Saturday, November 9, 2013

I have an eating disorder.

I have been M.I.A. from this blog for about a year. I would like to bring it back because I have started a new journey and now you can know what I have been going through for a while and why I have avoided posting.....

For those of you who care, and do not know already, I am being partially hospitalized for my eating disorder….which I didn’t think I had, until professionals started me in a program right away. Now I know what an eating disorder really is and that yes, it is true…I have bulimia/binge eating disorder.


I am not writing this note as a cry for help. I am not writing this for you to feel bad for me or to get attention. I am writing it so I can hold my accountable for my actions and also maybe be, a strong influence on other people who are afraid to admit that they have this problem. If I wasn’t honest with myself I would not have found the right treatment and it could have gotten worse. I am writing this so the closest people I know, can know what is going on, why I haven’t been myself lately and to also know what NOT to bring up to me in conversations, triggers and that sort of thing (like my body shape, weight, bodybuilding) It is kind of embarrassing to mention this on facebook but I need to face the truth and let the people that care about me, know what’s going on. I know some people will judge me for it but so be it.

Having an eating disorder is when you mask what is really wrong and what the real problems are with negative self-thoughts. You trained yourself to torture yourself instead of really deal with the problem. In the program, we are leaning coping skills and ways not to give in to ED (eating disorder) behaviors.

Does this mean I puke up all of my food after I eat it? No….it’s far from it. ED is in my head all the time….telling me, “I am fat. I am worthless. I need to be thin to be accepted in the music industry. People liked me more when my body was more physically fit. How many calories are in that piece of bread? That is 20 minutes on the elliptical. I need to do 2 hours of cardio to burn off that food. I don’t even want to go to the gym because I look fat. People look at my fat all the time and what is the point. Ill just eat this box of cookies. No…don’t eat them because that will make you fatter but who cares your already fat so eat. People liked me more when I was dieting perfectly…blah blah blah. No one wants to listen to a chubby singer. My husband liked me more when I was thinner. People only like me when I am in great shape. People will listen to my music if I’m skinny. I wish I was thinner, I wish I could have a flat stomach…..I suck. I hate myself. Wow look at how ugly I look. Fat fat fat. I’m fat. I look so fat.

That is what goes through my head 24 hours a day 7 days a week. No matter what is going on around me.

You feel gross, disgusted with yourself, uncomfortable in your own skin, and guilty about eating no matter what it is. You can feel the weight of your body and your own body fat. These thoughts trigger more ED behaviors and it is an endless cycle. Sometimes it causes you to get so depressed, normal daily tasks are tough. Work for example can be tough. Waiting on people and pretending to be happy and nothings wrong, people bringing up my weight gain and that sort of thing.

As some of you know, I did a bodybuilding competition earlier this year. I was in the bikini category. Never in my life have I ever gotten that thin, and still that wasn’t even THAT thin and as little body fat as some of the chicks on that stage. I also didn’t even feel thin or feel like I belonged up there! I always thought in my mind that human beings are supposed to look a certain way, because “that” is healthy. We are all supposed to look buff and ripped. But, as time goes on, I wonder…was it healthy for me? Is it? It really depends on the person. For me, I still don’t even know and I am confused.

When I was at my thinnest, I still thought I was fat. I still looked at my flaws and it would completely effect what I thought about my own self- worth. I was not happier that I am at the weight I am at right now. I just hid it better. I would alter my eating/exercise habits around what my body looked like. Which to an extent could be healthy, but in other cases, it could be completely unhealthy. My state of mind got so obsessive, (and still is, but in a different way) that I have missed out and still miss out what is really important to me in life. Now that I have strayed away from body building, I have put on weight. Quite a bit. I have slacked off and now I have seen another ugly side of ED.

As I try to balance, ED has thrown me completely off balance. The program I entered has been helping me figure things out and I will get through it because I know I am strong. I always try to think about the people I love most in my life and…how their weight has no effect of how much I love them! I just want to see the ones I love happy and I am sure that the people who love me, feel the same way. As I am going through this recovery, I just ask…for your support and love. That’s it.

Jess
 PS. My new friend Angela recently posted this photo when she opened up about her eating disorder and she inspired me to be honest and open up as well. Thank you Angela, Melissa, and Jess for your support and thank you Colleen for being the most incredible friend a person could have!

Friday, February 8, 2013

4 STEPS TO REACH YOUR GOAL!

Do you find yourself striving for the same goal you have set for yourself over and over again? Do you find that you still haven't reached this goal yet?

Most of us would answer YES to this question. We are human and we are easily distracted. There are a few steps you need to take to reach a goal. It may be easy mapping it out - the hard part is being patient and following through!

1. DECIDE.

First decide what is the goal you want to reach and when you want to reach it by. Be realistic.

2. LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES.

Write a list of thing that have stopped you from reaching this goal.

3. MAP IT OUT

What do you have to do to reach this goal?

4. TAKE ACTION!

You have mapped it out, now make it your #1 priority until you reach your goal! Don't let anyone or anything get in the way of it. No excuses! YOU WILL FAIL IF YOU QUIT!

Now, I want to share my goal with you....

I will never forget the first time I went to a gym. I thought to myself, this isn't for me...I'm a musician! I have dreadlocks! I smoke and drink and I don't give a f*ck about this sh*t! I just want to party whoo hoo!

But if I didn't care....what was I doing there? Deep down inside of me I knew I wanted to be healthier....

I was the chubby weird girl in high school, never fit in but people still liked me. I got along with everyone, but I never felt pretty or attractive. My mind was in a different place. I was more creative than anything. I would skip class to go smoke cigs, or go to the art room and paint. I was the girl who carried her drawings and guitar everywhere. I was hanging out with people in their 20's when I was 15 and partying all weekend. I ended up in a school program for the bad kids - not that I was bad, just not cooperative when it came to ordinary school work. Luckily, I graduated and got into an art college.

It wasn't until after college I got REALLY serious about my health. I met someone that I fell in love with (who I am married to today) and felt as though I had something to live for, someone to look my best for and much more. Meeting him gave me the push to do what I always wanted to do for myself deep down inside. I even got certified in Personal Training because I have grown to love Health and wellness so much! Now I can say I am shooting for a goal...and I am doing it for MYSELF. How do I know this? Everyone around me are leading normal lives!

When I first started working out...I found bodybuilding.com. This is where I saw the bodybuilders and figure + bikini competitors and checked out what they do to compete. This gave me a workout plan, but I never had the will power to follow the clean diet for long enough to see the results I wanted. I tried, and I tried. I thought that if I ate clean, I can binge once a week and see results. For my body type - this is a big NO NO! By having different coaches and advice from people in the industry, I learned about my body type (and still am) and I am learning now what works for me and what doesn't!

I am 4 weeks into training/dieting for a bikini competition for the OCB natural on April 20th. I have 9 weeks left to diet and train my butt off - and no matter what - if its the last thing I do. I'M MAKING IT THIS TIME!


1. DECIDE.


Bikini competition - OCB - April 20th


2. LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES.

continuously cheating/binging on crap food once a week + alcohol +STRESS (the toughest one to conquer!)

3. MAP IT OUT.

Prep with a coach with experience, eat a clean calorie diet (no cheats/binging/alcohol/stress)
and train my A$$ off!

4. TAKE ACTION!


No matter what happens in this 9 weeks - I'm walking on that stage WITH CONFIDENCE! I am a curvy chick - and boy do I have curvy hips. I am NOT SKINNY and nor will I be. I will be STRONG AND CURVY and I am going to bring it to the stage for all of my HEALTHY CHICKS WITH CURVY HIPS! So wish me luck!

JESS

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January's Healthy Chick of the Month - Jennifer Lee

JENNIFER LEE


I chose Miss Jenn to be January's Healthy Chick because she always impresses me! I wanted to start 2013 with one of the healthiest, most energetic people I know! She is extremely committed to exercise and nutrition and has a big heart. If you ask her a question about either subjects she would be more than happy to answer. I have had the pleasure of working with Jenn and jumping on the Move Fitness train, and let me tell ya......I am enjoying the ride!




Age: 39
Occupation: Owner, MOVE Fitness & Associate Director Of Technology, StreetAccount FactSet
website: http://www.move-fitness.com

Have you always been a Healthy Chick? 

Yes and no. I’ve always been active, growing up as a figure skater and martial artist. I’ve had gym memberships and lifted weights since high school. I remember going to Nautilus Plus in Revere and taking aerobics at Kathy’s Place way back when it was at the Sons of Italy.  I don’t eat fried food, white bread, pasta, butter, mayo, artificial sweeteners and am not much of a meat eater. BUT, I do love chocolate.

What motivates you every day to stay healthy? 

There was a point when I was down to 112 lbs when I was training for Boston. I had very low body fat, ate like an athlete and everyone told me I looked sick.  I don’t think “skinny” suits me. I’m more of a “strong” chick.  I feel best when I’ve got some defined muscle. Now I worry less about the scale and more about how I feel. 


"I don’t think “skinny” suits me. I’m more of a “strong” chick.  I feel best when I’ve got some defined muscle. Now I worry less about the scale and more about how I feel."


What certifications do you have?  

·      Personal Training Certifications from American Council on Exercise and the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
·      Precision Nutrition, Certified Nutrition Coach
·      Spinning® Star 3
·      Zumba (B1 & B2), Zumba Gold, Zumbatomic
·      TRX
·      BTS Group Kick & Group Groove
·      Art of Strength Kettlebell & Ropes
·      Punk Rope

When did you start MOVE?  

Ron called me as I was standing in line to board a plane to Los Angeles, on a post-divorce-who-the-hell-am-I trip.  He said “Jenn, what do you think about opening a gym in the old video store in Michaels Mall?”.  I replied “keep talking…”  That was 2007. He had a business plan already written. We had trouble getting into the space with zoning etc so we started with outdoor boot camps and personal training in a 900 sq foot “proof of concept” studio in my house. It was successful. In Dec 2010, I was in the Hallmark store and I asked Paul what they were doing with the vacant space and he said they were going to level it, so if I was still interested to make an offer. I called Ron immediately and we got to work. There were 3 of us at the time and we did a ton of work ourselves. We opened the doors in September 2010.

What is it like to own a Fitness studio/gym?

I’d call it a labor of love. It’s a lot of work. Early mornings and late evenings. Accounting, operations, marketing and so many other jobs need to get done on top of training clients, teaching classes, managing the staff, programming etc.  Scheduling is so hard. Sometimes people ask you to add another class or fill in for an instructor but you’ve already taught 2 classes that day, trained 3 clients, worked your day job and got your own training in… The hardest part is the fact that often times my own training slips because I’m focused on others. Stress eating is a new thing for me and I don’t like it…

What is your favorite hobby?
 
I love cycling.  I road bike and mountain bike.  I’m also a figure skater but I don’t get to do that very much. 



What do you do when you are not at MOVE

I sleep, work my day job and hang with my kid, Keira (9). She still thinks I’m cool. 

What made you decide to start competing? 

I’m type A so I’m very goal oriented and lately I’m convinced that I’m a little crazy.  I started in 2008 with Adventure Races, which are 6-24 hour endurance events that include mountain biking, kayaking and orienteering in forests and state parks. One of our races we had to transport our mountain bikes in our canoes and paddle through whitewater.

In 2009 I decided to run the Boston Marathon and then in 2010 I upped the ante by running the Disney Goofy race which is a half marathon on Saturday followed by a full marathon on Sunday. They should call that the Dopey. It wasn’t as fun as it sounds. It was in the 40s and rained the entire time. Race organizers were yelling “Welcome to Disney, Alaska” as we got off the bus at 4am to wait 2 hours in the rain standing still on concrete in a packed parking lot. That’s when I decided that half marathons were “my thing”. I’ve run well over a dozen half marathons since then.
I also picked up road cycling along the way. This past year I rode my first century ride, Braintree to P-town (114 miles of rolling hills).

This year, I’ve chosen to train for the Miami 70.3 (Half Ironman). This involves a 1.2 mile swim (I just learned how to swim in November), a 56 mile bike ride followed by a half marathon. All in under 6 hours. It’s a 10 month progressive training plan. 



What one was the most challenging?

That’s a toss-up. I did a 24 hour Adventure Race in New York/NJ that involved some serious uphill mountain biking/pushing the bike uphill. They made us go into a bear cave for a checkpoint. I’ve scaled rocks under waterfalls thru poison ivy wearing bike shoes and carried my bike overhead thru a river. The goofy was no picnic either in 40 degree pouring rain. I think they’re all pretty challenging. My motto is “if it sounds impossible, I’m in”. I draw the line at tough mudders though. Getting electrocuted for the sake of getting electrocuted is not my cup of tea. 

What competition did you do your best in? 

Then there was a 6 hour Adventure Race in Connecticut that rained the entire time. My 2-person co-ed team came in 1st place!

"My motto is 'if it sounds impossible, I’m in!'"


What does your pre-contest exercise routine look like? 

My half ironman training is a 6 day/week program involving 3 says of swim, 3 days of bike and 3 days of running. (doubles just about every day)

What does your pre-contest meal plan look like?

I feel my best eating lite meals more often as my training gets progressively harder. You never want that “overfull” feeling. I eat clean most of the time anyway, but I stay away from things that will bother my stomach or weigh me down. Most of my carbs come from fruits and vegetables. I try to juice more during race season too.

What supplements are a must for you?

I try not to supplement until I desperately need it. In the spring/summer/fall when I’m doing a lot of outdoor endurance, I use Cytomax in one of my water bottles, although I’m going to try to switch to Coconut Water this year. I use Cliff Shot Blocks and Strawberry Gel Shots and GU Espresso Love Shots. In the summer I drink protein shakes for breakfast, mostly just because I like them. 

What are your overall rules for nutrition? 

I avoid white processed foods and dressings. I don’t use butter or salt. I try to eat as many vegetables as I can during the day and I don’t drink fruit juices or fake sugar soft drinks.  I try to cook my own meals as often as possible as well as use organic ingredients. 

Do you ever "cheat"? What are your favorite "cheats"?  

I hate that I do, but sometimes the winter blues gets the best of you! Peanut butter cups, Cakeballs from Sandra, Jalapeno and Tamarind Margaritas. Oh, and flavored coffee. My 2013 goal is to quit coffee. I quit soda about a year ago (well, replaced it with fizzy water). 

What is your favorite Healthy food?
 
I love anything from Life Alive. I love carrots, salsa and chickpeas, quinoa, avocado, sweet potatoes, blueberries and bananas. 

What advice would you give to others that are struggling to reach their goals? 

Baby steps. Don’t focus on what you can’t have, focus on what you need. Drink water, eat 5-10 servings of vegetables each day. I have all of my clients write a 3 day food journal. I take out different color highlighters and highlight vegetables and fruits in green, breads/starchy carbs/junk food in yellow, proteins in pink. I try to get them to get maximize the green and minimize the yellow.

Who would you like to Thank for helping you along the way? 

I suppose the first person that I have to thank is my brother, Ron, for getting me into the fitness industry back in 2000. My parents for their endless support. The MOVE staff for being so awesome at everything they do and most of all, the members for being our raison d’etre.



Thank you so much for being a part of my new blog and facebook page JENN!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Little Tomato Hummus Sammys - CAUTION EXTREMELY SIMPLE...TAKES LIKE 2 SECONDS.

The "fat kid" inside me started crying, "waaahhhh I'm hungry!!!!" like she always does!

So instead of reaching for the chips and chocolate and soda and cake and........you know all that quick easy to grab crap to shove into my mouth......The "Healthy Chick" inside me put that little fat kid in time out and took over the kitchen!

I came up with these little tomato sandwiches or "sammys" (which I like to call em!) which is a low carb, low fat, nutrient dense snack with protein! Yay! The Healthy Chick and the fat kid are happy now that there is something in the belly! I just ate them all before I can finish this blog post! I'm an animal! roooaaaaaaaaarrrr!


  1. Just chop up a firm tomato into slices
  2. Dab your choice of hummus onto a slice
  3. Top off the hummus with some fat free cheese 

:o) and BAM you got a healthy - extremely easy and simple tasty snack! YUM.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Healthy Chicks Workout Class


I started this blog, then it turned into a facebook page, then a twitter account and pinterest account. Now Healthy Chicks with Curvy Hips is an official workout class at Move Fitness! Wednesday night was the 4th class that I taught and when I was looking in the mirror at the women behind me - I was so happy! All I could see was women having FUN! FEELING SEXY! and doing something great for themselves!

Ever since I started working out at a gym where there were workout classes I always thought about how fun it would be to teach.... Zumba, bodypump or any kind of dance or workout class. I always dreamed of teaching a class but never thought it would come into play. When I started at Move - Ron gave me the idea of having a free class every week and I didn't know what it would be called or anything. Then he brought up my blog and social media outlets and gave me that idea of that being the name of the class!

The whole purpose of Healthy Chicks with Curvy Hips is to show women that having curves is a beautiful thing! Most of us all struggle with the same things. We are in this together. Many of us struggle with our weight and image and we need to be there for each other when the going gets tough. We all should strive towards healthy goals but that doesn't mean we shouldn't love ourselves the way we are in the meantime!

I wanted to create a class that ANY woman could walk into - at any fitness level, any size, any age, any shape, any color etc., and not feel threatened. I wanted to make this class as fun as possible while burning a ton calories at the same time! I wanted the dance moves to be simple yet fun while incorporating strength training. Zumba tends to be a bit confusing and people sometimes feel uncomfortable with the steps. My class focuses on strength training, dancing and plyometrics. I choreograph the moves to the beat!

Each class includes:
  1. Warm-up
  2. Upper body strength exercises with weights- 
  3. Lower body strength - 
  4. Core activation - 
  5. Cardio/plyometrics
  6. Stretch cool down
One of my goals this year is to make a workout video to share the workouts with my  HCCH fans that they can do in their own home! Come check out the class - Wednesday nights at 7pm at Move - free and open to all guests!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Kerry Spindler - December Healthy Chick of the Month!

 Kerry Lynn Spindler 


I chose Kerry as my December Healthy Chick of the Month because she is one of the most ambitious and kind-hearted people that I know. I was amazed by her story and how she dedicates her life to protecting her skin and also helping thousands of others to do the same! She also is a big advocate for Curvy women around the world. She actually gave me the idea to start Healthy Chicks with Curvy Hips! Kerry is heavily involved in the fashion industry because she is a Couture Children's clothing designer. She travels all over the country for fashion shows and Hollywood award shows because of both of her wonderful creations Kspin Designs Children's Boutique and also her skin awareness non-profit organization Pretty Pale. Being in the fashion industry, Kerry witness first hand how unhealthy/unrealistic most models bodies look. Most of the fashion industry today embeds images and thoughts in women's heads that you need to look and be a certain way to be beautiful. Well, this is certainly NOT TRUE and we must all work together to encourage women to bring out their confidence no matter how curvy they are and also no matter what skin color they are! We also need to help each other to incorporate HEALTHY HABITS in our lives and find a balance between FUN and HEALTH. What I mostly love about Pretty Pale is that she promotes (role)models to "LOVE the skin your in" and to embrace your natural skin color! This is critical because it is so damaging to our minds and bodies to tan regularly or to simply - try to be something that your're not!  
Thank you Kerry so much for being this months Healthy Chick of the Month!






Name: Kerry Lynn Spindler
Age: 39
Occupation: Children’s Clothing Designer / Melanoma Survivor
email: kerry@kspindesigns.com
twitter link(s): @kspindesigns

Have you always been a Healthy Chick?

No. I used to tan regularly in tanning beds when I was in my 20’s

What made you start Pretty Pale?

I have a background in fashion and beauty and tried to incorporate these into a sunless beauty message that is not only attractive but also achievable.

One of the primary reasons I founded my parent company Kspin Designs, a Children's Clothing Boutique, was to significantly raise awareness of Melanoma and Skin Cancer nationwide, as well as the methods of its prevention. This isn’t a pet project; I myself was diagnosed with Melanoma at 27. At that time my life was subsequently changed forever. As my cancer was caught early on, I was ultimately able to beat it. However thousands more won’t, and the experience has left me with a burning desire to do whatever is in my power to help others avoid going through the rigors of this relentless disease.

I have come to know numerous men, women and children who are fighting Melanoma, along with many who’ve lost their fights. Their stories are heartbreaking, and the most agonizing thing about them is that so many of these cases might have been avoided with simple education.

One of the biggest keys to winning this fight is to start educating early. Teaching children simple preventative techniques is vital. Instructing them to use sunscreen and avoid unnecessary tanning could very easily save their life. Unquestionably, one of the best weapons we can employ against Melanoma is a greater knowledge of the methods of averting it.

Every day, the dedicated men and women involved in cancer research are making tremendous strides in treating Skin Cancer and Melanoma. Recently, through their diligent lobbying, they have been instrumental in not only prolonging the lifespan, but also improving the quality of life for those suffering with Melanoma. This is why I stand behind their efforts 100%.

As PrettyPale.org grows, so will your appreciation for this cause. Our  models will always be men and women of all ages and nationalities that are achievable to aspire to. I promise to carry forward everything I have learned working as a professional model (for well known designers worldwide); from fashion tips to skin care and everything in between. Pretty Pale will do all possible to encourage you to love your sunless skin as much as we do.  


How has having cancer impacted your life?

Melanoma is something I will always have to be concerned about coming back. I can’t take the protection of my skin lightly. With my diagnosis came other health issues that are a constant reminder of my battle.

What motivates you every day to stay healthy?

I am motivated by other people really. I want to teach the world to love the skin they were born in without resorting to natural or artificial tanning.

What supplements or skin care products are a must for you?

Sunscreen! Sunscreen and more sunscreen! I put it on when I come out of the shower when my pores are open and re-apply throughout the day.


What advice would you give to someone who battles skin cancer?

It would serve our mission greater for someone battling to give us advice. Where we have a platform that reaches many people, their advice would be an invaluable learning tool.

Who would you like to Thank for helping you along the way?

My family and friends. Paving the way for an underestimated and underfunded cancer is not an easy mission. Without their support, www.PrettyPale.Org would have been an idea, not a foundation that celebrates beautiful natural skin.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Family - ingredients for the best recipe ever.

Every family member is a special and unique ingredient for the best recipe ever....FAMILY!

I was working out this morning and thinking about my amazing weekend/vacation with my family in Connecticut. (no carb or calorie counting for me over the weekend!)

You know what I counted this weekend? Every time my cousins made me smile. Every time my step mom told me a loving memory of my father that passed. I counted every time I enjoyed a home made tasty meal or treat. I counted every time a family member smiled when I gave them their Christmas present. I counted the hysterical laughs coming from my Uncles. I counted each special moment I shared with each special person. I only counted every amazing experience I had over this whole weekend.

Meanwhile as soon as I arrived in Connecticut I went straight to my father's grave because it is the anniversary of his death....My car broke down at the cemetery! I had to get a tow truck to come and pull me out of there. I thought of my dad and how maybe he just wanted me to stay a little bit longer! It was the best place I could break down...I have 20 million family members in that area so my uncles came and saved me! Also, my phone died, and my phone charger didn't work but I did not let any of this bother me. Especially after hearing what happened in Newtown, Connecticut. This made me cherish every moment I had this weekend and makes me cherish every moment I have with my loving husband and friends as well.

The whole point of this little post is, just enjoy who and what you have in this life. The number on the scale does not define who you are. It is the holiday season and it the time of year to have a great time with the ones you love. Just be aware of yourself, your actions and also be aware of all the great things you have in your life because we are not here forever! Enjoy yourself but don't destroy yourself!

I took this picture as soon as I arrived in CT right before my car died!  

For a gift to my family I gave them a CD of My Dad singing and playing guitar at a gig back in the late 80's early 90's at Chuck's in Connecticut. Thanks to a local friend - I had the tape converted to MP3. I digitally remastered this song and sang along with my dad on this track after all these years of never having this opportunity to do this. He had lost his voice back in 97 after a major surgery. I lost him 2 years ago today and it is an amazing thing to be able to finally sing with my dad after all of these years. Also - Thank you to my family and friends who have been there for me and who are all true blessing to me in my life.