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30-Day Get Fit Challenge | Week 2


Staffer Gretchen Parker, 35, is working out with ExerciseTV celebrity trainer Kathy Kaehler (past clients include Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston) for Us' 30-Day Get Fit Challenge! She's blogging a few times a week. Here, Gretchen details her third workout session with Kathy:

I had such good intentions.

Last week, I made it to the gym four days. This week, well, this week I only made it two days. I haven’t even told Kathy yet — I’m too chicken. I know she’s going to be disappointed.

She’s not going to want to hear excuses. So I’ll just shower them on you guys.

Monday, I ended up working about 17 hours by the time I wrapped up covering the Women’s Conference in Long Beach, Calif. (I was actually thinking at the time, looking at host Maria Shriver, “I bet SHE never misses a workout.”)

Tuesday, I worked another 15 hours by the time I finished up covering Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” premiere. Again, I was thinking only of myself as I jealously watched the King of Pop burn off all those calories in the rehearsal footage.

I could go on and on.

See photos from Gretchen's first training session with Kathy.

I did, however, manage to slow down my rabid consumption of frozen dinners and take-out.

Kathy gave me a loose meal plan based on what she calls her “Sunday Setup” — cooking fresh food ahead of time on Sundays and using it for meals and snacks throughout the week.

I bought chicken broth, chicken breast, brown rice, kidney beans and black beans and all kinds of vegetables — red and green peppers, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery and zucchini. I made soup by boiling the chicken breasts in the broth and adding the veggies, and I ate it for lunches and snacks. I saved some of the chicken and ate it on brown rice with steamed broccoli. I’m planning tomorrow to eat more brown rice with beans and salsa.

As I chopped the veggies, I saved some to throw into salads, along with a bag of salad mix.

It took me about two hours to prepare and store the food on Sunday, but the perk? I saved time later that I usually spend running around like a starved animal looking for food at the last minute.

Eating better at mealtimes motivated me to snack better as well. At the Women’s Conference, I grabbed an apple from a convention booth display instead of the nachos at the concession counter.

Now, if I can just do both things together — exercise and eat well. It’s like walking and chewing gum at the same time.

Or at least just walking.

Questions? Comments? Contact me at

Read Gretchen's previous blog entries:

30-Day Get Fit Challenge: Meet Us' Gretchen Parker!
30 Day Get Fit Challenge | Week 1
30-Day Get Fit Challenge | Week 1, Workout 2