Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Hey fitness friends! How's it going? Last day of July! Can you believe it?!? Seems like we just started this year a few months ago but we're actually going on 8 months in! I'm starting to understand what my parents and other older adults meant when they told me that once you're out of school, the time flies by! Before you know it, you're 40 years old and you wake up one morning, thinking you're late for school, but haven't been in school for almost 20 years! Lol! Haven't gotten to that age or experienced that yet, but each year just seems to get faster and faster... I have no problem with that, though, because I truly believe you're as young as you feel. And the healthier you are, the better you feel, so believe me, I'm good! :)

Camp Do More 2012
My Team: The Dallas Cowboys
But anyway, getting to the subject of the matter... DO MORE! Now those two words have a couple of different meanings to me. The first thing that pops to my mind, since it was so recent, is Camp Do More, the 4 day event that Chalene Johnson (fitness instructor and the creator of Turbo Fire, Turbo Jam, and more) holds every summer at The Hilton Hotel in Anaheim, California. I just got back last week and let me tell you, it was AMAZING!!! It's all about fun, fitness, self-empowerment, and meeting people who are just as crazy about health & fitness as you are! It's jam packed with exercise sessions, lectures, there's a fashion show, a dance party, and a team competition where each team creates & performs a Turbo routine. It's only around 2 minutes long and no one really wins, it's all for fun. The whole theme of the camp is to do more, hence the name. I came from it totally motivated and empowered to do more to make my life and the life of others better! One of the things stressed about this whole concept of "doing more" is that it's never all about you, it's about helping others as well.

So come on! Join the "do more" band wagon! Do more for others! Decide to help another person in need! Sometimes all it takes is being a friend or a shoulder to lean on. Do more for yourself! Set out to accomplish that dream that you pushed aside! I've come to decision that I'm going to go after my dream of having a full time fitness career and I'm starting that by becoming a certified personal trainer! :) I've contacted a couple of online organizations (ISSA and ACE to name a couple) and I've also signed up for a CPR class through my local Red Cross (a CPR certification is necessary in order to take the personal trainer certification exam). I know it will take time and a lot of hard work, but I'm making moves and determined to DO MORE! Will you do it? Will you do more? Hey, why not? You've only got one life to live, you might as well make it the best one possible! Sometimes we get stuck in our same day to day rut, we get bored, uninspired, unmotivated, and lazy. I know because I've been there. I think we've ALL been there from time to time, but we don't have to stay there. That never has to be the "norm". Fire yourself up! Take the time to really think about your goals and what you want out of life and make some decisions to DO MORE!


 Camp Do More 2012 Pictures...

The Dance Party:
Me, my friend, Wendy, and Chalene Johnson

Brian Tracy lecture - He was PHENOMENAL!

Right before the fashion show

The Dance Party:
Me and one of my team captains, Mindy Lawhorne

To see even more Camp Do More pics, please like the Succeed At Fitness Facebook page and check out the picture album titled "Camp Do More 2012".

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Hey fit friends! New post for July! Thought I'd better get 'em in while I can since I'll be kinda' MIA after the 19th. Two reasons why, the first one being: I'M GOING TO CAMP DO MORE 2012!!! :) If you have no idea what I'm talking about it's a 4 day event that Chalene Johnson (fitness instructor and the creator of Turbo Fire, Turbo Jam, Turbo Kick, ChaLEAN Extreme... and more) holds every summer at The Hilton Hotel in Anaheim, California. I went once before in 2010 and was able to meet and take a photo with the Turbo queen herself. It's all about fun, fitness, self-empowerment, and meeting people who are just as crazy about health & fitness as you are! It's jam packed with exercise sessions, lectures, there's a fashion show, a dance party, and a team competition... it's AMAZING! Don't worry, I'll take plenty of picturess and I plan on writing a blog post about it soon after I get back. So that's reason number one for me being missing in action, number two is: I'm moving. Nothing major there. When you're renting you move often, but this time I'll be renting a town house, no neighbors above or beneath me so that should be cool. Between the vacation and the move right after I'll have very little access to the Internet (if any) for awhile so I've been trying to squeeze in as many blog posts and updates to the SAF (Succeed At Fitness) website and Facebook page as possible.

So... what should this blog post be about... hmm...I think this post is going to be about self-esteem. I basically just want to send out the message that the only one you should ever be competing with is yourself. Meaning, it doesn't help you, mentally or physically, to compare yourself to the next person. BE THE BEST YOU! And don't worry about anyone else! This just doesn't apply to physical fitness, but to everything in life. So your house isn't as "fancy" as hers, he can afford a new car and you can't, they're married and your single, she's skinny and you're struggling to drop a pound, he's popular and can make friends with anyone... why can't I? Any of that sound familiar? If so, don't feel bad, those feelings are called BEING HUMAN. We've all felt it before, the feeling of wishing/wanting what we don't have and the envy that comes along with seeing others have what we want. But don't let those feelings control your life or turn you into that person you don't want to be. You know the person I'm talking about, the catty, self-absorbed, jealous person that no one can stand being around because all they do is talk about other people. Don't let this be you! It can creep up on you quicker than you think! And if this sounds like you now, check yourself and make a change!

I can honestly say that there have only been a few times in my life that I've ever actually been jealous or envious of anyone. You know why? I was taught from a young age that anyone can have anything that the next person has, you just have to be willing to work for it. It doesn't pay to envy anyone because you have no idea what that person you're so jealous of is going through to achieve what to you may appear to come so naturally. And another thing, truth be told, sometimes what the next person has just isn't for you. I know that's never a popular school of thought but sometimes work as hard as you can, it's just not gonna' happen. We all have to learn to recognize these situations and accept them.
For example, let's take it back to fitness for a moment, you want a slamming Beyonce type body. Okay, you start eating right, hitting the gym, you may even hire a personal trainer. You start losing weight, getting slim, but wait! "Why don't I have the hour glass figure? Why isn't my butt that big? My body is more narrow. I wanna' look just like her!" Well, guess what? You remember that thing called "genetics"? Genetics says, unless you have plastic surgery, it's just not happening. And guess what? THAT'S OKAY! BE THE BEST YOU! And love yourself just the way you are! 

Don't get me wrong, I'm just like you, I'm not immune to feeling "imperfect" sometimes, but I try to remember that there is no such thing as "perfection". I'm learning to accept myself for who and what I am, improving upon myself where possible. That's the best I can do and my best is never "not good enough". I encourage you to do and feel the same.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

LIQUID CALORIES - The Biggest Source of Empty Calories

Hey fitness friends! First post of July!!! Whoo-hoo!!! Can you believe it? It's July already! Crazy, right?!? Feels like the year just started but we're actually 7 months in... time flies! Independence Day is tomorrow and I'm sure lots of you will be gathering with family &  friends to celebrate. Have a happy 4th of July with lots of fun!

Now I could make this into a "how to stay healthy during the summer holidays" type of post, but I won't. Today I want to talk about something that affects us all year round that I think a lot of people dismiss when trying to live a healthy lifestyle. You exercise, you eat healthy, you're watching your portions, but still can't seem to get the weight off... sound familiar? So what's the deal? Why isn't the scale moving? Why can't you lose those last couple of inches off your waistline? LIQUID CALORIES. That's right, liquid calories, as in soda/pop, juice... etc. People tend to guzzle their calories and it can really add up! I don't care how much you exercise, if you're drinking soda/pop, juice, lattes, smoothies, alcohol... etc., and not counting those calories, don't expect to lose that much weight, if any at all. For example, that can of soda you drink each morning is about 150 calories. A smoothie can run up to an extra 500 to 1,000 calories, despite all the good stuff added in. A 16-ounce latte with whole milk packs 260 calories. And the average margarita has more than 500 calories! You're killing your progress and don't even know it! Let's get into it...

More Calories, Less Satisfaction

Beverages are probably the biggest hidden source of empty calories in our diets. Even those that are supposedly "super-healthy", like grapefruit juice and orange juice, can pack 100 calories in 8 ounces. What's worse is that the average person never drinks only 8 ounces. A typical serving is usually 16 ounces. That's 200 calories for one drink!

And then there's soda, which contributes few useful nutrients but plenty of calories in the form of sweeteners. A 20-ounce soda, for example, has the equivalent of 18 teaspoons of sugar. Soda is without a question among the many sources of excess calories contributing to the obesity epidemic in America. A standard 12-ounce (non-diet) soda has roughly 150 calories. Drink two or three of those a day and that's enough calories to gain a pound a week! And just think what a supersized (44-ounce) drink can do -- just one a day can lead to an extra pound per week.
Now I already know what some of you may be thinking, "If I count my calories, soda included, no problem, right?" Well, I wouldn't be so sure... The fact of the matter is, sodas provide no nutrient value at all, while the foods you eliminate may. Furthermore, the calories we drink are likely to be added to, rather than replaced by the calories we eat.
A study published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2000 supports this. Fifteen healthy men and women consumed an extra 450 calories, in the form of either jellybeans or soda, every day for four weeks. After four weeks, the soda drinkers switched to jelly beans and vice versa. When eating the jellybeans, all 15 people in the study reduced the number of calories they took in from other sources to compensate; at the end of the study, they had gained only a small amount of weight. Those drinking the soda, however, made no such changes in the calories they consumed. No surprise here: The soda drinkers gained a lot of weight!
The take-away message? Liquid calories don't tend to fill you up and satisfy your hunger as well as those from solid foods. Soft drinks quench your thirst -- and add calories -- but do little to fill your belly.

Soda isn't the only beverage to beware. Tea and coffee by themselves have no calories, but the add-ons can make them come into a real calorie-fest! For example, a large Starbucks Mocha Coconut Frappuccino with whipped cream adds a whopping 710 calories and 26 grams of fat. Even a tablespoon or two of cream in your morning coffee, along with a packet of sugar, adds up.
(An occasional cappucino, latte, or coffee is fine if you need that Starbucks fix, but ask for skim milk. The blended coffee drinks are a big no-no, especially the ones with whipped cream toppings!)

And what about alcoholic drinks? Personally, I don't drink alcohol so this isn't a problem for me, but if you do, it's best to proceed with caution. The average calorie count of a glass of wine or bottle of beer is 100-150 calories, and how often do most people stop at one? Even worse, alcoholic beverages can lower your inhibitions and make you more likely to overeat -- especially those salty snacks that are often served with drinks.

Diet sodas are virtually calorie free, yet they contain a list of non-nutritious ingredients including artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are approved by the FDA, but moderation is the best approach. It's best to limit your intake of diet sodas to a few servings a day.

Skim and low-fat milk and no-sugar-added juices certainly have their place in a healthy diet. These beverages contain a wealth of nutrients needed for health and should be incorporated into your eating plan. But if you're trying to lose weight, don't fall into the trap of sipping them throughout the day. To quench your thirst, stick to water (perhaps dressed up with a bit of juice or citrus) and other no-calorie or very low-calorie beverages.

Low-Calorie Refreshers

So now you're probably thinking to yourself, "No soda, no alcohol, no juice... what can I drink?" Personally my liquids consist of 98% water. Most people don't drink enough water and the benefits you receive from water are many! If plain water doesn't do it for you, add slices of lemon, lime, or orange for flavor without calories. Or try adding a low drink mix, such as Crystal Light, to your water. Like I said before, I'm not an alcohol drinker, I don't like coffee so lattes aren't a problem, I gave up soda 5 years ago, and I try to limit my juice intake, so it's water all day, everyday for me. But everybody isn't like me and giving up the drinks you love isn't always the best solution for everyone. Moderation and taking the calories into account is definitely key! And how about taking advantage of low-calorie refreshers? 

Here are some suggestions:
  • Green tea
  • Seltzer water with just a splash of juice. Orange, grapefruit, cranberry are good choices, but mango, guava, and other tropical juices all add color and just enough sweetness to keep you from reaching for a can of soda.
  • Herbal teas.
  • Flavored (lemon, grapefruit, raspberry, mandarin orange, etc.) seltzers and soda waters.
  • Homemade lemonade -- try lemon, water, and a few drops of stevia, a natural artificial sweetener.

So in conclusion, watch your liquid calories! It's as simple as that. Don't think that the soda, juice or beer you drank with last night's healthy didn't count. Liquids count too! And they make a bigger difference than you would ever imagine!

Source: http://www.medicinenet.com