Posted by: bodsquad | May 15, 2010

Mikie’s Journey

For those of you who often tuned in to the BodSquad for Mikie’s brand of humor, you’ll be pleased to know that she’s begun chronicling her weight loss journey on a blog of her own.

Here are some of the posts directly related to her weight loss success thus far:

Mikie is doing a fantastic job, and I am sure her success will inspire you to make some healthy improvements as well. Stop by her blog and say hello!

Posted by: bodsquad | January 19, 2010

Katherine’s New Adventure

Many of you followed along as Katherine described her get-healthy journey here on The Bod Squad.

She now has a new project in a similar vein. Check it out!

Kat’s 9th Life

Keep up the good work, Katherine! You are amazing!!

Posted by: bodsquad | April 28, 2009

Marathon Excitement

Yesterday was the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. Surrounded by 19,000 other participants, I ran the half-marathon (13.1 miles) which is my own personal record. Anna and her boyfriend Cody ran the full marathon (26.2 miles…yowza!). It was really great weather, despite the wind. As we neared the state capitol (about Mile 3), I saw Andrew and his parents. I let them know I was feeling good.



Mile 6, I was still feeling really strong.


At this point, the half-marathoners split from the marathoners and headed back towards the finish line.


My goal was to run the majority of the race and only walk long enough to get a drink at each water stop. I did pretty well on that goal, too! I did walk about a quarter-mile near the end, as it was uphill and the wind was gusting in our faces. I walked to the top of the hill and started running again once I got to the top. I sprinted the last 100 yards or so, as that’s my favorite part of any race. 🙂

I was hoping to finish in 2.5 hours and I actually got really close to that time: 2:33:20! I felt really good and strong even after the finish. I felt accomplished and was glad to be done so I could take my shoes off!!

While I was busy drinking Powerade and re-fueling with fruit and snacks, Anna and Cody were still running their race. Anna looked really strong as she headed towards the finish…


Little did she know that Cody (who was running behind Anna at this point) had taken off his jacket and was wearing this shirt:


Andrew and I, along with his family and several friends, waited near the finish line for Anna (and Cody…we wanted to see Anna’s reaction to his shirt)


Anna crossed the finish line and came to join us. We waited several minutes for Cody to come into view. Then, Anna saw him:


She ran out to meet him. He got the ring out of his iPod case, got down on one knee (after RUNNING 26.2 miles, mind you!) and asked her to marry him.


She said YES!


All in all, a VERY exciting day!! I crossed “Run a half-marathon” off my list of lifelong To-Dos, Anna and Cody both did well on running the marathon, AND the ManyMeadows family is going to add a new member! (I was #19…Cody makes 20!) Wowie!! A GREAT day!!!

Abbi Zeliff ABBI

Posted by: bodsquad | April 8, 2009

Redbud Classic 10k Run

This post by Anna (my future sister-in-law) compelled me to enter the Redbud Classic 10k Run. I enjoy running more when I’m part of an event with loads of other people, plus I figured it would be good practice for the half-marathon I’m running on the 26th.

My goal was to run the whole thing…6.2 miles with no stopping. Guess what? I woke up that morning to 45-degree weather and BRUTAL Oklahoma wind out of the north. No biggie, except the first, oh, MILE AND A HALF of the race route was head-first into the wind. Whew.

But…I DID IT!! 🙂 My sweet Andrew and my awesome future in-laws were there to take pictures and cheer for me, Anna, and Cody (Anna’s boyfriend) as we rounded the first turn
and crossed the finish line.

As I neared the 6-mile mark, I made myself a deal that I would gut out the last .2 miles and race as hard and fast as I could. It’s amazing how much remaining energy you can find if you dig deep!

The clock was ticking…1:04:54…:55…:56…I was determined to cross before it reached 1:05:00. And I did! My legs totally felt like Jell-O, but the final sprint was incredibly exhilarating!
And since I didn’t cross the Start line at the exact moment the gun went off (too many other runners in front of me), my official time was actually less: 1:03:09! And I don’t even think of myself as a runner! 🙂

My goal for the half-marathon is to finish in 2:30:00 or less. Since the 10k is nearly 50% the distance of the half-marathon (13.1 miles), I figure I can do it if I don’t walk too much.

My plan is to run to each water station (roughly 1.5 apart, as far as I can tell from the online course map) and then allow myself to walk for 30 seconds while I drink my water. Then…get running again!

Have you ever done something you weren’t sure you could do? Tell us how you felt!

Abbi Zeliff ABBI

Posted by: bodsquad | March 25, 2009

10k Recap

First of all, I want to say that prior to beginning my training for this 10K, I thoroughly despised running. If given a choice between being mauled by a pack of vicious dogs / running, I would have had a serious debate with myself on which one would be less painful. Then, out of blue, I decided that instead of enviously looking (or yelling obscenities) at passing runners when I’m out walking my dog, I would do the  unimaginable…I would…become one of them! And that’s how it started.

I got my husband and two of our friends to sign up for a 10K with me, so I would not be the only one going through a miserable experience of training, sweating, and not eating sugar (ok, that lasted two days).

Little did I know back then, that everybody requires different amount of physical and mental preparation for this event. Take me and my husband for example: I followed a training program for two months prior to the event, he bought his running shoes two weeks prior to it. I read books and articles on how to become better runner; he didn’t even really remember on what day our 10K would happen. For our race, he came in 10 minutes faster than I did!! ((Although he claimed the raced the whole way so that he could take my picture crossing the finish line)) 🙂

My only goal in this race was to run the whole way. I didn’t care about what time I came in, whether anyone beat me or I beat anyone, just the fact of running the whole way. Guess what? I RAN THE WHOLE WAY!!! This was by far the farther and longest I ever ran: 6.2 miles in 1 hour 8 minutes.

The feeling was amazing. Running with 2-3 thousand of other people who were clearly enjoying themselves made me look at running at a completely different way. I realized that I felt the best about myself not when I reached the final destination of crossing the line, but in getting there. I made a goal, I trained for it, I got injured (not due to training) and couldn’t train, I was sick for a week straight before the race and couldn’t train, but I still made myself get up at 5am on the day of our event and get to the starting line. And it was worth every single effort I made.

Can you tell?

My greatest fear was that once I was done with the training and the race, running would no longer seem appealing or necessary to me. Well…the 3 miles I ran this morning say otherwise 😉 Half-marathon here I come!!

alisa ALISA

Posted by: bodsquad | March 23, 2009

Discreet Dieting Tips

Reposted from Bob Greene’s Best Life eNewsletter.

By Liz Plosser

There’s nothing quite like the phrase, “No thanks, I’m on a diet!” to bring a dinner party or happy hour to a screeching halt. But there’s no reason your healthy-eating plan has to be a downer for you and your fellow celebrants. Use these sly strategies from Keri Gans, R.D., a nutritionist in New York City, the next time you’re among not-so-health-conscious pals.

Situation: Dinner out with friends

Sly strategy: While the group is mulling over the menu, drop a subtle hint about your light order so no one can accuse you of being a killjoy. “Say, ‘I have been eating so much meat lately, I really feel like a piece of fish.’ Or ‘I had a huge, late lunch, so I’m just going to get a salad,'” Gans recommends.

Situation: Holidays at a relative’s house

Sly strategy: The simple words “No thank you. I’m full” should work like magic when your aunt tries to serve you seconds. And if she plops more food on your plate anyway? Place your utensils facedown on the dish, pop in a breath mint and move the plate away. Each of these actions signals that you’re finished.

Situation: Office birthday party

Sly strategy: If you’re following the Best Life plan, you’ll be given a certain number of treat calories, called Anything Goes calories, that you can put towards indulgent foods like cake everyday. Or, you could skip the cake and make yourself a mug of warm tea instead. Sipping tea will keep your mouth every bit as occupied as that forgettable piece of cake. Then focus on networking around the room: Make a game of how many people you can chat with.

Situation: Happy hour with coworkers
Sly strategy: “Order diet soda or sparkling water with a lemon or lime slice,” says Gans. Even though you’re going sans spirits, the festive garnish will make  it feel like you’re still 100-percent part of the party.


Posted by: bodsquad | March 19, 2009

Be My Marathon DJ!

As I continue to train for the OKC Memorial Half-Marathon, I am putting a lot of miles on both my shoes AND this bad boy:


The problem? After running nearly 200 miles so far, I’m SO SICK of the tunes on my iPod. So, I’m asking for your help. If you are a music lover with a heart to help others, I would LOVE a mixed CD of songs you think would make the perfect running/working-out soundtrack.

Just think…I could be listening to one of your tunes when I cross the finish line! If you are interested in “Being my DJ”, leave a comment with your email address and I’ll let you know where to send your CD.

THANK YOU!! I appreciate your support!!

Abbi Zeliff ABBI

Posted by: bodsquad | March 5, 2009

Healthy Mommies and Kids

Please welcome Erin to our blog. Erin is Ali’s sister and Abbi’s soon-to-be sister-in-law. She’s amazing at practicing what she preaches when it comes to healthy living and has been quite instrumental in helping both Ali and Abbi get closer to their goals. Today, she shares with us advice and book recommendations for protecting and preserving the health of your family, especially your children.


We mommies are protectors of our children. We carefully watch what words they hear, what they see on TV, and if they put a foreign object in their mouth. Don’t ya think we should focus just as much on what we actually give them to eat and what kind of examples we are being in our eating choices?

Finding out I am expecting my third child has made my long-time passion of being healthy and fit even stronger. I want other people to know the energetic lifestyle it can give you when you make better choices in your eating and exercise (something all moms need as we take care of our brood).

Don’t know where to start? Here’s my list of favorite books that cover each age group:

Eating Well When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron
The Family Nutrition Book by Dr. William Sears

Whether you’re expecting a child, already have children, or are planning to have children someday, if nothing else motivates you, at least make good choices for your kids! They are your most precious asset. If you want the best for them in all aspects of life, then making good choices about what goes in their mouths (and your mouth!) should happen RIGHT NOW!!!

How are you doing in this area? In what ways are you doing well? In what ways could you improve?

erin ERIN

Posted by: bodsquad | March 4, 2009

Thinking About Running a Marathon?

I have noticed recently that a couple of the members of The Bod Squad have mentioned the work (I mean word) MARATHON. I have decided to jump on the band wagon and sign up for one myself. I will be running in the Seattle Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon in late June. I have never run one before, although for what it’s worth I was on the cross country team in middle school! 🙂

My husband and I went out shopping for my birthday last week, and I came home with a new pair of running shoes, running crops from LuLu Lemon, which are pretty cool, and a running top. I am completely ready to start my training…now if only my mind-set was as put-together as my outfit, I would be in good shape! As I educate myself about the daunting task of a marathon, slowly my mind-set is catching up with my enthusiasm.

This is for all you crazy folks out there that are training or thinking about training for a marathon or 1/2 marathon. Here are a few tips and tricks to make the run a little less bumpy.


Avoid Chafing
Wear Cool-max or synthetic blend socks, shirt, and shorts that wick away moisture. Use Body Glide, Vaseline, or similar products (on feet, under arms, between thighs, nipples, etc.) to prevent chafing and/or blisters.
More: Prevention and Treatment of Chafing

Stay Loose
Some runners get tense in their shoulders and arms when they start to get fatigued, leading to neck and back pain. You can prevent tensing-up and slouching by shaking out your arms and shoulders regularly. Also, make sure you don’t ball your hands up in a tight fist — that tightness will radiate up your arms, to your shoulders and neck.

Rethink the Mileage
Mentally break your course into smaller sections. Your 15-mile run will feel much more doable if you break it into three five-mile segments. Once you get to the 12 mile mark of an 18-mile run, think to yourself, “OK, just under 10K from here.”

Nothing New on Race Day
Start experimenting with different foods and clothes so you can figure out what works for you. The goal is to find your favorites now, so you’re not trying anything new on race day.
More: What Should I Eat During My Long Runs?

Take a Walking Break
Don’t feel guilty if you stop or walk to get the fluids down during your long run. Many people walk through water stops in marathons. And taking a short walking break gives your running muscles a quick rest, so you’ll feel more energized and refreshed when you start running again.
More: How to Do the Run/Walk Method

Find a Running Group
Running with other people make your long runs easier and more pleasurable. Chatting with a running partner definitely makes the time go faster, so your run won’t be as mentally challenging. Look for running clubs or join a charity team in your area.
More: How to Find a Running Group

Run on a Softer Surface
If possible, try to run on a softer surface, like a hiking trail, for at least part of your long run. A dirt path is gentler on your body than asphalt or concrete, and running on it will help you recover faster after your long run.
More: Where Should I Run?


What are your tips and tricks to running long distances?


Posted by: bodsquad | March 3, 2009

Lowering Your Blood Pressure With Exercise

You guys know that I haven’t lost any mind-blowing amounts of weight, and sometimes that can be a real disappointment when I think about all the work I have put into this. For that reason, I have to look for other ways to chart my progress and realize the benefits of what I’m doing. When I first began this journey, I checked my blood pressure and my cholesterol. Both were in the “normal range”, but edging dangerously close to the high end of that range. Too high for my comfort! While I won’t get my cholesterol checked again until I go back to the doctor, I do check my blood pressure weekly at work.

What exactly is blood pressure?
“Blood is carried from the heart to all parts of your body in vessels called arteries. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. Each time the heart beats (about 60-70 times a minute at rest), it pumps out blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is at its highest when the heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. When the heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is the diastolic pressure.

Blood pressure is always given as these two numbers, the systolic and diastolic pressures. Both are important. Usually they are written one above or before the other, such as 120/80 mmHg. The top number is the systolic and the bottom the diastolic. When the two measurements are written down, the systolic pressure is the first or top number, and the diastolic pressure is the second or bottom number (for example, 120/80). If your blood pressure is 120/80, you say that it is “120 over 80.”

Blood pressure changes during the day. It is lowest as you sleep and rises when you get up. It also can rise when you are excited, nervous, or active.”


What can you do to lower your blood pressure?
Exercise can have a direct effect on the top (systolic) number in your blood pressure reading. Sometimes it can have as much effect as blood pressure medication! Most experts recommend 30 minutes of moderate activity almost every day in order to lower your blood pressure, but any activity that raises your breathing and heart rate is considered aerobic and can be beneficial.

Just 4 months ago my systolic reading was 139. Below 120 is ideal and over 140 is considered high. I was way too close to high!! I am proud to share that my systolic reading is now 133! It is still too high for my liking, but it has come down a considerable amount and I know I will continue to see it fall until I am in the “ideal” range. The most important thing is that I can see tangible evidence of the hard work I am putting in at the gym and the smart decisions I’m making when in front of the refrigerator.

Do you know your blood pressure reading?



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