August 26, 2008

What does your guilty pleasure cost?

I'm a sucker for desserts -- anything sweet really. And if chocolate's involved, count me in!

A few years ago I had the mentality of "I can eat this because I worked out today" and I didn't gain a pound. Sadly, that theory no longer applies.

One thing that motivates me to eat healthy is knowing I will un-do my hard work of exercising if I indulge in something sweet. Here are some examples of how to un-do your hard day's work:

How to burn it off if you weigh...
Guilty pleasure cals. (activity) 145 lbs 175 lbs
Medium glazed donut 200 Run @ 6 mph 20 min 16 min
2 Fig Newtons 110 Casual raquetball 15 min 13 min
1 cup orange sherbet 107 Shoveling snow 17 min 14 min
Brownie (1/16 of 9x13 pan) 165 Moderate jump-roping 15 min 13 min
1 regular package peanut M&Ms 243 Singles tennis 30 min 23 min
4 oz Martini 150 Scrubbing kitchen floor 45 min 30 min
1 can Coca Cola 139 Elliptical level 6-10 moderate 16 min 13 min
1 cup regular chocolate ice cream 273 Box a punching bag 43 min 35 min

Initially looking at these numbers might seem inviting to indulge, but keep in mind these numbers are ON TOP OF what your exercise regimen currently includes. IN ADDITION TO. A LITTLE BIT LONGER ON THE TREADMILL. Think twice before you fill your pie hole with pie!

(Please check out My Calorie Counter to find out how many calories you burn in an activity!)

August 20, 2008

"The Women"

A while ago I posted about Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty and how much I love it. Many women and girls struggle with their own body/self image, thinking they're not perfect; some go to extremes to change what they've been given or hurt their bodies in an attempt to find this so-called perfection. I will always very loudly proclaim that accepting one's imperfections with a smile is what's beautiful! Hollywood/the media prevent women & girls from accepting their imperfections by not explaining how much prep work (air brushing, hours of professional make-up and hair styling, designer clothing, etc) goes into making Hollywood's imperfections momentarily disappear.

"The Women" is a new movie staring Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett Smith, Cloris Leachman, Bette Midler and Candice Bergen and opens in theaters September 12, 2008.

Dove was involved by making a mini documentary of the film (found here). This documentary includes a 16 year old journalist interviewing the cast of "The Women," asking them questions like "What do you think is beautiful?" Their answers are far from the Hollywood stereotype! Members of the cast openly admit to having insecurities about their looks. I agree with what they find to be beautiful. Go watch the mini documentary!

I think the best part about this short film was when the 16 year old was able to get her hair and make-up done professionally. What an eye-opener to a teenager. Those hair and make-up artists are just that -- artists. (On top of that, pictures are airbrushed till there's almost no real person left.)

In my opinion, real beauty isn't looks. Real beauty is confidence, wisdom, humor, kindness. It'd be a waste of time to try to be friends with someone who's gorgeous but is completely arrogant and rude to you. The more you see admirable characteristic traits/qualities in a person, the more you want to share a friendship with that person -- regardless of looks (unless you're totally shallow). Do you agree that there's a connection between real beauty and real friendships?

August 18, 2008

Muscle-building Monday

According to, here are your push-up choices: Good Form Push-ups or Alternative Push-ups. Check out the link for a definition and pictures.

Thanks to everyone who emailed me with their initial number of push-ups to participate!!! Okay people -- here's the starting line-up:

CM -- 40
RC -- 57
ML -- 2
MC -- 30
CC -- 23
KB -- 7
AM -- 8
NE -- 10
TH -- 20
BH -- 15
AF -- 10
KS -- 15

For all of you listed above, go here with your initial push-up number and follow the specified column you belong in. This is your workout for week 1. Follow the number of sets, reps, and seconds of rest between sets. Don't forget you need a day of rest between your days of push-ups. If you do anything different, you're changing the workout (not recommended). On that page, you'll see to your left a column. In that column are the different weeks listed. Clicking on those weeks (links) will give you that specific week's workout. October 6 is our final test.

"Admission" is still open...until tomorrow, Tuesday August 19 (you'll have to do your initial amount of push-ups today and start the program tomorrow). The program is 3xs/week for 6 weeks. You can do your sets MWF, TTHS, or a different combo where you've got at least one day of rest in between push-up days. Make a post or email me (see the top of the blog page) if you're interested...and make sure to give me your initial amount of push-ups to fatigue (without stopping)!!

"Lift" Well!!! (ha ha -- couldn't resist.)

August 17, 2008


I watched Michael Phelps do the unthinkable this week swimming in the Beijing Olympics. It was amazing! He's ripped and built like a machine; and yet he seems pretty down-to-earth. He was so committed to swimming; so committed to winning the gold in all eight events. That commitment is what brought him to this record achievement.

During his moments of glory, when the cameras would focus on his mom, I really did have to choke back tears. How many practices did she drive him to? How much time did she spend helping him, supporting him, paying for lessons and coaches? How many meets was she involved in? What strong commitment (and true love for her son) on her part.

What are you committed to?

Americans seem to have a reputation for being lazy. Ugh! I hate laziness, except for that occasional lazy Saturday or rainy day. A break is always nice and rejuvenates me to continue going. (Except for in laundry. If I get a break from my laundry routine I don't want to go back to it. But alas, clean underwear is a necessity.)

I've decided to re-commit myself to a couple things. I'm re-committing to putting my kids first throughout the day; no more whopping bouts of "me-time." This will be easier to do since Kindergarten and preschool start very soon, and I can schedule my "me-time" during that time. I'm also re-committing myself to my health. Sure, I exercise, but it's almost chaotic in the sense that I don't follow the same routine consistently. I get bored very easily with exercise, which sometimes allows me to shrug it off completely.

And BONUS: it's not New Year's Day. I hate New Year's resolutions. I never keep mine when I make them at the beginning of January. I'll keep them if I make them 1/2 way through December, or at the beginning of February. But the beginning of January??? Come on, I'm still recovering from Thanksgiving, Christmas Parties, Birthday, Christmas, Anniversary, New Year's Eve....time to NOT add something new here. :)

I'm curious about what you're committed to. Will you tell me?

August 15, 2008

Accepting the (push-up) challenge

I've decided to do it. I'm following the Hundred push-ups training program. I'm starting on Monday 8-18. I can do my 3 sets of 12 reps, but I think I want an actual challenge. In the past I've steered clear of push-ups. They intimidated me. So I'm going to look push-ups in the face, stare them down, and train to be able to do more.

Anyone else want to do this? Or has anyone already done this?

August 14, 2008

Book review -- Escape Your Shape

Escape Your Shape; How to Work Out Smarter, Not Harder by Edward J. Jackowski, Ph.D.

I appreciate the comments left on my earlier post about this book. In summary, Dr. Jackowski has decided any body can be described as one of four shapes; hourglass, ruler, cone, or spoon, and each shape has a correct way to exercise. (I'm guessing spoon has replaced pear, but where did the apple go?)

Anyway, in his experience if you want to "escape your shape" you've got to do what sounds to me like spot reducing. For instance, if you're a spoon (bigger in your lower half, smaller in your upper half) Dr. Jackowski says you should avoid any exercise that would build muscle in your lower body and concentrate on building muscle in your upper body while burning fat. For this particular shape he gave an example of a woman who could build muscle in her lower body faster than her body could burn fat, hence his reason to not build muscle in her lower body until the fat was gone. This would help her "escape her shape." Once the fat in her lower body was gone, she could then carefully build muscle throughout her body, keeping in mind to keep her upper body in proportion with her lower body.

He has designed different exercise programs for each body shape (found in the book), emphasizing lower weights with high repetitions. Personally, I would be bored following his program for my body type, but that's me. I love a challenge in lifting weights. I could see how a novice could fall in love with this book and, if followed exactly, could find desired results.

Despite my feelings, Escape Your Shape is easy to read and quite motivating (I was almost ready to get out of bed at 11:30pm to start a workout). I do give props to Dr. Jackowski for getting the message out there that not every workout is for every body. I would recommend Escape Your Shape to the novice exerciser looking for a concrete path to follow. As a side note to that, I think anyone can get the results they're desiring if they've got constant help from their observant personal trainer. OBSERVANT is the key word.

August 11, 2008

Muscle-building Monday

Sorry for my absence -- I've been "playing" with my recent house guests.

Hiking mommy-style:

Grab a 25 pound baby, a baby carrier/backpack to put him in, a couple diapers, some wipes, water, snacks, and never forget the bug spray and sunscreen. Find a mountain with an elevation starting at 8100 feet, and start hiking up a dirt path for 2 hours. Did I mention dragging a 5 and 4 year old along too??

This will build your muscles any day of the week AND remind you of muscles you didn't realize you had. Fortunately when you're already in good shape, you won't be feeling it the next day. It will be unfortunate (and pretty sore) if you don't fall into that category*.

(*If you aren't in good shape I'd loudly scream in your face not to try this activity.)