Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chicken McNugget's? NOT!

NOTE: Picture from Google Images, not McDonald's

Ok, I was just checking out an article from someone on twitter and it happened to be a pretty disgusting one. Does anyone eat fast food chicken? (maybe besides Chick-Fil-A, I will have to look up their ingredients). I just wanted to post a link to an article about fast food chicken and specifically McDonald's. I can't believe what they have to put in a food, chemicals and corn, corn, corn.
Why? To make money? Make it quickly? I don't know, but if any of you do please enlighten me.

Please check out this article: What's in Fast Food Chicken?

Full ingredient list for a Chicken McNugget (from McDonald’s website):

White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning (autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid, rosemary), sodium phosphates, seasoning (canola oil, mono- and diglycerides, extractives of rosemary). Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, whey, corn starch. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.

Happy eating! YUMMY!!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Do You Get Fat Overnight?

"How long does it take to gain a pound of fat?"
This is a very interesting question in the Women's Health magazine I read today and wanted to comment on it.

Have you ever weighed yourself two days in a row and had your eyes almost pop out? I have. It's not a pretty sight when the scale moves up 2-5 lbs from the day before. I think to myself, what did I eat? Did I drink enough water? What time of the month is it? And then I get a little depressed!

So, why does this happen and are we actually gaining fat overnight? Those of you who ate too much at Thanksgiving can rest easy. We cannot gain fat weight overnight. Your body is set to burn a specific number of calories each day based on your age, size, and activity level. If you eat too much, than yes, over time all of the excess calories you eat can turn into fat.
Just remember: 3500 calories = 1 pound of fat.
But, if you are normally somewhat active and only overeat occasionally, gaining fat over a few days isn't possible. Just don't sit on the couch for a week and expect to lose weight.

Now, what does happen overnight is all of the sodium, sugar, and water that we consume is bouncing around in our bodies, trying to be processed and we get bloated. Water/sodium weight will trick us into thinking we actually gained weight when we didn't. We can also be bloated from a really hard workout the day before because our muscles are inflamed.

My recommendation (assuming you want to weigh yourself):
1) Pick ONE day a week to weigh yourself and don't get back on the scale until the same day the next week. It will just psych you out if you do more than that.
2) Weigh yourself at the same time of day (the morning is best) and with no clothes on (yes, you heard me).
3) Do not weigh yourself after a workout because you are more bloated from it.

Now, I am not going to get into the calories in vs. calories out debate right now. I believe this is the general principle of losing weight, BUT there is so much more to how it actually plays out in our bodies. Our hormones are a HUGE factor. You can look forward to a future post about our hormones and also how our genetics affect our ability to gain/lose and get lean!

Good luck weighing!
Also, tell me your fitness goals on my previous post if you have them, I would love to hear!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"Honey, We Don't Drink Our Calories"

Ah, one of my favorite quotes from Jillian Michaels, fitness trainer extraordinaire.

Get ready! I have been pondering this one for a while, and hopefully it will get you thinking!

Why do people still continue to drink sodas and juices with more sugar or sugar substitute than brownies and ice cream?! I just don't get it. I really do not. Have you looked on the ingredient list on the back of a soda bottle, diet or regular? Have you looked at the ingredient list on a container of fruit juice? Have you ever wondered what exactly you are putting in your body?


What else do you need in this besides the juice of the fruit? Well looking at the back of Minute Maid Orange Juice for kids, a lot apparently. It's supposed to be 100% orange juice, but it contains Calcium Phosphate, Calcium Lactate, and *other ingredients not included in regular orange juice (which they clearly state on the label). If that doesn't matter to you, does it matter that it has 24 grams of sugar in 1 cup and 110 calories? Can you not just eat an orange? The average orange has about 12 grams of sugar. Why do you need to drink your calories and sugar? Save them for real food!

This Minute Maid Fruit Punch is even worse. It contains high fructose corn syrup. Do not believe those commercials that are sponsored by the Corn Refiners Association to make you think that "corn sugar" is good for you or no different than regular sugar. HCFS boosts fat-storing hormones and drives people to overeat. It is manufactured by changing the glucose in cornstarch to fructose. HFCS delivers such a big load of sugar to your liver that your liver can't keep up, so it doesn't convert it all to glucose and a lot of it gets stored as triglycerides, or fat. It's cheap and a major source of increased sugar intake in the U.S. It is also easy to put into EVERYTHING on the supermarket shelves. It's even in peanut butter for crying out loud!


Worse than fruit juice is soda. It doesn't matter that diet sodas have zero calories or zero sugars. It does matter that soda contains chemicals that harm your body. High Fructose Corn Syrup, Aspartame, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Benzoate, Phosphoric Acid, artificial colorings galore. It's purpose is to make you addicted and dehydrated. All of these can disrupt your endocrine system and cause your hormones to get out-of-whack.

  • Artificial sweeteners: They are harder on our metabolic systems and can trick our brains into forgetting that sweetness means extra calories, so we eat more of it.
  • Sodium/Potassium Benzoate: These are sometimes added to soda to prevent mold growth. They are also known carcinogens.
  • Phosphoric Acid: This keeps soda from going flat. It also leaches calcium out of our bones, which is why sometimes you hear that too much soda consumption leads to osteoporosis.

I hope I have at least given you something to think about. This is certainly not the end of me speaking on these chemicals/ingredients. Whether you intend to drop your diet coke habit is totally up to you. But, here is one last question:

Would you rather enjoy a good, filling food or would you rather drink something that is gone in seconds and makes you crave more sugar, while doing harmful things to your body?

PLEASE save your calories for food and chemicals for science projects.

*NOTE: I am not a scientist, but a concerned consumer. I have researched these topics and have also learned about them in my class at NPTI.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What Are Your Fitness Goals?

What kind of goals have you set for yourself recently? Any? Have you reached them? Why is it so hard to actually stick to the plan to reach that goal?

I never set goals. I am not a goal-oriented person. In my experience, setting goals is way too intangible for me.
This all changed when I started school at NPTI. Fitness is something you can tangibly measure. This is why I love it so much. To be able to measure and see progress from when you started gives you great motivation!

Why not make health a priority this new year? What are you waiting for? I've heard a lot of excuses about why we can't finish what we start, but in starting to be more healthy and exercising - that's a lifelong process. Its a lifestyle change. Are you finally sick of not being able to run, play with your kids, tired of feeling bad, feeling uncomfortable at the gym, or not being able to walk up the stairs without huffing and puffing? A wise friend once said to me, "You will only change when the pain of staying the same is GREATER than the pain of changing." So true.

Two of my fitness goals from July are:
1) Do a real body weight pull-up, 2) lose 20lbs of fat and gain lean muscle

Are they realistic, attainable and measurable? yes and yes. By the way, I am still working on all of those goals. They don't come quick and they don't come easy. Doing a real pull-up takes time. I didn't realize there is a progression to building your back muscles, finding that mind/body connection with those muscles and then training them to hold your body weight. People, it works! I am almost there and it is exciting! I was so weak in my back when I started school that I didn't have the power to recruit my back muscles at all. It's such an awesome feeling when you see the difference!

Now, I will ask you to think about and make your fitness/nutrition/lifestyle goals for this new year. What would you like to change? And how are you going to do it? I would love to hear them if you want to share here with me!

Good luck!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Factoid Friday

Starting today and every friday (hopefully) I will be posting a fact about the human body. It will either be dealing with anatomy,nutrition, or another cool topic. I am learning way too much in my class at NPTI (National Personal Training Institute) to keep it to myself. I think the human body is amazing! The way we are made, with some of the coolest muscles and bones, just makes me love fitness even more. Our body is capable of so much!

Got Glutes?
Everyone likes to refer to their butt with some kind of different name. Booty, rear, tush, cheeks, fanny, keister, you name it. We could go on and on. But (no pun intended), the correct anatomical term is Gluteus Maximus. Now here's the kicker -- we have three Gluteus's! The Gluteus Maximus, the Gluteus Medius, and the Gluteus Minimus. So, essentially we have three butts. Nice, huh? Well, let me explain a little about each one, so you will understand what I mean.

The Gluteus Maximus is the largest and the main mover of our hip region. It is also most superficial, meaning closest to the skin. It helps us walk, squat and get up from the couch.

Next comes the Gluteus Medius and Minimus. These two muscles lay underneath the Maximus, with the Minimus being on the bottom (the deepest of the three muscles). So, basically on each side of your rear, you have a stack of gluteals. The picture will help you see what I mean. The Medius and Minimus work together and share the same actions. They both stabilize the body when you stand on one leg, aide in walking, and act as a helper to the Maximus.

I hope you enjoyed the first Factoid Friday! Please keep checking back for more! Now, go exercise those glutes! :)


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hi and Hello!

Hello to you,
As this is my first post, I would like to introduce myself and give you a little perspective on why I am here, creating and writing this blog. I will do my best to make this the condensed version :)

Fitness is my life. Fitness is what I love. As much as I don't want to admit that in writing, I have to. It's true. It's taken me well over 10 years to discover this side of myself. I am not someone who sailed through life thin, fit, and confident. Growing up heavy, out-of-shape, and very insecure wasn't fun. I know many of you reading might have been there, too. I am using this blog as a means to communicate with you that it IS possible to be fit AND confident (thin is a relative term), to change your life through exercise and knowledge. I will be blogging about many cool and controversial topics in the fitness and nutrition world. I hope you will find it informative!

My background: In 2005, my family and I went on vacation to Florida over Thanksgiving. As I was looking at our pictures, I saw someone I very much disliked. I couldn't believe how awful I looked and felt physically. I was 245 lbs. The most I had ever weighed. Soon after, I started watching The Biggest Loser on NBC. It was the catalyst I needed. Watching Jillian Michaels beat up those contestants was what I wanted. She helped them understand what brought them to such a valley in their life, and that inspired me. I was a biggest loser contestant sitting on the couch.

By March 2006, I changed my eating and I pushed myself through very basic workouts, which included the treadmill, and The Firm DVDs. It was so hard. I was completely and utterly out-of-shape. I eventually joined the YMCA and have since fallen into a community that I do not want to live without. They are supportive, encouraging, and have become my "fitness family." I encourage everyone to join a gym/fitness group/wellness center to have the accountability and friendship of people living the same lifestyle.

Through this journey, I have lost 50 lbs, gained confidence, gained much strength and muscle to do things I never imagined with my body. I workout 5-6 days a week and love it. I enrolled in the National Personal Training Institute in July to become a personal trainer. I want to help people like me, like the Biggest Loser contestants, understand their body and change their life through fitness. It's not easy and it's going to take hard work and dedication.

Nov. 2011 <--------------------Me in 2005

I've been there. I've done it. And it IS possible. Let me help you!

'Til next time,