Category Archives: chocolate

100-Calorie Scams

Even toothpastefordinner.com knows: Just because it’s low-cal doesn’t mean it’s good for you!
I recently saw an ad featuring Venus and Serena Williams for Nabisco’s 100-Calorie Packs on Glamour.com. Now, I truly love Glamour for its mainly positive message to women, and I think the Williams sisters are pretty badass for their complete domination of tennis, but I have a major problem with the magazine and the sisters promoting a nutritionally void snack that uses “Diet Like a Diva” as its slogan.
First of all, Glamour has been running all sorts of articles about what eating disorders will do to your body and how eating wholesome foods is the way to go when it comes to losing weight or just staying healthy. They’ve also got the Body by Glamour plan, which, again, promotes eating healthy foods with redeeming nutritional qualities. It’s not supposed to be a ‘diet,’ but a plan with plenty of smart takeaways that will help you make permanent lifestyle changes. So it’s understandable that I take issue with the mag for pimping packaged products with the lowest amount of calories possible, right?
Additionally, the fact that the Williams sisters are the faces of this campaign really irks me. I honestly do not think that these athletes are munching on 100-calorie packs all day to keep themselves in shape. To compete like they do, I’m pretty sure they’re eating a wholesome diet full of lean protein, whole grains, and lots of produce. Sure, maybe they’ve tested the products they’re pretending to eat in the ads, but really? Do you believe that the million-time Wimbledon champs are refueling with Wheat Thins substitutes?
To be honest, I’m rarely one of those “everything in moderation” people (still working on it), and in my calorie-obsessed college days I will admit that I totally fell for this idea, but I simply can’t justify it anymore. I do understand that everyone needs a treat sometimes, but why not promote the idea that we can indulge just a little bit every now and then with something a little closer to the real thing? Personally, a little baggie of imitation cocoa-flavored wafers does not nix my chocolate craving. But you know what does? Actual chocolate (the darker the better in my case). And if I have a small enough piece, it’s going to be about 100 calories (give or take) as well, so why would I waste calories and money on little baggies (not so eco-friendly either there, Nabisco) of satisfaction-free chemically-laden ‘food’?
Anyway, I want to know what YOU have to say about this. Have you seen these ads? What do you think of them? How do you feel about Venus and Serena as well as Glamour promoting the products? What do you think of the 100-cal marketing scheme in general?

Male or Female Trainers – Who Would You Rather Have Train YOU?

Have I ever made anyone cry like Marshall did on “How I Met Your Mother?” Not yet :-)

This is a question I have to ask a lot of potential clients. Every new member at our gym gets a free personal training session, and when setting up these appointments, I often ask, “Do you prefer a male or female trainer?” Now, a lot of people will say they don’t care either because they really don’t or because they’re afraid of offending me with their answer. But I often wonder, who do people really want training them? And what’s the reasoning?

Personally, I have only had male trainers. You would think feminist me would be all about having a female trainer, but I just wasn’t. Mostly because guys were the ones who approached me, but also because that’s what I asked for when it came time to actually buy training. It’s not that I don’t think a female trainer could kick my ass, because I know from my own training that this simply isn’t true. In fact, I’ve nearly made guys puke during my workouts before (so there!). But honestly, I think my choice stemmed from my own insecurities. The female trainers at the gym by my apartment all seemed so girly and just teeny. Thanks to being a sorostitute for three years, I was worried that they would all be sizing me up while we trained, as women often do with one another (catty bitches, right?). So I went with guy trainers because I didn’t care about being sweaty and gross in front of them. They can judge me all they want, but they can’t really compare my body to their own, so I don’t really care.

Other women feel the total opposite. My friend Kate said that she wanted a female trainer at first because of her insecurities. When she started with a male trainer, she said she always tried to “get dressed” to go to the gym, but then she learned it was more about the sweat and the hard work, and stopped caring what she looked like while she was working toward her goal. And I’ve talked to a lot of women who feel this way. They don’t mind dripping and panting in front of other women, but working out with a male trainer makes them nervous. I’ve also heard that women like working out with other women because they can relate. Duh, I didn’t even think of this one, even though most of my female clients talk to me about their lives every single day. I get it that stress does a number on you and your goals. I get it that we can’t drop five pounds as easily as the guys. I get it that sometimes you need a little chocolate and that there are certain days when you will be crankier than others. I get it.

With guys, the situation can be a little different. Boys are gross to begin with (if there are any male readers, feel free to defend yourselves in the comments section), so I doubt they worry too much about sweating a lot during their workouts. However, some men are a little iffy about sweating that much in front of cute girls who are telling them what to do. I’ve even heard from one or two male gym members that they’re worried that if a woman trainer is touching them (for instructional purposes, obvi) and ordering them around like a drill sergeant that they’ll “get turned on.” (I had no idea how to react to that comment.) Anyway, some guys choose male trainers because those are simply things they don’t want to fret over.

The issue of competence is something else entirely. I think, at times, both men and women think that female trainers won’t be as tough or can’t possibly know what they’re doing. I’m going to be biased for a second and tell you that, we do, in fact, know our stuff. We had to get certified just like the guy trainers, and we do just as much strength training as they do. Just because we can’t lift as much as some guys, this does not mean that we can’t put you through the workout of your life. [Girl Power rant over.] Some guys will say they want a guy because they don’t think a girl will be able to help them bulk up. Other male clients will say they wouldn’t mind a female trainer because they don’t mind if someone a little prettier watches them sweat, and they feel like they might even work a little hard to impress their trainers.

In the end, there’s no general answer across the board. I guess it all depends on personal preferences, and it might not even be gender-based, but actually just whether or not your personalities mesh.

What do YOU think? Would you rather hire a female or male trainer? Why? Does it matter to you, or you just need to make sure you have a trainer with whom you get along and who motivates you the right way? Spill!

Just Say No

Ralphie should have just said no.
Ah, the holidays. The most wonderful time of the year, no? Well, in recent years with our winter festivities running on steroids and taking up every waking second, for some the answer to that question might really be a big fat NO. From Thanksgiving to January 1st, there’s plenty of time to go crazy with everything we try to do. I personally love the holidays, but even I can’t help feeling as though I’m being stretched a little thin around this time of year.

I’ve found that the only solution to this problem is something I’m sure you’ve heard over and over again: Learn how to say ‘no.’ Just one word, two little letters, but for some reason, it’s really, really hard for a lot of us – especially women – to say it, even when we truly want to. This idea should be put into practice all year round honestly, but we’ll take baby steps and start with the holidays. So here’s an idea: stop considering every other person on the planet’s feelings and start considering what you actually need to do to keep your sanity this winter.

If you’ve been invited to your eighth cookie-decorating party of the season hosted by your third cousin once removed, and you just totally need to go running instead or you’ll strangle the first kid who reaches across you for the vanilla frosting, then say no. If you’re asked to partake in yet another Secret Santa or Dirty Christmas exchange, and you are totally tapped out and buying even a tiny gift will make you and your wallet scream, just say no. If your coworkers ask you to go out for holiday happy hour (again), and you haven’t even been able to enjoy your Christmas tree or just sit and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa at home yet, then say no. No matter what anyone says, taking time out for you during the holidays is not selfish. It’s essential.

So here’s the challenge: In what’s left of your holiday season (hey, we all have New Year’s coming up), just say no to one thing you actually don’t want to do. Maybe you do want to hit up that cookie party – go ahead and bring your award-winning sugar cookies. But if you feel like you’d rather spend booze calories and bar time on a mug full of chocolate and marshmallows while taking in the A Christmas Story marathon (leg lamps, frozen tongues, and Red Ryder air rifles for 24 hours straight on TBS starting tomorrow!), then tell the office pals you’ll see them on Monday. The world will not stop turning if you miss one holiday gathering this year. I promise. So go, enjoy the holiday season, and report back on how good it felt to say no!

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