Wednesday, December 23, 2009

California Adventure- Day 6

I wait tables. And as a waiter I can tell you I honestly do not mind dietary special requests. If you want your food cooked a particular way, as a member of the "foodie" community, I am obliged to help you within reason.

If we don't have black bean soup on the menu, don't ask if we can just whip you up a batch. That's just nutty.

However, if you ask for no mayo or cheese, by all means you should get it that way.

Yesterday I was eating lunch with the boyfriend and his mom. She has many dietary restrictions, which makes going out to eat a challenge. She informed our waiter that she wanted the turkey club with no cheese, mayo, or avocado.

Strike one: he didn't write the order down. Ugh! I hate that.

Strike two: it was delivered wrong, of course. Cheese, check. Mayo, check. Avocado, check. The waiter stopped by and asked what she wanted. AGAIN. He asked if she wanted chicken or not. No, she replied. No chicken on my turkey club.

Strike three: when it arrived the 2nd time, it still had avocado. Really?

You are out, waiter. I was rooting for you, too.

Luckily, a manager did swing by and bought her sandwich.

My point is that you should insist as a healthy diner to get what you ordered. If my salad has dressing on it when I ordered on the side, well, I want no dressing.

Being healthy and taking care of yourself means no excuses. On your part or on others parts.

Remember that, as you steer through the holidays and cruise into the new year, too. Don't take no for an answer! And it is okay to send your food back.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

California Adventure- Day 5- The Peanut Gallery


Hello all! Still loving life and enjoying things here in California.

Something I am noticing is how utterly and completely exhausted I get at the end of the day. My normal schedule has me working fairly late, and then I stay up a couple of hours later when I get home, and then I sleep for maybe 6 to 7 hours. Here I have been zonked by 9, and I am getting a solid 8 hours or so.

Rest is such an important part of the routine. In an ideal world, it would be great to get this much rest daily. Hopefully, once I get out of my restaurant gig I'll have a more "normal" schedule. Until I start training people at 6 in the morning. :)

Day 5 was an exciting day! I started with a little Shape Body Boot Camp Cardio Intervals, and then the boyfriend and I headed off to Knotts Berry Farm. It was the perfect day: The weather was cool, the lines were amazingly short, and I got to see Snoopy on ice.


One thing that I couldn't help but notice was the food everywhere! Funnel cakes, popcorn, cotton candy, soda: Anything you could imagine that's not good for you. And I saw it in a few waistlines, too.


A good tip when you are traveling to one of these fast food meccas is to plan ahead. Christopher and I ate a good breakfast ahead of time, so that we didn't need to eat a lot at the park. It would also be a good idea to have snacks in your purse or bag.


My one indulgence was a hot dog with mustard. I LOVE mustard. At about 315 calories and 18 grams of fat, the hot dog seemed liked the wisest choice.
Excited about Christmas here with the family, and excited to be sharing it with you all. I'm staying on track and staying accountable- how are you all doing?

Monday, December 21, 2009

What I am "F'd Up!" abut today! Funny or Die Video: Jersey Shore

I'm all about the Dove empowerment campaign. But this is hilarious.


California Adventure- Day 4- Early Christmas

Day 4 caught me unawares: I went to church with the family, went to a lovely brunch, helped set up Christmas lights and decorations, and then went over to the boyfriend's family's house to have an early Christmas dinner.

OH NO.

More than one Christmas dinner? YIKES. I walked into the house and smelled turkey. I looked over and saw an assortment of pies. *gulp*


It hadn't occurred to me that I was going to fight this temptation more than once this season. A great holiday meal is a wonderful thing: Is two holiday meals too many?


I fussed in my brain, trying to devise a plan. Then I realized that it's JUST FOOD. IT'S ONLY FOOD! And food is not the enemy. My poor choices that I used to make are.


So I enjoyed the juicy turkey, loaded up on the steamed veggies and had a dollop of the green bean casserole. I avoided the bread. And for dessert? I took thin slices of the pies I wanted to try and I savored them.


It was really nice to meet all the family I hadn't met, and I felt proud of myself for not overindulging. That was the Christmas Miracle. :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

California Adventure- Day 3- Drunk Santa

It was rather awesome to turn on the television yesterday morning and see all the reports of snow and realize that it wasn't outside my window.

California, you are the greatest!

Even though I was crampy and headachey I did Kari Anderson's Reach: An awesome blend of ballet, yoga, and pilates. And I am going to need to keep this working out up, because we have been going out to eat a lot and I need to make sure I don't gain any weight over the holidays. That would be bad.

I have been doing a lot of easy substitutions with my food: Turkey patties, not eating the bun, eating only half portions, not snacking, drinking plenty of water. I know these will contribute to my healthful goals!

I wanted to share with you all a new feature I call "Drunk Santa". I found these various Santas at a local Christmas store when my boyfriend was sent out for tree lights. Enjoy.















































Saturday, December 19, 2009

California Adventure- Day 2

I haven't adjusted to the 4 hour time change. I woke up at 7 am! Some start to my vacation. . .

So, I did work out with Jillian Michaels. Not in person- can you imagine! I did level 1 of the 30 Day Shred and was happy I could still keep up with all the pushups. But that was all I had the energy for, because I was still a little jet lagged.

Christopher and I went to the mall for shopping and I have forgotten how much walking is required! In New York everything is all compartmentalized by neighborhood. I walk to get places. But just strolling at the mall wore me out.

I soaked up the sun and have enjoyed eating dinner with the family and recharging my batteries. That's such an important part of your health: Taking time out to relax.

Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday! Stay warm. Ha ha ha! *evil laughter*



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:E Union St,Pasadena,United States

Friday, December 18, 2009

California Adventure- Day 1

HELLO ALL!

I landed last night in the great state of California, and I am so happy because it is supposed to snow this weekend in New York! WOO! Sorry, Magenta. She hates to be walked in the snow.

For those of you who do not know, I am here in Pasadena visiting my boyfriend's family for Christmas. And it was 75 when we landed. Please make it last!!!

My goal in "California Adventure" is to make sure I stay accountable with my fitness goals even though I'm out of town. I want to prove to you all that is indeed possible.

Day 1's goal was to not eat like a total pig when I got to the airport and on the plane. The JetBlue terminal at JFK is like a fat person's dream: burgers, Philly steaks, pizza, and potato chips out the wazoo. Because the flight to California is 6 hours long and there are no meals on the plane, I knew I had to choose wisely.

I am lucky to live in a city that requires the calorie counts to be listed on the menu. I chose a turkey burger with blue cheese and banana peppers instead of the Supreme Deluxe Burger (a whopping 1,500 cals) and no french fries to eat pre-flight. For the "road" I chose a chicken salad and snack size hummus and pretzels.

This is where I point out the importance of reading your labels. READ THE LABELS! Even on salad. Had I chosen to eat the entire salad with the dressing, I would have ingested 109 grams of fat. WHAT? I didn't eat the dressing at all, saving myself from certain death and destruction.
On the plane I chose a snack size bag of sweet potato chips and water instead of soda.

I managed to make it through the day without completely sabotaging all my efforts! I felt satisfied with myself, and woke up this morning not completely angry with my stomach.

Off to work out, following my travel tips (read my last blog)! Have a happy Friday!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

You CAN Take It With You!

(Read this article on examiner.com!)

As anyone in shouting radius knows, I am going on a holiday vacation. One of the challenges of going out of town is getting out of my routine: Will I have room to work out? Time? Proper equipment?

Luckily, I have my list of sure fire tips and tricks that will ensure I get my work out on. If you are going out of town, or even going over the river and through the woods, you'll want to read this.

Problem: Weights are heavy! Solution: Carry one set of light hand weights. I like to use 3 pounds, maybe 5 if I don't have too many pairs of shoes to pack. 3 pound weights will allow you to add resistance to any activity without having to pay extra luggage fees.

Problem: I've packed too much and can't take weights! Solution: Resistance bands and tubing are light and fit into any crevice in your suitcase. Bands provide multi-plane resistance and can be used in everything from squats to crunches to pilates. Plus they only take up as much room as a pair of socks.

Problem: I need a television and DVD player to work out! Solution: Bring your lap top. My lap top is a multimedia machine. It play DVDs, and I can set it up anywhere that I have some space.

Problem: I don't know what type of DVDs to bring. Solution: Bring videos that require little to no equipment. That way, there are no excuses to not workout. Recommendations: 10 Minute Solution Slim and Sculpt Pilates, Kickbox Core Cross Train, and Squeeze are three workouts that each offer multiple timed workouts with little to no equipment to fit into the busiest holiday schedules.

Problem: I don't own any of the aforementioned products! Solution: Walking or running shoes are the only piece of equipment you'll need. Lace up and get out there. Grab a pedometer to track your steps and you'll burn even more calories.

I travel often and find that if you make a plan in advance and try not to wing it, you'll get the leg up on the new year and a fabulous new you. Happy travels!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

30 Day Goal Challenge: Days 8-14

Half way through the goal challenge!

I find this challenge to be both awesome and frustrating. Awesome: Setting a goal and accomplishing it, daily. Frustrating: Running out of hours in the day to check in.

I just spent the morning checking in on the forum, backtracking my progress over the week. It's my own fault- I sometimes get lost on Facebook or Twitter and forget to make checking in a priority. Then I am on the subway going to work and remember that I forgot. I get home late from work and then the last thing that I am thinking about is getting on the computer.

It's a vicious cycle. :)

So, here are the goals that I set for myself this week:

Day 8: Today's goal was to get some homework done- I finished a chapter in my workbook! YAY! I also did some heavy weight lifting with a new DVD, Jari Love's Extremely Ripped. It was awesome, and I think with all the cardio I'm ding the muscles that start to show under the flab will be amazing!

Day 9: I wrote my blog up to the first hour of the BL. I also talked myself into working out- I almost didn't do it and started to think of a slew of reasons why not-but then I talked myself into it instead. Did the Lotte Berk Method Muscle Eats Fat DVD and relaxed with some tea.

Day 10: Today's goal was rest. And I did.

Day 11: After resting yesterday, I knew I needed to pick up the pace. My goal today was just to workout. I did Jillian Michaels Cardio Kickbox.

Day 12: Today's goal was to get out of the apartment and to walk around town, and then I came home and did Stott Pilates On a Roll.

Day 13: Today's goal was to get in some cardio before going over to friend's house for dinner. Did Jillian Michaels Boost Your Metabolism. I feel boosted.

Day 14: One of today's goals was to FINALLY finish my BL recap blog. Also other goal was to do an hour of cardio. Dusted off some old Firm DVDs and proceeded to have my butt handed to me by some very pleasant and fit southern women. Aye yai yai!

Still kicking goal's butts and taking names. Trying to eek more time out of my day! Lesson learned: even if I can't physically check in, as long as I am actually meeting my goals that is good enough.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Apartment Fitness: Trudie Styler's Warrior Yoga

(Read the article on examiner.com!)

There have been many media reports about Sting and his wife Trudie Styler and their love for all things yoga. According to a 2005 interview with the Times Online UK, Mrs. Sting does two hours of yoga daily: An amazing feat for any 52-year-old. It is no surprise then that Styler would pair up with leading yoga workout DVD producer Gaiam for her aptly titled "Trudie Styler's Warrior Yoga" (Gaiam, $14.98).

Styler herself does not lead the video: It is instead led by her yoga instructor and fitness guru James D'Silva in voice over format. Styler and D'Silva perform the routine on the lawn of her "eco-friendly" estate in Italy. The scenery is lush and tranquil and really puts you in the mood to relax and exhale. To up the cool factor, the workout is underscored by Sting's own music: "Fields of Gold" and "Message in a Bottle" are slowed down to a yogic pace.

I found the routine to be really different from most yoga DVDs I own. There were fresh combinations: No boring sun salutations here. Although the selection is entitled "warrior", it is based on the warrior pose. It is not aggressive in the slightest.

The combination is performed all on one side of the body, and then again on the second side. There is not a lot of repetition. I find you do not have to have an advanced knowledge of yoga to perform the routine, but there is not a lot of explanation on D'Silva's part. Besides the 45 minute Warrior Workout, there is also a 25 minute express option which promises "a total-body strengthening workout and the mind-body connection you crave" in a shorter block of time.

Buying this DVD will not only make you feel good inside and out: This purchase also benefits the Unicef Ecuador water project. I would expect this from the couple who has championed so many eco-friendly causes. It would make a fabulous addition to any yogi's fitness routine.




Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Biggest Loser- SEASON 8 FINALE- "I AM LITTLE DANNY!"

Have I mentioned that I enjoy a reality based program entitled "The Biggest Loser"?

I do. Very much.

As my hero and secret agent girlfriend Jillian Michaels says, "It's not just a reality show. It's a movement." BL changes lives, for good or for bad, and the nation has been affected. I would like to think that the show shines a light on America's dirty "little" secret. We are a nation of ease and convenience. Food is bountiful. And so are our waistlines. But BL takes these normal folks, trains them like super human killing machines, and with the right ratio of food to exercise, the pounds seem to melt away and a new species is born, ready to speak motivationally to our country and the world.

Sometimes there is failure. Erik from season 3 was seen on the "Where are they now?" special almost at his regular weight. Season 2 winner Matt has gained a considerable amount back, but was still able to compete in the Kona Ironman. Surely, had he not been on the show he never would have thought to attempt this.

Pros and cons. Last night's finale of BL was filled with 'em.

Pro: Amanda beat out Country Liz for America's vote and made it into the final three to compete against Rudy and Danny. Liz didn't seem all that surprised. Maybe she had been watching the show and saw that she came off a little harsh. Or maybe she knew that her only fan was the girl writing this blog.

Con: Creepy 3-D cutouts of the contestants walking next to their thinner selves was really disturbing. Isn't it enough to burst through the life sized poster of yourself? Now you have to interact with them too. I liked that Liz sized herself up and Rudy patted himself on the tush.

Pro: Amanda looked really great in her hot pink number last night. She said it was the first time she had worn a dress since she was a kid. I didn't want to raise my hand and and be the one to say she wore a dress during the marathon. I don't think she would have heard me.

Con: Country Liz is 49 and has 9 grandchildren. WHAT? Remind me to never move to Tennessee. She did look like a sexy real estate agent, though.

Pro: The first eliminated players looked amazing. Antoine, Alexandra, Sean, and Julio paraded themselves like they knew what was up. I liked Julio's new addition of the mustache, and we learned that Sean had named his baby Jillian.

Con: We also learned that the baby's birth had been in a tub of Brita filtered water and catered by Subway.

Pro: Bob and Jillian looked AWESOME last night. Jillian looked like a sexy assassin. Bob looked like a sexy professor. It was a win for everyone.

Pro: Julio won the first round of weigh-ins, weighing in at 180 down from his starting weight of 407.

Then it was time for Coach Mo in his purple sweater, Dina, Abby (aooga! HOT!), and Trazy.

Pro: Abby looked so svelte and young in her sassy red dress.

Con: Trazy has to have starved herself. Her crazy eyes were more pronounced in her newly skeletal face. And her bangs were BAD. Sorry Trazy. FAIL. Unfortunately, she took the lead from Julio, losing an impressive 118 pounds. What kind of magic powers does this chick possess?

Then the last of the eliminated players came out: Shay, Dan, Rebecca, and Allen.

Pro: Dr. H tells Shay and Dan that they got rid of their diabetes and they did it without gastric bypass surgery. Scary fact: 1 in 10 young people who get gastric bypass die. *shiver*

Con: Rebecca's hair. WHAT DID YOU DO? "I'd like the Sandy Duncan, please."

Pro: Rebecca beat out Trazy for the lead AND beat out Country Liz to win the $100,000. Please take the winnings and go change your hair back.

Rebecca's startling transformation wasn't the only big surprise of the evening. Subway told Shay if she came back to the season 9 finale to weigh in, they would pay her $1,000 per pound she lost. WOW. Talk about some incentive to keep it up. Antoine asked Alexandra to marry him: A whirlwind courtship only eclipsed by the amount of weight they have lost.

Then it was the moment we had all been waiting for: THE FINAL WEIGH IN.

Rudy and Danny got their chance to walk out next to their cyber selves, and we marvel at how handsome they both have become. I mean, seriously, did you ever think those handsome men were hiding under the beer bellies and logger beards?

Danny chooses to weigh in last. Amanda goes first, losing an astonishing 87 pounds. She has gone from 250 pounds to 163 pounds. Rudy goes next, losing 234 pounds (!). A WHOLE PERSON! He now weighs 208.

And then it was home town favorite and the pride of Oklahoma, Danny. He has to lose more than Rudy did. Can he pull it off? YES! Danny goes from 430 pounds to 198, losing a whopping 239 pounds- over half of his body weight!

It was an amazing season with so many surprises. And if you can't wait for the next one, it starts in January. I'll be there!

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Journey to the Center of Falling Off the Face of the Earth OR Don't Quit Your Day Job. . .Yet.


So. . .where have I been world?


I often don't let myself rest, and now that I have begun this bloggy endeavor and the tweeting and the fan page on Face Book, my time home hasn't felt like MY time. Don't get me wrong: I LOVE writing this blog, and I love connecting to people all over the world that have similar interests to mine that I can share what I have learned and I can learn from them. Starting Foster Fitness has by far been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.


The problem is that I still have my day job, or night job really if you think about my hours. During the day I work out and I write articles and I tweet with my pals and then I have to get ready for a 7 to 8 hour shift at my restaurant gig. I am thankful that I have a job that pays me so well in these tough economic times. I realized at the end of last week that I am burning the candle at both ends, and I was starting to wear myself down.


Wednesday night I felt so tired, so I made sure to get plenty of sleep that night. All day Thursday I was utterly exhausted, but still managed to meet my daily 30 day goals.


I hit the wall Friday. Hard. I hit my nose and my kneecaps. It hurt.


I had to change my goal that day to REST. I needed to unplug the lap top and walk, not run, to the nearest exit and spend some time recharging my own batteries.


I knew I needed to change something because I wanted a cheeseburger for breakfast. My body was craving major protein, and a Shakeology was not going to cut it. I didn't work out: Instead, I went to the movies. I watched television. I went to work, and then slept until 11 the next morning.


I began to feel the fog clear. I worked out for 30 minutes (who doesn't need a little Jillian Michaels kickboxing for some motivation) and rested some more and went to work and by Sunday I felt like my old self again.


Everyone at my job has been getting ill and I knew that if I continued at my crazy pace I would be benched from the game of Life. Realizing that you aren't a super hero is hard! That taking care of yourself is just as important as lady guns and funny commentary on The Biggest Loser. That your readers will forgive you for not blogging for a couple of days and they will still be there when you get back from Wonderland.


It feels good to be back. :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Biggest Loser- week 12- The Final Countdown

So. Allen is gone. There are four contestants left: Country Liz, Lumberjack Rudy, Superman Danny, and Angry Amanda.

The show started with a montage of before and after shots, and I am always amazed at how far everyone has gone with their transformations. Rudy and Danny together have lost another adult person who could compete on The Biggest Loser. Liz has gone from a tired, overweight country housewife to a thinner tired country housewife. Amanda's body continues to match her face (she is one of those skinny faces).

We then cut to the elimination room where Ali announces the contestants will be leaving the ranch (again) for 60 days and then they will return to the ranch for another weigh in. The contestants must get out into the world and prove that they can take all that they learned with them and apply it.

Danny heads back to Oklahoma, Rudy heads back to Connecticut, Liz to Tennessee (I'm surprised the limo could make it over those country roads), and Amanda to New Jersey. Family and friends abound, and there are many tears shed- this is the BL after all. True to form, Rudy's party is in a lob cabin, and Danny's party is in one of the many chain restaurants that my home state has to offer.


Then it is time for the nitty gritty. Will the contestants be able to get their acts together in the sixty days?

Danny goes on a trip (literally) down memory lane and reveals even more stock footage of him as a "rock star". Amanda tells us again how much she hates being the fat friend, and she is scared to be home and of the temptations she faces. Her best gay Brian goes to the gym with her and offers her support and extra liner. Rudy gets some psychotherapy from his wife (and sister lookalike) about eating all of his feelings. Clearly she has her act together as she just had a baby and looks GREAT. Liz turns into Vicki Gumble from "The Real Housewives of OC" and throws her Dr. Phil-esque husband under the bus with threats of divorce. WHOA. This show is getting real. Poor Jimmy. I don't think he is getting much of a second chance.

Each of the contestants get a video package delivered on their doorstep. It is Bob and Jillian speaking personally to each of them. We get to see them fat (again) and how far they have come. There is more crying. We see Rudy has an 8 inch television. He spends more time splitting logs than watching cable, apparently. Bob manages to slip in another Extra sugar free gum plug in with Amanda's video. The perfect time to pitch a product is when you are having a private moment. Really, NBC?

Then everyone gets THE CALL: all four will be competing in a marathon. A real, honest to God, 26.2 mile marathon. Everyone seems surprised, but if they have watched the show they should know what's up. Except Rudy, because he clearly can't be watching TV on that tiny cube.


Curtis Stone descends on Broken Arrow to visit Danny and his family for some cooking lessons. Curtis Stone in OKLAHOMA? He probably had a heart attack at the amount of fast food restaurants on every corner. He offers some healthful hints on dressing a baked potato- with turkey chili. I recreated this dish and it was both filling and sustaining through a 6 hour shift at work.

Bob and Jillian then go on a cross country expedition to surprise all the contestants in their hometowns. Bob hides in the bushes like an episode of "To Catch a Predator" to slip some gum into Amanda's pockets. Jillian pulls on her galoshes and helps Liz to slop some pigs.


Every contestant has the fear that their old lifestyle is going to encroach upon their new one and that they will fail. Families are falling apart left and right here. Jillian and Bob try to tag team them and give them some support, and we get a sneak peak of what Jillian's new show is probably going to be like- sitting around the kitchen table with the family and using her mind bullets on everyone. We run, we last chance workout, we prepare for the marathon.


After a Subway sandwich plug party and Fitness Ridge Resort mention, we have an inspirational montage with "Go get it!" music and the contestants checking off the days in marker on giant calendars (This is a commercial opportunity wasted, NBC! Who is sponsoring the markers?), counting down the days they train for the race.


The much thinner and stretched out contestants meet up to talk to Ali about second chances and the marathon- besides the satisfaction of finishing the race, the Biggest Loser Whey Protein will donate $10,000 to a charity of their choice. And the contestants get a protein shake! What a deal.

And they are off! Amanda in her t-shirt dress and Rudy take the lead, with Clark Kent-a-like Danny and Country Liz heading down the back country roads. Liz and Danny talk about their "special" bond with each other. The word marathon is thrown in a lot.

At mile 4 there is a fierce incline, and Rudy has the additional challenge of lugging a huge Brita water bottle. I would have said, "No thanks, NBC. I'll drink later."

Tara from season 7 is hiding in the bushes (what is it with the bushes!?!) and surprises Danny and Liz. They exchange breathy revelations as they jog.

At mile 13 Rudy's old partner Dina (remember, she was the jumper) meets up to run the last half of the marathon with him. No stopping at Chevy's, Dina!

Amanda gets to the mile 13 marker and her best gay Brian is there to help her get through the pain. The pain of being twenty years old. Oy.

Danny and Liz are in the wind swept plains of somewhere far off and distant (I think it's Middle Earth), and Danny starts complaining that he is hurting. Then Amanda starts crying in her neck of the woods. Tara magically appears out of no where to keep her from crying and offers encouragement. I don't remember Tara being much of a cryer. Maybe she should shake Amanda while they run. At mile 17 Amanda starts to walk, cry, and panic at the same time.

Mile 13 for Danny and Liz: they are met with Danny's wife, who gives him a big hug and kiss, and Liz's husband who gets passed and then run back to. Ouch, Liz. Really?

Dina and Rudy hit mile 22 still jogging, and Rudy starts to play mind games with himself.

Mile 15: Danny is still walking. He is in so much pain that he walks, not runs, to the medic station to get some relief.

Mile 22: Amanda is still walking, but Tara forces her to start running and stop being a baby. Her inner voice reaches out and speaks to her and tells her she can do it, and she picks up the pace.

Mile 25: Bob meets Rudy and Dina to run that last mile. They marvel at all they have accomplished in the past 6 months, and Rudy realizes the last mile is the first mile they ran on the first day of the show. And it is on SAND. What a punishment.

Rudy finishes in 5 hours and 12 minutes. Cue Helen and Mike from season 7 and Miley Cyrus music.

Mile 25: Bob meets Amanda and Brian and runs the last mile while resisting urge to talk about gum. Amanda marvels at how far she has come and how long her t-shirt dress has gotten. She finishes at 5 hours and 28 minutes.

Mile 16: Danny has hit the wall. His compression socks are soaked with sweat, he begins to walk, and hobbles over to the medic station for some super icing down. Liz tells him flat out that he doesn't get to quit. And when she says it, you believe her. After a quick orange break, they head back out.

Liz and Danny reverse their roles, and she begins to champion Danny to make sure that he can make it. Quick montage of them as fat partners and now thin partners and their own partners are mysteriously absent.

Mile 25: Jillian runs with Danny and Liz the last mile, and Liz makes her dream come true by becoming a real marathon runner. They run across the goal together, both finishing in 6 hours and 55 minutes.

Each contestant gets $10,000 to donate to their charity. I wonder which charity they will chose? I hope not the Ronald McDonald house. Just kidding.

Then it is time for the FINAL weigh in. The FINAL weigh in BEFORE the FINALE, that is. They haven't weighed in in 60 days. Will they lose enough to keep them above the yellow line and be spared America's vote? We won't know until the live finale, Ali tells us.

Liz weighs in first. She has gone from 267 to 182, losing 16 pounds in 60 days.

Amanda is next. She has gone from 250 to 170, also losing 16 pounds. Since she is used to pleading her case to America, she wonders if she'll have to do it again.

Then Danny heads up. He has gone from 430 pounds to an amazing 220, losing 59 pounds. That is almost one pound a day. As my friend Kris would say, "Holy Snack Packs." He has lost 201 pounds since he started: One of four people that have reached this goal.

Rudy is last, going from 442 to 253 and losing 43 pounds. With his 12 hour work day and cube sized television watching, he managed to make it into the final three.

America now has to choose between Amanda and Liz. I am pretty sure I know who everyone will pick, but I think everyone is a loser by this point. And I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

30 Day Goal Challenge: Days 1-7

If you followed my blog during most of October and November, you saw that I was a part of a 30 day challenge that involved doing Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD every day for 30 days. The woman behind this challenge was my friend Paula, and she runs the site www.celebrateweightloss.com and the new forum.

She has now organized a new 30 Day Challenge- a challenge to set goals for yourself everyday and accomplish those goals. You can choose any goal you like- working out, doing housework, writing, drinking more water: Whatever you feel you need a little push to accomplish set the goal and do it. You log in daily to the forum and share your progress with the rest of the participants. It is a great way to meet new people and keep yourself honest and ACCOUNTABLE.

Here is a recap of my first week.

Goal. . . Accomplished?
Day 1:
Hey y'all! Today's goal was to write my blog YES!
post and my examiner.com article for Cherie
Lily, the instructor who taught the
Powerstrike class I went to last week.

Day 2:
goals were 1.) yoga 2.) write article about YES!
Black Friday.

Day 3:
Today's goal- starting the hard core cardio YES!
to prepare for Insanity in January.
Completed Amy Bento's Kickbox Xtreme and
xtremely kicked my own butt.

Day 4:
Goal was to work out even though it is usually YES!
my day of rest. But ever since the 30 Day Shred
I realized I can keep working even when I think
I can't.So I did Jules Benson's Total Core Pilates
(review on the blog) and DID NOT order or eat
french fries at brunch. In fact, I just realized
that I haven't eaten fries in almost over a month.

Day 5:
Goal for today was to get some writing done. Went YES!
to Starbucks with the boyfriend and wrote a review
for The 30 Day Shred for my blog and for my Examiner
page. And I invited my friends to be my fans on
Facebook because now I feel comfortable enough for
them to know what it is I do besides singing and acting.

Day 6:
Today's goal was to continue with my hard core YES!
training for the Insanity track next year. I did
a new DVD I just got in the mail- Amy Bento's Hi-Lo
Xtreme which was so much fun! My heart rate was to
the max, but at least I was having fun doing it.
http://www.collagevideo.com/workout-vid ... treme-7771
I also FINALLY did my Biggest Loser recap from all the
shows last week.

Day 7:
Today's goal was to cardio workout- check. Did YES!
Kelly Coffey-Meyer's Step boxing DVD.
http://www.collagevideo.com/workout-vid ... meyer-7762
Still working on my homework for ACE- will get
some in before the live tweeting tonight.

Hope I can keep up all this productivity into the new week, the new month, and the new year!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Biggest Loser- week 10- Losers, Losers Everywhere. . .

Week 10 of The Biggest Loser was not limited to just the show on Tuesday. There was also the Where are They Now? special on Wednesday, Jillian popping up at the Thanksgiving Day parade on Thursday and the Suze Orman show on Saturday. Instead of giving you a play by play of what happened, I thought I would list my favorite moments out of all of these moments. The Biggest Loser really is a nationwide movement. And apparently channel wide.

RECAP OF THE BIGGEST LOSER:

It was the last week on campus, and Country Liz was kept over firefighter Allen. WHAT? Was Rudy behind this? It was actually Amanda, using female solidarity as her reason.

I felt the scorn of all of America as I was the only one who thought Liz was going to stay. I don't know how I am the last one standing on the Liz band wagon, but it was lonely up there. I watch a lot of reality television, and I knew that GAME PLAY was going to be in full effect. Allen was a tough competitor. Of course he was going! Liz is no Helen.

He looked great on Leno, and schooled Charles Barkley and Jay on some healthy eating.


RECAP OF THE BIGGEST LOSER WHERE ARE THEY NOW:

I have watched almost every season of BL, and it was nice to see that the bulk of the former contestants are still going strong and are spreading the message of health and wellness wherever they go.

  • Jerry, Colleen's dad from season 6, has gone from 380 to 262. At the age of 52, he is now healthier than he has been in years- and is RealAge has gone down from the 76 years it was when he arrived at the ranch.
  • Mallory from season 5 went from 217 and is now a personal trainer.
  • Pete Thomas from season 2 went from 401 pounds to 238, and he has a little rhyme: "Sexy, strong, and great as I maintain my weight at 238!" He is paying it forward by being a motivational speaker and personal trainer.
  • Drea from season 1 went from 215 pounds to 160 and runs a not for profit organization called HealthWorks that is striving to get inner city women in better shape.
  • Mark and Jay, the brothers from season 5, are now running road races and have kept their weight at 185 and 207 respectively.
  • Season 2's Matt and Suzy are now married and have two children. They are keeping their weight at 237 and 175, and Matt competed in the Kona Ironman. This was the most awe inspiring and tear-filled parts of the show. He missed being a qualifier by only 3 minutes, but he finished the race and inspired so many people to think they can do it, too.
  • Nicole and Damien from season 7 have gotten their weights to 155 and 253. They got married, and now are both personal trainers and gearing up for parenthood.
  • Nicole from season 4 is now 174 and a radio DJ at a station in Philadelphia.
  • Jerry and Estelle from season 7 are still going strong and spending time with the grand kids and being motivational speakers for older people who want to start getting fit.
  • Mike and Ron from season 7 are still small and have motivated the youngest Morelli, Max, to also lose over 100 pounds. Mike is now a freshman at Michigan State University intent on gaining the freshman 15 in muscle. Max lost his weight at The Biggest Loser Resort in Utah.
  • Tara Costa from season 7 is still at 165 and is a marathon runner and organized a run in her hometown of Bethpage, New York.
  • Jaron from season 3 is a svelte 200 pounds and competes in triathlons: Most recently in the Beach 2 Battleship Triathlon.
  • Julie Haddon from season 4 is little tiny! She works out 5 to 6 days a week with a Jillian Michaels treadmill and has adopted a baby since her season wrapped.
  • The most hated player (maybe more than Trazy) is Vicky from season 6. She is still 150 pounds, but offers these words of advice, "Keep your mouth shut".
  • Felipe and Sione from season 7 are still motivating the Tongan community in Arizona. They offer weekly workouts and lower calorie luaus for their families and friends.
  • Dan and Jackie, the mother and son team from season 5, are busy promoting Dan's country music career. Nothing says rock and roll like traveling in a tour bus with your mom.
  • Michelle Aguilar, winner of season 6, has been working with the Texas state legislature to redefine state health. She also is newly married.
  • Ali Vincent, the first female Biggest Loser in the world, is keeping herself trim at 125 pounds. She has gotten her mom, Bette Sue, down to 160 pounds. Ali has written a book, and is a spokesperson for The Biggest Loser franchise.
  • Twins Bill and Jim from season 4 are now certified Spin instructors, motivational speakers, and Jim is still a kick ass cop.
  • The adorable Bernie Salazar (one of my all time faves) from season 5 weighs in at 160. He has written a book called Monstercise to help kids get in shape.
  • A lot of past season's contestants met in Detroit for a half marathon.
  • Bob met with Erik, the season 3 winner who gained back almost all of the weight he lost. Bob has challenged him to weigh in at the season 9 finale.
  • David from season 3 weighs in at 224 and is a personal trainer.
  • Neil from season 4 has lost 211 pounds and finally got married to his long time girlfriend.

The show closed with some cool stats: 18,200 pounds have been lost on the show. But the real goal is to inspire it's watchers. And I know we have all been inspired by these people's stories.

RECAP OF SUZE ORMAN SHOW:

Love her or leave her, Suze speaks the truth about financial health. Jillian teamed up with Suze to talk about the relationship between your financial health and how that in turn affects your physical health. I know from personal experience that when I feel stressed out about money the last thing I want to do is workout.

Below is a clip from the show:



The finale is only 2 weeks away! My money is on Suze Orman's choice: Danny.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Foster Fitness Feature: 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels


In Jillian Michaels' world, there are no excuses. There are no reasons why you cannot be fit, you cannot workout, you cannot break through your mental barriers to find a stronger you. Alas, most of us will never get to be on The Biggest Loser ranch. There is a solution, however, for the need to have Jillian yell at you and inspire you to your fullest potential: The 30 Day Shred DVD.


The 30 Day Shred (Collage Video, $14.95) is a collection of three 20-minute workouts that range from "easy" to "hard", although none of the workouts are truly novice. If you are familiar with Jillian and her boot camp style, you know that she expects great things from those she trains, and you at home are no exception. She is followed by two women who do the easier and more difficult modifications, so there is always someone doing the level you are working on.


The workout itself is 20 minutes, but there is a brief warm up and cool down attached, making the workout really about 25-30 minutes in length. Each level follows Jillian's "3-2-1 Interval System": 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs. Lather, rinse, and repeat. The plan is to do 10 days of each level, but of course, you can customize to your own preferences. All you need for equipment is light hand weights and a mat.


Level 1 introduces you to the way Jillian teaches, and the moves are fairly basic but not unchallenging. She jumps right into the strength session with push ups on the toes, and some of the shoulder concentrated strength work is very tough. The cardio is also a challenge, mixing in jumping jacks, butt kicks, and jump rope to get your heart rate up.


Level 2 ads on to Level 1, but ups the intensity with more plank work and more complicated ab work. The plyometric factor also goes up in the cardio bursts.


Level 3 (my personal favorite) takes everything you have learned from Levels 1 and 2 and adds weights to the cardio activities, side planks for ab work, and lots of plank work and Super Mans in the strength sessions.


The workouts are really great stand alone, but you can also layer the workouts on top of each other for super calorie blasting. With such a customizable program with such great results (read my blogs of my own 30 Day journey in my 30 Day Shred Challenge posts), there is no reason not to put this DVD into your workout rotation.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Holiday Fitness Gift Ideas, aka Don't Buy Me a Sweater


(Original article with links to gifts is here at examiner.com!)


Need ideas for the Black Friday shopping rush? The gift of health and fitness is something that everyone needs! Here are some hot items to pick up for the ones you love.

Kettlebells: Although they've been around for years, the kettlebell trend is picking up speed in health clubs and at home fitness. These weighted wonders provide a way to work the muscles with a fuller range of motion than traditional free weights. The Body Solid Kettlebell set from Sears offers 6 Kettlebells in 5 pound increments (up to 30 pounds) for $199.50. Target is offering the GoFit Kettlebell set: A 10 pound kettlebell in fashionable yellow with a companion Core DVD for $29.99.

If you already own kettlebells, there are many DVDs that feature the tool. Collagevideo.com offers 8 different videos for all different fitness levels. My favorites are Amy Bento's Kettlebell Dynamics and Kettlebell Bootcamp with Angie Miller.

Heart Rate Monitors: Nothing says, "I care for your heart!" like a great heart rate monitor. There are many varieties on the market: Wireless, chest straps, time tellers, and calorie calculators. The most basic version is the Polar Fs1, which comes with a chest strap and tells time in addition to having stopwatch functions. On Amazon.com, it is $49.99. If you are pulling out all the bells and whistles, the Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS wirelessly tracks heart rate, speed, distance, pace, and calories burned. It also tracks your run with built in GPS. At Saks Fifth Avenue, it is $289.00.

Yoga Equipment: Escape the stress of the holiday season and start the new year in nirvana with yoga. Gaiam.com offers beautiful yoga mats in a rainbow of colors and designs. Target.com offers a beginners yoga kit from Spri that has a mat, yoga blocks, strap, and DVD for $37.99. Lucy.com is featuring yoga pants, tops, and tunics with free shipping during the holiday season.

Nintendo Wii: This game console is sure to be a winner with every member of the family. Not only for traditional video games, the Wii offers many fitness titles, from the hugely popular Wii Fit and newly released Wii Fit Plus, to EA Sports Active Personal Trainer and The Biggest Loser. The Wii console has a new lower price of $199.99, and the Wii Fit Plus with balance board costs $89.99 at BarnesandNoble.com.

Jump ropes, resistance bands, and food diaries are small, inexpensive, and fantastic stocking stuffers. If all else fails, remember that a pair of walking shoes are all you need to get your holidays off on the right foot!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cherie Lily Strikes Out

Here's the article on examiner.com!

What I am "F'd Up!" about today! Core and Powerstrike at Equinox Gym

I am a group fitness junkie. I LOVE to go to class. Although the bulk of my workouts take place in the four walls of my apartment, it is nice to get out in the world and see what everyone else is up to. Luckily through the magic of Twitter, I hooked up with my pal Cherie Lily and scored a guest pass to a Core class and Powerstrike class last Tuesday at the very slick Equinox gym on 92nd Street.

I was giddy and a little nervous when I walked into the gym. Equinox was abuzz with a member party, and all the machines were pumping with the after work crowds. Cherie was at the front desk when I walked in and welcomed me with a huge hug, which instantly put me at ease.

Don't be fooled, folks. Cherie is nice but she is an ass kicker!

The class took place in one of the gym's studios on the second floor. I love the facilities here- everything is super clean and in great shape. I couldn't help but notice a lot of the members looked the same. I grabbed a mat and a medicine ball and waited for the class to fill up with members.

While I waited, Cherie put on some great dance music- I found out later that this was her own "house blend". She likes to use her own remixes and says, "This is one of the things makes me unique as a group fitness instructor - I make my own dance music! When I'm making music, I think about what would be the most exciting music to workout to, that will get people motivated, excited, pumped up to push it outside their comfort zone."

Once class began, I was so thankful that I had been doing the Shred! All the ab and plank work I had been quietly cursing under my exhales and inhales came into play for 30 minutes during the Core class. Bicycle crunches, side planks, regular planks, twists with the medicine ball: You name it, I crunched it. My sides were sore for two days after class!

After Core, people hurried off to Zumba or other classes, but I stayed on for POWERSTRIKE. I love kickboxing. In fact, I own more kickboxing workout DVDs than any other workouts. So needless to say, I was totally thrilled to attend.

Powerstrike was created by Ilaria Montagnani, a real life Wonder Woman. Seriously, she looks like she drives an invisible jet and she could kill you with her bare hands. Here is some more information from http://www.powerstrike.com/ - "The Powerstrike programs reflect the ideology of founder and president, Ilaria Montagnani, who believes the body's potential is an unrealized resource. She has created workouts designed to push everyday warriors past their comfort zone, tapping into their own strength and ability to face the daily challenges of their lives." I know! Right?

I felt like a warrior, fo' sho'. With a pumping beat to guide me I punched, jabbed, hooked, crossed, chambered, and round housed for an hour straight. Cherie got in there and did it with us, and kept us all smiling through the sweat. It was exhilarating to get out all that pent up aggression and burn all those calories! According to http://www.livestrong.com/, kickboxing can burn around 696 calories an hour.

Core and Powerstrike classes are offered at Equinox: Check out http://www.equinoxgym.com/ for class schedules. To learn more about my new hero Cherie Lily and all of her goodness, check out http://www.cherielily.com/.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Biggest Loser- week 9- Tim and Tabitha Take Over Make Over

Normally my BL recaps are filled with all the dish that's fit to print. This week was make over week, and with the help of my Bravo TV faves Tim Gunn and Tabitha Coffey, the BLers made their outsides match their newly shaped insides. Pictures speak volumes, so I will let them. Bloggers note: I searched high and low over the Internet to find after pictures for this season's contestants and they are not out there. I am assuming because the results show is so close NBC is keeping a lid on it. So these are the pics I found!

Rebecca before and Rebecca after:


Amanda before and Amanda after:


Allen before and Allen after:


Country Liz before and Country Liz after:



Rudy before and Rudy after:


Danny before and Danny after:


Favorite show moments:
  • Danny's daughter saying she couldn't wait to start her journey.
  • Rudy trying to fend off Jillian's mind bullets and finally opening up about his sister who died of cancer when he was a teenager.
  • Liz pulling the age card when she is only 49.
  • Rebecca's face when she lost 3 pounds.
  • Amanda's face when she lost 9 pounds.
  • Danny pulling double digits 6 weeks in a row.
  • Rudy acting like he has a case of the crazies and accusing Rebecca of GAMEPLAY.

It was sad to see Rebecca go, but if you saw her on Leno, she looked ridiculously hot and sexy. Watch out Dan.

'400 Calorie Fix' for Holiday Weight Gain

Here is the article on examiner.com!

Friday, November 20, 2009

What I Learned from The 30 Day Shred

My goal in starting this blog was to find a way to write about the things that made me excited about fitness and then share that information with others. I wanted a community where people could come together and find their "thing": Like kickboxing? Pole dancing? Weight lifting? Whatever it was, I wanted to try it out and share it so that everyone can find what they love to do and stick with it. Why run if you hate running, right?

But I am only me, and my information is only as good as the people who read it. And if it is just me, well. . .that's not very helpful. I already know this stuff is good.

I started a Twitter account, and through the Twitterverse I started to make connections and meet people who, like me, had a passion for fitness and health. I didn't want to sell anything (Although I do, I hate being pushy. I find it supremely annoying.) or try to make anyone do my bidding. I didn't care if I had a million followers. My goal was to make as many real, meaningful connections as I possibly could.

Through all the muck and mire and BJ photos, I found Paula Seymour and her Celebrate Weight Loss site. I saw her call to action on a 30 day challenge involving Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD. Since I already owned it, I thought, "What the heck. I could use some structure." I signed up, and met a wonderful group of women that I am so pleased to call my friends.

We Twitter daily, we watch The Biggest Loser, we share our joys and pains and frustrations. I never thought in a million years when I embarked on this journey that I could find real meaningful connections over the Internet (even though I met my boyfriend that way). The accountability and responsibility I share with these women is a powerful tool.

Here is what I learned:

1.) That I can find time to workout everyday.
2.) I own a lot of workout tapes. A LOT. Which means I never have an excuse not to workout.
3.) I am stronger than I thought I was.
4.) I can take control of my life.
5.) I can make time for all my secondary activities and my day job.
6.) I must make time for myself. It is not selfish.
7.) I am a motivator. This is what I was born to do.
8.) I have to walk the walk and talk the talk.
9.) I can leave my day job and get into the fitness industry where I belong.
10.) I am a BAD ASS. Even if I don't look like Natalie.

This 30 Day Challenge opened up so much for me. I am looking forward to the next challenge and the new year with much enthusiasm and optimism. And I am excited to see you all there.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

30 Day Shred Challenge: Day 30- THE SHRED IS DONE!!!

Oh, did we ever think this day would come!?!

30 days ago I was feeling weak, powerless, unfocused. Today I feel strong, supported, and full of more hope than I could have ever imagined!

I will delve more deeply into what I learned from the 30 Day Shred Challenge tomorrow in another post. Today, let's celebrate today!

I completed Levels 1, 2, and 3 today. I skipped through the cool down section in 1 and 2, and focused on staying warm and keeping my heart rate up. I powered through with 5 pound weights, and was so impressed at how strong I have gotten! I didn't have to move down to lighter weights! The cardio bursts were done full out Natalie style. No Anita moves here.

I am filled with such a sense of accomplishment. And I am so happy that you followed me on my journey!

Onto the next challenge!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

30 Day Shred Challenge: Day 29- 1 day left!

Hey Shredders! Can you believe that we made a goal and stuck to it- every day for thirty days? Anything is possible when you put your mind to it. Of course, I am still working on getting lasers to shoot out of my eyes. If looks could kill, mine would. :)

Did Level 3 of the Shred and ONLY Level 3 of the Shred. After last nights Core and Powerstrike classes (blog on it's way!) I needed to let my muscles rest and relax. So, I let them rest by doing the Shred. I know, it sounds silly to me too. I want that purse, y'all. I WANT IT!

Tomorrow I will be joining Lori (I think!) and will do all three Shreds back to back. Can't wait to see how far I have come! Let's finish strong and SHRED IT OUT!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Apartment Fitness: Total Core Pilates with Jules Benson

Here's the article on www.examiner.com!

30 Day Shred Challenge: Day 28- 2 days left!

Got an early start to my Level 3 Shred today because I have a date tonight. A DATE WITH FITNESS. What? I know.

During last week's BL tweetfest, I responded to an invite from fellow fitness fan and generally cool chick Cherie Lily. She is certified in many areas of training, including upside down yoga, and is a musician. She teaches some classes at the Equinox gym on 92nd Street here in NYC Tuesday nights: Core and Powerstrike.

Core sounds like what I think it is. Powerstrike sounds like a cardio kickbox class.
The Equinox schedule describes it as: Developed Ilaria Montagnani & taught by Powerstrike! instructors this karate/ kickboxing workout fuses authentic martial arts movements to energizing music.

Can't wait to tell you all about it! Plus, BL makeover show tonight with Tim Gunn and Tabitha. I love Tuesdays!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

30 Day Shred Challenge: Day 27- 3 days left!

Feeling amazing! I am really starting to see my waist shrink, my muscles in my back, arms, and legs become more defined, and my energy and enthusiasm for all things in my life (even house cleaning) have come back 150%.

I have forgotten how great it feels to have all your ducks in a row and how fitness plays such a big part in that. The past couple of years have been a bit of a roller coaster ride for me personally. My weight, whether good or bad, has been a reflection of that. It is nice to remember that I CAN do it. And this 30 day challenge has been just what I needed to get back into the swing of things!

Today I did Level 3 of the Shred, and paired it with Jillian's Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism. Even after 27 straight days of working out, this DVD is TOUGH. It was like the Shred had a baby, and that baby took steroids. But I'm feeling '>long, strong, and down to get the friction on.

Interested in my journey? There is another 30 Day Challenge beginning November 25th! Check out www.celebrateweightloss.com for details.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

30 Day Shred Challenge: Day 26- 4 DAYS LEFT!

Shred like there is no tomorrow!

Level 3 of the Shred complete, plus 30 minutes of the 10 Minute Solution Slim and Sculpt Pilates with Suzanne Bowen (she's on all those Lotte Berk DVDs) DVD. I chose total body, upper body, and pilates stretch. It comes with a resistance band which is muy bueno and really ups the "pilates factor" aka butt kicking.

Looking forward to yummy dinner with my boyfriend and a relaxing rest of my Sunday.

See you all for THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!!!

DietTribe Season 2- episode 4- "Greatest Fears"

What are you afraid of? What is holding you back? I'm scared that I will end up gaining all the weight that I lost. I'm scared that people won't love me if I don't look a certain way. I'm scared of leaving my closet door open when I go to sleep at night.

Everyone is afraid of something, and this episode of DietTribe entitled "Greatest Fears" focused on the five women's fears and what hurdles they need to jump over to accomplish their ultimate goal: competing in the triathlon and losing 50 pounds. Or 35 pounds if you are Rita.

Day 62: Jessie meets the ladies at the beach, but instead of playing beach volleyball like last episode, they are all suited up in their swim gear to tackle an open water swim in preparation for the real deal. Tiffany is afraid that the ocean is stronger than she is. Rita doesn't like to swim in the ocean. But the ladies have only 6 weeks until they compete, and they need to know what they are really up against.

Swim Coach Diana Nyad meets them on the beach to guide them through this scary experience. We met her in episode 3 at the LA Expo when the women first were learning proper swimming technique. Jessie thought it would make the ladies a little more confident if they had her there to help. Diana asks them who is afraid and Rita and Tiffany immediately raise their hands. Rita is afraid to be out of control and Tiffany is totally out of her comfort zone. Even Jessie is nervous for the ladies!

The women will be swimming half the length they will be swimming at the triathlon- 200 meters. They run out into the choppy Pacific, and Tiffany is immediately slapped with a wave, knocking off her goggles. Rita and Laneesa easily take the lead, followed by Mary who starts to struggle with her breathing. Diana swims in to assist her, as Stephanie helps Tiffany who is really struggling. Mary is having a full blown panic attack, but Diana calmly talks to her and gets her to continue.

Surprisingly, Rita finishes first even though she was so apprehensive to start. She says the fear was her motivator- she just wanted to get out of the ocean as quickly as possible. Laneesa comes in second with ease. Stephanie and Tiffany tie for third. While Stephanie looks exhilarated and happy to have finished, Tiffany breaks down in tears. Mary came in last with Diana's assistance. She literally breaks down when Jessie goes to greet her. "It was a rough road," Mary said. But they made it.

Diana tells them she is inspired and heart warmed to see them overcoming their fears. And they did it as a team! Jessie couldn't be more happy that the ladies have been able to conquer every obstacle that has been put in their paths.

Day 63: Stephanie and Tiffany take their families to Knotts Berry Farm to spend some quality time. They tell their daughters how they used to be so large they couldn't fit on the rides. Now the ladies can strap in with ease- and Stephanie realizes that she has a new fear of roller coasters. She has so much fun on the first ride, however, that she decides to ride every ride in the park with her girls. Weight was no longer the issue. They could focus on fun and their families instead.

Then it is off to Laneesa's sister's house, where she is doing a little babysitting for her two nieces. We discover that Laneesa is a pretty fair singer, and likes to sing in front of her family. But she won't sing in public. She is afraid of being judged or being the center of attention. Something tells me that this will probably come up later. Maybe at. . .

Day 65: . . .therapy time with Stacy Kaiser. Stacy wants to focus on their fears and how they choose to overcome them. Stephanie says you just do it and it's part of the journey, like the ocean swim. Tiffany says she gets through the tough times because someone who loves her was there and they did it together. She says it helps to have someone to lean on.

I really believe this to be true. I know that with my friends I have met on Twitter and my blog help raise my level of accountability and diminish the fear factor. The 30 Day Challenges on my friend Paula's website make getting healthy fun because there is a team working together for a common goal.

Mary said that her fear turned into frustration, because the swimming didn't come easily to her. The frustration and fear turn into anxiety which triggered her panic attack. We know from last episode that Mary is a bit of a control freak. She felt exposed and unprepared. Rita, on the other hand, was panicked when she saw how far she as going to have to swim. She conquered her fear by just jumping in and doing it.

The swimming was so easy for Laneesa, but singing in public is not. Stacy challenges her by signing her up to sing "America the Beautiful" at a local baseball game. Stacy tells the ladies that experiencing fear and getting through it is how change comes about.

Day 66: The ladies decide to kick up their heels and take a salsa class. Dancing can burn up to 500 calories an hour, and is a fun alternative to working out on a treadmill. Everyone was laughing, having fun, and breaking a sweat.

Day 67: The tribe and Jessie are at Bally Total Fitness, where Jessie is helping them make the transition into becoming real athletes. Up to this point, they have been focusing on mostly cardio activities. Jessie wants to up the ante and get them into resistance training. Resistance training slows down the aging process, builds bone density, mass, and strength. (Try Jari Love's DVDs for amazing strength training!) He also shows the ladies how to add a stability ball to their weight lifting practice to further engage their core. Rita says she can do it while she is watching television- an excellent idea!

Day 69: Mary and Tiffany are planning Stephanie's 40th birthday bash. They head to Fantasea Yachts to check out the accommodations and to try a tasting menu. Tiffany is worried because she hasn't not eaten cleanly in such a long time- she doesn't want to sabotage all of her efforts. The food starts to roll out: crab cakes, bruschetta, fillet Mignon bites, coconut shrimp, glazed chicken, and for the finale? Cheesecake. Bum bum bum.

Tiffany starts to freak out a little. She can't eat the cheesecake because she doesn't trust herself not to eat the entire thing. Mary coaxes her to take a bite. This is how they can learn to eat in moderation! They are using willpower not to eat the entire thing, and know that they will be working it out in the gym.

Day 71: The tribe heads out to watch the Orange County Flyers baseball team and Laneesa singing during the seventh inning stretch. She is incredibly nervous. She finds the strength to go on with Stacy, the girls, and her boyfriend Matt (they have patched things up) to head out onto the field alone and sing. She sounds great! And she manages to conquer one of her biggest fears.

Day 72: It is time for their 10 week weigh in! Jessie is worried that the ladies are going to start to plateau and he doesn't want them to feel discouraged. The weigh in has highs and lows: Laneesa breaks the 300 pound mark, while Rita and Tiffany feel discouraged by lower weight loss totals.

Tiffany: starting weight- 221 current weight- 192 weekly loss- 4 pounds loss to date- 29 pounds
Rita: starting weight- 177 current weight- 160 weekly loss- 3 pounds loss to date- 17 pounds
Stephanie: starting weight-244 current weight-210 weekly loss-5 pounds loss to date-34 pounds
Mary: starting weight- 210 current weight- 176 weekly loss- 7 pounds loss to date- 34 pounds
Laneesa: starting weight-336 current weight- 297 weekly loss- 6 pounds loss to date- 38 pounds

Jessie promises he will work one on one with the ladies who have lost less weight to get them back on track. The team weight loss was only 25 pounds, so they don't reach the goal of 30 pounds that was set for them. No fabulous prize this week.

Jessie sets the new goal at 25 pounds, and hopes the ladies don't get discouraged. The ultimate prize is their health and competing in the triathlon.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

30 Day Shred Challenge: Day 25- 5 DAYS LEFT!

A late night blog post! Sorry to my readers, but I had to spend some time out in the world and away from the laptop. STEP AWAY FROM THE LAPTOP!

Splashed around in the New York rain today and went to see an AMAZING and fun movie, Gentleman Broncos. And had dinner at The Smith, which makes a damn fine burger. I love my treat meal day! Didn't eat the fries, though. Instead I subbed beats with goat cheese and bacon. Mmmm.

Today was my 20 minute Shred, and it was welcome! I was feeling sore-ish from the Trouble Zones DVD.

Thinking about what I want to accomplish in my next thirty days for my goal challenge: I want to gear myself for doing the Insanity workout in the new year. I want to up my cardio, and lower the days I do strength training. My usual routine is every other day strength and every other day cardio, with a yoga or pilates routine peppered in for good measure. I think I am going to do two hard core strength days, and one strength/cardio day, and then balance the other days with cardio and yoga.

But enough rambling! See you all for the Sunday Shred!

Friday, November 13, 2009

30 Day Shred Challenge: Day 24

I really pushed myself today! WOW. Didn't know if I could do it, but I did!

I did Level 3 of the Shred AND did Jillian's Tone Trouble Zones. 70 minutes of working out!

Feeling good and thoroughly tired. Now off to work!

See you Shredders for the weekend Shred!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

30 Day Shred Challenge: Day 23

Day 23? Where has all the time gone? I probably spent all of it working on my BL recap. :)

Level 3 of the Shred completed! Had to be a little careful with the jumping today, as my left knee is like a barometer when the weather gets chilly and likes to be creaky. I followed it with Jillian's Cardio Kickbox.

I've gotten the two new Jillian DVDs I ordered last week but haven't opened them yet. Trying to get up the stamina to do them with the Shred to go out with a bang!

Onward and upwards, Shredders! Day 24 is upon us!

The Biggest Loser- week 9- The Young and The Waistless

{Open with montage of contestants stating things like, "Week 9." "I can't believe it is week 9." "There are only 8 contestants left."}

Shay: I could be a finalist.
Dan: This is two times as long as when I was here last time.
Rebecca: I am so close I could taste it!
Shay: I've never given up. (REALLY SHAY? HOW DID WE GET HERE?)
Danny: I really want to be there at the end when they are shooting confetti cannons. OH. And I want to be The Biggest Loser.

{Scene opens in Calabasas, CA, home to the Biggest Loser Ranch. We see the contestants walking into a tree lined meadow. One Alison Sweeney stands radiantly next to what appears to be a game.}

Ali: Contestants. I know you have encountered a lot of obstacles. Sometimes you beat the scale. And, sometimes {heightened pause} the scale beats you. This week, it will beat two of you.
{Contestants look wide eyed and terrified}
Ali: This week is a double elimination. BUM BUM BUM.

Contestants: {overlapping} What? I can't believe it! Is this in the contract? et al.
Dan: I didn't factor this in when I was playing the game!
Rebecca: I am really great at math. If two contestants go home, that is 1/4!

Ali: There is the yellow line. And then there is a red line. If you fall below the red line, you will go home immediately. No voting, no elimination, no passing go OR collecting $200. Then the two contestants below the yellow line will have the regular elimination ceremony.
Contestants: {quietly} Watermelon, watermelon, watermelon.

Ali: And now it's time for THE POP CHALLENGE!

{Camera pans to backboards painted in the colors of the BL contestants that are competing. Each board has tennis balls stuck to it. }

Ali: The rules are simple. Grab the tennis balls and put them in your can. The first contestant to get all all their balls wins. And the prize? A one pound advantage at this week's weigh in.
Allen: WHAT? Why, a one pound advantage is almost as good as immunity! I want that prize!
Ali: Amanda, due to your tennis ball phobia, you will not be competing. Contestants! On your mark, get set, GO!

{Remaining 7 contestants run for their boards and begin to grab tennis balls. The summer sun beats down on them as their shirts become increasing slick with sweat. Amanda and Ali rest comfortably on the sidelines. The race becomes neck and neck for Allen and Rebecca, who only are separated by two balls. It looks close, but Allen is declared victor. Rebecca throws her ball and walks off in disgust.}

Ali: Congrats, Allen.
Allen: Thank you, Ali. Although I know that this is an advantage, I know this is not a guarantee. I vow by Thor's hammer that I will work out harder than I ever have worked out!

{Later that day: scene opens on the walking path on the Biggest Loser grounds. Camera shows Rebecca and Amanda furiously walking and gossiping even more furiously.}

Amanda: We have to cut Liz loose.
Rebecca: Yeah! She's old and we are so young.
Amanda: And hot!
Rebecca: Right. And hot. Liz is going below that red line. And then {makes cutting sound and draws finger across her neck} we'll get rid of all the other old people.
Both: Evil laughter.

{Same path, opposite side of the ranch. Liz and Danny mosey and talk like country folk.}

Danny: Gorsh, Liz. We country folks need to stick together.
Liz: Darn tootin', Danny.
Danny: I've been worryin' 'bout yer knee. Here's the deal: we oldin's need to work hard to keep you 'bove that red line. Ya hear?
Liz: Loud and clear, Danny. Those youngin's can kiss my grits.

{Next scene: inside the compound. Bob and Jillian enter into the waiting room where the contestants are drinking Brita water.}

Bob: Hi y'all!
Jillian: Where's Trazy? I wanted to give her a big hug. With my fists. {everyone laughs}
Bob: So what's up?
Allen: Well, we had a pop challenge.
Bob: Great!
Dan: And two people are being sent home this week.
Bob and Jillian: WHAT?!? {Bob faints.}
Jillian: Let's go to the gym.

{Contestants file out to go to the gym. Camera sees Bob and Jillian meeting secretly to discuss the fates of their contestants.}

Bob: Jillian, I'm so scared. {Jillian slaps Bob across the face.}
Jillian: Pull it together, Bob. We don't have time for the nice guy routine. People's lives are on the line.
Bob: How can we play God?
Jillian: Easy. Just listen to what the producers say and try to do the exact opposite. We need to save Shay, see?
Bob: But Amanda. . .?
Jillian: Enough about your girlfriend.
Bob: But Jillian!
Jillian: SILENCE! Here, chew on this. {hands him piece of Extra sugar free gum} Listen to me and listen to me good. Amanda is going to be fine. We need to focus all the intensity of my mind bullets on Shay this week. Get it? Got it? Good.
Bob: Wonder Twin Powers Activate!
Jillian: Form: a treadmill!
Bob: Shape: A kettlebell! {Jillian and Bob soar through the air to the gym.}

{Cut to: path outside the 24 Hour fitness gym. Bob walks with Rudy and Amanda.}

Rudy: I'm feeling weak, Bob. I don't know how I am going to make it.
Bob: There are forces conspiring against us. You must be strong. I need for you to repeat after me. I, Rudy. . .
Rudy: I, Rudy. . .
Bob: Do solemnly swear. . .
Rudy: Do solemnly swear. . .
Bob: That I will do whatever Bob asks of me this week. {Rudy hesitates.} SAY IT!
Rudy: That I will do whatever Bob ask of me this week.
Bob: Now smile and get in there. And don't tell Jillian I was talking to you! {hugs Rudy and Amanda, kissing them on both cheeks.} Now go!

{In the gym. We see the contestants on the treadmills under the watchful eye of Jillian. Shay starts to falter, but Jillian uses the force to keep her going strong. Everyone is going crazy, worried about falling beneath the red line. Danny screams.}

Danny: My hip! Oh, sweet LORD.
Jillian: Danny, you are done.
Danny: But Jillian-
Jillian: No "but Jillian". You are done, finished, finito, sayonara sucker.

{Danny runs off in tears. Shay is struggling on the StairMaster and lets out a whimper. Jillian focuses on her.}

Jillian: What's wrong Shay?
Shay: Everything hurts!
Jillian: Do you want to go home?
Shay: No, Jillian.
Jillian: I CAN'T HEAR YOU!
Shay: NO, JILLIAN!
Jillian: Get in plank. And stop crying.
Shay:I'm not crying! My eyes are sweating!
Jillian: As the great Billy Ocean once said, "When the going gets tough, the tough gets going." I'm going to make sure you don't fall below that red line. At least you'll be above that.

{The old folks team meets secretly inside the compound.}

Allen: Did you guys know that people are playing a game? {Rudy, Liz, and Danny look at him like he is stupid.} Maybe I should get in on the action.
Rudy: We need to make sure that we all stay above that red line.
Liz: They're gonna be gunnin' fer me. What with me bein' old and whatnot.
Danny: We'll watch out fer ya, Liz.
Liz: Better. 'Cause I'm gonna kill some youngin's and cook 'em in a low cal possum stew if'n I fall below that red line.

{Back at the gym. Jillian is focusing mind bullets on Rebecca while on the treadmill. }

Jillian: 45 more seconds.
Rebecca: I'm tired! 30 seconds.
Jillian: 45.
Rebecca: 30.
Jillian: 45.
Rebecca: 30!
Jillian: Either you do it or I will gut you.
Rebecca: I HATE YOU! You're not my real DAD! {Rebecca runs off crying to Amanda.}
Jillian: Kids. You can't live with them. You can't kill them. Legally.

{Amanda and Rebecca are in their girly pink fortress at the compound.}

Rebecca: Jillian is so unfair! Why does she want me to believe in myself?
Amanda: Dude, I totally did this two episodes ago.
Rebecca: Oh, right. I forgot. Best Friends?
Amanda: Best friends!
Rebecca: I love Dan- don't tell anyone! I just put it on my Facebook page!

{In another wing of the compound, Danny and Bob have a secret meeting.}

Bob: I know Jillian told you you were done, but you aren't!
Danny: But she told me I was finished! How can we defy her?
Bob: Because we just can, okay? Don't ask questions.
Danny: I came here to look at my skinny pictures. I'm hoping that with enough work I can rejoin my high school football team. Or at least fit back into my uniform. {Bob stares.}

{Next scene: we are at the circus. Ali and a bunch of clowns greet the contestants.}

Ali: Contestants! Today we are going to be jumping through hoops! And the prize?
Rebecca: We get to not hang out with the clowns?
Ali: IMMUNITY! It's on.

{Camera shows multicolor hoops, trampolines, and mats.}

Ali: You must jump through the hoop of your fellow contestant you want to kick out of the game. When that hoop has been jumped through 100 times, that contestant is done. Whoever is left standing wins the grand prize. Ready, set, JUMP!

{the contestants scramble to find who they want to eliminate first. The young folks focus on Liz. The older folks focus on Amanda.}

Ali: Liz, you are out.
Liz: TARNATIONS!
Ali: Amanda, you are also out.
Amanda: Dammit!
Ali: Dan, you are now out.
Dan: Rebecca!
Rebecca: DAN!
Ali: Allen, you are now out.
Allen: THOR'S HAMMER!

{We see Rudy and Danny tag team to get out Rebecca. Rebecca gets really mad.}

Rebecca: REBECCA MAD! REBECCA SMASH!
Ali: Rebecca, you are out.

{We see Rudy and Danny tag team on Shay. What we don't know is that earlier Rudy has promised Shay to help her if they are the last two standing. But instead of knocking out Danny, he has picked Shay. The drama unfolds.}

Shay: Rudy, what are you doing?
Rudy: What I should have done a long time ago.
Shay: But why Rudy? WHY?
Rudy: He is my friend, Shay. Wouldn't you help your friend?
Shay: But you were my friend Rudy? Remember? Why don't you remember?
Rudy: Why are you screaming at me?
Shay: BECAUSE I WEIGH TWICE AS MUCH! I GET TO YELL!
Rudy: I guess that just reflects your character.
Shay: What? What about my character?
Rudy: Your character is like school in the summer time. No class.
Shay: That doesn't make any sense.
Ali: Shay, you are out.

{Danny and Rudy finish out the game hand in hand. Rudy emerges victorious, gaining the immunity so many have sought. The contestants head back to the ranch.}

Liz: Tensions are high here at the ranch. Tensions are high.
Bob: What happened?
Rudy: I won immunity! Just like you wanted Bob!
Bob: Yes! Suck it Jillian!
Jillian: {from the other room} I can hear you, Bob!
Bob: Just kidding, Jillian! {laughs weakly} Alright y'all. Let's go fly around.

{Trapeze workout montage. After the workout, the contestants go back to the gym, where they are greeted by Jillian.}

Jillian: Did you have a fun time at the circus? Did you have fun on your TRAPEZE? Get in here and get on that treadmill. NOW!

{Contestants are shown killing themselves. Rudy rolls off the treadmill.}

Liz: I don't know how long we worked out, but when the work out was over, I was done.

{Camera opens on the weigh in. The drama is so thick and delicious, you could cut it with a knife.}

Ali: Who will the scale choose to be it's first victim? Will it be Rudy?
Rudy: Not me, Ali. I have immunity!
Ali: How about Shay?
Shay: I lost 17 pounds! No way I'm leaving!
Ali: Then how about Amanda?
Amanda: I only lost 5 pounds. Oh no!
Ali: Let's bring up your girlfriend.
Rebecca: I lost 10 pounds suckers! Sorry Amanda. Best friends?
Amanda: Best friends!
Ali: Danny, you are next.
Danny: 17 pounds! HOLLER! Just like Shay!
Ali: And you Allen. What say you and your one pound advantage?
Allen: 10 plus 1 is 11!
Ali: Things aren't looking good, Amanda.
Amanda: I KNOW!
Ali: Liz, you're up!
Liz: 12 pounds! SUCK IT KIDS! {does the Cabbage Patch}
Ali: Shay, that puts you BELOW the yellow line. BUM BUM BUM.
Shay: *gulp*
Ali: It's up to you Dan. If you don't lose 6 pounds, there is no room for third chances.
Dan: I've got this- oh. 5 pounds. Maybe not.
Rebecca: NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
Ali: Dan, you are below the red line. This means you are not the Biggest Loser. {Ali pulls lever and Dan falls through trap door.} That means Shay and Amanda must arm wrestle for their chance to stay. Just kidding. Vote it out.

{Camera moves to the compound, showing the contestants in the waiting room. Shay and Amanda plead their cases.}

Shay: You all need to feel sorry for me. Have I mentioned I weigh the most?
Amanda: I AM CUTE! Look at how cute I'm getting!

{Morgan Freeman narrates over the elimination ceremony.}

Morgan Freeman: In the end, it was the beauty that won this round. Apparently, folks didn't like that Shay was getting too small for her britches. And they sent her home. But her memory will live on at the ranch forever.

THE END. {black out}