Sunday, March 14, 2010


Hey everyone!  Just wanted to let you know that I am joining the masses and switching over to Wordpress! I love Blogger because it's ridiculously easy to use, but I need to make the blog a little fancier so it was time!  Visit me over at: and let me know what you think!

See you soon!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gym Pet Peeve #1

So you know those things that people do at the gym that just drive you CRAZY? Well, seeing how I work in a gym allll day, I’ve got quite a few, which I plan on sharing with you periodically. Here’s the first one on my looong list: always tells the truth. 

The Siderail Treadmill Sprinter: This is most often the person who has never run ever and has decided to start recently, but doesn’t want everyone to know about his beginner status. So he cranks up the treadmill speed to as fast as (usually faster than) he can go, and sprints as hard as he can (clomping noisily as he tries not to slip off the back of the belt) for about 30 seconds. Then he hops off to the sides and hangs out there panting for the next minute and a half while the empty treadmill belt rotates. I usually want to tap these people on the shoulder and ask them if they know that the distance and calories the display reads don’t actually count if they only run a quarter of the time they’re hanging out on the machine. Lucky for everyone, thus far I’ve refrained.

I do want to say something about this as a trainer, though. It’s great to push yourself -- it really is. My job wouldn’t exist if people didn’t want to challenge their bodies. However, you simply cannot force something that isn’t there if you want to get the results you’re looking for. You have to know what you are capable of right now and work with that. If you’re lifting, start with what you can do for 10-15 reps, not 3 (unless you're looking to be a power lifter perhaps?). If you’re doing cardio, do it intensely, but not so intensely that 10 minutes is all you can handle. You won't reap the benefits of exercise if you do it this way.  And you’ll just push so hard that you’ll burn out in… oh, 30 seconds.

Have you seen these sprint-stomp-stop exercisers at your gym?  Are you one of them? (Be honest!) And what are some of YOUR gym pet peeves?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sounds Like a Plan

Hey all, quick Monday post here.  Last week I talked about wanting to ramp up my workouts and renew my commitment to getting in fighting shape.  Well, this week I decided to try something new to accomplish that goal: I planned out my entire week, Monday through Friday, including when I was going to work out, write, train, and eat.  I also made a more detailed plan for my grocery shopping, and I cooked more food ahead of time so that I'd be prepared for when I got home at 9pm STARVING and ready to chew my own arm off.  I've always been a planner and list maker, but this just took it to another level.  I mean, I even scheduled in showers. Later on this week I'll report back on how I did with following the plan, and how it made me feel!

What kind of person are you?  A super planner?  A fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants person?  When do you feel like you get more accomplished?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My First Guest Post and March Goals

Hey guys! So although I’ve been a slacka over here, I have been doing SOME writing! Check out Chandra’s Shenanigans for a guest post from yours truly (first one!) on how I made the transition from working at a desk to spending my days in the gym. I know I kind of already wrote about it here, but it was fitting to write about it over there because she did the same thing! Granted, she was a little smarter about it, transitioning slowly, and not just saying ‘Eff you, corporate desk job’ and quitting completely, but still.

Anyway, another thing I almost completely forgot about is making March goals! Luckily Rachel over at Shedding It reminded me. (Forgetting three months into the year…good job, Heather.) I honestly don’t know how I did on February’s goals, because the month was crazy, but I’m going to try to make some more for March and actually pay attention to them. So here we go!

1) Get more sleep: Seriously, guys, this one is a huge problem. Why is it that I cannot get a handle on it? I need suggestions in a big way! HELP! SOS! Seriously, give me some tips, because I haven’t been able to figure this one out. Shooting for seven hours of sleep for only 3 nights this month. Baby steps? I don’t know…help!

2) Start journaling my food again: I’ve been pretty good about knowing what I’ve eaten during the day, but I could buckle down a little bit more. I’ve got some big goals –athletic and otherwise – so I need to make sure I’m in tip top shape, and I think this will really help.

3) Put money aside every week: With this job, I won’t lie, I have had to panic at the end of the month more than once when it comes to my finances. So, I need to commit to putting at least $20 (maybe $50…still deciding) away at the end of every week. I used to do this all the time, and it was great because I was starting this little nest egg, and because I put it away immediately when I got paid, I never even noticed that I didn’t have it. I need to save up for some big stuff (namely a new laptop to replace this dinosaur and a bike for the Tri), so this should help.

4) Recommit to my workouts and ramp them up: I did an awesome job of cranking up the intensity of my workouts in February, and it showed, but at the end of the month, I fell off a little. Even though it was only skipping one or two workouts, I still felt it. So for March, I want to renew my commitment and even add in a cardio session or two to my week. I want to get stronger, faster, leaner, and all-around more athletic.

What are your goals for this month?  Did you already forget about them like I did?  (Oops!) Tell me what you want to accomplish this month!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Link Love and In Response to Anonymous #2

I am so so sorry I've neglected the blog, but this week has been crazy!  This was the last week of the month, meaning I was working 13 to 15 hour days and didn't even have time to breathe, let alone blog.  Anyway, for now, I want to leave you with a few awesome links that really hit home with me this week.  If you aren't already following these bloggers, I suggest you check them out!

First up, Gena from Choosing Raw wrote an amazing essay on embracing our appetites... for everything.  As a feminist and a woman, I can totally relate to this.  For a major chunk of my life, I was so focused on being the 'good girl' or the 'skinny girl' that I ignored everything and anything I was craving.  This essay really brings to light the fact that many of us do this all the time.  

Next, my good friend Rachel from Shedding It & Getting It wrote a few awesome posts related to the same idea.  Her first one about going with her cravings and deciding not to justify to herself or anyone else what she wanted was so inspiring that I just had to smile.  She also wrote one a few days ago about "Your Unruly Appetite" that was inspired by Gena's post.  My favorite line? "Sometimes a girl needs to eat. And get laid. It’s biology, people — not a big f****** deal." (Man, my parents are going to love that one...Hi, Mom!).

Another blogger, Kristin from Cook, Bake, and Nibble, talked about her experiences with disordered eating and denying herself as well.  Since it was NEDAwareness week, she talked about her struggles with body image and food.  I love the honesty of all of these ladies this week!

And one last thing before I go, I really wanted to address a comment left on my last post 'Are Eating Disorders Contagious?'  The second anonymous comment had this to say: "It sounds like you have an eating disorder and have had it since college. That's what therapy is for. I don't know if you can begin to get healthy until you face your demons and not project them on to your surroundings. I hope you take the steps to get help." While I appreciate the honesty, and I think everyone has a right to state his or her opinion, I did want to discuss this one.  First of all, when I state my opinion in this way, I at least own up to it.  I wish "Anonymous #2" had done the same. 

However, I would like to say to this commenter (and everyone else reading) that I have never denied having an eating disorder in college.  I had major control issues, and what I was doing was not healthy.  And I did get help.  Therapy got me my sanity back, and I give a ton of credit to the counselor who got me through so much at UMich.  And now, for the first time in a long time, I'm not counting calories and I'm not freaking out over every minute of cardio I miss or about every morsel of food that goes into my mouth.  The point of this post was to say that I am finally sane, but I know I still need to be careful because recovery doesn't happen overnight.  I am not blaming anyone at work for any residual issues I have, just stating that I need to watch myself in that kind of environment so that I can take preventative measures to keep myself from going back to that darker place.  In the same way that someone might load up on vitamin C to keep from catching a cold that's going around, I am forcing myself to notice what everyone is doing so that I don't lose what I've fought so hard to get back -- my health and my sanity.  I'm not saying I don't still have a ways to go, but please belive that I am healthier and I am not 'projecting my demons' onto the amazing people with whom I work.     

To everyone else who left comments, thank you!  Your support and the fact that you read means the world to me!  And you know what, thank you to Anon #2 as well, because it's important to address these things, and you gave me the opportunity to do so.

Hope everyone is having a fab weekend!  What you think of the links posted?  How do you feel about cravings and trying to control our appetites?  And for all of you bloggers or writers out there, how do you address the less-than-positive comments?  Do you address them at all?         

Friday, February 19, 2010

Are Eating Disorders Contagious?

Lately at work, everyone has been sick! We all have colds right now, and it probably doesn’t help that we all hang out with each other for 14 hours at a time on very little sleep at a super germy gym. We’re totally passing it back and forth to one another.

At the same time, a lot of us here are working towards certain fitness goals and training for sports or competitions, especially with summer coming up. Being trainers, we’re all pretty committed to it, but I’m starting to get a little hyperaware of what I’m doing, how much I’m training, and what I’m eating. While I like the discipline I’m getting back, I’m also getting a little nervous about how much I’m starting to think about my training and my diet. Because the guys are constantly talking about their food and calories and how much weight they need to cut and how if they don’t puke they aren’t working out hard enough, I’ve caught myself thinking about these same things. A lot.

The thing is, I really don’t want to. Yes, I want to be healthy and make conscious choices about my food and workouts, but I don’t want it to escalate to obsession. Because I’ve been there before, and I have no desire to let being a certain weight or size completely run my life again. In college, I was so focused on keeping my weight down (at a weight that was far too low for me, in fact), that I planned out every little thing I put in my mouth (planning isn’t bad, but the level to which I did it was ridiculous), and I ended up putting so much stress on my body with exercise that my period stopped.

So I think you can understand why getting anywhere near that territory again scares me. Before, I was influenced by other people too. All of my friends being fixated on their weight and food put in my head that I should be too. I sort of ‘caught’ disordered eating habits from the women around me (and maybe society as a whole, but that’s another post). Here it’s a bunch of guys with “athletic goals,” so no one says they have eating disorders. They admire each others’ commitment, even though sometimes it clearly is disordered behavior.

Before, when I lived with all girls in the dorms and in the sorority house, it was actually a similar situation. We talked about food and calories allll the time, and girls were always giving each other tips or asking questions on how to cut calories and fill up on the smallest amount. The girls that could eat the least seemed to have a whole lot of self control and received praise, but I think we all knew it wasn’t healthy. I happened to be one of those girls for most of college. I ate “super healthy” all the time – which actually meant that I stayed away from sweets, loaded up on veggies to stay full, and ate the least amount of calories possible while running every day. But there was also a backlash from that, with my house mom telling me I looked a little too skinny and someone starting a rumor that I didn't eat dinner at the house some nights because I didn't want people knowing how little I actually ate (for the record, I had to work during the little half hour window they gave us for dinner at the house.)  Anyway, at one point I was living on 700-1000 calories a day (unless I drank, then it was just a little more – that’s what we call “drunkorexia,” folks), running 6-7 miles daily, and lifting a few times a week. I’m shocked I never passed out, honestly. Anyway, I convinced myself that I was just really disciplined, when in fact, I was really obsessed and had major control issues.

I do want to keep up this discipline and renewed commitment to feeling like an athlete again, but I don’t want to drive myself crazy with it as I did in the past. I already caught a cold from the guys I work with, but I’d like to avoid catching anything more serious.

What do you all think? Can you ‘catch’ an eating disorder or disordered eating from someone else? Or do you think some people are actually predisposed to EDs? Do other people influence your food and exercise choices? I really want to know how you feel about this topic, so spill!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Trying New Things: Yoplait Greek Yogurt

The other day, I was picking up some essentials at the grocery store when I spotted a new Greek yogurt made by Yoplait. I’m not going to lie, I got super excited when I saw this, especially because it’s almost a dollar cheaper than my beloved Fage! I am addicted to that stuff, but it can put a dent in your wallet, especially when you forget to go grocery shopping and have to shop at the little market by your house that charges an arm and a leg for everything. I was a tiny bit skeptical of Yoplait’s version, but decided to give it a try. Here are the details: It claims it has 2x the protein of leading yogurt (true), and it has 100 calories, 14 grams of protein, and 0 grams of fat. Not bad!

I opened it yesterday morning after my two early appointments, looking for a dose of protein. And, honestly…all I can say is, “UGH!” But I will admit that I ate it anyway because I didn’t have anything else, and I’m cheap like that. I also thought, HEY, I never try new stuff so this could be an awesome post! A review! I’m such a hip blogger now! (I sound like my mom. Apparently, I’m not up the lingo these days.)

Anyway, I got the plain version because I actually really like plain yogurt – Greek or regular – but this was just not good. It tasted like plain yogurt does when you accidentally let it sit out for an hour and it’s almost room temperature. Except I had just taken this out of the fridge and it was still chilled. Bleh. It actually tasted like it had gone bad or something, so I even checked the expiration date to make sure. Nope, March 20, 2010. It was just that gross. It was weird in a tangy way that was off even for plain yogurt. So if you don’t like plain in the first place, this might make you vom a little. The texture wasn’t terrible, but there was something weirdly chalky about the coating it left behind along with the aftertaste. Yoplait, your claim that it has a ‘unique, thick and creamy texture’ is only accurate on the ‘unique’ part.

So maybe I’m spoiled, and I like the good stuff, but I’m still telling you not to waste your money on this. It might be cheaper, but that’s because it’s kind of disgusting. As with most things in life, friends, you get what you pay for. I am willing to give other Greek yogurts a try, but my heart still belongs to Fage 2%, even if it is the most expensive. I’ll even do Chobani or Trader Joe’s brand if they’re available. But Yoplait… never again…

Have you tried any fun (or gross) new foods lately? What did you think? Any recommendations for me?