Archive for October, 2012

I thought we had a legitimate shot.  I really did.  A comment from a friend of Katy’s – one degree of separation – that was all it was ever really gonna take; someone her knew her.  I am so appreciative of all the tweets to Katy that you all have posted over the last month and a half; I am grateful to all those who signed my petition to her.

In the end, it just didn’t work out.

Last night, around 3AM, I received an email from Katy’s friend saying he just hadn’t heard back.  He suggested going ahead as planned, taking pictures, writing a post – maybe Katy would comment or re-tweet it.  I can’t afford to buy a wig for every runner who volunteered to run NYC in the blue wig and I certainly can’t ask them to buy their own.

I get it.  I do.  With a schedule like hers, she might not have even seen the emails yet.

It’s too bad, really.  The visual impact of 25 – 50 runners, all wearing blue wigs in support of Autism Speaks would have been fantastic.

It just didn’t work out.

And I am bummed.


I know it was a silly thing.

In light of the devastation left behind by Sandy, I know this is ridiculous to even be writing about, but I feel it’s only fair to let those who volunteered their time, tweets and money know that I will still be running in a Katy Perry Blue Wig – it will be the cheap model from iParty; it won’t be hers.


It was a long shot at best anyway…I just really thought this one was gonna work out.

Thank you again for all you support.  See you in New York!

Read Full Post »

I love my country. This nation of our, despite our issues, is still the greatest in the world; a beacon of hope; a land of opportunity.  Politics have become more partisan in this country, but we still believe in democracy.  We disagree, we debate, we sometimes even raise our voices, but in the end, we go to the voting booths to decide our future instead of picking up pistols and rifles.

It’s okay that we disagree with each other when it comes to national security, women’s health issues, economic responsibility, gay and minority rights, defense spending and so on.  We are a nation of over 300 million people – we are bound to disagree on a lot of things.

Obviously Ann Coulter and I are on different sides of the aisle.  Honestly, I don’t think there is a single thing that I agree with her on and you know what?  That’s okay.  Wherever one is on the political spectrum, that’s okay because we all have the right to have our voice heard, even someone as extreme as Ann.


But my daughter Brooke is not on the Political Spectrum…she’s on the Autism Spectrum.  I remember struggling when Jess and I had to fill out forms for the Department of Developmental Services, which at the time was called the Department of Mental Retardation.  From the perspective of the State, she falls into that category.

Last night, after the third debate, Ann Coulter tweeted this:

I know that people still use the term “retard” as a slur.  I know that there will always be people who don’t see anything wrong with using the word, and honestly, if you are in the privacy of your own home, I refuse to tell you what you can or cannot say…

…but if you are a high profile pundit; someone who somehow still seems to have sway over those in her party, maybe, just maybe it’s time to stop using playground terms from the 1950’s.

Ann,  I know that there is a whole segment of the population that you don’t care about and that you think are completely wrong.  I get that.  I don’t agree with you, but I get that.  But when you use words like “retard” you are marginalizing and minimizing a whole segment of the population – a population that includes my little girl.


Jess is always saying that we need to just ignore Ann Coulter when she makes these kinds of statements – that this is what she feeds off of; the negative response – almost like some weird demon creature that feeds off of negative human energy.  For a very long time I have disagreed with her (Jess) because I feel it’s important to engage those that disagree with your world view.  But this is not the first time Ann has used the word “retard” and based on her past behavior I can’t imagine that it will be her last.  Maybe, just maybe it’s time to completely ignore her.  There was a flood of negative response the last time she tweeted “retard” and it didn’t seem to have any effect on her.  I was one of the thousands that tweeted back at her condemning the tweet.  Here I am writing a post (believe me, I see the irony), but after this I am done, and I hope you are too.

What’s the most powerful thing you can do to stop someone who obviously craves the spotlight and will do anything to get in it?

Ignore her.

If we don’t respond, then she has nothing to feed on.  If we don’t respond, she doesn’t get the satisfaction.  No doubt, she will crank it up several notches to get our attention (extinction burst anyone?), but we must hold firm and simply ignore Ann’s desperate cries for attention, because in the end, that will be the only thing she understands.

Read Full Post »

So I keep hearing these commercials on the radio for special pills that will guarantee you lose “up to” 30 pounds in 12 weeks.  2 1/2 pound a week if you take their pill daily.  Just take their pill…it’s guaranteed.

Sounds fantastic doesn’t it?

Sounds easy don’t it?

Sounds too good to be true, right?


What is easy to miss while being mesmerized by the ad is that as a woman, you need to follow a strict diet of less than 1350 calories per day.

Guess what happens if you eat only 1350 calories per day (aside from being somewhat hungry)…you lose a little over a pound a week!  If you throw in a little exercise, you lose even more!

This is kind of like Mitt Romney saying his economic plan promises 12 million new jobs over the next four years…guess what?  Most independent economists say that 12 million jobs will be added back to the labor force no matter WHO is elected President.

…but I digress.

The bottom line is that smart, healthy weight loss must come at a price, and that price is a little sweat and a lot of discipline.  If you starve yourself in order to lose weight three things will happen:

  1. •You’ll be hungry.
  2. •You’ll slow your metabolism down which means you will burn calories at a progressively slower rate.
  3. •You’ll gain the weight back and more when you go back to eating the portions you ate before because of #2.

So what is one to do if not create a caloric deficit?

Here’s the thing – you DO want to create a deficit.  Although it is more complex than simply calories in vs. calories out, the basic principle holds true.  The key is to create the deficit while not starving oneself and slowing down the metabolism.

How?  There are three keys:

  1. •Proper diet – not a diet in the “I’m on a diet” sense, but rather an approach to food that gives you nourishment while making your body work to digest and absorb its nutrients – unprocessed and unrefined foods, lots of veggies and fruits, plenty of fiber.
  2. •Physical Activity – you don’t have to be a gym rat or a running fool (like me) to boost your metabolism through exercise.  Walking, jogging, biking, playing tag with your kids, dancing with your partner…60 minutes a day of some sort of activity is all it takes.  You can even break it down into 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, etc – get creative.
  3. •Sleep – this is often the ignored part of maintaining a higher metabolism and optimal health.  Believe it or not, 7 – 9 hours of sleep a day is a great way to burn fat.  There’s a lot of science that I won’t get into here, but the bottom line is that getting the required amount of sleep not only promotes fat loss while you are sleeping, but helps you avoid snacking on junkfood in the afternoon when you start to fade.

Don’t waste your money on the magic pills.  Their effect, in my opinion, is more placebo than any magic ingredient that gets your metabolism flying – and those that do?  Be careful about just what those ingredients are doing to your system.  1350 calories a day isn’t much. 1200 calories is the minimal amount of calories a bed-ridden woman needs simply to survive.  You get the picture?

Eat well, move 60 minutes a day and get some sleep.  Try it for a few weeks and see what happens.

Read Full Post »

I got this email (below) from Gene at Charity Miles entitled: Battle of the Century

I definitely need you help friends.  I’m ahead of Becca one to one, but #TeamBecca has put 29 miles between them and us.  #TeamLuau needs your help!

Confused?  After reading Gene’s email, click —>here<— for the back story.


Battle of the Century

That’s me on the left, Becca on the right…we’re even competing for billboard space!

#TeamLuau vs. #TeamBecca

Dear Team Charity Miles,

Last week, Autism Speaks’ Rebecca Barnes challenged Team Up Captain Luau to see who could run the most Charity Miles for Autism Speaks in the month of October.

And she did it with a bold smackdown! The loser has to run the difference wearing a gorilla suit, Autism Speaks jersey and blue afro wig. My approximation shown below 😉

I added a little twist to the challenge by allowing anyone to tweet-add their miles to #TeamBecca’s or #TeamLuau’s totals.  And you all brought it… in a big way!

So after one week of the challenge, I’m excited to report that Luau has personally run 45.06 miles– nearly 25 miles more than Becca’s 20.54 miles.

But, with a little help from her friends, #TeamBecca has 221 miles– a 29 mile lead over #TeamLuau’s 192 miles!

29 miles is a long way to run in a gorilla costime. So come on #TeamLuau. Let’s give my man some support!

You’re all doing great, and I’m going to have some more exciting news to report tomorrow… So stay tuned 🙂

All the best,



Read Full Post »

I’m not a mechanic, and I know way less than I should about cars, but I do know that every once in a while, the service guy or gal will tell me that my tires need to be balanced – makes sense to me, sorta.  Making sure that your tires are centered correctly can ease the wear and tear of time.  What I find fascinating about the process is that for a car that weighs thousands of pounds, the adjustment is a little tiny weight on the rim of the wheel.


I’ve been watching runners in my neighborhood.  I’m happy to say that I see a lot of them, more than I have in the past – maybe the population IS taking this whole obesity thing seriously.  But there is something I have noticed with several recreational runners – many of them carry their music in their hand.  Now, carrying music in your hand in and of itself is not be a bad thing – on longer runs I will often carry my hydration in my hand – but what I see in these runners is running with an over exaggerated compensation due to the extra weight they are carrying on one side or the other.  While one arm swings properly, bent at the elbow at 90°, never going too far forward or backward, the other swings wildly.  This swing then ripples out and affects gait and rhythm, causing this weird, almost Igor “Walk this Way” the Assistant type stride.

Inevitably, this will cause injuries because the runner’s body is attempting to compensate for this imbalance.

There are a few things one can do to make sure this doesn’t happen (or at least keep the effects to a minimum).

  1. Ditch the music.  There is something to be said about running with nature and environment as your soundtrack.  It also gives you a better chance to listen to your feet (are they pounding the ground too hard? are they scuffling along and dragging?).  But that’s a pretty hardcore step for some.  Music is a great motivator – I discovered that on Sunday when Psy’s Gangnam Style actually quickened my pace up some tough hills.
  2. Alternate hands.  When I run with hydration, I tend to take a hand held water bottle.  I like it better than the belts (but some people swear by the belts – personal preference).  20 ounces of water can be quite heavy over the course of 5 – 20 miles and your bicep will eventually tire.  That is why I will alternate hands every mile.  At first, this is very uncomfortable for your unfavored arm, but eventually you will get used to it.  By alternating which hand you are holding your music or water bottle, you avoid the fatigue that leads to the flailing arm.
  3. Bring it closer to your center of gravity.  The further out you hold something, the more weight it exerts on your arm.  By bringing your arms closer to your torso and keeping the elbow bent at 90°, you decrease the effects of carrying a music player or hydration,  A better solution to carrying your music however, is to carry it on either your waist, bicep or head.  There are several choices out there to attach your music player to your body – hip clips, hatphones, armbands (my personal preference).

When we suffer injuries from running, more often than not, they are due to little things we could have done differently; little tiny ripples that over time gain strength from repeated use before ultimately crashing down on us like an injury tsunami.  Maintaining good form throughout a run will go a long way in keeping you injury free.

Read Full Post »

Oh Snap!!! This just happened!

Charity Miles takes it to a whole new level

I think I’m gonna need some running, walking, biking help! Download Charity Miles  and whenever you walk, run or bike, hashtag #teamluau so we can see Rebecca run in a gorilla suit!


Update: I somehow missed this email that went out to ALL Charity Miles users…this friendly challenge has just gone national.

Battle Of The Century!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 12:15 PM
Rebecca vs. Luau
Loser Wears a Gorilla Costume!

#TeamLuau vs. #TeamBecca

Dear Team Charity Miles,Remember our friend, Luau? Last month he rocked the Boston 13.1 Half Marathon by personally shuttling every Autism Speaks team member to the finish line. That’s him in the picture above, running with another Autism Speaks All Star, Rebecca Barnes.

Well, now Rebecca wants to repay Luau for his chivlary… by personally challenging him to see who can run the most Charity Miles for Autism Speaks in the month of October! See the full Twitter-war on Luau’s blog here.

And she’s not pulling any punches: The loser has to run the difference wearing a gorilla suit, Autism Speaks jersey and blue wig!  My approximation shown below 😉

Rebecca drew first blood last night with a 2.6 mile run. But Luau came right back with a 6.8 mile run of his own. Ouch! It is so on!

If I can be so bold, I’m adding a new dimension to this challenge. Tell us whether you are on #TeamLuau or #TeamBecca. Anytime you tweet one of those hashtags at the end of the Charity Miles (for any charity), your miles will be counted to Luau’s or Rebecca’s totals. Bring it!

All the best,


Read Full Post »

Yesterday I received this tweet from my girl Becca:

@awsmeBecca :

@luau 1st day of new month, how bout a friendly challenge to see who can get more @CharityMiles in Oct for @autismspeaks? 🙂

Charity Miles followed up with their own tweet:

@CharityMiles :

OH SNAP! @awsmeBecca just threw down on @luau: who can get the most @CharityMiles for @autismspeaks?! #EveryMileMatters

To which Becca responded with:

@awsmeBecca :

@CharityMiles @luau @autismspeaks it’s the throw down of 2012 #southVSnorth#autismspeakswins #girlsruleboysdrool#all4fun#teambecca#teamluau

How was I supposed to respond? Only one way:

@luau :

Oh it is on!!! It is on like Donkey Kong woman!!! @awsmeBecca @charitymiles @autismspeaks

Along the way we may have picked up a couple other competitors in @biggreenpen and @Bry_nFlynn.

Of course Becca had to take it to a whole new level with this message on Facebook:

Wanna make it a bit more fun? I bet at the end of the month I could find a cheap gorilla/monkey costume, the “loser” runs the difference while wearing the costume, Team Up jersey and blue wig. You’ll have Katy’s by then so you’ll be 1/3 ready 😛

Oh boy. This is gonna be a fun October! Last night Becca drew first blood with a late night 2.6 mile run.  I just got back from 6.8 miles Becca – right back at ya.  Maybe I’ll have to keep a daily and running tally on the sidebar of the blog.

So…are you #teambecca or are you #teamluau.

Read Full Post »

On Friday night I watched a back to school episode of 20/20. One of the stories was about the reaction students are having to the new nutritional guidelines for public school lunches. The new guidelines require at least a cup of vegetables and a cup of fruit with every meal, a limitation on carbs and proteins, with the meals making up approximating 850 calories. Gone are the mashed potatoes and the big, white roll. Needless to say, student reaction has been somewhat negative, encapsulated here in a music video put together by a teacher and some of her students in the video “We Are Hungry.”

That a teacher helped these students make this silly video doesn’t bother me, however what she said in her interview with 20/20 did. She argued that students were not getting enough carbohydrates at lunch to make it through to the end of the day. I understand that to a population that has grown up on refined flour and sugar and potato products that the concept of getting one’s carbs from fruit and vegetables and whole grains may not be initially appealing, but to say that kids need their potato and sugar products is irresponsible. The energy they get from those low-quality carbs may get them through the next period, but it also leads to a crash not long thereafter, feeding a vicious cycle of even more bad calories.

Look, change is not easy, I get that. If it were, everyone would have the exact body that they wanted and the fitness industry would be out of business. But change IS hard – that’s why it is so satisfying when one reaches his or her goal.

I get why the students would prefer the packaged crap. Hey, I’m guilty of consuming more often than I would care to admit, but good habits have to start somewhere. Do I believe in the government controlling what we can and can’t eat? No. But at the public school level, educating about healthful eating is just as, if not more important than learning World History or Calculus or Shakespeare.

Public schools are in place to prepare our children for the real world, and how we fuel ourselves has a big impact on the economy and health of our nation.

Simple,  Life.  Skills.  Simple life skills that we as a Nation seem to have lost somewhere between 1950 and now.

Some might argue that we don’t need anybody telling us what or how to eat. How’s that working for us so far? We are an obese nation that can’t seem to grasp the reality of weight related disease. In 2030 Mississippi is going to have a 60% obesity rate. Colorado will be our healthiest State with a 45% obesity rate. Despite knowing what they are doing to themselves, the majority doesn’t seem to care or have simply given up.  That attitude spreads to our kids and the cycle not only continues, but, forgive the pun, feeds on itself.

But there was one line on Friday’s show that really caught my attention. The reporter said that as he moved down the grades to the younger students, the complaints became less frequent; that the habits of the students trended healthier the younger he went. While older students would fill their lockers with potato chips and fruit loops to snack on because they wouldn’t eat the lunch they wanted, the younger students simply went back for seconds at lunch.

This, to me, is encouraging for the future and should be a clarion call for all parents. Habits start from the moment our kids come into the world, and the older our kids get, the harder it is to break the bad ones.

Sometimes it’s not as simple as making the decision to make healthier choices. There are food deserts even in this country – places where families do not have access to fresh vegetables and fruits, whether because they are not available or too expensive. That is where the government may want to concentrate some of their energy.

Are the new standards perfect? No.  There is definitely some tweaking to be done, but that doesn’t mean we should toss out the idea of educating our children about healthful eating and its benefits.

Habits are called habits because, well, they’re habits. But habits can be broken. Change is hard, but it can be done. Whether for yourself or for your children, it’s time for a change.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: