Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Caribbean Workout
By VH Melville
Pilates and Pilates Plus set.
Great for beginners and those wanting to improve their form.
Pilates Plus improved my form, and I feel that it’s a great beginner’s mat work out. I was less impressed with the first Pilates DVD of this set because it was repetitive. I’d suggest this for beginners and almost-beginners trying to improve their form. The price was right: Wal-Mart had this in their bargain bin for only $5.50.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Find Your Inner $20 Beauty Queen
VH Melville

After therapy, going to an ADD support group, and getting sink reflections I felt better about myself. I am now back on program with the Fly Lady after falling off.
I wanted to prepare and be the mom my future child deserved.
When I joined Weight Watchers, I had a few goals: help stave off diabetes, look like the woman my husband thought I looked like, and get some kicking goal prizes that both my husband and I would love. Then a new goal happened. I wanted to enter a beauty contest. I still was 212 pounds at that point. I wanted to be a beauty queen, but didn’t have the time, and I didn’t want to waste the money. Every woman deserves to play beauty queen.

1. Give yourself a title. Are you a Mrs. Sassy Homemaker or a Miss Working Goddess? Sorry, VH Melville has been taken!

2. Wear your tiara. You don't always need a crown on your head to be a queen

3. Buy yourself a $20 or less evening gown.

4. If you like department store makeup, by all means get it! Even a well-to-do or rich girl can find her inner $20 beauty queen. Make sure you get a cool free gift. Don't buy beauty products you don't use.

5. Get your friends together and create a royal court.

6. Find some “me time”. I don't mean exercise. Exercise with your kids, by yourself or with your spouse. Use your “me time” to do what you want to do like dancing, writing, painting, reading, singing, having a bubble bath, praying or other hobbies.

7. A message for all queens, kings, princess and princes of the court. Relationships fail because of one word: selfishness. People expect the other person to make them happy instead of trying to make the other person happy.

8. Set goals on what you really want in life.

9. Go on a date with your spouse once a week. It gets tricky after children are born.

10. Have your own inner beauty queen party. Put on your tiara and your own sashes. Celebrate your life.

11. Single women: Don’t date men who won’t show you, the Goddess, off to friends or family or take you on real dates. Chances are something is wrong with him and you deserve to be adored.

12. True inner beauty means doing kind things for others. Maybe once a year you and your royal court should pick a charity project. Things like singing Christmas songs to the elderly and sick in rest rooms, making blankets for children in the hospital, or delivering meals. You can’t say yes to everyone who asks, but you can help others in your own beautiful way.

Monday, March 27, 2006

But Don't Try to Eat Them

Checkout My Paper Crane, a store that sells cute food. They are actually plush and not edible. Iportion does not recommend eating them.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Buying Power

By VH Melville

Fast food joints sell unhealthy food because it’s cheap and it’s also what people buy. Many restaurants removed their healthy options because not enough people were buying them. People don’t buy what doesn’t taste good. Try out the healthy menu if it’s good. Support it by ordering it.
My husband's favorite restaurant makes adaptations for me. Wendy’s Subway, and Taco Bell sell food that I can adapt into my plan. A local pizza parlor made my small pizza with less cheese on it.
Your buying power says a lot.
Don’t buy overpriced diet foods that don’t taste good.
Check the label and the serving size. Some diet products are just half the serving size. .
Support those who support you.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Leslie Sansone Walk Away The Pounds 1 Mile
By Creative Gal

Time: 20 mins
Level: Beginner
Space needed: a 3 ft square will suffice.

This is the perfect workout for a true beginner. This is for someone who loves the couch and would much rather be relaxing but wants to get healthy! It helps induct you into the world of working out in a gentle, yet effective, way.
There are four core moves to the Walk Away the Pounds walks and Leslie shows these to you and leads you through a fun, easy-paced workout.
You can opt to do this (or any of the walks) with or without the weights, and it’s a very short workout. Leslie is also very encouraging and friendly. She provides modifications by having someone exercise without the weights and also one person who modifies the regular moves by doing half-range motions. This workout is also great for an intermediate level person who is short on time and needs to get in a quick workout. I may even use this one sometimes as an add-on to other workouts.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Yourself! Fitness Lifestyle: My Wish List
VH Melville

The new Yourself! Fitness video game tiled Yourself Fitness Lifestyle is coming this Christmas. I have to buy a copy.
I loved the first version of Yourself! Fitness. I felt like I really had my own trainer. I hear they are making customizable music and more backgrounds. That will be so sweet.
I have a wish list for future versions.

1. More simple Equipment: Such as stretch bands, jump ropes, hula hoops, boxing gloves, mini pedal cycles, and pedometers.
2. Have Maya tell you what hand weight will be best, heavier or lighter.
3. New workouts such as belly dancing, walking workouts, kick boxing, Bhangra and Salsa.
4. For the guys: A male version of Maya.
5. Meal Planner: Printable food daily and weekly journals. A calorie log in the meal planner would also be cool.
6. Meal Planner: Information on how to reduce calories but keep flavor in cooking.
7. Meal Planner: A filter on the meal planner so people can better choose recipes for their lifestyle such as making them all mini meals, all vegetarian, or high fiber.
8. Meal Planner: Being able to add your own recipes, decipher nutrition and make pdf cookbooks. Being able to add ingredients and to be able to share those ingredient files with other Yourself! Fitness users would be a huge plus.
9. Rewards: Having the fitness tips be rewarded to us with each work out and the tips go to are wall of earned fitness tips. Also having a wall of reward icons, virtual rewards if you will for every ten workouts.
10. Rewards: Having Easter eggs for every 50 workouts.
11. Being able to schedule your physical challenge. This would be great and I could change it to my weekly WI day.
12. Maya: More interaction from Maya. It would also be great if Maya would give you home work assignments of exercise to do while not on line.
13. A BMI Calculator so people could figure out if their goal weight is a healthy one.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Powder Puff Boot Camp: You Have the Right to Shine

By VH Melville
If you don’t like makeup, you don’t have to wear it to be beautiful. You don’t have to wear makeup to even feel beautiful.
Many women feel they don’t deserve to wear makeup if they are too heavy. They will buy the makeup, but not wear it. Now, if you’re the type that just hates makeup, that’s fine, but if your low self-esteem is causing you to not care for yourself, then stop. I challenge you this week to do one thing. You can put on lipstick or eye shadow, or give yourself a foot bath. Use your good perfume before it rots. Yes, both cheap and expensive perfume rots and decays if you don’t use it. Don’t save beauty products for special occasions because they have a shelf life. Use your makeup because you are worth it, and because you are beautiful and charming. Yes, you are beautiful! Let's say you are talented jewelry maker but never wear your work because you feel you're not worthy to wear it. You created it, so you are worthy. I use very little makeup, mascara, eye shadow, lipstick and perfume. Pale cheeks look better than overdone clown cheeks. Most women don’t need foundation. Many foundations can be damaging to the skin, so if you do need it, go for a product of the utmost quality. Don’t settle for anything that’s only a little like your skin tone. Don’t feel you have to wear anything that does not make you feel your best.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
A holiday message from iportion.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Deprivation and Binges

By VH Melville
Going into diet mode always made me miserable while dieting. I couldn’t have Halloween candy because I was dieting. I had to wipe all the oil of the pizza slice and cry later because I felt even that was cheating.
Then I’d lose the weight. I'd then become upset about something and go grab that container of frosting and eat the whole thing. That was my life. When I was slenderizing, people were praising me. It when I was over 200 pounds that a spark entered my life. He was the man who would become my husband. He praised me and cherished me either way. I wanted to get healthy to match how he made me feel on the inside.
I realize now that I can’t deprive myself. I use my Weight Watchers Dining Out Guide and research some foods I might be having in the future. Deprivation should not be part of Weight Watchers. Yes, some days I will mess up. I will try my best. Yes, I am eating clean but I am enjoying what I am eating. The old clichéd line “nothing tastes better than thin feels” is a lie spouted by people who got thin in ugly, unhealthy ways. A better way to look at is: Is a food is worth your calories or points, or Deal-A-Meal cards?
Deprivation is tempting fate for me.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Iportion Interview with Fitness Expert Paige Waehner
by VH Melville
Paige Waehner is an ACE certified personal trainer and freelance writer with more than ten years of exercise experience. She trains atHomebodies, Inc. in Westmont, IL as well as online at She runs the Exercise Blog at

Iportion: Page, when did you start getting into fitness?
Paige Waehner: I've always been somewhat active, but I really got into fitness when I was in college and gained the 'Freshman 15.' I decided to get in shape and my older sister (who was a personal trainer at the time) taught me how to lift weights. I also bought some workout videos (Jane Fonda was popular then...I guess I'm aging myself) and I got hooked when I saw my body change. I've been at it ever since.

Iportion: What tip would you give out to people wanting to become a personal trainer?
Paige Waehner: The best tip I can think of would be to work with a personal trainer, if you haven't already done so. You can learn a lot about how personal training sessions work and what you would have to do while working with people one-on-one. That can help you decide if you really want to become a trainer yourself.

Iportion: What's your favorite junk food?
Paige Waehner: Cake! I'm a cake freak and can't have it anywhere near me or I'll eat the whole thing.

Iportion: I’m cake freak myself. I gained a lot of weight eating angel food cake. Now I make cakes in mini pans, and cupcake pans. I freeze them to try to help me with control.

Iportion: I reward myself for exercise? What is one thing you feel keeps people motivated to work out?
Paige Waehner: Setting small daily or weekly goals for yourself. When you have something to work for, you're more likely to stay on track. For example, each week, set a goal for what you want to accomplish. That might be 3 cardio workouts, getting a certain number of steps on a pedometer, trying a new yoga class in town or even taking more rest days than usual. The key is the make sure the goals are reachable.

Iportion: Page, what one tip would you give to someone who has just lost and wants to learn how to maintain their weight?Paige Waehner: Maintaining weight loss is all about consistency with both diet and exercise. You need to be following something that is sustainable for the long-term, so if you're following something you have to eventually go off of (like a specific diet or pill, etc.) you'll probably find it very difficult to maintain that weight loss without that diet or pill. If you're following a reasonable exercise program that fits with your life and a diet you enjoy eating and is healthy, but not too restrictive, you'll find that maintaining your weight comes a bit more naturally. It's finding that middle ground that's always tough!

Iportion: What's a low budget fitness tool or equipment you'd suggest getting?

Paige Waehner: An exercise ball. You can use it for a wide variety of exercises, so it's versatile and provides a lot of bang for your buck.

Iportion: I love my stability ball as well and I am shocked at how fun it is.

Iportion: What's your favorite high budget fitness tool or equipment?
Paige Waehner: This is a tough question. I don't think you need to spend a lot of money to get a great workout but, if you do want to buy something big (like a cardio machine), you should go with the activity you like the best. I would always recommend beginners start a program and try different things (if that's an option) before spending a lot of money on home equipment you're not sure you'll ever use.

Iportion: Page I’d like to thank you on behalf of iportion.

Lent update

I have been slacking because i completely ran out of groceries.
I've been making do with what i have left because it hasn't been convenient to get to the store.
I find myself eating more when i dont sit down to a proper meal.
I felt like quite the failure the past couple days thinking about eating and this 40 day period that i seem to be screwing up so well.
I am headed to the store today and am going to work out a better store schedule.
I'm not giving up.


Friday, March 10, 2006

Be a Beauty Queen At Any Size or Budget

By VH Melville
You are beautiful now, not when you lose ten pounds, not when you lose 30 or even 200! Your weight loss journey should not be in belittling yourself, but getting healthy, strong, and wearing the clothes you feel look great. You might be a smaller size, but you were always stunningly gorgeous.

Don’t feel you are too fat for makeup and too fat for a boyfriend. I met my husband when I was over 200 pounds. He loves me at any size. He respects my weight loss journey.
Get a crown for home use. Bestow a pageant title on yourself. Mine is Sweet Pixie.
Weight loss is hard, but maintaining it is harder so don’t stop rewarding yourself. Give yourself small rewards for maintaining.
Exercise: A fat person who exercises is a whole lot healthier than a thin person who doesn’t. I know thin people who found out the hard way that just because you’re thin doesn’t make you healthy.
1. Treat others right after you lose the weight. If you lose the weight, do not belittle those who haven’t made the journey yet. Do not mock beginner questions just because you’ve answered them to other people. . on’t try to sabotage someone else if your journey is not going well. Don’t shove their favorite junk food at them.
2. You can’t love yourself without loving others. How can you love yourself if you're treating others unkindly? Not caring for yourself is showing less love for your family. They need a vibrant, healthy, happy mom to show them they matter.
3. Your beauty is not determined by how much you can spend or how much you can save. Some manage Weight loss quite well on a budget but not everyone can, wants or has too keep to a smaller budget.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Cheaper Fitness Buys

By VH Melville
Those $30 and $60 DVDs might be wonderful, but you can look to Walmart and Kmart. These stores often have a great fitness DVD collection for around 9 bucks per DVD. In Walmart, you can find DVDs in the DVD section and in the fitness section. Sometimes you can even find fitness DVDs in their bargain bin.
If you are squeamish as to what styles of exercise you like, go to the library and check out a few DVDs for free.
Go off the beaten bath. Sometimes places that normally don’t stock a wide selection of DVDs and VHS tapes will have some good ones. Try Dollar General, Save-A-Lot or Big Lots if you are going to shop there anyway. Remember a deal isn’t deal if you have to waste a tank of gas to get it.

Check out thrift stores for small weights, DVDs and books. Borrow DVDs from friends.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

7 Days

I have spent 7 days eating less, sometimes moving more.
I am not rushing the exercise bit because i slip off plan so easily.
For now, i'm working on the eating.
It has gone well for 7 days and i feel the difference in my body.
I can't wait till i can put in the exercise portion and have this all come together.
Keep checking iportion for my weekly updates:)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Get Your Game On

An Iportion interview with GLEN RAPHAEL
By VH Melville
I am a big fan of alternative workouts such as working out while working on the home office, listening to a good audio book, or doing a video game. During a webs search on fitness video games I discovered glen's site.
I've talked about before and was pleased to get this interview.

Iportion: When did you start getting into fitness video games?
Glen: In 1998-99 when I was working in Hong Kong - I discovered Dance Dance Revolution in the arcades there. Later I bought an import PlayStation so I could play the Japanese version of the game back in the United States, a few years before it finally made it here. So I've been playing fitness videogames for about 8 years.

Iportion: What's your favorite healthy snack?
Glen: I love braised broccoli or asparagus. Apples and carrots are good too. Oh, and mushrooms of any sort.

Iportion: An Eye Toy game you'd recommend besides Kinetic?
Glen: EyeToy:Play2. I especially like the minigame "Kung2" in which you swat tiny ninjas and the minigame "Secret Agent" where you stay absolutely still except where the cameras and laser beams aren't watching.

I've heard good things about Eyetoy:Antigrav but I haven't played it yet.

A few versions of DDR have EyeToy features, but I haven't yet tried one that was fun - they all seem like a tacked-on afterthought designed to add a bullet item to the marketing copy on the box.

Iportion: What do you feel makes a good fitness video game?
Glen: It should have an aerobic component, it should exercise some major muscle groups, and it should have enough variety that you don't get bored. Music is important - it helps you get into the flow. The quality of the graphics is not nearly as important.

Iportion: My favorite fitness video games right now are yourself fitness and Eye Toy Kinetic for different reasons. What other games would you recommend for people looking to train?
Glen: Dance Dance Revolution is a good aerobic exercise and is addictive - once you get started it's hard to stop. -You'd be well advised to get a soft pad and play some DDR version a few times a week if you want to lose weight.

I tried the new XaviX game "Jackie Chan J-Mat" at CES and it seems like a good change of pace, especially if you use the hand weights and try to follow Jackie's goofy hand motion routines. You should be able to try it out at Radio Shack pretty soon.

Iportion: What is your favorite splurge food?
Glen: The banana-nut muffins at Happy Donuts down the street from where I live.

Iportion: I seem to be so clumsy doing Dance Dance Revolution. I love the music and I think the game is really cool. I might be the only one, but I would be cute to do music and retro games on lit like Mrs. Pac man. What etro game would you like re done as a fitness game?
Glen: I could see doing Donkey Kong or Frogger using the J-Mat or a DDR pad. Of ourse, if you get a Kilowatt strain-guage controller then /every/ game you play can be a fitness game. I've played Bubble and some other retro games that way.

Be sure to go all the way through "training mode" on DDR if you haven't already; it might help with the clumsiness.

Iportion: Thank you so very much.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Crunch Pick Your Spot Pilates DVD reviewed
By Valerie Melville
I am new to Pilates and this DVD is great. Pick Your Spot Pilates is one of my favorite fitness DVDS of all time. The charming Ellen Barrett as the instructor. She doesn’t just bark orders either. You see her doing it. The DVD was not easy at first. There are still moves I am learning. I now find myself doing moves that amaze me, moves that I thought were more than impossible. This is my favorite Pilates workout. Better yet, each workout -- and you get four -- are just ten minutes apiece. You can buy other crunch fitness DVDS at Walmart, Kmart or at

Friday, March 03, 2006

Easter Treats
VH Melville
It’s not even saint Patrick’s day yet the Easter candy is already on the shelves.
Fill your Easter baskets with books, fruit, and a few sweet treats instead of only candy. Make your sweets select. Keep every toy in the basket age-appropriate. Even if you have a brilliant 2-year-old, don’t get him/her a toy meant for three-year-olds. This is for safety. You can even make a easter basket for yourself. :-)
1. Cadbury Cream Egg: 170 calories, 6 grams of fat
2. Sugar-Free Jelly Belly - 3.1 oz Bag is 80 calories per serving, 8 grams of fiber, and fat free. Make sure you don’t have reactions to the sugar substitute used in it.
3. Marshmallow Peeps Easter Candy Chicks: 5 Peeps are 160 calories
4. Malted Ball’s Mini Robin Eggs: 24 pieces are 170 calories, 5 grams of fat
5. A small apple or orange is another sweet lower calorie treat.

Non candy items to fill a basket with:
1. Spiritual poems
2. Coloring books with crayons
3. Homemade or store-bought Play Dough
4. Bubbles
5. Matchbox cars, dolls or stuffed bunnies.
6. A jump rope
7. A cassette or CD with music to dance to.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Cute as a Cupcake
An Iportion interview with Clare Crespo
By VH Melville
Many people would be shocked that I lost over 100 pounds eating cupcakes. Cupcakes can be miss understood and often abused cake product.Cupcakes portion control my cake. I even started using mini angel food and mini bundt pans. My next mini pan purchase I hope will be teddy bear shaped. I sometimes make cupcakes and muffins from scratch but I found many ways to enlighten cake mix. I freeze them in freezer bags unfrosted to eat them with or without icing. Who says a lighter cupcake can’t be well cute.
Also with weight watchers I can use my points for a higher calorie treat if that’s what I want. I decided to interview Clare Crespo is the author of Hey There, Cupcake! 35 Yummy Fun Cupcake Recipes for All Occasions. Clare makes cupcakes that are adorable.

Iportion: When did you first start creating cupcakes?

Iportion: What makes a cupcake cute to you?

Iportion: Clare have you made mini cupcakes? Many people also confused by cupcake sizes they will call a medium cupcake a mini cupcake when mini cupcakes are slightly bigger than a large gumdrop.

Iportion: What is your favorite high calorie cupcake?
Clare Crespo: RED VELVET (I AM FROM THE DEEP SOUTH!) I HAD THESE FOR MY WEDDING. I LOVE THEM!Iportion: What bakery would you recommend for really cute cupcakes? I AM CONSTANTLY ON THIS QUEST. I LOVE AUNTIE EMS IN LOS ANGELES.

Iportion: What’s your favorite health food?

Iportion: Favorite Hostess product? My favorites were light twinkies and light cupcakes but I am not sure they are even being made anymore. I wish they would come light orange cupcakes, lemon pies and suzzy q’s.


Iportion: Favorite diet snack product?

Iportion: Thank you Clare.
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