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

Click to see full size ad1984 was one of those strange times when being too skinny was still a problem. Now, too skinny means anorexic in the fashion industry and even though they pretend to think that’s bad, they would NEVER advertise a product to rectify that “problem.”

So, this ad for Wate-On is a strange thing to see now. The ad reads:


Skinny because you don’t eat right? Let WATE-ON help fill out, shape your entire body. WATE-ON has extra calories under weights need plus vitamins, minerals and energy nutrients. Users report gains of 5-10-15 pounds and more. Try WATE-ON or extra strength Super WATE-ON in liquid, tablets or tonic or shake forms. At drug stores everywhere. For a free guide to successful weight-gaining, write.

Here are some other ads for Wate-On:

Click to see full size adUntil recently it was actually still available:

Based on its ingredients, it looks like an expensive version of Ensure.

Active Ingredients: Per 2 Tablespoons (30 mL): Total Fat (Saturated Fat 2.5g) 15g; Sodium 10 mg; Total Carbohydrate (Sugar 2g) 5g; Vitamin A 2000 IU; Vitamin C 20 mg; Vitamin D 200 IU; Vitamin E 15 IU; Thiamin 0.75 mg; Riboflavin 0.51 mg; Niacin 10 mg; Vitamin B6 1 mg; Vitamin B12 3 mcg; Biotin 0.015 mg; Pantothenic Acid 5 mg; Iron 9 mg; Zinc 7 mg; Copper 1 mg.
Inactive Ingredients: Hydrogenated Stabilized Soybean Oil; Water; Sugar; Propylene Glycol; Polyoxyethylene 20 Sorbitan Monolaurate; Sorbitan Monostearate; Xanthan Gum; Methyl Paraben; Sorbic Acid; Artificial Flavoring; Propyl Paraben; Ferric Citrate; Niacinamide; Panthenol; Pyridoxine Hydrochloride; Riboflavin 5 Phosphate; Thiamin Hydrochloride; Calciferol; Vitamin A Palmitate; Ascorbic Acid; dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate; Biotin FFC; Copper Sulfate; Zinc Oxide; Artificial Color; Butylated Hydroxytoluene; Cyanocobalamin.

The common thread to all of the advertisements are women with big breasts. I wonder if being “too skinny” is just a euphemism for being flat-chested. There are companies out there trying to take your money to make you thinner and others waiting to take your money when you get too skinny. Don’t let yourself be tempted by their promises.


It Feels Good To Be Thin

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

Click to see full size adWhile I was perusing the old Seventeen Magazines at the library, I found this advertisement:

It reads:

It Feels Good To Be Thin Only $2


Designed for you – the young and lovable teen. Lose up to 8 pounds a week, usually without hunger. No pills or special devices. Simple program includes teen diet, menus, exercises, vitamin and progress charts. Don’t delay! 30 day MONEY BACK GUARANTEE if not satisfied. You have nothing to lose but ugly pounds! Enclose $2 today.

The address on the ad is merely a house in Van Nuys, California, and I’m sure that house was there back in 1984.

View Larger Map

What happened to 20th Century Int’l, Inc.? Was it just some guy in a house sending out diets to desperate teens all over the country? Heck, I’M just some girl in a house writing about health and fitness.

I just can’t stop thinking about this “special teen diet” because I looked at the ad SO MANY TIMES when I was a desperate teenager. I obsessed over the picture of that girl every month. I resisted the temptation to send my two dollars. Back then, minimum wage was $3.35, so two bucks was almost an hour’s worth of work. I wanted to look like her so much, but I had no hope that some tiny ad in the back of Seventeen Magazine would make me skinny.

Even now, I’m wondering where that girl is. What does she look like now? If she was fifteen in 1983, she would be forty years old now. Is she still the epitome of the “young and lovable teen”? Where is the “It Feels Good To Be Thin” Girl now?

Did any of you ever send away for this diet? Was it as much of a rip-off as my teenaged-mind said it was?


Can Walking In Special Sandals Make You Thin?

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

I am coming down off a Seventeen Magazine binge. I went to the library and scanned a bunch of things that have become one with my mind. One of them is Dr. Scholls Sandals. This is the advertisement I found:

Click to see full size ad

The ad reads:

Dr. Scholl’s Exercise Sandals. The more you wear them, the more your legs say “look”.

The one and only Dr. Scholl’s Exercise Sandals can make legs go from all right to dynamite. They’re smooth real wood – with the toe grip that makes toes grab on. And the more they grab on, the more your leg muscles flex up… shape up – lean and beautiful. So slip into the comfort of contoured wood. Soft, cushioned leather. It’s the comfortable way to walk your legs pretty.

Dr. Scholl’s Fitness Begins With Healthier Feet

My grandma wore Dr. Scholl’s sandals for YEARS thinking that they would give her great gams. They never did. In fact, they turned out to be mostly uncomfortable shoes. She faithfully wore them without any effect on the appearance of her legs or increase in fitness.

Yoga Sandals at Amazon.comI’m sure you’re nodding your head and agreeing with me. Silly people from the 70’s and 80’s believed anything. Unfortunately, these sorts of things STILL go on. The latest are Yoga Sandals. Here are the claims from their website:

“Spread your toes” is a favorite yoga teacher mantra for a reason. Separating your toes improves your balance, flexibility and alignment. Worn around the house or on errands, our EVA microfiber sandals retrain your feet to do just that while also helping to relieve painful foot conditions.

The four thongs insure the sandal will not slide around on the foot or be accidentally kicked off with sudden movement, and the support of the heel protects your arch while the slope provides ambulatory stability. With each toe gently separated, there is a natural alignment of the foot bones and muscles, aiding posture and balance. In yoga training, there is an emphasis on separating the toes in the standing postures to improve the sense of grounding and balance, and these sandals re-train the toes to do just that, while exercising the foot muscles.

Will you get a yoga workout by walking around in these sandals? No. In fact, the only thing they seem good for is getting a pedicure.

And then there are the Fit Flops.

Fit Flops at Amazon.com

They claimed:

Every step you take in the FitFlop helps tone and trim your legs. The FitFlop’s uniquely built multi-density midsole activates muscles midstep to help tone your thighs, your calves and your glutes. In fact, FitFlops are biomechanically engineered to absorb shock, lessen joint strain, and recreate the gait of barefoot walking – but with a powerful new built-in micro-wobbleboard workout-enhancing effect.

For years, shoe manufacturers have been promising that their shoes can make your legs look better. Promises that can only be achieved with healthy diet and exercise. If you go for a walk every day in a pair of shoes, it’s the WALKING that makes you fit, not the shoes. Don’t be fooled by their promises.


Happy Thanksgiving!

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

It’s a few years old, but still very helpful, here is my 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:

I read this entry from Laura Dolson at About.com:

The Drs. Eades of Protein Power talk about the “honey tree” concept – that is, the idea that our hunter-gatherer ancestors, whose diet usually consisted mainly of protein and vegetables, would occasionally come upon a cache of refined carbohydrates in the form of honey. At that point, they probably had a party! But then of course would go back to their usual way of eating. Do you follow the “honey tree philosophy” of holidays?

This is the first time I’ve ever heard of the Honey Tree Concept. My biggest problem is that indulging usually sends me into a binge that lasts weeks. Of course, I’ve had many healthy Thanksgivings despite eating at my parents AND Micheal’s parents. Honestly, Thanksgiving food is very healthy. All you have to do is keep the portions in control.

Have a happy Thanksgiving and know that I am thankful for every one of you that read Starling Fitness every day. You keep me on track and I KNOW I would be in a much different place both physically and mentally if I didn’t have you.


Big Girls (You Are Beautiful)

By Laura Moncur @ 10:07 am — Filed under:

Life in Cartoon Motion by Mika at Amazon.comI bought Life in Cartoon Motion by Mika because of the song Lollipop, but I was surprised today by a song a little further down the playlist. It’s called Big Girls (You Are Beautiful). It felt so nice to hear the lyrics:

No need to fantasize
Since I was in my braces
A watering hole
Where the girls are round
And curves in all the right places

I immediately added Big Girls to my workout playlist. It’s an upbeat song and it makes me happy.

You can see the video for the song here:


Focus During Your Workout

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

Braidwood over at Authentic Threads has an EXCELLENT entry about focusing on your workout:

I think it’s better to be mentally focused on working out when you work out. Doing something else to distract yourself from working out reminds me of taking vocabulary courses instead of reading books. When you do that, you are missing the experience of the activity, to get to the side effect.

Of course, It is helpful to have a good vocabulary and it will probably increase your life to exercise regularly, but it is fun to read books and it is fun to be in your body. While you are here, you might as well get the full richness of life if you can.

I’m a big fan of distracting myself while I workout. I like to play video games, surf the web, listen to music and even watch my walking DVDs while I’m on the treadmill and exercise bike. The idea of focusing on the run, which is what most long distance runners do, is foreign to me.

But Braidwood is right. It’s fun to play and use our bodies. If we HAVE to exercise, we might as well find something we like to do and focus on it. I would never think of doing something distracting while I’m playing DDR. It’s too fun to want distraction AND it’s a great workout. I should focus on that a lot more than putting in the miles on the treadmill.


New Mantra: “I’ll Start Again”

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

I love this video of a little girl playing Wii Fit.

Wii-fit ! Woo-hoo ! from Capucha on Vimeo.

I only played Wii Fit with adults, so seeing her try over and over to get the ski jump right is surprising. It was totally different with grown-ups. They would try a couple of times, do some trouble shooting and if they couldn’t get it, just give up. Even me. I gave up on the tightrope game. I’ve made it across ONCE to say I did it, but I never worked harder to get a good time. The ski jump game was MUCH easier for me than it was for this little girl, but she just kept saying over and over, “I’ll start again.”

Next time you’re feeling discouraged about eating healthy, exercising or anything else, remember the words, “I’ll start again.” Make them your mantra and you will succeed FAR more than you ever thought you could!

Via: Capucine Plays Wii Fit Video | cute, video, wii fit | geeksugar – Technology, Gadgets, & How Tos.


Obesity Is Not Only Caused By Overeating

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

Worms feedingThis article from the University of California in San Francisco talks about a study that shows that obesity is not only caused by overeating. Serotonin ALSO creates fat tissue in the body of worms irregardless of what is eaten.

You can see the whole article here:

The summary is pretty straightforward:

Obesity and thinness are not solely determined by feeding behavior. Rather, feeding behavior and fat metabolism are coordinated but independent responses of the nervous system to the perception of nutrient availability.

So, what does that mean to me? I can’t control how much weight I’m going to lose or gain because my serotonin levels are mixed up? Can that be true? Is it really out of my hands?

They don’t know yet. Since this study is so preliminary and it was done on WORMS, they really don’t know how that transfers to the human body. They DO know that low serotonin levels cause weight gain, so what are some ways to increase your serotonin levels?

  • Drugs: The pharmaceutical companies are quick to promote their medications for serotonin balance. With drugs, however, are the side effects. Just a few of those side effects are: nausea, insomnia, problems with ejaculation, somnolence (prolonged drowsiness or sleepiness), increased sweating, fatigue, decreased libido, and anorgasmia (inability of a person to ever achieve an orgasm while having sexual intercourse). If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, then popping anti-depressants to lose weight is not an option.

  • Alternative Therapies: 5-HTP is supposed to naturally raise your serotonin levels, but there are no proven studies of this. If it WERE approved, the FDA would be recommending it along with the non-alternative drugs. Considering the KNOWN side effects of the FDA approved drugs, I am even MORE unwilling to use something that hasn’t been fully tested.

  • BlueMax 70w Full Spectrum Dimmable Desk Lamp at Amazon.comSunlight: This method of raising your serotonin levels is FREE and has been shown in study after study to improve serotonin levels. Make sure you spend time outside or get a sunlamp. I use this Blue Max Desk Lamp every morning for at least thirty minutes, but sunlight is FREE. Get outside. Open your blinds and curtains. Take a walk. If you see the sun peek out from the clouds, immediately take a break outside for a few moments.

  • Eat Right: The jury is still out on how to eat right for your serotonin levels. Your neurotransmitters are made from protein, so one would think that eating a lot of protein should help with serotonin. Carbohydrates also raise serotonin levels when eaten, which is part of the reason it feels so good to eat. Fats are also necessary to keep the brain functioning well. Science hasn’t issued a perfect percentage of protein, fats and carbohydrates for serotonin health, so we are left with common sense. Eating a wide variety of whole foods is going to help you A LOT more than eating highly processed foods, especially if you’re trying to raise your serotonin levels to lose weight.

  • Exercise: There have been several studies showing that exercise increases serotonin production. The studies have different ideas of the kinds of exercise. Some of them say that the intensity level needs to be high for a sustained amount of time to increase production. Others say that low-level exercise EVERY day helps. Until the medical community figures out what is best, it’s probably a good idea to exercise every day and get your heart rate up.

In the end, the news that my body shape isn’t entirely a result of the food I put in my mouth is both a blessing and a curse. It feels a little bit discouraging to know that no matter how little I eat, I might still be resistant to losing weight because of my serotonin levels. It also feels a little justifying. Whenever I notice how little I eat compared to thin people, I now know that it might be because their serotonin levels are different than mine. Additionally, I can do everything in my power to make sure I get enough sunshine and healthy food to make that chemical makeup in my body better. They say that knowledge is power and I choose to believe them. Knowing what’s going on is half the battle.

Via: Eating Habits Not Sole Cause of Thinness or Obesity – US News and World Report


Easy Meals: Mexi-Beans

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

I like to keeps some canned veggies in the cupboard just in case I run out of healthy food to eat. Here is a quick meal that I make up when I need something REALLY low in points and need to knock off a couple of vegetables off my list.

Mexi-Beans – 4 Points – Serves 3

IngredientsMexi-Beans Ingredients

  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 1 can of green beans
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 6 tsp of olive oil (if desired)
  • 3 tsp of Mexican seasoning
  • 6 granules of dried chipotle (more if you like it spicy)
  • 3 Glad or Ziploc bowls


  • Drain the can of kidney beans
  • Pour the can of kidney beans into one of the Glad bowls. Fill the bowl with water and gently rinse the beans. Drain the water and divide the beans between the three bowls.
  • Drain the can of green beans. Divide the beans evenly between the three bowls.
  • Open the can of tomatoes and divide between the three bowls.
  • Add 1 tsp of Mexican seasoning and 2 granules of dried chipotle to each bowl. If you want to finish off your oil requirement for the day, add 2 tsp of olive oil to each bowl. You can also spice it up with Tabasco sauce, taco sauce packets from Taco Bell, etc.
  • Cover the bowls and put them in the fridge.

When it’s time to eat, pull out a bowl from the fridge, crack the lid and cook in the microwave for 2 minutes. This recipe makes three meals and it’s EASY!

A special thank you to Braidwood for emailing me a recipe-sharing email. It got me off my butt to write down this incredibly simple meal idea.


Ask Laura: Treadmill Workouts on Excel

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

Download Treadmill SpreadsheetThe other day, I received an email about my treadmill spreadsheets. You can download them here:

Here’s the email:


I was wondering if you can answer a question for me. Am I supposed to do each treadmill workout (The nine on excel) for a week and than move on to the next one?

Thank you for your time and work on the workouts! I’m excited to start them!



No, they are just a variety of workouts that I created on the Excel sheets. They vary in difficulty level, so some of them might be too hard for a beginner and too easy for a long-time runner. The idea was to give you an example of HOW to use Excel to plan your run on the treadmill.

Use the Save As… feature and save a version of this workout with a different name. Play with it as much as you want to create your own workouts. Have a little fun with it without worrying about “breaking” it because you have the original saved.

If you create something fun, feel free to share it.

Laura Moncur
Starling Fitness

« Previous Entries - Next Page »

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