Category Archives: Getting Started

Why Tap Dancing is the Best Cardio EVER!

Let me reintroduce myself:

Hi. My name is Whitney, and I blog about not dieting because dieting totally sucks. Plus, it doesn’t work. (No, Really. It doesn’t work.) So yeah, my name is Whitney and I blog, but i’m also a dancer. More specifically, I’m a tap expert who worked for a Tony Award winning Broadway show.

tap dance

I’ve always danced. I’ve been a dancer since I was two years old (my mother lied to the local dance studio about my age and said I was three to get me enrolled.) I don’t know if I was too annoying to handle, or if I just had feet that never wanted to stay still… but into class I went at two years old, and I haven’t stopped since.

That’s 27 years of dancing. (Don’t tell anyone my age if you can do the math. I still tell everyone I’m 21.)

Tap was the most fun, super awesome thing I did as a little child. Come on, you know what I’m talking about! A lot of us took tap when we were young, made a TON of noise with our feet, then  stopped going to class for whatever reason. (Maybe we joined the cheerleading squad, or maybe we moved on to playing POGS.)

The great thing about tap is that it’s never too late to start again. Continue reading

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Upcoming Ten-Year High School Reunion: Oh, GOD, NO!!! WHY!?!?

I just realized that my ten-year high school reunion is coming up this fall. Thankfully, the universe was somewhat kind to me this morning, and I realized it’s in November. If it were at the beginning of September, I might have to make like a lemming and (metaphorically, of course) jump of the nearest cliff. IMG_0341

Combine the impending doom of the reunion and all the weddings I need to attend this fall, and it makes me want to crash diet like there’s no tomorrow. It makes me want to cut carbs and pop pills, which I can’t understand because I know that’s not the right way. It’s got to be my fear and not my better judgement whispering, “Eat only meat! I know you’re a vegetarian and don’t believe in it… but just buy a cow and eat only that for the next three months! You’ve got room in the freezer, right?”

I’m not going to crash diet. I’m not going to diet at all. I’m going to reverse the brainwashing in me that is screaming DIET! DIET! DIET! because diet’s don’t work. They. Do. Not. Work.

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My NYC Fire Escape Garden

Growing your own food is easy, responsible, and super tasty. Plus, you don’t need that much space. Just utilize your imagination!

Reasons why growing your own food rocks:

  1. Lessen your carbon footprint by growing some things yourself. (Remember… those tomatoes at PathMart didn’t grow there. They grew hundreds of miles away. They hitched a ride on a huge truck across the country.)
  2. It’s cheaper to grow your own herbs than to keep buying those small packets. Plus, you only use about half of it before it goes off and you have to throw the thing away.
  3. Wanna be healthier? If you’ve grown it… you’ll eat it. Anything that makes us eat more fruits and veggies is a good thing.
  4. It forces you to be outdoors. Or, kind of outdoors. Anyway, you’ll probably get a little vitamin D from this activity.
  5. Monsanto can’t get you if you know where your food is coming from. (Make sure your seeds and seedlings are not genetically altered or modified.)
  6. You’ll reduce food waste. If you’ve waited for something to ripen on a vine that you take care of… you’re less likely to let it spoil and throw it out. That’s not really the case with that stupid banana that has gross brown spots you paid 50 cents for, right? That guy is going to spoil and get thrown out.
  7. It doesn’t take up that much time. I’d equate it to caring for fish in a tank.
  8. I sound like a hippie, but it’s fun. It turned fun. I don’t know how. Just kinda snuck up on me.

I can hear you say, “Well, I don’t have a backyard with room for a garden. I have no space!”

Dude. I live in New York City. I don’t have access to a yard… but I do use every inch of outdoorsey-type space I’ve got!

My First Fire Escape Garden:

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Chilis, mint, tomatoes, basil, lettuce. YUM!

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The tomatoes had a lovely view!

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Tweet-a-deetle-deet!

Whoop, whoop! We got the Twitter! Click the bird to visit us!
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We’ve got Instagram! We’ve got Facebook! We’re Socially Acceptable!

Hey, kids! We’re growing up!

Come play with me on Instagram! I’ll share inspirational pictures you can feel free to share and pin, and I’ll also post healthy homemade (by my boyfriend, mostly) food that looks so good, you’ll want to lick your screen.

Click below to…

Instagram

Don't Diet. Just make better choices! #deathtodieting #fitness #health

A post shared by Death to Dieting! (@deathtodieting) on

Like Death to Dieting on Facebook, where I’ll post exclusive content and get to interact with anyone who has questions or comments.

Death To Dieting

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Juice is my crack: How to juice and not feel like a snob.

fruit and veggie juice

If I’m going to be honest, the entire “juicing culture” has got a bad rap. When we think of juicing, we usually think of an expensive juice cleanse that some celebrity says she went on and lost all of her baby weight in one week. Sometimes, it makes us think of that strange Cayenne pepper thing Beyonce supposedly did for Dreamgirls. Most often, it makes us think of self-righteous jerks who tell everyone they need to juice in order to be considered health-conscious. Those idiots give my sweet, sweet crack a bad name.

I’m not kidding when I make that comparison. Of course, I have never smoked that pipe. I’m just imagining the amazing rush I get after downing 10 veggies and 3 fruits in one go to be somewhat comparable to, well, feeling rather high.

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Motivational Monitor: Inspirational Desktop Backgrounds

Yes. The picture of that funny cat from the internetz IS hilarious, but why don’t you change your background to something that will actually HELP you be a better version of yourself?

Pick something that is personally appealing. Pick something that will inspire you to close your MacBook and go walk the dog. Pick someone who has the body you want to have (But make it healthy and realistic, please.)

Why not put something up on your desktop (and phone) background that will, with one glance, inspire you to make a positive choice about the rest of your day? I think it’s a no-brainer. (And it is! Well, subconsciously.)

There are two reasons that visualization techniques work:

  1. Subconscious Realization of Potentiality (hippie.)
  2. Simple Conscious Motivation (non-hippie.)

Let’s talk about #1.

Jon Gabriel, author of The Gabriel Method, is an expert on fat storage and the real causes of obesity. He is living proof that body visualization works.

Jon weighed 400 pounds until he decided to picture his future self in a different way. This is what he looks like before, during, and after his transformation. No surgery. No crash dieting. He didn't diet. He just stopped making bad choices.

Jon weighed 400 pounds until he decided to picture his future self in a different way. This is what he looked like before, during, and after his transformation. No surgery. No crash dieting. In fact, he didn’t diet. He just used visualizations and stopped making bad choices.

Gabriel’s explanation of using pictures to make the animal part of your brain understand what you want has stuck with me since I first read his book:

Just as you can use pictures to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak your language, you can use pictures- in the form of visualization- to communicate with your brain. Imagine you’re in a foreign country, where you don’t speak the language, and you need to do something basic, such as going to the toilet. You try asking someone where it is, but they don’t understand you… the obvious thing is to get a piece of paper and a pen, and draw a picture of a toilet.

The moment you show the picture to a friendly local, you’ve made your point… Symbols and pictures are the universal language that everyone understands.

It’s no different communicating to your own body. If you create a visual image of a thinner version of you, your brain will understand and work to make it happen. That is why visualization works so well. When you create a visual image of exactly how you want to look, you’re basically programming yourself to look that way. You’re talking to your unconscious mind and your animal brain.

Now, if Mr. Gabriel isn’t a good enough example for you to trust, let’s look at what world-renowned visualization expert Deepak Chopra has to offer (taken from The Chopra Center):

The source of all creation is pure consciousness . . . pure potentiality seeking expression from the unmanifest to the manifest. And when we realize that our true Self is one of pure potentiality, we align with the power that manifests everything in nature.

Here’s what it boils down to: the image of how you want to look is your intention. That intention can become manifest through visualization techniques and meditation. You can create the body of your dreams. You manifest your intention.

I personally believe in visualization and meditation (Well, once something has been scientifically proven to work, I tend to say, “Ok. Sure.”) However, if you’re not buying it… no problem. That’s why there is reason #2, simple motivation.

motivationIt’s just a catalyst for you to get off your booty and make a healthy choice. Maybe as you are switching Safari windows from reading strange Alec Baldwin quotes to get your daily fix of BuzzFeed, you’ll catch a glimpse of a fabulously inspirational background image that will make you get up and do 100 jumping jacks. You can still view “The 33 Most Important Bunny GIFs on the Internet,” but you’ve just killed some calories beforehand.

Whatever your reasoning, here are some of my favorites. (These are all from Google image search. Try it, and find ones you like!)

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A group of fierce ladies who look like they are kicking butt on a consistent basis? Yup. Rock.

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This is the one I currently have. I’ll see a different word every time, and it will inspire me to do something positive with that word.

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This was created by a fitness coach, and it is personal to her. I think it’s a brilliant idea to make your own, so it speaks directly to you. Or you could just steal hers.

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Another personal one created by the aforementioned personal trainer.

MARATHON

This one is GREAT because it shows Kathrine Switzer infiltrating the all-male 1967 Boston Marathon. Yes, that’s a race official trying to physically push her off course. He didn’t succeed. She did. If seeing a woman fight for her right to run a marathon doesn’t inspire you to take a light jog, I don’t know what will.

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Sometimes I pretend I’m getting chased by a velociraptor or zombies. Whatever, it works!

What is YOUR background image? Is it there for a laugh or for inspiration? Leave a comment on why you think this works or why you think it’s total malarkey. 

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Spicing up H2O

Let’s talk about drinks, baby.

If it’s sugary and brightly colored… bad.

If it’s labeled “diet”… poison.

If it’s caffeinated… slavery.

If it’s alcoholic… try to drink it in moderation without sugary “mixers.” Drinking an ounce of whisky on the rocks = nice. Drinking 4 Rum and Cokes = dehydration, sugar rush, and empty calories.

So, what should we drink?

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Poppin’ Pills: Vitamins and Supplements

Here’s the deal. We aren’t perfect. Even though we try, we can’t possibly ingest all the 13 essential vitamins required by the body to work properly with our modern eating habits. That’s why you need to take vitamins and supplements before you get sick and have to take horrible prescription pills for the rest of your miserable life.

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