Heart Rate & Accelerometer Control Video Game

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

It looks like the folks at the University of Udine are working on making exergaming more interactive. They are using an accelerometer and a heart rate monitor to affect gameplay:

You can see how the game works here:

It looks like a simplistic version of breakout, which typically isn’t a very exciting game. What I would like to see is DDR with a heart rate monitor. The dance steps increase or decrease depending on customizable heart rates. Why hasn’t Konami done this?

Via: Video game follows your movements, adapts to your heart rate – Engadget


Starling Fitness DVD: Swami’s Beach Walk 2007

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

I have just completed my best walking video EVER. It is an hour and a half long, so it will last you through your longest workout. The day was absolutely perfect, so the sky was beautiful, the people were friendly and the filming was clear and steady.

I always felt embarrassed a little bit by the Swami’s Beach video that I did last year. It was filmed with an inferior camera and it was one of the first videos I finished. It has been hands down the best seller, but I cringed whenever I sent it out. This year’s Swami’s Beach Walk is the culmination of all that I have learned and gorgeous kismet during filming.

Here is a glimpse of what the video looks like:

Click here to see the video

I wore my Nike+iPod while I did this walk. It logged a total of 4.5 miles, but I’m more willing to believe the Google Maps measurement:

Estimated Distance: 3.31 miles
Estimated Speed: 2.2 mph
Time: 90 minutes

I’m offering this workout DVD for $5 plus shipping.

Order Starling Fitness Walking Videos Here

You can see the route I walked here:

Click here to see the walk on Google Maps

Video Description:

You’ve walked this beach before, but today is different. The people are friendlier, the sky is bluer and the tide is higher. The tide is so high, it blocks the way of your usual route, so this time you head south. Pass the joggers and the kiddie beach. The wind, helicopters and jet engines cannot drown out the sound of the ocean.

Feel the cold water as the tide nips at your feet. Run away from it like the little white birds. The water in the air smells like sprinklers on a hot day. Pant your way up the stairs and bid the ocean one final goodbye before you end your workout.

Order Starling Fitness Walking Videos Here


Food Snobbery

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

I just hit my breaking point with food snobbery after reading this entry:

Kate just came back from a visit from Asheville, where the downtown area boasts that it only has one chain restaurant. For some reason, Kate thinks this is infinitely superior to the towns with a mix of chain restaurants and local flair:

A community gets the food culture it deserves, whether it’s one where Applebee’s and Albertson’s dominates, or one where local restaurateurs work with local farmers and consumers spend their money in a way that ensures that their dollars are re-invested in their community. Asheville has clearly chosen where it wants fits in this spectrum.

It just makes me shake my head. I want to pat Kate on the head and tell her, “It’s just food, honey. It all comes out smelling poorly in the end.”

We live in a society where food snobbery has become a method of proving that you’re better than someone else. Guess what. We’re not. Food is meant to keep me from passing out from hunger and low blood sugar. When I feel dizzy and hungry, Applebee’s works just as well as some snooty restaurant.

Try going hungry for a couple of days, Kate. Even “the food you deserve” will taste like a godsend after that.


Question of the Week: What keeps you motivated?

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

I am totally motivated to eat healthy right now. After almost a year of struggling, I am happy to eat healthy. I have NO idea why.

Some of it is going back to Weight Watchers. I have to admit that I want to show a loss on that official form, but that isn’t all of it. Just going to Weight Watchers was caused by an inner motivation that I have no idea from whence it came.

What keeps you motivated?

What do you do to make sure you’ll eat healthy every day?

What do you do to make sure you exercise?

How do you stay motivated?

I wish I could bottle this feeling. I wish I could make it stay forever. Instead, I’m just doing my best to hang onto it right now while I have it.


Alli Is Here!

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

Alli is here!

I was sitting in the drive-through line at McDonalds when the Walgreens sign flashed me. “Alli is here!” it screamed. While I waited for my six Chicken McNuggets and XL Diet Coke, I thought about Alli. All the grocery stores are advertising the new over-the-counter weight loss drug. It’s Orlistat without a prescription, but will it really help you lose weight?

I’ve talked about this drug before:

This drug is only recommended for use for six months. It’s supposed to teach you how to eat healthy by giving you unpleasant gas and greasy, oily stools if you eat too much fat.

You don’t need to punish yourself. There is no need to put yourself through digestive distress to teach yourself a lesson. You can learn how to eat healthy without Alli, just like I ordered the 6 piece Chicken McNuggets instead of the Big Mac. Sure, it’s not perfect, but it’s better than the alternative.

Don’t waste your money on drugs that put you in pain and embarrass you if you eat poorly. You deserve better than that.


One Pound of Fat VS. One Pound of Muscle

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

One Pound of Fat VS. One Pound of Muscle

They say that muscle weighs more than fat, but honestly a pound is a pound. One pound of fat is going to weigh the same as one pound of muscle. If you look at this photo, though, one pound of muscle is going to take up less space on your body than that one pound of fat. It’s also going to be a lot less lumpy under your skin than the fat is.

One pound is a lot. If you feel discouraged about “only losing a pound,” then go to the grocery store and find a pound of meat or a pound of butter and notice how MUCH you have lost.

Via: My Pet Fat


Back To Weight Watchers

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

Finally! It’s really easy to do video now! I guess all that work changing over to a Mac was worth it.

Click here to see the video

In this video, I talked about an entry I had written last year. You can find it here:

Should you pay for it? I don’t know. Should I pay for it? Yes, I should and I’m going to get my butt in that door for the rest of my life if I have to.



By Laura Moncur @ 8:39 pm — Filed under:

I’ve been out for a bit, haven’t I? I’ve gone through a bit of a computer switch-up. I knew I was getting a new computer, so I have been getting things ready for the change. Today, I got the computer and realized that I didn’t prepare nearly as much as I should have.

The bad news: It’s gonna take me a little longer to finish the switch.

The good news: It will be MUCH easier for me to do videos, so all of you who have been missing my talking to the camera videos, cheer up. I’ll be talking to you soon enough!


Weight Watchers Form

By Laura Moncur @ 6:46 am — Filed under:

Update 12-09-08: I have created a new version of this form that works with the new Momentum Plan. You can download it here:

Update 03-03-08: A special thank you to Kelly for creating a version of this form that will fit into your 3 3/4″ x 6 3/4″ planner from Daytimer or Coach.

Update 11-19-07: If you like these forms, but aren’t really spreadsheet savvy, I can print up a year’s worth for you and send it to you for $25. For more information, see here:

I love to create forms. Every time I start a new project, I usually fire up Microsoft Excel to create a form for it. I don’t know why. I think it might be genetic because when I taught my biological father to use Excel, he loved it as much as I did.

So, I started Weight Watchers on Monday and by Tuesday, I was creating a form for myself. In the past, I used to keep track of my points on my Palm, but Weight Watchers made the creator of the software stop, and it’s kind of buggy, so I decided to keep track on paper. The Quick Track that Weight Watchers gave me, however, will not fit in my journal, so I made a weekly sheet that would be easy to carry and when I was done with the week, I can put it in my handwritten journal with the rest of my pages.

You can download it here:

A special thank you to regular reader, Kelly, for creating a version of this form that fits in a smaller planner:

There is room to check off all the good health guidelines and even check off your multi-vitamin, which is strangely missing from the Quick Track now. There is room each day to write down everything you eat, track your fitness goals, and the Flex Points.

Of course, this form is for the Flex Plan. I’ve never tried the Core Plan, so you’re on your own with that one.

Hope this helps someone besides me!


Back to Weight Watchers

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

Back to Weight Watchers

I can’t do it. I seriously can’t do it on my own. I have no idea why, but for some reason, going to Weight Watchers makes it possible and not attending makes it impossible. Almost a year ago, I stopped going to Weight Watchers and I have been fighting bingeing and gaining weight ever since.

It makes no sense to me because I KNOW what I need to do. I know how to follow the plan without even thinking. In fact, the minute I returned, I was able to slip right back into the routine I had before without feeling deprived.


Well, I know a real human being is going to weigh me next Monday. That’s part of the incentive to follow the program, but it’s not all of it. If it was merely shame that made me want to follow the program, I would have been able to eat healthy all those times my grandmother weighed me. It actually has NOTHING to do with shame.

I just have no idea what it is.

For some reason, the second I walked back into Weight Watchers, it all became easy again.

Magic? Man, I don’t like to believe in magic, but I have no words for it right now. All I know is that I’m right back on track after months of struggling.

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