Archive for July, 2011

The Power Of Seven – Giving The Gift Of Health To Others

Give Health To Others With 7Minute Workout

  Click HERE to listen to the audio version  of this post      (5 mins 46 seconds)  


I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for B.O.G.O.F.’s at the local supermarkets.

Depending on what bargain I pick up, I usually end up giving the other one away to members of my family, and never feel deprived because I was going to buy the item anyway.

That’s pretty much how I feel about my membership with the 7MinuteWorkout.

It’s an online health and fitness program, which opened its doors to beta testers on 12th March 2011.

I’ve interviewed a few of them and you can listen to what they have to say on my interview site at

Anyway, as a regular customer, which costs $24.97 per month, you and an exercise “buddy” can work out in the comfort of your own home or office if you want to, when you want to, following the specific targeted exercises.

The nice bit about them is once you know what to do, they only take 7 minutes a day, THREE times a week, or you can do them every other day if you wish.

Basically, the program targets five different muscle areas over a ten day period so you work one set of muscles and then rest them for another ten days.

When you’ve worked each muscle group it’s known as a “cycle”, and every ten days you should see a marked increase in your ability to do more.

Sounds easy, eh?

Well, yes and no.

It is simple, and it is FAST, so anyone who hates exercise, can’t afford or can’t get to an expensive gym, or who has a limited amount of time (like me) will find it fantastic, but easy?

Well, that depends on how hard you push yourself to get results.

The secret is to get to positive momentary muscular failure, which basically means you can’t possibly do any more.

 If you’re doing weight exercises that shouldn’t be any more than about 10 to 12 reps, as they say in the fitness industry, and if you’re strapped for cash you don’t even have to buy proper weights.

The thing is when you work by yourself in the comfort of your own surroundings it’s very easy to just say, “I can’t do any more” isn’t it?

You must, of course, always listen to your own body, but that’s where the exercise “buddy” comes in. Even if you don’t work out together or are even in the same area, you do have someone to hold yourself accountable to and that generally makes you push yourself just that little bit harder.

At the end of the day though it’s like everything else. You get out what you put in, so if you really commit to seven minutes exercise a day three times a week, you will see results.

If you’re looking to lose weight, you may not immediately see results on the scales. In fact, you may even put on weight because your fat will turn to lean muscle and eventually you’ll change shape.

The important bit though is it’s a healthy lifestyle change, which will strengthen your bones, build your muscle, give you more energy and generally more self-confidence.

Get back in shape with 7MinuteSuccessWorkoutUnfortunately, as we age, changes in hormones have a nasty habit of creating havoc with our bodies and I’m not the only one who’se looked in the mirror and asked, “What happened?”

Anyway, in addition to the exercise instruction, you also get a lot of physiology and nutritional education, a personalised weight tracker, weekly webinars and the ability to make friends with other 7MinuteWorkout members in the active and helpful forum.

So, why am I telling you all this?

Well, this week the 7MinuteWorkout team dropped a bombshell.

They announced in addition to offering the B.O.G.O.F. deal with the customer package, anyone who joins up as a Business Sponsor, meaning they pay a one off joining fee of $149.97 (and then the same ongoing $24.97 per month customer membership fee), can have SEVEN memberships!

That means they can have one for themselves and give the other six away to whomever they want to.

I’ll bet that sort of offer would go down well in the supermarkets don’t you?

If you work it out, (once the initial one off joining fee has been paid), seven people could each have what’s almost the equivalent to having their own gym membership with a personal trainer and nutritional and emotional support for less that $4 per month!

Amazing deal don’t you think and that’s why I had to tell you about it.

I just think it would be a great Christmas/birthday present for friends and family or a real perk for bosses to offer their hard working employees as it’s proven that health and wellness increases productivity.

Maybe it could even be a good way for mothers at a local mother and toddler group to work out and shift those extra post pregnancy pounds?

All that’s required is a computer and internet access so it doesn’t matter where you live in the world really.

So, why are they doing this?

Get fit and healthy with 7MinuteSuccessWorkoutWell, they’re supporting the message promoted by the Chicoine family of Canada who are running across Canada and USA in the Marathon of Health.   This family of eight are running a total of 17,000 kilometers (about 11,000 miles) to raise awareness of childhood obesity and the dangers associated with it.  It should take them about 10 months.

7MinuteWorkout are not just raising awareness, they’re providing the solutions.

Already 7MinuteWorkout offer a $1 ten day trial and for every $1 signup, the company give $2 to the Chicoine family to support their charities,

So, if you care and want to give the gift of health to others go here



It’s Not True What They Say – Words Do Hurt!

Disability - invisible autismI’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”?

Well, it’s not true!

Last night my eldest son took his 22 year old non-verbal autistic brother to the cinema. They arrived a bit early so instead of waiting around for about an hour, (something my youngest son finds difficult), they went for some fast-food before the film started.

They ordered, took their meal to a table and sat down. There were no napkins on the tray so my youngest went across the room to get some.

On his return he accidentally brushed against the back of a woman who was seated at a table with two children of about 8 or 9 years of age.

My son, of course, didn’t realise he’d done anything wrong, and even if he had, would not have been able to apologise properly because he hardly speaks unless prompted.

Now I’ll be the first to admit,  it’s not immediately obvious there’s anything wrong with my son.  Autism can often be invisible at first glance, and the woman grabbed his arm.

That’s not a nice thing to do to anyone, but especially not to a person with autism.

Anyway, my eldest son quickly rushed across, discovered what her problem was and explained his brother hadn’t done it deliberately, that it was an accident and why he hadn’t apologised.

He went on to say “sorry” on his brother’s behalf.

You’d think that would be the end of it wouldn’t you?

Instead the woman went on and on about how he should be more careful and her two young companions called my son a “Stupid spas”, meaning “spastic”.

Not nice, is it?

You’d think the mother would have been ashamed and reprimanded the children for being so rude, and insensitive, but instead she allowed them to make rude gestures to my sons for the remainder of the time they were in the restaurant.

These gestures were ones you wouldn’t expect a responsible adult to use in a public place, yet alone a child.

Now both my sons are big lads – adults in fact, and I know this is probably showing my age, but when I was young we respected our elders. We didn’t answer them back and were even in awe of children just a few years older than ourselves.

Of course, times have changed, but my question is, when did parents lose all control over their children?

rude gesturesWhat happened to society that people just take their own comfortable lives for granted and forget most people less fortunate than themselves don’t choose to be that way?

My son has autism. He’s trapped and can do nothing about it.

He didn’t choose to be autistic, no-one would, just like no-one would choose to have any form of disability, but it happens.

It has nothing to do with race, wealth or religion – some people just draw the short straw.

I wish I’d been in that restaurant last night.

I would have politely pointed out to that “lady” and her children that one day they could find themselves in a similar situation. Maybe they’ll have an accident and be left brain damaged or physically disabled, perhaps a child with a disability will be born into their family, or to someone close to them.

I wouldn’t wish it on them, but as I said, these things happen.

I wonder if it struck close to home they’d still use phrases like “Stupid spas” then?

Somehow, I don’t think so.

My youngest son is lucky. He has autism and doesn’t understand cruel words and gestures, but his brother does.

He was hurt and rightly so, but he’s an adult and can put it down to ignorance on behalf of the other diners.

Imagine though, if those jibes had been directed towards a vulnerable and sensitive child with some other form of disability, who understood the words and their implications.

Verbal abuse can be incredibly painful.

Words can hurt Talking of abuse, I was saddened to learn Amy Winehouse, the talented singer who wrote such haunting lyrics had fallen foul of drink and drugs this week.

You’d think she would have had everything going for her but I hear she was a “troubled” teenager and daily you can see evidence many of her peers are following her downward spiral.


Is it because they don’t have good role models to look up to any more – people who have respect for themselves and others?

If that mother in the restaurant is anything to go by the future is looking very bleak indeed, because no matter what they say, words can cut a person just as surely as a knife.

They hurt!

Living Happily Ever  After  <!-- ~~ads~~ -- srcset=

With Sally Neill” width=”209″ height=”300″ />This weekend my neice “graduated” from college and as I watched the “Cinderella’s” and their “Prince Charming’s” alight from their various different carriages to go to their leaving prom I coudn’t help but notice how grown up they all looked.

Dressed in their ball gowns and smart suits, they all certainly scrubbed up well and it was hard to believe they’re only sixteen. 

It’s the end of one chapter in their lives  and as a new one begins I can’t help wonder what their future will be like.   

On prom night they looked as if they’d stepped out of a  fairy tale so maybe they’ll live Happy Ever After.

Somehow,  I doubt it.

Meanwhile, several hundred miles away in Scotland, the slightly older and more mature Blog Hopping Queen was already planning the next chapter in her life.

Tiny Sally Neill, the very popular down to earth Internet Marketer  believes in fairy tales.  At least she believes dreams can come true…

…if you work hard enough .

Sally is another of  Alex Jeffreys proteges and  has rapidly earned the respect of both her  peers and readers alike. 

On Saturday, it was her 39th birthday, but rather than hit the town she was all set to launch her first coaching program called Learn With Sally,  

 I interviewed her just before her launch, and one  thing’s certain, anyone who follows Sally is in for a load of fun,  and I’m pretty certain she’ll do all she can to make sure her students get their Happy Ever After.

Listen to my

 interview with Sally Neill

7MinuteWorkout – “Queen”


When Melissa Cohoe started the 7MinuteWorkout in October 2010, her aim was to LOSE WEIGHT and get HEALTHIER. I’ve emphasised those two words because so many women these days go on “diets” to lose weight and some of them certainly aren’t healthy – at least not in the long term.

That makes them unsustainable.

Get fit and healthy with 7MinuteWorkoutWhen I interviewed Melissa recently she confided she wanted to lose 100lbs and had set up a blog to record her progress and inspire others.

 If you proclaim your intentions to the world you hold yourself accountable and the 7MinuteWorkout “Queen” has certainly done that.

She is the perfect role model and real world example of how losing weight should be.

Not only has she done it slowly, sensibly and consistently through short specific exercises and a healthy nutritional program, but she’s had FUN doing it.

 She’s supported and been supporting along the way and I’m not sure that’s the case for some of the “celebrity” dieters who claim  to lose weight quickly but always look really miserable on their skinny frames.

Of course, I could be wrong, but I’m sure eating six small meals a day of food you like and exercising seven minutes a day, three times a week is infinitely better than restriction diets where you have to watch everything you eat and have to sweat it out for hours on end in some form of exercise torture.

That’s just my opinion.

Of course I know aerobic exercise is good for you, essential even, and I encourage everyone to take some form every day, even if it’s just getting off your seat to change the channel on the tv rather than use the remote!

Every little bit counts!

However, you do need to build and retain your muscle if you want a healthy body and that’s NOT what a lot of “diets” do.

There’s a saying “fit body – fat wallet” and healthcare to wealthcare is the message the amazing Chicoine family are trying to get across to anyone who will listen. This incredible family of EIGHT are running across Canada and USA to raise awareness of health and the importance of activity especially for children.

The husband and wife, together with their six children run 30K each day, which is approximately 19 miles and invite people to join and support them on their journey.

So, why do I mention this?

Well, because Melissa Cohoe did just that on Saturday 16th July 2011, the very day she arrrived in Ontario to visit her parents.

Despite not having run since her knee operation at the age of fifteen, still carrying some excess weight, but certainly MUCH fitter and healthier than she was nine months ago, Melissa joined the inspirational Chicoine family for a 5k run/walk stretch.

Well done, Melissa!

She says the experience “changed her life” but without the 7MinuteWorkout it would never have been possible.

I’m inclined to agree with her.

Somehow I can’t see the Cabbage Soup or Lemon Juice Diets having the same effect, can you?



Check out the 7MinuteWorkout

 (because Melissa is the go to  “queen”  for the program)

Autism – 7MinuteWorkout And The Adult Disability Dilemma

Jodi Shaw's graduation

[Click here to listen to the audio version (6 min 51 secs)]

Three years ago my youngest son who has autism left the school he’d been attending since he was three and a half years old.

It was a small special needs school which was earmarked for closure, but remarkably the headmistress realised the need for such a facility, and built it up in size to such an extent it’s now really over subscribed and there’s a long waiting list for children with a diverse range of disabilities to go there.

Since that time, my son has attended a residential college for young learners with disabilities in a different county. It was quite a wrench when he first went away, but we saw him regularly, both at the college and when he came home for weekends and holidays.

He was a very lucky young man, as indeed are all the individuals who have the opportunity to go to what is for them, the equivalent of a less disadvantaged person going to college or university.

However, nothing lasts for ever, and this week my son “graduated”.

It was a beautiful ceremony, very emotional, and yet again I got to wear a posh frock and feel good about the results of my   7 minute workout

Each of the “graduates” had their photographs taken with the county Director of Education, and when they went up on the stage at the local theatre to receive their certificates, the audience were given a brief overview of their achievements and their future plans. Then on a huge screen we were treated to a brief video of their life at the college, showing their high points, all to the sound of their favourite piece of music.

It was interesting to see how many of the students chose something by Lady Gaga.  I guess she’s very different too!

Anyway, listening to the summary of each young person’s life, I felt somewhat sad to realise how many of them had nowhere to go after college.  No wonder many of them were visibly upset and confused.

Apparently, many of the students behave in an unusual manner towards the end of their college experience, and it’s very difficult for those with communication problems to express their feelings.

My son is one of them, and as a result I brought him home with me straight after the graduation ceremony. It was a decision many parents made, and one which they actually had some control over.

It’s after college, the real problems begin.

To be perfectly honest, the future for people with disabilities, and not just autism, can be quite bleak. I know life is getting tougher for “normal” people too. Daily we hear of more redundancies, job losses and of course natural disasters which all have an effect.

Life is tough!

When you have a child with a disability, they go through what is known a “transition” phase from the age of about fifteen. It’s supposedly a transition from childhood to adult services.  The big problem is the services provided for adults with disabilities are far more scarce than those for children, so many people are understandably concerned what their children are actually transitioning to.

Unquestionably, the biggest problem with people with autism is their inability to appropriately communicate and lack of social skills. The autistic spectrum is vast and you’ll never find two autistic individuals the same.   Although many have mild-to-moderate mental retardation, many have none at all. In fact some are very articulate.

Not so my son, who doesn’t really speak.

The prospect of an autistic adult finding a paid job is not good. One study suggests only 20% will ever gain employment and of those who do get a job, a huge percentage will find themselves both under employed and under paid.

Many will need support in the workplace, and whilst autistic children are legally entitled to support, once they reach adult hood that all changes. That makes it more difficult for them to even access vocational work, because let’s face it, most employers take on staff to make their lives easier, not to have the additional responsibility of looking after someone else.

Autistic adults tended to live full lives. Autism is not a terminal illness. It’s a life long disability, and affects not only the individuals concerned but their families as well. If they have nowhere to go after childhood, they need support, and this usually falls on the shoulders of their parents or immediate family. This means their carers can’t go out to work full-time even if they wanted to.  Financially it can be a problem for all concerned and a huge strain on relationships.

Unfortunatley, it’s not a problem that’s  going to go away because the number of autistic adults will continue to increase. Depending on where you live,  one in 110 children, mostly boys, are diagnosed with autism and the numbers have been increasingly rising over the years.

Generally speaking these individuals are hard workers, loyal, have good attitudes, like routines and don’t mind repetitive work. They like order so there are many opportunities which could be made available to them by forward thinking and open minded business owners.

However, this is unlikely to happen in the near future, and I suspect there are many aging parents who’ll find themselves having to both house and entertain their autistic offspring  until they die.

My son has been lucky. He and two other young men with disabilities are going into supported living about 20 miles from where I live.  It will be another huge change for him after the busy and bustling life of college, where his education and training went on from the time he got up until the time he went to bed.  In a mixed environment with a huge number of different faces he was able to improve his independence, social, and communication skills.

Now, his circle of influence will be much smaller, and whilst he has a roof over his head, his entertainment and ways to occupy his time will have to be bought in. It’s going to be a huge challenge, and I hope he doesn’t become a couch potato because he doesn’t understand the importance of healthy eating and exercise.

Maybe I’ll  invest in a 7MinuteWorkout membership for him as he certainly needs to lose some weight.  That  way he can enjoy his favourite pastime, i.e. watching videos,  can follow the routines (something he’s comfortable with) and can exercise at home without having to spend a lot of money on expensive gym membership fees.

It’s a healthy and beneficial way to spend some of his time, because as I said, autism is not a terminal illness. My son could have a very long future ahead of him.

Please wish him and all the other vulnerable disabled adults in this world good luck!

Discover more about 7MinuteWorkout

 Like most families these days we have a digital camera – actually we have three!

The benefit of this type of camera is you can take a photo, look at it, and if you don’t like it, you can delete it straight away and take another one. You can then upload the photos to your computer, share them with friends or print them off. It’s very quick and convenient, but sometimes you can forget to delete them.

A couple of weeks ago my son got married. It was a lovely day, and everything went off beautifully. I even wore a posh frock, hat and shoes with heels, so you know it was quite an occasion.

Needless to say a lot of photos were taken, especially as all three cameras got an outing, and a few days later, I decided to show them to my elderly parents, who still have the old type of film camera that you need to send away to be developed.

Rather than expect them to look at the photos on the cameras,however, I decided to display them all in the form of a slide show on my computer. That way the pictures would be bigger, so they’d be able to study them better.

Now, as I was the mother of the groom and likely to be in a lot of photos, I wanted to look reasonably nice for the occasion, so a few months before the big event I became a Beta tester for a new health and fitness program.

I hate diets and am not a dedicated exercise freak, so the idea of a 7 minute workout suited me just fine. The basics are you just exercise 7 minutes a day, three times a week and whilst I know it sounds too good to be true, it does actually work.

Of course it works faster if you also make sensible nutritional choices, but that’s optional. Generally speaking though, when people start to lose weight, feel fitter, have more energy and gain confidence, they do that anyway.

It’s a natural progression.

One of the recommendations when you start the program is to take details of your important measurements, like chest, waist, hips etc and a “before” photograph  so you can chart your progress.  That way you have a visual reminder of your success and there are some people on the program whose transformation has been phenomenal.

Anyway, I did as recommended and stood in front of a full length mirror in just my knickers.

It was not a pretty sight, quite scary really and a stark reminder of how quickly and easily you can get out of shape unless you actively do something about it, especially as you get older.

Of course, I forgot all about it and when I gave my impromptu slideshow of the wedding, there in the midst of all the guests in their posh frocks and outfits, guess who popped up in her birthday suit?

How embarrassing!

It was quite a shock as you can well imagine, and yet another occasion when I wished the floor would open up and swallow me. Still it could have been much worse…

…I could still have a camera like my parents where the film needs to be sent away to be developed!



 7 Minute Workout

Discover how just exercising 7 minutes a day, three times a week, is changing lives and making people fitter, healthier and, stronger