Childhood Obesity Rates FALL, Stress-Free Holiday Tips & Cold Beer?

Happy Friday guys! Less than 10 days until Christmas! Do you have your shopping done?? I’m just about done but I have a TON of wrapping to do. Hope you have a great weekend!

Childhood Obesity Rates Fall – Childhood obesity rates have finally fallen, a little bit. This is exciting news!

Between 2007 and 2011, the number of obese kids in kindergarten through eighth grade dropped by 5.5 percent, from 21.9 percent to 20.7 percent, according to a new health report by the Centers for Disease Control.

Dr. Phil’s Holiday Advice – I love Dr. Phil and this article is a must-read if you’re like most of us and get stressed around the holidays. He provides helpful tips on how to handle family situations and also how to get a free pick-me-up if you’re feeling down.

6 Ways to Deal with Difficult Family Members During the Holidays – I don’t think there’s a family on this earth that isn’t dysfunctional in some way or another. I know mine is! Here are some ways to deal with those who still see you as a child – even though you’re 36, and more.

The Best Natural Fuel for Runners – If you’re a runner (I’m definitely not..) this article shows you what natural fuel sources to consume and when. Oatmeal? Pasta? Raisins? Beer?? (ha! more on that below)

Does Beer Affect Your Training? – Many races now incorporate beer before, during or after a race. This article digs deep and shows us what beer can and can’t do for us before, during and after exercise.

10 Beautiful, yet Highly Motivating Weight Loss Quotes – We could all use some motivation at some point! These quotes may be just what you need to jump start the new year with a BANG.

My favorite:

“The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It’s your mind you have to convince.”

-Vince Lombardi

The Biggest Loser Season 12 Before/After Pics – Another motivator? Phenomenal transformations, such as those seen on Biggest Loser each and every season!

Blake Lively’s Green Lantern Workout – Wanna get lean like Lively? This workout video is based on a circuit by Blake Lively’s trainer, Bobby Strom. Bobby has also worked with Jessica Biel and Britney Spears!

Weight Loss Success Story of the Week

This Man Quit Drinking Soda & Lost 170 Pounds! – I’ve never had a real problem with soda but I didn’t grow up with soda either. My mom never bought it just to have it around. She would save it for special occasions when we ordered pizza as a family or for birthday parties and things like that. I love her for it. This man quit drinking pop (that’s what I call it!) cold turkey one day after waking up and just flat out being sick of the way he was living. He grew up obese and blames it all on his own laziness, poor eating habits and lack of exercise. Since then he’s lost weight, ran his first 10k, ran his first half-marathon and now has plans to run a full marathon in March 2012! You can completely change your lifestyle at any age, it’s never too late!

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Typical Day in the Life Of…This Girl

I just joined another fitness blogging network that posts topics every other week that participants can write about. This week’s challenge:

“Describe a typical day in the life of YOU.”

Honestly, my life is probably rather boring to most, but at the same time – never dull. What’s interesting about staying at home with 2 to 4 kids all day, writing and blogging and exercising…is that each day tends to be different. I have learned that I cannot simply wait for my exercise time to present itself – I have to make time for it or it’ll never happen. What’s nice is that I have everything I need in my basement which also happens to be the kids’ play area so it works out pretty well (most of the time..).

These days, things are a bit more complicated and unorganized because our rental home is up for sale so we’re having to deal with showings and meetings with our realtor. Can’t wait until we find a home and are able to settle down a bit!

In the meantime, here’s what a typical day looks like:

  • 7:30 – 8:00 – Wake up, eat, check e-mail

  • 8:00 – 8:30 – Clean up the kitchen
  • 8:30 – 10:00 – Write/Blog/Research/Play with kids
  • 10:oo – 11:00 – Cardio (accompanied by children and doggies)

  • 11:00 – 12:00 – Lunch, feed kids
  • 12:00 – 1:30 – Read/nap with kids
  • 1:30 – 2:00 – Eat
  • 2:00 – 3:00 – Write/Blog/Research/Check email
  • 3:00 – 4:00 – Eat, get kids snacks
  • 4:00 – 5:30 – Strength training; eat (again, accompanied by children and doggies)

  • 5:30 – 7:00 – Kids’ sports
  • 7:00 – 7:30 – Eat
  • 7:30 – 9:00 – Relax, get kids in bed, go to sleep

How does your typical day unfold? If you’re interested in learning about how other active ladies go about their day, visit Fitness Blog World.


Jamie Eason Diet, Training & Supplementation Tips

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of fitness model and freelance writer Jamie Eason. The first time I saw her was while shopping at for my husband quite a while ago and now she happens to be the official spokesperson for them. She also has her own monthly column in Oxygen magazine. I follow her on Twitter as well as Facebook because she’s so open and is always willing to share tips, advice and struggles with her fans and followers.

The following is a brand new video that showcases Jamie Eason’s diet, training and supplementation information that I thought some would find pretty helpful.

Jamie Eason Diet, Training & Supplementation Video

*Photo courtesy of


Fitness News Round Up #003: Dark Chocolate, Overtraining & 58-Pound Weight Loss

Consume Dark Chocolate to Make Exercise More Effective. Not a big chocolate lover myself, especially dark chocolate but if you ARE, then here’s a really great reason to snack on some: 100 grams of dark chocolate that is 70% cocoa has been shown to fight exercise-induced oxidative stress. Dark chocolate has already proven to help lower blood pressure and decrease risk of cardiovascular disease.

Man Drops 58 Pounds in 12 Week Challenge. I’m a huge fan of weight loss stories because they’re so inspiring. They show that anybody can lose weight and get into better shape with a bit of effort and consistency. This man was a 63-year-old grandfather and wanted to participate in the challenge to improve his health.

“I want to live long enough to see my young grandkids reach big milestones like graduate from school and get married, or even enjoy simple activities like playing in the yard with them. My grandkids mean the world to me.”

Correlation Between C-Section Births and Obesity. A new study out is showing that it’s possible that those born via C-section have a higher risk for obesity. Several factors were considered and although more research needs to be done, the findings were this:

Brazilian researchers found that among more than 2,000 23- to 25-year-olds, 15% of those delivered via C-section were obese compared to 10% of those born naturally.

Best Supplements for Cholesterol. High levels of cholesterol can be deadly. If you have elevated levels of overall cholesterol, including too much “bad” cholesterol, your risk of heart disease is twice as high as somebody who is at a normal levels. Making lifestyle changes including eating a healthy diet low in cholesterol and exercising on a regular basis, can help you lower your cholesterol. If you need further help, there are supplements and even prescription medications that could help.

Signs You May Be Overtraining. Overtraining can be dangerous because you increase your risk of injury and even illness. If you feel sore all the time or develop a distaste for working out, it’s likely that you are overtraining. There are several other signs of overtraining that you should be aware of as well.

80% of Women Don’t Wear Bikinis Because…they’re afraid they’re being judged by other women. More than 1,000 women were polled for a swimsuit survey appearing in the June issue of Fitness magazine. Only 11% of women polled said that they feel confident in their suits with the way their body is right now. The good news is that there’s still time to get your body bikini-ready.

Consumer Reports Names Jenny Craig Diet #1. The Jenny Craig diet received an overall score of 85 which actually beat Weight Watchers by almost 30 points! Reviewers seem to have the best success with Jenny Craig because:

  • Meals are pre-made, then prepared at home
  • They provide weight loss counseling

Slim-Fast came in at #2 and Weight Watchers was #3. How ’bout we just forget about the “diets” and eat sensibly. Changing our diet for the long term is what will give us the long term results we’re looking for!


Getting Ready For Your Swimsuit This Summer

Swimsuit season is fast approaching, and if you live in warmer climates it may have already started to appear. So, what’s a woman to do who has procrastinated losing weight and is left, once again, dreading swimsuit season? While we might be tempted to quarantine ourselves in the house, a better idea is to use what time is left to lose some weight, tone up, and enjoy all that summer has to offer. No matter your starting point, if you get to work immediately, you will definitely look and feel better by the height of swimsuit season.

Know Where To Begin

Image courtesy Jemingway

Before you can start any weight loss plan, you must know your starting point. This means that, yes, you are going to have to stand on the scale and face whatever number appears. You also need to analyze your regular eating habits for at least a day or two and calculate all of the calories and types of foods that you eat. Once you know this information, you can move forward by deciding how many pounds you need to lose and by determining how many calories you need to consume.

Remember, that no matter how much weight you need to lose, doctors recommend that you lose no more that 1-2 pounds per week. This is a safe rate at which to lose weight and it also tends to lead to more permanent weight loss. Also note, that women should consume around 1500-1800 calories per day. While you may be eager to jump into your weight loss plans, taking a day to verify your current weight and eating habits will make it much easier to accurately determine how many calories you need to cut-back and how much weight you truly need to lose.

Keep Track of Everything

Once you have a baseline of where you started, you must continue to keep track of your weight, food, and exercise. You should weigh yourself 1-3 times per week and keep a food diary of everything that you eat and its number of calories. Also, write down how much and what types of exercise that you do on a daily basis. It may seem time consuming or obsessive having to keep track of all of this information, but it allows you to truly analyze your weight loss strategy and notice trends that will help you determine what is and is not working. This scientific approach also provides a sense of emotional detachment from your weight loss. For instance, if you are struggling to lose weight, instead of wondering what you are doing wrong and punishing yourself (which often leads to failure), you can simply look at your records and see how you can improve your numbers or exercise routine.

Healthy Diet and Exercise

The most obvious way to lose weight is through healthy diet and exercise. However, with so many diets and health foods being advertised many women are confused about what exactly they should be eating and what type of exercise is best. Really, the answer is not as confusing as some make it out to be. A healthy diet simply consists of moderate amounts of natural foods. This means avoiding processed foods and instead sticking with foods closest to their natural state. Try to make the bulk of your diet consist of fruits and vegetables. As for exercise, the best idea is to devote at least 30 minutes to an hour (4-5 days a week) to a specific cardiovascular exercise and also try to keep moving throughout the day.

Stick With It!

The most important factor in losing weight is sticking with your program. Even if you only make small changes, if you stick with them, over time you will see results. Understand that getting the body you want is going to be a process and that you should find ways to enjoy the journey. Recruit friends to join you in your weight loss goal (you’re not the only one dreading swimsuit season) and surround yourself with as much positive energy as possible. Try joining an online weight loss group or download an app for your phone or other device that will help you keep track of everything. These types of things will keep you interested and focused on your goal.

Depending on how much you’ve got to lose, you may not reach your ultimate weight loss goal by this summer, but even just losing a few pounds can make a big difference in your appearance and boost your confidence. As women, we should be proud and work with what we’ve got — no hiding under the beach towel. Keep putting your best foot forward and one day you will be welcoming summer with your tight body and cute bikini. You can see a previous post about getting that beach body here.

Nicole Lancaster is an avid runner who loves the outdoors. When not training for marathons she enjoys reading up on current events and hanging out with friends. She currently runs a weight loss blog for women entitled The Better Weight.