Hi Friends! Iā€™m Natalie Mason. I live in Charleston, SC and I am mom to Sterling 12 , Frances Moon 8 and our mini golden doodle Dolly.



Browse my easy, family-friendly recipes and get some dinner inspiration!


Check out my outfit ideas and family finds for inspiration.


My best beauty tips and tricks for glowing skin and shiny hair.


Visiting Charleston?

check out my faves!

Working on My Fitness

Mar 29, 2012

Thanks for your kind words when reading my daily diet post last week, I felt a little silly posting it but I am so glad you enjoyed it. Now it’s on to Fitness. I have to start by saying I am no athlete. I swear, I was a cheerleader in Junior High and never played any sports. I just wasn’t that type of girl. And to this day I still don’t like sports (even watching them, unless I am tailgating of course) and I am clumsy (why I don’t do any aerobic classes). After college when I realized yep, I think I probably weigh too much (which my parents subtly hinted at) I decided to start working out. I have tried almost every exercise around but what works best for me is a combo of running and Sculpt DVDS.

This was a quote that particularly inspired me when I was try to lose the 30lbs I gained in college. I actually still think of it quite often for all aspects of my life.

I strongly believe that 80% percent of what you weigh is based on what you eat. I get more results when I cut back on food than step up my workouts. I workout for my mental health because lets face it you feel pretty darn good after a great workout, and so I am not flabby. You can be skinny fat with flabby skin and that is gross to me. I like to be toned but not too toned. Although lets be real my stomach tends to stays flabby (probably from my nightly booze and the child I housed for 9 months).

I do not workout everyday and I don’t stress if I can’t fit a workout in. But when I workout I workout hard and make it count. I make sure to break a sweat and do something hard because otherwise what’s the point? I never understand the people at the gym who talk to a friend or read magazines while they are working out. You are not getting a good workout if you can carry on a conversation and read. I like to sweat and be tired after a workout. I love this quote from Gwennie because it is so true. You need to work hard to see results.

My two go-to workouts are running and the Tracy Anderson/Physique 57 workout videos. In all my years of working out I have never found a more effective exercise for burning calories than plain old running. Now I am not a hard core runner, I consider myself more of a slow jogger. I run a mile in around 9.5- 10 minutes which to alot of people is slow but trust me I work up a good sweat and I am exhausted afterwards. You don’t need to be fast to run and burn calories. I often do intervals and run a mile then walk a little. I think bringing your heart rate down and then back up again burns more calories.

Plus you can run any where. I used to go to the gym and run but now I run outside. I will still occasionally go to the gym while Sterling is in school but not very often. For the most part I take Sterling in his stroller (and no we don’t have the Bob or a fancy jogging stroller, I have a Bugaboo and it works just fine to jog with it). Try pushing a 30lb baby while you run and you will burn some calories. I make it a goal to try and run about 3 times a week. Sometimes I do 4 days but usually never more than that. I usually run between 2-4 miles with some walking in between. If I am running at the gym on the treadmill my goal is always to burn 500 calories and usually you can do that with interval running for about 45-50 minutes. I read somewhere that is how many calories Jessica Alba tries to burn, so I copy that because I would love to have her figure.

If I am not running I do my workout videos. I used to do these alot more when Sterling took two naps, but now that we are down to one nap I don’t get to do these quite as often. I would say I do these maybe once a week currently. But I do go thru phases will I run less and do these videos more but right now I am in a running phase so the videos have taken a back seat. I highly recommend the Tracy Anderson Mat DVD. I ordered mine on Amazon. It is probably my favorite workout DVD.

It is an hour long and trust me you will be sore afterwards. It is broken up into sections for your arms, legs, and abs. I feel like this DVD really helps tighten up my body. It doesn’t burn calories like cardio but it gives your muscles a killer workout. I swear by the Tracy Anderson DVDS. They really work if you are consistent. I mean look at Gwyneth and JLo in bikinis- both have two kids and both train with Tracey and look freaking amazing.

I also have her Metamorphasis DVDS, which I bought last summer and used them alot but got really burned out. They are expensive at $90, but you do get 3 DVDS which each have 3 different workouts per disc so you are getting 12 workouts total + a dance cardio disc. You do her cardio DVD first which is basically just jumping around for 30 minutes. You will pour sweat and curse at Tracey but it works people. Then you do a 30 minute sculpt video. Which is almost but not quite as hard as the cardio.

When I am totally sick of Tracy I do my Physique 57 videos. Last year my brother gave me the 3 pack set which includes an hour long typical Physique 57 class, an abbreviated 30 minute class, and an abs DVD. Both the hour long and 30 minute disc are a good workout. I feel like these really target your abs and thighs. One compliant is the instructor annoys the crap out of me. She is always talking and totally kind of annoying. That being said the workouts are great I am always really sore after these videos.

I am huge fan of workout DVDs because you can do them whenever. I most often pop one in while Sterling naps and do my workout then. If I am running I either get up at 6:30and run before the boys are up or I go around 9 or 3 after Sterling’s nap and run with Sterling in the stroller, which is more often the case because I have a hard time getting up that early. I know I am lucky because I don’t work so I have time to squeeze workouts in more easily than people that work full time. But I will say even when I worked, I got up early and went to the gym before work. Also while I was pregnant I walked 5-6 days a week. I never ran while pregnant but I would walk 4 miles almost everyday until the very end when it hurt too much. I would walk on an incline to burn more calories. I think it is important to stay active even while pregnant. I swear it makes your delivery easier (or so my doctor says).

In addition to my workouts I often take Sterling for a 2 mile walk at night. I do not count this as my exercise for the day but it does burn some additional calories. I do this because to me the hours between 4-7 are the longest part of my day and this gives us something to do we both enjoy and takes up time til dinner:)

I am finally at a point in my life where I am comfortable with my body. I actually weigh less now than I did in High School and before I got pregnant with Sterling. Yes, there are parts of my body that still bother me like my muffin top, my flabby stomach, and the cellulite on my thighs. But I try no to dwell on these things. I think having a child has made me appreciate my body so much more and feel more comfortable in my own skin. Women are all shapes and sizes and most of us are never going to have Giselle’s body no matter how hard we try. It is important to be happy and comfortable with who you are and what God gave you! This is what works for me. I have found a balance between food and exercise that helps me maintain my current weight. Again if you read this whole post, Bravo my friends! This was a really long one!

+ view comments

Leave a Reply

  1. great post Nat! godbless the hours from 4-7. I'm so thankful for the time change so we can spend them outside on walks too. I think sometimes people think skinny girls are just born that way. You have to make daily choices in the right direction and work at it if you want results. But like you said, it's so worth it when you feel healthy and your pants fitting is an amazing bonus!

  2. I love hearing your routine! I don't love working out but Physique 57 is the only thing I don't get tired of. I try to go to Tanya's classes when I can because I actually like to hear her barking at us. But she's preggo with twins so she hasn't been teaching!

  3. Mrs. Lovely says:

    Love this post because you sound normal! This is a realistic approach to fitness and I love the GP quote. She cracks me up! I might have to try the Tracy DVDs, I recently bought some Jillian M ones and she's not very good at giving directions. Thanks for the advice!

  4. Megan says:

    Thank you for this! I am already running and doing personal training, but won't be able to afford the personal training forever. Now I have other options! I will definitely look into these videos.

  5. Hannah says:

    Wonderful post, friend! You have such a good outlook on working out and staying fit. I agree with Mrs. Lovely, you sound so normal. I've been switching all of my workouts lately, yesterday it was DVDs and running, today it is mountain biking.

  6. Great post! I love hearing about others workouts and routines. I am very similar to you in that I work out when I can, but I don't fret when I can't. I was a ballet dancer all my life, but now I just do workout DVDs or yoga classes, but I'm lucky that I have maintained a small figure like you.

    I love Jillian Michael's DVDs so if you ever want to try something new, I highly recommend hers! They kick your butt! I have not tried Tracy's DVDs but I think I'll pick one up soon! My main problem with the DVDs is after you've done them one too many times, it gets soo boring so you gotta switch it up a lot! Love your realistic approach to fitness! šŸ™‚

  7. Sara says:

    You probably inspired a lot of people to get moving with the post because it's totally doable. I agree with you that it is mainly about what you eat. I have gone to the same gym for 5 years and have seen the same people there doing class etc. and some have actually gained weight. Anyway, you look awesome!

  8. Totally agree with you about the eating…makes a huge difference! I've been getting back into running lately – loved reading what works for you!

  9. Christina says:

    great post sister. preach it. the best part of it all is that it's ONE HOUR. i always think about that…one hour of 24 in your entire day. you can totally handle that. šŸ™‚ ps: i love your reference to your nightly booze. i'm in your party boat. omg just wait til i have children. it could be a bottle a night. and you think i'm joking…ha

  10. I love this post! You are perfectly fit in my eyes, and now I understand it took eating right and working out to get there. I also agree- 80% of how we look is what we eat! Exercise is for mental health. šŸ™‚

  11. Great post! I really need to get it together! If I want to see changes, working out is a must for me. I need to get off twitter at night and get to the gym!

  12. I wish I liked to run or was even good at it!! I did spin before I got preggers and loved that. Need to plan to get back into it post-baby!

  13. Andrea says:

    Great post and so true!! I completely agree that it takes cardio and strength training coupled with a healthy diet for the results we want to see! Thanks for posting about the different videos you use, it is always nice to mix things up. Keep up the good work šŸ™‚

  14. Love this post!! It's always interesting to see what other people do for workouts and what works for them. So easy to get in a rut but sounds like you are good at changing it up!!! I am trying to run more in between Barre classes. It is hard to work it all in but so worth it like you said! If you make it a priority on your calendar or day planner then it's just part of your day like going to the grocery store or doing laundry, you know!

  15. Good for you for writing this sweetie! You look fabulous if I dare say šŸ™‚

  16. Tess says:

    It seems like you've got the recipe to life figured out. You really put good foods in your body and workout….so it's no wonder you look the way you do!

    And I'm totally with you on the fact that weight loss comes from the majority of what you put in your mouth. I would say it's almost closer to 92% – but, like you, I need the exercise for my mental health!

  17. Girl, I love that you are so dedicated to this…you are inspiring me to be better (c: I always come up with excuses, but let's face it, when I'm 50 and fat and unhealthy I'm going to be upset that I didn't work harder on my habits and health right now! I definitely need to work on the diet end of it all! Great post, lady!

    P.S. You always look fantastic (c:

  18. Thanks once again for being so candid about your routine! I figured you worked out every day so I'm glad to see it's so realistic! And I've started drinking coconut water (which I thought I would HATE but love!) thanks to your post last week. I figured why not try it once before forming my opinion? thanks for your honesty! Love these posts!

  19. Great post Natalie! I've been doing the P90X ones for some time now but I'm intrigued by yours, got to check them out!
    And yes, running while pushing really burns some serious calories, I guess that's why I still can eat sweets like a mad woman šŸ˜‰

  20. emily says:

    First, happy belated birthday! I am debating whether I should get Metamorphosis — I have Physique 57 now and enjoy it.

  21. 17 Perth says:

    This is such a great post. Running is also my go-to workout….especially love running this time of year. Have to admit–love the jillian michaels workouts too. Thanks for the suggestion for Tracy Anderson videos–have always wondered how they were. I will most likely be trying them soon.

  22. You don't have to be skinny to prove that your workout is giving you better result. Of course, you need some fat to remain insulated from the changing temperature. You just got to keep your body in good shape.

    Celia @LaJollaSportsClub.com