Yoga – The Beginning

2015 started out with some interesting twists and turns pertaining to my health.  I managed to keep things under wraps for the most part and only shared what I was going through with a handful of friends, clients and family.  Rather than get into all of the details, I will just say that the worst is behind me now and I am on the road to recovery, Thank Goodness!  During the days that I was home resting, I realized that it was time for me to take action with one of the goals I set for myself for the Year 2015…. Start practicing YOGA.  Over all the years that I have studied Dance, Karate, Bodybuilding, Strength Training and Powerlifting, I have not spent much time taking care of my Mind/Body and stretching out all of the tightness I created.

I have taken a handful of Bikram Yoga classes, which are the classes conducted in the heated studios, as well as some Hatha Yoga at the gym where I work.  So far, I am loving the way I feel.  It is rejuvenating to say the least.  I am more clear, more at peace and more complete.  I will continue to share my experiences, observations, and anecdotes as I see fit.  Thank you for being a part of my journey.




We don’t have bad days

We smile and are courteous to our clients even on the worst of the worst possible days.

We stand on our feet all day long.

We shovel food in our mouths like animals, most of the time cold, out of a tupperware, and usually just standing in the locker room because there is little time for eating.  Most of us live on protein shakes.

We service clients that want to train early in the morning as well as late at night, many times on the same day.

We scramble to do things like grocery shopping and laundry in between appointments on our “light” days, which could be any given day of the week, but most definitely not Saturday (which is when all the weekend warriors want to train).

We work hard to maintain a professional tone throughout our sessions, even when clients tell us very personal things like stories about their spouse, kids, work, etc.

We generally work hard to accommodate our clients’ needs.

We drink a lot of coffee and/or tea to remain alert and focused for our clients.

We do get tired at times.  We are human too.  We like to workout also and love our private time to do that, even when you interrupt us on our own time.

We want you to succeed and accomplish your goals.

We often become emotionally invested in your journey.

We appreciate your “thank yous” and loyalty.

Be nice to your trainer.


My Life

If you looked in my life
And see what I’ve seen…

This song is on the 2nd album Mary J. Blige released in November 1994… I was a Junior in High School and I purchased the cassette tape… and of course put miles of use on my stereo tape player listening to it repeatedly.  This song is particularly special to me.  The lyrics hit me hard at a time in my life when I was dealing with a lot of internal strife, pain, and no outlet.  My family had been ripped apart, flipped on its head, and my heart ached nonstop. I found comfort in blasting music and dancing in my room… Sometimes, I would put on my walkman and just walk up and down the neighborhood streets, praying to God for peace, for a resolution, and for comfort… It wouldn’t come for many years… and I do recall sharply telling people “if you say to me one more time that what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger, I will kick you”… Yea, I had some anger issues.  Now, I listen to this song and feel peace… and gratitude that I had something and somewhere to turn.

It is easy to pass judgment on people, without really knowing what private struggles each is dealing with.  Perhaps being kind, patient and a bit more understanding could go a long way with someone… You just never know.  Hope you enjoy the track.


Be A Leader

Instead of playing “Follow The Leader” what many people play is “Follow The Follower”… Unknowingly.  Don’t be afraid to be different, be bold, be unique, and think for yourself…. Please watch this video just over 1 minute long, from Earl Nightingale, which summarizes exactly what I am talking about:



Who is important to you? Who is your number one?  And does this person know?…. You know what I mean… like the way you know that the sun rises every morning and sets each evening.  (CONFIDENCE)

If you’re not sure, maybe you should take a moment and share your feelings.  All too often people have misunderstandings because they don’t know where they stand with each other. (TRUST)

If only people weren’t afraid to truly express themselves and if only people weren’t so awkward at receiving intense, meaningful, passionate words and expressiveness from each other.  (LOVE)

We live in an age where people hide behind keyboards, laptops and mobile devices and avoid intimacy, hugs, kisses, and sex out of fear….   Stop living in fear and start showing the people who are important to you that they are indeed just that………….




Yesterday was a huge day for one of my Figure clients.  She graced the stage in her blinged-out custom-made bikini and high heels and strutted her chiseled and stunning body  for hundreds to see in her first competition of the season, Atlantic States.  It is perhaps the biggest Regional Level show in the Northeast each year.  I heard there were approximately 450 competitors that participated in the event.  For me, the day was very special for many reasons.  For starters, I was there to provide support for my client, who trained with me for 7 months in preparation for the event.  Secondly, I did the very same show 5 years ago and did very well.  But the most special part of the day, for me, besides what took place on stage, I was reminded how incredibly important it is to have a reliable support system.

I’m sure many of you that compete are nodding your head right now and either smiling because you are fortunate to have great supporters  in your corner…. or maybe you’re sighing and slumping down in your seat because at some point someone let you down or you feel kinda lonely on your pursuit.

My client’s family was at the show from start to finish.  Her younger brother was up before 5 am to drive her to my house to finish up her tan and do her makeup, then he drove her into the city and stayed by her side the entire day.  He spent the extra $50 and got himself a backstage pass just so he could be there for her.  When her parents got there, they saved seats for me and her brother so we could watch together.  It was 4 hours from the time the show started until she actually got onstage.  Of course we all grabbed food together before finals and more people joined the party at the night show.  I appreciated that so much.  I love how close the family is and the number of hours they put in to see her onstage for less than 5 minutes, wow!

It reminded me of when I competed in Team Universe 2009.  My performance and placing was nothing to brag about, but what made that show my absolute favorite was that both my mom, dad, boyfriend at the time and my two best friends were in the audience for finals.  We all went to dinner together and I kept getting really quiet and just stared at everyone at the table.  My parents split when I was young and I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw them sit next to each other at a table.   They were all there for ME.  I felt important and it was great.

FitbyTiana life


It is so refreshing to speak with someone that listens… someone whose eyes are focused intently on yours when you speak and he or she is listening.  You know this person is giving you undivided attention… and of course, you do the same in return.

When you allow a person to finish his or her statement, before you start speaking, even if you disagree 100%, you are showing that person respect and allowing him or her the courtesy of finishing the statement.

Such a basic concept.  So simple.  Something we all learn at an early age… and yet so many people speak over others, call a person and are multi-tasking or you’re having a conversation in person and he or she keeps looking at the cell phone…. how rude!

If we all took the time to LISTEN MORE, we would be much happier… our lives would be richer… and maybe we would actually learn something new!

Teach yourself how to be a better listener… like your life depends on it, because one day, it might.


Be Brave

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”  – Martin Luther  King, Jr.

One of the most common questions I hear is… “Why are you a Personal Trainer if you have a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering?”… My Bronx-girl-gut-instinct response is not very nice and usually crosses my mind as “who the f*&! are you?”… LOL But 99.9% of the time, the verbal response I typically turn to is, “Just because I’m brilliant enough to have a degree in something doesn’t mean that it’s what I want to do.”

My time spent at Binghamton University was very stressful.  I realized early on that Engineering was not what I wanted to do, but I decided to stick it out and give it my all, never giving up, and I fought for that degree.  There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears poured into my coursework and studies that probably could have been spared was I not afraid of doing an extra semester or two away from home to change majors.  The pressure of being labeled a failure by my parents was also something I could not escape.  Worst part was, I put that pressure on myself, not them.

After joining the “real world” and working in the field, I only cemented my hatred for what I was doing even further.  I was fortunate enough to change career paths and move into Commercial Property Management.  It was a great move and I absolutely loved it.  Within a few years, I had moved up in the ladder and increased my income to a nice comfortable place.  Although I enjoyed living a less financially stressful life, I was actually more high-strung than ever.  The job had become one that was around-the-clock.  Nothing was sacred or off limits according to my employer, and the expectations were so high, it was often very difficult to keep up with the fast pace.

The interesting thing to note was that at no time had I ever felt I truly found my calling. No matter where I worked, I was always getting myself into trouble for being so outspoken, opinionated, and somewhat unforgiving for those not as professional, diligent or hard-working as myself.   I also had no problem letting my superiors know when I wanted them to piss off… LOL yes, I have always been known as a rebel that will only conform to survive and receive my salary.  Well, it was time to get off that train.

In the summer of 2012, it came to me like an epiphany… I was driving to the office and suddenly… BOOM!!! Why was I not doing what I loved to do?  FITNESS!!! I had spent over 15 years exercising religiously, competing, and helping others… It was time to really do something with all of my experience and knowledge.  I realized it was time to create a business… but first… a plan.  I spent the next 8 months studying for my Personal Training Certification, got certified, and looked for a job at a gym.  Then in April 2013, I took the leap.  Said goodbye to Corporate America and the suit and high heels…. and dove head first into my new profession.

It was daring… I was brave… and it has not been easy at times… But I will say that I have had more happiness in the last 10 months than I ever have before.  I’m glad I took the leap of faith and absolutely love what I’m doing.

I have difficult days… I also have times when I wonder…. how I will manage? can I stay within my budget? am I going to get any new clients today?  

I am human after all… and I wouldn’t put on a front saying it’s easy and everyone should follow my lead… Absolutely not.  I am fortunate enough to have a great support system… close friends and my family…. and I do not have children to take care of (yet)….

But I will say this… FOLLOW YOUR HEART… Listen to your instincts… and find your happiness.  If you have any room at all in your life, do what you can…. and BE BRAVE.


Kindness Counts

Being kind and polite costs nothing… and it could make a difference in someone’s day.  When you choose to be nice and treat people with courtesy, even when you’re having a bad day or want to rip someone’s head off, you are taking the high road, demonstrating control and patience, and in the end… usually, the day will turn out much better because of your simple choice to smile, bite your tongue or hold the door open for a stranger.  Now, being a native New Yorker, I have come across plenty of people who are rude, selfish, oblivious, or some combination of all three, but I can’t count how many times I did something nice, and received a genuine smile or a “thank you”.  Those moments really make my day.

I’ve heard people refer to this as “Pay it Forward”… I call it just being myself.  So try it.  This is not an exercise to be done in the hopes of someone doing something nice for you in return.  Or for you to post a status on Facebook about how great you are because you performed a random act of kindness and want a pat on the back from your 5000 internet friends (insert sarcasm here).  This is done to exhibit self-control, always taking the high road, showing respect for yourself and to others, and being kind IN GENERAL towards everyone.

The next time you are walking into a restaurant or store, hold the door open for the person behind you, look them in the eye, and smile… it will make you feel good, I guarantee it…  try it.