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September 2010

Don't you want me to be the next Mamavation Mom?

Of course you do!

But what's Mamavation, you ask?

Here's how Leah Segedie, aka Bookieboo, describes the program, which is her baby:

Mamavation™ is a social experiment and weight loss campaign in social media with the goals of teaching moms healthy living lifestyle choices so they can share with their family. Mamavation™ is a two part campaign:

1. A virtual healthy living boot camp for two moms
2. The home of the first virtual healthy living sorority in social media, the Sistahood.™

Leah's already on Campaign 6 of Mamavation and has helped inspire women all over lose weight and get healthier. And I'd like to help.

So watch my video and then tweet this (cut 'n' paste into Twitter):

Hey @bookieboo! I want @its_gail to be the next #Mamavation Mom. She has my support!

And now, the video:

Motivation Monday: My motivation is like a balky lawn mower

Boy (7-9) pushing lawnmower, side view (blurred motion)

Living in South Florida, we have a lawn service come by and take care of the yard, lest my husband collapse in a sweaty heap every weekend. That's not how he wants to spend his days off.

But I remember when we lived in Delaware and he'd start up the mower. It didn't always catch on the first pull of the cord.




Then all of a sudden it'd catch, the engine would growl to life and off he'd go, up and down the yard.

That's what my motivation feels like sometimes.




(oops, sidetracked)


(or not.)

But if I keep pulling that cord enough times, if I keep making healthy decisions time after time, perhaps the engine will growl to life and it won't sputter out like it often does when confronted with a DVR or a french fry or some other hair-brained excuse.

I feel like that time is very soon.


Right after I wrote this, I went to Lisa Johnson's blog at Lisa Johnson Fitness. She has a Challenge Week starting TODAY. I'm doing it and it's not too late for you to join in. Check it out HERE.

While I've got you here...

Check out Shrinking Sisters Reviews for my latest post for The Daily Laugh. I'm part of a dozen bloggers who are writing every month on the foibles of living a healthy life. And check out the Daily Laugh Hub for other bloggers' stories and for a chance to win $150.

Words for the Weekend: The Office

From The Office episode "Weight Loss," where the Scranton branch enters a weight loss competition to win extra vacation time ...

Mindy kaling Kelly Kapoor: I swallowed a tape worm last night. It's going to grow up to three feet inside of me, and then it eats all of my food so that I don't get fat. And then after three months, I take some medicine, and then I pass it. Creed sold it to me. It's from Mexico.

Creed: That wasn't a tapeworm.

Motivation comes in the form of a class-action lawsuit

Health club bikes So, I'm nearly done with my spinal fusion and the neurosurgeon said I can go back to they gym and start working out again.  As long as it doesn't hurt, I've got my doctor's OK.  I joined a new gym close to my house, and it's one of those go to the gym for exercise gyms.  No spinning, no pilates, but a giant room with speed bags and a real life boxing ring.  I haven't been back to that gym since before my surgery (late July).  The doctor gave me the go ahead 2 weeks ago today.

I've been coming up with EVERY excuse in the book NOT to go to the gym (my neck hurts, I took a pill, it's Thursday). Then today, in my mailbox was a class action lawsuit settlement from a big name health club chain for a free 3-month pass.  Do you know what I can do in 3 months? 2 years ago, I lost 35 lbs in 3 months.  20 years ago I lost 30 lbs in 3 months.  Imagine what I can do with these free 3 months at a pretty gym with Pilates, spinning and a ladies locker room!

Here's an awesome smoothie recipe, pumpkin!

Pumpkin spice click smoothie

Ah, fall. There's a nip in the air, chunky sweaters are coming out, leaves are ...

Oh, who am I kidding? Shrinking Sistersland is still over 80 degrees, sweaty and green, green, green.

But that doesn't mean that we can't pretend.

Pumpkin is a quintessential fall flavor and this recipe blends (literally) fall flavors with a frosty smoothie for the still hot temps down here.

It came to me in an e-mail from the people who make the awesome Click Espresso Protein Drink. which comes in Mocha and Vanilla Latte flavors. Click mixes whey protein with real espresso powder to make a great smoothie base. I had this smoothie just a couple hours ago.

My tweaks: I added a bunch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg to the mix, and it was great.

CLICK'n Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

4 oz. water

4 oz. vanilla almond milk or unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

2 scoops of Click Espresso Protein Drink (Mocha, Vanilla Latte or 1 of each -- I used all Vanilla)

Pour all the ingredients into your favorite blender and add ice. Once blended, pour into a tall glass.

The whole thing is 170 calories! Way better than that big coffee place's pumpkin coffee thing.

Happy weekend!

No waffling on this decision, or maybe ...

What better way to start off the day than with a waffle? (OK, a protein shake would have been good too.)

But no need to feel too guilty, right? These are Van's 8-Grain Multigrain Waffles, 90 calories each with 30 cals from fat.


These delicious waffles have whole wheat, oat, barley, brown rice, dark rye, quinoa, amaranth and millet (that's eight, right?) along with unbleached enriched wheat flour (better known as plain old white flour -- hey, at least it's unbleached). A serving of two nets you 22 percent of your daily fiber, 3 grams of protein with just 3 grams of sugar. I topped mine with some crushed almonds and strawberries. And yes, a hint of that magically spun amber, real maple syrup.

Despite my love for these waffles, here's where I take this company to task: The ingredient listing "groups"  the eight grains into a special "Van's 8 Whole Grains Mix." Grouping all eight of the good-for-you flours puts all eight of them ahead of the nutritionally useless white flour that's listed next separately. What I'd really like to have is a true accounting of which flours (in which amounts) actually make up the waffle. Might the main ingredient be white flour? Ya think?

We'll probably never know. But it was a tasty breakfast treat!

Live today, diet for the next two weeks

For real, my dieting experience is extremely limited. Sounds like a joke, when every woman out there has at least tried their hand at diets touting MUFAs or grapefruit or protein shakes.

Nope to all the above.

I did a 100 percent amazing job eating a diabetes diet for my entire second pregnancy. (No sugar for six months, and people were raving about my skin tone.) I made a good effort at Weight Watchers for a time (so sensible! so annoying to have to keep paying them!). And then, at the Sun Sentinel newspaper, I embarked on a nutty yet fun journey of 52 Diets in 52 Weeks for our blog, The Skinny. It was a blast, sampling varied diet and exercise philosophies and documenting my successes (a few) and failures (don't ask me to even look at a mung bean).


So, with two books in hand from my DBB (dear blogging buddy) Gail, I'll dabble in that fun again. Albeit, as an unemployed journalist: More time on my hands for effort and less cash in my wallet for expensive or exotic food ingredients.

First up, the book that sounds like less work: "2-Week Total Body Turnaround: The 14-day plan that jumpstarts weight loss, maximizes fat burn, and makes over your fitness mindset forever" by Chris Freytag (2009 Rodale), with help from the editors of Prevention magazine.

The title seems pretty low effort: "Hey! Let's toss in every diet buzzword we've heard in the last five years!" And the book's look is 1980s high school textbook (is that some retro thing or just bad design?). But lest we judge any book by it's cover, I will now embark on making this tome's credo my own for the next two weeks. And then write about it. But not til after lunch ... gotta have my ketchup-slathered Bubba burger while I read.

Motivation Monday: Ben Davis runs away from 120 pounds (video)

I happened upon a Tweet from Fitbloggin Queen Roni Noone linking to a YouTube video about someone's weight-loss success. 

Wow, what a video. Incredibly inspiring.

Seeing that I write about weight loss at, I put the video up over there because everyone who's trying to lose weight should see it. Actually, everyone PERIOD should see it.

But I wanted to know more, so I e-mailed the subject of the video.

His name is Ben Davis, a 24-year-old University of Central Arkansas grad, who has the weight-loss blog Ben Does Life. I had him send me some before and after photos and then we did a Q&A. An excerpt:

Q. Was it difficult to run with an extra 100-plus pounds?

A. Oh, god, yes. I could only run two or three days a week because my knees and calves couldn't handle the pounding. But after a month or two, it was manageable and I just kept going.

You can read the rest of it over HERE at

But here's his video. Anytime you think that losing weight is an impossibility or that you need some sort of magic supplement or diet or gizmo, watch this. 

And thanks, Ben, for the photos and the Q&A and the inspiration.

Laughing burns calories!

Check out Shrinking Sisters Reviews for my latest post for The Daily Laugh. I'm part of a dozen bloggers who are writing every month on the foibles of living a healthy life. And check out the Daily Laugh Hub for other bloggers' stories and for a chance to win $150. Hey, that could buy a sweet pair of running shoes!