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Sprint to Orangetheory Fitness for a Seriously Sweaty and Worthwhile Workout

When I first heard the name “Orangetheory Fitness,” my mind immediately conjured up images of some kind of old school punk band playing a set in someone’s basement. Boy was I wrong! As it turns out, it’s a rapidly expanding fitness sensation (locations in more than 15 states and 2 Canadian territories) that is taking the continent by storm!

I ventured over to the Naperville, IL location (as I am now a Chicagoland resident) to try out a class to see what it was all about. When I entered I was greeted by a very friendly staff who explained the workings of what was to transpire in class. I was given my own heart rate monitor to wear for the workout to see how hard I’d actually be working.

orange theory fitness
The workout starts with interval training (which I am a HUGE fan of). The first part consisted of Indo Row machines (rowers with water in them for a real rowing effect) and then switching to the box area where we did various strength training moves. This persisted for about a half hour. At first, I was like “Easy Peasy!,” but by the third time around, I was sweating profusely and was feeling the burn!

The second half of the class had us on the treadmills. We did various lengths of intervals, running and jogging, mixed with recovery walks in between. I felt as though I could run a lot harder and faster because we were doing shorter sprints, rather than long drawn out runs. By the end of the second half, I had clocked more than two miles in sprints!
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Name a Pretty Muddy Obstacle and Win 2 Entries to a Pretty Muddy Race

Have we got a pretty good deal for you!

The newest 5K to join the fun run scene is Pretty Muddy, a women-only race that kicks off a six-city tour in Chicago on September 15.

With many hurdles dotting the landscape of this three-mile obstacle course, each takes on a different personality and offers a new challenge to the women up to their ears in mud. And DietsInReview.com readers get an exclusive opportunity to name one of these obstacles!

The Pretty Muddy Obstacle Naming contest goes like this:

1. Visit and like our Facebook page at Facebook.com/DietsInReview

2. Post on our wall your idea for an obstacle name

3. Visit and like Pretty Muddy’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/PrettyMuddy to keep up with the latest race news

It’s seriously that simple! On August 24, we’ll announce on our Facebook page who had the winning entry. For the entire 2012 season, every woman who runs Pretty Muddy will go through an obstacle that YOU named!
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Get Down and Dirty at Pretty Muddy, a Women-Only Obstacle Mud Run

Want to run Pretty Muddy for FREE? Then check out our exclusive contest at Facebook.com/DietsInReview. Enter a name for one of the Pretty Muddy obstacles and you and a friend could be getting pretty muddy at the race of your choice! Click for full details.

Fun and unique races are popping up everywhere it seems. Ways to get covered in color, glow-in-the-dark, or find your inner warrior have all been pretty popular additions to the running scene this year. Just when you think they’ve thought of it all, a new race with appeal unlike any other shows up. Pretty Muddy is a new race just for the ladies… no boys allowed!

Pretty Muddy is a 5k adventure obstacle course race. As you can probably gather, it’s also pretty muddy. The whole concept is focused on women being able spend free time out of their daily grind in an unforgettable way. The race was created by two men who watched their wives balance so much between work, family, and responsibilities and realized they needed more outlets for carefree time in their lives. And thus, Pretty Muddy was born. I can tell I already like these guys.

An occasional solo shopping trip or even wine night out with the girls isn’t always a true release, nor is it very active. But an obstacle course in the mud? Umm yes please! I can’t think of a better way to blow off steam with my friends while painting a constant smile on my face.
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Sarah Wu’s “Fed Up With Lunch” Outs the Nutritionally-Void School Lunch Program [Video Interview]

How many times have any of us ever forgotten our lunch? It’s a pretty mundane event, we either skip or find a plan B and move on with our day. For Sarah Wu, it was not a common occurrence to leave her lunch at home. Making lunches for she and her toddler son was a part of her routine. However, one fateful day she did forget her lunch and what happened after that changed her life.

Sarah is a speech pathologist for Chicago Public Schools, and in 2009 she was working in one of the largest and poorest schools in the city (she remains there today). She forgot her lunch, but felt a little relief because for three dollars she could walk to the cafeteria and pick up that day’s hot plate. She admits to having ” a minimal understanding of food and scratch cooking” but upon receiving her school lunch that fateful day, she said “I knew there was something wrong with that meal.”

It was a bagel dog, a hot dog encased in a starchy white bagel crust, that was pretty soggy. This was served with a handful of tater tots (which qualifies as a vegetable serving), a Jell-O cup (a qualified fruit serving), and a chocolate milk. Almost immediately Sarah became “Fed Up With Lunch,” the title of her blog-turned-book in which she “outs” the goings on of the school cafeteria and how our children are being fed nothing more than processed, chemical junk.

“I didn’t think there was much I could do,” Wu told us, who took on the pen name “Mrs. Q” to protect her fragile anonymity. She agonized for weeks over what she was seeing at school before she finally started her Fed Up With Lunch blog, where she committed to eating lunch in the school cafeteria every day for an entire school year. She photographed the meals each day, all of which are shared in a photo insert in the book, and wrote about what she was served, what she was learning about the school food industry, and even the effects she was seeing on her students as a result of these meals.
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Kim Fine’s True Weight Loss Story: “I Rewrote My Life Story.”

You could say that Kim Fine resembles a typical up-and-coming 20-something: she lives in the big city (of Chicago), works in advertising and has a lot of friends. But one thing that was different about Kim than her peers was that she wasn’t living like them. She avoided social functions and a lot of the benefits of living in a city like Chicago, in an industry like advertising. Why? Because in January 2009 Kim was at, what she calls, an all-time high and low.

Kim weighed 321.6 pounds on January 20, 2009. The all-time high was her weight, the all-time low was feeling trapped within herself and depressed. She says she wasn’t living the life a 24-year-old should. “I distinctly remember thinking to myself for years I was absolutely meant to be fat because my body must not know how to be thin,” Kim told us. “It was all I had really ever known.”

That day in January would be the last of that life and the first of this new life. “I rewrote my life story,” says Kim, but she didn’t do it overnight. Today, Kim is 25 and weighs 168 pounds, a dramatic 154-pound loss that she says is still in progress and that has completely changed this woman’s outlook and approach to life.

Want to know how she did it? Impressively, the old-fashioned way with hard work, more exercise, healthy dietary changes, and a commitment to herself. “I am not superwoman or more inclined to success than anyone else in this world,” Kim says humbly.

Hear Kim discuss Jillian Michaels’ Master Your Metabolism, which she credits with giving her the education she needed to get her food and fitness in control.

Listen Here:


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