Power Songs

At the beginning of the year, I invested in the Nike+ app after seeing a few friends tracking their progress with it on Facebook. If you want to shell out the $1.99, it really is worth investing in.

One of the features on the app is the ability to set a “PowerSong” – a song meant to give you an extra boost when the GPS sees you’re dropping below your set pace. Seeing as I’m also currently working on a Top 100 Songs I Never Get Tired of Listening To list for The Poncho, it’s only natural that I would also sit down and assess which songs in my “Work It Out” playlist really pump me up.

Here are my top 3 selections in no particular order:

Daft Punk – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Two Door Cinema Club – What You Know

The Bravery – An Honest Mistake

What are your power songs?

Weight Loss Tips


I in no way claim to be an expert on weight loss. I’m sure there are much better and more effective ways to shed pounds, but I do know what has worked for me.

First off, you should know that I’ve been through two rounds of HCG. I feel your judgmental stares already and I get it. It’s controversial. All I can tell you is that it’s not for everyone, but it worked for me. The people who will do well on it are the people who learn about the foods they eat and how their body responds to them. That’s how you keep weight off and those are the very basic tips I’m going to share.

1. Sign up for myfitnesspal.com.
It’s a site that will determine how many calories, carbs and sugars you should intake to help you lose weight as well as help track your progress. Most importantly, it let’s you keep a food log. By keeping a food log, you can see what helps or hinders your weight loss. You can send me a friend request on there if you’d like. My name is RachaelLove.

2. Eat most of your carbs in the morning.
Carbs give the body energy and are necessary, but if eaten at the wrong times can store fat on your body. You can have toast or a biscuit or cereal for breakfast – whatever. If you stay active, your body will burn them off. You should decrease the number of carbs you eat through the evening having the most at breakfast, a few at lunch and as few as possible at dinner. And don’t forget that carbs aren’t just in breads and starchy foods, they’re also in sugar.

3. Speaking of sugar – limit it!
You should try to stay away from processed sugars as much as possible like high fructose corn syrup. These sweeteners aren’t natural and are harder to burn. Try replacing sweets with fruits. Also, no soda! If you must have a coke, try coke zero or anything diet. They still have some not-so-good for you stuff in them, but at least you’re not using up calories that won’t even fill you up. And you have my word that if you drink them enough, your palette will adjust to that diet taste. If not, have some Crystal Light. Mmm!

4. Drink water. Lots of it.
I didn’t get how important it was until I tried it. It helps your muscles heal, keeps you hydrated, washes out bad stuff in foods and will even improve your completion. Drink 8 glasses a day – that’s 4 bottles worth. I don’t allow myself a diet drink until I’ve had all my water for the day.

5. Have a veggie with every meal.
This is still hard for me to do, but veggies are rich in necessary nutrients. Try to mix them into stuff you like. I make homemade chili a lot (with no beans). But with veggies, try to avoid beans, potatoes, corn and carrots. All have natural starches and sugars, which are better than other things, but can still be hard to burn. Pretty much anything green is good. 🙂

6. Don’t be afraid of meats.
You can pretty much have as much as you want, just be mindful of your calories. Pork is high in fat so limit how much of it you eat, but beef, chicken and fish are all great sources of protein which builds muscle.

7. Allow food to digest 4 hours before you go to bed.
Sleeping with a full tummy allows those sugars and carbs to turn into fat cells. Fat cells suck.

8. Be active. 
When most people decide to be healthy they jump right in, over-do it, wear themselves out and stop. There’s no need to abuse your body in the gym. It’s actually bad for you. If you’re not used to any extra physical activity outside of the normal, take a walk. You don’t have to run a marathon. Doing something different will increase your heart rate causing you to burn calories which raises your metabolism. Once you’re comfortable there, build up gradually.

9. Set goals for yourself.
Obviously you should set overall goals, but set daily/weekly/monthly goals as well. If you’re running, try to finish your lap faster or go a longer distance. (Try out the Nike+ app. Or if you want something free, I recommend Skimble.) I run around my apartment. There are certain spots that I go full speed – i.e. I’ll run from this tree to that dumpster. Each week, I make my goals a little longer. Eventually I’ll be able to make it around the whole complex (1.33 miles) without slowing down. Ultimately I’d like to run an 8 minute (or less) mile with a minimum of 12 miles ran per week. Of course, there are goals that can be set no matter what your exercise routine whether it be weight lifting, biking, swimming or something cool that I don’t even know about.

10. Stay accountable.
Ever avoid telling someone you’re dieting so they won’t try to stop you or judge you for ordering a big, juicy, cheesy burger? Stop it. No matter how tough you are, it’s hard to make it on your own. Share your goals with people you trust. They’ll support you through it all. Promise.

Hopefully this helps a little bit. Once you start tracking your food, exercise and weight loss, you find out what works best for your body. Also, know that 98% of diet and exercise is mental. When you want to eat, really take a minute and assess if you’re actually hungry or if your just bored or you’re just used to eating more. Chances are you’ll find that you don’t really need it. Also, you’ll find that your excuses for not exercising are generally lame when you think about the fact that taking 20 minutes out of your day could completely change your life.

The long-term results outweigh the short-term decisions – for better or worse.