Saturday, July 31, 2010

Happy National Dance Day!

If you are a fan of So You Think You Can Dance, the show's producer Nigel Lythgoe has been taking about National Dance Day. Today you are supposed to get up and shake what your momma gave you.

To help, here is the video of hip hop choreographers Tabitha and Napoleon teaching the "official" National Dance Day dance. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My One Year Blogoversary!

One year ago today I posted my very first blog post. I didn't know what this blog would turn into. I didn't know how many wonderful people I would "meet".

All I know is that writing this blog has been an amazing gateway to my future career and I am looking forward to many more years of sharing everything fitness with my readers! You all are my inspiration for writing- without your readership I wouldn't have a reason for putting it all out there.
Here's to many more!

What I am F'd Up about today!: I hope you're sitting down for this!

If you can sit down, that is. The subject of this post? SEATS. Seats on airplanes, theatres, restaurants.

Lately there has been a lot of hullabaloo about overweight people on airplanes feeling discriminated against because they are forced to buy more than one seat, or in Kevin Smith's case, actually kicked off the flight because of being too heavy. It isn't just the embarrassment of not fitting in the seat or not getting the seat belt to fit around you. The cost of flying, just like health care, is going up because heavier customers mean more fuel. Larger seats mean less customers can pay to fly. Heavier cargo is a flight risk, and I am speculating here, but do you think the reason we have to pay to check our luggage now is because the airlines are trying to recoup some of the lost income they could be making? Or that if we are forced to pay more people will bring less things meaning the weight distribution will just even out?

The seat issue also extends to theatres. Now, granted, most theatres here in New York haven't been updated since the twenties, and we were a much smaller nation back then. City Center is getting a face lift, complete with new larger seats to accommodate the girth of their clientele. The new seats take up more room, so ticket sales will probably go up to cover the lost revenue.

I work in a place where larger folks are not as easy to accommodate. The booths are not very large, and the restaurant is narrow. I always feel bad for larger clients because they are knocked into because their chairs poke out into the walkways. Thinner customers also get banged from time to time, but being bigger has it's disadvantages here.

My first restaurant gig was when I was 18 at Red Lobster. We had one gentleman that would eat there several times a week who was really large. The restaurant had one chair in the place with no arms so that he could sit down without the arms cutting into him. Did he order the steamed salmon and the garden salad, hold the bread basket? Nope. The Admiral's Feast, at 1,060 calories and 52 grams of fat.

I sound like I am hating. I KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BIG BIGGER. I was a size 18, I was berated by my family about the things I ate, I felt depressed and angry at my size. I worked really hard to get where I am now and to be able to feel okay about myself. And there are days when I don't.

What is frustrating is that the warning signs are EVERYWHERE, and yet we choose to feel persecuted, not inspired. Everyone is picking up the tab for the unhealthy lifestyles of so many. The epidemic grows and when will we take responsibility? Do we have to impose taxes on junk food to keep us from buying it? Staple our stomachs, wire our jaws shut, take horrible medications that cause so many side effects?


It's not about aesthetics. It's about life quality AND quantity. It's about our children making smart choices so they have every advantage in school. It's about us being good neighbors and friends and making each other wake up and take care of each other.

It's not the seat's fault. It's not the airline's fault. It's not the theatre's fault, or the restaurant's fault (okay, maybe the last one- I am watching you, TGIFriday's). It is your fault. And we got to change. How will you be the one to start?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

When it is okay to be a pig. . .

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Not to kick the fat kids while they are down. . .

. . .but being obese isn't just bad for the old self esteem and your health. According to Dr. Antonio Convit, obese children also do poorly in school.

I discovered after reading this article on the that Convit, while researching the affects of insulin dependence in children and adults who are type 2 diabetic, found that children who were overweight didn't do as well on mental tests.

"Their results show that the adolescents with type 2 diabetes did more poorly across the board on mental performance tests. In addition, these same youth showed smaller brain volume for the entire brain and the frontal lobes, where much of our reasoning occurs. The frontal lobes are the last part of the brain to mature, making it is highly sensitive to change during adolescence. The abnormal findings Dr. Convit found occur more in obese diabetic youth than in (matched) youth who also were obese but did not have diabetes (or pre-diabetes -- in which the body has developed insulin resistance). "

Not surprisingly, fitter children did better across the board.

What I liked the most about this article was the solutions to this problem:

"The City Health and Mental Hygiene Department recommended, as a result, that parents, schools and health care providers need to help children be fit by engaging in daily physical activity. In addition, the report stressed healthy eating habits, including healthy meals at home, and "...don't let your children drink their calories" referring to the way that high calorie, sugary beverages cause weight gain in youth."

You can't tell me that the soda tax wouldn't help with this! Also, removing sodas and sugary milks from schools, healthy food choices, and allowing kids to stop sitting on the couch and get out and MOVING will not only save our future children from a lifetime of health problems, but will make our nation a smarter one too.

If you are a parent or know someone who is and is having issues with an obese child, forward them this article. Knowing that they can help their child have an easier time in school (not just socially) may be just the impetus they need to steer them on the right track.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dance Your A** Off- season 2/episode 7- "Princess on top, prostitute on the bottom."

AKA- Ballroom dancing. On every dance reality show this day comes. Some competitors shine. Some are stinky. All we know is that Michael wants to beat Latoya in a major way, Stephanie doesn't mind being pelvis to pelvis with her partner Oskar, and Erica got a troubling hand written note from her husband about his health and now she is homesick.

But enough about that. LET'S DANCE!

Michael says he is going to be like a "stealth bomber" and wins this week show!

Michael: From 242.6 lbs to 235.9 lbs- 6.7 lbs lost + dance score = 10.8

Corey: From 284.7 lbs to 276.9 lbs- 7.8 lbs lost + dance score = 10.7

Latoya: From 190.9 lbs to 187.7 lbs- 3.2 lbs lost + dance score = 10.7

Adamme: From 254.7 lbs to 249.7 lbs- 5.0 lbs lost + dance score = 10.3

Stephanie: From 176.5 lbs to 174.8 lbs- 1.7 lbs lost + dance score = 9.3

Katie: From 190.3 lbs to 184.3 lbs- 6 lbs lost + dance score = 9.2

Erica: From 207.6 lbs to 203.8 lbs- 3.8 lbs lost + dance score = 8.5

Erica is heading home five pants size smaller- losing a total of 28.9 lbs! I will miss her and her Staten Island flava.

Next episode: difficult tricks. Who will be turning them?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Funday!

Say hello to the Pilates Kid.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

VH1- Why are you so awesome?

I was feeling lost, alone, afraid. Losing It ended this week, as well as Bridal Boot Camp. Biggest Loser doesn't start until the fall.


Thank you VH1. While watching the finale of Bridal Boot Camp I saw an ad for this show.

Hosted by Dan Cortese (Cortesey? Since when?), this is not yo' mamma's weight loss show. I know if I had $10,000 of my own bucks on the line I would be working SO hard to lose the weight. It starts August 2nd- I am so there.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Speed Bump

I don't usually talk about my personal life on my blog. Why would anyone want to read about my daily life when I can write about funny things or encouraging things or things that make you as a reader feel good so that you can carry on, spreading your seed of happiness to everyone you meet.

That's what I like about writing this blog. It is my way of trying to pay it forward and help people. Currently, I work at a job where I don't really help anyone. If you had fun eating at my restaurant and I was a part of that fun then great! But you came there for the food, not me.

The idea of becoming a personal trainer seems to me to be the perfect mix of helping others, helping myself, and the creativity that I don't get in my day to day life as a non working actor. I knew when I was embarking on getting my ACE certification that it was going to lead me down an entirely new path that is both exciting and frightening: Exciting because I am living my dreams and frightening because it is all so new to me. I don't like being bad at things, as I am sure most people don't. That is why we stop. Getting myself in the right head space to embark on a whole new career from the waitress/actress path that I have been living for the past 15 years is challenging.

Today I received the news that I didn't get a job I was seeking in the fitness field. I lost out to another candidate. Rejection is always hard, especially if you don't know what is wrong. I allowed myself to wallow in it for a while, got in a good cry, and now I am sitting here in the aftermath trying to figure out how to pull myself up by the bootstraps.

How do I dust myself off and start the whole process over again? It boggles the mind. I offer words of encouragement all the time to friends, family, fellow bloggers and tweeters, but can I follow that advice myself? It is hard not to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head and let the day pass. But it is only 3:30 in the afternoon. Incredibly unproductive and certainly not like myself.

I pride myself in always trying my hardest and putting my best foot forward in every situation. I didn't realize how challenging this whole process was going to be because I have never attempted it before. There was a voice in my brain today that tld me it would just be easier to stop, or who do I think I am trying to do something new? I remembered that voice when I was thinking of losing weight, when I was moving to New York, when I went to college. It is the voice of fear.

I don't live in fear.

So, I will take my own advice. I won't give up. I know that the universe has great plans for me that I am just waiting to discover. I am a worthwhile person. I am not a loser. I know I can accomplish great things.

Tomorrow is another day.

Everyone deserves to feel better- take a moment out of your day to tell yourself that you are great. We are all winners! Make some lemonade out of those lemons. And then pay it forward.

I feel better already.

Bridal Boot Camp- SEASON FINALE: "I'm going to have to ask Jesus for help here."

VH1 brilliantly put the last two episodes of Bridal Bootcamp together for a one hour mega episode! Since the show only had eight 30 minute episodes, it was a good thing they only did it one time. . .otherwise, the show would have been over in three weeks.

We have reached the finals! Bridal Team Blue is represented by Amberly and Jamie and Bridal Team Green is represented by Melissa. All fierce competitors. All ready to win the wedding of their dreams. So, what do the ladies need to do?

Melissa immediately thinks GAME PLAY and goes to Amberly to form an alliance against Jamie. Amberly promptly tells Jamie. You know how girls are. Much to Melissa's chagrin, Cynthia informs them when they arrive for the final Marital Mission there will be no alliances- DOH!- and each girl will be competing alone.

For "The Long Haul" mission, each woman must listen to her fiance on the other end of a walkie talkie. The fiance will ask a question. If the contestant gets it right, she gets to go to an exercise station, complete the exercise, and go to the next station. If she answers it incorrectly, she must complete an exercise penalty and then go to the next station. The bride who gets to her fiance first wins a date night with her guy and a guaranteed spot in the finals.

I felt so badly for these girls! When they heard their guys voice, they all started crying. They all wanted it so much, but in the end, Melissa made it to the end and got to see her fiance Billy. The other girls had to say good bye over the walkie talkie. Wee woo.

Melissa gets to meet Cynthia on the weight loss pier of winners, losing 5 pounds to make her new weight 150 from 155. ""I am a weight loss machine!" she says.

Amberly and Jamie head to the Fitting Room to find out who will be joining Melissa in the finals.

Jamie: From 130 lbs to 128 lbs- 2 lbs lost

Amberly: From 149 lbs to 144 lbs- 5 lbs lost

Although the decision is ultimately Cynthia's, she brings in Melissa to add her two cents. She wants to get rid of Jamie (of course), while Steve votes for Amberly. Cynthia decides on Amberly since Jamie gained weight one week and lost no weight another week and Amberly was always consistent.

Jamie goes home "a whole new Jamie: I am strong. I have self esteem."

Cynthia sends Melissa and Amberly home for the last leg of the competition. The girls must lose more weight over four weeks, come back to Bridal Bootcamp, and have a final weigh in to determine the winner. There is a furious work out montage between Melissa and Amberly, each one "pushing it into overdrive."

One month later, we are back in the Fitting Room. Cynthia looks the same, Steve looks the same, Francesca looks the same, but the two ladies look stunning and SMALL. They are ready to weigh in and see who gets the wedding of their dreams! As their fiance's look on, the women take their place on the scale.

Melissa: From 150 lbs to 129.6 lbs- 20.4 lbs lost- 13.6 % body weight: 52 total lbs lost

Amberly: From 144 lbs to 124.4 lbs- 19.6 lbs lost- 13.61 % body weight: 44 total lbs lost

Amberly wins by 1/10 of a pound! Melissa's fiance promises that they will have the wedding of their dreams no matter what, and with that, the contest is over.

Fast forward to Amberly preparing for her vintage 1940's wedding to fiance Ed, complete with side pony tail and dress that shows her classy shoulder tattoo of a Playboy bunny. Cynthia was there, Steve was there, and Amberly looked lovely and thin. The wedding of her dreams was achieved!

The end.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Apartment Fitness: LaloFit II: The Freeze Technique

Every so often I come upon a lemon in my home DVD offerings. It is unfortunate: I read other customer reviews, watch the clips, and do a lot of research before I actually go through the purchasing process (I am SO not an impulse shopper). I was really excited about LaloFit II: The Freeze Technique but it just left me cold.

Lalo Fuentes is an attractive host and is in great shape so I assumed the workout I would be engaging in would be of his caliber. Plus, Collage Video where I ordered the DVD from said that it was advanced. I was hoping that it would be like a version of Insanity which I loved. Unfortunately, it was none of those things.

The video is just Lalo with an awful music beat in the background. It is voice over cuing with a timer on screen and a rep counter. I found the flow of the workout to be awkward: The warm up was choppy (a really difficult stretch that lasted FOREVER followed by super easy jumping in place) and the actual workout was mostly push ups, very light weights, and some plyometrics. Each segment usually had three very easy exercises followed by one that was either insanely hard or insanely complicated. Then a thirty second break with some inspiring messages ("Let's do this!") on the screen.

The worst segment was the abs section. There were some REALLY tough ab exercises (supine, legs lifted about 6 inches off floor, feet stacked on top of each other, switching feet in circular motions, for about 2 minutes) and then once your heart rate is down and you are feeling cool, you stand back up and do plyo jump squats with push up burpees. REALLY, Lalo?

The number one thing that I didn't like about the video was how boring it was. The music (although original) was not great, the voice over cuing was not good (at one point I was still on the ground stretching and he had moved on without me- but didn't think it was necessary to mention it), and it was dull. But Lalo seems like a nice guy. If that counts for anything at all.

Equipment: mat, hand weights

Fitness level: Intermediate to Advanced- some exercises were very challenging

Fun Level: Wee woo. Unless you like JUST watching Lalo and not exercising. Then it may be a little more entertaining.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Losing It with Jillian!: Season Finale: "Jillian who?"

Could it be? Only eight episodes a season makes nowadays, and Jillian wraps up Losing It with the Alvarez family of Miami Lakes, FL. We have Big David, wife Carmen, daughter Melissa, and son Little David. Little David is not so little: He is about to celebrate his ten years on earth with prediabetes and being made fun of by his class mates for being overweight. Big David doesn't take his health very seriously, and Carmen is tired of nagging for change.

Plus the family goes on late night donut runs. Oy.

At the initial meeting with Dr. Van Herle, we find that Carmen should weigh 109 and is actually 170, while Big David should be 180 and weighs in at 328. To add insult to injury, Big David suffers from sleep apnea but threw out his machine for sleeping because he "didn't want to see himself that way". Dr. Van Herle asks the kids to leave the room so she can show the parents the age progressed photo of Little David. If they don't act now, he will look like Koli from Biggest Loser season nine by the time he gets to high school. NO! I can't think of a worse fate!

Jillian arrives at the Alvarez home and calls Carmen from the front yard.

Jillian: Who am I speaking to?

Carmen: It's Carmen.

Jillian: Hi Carmen! It's Jillian!

Carmen: Jillian who?

Jillian: What do you mean 'Jillian who?' I'm in your front yard.

I thought the cameras would have tipped them off.

Carmen welcomes Jillian inside and she meets the family, but they are unable to go to the gym like the usual program format because Big David has not been cleared for working out due to his severe sleep apnea. Instead, she sits down with the family to figure out why Little David isn't so little. Carmen says it's the food that he eats, and Jillian zings her by asking "Is he buying that food himself?" After a lethargic game of "chase ball" aka tennis, it is clear to Jillian that the culprits here are the parents. Big David treats his health as a joke and Carmen doesn't like to be called a nag so she doesn't.

Also, the family goes on late night donut runs. Did I mention that already?

Jillian drives Big David to the sleep apnea center, and she curls up in the RV she will call her home for the next week to get some sleep. The next day Big David gets a rude awakening: He thought he only stopped breathing 4 to 5 times a night. Turns out it is over 64 times a night. One time he stopped breathing for 32 seconds! He has to immediately go back to using a sleep apnea mask and to make matters worse for Jillian, he can't work out at a heart rate greater than 140 bpm.

At the gym, Big David is closely monitored on the treadmill at a zero incline while Carmen gets all the punishment heaped on top of her. Everyone is taking the workout pretty well, no one is freaking out, and no one is talking. They are seemingly impervious to her mind bullets and something has to change.

At a family dinner that night, the family shows Jillian their DISGUSTING looking Cuban feast of fatty pork and *gasp* fry bread. They tell her that "family means everything to us", making Jillian drop the bomb "How would you feel if you had to bury your son?" Nothing stops a party like death talk. They decide to cleanse the house for Little David's birthday that weekend, filling up seven trash bags worth of junk food.

Jillian also changes her approach with Carmen at the gym, giving her an "aggressive" workout. She wants to hear her voice so she tries to get her to drag her across the floor. It works because Jillian has her screaming like a champ and in tears. She takes Carmen and Big David out on a boat so they cannot escape and makes them talk about the issues at hand. We learn that Big David does care and he does want to change, he just didn't want to talk about it. He admits he feels worthless with the sleep mask on and decides he wants to change.

The most touching moment was when Big David talks to Little David about having to wear the sleep mask. He puts the mask on his son and you can see his heart breaking that this may be his son's fate if things don't change for the better. It was really hard to watch.

Jillian then takes Little David to the dojo to learn some martial arts and he LOVES it. She even decks him out for his birthday party with all the sparring gear that he needs to continue with karate after she is gone. After a quick jaunt in the SS Metaphor where the family has to pull Big David through the sand, it is time for Jillian to catch the wind and fly away, promising to return six weeks later.

At the reveal, everyone looks wonderful. Carmen has lost 25 pounds, Little David has lost 25 pounds (and looks like a future cast member for Jersey Shore), and Big David has lost 54 pounds. And Melissa wears a dress. They had a daughter? Little David tells Jillian he wants to start an after school work out program for his school and donates the money to fund it.

"The future for my family is brighter!" says Big David.

Now that the season is over, I wonder what happens next? Will we ever get to see what happened to these families later? I am hoping the format for next season will change- I would love to see half the amount of families and a little more focus on HOW they get where they are. I can't imagine anyone making truly lasting habits in 5 days or six weeks. Once the cameras are gone how do these families thrive? It is an interesting show but there is a lot of room for improvements.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Age is only a number!

Lisa's story is incredibly inspiring for anyone of any age. What do YOU want to still accomplish?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Weigh in: Mannequins too skinny? posted this story about mannequins at the clothing chain Club Monaco being too emaciated looking: Pronounced spines and collar bones were their chief complaints.

I looked at the photos: I think my collar bones look like that, and although I can't see my spine (nor have I ever been able to) I don't feel they are THAT thin looking. Heck, I'll take collar bone any day over those mannequins with the eraser nipples.

What do you think? Bad body image or is Club Monaco depicting their average clientele?

Dance Your A** Off- season 2/episode 6- "Sum-Sumatime!"

Dance shows are great summer TV. They are fun and light, very entertaining, and lately, chocked full of injuries. Dancers make it look SO EASY, but on So You Think You Can Dance two dancers (Alex and Ashley) were sent home two weeks in a row for a torn Achilles Tendon and rib injuries. Not to be outdone, someone on Dance Your Ass Off was also sent home for a dance related injury this week.

The lovable Briana who brings it week after week tore her MCL (medial collateral ligament) and all are wondering if she will be able to compete.

Before all that, though, the contestants are told by Mel B this week's show is a celebration of all things Summer. The contestants will be hosting a BBQ and forced to wear bathing suits, which prompts contestant Katie to say, "We are still fat obese people!"

Trainer Lee teaches the contestants to tread water in an aqua based workout, nutritionist Rachel tells them how to make a diet friendly BBQ spread, and Adamme leis everyone in their backyard. In between they are all learning their routines for the show. And we learn that Stephanie is still a virgin. Last week she was on her period. Do you think she knows that all this is going to be on television?


And the weigh in:
Adamme: From 263.2 lbs to 254.7 lbs- 8.5 lbs lost + dance score = 12.2
Latoya: From 195.6 lbs to 190.9 lbs- 4.7 lbs lost + dance score = 10.4
Stephanie: From 180.5 lbs to 176.5 lbs- 4.0 lbs lost + dance score = 9.5
Erica: From 210.1 lbs to 207.6 lbs- 2.5 lbs lost + dance score = 8.9
Michael: From 249.1 lbs to 242.6 lbs- 6.5 lbs lost + dance score = 8.3
Katie: From 194.2 lbs to 190.3 lbs- 3.9 lbs lost + dance score = 8.3
Corey: From 290.3 lbs to 284.7 lbs- 5.6 lbs lost + dance score = 7.9

Briana doesn't even weigh in as her knee gives out during her performance and she is unable to finish competing in the contest. Which is a shame because she had some serious moves!

Next episode is strictly ballroom- a curse for some. . .

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Funday!

I love Rachel Zoe, which is a contradiction. She is too thin, yes. And maybe she promotes some crazy body issues. I love her reality show, however, because she is ultra passionate about fashion and I love anyone that is super passionate about what they love.

And she is funny. Gotta love a girl who is in on the joke.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bridal Boot Camp- episode 6: "Now I can touch it!"

There are only four bridezillas left at Bridal Boot Camp: Bridal Team Green's Melissa and Kacey and Bridal Team Blue's Amberly and Jamie. All strong competitors. All ready to take home their dream wedding.

Francesca speaks and tells us that her team must "give me more than they've ever given me" which translates into a hardcore boot camp workout that Melissa calls "horrendous". Steve has a different approach: Making his team pull a huge truck up and down a dirt road while singing Christmas carols. Which approach will work for the next Marital Mission?

Cynthia and the trainers meet the girls at the Bouquet Relay: sprint to a rock climbing wall, climb rock climbing wall, zip line down, pass bouquet to the next girl. Even with a 20 second lead, Melissa still gets creamed by Amberly who quickly takes the lead, passing her bouquet to Jamie who takes the win. In a scene we keep seeing week after week, Blue Team wins and Green Team loses. The prize is a surprise visit from Bridal Team Blue's matrons of honor.

At the winner's weigh in pier:

Jamie: From 133 lbs to 130 lbs- 3 lbs lost

Amberly: From 152 lbs to 149 lbs- 3 lbs lost

Kacey and Melissa head to the Fitting Room, where Cynthia will be choosing who will be heading to the finale.

Kacey: From 132 lbs to 130 lbs- 2 lbs lost

Melissa: From 161 lbs to 155 lbs- 6 lbs lost

Melissa lists off the two biggest accomplishments of her life:

1.) Getting Billy to propose to her.

2.) Losing 27 pounds.

Cynthia agrees, keeping Melissa over Kacey in a not too surprising twist. Melissa still has some weight to lose and Kacey is TINY.

Next episode is some game play- advantage Amberly?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Losing It with Jillian!: Episode 7- "We're not going to get along."

There are a lot of families out there that submitted themselves to be on Losing It. They put in their videos and pictures, prayed every night to be chosen, and unfortunately, were not chosen. Maybe they weren't television friendly enough, maybe they didn't have enough issues that would make for an interesting show. Not true with the Franklin family of Detroit, MI. Dad Todd has severe sleep apnea (he stops breathing over 8,000 times a night), Mom Amy had gastric bypass surgery and is gaining the weight back and is a smoker, and daughters Chloe and Lily are worried about their parents living healthy long lives. And they are ridiculously adorable. When Jillian came a knockin', this family started rockin'. And not in a good way.

Problem one: Jillian decided to "surprise" the family by sitting in their living room while the family thought they were filming a casting video. They didn't know they were already ON the show. Amy walks into the living room hiding a pack of cigarettes behind her back. And Jillian already found the big jars of candy all over the house. Amy starts crying and says she doesn't want to do this.

Problem two: Todd. Todd is a drama queen. He loves when people feel sorry for him, especially his friends who are in good shape and would LOVE for Todd to be healthy. Todd doesn't quit just once on Jillian, but twice. And he says can't a lot.

Problem three: Todd is a late night binge eater. Jillian totally busts him.

Problem four: Amy smokes in front of Jillian. Jillian totally busts her.

Problem five: Youngest daughter Chloe already has an attachment to food- she cries when Jillian goes to throw out her white bread, "That's my favorite kind of bread!" Jillian's explanation as to why whole grain bread is better is brilliant.

Problem six: Amy and Todd have a not so great relationship. Amy gives Todd the ULTIMATE ultimatum: Get better or I'm leaving you.

Problem seven: The most uncomfortable dinner party ever. Jillian invites the family and friends over to tell Todd to stop being such a wiener and to take control of his health. This is the tipping point, the AHA moment, but it felt alot more like an episode of Intervention. Pass the hummus, and by the way, I don't want you to die.

Somehow, Jillian works her magic on this tough cookie family and they actually listen to her. When she returns six weeks later for cutie pie Lily's tenth birthday, Todd has lost 33 pounds and is no longer on his sleep machine, and Amy has lost 17 pounds and has quit smoking. Their relationship is stronger. Amy puts it well: "It was all right here. This is my life and I love it."

Next week: A nine-year-old boy with a solid B cup. This should be interesting.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Apartment Fitness: AeroBarre

I love boxing. I love ballet. Never would I have thought to put these two forms together, but super cool former pro boxer Michael Olajide Jr. (he wears an eye patch!) and former ballet dancer Leila Fazel who both own AeroSpace NYC have put them together for their new DVD AeroBarre. And it works!

I have not taken a class at AeroSpace NYC in person so I was dieing to try it out. Never any harm in getting down in the privacy of your own apartment!

The video is SLICK. The first thing you'll notice is Michael's smooth, smokey voice leading you along on top of some really cool beats. Leila is the on screen presence, but she doesn't speak. She does wear the coolest looking alligator pattern boxing shoes. The video leads you through a series of rounds beginning with a warm up, leading into shadow boxing and basic ballet moves: First and second position plies, releves, and attitudes. Most of the shadow boxing is done with light weights. Michael recommends one pounders, but I only have three pounds. I could still do all the moves just fine.

The best part of the video is the music which is very tribal and original. And I love transitioning from graceful assemblies to punches. It is only 50 minutes long and it flew by!

Equipment: light hand weights, body bar (not 100% necessary), and a high backed chair if you don't have a body bar.

Fitness level: Beginner to Advanced. No prior boxing or ballet training is needed, and there is a quick demo at the beginning to explain technique.

Fun Level: Six Flags! (more flags, more fun right?)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

USDA says Soda Tax will work!

For those of you not in the know, there is a soda tax being proposed that will add a tax on soda and sugar sweetened drinks. Just like taxing cigarettes. There has been some outcry (mostly by soda producers) that the soda tax is unfair, is infringing on our American rights, etc. They say we are being unfair to working families by charging more money for their groceries.

You know what isn't being taxed? Water, fruit juices, and milk. Healthier choices. SO- if you had to choose to save money AND be healthy, the soda tax makes sense. The USDA also found that the elimination of these sugary drinks would cause a decrease in body weight for adults and children. After watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, I know how important it is to get rid of those sugared drinks not just for weight and health, but also for mood regulation!

Here's the report in the USDA's words (mine are more fun):

Economic Research Report No. (ERR-100) 33 pp, July 2010

The link between high U.S. obesity rates and the overconsumption of added sugars, largely from sodas and fruit drinks, has prompted public calls for a tax on caloric sweetened beverages. Faced with such a tax, consumers may reduce consumption of these sweetened beverages and substitute nontaxed beverages, such as bottled water, juice, and milk. This study estimated that a tax-induced 20-percent price increase on caloric sweetened beverages could cause an average reduction of 37 calories per day, or 3.8 pounds of body weight over a year, for adults and an average of 43 calories per day, or 4.5 pounds over a year, for children. Given these reductions in calorie consumption, results show an estimated decline in adult overweight prevalence (66.9 to 62.4 percent) and obesity prevalence (33.4 to 30.4 percent), as well as the child at-risk-for-overweight prevalence (32.3 to 27.0 percent) and the overweight prevalence (16.6 to 13.7 percent). Actual impacts would depend on many factors, including how the tax is reflected in consumer prices and the competitive strategies of beverage manufacturers and food retailers.

I think the hardest thing will be how to resist the temptations that the soda companies will be throwing at us. I know they don't want to lose sales. I hope this encourages them to step up and give us healthier optons- be part of the solution, guys!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dance Your A** Off- season 2/episodes 4 & 5- QUICK-CAP!

Quick-cap: Quickie + Recap. Also known as Alison was unable to live tweet during the shows and needed to catch up and her DVR didn't tape one week and I had to wait for the next showing. HOWEVER, I did discover that DYAO can also be found On Demand. You learn something new everyday. KNEW: Know + New.

Now I sound like Gary Busey.

Episode 4: Latin Week! The contestants must team up with another competitor for some salsa and cha cha action.

PRO: Nutritionist shows the team how to make fresh strawberry margaritas as opposed to using prepackaged drink mix. YUM. Also, Adamme and Briana's dance was fresh.
CON: Adamme ended up in the hospital because he is anemic. (he is okay.)

Weigh-in Scores:
Katie: From 202.7 lbs to 196.3 lbs- 6.4 lbs lost + dance score + bonus point = 11.9
Latoya: From 206.3 lbs to 197.9 lbs- 8.4 lbs lost + dance score = 11.8
Michael: From 263.2 lbs to 254.1 lbs- 9.1 lbs lost + dance score = 11.5
Briana: From 269.5 lbs to 263.8 lbs- 5.7 lbs lost + dance score = 11.4
Stephanie: From 188.2 lbs to 181.9 lbs- 6.3 lbs lost + dance score = 11.3
Erica: From 218.3 lbs to 211.5 lbs- 6.8 lbs lost + dance score = 9.8
Corey: From 303.4 lbs to 294.1 lbs- 9.3 lbs lost + dance score = 9.8
Adamme: From 281.3 lbs to 280.8 lbs- 0.5 lbs lost + dance score = 9.5
Kiki: From 207.5 lbs to 202.8 lbs- 4.7 lbs lost + dance score = 8.6
Sarah: From 205.8 lbs to 202.2 lbs- 3.6 lbs + dance score = 8.0

Sarah is sent home. Wee woo- no more Joshua!

Episode 5: HIP HOP. Guest judge Lil C encourages the contestants to get Buck.

PRO: Mel B's side shaved head. Makes you remember she was a Spice Girl. Zigg-a-zig-ah!
CON: Erica puking after running up stairs. Also, all girls seemed to be on their periods this week.

Weigh-in Scores:
Adamme: From 280.8 lbs to 263.2 lbs- 17.6 lbs lost + dance score = 13.3
Latoya: From 197.9 lbs to 195.6 lbs- 2.3 lbs lost + dance score = 9.9
Michael: From 254.1 lbs to 249.1 lbs- 5.0 lbs lost + dance score = 8.7
Briana: From 263.8 lbs to 260.7 lbs- 3.1 lbs lost + dance score = 8.5
Erica: From 211.5 lbs to 210.1 lbs- 1.4 lbs lost + dance score = 8.4
Stephanie: From 181.9 lbs to 180.5 lbs- 1.4 lbs lost + dance score = 8.1
Katie: From 196.3 lbs to 194.2 lbs- 2.1 lbs lost + dance score = 7.8
Corey: From 294.1 lbs to 290.3 lbs- 3.8 lbs lost + dance score = 7.3
Kiki: From 202.8 lbs to 199.7 lbs- 3.1 lbs lost + dance score = 7.2

Kiki goes home, but not without a little booty poppin. The relationship between Corey and Kiki is split up over .1 point!

Next episode is a summer block party with a little hospital drama thrown in for good measure!

KBC Galvanized class review: Dumb Training with Patrick Goudeau and KB & Medicine Ball with Keli Roberts

Saturday I was dealing with sniffles and I missed out on so many great classes at the KBC Galvanized conference. I knew I needed to suck it up, so Sunday morning I woke up feeling like a rock star and ready to take on two industry greats: Patrick Goudeau and Keli Roberts.

Here is Patrick and I after his class- I don't know if you can see HOW sweaty I am.

Patrick's class was called Dumb Training, and it was a lot of different variations on a dumbbell workout with lots of cardio bursts. For example: plank row, cross your hand over the other hand and skip hop in plank to the other dumbbell and plank row. Now I know why my traps and core are so sore today!

The best part of the class WAS Patrick. He is an amazing choreographer with engaging moves and seamless transitions. I learned a lot of great new moves I can share with my clients in the future. Plus he is such a sweetie! Check out his video library on his site! I own Not Your Momma's Step and it is a lot of fun.

Next was Keli Robert's class Kettlebell and Medicine Ball. Coolest part? Before class started, she sat down on the ground with us and shot the breeze. Keli has been filming fitness workouts since the 80's- she even had a step workout with CHER. CHER! If I could turn back time. . .

Keli sat us down and broke down the workout for us first, and then lead us through 7 circuits of combo kettlebell and medicine ball drills. I have never used a medicine ball before and now it is my favorite new tool. Hard bouncing to a partner, twists, rolling the ball while in plank- it was more like play than a workout!

Keli and I after class- I am sweaty and she looks fresh as a flower. Plus look how tall she is! I loved meeting her and listening to her Aussie accent. Just like Patrick, Keli was so amazingly smooth and professional. You can get spoiled having a really great instructor like that- it ruins you for anyone else! Check out Keli on her website

Thanks again to the folks at KettleBell Concepts for allowing me to get in on the action of this conference. It was so much fun and I met so many amazing people. If you missed it- you must come out next year!

Monday Morning Diversion! Cute Puppy and Baby Alert!

So, you just switched on your computer. Put off working for 30 seconds while you coo and ah!

Friday, July 9, 2010

KBC Galvanized class review: PlyoPilates Bell Fusion

I mean, look at that name. It has EVERYTHING in it! Plyometrics, pilates, kettlebells, and they are all fused together. This was the first class that I was going to be participating in so I wasn't QUITE sure what to expect. But I was excited that I did.

The class was presented by Miami-based fitness professional Maria Sollon-Scally, a perky bundle of energy that had just gotten off crutches two days before after injuring her ankle. She didn't let that slow her down, however, and proceeded to lead us through a 1 1/2 hour class (!).

I am relatively new to kettlebells, and after observing some of the serious professionals that were all around me today I was nervous I wouldn't be able to hold my own. Maria is so nice she immediately made me feel comfortable with the 10 pound kettlebell that I had chosen. She recommended 4 pounds for a "typical" class. I tried to hold onto the kettlebell as long as I could and not feel bad if my arms needed a break!

The class fused kettlebell moves like wood choppers and figure eights with chair pose from yoga and all those little pulsing moves from pilates. We planked, we downward dogged, we plied, and we swung those kettlebells until I was dripping with sweat. Did I mention the class was LONG? Oh boy. But satisfying.

The photos below demonstrate some of the ab and teaser work we did- the splayed leg move was particularly challenging! It is hard to take pictures when you are sweating, your arms are shaking, and the instructor is swinging around a kettlebell- be kind.

Maria can be found on her website, and teaching other classes this weekend at the KBC Galvanized convention!

Day 1 of the KBC Galvanized Kettlebell Convention!

What a fun morning! I already got to take a class with fitness guru Angie Miller (her arms are crazy toned!), I got to meet the TRX trainer Chris, and I got to meet Lorna Kleidman who really is Wonder Woman. I'll be posting lots of photos and tell you all about what I learn and who I see! In the meantime, follow me on twitter so you can see my shenanigans- or better yet, join me down there! I'll keep you posted!

Bridal Boot Camp- episode 5: "I wanna go home with a flat tummy anna good self esteem."

Stop the presses! I was tweeting with Tara from Tennessee (the one who left because of her grandma being ill last week) and she said her grandma is fine (yay!) and that the show was taped 2 1/2 years ago! WHAT? That means that all these ladies are already married! OR DIVORCED. OH NO!

So all you bridezillas that participated on this show- reach out to me! I want to interview you! I want to hear about your Bridal Bootcamp experience! Did Cynthia Conde always wear camo? Does Francesca speak? Does Steve create his cheers in advance and then make you practice them? I want to know all.

Okay. Week 5. Ginger Courtney is gone, so who will the girls pick on now?

Francesca is concerned about three time losers Bridal Team Green. It is only Kacey and Melissa left- who wants it more? The girls battle it out in a bootcamp race and Melissa wins. "Eat that Kacey!" Melissa says.

Blue Bridal Team has a different approach. Trainer Steve is feeling confident that his girls can have a fourth win, so he has them engage in a visualization exercise. They must climb to the top of a rope and say what they hope to change by the time they leave boot camp.
Amberly: I want to go home with a flat stomach!
Jamie: I want to have a strong upper body!
Tesha: I wanna go home with a flat tummy anna good self esteem!

By the time they get down from that tree it was time for the Marital Mission. This week's challenge? The Better Half Obstacle Course: Strapping wax dummies of their fiance's to their backs and running through an obstacle course. Tesha can tell which one is hers because he is "a good looking chocolate man". Melissa answers her fiancee question correctly, so she gets to start 5 yards ahead of the rest of the girls and chooses Jamie to start 10 yards behind.

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The race begins with Melissa in the lead, but after she gets stuck on the monkey bars, the other girls quickly pass her. Jamie ends up winning the challenge and Melissa comes in last. "I have never finished last at anything in my life," she wails. Jamie is safe from elimination and wins a year's supply of Maybelline makeup. Melissa wins a trip to the elimination room.

Jamie also gets to choose one of her Blue teammates to get out of jail free: She chooses Amberly, leaving Tesha to enter the Fitting Room with the Green team. So Tesha is the new Courtney!

At the winners pier, Cynthia weighs in two blue.
Amberly: From 155 lbs to 152 lbs- 3 lbs lost
Jamie: From 132 lbs to 133 lbs- 1 lb gained

Good thing Jamie won the challenge.

At the Fitting Room, the girls are nervous to learn of their fate.
Tesha: From 144 lbs to 145 lbs- 1 lb gained
Kacey: From 134 lbs to 132 lbs- 2 lbs lost
Melissa: From 162 lbs to 161 lbs- 1 lb lost

Melissa and Tesha are the bottom two. Each girl speaks as to why they should stay at camp: Melissa is addicted to exercise and Tesha is the most improved bride. When Cynthia asks Steve who should go, he says Tesha. WHAT? What happened to blue team spirit? Cynthia makes it so and Tesha is asked to go.

Next week: Crazy rock climbing obstacle course and secret surprise guests!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Losing It with Jillian!: Episode 6- "I'm going to have a meltdown."

This week's journey takes Jillian to the Yavapai Apache Tribe in Camp Verde, Arizona to meet the Plunkett Marquez family: mom Cora-Lei, dad Brian, grandma Delores, sister Delight (wow), and son Brandon. Cora-Lei is a tribal leader and wants to get her ailing nation in shape: Type 2 diabetes is a huge epidemic, the tribe is no longer hunting and gathering, and obesity affects almost every member.

Jillian pulls up and Cora-Lei welcomes her with a "all of our prayers have been answered!" She tells Jillian that they have lost connection with who they are as a people and are hoping that Jillian can get them back on track. Cora-Lei has no idea what she is in for.

The family visits Dr. Van Herle and finds out what they thought to be true: They are all overweight and either pre-diabetic or diabetic. Delores has already had two heart attacks and a stroke! What is at the root of this problem?

First issue: No physical fitness. Dad Brian and son Brandon hold up alright, but Delight quits after 12 minutes on the treadmill going 3.7 mph. She is only 21-years-old. After much screaming 2 inches from Cora-Lei's face, Jillian tells her "it starts right here with you". How can she lead her people if she can't lead her own family?

Second Issue: Fry Bread. I love a good Indian Taco- I mean I am Oklahoman. But I know that there aren't any good for you and can't remember the last time I ate one. This tribe makes fry bread apart of their every day diet, and it is made with white bleached flour and lard. When Jillian questions this practice, Cora-Lei tries to defend it by saying it is apart of their culture. With a little more probing, Jillian discovers it was something Indian tribes started after receiving government staples after being dislodged from their land. Jillian points out that "fry bread is a representation of everything bad that has happened to their people."

It is starting to open Cora-Lei's eyes, but it all comes to a head at the meet Jillian party the tribe throws for her. She notices about 90% of the attendees are overweight. And everyone is eating fry bread. In her usual Jillian fashion, she grabs a box of fry bread and throws it out. There is an uproar- tribal tradition states that it is sinful to throw out food. Then Jillian gets pelted with an Indian Taco. The kid who did it is very lucky the cameras were on him, because he may of gotten a lot worse than an Indian Taco.

Back at home, Cora-Lei has to tell Jillian about the offense against the tribe, and although Jillian is no stranger to controversy, she seems like she is at her wits end. The news of the great fry bread incident have spread throughout the community, resulting in a abysmal turn out for the diabetes conference she holds the next day. Out of 2,000 members, only about 20 showed. Jillian realizes she needs to work on Cora-Lei first before she can change the entire nation, and takes Cora-Lei out one on one for a workout. After wrapping a heavy chain around her shoulders, Cora-Lei realizes that the chain represents her life up until this point. She is beginning to feel empowered. Jillian reminds her that "a smart leader isn't afraid to ask for help."

After Jillian focuses her mind bullets on Delight, who didn't know how to workout and was afraid to ask how, the two of them pass out flyers for a group fun walk the next day. A quick trip to apologize to the elders, and then it is time to walk. Will anyone show?

Happily, the fry bread incident caused a buzz in the community. They realized they didn't want fry bread to represent who they were as a people, and they showed up in droves for the walk. Jillian offers a free membership to her website for the community, and promises to come back 6 weeks later to check in.

What a difference 6 weeks makes! Delight lost 30 pounds, Brandon lost 52 pounds, Delores lost 18 pounds, and Cora-Lei lost 33 pounds. Not only do they look better, but they feel better and more in control. Jillian reminds the tribe that "your future is whatever you make it", and with that nugget of advice, she heads back to LA.

Next week- another family that hates to workout. I feel a trend. article: Kettlebell Convention this weekend NYC!

Click on this link to learn more about an awesome opportunity to learn from some of the best Kettlebell trainers and fitness leaders at the KBG Galvanized Conference and Trade Show!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Back from vacation!

Hello blog world! I just got back from my 4th of July weekend in South Carolina- it was so nice! I tried to take a real break: No tweeting or blog posting, but I hope you enjoyed my weekend treats. Fridays post was my favorite!

Anyhoo, I did engage in some healthy behaviors, even though I was out of town. I went biking and now I want a bicycle now more than ever. I did some dog walking on the beach.
And I definitely got some mental health breakage, which may be the most important part of taking some time for yourself! I felt great inside and out and was ready to head back to NYC on the hottest day in over 30 years.
I hope everyone enjoyed their weekends, and please remember to take care of your body while it is SO very hot out there. My tips?
1.) Drink your lion's share of water- 8 glasses as a minimum!
2.) Workout indoors where it is cool! I love DVDs for this, or go to the gym. DUST OFF THAT MEMBERSHIP CARD!
3.) Work out early in the day or at night. I love to get my workout done early so I feel awesome all day long.
Have a great day and stayed tuned this week for posts on Losing It, Dance Your Ass Off, Bridal Boot Camp, Huge, and the Kettlebell Convention this weekend!

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Continuing the country tour. . . Happy 4th of July!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Do the Country Hip Hop!

Ode to my vacation in South Carolina. . .

Friday, July 2, 2010

Reality Bites.

Courtesy of my new fave website, . . .

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bridal Boot Camp- episode 4: "If I can't eat it I might as well be in it!"

Oh Bridal Boot Camp. You are always here mid week to pick me up, make me laugh, and punch me in the face with some good ole' fashioned cat fighting.

It is week 4! The teams are getting closer together: Bridal Team Green is giving each other manis and pedis with their trainer Francesca. They are also braiding each other's hair and talking about their periods. Bridal Team Blue, on the other hand, is outside doing kickboxing and running drills. I take it that trainer Steve isn't much for the hair braiding. Tesha says that Green team is "a bunch of pretty princesses", and Bridal Team Blue is ready to keep winning.

A small wrench in their plans- Tara from Tennessee (My friend on Twitter! YAY SOCIAL NETWORKING!) gets an upsetting call that her grandma is not doing well and her mom wants her home with their family. Wee woo. Tara has to pack her knives and go, but not before she reveals that she has gone from 192 pounds to 177 pounds in the short time she has been training.

There is no rest for the weary: An invitation for a marital mission is slipped under the door no sooner than Tara shut it behind her. Cynthia beckons with the message "you can't have your cake and eat it, too". That sounds like a challenge any hungry bridezilla would want to get behind.

Cynthia and the trainers meet the ladies at a wrestling ring filled with a 15 x 15 wedding cake. The ladies will have to take each other down to China Town. Which ever team wins the most rounds will win flowers for the wedding. The chum has been released and the sharks are circling! Flowers are incredibly expensive and this would be a great prize for anyone to win.

Kaycee lost the most weight last week, so she gets the opportunity to answer her fiancee question to determine who gets matched up with the Green Team. She answers correctly (yay Kaycee!) and pits Amberly with herself, Melissa with Jamie ("Watch out Idaho, I'm going to stuff you!" Melissa growls), and Courtney and Tesha. Tesha promises the cake is going to be "pink, white, and red with your lipstick". These girls are SCARY.

Cynthia makes the women promise a clean fight, and Blue Team MOPS UP the Green Team with their fists. Blue Team is once again safe from elimination and wins the flowers. "Thank you Jesus!" crows Tesha.

Bridal Team Green has egg (and cake) on their faces, and starts some friction with the Blue Team over their smack talk. Example:

Amberly: It was a mind game!
Melissa: I was called a rich bitch!
Amberly: You could be called MUCH worse.


The Blue Team showers and meets at the weigh in pier with Cynthia.

Jamie: From 134 lbs to 132 lbs- 2 lbs lost
Tesha: From 145 lbs to 144 lbs- 1 lb lost
Amberly: From 157 lbs to 155 lbs- 2 lbs lost

Then the Green Team heads to the Fitting Room for the third week in a row!

Melissa: From 166 lbs to 162 lbs- 4 lbs lost
Kaycee: From 135 lbs to 134 lbs- 1 lb lost
Courtney: From 145 lbs to 142 lbs- 3 lbs lost

Ginger Courtney is finally in the bottom two with Kaycee, and with a too little too late from Cynthia, is sent home. Maybe they gave her a coloring book for the plane ride home.

The groups are getting smaller and smaller- literally and figuratively. Let's get it on.

This COULD be Huge. . .

ABC Family's new teen dramady Huge is an interesting commentary on the usual teen sitcom. You've got all the usual characters: The rebel, the shy one, the popular one, the nerd, the cool black guy. . .It's almost like The Breakfast Club. If John Hughes set it at a fat camp.

Ever heard of fat camp? My boyfriend thought I was kidding, but they are real, Virginia. I've watched the fat camp documentaries on MTV. Combine that sensitive element with My So Called Life creator Winnie Holtzman (I mean she wrote the book for the musical Wicked, c'mon!) and you have a show that can either be a catalyst for acceptance or a big fat joke.

I'd like it to be successful. There is a winning lead character in Nikki Blonsky who plays Will, a tough as nails fat girl who doesn't want to have to change her size to gain acceptance from her family. You know she is rebellious because she wears Converse and has blue streaks in her hair. There is a pretty blond in Hayley Hasselhoff, who is Will's sometimes nemesis Amber. There is a guy who looks like Seth Rogen- strike while the iron's hot, dude! You could actually have a career in Hollywood as is!

The story line of the first episode dealt with binge eating, bulimia, body loathing and acceptance, and of course liking boys and makeup, all that jazz. If handled correctly, this show could be a great way for families to talk about these issues with their heavy and not heavy kids. They could learn about body issues and the right way to treat others.

I'm worried that the show may promote an "I love my unhealthy body" message. When the head of the camp assured a camper that the purpose of the camp wasn't to have them hate their bodies but to make their bodies healthy, it was scoffed at. I am all about loving yourself, love handles and all, but I am about living a full and healthy life. Showing kids buying Twinkies on the black market to snub their noses at their parents for "making" them lose weight is kind of an F U to the food revolution, you know?

I will keep watching to see what happens- will Will decide that fat camp is for her? Will the campers hook up? Will they lose the weight and keep it off? Or will that mean the show only lasts 8 episodes?

It is summer. I guess I'll have to. My job is so HARD!