At the beginning of the year, Cathy Savage sent out an email to her team members that said, “We all must have VISION to make our goals a reality; however, unless we take ACTION, visions just become dreams.”  She encouraged her team members to create an “action board” with clear, actionable goals, rather than a “vision board” that may be somewhat more vague.

I love the idea of having a health and fitness action board.  Wanna see mine?  😉


That’s me in the middle, from the Fitness New England competition I did in 2012.


I want to make sure I focus on getting up early to fit in my workouts, and spend time every week prepping meals!


In the middle, I have a few cute quotes and a reminder of my long-term fitness goal for this year (more on that at a later point!)


By the way, the postcards on my action board are all from my last Birchbox delivery – how cute, huh?
I really enjoyed putting this together and I can imagine I will add to it as time goes on. I plan to hang it in my office next to my quarterly goals that I framed. I’ll show it to you when I get it all set up.

Have you ever made an action board? What are some of your actionable health and fitness goals?

Writing My Story

new-years-eveHappy New Year! I’m welcoming 2014 with open arms.

We rang in the new year with friends and family at my sister-in-law and her boyfriend’s house. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t have a terrible hangover on New Year’s Day, but I felt great today due to the fact that I only had two drinks last night and chased them with multiple bottles of water! It feels nice to start off 2014 on the right foot 🙂

And today has been super chill. I took a glorious 2-hour nap this afternoon, complete with the dog and cat snuggling on the bed with me. I’m making a batch of Hoppin’ John to ensure this year is a lucky one. And no New Year’s Day in the Philly area would be complete without watching the Mummers’ Parade by a cozy fire.


I also spent a little bit of time defining my quarterly goals and my resolutions for the year. I printed them out and am going to post them in my home office where I can see them often.


Here’s what it says:

Attend Camp Savage in January, 2014

Pay off Target credit card
Plan a mini-getaway with my love for Valentine’s Day

Finish home office redo
Make a winter wreath for our front door

Learn how to knit
Restart my blog as a personal diary

The last goal listed above brings me to my final point — I have rejoined Cathy Savage’s coaching services (!!) and am really excited to tackle some new health & fitness goals in 2014.  She has challenged her clients to “chronicle our year.  12 months, 12 chapters.  Your life story…it’s going to be an amazing odyssey.”  I know this blog has had a lot of starts and stops along the way, but I’m going to use it as my place to record my personal story…even if no one but me reads it but me 😉

And finally, if you would like to download a copy of the little printable I made to write down your own quarterly goals, click here!

Reader request: Cathy Savage Fitness review

Nici recently left such a sweet comment!  She says:

Thanks, Nici!  First off – go check out Nici’s Tumblr page – by the time this posts, I believe she will have completed her first competition!  Head over to give the girl some props!!! Goooo Nici!!!  🙂

And I’m more than happy to answer your questions:

Yes, I am an online “Savage girl.”  And there are a lot of us online, including internationally.  Cathy Savage Fitness is based out of Boston, MA – but the cool thing is that you can stay in touch with everyone so easily through Facebook, emails, etc.

Cathy sends out a group email just about every single day to the team, and I love them!  They are always very motivational in nature – sometimes it’s a link to a great song or video on YouTube, sometimes its inspirational stories about other Savage girls, and sometimes it’s just a little “kick in the ass” kind of message that always seems to come at the right time 🙂

In addition, when you sign up for the services, you are assigned a coach.  My coach is Brook Nicole – check out her website!  She’s freakin’ adorable:

I check in with Brooke every 2 weeks.  Leading up to a competition (from 12 weeks out), I would check in with my coach weekly.  Every week, I’d send Brooke photos of myself and would give her an idea of my meals, my workouts, and any challenges I might be having.  She would then respond back in a day or two with any recommendations for changes to my program.

Also, once a week, Cathy holds “live chat” calls.  They are usually about an hour long, and they are held at 9am Eastern time (so 12 hours later your time in Australia?).   A few days later, the calls are posted on the Cathy Savage Fitness site and you can access them and listen to them at any time – I usually have to do that as I run a work meeting every day at 9:00am that I can’t miss.

It’s hard for me to tell you for sure how personalized the program is, as I haven’t really compared my program with other Savage girls’.  If I were to guess though, I think the basic nutrition and workouts are the same, but certain parts of the program are tweaked according to your specific needs.  For instance, your coach will tell you how many servings of proteins, starches, veggies, fats, etc. to have in a day – and that is based on your check-ins and how you’re progressing week to week.  Or, your coach may have you do an extra workout focused on a trouble area, like your legs or abs or shoulders (for me, it was my quads because my legs were a bit skinny haha).

The nutrtition plan is very flexible!  Like I said, you are told specific portion sizes that are customized for you as far as your proteins, fats, carbs, veggies, and fruits.  You are given a big list of clean foods to choose from, so you can pick what you like from the list.  I had cheat (or treat) meals once a week up until about 4 weeks out from my show.  I never felt deprived and had a TON of energy up until the week of my competition!

My husband definitely benefited from this plan – he lost about 10 pounds in the process just by eating the same way I was!  (lucky guy)  We both cut back on alcohol, too.  He was very supportive throughout the whole process, but I’ll be honest, I felt very lonely in my journey as I was prepping.  It was tough to be so singularly focused on meals and workouts for such a long time.  We rarely had dinner together during my competition prep, only because I was getting home so late from work and the gym and didn’t want to keep him waiting on me 😦

I didn’t take a lot of supplements at all during my training.  I did incorporate BCAA’s on weight training days, and used whey protein powder here and there.  Cathy Savage is also a big supporter of the Isagenix products that I’ve mentioned before on this blog.

And finally, as far as the training is concerned, I think it depends on what you are training for.  For me, I was prepping for a bikini competition, and my training consisted of daily cardio (but not too much cardio), and then body part training.  So one day might be chest & back, one day might be legs & core, and one day is shoulders & arms.  Then I would have one day of “functional” training, which consisted of things like sprints and plyometrics.  Again, your coach would assign you a plan that would work best for you.  My plan consisted of cardio 5 days per week, weight training 4 days per week, and 1 day of functional training.

Overall, I would highly recommend Cathy Savage Fitness to anyone (guy or girl) who is looking to change their physique and do it the healthy way.  They have such a smart, balanced approach to training and nutrition.  Cathy and her team are experts at what they do – you won’t find anyone better, I promise!  And – the motto with CSF is “it’s all about sisterhood.”  It’s so amazing to connect with like-minded women who are such true talents…this has been worth so much to me!

I hope this helps answer some of your questions, Nici!  Best of luck with your competition –  I know you are going to KILL it, girl!!!!!  🙂