#ABXDVD Was not For Me

As per the FTC’s “Clear and Conspicuous Requirement” I received a copy of this DVD per a blogging review site. I was not compensated in any way other than the free DVD for this review.

I have been in the fitness industry for over a decade, run a successful Chicago area fitness studio and have been a paid presenter in the fitness industry. During this time I have blogged about fitness, health and wellness, reviewed DVDs and other fitness items, always honestly and without abash. I have read some of the reviews that were in the 1-2 star range for this product and was dismayed to see that the company took a negative stance against people honestly giving their feedback about a product; growth comes from honest critique not glowing praise even if your company’s philosophy is self-acceptance – probably more so because you shouldn’t need bloggers to affirm you.

Having put off this review so long that I keep receiving contact from the company I can no longer shirk the duty. The short and sweet, so as to not get into a debate with anyone representing ABX is, I personally did not like the DVD. I personally did not connect to the video. I personally did not like the routine. I personally did not like the video staging including the personalities. I would not personally recommend the DVD to any client I can think of; however, I personally believe that the DVD might have an appeal, as another reviewer on Amazon aptly pointed out, to males for viewing pleasure.

New Year’s Resolutions Slowing Down, Get Cast on Extreme Weight Loss


In a unique, non-competitive show about weight loss, “Extreme Weight Loss” documents the amazing makeover of courageous, obese people who, in an unprecedented 365 days, set out to safely lose around half of their body weight, ultimately revealing an amazing metamorphosis.

Trainer and transformation specialists Chris and Heidi Powell guide each of the participants through their transformation process. By assuring that they have the proper nourishment and exercise movement, Chris and Heidi will provide a fresh perspective to individuals whose lives have become unmanageable because of their weight.

In each of the two-hour episodes, the participants undergo a transformation not only of their bodies, but of who they are as individuals. “Extreme Weight Loss” will chronicle each participant’s journey in a stand-alone episode as they go about reclaiming his or her life.

Eyeworks USA is beginning a nationwide tour to 10 cities across the country in search of participants for season six of the show. Candidates are asked to either attend an open call in one of the following cities or send in a home audition video. Information about how to apply and casting call specifics can be found on the official casting website at http://www.extremeweightlosscasting.com.

Saturday, February 14th, 2015



Saturday, February 21st, 2015



Saturday, February 28th, 2015




**Casting Team Media Relations**
Holland Weathers, Sr. Casting Director 818-929-2278

*Those who cannot attend a casting call can submit a video for consideration. Must be 18 years old by April 12, 2015 to apply. Must be a legal U.S. resident. For additional eligibility requirements please view the “Eligibility” tab on our website.

Seeing a Therapist is the Best Thing and Tips for Blue Monday

Recently I started seeing a therapist after a recommendation from my doctor, who is a naturopath.  For the last three years I have been struggling with ever more complicated and painful gut issues, as well as body pain.  I had succumbed to elimination diets, gut healing diets, you name it and while they worked short term, they never worked for long regardless of how strict I adhered.  After numerous blood, stool and you name it tests,  I mentioned my navel was distended to my doctor – she thought a hernia may be the problem and surgery a solution.  This is when I admitted that I was suffering with anxiety and panic attacks – that there was no way I could undergo surgery of any kind.  She recommended a talk to the practice’s therapist.  Within two sessions I was able to start eating all of the wonderful foods that had been giving me pain.  Those two sessions, and many more, have included hours of crying, coming to terms with my past and learning how to cope in the present.  So when I was contacted with an amazing opportunity to ask some questions of Dr. Gary Foster, Chief Scientific Officer at Weight Watchers about how to beat Blue Monday – I jumped at the opportunity.

Many of us have fallen victim to the wrath of winter and already have let our cold weather blues bust our goals for the New Year. The first ever Blue Monday – January 24, 2005 – was established as a marketing idea for a travel company to boost sales during the winter. Psychologist Cliff Arnall produced a formula based on factors such as weather conditions, debt level, time since Christmas, time since giving up on our New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action. Some argue that there’s no such thing, but there’s no doubt that this is a tough time of year and –  this year’s Blue Monday –  January 26 – is a great time to talk about the things that get us down and how to get back on track.

If you are among the millions who started 2015 with a goal to be healthier, Dr. Gary Foster, Chief Scientific Officer at Weight Watchers, will be available to help you beat your cold weather blues, so you can achieve your winter goals. Dr. Foster will discuss:

  • How your mood affects your commitment to winter goals
  • The reasons why your brain gravitates towards food for comfort
  • Tips to keep you on track for your winter goals

About Dr. Gary Foster, Chief Scientific Officer at Weight Watchers
Dr. Foster is a psychologist, obesity investigator and behavior change expert with more than 160 scientific publications and three books on the etiology and treatment of obesity to his name. Dr. Foster’s research interests include the prevention, behavioral determinants, treatments, and effects of obesity in adults and children. He was previously the Director of the Center of Obesity Research and Education at Temple University in Philadelphia and served as a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. In his role as Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Foster oversees Weight Watchers science-based program, all clinical research initiatives, and continued program advances.

Not all of my questions were chosen to be answered but have a look at a few that Dr. Foster tackled:



Enjoy the Journey There is No Final Destination

As the lyrics say, “Money can’t buy me love”.  It can’t buy health, love or happiness either and the main problem isn’t a lack of funds or trying.  The problem is in attainment.  Health, wealth, love and happiness are all nouns, things which can be sought to be possessed.  If you own one, then two could be better and of course three would be amazing – right?  We are constantly bombarded by messages to buy more, consume more, own more.  Even when we think it is in our own best interest.  Want to go off the grid and can your own foods? There’s a magazine for that, and a store that sells the supplies, and television shows to help you out.  Want to be more green? There’s a magazine for that, and high priced items you can purchase to make yourself feel better about consuming, and online quizzes to test your greenness. I’m not saying owning things is evil or the cause of humanity’s undoing, but the obsession that can come from trying to attain a thing, an absolute, can be frightening and downright dangerous.  It’s more about being aware that you are being marketed to, knowing when you are being manipulated, and learning how to be authentic and true to yourself.  Can you hear your own voice amid the tidal wave of marketing sirens calling to you?

It’s no longer a call to obsess about the ideal weight, perfect job or best house.  No, marketing has become far more nefarious and camouflaged.  It appeals to our sense of something better, something greater to attain – peace of mind, kindness, relaxation, purity.  Out there on every street corner, every corner of the internet, there is marketing for attainment bombarding us – just learn this new style of yoga, give this cleanse a try – from TV doctors to studio gurus they are all dangling the carrot out there.  What makes this worse than selling you a pair of high priced shoes, or a suburban home? Well, if you can’t reach it, if you aren’t satisfied at the end of the day the problem isn’t with any product, the problem is with you.  You don’t believe enough, you didn’t meditate enough, or cleanse enough, you haven’t expressed enough gratitude or forgiveness. We’ve gone from being dissatisfied with tangible objects we try to posses, to being unhappy about our own states, our own abilities to make ourselves feel better and be better individuals.

Life is about living, not attaining and the key to all of it is enjoying. Just enjoy, it’s as easy as that.  Find the moments – sure the present is great, but the past holds moments to enjoy as well, so does the future.  Take a few moments everyday to think about what you enjoy.  I do it when I feel as though folding the laundry, just one more moment of daily monotonyIMG_1093_thumb.jpg, will drive me over the edge.  I imagine a small little weekend trip my husband and I took, sitting poolside, reading a book and I enjoy that moment in time and the possibility that there may be others like it.

There is nothing to sell, the ability to enjoy what we already have and have had resides within each of us. Sometimes it is buried so far beneath the surface, under glossy images of that “perfect wedding dress” and commercials featuring the “perfect family” or the “shiniest new car” that it can be hard to unearth.

We have nothing to lose by trying to enjoy what we have, or even what we have had.  Life isn’t about limiting ourselves or our experiences, it is about expanding them and honoring them by truly enjoying them.  So practice yoga if you like, eat gluten-free foods if you feel better, sail away on a trip, take a bite of that gooey chocolate cake and enjoy! Enjoy the moments of every journey you are on because there is no final destination.

I Weigh Less on the Moon, So That’s Something

Since my big freak out a few weeks ago my partner has removed the scales from the bathroom and been teaching me to chant my new mantra “I am on my way to getting into the shape I want to be in.” Since I started this journey, fitness reboot, or reconnection to movement – whatever I am calling it instead of working out/dieting/losing weight – I have been to the gym to workout 2 times, been to the gym for a yoga class 1 time and hit our apartment’s fitness center 2 times.  It has been a little colder than I like which keeps me from walking the 2-3 miles to the local grocery stores for shopping though I did manage taking the boy to camp for the past two weeks via stroller.  I thought maybe I had missed a few days but then I remembered my partner tried to take him to camp but he came running in to bounce on my sleeping body and begged me to walk him there – I may have missed one morning but I was too tired to register it.

I give you alien germs!

I give you alien germs!

I have also made sure to take some indoor walking excursions to places like Target – its basically a giant indoor track, if you can avoid spending money on tidbits.  I even dodged buying a “My Size Elsa” for the little gal, she wasn’t even with us I just thought we could pick it up for her and blow her three year old mind when she saw it.  Amazon lists the same one for $249 and Target had it for $59 – seemed like a bargain! I was vetoed. My other big walking adventure is to OMSI.  The kids love it there and I get a chance to walk around, its a small walk from the streetcar to the museum and then walking around exhibits, etc.  Today I even hopped on the scale that measures weight on different planets – I really like my weight on the moon.  Sharing walking adventures and trips to the museum have made this winter break fun and educational.  There is nothing more important that I can show my children than that I value movement, education and eating healthy.

I find these last few days I have been craving proteins like a brain starved zombie – I just can’t get enough of anything with tofu – especially these lemongrass and ginger tofu wings from a local vegan place – broke down for takeout only once, and hey – that was last year.  On the other nights I just pine for them, but I keep my distance, attempting to cook at home.

The best part is that my digestive tract is doing better.  I have no idea what was wrong, I had everything tested from all ends of me and everything came up a dead end.  My naturopath thought I may have a hernia based on the distended belly button, but it seems the ultrasound came up with gallstones (again) and my little pancreatic cyst.  I’ve been taking GABA for anxiety (and I say an active therapist) and it seems to work, Vitamin D for a variety of things, b12, and chanca piedra again for the stones.  It was also recommended to make a castor oil warm compress when my stomach hurts.  After 2 weeks of the regiment, and of course the almost 2 years of eating no garlic, gluten, onions, chocolate and limited nuts – I finally can eat regular old food again.  Though garlic seems to give me that “I just inhaled menthol” feeling slightly so I have been trying to avoid it.  But chocolate is back, so is gluten and no problems so far – to be safe I am limiting my intakes to one meal a day. I just made some Penzey’s Cocoa Hot Cocoa for me and the little ones with coconut “whip” cream.  It was yummy.

I received the gift of 8 new Life Factory 22 oz water bottles I fill them daily with cucumber slices and lemon wedges, or orange slices and leave them in the fridge.  My goal is to drink half of my body weight in fluid ounces daily – which is what the average person needs to stay hydrated – so far I get pretty close to that.  I never would have bought these bottles myself which is sad because they are helping me to drink more water which is key in the long term to health.

What kind of other things can facilitate healthy living, things that may seem extravagant (like 8 new water bottles), simple (like parking farther from your destination), or something I just haven’t thought of yet…hmmmmmm??