Monday, June 28, 2010

New Balance Rock & Tone

So I admit, I hated the new "rollie" shoes that are out on the market, and I snickered at the women I saw wearing them. I thought they were very dorky looking, and that it was another gimmick by shoe companies to sell more shoes.

Then I tried the New Balance Rock & Tone 1442s.

Wow! OK so they aren't exactly "cool" looking, but they make up for it in comfort. Here is my best description - they are squishy! So when you walk it's like they are moving you forward, which I don't know about you but it makes me want to walk more. New Balance was nice enough to send them to me for free since I attended the Fitness Blog Conference this spring, and I've been wearing them now for 3 weeks. I've worn them on concrete, on bricks, on gravel, and in stores, and all seem very comfortable (although I did notice I kept dragging the bottom on the bricks, maybe because the sole is so much thicker?). I am extremely picky on my footwear due to my diabetes, but these shoes have proven there worth! I've had no blisters, and no leg or foot pain.

They come in many different colors on line, and sell for about $88. Not bad for a shoe that just makes you want to go for a walk. So if your looking for something to help you get out there and get moving, I suggest trying these shoes. Or if your current shoes cause you discomfort then try these out!

New Balance Rock & Tone 1442s, "Indulge your wellness".

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Getting on and off track....

So a few weeks ago an old friend from high school, Holly, read my WW article and wrote and asked me how I found the motivation to stick with loosing weight. And I wrote her back all these ideas about how it wasn't so bad, and to take one day at a time and ....yeah....insert positive comment from me here. LOL.

Then I went to London. And Paris. And I ate. I ate brownies from a market that melted in my mouth. I ate cheese, lots of cheese. I ate peanut butter spread on sweet "digestive" crackers. I ate nutella crepes, and french bread sammiches. I ate a lot. I exercised way less then I do at home. I went off track. Way off.

On the way back home on the plane I thought about going to the gym. But I didn't. And for the first time in a few years I realized how easy it would be to not be healthy anymore. To eat brownies, cake, peanut butter. To not go to the gym every day. To not count points anymore and to just eat whatever I wanted. To sleep in. How much fun it would be to relax and not do any of it. And for a few hours I realized that this is what Holly meant. This is where people get to and then they give up. Because you know what, food tastes good.

The first 3 days were a big struggle. I was exhausted at the gym. I had a giant piece of cake at my sisters birthday party and I wanted another one. But slowly - slowly I could feel it. As I ate better and exercised more my energy came back, I slept better, and I felt better. It has taken me a week, but I feel now I am finally back on track, dedicated again to a healthy life.

So for those of you out there who want to change but are waiting for tomorrow - take the first step now. Of course it will be hard. But it is worth it. You are worth it. Your health is worth it.

You ARE worth it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

What I learned in London....

Last week I went on vacation with my nephew and husband to London and Paris. It was an amazing trip, and we had a really great time. We spent the week walking, touring, seeing the sites, and of course eating. I've been to Europe several times, so the true highlight of this trip for me was seeing it again for the first time through my nephew's eyes on his first trip overseas.

I learned several things about him on this trip, but one of the best is that we are both avid people watchers. This was so fun for me, because my husband simply is not. We were all eyes catching the crazy fashions, the crazy hair, and the outfits and styles that were "just wrong". But it didn't take long for us to be able to pick out the Americans in the crowds. Sadly, this was not because of the amazing outfits they had on, but more because most of them were fat.

This simple fact made me sad, and also made me wonder. But as we spent the week travelling around, and in and out of markets, stores, and restaurants I could see a huge difference in the USA vs. London. Portion sizes. There is no super sized in London. Sandwiches are mostly made of bread and are normal thickness - not huge hoagie rolls with 4 servings of meat and cheese. Cheese there is sold by the slice or in small packages, not huge blocks. Soda does not have free refills. Bags of candy are what we consider our "fun" size. Even the cakes were small. Birthday cakes were half the size of any sold here in the local super markets. It was shocking to me the differences. Sure they had fast food, but there didn't seem to be super sizing, or huge monster hamburgers with bacon.

Along the same lines they walk everywhere. They don't have escalators or elevators like we do in the states. (I'm not sure how handicapped people get around!) Everywhere was stairs. Lots of stairs and lots and lots of walkers. From what I understand there are very high tolls to drive into the city, which makes most Londoner's take public transportation. There isn't parking in front of the store or restaurant like we have here, so people walk everywhere.

Now, I wasn't in the suburbs in the UK so I am basing this on what I saw, and where I live here in the states and the remarkable differences. And I'm not saying everyone in London was fit, or healthly, there was a lot of smoking and a lot of drinking. But I did come back with a new realization of what a normal portion size looks like, and how much more in general I typical get served (and eat).

Think about it at your next meal, maybe even take the time to look at the box and see how many servings are included in what you are getting ready to eat. Try eating just one portion and see if you are full. If you aren't then sure have another. But if you are and if you do this just a few times a day think of all the calories you are saving....portion sizes!

Now if we could just fix some of those crazy weird London outfits! LOL.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I thought maybe this year things would be easier, but I still miss Dad so much it hurts. I see all of the Father's Day cards and balloons and feel sick to my stomach. I'm angry he's not here, and I'm very sad he's not here. And I'm sad there is nothing at all I can do to change that.

So here is my advise for all of you who still have your Dad's. Appreciate them. My Dad used to complain about everything, and I used to roll my eyes and wonder why he just couldn't be happy one day a year, and now, today, I would give just about anything to listen to him complain. Listen to them, talk to them, and be thankful if nothing else that they are still alive.

Secondly, take a photo of just you and Dad. Sure you can take group shots, but get one of just you and your Dad. If you are lucky enough to be a Dad take a picture with each of your kids, one at a time. As I have hunted through all of my own pictures and my Mom's I have found very very few pictures of my Dad and myself. Don't make the same mistake! It only takes a minute to snap a picture.

I wish everyone a wonderful Father's Day.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Weight Watchers Success Story

For those of you who don't know I am one of this months Weight Watchers Magazine Success Stories. (The July/August Issue on stands now!) I have used the Weight Watchers On-line system since January 2007. I love it for many many reasons, but the only one that's really important is this - it works. Plain and simple, if you honestly do it, you will loose the weight, and keep it off. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone who has struggled to loose weight successfully.

So, how did this story happen? After I had lost most of my weight, my cousin Shelley approached me and told me she thought I should be a success story. I laughed at her, right in her face, and said "sure Shell", so she followed that up quickly with "if I write it will you submit it?" and I smiled and said "yup, sure!". Well folks, she did. She wrote an amazing story, and she picked out some pictures for me to include with it, so I submitted it. This was December 2008. I heard nothing, and put it out of my mind. Then four months later I got a call!

Liz, one of the magazine editors of the Weight Watchers Magazine called me and told me I had been selected as one of the success stories to appear the the magazine in 2010. She invited me to New York City the following week for a photo shoot. Yikes! I was sent a list of clothes to bring with me, undergarments to wear, and shoes and jewelry to have on.

Brad came with me to NYC, but I wouldn't let him come to the actual photo shoot. It was held in a flat in the middle of NYC near Times Square. I had a stylist who dressed me, as well as a make up artist. Fun! The day was incredibly fun. There were 6 of us "Success Stories" there at the same time, and it was fun to hear everyone stories and best tips. I was interviewed on video tape, photographed in a casual outfit, and photographed in a dressy outfit. Then we all changed back into our own clothes and walked down to the Weight Watchers Magazine HQ in NYC. We met everyone on the floor and got a complete tour. After the tour we sat down with the editors and VP's of Weight Watchers Magazine and Weight Watchers On-line for a brain storming session. What did we like? What did we hate? What was useful? What could they add? How could they make it better? It was so much fun to be a part of these discussions!

The Weight Watchers team also called me back in this past spring for auditions in a TV commercial. I went for two video taping but didn't make the final cut. :0) Which is probably good for all of us.

The Weight Watchers Experience is something I will never forget for the rest of my life. It's something I've done that I never dreamed possible, and something that pushes me to keep the weight off. A million thank yous to Shelley for believing in me. And a million thank yous to Weight Watchers for the amazing experience. These pictures are all from the shoot and the WW HQ tour.

Try it, it works.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Race for the Cure

Every year for the past 6 years my Mom and I have walked the Susan Komen National Race for the Cure in Washington DC. For the past 4 years Jill and Katie have joined us, and it's becoming our "girls" event. Every year I look forward to this weekend and what has become our tradition.

If you've never done this race, it's really one of the most inspirational and emotional races I've ever done. Just the number of people alone is remarkable. Last year there were 45,000 participants. But what is even more remarkable is the number of pink shirts. For this race you get a white shirt, unless you are a survivor, then you get a pink shirt. Looking out over the crowds of people lining up it is overwhelming the number of pink shirts. Everyone there has somehow been effected by breast cancer, and everyone there is hopeful that more progress is made.

There is a lot of media saying fundraising from these events doesn't make a difference, but I disagree. In my Virginia Tech College of Science magazine I received last month there was an article on how the Komen foundation gave a large grant for breast cancer research to Tech. Up to 75 percent of the funds raised by the Global Race for the Cure stays in the D.C. Metro Area to fund breast health education and breast health screening and treatment projects. Of all of the races people do, people seem to have at least heard of Susan Komen and the Race for the Cure. Even if she just gets the 45,000 participants to do regular self breast checks, then that's a huge accomplishment in my eyes.

I am enough of an optimist to hope that the money raised, while it might not help me or my Mom, will hopefully, keep Katie forever in the white shirt.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gettin' off the sidelines

Brad and I started dating when we were 18 years old. He was a cross country runner in high school, and really seemed to enjoy running, so it was something he continued to do when he could. When we were married, and working, I would go to the gym but he would always prefer going for a run, and he loved to run in races. So I would go and watch and cheer him on. Race after race I would stand and cheer and clap for runners, secretly looking at each woman that went by thinking "her butt is bigger then mine" or "she is at least two sizes bigger then me" or "her thigh's are rubbing more then mine do". For years I was a sideline cheer leader, always saying running was not for me. I was the one holding all the stuff while everyone else was participating.

This past week Brad and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary. And this weekend we stayed home, and enjoyed a wonderful weekend. Saturday we ran 8 miles into Rock Creek Park with Brad's friends, Sunday we rode our bikes 45 miles on the C&O Canal and yesterday we ran into Georgetown, another 6 miles. And today I feel fantastic, I am not tired, I am not sore, nothing hurts. When I realized this a few minutes ago I realized how far I have come in those 14 years.

When I started running I hated it. I was slow, it hurt, and my god it was HARD. My first 5K I ran in I think 44 minutes. But each time I ran it got better, and as I got faster and was able to go farther running brought me more pride then anything I did at the gym. Now when I run it's not nearly as hard, it's a comfortable challenge, but instead of hating it I look forward to it, and I enjoy it. I love being able to participate. I am in love with being fit enough to do just about anything I want to. I can join in. I am not the fastest or the best, but I am also not the slowest. For the first time in my life I am no longer on the sidelines, but in the race. Now I'm behind that girl, looking at her butt thinking "her butt is bigger then mine" then I push myself to stand up straighter and run past her. :0)

So to all of you out there on the sidelines, feel free to look at my butt when I run by and feel free to yell out that yours is smaller then mine, but then join me. Because it so much more fun to participate in life.