Archive for September, 2008


Work Travel; How to stay ON the fitness wagon.

“I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again….”

Here’s how I survive work travel without completely falling of the fitness/nutrition wagon.

Airports: Try never to go to the airport hungry (the same goes for grocery shopping fyi).  The food temptations are OVERWHELMING: Dunkin Donuts next to Pizza Hut Express, right down the gate from McDonalds and the list goes on and on.  It’s easier (I didn’t say easy ;)) to resist if your stomach isn’t already growling.  Hopefully there’s been time to eat a decent meal before I get to JFK but if not I try and locate a half decent salad somewhere, some low fat yoghurts/string cheese, some raw almonds.

Lots of water….you want to stay as hydrated as possible once on the plane and the Cabin Crew rarely hand around enough to do the trick. Have a couple of bottles with you…. Not only will it help prevent that puffy feeling in your face and legs, it will help curb the junk food cravings if you’re susceptible, which I am when tired, fed up and surrounded on all sides.

I mentioned raw almonds….I try to have some in my bag at all times (traveling or not), they’re a great source of clean protein, fiber, Vitamin E etc.  Also, although I prefer to try and eat whole food as much as possible, I do often have a couple of GREENS Protein bars in my bag for flights. They’re cold processed, alkaline, raw food bars with none of the unpronounceable ingredients found in so many of the other food bars on the market.  I personally never eat fruit before or during a plane journey. It bloats me beyond once I’m in the air and that’s an awful feeling to have on a long haul flight.

Hotel: I call ahead and ask them to empty the mini-bar before I even arrive.  Too much temptation for lonely midnight munchies…I’m not THAT disciplined people :).  Often I ask for a bowl of apples and oranges (uncut) to be put in my room instead….it doesn’t cost nearly as much (for my wallet or waistline) as an impulse late night binge on mini-bar Twix bars and Pringles!! When I check in I ask if there’s a gym in the hotel or close by, and for any jogging/running maps of the area. A large number of hotels all around the world carry these now…they’re GENIUS.  Some even have I-pods that you can borrow for the run (if you want to get down with some bizarre tastes in music :)).

And no…I’m not kidding, I really do all of this and you might be surprised how normal it is for the hotel staff. They don’t bat an eyelid.

I’m a morning workout girl….especially when traveling because I get so tired and my work day is so unpredictable that if I wait until the evening it might never happen.  So once I’ve got to my room I immediately check my schedule to find out how early I have to get up to get in my workout.  Then before I have a chance to change my mind I call the front desk and set the Hotel Wake-Up Call 3 times. Yep, count them….1,2,3! Once for 10 minutes before I have to get up (if I’m jetlagged I need a little adjustment time), once on the dot of when I’m supposed to be up, and the third time just one minute after that. I also set my Blackberry alarm and put it on the other side of the room so I have to get up to turn it off.  I hate my life for just a second when they all go off the next morning but once I’m up and on the move I’m always SO glad I made myself do it :).

All the other workout tips apply here too…have your gym kit out and ready to go by the side of the bed, have a water bottle, a banana, or half a food bar right there.  Sometimes it helps to write a big bold sign and stick it right by the bed….or on the hotel TV… something like….NO EXCUSES JESSICA (although if your name’s not Jessica that might be a little weird lol).

Jet-lag is not easy, getting out of bed is NOT easy but you know what?  There’s nothing that gets my body clock adjusted and my brain feeling alive than a good sweaty workout.  Because otherwise I’m headed to work still sleepy and befuddled and that’s not I how I like to do things :).   Another thing…tell everybody at the conference/managers meeting/photo shoot etc that you’re super disciplined and work out every morning (or evening if that’s more your thing). It’s really hard to skulk into work without having done it when they have such high expectations. People will actually ask me if I did it (like they can’t believe its possible!)….and often there’s at least one other person looking for some added motivation who’ll offer to get up early and workout with you.  It happens A LOT believe me and really can help. I’ve worked out with salespeople, IT people and Dentists (there was a dental conference in the hotel…go figure!).

And I have to tell you…the hotel staff  LOVE IT when they get these entertaining (to them) workout types.  You might feel silly or embarrassed but if you’re nice and sweet to them, all it means is that they get to know you really quickly and are much happier to accommodate any random requests you might have (like ‘weird’ ie healthy food requests etc). But if you’re embarrassed to ask for modifications on your meal it’s often easier to say that you’re allergic to dairy (if you want no butter/cheese etc) than just saying “I don’t like it” there’s just much less resistance/raised eyebrows that way :). I also ask the hotel if there are any healthy restaurants in the neighborhood that I can go to at night instead of being limited to the refined carb heavy hotel menus

Last but most certainly never least: How do Lacey and I manage to feel as though we still have a relationship even though we’re frequently separated by thousands of miles?  Well we both have Macs so we have inbuilt I-chat. Either this or Skype (works on PC or Mac) is ESSENTIAL for frequent travelers and those who love us.  Download the program now if you’re uninitiated.  It’s free or very low cost wherever in the world you are and provided you have a decent Internet connection you can see and speak to your person or best friend or mom whenever you need to.  I’m not going to lie, sometimes that gets me through a rough day on the road. We’ve even been known to both have our I-chat windows open while we’re working, reading or taking a bath…just so we can feel like we’re in the same place for a while. It helps. A lot.

I’ve been flying for 10 years and through trial and error I find that this is what works for me :).


Anyone else out there got any tips, tricks or survival strategies?



What’s LOVE got to do with it?

It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon in New York. I’m sitting in a café putting together this week’s class music and writing SweatCITY! Monday… As I’m looking for the cool-down songs and thinking about the blog I’ve come across Tina Turner’s hit, What’s Love got to do with it?- “What’s love… but a second hand emotion? What’s love got to do, got to do with it? Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?”

The lyrics of the song got me thinking about what happened to me last night… Jessica and I watched the movie Out of Africa, it’s a ccraazzyy romance about love, loss and strength. The first time I watched the movie was after a dramatic real life break-up some seven years ago. At that time the movie made me feel better about my situation, it gave me peace.

Last night post love story drama-fest I found myself crying hysterically in Jessica’s arms. I guess watching it again after so many years opened up some wounds…  It reminded me of how much pain I once felt, how much darkness I’d gone through, how much I’ve grown, and how that pain and darkness are still looming in the wings.

I’ve been thinking a lot today about why I cried so hard last night, what it all means?  Here’s the conclusion I’ve come to – I don’t know what I think, I don’t know what it means…  You know that awful saying, “What does not kill us makes us stronger?”

That break-up did not kill me… I’m still very much alive, my heart was never physically broken because it’s always kept beating. I’ve done everything in my power to erase the pain in my heart, but no matter how much I do in my career, no matter how much Jessica loves me, no matter how hard I RUN-AWAY from it… It’s still there, it still hurts. AHHHHHH!!!!!  

Does it ever go away? I don’t know…  What does that mean?  I don’t think it means anything other than I got hurt.   

As in Fitness, as in life, as in love… We can’t control or change what’s happened to us in the past.  All we have control over is how we choose to react to it today.  Life is a continuous journey of love, loss, and strength.  Lovers beware:  If you want to play the game of love it’s impossible to avoid getting hurt. Did you hear me, do you agree with me?  Loss and pain are important parts of the journey. I feel like lots of people, ESPECIALLY the media, try to tell us it’s supposed to be easy…. That love shouldn’t hurt and if it starts to hurt then there’s something wrong with the relationship, that we should break-up.

But I don’t believe them… I refuse to believe them.  Being in a relationship involves so many variables, it involves her, it involves me, it involves pain, joy, patience, passion, persistence, faith, tears, laughter… It’s a roller coaster; if it’s real it can be a bright beautiful sunshine or it can be a grey ugly thunder storm.

“Happily every after,” is wonderful in theory.   It’s a lovely package they sell in Hollywood, it’s a quick fix diet, but it’s not the real deal.  What’s real is right now, every second of every day of every week of every month of every year… That is life that’s what makes up a relationship.

So to answer Tina Turner’s question, What’s Love got to do with it?  Love has everything to do with it… Fight for that LOVE in your heart,  if you get hurt find a way to keep your love alive.  The pain will slowly go away or transform into something else but never lose the love because when you lose the love in your heart you lose yourself.  When you lose yourself you become a sad and angry person.  That’s not you, that’s not who you were born to be.

I’ve found for myself that when I lose me, no million dollars, no size 2 jeans, no super model girlfriend can ever get me back.  Yes it’s hard when it feels like your heart is broken into a thousands pieces but once you start finding the love again, once you start putting the pieces back together… You’ll find yourself again and realize that you can love again.  Once you’ve loved and lost you will come to know that you can overcome anything.  You will come to know that loving is living.

Sooo… What’s Love got to do with it? 🙂





Model Maker “Lose 80lbs in 3 months”.

As Fashion Week kicks off again here in NYC my attention has been grabbed by the reports of a new ‘Reality’ Show that is currently being cast by MTV.  Called ‘MODEL MAKER’ the producers are seeking aspiring models to lose 30-80lbs on TV. In 3 months.

The casting call states the potential contestants need a “Great attitude, a pretty face and the endurance to sweat off the pounds during a 3 month boot camp style show.”

The winner is the young woman who manages to lose the most weight in the allotted time.  This ‘lucky’ winner will ‘enjoy’ a prize of $100,000, a model portfolio and a personal trainer.

I don’t even know where to begin.  I am without a doubt a cynical product of my profession, it is hard to shock me, I’ve had to become conditioned over the years of my career to accept that if you choose to be a high fashion model then you must accept the rigors of body fascism that exist in the industry.  Or quit.  Some of you know that my personal story contains drug sustained starvation and years of bulimia.  

Even now as a determinedly healthy model I have to be disciplined in what I eat and how much food I consume. I’m used to it and it’s light years better than how I used to live, but it’s still not easy to maintain my little frame. And my body type is naturally slender.  There’s a reason why not many girls can become models.  We have an unusual body type.  I have a weirdly narrow ribcage, narrow shoulders and bony boy hips.  Most women DON’T have my narrow frame. Lacey, as stringently healthy and as disciplined as she is could never be as all over thin as I am: her skeleton is different to mine!!  Believe me when I say that even WITH my unusual body type it’s STILL NOT EASY to be this small.

This proposed show is not ‘The Biggest Loser’ where even though there is an exploitative element at least the focus is on helping morbidly obese individuals become motivated to learn and implement a healthy lifestyle to improve the quality of their lives, their families lives, and in some cases actually save them from an early death.

No, this show will take normal weight, pretty, insecure girls and tell them that the more weight they lose, the more beautiful and ‘successful’ they will become.

Let me provide some quick facts here; I’m sure you’ve heard them.  1-2lbs a week is the recommended amount of weight to lose for sustained healthy weight loss.  In the 12 weeks allotted for the show that would be ‘only’ 24lbs.  Not even enough to get you cast, let alone to win the thing. Even if you were the most motivated individual on the planet and could manage to lose 3lbs each and every week of the show without hitting a temporary plateau, that’s still ‘only’ 36lbs. The show calls 80lbs a desirable possibility!!!!

Now this 1-2lbs a week is not an arbitrary number: health, nutrition and fitness pros don’t just say it because they think it’s funny.  It’s the amount of weight you can lose without your body going into ‘starvation mode’ whereby it recognizes it’s being starved of what it needs and it dramatically SLOWS YOUR METABOLISM.  Which makes it harder and harder to lose the fat it likes to store. Which means you must eat even less. And less.

As an expert Fitness professional Lacey would tell you that there’s not enough exercise in the world that could make losing more weight than approx 30lbs in 3 months healthy.

As someone who has had very personal experience of this I can tell you that this show will be encouraging young women (most of whom will be well within their healthy range of BMI) to starve themselves, to throw up their food, to use diet pills, drugs, ‘fasting’ programs, colon cleanses and anything else they can think of to lose weight they probably don’t even need to lose in the first place.

What breaks my heart is that the carrot (which is about all they’ll be eating) they’re dangling in front of these young women: the implied promise of success as a model, the supposed validation that will come; That “If only”  they were a model, then they’d feel beautiful.  The money, the fame.  It’s not going to be ANYTHING like they’ve dreamed of.

The fashion industry is like every other business. It operates on the rule of supply and demand. The market is absolutely SATURATED with models.  We come from all over the world to work in this industry. In fact, I know of only a small handful of successful models that are American, and I live in NYC.  Even if you are born with an amazing face, even if you are born with an ‘alien’ type narrow frame, even if you’re really young and prepared to be permanently hungry, even if you have an amazing agent who believes in you beyond all else. Even with all those factors already lined up, your chances of hitting it big in the fashion industry and even getting close to the money and fame you may dream of are one in thousands upon thousands.  I’ve never met a model that hasn’t been told how IMPERFECT she is hundreds of times.  You don’t even know you HAVE so many flaws until you start going on castings. Talk about rejection; I’ve literally had thousands. And I’m a successful model with a profitable career and phenomenal agents.

I know that this is a new type of posting for SWEATCity, but I believe it to be so relevant to our lives, to the pressure we may feel under, and to the hopes and desires we have for our bodies, our lives and the lives of the people we love.  If this show makes it to the air I will boycott it with a passion.

I made a conscious choice NOT to use an image of a super skinny model to illustrate this posting.  You know what a starved woman looks like.  She looks desperately unhappy and she is.

I haven’t even touched upon the horrendous societal messages that this show is perpetuating: I don’t have the space.  Maybe you can contribute to that important part of the debate.

Just know this.  Being thin, even if you’re healthily small, will NEVER be the golden ticket to happiness for anyone. If you’re unhappy bigger, and you lose weight but don’t address why you feel that sadness or lack of direction, then losing the weight may initially give you a buzz but we will all always still be  the same person we were; until we deal with WHY we’re unhappy and stop pretending it’s our jean size.

True health and fitness is a FIT LIFE and that is so much more than thin.

As Lauryn Hill once sang: “How you gonna win if you ‘ain’t right within?”

Thanks for reading.





Ever noticed how your nutrition and fitness just wants to go out the window as soon as there’s a bump in the road at home, or at work?   For me my emotional default setting, that I consciously have to reset: is to ‘eat my feelings’, stuff down the food and forget about whatever I’m angry or hurt, or stressed out about.  That’s what I always did….. because then I could think about purging, or about how ‘fat’ I was: anything but the actual issue. 

I’ve learnt over the years to recognize that my cravings for sugary baked goods have almost nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with…. well, everything else.  It’s become the big red flag in my brain that I’m not dealing with something that’s bothering me.

So I haven’t had to work so hard to avoid the FOUR bakeries and patisseries that are within walking distance from me for quite some time.  😉  And I couldn’t really figure it out.  Ok, initially we were having some major miscommunications, and disagreements.  But then we were talking it out, and discussing, and analyzing EVERYTHING.  We swung in the other direction almost, but still, neither of us were feeling that great about things.

And then we figured out that we were focusing on the negative, that we were nitpicking and pulling apart all our incompatibilities and making each other crazy.  Yes we’re moving in together and that’s scary, that’s us saying “This is my person, I’m IN this”, that’s giving up some privacy, that sense of security (however misleading) that if it all goes to hell in a handbag we can walk away unscathed.  That’s realizing that all our little idiosyncrasies that we thought were so cute when we first started dating; like the fact that everyday she leaves her empty energy bar wrapper on the counter instead of putting it in the trash; Or the way I rearrange things that she puts down for a second, because its not the way I like them to be.  They’re things we’re going to have to learn to live with or go crazy.

But in talking out all our frustrations and miscommunications we hadn’t really thought about how COMPATIBLE we really truly are in a long time.  We hadn’t consciously thought about all those things that had contributed to us falling in love and wanting to be together forever, and yes, to move in together.  We had just got used to the fact that we’re both early to bed, early to rise girls, we’re both ambitious in our careers, we LOVE to workout, we like the same quirky, beautiful restaurants that serve healthy world foods.  We’re both obsessed with 1940’s black and white movies, and we’d rather curl up on a Friday night with our child (Patron…a 10lbs Pomeranian) and watch one than go out until 3am.  When we do go out we like to dance and sing and be silly, not ‘cool’.

We’re stubborn, strong-willed and fiercely independent.  Neither of us wants to give ground. We both have had our hearts hurt in very different ways and we’re both so determined not to ‘lose ourselves’ in another person that we find being in a long-term relationship very hard, almost impossible.  But we love each other.  So here’s what we’ve decided.  That there’s no one we’d rather find it impossible to be with and build a life with than each other.  There’s no person we’d rather drive and be driven crazy by than each other.  Sometimes we’re just going to have to accept that we just don’t agree at all.  And then let it go.  The rest of the time, let’s appreciate all the wonderful, silly, fun, sexy things that unite us and not take them for granted. 

It’s a deal.

I’m just grateful I’ve stopped craving triple layer chocolate fudge cake with ice cream!! 🙂

What do you think about compatibility?  Or food cravings?  🙂


Weight Lifting 101

I hope my clients aren’t reading this (wink, wink 🙂 ).  Ok guys pay attention, I’m going to break down a weight lifting program that works for everybody…  Unless you want to be Mr. or Miss Olympia or you’re a wimp. hehe

Here we go: This is kinda old school, it’s not rocket science, annnddd it works! The body can be broken down into 7 sections. We’ll call them Lacey’s Lucky Seven 🙂  

The Lucky SEVEN

  1. Chest
  2. Back
  3. Legs
  4. Shoulders
  5. Biceps
  6. Triceps
  7. ABS

If you want to get a balanced FULL-Body workout all you have to do is hit all seven sections and you’re good to go!  Future blogs will break down what each Lucky section is all about annnddd in far future            (say Decemberish) Jessica and I are going to start including video blogs.

NOW… I’m going to give you a quick explanation of how it works. 

1st You want to ask yourself what your goals are, how much time you have, if you have enough knowledge to carry out a workout on your own???  Every person who has ever worked out didn’t just go do it.  We all asked an expert first.  When I was a senior in High School and got sent the Weight Lifting Program from my College Basketball Team I was horrified.  I immediately set up a session with a trainer at my local gym to make sure I had the correct form and if he could please explain to me what he$#*& a Skull-Crusher was?  🙂

GOAL: If you want a nice butt or tighter legs, then during your lucky 7 maybe you want to do two legs exercises, so you would be doing 8 sections total.  Or if you are a man focusing on looking HOT for the beach you might want to double up on Chest.  You can play with that… I love Shoulders, so during my workouts I usually double up on Legs, Shoulders, and Back.

TIME: In my opinion no one should ever lift weights for longer than 45mins.  Training sessions at the gym are always an hour, I know… But if you’re movin you shouldn’t need the full hour to get a GREAT workout in.  This means… no social hour, obviously if you want to chat it up with your friends that’s going to add some time to the clock.

REPS/SETS:  Now this depends on your goals, if you want to build strength then you would do less reps, For most people 12 reps is where it’s at.  Unless you hire a trainer there’s no need to get all fancy with 4reps, 30reps, 8reps whatever.  The smallest amount of reps I ever really do is 10.  And sets… just do three, don’t worry about doing 4 or 2 or 5.  3sets/12reps is a ggrreeaattt way to go.

THE ROUTINE:  The Big Three always come First, you can choose whatever order you like.

  1. Legs
  2. Chest
  3. Back

How to save time. SUPERSETS MANIA!!! My favorite way to workout, the only way to workout… 🙂

Here’s an example of my workout… You don’t need rest because you’re using opposing muscle groups.  If you’re going to rest the most you would need between sets is 1 minute. This is a QUICKIE, easy 35minute workout! 3sets/12reps – No rest necessary… In and Out, short and sweet, BRING IT.


Legs – Chest –Legs – Chest – Legs (Legs done) – Back – Chest ( Chest done) – Back – Abs – Back ( Back done) – Abs – Shoulders – Abs ( Abs done) –Shoulders – Triceps – Shoulders (Shoulders done) – Triceps – Biceps – Triceps (Triceps done) – Biceps – (1min rest) – Biceps (Biceps done)!


Lacey’s Lucky Seven in Full-Effect… See the 7 dones above, you completed the seven sections of the body and got a balance full body burnout!


Wham-BAM-thank you Ma’am!  Try it OUT for yourself annnddd if you have any questions, ask away that’s what I’m here for.