Author: ckiron

21 Day Whole Food, New You Challenge

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Happy Monday! I am so excited to start my 21 Day, Whole Food, New You Challenge.  It will start this weekend, August 1st and I welcome anyone to join in on the challenge.

My hubby and I are going on our 10 year anniversary trip the end of August and I need to clean up my eating habits and get my abs back before I set foot in a bikini.  I’ve been a little lax this summer with my eating habits and it shows.

They say it takes 21 Days to make or break a habit so that’s why the challenge is 21 dayS.  I need to break some bad habits like so MANY Splenda’s in my coffee and in fact, I drink WAY TOO MUCH COFFEE.  On top of that, I’ve been nibbling all summer long on little things here and there instead of eating real meals.  Chips, pretzels, crackers and things of the like are not meals, just empty calories.  Then there is my love for wine…that too needs to be reduced.  I’m sure you can already think of a few of the things that are on my TOP 10 List for the challenge.

If you’re interested in doing it with me, this is all you need to do.  Email or message me that you’d like to join the 21 Day, Whole Food, New You Challenge.  I will add you to our FB group.  Then think of ten things you want to accomplish during your 21 day challenge.  You will have all of this week to think about them.  Saturday, August 1st, we launch the challenge with a Monday being the official beginning of the 21 day challenge.  Saturday and Sunday can be your prep days as far as food goes, etc.

I am excited to test my will power and have the support from some of my friends on this journey who are partaking with me. I hope you join us on the challenge too. Last, here’s my Top 10 List.

1. NO WINE and no whining. LOL.
– As in anything I put in my mouth. This includes coffee, seasonings, meat, fruit, veggies, etc.  No pretzels, crackers, chips or processed foods of any sort. And no protein shakes.
3. Drink WATER. Minimum of 64 ounces a day.
4. No artificial sweeteners
5. No grains for carbs, only rice, quinoa, potatoes or other veggies that are considered a starchy carb.
6. Reduce my coffee intake to 1-2 cups a day.
7. Do abs every morning. Do glute exercises every evening.
8. Make out my Happy list. List one thing a day I am grateful for that happened that day.
9. Find time for me at least 15 minutes a day to read, meditate, or to just sit in peace and quiet.
10. Sleep a minimum of 7 hours a night.

Have a great week!

940 Saturdays

940 saturdays

What an impactful quote that really sends home the message of spending time with your children.  I stumbled across this quote two years ago on Pinterest and it made a profound impact on me.  I never really thought much about my time with my children.  I mean, 18 years is a long time before they go off to college; but once it was put into perspective such as this quote above, the amount of weekends I get to spend with them takes on a whole new meaning.

Today was a wonderful Saturday and I reveled in every moment of it.  Addie went to her first “real” Farmers Market.  She was so excited and in fact, talked about it all week.
“Mom, we’re going to the MARKET this weekend?”,  she would ask. “Yes baby,” I would reply.  It was so much fun to show her different types of vegetables and allow her to pick out the one’s she wanted to purchase.  We sampled homemade bread, picked out homegrown flowers and at the end, she got her face painted.

Katie went along for the ride and did so good considering she is only 9 months old.  She enjoyed “people watching” from her stroller and at the end she watched Addie get her face painted and squealed with excitement.  It is so adorable the bond these two already have.  Katie worships her big sister and Addie is so good with her.  She loves her little sister and helps her in any way she can…sometimes too helpful. LOL.

In our crazy fast paced life, it is so important to stop and reevaluate our priorities.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of soccer games, swim meets, football, baseball or our own personal goals such as working out or golf for yourself.  If you have children, make time for them, one on one, quality time where they can be children and explore.  You will create meaningful, wonderful memories for all of you that will last a lifetime.

Weekend Getaways with the Spouse – A Must!


I often hear that once you have children, finding the time to do a weekend getaway with your spouse is difficult if not outright impossible & I’m learning first hand that it can be challenging. However, it’s a must,  a must on many levels. When my husband and I got married 9 1/2 years ago, we vowed to do a weekend getaway every six months and only once have we not been able to do so.

It’s so important to make time to reconnect. With a 4 year old and an almost 9 month old now, our lives at home are centered around them and work. And once we do have some time to ourselves we are both so tired that sleep is the most important thing on the agenda.

So here we are this July 4th weekend doing a husband & wife trip to Las Vegas & staying at my favorite hotel, the Encore. The kids are spending time with my parents and they are loving every minute of it. I love that my husband and I are keeping our promise to each other to do these weekend getaways.

I often hear from some of my friends who are now divorced, that through the years their once romantic relationship turned into a roommate sort of arrangement where they passed each other in the hallway going to and fro.  That can happen in ANY marriage and to keep the flame sparked, time away from children, responsibilities and any other “distraction” helps to remind us of why and who we fell in love with.

I love my two girls and leaving a 9 month old for 3 nights is tough but I am a better mom and wife doing so.  I want them to see the love my husband and I have for each other; not a stale, wilting relationship.

So what’s on the agenda this weekend here in Vegas?  Drinks by the pool, a good book, good dinners at nice restaurants and a show or two.  Heck,  I may even sleep past 6am!




The Time Is Now

Now is a good time quote

Happy Monday!

If anyone personally knows me, I usually have around 50 things going on at once.  I am a multi-tasker, a “TO DO-ER” and then some.  I love having my plate “full” and thrive under pressure.  The problem is, nowadays, my “To Do” list has become quite long. Eek! Too long and goals that really mean a lot to me are getting lost in my sea of things I want to accomplish.

So, NOW is my good time.  This week, in honor of Independence Day which is this Saturday, I am whittling out the “distractions” as I call it and honing in on my core goals.  I am becoming the “goal-getter” and independent lion that I am known for.  LOL.

I already know that my ckiron website, blog and taking care of me & my family are top priority.   I also want to get published this year and in more than just fitness.  I’d like to submit before and afters of our home that we renovated, Addie’s 3rd birthday party (fit for a Sweet 16 or a graduation party & an OMG, what were you thinking sort of thing when you did it?) & my own personal before and afters from my post-baby body to my bikini-ready, photo shoot physique.

I am a giver and givers self-sacrifice.  I vowed in 2015 that I would keep my core goals on the forefront and not let other peoples goals get in the way; but once again, I am back to my old habits and have been setting aside things I really want to do to help someone accomplish their goals.

I’m glad I’m realizing it at the end of June and not the end of December. Ha!  That would only have meant another year wasted.  I love my life but prioritizing is hard for me.  I want it ALL to be first on my list and it can’t be. Anyone else have this problem?!

Happy Monday,


Day 1 Shoot Complete…But Wait!


(Night shot at the end of Day 1 of shooting)

What a crazy, fast paced day of shooting it has been! I woke up at 6:15 am after a little less than 6 1/2 hours of sleep from the night before. NOT recommended for future shoots or those contemplating booking a photo shoot. But the night before, Paul was back in full force and it’s kind of hard not to hang out with everyone. 🙂

Once up, I quickly showered, and I mean quickly, as it was FREEZING! I must say, trying to shave your legs when the water is ice cold is crazy.  Mute point. Lol.

Anyway, shower done. Up next COFFEE! If anyone knows me, they know I can’t function without my morning cup of coffee. I quickly rushed downstairs to the lounge an ordered a coffee. A cappuccino was delivered instead. “Oh well”, I said,  and downed the thing in 5 seconds flat! Then 2 more! Seriously? Yep.

I then texted my trainer, Steven, to see if he could FaceTime with me. I wanted him to see my abs, legs & shoulders. I wanted to know if I’m dry enough and how much carb loading he thinks I need to do. HAHA.  If that can even take place here considering the limited food options.

We coordinated a time to talk as Punta Cana is 2 hours ahead of ABQ.  8:00 am my time is what we settled on. Perfect! I can get all of my packing finished for the day and my hubby and I can FaceTime with our girls in the meantime.


(Me Facetiming with NO MAKEUP ON, LOL)

After packing and Facetiming with our girls, I headed to breakfast to meet Dawn, the other model I was shooting with for the day. Dawn is from Ottowa and is in Punta Cana wit her boyfriend, Dave. She is a SAF athlete and has shot with Paul many times.  We loaded up on some carbs and chatted about our family & our experience so far in Punta Cana.  FYI, Dawn has 5 boys! Crazy and she looks amazing!


After breakfast (and while walking to get my makeup done) I Facetimed with Steven. FYI, you always want to be early for a shoot–never late! Steven & I reviewed my eating “game plan” for the day and while talking to him I got to see my other trainer Alex and one of my good friends, Shanda.  Shanda was recently published in Strong Magazine & also is a Figure Pro, for those of you in the fitness competition arena.  It felt so good to see all of them and it gave me the boost of energy & confidence to get me ready for the day!

Once in the hotel room where makeup and hair was scheduled, Monica got to work. She is the teenie, tiny makeup artist I mentioned in a prior post.  She’s so cute!  Her comment was that Paul would make our hair very messy when not shooting fitness photos so be prepared. If you look at his photography, that is kind of his signature look. Love it!


(Monica finished with eye makeup – up next hair)

We finished up around 10:15 am and headed over to Paul’s room. Once in his room, we signed our consent form and then got to work showing him outfits for him to pick from. As a reminder, I brought outfits I felt comfortable shooting in & felt looked good on me. It’s now up to him to do his magic as I know he’s the expert and can work his magic.

One more note, when shooting off location, the location for photographs become anywhere.  In other words, it can me a hotel lobby, hotel room, outside by the beach, in the village, etc.  It is not an in-studio photo shoot so you need to be flexible with where you shoot and know that some of the best shots come from odd places.  🙂

Dawn shot first, which was fine with me as I wanted to watch and get a feel for his way of doing things. Then it was my turn.  Paul was awesome at making me feel comfortable.  We started outside on the balcony to get the natural light and then shot inside up against a wall. The photos came out amazing.  And I will post some here soon.

We then headed downstairs for lunch.  He wanted to shoot us on the beach but needed to wait for the sun to go down some.  We met up with the “crew” at the snack bar hut by the beach.  We sat and ate lunch (what food I could eat) and just talked and laughed.  It was great to relax a bit with everyone.


Around 3:00 pm we decided to get our fitness shooting over with for Strong Magazine.  Dawn, Sarah, Tanya, Liz, Shannon and myself, along with Paul, Monica and my husband headed to the village.  Paul wanted to shoot us running in the streets of Punta Cana.

I must say it was a bit scary at first.  A group of fit women in the streets of a not so nice area with many natives around was nerve racking.  At one point, one of the girls commented that a guy had a machete.  We quickly got the shots we needed and got out of there!

We then headed back to the resort where Paul shot us running on the beach – which was a blast.  He also got a few “piggy back” photos of us goofing off.  FUN.   Once we finished, Dawn and I got our swimsuits on for night shooting on the beach.

I shot in a metal swimsuit by Sauvage Swimwear.  The swimsuit is soooo cool and well, I’m going to have to figure out a way to make this suit into something I would wear again.  As of now, it’s just a metal top.  You will see what I mean in the photos. Ummm, it’s not something I could wear to the country club pool…that’s for sure!

Shooting on the beach is messy.  You get sand everywhere, the water is COLD and the current can be rough.  All part of getting a good shot though and you just have to suck it up.  No complaining on my part.  I thought it was awesome!

Paul asked if Dawn and I could shoot on Wednesday morning as well.  He wanted to get some more fitness shots and felt we ran out of time today.  I said YES!!  Why wouldn’t I? If the publisher of a magazine and the one and only, PAUL BUCETA, asks if you want to shoot some more, you can’t say no!

It just meant eating clean ONE MORE NIGHT as Wednesday at 1pm John and I have to leave back to the states.  We are going to the Masters golf tournament.

We still ended the night popping open a bottle of champagne and toasting to good times and new friends on the beach. YUM!!

“Looks”, Outfits, Photos & Photography



So tomorrow is the big day. 8:00 am is call time for hair & makeup. I am so excited and nervous all wrapped up in one. I am currently chugging 160 ounces of water with a cut off time of 5:00 pm. Then, no more. I will elaborate more in another post about diet man ipulation for shooting but for now I’m going to focus on the topics above.

So when I was asked to do this shoot, we were told to bring outfits to create 4 looks. Fitness, bikini, lingerie and whatever else. The tough part is deciding what to bring and what looks I want. Do I shoot lingerie? I’m a now 43 year old mom with two kids, a hubby who is with a BIG practice and a child that’s about to start private school in the fall.  What to do? Well first and foremost, I’ve learned to include my husband in all of the decision making process.  So, 3-4 outfits later from Agent Provacateur, I think you know his response.

So swimwear…what should I bring? Well, we will be in an exotic location so the suits need to be sexy & exotic. No Victoria’s Secret or suits that can be found at your local pool. I have 3 favorite sites. Beach Bunny Swimwear, Southbeachsuits swimsuits & Sauvage Swimwear. Beach Bunny has an amazing assortment of sexy suits. Sauvage does too and I hope Paul chooses the metal suit for me to shoot in.  And Southbeachsuits swimwear has everything and I could spend days at that site looking through them all.

The key to all of this is bring as MANY outfits for the PHOTOGRAPHER to choose from. I feel if you are shooting with a very well known photographer who knows what he is doing, let him put together the outfits. He or she knows what looks best in front of the camera. Just make sure all of the outfits you bring look great on you, compliment your physique and that you feel comfortable shooting in.

Next, pack everything in zip loc  bags with your name on them and bring it in a carry on suitcase or backpack  if traveling by plane. I brought my Lululemon large backpack (easier on the back) even when it weighs 16 pounds. Notes about zip lock bags -so nothing spills or ruins the outfits. And carry it On the plane in case your luggage is lost. See example above.

Invest in professional hair & makeup. Day makeup is completely different from photo shoot makeup. Here in Punta Cana, we have the adorable teenie tiny Monica Kalra.  But don’t let her 80 pound self fool you. She’s the BOMB!

Last, I really feel the key to a good shoot is to go in with NO EXPECTATIONS about anything. Be flexible about outfits, looks, types of photos (as long as it stays within your core values) and try fun things. You hired the photographer because you value his work. Respect that.

More to come tomorrow! Night, night.



Day 1 Punta Cana Invitational Shoot


Day one in Punta Cana:

What beautiful skies and sandy beaches to wake up to. A far cry from Albuquerque. We got in late last night and met up with everyone at dinner. What a fun bunch of people and NICE. You never know in the fitness industry how other women will act towards you. It’s sad but many aren’t as welcoming if they feel threatened or are one of those who constantly compares herself to others. But here, it’s a fun mix of great women. And men–Paul, my hubby and one other. Whew!

Elsa & Yasmine shot on Saturday and are sisters from Houston. They brought their styling assistant Kim along who is really nice. Love the Texas accents!

Also here is Monica, our tiny makeup artist, Tanya, Dawn, Liz, Sarah, who I met at Lori Harder’s Bliss Project & Shannon who is from New York. Shannon just found out some great news.  I wish I could share but you will soon find out.

So after meeting everyone & chatting, we all moved over to the outside sports bar and hung out for a little while. It was great to talk with everyone and find out where they all were from & their background. I must say it was a little intimidating to hear all of them have shot with Paul before & numerous times. As for me, NEVER! What an honor to be asked on this invitation only trip but at the same time, I’m feeling the pressure now!

This morning we slept in -awesome since it’s almost non-existent at home with a 5 month old and 3 1/2 year old. We hit the gym mid morning only to find over half of our crew already there. Gotta love it!

The gym is actually great  for a resort gym and the staff trainer was so very helpful and “spotted” us girls while lifting weights, even when we really didn’t need one. Haha. Thank you…I guess?

While we were at the gym Sarah told us about Paul. He has a version of Montezuma’s revenge so he had to cancel shooting for the day and everyone’s scheduled shoot will be pushed back by a day.

LESSON 1: Being flexible is key.  When shooting, things can happen like bad weather, shoots running long, equipment malfunction and even well, getting sick.  If you want to succeed in the fitness industry or be invited back, be flexible.

Am I bummed? Of course.  I was really hoping to shoot and then enjoy Tuesday and Wednesday with my hubby on the beach with some very high caloric drinks, you know the one’s with umbrellas in them.  Plus, trying to cut sodium and water two days back to back is tough.  Oh well.  It’s probably best because I am holding water from traveling and something else… 

After breakfast and the gym, we hit the VIP beach for an hour or so before heading to meet the crew. The VIP beach is designated to those who upgrade their room while staying at the resort . Is it worth it? Not sure yet.  I will let you know.

The day was spent hanging out at the beach and pool.  It was actually great because everyone got to know each other better and goof off.  I must say, the girls Paul chose are DOWN TO EARTH.  All could be divas in their own right but they are true gems. I gathered that Paul doesn’t put up or hang out with the “high maintenance” ones based on the comments from the girls.  Who has time or energy for that?  Right?

We ended the night back at the buffet.  Yes, buffet.  They had limited things we could eat but the guys sure had a field day day with it.  All I can say is Tuesday night, I am sooo devouring the pastries.  J/k.  In all seriousness, salt is my love. Like chips and salsa.  Oh and a margarita with lots of salt!

More to come from Punta Cana tomorrow.  Happy Easter!









Punta Cana Bound



What at a whirlwind these past 46 days have been. It all started with an email mid February from the infamous Paul Buceta,  world renown photographer & publisher of Strong Magazine.  He invited 8 women to join him in the Caribbean for a fun week of shooting and memories.

What an honor to be asked to join him on this wonderful venture! How scary too since it’s 4 months after delivering my second child via c-section at age 42! Holy %#^*!!

First question, CAN I PULL this off?! Really? Body looks like a post baby body  (pics to come showing you what I mean) & I had only been working out less than a month. I forwarded the email invitation from Paul to my husband with no notes. Wait and see what he thinks.  What will he say?!

That night as we lay in bed, he says I received the email you forwarded to me and I think you need to go for it. Ask Steven tomorrow his thoughts about getting you in shape in 46 days. But when opportunity knocks, take it.

And here we are. 46 days later and countless hours spent at the gym–many days, twice a day.  Clean eating and nothing but shear dedication and determination.

I have never worked so hard for something in such a finite amount of time than this…and completely different this go around with my training & nutrition. Sled pushes, Jacob’s ladder, lifting heavy — things I’ve NEVER done. ..all while trusting someone completely from the beginning and not questioning, even when it’s our first time working together.

New diet methods were implemented, things  I was not accustomed   to…like not being so strict. Carbs at night, & fat, lots of good fat and other things too. Fruit? Sure. No problem. Protein shakes even up until the day I left? Absolutely!

I will say I had anxiety about all of it at first considering I was on a time crunch and the end result had to be there! The hardest part was letting go as I am an extreme type A personality and I like to control everything I do.  So for me not to add my own input was tough. Very tough. Giving up control and trusting someone else with my end result stressed me out. But I took a deep breath and said, balls to the walls…all or nothing! Go for it!

So, here I am. Boarding the plane to Punta Cana…literally as I type this. Do I like my end result? Absolutely & I hope you will too.

What I’ve learned is to embrace change and with each child, change happens  some good, some bad. Could I have looked better than I do now if I had added my own input? Nope! I would have done the old “self defeat” as many women do thus jeopardizing the final outcome.

Am I stage ready? Hmmm. Maybe or maybe not. It all would depend on what category I guess I would be entering. Do I have a flawless body? No and I don’t want one because it doesn’t exist; and chasing after one will forever make you unhappy.

What I have learned from this experience is that I weigh more than when I last competed, by 13 pounds. But my derrière is still here, something I lose when I lean out  to compete. I have 6 pack abs, and bigger shoulders, back and arms.

My hubby says my bum is lifted more, which is a good thing meaning he likes my fuller, perkier tush.  And I can fit into all of my skinny clothes.

I look completely different from day one and that’s all that matters. I’m ready to ROCK IT in Punta Cana & most of all have fun!

More posts and photots to come from Punta Cana!! Doors are closed & we are off!