The Rodes Family Biggest Loser New Year 2014

We are all losers!!!

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Please share your stories, thoughts, trials, tribulations... what you are eating... Words of encouragement.... WHATEVER!  

This is an open forum to write about what you want.  

Please no profanity or slander! - we are family after all! ;-)

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Time to get serious...........

Posted by Deep Sea Jim on August 3, 2012 at 8:20 PM Comments comments (1)

My goal eventually is to get back to running to finish the big race in 2013, and to get back down to about 212 lbs.  Charts say I'm supposed to be about 196, really NAVY!!!!!  I'm big boned and like beer!

Good luck to all and hope this remains fun!

Love you all,



Posted by Melissa A Hazek on August 3, 2012 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

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Going Primal

Posted by Melissa A Hazek on February 9, 2012 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

(Stacy's guest post)

I have mentioned on here that our family has made some big changes with regards to how we think, eat, and consume our food. Normally, I eat pretty healthy, but this past year was not my best and we ate out a lot (both good and fast food). About 2/3 of the way through my pregnancy I developed a nasty little Coke habit, one that cost me a cavity, and more than a few pounds I am sure. It wasn't long after I had my little cubby that we were living in a hotel, moving, and getting settled in a new house/area. Then it was the holidays. Oh, the cookies that were made here at Fort Meyers! I started feeling a bit like a sugar addict, craving all sorts of the badness that tastes so good when it hits your lips! I didn't like how I felt, or looked, and knew it was time for a change.


I read Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson and it was a easy and great read that flies in the face of everything you have ever learned about nutrition and exercise (Conventional Wisdom). Backed up by science, it focuses on eating real food (not processed), minus sugar, trans-fats, grains, and legumes - just like primal man did before the age of agriculture when all of today's chronic illnesses and epidemics got started. It was pretty much a summation of all different nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle information that I had been researching the last couple of years. It brought it all together in one place and was the first "diet" book that was really and truly about a lifestyle change. The author asserts there are 10 ways of being Primal in the modern world:


1. Eat lots of animals, plants, and insects (no bugs here, thank you!)

2. Move around a lot at a slow pace

3. Lift heavy things

4. Run really fast once in awhile

5. Get lots of sleep

6. Play

7. Get some sunlight every day

8. Avoid trauma (be smart, seatbelts, etc)

9. Avoid poisonous things (McDs, anyone?)

10. Use your mind


So really, only the first one is about the actual diet, although it probably is the biggest component. The rest is how you move, think, act, and be in the world.


Many people, when they hear of how we have changed, say, "I couldn't do it." My response is that I couldn't either, until I did. And honestly it is a lot easier eliminating a whole food group than counting calories, eating fake food, or counting points. I did a complete overhaul on our cupboards, throwing or giving everything away with hydrogenated oils, trans fats, canola and other vegetable oils, flours, grains, high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, genetically-modified organisms, etc. We buy and eat a ton of meat, fish, poultry, vegetables and fruit, and nuts. We buy mainly organic, local, grassfed, pastured meats, eggs, poultry, and pork. I cook just about everyday and we eat primarily out of our fridge and off the counter. Real, fresh food. And it tastes great and is very simple. We both feel amazing and have taken off about 10 lbs each. Eric has 2 inches gone from his waist in a month. We aren't super hungry anymore either, and we eat until we are satisfied, which is a lot less than we ate before - just naturally. Eric's migraines are almost gone, and he has more energy. For me, I just feel good!


We have had a few "treats" here or there, but honestly very rarely ever feel the urge to stray. And if we do, it is more of a thought than a "omg, I must have that NOW" type feeling I've had on other programs. I have also had to give up dairy due to Oliver's sensitivities, so that has been a big change. I miss cheese, (and could technically have quality full-fat cheese with this way of eating), but found substituting coconut milk for smoothies, and creamer is working just fine. I find it much better to focus on what we CAN have, which is pretty much anything else. We eat plenty of great meat, use plenty of fat in our cooking (extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, and butter - just call me Paula!), and haven't met a roasted vegetable we didn't like!


It has only been a month, but I can truly see this being a very long-term thing for us. Personally, I need to incorporate the exercise portion (which is hard with a baby and the winter up here), but I do pretty well with all the others, most of the time. We aren't perfect, and even the author says to shoot for 100%, knowing you will realistically hit the 80% mark. And I am cool with that. And how can you not love a program in which you indulge in a glass of red wine with some dark chocolate every night?!?


I really encourage you all to read the book, but I will warn you - it slaps conventional wisdom right in the face. Eat fat to lose fat? Saturated fat is healthy for you? Carbs are ruining your body and your hormonal sensitivities? YES, all true. Open your mind, and if you decide to give it a shot, I'd LOVE to hear your experiences.



****Of course, I am totally a Primal Mother (extended breastfeeding, babywearing, bedsharing, etc) but that is a post for another day :) See, it all ties in so nicely!

(If anyone else has something they would like to blog or share, let me know and I am happy to get it up here!)

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Posted by Melissa A Hazek on January 27, 2012 at 1:15 AM Comments comments (0)

OK, ok, I am not going to complain about how it snowed for like the 2nd time this winter, or how the temps keep creepin back up to the mid/upper-40's once or twice a week (Seriously Cleveland/Ohio?!  I'll take it!).  I have gotten more outdoor workouts in this winter, than I probably ever would have it the temps were more like last years!  

However, I have had to plan for the snow, wind, sleet, slush and freezing temps that are heading our way (February, maybe?!).  My plan included moving my workouts indoors for the winter, whether that means workouts on the treadmill, or popping in a DVD and workin it out.  There are two sites I have been using to help keep on track with my indoor workouts, and I wanted to share them with you:


Once you have signed up (free), you can "pin" different things to your own boards.  I created a Health board, and whenever I find something that relates to a workout, quote, or something I want to try, I will pin it to my board.  *Be careful, this can be addicting!


You can search for workouts in general, or specific body part workouts.  These vids tend to be shorter, but you can string some together and get a pretty good workout in a small time.  There are other sites out there that will also let you stream workouts, but you have to find them.  I like becuase I can essentially create my own workout based on what I want to do that day.  Try it - it is addicting too!

What are you doing this winter to keep up your physical activity?  

Post your tips, and any other ideas in the comments section to share with everyone!

To Detox... or not To Detox

Posted by Melissa A Hazek on January 25, 2012 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (1)

Coming off the holidays, in which we may have over indulged a bit - there is alot of information out there on detoxing our bodies.

  • Juicing
  • Master Cleanse
  • vitamin detox's
  • Yadda, Yadda, Yadda...

Many people swear by the methods above...  However, I am a firm believer that our bodies have its own detox system set up within us, and all we need to do is help it along a bit by finding our own natural ways to detox.

I have really been loading up on veggies, fruits, salads and home made soups since Jan. 1st in an effort to replenish my body (and replace the layer of cookie dough I gained over the course of December!). Also, being vigilant in taking my vitamins/minerals to keep up the old immune system to fight off any germs that might be floating around. Here are some other ideas for natural detoxing...

Natural Ways to Detox

Are you doing a New Year Detox?  If so, what are you doing?  Is it working?  How do you feel?

Happy New Year, and Welcome 7 point Oh!

Posted by Melissa A Hazek on January 13, 2012 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

First let me Welcome you, those who've been through this drill before, and those who are just joining us for the first time!  I hope our little competition helps you realize your goals, work towards your goals, and most importantly achieve your goals over the next 13 weeks and beyond.  We are all here because we are in the same boat - let's use one another for encouragement and support.  If anything, we know it works when we help one another!  



Holy crap, can you believe we have been doing this for two years now, going on three starting this this group?!  It's been a long hard journey for all of us, but we have stuck to it - and have seen fabulous results!  I am so exciting to be starting up again this January - I am ready to really kick some ass this round, and I hope you are all with me!  


I leave you with the following for this week, something to look back at and read to yourself when you start to lose the spark that we all have right now, when that motivation starts to fade... Come back here, and remind yourself



Holiday Goals...Everyone's Got'em

Posted by Melissa A Hazek on December 28, 2011 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Two years ago, I made some goals that seem like a good reminder as to how I am planning on approaching this hoilday season.  

With the start of BL "Holiday Edition" 6.5 - I am going to really concentrate on myself this holiday season - for concentrating/taking care of myself will only mean that I will be a better person (Jolly, Merry and Gay anyone?! ) over the holiday season!

Here's a recap, also a re-affirmation of my thoughts/goals from before the holidays 2010:


Some of what I am focusing on is:

  • Moderation - just because it is Thanksgiving, does not mean it is OK to stuff myself like... well, a Turkey!
  • Activity - I will do something everyday that includes physical activity. Even on Thanksgiving! Now more than ever it is important to keep moving, and staying active.
  • Positivitys and Less Stress - Many times over the holidays, being with all of the family, and trying to juggle all of the plans and happenings, it can get a bit hectic (to say the least). What a better time than Thanksgiving than to focus on the positives in life, and be thankful for them. This will also help in changing your mindset and thus help with a stress free holiday!

What else can we do to get through these holidays without gaining back the weight we worked so hard to lose....:

Top Holiday Tips


Thanksgiving Recipes


Thanksgiving without the Bulge!

What are you going to do over the holidays to be proactive in your health and weight loss?

My New Years Wish for You!

Posted by Melissa A Hazek on December 28, 2011 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Source: via Anna on Pinterest

Thankful NOT to Gain Please

Posted by Melissa A Hazek on November 23, 2011 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

I'll be doing this tomorrow morning before heading out on a day of eating, drinking and family!  

30-Minute Thanksgiving Workout Plan


By Fara Rosenzweig •

You've been up since sunrise; the turkey's in the oven and most of your side dishes are prepared for the big feast. So what do you do during your small window of free time? Most people would want to sit down and relax for a bit. But not you, right? You're going to want to squeeze in a workout before you indulge in your big Thanksgiving dinner.


Time is of the essence on Thanksgiving, so here is a 30-minute workout you can do before, during, or after your cooking.


Warm Up


Jog: Jog in place for a minute. A light jog to get your heart pumping is all you need.

Jumping Jacks: Brings you back to your childhood? Do a set of these for one minute.


Jumps: Just jump in place for 45 seconds.


Repeat these three exercises three times.


Circuit Workout


Squat Jumps: Keep your feet hip width apart and squat. Your knees should be stacked on top of your ankles; make sure they do not go over your toes. Use your leg muscles to push your body off the ground and reach as high as you can. Do as many as you can for one minute.

Ski Jumps: Keep your legs together. You are going to mimic skiing. Keep elbows tucked into your sides. Jump from side to side. As you jump from side to side, use your arms as momentum to help you jump. Do as many as you can in one minute.


Push Ups: Start in a plank position. Your hands should be a little wider than shoulder width. Lower your body just slightly off the ground and then push up. Do as many as you can do in 30 seconds.


Plank Crawls: Start in a plank position. Take your right hand and move it a few inches to the right. Your left hand will follow. Continue this movement to the right four times. Then move to the left four time. Do this for one minute.


Repeat these four moves three times.


One Final Push


Stand in a wide squat position. Your legs should be out wide with your toes turned out and pelvis tucked under. For 30 seconds, pulse.

Next, bring your arms out to a "T" and start moving your arms up and down (just small pulses) for 30 seconds.


Still in your wide squat position with your arms out, raise your arms up and clap your hand once they are over your head. Repeat for 30 seconds.


Still in your squat position, place your arms into the "T" position. Begin to move your arms directly in front of you. Your hands should be in front of your shoulders. Repeat this move for 30 seconds.


You're down to one last exercise. Still in your squat position, keep your arms are out. Do backward arm circles for 30 seconds. Now, switch—forward arm circles for 30 seconds.


Hold your squat for 30 more seconds. And relax.


You just did your Thanksgiving workout.


Stretch for five minutes and enjoy your turkey dinner.

(workout posted courtesy of

First Holiday Hurdle....

Posted by Melissa A Hazek on November 22, 2011 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)


Get a head start on Thursday's feast with the plan below courtesy of 

Monday: Clean Away Calories

If you don’t normally exercise, Bayliss recommends kick-starting your Thanksgiving week with two 15-minute walks brisk enough to get your heart pumping, which will burn a little more than 200 calories total. Walk around the block during lunch or squeeze in some quality time with your spouse during an after-dinner stroll. Then plan another activity to burn an additional 300 calories. Hosting a dinner for 20 on Thursday? Believe it or not, two hours of light cleaning (dusting, vacuuming, etc.) will zap that amount.


If you’d prefer to torch your calories at the gym, spend an hour at a moderate speed on an elliptical trainer, and top it off with 25 minutes of weight training to burn 500 calories.


Tuesday: Circuit Train

Too busy with holiday prep to hit the gym? We hear you. So try this calorie-blasting, muscle-toning total body circuit training routine — easy to do at home — to trim 500 calories today:


  • Do 60 seconds each of: push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, dumbbell overhead shoulder presses, bench dips, bent-over dumbbell rows, and step-ups on a step (about seven minutes total).
  • Repeat this sequence two more times. Rest for two minutes between each set.
  • Do 60 seconds each of: dumbbell chest press, plank, jumping jacks, forward lunges, bicep curls, bicycle crunches, and jumping squats (about seven minutes total).
  • Repeat the second sequence two more times. Rest for two minutes between each set.
  • Cool down with an easy walk for three minutes.


Wednesday: Get Outdoors

It can be challenging to completely offset your extra Thanksgiving calories with exercise alone, so try to fill up with whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables today. Stick to zero-calories drinks to cut a few hundred calories where you won’t miss it (and don’t need it). If you can, avoid Black Wednesday drinking celebrations, as alcohol is full of empty calories, and can cause you to eat more later on.


Today choose an activity you love to blast calories and stress. A great workout is a perfect pre-holiday stress buster, especially when you take your exercise al fresco. Research published earlier this year in the journal Environmental Science & Technology found that outdoor workouts were particularly energizing and motivating. Invite a friend for an hour of moderate bicycling outside or a 90-minute hike to burn 500 calories.


For an at-home workout, spend 30 minutes performing the following strength, cardio, and stretching exercises, followed by 30 minutes of dancing to your favorite music. Do three sets of the following: 10 pushups, 10 sit-ups or crunches, 10 tricep dips, 10 standing hand-to-opposite-toe touches, 10 standing elbow-to-opposite-knee crunches, 10 squats, and 10 jumping jacks. Do these as vigorously as you can, only resting briefly between sets.


Thursday: Squeeze In a Morning Workout

Set your alarm early today: morning exercise provides an extra boost of energy and may jump-start metabolism. Since many gyms are closed on Thanksgiving, repeat the home workouts from Monday or Tuesday. Be sure to eat a good breakfast, as skipping a meal can cause you to overeat later on.


You can also work in little fun ways to exercise throughout the day. A game of flag football with all your kids, siblings, and cousins can burn up to 500 calories an hour. Or start a new family tradition of going for a brisk walk after dinner. Exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing after a heavy holiday meal, but an Indiana University study found that working out after pigging out can actually reverse some of the meal’s damage to your arteries.


If you hosted Thanksgiving, don’t leave too many tempting leftovers around; share those indulgent side dishes and desserts with guests. Keeping only healthy food (white meat turkey and roasted veggies) helps ensure that your Thanksgiving meal doesn’t morph into a week of Thanksgiving calorie bombs.


Friday: Shop Off the Calories

Up early for Black Friday deals? Shopping — and the walking, bag toting, bending, and reaching (no stampeding, please!) that goes with it — can burn 500 calories in three to four hours.


If you’d rather avoid the crowds at the malls, try a new class at your gym like kickboxing, Pilates, or Zumba, which can burn up to 440 calories per hour-long class. Blast another 100 calories with 15 minutes of weight training after class.


Saturday: Pick Your Favorite Workout

Don’t lose steam yet: Burn one more round of 500 calories today and you should emerge from your Thanksgiving feast unscathed. (Resist the urge to camp out on the couch and eat leftovers all day!). Mix and match some your favorite workouts from the week — from outdoor hiking and biking to circuit training at home to shopping — and use My Calorie Counter to check your total calorie tally


Sunday: Rest and Rejuvenate

After a busy week of family gatherings and power workouts, give yourself a break and a pat on the back for working off your Thanksgiving Day indulgences. Use this day to review how well you did and to strategize how you can make a regular exercise routine a priority through the rest of the holiday season.


If you don’t have a regular exercise routine, start one now (don’t wait to make it a New Year resolution!). Even 15 minutes of brisk walking twice a day will make a difference in terms of minimizing holiday weight gain and zapping seasonal stress. Include exercise at the top of your to-do list this season and give yourself the gift of great health.


This year, I am thankful for a body that is getting stronger, and healthier with each change I make.  I may not have lost that additional 30 lbs I was hoping for, but I know my body is changing, and I feel so much better than one year ago from now.  

And, As always, I am Thankful for all of you!  It is great that we can provide one another enouragement and alittle healthy competition to strive to make the lifestyle changes we need to make to live life to the fullest.  

What are you Thankful for this year?



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