Tag Archives: beginnings

New York City 1/2 Marathon 2014 Finisher!

This past Sunday the 16th I ran my first half marathon, and it just happened to be the NYC 1/2. Smack dab in the middle of 20,000 people, I ran 13.1 miles through Central Park, Times Square, down the West Side Highway, around the tip of Manhattan, and finished in the financial district.

I trained for 12 weeks, using tempo runs, Zumba, swimming, hill runs, and long runs. I also used my long runs in Central Park to get used to the insane hills in the top portion of the park (which really came in handy on Sunday).

On the Saturday before the race, I picked up my bib at the NYC 1/2 expo. Good job, organizers. NYRR for the win!


Picking up my bib and pretending I’m important.


Everyone got to write why they were running. Most people were running in memory of a loved one or for cancer research. 


I run because of Zombies. Obviously.

I had a lot of support while I was training for the race and on race day. My kick-ass mom flew up from TN to cheer me on. She also brought treats! Continue reading

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Review: Garcinia Cambogia, The Newest “Diet” Scam on Facebook

I usually try to ignore the advertisements on Facebook, but this one caught my eye a while back:


Notice the wording and syntax in the ad. It’s obviously not aimed at middle-aged men. The use of the hyperbolic “tons” and the pleonastic “super fast” makes me want to throw up… because it reminds me of when I was a teenager and I was told that I could throw up food and it was a “super fast” way to lose a “ton” of weight by one of the girls on my cheerleading squad. I’m guessing young women are intended demographic (i.e. attractive white girl, fun colored hair, bright pink bubble, “crazy skinny,” etc.)

The ad seems to point you to “yogamixalot.com.” Ok, so I’m gleaning that Kelly Osbourne (who I think looks great, by the way) used this unknown product that may have something to do with a yoga program, and she lost a lot of weight without having to change her diet.

Clicking on the advertisement lead me to what looked like a Women’s Health Magazine article on Garcinia Cambogia extract and something called the Raspberry Keytone Diet.

This is a screenshot from the yogamixalot site on October 2nd:

looks a little like it's an article, or at least an actual cleared "advertisement article" from Women's Health Magazine. It's not.

It looks a little like it’s an article, or at least an actual cleared “advertisement article” from Women’s Health Magazine.

The page features a reporter and writer named Hannah Richards who “recently put an emerging diet trend to the test. We had to see for ourselves what this diet was all about.”

Here’s a picture of Hannah, the reporter from Women’s Health: Continue reading

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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.

Continue reading

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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:


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


The tomatoes had a lovely view!

Continue reading

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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…


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

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

Promote Your Page Too

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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.

Continue reading

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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!)

Nike-Make-Yourself-Maria-Sharapova-Ads 2

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


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.


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.


Another personal one created by the aforementioned personal trainer.


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.


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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So… Bikram Yoga

Yeah. I’ve been messing around with it. Cheatin’ on my Vinyasa Yoga with Mr. Bikram Choudhury.

Bikram Yoga: 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Most postures are repeated twice in a row. The room is heated to 105° F with 40% humidity. Personally, it is very difficult. I’m a little mad about it because I’m a hardcore, tough-ass dancer who is very bendy.

Every class takes a large amount of willpower and discipline on my part to even get myself to the yoga studio, one stop away on the subway from my apartment. Pathetic. It’s just ten blocks away, but every time I get ready to go, it feels like I’m preparing to Lewis-and-Clark it across Amurika.

Here are some things I’ve learned from personal experience:

Continue reading

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No more diets.

Today is May 15th, 2013, and I have decided to stop dieting.

No more torture.


No, really. It will be that simple.

I’ve got to de-program my mind from being brainwashed into thinking my behavior and body fat are acceptable to me. I’ve got to de-program my brain into thinking that drinking wine most nights actually makes me feel good or has any benefit to me at all. I’ve got to de-program my brain into thinking that processed foods are what I want to eat rather than natural vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

I deserve to feel amazing about myself. Everyone does.

If a scientist were to conduct a conditioning experiment with a worm in a maze, where one direction meant running into an electric shock and the other direction meant food, you know what would happen? The worm would learn through experience that food was this way and pain was the other. The worm wouldn’t want to do something again that hurt when another choice meant survival. I’d hypothesize that most animals put through this experiment would react in a similar way. So why, as human beings, do we continue to do things that cause us harm? Is it that we just don’t learn? Is it that we are dumb? No. It’s that we fool ourselves into thinking that things will be different this time. I’ll be better on the diet this time. I’ll keep going to the gym once I join this time. I’ll only drink on the weekends this time.

We set ourselves up for failure. Then we wallow in our misery with comfort food, toxins, and inactivity.

So, I’m going to get off the ride. I’m not going to diet. I’m just going to stop making bad choices. I’m going to stop looking for a quick-fix. I’m going to stop going on crash-diets followed by weight gain. I’m going to stop feeling guilty about my life.

Every time I reach for something that is detrimental to my health and happiness, I’m going to firmly tell myself that I can do better. That I deserve better.

I’m going to have fun, and I’m going to do it the right way.

I’ll set myself up for success by not setting myself up for failure. That means if I want to have wine or make a pizza (notice I said make… as in from scratch) then I’ll do it. The guilt-free part comes from not doing it often. Keeping it special makes it a reward and indulgence rather than something I’ll feel horrible about the next day.

No diets. Just good choices with some breathing room for fun.

That’s how I’m going to lose the weight and keep it off, and I’m going to have a damn good time doing it.

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