The Pursuit of Healthiness

The Pursuit of Healthiness
Your Guide to Getting Healthy

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tip #25: Post Holiday Weight Gain

My willpower sucks. It's true and I'll admit it. I just polished off my third cookie for today. I also gained back over five pounds during the holidays. Too much dessert, way too much dessert.

But I'm making a pact with myself. I'm not counting until the holidays are truly over. I'll continue my journey in the New Year because, right now, stepping on the scale is a bad idea. Every time I see that scale creep up, I get depressed and I eat. Which only makes the scale creep up more. Its a vicious cycle.

Right now, I'm eating what I want without a second thought. Sure that's far from healthy, but that's the goal. This is the one time of year I'm saying "To hell with it!" and munching on candy and cookies. I love eating the stuff and when I'm surrounded by it, I just can't say no. Rather than eating it and hating myself afterwards, I'm eating it and enjoying it, knowing that there is always time to burn the calories off in the New Year.

On January 1st, here's what I'm doing:
Any leftover candy is being donated to Operation Shoebox for the troops overseas.

Leftover cake and cookies (unwrapped) go straight in the trash.

No more specialty coffee drinks or soda.

Lunch (what is now consisting of pb&j and cookies or leftover pasta) will be made up of whole wheat sandwiches and veggies.

Dinner will be on a small plate and consist of veggies and protein (unlike the Sicilian pizza I had last night)

Dessert- cancelled. No eating after 8 pm.

Here's my New Year plan and as long as it is in writing here, I won't forget it and I won't slip up. If you plan on following your own New Year's Resolution, write down your own plan and read it everytime you want to indulge.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Workout #14: Impromptu Party!

Its holiday break and your bored already. Instead of breaking out the Christmas cookies and settling in to watch Rudolph for the fourth time, why not host a party? Sound like weird way to work out? Then listen up!

Gathered together a small group of close friends? Then pull out the Wii or Connect for XBox 360! Rent a dance game and pick your favorite songs! Don't worry about sticking to the moves perfectly. You'll have more fun and torch more calories if you and your friends just have fun and add in your own variations. Sure, you can play Wii Just Dance any day, but it is so much more fun to play with friends. Plus you get the bonus of extra calorie burn when you're talking and laughing.

Gathered up a huge group of party-goers? Time to crank up the music and dance to your favorite songs. Hit a club or host the dance party in your own home. Blast the music, make a dance floor and party! Fist bump, electric slide, or whatever you like. But if you are staying at home, just make sure you don't disturb the neighbors!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tip #24: Get a Clean Start with Beach Body!

I love Disney vacations. I always have ever since I was little. So this weekend my family and I took a short vacation there. In the three days I had there, I drank 3 cappuccinos, a half pack of Double Stuffed Oreos, two Ghirardelli's Hot Fudge Sundaes, and a giant peanut butter cupcake. Oh, and a Mickey head ice cream sandwich. Obviously, it's not a huge surprise that I gained three pounds.

Now that I'm home, I better get back on track. That's where Beach Body's new product comes in. Designed by wellness experts and a former Presidential nutritionist, the Ultimate Reset Cleanse is meant to clean out your body, revitalizing it and returning it to it's original state. Usually, I wouldn't endorse a cleanse, but this is different. Most cleanse are drinking lemon juice and pepper and nothing else. The ingredients in Ultimate Reset aren't just something you'd find in your kitchen cabinets without any proof it's actually any good for you.The creators of Ultimate Reset searched all over the globe for some of the healthiests foods you can put in your body.

If you want to cleanse your body, lose weight, and revitalize yourself, click here for the Ultimate Reset!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tip #23: Clean Out the Fridge!

I know. So soon after Thanksgiving? You couldn't imagine tossing out the turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie so soon! And I certainly can't blame you! But don't turn Thanksgiving into a week! The average person consumes over 4000 calories for dinner on Thanksgiving. If you eat Thanksgiving dinner every day for a week, you could be packing on an extra 8 pounds!

This weekend was your free pass. You overate (don't deny it! We all did!) but now is the time to toss out the food. That one slice of pumpkin pie and cup of stuffing should be cleaned out. While you are at it, look for the foods that may not be Thanksgiving related, but still just as bad for you. Anything high in fat and calories goes. Be a little more lenient with the carbs. Half your daily calories should come from carbs.

However, I'm not one for wasting food. You don't need it. But someone else does. All unopened containers and still full Thanksgiving essentially should go to your local soup kitchen, not the trash.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! That being said, why can't a healthy thanksgiving coincide with that? According to, the average thanksgiving dinner contains over 4000 calories. A dinner should be about a tenth of that! But don't sweat it! I've compiled a list of ways to save calories on turkey day (without depriving yourself!) and its easy to follow!

Party Time!
1. Don't let your clothes save room for dessert. Choose an outfit that's rather tight-fitting, so when your stomach starts to feel stuffed in that body-con dress, you'll know you've got to stop.

2. Carry a clutch. If you have you're clutch in one hand, and a drink in the other, it won't be so easy to pig out on those appetizers.

3. Mingle. You can't catch up with your friends and family with a full mouth. If you leave your mouth to talking, it can't be full of food.

4. Stay out of the kitchen! Entertain yourself by watching the game, even if you're not a big football fan. You can always enjoy the halftime show, or just have fun watching your uncle and brother go head to head on who the MVP is. If you volunteer to clean up afterwards (good for you!), get the dishes in the sink before the leftovers end up in your mouth!

5. Watch the little ones. My little cousins always keep me occupied on Thanksgiving. I'm so busy making sure they eat, are entertained, and basically stay out of trouble, I hardly eat dinner myself.

6. Stay on your feet. It torches extra calories. Plus, when you're sitting down with little to do, those mini quiches will look extra appealling.

Drinks and Appetizers
7. Avoid soda or sugarfied drinks. They are empty calories and only increase your appetite. Stick to water for the most part.

8. Watch the alcohol. Other than the fact it clouds your judgement making you more likely to say "oh screw it!" and binge on thanksgiving, alcohol is mostly empty calories, like soda. Avoid anything with tonic especially. If your friends offer you a drink you've never heard of like a "Thanksgiving cocktail" make sure you ask what's in it and do the calculations for it before downing it.

9. Stick to a veggie based appetizer. Leave the meat for dinner. Try to eliminate dips as much as possible. Shrimp isn't a bad option either, but skimp on the cocktail sauce.

10. Only take one of each appetizer. Don't take a handful of jumbo shrimp and call it diet.

11. If something sounds good, eat it! Just eat one serving, and keep a track in the back of your mind.

Dinner and Dessert
12. Say it with me: white meat, no skin, light on the gravy. Fill up on the meat.

13. Opt for a veggie based side like carrots and green beans (green bean casserole doesn't count) and go easy on the stuffing and other carbs.

14. Drink water with dinner and drink at least one full glass before you sit down to dinner.

15. Go splitzies on a slice of cake or pie for dessert or a roll for dinner.

16. Start eating after everyone else, be the slowest eater at the table, and finish the second  you're full.

17. Eat at the kid's table! Well, maybe not. I mean, eat as much as they eat. While the adults binge, the kids eat around the size of a normal adult meal on thanksgiving.

18. Don't go back for seconds. Just because the mashed potatoes are there, doesn't mean you have to eat them.

19. Stick to one moderately large dessert, or a few small ones. Don't eat half the cake and go back for a plate of cookies.

20. Most of all, enjoy the day. Eat things that you might not usually get to have. For me, I have stuffing sometimes on an average weeknight so I won't eat that on thanksgiving. I'll eat the stuffed mushrooms that I only have once a year. Same goes for dessert. My cousin is a pastry chef so I'll eat the new and innovative dessert she brought for us, not the chocolate chip cookies.

I hope this guide helps you to a healthy, happy thanksgiving! I'm sure this will help you to a ho-ho-ho healthy Christmas (or whatever you celebrate. I don't judge!) Hope this helps you have a great winter!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Beach Body: New and Improved!

I know everybody's seen the commercials for Beach Body. The ones that say it's insane and show those perfectly toned people saying how hard it is, but have you ever actually seen the results? The results are what is really insane! I have this friend who was always, well, baby-faced. He wasn't exactly overweight, but he was cute because he has chubby cheeks and that layer of baby-fat he never lost. He tried P90x and you wouldn't even recognize him now! He has those six-pack abs and the baby-fat is gone! Now, without exaggerating, he's got all the girls chasing after him.

Whether you're a guy or girl trying to lose some weight or tone up, Beach Body seriously works! I was recently contacted with some new programs Beach Body has come up with and thought I'd share it with you.

First there's p90x2 (p90x2 preorder) the sequel to the crazy p90x. If you've seen p90x, you know exactly how well this one will work. (Order it now to get it in time for the holidays!)

Second there is the Body Beast workout (Body Beast preorder) which is still in developement. I'd recommend this one for the guys who are looking to seriously build up their muscle mass, as it was developed by the renowned body builder, Sagi Kalev!

The Tai Cheng (translated to Supreme Accomplishment in Mandarin) is finally available for preordering! (Tai Cheng preorder) It is dedicated to your whole body health! Every day, the program teaches you a new Tai-Chi, designed to give you more energy, loosen joints, develope balance, tone muscle, and increase your range of motion. Personally, this one is my favorite and I can't wait to order it!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Playlist of the Week

Here's a heart pumping playlist to blast away those halloween calories!

Warm-Up: Time is Running Out- Muse

Criminal- Britney Spears

Love You Like a Love Song- Selena Gomez

Without You- David Guetta

Cool Down: Turning Tables- Adele

Tip #22: Portion Control Your Extended Halloween!

Halloween isn't a day. It's a week or a month of giving into your sweet tooth. This year might just be the worst of them all! In my town, thanks to the crazy snow storm, trick or treating, basically the greatest thing in a world for a kid, was cancelled. All the candy that we bought, all six bags of it, was left for us! Within one day, I almost finished an entire bag of "fun size" Reeses.

I do not want a month of binging and regretting. I'm down to 145 pounds, leaving me just ten more to lose by Christmas. If I gorge myself on candy, I'm afraid I'll be right bak where I started. The only way to prevent me from polishing off the rest of that bag of Snickers is to portion it off.

First, start off by finding a reasonable number of candy calories you can eat, mine is 100 or less. Don't know how much candy is 100 calories? Check out Fitsugar for a reminder! Then grab OPAQUE bags and portion out 100 calories per bag. This way you can only eat 100 candy calories a day as opposed to splurging your entire daily amount of calories on candy!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tip #21: Stand Up to Fat!

I always look forward to getting my magazines at the beginning of every month, especially Health! They always keep me up to date on the latest studies and this month was no different. This month I found a study about sitting. Sure, doesn't sound very interesting, but read on because I can pretty much guarantee you'll learn something you didn't know before.

Sitting can actually make you fat! In your body, there is an enzyme (lipoprotein lipase) that burns fat naturally when you stand. When you sit, that enzyme stops and you store body fat! I know you may think exercising daily will be enough to counteract these effects, but it won't. The reactions causing you to store fat while you sit is unrelated to the reactions that cause you to burn fat while you exercise. I know, the human body is a confusing, annoying complex, but we gotta live with it.

Not only that but sitting also causes back pain. When you sit, you mess up the natural S-curve of the spine, creating a C-curve.The C-curve isn't strong enough to support your body weight. Even more of a reason sitting equals problems, sitting shortens your life span! A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2010 reported that death ratets from cardiovascular disease increased 2.7 times for a woman who sat six or more hours every day, whether she was overweight or healthy or exercised.

Pretty shocking statistics, right? There are a few simple ways to remedy this sitting epidemic! Try to stay on your feet at work! Push the chair aside, put your keyboard on a book, and stand over your desk to do your work. At home, get off the couch. After dinner, take the dog for a walk rather than settling down for a repeat of The Office. If you have the Wii-Fit, turn on the freestyle step game and do step areobics while you watch your shows. Little by little, just try to lessen the amount you're sitting and add to the time you are standing.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Workout #13: Create Your Own Circuit

Lately I've become addicted to Exercise OnDemand, which is great because if I don't have any idea what to do, someone else can tell me a new idea to try. However, I've recently discovered a little problem with that: they never change their videos! Well, maybe not never, but almost throughout the entire month, the videos stay the same and after about two weeks of the same workouts, I'm ready to try something new!

Today, I decided I was in the mode for a little circuit training so I looked on OnDemand for one, but I've done all of their circuit training videos at least five times now. Instead, I grabbed my I-pod and went on my exercise machine, Pro-Form AbGlider! I bought it like five months ago but hardly ever used it, but today I was just really in the mood to try it. I was on it for about five months until I was bored. Then a song that was really upbeat and got up from the machine and started dancing! Then the next song I got back on the machine and I ended up doing this about 10 more times. With this workout that I created on the spur of the moment, I torched over 500 calories!

So here's your challenge: The next time your bored with your workout, switch it up, crank your music up, and create a new circuit workout! It's a lot easier than you might think!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tip #20: Relieve Your Stress and Live Happier

Growing up, my favorite show was Boy Meets World and my favorite quote from that show was "Life sucks, get a helmet." Today, I'll give you a helmet and I hope you choose to use it.

Every now and again, life does prove to suck. Getting healthy isn't just about being in a healthy weight range; it's also about your mental health, which can be tested sometimes by the things you see, the people you meet, and the day's events. I've been so stressed lately and today was just the icing on the very, very bitter cake. My friend got into a publication that I'd been working for a long time to get into, but never did. The worst part was that she hardly had to work to get it. It's hard sometimes to see your hard work get passed over. It makes me feel like I'm just not good enough and I know I'm not the only one to feel this way.

A few years ago, when something like this would happen, I'd nearly breakdown. I'd cut myself off from human contact, get massive headaches, and spend a few hours in the bathroom crying and feeling sorry for myself. Needless to say, this is not a healthy way to deal with things. More recently, I've found a few tips and tricks to get me through the day and keep me sane.

First, analyze who you surround yourself with a bit. My friend who was published is one of my best friends who I spend a lot of time with, but she's not my only friend. I went out with friends for lunch this afternoon and, after listening and trying to help them with a few of their own problems, I told them about the publication. They reminded me that I'm young yet and I have plenty of time to get published and, although they were very simpathetic, they helped me to laugh it off. When I first got the news, I felt like it was the end of the world, but by the end of lunch, I'd nearly forgotten it.

Second, take some time to let go of stress at the end of the day. In order to get rid of my headaches, a doctor suggested that I try meditation. At the end of every day, I sit on my bed and close my eyes in silent darkness. I picture the most relaxing place that I can think of, with the greatest and happiest people I know. I like to think of sitting in an inner tube, floating down a creek. It works for me because I took the suggestion of something that I read a long time ago: picture all the things you worry about and watch them float away. It's like casting away your problems from your mind, leaving only the things that make you happy.

Third, remember that everyone isn't perfect. Think of the things that you like about yourself, the things that are unique and make you, you. I know it's a bit of a cliche, but try to remember to write down these things. You can do this whenever you want, but just try to remember to do it. Seeing these things in writing will help you remember them and your mind will remind you of them next time you feel low.

Health isn't always physical; it's mental too. Stress can ruin your day and mess with your head, so it's important to try to relieve stress every day. A little stress is a good thing; it keeps you trying to work to your maximum potential. However, if you have too much stress, you'll overwork yourself. Keep yourself balanced and you can live a happier, healthier life.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

TIp #19: Take Your Mind Off Food

The newest thing I've learned that has helped me lose weight (down to 146!) is staying busy with something that gets me out of the house. I've joined a writing group that gets me out of the house every Thursday, study at the libery rather than at home, volunteer on weekends, and go out with friends every Friday night. I've noticed that the less time I spend at home, the less calories I'm consuming.

When you are out and you get a little hungry or are overcome with a craving and don't have any food with you, you have to go and buy it, right? Well, that costs money! By the time you realize you have to walk or drive to the shop to get it and fish out money from your wallet (and let's face it, most of us don't have the extra spending money) you've probably overcome that craving or you remembered that you have dinner in an hour and you don't want to ruin your appetite.

So volunteer in your community on your down time, go to that museum exhibit you've been wanting to see, go the movies with your boyfriend (forgo the food of course), do a little extra studying and get that A, go to your school's football game, or even just go out and party with your friends! Go ahead! I give you full permission (if you are over twenty-one) to hit the dance clubs and flaunt it! Just go easy on the booze and you could even call clubbing healthy!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tip #18: Don't Cross Anything Off

There is an epidode of the television show "How I Met Your Mother" when the main character, Ted, finds a shirt he once hated and realizes he kind of loves it now. This sends him on a tailspin, wondering if he should go back to a girl he once dated to see if he ends up loving her now that he is older and his tastes have changed.

Now, it didn't end so well for him and the girl (he dumps her and she beats the hell out of him) but there is a lesson to learn here (and it not just to never dump a girl on her birthday)! The lesson is that your tastes do change over time and you have to adjust to that! You have to experiment and try something you may not have thought of before. This goes especially for exercise, because your body changes, just like your tastes. A few years ago, I tried yoga. I was bored and dizzy in the first few minutes, quitting almost immediately and crossing it off the list of exercises I wanted to do. Fast forward to a few months ago and I'm reading an article about how great it is to do yoga and stretch out before bed, so I did it. Now, I can't go to sleep without doing at least twenty minutes of downward facing dogs, warrior poses, and chair poses.

There are a lot of reasons why you might not have liked an exercise regime at first. Maybe it was too boring like I thought yoga was. If you find that your workouts are high impact (aka you're sore for days afterwards) and you need to take a break, but you don't want to actually skip exercising entirely, you might want to go back to the workout you originally found to be a little boring. These are often low impact and, if you can learn to relax during them, you'll learn to love them.

Maybe you found it too challanging. I know I found kickboxing hard the first time I tried it! But you have to build up to something so high intensity. If you are doing another workout routine now and you are finding that its getting to easy for you, try the challenging workout again. It might just be exactly what you need!

All exercise has its upsides and downsides. You have to find one that you like, but since you adjust to your routine, you have to try new things, or things you may have tried before but didn't like originally. Your body might just end up thanking you for it!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Workout Playlist of the Week!

Warm-Up: Give Me Hope- New Politics

Queen of the Scene- Hot Chelle Rae

Checkmarks- The Academy Is

Faster Ride- Cartel

Cool Down: Paper Heart- David Cook

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tip #17: Set a Plan and Act on It!

Its so easy to make excuses for why you don't exercise. You're tired! You're too busy! You're bored with your usual workout! I do the same thing. We all do! I know I've talked about Sparkpeople on this blog before but I had to share something new I discovered about it. There is a fitness tracker on it that can give you a set amount of calories to torch in a week! It works like this:

You enter in the amount of days you want to work out and select about how long you plan to exercise (shoot for half an hour to forty minutes four days a week! I exercise Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday because I usually have the most time to work out). Then the tracker calculates the minimum number of calories you should be burning in a week. For me, its about 800. I know it sounds like a lot, but its easy to burn off if you break it down. Try to even go a little over if you can! Think about it like this: 40 minutes of kikboxing is about 400 calories, 40 minutes of Barre is 340. You are at 740 and you only completed two of your workouts! Its a lot easier to met your goal than you think! Plus its a lot easier to force yourself to get your butt off the couch when your workout for the day is put down in writing!

Now, you don't have to use Sparkpeople (even if it is free!) so you can just write down a page of your planned workouts for the week in your food journal! Also, set a reminder on your phone! No excuses that you forgot to or are too busy to workout when you schedule it in! Good luck and have fun with it!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Workout Playlist of the Week!

Warm Up: Edge of Glory- Lady Gaga

Little Lion Man- Mumford and Sons

Lose Yourself- Eminem

Grenade- Bruno Mars

Cool Down: Skyscraper- Demi Lovato

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tip #16: Don't Beat Yourself Up

Since the invention of the scale, it has been a woman's worst enemy. Or at least that is what I've always felt, until recently. The truth is, we really are our own worst enemy. The scale tells you a number, sure, and sometimes, you just hate seeing it written down like that. It never says, "Geez, you're really packing on the pounds, aren't you?" or "Man, you're fat!" It only tells us what our weight is. It doesn't even tell us whether we gained or lost a pound. The panic of seeing the number is all in our heads. The voice that tells us these confidence-shattering phrases is only in our heads.

Don't give that voice the chance to say it. First off, DO NOT WEIGH YOURSELF EVERY DAY! That is such a horrible idea! Just don't do it! Every time you step on a scale when you are trying to lose weight, you want to see the scale move down, but losing a pound (or more) everyday is unhealthy. Aim for between one to two pounds a week. Therefore, weigh yourself every week only. Have a set date and time to do that, as your weight fluxuates through out the day.

Second, when you step on the scale, keep a mantra in your head or written down in front of you, reminding you that the scale doesn't change anything. So what if it went up? You're gorgeous anyway. You aren't trying to become Twiggy 2! You're trying to get healthy and it doesn't matter how long that takes.

Lastly, remember that getting healthy takes time. Don't set rediculous goals for yourself. It will make you do unhealthy things in the end, like skipping meals or cutting calories to the point you can't function properly. The goal isn't to be super-skinny or like a starved girl in a magazine. The goal is to get healthy.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tip #15: How To Get Back on the Wagon

I recently posted that falling off the wagon is the worst thing you can do. That being said, it's difficult to get back on the wagon, but not impossible. The first thing I've found that helps is not to do it alone. If you splurged a lot the day before, your body is going to want it again. It's hard to say no when your stomach is growling for that second slice of chocolate lava cake. Warn a faithful friend at work or school that you're dying for a slice, but you have a calorie limit you want to uphold. If he or she is as trustworthy as you say they are, they'll be honest when they think you are over eating. Sometimes that outside voice quietly saying, "Hon, I know you love those, but maybe you've had enough," is a lot more helpful than your inner voice screeching, "ENOUGH ALREADY!"

The second trick is to track everything. On the days when you do splurge, try and keep track of what and when you eat. It will help you decifer how to prevent it. If being surrounded by donuts in the conference room makes you want to eat everything from the jelly to the boston creme, keep a protein bar on hand during meetings. Or keep a few water bottles handy as the water will keep you full and it will also keep your mouth busy so a donut won't be in it. If you are hungriest late at night, keep yourself busy by taking your dog for a moonlit walk or taking a nice, long bubble bath. There are a thousand different ways to keep from splurging. Find one that works for you and next time you are tempted to overeat, you'll know how to say no.

And for my final trick, don't try to compensate for your overeating. You can't eat 2500 calories one day and then 500 the next. Your body will be all over the place and completely confused as to what the heck you are trying to do to it. You will not lose weight this way. It just doesn't work like that. If you eat 2500 calories one day, you cannot overcompensate. Instead you just have to eat what your usual healthy calorie quota is, whatever that may be for you, as long as it is over 1200 calories. After a day or two, your body will readjust and remember that you are trying to get healthy.

And don't beat yourself up for overeating! You can get back on the wagon! It's just going to take a little hard work!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Workout #12: Take the Challenge!

I love a challenge, in school, in writing, but especially in my workouts. It's the feeling I get after it that I adore so much, the feeling that you just gave it all you've got and succeeded. You can fail when you've been given a challenge in work or school, but the only way to fail when you're challenging yourself working out is to give up before you finish. Workout challenges make you want to push yourself until you reach the cool down.

There are tons of challenges you can take in your workout!

Challenges with Easy Access: Try a workout challenge from ExerciseTV! There's usually a variety to choose from. This month, there is the 10 Pound Slimdown Extreme. In a category under this title there is a list of workouts to try from the Yoga workout to the high intensity kickboxing workout. I've only done the kickboxing workout and I have to tell you that, like all good challenges are, it works your body hard! I had a cramp in the first ten minutes of the forty minute long workout. Although it did hurt, the second I reached the cool down, I felt empowered and strong!

At Home Challenges: There are other challenges to take when you don't have Exercise TV, though they may require a bit of cash and equipment. Beach Body and P90X challenges your body in insane ways, always promising results. There's a variety of others, requiring no cash or equipment. They can be found on various workout blogs and websites, like Sparkpeople.

Group Challenges: This is my favorite kind! There are so many to choose from! Gather your friends to your local gym and look for a challenge there! Or do something good for your fellow man as well and get your friends together for a walk, like the Susan J. Comen walk. Its time for you and your friends, a super long workout, and something good for the world. You could also try a challenge to help build your endurance by trying to run a little each day. Start off running for one minute and walking for nineteen, then 2 and 18, and 3 and 17, and so on until you can run the whole twenty. I suppose you could do this alone but everything is easier and more fun in a group.

Can't find a challenge you like? Why not create your own? Gather your friends together and try to come up with something, like taking a new, high intensity class every other day for a month.

Workout Playlist of the Week!

Warm up: Give Me Hope- New Politics

Full Moon Crazy- Honor Society

Party Poison- My Chemical Romance

Stereo Hearts- Gym Class Heroes

Cool Down: Fade Into Me- David Cook

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tip #14: Always Have a Back Up Plan

The worst thing you can do is fall off the wagon, so avoid it at all costs. That's easier said than done. Imagine your at work. It's around three o-clock. You had an early lunch and you have a meeting in an hour. You're starving and you can hear your stomach rumbling already! What do you do?

A. Hit the conference room for a donut!
B. Grab a Poptart from the vending machine.
C. Eat one of your emergency snacks.

If you were being honest here, you probably said A or B. The conference room is always stacked with sweets and treats, but do you even know where they came from? Someone put them in there and you ate them, with no knowledge of what the nutritional value is. My best bet is that if you knew what was in there, you might just hesitate to eat them. And what about the vending machine? They are often stacked with snacks with ridiculous calorie, fat, and esspecially sodium count. Poptarts, cookies, and pastries are a no-no. If you lack an emergency snack and need to visit the vending machine, go for popcorn or mini prezels. Before you pop those pretzels in your mouth though, try to scrape off a little of the salt on the exterior.

The best answer you could have chosen was C, your emergency snack. These snacks are your choice, to bring from home, and you know exactly what it contains. It should have a low fat count, high in protein, and have between 100 and 200 calories. Stack your desk with FiberOne Bars, which are great because the fiber will keep you full. Fruits is good for the same reason, so try a mini banana or whatever fruit is an season. Any access to a fridge? Bring in Yoplait Light yogurt, which has between 100 and 120 calories and has about 12% of you daily protein. Bonus? A new study published in the September issue of Journal of Nutrition compared three groups of overweight women. Each group had a different amount of dairy products: low, medium, and high. The group with the most dairy products lost twice as much belly fat as the other groups. Craving something sweet and you know a yogurt won't satisfy it? Try WhoNu cookies, which are rather small but pack a lot of fiber to keep you full!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Tip #13: Game of Chance

The easiest excuse not to work out is to say that exercise is boring, and why waste time doing something boring? Although exercising daily can help you lose weight, reduce your risk for disease, and increase your life span, some people (like me) let working out fall to the wayside because they're bored. I've been doing a barre workout everyday for the last few weeks and, while I still like how the workout makes me feel, I've become bored with doing the same workout over and over again.

So I decided on a cure for workout boredom. Its the title of this post, a game of chance. There are two ways I use this idea.

Idea 1: Pick out a of a hat! This takes a little time to make, but its well worth it! Take a piece of paper and write down some of your favorite workouts. Write down 5-10 hard workouts and 5-10 workouts that you find relaxing and are low-impact like yoga or bellydance. Then, cut the workouts out and throw the hard workouts in one hat or box and the easy ones in another. Each day, pick out from each hat or box and do twenty minutes of each.

Idea 2: Roll a die! Make a list of workouts, the same way you did in Idea 1, only this time you need 6 of each. Then, simply roll the die once for the hard workout and another time for the second easy workout.

This keeps variety going! I'll be hard to roll the same number each day or picking the same slip every day so you'll never get bored!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Workout Playlist of the Week!

Warm Up: Scene Change- The White Tie Affair

The Calendar- Panic! at the Disco

Pumped Up Kicks- Foster the People

Super Bass -Nicki Minaj

Cool Down: Don't Get Around Much Anymore- Michael Buble and Tony Bennett

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Workout #11: Sketchers Shape Ups

Recently, the hurricane Irene hit our town. It left many people with flooded houses and basically everyone with flooded streets. Naturally we couldn't drive anywhere and were forced to walk instead. I'm a bit of an optimistic myself and can't help but look on the bright side here: A workout without going out of my way squeeze it in. My sister, mother, and I took a walk down to the local Walgreens about six streets over. I strapped on my new pair of Sketchers Shape-Ups and walked the whole time, no breaks with the cool night air against us. The amazing part was that my legs actually hurt after the walk. Admittedly, my ankles hurt a bit too, but that was mostly because I stupidly forgot to put on socks.

My legs hurt thanks to the calorie burn I managed to get! It's not a major burn but it is still something! A 125 lbs woman can burn about 180 calories in an hour. And thats only at a leisurely pace. All in all, I did feel a change in my legs and I do feel like my posture is better, like the advertisements say, however this isn't some miracle product. Buying these Shape Ups and walking for twenty minutes at the leisurely pace once a week isn't going to do much. Instead, opt for a walk in the Shape Ups when you want to take a day off from working out. If you did a really tough workout one day, take a walk around the block to put in a relaxing fifteen minutes, without a guilty conscience of thinking that you completely skipped a workout. At least you burned off that 180 calorie afternoon snack!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Workout Playlist of the Week

Warm Up: Body Movin'- The Beastie Boys
Workout: Strut- Adam Lambert
Bulletproof Heart- My Chemical Romance
Beautiful Thieves- AFI
Cool Down: Pretty Little Liar- Honor Society

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tip #12: Keep Active

Now, I'll be perfectly honest. I've eaten horribly this past week, not even thinking about health, but I stepped on the scale this morning and was down half a pound. Now, I've always heard that diet comes first, then exercise, and I'm certainly not saying to forgot your diet all together, but I am saying that maybe exercise is more important than people realize.

I've been keeping active a lot lately. Before this whole hurrican started, I was at the Jersey shore. I ate a Dunkin donut in the morning, topping it off with a latte. Then, for lunch, I had a peanut butter sandwich with chips. Then, for dinner, I had a hamburger and onion rings and fries. And I picked up an ice cream cone on the way home. However, instead of laying on a towel tanning, I ended up in the ocean, pedaling and pushing through the waves. The next morning, my legs actually felt tired and I felt like I didn't completely screw up the day before. That day I had I-Hop crepes, mac and cheese, a giant chocolate chip cookie and then did a Barre workout in the morning, walked with Shape-Ups in the afternoon and did yoga at night. Then I discovered, dispite my horrific diet, my increase in exercise regime had helped me go down half a pound. Now, imagine what I could do if I actually kept up with this increase in exercise and my diet! I might be able to lose double, triple, maybe even quadruple of that.

What I'm saying here is exactly that. Pay attention to not only diet, but also exercise. If you've been tracking your food (good for you!) start tracking your exercise. See if you can add an extra ten minutes to your exercise. Maybe an after dinner walk (instead of an after dinner cocktail) or yoga while you watch television. It's not as hard as you may think it is!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tip #11: Thinking Negatively Gets You No Where

I recently picked up the book Skinny Bitch, thinking that it was a diet book that would be sarcastic and funny, based on the title. I was sadly mistaken. The book says that it gives you tough love when all it really does is insult you and decrease your self esteem. It basically calls the reader a fat pig. Its like a bully in a book. Do yourself a favor and skip reading this one.

Truth is, when it comes to creating a healthier life, tough love is not what you want. I admit that I'm sensitive on topics like my weight so reading that eating a burger makes me a fat cow doesn't exactly put me in the right mindset to want to lose weight. For me, I found that the happier I feel about myself, the more I want to treat my body right. Many people are emotional eaters, like me. When someone used to mock my weight, it only made me sad, which made me eat more. I'd convince myself that I wasn't worth losing the weight. That I wasn't worth increasing my lifespan and that I'd never reach the hourglass figure I wanted anyhow so it wasn't worth trying. So I ate, and ate, and ate.

The best thing for emotional eaters to do is to let go of the negativity. Surround yourself with people who know that you are trying to get healthy and are supportive of your mission, not rude-comment-making, self-esteem-busting frenemies. Keep a good friends number handy to call when you feel so bad to that you are ready to start a binge session, so that he or she can talk you down from the ledge and put your emotions back in check. Try reading a book that is uplifting, like Portia Di Rossi's Unbearable Lightness. Reading about her overcoming her own problems might help you do the same. Or squeeze in a workout you like. It gives you endorphins which makes you happier and healthier. Plus I always found that a workout can clear my mind and relax me better than any slice of cake is anyway.

The thing is, being overweight doesn't make you a pig. Last time I checked people look nothing like them and have different gene codes anyway. If you are overweight, yes, losing a little weight won't hurt you, as long as you don't overdo it. Listening (or reading) negative comments, though, that does hurt. Bullies, wherever they may be, aren't worth the time listening to. I'm not trying to give you that speech saying that they are just jealous or wish they could be you. I'm saying that bullies are people that don't deserve your time. They make life harder and take too much effort to deal with. Ignore them and focus on the good people (and good books) in your life that are worth the effort and time. They'll make you happier in the long run. There is no sense in pleasing bullies, and trying to lessen their insults is doing exactly that.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Workout Playlist of the Week

Party Poison- My Chemical Romance

The Enemy- The White Tie Affair

How Far We've Come- Matchbox 20

Strut- Adam Lambert

Til The World Ends- Britney Spears

Cool Down: Goodbye to the Girl- David Cook

Workout #10: Barre Method

I was again all set to go swimming for a half hour straight until I woke up to find a downpour, which started yesterday and continued right on through the night. If anything, it actually got worse here. Obviously, swimming was out. I decided to try something new today and I was so happy with it that I had to share it here!

The Barre Method has been showing up everywhere lately! Madonna shared that she used it and television actresses Aimee Teegarden and Anna Paquin soon shared their love of the workout, which is a combination of ballet poses, yoga, pilates, and strength exercises. Soon Barre began showing up in gyms and sports clubs all over.

The workout I used was Barre3 Total Body Lift Workout which I found under the Exercise TV category OnDemand. I had read that it would be hard and was completely prepared for it, however it wasn't as bad as I had imagined it to be. Sure, it was far from easy, but it wasn't impossible. The dvd begins with a quick warm up of stretches, squats, and lunges. Then, with both hands on the back of a dining room chair (as most people don't own a ballet barre), you begin a killer low body workout. Your legs will beg you to stop after a few minutes, but your trainer (Sadie Lincoln) doesn't do so many reps as to make your legs give out. Just when you think you should stand up or put your back leg down behind you, she tell you that you only have five more reps to go, and you feel like you just have to push through the last reps. Then you do a quick stretch and move on to the upper body. You use a light pair of hand weights to target the back, chest, biceps, triceps, and shoulders. Your arms will be up and lifted the entire time, so, like with the legs, your arms will be begging you to stop after only a few minutes, but you are just going to have to push through it. Then you get a quick stretch before moving on to a mat for another quick lower body workout. Then for the abs. This is mostly all pilates and yoga moves, which will target your abs perfectly. Your abs will hurt, and the pain will come on quickly. The best thing you can do is push through it as, eventually your abs will just get numb and it will get easier to continue. The workout stops five minutes early, when you start a nice, relaxing, soothing cool-down. All-in-all, the workout may be difficult, but push through it to the end for the cool-down. You will be sore afterward, but it's a good kind of sore. It's your body letting you know that you worked hard and your hard work will pay off.

Barre3 40 Minute Workout $25.00

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Workout Playlist of the Week!

This is a new feature I decide to put in the blog: the playlist of the week!

Thinkin' Bout Somethin' - Hanson
I Can't Get Enough - Rooney
Rich Girl$ - Down with Webster
Oh Glory - Panic! at the Disco
Can't Box Me In - Honor Society

Cool Down Song-
I Wish I Was the Moon - Neko Case

If you have any songs you want me to write, comment on the post and I'll add them next week!

Tip #10: Get Some Inspiration!

I love to try new things, but sometimes I just run out of ideas! It happens to everybody! Like today, for instance, I woke up thinking that I'd go swimming, for a half an hour straight like I've been doing for the last few days. Of course, I had to scrap that idea because it is pouring outside! I had been planning on doing that, bathing suit on, cell phone out to time myself, and then my workout plan was completely wrecked for today. I was kind of discouraged, because I kept going down my list of workouts that I usually do but I couldn't find one I really wanted to do. Dance? Nope. Yoga? Just did that yesterday! Kickbox? Did that two days ago!

Some days that just happens! This is the best opprotunity to try something new! Try and get some new ideas! I love to try health quizzes to get an idea of what's out there to try. Quizzes help to find workouts that are tailored to your personality!

Try this one which helps to find what type of workouts you might enjoy! You are either a trendsetter (like me!), busy bee, fitness beginner, sports star, or chill chick! After you take the quiz, go to and find a workout made for the category that fell into!

Or maybe this one which matches you with a celebrity and tells you how they stay in shape!

This last one gives you a workout class. So if you feel like going to the gym, take this quiz and give the class a go!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Workout #9: Nia Classes!

I love trying new workouts! Some are good, some not so much, but Nia is one that I hope sticks around for a long time. Nia is a mix of tai chi, yoga, and modern dance. Like Zumba, it's set to music, different music for different types of classes. Some classes are set to Latin music or the Billboard charts. I have even seen it set to specifically George Micheals music. Whatever the music, Nia is a great way to get your cardio. The dance part of Nia is excellent for toning abs and legs,while yoga and tai chi is great to build balance, flexability, and helps to take care of your mental health. Yoga and tai chi, much like mediation, helps to put your mind at ease and put stress at the back of your mind. Start looking for classes at your local gym!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tip #9: Work Out Whenever, So No Excuses!

Once upon a time, science said that working out before bed can keep you up all night thanks to your increased heart rate. Now it says that might actually be a good thing! In Finland, in a recent study, eleven volunteers rode stationary bikes three hours before bedtime until exhaustion and slept more easily and deeply than nights when they didn't. In Belguim, the same result was found during their study when nine people biked for an hour two hours before going to sleep. So the truth is, working out is working out, whether it is morning or night. No matter what, you should squeeze in cardio four times a week and strength training at least three times. No excuses! If you don't like working out in the morning, now you can fit it in at night!

If you still don't like the idea of a high intensity workout before hitting the hay, don't sweat it! Just getting twenty minutes of some form of exercise is good enough. I try to get a forty minute one, though, by doing a ten minute lower body workout and half hour of yoga. Actually, "laughing yoga" as I watch Drew Carey's Improvaganza while I do it. Laughing yoga is a major workout for your abs! Do you know how hard it is to laugh and try to keep your balance? Hard, but also really fun and, interestingly enough, relaxing! Forty minutes sound like too much? Try twenty minutes of yoga or pilates, which shouldn't raise your heartbeat so much but should exhaust you enough to get a deeper sleep. Give the new Nia a try, which is a blend of tai chi, yoga, and modern dance! It's a relaxing, tranquil workout to put your mind at ease.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tip #8: Laugh it off!

My goal is to help make you healthy, which means that I don't want to just help you lose weight, I want you to be healthy inside and out. One of the greatest things you can do for yourself is laugh. Laughter helps in more ways than more people know. It relaxes your whole body, reducing tension and stress. Most people know that laughing releases endorphins, which lessen pain, but laughing can also help your body by boosting your immune system and increases blood flow, lessening your chance of heart problems. Laughing also burns 78 calories an hour and a hearty belly laugh helps to tone your abs! 

The emotional benefits are just as great as the physical. Laughter gets rid of stressful emotions. It also shifts perspective, making you feel less overwhelmed and more relaxed. Try to laugh with friends, as it has even greater benefits. It strengthens relationships and helps you be more spontaneous, releasing inhibitions.

There are so many ways to get a laugh in the day! Take mine, for example. I'm listening to "Superego" podcast right as I'm writing this and I've been laughing the whole time!

Here are a few other ideas:
-Go to a comedy club with friends!
-Host a game night with friends!
-Read a book from the humor section!
-Watch a funny movie like Blazing Saddles!
-Watch a funny show like Drew Carey's Improv-a-ganza!
-Go to a laughing yoga class (get the stress-relieving benefits of yoga and laughing!)
-Listen to a comedian's special or funny podcast while you work!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Workout #7: Work out with a Trainer (for about $5!)

There's no doubt that working out with a trainer is crazy hard but definitely effective! All the celebrities have one and look at how they look! However, a trainer, on average, charges $60 to $70 for a one hour session. If you were to train only twice a week all year, you could end up running up a bill of between $6240 and $7280. Most of us just don't have that money lying around. There are ways now a days to work out with a trainer without breaking the bank.

One way is the Verizon FIOS gift of OnDemand. OnDemand has a category called Health and Home. In this category, there is another category called ExerciseTV. They change workouts monthy. There's a huge variety of workouts, too, ranging from Bootcamp to Latin Dance to Yoga. There's an assortment of trainers for each type. Find one you like and look for most workouts he or she has done. My personal favorite is Viveca Jensen, who teaches Piloxing, a blend of boxing, pilates, and ballet. She is so upbeat and she talks through the working, making me forget how hard her workouts actually are.

Speaking of Viveca Jensen, I've found another way to train "with" her. In the Fitness Special of Seventeen magazine, one of her workouts is in it as she is known to be very big with celebrities, like Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale. This issue includes not only Piloxing, but also yoga, dance, and pilates are also workouts that are on pages of this issue. The issue includes a calendar, dictating what days to do which exercise. If you don't like this issue, there is a workout in each and every issue of Seventeen. Don't like Seventeen? Use another magazine like Health or Self. Working out with a magazine is a great way to add variety to your routine because you could try something might never have thought of doing before.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tip #7: Reward Yourself!

Quick: Why do you want to lose weight?
Is it to feel better about yourself? Is it to be viewed better by peers? Is it fit into that bikini you've hidden in the back of your closet that you are too scared to look at? No matter what your answer was, you're likely to forget it eventually. When that ooey-gooey-super-extra-chocolatey-creamy ice cream sundae comes calling your name, your diet plans often fall to the wayside. It might be a little easier to resist, though, if you know that if you lose two pounds that week, you'll treat yourself to that new book you've been dying to read. Rewarding yourself reminds you that you are doing something good for yourself and your actions deserve a little compensation.

Here's my list:
Five more pounds: New workout clothes (including Reebok Easytone! Dying for a pair! I heard they were amazing!)
Ten more pounds: Piloxing gloves and Barre DVDs (and a visit to the Birham yoga studio! Can't wait to try it!)
Fifteen more pounds: Mani-pedi and a facial!
Twenty more pounds: New bikini and a trip to the beach!
Twenty-five more pounds: Ralph Lauren Romance perfume!

You can choose from any rewards you really want! Maybe something like mine or maybe you'd rather have a new little black dress or a new tennis racquet! My only warning is not to reward yourself with food! Don't lose five more pounds and give yourself five-pound cupcake! You will start to relate happiness with junk food and you'll crave the unhealthy stuff even more. You'll basically be moving backwards in your diet. Chose something you really want (but wouldn't usually splurge on) that doesn't have to do with eating.

Starting making your list and stick to it!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Workout #6: Youtube!

You can find anything on Youtube. Seriously, you can find celebrities, singing cats, Twilight parodies, etc., etc. I have also found that Youtube has every workout out there, esspecially the new, hot workouts. Go on Youtube and do a little research. Look up boxing, for instance, and you'll find over seven pages of results. Look up boot camp workouts and you'll find over thirty pages. My favorite to look up, though, is zumba! A lot of zumba workouts I find in video games or classes in local gyms have zumba routines to Latin music I do not even know. There is nothing wrong with that and I don't mind going to those classes or playing those games every now and again, but my favorite zumba workouts are the ones to music I know and like.

Here are two of my favorite zumba channels!

If zumba doesn't really interest you, look up something that does! I'm sure there is something on youtube for you!

You could also look for a video you might like on ExerciseTV's youtube. They have plenty of videos for exercising and health.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tip #6: Be Social and Burn Calories!

I find that its a lot easier to do something with a little support. Take dieting, for example. It's hard to eat one piece of dark chocolate when the other people you are with are diving into a slice of chocolate cake with chocolate fudge filling and whipped chocolate frosting. What helps me to eat only the piece of chocolate and not the cake is surrounding myself with health conscious people. I inform my friends that I am trying to get healthy and the people who are health conscious only try and help. They say that they won't order anything that I can't eat and they will pass on dessert so I won't get tempted and they'll stop eating whenever I do. They commend me only my weight loss efforts, some even saying that I'm their role model and they are trying to do the same thing. Its easier to diet when someone is backing you up one hundred percent.

Exercise is the same thing. It's hard to push yourself into running the extra mile when you are the only one running. It's a little different when a track star is running next to you. You want to push yourself harder. You want to prove that you can be just as good as they are. It's just human nature. I join my friend for her dance workouts, even though she has been dancing since she was 3. She's crazy when it comes to practicing her routines, but I know she got her body from doing these workouts. I can do the same. I also play tennis with another friend who plays on a tennis team. I took lessons when I was 10 and that's it but it is fun and challenging to play with her. Tennis and dance both torch tons of calories but I don't even notice because I want to prove to myself that I can be just as good as they are.

When my friend who dances and I get together, we often end up playing Wii Fit or the Michael Jackson Experience or Just Dance, all three of which are challenging and major calorie burners. Neither of us notice because we are so busy going, "Oh come one! Best two out of three!" or "You got the star points! I did the actually moves! Rematch!" We plan on doing it for half an hour and end up playing for over an hour! You can play with up to four people so gather up groups of friends and just have fun!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tip #5: Watch What You Eat (Or Watch Something Else!)

I just got back from the final Harry Potter movie (I promise no spoilers!) and it was the first time ever I bought a box of movie candy but didn't finish it! I'm really so proud of myself right now! I joined the website Sparkpeople which makes me track everything I eat and I tracked 2 servings of Junior Mints on my way out, which did not put me over the fat or calorie limit that Sparkpeople provides me. The only problem with that was that I bought the box, unknowing that there was actually 3 servings in the box! Uh oh!

Like I said I always finish the box, but this time I decided to eat the two servings and save the final one. The box said 16 Junior Mints a serving so I allotted myself 32 Junior Mints. I ate 6 before the movie even started. But suddenly the movie started and it was like "What Junior Mints?" In the back of my mind, I kept the number in my head. At about 10 minutes in, 8 Mints....30 minutes was 12....1 hour was 16. However, it wasn't the first thing on my mind. What was the most important thing I was thinking about was "What the hell is going on now?"

By the end of the movie, I ended up having 4 left over from my 2 servings! So this is what I discovered, which seemed to help me not overeat: Know how much you can eat, but keep yourself busy! If you aren't thinking about how much you can eat, you won't think about what you CANNOT eat! And when you think about what you can't eat, your mind convinces you that you are depriving yourself (even though you aren't) and you end up eating more than your allotted servings.

I've leave you with these two things. One: Go out, have fun, and be social! You'll enjoy yourself so much that you won't be able to think about food! And Two: Go see Harry Potter! It's amazing!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Workout 5: Beach Body!

I've recently been contacted by the Beach Body brand and asked for me to post some of their links on the blog! They contacted me about a month ago so during that time, I did a little research and talked to some friends who had used some Beach Body products before. So far, all I've heard are great things! Bear in mind, these workouts do match their names, like "insanity" or "asylum." You have to be ready to go hardcore to do these workouts! So far, I'm going by what I've heard but I haven't committed to do any yet, but that's not to say that I'm not going to! Here's my plan!- My endurance is low right now and I know that if I start a Beach Body workout, I'll give up too fast and get discouraged. Instead I'm going to condition myself with strength and cardio workouts, adding a little more time and reps each time so I can build my endurance and stamina! Once I reach that point, I'm going to go "insane!" If you know that you probably can't hold your own against these workouts, I suggest you do the same! Don't push it to the extreme just yet! However, if you are good against your regular strength and cardio workouts and you think you are ready to push youself, give Beach Body a try! They are also excellent for athletic conditioning! I know a lot of student athletes who have done Insanity to prepare them for an upcoming season.

If you think you're up for a challenge, check these workouts out!
p90x2 workout 

If you aren't sold on Beach Body yet, check out these links to their youtube and newsletters!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Workout 4: Swimming

Hi! Its officially summer for me and for me, favorite workout to do is swimming. I love the feeling of the water all around me and my arms and legs pulling me through it. I'm a horrible runner because I lack so much stamina but when I'm swimming I can go on forever. Which is good, considering have good swimming is for you. On average, you can burn 256 calories in just 30 minutes of swimming. To lose weight you really have to burn 500 calories a day. By swimming an hour a day, you go over that by 12.

Try mixing it up and swimming different ways to tone different muscles:
Lap 1: Backstroke: Concentrates on all back muscles and the hamstrings
Lap 2: Freestyle: Concentrates on biceps, triceps, pectoralis, shoulder muscles, trapezius, deltoids, gluteus, latissimus dorsi, hip flexors, and respiratory muscles
Lap 3: Breaststroke: Concentrates on inner and outer thighs, calf muscles, triceps
Lap 4: Butterfly: Concentrates on gluteus muscles, abdominals, back and shoulder muscles, quadriceps, hamstrings, biceps, triceps

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tip 4: Plan Ahead!

Hi everybody! Sorry this took so long!

I recently noticed something that is really helping me! I'm planning my meals a day ahead. I write down my next day's breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks. Then I tally up the calories! I know that if my meals add up to the total amount of calories I should have in a day, I'm not going to go and snack because I'm going over my calorie limit! Also, I account for one moderately unhealthy snack, like a Vienna finger or an ice cream bar. If I know that I'm having a treat later, I don't feel a need to snack on unhealthy things throughout the day. Doing this helped me kick my afternoon cappuccino habit!

Here was mine for today:
Breakfast: Oatmeal, coffee with skim milk, banana
Lunch: Whole wheat tortilla, part skim mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, turkey
Dinner: Mandarin Orange salad
Snack One: Grapefruit
Snack Two: Greek yogurt
Unhealthy Snack: Weight Watchers Ice Cream Bar

Give it a go and plan it out for tomorrow!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Workout #3: Bellydance

Dear Pursuers,
I know you read the title at least twice and probably thought Is she crazy? How is that even a workout? But trust me it is! It's not hard and it doesn't have a very high impact but it's fun! If you did a hard workout yesterday and you are still a little sore, but you still want to work out today, then this is the workout for you. The moves range from easy to very challenging. I'm sure you probably think that it really doesn't do anything for you but it actually tones many spots. Moves like snake arms and facial gestures are good for toning arms. Moves like the ripple and camel tone the core. The Turkish bunk and the Egyptian step are good for thighs and hips. The Ethnic shimmy tones everything! All the moves make you feel sexy and feminine. Look up some classes nearby or look up some videoes on Youtube! There is a show on FitTv called Shimmy, and that might be fun to try too!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tip #3: Add in "Workouts"

Dear Pursuers,
I hate doing long workouts. They're boring, tedious, and painful.That's usually why I try to do workouts that supply the best calorie burn for the shortest time. The other thing that I do is to incorporate excercises into my daily life. Instead of just sitting on the couch, break out the Wii and play a little Just Dance or The Michael Jackson Experience! It'll keep you on your feet and it's completely addictive, as you want to beat your score constantly. It doesn't feel like you're burning calories, but you are! No Wii? No problem! On comercials, find an excuse to go upstairs. On your way down, step on the stair below you, press down on it and lift your back leg, then place both feet on the top step and repeat on the other foot. Keep doing this to every single step. It actually, really tones your glutes and its easy and fast. Don't feel like doing that? Try a mini workout set to your shows.

Ex. (My favorite show is Doctor Who so I set it to that)
Every time someone says Doctor, do jump squats
Every time someone screams, do sit ups
Every time a companion solves a problem, do push ups
Every time the Doctor and companion start runnng, jog in place
Every time the Doctor goes on a tangent completely unrelated to everything the episode is about, jump rope.

Another idea is that you watch something that makes you want to get up and move. Like I always try to learn the steps of the dances in Dancing with the Stars. Also, singing burns some calories and works the abs. Try and sing along with Glee!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Workout #2: Cycling

Dear Pursuers,
The greatest way to lose body fat is by cardio. It gets your heart rate up and makes you burn calories. Cycling is a great form of cardio! It burns 350 to 400 calories an hour on an average effort. One of the greatest things about cycling? You can make this number even bigger by adding intervals! You can actually burn more calories using intervals rather than biking at maximum speed for an hour. Here's one that I do pretty often. It will leave you sweating a lot, but it gives me so much energy and torches so much body fat!

-Start with a five minute warm up using a medium speed.
-In the first minute of your workout, go to a slightly faster speed (one that pushes you slightly out of your comfort zone, but still allows you to keep a steady pace)
-In the second minute, push your self to a fast pace (one that pushes you completely out of your comfort zone. It should be hard to keep going on a steady pace)
-In the third minute, slow back down to a medium pace. This should help you catch your breath.
-In the fourth and fifth minute, quickly climb off of the bike and do a series of toning exercises (ex. push-ups, sit-ups, squats, lunges, tricep dips)
-Repeat this set as many times as you like to complete the workout. I usually do it for a half-hour , which is five more times.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tip #2: Don't Inhale!

Dear Pursuers,
Everyone has cravings and its perfectly fine to give in to them sometimes! Yes, I am in fact giving you a free pass on this, but before you grab that brownie, think about a few things first:

1. Are you hungry or are you craving?
Ask yourself this the second you think about eating indulgently. If you find that you are craving something, ask yourself again if you really, really need to eat it to be satified.

2. If you answered no to either question, eat something satifying.
Keep a snack on hand that will satify you when you find that you are hungry, rather than craving. If you find that you are craving something, eat the satifying snack, too. If you are already satified, you will crave less and will be happy with a few bites of a brownie rather than the whole thing.

Here's an extra little trick I read about in Health magazine: Think about yourself giving into the craving. Focus on the food, the taste and textures. You can fool your brain into thinking that you already gave into the craving before you actually do. This will lessen the craving so you won't actually have to give into the real craving!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Workout #1: Kickboxing

Morning Pursuers!
I promised you workouts so here is your first one! Kickboxing is a great cardio workout. At a weight of 150 lbs, you can torch up to 650 calories in an hour (expect more if you weigh more, expect less if you weigh less.) It will be a challenge to keep moving constantly, so at first you may want to try it with a dvd or in a class. Working with a trainer may keep you motivated to keep going. Also, stay hydrated! You'll be sweating a lot, so you better have water by your side to refuel.
Here's a list of moves to try:
-Punches (cross, uppercut, jab) *keep your feet moving as you punch and really rotate your waist to tone it*
-Kicks (knee ups, front kicks, back kicks, side kicks) change sides
-Front kick, go into back lunge, change sides
-Back kick, go into foward lunge, change sides
-Side kick, go into curtsey lunge, change sides
-Cross punch alternating arms, go into front kick, repeat on opposite leg
-Uppercut alternating arms, go into back kick, repeat on opposite leg
-Jabs alternating arms, go into knee ups, repeat on opposite leg
-Alternate cross/uppercut/jab, go into side kick, repeat on opposite leg
-Start in a squat, lift one knee up off the ground while keeping other leg bent in squat, straighten bent leg while kicking out with the leg off the ground, return to one leg squat and bring kicked out leg back to bent position while still keeping it off ground, repeat on opposite leg
-Jump squats

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tip #1: Write Down What You Eat

Dear Pursuers,
Your bet for success is to pay attention to everything you eat! Keep a food journal! What is your goal weight? Once you have that in your head, calculate the number of calories you can eat in a day. Multiply your goal weight by 1000. Keep in mind though that you have to eat over 1200 calories, otherwise your body will think you are starving it and hold on to any excess weight. Keep your calorie limit at the top of every page of your journal as a constant reminder. Every time you eat something, write it down, along with the number of calories consumed by eating it. After a week, look over what you wrote. If you find that you are going over the limit everyday, look over the foods you listed and circle the "danger foods." Danger foods are any foods providing no nutritional value and overloaded on calories. Try and cut these foods out little by little. Also, don't track fruits or vegetables. If they are covered in sauce, track the sauce, not the fruits and veggies. Some fruits and veggies have a higher calorie count than others but they have such a high nutritional value that you can't obsess over they're calories. Good luck and start writing!


Dear Pursuers,
Welcome to The Pursuit of Healthiness! This blog was created to help anyone and everyone who wants to lose a little weight and gain better health. I'm going to post tips and workouts to help you succeed. Last year, I went from 230 lbs down to 150 lbs. I'm still trying to drop another 20. If you want to do it with me, comment or message me. I'm here to give you motivation and a means for success and I wanted to let you know that you are not alone in this. Any tips or workouts posted on here are the same ones that I'm praticing in my daily life. So lets get moving!