Lost and Found, In Miami

So Jillian set her sights on Miami Gardens/Hialeah on last night’s episode of LI.  I thought this week and last week were the two best and most believable episodes of her summer show.  In last night’s episode Ms. Michaels brings her magic to the Alvarez family.  Again we find fried bread.  Apparently this food bridges the gap between many cultures.

I loved the mom, Carmen.  She was one tough woman in the gym.  She took her workouts very seriously, and I am sure this impacted the rest of the family to do the same.  I HATED the scene in which the dad, Big Dave, showed his son the sleep apnea mask and put it on  him to try.  The kid isn’t even 10 years old.  I NEVER believe in fear as the way to teach a child, but apparently this dad and/or the producers did.  What do I know?  Maybe it worked.  The young Dave, Jr. seems wise beyond his years.   Drawing on her own teenage experience, Jillian introduced him to Karate and he loved it!  Everyone needs to find a form of fitness that they can enjoy.  There are way too many choices to NOT!   She bought him all the gear he needed and apparently he stuck with it.   He looked adorable  at the finale, down 25 pounds and no longer having to monitor his blood sugar.  Mom also lost 25 pounds, and dad, amazingly got with the program and lost 52 pounds and probably saved his own life.  Good stuff.  This was the last episode of her show and from what I understand the ratings weren’t great but it was a wonderful way to get through some of summer without going through BL withdrawals!

Speaking of TV, it is always amazing how art imitates life, and life imitates art.  Being a big fan of the old 1960s show The Twilight Zone, I have been recording them on my DVR and when I get lucky, I have a few episodes to watch during the week.  I was very impacted by one episode that was about anti-aging through drinking this very special (and pricey) water.  Problem was, if you DIDN’T drink the water you would age well beyond your years.  So a beautiful anchorwoman who wanted to look young enough to compete with younger counterparts became a victim of The Twilight Zone. Made me think A LOT about things people do to themselves without knowing the long term effects of the procedures, injections, etc.  I think a lot about this stuff, anyway, so to date, at 52 years old, I have opted to NOT have a single injections of botox or fillers and have not done any “work” on myself.  This is just a personal choice and one most of my friends, students, clients –well most of the world, doesn’t necessarily agree with.  This goes way back to my childhood, when my parents suggested I could get a nose job to remove the bump in my nose.  I opted to keep the bump, in fear of what I might end up with in exchange.  Maybe I am just a “fraidy-cat,”  who knows.   So I found it both interesting and at the same time pretty creepy when one of my students approached me after class last night.  She and her husband own and anti-aging clinic in Tamarac and she really felt I could benefit tremendously from the water they sell!!!  Yikes…not the anti-aging water–anything but that!  I drove home from the gym with the theme song from the Twilight Zone playing in my head.  No thanks, I’ll just keep drinking the water from my filtered fridge and hope for the best.

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Losing It…But Finding Something Else.

Well, tonight is the season finale of Losing It. I will look forward to watching it and will anxiously wait for Biggest Loser to begin again in the fall, though I AM NOT WISHING THE SUMMER AWAY!

I am happy to start getting some great feedback from some of my students regarding how they have changed their eating and what it is translating to in their blood work!  One of my long time SilverSneakers students, let me know yesterday that her blood sugar level is in the 90s for the first time in a long time.  This kind of news makes me really happy.

Another student and I talked about our mutual affection for sugar laden food like Swedish fish, gummies and marshmallows.  (Marshmallows, by the way, are not actual vegan due to what holds them together).  I have just stopped buying that VOID of nutrition JUNK and that has helped a lot.  I am not the type to run to the corner for a treat.  Last night I snacked on some peanut butter and a little grape jelly.  It did the trick and at least offered me the nutrition from the peanut butter.

Yesterday I managed to do about 1/2 the “legs and back” P90x video and most of ab ripper x before it was time to eat and go back to the gym.   The program makes me feel stronger, almost immediately.  Perhaps that, too, is part of what makes me love it (even though when I say love,  I honestly mean LOVE/HATE).  Today I will do one of the cardio videos (probably cardio x as I find that one goes the quickest).  Also a swimming day, weather permitting.  So far its been raining and Blaze and I are waiting for a break to take our morning walk.

Sending out some positive energy to some of my very favorite people who are enduring some physical and emotional struggles right now.   Life can be so challenging.

Life can be so challenging, but just yesterday I was thinking about the small, unexpected miracles, that can turn an uneventful day into a cause for celebration…Unexpected miracles.  I wish them for all of you today and every day.

Finding It

Whoops.  I accidentally deleted a couple of comments this morning.  I apologize. I did get to read them first, and thank you.

Yesterday was day 2 of my revisiting P90x.  I did about 30 minutes of the cardiox video and then swam.  Those videos continue to be challenging, interesting and effective.  Between back and legs on Monday and yesterdays cardio video, I can already feel a difference, if not in my body, certainly in my brain.  Today is a weight training day again-upper body work and ab ripper x, which I would like to do at least part of 3 times a week.  I realized yesterday, that having Kyle home last year and watching him do so well with this program helped inspire me greatly.  I don’t seem to have quite the same inspiration without him here, but I am digging deep because I know how effective it was!

I really liked last night’s episode of Losing It. I felt that this episode was pretty realistic.  The mom, Amy, lost 17 pounds and the dad, Todd, lost about 36 pounds, both in 6 weeks.  That put Amy right in the “healthy weight loss” numbers (average 2.5 pounds a week).  Todd had to lose about 6 pounds a week, but at 300 pounds, that makes sense!  IF Amy is really able to stay away from cigarettes, than that was a major, major accomplishment and life saver…for her and her girls.  I found this episode to be a little less focused on Jillian which was refreshing.  I loved to see Jillian take Amy to someone else’s yoga class and loved how much Amy seemed to “flow” there.  She looked really pretty when Jillian came back after 6 weeks, and somehow I feel that on a show called Losing It, Amy “found” it.

Keep searching for whatever it is you need to find.  Keep in mind, it’s probably right there where you are.

The Coral Springs Study

Watched Losing It last night.  To me, lately, its almost like watching the news in that it sort of disturbs me, but I don’t want to miss it.  In this episode she visited with a Native American family and not only impacted them, but their entire nation.  First, on a very shallow note, I would like to say that Jillian looked outstanding when she first arrived and if I could have one person’s arms, it would be hers!

Jillian finds that the people of this tribe are basically all obese.  She finds them seemingly apathetic, but they let her know they don’t know any other way.  I am pretty sure changing an entire nation is going to take more than ONE week, but you have to start somewhere, yes?   I understood why they were upset when she threw out their fried bread.  Though there was NO question the bread was like poison (dough fried in lard) and she needed to teach them that, throwing out food was an insult to their people.  It was an insult to me, too.  I think you can give people tools and offer them alternatives, but I always think it is important people make their own choices.  Especially adults!

What I understood most clearly, though, was Jillian’s complete and total frustration over what unhealthy lifestyles these people had.  She seemed to care about their health and wellness more than they themselves cared.  Often, I feel that way, too.  Watching people with compromised breathing smoking a cigarette, watching someone who has had a heart attack eating a corned beef sandwich, watching some with type-2 diabetes eating sweets or simply hearing an overweight person tell me they just don’t have time to exercise or that they know they should drink more water, they just forget!  It rattles my brain and makes me want to scream “come on people, you can make your whole life better.”  I cannot imagine the frustration of the many very good doctors who suggest dietary changes for their patients, knowing they can drastically improve their quality of life, and then find their words falling upon deaf ears.  As Judy put so well in comment yesterday, some people just don’t want to do the work.

My greatest current frustration is that I think EVERYONE should read The China Study.  The good doctor Campbell has a wealth of information that he just wants to share with others.  I still have my head buried in it at some point of each day.  The information is compelling and we all have a right to read it and decide for ourselves.

In my very own Coral Springs Study, I am excited (but not at all surprised) to report that my blood donation from last week showed my cholesterol down 19 points from my last donation in the winter.  When I donated in the winter, my reading was 194.  Though I wasn’t eating meat or poultry at that time, I was eating dairy products and fish.  In March, I gave up ALL animal products and my reading this time was 175.  The only other time my cholesterol was that low was the last time I tried a plant-based diet, but then later went back to dairy and fish and saw the numbers rise back into the 190s.  Since my activity levels are always basically the same,  I can easily conclude that giving up the rest of the animal products lowered my blood cholesterol significantly.  Sticking with this plant-based diet, I will be curious to see if the numbers continue to decline over time.  It’s really important for me to say that I DO NOT FEEL ANY SENSE OF DEPRIVATION!!! Quite the contrary, actually.  Each and every meal, the choice is mine, just as each and every meal, your choice is yours.

She’s Here, There and Everywhere!

Yesterday I had a lot of time at home.  I had the TV on for a good amount of the day, mostly as background noise.  Twice, however, I was called to it when I heard the familiar voice of Jillian Michaels.  First, it was on a rerun of the Rachel Ray show.  I found that interesting just because.  Rachel Ray, who when she add cheese, cheese and more cheese to a recipe, finds the audience clapping and cheering for her.  Jillian Michaels who probably hasn’t even eaten a piece of cheese in years.  Put em together and apparently you get Jillian plugging her diet supplement.  I was uncomfortable with her huge Gucci belt and stiletto heals.  Especially when she was doing push-ups and pull-ups.  I was much more uncomfortable when everyone in the audience got sent home with a box of her supplements.  She also mentioned that this past season was the first that the BL contestants took her supplements and they lost the most amount of weight in the quickest time…I am totally uncomfortable with the RACE to lose weight though again, when it comes to BL, I realize it’s not just a TV show, but also a game — a race.  From my experience, supplements aren’t worth taking.  They are expensive, they don’t always work and when they do, they often have some not so nice side effects.  My experience was with ephedra in the form of Diet Fuel and Ripped Fuel back in the early-mid 90s.  For the record, they did give me energy and help me maintain my ideal weight (which was about 10 pounds less than I am now).  I also ground my teeth every night, (ruining some) and just about the time I started noticing this, ephedra was pulled from the market because it was just too dangerous.  I can’t imagine how many others suffered undesirable health effects.

Later on yesterday, there she was again.  This time on a rerun episode of The Doctors.  She was a lot more fun on this show, where she competed in some physical challenges with the young, good looking, ER doc.  They lunge-raced while holding spoons with a raw egg.  His legs were about 3 times the length of hers, so she didn’t stand a chance, but somehow they tied.  She sat on the panel and they discussed healthy choices for meals.  I promise you that on neither BL nor Losing It, do they really eat some of those healthy, yet fattening foods.  Instead, they apparently now take supplements and according to Kai Hibbard, drink coffee as a meal.

Finally, last night, it was Losing It.  They were the tallest family I have ever seen.  Mom, Dad, 4 sons.  All over 6 feet tall.  The show focused on the parents and 2 of the sons, while the twins were away at college.  Nice family.  Stern dad who didn’t believe in showing emotions.  It was how his daddy raised him and how he raised his boys.  I think this episode was more about that, than weight loss, but somehow, after just one week, Jillian fixed everything.  Turns out, she is Superwoman.  When she returned in 8 weeks, dad lost 50 pounds, son Elijah lost 56 pounds (and gained all the self-esteem he never had) and mom lost 31.  They all looked wonderful and I’ll bet those supplements helped speed things up.  If I ate a subway sub for lunch I would need to take a supplement to.  Jillian ordered her veggie sub on Italian bread and I don’t for ONE SINGLE MINUTE believe she would really eat it.  In fact, I have been told through a reliable grapevine, that she never lets the contestants actually eat the Subway subs, they just do it on the show as product placement advertising.  Hey the 50,00o bucks she gives away at the end of the show has to come from somewhere, no?

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If I sound a little bitter, I am.  I got sucked into these shows because I love to see the transformations.  Its one of the things I live for…seeing people adopt exercise and wellness into their lives.  I figure there is always something I can learn from them.  I just don’t believe in using unhealthy tools to get healthy.  It doesn’t really make sense to me.  I usually think of supplements in the way I do medications.  The makers are really the ones who reap all the benefits.  CHING CHING.

I subscribe much more to what the good doctor is saying in The China Diet. I am up to the chapter about obesity, so I look forward to getting back to it this afternoon.  So far, every single word this man has said makes great sense.  For me, personally, it affirms so much of what I believe to be true.  EVERYTHING that ails you, can be made better by choosing whole plant-based foods over anything and everything else.   Science has proved time and time again that you can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, lose weight and avoid or even reverse heart disease, cancer, auto-immune disorders, Alzheimer’s (lets hope) and more by choosing whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables over animal proteins. I always did think Dr. Atkins was the devil.  Now I am starting to wonder about Jillian Micheals.  Or should I say JillianMichaels.com

We All Need a Good Carrot

Where to begin?  I need a couple of days to do some reading and following up on things I want to delve into further.  Apparently there is a new and updated Atkins diet out that has added lots more vegetables because the experts all agree that the fiber in vegetables is critical to our bodies and helps speed up weight loss.  Thank goodness!  I understand that eating nothing but bacon and eggs all day causes ketosis and allows rapid weight loss, but where is the health and balance in that?  Isn’t the goal to be thin and STILL HEALTHY?  I hope so.

I missed the past Biggest Loser contestant (Kai-I remember her) on the Today Show yesterday.  I also missed the spot on the aol screen, but enough people saw one, or the other, to enlighten me.  Apparently she has come out to say what we see isn’t always exactly as it goes.  She also said something about having an eating disorder since the show.  In all fairness, I would have to say most people have eating disorders before they ever get on the show or they wouldn’t be there in the first place!  That said, I will be looking to see the piece in it’s entirety so if anyone has a copy of the clip, please send or I will search later this afternoon, when I am on a break from work.

Yesterday, since I did not have to work till evening, I had a really productive, work related day.  I ordered a continuing education course called resistance training for the class – circuits. I am always looking for a new way to present the same thing.  I have done most of the workshops that AFAA offers, but this one is new, so hopefully I will learn a few new things to bring to class.  I also did the Physique 57 video which is decent.  I like the workout, but find the instructors would be great in person, but as this was the third time I did the video, I found her phrasing gets a little annoying when you hear it repeatedly.  This is something I will keep in mind when I am doing more videos for my clients.  The less cutesy, the better.  I NEVER get tired of Tony Horton’s dialogue on P90X.  I am looking forward to doing the yoga video from that, tomorrow, when I have the entire day off!

I also swam a few laps yesterday.  Once I get in the pool, I try increasing them each week.  Knowing it will be a long summer, I am starting out slowly.  Last night I shared some of Physique 57 in class and I think that some will be feeling it today.  It was nice to leave the gym with a woman who reported all the inches she has lost since she started working out at the gym.  Struggling with menopause, she has been frustrated (I GET IT) so I am glad the tape measure showed her how her hard work is paying off.

Finally, I did watch Losing It last night and I enjoyed this episode.  Maybe it was because it was really the first one of the the 4 that I gave my full attention to.  The severely overweight mom and dad lost a combined total of over 100 pounds in just 8 weeks.  I talk a lot about having a goal that you can stay focused on– a carrot or brass ring–this couple was headed for a young death and their twins were so scared they would lose them.  If staying alive to raise your children isn’t the ticket, I don’t really know what is!  Maybe it was still the $50,000 from JillianMichaels..com that really motivated them, but I would like to think it was the kids.  The money is a nice bonus, though!

Most of us are goal oriented.  We may love our jobs, but we probably still work for the paycheck.  I encourage you, once again, to find small and large goals to focus on when trying to lose weight and/or get fit.  Whether it is an upcoming BIG birthday, a wedding you will be attending, fitting back into a pair of your favorite jeans, treating yourself to a massage, purchasing a new piece of clothing, running in a race, playing ball with your kids or more importantly just BEING here for your loved ones, focus hard and long and often on your “carrot.”  I am pretty convinced it’s one of the most important parts of being successful in any journey.

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And They Called it Puppy Love (and more)

How interesting that I sit down on this Vegan Thursday, flip the page of my MOM calendar from Kyle and Nicole and find this “Mom-ism” —

“PUT A BAG OF FROZEN PEAS ON THAT BRUISE

Why it’s true:  Old folklore advocated putting raw steak on a black eye or other bruise, but today’s mom knows that doing so can contaminate the area with E. coli.  A bag of frozen peas applied to a new injury will constrict the blood vessels and may minimize the bruise.  (Peas are nice because the bag is so bendy.)

I, for one, used exactly that, a bag of frozen peas, when I pulled my hamstring back in September.  Since there were other areas of the leg injured, the peas moved nicely from one site to another, easily adjusting itself to wrap around the wounded areas.  I highly recommend keeping a bag in your freezer as part of your first aid kit.

On another very interesting note, I learned, just last night, that our very own Bob Harper, of Biggest Loser fame, has taken his vegetarian lifestyle to the next level and has become a vegan.  Not really surprised knowing what a “Yogi” he is.    I have mentioned before that many athletes and body builders (and personal trainers) have been announcing their vegan lifestyles to the world.  Whether its for health, ecological reasons or just an ethical choice, these people are helping to show others that you can eat a plant-based diet and still have a fantastic physique.  If you think my opinion is biased just google it!

As if to prove to me that we are really all compassionate, loving creatures, my bigreddog Blaze, has found a whole new reason to live.  The next door neighbors, who sadly put their 9 year old dog down recently, (cancer) adopted a puppy from the Humane Society, this past weekend.  My dog, also 9 years old, has never been a dog fan–just a people lover.   Then again, I guess he never met a puppy before.  He now passes every moment waiting for the puppy to come out and do her business so he can get outside and just be near her.  While we are still letting the new friends get to know one another through the fence, he whimpers and whines and makes noises  I have never heard from him before as he sniffs, gets sniffed and just wants to be close to her.  He can now hear their door open and he alerts us EVERY time she is outside.  I see a bounce in his step and a new light in his eyes.  THIS is what they call “puppy love.”  Witnessing their interaction reinforces everything I believe about animals, their instincts, their ability to love and nurture and so much more.  I have NO reason to think these feelings are limited to dogs and cats.

Thanks to those of you who sent links (and filled me in verbally) I basically got to catch up with Jillian’s home visit to the May family, this week.  I agree with Carol, regarding the “magic” Jillian seems to bring to people in just ONE week.  Since she is big on “jump starts” (aka supplements) and who knows what we DON’T know, I am guessing there are some tricks in her bag that we just don’t see on TV.  This week the mom lost 74 pounds in 8 weeks.  Carol, I understand the frustration.  I also agree that just KNOWING is not enough.  Most of us that haven’t just come out from under a rock, know what to do to lose weight.  IT IS THE DOING IT THAT IS SO CHALLENGING!  It’s the “stick-to-it-ness” that is such a struggle for most of us.  Again, I feel that having a “carrot” at the end (on Losing It I think one of those carrots is clearly a fat check!) is the surest way to reach any goal.  We need to dig really deep and find our own carrots.

Time to take Blaze out for our Thursday morning walk where he always plays the trainer.  It’s the day he decides which way and how far we are going.  He knows it and he loves it.  I love it, too, because he always pushes me harder than I push him.  Looking to lose some weight and get physically fit?  Turn to your dog or borrow one!  They are THE most faithful training partners a person can have as they NEVER want to opt out.

Have a happy day.  Since it is Thursday, I always use this day to take the liberty of gently nudging you all to add a little more plant food in place of the alternative.  Your body will thank you and so will the world around you.  Never forget we are ALL connected.  Be happy and spread the kindness.  Much love…

We Need Superman

YIKES.  I did not know Losing It was moving to a new time last night.  Neither did my DVR!  I completely missed it last night and have to hope to catch it when it runs again, though I don’t know when that is.  So who watched?  Can someone that did post a little synopsis in comment, please?  I would greatly appreciate.

Today, my long-time (10 years) clients leave for the next 8 weeks.  I will miss them like crazy, but will embrace and savor some “free” time.  I am going to revisit some P90x and also the Physique 57 video that I purchased this spring.  Also will be doing some continuing education credits, probably in the area of group resistance training, since I do love (and recognize the extreme importance) of weight training.  My next door neighbors just adopted a 3 month old puppy and I offered some assistance with her “training,” too.  And swimming…I will be working on that, too.   Summer is the season I get to work on MY workouts and I look forward to and appreciate the time.  For those that have asked for “just a few training sessions,” this would be a good time for us to work those into our schedules.

While I missed Carol and Rita last night (everyone asked about you, both) , I was happy to see my old student, Michelle, show up for both classes.  It’s been a long time and it was such a nice surprise to see her walk in the front door of the gym, looking so pretty as always.

My heart breaks over the situation in the gulf coast.  Mitch says we need Superman.  I hope he is out there, somewhere and I hope he shows up soon.  I keep good thoughts for all the people AND sea life effected by this enormous disaster.

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If you eat a lot of fish, this might be a good time to think more about adding more plant based foods to your daily diet!  Foods that are abundant in your area should be really tasty right now.  I cut a Florida grown cantaloupe last night and it was so sweet and juicy (and a very great value!)

So don’t forget, if you watched Losing It, and can find a few minutes, please post YOUR synopsis and feelings…I look forward to reading them.

Today, my morning is filled with fitness and my afternoon—I am planning on filling it with lots of peace.   If all goes smoothly, it should be a near perfect day.  I wish for you, something similar…and for Superman.

Where to Begin?

Good morning.  Though I want to rant and rave and share my incredibly frustrating story of the past week, dealing with AT&Ts total screw ups and then frustration with UPS and finally with actually getting back on once I had my new modem, but in the scheme of things, its all BS.  It rattled my “peace” a bit, but thankfully there was fitness to keep me sane.  Beautiful thing about working out is YOU NEED NOTHING but will to do it.  In a world filled with hard to control situations, working out is something we CAN control.  I love that.  And yes, Becky, your comment about that was right on the money–If this was the worst of my problems, I really have no problems.

Many lessons were learned by me in my forced week away from my PC. I say my PC, because I was lucky enough to still connect to the world via my iPhone.  I fought getting one for a long time, (until my precious grandkitty chewed my phone charger and it just made more sense to get a new phone).  I highly recommend the smart phones.  It was a salvation to be able to send and receive emails while my home computer was down.

But back to the lessons–I revisited reading the newspaper every morning, and I liked it.  I had more time to help Mitch with the animals in the morning and more time for me to get ready for work.  I will be working on better morning time management to include all that and blogging as well.  Moving forward, I may some days, post my blog later in the day.  Who knows, some days I may not even blog at all.   I realized life will go on….but I also learned that my blog entries sort out my thoughts and give me focus for the day.  Hey, some days I might blog twice!   In the constant struggle for balance, I keep working at it.

A few quick words on Losing It. I admit to having been distracted so though I watched the whole show, I was somewhat distracted.  I may go back and watch it again.  This episode dealt with what certainly appeared to be hoarders (or at least the mom) more than slobs.  I am pretty sure hoarding is not something that can be changed in a day or two of cleaning, but maybe I am wrong.  It seems to me that all the stars align for whoever is chosen to have Jillian come visit.  The co-workers just happen to be runners and the boss runs a 5K every Saturday–how ultra convenient for a woman who has just one week with a trainer.  I am thrilled for anyone who is impacted by the wraths of a person like Jillian, who is able to obviously get through to people who need some getting through to!  How realistic this is, I am just not sure.  Again, I will be watching next week.

At my husband’s company, they coined today their “Random Acts of Kindness” Day.  I think that is really pretty cool.  I am going to spend my day as if I worked with them.  If we all did just ONE SINGLE random act of kindness today, we could all make someone smile and we could then smile, too.  I am on it.  Gonna feed Blaze and take him outside for a little while before I begin my work day.

Be kind, peaceful and get on your fitness!  ALL things you can control in this out of control world.  It’s awfully good to “be back.”

FINALLY!

Well, after almost a week, and an unbelievable series of extremely frustrating events, I am back on line…at least for the moment!

After several hours of trying to get my new modem to actually work, I am now going to try to register the iPad I got as a gift last week and have not yet been able to do anything with.  I promise to be back today with some tidbits of stuff I have wanted to share over the last week and also to go through comments and emails I received while I was “out of the blogging loop.”

The last time I had internet service was just before I tried to register my iPad so….let’s hope that was just a coincidence, because I am off to try that again.

Thanks for your  patience….I’ll be back talking about all things peaceandfitness later or in the morning….don’t forget Losing It with Jillian tonight.

peace and hugs…..