Try The Healing Yoga Routine Jen Aniston Loves

By Laura Moncur @ 4:44 pm — Filed under:

That was the email that was one of the 130 emails I had to wade through when I got back from my trip to Vegas. It was from Self Magazine, and the email didn’t actually say anything about a healing yoga routine that Jennifer Aniston loves. It had a few dorky tips about having a positive attitude about exercise and avoiding winter sniffles. Mostly, it was just trying to get me to subscribe to Self Magazine again.

I’m not.

The last three magazines went right into the recycle bin without even opening them. Why? Do I suddenly hate Self Magazine now? No. They’re okay. They keep saying the same things over and over again, but they aren’t really evil. They have a pretty positive attitude about body, diet and health. My only problem is that I just am sick of reading the same articles. It’s not like they are recycling their stories, but how many times can you say eat less and exercise more without sounding like a broken record?

I also don’t like the articles that promise to flatten my belly in six weeks. They aren’t really realistic. The exercise routines just seem like a fashion photo shoot for exercise clothes instead of actual workouts. Not only that, they send me email with titles like, “Try the healing yoga routine Jen Aniston loves.” Jennifer Aniston is a beautiful woman, but I really don’t think the yoga routine that she does will make my body look like hers. We’re two different people. Sure, it would be nice to be as fit as she is, but a simple yoga routine in an email isn’t going to get me there. Worse still, they didn’t even include the routine in the email…


The $6000 Combo Meal

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

I just got back from a quick trip to Vegas. Rather than brave the Christmas shopping, we hit Sin City. I saw this commercial for Carl’s Jr. before we left. To our surprise, The Palms actually offers the Carl’s Jr. meal on their room service menu. If Sin City has everything for everyone, why is it so hard to get a healthy meal there? I guess healthy eating doesn’t really fall into the category of sin, does it?

Via: SupersizedMeals.com – The Carl’s Jr. $6,000 combo meal


The Okara Cookie – “Enjoy New Diet Life”

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

Okara Cookie

The Diet Blog has a funny article about the advertising for a cookie from Japan that is supposed to help you lose weight.

The English translation accentuates the hilarity of eating cookies to lose weight:

“The most effective way to diet is to eat Okara cookies instead of usual supper. However, it is a serious thing isn’t it? First of all, we encourage to eat cookies for the breakfast.”

The poor English aside, Okara cookies aren’t very different from meal replacement shakes or protein bars. Skewing full meals prepared with fresh, whole foods in favor of processed shakes or bars has never worked for me. I always feel more hungry after a diet shake than I did if I had eaten the same number of calories in “real” food. The awkward translation just makes it more obvious.

Next time you are tempted by meal replacement shakes, bars or even Japanese soy cookies, remember that there is no replacement for healthy food. It may take a little longer to prepare or require that you plan ahead, but your health is worth it. You deserve a little extra preparation and planning. Give it to yourself.


My Arms Are Killing Me!

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

Nintendo WiiMy sister and her husband sat in line for nine hours outside in the cold, November weather to be one of the first people to get a Nintendo Wii. Me? I talked to them on the phone and called a few stores around town to see if their prospects were better there. The next day, they invited us over to play with their new toy. We played Wii Sports, Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz and Rayman Raving Rabbids. The next day, Stacey called me:

“Hi, how are you doing?”

“My arms are killing me!”

“Dan has been complaining all morning. You guys are wimps.”

Wii Nunchuck ControllerFor two days, my biceps and forearms twinged with pain whenever I picked anything up. Three out of four of us were seriously given a good workout by the Wii games. The reason is the new Wii Nunchuck controller. To punch out the monkey, you need to actually punch with the controller. To run away from the bunnies, you need to move your arms up and down really quickly like you’re running. There was a lot of hype around those Wii controllers and after playing with them for over four hours, I can tell you that none of it was hype. They really are as cool and fun as Nintendo tried to tell us they were.

Rayman Raving RabbidsSince we played Rayman Raving Rabbids more than any of the others, there must be something about psychotic bunnies that really entices me to run fast, play hard and throw cows. I was disturbed by the idea of shooting bunnies, blowing them up and pushing them off the dance floor, but after a few minutes of torture at their hands, I had no qualms about delivering that burning package of explosives into the hands of one very psychotic bunny.

I’m itching to play more so I can do a full review. I guess I should have been out in the cold with them waiting for my own Wii. I had no idea it would be so fun…


Tetris Weightlifting

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

Tetris Weightlifting

You are looking at a computer hack that turns your favorite puzzle game, Tetris, into a weightlifting activity. It may look like PVC pipe and buckets right now, but this is a prototype for a new type of video game.

Tim Tucker, a computer design engineer with a Masters from Indiana University, created this apparatus to play Tetris and has released the information to build one yourself. Wondering how it works? He explains it here:

You pull one handle to move the block left or right and pull both of them to drop the block. There’s no explanation on how to rotate the block, but as far as weight-lifting ideas goes, it seems a lot more entertaining than just sitting there and lifting weights.

Exergaming is an idea that has been difficult to catch on with the big console companies like Playstation and Xbox. It appears that we are going to have to create this for ourselves in our basements and workshops. Good idea, Tim! Hat’s off to you!

Via: DDR and Video Games: Not Quite Enough?


Does a Twelve-Year-Old Girl Need Liposuction?

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

Brooke BatesI vividly remember what it felt like to be a fat kid. I remember how my grandma treated me. I remember how the kids at school treated me. I remember it all so vividly. If my parents had been able to provide it, would I have had liposuction when I was twelve years old? Hell, yeah!

That’s how the twelve-year-old mind works. I wouldn’t have worried about complications. I wouldn’t have realized that not changing my eating habits would just pack on the pounds again. I wouldn’t have cared about any of that. Just to have the hope of not being the fat kid would have been enough for me. Of course, that faulty logic is the reason that twelve-year old kids aren’t allowed to sign contracts or enter into marriages. We protect our children legally and sexually, but it seems like the story of Brooke Bates and her liposuction surgery left her woefully unprotected.

Fortunately, she is healthy and not dealing with some of the infection and blood loss nightmares that other people have dealt with. When asked if they were scared, her mother said that they weren’t. Their faith in the doctor seems unwise considering how many other people have suffered at the hands of this kind of operation.

I’m disturbed by this article and video in many ways. I keep hearing the word “normal” thrown around like it’s an idol to be worshipped. The doctor that performed the surgery on Brooke said,

“It can change their lives to be a normal person.”

An overweight boy earlier in the interview said,

“I just want to be normal.”

Even the narration joins in the game:

“…even shed hope for a normal future.”

Normal isn’t an ideal to look up to. No matter what you do, you won’t be normal. No matter what your body looks like, the kids at school will find SOMETHING to make fun of, whether it’s your name, how smart you are (or aren’t), or even if you are the fastest runner. The pursuit of normal isn’t a race you can win. It’s like running in a hamster wheel. You burn a lot of energy, but you still end up feeling like an outsider. Liposuction can’t cure it because it has NOTHING to do with the body and everything to do with the mind.

Bad call, Dr. Robert Ersek, bad call.

Via: Big Fat Blog: 12-Year-Old Has Liposuction


Christmas Shopping: The Workout

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

My mom has the Post-Thanksgiving Christmas Shopping down to a science. She arrives at her first choice store five to ten minutes before it opens, rushes in, buys the one or two items on her list and sprints for the checkout stand: repeat, repeat, repeat. Christmas shopping with her is an efficient and tiring ordeal. Sure, you get all your Christmas shopping done in about three hours, but afterward, you’re more tired than thirty minutes after the turkey dinner the day before. Here are some tips to get the most of your shopping workout:

  • The Mall Is For Walkers: It might seem like lazy shopping to go to the mall because there are so many stores in one spot, but the point that you miss is that you end up doing a lot of walking in that mall. Wear your running shoes and you’ll last a little longer.

  • Running Gets You There Faster: If it means you have to run to beat the other people rushing for the low priced televisions, running gets you there faster. Very few of the other shoppers are willing to run while they are getting their three items that they want from this particular store. If you sprint between the items, you’ll burn extra calories AND get what you had on your list.

  • Carts Are For Wimps: Carrying your products in your arms not only builds upper-body strength, it lets you be more agile when dodging other shoppers. A cart is a big and bulky thing to negotiate through the narrow aisles of the store. Use a hand basket or just carry your items and you’ll be faster. Plus, you’ll feel it in your arms the next day.

  • Standing In Line Is A Way To Burn Off Nervous Energy: Sure, you can stand still in line like a zombie, but if you are fidgeting, bopping from one impulse item to another, and bouncing a bit, you’ll not only burn off that nervous energy, you’ll burn a few extra calories.

  • Fisticuffs Are Never The Answer: I worked at K-Mart for over seven years while putting myself through college. Every year, there was a fist fight. It might seem like a good workout to physically fight for the last 40-buck microwave, but you’ll just end up stuck in a room in the back of the store for an hour or so. Let the other person get the good deal. You’ll find something better later, I promise.

Me? I think I’ll just avoid the frenzy. After seven years of retail slavery, I vowed never to shop on the Friday after Thanksgiving. I think I’ll get my workout the old fashioned way. I’ll just run around my neighborhood. It will probably be abandoned, so I’ll have my run of the sidewalks.


Happy Thanksgiving!

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

Last year, I wrote an entire series on Thanksgiving. How to survive it, what to do if you “blew it” and everything else. Here is a list of links to that series:

This holiday seems to be focused on food, but in reality, it’s supposed to be about gratitude. I’m grateful that I live in a country where abundance is so easily acquired. I’m grateful that I have been able to live such a healthy and happy life up to this point, even when I was fat. I’m especially grateful to all you readers. Your comments are so inspiring and positive that sometimes it feels like I get a lot more out of this daily conversation than you folks do. Thank you for reading and have a healthy Thanksgiving this year.


Don’t Blame The Turkey!

By Laura Moncur @ 2:26 pm — Filed under:

For the last few years, I’ve been hearing that the tryptophan in turkey is what makes you sleepy, but Cheryl Koch from Yahoo! Health has a different idea:

She says tryptophan would need to be taken on an empty stomach with no protein in order to make you sleepy enough for a nap. Here is the true culprit…

“What will make you drowsy? Consuming a large meal that’s high in fat definitely helps. Remember that the larger the portions and the richer the meal, the more energy that’s required to digest it. In addition, digestion directs energy away from other organs, including the brain, making you feel lethargic and sleepy. Finally, consuming alcohol as part of your holiday celebration also is likely to slow you down and add to your need for a nap.”

So, tomorrow, remember to eat light and go easy on the alcohol to keep the droopy eyelids away. Suggesting a brisk walk outside in the cool air would be even better.

Evening Walk in November

By Laura Moncur @ 12:45 pm — Filed under:

I took a walk last night and enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather. It’s almost Thanksgiving and it feels like early October right now. Of course, tomorrow we may be buried in three feet of snow. You can never tell with Utah weather. Sometimes I wonder whether living somewhere else would affect my exercise routine. Would I be more faithful if the weather was good all the time or would my ability to withstand weather extremes close in on me and I would find myself shivering at 71 degrees?

Yesterday, I walked further than I usually do and found different sites to look at while out and about. I have been running the same 2.27 mile course over and over so many times that just walking a different route felt refreshing. I really enjoyed seeing parts of my neighborhood that I usually only see in my car. I can catch more details when I’m walking, like the rust on the sign at City Dry Cleaners or the flowers around the hippie store. It’s November. How are they keeping those pansies alive? If the pansies can stand this weather, then I sure can and I’ll be out again today.

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