#ASHAFit 8 in 5 Challenge

Over the past year, several SLPs and AUDs have come together to create a support system for getting healthy and staying active through various editions of what we’ve called #ASHAFit challenges. The challenges have ranged in lengths and participant number, but all have looked at who can loose the highest body fat percentage in a given time. This time around, we are doing something a little differently for #ASHAFit85. Check it out…

The challenge:

Lose 8% of your body fat in 5 months

Start Date: Saturday, September 20, 2014 (or anytime the following week or so)

End Date: Saturday, February 21, 2015

You can follow along on FB over here too – we’ll be posting info and motivation along the way. Also from Twitter @ASHAFitness.

help scale

The rules:

  1. $50 entrance fee by paypal (that equates to $10 per month)
    1. All transactions to Tanya’s paypal account (slptanya at gmail dot com)
    2. All transactions should be in US funds (since the majority of participants will likely pay in US Funds). Paypal makes this very easy. The reason it needs to be the same this time is because it isn’t winner take all, it has to be equally distributed at the end. Mixing currencies will make this more complicated.
  2. At the end of the game, whoever has reached the 8% goal shares the pot. So at the very least you’ll have lost 8% for free (if everyone makes the goal).
  3. Starting Weight: Send in your weight via email (or fill out the form) that includes your name, preferred email, and weight numbers.
  4. Weight Verification pictures are required at beginning and end to ensure a fair game. These pictures will have to be emailed (fit4asha at gmail dot com) as there isn’t a way to attach them to the form. When you submit the initial email, take a full body photo of yourself standing on the scale (Scale Selfie!), in light clothing, and an up-close photo of your your weight with feet on the scale with the starting code word (the code word for week 1 photos is ‘success’) on an index card in view. The weight numbers on the scale must be legible to us.
  5. Weight is sent in at least semi-monthly to fit4asha at gmail dot com or you can submit it to the form (preferred for us). Only Katie and Tanya will see these submissions. The reason we want you to do this at least every other week is to help keep you motivated (5 months is a very long time) and on track. Weekly is preferred! Everyone involved will have access to an updated chart of who has lost what percentage throughout the 5 months. If you don’t submit, we’ll assume you’ve gained a lb and the percentage will reflect that!


Who should join?:

Anyone who wants that extra motivation to lose weight is welcome. You do not have to be an SLP or an AUD. You do not have to be going to ASHA this year. You do not have to be American (I’m not!!). You can be a computer programmer from Kazakstan and you are more than welcome!

If losing 8% of your body weight would put you in an underweight category on the BMI, however, joining wouldn’t be a healthy choice.

 Any questions, contact Katie and Tanya at fit4asha at gmail dot com!

Keep in touch via Facebook  and Twitter using the hashtag  #ASHAfit85

Submit your weight to the form:

Once we’ve started the challenge, every week (or every other week) you can submit your weight below or by clicking here and saving the link . The first time we’ll ask you for your email but after that we’ll just ask for your name and weight. Don’t submit to the form until September 20th or later since the weight you are now may not be accurate by then and will not count. Only the picture proof weight will count at the beginning (see rules above).

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



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.


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.

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).



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


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.


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/

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.

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!!