Personal Blog

  • Why SLEEP and REST DAYS are so important for health and fitness.

    Why you need to get a good night's sleep.

    Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). As all of you know, I have been an advocate for the power of good SLEEP for years and when they asked me to help educate on chronic insomnia I said I’m ALL IN. All opinions expressed here are my own. 

     You know what I find perplexing? How many people complain about not getting good sleep or enough sleep- and yet, they don’t DO anything about it. I personally feel that the reason for this is that — and this is crazy- it’s become this accepted thing in our country to be a workaholic, and to not get a lot of sleep. In fact, I’ve seen way too many times, people actually bragging about how they never get more than 4-5 hours of sleep a night- and then they laugh it off. I, on the other hand, have always known in my gut that my body NEEDS optimal sleep. I truly have just known it– it wasn’t that I was acting on research, I just inherently knew my whole life that I needed to make a good night’s sleep a PRIORITY. And if you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’ve shared– the VERY SECOND I start to feel worn down, beat, dragging…..or like I’m possibly coming down with a cold, I will 1) go to bed early that night 2) skip a workout 3) sleep in and more often than not– those simple steps will rejuvenate me and/or prevent me from getting a cold.
    I’ve always said that SLEEP and even REST is a great healer. The problem is, too many of us don’t give ourselves permission to STOP our crazy busy lives to REST. This has created a nation of workaholics (trust me I’ve been one of them) who aren’t sleeping, suffering from chronic insomnia, taking possibly dangerous OTC or prescription sleep drugs, and over-caffeine-ating the next day to try and “power through”. 
    Do you have problems sleeping? Do you have trouble FALLING ASLEEP? or possibly staying asleep? Let me tell you– you may know this- but you aren’t alone. The National Institutes of Health estimate that more than 1/3 of us suffer from chronic sleep disorders. 
    Friends, you know me. I’m all about encouraging you to 1) RECOGNIZE that feeling bad- in a big way and for a long time is your body telling you RED ALERT RED ALERT– HELP ME – something is wrong! and 2) UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH BETTER YOU WILL FEEL AND FUNCTION AND LOOK (YES LOOK! when you aren’t WELL, you look like hell! Sorry not sorry) when you FIX THE PROBLEM and lastly 3) REALIZE that to fix the problem, you need to become your own advocate– do some research be an informed patient and ask for the help and treatment you deserve– DON’T JUST ACCEPT LIFE AS IT IS!! 


    Remember how I was having chronic migraines for months? I couldn’t work, I couldn’t work out– this was NEVER-ENDING- from about August of 2019 to January 2020!!!! When I finally saw a neurologist– everything changed. I got my LIFE back! 
    Same thing for when about 10 years ago I woke up with horrible lower back pain. Didn’t go away. I did reading and research and figured out how to get rid of it. 
    What about hormones? Full disclosure !! it was my BFF Whitney Jones who PUSHED me to get my bloodwork and my hormones addressed with an integrative medicine doctor but once I did– my life has been forever better and now I’m one of those women that women find online to get help with — because they are lost and need assistance!!
    Too many people just ACCEPT crappy health situations. You don’t have to!! It’s time to address your SLEEP as if it is top priority because — I can tell you from personal experience- when you are getting GOOD CONSISTENT SLEEP– trust me– you will:
    1. Be more productive at work.
    2. Be better in your workouts.
    3. Eat BETTER and therefore stick with your diet and lose weight.
    4. Have energy.
    5. Look AMAZING. 
    When you don’t get sleep- you have zero energy. You consume way too much caffeine, you tend to eat the wrong foods, you have no drive to work out– and you trudge through the day. Why live like that? Let’s make transforming our sleep a priority.
    And as a “PS” here, I want to point out that REST is just as important and REST DAYS
    Too many of us who have big fitness goals and are impatient (ME ME ME) have problems taking rest days– we think more is always better when it comes to working out. We feel guilty skipping a workout. Is this you? I was there for years. Trust me when I say this– RESTING or skipping a workout when you are depleted is far better for you than pushing through a workout when you barely can stay awake– that’s when you start destroying your adrenals and getting into more serious health problems. Don’t do that. Make listening to your bod a priority and TAKE A REST. 
    This was my first week at a new job. I LOVE IT. And yet- this week was JAM PACKED with understandably- a lot of meetings. Back to back meetings and calls and homework etc. — it’s typical but a LOT to take in. I didn’t sleep on Sunday night because I was so excited and my mind was racing. So this week I missed 3 workouts. THREE! I HAD JUST GOTTEN BACK UP TO MY NORMAL 6/WEEK WORKOUT GROOVE– but I’m sharing this with you because– this week I was not eating well (my fault), and it made me tired, very tired from all the excitement and busy-ness. I knew my body needed REST during the day (not to push through a hard workout) and SLEEP at night. Quality sleep. Going to bed early and sleeping 8 hours. This was a priority.
     Am I frustrated I have a week this week with only 3 solid workouts? YUP! but I KNOW if I did the hard workouts on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday- I’d be probably on the verge of catching a cold right now. With covid life floating around us– AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!

    Do you have Chronic Insomnia?

    More than an occasional restless night, chronic insomnia involves difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or regularly waking up earlier than desired, despite allowing enough time in bed for sleep.

    “Getting adequate sleep can be difficult, especially in times of increased anxiety or stress, like those we have all experienced recently,” said Jennifer Martin, PhD, a member of the AASM board of directors. “However, chronic insomnia disorder is more persistent, and when left untreated, can lead to a range of long-term health issues.”

    Chronic insomnia disorder involves difficulty sleeping and daytime symptoms occurring at least three times per week for at least three months. Its lasting effects are more severe than acute or short-term insomnia, which in most cases resolves itself.

    Symptoms of Chronic Insomnia

    Symptoms associated with chronic insomnia include daytime fatigue or sleepiness; feeling dissatisfied with sleep; having trouble concentrating; feeling depressed, anxious or irritable; or having low motivation or low energy. It is more common in women than in men.

    Impact of Chronic Insomnia

    Chronic insomnia is associated with increased risk of a range physical and mental health problems. Research suggests chronic insomnia can lead to increased risks of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and motor vehicle accidents. Research also shows that impaired sleep is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, and a recent study found that people who have insomnia are 28 percent more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those without.

    Chronic insomnia also has a negative impact on work and school performance, impairing concentration and increasing the risk of errors and accidents. Research has estimated that insomnia is associated with nearly 253 million days of lost work each year in the U.S. and more than $100 billion in annual costs due to indirect costs such as poorer workplace performance, increased health care utilization and increased accident risk.

    “The effects of ongoing insomnia can impact nearly every aspect of your life,” said David Bishop, chairman of the board of directors of AAHS. “Developing healthy sleep habits can help someone who has a mild or short-term case of insomnia, but if symptoms persist into the daytime and inhibit your quality of life, it’s time to get support from your doctor.”

    Stats from The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine (SBSM) and American Alliance for Healthy Sleep (AAHS). 

    Want to learn more about chronic insomnia?

    Monday night I’m co-hosting a Facebook live on The Kelly O Show Facebook Page at 8:30pm CST followed by a Twitter Chat at 9pm CST on this topic. We have some great experts on so you can learn how to improve your sleep and your LIFE. Will you join me? For the Twitter Chat– log in and follow me to chat! 

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  • Why Counting Calories- Every Last One of Them- Matters SO MUCH For Weight Loss.

    Want to know why you are stuck at a weight loss plateau? Read on. I bet I know.

    Friends, this post might be a wake-up call to many of you. Why? Because– you’ ve heard me talk and read my words on CALORIC DEFICIT– and far too many people react to that and automatically say “OMG I’ve been dieting for YEARS– MY biggest problem is I probably don’t eat enough!!!”– YEA– I said that for years, claiming the whole “my cortisol must be high so I am retaining fat because I’m in ‘starvation mode'”– Yea NO. It was Jordan Syatt that snapped me out of that and continues to dispel silly myths like this on his YouTube channel and instagram etc. (Check out my 2-part interview with Jordan by CLICKING HERE.) But for those of you that may still be on the blaming-hypothyroidism for not being able to lose weight bandwagon or thinking that you are “probably not eating enough” or thinking that you are in “starvation mode and storing fat”- read on. 

    We know that in order to lose weight we must be in caloric deficit. The #1 mistake I see women make (I was one of them in the past) is NOT TRACKING THEIR EATS. So they WING IT. They go about their day and — granted- for each meal, they make the “best choice”- they get egg whites and hashbrowns for breakfast and have only a few bites of hashbrowns. They order a salad for lunch dressing on the side– and use only a bit of the dressing. They skip the donuts at the office when the co-worker brings them in. They have fish and veggies for dinner or if they are out, they’ll order a steak with plain baked potato and broccoli. 

    All good right? 

    Nothing bad about those choices. There’s also nothing “bad” if the same person above had a Lean Cuisine for lunch or a Slim-Fast for breakfast. There’s nothing bad if this person ordered a value meal from Burger King on the way to a meeting at lunch.

    Does THAT surprise you? We’ll go into the whole “why we need to stop labeling foods as good or bad” in a future post. 

    Today- let’s talk about what happens when you DON’T TRACK YOUR FOOD. Like — write down everything you eat each day– no matter what. Even if it’s not planned or if it’s a snack.  When you just wing it, here are the things that get missed a lot– and I mean OFTEN:

    1. That Starbucks latte you got on the way to a client meeting. (Grande Latte with 2% 190 calories)
    2. That banana you got with the Starbucks (it’s a banana! It’s healthy!!) 90 Calories.
    3. The fact that you forgot to ask for “no croutons” and “no cheese” on your salad so you didn’t save those 250 calories. 
    4. You ordered an Acai Bowl at lunch with friends (it’s healthy!! and it had a scoop of protein powder!) but didn’t notice that the full serving was 650 calories. 
    5. You ordered that steak at dinner with plain baked potato and broccoli but failed to notice that the steak was a 10oz Ribeye and was  closer to 650 calories than 275 calories in a 3-4oz serving. And your baked potato was HUGE and instead of being 100 calories was more like 450. 
    6. That pre-workout and post- workout drink you had added 150 calories.
    7. The post-workout protein bar on the way home from the gym was a big size and had 2 servings in the one container but you didn’t see that so you consumed 350 calories vs. 175. 
    8. You had a few handfuls of your man’s popcorn while watching Netflix- 150 calories.

    I could go on and on. The above might not all happen in one day- but let’s use ONE example and show how impactful missing calories can be each day. If you ONLY didn’t add in the pre and post workout, and then maybe a piece of fruit — that’s about 250 or so calories. A Day. That ends up being- say you only did that 5 days a week. That is still 1,250 calories a week, and 5K calories per month or about 1.5lbs of weight gain or non-weight loss. That’s 18lbs in a year. 

    Would you like to lose 20lbs this year? 

    EVERYTHING IS ABOUT NUMBERS people. If you work out regularly and eat healthy foods but don’t seem to ever lose weight and you aren’t tracking your foods, I DARE YOU to challenge yourself- do this for 2 weeks. See if you don’t surprise yourself. I bet you do. I bet you BLOW YOUR MIND — it did for me!

    Tell me — did reading this post make you go, OMG, I have probably been missing a LOT of calories. This could be that weight loss breakthrough you’ve been searching for and it’s FREE!! go for it!


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  • The Best Way to Buy The BEST Fitness Clothes Online. My WANTABLE Haul Will Have You SHOOK.

    Where to buy the most fierce fitness apparel online.

    If you work out a lot- like most of us– you spend a lot of time in fitness gear. In fact, now more than ever, we spend time OUTSIDE OF THE GYM in our workout-wear- so much so that they coined a term for it- “athleisure” apparel. Remember when we wore jeans and khakis in our down time– now it’s workout wear. Fitness apparel is a whole different ball game in so many ways. 

    First of all- it used to be, maybe 10 years ago- that if you wanted fitness apparel, you were pretty much stuck with some generic brands of tee-shirts and shorts and maybe SWEATPANTS at like a Wal-Mart or TJ MAXX, or you could really level up and order something from Nike or Reebok or Puma. Still- the stuff back then that they made for WOMEN was not anything you would get your strut on in. It was baggy, ill-fitting and usually came in 5 primary colors. 

    I specifically remember the days back when I first started getting into fitness- back when Taebo first came out and soon after was when I started doing The FIRM workouts. Let me share a few video clips from those days to show what was going on with fitness fashion- and this was in professionally produced videos– this gear even though we thought it was cool looking, wasn’t the stuff you’d see in stores, trust me. 

    Old School Taebo LIVE

    Do you see how no one in the above videos was really wearing workout gear- it was like ripped up tee shirts and shorts. That’s it. Eww. 

    The FIRM Workout Videos

    Legwarmers. Nude hose. High cut lycra. Lord. But I gotta tell you- these workouts were ahead of their time in that they used weights for women- way before it was mainstream. 

    Cher Fitness. Yes. It was a thing.

    Seriously- Cher is wearing black pantyhose in this video. And notice the big squishy socks = that was in big time back then but truthfully- that was it- everyone wore just all black. And I never saw anything like this workout gear in stores or online. I remember reading Muscle & Fitness back then and they’d have a random ad for some fitness gear and then you’d have to search high and wide and HOPE they had a website to order from. Life was tough back then but fast forward to today— we have hope. Fashion has taken over workout- wear. The first time I invested in high quality workout apparel– my world changed. Seriously. It’s just like upgrading to a top quality suit for work. The more expensive brands will fit you differently- better- and will LAST A LONG TIME. Same with fitness apparel. 

    INVEST IN YOUR FITNESS GEAR- and take care of it– and trust me– you’ll feel better and more confident during your training- and you’ll be motivated to keep going- so you look better and better and then you can buy more! 😉 See how that works??

    So– yes, I love me some Lululemon but you know what I don’t like? I don’t like that their colors are always “muted”. It’s like you never see BRIGHT COLORS. So when I first ordered from WANTABLE I was in love. Why? They send you a box of selected fitness gear based on your preferences – and as you’ll see in the video below- I got stuff I’ve never heard of! I discovered styles and brands I didn’t know existed and honestly– I’m obsessed. Check out my video haul below and (please note I actually recorded this initial video over a year ago but considering I’m back with WANTABLE and ordering more again — as well as getting some out-of-the-gym fashion (they do an excellent job with that too- I started buying expensive jeans because of them!! Oh my credit card!!)

    My WANTABLE Unboxing: Check it out.

    How YOU Can Get Started Expanding Your Fitness Wardrobe With Wantable!

    Ladies — you will be obsessed when you start down the WANTABLE road. And now you can get $25 OFF your first fitness edit— CLICK HERE to get started. And I want you to tag me on social media so I can see what you got!

    Seriously how cute is this?? And here’s another sample below. Check it. 

    Get yourself some new shoes to go with it!

    What do you think? Are you ready to level up your fitness wardrobe and stop wearing baggy tee shirts and sweats? You deserve to look as fierce as your body is getting. GO FOR IT AND sign up for a WANTABLE FITNESS EDIT NOW. I bet you’ll be tagging me telling me how obsessed you are! 

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