Category Archives: Personal

Life’s Too Short to Not Live Healthy

mac cliftonI’m back from my uncle’s funeral in Virginia. I’ve been mostly silent this past week while away with family. Life is too short!! Sadly, we often put work, life, social obligations, community and just plain busy silliness in front of the most important things in life – like family, our own health and precious friends.

Listening to all the stories about my uncle’s generosity, and of how he gave of himself, his money, his resources and his time really inspired me to be more giving and try to make the most out of this life of mine. It inspired me to want to live a life worth remembering – a life that makes a difference even more than ever. It also reminded me how healthy it is to take time off, even when we think we can’t afford it or feel guilty for doing it. God blesses our sacrifices and wants us to build quality relationships. He wants us to take care of our body, and our loved ones.

Oftentimes people leave this world too early because of their unhealthy choices earlier in life. While uncle Mac was a great steward over his money, he wasn’t as good at taking care of his health when he was younger. Even though he quit smoking, his tobacco abuse early on ultimately took his life – and we weren’t done with him yet!! My uncle had bi-pass surgery years ago, surely due to the tremendous amount of stress he endured while he built his businesses. It was only recently (just weeks ago) we discovered he had lung cancer, and just a few days later he was gone. I was just celebrating his birthday, and now we are mourning his life. 

We never know how much time left we have, but one thing we can do is make better decisions today – healthier decisions today. I urge you not to wait until your later years to lose weight, get healthy, mend relationships, spend more time with family or live a life more pleasing to the Lord. Tomorrow isn’t promised, and even if you have many more tomorrows, what you do today greatly impacts how healthy and happy your tomorrow is.

What are areas in your life that need improvement or prioritizing?

Here are a few things I feel I need work on.

  1. Live less selfishly, being more eager to give my time, money and resources.
  2. Quit putting work before God, spouse and family. 
  3. Invest in family and quality friends.
  4. Do more kind acts for loved ones – from writing letters, sending pictures, to cooking and serving them in any capacity I can.
  5. Take care of my body so I can be healthy enough, for long enough, to take care of others.
  6. Rest more. I’m no good tired. I can’t bless anyone if I’m constantly exhausted. 
  7. Live like I’m dying – because I am, eventually. This means I decide to spend my time, conversation and effort on things that are important and lasting. 
  8. Constantly strive to maintain balance. In this hectic world, it is easy to get out of balance. Maintaining balance takes a constant effort.
  9. Learn to say no. I don’t need to please everyone. I need to please God, my spouse, my family and then my friends (in that order). BUT 9 times out of 10, if I strive to please the Lord, I’ll be pleasing to so many more people just by default. And for the ones I can’t please, I wouldn’t be able to please both them and the Lord anyway. 🙂
  10. Simplify. I will find more time if I can simplify my life and not try to squeeze in every bit of entertainment, material item or extra work in every second. We have so much added stress that’s unnecessary and not worth the extra stress. By letting go, and doing less, we can do more of what matters. 

Girls Chase Boys: A Special Shout Out

102809_MICHAELSON 2-4 LONIt’s a rare occasion that I talk about something other than fitness, health, motivation or food BUT I just HAD to share this crazy cool moment our family had with all of you today.

Last night I discovered indie pop star, Ingrid Michaelson, who sings The Way I Am and Be OK, posted this (about my sister, AnnaLee) on her facebook & twitter pages: “it’s bad when someone covers your song better than you do” after watching my sister’s cover of Ingrid’s new single, Girls Chase Boys, on youtube.

annalee keehnerFirst, I have to say how I impressed I am that an artist would be humble enough to share other talent. Obviously she has a genuine appreciation for music, unlike other musicians who just want to be famous. Second, kudos to her fans, who were incredibly gracious with their compliments of Anna’s talent – when many fans would eat anyone else (other than their beloved star) alive for attempting to sing their precious star’s song. Not Ingrid’s fans. Obviously, they too love music and appreciate talent like Ingrid. And, lastly, a super BIG dose of kudos to my sister, for the amazing job – and always adding so much individuality and personality to original songs. You are truly amazing and talented – and a light in this dark world. Keep on shining girlfriend! LOVE YOU!!

ingrid michaelson

Girls Chase Boys Chase Girls – cover by AnnaLee Keehner

Here is the original music video by Ingrid. Look familiar? It should, it was inpsired by Robert Palmer’s Simply Irresistible from 1988. Watch the original Robert Palmer video here:…

This is one of my favorite songs she does, The Way I Am. 

Lifestyles of the Fit and Fantabulous

The Day in the Life of a Fitness Blogger, Trainer, Gym Owner, Dog Lover, Picture Taker, FitFluential Ambassador…(ME!)

steve and bonnieMost of the time, when you read a fitness article in a magazine, you have no idea who’s writing it. You don’t know what they look like, where they live or how they act. That’s what makes bloggers a little different. We tend to come with a little more personality, a little more fun, more “reality” and, frankly, more honesty. No one’s editing my blogs. No one tells me what to write, or what not to write. My blogs are raw, real, fun and very much alive. Although you may know what I look like, and know my personality a little, nothing beats video footage – hence the world’s love for reality TV.

So who the heck am I really? I mean, many of you have never even met me or my honey “for reals” – live and in person. 😉 Unless you’ve watched me on video, or you take Steve’s classes online, you probably don’t know that I have a southern accent or that I ride a motorcycle – and you haven’t had the ‘pleasure‘ of hearing Steve’s bad jokes (especially the “two talking muffins”) haha. You may not know my husband and I both play the trumpet (yes, we were band geeks) and that Steve’s main source of transportation in college was a unicycle (true story). Ok, maybe you don’t want to know that (that kind of information might not get us on the cool couple list! lol). Anywho, let’s have a little fun!

tutu on the head

As a blogger, sometimes it’s challenging to show your personality through words alone. Sometimes, readers just want to know the person doing the writing a little better. You may wonder what we really act like, how they think, how we talk, what we do – outside of the blogger world. Since the fitness business is so intimidating, many people may wonder if we’d make them feel comfortable if they joined our gym, or if we we take fitness too seriously (that’s a big fat no! Fitness is serious business, but it HAS to be FUN). And, maybe you wonder what the heck to gym owner people do anyway? Workout all day? haha! Nope! I can answer that one right now! 😉

bonnie pfiesterWell, here is a video that not only captures our training style and personality at the gym, but it gives you a little peak into our home and our marriage. I hope you can get to know us a little better (and I hope we don’t scare you off too bad with our dorky personalities! lol).

My goal is nothing more than for you to just get to know us a little better, and maybe have a giggle along with way!

Steve and Bonnie Pfiester own Max Fitness Club in Vero Beach Florida and are the founders of BCx Boot Camp certification and workout program offered across the globe. Steve is the creator of BCx Treadz, brand new innovative and exciting treadmill workout video series, just released this week.

As FitFluential Brand Ambassadors, Steve and Bonnie represent major fitness brands, creating fun and educational fitness content for a variety of brands including:

Designer Whey
Detour Bar
Car National Rental
and many more…


The Power of MOM

momI wouldn’t be who I am and where I am if it wasn’t for one incredible woman in my life. My mom.

For those of you who read my blogs and follow me for anything length of time, you already know who my mom is, even if you’ve never seen her or met her – because she is part of me. Once you meet her, you will know what I mean. Mom and I are very much a like in many ways.

The TalleysAs I grow older, I realize just how much “mom” is in me. My drive, passion, stubbornness, determination, strong-will, desire to help others, positive attitude, a mind that doesn’t stop and control-freak side of me all came from her. And, every night I stay up late working, Steve can thank my mom for that too. We both have a very hard time turning our brains off and winding down.

Unfortunately there are things I haven’t gotten from her (yet) – her patience, her nurturing spirit, her ability to be quiet, her desire to serve…those are just a few traits I want, but need a lot of work still. 🙂

Although this blog is a personal blog about my family, please look at the things I list that I learned from the moms in my life – because, as I could imagine, I’m sure there are plenty of times a mother wonders if anything sticks. They wonder what words will be remembered and what lessons will be learned. Hopefully, after reading this tribute to my moms, you will not just know me a little better, but you will be encouraged to know every word you say, and every thing you do DOES matter. We daughters and sons are watching, learning, remembering. So, no matter how screwed up we kids are, never give up. You are one of the most powerful leaders in the world.

My 3 Moms

momWhy do I say “moms”, plural? In many ways, I had more than one mom. I had a mom during the week, another mom on Friday nights and a third mom on Saturday nights. Since my parents were in a rock band most of my childhood, I stayed with my mom’s mom every Friday night. We watched Lawrence Welk and Dukes of Hazzard, and colored for hours and hours. Every Saturday I would go to my dad’s mom’s house and we’d swim until we were prunes. We watched Love Boat, Chips and Fantasy Island, and probably ate enough popcorn to cover the state of Florida. Then, we’d wake up and go to church, where I’d meet back up with my parents. That was exactly how every week went, every year of my life from birth to about 12 years of age.

Mom #1: Julianne

During the week, I was with my birth mom (Julianne Talley). She was the one that cooked, cleaned and tucked me in at night. She was the one who taught me to play piano, and to smile and waive to people when they flip you off when driving.

Julianne TalleyShe was patient enough to braid my hair in a million braids when I was convinced I wanted to look like Bo Derick. She was smart enough to take the ugliest most embarrassing car to pick me up from school when I asked her to pick me up in the Porsche. She was honest enough to admit she was human and made mistakes, and she was quick to ask for forgiveness when she felt like she failed me.

She taught me that it’s ok not to be perfect, but it’s not ok to not strive to be. She showed me how to rely on God and not people – and how important it was to open your house to anyone in need, despite their race, their age or their past.

i love you momShe even taught me that you don’t have to be a talented hostess to entertain, you just have to open your front door. She explained to me how you do things because they are the right thing to do, whether you feel like it or not. She showed me how to make a meal out of whatever you can find in the pantry and make it amazing.

And, she’s not done teaching me, and hopefully, I’m not done learning.

I even can thank her for my career in fitness. I just found this letter to my mom when I was visiting my Aunt Bonnie, Uncle Bruce and two cousins, Brandon and Ben Tanner. I had to laugh when I saw how proud I was to tell my mom I’d taken a shower and been doing my exercises. SO, I guess this letter marks my first commitment to health and exercise. Just don’t read the part about gum and candy! ha!

doing my exercises

Mom #2: Bertha

Berth TalleyMy dad’s mom (Bertha Lee Talley) taught me to giggle, how to garden, dog paddle and float in the water. She introduced me to popcorn and scuppernong grapes, which she grew in her side yard. She taught me to sing “Five Foot Two”, to never talk ill of anyone, and to read my bible. She taught me that a good snack is tomatoes, cucumbers and onions in vinegar (fresh from her garden) and not potato chips and junk. She showed me how to grow old in style, and have fun always.

She taught me how to love and hug, and play old maid. She taught me that music brings people together, as she’d often entertain the family by playing some of her favorite hymns on the piano. She loved to cook and make her own jelly – and she often showed people her love through her food and endless hospitality.

Mom #3: Julia

Julia TannerMy mom’s mom (Julia Rigby Tanner) led by quiet example. She showed me how to serve others and how to make a difference. She taught me that prayer is powerful and to never give up on anyone or anything. She taught me that joy is not about being happy or having everything go your way. With a life of chronic back pain, she showed me that you can have immense joy despite pain – and THAT was one of her biggest testimonies to me. She also taught me the power of a written word, which has driven me in many ways to do what I do.

Although I haven’t learned to listen like she always did, she gave me the model to go by. She selflessly cooked scrambled eggs, toast and bacon for me every Saturday while I stayed glued to the TV set watching cartoons.  She was the one who taught me to put bacon on my toast with jelly, introduced me to congealed salad (which I never learned to like), and is the reason I love pot roast and poundcake.

Work in Progress

You see, I am a little bit of all 3 of these women. To understand me, where I came from, what my beliefs are and to know my role models, may help you know what I desire to be. While I have a loooooong way to go to be as good of a woman as they were, I realize they had many more years of practice – and one day, maybe, just maybe, I’ll be a fraction of how awesome they were to me.

Thank you to all the mom’s in my family …my mom, grandmothers, mother-in-law, aunts and cousins. I am so thankful for every  one of you! 

more than a mom

Pfiester Pfridays: Join me Behind the Scenes

A typical Friday doing not-so-typical cool things
While Steve was on the road to Boca to shoot his weekly Friday shows with one of our BCx Trainers, Cristina, for LiveExercise, I was takin’ care of business at our home office all morning, meeting all my Friday deadlines: design my weekly ad, write my blog, finalize the BCx Bikini Boot Camp program for Max Fitness, write my Honestly Bonnie column for FitStudio and finalize a few tasks for Designer Whey protein as they prepared for their new site launch.

Fiji Bound
Once I checked everything off my to do list, it was event time! While Steve was wrapping up his shows yesterday afternoon, I was heading to our local high school football field to set up for American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. This year’s theme Relay was countries, so our gym decided to be Fiji – because you have to have a great body if you go to Fiji right?!

Surviving Fiji
Since the CBS Survivor reality show did a season in Fiji, we decided to go WILD and play the Survivor part (perfect for the American Cancer Society too!). Frayed jeans, bikini top, worn tee, natural hair and a fun hat would be my “costume” for the event.

Our staff did an AMAZING job dressing up our tent with palm fronds, grass decor and tiki torches. I painted tribal faces and we whipped up some yummy tropical smoothies for donations, compliments of Designer Whey. Our members did a great job coming out to walk and support such a great cause – and Steve finally got back to town and joined us too!

Surviving another busy Friday!
Finally, I got to go home and crash with Steve, who had dinner waiting (thank goodness!). My final task for the day was to check my email and social media accounts, and that’s when I saw the good news – Designer Whey launched their new website! What a wonderful way to end a productive day! WOO HOO! As the resident fitness experts for Designer Whey, Steve and I celebrate the beginning of an exciting year with the #1 protein company in the nation!

Workout with Us
The first workout to launch on the site is called “Basic Training”  4-week workout program – not because it’s hard, but because it’s truly basic. This 3-day a week program is simple, effective and requires a minimal amount of time, space and tools. Perfect for any begginer, this program grows in intensity, and length, as you get stronger and more fit.

Our next program to come out (in a week or two) is Design Your Body. This program is a 4-week program with 5 workouts a week – a total of 17 fresh new set of circuits (called Blocks) – adaptable to workout beginners to athletes.

Get Ready!
Steve and I will be writing weekly blogs and doing bi-weekly workouts exclusively for Designer Whey, so be sure to follow them, like them and get E-news so you are the 1st to know what’s new at the all-new Designer Whey!

One Thing Missing
People often think all I do is workout for a living. With a day like today, you probably can see how working out is just as hard to squeeze in for a “fitness professional” as it is for any business person. It was one thing that did not make my to-do list yesterday. You see, we all have our “bad days”. The key to success is not beating yourself up for them and just picking up right where you left off. Yesterday was a productive day, and missing my workout was a small sacrifice for a great cause!


Never Forget

It is the day we remember the cross. When I was a kid, Easter was always more than Easter bunny and candy-filled baskets. Although my mom always made sure I enjoyed the childhood festivities, I always knew Easter was not about rabbits and eggs.

While I may have been in church every day the door opened, I realize many people did not have that type of home life. And while recent statistics say 78.4% of Americans would check the “Christian” box under Religion, I’d venture to say a great number of those people don’t think much about this day.

Before you read further, this isn’t my normal fitness blog. You won’t learn a new exercise or diet tip today. This is just who I am – this is me sharing my most personal thoughts today. If nothing else, it will give you a bit of insight on who I am, why I do what I do, and who I want to be more like. It’s about my personal hero.

We associate “Never Forget” with all the lives lost on 9/11 – and our nation should never forget that awful day. Not just because of the lives that were lost, but because those lives are an example of the reason we fight for freedom and safety. With war so distant from most of us, this particular event was an eye opener to many. War hit home. Evil hit home. And I know I, for one, will never forget.

Today, is one of those “Never Forget” days for me – the day I need to be reminded of the cross. Whether you are a Christian or not, think of Jesus like this: He was a man who, whether you believe it or not, believed he was here for a greater purpose – to save us. A hero. Of course I believe this is true, but let’s just pretend he died on the cross just believing He was saving us from our sins. Look at what he endured for our sake.

39 Lashes 
He received 39 lashes from a whip called the “Cat-o-nine-tails”, a rod about a foot long with 9 leather straps.Attached to the end of each strap was a piece of broken bone or rock with sharp edges. The scourging was to remove every bit of flesh from the back without killing the man.  40 lashes was the number of lashes it took to kill a man.

The Crown
After the scourging, the soldiers teased him for being the “King of the Jews” and pressed a crown of thorns, with thorns 1 to 2 inches long, on His head so hard the scripture says the thorns pierced His skull. After that, he was forced to carry his own cross on his severely wounded body and take it to where he would die.

The Cross
He was then nailed to the cross with nails driven through his wrists and feet near the Medial nerve so that when the weight of the body caused the nail to press against this nerve, he would experience indescribable shooting pain. Hanging on the cross made it difficult to breath while hanging, so he would have to push off his hands and feet in order to stand up for enough time to take a deep breath, causing even more of the shooting nerve pain through his body. Because of this, most men died from exhaustion asphyxia or suffocation.

Historians agree that Jesus was a real man. He was a real man that really died on the cross for the purpose to save us. God or no God – that is quite a hero. A selfless man that endured all of that for a chance to save souls.

As a Christian, I am so thankful for Easter, for the reminder of that day of the cross. It’s not supposed to be just a title, like being “American”. it’s a way of life. It’s people who desire to be Christ-like – selfless, giving everything of themselves for the sake of others. It’s living for a purpose. Selfless love.

Out of all the heros in the world, Jesus, you are the ultimate hero to me. The man who loved the world so much, you gave your life. What amazing love.

Have a wonderful Easter.

He is Risen – I know because He lives in my heart today. 



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