Sunday, May 23, 2010


I just got done reading a blog about headaches and how to fend them off. So here's the thing: I know a lot about headaches--because I have to. They can run my life if I'm not careful, and it seems like fall is a time when many other sufferers are forced to "out" themselves in a desperate attempt to find an answer to this often debilitating problem.

When I read the blog, I was inspired to reply, and then to offer more detail here, on "Fitness With Vawny." What inspired me was the fact that the author of the blog wrote several things in her routine that I KNOW to be headache inducing fiends, and thought I'd better "out" myself about one of my "issues" for your sake.

More than twenty five years ago, I seemed to be suffering a number of mysterious ailments that doctors had no answers for. As a result, I got the typical, "If we don't have an answer then it's simply that you're 'nuts' Vawny. Go see a shrink and figure out what neuroses are making you imagine that you're ill." Nice...typical, at least in my experience with traditional medicine. And people are oh so willing to concur--after all, who wants to hear whining about something there seems to be no answer for? So, after lowering my already battered self esteem a few more notches, I stumbled across something that made me wonder...

I'd always been "into" health and fitness, but had gone through a period of unhealthy living during that time, which included a very unhealthy diet, the frequent consumption of alcohol, and just plain not taking good care of myself. One day upon looking in the mirror and not liking the young woman looking back, I decided to do something about it, which led to some amazing discoveries. I started with the "emotional" issues in my life, but knew that the unhealthy lifestyle played a part in what was happening. In a very round about way, I met someone in a sort of spiritual self help group, who recognized my symptoms due to her own experience with them. She'd been fortunate to find out what was wrong, and from that day on my life completely changed.

Here's what I discovered was going on with me: I was diagnosed with something called "Chronic Candidiasis" which is basically a strange way of saying that due to twenty first century living, I'd basically stripped a great deal of the lining of mucus membrane in my body--in particular in my intestines. This was due to many, many bouts of antibiotics as a child, drinking alcohol a little too regularly as a young adult, taking hormones like birth control pills (which didn't last because I really can't tolerate them either) eating sugar daily, and a few other things. Chronic Candidiasis is basically an overgrowth of yeast in the body--not simply in the "female parts." It can get to the point of infecting your bloodstream if it's bad enough. But the point here is that if you do happen to have this issue, at any level, then things that normally wouldn't pass through the intestinal lining are getting through--a bit like missing the "Teflon coating" that would normally be there. And this can include the "Teflon coating" or mucus membrane in your sinuses folks--uh huh--headaches. But the headaches can come from the simple fact that if stuff is getting into your bloodstream that doesn't belong there--guess what happens? Yep--allergic reaction. Histamine is released just like you walked through a field of pollinating flowers lookin' for action of the "procreation type."

So, all that to say that as bad as it sounds, there are answers, albeit not simple ones, but answers that work. There are supplements you can take that help restore the intestinal lining, (although I've had to continue to watch what I eat, they help quite a bit) and watching your diet makes a world of difference. There are many good books out on the subject, the best one in my opinion being "The Yeast Connection" by Dr. William G. Crook, (the good doctor's name notwithstanding). This man was a pioneer in the research of this disease and has released groundbreaking information. Also, Dr. Truss, another pioneer in this field, released a wonderfully informative book called "The Missing Diagnosis."

Now obviously, not everyone suffers this exact condition, but trust me my friends--just the fact that our foods are loaded with pesticides, preservatives like nitrates, and other cancer causing chemicals, is enough for you to look into the "Food Sensitivity" issue. Because even if you don't suffer from Candidiasis, you may still suffer from the "allergic reaction" to things you eat. There are many books out on "Food Allergies" that offer ways to test yourself to see if you are indeed, reacting severely to what you put in your mouth.

I could go on here, telling you all about the many symptoms you're suffering with seemingly no answers, like mood swings, "belly fat" that won't go away no matter what you do, bloating, rough periods, (if female) chronic fatigue, carb cravings, unexplained rashes, unexplained body aches, frequent urinary tract infections, (yes I did say that...) depression, and of course HEADACHES--chronic, frequent, and severe in many get the point. Better to get the books on this subject so you can get an in depth look and decide if this is a problem for you.

I've worked with women for many years now, both in the capacity of mental health and physical fitness, and it's alarmingly common for this issue to be at the bottom of many, if not most, of their problems--emotional and physical. If you're reading this, chances are you're suffering from this or something similar, and should heed the call to be your own health advocate. To this day, I find it nearly impossible to find anyone in traditional medicine who knows about this, or is even willing to research it. Yet, I've known many nurses who suffer from this very condition, and who I've helped learn about and manage it.

Here's a short list of foods that are common offenders for people who suffer from food sensitivities and or Candidiasis:

Sugar--in ALL formsDairy products (huge headache inducer)White flourSeeds and nutsYeast and mold containing foods (vinegar, mushrooms, sauer-kraut, cheeses)Prepared sauces such as soy sauceJuices (high sugar and mold content)Food additives, including citric acidFruitI know this is more than a little overwhelming to read, but not everyone has the exact same sensitivities, or even the same level of infection, so take heart. It's worth looking into if you're at a loss about where to turn with your undiagnosable illnesses. And don't forget to look into the many books on "Food Allergies" just in case Candida isn't the issue, but you're still suffering with phantom type illnesses, unresolvable headaches, in particular.For help with this and other health related issues around fitness, contact me at Beachbody Fitness, or The Art of Fitness--NOW--and start living again!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I just made a HUGE faux pas in my weight loss endeavor

...And thought it apropos to share. OK, so I'm pretty experienced at this whole weight loss/fitness thing--that's fairly clear. But even I'm vulnerable to being "taken" when it comes to "healthy food." Let me explain…

First of all, I know you're thinking "And why, in God's name, are YOU losing weight, Vawny??" Well, if you've seen my Beachbody Fitness site, you'll know that I gained ten to lose ten, so that you could watch my progress and know that I feel your pain. I'm 50 years old, so it's not a ridiculous idea to think I could hit a weight loss plateau. However, I have a strict diet and I workout frequently and intensely. Needless to say, I was a bit shocked when my metabolism seemed to stall out on me. Now, I'm aware that I don't lose weight as easily as I did a decade ago--in fact, I've joined the ranks of those who gain weight by virtually looking at fattening foods, (such a bummer…) but this time, I was really mystified. Nothing seemed to be budging my weight--cutting carbs, increasing cardio, etc., until a couple of days ago, that is...

I decided to stop at the grocery store that carries the only ground turkey that I truly love (oops--duhh--red flag Vawn) and since the price had gone up, yet again, I started reading the labels to find a comparable product. Well, guess what I found? Yeah...I'm an idiot. It said that right on the label--“Vawny is an idiot!“ The reason I loved that ground turkey enough to go out of my way to buy it?? The damn FAT CONTENT!!! I couldn't have been more shocked--or incensed, for that matter. While the store “muzak” morphed and hammered the Freddy Krueger soundtrack through my head, the words "17 grams of fat per serving; serving size 1 oz" jumped off the label like a landed tuna. GOOD GOD! I had been eating about four ounces per meal!

Once I recovered from what felt like an impending apoplexy right in front of the meat section, I was able to pull together some gratitude for the fact that I didn't actually gain a bunch of weight--fat head, notwithstanding…Whew!

So, I'm sharing this with you because I know how cunning, baffling, and powerful the food industry can be, and I know how insidiously fat can creep into ones diet. I can already see the difference in just a couple of days of changing to a low fat ground chicken. But I'm sending out a warning to you all--READ THE DAMN LABELS NO MATTER HOW HEALTHY YOU THINK WHAT YOU'RE BUYING IS! The food industry in general, has one goal and that's to make a profit. I thought I'd struck gold when I found that stuff--and I know better! That, my friends is called "Denial" with a capital "D" and most of us are vulnerable. To assume that “because it’s ground turkey, it must be low fat“ is some weighty rationalizing. I'm embarrassed--hanging my head in shame, (and from the fact that my head now weighs more). I need to clean house. Confess. So that my blunder is not your blunder--and not in vain.

Is all this label reading/weight loss information driving you to near psychosis? Contact me at Beachbody Fitness and liberate yourself from guesswork with our unparalleled support! You are sooo worth it!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

You Can't Do It Alone...Can You??

What's the one thing that will keep you going in your quest for fitness when all desire and motivation goes right out the proverbial window? You guessed it--accountability. If you've raised children, you'll be very familiar with the routine of checking regularly to see if they're actually doing whatever the task at hand may be. You'll quickly learn to decipher the "language of the master manipulator" (Hey, that sounds like a great book title...) and see through the fog of smoke being blown your way. "Oooh--so pessimistic Vawny! Someone took an extra dose of b___ch today, hm?" you may think. Unless that is, you have some of the little darlings at home. Right now. Full time. All summer. But I digress...

Seriously, if you're one of the millions who just can't seem to "stick with it" you are sooo not alone. And I can promise you that if you continue doing the same ol' thing, you'll continue getting the same ol' results. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Accountability, as painful as it sounds, is actually the easier, softer way ultimately. You know that you are your own worst enemy here. Think about it--think for a moment of all the rationalizing your masterful brain can provide you in a nanosecond--with one Google brain search--it's uncanny!

Here's the thing: If you watch or read any of the Beachbody Fitness testimonies, you'll begin to see a clear pattern, or better yet--blueprint for success. The reason that these people are reaching their goals in record numbers, this time, is because they're held accountable by signing into the virtual gym called "Wowy." There, they collect workout buddies from all over the country! These buddies keep inviting them to workout together for support, and everyone receives top notch information via Beachbody's cool down chats, as well as other endless online support.

Why not just click on some of the videos I have posted here and see for yourself. Can't hurt to watch... And never mind that Beachbody Fitness has come up with the brilliant idea of giving away $1000 a day to anyone logging into Wowy--even if they aren't a member--(how's that for commitment to getting this country fit?). The fact is, there's something about having people count on you to show up and fight the good fight with them that JUST PLAIN WORKS!

Maybe this is the last house on the block for you. If that's the case, then all the more reason to open that door--before a crisis forces you to do it. After all, if you're not taking care of yourself, you know it's just a matter of time. I'm thinkin' now is a great time to do a little damage control...while it's still controllable

Vawny Sullivan
The Art of Fitness
ACE Certified Personal Trainer

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


This is real simple guys...

1) Don't eat after 6:00 p.m.
2) Dance damn-it! It's still a workout...

3) Uh, yeah--still gotta get that H2O down. At least six of em...OK, five if you're repulsed by it. But DO IT!

There. Done. You'll lose weight today if you do these three things.

OH YEAH!! And lest I forget the magic of SHAKEOLOGY--what the heck was I thinkin'?