The day I realized that it’s okay to skip the gym was a point of liberation.

Motto for my GymVacation

“If you ain’t been a part of it, at least you got to witness” ~ Drake


Since my competition season, this is a concept I have struggled with as I transitioned into my off season.

However, as of recently, my “no days off” mentality has really taken it’s toll on me. I became cranky, irritable, anxious, and down right angry all the time. Plus, I have began losing precious time from things that are equally if not more important in my life right now than my hours spent in the gym on my workouts.

Curretly, I am in the final stretch of my first semester of graduate school, studying Human Performance, Exercise Physiology,  and have a lot of stressful activities coming up and I want to finish strong. So I decided to take a “so what” attitude for a whole week as it relates to going to the gym. “So what if I don’t wake up at 5am, so what if I don’t drive 20 minutes across town everyday, so what if I don’t lift today, so what if I don’t get so wrapped up into my workouts that I spend three hours in the gym, so what if I don’t count my macros, or prep my meals the night before, etc.”

I have to tell myself these things because I have had to come to grips with being ok with taking a break so that I can focus on my studies 150% over the next couple of weeks until the semester break!

Is it an easy choice, yes and no. Yes, because my body is begging for the mental and physical break from the anxiety of keeping up with my training and dieting, and getting behind on my studies, that it has lead  to numerous stress induced binges. No, because the mere act of NOT working out scares me, so to counterbalance that stressor, despite not going to the gym to lift, I will still do regular bouts of lifting, cardio and yoga at home in the interim.


All in all it’s ok to skip the gym,when you need to reevaluate your priorities in life, especially when you’ve done you’re due diligence and worked so hard to reach your goals. You’ve earned that time to relax and regroup, so when you return, you’ll be stronger than ever!

Today marks one week exactly since I went on my Gym Vacation. I feel more rested, creative and productive, but know it’s time to go back soon. Can’t regress my progress.

So until next time. clean, train dirty, and rest often.



“When you get the courage to climb,  spread your wings,  because child you’re going to fly!” So today marks the start of my 32nd year on the earth!

Ambitions, Dreams and Goals
“I go zero to 100 real quick!”…lol! Just reading over the shower of birthday love and we’ll wishes from friends and family,  I am learning how my life has been a rapid fire lighting bolt of goal digging and dream chasing. Not a bad thing, just that it doesn’t go unnoticed.


My physical fitness level over the past year has sky rocketed. Half marathons,  full marathons,  winning fun runs and figure competitions! I went from “no place” to “first place” in a matter of 12 months!


Living Fit, Travel Light
“I live for the open road,  and the clear blue sky.” Travel is where my most creative being resides. The center of my creative heart, my intuition, the place where God speaks to me.  When I’m alone on the open road or in flight, free of distractions, this is when the seeds of the ideas and ambitions that are later manifested in my life are planted. I have found myself on this particular travel day to be very emotional,  with intermitent bouts of crying. Moments of joy and anxiety abound.  I haven’t traveled the friendly skies in over a year and a half,  and I’ve never been as fit as I am to date, plus all of this is taking place on my birthday.   So much has changed about my approach to travel,  my diet, the way I pack and prepare for a trip. When I worked as a travel nurse, I gained so much weight,  eating “conveniently” even when I thought it was healthy. I have always stayed active,  but the diet was too excessive that my physical activity level just wasn’t keeping up. Nowadays, to over indulge on food, whether healthy or unhealthy makes me nauseous.  I have found myself overwhelmed with emotions today because I have a whole new outlook my life now than in the past 30 plus years and I’m not looking back.


Calm in the Storm

“If you want to live a life above the clouds,  you have to have courage fly” I can remember my first introduction to the power of flight,  as a little girl, my grandfather’s favorite pass time to share with us was to park outside the airport and watch the planes take off. Oh if only my grandpa could see his baby girl now. ..can’t keep me out of the clouds! It’s no wonder I’m also the offspring of an air force veteran.  I still watch in awe when waiting in airport terminals for my flights, as other airplanes parade around the landing strip in preparation for their turn to stretch their wings and fly!


With flying high comes Turbulence. I once listened to a sermon from the profound TDJakes where he made the following analogy. “The devil doesn’t mess with you when you sit still, with your mouth shut, setting for less than your worth, but soon as you start climbing up, by your hands and feet and speaking words of faith, that’s when the enemy comes against you.”
Along this journey,  I’ve run across many set backs, distractors, commentators,  haters, and just down right devils.  But in sticking close to my small circle of people who care about my success the most,  I’ve overcome the traps and turbulence with grace and continue to live a life above the clouds, all because I choose not to care what people think of me.


As the saying goes,  “you must be doing something right if people are talking about you” Well I know I am,  because I’m living fit and loving it!


Grace for the Journey
“Live for today,  and ponder tomorrow,  but never ever look back”
Today I just touched down in the magnificent city of New York! Everything about this place is amazing.  So blessed to have made the contacts that I have made within the city. The founder of the urban obstacle race called City Challenge Race is so graciously hosting me during my stay here. I’m here for work and fun and love it! As a volunteer and intern for the City Challenge Race, I am embarking on a journey I would have never in my dreams imagined.


Also while here I will be able to meet my #yogisister Lara Land, and practice at her studio. Don’t forget,  I am still raising funds to journey with her to India in the spring. You can follow the link below to learn more:

~Until next time…Live in Love…Live Fit~



So many times I’ve had people half heartedly say to me, “I need you to train me!” or “Oh, are you a trainer, well I want to get rid of my stomach,  belly fat, etc…..” the list goes on.  However,  I never entertain such statements because they are empty.  Not that I’m so high and mighty,  but because my time and skills have a value.

Professional Personal Trainer

In this post I have outlined 5 Very Important Steps to gaining the serious attention of a professional personal trainer. These steps are as follows:

1 – Be serious about your health and fitness level and have pre set goals in mind that you desire to attain. I can’t stress this point enough. I will refuse to train you if you’re not serious about the work at hand and making progress.

2 – Approach the trainer with a sincere need for their services. Please don’t waste my time or your own with foolish uneducated banter, hence step number one, Be Serious!

3 – Tell the trainer what your goals are and be specific. Vanity is not a goal, and neither is spot reduction, that’s something you tell a cosmetic surgeon (ie. Liposuction,  tummy tuck,  etc). Professional Personal Trainers are not in the business of “quick fixes” true transformation requires time and hard work!

4 – Have a strong work ethic. I can give you a plan but a willingness to execute the plan,  I can’t give you that, that’s on you.

5 – Have a set a deadline. Goals are the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. Literally a destination or point marking the end of a race. So not only do you need a goal,  you need a deadline for reaching that goal.

So with that said,  I don’t ignore people’s statements like the examples above because I’m being arrogant,  I’m saving space in my schedule for the people that understand my 5 Step Process!


Until next time. …#EatClean…#TrainDirty!



The making of the beloved #CashewMylk! I am so excited to have finally began experimenting with making this! So nutritious and filling! Perfect pre, during, or  post workout sustenance for active people like myself!

Here is my first journey into making cashew mylk in step by step pics! #Enjoy!


For best results use only raw organic ingredients!


Mix and add water…


Wait for it, wait for it….lol! Depending on how thick you prefer your “mylk” you can add more or less water to the straining process. …


Pour and enjoy…..


….or freeze it for a yummy treat that’s better than ice cream or yogurt any day, plus it’s gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan friendly so everyone wins!


Until next time. … Eat Clean and Train Dirty!

“The Clean Nutrition Project is an experimental exploration into the lifestyle of clean, healthy eating by Candice Maria! ”



The art and science of amateur and professional natural bodybuilding is a strenuous and very delicate process.  You get comfortable with being uncomfortable very quickly,   especially if you want to see winning results!


My Competition Coach Winning his Pro Card
My Competition Coach Winning his Pro Card


So today I had my first official athlete’s check in with my friend and now competition coach,  IFPA Pro Natural Bodybuilder, Ryan Davis. The pic above is from his winning show last Fall where he won his pro card in Atlanta.


It is my hope with his help to make just the right adjustments needed to step back on stage in front of a different federation and eventually crush my competition in the natural female bodybuilding circuit. My mantra now and days is #WORKHUSTLEKILL! I saw it on a #DLB video, and took it to heart! She’s one of my favorite professional female bodybuilders and she definitely works hard and kills her competition!


Anyway, back to the story.! I went into my first competition last Fall eyes wide shut, wrong federation, no connections, no trainer,  no coach, which was a little arrogant on my part because I figured,   I knew how to work out and eat right,  how difficult can this really be. Too much pride to ask for a second pair of eyes to monitor my process, needless to say it showed on my presentation on stage and going home with nothing but an “experience” of just showing up. Fast forward to today. ..


This year my mind set has changed as even the best of the best pro’s have coaches,  trainers, nutritionist,  etc to help them prepare.  It’s hard to keep your macros straight,  adjust your own diet, maintain your workout schedule and juggle it all with work, life, and living.  Having that support system of someone dedicated to your process to remind you of the important things,  check on you, keep you focused when you feel like giving up because your carb intake is so low your body starts rebelling,  and your getting cranky! Having someone in your corner,  like a professional fighter in the ring truly matters!


I’m actually pretty excited about the next 30 days, moving forward from the current shape I’m in with the help of my coach can only get better as long as I stay focused and committed to the process! This is definitely a journey I decided to embark on mainly just  for me, a little selfish,  but in the end it makes me selfless! It teaches me  to show myself what I could achieve with precise discipline.   Sometimes I second guess it, get tempted to give in to “being normal” but I look at where I’ve been,  where I am now, and how far I can go and I keep pushing,  I keep food journaling, counting macros, and busting my ass everyday in  the gym to be the best version of Candice I can be. OUTSTANDING!


Some may call it vain,  others may say it’s crazy,  but for me it’s a way of life, a passion,  something I love! My desire is to live my dreams doing what I love as a health and fitness professional and making a comfortable living doing it,  so if I never step outside of my comfort zone,  I will never be seen,  and if I’m never seen,  I will never gain the platform needed to accomplish my dreams and goals in the future! So this journey is one #tobecontinued!


So, my yoga practice isn’t perfect,  sometimes I fall down.  Just like in real life, when you fall, bumps, bruises, and all what matters most is whether or not you get back up!

The following images depict my journey back up after a nasty spill in my practice back in June! The toe is all healed up, but the significance of this accident was that it occurred just a couple of days before I was scheduled to begin my first official job as a yoga teacher! Determined not to postpone my first day on the job, I bandaged that foot and babied my way back to the mat, continuing to practice for hours each day before my first scheduled day of class, even went to class the day before my scheduled class to practice with one of my soon to be colleagues and favorite yoga teacher. Needless to say I taught that first day with a band-aid on my toe and I’m glad that I did. It showed me just how strong I am and how much I love practicing and teaching yoga.

#PracticeStrong #PracticeOften #yogaeverydamnday! #Namaste!






Do you have #FitSwag?

#WhatsBeautiful? #LivingFit! #IWILL and because I live fit everyday I reap awesome rewards beyond just having a great physique and healthy body! I earned FREE Stuff too!


I began back in May of this year participating in an #UnderArmour #Instagram challenge called #SweatADay hosted by #UnderArmour sponsored athlete #ShaunaHarrison, PhD. Each day she posts a challenge workout or exercise related to general strength training, cardio, and/or yoga!

Participants in the challenge mimic and record each days exercise and post their variation of the day’s challenge exercise on their instagram account tagging the challenge host, sponsors, and using the designated #hashtags related to the challenge! I continue to participate in #SweatADay and this month she will be selecting #SweataDayAllStars from the posts of previous challenge winners!

Check out my #SwagBag gear from winning the challenge in May:

UnderArmourWomen Studio Lux Outfit
UA Womens 6 pack socks and Shoes
UA Womens Running Shoes, Duffle Bag, and "Sweat" Band

Through the challenges I have had the opportunity to meet a fun community of like minded fitness enthusiasts like myself and became a winner of the super awesome #UnderArmour #swagbag!

I also became so inspired by the challenges that as a fitness professional myself,  I decided to launch a few of my own and even acquired a challenge sponsorship in the process! See my post about the #LivingFitCityChallenge I’m hosting for an up and coming #UrbanObstacleRace company called #CityChallengeRace

I am giving away FREE Race entries to dedicated challenge participants along with featuring them here on my website as the #IAMaFitnessModel monthly feature! Visit my Fitness Model of the Month to meet last month’s #Instagram challenge winner who will serve as this month’s #ChallengeAmbassador!

TRAINER’S CORNER: Biweekly Update Feb. 2014

So it’s a little later in the week than usual that I am sending this out, but here are your bi-weekly updates:


If you are in the Scale Back Alabama program and not sure how to begin losing the 10 pounds you need to schedule your consult NOW! Contact me at 205-239-7794 to book your appointment!


Also, if you are a member of Anytime Fitness – McCalla and are stuck in a rut with your current workout routine you need to call me NOW as well to set up a fitness consultation so I can help you get back on track!





Don’t miss the opportunity to train with me for a MONTH FREE of CHARGE + Attend all of the shows I am planning to compete in for the 2014 Figure & Fitness Competition Season!

NPC Music City Muscle Novice Figure 2013


Join me for

Gentle Flow Yoga at Lake View Country Club in McCalla

10:00 A.M. Wednesdays starting March 5, 2014

$40/4 Weeks of Class General Admission

Open also to Silver Sneakers Insurance Card Holders FREE of CHARGE

~Please remember to bring your own mat to each class~

flex yoga

Candi’s F.I.T. Camp at A NU U Barber & Beauty Salon in Pelham

Faith – Inspired – Transformation Camp is open to women of ALL ages, shapes, & sizes to come together to discuss nutrition and fitness and discover how to transform their overall health mentally, physically, & spiritually!

The 12 Week Faith Inspired Transformation Program Runs March 9th through May 26th, 2014

Sundays & Mondays at 5:30 PM

Pre-Registration Required

Cost: $240*

*Installment Plan Available

Deadline to Register: March 8th

Contact Candice: 205-239-7794 or to register

Registration Link Coming Soon!

Also this Program is open to Silver Sneakers Insurance Benefit Cardholders for FREE!

do you know her


If you are not receiving your health tips from the State Department, let me know. Below is a summary of the past week’s Health Tips:

1) Are you READY? The ONLY way to be READY is to have a PLAN! Book a Fitness Consult with a Personal Trainer!

Preview of a Sample Workout I put some of my Current Clients’ Through

2) MOVE MORE! Simple enough, get started! Lose the EXCUSES & Find the RESULTS!


3) LOVE YOUR BODY: Give the Gift of HEALTH

Recipe for a Sweet Treat that’s Yummy & Good for You all at the Same Time



*Current Clients I’m Whipping up a Special Batch Just for you guys this week! Happy Heart Day!*

happy valentines

~ Your Trainer ~

Candice Maria


WIN a FREE Month of Personal Training with my Spring 2014 “Share My Journey” Contest. Winners not only receive a FREE Month of Personal Training Sessions with me as I prepare for the NPC & SNBF 2014 Bodybuilding, Figure, Fitness, & Bikini Competition Season, but also winners will be invited to a front row seat to all of my shows during the 2014 Competition Season!  Along with other prizes as well as be featured on my Biweekly Blog Updates as an Ambassador for Wellness!

share your journey

Will you be 1 of 3 lucky winners in 2014!? Winners will be announced in February, Training begins in March!

*3 People will be selected, 1 person for each month of my Preparation Period: March, April, & May for Training!*


*Your story can be about any fitness goal you have. It does not have to relate to bodybuilding, running, or any specific sport I engage in. This is your journey as well as mine! Let’s reach our destinations together!*

share my journey

Contest available for Anytime Fitness-McCalla location ONLY!

Good Luck and Looking forward to YOU joining me on my Journey to the Stage and Beyond!



Blissful Bedtimes with Homemade Yogi Tea


So, yesterday I went bulk herb shopping at my favorite Natural Foods Grocer, The New Manna Grocery in Tuscaloosa. Thanks to my new found journey to becoming a Registered Yoga Teacher, I was introduced to the authentic homemade recipe of the original Yogi Tea by the Yogi Master Guru Yogi Bhajan!

yogi tea

The tea is so rich and soothing it’s perfect to drink everyday, all day, and especially at bedtime, as I found myself to be quite restless this evening with a lot of heavy things on my mind and found the tea to be rather relaxing for my current mood. There is so much more to this tea, the benefits are endless. Yogi tea purifies the blood, lungs and circulatory system. It cleans the liver and has many more unseen benefits.  Here is the batch I made from scratch all by myself minus the added caramel as the box states above, this is the ORIGINAL Yogi tea, thanks to my awesome yoga teacher journey and my awesome teacher, Akasha Ellis for sharing this secret with us:


So what’s in it?


And a little Love & Light from your Personal Trainer Yogi!  You didn’t think I was going to give away the whole secret recipe did you? Visit Recipes at Birmingham Yoga for this and many other Ayurvedic Yogi Healing Recipes! Sweet Dreams!


~ Namaste ~

~ I Am Candice Maria ~