Saturday, October 17, 2009

Beauty Broadcast Fitness Forum

Here is a link to a video I did with Emily answering some exercise/nutrition questions. I will also answer the questions I did not have time for in the video below. If your question is not answered it is probably because I thought I either answered it in the video or answered it in another question. If it didn't get answered to your satisfaction feel free to ask it again in the comments or email me. I realize this is kind of long, but I wanted to answer everyone who took the time to write in a question.

Maria: what is a good exercise which does not make legs and thighs grow too many muscle mass but is still aerobic and fat burning?
Walking, jogging, swimming, biking or pretty much anything you can sustain for longer than 20 minutes will burn fat and not add much if any muscle mass.

Jennifer: I would like to tone up more. I'm good w/ cardio..I take aerobics classes 3 times a week. How many times a week should I do weights and/ or toning activities to see better results?
Adding weights twice a week would be great, but even once would help.

Pouneh: the best way to lose belly fat for men (that is for my husband)..and to maintaining your weight for a natural thin person :)
Men store the majority of their body fat in their belly, so if he just tries to lose fat in general, the majority of that will be from the stomach. He will most likely see the most results elsewhere first though (mainly the face) because those fat stores are smaller. As far as maintaining weight, I recommend eating three solid meals a day and making sure you get enough calories to maintain your weight. On a side note, I really wish I had that problem.

Priscilla: I am trying to lose weight, I need to lose over 100lbs. I have heard that you should weight train to lose weight and I've also heard that if you weight train while over weight you will just appear bigger. Can you please tell me which is correct?
Weight training is a definite must in my opinion. This can be a fairly confusing issue, but if you are losing weight or staying around the same weight you will look smaller even though you are adding muscle. Muscle tissue is more dense than fat so if you gain a pound of muscle and lose a pound of fat you will look smaller. If you gain a pound of muscle, but don't lose fat you would look bigger. However, I don't think that's what you will be trying to do. Weight training while losing weight is extremely important. I will probably do a future blog on why this is the case, but for now just take my word for it.

Julie: i dont eat enough calories during the day ,i have hypothyroid and i eat right and walk 2 miles a day no weight loss what do you recommend?
I don't know much about hypothyroidism, but as I understand it affects your metabolism. To increase your metabolism I recommend adding in some weight training if you can and eating healthy food every 3-4 hours.

Angelica: I just can't seem to loose it! but I also can't seem to stop loving food! and i also can't seem to be consistant with the gym! and i also hate eating only greens or healthy things. lol im helpless :p
Don't get discouraged, this stuff is hard. Personally, I know exactly what I need to do to look like I want to, but putting it in to practice is difficult. Unhealthy food is more convenient, cheaper, and tastes a lot better. Working out is time consuming and not a whole lot of fun. Just start by making small changes gradually over time. In my experience it's a lot easier to ease in to a healthy lifestyle than to just make a complete change.

Nureen: what types of food would help me lose weight?
Lean meats, vegetables, eggs, nuts, and fruits. Avoid sugary stuff and flour based products as much as possible.

Allison: I'm a college student and find it hard to get to the gym as much as I want. Do you have any suggestions on ways I can make my visits more effective (goals: weight loss and toning), or even things I can do in my dorm room (without freaking out my roommates). Are there any different machines that target more areas (I usually do elliptical) that I should try?
Thanks so much!!!
With weight training, try to go from one exercise to the next without resting in-between. You can do this with as many exercise as you want, just don't do the same muscle group back to back. If you're talking cardio, try intervals. Do whatever machine you're on at close to maximum intensity for around 30 seconds to a minute, then at a slow pace for another 1:30 -2 minutes. At home try pushups, jumping jacks, burpees or find an exercise dvd you like.

Wendy: If I work out at home on a carpeted surface, do I need to wear shoes to do jumping exercises, such as plyometrics?
Yes, doing that kind of stuff barefoot sounds like a good way to injure your feet.

Lisa: What are your personal eating habits or excercise routine? Do u have any favorites, that work well for u?
I lift weights three days a week and try to run or ride my exercise bike at least two more times each week. I may post a full blog explaining my weight workout because it would get pretty long and this blog entry is pretty darn long already. I try to eat fairly low carb on days where I don't lift, but when I do I increase my carbs a little bit.

Maria: Is it true or a myth?
**When we exercise lose weight ,tone our body then if we stop exercising our body get worse and we end up gaining more weight! ... Read More
Also I am a border line diabetes 2 case(my doctor said I should lose 15 to 20 pounds), and I tried to find some exercises on the internet for diabetes 2 , and I read somewhere exercise will increase sugar level in body! I will appreciate if you could provide any information on that!

If you stop exercising you may gain weight, but you won't gain more because you exercised in the first place, so I'm pretty sure that is a myth. Exercise will not increase your blood sugar either. It will actually use the sugar for energy which will actually reduce your blood sugar. Also to keep your blood sugar lower you need to pay attention to the glycemic index of the foods you eat because the higher the glycemic index, the higher they will increase your blood sugar.

Abigail: What foods to eat when you are trying to gain weight and muscle as well as what kind of work outs? I ask because I'm 23 and very thin naturally.
Make sure you get plenty of protein, but aside from that you are probably one of the lucky ones that can eat whatever you want. Just make sure you get enough of it. As far as workouts I would stay away from doing much cardio and lift weights about 3 times a week. Do at least one exercise for each muscle group every workout for 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps.

Annie: What foods are good for your skin??
I don't really have much knowledge on this, but I found an article that might help out:

Adeshia: What are your top 5 fave exercises to do? and why?
Bench press, pullups, rack pulls (basically deadlift, but you start with the bar on a rack at your knees), dips, and squats (i actually hate squats, but they're a favorite because of results). I went with these as my favorites because if I could only do five exercises for the rest of my life they would probably be it. They're not really fun, but they get good results.

Alexandra: What's the best way to lose weight without much exercising? I don't have any extra time to exercise :(
Find out how many calories you need in a day and eat 500-1000 calories less than that per day. That should help you lose between 1 and 2 pounds per week.

Julienne: what is an alternative to push-ups that will not affect the wrists? i'm a court reporting student and i push-ups affects my writing on the steno machine. not good if you're trying to write more than 100 words a minute!
I'm always amazed at how you guys type on those things. My gym has push-up bars that you can set up so you're doing a more neutral grip so that might help. If not I would recommend doing some type of bench press, but also do plank exercises for your core if you eliminate push-ups completely.

Sandra: So I have 2 kids and i like my body the way it is. The only thing that bugs me is that i have a bit of love handles. How do i get rid of them or shrink them??!!
Unfortunately there is no way to selectively burn fat. If that's where the most of your body fat is stored though they should shrink faster than everything else.

Saga: I'm very lazy when it comes to exercise... Any ideas how to include fitness into my life without making it boring?
Try to find a sport you like. It can be something intense like basketball or something as easy as frisbee golf. Anything that gets you up an moving, even if it's just walking.

Jennifer: I am taking a kinesiology class, and I have to work out. I just dropped a class that was draining all my energy so I can concentrate on getting all my workouts by the end of the semester. If I am on the treadmill (walking slowly cause I'm a big girl) and I walk for 3-4 hrs a wk - can I drop 30 lbs by Christmas? I am on a rather light diet, salads and fruit mostly, but that class I dropped was preventing me from getting my workouts in. Help
Salads and fruit are good, but make sure you're getting some protein too. You don't want to try to lose more than 2 pounds per week so 30 is pushing it a little bit. 22 pounds would be a much more realistic goal. I recommend searching for a calorie counter online which will tell you how many calories you should eat per day to maintain your current weight. Then cut in to that amount either by exercise or by not eating your full amount by 1,000 calories per day. You should probably mix in some resistance training too.
Beth: I want to do squats, but my right knee is giving me a fit. What can i do instead?
Lunges if you can with your knee. If those don't work either try leg presses.
Bonney: Do you think it's better to do interval training on gym equipment (like the cross trainer) or just continued at a higher rate/resistance?
Interval training is great. I would go with that
Amanda: I have always wanted to be able to run outside, but I was never really taught how to run properly, or how to get started, any suggestions? Should I base it on miles or minutes run? And any increment suggestions (walk-jog-run) on how to build up my stamina? Thank you!!!
Basically what I do is run as far as I can until it gets really uncomfortable, then I walk until I get back to normal and repeat that process for around 30 minutes to an hour depending on how much time I have. I am not much of a runner though so my advice in that arena is not the best.
Chontay: how can I work out and get long and lean not big and bulky (I'm a girl!)
Eat right, do some cardio and you can even lift weights without getting too bulky (trust me).
Andrea: how can i eat well without feeling like im on a diet or depriving myself of the foods i like?
Let yourself eat the stuff you like now and then, but make sure you limit the portions of those things if they aren't good for you. Also there are certain things you can basically eat as much as you want without worrying about gaining weight (chicken breast, turkey, any green vegetables). Whenever you're hungry you can always eat that stuff and not feel guilty at all.
Caroline: I play golf, and I usually have at least two games a week, and usually the golf courses i play at range to about two miles long, with an addition of twenty pounds of golf clubs on my back... (and i have to walk ... Read Moreit all btw) and I kinda consider that my work out of the week. By the end of the game im usually all sweaty and nasty ): I know people dont consider golf a "sport" but it is, because for one thing, its really important for people to be fit and be able to play. Is there something else i should add on to with an addition to just walking my two miles two times a week?
Actually yes. One of the problems golfers (and pitchers in baseball) have is the movements involved in swinging the clubs only work the muscles that swing the club one way. Because of this it becomes important to strengthen other muscles to maintain your balance. I would add in a little bit of resistance training. I would also advise adding in some core work with a medicine ball. This will probably even help out your golf game. It sounds like you definitely get enough cardio work in though with the golf. I play a little bit and anyone who says it's not a sport should go walk 18 holes.

Kamani: Will crunches really make my stomach flat? I've heard conflicting answers.
Crunches alone will not make your stomach flat. The only way to do that is to lose fat which comes through diet and exercise.
Eirah: i want to lose 15 kg in 1 month is it possible?
Not safely. You would have to create a deficit of around 3,500 calories per day to do this. Most of what you lost would be water weight and muscle mass which is not what anyone actually cares about losing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What law school is really like

It has been a long time since I wrote on this. Part of the reason is that I found out I passed the bar a few weeks ago so I did a little too much celebrating. Emily and I also had some some people visiting for homecoming. Other than that, I've been doing general job hunting things. I have an interview tomorrow, so hopefully that goes well.

With that I'll digress into talking about what law school is really like (or at least what it was like for me). Law school lasts three years and they are all a little bit different.

First Year

The hardest part of the first year of law school is learning to manage the stress and workload. Don't get me wrong, the subject matter is pretty difficult, but it is definitely understandable. The problem is that they assign so much it takes a lot of work to get through it all. It's definitely doable, it just takes a lot of work and a plan. The point I'm trying to make is that it's not the difficulty of the material that gets most law students in trouble, it's the sheer volume and stress.

The stress of law school comes from a few different places. The first place it comes from is the class sessions. Most law school classes include a lot of student interaction. By that I mean that the professor asks questions about the reading from random students. Most students had some horror stories about professors embarrassing certain students for not knowing things, but I never saw anyone get embarrassed very badly. In any event, it's still pretty stressful to go through, especially when it's random (which it was for virtually all of my first year classes).

The second place the stress comes from is the course organization. Almost all of my first year classes had your final grade riding exclusively on your final exam score. This means you get no feedback at all on what you know until the course is over. That's right, no papers, no midterms, no quizzes. If you have a bad final, you get a bad grade because there is nothing to bring it up. This lack of feedback tends to drive most law students crazy.

Finally there is a lot of stress from the intense workload. The cases can be pretty complex and you tend to have to read a lot of them, so if you get too hung up on understanding every little detail you can drive yourself crazy. It's important to make a study schedule and stick to it. That includes leaving something if you've gone through it twice and still don't understand it.

That may sound pretty bad, but I guarantee if you work hard and don't drive yourself crazy with stress you will get through law school. The only people I saw fail were people who didn't do enough work or killed themselves with stress

Second Year

The course work in the second year eases up quite a bit. Most professors start telling students when they will be called on in class. Also, there tends to be more midterms and papers that count towards your grade, so it's not all riding on one exam.

Sounds better right. Well the school part is easier. The problem is in the second year you are actually allowed to work, which most people do. There are also more extra curricular activities that you can do (and probably should do if you are able). So while the course work is significantly easier, your overall workload actually increases, which means the second year is actually probably busier than the first, just in a different way.

Third Year

The third year for me was pretty boring. The course work gets quite a bit easier (mainly because you get so much more used to it). The extra curriculars also wind down quite a bit. I got pretty bored for most of the third year and I was basically just waiting to graduate.

So I talked mostly about the first year, probably because that's the year most people are concerned about. Once you get through that, you know you can do it and it's just a matter of getting through the next two years. There are a lot more things I could talk about, but that would be really long. If anyone has any more specific questions you can either send an email or just post it in the comments.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Law School Stuff

I have had a few people ask some questions about law school so I figured I would talk about it, but I'm going to break it up into three parts: applying, what it's like once you get there and bar exam stuff. I'll just go chronologically and start with the admissions process.

Law school admissions boards basically look to three basic things in deciding which applicants to admit.


This is pretty self explanatory really. Get the best grades you possibly can. It depends on the school how high your gpa needs to be to get in. You can get that information either from schools you apply to or from the Princeton Review. Keep in mind that gpa is only one factor they consider, a low gpa can be overcome by a really good LSAT score and strong extra curricular activities.

LSAT Scores

The LSAT is basically a test that requires no outside knowledge whatsoever. It primarily tests reasoning ability and reading comprehension. My advice for preparation is to take some type of course or to at least buy a prep book for at least on portion of the test, the "puzzles" portion. I did not prepare well enough for this part and I was lost during the exam. From what I've heard at a course they will teach you a proper approach to these questions, which would have helped me a lot. These questions are insane and without some kind of game plan you will just wind up confused, which I was. Luckily I still wound up with a good enough score to get in to a decent law school.

There is also an essay portion, however it is not part of your score. They do send it to the law schools you apply to though where they might use it as a "tie breaker".

Probably the worst part of the test for me came before any of the scored portions even started. Before the test they had a paragraph written out that basically said the test taker promises not to cheat and not to steal any of the test materials etc.... The problem was they wanted me to write the whole paragraph out, in cursive. I hadn't written cursive since elementary school. The only letters I really knew were the ones in my name. I was sweating and all stressed out. "Is she already finished? I don't even have a sentence written yet!!! I'm so screwed on this test!!!" I got through it ok though in the end, but that was not fun. They did it again to me at the bar exam by the way.

The information for what LSAT scores are usually acceptable to what schools is also available at the Princeton Review site I linked above, but again they take all the info together. There is no minimum for any of the criteria for each school.

Extra Curriculars/Admissions Essay

This is the only real area where you have all the control. GPA and LSAT depend on test taking ability and other factors. You can join as many clubs and other activities as you want. If you have a lower GPA and are having trouble with your LSAT score, this is the place you want to make up some ground. I included admissions essay in the heading because that is where you sell yourself to the schools. Tell them what you've done in school, tell them why you're unique, why you will succeed in law school, and why you would make a good attorney. Put a lot of work into the essay because you are not only selling yourself to them as a candidate, but you are also showing them your writing skills.

So if you want to get into law school, try to get the best grades you can, take an LSAT prep course and if you have weak extra curricular activities go find some more. Be realistic in where you apply based on your GPA and LSAT scores. Make sure you apply to a school or two where you know you can get in just to be safe. After that, all you lose is the application fee if you don't get in.

In a later blog, I'll talk about what law school is actually like. Then one more after that I'll talk about the bar exam. Speaking of which, on a personal note, I am getting to the point where I could get my bar exam results any day so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'll post a blog when I finally do find out.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Great hamburger bun/bread

I've been looking for a really good bread for a long time, and last week I finally found exactly what I wanted. I wanted something really thin so it wouldn't be too many calories, it had to be whole grain, and it still needed to bring some fiber to the table. I also needed to find it reasonably priced and available in southern Illinois. So when I saw just that at Wal-mart last week I probably looked like I had just scored a game winning touchdown. The product I found was Arnold Select Sandwich thins.

Each "thin"/bun/roll is only 100 calories (that includes both sides). It's only a total of 21 carbs and five of those are fiber. It's also 100 percent whole wheat, which is a hugeplus. If you're the type of person that eats a decent amount of bread, replacing what you currently use would make a huge difference in your overall diet. Especially if you were eating regular old white bread before. I'm going to try to do various blogs about changes like this that people can make that will help a lot. In my personal experience it was much easier for me to make little changes gradually in my diet and fitness regimen. I think one of the problems people have is going with an all or nothing approach to losing weight or getting healthier and I think that leads to a lot of burnout. Implementing gradual lifestyle changes is the way to go in my opinion, so that's one of the things you can expect me to blog about in the future.

Friday, September 18, 2009

DVR is a crutch

Don't get me wrong, DVR is probably one of my favorite inventions of all time. My problem with it is I become dependent upon it when I'm not actually watching tv. Somehow my mind doesn't make the connection that you just can't rewind real life if you let your mind wander. I've actually had moments where I missed something, and thought it was no big deal because I could just press the rewind button, go back and get the information, then catch up when nothing really important was going on. Imagine my frustration when I realize that not only is that information gone forever, but I also just missed another 30 seconds of whatever was going on because I had to convince myself that I couldn't just rewind in this situation. It happens all the time when I'm listening to the radio. I think it's more frustrating because it's just like tv, just without pictures. The technology to do it is totally there, I guess it's not worth it to most people. Or they don't want people wrecking their cars while trying to rewind their radios. If someone could only invent real life DVR. Unfortunately this would likely require some type of time travel mechanism, and I'm not sure how close the scientists are to that yet.

Despite my issue, there is around a 0 percent chance I will cancel my DVR service because well, it's pretty awesome to be able to watch one thing and record another, record two things at once, or rewind to see a score on the bottom of the screen you missed all without having to use a single VHS tape (saving the planet one tv show at a time).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Your mother was right

Well, at least she was right when she told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. She probably didn't know exactly why it was so important exactly. She probably told you that it's because that's where your energy for the rest of the day. That's partially true. Breakfast does give you energy, just not for the rest of the day. If you didn't eat again, I can assure you the stuff you ate for breakfast would run out eventually. Aside from energy though, there are a couple other reasons that it is incredibly important to eat a solid breakfast.


If you want to lose or not gain weight, maximizing your metabolism is extremely helpful. Breakfast sets the tone for your metabolism for the rest of the day. The analogy I have always heard is that your metabolism operates like a fire. The more you feed it, the hotter it burns. Now you need to give it quality fuel, but breakfast is what gets the fire burning from the start.

You haven't eaten in a long time before breakfast

This is important because while you're asleep, your body uses up all the calories you have eaten the day before. Now wouldn't it be great if your body just burned some of that body fat you've always wanted to get rid of while you slept? Sorry, that's not what happens. Your body starts to burn muscle tissue instead when it think's it's being "starved". See, your body still thinks it's back in the stone age when food was scarce and people didn't get to eat every day, let alone 3 plus meals. So when you don't eat, your body has no idea when it will get another meal. It reacts by going into self preservation mode. Because muscle tissue requires more calories to be sustained than fat tissue, your body uses the muscle tissue for energy instead of fat. This decreases the amount of calories your body needs to survive and keeps the fat stores for energy later, in case you still don't get to eat for a long time. This is a great feature if you're ever starving in the wilderness, but a real drag when you're trying to lose weight.

So that's a long way of saying that eating breakfast in the morning stops that process of your body using muscle for its fuel, which is a really good thing because if you're trying to lose weight, muscle tissue is a good thing to hang on to.

So, what to eat

Yes, almost anything is better than nothing, but I recommend something that contains plenty of protein, fat(yes, fat is ok), fiber and good carbs. Good carbs would include whole grains, fruits, vegetables.....really anything that doesnt contain a ton of sugar or flour that's not 100 % whole grain. Look out for anything that says anything about whole grains, but doesn't say 100 %. That's a trick from food companies that makes things look healthy, when they're really not. I'll actually write a whole separate blog about little tricks like this that food companies use.

So actual stuff that would be good for breakfast: eggs, bacon, pretty much any meat, milk, whole grain cereal, whole grain bread, peanut butter (preferably natural pb), oatmeal, fruit, nuts, and pretty much anything else that meets the criteria of the above paragraph. Stuff not to eat: dougnuts, pop tarts, nutrigrain bars (yeah, they try to act all healthy don't they), and most other breakfast foods you can buy in a box.

Here's what I ate this morning

That's two whole eggs, a cup of egg whites, 3 strips of bacon and a bowl of oatmeal. Keep in mind I weigh around 260 pounds and lift weights 5 days a week, but a similar meal with reduced portions of each would be a great breakfast. Not to mention delicious

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'm on a blog

Due in part to some prodding from my wife Emily, I'm starting a blog. So, what's it going to be about? Well, that's a very good question. I don't really have one thing that I know a ton of stuff about, but I do have a few areas where I know a thing or two. Hopefully I can at least throw a few things out there that give some people some useful information and/or be somewhat entertaining. So why don't I start with a little bit about myself.

My current ocupation is sort of a kept man/trophy husband. My wife is a tv news anchor and a youtube makeup guru. I'm guessing 99 percent of you already knew that though, and it's probably the only reason you have any clue who I am and are reading this in the first place. Anyway, I am an attorney who just took the bar exam in July. I'm waiting to hear whether I passed or not (I think I did), but I should know within a month. They say its much, much easier to get a job once you actually have your license, so I hope that all happens soon.

Until that happens I'm just working out a lot, cleaning more than I ever have in my life, job hunting, watching tv and playing video games. If you do read this blog, those things are probably a lot of what I'll talk about, but I'm happy to take requests too. Emily has told me some of her viewers asked me to talk about some things already so I'll try to get on that. A lot of what I'll talk about will be in the exercise/nutrition realm. I have a lot of knowledge in that arena and I feel like there is a lot of information out there that is misleading and things generally accepted as true that simply are not. I also recognize that at least for a while the people reading this will be mostly women, so I'll keep that in mind. Feel free to tell all your husbands/boyfriends/dads/brothers and other men in your lives about it as well.

So I'll try my best to write on this with some level of frequency. I'll probably get better as I go as far as incorporating pictures and cool stuff like that so try to be patient with me for a while. Thanks, and I hope you enjoy it.