How to Work Kiddos Into Your Workouts

As a college student trying to ball on a budget, I often nanny for this great family near where I live.  I’ve been doing it for over a year now, and the two little girls (A and M) are great.  Normally, as most people who know me know, I’m not typically a huge “kids” girl, but these girls are really sweet and they listen really well.

The last couple times I’ve nannied for this family, it’s been in the middle of my journey to get fit.  Because of the way my schedule worked out today, I have to nanny until 3:30 and then I work at 4, leaving no time in-between for the gym.

So instead of going to the gym, I brought the gym to me and to the girls I nanny.  At first they were like, “No, RanDee, this is stupid.”  But trust me, they’ll have fun and it’s a great way to include them.

Today we started with a little bit of yoga for stretching, then we moved on to wall sits, squats, and lunges.  The girls had a blast climbing around and they made my workout extra difficult.

This goes as a reminder that, no matter what you’re doing, there are definitely ways to work in workouts (<– see what I did there?).  Below are a few photos I took during the workout, just in case you’d like some ideas for you and your own kiddos, or maybe the kiddos you nanny for.

Anyways, I am still nannying currently and have a dance party to attend.  As always, have a fabulous and fit day.




My Go-To “Feel It In the Morning” Ab Workout

One of the biggest things I’ve struggled with on my journey through fitness is finding the right workouts that target the right areas.  When I work my ass off at the gym, I want to feel it the next morning.  Being sore is like my affirmation that I didn’t waste two hours of my life on a workout that wasn’t effective.

For me, my trouble area is my stomach, so I like to incorporate abs into every workout I do.  It seems, though, that I can never find an ab workout that really makes me work.  I will do ab workout after ab workout and still not feel it the next day.  A few days ago, I was scrolling through pinterest and, in a moment of complete frustration, threw together a “homemade” workout of my own.

And guys.


As a fitness writer, I feel like it is my obligation to share this workout with you, because it’s pretty bad ass and you will feel it when you’re finished.  I promise.

For each set of three exercises you will repeat THREE times.  The images below each workout demonstrate what each workout should look like.

Crunch 20×3


Weighted Sit-Ups 20×3 (I typically use a 12lb medicine ball, but use whatever weight you’re comfortable with)

weighted sit up

Hundreds 100×3


High Crunches 20×3


Leg Raises 20×3


Star Plank 45sec x3_main2_starplank.jpg

Bicycle Crunches 30×3


Dumbbell Side-Bends 20×3 (each side)


Crunchy Frogs 15×3


You’re frickin welcome.





Finding Your Fitness Motivation

Okay, as someone who has been struggling with her fitness and weight for pretty much the entirety of her life, I have looked at weight loss from every angle possible.  Motivation essentially comes from having a reason to workout and eat healthy that outweighs your reasons not to and trust me . . . there are plenty of excuses.

One of the major things I’ve noticed is that everyone encourages you to lose weight and get healthy for the right reasons.  I’m here to tell you that I don’t agree with that whatsoever.  I am a huge proponent of doing things because you want to do them and for whatever reason.  Something you see a lot of nowadays is that to be successful in fitness you have to “do it for you and only you.”  And congratulations to the women out there who are strictly losing weight for health reasons.  Literally, good for you, you must have confidence of steel.  BUT.  I am sick and tired of seeing people being belittled because of their motivations for getting fit and prioritizing a healthy lifestyle.

Honestly, we as a society have prided ourselves on body positivity, but I’ve been seeing so much of people saying, “Oh you’re losing weight to look good in your wedding photos?  That’s not healthy.”  “Oh, you’re eating healthy because you want to feel better in your clothes?  That’s not healthy.”  Why isn’t that healthy?

The last time I went to the doctors they obviously told me that in the long-run I might want to consider hitting the gym more often, but that it isn’t impacting my health at all.  I am completely healthy as of right now.  Obviously that doesn’t mean that I can’t improve, and it doesn’t necessarily mean I have to make these huge life changes.

I am making these changes because of my self-confidence.  It’s actually kind of crazy.  I was much thinner in high school, but because of some of my peers I was very shy and never really stood up for myself.  I gained a lot of weight when I got to college, and I was still so shy that it was hard to make new friends.

And then I lost 30lbs.

And now I’m way more confident.

I’m not nearly as thin as I was in high school, but having that success and seeing myself progress has been really great for me.  I still have days where I look and the mirror and think I look awful, but everyone has those days.  And the good days outweigh the bad.  So I’m here to tell you to latch onto whatever you have right now that motivates you.  Hot guy at work?  Fuel the fire, girl.  Hot bikini you want to wear to the beach?  FUEL THE FIRE, GIRL.  Do it for the cutie, do it for the beach, do it for your health, do it for your confidence, do it for your family, do it for literally anything, but make sure that you go out and do it.

Because once you commit, it becomes an addiction and you become an inspiration to others who might need it — and that’s just as important as doing it for yourself.





Why I Changed My Blog Name

So for the past month or so I’ve been considering deleting my blog.  Surprisingly enough, when you put a ton of work into something and it doesn’t turn out how you expect it’s a little disheartening.

I love to travel.  Just last week I went camping out-of-state at Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio.  My roommate and I went horseback riding through the hills, tanned on the beach and Rose Lake, and explored the waterfalls in Old Man’s Cave.

But I didn’t have the excitement I had at the beginning about sharing my adventure, and that’s because the popularity doesn’t seem to be growing.

As I was scrolling through content yesterday, I noticed something.  My blog posts about travel were barely getting any hits, but my blog posts about my recent weight loss were off the charts.  It was what people wanted to read about (see one of my very first progress picture below), and it’s something that I enjoy writing about.

This made me really think about why I recently got so interested in travel.  Before this past year I had no inclination to go anywhere.  I realized that the reason for this was a result of my fitness.  Suddenly I wanted to go hiking and exploring all over the world, not only because I now thought my body could physically handle it but because this fitness journey has given me the confidence to pursue what I want.

Hiking is a form of exercise and a product of healthy living, so I’ve revamped my entire blog to refocus.  If a blog about weight loss, fitness, and regaining confidence is what the people want, it’s what they’re going to get.  If I do happen to go on a trip that I want to share with my readers, I still can because it’s simply proof to them that fitness can help in multiple outlets of your life.  It can increase your happiness, your confidence, and your ability to do things you never thought you could do.

I’m currently in the process of updating my Instagram (@squatlikeagirlblog) and my Snapchat (@randee_hartman) to convey these changes to my followers, so be patient with me.  In the meantime, take some time to think about your personal health and fitness goals (and share this on social media to help ya girl out).

Let’s see where this road takes me.




My 12 FAVE Fitness Tips and Hacks to Help You Stick to Your Goals

Every year around this time, the gym gets a little busier.  June is three months away and people are now going into panic mode.  They had one too many pizzas and where did these stomach rolls come from?!

Oh, right.  The twelve pieces of pizza I just ate.  EL. OH.  EL.

I feel ya, homies, and I’m here for you.

I started my fitness journey about four months ago-ish, and trust me, sticking to it may have been the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.  There are days when you just cannot.  Actually, erase that thought from your head because on those days when you just cannot, you actually can you lazy bum.

Now obviously, I’m kidding.  You’re not a lazy bum.  If you were, you wouldn’t be reading this.  #proudofyou

So, I’m here today to tell you what helped me stick to my fitness goals.  There are a lot of contributors, but these ones were the most important and really kept me focused.

  1. Have a support squad.  I know you’re all probably super sick of hearing me say this, but it is so important.  I had this group of friends who knew where I was at when I started and how much progress I was making, and if they caught me cheating they’d kick my ass.  However, they were also the group of people I could turn to when I was feeling down and they would help lift me back up again.  They help remind you why you started, and they will be your biggest motivator.
  2. If possible, invest in a personal trainer.  My trainer was Janelle Tank from Nell Nation Fitness in Lapeer, MI.  She is amazing, and the best part is that she works with people online and over the phone.  There is absolutely no way I would have made it this far without her.  I learned from her for three months and she’s completely changed my life.  Even just talking to someone on the phone for thirty minutes once a week can really motivate you to push yourself.  Plus, it’s nice to have meal plans and workouts already prepared for you if you, like me, don’t have a lot of spare time in a week to plan.  Seriously, look into it.
  3. Make. A. Schedule. I know it sucks.  I work and go to school full time, so my schedule is all sorts of madness.  It does not matter.  Sit down for ten minutes, look at your week, and write down what days you are going to go into your planner.  There is just something about having it written down and planned for that will keep you accountable.
  4. Try protein shakes and pre-workout.  Yes, good protein shakes and pre-workout are expensive and they will differ based on your needs.  My advice?  If you don’t have a handy dandy personal trainer like I did (thanks Janelle, you da bomb), then hit your local GNC and ask them what they would recommend for you.  Protein shakes will not make you bulky, I promise.  In fact, they’ll help with your soreness and help keep you full throughout the day so you don’t have those pesky cravings.  And yes, I know, there is some negativity surrounding pre-workout.  I have to say, though, that it has helped me immensely.  I feel much more ready to workout when I take it, and I sweat a lot more, too.  Somehow, for me at least, that is super satisfying.
  5. Bring a friend.  My friends come to the gym with me all the time.  It makes working out fun.  We get to the gym and we gossip and catch up on things in our lives.  It’s like going for drinks with a friend, except without the booze.  Plus, you’re probably helping them stick to their fitness goals as much as they’re helping you.
  6. If you screw up (and you will), accept it and move on.  Exactly five hours ago I ate pancakes for breakfast.  They were delicious and I do not regret them.  Immediately after, I went to the gym, cranked out a good workout, and will stick to my meal plan strictly for the next week with no cheat meal.  Yes, I screwed up.  No, I do not hate myself for it.  You can’t be perfect, because it’s impossible.  Plus, you deserved those pancakes, just saying.
  7. Be unreasonable.  Okay, this actually isn’t my fitness hack.  It belongs to my personal trainer, Janelle.  It’s helpful, though, so I have to include it.  Every time you read things about fitness, they say to make your goals reasonable.  No, no, no.  Why would you want to set yourself up to be mediocre?  Obviously, even the slightest progress is amazing, and you should always be proud of yourself.  BUT, that doesn’t mean you should give yourself a cop out when it comes to your goals.  When you tell someone your goal, they should say, “You’re crazy.”  Because you should believe that there isn’t anything you can’t do.
  8. Take progress pictures.  Yes, I know.  It sucks so bad.  When I took my first ever progress picture I was like, “Ew.  Gross.”  It sucks, and it sucks, and it sucks, and then suddenly it doesn’t suck.  Suddenly you get to say, “Wow, you are such a bad ass.”  And you will feel incredible and you will be totally happy that you took those pictures, because now you can really see the progress you’ve made and you can share it on Instagram and people will be like, “Dang, you are the bees knees.”  Okay, probably not in those words, but you get the idea.
  9. Sleep in your workout clothes.  Okay, ew, no.  I am not saying workout and then sleep in your sweat-drenched clothes all night.  That is disgusting.  I’m saying, if you workout in the mornings, sleep in your workout clothes.  This gives you an extra ten minutes to sleep in and means you have so much less to do in the morning.  Also, if you do drink pre-workout, make it the night before and pop it into the fridge so you’re all ready in the morning.
  10. Add frozen fruit to your water.  Water is LIFE, people.  You need to drink it all day, every day.  And if you’re super picky and don’t like things that taste like nothing (a.k.a. you are me), you add frozen fruit to your water and then everything is rainbows and butterflies.  Cross my heart.  Rainbows.  And.  Butterflies.
  11.  Track EVERYTHING.  Track your water intake.  Track your steps.  Track your calorie intake.  Track your exercise.  Track your weight.  Write it down.  Or if you don’t want to write it down, there are about a million apps for all of the above.  Find one you like, and track it.  I know it’s tedious.  Just do it, okay?
  12. Think fruit.  If you are like me and are binge watching Shameless at two in the morning while swiping through Tinder, you have those pesky late-night cravings. You want everything and anything that begins with chocolate and ends with more chocolate.  Honestly, though, your body is just craving sugar.  You know what is something that has a lot of natural sugar that will make you feel 100% less guilt after eating it?  That’s right.  Fruit!


And there you have it, y’all.  My tips and hacks for getting fit and dieting.  Obviously everyone is different.  But hopefully this will get you started on your journey.  And of course, as always, leave your comments below to let me know how they work for you or if you have any genius health hacks to share.

Have a fabulous day,


skinny fit



The Dirty Truth About Getting Fit, Finding Love, and Respecting Yourself

This year is my senior year of college and, as of October, 2016, I had gained 39lbs since arriving freshman year.  Lack of all the sports I did in high school plus terrifying eating habits resulted in nearly forty pounds of weight gain.

Last summer I made excuses every time someone asked me to hit the beach because I hated the way I looked.  All the cute tops I had made their way into a laundry bag hidden deep in my closet, replaced by baggy sweatshirts.

Summer 2016 a few girlfriends of mine got together and put together this list of things we wanted to accomplish throughout the summer.  Running a 5k, losing weight, gaining muscle definition, being more confident, going after what we wanted, etc. etc.  Typical new year resolutions in the middle of June.  Although we did stick to going to the gym, we weren’t 100% dedicated to our cause.  Casual drinking and occasional baking put a huge wrench in a lot of progress.

When school started back up again I can’t say I kept up with everything.  My main excuses were that I was too busy with classes and I needed to focus on getting good grades.  Plus, eating healthy was way too expensive (by the way, that’s a dirty lie).

In November 2016 I met my personal trainer.  One of my friends introduced us and I realized that it was now or never.  I needed to focus on my body and treating myself with respect.

Everyone who knows me knows I’m a ridiculous romantic.  I believe in grand gestures and soulmates.  I believe in finding someone who completes who you are as a person.  It wasn’t until November that I realized something really important; you have to respect yourself and find who you are as an individual before you can expect someone else to come into the picture.

Surprisingly enough, with a few good friends and a fabulous personal trainer on my side, I hit the gym and started meal prepping.  It became this sort of outlet for me.  Stressed?  Hit the gym.  Sad?  Meal prep.  Angry?  Weight train.  Worried?  Look on Pinterest for motivational gym quotes.  Every time I needed an escape, I looked towards this goal.  Even currently, I want more than anything to be able to love myself.

It has been three months since I started this fitness journey, and I’ve lost 30 lbs (photo below).  I’ve lost thirty pounds and everyone around me tells me I look incredible.  I have people contact me to tell me that I’m an inspiration.  The dirty truth, though, is that although I clearly see the changes I’ve made, when I look in the mirror I don’t see any change in the way I look at myself.  Although I know I’ve made a ton of progress (I have the ugly ass stretch marks to prove it), I don’t see 30lbs of weight loss.  I still see the same person I was before I lost the weight, and it’s heartbreaking.  But what gets me though all of this negativity and self-doubt are the women who stand by me and constantly lift me up.  My best friends who come to work and say, “Can I just give you a hug?  I’m so proud of you.” and the best friends who text me and say, “I know you don’t need me to tell you I’m proud but I really am and you deserve some recognition.”  I do need you to tell me these things, because you all make me feel like what I’m doing is worth it.  I’m getting my confidence back and I’d like to say it’s all because of me, but a lot of it has to do with the support of my friends.

In the past couple months I’ve been compromising what I want in a relationship because I haven’t had the balls to fight for myself.  I haven’t had the respect for myself.  Yesterday, a good friend of mine made me realize that I deserve grand gestures and attention.  I haven’t given up on that, but I’ve given up on trying to change myself to fit what others want me to be.  Although I still believe in soulmates and true love, I no longer believe in finding my other half.  As it turns out, I’m a whole all by myself.