I’m Back!

…in many ways. First off, I haven’t been blogging. Life’s been busy (less than 3 months until our wedding!), and I haven’t really been doing much since I couldn’t exercise. So I really had no updates.

But…yesterday I ran for the first time in almost 6 months!


A post shared by Patty Rivas (@pattyrivas13) on

My nutritionist didn’t want me to exercise for the past 6 months because when I started working with her, I had all sorts of issues. Certain neurotransmitters like serotonin were off, cortisol was low from constantly being high (marathon training probably didn’t help), my sleep was a mess, which also contributed to the above, and I had a ton of stomach and gut issues. So basically she said to not exercise and give my body a much needed break in order to get everything back in balance.

It was so hard…and I was so jealous of everyone I’d see out there running or posting about their races. Plus, I missed running and working out with my mom! I’ve regularly exercised and ran since 2010, so it was tough.

Last week, she said I can slowly start incorporating it back into my routine IF I made sure to eat 5-6 meals per day. See, lately I haven’t been eating enough. I got into a routine of smoothie for breakfast, lunch, sometimes afternoon smoothie, then dinner. Really not enough, and my weigh-in results lately reflected that.

I have hit a weight loss plateau. I lost 9 lbs., but haven’t budged for over a month. My basal metabolic rate has also gone down, which means I’m burning less calories while just sitting, aka not losing weight. She said it’s extremely important for me to eat more, and drink more water. If I don’t, and start exercising too, I’ll just stay at my plateau.

I need to get over this plateau because my wedding is in less than 3 months!! I obviously want to look my best, and when I started working with my nutritionist, I was the heaviest I’ve ever been. So there is still a lot of work to be done.

Symptoms wise, I’ve never felt better. I am getting the best sleep of my life. I no longer wake up every 1-2 hours every night. I don’t have crazy stomach cramps after some meals. I don’t have heartburn all the time. 

It’s crazy how some things can really affect your body and sleep.

While I’ve never felt better, I still do want to lose weight. I still feel like I have a lot of fat to lose. Ideally, I want to lose another 10-15 lbs. I have been feeling pretty frustrated that I’m stalled BUT I also know it’s my fault. May was crazy with events (birthdays, a wedding, MDW), which means a lot of “treat meals” and a lot of drinking. I need to get all that in check ASAP.


  • Eat 5-6 meals Monday-Friday
  • I have a girls night out planned for Friday, but will avoid beer and go for lighter options, like vodka sodas. As much as I love IPAs, it’s definitely not the best option
  • Aim for as close to 80 oz. of water per day

Let’s do this!

What are your tips for eating frequently throughout the day? It’s easy to forget to eat/drink when you’re working!

What are your favorite healthy-ish drinks to order at the bar?


Follow Reach Your Peak: 


3 Reasons Exercise Programs Fail & How To Overcome Them

It’s February 1st! A new month…a clean slate…

Did you know that a third of those who make New Year’s Resolutions don’t even make it to the end of January? We need to stay strong and committed as a new month rolls in!

Many people make resolutions to be healthier, work out more, etc. So why do they fall off within a month or two? That’s what I wanted to talk about today AND invite you to participate in a FREE 5 day fitness challenge that starts next week, so we can hold each other accountable and motivate each other. I’ll talk about that more in a bit.

Here are 3 reasons why exercise programs fail, and how to overcome them. + a FREE 5 day fitness challenge to re-ignite your goals and motivation! | http://reach-yourpeak.com

Getting to the gym is a hassle

For many people, in the beginning they’re going to the gym every day, and then it starts to taper off. Why? Because getting to the gym might be a hassle. If you’re going after work, you might have to sit in traffic to get there. If you’re going in the morning, you might opt out because you don’t want to lug your work clothes, towel, shampoo, etc. for the post-workout shower. These small annoyances might start leading to, “I’ll just go tomorrow.” Here are a few ways to get back on track:

  • On days you get out of work late, or you wake up not wanting to drive to the gym, do an at-home workout video. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, it is better than nothing, and you’ll feel great. I love Fitness Blender on YouTube for home workouts.
  • Sign up for fitness classes. I’ve been staying consistent with my morning cycling classes because if I cancel I have to pay $20. When you have a commitment, you’re more apt to go. A second idea is to schedule a workout time with a friend…you can’t bail on your friends!
  • Create your own dumbbell workout routine that you can do at home. I wrote more about creating a full-body routine here.

Gym equipment is confusing

Alright so maybe you get to the gym, but then what? There are so many pieces of equipment, how do you know which to use OR if you’re even using them properly? This overload can cause some to feel intimidated and stop going to the gym all-together. Check out the link above on how to create your own routine. You can also use sites like bodybuilding.com that have a ton of workout plans and show how to do each exercise. My advice is to just stick to dumbbells or kettlebells. You can get a great workout with just those pieces of equipment, and oftentimes a BETTER workout than using a machine.

No accountability

If you’re trying to go at this alone, it will get tough at times. Even though I train with my mom, there are days I dread going to the gym or running. And that is even with a workout partner, so I can’t imagine if I didn’t have her! You need people to hold you accountable. Find someone to go to the gym with or run with a few times a week. Tell yourself you can only do X if you go to the gym that day (watch Netflix, get a manicure…whatever you think will work for you!). It doesn’t necessarily have to be a workout buddy either. Tell people about your goals and ask them to check in with you. When you know that people know what you’re working towards, you’re more apt to actually achieve those goals. Which is why my 5 day fitness challenge is perfect for you if you want accountability…we will all be checking in with each other and supporting each other!

So what will this 5 Day Fitness Challenge entail?

  • Daily 15 min. workout videos by me, sent to you for 5 days so you can work out right at home (and you only need dumbbells)!
  • PDF printables of the workouts in case you want to do it at the gym.
  • Instagram hashtag so you can connect with other challenge members and support each other.


  • PRIZES! One lucky winner will win a PlantFusion prize pack with 1 full-size PlantFusion product of their choice (Thanks PlantFusion!). PlantFusion is a plant-based protein powder (which I love) that is perfect for smoothies and post-workout recovery shakes.

So here are the quick details:

WHEN: Feb. 8 – Feb 14

HOW DO I SIGN UP: Click below and enter your email to sign up. I will send you all the details before Feb. 8 so you’re ready to hit the ground running!

Leave a comment below and let me know if you signed up! :)
What do you think is a reason many people “fall off the resolution wagon” come Feb. or March?
What steps do you take to make sure you stay strong and committed?


Follow Reach Your Peak: 


Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Have you ever tried a new workout and a few days later you’re STILL sore?? I started a new plan Monday and still can’t walk right! It’s more focused on time than sets and reps (aka you’re out of breath the whole time), so we’ll see how it goes. I’ll keep you posted!

I haven’t done a link roundup in a few weeks…I got all discombobulated with the holidays so let’s get back into it.

Featured: Apple Cinnamon Blender Waffles (The Lean Green Bean)

How amazing do those look? I have been wanting a waffle maker for a while…I seriously need to get one. This recipe is so simple and quick…perfect for those lazy weekend mornings.

  • 2 Steps To Make Healthy Eating A Reality (Love Live Surf) – Two great tips here. I need to do better with meal prep. Mainly lunches. Do any of you prepare all your meals ahead of time?
  • Hip Hugger Lower Body Burner (Running Escapades) – Definitely need to add this to my routine once I start running more. But anyone can benefit…strong hips = strong core!
  • Italian Chickpea Casserole (Strength & Sunshine) – This looks delicious and like the perfect meatless dish if you’re looking for one. I will be trying this for sure, especially now that Dan’s resolution is to eat healthier/more veggies :)
  • Make Your Gym Habits Stick (Dare You To…) – Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? These tips will help! I always prepare my gym clothes and bag the night before. Even though I’m not a morning exerciser, it’s right by the door so I don’t forget anything in that morning rush, and have it all ready to go for my workout later in the day.
  • Grocery Shopping On A Budget For One (Lake Shore Runner) – I’ve found that now that I’m mainly buying groceries for myself, it’s a totally different experience in terms of weekly budgeting, buying things that won’t go bad, etc. Question: If you live alone or with a roommate, how do you buy salad in the bags and have it not go bad??? Happens to me every week.

How do you prevent your groceries and veggies from going bad? Do you have a weekly grocery budget?


Follow Reach Your Peak:


Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Holy moly…in exactly 2 weeks it is Christmas Eve! I have done like 1% of my Christmas shopping…anyone done already? If so, way to go…I always end up waiting until the last minute.

Today’s featured link is a really cute/nice video…it’s not health or fitness related but it put a smile on my face! Can I get pulled over today and given a present? :)

Featured: Christmas Surprise Traffic Stop

Isn’t that nice? I’m way jealous of the girl who got the iPad…and the girl who got the New Balance sneakers…because, running. 

Here are more links for you to check out today:

  • Holiday Gift Guide: Under $35 (Nutritious Eats) – For those of you who are still shopping like me…and this reminded me I would like a new pair of fleece PJs!
  • Arms on Fire (Running Escapades) – Looking for an upper body workout? Try this one – all you need are dumbbells.
  • Super Simple DIY Medal & Bib Holder (Erica D. House) – I definitely want to make a medal holder. I love this idea.
  • Become A Morning Workout Person (Lake Shore Runner) – This just won’t happen for me, but if you’re making some resolutions, this may help you!
  • Yoga Core Workout (Apples & Arteries) – Definitely trying this 20 minute video today or tomorrow.

How’s your holiday shopping going? Have you treated yourself to anything? I bought some “fiber” mascara from Sephora yesterday to try out :)


Follow Reach Your Peak:


Random Fitness Tips

Happy Friday! Today I just wanted to share 2 fitness tips that have popped into my head in the past few days. Perhaps it will help you out as well.

Tip Number 1:

running in the winter
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know I ran 10 miles on Wednesday and already read this tip. Well, my mom and I needed to run 10 miles, but knew it would be dark out by the time we even started. So we headed to a local college campus (Rutgers) and ran around there. Luckily, Rutgers is big enough that we could run through all the campuses and complete 10 miles. But if you live near a college campus, utilize it! We had no issues with lighting and didn’t have to use our headlamps at all. There should be plenty of well-lit paths, and with students all around you will feel safer than running through unlit streets. Rutgers is about a 30 minute drive for me, but worth it, in my opinion, to be able to run comfortably at night.

Tip Number 2:

Snapchat. (Add me on Snapchat! I’m under pattyrivas13) Now that winter is coming, your motivation may be lacking. Even though my mom and I run together most days, there are some days where we don’t. It’s harder for me to WANT to go run when I’m alone, but in order to check in with each other and motivate the other we send each other “snaps.” Yesterday, she told me she really didn’t want to run our recovery run. So I made sure to snap her while I was running with a funny video, and then she snapped me back later on when she was done running at the gym. Make a deal with a friend to snap each other when you do workout, and that way it will motivate the other. Plus, who doesn’t like getting funny snapchat videos/pictures from friends? :)

How do you stay motivated to continue to run or workout in the winter? Because last winter I did not run at all, and I don’t want to lose fitness this winter!


Follow Reach Your Peak:


Benefits Of Not Training For A Big Race

I’ve been loving not having any races to train for. It has given me the freedom to run when I want, and skip a run when I want. The days I’m not feeling a run, I’m okay with doing something else. In fact, I’ve been wanting to do other workouts since when I AM training for something, it’s hard to get other types of workouts in.

So what have I been doing?

Well, last week I went to play tennis with my sister and I remembered how much I really like it. My parents used to send me to tennis lessons as a kid and I hated it. Now, I wish I had kept up with it…who knows maybe I actually would have been good at tennis :)


Side note: I always wonder, what if there is something I’m really good at but will never know. Like what if I could go to the Olympics for snowboarding or swimming or something? The world will never know…

Anyway, I’ve also gotten back into spinning. I have taken a few classes with a friend, but also make up my own workouts at the gym.


The above picture was from a combo spin + yoga class at Ride + Reflect in Bernardsville, NJ. 45 minutes of spin, 45 minutes of yoga. Loved it!

Here’s my spin playlist I used for my own spin workout that I did yesterday, if you’re interested:

I used to hate spin but actually really like it now. I am on the hunt for an inexpensive bike so I can start riding outside. I’ve written about how I want to do a sprint triathlon later this summer (possibly), so I need a bike for that! I have a mountain bike, but not sure if I can use that?

I’ve also enjoyed going to the gym and getting back into lifting. I’m not following any set plan right now, but have liked doing more interval type workouts using weights. My sister and I did a tough one yesterday, which I will actually share on my YouTube channel later this week – so stay tuned!

Here we are after the workout:


 But I can’t forget about running. I do miss it sometimes, and the other day I just felt the urge to go for a run, even after an hour of lifting. I decided not to wear a watch or anything, and just go with the flow. I ran 2.6 miles and felt amazing despite the heat.


I love those runs where you just feel like you can run forever. I could have kept going but dinner was waiting and it was already 8 pm and I was hungry :)

I think my mom and I will be doing a half marathon in September or October, and we’d also like to do the Philly Half. We are considering doing a spring full marathon but I don’t know how I feel about training in the winter time! I have only done it once for a May half marathon, and it wasn’t bad…but I do prefer training in the summer. We’ll see!

What types of workouts do you do when you’re not running?

Have you done a spring full marathon? Which one? How’d you adjust to running in the winter?


Follow Reach Your Peak:


Running Tour Of My Town

Recently, I saw a blogger give readers a photo tour of her runs in Charleston, SC (jealous much?). I’ve actually meant to do this for a while, and have had these pictures on my computer…I just never posted it. Seeing the snow in the pictures made me grateful it’s summer!

So I live in a tiny little town in New Jersey. The population is a little over 2,500. I’ve lived here me whole life and although sometimes it’s boring living in a town that is 15-30 minutes away from everything (grocery stores, movie theaters, mall), it’s scenic and peaceful.

Okay let’s start! I usually run down Main Street, which runs along the entire length of the town (a little over 2 miles).

These photos are in the “center of town.” There is a coffee shop, a little boutique, and the post office. Also a luxury car dealer…well, “dealer.” They have like 3 Porsche’s out front.



Cocoluxe is the coffee shop and they have the best pastries! A bit pricey but so worth it.

If you keep running past here, you’ll make it to our town pond. Every Miles For Matheny 5K that I’ve done starts here, and many town events are held here as well. I remember going to movie nights in the park when I was a kid. They also have these 2 swans that are actually kind of mean!


Around the corner from here is our town pizza shop. I swear it’s the best pizza ever, but Dan doesn’t agree. But those who live in town would definitely agree it’s the best pizza ever ;)


On my run back towards home, I sometimes do some hill sprints on this pretty steep road. It’s perfect for hill sprints – you can either do 30 seconds, or if you run up the full hill it’s about 1 minute.


Lastly, I’ll leave you with a picture of the sunset at one of the highest points in town. I like to go up there to take in the views and think about life :)


From my house to the edge of town is about 2 miles, so I can do a 4 miler right in town. Sometimes I get pretty sick of it, but I am grateful I live in a safe area where I rarely have to worry about my safety while on a run (knock on wood).

Give us a tour of your runs in town! I’d love to see your pictures.

How long is your running loop in your town?

Do you mainly run in town or drive to other locations to run?


Follow Reach Your Peak:


Gentle Morning Workout

Sometimes you want to get up and be a bit active before heading to work, but an all out workout right when you wake up might be a shock to your body. You could wake up even earlier to take time to be more alert and do a long warm-up, or you can do this gentle morning workout I created.

I don’t know about you but when I exercise in the morning (the very few times I do), I just feel so stiff and not ready to workout at a high intensity. This routine combines a warm-up with low impact exercises and a little bit of cardio. You can do it once through just to get the blood flowing, or do it a couple times to really wake up in the AM.

Gentle Morning RoutinePhoto Credit: aye_shamus via Compfight cc

The only exercise you will need dumbbells for is lateral raises. You can also add weight to squats if you feel up to it.

Do you prefer to exercise in the AM or PM?

If you’re a morning exerciser, do you get up and go, or budget time to gradually wake up before working out?


Follow Reach Your Peak:


Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Another rainy day here in NJ. I was hoping to get outside for a hill workout today but looks like the treadmill will have to do. Do you still run outside even when it’s raining?

Anyway, here are this week’s links!

  • Crossfit Home Gym Essentials (Carrots N’ Cake) – I can’t wait until I have my own house so I can make a home gym. These definitely are essentials if you’re planning on making one.
  • One Meal, Three Ways (Long Drive Journey) – Never thought to put turkey on my sweet potato…that looks delicious!
  • 5 Reasons To Periodize Your Workouts (Fit Knit Chick) – I wrote yesterday about breaking through plateaus, and this is a great way to make sure you don’t hit a plateau.
  • The Weekend Lover’s Marathon Training Guide (According to Elle) – A training plan for those of you who like your long runs on the weekends. I personally like longer runs during the week (and a long run on the weekend), but different plans work for different people, so find one that works for you and your schedule.

Do any of you have a home gym? What are your must-haves?


Follow Reach Your Peak:


5 Ways To Bust Through A Plateau

Have you ever realized you’ve been just going through the motions with your workout? Or perhaps that you aren’t seeing results anymore? Part of it could be due to your exercise routine. You may be in a plateau. But it’s okay…I’m here to give you a few tips on how to get past it and get stronger and leaner!

Bust Through A Plateau

Change the amount of sets and reps you’re doing. If you’ve been doing 3 sets of 12 reps for a while, then your body is probably adapted to this stimulus. Try doing 3 sets of 8 reps instead, meaning you will choose a heavier weight. Or 4 sets of 12 reps. Either increase or decrease sets OR reps, but not both (i.e. – 5 sets of 20 reps).

Start doing 1.5 reps. Going with the above example, if you’re doing 3 sets of 12, try doing 1.5 reps. For example, in a dumbbell chest press, you would lower the weights down, press up only half way, lower then back down, then press up all the way. You will definitely feel the burn! This can be done for other exercises like squats, leg press, and more.

Switch up the exercises. I’ve seen people write about the SAME workouts they do day in and day out for months on end. Switch it up people! Do a certain workout routine with set exercises for 3-4 weeks, then change them up. It’s okay to keep 1-2 of the same, especially if their exercises you want to improve upon, but try to change up your routine every 3-4 weeks.

Add cardio accelerations in between sets. Try incorporating 30 seconds of a high intensity interval in between sets. You could do a set of squats, set of deadlifts, and then add in burpees for example. If you do this, don’t expect to lift as heavy as you usually do, since you will be more tired going into each lift. Track your progress by measuring yourself before starting to add in accelerations, that way you know if they are benefiting you.

Switch from body part training to full body training or vice versa. Pretty simple, just switch what you’re doing. Your body gets used to things pretty fast, so if you’ve been doing body part training, then switch to full body. Or if you do back and biceps, and chest and triceps…change that up too. Try chest and back, and legs and arms.

 Have you ever hit a plateau? What did you do to change things up?

Anything you’d add to this list?


Follow Reach Your Peak: