Sunday, September 29, 2013

Photo Shoot With My Trainer

My husband Scott and I scheduled a photo shoot with my fitness trainer, Tania, for our photography company SM Squared Photography. I usually just assist Scott, lug his lights around, etc. but this time when we showed up, Tania said that what she wanted to do was a personal training session with me and one of the girls who works in the gym who is practically a daughter-in-law to Tania. I protested - no, I said, I wasn't even wearing sneakers. ("What size shoe do you wear?" Tania asked. "An eight," I replied. "Perfect, she said, "I have an extra pair for you.") Oh, but I'm not dressed for a photo shoot. "Get Stephanie a Beachside t-shirt," was the answer. "I'm already signed up for a Kangoo class tonight." "That's ok, we'll be done in plenty of time, and I've seen you do PLENTY of double workouts. You can do it."

Ok then. No more excuses. Here are some of the images from our shoot. We used the Indo-row rowing machines, kettle bells, plyo boxes, TRX straps, ropes, Real Ryder bikes, body bars, and more. It was a pretty tough workout and really shows the diversity of a Beachside workout. I love this woman. She is an amazing trainer and has inspired me so much!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Before and Now

My friend April is a fellow member of my surgical support group. She's also a photographer, a Crossfit instructor, and mom to three little kids (including a set of twins). In other words...she's amazing! I don't attend my support group very often anymore - it conflicts with the time of my Kangoo class and I HATE to miss that if I don't have to - but I try to go every few months. At the last one, I had my Kangoo boots in the car and April wanted to see what they were like so I strapped them on and bounced around while April took some shots. She made this little collage with one of my "before" pics and this is what she sent me:

That, my friends, is what a lap band, determination, hard work, and an awesome fitness studio can do. I'm pretty proud of myself for the difference.

I also wanted to take a minute to tell you about my new venture. My husband and I started a photography business. Scott has been interested in photography for way longer than I have known him - he had a darkroom in the condo he was living in when we started dating, before digital was a big thing. He's a wonderful photographer and I've been pushing him to do it for other people, so we started a business. He's had several wonderful photo shoots and is extremely talented at fitness photography - he was the official photographer for my gym's fitness expo. But then he did something we are incredibly proud of. One of my trainers, Nikki, was so happy with the photos he took of her that she had Scott do a shoot with her and one of her own trainers. Check out a few of the pics here:

I'm so proud of Scott. Please check out some more of the photos from the shoot on his blog here:

Our blog can be found here:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

New Dietbet and Fitness Expo

I'm going on a Caribbean cruise with the beautiful Lap Band Gal in a couple of months and I'd like to lose a few more pounds before I go...after all, the rooms on a cruise ship are tiny and the more space we have the better. :-)  So I decided to do another Dietbet and bet $25 that I would lose 4% of my body weight in 28 days. These things are TOUGH but they're really good for keeping me focused for a month. And even if I don't win and "only" lose 3-4 pounds in a month, that's still pretty good! But I'm going for the whole enchilada (mmmm...enchiladas) and trying to actually WIN so I have some extra spending money for alcohol on the cruise. Did I say alcohol? Um. I meant for locally crafted souvenirs of the highest quality and...oh hell. You know I'll spend it on pina coladas.

Ahem. Anyway, if you'd like to join and try to win some of my money, the link to the Dietbet that starts tomorrow is: HERE.

Also, last weekend, my fitness studio held an expo at the convention center to show the public what we're all about. There were demonstration classes all day. We were even on the news! My husband was the official photographer for the event and I wanted to share some of the pics with you. We had an amazing time.

Shannon the trainer - she teaches rowing, boot camps, and cycling. She's lost a LOT of weight and is a huge inspiration.

 Nikki the trainer...she teaches circuit and Zumba.

Kangoo Feet

Kangooing with my girls.

My FAVORITE trainer, Tania. She teaches all the Kangoo classes.

One of my favorite parts of Kangoo is when we use the hula hoops. SO much fun!

Have you ever seen so many smiles in a fitness class? :-)

One of my favorite couples - They take Kangoo to a whole new level by adding a ballroom dancing element to it.

And just for fun...I know we have the crazy eyes but I had to share this. My Kangoo girls and I went out to celebrate an amazing milestone this of the girls being 3 years breast cancer free...and we just had SO much fun. I love them. I never knew my life could be so focused on my workouts and the people I do them with.

I realized a few days ago that when I wrote my original list of reasons that I wanted to lose weight, one of the items was:

45. To learn a sport.

Kangoo is definitely a sport! It may not be a team sport in the traditional sense but it's something athletic that I love to do and I'm pretty good at it. So yeah...another item crossed off my list. :-)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

One of Them

Last Saturday night I went out with a bunch of the girls I work out with at my fitness studio. We started out at a bowling alley and were there for about an hour and then we got kicked out. Yep. I'm 37 years old and got kicked out of a bowling alley like some 17 year old punk. One of the girls had called the bowling alley and asked if alcohol was allowed there and since there was a bar, she was told yes. So she made a batch of sangria and brought it in. However, although alcohol from the bar is allowed, outside food and beverage is not, so cops were called, the sangria was confiscated and we were tossed out on the street like common thugs.

I have to was great.

So, what were a group of women supposed to do at 10:30 on a Saturday night? We ended up at Chili's with giant margaritas and baskets of chips and salsa and queso. (Yeah, I know. Eeeeek. The calories. Whatever.)

So as I'm sitting there laughing my head off, drinking a margarita, and really enjoying these awesome women...these fit, athletic women I've been working out with for over 6 months...I realized something...

I'm one of them.

They didn't know me when I was morbidly obese. I mean, I obviously still have some weight to lose and I'm working on it, but the thing I have in common with these women is fitness.

We text each other before class to make sure we'll be there.

We save each other spots in the front of the class.

We share hair ties and bottles of water and protein bars.

Ain't that some shit? I've been working out often enough that my gym friends are becoming real friends.

My life is different.

Friday, July 12, 2013


My husband said he wasn't happy that I had to gross him out instead of other people so I'm going to share this with you so he's not alone.

Ok so here goes...

I've eaten steak twice this week without issue and got cocky and probably ate too much (4 oz. maybe, and some corn on the cob).

I PB'ed. Bad. The worst one in a loooooong time.

I PB'ed so hard that a chunk of steak came out my nose. I'm not kidding. I blew my nose and there was a piece of steak. I almost barfed again because that was just so gross.

After over an hour of PB, recover, think that it's over, sip a tiny bit of water to get the taste out of my mouth, and then run to the bathroom to PB again, I brought out the big guns and gulped a small cup of sparkling lemon lime flavored bubbly water to get things moving. It had the desired "roto rooter" effect, I burped, and the offensive nasty bits went down.

Thank goodness.

It's going to be awhile before I eat red meat again.

On a good note...I needed a new pair of shorts that actually fit since it's a gazillion degrees out and we're spending the day outside at a mango festival tomorrow. I bought this outfit at Old Navy. Size 14 shorts, and I don't hate the way my legs look in them, and a size MEDIUM shirt. (Oh, and a new haircut that I really love.)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Working Out

Wow...I haven't blogged in a month and a half...crazy. I know that often when people stop blogging for any extended length of time it's usually because they have fallen off the wagon. Thankfully, this is not the case here. I've been kicking butt at the gym and just been too busy to blog!

I've been doing tons of Kangoo. I even had the opportunity to take my friend's 14 year old daughter with me and she loved it! I've lost somewhere around 16 pounds since starting Kangoo...after a year long plateau. I love my bouncy shoes!

I burn somewhere between 800 and 1200 calories per hour doing Kangoo. I use a heart rate monitor during each class and get a report like this after class that shows the levels of activity as well as my calorie burn. This was a 960 calorie class.

And this is my trainer, Tania, climbing the rope. She is AMAZING and so inspiring! She is totally my Jillian. I take several of her classes, Kangoo being my favorite, but I also do boot camps, Tabata, BOSU, etc.

This morning I'm going to the studio to try a Piloxing class. I've never done Piloxing but it's a cross between Pilates, boxing, and ballet. They're having a guest trainer to teach this - it's a master class and I'm a teeny bit nervous (it looks pretty intense) but I think it will be fun.

Tonight I'm doing something I haven't done in probably 20 years - roller skating! My gym group is having a get together at a skating rink for a fun and active night out.

Gotta run...have to finish my protein shake and get to the gym. :-)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Recipe: Zucchini Boats

I made "zucchini boats" (sort-of a low carb substitute for baked stuffed pasta) for dinner and they were fabulous!!! I saw recipes for how to do this and here is my version... I didn't really measure.

Zucchini Boats

3 medium zucchini
1 tub part skim ricotta cheese
1 egg
3 cloves garlic, grated
Olive oil
Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning
Marinara sauce
Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Cut each zucchini in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the zucchini "guts" and form a boat. (Most recipes say to reserve the middles and use them to re-stuff the zucchini but I didn't and I threw the guts away. Yes, it's wasteful but I don't like zucchini seeds. I do the same thing with cucumbers. Ick.) Drizzle zucchini with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the ricotta, egg, garlic, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning. Remove zucchini from oven and turn heat down to 325. Stuff zucchini with ricotta mixture and spoon marinara sauce over each piece. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella and broil until bubbly.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dietbet Results

Last month I joined a Dietbet  in which I needed to lose 4% of my body weight (8.4 pounds) in 4 weeks and the final weigh in was today.

Before (210 pounds):

After (197.5 pounds):

I win! I lost 12.5 pounds in 4 weeks, thanks to lots of Kangoo, Tabata, and sticking to 1200 calories on non-workout days. So I get the $50 back that I bet, plus I get to split the pot with all of the other winners. I'm psyched! I will definitely join another Dietbet and am even considering starting my own.

Monday, April 8, 2013


I decided to join the Dietbet game that is being sponsored by The Anti-Jared,

The premise is simple. Put $50 in a pot. If you meet your goal (4% of body weight lost in 28 days) I win back MY money and split the pot with all the other winners.

First, you verify your starting weight (I had to submit pictures on the scale to prove who I am and what my weight is:

Along with a special code word that they assigned me the morning of the challenge, which is why I have "legume" written down by the scale.

The scale currently says 210 and not that I cheated (I didn't!), it just so happened that I spent the weekend at my parents house eating all kinds of fatty, carby things AND went to dinner with my friend Tanya the night before which involved wine and cupcakes and was definitely retaining some water.

So...I'm not going into crazy dietgirl mode but I AM making some changes. On work days when I can't workout, I MUST stick to 1200 calories. On workout days, I can be slightly less strict and will only eat half the calories I burned. If you want to follow me on MyFitnessPal, my username is stephaniemartin42.

28 days to lose 8.4 pounds. Can I do it? Should be an interesting ride.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fitness Studio

On January 30, I posted on Facebook:

I completely forgot that I bought a voucher for 5 Kangoo-Jumps (trampoline shoe) classes MONTHS ago. Amazon sent me a reminder that it will expire in a month so I signed up for my first class this coming Monday. I'm not sure how well my klutzy self will do with trampoline shoes but I managed to not kill myself on the Segways when Karin and I went and it's supposed to be a great workout goes nothin'.

As of today, I've attended 13 Kangoo classes, and I love the studio (Beachside Ryde) so much that I started several of their other classes too - Pilates and Tabata being my favorites, and I'm going to try the TRX class and Indo-Row too. I started with a 5-class voucher, signed up for another 15 classes, and then this week I fully committed and signed up for 6 months of unlimited classes. I was hesitant to do it (it took a not-insignificant chunk of our tax refund) but Scott made the point of looking at how much we spend on TV service, going out to dinner, etc. and that if it made me happy, we could cut back elsewhere.

It DOES make me happy.

This is the Beachside studio - they have all kinds of toys that add lots of interest to the workouts - BOSU balls, weights, hula hoops, TRX straps, a ballet barre etc. The workout is NEVER the same twice.

My friend Maria (also a band patient, and she is the receptionist for my bariatric surgeon) started attending Kangoo with me once a's a blast working out with a friend. Last Saturday we both rented heart/calorie monitors and competed for who could burn the most calories. She won by about 100 calories so I had to buy lunch. We had salads with tuna on them. :-)  I burned over 1200 calories that day, so I'd say we both won though.

A couple of weeks ago we had an incredibly gorgeous afternoon, and we did a Tabata boot camp was amazing!

This is my trainer Tania, who teaches most of the classes that I take. She is also the owner of the studio and is incredibly inspiring!

Even though a small studio is more expensive than a big-box gym, the difference there is amazing. It's like the difference between shopping at Walmart versus a small, locally-owned boutique - in theory, you're just working out but the difference is truly incredible. I can't wait to get there for each workout.
The individual attention makes all the difference in the world. I love walking in and seeing the same faces week after week.

And you know what else? When I work out, I want to feel light and strong and that influences my eating choices every day.

I have no idea how much weight I have lost, and it doesn't really matter. My pants are definitely getting too big on me. I'll weigh in next Sunday but no matter what the scale says, I know what I'm doing is really, really good for me and I have my motivation back.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Breakfast in a Glass

I'm 3 years post-op. I've been having a scrambled egg (with or without veggies and/or cheese) at least 3 days per week for the last 3 years and I've never really gotten tired of it. I like scrambled eggs. I like that I can make them taste different based on hot sauce, vegetables, etc. and I can make them in the microwave if I'm in a hurry and they keep me full for awhile. On the days I didn't have eggs, I would have a canned Atkins shake.

Until I spent two mornings at work a couple of weeks ago barfing up scrambled eggs. I have no idea what changed all of a sudden. It was the one food I could always count on being able to eat in the morning and that was gone. When there's a line full of patients waiting and I need to check them in, I don't have time to spend more time in the bathroom than I do at my desk.

Not to mention, it's embarrassing. One of the medical assistants asked me if I wanted her to do a pregnancy test on me. morning meal has changed. I couldn't face the idea of having an Atkins shake for breakfast every day (all those chemicals! so little nutrition! no variety!) so I decided to experiment with making my own protein smoothies.

I started out with a good protein base - I have fallen in LOVE with Optimum Nutrition Oats & Whey. It's naturally sweetened with honey powder, but not TOO cloyingly sweet like I find the artificially sweetened powders. Plus it has oats in it so it's got plenty of fiber. This is the nutrition label:

Yes, it has 8 grams of sugar per full scoop (and I only use 1/2 scoop), but consider that a can of Slimfast has EIGHTEEN grams of sugar and less than half the protein. This stuff is not so bad.

Then I add my liquid. I discovered Blue Diamond unsweetened coconut/almond milk blend. It's only 45 calories per cup and absolutely deliciously decadent! I found it in the chilled milk section at Target.

From there, I can add whatever fruits and veggies I want. This one had raw spinach, pineapple, mango, blueberries, and strawberries:

Today's smoothie was exceptional - raw spinach, one small carrot, a small handful of blueberries, and a few chunks of frozen pineapple. YUM. So much nutrition! I feel like I have LOADS of energy and don't feel weighed down after breakfast.

With that said...I'm off to work out! See you later.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

From the Mouths of Babes...

I spent the afternoon with my dear friend Ally today. I've known her since we were 18 and she moved to Oregon when we were in our mid-20's. Her older son is 9 and her younger son is 5. We were looking at some old pictures today from the couple of times I met the little one, Chay (the redhead). This was when I went to visit Ally's family when Chay was just a baby...

And this was when Ally came to visit Florida when Chay was 2 years old...

As we were looking at pictures, Chay looked at the pictures, looked at me, looked at the pictures, looked at me, and said, "You looked like you were more chubbier then." I just about choked on my latte I was laughing so hard. Kids are just so darn honest. This is from today...