Tag Archives: SELF

Check Out the Leaner, Meaner You

weight-lossSo, it’s about that time when we all start thinking about what it might be like if someone asked us to don a bathing suit right this very minute. But instead of it being just a mere thought, the truth is that the skin revealing time of  year really is just around the corner.

And, yes, setting weight loss or get-in-shape goals really are key to achieving the swimsuit bodies we all desire. But wouldn’t it be much more helpful if we had a clear vision of what results our hard work might churn out? Like, a photo of our brand-spanking new, buff bodies?

Well …. you CAN have it. Just check out WeightView.com, a site that allows you to upload a photo of your current self and plug in your weight loss goals. The result? A specially altered picture that allows you to see what your fab self might look like should you commit to eating healthier and pumping some iron.

Talk about inspiration, right? In the April issue of SELF magazine, one writer hung the photo at her desk as a reminder to hit the gym after work.

Technology … whatever will they come up with next?

(Hmmm … something that involves calorie-free, chocolate lava cake … please?)

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Filed under Eat, March 2009, Pray, Run

Are YOU Up for the Challenge?

exercise-buddies-2.jpgI have always found that a buddy, someone to lean on when the crunches get tough, is the best “tool” for any successful exercise or diet plan.

And for those of you who may be looking to lose weight or just to get back in shape, I have found the perfect tool for you and your closest buds!

The 2008 SELF Challenge was recently released online and in their March issue. I have always been a big supporter of the plans that SELF puts together; I love the fact that they really require little work to follow — the eating and exercise plans are completely laid out for you — and it is a regimen that you can follow with friends.

This year’s challenge really tops the ones that I have seen in the past. First of all, the nutritionist, Katherine Brooking, put together a 1,600-calorie food plan that includes easy-to-use blocks which are required to put together meals. Each block — dairy, protein, healthy fats, whole grains, fruit and veggies, an one treat — is equivalent to a specific food and portion size. For example, one treat block — the best one! — is equal to 3 Dove Dark Chocolate Miniatures or 16 oz. Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Frappuccino Light. Even if you are someone like me, who is not necessarily trying to lose weight, but just eat more healthfully, this system is awesome because it allows you to learn how to put together healthy, balanced meals.

The second part of SELF’s Challenge is the exercise. For this aspect of the program, SELF has put together a cardio and strength plan which, for the first month of the program, includes 2 strength and 3 cardio sessions per week. The strength exercises come equipped with tear-out cards that include instructions, and no fancy equipment is required — just a pair of 3 to 10 lb. free weights.

As for the cardio, the thrice-weekly sessions are 25 minutes each and vary in intensities. For example one cardio workout is called “Get Slim, Gain Energy” and uses different intensities to build endurance. SELF also includes 1-minute “Bonus Burners,” such as jumping rope, which burns thirteen calories per minute.

The online portion of the program also includes down loadable video and MP3 workouts, food and exercise diaries for you to keep track of meals and workouts, and a progress chart where you can document your starting weight, measurements and ability to do exercises, such as push ups. That way, as you continue on with the program, you will be able to track your weight and health progress.

I signed up for the program today,and signed the Challenge Pledge — because putting it in writing always makes it more official! My goals this month are to get stronger and increase my endurance. What I am saying here is that I would like to be able to do more than 2 3/4 push ups, people!!

I also think that the Challenge will help me to continue to be motivated to get out there and get moving. What’s more, it could not come at a better time, seeing as how my family, friends, this community and I are preparing to participate in the 2008 Pittsburgh Race for the Cure (see sidebar for more information about our team and how to join).

I hope that each one of you, too, will sign on for the challenge. No matter what our individual health or weight loss goals are I think it is fabulous that we can use a forum such as this to support each other in our combined goal for healthier lives.

Now, get goin’!

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Filed under Eat, March 2008, Run

IT IS COLD.

I write to you this morning with semi-numb fingers, all while wearing two long-sleeved shirts, a sweater, sweatpants, socks and fuzzy slippers.

It’s cold in Pittsburgh.

So, since I am all about this fitness crap, I thought I would lend myself — oh, and you, too! — a little help.

Why not workout inside?

According to Amazon.com, the top five fitness DVDs this morning are:

1.) The Biggest Loser Workout: Cardio Max DVD ~ Bob Harper (II)

2.) The Biggest Winner How to Win By Losing: The Complete Body Workout (5-Disc DVD Set: Shape Up- Front, Shape Up- Back, Cardio Kickbox, Maximize – Full Frontal, Maximize – Back in Action) DVD ~ Jillian Michaels

3.) The Biggest Loser Workout Power Sculpt DVD ~ Jillian Michaels

4.) The Complete Collection of Sweatin’ to the Oldies DVD ~ Richard Simmons

5.) Kundalini Yoga for Beginners and Beyond DVD ~ Ana Brett & Ravi Singh (I have actually wanted this DVD for quite some time.)

And since you are all probably thinking the same thing I am (Richard Simmons? Really?), here are some new workouts available online that will get you started TODAY, while you wait for your new DVDs:

Shape magazine’s 2008 Bikini Workout: http://www.shape.com/workouts/162

SELF magazine’s new Retro Workout: http://www.self.com/fitness/workouts/2008/01/0121_mobfit (Major flashbacks of my mom doing Jane Fonda workouts!)

Fitness magazine’s 15-minute De-Stress Workout: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/fitness/story.jhtml?storyid=/templatedata/fitness/story/data/1194889898202.xml

As for me, have pity on my soul. It is my sister’ s birthday and I promised her a walk … outside. Saying no is not an option. She is scary.

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Filed under January 2008, Run