Chicago Weekend Recap

It was such an honor and pleasure to meet Chef Devin Alexander this weekend in Chicago. Our workout date was compliments of the amazing East Bank Club, and I would like to thank them for their generosity - the club is phenomenal, and the service was exceptional. Devin mentioned that Oprah works out at the East Bank Club and I can totally see why - the services that members have available to them at the club are unparalleled to anything I have ever seen!

Devin and I completed a 1 hour 10 minute cardio circuit, and we talked the entire time. It was so refreshing to talk to someone that "gets it". Devin has openly spoken of her food addiction, and how it continues to affect her life. Knowing that she continues to succeed and overcome her addiction every single day gives me immeasurable hope for my future.

Our date went by so quickly, and before we knew it, an hour and 10 minutes had flown by. Devin had to leave quickly because she was a featured chef at the Taste of Chicago, but we were able to get a few photos taken together outside the club, and she autographed my daughter's copy of "The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook" ...

Before Devin left, she gave me a box of her Healthy & Decadent Treats ...

I was so excited - I couldn't believe Devin actually took the time to make these treats just for ME!!! When do you ever have a world renown chef cook for you?

My little box contained two chocolate chocolate brownie cups, 2 fudge mint iced brownies, and a glazed lemon bundt cake. My daughter inhaled the chocolate chocolate brownie cups and a fudge mint iced brownie within 2 blocks of our walk from the gym back to the hotel. The fudge mint iced brownie was pure decadence - so rich, and bursting with flavor. We shared the glazed lemon bundt cake with our friends Melissa and Chris at the hotel. I almost wish I had been selfish and not shared it, because it was that good! :)

We then met up with Devin again at Taste of Chicago and watched her presentation - she demonstrated her McDonald's: Big Mac, Green Potato Salad, and Chocolate Chocolate Brownie Cups. Let me tell you - if you love McDonald's Big Macs, you simply MUST try Devin's healthy recipe (found in her Fast Food Fix cookbook, and also shared in yesterday's post). Devin has recreated the "special sauce" to perfection!

My trip to Chicago also included hanging out with my friends Melissa and Chris Guillaume - they are one of the most down-to-earth and genuine couples I have ever met. Melissa and Chris had received VIP passes for the Biggest Loser casting call at the NBC Tower that morning. We walked to the NBC Tower together, and I could not believe the amount of people in line for the casting call. We were still an hour or so before the casting call actually began, and the line wound completely around the block. The first woman in line had been waiting since 9pm the previous night!!

If there is ANYONE that deserves to get cast onto the Biggest Loser, it's Melissa and Chris! They have been so inspirational and motivational to me - Melissa has lost 55 lbs so far this year, so she knows how to back up her words with action.

Melissa and Chris are both diabetics, and Melissa is on a mission to save her mother's life via a bone marrow transplant but must first lose weight to be a donor. Melissa and Chris would also like to adopt a child from China, and were fairly along with the adoption process when China changed their rules to exclude obese couples from adopting children.

I asked Melissa why it was so important to get on the show, telling her that she already has what she needs inside of her to reach her goals. Melissa replied that there is never going to be an opportunity to fully and wholly forget all of her responsibilites, and take the time to focus solely on herself. I wish nothing but the best to Melissa and Chris - they are already the Biggest Winners in my book!

To cap off a perfect day, I finally got to meet the amazing Betsy IN PERSON! Betsy and I have been blogging buddies since January 2008, and she is such a sweetheart!! She has been a big supporter of mine, and is always there to cheer me up and give me that push I need when I'm feeling down or struggling. Meeting people for the first time is always nerve wracking for me, but it was so easy with Betsy - it was like reuniting with an old friend, and wasn't awkward or weird at all :)

All in all, it was one of the best days of my life!

My nutrition yesterday and today have been a struggle ... but not in the way you're probably thinking. Certain things are happening at my job due to the current economic status, things that are happening to people all over our country, and for the first time in my life, I didn't turn to food for comfort. I actually turned away from food, and barely ate anything yesterday or today. I have no appetite, and simply can't eat anything. I made Carrie's go-to meal of ground turkey, brown rice, northern beans and salsa, and ate a small bowl yesterday and today, but that's about it. It's so weird not having to fight myself about food. I think hanging out with Devin and my aha moment last week has given me a new perspective on food. I'm happy for it!

Don't worry though, I will get back on track with my nutrition tomorrow - I have to, with my triathlon less than 2 weeks away!!

Here are my workouts in review ...


5 min warm up on elliptical

A1: Squat and shoulder press on functional trainer (20 lbs)
A2: Mountain climbers
A3: Boxing
A4: Reverse flies on functional trainer (14 lbs)
* Repeat this set 3 times

B1: Hip-ups on medicine ball
B2: Standing obliques on functional trainer (10 lbs)
B3: Bicep curls (30 lbs)
B4: Crunches on bosu trainer
* Repeat this set 3 times

HIIT 13 minutes


5 minute warmup on elliptical

A1: Chest press with rotation and crunch on the bench. 15 lbs dumbbells for 1st and 2nd set, 20 lbs for 3rd set
A2: Upright row using functional trainer while on stability ball.
A3: Knee tucks on stability ball
A4: Box jumps
*Repeat set 3 times

B1: Incline chest press on bench. 15 lbs dumbbells for 1st and 2nd set, 20 lbs for 3rd set.
B2: Lat pulldown using functional trainer while kneeing on ground.
B3: Tricep press on stability ball with 8 lbs dumbbells
B4: Crunches on bosu trainer.
* Repeat set 3 times

I hope everyone has a great day ... I'm still working on that special project I alluded to last week, and hope to be able to share it with you all in a few days!


"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." Author unknown, commonly misattributed to Charles Darwin


Tigerlilly said...

That sounded like an amazing weekend. I do hope your friends Melissa and Chris get casted.. it would be one blessed story to share with the world!

Have a great day!


My Regular Voice- Washing Away The Gain said...

I agree sounds like a wonderful weekend! I really enjoyed the photos!! How great to have that workout. Good luck to your friends, and to you...hang in there!!


AzLinda said...

Oh Michelle, your weekend sounded sureal! Thanks for sharing it with us. So exciting!

Kristen said...

I really want to eat those desserts you've got pictured. LOL

Betsy said...

Awww...I just read this now and saw what you wrote about me! You are the sweetest! It was so great meeting you too. Just like old friends. :)

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