The Couch Potato’s Quick Workout

The Couch Potato’s Quick Workout

Hey friends. We’re unofficially officially naming Coral our go-to fitness expert. If you haven’t read up on what she wrote before, start HERE. Short story: Coral is a mom of two who was sick of not being happy with her body. She didn’t do anything other than start moving…in her home…with nothing special at all. That, and better eating, resulted in the more toned version of her hot self.

Are you feeling lazy and big? Wanna be fit and thinner? Well, duh.

Without further ado, here’s Coral, who will give you the quick, cheap, and easy way to avoid the Jingle Bulge. She’s honest, she’s funny and she’s been in your shoes.

Coral's workout with her son

Tis the season y’all. This is the time of year that we are surrounded by all the good stuff, the parties, the snuggles on the couch watching holiday movies, the baking, the sweets, the booze etc. and it’s also the time leading up to New Year’s resolutions.  So what do we do? We set goals for AFTER the holidays right?  Well hot damn we can just work all this off in January? Oh joy!  Now for me that means I will eat whatever I want, as much as I want, drink all the cocktails and chillax cause I’m going to have all this extra time and energy in the new year. Maybe I’ll even join a gym (Insert massive eye roll). This approach might be great for some.  They might miraculously have surplus time and energy in January. It’s possible I’m sure but look at the mentality behind that. Binge until you are ready to cut it out completely?  Isn’t that a bit like binge drinking & drugging before checking yourself into rehab?  That’s pretty effed up but we’ve all done it.

holiday cookie jar

photo credit: thegardenbuzz via photopin cc

If we want long lasting changes it can’t be seasonal. So I’d like to propose a challenge to end the year. Let’s start moving our asses now.  I’m not implying that we shouldn’t partake in the festivities so don’t get me wrong.  This isn’t an all or nothing cold turkey kind of venture.  There must be balance.  We can totally party and enjoy traditions but just because we’re going to have Christmas cookies and egg nog with Aunt Sally on Saturday doesn’t mean we need to stuff our pie holes with cookies all damn week. We gotta earn it so we can enjoy guilt free. Plan ahead, eat well leading up to those events and get in your workouts.  It’s possible.

Believe it or not there are people out there that love to workout.   I however am most definitely not one of those people.  I still search for excuses and need to try like hell to fight the urge to justify letting myself off the hook so I need to get creative with how I fit it in. Just like you I’m busy, I’m tired, I don’t want to give up time with my family and I need my social life. All of these become more amplified during the holidays. It’s exhausting but I feel totally empowered when I can make it work. Even if I finish a workout at 10:45 at night because I procrastinated all freaking day I still feel like I’ve conquered the world.  So how can you fit a workout in with all this shit going on?

Coral's workout with kids

Got kids?

They make for awesome weights and workout buddies. It’s fun for them and a killer workout for you. I have a pretty light weight (my 10 week old) and a heavy weight (my 6 year old) & it’s pretty easy to incorporate exercise into our play.  At this point rocking my son to sleep is impossible. He wants squats!

family time coral workout

Got a couch?

I’ve been asked how I keep my arms toned.  Well, truth is I work upper body either standing in front of or while camped out on the couch watching the tube and I’ve put in A LOT of hours like that. I kinda feel like a lame ass even admitting that but there are days when I get home from work and just need to sit down and veg so I plunk my ass down with a set of dumbbells and bust out variations of bicep and shoulder moves.

Coral's workout chillax'n timeGot a smart phone?

I know y’all can afford free & I know that y’all can carve out at least 15 minutes of your day to get your heiny moving.  You have got to download the Nike Training Club app. There are tons of options in this app. Seriously tons. There are full workouts for cardio, strength, HIIT etc. with video tutorials on each and every move but when I’m super swamped I’ll look under the “Get Focused” tab to find a 15 minute workout and squeeze that shit in. They are actually pretty intense and although 15 minutes a day might not get you ripped it will keep you in the habit of staying active. You can add in the longer workouts come January when you’ve got all that extra time laying around *wink wink*. Until then get your 15 minutes in before heading out to the next holiday party.

Coral's workout planCoral's workout social lifeThat’s it, guys. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.  So why not start the new year feeling good about the changes you’ve already made eh?  Let everyone else make resolutions while you continue towards your goals.  I mean shit, if you can start this during the holidays you’re already a freaking rock star.


coral signature

Fitness Inspiration for Moms the Quick, Cheap & Easy Way

Fitness Inspiration for Moms the Quick, Cheap & Easy Way

Do you find this to be inspiring or overwhelming?

A lot of us moms look down at our lower stomach pooch (or more – let’s be honest) and dream of the days where we could rock a pair of pants without that ever-present waist roll from leggings, tights, you-choose-your-pant.

Kelly Ripa hasn’t ever been big, per se, but she has had years where she struggled with her weight, whether it was physical or emotional. We’ve all been there at some point, haven’t we? Instead of just letting it go, she did something about it.

You can feel how you want about the always energetic Kelly Ripa but you can’t deny her hard work and determination. No, you can’t. Nope. I won’t hear of it.

Kelly goes to the gym 7 days a week, she has a ton of money, special classes she takes, access to the best foods (and even someone to prepare it if she wants). It hardly seems fair to compare ourselves to someone who has that kind of privilege.

What if I told you that I knew someone with a body JUST as incredible (actually, more healthy-looking), has no access to any high end food, diet plans, trainers and consultants. Oh, and this person has two kids and an aversion to the kitchen. The pics say “PP” which is referring to “postpartum”. Yep, that second baby was JUST born!

Now we’re talkin’!

This is Coral and she is our go-to QUICK, CHEAP and EASY fitness friend. We’re busy, we don’t have gobs of money and, if we’re being truthful, the whole thought of trainers, special plans, babysitters to go to the gym and all that business is just too much some days. Most days. Have I mentioned that Coral DOES NOT like to work out. Thank goodness, someone who gets it.

Coral fitness

via Instagram @coral_forfitngiggles

Follow us on Bloglovin’ to read the upcoming post by Coral which will give you a little inspiration to start your thin-down before the New Year. Wouldn’t you rather just sit on the couch? Perfect. The workout includes the couch.

If you’re not familiar with Bloglovin, it’s a place where you can create a free account to have your favorite websites send you updates via email at the time and frequency you choose. No spam, just goodness. This is where you do it: CLICK RIGHT HERE.

tawsha connell

A Hot Body For Busy People. It’s Simple…Not Easy

A Hot Body For Busy People. It’s Simple…Not Easy

I’d like you all to meet my friend Coral. We’ve known each other since 6th grade. The two of us hadn’t kept in touch much since high school but a few conversations here and there. Social media has shown me just how incredible some of my long-time friends are and I’m so grateful to be brought back together. Coral is one of those people. She has done fitness in a way I’d like to follow. Her approach is so low-stress, the eating/diet makes sense and she doesn’t go all out with fads or gym memberships…AT ALL. Seriously, it seems impossible – at least to me.

I asked Coral if she would share her story. She said yes. We’re so honored and excited to introduce you two in the hopes that you may become close. Please comment at the end of this post and let us know your feelings. –Tawsha

coral before and after fitness

“Getting fit for moms who ain’t got time for that sh*t”  Coral

I honestly can’t pinpoint one particular occurrence that sparked my interest in fitness. I think what did it was an accumulation of things that brought on a realization of how little control I have in my life as a mom, a wife, a career woman etc.  I was lost and started feeling less and less like I had a grip on my life.  I needed something to focus on that only I could control the outcome of.  I needed a challenge that would yield positive results for myself but also positively affect my family so as to avoid the “mommy guilt”. As far as I could tell, I was the one putting food in my face. Who was it manning the controls to my arms and legs?  Yup, me again.  Game on!

coral fresh fruit diet

Diet (As much as I hate that word):

I may be a freak but I love logging my food diary everyday.  I use an app called My Fitness Pal (which I’ll explain a bit in a sec). By logging my food, I’ve learned how to tweak things nutrition-wise to get results while actually nourishing my body. I assure you I eat very well. No low calorie diets, expensive meal replacements, wacky supplements or diet products for this chick.  No suffering just good planning, balance & a few simple tricks up my sleeve.  I don’t feel that I need to deny myself constantly either but there is a better option for basically everything.

coral living room gym


I’m a busy bitch. I just don’t have time to do extreme workouts & I’m not willing to take any more of my already limited time with my munchkins. I spend around 20 to 40 mins with the occasional hour tops on my at home workouts after the kids are in bed. I own a crap load of Jillian Michaels videos, a yoga mat, resistance bands, some dumb bells and my beloved kettle bells. That’s it. Bare bones with no gym membership.

coral my fitness pal spunktastik


This is where shit gets real.  Ever tried to make a life changing long term commitment without telling anyone?  How’d that work out for you?  Seriously, why do you think we get married in front of a group of people? It’s all about support and let me tell you, if people supported divorce as much as they support falling mouth first off the fitness wagon we’d all be a bunch of bitter fools attending a speed dating event.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some seriously awesome supporters in my life but usually they are the ones who are joining in the fight along side me. Those relationships I might add have become stronger in the process.  There is nothing more thrilling than seeing those you love succeed. I was also fortunate to have built a great support system with my “cyber pals” on MFP’s social media. Super geek right? But really it helped to have people cheering me on for making awesome changes in my life (they have access to my daily food & exercise diary) as it was their path as well.  Those women have a special place in my heart.  I just had to find my support system and voice my goals.  If it hasn’t been spoken it doesn’t exist.

coral donuts at work

Avoiding derailment:

I had to try like hell not to get disenchanted early on.  I was beyond excited and frankly most people didn’t give two shits about what I was constantly yammering on about and would much rather I shut up & go out for cocktails instead.  There was no lack of love or a desire to see me fail. They simply weren’t interested or wanted me to enjoy things WITH them and it can be difficult to accept when your loved one turns down what you’re offering. I had to remember that it’s ok to indulge as long as it’s part of the plan.  It’s also ok to decline but good gawd please don’t be the fitness martyr.  I made this colossal freaking mistake initially and I’ve found that it only makes things uncomfortable for everyone & brings on the eye rolls not to mention that it’s wicked disempowering. I made this commitment to be strong not to be the victim of a healthy life.

So I guess this is where I give some super easy tips on what the hell to do first. That’s how this sweet ass lil website works right? I’m no expert by any means but here goes….

Okay then…

coral kettlebell

Tip #1: I swear by kettlebells. It’s how I kicked off this whole mess and I still use them at least a couple days a week.  I marched my booty on down to Marshall’s and spent a whopping $15 bucks on a 10lb cast iron bell that came with, I shit you not, a Kettlebells for Dummies DVD.  So yes I felt super cool at the register. The big selling point is that it’s cardio and strength training in one so essentially you cut your workout time in half. Get one!

coral my fitness pal app

Tip #2: Download the My Fitness Pal (MFP) app on your smart phone for free and even if you don’t want to do it long term, log your food for a couple weeks. It’s not nearly as time consuming as you might think and there is a barcode scanner to make it super simple. If you have a clear visual of your eating habits it’ll make it that much easier to find what you need to eliminate or modify. If you’re still reading and aren’t completely tired of me yet, feel free to send me a request on MFP so you can creep my diary & see how wickedly simple it can be. My user name is “Spunktastik” which perfectly describes my ultimate goal. (Google it) LOL Just send me a little note and mention Organized Chaos.

If you are going to make a change or already have you’re a bad ass and I’m hella proud of you! I’m also right there with you as I change gears from pregnancy fit to finding my postpartum groove. Let’s gooooo!!

coral signature

Reorganizing My Brain For Weight Loss

Reorganizing My Brain For Weight Loss

reorganizing my brain for weight loss

This post is a bit long but it’s broken up into sections so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. You’ll be taking a ride through my mind. No holding back.

Back when I wrote So You’re Calling Me Fat, I was determined to make my way toward health. I’ve done it what seems like 100 times before and quit every time. My quitting doesn’t always happen after a certain number of days, it just comes out of nowhere and when it gets hard, I get hungry, I don’t see quick progress or (insert any other excuse here) happens, I bow out and return to my “normal” eating. The problem: I feel immediate guilt. Not enough to change, though.

I thought this time was going to be different. It was 32 days ago that I, again, committed to being healthy. I didn’t want to make it a crazy plan, just something I could freaking stick to.

In order to pull my focus away from what I’d naturally veer toward (quick fixes, eating plans, etc), I had to take a minute to discover what would work for me. I have a really strong mind and once I put my mind to something, it can turn into an obsession. This goes for wanting a Diet Coke, chocolate, junk food and a Range Rover. Oh wait, whoops, that last part wasn’t relevant. I am obsessed, though. Just FYI.

Getting the Right Mindset:

Why am I doing this? Do I just want to be thin? Is it for health? Like, TRULY for health (not just what sounds good to say out loud) or is it something else?

My body is fairly healthy. I don’t have any major problems and haven’t had to deal with health issues. A lightbulb went off. My body has been functioning normally despite everything I have done to it. My heart continues to beat, my lungs work, my immune system fights sickness and I ignore the fact that I can wake up every day and live. I feed my body crap, I set high expectations and assume it will perform exactly how I want it.

I have started thinking of my body as a friend who would do anything for me. It wants to make me happy, it does things for me that I don’t even recognize. The thing is: I’m ignoring this friend but still expect her to do what I need. This whole time, she hasn’t said much. I continue to hang out with other people (junk food, no exercise) who ruin my reputation (build fat, clog arteries) but always expect that my friend will be there whenever I need her.

That’s not fair of me.

It’s time I started focusing on my friend and finally give her what she needs.

In this case, it’s healthy food for optimal performance, exercise for health and mental clarity and a whole sh*t ton of water to show how much I care.

Recognizing Habits:

I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t want to do what I’d done before because it got me to where I am today. With the exception of Weight Watchers (which I wholeheartedly believe works), nothing gets me (and you) to where we want to be and is realistic to maintain. Period.

So, then, now what?

I needed to recognize my habits.

I went through my kitchen and rearranged everything. I took the snacks and moved them to a different place, I cleared off the kitchen counters, I moved the tempting food in the fridge to the very bottom and put the Diet Coke in our garage fridge.

Every time I’d unknowingly make my way to a snack, I’d be forced to stop. This was clearly a habit I wasn’t aware of. Since the thing I was ready to grab was no longer there, I had given myself a moment to see what I was doing and decide whether or not it was worth the guilt that would follow.

In most cases, the answer was “no“. It wasn’t worth it.

It Only Takes Three Things:

  1. Lots of water
  2. Portion Control
  3. Exercise (no matter what it is)

It All Seems So Easy. Is it?

It all sounds good in writing, doesn’t it? Planning out menus, rearranging the kitchen and throwing out fluffy analogies is simple at the beginning. Of course we all approach our goals with the greatest intentions. We think it will work this time. Buuuuuut… life gets busy which means that we need to cut at least one thing out of our schedule – usually exercise. We get tired which means we snack more or grab something that will “wake us up”. Chocolate comes to mind. Maybe a latte? Insert sugar or billion calories here.

Am I Successful?

I have made bigger changes to life than I was prepared for. What’s most surprising is that I don’t feel resentment toward the whole process. For once. I believe I’m ready. I’ve planned to do this when my head is in the exact right place. I’ve cut out Diet Coke, added in over 100oz of water a day, cut my portions (and drink water through my meals), eliminated most sugar and cut out all fast food.

These things are a HUGE change in my life. It’s extremely uncomfortable and requires constant attention to every move I make.

Complete Honesty and Vulnerability (and it makes my stomach turn):

When I made the decision to FINALLY make changes, I weighed 190 pounds. Writing that down makes me want to barf. If I don’t, it’s just another thing I’m hiding. It will allow me to go right back and pretend like all is okay. It’s not. I drank about 4-6 Diet Cokes a day, would eat fast food no less than 4 times a week and snacked on sugary things by the massive handfuls.

Inner monologue: Please let this be smart of me to post right now rather than something that comes back to bite me. I have to just keep typing and not hit the delete button. Keep going…keep going…

Chin up. Shoulders back. Forward momentum.

After 32 days of completely changing my eating habits, taking walks (not even consistently) and believing in myself, I am proud to say that I have lost 17 pounds and am fitting into a pair of my old favorite jeans. Each day, I’m getting closer to my designer jeans that have been sitting in my closet for 6 years. Even then, I  only wore them for two years. All of this is really new to me.

I’ve still got a long way to go but I can look at myself and be happy knowing that I’m not giving up, that I’m only getting better and that I can see changes that make me smile. My inner Tawsha is slowly but surely emerging.

Sounds silly but it’s true. I’m not chubby and insecure on the inside.

Because I’m OCD in many ways, having my inner Tawsha and outer Tawsha match makes me feel organized.

So, what’s your story?

tawsha connell

So, you’re calling me fat?

So, you’re calling me fat?

tawsha | organizedCHAOSonline

It takes practice taking a “thin” selfie

Hi, I’m Tawsha and I do things in extremes.

Group: “Hi Tawsha“.

I’m not quite sure where to begin with this post because it goes so far back.

Summary: I’ve always been a fit and active person. Until adult hood. Once I was out of organized sports, I would either spend all my time doing nothing in the way of exercise or I’d be obsessively teaching classes, choreographing for fitness and figure competitors and tearing it up at boot camp class. It’s a little crazy. My body has got be like, “WTF Tawsha?”

In the past 5 years, any sort of exercise has been a struggle and painful due to my back and sciatica (the story is here).

Finally, after all this time, I decided to bite the bullet and go to the doctor for one purpose: Health. I didn’t want to dilly dally. I told the lady making the appointment that I needed to get a grip, that I wasn’t sure where my health stood and that I was tired of hiding from it. I’m not sure she was ready for an ‘Oprah moment’ during that brief convo but I tend to over share most of the time. I couldn’t help it. All or nothing is basically how I roll.

I got into the doctor fairly quickly and sat down with him to talk about my health history, my habits, how I tend to obsess or not at all and that I needed to hear from him what my next steps would be.

After a few tests, I found out that I’m healthy. Like, really healthy. My body has been a champion and has fought hard to keep my levels even, my blood sugar normal and my blood pressure normal. I don’t know how this is even possible (thinking back to my fast food meal not more than 1 hour prior to my appointment about being out of control).

The doctor’s answer: You need to lose weight.

tawsha | organizedchaosonline | family

When I can, I hide behind someone in a picture.

I know this. I’ve known this since I started gaining weight. In all of my son’s 5 years of life, he’s known his mom to be soft and squishy. Lovely.

I guess I just kept telling myself that I was being the hardest on me. That others saw me differently. That’s what the people around me say, at least. “You look fine.” “You’re not fat.” “You’re overreacting.” When I mention my weight to people around me, I’m not fishing for compliments, I’m genuinely concerned. I always heard what would ease my mind. It’s like giving drugs to an addict.

It’s nobody’s fault but my own.

To take the drama down a notch; I’m not massively obese but I am 55-60 pounds more than I need to be which offers the wonderful benefits of a shorter life span, higher insurance rates and a side of insecurity. The doctor asked me where I saw my “healthy range” and I responded with a dress size. “I’m healthiest at a 6”. The number on the scale game is an evil one and I can’t get involved in that bid’niss. Let’s be real. I want to fit back into my cute jeans and not wear 4 layers of clothing in order to cover my arms, stomach and any other unflattering area.

The one thing my doctor told me is that if I could bring my weight down just 20 pounds, I’d extend my life expectancy 7 more years. First of all, ‘JUST 20 POUNDS? Excuse, me, doc? I’m struggling to lose ONE FREAKING POUND.’ However, the life expectancy comment really hit me hard. All I could think about was that I’d get to spend 7 more years with my son. 7 more years with the family I love and doing a job I can’t get enough of. That’s what did it.

So, today, as I sit and write this blog, I’m putting it all out there. The good, the bad and the ugly.

tawsha | organizedCHAOSonline | heavy pic

How I look today. An honest shot that I wouldn’t let my husband post on Facebook.

This website won’t turn into a fitness or healthy motivation site, it’s a place where I plan to hold myself accountable in front of you. You will call me on my crap. You’ll help me be a better person and, in turn, I hope to offer the same to you.

I don’t know where this is going and I don’t have a major plan for my writing. What I do know is that I’ll keep my personal blogs updated, I’ll share anything I learn and I’ll be extremely open. I do have a plan for weight loss. That’s the good news.

This whole admission is kind of scary because it’s focusing on what I’ve avoided sharing for so long. It’s real and not an empty promise to myself or some fad diet that I think is going to work miracles. Turns out, they don’t. I’ve tried them. ALL of them.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

  • Where do you stand with all of this?
  • Are you interested?
  • Do you want to jump on this journey with me?
  • Are you wondering about anything?
  • Do you have questions?

tawsha connell


Next up: How I plan to reach my goal.

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