Walking Video: Wildwood Walk 2008

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

Back in May, we visited Welches, Oregon. I took a walk through the Wildwood recreation area and filmed it. It took a while to get the video ready to sell, but it’s ready now just in time for Christmas.

Here is a glimpse of what the video looks like:

Click Here To See The Video

It was warm and moist and the walk through the forest was invigorating.

Estimated Distance: 3.02 miles
Estimated Speed: 2.0 mph
Time: 80 minutes

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

Order Starling Fitness Walking Videos Here

There are so many trees that I can’t see on Google maps to make a route map, but I tracked the workout with my Nike+, so you can see the stats here:

Video Description:

The Wildwood river walk calls to you with its cool shade and moist ground. You can smell the leaf blower in the distance while you start your walk. Say hi to passing joggers as you head toward the Salmon River. Leaf through the field sketch book in the marshlands. Dodge the school children as they head on their field trip.

From the tops of the trees to the toadstools growing on the logs, Wildwood is a relaxing escape from your day. Escape to Oregon and take a walk through the forest.

Order Starling Fitness Walking Videos Here


Starling Fitness Walking DVD: Liberty Park Walk

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

It has been a while since I released a new Starling Fitness Walking Video. I filmed this rainy video back in August, but I have procrastinated the editing until now. The day I filmed this video, I was so happy to be able to walk around the park in the rain, recording it for my future workouts.

I’ve worked out with this video a few times and it’s great for walking and running on the treadmill. It’s not so great for working out on the exercise bike unless you don’t mind imagining dodging geese, children and walkers on your bike. The times when I was passing people made me want to slow down a bit.

Here is a glimpse of what the video looks like:

Click Here To See The Video

Here is the distance according to Google Maps:

Estimated Distance: 1.84 miles
Estimated Speed: 2.5 mph
Time: 43 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:

It looks like rain outside, but the day is too beautiful to stay indoors. How about a quick walk at Liberty Park? Dodge the geese as they are being fed. Watch the romantic couple in the paddle boat on the pond. Listen to the children calling out on the playground equipment. The blue skies are threatened by big clouds, but you still keep walking. You enjoy the camaraderie of others as you pass them exercising.

The sound of the birds at Tracy Aviary make you want to go inside, but you have a workout to do, so you keep on walking. The tiny rain drops start to collect on your glasses, but that doesn’t stop you or the children splashing in the fountain. The smell of water in the air makes you want to walk even more. Who knew a walk in the rain could be so much fun?!

Order Starling Fitness Walking Videos Here


Watch Out For Ghrelin

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

Ghrelin is a hormone that makes you more hungry, more focused on food and willing to eat more. This article from CBS mentions it:

We observed one illustration of ghrelin’s power. A mouse was injected with the hormone. Just 15 minutes later, he was absolutely wild for food, even though he’d already eaten enough to be full.

This article from New Scientist explains it:

The hormone also made food more memorable. Volunteers better recalled the food pictures after they got the hormone, and an area of the brain involved in memory lit up when subjects viewed images of food.

Several pharmaceutical companies already have their sights set on ghrelin, as drugs that block the hormone may quell hunger and fight obesity.

I’m not so sure the pharmaceutical companies are setting their sites on ghrelin just to help us. What if they were double-dealing? What if drug companies sell us pills to block the hormone and at the same time, sell the hormone to fast food companies? The minute you take a bite of your hamburger, your appetite for food increases until you cannot stop eating.

That is the premise set up by io9, a science-fiction blog:

Since ghrelin isn’t regulated, a fast food restaurant that wanted to sell more food could easily turn it into an additive in their hamburgers or donuts, essentially “addicting” people to their food. Or making them hungrier so that they buy more.

My paranoid mind convinces me that something like this could already be happening. When I eat whole foods from the grocery store, my appetite is satiated far quicker than when I eat processed food. What is it about processed food that makes me want to eat more? Is it more digestible? Has it been specially formulated to taste good?

It’s not like grocery food would be safe either. Fresh meat, cheeses and vegetables could be infused with ghrelin, causing that insatiable hunger as well. In the future, we might have to go back to raising and killing our own food if we want to be healthy.


Mixed Messages from Supermarket Tabloids

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

Mixed Messages from Supermarket Tabloids by Laura Moncur from Flickr

Mixed Messages from Supermarket Tabloids by Laura Moncur from Flickr

I was at the grocery store on Monday and this is what I saw at the checkout counter. Two different tabloids screeching two different messages at me:

Life & Style:

Refusing to eat: Why these stars look so scary skinny:
Katie Holmes: Katie’s weight loss could keep her from getting pregnant.
Nicole Richie: Is Nicole going too far with her diet?
Nicky Hilton: Nicky is in total denial.

OK Weekly:

Steal Brit’s New Diet
Britney lost 15 lbs in just 4 weeks!
No Pills, No Lipo

If you find yourself vacillating between dieting and feeling like it’s all hopeless, take a look around you. The entire world can’t make a decision between whether being thin is good or bad. It’s almost enough to make you want to give up, but remember this:

  • This isn’t about approval
  • This isn’t about the rest of the world
  • This is about YOU and your health

Don’t let the rest of the world tell you that you’re too fat or too skinny. Make a decision on your own based on how you feel and how your body is reacting to your current weight.


Save the Planet AND Lose Weight

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

Self Portrait Tuesday 11-20-07 from FlickrWendy Bumgardner has an entry on how to save the planet by walking:

She has many recommendations, most of which seem like they were added to pad the list. The most important one she talked about, however was walking instead of driving.

I’m a big fan of this one, but it takes some planning to pull it off.

Wendy recommends that you can replace your workout with one 3 mile walk. That’s a 1.5 mile walk to wherever you’re going and a 1.5 mile back. The first step is to look at your house on Mapquest:

Adjust the zoom level until you’re at the zoom level where the legend is 800 m and 2400 ft. That’s a good zoom for you to work with.

Print up that map. A mile and a half is 7920 feet, so using the legend on the printed map, draw a circle that is 3 miles in diameter around your house like this. I used the old house I grew up in as an example:

Create a walking map from Flickr

After you have your circle drawn, find out what is within that 1.5 mile radius. It’s difficult to tell what is there from just the map, so this will take some planning and thought. There are a couple of parks I could walk to, the grocery store on 4000 West and the Home Depot on 5600 West.

Make a list of everything that is within that circle. Any time you need to go to anything within the circle, walk instead of driving.

You can do the same thing around your place of employment. You can achieve a 3.0 mile walk within an hour, but only if you walk quickly and don’t spend a lot of time at your destination. Next time you need to run an errand at your lunch break, see if the destination is within your circle. If it is, get in a workout AND save gasoline.

When I lived on White Cherry Way, I was a kid. I didn’t have a choice. My only choices were walking or riding my bike if I wanted to go somewhere. I knew all the places that I could easily get to, which wasn’t very many in the suburbs. Now that I live downtown, I have hundreds of places within my 1.5 mile radius. The funny thing is, when I drew the circle around my current house, I realized that there are a bunch of places that I could walk to that I never go to because they are west of my home. It opened up at least twenty more options for me by just printing out the map and drawing the circle.

Just replacing one errand a day by walking instead of driving can not only help you save money on gas but make you healthier. Print up a map of your neighborhood and do it today!


Abigail Van Buren’s Photograph

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

Thursday November 15, 2007 from FlickrI used to read Dear Abby every day. Despite her never-changing hairstyle from 1956, I agreed with her advice over and over. Even when I dyed my hair black and wore combat boots, I still believed in Dear Abby’s advice.

The only problem is that Dear Abby wasn’t real. Sure, there was a real person, Pauline Esther Friedman Phillips, who was the writer until Alzheimer’s took her abilities away from her. But the woman behind that never-aging face wasn’t real.

I’m real. My face changes. When I’ve been bingeing, my face changes dramatically.

I’ve decided that I don’t want to be like Dear Abby. I want you to be able to see exactly what I look like every day. From now on, Starling Fitness will have a little photo of me by each entry I wrote, just like Dear Abby did, but I’m not going to use the same photo over and over again. I’m going to take a new photo every day. Warts and all.


Order Your Starling Fitness Yearly Journal

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

Update 11-06-13

These journals are no longer for sale, but the forms are still available to download so you can make your own.

I created myself a yearly journal and I realized that I liked it so much that I wanted all of you to be able to have one as well. This book has a page for each week of the year to track your calories, exercise and how many healthy foods you’re eating.

Starling Fitness Yearly Journal: Binder opens to remove weekly pages from Flickr

If you follow Weight Watchers or track your calories the old fashioned way, this form makes things very easy. It has been available for download since June and if you want to make a book like this for yourself, you can do it with this Excel spreadsheet:

If you’re not spreadsheet savvy, you can buy this journal from Starling Fitness.

3-Hole Starling Fitness Yearly Journal from Flickr The journal includes the following:

  • Non-descript black cover
  • Directions on how to use this book
  • One sheet of stickers (for those weeks that you do an EXCELLENT job!)
  • 12 monthly pages (to document your measurements, paste your monthly photo and write your monthly evaluation)
  • 54 dated weekly pages
  • 3-Hole Punch Binder Rings (you can easily remove pages without ripping them out)

The absolute coolest thing about it is you don’t have to wait until January 1st to use it. I will print it up with starting the month you specify, so you can use it immediately.

The journal is 3-Hole Punched for use with a Daytimer or other binder that takes 5 1/2″ X 8 1/2″ forms.

Stickers for those weeks when you're really good! from Flickr

Update 01-29-08: Here are some photos of the 3-Hole Punched Journal so you know what to expect. They also have the same non-descript black cover and are bound with three plastic rings that make it just as easy to remove the pages.

It's easy to take out pages with the 3-hole rings

You can also remove the rings and put the pages into your Daytimer or other 3-hole binder.

3-Hole Starling Fitness Yearly Journal from FlickrOrder a Starling Fitness Yearly Journal (3-Hole Punched): 5 1/2″ X 8 1/2″ for use with a Daytimer or other planner: $25.00 plus shipping

These journals are hand-made so they take a while to be made. I usually ship within two weeks of payment. Journals are shipped using the U.S. Postal Service and usually arrive within five days.

Update 12-09-08: The comb-binders are no longer available, but I am still selling the journals in the 3-Hole Punch version. The current journals are compatible with the Momentum Plan.


Question of the Week: What gives me the right to write a health and fitness blog?

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

Last week, I wrote an entry about food snobbery and a lot of people disagreed. Honestly, I was pretty rude in that entry and I probably shouldn’t have accused anyone of being a snob. Of all the comments on my blog and Kate’s, the only one that stung was this one from Melissa on Kate’s blog:

I have a huge beef with people who write health blogs without credentials.

You know what? SO DO I. That’s why the comment stung.

All the other comments about how food is not just food had valid points and were interesting, but Melissa’s was the only one that felt like a pin sticking me in the butt.

What gives me the right to write a health and fitness blog?

I have a double major degree in Mathematics and Education, neither of which have anything to do with health, nutrition or exercise physiology.

The degree in Mathematics and my past work in a pharmacology research lab allow me to read technical journals, reports and statistics without getting muddled. I understand statistics and I understand how to lie with them. Too many companies out there are trying to lie with their statistics. Fortunately, I can see right through the lies and look at the numbers with clean eyes.

The degree in Education taught me how to write with clarity and teach subjects I know. After dealing with my eating issues for years, I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. I’ve tried so many things that I can spot bullshit a mile away. My education degree helps me share what knowledge I do have with a clarity that most scholars lose over the years.

All that just sounds like bullshit to me.

Yeah, pulling out my degrees that have been pretty much useless my whole career sounds like bullshit to me, too.

Honestly, I started Starling Fitness because all my talk about my own eating issues was taking over my personal blog and I just wanted to separate them. That’s how it started, but it has grown into something bigger. Sometimes it feels way bigger than I can handle, so I need to keep reminding everyone.

  • I’m not a doctor.
  • I’m not a nutritionist.
  • I’m not a exercise physiologist.
  • I’m not even skinny.
  • I sometimes still end up bingeing to deal with my issues and that might never change for me.

All I can do is be honest with you about what I am so you won’t think I’m something that I’m not.

So, what gives you the right to write about health and fitness?

That’s the beauty of this medium. What gives me the right? I have a computer and I can put two words together. That’s the only right I need to start a weblog about health and fitness. Whether you read my words is your choice.

To the several thousand people who do read my words every day, THANK YOU. One of the things that took me back to Weight Watchers to deal with my bingeing AGAIN is the thought of not writing for you anymore. If I have ever helped you, please know that you’ve helped me threefold in return.


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!


Happy Memories

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

It's easy to be happy on a sunny day...I got this exercise from Martha Beck’s book Four Day Win and changed it up a little for myself.

  • Make sure you’re feeling in a pretty good mood. Are you hungry? If so, make sure you go eat something a little decadent. It doesn’t have to be a large portion, but right now, go eat something that you have been denying yourself.

  • Make a quick list of your happiest memories. Just get a clean notebook and on the first page write all the happy times in your life. One memory per line, list them out. Keep writing until you can’t think of any more. If you have less than five, you’re probably not in a good enough mood to do this exercise, so try again a different time. Shoot for a list of fifty or so memories.

  • Each day, when you’re feeling most comfortable and happiest, go back to the notebook. Take one page per memory and write out the full memory in as much detail as you can. Use all five senses to write your memories. What did the air smell like? How did his lips taste? What color was the sky? How did it feel against your skin? What music was playing at that moment? Sight and smell are the most powerful memory joggers, so make sure you at least cover those two senses.

  • After a month or so, you will have a book full of happy memories that you can use as a resource when you’re feeling like bingeing. When you can feel a binge coming on, give yourself a few minutes and read through some of your favorite happy memories.

This exercise has been really powerful for me and I have only been doing it for a couple of weeks.

One caveat: I’m a writer, so writing is the way I relate to the world, but there are MANY ways to do this exercise. You can use pictures from the past and create a scrapbook. You can draw your favorite memories and use the pictures to reminisce. You can take film clips that remind you of your favorite memories and make a video of your favorite times of your own life. You can even just go through a box of old belongings and mementos that you have saved over the years.

We humans are so diverse in our abilities, however you can do this Happy Memories exercise is wonderful as long as it works for you.

« Previous Page« Previous Entries - Next Entries »Next Page »

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