I’s workout as well.


When I challenged the kids to races, they thought it was so fun. Our twins couldn’t stop laughing from their stroller as they watched. Apparently the sight of mommy running is pretty rare and funny.


But the biggest surprise for me was this: I became hooked on cardio. Actually so much that I started participating in activities I used to just leave for Mike. My new favourite activity is gardening, and I’m not just taking about pulling a weed here and there, but labour-intensive digging and planting.


There is this feeling you get when you have been doing more cardio. Your muscles ache, but it’s a good, hard-earned pain. Your body feels tighter, you have more energy, your mind is clearer and you have more perspective. This is a feeling that I am going to continue reaching for, way past my two-week challenge.


My entire family stayed hydrated with Ocean Spray® PACt® Cranberry Extract Water while staying active. As far as flavor goes, I find the Cranberry Mango Passionfruit tastes like a treat; it’s almost dessert-like. The Cranberry Raspberry and the Cranberry Pomegranate were more refreshing, with the Cranberry Pomegranate tasting a bit more tart.

We each have our favourites, mine being the Cranberry Mango Passionfruit. Beau has become an Ocean Spray® PACt® Cranberry Extract Water connoisseur. Her favourite flavours are tied between the Cranberry Pomegranate and the Cranberry Raspberry flavours, or what she calls “the red and purple bottles.”


Knowing that I was only consuming 10 calories per drink was great, and that our whole family was hydrating themselves with a drink that has no GMOs lets me breathe easy.

Ocean Spray® PACt® Cranberry Extract Water is a tasty and low-calorie way to hydrate in a more meaningful way. Packed with the power of 50 cranberries, PACt® Cranberry Extract Water delivers unique cranberry health benefits. Visit http://pact.oceanspray.ca to learn more and find out where to buy PACt® water at a store near you.


Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Ocean Spray® via Mode Media Canada. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Ocean Spray®.

My Word Of The Year Is FINISH, And Here’s Why…

Photo 1 - This is they year I finish what I started

Recently, I had a big realization: I could hit every work deadline thrown at me, but when it came to anything that was for me, I would self-sabotage. Why?

Why don’t I feel worthy enough to complete home projects, or loose those pesky last ten pounds?

I think it can be summed up with three words… boredom, laziness and fear.

This year, I plan to pick up where I left off and take those daunting tasks across the finish line and then reap the benefits. I will tell myself that I am worthy and get rid of all of the noise in my life. I will FINISH my weight loss goals, FINISH my home projects and FINISH those random DIY’s I have cluttering my space.

To read more, head to Yummy Mummy Club, to read my post: This is the year I finish what I started.

35 Moms’ New Year’s Resolutions: Prepare To Be Inspired!


As I have scrolled though my social media news feeds this past week, I couldn’t help but be inspired by all of the New Year’s resolutions I saw. In fact, I may have borrowed one or two ideas!

A few common themes stood out for me, especially coming from moms: self care, more patience, weight loss, to thrive, or even just surviving the first year. Some made me laugh, and some brought me to tears. Overall, I think that 2016 should be the year that us moms take the time we deserve for ourselves.

Here are 35 moms’ inspiring New Year’s resolutions…

“To say “me too”. I have a 19 month old and a 4 month old, so I really can’t say ” me first”, but this will be the year that I start paying attention to myself again. So, “me too”, even if there are some days I can only manage 5 minutes of me time. Going along with that is getting my body and mind healthy again, 2 babies 15 months apart really takes a toll and I am ready to feel healthy again.” – Kari (mom to two), Schenectady, NY, US

“Mine is to be more supportive and genuine to my family including my husband and my children. To be more attentive and not just present, but really commited to being involved and interested in what they are telling me. I want to be less critical of others and not as judgemental.” – Carrie (mom of an 11 year-old daughter, 8 year-old son and 9 month old boy/girl twins), Pennsylvania, US

“To cut out sugar and cut my cholesterol numbers. To be strict about it and healthy up.” – Tara (mom of three, ages 5,8 and 12)

“Self care. Time alone, workouts, feeding myself real food, learning to love me again.” – Liz (mom of four, ages 5, 4 and 17 month-old twins)

“Mine is to lose weight, eat better and do what it takes to make myself happy.” – Tonya (mom of 2 year-old daughter and two-year-old twin boys), Minnesota, US

“Stop rushing through life is mine ….same as last year ….hopefully this year I will actually commit to this and stop rushing through everything and stop always being in a hurry.” – Kinga (Mom of two), Ontario, Canada

Elena Gonzalez “To be healthier, friendlier, and a more positive person.” – Elena (mom to seven-month-old daughter), Texas, US

“Get more organized – house and meal prep (especially lunches) & eat healthier! way too much junk food in our house!” – Karen (mom to two, ages 13 and 4)

“1) To love myself and look after me. I spend my time running round after others and I need to have a little bit of me time and stop beating myself up about the little things that don’t matter.
2) Enjoy my girls as much as possible, last year flew by and I don’t want to miss them growing up.
3) Be more active (get back to running)” – Alexa (mom to twin one-year-old girls), Lincoln, England

“My word for this year will be: RESTORE. I will RESTORE my body, I will RESTORE my mind, I will RESTORE my safety, I will RESTORE my relationships, I will RESTORE my drive.” – Stephanie (mom to one-year-old twin girls) You can read more about Stephanie’s goals for 2016 here

“To get out and do more fun things as a family. Also, to lose weight and get in better shape. I really want to be healthy for my girls!” – Jillian (mom to a two-year-old daughter and ten-month-old identical twin girls), Alberta, Canada

“I’m a Mom to be – but i’m counting that as my 2016 goals are with my family in mind. I’m working towards Progress – NOT perfection this year. I’m working towards my goals but will NOT beat myself up if I don’t hit them all – Every ounce of progress I make in health, wealth, wellness etc is all creating a better me for my family without burning myself out and becoming frustrated that I haven’t ‘hit’ my goals.” – Andrea (mom-to-be), Ontario, Canada

“I think my new years resolution is to be easier on myself, as a new mom I’m constantly beating myself up and I need to have more grace..and try to enjoy the time I have with my son because it’s already flying by and I feel like when you’re in it, you never just enjoy it!” – Fiona, (new mom), Ottawa, Ontario

“Don’t sweat the small stuff! Learn to love a little “mess” from playing, cooking, etc.” – Lindsay (mom of 17-month-old daughter), Ontario, Canada

“As a mother of 2 teens (18 and 15), a non profit volunteer and full time worker, I need to learn to slow down, less stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed. More time to focus on my home and family and myself, More Camping. Happy New Year!” – Berta (mom of two teens, ages 18 and 15), San Jose, California

“Move from our tiny, shoebox rental to a home of our own. Start replenishing my savings account. And eat dinner at the table each night.” – Meghan (mom to a five-year-old daughter and one-year-old twin girls)

“To stress less, spend more time as a family and lose the baby weight from #2.” – Melissa (mom to a six-year-old daughter and five-month-old baby), New Zealand

“More quality time as a family, less screen time and get out for walks during the week! Also get into meal planning would be helpful on those busy days!” – Sara (mom to 22-month-old boy), British Columbia, Canada

“To journal everyday! By writing my diet (to try and eat better), how im feeling, events or things that happen, Everyday!” – Kimberly (mom to two boys ages 9 and 5 and twin two-month-old girls)  Saskatchewan, Canada

“To declutter our house stuff so that we can really enjoy our favourite things, and help other by donating what we dont need anymore, or trash the rest.” – Aly (mom to 20-month-old twin girls), Ontario, Canada

“To practice patience as a parent, and make time for myself and my relationship with my husband.” – Anne (mom to ten-month-old son), Michigan, US

“My resolution is to be a blessing. I want to encourage other moms, uplift, support.” – Jess

“Putting myself back on my to do list.” – Rylee (Mom of four boys, ages 4, 3 and two-year-old twins), South Dakota, US

“To get healthy and fit for my three kids and wear a Bikini again (think I’m dreaming there)” – Sarah (mom to three, ages 7, 5 and 8 months), Adelaide, South Australia

“To be more present in everyday things and less hard on my husband for doing things “his way.” Stay in shape and stress less.” – Gayle (mom of 16-month-old daughter), Ontario, Canada

“I’m going trough a break up of six years with children of five, two and four month old twins. My resolution is to learn to love myself and value my worth!” – Dolce, (mom of four, ages 5, 2 and four-month-old twins), Texas, US

“I plan to move every day. I’ve struggled my whole life with weight and I have incredibly low self esteem. I am the proud mama of two daughters 1 who is 5 and 1 who is 11 months. I want to create a life of health without a focus on weight. I don’t want my daughters to ever doubt their worth based on the number on the scale. I live in California and am surrounded by beautiful women!!” – Katie (mom of two daughters, ages 5 and 11-months), California, US

“My resolution is to develop my skills in being a good mum.” – Linda ( mom of five-week-old twin girls), Sydney, Australia

“Mine to lose the baby weight from baby 3!! – Egle (mom of three daughters, ages 12, 9 and five-weeks-old), UK

“To survive.” – Alyssa (mom of four-month-old fraternal boys), New Mexico, US

“To get back in shape, not necessarily loose weight, just get some muscle strength back, especially to help my back and to be more “there” with my kids.” – Jennifer

“My resolution is to love myself as I am (also in bikini) and enjoy the time with my family.” – Carina (mom of one-year-old daughter), Austria, Vienna

“My resolution is to practice patience and learn to be okay with decisions we were we are in life, stop rushing and trust in our choices in designing our life.” – Cachelle (mom to one-year-old twin girls), Ontario, Canada

“1) Lose the 30 pounds of stubborn baby weight left from my twin pregnancy.
2) Enjoy my kids/family.
3) Not only survive, but thrive during the rest of my twins first year!” – Heather (mom of five, ages 8, 5, 22 months and three-month-old identical twin girls), Washington State, US

“To just survive (with some semblance of sanity intact would be a bonus).” – Lindsay (mom to a 14 year old daughter and seven-month-old twin boys), Oklahoma, US

What is your New Year’s resolution?

Don’t forget to join the conversation on Facebook!

Photo: Blue Bird Creative