All the changes 2019 brought: Happy New Year

Happy New Year and welcome to 2020!  Well a lot has changed this past year and it’s overdue that I shared on this web site.

In 2019 I changed jobs and closed my personal training business, Total Balance Fitness. In July, I began work for Walker Methodist as a Fitness Specialist in a Senior Living Community, Havenwood of Minnetonka. This felt like a huge transition, because I spent the past decade creating and building Total Balance Fitness. It was a fantastic adventure to run a personal training business. I thrived with so much independence available to me as a contractor and sole proprietor. I found fitness coaching to be a vehicle for inspiring hope, hard work, and personal development in others. Teaching exercise was a natural extension of the educating I had already been doing at schools and in non-profits. In addition, being on my feet all day and lots of face time with people gave me energy. And watching my clients progress: the definition of rewarding.

Being your own boss has many advantages but it lacks external motivators like a manager or teammates. I needed to either bring coworkers around me, or join an existing group. I wanted to be home with my family on the evenings and weekends. My knee was and is literally wearing out, in part due to the high level of exercise required, so I knew something about the physicality of my job had to change. And some things about running a business are just plain hard (yet another new marketing campaign 🧐) or annoying (driving an hour from one client/class to another). Obviously every job has hard and annoying parts but sometimes having new hard and annoying things to do is refreshing!

The hard part about closing Total Balance Fitness has been saying goodbye to the clients I’ve built relationships with over the past decade. I mean, after you spend an hour twice a week with somebody for weeks and months and years, you really know a lot about that person and share a lot about yourself! My clients were/are my friends and I truly and dearly miss you all.

The process of finding this new position at Walker Methodist was long and full of hard decisions. For example, saying no to a job offer that really was pretty good, because I knew it wasn’t quite the right fit. Job seeking is never easy. I received invaluable help from a professional career coach and a resume writer and can happily share their names with anyone seeking help.

Where I landed is a great fit. I absolutely love being home on evenings and weekends. Working with the elderly is such a welcome relief for my body; my knee improved so greatly that I canceled my scheduled knee surgery. My new coworkers and manager respect and value me. The caring atmosphere of an established non-profit is a very refreshing change from the flash and ego in the fitness industry.

Now we begin a new year and a new decade. I have much hope for 2020 and don’t have a lot of specific goals. I want to settle in deeper to where I’ve landed (professionally and personally) and simply share love and joy with those surrounding me. I seek to be available to and vulnerable to my various communities and the wide world. And authentic to and grounded in myself and God. May peace and hope be with you in the new year as well!View More:


7th Annual Lose Your Love Handles

The Seventh Annual Lose Your Love Handles Fitness Challenge finished up recently and our Biggest Loser is Nora Whalen!!

She nailed it with high scores, drinking lots of water, and planking with a ‘monkey’ on her back. These led her to a loss of 1.5 inches, 5 pounds, and now 1.4% less body fat.

Nora plank

Nora says: “You got me started; gonna keep it going and see where it takes me.” Go Nora go!!

Big Winner/Loser!

Our Biggest Loser of the 2018 Summer Sizzle Fitness Challenge is Peg T.! Over the three week contest she lost 7.4 pounds, 5 inches, and reduced body composition by 2.3%. I’m so proud of your hard work, Peg!


Peg holds up her Award

Katie and Joe S. were fierce competitors: Katie was our second place Loser with a loss of 4.4 pounds and 3.75″, and Joe gained the most muscle and reduced body fat significantly.


Katie and Joe with daughters Emily and Mia

Amy A. tied with Peg for Most Points.  Impressive work, you two!  Amy also got the Amazon Award for Determination.  🙂

Nancy L. got an award for the Courage to try Something New.  It is awesome to be brave and work on improving yourself!

Isaac E. finished strong with a loss of 4.8 pounds and 1.25″, and reducing body composition 1.6%.  Good work, Isaac!

Michelle W. completed with a loss of 2″ and 3.6 pounds.  Great job, Michelle!

Suzi N. nailed it with a loss of 2″ and 5.6 pounds.  You go, girl!

Way to go to all Challengers!

Want to become part of the fun??  Scare Off the Pounds fitness challenge starts October 1 – Contact me to schedule your weigh in, starting September 24.

Success in Losing the Love Handles

Lose Your Love Handles 2018 was a smashing success! Thirteen challengers participated in tracking points for planking, HIIT-ing, drinking water, eating vegetables and protein and healthful fats, limiting carbs and sugar, positive mantras, and personal goals. Here is a few of the fabulous successes of the month of February!

  • One expectation of the challenge is to try a new vegetable or new way to prepare a vegetable. Some of the new foods tried included: cauliflower rice, parsnips, roasted carrots, jicama.
  • A new healthy habit that one person tried and the results from it: ”Going to bed at an earlier time, to get enough sleep. Better energy during the day.” Hooray!

    Planking Together

  • The award for Best Plank Photo went to Jessie and Josh, who combined efforts for what looks like a really challenging pose. Impressive!




Our Big Winner and Biggest Loser was Isaac Everhart! Here’s some highlights of an interview with him:

  • Isaac says of the challenge experience:

    Winner: Isaac!

    “Having a regimen centers me.”

  • Were you surprised that you won?
    “I wasn’t really expecting it; I tried not to think about it.”
  • What changed this past month?
    “Daily exercise had kinda fallen out of habit, so that was a big change I made.”
  • Isaac says one thing he did that might help others too:
    “ I try hard not to have a negative self body image no matter what. Thinking of the things on the challenge checklist as ‘scientifically proven actions’ that will literally make you feel better, weight loss aside, helps me.”

Isaac lost 11.6 pounds, 1.5 inches from his waist, and reduced his body composition by 1.1%. Way to go, Isaac!

Lose Your Love Handles 2018

SIXTH ANNUAL Fitness Challenge:  February 4-March 3

$30 to participate, prizes include $100 cash + 4 personal training sessions!

Special offer:  $90 for challenge entry fee + UNLIMITED training during the challenge!  (New clients only)

Want to get moving, eat better, shed pounds, kickstart healthy habits, and have fun doing it with a motivating community?  Then join the Lose Your Love Handles Fitness Challenge!

Scroll down to read more about previous challenges.  Click here for more info.  Weigh ins start January 29 – so contact me now to sign up and schedule your weigh in!

Holiday gift certificates available!

Consider the gift of FITNESS while you’re doing holiday shopping!  For the rest of the year, you can buy a $100 gift certificate to Total Balance Fitness for only $30.  Maybe it’s for that friend who’s often saying, “One of these days, I’ll get in shape.”  Maybe it’s for you, because you want to step your workouts up a bit.  Whoever it’s for, this is a limited time and limited availability offer, so buy now before they are gone!  Also, if you are a current client, you can’t buy this for yourself.  Instead, give it to a friend and invite them to come with you!


The gift certificate can be used for either:  three 30-min personal training sessions, two 45-min personal training sessions, OR four small group training sessions.

Click here to buy online now.  Then I’ll mail you a cute certificate.  Thanks!!



Biggest Loser Jenna!

The Scare Off the Pounds Fitness Challenge, Oct. 1-28, 2017, included 19 hard working contestants and almost unbelievable results from several.

IMG-1789Jenna (left) achieved the title of Biggest Loser with a loss of 12 pounds, 6 inches (from waist, chest, and hips), and a reduction in body composition of 4.3%.  She really nailed it!  Awesome work, girl, I’m SOOOO proud of you!

Amy (right) achieved the title of Biggest Winner with her fabulously high point total of 381.  A perfect score would have been 388.  Wow, that’s hard work!

Points are given for a comprehensive list of healthy lifestyle activities.  If all these are achieved, weight loss is almost inevitable.  Categories that participants tally points in include:  amount of time exercising, daily plank, water intake, servings of healthy fats + proteins + non-starchy vegetables, omitting alcohol + junk food, moderation of carbs, reciting a personal mantra, setting + completing a personal goal, getting enough sleep, talking about goals/successes/failures/attempts, and bonus challenges like trying a new exercise or inviting a friend to exercise with you.

More super high achievers:

Mary won Second Place Big Loser with 3.5″ lost from waist/chest/hips, 5 pounds lost, and a 3% lower body composition.  Way to go, Mary!

Frances lost 7.2 pounds, 1.5″ from waist/chest/hips, and a 2.7% lower body composition.  Wow, Frances!

Jessie lost 4″ from waist/chest/hips, 4.4 pounds, and 1.9% lower body composition. Awesome, Jessie!

Katherine lost 2″ from waist/chest/hips, gained 7.5 pounds muscle (and lost that much fat!), and a 3.3% lower body composition.  Nice job, Katherine!

Kyle lost 4″ from waist + hips and a 2.9% lower body composition.  That means, like Katherine, he replaced fat with muscle.  Go Kyle!

Kristin lost 3.5″ from waist/chest/hips, lost 4.6 pounds, and has  a lower body composition by 1.6%.  Impressive, Kristin!

Suzi lost 2.5″ from waist/chest/hips, lost 2 pounds, and lowered body composition by 2.4%.  So cool, Suzi!

Those were the best stats;  congrats to all participants and thanks for your hard work and commitment!!

IMG-1780We enjoyed a celebratory lunch together at French Meadow Cafe, a great place with lots of healthful food options.  Yum!

Some anonymous feedback from the challengers:

“This was a great start to getting myself back to a place I can run again and are eating healthier. I typically do ok but gave up more carbs which was really effective.”

“Removing alcohol and junk food was the biggest adjustment and it was a great reminder of how much better I feel without those things.”

“My goal was to change my routine and get out of my rut of unhealthy habits. I achieved that, and learned a lot of great new ways to workout in the gym!”

Want in on the fun?  Join us February 2018 for Lose Your Love Handles!

Katie wins Summer Sizzle Fitness challenge

What does it take to be the Biggest Loser of a Total Balance Fitness Challenge?

Well, last June, Katie lost 8.2 pounds; lost 4.25 inches circumference from chest, waist, and hips; and reduced her body composition by 2.7%. (Body composition is a way to measure how lean a person is; it describes the percentages of fat, bone, water and muscle in human bodies.)

Interview with Katie S, July 5, 2017, winner of the Summer Sizzle Fitness Challenge:

Were you surprised that you won?  “Yes, I was surprised I won, I’ve never won before. But, not surprised, because I could see the results the whole time! I’ve never come anywhere near winning this type of thing before.”

What helped you the most?  “I really think it was the diet portion, which didn’t feel restrictive, but still kept me on track. I was never starving. Also, doing training sessions with Amanda during it [the challenge] really amped up the accountability.”

Why did you want to participate?  “I signed up to get back in shape post-baby. Hearing the components of it, it lined up with healthy habits I’d been wanting to form anyway. It seemed sustainable.”

And what do you have to say to anyone else who wants this kind of results:  “Three weeks isn’t that long of a time. You can do it for three weeks and you’ll be in a good spot at the end to go forward!”

Right behind Katie was Mandi with a loss of 4.6 pounds, a loss of 3.5” total from waist, chest, hips, and body composition reduction of 4.8%. Wow!
Third place and fourth place losers were phenomenal as well. Peg (in 3rd) lost 6.4 pounds, 4.5”, and 1.9% body fat. Nora (in 4th) lost 4 pounds, 2.5”, and 3.2% body fat. Nora was our First Place Points Winner.

How are the winners calculated? Each category (inches, pounds, and body composition) are assigned a point value. The person with the most points in each category then is the winner. As you can see, Katie was pretty far ahead in each of the 3 categories. You may notice that Mandi in 2nd place lost 4.6 pounds while Peg in 3rd place lost 6.4 pounds. Mandi got the higher ranking because her body composition changed so dramatically. (Peg’s change of 1.9% was still fabulous though!)

A big Congratulations to all participants!! Fabulous results and hard work to get there.

Total Balance Fitness 21- and 28-day challenges give structure to your eating, exercise, and lifestyle to encourage holistic and sustainable healthy habits.  Join us next October for Scare Off the Pounds!

Memorial Day: Yoga H.I.I.T.

We will have our usual classes Saturday, May 27:
10am Yoga Booty Boot Camp
11am Yoga Slow Flow
at Anytime Fitness on Grand Ave
on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29:
a 9am Yoga Booty Boot Camp or maybe Yoga H.I.I.T.!  One hour.
This one is at Solomon’s Porch, 100 W. 46th Street, Minneapolis.  Go in the glass door, and we will be in the big room at the basement.  Just $20 to drop in, our use your punchcard, or first time free.  No training Monday night.
Please RSVP!  First come first serve, maximum 6 to all classes.  Thanks!!
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Summer Sizzle Fitness Challenge starts soon!

Unknown.jpegSummer Sizzle Fitness Challenge!
May 21-June 10, 2017
$25 to participate * prizes include $100 cash + 4 personal training sessions!

 Want to get moving, eat better, shed pounds, kickstart healthy habits, and have fun doing it with a motivating community? Then join Summer Sizzle Fitness Challenge!

 Weigh-ins start May 14 — Weigh out June 11-17

Includes: -Daily plank challenge – tracking exercise time – nutrition (water, eating more vegetables, including healthy fats, adequate protein intake, less carb/sugar consumption) – adequate sleep, positive self image – sharing your goals & successes – weekly workout challenges (i.e. 100 push-ups/day)

Sign up today to see what you’re made of!

Contact Amanda  to schedule your weigh-in.