Monday, July 9th, 2012  
Posted by Megan as Training

Guest Blogger Darcie Sosa is a Dietetic Technician at Everyday Health Calorie Counter.

Count your calories!
I think that most people, who have dieted at some point in life, have been told this.

Recent studies have shown that people, who self-monitor their calories, tend to have a greater weight loss (Burke). Still, there seems to be some hesitation towards keeping track of what you eat. When I ask people why they don’t like to keep track of their calories, some of the usual responses are:

“It will take too much time”, “I won’t remember to write everything down”, “It’s just not fun to do”. To a point, I would agree.

Traditionally, writing everything down in a notebook requires some time; remembering to write all your meals and snacks down often takes away from the thrilling experience of enjoying our food.

Now you can toss those pencils aside because calorie counting takes on a whole new spin in 2012! More and more people are now logging their daily calories via their tablets and smart phones with calorie counting apps that have online journals. These apps help you to conveniently add up all your foods on the go. A few clicks and your whole meal is tallied up! No writing utensils needed, no scraps of paper with yesterday’s lunch being found in your back jeans pocket. Everything is accessible in one place and kept safe for you to access privately 24/7.

Why should you count your calories? People who count calories have more control of what they eat and their portion sizes. Calorie counting gives you insight into your own weight loss and maintenance.

A healthy weight loss is 0.5-2 pounds per week. Each pound of fat equals about 3,500 calories, so to lose 0.5-2 pounds per week; you need a calorie reduction of 1,750- 7,000 calories per week (250-1,000 calories/day).

Guessing how many calories are in foods you eat isn’t accurate because most people will underestimate what they eat each day. Using a good calorie counter can help you track all the calories you eat during the day and help you stay on track with your calorie budget.

So, how do you choose the best app in a calorie counting app search overload? I recommend previewing for certain features on these apps before you download.

  • There are many great calorie counting apps that are free. I’m going to have a hard time recommending you spend money on one. Free apps have an advertisement at the bottom of the screen, but I have never found it invasive enough to spend $4.99 for the same functionality.
  • Great apps will not only track calories, but macro and micro nutrients such as total fat, carbohydrates, sodium, and cholesterol.
  • Look for customizable features that let you adjust your calorie needs, your desired weight loss, and even help track your weekly or monthly weight progress.
  • The app should have a large, organized, easy-to-read food list to choose from. It should also allow you to add your own foods if they are not otherwise available.
  • Look for apps that will continually update. Companies will frequently update their features – smoothing out software bugs and making the app more aesthetically pleasing along the way.
  • Look for four and five star ratings. Are most of the comments positive? If so, give it a try. If it’s not the right one for you, you can always delete it and try another well-rated one.

With technology’s progress and a little research on your part, tracking your calories is now a simple process!

Burke. (2011). Self-monitoring in weight loss: A systematic review of the literature. Retrieved from

Monday, March 26th, 2012  
Posted by Megan as Life

I love new challenges and new races, but this one was different! I planned on doing this race for fun and not really competing, because I didn’t know what to expect. I got nervous the moment I saw a picture of “THE WALL”. I did my usual pre-race prep, but added a few extra items to take including a garbage bag, extra clothes and shoes.

I met up with some other SOHIers at the start line and we talked until we heard the count down 10…9…8… by now my stomach dropped and my adrenaline had kicked in 7…6…5…4…3…2…1! Fire shot into the air signaling our start. I still wasn’t planning on competing, but as the first mile was going by with no obstacles, I figured I can at least run at at fairly fast rate, but not a race pace, because I didn’t want to wear myself out before the obstacles.

So I started passing a few people as we ran for about a mile through uneven terrain. I ran past many CrossFit people thinking to myself. “Well, they may be bigger and stronger, but I can be faster!” It takes more than lifting heavy weights and power movements to do well in this race. Uh-oh..I was starting to think competitively…here we go. I knew I was going to work a little harder to do better and wasn’t going to let myself “take it easy” as I had planned.

The first obstacle, a girl stopped on the top of the balance beam for a full minute from pure fear while I had to wait behind her. I was a little annoyed as was the guy behind me. We had to jump off and keep going.

The next obstacle of two huge walls were relatively quick and easy to climb using the rope and I thought so far so good! Then I got to the cargo net that was raised up and parallel to the ground. I had no idea how to get through it quickly and took my time crawling from square to square. Frustrated, I moved slowly and ran quickly to the next obstacle.

Soon, I started noticing a strong, muscular looking woman who was passing me on the obstacles while I was passing her on the runs. She became my motivator. I imagined she was trying to beat me so I decided I would beat her. She might be stronger than me, but I was confident in my running.

I was determined to use my speed, strength (probably from all those TRX workouts!), and endurance against her massive strength. Running next to her around the fifth obstacle, I could hear her heavy breathing and that is when I knew I had her. I passed her and never saw her again.

Determined to stay ahead, I looked for my next motivator and that’s when I saw Jimmy from boot camp! I yelled out to him at the last run before the swim “Jimmy! I see you! You better run faster!” (as a good boot camp instructor should). He looked back and smiled and I sped up as did he!

The next obstacle was the pond, what the event organizers called “walk through the water,” but the problem was you couldn’t reach the bottom. I hyperventilated for a few seconds after jumping in due to the cold, asthma, and a little fear of swimming with tennis shoes on.

I saw Jimmy ahead gulping down the nasty, brown water, and forced myself to calm down and swim. I felt huge roots and gross things beneath me, which motivated me to swim high and fast. Out of the pond soaking wet, it was time for the fire. I leapt through the flames feeling like a hurdler flying five feet through the air (looking back at the video it was more like 5 inches), climbed the cargo net, crawled under the barbed wire in the mud that was up to my elbows and finished!

It was fun and I would totally do it again. I finished 10th overall female thanks to my motivators. Lastly, I want to know is where was our big slide? I was totally looking forward to that! OH well! I guess there is next year! :)

Friday, March 16th, 2012  
Posted by Megan as Training
This is a guest post by Rachel Ross from her blog RUN LIKE A MOTHER.


We woke up Sunday morning and I laid there in bed and asked: Is that rain? No. It was wind. And trees flying around. And then the power went out. There was a high wind advisory due to 30-50 mph winds. On the bright side, it made me finally stop bitching about the HNL Mary conditions last December.

After finding that my garmin was completely frozen and then breaking my necklace, I decided to stop touching things and KN, Stacky, and I jogged down to the Duke statue just in time for the 5:42 am women’s elite start.

The women socialized at the line while that man in the center, who was very confused, asked what pace we were going to start at and if he could start with us.

And suddenly, we were off. The elite men were starting 9 minutes after us, and the masses and the Kenyan Honolulu Marathon champions were starting another 9 minutes after that. Bree and Cindy were off the front quickly, but knowing that they can hold 6s all day, we let them go. I was running by feel, with no watch, but I felt great at 6:30 pace and we had a nice pack of 5: me, Brigitte, KN, Mariane, and Rani. We turned into the wind a mile 4 and Brigitte organized a pace line. Somewhere around mile 5 I realized Mariane and KN were no longer on the line. So then we were 3.

At mile 7, Brigitte and Rani surged. I went with them for a bit, but quickly realized I was running beyond my means with 6 miles to go, so I dropped off and tried to maintain what I thought was 6:30ish on my own. The lead men came by me here, and Todd looked great and high fived on his way to a 1:12! From mile 8 to mile 11, the wind was heinous.

My feet were tripping me because the wind pushed them around. A garbage can tumbled across the street in front of me, leaving me singing the theme to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in my brain. Brigitte and Rani pulled away and I was lonely for the mile-long climb up Monsarrat. I felt like I was running 9 minute miles, but fortunately I had no way of knowing. Steep + headwind = slow. I lost some time on the climb, but over the top of the hill, at mile 11, the wind was suddenly at our backs. The Kenyans flew by me, and if I had blinked, I would have missed it. I got a second wind (thanks, wind!) and pushed hard to the finish line, gaining time back on Rani but never quite catching her. The top three women, Bree (1:21), Cindy (1:22), and Brigitte (1:25) aren’t in these results, but here are the splits:

Screen shot 2012-03-11 at 2.38.58 PM
In my late 20s, I ran faster than this, once. But 1:26 is really, really close to that PR. 6:37/mile gives me hope for a good season! KN was right behind me, and certainly killed her goal of sub-1:30 as she builds up to the Boston Marathon next month.

Post-Hapalua Half Marathon Break Down

So the full race scoop is here in my race report. After a couple of days, I like to write down what went right and wrong to help me learn for the next race. The biggest challenges of the Hapalua Half Marathon were holding my pace in the wind (beyond my control) and not falling apart after I ate. I need to figure out how to fuel better, because since Ironman Canada last summer, I’ve noticed I fall apart for a mile or two after I eat a gel, shot blocks, or even liquid calories. I need fuel to go long, end of story.

I will bonk if I don’t get some calories in. The challenge is figuring out how to do it without hurting my race. I broke down my pace by 5k splits just to make sure the slow-down wasn’t all mental.


  • 1st 5k: 19:57, or 6:25/mi (not bad considering I had no watch/garmin and was guessing at 6:30)
  • 2nd 5k: 20: 34, or 6:37/mi (headwind for 2/3 of it, still feeling happy)
  • Eat caff PowerGel at 10k, feel OK for half a mile, then lose my breath and start to feel the first bit of fatigue in quads/hips by 7 mi marker, then lose my pack of girls.
  • 3rd 5k: 21:00, or 6:45/mi (headwind, but no worse than last 5k)
  • Final 6k: 25:12, or 6:38/mi (includes the climbs up Monsarrat and Diamond Head Road, found my legs again at mile 11)

It was the food. I came back, and the pace drop wasn’t that huge, but it felt like night and day when I lost my stride in the 3rd 5k. As a result, I lost all confidence in how my race was going.

After the finish: with winner, Bree Wee.

As an experiment, I’m going to race the Diva Wahine Half Marathon in two weeks without eating anything. I wonder if I have enough stored energy to run 6:20-6:30 for 13.1 miles? Time will tell!

Friday, February 17th, 2012  
Posted by Megan as Training
Trying Out The CycleOps Fluid 2

Trying Out The CycleOps Fluid 2

I’ve been so immersed in the world of indoor bike trainers that I forget that perhaps not everyone knows what I’m even talking about, never mind the different types of bike trainers out on the market.

So let’s start by clarifying some of the fundamentals…while there are people who are willing to ‘train’ you to a high level of fitness using a bike, the term ‘bike trainer’ is more commonly used for a device you attach your bike to. Your everyday bicycle can then double as an indoor stationary bike.

So…a bike trainer is a machine, not a specialized type of personal trainer.

Not All Bike Trainers Are Created Equal

There are basically three types of trainers for a bike, not counting the very expensive trainers that are integrated into a computer program…projecting onto a screen a virtual ride that you can participate in. These are a blast to use, but are beyond the means of most people. Try over $1200.

Getting back to the ‘affordable’ trainers, you get what you pay for…with fluid trainers being the most expensive, mag trainers coming in second place, and wind trainers generally being the least expensive.

  1. The fluid trainers, like the Cycle Ops Fluid trainer, generally provide the quietest and most ‘realistic’ ride.
  2. Magnetic trainers are the middle child of trainers, although models like the CycleOps Magneto now rival the best fluid trainers.
  3. The wind trainers are appropriate for more casual cyclists who don’t mind the added noise of this type of trainer, and appreciate the smaller price tag.

Let’s Kick It Off With Fluid Trainers

Fluid trainers have provided the quietest ride and the most resistance of the three types for quite some time now. These trainers provide resistance by spinning an impeller through a fluid-filled chamber.

While this has been one of the best ways to create a workload, there were inherent flaws in the design…namely leakage. Over the last few years, a company called Kurt Kinetic patented a design that eliminated all seals and O-rings, thus eliminating potential for any fluid seeping out of their trainers no matter how much they’re used. This leak-free design has propelled Kurt Kinetic to the top of this type of bike trainer.

Magnetic Trainers Are Nipping At Fluid Trainer Heels

With some recent design improvements, magnetic trainers now aren’t too far behind fluid trainers. I’ve had the chance to put a CycleOps Magneto trainer next to a CycleOps Fluid 2 and I’d have been hard pressed to prefer the ride on one over the other.

They were both smooth, quiet, and provided more of a workload than these legs could sustain.

Wind Trainers: Loud, Simple-Simons?

It used to be that wind trainers weren’t much more than flimsy ’squirrel cages’. They didn’t provide much in the way of resistance, they were loud, and they didn’t fare well when things bumped into them.

They were especially susceptible to getting damaged when they were being moved from living room to storage room, or when they were transported in the trunk of a car from home to a bike race (bike trainers are used by many cyclists for warm-ups before the race).

Current top-notch wind trainers are pretty stout devices with cast iron fans built into the same industrial strength frames that support the best fluid and mag trainers. With fewer moving parts, it could be argued that this style is more reliable than either of its big brothers.

The down-side of wind trainers is that all of that wind they create can get pretty noisy. But if you’re the type of cyclist who doesn’t habitually go much faster than 17 mph on flat ground (the vast majority of those who ride a bike), the sound may not be too much of a problem.

Make A Date With A Bike Trainer

Where I live in California, the snow is now flying (didn’t expect that from California, did you?) and will be for the next week.

That means it’s time to give up on the unseasonably warm winter we were having up until this point, and pull the bike trainer out of the spare bedroom and into the living room in front of the TV. I happen to have one of the early model Kurt Kinetic Fluid trainers, but these days you should be able to choose from a wide variety of quality bike trainers.

Make a date with your bike trainer for three rides a week this winter and you’ll hit the nice weather of spring in ‘fightin’ shape.
About the author: Dr. Ron Fritzke is a chiropractor in Mount Shasta, California. In addition to his private practice, he’s also part of the sports medicine team at the College of the Siskiyous. A former 2:17 marathon runner, he’s now obsessed with riding his bike on the roads, on trails, and even in his living room, on a bike trainer.

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012  
This is a guest post by SOHIer Tiffany.

This means that I have 10 more years till I’m 50. Unless if you count that I will be 41 in June, which means that I have 9 more years.

When I graduated from high school, I weighed in at 120. A year later, I shot up to 200 because I was pregnant with my first child and I ate whatever I wanted. Let me give you a glimpse of how I shot up to 200 at 19 years old…

I had a favorite place with my favorite food.

Zippy’s: Saimin and cheeseburgers
Sizzler’s: Prime rib
Pizza Hut: Large pepperoni with extra cheese (I consumed that all by myself)
Sears Pearlridge: A big barrel of buttered popcorn with an extra large mixed icee that I bought at Sears located in Pearlridge (back in the days)

As we skip through the 90’s of curling irons and hairspray, we breeze through three more kids popping out of me with the additional retaining weight of 165.

Did I ever try to lose weight? Yes, I went to Spa Fitness Center with my girlfriends who were fit and into aerobics. Did I drop? Yes but not where I wanted to because I would actually convince them of stopping at KFC to eat.

One thing great about being in your 20’s is the fact it is easier for a female to burn off and remove the excess weight.

However, being that I was being fruitful with kids…the weight would remain.

During this time, relationship was on a roller coaster and we were pretty young/immature for parents. Call it depression or just plain frustrated but this caused my weight to remain steady between 165-175.

As I entered my 30’s, I was working and decided to try to lose weight by doing it the right way. I started walking and doing 30 minute strength training workouts while watching what I ate as well as drinking meal supplements in between. I started dropping by summer time, however, a life-changing event happened between me and Dan and I started working out like a fiend. Guess how much weight I was then in 2003-2004? 145….

Then, in 2006, I let myself go… and go…and blooming breeches…by 2010-2011, I’m over 200, which I didn’t know because I kept assuming I was 185-194.

During this period, I tried taking phentermine and my weight would fluctuate. I wouldn’t eat since it is a hunger suppressant. But, oh my…the mood swings were dangerous and I didn’t care to be “Sybil” to my family.

I tried Zumba at the beginning of 2011 but that was a phase.

As the year went by and summer came along, I was disgusted in myself because I would always say to myself at the beginning of the years before that, “This is it..I am going to eat healthy and lose weight.” I would project myself 3 months from that time and then six months. But, did it happen? No.

I was beginning to feel emotionally depressed, disgusted with myself but I  would just eat because it was a big ole’ pity party for me.

It didn’t help the fact that I would read and review posts on Twitter and Facebook of “before and after” photos and stories. And would be inspired and I would dream about “what if I do that?”yet I wouldn’t do anything. I would ask Dan if he would go walking with me after work but we are pretty wiped out after work.

The Wake-Up Call: I seen a picture of myself at a Tweetup. Holy schnikey’s…I am a whale.

As I kept looking at that pic, I thought “I am 40 years old and you need to do something.”

I really had to do something. I was tired from walking… I hated the stairs… My office always had food out and about… and I started to look pregnant with a swollen stomach and swollen ankles.

Because I love writing on Yelp, I decided to see if there were Beach Boot Camps like the one my friend was involved in North Carolina.

Enter in…SOHI Fitness

I read their website.. I looked at Crossfit… I looked at other websites. I looked at 24 hour fitness but I dislike that place because it’s literally a meat market of 20-30 somethings…or you can count the over 40 who are sometimes going through a mid-life crisis.

I returned back to reviewing SOHI Fitness because I wanted something that would work. I read the reviews and noticed the following words:

  • Gasping
  • Sweating
  • Wanting to vomit
  • Sand bags
  • Burpees
  • Bear Crawls

It peaked my interest and I looked at the class times. It was the timeframe that I wanted because if possible, I didn’t want to work out afterwork or on the weekends because the weekends are always taken with family time or ministries.

I scrolled down to the prices and debated should I?

Then, I thought to myself that if I pay for the classes, it was a push for me to get my money’s worth and not give up.

Determined I called up Dan, “I want to join a bootcamp class. I need it.”

While I am saying this, I am hoping he doesn’t say anything because there are times where I would assume that his tone sounded discouraging but I know he is not discouraging me at all. I think it was the fact that he seen me start something then not finish. I didn’t want him thinking this was another one.

After speaking with him, I emailed and inquired if it was too late to start a Monday class. The response was quick. I paid through paypal and printed my confirmation. Through all this, I was excited. I was determined to do this.

Sunday night, I got my bag ready, so I could wake up at 4:30am to head to Ala Moana Beach Park.

I was almost late to class but it was a good thing that the other bootcamp class was nice enough to point me to SOHI Fitness.

First day…I wanted to die.

I wasn’t measured until the 2nd class. I was 217 lbs…She advised me to send her my meal diary. Talk about wanting to ignore that fact but there was the talk going on in my head that if I was serious…I need to be brutally honest with Megan (my trainer) as well as myself. No sugar coating anything. I was afraid she would be like my cousin’s trainer but to my surprise after I sent the email. She came back with suggestions of eating moderately and substituting food here and there. She later explained that you can’t ask someone to cut out anything because they will go back on it. However, I was already drinking more water and minimizing any soda. I started eating healthier breakfast as well as lunch.

Two weeks went by and she just wanted to weight me. I dropped about 8 lbs. We were both surprised.

About almost 6 weeks into my class sessions, the worst thing happened. I sprained my calf muscle attempting to run up a hill. I had to rest it from 4-6 weeks. Megan assured me that I could resume my sessions once I was recovered.

First day back to class was at Kakaako. She was so enthusiastic and supportive that she wanted to weigh me. I was hesitant because I ate Jack in the Box the night before and worried that I gained weight.

But, I actually dropped under 200.

She shared she wanted to do this for me by checking up on me periodically because she knew it was my goal to lose weight and get fit.

During the holiday season, I was lazy and would go to class here and there but one particular class, Megan decided to incorporate TRX with a regular boot camp. That was the beginning of my budding fascination of TRX.

She posted discussions about having TRX classes in the morning and I decided that at the beginning of 2012, I would switch to TRX classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays but start running on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday because I needed to start doing things on my own to maintain a healthy lifestyle on my own without depending on classes to keep me fit. In addition, I felt like my body was at a plateau.

Mind you, this is all going through my head during the holidays. So, to celebrate this decision and my pursuit for a healthy lifestyle with the thought to challenge myself, I decided to celebrate it by hiking Koko Head Trail.

If you are on my Instagram, Facebook or Path–you would see the before and after pics of me.

Was I happy? Of course because my husband wasn’t expecting my son and I to make it up there that fast.

I cannot explain the exhilarating feeling I experienced and it is because 6 months before that…I would have not even celebrated this way. There were so much reasons for me to climb that trail and one was for myself but for my son as well because he went through so much. This accomplishment was more than just making it to the top. It went deeper within ourselves that most likely set in our hearts that with God…all things are possible. With determination and prayer…we will reach our goals.

I was so excited that I posted these thoughts as well as my before and after pictures because heck yeah…I am proud of myself. I actually didn’t flake out.

As I write this blog, I have realized that only a handful of people knew how much I was working out. I barely spoke with anyone about my bootcamp and eating habits. Call it silly but I didn’t want to screw myself up. This was something personal for me. It wasn’t a “Look at me-I’m going to try and lose weight.” It wasn’t like that all…it was something that I knew I was serious and determined to make a change in my life not just physically but emotionally/mentally.

Working out or getting fit was something that I have been wanting to do but never finished before August 2011.

Is it because I lacked self-assurance? No, because I know who I am despite the fact that it is annoying when people will comment on my assertiveness as being bossy and headstrong.

Is it because I feel old? No, I am not afraid to admit my age and am not about to buy clothes that doesn’t match my age.

However, it is because I was on a downward spiral of unhealthiness and it was creeping on my weight. In addition, after reading articles over and over that once women reach a certain age, it is difficult to lose weight. It can happen BUT it takes extra effort as you advance in age.

Plus, I knew that I needed to step up or face being a sad, miserable overweight person who was not comfortable with being fluffy.

Don’t get me wrong, I know there are women who are comfortable with whatever weight they are in and for me, that is downright sexy because of their attitude and outlook.

But, I wasn’t comfortable with being overweight. I wanted to make sure that I was comfortable with how I look as well as eating a little more selective to make sure that I don’t fall away.

Don’t get me wrong, I still eat my junk food…with moderation. Do I think twice about what I want to eat? Yes, I do. However, if I am craving for something…I’ll definitely eat it (not gorge).

I have given myself 3 month goal lines. Hopefully by the end of the summer (it makes a year of bootcamping), I will be down to my goal weight.

Am I going to make it? I know I am because there is nothing else to do but go forward.


To be continued…

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012  
Posted by Megan as Boot Camp

916 calories

(The above image is a screen shot of a client’s heart rate monitor following boot camp).
SOHI Fitness boot camp classes are designed for you to burn the most amount of calories in the least amount of time. At SOHI we expect you to see results. We provide unique high calorie burning, muscle building workouts and personalized eating plans to help you lose weight and tone up at any level.
Thursday, January 12th, 2012  
Posted by Megan as Life, Training

This is a guest post by Jennifer Walter.

Two years ago I found myself closing in on my mid 30s with an extra 30 pounds around my waist. New Year’s was approaching and at the stroke of midnight I was going to change all the things about myself I wasn’t happy with through this magical thing called the New Year’s Resolution.

I was going to lose weight. I was the heaviest I’d ever been, woefully out of shape, miserable, yet unable to summon the motivation to do anything about it. I decided that maybe getting a trainer would jump-start me into action and signed up with Megan at SOHI Fitness.

Fast forward two years later…

As of a few months ago I was doing great. I lost 30 pounds and was in the best shape of my life. Then, I fell off the wagon. Slowly at first and then with a loud splat. As I began my recommitment to fitness in the New Year, I thought back to what made me successful the last two years and how I managed to get past the hardest part – getting started.

“I’ll Start Tomorrow” is Not an Action Plan


I was forever dubbing tomorrow, “The Day I’m Going to Start Working Out.” I must have spent nearly a year pretending this was my plan, only to come up with various excuses each day why tomorrow or next week would really be a much better time to get started.  My advice: as soon as you find an exercise program that looks appealing, call and sign up. Or, make a firm plan to meet a friend at the gym.

I caught myself trying to fall back into old habits recently. I came back into town after the holidays and thought, “Maybe I should wait a week before working out. I’ll get back into my routine and get in shape before I start training…”  The excuse fountain was on and they were pouring out. I recognized this behavior and stopped.

My first week back in town and I was sweating with Megan at SOHI.

My Fear of Looking Silly Exercising is Sillier than How I Look Exercising

In the past, I procrastinated signing up with a trainer or for a group exercise class because I felt like I should get in shape first.  I’m not sure how to explain that twisted logic other than I was afraid of looking silly.  Megan says she actually hears this frequently as a personal trainer so the upside is I’m not the only nutty one out there.  I probably do look silly when I work out.  But, one day I contemplated what crosses my mind when I see an out of shape or overweight person exercising, and I realized it was, “Good for them. I really should be doing that myself.”

No, I Don’t Deserve a Cupcake Because I Worked Out Today

This is one of my personal favorite forms of self sabotage – the junk food reward. I am not saying, “Don’t reward yourself.” I was born a cupcake eater and always will be. I’m just saying, “Don’t reward yourself every time you work out.” This lesson seems pretty self evident, but it’s amazing how many little things you will justify eating throughout the day once you start exercising. Sometimes I’m like a shady accountant doing taxes and looking for loopholes – “I can write this off, and this off, and this off.” Only I’m doing it with calories. At some point, all those ‘little’ calories add up and cancel out the hard work.

If the Button on Your Pants is No Longer Straining, Stick with the Training

Even when I’m working out religiously and eating sensibly I have a really heard time getting the number on the scale to go down quickly. When I first set out to change my habits and get into shape this frustrated me to no end and made me fairly depressed on weigh-in days. In the past, I always considered the scale the sole metrics by which to gauge results.

If I hadn’t been working with a trainer who drilled it into my head not to focus only on the scale, I would have given up. Megan redirected my attention to things that were equally good ways to judge progress. Pants that I hadn’t been able to get past my too ample behind were now up around my waist.  Not only that, I no longer lived with the anxiety that my poor button, always under so much stress, was going to suddenly and violently abandon its post, shooting off my waist band and putting the eye out of some innocent bystander.

Always Live in Fear of Your Former Self

One thing I have learned the hard way, especially over the past few months, is that my evil, vanilla milkshake loving, couch sitting, “I’ll be good tomorrow” nemesis still lives on inside me and always will. Even when I get into really good shape, and from the outside it looks like I’ve defeated her and she’s long gone, I know now that she’s still there…lurking…waiting for me to take one too many days off from training so she can reassert herself.

I remember after a few months of working out and eating well I felt so much better physically and mentally. I clearly remember saying to myself, “I will NEVER get so out of shape and heavy again.” This morning, as I was gasping for air during one of my first “back on the wagon” workouts, I had the exact same conversation with myself. A couple of months of skipping workouts, followed by a 2 week business trip and 2 weeks of gorging myself during the holidays with family, and there I was in a very similar state as two years ago.

It’s been a depressing lesson, and I’ve learned it the hard way, but I think it’s an important one to carry around with you. If you are successful you will feel like a changed person, you will look like a changed person, but if you are not committed to sustaining that change, to maintaining a routine, the slide backwards to where you started can be fast and furious.

Monday, January 9th, 2012  
Posted by Megan as High Intensity Training

This is a guest post by Dr. Ron Fritzke.

While it isn’t true for the country as a whole, cold winter weather forces a lot of us who don’t live in the Sunbelt to stay indoors. For runners, cyclists, hikers, and swimmers this can be a real challenge. Few fitness buffs prefer sweating in the living room to taking a bike ride around a lake or a hike through the woods.

Going on a two hour bike ride in the summer is an excellent way to stay fit…but hammering out two hours of riding on an indoor bike trainer in the house is beyond the limits of just about any sane person.

I’ve ridden a four hour indoor ride while trying to distract myself by watching a football game on the TV…and received a Certificate of Insanity from my wife upon completion. I don’t recommend it.

How I Rediscovered Intervals

Megan’s already done an excellent job of emphasizing the benefits of high intensity interval training (HIIT) on the SOHI fitness site. Let me add a bit of my personal experience to reiterate the value of the ‘hard-easy-hard’ approach.

Way back in 1984 I ended my competitive running career at the US Olympic Trials marathon. Needless to say, keeping fit and maintaining my weight wasn’t too much of a challenge when running over 100 miles a week. But things slowly changed when I tooled back the effort.

Although I was still running five milers and even ten milers, my body weight slowly inched upward. It wasn’t until my kids got old enough to start competing that I rediscovered ‘intervals’.

I assigned some pretty painful hill repeats for their workouts and, in order to appease my conscience, I ran beside them.

That’s when I discovered how valuable high intensity training can be for weight loss. Over the course of the next month or so my weight started going down. And it made sense…I’d noticed that I would start sweating spontaneously throughout the evening after a series of hill repeats, and my heart rate would remain elevated ten to fifteen beats per minute over my normal resting rate up until I went to bed.

And that’s part of the magic of high intensity workouts; you get benefits long after the huffing and puffing is over.

Quality Over Quantity With HIIT

Without further ado, let’s get on with laying out a few high intensity interval workouts for when you’re trapped indoors. My indoor workouts are done on a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine, but the same principles can be applied to a variety of exercise equipment.

A Pyramid Workout-

  • Ten minutes easy pedaling.
  • One minute hard pedaling, followed by one minute easy pedaling.
  • Two minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Three minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Four minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Five minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Four minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Three minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Two minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • One minute hard pedaling.
  • Ten minutes easy pedaling.

That’s pretty strenuous workout, tempered by how hard you push yourself on the ‘hard’ efforts.

A Descending Ladder Workout-

  • Ten minutes easy pedaling.
  • Six minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Five minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Four minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Three minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Two minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • One minute hard pedaling.
  • Ten minutes easy pedaling.

A Short, Hard Workout-

  • Ten minutes easy pedaling.
  • Ten minutes, alternating very hard ten second bursts with ten seconds easy.
  • Ten minutes easy pedaling.

Needless to say, when doing any exercise (particularly this type of high intensity workout), you’d better clear it with your physician.

So Maximize Your Efforts Doing HIIT

I’ve given you a few examples of high intensity workout, two of which are pretty strenuous, and one which can hurt quite a bit…but isn’t very long. The truth of the matter is that you can fabricate all sorts of different workouts using this approach of ‘hard-easy-hard’.

Perhaps it’s time for you to jump into this type of fitness technique…you have nothing to lose except some indoor exercise boredom, or maybe a few pounds of body fat.

About the author: Dr. Ron Fritzke is a chiropractor in Northern California, maintaining his private practice as well as serving on the sports medicine team at the College of the Siskiyous. A converted runner, he now spends his time staying fit on one of his four bikes…on the roads, over forest trails, and even in his living room on his indoor bike trainer.

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011  
Posted by Megan as Training

This is a guest post by Kristina Hoy of Icing and Crumbs

In between drills we swap “hello’s” and “how are you’s“.
After each sprint we offer a smile.
Squeezing out crunches, we begin a conversation…
And while sitting in the early evening’s darkness under a tall palm tree, we share stories and recipes…

I LOVE Boot Camp. I love that for sixty minutes, twice a week, I am pushed to my limits. I love that no matter how hard I’m trying, a (friendly) bark from my trainer can make me try even more. And I love that in amidst all of that, I’ve made some wonderful friends.

When thinking of a special snack we could make for Santa on Christmas Eve, I thought of these cookies -BIG, chewy, crunchy, oaty, chocolatey – the recipe for which was shared with me by a friend at Boot Camp, and after creating them several times in our kitchen, we have our own version:

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
You need:
1 cup of butter, softened
3/4 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of water
1 1/2 cups of self-raising flour
2 cups of oats
1 cup of dark chocolate chips
1 cup of white chocolate chips

You do:
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees F). Mix the butter, sugars, vanilla, baking soda, salt and water. Mix in the flour until the mixture is evenly combined. Stir through the oats and chocolate chips. Drop generous spoonfuls of mixture onto a prepared baking tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the cookies have started to turn brown but still have spots of goo visible. (Do not over-bake.) Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

These cookies are absolutely delicious! They taste best when just out of the oven (although I’m sure Santa won’t mind if they are a little cooler when he gets there!). This recipe is very easy and is perfect for the kids to help with – they can measure and mix the dry ingredients and help drop big spoons of it onto the tray. Another great thing about this recipe is that it makes a lot of cookies, but because the mixture contains no eggs, it can be kept in the fridge for quite a while and just used whenever you need it, so cookies can be baked fresh in just a few minutes.

P.S. For another special Christmas Eve activity, you could sit with the kids and
track Santa’s progress around the globe
… another great idea shared with me by a fellow Boot Camp friend!

CLICK HERE to track Santa.

“From home to home, and heart to heart,
from one place to another,
The warmth and joy of Christmas,
brings us closer to each other.”

(Emily Matthews)
Wednesday, December 7th, 2011  
Posted by Megan as Life

This is a guest post by Kristina Hoy of Icing & Crumbs

Twice a week I go to SOHI Boot Camp.
Twice a week I work out on the beach.
Twice a week I come home exhausted and
sore from battling the friction of the sand while lugging a heavy weighted sack on my shoulders.

Boot Camp is tough. It’s hot and sweaty.

It’s fast-paced and high-impact.
It’s running, jumping, squatting, shuffling, sliding, skipping and swinging… on the beach.
It makes your heart
It makes you breathe hard.
It leaves you grazed.
And covered in sand…

So twice a week I am thankful that I was organised enough to have made a quick and nutritious meal ready to eat after these tough sessions:

Sweet Potato Soup

You need:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 brown onion, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon of curry powder
1⁄2 teaspoon of ginger (optional) 1 kg (2.2 lbs) orange sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
1 L (4 cups) of salt-reduced chicken stock

You do:
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes, or until it is soft, but not coloured. Add the curry powder and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Add the sweet potato and chicken stock and stir. Cover and simmer over a low heat until the sweet potato has softened (about 40 minutes). Blend until smooth.

This soup is very easy to make and freezes well, so can be made in advance for those busy nights when there is no time to prepare a meal. The recipe above serves 6.

“Eat. Learn. Live.”