BeachBody customer service

Grrr. I am so frustrated right now! I placed an online order with BeachBody last night. BeachBody has great products and fitness support but absolutely lousy customer service if you have questions about your order. It is farmed out to what sounds like India. Each department is unable to communicate with the others.

You get bounced around from phone number to phone number (forget about transfers, you have to hang up and call a different number) to the internet and back.The phone number on the internet order confirmation they sent me says the “number can not be accessed from your area”. I’m in Alaska. That’s still part of the United States last time I checked. It’s not like I’m calling from overseas.

They sent me a confirmation e-mail. It included “estimated” sales tax of 91 cents. We don’t have sales tax in Alaska so I wanted to find out where they got that number. I called a phone number and was told the order was too recent and call back later. This morning I called and was told their never was any tax. I asked for a confirmation or new receipt without the tax. The man told me he couldn’t do that. I’d need to call another number or go online. I tried that number and got nowhere. Then after they don’t answer your question they ask if you’re satisfied with their service!

I tried to log onto the BeachBody customer service. It said invalid password. I tried to Find Password and was told my e-mail wasn’t in the system. I then tried to create a new account and it said the e-mail was already in the system. How can it be both?

I was going to order another product from them but after the customer service nightmare, I bought it on e-bay instead. Last time I had BeachBody ship to my PO Box and it took 7 weeks and another customer service nightmare! This time I gave them my house address. The e-bay item will be sent to the PO Box. I’m curious to see which arrives first.

UPDATE: It shipped on Tuesday and the tax had indeed been removed. I hope it arrives soon. Also they gave me free shipping to compensate for my troubles. It makes all the difference when you get someone who knows how to help you. Now I’m really excited. If I knew which flight the mail sack was on I’d go meet it at the airport.

Thank you CLE

Yesterday’s mail had a surprise for me. A check for almost $30 from Christian Light Education. It wasn’t a refund, it was a paycheck. As those of you who read last summer’s posts, I went down to Christian Light’s teacher training in Virginia. At the end, they asked me to write a brief testimonial of how I apply what I learned to my homeschool. I don’t know how many other trainees were asked to do this. Anyway, I submitted my article and they accepted it for publication! I’m now a paid author!

Fitness update 2009 #5

This has been a fantastic week. I’ve had my biggest weekly weight loss yet, two and a half pounds! I’ve been strict about NO S eating and started the third level of Slim in 6 (Burn It Up!) this week. As a result, I’m down to 165.25 and have now gone below the monthly weight goal.

I’ve been doing Burn It Up! since Sunday. What a workout. Here’s where you finally start to see big results. I’ve had modest results from the first 2 levels, but this third is very intense. Just like starting the other 2 levels, this one kicked my butt the first day. It was worse than going from level 1 to level 2 because there are fewer similar moves. The ones that are the same she does more reps. Plus this is a full hour. The cario is half an hour then strength training for 20 minutes. Finally stretching and yoga for the last 10 minutes or so. She goes from one move to the next with no pause except after the cardio to get ready for strength. You’re moving the entire time.

Next week is probably the last scheduled week with the Slim in 6. I’m looking for something to follow it up with that will keep the results coming. I’m ordering Turbo Jam: Maximum Results. I want something fun and less structured that’s also high intensity but low impact easy on the knees. It’s from the same company as Slim in 6. Have any of you done it?

We went to Subway yesterday and I still managed to have a weight loss. I was good and had a 6 inch sandwich with honey mustard instead of mayo. I had the baked chips and a soda. My son drank my soda thinking it was his. I refilled it before we left but my daughter drank that while I was out of the room.

Monthly weight met!

Yeah! Hooray! With no gimicks today, I’ve met my goal weight for the month, 166! Surpassed it actually by almost quarter of a pound. Not bad considering how bumpy my weight loss has been this month. I just need to keep at or below the goal for the rest of the week and it’s pay time. I’ll be curious on Thursday what my weekly loss will be this week. I’ve really been trying hard.

I’m starting to notice a change in my body. Theres a hollow dent like spot between my ribs and waist on both sides. I had to use a tighter notch in my bra this morning. I have more energy and am less out of breath when exercising. Oh, and I did Burn It Up again today (except the leg floor work, that’s just painful).

One bad fitness related note today. We took the kids swimming for an hour yesterday.  Last night my face was red and very painful from the chlorine even though I did take a shower after swimming. I put cream on it last night and it was feeling better this morning. This afternoon, I started sweating a lot while exercising and my sweat smelled like chlorine! Ugh! Now my face is red and sore again. Not as bad as last night, but it still hurts.

How Chugach schools work

Dee wanted to know how does the school district that my kids are in work? Is it totally a distance/homeschool program?

Chugach is the school district we use for homeschool. They have traditional schools in 3 small coastal villages. They also have correspondence/homeschool programs based in Anchorage, Valdez and Fairbanks. I go through the Fairbanks program. There are several things that make Chugach Schools unique.

At the end of the summer, each student and their parents must meet with the teacher to develop goals and an individual learning plan for the upcoming year. Curriculum and materials are decided at this point. This is true of both the schools and homeschools.

We don’t have traditional K-12 grades. Each subject has different levels based upon state standards that need to be completed before graduation which are not directly related to each other. The students progress through the levels of each subject separately. As long as every level is completed before graduation, students can go at their own pace. This is good because if a student is advanced or slow in a subject, they can spend as much time as needed. For instance, I just moved my son into science 3/4. There are 8 science levels to graduate.

We also don’t have regular A-F +/- grading. Instead each subject level is broken down into specific targets. Once a student has shown competency in all the targets for that level, he can then be moved up to the next level. This can be shown through reports, projects or tests. For the homeschools, parents must submit specific proof depending upon the subject. For his science I made a list of the proof for each target and submitted it in a packet along with the proof so it was understood which item went with what target(s). It’s very objective. Either they know it or not. So instead of just getting an A in first grade math, the Chugach student would need to demonstrate (and parent submit proof if homeschool) competency for all 17 targets of the first level of math.

Homeschool students are given an allotment based upon what grade they would be if in a traditional K-12 system. This money can be spent on curriculum, materials, or lessons. There are limits to how much can be spent on PE and other non-academic subjects. The money can’t be spend on religious classes, materials or curriculum. The Abeka and Christian Light Education that I use aren’t covered. Thankfully, they aren’t very expensive. This also means I have more allotment left to spend on more expensive things like science and WinterPromise history. You need to have 4 subjects with the majority of curriculum from non-religious companies to be considered full time. Allotments are pro-rated for part time students depending upon how many classes they have. Curriculum from religious companies like Abeka and Christian Light does count toward graduation, just not enrollment or allotment eligibility.

There is a waitlist to keep enrollment down so the supervising teachers aren’t overloaded. You must contact your teacher at least once a month. Progress reports are sent out three times a year. On them are listed the targets for your students’ current levels. Parents simply mark what targets the student has become competent in during that trimester. Once all targets are met, assessments need to be submitted to move the student into the next level. This can be done at any time in the year.

There are no specific record keeping requirements other than proof of progress when completing levels. I do however use a Teacher Planner where I mark down daily what we’ve done. This is mostly to keep me on track but also in case I need to recreate proof.

For more information, their website is http://www.chugachschools.com/home_school/index.html

Burn It Up day 1!

I really didn’t like what the scale said this morning. We had dinner at friend’s house last night (homemade cheeseburgers, potato salad, and dessert). I gained half a pound. Since today is the start of the weekly average for deciding if we got our money bonus for meeting the monthly weight goal, Ray said if I skipped breakfast and exercised then I could weigh again and count the second weight.

I needed to push myself so I decided to try the third level of Slim in 6, Burn It Up. Just like starting the other 2 levels, this one kicked my butt. It was worse than going from level 1 to level 2 because there are fewer similar moves. The ones that are the same she does more reps. Plus this is a full hour. The cario is half an hour then strength training for 20 minutes. Finally stretching and yoga for the last 10 minutes or so. She goes from one move to the next with no pause except after the cardio to get ready for strength. You’re moving the entire time.

What a workout. My muscles are burning and tired. I’m sweating and breathing hard. I’m shaking and a little light headed. However, it was worth it. I just weighed myself and I’ve lost a pound (and that’s with water breaks while exercising)! I’m down to 166.5. Now I know why they call this level Burn It Up. Whew!

Time for a nice cup of tea while waiting for my husband to get home. Then we’re going to take the kids swimming. I think I may soothe my muscles in the hot tub. If I’m not too sore, I’ll do Burn It Up again tomorrow. Otherwise, I’ll drop back to Ramp It Up.

Greedy eating

Are you a greedy eater? Do you order more than you know you’ll eat to be full? Do you order a footlong sandwich when a 6 inch will do just because it’s only a little more expensive but twice the food? Do you order the large fries and drink? Do you go back for more at the salad bar because it’s included with the meal? These are some examples of what I mean by greedy eating.

I admit, I’m a greedy eater in reform. That’s part of the reason I’m overweight now. However, since I’ve started No S Diet, I’ve come to realize what a proper portion size should be. I don’t need the larger size or extra serving, I wanted it. I ordered it because I could. It made economical sense. Economics say if you get a lot more for only a little extra price, it’s a good deal. However, nutritionally it was just the opposite. I stored the extra as fat. My body didn’t need it.

Our bodies have developed this wonderful ability to store extra calories as fat for when we need extra energy or food is scarce. Unfortunately, modern society has done away with hunger for the most part. In fact, we have gone the other direction. Food is in abundance in America for relatively low cost. Food is everywhere. We are constantly barraged with food ads in magazines, newspapers, tv, on the radio (and probably billboards too although billboards are illegal in Alaska). They are even printed on city buses and public spaces.

All this easily available cheap food can cause greedy eating habits. Another example is finishing the last little serving in the dish just to use it up. My bread machine makes large loaves. One of my favorite sandwiches is tuna. I make more than we need usually because I’m never sure how much the kids will eat. Rather than having leftovers, my husband and I usually made another sandwich and ate it even if we weren’t really hungry anymore.

I’ve come to recognize many of my eating habits as greedy eating or emotional eating. I don’t really need the food. I just want it. After getting used to smaller portion sizes and only single servings, I’m satisfied instead of stuffed after a meal. For instance, I’ve been eating full sandwiches (or even multiple sandwiches) everyday out of habit not necessarily need. Today I shared a sandwich with my daughter rather than eat a full one myself. I realized I wasn’t that hungry so I didn’t need a full sandwich.

Breaking the greedy eating habit hasn’t been easy. My body had gotten used to the larger portions and multiple servings. When I first started No S diet, I was hungry. Perseverance has paid off though. I’ve lost 5 pounds so far. I’m still tempted to take another serving sometimes but then I think, am I really still hungry of just being greedy again?

So now I’m challenging you to break your greedy eating habit. You don’t have to give up your favorite foods. Just enjoy them in moderation.

Tricks to eating less

Weight loss happens when you use more calories than you consume. It takes 3500 calories to burn 1 pound fat. A safe weight loss is generally 1-2 pounds per week. This can be done through diet and/or exercise. Most people choose diets because they take less physical effort.

As part of any good weight management plan, proper nutrition and portion size are very important. Most traditional diets put one or both of these in imbalance, resulting in temporary weight loss. Once the imbalance is back in balance, unless you’ve modified your lifestyle in a sustainable way, chances are you’ll gain the weight back only to try another diet resulting in imbalance and temporary weight loss. This is the classic yo-yo diet.

Atkins and other carb restricting diets work by placing your body in nutritional imbalance by forcing your body to burn protein instead of carbs, which uses more calories. Some carbohydrates are essential to proper health. You can actually stave without some carbohydrates in your diet long term.

Calorie restricting diets work by putting your body in calorie imbalance by lowering the amount of overall calories consumed. If you consume fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Calorie restricting diets take on many forms from only eating a few select items such as grapefruit, salads, or cereal to simply counting calories. No matter what form, they all work the same way by limiting the total calorie intake. However, you must be careful not to restrict intake too much for too long otherwise your body goes into starvation mode and lowers your metabolism. Thus, when you starting eating normal again, you gain weight back even faster. Some of these diets also place your body in nutritional imbalance by limiting the quality and quantity of nutrients consumed below what is needed by the body. Both of these conditions can lead to malnutrition long term.

You may want to use on of these diets to loose some weight. However, you must have a long-term nutrition plan to keep the weight off. This is where portion control comes into play. The typical American portion is huge, especially after calorie restricting diets. There are a few tricks to keeping portion size (and therefore your body size) under control.

Exercise. Most people know that diet and exercise are important to weight loss. The problems starts when people stop exercising once they reach their goal weight. Then they stop paying attention to what they eat. These combine to cause weight gain. Keep up the exercise. If you’ve been exercising a lot, you may cut the intensity or frequency, but don’t just stop altogether.

Keep a food journal. Websites like Fitday.com can help by tracking nutrition, food quantity, calories, and even exercise to give personalized reports. Once you understand what and how much you’re eating, you can better determine your optimum calorie level and portion sizes for weight maintenance.

Use smaller plates. This may sound silly but if you have smaller plates, you will eat less at one serving yet still have a full plate. The key is not to go for seconds.

Make fruits and veggies the main part of the meal. Fruits and veggies are nutrient rich and low calorie. Yet they are packed with fiber which makes you feel full.

Stay away from empty calorie carbs. I’m not sure the difference between complex and simple carbs. I know one is more processed than the other but always get which one is which mixed up. Anyway one of them, the processed one, is bad. It is full of calories and low on nutrition. You can overeat this way. So stick with lower processing such as whole grain instead of white bread.

Drink more water. Sometimes you can confuse thirst for hunger. If you feel hungy and it’s been less than 4 hours since you last ate, you may just be thirsty. Try drinking some water. If after 10 minutes you’re still hungry, eat a light snack.

Drink less alcohol, juice, soda, and other non-water drinks including sports drinks. People often don’t pay attention to the calories in what they drink. Also, be careful of marketing ploys such as the flavored and vitamin added waters. Many of these products actually have a lot of calories, some have even more than juice or soda. Try replacing these drinks with low calorie drinks such as water, tea, coffee. Green tea actually can help in weight loss. If plain tea is not your thing, add a teaspoon of honey or fruit juice. However, be careful of calories in bottled teas.

One thing I’m using is called the No S Diet. It’s more of a nutrition plan than traditional diet. It doesn’t require counting calories, carbs, or points. It relys on will power and 3 simple rules:

  1. No seconds
  2. No sweets
  3. Not on days starting with s or other special occasions

If you want to have pizza, fine. Just one slice. Chicken with rice? Just one serving. Pie ala-mode? Better make it on the weekend. The best thing about this is that unlike most traditional diets, it can be followed for you entire life without putting yourself in danger of malnutrition because it doesn’t limit the type of foods you can eat except sweets. You can still have your favorite foods, just in moderation.

If you like seconds or tend to eat large servings, take the amount you would have in a serving and put half back. Wait ten minutes. If you’re still hungry after eating that, then get the other half for seconds.

Finally, what I’ve been doing this week is filling half my plate with salad and the other half with whatever else we’re having for dinner. This gives me a full plate of food with half the calories. Yet, I feel full because of the salad. Just be sure to use mostly greens and a low calorie dressing (I like Kraft’s Lite Zesty Italian) or you may actually increase the number of calories if you use lots of toppings and regular creamy dressing.

Keep in mind I’m not a nutritionist and this is just based on my personal research and readings.

Fitness update 2009 #4

Well, the little bunny only hopped a quarter pound down the garden this week. I still have over a pound to reach goal weight this month. On the plus side, that means I’m 10 percent to my overall goal weight when I meet my goal for this month! However, I’ve been much more strict about eating and exercising this week so I think the small weight loss is more due to adding muscle than not loosing fat. I also drank a lot of water at the gym last night which could be another reason for only a small loss. I’ll weight myself tomorrow and see if there’s any difference.

I’ve gone to the gym 3 times this week and done the second level of Slim in 6 the other days. Most of it is getting pretty easy, but the leg floor part is still tough. I’m not sure if I’ll stick with level 2 for another week or move up to the final level, Burn It Up. I think I may just try it and see how it goes.

The scale may be only creeping down but my clothes are much looser. In fact, one skirt won’t stay on at all and my favorite one is in danger of doing the same. A dress that was rather tight is now comfortable. My chest is tighter. Everywhere else seems to have shrunk a bit as well. If I keep this up, I should be easily able to fit into those smaller dresses for our cruise in March.

Speaking of the cruise, we’ve been taking oral typhus vaccine. It’s one pill every other day for 4 doses. One of the potential side effects is nausea. It’s not very common but when it comes to rare or unusual medically, that’s me. Anyway, it’s been making me queasy the following day. Good for controlling appetite, but not the recommended method for weight loss. Today isn’t as bad as the day after the first dose was, but still not that great. Tomorrow is the last dose, thankfully.

I went to the new gym branch last night. It is open 24 hours. Many people say part of the reason Americans are overweight is they spend too much time sitting still watching tv. However, the machines at this gym have what’s called Cardio Theater. It’s tv’s with headsets. In the other gyms, they have several large tv’s each on a different channel. In this gym each machine has it’s own small tv, with basic cable. I watched MythBusters while riding the bike, then watched half a show about volcanoes while on the treadmill. That was fun. You have to keep moving to have the sound stay on which is good motivation. I may start planning my workouts around tv shows 😆 Unfortunately, I’m a bit sore today but, I didn’t let that stop me from doing the Slim in 6 workout.

UPDATE 1/23/09

It must have been one of the reason above for yesterday’s small weight loss because today was down to 167. That’s more like what I was expecting.

New big girl bed

My daughter finally got her big girl bed properly set up this afternoon. I bought a wood bed frame at a garage sale last summer but didn’t have a mattress set until this week. She had been sleeping just on an old mattress on the floor. Today my husband brought the new set up to the house. I took apart the crib which was still in her room. Then we set up the bed. It had to be turned sideways until we can take apart the desk and move the file cabinets (the room was previously my mother in law’s office).

Tonight will be her first night in the bed. She has only rolled off the mattress once on the floor but I put a rug beside the bed just in case. She has my old blankets. It actually looks a bit like my bed growing up which is a bit weird but fun.