Achieve Fitness: On Saying Goodbye

As I mentioned in my last post, Thursday was my last day at Achieve Fitness. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but in the end I know that it is the best decision for our family at this moment. It takes me 20-30 minutes to get there even when I go to a 6 am class, and evening classes are not an option because of traffic, by the time Nick gets home from work I just would not make it. Obviously, there is hope that I will get pregnant again sometime within the 2014 year, but I am not naive to think that it could take longer. IF it happens in 2014 though, Achieve just wouldn’t be a fiscally responsible decision.

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I was first introduced to Achieve by Amanda, and while I was intimidated at first it was definitely one of the best decisions I have made for myself in a long time. I have always loved strength training and cardio, but I had never been in a gym that approached these two things like the way Achieve does. Metabolic Conditioning and Strength Training classes were held the most often, with a few kettlebell classes as well.

Photo via Achieve Fitness. Just another action packed MetCon class!

Photo via Achieve Fitness. Just another action packed MetCon class!

I was part of a gym family, something I had never experienced before. I looked forward to seeing my favorite 6 am folk and even though I already loved the gym, they made me happy and excited to be there before the sun came out.

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I participated in my first ever triathlon with members of Achieve. I also went through one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. These friends were there for me, even when they didn’t realize it, it made a huge difference in my mental health. I don’t know that I will be able to separate the triathlon from the miscarriage, but it will also remind me of how lucky I was to have all these people in my life.

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I have always been a fan of kettlebells, and I would one more than one if they weren’t so darn expensive. I love that Achieve had a class solely focused on kettlebells and we were constantly working on our strength!

Turkish Get Up - Proud Moment Photo!

Turkish Get Up – Proud Moment Photo!

I know that with Achieve I have gotten a 100 times stronger than I would have if I had not ever joined. Mentally, I am in a better space because of the support from Lauren and Jason and the rest of the members of the gym.

 

I definitely suggest if you are nearby that you check it out, I am hoping to be back after our kids are at least in pre-school.

I do have some plans for the future. I am going to continue my favorite classes at Studio Poise: Pound, Poise Fusion, The Remix, and Zumba! And for the next month I am participating in the Pure Barre Lynnfield Pure Madness Challenge.

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While I can’t continue with Pure Barre after my package expires, it was a great deal and it will help force me into a routine with studio classes. Plus, I love a good competition. I also bought a few online deals for yoga studios nearby.

Thank you Lauren, Jason and all my fellow 6 AMers, you’ve made it one hell of a strong year.

Have you ever left a gym with sadness? I have not, I have always left gyms willingly.

Weekly Updates: 02/17/14 – 02/23/14

Another week, another update!

Weekly Workouts

Monday -

As usual, Monday was a rest day. I am trying to not make my rest days back-to-back, but lately we have had a very long drive on Sundays and getting home late, so I am usually exhausted.

Tuesday -

My plan was to get to Achieve for the 6 am class, but B decided to come in our bed at 4:30 am, which was disrupting enough to wake me, but not enough that I could just get up. When my alarm went off 30 minutes later I turned it off. My mom was visiting so I ended up taking Studio Poise’s new class The Remix {Description from the website: A hip-hop inspired express cardio workout. 40 minutes of the latest and old school hits that will get your heart beating and body sweating!}. I would say that it is similar to Zumba, where every song has a set routine, so the more you go the easier the routines get to remember, but you are still working every time.

I really loved it, I felt like I was in the Vegas week of So You Think You Can Dance! The class flew by, and I especially loved her song selection (old school Nsync, hell yes). Since this was the first class a lot of us struggled with following and it took a minute to grasp the routines. The ones I found to be the hardest was when there were turns involved and everyone was looking back to see what we were supposed to be doing, whoops. I only wish there were more classes, maybe even a 6 am. Right now the only classes are 12 pm on Tuesdays and 11:30 am on Sundays. I’m pretty sure this is one class that Caitlin and Jane would love it too!

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Also, I sort of need these sneaks for this class, right?

Wednesday – 

Since it snowed all night on Tuesday, I ended up spending 90 minutes shovelling, it took longer than normal because I couldn’t find a place to put all the dang snow. Afterwards my arms and legs were killing me (bend with your knees not with your back = a hundred squats) so I decided to forgo another workout.

Thursday -

Was a very sad day, my membership at Achieve is officially over and that was my last workout. I have a post about this coming soon, but my last MetCon was awesome and pushed me. I am glad I have this experience and I can’t wait until I can go back.

Friday – 

Took my favorite class at Studio Poise, Pound Fit with Emily. Seriously, I love this class and I hate the weeks I miss it. For those of you curios about what Pound is? Pound is a full-body cardio jam session that combines light resistance with constant simulated drumming. The workout fuses cardio, Pilates, isometric movements, plyometrics and Isometric poses! It’s another class I am trying to get Caitlin and Jane to come too but Emily doesn’t teach on the weekends, womp womp.

Saturday & Sunday -

I did some yoga at home on Saturday and took Sunday off for the above mentioned driving, etc… I am trying to get better workouts into my weekends, which should be a bit easier the next few weeks.

Food – 

It was pretty much an exact replication of last week. Creatures of habit, much? I am still working on a baked oatmeal that I like after I re-heat it. A lot of the ones I’ve made are great right out of the oven, but get a little rubbery after a microwave heating during the week.

How were your workouts this week? Do you have a baked oatmeal recipe you love?

Five Things Friday: Thoughtful Posts

Five Things Friday

While I would argue that all posts, for the most part, are written to get you to think about something, I picked these 5 posts to feature in this weeks round-up because they are either things I have been thinking about lately, or topics that have been a part of my life.

Marriage Shouldn’t Work – The Wannabe Athlete

wannabeathleteI know Callie’s post is old, but I still love it. I’ve been talking with a good friend lately about marriage, about how some people don’t realize that relationships take work and effort and that it is not a fairytale. No man is going to come sweep you off your feet and keep you on this pedestal for the rest of your life, it’s just not realistic, and too many people want to be constantly wooed. Personally, I don’t want a man who is going to be making grand gestures all the time, because eventually they won’t be grand gestures and I will expect more and more. Instead, I want a man who will help me change the sheets at 3 am when our son gets sick. I want a man who will try all my new recipes, and laugh with me when we realize how truly terrible it is. I want a man, who at the end of the day, is someone I can laugh with, someone I can go out and have a great time with, or we can stay in and still have a great evening with a pizza and movie.

I also really like Callie’s point about protecting your marriage, 10 years ago you couldn’t go find your high school/college boyfriend or fling on facebook, and that was a damn good thing. It is so easy to have someone make you feel special and wooed through a text message or email, but that will only last a short time, eventually they too will stop trying to woo you. Also, check out this post, it has some other great points.

The Guilt Prison – Determined. To Be…

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All of Jolene’s posts make me sit and think all about what is going with me and my life, but this especially speaks to me currently. I have a lot of guilt about the miscarriage and the aftermath. Things have obviously changed, and life has gotten better, but that doesn’t mean I don’t carry the guilt with me. Or the guilt that came with emotional eating for far longer than I care to admit, the guilt of how I let my sadness affect my relationships with my husband and other people I love.

On Unfriending – The Lunchbox Diaries

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Colleen’s post says what a lot of us think or feel. How crappy we feel after spending time on facebook and looking at what all these other people are doing. Based on this post and Callie’s post I think we’d all be better off deleting the whole thing all together.

Is BARBIE unapologetically herself? – Carla Birnberg

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Carla has written multiple times about how great it is to be unapologetically yourself, and now with all the media surrounding the Barbie Sports Illustrated business she weighs in with her opinion. What do you think about what she has to say?

Click.Snap. – Love Life Surf

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Christine’s posts about yoga are some of my favorite, and in this post she talks about her old yoga videos and how they allowed her to see the progress she has made. I know bloggers give other bloggers a lot of flack for progress pictures, etc… but this proves how I feel about them. Regardless of how fit you might think someone is they might be looking to improve or not realize they’ve improved, and videos or photos can really help you see the changes.

What are your favorite posts this week? 

Top 10 Inspired Sports Movies

For those that don’t me super well, I love sports and I love sports movies. What’s even better than that? Real life events that inspire sports movies. Nick and I watched Cool Runnings and Miracle this past weekend to get us pumped up for the Bobsledding and Hockey events that were coming up in the Winter Olympics. I put together a list of the Top 10 movies that I love.

10. We Are Marshall

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I actually hadn’t seen this movie in its entirety until recently. I love that Matthew McConaughey plays someone other than a heart-throb in a Kate Hudson flick. The movie is about what happens after a 1970 plane crash that killed 75 people, all but 5 were from the Marshall University football team and athletic department. It shows us the grief and the healing the entire community went through and how they were able to live their lives after. I definitely needed a tissue during this one.

9. Invincible

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I am a huge fan of anything Mark Wahlberg is in, but for some reason I didn’t see this immediately after it came out, I ended up seeing it on a plane on the way home from California a few years ago. It is the story of how a bartender went to open tryouts for the Philadelphia Eagles to be a professional football player. A modern-day man’s cinderella story.

8. The Blind Side

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Sandra Bullock is pure gold in this movie, the true story of a mom who takes another child into her home and treats her as one of her own. That’s not to say there aren’t growing pains and the discomforts of raising a teenager.

7. Rudy

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The true story of one young man’s dream to play for his favorite collegiate football team, Notre Dame. This movie will definitely have you cheering by the end and for me will always be one of the classic sports films.

6. A League of Their Own

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As Nick would say, I could watch Tom Hanks read the phone book and think it is a great movie. This is a movie I have loved since I was a kid, and I love that it is about women playing a “man’s sport” and how they succeeded. It has an amazing cast, Geena Davis, Madonna, and Rosie O’Donnell, and if your friends were anything like mine growing up, you picked which character you would’ve been if you were in the movie. If you haven’t seen it, consider this your invite to have a girls night and watch it with me!

5. Moneyball

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Lets just disregard the fact that I still haven’t read the book, which is usually a no-no for me, I always read the book before seeing the movie. Nick however had read the book and really wanted to see this in theaters so we saw it. I am not a huge Brad Pitt fan, but I think the cast in this movie was so brilliant and really eye-opening to how baseball has changed in the past 10 or so years.

4. The Fighter

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Well, fancy that, another Mark Wahlberg movie. This was the movie where I started to really love Amy Adams as an actor, she played a hard ass from Lowell so well, my dad’s side of the family is all from Lowell, and seeing areas you know on the big screen sort of make you appreciate it more. If you haven’t seen the movie, it tells the story of a fighter who is managed by his mother and trained by his brother and the trials and tribulations he goes through to be succesful in this career.

3. Remember the Titans

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Oooh Ryan Gosling as a youngin’, I hope all of you who love him have seen this movie! It is the story of the 1971 football team at T.C. Williams High School, it’s not just about football, but how these kids have to deal with issues of race and desegregation. This is one of those coming of age movies and I can’t even begin to understand what these kids had to deal with, and how adult-like they were expected to act.

2. Cool Runnings

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The classic sports movie for anyone who was born in the mid-80’s. Nick and I definitely know the entire movie by heart, and we even had costumes inspired by the movie.

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couch bobsled

1. Miracle

Miracle

If you have not seen this movie, stop reading, go get it, watch and then come back. No, seriously. While we wait did anyone else notice how many of these movies are Walt Disney Pictures Productions? They need to start making more of these. Okay now that is settled we can move on.  The true story about the 1980 USA Olympic Ice Hockey team is done so well, I don’t know how many of you have read anything about the movie, but they casted actors who looked like these men in the 1980’s which I thought was pretty phenomenal and of course I have some love for the kids with the Boston accent. More than anything, though, it makes me wish that they still used college kids for the Olympic Ice Hockey team, I feel like this NHL stuff really takes away from the whole thing. Just my two cents.

Honorable Mention: City of Champions: The Best of Boston Sports

BestofBostonThis is a classic film for Nick and I, whenever a Boston team disappoints we put this on and relive all the moments that were amazing. It helps to soften the blow. If you are a Boston fan definitely check this out, you won’t be disappointed. If you are the company that made this please make one from 2006 until now, Thanks!

Did I miss any of your favorites? What would be your number one?

Prayers for the Stolen: Innocence

This post was inspired by the novel Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement.  Ladydi was grew up in rural Mexico, where being a girl is a dangerous thing.She and other girls were “made ugly” to keep protect them from drug traffickers and criminal groups. Join From Left to Write on February 18 we discuss Prayers for the Stolen. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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I feel like there are SO MANY posts I could write using this book as a prompt. I think the one that I feel most comfortable writing about is the moment you realize that you are no longer a little girl and are turning into a woman. There is mention of menstrual cycles and the like, you were warned.

Personally, I have always felt behind the curve, like I am not quite where I should be mentally or physically in terms of my biological age. I know that a lot of this stems from my childhood and other situations, but a huge part, I believe, is directly correlated with the fact that I was taking growth hormone from age 12 – 21.

I was taking an injectable dose because during what should have been my growth spurt years, I actually grew 1 inch in 3 years. Today, I am barely scraping 5′ and 8 of those inches was definitely helped by growth hormone. But taking that growth hormone delayed other things in my life, like getting my first period.

As all my girlfriends were getting periods and worrying about things like birth control and dates with boys, I was consumed with taking these medications (the insane cost of these medications) and all the doctors appointments that went with taking them. I viewed my guy friends as friends and it wasn’t until those boys started looking at me differently that I realized everyone was changing except for me. I think I overcompensated a bit by being “boy crazy” and having those middle school boyfriends, you know the ones, you say you are dating but really you just pass notes through mutual friends and awkward dance at the school dances.

I went through all of middle school taking HGH but not having any other symptoms of growing up. Finally, I entered high school and there were still no signs. Halfway through my freshman year I finally got my period. It was not as embarrassing as it was for some friends but I just felt behind. As high school years went on, I would always feel behind, and I had some “friends” that helped me feel that way. I don’t know if it was insecurities or just being a mean person, but they would tell me that a guy was sorta interested in, didn’t want to talk to me because I wasn’t ____ enough, usually the fill in was pretty or skinny.

It wasn’t until I distanced myself with that friend group that I started to feel less like a little girl and more like a girl transitioning into a woman. The thing is though, for me, becoming a woman wasn’t about dating or sleeping with boyfriends, etc… Becoming a woman was about finding myself, my voice and feeling confident as that person.

Looking back, I am grateful that I was a little girl for such a long time, innocent and naive, and not worried about boys or my body.

Did you lose your innocence at a young age?

Weekly Updates: 02/10/14 – 02/16/14

Weekly Workouts

 

My plan this week was: Monday at home workout, Tuesday – Thursday at Achieve, and Friday & Saturday at Studio Poise.

Monday – 

My good friend that is a trainer came over and trained me for a little bit on Tuesday afternoon. Lots of kettlebells, weights, core, etc… I do a fair number of at home workouts on my own, but it is always nice to have someone push you extra hard.

Tuesday -

I made it to Achieve for kettlebells class, this one was a doozy. It was a lot of short sets but the exercises were intense, and I loved it.

Wednesday – 

I was planning on hitting Achieve, but B ended up in our bed and was waking me every 10 minutes. I ended up turning off my alarm and taking a rest day.

Thursday – 

We live at the top of a pretty steep hill that has a tight curve and no barriers, and it is always last to get salted, plowed, etc… I don’t feel safe leaving my house early in the morning unless I know it has been sanded or salted and I won’t go flying down it. That being said, I stayed home and did another home workout, this time with the TRX.

Friday – 

Because of the snow and ice prediction for the overnight, my Studio Poise class was cancelled. This winter is getting ridiculous. I ended up doing a bit of a yoga dvd that Caitlin let me borrow. I need another shot at the dvd, since B decided he also wanted to participate and it wasn’t the yoga I was expecting ;)

Saturday & Sunday – 

Nick and I had some family things to deal with so I ended up canceling my classes to deal with it.

Food:

I was much better with food this week, I had prepped a ton of breakfast, lunch and dinners.

Breakfast was always a pre-made baked oatmeal heated up and topped with half a serving of peanut butter. Of course with a side of coffee.

Lunch was salad with spinach, greens, edamame, quinoa, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, goat cheese, avocado and grilled chicken sausage. If we had leftover veggies from the night before those got tossed in as well.

Snacks: apples, oranges, and almonds

Dinners: Turkey Meatloaf, Buffalo Chicken Burrito Bowls, Breakfast for Dinner (aka eggs)

 

How was your week? Are you still getting snow?

Confessions of a Mom, Vol. 7

Disclaimer: please read this post with an open mind and sense of humor. Sometimes we all need a good laugh.

When it takes less than an hour to get B to go to sleep in his own bed.

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How I feel about passive aggressive and vaguebookers on FaceBook

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How I feel about the weather this week

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When I found out my favorite gym class was cancelled this morning

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{Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3, Vol 4, Vol 5, Vol 6}

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

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I am not super in to the holiday aspect of Valentine’s Day, sure Nick and I will go to dinner if we have the time and a babysitter, but we try to do it a week before or after Valentine’s Day. We also don’t really do gifts. Maybe something small if we see something that we think would be perfect, but other than that it’s just a normal day with a more special meal at home.

BAKING

The first gift idea is something homemade, I love this Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe, it isn’t fast and should be done the night before, but it is decadent and perfect for Valentine’s Day.

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A few other of my favorite recipes are these Intense Chocolate Brownies or Conversation Heart Brownies. These are bit easier and you can make them the day of! You can share this with all of your loved ones and even have your kids help make the treats!

BOOKS

I always get B a little gift or two, this year I got him a Dr. Suess board book. He loves books and I love ones that expand his knowledge, but we still aren’t at the age where he doesn’t understand that you can’t rip out all the pages of a book.


CRAFT BEER OR WINE

IMG_2805There are a lot of stores near us that sells individual bottles of beer or half bottles of wine and champagne. I personally love champagne, but I hardly drink it because I am usually drinking it and everyone else is drinking beer and I can’t drink an entire bottle. Or Nick wants beer but I don’t want to buy a six pack because it will sit in our fridge for awhile.  Pairing a nice meal with a wine or beer you love is a great idea, and being able to get a single serving is a plus.

HOMEMADE

If you have no time or the funds to do anything, a homemade card is always a winner. Showing someone you love them is always appreciated, no matter what day it is!

What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day gift?

Weekly Updates 02/03/14 – 02/09/14

Weekly Workouts

My plan this past week was Tuesday & Thursday at Achieve, Wednesday at Home, Friday & Saturday at Studio Poise.

None of that happened, none. This week was extremely rough, on all of us.

Saturday B threw up after having one bite of a bread, we made an appointment with his pediatrician for Sunday morning. We went in and they had said the bug that had been going around (which had started a week ago) had bouts of vommiting. The doctor said he was on the mend and he should feel better by the next day. Sunday he ate normal food and slept through the night.

Monday was a planned rest day, considering we would have been up late with the SuperBowl etc… and B seemed to have gotten over his bug. Then all of sudden he started throwing up again. Long story short we ended up in the ER on Tuesday because we were all concerned about dehydration. After spending a good amount of time there, and a few more calls to the doctor it seems like we are on the mend.

However B didn’t start feeling normal until Saturday. He wanted to be held constantly, including during nap times. He was up every few hours at night needing water and coughing. Nick ended up sleeping in B’s bed, and B and I slept in our bed. It was exhausting. I was doing nothing, but I felt so ragged. I didn’t end up at the gym at all this week, I needed to focus on B, especially since for a few days we were worried that something more serious was going on.

As for my eating, it suffered, B threw up in the car at the grocery store. Nick stayed with him so I was able to grab some essentials, eggs, milk, bread. But I had zero time to grocery shop because I wasn’t venturing in the grocery store with B and Nick had to work on a big project. I ended up eating a lot of pb & j, because I could make that while B was napping on my shoulder.

The not so great eating and lack of workouts have left me feeling pretty blah, so I am already prepped for 80% of this coming week and I have plans for my workouts. Monday at home, Tuesday and Thursday at Achieve and Wednesday and Friday at Studio Poise, Saturday is still up in the air.

How was your week in workouts?

Five Things Friday: Books and Recipes

Five Things Friday

This week has been ridiculous. I will post a longer, more in-depth post on Monday, but suffice it to say, a toddler that has back to back stomach bugs is not a happy camper, and mom & dad don’t get much sleep. This week has been a lesson in survival, that being said, I haven’t been able to browse blog posts as much as I want to. I am going to share some of my favorite links from around the web that I have been able to get to.

 

Valentines Day Recipes

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Buzzfeed put together a list of 27 recipes to make your sweethearts for Valentines Day, I love all of Averie’s recipes, so its safe to say I will probably try to make #1.

Books

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Another BuzzFeed list, Cait showed me this a few weeks ago. Then I won a gift card to use at Amazon. Which obviously meant I needed to buy some new books for my kindle. I ended up getting: The Monuments Men, Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir (recommended by Jane), Wild (From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail), Reconstructing Amelia (recommended by Cait), I also have Mindy Kaling’s book, The Divergent series, Gillian Flynn’s other two books (Sharp Objects and Dark Places) and March’s book for From Left to Write in the queue. Also, am I the only one that didn’t realize they were making The Giver into a movie, and angry that Taylor Swift is in it, ugh.

Motherhood

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Honestly, I tend to stay away from any blogs were the person is currently pregnant or just had a baby, but there are a few that I can read without letting it affect my mental state. One of those blogs is Lindsay’s, she recently wrote this post about stretch marks, and why they aren’t as bad as you think. I couldn’t love this post more, I get so frustrated when I see pregnant women or new moms bitch and moan about them, trust me when I say your child will never care if you have them or not. They are just happy you brought them into this world!

Excitement

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If you haven’t read Cait’s most recent post, then do it now. I am so excited one of my great friends is moving to Boston. I am incredibly happy for her new opportunities and glad that I get to spend much more time with her!

The Biggest Loser Controversy

I am actually very frustrated with this. I feel like Rachel was damned if she did, damned if she didn’t. If you’ve never been overweight or too thin, you probably don’t know what its like to have anybody judge your body. I work out hard, I try to eat clean, and when I do have a meal that’s not in the 80% I do it at home, because I feel judged in public.  The fact that people were outright saying she had an eating disorder was disturbing, saying that about anyone is very serious and shouldn’t be used as a joke.This was a competition, she is an athlete, did you really think she wasn’t going to give it her all. Rachel isn’t the one that should be receiving criticism, The Biggest Loser should. Anyway, Sarah’s video and Lauren’s blog, touch on a lot of these points and I liked how they put their opinions out there, and much more eloquently.

What are your thoughts on any of these posts?