Thursday, December 24, 2009

FFF Diva Wish: Merry Christmas! Maligayang Pasko!

Mariah Carey "All I Want for Christmas" Flash Mob

GLEE Holiday Flash Mob in Rome, Italy

"Ay Pasko Ang Sumapit" A Traditional Filipino Christmas Song

This entry is just to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 2009 was an up & down year for me personally, but the last 6 months literally transformed my life. I broke through my plateau, achieved a weight in my 230 lbs AND became a marathon runner (1/2 marathon ran, now training for a full marathon). LIFE IS GOOD. FAMILY IS GOOD. WEIGHT LOSS IS GOOD. TAKING BACK YOUR LIFE IS GOOD. EMBRACE THE GOOD. Here we come 2010!

<3 FFF Diva Mo

Monday, December 21, 2009

FFF Diva Operation Boot Camp Reflection: Special Christmas Message & Homework from Trainer Ronny

Hey Guys~

I just wanted to thank you all for a GREAT time in Boot Camp this year. All the hard work, sweat, laughs, and yelling that we all went through with all the "great" weather was awesome. I know you guys thought it was all over after that awesome Graduation Party, but WAIT - THERE'S MORE!!

Attached is the 12 Days of Christmas Homework. On day 1, you do 1 round of the exercises prescribed... on day 2, you do 2 rounds, on day 3, 3 rounds... so on and so forth. open the file up and check it out, please let me know if you have any questions on it. It IS in your guys' best interest to DO the homework!! It will be good...

12 DAYS OF Holiday Homework
12 ROUNDS/20 SECONDS EACH EXERCISE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
11 ROUNDS/20 SECONDS EACH EXERCISE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
10 ROUNDS/30 SECONDS EACH EXERCISE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
9 ROUNDS/1:00 MINUTES EACH EXERCISE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
8 ROUNDS/ OUTSIDE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 LAP AROUND A TRACK or 1/4 mile loop
7 ROUNDS/ 10 REPS EACH EXERCISE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Alternating Lunge Jumps
PUSH-UPS ( 20 reps)

Also, if you haven't done so already - a little reminisce of the graduation party, I put a video up on my facebook. Check it out... :)


Hope all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Be Safe, Be Healthy, Be HAPPY

Committed to your health


Thursday, December 17, 2009

FFF Diva Reflection: YOU are losing weight for YOU

Below is a reflective explanation that was sent from my Ninong (godfather in Tagalog) to my Nanay (mom in Tagalog). I thought it was really beautiful, because it really captures what one experiences during their weight loss journey. So, whenever you get discouraged REMEMBER you are doing this for no one else except YOU.

FFF Diva Mo : )

"You can make a real difference just by being you. You can change the world for the better simply by being your authentic best.

You don't need flowery, sophisticated wording to add value to the discussion. By simply and sincerely saying what's on your mind, you can contribute profound truth.

The dreams that you have are yours because they give you a reason to perform at your best. In so doing, you add your own splendid threads to the rich fabric of life.

There is no one else who sees the world in exactly the same way as you.

Express your opinions, express your perspective, express your vision and you'll offer great, unique value.

You'll never be satisfied following someone else's dream. Real fulfillment comes from accomplishing the things that are most meaningful to you.

In your unique perspective you'll find a lifetime of value. Be the best of who you are, and raise your whole world higher."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

FFF Diva Operation Boot Camp Advice: "How will I motivate myself?"

Below is a great article that the staff of my Operation Boot Camp sent to me. It's a great article about really pushing your limits. It's a little long but worth the read!

Have a good read!
FFF Diva Mo

Published: December 6, 2007

BILL MORGAN, an emeritus professor of kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin, likes to tell the story, which he swears is true, of an Ivy League pole vaulter who held the Division 1 record in the Eastern region.

His coaches and teammates, though, noticed that he could jump even higher. Every time he cleared the pole, he had about a foot to spare. But if they moved the bar up even an inch, the vaulter would hit it every time. One day, when the vaulter was not looking, his teammates raised the bar a good six inches. The man vaulted over it, again with a foot to spare.

When his teammates confessed, the pole vaulter could not believe it. But, Dr. Morgan added, “once he saw what he had done, he walked away from the jumping pit and never came back.” After all, Dr. Morgan said, everyone would expect him to repeat that performance. And how could he?

The moral of the story? No matter how high you jump, how fast you run or swim, how powerfully you row, you can do better. But sometimes your mind gets in the way.

“All maximum performances are actually pseudo-maximum performances,” Dr. Morgan said. “You are always capable of doing more than you are doing.”

One of my running partners, Claire Brown, the executive director of Princeton in Latin America, a nonprofit group, calls it mind over mind-over-body.

She used that idea in June in the Black Bear triathlon in Lehighton, Pa., going all-out when she saw a competitor drawing close. She won her age group (30 to 34) for the half-Ironman distance, coming in fourth among the women.

When it was over, she ended up in a medical tent. “I felt like I was going to pass out or throw up or both,” she recalled. “At a certain point in a hard race, you’ve pushed yourself beyond the point of ignoring the physical pain, and now you have to tell your mind that it can keep going, too.”

The problem for many athletes is how to make a pseudo-maximum performance as close as possible to a maximum one. There are some tricks, exercise physiologists say, but also some risks.

The first thing to know, said Dr. Benjamin Levine, an exercise researcher and a cardiology professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, is that no one really knows what limits human performance. There’s the ability of the heart to pump blood to the muscles, there’s the ability of the muscles to contract and respond, there’s the question of muscle fuel, and then, of course, there is the mind.

“How does the brain interact with the skeletal muscles and the circulation?” Dr. Levine said. “How much of this is voluntary and how much is involuntary? We just don’t know.”

But since most people can do better, no matter how good their performance, the challenge is to find a safe way to push a little harder. Many ordinary athletes, as well as elites, use a technique known as dissociation.

Dr. Morgan, who tested the method in research studies, said he was inspired by a story, reported by an anthropologist that, he suspects, is apocryphal. It involves Tibetan monks who reportedly ran 300 miles in 30 hours, an average pace of six minutes a mile. Their mental trick was to fixate on a distant object, like a mountain peak, and put their breathing in synchrony with their locomotion. Every time a foot hit the ground they would also repeat a mantra.

So Dr. Morgan and his colleagues instructed runners to say “down” to themselves every time a foot went down. They were also to choose an object and stare at it while running on a treadmill and to breathe in sync with their steps. The result, Dr. Morgan said, was that the runners using the monks’ strategy had a statistically significant increase in endurance, doing much better than members of a control group who ran in their usual way.

That, in a sense, is the trick that Paula Radcliffe said she uses. Ms. Radcliffe, the winner of this year’s New York City Marathon, said in a recent interview that she counts her steps when she struggles in a race. “When I count to 100 three times, it’s a mile,” she said. “It helps me focus on the moment and not think about how many miles I have to go. I concentrate on breathing and striding, and I go within myself.”

Without realizing what I was doing, I dissociated a few months ago, in the middle of a long, fast bike ride. I’d become so tired that I could not hold the pace going up hills. Then I hit upon a method — I focused only on the seat of the rider in front of me and did not look at the hill or what was to come. And I concentrated on my cadence, counting pedal strokes, thinking of nothing else. It worked. Now I know why.

Dr. Morgan, who has worked with hundreds of sub-elite marathon runners, said every one had a dissociation strategy. One wrote letters in his mind to everyone he knew. Another stared at his shadow. But, Dr. Morgan asked him, what if the sun is in front of you? Then, the man said, he focused on someone else’s shadow. But what if the sun goes behind a cloud, Dr. Morgan asked?

“Then it’s tough,” the runner conceded. Dissociation clearly works, Dr. Morgan said, but athletes who use it also take a chance on serious injury if they trick themselves into ignoring excruciating pain. There is, of course, a fine line between too much pain and too little for maximum performance.

“The old adage, no pain no gain comes into play here,” Dr. Morgan said. “In point of fact, maximum performance is associated with pain.”

The brain affects everyday training as well, researchers note.

Imagine you are out running on a wet, windy, cold Sunday morning, said Dr. Timothy Noakes, an exercise physiologist at the University of Cape Town. “The conscious brain says, ‘You know that coffee shop on the corner. That’s where you really should be.’” And suddenly, you feel tired, it’s time to stop. “There is some fatigue in muscle, I’m not suggesting muscles don’t get fatigued,” Dr. Noakes said. “I’m suggesting that the brain can make the muscles work harder if it wanted to.”

Part of a winning strategy is to avoid giving in to lowered expectations, athletes and researchers say. One friend tells me that toward the end of a marathon he tries not to look at people collapsed or limping at the side of the road. If he does, he suddenly realizes how tired he is and just gives up.

Marian Westley, a 35-year-old oceanographer in Princeton, N.J., and another running friend of mine, used several mental strategies in the recent Philadelphia marathon.

She slowed herself down at the start by telling herself repeatedly that she was storing energy in the bank. And when she tired near the race’s finish, she concentrated on pumping her arms. “I thought about letting my arms run the race for me, taking the pressure off my legs.”

She finished in three hours and 43 minutes, meeting her goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. “I am over the moon!” she wrote in an e-mail message the day after the race.

Friday, December 11, 2009

FFF Diva Accomplishment: From 320 to 239 lbs

FFF Diva Accomplishment: From 320 to 239 lbs

The above photos capture the BEFORE and AFTER of me. The first five photos are from the Summer of 2007 when I weighed my heaviest 320 lbs & size 28 at 22 years old. The last five photos are from the Fall 2009 when I weighed my adult lightest 239.5 lbs, size 16/18 at 24 years old.

It's been two, almost three years, since I weighed over 300 lbs. I have lost 81 lbs to date & even experienced a plateau and 45 lbs weight gain (which I lost this summer) during the journey.

GOAL WEIGHT: 150 lbs.
Weight gained during 4 years of college: 124 lbs.
Current weight: 239 lbs.

Weight to go:
43 lbs left until my original college weight (before the 124 lbs weight gain)
89 lbs left until GOAL WEIGHT (150 lbs)
40 lbs left until I reach under 200 lbs (199 lbs)

Weight loss to date:
81 lbs (since May 2007 at 320 lbs until December 2009 at 239 lbs)

Running Accomplishments:
May 2009: 5K Marin Human Race
August 2009: 5K San Francisco Plate to Plate
September 2009: 5K Bubba Gump Run at Great America
October 2009: San Jose Rock & Roll 1/2 Marathon
October 2009: 5 mile Silicon Valley AIDS Walk
November 2009: 10K Silicon Valley Turkey Trot

Currently training for: Los Angeles Marathon, March 2010


FFF Diva Article Research: 11 Ways to Enjoy the Holidays Without Ruining Your Fitness

11 Ways to Enjoy the Holidays Without Ruining Your Fitness

By Rod Dixon and Matt Mahowald

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or an everyday Joe, the season from Thanksgiving through the New Year can wreak havoc on the waistline—and more. Rod Dixon, the LA Marathon Director of Training, and Matt Mahowald, the LA Marathon’s Nutrition and Supplement Consultant, offer their tips for enjoying the holidays—and holiday menus—without sabotaging your diet, exercise or training routine.

1. Never show up hungry to a holiday party or meal. Make sure you have a big breakfast and enjoy at least two good meals or snacks before the feast. This will minimize the amount of overeating. For instance, 12 almonds and an apple will help to decrease your appetite so that when you get to that meal you don’t overeat.

2. The most important drink during the holiday season is water. Water helps your body synthesize carbs. It helps with the highs and lows of blood sugar that come with desserts and sweets that aren’t normally in our diet.

3. If you are going to attend a holiday party and plan on drinking alcohol, consume a full eight to 10 oz. of water in addition to a beverage of your choice. This will minimize the amount of alcohol you drink.

4. When eating appetizers or enjoying a potluck-style meal, the best choices are vegetables, lean proteins and fruits. If you’re designated to bring a dish to a gathering, bring something healthy. You never know what’s going to be there for you, and it’s important to have good options.

5. Fill your plate modestly, and wait 30 minutes after you finish before going back for seconds. This allows your blood sugar and insulin levels to adjust. You may find that you aren’t really hungry for that second plate.

6. Look at dessert as a treat. Serve yourself a small portion, and stop there.

7. A good cardiovascular workout for two to three days after your holiday will help deplete the excess storage of carbs and fat that you picked up during the holiday.

8. If it’s possible, throw in an extra two days of 30 minute cardiovascular activity. Remember that walking is just as good as a slow jog and easier on your body.

9. Consistency is key to your exercise program. Don’t let the holidays derail you by missing too many days of your routine. Don’t try to make up what you’ve missed by overtraining—just get back on your plan.

10. Remember that it is a holiday, so let yourself enjoy it. The following day wake up and get right back on your food plan and exercise.

11. And of course, if you need a way to help keep yourself on track during the holidays, now is the time to register for the LA Marathon! Visit for more information.

About the Los Angeles Marathon

We inspire athletes and connect communities. With thousands of volunteers, tens of thousands of participants and hundreds of thousands of spectators along the route, the Los Angeles Marathon is one of the largest organized road races in the country. For more information, visit

FFF Diva Article Research: 4 Ways to Build a Weight Loss Network

4 Ways to Build a Weight Loss Network

Your BFF

A study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that your friends may increase your odds of gaining weight by 57 percent. "Women tend to match each other's behavior at the table," says Atlanta nutritionist Marisa Moore, R.D. Let your pal order first—she'll feel pressure to set a good example, and you'll likely follow her lead. And don't invite your whole clique—a recent study in the journal Appetite found that ladies who lunched with four friends averaged 150 calories more per meal than those who dined with three.

Tip: Enlist your best girlfriends for support and if they don't, here are more tips on how to cope.

Your Dog

Walking your pooch will shrink your paunch. In a study at the University of Missouri-Columbia, volunteers who got 30 minutes of leash time five times a week dropped an average of 14 pounds in a year. On bad-weather days, play indoor games, like chasing your dog up and down the stairs, to help burn up his energy and your lunchtime burrito, suggests Robert Kushner, M.D., coauthor of Fitness Unleashed! A Dog and Owner's Guide to Losing Weight and Gaining Health Together.

Tip: Pet owners have lower cholesterol and blood pressure, less stress and anxiety, according to studies.

Your Guy

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that women who live with a romantic partner increase their risk of becoming obese by 63 percent, and those who marry more than double it. But couples also have an easier time taking weight off: Duke University researchers discovered that people were 50 percent more likely to start exercising if their partner joined them. Get your guy to work up a sweat with you by bike riding, running, or ice skating. And have him help out on the food front by cooking together at home. An FDA report found that eating out more than five times a week (which couples have been known to do) adds about 290 calories on average to your daily diet—that's the equivalent of 30 pounds a year!

Tip: Try the Better Sex Diet together—you'll slim down and have a new use for those slimmer, sexier bodies.

Your Coworkers

A study in Eating Behaviors found that when female coworkers teamed up to lose weight, they were more likely to exercise and dropped more pounds early on. Ask your workplace to start an official fitness-incentive program. Studies have shown that they encourage employees to set and meet weekly fitness goals while also increasing productivity. Or kick off your own Biggest Loser-style competition complete with weigh-ins and lunch-hour challenges like power walks, spin classes, or yoga sessions.

Tip: Feeling bullied and not supported at work? Here's how to deal with those mean girls.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

FFF Diva Media Moment: "Plus-size 'Glamour' Models Bringing Their Inspiration to Magazine's First Calendar"

The Glamour plus-sized-model phenomenon continues to pay dividends for the magazine. The Condé Nast title caused a sensation when it featured twophotos of plus-sized models in recent issues (see aboe and below). Now, editor Cindi Leive has used the group photo above in the magazine's first calendar. The "Inspiration" calendar is being bundled with a subscription offer on It's not quite Calendar Girls, the calendar featuring nude British ladies and strategically placed flowerpots and teacups that inspired a 2003 movie by the same name. But it's nonetheless a reminder that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

—Posted by Lucia Moses

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

FFF Diva Article Research: Hefty and Healthy

Hefty and Healthy

Americans are heavier than they used to be and worried sick about it. In fact, people's negative perceptions about their bodies may affect their health more than their actual weight, according to an analysis in the March 2008 issue of the American Journal of Public Health. Columbia University researchers who surveyed more than 170,000 people found that regardless of their size, those who were happy with their weight reported better mental and physical health.

More from Consumer Reports:
How to Make Smarter Food Choices
What’s Wrong with Plain Water?
Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on Yahoo!.

At the core of the dissatisfaction is the assumption that svelte is not only more attractive but also healthier. But whether supermodels are destined to outlive the Average Joe is a matter of debate among experts, who sometimes interpret public-health data in strikingly different ways.

Unfortunately, sensationalized coverage of those discrepancies has overshadowed many of the most relevant details-that extra pounds may be less of an issue for older people, for example, or that fitness is more important than fatness. In fact, the most common measure of excess weight—the body mass index, or BMI—is probably an inaccurate measure of overall health precisely because it doesn't reflect fitness very well.

We talked with several experts and found that while they see some different patterns in the numbers they largely agree on the core advice. And despite the hullabaloo over weight, the real emphasis should rest on healthy habits, not the bathroom scale.

Where BMI falls short Researchers have long relied on the body mass index (available to subscribers), since it factors in not just weight but also height. But as obesity science evolves, it's becoming increasingly clear that there is simply no one-size-fits-all definition of a healthy BMI.

To begin with, age, ethnicity, and gender affect how the numbers add up. For example, a moderately high BMI appears to increase mortality risk more strongly in Asian men and women—as seen in the large Korean study—than it does in African-American women. And "BMI is not a precise health measure in older people," says Michael Leitzmann, M.D., an investigator with the National Cancer Institute. Being underweight is more likely to be a concern in that group because aging affects both appetite and the ability to absorb nutrients from food.

BMI also doesn't tell you much about fitness. Some couch potatoes have a fine BMI, while many moderately overweight people are very active.

In fact, the inadequacy of our language about weight became clear recently when researchers coined the term "normal-weight obesity" to describe supposedly healthy-weight people with a high percentage of body fat. That group is much more likely than muscular people of any weight to be at high risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease, according to a recent Mayo Clinic study.

Other measures, such as waist circumference or the ratio of waist to hip size (available to subscribers), may more accurately reflect body fat and health risk than weight or BMI. But none of those tools predicts longevity or quality of life as effectively as does a careful assessment of lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise habits.

Where BMI falls short Researchers have long relied on the body mass index (available to subscribers), since it factors in not just weight but also height. But as obesity science evolves, it's becoming increasingly clear that there is simply no one-size-fits-all definition of a healthy BMI.

To begin with, age, ethnicity, and gender affect how the numbers add up. For example, a moderately high BMI appears to increase mortality risk more strongly in Asian men and women—as seen in the large Korean study—than it does in African-American women. And "BMI is not a precise health measure in older people," says Michael Leitzmann, M.D., an investigator with the National Cancer Institute. Being underweight is more likely to be a concern in that group because aging affects both appetite and the ability to absorb nutrients from food.

BMI also doesn't tell you much about fitness. Some couch potatoes have a fine BMI, while many moderately overweight people are very active.

In fact, the inadequacy of our language about weight became clear recently when researchers coined the term "normal-weight obesity" to describe supposedly healthy-weight people with a high percentage of body fat. That group is much more likely than muscular people of any weight to be at high risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease, according to a recent Mayo Clinic study.

Other measures, such as waist circumference or the ratio of waist to hip size (available to subscribers), may more accurately reflect body fat and health risk than weight or BMI. But none of those tools predicts longevity or quality of life as effectively as does a careful assessment of lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise habits.

Physically fit at any weight People with strong cardiovascular function, regardless of their size, are healthier and live longer than their sedentary counterparts. For example, in a study of 2,603 people age 60 and older published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association, physically fit individuals had roughly the same mortality rate whether they were underweight, normal weight, or overweight. Being fit can even trump being thin: People who were fat but fit had a survival edge over those who were skinny but inactive.

Exercise can improve health even if the scale doesn't budge. Researchers from Harvard University and Brigham and Women's Hospital tracked physical activity and cardiovascular health in more than 27,000 women ages 45 and older. After a decade, the physically active people slashed their risk of heart attack and stroke by as much as 40 percent. The researchers determined that only about 10 percent of that decline could be attributed to a reduced BMI.

The rest stemmed from improvements in markers for inflammation, blood pressure, and LDL (bad) cholesterol. "The message to people who exercise but don't lose weight is that they are still getting most of the benefit," says Samia Mora, M.D., lead author of the Harvard study.

Diet still matters The relative importance of exercise and weight, however, doesn't give you license to specialize in junk food. Study after study has found lower disease rates in people who eat healthfully, with an emphasis on a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and small amounts of unsaturated fat. That diet can lead to improved health even when it doesn't lead to substantial weight loss.

British researchers, for example, recently told a group of overweight women not to diet. Instead, they emphasized good eating habits, enrolled them in exercise classes, and provided social support. Though the women lost only a small amount of weight, they were significantly fitter and reported feeling less stress and better about their bodies.

"We've been shouting from the rooftops about how bad it is to be even a little overweight, but that hasn't solved the problem," says Steven N. Blair, P.E.D., professor of exercise science at the University of South Carolina. "We've become obsessed with BMI when we should be focusing on healthful behaviors."

This article first appeared in the July 2008 issue of Consumer Reports on Health.

Monday, December 7, 2009

FFF Diva Quote of the Day: Japanese Proverb

Recently I became a member of the on-line weight loss blogging community called "Blog to Lose." Although I am still green in this on-line forum I found some beautiful words while trying to figure out by blogging bearings...

Here's some "Food for thought" or "Words of Wisdom":

Fall 7 times. Get up 8. - - Japanese Proverb

During any journey, weight loss related or not, these words of wisdom are a fantastic reminder to anyone that the journey doesn't stop at a challenge or barrier, it's just delayed for a moment until you can work your way up and over that challenge or barrier.

Dedicated to health,
FFF Diva Mo

FFF Diva Song of the Day: "Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart" by Alicia Keys

At the beginning of this music video the following statement is said:



Lately, during my weight loss journey I have been experiencing a lot of emotional ups and downs around: support, lack of support, close friends moving far away, letting certain friends go because they aren't good for me, family, work, school, commuting, challenges of boot camp, meeting personal health goals, cutting social activities, sleeping earlier, coming to terms that I am no longer considered severely obese but now viewed as chubby (by society) therefore I need to recognize how much privilege I have gained from although being still fat but more accepted in society now than before, using a scale to weigh my food, realizing I can say "no," and boys (enough said). In any case I have been realizing that I need to live my life only for me. Once I live my life for me I will be in a healthier position to help others such as family and friends. I am happy when I am healthier, so once that happens I know it will cause a ripple effect in everything else in my life from school to work to even (dare I say) love.

I have the power to inspire and motivate people by sharing the successes and challenges surrounded by my weight loss journey, however I also need to inspire and motivate myself to get to that end goal weight and healthiness I want to possess.

With that...enjoy the FFF Song of the Day: "Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart" by Alicia Keys

This is the link on YOUtube:

Here is a live performance of the song by Alicia Keys, but not the official video:

Always being fierce,
FFF Diva Mo : )

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

FFF Diva Advice: 7 Ways to Sneak in a Holiday Workout

Hello fellow FFF Divas!

Recently I have been doing more reading and research of various tips to help with my new healthy lifestyle. I realized that living a healthier lifestyle doesn't have to be a difficult process at all. Below is an article I found on my favorite website:

7 Ways to Sneak in a Holiday Workout

With the holidays and new year around the corner, Americans have travel on their mind. Many people find that during holiday travel, their workout regimen seems to get thrown out of whack.

Fortunately, with a little proactive planning, you can maintain your fitness level, no matter where you are. According to IDEA, a membership organization for health and fitness professionals, the key is to be creative and remember that even short workouts are better than no workouts at all.

Here are a few tips from IDEA on how to keep in shape while you travel:

Do a "Condensed-but-intense-workout"

Customize your own 30-minute workout combining three lower body workouts (squats or lunges) and three upper body exercises (modified pushups or chair dips).

Warm up with exercises like marching or jogging in place, then do 10-20 repetitions of a lower body exercise and 10-15 repetitions of an upper body exercise. Follow this with a minute of jumping jacks or jogging in place. Repeat this routine two or even three times and then try a variation of abdominal crunches, low back lifts and stretches.

Rehearse Your Routine

Practice makes perfect, so in order to be familiar and comfortable with your routine, do it as often as possible.

Get Active in Airports

If flight delays leave you with extra time at the airport, take advantage of it. Store your luggage in an airport locker and take a hike through the terminal.

Bring Tubes, Bands and More

Don't leave out fitness equipment when youre packing for a trip. Bring fitness videos, comfortable walking shoes, a bathing suit or other gear that you can fit in your bag. Inspirational memos from a trainer or a motivational CD could help you get moving.

Get a Jump Rope

Jumping rope is a great way to get in a few minutes of intense cardio workout and it can be done just about anywhere. If you dont have a jump rope, try climbing flights of stairs instead.

Plan to Relax

Don't overdo it. Staying fit is important, but dont lose sight of the real reason for the holidays spending time with those who are important to you. If you want to do both, involve the whole family in a yoga or tai chi exercise to unwind.

Ease Back Into your Routine

Depending on how much you worked out during your travel, you may need to gradually ease back into your old routine. You may want to consider using lighter weights or decrease the intensity or the duration of your workouts until you can return to pre-trip conditions.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

FFF Diva Poem: We Made It Through One Holiday...

Hello FFF Diva followers and friends!

I know I ALWAYS talk about my boot camp. Many apologies, I promise the next blog(s) will be about something else--I swear! Okay, since I have already exclaimed my disclaimer...below is a fantastic poem that our boot camp nutritionist/instructor Lisa sent to us:

We've made it through one holiday. Something to think about for the next one.
Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse
The cookies I'd nibbled, the eggnog I'd taste
At the holiday parties had gone to my waist.
When I got on the scales there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).
I'd remember the marvelous meals I'd prepared;
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,
The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese
And the way I'd never said, "No Thank You, please"
As I dressed myself in a big old shirt
And prepared once again to do battle with dirt---
I said to myself, as I only can
"You can't spend a winter disquised as a big man!"
So---away with the last of the sour cream dip,
Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip
Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
Till all the additional ounces have vanished.
I won't have a cookie--not even a lick.
I'll want only to chew on a long celery stick.
I won't have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,
I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.
But isn't that what January is for?
Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!!!

I know that you all realize by now that it is much easier to just keep the weight off rather than having to lose it over and over again. Please keep your environment a safe and healthy place to be!

Good Health,
FFF Diva Mo

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

FFF Diva Advice: We Only Have to Survive 3 More Days, Not a Month

This week we do not have Operation Boot Camp because it is the Turkey Day week. All I have to say is that I have been nervous ALL week because I don't want to gain holiday weight. On Monday I did boot camp HW (various substitute exercises), tackled the jump rope, and cardio on the bicycle. Tuesday I did more boot camp HW, cardio on the elliptical, and jogged on the treadmill for 30 minutes. Who knows what I will do tomorrow, AKA today. I just know that I want to be in my 230s lbs by November 30. This will happen...

Below is some advice from my trainer Ronny...I actually feel it is good sound advice:

Hey guys,

I just wanted to say thank you ALL for another great month at camp. Going into the holidays is a fun awesome thing, but can also be dangerous to our bodies if we don't act right!

Keep in mind - we only have to get through 3 more days- Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years- not 21 days! If we only cheat on those three days, we will still be able to make some progress during our time off, but if we allow EVERY opportunity for work parties, get togethers, social gatherings, to be revolving around crap food- we may be in trouble.

Your Assignment: I know we are out of camp, but I DID want to send leave you guys with a little thing to keep in mind - we only have 3 days to get through. Follow the plan through the other days of this week, and do not allow yourself 6 Thanksgiving Dinners/Lunchs/Breakfast - only ONE. If you happen to be doing 2 Turkey days at separate houses, then eating accordingly with proper portions. Don't fall into the stats and start the uphill scale tip of 12 pounds the week you have off from camp! EAT YOUR VEGGIES!! :)

Thanks again guys... I hope you use some of the tools we've learned in camp to push us through the week!

Ronny Varghese
Director of Operations
Operation Boot Camp - San Jose
1-888-7-FIT NOW (734-8669)

So to combat the pounds I have decided to run the 10K (6.2 miles) portion of the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot race on Thanksgiving morning. Registration is still being accepted even the day of:

Anyways time for bed...I have the gym early in the morning!

FFF Diva Miss Mo

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

FFF Diva Quote of the Day: Words from my Operation Boot Camp Instructor Ronny Varghese

Something for YOU to think about the next 8 weeks during this holiday season...

"Nothing will taste as good as the way being FIT feels"
--Ronny Varghese, Operation Boot Camp Owner/Instructor

Tell your friends. Think about it before you grab that extra serving!

Some words to think about....

Best of luck from your FFF Diva, Miss Mo : )

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FFF Diva Advice: Holiday Survival Guide

Did you know that the average holiday weight gain for a person is 5-10lbs? Unbelievable right? Well to combat the battle of the holiday bulge I decided to sign up and commit to a 3 week mini holiday boot camp. Interested? Check out:

I attend the OBC in San Jose, CA but there are many other locations on the East Coast. If you hail from the ATL or Chicago it's definitely worth the look! I always feel supported by my fellow campers especially during this crucial holiday season which could make you or break you (health goals wise that is).

Below is an email one of my instructors sent to us campers. Enjoy the useful advice...

Hello Campers,
Many of us overeat during the holidays. An occasional overindulgence will not sabotage your efforts, but the abundance of food usually continues from Thanksgiving to New Year's - and adds up to an extra 5 to 10 pounds of weight gain.
Is this a familiar situation?
"You overstuff yourself with thousands of calories at Thanksgiving. You feel that you've blown it, so the next day it doesn't matter if you overstuff again with leftovers. Then you rationalize that its only four weeks to Christmas with many parties and festivities, it becomes your New Year's resolution to lose weight."
This situation is not inevitable. You can maintain control of your weight and still enjoy the holday season to its fullest.
Here are some Strategies:
1. revise your typical holiday meal to lower the fat content
2. choose those foods that are special for the time of year (i.e. have the stuffing but pass on the bread)
3. do not starve yourself that day, eat breakfast and a small snack
4. exercise that morning to start the day off right or plan a walk after the meal
5. continue to exercise as usual throughout the holidays
6. do not wear elastic waisted clothing -- they expand with you
7. set realistic goals, which may simply be to maintain your weight during the holidays
8. think of the phrase "overstuff your turkey, not yourself" as you are eating your holiday meal.
Enjoy your family and friends focus on them not on the food, and have a wonderful and healthy holiday season.

Remember: ONLY YOU can prevent weight gain during this holiday season. Plan ahead before you attend your next holiday party---your body will thank you later on!

Your FFF Diva,

Thursday, November 12, 2009

FFF Diva Song of the Moment: "Defying Gravity" from the Broadway Musical Wicked

The TV show GLEE's rendition of "Defying Gravity" by Leeloo Doyle

"Defying Gravity" by the London Wicked Cast w/ Indina Menzel

"Defying Gravity" by Indina Menzel and Kristin Chenowyth (Original Broadway Cast)

Lyrics of "Defying Gravity" from Broadway's Musical Wicked

(spoken) Elphaba - why couldn't you have stayed calm for 
once, instead of flying off the handle! 
(sung) I hope you're happy! 
I hope you're happy now 
I hope you're happy how you 
Hurt your cause forever 
I hope you think you're clever! 

I hope you're happy 
I hope you're happy, too 
I hope you're proud how you 
Would grovel in submission 
To feed your own ambition 

So though I can't imagine how 
I hope you're happy right now 

(spoken) Elphie, listen to me. Just say you're sorry: 
(sung) You can still be with the Wizard 
What you've worked and waited for 
You can have all you ever wanted: 

(spoken) I know: 
(sung) But I don't want it - 
No - I can't want it 

Something has changed within me 
Something is not the same 
I'm through with playing by the rules 
Of someone else's game 
Too late for second-guessing 
Too late to go back to sleep 
It's time to trust my instincts 
Close my eyes: and leap! 

It's time to try 
Defying gravity 
I think I'll try 
Defying gravity 
And you can't pull me down! 

Can't I make you understand? 
You're having delusions of grandeur: 

I'm through accepting limits 
''cause someone says they're so 
Some things I cannot change 
But till I try, I'll never know! 
Too long I've been afraid of 
Losing love I guess I've lost 
Well, if that's love 
It comes at much too high a cost! 
I'd sooner buy 
Defying gravity 
Kiss me goodbye 
I'm defying gravity 
And you can't pull me down: 
(spoken) Glinda - come with me. Think of what we could 
do: together. 

(sung) Unlimited 
Together we're unlimited 
Together we'll be the greatest team 
There's ever been 
Glinda - 
Dreams, the way we planned 'em 

If we work in tandem: 

There's no fight we cannot win 
Just you and I 
Defying gravity 
With you and I 
Defying gravity 

They'll never bring us down! 
(spoken) Well? Are you coming? 

I hope you're happy 
Now that you're choosing this 

(spoken) You too 
(sung) I hope it brings you bliss 

I really hope you get it 
And you don't live to regret it 
I hope you're happy in the end 
I hope you're happy, my friend: 

ELPHABA So if you care to find me 
Look to the western sky! 
As someone told me lately: 
"Ev'ryone deserves the chance to fly!" 
And if I'm flying solo 
At least I'm flying free 
To those who'd ground me 
Take a message back from me 
Tell them how I am 
Defying gravity 
I'm flying high 
Defying gravity 
And soon I'll match them in renown 
And nobody in all of Oz 
No Wizard that there is or was 
Is ever gonna bring me down! 

I hope you're happy! 

Look at her, she's wicked! 
Get her! 

:Bring me down! 

No one mourns the wicked 
So we've got to bring her 



One thing that has always helped me through my weight loss journey has been listening to music. Lyrics of songs specifically move me, not necessarily just the beats of the song. The lyrics to Defying Gravity has motivated me through all my running races, especially my 1/2 marathon. It is definitely a song I personally relate to when being challenged by my weight loss. It's beautiful and it's on my iTunes list and iPhone player! HIGHLIGHT: I lost 3lbs this week! I am officially in my 240s lbs! By the end of this month I should be in my 230s lbs! I have to stay focused!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

FFF Diva Dance Song of the Moment: "Evacuate the Dance Floor" by Cascada

Evacuate the dance floor...I'm infected by the sound...

FFF Diva Song of the Day: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson performing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

Beyonce performing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

Recently, a friend of mine have me a pep talk. I wasn't feeling like myself and I felt that I was in a slump. She told me that I needed to just change my perspective on life. Did I want to do it the Beyonce way or the Jennifer Hudson way? I looked at her with a confused look and instead of explaining it to me she said she would just let me listen and judge for myself.

Above are YOUtube clips of the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" being performed by Jennifer Hudson and Beyonce. When Beyonce sings her version it is beautiful, soft, & flowery. However, when Jennifer Hudson sings her version it is real, passionate, gritty, & full of love, pain, sorrow, etc. In the end I decided that I want to live my life the Jennifer Hudson way: real and full of passion.

Who knew it would take a song comparison of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to show me that...

So do you want to be a Beyonce or a Jennifer Hudson?

Monday, October 26, 2009

FFF Diva Activism: "King & King" Re-enactment

The following is a video re-enactment of the wonderful children's book "King & King", written by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland.

The video was made solely for non-profit and educational purposes.

Thanks to the following individuals for making this video happen:

Bryan Leffew
Jay Foxworthy
Daniel Leffew
Selena Leffew
Leilani De Nieva
Maureen De Nieva
Megan Coffey
Dion Holt
Marc Tarasco
Sean Chapin
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