Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Losing It with Jillian!: Episode 5- "I'm killing them and they are taking it all!"

This week's episode of Losing It may be the best one by far. I feel like Jillian shines when she is dealing with kids, and she shows her softer side when dealing with Elijah Vivio, a 14-year-old and youngest son of the Vivio family.

The Vivio's are ENORMOUS. Not fat, but a million feet tall. Most of their problems stem from the patriarch of the family, Mark, a proud southern man who loves football and thinks crying is for ladies. Elijah is the heaviest member of the family at 330 lbs, and he constantly degrades himself with negative comments. He is picked on at school for being heavy and walks with a slouch: He has zero confidence.

Jillian picks up on this family rift right away, and focuses her mind bullets on Mark to try and get him to open up and be more emotionally available. She also works with Elijah one on one to build his confidence. Mom Laverne also talks herself down all the time, and Jillian has to work with her, too. Which ends up with a MASSIVE face plant on the treadmill. OUCH.

There is more psychoanalysis and less physical analysis this episode. It proves what I am always saying: The mental component of weight loss is JUST as important as the physical. Watching Mark and Laverne open up as parents and realize that Elijah might not be a football star but he is very special and worthy of their love was one of the most rewarding transformations yet.

Also, it was nice to see Jillian comes to Elijah's school and talks to his leadership class about bullying. Turns out every kid, every shape and size, has been the victim of negative thoughts from others or themselves. It's important for kids to empower themselves and realize that hurtful words don't have to hurt and they can get past that to grow into strong, compassionate people.

When Jillian comes back eight weeks later, the physical and emotional transformations are stunning. Elijah has lost 50 pounds, Mark has lost 56 pounds, and Laverne has lost 31 pounds. You can feel that the family bond has gotten so much stronger and Elijah now walks with confidence and enthusiasm. The check for $50k was also pretty sweet.

Just another week in the life of Jillian Michaels.

Next week, Jillian goes on the reservation and gets rid of Indian tacos. NO! Not the fry bread!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kathy Kaehler sets up your Sundaes!

I was contacted by the good people at Breyers (yum, ice cream!) for the chance to interview super trainer and healthy guru, Kathy Kaehler. She is their new spokesperson for Breyers Smooth and Dreamy ice cream, but is also launching a new series called Sunday Setup that encourages families to cook on Sunday to setup for their week, raising her kids, and still training celebrity clients. Kathy has been working in the fitness industry since the eighties, starting out working with Jane Fonda (I love the 80's Fonda!) and has been a fitness expert on the Today Show and has trained a lot of A-Listers like Wolfgang Puck and Julia Roberts. What? I know!

Kathy is a busy lady and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with her during her Breyers Smooth and Dreamy press junket.

FF: I have been researching your Sunday Setup program on your website and YouTube. Why did you decide to start the program?

Kathy: I have never felt more passionate about sharing the way I eat and keep my household. I was always asked in interviews "What do you tell them [celebrities] to eat?" I've never been a proponent of diets per se. I give them advice: I don't really tell them WHAT to eat, I give them examples of HOW I eat and how to prepare foods. It really just started to turn into this program that one of my marketing gals said "Look, we could do this in a bigger way." We shaped it into an actual celebrity kitchen home tour. Now we are forging ahead with a book and a Sunday Setup TV show.

FF: When I think of Hollywood, I think of celebrities benefiting from personal chefs or eating out a lot. Are there really that many celebs cooking from home or preparing food for their families for the week?

Kathy: You'd really be surprised at how many people actually do exactly that! They are making sure that their kids, their spouses, or partners are making good choices, that they have their food at their home. I think that the biggest problem is there is a lot of travel [in celebrity jobs] that prevents having a consistent meal plan. For the most part they are really wanting to take control and wanting to do it on their own and are excited about me coming. I always leave and they ask if I'm coming back next Sunday, too. I'm like, "No, no! You have to do this!" It's been very well received and I think it is something that is eye opening and very inspiring to see that celebrities actually do this!

FF: I was really surprised at the number of celebrities who participated and wanted to be hands on. Being a small town girl, i just assumed that everyone had someone who did it for them.

Kathy: I tell you, the best onion chopper was [High School Musical's] Vanessa Hudgens.

FF: She's so cute!

Kathy: She's So cute and she was chopping away. Most of the participants are like, "Awe, I have to chop onions?" and I'm like, "Mmm-hmm!". She was ready to go!

FF: I noticed that one of your big clients was Kim Kardashian and she is known for being a junk food junkie. I saw you (on "Keeping Up with the Kardashians") trying to train her and her family and get her to change her eating habits. What did you do to get her to change?

Kathy: I go back with Kim awhile. I did her first exercise video with her and I made an appearance on "Keeping Up with the Kardashians". What you saw there was actually reality. I wasn't going there to do a kitchen thing, but it just kind of led us into there. We just talked about the basics: What they had in their refrigerator and what they didn't have and what they needed. It was about revamping that fridge. I think over time [her eating habits have changed] because it is something she has worked on for quite awhile with exercising and she has had her bouts with junk food. She is definitely making exercise a part of her lifestyle and that's a message that I'm always passing out to my clients and to people who write to me is that it's about choices.
I'm the new spokesperson for Breyers Smooth and Dreamy which is a dessert- Wow, Kathy talking about dessert!- but we all have that craving, that desire for something sweet and it comes at different times, like your reference to Kim. Can you make a better choice? And with the Sunday Setup program I have a "90/10 principle": 90% of the time you want to make the best choices you can . Try to get those real fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. But 10% of the time, you're going to want something sweet. You're going to celebrate someones birthday and Smooth and Dreamy fits in perfectly because it is a sweet treat but it is a good choice if you compare it to others. It is 120-160 calories, it's a perfect portion: Not too small and not too big. It calms that sugary, chocolaty craving. There's also bars and sandwiches, a lot of variety in the Smooth and Dreamy family. To me it's great to tell people about things that are out there that might persuade you to make a better choice within that 10% fun zone.

FF: The "90/10 principle"- when does the 10% kick in? Every day? Throughout the week?

Kathy: I leave that up to how you work as a person. Some people can be completely diligent and committed and do it for six days straight 90% and then the seventh day is their 10% day and they kick back. Some people do it per meal. Some people do it per day. It really depends on what kind of life style you lead: Are you super active? Can you afford extra calories because of your exercise? We have to take ownership of how we want to lead our lives and how our personalities work. That's why diets always fall short because you try to diet but it didn't fit your personality style and this way gives you that leeway and it gives you that flexibility.

Kathy is a busy mom, and even though her plate is full with her new book coming out and the TV show, she still finds time for fitness. She shared with me that soon she will have to have hip replacement surgery due to issues she was born with, so she engages in indoor and outdoor cycling, deep water running, and she still teaches her step aerobics class two times a week. She recommends push ups, crunches, and plank work for every day fitness for all levels.

I am looking forward to watching her show! Please check out her YouTube channel and try out Breyers new Smooth and Dreamy for a lighter sweet treat!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Losing It with Jillian!: Episode 4: "Mama, quit quittin'!"

Jillian's Losing It journey this week takes her to the cutely named town of Goodlettsville, TN to meet with the Northern Family. There is dad Patrick, mom Kim, and twin son and daughter Amir and Ameera. They are an all American family with some big American problems: Patrick lost his job, Kim is trying to be the bread winner and take care of the family, and the family has very poor eating habits.

When Jillian first sees the family, they are "cooking up a heart attack", making themselves a lunch consisting of deep fried chicken wings, mac and cheese, over 14,290 calories worth of food! Jillian is PISSED and calls the family, telling them to put the wings down and head to the doctor. The doctor has the usual disturbing news: Patrick should weigh 192 pounds and weighs 329 pounds, and Kim should weigh 139 pounds and weighs 283 pounds. She is 53% body fat! The kids start to cry because they want healthy parents that will be around for a long time.

Then it's time to meet Jillian in person for their beating. She is FIRED UP, and puts the family through planks, lifting logs, and karaokes- not the singing variety. Patrick gives up half way through the workout, and Ameera begins crying again. Jillian knows she needs to get out the mind bullet gun and do some investigating on why this family is in such dire straits.

Patrick keeps promising that tomorrow and someday things will get better and Kim is tired of shouldering the burden of the family herself. Jillian asks, "There is no tomorrow, why not now?" Patrick begins to realize that he can give the family many things, but unless he is giving them the gift of his health they have nothing.

The Northern family heads home with Jillian in tow and she heads right to the deep fried mess that is in the kitchen. She moans at the five gallon jug of cooking oil and gasps at Patrick's secret creme pie stashes all over the house. This family knows full well that their eating habits are bad, but they are not willing to change it.

At least the house is clean.

Later on when Jillian is speaking with Kim, Kim reveals a huge Ziplock bag (no plug here) of candy that she eats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the weekends because she is trying to escape from all the responsibility she has during the week. She and Patrick aren't talking about their issues. Jillian has her work cut out for her.

The next day at the gym, Jillian pushes Kim and Patrick as hard as she can- Patrick manages to fall off the treadmill (I see Ashley from Biggest Loser every time) and Jillian yells at him for quitting. He finally breaks down, admitting he is afraid to fail. Jillian retorts, "The only way to fail is to give up." Sound advice.

We learn more about the family when Kim's sister stops by and tells Jillian that Kim cancelled her 40th birthday party because she wasn't thin enough. Patrick doesn't compete in his step dancing competitions because he doesn't feel good about how he looks. When Jillian accompanies the family to a step dancing event, Patrick walks out when she pushes a little too hard for him to participate. Jillian is tired of this family living on the sidelines, and she realizes that Patrick is the key to turning the family around.

The plan: to unravel Kim in front of Patrick. While walking on the treadmills, Jillian asks a couple of questions and Kim's flood gates open. Patrick doesn't want to see his wife sad, and he begins to truly listen to her concerns. The next day, Patrick wakes up with purpose. He does all the things on Kim's "honey do" list to make her smile and to let her know that he is apart of the family. Then Jillian has Patrick work Kim out at the gym- he has a light in his eyes and you can tell that he is truly motivated to change.

Then it is family activity time! Jillian goes with the family to a local skating rink, where Patrick does a little more falling then skating. The family is laughing and having a great time, which is really the reason for being together. After a quick trip to the capital to have the family take a literal trip up stairs to show the journey they have in store, it is time for the group hugs and Jillian to say goodbye.

Eight weeks later, Jillian comes back for a surprise belated 40th birthday party for Kim. Patrick reveals his new 61 pound lighter frame and Kim shows off that she has lost 41 pounds. And no surprise, Patrick does a little step dancing. Jillian gives them all $50,000 and heads off into the sunset to help another family in need of her special brand of tough love.

Next week: a 14-year-old boy who is over 300 pounds. A tear jerker- bring your tissues!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Funday!


I have posted these before on Sunday Funday, and now I have met a fellow blogger who also shares my enthusiasm for jazz hands and leotards. Check out Brooklyn Fit Chick's blog- she focused on everything from Jane Fonda to Barbie this week. I am stealing her clip of Mary Hart's workout video. . .please reset your VCR counter so you know where it begins.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

More Malibu Barbie, Less Snookie. . .

There are many things you can do to make yourself feel great BESIDES exercise. Get a massage, download new songs to your Ipod, and buying new workout clothes are some of my favorite things (besides brown paper packages tied up with string). But how do I look IN the clothes? And could I look better?
I was offered to try a complimentary spray tan from Brazil Bronze through my friends at Spa Sally. This Tuesday, Spa Sally is offering a $25 full body spray tan through their site and they needed a guinea pig. I have never had a spray tan, and I have tried self tanning creams and lotions without great result (orange elbows!), so I was eager to try it out. I am a big advocate of wearing sunscreen and avoiding tanning beds, so I wanted to see if spray tanning was for me.

Brazil Bronze is located in Soho on Broadway between Houston and Prince (awesome shopping!) in a really nice studio. It is very lushly decorated and smelled like a tropical beach. I liked it! I met with co-owner Joy, who is not only a spray tanning goddess, but also a personal trainer and karate expert with over twenty years of experience. She knows how to make your body look gorgeous!

We discussed what color I wanted to be, and then she took me into a changing room where I put on a shower cap, opted for the disposable thong, and put sticky pads on the soles of my feet. Joy then applied Vaseline to my finger and toe nails and began to spray. The spray is light and cool (it feels great in the summer!) and had a very light odor. Joy put my in a variety of different poses to insure my color would be even.

Joy also offers services to minimize the appearance of cellulite (CELLULITE ANNIHILATOR- I think it's a Terminator movie) and spray tan muscle sculpting. She can give the illusion of Michelle Obama arms and a whittled waist- just ask to add this service! If anyone reading this is a fit model or needs six pack abs "enhanced", this service is for you.

After the spray, I was set in front of a fan to dry and couldn't help but notice the tons of magazines Brazil Bronze has been featured in: Allure, Cosmo, Vogue, just to name a few. This place is too legit to quit. I was given an after care sheet and followed all the instructions to a tee (no hand washing or face washing!) and this morning when I got out of the shower I was perfectly tanned from head to toe! Not an orange spot in site!

This is a great idea to look super cute in your gym shorts without the damage to your skin or the time it takes to develop a regular tan. In 15 minutes or less you will look like you went on a mini vacay. For $25? Deal of the century.

Weight Loss CAN be Magic. . .

I just read an article on Yahoo about the new Wizarding World Of Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida not being able to be ridden by larger passengers. As a smaller person, I don't usually think about the weight restrictions on a ride, but I do have friends who this has affected.

As I read the article, I expected a litany of rants about Universal and how "unfair" they are to the plus size public. What I didn't expect to find was this:

Banks Lee and the Three Clicks: My Journey to Fit on an Enchanted Bench

Mr. Lee couldn't fit on the ride, and instead of just saying "Oh, well" he has taken up weight loss as a challenge. His goal is to fit on the ride and get the three clicks the seat requires for safety. And he is going to BLOG about his journey. I love that he decided to use something that could have been embarrassing and unmotivating as a stimulant for a healthy life.

GO FOR IT BANKS! I'll be supporting your journey, Hogwarts style. Now get all Expeliramus on that ride! And lay off the butter beer!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yoga at The Great Lawn: Before We Were Rained Out. . .

Yoga at the Great Lawn Tuesday evening was a lot of fun, even though it was rained out. I took some photos of the event- it may be the closest to Woodstock I will ever get!

This was the line we were waiting in before we got to the lawn- and we got there at 5 pm!

Once the gates opened, we were given a yoga mat from Gaiam and Jet Blue. In this photo I have my pal and fellow blogger Mari (from Namaste Mari-check out her photos!), and behind her Erica (from Erica Miss America-check out her photos!). . .

. . .And Jess (in blue) from Fit Chick in the City (read her post) and her friend Daniella. And a lot of other people!

This was how close to the stage we were! My view from the front of my mat. . .

When I first sat down, this was the view behind my mat. The pic at the top was my view when the event was "about" to start.

This was the last time the sun peeked out from the clouds.

The crowd is ready to get it started!

This is a ton of people dancing to crazy comedian Reggie Watts and his song "Get Your Yoga On". And then it started to sprinkle, and then rain. I didn't want to take photos because I didn't want anything to happen to my phone!
But it was a lot of fun and I hope that I will be able to participate again when they have a rain date in the future. Thanks to Flavorpill, Jet Blue, Gaiam, and my friends for a really amazing experience!

Bridal Boot Camp- episode 3: "How do you gain two pounds on a weight loss show?"

On a show where you are working as a team AND having to lose weight as an individual, you have to perform well as a team player and work your butt off (literally) so your weight loss is covered, too. This week, Bridal Team Blue and Green reached a shaky alliance with both aspects of the game, and one team failed in a BIG way. Not in a big fat way. Just a big way.

Bridal Team Blue starts the episode out in the rain, and Tesha is over it. She walks off the field, leaving Steve to say, "I'm the guy who decides who quits!" Apparently not.

Trainer Francesca (we don't hear too much out of her, you know?) is frustrated after her Bridal Team Green lost last week's Marital Mission, and she shows her displeasure by putting them through a grueling workout involving lots of swimming. That's good, because they are going to need all the help they can get. . .

Meanwhile, Steve catches up with a somber Tesha in the barracks, who reveals the reason for her naughty behavior is she is missing her kids back home. She wants to quit, but Steve reminds her that quitting would set a bad example for her children, and "I can't let you quit and feel good about it." The lights come on for Tesha, who realizes it isn't just about winning her dream wedding, but making a lasting lifestyle change for her and her family.

Then the ladies receive their invites from Cynthia for this week's Marital Mission, called Consummating Your Marriage. I was worried- I know sex burns a lot of calories, but wha? My fears were assuaged: It only involved the marital bed. No sexy time. The women have to run while carrying their mattress over their heads, attach the mattress to a raft, and then tow the raft while paddling a canoe around a buoy and back to shore. Sounds complicated.

Since Bridal Team Green's Lauren lost the largest percentage of body weight last week, she gets to answer a question posed by her fiancee, Ryan (who won in this deal- Lauren is a cute girl) for an advantage in the game. She gets it right, and Bridal Team Green gets to run on the inside of the track which is supposed to be faster. You would never know it, though, because Bridal Team Blue tears out of the starting gate like speedy bridezillas, quickly taking the lead.

I thought since Green team had so much swimming training earlier they would have been champs when it came to getting their canoes out. Melissa got the mattress raft stuck in the mud, Lauren overturned their canoe, and somehow, ginger Courtney stayed in her canoe and dry while the rest of the team struggled in the water. Again, Courtney is not racking up any popularity points.

Bridal Team Blue wins the race and honeymoon vacations for all! Bridal Team Green gets a trip to the Fitting Room. Back at the barracks, Melissa and Lauren gang up on fair skinned Courtney and tell her that if she is in the bottom two, she will be getting sent home.

On the winner's pier, Cynthia weighs in the Blue team. Will Jamie get her ass handed to her this week?

Jamie: From 139 lbs to 134 lbs- 5 lbs lost (whew.)
Amberly: From 159 lbs to 157 lbs- 2 lbs lost
Tesha: From 148 lbs to 145 lbs- 3 lbs lost
Tara: From 180 lbs to 177 lbs- 3 lbs lost

Then the wedding bells chime and it is time for Green team to head to the Fitting Room.

Melissa: From 168 lbs to 166 lbs- 2 lbs lost
Kacey: From 138 lbs to 135 lbs- 3 lbs lost
Lauren: From 165 lbs to 167 lbs- 2 lbs gained
Courtney: From 147 lbs to 145 lbs- 2 lbs lost

In a cruel twist of mean girls fate, Melissa and Lauren are in the bottom two and Courtney is safe. Karma is a bitch, right? Lauren is weeping and asking how you can gain weight on a weight loss show and Kacey is yelling at Courtney and telling her she should put herself in the losing position.

And save someone who was mean to her earlier? Sorry, cowgirl. Cynthia tells Courtney if she keeps losing weight she'll stay out of the bottom two, and tells Lauren that she said it herself: How do you gain weight on a weight loss show? She discharges Lauren from duty and Lauren is sent packing.

Next week? CAKE WRESTLING. Sounds delicious.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Guest Postin'!

Hey y'all! May I invite you to swing by my pal Carly's blog to read my guest post today? And while you are there, check out the other great guest posts this week and, of course, Carly's posts!

Happy hump day!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dance Your A** Off- season 2/episode 3- "Look at Me!"

I don't know why the episode was called this. I think it was because the dancers were supposed to show their true selves on stage through their dance. . .but I would have called the episode "So You Think You Can Dance Your Ass Off!" because of the cross reality show tie ins! The dancers are paired with their professional partners, and two of them (Jesus and Joshua) are previous contestants from SYTYCD, my fave reality dance show not dealing with weight loss.

After a quickie montage of last week's show, Mel B greets the contestants and tells them their styling tips for this week's show are located in some garment bags. I was hoping that there were cute and flattering costumes in there, but instead there were Cd's with music they were supposed to style their routines on.

Corey- Rapper's Delight
Stephanie- Imma Be (what? Imma be what?)
Meredith- Smile
Kiki- Beautiful
Sarah- My Life
LaToya- So Emotional
Michael- Ridin' Dirty (my fave!)
Katie- Evacuate the Dance Floor
Erica- No More Drama
Adamme- The Time of My Life
Briana- You Can't Touch This

The contestants meet their new pro partners and feel either excited, nervous, flustered, or sweaty. Then it's off to learn from nutritionist Rachel Bellen about portion control. Did you know that eating two sushi rolls is like eating three fish sandwiches? Me either. Then it's time to train with Lee. This week they are out of the gym and up Runyon Canyon, that hilly path I see on every weight loss show from Celebrity Fit Club to The Biggest Loser.

Quick inside peek: Michael lets us in on a secret: Kiki and Corey are having a love connection! Corey actual says that Kiki is "a little ball of adorableness". He's got it BAD. What guy says that?

Then it is the day of the show, y'all! Mel B introduces us to the judges and today's guest judge, Mayte Garcia. Who was a judge last year on the show. But now she is a guest. Where did she go?

Everyone had their opportunity to leave it on the dance floor, but then it was time to weigh in. (No time wasted on this show, ya hear NBC?)

Adamme (immune): From 289.5 lbs to 281.3 lbs- 8.2 lbs lost + dance score: 10.8
Stephanie: From 196.1 lbs to 188.2 lbs- 7.9 lbs lost + dance score: 11.7 WINNER!!!
Erica: From 224.8 lbs to 218.3 lbs- 5.8 lbs lost + dance score: 10.9
Michael: From 272.1 lbs to 263.2- 8.9 lbs lost + dance score: 10.0
Briana: From 275.3 lbs to 269.5 lbs- 5.8 lbs lost + dance score: 9.1
Corey: From 310.7 lbs to 303.4 lbs- 7.3 lbs lost + dance score: 8.6
LaToya: From 207.2 lbs to 206.3 lbs- 0.9 lbs + dance score: 8.4
Katie: From 207.3 lbs to 202.7 lbs- 4.6 lbs + dance score: 8.2
Kiki: From 212.0 lbs to 207.5 lbs- 4.5 lbs + dance score: 7.8
Sarah: From 208.9 lbs to 205.8 lbs- 3.1 lbs + dance score: 7.2
Meredith: From 205.6 lbs to 201.7 lbs- 3.9 lbs + dance score: 6.9

Meredith was PANNED on her dance (she got a 4 from one judge) and is sent home. But she is a classy lady. Pass the tissues.

I am happy to report that all the costumes were MUCH BETTER this week! No silver bike pants! And next week the dancers will be attempting salsa- muy caliente!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mind Over Madness Yoga: Solstice in Times Square 2010

I never dreamed I would be lying on my stomach in Times Square. I also never imagined I would be doing it at 7:30 am, but there I was this morning welcoming the beginning of summer with a bunch of other yoga practitioners at the 2010 Solstice in Times Square, produced by the Times Square Alliance, the same folks who put on the dropping of the ball every New Year's Eve. Their brochure summed it up the best:

So, in honor of the many cultures throughout history that have celebrated the Summer Solstice as a flowering of mind, body, and spirit and an outpouring of creative expression , we invite yoga enthusiasts; both experienced and beginners to find tranquility and transcendence in the midst of the urban energy of the world's most commercial and frenetic place.

I was invited as a member of the press by yoga company Manduka, one of the event sponsors and giver away of 100 eco-Lite yoga mats for the first 100 participants of each class. They also gifted me a beautiful "VIP" package (who me?) that I took some pics of further down in my photo essay. . .Thanks to Manduka for getting me into one of the coolest events ever!

Here I am with the background of the TKTS booth in Times Square. I am all smiles despite not having any coffee yet.

The waiting line for the 7:30 am class! I was lucky I got to bypass it and see the goodies at the Manduka tent in the yoga village.

The event opens and people start to trickle in. . .

. . .and it gets fuller. . .

. . . and then it was time for class to begin!

The little guy in the yellow shirt is instructor Douglass Stewart who co-founded the Solstice in Times Square event. He teaches at Yoga Works here in NYC, and was an amazingly motivational teacher. The class was inspiring-feeling the energy of the other students of all levels working together to create this amazing sense of peace and calm in the busiest place in New York City was a once in a lifetime feeling. I was so happy to be there!

We even had the class shown on the JUMBO TRON television. I saw the Tony's on this TV last week. Neato!

This is what Douglass looks like close up. I'm sporting my new Manduka yoga bag!

Here is the swag I received from Manduka: A pro-Lite yoga mat, yoga bag, and yoga towel. I can't wait to start using the mat for my practice! I do yoga about 2-3 times a week, and my old mat is looking a little ragged.
I feel like summer is officially kicked off in one of the most awesome ways possible. I can't wait to participate next year! If you are in town, you must must must check it out!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Funday!

Yesterday was the annual Mermaid Parade at Coney Island. These photos are from last years- tell me I don't live in the wackiest city ever. Happy Father's Day!!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Losing It with Jillian!: Episode 3- "Which women do you want to be?"

Boo, NBC. BOO! You know that people watch your show. You have the balls to move the program around from 8 pm to 10 pm to 8pm. . .and we follow you. Then after the President's very important BP speech, you decide to show your loyal viewers "Losing It with Jillian" already in progress. We lost the first 20 minutes of the show.


And then to show a repeat of Last Comic Standing at 10 pm? Good Lord people.

Of course, I had to wait until the show came On Demand. I felt like all the live tweeting would have really benefited from the first 20 minutes because the matriarch of the May family is NUTS! I have never seen Jillian afraid of someone sneaking into her room and killing her at night.

It was SO amazingly weird and nutty and I was totally bummed I didn't get to share that with my live twitterers. It would have made up for the luke warm reception that Losing it has sort of had.

Don't get me wrong- I love Jillian and I like the show and I am impressed with the changes the families are making. My complaints are that the show is too short, I don't really get to see HOW the family is making the changes, and I don't know if there is lasting power.

Also, is Jillian really cleaning the houses or does she have a team? And how clever are the editors to erase any helping hands?

Sigh. This third episode was the best in the bunch. The May family consists of Mom, two daughters, and a son. The dad is MIA, divorced from the family because I can only assume he left the mom for another person. Mom is eating her problems, is a RAGEAHOLIC, and her poor daughters are following in her footsteps. The son seems to be doing a little better, but he is the only guy in a house full of chicks.

Jillian not only has to deal with the healthy eating and exercising, but also the overflowing May's garage of stuff. She decides to help the family let go of some of their baggage, but LORD. You must watch the mom freak out. When she yells "SELL IT ALL!" it makes your blood chill.

The reveal of the family when Jillian returns in 8 weeks is also a mind blower. The mom lost 74 pounds. THOSE ARE AMAZING NUMBERS! And the daughters both look like television stars. I still don't QUITE know how it happens or how quickly, but it is impressive.

Listen to my plea, NBC. Don't keep jacking me around! Or I'm going to Lose It.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Yoga Yoga Everywhere. . .

NYC yoga enthusiasts have much to celebrate next week! There are two huge events I will be participating in OUTSIDE and all over this fair city of ours.

On Monday, June 21st, prepare to down dog in the heart of the city at Solstice in Times Square. Yogis will be celebrating the first day of summer with free classes and demonstrations with lots of freebies and swag. The event will be taking place at Broadway and 7th avenue from 7:30 am to sunset.

Manduka Yoga Gear

I have been invited by Manduka, maker of high performance yoga mats and accessories, to yoga out and they are giving away 100 biodegradable eKO Lite yoga mats to the first 100 people who show up to EACH CLASS! These are nice mats, folks. And you are going to want that protection between you and the pavement. Thanks Manduka!

On Tuesday, June 22, 10,000 yoga participants will be trying to set a Guinness Book of World Records record by participating in the largest yoga event in the history of the United States at Flavorpill's YOGA AT THE GREAT LAWN! At 5:30 pm in Central Park, students and teachers will be greeted by live music by Reggie Watts, 13 Hands, Buddy Wakefield, and Wah!, and then at 7:30 pm yogi Elena Brower will teach the class accompanied by bassist Garth Stevenson.

It sounds like it is going to be insane and smelly. Good thing it is outside!!! Here is Elena Brower and Flavorpill's founder speaking with our local news abut the event:

If you are planning on attending, give me a shout out at and maybe we can say hi!


Bridal Boot Camp- episode 2: "Jamie, you better pray you lose weight next week."

Even with my interview with Bridal Blue Team's Trainer Steve, Blue is still not doing so well. They were the first team to face the "fitting room", they had a member of their team eliminated, and they are starting week 2 on the wrong side of the bed.

Trainer Steve wakes up his team, and is greeted with grunts and groans. "How's everyone feeling?" he asks. "Like shit," athlete Jamie retorts. Maybe she is still suffering from soda withdrawal? Tara from TN utters, "I can barely lift my arms to brush my teeth."

Bridal Team Green, on the other hand, is peppy, attacking the gym full force. In a side interview, team member Kelley happily ticks off all the team members that she loves and shows a bit of hesitation when it comes to coloring book enthusiast Courtney. Trainer Francesca is also having some problems with Courtney becoming overwhelmed in the gym. Is the Green team being set up for some disappointment, or just seeing green?

When Blue enters the gym, Steve is visibly worried. Tara and Tesha keep saying they can't do it, and Tesha has a mini meltdown. . .which causes Steve to let the ladies train themselves while he goes and takes a break. Maybe to hang out with his new bear friends. Team member Amberly takes charge, getting them to hit the treadmills because the "green team is not playing".

All the ladies are invited to their next Marital Mission at a pool where they are greeted by Cynthia Conde and their trainers. The name of the game: The Bridal Shower. Gifts are tied to the bottom of the pool in assorted team colors. The ladies must swim and dive to retrieve their gifts, and whichever team grabs them all first wins.

The Blue team only has 4 girls against Green's 5, so they are going to have to work twice as hard. The Green team starts really strong, but when it comes to space cadet Courtney, she just sits and stares at her package while the Blue team catches up. Courtney finally kicks it into gear, but too late- Blue team wins their first challenge and immunity from elimination. Plus they get all of their shower gifts and the Green teams gifts, as well.

Cut to sad shot of Green team's Melissa, sitting in her bunk and twirling her engagement ring on her finger. She wants that dream wedding, and she wants it bad. Bad enough to overhear Blue teams Tara saying she wants to go home and then spreading that news to the rest of her Green team. Amberly overhears Melissa being a gossip and goes outside to confront her, and they get all "No she didn't". Lots of bleeping from the censors. I assume Melissa was expressing her displeasure with Amberly and vice versa.

The ladies stop flapping their jaws long enough for their weigh ins. The victorious Blue team meets Cynthia on the weigh in pier.

Amberly: From 163 lbs to 159 lbs- 4 lbs lost
Tesha: From 151 lbs to 148 lbs- 3 lbs lost
Jamie: From 139 lbs to 139 lbs- 0 lbs lost
Tara: From 183 lbs to 180 lbs- 3 lbs lost

Cynthia states, "Not losing weight is unacceptable. Jamie, you better pray you lose weight next week." I don't know what the consequences would be, but Cynthia is like She Hulk. It wouldn't be pretty.

The Green team meets in the fitting room to see who will be going home.
Melissa: From 173 lbs to 168 lbs- 5 lbs lost
Kelley: From 152 lbs to 150 lbs- 2 lbs lost
Lauren: From 171 lbs to 165 lbs- 6 lbs lost
Kacey: From 139 lbs to 138 lbs- 1 lb lost
Courtney: From 150 lbs to 147 lbs- 3 lbs lost

As much as the show was edited to look like ginger Courtney was going to be on the chopping block, it looks like team favorites Kelley and Kacey necks are on the line. Cynthia asks the team who should go home, and the women debate between who is the stronger competitor or who is already close to their goal. Trainer Francesca seems to have the final word: Kacey "deserves to have her dream wedding". Cynthia decrees it so, and Kelley is sent packing with a "Good luck fitting into your dream wedding dress".

Only 8 players remain to duke it out for the grand prize. Let the fur fly!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Simple Things, Simple Thanks

I was in a car accident last night. I take a cab home from work most nights, and as my cab was exiting a tunnel we were rear ended by a car going 40 mph. I was on the phone with my boyfriend, and luckily was relaxed and wearing my seat belt. Even with that, I still had the wind knocked out of me and I almost bit my tongue, and I am a little jangled but fine.

I wanted to thank God for making sure I was fine and that no one in the other car was injured. And I also wanted to extend thankfulness for my healthy body. I was able to walk away from a pretty nasty looking crash because my strong muscles held me, my flexible spine could sustain the impact.

I was grateful as a laced up my running shoes this morning, and felt blessed as I ran through the park. I am in one piece. I am happy, healthy, and proud that my body can take a licking and keep on ticking.

Thank you, body. Sorry I am mean to you sometimes. I appreciate that you kept me safe. I promise to keep taking good care of you so you can keep taking good care of me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Foster Fitness EXCLUSIVE!: Interview with Trainer Steve from VH1's Bridal Boot Camp!

I have been writing about the wacky weight loss program Bridal Boot Camp that premiered last week on reality mega station VH1 (remember when they used to have music on?). The best part of writing this blog? Getting to actually TALK to the people on the show! What? I KNOW.

Bridal Boot Camp's second episode airs today (on VH1 at 12 pm EST and 10 pm EST) and before you tune in, check out my interview with Bridal Team Blue's trainer extraordinaire Steve Pfiester. We talk about health, fitness, and why bears hate paparazzi.

FF: Bridal Boot Camps are ALL the rage. Why do you think women want you screaming at them?

SP: Boot Camps are the shizzle because the programs work. Many ladies are depended on for making important family and business decisions, taking care of the kids, and husbands while working full time- and boot camps allow for these ladies to just show up and shut their brains off. It gives them someone there to encourage them to do better and to show them the way to reach their goals. If that requires a little yelling. . .well, then we yell. If it requires a hug. . .well, then we still yell. Ha. We aren't gonna sit around and sing kumbaya, but we truly care and empower these brides-to-be.

FF: How were you chosen to work with Cynthia Conde (host of the show) and are her muscles really that huge in person?

SP: I was chosen because I am so ridiculously good looking- HA HA! (Total Zoolander moment) Seriously, I got a heads up from a friend of mine that they were casting for trainers. So, I went to Orlando for a casting and was chosen as the trainer for Team Blue. Hoorah! We (Bonnie [Steve's wife] and I) had already started working with the boot camp philosophy at our clubs and run a boot camp retreat, which was just in Fitness magazine, at Gloria Estefan's beach resort, Costa d'Este. . .We give a three day boot camp crash course on how to lose weight.
I also have first hand knowledge of Army basic training. I was trained as a combat engineer (12 bravo) in Fort Leonard Wood, MO in 1989. Dang I'm old. Anyhow, it seemed to be a great fit. And to your second question. . .yes! Jacked! She puts the G'sh in OMG'sh!

FF: Do you have a favorite off camera moment on the show that you would/would not like to have on the air?

SP: Totally. I was walking to mess (breakfast) about 5:00 AM. I see this large dog coming through the fog. Apprehensive, but yet a dog lover, I stop and face the animal. [I] noticed it had a strange gait for a K9. Once it got about 10 feet from me I realized this dog looks a heck of a lot like a bear. Okay, it's a bear. Literally walked right past me as if I wasn't there- and how flippin' cute! He was a little cub, but still a huge animal- just small for a bear. Anyway, he walks straight for the tree I was standing under. I thought he was cute as I watched him shimmy up the tree to nap- until I turned around and big a** Aunt Edna is staring me right in the face. She was huge compared to the cub. I yielded out of the way and let her up the tree. She seemed not to be interested in me until I started taking pictures of her little one. She made this snort scratch sound. . .you know, the one every mom makes from the choir loft when you are misbehaving in church. She startled me so much I jumped out of my skin and hauled butt outta there. As I'm running away like a little girl, I realize the whole Blue Team just witnessed their studly hard-butt boot camp trainer runnin' like a sissy from these cuddly little bears. Pretty happy that didn't make the air. . .

FF: If you had one fitness wish for the folks out there, what would it be?

SP: To just get started in any capacity to get, and stay, healthy - mentally, physically, and spiritually. Examine yourself on all three levels and decide if you are lacking. Just beginning the journey can be very healing.

FF: Has anyone ever told you you look an awful lot like Ty Pennington? You could do a partner show: Extreme Home Makeover, Body Edition.

SP: After "Fat March" aired on ABC people teased my about that. Pretty funny. Bonnie and I have talked about wanting to do a makeover show just like that. Hmmmmmm!

(Thanks to Bonnie Pfiester for hooking me up with Steve for this interview and for the great photos!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dance Your A** Off- season 2/episode 2- "Let's Get it Started!"

The auditions are over and it is time for the contestants to leave it all out on the dance floor! Oxygen promised us a "plus size" episode for the official premier, and live chatting with former Spice Girl and Dancing with the Stars contestant Mel B on the Oxygen website. I like my Twitter live chatting. . .sorry, Oxygen. It was a s*&t show over there, even if the fail whale came to the surface during our tweetfest. I must say, Mel B is a hotter host than last season's Winokur, and fellow journalist Stefan Pinto wrote an excellent article about why she is no longer hosting the weight loss competition. Reason number one: It's a weight loss competition.

So the show! The 12 contestants move into a large mansion together, complete with dance room and "cheat" cabinet filled with Twinkies. Kick the willpower into gear right off the bat. The 12 gather for a "last supper" (biblical references completely unintentional) of their favorite meals: Cheeseburgers, fries, fried chicken, and mac n' cheese, only to be shown the calories they consumed AFTER they ate. They were on the bottom of the plates. I think the calories should have been written out in the food. Bouncer Corey saw his meal was over 3,000 calories. The dancers are starting to figure out why they have been cast.

After a weigh in and health check by Dr. Geller (also sporting a longer 'do, like Dr. H from Biggest Loser- what's up with that?), the 12 head to the dance studio to find out what styles of dance they will be performing. 6 different styles are posted on the dance studio's mirrors, and the contestants scramble to grab their faves after choreographer Tiana gives a brief demo of each style. Contestants were paired with whoever chose the same style they chose. Then it was off to nutritionist Rachel Beller, self named "health police". Largest contestant Briana states, "I have never ate a vegetable," but is going to have to start. She eats a piece of broccoli and asks if there are any other options. Then it is off to train with Lee Wall, their personal trainer.

Busy, busy contestants.

3 days before the show, Mel B tells the contestants that their partners will now be their competitors, and each team will have a winner and a loser. The winners will be immune from elimination for the week, and the losers will have to depend on their weight loss percentage to keep them in the competition. Dramer.

It's the day of the show, y'all! This is my favorite part of the show. These people are big, but they can MOVE! We are greeted by a sexy Mel B, and are introduced to our judges Lisa Ann Walter, Danny Teeson, and Dave Scott. Dave Scott from So You Think You Can Dance! YAY! Reality show crossover!

Kiki vs. Briana: dance: Booty Crankin' winner: Briana
Michael vs. Latoya: dance: Pop-Jazz winner: Latoya
Erica vs. Katie: dance: Fierce Whacking winner: Katie
Stephanie vs. Caleb: dance: Thrashing winner: Stephanie
Meredith vs. Sarah: dance: Dirty Jazz winner: Sarah
Adamme vs. Corey: dance: Old Skool winner: Adamme

The winners headed to the winners bench and to the weigh in. The winner got immunity for next week.

Adamme: From 301.8 lbs to 289.5 lbs- 12.3 lbs lost + dance score: 13.4
Briana: From 289.6 lbs to 275.3 lbs- 14.3 lbs lost + dance score: 12.6
Latoya: From 217.0 lbs to 207.2 lbs- 9.8 lbs lost + dance score: 12.5
Stephanie: From 207.0 lbs to 196.1 lbs- 10.9 lbs lost + dance score: 12.0
Sarah: From 218.7 lbs to 208.9 lbs- 9.8 lbs lost + dance score: 11.8
Katie: From 215.9 lbs to 207.3 lbs- 8.6 lbs lost + dance score: 10.7
And the elimination bench hit the scale to find out who would be going home.

Corey: From 325.9 lbs to 310.7 lbs- 15.2 lbs lost + dance score: 12.4
Kiki: From 220.4 lbs to 212.0 lbs- 8.4 lbs lost + dance score: 11.1
Michael: From 285.6 lbs to 272.1 lbs- 13.5 lbs lost + dance score: 10.7
Meredith: From 214.5 lbs to 205.6 lbs- 8.9 lbs lost + dance score: 10.4
Erica: From 232.7 lbs to 224.8 lbs- 7.9 lbs lost + dance score: 9.7
Caleb: From 297.0 lbs to 282.6 lbs- 14.4 lbs lost + dance score: not enough to stay

Caleb and his eyebrows are sent back to Texas, but he handled it like a true gentleman.

The real losers? The people who design the HORRIBLE costumes for the dancers. They look like they went to Party Bazaar and bought the cheapest plus size costumes they could find.

Next week: partners! And more So You Think You Can Dance former contestants. Goodie goodie! *claps hands*

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm ALL for healthy eating. . .

. . .but this child star takes it to the next level. Reed Alexander is on iCarly and also fancies himself a chef.

Don't you remember sitting around the pool eating homemade ices out of a hollowed out lemon with fresh mint sprigs after slaving over a grill making homemade flat bread pizzettes as a 15-year-old? I sure do.

Make sure to watch the WHOLE thing- Hoda and Kathie Lee might make you wet your pants.

And check out Reed's website. It is also sufficiently. . .odd.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday Funday!

I'm taking this kid's advice and tackling my own to-do list. (

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bridal Boot Camp- episode 1: "Francesca, I have diarrhea."

Bridal Boot Camp on VH1 is coo coo for Coco Puffs. It is odd. It is weird. And it is a lot of fun.

Bridal Boot Camp is a reality show that follows 10 engaged women who want to get in shape for their upcoming weddings. Whoever loses the most weight at the end wins "the wedding of their dreams". Bridal boot camps are really popular, and I was intrigued by what was going on here- it is a reality show about weight loss, right?

The host, Cynthia Conde, is a real live trainer that owns her own boot camp facility out in Long Island, NY. She is a lady. I apologize for my comment I made in a previous post where I thought she might be a tranny. She is a woman, but she is really beefy. The muscles and the low voice fooled me, people.

We meet the bride-testants on the back of an Army truck wearing wedding gowns and combat boots. They are greeted by their two trainers, Steve and Francesca, by forcing them out of the truck and through a military style obstacle course complete with explosions. The women drag themselves through the mud and introduce themselves while doing jumping jacks and puking.

Tara: From Tennessee, Tara is a motivational speaker and wants to fit in a size 6 dress.

Melissa: From Pennsylvania, Melissa is a journalist, bitchy game player, and wants to fit in a size 6 dress.

Amberly: From California, Amberly is a student/bartender and wants to fit in a size 6 dress.

Lauren: From Pennsylvania, Lauren is a hair stylist with 38 DDD boobs and wants to fit into a size 8 dress.

Tina: From Tennessee, Tina is a student and asthma sufferer who wants to fit into a size 14 dress.

Kelley: From Tennessee, Kelley is a student who wants to fit into a size 6 dress.

Tesha: From Virginia, Tesha is a counselor, mother of 3, oldest contestant, and wants to fit into a size 8 dress.

Courtney: From Florida, Courtney is a professional singer, puker, and likes to color in coloring books. Oh, and she want to fit into a size 6 dress.

Jamie: From Idaho, Jamie is an athlete who wants to fit into a size 4 dress.

Kacey: From California, Kacey is a student with a supposed muffin top who wants to fit into a size 4 dress.

Lots of similarities here. Everyone has an accent and wants to be a size 6.

The ladies are split into Bridal Party Green with Francesca and Bridal Party Blue with Steve and go to the barracks to change into their uniforms. They receive an invitation from Cynthia Conde for their last supper of crap food. They are all so excited to eat the pizza and burgers that they almost didn't notice the enormous tank that rolls up, drives over their table, and destroys dinner. It is Cynthia, and in her thick Long Island accent she declares that "It is ON." Or awn?

Week one of the camp was a load of vomiting, an asthma attack and hospitalization from Tina, soda withdrawal from Jamie, cat fights with racist comments from Melissa and Tesha, and some working out. There is also a challenge called a Marital Mission (listen to Cynthia say Martial Mission- priceless) where the girls have to shovel sugar into a wheelbarrow, pour it into a canoe, and then push the canoe out into the water (wharter).

Bridal Party Green wins the challenge in 5 minutes and 40 seconds over Blue's 7 minutes and 29 seconds, and has their first weigh in. The weigh in is on a pier with a regular step on scale! No special ceremony for these chicks.

Melissa: From 182 lbs to 173 lbs- 9 lbs lost

Courtney: From 155 lbs to 150 lbs- 5 lbs lost

Kasey: From 147 lbs to 139 lbs- 8 lbs lost

Kelley: From 161 lbs to 152 lbs- 9 lbs lost

Lauren: From 174 lbs to 171 lbs- 3 lbs lost

Lauren is upset she didn't lose as much as the others, and Cynthia take her to the side and comforts her. "Ya still lawst weight."

Bridal Party Blue has to go to the Fitting Room, where the elimination takes place. Their scale is in a room of mirrors. TORTURE.

Jamie: From 147 lbs to 139 lbs- 8 lbs lost

Tesha: From 156 lbs to 151 lbs- 5 lbs lost

Tina: From 201 lbs to 196 lbs- 5 lbs lost

Tara: From 192 lbs to 183 lbs- 9 lbs lost

Amberly: From 168 lbs to 163 lbs- 5 lbs lost

Based on body fat percentage, Tina and Amberly are the bottom two. Cynthia asks the other teammates which bride should stay and everyone gets to talk smack. Even the trainer, Steve, gets to put his two cents in. Can you imagine if Bob and Jillian from Biggest Loser got to help decide who stayed?

Cynthia ultimately decides, and she chooses Tina and her asthma not to be fit for combat. Amberly stays for another week.

This show is a combo of about 11 different reality shows, from Celebrity Fit Club to The Newlywed Game, and it is trashy, awesome summertime fun. Don't expect to learn any real tips or tricks. Do expect lots of fights and quotables, like my title- one girl almost poops herself while doing jumping jacks. Reality gold.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Losing It with Jillian!: Episode 2- "Don't Say Can't to Me."

This week Jillian is still in Massachusetts, but now she has moved to Cambridge to visit the Jones family. There is mom Deb and her two children, 12-year-old Isabella and 10-year-old Jordan. The story starts out pretty rough: Deb's husband died of a heart attack 6 years ago at the marriage counselor's office. She had dragged him there because his health was taking a toll on their marriage. Now Deb is afraid to work out because she doesn't want to die and leave her children without a parent.

HEAVY. If that isn't the ultimate excuse, I don't know what is.

Undeterred, Jillian calls the family and tells them to meet her at the sports center. "Which sports center?" Isabella asks. "I don't know!" says Deb. They find it, because they are still on camera when Jillian enters the gym.

The introductory exercises that Jillian uses to asses the Jones' level of fitness look pretty rough (jumping jacks on a gym mat? JUMP ROPE?) and she soon finds the main problem in the family is Deb. Deb's favorite word is CAN'T and she says it often. Jillian is itching for a thorough ass kicking, but restrains herself because of the children. There are a lot of muffled threats through clenched teeth and she looks like she may kill Deb. She is just waiting for the kids to have their backs turned.

After an emotion-filled workout, they head back home, and the show takes a little road trip to Hoarders land. Each room in the Jones' home is FILLED with dirty clothes, dirty dishes, papers and trash and Jillian quickly decides she will be staying in a motel. Deb's room is so bad that she doesn't even have a bed to sleep on. "This is unacceptable," Jillian says.

After her night in the motel, Jillian returns to take the mom to the gym and leaves the kids to start cleaning their very messy rooms. At the gym, Deb is subjected to a litany of Jillian classics like "You're not going to die!" and "FIGHT BACK DEB!" Deb finally breaks down in a pile of tears and gasps, "I'm so tired of doing everything by myself." She is lonely and broken and unable to move forward. But after admitting that she needs some help, there is already some life in her eyes.

Deb and Jillian head back to the house for a day of cleaning. Jillian realizes that Isabella has been in the co-parent role since her dad passed, and takes her aside for a little heart to heart where she urges the girl to "go be 12". Deb needs some help, but it shouldn't be at the expense of her daughter's childhood.

Deb takes her Jillian to work, and Jillian finds out that Deb's coworkers get together and run three times a week and compete in 5ks on the weekends. It is her chance to be social, have adult interaction, and also get healthy. Jillian informs Deb she also will be competing in a 5k in 6 weeks- just in time for her to return to check in on the family!

Later at the gym, Jillian is inflicting some serious mind bullet action on Deb when Isabella wigs out on Jillian- something that most people never live to do. Deb tells Isabella that she doesn't have to protect her, that she can defend herself, and Jillian decides to make a point with a weighted vest. She puts the weight on the daughter, and the light bulb finally goes on in Deb's head that she should carry the burden because she is the mom. Jillian does some crazy Jedi reverse psychology- she is not just a trainer. She is a MACHINE.

Now that the literal and figurative burden has been lifted, Deb and Isabella are free to engage in some healthy mother/daughter activities like African Dance. Jillian is good at many things, but dancing is not one of them. IT WAS FUNNY. (You can watch the episode at She also takes the family out on a canoe ride and the canoe tips over. Make that two things.

It's the final day, and Jillian packs up her carpet bag in the newly clean Jones family home and promises to return in six weeks. After a quick montage of Deb's trials and tribulations while training for the 5k, it is race day. Jillian shows up with Team Deb t-shirts and runs alongside Deb and her coworkers to the finish line.

Deb looks incredible! She ended up losing 32 pounds, she is healthier and happier, and the family bond is stronger. The kids look great too. It's all in a week's work.

Next week, Jillian doles out more tough love and does more house cleaning. . .

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dance Your A** Off- season 2/episode 1- Meet the DANCERS!

I love Dance Your Ass Off. Call it what you will, but to me it is an opportunity for larger folks to do what they love and get healthy while doing it. And you know that doing what you love is my fitness motto!

The first episode focused on the auditions, which the first season really didn't cover. New host Mel B. (of Spice Girls fame) introduces the show and the auditions spanning LA, Dallas, Chicago, and New York to find 25 contestants to narrow down for the 12 spots on the show. The show is a little more like So You Think You Can Dance- Plus Size! We now have a British host and we already had the British judge and the ballroom judge. The show is also showing the contestants in a more serious light now: Real people that have dance training that can't be REAL dancers because they are larger. Last season it was a LITTLE more jokey. I don't want to feel bad about watching this, folks.

The auditions showed there is a lot of talent in these larger packages, and it was hard for the judges to make their final picks. BUT THEY DID!

My fave contestant is Adamme, a make up artist with a lot of swagga.

I am planning on live tweeting during the show, so if you have the Oxygen Network, tune in with me, Mondays at 10/9 central!

Feel like a Million Dollar Baby: Boxing Boot Camp with VFitness

This is Victor Rojas, amateur boxer and personal trainer, and he wants to beat your ass. Better yet, he wants to beat your fat butt into submission and get you into fantastic shape through his boxing and interval training and conditioning program at VFitness.

I am all about kickboxing, but have never donned a pair of real boxing gloves and tried real boxing. Mostly because I don't want to ruin my beautiful face, but also because most gyms I have visited don't have a real boxing option. After watching Jillian Michaels work over Biggest Loser contestants with her boxing pads, I have been dieing to try it out and jumped at the invitation that Victor extended!

VFitness meets in Central Park at the Bethesda Fountain (ever seen "Angels in America"?). Monday night was BEAUTIFUL, crisp and cool, and was perfect for all the work I was going to be undertaking. I ran from my apartment to the fountain because of all the gorgeousness, but also because I didn't know what the class was going to be like. Hindsight being 20/20, I would have walked because the class burned plenty of calories!

The fountain is undergoing some work- It looks like they have captured the angel to prevent her from escaping! (This is me being artsy fartsy.)

Victor lent me a pair of boxing gloves to use for class, and then introduced me to the basic boxing stance, jab, cross, hook, uppercut, pivoting, and ducking so I would be ready for the drills. The first time my gloves made contact with the pads I was sold. It is super satisfying to punch something as hard as you can! I also could feel my heart pumping and my arms and legs working immediately, so I knew I was in for something good.

The workout consists of shadow boxing, where Victor tells you what punches to throw on his go. Then it was sparring with a partner.

These two participants (Tyler and Berman Sr.) show the sparring portion of the workout. Each person takes turns hitting the other person's gloves. I got to work with Victor one on one, and he is a very patient and motivating teacher! He has a relaxed and easy going vibe that makes you feel comfortable, but he is also tough.

Example: After the sparring, it was time for interval drills. I was already feeling the burn, but add 5 burpees, running up the stairs, 10 push ups at the top of the stairs, and then running down the stairs times 8 and you would be a little red in the face and winded, too. No rest for the weary, Victor then made us do 4 sets of old school jumping jacks, push ups, planks, etc., and then run laps around the fountain. AND then abs.

The class runs at 90 minutes, and for a mere $20 you get more than your money's worth. The only necessary piece of equipment is boxing gloves, which can be purchased on the VFitness website for $19.99 or bought on your own. Victor will let you borrow gloves in the beginning, but your hands sweat SO much you will want your own pair to sweat into.

The boxing classes meet in Central Park, in Astoria, and in Prospect Park with sessions to be extended soon to the Bronx. VFitness also offers private training in Manhattan and in Queens. The classes in Central Park are held Mondays and Wednesdays at 7:00 PM.

Think boxing may be too hard for you? I spoke with student Dana who has been training with Victor for 4 years. She is an inspiration: Not only is she recovering from surgery for fibroids, she has lost over 65 pounds, going from 200 pounds to 135 pounds and is now training to do fitness competitions. Dana said the classes are tough but worth the results. And after how my arms and back feel today, I can definitely agree.

VFitness is worth your time and money! Check out their website for further information. I will see you there!