The Story Behind the Name and the Importance of Balance

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I was asked the other day if I was the one that chose the name for this blog. Well, yes, I was! It originated while I was at the gym with my brother, Josh. We were talking about usernames, and I brought up the fact that all of the health related Instagram usernames I’ve seen recently have the word “fit” thrown somewhere in the mix. (For example: “YourName_fit”). Now, I’m going to be honest with you, I tried a bunch of different combinations for myself trying to fit (HA) the word “fit” in, so that I would fit in (YIKES) to the fitness themed portion of the Instagram world. They all seemed to be taken. HMPH. It was then that Josh began talking about throwing something completely different in, like his personal favorite, “pizza”… Uh, yeah. SO not doing that. Don’t get me wrong, I LOOOVE pizza. Go ahead, challenge me to a pizza eating competition. I dare you. It’s just that pizza isn’t a cute word. I thought for a moment… Now “cupcakes”, that’s both delicious and cute. He goes, “No no no, you could do like, “PizzaPushups” “Hmmm” I said, “that just makes me want to gag.” Who can eat pizza and then do pushups? BLECH.

This leads me to my next thought. I liked the reasoning behind what he was saying, (It fit with my love of balance) but I didn’t approve of his example. I started thinking, what is the exercise that I’m most proud of? CHINUPS! I’m proud of my chin-ups! It took me SO long to get a real, honest to God, full range of motion, strict chin-up. That seems like..  forever ago. Now on Monday nights, I go to the gym and bust out 7 sets of 6. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I put in a lot of time and effort to get there.

So, Chin-ups and Cupcakes, huh? It even sounds good. It’s like it was meant to be! Needless to say I ran home to change my Instagram name. (Not literally, it’s much too far. I drove.) It was unique, and I loved it!

There’s another reason why I fell in love with “Chinups and Cupcakes” other than the fact that I think it’s stinkinadorable. I like the balance that the name itself represents. It fits with the tag line that I now live by, “The healthiest lifestyle is a balanced one, where you can do your chin-ups and have your cupcakes too.”  Anyone that knows me, even a little bit, will be able to tell you that I LIVE to EAT. Luckily for me, my absolute favorite hobby happens to be going to the gym. There’s not a thing I don’t love about it. The number one PRO to working out is the fact that it lets me eat more, without that annoying guilt attached to it.

REWIND—> Middle school. I would skip breakfast, because I wasn’t a morning eater (How did I EVER manage that? Ick.) I would skip lunch, because I was embarrassed to be seen eating (Uhhhh.. WAT?) –Like most teenage girls, I wasn’t happy with the way I looked.– I would get home, and shove so much food into my face because I was starving, that I don’t think I remembered to chew half the time. What I’m trying to say is that when I thought I was doing myself a favor, I was actually hurting myself. I was miserable all day because I thought it would help me lose weight to starve myself when in reality, I would eat so much between 3:30-10:00pm that I was actually exceeding my caloric needs. I felt like I was starving, but all of the binge eating i was doing at night was actually making me gain weight. Alllll of that torture was for nothing.

FAST FORWARD A BIT—> High school. Breakfast usually consisted of an Eggo… or 3 ;p I was no longer afraid to eat in front of people (THANK GOD for that), however what I was eating was not so great. I packed my lunch, bringing a PB&J, a baggie of crackers and those silly little 100 calorie pack cookies with no nutritional value what-so-ever. Basically, my breakfast and lunch consisted of carbs, carbs and more carbs. On top of that, I pretty much only did cardio when i would make it to the gym, which was like.. 2 times a week. I was by no means “overweight” but i was what some may call “skinny fat”. There was hardly any muscle on me.

Mmmm.. Proteins..

Mmmm… Precious Proteins…

In the last 3 years or so, I’ve learned a tremendous amount about how to properly fuel my body. I don’t starve myself. I don’t binge. I do my best to not snack when I’m bored. I eat when I’m hungry. I eat way more protein than i used too, I aim for 135g a day. I try to get around 180g of carbohydrates per day and 60g of fat. This adds up too about 1800 calories a day (when I’m trying to maintain). It’s almost never spot on, but I’m happy if I can come close. It’s really all about how you feel. Do what feels right, FOR YOU. When you begin eating a balanced diet, you automatically feel AND function better.

photo 1I don’t obsess about the numbers and I hardly ever weigh myself, because that too can be your downfall. I speak from personal experience. Two things I do know:  24 year old Erin is lighter and has a heck of a lot more muscle mass than 18 year old Erin did.      🙂 🙂 🙂 —————>>

I tell you all this because my life finally feels balanced. I never feel as if I’m deprived. A lot of diets fail because people feel the need to eat grilled chicken and veggies for every meal, which leads to a burn out pretty quickly. Don’t get me wrong, I also LOOOVE grilled chicken and veggies, and eat it several times a week, but not for every meal. Props to you, if you can manage that. Me? I LOVE to eat and have no intention of giving up the occasional cupcake. I do my best to eat healthy as often as I can, but there is NO guilt if I’m invited to Olive Garden for Sunday night dinner and shove a couple of bread sticks and the Tour of Italy down my throat. You better believe all that pasta is gonna make me work that much harder on Monday night’s back and shoulders day 😉

I want to make this clear. I’m fully aware that you can’t out run/ lift a bad diet. I’m not telling you it’s okay to eat bad every time you work out. I don’t eat a cupcake after every set of chin-ups. What I’m saying is that if you are active and eat at maintenance (for me 1800 calories a day) or even a little bit of a deficit (for me 1400-1500 calories), the majority of the time, it’s okay to have a “bad” meal every now and then. It’s okay to eat a little more if you worked out that day, assuming that you’re actually hungry and not trying to lose a bunch of weight. It comes down to calories in, calories out. Eat/ exercise to reach your OWN goals. Click Here if you would like to figure out your own Macros (Daily caloric, protein, carbs and fat intake that’s right for you and your goals.)

So, there you have it. The story behind the name of my blog. Balance is the key to a healthy lifestyle. Do some chin-ups, (assisted if need be, that’s how I started!) then, every once in a while, have a cupcake and tryyy not to beat yourself up for it!


I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear some feedback from you guys. I’m still trying to figure out the Do’s and Dont’s of running a blog. Let me know what you think so far. If there are any topics you’d like me to weigh in on, please feel free to let me know! What exercise makes you feel most proud? Whats your favorite cheat meal? COMMENTS and QUESTIONS greatly appreciated!!! Thanks for reading!

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I'm an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. I worked in a gym setting back in Florida for over 2 years, training one-on-one clients and leading group fitness classes. I absolutely loved it, but once we moved across the country to Colorado, I decided to take the opportunity to pursue a slightly different career! My obsession with exercise and love for writing collided, which is how I became a fitness lifestyle writer.


  1. Mike

    February 18, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Great post! I like all the pictures you put in this one to go along with the content.

    Favorite cheat meal: Publix chicken tender sub

    Favorite workout: Anything with shoulders or triceps!

    • Chinups_and_Cupcakes

      February 18, 2015 at 1:29 pm

      Well thank you very much! Mmmm Publix sub.. nice choice! Yeah, I had a feeling you’d say shoulders :p

  2. Josh

    February 18, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    How DARE you say that you can look awesome/be healthy without becoming a neurotic, obssesive, orthorexic asshole!? I am proud to be a hermit who refuses to leave their house for fear of coming into contact with food that isn’t chicken, broccoli, or rice! ONLY BROWN RICE OF COURSE; DO YOU THINK I WANT TO GET THE BEETUS?!??!11?!1!?!

    In all seriousness, great post. You are one of the people out there who actually gets it. This is the mindset you need to have to be able to stay in it for the long run. Because after all, achieving physical perfection takes a long ass time amirite?

    Now onto the food. For a cheat meal, the only correct answer is a large pepperoni pizza with butter cheese crust from hungry howies. This will usually be followed by a large serving of ice cream, preferably covered in m&m’s. Speaking of m&m’s they finally decided to bring back the crispy ones after 10 years. In the last week I have consumed 3 large bags. I think I have a problem.

    • Chinups_and_Cupcakes

      February 18, 2015 at 6:33 pm

      Why am I not surprised that you would choose Hungry Howies?? You’re a pizza fiend. I too love pizza, and I also happen to lurrrve ice cream, A large cookie dough twirl with chocolate ice cream from the Twistee Treat to be exact. Oops, I just drooled a little. Uhhh, I wouldn’t call that a problem, I’d call that heaven on earth! Share the wealth that is the Crispy M&M.

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