Friday, December 25, 2009

Have a Happy Healthy Holiday!

I hope everyone's been having a great morning so far! It seems my family caught wind of the fact that YES I am dead serious about keeping fit and they got me fitness related presents for Christmas this year! WOOHOO! I was so super excited I had to rush to the blog to share all my goodies!!

My Christmas Goodies include:

a set of resistance bands for strength training...

"The Stick" which is a handy little tool to help work out all the kinks and knots in my muscles after working out

A replica Team USA match ball for the 2010 Fifa World Cup (In case you couldn't tell from reading this blog I am mildly obsessed with the sport of soccer)

A pair of smartwool running socks

And my very own chalk bag for rock climbing so I don't have to steal my sisters when we hit the climbing gym. I asked her if she purposely bought me one that said "moon" on it and she said she did...haha she's knows me too well! Check it out,!

Looks like I'm going to need to hit the rocks again! This is me on my very first climb ever almost a year ago at Pilot Mountain in North Carolina. I had just reached a milestone of losing 50lbs.

I've lost another 30lbs since then...

Day 2 of our trip

Climbing indoors over the summer... I'm sweaty gross cause I ran three miles before I took my turn climbing (clearly I just follow the "rainbow" instead of the routes ;)). So I'm definitely long over due for a trip!

Back to the gifts!

My mom also got me this super awesome shirt for cold weather runs (and when all this damn snow melts hopefully i'll get some soccer time in too before spring season). It's light weight, but warm and wicks away the sweat, it's also got thumb holes so I can cover my wrists....


And to all a Healthy New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Day Work Out

So we had a pretty massive snow storm this weekend. And I was going stir crazy in my house trying to think of ways to work out this weekend...turns out I didn't need to worry about it because it took me two hours to dig out of this:

I had to dig around the car and then dig out my drive way down to the street, clear the side walk, steps and porch.

Hopefully next week I'll actually have some fitness related things to say.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Some Girls Like to Shop

Clearly not all girls but some of us do! This one goes out to the girls who enjoy a little retail therapy.

You're probably wondering what this has to do with fitness... well not much, but it does have a lot to do with general wellness :). Sometimes it's nice to go out and shop and be able to try on clothes you never would have been able to fit in 6 months ago. And it's even better when said clothes are ON SALE! All the more reason to celebrate with a blog post :) And if you don't like it tough cookies, this is my blog you can go watch a zombie movie.

Stop #1: Anthropologie (aka my clothing addiction)... Office holiday party is thursday and I have nothing to wear but dresses that are several years old and probably several sizes too large! Anthro sale rack to the rescue!

Gathered Together Dress on sale for $59.95!

The best part about this purchase, I had a gift card for $75.00 that I was holding on to waiting for that special must have purchase so I still have $11 left to spend on something small. JE talked me down from buying yet another copy of Pride and Prejudice:

It's my favorite book of all time, and yes I already own several copies including a Zombie version and an illustrated children's book version...don't do I really didn't need another one? Yes, because this one has a super CUTE cloth cover! I'm glad she talked me out of it though because Anthro wanted $20.00 for this and it's on sale at amazon for $13.60! Score! :D

Stops #2 & 3: J. Crew and Gap. Self restraint was exercised at these stores. Clothes and cute head bands were tested, but I had to tell myself no.

Stop #4: Nordstroms. JE introduced me to the wonders of the Junior section. I had never thought to shop there before thinking I wouldn't fit in the clothes but they have cheep accessories! And accessorize I did!

Hat - $7.90!!
Cute little ball earings - $6.00
Belt to go with anthro dress $6.90

Gotta love a good sale :)

Dear Santarob... I've been a bad girl today!

If you insist ;)

I've been a bad bad girl. Yesterday was our office staff party. I made ginger cookies since everyone brings a dish and I've never made these cookies before. They turned out relatively amazing. Minus the part where I swore repeatedly (see told you I was naughty) at the dough because it wouldn't cooperate with me and transfer the men onto the cookie sheet with out turning them into mutants and/or elasto-ginger bread men! Hence I made ginger snaps instead:

Cookies to spread holiday cheer in the office!

So yea, I over ate yesterday... and then today there were left overs and it seems I made too many cookies because my chewy delicious ginger cookies were still left!! I kind of have a problem with ginger snaps... I kind of love them... hardcore.

So I kind of ate several of them today along with some other left overs, please don't be angry Santaward! I'll try better tomorrow!

-Team Six Pack

p.s. Can I still stay on your "naughty" list though ;)

*ahem* ANYWAY! ;)

So today and yesterday were a diet bust! I still worked out Sunday (running/weights), Monday (spinning) and today (bootcamp). I'll try harder with my diet tomorrow to try and get back on track! Unfortunately there's another holiday party to attend Thursday! Help! I really do hate this time of year!

[Super awesome/hilarious "Naughty" Rob pic from 2 sisters blog!]

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Biggest Loser: Not Your Typical Weight Loss Reality

Whenever I talk to people about weight loss they always ask me inevitably if I watch the Biggest Loser and whether or not I found inspiration from the show. I never watched the show before, of course I had heard of it, but I'm not a regular tv watcher. That is up until a few weeks ago I finally watched my first episode of the Biggest Loser second chances. (A perfect storm of free time, boredom and nothing else being on tv lead me to actually give the show a chance, not kidding I probably watch less than 30 minutes of tv a week on average.) The episode was down to the final 4 contestants, they were sent home to learn how to live the lessons learned on the ranch in their every day lives and to train for a marathon.

It was interesting, but my feelings on the show are mixed. I've heard a lot of criticism and praise of the show and their methods for weight loss. The contestants were very obese and they lost large amounts of weight very quickly. Roughly 2lbs of weight loss a week is a healthy average. My doctors have told me this and I've read about it over and over on sparkpeople.

I also thought it was unfair that the men were put up against the women. I believe when it comes to weight loss there should be a separation of sexes. Men and women store fat in their bodies differently! (read this article for more info). Similarly you should NEVER compare your weight loss to another person whether they're the same sex or not, everyone will always have different results. The men were much more obese than the women starting out. They had a larger BMI and more fat to burn off, so naturally when you have that much weight to shed it's going to fall off relatively quick and in large numbers. But once it got closer to the finish the poor women were struggling to achieve 8 lbs of loss where as the men (again, larger BMI to start) were still dropping 20lbs or more. And I felt sorry for those ladies because you could tell they were comparing their results to the men and beating themselves up about it and there was no way they could compete.

They also had them train for a marathon in 60 days. 60 days of training to run 26.2 miles. That's seems a bit drastic to me! Hell I had that amount of time to train to run 7.3 miles. I'm sure if I focused ALL my time on running everyday I might have been able to run a marathon, but I do a big variety of work out activities and I like it that way to keep me from getting bored! I kept my regular boot camp schedule, had my weekend soccer games, got sick and injured during training, but in the end I was able to complete my 7.3 miles.

Coincidentally I read two articles on sparkpeople discussing the lessons you should take away from the Biggest Loser and the lessons you should forget! Pretty much everything I was thinking when watching the show is outlined in these articles. Let's take a look shall we!

Lesson to UNlearn: this one covers exactly what I was talking about, healthy weight loss averages about 2lbs a week:

Their results are not typical. "Biggest Loser" contestants weigh in once per week. In the first few weeks of each season, the contestants lose massive amounts of weight. I am not talking about four or five pounds either. I'm talking about 15, 20, or even 25 pounds gone in a single week! Healthy weight loss guidelines, like SparkPeople's, state that up to two pounds lost per week is safe for adults. Occasionally, adults with BMI's higher than 30 can safely lose a little more than that. Losing two pounds per week on "The Biggest Loser" would send you home very quickly! Later in the show, everyone's weight loss slows down, and they're disappointed with four-, six- and even eight-pound losses. In reality, even these "small" amounts are more than what most people can expect. In real life, most dieters can lose up to two pounds per week. Remember the lesson from the tortoise and the hare: Slow and steady wins the race! You're more likely to keep the weight off that way (and not go crazy with exercise or dieting extremes during the process).

Lesson to LEARN:
You won't always see results. It happens every season — some of the participants actually GAIN weight instead of losing. Whenever they'd stand on that scale, only to see the numbers pop up as a “plus” instead of a “negative,” I wanted to cry with them! But just like ups and downs are part of the show, they're a reality for the rest of us, too.

Lesson Losing weight isn't as simple as a mathematical equation. Sure you need to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight, but even when you do everything right, sometimes it just doesn't work out that way. Is it frustrating? You bet! But when it happens, all you can do is accept it and continue on. Trust that your efforts will show eventually. Remember, that even when the scale doesn't budge, your efforts are making a difference. Try to focus on other ways to measure your progress — like how you feel, your health improvements, and how your clothes fit. If all else fails, take steps to bust through your plateau!
My next step... reading that busting through your plateau article cause boy do I hit them!!

Lesson to UNlearn:

They are often overtraining. Behind the scenes, participants are closely monitored by physicians and trainers to make sure they can hold up to the rigors of training. All, if not most, of the participants go from zero fitness activity to training every day for hours. In the controlled environment of the campus, they can rest optimally, eat optimally, and recover optimally. But this isn't a good training philosophy for the everyday person. In essence, they go from inactive to athlete, but that can be dangerous for many people, inviting injuries, pain, and health risks. The best bet is to start slowly increase the intensity, duration and frequency over time. Even then, no one person needs to exercise for hours a day. Allow your body the time it needs to adjust to workloads and remember that there is more to life than fitness.
As I stated above going from not running to running a marathon in 60 days is over the top extreme, I'm surprised there weren't injuries!

Lesson to LEARN:

You have to work hard. Sometimes when I'd watch the Teams work out I'd think, "Their trainers are heartless!" In reality, those trainers know that weight loss takes hard work. You see them exercise when they have nothing left, choose the healthy foods even though they'd rather have their favorite comfort foods, and even leave their families for weeks at a time — these things are not for the faint of heart.

Lesson: It won't always be easy. Lots of people want to lose weight, but most aren't willing to pay the price or make sacrifices to get there. You will not be successful with a half-hearted effort or by looking for shortcuts or the easy way out.
Weight loss is going to take a lot of time and hard work and dedication. Even if the biggest loser contestants overtrain don't use that as an excuse to play it safe and to not train at all! I've had lots of little injuries, muscle pains and bumps along the way that might have temporarily slowed me down, but I don't regret any of them because over all I'm healthier than I was before!! I'd rather be able to claim that I hurt my foot playing a sport than saying I twisted it on my way to the fridge to get more ice cream because I got up too quickly and my head was spinning from staring at the computer screen!

Lesson to UNlearn:

They compare themselves to others. Each week at the weigh-in, the person who loses the most weight gets "immunity" and the people who lose the least are likely to be eliminated. No one wants to be the one who loses the fewest pounds. Inevitably, someone gets discouraged because they compare their weight loss to the losses of others. This is part of the TV game, but in real life, comparing yourself to others is a losing game. The only person you should be concerned with is yourself. Everyone loses weight in different places and at different rates. Don’t let someone else’s victory or defeat determine whether you view yourself as a winner or a loser. Keep your eyes straight ahead as you eat right, exercise hard, remain consistent. If you do this, everything else will eventually fall into place.

Like I said above, I felt so bad for those girls who got down on themselves for their 8lb loss! Take this one to unlearn to heart and read the lesson below!

Lesson to LEARN:

Your attitude matters. The wrong group can drain your motivation and energy. Did you notice the Black Team in season five? Granted, they were fighting an uphill battle and constantly facing the elimination room, but they were so down in the dumps that they often reminded me of a group of Eeyores. That negative energy could have contributed, on some level, to their constant struggles.

Lesson: Surround yourself with positive people. A fitness buddy with a negative attitude isn't fun to hang around, and that can be detrimental to your workouts and your consistency. And if you find that the negative attitude is coming from you, chances are you won’t stick with it. Change your perspective and stay positive for good results!
Lesson to UNlearn:

They rely on trainers. At nearly every workout, Bob or Jillian tells the "losers" what to do, when to do it, how often to do it, and how long to do it. It sure would be easy to reach your goals if you had a trainer standing over you, motivating you, and forcing you to work harder than you would on your own, right? I believe in personal training (heck, I am a trainer!) but you don’t need a personal trainer to be successful. For my clients, I teach them how to exercise and then to let them go. A dependent relationship between client and trainer is not a good idea. SparkPeople has all the tools and resources you need to work out, get motivated, and lose weight on your own!

Lesson to LEARN:

You shouldn't go it alone. Do you think that the contestants would be as successful if they went at it alone? In season five, for example, the Blue Team was a serious force to be reckoned with. Roger, Mark, Jay, and Dan seemed to never lose a challenge or a weigh-in. Did you notice how they supported and encouraged each other to push harder, work out longer, and stick to their diets? The support and camaraderie they exhibited definitely helped them succeed as often as they did.

Lesson: There is strength in numbers. Doing everything by yourself can be lonely and discouraging. But having a buddy — or a team of supporters — can help you to stick to it when the going gets tough. Instead of just going solo on the treadmill or bike, consider taking a group fitness class or joining a team sports league.
I use a personal trainer, however I get his expertise in a group setting at bootcamp along with a group of women who are all working hard and supporting each other during our work outs. It's very important to stay positive. These women have become my support group. They always tell me they see a huge difference and that I've slimmed down so much. It's hard for me to accept their praise but it's so nice for them to offer it!

Sometimes the people closest to you might be the ones that are most skeptical, your families etc. I had this problem. My family was used to me being the fat one, my mom still tells me I shouldn't lose too much weight! A reader told me that her husband pretty much had no faith in her when she said she wanted to lose weight, jerkface! All I had to say to her was DON'T LISTEN TO HIM! Listen to yourself and do what you need to do. I can't listen to my mom because I KNOW I've still got a lot of work left to do. Even if your closest loved ones can't step up and be supportive, don't let it discourage you. Like the article said, take a group exercise class, join a sports team. One of my biggest supporters that always tells me i'm looking great and to never give up all my hard work is my spinning/yoga instructor, and also my soccer team mates have been very encouraging and tell me I've improved my game so much! Trust me before you know it you'll have new friends that will support you 100%, and eventually those that haven't been supportive will figure out you're serious and step up to the plate as well.

Lesson to UNlearn:

2. They put their lives on hold. Probably the single biggest factor that makes these folks so successful is that they spend weeks on the "campus" with NO outside distractions. They have no jobs, school, family responsibilities, last-minute meetings, errands to run, bills to pay, cell phones to answer or obligations to attend to. Their only focus is exercising and losing weight. When contestants finally go home, you can see the fear on their faces. They know how hard it will be to continue their diet and exercise plans when LIFE resumes. In the perfect environment—with trainers and dietitians and doctors overseeing every step, we could all be big losers. But weight loss doesn't require putting your life on hold. Sure it'd be easier, but it's pretty unrealistic and it doesn't teach you how to really deal with life and weight loss. Those of us who learn to lose weight and live in the real world are far better off—because we can build habits that really work and create lasting change.
This is something I never did. I never put my job or the things I enjoy in life on hold, I re-prioritized and worked around my existing schedule. Like I've posted about before, I still have my dorky online habits, however....

Lesson to LEARN:

You have to change your lifestyle. The participants on the show understand that this is a complete lifestyle overhaul— a total transformation for life, not a diet for a little while. No matter how hard they work or how much weight they lose while on campus, it will come back if they revert back to their old habits at home.

Lesson: There are no quick fixes. Getting healthy and managing your weight it is not a temporary thing. It's a series of day-to-day, meal-by-meal choices that you have to stick with for the long haul.

I would have never seen any results if I didn't get away from the computer into the gym and out on the soccer field!

Here's a realistic summary of what to take away from the Biggest Loser:

Although it isn’t realistic for everyone to follow everything they see on "The Biggest Loser," the basic principles hold true: Making healthy food (and portion) choices, surrounding yourself with supportive people, and exercising regularly will lead to weight loss. Changing your habits into a lasting lifestyle will ensure that the weight stays off.

Click the links to read the full articles of 6 Lessons to Unlearn and 8 Lessons to Learn.

Hopefully this article might help you take a more realistic approach to weight loss, just remember the lessons learned as well and start changing your life style today.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Healthy Lunch

I try my best to stick to a 1500 calorie a day diet. It's important that I keep my meals under or at 500 calories. Sometimes it's difficult to find a tasty filling meal under 500 calories, but it's never impossible! It's all about making the right choices!

Here's my healthy lunch for today. Romaine Lettuce salad with carrots and 2 tbsp of balsamic vinaigrette dressing shaken through out, hearty tomato vege soup (so thick & filling I only ate 1/2 the cup), 1 tangelo, 1 individual sized pack of Westminster oyster crackers. And for dessert .35 oz square of organic milk chocolate. (Water for drink).

Calories: according to spark people here are my calories...

Romaine Lettuce (salad), 2 cup, shredded: 16 calories, 0 Fat

Carrots, raw, 0.25 cup, chopped: 13 cal

Annie's Naturals Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, 2 Tbsp, 1 serving: 100 cal, 10 fat

Vegetable Soup, 1 cup: 145 cal, 4 fat

Saltine Crackers (Saltines), 0.25 cup oyster crackers:48, 1 Tangerines, 1 large (2-1/2" dia): 43 cal, 0 fat

Endangered Species Bug Bites Milk Chocolate .35 oz square, 1 serving: 53 cal

Lunch TOTALS: 418 calories

Meal cost: $7.12 (and I have left over soup)

You'd probably spend just as much or maybe a little less on a McDonald's big mac value meal, but look at what else you gain:


Did you just hear that?? That was the sound of my head exploding!!!! 1,350 calories in one meal!!! That's sickening. If I ate McDonald's I wouldn't have been able to eat breakfast and I would have 150 calories left for the rest of the I could have a slice of bread and a small apple.

p.s. True facts: I've never had a big mac before.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Gal's Opinion of the Fifa World Cup Draw

I know what you're thinking... dorky chicks talk about sports?? Heh, I only talk about one sport... my true sporty love... football! (and I'm not talking about the NFL!) I try my best to keep up but there's so many players and teams out there its impossible to stay on top of the game.
What's the world cup draw you ask? Well ladies, the world cup draw took place in South Africa this past Friday. The draw decides which countries will face each other in the opening group stages of the greatest sporting event on earth! From the groups the top two teams advance to the knock out stage, and then it gets a little confusing... refer to this chart from 2006 for a visual. The top two teams from each group advance and they play against the top teams from the other groups. At that point 16 teams should be left, loser goes home. From there, the 8 winners advance to the quarter final and it's do or die to the end.

World Cup 2010 group tables & fixtures

FIFA World Cup : Group A Table
Friday, 4 December 2009 19:22 UK

1 France 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 Mexico 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 Uruguay 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Head butting and hand balls aside, I think France will be in first in this group, not sure who will be second of this group. Let's cheer for the host team. France 1, South Africa 2.

FIFA World Cup : Group B Table
Friday, 4 December 2009 19:23 UK

1 Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 Greece 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 Nigeria 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 South Korea 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Doesn't seem Argentina has consistently performed on the international stage. South Korea might be their only formidable opponents, they've been in the final four before but that was in 2002.... lines up's have changed and one word: Messi. This one goes to Argentina, I think they've been handed a group they can walk out of on top. Argentina 1, South Korea 2.

FIFA World Cup : Group C Table
Friday, 4 December 2009 19:23 UK

1 Algeria 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 England 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 Slovenia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 USA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

*Rubs hands together* Here we go! USA's world cup hopes start June 12 against England! Let the name calling begin! The Yanks v. the Limey's! The Patriots v. the London Silly Nannies! This will be like watching two long lost relatives fight each other. Maybe like two siblings (both of them girls) swinging and pulling hair...we don't really mean to hurt each other, do we? Hell yea we do! Watch out Beckham, we might ruffle your perfect hair, Rooney protect yer bullocks! Terry, um... Chelsea sucks!... So the big question.... Does the US stand a chance against England? I say YES , we can! I believe we have a good fighting chance against one of footballs powerhouse nations... don't believe me? Don't forget this:

Yeah that would be the USA defeating Spain w/ Carles Puyol Saforcada (FC Barcelona), Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Fernando Torres (Liverpool). Top players playing for top teams, and we beat them.

If our top players stay fit (as England's top players get older and put on a show of big names), I think we have a good chance of making it out of the group stages.

Let's look at some FIFA stats:

England top scorers:
Wayne ROONEY760 Minutes9 Goals

Peter CROUCH2794

Frank LAMPARD8904

USA top scorers:
Jozy ALTIDORE755 Minutes6 Goals

Michael BRADLEY13265

Landon DONOVAN13405

Clint DEMPSEY10725

Brian CHING7474

Less time more goals or more players scoring... Altidore and Rooney are pretty equally matched in my opinion. USA have had more goals scored, but also had more goals scored against them... it's a toss up. I'm still undecided who will be 1 and 2 for this group. I can't wait to see it all unfold next summer!

FIFA World Cup : Group D Table
Friday, 4 December 2009 19:24 UK

1 Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 Germany 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 Ghana 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 Serbia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Duh Germany... 3rd place in the world cup 2006, 2nd place in Euro 2008. Unless
Ballack, Lahm, Klose, Schweinsteiger, and Podolski all get injured I don't think Germany is going down. Germany 1, Australia 2 (possibly Ghana 2).

FIFA World Cup : Group E Table

Friday, 4 December 2009 19:24 UK

1 Cameroon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 Denmark 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 Netherlands 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Netherlands almost seemed unstoppable in Euro 2008 but they fell apart and lost to Russia in the Quarter finals. I don't know enough about any of the other teams to comment. But I'd like to see the Netherlands go on. Netherlands 1, Japan 2.

FIFA World Cup : Group F Table

Friday, 4 December 2009 19:24 UK

1 Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 Paraguay 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 Slovakia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Talk about being handed a cake walk in the group stages. Italy will ultimately be #1. I don't know enough about NZ, Paraguay and Slovakia to decide who will be #2.

FIFA World Cup : Group G Table

Friday, 4 December 2009 19:24 UK

1 Brazil 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 Ivory Coast 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 Korea DPR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 Portugal 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Brazil or Portugal. I can't decide which of these teams will be one and two.

FIFA World Cup : Group H Table

Friday, 4 December 2009 19:25 UK

1 Chile 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 Honduras 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 Spain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 Switzerland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

If top ranked Spain falls in the group stages I'll be very very surprised. Than again stranger things have happened. (Like getting defeated by the USA!). Spain 1, Honduras 2.

(source for fancy charts: BBC SPORTS)

SO there's my thoughts on the world cup draw, come on Summer 2010!

Rob, you and your three lions are going down!! **

Ah, the limited powers of paint!


** We American's will pretend to care up until the point where we lose, in which case we state that we didn't care about soccer in the first place and will go back to our normal pre-season behavior of preparing our NFL fantasy drafts.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Death of an iPod

I came home this afternoon to switch my work out clothes from the wash to the dryer because Monday starts yet another week of work outs and by Saturday I'll have nothing clean again...

and there in the bottom of the wash, sitting lifeless was my iPod shuffle!!!

I knew there was no way to revive the poor thing...


I killed it!!!

Please allow me this moment to deliver a Eulogy...
I worked out on Saturday and we ran sprint intervals together. You were playing muse and I was running, and all was right with the world. Just you and me so happy together blasting music. And then I went to stretch and we were singing Kings of Leon out loud to the twi-hater. I threw you in my bag that I was carrying, which got a little wet from the melted snow, so to be safe and protect you from the water (and sweaty shirt) I placed you in my pants pocket. Said pants then went into the wash!

But now you're dead!! And now I don't have music to listen to while I work out!!

It's the end of an era!! *sad face* We've worked out together for years, providing me music for motivation, and a means to ignore all the weird people at my gym. *Sigh*

RIP little shuffle 2006 - 2009

Oh well, new ones are $60. Maybe I'll get a color. Blue is my favorite.

Sorry, little iPod. My Bad!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Favorite Healthy Snacks

I  want to share with you some of my favorite healthy snacks to nibble on in between meals or as part of a meal....

Apples!! I freakin' LOVE apples! 
When they're in season, I swear I could live off them, most days I literally do eat an apple a day. Currently this apple season I have been enjoying cameo apples, gala, and fuji YUM!!!

Apples: 1 Medium (2-3/4" dia)= roughly 80 calories!

Cascade Fresh Yogurt

I prefer this brand of yogurt above all others. I discovered it when I first started my portion control diet at my local health foods store. I love yogurt, but a lot of the flavored yogurts are pretty high in calories. Cascade Fresh is sweetened with fruit juice instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners you might find in other brand of low cal/low fat yogurt. It's creamy and it really does taste like the name describes, fresh!

One 6 oz. container of cascade fresh is 110 calories!

Read more about this brand and where to buy on their website:


I carry around a small container of almonds (dry roasted unsalted) in my purse so I always have a healthy snack option. I'm not saying I necessary always opt for the almonds lol, but at least the option is there and I do love me some tasty almonds. I actually wrote an entire post about nuts and how even though some might think they're high in fat...they're better for you than the majority of the fatty foods out there.

1 oz of almonds (about 22 kernels) = 169.2 Calories

Cheese Sticks, nom nom nom!

Why in stick form? Because it's already portioned out for you and easy to grab when you're on the go. I haven't had either of these brands personally, I usually shop at trader joe's who sells their own brand of both of these products. Here is the nutrition information for Trader Joe's brand:

1 Trader Joe's Light Part Skim Mozzarella String Cheese = 60 Calories
1 Trader Joe's Mild Cheddar Cheese Stick = 80 Calories


Who doesn't love chocolate! I chose this product because they come in small .35 oz servings and I just buy them one at a time if I'm craving a little something sweet. This chocolate is TASTY! It's so much better than your run of the mill Hershey's bar. Just look past the whole bug bites thing, there are no bugs in the chocolate. Endangered Species Chocolate donates 10% of net profits to help support endangered species, habitat and humanity. Who knew eating a little chocolate could be good for the environment ;)

Their chocolates are Kosher and Gluten Free and the dark chocolate bar I snacked on today is also vegan (for our vegan friends with a sweet tooth :D)

One .35 oz Milk Chocolate Bar = 52.5 Calories
One .35 oz Dark Chocolate Bar = 50 Calories

Learn more about this company and where to get their products at

So there you have it!

Snack healthy my friends!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sometimes We All Need a Friendly Diet Reminder!

So TSP, remember that portion control diet [correction: lifestyle change] you've been on for the past oh, year and 8 months.

Of course how could I forget?

Right, so remember how last week you just threw it all out the window and went buck wild, like girls gone wild - on a slice of pumpkin pie - wild...

*ducks and covers* yeaaaaahhh.....

And you didn't just stop (or start) with Thanksgiving dinner... you had Mexican food the night before and then the day after you had a turkey burger and fries...

Well, they were fresh cut!

Right, doesn't count.
And there was old bay on them! You don't say NO to french fries with old bay... you can't!!

Excuses! Excuses! And then you went to the movies right after that and had a small popcorn and a coke.

*pouts* But I worked out that morning! and ran 5 miles Thanksgiving day! and worked out two other days before that!

Yeah, and how about how for the past oh, two months or so you've stopped logging your calories on sparkpeople?

Well I started writing a diet journal recently instead...


But it's not exactly working because I don't always have the calorie information in front of me, and I'm not exactly being super strict about measuring my portions either.

So you ended up breaking your diet, even if you don't realize you do

Uh, ya. I confess I do. Especially because I'm not being super observant.

And you know what this means?

That I'm only maintaining my weight instead of losing :(

You know what you need to do...and Knowing is half the battle!

Ok Ok, so yes, I confess I haven't been very vigilant with my diet for a while now. I've still lost a few inches of body fat because of my work outs, but I'm super annoyed the the scale hasn't gone down in over two months. I know it's not always about the scale and that I am doing a lot of strength training, but I also know that my diet needs improvement. I have no one to blame but myself for this because no one sat there and forced me to eat pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll, pizza, Mexican, Indian, burgers, fries and movie popcorn.... So I'm back on logging in everything I eat!

I started Saturday so I'm only 3 days back being strict with my 1500 calorie a day diet and I'm measuring my portions again too! So wish me luck, I hope I see some results by the end of the week! I think I'll know after two weeks if this is making a difference or if I really can blame the strength training ;)...but I'm not going to lie to myself I know my diet needs improvement and sometimes I just need a refresher every so often to get myself back on the right track to healthy eating!

(image from

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turkey Trot a la mode!

That's me running towards the pumpkin pie... kidding...ok maybe not...

So the turkey trot I ran on Thanksgiving morning ended up being a lot of fun. I didn't really pay attention to the route or distance, the entire time I'm thinking it's just a 5k which is nothing at all...but it turned out be 5 miles not 5k oops! Oh well, no biggie right? I can run five miles... but THEN I also didn't realize that the route was all rolling hills, mostly just up hill then flat then up hill again and very few down hills! Which I wasn't aware of until we reached the first one...and they just kept coming.

I usually run on a route that has some hills, but this was a lot of hills! And it killed my calf muscles. My right in particular started to cramp up so I had to stop to stretch it. Then during another big hill a sudden pain shot through my calf and I had to stop to stretch yet again! I also got side stitches which is something that never happens to me. Hasn't happened since I was a teenager that I can recall. I didn't even get side pain the entire time I trained for the relay or during the actual race. It must have been those hills! So needless to say I was a bit uncomfortable for the entire run, but I wanted to finish so I pushed through it. If it hadn't been for members of my bootcamp encouraging me a long it probably would have been a lot more grueling.

When the finish line was in sight I sprinted for the end (for once we were on flat ground) and finished strong. The run wasn't timed but we calculated that it was done in about an hour so I ran about 11 minute miles. So despite the aches and pains during the run we got a great exercise in the morning of Thanksgiving and (the best part) we all donated money for research towards Chron's Disease and Colitus.

I then proceeded Thanksgiving Eve to sample pretty much every dessert there was...and I'm not going to say the total number of variety but let's just say everything that had pumpkin in it, I went for, especially the pie with the cinnamon and pecan crust that my grandmother made...holy dessert heaven batman! *Bad Team Six Pack bad!*

Friday morning I got up and went to boot camp and had a great hour long full body work out...then I proceeded to destroy my diet the rest of the day with a turkey burger, some french fries and a small movie theater popcorn and small coke...(It's black Friday... I don't step foot near a mall or store if I can avoid it... movies are usually my other option for entertainment)

(Needless to say my next post will be about brushing up my diet)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How Are You're Going to Stay Fit on Thanksgiving?

So what are your typical plans for Thanksgiving?? If you asked me two years ago I probably would have said I would be doing activities similar to that of a two-toed sloth. ie. Nothing.

And on top of laying around doing nothing, I would have eaten ton of food, pie and pumpkin roll.

I've decided from now on every Thanksgiving morning I'm going to do something to keep active.

Last year on Thanksgiving day I played a pick up soccer game for two hours straight and it was awesome fun! Especially when we were kicked off the turf and forced to play in the mud. Always good times :)

This year, I'm going to do a Turkey Trot!

What's a Turkey Trot?

Well, since you asked... a Turkey Trot is a race held on Thanksgiving Day and most of races donate the sign up fee to charity, since it is the day to give thanks and all :)

And if that wasn't enough...the best part... These races are held all over the country so there's a good chance there's a race being held near you!!

The link above will take you to where you can enter in your zip code to find the nearest race.

So what are you going to do this Thanksgiving morning? Be like me two years ago and lay in bed all morning then roll out of bed and make yourself presentable before you stuff your face?

Or are you going get out there and do something healthy and fun!?

Don't forget to check out my Eat This Not That post for the holidays!

sloth cartoon from cartoonstock.comturkey trot cartoon from

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Soccer Sunday's: The End of the Road

What!? There's no crying in soccer!

Ok, well maybe just a little crying...but only because the seasons have ended and there's NO soccer for months as boring cold winter settles into the north east! Boo! Yes, I know I could play indoor but honestly I'm not a huge fan of indoor...however, I might end up breaking down and playing if I go soccer stir crazy in the middle of the winter.

So here's a recap of this weekend's games....

Saturday w/ my ladies team: Game 1. To say the field we played on sucked is putting it lightly. It's on a low ground and runs slightly down hill, so with several weeks of rain in a row it was a choppy muddy freakin' mess and very difficult to get your footing in when you're constantly sinking and sliding in the mud. (note: this was the same field I hurt my foot on, I did not go balls out during this game because I did not want a repeat of that mess). We tied 1-1, and over all it wasn't very exciting because as I said before the field was difficult to play on for both sides.

Game 2: Back to back soccer baby! We got to switch fields and play on a field that was less choppy, actually flat and dry. We also played a comptetive team--we play on the rec level which means we're out there for the fun of it not necessarily for victory all the time but hey, winning is nice too. The competitive team played a man down, but we were playing on tired legs so in my opinion we were equally matched. They dominated the first half of the game and managed to score one on us. However second half of the match we got our rhythm going and scored 3 goals two were headers...always beautiful when you score on a header! (see: Messi in this years champions league final.) Anyway, despite the other team supposedly having more skill than us we won 3-1. It was a great feeling and a great way to end our season which mostly got rained out!

Sunday Co-ed league: This was the first round of play-offs for us (second round for other teams who were placed lower). We were up against the team that was tied for third place with us that we defeated 5 or 6 to nothing a couple weeks ago. We knew they were unlucky that game and that they weren't going down with out a fight this game. By then end of the second quarter they scored two goals on us. Start of the third quarter we got a break when one of their defenders scored an own goal (take what you can get right?) and then we came back a few minutes later and put another one into the back of the net tying the match. The rest of the game was an all out fight for another goal during regulation time. Neither side was successful so we went into over time which is five minute golden goal, end of the first five minutes we were still tied. So we're now in double over time, down to the last minute it's looking like we're going into PK's at this point but from a corner kick a header was chipped into the top corner of our net. It was impossible to stop and our playoff hopes were squashed with that one goal and our season ended. Over all it was a closely matched game and well fought game. Not happy with the results but it is what it is. We still managed to have a great season and I think third place during regular season play is nothing to scoff at :) Bring on next season!

For now though I need to bump up my running make sure I stay conditioned for the sprinting and get back out there and keep up my ball skills. The end of soccer season means there's two less days a week that I'm working out so I still want to make sure I work out 6 days a week.

Trying not to cry right now because this is my last Soccer Sunday for a while! *sad face!*

Friday, November 6, 2009

Attack of the Movie Theater Snacks!

Ahh the movies, who doesn't love a good escape from life staring at the big screen every once in a while.  And the smell of the popcorn, it's hard to resist!

Wait wait! Slow down a second before we all run out to the lobby! Let's take a closer look at your favorite movie theater treats before you go crazy on that bucket of popcorn and completely ruin your diet!

Which movie theater treat is going to kill your diet?

The biggest offender...



Popcorn: At the low end, a medium box with no butter has a modest 951 calories, no fat, and no cholesterol. At the other end, a large bucket (around 20 cups!) with butter delivers 1,238 calories and 78 grams of fat, 49 of them saturated — approximately two days’ worth. (Source)
But I thought popcorn was a relatively healthy snack??! Sure it is, if it's air popped and not coated in oil and butter! Here's what has to say:

In theory, popcorn should be low in calories and high in fiber—a healthy, whole grain snack. And it is when you air pop your own at home. But everything changes when it's made at the theater and becomes a greasy and oil-soaked mess covered in artery-clogging butter or margarine.

A few years ago, when the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) reported that movie theater popcorn was full of unhealthy fat, the industry immediately made changes, switching from coconut oil to healthier oils, such as peanut. Over the years, however, some chains have switched back to coconut oil to save money and improve flavor.

Yikes seriously it's going to take a lot of running to work off that popcorn! P.s. I'm finding several websites that place the calorie range of the large movie theater popcorn high at 1500 calories and over 100 grams of fat... So 1200 calories might be underestimating the calories of the large bucket!

Other Unhealthy Snack Offenders!


(Seriously wondering if anyone actually enjoys the taste of that processed cheese?? *blech*)

Nachos: 40 chips with four ounces of what they call cheese conveys 1,101 calories — roughly equal to two large McDonald’s fries orders or two Quarter Pounders with (actual) cheese — and 59 grams of fat, 18.5 of them saturated. (Source)

Pretzel Bites!

Pretzel: The large, soft kind with cheese topping delivers 643 calories and 14.5 fat grams, three of them saturated, and four of them trans fats — amounts worthy of a dinner entree. (Source)

Jebus! I feel like I'm in a dieters house of horrors right now. I didn't know New Moon was supposed to be a scary movie!?

But wait there's still more...

How many of you go for the bottled water at the snack counter? Right, probably not many hands going up right now. So we usually wash all these salty, fatty snacks snacks down with a sugary bucket of soda!

Remember when you went to the movie theater as a child and the small soda was actually small??? Now you get a small soda and it's suitable to use as a bucket to make a sand castle out of!

Coke. If it’s a 32-ounce medium, unembellished, KIRO calculates 236 calories, but the Men’s Health team went for a lake-like 44 ounce Cherry Coke and were slammed with 572 calories.

With just a medium popcorn and Coke, you’re at nearly 1,200 calories
Holy Calorie Overload Batman!!

In case you need a reminder when you're at the snack counter here's a chart you can print out with a quick run down of all the nutritional information to help you choose the healthiest snack!

(just click on it and it should open in a new page for you to print out!)

So what can you do to get around all this temptation???

I would recommend sharing that popcorn but Sparkpeople say's even that's not 100% fool proof!

If movie theater popcorn is a must-have, stick with a kid-sized serving and forgo the added butter or margarine. Avoid the larger sizes completely, even if it seems like a steal. Moving up to the medium serving from the small size costs only pennies more, but adds about 500 more calories and two days worth of saturated fat. Ouch!

Think you can get away with buying large and sharing? Think again. One study conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that people who were given a large bucket of popcorn ate 50 percent more than those who were given a medium-sized bag. When asked to estimate how much they had eaten, participants thought they only ate as much as those with a smaller bag. This is one of many studies proving that if there’s food in front of us, we’ll eat it without thinking. (Source)

So the correct decision is to simply say no to the larger bucket and get your own smaller portion so you won't be tempted to keep going back for more!

Spark people also recommends you bring some healthy snacks from home... or eat a healthy meal before hand so you won't be tempted to over eat at the theater:

One way to enjoy at treat at the movies without destroying your waistline is to bring your own snacks from home. Yes, this is discouraged by most theater owners because they make a huge profit at the concession stand. However, all theatres have different policies, and some even allow you to bring food from outside vendors (such as restaurants or shops in the same mall or shopping center). Find out the policy at your favorite theatre, and be prepared to lose your snacks to an angry employee if you get caught breaking the rules.

Here are some healthy alternatives you can bring from home to munch on:
  • Bottled water or 100% fruit juice
  • Trail mix, made with nuts and dried fruit
  • Dry cereal
  • String cheese
  • Air-popped popcorn, flavored with Parmesan cheese, chili pepper, or garlic powder
  • Whole grain crackers, graham crackers, or rice crackers
  • Baked potato chips or tortilla chips
  • Bananas, grapes, raisins, or other no-mess fruit
  • 2-3 miniature chocolate bars
The best way to avoid temptation at the theater is to eat a balanced meal beforehand—lean protein, whole grains, veggies and healthy fats will keep you satisfied for several hours. (Sorry, but the concession's pizza, nachos and hot dogs don't fit the bill of a healthy meal.)

Going to the movies is a social experience—and that means eating for many people. But you don’t have to miss out on the fun just because you’re watching what your diet. By bringing your own portion-controlled snacks from home or choosing carefully at the candy counter, the only things you’ll be missing are the inches you'll lose from your waist.

So there you go! You are now armed with knowledge to avoid the movie theater snack trap! Hopefully we all won't kill our diets on your next trip to the theater!