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Who Wants to Get Active? 2010

February 2010

Pushing Through

Posted by ICURNpope Feb 28, 2010

Training week 1 has begun! I'm so proud of my fellow athletes "Who wants to get Active"! I've read the other blogs and am amazed at all they have to overcome. You are strong and you can do this!!!


My first training session an eye opener! I wasn't in for the shock of how difficult it was to maintain running for 20 min at 4.5 miles/hr on my treadmill. Even with my favorite music, 20 minutes seems alot longer when I'm trying to push through. For some reason my right knee has been sore.  I think I twisted it slightly at work. I didn't want that pain to discourage me and be an excuse not to run, so I got on that treadmill and pushed through the initial pain. When I was done, my knee didn't hurt any more than when I had started, so I'm glad I didn't succumb to the temptation to skip out. I did feel dizzy a bit so I needed to turn the speed down for a little and walk, but after 3 minutes, I picked up the pace and continued my run. My second and third runs were similiar but I was more invigorated by the third run and felt GREAT afterwards!! I love endorphines!!! That run alone gave me hope to continue to push myself toward the goal!


On the downside, I did skip one of my crosstraining workouts. I was tired and just didn't make it a priority. I need to be careful not to slack off and cut corners. I want to feel great about my body and my energy level and cutting corners won't accomplish this. Also, I didn't monitor my diet. I've been in the habit of overeating and eating emotionally for so long, that this is another area of weakness for me. I had donuts, pizza, beer...etc. But I now have a plan and the junk food is leaving the house!  I have the great support of my husband, who also is changing to a more heart healthy diet. Of course my two boys, who crave sugar, are in for a shock!!


I want some input on the Active workouts for the Wii. I just bought a Wii today and am curious about the different fitness programs that are available for this system. Has anyone tried them?



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Someone called me CHUBBY!

Posted by taylorsmom2010 Feb 27, 2010

No, not in Kindergarten, this past week...


I had just finished a great run. I was feeling amazing & so proud of myself! That's when it happened. I encountered an "innocent" elderly man in the elevator. My friend & I were telling him about our work out to make conversation. He looked me up and down and said, "Yes, you need the exercise. You're chubby."


Excuse me? Did I hear him right? Yup! Again, with a completely straight face he said, "Yes, you're a chubby girl". The door opened & he just walked away. We were both too shocked to say anything. I was crushed and humiliated in front of my new workout buddy! Pretty much my worst nightmare & my greatest fear - that someone would call me FAT! She tried to reassure me, told me he was crazy & not to worry about him! I forced a smile - "I'm fine."


I got into my car and headed to Target for a few errands. I wasn't fine. I couldn't get the comment out of my head. Ugh! Here comes the negative self talk, followed by giving up & overeating. BUT, this time was different. I thought about my run and what I had accomplished that day. Yes, I'm 5'2" with a round figure AND I'm strong! I had worked up a great sweat and I wasn't gonna let this guy get in the way of that!


And then a very funny thing happened. While in Target, I was stopped by a man who said, "You know, you look just like my wife. She used to be a model, so you should take that as a compliment!" He smiled and walked away. Wow! I stopped in my tracks and chuckled to myself...


I know this was God, or the Universe or some higher being telling me not to take either comment too seriously! The OLD ME would have discarded the compliment, while replaying the elevator scenario over & over. Why was I so mean to myself like that? Why give either one more than just a passing thought?


The point is, no one can build me up or tear me down, BUT ME.  No one can take away the effort I put in or the goal I am working for. My confidence, my strength, my determintaion - can come from me & only me.


I have realized this past week that I really missed running. It's something that's been waiting deep down to get out again. I absolutely need exercise for my physical and emotional health, as well as for the happiness of my family. It's no longer an option not to be active.


Tonight, I can whole-heartedly say that I'm NOT a chubby girl, I'm NOT a model, but I AM A RUNNER.

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What A Week!

Posted by mattscot Feb 27, 2010

With all the excitement of the Winter Olympics, I've been really excited about training. Yeah, I know a native Floridian of my age and ability has as much of a chance of one day making the Winter Olympics as a snowball's chance in he--, but it certainly helps to motivate when you see people living out their dreams on the world's biggest stage.


I've been running occassionally before the start of this program, but my first run under this program suprised me. I managed to run 2.5 miles in 20:42! I felt a ton of energy and even thought about going a little further. But with the understanding that there's a method to the madness of this training process, I held back.



On Tuesday, the wife treated me to an early birthday present. We went to the specialty running store and I got new shoes! The store experience was incredible. They took a blueprint of my foot to see where I put the most pressure and to look at my arch. Then they put me in a neutral shoe and had me run on the treadmill where they conducted a video-taped gait analysis. Up until now, I always went with the lightweight shoe. I thought that since I was already carrying more body weight than I needed to, the last thing I needed was to lace up with bricks on my feet. But from all the stuff they put me through, I found out that when I run, I pronate- meaning that when my foot lands, it does so on the outside of the foot and rolls inward. The solution was to put me in a shoe that provides stability when my foot strikes the ground.

Thinking that the community pool at my apartment complex was heated, I chose swimming for my cross training. NOT the best idea I've ever had! Turns out the pool isn't heated and central Florida was in the midst of a cold front. So I followed up my polar bear like training with a few minutes of relaxation in the hot tub!


On Wednesday, I learned just how old I am. It was a hectic day with lots of stuff going on. I almost forgot about my training. At 11:30 that night, I laced up my brand new shoes for the first time and headed out. I didn't want to mess with the training schedule in the first week.  The results were nothing like the Monday run! I was running into the wind and trying to break in new shoes that weighed significantly more than I'm accustomed to. But at least, I looked good doing it. Near the end, my legs felt like twigs about to snap. Maybe it was the heavier shoe, or running into the wind, or that extra slice of birthday cake, but I was much slower with a time of 20:24 for a total of 2.25 miles.


On Friday, I went up to Tampa to check out the scene of a health and fitness expo for the Gasparilla Distance Classic- Tampa's biggest marathon event. I figured that if I'm going to do one of these one day, I wanted to see what all the excitement was about. I can only imagine what standing at the starting line in April is going to feel like, but if it's anything like the excitement surrounding the anticipation of the event this weekend, I can't wait!


As far as my dieting goes, I'm seeing some great results. A couple of weeks before, my wife and I started on the South Beach Diet. As I weighed in this morning, I am down 24 lbs. from what I weighed in at on New Year's Day!


With all of the temptations and distractions, this week, it's been hard to find consistency with my schedule and diet. I'm sure that over time I will find ways to handle these issues a little better. With that being said, it's hard to find a reason to complain, because the results I've seen so far have been incredible.

871 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, diet, fitness, olympics, active, beach, florida, birthday, shoes, south, energy, beginning_runner, tampa, whowantstogetactive

I Like Friday

Posted by Blake500 Feb 26, 2010

After 4 days of getting up at 5:00, it was nice to sleep in this morning.   "Friday Off Day" Rocks!


It's going to be cold tomorrow and very busy.  I'll need some extra encouragement to get to the gym.  It doesn't open till 7:00. 


The good news though is after the workout tomorrow, it will be 1 week down and 7 to go!!!


Keep Up The Hard Work Everyone!



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Week 1 Challenge... :)

Posted by Roxychic87 Feb 26, 2010

Hey everyone,

So I started my running this week! I can say that I am impressed on what I can run. I am running right now for 23 minutes 2 miles. I know I need to get to almost four miles by the end but I am really proud of myself for what I have done. I will say this though, my knee has been killing me. Do any of you have any advice on what exactly I should do about it? I heard about stretching but when before or after my workout? I started this week to go to the gym at 5am!!! It is so hard but I have to do it. It is the only time I can go to the gym so getting less sleep is okay but I am getting in my workout.

I need it is time I start writing down exactly what I am putting in my mouth and keep a journal log. I am eating healthy BUT eating a lot!! I am going to be checking my weight on Monday so I will let you all know how I am doing.

Today I worked out hard and actually did weight training. I thought it was a good idea to work out my legs a little bit. I am also realizing that it is TOUGH for me to run out in the street compared to the treadmill. The treadmill is so much more convient and easy to do. I need to start practicing on doing both because in 7 weeks I have a race to run.

I hope everyone is doing good with their training. I am excited and motivated to get to that finish line.




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Week One Fun

Posted by epeaslee Feb 26, 2010

    Things have been going great. I started working out a week early. Last weekend I went to Callaway Gardens and walked for 4 miles. Last night I went hiking at Red Top Mountain for an hour after work. I’ve decided to become vegan. I was mostly vegetarian last week and since Sunday, I have been doing the vegan thing. I am feeling very encouraged it is amazing what a little exercise and clean eating will do for a person.              

     I signed up to do a beginners backpacking trip for the weekend of March 13 and 14. I know I need to push myself to get back out there, but honestly, I am scared. I am afraid I won’t be able to keep up with the group or I’ll be the weakest one. I keep thinking of reasons to back out, but I know I won’t because it’s now public information in my blog = )  I know what trail we are backpacking on it’s and 8.5 mile loop so the weekend before I am going to walk it so I know what to expect.              

     My biggest struggle is time. I work full time from 7 to 3:30 then I usually get home at 4:15. My baby is usually asleep by 8 or 8:30 so I don’t get to spend much time with her. I’ve been feeling guilty about coming home holding her for 10 or 15 minutes then working out for an hour (I’ve been lifting weights and doing extra cardio). When it’s nice out I put her in a stroller and we walk the neighborhood, but it’s almost never nice out. It makes me feel like a bad mom.             

      I like to end things on a positive note so here it is I have lost 5 pounds and I’ve gone down a pants size in just two weeks. I hope everyone else is doing well too! 

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Maintaining your Motivation!

Posted by JoeDecker Feb 25, 2010

Hey Gang! My name is Joe Decker. I'm a Guinness World Record Holder for Fitness and an Active Coach. You've got quite a team assembled here to help you along your path. Now it's up to you to keep it going! Understand you are going to have life issues that get in the way along this journey, you are human and it does happen. That's ok. Stay focused, maintain motivation, adapt and overcome. The ONLY thing keeping you down, overweight or out-of-shape is YOU! Nothing else. You control your destiny. But if you do find yourself dragging butt and need someone to hold your hand while giving ya a kick in your rear, feel free to e-mail me. That's my specialty and I'm glad to help. Now make it happen and be sure to have fun along the way!;-)

"Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'!"




Joe Decker  W.F.M. 


Gut Check Fitness, winner of the A-List "Best Boot Camp in San Diego" 2009, voted San Diego's "Hardest Workout Class" Competitor Magazine. Joe Decker, recognized as "The World's Fittest Man" after breaking the Guinness World Records® 24-Hour Physical Fitness Challenge, Readers Choice "Best Fitness Trainer" for 2009.

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Off and walking (and running)

Posted by mekani Feb 24, 2010

Monday, I went down to Mission Bay after work and decided to start my official training there.  Over the last couple of weeks, I've ramped up my exercise so I wanted to start out with a light jog. I did one mile run and then quick paced (RPE 7) walk back a mile.  It felt great!  It was so nice to be outside, off the treadmill.  It was just starting to get dark but not too cold, it was a really nice end to a work day.  I definitely want to get down there more for my walks and runs!


Tuesday and today I did a quick 20 minute walk in my neighborhood, today with my dog.  She slows me down with wanting to sniff here and there and take care of her business too, but she's great company.  I'm actually just going to head out the door to take my stepson to his trampoline gym.  While he does that, I think I'll head back down to the bay and get another 20-30 in at a faster pace!


Hope everyone is having a great first week!!

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Saw a News Report Yesterday

Posted by Blake500 Feb 24, 2010

I saw a news report yesterday that a large order of fries at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries have almost 1500 calories.  Of course they give you a sack full but still, 1500 calories!  Add a burger and that's another 900 calories.  No wonder I'm so fat!


"5 Guys I'll miss you for the next 8 weeks!" 




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A 'Rocky' start

Posted by softballmom41 Feb 23, 2010

Well, I was so excited to get going Monday morning.  I actually did some pre- workouts last week and felt great!  Five days last week walking on the treadmill.  But.. my three year old was up sick all night Sunday into Monday and the same last night. Not what I was planning for. So, that had me wiped out for the day, along with piano, softball practice, dinner and so on.  So, I have to say yesterday didn't start out so well.  Today, I had softball practice, which I feel I got out and active. I'm the coach, so I try to get out and moving with the girls.  So far, my meals have been good and I am working on portion control as well.  I hope tomorrow will be a little better.

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Well Here We Go

Posted by Blake500 Feb 23, 2010

Well here we go.


I didn't do any "pre" workouts in the weeks leading up to yesterday, I decided to see if I could go completely from couch potato to running a 6K in 8 weeks.  Maybe a bad idea but it will give me a good idea of what I can accomplish in 8 weeks. (Or just how goofy I am for not ramping up).


Monday I started the running program that Jenny recommended.  I woke up at 5:00 and headed for the YMCA.  I've determined with 4 kids and a busy job, if I don't do this first thing it might not get done.  To my surprise there were lots of other people at the Y at 5:00 in the morning, who would have guessed.   I forgot my head phones so I put the little TV on the treadmill on subtitles and set the clock for 30 minutes.  I wanted to run for 20 minutes but knew I couldn't do that straight so I walked for 3 minutes and then ran for 5 minutes then walked for 3 minutes then ran again.  When I got finished I had run for 20 minutes total and walked for the other 10.  I covered right at 2 miles.


It's still cold in Tennessee so when the weather gets nicer I've found a couple of running trails through some neighborhoods close to my house, so I can start getting out more and breathing the fresh air.  I wonder if there is a way to watch TV like you do on the treadmill and still run outside?  This would be a good invention to work on.


I also bought some aerobic dvds for days I wake up late and can't make it to the gym or if it is raining outside.  Figured a good back up plan will keep me from skipping.


Today was my first cross training   day.  I'm trying the Body for Life system for the cross training and the diet.  Wouldn't you know on the first day of cross training I woke up late.  Luckily I had a back plan for this also.  I had bought two resistance bands a while back.  One is long and you can attach it to a door and do all kinds of  shoulder exercises, curls, presses, and flies.  The other band goes around your ankles and allows you hip flexor, leg curls, and extensions.  I did 10 exercises and it lasted for about 30 minutes.  Not the hardest workout, but a good first step.  I'm sore in several of my muscle groups right now.


Food wise I'm trying to eat 6 small meals a day containing a healthy protein, a "good"  carbohydrate and some veggies thrown in on a couple of the meals.  After a day and a half, I'm doing okay but I know the test will come this weekend.


I'll be running again tomorrow at 5 am.  I'll try 7 minutes running and 2 minutes of walking and see how I do.


I started at 253 lbs Monday morning and I'll blog on what my weight is next Monday.



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I have support

Posted by LettyPileski Feb 23, 2010

I love this! I managed to recruit three people to be Active with me, my friend Paulina, my husband Jody and my brother Daniel. Knowing that they are doing the activities with me makes me feel even more inspired. Last night my husband and I went for our 20 minute run together. It felt good. I fear that that will be an isolated incident as our schedules are so very different and we have a three year old son. None the less... I have support. Day one done Letty

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Day 2- done early!

Posted by walkinginthelight Feb 23, 2010

Got up this a.m. at 5:30 to get my training in. Kids were all sleeping, the house was quiet. I laced up my shoes and got on the treadmill. I stretched before I started, which I had forgotten to do last night, and ended up waking up at 2:30 in the morning with a really bad leg cramp! Don't know if it was related or not, but thought it a good idea to stretch well before I started walking this a.m. Did the 5 minute warm up, and then a 20 minute walking program on my treadmill that proved to be very (too?) challenging. In two minute segments, the treadmill changes both pace and incline for 20 minutes. So at one point, I was walking at a 4.0 pace, at a 8% incline (the max incline is 10). So it was like walking up a very steep hill, very very fast. It was the longest two minutes of my life! I was relieved when it then dropped to a 6% incline for the next two minutes. But then back up for another 2!  This hill segment might have been a little to early for me to try. I think I was higher than a "7" for my exertion rate. By 12 minutes, I was breathing very heavily with sweat pouring off my forehead. But I did it. And I feel like I can enjoy my day knowing that I've exercised.


I will be glad when the weather improves. I live near Chicago, and we got another 4 inches of snow on yesterday, and as I look out the window as I am typing this, it is snowing again. I am looking forward to being able to get outside and do my training.

569 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: walking, who_wants_to_get_active, whowantstogetactive

I was very excited to check my email this morning and find my first message with the "day 1" training program, instead of "today is a rest day". Hurrah! The training program finally begins!

So the plan is to walk for 20 minutes , staying at an exertion rate of 7. I think I can do that! Coach Jenny posted a video this week reminding us to  begin and end with a 5 minute warm up and cool down. OK, so that means I need to find 30 minutes somewhere in the day to do this. Would you believe it is 9:30 at night, and I just found the time to exercise? That was not a good thing.


But today was a busy Monday for me....get the kids to school, meet with the guidance counselor, meet with the accountant, pay some bills, go to the bank and the post office,  hit up the grocery store, take the little one to ballet,speak with the guitar instructor, return a few phone calls,  make dinner, clean up the dinner mess, help the kids with homework, do a couple of loads of laundry, blah blah blah. So everyone is finally settled in for the night, and the house is quiet. Now I have the time to work out. Problem .... I was already exhausted and ready for bed. But I put on my running shoes and my very unattractive lycra pants, and headed to the basement and got on the treadmill. I did it. I accomplished my first day of training.


What I learned about today: I need to make exercising a priority, and get it done as early in the day as possible. Exercising right before bed was not a good thing for me.

I nee to get a radio or ipod or some kind of music cranking to keep me motivated.

I need to drink water, but make sure not to over do it.  Right around 12 minutes, I had finished my water bottle and started to cramp up a little.

So tomorrow is another day, and another chance to improve upon my fitness strategies. But now.... a shower and off to bed. Tomorrow begins at 6 a.m.

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First "Official" Day...

Posted by CBPepperman Feb 22, 2010

So- here we go! Today is the first official day of training. I have been a walker for some time, off and on. I started to take it back up when I had Ray, but that really only lasted while I was on maternity leave- hence why I'm here. In November, I started walking again hoping to lose some of this 50 pounds. It didn't take me long to get back in the swing of things and I found myself taking longer and longer walks to get more of a workout, which in turn was taking more and more time away from my family. So, when I got to choose my training program, I chose to push myself and train to run, something I have been wanting to do. Boy was I in for a suprise tonight. I found that while I knew I wasn't in the best shape...I really think I'm in horrible shape. I finished my workout...however it was a little running and then some walking and so on. I know that with a little time I will be in better shape and can run for longer intervals...I just wish I was able to do it now! On the other hand, I watched my portions and drank all of my water today which has made me feel much better as I sit down and write this. So tomorrow I will concentrate on my cross training, my hydration and my portion control again- and try to not be so's not like I put this weight on overnight! Until tomorrow....Oh and if anyone has any tips out there for beginning runners please send them my way!!!

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Greetings teams!  This is it...Week one of the Who Wants to Get Active Program!  How did the grocery shopping expedition go over the weekend?  Stay tuned for some yummy recipes in the coming weeks and clever ways to sneak in all the nutrients you need daily.  Although it may be highly controversial, I recommend weighing yourself and taking measurements once per week.  Several research studies have found that the accountability that comes from identifying your starting point and keeping tabs on it along the way is an effective tool for losing weight and reducing bodyfat.  Please keep in mind though that not all weight is equal because muscle weighs more than fat.  That is why it is also key to take measurements (upper arm, chest, waist, thigh and calf) as the more active lean muscle you develop, the more inches you'll lose.  Muscle may weigh more on the scale, however it is a lot more dense and takes up less space.  It is best to go with the same time and day every week for consistency as our weight can vary by several pounds during the day.   Keep a notepad handy and make notes on your progress.  Although it may be scary at first to weigh and measure in, the motivation that comes from seeing the numbers decline will keep you energized to reaching your goals.  Remember to keep things in persepctive as it won't help to obsess about the weight on the scale daily.   Just like your finances, it will help to first identify where you are and evaluate as you go.  The idea is to stay flexible rather than fixate on a magic number and check in only once per week.


While we're on the subject of getting started, remember to invest in a proper warm up and cool down while you workout.  Whether you are walking, run-walking, running or cross-training, warming up will gradually increase your respiration, heart rate and circulation to the working muscles.  Warming up means taking 5 minutes and starting with an easy effort level (walking) and progressing slowly to a brisk pace.  It is similar to merging onto the expressway with your car.  Doing so will allow your body and mind time to adapt efficiently to the more demanding workout ahead.  Skipping a warm-up can shock your body and elevate your heart rate and breathing.  It leads to an uncomfortably high effort level for the workout session and can lead to aches and pains along the way as well.  Cooling down is the exact opposite of the warm up.  Start with a brisk walk or easy jog and gradually reduce the speed until your heart rate and breathing are back to a normal, resting state.  Cooling down properly avoids the risk of stopping arbuptly including blood pooling in the working muscles and dizziness.  When you bookend your workout with five minutes of transition time, it makes for a more pleasant and efficient workout.


Happy Trails,


Coach Jenny


Twitter (coachjenny) and Facebook

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Today is the day

Posted by Shana99 Feb 22, 2010

Yeap, it is today.  My new shoes will hit the pavement.  A good pair of fitted shoes have to be a runners best friend.  I bought a regular pair of Nike shoes and they were killing my feet.  I went to a speciality store and found out they weren't running shoes?!?!  This is my second pair of good shoes that have been properly fitted to my feet. Every night my feet thank me.   I'm so excited about this new training program.  When I was training before, my workouts always consisted of running.  I fell in love with running and hurt my in the process.  So now that I will be able to cross train; I'm hoping to save my knee.  Goal this week is to get moving and drink a lot more water.  I'm making a yummy taco soup recipe.  It is so yummy and when you omit the sour cream and cheese; it is really healthy.  I love low fat recipes, so I'll post some of my favorites.  (I'm guessing everyone has a taco soup recipe)

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Learn from each day

Posted by Nancy Clark RD CSSD Feb 21, 2010

When you are making dietary changes, you want to be sure to learn from each day and figure out:


What went right?

What went wrong?

How could I have eaten better or differently?

What will I do the next time?


For example, instead of eating cookies every afternoon, try eating a bigger breakfast and lunch. You'll observe that you won't crave cookies if you eat a bigger breakfast and lunch. By frontloading calories, you'll have more energy to exercise, will improve the quality of your food choices--and will be more likley to lose weight.


Enjoy that French Toast!!



673 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: weight, calories, energy, cravings

Walked a 5K this past weekend

Posted by mekani Feb 18, 2010

So, I signed up for a women only 5K this past Saturday.  It was billed as run/walk, you could do either or both.  I decided I would racewalk it just so I could get an idea of where I am for the 6K up in Los Angeles in April.  I did it in 42:53, 13.50/M!  Not too bad.  I have to admit it really made me feel good to pass the run/walkers and I even passed a couple of joggers. It was really fun passing the ones that were much younger than me!  Yeah, I said it. All in all, it was a really fun event and made me pretty confident for training to start on Monday the 22nd and get ready for the 6K walk in April.


Then.  I got up the next day.


So, when people tell you to stretch before and after working out, they're not kidding.  Especially when you're doing a pace or length you're not used to.  O.  M.  G.  I was SO sore.  I even went to the gym with my husband and couldn't manage a sloooow walk on the treadmill.  I stretched for the entire hour.  It was brutal.  Please.  I beg of you.  Stretch.  Warm up.  Your muscles will thank you.


I did realize if I can walk that pace for 5K, there's no reason I can't slowly jog that far.  I decided to try it out this week. I woke up early and attempted to jog a two mile stretch in my neighborhood, fully expecting to have to walk about 1/2 mile in.  Not at all!  I jogged 95% of it.  I took a short break coming up a hill on the way back and a short piece at the end.  I was pretty pleased with myself.  It was slooow but it was farther than I've jogged/run without stopping in a long time.  Yes, I stretched when I got home.  And I'm only a little sore today.  Going back out tomorrow to see if I cam improve my time/endurance.  


Keep going!  And stretch!

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Greetings WWTGA Teams!  I'm back from the Caribbean and ready to rumble.  I've enjoyed reading your blog posts and getting to know you.  Thank you for presenting yourself to the world and telling your stories.  I believe the very first step in making change is identifying where you are.  Blogging about it somehow makes it more real.  So, here we go!


Just a few tips before we get officially started next week.  Gwen, I admire you in many ways.  Being in the service industry is a challenging career and one that requires constant output (giving).  This is the perfect time to learn to set aside some you time and give back to the one who gives so much to so many (that would be you).  Scheduling your workouts for 7pm before you go to work is a great idea and like brushing your teeth will soon become a regular part of your day.  Just 30 minutes a day will make a significant difference in reaching your goals to Get Active and Run It Off! As you have written, the healthier you are, the better role model you are for your kids, your husband and your co-workers.


Remember Rome wasn't built in a day and changing habits happens over time.  But stocking up with healthy food choices so you have access when you need them is a great way to get this party started.  It never fails, whether I'm home or on the road traveling, if I plan ahead and have healthy food choices, I eat them.  If I don't, I end up struggling to find foods that aren't on the Super-sizing list.  If you haven't done so already, plan a trip to the grocery store in the next few days and consider the following tips on your journey through the maze of options.


  • Make a list and check it twice.  It takes a few minutes up front, but pays off in dividends in the end and really reduces the stress levels.  Look through websites and magazines for healthy recipes.  Some of my favorite resources are Cooking Light and Eating Well.  Research has shown that eating at home is a solid strategy for managing the portion size and quality of the food you eat.  Find a few easy to make 30-minute recipes for the week and you're set.  You'll feel good preparing them and even better after you eat them.
  • Eat before you shop.  If you shop when you're hungry, your cart will soon be filled with food choices that may not be on the healthy list. 
  • Variety is the spice for life.  We tend to eat the same foods (and wear the same clothes) but the key to eating a balanced nutritional diet is to go with seasonal foods and mix it up.  You don't have to reinvent the wheel, however mixing up veggies and grains in yoru dinners or salad ingredients for lunch will earn you major nutrient points!
  • Invest your time in the produce section of the store and buy a variety of colorful fruits and veggies.  These foods have the least amount of preservatives and chemicals and they are the best for you.  Frozen fruits and veggies are a good alternative this time of year (winter) and will keep longer during the week.
  • Look for the least processed foods with the least amount of ingredients.  If you can't pronounce the ingredient, it isn't natural.  For example, brown rice has three times the fiber than white rice and is an easy change with lots of healthy perks.  Breads with 100% whole wheat are more nutritional than the processed alternatives.  Consider weaving other healthy grains into recipes like quinoa, bulgur and barley. 
  • We all know a good way to lose fat is to lose fat in our diets.  A good way to do so is to go with lean cuts of meat, poultry, and fish.  Ask your butcher for the leanest cuts and tell them about your challenge.  They will be a useful resource when developing your new menu.  Stick with healthy options like avacados, nuts, olive, sunflower and safflower oil (mono and polyunsaturated fats are good). 
  • Shop the perimeter of the store where the freshest foods are found.  You'll be less likely to invest in those trigger foods and more likely to graze on more natural food selections.
  • I know we're all budget-conscious these days.  Click here to learn about ten healthy foods for under a $1. 


Happy shopping...


Coach Jenny


Join me on Twitter (Coachjenny) &  Facebook

744 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: healthy, shopping, grocery

Hi All,


Nancy Clark here. I specialize in nutrition for exercise and weight management. I'm here to help you reach your goals.


One key to success is to remember that food is fuel, and not "the fattening enemy". You want to fuel by day, and then, if you want to lose undesired body fat, eat a little bit less at night. This contrasts with the standard practice of dieting by day and then "blowing it" at night because you have gotten too hungry.


Because there is no one diet that fits everyone, I highly recommend you get personalized advice by meeting with a sports dietitian, You can use the website to find a local expert. This person will help you create a sustainable food plan that you are willing to maintain for the rest of your life.





615 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: weight, sprots_nutrition

Overcoming excuses

Posted by ICURNpope Feb 13, 2010

I'm so looking forward for official training to begin! I've added workout times in my schedule and added the Lose It application to my IPhone to log food and activity. I've got a treadmill that has been dusted of cobwebs and a great Core Secrets exercise video by Gunner Peterson for my cross training days. I'm so sick of this soft middle tire that has developed! What other excuses do I have that could stop me now!!! I'm going to rock this thing!!!   Well, I do have other excuses and I still need to tackle them so my journey to a healthy life has no forks in the road. I've just started working the graveyard shift 4 nights a week (Sat-Tue)  as an intensive homecare nurse and have just started homeschooling my youngest son. Food is a way for me to cope with how I feel and when I feel tired, emotional, ect. and my resolve to make healthy food choices or to get motivated to exercise is seriously jeapordized. But since I'm a nurse, a healthy lifestyle is so important to me and is a value I want to instill into my family. I was talking to my husband last night. He is so wonderful and supportive!! I would not be the person I am without him and God in my life. We discussed how I need to structure my days backward. Just like most people work work full days and have to come home, make dinner, and help the kids with homework, I too will need to follow this schedule except the time of day will be different. I will set aside my work out time when I wake 7pm, shower and go to work. When I get home, I'll have a good meal, and start my son's homeschool day. By 1pm I'll say good night and let him work independently (he's 10), until Dad comes home.


Crazy as this seems, I'll make this work and overcome all the excuses!! Thanks for all the other"Who Wants to Get Active" team members and trainers who will provide me the additional motivation  and direction I need to succeed!

703 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: who_wants_to_get_active

Hi Everyone!

I am Farel Hruska and I have been a coach in previous "Bye, Bye Baby Weight" Teams. I am thrilled to be a motivator for this 2010 team, as well. I get that making change is hard, if it was easy everyone would be doing it! However, commiting to this process could be the step you all need. Stay positive and focused. You will make amazing changes and break-throughs!



Farel Hruska

Stroller Strides National Fitness Director & Mom of 3 girls



876 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: weight, fitness, active, baby, health, strength, mom, moms, whowantstogetactive

Cool Tools!

Posted by walkinginthelight Feb 9, 2010

OK, so I know we don't officially start training until 2/22, but I've been poking around with the site trying to learn my way around. I've  been reading my "walk it off " team mates blogs,  and was pleased to learn everything is working, and I am able to leave comments for everyone! I've even requested them as 'friends", I just have to figure out what that means exactly.

Today I used the "tools" on the training page, and was able to figure out my body mass and percentage of body fat. That was an eye opener! Hopefully those numbers will be going down. Way down. Soon.   Uh, real soon!  I also learned how to review the training pages, record my distance and pace, and make sure I'm staying hydrated.  I'm really impressed with these neat features!  Hopefully, this will be an efficient way to keep track of my training, and a great way to watch my progress. Getting really excited!

650 Views 1 Comments Permalink

Task Oriented

Posted by mekani Feb 8, 2010

I've been doing SO much more just knowing it was a task to be done and that I need to be accountable here!   I walked 6K on a treadmill and did it in 1:05 so I know I can improve upon that with the next couple of months to train before the 6K in Los Angeles on April 18.  I took a late lunch on Friday and walked 3.11 miles in just under an hour (love my iTouch and Nike+ shoes!) and took an hour long walk with my husband and dog on Saturday.


One issue I have is I don't prioritize my exercise.  Anything and everything trumps it.  I am so fortunate in that I work for a company that has a gym, be it small or large in almost every single building they have.  AND they offer FREE fitness classes.   Why don't I take advantage of them more?  Oh, I was going to go to the yoga/pilates class, but I just want to get a little bit farther along in work.   Oh, I can't go today, because then I'll have to shower and start all over because I have a meeting later in the day, blah, blah, blah.  I can rationalize anything.   Not today!  I was having a particularly frustrating morning with work.  Colleagues not pulling their weight, huge workload, supervisor giving extra projects on top of everything else.  Ugh.  Normally that's my queue to (a) work like a maniac, not take a break until I feel like I can breathe again and (b) eat something really unhealthy (pasta with cream sauce anyone??).  Nope, not today.  I felt myself getting tenser and getting in a really bad mood and I just said forget it.  I put on my workout clothes and went to the yoga/pilates class for the first time.  I liked it and I was in a much better mood when I left.  Since I was in a better mood, I didn't feel the need to "self-medicate" with junk food.  Instead I grabbed a yogurt from Jamba Juice.  Now, was that so hard?  The work was still there when I got back and I tackled it all with time to spare.


It's overcoming these bad habits one day at a time that will make a real difference.  Tomorrow is a walking day but hey, Wednesday there's a "Cardio Challenge" class to check out...!

612 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: who_wants_to_get_active

The start of something new is always filled with excitement. Your first day of school, first car and let's not forget that first date. But that is a very different blog. The good news is you can harness the power of that excitement and use it to ease into your training program to create healthy new habits in your lifestyle. The key is to start that first walk, run or run-walk at an effort level (pace) where at the end of the session, you could go a little farther and still feel strong. Less is more. That is a mantra I will repeat over and over again. Going at the right effort level (pace) has a domino effect in leading to maintaining the excitement to the second session, and third, and so on. I realize the title of this program has an "It Off" theme, but in order to keep "It Off," you've got to first create the healthy habits you can maintain for a lifetime.


Weight loss for a lifetime happens when you balance your "In vs. Out Inventory". That is, balancing what goes in your body with how many calories you expend each day. Although there is a population of people that struggle with metabolic disorders, the vast majority of us mortals can lose weight and keep it off by making a few lifestyle changes and sticking with them. Think small, and begin to remove your trigger foods from sight. If you can see it, you can eat it. If you lose control when you're around chocolate, now is the time to remove it from easy access.


Your homework for the week focuses on creating an In Vs. Out Inventory


  1. Keep a log of the foods you eat on a daily basis for the next three weeks. There are a number of free online logs like where you can track your calories in and review the breakdown of fat, protein and carbohydrates. It's a little like being in debt financially and taking a long, hard look into your finances to begin to pay off the debt. The only way to truly make a plan of action is to take an honest look at what you're taking in. In many cases, this results in tweaking portions of salad dressing, sugary drinks and other calorically high, nutritionally low foods.
  2. The most effective way to reduce your caloric debt (weight), is to burn about 250-300 calories per day in exercise and reduce your caloric intake (food) by 250-300 calories per day. That way, the combined total of 500-600 calories contributes to paying off your total caloric debt resulting in weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week. Keep track of your calories in and your activity every day. This is a fantastic way to get a jump start on your program and stay motivated to get out of debt!
  3. Replace two trigger foods this week with two healthy alternatives. For example, replacing chips and dip with hummus and pita chips or veggies like carrots. Set a goal to replace 1-2 trigger foods every week with healthier choices.


Happy Trails, Coach Jenny

702 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, fitness, nutrition, who_wants_to_get_active, jenny_hadfield

Loving life

Posted by ilived Feb 6, 2010

Hello everyone.  My name is Jason and I am a 36 year old father of three who has been in a bit of "fat" denial.  I have never been this weight before and it took me some time just to actually "see" just how big I had gotten.  Then when I was looking at some pics from a year ago, I started to realize I did not like what I saw.  I had an auto vs. construction accident 7 yrs ago in which I lost 75 lbs in three weeks while I was in a coma.  Umm... not wanting to go that route again.  I had to re-learn how to do everything like walk, talk and even how to swallow water.  The doctors said I needed to gain some weight back.  I went way to far and gained over 100 lbs back.  I tried to put it off on the Traumatic Brain Injury I had acquired. That excuse only goes so far.


Now I have made a miraculous recovery and I am trying to go back to work full time, lose 55 lbs and get off disability.  I have made it through some pretty challenging circumstances but losing this weight takes the cake.  I wish all of the others in this journey with me, "Good Luck!"  I hope everyone has a great day!



640 Views 2 Comments Permalink

Danny Two Step

Posted by Joejoggerblogger Feb 6, 2010

Hello anyone, Well, this is my first blog for and the "who wants to get active" program. I stumbled across a few years ago after I had done still yet another one of those short stints in the gym and I had never returned back to the site until now. I was looking for race results; runners times actually.


At the time, my 10 year younger and soon to be ex-wife was coming home from her own gym every day gushing about how all the boys would approach her there asking her if she was a personal trainer and "how did she get her abs looking so nice?" Now, I felt it just had a lot to do with the fact that they were guys and she didn't really wear very much clothing at the gym, but I saw the writing on the wall nonetheless and I soon thereafter got my walking papers. One day shortly there after, I was at the gym, strapped into one of those machines with a striking similarity to the ones on death row, and brooding, when I suddenly got an inspiration. What the heck I thought? Why don't I use that same technic that my wife enjoyed so much on some one else myself and see if it works for me, I mean turn around's fair play and all. There was a very attractive Italian looking gal, no rings on the left hand, several years older than myself, but in incredible shape. She predominately indulged her time on cardio, spending long hours on the tread mill and stair master, just pouring her self into her work outs. Her feet methodically pounded out a steady beat and she sported a figure that corroborated her efforts. On this particular day she had just completed many fast miles on a vertical track and when she finally stepped down off the treadmill, she headed over to the drinking fountain, wiping the sweat from her eyes with her towel. I'm not the type of guy who makes the first move normally, but considering current events, I hastily decided it was now or never, sucked in my gut, and headed in the direction of the fountain. I crept up right behind her, silently praying that no one else was going to get thirsty in the next few seconds, and blurted out "excuse me, I've been meaning to ask you, are you a personal trainer"? Maria graced me with a beautiful smile that made me wobble just a bit. She informed me that no, she wasn't a trainer, she was just a runner. A dedicated runner of races. Well, I put my hand on the corner of the fountain to steady myself a little and like it was all predetermined, Maria and I fell into an easy, contented banter. It was one of those rare occurrences where even though you know that you just met the person, it still seems like you've known them for a long time anyway and it's all good between you. We shared small talk, sharing those important first discoveries and after a while Maria sweetly apologized and said she was sorry but she had to go, but if I wanted to, I could call her later to continue our conversation. "If I wanted to?" Maria gave me her phone number and I left the gym that day a very happy man with nothing but sweet ruminations in my head and a precious little piece of paper in the front pocket of my sweat pants.


A few days later, I, with only my dog, had suddenly been forced out of my home. I lost my family, all my stuff, my son and my gym membership that week because it was in her name and somehow, I had lost those sweat pants with that precious little piece of paper in the front pocket too. I had no way of getting a hold of my Maria, and to make matters worse, I couldn't remember her last name. Here in Grand Rapids, MI we have one of the biggest races in the land, The Old Kent Riverbank Run and folks come from all over the world to compete in that foot race. I knew Maria would be competing too and I was confident that she would have placed near the top in her age bracket. I went on line and found a web site, that listed race results for the race and I prayed that I could find I lady named Maria in those listings. I searched every race, and most of the age groups, but I never did find Maria's name or ever talk to her again.


That unsuccessful effort however, has brought me to where I sit today. Ready to rev up, become a runner myself with the help and guidance of and coach Jenny Hadfield. I received an email from soliciting participants for "Who wants to get active?" I sent in an application and some of my writing and now here we are. I have no idea how the program works or what the measurements will be. I don't have a clue how they plan to help me get to where I need to be. I know that I'll be blogging at least once a week and that I have no inkling at all what I'm going to write about. I Know that I have no idea if you'll care to check in from time to time to hear what I've got to say but I'm expected to motivate you in your own efforts. I don't know how much I'm supposed to blog and all that I know about WWTGA is that I'll be on a team, (so that means it's some sort of competiton), and 2 months from now, God willing, I'll be running the Dow Live Earth Run for Water event. That is pretty much all I know as of tonight... I do like to spin a yarn and I've got a feeling that what is going to transpire in the coming weeks, just might be interesting enough for you to stop back from time to time. Who knows, maybe, you'll even get to thinking about lacing up your own shoes too and joining me if it starts to look like I've a got a prayers chance of completing this thing. I purposely have not done any conditioning yet so some of you may be way ahead of me. Then again, maybe we can not know what to do together. Oh, and Maria, if your out there, please accept my apologies and feel free to contact me if your still so inclined!  




668 Views 1 Comments Permalink

Hello Everyone!

Posted by CBPepperman Feb 5, 2010

First, an introduction. My name is Corrie, I'm a 32 year old wife, mother and full, full time business manager. I have a wonderful husband, Jason, and the most precious little girl, Augusta Ray, who will be 18 months old on Sunday. My story is a lot like the others. I'm here to get healthy! I'm here to lose weight! Most importantly, I'm here to be a role model and someone my daughter will want to look up to when it comes to fulfilling goals and living a healthy, active lifestyle. I used to be pretty active during college and after- in fact, I was a pretty healthy person till I got married. Then we moved to the beach where you would think exercise would be the first thing on the list and it moved to the last. I'm not sure what it was exactly that changed- the move, getting married, starting a new job? It could have been any of these things or a little of all of them. Either way 50 pounds found their way to me- and it's been hard to get them off! I was lucky, I didn't gain a lot of weight with my pregnancy, only 14 pounds, the weight found me before I got pregnant! I have lost those 14 pounds, plus an additional 26 since I've had Ray. She's made me want to get active to show her how much fun it can be. My goal this year is to run a 5K and to lose 50 additional pounds. I feel I will be safely within my "ideal weight" if I can do that. I'm ready to get myself back and become the BEST role model I can be!


I feel so lucky to have been chosen to be a part of the Who Wants to get Active Campaign and the "Bye, Bye Baby Weight" Team. I really feel this is going to be what I need to fulfill my goals. With the support of Jenny and our Team, I feel we can accomplish anything! Here's to a great start!


557 Views 1 Comments Permalink

An Introduction...

Posted by taylorsmom2010 Feb 5, 2010

Hello My name is Kate and I want my skinny jeans back!!


First off, GO team BYE BYE Baby Weight!


SO, how did I get here & what do I hope to get out of this? Well, when I was pregnant with my son, I day-dreamed about running across the finish line of a marathon while my husband & this little baby cheered me on! I just thought that would be such an amazing experience & it would get me be back into my jeans just in time for summer!! It really would be that easy....


Well, fast forward almost 14 months - Taylor is no longer a little baby & this year has literally FLOWN by! I am finally coming out of what I call the "baby haze" and realized I STILL have muffin top! I've come a LONG way towards my goal - but boy! Being a mom, a wife & running a company sure does take up a lot of time & ENERGY!!!


Throughout the year I have tried several diets and made great progress BUT recently I have gained some weight back! Ugh! I'm done with dieting. I want to live a healthy LIFESTYLE. I miss feeling good. At the moment I just feel tired. I have to get going again! SO, I've made up my mind - NOW is the time to do something for ME! I want ME back.  No excuses - its now or never! I will be running this race in April with the ultimate goal of running the San Diego marthon in June.


Joining the challenge has gotten this mom one step closer to fulfilling her dream (and 2010 bikini season)! Along my journey, I hope to give other busy moms encouragement and maybe a few laughs along the way:) I know diet will be a HUGE part of this - so I'll let you know what I'm eating & how I'm doing with that along the way too!


I turned 30 this year & I hope this decade will be the BEST so far! Check back to see my progress...See you at the finish line!


PS Any other SoCal moms on the team?


2/5/2010 148 lbs.

611 Views 2 Comments Permalink

What's that smell?

Posted by walkinginthelight Feb 5, 2010

OK, so I am really excited to start training with Jenny and getting ready for the 6K in Chicago!! I started exercising already, and feel pretty good! I am taking a Zumba dance class once a week, and it is a BLAST!  For those of you who don't know what that is, it is a dance class to Latin music, that combines lots of Latin dance steps, but also aerobic moves and what I would call "belly dancing moves" (Sorry, can't go further with that one....) but lets just say its an "all women" class for a reason.  Lots of hip movements, etc. Its a 45 minute class, and about 10  minutes in, I am sweating profusely, and needing to drink water and wipe my face with a towel. Its a GREAT class!


This past week however,  I noticed something. Someone around me smelled. Really smelled. Really bad!. Yuk, where was that coming from? I mean really, seriously now. Then I realized, oh my gosh.... IT WAS ME!!

OK, I had put my deodorant on  that morning about 6:30 a.m. It was only 10 a.m., surely it couldn't be me?? My deodorant said "24 HOUR PROTECTION", but apparently, it wasn't 24 hours IN A ROW! So needless to say, I am off to buy a descent brand of deodorant!! The buy one get one free wasn't such a hot deal after all. If anyone can suggest a great antiperspirant / deodorant that really lives up to its promises, please let me know!

535 Views 2 Comments Permalink

Intro to me

Posted by epeaslee Feb 5, 2010

Hello All,

Firstly... Go Team "Bye Bye Baby Weight"!


So I am Elizabeth. I am 25 years old living in Canton GA (40 minutes North of Atlanta).  I am a first time mommy of a beautiful three-month-old girl. I am 5'5 and currently weigh 165 pounds and am a size 12. My pre-pregnancy weight was 125 pounds and I was a size 4/6.


My motivation for taking on this challenge is typical. I want my pre baby body back. Oh so badly. Equally important is that I want to provide a good example to my daughter. I want the two of us to enjoy many outdoor activities together specifically hiking and camping.


Right now, I am feeling simultaneously excited and scared. I think this is going to be great because I am going to be accountable to all of you, which provides me with a lot of motivation. I am scared because everyone hates failure particularly if it is in public.


Fitness wise before I got pregnant I was in the best shape of my life. I never worked out as a child and was rather chunky. I slimmed down in high school through no effort of my own just had a growth spurt. Then I gained a lot my second year of college. After that, I was fed up. I started watching what I ate and went from 180 to 160.  Then I started working out with a personal trainer for 12 weeks and went from 160 to 140. Once I knew how to workout I continued doing that on my own and got down to 125. The week I got pregnant was the first time I ever had the confidence to wear a bikini in public. I would like to mention that I was not a runner I was a hiker. Put me on a slow incline I will muster. Ask me to run it gets sweaty and ugly. Nevertheless, I am up for a challenge and running is the best way to lose weight quick!

634 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: mom, beginning_runner

It is on!!  Yes, I'm talking to you.  My last 10 pounds.  You have taken up residence on my thighs and stomach.  On Feb. 15th, you my last 10 pounds, will get the eviction notice.  In 2006, I lost 35 pounds on Weight Watchers!!  I bought a new wardrobe and looked better than I ever had.  I guess it was the new look that got me pregnant.  Unfortunately, was on bed rest for at least half the pregnancy.  I ate really healthy and didn't gain much weight.  After my little boy was born I only had 10 pounds to lose to get to my previous weight.  However, my baby was born 6 weeks early and after he was able to come home from the hospital I was unable to get out--he was on oxygen and a heart monitor for 6 weeks.  I turned to my kitchen.  I made cakes, cookies, creamy soup and lots of other goodies.  I gained about 20 pounds.  Once Mason and I were able to leave the house and I met some great mommy friends.  I started having lunch dates, that added another 15 pounds.  Last April, I decided it was time to get moving.  I started running in my neighborhood and eating really healthy.  I lost 30 pounds.  November rolled around and with the holidays, I slowed down and fell off the wagon.  I have 10 pounds to lose to reach my goal weight and I'm going to do it on 'Who Wants to Get Active? 2010'.  I've never blogged before, so excuse all my mistakes. I'm excited to get to know everyone!!  Lets all achieve our goals!!   

651 Views 1 Comments Permalink

Chasing a Dream

Posted by mattscot Feb 4, 2010

I recently saw a bumper sticker proclaiming that "running is cheaper than therapy." And therapy is something I could really use these days. This past year has been a roller coaster of ups and downs as I experience some major life changes.


In April of last year, I lost my dream job. Every little boy dreams of playing professional sports. My dream job was a little more unconventional. It still involved professional sports. But I had the privilege for three years to fulfill my dream and portray the team mascot. . When I would tell people what I did for a living, one of their first comments  was usually, "You must lose a lot of weight with all that sweating." In the course of a game I would typically lose about 6-8 pounds, but it was all water weight. And it didn't take long for me to gain the weight back. I would often join my coworkers at the bar for a post-game celebration, or as was usually the case with my team, we would drown our disappointments in another frustrating loss and stare into the bottom of our frosty mugs.  With that said, it was a great job and I had a lot of really great times because of it. But professional mascot jobs are few and far between. So I've been applying for jobs trying to transition into a more conventional career path in marketing. But there aren't a lot of companies out there that want to hire a guy who used to dress up in a furry costume and make a fool of himself to get people's attention for a living. So now that that dream job is over, I'll continue searching for a new job opportunity and meanwhile I've come up with a new dream that isn't necessarily career-minded.


And I'm going to fulfill this new dream with the support of my new bride. I got married to my incredible wife, Kristen, back in July. Marriage has been a wonderful experience thus far and she is an awesome support system for me. Back in December, we were overjoyed to learn that Kristen was pregnant. We had a great time over the holidays telling our closest family and friends about our news. As I began to think about my future as a father, I knew that I wanted to be an example for my child and not follow the "Do as I say, not as I do" philosophy. So I began to think about my fitness level. And visiting my sister was a "big" (pun intended) clue that something needed to change. As I stood next to my pregnant sister ( who is due in March) I noticed that my belly was farther along than her pregnant one.


While we were visiting my family, I came across an article that promoted a website where I could take an in-depth questionnaire to find out my life expectancy based on my current lifestyle. I took the quiz and found out that at the age of 30 (soon to be 31) I should be in the midst of a mid-life crisis. I thought I had another decade before that happened, but this quiz told me that I would live to the age of 66.3, if I continued to keep up this lifestyle.  Ultimately, this led me to decide that a drastic change was needed. So I came up with this new dream.


That dream is to one day complete an ultramarathon. I realize that this might seem to be a lofty goal for a fat guy. But I don't do things on a small scale (see my belly for that proof!). When I say ultramarathon, I'm not talking in terms of Forrest Gump-like distances, but with my track record, that isn't something that is out of the question. As a kid, I was a scrawny little punk that could run up and down the soccer field all day. But a knee injury as a pre-teen slowed me down to the point where I would rather lounge in front of the TV then get out and run around with friends. So now that I've come to the realization that that wasn't the best decision, I chose running to get back into shape. I made this decision because I really enjoyed the freedom of running, I experienced as a kid.


Shortly into the new year, I ran into my first hurdle. Just as Kristen and I were planning for our new arrival, we experienced a miscarriage. After this unfortunate event, it was hard to think about running at all. But as time has passed, and with the idea that running is cheap therapy, I realized that chasing my dream and going for a run is much better than lounging on the couch and constantly asking "Why?". Besides, as slow as I am, it gives me a lot of time to think.


By being a part of this training program, it is my hope that I gain the knowledge and the necessary tools to help me as I begin the pursuit of my ultimate dream to complete an ultramarathon.

796 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, fitness, soccer, endurance, ultra-marathon, therapy, dream, beginning_runner

Who wants to get active??  I DO!  Well, here I go! I was so excited to be chosen to participate in this great opportunity. Luckily, I stumbled across this from looking into coaching tips on the active website.  I applied, and next thing you know I'm blogging for the first time!      I am 37 years old and live in southern California.  I have three beautiful daughters and a great husband! I am so blessed to be able to stay home and raise my girl's. They are involved in softball, dance, piano, church and school activities. I don't know how I keep up sometimes.  I have realized that I have lost myself and the things that I like to do to keep myself fit.      It's time for mom to get healthy!  It's time for mom to start feeling good about 'mom'.  When I do this, everyone benefits. I know that this program will give me the kick start that I need to be on my way to success!  I was very athletic growing up, and never had weight issues.  I was the thin one!  I love sports and especially softball! Well, as I got older, had kids, and neglected exercise, things didn't look or feel so good anymore. Sure, I've gone on diets and lost weight, but I now realize I need to make it a lifestyle change. Also, when reality hits, it's a little scary!  My father is on his third cancer, has had numerous strokes, diabetes, and most recently open-heart surgery. I need to make changes now! I want to be around for a long time. I want to see my girl's grow up to marry and have children of their own. I want to run and play without the aches and pains.  I love being active and am excited to start this journey. I would love to lose about 65 pounds by the end of the year. But, as for this eight week plan, I want to challenge myself and work hard to achieve a realistic, attainable goal. I look forward to team support, advice, and encouragement along the way!       We can do this!  Let's Rock 'n' Roll!

578 Views 2 Comments Permalink

Hi Everyone, It's great to see you all so excited about the program and I am looking forward to getting started. I just wanted to let you know that I am currently on a marathon cruise with limited access to internet, so I will start answering your questions when I return on Feb 14th.

585 Views 0 Comments Permalink

A Matter of Perspective

Posted by ICURNpope Feb 4, 2010

     I woke up this morning thinking it was a good day start my introduction blog for the upcoming training and race that I've entered. Last summer I entered a 5K race and trained using's Couch to 5K program. I had never run before. In fact, I downright hated the idea of running. Speed walking I was fine with but running? But this little voice in my head (I don't normally hear voices just to clarify things!) said you need to run. And I was able to run the entire race! Although most would've called it a slow jog, I was thrilled that I had completed my goal!!!

     Then fall and winter came around and my running went by the wayside, cobwebs on my treadmill and extra weight appeared around my middle section.

     January arrived and I was determined to get back in shape when I saw's challenge to train for a 6K! I was pleased to be selected as a participant for this event, though have never blogged before. It can't be too difficult right? It's just allowing the rest of the world to see your victories and failures, right?  Humbling.

     Well, I'll start by writing my goals for doing this. I just finished nursing school and see many overweight nurses with related health problems of high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. I thought isn't it hypocritical to be a nurse who encourages others to exercise and eat well when they themselves don't live by their own advice?  But nursing is a stressful job and many people deal with stress through food. I'm not obese but borderline overweight. I can see myself easily succumbing to the desires of the chocolate brownie or my favorite afternoon snack of butter round crackers with a chunk of cheddar cheese. Soon that adds up and Wah Lah! I've gained 10 more lbs!

     Another reason for me to pursue a fit lifestyle is for my two boys. They are skin and bones now but fail to be active due to the lure of video games and television. I haven't been a great role model for them and want to instill these good values before the video games completely suck them into cyber world. These are important goals for me but I think the most important reason for me to do this is for myself. I love how happy I feel when I'm training. I struggle at times with depression, but while training I found the motivation to eat well and be more active with my boys. I had a more positive outlook and I loved the person I was becoming. So for me, this training event is more than just reaching a goal or getting fit. It's about changing my perspective of life, love and happiness. (Okay, this last bit sounds corny but there you go. That's who I am!)

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When I found out I had been selected  to be on one of the  "WHO WANTS TO GET ACTIVE"  teams,  I could hardly contain my excitement!  The first thing I did, after I stopped screaming " WOO HOO ! I GOT PICKED! I GOT PICKED!" was  to log  on to my  Facebook  page and share the news with friends!  I posted  it as my "status" that I was going to train for and participate in my first race, with the help of Coach Jenny and the team at  My excitement was just bubbling over! and I wanted everyone to know!

"OK , you can calm down now Mom" was the reaction from my two oldest kids (ages 14 and 13) . If you have kids that age, you know exactly what I'm talking about.  Yes, they were happy for me, but thought I was behaving as a borderline lunatic with my over-abundance of jubilee, while simultaneously  becoming quite the embarrassment.  Several supportive facebook  friends posted  back that they were happy for me, and wished me the best of  luck.


WOW!  OK. I  GOT PICKED! What do I do now?

Provide the headshot, check. Ok, about the headshot. This was taken by my 5 year old. She took several pictures of  me,  and this was the best one. Yes,  I realize that I am slightly off center, but at least my head wasn't chopped off in this one.


Next, the bio. Well,  I'm a 43 year old married mom with three kids, one in high school, one in middle school, one in grade school. My kids are very active with sports, and over the years,  I've been a really good sideline cheerleader.  Now its my turn.   My personal goals?  My 2010 plan was to  get in shape, lose weight,  to run a 5k at some point during the year. Getting selected for one of the Active Teams was the final motivation that I needed.  I'm looking forward to reading  Jenny's training plan and getting  started.


Finally, write the into log. Done,  thats what this is! Not sure what I was supposed to write about, so hopefully this covered it! Now, I've got 8 weeks to prepare for the Run for Water race in Chicago. Check back often to see how I'm doing. Any words of encouragement or advice would be most appreciated!



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On April 15th 2009 I weighed almost 200 pounds, 196 to be exact. Determined to get back to a healthy weight and get back to being fit, I worked hard with a trainer to loose 30 pounds. I went to the gym three to five times a week and calculated all the foods I ate EVERYDAY. It was hard work but it did pay off.


I no longer work with a personal trainer but in two months, October and November, I did loose another 10 pounds on my own. Working without someone to guide me has been challenging. I lack the skills a professional has to offer. I also have to sadly admit that I gained 14 pounds over the Holidays


Still 25 pounds away from my goal I now need a little spark to be re-energized and I definitely need professionals. After ten months of hard work, my routine is exactly that, a routine. Training has become stale or non-existent. For the past two months, I have found myself discouraged to get to the gym as the gym I go to is over-crowded and the classes I like taking are usually full.


Most people talk about starting to lose weight, but I want to focus on finishing losing weight.  I have been successful so far, but have hit a wall. I need help to finish what I started ten months ago.


I intend to utilize this opportunity as a way to reach my health goals and to be re-energized in continuing a healthy lifestyle. I hope to learn from professionals and from my peers on how to carry-out a healthy lifestyle that I can maintain for the rest of my life.


Training and running is exactly what I need to get that last push, to loose weight and become better fit.


Most importantly, I hope to meet professionals and people that are invested in creating a healthy lifestyle. I hope that through those contacts I might finally meet people that have similar goals and together we can be encouraging to one another.

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Hello everyone,

Here is the start to my new ACTIVE life. I am actually happy and scared all at the same time. Running a 6k is something I never thought I could do and April 18th I am going to do it. There are many different goals I have that I want to be able to fulfill. Attending school full time, working full time, and doing this is worth every minute. I go to San Diego State  University and I am a Biochemistry major. I am graduating in spring.

I am really tired of being overweight. I have been overweight my entire life and every time I try to lose weight I manage to gain weight instead. I am tired of the headaches, backpain, sleepiness, and being sick all the time that comes with poor eating habits and lack of exercise. I know my diet plan is going to have to change too. I am not going to deprive myself from food (because as people who know me know I love food) but it is time I make healthier choices. I am only 22 years old and I want to lose a good 20 pounds before my birthday on June 1st. My ultimate goal is to lose 50 pounds and hopefully I can accomplish this by January 2011. Trying to go to the gym is going to be tough with my horrible schedule but I am going to make sacrifices to do so.  I wish us all the best of luck in this journey.

Any advice or help would be greatly apperiated. I am planning on tracking my weight each week to see if I manage to gain or lose weight.

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Hi Everyone!


My name is Cal Vincent and I live in Olympia, WA.  I meet my wife Nancy here in Olympia, retired from the Military and decided this was a great place to start a family.  We have 3 children at home Jennifer 18, Marshall & Matthew (twins) 15.  I have significantly gained weight since retirement and tip the scales at 300 lbs. My goal is to get back down to 195 lbs. within this next year.  I would like to be in great shape by summer 2011 and climb Mt. Rainier with my two boy's.  They both among others have been riding me hard to loose weight.


This is a great way of getting started and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead.  My wife is will be supporting me by walking, exercising and meal planning with me.  I  recently got involved in fishing with Marshall and love to go out and explore the area for good fishing.  Being overweight has limited what I can do outdoors I actually fell down a couple times fishing.  So, now's the time to get out of the easy chair, get started and enjoy the outdoors without fear of getting hurt.  105 lbs to loose



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Ready for a Challenge!

Posted by mekani Feb 2, 2010

Seems like everyone I talk to had a difficult 2009.  Whether it was job loss, relationship issues, court issues, everyone seems to be glad to put 2009 behind them.  The last year was stressful for me as well.  While I'm so fortunate to still have a great job for a great company, my husband and I spent the year focused on legal issues and both of us let exercise fall off of our "To Do" list.   Finally, everything has calmed down and we can get back to an exercise routine.   I've put on about 10 pounds in the last year and I can't wait to get back in shape.  I'm tired of being tired, tired of not looking my best and tired of not being able to wear my favorite clothes.  I also have a 30th high school reunion coming up this summer and that is a great motivation to work towards looking my best.   My goal is to lose 20-25 pounds by June.


My challenges, probably a lot like you, are making time for exercise.  I take my stepson to school at 7:00am and go straight to work from there. More often than not, I pick him up later in the evening at 7:00pm from his gym (Dad picks him up from school and takes him to his gym).  In the past I've found that I tend to stick with a workout program when I tackle it first thing in the morning.  Before the prior year, my husband and I got up at 5:00 am three days a week to go to the gym, so I know I can do it!  So, I either need to get up at 5:00am and do my exercise or make myself do it after work before I pick up the stepson at the gym.  Last week, I tried going to the gym between work and before picking him up and that works out pretty well.  I have options, morning or evening, so I need to be flexible and do one or the other.   Here's where the excuses come in!  5:00am excuses: It's too dark to walk outside!  It's too cold to walk outside!  I'm too tired, I'll work out tonight! (which gets followed at 5:00pm by, I'm too tired to work out after work, I'll do in the morning.....I think you see the pattern,)  So, that's one of the bad habits I've developed over the past year.

Diet wise, I have a 47 year history of not eating well.  When I was young I was naturally skinny and could eat anything I wanted and not gain a pound.  That all stopped in my late twenties and it's been a struggle ever since to reconcile my new slow metabolism with my engrained poor eating habits.  Add to that, I hate to cook and am not a big vegetable fan.  So, my work is cut out for me there.  My plan is to make small changes and make better choices.  I started trying Jamba Juice's oatmeal with fruit last week, and while it takes a little getting used to, I am liking it.  And guess what?  It is FILLING.  I don't get hungry for hours after, which is great.


I'll touch base again and let you know how the training schedule looks and how I'm going to make it work with home, work, and well, everyday life.  It's important so it needs to be a priority so I'm going to make it one!

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My name is Blake Nichols and this is my story of my first steps from fatness to fitness!


To start out with I'm 40 years old and live in Nashville TN.  I'm not a country music star but I have seen quite a few of them on TV.  I am a pastor for a campus of New Vision Baptist Church, an incredible church in Murfreesboro TN and I love my job.  I've have been married to the beautiful Rebecca for 15 years and we have 4 terrific girls Samantha 13, Sydnie 10, Sara Kate 6 and Donna Shae 4.


The bad news is that I'm fat!   As of the writing of this blog, I tip the scale at around 250 lbs and have high blood pressure and sleep aptina.  I am defanitely out of shape and unhealthy.   I've started beathing hard when I walk up the stairs to tuck the girls in at night and I know that if I don't start doing something to get active that it's a down hill slide from here.  I don't want to be the guy that has to sit down to catch his breath after crossing the room. I want to be there for my girls.


I know that if I set my mind to it and work hard I can start fixing this problem.  A few years ago I got excited and worked for 5 months and lost 30 lbs and was able to run a mile.  I used the Adkins diet to accomplish the weight loss and unfortunately, put the weight right back on when I came off the diet and stopped exercising.  But I know that I can do this!   I want to learn the skill set to take it off and keep it off.


As I enter this mid-life point I'm ready to do something that is a life changer for me and my wife and for my girls.  I'm not sure if it's right to quote Michael Jackson on living a heathy lifestyle, but as he once sang, "I'm Wanna Make a Change For Once In My Life, It's Gonna Feel Real Good, Gonna Make A Difference, Gonna Make It Right. "


This is why for New Years I set a goal to lose 15lbs and run in a 5k by Summer!


As I was trying to get some direction for this resolution I came across the "Who wants to get Active" Program.  I'm ready to start challenging myself.  I don't know what is possible to accomplish in 8 weeks of training, but I'm excited to see.   I want this to be the launching point to a new life style and I'm ready to work.


Here's a verse I found last Monday:  Haggia 2:4  "...Be strong, all you people of the land and WORK!"  declares the Lord, "For I am with you!..."



No turning back now!



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Welcome to Who Wants to Get Active 2010! My name is Coach Jenny Hadfield and I will be your guide and coach along the way. This program is close to my heart because I stumbled into racing along my journey and it changed my life. I was 35 pounds overweight, out of shape and unable to even make it down my block. My co-workers challenged me to train for and participate in a local 5K. At first I told them they were nuts -- but little by little we trained together at lunch and my body and mind began to adapt. Soon I was able to tackle 3 miles without whining! I drummed up the courage to participate in that 5K and reached the finish line! It didn't even matter that I was almost last and beaten by a 72-year old man (and they announced it over the microphone). Crossing that finish line changed my life forever. I fell in love with the process of training with a group and reaching for challenging goals.


Training to run and walk it off with a social network is a fun, and highly effective strategy for learning to get active and stay active. The key to making it part of your lifestyle is to integrate the program into your lifestyle. That begins by starting with a program that closely matches your activity level. That is why we have three teams (Run It Off, Walk It Off, Bye, Bye Baby Weight) and programs to get you to that finish line. Getting to where you want to go is a lot easier when you make small changes on the route to reaching the finish line. Research has shown consistently that major lifestyle changes are difficult to maintain and don't last. The destination is to lose weight, however the journey is to make activity a part of your every day lifestyle. Because when you do so, everything else falls into place.

Review your training program and let me know if you have questions along the way. We can all learn from one another, even if we are on competing teams! Every training program includes 3-4 run, run-walk or walking workouts every week. You'll also notice, every week includes rest days and cross-training days as well. We grow stronger when we rest in response to the demands (stress) of running and walking. Cross-training activities like cycling, swimming and rock climbing are wonderful compliments to your training regimen and allow your muscles a break from the impact of running and walking. Cross-training also keeps your program fresh and you're never doing the same workout every day!

The programs gradually progress throughout the next two months and prepare you to tackle the race distance this spring. Remember, the key to getting where you want to go is by starting with where you are. The goal of the first few weeks is to perform just enough activity so when you finish, you have a smile on your face and you look forward to the next session. That means keeping the intensity at a conversational effort and one where you can talk while you are moving. Find your happy pace and you'll find the key to reaching your goals.

Make time for the workouts by planning them ahead of schedule. The great thing about training for an event is you know what you need to do now for the next tow months. Plug it into the most convenient time of day and stick with it. Every workout is a piece of the puzzle that will prepare you for race day.

Although you will have to take every step on your own, you have a team and a coach every step of the way to support you. Over the next few weeks I'll provide you tips and tools needed for reaching your goals to run it off, walk it off and say goodbye to the baby weight. You'll learn how to go farther and faster, how to eat to lose weight and perform stronger, tips for staying motivated and ways to prevent getting hurt. I will share with you my three golden rules for racing and how to stay active for a lifetime.

I'll be posting notes for each team in my weekly blog, but if you have any additional, specific or general questions, don't be shy. Take this week to plug your training days into your lifestyle and let your body and mind adapt to the rhythm of training. There's something magical about training for a race. Every workout is purposeful and milestones are reached almost weekly. It's a very exciting journey and I'm excited to be your guide. Giddy up!

Happy Trails,


Coach Jenny

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