Author Archive - Nicole Winters

Halfway Through 8 Week Challenge

Posted: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 7:41 am
By: Nicole Winters
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I’m now halfway into my eight week workout class. It’s hard to believe I’ve been working hard for four weeks already! And the best part, I’m finally starting to see some results. I have lost a few pounds, but I really notice the difference in my strength. I can easily do exercises, like pushups, that I couldn’t do the first week. It’s amazing to me how much strength, stamina and flexibility I have gained in just a few short weeks. The workouts have also made me excited about exercising. I actually look forward to going to class three times a week!! I still have four more weeks to go but so far, so good. Also, my clothes are starting to feel a little looser; that’s the best feeling in the world!

I’ll be sitting down with KELOLAND Healthbeat Anchor Kelli Grant to do an interview about my halfway point progress today. Find out how much weight I’ve lost, and check out all my progress in tonight’s Healthbeat on KELOLAND News.


Fighting The Doughnut Urge

Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 1:52 pm
By: Nicole Winters
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In my last blog I wrote about all the ‘good’ foods I’ve been eating, and how I’m trying to stay away from the fatty, sugar-filled treats I love so much. Well, that’s true; I am trying.

But today someone left a box filled with chocolate covered doughnuts in the break room. I swear they were calling my name. My mouth was watering, and I even tiptoed over to get a better look, but I didn’t do it. I saw them out of the corner of my eye each time I filled my coffee cup this morning, which I may have chosen to do more today just to get a look at the delicious treats. And just when I noticed they were gone, and I finally thought I defeated my doughnut urge, our managing editor showed up with bags full of bagels and cream cheese. I was defeated. I gave in and ate a bagel. It’s better than a doughnut isn’t it??? (Travis, no need to answer that)!

I guess I’ll just have to do a few extra crunches tonight during my “fun” Thursday workout tonight!

Week 3: Eating Healthy

Posted: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 7:42 am
By: Nicole Winters
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Last week was a jam-packed week for me, so I am once again playing catch up on my blog. (I swear you won’t always see that message from me, I hope).

I’ve had a request from a co-worker to write about food and what I’ve been eating. I’d much rather write about what I shouldn’t eat and what I want to eat, but I’ll save that for another time. 

Basically, what I’ve learned so far is drink lots of water and eat several small meals throughout the day rather than three large meals. I’ve also tried to cut down on fatty foods and things filled with sugar i.e. cereal, cookies and juices. In place of the sugars, I’m trying to eat more protein, which you can get through foods like lean meats, nuts, eggs, and fish (though I don’t personally eat seafood).

Here’s an example of what I eat on a typical day during the week:

4:00 a.m.:  Yogurt, handful of almonds (sometimes a bowl of oatmeal instead of the yogurt)

7:00 a.m.:  Protein shake, handful of grapes

9:00 a.m.:  1 Orange

11:00 a.m.:  Some kind of snack, fruit or veggies

1:00 p.m.:  Chicken or turkey burger and veggies.

3:00 p.m.:  Carrots or cottage cheese

5:00 p.m.: Small salad or small snack 

This is just an example. I do switch things up from day to day. On the weekends when I have more time in the morning, I’ll make things like eggs and turkey sausage for breakfast.

My crazy work hours do make it hard to stay on a consistent eating schedule. To get around that, I make sure to bring lots of healthy snacks and a protein shake to work. That helps tie me over until I can eat lunch or dinner (not sure what it is for me).

I’ll admit I haven’t cut everything bad out of my diet because it’s not realistic for me to eat a 100% healthy diet because I would fail if I gave up EVERY food I love. But I am really trying to eat a balanced, healthy diet.

If anyone has any healthy recipes they’d like to share, please do. I’m always looking for new healthy meals!


Working Hard At Working Out

Posted: Monday, January 24, 2011 at 9:32 am
By: Nicole Winters
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The end of last week proved to be a bit hectic for me, so today I’m playing catch-up on my blog. Though it’s probably a good thing I waited until today to write, because after Thursday night’s workout I was ready to curse my trainer (only kidding Travis, kind of). 

Apparently Thursday’s are “fun” workout days. What I quickly learned is “fun” doesn’t always mean fun or anything close to it! We started the workout class with 8 sets of as many squats as we could do in 20 seconds. By the eighth set my legs were feeling it. We went right from that into stations that consisted of planks (where you hold yourself up on your forearms and toes), jump rope, pushups with weights, step-ups with weights, etc. (I think there were 8 different stations). We went from station to station doing as many of that single exercise as we could in 20 seconds, ending after the second round.

After getting the heart racing, and the muscles aching, came the really “fun” part that consisted of lunges, sit-ups and squat jumps. Every woman was timed during this to see how well they did. We did 15 reps of all three, right into 12 sets of each, 9 reps, 7 reps and then back up 7, 9, 12, 15. That doesn’t sound so bad reading it, but when you’re ready to throw in the towel, it’s challenging! There was no break in between. I think I got through the first 15, and was really starting to hurt. My legs felt like Jell-O, my face was tomato red and I wanted to quit!

But, just when I was about to give up, and tell Travis, I just couldn’t do it, I found out why working out in a group is so great. One of the other girls, who finished ahead of me, came over and did the exercises with me. She counted out loud and pushed me to the end. While she was taking the extra pain to help me, the rest of the class cheered me on. That gave me the motivation to push through the pain (and torture, I was thinking at the time). It was a gratifying feeling to finish without giving up. Because of that I have added a new goal to my list. I want to get to the point where I can finish a grueling exercise, and then motivate and help someone else who’s struggling. It really was an amazing feeling.

Now, we’re at Monday. Day 1 of week 2. I’ll let you know tomorrow how tonight’s workout goes. My thoughts are today will be hard since I’ve only done cardio exercise since Thursday, that means another sore day tomorrow!

 More to come later…


P.S. I cheated on my diet yesterday. I ate a cheeseburger (no bun) and a handful… ok, 2 handfuls of Doritos… and I ate veggie dip with my veggies. There it’s off my chest! Ugh, now I have to workout harder. But, the taste was worth it!

8 Week Challenge: Day 2

Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 8:06 am
By: Nicole Winters
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I survived my second workout class Tuesday night. Surprisingly, the tough exercises felt a little easier to do than the first day; let’s hope that trend continues! However, I am feeling much sorer today than I did after the first day, but I guess that just comes with getting back in shape.

My nutrition plan, which I realize I’ve only been doing for two days, is going well so far. I’ve switched from 2 to 3 big meals a day, to several small meals. I also for the first time in my life am reading food labels to see what nutritional value each food item has. One thing I didn’t realize, on some foods, like a single bottle of orange juice, it will say it contains a certain number of calories but when you look closer that’s just for one serving.  In reality, there’s 2 to 2.5 servings in that single personal bottle. The more you pay attention to things like that the more foods you will see actually contain higher calories and fat that you may have originally thought.

I’m also writing down everything I eat and drink. Every little thing gets written down so at the end of the day I can see just what I put in my body. I’ve found it to be a helpful tool because it reminds me what I’ve eaten, and if I’m missing anything I need more of, i.e. protein. My trainer, Travis, also looks over my food journal to make sure I’m staying on track and to give me advice on how to balance my nutritional needs. Just another way to hold me accountable!

In blogs to come, I’m going to try and include some tips on nutrition and exercise that I learn from Travis. That way anyone interested can give it a try at home.  I’m also working on getting some pictures of my fitness class to share (I first have to get the women in my class to forgive me for bringing in a video camera)!

By the way if you’re interested in seeing the first story on my 8 week challenge you can watch is online. Our Healthbeat reporter Kelli Grant, and photographer Kevin Kjergaard, did a great job!

New Year, New Nicole

Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 8:18 am
By: Nicole Winters
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The New Year usually motivates people to start over, or try something new in their life. For me, I’ve always thought of doing things differently, but never actually followed through with it. But, I’m determined to not let that be the case this year.

2011 is going to be a life changing year for me. I have two very important weddings to attend, one of which is mine at the end of the year, and the

other is my best friends in May. On top of that, I also have my ten year high school reunion coming up.

While I’m excited for the adventures ahead, my mind has not stopped thinking about the fact that I’ll be wearing a wedding gown, bridesmaid dress and seeing lots of faces I haven’t seen in years. That of course has made me start re-evaluating my not so great nutrition, and my lack of exercise. Sure, I could give plenty excuses of why I’ve chosen to sit on my couch and eat pizza for the last several months, but I will spare you from hearing about my laziness. Instead, keeping with my New Years resolution (I plan to actually stick with) I’m going to stay positive, stop making excuses and get off the couch and get in shape.

The way I’m going to do it- through a body balance challenge with Tryon Gym. I followed a woman through the grueling 8 week challenge back in November for a story. Her determination and will to lose weight and get in shape really motivated me. Given the fact that I’m not one to stick with what I start when it comes to exercise, I thought this is just what I need. Over 8 weeks I will be working out with a group of women 3 times a week, working out on my own, and keeping a nutrition log of EVERYTHING I eat (which my trainer, Travis, will be checking).

The goal of the program is to hold you accountable for your own results. If I cheat, I’m only cheating myself. Working out with a group of women, most of which have similar goals to me, helps keep us all moving. And judging by the first night of class Monday night I’m in for a long hard 8 weeks. We did a variety of fast paced exercises that have me groaning when I sit, stand, or move in just about any direction. It felt good though to get back in the gym and get going on my goals.

I hope to draw motivation from my readers as well. So, if you have any tips or advice to keep me going strong, please share them with me. I will continue to blog through the 8 weeks to help hold myself accountable and hopefully motivate others. You’ll also be able to watch my progress on KELOLAND News.