A few years ago, my sister ran a half-marathon in Cincinnati. An “expo” is an event the day before a race that, for any lover of fitness or running, is the closest thing to heaven on earth. They have booths and booths of fitness gear, clothing, shoes and food!! To our surprise, Denise Austin was at the Smuckers booth! You were able to meet her so I jumped right in there with my 8 month baby bump!

Here are 5 things I learned from Denise Austin:

5.) Eat an Idaho baked potato.

4.) Find a physical outlet that YOU enjoy. It doesn’t have to be what your friends are doing.(i.e. aerobics, pilates, running) Try new activities and have fun with it! Maybe you would enjoy tennis, lacrosse or dancing. The important thing is to stay moving.

3.) The key to life is MODERATION. Eat right, stay active and enjoy life and family! (note that the first two things will make the third thing much easier) Denise’s family (2 daughters and husband) are an integral part of her life.

2.) Be true to yourself and you’ll always be successful. Not everyone enjoys Denise’s style of teaching however she is who she is and people flock to her energy and passion for life…a good lesson for us all.

1.) You don’t have to be a size 0 to be healthy and beautiful! She truly is a picture of health and vibrance. While we were waiting in line to get a picture, people kept commenting on how wonderful she looked. The first thing I thought when I walked away was that if you aren’t working out to be “skinny”, then workout to look so vibrant. When I’m 54, I hope I look as good as her! (check out her family pictures)

“Why yes Denise. I’ll be in your next DVD!”

Here she was telling me that she thought I was having a boy. (We don’t find out the gender of our babies until they arrive! I ended up having a girl.) However, we got a kick out of ourselves saying that in reality she was saying “GURL. You need to lose some WEIGHT.”  haha!

Doing the Denise Austin pose!