Front Page, Motivation, Nutrition

Mindful Eating in a Mindless World

It’s so easy to be distracted. We’ve all got a lot on our plates (so to speak) at any given time. It’s often especially so with eating. We eat in the car, we eat while playing with our phones or tablets, we eat while reading a book or magazine.

To help with what mindful eating is, it may be helpful to give some examples of mindless eating (or, what mindful eating isn’t). Do any of these habits sound familiar?

  • Eating until you are too full and then feeling guilty.
  • Emotional eating – eating when you are bored, stressed or anxious rather than physically hungry.
  • Grazing on food without really tasting it.
  • Mindlessly munching on snacks while zoned out in front of the TV.
  • Eating a meal at the same time each day whether you are hungry or not.
  • Skipping meals; not paying attention to your hunger signals.

The beauty of mindful eating (besides getting us back in touch with our natural selves), is that it is NOT a diet. It isn’t a fad. It costs you no money. There are no pills, pre-packaged food or giving up of entire food groups. You won’t starve or restrict. It helps you manage your weight, if that is a concern for you.

Mindful eating will allow you to enjoy your food. Every bite takes on a different sensation. You will be aware of your meal. You will be satisfied.

Geneen Roth, in her book Women, Food, and God, offers the following guidelines for kickstarting eating mindfully:

  • Eat when you are hungry.
  • Eat sitting down in a calm environment. This does not include the car.
  • Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspapers, books, intense or anxiety-producing conversations or music.
  • Eat what your body wants.
  • Eat until you are satisfied.
  • Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others.
  • Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.

Give it a try.. let’s see what happens!

-Contributed by Trainer Michelle



REST! It Does A Body Good

Have you ever wondered what rest and recovery have to do with your fitness and wellness journey? How on earth can the time that you’re not working out be as important as the workout itself?

Well, rest assured, it’s more than just not doing physical work, you are actually becoming stronger! 

Although you aren’t doing physical work during that period, your body is repairing itself and getting ready for the next time you exercise. The repair process is the strengthening process.

It helps to know a little bit about that fantastic system our body has called the Muscular System. There are 3 types of muscle in the body. Cardiac (heart); Smooth (walls of internal organs); and Skeletal, which are the muscles that move the body, arms and legs. This last is the one we’ll be discussing.

When you lift weights, your muscles contract. The muscles can both shorten and lengthen. So when you are doing your sets of pushups, squats, etc., your muscles are working to meet the demands you are placing on them. You’re depleting your glycogen stores (muscle energy) and the muscles become fatigued. The muscle, while you’re lifting weights, is getting small tears.  These tears simulate the body’s repair response.

The recovery process (repair response) starts when you are done working out. Your glycogen stores get replaced and the tears are repaired. Time is necessary for the repair process as your body is rebuilding the muscle STRONGER than it was previously. Rest is essential to these improvements.

So what happens if I don’t rest?

Best case scenario is that your performance decreases. Have you ever had the experience of working out a ton, and just not getting anywhere?  A lack of rest could be the cause. You’ll also feel more fatigued when working out. The exercise will be, and feel, more difficult. Worst case is that you will get injured. If the body doesn’t have time to repair, then the tears just get worse and worse.

This is the reason that Booty Camp is set up to have you work out different muscle groups on each day; to give the muscles time to rest. Break Weeks are a great time to rest (and get stronger) as well.

So enjoy your time off, and know that it’s making you stronger and healthier!!

Front Page, Motivation, The Moves

Getting Started with Running

“As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles is sure to have trouble.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

What’s the best way to train to run a race? Any race, be it your first 5k, or your 8th marathon?

The answer is simple; you have to run. Yes, it’s that simple. The principle of running is that you run to run. But how far? And how often? And what do I eat? And what shoes are the best? What about speed work? And hill training?

Congrats to the Booty Babes who did their first ever 5k at the Shore Run last weekend!

What follows is a very basic outline of how to get started and get the most out of your training experience.  (Please note – we will be offering a 5k to Half Marathon Training Series starting March 28 and ending on June 13, 2015 at the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon … another goal setting opportunity perhaps?!! xo)

  1. Your Attitude

“I hate this.” “Running sucks.” “I’m not a runner.” Do any of these sound familiar? Have any of these thoughts bounced around in your mind? Don’t worry, everyone has these thoughts; even Olympic marathon medalists. But you can change that message.

“I love this!” “I’m getting stronger with every step.” “Running is keeping me healthy.” “ I AM a runner!.”

No one but you can lace up your running shoes and get out there. You don’t need to win races, or even beat anyone in a race to be a “runner.” If you run, you’re a runner! End of story.

      2.    Your Running Schedule

Ah, here’s the rub. Basically, to have a successful race, you need to train. Build a base. It’s the foundation on which you can then increase distance and speed. That means lacing up those shoes and going out for a run. The bonus here is, that as a Booty Camper, you’re already doing that, at least 4 times a week! You need to have an aerobic base to run any given distance successfully. That means putting in some miles. Slow, easy runs.  How far depends on what you’re training for, as does how often. But a good rule of thumb is to try to run at least 3-4 days a week.

Hill workouts are only needed AFTER you’ve built your base. Same with speed, or track, workouts.

      3.    Your Shoes

Wear good running shoes. Your body will thank you, and you’re less likely to get hurt. Yes, they can be expensive, but if you really want to be successful, good shoes are key. Each person has different feet, be it high or low arches, pronation or supination, and so on. Go to a local running store and try on different shoes to find the ones that are perfect for you. They are experts in what they do, and will allow you to actually run in the shoe and will watch your gait to see what is best for you. I’ve had success with these stores in particular:

Super Jock n Jill

Everyone for everyone and everyone for themselves… the journey and uplift of having and completing a “race” goal.

Balanced Athlete

Fleet Feet

West Seattle Runner

The owners of these stores are local runners themselves.

      4.    Your Clothes

Be comfortable, above all. Cotton is not your friend, as when it gets wet (as it will when you sweat) it clings and can lead to chafing. The running stores have good gear, but you can generally wear the same thing you wear to booty camp. Stick with tech or wool.  Layer when needed, and remember that as you stand there being cold, you’ll warm up very quickly when you start to run.


      5.    Your Recovery

Listen to your body! If you are just starting out, you may need more rest. If there’s a certain body part (usually knees or feet) that is starting to nag at you, stop then to assess it. If you try to “run through it” or “tough it out”, you’ll probably get injured. Talk to your trainer at that point. Sleep is key, as is stretching, and when needed, a foam roller.  Epsom salt baths relax the muscles before sleep, as well as a magnesium/calcium vitamin before bed.  Also, hint hint: Join us for Yoga Fridays here!

     6.    Your Nutrition

You need fuel to run. We could spend days covering this topic alone, but suffice it to say that the fuel should come in the form of carbs (burn quickest) and a little protein. Protein is more for after you run, for helping to build muscle tissue. Staying hydrated is also key, so make sure to drink your water.

     7.    Your Race Day

The main event! Have your clothes laid out the night before, with your race number pre-attached if at all possible. Whatever you’ve been doing in terms of nutrition and clothing during training, stick with this on race day. Never wear new shoes or clothes on race day! That is, clothes or shoes you’ve not worn before this day. That just opens the door to chafing, blisters and a generally bad time.

This is a VERY brief synopsis to get you started. So let’s hit the road!

-Contributed by Trainer Michelle

Motivation, Nutrition

Outwitting Your Metabolism

What is metabolism?

Metabolism is the body’s process of breaking down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to yield the energy it needs to maintain itself.  The rate of your metabolism is based on the number of calories you consume and the number of calories you burn—both while eating and exercising and as a result of your individual genetic makeup.

Ways to increase your metabolism

The best way to jump start your metabolism is to increase your body’s need for energy.  While the body can burn calories from either fat, protein, or carbohydrates, the body normally prioritizes carbohydrates to burn over fat. Why?  Our bodies aren’t wasteful; they will only burn fat when they need to for energy.  We need to outsmart our primal instincts to conserve fat stores (we are animals after all, you never know where the next food source might be!) to jump start that metabolism and burn fat.  Here are some key actions you can take to increase your metabolism:

  • Interval training—when we integrate interval training in our fitness routine, we also maximize the calories burned after each of those workouts.  You burn extra calories, even at a resting state, after an interval training workout. It’s called the “after burn effect” and can last for several hours.
  • Add muscle mass—muscle burns more calories than fat.  Being more muscular boosts your body’s energy needs.  Adding muscle mass increases your resting metabolism. Each additional pound of muscle you carry can burn up to 50 additional calories just to maintain itself.
  • Eat foods that require extra energy to digest and metabolize—your body burns twice as many calories digesting high-protein foods as it does foods that are high in carbohydrates or fat.
  • Eat often but eat right—by eating frequently, you reassure your body that you aren’t going to starve. While recommendations vary, eating every 2 to 3 hours feeds muscle and starves fat.   Each time you eat, you stimulate your metabolism.  However, don’t use that as an excuse to snack.  Eat healthy foods. For example, increasing your intake of vegetables is one of the best ways to increase your metabolism!
  • Drink plenty of water—enough said.
  • Get good sleep—inadequate sleep can also impact your metabolism.  According to one study on, the rate of calories your body burns in a resting state represents about 60-75% of your total daily calorie burning. Slowing your metabolism through lack of sleep is a roadblock to weight loss.
  • Consume Omega-3 fatty acids—Studies show fish oil increases levels of fat burning enzymes and decreases levels of fat storage enzymes in your body.
  • Increase physical activity in all aspects of your daily life.  Regular movement throughout the day nudges a sluggish metabolism.  Have walking one-on-one meetings, take the stairs, go for a daily 5 minute walk, stretch while watching television or at your desk.  All of these things make a difference.

-Contributed by Trainer Gina

Motivation, Nutrition

Incorporating Mindfulness in Your Wellness Journey

Mindfulness seems to be getting a lot of press lately, but what is it, and how can it help you in your daily life? 

The concept of mindfulness comes from Zen Buddhism. At Zen monasteries, there are very specific rules about which foot you use to enter a room, which direction you turn, etc. It is a level of incredible attention. Another definition of mindfulness is maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surrounding environment. Whoa! That’s a lot to process. Another way to look at is that mindfulness is simply paying attention. Ok. But why pay attention? What can we get out of it?

Take eating for example. How does it benefit us to pay attention while we eat? Ever eaten a whole bag of chips when you’re not even hungry?

Ever sat down with a meal, and your laptop or a good book, and then all of a sudden looked down and realized that your plate was empty? That would be mindless eating; you’re not aware that you’re even eating, nor are you aware of what you’re eating.  You don’t get the satisfaction and satiety that a meal should provide.

By being mindful of what we’re eating, by literally paying attention to what we’re eating, we don’t consume more than we need, enjoy consuming more, and are satisfied with what we have.  

Geneen Roth, the renowned author of Women Food and God, When Food is Love and many other excellent books, has given us The Eating Guidelines to incorporate this practice in our daily lives:

1.    Eat when you are hungry.

2.    Eat sitting down in a calm environment.

3.    Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspapers, books, intense or anxiety-producing conversations or music.

4.    Eat what your body wants.

5.    Eat until you are satisfied.

6.    Eat (with the intention of being) in the full view of others.

7.    Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.

Other things to consider while eating are the food itself; focus on the flavor, the texture, the smell.

Notice how the flavor fades as you chew. You can also consider the energetics of the food; how it was prepared, what is its essential character, it’s temperature and composition.

With a little effort, you can bring mindfulness to every aspect of your wellness journey.  It’s just a matter of paying attention.

Contributed by Trainer Michelle


Keeping Your Booty in Check over the Holidays

The holiday season is a great time to be mindful about your health and fitness goals.    The holiday season can oftentimes be a period of overindulgence and temptation. Months of parties.  Temptingly delicious potluck dishes.  Way too many cookies and pies.  Cozy homes protecting us from stormy weathers.  It’s difficult to maintain your motivation to exercise and eat right amidst the many holiday and winter distractions.

Most women I know go into the holidays hoping not to gain too much weight and just accepting that it is likely to happen.  That doesn’t have to be the case!  You can maintain all of the good work we do at camp AND eat pie. The important thing is to be good to yourself, be mindful of your eating habits, and keep active.  Here are some helpful tips to keep your booty in check over the holidays:

Be Selective

At big holidays meals, focus on your ‘favorite dishes’.  We all have that one dish we absolutely must have for Thanksgiving. Even if your favorites are not the healthiest of the dishes on the table, eat it and enjoy it, guilt-free.  However, make choices about other things you might be willing to give up as a result.   For example, I love green bean casserole, but now I skip the stuffing and most other casserole dishes on the table.  Gotta leave room for the pumpkin pie! Think about it as a calorie budget.  Distribute your calories wisely!


Portion control can take you far during the holidays.  I love a good potluck and my friends/acquaintances can cook!  I have found that taking small servings or mini-bites of what’s on the table usually satisfies my cravings for the delectable treats without going overboard or feeling deprived.  Again, choose your unhealthy dishes wisely!


Consider healthier alternatives to your favorite holiday dishes.  Think about the essence of the dish and why you love it.  Deconstruct it into a healthier alternative.  I still enjoy a good, soupy green bean casserole, but I now make a simpler and healthier green bean dish with sautéed onions, garlic, and seasonings and leave crumbled bacon and crispy onions on the side as a topping.  Upon reflection, I realized I didn’t even like the creamy soup part of the casserole dish—just the taste of green beans and bacon together (with the texture of something crispy on top)!

Get Fresh Air & Take Time for Yourself

If you are hosting a big party or meal, make sure you make time for yourself the day of.  Go for a run or walk in the morning.  Take a 5-minute walk around the block before you dive into food preparation. Stand outside in your yard or porch and take 20 deep breaths.

During holiday meals, suggest a post-meal constitutional.  Everyone in your family could benefit from going for a walk in the fresh air and it will do wonders for everyone’s disposition.

Drink Lots of Water

Stay hydrated.  Water does not have calories!  If you drink a glass or two of water before you eat, you feel fuller, which goes a long way toward increasing your willpower to stay away from too many buttery rolls. Also, if you are choosing to eat more calories than normal, you don’t want to drink an excess of calories on top of that.

Stay Active

Traveling during the holidays? Can’t make it to Booty Camp? Stick with an exercise regimen!  At a minimum aim to do 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity three times a week. Go for a run.  Make up your own Booty Camp workout around the neighborhood.  Explore the places you are visiting by going for a long walk. Stay active in whatever way works for your schedule.  It’s good for your physical AND mental health this holiday season.


-Contributed by Trainer Gina

Community News, Motivation, Partners

Strong Supportive Hands

Booty Camp has a way of attracting the people who, like SSBC are unique and motivated to build something really special.  I sat down with Alicea Cole, our wonderful camp massage sponsor, who has been a participant and contributor within the Booty Camp Community for many years!  Alicea shares more with us here, as well as a special offer to all booty campers!

Every time I spoke with Alicea I was struck by her infectious enthusiasm for her work and how she sees the links between her practice and Booty Camp because they both centered around the same values; holistic nourishment, community and non-competitiveness.  Alicea is loyal, kind to the core and great at what she does!  She brings 16 years experience to her massage practice.  Alicea has been with booty camp since it began in 2008.

Why is Alicea Massage a sponsor? She credits Booty Camp for helping her stay a happier and healthier therapist and person.  Alicea says “Booty camp is part of taking care of myself. Booty camp allows me to be a nurturing giver in the rest of my life.  It keeps me strong physically and mentally, it keeps me feel better about myself.”

Alicea also participated in our video testimonials this spring. If you need any inspiration look no further!

Where’s your Booty Camp Home: Volunteer Park! 7:30am class!

What exercise would you actually do on your own?

“I actually do the clam shells at home, I love them!”

What exercise would you never do on your own?

“Burpees or mountain climbers, I barely do them in camp ha! ”

What’s a favorite Booty Camp moment?

“The first time I walked up the steps of the water tower in Volunteer Park and I could make it the whole way without stopping. That was a good feeling.”

What’s your secret to making it to camp?

“Prepare. Have your clothes ready the night before”

Do the math. Give me two words that make up Booty Camp:

Booty camp = Strength + Commitment

Wishes for fellow campers…

Alicea wanted to note that most of us spend a LOT of our time as women nurturing others.  Alicea challenges all of us to take more action to re-charge ourselves “It’s like re-filling a well” she says.

And what about that super gift I mentioned? Alicea’s generosity is palpable she has a seriously super Booty Camp special for us… any enrolled camper gets $10 off their massage EVERY TIME they come in. Whoa. That’s a booty camp first.

How do I get one of her famous massages?

Call her or write her at… Alicea Cole Massage Therapy, 206-902-7745 or

psst… your insurance might cover massage even though you don’t know it. Alicea is covered under several insurance carriers (including Regence). Call her today to find out!

-Contributed by Booty Camp Blogger Becka Tilsen

Community News, Motivation, The Moves

Put a Bird on it!

Whew what a session!

We had lots of fun in the everyday July sun with all of our dedicated campers in Seward and Volunteer Parks.  Seward Park Trainers Stephanie and Jessica, and Volunteer Park Trainer Michelle started picking up the pace in our workouts and with such wonderful weather we were able to use all areas of the parks without limitations.

Put a bird on it! Trainer Jessica was joined by a sweet juvenile pigeon for the duration of a workout! No it’s not photo-shopped, and yes it was a live bird!

Down at Seward we used the 20 some empty but heavy metal trash cans that littered the amphitheater as spontaneous workout tools that were left by the annual Filipino festival on the weekend.  We played on the trails, the benches, the hills, and made up unique challenges for our workouts.

The most magical thing happened on the second to last day of camp… a pigeon joined Trainer Jessica’s workout standing nearby her and then jumping on her arm as she warmed up.  Jessica let the pigeon stay and in fact it stood on her head for most of the workout.  (Apparently it was a lost juvenile homing pigeon… it meeped so sweetly and luckily an early bird staff person was in the office at the Audubon Society headquarters nearby and we delivered the bird to them.)   To quote one camper: “This was the best Booty Camp entertainment ever.”  Indeed!  To see a video of the action please check out our Facebook page HERE.

On the last day of camp down at Seward Park we challenged our campers to do a 5k route with a hefty hill challenge in the middle for the morning workout.  It was a wonderful feeling to have 3 campers who had never done one before arrive without any expectations and rise to the occasion making it the whole way!  Congrats also go out to Mary R. who, after three camp sessions went from a 15 min mile to an 11 min mile.  It is on these days that we all are re-inspired to continue inspiring and keep on keepin’ on!


Sitting is the new smoking!

As booty campers, we do a great job of exercising and keeping our bodies strong. However, the time we spend at our desks, behind the wheel and on the couch can be harmful to our health. Prolonged sitting is not what nature intended for us. Sitting for long periods of time exerts pressure that we’re not meant to sustain. The average person spends 64 hours per week sitting. That’s more than 9 hours per day of sitting, no matter how active the person is otherwise.

As modern as our world is, we still have the same basic bodies that we had thousands of years ago. Our bodies were built to move. The human body functions best when it stays in motion. Muscular contractions occur when we are standing and trigger processes of sugar/fat breakdown. That’s the good news. The bad news is that these contractions cease when we are sitting.  Sitting also suppresses lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that is essential for turning bad cholesterol into good cholesterol. Excessive sitting has been linked to obesity, diabetes, stroke, some cancers, back pain and depression.

The bottom line is that the more we can move all day, the healthier we’ll be.

So what can we do? Many of us have jobs that require sitting. Here are a few suggestions, from the easiest (those over which we have the most control) to the hardest (those that may depend on our bosses):

  1. Take the stairs. If your building has an elevator, eschew it for walking up and down the stairs.
  2. Walk at lunch. Use part of your lunch hour for movement, the other for eating.
  3. Keep track of your daily movement with a pedometer.
  4. Get up from your chair, part 1. If possible, for every 20 minutes of sitting, get up and move around for 2 minutes. This can be getting up to get water, going to the copy machine, heading to the bathroom, etc. You can set an alarm on your phone.
  5. Get up from your chair, part 2. Standing stretch. Stand up. If you’re wearing heels, kick them off. Reach your hands above your head and reach your palms towards the ceiling while bending slightly backward. Take several deep breaths.
  6. Get up from your chair, part 3. Giant lunge stretch. Step back with your right foot and lower into a lunge position. Raise right arm out to side and bring it overhead. Repeat 2-3x per side.
  7. Walk and talk meetings. Instead of meeting with someone in a conference room or a coffee shop, go for a walk instead. Walking is good for the brain, too.
  8. Standing desks, exercise balls for sitting or treadmill desks. These are generally dependent on the company, but company’s tend to notice when a somewhat small expenditure lowers health costs. ( and have standing desks and treadmill desks.)

Regular, daily activity keeps us all healthy. Stand up! It’s good for you.


-Contributed by Trainer Michelle



Community News, Motivation

Why “News and Goods”?

Our Camp Tradition: News and Goods

Every Thursday after a tough and terrific roving day in the park we circle up.  Sweaty campers with cheeks flushed all share a “New and Good”.

Why do we do a “New and Good”?  SSBC is about so much more than getting a bangin’ workout.  It’s about bringing more power, balance, energy and health to women individually and as a community.  When we circle up we:

  • Take a moment to connect with the collective group of powerful women
  • Share a bit about lives beyond the mornings of mats, weighs, and circuit sprints
  • Pause to reflect on something going well in our lives

But wait!  What is a “New and Good”??

Great question! A “New and Good” is a bit of news about you that is BOTH new AND good.  It doesn’t have to be big news, it can be a small moment.  A New and Good can be:

  • A pleasant moment that you recently experienced like a beautiful walk, a visit with a friend or family member or a recent adventure.
  • A recent accomplishment from your life or from Booty Camp (i.e. showing up for camp!)
  • Something fun coming up that you’re looking forward to
  • A *Brag* this is addition was contributed by our brilliant Seward Park Trainer Stephanie!  It’s so good (and uncomfortable!!!) for most women to get some practice bragging about ourselves!  Thank you Stephanie!

What if I don’t have one of these “News and Goods” to share??

Well first ,if you’re asking this question then I’m sorry you’ve had such a rough way these days!  L  The tendency to feel crummy is actually precisely WHY we do New and Goods in the first place.  This exercise is not about making anyone be falsely positive or forcibly upbeat.   We do News and Goods because it’s a practice to train our minds to notice even the smallest uplifting moment, something warm, gentle, sweet, loving or tender that happened to us that week.

Is it okay to share sad news during New and Goods?  Yes it is!  The goals of the circle is to building connection and community and hard times is part of keeping it real between us and not being isolated in grief or loss.   Sometimes sharing a sad or hard bit of news can open up our attention to notice something sweet or comforting inside of it.

For example, just a few weeks ago I shared that a lovely colleague of mine died suddenly.  As I shared this I found myself telling the group about the amazing experience of seeing how many people loved this person, fighting back tears I reflected how profound it was to get to know someone so much more deeply after they have left our world.   When I looked up others were crying with me. It was comforting to be with my workout women and get to feel the strength of our compassion and connection for each other.


-Contributed by Becka Tilsen