Tag Archives: Eight to the Eights

Lights, Camera, Action!

Hey folks.

First off…it is Friday.  I need everyone to stop what they are doing and take a moment to appreciate the impending weekend. 🙂

Moving on.  Yesterday was a BIG day for both myself and the YMCA.  This was my second appearance on our local show, Daytime Tri-cities where we would be talking about “Eight To The Eight’s” Season II!  This is a Biggest Loser Style competition that we do in the summer.  It’s finale is a 8k run, with a live final weigh-in that kicks off a HUGE community even for our town, called Fun-Fest.  Big, big fun!

We had some amazing people last season, so I am excited to see what season II has in store.  Coming from someone who used to be extremely overweight….318 lbs (!!!) I can assure everyone that it is not a fun lifestyle.  I wish I would have had something like this to kick my butt a long time ago!  I think everyone deserves a chance for a wake-up call, and this competition is just the thing!  The best part, it is FREE!

Click here for the video segment!

I am so excited about this program!!!!!!! It’s pretty cool being the “Bob”!  I just wish my guns were as big as his.  Alas, c’est la vie. 🙂

I want to give a special thanks to Daytime Tricities, and Amy-Lynn and Morgan for having us on, as well as our sponsors:  Greater Kingsport Family YMCA, Performance Medicine, We Run Events, Chefs Pizza, and Family Dental Center.



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Save A Horse, Ride A…..Camel?!

Happy Weekend, my fellow bloggies/blog readers!

This weekend has been busy, yet wonderful…as always!  Started out with a fannnn-tastic Saturday full of Eight To The Eight action!  We went to a local park for a 6 mile hike to the top of a massive Fire Tower….some of the views in this place are gorgeous!

Even the deer needed a break from the sweltering heat!  Snapped this pic as she cooled herself in the shallow waters.

The race up was intense!!!!  Brian from the Black Team narrowly beat the others and claimed the prize!  He BOOKED it up the mountain!

We hung the winning medal on the base of the “Fire Tower” which is this HUGE tower that overlooks our city:

Check that bad boy out!!!!  Scary stuff!  (I don’t ever go up it, it is too rickety!)  A fellow BLOG GIRL did go up the tower!!!

Emily came with us today!!!!  😀  😀  😀

All in all, one fantastic day!  Can I also just say what a workout it is to try and JOG a trail run with massive rolling hills!  Worked those hamstrings way harder than I anticipated!  Awesome workout, though.  I can’t get enough of this park…..and being outside in general this time of year.

Once I had finally made it back down, and waiting on the teams….I snacked on one of the little cuties that were sent to me courtesy of The Protein Bakery!

This was the perfect carb replenishment I needed post-hike/jog!

Can I also just randomly mention my absolute favorite method for consuming my precious Chia Seeds?!?!

I like to water down a Crystal Light Fitness packet, and then add the Chia Seeds!  It turns into a gel’d up flavored water!  So good.  The consistency takes some getting used to, and I am pretty sure you either hate it or love it.  I happen to love it.

After a day of heat and sweat, a nice dinner was needed to wind down the Saturday!

Thai food is always an instant win.  I went with the peanut sauce over mixed veggies, with steamed brown rice.

There also may have been some Martini action involved.  Come on people, when the owner is begging you to “sample” some of his favorites….how can a blogger resist?


After a day of Thai, hiking, and hot sun…..I can’t think of a better way to ring in the summer than a free Summer Solstice yoga session in the park!  My favooooorite instructor, and all around awesome human, Wendy led a free session under the stars!  It was beyond fantastic.  It was dark, so no pictures.  I will let your imaginations run wild.  Needless to say, I will not be happy until I complete this pose…which was a complete FAIL last night!

With that awesome Saturday to a close, it was time for an equally rockin’ Sunday which included a trip to the ZOO!!!!!!!  The inner animal freak in my was as giddy as a school girl with all the animal anticipation!

(notice the murse…)

Lots of fun animal encounters!!!!

The face only a mother could love…………………….or me.

The “random nerdy tourist” photos continued….

We also did what everyone secretly wants to do on a daily basis.

Ride a CAMEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Eek!!!!  So much fun!

This bad boy needed a bath.

More zoo shenanigans:

Also picked up a new bracelet to commemorate the trip!  (It’s the blue one)

We also ate at a new to me, and super yummy Vegetarian friendly place in Knoxville, Tomato Head!

One sandwich immmmmmediately caught my eye, mostly because of all the cheesy goodness.

(I opted for fruit instead of the standard blue corn chips)

We also stopped by one of my favorite grocery store, Fresh Market, and picked up one of my FAVORITE cookies of all time.  (Heck, I am going to go ahead and throw out there that this is, indeed, my favorite cookie.)

And on THAT note, dears……..I am bidding you farewell as I sit at the Starbizzle…blogging, and updating Eight To The Eights schtuff.

Question -O- The Weekend:

What is your FAVORITE cookie.  Why?


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Embrace Your Weekend Warrior.

Well, it was Saturday….which means a killer back to back class combo.  Started off with a 75 minute “Weekend Warrior” which combines weights, cardio, and anything else I want to throw in there for funsies.

Before the classes got rolling, I made some killer oatmeal.

Chia/Banana oats with Crunchy Almond Butter, and a new trail mix I picked up from our new little natural grocery store!

I have gotten several emails asking how I make my oatmeal, and the pros and cons associated with stovetop vs. microwave. In my case, it is all about convenience…which means I nuke mine in the microwave.  My oatmeal always starts the same:

  • 1/2 Cup Oats
  • 1 Cup Almond Milk (Original, 40 Calories per cup)
  • 2 TBSP Chia Seeds

(At this point, I alter it slightly)

Sometimes I will cut up a ripe banana and cook it right alongside the oats, and sometimes I won’t…depends on my mood, really.

I nuke it for 2:40 seconds (don’t ask why…it just works) and then I put it in a bowl.  Topping time comes next, which can be anything from nut butters, trail mix, chocolate bits of joy….basically whatever sounds yummy to you at the time.  In this mornings case, it was trail mix and almond butter:


Then it was time for Weekend Warrior!  We killed it today.  Something particularly groan-worthy that I have been doing incorporates the old fashioned side leg lift…we’ve all done these, right!?

Thank you for demonstrating, mystery lady.

At this point, on each LEG we slowly trace the entire upper case alphabet.  Seems pretty funny/easy until you hit the “O”….then it is pure torture.  In a good, and fun way.  😉  Then flip over, and repeat.  Try it out and tell me what you think!

Spin was next, and I gotta admit…I was dragging.  I don’t know if it was the combo of all the classes of the week…or just having to do them back to back….but I was struggling.  Thankfully, I had a killer class who totally pulled me through it!

Needless to say after both classes, I was ready for some food.  Have I mentioned how much I adore living literally two minutes from work?!  It is so nice not to have to pack my life in a gym bag everyday!

I assembled the troops for a pressed veggie burger!  I use the FlatOut wrap as a base…spread the Laughing Cow, place the cooked “burger” on top…wrap, and grill up on the Foreman!

Plate time!

I am also currently hooked on the new Sobe Lifewater brands.  And since I love you all as if you were my very own, here is a coupon for them.  😉  Your welcome.  Fuji Apple Pear is my faaaaaavorite, for the record.

Look who always shows up when the food is ready…

He’s cute, right?  😉

I also prepped a protein/chocolate/coffee smoothie for work that started with my new coffee!

“but please, don’t try to set it on fire.” bwahahaha.

Got to work on the coffee in the French Press (<3 ❤ <3)

Then blended it up (once cooled) with Almond Milk, Ice, and Protein Powder…

And prepared some snacks for work…

I.  Love.  These.  Bars.

You can get them at Target, I think a 6-pack is around $5.00???  SO GOOD.  Seriously, like my version of a candy bar.  Plus 12 grams of protein, which trust me…will be much needed to recover from this mornings craziness.  Plus, you add the words “cookie dough” to any/all food and I will have it eaten/buy it before you can say Hello Kitty.

Also made a random cereal bowl of joy, which contained Kashi Go Lean, Cascadian Farms Cinnamon Crunch, Chilean Raisins, and dried bananas!


Also tonight, I FINALLY get to see my nearest and dearest blog/all around BFF, Emily!!!!  We are having some shin dig at her house that is Mexican themed…what should I bring?!?!

Can we just talk about how I always get sidetracked at night, and sometimes forget to blog?!?!  I know, I know…go ahead and smack my hands now.

So just for youuuuuu, here is a recap of last nights dinner (which was pretty epic…)

I mean, who doesn’t want pancakes for dinner???  Plus, check out all the toppings!

I made four cakes.  One had the chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, one had trail mix, one had sunflower seed butter, and the last had almonds.  They were all topped with my favorite new syrup, courtesy of Jessica from our food exchange a while back!

Pancakes are fun….pancakes in a SPRAY can are even funner.

Pretty darn tasty.

And to wrap up the night, I hung out with my favorite butt kicker, Brenda Johnson.

Any Closer fans out there?!?!

I swear, once I start watching these I cannot stop.  I think I completed the entire first half of this season in one sitting.  Of course, the froyo helped pass the time. 😉

Well bloggies….it is time for work.  I am counting down the hours til partaying it up tonight with the gang!

Also, tomorrow is our first official “challenge” for “Eights To The Eights” which will be a one mile run/walk race!  Cannot wait!  Trust me, tons of pictures will be taken to document!

What is on everyone’s weekend agenda?  How will YOU embrace your Weekend Warrior?


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Hello, 5am.

I am surprised how much my body has adjusted to a somewhat “normal” schedule.  By normal…I mean waking up at the crack of dawn…teaching early classes, and then having an extended nap at some point in the day!  Weird how the body deals with sleep schedules, eh?

Nothing like starting the day out with Total Body HIIT!  Also, it was pretty swanky having breakfast already done and waiting for me.  It was time last night for overnight oats!  That way those beauties could soak and plump up…and I could eat them at work right after class.

Boo-yah.  Mr. Quaker never lets me down.  Also, some delicious Trader Joe’s goodies went in…

Chocolate is ok in breakfast, no?!

Some other yums included:

  • Almond Butter
  • Kashi Go Lean
  • Almond Milk
  • Chilean Raisins
  • Chia Seeds

Stirred it all up…and prepped it for a night in the fridge.

After some much needed sleep, and a killer HIIT class…these little cuties had firmed up into deliciousness!

The oats plump up, and the best part…no cooking required.  Cold oats + hot coffee = good any day of the week.

Got to see Emily from the Purple Team working out with her mentor, Christie, this morning!  Always makes me feel good to see these teams getting started…and the competition doesn’t even officially start until this Sunday!!!

Also so Heather, of the Yellow Team…..as well as both the Green, and Pink teams!

Can I also just say that lunch today was fannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn-tasmic.  Terri, my beloved co-worker, made us homemade veggie burgers!!!  I took a Flat-Out wrap, and smeared it with some Laughing Cow Light Swiss…then I put the “burger” on top….folded it up, and toasted it up on the Foreman!

Paired it with some carrots, and what is quickly becoming my favorite “chip” ever!

Check out the middle!

So.  Good.

Well bloggies, time to close down the YMCA and start planning for tomorrow!  Spin (twice) plus a Circuit Craze class to teach!  Fun Fun!

Happy Wednesday! Make it a good one!


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Weekend Update.

….but not so much the SNL kind, although I heart it.

Lets review the weekend, shall we?

Firstly, thanks to all of your sweet and encouraging comments on our “Eight To The Eight’s” competition!  I will be keeping everyone updated as the program continues!

Saturday’s dinner included a trip to my favorite Chinese locale for a trip to the “Mongolian Grill” which is fresh veggie heaven.  You choose the veggies..sauce, and then they grill it up right before your eyes!  Sweet!

This bad boy had:

  • Pineapple
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • “House Sauce”
  • Pineapple Juice

gotta love the fun place mats…

After dinner I hit up some Black Light Yoga with Maggie and Kim!  We go to an awesome studio called Simple Abundance here in our town, and it is fannnnntastic.  She takes requests, and played the one and only GaGa for me this time…twice!  Talk about connections.  😉  She has also kindly offered to teach a class JUST for our contestants for “Eight To The Eight’s”!!!  So pumped!

After dinner I went with Maggie to the Mellow Mushroom.  She hadn’t eaten, and I already had.  Was inspired by my water though….

Which prompted me to order this….

Key Lime Pie anyone?!?!

Aren’t Saturday nights required by law to include dessert?!?!  I certainly obide by that rule.

Sunday morning was also started off with a local favorite.  Can anyone say Cracker Barrel???  I did.  😉

I’m telling you guys.  Their oatmeal/bran muffin combo cannot be beat.  Not to mention their killer coffee!!!  This is one Sunday tradition I do not break.

And to wrap things up…made ANOTHER trip to Mellow Mushroom tonight where I actually ate food/food, and not dessert!

Mega Veggie….Tempeh instead of Tofu.

This bad boy x2.

PHEW is all I have to say after this weekend.  From all the craziness/excitement with Eight To The Eights….to teaching a bazillion classes…to spending time with some amazing people….I am pooped.

I think the perfect solution is “My Best Friend’s Wedding” for the 23827319847390874092th time on DVD…and….

………enough said.

Night bloggies.  Watching MBFW for seriously the nine-thousandth time prompts me to ask:

What is your “go to” movie that you A) know every line of….and B) could not live without in your DVD collection?!?!


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A Days Worth -O- Yum

Today has been the biggest whirlwind ever.  Running around like a crazy person from place to place.  Ah hectic life…gotta love it, right?!

Lets start with breakfast.

My new obsesssssssion!  😉  Add some raisins, Almond Milk, and Chia Seeds…and you get…

There also may have been an undocumented Starbizzle run on the way to the YMCA.  Who’s to say?!  😉

I got to the Y around 8:00am, and worked like a mad man on some major Eight To The Eight’s stuff!  It is crunch time with that, as all the official contestants plus all the contestants who didn’t make it…all had to be notified today.  Sad times for those who didn’t make it.  I know it’s just a fact to face when you only have x amount of spots to fill, and way more than that apply…I just feel bad because these people really put themselves out there.  I wish we could take them all!

Around noon it was time for my Express Sculpt class, which I am totally loving!  The numbers are slowly building, and I love hitting all the muscle groups in half the time!  Nice change for the body.

Lunch was comprised of some yummy leftovers from last nights Earth Fare run…

Mock Chicken Salad sandwich, carrots, and Veggie Booty goodness.

This “faux” chicken is seriously the closest to the real thing as it gets.  Bravo, Earth Fare.

After this, I walked back to work and finished up working on Eight To The Eights stuff, and then headed to the High School for KidFit!  This was our second to last week before school is out for summer, and it went so well today!  We had the entire gym to ourselves, and I let the kids sort of do whatever they wanted, as long as it involved them running.  😉  Some played basketball, others volleyball…some just plain ran around like lunatics…but hey…it produced sweat.

Headed backkkkk to the YMCA afterwards for what was one of the most intense Spin classes EVAH.  I don’t know what made it so crazae, but we were all dying….in a very good way.  Note to self…..use this CD when in need of a shower like sweat sesh.

Once Spin was over it was finally time to exhale…and head to an Indian Dinner yum-fest.

I was a bad blogger and forgot to photograph the menu…which in this case was key!  We got two amazingly delicious things…and of course I have forgotten their names.

(veggie medley in an amazingly spicey sauce)

(nut and spice stuffed potatoes in an equally yah-mazing sauce)

Can’t forget the gorgeous rice!

All together now……  (with some Tandori Roti…)

The stuffed potato was out of this world!!!  Seriously, my new favorite dish.

Did I mention how much the people at Sahib L-O-V-E Maggie and I????  Free FLAMING dessert, anyone?!

Some sort of cheese/honey/fried deliciousness that was quickly consumed as soon as the flames died down.  YUM!

What a perfect way to end a very hectic day.  Who doesn’t love desserts that are on fire?!?!  😉

Later bloggies.  Debut of my Total Body HIIT class tomorrow morning at 5:45am…should be interesting to see how it goes teaching it at the crack of dawn!


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Hello, bloggies!!!  SO much has happened in the last few days I feel like we need a “previously on…Healthy and Fun” montage.

SO, where did we leave off.

For the first time in my LIFE I am officially on my own. Just recently moved into a house that I will be renting until September.  Fully furnished/ready to go.  It is AMAZING.  I am here…all alone.  I could walk around the entire house in nothing but my birthday suit, and no one would be the wiser (aside from some very confused dogs.)  Pictures of the new pad coming, I promise!

Also, in more exciting news….yesterday was both the Eight To The Eight’s interview process as well as Kathy Griffin live in Knoxville!!!  (insert girl squeal here, please.)

It was so odd being a “judge” for a competition like this.  I used to watch American Idol and think “those judges have it so easy!!!  Why do they need to take breaks?!?!”  Let me tell you.  After asking the same questions 400 times in a row, and sitting in one very uncomfortable seat….it gets exhausting!  Added to the fact that we had about 35+ 10 minute interviews (both couples and individual applicants) with literally about 15 seconds between.  Sheeeeeeew.

That being said….it was totally humbling, and one of the most rewarding/emotional times of my life!  Seeing all these people really putting themselves out there and admitting they need help becoming healthy really just puts things in perspective for me.  We had AMAZING applicants, and I have no idea how we are going to narrow it down to 8 teams.  No idea.  We are meeting for dinner tomorrow to go over applicants one more time (this time with included pictures!) and hopefully we can all come to a decision.

After interview time….one gal was on my mind:

Kathy Griffin LIVE anyone?!?!?!?!

Also, unknown to us….it was being taped for her new stand up special “Kathy Does The Bible Belt” on Bravo June the 8th!!!!  Score!  Make sure to watch/DVR and look for your favorite Blogger Boy doubled over in tears of laughter.  😉

When she started to rip on the show Hoarders…I lost it.  This show is one of my guiltiest pleasures…..and she had everything spot on, including the “cat skeletons” in these peoples homes!!!  If you don’t know what the beauty of Hoarders is………enjoy.

Yea…..fun times.  😉

On the way to Kathy, I munched on a variety of fun eats that I had packed for the road!

This bad boy was a banana/jam/almond butter wrap.  Booyah!

What can I say???  A days worth of interviews works up an appetite!  Starbucks was involved for hydration.  Have I mentioned the love affair I am currently having with the Passion Fruit Tea?!?!

There was also a run in with the infamous booty.

No explanation needed on the deliciousness of these green guys.

And because I wanted to keep the doctor away…

Before we knew it, we had arrived at the Tennessee Theatre!

Look at all the Kathy Fans!!!!  They were wrapped around the building!

Gotta have the signs…

Unfortunately….this is where the camera went bye bye.  They were militant about no cameras due to it being a TV film production, so I wasn’t able to snag any action shots.  In true Kathy fashion…she was absolutely friggin’ HILARIOUS.  Take my word for it.

On the way home from KGriff, I munched on my favorite Luna Bar:

Perfect end to a wonderful evening!!!

This morning was a scorcher!!!  It seemed to already be in the 80*’s at breakfast time….at which point, the Barrel was calling my name hardcore.  😉

Their oatmeal is fannnnnnnnntastic.

Can’t go wrong, right?!

At this point, I went into crazed-man packing mode…and started getting ready for the move.  I was shocked at how much junk I have actually accumulated.  Are you ready for the number of tennis shoes I had at the bottom of my closet?!?!?!?!

….seriously….get ready.

*27* PAIR!!!!!!!  What.  The.  Heck.

WHY does anyone need this many shoes?!?!  I didn’t even realize I had that many!  Needless to say, alot went in the donation pile, and did not make the move.  Perhaps I am more of a “Hoarder” than I gave myself credit for.

Lunch was somehow crammed in my face between clothes/random items being shoved into the car.  Huge bowl of Kashi Go Lean Crunch with raisins, chia seeds, and Almond Milk:

Once my car was filled to the brim with clothes, shoes, and more shoes 😉 I headed to my other gym for our FINAL group run.  It was very sad because this program has been amazing!!!  The “beginner” group has progressed so much, and I am so proud of all of them!!!  Also, it was an absolute scorcher out there today…and I never once heard a complaint.  You guys rock!!  Our big race is this Saturday…cannot wait to run with them and push them along…they will kill it!

After the running program, it was time for a much needed dinner with Maggie, and her adorable nephew, Greyson!

Who needs a high chair when you have a perfectly good lap?!  😉

Went to one of our favorite locations, Jack’s Grill!  Bonus was when we showed up for all day brunch!

Check out this description, and tell me your not in L-O-V-E.

I am not a fan of the flash!!!  It made the broccoli look extremely odd.  Darn you, low lighting!  😉  You get the general idea.  Pretty darn delicious.

Now I am in my NEW home…trying to get everything put away.  Decided blogging was my #1 priority.  I don’t know if that is a good thing, or an extremely sad thing…but it is what it is.  😉

Night bloggies!!!

Did I mention I am literally within WALKING distance of the YMCA now?!?!  Bring it on Monday.  I don’t even need a car.  🙂


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