Tag Archives: books

Book Review: Do Life

When I started this blog nearly four years ago (wha???), I was following one health-related blog on Tumblr: Your Nutritionista (now known as Your Healthista). I loved her blog, and I, too, wanted to share all this health and nutrition knowledge I was learning on my own journey.

I started my blog, and through the magic of the Internets, I discovered other people doing the same thing–especially these two.

I first met Liz when she visited NYC that same year:


She was totally anonymous at the time, so I blocked her face with a baseball?


I met Ben the next year, when he was on the Today Show.

We all had something in common: we all lost a bunch of weight and put it all on the Internetz, as it happened, bringing the ups and downs of trying to lose significant amounts of weight to our readers.

I got an email a few weeks ago from a publicist from Ben’s publisher, asking if I wanted a review copy of his book. Um, yeah?


So, if you’re not familiar with him: in a nutshell, he lost 160+ pounds, has done a few marathons and two Ironmans. (Ironmen?)

He was overweight his entire life, and towards the end of his college career, his grandma, Meemaw, asked how he was. He knew what she was getting at, but she was too polite a lady to ask how he really felt. The next day, he decided to start a blog and dedicate it to her.

He went from more than 360 pounds to 240 pounds and discovered running along the way.

I already knew much of his story from reading his blog: boy is depressed and has gambling addiction, boy starts running, loses weight, falls in love with running, changes life.

So, honestly, I wasn’t expecting to love his book. I’d already read much of it. But sitting down and reading it all at once, rather than as it unfolded, was really interesting, and, I most loved reading about how he pushed himself.

“If you test yourself and you pass that test, if you reach goal after goal after goal, your new goal must become never to allow yourself to become complacent.”

YES. While, yeah, sometimes I give myself too many goals, I get this–and it’s this attitude that’s inspiring about Ben. He definitely shows a depth in this book that’s different from his blog.

The book also has training plans for everything from 5K to Ironman, which seem to be geared towards newer runners. If you are a new runner and plan on embarking on a half-marathon distance or further, I encourage you to do some research before embarking on any plan, not just Ben’s.

What’s the most inspiring book you’ve read lately? What’s your favorite running book?

Weight Lifting and Routines

It’s been hard to get into a regular routine since getting laid off–every day has been a little different. Sometimes I have an interview or a meeting or sometimes I have time-sensitive errands that need to be run.

The one consistent thing has been that I need to work out in the morning or by lunchtime. This has mostly worked out because I’ve had plans almost every night, but it’s worked out for the best, because it makes me feel like I accomplished something for the day.

This morning, I had plans to wake up early and take a class at the gym before an interview. I laid in bed for too long and missed the class, so I finally decided to brave the weight room on my own.

I had a Luna bar and banana for breakfast before hitting the gym in my apartment building to try a strength workout from The New Rules of Lifting for Women.



I took a look at the workout in the book and then wrote it down on a piece of paper to bring with me.


P.S. My writing is usually a little neater than this! I was in a rush. I looked at this workout and thought it looked pretty easy but I’d give it a try.

I did the squats, push ups and seated row as prescribed, but the step up and prone jacknife were where things got different. I thought I knew what the book was asking for with the step up, so I just did the 2 sets of 15 step-ups on a bench. When I got back, I looked at the book and saw that it recommended using weights, which I did not. No wonder it felt so easy. As for the prone jacknife, the building gym didn’t have a workout ball, so I had to improvise. I ended up doing a 60-second regular plank and then a 60-second plank on my forearms. I also added in 50 jumping jacks between each set for some cardio intervals.

All in all, I didn’t find this workout very challenging at all, but since it’s the first workout of the program, maybe it’s not supposed to be. The one thing I realized is that I do need to be more consistent with my strength training. I need to either stick with this NROLW program or find a gym strength class I really like and stick with it so I can challenge my body.