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Naked Fitness: What I did to get healthy…

A few of you have asked me what EXACTLY I did to lose 14lbs and 4 inches off my waist in 21 days for the Naked Fitness Challenge. Well, I am FINALLY getting around to telling you! :-) Sorry for the weight wait.

1. I walked 2 hours a day. Period. It was the dead of winter here in Chi-town, but I spent time either walking in front of the TV (during breaks of the Golden Globes, for one example). My pedometer was broken so I just kept time on my Timex Ironman watch. Everytime I started to walk, I pushed start on the timer. Everytime I stopped, I pressed stop on the timer. When I got to 2 hours on the timer, I stopped. Now I work toward 15-17K steps a day. It is hard, but I do it. Pre Naked Fitness, I would walk about 45 minutes and be DONE. It was never longer than 2-3 miles. I can do 7-8 miles easy now. Crazy I know. :-)

2. Eating plan. Because the trainer (Andrea) is going to be coming out with a book soon, I can’t post the actual menu on my site. BUT, she did post the first week menu here. I followed that menu religiously (except for the polenta chili– I didn’t like it so I ate Chicken and veggies instead.) 2nd week was very close to the first week, and week three we really were on our own, but sticking with 2 hours of walking and eating 1200 calories a day– 80-100 grams of protein,  25 grams of fiber and 8-11 fruits and veggies a day.

3. Elations. I owe my joint comfort to Elations Drink. I have bad knees and usually am in a lot of discomfort during and after working out. After a week  drinking Elations, I had no discomfort in my knees at all.  When I stopped drinking it (becuase I ran out) my knees were pretty sore. Back on the drink, no discomfort at all again. (*disclaimer: Elations was a sponsor of the Naked Fitness Challenge. I was given a case of the drink, but have purchased it for the last month on my own. I will be passing out Elations at Fitbloggin ’10, but am not being paid or sponsored by Elations to do so. They just will be giving me the free product to pass out.)

4. Alignment exercises. Andrea Metcalf, the trainer, gave us specific movements to do depending on how we assessed ourselves in the mirror. Is one hip higher than the other? One shoulder? Which way do my hands face? If you would like more information about her techniques and to get an assessment, please follow her on twitter @andreametcalf or visit Andrea’s website

5. Stretching and “rehab”. For me, this was the most important part. I am REALLY out of alignment when it comes to my hip and lower back. Without Andrea’s help, I would not have been able to continue with the program. When I walk, my lower back and hip tense up and I am pretty much pulling all my muscles. With her help (and a few of her Pain Free Videos) I can manage the pain through stretches alone. I can’t tell you how many chiro appts I went to over the years to help me fix this pain– literally, after TWO 20 minute stretching workouts, I was about 80 percent pain free. I could not believe it. I still do the DVD about 3 times a week to help keep the pain at bay.

6. Group work. Just meeting with the 30-odd other contestants kept me sane and on program. I met really nice people and made a few friends along the way. I truly believe the group helped me keep on the program.

7. A bit of greed. I can admit now that the thought of winning a cool new treadmill at the end kept me going a few of the hard days. ;-) Thought I was not “the biggest loser” and didn’t win the treadmill, I was still happy to cheer my fellow contestants on.

OK, that;t it– really. That’s all I did. Nothing fancy– walking and eating healthy.

testing a new page

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Mamavation Motivation Monday

I used my walking poles today and I am SOOOOO sore already– FEEL THE BURN! The weather is finally starting to warm up (almost 50 today!) and I enjoyed getting out to feel the warmth of the sun (through the fog!) on my face. I was hesitant to walk in my new neighborhood (wasn’t sure how safe it is, I have only been here 4 months and it has been cold and snowy the whole time) but it is actually very safe with lots of dog walkers and nannies out for afternoon walks. While it is supposed to rain tomorrow, I think I will get out and do another walk early.

I ate healthy today( finally) enjoying a BIG salad and a few whole wheat veggie ravioli for lunch. Dinner will be fish and veggies again. I am PUMPED for Fitbloggin and can’t wait to see everyone. I may have already started packing…. :-) I have plans to hit the treadmill after dinner and get another good walk in…. :-)

So what did you do to move today?

Naked Fitness New Year Challenge Videos are up!

Some of you already know I auditioned and was one of 36 people (out of over 200) chosen for a 21 day weight lose challenge program here in Chicago called the Naked Fitness New Year Challenge (PS: Before any of you ask me, “Naked” is just in the name, we don’t workout naked or anything. Number one question I get asked. )

Below is a link to the video from the “reveal” of the winner from Tuesday night on NBC-5 Chicago. While I was NOT the overall winner, I did lose 14lbs and 4 inches off my waist in 21 days. :-) The link below will also give you an idea of what we ate (lots of protein, veggies) and did (walk 2 hours a day) to lose the weight. I had a great time and met a lot of great people. We will continue the program through out the year and be followed by NBC here in Chicago.

Here’s the News video from the other night– scroll down the page, and look for the deceptive picture of the trainer (also an Andrea) in a yellow top with a medicine ball in the middle of the words. Click on that picture, and watch the progression pictures and interview video. The segment is about 2 minutes long and I am toward the middle and end. I make a few appearances. I am the person who says “4 inches off my waist”. The other video on the page is the live portion of the night. I am in the back center in the live video. Enjoy!

AJ Finally gives an update!

The past couple of weeks have been extra special busy. First a few bullets to get some quick things out of the way:

  • More on the New Year Challenge below, but I wanted to say that I haven’t weighed-in since before the super bowl, and won’t for a few more weeks due to a little glitch (the scale was in LA). I had a rough week eating-wise, but am keeping up with my workouts.
  • If you read my tweets, you may have noticed I spent a Sunday morning not too long ago waiting in line to buy a Cricut for cheap at BigLots. Well, I got one of the 5 that were in stock and I LOVE IT! I can see more scrapbooking in my near future :-)
  • Cross your fingers that I get an interview this week at a place I applied to a few weeks ago. I have already made it through the phone interview and hope to hear back soon.
  • I am doing a market research thingy on cat food tomorrow — so excited to have a little extra “go” money. What shall I spend it on? New workout clothes? Sketchers shoes? Cricut supplies?? :-)
  • I have been having a bit of trouble sleeping the past few nights– I think the cats are keeping me awake. I need to shoo them out of my room tonight and see if that helps. I need to get a good night’s rest!

OK– here go the long-ish updates–

Naked Fitness New Year Challenge: While my eating has not been the best this week (Valentine’s Weekend was a disaster!! Fries! Fried Pork Tenderloin!! Candy bars!!! (yes BARS; PLURAL), I stopped myself on Monday and restarted. Wait– Actually, I started over search day eating a healthy breakfast but ended each day of my 2 day crap-binge with, well, CRAP. On Monday I seemed to get my healthy-head back on, and really stayed within my calorie goals for each day.

I was proud that I got 2 hours of walking in each day (except 1 or 2– those days I walked 1 hour). I made the realization that every day was not going to be “perfect” because





Some days I am going to slip up a bit, and that is OK. I can start again at the next snack or meal. I had to realize I was tired and not planning properly so I was not getting my meals at the right time, so I was starving and grabbing whatever I could find (ie: fast food) and shoving it in my mouth. I need to slow down, plan my meals and eat what makes my body “run” the best is can.

I made up 4 shredded chicken breasts in the crockpot tonight so I can add it to my meals over the next few days. I just added the chicken to a can of low sodium chicken broth in my crockpot this morning and by about 6 pm, the chicken was so done it just shredded in my hands. Look at me preparing my meals ahead of time!! lol

I forgot to drink the supplement drink, Elations, that the trainer had asked us to use during the initial 21 days (mostly because I ran out of the bottles). My knee really started giving me problems as I was walking– the joint was really sore and uncomfortable. After being back on the Elations for 3 days, the discomfort was GONE! I really believe in this great little product! Glad Andrea asked us to try it! ;-) (NOTE: I received free product from the trainer as part of the 21 day fitness program, but have run out of the free product and am now purchasing it for myself.)

I spend an hour or so at NBC 5 here in Chicago taping a segment that will be shown March 2nd on the 10pm news to highlight the work we did over the 21 days of the initial program. If you are in Chicago, please check it out.If not, I will try to post it from their website the night it airs. Andrea (the trainer) told us today that NBC 5 will be following us throughout the year to see how we do on the plan. I am HAPPY I will have the follow as I need something to keep me honest!

Within the next few days (hopefully Wednesday) I will post the whole menu, and guidelines to follow if you would like to try this new way of eating/working out. Well, I guess it is not a new way of eating, per se, but a healthy way of eating. I have a very full day tomorrow, so give me a day or so. ;-)

Fitbloggin 10– I can’t believe Fitbloggin is just around the corner. Amerrylife is my roommate and I can’t wait to hear all about her trip to New Zealand to see her love in person. ;-)   I think I may have secured a sponsor (or 2) just this afternoon. More information as soon as I can share. I am SO EXCITED and want to share but want to make sure everything is firm before I do!! ;-) I know you understand.

Speaking of this (awesome) guy, if you have any spare change, and you believe in true love, PLEASE go to this post, read, and donate what you can. Their story is SO SWEET. Thanks in advance!

I leave you with a yummy recipe- Enjoy!

Chili-Lime Pork Chops

4 servings

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt (I used garlic powder)

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)

1 tablespoon line juice

1 teaspoon canola oil

4 boneless pork loin chops 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick (1lb)

If desired: Chopped fresh cilantro; lime wedges

1. Pre-heat grill

2. meanwhile, in small bowl, mix all seasoning ingredients. Brush mixture evenly on both sides of each chop.

3. When grill is heated, place pork on grill surface. Close grill, cook 5-7 min or until pork is no longer pink in center (AP note: I turned mine once 1/2 through cooking to get good grill lines). Sprinkle pork with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

1 serving: 190 Cal, Fat 10g, Sodium 170g (maybe less with sub garlic powder).

Taken from Pilsbury Fast and Healthy Cookbook.

Naked Fitness New Year Challenge- Final Totals and thoughts on the program

Well- the Naked Fitness, New Year Challenge is over. We find out the top three losers today (I don’t think I am one of them).

Below are my final stats:

  • Auditioned on January 9th for Naked Fitness
  • First (real) Weigh-in on January 16th – Gained 2lbs since audition (ouch-but I was eating everything in sight)
  • Second Weigh-in Jan 23- Lost 8lbs!
  • Third Weigh-in Jan 30- Lost 4lbs!
  • Fourth and final Weigh-in February 6th – lost 2lbs!

Total Weight-loss: 14lbs since January 16th

Inches lost- 4inches lost in my waist!

Here are my thoughts in bullet form:

  • Eating 9-11 servings of fruits and veggies, getting 80-100 grams of protein in and working out/walking 2 hours a day can be difficult – but not impossible.
  • I can treat my body with the respect it deserves AND have fun with my friends at the same time.
  • DIET SODA IS EVIL. I have been off diet soda (almost completely) since January 16th. I had about 6 sips on superbowl Sunday and about 4 sips last night. I just don’t want it or even have a taste for it anymore. I think I do, but when I try it, it just tastes bad.
  • Sleep is very much needed to keep my body moving.
  • The iPhone app “lose it” has been my savior. Entering everything I eat and my exercise keeps me on track for the day.
  • 4 inches off my waist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I FEEL better. My body seems more in tune with itself. I still have more weight to lose, but this was an awesome start.

Here are the basics of the Naked fitness plan (from Andrea Metcalf):

• Eat 9-11 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
• Eat color and variety as often as possible
• Monitor and eat 25 grams of fiber daily including at least 5 grams of whole
grains meaning that 5 grams of your fiber intake is not from fruits or veggies.
• Eat 80-100 grams of protein.
• Drink water over any other beverage with every meal.
• Get at least 7 hours of sleep every day (making up hours on weekends if you
cannot sleep at least 7 hours weekdays)
• Find your breath and count five slow deep breaths every morning, lunch,
dinner and before every meal.
• Limit processed foods and be conscious of your choices each time you fuel
your precious engine.
• Drink your Elations
• eat at least 4-5 meals/snacks a day
• a meal has both protein and carbs and under 450 calories
• a snack has both protein and carbs and under 250

D Day is Tomorrow

Just checking in to say that tomorrow is my 3rd weigh-in forcthe Naked Fitness New You Challenge. I was only able to walk 3 days out of 7 due to my back/hip pain, so I have no idea how the scale is going to treat me. No matter what the scale says, I really want to check my waist measurement this week. By my (bad) calculations, I think I am down 3 1/2 inches. I have not had my waist measurment taken since the audition. We shall see. I will post lbs down to Twitter at about 12:30 tomorrow then post here as soon as possible.

Here’s to a good last chance workout tonight and a lower scale (and waist number) tomorrow!!

Another Update: Naked Fitness New Year Challenge

I was down another 4lbs on Saturday…. for a total of

12lbs down!!!!

That’s the good great news.

The bad news is that walking up to 2 hours a day REALLLLLLY aggravates my lower back/bad hip and I was in tremendous pain. On Saturday I was only able to stay for about 30 minutes (as I has a suburban baby shower to race to) at the weigh-in, but the trainer assessed my hip/lower back and gave me a slew of new stretches to do to help shore up my core and to really strengthen my hamstrings and hip. I was also told NO FITNESS WALKING until I was free of pain for atleast 24 hours. I was allowed pilates and Yoga.

At first I was horrified. How in the H-E-L-L am I gonna keep up my weight loss goals? I swear the 2 hours a day of walking was really helping.

But then I realized– I am doing this for the LONG HAUL, not just to win a treadmill. I need to be healthy and strong.

So since Saturday night, I have been doing about an hour of yoga/pilates and 20-30 minutes of stretching each night. I have been eating 1200 calories. I have been sticking to our guidlines*.


And as of today at 7pm, I had been pain-free for 26hours so I walked on the treadmill for an hour. I feel great.

I still think this weeks weight loss will be low for the week. Monday and Tuesday were “bad” sleep nights for me, and I spent most of the day in bed both days. My head has been stuff, my body achy and my sinuses have felt clogged. I have been feeling “off” lately, and I have heard from other migraine sufferers here in Chicago that they are gearing up for the storm we are supposed to be having this week. I think that is one reason I have been feeling so run down. Also, Aunt Flo came to visit today and we all know how bloated “she” can make any lady feel**.

Other than that, I am just hanging in there. Sunday is going to be a HUGE test, as I am going to the mother of all Super Bowl parties. I am telling you it will be filled with miles and miles of amazingly bad for you food. How do you cope at a Super Bowl party??

*This week we weren’t given a “menu” we were given guidelines to help us eat (and live) healthfully. For example, we are to eat 80-100 grams of protein a day, along with 25 grams of fiber, 5 of which come from whole sorses other than fruits and veggies. We are to get 7 hours of sleep each night, and take 5 deep breaths before we eat a meals. Meals are to be less than 450 calories and include carb and a protein, and snacks are to be under 250 calories and also include a carb and a protein.

**I have been craving salt like a fiend all week. I am sure if is because of Aunt Flo. Thank goodness salt is not restricted on the plan, but I restrict it for myself. If I am bloated at weigh-in, it is aunt flo and the 200lbs of salt I have ingested this week.

AJ Shares an Update- New Year Challenge

Well, it has been a tough week.

I have stayed on plan eating and exercise wise (2 hours of walking a day baby!) even though the darn TV has been tempting me with Wendy’s spicy nuggets and cold Diet Coke.

I even went to a pizza party last night. AND stayed on plan.

I emailed AM (the trainer) and asked what I could eat since I did not want to be the odd duck in the corner eating my 6oz skinless boneless chicken breast and 1/2 cup of broccoli and pining for a crust of pizza. I was WILLING to eat what was on the list for Wednesday dinner, but knew two things about myself:

1. If I deprive myself now, I will WANT MORE LATER. MUCH MORE.

2. If I don’t learn how to eat in social situations, I will become a hermit with 27 cats and never leave the house again. No one wants this. :)

AM said to stay on plan, I should eat the thinnest crust possible, and eat 3 times the salad as I do pizza.

So I did exactly that. We had Lou Malnotti’s Pizza, and I chose the super thin crust cheese version (3 small squares of a medium pizza, no “end” pieces), a large salad with carrots, red cabbage, cucumber, red peppers and about 2 tables spoons of low fat honey Dijon dressing, and for dessert (though there were fruit tarts, homemade cookies and ice cream treats) had about a cup of cut up fruit. NO SODA. WATER.I also had a Chobani Yogurt for a snack later.

And I was satisfied.

We watched “Away We Go” with John Krasinski and then turned over to the State of the Union. It was wonderful to watch the SOTU with such amazing and intelligent women. I got SO much more out of it than I normally do. I also utilized the iPhone to look up “Pay As You Go” and other new (to me) concepts. I love to learn!!

Weigh-in is Saturday, and I actually have to go in a bit early as I have a baby shower in Glencoe at my normal weigh-in time. My goal this week is 4lbs. I know that is a bit low, but I have to remember that the first week of any weight-loss/healthy eating venture is usually the most weight in a week people lose. I am trying to reign in my expectations– that way, if I lose 5lbs, I will be pleasantly surprised.

I can’t remember if I wrote my goal for this month down here yet. My goal is 20lbs in 30 days. I have 12lbs to go with just 2 weeks left. I hope I can make it, but if I don’t I know any amount of weight I have lost will be a win in my book! :)

Off to eat lunch!

AJ Weighed in today….




I was so freaked out the past 2 days as I was SURE I was only going to lose like 2lbs (or GASP stay the same or GAIN) after staying exactly on plan. I promise you don’t want to see my texts or hear the crazy conversations I have had with friends the past 2 days. Really.

Thank you to my online and IRL friends for all your/their support of this sometimes-neurotic “loser”!

Most of the people at the weigh-in said that they weigh themselves everyday so they knew what the damage would be. I had resigned from the beginning to NOT weigh-in daily– I fluctuate so much, I would disappoint myself and end up eating a pound of french fries for going up 0.8 lbs.

My 8lb loss proves that I have been on plan, walking 2 hours each day (other than last Saturday) and staying upbeat and positive.

My 8lb loss proves that ANYONE can eat properly and lose weight.

My 8lb loss proves that I CAN DO THIS for 3 more weeks.

Tonight I had grilled chicken breast, wilted spinach with garlic and about a 1/4 of red pepper* for dinner. It was filling and fantastic- and did I mention, fully homemade? :) My snack after working out (2 hours walking, thank you very much) was a medium banana and a small handful of walnuts. We are supposed to have our “snacks” in the morning, but if I don’t hold my banana until night (when I do my bulk of working out) I am STARVING by 10:30pm. I am doing what works for me but still keeping the calories at 1200.

Onward and upward (which for tonight means going to B-E-D!)

*Red pepper was not part of the plan, but I added it as the pepper was going to go bad, and, actually, as a treat for losing 8lbs. Who knew that red pepper would be used by me as a treat?? :)