Monthly Archives: January 2012

Be an AHB Rockstar. Meet Adri.

Meet Adri….


I promise she’s not dead…just really tired after her first training session.

Adri joined our bootcamps early last spring and participated a few days a week for several months. Over the course of those few months Adri increased her strength and endurance, lost weight and inches and decreased her body fat. Unfortunately, she sustained a knee injury and was sidelined in early summer. But now she’s back and she has agreed to share her journey back to health with you. Please check back weekly to track her progress and read updates from Adri. Later this week, we’ll be posting Adri’s before pictures and initial measurements.

Here’s her thoughts before starting back on her journey:

Last year, I was the most fit I’ve ever been (besides that one sweet year in elementary school when I aced the Presidential Fitness test for the first – and last – time). I ate an almost perfectly clean, vegetarian diet; joined the bootcamps with A Healthy Balance normally twice a week; cardio 3-4 times a week plus kickboxing and yoga, and started to enjoy some serious weight training.Then: my knee gave out, no reason given. It started to hurt when I drove, going up stairs, even standing for long periods of time. And being the stubborn idiot I am, I thought it would just go away if I stopped working out on it for a little while – especially so as not to exacerbate something potentially serious. That “little while” turned into an epic ten-month black hole of self-pity, eating terribly, and erasing all the hard work I’d done the year prior. When I finally realized last month that not one piece of my clothing fit  and that I was spending more than one night a week weeping into a pizza or pint of B&J’s about, ironically, how unhappy I was with my body, I finally went to the doctor to get my knee checked out. Then, I went to TJ Maxx and bought some ponchos.

At the doc’s, X-rays showed I have a cyst on my bone that needs to be monitored monthly (which I won’t go into detail about), but I finally, FINALLY got the go-ahead from the doc to work out again, with the help of some before-and-after doses of Aleve.

Then what did I do? I immediately made a phone call to my ladies at A Healthy Balance.

I asked them to help me get back to where I was about ten months ago…and then surpass it. So Alicia, Nikki, and Meg are making me a three-month plan to whip me back in shape, complete with a nutrition plan, workout plan, twice-a-week personal training, and wellness consulting. My goal? To lose fifteen to twenty pounds in three months, get back my muscle mass, and build up my stamina for those burpees, planks and squats. And I’m here to blog about it.

This is a HUGE deal for me. I’ve always struggled with my weight – anyone who knows me is familiar with the ever-changing number that is my pants size. It’s been my biggest insecurity ever since I can remember, so sharing my weight and measurements with the world is one of THE scariest things I can possibly imagine doing…and that’s exactly why I’m doing it.

This year’s all about breaking away from that fear, making good decisions, being healthy, and stopping the obsession.

So here’s to that, to joining me along the way, and to Alicia. Nikki, and Meg – who I can’t thank enough for helping me reach my goals.

– Adri

Follow me on Twitter at @adrileya!

Leave a comment: Feel free to leave words of encouragement for Adri!
Be Healthy. Be Balanced.
A Healthy Balance
14B Alleyne St.
Quincy, MA 


Filed under Fitness, Nutrition, Wellness

Be a Switch Eater.

Alot of clients do a great job of staying on track with their nutrition plans for meals, but get derailed when it comes to snacking. Snacking can lead to tons of extra calories without even noticing. Since you’ve probably heard a lot of good tricks to limit snacking already tried most of them (drink more water, take a walk, think about something else, snack on ice chips –that’s a shout out to Mariah Carey pre-Jenny) I’d like to run a new one by you that you may not have heard.

Snack with your opposite hand.  If you are usually a righty, use your left hand and vice-versa.  Just this small change can actually make a difference of how much you eat by up to 30%.  By using your non-dominant hand, your brain has to think harder about what it’s doing, making you more aware of what you’re eating.  When you use your usual hand to eat you are less likely to notice how much you are putting in your mouth since that hand is more able to move without you realizing it.  You may have had all good intentions of just having a few handfuls of Pirate’s Booty, but before you know it you are left with an empty bag, cheesy finger tips and most likely a belly ache.  To help aid you from not ending up in this situation, Switch It Up (or pre-portion the Booty into a bowl and step away from the bag asap).  Now, I’m not sure what the most effective way to execute the switch is, but here are some suggestions:


  1. Have a friend or loved one tie your dominant hand behind your back.  This will also make it more difficult to open cabinets, the fridge, or use any utensils, which will ultimately result in a similar outcome – eating less.
  2. Sit or lay on your dominant arm.  This will make sure that you don’t get tempted to unswitch (re-switch?) and start scarfing down snacks without realizing it.
  3. Have a friend or loved on sit on your hand or arm.  This may be uncomfortable, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
  4. Stare at your dominant hand the whole time you eat so that you know it will not move.  After a minute or two you should be so bored of doing this that your desire to eat the rest of snack will have passed and you can go about your business.


Ok, so in reality these may seem a little crazy, but mindless eating is a problem that many of us face.  Instead of listening to your body and waiting until you’re actually hungry you get used to eating at certain times or in specific environments and you end up consuming calories when you are not hungry.  So, next time it’s 3 O’clock and you walk by the vending machine imagine what you’re boss will think when he passes by your desk and you’re eating a bag of chips with your left hand as your co-worker stacks heavy objects on top of your right one.  Hopefully, this image will deter you from mindlessly eating vending machine garbage or it will just make you laugh but either way it will make you think harder about whether or not you need that snack at all.  The key is to always be conscious of what you’re putting in your mouth and make every bite count.


-Be Healthy. Be Balanced.


A Healthy Balance
14B Alleyne St

Quincy, MA 

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Filed under Nutrition, Wellness

Be Scaled Down.

A reader commented on a post last week about being on the treadmill at the gym and seeing all these commercials for seemingly “magic” weight loss solutions. While I know this reader won’t resort to those methods, it seems that many people turn to the quick fix, looking for drastic weight loss. Unfortunately, these solutions are, more often than not, more damaging than beneficial. Just to see the number on the scale change, people are willing to try anything and frequently at any monetary cost.

So this is where I am going to challenge you to challenge yourself. Forget about the number on the scale. Instead of focusing on the number, focus on a healthy lifestyle. Invest your time and money not in pills and shakes, but instead in fresh produce and nutrition classes, seek out a personal trainer or fitness bootcamp, get a pair of running shoes. Instead of looking for the number on the scale to go down, try to make the number of healthy choices you make daily go up. Track that number and use that as your marker of progress on your wellness journey.

Scales only have the power which we bestow upon them.
In reality, a scale is just a small household item made of metal & springs & dials.
A scale is a toaster is a blender is an electric toothbrush is a weed whacker.
Imagine if I said, “My self-worth is determined by the toaster.”
Sounds pretty weird, eh?
Or “I’m fat, the lawnmower said so!”
Or “I have to check with the blender to see if I like myself today.”
The power only comes in when we choose to hand all of ours
over to an inanimate object.
(copyright Kensington)

-Be Healthy. Be Balanced


Leave a comment: Are you up for the challenge?


A Healthy Balance
14B Alleyne St

Quincy, MA 

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Filed under Nutrition, Wellness

Be Tricky.

In a perfect world we would all agree that we are super motivated about exercising.  In this fantasy land we’d lay out our color coordinated workout clothes every night and when our alarm went off at 5 a.m. we would spring out of bed, full of excitement for our two hour long exercise routine.  Unfortunately, reality is not usually this easy or enjoyable in regards to hitting the gym or the pavement.  We are much more likely to hit the snooze button.  Sometimes we struggle just to find our sneakers or matching socks.  For the small percentage of you who live in the perfect exercise fantasy land…good for you.  For the rest of us, here are some ways to trick yourself into being excited (yes, I said excited) about your workout.


First you need to think about what you like.  What’s your thing?  What makes you happy?  Is it shopping, cooking, dancing, reading, listening to music, etc?  After you decide what really makes you feel great (you can choose a few if you’d like), you can use this to your advantage.


If shopping is what really gets you excited, find ways to make this relate to exercise.  If you’re a shoe girl or guy, set a goal for the week and when you meet it, reward yourself.  For example, tell yourself that if you work out four out of seven days this week you can go get that new pair you’ve had your eyes on.  Better yet, splurge on a fantastic new pair of sneakers that you can show off at the gym.


If you love to cook, go out and get a cookbook full of healthy recipes and get to work making some new dishes that will fuel you up for some great workouts.  If you’re on a budget or just don’t want another book to clutter your shelves, print some new recipes off of the internet.  There are endless resources for fast and easy, but still healthy, recipes online.


Who doesn’t love to dance? Not everyone is great at it, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t like to do it.  Dancing is great exercise.  Take a few dance lessons or if you want to amp up the calorie burn, sign up for Zumba or simply blast some music in the privacy of your own home and get moving!


This one is a trick I always use.  My guilty pleasure is celebrity gossip.  It’s not for everyone, but I always want to know about the break-ups, make-ups and the “secrets” to the perfect celeb bikini body.  Instead of grabbing a magazine in the checkout aisle and rushing home to read it, I keep it for the next day’s gym session.  I don’t let myself read it unless I’m on the treadmill, elliptical or bike and I have to read the whole thing before I get off.  By the time I’ve found out where Lady Gaga went on a date last weekend and what she was wearing I’ve finished a 30 or 40 minute workout.  Works every time.


Lastly, another one of my favorites is putting new songs on my iPod.  Nothing is worse than trying to get motivated and being bored with your music selections.  You know that feeling when you hear a new song that you can’t get enough of?  Immediately put that song on your music device of choice and get to the gym or outside.  If you want to listen to it 10 times in a row, that’s perfect!  Thirty minutes later, you’ve gotten your fill of the new tune and you’ve walked a couple miles around the neighborhood.  If you have a handful or more of new songs that you love hearing on the radio, download them ASAP and make a new workout mix.  You’ll be grooving away and not even realizing how many calories you’re burning.


The key to really tricking yourself is to make sure you go along with it.  You can’t say to yourself “Oh I’ll drop 5 pounds and then go buy that new dress I’ve wanted” but then not actually do what you promised and buy the dress anyway.  You need to keep yourself in check.  If it helps, write it down or tell a friend your plan, which will increase your accountability.  These tricks should make doing what you already want to do (workout more, feel better, eat healthier, lose weight) easier and more fun.  It’s a win-win in my book.

Leave a comment: What are your “tricks” for staying motivated to exercise? Have any of these tips worked for you in the past?


-Be Healthy. Be Balanced.


Filed under Fitness, Nutrition, Wellness

Be Realistic.

I’m not really sure how it happened, but 2012 is here!  It is a fresh start and an opportunity for many people to put 2011 behind them while working toward new goals in the New Year.  Now is the time to decide on the dreaded New Year’s Resolutions.  These resolutions often suggest that just because it’s January 1st you’ll be able to dramatically change your life.  People believe that due to a calendar change their mind, body, personality, mood, etc. will be different, but this can often set them up for failure.  Another mistake that people make is being too vague when deciding on a resolution.  If someone makes a goal to “lose weight” or “get healthier” these don’t have defined meanings and it is easy to either fall off track or give up all together.  If you want to take your NYR seriously, here are some fail proof steps to follow:

  1. Make an attainable goal – instead of “losing weight,” decide on a specific amount in set period of time such as five pounds in five weeks.  Create a set workout routine and pay close attention to what you are eating.  By the second week in February you should have met your goal.  Then you can readjust your goal if you like, but you should also enjoy your success.
  2. Narrow your focus – it is easy to want to better your health while also reorganizing your home and plant a garden and run a 5k, but in reality these goals combined are too overwhelming and you may end up falling short of reaching any.
  3. Prioritize – this coincides with not being vague.  Since you may want to do all of the activities listed above, but thinking about them together seems discouraging, try to see which ones are reasonable and how long it will take to accomplish them.  Becoming healthier needs more clarification.  For example, make a goal to walk/run at least six to eight miles per week or to decrease your cholesterol/body fat percentage/waistline by a defined amount.  Then, while continuing to keep your health goals or even increasing them, slowly start organizing rooms in your home by tackling one area at a time.  As the weather gets warmer, start a small garden or plant some fresh herbs in pots in your kitchen.  Now that you’ve been working on and achieving your other goals you can focus your attention on a new one like tackling a 5k or an even longer race.
  4. Let yourself be proud of your accomplishments – the best part of setting smaller, more attainable goals is that you can actually achieve them and feel a sense of accomplishment instead of setting yourself up for failure.


Remember, 2012 is twelve months long.  You do not have to make a resolution and have it completed by January 31st.  If you’re serious about making some healthy changes in the New Year really think about goals that you can set and achieve.  Give yourself a reasonable amount of time and keep in mind that just because the year changed, doesn’t mean that your schedule will.  Your mindset and motivation combined with realistic goals are what will make you successful in 2012.   Happy New Year!!


-Be Healthy. Be Balanced.


Filed under Fitness, Nutrition, Wellness