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

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

FFF Diva Fun Video of the Day: Piano Stairs

We believe that the easiest way to change people's behavior for the better is by making it fun to do. We call it The fun theory. Do you have an idea that uses fun to change behavior?

Want to know more? Visit

FFF Diva Commitment to Success: Running on Motivation

Lately work and being sick has swamped me from getting my butt into Operation Boot Camp in the last two weeks. Don't get me wrong, I have gone, but NOT all 5 days each these last two weeks. I know: FAIL. But is it really? The days I have not been at boot camp I did my boot camp cardio HW (refer to Ronny's email below). Also, my sister and I decided to go to the bookstore to really get our mind set on training to walk/jog our first full marathon (LA Marathon) in March 2010.

"Runner's World: Training Journal...A Daily Dose of Motivation, Training Tips & Running Wisdom for Every Kind of Runner---From Fitness Joggers to Competitive Racers"

"Marathoning for Mortals: A Regular Person's Guide to the Joy of Running or Walking a Half-Marathon or Marathon" by John Bingham and Coach Jenny Hadfield, M.A., C.P.T.

We have 22 weeks until our March 21, 2010 LA Marathon race. We are currently on a 20 week walker/jogger program. 26 miles to train for in 20 weeks. Will it happen? Can the FFF Divas achieve it?

Well...stay tuned to find out!

Until then...enjoy the email below from my trainer regarding MOTIVATION. And by the way...the Friday camp he is referring to...I did make it to that one!

FFF Diva Mo

Hey guys!

Friday was an awesome workout... we had a lot of fun too!! Immediately, that brings us to our topic : FUN while working out. Never had I had so much fun at 5:45am in the morning that working out with all of you guys. I really look fwd to the mornings I do get to do it, and on those same days because of the fun and the workout that I got, I am MUCH more productive, energized, and conscience to what I'm putting in my body.

I wanted to stress the importance to everyone how important it is to everyone to have FUN while working out. Not only is Operation Boot Camp a dialed in comprehensive fitness program, but they also have the social dynamic intertwined with it all too. Its part of out 5 service values for us instructors to be able to build relationships and basically have a good time, WHILE motivating and getting you guys moving!! Sometimes, I know us instructors harp on everyone about not being "loud" enough or not being involved, and that is because it helps to create and add to the energy and the fun about what we are doing.

Try doing anything first thing in the morning like that, and either the group is going to set the stage of energy and good fun for the workout ahead, or they are going to suck out life and make everyone feel like we are all carrying a thousand pound vest on our backs... and the workout is going to DRAG by second by second. Thats a no bueno... and that's why all of us lose motivation. If you take a look at everyone you know, most people do not like working out because its not fun, its uncomfortable, it makes you sweat, you're sore the next day, you start to smell (if you're not wearing deodorant or forgot to bath yourself, and you know who you are!!) and well, it simply requires energy! Who the heck wants to do that!?

Well, if you are having a good time or looking fwd to doing something like working out, then all the sudden, those other variables become the minority.. The hour flies by, and you don't even notice that you were working that hard and the you were doing so for an hour! and THATS what I'm talking about... another reason why I want everyone to be ALIVE, and be your fun selves in the morning when we meet! It helps us all out... but don't be that one depressing debby when you come in, because it creates a downer for everyone around you. Do not complain... Just have a lil fun and work HARD- you will reap the rewards for the rest of your life;)

That being said, MAKE SURE YOU ARE DOING YOUR HOMEWORK! I want to see everyone succeed, and if we can all bring in our BOOKS and if EVERYONE has done homework assignment on Sunday, then I will have a lil something something for everyone... I'll give ya a hint, its starts with a "B" and ends with an "URPEE" ... jk. lol..

Check out this video that my to be mom in law sent me... made me think about the fact that people would get much more exercise if there was a lil pizzaz to it or they were able to have a good time...even if its something like going up a flight of stairs. Fwd it on!

Committed to your success,


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

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

FFF Diva Activity: Operation Boot Camp in the Rain

This week at Operation Boot Camp we are experiencing exercise in the rain! Did I fail to mention that we participate in boot camp rain or shine? Feel sorry for us? Well don't! I am just glad we aren't on the East Coast experiencing snow! I am definitely fine and dandy with warm rain and moist grass.

Today was absolutely fantastic, because we did so much ground work such as sit-ups and bear crawls. At camp thought I joke around that an added bonus to boot camp is STAR GAZING, mainly because it's 1) still dark outside that the stars are out 2) we are on our backs doing sit-ups, etc. staring at the sky!

The below email is from my trainer Ronny from earlier this week. Apparently Monday and Tuesday camp was SUPER WET and RAINY. Unfortunately I was not there because I was at home sick. P.S. Make sure you get enough sleep each night or else it hurts your body! I like the email because it's so motivating to help break through a challenge, especially if it involves rain and puddles.

Read will see what I mean...

FFF Diva Mo

Hello Campers!

This morning was fun wasn't it?? No? Maybe you thought it was uncomfortable, maybe it would be nicer if you were sitting on a nice suede warm couch sipping on some hot chocolate...?

Eh! I hope you didn't answer "hell yea!" to that, thats the wrong answer!! It was a trick question, of course lol...
I was thinking about the workout today and how it was our FIRST Operation Boot Camp - San Jose rainy day camp. I was thinking about the common attitude that we have as people, when it comes to ANYTHING that we do not typically do throughout our lives. Rainy weather and water is one of them...

Do you remember a time... when you were a child and going out in the rain puddle jumping and getting all dirty was a fun thing? Not paying regard to the way that we'd be afterward, we had a singular care just about the "now" and having a good time, being lost in the moment of activity. Somewhere between being a child and being all grown up- there was a paradigm shift in our perceptions of "comfort" and "fun". It no longer is about not paying mind to the way you look and being active, now its more about alcohol and social dinners and clubs and all this other unhealthy stuff, that eventually catches up to us and causes us, as a country and society, to be the most obese in this world.

Although everyone was a trooper this morning and got through the workout well, I know it the back of everyone's mind, there's the "uuughghh... i hate the rain" talk cycling through their heads, in one form or the other. Well, when you think about it, that same voice is saying something else when you are out of breath from running sprints up hill, for when you're doing squats when you're legs are jello, or you can't feel your arms and you feel like you got nothing left when doing pushups. Just now, the only real difference is that this is a new thing that I'm sure all of us "hate getting wet" attitude that we've had when its rainy season through our adult lives.

I know I one point anyway.

The point is this... ITS LIFE. Life doesn't provide you with the situation of "the right time and the right place" - YOU DO. there will ALWAYS be something that will make your journey difficult. Whether it be that you hate pushups, you're uncomfortable being cold, or you can't stand eating healthy food - they all require a change in mindset... The "right place and right time" is a self-fulfilling philosophy. NOW is the best time to get in shape, and lose the unwanted fat. Stay in with the habits and WORK THROUGH the mental difficulties as it relates to change. This is the right place and time! When you go into any situation with the relentless attitude and conviction of getting to your goals, you will normally achieve them. That simple, it really is. And when you buckle down when you might not be too excited - well guess what? its that much more rewarding and you will always remember that moment in life when you worked HARD for something you wanted - and you made no excuses, even the somewhat valid ones.

I know that everyone's experiencing first hand the "transition" of weather and environment by which we are working out in the morning, but guys- we are BLESSED. We live in California, this is the WORST it gets... thousands of people are experiencing MUCH much worse than we are around the country right now. I challenge you all to change your mindset the way that I have- to learn to have FUN with the rain.. embrace the beauty and nature of rain, rather than being mopey and complaining about it. Let's let that innerchild come out n play when we get to camp, pay no regard to weather but dress appropriately- and WORK HARD while at camp... please do not let the weather hold you back from life's most rewarding experiences - HEALTH. Don't pass it up.

Let's have fun with the weather transition guys... realize that you will never have AS good of a "right time and place" scenario as you do now. Especially now and the next 6 months. You have instructors than genuinely WANT to see you guys make the differences in your lives the way we all have, a program that's sets the stage for success, the nutritional guidance to keep you healthy, and you have obstacles that are testing your conviction and desire to get to your goals, as we all have as well. Work hard and be happy with what you see in the mirror! At the end of the day, week, month, or year,.. that's all thats left- no memories of rainy weather, no drama from family or friends, no work pressure and stress, and no temptations to eat cake at a birthday party- just you and yourself, in your birthday suit. Are you happy with the way you look? If not, it's completely up to you, and you alone to do something about it...

"The race is long, but in the end, it's only with yourself."

Committed to your success


Monday, October 12, 2009

FFF Diva Plateau Breakthrough: Progress Update through Photos

Dolores and myself at the October 2009 Yelp Elite Prom on a Boat: 248lbs. PROGRESS!!!! Breaking through the plateau one pound at a time! I started in May 2007 at 320lbs. and lost 96lbs. In November 2008 I was 224lbs and in May 2009 I gained about 50lbs of what I lost back. Just because you gain some weight back DOES NOT mean you can't move forward and lose again! Time to make it happen and keep it off for the long term!

Myself and the girls at Nicole's Bridal Shower in August 2007: around 300lbs.

My cousin Jeremy and myself at a family wedding in June 2007: around 320lbs.

With Nicole and Denise for her bridal dress fitting in Summer 2007: around 310lbs.

Another view shot...

Marisa and myself celebrating her college graduation in June 2009: around 270lbs.

Myself at Wicked in San Francisco in June 2009: A long view.

Myself with the gang at La Roux for Memorial Day weekend in May 2009: around 275lbs.

FFF Goal Accomplished: 2009 Rock n' Roll San Jose 1/2 Marathon (13.1 miles)

The 13.1 mile course in downtown San Jose.

This is the final picture of me crossing the finish line. I finished my 1st 1/2 marathon!

My sister Leilani and I right after the race with our race medals!

The San Jose 1/2 marathon was my first race, while this was my sister's second 1/2 marathon.

My sister stuck with me throughout the whole race, even though she could have finished the race for a faster time. This is a photo of us at Mile 1, however subtract 10 minutes from the time shown, because we were in Corral #13.
I had been training for this 1/2 marathon since May 2009. In May 2009 I ran my first 5K race (Marin Human Race), in August 2009 I ran my second 5K race (SF Plate to Plate), and in September 2009 I ran my third 5K race (Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Race). When I finished my race I felt so accomplished that I made an executive decision: to celebrate my 25th birthday in March 2010 I will run my first FULL marathon (26.2 miles) in Los Angeles (LA Marathon).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

FFF Diva Motivation: Get Your Mind Right!

Lately in Operation Boot Camp us individual campers have been slacking and making excuses. Although it is NOT all of us who are slacking if one slacks off then it brings down the whole group, you know? Below is a "Come to Jesus Talk" type of email from our OBC staff. Last Monday I didn't go to camp because we had an official day off. Last Tuesday I didn't go to camp because I was still extremely sore from the 1/2 marathon race I ran last Sunday. Whew. Last week was definitely a rough week. I will say that this email was great in helping me set SMART goals for the future. Want to know what I mean? Read on and find out...

Mo--FFF Diva Indeed 

Hey guys,

This morning was a rude awakening for some of you! I don't know what happened with it, but it made me do some soul searching!! A couple of announcements for today...

First: We will be CHANGING the day off from Monday in week 4 to WEDNESDAY in Week 4, please make a note of it. We WILL HAVE CLASS MONDAY of WEEK 4, but NOT WEDNESDAY.

Secondly, I wanted to talk about getting your MIND RIGHT. When we come to camp, we MUST find a way to get out heads on straight, and get our game faces on. When you are at work, and you are about to go into a meeting with the owner of the company regarding a possible promotion or termination, you don't go in with all the baggage of what's going on at home, who's winning the game, what homework you still have to do, or hoping that your kids are doing good in school. 

You come in like Babe Ruth coming to the plate, game face is on, eyes are on the target, ready to knock it out of the park! If you don't, you may lose your job... you can NOT chance thinking about anything else nor giving a half effort into a meeting like that!

If you haven't already guessed, I'm not talking about how to do better at work... I'm talking about something MUCH more important. 

I'm talking about your life.

Not just at boot camp, but at home, while your at work, when you are at a social gathering with your friends. You NEED to have your game face on. If you read my email yesterday, I mentioned that you MODEL the abstract habits in life for your kids and loved ones: discipline, determination, hard work, love, and of course, HEALTH. People around you KNOW you are involved in a boot camp... how will you use the tools that we provide you? Are you showing your family what hard work is all about? Are you flexing your discipline muscle? Are you being that inspiration to people who are THINKING about changing their lives around!? 

I'm asking you guys to put on your game faces, on and OFF the court. Do you understand that EVERYTHING in life effects the way you look and feel? One of the most important things about boot camp is that not only do we try our hardest to kill ya every morning (disclaimer: we do it cuz we care;)) but we want to see you succeed in life OUTSIDE of camp as well. This includes the willingness to do homework, the motivation to do the things you DON'T want to do when not at camp, and setting the example for people around you! We are providing the roadmap to healthy living and the fitness lifestyle, but YOU NEED TO WALK IT!!

There is NO such thing as people taking the magic pill to lose weight and have an incredible workout ethic! Wanna lose weight fast, well I hear gastric bypass is great! anyone ever see someone who's done that??? No thanks. This IS the real magic pill... THIS IS THE ROADMAP. 

How many of you have heard a story about someone losing an incredible amount of weight, getting addicted to the fitness drug, and leading healthy lives living till their like 500 yrs old? Well, maybe not 500, but you know... ALL the biggest loser winners, all the Jarrods from Subway... I have the secret that had made every one of those success stories possible. Each and EVERY single person did this in order to make the change they did. Wanna know what it is?

They made a decision. They were sick n tired of being sick n tired. They got their heads on right. They got on a program and they stuck it out, giving it their ALL every frickin time! They endured the pain, they said NO to the cake, they drove past the drive thrus, they worked hard and they worked SMART. Thats what this is all about... getting your head right and being SMART about your lives. I know we have given you the SMART acronym for your goals, but here's the S.M.A.R.T acronym to get your heads right and stay motivated and on point. 
This is the SMART skill set:

Set a clear, achievable goal - Set a realistic, specific, and measurable goal.  Not "I will eat healthier" but  "I will increase my vegetables, I will have two servings for lunch and two servings for dinner 5 - 7 days/wk" 
Monitor your progress - Keep track of what you do (i.e. food log, exercise journal, pedometer, HR monitor)
Arrange your world for success - Create reminders for healthy eating around you.  Have your food log handy, keep trigger foods out of the house, take healthy snacks/meals to work or school.
Recruit a support team - Enlist the help of others.  Let those who want to  see you succeed know what you're trying to achieve.  Consider your family, friends, and colleagues as your potential support team..
Treat yourself - Reward yourself every time you do the eating or exercise behavior you have targeted.  Select a "treat" that is important to you, readily available, and not costly. DO NOT REWARD YOURSELF WITH FOOD!!!

"Success is not a destination, it is a journey"

Work through the burn n I'll see you at the top...

Committed to your success,

The Boot Camp Staff

Monday, October 5, 2009

FFF Diva Reflection: A Letter About Running from My Trainer

Hey Guys,

Yesterday I went out and ran the Rock n Roll marathon along with Lisa, Jill, Rich (Jill's husband) and Maureen and Leilani (her sister). These guys kicked BUTT out there!! Next time you see them, give em a big congrats!

As I was running along, I gone off on a day dream.. I was thinking about how much of a mental game that running and exercising can really be.

Whether or not you are going through a sprint for 2 straight minutes, or you are running for 2 hours (like everyone downtown yesterday) your mind plays a crucial role in determining your success and your satisfaction. As soon as my mind began to drift off in the wrong side of the road (negative and defeating self-talk), I focused harder on my new goal and focused on my breathing rhythm and WENT AFTER IT. I was close, VERY close, on several occasions, of breaking my conviction of getting under a 2 hour race time. Sometimes, yes, your body physically can NOT push beyond certain thresholds... but the mind plays a role in that as well. As you get comfortable being UNCOMFORTABLE (and it takes practice..) you will be able to surprise even yourself.

Many of you experience this through your workouts. At the end of the day, if someone were tallying the amount of pushups, squats, situps, jumps, and distance of running that you did, I'm sure most of you would not think that you'd be able to do it. Hell, 13.1 miles STILL seems like a daunting task to me even now... and I've ran it twice!

Point being is this... embrace the uncomfortableness. Once you learn how to break the threshold of not having to stop, you will feel the massive endorphin rush you get from being able to discipline yourself to "just keep going". This is inherent to the way we live our lives... as we make the conviction to do something and we don't do it, we slowly start creating a self-limiting belief that becomes ingrained in our psyche. However, if we replace the self-limiting beliefs with empowering self-talk and encouragement, we can use those mental 'tricks' to get us to break through the thresholds that hold us down. Then, we surprise ourselves. The "I CAN do it" talk starts to surface... the empowerment and positive self talk starts to take over. And the other thing is your discipline... as you work towards a goal... ANY goal - you flex that discipline "muscle", which will grow and develop just like muscles do, but its in the head. So commonly, when you begin to get in shape, and start to create the reality of "being in the best shape of my life" - there's a massive ripple effect that will transform every facet of your life. People may not even know who this "new, sexy young YOU" is that begins to surface!

That should be our end game.

Not only the best shape of our lives... but have an overall better quality of life. The have the belief that you CAN have and DESERVE more, and more importantly, you have the conviction, the work ethic, and the mental discipline necessary to make dreams a reality. This is not something that you can ever TEACH your kids, peers, or clients, but rather, it is something you model for them. You can SHOW them that even though the going is getting tough, as life does for all of us, we power through it and get to our goals. I wish everyone could have the endorphin kick that I have right now.. I set myself a goal of under 2 hrs, I got to it, and now, I feel like I can take on the world! I'm actively looking for the next challenging thing to do, whether it be workouts or just work, that is something I may drag my feet about, but I will get it done...

SET S.M.A.R.T goals for yourself. Have the conviction to get to it. We are all here to help, and help each other when you see a peer going through the struggles you went through last week or last year. Together, we all do better as a team. For those of you who ran the half marathon, and for those of you who did homework that I HOPE kicked your butt this weekend, here's a good article on recovery and pain...

Enjoy;) I'll see you all tomorrow bright n early!


7 Tips on Dealing with Exercise-Induced Pain
By Steve Edwards

I often get complaints from clients about being sore. Statements like "I thought exercise was going to make me feel good, but now I feel worse than ever" are somewhat common with people who are new to exercising. And there's not too much for me to tell them. The fact is that if we have any desire on changing our body for the better, we are going to spend some time being sore. It's inevitable. Fact of life: there is some pain associated with the ultimate pleasure of being fit.

But that doesn't mean you have to take it sitting down! If you anticipate, plan, and take the proper steps, you can minimize your soreness.

Whenever you do something physical that you're not used to, you get sore. What this means is that most of you reading this are going to get sore—maybe really, really sore—along your road to fitness.

But I can help, because I've been through every level of soreness possible, from the "ahhh, I'm starting a new program" feeling to "@#&!, I can't walk" misery. Here are seven ways to mimic the former statement, and avoid the latter.

Embrace the pain. This idea is going to be foreign to many of you but eventually you're going to learn that a little soreness means you've embarked on something that is good for you. The first time, however, you're going to have to show a little faith. Whenever I switch up my training, I go through an initial period of soreness (like today). While it's always bothersome, say, when it hurts to take off my shoes, I know that it's only temporary and that it's an important step along the road to my goal. So I embrace it. Sure, it hurts. But it hurts in a good way. A great way even. I love the beginning of a new training cycle because I know that once I work through the pain I'm going to be fitter than before. In fact, when I haven't had a period of soreness in a while, I start to feel like a slacker.

Anticipate. Remember that I said I knew I was going to get sore? You are too! So don't go full out on your first day. It's normal to get excited on day 1. You've got a new package in the mail and visions of you walking down the beach turning heads are probably dancing in your head. This is great, but keep your wits about you. You're not going to get that way tomorrow or the next day. Hammering through your first workout could end up delaying your program two weeks while you recover from your exuberance. You'll get sore anyway. Next day, push a bit harder. Next day, a bit harder still.

Eat well. The more you exercise, the better you need to eat. Junk won't fuel your muscles properly. This is especially true if you are trying to lose weight because you are eating less than you need to sustain your body. So what you eat becomes vital. The better you eat, the less sore you'll become. Try to exercise on an empty stomach and then eat a small snack about an hour after finishing your workout. This will greatly help the recovery process and reduce soreness.

Stretch. After you work out. The more time you can spend doing extra stretching at the end of your workout the better you'll recover. Don't stretch your muscles when cold, as you'll risk injuring them further. An extra 10 minutes after you work out, however, can do wonders. Also, easy movements and stretches both at night before bed and first thing in the morning helps your blood circulate better and will also improve your recovery time.

Massage. You don't have to go to a masseuse; self-massage is a great tool to aid recovery. The only time you don't want to massage your muscles is right after you work out because you will interfere with the natural recovery process. But at any other time, just five minutes of self-massage can do wonders. Foam rolling is an awesome tool to help in this process.

Ice. More on the circulation theme—nothing moves blood around like ice. If you've ever watched a locker interview after a sporting event, you probably noticed that a lot of the athletes were icing parts of their body. That's because it's one of the greatest recovery aids we have. Almost all injuries heal more quickly if we apply ice. And soreness is "microtrauma," or slight tears in your muscle tissue. These are necessary in order to get stronger, and they will heal faster if you ice them. You can ice any sore body part up to 20 minutes at a time, a few times throughout the day (if you can stand it). Smaller body parts - like joints and fingers don't need to be iced as long, maybe 10 minutes at a time.

Work out. Often the last thing you feel like doing when you're sore but it gets back to the circulation thing. Working out promotes circulation. Sitting around while you're sore is worse than working out, even though you probably feel like exercise is the last thing you should do. What you should do is not work out too hard. It's a good excuse to be slightly lazy, since you are doing what's called a "recovery workout," which is aimed at not breaking down too much muscle tissue. However, if your legs are sore, you don't have to go easy on your upper body, and vice versa.

Have a great day everyone!!

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

Friday, October 2, 2009

FFF Diva Goal: Running the LA Marathon on March 21, 2010

To celebrate my 25th birthday I have decided to run the Los Angeles Marathon (26.2 miles) on March 21, 2010 (which is my ACTUAL birthday). The above video is the actual course I will be running with my sister Leilani and friend Chad. This Sunday I will be running my first 1/2 marathon in downtown San Jose (San Jose Rock n' Roll). This race will be helpful to see what training for a full marathon will look like. Wish me luck!

FFF Diva Activity: Running the 5K Bubba Gump Race at Great America, 09.20.09

Bubba Gump himself giving away chocolates to all of the runners and their families! I didn't partake because it would slow my running down!

My friend Megan ran the race with me! She completed the race in about 35 minutes. I completed the race in about 42 minutes.

The race started at 8:05am at the amusement park Great America!

I ran representing Operation Boot Camp! Gotta represent!

The Race Details

Join 1000+ Runners and Walkers at Great America for this 7h annual truly unique 5K Fun Run and Walk inside of No. California's most thrilling Family Park. Run alongside Forrest Gump himself and past all of your favorite characters and attractions, and into lunch from Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at the finish. All to benefit the United Way of Silicon Valley. Parking and admission to Great America after the race are free!

About the Charity-United Way of Silicon Valley

United Way Silicon Valley is in the business of creating meaningful and tangible change in Silicon Valley. We have identified the critical issues facing people in our community and we are taking action by bringing together individuals, groups, ideas and resources to find real, lasting solutions. That's change. That's what matters.

And how they help!

Established in 1922, United Way Silicon Valley is an independent local affiliate of United Way of America. We are a nonprofit charitable organization, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of local community and business leaders. Our mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of the community. For more information about United Way Silicon Valley, visit

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