Archive for January, 2012

I was chosen as the first: Strong is the New Skinny Angel

Posted in Health/Fitness on January 29, 2012 by mistransformation

Check out my post on the Practical Paleolithic blog where I was chosen to be the first Strong Is The New Skinny Angel.   This blog was started because of a blog challenge the group did almost a year ago.  If it wasn’t for this blog, I wouldn’t have realized a lot of my dreams.  To be chosen as the first Angel is really an honor.

The original blog post is here but I copied and pasted it for your convenience, please check out the Practical Paleolithic blog.

SINS Angel – Missy Barnum

Today is a big day for the SINS Angels Series. This is the VERY FIRST ONE! The plan is to feature a female blogger who is living the SINS ideal, blogging regularly and helping to spread the word that Strong is the New Skinny (SINS). It’s all about leading by example!

So, the first SINS Angel is my friend Missy Barnum. Missy is someone I’ve come to know this past year from her posts and participation on Strong is the New Skinny on Facebook. Missy actually STARTED her blog because of her experience on SINS and wanting to join the conversation that’s happening around that topic. Since starting her blog, Missy has had the opportunity to really expand her reach and her writing has been featured in print in Fytness Fanatik Magazine. Missy’s passion for blogging and writing was a major factor in her being featured as a SINS angel – She’s not only living SINS and being the change she wants to see in the world, she’s blogging and writing about it constantly to spread the word and inspire!

So, here’s Missy in her own words. And be sure to check out her blog here:

The Girl Picked Last In Gym Class…

I am the girl that was picked last in gym class. That is, if I even made it to gym class that day. I used to fake illness on gym class days as often as I could so I could avoid the horror, humiliation and brutality that I used to face when I would be ridiculed about my weight. I identify closely with the childhood obesity problem that faces us today. I weighed over 200 pounds as a teenager and I can tell you first hand that life was anything but fun during those years. Standing up in front of a group of your peers while being chosen for a team and then waiting while everyone else was chosen before you did not do wonders for a teenage girl’s self-esteem.

The summer before my senior year of high school I knew I wanted change. I embarked on a mission to lose weight before I graduated and had to go off into the world on my own. I dropped about 35 or 40 pounds before I graduated high school and continued on that path when I got out of school. When I went off to business school and was on my own, however, my mission turned into obsession and then developed into a full blown eating disorder. The fad diets and fitness preachings of the 90s weren’t always the healthiest and were, for the most part, counterproductive to a person’s fitness goals.

After enjoying a few years as a fit looking young woman, I got comfortable and the pounds started to creep back on even though I was still working out and trying to be mindful of the food I was eating. Then life happened. I had a triple whammy of bad things hit me all at once: My boyfriend at the time was transferred out of state with his job (later I found out he was also cheating on me), my grandfather died suddenly (he had bone cancer) and I was laid off from a job that I loved. I grew depressed and the pounds quickly piled on as I stopped working out regularly and instead I regularly consoled myself with chocolate and other goodies and on the weekends I numbed my pain with a huge bottle of wine. I became obese again.

During this time period, in my early 30s, I had the mindset that I was going to have to live with my “matronly” look for the rest of my life. The men that I dated during that time had the attitude that I should just be thankful that they would spend any amount time with me at all and that they were doing me a favor. They only wanted to see me “at their convenience,” and I bought into that attitude. I allowed them to treat me bad. Then I met someone who I thought was truly interested in me for me. He told me that I was the best decision he ever made. Then a week later, he dropped me like I was yesterday’s news for another girl.

After that blow, I knew I could not live like this for the rest of my life. I wanted change. I wanted to start treating myself with respect and I wanted others to start treating me with respect as well. I asked my mother to buy me a gym membership for Christmas that year. I was pretty timid at first. I just did the cardio machines for a while and then I started to venture into the weight room.

When the pounds started dropping, I used that as motivation to keep going harder. Soon after, I started finding all of these great resources online for workout routines and the use of free weights, barbells, kettlebells, and the cable machine. I found that my passion was with lifting weights. I like to lift. Not just because it makes me strong physically but because it makes me feel empowered and stronger on the inside. I like the way my body looks with muscle. I am still a work in progress but I am proud of how far I have come and where I am at in my journey today.

Some Q and A…

Adam: What would you tell a young woman who’s going through the same feelings and experiences you went through – regarding body image and health – that you were experiencing in High School and College?

Missy: I would tell all young women that they shouldn’t allow outside interference dictate how they feel about themselves which I know is easier said than done. I would say to focus on something outside of themselves. It may be fitness/sports related or it may be a hobby but I think one of the biggest things that is sorely lacking and contributing to the childhood obesity problem of today is a sense of accomplishment. When you feel proud of something you have done, it helps you to expand on to other things. When you don’t feel proud, you become unmotivated and stagnate.

Adam: What has blogging and resources like the SINS community and the Web given you?

Missy: Online resources such as SINS help me to obtain the information and knowledge I need to help reach my fitness goals. Plus there are the benefits of networking. I also belong to a fitness blogging group and we promote each others fitness/health related blogs. This in turn draws more traffic to each others blogs.

Adam: Anything else you want to add?

Missy: My blog has given me benefits that I wouldn’t even have dreamed imaginable four years ago. It is respected by the fitness professionals whose workout DVDs I review and they have posted my reviews on their own Facebook pages and Twitter. I also became a columnist for the online magazine Fytness Fanatik and have written several inspirational and thought provoking articles. The most exciting thing is that I realized my dream this year by having one of my articles go in the special print edition of the Fytness Fanatik magazine. The benefits of inspiring others on their own fitness journey are immeasurable. I have come a long way.

Thanks, Missy!

Great stuff, Missy. Thanks for all the hard work and for kicking off this series! I couldn’t think of anyone better to have done it!

I Made It In Print! My Article in the Fytness Fanatik Magazine

Posted in Health/Fitness on January 26, 2012 by mistransformation

Last year I submitted one of my blog posts from this Mistransformation blog  to the online edition of the Fytness Fanatik magazine.  I went on to write a few more inspirational and thought provoking articles for the online edition.  Amanda Lynn, the creator and editor of the magazine, was gracious enough to include my latest article in the special print edition out now!  Below is a screen shot of the contents of the magazine where I am listed as a contributing writer and the two shots below that are the page that contains my article and a closer view of that article. To read the Fytness Fanatik online edition click here:

Contents Page

New Year, New You!

Closer View

Patrick Goudeau’s Extreme Calorie Burn – Workout DVD Review

Posted in Health/Fitness, Workout DVDs, Workout review on January 25, 2012 by mistransformation

I was really looking forward to this workout DVD when I saw the preview.  It looked intense and hardcore.  I had worked out with Patrick before back in the old Exercise TV days. He had some great and challenging workouts there.  Patrick is known as the “King of Choreography” and he did not disappoint in this workout DVD.  I had to complete it twice before I could even attempt to sit down and write a review.  There is a lot going on in this workout:  Strength/Cardio/Abs.  You will need at least two sets of weights one lighter and one heavier – I use more like 3 different sets tailored to my own level.  Toby Massenburg is one of the background exercisers in this workout and he commented one day on Facebook that this was the hardest workout DVD he has done.  So you know it’s challenging because Toby is in super shape!  I’m not going to lie, I did have to modify where needed for myself.  I can’t do one handed burpees.  I’m afraid of hurting a wrist and I couldn’t do the four corners the way he performed them due to space issues in my living room.  Patrick doesn’t offer modifications, however.  You would have to make them up on your own for your capabilities.

Patrick starts with a fun warm up. I don’t think I’ve EVER used that to describe a warm up but Patrick manages to put a few moves and combinations in it that were kind of fun and interesting.  There is also a dynamic stretching segment in the warmup and a short strength warm up segment as well.

The heart of this workout is comprised of circuits.  It starts out with strength combos completed twice on one side of the body and then followed by a cardio burst segment you then go through the same combo of strength and cardio moves.  After the first two circuits Patrick pumps things up a bit and makes the strength combos faster and more dynamic.  The cardio segments contain plyometrics and some agility practices.  I will warn you, some of the strength combos are fast and you may want to keep your weight on the lighter side until you are familiar with the routine and know what is coming.  I have read a couple of reviews where people said it made their back hurt and I bet they used too heavy of a weight during the workout.  I didn’t experience any unusual pain except what you normally feel after a challenging workout. I really enjoyed the last strength circuit with the standing ab move where you have to flip-flop between bending to the side with a weight and lifting your knee to your elbow on the other side of the body.  Talk about a mind-bender!

There is a bonus ab segment separate from this workout.  You can do it at the end of the workout or completely on its own.  It offers some really challenging core movements like holding a bridge and lifting one leg and dipping.

The cooldown for the workout is a little shorter than I would like for a workout of this length.  You may want to do some additional stretching on your own.

I really loved this workout and I am glad that I bought it.  Since I had to modify some of the movements, I know I have something to work up to.  Patrick is fun and encouraging through the workout.  I think his trademark is his WOOOOO!!!!  It just wouldn’t be a Patrick G workout without it!






Posted in Health/Fitness on January 22, 2012 by mistransformation


An article from Phil Learney/Strength Coach/Educator


Why I Don’t Hate Paula Deen

Posted in Health/Fitness on January 21, 2012 by mistransformation

I have been a big fan of Paula Deen, her various cooking shows on the Food Network, her cookbooks, and her biography, “It Ain’t All About the Cookin.”  Recently Paula “came out” to say that she was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes a few years ago and that she’s not going to change the way she cooks on her show because she never intended for people to eat the way she cooks 365 days a year.

I can say that after all the shows of Paula’s I’ve watched I have NEVER tried one of her recipes.  The show to me is more of a fantasy especially when she cooks chocolatey good ooey-gooey desserts!  Paula is going to have to deal with the ramifications of her diagnosis and hopefully take care of business to control it – even eliminate it if possible (that’s what I hope for her but if she doesn’t change her eating I know this won’t happen). If she chooses the medication route – so be it!  I did see her post a picture of herself on the treadmill about a week ago.  So at least she is trying to add activity into her life.

I think we are being a little too hard on her.  Nobody makes YOU pick up anything and eat it.  You control what YOU put in your mouth.  Don’t cook the way Paula does if you are angry with her.  I don’t think it was ever a secret that the way she cooks is not healthy.  Watching her show was always just a sense of comfort to me with Paula’s motherly down home spirit.  I wish her many years of good health to come!

P.S.  I think that the scenario isn’t even as bad as it seems in the fact that it is bringing Type II Diabetes into light and perhaps now maybe people will link the fact that bad eating habits could lead you to this disease.

Jillian Michaels – Extreme Shed & Shred Workout DVD Review

Posted in Health/Fitness, Workout DVDs, Workout review on January 15, 2012 by mistransformation

When I saw that this DVD was coming on the market I was happy that Jillian was going “extreme.”  Then I saw the preview for it and it seemed too much like a few of her other videos that I already have so I wasn’t going to purchase this one.

Then I read this review from the Fit Bottomed Girls website:

Needless to say they really liked this workout DVD and here is a quote from their post:  “This is the best workout DVD Jillian has created and one of the best DVDs I’ve ever done.”

While I’m not sorry I purchased this workout, I cannot agree with the above statement.  It isn’t as intense as I like and it doesn’t focus enough on one area for much of a burn in the strengthening/toning area but that doesn’t make it a bad workout.  It’s a great conditioning workout and if you don’t already add one of the elements contained in this workout like isometric or balance moves, it may just take your fitness to another level.

There are a few things that I do like:  I like that she gives the option to combine Workouts 1 and 2 into a super long 80 minute workout (not having to do two cooldowns and warmups – if you choose this option you can bypass having to redo them).

I like that she included an eating plan via the internet with an access code.  That is very thoughtful of her as some people just don’t get the value of nutrition in their workouts.

As I said before, this workout has 2 separate workouts (Number 1 is 42 minutes and Number 2 is 54 minutes) and an option to create the super long workout.  This is how I chose to complete this workout.

This workout is a fusion of some body weight challenged moves, yoga poses with a twist, isometric holds, balance challenges, martial arts and plyometrics.  Jillian does a round of moves and then repeats the circuit.  The circuits are fast paced.  You will need a couple of sets of weights and you can even “blow up” some of the movements by adding weights which is normal Jillian style.

Workout Number 1 is a lower intensity level than Workout Number 2 which is more dynamic.   Workout Number 2 also has more circuits than Workout Number 1.

Jillian’s demeanor doesn’t seem too harsh and fake as other workouts.  She’s still her normal “badass” and pushes the girls but she isn’t over the top.  I liked that on this go ’round.

I would give this workout DVD 4 out of 5 stars.  I’m sure I will keep it in my rotation and swap out the Ripped in 30 DVD because those workouts are shorter and I like longer workouts on the weekends.

If you haven’t purchased one of Jill’s workout DVDs in awhile go ahead and get this – otherwise, if you have most of her workouts, you might want to skip it because it does contain a lot of similar movements from her other workouts – unless what you are looking for is a very long length workout.  Then you might want to give this a try.

2011 in review on my Mistransformation blog

Posted in Health/Fitness on January 15, 2012 by mistransformation

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

F**kin’ Perfect

Posted in Health/Fitness on January 14, 2012 by mistransformation

My fitness friend Jenn inspired this post with her blog about “PERFECT SUCKS!”  Read here:

I find beauty in imperfection.  How boring the world would be if we were all “perfect.”  Perfect doesn’t even exist so don’t waste your time trying to attain some unachievable goal of perfection.  I think people are much more interesting when they’ve got a “gritty” story to tell.  Plastic “perfect” people seem pretty fake to me and I find them trite and untrustworthy.

As the picture above says, “It’s not about PERFECT.  It’s about EFFORT. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens.  That’s how change occurs.”

F**K Perfect!

A Look Ahead To January 2013

Posted in Health/Fitness on January 11, 2012 by mistransformation

If you were hopeful that the start of a new year would be the kick start for motivation to get into a fitness and healthy eating plan and you haven’t started yet keep this thought in mind:  January 2013 is going to come no matter if you sit on the couch and eat bon bons all day.  January 2013 is going to come if you decide today that you are going to add some activity into your life.  January 2013 is going to come if you choose a healthier way of eating.

The question is:  How is your January 2013 going to look?  Are you going to be happy that you started a better way of life today or are you going to be one of those people who looks back and wishes that you had started today?

….to be continued in January 2013……

Bike Ride in January! First Time EVER in My Life!

Posted in Health/Fitness on January 7, 2012 by mistransformation

After a few really frigid days to start off the New Year we have had a welcome relief of mild days.  Today being the mildest.  I was excited when I heard it was going to be in the 40s this weekend and I planned to bundle up and ride my bike.  I didn’t realize that it was going to get even better!  I saw my Jeep’s thermometer go up to at least 55 degrees and the temperature may have gone even higher than that. I didn’t even need to wear a coat.  The park that I rode my bike at was filled with people out enjoying the day.  People were walking their dogs.  There were joggers, other bikers, people feeding the ducks and geese, and a few people using their metal detectors.  The nice thing was that a handful of parents even had the opportunity to get their children out for some much needed activity that is usually unheard of here in North Central PA in January.  Usually we feel if it gets up into the 30s we are having a good day!  Today was a GREAT DAY!  I rode my bike for at least an hour and a half.  The last time I had been on it was during a 3 day stretch in December which was another all-time record set for the most days I’ve been able to ride in December.

Here are some pictures of the day that I enjoyed. I wanted this as a visual for when the arctic air revisits us. And IT WILL!

My old lady granny ride!  But I can go pretty fast and ride for hours on it, so I keep it!

Ice on the pond even though it was 55 and sunny outside.

The sky was AWESOME!

Ducks and geese where the pond wasn’t frozen over.

Looks like spring on the bike path!