Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I Can't Believe I'm Doing This...

OK. Well, today I am officially fast food free for one year!!!!! No stopping for some nuggets on road trips, no late night adventures through the 24 hour McDonalds, I didn't even steal ANY of my brother's french fries for ONE WHOLE YEAR.

In honor of this momentous day, I am going to embarrass the living crap out myself. I am going to post before and after pictures of my body (OMG). The before picture is from my first year of college and I WAS WEARING SWEATPANTS AT A PARTY BECAUSE MY LARD ASS COULDN'T FIT IN MY JEANS. The second picture is from a 4th of July cookout this past July.I think anyone would agree that I look a little better these days.

This is humiliating. I was one large mother effer, and the worst part is, I strutted my enormous body all over campus thinking i was hot shizz! If I had a time machine I would go right back to 2004 and punch myself right in my big, bloated, bleach blonde face.

I want to emphasize that this was not a crash diet, eating disorder, or just some freak illness where I shrunk down to a normal sized person.I changed my life. I started exercising harder than I ever had and challenging myself in the gym every day. I stopped eating crap food and more importantly, I stopped eating enough food for six people every day. This transformation took me about a year, but its been the most rewarding year of my life. Who feels better about themselves when they have a giant puffy face and a huge gut? NOBODY. Now I can walk with confidence everywhere I go. If I get into a bar fight aint no bitch gonna call me fat! So here they are...my before and after pictures. Nothing like a little public humiliation to start your day!!!



Monday, August 30, 2010

Basking in the Glory...

Guess what? I did it! I didn't have one drink all weekend. Not one. I sat by the pool for two straight days and drank coffee. So now I am addicted to coffee. So addicted in fact that when I found what I thought was a $25 Starbucks gift card I was so effing pumped that I sprinted to my car and sped off to the nearest Starbucks at 100mph. You can imagine how irate I was when I exploded through the door and slammed my card down on the counter, only to find out that the card's value was a whopping 43 cents. Either I bought coffee with it before and forgot, or my uncle gave me 43 cents worth of coffee for Christmas. I hate my family.

So now I only have three weekends to go until this month is over. I know I can do it. I am just going to pound down coffee from dusk till dawn and think about how skinny I will be at the end of this month. Well, how skinny I will be if I can stop eating ice cream. That's the other problem. I eat tons of ice cream now. I think of all the calories I am saving by not putting back a twelve pack every Saturday and head right for the freezer. Or I actually get into my car and go purchase the ice cream. Fat girl gone wild. I put a Post It on the freezer that says “ BIG FAT BODY WEIGHT GAIN.” I know that isn't even a sentence but I have no time for grammar and I was/am all hopped up on caffeine. I'm not throwing out my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup and Mint Brownie either, because what if we get a hurricane this weekend and I am trapped in the house with nothing but cat food and ice cream? What would I eat for dessert?

Aside from the coffee and the ice cream, I had a great time this weekend. I feel good. I didn't waste money I don't have at the liquor store. I didn't steal a plastic bag of miscellaneous beers from my Dad's fridge in the basement (sorry Dad, that happens a lot.) I didn't tell Nick I wanted to “talk about our relationship” at 11:30pm on Saturday night while stumbling around the house with a bottle of Jack with a straw in it. OK, that never really happened. It wasn't Jack it was Little Penguin. But regardless, here I am on a Monday morning sitting at my desk NOT wanting to throw myself off a building due to exhaustion and delirium. Best day ever!

I will continue with my regular fascinating posts about various health related topics, and I will also provide you all with updates as I journey down this booze free path of enlightenment. Wednesday is typically my “one man party” day, so lets see how I get through that. Right now I am pretty confident that I won't end up in the condition I have been in on Wednesdays gone by. Watching TV, eating Swedish Fish, guzzling two buck chuck, talking for hours about how exorcism movies are ridiculous because nobody has ever really been possessed by a demon. Literally, hours. Wanna come over?

Instead of my usual Humpday celebration, I was going to try this quick workout. I will most likely be doing this Wednesday evening around 6:30. You should do it at that time too, and we can all send each other positive vibes telepathically. Here is the workout:

Run ½ mile.
100 Air Squats
Finish the mile.

That's all. The 100 squats will suck. But it will be over fast and then I can get back to downing coffee.

Friday, August 27, 2010

What NOT To Think During a Workout...


Lean Mean Exercise Machine???

I was thinking this morning while I was supposed to be working about how I haven't used an exercise machine since I started doing CrossFit. Thats right, homies. Its been almost a year since I have sat my sweaty ass down on a seat that a thousand other people have sat their sweaty asses on and pumped out mad reps. I used to love machines at the gym. Well, I used to love the two machines that I knew how to use. I had the GREATEST time sitting there, grabbing those black handles, moving my arms in and out as many times as I felt like it on that particular day. I could talk to my friends, I could move that little pin up if my big fat body couldn't handle the weight...it was "exercise" without the exercise and it was the best.

These days, things are different. I can't go into a workout with the game plan of doing as many reps as I feel like. I can't chat with my friends about why no boys ever love me. Even if it is acceptable to drop to a lower weight during the workout, I don't like to do it because I feel like a total baby! If I was sitting leisurely at a machine, I could do all of these things and more. I could sip a margarita, get a pedicure, and discuss how I wish I was born ten years ago so Justin Beiber could be my boyfriend; all the while pumping my arms in and out thinking I was exercising. BOGUS!

Fortunately, I am not the only person who thinks exercise machines are for amateurs. Most, if not all, Crossfitters hate exercise machines and so does the guy who wrote this article (click the title of the post to get to the article...I know, so advanced!) The beginning of it is a little bit "blah, blah, blah, who cares?" but then he goes on to list five reasons why exercise machines are useless. There is nothing you can do on a machine that you can't do off a machine.Say that five times fast. And these are the final days of nice weather before New England gives us the finger once again and we are pounded with sixty-five feet of snow. So get out there and do some REAL exercise while you can! Machines are for freaks!!!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I have become obsessed with looking at other people's blogs, and I came across this one which I thought was worth telling everyone about. It's this guy Ryan Goodman who refers to himself as a "young cattleman." There are some really nice pictures on there and he is an interesting dude, but what really amused me was that he started a Facebook group called "101+ Reasons to Eat Meat" which resulted in PETA referring to him as a "heartless killer." I had to LOL at that one. So join his group! There are tons of recipes and pictures of delicious meat on there! Here is the link:


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Is This Really Happening?

I am giving up drinking for a month. Starting today. No more booze. No wine, no beer, no NOTHING. I have been trying to lose seven pounds for four months and the only way to do it is to stop hitting the sauce. I want to make it known that even though this whole challenge was completely my own idea, I am DEFINITELY not looking forward to it. Two hours in and I am already looking at the calendar, marking down that day a month from now when I will march out of the liquor store clutching a delicious box of Franzia for dear life. September 24, 2010, you are already the most glorious day of my life...

In case you are wondering, I do not have a drinking problem. I don't depend on booze for anything. I just love watching television with a warm blanket and a glass of Chardonnay after a long day of work. I also love a nice cold beer sitting outside on a summer day with nowhere to go. However, as the story so often goes, a glass of wine turns into a bottle and one beer turns into six, and the seven pounds of fat I want to lose gets that much more comfortable right down there on my lower back. Not to mention that my workout the next day usually sucks and it takes me almost a week to get back to feeling 100%. By this time its already Friday and my Miller Lites are once again calling my name. Its a vicious cycle. A vicious and delicious cycle (oh, hello rhyming!) that I am going to break for thirty long, long, REALLY long days. Did I mention I am kind of unhappy about this challenge?

Because it is a rainy day outside and I am feeling kind of “glass half empty,”here is a look ahead at the speed-bumps I can already see forming as I begin my month of prohibition. Make no mistake, I am going to kick this challenge's ass. But temptation is all around me, so I have concocted a little summary of all the ways I plan on telling that mini-Haley devil on my shoulder to shut the f up when I am feeling the pressure to just give up and have a drink ...

The first hurdle I will have to overcome is that fact that I am already in pretty good shape. I know this sounds weird, but its a lot easier to justify the calories in a beer when you are at a healthy weight than when you are not. When I embarked on my journey to a healthier lifestyle, I really did need to lose weight. At that time, I pictured a certain number on the scale and told myself I would get there. Now that I am a measly seven pounds away from this magic number, I am not just going to quit because I am at a healthy weight. That would be like finally pulling into the rest area bathroom parking lot after a long drive and peeing your pants like an idiot. Its bullshizz. For this reason, every time I go to grab the giant unopened bottle of wine in the fridge (I am not just going to throw out perfectly good wine, I am dancing on the poverty line here) I will think of myself peeing my pants while parked in front of the bathroom. I worked my fricken ass off to get into the shape I am in, and no bottle of wine is going to stop me from progressing ever further both in my mind and in the gym. I will do whatever it takes to remind myself that I need to win this battle and fight off those thoughts of “ but you look fine, one glass won't hurt.” Even if it means peeing my pants for real...

After a few mental battles with the wine, I am sure I will get tired of staring at the bottle in the fridge for hours and eventually move on with my life. Naturally, this will free up some more time for me to watch beer commercials. I already know this is going to be a major problem. Beer commercials get me every time. The people are attractive, they are always having tons of outrageous fun, they are throwing major parties because a guy got a good haircut...they are everything I wish I could be and more. Meanwhile I am sitting on the couch in my granny panties with my hair in a crazy bun thinking about how much I would love to drink a beer right this second. In the past, I most likely would have given into temptation and gone and got myself a nice cold one. However, these days I have a secret weapon under my belt. I can proudly say that exactly six days from now, I have been fast food free for a year ( this is a huge deal as I love fast food, probably more than I love you.) So, I know that if I can stare at McDonald's commercials and not run off to the drive thru, I can survive any beer commercial those marketing geniuses throw at me. Including the Bud Lite one with the poodle driving the car. I really like that one and I hope it never comes on again.

The final, and probably the most difficult challenge I will face this month is pressure from others around me to just give up and indulge in a few wobbly-pops. I am not saying that I have friends and family members who sit there and force me to drink because I don't. Its just that my arm isn't very hard to twist. If I am undecided about ordering a drink at dinner and the person I am with requests an adult beverage, my mind is instantly made up and I'll be sippin' on White Zin with a smile. For this reason, I am going to try as hard as I can to avoid situations where people are drinking. But,while avoiding situations where drinking is involved will indeed make things easier on me, sometimes I don't even need another person physically there to tempt me. I can be all by myself and still find out the extent of the fun everyone is having by simply checking the internet. I may have to stop going on Facebook all together. If I am sitting there on a Saturday evening, sober as a judge, watching Cake Boss episodes that I have already seen, I don't want to read your status and learn that you are in the VIP section of the coolest bar in town sipping martinis with LL Cool J, fifteen puppies and the entire cast of Boy Meets World. I am happy that you are having a great time, but reading something like that is going to make me want to get my party on too! And by “get my party on,” I mean its going to make me want to drink wine half dressed under a blanket...but hey, everyone has a different idea of fun!

OK..so here it goes. Once I post this, I can't go back. The second this post hits the web, I am done drinking for a month. Good thing I drank enough while I was writing this for the entire month anyways! But this is really it. I am going to blast away these seven pounds if its the last thing I do, and trust me giving up drinking was one of the last things I wanted to do. At least I have my strategies. I am going to stay out of situations where I will be tempted to drink. I may even stay off Facebook. I will not crumble in the face of a clever beer advertisement. I will pee my pants if I start to think I am in good enough shape to have a drink whenever I want. The truth is, I am just too excited to see not only if I can finally ditch these last seven pounds, but also whether or not I improve in the gym once I cut out alcohol. The other truth is, I am just too excited for the celebration I am going to throw myself on September 24th to mess this challenge up! Woohoo!

BY THE WAY: If anyone is brave enough to take part in this no-drinking challenge with me, feel free to email me with any questions or comments at HMMelanson@gmail.com. ALSO: The Paleo Challenge that I mentioned in my last post is coming up SOON! The details are still in the works, but all the information you need will be made available through this blog. And even though the challenge isn't posted yet, any Paleo questions you have can either be posted as comments or sent to my email. I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for continuing to stop by!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


So...September is going to be an interesting month for me. It can be an interesting month for you too, if you have the guts to take on my PALEO CHALLENGE!

I will post more details of this in a few days, but basically for the month of September I am going to give up my cheat day. No ice cream, no booze, no fun sized Butterfingers from the office candy jar for a whole month! As we get closer I will provide more specific guidelines for anyone who wants to participate. For all the new Cavemen out there, we will gradually eliminate things each week until you go COMPLETELY Paleo for the last week of the month. THIS WILL BE THE BEST!!!!!

FO' REAL, FO' REAL, if you participate in this challenge, I GUARANTEE you that you will feel better and lose weight (if thats your goal.)I just wanted to get this post up so people could mentally prepare for this ultimate challenge. I STRONGLY recommend at least giving it a try. SKINNY SEPTEMBER HERE WE COME!

Up in Smoke...

I have stated in previous posts that I am no longer a regular on the bar scene. I feel as though this has had a positive influence on my wallet as well as my overall reputation. Also, I have much more time to practice my two favorite pastimes; sleeping and eating. That being said, from time to time I still do enjoy hitting the town with friends for a few drinks, some laughs, and a good dance party. However one trend that I have noticed on those nights when I do show up on the scene, is that there are always a few times during the night where I am left sitting alone at the bar. “But Haley,” you are thinking.”You have so many friends! And Health Gone Wild is turning you into blogging sensation, why would you ever be alone at the bar?” Trust me, I wonder this all the time. The answer is simple. WHY is an up-and-coming celebrity such as myself sitting at a bar with not one friend in sight? Because it is time to go smoke a butt....duh!

Yep. I am talking about all the times when my friends take off to go smoke cigarettes, and I am left alone, staring at old text messages trying to pretend like this is the only time I could carve out of my busy schedule to catch up on my correspondence. This is the main reason that I hate cigarettes. I don't like being left alone. I like to talk, and when there is nobody to talk to I experience the dreaded “awkward silence” with myself. I panic. Where do I look? What do I do? Where do my hands go? ITS TOO MUCH! But, while I do often become distraught when my friends leave me to go indulge in their Marb Lites, my grasp on reality is strong enough to know that it takes a lot more than a few sad glances and a “ you are REALLY going outside AGAIN?” to stop people from smoking. In fact, I think that people who smoke take so much crap for it that they have become immune to all the warnings of lung cancer,emphysema and gross wrinkly faces. So, even though nobody asked me for it, I feel like it is necessary to share my opinion on why smoking SUCKS without all those repetitive health statistics and cancer warnings. If you are a smoker, please don't take personal offense to this, however you should also know that this is basically how every non-smoker feels about you (sorry!)

I think I made it pretty clear that I hate it when my friends leave me sitting there, as vulnerable as Bambi's mother in the meadow, while they stand outside the bar and smoke butts. However, bars are not the only place where I dislike it when people smoke. I also don't enjoy it when people smoke at work. Being a smoker does not give you a secret pass to take 42 breaks a day. If I told everyone I was an “eater” and went into the kitchen every fifteen minutes to have a snack, I would get fired. I could have ONE snack break a day, so maybe there should be a limit on ONE smoke break a day. This would probably save those people who smoke five thousand cigarettes during the workday a lot of money. And conveniently, money is the next thing I want to talk about.

I don't know how much cigarettes cost, but I would guess around six dollars. For six dollars I can buy a rotisserie chicken. Even if you only buy one pack of cigarettes a week, that's still twenty four dollars a month. For twenty four dollars I can buy SIX rotisserie chickens. I don't even know if I can think of a better situation than that! I am not going to sit here and tell everyone to calculate how much they spend annually on cigarettes, because in reality we all waste money on frivolous crap and that's what keeps our economy (kind of) functioning. But in my opinion, if you would rather spend your hard earned dollars to ingest poisonous smoke instead of delicious poultry that SOMEONE ELSE cooked for you on a rotating stick...you are out of your mother effing tree.

Finally, while I could go on and on about the reasons why smoking is the worst, this blog IS called Health Gone Wild, thus, lets discuss why smoking cigarettes is bad for your health. Everyone knows smoking is bad for you, so I am not going to sit here and list off diseases and make everyone want to rip their hair out. Rather, I am going to wonder aloud (or in writing) as to why people who want to benefit from their exercise routine would ever smoke. I know a lot of people who are both smokers and exercisers and I am really confused by this. You exercise to, at the VERY least, make yourself healthier. But if you workout to achieve personal goals and increase your level of physical fitness, why would you engage in a behavior such as smoking that will undoubtedly hinder your progress?

I want to stress the fact that I understand that a lot of smokers WANT to quit but cant. Trust me, I know how it feels. I have viciously battled an addiction to CVS nasal spray for over fifteen years, and I have NEVER been able to go a day without at least one satisfying spray up each nostril. I am not trying to patronize anyone with a nicotine addiction. I am also not encouraging smokers to give up on exercise. I am just trying to make the point, that smoking and exercising are not activities that come to mind when I think of things that go together (peanut butter and jelly, ketchup and mustard, beer and fire, etc). In fact, smoking is probably the main reason that your results in the gym suck. I know how winded I feel during a tough workout, and I cant imagine why anyone would want to do anything to make breathing even MORE difficult. Sometimes I feel like I am breathing so hard I might get kicked out of the gym, and I have never even smoked one complete cigarette in my life!

If its true that smoking relieves stress, the good news is that exercise does this too...and better! So next time you want to smoke a cigarette, go for a walk instead (and not while smoking!) It might be easier said than done, but so is every single fricken CrossFit workout that's ever been posted, and I do those everyday! The moral of the story is, smoking sucks. You waste your money, leave your friends alone in the bar to get murdered, miss out on all those rotisserie chickens, and run out of breath faster than a fat kid chasing the ice cream truck. Stupid.

I hope that none of my fifteen followers found this smoking post to be repetitive, as I am aware that the dangers of smoking are already very public. But, like most other topics, I have a lot of thoughts about smoking. Besides,this is MY blog so if I want to talk about why I hate cigarettes, I will. If you want, you can start a blog about why you love cigarettes and then we can meet up in a parking lot and fight. And it will be great for me, because when you surrender after ten seconds because your smoker's lungs can't handle my jungle cat reflexes, I can go chase the ice cream truck with the fat kids.

Friday, August 13, 2010


I am going to start taking pictures of my meals. I really mean it. If I make a particularly delicious Paleo meal, I am going to post a picture of it on this blog. The inspiration for this new venture into food photography came from some delicious burgers I made earlier this week. I should have taken a photo of them, but at the time I was young and naive and this brilliant idea was but a twinkle in my eye. Oh, well. I also have a great appetizer recipe that has made me even more popular at social gatherings than I was before( if you can even believe that.) So lets consider this our first FOOD PARTY!!! From now on, any time I come up with two or three outstanding recipes, I will post a Food Party on here to share the recipes as well as photos with my millions and millions of followers. No pictures of food today :( But you can't get mad because YOU'RE the one who showed up empty handed!


. (I just made that up. When these little treats eventually take the world by storm, I will rename them something much more jazzy. Like, SNAPPING TURTLES.)


Whole jalapeno peppers ( I usually buy 8. Makes 32 Snapping Turtles.)
One jar of Trader Joe's Raw Creamy Almond Butter
One package of nitrate/nitrite free bacon.
Some butter to grease your baking sheet.


-Get yourself some latex gloves. Cutting jalapenos makes your hands burn like hell.

-Cut the tops off jalapenos and slice them into 4's so they look like little boats. If cut correctly there will be a little groove in the middle (almost like celery) where you are going to put the almond butter.

-Fill the little grooves with almond butter!

-After all have been filled with almond butter, wrap each in a half a piece of bacon (try not to spill the almond butter) and secure with a toothpick.

-Line up on buttered cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until bacon is brown.

-Bring them to a party and make SO MANY NEW FRIENDS.

FIESTA BURGERS. (They have salsa in them and I like to party.)

1lb ground beed
Jar of salsa
Bottle of Italian dressing

-Put on “The Cup of Life” by Ricky Martin

-Put ground beef in a bowl.

-Mix in salsa (any kind will work. I would say a half a cup, but I didn't measure)

-Throw in some salt

-Mix in a couple good pours of Italian dressing. I used Olde Cape Cod Sundried Tomato and Basil. It tastes like a basic Italian dressing, just a little sweeter. If you can find it, use it. If not, no big deal.

-Smash it all around with your hands.

-Form it into 4 burgers and throw it in a frying pan full of melted butter. Use as much butter as you want.

-Cook for a total of about twelve minutes flipping whenever you want. Keep pan covered when you aren't flipping to make your burgers juicy and delicious!

I hope you like these recipes. I also hope you had fun at the party. Have a good weekend everyone! Stay safe, stay happy and if you can't stay Paleo...at least try!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Little Philosophy....

***Before I start today's post, I would like to explain this picture. My friend Greg sent me a text message late last night demanding more pictures on this blog. He did not specify what the pictures should be of, so I can only assume he meant pictures of himself. So this is a nice picture of me and Greg at a bar called The Stadium in Quincy a few weeks ago. He is lucky I chose this picture, as I have a nice one of him wearing a poncho that I know you all would have enjoyed :) ***


Off the top of my head I can think of two songs that tell me to live like I'm dying. One by Tim McGraw and another by Kris Allen. I don't like either of the songs, but last night after I grossly overdid my weekly ice cream intake, I began to think about how much I love ice cream. I thought “ If I died tomorrow, I would be very happy that I spent my last night as an Earthling taking down 3 giant bowls of Mint Cookie Crunch.” I mean, does anybody really want their final meal to be 3 oz of chicken and one Zone block of spinach? I was so mind boggled by this concept, (that also could have been the three glasses of Chardonnay...Happy Humpday to Haley!) that I made a mental note to post about it today when the booze/sugar hangover wore off. In reality, my new lifestyle could be considered extreme, almost obsessive actually, by a lot of people's standards. So with this in mind I must pose the question; Is it really worth it to give up things that you love in the name of health, when your last day on Earth could be TODAY?

I began to think of all the foods I have given up to live this Paleo lifestyle. The list was long and depressing. Then my mind wandered to the impact that my regimented exercise schedule has had on my social life. It was drastic. I began to realize that in the past year I have done a 180 as a person. Picking up pizza on the way home from work, something I used to do several times a month, seems so off-limits to me now. And how can I see a late movie with friends on a Tuesday night if I have to be up at 5am to workout? That wouldn't be a smart choice to make! My mind was reeling as I remembered how spontaneous ( even reckless) the old Haley used to be. I thought about how these days, everything seems to be so routine. Gym, work, grocery store, TBS, (except Wednesday...I hate Tyler Perry's House of Pain,) shower, bed, repeat. I mean, if my destiny really is to choke on a cherry Halls tomorrow, (for those of you who know me, you know I love cherry Halls cough drops. I even get them from Santa) should I really be spending my final hours eating a nice helping of cottage cheese and hitting the hay at 9:30pm? Surprisingly, after much thought and consideration, I have come to the conclusion that the answer to this incredibly deep and philosophical question I conjured up in my giant head (I have a giant head) is YES. Here is why.

I have given up a lot of things I used to love in the name of health. Pizza, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, staying up until four in the morning with friends drinking Bud Lites and eating burritos...the list goes on. And honestly, I know that if I happened to stumble upon a nice bowl of delicious sugar coated cereal, or a bunch of drunk people indulging in some Mexican delights, I would still love it. But, while I loved all of these things, I most definitely did not love the way they made me feel after the fun was over. Pizza left me feeling fat, tired, and craving more carbohydrates the next day. Drunken nights that turned into mornings also left me fat and tired but even worse, I was often ridden with embarrassment and anxiety over the things I had said and done while I was, for lack of a better term, “gone wild.” When I REALLY think about it, while I do sometimes miss my carefree days of the past, the happiness I feel in my new life is 100 times stronger than any joy I could get from a crab rangoon. My life is the best. I wouldn't even trade lives with Beyonce! (too much sequins and Jay-Z nose going on in her world.)

I guess what I am trying to say is that the phrase “live like you're dying” has a different meaning for me than I thought it did. Last night, standing over that half gallon of ice cream, I thought that living like I was dying meant I should be doing whatever the mother f I wanted. Now, I realize that it means I should be doing what makes me feel good, and as cheesy as it sounds, being true to myself. I am sure people talk all the time about how I've changed, and how I am boring now, and that's just fine with me. You may be more likely to catch me at the gym than at the local saloon these days, but I still value the same things, laugh at the same jokes, and love the same people I always did. The way I see it, I am living like I'm dying because I am dying. We all are. So why not live as healthily as possible and postpone that fateful day it as long as we can? DO IT.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Just a heads up..

I found this article today about what happens to your body from drinking just one can of Coke. This should give you an idea of how truly terrible sugar is for your health...And if this is what a Coke will do to you, think about how bad a Red Bull must be with all that EXTRA caffeine and sugar. Stick to water, people! It keeps your metabolism going, your skin beautiful, and prevents those terrible calf cramps that paralyze you for 30 seconds in the middle of the night! THOSE CRAMPS SUCK!

When somebody drinks a Coke watch what happens…

In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.
■20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment)
■40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.
■45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.
■>60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.
■>60 Minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolyte and water.
■>60 minutes: As the rave inside of you dies down you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now, literally, pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like even having the ability to hydrate your system or build strong bones and teeth.

WOWZA. Why do you think that when you see all those shows about the world's fattest people they all say they drink liters upon liters of soda a day? It doesn't just make you so fat that you can't leave your house, it throws your body into total chaos. Think about that next time you are falling asleep at work and go to grab a soda. Instead, have some water, take a walk, or even drink a cup of black coffee.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tough Cookies...

I hate people who half-ass everything. I know a lot of these people. They spill something, they KIND OF clean it up. They go to work, they KIND OF do their job. They have school work to do, they KIND OF try. I see it all the time, and I will never understand it. I really never half-ass anything. The way I see it, if I am going to spend my time doing something, I am going to do it the best I can. Especially when it comes to exercise. I know that if I am going to set time aside to workout, it is going to be the most kick-ass workout I can do. Of course, we all have days where our most kick-ass workout is miserable. I have been known to put on all my athletic gear in the morning only to realize I am too tired and crawl directly back into bed, sneakers and all. Talk about a kick ass workout! But, whatever! This post is not about the days when you don't workout at all. This post is about those days where you are almost in tears after the very first round of a torturous five round workout. This post is about the days where your last pushup sucked, and you don't think you have the strength to do the extra one to make up for it. This post is NOT for the half-assers out there. This post is about mental toughness.

“ At least I did something.” I used to say that sentence all the time. When I would be out at dinner eating french fries or drinking 800 calorie margaritas after work, I would think back to my twenty minute walk on the treadmill earlier that day and say that sentence in my head. Sometimes I would say it out loud too, but it always fell on deaf ears. I was really just trying to justify my lazy gluttonous lifestyle to myself, not anybody else. Looking back, I am just embarrassed. Why did I spend those twenty minutes walking on the treadmill to begin with? I put all my gym clothes on and drove to the gym for THAT? At the time, I thought it was better to do a tiny bit of easy exercise than no exercise at all, but now that I am older, wiser, and sexier I know the truth. The reason that I was doing a workout fit for a 100 year old woman when I was 20 years old was because A) I was lazy as all hell and B) I lacked the mental toughness to push myself to the point of physical discomfort. As a result of this, I looked like a slightly less crazy version of a pre-Trim-Spa Anna Nicole Smith, and I didn't even have my own TV show. But these days, things have changed, and I think I have developed some great strategies to push through the pain, and complete workouts that before I wouldn't even have tried. No half-assing, no giving up, no complaining, (ok maybe a little complaining) these are the ways that I have become and will continue to be, one tough mother effing chick.

I already told you that when I do something, I do it it the best I can. This way I never have to make excuses for not putting in 100% effort. Rule number one of becoming mentally tough is that there are no excuses. You never want to finish a workout and have to justify to yourself why it sucked. “Oh, I ran 1 ½ miles instead of the 2 miles I wanted but it was hot and I had a wedgie.” No, you only ran 1 ½ miles because it hurt. Your lungs hurt, your legs hurt and you quit. The excuses are just covering up the fact that you set a goal for yourself and you didn't achieve it. Next time, achieve it. Even if you have to log roll the last half mile, figure out a way to finish that workout. You know what you are capable of, so figure out a do-able workout and DO IT. Don't stop until its done. Finish all your workouts with no excuses, and I guarantee you will grow a little stronger, faster, happier, and tougher every single day. And, if you really did have a wedgie maybe you deserved to be uncomfortable because everyone knows you do a few squats to make sure your undies are comfy before you leave the house.

So now that we know how to stop our tighty-whiteys from creeping up, lets move on to my next mental toughness strategy. The second tool that has helped me change from an excuse making giver-upper into a lean, mean, workout machine is something that I think a lot of people overlook. I became grateful for my body. I am lucky in the sense that I suffer from no chronic pain anywhere in any of my body parts. I have never had surgery, and a doctor has never advised me to refrain from any kind of physical activity. Until recently, I never realized how grateful I should be for this, but lately I have made a habit out of channeling my gratitude into energy to get through tough workouts. If you could get inside my head while I am working out, you would be embarrassed for me. It is not uncommon for me to be repeating “ I love my legs” over and over in my mind while I am flailing around like a lanky puppy on that final lap of my workout. This doesn't mean I run around the track focusing on how great my legs look. It means I am literally loving every muscle, tendon , ligament and bone allowing me to run that lap. Admittedly, it is hard to keep this focus while your muscles burn and sweat drips into your eyes, but sometimes you need to direct your focus to something positive to get your mind off the pain. There are a lot of people out there who physically cannot exercise and would love to be able to get out there and be active. Next time you want to give up, think about how lucky you are to be able to move and exercise and use that positive energy to give it all you have. However, if you are going to be repeatedly loving a body part of choice for your entire workout, I would recommend keeping it in your head rather than saying it aloud. I know this from experience as I got several perplexed looks after I accidentally gasped “you are so awesome” to myself upon completion of 20 pullups at Planet Fitness. But you know what...I AM so awesome!

The final strategy that I want to discuss for building mental toughness is using your emotions to your advantage. As a woman/girl (I am not going to call myself a woman I am only 25,) I have had plenty of days where a particularly sentimental episode of Full House has brought me to tears (RIP Papouli.) In the past, on a day where I was particularly weepy, angry, or just feeling a little off, I would skip the gym in favor of my bed and some ice cream. Not anymore. Boss yell at you for reading my blog at work? Boyfriend tell you he has no money for your birthday present because he spent it on video games and Mountain Dew? Radio DJ played “Christmas Shoes” and you almost drove your car off the road from bawling your eyes out? Get yourself to the gym and sweat out your troubles! If you are happy, blast “Walkin on Sunshine” on your Ipod and go through your workout with a giant smile! (just remember not to lip synch!) If you are mad, pump up the angry music, make a crazy face, and take your anger out on those weights! Once you figure out how to harness your energy, whether it be positive or negative, and use it to to kick a workouts ass, there will be far less occasions where you skip the gym because you “had a bad day.” Soon, it will no longer be your emotions making it hard to get into the gym, it will be your muscles making it hard for you to fit through the door! Zing!

The message I really want to get across with this post is that giving up because something is hard is dumb. Call it mental toughness, call it determination, but however you refer to it know that its a necessary quality to possess if you ever want to reach your fitness goals. There is nothing like the feeling of going through twenty minutes of absolute torture, yet still ending the workout with a smile of disbelief on your face because you are truly in awe that you not only completed the workout, but you gave it your all. You are never going to be able to experience this feeling if you give up because you realize mid-workout that you think you may be coming down with Syphilis. So stop half-assing, quit it with the excuses, and find a way to channel your energy into giving it your everything at the gym. I will bet you anything (except money) that you are capable of doing much more than you think!

Here is an example of a workout that REALLY tested my mental toughness last week. I did this one at home in the backyard so the neighbors wouldn't call the police on me.

5 Rounds

Run 400 Meters (One standard track lap or .25 on a treadmill)

30 Burpees (Jump down to the ground on your belly. Push back up, jump in the air and clap over your head. Football players do these. For some reason that helps a lot of people know what I mean when I say Burpee.)

* Time yourself and write down the time. Then, do this workout again in a few weeks to see if you have improved!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wanna Workout With Me Today???

Friends are great. There are so many things you can do with your friends. You can talk, laugh, do drugs...anything you want. One of the things that some friends like to do together is workout. My feelings on this are mixed. Sometimes, you have a friend who motivates you and energizes you on the days when you just want to lay in bed eating nachos and crying. Other times, the friend is the one encouraging you to drown your sorrows with food. You never really know what you're getting into when you make the commitment to engage in regular exercise with a friend, which leads us into our topic of the day “The Workout Buddy.”

I have had several different workout buddies in my life, and naturally, some have been better than others. Fortunately, because I have had so many over the years, I have been able to compile a list of different workout personality types to avoid when choosing your next workout partner. If you read this blog and think you might fall into one of these categories, be glad I am telling you before its too late. You don't need your friend “accidentally” dropping a weight on your face because you are mouthing the words to 'Rock Your Body” by Justin Timberlake in the mirror and looking around to see whose noticing how cool you look. Which brings us to our first offender:

Lip synching Larry – Hey idiot....I CAN'T HEAR YOUR IPOD! This person really enrages me. Nobody is impressed that you know all the words to a song that we can't even hear. Cut the shizz. I like music as much as the next guy. I walk around my house singing, I sing in the car, I might even hum a little while I am changing in the gym locker room. But I would rather show up nude to the gym than be caught walking around lip synching doing an awkward head bob with my eyes half squinted like I am mid-performance at Kiss Concert. The weirdest thing of all is, the freakshows who do this are usually guys. Sometimes they lip synch at other people, other times in the mirror. But no matter where they direct their weird silent mouth movements, its horrifying and it needs to stop immediately. You don't need a Lip Synching Larry in your life AT ALL, let alone at the gym. Avoid them at all costs.

The Gym Bunny - I have had a lot of personal experience with Gym Bunnies. These are the people that show up at the gym for no other reason but to talk to everyone. You can spot these people because they like the treadmills and stationary bikes right near the door so they can prey on people who actually come to the gym to workout. Typically, GB's prefer slow paced exercise because at any minute they have to bail off the treadmill to go tell their neighbor's, boyfriend's, sister's, foreign exchange student about the urinary tract infection they had when they were fifteen. Gym Bunnies will stay at the gym for hours and miraculously never break a sweat. They also like to enter into sexual relationships with other people from the gym, and then act surprised when the object of their affection turns out to be a self-obsessed Lip Synching Larry. The good thing about a GB is that they don't interfere with your workout, so if you don't mind feeling like you are working out alone, this could be the right partner for you.

The Bruce Jenner – Here is another workout buddy that gets on my nerves REAL quick. You will know you have a Bruce Jenner on your hands when you look at your exercise buddy on the treadmill next to you and its set to exactly one point higher than yours. This trend will continue no matter how fast you get your treadmill going if your workout partner is a true Bruce Jenner. A competitor to the point where people hate them, a Bruce Jenner will compete with you from the moment you begin your workout until the moment it ends. If you ran 999 steps they will run 1,000...and then have it announced over the gym's loudspeaker. Its discouraging for you, and honestly it can get frightening. A little friendly competition never hurt anyone, but if your workout buddy is chest bumping the front desk girl because he did did one extra squat thrust than you, its time to send that Bruce Jenner packing.

The Siamese Twin – This one if self-explanatory. A Siamese twin does not leave your side. If you are running, they are running. If you are bench pressing, its their ugly face you are staring up at. If you are in the bathroom, they are giving you a thumbs up from the next stall. The Siamese Twin is ridiculous. However, the good thing about them is that they are easy to spot. Usually they are standing around looking out of place while their friend is working out. They usually don't have an Ipod because they will want to be able to hear in case their workout friend tries to escape. A Siamese Twin will never go to the gym alone, and has no real fitness goals or aspirations. You will not get any motivation from a Siamese Twin, only annoying questions and the creepy feeling of someone watching your every move. Only a narcissist or someone with severe separation anxiety could tolerate a Siamese Twin gym partner, so for most people it would be advisable to stay away.

The Stretch Armstrong - OK, why are you stretching so much? These people are just so confusing to me. Is your workout for today jumping splits? Are you going to be involved in a deep lunge contest? I am all for stretching, but these people are just taking it to crazy town and I don't like it one bit. They lay all over the floor like a beached whale, pulling on their extremities with their eyes closed for what seems like hours. 70% of the time these people are wearing sweatbands. 100% of the time they favor stretches that display either their crotch or butt. Never go to the gym with a Stretch Armstrong because A) you will be there forever and B) They don't seem like they like to talk when they are stretching, so if you are wondering how to do that wonderful spread eagle move, you probably cant even ask! If you spend more time stretching than working out, you are just trying to avoid working out. So, unless your goal is to set the Guinness world record for the sit and reach, do not EVER choose a Stretch Armstrong to be your exercise buddy.

So those are some different gym personalities I have encountered that I would recommend avoiding. We all know I am a Crossfit fan, and a good thing about those workouts is that they are often in a class setting and timed, which greatly decreases the opportunity for people to engage in any of these behaviors listed above. It is always good to exercise with a great person or group of people. Working out with others is sometimes the best way to push yourself and get the physical and mental gains you want out of your hard work. Just remember, if your chosen workout buddy spends more time staring at you or contorting their body on the floor than actually working out, you may want to find a new friend!