Archive for the ‘Water Bottles’ Category

shoeLast June I decided I was going to try out the StairMaster at the candy store gym.

With determination driven by sheer purpose (I think I can, I think I can, I think I can) I strode across the gym. Tucked at the end of the last row of cardio paraphernalia were a handful of StairMaster machines. A lady was on the end unit, the second was empty, a gentleman was on the third one.

Second thought…the use of “gentleman” is premature.

I stuck my water bottle in the water bottle hole. Draped the smelly towel my membership entitled me to use for free over the hand rail (which smelled like it had been buried in a garbage can); got my playlist together (that’s code for I un-knotted my earphones), and finally with a cocky sense of purpose (know-it all-ness) I climbed upon the machine. Seven feet in the air I pushed the settings through to the program I wanted and pressed start (quick tip: what you set the elliptical to does not apply to the StairMaster. You might want to write that down.).

I made a mental note that the heart rate figures I inputted were most likely wrong because the stairs started to move very rapidly, simulating – oh, I don’t know – how one might run up a flight of stairs! I made a go of it and attempted to get my footing while I desperately searched for a warning label that would have given some detail as to why my feet weren’t fitted to the steps. I also made another mental note: write Nautilus a letter which would state a warning label that shared the bottom step disappears would be vital…and lifesaving.

I knew I needed to stop the machine and start over. I grabbed the top of the rail to pull myself up. My foot slipped off a step and as I slid down the length of the machine I uttered loudly, “You have GOT to be kidding me.”

The lady to the right and the gentleman to the left never moved. They continued to stare ahead and climb to their destinations.

I managed to get myself together and got the machine to cooperate. 30 minutes later I had logged 95 floors. I’m not entirely certain how floors are determined, but I don’t care. I did it.

Afterward I hit the elliptical, and got grossed out when the little skinny chick next to me left the machine and didn’t clean it.



So today consisted of:
-4.25 miles on the elliptical (40 minutes)
-Boxing: Three 3-minute rounds
-Lunges: 15lb weighted bar: 40 ft. Without bar: 40 ft.
-Step-Ups (plyo-box): 20 reps per leg x3
-Sit-Ups: 60 seconds x3
-Ball Bounce (off wall) & Squat: 6lb weighted ball, 60 seconds x3
-TRX Squats: 60 seconds x3
-65lb Deadlifts: 60 seconds x3

3 Quarts of water

-4oz boneless/skinless chicken thigh
-Curried butternut & acorn squash
-Whole Foods 365 frozen peas

You CAN workout…so get off your ass.

To workout or not to workout had never been a question, it was a decision made before I crawled out from between the covers in the morning. My weight loss doctor would ask me naggingly constantly if I had been to the gym. Three months of that led me to hire a personal trainer for six weeks just to keep him quiet. I thought I’d outsmart him with reverse psychology.

Six weeks later, I ate the proverbial crow pie: 17″ and 25lbs lost.

I have learned there is no valid excuse not to workout.

  • I am way too busy. If you watch American Idol, The Voice, and The Walking Dead with religious vigor– AND you DVR those shows (or others), you got the time.
  • I can’t do what people half my age do.
    Really? Madonna Buder has competed in over 45 triathlons. She started training when she was 48 years old. Her first Ironman was at the age of 55. In 2005 she completed the Hawaii Ironman at 75, she was the oldest woman ever to finish the race. Ironman adds new age brackets as she continues to compete. She’s best known as “The Iron Nun”.
  • Nobody will workout with me. Not true. You can find a workout buddy, they’ll challenge you and you can motivate each other. Ask my friend Anne, last summer we spent almost every weekend together at Weekend Warrior Boot Camp. She recently turned 59 (again). Just this weekend I chased her around the football field.
  • Working out is boring. Not if you add variety. Not everyone has to run. There’s the elliptical, rowing machine, Zumba (you brave, brave souls), spin, kickboxing, yoga, cross fit…the list is endless. Playlists are a big help, too!
  • I have kids, they take up all of my time. They don’t take up all your time (they sleep, right?). Get up early , or workout after they are down for the night. If they are babysat by TV, movies and video games, turn them off and get outside. Play sports, go to the park, hit the beach, hike, bike, walk, run, or create a Family Boot Camp. You’ll get some quality time with your kids and together model a healthy lifestyle.
  • My back/knees/hips/elbows/fingernail hurts. I sprained my back during a training session one night. Stairs hurt my knees. Running irritates the muscles which wrap around my left hip. My left shoulder has been dislocated twice, presently I have a fracture that’s three or four years old and a torn muscle. I have to have a total knee replacement. What’s your excuse?
  • I’m too fat, I can’t workout. That’s better translated to “I’m too fat, I don’t want to workout.”
  • I’m not overweight. What? You thought this was just for fat people? Not all skinny people are fit people. Exercise is just as beneficial for skinny people as it is for fat people.
  • My friend is a gym rat, there ain’t no way. My therapist said I would become a “gym rat”. A friend of mine who lost over 200lbs by living in the gym would workout three to four hours a day. I thought they were both nuts. I have since digressed. I usually spend no less than two hours working out.
  • My (insert illness here) makes it hard to get around. Talk to your physician, who will tell you to move. The Government says cancer survivors, those with arthritis, have had a stroke, have Parkinson’s, are mentally ill, even those who are disabled can all benefit from exercise.
  • I’m depressed. Great! Studies have strongly suggested regular exercise is helpful in fighting off depression!

You don’t have a valid excuse, so get off your ass and take a walk!

I had dug around in my box of weight loss surgery stuffs for some items that had been handed out pre and post-op. There was a “Get Your Kitchen Situated” list; the “Hi, the shrink says you’re not nuts…here’s your next to-do list” letter); “Vitamins to have on hand…for…ev…er” list; lists about food “Stages” (liquids, squishies, solids, Starbucks).

Actually, I think Starbucks should be a food group.

None of what had been contained in my little box of weight loss really explained what would happen to my cute self when all the weight came off. Rapid or gradual weight loss always results in physical changes: my nose shrank, my boobs mysteriously got bigger (I’m in denial and don’t care what the 4’11 lady said while I got fitted for a new bra).

Oh…clothes shopping? Really? It’s not (make little quote signs with your fingers) shopping.

Those of us who have personally experienced massive weight loss know all too well the frustration fitting rooms hold. Two weeks ago I spent the better part of half an hour in a pathetic stubborn effort to get into a Spanx tank. The damn thing rolled behind me because I somehow got it wrapped up in its own fabric and hooked in my bra-strap. To add insult to injury, the light overhead made that little fitting room hotter than a book shelf in hell.

After I wiggled out of the Spanx tank with a couple of MMA moves Mark taught me, I saw the back of a tag which had instructions. Plain as day: “Step INTO your shape wear.

I rock.

sneakerbinMy experience with new sneakers has been just as enjoyable, as you can see. There are 15 pair of sneakers in my bin: Nike (3 pair), New Balance (5 pair), Reebok (3 pair), Champion (2 pair), Kmart Blue Light Special (2 pair).

I now own my own sneaker factory.

Well…maybe own is a tad dramatic.

As a person who has first-hand experience with rapid weight loss, it would not be unreasonable to think I take as much care with the purchase of new sneakers as I do wrestling with Spanx.


Fat people walk differently than non-fat people (sounds like I just described yogurt). The muscles in my body had to compensate for my weight which means my legs would roll out (all of my shoes were worn down on the outside of the heels). Now that I weigh about 140lbs less than I did two years ago, I walk differently. The type of shoe I wore then I cannot wear now, and this is true for a lot of people in the weight loss community.

Failure to take the time to properly shop for sneakers could develop foot and/or ankle problems down the road. Gym sneakers are different than street sneakers. Running sneakers are different than cross train sneakers. The cool sneakers on the rack at a discount will not do their job if they do not fit properly. Don’t be me and look like a shoe who…um…hoarder. Love the feet you’re in, get fitted!

There’s a great article here on shopping for sneakers. If you have any additional input, toss me a note at

That’s a line from a song in one of the Rocky movies.

It takes an amazing amount of talent to publicly display mental dullness and foolishness (sprinkled with a lack of intelligence and sensitivity). I especially enjoy the comments which float around social media which state weight loss surgery “is the easy way out”, and that God doesn’t listen to them. Those people are obtuse (thank you Andy Dufresne).

Side note: God does listen to you. If you find yourself neck deep in flood waters and beg for help, He’ll send help (rescue boat, helicopter with a ladder, etc.). You can climb out of the water or drown. Even though the tools necessary to get out of the flood waters are within your grasp, your metal dullness and foolishness will result in your preventable demise.

24 months ago I had gastric bypass. I go to the gym, I’ve been with the same trainer for 21 months, I’m addicted to Starbucks. I weigh and measure my food. I read labels all the time. I’ve lost about 140lbs, 33.5 inches from head to toe, two shoe sizes…and I bought a skirt (it’s been 15 years since I had worn a dress/skirt).

If you think for one second I took the easy way out…well…you’re pretty obtuse.


littlesneaksI found these today on an article written by Chris Freytag, Fitness Expert for Prevention Magazine.

1. Strive for progress, not perfection. (Unknown)

2. You want me to do something…tell me I can’t do it. (Maya Angelou)

3. If you don’t make mistakes, you aren’t really trying. (Unknown)

4. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. (Wayne Gretzky)

5. You live longer once you realize that any time spent being unhappy is wasted. (Ruth E. Renkl)

6. Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. (Gandi)

7. Motivation will almost always beat mere talent. (Norman R. Augustine)

8. I’d rather be a failure at something I enjoy than a success at something I hate. (George Burns)

9. Energy and persistence conquer all things. (Ben Franklin)

10. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Virginia's SneakersNot quite two months ago I got a message on Facebook from Virginia with a compliment that she had seen my before and after picture. What I didn’t know until we got together for coffee therapy in town at Tracibucks Starbucks was how Virginia came across my picture. I just assumed it was through a mutual on Facebook. She had actually done a Google search on the best trainers in the area and found Swift Results web site tied to the contest in Hour Magazine for the Best of Detroit. The last time I saw Virg live & in person was a couple of years ago through the women’s Bible study at Kensington in Troy.

Tonight we met up for a walk. We talked the entire time, and I’m telling you right now: God so orchestrated this new friendship:

  • Virginia and I are about the same height. We’re close in age (technically I think I’m older).
  • We’re ex’es in specs.
  • The interior of our vehicles could be the launch point for a new reality series: CLI’s (Car Litter
  • Abs are a reality in our lives, even if there are teeny tiny cuts. We can see them, and
    that’s all that matters.
  • We’re super close in weight (no, you don’t get to know).
  • We have the same goal weight.
  • Both of us are at places in our lives where old novels have been shelved, and new ones are ready for
  • We both have little heart monitors. Mine is in a drawer…somewhere.
  • Virginia and I have no issue calling someone out. She will (and has) stalk a dog owner to remind them of
    their duty to pick up doody, while I will loudly proclaim to any random person about to step onto a piece
    of cardio equipment they might want to wipe it down since the person before them didn’t care to remove
    their doody.
  • We both have a desire to accidentally casually trip skinny runners.
  • Anne & Marcia will adore her as the third member of the unofficial Royal Oak Oh-Em-Gee It’s a Baby
  • Train wrote her theme song.

If you would like to meet Virginia, you can follow her on Facebook or her blog “Life on the Virg”. She’s pretty awesome.