Thursday, December 31, 2009

10, 9, 8, 7, 6...........

The countdown begins to close out the old and bring in the new.  This is most often the time we reflect on the past and make resolutions for the future.  We acknowledge, thank and wish for do-overs.  In thinking about what I wanted to share in my last post of 2009, my mind wandered in a different direction to..............the power of WORDS.  During my weight loss journey of the last 10 months, I saved emails/texts that I received cheering me.  There is no substitute for these WORDS and I am forever grateful.  In 2010, I strive to use WORDS and return this to others ten fold. 

"Thank you.  You were wrong.  Great job.  I like it.  Make good choices.  Sweet.  I was wrong.  Get healthy.  You inspire and motivate me.  Let's excercise.  Time to workout.  Don't limit yourself.  I'm glad I could help.  You should be very proud of yourself.  You're the best.  You ace'd it.  No problem.  Congratulations.  Amazing.  You'll get it next week.  You can do this."

May 2010 bring you a New Year of good health, happiness, fun & friendships.  As we were told as kids, USE YOUR WORDS!

Happy New Year!!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Once in a blue moon.........

Click here while reading...........

Bring in 2010 and you will be treated to a blue moon (although it's not blue). A blue moon is the second full moon in a month.

A full moon occurs every 29 1/2 days, and most years have 12. On average, an extra full moon in a month, a blue moon, occurs every 2 1/2 years. The last time there was a lunar double was May 2007. New Year's Eve blue moons are rarer, occurring every 19 years. The last was in 1990; the next one is 2028.  Be sure to look up to the sky on New Year's Eve. 

Ready for more moon walkin'.....For years, Angelia Black brought  her mom's moon calendars and trash art to our office.  She was so proud (and should be) of "Polly Moon," her mom's work and contributions to our environment.  Polly, better known as "The Moon Lady" was a trailblazer and lived a rich life from 1946 to 2007.  After Polly passed away, Angelia, honoring her mom, continued Polly's passion for the moon.   Read more about Polly Harrison and her work, her moon calendars and Trashformations.

And don't forget to LOOK UP............

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Body Solutions is open!

You've heard about this place and Dan McGrath over and over in my blog so now the joint is open. Click here to view their new video or stop by and check out Body Solutions Atlanta for yourself.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The good, the bad & the ugly

This is the time of year when the "Top 10" of everything comes out.  The best, worst, newest, oldest and the list goes on and on.  I was just reading what some say are the the Top 10 Health & Fitness trends of the decade.  I found this very interesting because remember, prior to January of this year (2009), I never heard of most of these.   So for you novices like me, you may find this interesting too.  For those of you who've been making good choices in your diet and exercising/working out for ages, do you agree with this list?  What's missing?

1.  Low Carb Diets - carbs make a comeback!  The South Beach Diet.  Carbs (whole grains, fruits or veggies) are good and the refined sugars are bad. 

2.  "Exergaming" - Wii Fit  - are we getting off the couch in our own homes?!

3.  Tech for Health & Exercise - Heart rate monitors are old news (but great, wouldn't workout w/o one) and GPS, pedometers and lots of fancy apps are in. 

4.  Dance off the pounds - Dancing with the Stars anyone?  Pole dancing? 

5.  Beginner marathoners - 2x as many finished in 2007 as in 2000.  I'll be happy finishing a 5K!

6.  Exercise Gadgets - kettlebells, BOSU ball.  The ugly list is too ugly.  Watch TV at 2am one night and you'll see them all.

7.  Anti-Shoe - FitFlops, BMT (the shoe that rocks) and today I saw a guy running w/what looked like rubber gloves for your feet?!  What's next?

8.  Extreme weight loss - The Biggest Loser.

9.  Core & Functional training - hmmm, I thought this was always in but I understand focus on the core was again discovered in this decade.  This is my personal favorite - this collection of muscles supports our spine and keeps us stable and balanced (remember me & the fear of falling).  Crunches are out and planks are in! 

10.  Healthy Lifestyle - weight loss, counting calories, portion sizes, fiber, Omega 3's, antioxidants, protein, carbs, water, good & bad fat, reading food labels, exercising; strength, balance, endurance, flexibility, stability.....good health!!!!

Cheers to a New Year of good health for us all!

I WILL.............

Stash away your holiday "wish list" and break out a pen to create your New Year "I WILL" list. I will help get you started.  I've created the blank 'I WILL' for you; print it out.    What do YOU want to commit to in 2010?  

Remember, an "I WILL" should be:
1. Specific  2. Measureable  3. Time bound

This isn't so easy.  I've been thinking @ this for days........Here are some of my personal (not too personal I hope) I WILL's. 
  • ALL year, keep off my 2009 weight loss of 50 lbs 
  • Run (not walk) a 5K by spring
  • Continue my weekly workouts with Dan @ Body Solutions; build my strength, balance and flexibility (I don't want to fall when I get older!)
  • No more plastic in the microwave - glass only (I got great glass bowls w/plastic tops from my buddies @ work & my niece - I'm set)
  • Reduce using/buying plastic water bottles - get my own bottle
  • Become a Certified Nutrition Counselor at the conclusion (July 2010) of the IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition) program I'm starting in February
  • Inspire and motivate others on their journey for good health; weight loss, nutrition, fitness or whatever it may be
It's soon to be a New Year.  Make it a great one for you and all those around you.  Remember, this stuff is contagious.  I promise!!!!! 

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mirror, mirror on the wall......

This year I lost and have maintained my 50 lb weight loss goal. On Saturday as I was getting my hair cut & colored (oh yea), Karen @ Soge, who has been cutting my hair for years, asked me for before & after photos. I had never done this. I came home searched for photos, worked for hours to put them side by side (I'm not such a computer wiz, I'm just determined) and couldn't believe my eyes. It was then I saw what others see. Mirror, mirror on the wall....

My "before" was on my 50th birthday. I was in NYC with my mom, sister and niece for a wonderful weekend celebration. My "after" is one year later, age 51, and per Dan (you know him Body Solutions Atlanta, my fitness coach, I've mention him 1 million times) the assumed cardiovascular health a 40 year old.

So here it is.......I'm going public with the before and after photo. It's on my refrig and now on the internet. If this isn't encouragement enough to keep it off, I don't know what else is..........!!!!

Yep, I just saw the look of shock on your face AND you can stop laughing now.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Catch us if you can....

This stuff is contagious!!!! Recently at work, we started a lunchtime walk/run. Mostly walking but building up the running. Of course, our Marine, Linda, is leading the way. Our coworker, Nikki, is regaining her shape after just having her first baby BOY. This is so awesome. We have another coworker returning in January after having her 3rd child. Watch out Yvonne and bring your shoes!

Eating well, working out and this good health stuff is contagious. Do YOU want to catch it? Follow us and join our fun!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Name that tune

What are fast BPM tunes good for running or an intenese workout? Please share by leaving a comment.

One of my all time favorites is Let's Get Loud by J Lo. It's almost 4 minutes and a great one to push you onward during your workout.

It's not about the bike, I mean scale........

.....or is it? This question is different for each of us. I suggest that for some, it's about weighing daily and watching the scale like a hawk swooping down on its prey (that would be me!). For others, its an occasional (maybe monthly) weigh in w/rejoicing or adjusting and for others, it's all about how their clothes fit and looking in the mirror. Whatever works for you....go with it and go with it on a consistent basis. Commit to it.

To say it's not @ the scale nor monitor how your clothes fit says you aren't ready yet for the weight loss journey. So how can I get ready? Million dollar question and again different for each of us. Here's what worked for me but remember, find what works for YOU.

I'm an organized, list maker, planner, competitive person. In my company, I work with my team on managing large recruitment projects with lots of moving parts and we work with tight deadlines. We process map everything and daily assess our performance against our goals. I'm comfortable in this zone. day it occurred to me, can I look at my weight loss journey like I manage a large scale recruitment project? And this was my beginning. I journal daily all that I eat (good/bad or ugly because remember those who journal loose 2 times more weight) and I spreadsheet all my workouts. I've turned it into a competitive game for me. I look forward to "beating" the prior day's performance.

This may not be your style and the important thing is to identify your style and work with it.....feature it and don't fight against it. You may have to compromise and isn't it worth it?!

So is it about the scale or the mirror?!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The value of a Veteran

I could go on for hours @ the value of a Veteran in the workplace. For years my company, HRworks, has been a leader in military recruitment, outpacing competing firms. Our Veterans are disciplined, strong executors and above all demonstrated leaders that top the charts. Think @ it, many had responsibility for budgets in the millions and troups in the thousands.

For many years, I've had the opportunity to work with one retired Marine, Linda. Boy have I learned from her. We are coworkers, friends and each others champion/cheerleader/motivator/encourager/sounding board in the weight loss journey. We both now work out @ Body Solutions Atlanta so we feel each other's joy and pain.

Linda taught me some key things during my journey, from the very beginning to just the other day. She continues to share her pearls of wisdom and for that I'm grateful.

- "It's weakness leaving your body" - when you are so sore the day after a hard workout.
- "Put your head down, swing your arms" - when you are walking the hill and you think you are going to fall out.
- The "cadence" - put it on your iPod and breath w/it. "It will take your mind off running and you'll focus on your breathing."

Each of these help me get over hurdles. This was all new to me and second nature to Linda. So try any one of these, I guarantee, they'll help you jump a hurdle. When you are out there, just visualize Linda sitting on your shoulder whispering in your ear and go for it!

Side note: I have found one awesome cadence - 1,2,3,4 Marine Corps by Motova8. You can accomplish anything w/this one!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Shine on......

What a crazy time of year.....presents to buy - 7th night of Chanukah, entering last shopping weekend before Christmas - holiday/office/school parties, end of the month, year end, 2010 planning and the list goes on and on. Are you being pulled in a million directions?! I hear you - oh yea!

Often times, taking care of ourselves is very last on our list. If we aren't in top shape then are we robbing our friends, family and coworkers of our glorious selves?! My friends @ Body Solutions Atlanta (my home away from home) have taught me - healthy eating, exericse and rest are the way to go. So please, watch what we are eating (make good choices); get moving even if it's parking in the furthest spot from the grocery store or mall, get some sleep (does a body good) and don't forget our emotional needs - reach out to someone (no text or email) or do something unexpected. These make us feel good and when we feel good; we look and act good. Sounds so simple?! If it were simple, we'd be one happy world. So baby steps; do one thing new today/tomorrow - make a good food choice, go for a walk, get a good nights sleep and make a difference in someone's life. Everyone around you will love you for it and importantly; you'll feel great!

"Shine on the inside so your outside can sparkle" (Lt. Col Consuelo Castillo Kickbush) and make this a great holiday season.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Who's watching?!

You never know when you will show up on YouTube so.....make sure you always look GOOD....even when you are sweating through a workout. Last night, I had my regular workout @ Body Solutions Atlanta with Dan. New stuff, challenging and I have to say fun. BUT, I'm doing deadlifts (at least attempting to do them) and I look over and Dan's got the little Flip video camera. OK stop!....imagine the look on my face. OMG!!!!! Not a pretty picture and definitely not ready for prime time. Fortunately and interestingly, Dan uses the video to help his clients' look at and improve their form during routines. Pretty cool but PLEASE delete, delete, delete. Just a side note (cause isn't this all about weight loss), I had a great weigh this am. Ready for a great day! Have a great one too.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Grab a pen.............

What's all the hype @ food journals? The research is there.........old research, new research and it all points to people who keep a food journal loose MORE weight than those who do not. That means we've got to fess up and write down all we eat and drink. If we can loose more weight, isn't it worth it?!!! So grab a notepad, cocktail napkin, or whatever (I recommend a spiral notebook that lives with you all the time).

For those of us who need to read it to believe it - check out the study from Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research. The study was published in the August 2008 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. “Those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records...."

So grab a pen and start writing!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

There's no turning back.......

How many times have we said this?! It's Sunday morning, cold and rainy and a perfect day to stay in my pj's until I have to be somewhere later today. Then I check my emails and bright and early here comes an email from Body Solutions and my fitness coach, Dan, with the results of my treadmill cardio test yesterday!!!! I'm average and he's challenging me to get to GOOD. He really knows how to get to me and no one loves a challenge more than me. So although I'm not exactly clear on how one goes from average to good, I got dressed and went to the gym. I figured, this was a good start. Glad I did it and more importantly glad it's over! Now to enjoy this yucky day!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending!...Carl Bard

For the past decade, I've been (and still am) totally dedicated to building a successful Atlanta based, national recruitment firm. It has been so much fun, learning tons and working with many wonderful employees and clients. During this time, I paid little attention to my health. Frankly I would hear about people dropping dead during a run or work out and I was often heard around the office saying that I thought working out was bad for your health. I never worried about it and thought I'll always be healthy. And I am healthy but one day in January, I was tired of being fat and from that grew this new passion.

In early January 2009, I woke up one morning and was tired of being overweight. I had a big butt and wanted it gone. I lost weight before but didn't keep it off; gained it back plus some. I never worked out; totally initimidated of even the thought of walking into a gym. Something that morning told me I need to exercise too this time around. I searched online for the solution and I was really lucky that I connected with Dan McGrath and Body Solutions Atlanta. This is how my journey to better health began (and now I'm obsessed or possessed - not sure which).

For weight loss, I began a strict diet - 3 meals plus 2-3 small snacks; cut down my portions; cut out all the junk (fast food, eating dinner out every night); made sure I was eating fruits, veggies, protein, some carbs early in the day and drinking lots of water (I never drank water prior). And exercise. I work out with Dan 3x per week for balance/flexibility and strength and have cardio homework 5x per week (some form of cardio for 60 mins). I journal all my eating and frankly, I log all my workouts (I said I was possessed). Most importantly, I get results. Six months and I lost 50 lbs and I've now kept it off for 4 months. All good and I love it. But that's just the beginning for me. The goal setting continued.

I wanted to do a breast cancer walk. I convinced my niece and nephew to do it with me. I trained for months and was so scared but in October, we finished 10 miles (and raised over $2500). I was amazed and excited. Next I wanted to run one mile; that's all, just one mile. I reached that goal on Thanksgiving morning. There are more goals now but that will wait for another day.

What's next you ask? This question leads me to this blog - What's the Skinny? During my journey to better health, I've learned from, been inspired and motiviated by so many people so now's my chance to give back. I don't have all the answers, by far, but I do have lots of questions and some tips and thoughts that helped me along the way. Maybe they'll insprire and help you?!!

This past year has truly been life changing and I'm having fun, reaching new heights. I owe a great deal of thanks & gratitude to one of my biggest supporters and cheerleader - Dan McGrath; as well as my coworkers, friends & family.

So What's the Skinny?