New podcast and prize recap

For your aural pleasure!How was your weekend? Still coming down from a post-wedding high here after seeing a very dear friend marry the love of his life. Oh, it was swoonworthy stuff.

After a festive season sabbatical, Carla and I have a new Two Fit Chicks episode today, in which Carla has a N.E.W. acronym to help jazz up your exercise routine in 2011, I consider renouncing my Fit Chick title, and we chat to Charlotte of The Great Fitness Experiment. So if you're in the running to win her book, why not check it out and make sure she is a real person! 😉

Speaking of the 10th Birthday Sell Out, thank you everyone for all your entries so far! Entries close next Monday 31 January at 12PM GMT, so if you've not checked out the prizes there's still plenty of time to do so. Here's a handy list so you don't have to scroll down forever:

  1. "Chocolate & Vicodin" memoir by Jennette Fulda
  2. "The Beauty of Different" book by Karen Walrond
  3. Cardio Coach audio workouts
  4. "Get Lucky" novel by Katherine Center
  5. Beyond Chocolate e-course and books
  6. "The Great Fitness Experiment" book by Charlotte Hilton Anderson
  7. Soul Vision three-month life coaching package
  8. Weight Loss Resources three-month membership (UK only)
  9. Less Bounce £45 gift voucher

Update: A bunch of your comments were caught in the Typepad Spam filter, but I've published them now! I will continue to check this daily.

Update 2: The contest is now closed. Thank you for your entries! Winners will be announced on 1 February. All comments have been checked – none are in the Spam filter and duplicate entries have been removed.

Please note: Comment moderation is now back on. If you comment it won't show up until I approve them. This is due to the high volume of spam comments.

WIN! £45 voucher from @lessbounce – DG 10th Birthday Sell Out Day 7

The Dietgirl 10th Birthday Sell Out Phew… It's the final prize in the 10th Birthday Sell Out.

The prize: One lucky winner will receive a £45 gift voucher to spend at Less Bounce, the online sports bra retailer, including free worldwide shipping.

Available to readers from: Worldwide

What the heck is it?
Last year's most hotly contested prize was the Enell sports bra, as donated by Less Bounce. This year I want the prize to be suitable for chests of all sizes, so asked nicely if I could give away a gift voucher. So whether you're after serious scaffolding or the flimsiest scrap of fabric, this prize is suitable for everyone! They also sell sportswear and swimwear if you're already sorted in the bra department.

Lift! Lift! Why I dig it
LessBounce is a UK company started by fitness instructor and personal trainer Selaine Saxby when she couldn't find a good sports bra locally. Now they stock a huge range of sports bras suitable for all sports for chests of all shapes and sizes.

They also have great customer service, a handy bra finder on the homepage and they ship worldwide. To cut and paste from last year's giveaway: you and your boobs cannae go wrong!

There is one £45 Less Bounce voucher (including free worldwide shipping) to be won. Leave a comment below to enter! Entries close Monday 31 January 2011 at 12PM GMT. Winners will be drawn at random. Click here to view terms and conditions of the Sell Out.

BONUS! Dietgirl readers can score 10% off all Less Bounce orders placed before 28 February 2011. Just enter code "dietgirl" at the checkout.

WIN! Weight Loss Resources membership – DG 10th Birthday Sell Out Day 6

The Dietgirl 10th Birthday Sell Out The prize: One lucky winner will receive three months membership to Weight Loss Resources.

Available to readers from: UK only.

WTF?!
It may seem odd to offer mindful eating gear one day and a weight loss website membership the next. But as I've said before, I'm not a card-carrying member of any method, regime or philosophy. I find it more helpful to experiment with different things and nick the bits that work for me. Read on and I'll explain 🙂

What the heck is it?
Weight Loss Resources is a set of online tools that can help you bust some lard. Features include:

  • The biggest UK food database
  • Food diary and analysis tools
  • Calorie requirements calculator
  • Goal setting facilities
  • Monitoring of weight, body fat and BMI
  • Reports and charts on weight and nutrition
  • Add your own recipes and automatically calculate nutritional information
  • Exercise activity database
  • Members forum
  • Mobile-friendly version of the site so you can update on the go

Weight Loss Resources Why I dig it
Despite the interest in mindfulness I've kept my Weight Loss Resources membership. I find the no-nonense, non-shouty site to be very useful. While my food diary is the shared Google spreadsheet these days, I still like to enter my food on WLR now and then just to see how the combo of planning tasty meals and paying attention to hunger levels is balancing out. It's been really encouraging to see that the numbers add up to a slow, steady weight loss. It's giving me the confidence to keep on trusting myself.

I also wanted to offer this prize because I know people out there are in different stages of a Gettin' Healthy journey. If you are confused about nutrition and have no idea what is in the food you're currently eating, I reckon keeping a food diary is great way to get started. Sometimes seeing the numbers can help you make changes – for example if you see that one of your favourite foods has a gazillion grams of fat, you could change the portion size or find a different recipe. The trick is to view the numbers as data and feedback, and try not to get obsessive.

The WLR site has a simple, clean design and is easy to use. To get started you enter your height and weight, decide how much you want to lose each week (from 0.5 -2 pounds) and it tells you how many calories a day to eat. It also tallies up carbs, protein, fat, fibre and sodium. You can get as much or as little involved in the rest of the site has you like – potter your way through the articles or dive into the community forum. A very helpful site for UK folks.

There is one three-month Weight Loss Resources membership to be won. Leave a comment below to enter! UK residents only. Entries close Monday 31 January 2011 at 12PM GMT. Winners will be drawn at random. Click here to view terms and conditions of the Sell Out.

Edit: Apologies to any RSS readers, I accidentally put six months membership when I first wrote the post then realised it was three. Still a kickarse prize though! 🙂

WIN! Life coaching from Soul Vision – DG 10th Birthday Sell Out Day 6

The Dietgirl 10th Birthday Sell Out The prizes:  One lucky winner will receive a life coaching package from Soul Vision, consisting of a one-hour Skype call every two weeks for three months ($450 USD value).

Available to readers from: Worldwide

What the heck is it?
Soul Vision is a partner company of Cardio Coach. Here's what they have to say about life coaching:

Having a coach is like having a friend who is completely focused on your best interest as it relates to every aspect of your life. At Soul Vision, we support clients from around the world as they make the tough choices that bring about soul nourishing results.  It’s not easy living on purpose, but it is so worth it!

Why I dig it
I admit I'm a cynical person with a very strong wariness of anything with the word "soul" in it, unless it pertains to music from the 60s and 70s. I thought life coaching was a wee bit too froufrou unicorns and rainbows for me.

Then last year I purchased a Cardio Coach workout and they offered a free Soul Vision Life coaching session as a gift with purchase. I was feeling very down and lost at the time and thought, "Well it couldn't make me feel any bloody worse!".

So I had a Skype call with life coach Jeff Weber. He was very kind and patient. We talked over a questionnaire that he'd had me fill out beforehand, in which you have to rate various aspects of your life on a scale. I had high scores for relationships, but shockers for things like authenticity, career, personal growth, health, play and sense of direction. Soon my cynicism and resistance dissolved into floods of honking tears and I was very glad the Skype call had video disabled.

My Soul Vision session was so illuminating and I'm glad I had the nerve to try something out of my comfort zone. Along with a session I had with a UK life coach Rachel McGuinness (who was also wonderful), it was the catalyst for me getting counselling, as it made me see I needed to talk to someone about some serious stuff.

I think life coaching would be a good option to explore if you have the really deep-seated stuff in hand (a life coach is not a shrink) and you want an ally to help respark your lust for life and make changes to your career, personal life, health or whatnot. If you're looking for a real sounding board and cheerleader, or if you're someone who skips straight to Martha Beck's column when you get your O magazine, I reckon this prize might be your cup of tea.

There is one three-month Soul Vision life coaching package to be won. Simply leave a comment on this blog entry to enter. Entries close Monday 31 January 2011 at 12PM GMT. Winners will be drawn at random. Click here to view terms and conditions of the Sell Out.

WIN! “The Great Fitness Experiment” by Charlotte Hilton Andersen – DG Sell Out Day 5

The Dietgirl 10th Birthday Sell Out The prize:  One lucky winner will receive a copy of The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything by Charlotte Hilton Andersen.

Available to readers from:  Worldwide

What the heck is it?
The Great Fitness Experiment is a new book inspired by Charlotte's mega popular blog of the same name. Here's the synopsis of the book:

Body image and fitness are hot topics for both men and women. The Great Fitness Experiment is a funny and informative guide through the morass of contradictory claims and information in today’s health- and fitness-obsessed world. Charlotte Hilton Andersen tries a new workout each month for a year in an attempt to discover what works, what doesn't, and what’s just plain weird. She delves into such subjects as the Action Hero Workout, Cross Fit Training, Going Vegan, Double Cardio, and others.

Interspersed between the chapters on the monthly experiments, Andersen offers personal essays on everything from her past experiences with eating disorders to testing the ugliest fitness shoes on the planet to lesson about, as she puts it "what I’ve learned from being a girl in our body-obsessed culture."

She writes candidly about her history of anorexia, orthorexia, and "general-low-self-esteem-exia," including anecdotes about the effects of the health craze on her students, friends, and gym buddies.

The Great Fitness Experiment Why I dig it
I love Charlotte's writing, from her Huffington Post contributions to her amazing five posts a week on her own blog. Whether she's writing about fitness, topical issues or her own life, she moves from hilarious to poignant to utterly heartbreaking with great style.

Her book is fitness reference meets memoir, combining tales of her monthly fitness experiments (kettlebells, HIIT, Crossfit to name a few) with personal essays that explore her struggles with compulsive overexercising and disordered eating. The personal essays were my favourite part of the book – some were hilarious and some moved me to tears. It's about fitness with real heart and humanity behind it.

There is one copy of The Great Fitness Experiment to be won. Simply leave a comment on this blog entry to enter. Entries close Monday 31 January 2011 at 12PM GMT. Winners will be drawn at random. Click here to view terms and conditions of the Sell Out.

WIN! Beyond Chocolate e-course and books – DG Sell Out Day 5

The Dietgirl 10th Birthday Sell Out The prizes:  Six lucky winners will each receive one of six Beyond Chocolate prizes, donated by the Beyond Chocolate founders, Sophie and Audrey Boss.

The prizes will be drawn and awarded in this order:

Available to readers from: Worldwide

What the heck is it?
It started as a diet-ditching philosophy and grew into a book, workshops, e-courses, an online community and more. Nicked from the website:

Beyond Chocolate is a radically new approach to weight-loss and body confidence. It is based on ten proven principles that close the door on yo-yo dieting and overeating and open another to a completely new attitude to food and body image.

Beyond Chocolate Why do you dig it?
The original Beyond Chocolate book was one of the first I read when I started experimenting with intuitive eating and the one I still re-read.

Many intuitive eating books have a lot of scientific information, which I find interesting, but I like that Beyond Chocolate is not written by doctors or scientists. It's about two ordinary women who got fed up with dieting, worked to find a new way of eating without going bonkers, then shared their learnings with others. The book has a good balance of "the deep stuff" and practical tools and information, to make the book both useful and enlightening.

What I like most is that Beyond Chocolate stresses the importance of "being your own guru" – that you can have all the information in the world but only you know what is best for you and your body. They don't pretend to have all the answers for you, just tools and ideas to get your started on your own path. At first that can be a scary concept – especially if you've been following other people's diet rules all your life.  But it's so empowering when to realise (re-realise, in my case) that you know yourself better than anyone else, and treating yourself with kindness and respect gets far better results than punishment and deprivation.

A wee bit more about the prizes
About the Stop Overeating e-course:

What you've heard before….a million times over:

"Just say no!"
"Practice moderation, just have a little bit every once in a while."
"Have a bath/phone a friend/go for a walk/drink some water instead."
"Use willpower and be determined." "Make healthy choices."
"Have this (expensive and tasteless) bar/shake/soup/cereal instead."
"You're just lazy and greedy, if you wanted to stop overeating and lose weight badly enough you just would, right?"

We know you know that none of this works.

If you knew how to have just a little, how to stop, how to say no, how to walk away or how to have a bath – you would.

And you're not greedy or lazy thank you very much.

Luckily, there is a way that works to stop overeating, to stop the struggle with food and feel in control.

This 12 week course is your guide to stopping overeating and discovering how to live your life without turning to food, any food, as a treat, a salve or an escape. The answer is not to replace overeating with something else or distract, cajole or bully yourself out of the habit, we know that the only way to stop is to identify the triggers and the reasons why you overeat and then deal with them one by one with a set of practical, effective tools.

You can read more about the Beyond Chocolate book here and the Beyond Chocolate DIY e-workbook here.

There are six Beyond Chocolate prizes to be won, as detailed above. Simply leave a comment on this blog entry to enter. The six prizes will be drawn and awarded in order of the prize list. Entries close Monday 31 January 2011 at 12PM GMT. Winners will be drawn at random. Click here to view terms and conditions of the Sell Out.

WIN! “Get Lucky” by @katherinecenter – DG Sell Out Day 4

The Dietgirl 10th Birthday Sell Out The prize:  One lucky winner will receive a copy of Get Lucky by Katherine Center.

Available to readers from:  Worldwide

What the heck is it?
Get Lucky is the third novel by Houston author Katherine Center. Here's the synopsis of the book:

How do you change your luck? Katherine Center’s marvelously entertaining and poignant new novel is about choosing to look for happiness—and maybe getting lucky enough to find it.

Sarah Harper isn’t sure if the stupid decisions she sometimes makes are good choices in disguise — or if they’re really just stupid.

But either way, after forwarding an inappropriate email to her entire company, she suddenly finds herself out of a job.

So she goes home to Houston — and her sister, Mackie — for Thanksgiving. But before Sarah can share her troubles with her sister, she learns that Mackie has some woes of her own: After years of trying, Mackie’s given up on having a baby—and plans to sell on eBay the entire nursery she’s set up. Which gives Sarah a brilliant idea — an idea that could fix everyone’s problems. An idea that gives Sarah the chance to take care of her big sister for once — instead of the other way around.

But nothing worthwhile is ever easy. After a decade away, Sarah is forced to confront one ghost from her past after another: the father she’s lost touch with, the memories of her mother, the sweet guy she dumped horribly in high school. Soon everything that matters is on the line — and Sarah can only hope that by changing her life she has changed her luck, too.

Get-lucky Why I dig it
I read Katherine's first novel The Bright Side of Disaster last summer and raved about her writing on the podcast. The book was a wonderful blend of provoking, escapism and fun. I was drawn into her character's world and when I finished I closed the book and felt all warm and fuzzy. Like spending the day with a good friend then coming home afterwards, sliding into a soothing bubble bath to reflect, "Well! Ain't life grand."

Her writing is smart, funny and a real treat to dip into. I immediately ordered her second book Everyone Is Beautiful and her third Get Lucky and they were both great, so I'm dead chuffed that the lovely Katherine has kindly donated a book for the Dietgirl Sell Out.

There is one copy of Get Lucky to be won. Simply leave a comment on this blog entry to enter. Entries close Monday 31 January 2011 at 12PM GMT. Winners will be drawn at random. Click here to view terms and conditions of the Sell Out.

WIN! @CardioCoach audio workouts – DG 10th Birthday Sell Out Day 3

The Dietgirl 10th Birthday Sell Out The prize:  Cardio Coach Volume 1 MP3 workout

Available to readers from: Worldwide

What the heck is it?
This prize was very popular last year so we're doing it again! Cardio Coach™ is a downloadable audio workout program for your iPod / MP3 player and is designed for any type of cardio machine (bikes, treadmill, cross trainer, elliptical, stair stepper, rower etc.) and features a patented levels and zone system for any fitness level, from beginner to advanced.

Why do you dig it?
I first wrote about Cardio Coach™ in 2007 and stand by my verdict:

.. a dude called Sean O'Malley with a rather sexy voice tells you exactly what to do; suitable for any piece of cardio equipment. When to go fast, when to go slow, when to stretch; it really does make the time go faster! I have conversations with Sean in my head. I hate you Sean. Oh we're almost there? Fine then. I'll do it. Only for you. Fetch me another bottle of water Sean. You're the best Sean. HIGHLY recommended.

There are 10 copies of Cardio Coach™ Volume 1 to be won, each worth $14.95 USD. Simply leave a comment on this blog entry to enter. If you're reading this post via an RSS feed, Facebook or Goodreads, you need to click through to the Dietgirl blog. Entries close Monday 31 January 2011 at 12PM GMT. Winners will be drawn at random. Click here to view terms and conditions of the Sell Out.

BONUS! Don't despair if you miss out: All Dietgirl readers score a whopping 40% discount off all workouts until 15 February. Just enter the code dietgirl at the checkout.

WIN! “The Beauty of Different” by Karen Walrond @chookooloonks – DG 10th Birthday Sell Out Day 2

The Dietgirl 10th Birthday Sell Out The prize:  One lucky winner will receive a copy of The Beauty of Different by Karen Walrond.

Available to readers from:  Worldwide

What the heck is it?
The Beauty Of Different is authored by Karen Walrond, the fabulous photographer and writer behind the Chookooloonks blog.

Here's the synopsis from the back of the book:

Constantly bombarded with messages on how to think, how to feel, how to look, it can be very easy to fall into the mindset that we somehow fail as individuals, that we are not enough. But the truth is, those aspects of ourselves that make us individuals are actually the source of our own beauty, our super power.

The Beauty of Different explores beauty in eight fresh ways and challenges the reader to revel in her own uniqueness. Combining beautiful imagery, portraiture, insightful commentary, essays, and interviews, this multisensory exploration of what is really beautiful provokes deeper self-discovery. Designed to connect and inspire, The Beauty of Different encourages the reader to reframe her differences, not as shortcomings, but as characteristics of distinction–maybe even superpowers.

The Beauty of Different Why I dig it
I've not yet read Karen's book – my Amazon-ordered copy must still be bobbing across the seas with all the other delayed post from December's Snowpocalypse.

But I just know it is going to be a cracking read. I'm a longtime reader of her blog – it's one I turn to when feeling grumpy or uninspired. Her vibrant photography, boundless creativity, and calm, thoughtful words never fail to revive. I love reading about her travels, her relationship with her daughter and her quests to photograph 1,000 faces and taste 50 kinds of rum. Karen inspires me to do more, to create more and to appreciate the goodness in everyday life. I just know all that will shine through in printed form.

There is one copy of The Beauty of Different to be won. Simply leave a comment on this blog entry to enter. If you're reading this post via an RSS feed, Facebook or Goodreads, you'll need to click through to the Dietgirl blog. Entries close Monday 31 January 2011 at 12PM GMT. Winners will be drawn at random. Click here to view terms and conditions of the Sell Out.

WIN! “Chocolate & Vicodin” book by @jennettefulda – DG 10th Birthday Sell Out Day 1

The Dietgirl 10th Birthday Sell Out The prize:  Two lucky winners will each receive an advanced a brand new hot-off-the-presses copy of Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away by Jennette Fulda.

Available to readers from:  Worldwide

What the heck is it?
This is the second book from Jennette Fulda of PastaQueen and Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir fame.

Here's the synopsis from the back of the (gorgeously designed) book:

Jennette Fulda went to bed on February 17, 2008, with a headache, and more than three years later, it still hasn’t gone away. Yes, she’s tried everything: intravenous drugs, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, subliminal messaging, marijuana (for medical purposes only), heavy drinking (which just made it hurt more), and lots and lots of chocolate. A pint of ice cream makes her feel better, but her insurance doesn’t cover mint chocolate chip.

In this painfully honest, smart, and funny memoir, the popular PastaQueen.com blogger who chronicled her nearly two hundred pound weight loss in Half-Assed shares her incredible journey to find relief from a chronic headache. As she visits countless doctors, indulges all manner of unsolicited advice from the Internet, and investigates every possible cause, from a brain tumor to a dead twin living in her brain, Jennette considers what it means to suffer, how to live with pain, and why the best treatment might be the simplest: laughter.

ChocWhy I dig it
I've been an avid fan of Jennette's adventures for many years so I was dying of curiosity and creepy internet concern to know the full story of her horrible, endless headache. I requested a review copy of Chocolate & Vicodin as Jennette will be appearing on the Two Fit Chicks podcast in March.

I was sucked in to the story from the very first chapter. Her writing is so strong, honest and raw. I loved her first book but I feel the writing is even stronger in Chocolate & Vicodin. Twice she had me in tears – from pure compassion from the hell she's gone through then also, very selfishly, from relating to her musing on depression. She writes about her chronic pain with honesty, humour, grace and poignancy. It is a fantastic read.

There are two advanced release copies of Chocolate & Vicodin to be won. Simply leave a comment on this blog entry to enter. If you're reading this post via an RSS feed, Facebook or Goodreads, you'll need to click through to the Dietgirl blog. Entries close Monday 31 January 2011 at 12PM GMT. Winners will be drawn at random. Click here to view terms and conditions of the Sell Out.

UPDATE: Jennette has just received the publication copies of her book so you will get a brand spankin' new copy, fresh from the printers!