Betsy Devine on Dutch Bicycles

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Betsy Devine weighed in on Happiness and why she thinks the Netherlands lead the pack in happiness. She bases it all on bicycles:

She has a full list of why she thinks riding your bicycle everywhere would increase your happiness:

  • Exercise makes people’s bodies feel good.
  • Exercise lifts people’s spirits.
  • Bikers are not anonymous the way drivers are; hence their traffic interactions are much more civil.
  • Riding a bike instead of a Hummer to work is just one example of the general Dutch aversion to flaunting wealth–the struggle to keep up with (or better) your neighbors creates much unhappiness in many cultures.
  • Almost running over clueless American tourists who will go home and blog about you gets your pulses racing.

I agree with her. I’ve enjoyed riding my bicycle around my town. When I was riding it to work was the best time I had working for other people. There is something about the physical activity with a definite purpose that really makes me content. I would much rather ride my bike to work than go for a ride in the mountains. The ride to work accomplishes more than just a pretty ride.


Ask Laura: McDonalds and Yourself! Fitness DVDs

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

McDonald's and Yourself! Fitness


I have the cardio and strength and love them. They are perfect for me to take when I am traveling. I would love to have the yoga and core but since they are no longer available at McDonalds, how can I get them?



All of those workouts and more are available with Yourself! Fitness. It runs on PC, Playstation and Xbox. If you are using your DVDs on a laptop when you travel, it would be an easy transition to get the PC version. Here is a link to it on Amazon:

Yourself! Fitness on Amazon

Good Luck,
Laura Moncur
Starling Fitness

Hi Laura,

Thanks for the information but I need the DVD’s. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lap top but do have a compact DVD player that I use when I travel. Any idea where to get the DVDs?



You’re in luck! It looks like people are selling them on eBay:

Yourself! Fitness on Ebay

Good Luck,
Laura Moncur

Thank you, Laura!!!! I just bought what I needed on eBay!



The Biggest Loser: The Show That Takes 30 Minutes to Weight 13 People

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

The Biggest LoserOver the summer, I forgot that The Biggest Loser is the show that takes 30 minutes to weigh 13 people. The repetition and the way they drag things out to last two hours really got to me this time because I was watching it live last night. I used to tape them on my VCR and watch them last year, so I could fast forward through the neverending weighing when things got too much. This time, I was stuck with watching every grueling minute.

Let me tell ya. I’ll be taping it next time.

Kraft Jell-O Cook & Serve Sugar-Free Pudding & Pie Filling, Chocolate, 1.3-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 24)Oh yeah, I had also forgotten about the blatant commercials. Jello? Yep there it is. The girl who was voted off is eating Jello at home to “limit her carbs.” One-A-Day vitamins was given a couple of minutes with Bob introducing them to his team. Plus, One-A-Day had paid for two commercials during the breaks: one for women and one for men.

More disturbing were the commercials (two) for surgical weight loss during the breaks. Here in Utah, they were for a local company that promotes gastric bypass surgery and lap band surgery quite heavily. Those surgeries go against everything taught on The Biggest Loser. I wonder if there were similar commercials in other areas.

Timex Ironman Triathlon Digital Heart Rate Monitor Watch 5C411On a lighter note, did anyone notice that everyone is wearing Timex watches? I’m a watch fanatic, so I notice those sorts of things. At first, I thought, “Hey, there’s that HRM Timex that Mike has.” The second time, I thought, “I’ve looked at that watch… almost bought it.” The third time, I thought, “Oh, I get it. Timex gave everyone watches. Smooth…” I have an OLD Timex HRM watch (the first one they made) that is still going strong, so I really don’t have a problem with them providing watches to everyone. Long after they have been voted off the show, those watches are going to be reading their heart rates and timing their workouts.

Will I still watch the show despite all the commercials and trumped up drama? Yeah, but next week, I’m fast forwarding through the weigh-in.


John Mayer and His Nike+

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

John MayerJohn Mayer is a singer and songwriter (Your Body Is A Wonderland). He has a Nike + and decided to wear it during a performance onstage to see how much exercise he gets while performing.

John Mayer's Nike+ Results

He’s on tour promoting his new album, Continuum, and we all hear about how grueling touring it. According to the Nike+, it’s not the performance that is so wearing on the performers, though. It only recorded 0.54 miles and 75 calories burned during his performance.

“Calories: 75 – I gotta think this is a bit low. I do a lot of squeezing up there that’s not accounted for.”

He’s right about the Nike+. It doesn’t record any work you do with your arms or upper body while exercising. A heart rate monitor would do a better job of calculating calories burned in that case.

“This thing should come with a sensor to tell you how many days it lays under a pile of sweatshirts for.”

It actually DOES tell you how often it’s used, leaving you to fill in the gaps when it’s not used. It sounds like John was unimpressed with his Nike+, but it’s just a tool. Tools are only useful when they are used. Don’t let your Nike+ (or Yoga Ball, cardio step or any other physical fitness device) sit under a pile of sweatshirts. Get out there and use them!


traineo: An Online Fitness Motivator

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

You can have personalized buttons with traineo.I was looking for something to track my calories and exercise, but I found something entirely different: traineo.

This website is different than most. Sure, it allows you to write what you’ve done each day as far as calories consumed and exercise completed, but it doesn’t get into the nitty gritty. You literally just write the total calories you’ve eaten. There is no way to track what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I guess they assume you track that elsewhere. The exercise section is a little more detailed, but not much. Personally, if I have to keep track elsewhere, why would I even bother with traineo. The only reason I would put my information there would so my motivators know how I’m doing.

The power with traineo is the Motivators. You choose people who are either part of traineo or not to motivate you. I don’t really know anyone personally who wants to concentrate on exercise and healthy eating, so the fact that I can ask a stranger who has similar goals as me to be my workout buddy is really cool.

When I searched for a motivator in my area, however, there was no one within 20 miles. Of course, this is the Internet. I don’t need someone in SLC, Utah to motivate me. They can be from anywhere. What I would have really liked is to find someone with my same age, weight and goal that I could be buddies with, but I can’t search by those fields. I can only organize my search by people who are online now, or ladies only or by name. I don’t care what their name is. I’m looking for another woman who is 5’2″ and weighs 187 like I do. I’m looking for someone who is going through exactly what I’m going through. I would also like to search by exercise regime. Maybe someone who runs the same mileage I do or someone who likes to play DDR.

Speaking of DDR, video games, like DDR, Yourself! Fitness and Eye Toy, are not on the exercise list, but sexual activity is. If anyone is doing enough sexual activity to count the calories burned, they don’t need traineo. They need a therapist.

All in all, traineo looks like it has potential to be a good way to find an exercise buddy, but it’s not quite ready for prime time yet. It needs more people and more functions to help me find a good motivator. If you already have motivators in your life, then using traineo will be easy for you, but then again, if you already have good motivators, then you don’t really need traineo.

Via: Seth’s Blog: Landing page of the week


Question of the Week: Halloween Candy

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

The Halloween aisle is a long black and orange enticement at the grocery store. What are you going to do about it this year?

When do you buy Halloween candy?

Are you really buying it for the kids or is the “first wave” for you and you don’t want to admit it?

What are your favorite Halloween candy flavors?

Are those the flavors that you buy “for the kids”?

Are there good uses for Halloween candy?

The Question of the Week is meant to be an Inner Workout for you. Find some time during the week and allow yourself to write the answers to the questions posted. You can write them on paper, on a word processor or here in the comments section. Whatever works for you as long as you do it.

Keep writing until you find out something about yourself that you didn’t know before. I’ve also heard that it works to keep writing until you cry, but that doesn’t really work for me. Whatever works for you. Just keep writing until it feels right.


Gabriel Sherman Wants You To Get Out Of “His” Marathon

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Jason Kottke said it better than I could I’m just passing this on to you:

Jason noticed that Gabriel Sherman wrote an article called, “How sluggish newbies ruined the marathon“. He is sick of slow runners in “his” races. With searing wit, Kottke has the best reply:

“Why should the almighty institution of The Marathonâ„¢ be more important than the people running in it? And why doesn’t he want more people to enjoy a sport that he loves? Should we implore Mr. Sherman to stop writing because he’s ruining journalism with his shallow, insubstantial articles? Hell no! Keep writing, Mr. Sherman…we’ll keep reading in the hopes that you’ll one day improve and recognize the importance of, every once in awhile, doing something for which you’re not ideally suited because you want to.”

It seems like so many people join sports (or religions or country clubs or whatever) in order to feel better than other people. If anyone can run a marathon, then the marathon isn’t special anymore, is it? WRONG! No matter who does it, if they finish a marathon, they have completed a great thing. For one shining moment, they were able to conquer the distance and any clamorings their body had to stop.

Bad form, Gabriel. Bad form.

Don’t let any elitist athlete tell you what you can and cannot do. If you have qualified and trained for the race, don’t let anyone stop you from running it. Sorry, Gabriel, you’re going to have to let a few more people into your “exclusive” club.


Make Yourself Thinner With Software

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Photos Altered with HP's Slimming Effect

Hewlett Packard has added a feature to its cameras that allows you to make a centered subject appear thinner.

This isn’t new. It’s something that Photoshop experts have been doing for a long time. I thought I would try it out myself and see if I could create a slimmer version of my Before Pictures.

Bogus Before and After Photo

Using Photoshop, I created the “after” photo by changing the image size without constraining the proportions. You can tell because the fish above my head is much “thinner” than it was before. The photo makes my before photo look a little thinner, but it does nothing for my lumpy parts. I think that’s why HP used models that didn’t really need slimming in their example pages. Sure, it can make you look a little less wide, but it can’t shave off the soft and bumpy bits.

In the end, there is no software that can make you look better. You have to do the work to look better. I have never had a better photo taken of me than the quick clicks of friends when I am healthy and strong. This picture was taken by Betsy the Devine at SXSW last March and it’s the best I’ve looked EVER. Don’t waste your money on cameras that say they will make you look thinner. Getting thin is free, all you have to do is put in the effort.


Bullying At The Gym

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I thought that I left bullying long behind me when I left high school, but I got a big surprise during the Bosu Incident a few years ago. It seems that bullying at the gym happens to adult women all the time. Lisa Williams talks about her latest incident with it here:

After a childhood of torment, she still encounters women who believe that life is a fashion show:

This morning I went to the gym. As I was leaving, a woman in a powder blue car and stopped me and said, I’m sorry to be personal, but it’s not just me, I talked to the other women in the class and you wear the same clothes every time, don’t you wash them?

I have a lot of black t-shirts and black bike shorts. It’s true, in one sense, that I always wear the same clothes to the gym: but they’re copies of the same clothes.

The woman offered that she and the other women were trying to be helpful.

Uh huh. To whom? To people like you, for whom people like me exist only to make you feel superior?

After my incident with bullying, I cancelled my membership to that gym and started running on the treadmill at home again. It took a couple of months to let the dream of a gym of adults who actually acted like adults die, but it die it did. I still have a gym membership at a different gym, but I rarely go there. I run outside alone. Ride my bike outside or on the trainer alone. All my exercise has become a solitary event because of bullying at the gym. I don’t even exercise with Mike very often.

I wish I knew what the answer was…


A New Sensor Holder For Your Nike+

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Marware Sportsuit Sensor+ for Nike + iPod Sport Kit for iPod nanoIt’s sexy, no? Maybe you can barely see it? Is all you’re seeing is the shoe? Look on the shoelaces, there is a tiny black square. That is what I’m talking about. The almost invisible Marware Sensor+. It holds your Nike+ iPod sensor on your shoes in its tiny and compact pocket. Plus, it’s only 13 bucks.

I have to admit that this is mighty tempting, even though I already have something that works with my Nike+. I have had a couple of people ask about “that thing on my shoe,” but this sensor pocket is so small that I don’t think anyone would even notice it.

Marware Sportsuit Sensor+ for Nike + iPod Sport Kit for iPod nano Still can’t see it? Here is a bigger picture:

It feels like I’ve been talking about the Nike+ alot lately, and I have. It has been the only thing keeping me exercising lately. I don’t know why it has been so motivating to me, but I have been really happy with it.

« Previous Entries - Next Page »

Powered by WordPress
(c) 2004-2017 Starling Fitness / Michael and Laura Moncur