Welcome to Starling Fitness

By Michael Moncur @ 6:11 pm — Filed under:

Welcome to Starling Fitness! We’ll be posting daily here about fitness, diet, exercise programs and gadgets, and health. If you’re looking for a place to get great ideas for losing weight or staying in shape, or just want a daily reminder that fitness is important, be sure to bookmark this site.

About the Site

This site’s main theme is physical fitness—whether that means losing weight, building strength, or maintaining general good health. We know that becoming and staying fit is hard work, so you won’t hear about any miracle drugs or fad diets here. We also believe that fitness can be fun, which is why we spend time talking about unconventional approaches like fitness-related video games.

Read on for more about this site. (more…)

DDR Ultramix 2

By Laura Moncur @ 9:30 am — Filed under:


I bought DDR Ultramix 2 almost a month ago. After struggling with the original Ultramix, I was worried that they would make the same mistakes with the new one. I’m glad to report that it is much, much better…



Silver Status on Yourself! Fitness

By Laura Moncur @ 4:19 pm — Filed under:

I made Silver on Yourself! Fitness today. That opened up the Alpine Retreat exercise space and let me use the Techno music. I really liked the Alpine Retreat. There was a mountain biker that drove by in the background a couple of times and a hot air balloon gently floated over the water. I don’t know why those little extras make things more enjoyable for me, but they really do. It reminded me of being up at Snowbird. The Snowbird Ski Resort has a nice open space where they have Oktober Fest and I imagined I was up in the Wasatch mountains exercising.

By the way, if you don’t exercise for a week, she does give you a lecture about consistency. When you start exercising regularly again, she gives you a lot of positive feedback. She has told me two corny jokes. Yesterday, I wasn’t too happy about exercising, so I chose the “You’re lucky I’m here” selection. She responded, “Kind of like my date last night.” This morning, she asked me if I’m always this animated and then said, “I am, get it?” You know… because she’s computer animated… Yeah, I didn’t think they were funny either, but she never tells jokes when I’m exercising. That’s the important thing.



My Weight Loss Story So Far…

By Laura Moncur @ 4:06 pm — Filed under:

My weight loss story is not the story people want to hear. People magazine runs articles about people who lose 100 pounds in five months or people who lose half of themselves in half that long. The populous likes to hear stories about the obsessive compulsive guy who lost weight by eating nothing but rice cakes. They want to hear about the lady who put on a pair of tennis shoes and ran herself thin in record time, eventually winning marathons. My story isn’t nearly as glamorous.

I joined Weight Watchers January 17, 2002. I remember the day because my life really hasn’t been the same ever since. My habits have drastically changed since that day a month before the winter Olympics. What was I thinking? I joined Weight Watchers right before I went to Hawaii for two weeks. I went to Hawaii. I went to Weight Watchers in a Catholic church in Ka’paa. I lost weight on that trip and I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything Hawaiian. I tried all the food, I just logged it in my food journal.

What was I thinking? I’ll tell you.



Exercise Gaming

By Laura Moncur @ 2:30 pm — Filed under:

I just found a website devoted to exercise gaming called DDR4Health. I read it all day today and because of it, I added quite a few things to my Amazon wish list. Most of them are too expensive for me to contemplate purchasing right now. They’re just there to remind me of all the cool things that are out there. Here’s a quick overview of the things that are just setting my mind afire right now.

GameBike GameBike

Think of it as a huge controller for your console system. It works with PlayStation and they sell an adapter for use on Game Cube or Xbox. Pedaling the bike causes the game to accelerate. According to the documentation, it doesn’t make a difference if you pedal quickly or slowly, you just need to pedal to make it work. I think this would be a great controller to use with Project Gotham Racing. So what if you are pedaling and steering a bike instead of driving a car? It would make all that game time productive.

FP Game RunnerFP Game Runner

This thing looks like a cheap treadmill connected to a controller. It connects to your computer for first person games with a USB connector. It doesn’t work with any of the current gaming systems (computer only). When I saw it, I thought to myself, “Hmm… I could take apart a normal controller and solder the connections to a cheap treadmill from the thrift store.” I wouldn’t recommend this item because it is so expensive. For that kind of money, you could get a heavy duty treadmill from Nordictrack that goes up to 30% incline at 10 mph.


It’s another huge monster controller for your console system. It is compatible with Xbox and PlayStation. This is a strength training machine. It is meant to build upper body strength, but the FAQ state that you will notice improvement in your quads as well. Apparently, it’s a huge machine that you manipulate instead of pushing buttons. I wasn’t interested in this one as much because it’s so colossal.

Wild DivineThe Journey to Wild Divine

This is not an active game. It’s a biofeedback tool to help you meditate. I thought it was really interesting since getting me to calm down is nearly impossible. I keep thinking that I’ll learn to relax someday. When I saw this, I thought, “Maybe then I could relax.” I keep trying to buy relaxation instead of realizing that the best thing I could do is just complete some projects and write some chapters. This program looked cool, though.

Even though all of these things look like they aren’t quite ready for prime time, what sets my mind afire is the idea that they are the start of a wave of exercise gaming options. I can imagine a future where every house has a gaming machine that attaches to their game console. It works cardio and strength training and makes the games exciting and challenging on an entirely different level. Of course, I could always just go outside and play like my grandma always used to say…


Yourself! Fitness for the Xbox

By Laura Moncur @ 4:45 pm — Filed under:

Yourself! Fitness for Xbox

I picked up Yourself! Fitness a couple of weeks ago. I have really enjoyed exercising with Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix on my Xbox, so I thought that this game might be interesting. I had no idea how much I would like it.


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