How to fake a weight loss transformation pic

This link is kind of old but it’s new to me: blogger Mel V shows how she was able to fake a weight loss transformation picture. All she did was change her pose, wear a black swimsuit bottom, and add self tanner. Bam. She looks 15 lbs lighter, even though I’d still kill to look like the “before”.

Within that post is a link to another article where a man does the same thing and his results are even more surprising. In this case, he already had a cut body but he purposely looked disheveled and pushed his stomach out to look worse in the “before” picture. This way, anyone who already has a good body can endorse a product and be like “look what it did for me!”

I guess we get two lessons here: that you can’t always believe some peoples’ progress pics, especially when someone is going from “sorta thin” to “wow”. Second lesson is how to look your skinniest in a mirror selfie?


Firefly Run – NYC

Disclaimer added 1/15/2014: As a Firefly Run ambassador, I was offered compensation for referring runners to sign up for the Firefly Run. To date, they have not paid me and they have not answered my follow up e-mails. Meanwhile, they continue to advertise an ambassador program.

Firefly Run – NYC

I’m excited to announce a new partnership: the Firefly Run 5k in New York! My gift to you is a coupon code to save $10 on the race. I’m excited to be a race ambassador because I love themed races, and I love costumes! Everyone will be decked out in crazy, glowy outfits so get your costumes ready. There will be prizes for the best oufits too.

The charity partner for this race is the American Lung Association so in addition to helping them out, you will get:

  • a tech t-shirt (!)
  • light up LED bracelets
  • glow-in-the-dark rubber bracelets
  • post-race party with snacks (food trucks!) and DJ

Better perks than your average 5k right? I think the price is well worth it for such a fun race. Enter the discount code VILAY13 at checkout to take $10 off your registration fee.

Firefly Run

Saturday, October 5, 2013

7:00 pm

Prospect Park, Brooklyn

No More Race Selfies (In Hong Kong)

No More Race Selfies (In Hong Kong)

This news has been making the rounds lately: the race directors of the Hong Kong Marathon are officially speaking out against selfies. A woman dropped her phone while taking a selfie and it caused a massive runner pile-up. I’m sure it’s also annoying to have someone slowing down, probably in the middle of the lane, to take a selfie. I didn’t think it happened that often though, as I’ve never seen one in person during a race. I think it’s funny that they actually have to come out and tell people not to do it. I’m surprised it came out of Hong Kong first though!

All healthy living bloggers should take note. Just say no.

Five Ways to Break Mental Barriers to Weight Loss

I went back to kickboxing for the first time in two months. As soon as the punching started, I realized I was way off my game. I didn’t think about the obvious – that the toughness I built up in KB practice might have a direct effect on my mental resilience in running. I was definitely a little bit timid and scared through the first couple rounds but by the end of class I was feeling much better about it.

The mental component has popped up in my life a few times this week. At the first meeting of running group, the coach said that running was 25% physical but 75% mental. Then I listened to an episode of Runner Academy that went into depth about the psychology of running your best. The mental aspect of running is a big struggle for me. Eh, everything about exercising and working out is a struggle. But it seems like people don’t talk about the mental part very much. When I was in Crossfit, you’re supposed to go all out, balls to the wall for those 15 minutes and there was always something in me that seemed to be holding back. This must be why Jillian Michaels’ approach is unique and effective – I watch her on TV and she really forces people to bring out those issues. After they get that good cry out, they are able to go 100%.

I recognize that I spent over 15 years feeling crappy about myself, so suddenly having the confidence to be my best isn’t going to come easy. Short of going into therapy though, what else can you do? Hold some pads and let someone keep punching at your face?

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Chicken Labeling and Fast Food Lies

Panera has rolled out a new ad campaign touting their “all natural, antibiotic-free chicken” and blogger Carrie has a great rundown on why it’s all a farce. Thanks to that post, I learned a lot more about chicken labelling and it’s not as hard as complicated as you think.

We all know that “all natural” is a bogus term that can mean anything, but did you know that technically, ALL CHICKEN is considered natural, farm raised, and hormone-free? Yup, so everyone from the mega market grocery store to McDonald’s and KFC can try to sell you on that bull. This information is straight from the Natural Chicken Council:

natural – USDA guidelines say that as long as it has no artificial ingredients, basically any raw food can be labelled natural

farm raised – all chicken comes from a farm, no matter how disgusting it might be

hormone-free – Hormone use is actually prohibited from all poultry raised in the US.

The next two are just slightly more complicated

antibiotic-free – The term “antibiotic-free” is unregulated. The Chicken Council even points out that “All chicken is “antibiotic-free” in the sense that no antibiotic residues are present in the meat due to the withdrawal periods and other precautions required by the government and observed by the chicken companies.” So everyone could also label their stuff antibiotic-free.

raised without antibiotics – If a company says “Raised without antibiotics” it does in have to mean that they have not used animal antibiotics, though they may have used other medicines. I can’t remember where I read this, but I heard that small indie farmers sometimes struggle with the decision to use antibiotics. Imagine being a small farmer who knows your animals personally, but then when it is sick you can’t give it medicine. It’s up to you and your meat source to consider.

Now that I know this, I will be less likely to get duped by “greenwash” marketing and I hope you do too. Let me know if you come across any other examples of bogus marketing.