Monday, January 26, 2009

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

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 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

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

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

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?

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.

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.


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


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!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

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

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

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

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

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)

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

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.