- 29, Venice, Florida
This mom of one (soon to be two!) knows how to deliver a hefty dose of inspiration whenever our mojo is out of wack. Her real, down-to-earth attitude resonates with readers who visit The Wannabe Athlete, reminding us that there’s no need to fit into a cookie-cutter mold of “perfect.” It’s even OK to be a bit – dare we say it – vulnerable. After all, every single healthy step takes us closer to our goals, no matter how big or small.
Pumped-Up Playlist “I actually really like to run to praise and worship music. The meanings and powerful messages of the song get me amped up!”
Motivational Mantra “‘Dare to dream big.’ I’m not a natural athlete or a fast runner, but I’m not afraid to reach for tough things. After all, that’s usually when the best things in life happen.”
Body Bounce-Back “After the birth of my first child, Mini Athlete (13 months), I lost all of my baby weight – about 40 pounds! I fell more in love with running during this time, and even finished two half-marathons before becoming pregnant with baby number two! It wasn’t easy, but now I know that since I did it before, I can do it again.”
This week, the spotlight is on the Best Inspirational Blogs!
- 27, New York City
This marathoner and fitness fan is gearing up to rock the New York City Marathon this year and is ready to take you along for the ride! Her site, Ali on the Run, inspires us to get moving as well. Ali’s energy and positivity is infectious, and her discussions about Crohn’s disease (an inflammatory bowel condition she was diagnosed with at age 7) are honest and educational.
My Motivation Secret “When I work out, I sweat. When I sweat, I feel happy. When was the last time you went to a great indoor cycling class and said, ‘Man, I wish I hadn’t done that?’ Right, never.”
Go-to Breakfast “One-Minute Quaker Oats are so easy to throw on the stove to prepare. I add cinnamon and a few—OK, a handful—of semi-sweet chocolate chips.”
My Home Gym Star “I can’t live without my beloved foam roller. I use it at least twice a day to ease my sore, bratty muscles.”
- 25, San Francisco
Cassey, the blogger behind Blogilates, is all about motivating her readers through any means necessary. “I talk with people through my YouTube, Facebook and Twitter accounts nonstop, and it’s such a big part of who I am.” Her site is a one-stop shop for sweaty workouts, yummy meals and fun giveaways. Sounds like a perfect balance to us.
Favorite Foodie App “I think that writing down what you eat for a little while is a smart idea, and love using MyNetDiary. It helps as you’re learning more about your food. Now I know how many calories an apple has or what 4 oz. of fish looks like, so I can eyeball things and know how my body’s being nourished.”
Online Inspiration “The Blogilates community comes from all over the world, and people are constantly talking about their personal journeys. It’s so fun to make new friendships over the Internet via a common goal – getting fitter in a fun and free way!”
Workout Wonder “I love any routine that makes me really sweat! Well, except for battle ropes…I hate those. All jokes aside, I love Pilates because it helps my posture and firms my abs. I also weight train and do HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts.”
- 28, Charlotte, North Carolina
Caitlin lives the philosophy that “small efforts add up to make a big difference,” and she details those efforts three times a day over on her blog, Healthy Tipping Point. As the founder of Operation Beautiful, a self-esteem movement for young girls taking over the world by Post-Its, we’re confident this new mom will pass on super confidence skills to her son, Henry.
Goal Getter “I think about why I want to accomplish a certain goal. Choosing long-term, realistic goals that are health-focused, rather than appearance-based, keep me motivated. Looking hot and feeling sexy is great, but nothing beats being confident and truly happy.”
Get-Fit Mantra “I love this John Bingham quote: ‘The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.’”
Sweat Solution “I have to mix it up – I get so bored doing the same thing over and over again! My weekly workouts include a little pool and sidewalk time; getting outside feels so refreshing.”
In case you missed it, each Tuesday for the next six weeks, we’re highlighting one category of winners from our Fitterati Blogger Awards! This week, grab your aprons because we’re talking healthy eating blogs.
- 42, Oceanside, New York
For the past four years on her blog, Skinnytaste, Gina has been testing and tasting healthy recipes. To keep things fresh, she doesn’t just focus on dinner. Gina shares slimmed-down options for every occasion (you’re covered at the Fourth of July barbecue, holiday cocktail party and Valentine’s Day date) or time of day. Readers can’t get enough of her recipes—check out Pinterest for proof.
Portion control trick “I fill my plate with a salad, which leaves less room for more calorie-dense protein and carbohydrates. My plate never looks empty, so I never feel deprived.”
My healthy indulgence “Plain baked or grilled bananas taste just like bananas foster without all of the butter! For a treat, serve them with a scoop of frozen yogurt.”
Favorite fat-cutting tip “Greek yogurt makes a great swap for mayonnaise in salad dressings, spreads and dips. Try it in my lightened-up tzatziki.”
More than 400 blogs were submitted for consideration and after nearly 19,000 votes, 12 winners rose to the top to be part of the FITNESS Fitterati Blogger Awards. Read about them beginning on page 26 of our July/August issue (on newsstands today!) and visit The Fit Stop on Tuesdays, beginning today, to learn even more about the winners. We’ll be highlighting one category each week. First up: Healthy Eating Blogs!
- 29, West Des Moines, Iowa
Kristin lives by the mantra “eat well, run often, travel far” and chronicles her adventures doing all three on her blog Iowa Girl Eats. From Pinterest-perfect round-ups to crowd-pleasing dinners, she keeps readers entertained—and inspired—day after day. Her current quest: To help her meat-loving husband, Ben, go vegetarian for 10 days! Can she do it? We’ll stay tuned!
My kitchen MVP “For everything from chopping and grating veggies to blending soups and even making homemade nut butters, I turn to my Cusinart 14-Cup Food Processor. The fact that it’s dishwasher-safe is a huge bonus!”
Quick-fix weeknight meal trick “Every Saturday or Sunday, I take a couple hours to meal plan, grocery shop and prepare anything I can ahead of time, like assembling casseroles and mixing sauces or marinades.”
Sanity-saving tip “I think it’s healthy to spoil yourself with a gooey brownie or a muffin as big as your head every now and again. Willpower is not infinite, and I find that occasionally treating myself ‘resets’ my resolve to make healthy eating choices the rest of the time.”
Inspiration can come in all sorts of packages, but the judges for the Fitterati Blogger Awards were still a bit floored when we discovered that one of the blogs leading the pack was maintained by a 16 year-old runner from Georgia. While the official rules prevented us from naming Danielle Lullie, creator of the Pinterest-like Tumblr blog Just Do It Then Do It Again, as an official Fitterati winner, we were more than happy give her an Honorable Mention…and get to know her a little bit better.
Brace yourself, FITNESS readers. You’re about to remember what it’s like to have raw motivation and a fresh belief in yourself.
Q: What’s your blog about?
DL: Just Do It Then Do It Again is full of motivational quotes and pictures for everyone. It represents hard work, not giving up, reaching your goals, running faster and a lot more.
Q: How do you think your blog stands out from other blogs?
DL: I think my fitness blog stands out from other blogs because it doesn’t focus on my life and my accomplishments. It’s there solely to motivate other people and myself.
Q: What is your fitness mantra/motto?
DL: My favorite one would have to be “I’m gonna show you how great I am,” by the true definition of a champion, Muhammad Ali. I also love how Lance Armstrong says we have two choices in life: Give up or fight like hell. Read more