Friday, April 16, 2010

The Ugly truth: SODA!

We've all heard the old song and dance, soda is bad for you, its empty calories, it'll make your teeth rot out and your gut pop out. And yet... Americans consume an estimated 56 gallons of soda per year. Sorta gross.

Growing up, my mom didn't buy cases of pop. We had it for a treat now and then. Which is really the best policy for it. Later in high school and college with vending machines aplenty, I starting drinking pop more regularly, but stuck with diet to avoid those dreaded "empty calories" so I thought I was in the clear. Turns out, not so much. I started getting horrible headaches, almost daily and nothing seemed to help. Finally this past year after doing some research on what's actually IN pop, I've cut it out completely and feel a zillion times better.
However, there are PLENTY of popoholics out there. It's cold, refreshing, and fizzy. It quenches your thirst, has 23 flavors, is timeless americana, and who doesn't LOVE to do the DEW?! What's not to love?!

Turns out... a lot of things.

1. Those dreaded "empty calories"
What does that even mean? Empty calories refers to calories consumed, but with no nutritional gain. When we eat carbohydrates, our body breaks them down and uses them as fuel. Doesn't happen with empty calories. We put calories in, but get nothing out. No nutritional value. Got it? Good.

2. Takes place of other stuff you should be drinking
Water, milk, fruit juice. Need I say more?

3. Diet Soda doesn't mean no weight gain
Studies have found links between consuming sugary tasting (even if artificially sweetened) drinks might be leading you to a higher desire for sweetness overall. So you crave other sugary gunk after drinking fake sugary diet pop.

4. Nothing in pop has any reason to be in your body
What is in pop afterall?
Phosphoric Acid: Can interfere with the body's ability to use calcium, which can lead to osteoporosis (softening of teeth & bones) Phosphoric acid also neutralizes the hydrochloric acid that naturally occurs in your stomach, which can interfere with digestion, making it difficult to utilize nutrients (that you're hopefully getting from good foods... well pop is like No Way! Nutrients BLOCKED! Hi-YAH!)

Sugar: Soda manufacturers are the largest single user of refined sugar in the United States. It has been proven that sugar increases insulin levels, which can lead to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight gain, premature aging and many more negative side effects. Most sodas include over 100 percent of the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of sugar!! AH! Just in pop along, think about how much sugar you're consuming including the rest of your diet or if you consume a couple pops a day! yikes.

Aspartame: This is the artificial sweetner (fake sugar) found in diet pop. There are over 92 different health side effects associated with aspartame consumption including brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders and epilispsy/seizures. Even worse, when aspartame is stored for long periods of time or kept in warm areas it changes to methanol, an alcohol that converts to formaldehyde (isn't that what they use to preserve dead people?? yes it is) and formic acid, which are known carcinogens (cancer causing agents). Oh dear... soft bones, too much sugar, blocked nutrients AND cancer? :/ hmm...

Caffeine: Caffeinated drinks cause jitters, insomnia, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, elevated blood cholesterol levels, vitamin and mineral depletion, breast lumps, birth defects, and perhaps some forms of cancer. Caffiene also dehydrates you. It takes more water to process the caffiene in pop than there is water already in pop, so water in the body is used to process the caffiene. Not such a thirst quencher afterall. Dehydrator. Not to mention that it can also act as a diuertic, making you pee more! Makes you want to drink more.... hmmm. Good way to sell more pop!

So really the bottom line is, pop is not what we need to be drinking all day every day. Pop is not something we NEED at all really. So if you're a popoholic, try to cut back. Try water. Try tea. You don't have to cut it out completely, but save it for a treat, not an every day drink.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Time for another story of motivation from my facebook friends. This one is great, especially because I'm such a huge MMA fan. It started for me just watching UFC on TV with my boyfriend. Then when he started training, fighting, and matchmaking, I started going to local shows. Watching live is something else. The level of athletisim of some of the fighters is unreal. True dedication and passion to the sport.
As I became more of a fan and started going to fights, I came to know other fighters and their girlfriends/wives & became friends with them. The girls started going to an MMA class and I had a great time with it and got in great shape. It was hard, but so much fun since we were all together and just giving it a go. :)

Anyway, without further ado, lets meet Dave!

Dave in 2006, just starting martial arts ^, and Dave after his latest match, this past March! v
Here's the email I recieved from Dave:

Hi my name is Dave and this is my story. From when I was 17 years old until May of 2009 I was never under 220lbs, at my heaviest I was nearly and probably went over 250lbs. I never felt like I looked as much as I weighed, plus I was active, I played baseball in the summer and would snowboard in the winter, so I never thought that I was fat or unhealthy. Still everytime I stepped on the scale I was never happy with what I saw and I want to make a change.
In September of 2006 I started learning martial arts from a co-worker and started my transformation. I lost 20lbs over the course of 3 years training twice a week, nothing big but I noticed I felt better overall and started to think maybe I can lose weight if I really wanted too. I found a local MMA gym in my area and started training there in May of 2009. I set a goal to reach 185lbs and that is what I weight I would fight at. I started working out 6 days a week for 2 hours and totally changed my diet. Just 3 months in and I had surpassed goal by 15lbs! That's right in 3 months I had gone from 220lbs to 170lbs, 50lbs from were I started. With this new confidence I reset my goal to make 155lbs and fight in the lighweight division by the end of October.
Needless to I made it and not only have I kept the weight off, I have improved the over quality of my life. I look back on all my old pictures and can not believe how much different I look now from just a year ago. Not only have I found something I am good at, but I have also served as inspiration to others in the quest for losing weight and getting in shape. My advice is to stay paitent and stay strong mentally, there were many times I wanted to quit because I hit a wall and didn't think I could do this but everytime I wanted to quit I thought of a reason not to.

Dave's story illustrates beautifully how motivation and hard work pay off. Yea, it's tough. Yea, sometimes you might want to give up. BUT DON'T. Grit your teeth and press on. You can do it!! :)

If anyone else has inspiring/motivational stories to share, send it to me at you could be featured on my blog next! :)

PS Looking for more info on MMA in central Ohio? Check out!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A litte motivation, goes a long way

Some days I just plain don't feel like working out. I'm tired from school and work, there's a good show on tv, I have homework to do, or I just don't FEEL LIKE IT. Bleh. Lack of motivation can really ruin a workout. But sometimes when I'm lacking motivation, just a facebook status about someone headin to the gym or outside for a run can turn my mood right around and get my butt in gear. We all lack motivation at one point or another, it just happens. But that's when we can really help each other. If someone else is doing it, well why can't I? She's having success, so can I!!
This 5k training program has been really great since we're doing it together, if I decide I just don't feel like it, I'm letting Oshun and Sam down. So even if I don't feel like it, I go. By the time we're warmed up, running and chatting I'm having a great time anyway :)

I put out the call on facebook for inspiring or motivational stories, the very first one came from Sandra.
So, lets meet Sandra!

Sandra < pre workout & current! >
Sandra is the youngest of 8 brothers and sisters, and recently lost her father to cancer. That was a big motivator for her to take charge and lead a more healthy lifestyle. She has been happily married for 6 years, and has 2 children, 5 year old Hannah, and 1 year old Ethan. Sandra has a busy life, just like the rest of us! She runs a daycare from her home, as well as working some nights and weekends at a salon, all while being a mother & wife! Despite her busy life, she has found time for herself, in working out and eating right.

Here is the email I recieved from Sandra:

Hi, I'm Sandra. At my heaviest I weighed 283... thats a BIG number! and I was very determined to NEVER see 300! So December 29th 2009 I decided it was time for a change! I started off by just going to the gym everyday and doing cardio. When I started it was slow but I was proud to work out. I felt good and was starting my healthy new lifestyle. 10 days in I had lost 9 pounds and I was ON FIRE! One of the personal trainers at my gym pulled me aside and told me that I was doing a great job but just doing cardio wasn't going to show results like I wanted it to.

So I started working with Jason, He worked with me with exercises AND more importantly nutrition! What I thought was healthy was all wrong! I was eating mostly carbs and not enough protein which would explain why I always felt like I was STARVING! Once I changed my diet the weight started falling off.

Its been 3 months and I have lost 40 pounds! I go to the gym 6-7 times a week (it has become a stress reliever for me!) and I eat healthy!

I'm excited for what is to come... my body has changed already and I love seeing people I haven't seen for awhile and them telling me how great I look! The hard work is DEFINITELY paying off! I have lots more energy and feel so much better... Also I have started cooking healthier for my 5 year old and my 16 month old! Things are looking up!

AWESOME JOB SANDRA!! :) You are a true motivation to people that want to change their bodies. And you make the awesome point that it's not just about working out. Nutrition is key to losing weight. You get out what ya put in! ;)
So people be inspired by Sandra!  You are in control of your body, and if you don't like what you see, you have the power to change it. So often I've heard people say "I'd give anything to look like her, be skinny, etc etc." You don't have to give anything! You just have to change your lifestyle. Eat right, work out. That's all there is to it! :)
If anyone else has inspiring/motivational stories to share, send it to me at & you could be featured on my blog next! :)