Monday, March 22, 2010

Walk Yourself Thin

Setting a goal is one of the best ways to stay committed to exercise, especially now that summer is dwindling and your walking program may be lagging.   So, let's try training for a 10K.  Melissa is an old pro at this... if she has any thing to add that would be awesome!

This is my first week trying this new approach.  Week #1 will consist of the following:

Monday:  Walking, easy pace (everday stroll), 3 miles

Since I have a membership at Gold Gym I will be able to track the distance on the treadmill.

Tuesday:  Any low-intensity activity (like gardening, house cleaning or bike riding), for 30 consecutive minutes

Since we are still working on getting the Garden ready for planting and getting the yard ready for Easter I will be spending time after work in both of these areas.

Wednesday:  Walking, moderate pace (you have to catch your breath occasionally), 3 miles

Again I will be back at the gym.

Thursday:  OFF

I will probably spend my evening reading or sewing

Friday:  Low-intensity activity, 30 minutes

I love going to the gym and using the stair stepper.  My plan is to spend 30 minutes on the stair stepper (cure the flat butt that Jennifer says I have).

Saturday:  Walking, easy, 3 miles

back to the gym to use the treadmill

Sunday:  OFF

Let's have fun with this!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

DETOX - STAGE 1 (1 - 4 days)


Traditionally, this would be just water - perhaps with a squeeze of fresh lemon to neutralize acidity and stimulate the bowels.  However, there are other liquids that have supplementary benefits:

  1. Freshly made fruit and vegatble juices can help cleanse and regenerate the entire system.
  2. Unsweetened herbal or spice teas such as ginger, dandelion, fennel or yarrow act as useful detoxifiers or circulator stimulants
  3. Broth is another option, made from clean, fresh organic vegetables simmered in water, the liquid strained and the vegetables discarded.
You will not faint or fade away from fasting.  You will feel more energetic, not less.  Some people, however, should not fast and everyone should check with their doctor before undertaking a detox programme that lasts longer than a week.

I make my juices the night before and chill them in the refrigerator overnite.  My favorite it apple and carrot juice.  I will be making this juice this evening for my detox tomorrow.


For the best general tonic for cleansing and boosting the immune system, juice together four carrots and two green apples. 

  1. Warm-Up (5-10 minutes)
  2. Aerobic exercise (15 minutes)
  3. 10-minute toners (10 minutes)
  4. Cool-down (5-10 minutes)
Warm-up Exercises:  There are several things that you can do to warm up.  It is important to warm up before exercising.  Warm-ups are good for preparing body and mind for exercises; warming synovial fluid between the joints; and preventing injury.

TIP:  Practice and perfect complicate moves slowly before doing them at speed

  1. Floor March - March for 5 minutes - to music if this helps
  2. Side Bends - Do 10-12 reaches on each side
  3. Body Twist - twist 5-10 times
  4. Shoulder and Head rolls - 4-5 times
  5. Plies - 10-12 times
  6. Dynamic stretch kicks
  7. Jogging on the spot

Aerobic exercise is good for using calories, fat-burning; firming legs and hips; improving overall fitness levels.  Start with 15 minutes and gradually work your way up to 30 minutes.

  1. Walking
  2. Running
  3. Rope Skipping

Cooling Down is important.  It allows your heart rate to recover gradually; returning muscles to pre-exercise state; preventing stiffness after exercise.
  1. Hamstring stretch
  2. Calf stretch
  3. Quad stretch
  4. all-over lean
  5. Swing out

The tummy toners are good for flattening stomach; strengthening abdominal muscles; improving posture.
  1. Torso twists
  2. Upper body circles
  3. Roll-ups
  4. Rope Climbing
  5. Scissors
  6. Crossed fists
  7. Double leg stretch

Giving your skin a thorough clean out helps to balance moisture, clean the pores and get rid of dead skin cells, paving the way for a smooth new skin surface.  External methods for cleansing the skin are exfoliating, which boost circulation, stimulate the elimination of toxins through the lymphatic system and speed skin cell renewal.  Alternatively, the 'inside-out' method involves boosting circulation and sweating from the inside by heating the body in a sauna or steam room or by undergoing hydrotherapy.

I really enjoy body scrubs.  I have made a rock salt detox scrub and use it about once a week.


Mix a handful of coarse rock salt flakes to a paste with two tablespoons of olive or seame oil.  Add one drop only of rose or lavender essential oil.

Let me know how STAGE 1 of your detox is going by commenting on this blog.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

WEEK ONE DETOX (diet; exercise and skin care)

Not only do many of us overeat through habit, but our food has lost much of its nutritional value through processind and is packed full of fat, sugar and additives.  When we pour these and other toxins like alcohol and caffeine into our bodies, our metabolism prioritizes rendering them harmless or "detoxed".  This leaves less energy for the everyday processes of cleansing, healing and renewal.  Over time, the body cannot keep up the pace, strain on the overworked liver and kidneys shows and the body's performance slows down.

Although this detox diet could be adapted to last anywhere from one to four weeks, one week of detoxing should be sufficient to start your Lose Weight Look Great programme.  This detox diet is split into seven stages, so in a week-long detox each state will last one day (in a two-week regime each stage would last two days and so on).  It is important to follow the plan in the order given.  After the liquids-only stage you must come back to food slowly or you will overload the digestive system, undo all you have achieved and even feel quite unwell.


Stage 1     Liquids only
Stage 2     Liquid and fruit only
Stage 3     Add raw vegetables
Stage 4     Add cooked vegetables and brown rice
Stage 5     Add beans, lentils, nuts and seeds
Stage 6     Add grains and live yogurt
Stage 7     Add fish


  1. Warm-up (5-10 minutes)
  2. Aerobic exercise - walking and / or running and / or skipping for at least 15 minutes
  3. 10-minute tones (10 minutes)
  4. Cool-down (5-10 minutes)

Giving yours skin a thorough clean out helps to balance moisture, clean the pores and get rid of dead skin cells, paving the way for a smooth new skin surface.  External methods for cleansing the skin are exfoliating and skin brushing, which boost circulation, stimulate the elimination of toxins through the lymphatic system and speed skin cell renewal.  Alternatively, the 'inside-out' bethod involves boosing circulation and sweating from the inside by heating the body in a sauna or steam room or by undergoing hydrotherapy.


When it comes to beauty it is natural to concentrate on your face, but you should not neglect the rest of your body, especially if you want to be bikini fit!  Caring for your skin is an important part of any beauty routine.  Your skin needs attention all year round, not ust in summer when you emerge from thick layers of winter clothing and start thinking about wearing skimpier outfits.  There are plenty of tips and techniques for you to improve your overall appearance.  As always, diet, exercise and lifestyle play a large part.

Over the next few weeks we will discuss:

  1. Improving your skin
  2. Home treatments
  3. moisturizing
  4. beauty-loving lifestyle
  5. combating cellulite

As well as feeding your skin by eating foods rich in nutrients, total skin care involves using appropriate body and face cleansers, exfoliating regularly to gently slough off dead skin cells and using moisturizers after bathing that contain both hydrating ingredients and antioxidants.


The build-up of body fat usually occurs in adulthood when we are naturally less active than we were as children and when eating tends to be the focus of social occasions.  In women, the excess body fat is commonly stores around the thighs and hips, giving rise to the pear-shaped figure.  Another typical area where fat accumulates in women is the back of the arms.  (This is a trait that my sisters and I all have in common.)

Forget fad diets, fancy equipment, potions, pills and creams.  There are really only two sensible ways to change your body shape - eat less and exercise more.


Aerobic exercise involves using your large muscle groups for 20 minutes or longer, which raises your metabolic rate.  An increased metabolic rate burns calories faster and so speeds up weight loss.  Do such exercise regularly and you will become leaner, with less calories being stored as body fat.  In addition, you will build up muscle mass - even more so if you do weight training and toning.  Since muslces need lots of fuel (in the form of calories) to function, your resting metabolic rate will be raised, too.  The result is that you will look leaner, stronger, shapelier and fitter.


Metabolism is the continual process in the body of breaking down food, burning calories and creating fuel for the energy our bodies need to function.  Metabolic rate refers to the speed at which this happens, and is dependent on factors such as heredity, age, gender, amount of exercise regularly undertaken and muscle-to-body fat ratio.  For example, the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate.


These exercises aim to stretch and tone rather than build up bulky muscles.  They aim to firm up specific body areas, although you will not necessarily reduce body fat in these areas.  Just as you cannot dictate where fat accumulates in the body, you cannot dictate where it will come off.  Fat gets stored all over the body and the fat that went on last will most probably come off first.  To shape your figure, you need to attack the fat through a combination of sensible eating and increased aerobic and muscle-strenthening activity.

Last night I finally began my official fat-burning workouts.  Victor and I have gym memberships at Gold's Gym in Oxnard.  Since I haven't worked out in a long time I started off slow.  I set my goal for 15 minutes on the stair stepper. 

I know - it can make your butt bigger.  According to my sister Jennifer, I have a flat butt.  Victor says she is mistaken.  I think Victor would know.  :)

Any way, I ended up staying on the stair stepper for 26.5 minutes.  I had moved at an average of 30 steps per minute which is equivalent to 50 floors and a little over 1 mile.  That's pretty good for my first day back at the gym.

Every morning I also walk for 15 minutes around the office building.

A typical exercise session includes:

  1. 5-10 minutes of warming up
  2. 10-20 minutes of muscle-strengthening exercises
  3. 30 minutes of aerobic activity (which you can build up to if you are not used to exercising)
  4. 5-10 minutes of cooling down and stretching out exercises
This is a little over an hour.  If you are serious about getting back into shape you should set aside an hour and a half of time each day to exercise.  It doesn't all have to be done at one time.  I break mine up throughout the day.  I also have established some healthy practices:

  1. I park further away from the building than necessary and walk briskly to the office (I also do this when I go shopping).
  2. I take the stairs to the second floor of the office building to use the restroom; rather than walking down the hall from the office.
  3. I get up from my desk every hour to stretch and walk out the kinks from sitting at the computer.
Start a little at a time and you will begin to see some changes. 

Monday, March 8, 2010


Although we commonly talk about 'losing weight', strictly speaking it is actually fat loss that concerns us more.  Fad/crash diets may result in a quick loss of weight, but this is usually due simply to loss of fluid, not stored body fat.  The effect is temporary and body shape, which is more important and more noticeable - especially where bikinis are concerned - is not affected.  In addition, weight loss quickly thanks to an unhealthy diet is unlikely to remain lost.  Successful weight loss requires a permanent change of eating habits.

A Pound of Flesh

To lose weight you need to burn stored calories or reduce calorie intake.  Since 500 g (1lb) of body fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories, you need to burn calories through physical activity and/or reduce the number of calories you eat for a total of 3,500 in order to lose 500g (1lb) of fat.

Do You Need to Lose Weight?

The amount of body fat you carry may be more significant than your weight alone.  The body mass index (BMI) assesses whether you hold too much body fat in relation to your height.  It is calculated as follows:

BMI = weight in kilograms / height in meters squared


BMI = (weight in pounds x 700) / height in inches squared

For women, a BMI between 19 and 24 is normal, while the range for men is between 20 and 25.  A BMI between 24/25 and 30 is considered overweight.  Anyone with a BMI above 30 is considered obese.

Visible Results of Fat Loss:
  1. Smoother Skin
  2. Change in body shape
  3. Feeling of being less heavy

Friday, March 5, 2010


The downside of the time and labour saving inventions that have been designed to make our lives easier is that they encourage us to be less active.  In addition, the choice of foods now available means we tend to overeat or eat the wrong things.  The end result is that our bodies are often in poorer shape than they should be.  If this applies to you and you are worrying about how you will look on holiday in your bikini, there are three main areas on which you need to focus - losing weight, shaping your figure and beautifying your body.

Over the next several weeks we will start changing our habits and begin to lose weight; shape up and beautify our skin and hair.  If you follow the simple steps outlined each day you will see results in about 4 weeks.  If you have a lot of weight to lose it will take longer to reach your ultimate goal, however, you will see results quickly as your progress.

We will begin with a Detox Diet which will help to cleanse the body by resting it from certain foods and allowing it to process what is already in your system.

We will learn how to look at our current eating habits and change them so that we can lose weight in a healthy way.  We will take a look at the best foods to eat for our skin and hair and how and what we eat will keep our energy levels high.

We will learn about shaping up and doing some exercise.  Dieting alone does not make us fit or give us toned muscles.  To look and feel fit we need to combine a healthy diet with fat-burning aerobic exercise and some toning or resistance exercise to build and tone muscle.  The more workout you can manage in a week, the quicker you will improve your body shape.

Beautiful hair and skin add to the already amazing package of a slimmer and more fit body. 

There are many beauty treatments we can undertake to look great in a bikini.  All are best in conjunction with a healthy eating plan.  Good health on the inside really shines through on the outside in the form of a better complexion, glossy hair and a healthy glow.  If you feel good you will look good, and have no qualms at all about wearing a bikini in public.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


If you didn't figure it out while you were taking the test this is where you should be when all is said and done:

1.  Eat breakfast every day
2.  Eat 5 or more portions of fruit, vegetables or salad a day
3.  Cut high-fat foods to once a week or less
4.  Snack foods should be fresh fruit
5.  Water and herbal tea should be preferred over other beverages
6.  Consume at least one calcium-rich dairy food, such as milk, chees or yogurt each day
7.  Should exercise at least 3-4 times a week
8.  Should practice sun safety by covering up - especially in the hottest part of the day
9.  Wear dark glasses to block out harmful rays
10.  Exfoliate every week

Stay tuned to how we are going to get there.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Complete the questionnaire below to assess how much you need to change in your life to get to your final goal of being fit and looking great.

1.  Do you eat breakfast?
  • (a)  Never
  • (b)  Only at weekends
  • (c)  Every day
2.  How many portions of fruit, vegetables and salads to you eat each day?
  • (a) One or two
  • (b) Three or four
  • (c) Five or more
3.  Do you eat high-fat foods (like sausages, pies, burgers, chips, cheese and butter)?
  • (a) More than once a day
  • (b) Most days
  • (c) Once a week or less
4.  Which of these is your favorite snack?
  • (a) A chocolate bar
  • (b) A cake or biscuits
  • (c) Fresh fruit
5.  Given the choice, would you prefer to drink?
  • (a) A can of fizzy drink such as a cola
  • (b) Tea or coffee
  • (c) water or herbal tea
6.  Do you have a calcium rich dairy food, such as milk, cheese, or yogurt?
  • (a) Now and then
  • (b) Several times a week
  • (c) At least once a day
7.  How often do you exercise?
  • (a) Never
  • (b) Once a week
  • (c) Most days
8.  How much time do you spend sitting in the sun?
  • (a) I love sun bathing on holiday and my skin tans easily
  • (b) Quite a lot when the weather's good, but I always use a sun screen
  • (c) I cover up, especially in the hottest part of the day
9.  When do you wear sunglasses?
  • (a) I've got a whole range of fashion sunglasses for every occasion
  • (b) I always wear them in the summer
  • (c) I wear dark glasses that block out the harmful rays, even in the winter
10.  How often do you exfoliate?
  • (a) Hardly ever
  • (b) Every day
  • (c) Every week