Richard Simmons Loves Me!

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

Richard Simmons is like Mr. Rogers to me. I truly believe that he loves me. He wants me to be thin and healthy. He really cares about me personally. I think it’s because I watched his television show so much as a child. He is permanently embedded in my mind as a loving and nuturing figure in my life. I’ve bonded to him like a baby bird. I could watch this video over and over again. He makes me that happy.

I’ve talked about Richard Simmons before here:

Here is a link to his official website:

More cool Richard Simmons videos after the break:



Black Toenail

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

The beginnings of Black Toenail

If you look closely at this picture, you can see it. There is only a slight discoloration of the two big toes and my feet are swollen. It looks so minor that you might miss it. I have the beginnings of black toenail on the two biggest toes. I wrote earlier about Black Toenail.

All those entries made it sound like such a common affair. The one thing they didn’t tell you:

It hurts like a MUTHA!!

I only have a minor version of Black Toenail. I won’t lose my nails, but the throbbing pain has made me unable to log any miles for three days. I feel completely unable to describe the constant feeling of my heartbeat coming through my toes. If anything brushes against them, they hurt: socks, my cat, even the sheets on the bed. Does that give you any idea of the pain? After being so obsessed about the Nike+ Challenges, it is killing me to take time off from running, but not nearly as much as the pain of just putting on a pair of socks. Not only are my toenails bruised, but my feet are very swollen. Those cute and fat little toes are usually much smaller.

Why did I get it?

I increased my mileage dramatically. Instead of slowly working up to six miles a day, I jumped in with the Level 3 group and started doing as many miles as my legs could handle. No muscle soreness means I can do more the next day, right? Nope. I felt as if my trusty Ryka shoes had betrayed me. I’ve never had this trouble before because I’ve always taken the slow and steady route to mileage increases. I thought that the only way to suffer from increased mileage was muscle soreness, but that repetitive movement can cause problems with your toenails. It’s not the shoes’ fault. It’s the fact that I ran WAY more than my body is used to. After so much weight training, my muscles could easily handle the increased mileage. Suddenly, my weakest link isn’t my muscles, but my abused toes.

You do NOT want to deal with black toenail!

No matter what the running websites say about how common it is, it REALLY hurts. Not only that, I’ve found that I am really vain about my feet. I never knew this until I was threatened with losing the nails. I had no idea that I put so much stock in how my feet look after a good pedicure. The risk of losing these nails has grounded me until they are healed.

Sandals seemed like a good idea…

I thought maybe I could keep on running by wearing my hiking sandals during workouts. Since I do my mileage on the treadmill, sandals at this time of year isn’t a problem. My feet are so swollen that I had to loosen all the adjustable straps. I was wearing my sandals everywhere. I thought that this black toenail thing wasn’t a big deal and I can just use sandals if I get it again. That was a great plan right up to the point where my exposed toe bashed into my other foot. The nail on the left foot broke down to the quick. It’s currently super-glued together and I’m hoping that I don’t have to deal with the cracked nail until it is able to grow out some more. Sandals are NOT the answer. They’re not even a good idea.

Steel-toed boots one size too big.

That’s what I’m looking for now. I need a pair of steel-toed boots in a size big enough to prevent my toes from having to touch any portion of the shoe. What am I doing for exercise? REST. That’s it. It is hard for me to do because I have to limit my food when I don’t exercise. Limiting my food can make me feel deprived and I worry that a binge is right around the corner. I have miles of walking to do at CES in two weeks. I have to get these feet healthy and ready to go, so I have no other option but to rest.

Other Entries:


First Place! If Only For A Moment…

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

A couple of days ago, I finally made it to first place on my Level 3 Nike Challenge. I looked at the mileage I would need to get to first place and then did an extra mile.

First Place! If only for a moment...

Sometimes you can do 10 miles and feel like a failure, but other times you can do 7.25 miles and feel like a hero!

If you haven’t tried the Nike Challenges, it’s worth the cost of the Nike+ to get going. There is NO WAY that I would have run 7.25 miles in one day during the Christmas season. I might not have even run 7.25 miles in a week. I have never been more motivated to get my miles done than since I’ve joined these challenges.

If you don’t have a Nike +, take the time to find someone in your area who runs at about the same level as you do and challenge them. It will boost your motivation like you’ve never experienced before.


Weight Loss Supplements Aren’t Worth It

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

Just published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, is a study that analyzed over 402 dietary supplements that claimed to aid in weight loss, fat loss or increase metabolism. Their findings are published here:

They found that most products had the same ingredients: green tea, chromium picolinate, ma huang (ephedra), ginger root, guarana, hydroxycitric acid white willow, Siberian ginseng, cayenne, and bitter orange/zhi shi. When the researchers looked for studies regarding the effectiveness of these ingredients, this is what they found:

  • Modest evidence of effectiveness exists for green tea, chromium picolinate, and ma huang (ephedra).

  • For the remaining seven (ginger root, guarana, hydroxycitric acid white willow, Siberian ginseng, cayenne, and bitter orange/zhi shi), inadequate or negative evidence exists.

  • Although precautions and contraindications were found for all 10 ingredients, the strongest concerns in the literature appear for ma huang, bitter orange, and guarana.

In the end, the study concluded with this quote:

“The general lack of research evidence for the safety or effectiveness of the many ingredients . . . even the most frequently included ingredients, is cause for concern.”

Don’t spend your hard earned money on products that haven’t proved that they actually do what they say they do. Weight loss supplements aren’t worth it.

Via: Consumer Health Digest, December 19, 2006


A Snowy Walk Outside

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

I strapped my Nike+ to my Doc Martens and did my errands on foot yesterday. I have been walking and running on my treadmill religiously since I joined a couple of Nike + Challenges. Just seeing my name in second place makes me calculate the mileage I would have to do each day to overtake first place. It has been so motivating that I have been exercising a lot more than my body is used to.

In fact, muscle soreness is the only thing keeping me from running miles and miles. “If I could only do six miles today, I could beat the girl in first place,” my mind says to me. “Good luck with that, sucker!” is what my body responds. I do two or three miles as a rest day and my body still protests, “I was joking! You were supposed to REST today! That means NOT running!”

Level 3 on 12-20-06

If you had told me a month ago that I could do ten miles in one day and STILL feel like a failure, I would have laughed in your face. Before last week, I had never done a run/walk that long, yet it was still not enough to get me to first place. I must WANT to feel like a failure in sports because I’m in first place on my other challenge, but I just discount that one.

Race to the 31st on 12-22-06


Dilbert Self Censorship

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

The "Unpublished" Dilbert

Is telling the world that you’re not going to do fat jokes and then showing them the fat joke that you’re not going to publish really not doing fat jokes?

Here is Scott Adams’ explanation for the comic:

“That’s why I have a personal preference to avoid fat jokes. No one chooses to be overweight. We’re all moist robots and some of us have programs in our brains that make food especially enjoyable. If I liked food and disliked exercise as much as a 400 pound guy, I’d be a 400 pound guy.”

“With that background in mind, I decided not to submit the following comic for newspapers. I intended it to be a clever commentary on the non-existence of free will. But in the execution it comes off looking like a fat joke. So you won’t see this one in newspapers.”

The true question is why is it so hard for me to eat healthy when I am vividly shown what eating poorly can do to my body? If looking like a walrus with diabetes doesn’t motivate me, what will? Strangely, running challenges on Nike +…


Why Are The Sexes Divided In Sports?

By Laura Moncur @ 3:09 pm — Filed under:

Santhi SoundararajanThere is a story about an Indian athlete, Santhi Soundararajan, who has failed a gender test. It’s confusing because she passed a different gender test earlier this year.

Here is my question, why are the sexes divided in sports? I’ve talked about this before:

Every time I ask this question, I get the same two answers:

  • Stay in your own sports where you belong.

  • The guys would kick your butt!

To the former, the “separate but equal” argument just doesn’t hold water and to the later, fine, bring it on! If we have to have a gynecologist, psychologist AND an endocrinologist just to figure out whether this human deserves the silver medal, then we should just make things simple and integrate the sports.


Make a Running Resolution

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

Nike + Resolutions

I know I’ve been talking about the Nike + iPod a lot lately. That’s because they keep impressing me. They are truly the only thing that has kept me running this holiday season. It’s bloody cold outside here in Utah and the treadmill can be mighty boring. I need a little extra incentive to keep my feet moving and Nike + keeps giving it to me. The latest? Nike + New Year’s Resolutions:

By using my Nike + iPod, I can track how many miles I run in January. My resolution?

I stopped going to Weight Watchers a few months ago, but I have honestly had trouble staying motivated. Every time I feel myself slipping, I use the threat of having to go back to the meetings. I learned a lot from Weight Watchers, but I really don’t want to go back to the weekly meetings. If I don’t run 30 miles in January, I have to go back.

What’s your resolution?


New Year’s Resolutions

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

Every year, we make them, but do we really hold ourselves to them? This year try something different. Post your New Year’s Resolutions here. Next year, we’ll post our accomplishments!

What do you want to weigh next year?

How fit will you be next year?

How healthy will your diet be?

What habits will you start to have a healthier life?

What emotional support will you enlist in your life to help you live a healthier life?

What will you be like next year?

It might seem a little early for New Year’s Resolutions, but focusing on what you want will help this Christmas be healthier for you. Take a few minutes today and envision what you want to be like next year.


Master Cleanse Lemonade Diet: Don’t Believe The Hype

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

This is a commercial I found on YouTube for the Master Cleanse Lemonade Diet. What these people are trying to sell you is overpriced maple syrup. What they don’t tell you is what being on the Lemonade Diet is really like. I can do that, however…

After Beyonce Knowles went public about her starvation diet while filming her latest movie, I decided to try the lemonade mostly to see how it tasted. I realized that if I went on a lemonade fast, I would end up bingeing in the end, but so many people were talking about it that I thought I should try it.

Research, I told myself.

All I lost was the weight of poo. Seriously, I hate to talk about it so vulgarly, but I lost five pounds while fasting, nothing more, even though I fasted for two weeks. The minute I started eating healthy again, the five pounds came back on.

Worse still, it took weeks of eating healthy and normal for my normal weight loss to resume. The reason why is that fasting puts your body into starvation mode. It takes a couple of weeks of healthy eating to convince your body that you’re NOT starving. Mine, it took a little longer than that.

The good thing is that I was able to survive the fasting experiment without bingeing, but it took a lot of inner workouts to prevent my MIND from going into starvation mode.

Next time you hear about some great diet that will take off five pounds in five days, just know that you aren’t losing five pounds of fat. You’re losing five pounds of water and stool, which will come right back when you go back to a healthy diet. Don’t believe the hype.

Update 03-04-07: I turned off comments on this post. Fasting of any sort is NOT a recommended course of action. Please read these entries on fasting from Quackwatch:

This quotation from Wikipedia is another testament to avoiding fasting:

“Short term fasting causes a starvation response that encourages the body to store fat once eating is resumed. This is one of the pitfalls of Yo-yo dieting. The starvation response is the switching of the body from carb fat energy generation to amino acid fat energy generation. The amino acids are synthesised from the breakdown of muscle tissue. Since muscle tissue is always metabolically active and requires energy to exist, the reduction of muscle tissue also reduces the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Basal metabolic rate is the absolute minimum energy requirement of your body while at rest. (Similar to a car’s fuel requirement when idling.) One of the effects of fasting is to reduce the body’s energy needs during times of scarcity (similar to turning the idle lower or replacing a big engine with a small engine). Thus, when the same amount of food is eaten, less of the calories are required for basal metabolism, the rest (a greater percentage than before the fast) is stored as fat.”

The people who have been commenting on this entry seem very well-intentioned, but are not qualified medical professionals. Taking their advise is not recommended.

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