Unapologetically me.

I've always been partial to at-home workouts.

This dates back to junior high and high school. Can I get an "amen" for Jane Fonda? (Thanks, Mom.) How about the dynamic duo: Buns and Abs of Steel?  Tell me you remember the step-craze and how popular Kathy Smith and Tamilee Webb were. I am even proud to admit that I was a fan of both Cindy Crawford VHS workout tapes. I even saved up to by a weird wrestler-like onesie thing at Target because she wore one. (Who works out in those? Totally uncomfortable.)

That's the onesie.

Anywho - when we moved to Cabo I started doing pilates at an actual studio for a few years and I actually grew (ok, lengthened...) one inch. I loved it. I felt so strong and it was awesome.

But then I got pregnant with Lila and after some minor infertility issues, I wasn't willing to do anything that would put my pregnancy at risk; least of all lie on my back on a pilates reformer. So I quit. I was scared.

While I was pregnant that first time though, I did pilates for pregnant women, prenatal yoga and even this:

No, I was not pregnant in the 80's. It was actually 2008.

I believe back sometime after Lila was born in 2009 the Husband bought P90x, the at-home DVD series. It was exhausting. But, we did it. I mean, I did what I could. It didn't click with me. Only some of the workouts did. For me, it was a time issue - I didn't have 60 minutes per workout. I had a newborn.

Still, I continued with the at-home workouts because my pre-baby 6:00 a.m. pilates classes didn't work with a newborn who needed me. So, I moved on to Insanity, and then P90X2. Working out at home worked for me. It's hard to leave your baby to go to work and then come home and leave to go to the gym, right?

Fast forward to the summer of 2013. My "babies" were then toddlers and I was a little less obligated to them.

I bought Focus T25. I sort of fell in love with Shaun T in Insanity and the idea of a 25 minute workout intrigued me.  And fit my schedule.

I started the workout in August after our annual visit to our hometown of Toledo, Ohio. #BestPlaceAnyPlacePointPlace. During our annual visits to Ohio I always gained 6-10 lbs. Seriously.) I wrote about starting T25 here... just 6 days before my Mom died. Suddenly.

Obviously the 6:00 a.m. Focus T25 workouts took a backseat. 

About a month after she died I started back up again.

You guys, I needed something.

I needed to feel like I was taking care of something or someone.

Here's what I mean: much of the past 20 months of my life have been shaped by the unexpected death of my Mom, Shirley. She was 59 and she died in a car accident; she was driving. From the time she was about 19-years-old, she was chronically ill because of Crohn's disease and then extreme complications of it. (It's important to me to say that she was never a victim; who has time for that?) In the days before she died, she was dying. And that was hard. Really hard.

I've grown up a caregiver. While I was too young to take actual care of my Dad when he was dying from melanoma skin cancer when I was 10, my Mom has been ill for my whole life. (I believe my Dad started getting noticeably sick when I was 8.) I think this has shaped who I am and I am nothing if not resilient. 

I've learned throughout these months since my Mom died that my sense of self has been derived directly from what I do for others. Don't get me wrong, I have no issues with saying "no," but I like to be counted on. I like to solve problems. I like to be needed. I like to be the one people go to when they need help. I like to be there. Always. I'm loyal. And, losing the one person who required all of these things from me has created both an extremely ginormous hole, but it has also given me a precious gift: while I'm learning how to navigate this world as a kite with no handler; with no parents, I've been spending some time on me

It's different and sometimes I'm ok and sometimes I'm not. But, Shirl always said you have to "feel your feelings," so... I do. I write.

And I'm learning to take care of myself.


I remember that first workout after she died.

I put on my shoes at 6:00 a.m. (So as to minimize my excuses, I try to put out my sports bra, shorts and socks and shoes the night before.) As I was sweating and concentrating on not falling over or fainting during T25, the sun was rising through my living room window... 

That sunrise... that connection to her... I saw that there was beauty still. I felt optimistic during those sunrise workouts. I grew to need them.

And this was the first time in my life that I wasn't working out to be skinny or to lose weight; I was working out because I felt like if I took care of myself physically, the emotional stuff would somehow trail behind after me.

And it was the first time I saw results.

The scale didn't matter, how I felt mattered.
I felt strong... physically. Which was great, because I also felt like I could crumble emotionally at any moment. (If you ever want to read about my grief process, it's all here.)

So, Focus T25 was my routine. It was what I needed to heal. I finished it, I ordered the second set of T25 DVDs (T25 Gamma) and then when I was done I did them again... and again... 

I couldn't make excuses for 25 minutes a day.
I didn't think about my grief in those minutes, I just.kept.going.

I was worth it.

From here.

And when I was jumping up and down at 6:00 a.m. and it got too hard I'd say, "Go. Keep going. Shirl can't go now. You can. Go."



But I still say that.

You have to find your inspiration and your motivation and GO.
Wake up in the morning and get up and go. Don't think. Just go.

I am going to take care of my body and my health because she can't.
I am going to take care of me so that my girls have a well Mom. Maybe even a fit Mom. Growing up with a sick Mom isn't fun.

It's not about the scale.
It's not about measurements.
It's about being me. I want to be unapologetically me.

I feel good.
Craig sees it. Ask him.
I feel good.

This hangs on the wall in my office. I read it. Often.


So that said, my awesome Beachbody coach, whom I've been buying my programs through, has been telling me I should be a Beachbody coach for quite a while. I figured I couldn't, because I live in Mexico. Finally though, I'm in.

Why? What was the clincher?

Shakeology is Beachbody's protein drink/shake. "Your daily dense dose of superfood nutrition", blah, blah, blah. Tons of prebiotics, veggies, proteins and good stuff that quite frankly, I wasn't eating everyday.

Since 2009 I just didn't think shakeology was necessary.

I tried it, and you guys - incredible. I don't have time to juice every morning, but I have time to throw some berries and yogurt in a cup with water and a scoop of shakeology, mix and go.

I'm not STARVING throughout the day, I feel good. I feel healthy. I was so ridiculously skeptical at first because it's not cheap. (About $4 a day. I suppose not expensive if you put it in perspective, though.)

After I ordered it I didn't try it for about a month. (I know, I know...) Craig did. He lost 6 lbs without working out... just replacing one meal a day.

I workout 5-6 times a week and I started drinking it. I've lost weight, sure. I normally weigh about 115 lbs and now I weigh about 110. (I'm 5' 3".)  But better yet, I'm not craving or binge eating like I used to do.

Example: Say it's a Saturday afternoon, both girls are in their room for quiet time and I sit down on the couch midday, exhausted, watch Say Yes to the Dress and eat all of the things. It's like I'd tell myself, "This is Your time. Eat copious amounts of toast. With peanut butter. And jelly. And why not have some chocolate?"

Um, no more.

I don't want to sabotage me.
I matter.
Did I have a dove chocolate bar last week? Yep. Did I have two? No.
PROGRESS! Imperfect progress!
When is the last time I had a coke?
I have no idea.

I know I keep saying it, but I feel good.

So these workouts? They're my sanity. Right now I absolutely love PiYo.

It's a low-itensity mix of pilates and yoga. Easy on my weak ankle and my bum knee. The DVDs are anywhere from 19-45 minutes in length. I've been doing it for about 8 weeks now and I'm stronger. I can hold a plank far longer than I ever could and I find myself doing sun salutations and downward dogs whenever I need to just calm.me.the.heck.down. Bonus? The girls like to jump in and do it with me... 

Oh, sweet Vivi.

And, while I hesitate doing this... UGH - here's me before... I was post baby and clearly happy. Just fluffy. Ew. I think I weighed about 120 lbs.

And here's me last week. About 10 lbs lighter. And just... tighter.

I weigh less. I don't have rock-hard abs of steel like Tamilee Webb yet... but I'll get there!

All of this, it works for me and I honestly am telling you about this because it can work for you, too.


So there you have it! I'm a Beachbody Coach and I'm [obviously] super-excited.

If you are interested in the workouts or learning more and you don't already have a Beachbody Coach you're working with, I'd love to help you figure out a workout that works for you. Let's do this together? Positive me + positive you = results. You know I love talking with you - let's just move this conversation from the blog (one-sided with me always talking) to real-life. (BOTH OF US TALKING!)

I want to make this thing rock. Why? Because it worked for me and because I love how I feel. Join me?

Until then, take a look at twopretzelsFIT.com (that's where you learn about the workouts). You'll be confused. Email me. (kyleeATtwopretzels.com.)

[Remember to change that AT to @.]

And, I've made a separate TwoPretzelsFit facebook page - so as to not annoy my Two Pretzels facebook fans who want nothing to do with fitness.

It's here: facebook.com/twopretzelsFIT

Would you take a minute to like it for me?

And of course I'm on Instagram. Find TwoPretzelsFit. (Please.)

Thank you for listening.


DISCLAIMER REMINDER: On this blog, I have a thing: I ALWAYS am straight with you; I tell you that I'm not sponsored to say anything - because I'm not. AND, I also have a tradition: I only reccomend products that I love and that work for me. Same boat with this. I'm telling you about this because I like it and it's part of my story. Will I make money if you buy products? Yep, in full disclosure, I will.  But truthfully, I've written about Beachbody stuff a jillion times (read here and here and more places ) - I do believe in it.



  1. You look amazing!! And you're motivating me. I usually walk about 14,000 steps a day but I need to lose 15 pounds right now. Seriously. I can't even fit into last summer's shorts. I am going to the gym today!

    1. Oh goodness - thank you. Definitely not amazing, but I feel super good.

      I'm super impressed with 14,000 steps! That's incredible! Keep me posted on your progress. Accountability helps, I've noticed.

  2. Love it :) I'm starting back at my 21Day fix again today, though I'm doing 5 days on, then 5 days semi-off because I'll be on vacation, then back at it again. Hah! I love it though!

    1. I've never done 21 day fix... I'm sort of intimidated by it. I need to try it. You can do it! ;)

  3. You're awesome! I'm excited for you and your new journey. BeachBody is a great company. They were a PR client of mine years and years ago. I have a BeachBody coach, although I have yet to actually try the PiYo program I bought recently. Oops. I need to get on that, though, and your post is great incentive. Rock on, mama!

    1. Thank you so much, friend! I'm excited, too - and I love hearing that your professional experience with them was solid. I don't want to be associated with jerks. (#truth). TRY THE PiYo! You will LOVE it. Then please tell me what you think. I really, really liked it. I bet the girls will try to do it with you, too! :)

  4. I nodded through the entire post. I'm happy and excited for you. And for me. I've been doing the same. For different reasons, but I have. And it's simply amazing. I love you. Let's talk about this. I'm interested. OF COURSE. I'm proud of you. And what you say about taking care of people? IT'S TRUE. I feel better because I know I have people like you in my life. I know you'll show up. Anytime. Anywhere. Love you.

    1. You have made INCREDIBLE changes in your life; very inspiring, friend. And you know, whenever you need me - I'm SO there. WHENEVER.

      And yes - let's talk more.


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