Thursday, December 31, 2009

We're Back!

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That's right. After months of slacking we are ready to be losers again, and this time we mean business!

Stay Tuned.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

BMI is bunk!

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OK, so I'm not disclosing what my BMI is, but trust me, I'm overweight. I've often wondered how BMI works-- how it doesn't take into things like muscle weight, bone density, even things like small girls with big boobs-- how all weight is the same. NPR posted a great article on why BMI is bunk-- turns out it's not really scientific, but just a guy who wanted an easy way to do some statistics! No fair!

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=106268439&sc=fb&cc=fp

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Michelle: I Quit the Gym (Sort Of)

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I hate the gym. Not my gym specifically, which is actually a nice quiet pleasant gym (as far as gyms go). But I hate going. I hate working out on machines I'm not overly sure how to use. I end up just using the elliptical or treadmill and the recumbent bike, and I'm done. I'm also completely freaked out by other people at the gym. I have so little confidence in what I'm doing, I feel like everyone is staring at me and laughing. OK, I know they're not, but I feel like they are. And all those hot moms who have nothing else to do in the summer but hang out at my gym (which is also a tennis club) just intimidate me further.

Last year, I worked with a personal trainer for 6 months. She was supposed to teach me how to use the machines, but she didn't really. She was more into stretchy resistance bands and giant balance balls. Sigh.

About a month ago, I broke out the dusty Wii Fit. I keep hearing how people lose weight using it. I've got to tell you though - I never really worked up much of a sweat with the Fit, although I had a lot of fun. I'm a big fan of the game where my Mii is dressed up like a penguin, diving for fish.

In an effort to perhaps use this gaming system to my advantage, I picked up the Gold's Gym Cardio Boxing game. That's a lot of fun, but it's pretty much just boxing. I enjoy cardio boxing a lot, but I still needed more if I was going to do this every day.

So we went out the other day and purchased EA Sports Active Personal Trainer. It comes with a resistance band and a leg strap for your nunchuk. And it's fun.

I chose to do the 30-day fitness challenge. Every day it's a different series of exercises that work all my muscles. Trust me on that one. The squats and lunges are killing me. I never felt the burn at the gym the way I do with this video game. Did I mention it's fun? I look forward to doing it.

The 30-day Fitness Challenge takes me right down to the wire for Alaska. We leave June 30. I'm hoping that this game, combined with weekly ballroom dancing and occasional hiking, will have me in tiptop shape for both vacation and BlogHer.

So I suspended my gym membership for 3 months. That will give me time to decide what the hell I'm doing.

Amy: Week 40 Ugh

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I mean nothing life threatening of course, maybe a tapeworm or something.

That about sums up the last month or so, how are you guys doing?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Amy: Week 34 - Enough is Enough

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It was hard stepping on that scale today, knowing the number awaiting me would not be a pleasant one. I had been steadily gaining up until a few months ago when I just completely went off the wagon. That's putting it mildly, I fell off it, then slashed it's tires, then set it on fire. It now sits in my front yard, up on blocks covered with a tarp, a family of woodland creatures reside there now.

I wish I had some trauma to blame it on - you know like alien abduction or something equally cool, something other than busy schedules and laziness and general lack of motivation. But I don't.

For this to work, you have to want weight loss more than you want that cookie or cake or bag of chips or the couch. For the last few months I have not prioritized health over instant pleasure, I have opted for the temporary buzz over the long term happiness.

I'm mad at myself. I know it's a waste of emotion and it does little to get that number down. It does little to make it so I'm not gasping for breath after a flight of steps. It does little to give me the energy to want to do anything - play with my daughter, tend to the house, cook a meal - after a long day at the office.

Yes, I'm mad and sick of feeling this way. Sick of wishing I was thinner when a special occasion rolls around and I have nothing to wear. Sick of abusing this otherwise healthy body I've been blessed with. Sick.of.it.

It needs to stop. I gained ten pounds since mhy last weigh in, in early February. Ten pounds that I've worked hard to lose only to gain back again a dozen times. It stops here, it stops now.

It's time to get to work. Who's with me?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Michelle: Hiking out of my weight loss hole

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I'm still here. And despite the fact that I've ignored the whole weight loss thing for a few months, I'm trying to get back on track.

In November, I had the opportunity to go hiking outside of San Jose, CA, with my friend Russ, the Winehiker. While the short hike pretty much kicked my ass, I noticed something. I overall felt better and my back, miraculously, didn't hurt. I resolved then and there to start hiking as soon as spring arrived in Cincinnati.

Spring's here! I bought hiking shoes. Actually, I've purchased two pairs of hiking shoes - a 7 1/2 and an 8. Apparently I need a 7 3/4. I'm walking around my house today with one on each foot, deciding which one fits better before I send the other pair back. Hmm ... what's better? My toe hitting the end of the 7 1/2 or my heel going up and down in the 8.

We're going hiking this weekend. Just on Saturday, and we're starting small and local. Big Bone Lick State Park, nearby, has 3.5 miles of trails and even a herd of buffalo. My goal is to hike the whole 3.5 miles.

Hopefully that won't kill me. I've been a terrible Loser. I've ignored the gym since November and I haven't ignored dessert. (Somehow, someway, I'm still a size 8, but that baffles me.) So I'm out of shape.

There's an 8-mile hike I want to do in Alaska this summer, and I hope I can be in shape for it. It's good to have a goal.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Laura: Nice Weather, More Effort

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Spring's here. I guess I can come out of my cave and start working out again.

I had great intentions during the cold months for getting moving and eating healthy. What did I do? I pouted on the couch and ate comfort food because I couldn't get outside that much (and enjoy it). I'm curious to see if I ever get the motivation to change that.

Anyway, after my first taste of warmth this week, I'm already getting back to my warm weather routine. I'm out walking, getting my bike tuned up, and in a new twist, I'm heading back to pilates class. Went to class today and my body is thankful, and traumatized. Muscles that haven't gotten work in months are feeling it.

I'm also experimenting with different vegetables and grains in my cooking as I continue to work on making my diet less meat filled. I purchased some rutabagas today and some bulgar. I even picked up some tempeh. We'll see how it goes.

Here's hoping my spring enthusiasm lasts longer than my winter enthusiasm for healthy living did.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Shannan: Back at it (Week Number 3,256 - OK, maybe I am exagerating)

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I suck. It’s true. For months I have been saying that I was going to train for a 5k and for months I have been making excuses. It’s embarrassing really. I used to be a long distance runner for crimeny’s sake! I held the record for the 1500 M at my middle school for 13 years. Why do I keep avoiding it?

The answer: Who knows. Am I lazy? Am I afraid of doing something for myself? Am I afraid of FINALLY losing this last 15 lbs (you may recall it was the “last 10 lbs”…)? I don’t know. I wish I did. I have the time – in the mornings – and I have the support and encouragement of my husband.

Well this morning I took a step in the right direction. I got myself up extra early – 5:00 a.m. – and I met my friend Phyllis at the gym. Together we walked 3 miles (around 3.6 speed) on the treadmill and damn it, it felt AWESOME!

What is wrong with me? It was so easy. I was able to workout and get back home with the boys not even realizing I’d been anywhere. Maybe it was knowing that someone was going to be there waiting for me to arrive. That I couldn’t back out. Maybe I need not only to be held accountable online, but to have one of my girlfriends there to work out with me? Maybe that is what it will take until I get over my commitment issues?

Apparently I have a lot of things to figure out. One thing I do know, I have got to stick with it this time.

For those of you working out, and sticking to it, how do you do it?

Shannan

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Amy: Week 27 - Meal Planning Made Easy!

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Nothing is more central to weight loss than well-balanced meal planning. For me, meal planning can be my saving grace or my Achille’s heel. If the day falls apart and I can’t make it to exercise, I can at least salvage the day with smart choices that compensate a little. Or if I’m forced to work late, a healthy casserole in the fridge can keep me from the verge of doom and gloom at the McDonald’s drive thru. You can see clearly in my weight loss chart how essential thinking ahead on the food I’ll consume each week translates into success.

But it ain’t easy. We’re busy, whether it’s work or family or just life draining the sands from the hour glass each day, we’ve got a lot to do. Planning seven “jump-start” breakfasts AND seven “moderate, but filling” lunches AND seven “don’t blow it now” dinners AND oh, don't forget healthy snacks (not of the Oreo variety) in between isn’t a snap for me. To say nothing of keeping variety and what your family will actually eat in mind.

That’s why I was so excited to meet my new gal-pals Tricia and Cortney at Blissdom in early February.


Tricia and Cortney @ Blissdom, photo by Jenny at Mommin' It Up
These wonder-women started a blog apparently just for me - Once A Month Mom! They have worked out a system to prepare 15 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 15 dinners, neatly and orderly once a month. That’s right, you cook the lion’s share of your monthly meals on one day (usually takes 4-8 hours), freeze them and viola - no more fluster and frustration wondering what to cook each day.

(For those of you with little, little ones Cortney and Tricia also offer a homemade baby food track - also once a month - it looks so great it almost tempts me to have another baby! Almost!)



But it’s not just a bunch of recipes and a wish of good luck that Tricia and Cortney offer, they’ve laid out the complete grocery lists for everything, recipes and instructions on preparation in the once a month mode, tricks and tips to be successful, plus they’ve done all the math - SCORE! Basically all their hard-earned expertise and time-consuming work is handed to you and all you have to do is read, shop, cook and freeze. Well, and thank them for each yummy bite!

I’m am super excited to try it out. Their system is set up for a two-Mom approach. I’ve recruited my sister in law to join me on the adventure. We’re gonna do our cooking day on Saturday and I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes next week. Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The winner is...

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Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

2 

Timestamp: 2009-02-04 17:46:49 UTC

The winner is Insta-Mom. I'll be contacting you shortly via email to get the cookbook out to you right away!

Sorry to get this up so late - the surprise snow yesterday threw me for a loop!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wii Fit

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So does anyone out there use a Wii Fit? I talked my gym down a few bucks a month, and am supplementing the gym by using a Wii Fit.

I just started today. How depressing. It told me my weight (173, at least I'm consistent...) and my BMI (29), and my Wii Age.

The first time I did my Wii Age, I was 41 (!).

The second time, I guess I got used to the balance board, I was 33.

That's a little better, but I'm only 28!

So I figure that I can start going to the gym after work for 45 minutes, and on days when I don't have time to do the whole go-to-the-gym, change-before-rehearsal thing, I can sneak in some Wii time. It is pretty fun. I'm darn good at the Hula Hoop!

Anyone else use the Wii Fit?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Amy: Week 23 - Staying S.M.A.R.T.

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With the encouragement of Julie, my Jazzercise guru, I’m proud to report that I exercised five days out of seven this past week. I stayed within my points and followed the healthy guidelines every.single.day. And I took off 1.4 pounds! Thrilled - Thrilled - Thrilled

Now that I’m getting back on track, it’s time to start setting short and long term goals. We all need to be mindful of this - in all areas of our lives. What goals have you set for yourself? Did you write them down? Did you put them somewhere you’ll have a daily reminder? Do you reward yourself properly when you hit one of your goals?

I’ve been following these guidelines (thanks Weight Watchers) to help make my goal setting more manageable and effective:
SMART Theory for Setting Goals

S
Specific: What exactly are you going to do? Make it clearly defined and simple.

M
Measurable: How long? How much? What are the milestones you will reach along the way?

A
Attainable: Make it reasonable. Do not expect to lose 50 pounds in 3 months. How about 5 to 8 pounds a month for X amount of months?

R
Rewarding: You have to stop and reward yourself along the way. Small rewards for reaching modest milestones will keep you motivated and keep you positive.

T
Time-limited: Set an end date. That last thing you want to do is keep your resolution open ended, because you will have less focus. At the same time, make sure you give yourself enough time to attain your main goal.

This week’s goals are as follows:
1. Get more walking in - especially on the days I don’t do a Jazzercise class.

2. Plan menus for the week so there is no temptation to cheat when dinner time gets too hectic.

3. TAKE MY MEASUREMENTS (still haven’t done this yet!)

4. Introduce a new WHOLE GRAIN to my diet.

Those are all doable, short-term goals I can manage with my busy schedule. What are your goals for this week? Take a minute to think about it and jot something down. Even of it’s just one simple thing like "take a multi-vitamin everyday" or "drink enough water to stay healthy and hydrated" - a goal is a goal and it all starts with a small step in the right direction.

GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!


We all want to add healthy food to our choices and whole grains are the best way to do it. But what the heck do you do with Bulgur Wheat? Or Quinoa (just between you and me, I’m not even sure how to pronounce it, much less cook it!)?

So to achieve my #4 goal, I picked up the cookbook: Whole Grains for Busy People: Fast, Flavor-Packed Meals and More for Everyone by Lorna Sass. It’s just what the nutritionist ordered for a whole grain virgin like me.

And one lucky Cincy Loser reader will win a copy! Leave a comment here listing at least one short-term goal you’re working on this week - leave as many as you’d like (I’d love to hear about them), but you must leave at lease one to be entered. You can get an extra entry if you tweet the giveaway up - just leave a separate comment with the link to the tweet!

The deadline is 11:59pm on Monday (2/2).
I’ll announce the winner in next week’s Tuesday post.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

GOT EXERCISE?

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For any Cincy folks looking to jumpstart their exercise in the new year, Jazzercise is offering one heck of a promotion. On Monday, January 26th, sign up at participating Jazzercise locations (I know for certain the Oakley and Downtown centers are participating, many others I’m sure) and you can jazz your way to fitness for $0, nada, nothing, zip-pa-de-doo-da until March 1st. Details below. Not in Cincinnati? I’m sure this is nationwide, so check it out at a location near you and GET MOVING!
09onedaysale_flyer1

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Amy: Week 22 - Feeling the burn, the burn of calories!

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I’ve stayed on plan all week. I’ve gotten back to Jazzercise. I’ve gotten my grove back. Filled with determination, inspiration and perspiration! I had a little gain on Sunday (my new weigh-in day). But it was minor and didn’t get to me.

But now for the real news...the winner of the PB2 giveaway. Crack your shells for:


She’ll soon be enjoying the sweet, guilt-free bliss of peanut butter. I’ve gotta tell you, I ordered a few jars of this stuff and after tasting it everyday since it’s arrival, parting with MizGreenJean’s jar is gonna be tough! It’s delicious and so peanutty. If you’re interested in purchasing some for yourself, visit PB2's website here.

This week’s focus at WW’s was recognizing true hunger signals and responding appropriately to them. It seems like an easy concept at first glance. You feel hungry, you eat. But for anyone like me who has spent years overeating all the wrong stuff, A+B does not always equal C. As I told my group Sunday, I believe I spent an entire decade never feeling hungry. How could I? I was eating all the time. I never gave my body a chance to tell me when it actually needed nourishment because I was constantly changing the subject with Ho-Ho’s and Ding Dong’s and pizza and beer.

So we’re getting to know one another, my stomach and I, slowly. All too often I let my hunger get the better of me and go too long between meals. And you can imagine my level of self-control once food is before me in such a scenario. So I’m snacking more and listening closer to the signs my body gives me.

I’ve also gotten a work-out mentor at Jazzercise and that has really helped in making me accountable. I know someone is out there noting when I’m not there and checking in with me. It’s made a world of difference. Julie is nothing but positive energy and she’s gonna help whip this body into a lean, mean dancing machine. Thanks Julie!

Oh and by the way, the friend I mentioned last week who’s just getting started on WW lost over THREE pounds this week. I’m so excited for her and thrilled to share her success with you guys.
Here’s to seeing less of us next week!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Michelle: Run Gabby Run

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I know I've been rather, um, incommunicado recently. You see, spending most of November on the road + the holidays did not do my body good. And I haven't gotten 100% back on the diet wagon either. I'm about 70% there. A trip to Las Vegas next week will push me back down to 50% or so, I'm sure. February is my new start. The gyms will empty out, and I have no trips planned. Obviously, travel is the biggest fuel in my Excuse Machine.

That said, I wanted to mention my friend Gabrielle. I've talked about her in the past: she dropped over 100 pounds in 2007 and she looks incredible. Well, she did a lot of that by running - first on the treadmill and then venturing outside. Now she's training to run Cincinnati's Flying Pig marathon. Gabby is funny and honest and inspiring to a lot of folks. I thought I would let everyone know about her Run, Gabby, Run blog. Soon her entries will be transferred over to a CinWeekly blog (Congrats Gabby!). I thought those of you working on the Couch to 5K initiative might enjoy reading what she's doing.

And I promise I'll be back, and behaving, in February.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Amy: Week 21 - Getting back to business

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Grueling...there is no other word to describe my weight/diet/exercise experience over the month of December. Self control - gone. Energy - huh wha? Wisdom - ha! Excuses - far too many to count. And it was so bad that December morphed into January and I didn’t get back to business til I got a little inspiration from a friend who decided to join Weight Watchers last week. So my “new year, new you renewal” was about a week or so late - better late than never I guess.

So I’m back on the horse - and the horse is huffing from the FOUR POUNDS gained over the holidays. Did I eat one of the wise men or something? Ugh. One step forward...nine steps back.

But I’m here, I’m ready and I’m recommitted. I weighed in just a bit ago and I'm down a bit. Nothing to throw a parade over, but down is always better than up.

Here are my goals for the month of January:

Take my measurements
(so I have another way to calculate success when the scale is temperamental)

Lose five pounds by February 1st

Get back to Jazzercise 3-4 times per week

Follow the WW principles like I was before the holidays got me

Weigh in once a week so I keep things in check

To celebrate the new year, I’m trying a new product that was recommended by one of the WW leaders last week. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you PB2 from Bell Plantation.

Peanut Butter is the forbidden fruit to many dieters and certainly this Weight Watcher has a hard time calling it quits with just a tablespoon or two. So how wonderful is this: PB2 is made with premium quality peanuts that are slow-roasted to our specifications and pressed to remove the fat. It’s all natural with no artificial sweeteners or preservatives. Same consistency as full-fat peanut butter with all of the roasted peanut flavor, but with more than 85% less fat calories. You mix this peanut “butter” powder with water or your favorite jam and voila you have the peanutty taste without the fatty side effects! Per serving it’s 53.2 calories, 1.87 grams of fat and 0.48 grams of fiber or 1 point for a two tablespoon serving in the WW world. I’m excited to give it a try and it should arrive from the UPS guy tomorrow.

And I’m giving a jar away to one lucky reader. Leave a comment here telling one thing you’re doing to start the new year off right. I might just steal the idea from you! Winner will be selected next Tuesday - I’ll announce the peanut lover in my normal post. Good luck!

Shannan - Eating My Veggies

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This week I am trying something a little different. If you read my blog, Mommy Bits, you know I've been experimenting with menu planning. I did my first menu last week on a whim but it really wasn't that healthy. It was more about what I had in the cupboard. This week I sat down and really thought about what I would make. I needed to find dishes I could prepare that would be both appealing to my boys, as well as healthy. Not being a cook (or traditionally liking to cook) I knew I was going to have to do some research online.

For my first official menu plan I decided to go the Vegetarian route. Here's what I am looking at for this week:

Monday - Fruit Plate (Boys have soccer, I have a late meeting)
Tuesday-Black Beans & Rice: Brown rice, black beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, shallot & avocado
Wednesday- Veggie Wraps: Whole wheat wraps, hummus, gr. pepper, tomato,
lettuce, cucumber & avocado
Thursday- Soup: Diced tomatoes, onions, potatoes, corn, celery, tomato paste and veggie broth
Friday (Date Night) - Boys having Grilled Cheese & Veggie Soup, Fruit Cup.
Saturday - Veggie Tacos: Whole wheat tortillas, vegetarian “meat” crumbles, tomato, avocado, lettuce, corn & salsa.
Sunday - Pasta Dish: Whole wheat pasta, garlic, olive oil, walnuts & sun dried tomato.

My hope is that menu planning will help eliminate rushed dinners and the tendency to just make "what's easy" which is not always necessarily what's healthiest.

PS. If you have any Vegetarian recipes that rock, I would love to have them!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Eating Well in 2009 (Recipes)

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With the new year I've resolved to cook more and eat better. In my quest I've been doing a lot of searching on the internet for good recipes. This morning I was on the Food Network's site and saw that Ellie Krieger is doing 30 Days of Healthy Recipes to kick off the new year.

I looked through the recipes and they looked really good. Here's a link if you'd like to check it out!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Laura: New year, new resolve

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So, it's 2009. Hard to believe, isn't it. It's that time of year when people will begin making resolutions, and the vast majority of them will fail to keep them through February. I definitely fall into that category every year. So, this time, I'm going to create some principles to try to live by in 2009, instead. These are flexible guidelines, but they are something that adds purpose to the new year.

So, here they go...

1. My body was meant to be active, and staying active keeps me healthy. Everyday, I will try to move, whether I bike, walk, run, go to pilates, or walk up the steps instead of taking the elevator.

2. I will eat more wholesome foods and watch my portion sizes, but I won't beat myself up when I really need a delicious cup of Aglamesis Bros. Cinnamon Ice Cream or a giant juicy burger. Food is fuel for all the things I want to do in life. It is not bad.

3. I will not stress about the little things. And let's face it, I have a great job, family, friends and home -- so any thing I would stress about would be small in comparison to what so many people are facing in our city and our world.

4. A healthy lifestyle starts with a healthy home. I'll continue to work on improving the indoor environment in my house. It needs to be a place that encourages a healthy lifestyle.

So, that's it. Those are my guiding principles for 2009. So far, so good. In the last three days I've been on an 8.5 mile hike, learned to ski (and, wow, are my muscles punishing me for it), and been on a two mile walk. I've cleaned my house from top to bottom, and Jon and I have come up with a strategy to keep it that way.

So, here's to an outstanding 2009 -- a happy, healthy new year.