ASHAFit Biggest Loser III – Summer Edition

The ASHAFit Biggest Loser II challenge went well. Congratulations to Danielle who won, losing over 7% of her body fat in only 8 weeks! She won $50 and she feels better too. Lots of people did really great and even some lost a bit who are near their goal and have been having a hard time losing those last few pounds. 

Summer is upon us and if you’re like me, you get lots of great exercise but eat a few too many ice creams to cancel out the fitness. So, I’m running another one, starting June 28 and going until August 16 (8 weeks again). We’ll all be on vacation here and there, but maybe this will help motivate us to make better choices and more careful splurges

Same rules as before:

1. $5 entrance fee by paypal (to my email address; slptanya at gmail dot com)

2. Send me your weight (in text) as well as a picture of your scale reading for the first day (June 28)

3. Send me your weight numbers every Saturday (just the numbers, no picture).

4. I’ll post the full details of everyone’s cumulative loss every week or two (ideally every week but sometimes too many ppl don’t send me weigh-in numbers)

5. Send me the numbers EVERY WEEKEND please – it’s too hard for me to chase you down. Maybe do what Katie does – put a reminder in your phone/calendar.

Who’s in for another?  ALL are welcome!! Leave a comment, tweet me (@SLPTanya) or email me: slptanya at gmail dot com.

ASHAFit Biggest Loser: Take II

I lost a lot of weight on the last BL I ran. In fact, I lost 19 lbs in that 14 weeks and I won.  And then I got lazy and have gained back a bit of it. It was a long winter with many temptations to stay in and add to your personal insulation with fattening foods. Spring is here and summer is coming – who’s in to do it again?? I learned a few things with the last one. For instance:

  1. 14 weeks is WAY too long to run it. Even I had lost motivation by 10 weeks or so.
  2. People need skin in the game or they aren’t as motivated.
  3. Mondays are a terrible day to weigh-in!

So, here’s what I’m proposing. It will start anytime you want to this week and end in 8 weeks on Saturday, June 14th. Anyone who joins must put up $5 (to me through PayPal) and it’s winner take all. Lego-man-working-out-550x366  Image retrieved here.

Also, instead of emailing everyone who’s competing every week with the top 5 people and the percentage of weight they’ve lost, I will be posting EVERYONE’s cumulative loss every week (in an email). Not your actual weight; the percentage of weight that you lost. This way you have even more skin in the game than $5 – your pride! Weigh ins will be every Saturday (or at the very least sometime that weekend). Please don’t make me track you down – I don’t have time for that.

Many of you are wondering: Why are you starting this now on Easter/Passover weekend? All that yummy food and discounted chocolate is such a lovely temptation! To that I respond: Exactly! Plus I’ve been meaning to start this for a month and I just have to start it already and lock down my eating habits. If it makes you feel better, we’ll all have challenges over the course of 8 weeks. I’m moving houses (can we say take out?) and I have my and my daughter’s birthdays in that 8 weeks. This has been the busiest winter of my life but there is always an excuse not to start healthier living, right?

If you’re in with me (and you can join any time) send me a picture of your weight on the scale and some form of the date (smartphone, newspaper whatever). No need to send a picture every week, just the number (I’ll trust ya) until the end. If you win, you need to send me another such picture to claim the prize. I plan to start Sunday, because I’m a procrastinating sadist, apparently. You are free to wait until Monday but weigh-ins will be every Saturday until mid June. After you’ve sent me that, you must send me $5 via Pay Pal (same email address).

Who’s in?? Email me slptanya at gmail dot com.

UPDATE: OK I didn’t start until today, Tuesday the 22nd. Yup, I ate Easter candy. There it is. Anyone joining ‘late’ isn’t really late!

ASHAFit Biggest Loser

Image

DigitalBusStop.com

OK, I admit it. I fell off the wagon just a little bit completely. I did the planks (mostly) and sometimes did the pushups. I watched what I ate and exercised a lot with my bootcamp video game. I lost 15 lbs and I was feeling much stronger and fitter for sure. Then, life changed. I fell off the wagon. I haven’t really gained much back (2-3 lbs) since I fell off, but I’m not as fit, I’m not eating as healthy, and I’m no longer losing the baby weight. I’ve done some walking and biking and yoga, but I haven’t worked out properly since… May?

It’s time to get back on the wagon and I think I’ve found a fun way to do it.

We’ve used #ASHAFit13 on Twitter and Facebook to encourage each other and model our exercise and good choices as extra support. Let’s keep using it for that but let’s go a step further. I need more to keep myself motivated and thinking beyond today’s ice cream. I was talking about it with my friend, Mary Huston, and we came up with an idea.

If you also want to lose weight, consider joining a little game Mary and I are launching: our ASHAFit biggest loser challenge.

When does it start/end?

It will start Monday, August 5th, or whenever you feel like starting (though you’ll want to start as close to that date as possible to win). The winner is whoever lost the most weight body fat percentage by Monday, November 11th (the Monday before the ASHA conference in Chicago).  That’s 14 weeks so remember, it’s a slow race meant to change your lifestyle to a healthier one for keeps!

What do you have to do?

There are 2 ways you can play.

A)   Play for a fabulous prize – you must submit to me, by email (slptanya at gmail dot com), a picture of your weight as you stand on the scale with the date you are standing on it. This way I will know 1) it’s your real weight and 2) it’s current. You can use the day’s paper or take a screenshot with your device so there’s a time stamp on it. I will NOT share your weight with ANYONE. EVER. Only your overall loss. You’ll obviously have to submit a similar picture (on the same scale) at the very end as well.

B)   Play for fame only – You can just report what you’ve lost over time and play along but you cannot qualify for the prize without proof you’ve lost that weight through the photo. So if you’re uncomfortable with me knowing your weight, I get it. You can still try to beat us all and you can claim a title for your efforts (and more importantly, a healthier you!).  Consider taking the time stamped pic on Monday anyhow, just in case you change your mind later.

Whether playing for $ or fame, you are welcome to post how much you’ve lost every Monday as motivation for yourself and others, but this is not required.

 What can you win?

The title of losing the most in 14 weeks, for starters. A healthier lifestyle that should be a real habit by November, for more. And Mary and I are both contributing $25 to the prize for a total of $50.

Yup – soft, ethereal, internet transferred cash. You could choose to make it a gift card or dinner/drinks at ASHA or whatever, if you prefer. I don’t think $50 is too much as a Starbucks gift card, either ;)

What if you’re not going to ASHA or don’t even know what ASHA is (e.g. not an SLP or AUD)?

No problem. Anyone and everyone is welcome to play!

What if I (Tanya)win?

Well, I know I’m running this thing, but I’d like a shot at winning. It’s kind of the whole point of doing it. I highly doubt I can beat Mary, but I’m gonna give it a shot. So if I win, I’ll have a 3rd party from the Twitter community who’s not involved in the game look at my before and after weight pictures to prove I won. Let me know if you don’t think that’s enough (and remember that I can only actually win half the prize haha).

Who’s in??? Let me know in the comments if you’re in or if I forgot to outline any important details.

#ASHAFit13 FAQ

This post is brought to you by the word:

elucidate [ih-loo-si-deyt] /ɪˈlu sɪˌdeɪt/

verb (used with object)

1. to make lucid or clear; throw light upon; explain.
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Yesterday, we started the #ASHAFit13 challenge and I did a blog post introducing it, but (and bare with us here) we’re making this up on the spur of the moment and as we go along so I thought a clarification post was in order. I’m going to try to answer most of the questions we’ve been getting so that everyone can participate however they want.

troopers work out

What is #ASHAFit13?

It’s a fitness challenge 4 of us made up to help support each other in getting more fit using simple calisthenics. The plan is to start very small and challenge ourselves incrementally to build muscle slowly and steadily until one day you realize you can hold a 2 minute plank or do 100 pushups/lunges. So far we’ve thought through 2 phases (phase 1 is core and upper body, phase 2 is lower body and cardio-ish) and the goal is to get toned up in major areas by the 2013 ASHA convention in Chicago this November.

We may not all actually get to attend ASHA this year, but we needed something to shoot for and we’re S-LPs and Audiologists so it made sense. You don’t have to be an S-LP, Audiologist, or planning to attend ASHACon to join up on the challenge, though! We’ll also give you ways to change up your exercise to target slightly different muscles in the same exercise and keep it from getting boring.

How do I join?

Any way that’s easiest/most natural to you. We’ve got various social media platforms where you can get updates and interact with others doing the same (or close to the same) challenge to keep motivated and accountable. You do NOT have to be on Twitter or Facebook to participate in this challenge (see below for more ways to participate and keep updated).

stormtrooperTwitter: Arguably the biggest place for the community and the reason there’s a # in front of the name of the challenge (called a hashtag). Follow @ASHAFit13 to get reminders and know what’s on schedule for that day, then tweet that you’ve completed your ‘workout’ and include #ASHAFit13 in your tweet. You can then follow #ASHAFit13 (by saving the search and going to it regularly) to see what everyone else is sharing for the challenge.

Facebook: We have a page dedicated to our challenge and you can Like the page to get updates and information just like on Twitter. Be sure to ‘Like’ the page and then click ‘get notifications’ in the ‘Like’ drop down menu so you see updates – we promise not to post 100s of times a day.

mfpMyFitnessPal.com: We have a private community on this site for those who use myfitnesspal to track food, exercise, and so on. Because the group is private, you have to be invited to join. Please add your username in a comment on this page to be added to the group. From there, you can friend those who are in the group to see their notifications of exercises completed and encourage each other. The app for myfitnesspal is great, but you have to log into the online version to join the group.

How do I know what to do each day?

For phase 1 you will do planks one day, starting at 10 seconds and increasing by 2 seconds every time you do your plank. You’ll do pushups the next day, increasing by 2 pushups every time. It will look like this:

Jan 1: 10 second plank

Jan 2: 2 pushups

Jan 3: 12 second plank

Jan 4: 4 pushups

Jan 5: 14 second plank

I think you get the picture. It can get hard to keep track of where you were last so you can either check your own log, or watch @ASHAFit13 on Twitter and/or the Facebook page to know what you should be doing. Once we get to phase 2 (lunges and burpees – we’ll start really slowly again!) we’ll give you more details and you can continue to follow along. Phase 2 will happen in mid April.

How do I track my exercise/participation?

mfp shot

Adding a plank in myfitnesspal- make the number of reps be the number of seconds.

MyFitnessPal: You can track exercise (as well as food) with this site/app. The app and online site are set up to track strength training in reps – if you are doing a plank, just add plank as an exercise and then make it 1 set and however many seconds you held the plank as the reps (see picture). When you add strength training, it doesn’t show up in your newsfeed, but you can just add a note that you completed your ashafit13 exercise if you like. The calories you burn doing pushups, planks, and other strength training is fairly minimal so it isn’t really worth citing it under ‘cardio’, which does show up in your newsfeed, depending on your settings.

dailymileDailymile.com: If you don’t want to track your food intake or anything else like that, Dailymile.com is a great alternative to use to keep track of your exercise and many people doing the challenge are also members of Dailymile. It’s easy to link your dailymile updates to Twitter and Facebook too so you can track your exercise and add the #ASHAFit13 tag for it to post with tag to Twitter automatically if you want (see pictures).

 

dailymileenter

This entry into Dailymile.com ends up like this on twitter:

tweet

Twitter/Facebook: You can post your workouts to ‘check in’ if you don’t want to do any of the above.

Personal journal:   If you want to participate, but don’t want to share it via social media, just keep track of where you are with a journal of your own if you like. You can check in on Twitter and the Facebook page to know what to do and when if need be.

I’m not fit at all – can I really do this?

Yes!! This isn’t easy for us either. That’s exactly why we decided to do this challenge: to challenge OURSELVES, not anyone else. But we’re starting small and building slowly so it’s completely surmountable! If you saw me doing a burpee, you’d realize I’m no fitness guru – far from it. Everyone is in this together and there’s no need to compare yourself to others. Do what you can do (and what you know to be healthy or OK for you – with your Dr’s blessing) and that’s enough, but know that you are in this with others who are not athletes either.

dreadmill

Why are people tweeting more than just planks and pushups using the #ASHAFit13 hashtag?

This is the beauty of Twitter – no one can ‘own’ or ‘moderate’ a hashtag and exercise is something people really like to share in a community – for good reason. We’re only on day 2 of having created the hashtag and already others are using it to discuss and tweet other workouts. It’s great, and there’s evidence that it’ll help encourage you to keep going and possibly add more healthy lifestyle habits to your repertoire so don’t worry about other people tweeting different workouts. The idea is to have a community encouraging each other to make healthy choices – the planks and pushups part of our challenge is just one way of doing that!

You’ve already started so I’ve missed the boat, right?

Wrong. If you’re reading this for the first time on February 3rd, or even August 20th, you can still join us. Start with a 10 second plank, just like we did on January 1st, and build from there. You’ll just have to do a somewhat better job of keeping track for yourself. If you feel you can ‘catch up’, great. If not, just start where you can and begin adding little by litte.

Have you got more questions I didn’t answer? Please leave me a comment and I’ll answer your Qs below!

Mr. Reader winner!

mr reader

Just a quick post to let you know that the winner of the Mr. Reader app (generously donated by Sean Sweeney) is Denise Durbin – congrats Denise. Thanks to everyone for their comments and for reading – hopefully you found some new bloggers or got to know some old ones better :)

Are you up for a challenge?

This post is brought to you by the word:

calisthenics [kal-uh s-then-iks] /ˌkæl əsˈθɛn ɪks/
noun

1. (used with a plural verb) gymnastic exercises designed to develop physical health and vigor, usually performed with little or no special apparatus.
2. (used with a singular verb) the art, practice, or a session of such exercises.
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So, tonight Jeremy asks :

fitness challenge

If you know me at all, you know I jumped right in and said yes! But then I was left wondering what to do. Mary helped hash it out with input from Jeremy and Caleb and we came up with phase 1 (so far) of our fitness challenge. I’ve done #plankaday (thanks so much – you guys rock) and I’ve done half of the 2011 pushup challenge (you ladies also rock) but this time we’re combining some stuff to make it more whole body-ish. Also, we’re looking to be leaner by ASHA in November 2013, so it’s called #ASHAFit13.

Here’s the deal

New Year’s Day is DAY 1 – do a 10 second plank. Then add 2 seconds to your plank every other day (odd days). How to do a plank. Can’t hold the plank for 10 full seconds? That’s OK, do 10 seconds however you have to with brief rests – you’ll work up to blending them in no time.

January 2 is DAY 2 – do 2 pushups (whatever kind you prefer). Then add 2 pushups every other day (even days). How to do a basic pushup. On knees (“girl pushup”) is optional and perfectly acceptable!

By April 21, 2013 you’ll be able to do a 2 minute plank and 100 pushups – go you!!  Then we maintain those (I honestly believe that 100 pushups and a 2 minute plank every 2 days is more than enough) and add lunges to the plank day and start to build those. But that will be phase 2 – we’ll work out those details later. One step at a time, right?

mfpWanna join us?

We’ve set up a (private) group called #ASHAFit13 on myfitnesspal.com (love love love this site/app by the way) and you can check in daily there and/or on Twitter to report that you’ve done your plank or pushups. Additionally, if you don’t want to see food tracking and such, Dailymile.com is a great way to log workouts and keep track of your numbers. I can’t set up a group there but feel free to track your planks/pushups/etc on dailymile.com and post that you’ve completed your workout to twitter (using #ASHAFit13 tag in your tweet) or on Facebook. That should cover everyone who wants to track or participate they way they prefer :)

We’ll keep you posted on how long or how many you should be at. Also, to keep it from getting boring, we’ll give you suggestions for ways to change up your pushups/planks/lunges.  If you need to slow down, no problem. If you’re reading this for the first time on March 1st and you join late, no problem. Just do what you can do, build on it incrementally, and see where it takes you. You can leave a comment here with your myfitnesspal.com handle or tweet me, @mtmaryslp, @cmniece, or @azspeechguy with your handle and we’ll add you to the group.

So, are you ready to get healthier and feel good? Let’s do this!!

Chain Letter Link Up

This post is brought to you by the word:

suite [sweet] /swit/

noun

1. a number of things forming a series or set.
2.a connected series of rooms to be used together: a hotel suite.
3.a set of furniture, especially a set comprising the basic furniture necessary for one room.
4.a company of followers or attendants; a train or retinue.

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No, you’re not in high school again and yes, you read the title correctly! I’m happy to participate in this great idea, but let me explain what’s going on. An SLP blogger, Teach Speech 365, started a chain letter, of sorts, of SLPs who blog. She created a series of questions and then asked some SLPs to respond on her blog, then they were to have 2 new SLP bloggers respond on their blogs and so on. Somehow I got asked to participate and so here we are (thanks for inviting me, Mary).  Many of the SLPs have posted free downloads from their blogs and/or TPT stores but I don’t have any such thing. However, if you keep reading, one of my blogging SLP friends has a potential gift for you! I’m hoping you’ll take some time to visit Teach Speech’s site and track through some of these blogs to find new ones you like!

Wait, did you hint that there’s a giveaway??

Yes, I did.  Sean graciously provided a code for the Mr. Reader app. I’ll give it away randomly and to be entered to win you need to leave a comment by January 1st citing how you keep up with technology without becoming overwhelmed!

I’d like to thank both of my participants for responding to this during the busy holiday season. Without further ado I’d like to (re)introduce you to two bloggers I really enjoy:

Blogger #1: Sean Sweeney

1. Your name, email, blog address, link to TpT store if you have one
Sean J. Sweeney, www.speechtechie.com
2. When and why did you start blogging?
I’m coming up on my 3 year anniversary on SpeechTechie.  I first became interested in blogging when pursuing my 2nd master’s degree in Instructional Technology.  I did this program online through a local college and it involved a lot of writing, which I really enjoyed.  At the time, a few of my friends were using LiveJournal and so I started keeping a personal blog there, goofy stuff about TV and travel, etc. After being an SLP in the school setting for about 9 years, an opportunity arose to take a position as an Instructional Tech Specialist in the Middle School setting in my district.  While there, I started reading a lot of tech blogs and using Google Reader extensively to follow these.  I missed my day to day work as an SLP and the tech integration I had done in that role, so I decided kind of impulsively to start a blog to share ideas about these tools. I was really inspired by Richard Byrne’s Free Tech for Teachers, but wanted to do something that of course showcased websites through a “Language Lens.” I toyed with the idea of calling it SpeechieTechie, and am glad I didn’t! Too many “ies”=overly cutesy. I had no idea the response would be so positive.  When I started, I only knew of about 3 or 4 others blogging about SLP work-Barbara Fernandes and Eric Sailers among them.  It’s great that there are now over 70 blogs in the SLP Blogs Bundle!

3. What is your favorite population to work with?
Elementary- High School Language and Social Cognition are the areas I feel most passionate about.

4. How much time per week do you spend blogging and/or creating materials?
I aim for 1-2 posts a week (been a little under lately but that’s definitely a goal for 2013), and I’d say the writing itself takes about 1-2 hrs weekly. However, I probably spend about 3 additional hours weekly reading blogs, twitter, and other resources to get ideas that can be “re-purposed” in the form that you see on my blog.  I also blog for other people and do some writing that takes additional time, as does corresponding with people who ask questions, etc.  So, I’d say about 5 hours total.

5. What’s your favorite topic to create materials for?

Technology, clearly! Lately I have been focusing on iPad apps as there is obviously a huge interest in that area, but I also want to keep letting people know about what’s available on the web. You’ll note that I often don’t write about dedicated SLP apps (I do think they are terrific and I helped make some at Smarty Ears and also present on dedicated apps). However, I do get more excited about helping people think outside the box when applying apps, websites and technology in our work.

6. What’s the best thing about blogging?
My blog has clearly been gratifying to me and has actually become somewhat of a business of its own, opening the door to consultation and presentation opportunities that have allowed me to create my own job, to some extent.  But the actual writing is a process I love, and it’s immensely rewarding to see and hear that people are reading and finding the information helpful.  So, it helps me feel I am making a difference not only for other professionals, but for kids who struggle with language and learning disabilities as well.

7. Do you have any blogging tips?
Hmmmm.  Well, keep it brief (I don’t always succeed on this one).  Use the technology well by providing links and images.  Avoid drama and controversial topics, unless you like that kind of stuff (I do not). Schedule posts ahead of time so that you can write when you have time, and publish regularly.  No idea is too small.
8. Add a question and answer of your choice. OK…How can SLPs keep up with technology without becoming overwhelmed?For this I will again mention the SLP Blogs Bundle (you can see a video tutorial at that link) and Google Reader, which syncs with iPad apps such as Mr. Reader, which I have provided a code for as part of this response.  There are lots of great SLP bloggers writing about tech and non-tech areas in the bundle, and Reader lets you give it all a quick skim.  The starring, tagging and sharing functions within the app will help you organize and access the information when needed, as well as connect you to colleagues (even just by sharing a post via email) that will help you see the value of being involved, even receptively, in social media.

Blogger #2: Shareka Bentham

1. Your name, email, blog address, link to TpT store if you have one

Shareka Bentham, speechreka@gmail.com,  www.easyspeakideas.blogspot.com, @speechreka on twitter

2. When and why did you start blogging?

Started out in 2010, just wanted to share some of my ideas and the crazy things I did in therapy, with others.

3. What is your favorite population to work with?

Children with complex communication needs

4. How much time per week do you spend blogging and/or creating materials?

blogging- not as much as I used to. Probably once a month now, hopefully more often in 2013. Creating materials probably 3-4 times a week.

5. What’s your favorite topic to create materials for?

AAC!

6. What’s the best thing about blogging?

Seeing the feedback from others who have tried out your materials/ideas

7. Do you have any blogging tips?

Keep it simple and don’t bite off more you can chew. I still am yet to write a blog post that I promised ages ago. Life happens. Oh and have fun with it! 

8. Add a question and answer of your choice (can be speech related or not).– What is your favourite thing to blog about? Mine is making therapy functional.

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Please drop a comment to share how you keep up with technology in this tech filled world! You could win a Mr. Reader app on January 1st!