Monday, July 13, 2009

Come away with me...

Since the competition has ended, I have had many people ask me how I did it and how I am going to keep my weight loss off. So, I have decided to start another blog to journal my efforts and to share the tips (and tricks) that I learned from the Gazette Healthy Challenge. Please, come away with me... to Setting You Free from your weight loss failures.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Other prizes

So, I have been given a list of the other prizes:

1. 3 months unlimited Yoga at 9210Yoga valued at $375
2. $250 gift certificate for Day at the Spa courtesy of Salon Red
3. Home Whitening Kit courtesy of Fallsgrove Center for Dentistry
4. A 7 Plate Genesis water ionizer from Water For Life valued at $1695

I am truly blessed to have all of these sponsors offer such wonderful prizes. I am in awe and still in shock.


And the winner is....

I am so excited to tell you... I WON! Can you believe it? I pulled it off with a 0.06% lead over Charles (from the red team). It was an incredible moment.

I won many prizes (besides taking the weight off), but I do not have a list of them yet. So far I have received:

1. 1 year membership to Rio Sport & Health
2. $250 gift card to Westfield Mall
3. $250 gift card to Whole Foods Market
4. $300 gift certificate to Wink Eyecare Boutique
5. 3 night stay at the Doubletree Hotel Palm Beach Gardens in FL
6. Airfare for 2 to West Palm Beach thanks to Bethesda Travel Center
7. A signed t-shirt from the Washington Freedom
8. One week of free meals with Diet to Go
9. $250 deposit in a Mid-Atlantic FCU checking account
10. $50 gift certificate at Flagship Carwash Center
11. $50 gift card at StetchAlicious

I am so thankful for this experience:

First and foremost, I give all my thanks for God. God has been with me ever step of the way. Without God, I would not have been kept injury free (remember I have a torn ACL that stop hurting in week 2), and definitely would not have won.

Secondly, my family. My husband, Lyle really picked up the slack and helped out with the kids and supported me throughout. And my children, Kiera and Brock sacraficed so much time with me. I LOVE you all so much.

Finally, I would like to thank my team and the trainers at Rio. I woke up on Monday really missing you. I hope we all stay in touch and keep the weight off.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Week #10 Weight Loss

Here are the results for Week #10:

David Drayer: -2.5 lbs.
Richard Feld: -3.0 lbs.
Susan Feidelman: -0.5 lbs.
Jen Green: -2.0 lbs.
Tina Hardy: -0.0 lbs. (did not weigh-in because she out of town)

I think the Blue Team is steady. I think we have the hearts to win... but aren't we already winners? Looking at each of us at Monday's workout made me notice that all of our body shapes have changed - for the better.

I have a confession: Week #10's weigh-in changed my focus, not for the better. With Charles losing .5 lbs, I was only behind him .1% - I started to dwell, stress, and worry about winning the whole competition. Instead of staying focused on the real prize: weight loss and keeping it off for the rest of my life, I began seeing myself win. Now, I know it is not a bad thing to stay focus, but we all know it is a bad thing when it consumes us. And without really knowing it, winning this compeition did.

Thanks to my ever faithful twin sister, Janet! She gave me some tough love on Monday night. It was what I needed to here. I need to continue to work out as hard as I can, not focus on the other team, encourage my awesome team and most of all trust God. God has kept me focused up until this point. My bible study the other day said that: I need to focus on not what God has done for me, but what God has done IN me. Can I get an, "Amen?" Now that is powerful.

So as the last week of the competition comes to a close, as we all try to find as much time as we can to work our bodies to the extreme, I pray that we are all thankful to what God is doing in us and not for us. Because it really isn't about the scale. It is about our life... and making sure we are living it the way God want's us too and that surely isn't worry about winning some competition.

Finally, if you want one more chance to meet us, our finale is at Montgomery Mall on Sunday, June 28th from 2-4. Come cheer on the Blue Team and be sure to introduce yourself.... we would love to meet our fans and pray that our journey has inspired some of you.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Week #9 Results

The results are published for Week #9:

David Drayer: -5.0 lbs.
Richard Feld: -2.0 lbs.
Susan Feidelman: -2.0 lbs.
Jen Green: -3.5 lbs.
Tina Hardy: -3.5 lbs.

At last night's weigh-in, I lost: 2 lbs. That makes my total 32 lbs. I am pleased that I continue to lose. Only 2 more weeks left. The anticipation for the finale is overwhelming.

4 for 4

As I posted earlier, on Sunday, we had our 4th and Final Challenge which was the Honest Tea Outdoor Challenge which was hosted at the Germantown Recreation Center.

There were two parts: A Physical Part and a Mental Part. The physical part consisted of a 1 mile walk/run with the pounds that we had lost in a back pack and a swim race to retrieve color coded bottles from the bottom of a 4 foot pool. The mental challenge was 3 questions based on Honest Tea trivia.

So we had to do the mile walk/run, take the quiz and then get in the pool. Due to techinical difficulties with the color coded bottles, it was decided to have a relay race. I am proud to say that the Blue Team came out the winner. Then it came to the results of the quiz... and by .4%, we edged out the Red Team.

That means that there have been 4 challenges, and we won all 4. Isn't that awesome? So at this point with the challenges combined, we are exactly .1% ahead of the Red Tea, Whoa, what a close race.

Come back tomorrow to see week #9's weight loss success.

Friday, June 12, 2009

New Goal

Having met my personal goal of losing 30 pounds in 9 weeks, I have been contemplating a new goal to be working towards. I had toyed with the idea of winning the entire competition; but with all of the stress related to that (who weighs what, how much are others working out), I received another idea.

During a phone conversation with a close friend, she was telling me that she was worried about my concentration on winning because she was afraid I would be disappointed if I did not win even though I have lost a lot of weight already. She really knows me and knows how much of a perfectionist I am.

It was revealed to me that I would be happy to weigh 150. Should I weigh less with my height? Yes, of course. But I truly believe that I would be happy at 150. So, my new goal is to reach 150.

And it is a realistic goal because there is no way I can lose 17.5 lbs in the next 2 1/2 weeks. Which means it is a goal that takes me past the Healthy Challenge and it is a goal that I know I can achieve. After losing 30 pounds, 17.5 pounds seems less daunting.

So, there it is. I am going to continue to work hard and continue to push myself and what ever comes off in the next 2 weeks is a bonus to the competition but will be helping me to reach my new goal.

Ahhh... I feel better. I feel less stressed. And I know I can do it! Yay!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I wanted to remind you to check out the official website. It has all of the articles each week that appear in the paper and it has some of the archived articles about our challenges.

Cooking Challenge
Soccer Challenge
5 Miler

I know some of our fans do not get the Gazette, so this is the best place to keep up with us (besides encouraging us in person).

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Week #8 Weight Loss

David Drayer: +1.0 lbs.
Richard Feld: -1.5 lbs.
Susan Feidelman: -2.0 lbs.
Jen Green: -3.5 lbs.
Tina Hardy: -3.0 lbs.

It was a tough weigh-in but almost all pulled out a loss. I know I get more nervous with each weigh-in because we have such few left. I feel blessed that I have had a steady weight loss though. And boy did Tina rock this week.

And as for this week's results: I lost another 3.5, which means I have lost a total of 30 pounds. Can you believe it? I started to cry a little thinking about 9 weeks ago when I pledged to lose 30 pounds in 12 weeks. I thought it might be doable, but now to see that it was.

I have 3 weigh-ins left... dare I shoot for 40 lbs? Let's just say, I will still work hard and anything else I lose I will consider a bonus.

Check back in on Sunday for the results of our 4th and final challenge: the Outdoor Challenge.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I'm seeing colors...

I know I have mentioned many of our sponsors of the Gazette Healthy Challenge, but today's sponsor made me see colors - when my eyes were closed.

Salon Red in the Kentlands, one of our sponsors, scheduled my massage today at 2pm. My masseuse's name was Matt and he was wonderful! I had not really experienced a massage before (beside's my husband's which is awesome), but Matt really took all of my stress and pain away.

The room upstairs in Salan Red was a nice lavender color and the blankets were cozy. I had to get rid of my apprehension and allow myself to relax. He started with my shoulders and then moved to my hands, arms, feet, legs, back and neck. It was an hour long and honestly, the time flew by. Matt spent like 5 minutes of each hand, and while my eyes were closed, I saw colors. I cannot believe how just massaging my hands could put me in a state of pure bliss.

Matt asked me if I had any particular areas that needed special attention. I mentioned that my shoulders and upper back was sore form all of the upper body work we had been doing and that my legs were tight. Well, I am as loose as a goose right now.

If you are need of a massage then please, I am telling you, head over to Salon Red. Matt will take you places. And you won't regret it.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Challenge #3: The Cook off

I am pleased to announce, that the BLUE TEAM pulled out another win today at our 3rd Challenge. It was a Cooking Challenge hosted at Montgomery College's Marriot Hospitality Center and sponsored by Whole Foods.

We began preparation by meeting at the Whole Foods in Rockville with Susan, the Marketing Rep, Claire and Mrisho our Coaches/Chefs last Tuesday. As you know Tuesdays we weigh-in so we were all starving by the time we reached the Rockville Whole Foods. Susan quickly ushered us to Whole Food's awesome salad and hot bar where were filled up our containers and grabbed a drink. We headed to the "back room" which was a true kitchen.

Once there, Claire began going over the recipes and proper cutting techniques. We then decided to break the dishes up as follows: Tina/Susan - Appetizer, David/Jen - Main Course, and Rich - Dessert. By now Mrisho joined us and coached Susan and Tina with some tips for making their appetizer: Spinach and Mushroom Quesadilla's with Feta as Claire worked with David and I with our dish: Sautéed Chicken with Mushroom and Spinach and Feta. Rich began examining his dessert: Oatmeal, Sunflower seeds, and Coconut cookies. After Claire finished with David and me, she provided Rich with some helpful hints regarding his cookies.

We left pondering our dishes and some of us even did a trial run at home to see if we could pull it off. Today's competition was more stressful than I imagined. There were 5 judges, 2 photographers/reporters, Access Montgomery County TV crew, 3 Montgomery College students, 2 kitchen managers,3 Whole Food's reps and the two teams and their families. I was ready to say: Get out of my kitchen. I think that is what made it stressful for me.

We had a 1/2 hour for prep (cutting all of the mushrooms - thanks Susan, slicing all of the jalapeño - thanks Tina, measuring out all of our ingredients, and just getting ready). At exactly 10am, we began our cooking for an hour. At 11am on the dot, we had to put down our utensils and the judging began.

It was a little tense just making sure we were following the recipes and not forgetting anything. The brown Basmati Rice was making me nervous because it took almost 50 minutes to cook. When you only have an hour, it doesn’t leave much room for error. Tina and Susan look like pros making their Quesadillas. They showed awesome team work. And Rich was so smooth with his cookies that they were out of the oven and we tasted them with plenty of time to spare. David was my calming factor as he just kept a clear head and always asking what else was there to do. He amazed me with his composed hand as he sautéed the chicken, mushrooms and spinach. I felt more like a chicken running around with my head cut off.

We plated and displayed our food with seconds to spare. It looked really good. I got nervous when the Red Team won the coin toss and chose to go first. I knew that cold spinach would not taste very good.

After the judges deliberated, the Blue Team came out victorious. I wonder if the recipes had anything to do with it as most of the comments were about the flavors, but I thought the Red Team did an excellent job on their oral presentation about their dishes. We did well too with Susan’s expertise and Rich’s sense of humor. The judges even overlooked me calling our Basmati rice, Balsamic rice – and thanks to Susan for setting me straight.

This means that the Blue team earned about 0.5% added to their total weight loss and the Red Team earned a 0.3% for second place. We have had 3 challenges and the Blue Team has won all three. Yay!!!!! Team Blue!!!

The next challenge is set for June 14th and it is an Outdoor Fitness Challenge. The Blue Team is ready, although we are not quite sure what to expect yet. I do know that we will give it our ALL!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Week #7 Results

David Drayer: -3.0 lbs.             Total weight loss: -21.0 lbs. (8.1%)
Richard Feld: -6.0 lbs.             Total weight loss: -29.5 lbs. (11.9%)
Susan Feidelman: -3.5 lbs.     Total weight loss: -18.0 lbs. (8.5%)
Jen Green: -2.5 lbs.                  Total weight loss: -23.0 lbs. (11.9%)
Tina Hardy: -0.0 lbs.               Total weight loss: -13.5 lbs. (6.0%)

Yay! We did very well this week. It wasn't enough to put us ahead, but we did win this week with the most percentage weight loss.

As for the recent Soccer Challenege, the BLUE TEAM came out victorious too. Read about it all at here.

And do not forget to read about us at: There are more articles there and it is nice to check up on the Red Team every once in a while.

At tonight's weigh-in, I lost 3.5 lbs. Yay! I am down to 171 that means 26.5 pounds lost. Isn't that AMAZING? I am so thrilled and know that I can reach my goal.

Keep cheering us on! Each and everyone of you who recognize us in public and congratulate us makes a difference, I promise! And this Saturday is our next challenge and it is a cooking challenge. Wish us luck and check back for details. Go Blue!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Can it get any tougher?

Wednesdays workout was PAINFUL. I thought that I was the only one who could barely walk on Thursday, but Susan and Tina confirmed that they too, were in serious pain.

Kim had us do:

1. walking "double dip" lunges
2. walking squats

In between sets, we had to run all of the stairs at Rio Sport & Health twice. If you have been there, then you KNOW what I am talking about.

After our second "run", we had to do even more reps including:

1. walking lungs with weights
2. walking squats and arm presses with weights
3. 20 jumping squats (quite painful)

I think we did even more, but I try to put bad memories out of my head. To finish, we did high side leg kicks and a few ab workouts.

I left "stinky". I have never worked so hard in my life. And our awesome reporter Karen was there to doucment our trama with her camera. I was so sore I could hardly walk. My cardio workout on Thursday was very light. I left feeling defeated. However, this mornings workout was much easier. I may have gotten my legs back.

This Sunday is our 2nd challenge and it is a Soccor Challenge at the Maryland Soccer Complex with the Washington Freedom Soccer Organization. Check back on Sunday evening for the details and if you want to support us, come out to the Washington Freedom vs the FC Gold Pride, Sunday at 4pm.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Slow and Steady

Once again, Tuesdays are our weigh-ins and here are the results that will be posted in the paper for Week #6:

David Drayer: +0.5 lbs.
Richard Feld: -1.0 lbs.
Susan Feidelman: -1.0 lbs.
Jen Green: -5.5 lbs.
Tina Hardy: -1.0 lbs.

It was so difficult for me being the biggest loser for week #6 as I watched the disappointed looks on my teammates faces. They are working just as hard as I am, but the scale was just not their friend.

At tonight's weign-in for week #7 (remember, we are a week ahead), I lost another 2.5 pounds. That means that I am down 23 pounds. It feels AWESOME! Others on the team did well too, but I will not reveal theirs until the it is published. Remember, you can keep track of us online at:

Also today, to sweat off that extra water weight, I took my first Spin class at Rio Sport & Health with Kelly. I was nervous but she was a great instructor who made me feel welcomed and gave me the confidence that I needed to keep going. It was much easier than walking on the treadmill. The hour flew by. Next week, she is offering a 90 minute class where I hope to burn off even more calories. Yay! Now, if I could just get the soreness out of my bum to go away! Ha!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Results from the Germantown 5 miler

As I posted earlier, our first challenge was the Germantown 5 Miler. The Blue Team did great. Here are our times:

59:17 David Drayer
61:50 Richard Feld
62:32 Jen Green
68:04 Susan Feidelman
75:56 Tina Hardy

And here is a note from Cliff Chiet, Publisher, The Gazette, Montgomery County:

"Our first challenge, the 5 miler, was excited for all who participated. For every challenge we give .5% weight loss to the winning team and .3% weight loss to the second place team.

After lots of consideration, we have decided to declare the BLUE TEAM the winner of this challenge. All five members of the team participated and all five crossed the finish line.

We congratulate all RED TEAM contestants and Charles Tresky for finishing the race under 50 minutes!!

We have 3 more fun challenges so may the games continue."

It is a good thing that it was decided that we won the competition. We have fallen behind in the weight loss, but we are only at week #6, so we have 6 more weeks to pull it out. I KNOW we have the motivation to do it... I just hope the scale starts showing all of our hard work.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Maybe even more...

Hi, everyone! So... Tuesday posts usually reveal our weigh-in... and of course, remember the weigh-in tonight is a week ahead of the paper.

(Drum roll please)

I lost 5.5 pounds. Can you believe it? That means that I have lost 20.5 pounds so far. While it is true that I have bumped up my cardio, I want to give all of the glory to God. This morning during my bible study, God showed me the number 177. I kind of laughed it off just like Abraham did when God told him that Sarah would have a baby at their old age. I know that ANYTHING is possible with God and I give God all of the credit. God has showed me where there was time in my day to workout. God has helped me get through tough situations without making the wrong food choices. I am just so truly blessed that God is with me all of the way and I KNOW that God can give me the confidence to finish this competition strong. (Did I mention that I am in Seminary studying to get my Masters in Youth Ministry?)

Okay, enough about me, here is the weight loss for Week 5:

David Drayer: -0.5 lbs.
Richard Feld: -2.0 lbs.
Susan Feidelman: -1.0 lbs.
Jen Green: -1.5 lbs.
Tina Hardy: -2.0 lbs.

There was much disappointment this week. We expected to lose more, but slow and steady always wins the race. Maybe we are at a point where our bodies are waking up to what we are doing. And we need to jump start it again. I think back to before the competition... I would have given my first born to lose a pound in a week (maybe not, I really love my children) and we are still ALL losing weight. We cannot expect HUGE weight losses each week.

All I know is that I think we all can reach our goals. I really feel like I can reach my goal to lose 30 pounds in 12 weeks... and at this point, maybe even more.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

An hour and two minutes later...

In case you forgot, the first challenge, the Germantown 5-miler, was this morning. And I am PROUD to announce that every single blue team member crossed the finish line. Yay!!!!!

It was a long 5 miles full of hills and little girls (the Girls on the Run 5k started at our 2 mile mark). I walked more than I wanted, but I finished in an hour and two minutes. I wanted to run the entire race and finish under an hour, but I am just pleased that I finished to my children and husband cheering me in at the finish.

As I figured, David led the blue team, followed by Rich, me, Susan and Tina, who came in at an hour and sixteen minutes. Benny, our trainer, continued with her energizer bunny performance and finished around forty minutes. The official race results have not been published yet, but I will be sure to post them when they do.

After I got home, my body ached. I took a twenty minute Jacuzzi bath and feel great now. Hopefully, I will be fully recovered by our workout on Monday. I am sure that Benny and Kim will continue to kick us into high gear. We are approaching our half way mark at this week's weigh-in and I cannot wait to see how well the blue team is accomplishing our goals. Team BLUE!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Half way there...

The last couple of workouts have been tough. I believe the trainers want to push us past our plateau points. On Monday, Eric stepped out with us and took us for a “ride” We began by running all of the stairs that Rio had to offer us. And if you haven’t been to Rio Sport & Health, you have no idea what I mean – there are tons of stairs. Next, Eric took us to a racquetball court where he had all types of strength and core training activities to complete. Benny was great with motivating us and even joining in on our circuit. At the end, even Benny got a little winded which made us all feel good – that the workout was even tough for Benny. Eric said that it was meant to be tough for anyone.

After our chant, “Team Blue”, Benny said that on Wednesday we would be running around the lake. So if you are out dining at one of Rio’s wonderful restaurants Wednesday night around 6 pm, be sure to cheer for us as we run by. Our first challenge, the Germantown 5 miler is this Saturday, so hopefully, tonight’s run will put it all in perspective for us.

So Week 4’s results are in:

David Drayer: -8.5 lbs.
Richard Feld: -5.0 lbs.
Susan Feidelman: -2.5 lbs.
Jen Green: -6.0 lbs.
Tina Hardy: -2.0 lbs.

And we won for week 4. Yay! David and I lead the week with the most weight loss and I slightly edged out Susan (by 1 pound) as the leader for the woman despite my trip to NJ. I am excited. Be sure to check it out on:

At last night’s weigh-in, I reached my goal weight loss for the half way mark of 15 pounds. I am half way there to my goal of 30 pounds in 12 weeks. I was a little disappointed that I only lost 1.5 pounds despite picking up my cardio workouts. I need to look at the bigger picture though and dwell on the fact that I have lost 15 pounds in 4 weeks! Yay!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Results from Week 3

Did you read your paper on Wednesday?

Here are the results:

David Drayer: -0
Richard Feld: -3
Susan Feidelman: -1 (still leading all of the women)
Jen Green: -0 (I missed the weigh-in because of the forum)
Tina Hardy: -3

We did not win this week. I was totally bummed feeling that my missed weigh-in caused the team to fall behind, but the team did not make me feel bad.

I am ready to show the public my "big" weight loss in next week's paper, especially since I have been catching some heat for not losing any weight in this week's paper.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

No letting up...

Even though we "won" this week, the trainers did not let up on us. In fact, they pushed us even harder. I felt like last night's workout was the toughest yet. When Kim and Benny said that we were done, all 5 of us just laid there. We were exhausted. We had been pushed to our limit. Kim said, "let's bring it in as a team over here" and I thought, "can I do it long distance?" After our quick, "Team Blue", Tina and I said at the exact same time, "Where's the elevator?" We could not bring our bodies down the stairs to leave. Of course we managed since there was not an elevator, but had there been one; I promise I would have taken it down one floor.

First they broke us up in two (random) groups. Rich and Tina went to do 20 minutes of cardio on the treadmill and elliptical, while, Susan, David and I did the weight training. The weight training consisted of: squats while lifting weight with our arms straight out in front of us for a minute, in a squat position doing rows with our weights and then straight out to our sides, push-ups on the bench, hip lifts (or something along those lines) with us laying on the big balls and lifting both of our legs straight up and down slowly, side squats with a rubber-band around our knees, and finally wall sits. We did two reps of this and then we switched with Rich and Tina.

I had thought the cardio part would be easier, but after I did the elliptical for 15 minutes, Benny put me on the treadmill at 10% incline at 3.5 speed level. I felt like I was going to fall off. I started to run on it and Kim said to walk. I could not imagine walking that fast. After about 5 minutes, I felt like I was getting a "charlie horse" in my right calf, so Benny lowered the incline to 5%. After 20 minutes I felt good and knew we were done, but we still had our AB workout.

For the Ab workout: we laid on our backs in the "pencil" position and with weighted ball lifted up and touched our toes and rolled back down, sat up with our knees bent and moved the weighted ball form hip to hip, laid back on our elbows and did scissors kicks, and finally a plank each for a minute. We did two sets of these.

Can you see why we were tired? I guess there is no letting up - even if we are in the lead.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

16.5 pounds away...

Okay, so tonight's weigh-in was AWESOME! I lost a total of 6 pounds. Let me just add a disclaimer that I was unable to weign-in last week. But still, I was able to lose weight while away from the food, trainers, and my support network. Wahoo! The team did great too, but since we are a week ahead, I will wait to announce those results until next week.

Our weigh-in tonight was hosted by StretchAlicious and they gave us all awesome pants with a big blue daisy on one leg. They are cute. StretchAlicious has a cute little boutique off of Tuckerman Lane in the Cabin John Center. I am excited to lose weight to be able to wear some of their cute tops. They would fit now, but I would just feel uncomfortable.

Diet-to-Go as always provided a nice layout of healthy food and Honest Tea gave each of us a case of tea. I will let you know how it tastes soon.

Well, I better hit the sack so I can hit the gym in the morning. I am so motivated right now. I cannot believe that I am 16.5 pounds away from my goal weight loss of 30 lbs in 12 weeks. I really, REALLY think I can do it.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I found my way back home.

Greetings, from Maryland!

I finally made it back to the nest. And boy, Kim and Benny had a workout waiting for me (us). On Friday we did elliptical sprints and bicycle sprints and finished with an ab workout. My heart rate actually reached 189 at one point so you know that I was sweating.

For the elliptical sprints, we put it at level at 5 and "ran" for a 1 and a half minutes and then "sprinted" as fast as we could for 30 seconds at level 7. The first one wasn't so bad, but by the time we got to # 5+, I was hurting. We had a minute and a half "rest" between each sprint, but we were still working out at level 5.

After too many reps of that to count, we moved to the bikes and did the same thing except our recover time was 3 minutes. I could barely move when we climbed the stairs up to do our ab workout.

We did inverted sit-ups (moving our legs up and down 15 times) and bicycle sit-ups. They both felt easy at the time, but I can still feel the pain in my abs today. Finally we stood back to back with a partner and passed a heavy ball around to each other from side to side. I got dizzy doing this, but felt it in my obliques.

I can only imagine what tomorrow's workout will be like... say a prayer for us!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I'm like the Energizer Bunny...

As I have written this week, I am in Princeton, NJ at Princeton Theological Seminary for a Youth Ministry Forum. And I have taken the hotel shuttle back and forth to the seminary all week. Today, the weather was gorgeous, so I thought I would walk back to the hotel. It took 5 minutes for the shuttle to get to the seminary, so I figured it was about 2 miles.

After I double-checked my directions with the hotel, I was off. It felt great to walk after sitting most of the day. As I walked, it felt a little further than 2 miles, but I had to keep going. By the time I ended up back at the hotel, I thought, "Wow, that was more than 2 miles" after all, I walked for nearly an hour.

I decided to double check Mapquest and it ended up being 4.4 miles. I couldn't believe it. I was starting to wonder why it would have taken me an hour to walk 2 miles. I felt great and was completely surprised that I did it. I did not give up. I did not even think about giving up. I just kept going. A couple of weeks ago, I would have never just decided to "walk" back to the hotel.

I am full of energy and ready to rumble after only 3 weeks. I can only imagine what I will feel like after 12 weeks.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Did you read your paper today?

I just noticed that I had not posted the results from our weigh in. Please remember, that we are actually a week ahead, but I did not want to publish the results until the paper did. Please remember to go to: for more information.

So, here are the results:

David Drayer: -4.5 lbs.
Richard Feld: -5.0 lbs.
Susan Feidelman: -2.5 lbs.
Jen Green: -3.0 lbs
Tina Hardy: -0.5 lbs.

I am so excited!!!! The Blue team is doing great and is exactly 0.1% ahead of the Red team. Isn't that great? I love getting bragging rights for the week. It just proves that both teams are working hard!

Give me a "B" (I got your "B", I got your "B"!)
Give me a "L" (I got your "L", I got your "L"!)
Give me a "U" (I got your "U", I got your "U"!)
Give me a "E" (I got your "E", I got your "E"!)
What does that spell? BLUE!! Goooooo Blue Team!

(And the crowd goes wild!!!!)

A lost chick

Well, yesterday was the big weigh-in again. Unfortunately, I was not be able to weigh-in due to the forum I am attending at Princeton Theological Seminary. I am praying that the team does an awesome job.

Since I have been away from the team it has been more difficult than I imagined. I have seen the enemy face-to-face: Double chocolate cheesecake. Yummy! At the conference dinner, I chose a nice piece of chicken, green beans, and a salad (hold the dressing and croutons). The desserts were at the end of the table, so I did not have a problem avoiding them. As I sat down with my group, I noticed that everyone had desserts. The woman sitting in front of me had the enemy next to her plate. I ate my dinner slowly and excused myself. I felt silly that I had to "run away" from the enemy, but I guess it was kind of a success story. I felt the need to give in to the enemy, but made the valiant effort to leave instead of consume it.

This experience gave me a goal for this competition besides losing the weight. I want to be able to control myself so I do not have to run away.

As for the physical training, I have done at least 45 minutes of cardio each day and did weight training for another 30 minutes. It is hard to maintain the intensity that you get with the trainers and teammates, but I am doing my best. This morning, I woke up at 4:30 am... for no reason. I had two choices: go back to sleep or go to the gym. I decided to go to the gym. Yay! I walked on the treadmill at 15% incline at 2.0 speed for 25 minutes. I did 30 minutes of weight training and instead of stopping there; I got on the bike and rode for 11 miles (38 minutes). It felt really good to start the morning this way.

I need support now more than ever. I wasn't ready to leave the "nest" and have been tossed out in the wind. I will find my way back on Friday morning, but until then I am a struggling chick looking for her way back home.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I have been keeping something from you...

Secret: I have delayed in letting you know that my knee trouble a couple weeks ago turned out to be either a torn ACL or a partially torn ACL in my right knee. My orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Farrell of Maryland Orthopedic Specialists, says it hard to tell exactly until he goes in. The good news is that it is a not a new injury. I probably tore it several years ago (I used to play basketball and of course working with youth at the church, we play “mad” dodge ball).

Why do I have an orthopedic surgeon you ask? Well, last June at a good friend’s wedding, I tore my ACL and had a lateral tear in my meniscus in my left knee. It required immediate surgery. I had my ACL replaced and my meniscus repaired. I was unable to drive let alone walk for 6 weeks. As a stay-at-home mother, it was awful. Thankfully, my supportive husband and friends stepped up to the plate and tried to keep my children’s life somewhat normal. I had months of Physical Therapy and emerged in early November with a “new” knee that I was weary of fully using. The thing that boggled my mind at that time was that my right knee had always been my “bad” knee not my left. It would “pop” out every now and again, but I would shake it out and be better in a few minutes. As I have aged, this recovery time has greatly increased. When I hurt my knee at the gym with the trainers, it took 2 days for the swelling to go down and for me to comfortably use it again.

Verdict: Well, Dr. Farrell said I could hold off on surgery since it was an old injury and there was no bone bruising.

One of the reasons that I wanted to share this with you was because, as we get older, we are bound to have many ailments. Granted, I am only 31, but I could have decided to give up on this challenge. I could have decided to go ahead with the surgery or better yet, decided not to continue out of FEAR.

I chose to remain in the challenge and to hold off on the surgery for two reasons:

1. I completely trust my doctor and if it was necessary to do now, he would have told me, and
2. Our trainers at Rio Sport & Health are AWESOME!

As soon as I told the trainers about my injury, they did not hesitate to tailor the exercises that would be stress on that knee so I am able to complete them - pain free! At first, I felt like I was letting my team down, but I realized that they were rooted for my success too. They do not want to see me have to drop out of the challenge because of my knee. This is the kind of support that I was looking for when I applied to this challenge. And the BLUE TEAM is delivering it wholeheartedly.

I remembered as I was writing this that Dr. Farrell told me something at my “last” appointment regarding my left knee that has rang true. You see, at this appointment, I asked him was I still supposed to have discomfort in my knee even after the surgery and the PT. He said, “Jen, we got to get this extra weight off of you and then you will notice a difference.”

Now that is enough motivation to give this challenge 100% of my effort!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

He conquers who endures. ~Persius

Last night at our team workout, the trainers reminded us that we should be doing 45-60 minutes of cardio 2 to 4 times a week. In case you did not know, our first competition is the Germantown 5 miler. Yes, that is right. They are taking 10 over weight people and forcing them to run a 5 mile race. Now being realistic, we will not run the entire race, but our goal is to finish with the best time we can manage.

After our workout last night, Kim and Benny took us outside for some "fun". We were expecting something else, but we were asked to run a lap around the lake at Rio. My first thought was "after that workout, I will not be able to move my arms." Surprisingly, I ran the entire lap - never stopping to walk. David came in first. He is a speed demon. I tried to catch up to him, but I decided I would rather finish the whole lap instead of walking it in. As I rounded the corner (where all of the yummy restaurants are), I decided to pick up my pace and sprint it in. I was afraid that Kim or Benny would say, "Okay, give me one more lap," so I did hold back a little. It felt great to push my body past its breaking point - exhaustion.

During our workout, we did a lot of arm exercises. We have been doing the same "type" since the beginning. Here is my pathetic attempt at describing them:

  • We straddled a bench in a squat and did arm pulls that made our arms come to our body in a "W" formation. We were to tighten our shoulders. We did it at 8 lbs, then 12 lbs, and I think the men did it to 16 lbs.

  • We sat on a bench and did arm pulls out to our side - stretching our arms out like we were pretending to be an airplane. We stayed at 8 lbs because this was extremely hard to keep up.

  • We did chest presses while doing rotating leg lunges. I think we stayed around 15 lbs.

  • We took weights are did arm rows to our neck and them arm lifts rotating between each of them. This again was hard to keep up for the minute. I did it at 5 lbs in each arm.

  • We did a lunge and use the stretch band to do rows quickly (as fast as we could) and after 30 seconds switched legs.

Remember, we did each station for a minute and rotated through all 5 stations 3 times. It was hard to transition between some of the stations as it felt like we were using the same muscles. But we ALL pushed through.

The final rotation was core training:

  • Stand at machine in a squat position and pull a weight from shoulder to shoulder with both arms straight out. Rotating directions about 30 seconds.

  • In the push up position and with a half circle tube on the floor under us, we were to "walk" our arms: both on one side of the tube, both on, and both on the other side. This was the HARDEST for me to keep up for the minute.

  • Football jig: Had a stepper under us and we had to straddle it and then step up with both feet, then straddle it again. Repeat.

  • Plank while lifting each leg up. Very difficult.

  • Push up position while lifting each knee to your chest.

I think Kim and Benny felt sorry for us. We only did one rotation of this then we headed outside for our run.

Well, I have a treat for everyone next week. I have a challenge within a challenge: I have a conference at Princenton University, so I will miss our workouts on Monday and Wednesday and also the weigh in on Tuesday. Let's see if I can do this thing on my own for a few days.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming," Dory from Finding Nemo.

The results are in ladies and gentlemen: I lost another 3 pounds!!! Can you believe it? I was super excited to see the results on the scale. I have to admit that I was very nervous to step on that scale. According to the scale at the gym on Monday evening, I had only lost 1.2 pounds (seriously I thought "only 1 pound" - I mean 2 weeks ago, I would have been thrilled by losing a pound in a week). It just proves that you should not weigh yourself daily because it may affect your attitude.

The rest of the team did AWESOME too. Be sure to keep checking out: On a side note: the website and paper are a week behind us (like on TV), so the blog will be a week ahead. I do not want to reveal the whole teams results until it is published, but we are ALL doing AWESOME!

Here are the weight losses that are published for this week:

David Drayer: -5.0 lbs.
Richard Feld: -7.5 lbs.
Susan Feidelman: -6.5 lbs.
Jen Green (me): -4.5 lbs.
Tina Hardy: -5.0 lbs.

Go Blue! We are giving it 100% and the results speak for themselves. BTW: Susan leads the women (on both teams) with the most % of weight loss. Go Susan! And she was worried that she would not lose any weight! I can tell that she is in the lead: her body is looking better and better everyday. It is so awesome to witness first hand!

With these results, we are also tied with the Red Team with a total of 2.5% weight loss for the entire team. I wish we were ahead for the competition part of this challenge, but it is too cool that both teams are doing so well. We like to talk smack with the Red Team, but we are still excited to see them lose weight too. For their results be sure to check out the website list above.

This morning, I did 20 minutes on the bike at 8 which was 4.7 miles and my heart stayed around 160. Next, I walked on the treadmill at 15% incline and the speed was between 1.7 and 2.0 (it varied) for about 25 minutes and my heart rate was about 165. I stretched for the last 15 minutes and felt really energized.

Tonight, we workout with the trainers again. I have no idea what is in store, but I am going to "just keep swimming" and let the results do the talking!

Monday, April 20, 2009

“Correction does much, but encouragement does more.”

We survived our run around the lake at Rio on Saturday early morning. We ran/walked around it 6 times and if each lap is equivalent to 3/4 of a mile (there is a little debate about this) we did more than we thought we would. David was a maniac and full of energy so he kept the pace and the rest of us did our own pace. It was a gorgeous day, so it felt nice to get out and run.

Tonight, Benny really worked us again. We did tons of stength training exercises. It is getting much easier to complete the workouts. Now, let me just tell you, it is not easy in the sense that I am not getting a workout. I mean it is easy that I can do each station the way it is meant to be done and I can increase the weights each round. It feels so good to be increasing the weights. It means progress.

Rich was back with us tonight. We missed him over the weekend. It wasn't the same without his sense of humor. And other exciting news is that David got a new bike. He rode his new bike to the gym tonight - 2 miles worth - before the workout. Go David! Way to warm up! It was a bad day to start out with all of this rain, but he was a champion and did it anyway!

Tomorrow is the next weigh in. I am a little nervous; but again, I will take anything that is not gaining weight. I have increased my cardio workouts and hope that it makes the difference.

On a side note: People are recognizing me from the article last week. I am surprised but pleased because all their words have been quite supportive. A nice clerk at Target said, "Hey, aren't you a part of that Healthy Challenge?" I blushed and admitted that I was and she said, "I think it is great to put it all out there and have us all root for you." I said, "I hope everyone is rooting for us because we all want to be losers - as far as getting this weight off forever!"

Keep rooting for us and if you see one of us, encourage us - we can use all that we can get!

Friday, April 17, 2009

"Know that it's your decisions, and not your conditions, that determine your destiny."

Wednesday was the official Kick-off for the Gazette Healthy Challenge and I felt like a celebrity. From the interview to the well wishes from all in attendance, I was overwhelmed by all of the support.

It was held at the Double Tree Hotel in Bethesda and Diet to Go gracious provided all of the food. It was the first chance that my family and friends got to try the food. (I have never shared my portions at home because this was all of the food that I was allowed to eat.) I heard rave reviews and most people were surprised that it was low calorie.

One of the main purposes of the kick-off was to meet all of our sponsors. I could not believe how many businesses stepped up to sponsor this competition. It was awesome and I felt truly honored. You will hear more about the sponsors as the competition continues.

Since we missed our workout on Wednesday due to the kick-off, Benny and Kim kept us moving tonight. It seems like it is getting easier to keep good form while we are using the weights. It is no joke that the hour goes by so quickly that I find myself wondering why I never did this without the trainers. The camaraderie among the team is awesome and so encouraging. We are growing into a family!

The ladies of the team (Susan, Tina, and I) were briefly discussing with Kim (our trainer) how this 3rd week has been difficult. It is easy to be too busy to sit and enjoy our meals. It is easy for life to catch up to us and to turn to those comfort foods all over again. Kim gave us great advice: If you can make it through this point right now - the point where you are stressed and too busy - without eating those comfort foods, then you will break the cycle. Some people turn to exercise during those stressful times, so find an outlet besides food. (I think I will turn to cleaning. It is Spring afterall - my home could use a good scrub down!)

To make up for missing Wednesday's workout, we are meeting at Rio Sport & Health at 8am to do a cardio workout. So, if you see 4 helpless people (Rich is away this weekend) running around the lake, begging Benny for water and a break, stop and encourage us! We may need it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

One step back and 4.5 steps FORWARD

I experienced my first set back at last night's workout. During our side squats on the BOSU ball, my right knee "gave out". I felt an excruciating amount of pain in my knee that sent me to the floor. Thankfully, our trainer, Benny, was right there to assist me. She helped me stretch and relax. She wanted me to get on the bike, but I did not want to let the team down. After about 5 minutes, I decided to rejoin the workout. I was unable to continue the work on the BOSU ball, but the rest of the team looked great. Apparently, Tina is a pro because her balancing abilities looked effortless.

This morning, I awoke to stiffness and pain in my knee. I tried stretching it out, but nothing seemed to make it feel better. I decided to go back to the gym and talked with Eric about the pain I was experiencing. He got me up on the "magic" table to stretch me. Despite the tears of pain at first, he was able to work out most of the discomfort. It was amazing how simply stretching out my calves and quads made my knee feel better. Eric gave me several stretching exercises for homework to help me get back in the game at tomorrow's workout.

As for the 4.5 steps forward, well... that is how much weight I lost. I was hoping for more; but seriously, that is awesome! The team did great too. Be sure to check out: for this week's official results.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Getting the "Whole" out of Foods!

Today, my children and I went to Whole Foods in Rockville and met with their Marketing Specialist / Community Liaison, Susan Lennon. Whole Foods is one of our sponsors, so Susan took us on a 45 minute tour and explained healthy eating options (like this Greek yogurt) and how eating organic food is better for our bodies. My kids devoured the organic chocolate milk she gave them.

I believe I was most impressed with their fresh fruit and vegetable selection. There seemed to be more variety and everything looked like it just came from the farm. And the prices were even cheaper than some of the other grocery stores. They also had a grab and go section that had fresh vegetables and fruit already sliced for your convenience. No more excuses about not having time to make a healthy meal.

Also, check out this "salad bar". The options are endless. There were so many things to choose from including a seaweed salad, which is my favorite. I think this is a quick way to prepare a healthy lunch or even dinner on the go.

Susan stressed the importance of incorporating more than just wheat, and that it has been proven that we need to use a vairety of grains. Whole Foods has a section where you can buy grains by the pound. Again, the variety was impressive. As we cruised through the aisles with my kids in tow, Susan pointed out healthy alternatives. She even gave me a recipe for a warm black bean salad that I cannot wait to try.

Susan revealed that a common misconception is that Whole Foods is more expensive than other grocery stores and that you cannot get all of your necessities here. I fell into that category; but I am ready to take the Whole Foods challenge - do a weeks worth of grocery shopping and compare prices. I will let you know the result.

To conclude, Susan gave me a "goodie bag" of healthy snacks (and some treats for the kids) and a gift card. I am so thankful to Susan for her awesome tour and to Whole Foods for sponsoring us.

Tonight is our 3rd workout with our trainers and tomorrow is our first weigh-in since the start - EEK! Check back tomorrow to see the results.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Getting tough to get TRIM!

I wanted to comment on the picture at the top since I have been fielding questions. This was taken shortly after we were selected to participate in the challenge. Our cool photographer said, "Look tough!" So, there you go - our tough, "lets scare the competition" look. LOL! I am almost laughing in the picture, sorry. (BTW: I am the one in the middle) I could have done better!

Last night before we worked out with Benny, I got to the gym early, along with David and Rich. I did about 30 minutes of cardio and then stretched. For the cardio, I put the treadmill on the highest incline (15) and walked fast enough to keep my heart rate up. I believe the speed was 1.7. I was sweating after the first 5 minutes, but walking was not hard. I tried not to hold on to make it more of a workout; but occasionally, I did to "check my heart rate". I managed to keep it around 160.

At 6pm Benny was waiting for us. She is so positive and very motivating. She kept us moving and made us chant: "Yo quiero agua", if we wanted water. It really took my mind off of the pain! I am pleased to report that on my second "plank", I did it for the entire minute without taking a break. It felt good because on Wednesday I barely made it 20 seconds.

The team looked awesome! Everyone tried to keep their smile on even through the end of the workout. I am amazed at how fast the hour goes by. Benny also stretched us out at the end, after our hour workout. It was generous of her to spend more time with us. It just proves that the trainers at Rio Sport & Health are here to help us stay healthy so we can finish the competition and continue working out after the 12 weeks without injury!

I am not as sore as I was on Wednesday (shhh, don't tell her), but I can definitely feel it in my upper body today. We do not work out with our trainers until Monday, so I have to figure out what I am going to do. I got on the scale at the gym last night, and I have lost weight already. I will wait to report the actual weight loss until Tuesday for our official weigh-in at Holy Cross Hospital.

Before I go, I wanted to share some pictures from our first workout. Our lovely reporter, Karen took many pictures and they are posted on: Look to the left under "Newest Galleries" and find "1st 2009 Blue Team Workout." They were just posted, so they are raw (not cropped). Some are more flattering than others; but I keep concentrating on what Benny told me at the orientation: "Be the weight you want to be, not the weight you are!" Now that's powerful!!!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Go for the "Blue"!

To catch you up, the Blue Team for the 2009 Gazette Healthy Challenge was selected (and weighed in) on March 31st. The Blue Team members are:

David Drayer
Richard Feld
Susan Feidelman
Jen Green (me)
Tina Hardy

We began meeting with our trainers (Eric, Kim and Benny) at RIO Sport & Health on Monday, April 6th for orientation. We will be meeting with our trainers for team workouts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Our meals from the fabulous, Diet to Go began on Tuesday April 7th. In case you did not know, Diet to Go is donating all of our meals for the entire 12 weeks. Now we do not have to think about what we are going to eat - simply heat it up. So far, every meal has been delicious.

The first "butt kicking" workout was on April 8th and boy am I still feeling the pain. Our RIO Sport & Health trainers Benny and Kim were able to cause muscles to ache that I didn't even know existed. They kept us moving the entire time and I was suprised when the hour was over. I could barely walk down the stairs to leave. Ouch! The next morning, I was not as sore as I thought I would be; but as the day progressed, I felt the pain.

Tonight is our 2nd workout and I am a little anxious. I know that Benny will make us work and I pray that I will be able to keep up.

Keep checking back for updates from the team as we Go for the "Blue". Be sure to also keep track of our weigh-ins and other news at: