Tuesday, August 30, 2011

60-Day Fitness Challenge Results

Suzy Fauria, Beachbody Coach extraordinaire, hatched a brilliant idea as this summer began. She began an accountability group on facebook titled "Summer's Here! 60-day Fitness Challenge". She advertised this as a 60-day challenge for weight loss and support. I eagerly joined! I was on my own fitness journey toward 100 Workouts and honestly the chance to win a copy of P90X2 while completing my goals was enough reason for me to click "join".

Little did I know that this intimate and amazing group of  motivated individuals, most of whom I've never met, would inspire, support, encourage, influence, and push me further toward my goals. Sharing stories, triumphs, pitfalls, tips, articles, blog posts, business opportunities and just friendly check-ins.. we've grown into a little family unit and I believe will be a part of each others' lives in one way or another for quite some time.

So here it is.. the results... 
the following picture are: before, after my 3-day shakeology cleanse (around day 50) and after
Before: Weight-138lbs Body Fat- 25.2%
After: Weight- 129lbs Body Fat- 21% (as low as 20.4% around day 30)

There is NO way I could have done this alone. (and trust me, I'm not done yet.. I've still got goals and I fully intend to reach them)
But I love to give credit where credit is due. Thank you to the Fitness Challenge peeps: Suzy, Maida, Hector, George, Mark, Stephanie, Allyson, Anna, Jessica, and Tiffany. Also BIG thank you to the rest of the Beachbody family: Thank you Joy for reading the blogs, commenting and inspiring me with what looks to be an AMAZING and butt-kicking boot camp that you put on (I'd love to come up sometime). Thank you Stickel for helping me maintain sanity, especially during my Cleanse (Summit 2k12, watchout!). Last of my beachbodies, but certainly not least, biggest thank you of all goes to Coby Linder. Coby, for those of you who don't know, is the one who initially roped me into the Beachbody life. We reconnected at Summit this year where he shamed me into changing my diet. He gave me all the information that I needed to literally change my life. My diet (and newfound love for egg whites and oatmeal) can be credited to his influence, motivation and persistence and his LeanWithLinder lifestyle. I could not have made my transformation without him.

The Club One Family has also been a huge part of my transformation. The amazing staff including Bo, Brian, Emil, Tobias and of course Casey have taught me that Fitness Never Sleeps and inspired me to Get Better Everyday! They have led by example and fed my desire by recognizing my accomplishments and dedication (which fueled my fire even more). The Club Circuit crew who are not only great to work out with, but give me some of the best ab-workouts with our ridiculous inappropriate jokes and tomfoolery.

Of course, there's Katy Casellini - my rock. She's been there through the ups and downs (on the scale and otherwise) and she's unconditionally supportive. I'm proud to be a part of her fitness journey, but I hope she realizes that she's just as vital in mine. I also got lucky that my kickass boyfriend not only will put up with my constant obsession with diet and exercise but happens to be equally or more interested. I love listening to his insight and tips, and thus far he's failed to make me cry during any of our workouts together even though KokoHead was close (well done, Ryne). To the rest of my friends and family, I appreciate you too.. I just scrolled up however and realized how long this "thank you" section got. It's like I freaking won a VMA or Nobel Peace prize or something.. honestly, I just feel really fortunate to have such great support systems and there's nothing I want more than for those people to realize how much I appreciate their contribution (however great or small).. and with that, if you've made it to this point in the blog - thank you! Thank you for reading; comment or something so I know who you are cause you deserve recognition for surviving the whole entry.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Giant Race 10k - Team Got Heem

I'm not a runner. I don't necessarily enjoy it and therefore I don't do it on a regular basis. But, I love races!

In typical pre-race fashion I spent the night before creating a playlist, painting my nails and KT-taping for my anterior shin splints. On race day, I woke up bright and early (5:45am) and enjoyed a scrambled egg breakfast and was surprised by a poster that Katy left for us outside our apartment (she's so great!!!). Tab, Scott and I loaded the car and Rockstar-ed it up to the city.

After a pre-race pep talk from Casey "Why don't you just get better? If you run faster and you'll be done sooner." we met up and our whole crew assembled. Our costume required us to run in a line, which we maintained, more or less, for the first two miles of the race. At that point, I broke off from the group (I don't deal well with the tight-pack running that is common around 10-11 minute pace). Once I was alone, I settled into a comfortable 9 minute pace and enjoyed the scenic run from AT&T Park, to the Embarcadero and back. The 10k finished inside AT&T Park and the feeling of crossing the finish line is indescribable. Accomplishment, relief, exhaustion, and euphoria. First water, then delicious Chobani Honey with San Fran Granola (nom nom nom) to enjoy after crossing the finish line. According to my Nike ID app, I finished the 10k in about 58 minutes :) Broke 1 hr, a definite PR for me! (still pending official times from Giant Race Website).

After reuniting with the rest of the family and attempting to snap some pics on the field we entered what is potentially my favorite part of the race (only behind that "finish line feeling"). SWAG!!! Swag Bags full of bagels, fruit, clif bars, Timmy bobble heads, tshirts, medals, coconut water, chocolate milk, Pop Chips, pretzels, Chobani, and a slice of birthday cake (I still don't understand it, nor can I explain what compelled me to devour hundreds of calories worth of it)

We paused for several more photos before leaving the city (I found an amatuer photographer by accident who took like dozens to make sure we would have one we liked). What a fun family-fitness day!

So, while I don't necessarily love the act of running, there isn't much that can compete with the distractions that a race provides, the energy that is shared among runners, the sense of accomplishment, that "finish line feeling", and of course - the swag! Onto the Nike Women's Half...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

3-day Shakeology Cleanse

Time for a quick review of my most recent 3-day Shakeology cleanse.

I love Shakeology, I'm in the home stretch of a 60-day fitness challenge and I'm always up for an exercise in self-control so it seemed like a great opportunity to complete the 3-day Shakeology cleanse. (I modified it slightly, in an attempt to allow myself to remain active throughout) Here's a snapshot of my daily diet:

Breakfast: 1/2 Chocolate Shakeology w/ Ice, Water, Peanut Butter* and Banana
Morning Snack: Plain Oatmeal and Egg Whites
Lunch: Chocolate Shakeology w/ Ice, Water, and Peanut Butter*
Snack: Apple
Dinner: Salad w/ Chicken or Fish and veggies (lite balsamic vinagrette)
2-4 liters of water
*Peanut Butter is not in the recommended cleanse outline

Here was my actual caloric intakes for the three days as well as the exercise that I completed (I had to add an extra snack Monday before dinner so I could rally myself to go workout)
Sat: 861 calories, Crossfit Inspired Workout (net: 703)
Sun: 794 calories, Zumba Class & AbRipperX (net: 408)
Mon: 909 calories, Junkyard Gym (net: 513)

As you can tell by these numbers, this cleanse is NOT recommended to last longer than 3 days and shouldn't be done more than once per quarter. My energy levels on day 1 and 2 were fairly constant; I worked out in the morning and I was feeling pretty good throughout those workouts (even set a personal best in a gym-based challenge on Sat morning). Monday was rough, I was energetic throughout my work day but at around 2pm I crashed, I was literally dragging my feet through the grocery store to buy more spinach for dinner. I thought about throwing caution to the wind, grabbing Oreos & Peanut Butter and going to town right there in aisle 8.. luckily I have lots of accountability partners who empathized and reminded me what an accomplishment it would be to complete the cleanse.

As I stepped on the scale this morning, I was glad I chose not to gorge on the Oreos and Peanut Butter (however, now that the cleanse is done, perhaps.... no! nevermind) Here were my official results:
Difference in weight after 3-day Shakeology Cleanse: 5 pounds

Difference in measure of  'tummy' after 3-day Shakeology Cleanse: 2 inches

Now, I do realize that these dramatic measures are a majority of water weight, but realistically the cleanse isn't all about weight loss. It's about cleansing my body of built up toxins as well as challenging myself both physically and mentally. I'm proud of myself. If you are interested in trying a cleanse yourself, please contact me for more information or visit myshakeology.com/vickiewags

Also, my Beachbody Coach Tiffster has created a website about her Shakeology cleanse (and a 10-day modified cleanse that I'd eventually like to try someday) Visit her website if you're interested in learning more 3dayshakecleanse

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

100 Workouts of Summer, check

Yeah, it's true... I shed a lil tear tonight when I finished my last workout. I won't say that I didn't believe in myself.. but the road was long and filled with speedbumps and detours. Gigantic thanks go out to anyone who participated in, encouraged, or motivated me throughout the process as well as those of you who put up with my constant posts and #100workoutsofsummer hashtags. I've learned a lot about myself and pushing my limits - and in the end I truly believe that I'm more of a beast than I thought. (never thought I'd be the girl that would "love two a days")

Workouts Done:100    Workouts Left: 0  Days Remaining: 4

100. (8/10) Club Circuit w/ Casey
99. (8/10) RyneWOD: Dumbbell Thrusters
98. (8/9) Junkyard Gym w/ Casey
97. (8/9) Power Flow Yoga w/ Angela
96. (8/8) Power Flow Yoga w/ Melissa & Erin
95. (8/8) Club One: Step and Sculpt w/ Miki
94. (8/8) Club One: Crossfit WOD (500m rows)
93. (8/7) KillerCore: Merciless Abs & AbRipperX
92. (8/7) Campbell Track Workout: Mile Run, Stair Sprints, Lunges, Sit Ups, Push Ups, Stair Jumps
91. (8/7) Bike Ride to Katy's
90. (8/7) RyneWOD
89. (8/6) Hike @ Jones Trail
88. (8/6) Club One Circuit Challenge & Gilroy 3 mile walk
87. (8/6) Club One: Spin
86. (8/5) Hike @ Rancho San Antonio
85. (8/5) Club One: (200m run, 4x 15 squats, 12 deadlift, 9 pushups, 200m run)
84. (8/4) Club One: Kickboxing w/ Derrick
83. (8/4) Bike Ride to Laurelwood
82. (8/4) Club One: Swim w/ Katy and Christy
81. (8/3) Club Circuit w/ Casey
80. (8/2) Club One: Stair Master, Core, Back Squats
79. (7/31) Airport Trekking: Honolulu/Maui/SFO
78. (7/30)  Koko Head Hike w/ Ryne
77. (7/28) RyneWOD
76. (7/28) Airport Trekking: SFO/Honolulu
75. (7/28) Club One: Kickboxing
74. (7/28) P90X: Arm Exercises
73. (7/27) P90X: Arm Exercises
72. (7/27) Bike Ride to the Post Office
71. (7/27) Club One: Mile Run, Lifting, Core
70. (7/26) Walk around Niagara
69. (7/25) Walk around Niagara
68. (7/21) SUP Photoshoot w/ SCCVC
67. (7/21) SUP Training w/ Trudie
66. (7/20) Club Circuit w/ Casey
65. (7/20) Wakeboarding in Discovery Bay w/ Jennifer & Tab
64. (7/19) Club One: Mile Run/Arms/Abs
63. (7/18) Junkyard Gym w/ Casey
62. (7/15) Las Vegas Strip - 4 mile run/400 stairs
61. (7/14) Combine 360 IDEA Challenge
60. (7/13) Club Circuit w/ Casey
59. (7/11) Crossfit Hyperformance: "Kettlehell"
58. (7/11) Insanity: Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs
57. (7/10) Crossfit w/ Quinn: run 800/30 backsquat/run 800
56. (7/10) Riley Duty at the Beach
55. (7/9) Crossfit Hyperformance: Metconn Partner Challenge
54. (7/8) Crossfit Hyperformance: "DT"
53. (7/7) Insanity: Fit Test
52. (7/7) SUP w/ Trudie
51. (7/6) Insanity: Cardio Power & Resistance
50. (7/6) Club Circuit w/ Casey
49. (7/5) Insanity: Pure Cardio
48. (7/5) Hike w/ Ingram (Jones Trail, Los Gatos)
47. (7/4) Progressive Bike Party [roundtrip to Kontich's]
46. (7/4) Progressive Bike Party [roundtrip to Katy's]
45. (7/3) Insanity: Cardio Circuit
44. (7/2) Bike Ride Errands
43. (7/1) Insanity: Pure Cardio
42. (6/30) Insanity: Cardio Power & Resistance
41. (6/29) Club Circuit w/ Casey
40. (6/28) Insanity: Plyo Cardio Circuit
39. (6/28) Stand Up Paddleboarding in Santa Cruz w/ Trudie
38. (6/27) Club Circuit w/ Casey
37. (6/27) Wakeboarding w/ the Andersons at Anderson Lake
36. (6/27) Insanity: Pure Cardio
35. (6/26) Club One: Precor and Core
34. (6/26) Insanity: Cardio Recovery
33. (6/25) Insanity: Cardio Power & Resistance
32. (6/24) Insanity: Plyo Cardio Circuit
31. (6/24) Combine 360 IDEA Challenge
30. (6/23) Club One: Precor and Core
29. (6/23) Insanity Fit Test
28. (6/22) Club Circuit w/ Casey
27. (6/20) Bike Ride in Hermosa w/ Jesse
26. (6/18) Walk across Downtown LA to RiteAid
25. (6/18) Beachbody Summit - Super Workout w/ Debbie Siebers, Leandro Carvahlo, Chalene Johnson, Donna Richardson Joyner, Shaun T, Brett Hoebel, and Tony Horton
24. (6/17) Walk around Brentwood w/ Kelsey and Steph
23. (6/17) Beachbody Summit - RevAbs w/ Brett Hoebel
22. (6/17) Beachbody Summit - Brazil Butt Lift w/ Leandro Carvahlo
21. (6/16) Club One - Spin, Arms
20. (6/15) Club Circuit w/ Casey
19. (6/15) Club One - "Last Chance Workout" Precor, Spin, Row
18. (6/15) Biking to Haman w/ Jennifer
17. (6/15) Club One - Club Power w/ Sonya
16. (6/14) Club Circuit w/ Casey
15. (6/14) Biking to Haman w/ Jennifer
14. (6/14) Club One - Spin w/ Carole (and Sean, Peggy, Sandy, and Katy)
13. (6/13) Club Circuit w/ Casey
12. (6/13) Club One - Precor & Arms w/ Casellini
11. (6/12) Bike Ride to Haman and Plutos
10. (6/12) Club One - Zumba All Stars w/ Cheryl /& Precor
9. (6/11) Lake "Workout" - Tubing, Wakeboarding
8. (6/10) Precor, Back Extension, Shoulder Press (Bar+20), Furious Forty
7. (6/9) Club Circuit & Junkyard Gym w/ Casey & Tobias
6. (6/9) Club One - Precor, Back Extension, Push Ups, Asst. Pull Ups, Shoulder Press (Bar+20)
5. (6/8) Arm Circuits w/ Tim, Katy, and Launie
4. (6/8) Club One - Precor/Spin Bike
3. (6/7) Club One - Precor/Spin Bike/Abs
2. (6/7) Bike Ride to Santana Row for lunch w/ Steph
1. (6/6) Walk w/ Katy Cas around Lake Murray

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lift me Higher

"Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher." -Oprah Winfrey

I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by the most supportive group of family and friends who have encouraged me in all aspects of life, but most recently in my fitness goals. In the past couple of months I have noticed amazing growth and progress in some of those people and want to give props where they are overdue.

First, my sister Tina, who over the last year has taken an interest in doing various runs in the New York race circuit. As part of her Christmas present, I proposed that we run a race together. We were able to make this a reality Memorial weekend in Arroyo Grande, not only running the Strawberry Stampede but doing so in costume. As someone who is not passionate about running, I admire her work ethic and dedication to training for these races. I hope that that race will not be our last together.

Last year at Christmas Eve dinner, my dad told me the most exciting news I'd heard in a long time. He leaned over and said "I think I'd like to run a race with you next year". I'd like to think that him accompanying me to my Turkey Trot got him that feeling of longing to participate (I call it finish-line-feeling-envy, I get it anytime I show up at a race I'm not running). Without any real accountability partner or publicity, he silently began his training. He spends many of his lunch breaks walking around West Hollywood and has sprinkled in treadmill training runs. His training must've been effective because not only has he noticably thinned out as of late, but he ROCKED the 5k. I can't wait to try another family run in the future.

Next, comes my sister Lizzy. Until recently, I think it would be safe to say that Lizzy's favorite form of exercise was her weekly pole-dancing classes. (she had the bruises to prove her dedication). If you know me, you know that I ramble about Beachbody and fitness and diet, and am usually doing some sort of cleanse or diet - most people just get used to it. Poor Lizzy has had to endure this more than most but I just assumed that she'd learned to tune me out. You can imagine my excitement and surprise when Lizzy sent out her birthday wishlist (which I loved for the record) and in addition to a stripper pole, Shakeology made it's way onto her list. Although it was difficult to narrow it down between the two, I decided to go with the gift of health. After a few samples Lizzy has taken a liking to Greenberry and has a bag of it en route to her house. That alone is a huge step toward a more healthy lifestyle but get this.. After leaving a family vacation in upstate New York Lizzy dropped the bomb on me that she'd decided to order a Beachbody program of her own! I couldn't be more proud. She even opted for the deluxe package and rushed shipment because she was so anxious to get started. Although some may be skeptical about the results of DVD workouts, her sore booty should give some indication of how effective they can be. Although she's got a hectic schedule and finding time to fit in workouts is tougher than most, she's made the commitment and I know she'll be pleased with the results.

Finally, my amazing mother has made a commitment this summer to find a way to incorporate some exercise into her daily life. During a trip home at the beginning of June, we talked about reasonable goals to make that a reality. Together we set the goal that she would walk three days of the week, whether it was with friends, alone, outdoors or on the treadmill with a slight incline. I pestered her more often than I think she realized I would, but my mother, like few people who have come to me for help, took her fitness goals more seriously than I expected (no offense mom). She usually had already exercised by the time I texted/called to check on her, even in the 100+ heat she found alternatives that worked. Not only did she ABSOLUTELY meet her goals but she SHATTERED them; as summer is coming to an end, she has walked almost every day of her summer vacation. I don't know if she realizes the pride that I share in her accomplishments. We have already vowed to support each other as the school year starts and we need that little extra push after a long day at work.

Now that I've bragged about my amazing family, let me just touch on one more person who's pretty much family anyway...

One of my best friends, Katy Casellini, is the source of constant inspiration and motivation in my fitness journey. I met Katy in 2007 and we became fast friends. It was the summer of 2009 that she began focusing on her health and fitness, making positive changes that have evolved her into the beast she is today. For those of you who have the pleasure of knowing Katy, you know that she has spent countless time and bottomless energy in pursuit of her fitness goals. She has overcome physical, mental, and emotional barriors to succeed in her pursuits. Katy began her transformation by adding walking into her daily routine, as well as focusing on her diet through Weight Watchers. She joined Club One, began incorporating Kickboxing, Club Circuit and eventually set running-related goals. After doing the Couch25k training program, I was fortunate enough to accompany her on many races, including our first 5k in March 2010 as well as our first Half Marathon in Las Vegas December 2010. Unfortunately Katy has been plagued with shin splints that evolved into a stress fracture. Despite the injury and hardships that has added to her exercise routines, she has found alternative ways to stay motivated. Watching her top the National Combine360 Challenge leaderboards and complete her first open water swim this past weekend were such proud moments that I enjoyed sharing with my amazing friend. Where anyone else might use their injury as an excuse for inactivity, Katy has found herself even more motivated and couldn't be doing better. I hope she realizes what an inspiration she is to those around her. Her transformation, though certainly not without difficult periods, has shown many what is possible when dedication and persperation combine. I love you Kate!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Gypsy Summer.. (part one)

When summer began, I was caught up in my obsession with "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding"... It's a spectacle and I decided that I'd like to make my summer be one as well. With just under a month left of summer, the whole "gypsy" thing has become WAY more than just an album title. Here have been the highlights thus far:

San Diego, California
We traveled down the coast to celebrate Katy's 26th Birthday. Highlights included: Tim McGraw with The Band Perry and Luke Bryant. Katy's Birthday. Johnny B makin it rain. Bubs.

Los Angeles, California
Last minute trip down to attended the Beachbody Coach Summit. Workouts with amazing trainers like Brett Hoebel, Shaun T, Debbie Siebers, Tony Horton and Leandro Carvahlo and great speakers including CEO Carl Daikler and Beachbody coach Marlee Matlin.

Soledad, California
Why? Because it's happening there - haven't you seen the billboard? Fireworks at the classiest 4th of July party (complete with Jalapeno eating and Cha Cha Slide competitions) - not to mention a special cameo from a pretty rad guy

Savannah, Georgia
Spent most days at Crossfit Hyperformance or playing with Baby Riley. Couldn't have asked for a more perfect visit to see one of my best friends, Quinn (who just so happens to be an amazing mother - check out her blog: here

 Las Vegas, Nevada
PF Changs, Moon, Wet Republic, The Earl of Sandwich, Kaskade at Marquee, Planet Hollywood Pool Party, Ray J, Oh Canada, Vanity

...and the odds and ends
Visiting my cousin Andrea and her babies Will and Delaney
 Ashton Shephard at Club Rodeo, wakeboarding at Anderson Lake, the Normandy, cruising to a birthday dinner in Hermosa, and beach yoga in Santa Cruz
   and a couple of Giants games for good measure

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Search for a "soulmate"...

Beachbody's Chalene Johnson believes that one of the steps to guaranteed weight loss is finding a "soulmate workout" (something you look forward to and is almost a treat for you to do).. She says it's important to remember that the first workout program that you try might not be your "soulmate" and that just like dating, you can't just date one person and when it doesn't work out give up on love. Continue trying other workouts, and cross training with a variety of different activities until you find your "soulmate".

After two weeks of 'courtship' with Shaun T, I can say with almost absolute certainty that Insanity is NOT my soulmate workout. It was at this point last time I tried Insanity (about a year ago) that I threw in the towel and "gave up on" the program. I know that I struggle to push play because Insanity challenges me and forces me into plenty of uncomfortable moments. But isn't it true that life begins outside of our comfort zone? With that mindset, I have decided to stick with it and am determined to complete all 60 days! Today marked my two-week Fit Test, where I measure my progress. I decided not to look at my baselines before doing it so that I was truly getting an accurate measure of my new fitness level, not just trying to pound out a few extra reps to beat my previous results. I did the Fit Test and had to use ridiculous amounts of self control to avoid opening my iPhone note that contained my Initial Fit Test results. It was worth the wait.. after 14 days of Insanity (plus my leanwithlinder nutrition plan) here are my results:

Initial Result (Two Week Fit Test)
Switch Kicks: 82 (94)
Power Jacks: 42 (50)
Power Kicks: 88 (94)
Power Jumps: 25 (32)
Globe Jumps: 12 (13)
Suicide Jumps: 15 (20)
Push-up Jacks 16 (24)
Low Plank: 45 (52)

While comparing progress, I felt an insane amount of pride. I guess that even though Insanity might not be my "soulmate" it'll most likely benefit me more than my last two month relationship ;)

If you'd like to know more about Insanity or other great Beachbody workout programs I'd love to chat.. email me at vickiewags@gmail.com or visit www.teambeachbody.com/vickiewags

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lean With Linder

I've known Coby Linder for a few years and I've been lucky enough to get to know him a little bit better over the past couple. I've grown to admire and respect him greatly. Not only is he the drummer of one of my favorite bands (Say Anything), but he was the person who initially sparked my interest in p90x and Shakeology which led me to joining the Beachbody family. I turn to him for advice, motivation and a dose of reality from time to time. He is a great resource and I'm lucky to call him a friend.

Coby has made an amazing transformation, both physically and otherwise, using Beachbody programs like p90x and Insanity, drinking Shakeology, and focusing on his diet and exercise. He shares his knowledge with others on his blog Lean With Linder.. (Check it out, great stuff)

Anyway.. while hanging out with Coby at Beachbody Coach Summit last week and discussing some of my health goals he suggested that, in addition to restarting Insanity, I take a closer look at my diet.

First of all, he suggested that I cut out alcohol. While I don't consume alcohol as regularly as people might assume, I do consume a decent amount when there's an event or reason to do so. I realize that this excessive consumption, even when it's sporadic, is not aligned with my health goals. So, I have decided.. that during the duration of my 60 day Insanity program I will stay away from the booze. Much to Coby's chagrin I WILL be giving myself ONE cheat day (Saturday, July 16th) but if I can go the rest of the two months without it, that'd make leaps and bounds of progress. He also made suggestions for portions, timing of meals and suggested meals that are nutritious and delicious. He explained to me the best time of day to get carbs, protein, and fats and in what form.

After taking a set of humbling before photos, I began Insanity yesterday and coupled it with what I'm calling my Lean With Linder lifestyle. (I don't like to think of it as a diet, because that seems fleeting and restrictive). To begin the 60 days, I'm going to stick pretty religiously to the meals that I've seen Coby eat. I figure I should be super structured while I go through this entry phase, then branch out to make my own responsible food choices.

In the words of Coby: "The first week is always the hardest. Once you’re past that barrier you are unstoppable. You won’t regret making the changes in your life. Practice and repeat and they become your life. Now go eat some spinach :)"

Here's yesterday's meal breakdown

So Coby, thanks for putting time and energy into me. I appreciate and value you very much.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stronger in the Broken Places

"I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."
— Marilyn Monroe

Tonight I received an out-of-the-blue text that said: "your positive energy overflows. jus sayin" This made me smile, not only because it's an insanely flattering compliment but because it reconfirmed the progress I've made in the past month...

Recently I've been reminded that I have no control over what anyone else says or does, but I do have the ultimate control over my actions and reactions in every situation I find myself in. I have always loved the cliche that "you're always stronger in the broken places". I believe that everyone (including myself) goes through rough patches; and it's those trying times that give you the opportunity to either grow or risk getting caught on a slippery slope of self-pity.

It's only by realizing this potential that I have finally come to appreciate each time that I've been broken down, because it has given me this amazing opportunity to grow, mature, and learn about myself. I keep managing to come out a little bit stronger, and for that I am thankful. It goes beyond relationships; however those tend to be the ones that slap you the hardest in the process of presenting an important lesson. It's easier said than done to believe that "everything happens for a reason", but I believe that it must. It's like Marilyn said: sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's Called a Break-up because It's Broken

So, this book was recommended to me by a superfox in my workout group at my gym who unknowingly opened up can of worms one day when she asked me how G was.. Her timing was less than ideal (no fault of her own) and I borderline (ok, not even borderline) lost it before our workout. She messaged me later in the day with the kindest words and a recommendation to read a book called "It's Called a Break-up because it's Broken". I'd heard of it before, but never thought I was the kind of person who needed to read a "self-help" book. Clearly what I'd been doing wasn't working so I bought it on Amazon and within a week of recieving it, I'd finished the book and loved it! I wouldn't say that it changed my entire outlook on life, but it absolutely was a supplementary push that I needed to remind myself of some very obvious things. I definitely took from it a dose of reality as well as some sage advice and tips of how to turn a breakup into a breakover. Reminding myself of my worth and ambition, as well as finding a healthy outlet for all of this newfound time (100 Workouts of Summer) coupled with reading this book have given me a fresh outlook; I feel excitement for future and what it may hold. Someone once told me "Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together." Boom.

 Here's a collection of some of my favorite quotes from the book:

The person you loved took a good long look at the awesomeness that is you, evaluated you relationship together, and said "No, thanks. I'll try my luck elsewhere"

He is the past.  You are the future.

His regrets or lack thereof are exactly that - his... and not even the best little black cocktail dress can change that. (I beg to differ, the little black cocktail dress helps :))

You can love your friends.. you can love your family.. you can even love every stray dog or stray drummer that crosses our path. HOWEVER, youhave to learn how to love yourself, like yourself, and put yourself first before you will ever find the healthy, loving and lasting relationship that you've been looking for.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

6 down, 94 to go...

Thanks to the inspiration of Tim Timon, I've decided to make the most of my summer by challenging myself to do "100 Workouts of Summer". I envision it including a variety of physical activities from hikes to bike rides, cardio at the gym, circuits, spin, kickboxing, yoga, crossfit WODS, Beachbody DVDs, workouts at Summit, swimming, strength training and any other opportunity that presents itself.

Here are what I think will be the five keys to success:
Friends: Like any challenge, enlisting the help of friends can be a make or break. I am lucky enough to have a network of friends who not only support my fitness goals, but inspire me with their fitness journeys. Working out with a friend is usually much more entertaining and pleasant (ex. club circuit dance parties)
Variety: Being open to finding exercise opportunities wherever they might present themselves.
Time Management: It is summer vacation, so there's always the temptation to sleep in, veg out, veer too far off of a schedule, or end up watching a "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" marathon (however, if you haven't seen that show, it's a definite must). I think in order to reach this goal it will be vital to wake up at a reasonable hour and start each day with a workout so I can fit in double days.
Vacation: With at least four vacations forthcoming, this might be my biggest roadblock to keeping my fitness plan on track. In order to fit in 100 workouts, it will be important for me to find ways to be active while traveling. Most vacations present the opportunity for lots of walking, hiking or outdoor activites. Beachbody DVDs (p90x, RevAbs, and Asylum) are also incredibly mobile, most require little more than a couple resistance bands that are easy to pack.
Nutrition: Exercise is not enough; in order to fuel my body for workouts and see the results that I'm putting effort into, it is essential to follow a balanced diet. The easiest ways to stay on track is to eat at regular intervals throughout the day and to control my portions, making smart choices with the foods I consume.

Here's my progress (thus far):

1. (6/6) Walk with Katy Cas around Lake Murray
2. (6/7) Bike Ride to Santana Row for lunch with Steph
3. (6/7) Club One - Precor/Spin Bike/Abs
4. (6/8) Club One - Precor/Spin Bike/Abs
5. (6/8) Arm Circuits with Tim, Katy, and Launie
6. (6/9) Club One - Precor, Back Extension, Push Ups, Assisted (10) pull ups, Shoulder Press (Bar+20)

Are you up for the "100 Workouts of Summer" challenge?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Can't Miss Me Til I'm Gone

 He showed up at my house and started the conversation with the cliche "I really care about you but..." 

It's been a little over a week since the breakup which still can only be described as classic 'its-not-you-its-me' cop out. Yesterday was the first day that I woke up and truly believed that the relationship was over. For the week between, I'd heard from him everyday and was functioning with the thought that he'd changed his mind or was reconsidering his decision.

I think this weekend was the first step to moving on. Lots of great support, encouragement, and conversations centered more around what I can do with this situation I've been presented, and less focused on "what went wrong" because in my opinion - nothing. He even told me "you didn't change and I didn't change". It crushes me to think of all the hope I had for this short-lived relationship; despite my biggest fears and apprehensions I allowed myself to jump in with both feet and let myself be vulnerable. I followed the path that he'd laid out but it turns out he wasn't ready to walk down it with me and there's nothing I can (or want to do) to change his mind. There was life before him and now I look forward to finding out what this next chapter of my life will hold. Mama Rose has been full of bumper sticker cliches this week, from layers of onions to kissing frogs, but I think the best piece of advice was that "it's takes lots of chapters to make a good book".

The week long progression of where my mind went can be pretty accurately described through a series of country music videos (have you ever noticed that when you have extreme emotions every song you hear seems to apply directly to your situation? - yeah, me neither.)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Adventures in Wine Country

Last weekend I headed to the Napa Valley for a weekend of MakeMeMiniMarch cheating...

Arrived in town Friday evening (to watch the conclusion of Marquette getting whooped by UNC) and headed into Downtown Napa for dinner at Fish Story. Great restaurant. I ordered the Grilled Washington Steelhead with grilled asparagus, spring onion, green garlic & fingerling potato hash, grain mustard beurre blanc.Dinner was delicious, and the conversation was even better.
Saturday was a day full of winetasting, we had our agenda all lined up (thanks to GC for his thoughtful recommendations). We, being the dedicated wine drinkers that we are, started at 10:30 at Paraduxx. We enjoyed a tasting of the 2009 Parajaxx White Blend, Napa Valley Reds from 2006, 2007 and 2008, 2008 Parajaxx Zinfandel/Cabernet Franc, 2007 Canvasback Napa Valley Red, and charmed our way into the Migration Chardonnay and Migration Sauvignan Blanc. There was cheese and crackers served alongside this pairing and the gentleman who ended up adopting us there added to the great experience.  We took a stroll around the property, which looked like it'd be great fun on a sunnier day. (Here we were playing musical iPhone to get some pictures with the vines)

Our next stop, along what now seemed to be a fowl-centric wine tasting excursion was at Goosecross. Here we tasted the 2009 Napa Valley Chenin Blanc, 2008 Napa Valley Estate Chardonnay, 2009 Napa Valley "Oak Knoll" Viognier, 2007 Merlot, 2007 Syrah, 2007 Napa Cabernet, and the 2005 Howell Mountain Cabernet. They offered not only dark chocolate to compliment the Syrah and Cabs but a delicious Chardonnay infused peanut brittle. When asked (by the "connoisseurs" next to us) what they were known for, Jose's answer was quickly "Hospitality". I couldn't agree more!
After Goosecross we were ready for our lunch stop at Rutherford Grill. We started out with a spinach artichoke appetizer and I had a glass of Frank Family Chardonnay (since it was already beginning to look as though we weren't going to make it all the way up there). Mama Rose and I split the Prime Rib French Dip sandwich, which came highly recommended; dad had the Chicken Sandwich - both were served with MOUNDS of shoestring potatoes. (dad's lunch is pictured below)
After the delicious lunch, we headed to St. Supery where we were told to ask for the upstairs tasting room.Although the wine smelled delicious, we were underwhelmed by the tasting. It absolutely was the most tweet-worthy of all locations. Mama Rose described one of the wines "I thought the wine needed a little splenda" and dad voiced his concern over our white wine tasting "I'm worried about you two drinking formaldehyde". 
Our next stop of the day was a Paraduxx recommendation, Frog's Leap.We were sent there for the 2010 Pink La Grenouille Rougante. Everything that we tried, we loved. We had great conversation sitting at a long dining room table and walking around their gorgeous property. 

With just enough time to spare, we headed to Peju to do one last tasting. Our pourer was an aspiring rapper who had a different rhyme for each wine. Entertaining to say the least, wines were delicious as always. Mom got lost, but don't worry she didn't wander too far that we couldn't track her down. We had reservations for a late dinner at Bistro Don Giovanni. We started with the Fritto Misto calamari, rock shrimp fennel, onions, green beans, spicy aioli. Delicious. For dinner I was incredibly satisfied with the Fettuccine Bolognese with wild boar ragu, aged provolone, and sage. MOm got the ravioli and dad had the Prime Rib special.

We ended the weekend Sunday afternoon heading to Santa Rosa to try Guy Fieri's restaurant, Johnny Garlic's. Although our waitress was painfully awkward, we had a lovely meal. We were greeted with some homemade foccacia and a rosemary infused olive oil. We shared an order of Garlic Fries (how could we not, right?) and then I ordered the Volcano Chicken with Yukon Gold Mash, Seasonal Vegetable, "Maui Onion Straws" and Volcano Sauce. It was wonderful, and even the lunch portion was enough to take leftovers home for the next day.
All in all, it was a great weekend with my amazing parents, great wine, and delicious food. Until next time...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Forty Six Days

So, I'm gonna blame part of the reason for my lack of posts lately on Lent..  

For some, Lent is a period of going on a diet; for others, it is when Catholic co-workers show up to work with ashes on their heads, and fast food restaurants start selling fish sandwiches. Many Christians, who don't necessarily find their way to mass except on Easter and Christmas, find they are attracted to Lent.

I fall into the final category, Lent is a time of year that I enjoy challenging myself to 46 (yes, it's not 40, it's 46) days withholding something from myself. This year I decided to give up TWO things. Chocolate* and Technology on school nights*.  

Chocolate*: I'm allowed to have Chocolate Shakeology. I think that God would agree that it's too wonderful of a product to withhold from myself.
The chocolate has, thus far, been a breeze. Mainly because for Mardi Gras I seriously ate more chocolate than I have in the past three months, so by the time I weighted in on Wednesday at the gym (great timing, I know) I was ready to take a hiatus from Kringle, Reese's and beyond. 

Technology*: I turn off technology at 10:30 on school nights. Weekends and Spring Break are fair game.
The technology has been a challenge. Most days I work from 7:30-3:30, come home and cook dinner before going to yoga (5:30-7). By the time I get home, shower, and eat it's usually around 8:30. Now, one would imagine that two hours of technology SHOULD be enough for a person. Perhaps they haven't met me.
1. I am VERY well-versed at wasting time on the internet (facebook, twitter, blogs, ebay, gchat, etc) as well as doing research and collaborating on chapters for my Masters Research Paper.
2. Then there's texting! I usually do a good deal of my texting when I am laying in bed, ready to fall asleep. It's the only time when I don't have a ton of distractions, but this 10:30 rule cuts down on that (and especially my nightly 11:11 text to Lindsey Minor)
3. Television has surprisingly been the easiest thing to say goodnight too. I'm sure having the DVR helps, because most nights there are a few hours of programming that my roommate and I indulge in.

So far, so good. What did you give up/promise to do for Lent?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Who was that strange blue creature?

Sometimes me think what is love, and then me think love is what last cookie is for. Me give up the last cookie for you. -Cookie Monster

I decided that I am going to give up chocolate for Lent, so in preparation I decided to make some chocolate chip cookies to celebrate it's temporary (46 day) departure from my life. So, I kinda fell off the bandwagon. But at least I attempted to do it in a calorie-concious way. 

The Ingredients (yes, that's applesauce)

The Process

The Result (om nom nom)

This recipe substituted applesauce for the oil to be more "health-conscious" However I feel like that doesn't really matter when I eat 3 per serving. They were more cake-y than crispy but they received warm reception from those who tried them. So, I'd probably make them again.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Wallet vs Waist

My first frustration set in today with my Make Me Mini March campaign.. 

Now, don't get me wrong... I had a BLAST planning my meals for the week this afternoon. I used myrecipes.com to browse online, select Cooking Light recipes, and generate a shopping list. I was off to the store, excited to do my shopping for the week- one of the highlights of my Sunday.. 
The frustration set in when I saw my total, $101.96. I was once again reminded that it's not cheap to eat healthy. I DID get a lot of food and it will feed me (and my roommate) for an entire week. But when you consider the price of fast food, it is definitely a cheaper option. For the price I paid for groceries I could have purchased the following amounts of fast food:
115 Crunch Wrap Supremes (Taco Bell)
19 Mandarin Chicken Salads (Wendy's)
20 Footlong Meatball Sandwiches (Subway)
25 Big Macs (McDonalds)
22 Personal Pepperoni Pizzas (Pizza Hut)
46 Medium French Fries (Mc Donalds)

Clearly, the tradeoff of cost vs. nutritional value isn't enough to change my mind about Make Me Mini March... but it is something that I'd like to complain about.

On a brighter note, this week's menu looks amazing!!

Tuesday (Mardi Gras): Jambalaya with Shrimp and Andouille Sausage
Wednesday: Roasted-Vegetable Lasagna
Thursday: Dinner with Brett Hoebel :)
Friday: Slow-Cooker Veggie Chili
Saturday:Black Bean and Chicken Chilaquiles
Sunday: Sausage and Bean Casserole

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Beauty School Haircut

Last weekend, well let's be honest, the last few weeks.. I've noticed that my hair was beginning to look like a lion's mane (not in a good way). My ends were fried and in the past I've been pretty picky (cheap) about who I let cut my hair because I want to keep the length while still getting an affordable (paid for my mom) haircut. With a trip to SCV nowhere in the foreseeable future, I decided that it was time for me to bite the bullet and get myself a damn haircut.

So, I did what any thrifty (cheap) twenty-something would do. I typed "Cheap Haircut" into Yelp! and out came 154 reviews for the Academy for Salon Professionals. I've heard of people getting their hair done at beauty schools before, with no glaring reviews one way or the other.. after reading some of the reviews, realizing that the haircut would set me back $10, the decision was made. I called and was able to get a 7:30 appointment that night.

When I arrived they made me sign a contract of sorts saying that I realize that I'm basically putting my hair in the hands of students (under supervision of a teacher). I had a consultation with my hairdresser Sandra who couldn't have been sweeter. She explained to me that it would take a while because her teacher had to come check in at three different times during the appointment - not like I cared, all I would've been doing was watching more Dexter on my couch. We discussed my cut, she drew some pictures, we got the sign-off and we went for the shampoo. Throughout the cut, her teacher checked in and even came and did a few cuts herself to even it out. When all was said and done I was very pleased with the end result. $10 well spent.
 The Academy of Salon Professionals is located at 2238 East El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95050. Appointments can be made by calling (408) 261-9201 and is open Tue,Fri-Sat 9am-5pm; Wed 10am-9pm; Thu 9am-9pm

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Make Me Mini March

A healthy diet and exercise program are complementary to one another and are essential for improving or maintaining good health. While some may choose to reduce food intake dramatically, the food you eat is important because it provides you with your daily essential nutrients and vitamins to keep your body functioning properly. Additionally, daily exercise is important because it helps to manage your weight in addition to aiding in reducing your risk for certain health conditions.

A new month is a great time to recommit to your health, and that's exactly what I intend to do. Here are my goals for the coming month, will you join me in any/all?

  • Plan all meals/snacks for the week on Sunday and do grocery shopping for all ingredients (this generally will prevent my impulses to eat food that is not aligned with my goals)
  • Utilize resources like Cooking Light and My Recipes to choose meals that are lower in calories
  • Try to avoid excessive starch, sugar, and dairy while focusing on meals that highlight lean protein and fresh produce
  • Aim for 1000-1200 calories/day 
  • Drink the ounce equivalent of half my body weight
  • No booze
  • Start each morning with a RevAbs Workout (or short run) before school
  • RevAb workout WITH Brett Hoebel on March 10th!!
  • Yoga- Power Flow practice at YogaSource 3 days/week (currently offering a newcomer special of $40/30 days if you're interesred)
  • Circuit Training- Club Circuit with Casey Miranda at Club One Silicon Valley (at least 3 Wednesdays)
  • Kickboxing- Groupon month-pass to try out variety of classes at Condition and Competition Kickboxing

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Borders vs. Amazon (my analysis)

A friend and I had a friendly disagreement this evening while discussing the closing of a bunch of local Borders stores. I thought that the closing of these stores came as no surprise as I buy most of my books online. My friend, on the other hand, an avid online shopper claims to have never purchased a book online. This shocked, appalled and made me want to prove a point.

Using the most scientific method I knew, I sent a barrage of texts to the 30 people last contacted in my phone containing the simple message "Survey question: do you buy books online?" Here's what I found out:

Three of my friends were not amused by my shenanigans enough to respond, rude. (One of them gets a free pass, she was asleep since with time change it was 12:30 and she's preggers)

Of those who did respond, two of my studious friends only bought school books online but do pleasure purchases in stores. Another two did not shop online, but cited a family member who does on occasion.  

Six reported that they did not purchase books online. One admitting "Nope, but I don't buy books" (remind me to cross Jason off my shopping list for Christmas).   

Fourteen of my contacts do their book shopping online. Tix was one of my most enthusiastic respondents, "Frick yes! That's the place I usually buy them!" McGuire cited time and convenience as his motivator, "Yes. No time for real bookstores. Or reading for that matter" (I don't blame you Chris, I couldn't find time to read Clean either.) Most agreed that the cost was an important deciding factor. Cassie lovingly bragged, "Yes. I have an amazon prime account so I get free shipping."  Marci (whom for this response I love dearly) focused on a slightly more personal reason, "Mike buys all his BBQ books online so he doesn't look like a fat ass."

Of course, I was surveying my friends so the remaining three surveyed couldn't help but answer with jokes like "I don't know how to read" or "Does porn constitute books? Either way, nope ;)"  or "What are books? Are those like magazines?"

So, although not a very diverse sampling, I found this survey rather enlightening.
The Winner: amazon.com

Stay tuned to your cell phones for my next "survey question".. And if you weren't a lucky recipient of my text this time, comment and let me know "Do you buy books online?"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Comfort Food

According to Webster's Dictionary, the term "comfort food" was first used in 1977 to refer to foods that are consumed to achieve an improved emotional status. Comfort foods may have a nostalgic element either to an individual or a specific culture. Some of the top ranking comfort foods are: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, Macaroni and Cheese, Chili, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Meatloaf, Apple Pie, Tuna Casserole and Spaghetti.
My comfort food? Chocolate Chip Pancakes. This may seem strange, and there are definitely foods that I love more, but this food will ALWAYS remind me of my childhood and my amazing parents. When I was younger I was a VERY picky eater. My diet mainly consisted of grilled cheese and chicken fingers so when the idea of pancakes were introduced, I vehemently refused unless they were laced with chocolate chips. (Because mom and dad loved me so, they complied) To this day, this simple breakfast food can put a smile on my face.

So, what's your comfort food?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

the lululemon manifesto

  • Drink FRESH water and as much water as you can. Water flushes unwanted toxins from your body and keeps your brain sharp.
  • A daily hit of athletic-induced endorphins gives you the power to make better decisions, helps you be at peace with yourself, and offsets stress.
  • Do one thing a day that scares you.
  • Listen, listen, listen, and then ask strategic questions.
  • Write down your short and long-term GOALS four times a year. Two personal, two business and two health goals for the next 1, 5 and 10 years. Goal setting triggers your subconscious computer.
  • Life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks.
  • Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.
  • That which matters the most should never give way to that which matters the least.
  • Stress is related to 99% of all illness.
  • Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.
  • The world is changing at such a rapid rate that waiting to implement changes will leave you 2 steps behind. DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW!
  • Friends are more important than money.
  • Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life.
  • Take various vitamins. You never know what small mineral can eliminate the bottleneck to everlasting health.
  • Don't trust that an old age pension will be sufficient.
  • Visualize your eventual demise. It can have an amazing effect on how you live for the moment.
  • The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time. Choose a positive thought.
  • Live near the ocean and inhale the pure salt air that flows over the water, Vancouver will do nicely.
  • Observe a plant before and after watering and relate these benefits to your body and brain.
  • Practice yoga so you can remain active in physical sports as you age.
  • Dance, sing, floss and travel.
  • Children are the orgasm of life. Just like you did not know what an orgasm was before you had one, nature does not let you know how great children are until you have them.
  • Successful people replace the words 'wish', 'should' and 'try', with 'I will'.
  • Creativity is maximized when you're living in the moment.
  • Nature wants us to be mediocre because we have a greater chance to survive and reproduce. Mediocre is as close to the bottom as it is to the top, and will give you a lousy life.
  • lululemon athletica creates components for people to live longer, healthier and more fun lives. If we can produce products to keep people active and stress-free, we believe the world will become a much better place.
  • Do not use cleaning chemicals on your kitchen counters. Someone will inevitably make a sandwich on your counter.
  • SWEAT once a day to regenerate your skin.
  • Communication is COMPLICATED. We are all raised in a different family with slightly different definitions of every word. An agreement is an agreement only if each party knows the conditions for satisfaction and a time is set for satisfaction to occur.
  • What we do to the earth we do to ourselves.
  • The pursuit of happiness is the source of all unhappiness 

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    App of the Day: HeyTell

    Oh my gosh, most gigantic thanks to Chad Ghiron for bringing into my life the exact thing that I've always wished for. (I should leave a dramatic pause here, but I will not) It's basically a universal Walkie Talkie, a phone call that lacks any of the awkward silence, text messaging without the need for typing... It's called HeyTell and it's FREE. Go download it now, seriously!

    The possibilities are endless.. There is also the option of a $1.99 Voice Changer option which allows you to turn your voice into a robot, looking forward to combining this App and a few cocktails :)

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Four Arms, Four Legs, and Two Heads, oh my!

    In Plato's Symposium, Aristophanes presented a story about soulmates. It states that humans originally consisted of four arms, four legs, and a single head made of two faces. Zeus feared their power and split them all in half, condemning them to spend their lives searching for the other half to complete them.

    Although it's an old story it has the potential of being a dangerous way to look at life and love, whether you are single or in a relationship. Those who are single are doomed to feel as though they need to walk around looking for their other half, feeling as though they are not complete without their counterpart. This creates an air of desperation and puts too much pressure on every encounter. It is equally as detrimental to those who are in a relationship because they may feel that their significant other completes them and in turn they rely on them for their happiness. Either way, the individual is putting their happiness in the wrong hands.These people, to whatever degree, are looking outward for the source of their happiness when truly the key lies within yourself.

    Loving yourself is a prerequisite for creating a successful and authentic bond with another.The relationship you have with yourself is the most central relationship in your life. It is at the center of all  elements that make up your life - family, friends, love relationships, work. At its core, loving yourself simply means believing in your own essential worthiness. It means looking inward toward your own wants and needs, then honoring them in the exact same way you want your partner to.

    Not everyone grows up to have a natural sense of self-esteem or worth. In fact, most of us need to work at it to some degree throughout our lives. Each person feels inadequate in one or more areas, whether physical, intellectual, financial, or in interpersonal dynamics, emotional maturity, or spiritual growth. However, respecting, nurturing, honoring, and cherishing yourself is something that anyone can learn. Only when you have successfully mastered taking care of your own needs can you know how to extend that same attention to others. When you believe how valuable you are, you can then give authentic affection to a partner.

    So love yourself, and the rest will fall into place. You can only cultivate as much love as you create a capacity for within yourself.

    Sunday, February 13, 2011

    Express Yourself 2.0

    As I arrived in San Francisco Friday night for an amazing date in the Castro with my friend Brandon, I was greeted with Lady Gaga's newest track blasting from his iHome. We must've listened to this song over a dozen times throughout the course of the night. 

    If you noticed a similarity between Lady Gaga's brand new song, "Born This Way," and Madonna's classic track, "Express Yourself," you're not the only one. While most people are dissecting Lady Gaga's Version 2.0, I think she's done well and was secretly hoping for Madge to show up on the Grammy's tonight and do a mash-up/battle royale.

    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    Benefits of Yoga (Everyday Life)

    Benefits of Yoga in Everyday Life

    • Yoga can help cure insomnia, as regular yoga practice leads to better and deeper sleep.
    • Yoga can help fight fatigue and maintain your energy throughout the day.
    • Yoga is an effective treatment for a variety of autoimmune diseases because it can reduce the symptoms these diseases often cause, such as stiffness, malaise, fatigue, and weakness.

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Rev It High, Rev It Low...

    One month from today I will be meeting and working out alongside one of my fitness idols, Brett Hoebel. Brett Hoebel, who is the newest coach on NBC's The Biggest Loser, is also the Beachbody trainer behind the fitness program RevAbs.

    His body-mind approach comes from his assorted experience in Eastern and Western disciplines, including his martial arts training in Afro-Brazilian capoeira and Muay Thai kickboxing, as well as his educational background in functional strength training, nutrition, yoga and holistic health. His credibility is bolstered by his studies as a pre-med student, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree with a dual major in psychology and biology, and later furthered his education taking graduate courses in biomedical science.

    If you are able to break away from work for the afternoon, Brett's workout at the CAHPERD Conference in Monterey is open to the public. March 10th @ Custom House Plaza, Fishermans Wharf. (For more information about the event)

    If you are interested in more information about RevAbs (and you should be cause it's great), feel free to ask me or visit my Team Beachbody Site.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Has Brett Favre taught us nothing?

    New York Congressman Resigns Over Craigslist Dating Ad/Sexy Photo

    While answering a Washington-area "Women for Men" ad last month, Chris Lee described himself as 39, divorced, a lobbysit, and a "fit, fun classy guy." To prove it, he e-mailed the shirtless photo to the unnamed government worker from Maryland. Once she figured out the man was actually a 46-year-old congressman, she went to Gawker.com with copies of their bantering e-mails and photo. Within hours, he had quit his $174,000-a-year job and issued an apologetic statement.

    I do not condone his behavior by any means (as he is a married man), but the biggest flaw I see in his story would have to be his blatant disregard for the unspoken rules of sexting. I've done some research on the topic and have the following helpful hints to share:

    1. If you don't know their last name then they don't need to know how you look naked.
    2. Including your face in racy photos makes it nearly impossible to deny that they are you.
    3. That said, you’ll need an insurance policy: always be sure to receive a scandalous photo first, before you send one out. I’m not talking blackmail here, but you’ll definitely want an insurance policy if/when your mobile relationship goes to sh-t.
    4. Be prepared to disengage your mobile’s T9/auto-word function. It is not only a training wheel intended for junior high students and the spelling impaired (such as my intoxicated self), but the function also lacks the ability to accurately express modern day slang. Nothing kills the digital mood more than sending a sext asking, “I wanna fucus your pushy“. 

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    Well done, Doritos!

    Although I've seen better in the past, my favorite three SuperBowl commercials elicited a literal LOL.
    With an honorable mention going to Groupon (although their Tibet commercial is getting a ton of flack from the Chinese government, I thought they were brilliant):
    What were your favorites?

    Gilda Radner was one smart cookie

    There is no real security except for whatever you build inside yourself.
    I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.
    Delicious ambiguity.

    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    What makes the Bowl so Super?

    Today is the day when millions of people will sit on couches, recliners, or inflatable chairs to watch several hours of television programming (the highlight of  course being the commercials) while they mindlessly consume thousands of calories. Super Bowl Sunday is regarded as the second-biggest day for eating, behind only Thanksgiving, and it comes at an awkward time for many who vowed to lose weight in the new year.

    Here are some tips for damage control on the big day: 
    • Don't show up hungry. Eat a healthy meal or snack before arriving - a piece of fruit or salad.
    • Plan to bring something to the party as a healthy option - fruits and veggies, a lean chili or visit websites like www.cookinglight.com to find low-calorie versions of your favorite treats
    • Keep foods out of the living room or viewing area; that way you have to get up and go into another area to get it.
    • Do your eating at halftime. The problem is that people can munch their way through the entire, long game. Specify your eating time and focus on the game. 
    • The best way that I find to avoid these temptations is to see the ugly truth behind them: the calorie count.

    Buffalo Wings: 88 calories each
    One Slice of Pepperoni Pizza: 350 calories
    12 oz. Can of Beer: 150 calories
    Spinach Artichoke Dip w/ Chips: 580 calories
    1/4 cup Seven Layer Dip: 152 calories
    Jalapeno Poppers: 93 calories each
    Pigs in a Blanket: 66 calories each

    Calorie Counts according to the iPhone LIVESTRONG App