Archive for October, 2010

20
Oct
10

trick yourself outta (unnecessary) treats!

beware…starting about now, the creepy little snack-size candies start looming around the office, kids start bringing home the halloween treats, and the parties begin!  and so also begin the onslaught of holiday huggy-bar hell, continuing through december 31st 2010, which at that point 99% of all people vow never again to touch another piece of chocolate and swear to workout 8 days a week.  this is where i come in with my little tips on how to survive and even enjoy yourself without packing on the pounds.  most of us know how we SHOULD eat, but make poor decisions either because of stress, emotions, boredom, or because we’re in a social environment.  those little unnecessary treats here and there are what add up to the extra 3-5lbs come the new year that start piling on right about now starting with the candy corns and snack-size snickers.  so see if you can relate to any of these scenarios and try my tricks below to scare those calories back into 1999.

the culprit: the night-stalker
eating perfectly all day, striding easily by the box of donuts at the office, and saying no to any temptation in sight this nutrition superhero has it all together – in the light of day.  then like a bat at night, those emotions come out haunting and attack right after dinner which leads to unnecessary calories right before bed. this is OH so frustrating, because really who needs energy right before bed…calories that are merely stored as fat?  (note: author is herby admitting to being such a little bat but has conquered this with these tricks!)

trick #1:  couch rule
tv can be your worst enemy if you’re a night eater…your mind zones out, you reach for your (fill-in-the-blank-comfort-food) and you will keep eating until your tummy hurts.  research shows we consume 36 – 71% more calories if we eat while watching tv!  so watch your tv, fine but have a couch rule.  you’ve heard of “mindful eating”.  this is when you’re only focused on eating – nothing else.  i learned about this the most when reading “women, food & god” and completely get the concept and adopted 1/2 of it.  frankly, i can’t give up my wall street journal with my breakfast or my fitness mags at lunch – but those meals are so regimented and nutritiously balanced for me that i don’t struggle there.  but i did adopt a couch rule.  it’s night-time…i’m winding down, nothing to do, a bit bored so i have a rule that i have to eat dinner at the table, not on the couch and if i want a snack after dinner – back to the table i go.  this reverts me to feeling like i’m 5 sitting at the table finishing my corn by myself, so i’d rather watch my episode of dancing with the stars than sit at the table by myself.  try this: it works.  no eating on your couch!

trick #2: distract thyself
tv is mindless and frankly useless, but admittedly entertaining.  i’m amazed at the people that tell me they don’t have time to workout but they can give me a complete rundown on the latest series of CSI and whatever 3 reality series’ they’re watching. imagine this: how much richer your life would be if you spent your time doing something you enjoyed other than watching tv.  i must admit, i did this because i wanted to distract myself – because you can’t eat while doing them – ha!  i enjoy writing…so i started writing at night, pitter-pattering away on the keyboard which gets me that much closer to a book or finishing a blog post or just journaling away.  i love reading…so i’ll curl up with a good book and head to bed a half-hour earlier.  i have attempted knitting and all i’ve ever completed was a crooked scarf for my great grandmother.  but point being is this: 1) you expand your world just a little bit by doing something you enjoy and may not try otherwise, 2) it’s actually very relaxing and there’s a sense of accomplishment, and 3) try scarfing down food while doing any of the above activities…nearly impossible!  yes – it’s tricking yourself, but it works!

trick #3: freeze it
there’s nothing wrong with a little snack after dinner – nothing at all!  it’s when that little snack leads to mindless eating that it’s a problem.  i found a trick: freeze it!  not only does freezing my nighttime snacks make it automatically seem like an ice cream treat because it’s frozen, but hello – it takes forever to eat…no scarfing!  so right after i eat dinner i make my nighttime treat (always about 150 calories….unless it’s too late then i’ll skip it) and pop it in the freezer.  some ideas of what i freeze:  protein pudding (protein powder mixed w/almond milk), non-fat greek yogurt or cottage cheese mixed with frozen berries, strawberries dipped in dark chocolate, grapes, or even just a protein shake and eat it like slushy!

the culprit: the social butterfly
this little flittering creature flies through each day eating clean as a whistle, making good choices, passing up temptations, and then a social situation presents itself and WHACK – it’s like flying smack dab into a windshield: all hell breaks looks.  their mantra is: “enjoy life” or “it’s just one dinner” but unfortunately they make up for eating healthy all week by cramming well over 3000 calories into “just one dinner”.  the good news: there are ways to be social, enjoy the party, and still not smithereen your hard work all week long.

trick #1: have a plan
there are situations you know you’re heading into when you go out:  bread, appetizers, drinks, entrees, sides, dessert…the list goes on!  going out for mexican with your friends?  decide before you go that you’re skipping the chips and going to have 1 drink instead.  dining italian?  maybe you choose to forgo the bread, have a glass of wine and share dessert.   trust me: have one chip and you’re a goner!  but your reward is enjoying a heart-healthy glass of wine with dinner.   this is life – you have to make choices and you can’t have it all - but you have to have a plan.  it’s a lot easier to enjoy yourself once you’re there if you know what your plan is going in.

trick #2: sharing is good
in a social situation, often times there are appetizers galore so try to have a say on the sides that the table might share so you have control over what you’re eating – so if they want fried calamari, suggest the shrimp cocktail or some sort of veggie starter.  entrees are SO big at restaurants – see if anyone is interested in sharing with you…you’ll cut your calories and bill in half.  then, when it comes time for dessert, see if anyone wants to share the sorbet & berries.  if not then just thoroughly savor your 2 bites of the chocolate souffle or cheesecake that someone else ordered, but don’t be the one licking the plate clean. your hips will thank you.

trick #3: drink up
water, that is.  you’ve heard it a million times but this works especially in social situations.  first off: ask for a straw – it’s easier to drink more water through a straw!  then follow my little rules: drink 1 glass of water before you take a drink of any other beverage you might be enjoying for the evening, drink another glass of water with your entree and finish that before you even think of touching dessert, and then try and polish off one more glass after dessert!  that way you get full on fewer calories and stay hydrated and still eat what you want (in moderation).

the culprit: the weekender
not to be confused with the social butterfly, the weekender is a species who eats healthy all week and then turns around and sabotages his or her success on the weekend, even if there’s no social situations whatsoever.  this is the “i was good all week so i deserve this” person who takes it a little too far and unfortunately may undo most if not all of the hard work for 5 days by indulging for 2 1/2 days starting on friday at 5pm and going straight through til sunday night.  here are little tricks to keep your weekend in check:

trick #1: single-serving
want to enjoy golden spoon once a week? (*ahem* i have no clue what you’re talking about!)  great…have at it.  sure it makes sense to get the larger size for 50 cents more, but be careful.  will you really stop at half and save the other half for next weekend?  i think not.  i speak from experience!  whether your “treat” for the week is frozen yogurt, pizza, or chocolate, choose to get only 1 serving …enjoy it, savor it, and then be done with it!  there’s no need to have it in your house haunting you for the rest of the weekend. that’s unnecessary use of your willpower.  try to keep things that tempt you out of your house altogether. that’s not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength on your part to know your “trigger foods” (as hungry girl calls them) and to avoid them.  oh, and one more thing: make sure your single-serving is reasonable: 8oz of frozen yogurt, 2 pieces pizza, 1 chocolate bar…don’t overdo it people!

trick #2: just say no
ah, the holidays.  you go somewhere for the weekend, they want to send leftovers home with you…repeat after me: “no thank you!”.  there’s no reason for you to have the creamy casserole that aunt bee made in your fridge unless you want to pack some pudge on your backside.  while a sweet offer, just politely decline.  if you host something at your house, send leftovers home with them!  this, of course you can feel good about because you hosted a somewhat healthy get-together to begin with.  right?

trick #3: eat in
as fun as it is to eat out on the weekend, use the extra time you have to make a healthy version of your favorite foods and bonus: leftovers for the week!  we all complain that we have no time to cook – but it can often be just as relaxing (and much cheaper) to make a healthier-for-you meal at home and curl up with a movie on the couch than spend a lot of time and money out and about.  try this just one night a weekend and you’ll save money and calories – lots of ‘em.  ideas for eating in: try bison burgers with baked sweet potato fries, make do-it-yourself pizzas made with whole wheat tortilla crusts and all the fixin’s, make a big pan of veggie & whole wheat noodle lasagna and enjoy with some vino, or with this crisp fall weather, have your crockpot do the work and have a pot-roast ready for you by friday night chock-full of veggies… the list goes on!  you have a home-cooked, comfort food to enjoy at home and left-overs to enjoy the rest of the week!

so there you have it my little pretties…tricks to keep you spooky fit this fall and throughout this holiday season!  remember to treat yourself…in moderation.  share your top 3 treats with me – what are they?  here are mine, in order: golden spoon (preferrably pumpkin & graham cracker swirled together), a great glass of wine, or dark chocolate.  hmmm…who has a sweet tooth?

spookily yours,
angela

14
Oct
10

(…and the winner is!) + effective weekly goal-setting

first-off…my heart-felt thank to those of you that offered your sweet words of support on my blog post yesterday – and thank YOU for sharing your own 12-week goals, personal struggles, and words of encouragement!  i was thoroughly impressed with the level of insight and detail that you had on where you are and where you want to go in the next 12 weeks, and i’ll say it again: you inspire ME.  so while it was hard to choose only 1 winner….without further ado, the winner is: anna claire!  please email me at angela@getfitbook.com and we’ll send you a brand-spankin’ new fitbook to help you reach your very-measurable and well-defined 12-week goals that you shared with us. which leads me to the next point that i will ramble on about…

goal-setting.  i have written numberous posts on goal-setting – my favorite was one that i wrote for the one-and-only mizfit, with a blog post entitled “fitlosophyze your goals“.  after you peruse this blog post i’d recommend meandering over there for a very in-your-face guide on setting effective goals from yours truly (if i must say so myself).  but since we just talked about setting 12-week goals, i wanted to get down to the nitty gritty and talk specifics.  so many times people understand where they want to be in the next 3 months, but then get overwhelmed on setting the smaller, weekly goals that it will take to get there.  so i wanted to share with you EXACTLY what i wrote in my fitbook for my 12-week goals, then show you what those corresponding week 1 goals look like.  capiche?  vamanos.

12-week plan page
STATS

  • weight: (current) 119  (goal)~115    
    **told you i’d be an open book…but again, weight isn’t my primary goal!
  • body fat:  (current) 19%  (goal)~15%   
    **based on my super-unreliable body-fat scale, but whatever.
  • bench press:  (current)85#  (goal)120#

12-WEEK GOALS

  • workout:   
     - knock-out 50 push-ups, 3 pull-ups, 10 pike leg raises + bench body weight
    - do 1 new challenging or fun workout each week
    (i always workout 6 days a week - lift 5, cardio 6 so i have to add details to push myself!)
  • nutrition: 
    - cook at least 1 new recipe each week – play again in the kitchen!
    - aim for 4-6 small meals before 9pm each day
  • other:        
    - prep food on sundays and plan the week ahead of time (note: i always do this but slack on prepping sometimes!)
    - treat myself once per week in moderation (~300 calories)

MOTIVATION: gain self-confidence through building my strength back for ME…based on how i feel, not how i look.  reward: shopping spree at lulemon right before my 31st birthday!

week one
WEEKLY PLAN
(note: if you don’t do this, odds are you’re among the many people that miss workouts because you’re “too busy”…plan ahead!  i sit down on sunday, look ahead at my schedule and plan workouts accordingly!)
monday: bis, tris, abs + walk at beach with girlfriend (1hr)
tuesday: back (circuit w/push-ups), abs + stepmill (30m)
wednesday: shoulders + spin class (1hr)
thursday: legs, abs + elliptical (30m)
friday: run (30m)
saturday: chest, abs + golf 18-holes (fun “cardio”…walking!)
sunday: active rest…probably walk with my girlfriend or maybe rollerblade at the beach!

STATS
(repeat of 12-week plan – unfortunately not much has changed in 1 day!)

THIS WEEK’S GOALS

  • workout:  
    - work abs every other day and chest heavy one day and circuit back day w/push-ups
    (this is to work toward reaching my 12-week goals of push-ups and leg-raises!)
    - plan one fun activity this week (golf!)
  • nutrition: 
    - be mindful at each meal (not distracted) and plan ahead 
    - cook turkey spaghetti squash this week
  • other:        
    - track water intake each day and aim for 3L per day (using my 1L smartwater bottle…drink 3 per day!)
    - eating out on saturday night: skip bread, choose wine instead and share dessert as my treat this week!

REWARD: trip to my favorite starbucks on the beach after church on sunday and sip an iced americano and read on the beach! 
note: weekly rewards DON’T have to cost you $$…they can be quiet time reading a book, or something you’d do anyway but earn it instead (i.e. manicure, massage, etc.)… but give yourself something to work toward for the week.SO – does this help you understand  how you tie your weekly goals to those 12-week goals?  having 12-week goals are great but you have to have a plan to reach them.  wanna lose 12lbs?  great – you gotta lose 1lb per week.  how do you do that?  have a 3500 calorie deficit each week which means over a 7 day period you need to either eat 500 fewer calories or burn 500 more…my solution: eat 250 less and burn 250 more so that you’re not starving or spending all your time in the gym.  let’s use my 12-week goals as an example and how i plan to achieve them:

1.   start with where you are! 
i am not stoked about where i’m at, but hey – that’s why we’re in this together right!  here are my starting points for my strength goals:

  • bench press (1-rep-max): 85#  (goal: 120#)
  • push-ups: 32 (goal: 50)
  • pull-ups: ZERO…booo!  (goal: 3)
  • hanging pike leg-raises: 3.5 (goal:10)  (click here and it’s the hanging pike)
    **i was proud i did this many on the leg raises!!!  they are torture and ridiculous just to keep form!

2.   improve each week.
whether it’s strength training or running a 5k, you have to create a starting point (which is where we’re at right now) and improve a little bit each week.  do the math and see how much you need to improve each week to get to those 12 week goals….but you can’t just increase numbers sometimes, you have to try different training methods.  true, it helps that i’m a trainer – but i also read EVERY health/fitness/nutrition publication available, play on the internet to get new ideas, and ask around. 

  • bench press: essentially i need to increase my weight by 3# each week, but i’ll do this by lowering my reps and increasing the weight to build strength, the do 1 super-set of low-weight, high-rep to burn out my muscles.  i can add 3# each week…that’s not even adding the little 2.5lb donut-size weights on each side.  i so can do this!
  • pull-ups: these are more complicated, on back day i will integrate pull-ups each week and essentially start with negatives then work to assisted pull-ups and then by week 6 i should be able to do 1, week 9 i should do 2 and by week 12…3!
  • push-ups: to also help with building my chest-strength for bench press i’m going to circuit my back days with push-ups (kim taught me this), so i do a back exercise, then instead of resting you do a set of 10 push-ups, then back, then 10 incline push-ups, then back, then 10 decline push-ups…you get the point.  it keeps your heart rate up and builds push-up endurance.  this will get my chest strength up and once per week i will test my improvement on # of push-ups…i need to do 1.5 more than the week before to work my way up to 50.  piece of cake!  i love this whole baby step thing!
  • hanging pike leg-raises: essentially i need to do 1 more each week to work my way up to doing 10.  these are a true test of fitness and you pretty much have to have a 6-pack to do these…so join me won’t you…it’s a  great goal!  i’ll do these on ab days where i haven’t already exhausted my body because these do take a lot of total body strength because you have to hold yourself up, then keep your legs straight and use your abs to pike up.  KI-LL-ER.

3. track your progress + stick with it
i’m not just talkin’ about the fitbook here people.  it’s super important that each week you give yourself props for reaching those goals, big or small.  it not only gives you a massive boost o’ confidence, but it keeps you motivated ’cause trust me.  we’re gung-ho now in week one.  wait til about week 6 when the energy starts waning!  must i remind you that right about then (6 weeks out) will be thanksgiving and by golly i’m not going to let you fall off the wagon into holiday huggy-bar hell.  we are going to finish out 2010 with a BANG!  that does not (repeat: does NOT) mean we won’t enjoy time with family, indulge in a bit of pumpkin pie, and be merry…but it just means we will keep our holidays to one day, then get back to it the very next day.  we got goals to reach people! (end: rant)

in closing, i want to share one personal thing with you.  in the past maybe 3-4 weeks a few people have commented that i’m “looking good”, or ask  “have you lost weight?” or “are you leaning out again?” or my personal favorite: “flaquitas” which means “little skinny one” in spanish, but moreso because it’s a term of endearment.  these are people that i know and love so these comments do not bother me in the slightest – quite the contrary, i’m happy to hear that my hard work is paying off. but one comment that i got today stood out among all the rest.  it was a trainer at my gym who came up to me out of the blue and said that he thinks this is the best he’s ever seen me…my muscles are really defined and toned, i’ve kept my strong glutes (trainer speak for “nice butt”), and my abs and defined by not too lean.  this same trainer saw me pre-competition, all through training, totally leaned out in competition mode, then go through my roller-coaster over the past year and half post-competition.  so this compliment meant the world to me.  but here’s why: it wasn’t the EXTERNAL gratification of having someone else notice my body, but the realization that internally i got more self-satisfaction from that compliment over any of the other “skinny” comments.  that to me: that is growth. 

now – it’s your turn. you told me those 12-week goals – how are you going to translate those into weekly goals so you baby step your way to 2011?
i’m listening!
angela

 

11
Oct
10

12 weeks til’ 2011: my goals

does anyone recall why i started my blog?  it was about a year-and-a half ago in february when i decided to embark on and blog my way through preparing for and competing in my first figure competition.  i look back at my first blogs and realize how i poured my little heart into each post.  partly because, well that’s just the way i am, but also because while prepping for that was physically exhausting, it was much more emotionally draining than anything i’ve ever done before.  so then i look at my blog posts now and i realize that while i dabble here and there with sharing workout programs, recipes, and nutrition tips, and update you on my overly-enthusiastic updates on fitlosophy, what i’ve lost in all this is the personal aspect.  which is what makes this different from any other blog right?   me.  you can get fitness tips anywhere, recipes are a dime a dozen, and unless you’re one of my dear friends or my proud momma, my news on fitlosophy may not be as exciting to you as it is for me.  so here’s what i promise:  i’m gonna open up (again), not just because you deserve for me to be open and honest (and entertaining), but for me too. 

so where have i been? well let’s back-track as to why i possibly haven’t been blogging about my rockin’ workouts and super-strict, clean eating.  if you followed me for long after the competition, i went through what i called “post-traumatic competition syndrome“. [read that blog post to understand why - very in-depth about the emotions of it all!]   yeah, i was so not prepared for the “after”.  so that was a little over a year ago and i found myself actually 15lb heavier than i was even before i started the competition.  i knew i just had to do it the right way to lose the weight, but just like everyone else it is a daily choice.  so for the past year i have been working my butt off - literally, trying to eat as healthy as possible, but like you having good days and tough days too.  i’m an emotional eater, sometimes a stress eater, and while i’m probably one of the healthiest people you might know, after 9 o’clock is my ‘danger zone’.  i know a lot of people can relate to this.  so – this means that some days, while i would have kicked butt in the gym, i would have a little bowl of cereal that i didn’t need, because after all who needs carbs for energy at night which is then just stored as fat!  so this was my struggle.  then add to it that i have fitlosophy: i (feel like i) am supposed to be this perfect role model of health and i felt like who was i to be giving tips when i couldn’t get my own weight under control.  you may think: 15lbs…you poor thing (sarcastically).  try going from 10% body fat with poppin’ 6-pack abs to having an uncomfortable roll over the top of your jeans that you can barely squeeze your booty in.  not only was i dealing with the actual physical weight but there was a definite case of body dysmorphia going on there too.  so my goals for the past 3 fitbooks: to regain self-confidence, to rock my sports bra at the gym (not for other’s eyeballs, but for me), and to have the same confidence as the girl on my website.  so opening up and blogging was something that i couldn’t do when i couldn’t even face my own reality at times, hence my absence from talking about anything very personal at all.  all i can explain is sometimes feeling like a fake…like i would say one thing, and do another.  and the only thing that kept me going on some days was you….the fitbookers that would email me, or make a comment on facebook about how something i said or how fitbook had changed their day or life.  i knew that i had to push through this, not just for me, but so i could continue positively influencing others.

how’s that for opening up?  so: i want to take this opportunity to update you on where i’m at and ask you to join me as we finish out 2010 with 12 weeks to go.  i am very proud of myself, having finally lost 10 of the 15lbs.  and honestly, i’m kinda happy where i’m at.  prior to my competition, i had a minor-slash-okay-major trauma in my life that lead to me losing about 7 lbs in a matter of 2 weeks…that’s not healthy.  so i’m really not using the scale to determine whether or not i’m where i want to be.  but i will say that i’m happily back in my size 26 jeans (with no love handle) and my abs are poppin’ (on good days) – but of course nowhere near like they were when i was competing.  but that wasn’t sustainable and i know that now.  while i may be a few lbs heavier, the things i learned about myself through this entire process was entirely worth it’s weight in gold.  so what are my goals now?  i had a realization the other day:  i want my strength back.  i miss that so much!  when i was training i could bench press my body weight, knock out 50 push-ups, and do pull-ups and plank leg-raises like nobody’s business.  i want that back.  so instead of creating a goal based on weight or body fat, my goal is going to be focused on building my strength and i have a feeling the scale might just follow.  so i’m off to the gym today to take my measurements, then determine where i’m at now on the following exercises…then i’ll see how far i come in 12 weeks:

  • bench press goal:  115#
  • push-ups: 50
  • hanging plank leg-raises: 10
  • pull-ups: 3 (hey, they’re tough!)

even though i’m a trainer, i’m going to bribe a trainer friend of mine to bounce my ideas off of him so i create a plan to reach these goals.  [speaking of which: him and i are rolling out offerings in the next few weeks if you want custom plans...stay tuned!]  plus, telling someone else what your goals are also holds you ULTRA accountable to them – so tell a friend, or heck…blog about it, that’ll do it!  so there you have it.  that’s where i WILL be on january 1st, 2011 when my nth fitbook ends and i set yet another goal.  what i love about life is that it’s always a challenge.  just when you think you “get it”, something else challenges you, forces you to grow and change, and you find out that you’re better for it.   what are you going to do to change for the better?  i’m not saying you have to change your life completely – take baby steps.  break it down into achievable goals so you don’t overwhelm yourself:  decide where you want to be on january 1st and don’t wait until then to start living your life.  start now.  we only get one life and it’s up to us to live it to the fullest.  share your goals with me.  now that i’ve opened up with you, please….do the same!

with ALL my heart,
angela

p.s.  follow @fitbook on twitter and join me on facebook - rumor has it i might be rolling out a special offer for fitbookers on october 12th!

01
Oct
10

go PINK: it’s personal.

no surprise: my favorite color is red.  but today, i’m passionately proclaiming my love of PINK and proudly announcing the arrival of fitbook PINK!  as you know, october is national breast cancer awareness month and to do our little part, fitlosophy is launching fitbook PINK with $4 from the sale of each going to breast cancer research and awareness.  this really was a passion project for us at fitlosophy – a very personal one.  4 stories and 4 very different, inspiring women…read on.

lani’s momma
an inspiration for fitbook PINK was a very near and dear experience to us at fitlosophy.  it was so hard to watch team member and friend lani lose her mother to breast cancer in 2008.  diagnosed at the age of 52, donna lee zuidervaart was (in her daughter’s words) “courageous.”  trying to reiterate lani’s sentiment of her mother is quite honestly hard with tears in my eyes and no one puts it more beautifully than her:

“something that inspired me about my mom’s battle with breast cancer is that she was always courageous. she rarely complained about any pain she was in and i’m sure it was a lot. she did all she could to stay around for her family as long as possible.  an example was when i told her i was pregnant with my second son. previously, she had decided to end any further chemo treatments, but when she found out i was pregnant she started chemo again and did radiation so she could be around to meet him and hold him. my mom’s courage and gusto during her battle with cancer is something i apply to many aspects of my life. i try not to complain and work hard  and do my best at any task or challenge i come across. my mom always made me feel like i could do anything.  my mom had a gift of seeing good in unexpected places and encouraging talents in unlikely people. this paints a good picture of my mom.”

it’s difficult to stand by someone’s side and watch them lose someone  they love so much, and at the same time have to stay strong as a mom to her own 2 little ones.  but lani, like her mom, is a fighter – which is why it was probably one of my most memorable fitlosophy moments presenting lani with a sample of pink binding and telling her about our plans to launch fitbook PINK and dedicate proceeds in her mother’s name to breast cancer research.  with tears of joy, lani chose the avon breast cancer crusade as the foundation of her choice where we will donate $2 from the sale of each fitbook PINK.  i for one will attest to the fact that donna’s legacy lives on through lani – a genuine person who brings joy to this world and definitely to my life as part of this dynamic duo since day one at fitlosophy!  (love you girl!)
PINK TIP: having one first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) with breast cancer approximately doubles a woman’s risk – even more reason to get regular check-ups! (cancer.org)

my grandma
this one hits close to home for me, for obvious reasons.  my grandma was 71 when she felt a “fluttering pain” and just had a feeling that she needed to see a doctor.   sure enough: breast cancer.  shame on her, she had skipped her mammograms for five years (of course i lectured her on this), but fortunately that must have been a little angel poking her in the you-know-what because fortunately they caught the cancer very early on.  fortunately for me and my family, with my grandma getting breast cancer later in life, it’s less likely (but not improbable) that it is hereditary.  even more of a blessing than that, this battle with breast cancer had a happy ending.  3 surgeries later and 32 rounds of radiation later with (thankfully) no need for chemo, this italian grandma faced breast cancer just as she approaches a ball of fresh pasta dough just asking to be rolled into noodles: with strength, patience, and of course a little spunk!
PINK TIP: the american cancer society recommends getting a mammogram done every year after age 40 (grandma!), despite recent controversy on the issue.

shay’s friend
another close friend of ours at fitlosophy, miss shay sorrells (from the biggest loser), very recently just lost a very dear friend of hers to breast cancer: renata easley.  words can’t explain how hard it is to hear someone tell you they lost a good friend  – especially when that someone is only 30 years old, and her friend: just 29.  if you know anything about shay’s amazing journey, you may know that she spent much of her childhood in the foster care system, which is where she met  renata when they were both in middle school.  they became and remained close friends throughout high school and stayed connected over the years as life took them their separate ways.  diagnosed at the young age of only 20 years old, shay said that renata always lived life to the fullest each and every day.  while it’s always hard to lose someone you love, shay can attest to the pain of losing someone so young – someone who had just started her journey here in this life.  being the faithful person she is, shay finds peace in knowing that renata is no longer in pain up in heaven.  to show our support for shay, a portion of our proceeds will be donated in renata’s name.  do us a favor: keep renata’s two young daughters akiah & jelani in your prayers.  feel it in your heart to do more?  call their church at 707.995.1319 for more info on how you can help fund a trust set up in her daughter’s names.
PINK TIP: while white women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than are african-american women,  african-american women are more likely to die of this cancer. (cancer.org)  this means that especially women under 40 should perform regular self-exams which are the source of detection for nearly 70% of breast cancer cases.  early detection is key! 

miss marcia
a very dear friend of mine, marcia donziger, was only 27 years old when she was diagnosed with with ovarian cancer.  quite possibly the happiest and most positive person i know, marcia not only survived her bout with cancer, but went on to found mylifeline.org in 2007.  through this non-profit, marcia and her team provide free, personal websites to cancer patients as a way to stay connected to loved ones and caregivers through the treatment process. the mission of mylifeline is to “empower patients to build an online support community of family and friends to foster connection, inspiration, and healing.”  some of my favorite features of mylifeline sites: laughing medicine, which provides a joke of the day and lists of funny movies and books to make you chuckle; the helping calendar, which allows family members and caregivers to coordinate helping with treatment schedules and appointments; and the journaling section which is a private, password protected area of the site for the patient to simply journal thoughts through the treatment process.  with the largest portion of their members being breast cancer patients, mylifeline has a direct impact on the day-to-day lives of women faced with this disease.  in true “marcia style”, with a big smile, this little lady is leaving a BIG footprint on our world.  fitlosophy is proud to donate $2 from the sale of each fitbook PINK to mylifeline.org!
PINK TIP: know someone that is facing cancer?  share mylifeline.org with them so they can set up a free site – check out this demo and check out all the fun features!

thanks to each of you for sharing your stories…each one of you exemplifies strength and serves as a source of inspiration for more people than you will ever know. 

i have the honor of working with a team of energetic, inspiring women each and every day doing something that i believe truly is making this world healthier.  special thanks to our small but mighty team for taking an idea and making it a reality so quickly – a reality that will change lives.  check out the press on fitbook PINK – but only after you make your way on over to getfitbook.com to get a copy (or 2) of this limited-edition fitbook that is small in size (and the exact same on the inside as the original fitbook) – but has a BIG heart.  not to mention: pretty darn cute.  [perfect for gifts - start your holiday shopping now...it's october!] 

so join me, my team, and these fabulous foundations we’ve teamed up with as we kick off breast cancer awareness month!
with all my heart,
angela




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