DOWNSIZE FITNESS: TACKLING AMERICA’S OBESITY EPIDEMIC
On Monday May 7, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine released a report that estimates 42 percent of the U.S. population will be obese by 2030. The report also predicts that the proportion of Americans, who are severely obese, meaning more than 100 pounds overweight, will reach 11 percent, about double the current weight. One of the authors Eric Finkelstein said that efforts aimed at helping people lose weight has so far proven relatively ineffective. In conjunction, just last week HBO released a new four-part documentary called The Weight of the Nation, which focuses on the obesity epidemic.
One of our clients, Downsize Fitness (www.downsizefitness.com), a gym specifically designed for overweight and obese individuals provides a welcoming environment that eliminates the self-conscious and alienating atmosphere felt in most conventional gyms. With two locations in Chicago and Las Vegas, and a Dallas gym opening in mid-summer, the gym is exclusively eligible to members who have 50 pounds or more to lose. Downsize Fitness is committed to reversing the country’s obesity epidemic by providing long-term weight loss strategies that focus on sustainable wellness. The staff works closely with members in a team-inspired environment to alter their lifestyles, nutritional habits, and fitness routine.
Check out the Downsize Fitness Facebook page and see some amazing member testimonials and weight loss progress. https://www.facebook.com/DownsizeFitness
I was recently given the opportunity to travel to New York City with Zapwater client and incredibly talented photographer Andy Biggs for deskside appointments. While most of our time was spent darting from meeting to meeting, we did manage to break away for a bit and visit the museum at the International Center of Photography. On my previous visits to New York, I’d visited the Met and the MoMA, but the ICP museum was unfamiliar territory. Thankfully, I had a pro to show me the ropes!
My favorite exhibit at the museum was ‘Weegee: Murder Is My Business,’ a gallery of photographs by Weegee, a press photographer during the 1930s and ’40s. He worked mainly as a freelance photographer who documented the activity of New York’s police and fire departments, capturing graphic, grotesque, yet surprisingly captivating photos of crime scenes as well as photos of urban life in NYC. I was fascinated not only by his photographic techniques but also his relentlessness in the images he took … including horrific murder scenes.
I would definitely recommend anyone visiting New York to take a trip to the ICP museum and check out some of the exhibits. The museum offers a wonderful look into the world of photography with exclusive images you won’t find anywhere else!
The man behind the camera:
The scene at a New York City fire:
A hot summer day:
2012′S REMAINING MUST-SEE MOVIE LIST
I’m what you might call a movie nerd. Growing up, weekends were reserved for movie dates with my parents and brother. Whether it was the latest Bruce Willis feature (I had what one might call an obsession as a child) or a Disney classic, I tremendously looked forward to the weekend when we would carefully select what film to see. Fascinated by the construction, time, thought and effort that go into creating a film, I eventually became part of the “Movie & TV” team for my college’s weekly entertainment magazine, The Buzz. This job allowed me to watch films, meet some of the greats, like Roger Ebert, and attend film festivals (for free!). As a yearly tradition, I like to create my “must-see” list for the year.
I figured what better way to kick-off the summer than to share my year’s remaining list with you. Just a few notes, I always want to see anything with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, gangsters (of the 1920s variety), classic novel or comic book plots, period pieces, and as of lately Sweeds.
In no particular order:
1. Snow White and the Huntsman – “Grown up” fairy tales have been making a splash for a few years now. But Charlize looks seriously wicked as the evil queen, and I can’t wait.
2. Prometheus – Ridley Scott directed and it involves…aliens. Nerd moment. But really, have you seen the trailer?
3. Brave –This looks adorable and somewhat inspiring. Also, the main character has some fantastic long red hair.
4. Take this Waltz – A dramatic Michelle Williams film. Aren’t they always awesome?
5. The Dark Knight Rises – Chills.
6. The Amazing Spider-Man– One of my favorite cartoons growing up. Plus, I’m super excited they are showcasing Gwen Stacy. I hope all comic nerds are wondering if this will end the same way as the books.
7. Easy Money– A hit Sweedish film now showing in America; starring the excellent and talented Joel Kinnaman.
8. Lawless– The cast is intriguing, and I am a huge fan of John Hillcoat’s The Road.
9. Gangster Squad – I seriously love the 1920s. That’s all.
10. Resident Evil: Retribution– I’m not embarrassed to say I love these films.
11. Looper– Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis. Yes.
12. Anna Karenina– Russian period piece based on a novel and an affair – I’ll be there.
13. This is 40– The “sort-of” sequel to Knocked Up. Katherine Heigl isn’t in it, so yeah, that’s a definite plus.
14. The Great Gatsby– Baz better do this book right. The all-star cast has some serious potential. This will be one of everyone’s definite must sees.
MY LAST TRIP DOWN WISTERIA LANE
After 8 years and 200 episodes the women of Wisteria Lane hung up their aprons and high heels with the series finale of Desperate Housewives on ABC. I will admit that I’ve had my ups and downs with the show. At times gripping, always salacious, and often ridicules, Desperate Housewives truly became a cultural phenomenon. It was a hit from the beginning, drawing millions of viewers and launching the careers of many its stars. I vividly recall being a sophomore at Loyola Marymount University and tuning in every week with my girlfriends as the plots unfolded and the scandals broke. We were hooked to say the least.
Over time the show started to choke on its own fumes and lost momentum. While never completely dropping off the radar it started to lack the sizzle it once had. I, like many other viewers, bounced in and out, watching from time to time while wishing the show could recapture the heat. Then last year I heard the show would return for one last season before its final kiss goodbye.
I vowed to give it the old college try and return to Wisteria Lane. I was thrilled to see that I immediately got sucked back in. The girls were up to their necks in a murder cover up; mixed right in with the show’s campy drama, fashion, and laughs I had always loved. I found myself tuning in every week and telling many a friend and Zapwater coworker that “Desperate Housewives was one of my favorite shows on TV again”. Although often mocked I didn’t care. They had me again hook line and sinker and I could not wait to see how the show unfolded.
With the final episode airing last night I couldn’t have been more pleased. The show wrapped up just the way I hoped. Drama, laughter and suspense were all present but love, family, and friends ruled the night. To recap the final moments of the show (SPOILERS) Susan (Teri Hatcher) prepares for her move and tells the new young owner of her house that Wisteria Lane was anything but boring. As she took one last drive around the block everyone who had died on the show including husband Mike and Mary Alice (the show’s narrator), were there to watch her go. Hoping those on the lane would remember that even the most desperate life is wonderful. Of course, the final shot of the finale showed us the new owner of Susan’s home, a woman named Jennifer, was hiding a secret of her own. Some things will never change on Wisteria Lane!
GET CHEEKY WITH IT AT THE ANTHEM!
The gorgeous weather that spoiled us back in February has returned and I expect to see all of the patios mentioned in an earlier post to be jam packed this week. In particular, The Anthem in Wicker Park is debuting its new patio for the Cheeky Sadie Hawkin’s (Vice Versa, Turnabout, you know the one) event on Thursday, May 17th from 6-8 PM.
It’s your once in a lifetime chance to relive your glory days (or redo your not-so-glory-days) while sipping on everyone’s favorite seasonal brews from Leinenkugels, margaritas and exclusive Cheeky Punch. Other goodies include his and her passed apps and spiked popsicles for dessert. DJ Megan Taylor will spin some of the 90’s and early 2000’s hits that are guaranteed to bring back some fond memories. My fingers are crossed for some Sister Hazel, New Radicals, Barenaked Ladies and maybe a little K-Ci and JoJo to slow things down.
So invite your favorite guy pal, be it your boyfriend, hubby, gay best friend, co-worker, etc., and grab your tickets here for $20 in advance or $25 at the door. It’s a Thursday night, so no excuses, we all know what a typical Friday at the office looks like during the summer.
MY FIRST ROAD TRIP
What’s life without spontaneity? Earlier this month, I planned a week-long vacation in Florida and three days into it, I decided to pack up and hit Interstate 95 with a friend for a 700 mile journey from West Palm Beach, Fla. to Charlotte, N.C. Space was tight, the sun was hot and many memories were made.
For the road trip veterans out there, I’ve included five key takeaways from my expedition:
1. Leave the hair spray at home. Don’t waste your time styling your hair when road tripping in a 97’ BMW convertible. I learned my lesson after day one when I spent 20 minutes brushing knots out of my one-curled hair.
2. Stock up on your favorite tunes. In my case, my travel buddy and I stopped by the nearest Walmart and picked up a few “best of” cd’s, including my personal trip-favorite, Run DMC. By day three, I mastered the “huh’s” in “It’s Like That.”
3. Hit the local eateries. My favorite meal was at FIG, in Charleston, S.C. Their menu items change daily and use only local and sustainable foods. If you find yourself there, I highly recommend the Coddled Sea Island Farm Egg with lump crab. Delish!
4. Throw the schedule out the window. You’re only going to stress yourself out by sticking to a strict plan. Leave room for flexibility and enjoy the sights. We explored a couple beaches on our drive to Charlotte. As we were leaving Charleston, the last morning of the trip, we decided to stop at the Isle of the Palms (pictured below), where I took a two mile walk on the beach, which was the most peaceful moment of the trip. It was just what I needed before heading back to Chicago to start my new position at Zapwater.
5. Remember the three S’s: sunscreen, sunglasses and snacks.
With my first trip under my belt, I hope there are many more to come. There’s nothing like creating memories on the road.
MY GOLDEN SMILE
What a week it has been at Zapwater!
First, we were notified that we won seven Bulldog Awards, a national public relations industry competition judged by top-tier journalists. We were excited to learn that we won more awards than any other agency in the United States.
On Tuesday, one of our campaigns was recognized as the Best Fashion & Beauty campaign in North America. Zapwater received a Gold Sabre, the biggest and most prestigious award in the public relations industry. The Sabre Awards were dominated by the biggest agencies in the world, and we were proud to be in such good company.
Finally, Zapwater is proud to announce that the agency was awarded six “Trumpets” in the Publicity Club of Chicago’s annual Golden Trumpet Awards. Zapwater received four Gold and two Silver Trumpets.
Since January 2012, Zapwater has now received 18 industry accolades on behalf of seven different client campaigns.
The accolades we have recently won reaffirm this agency’s commitment to be the best boutique agency in the country.
We’re looking forward to delivering more award-winning campaigns throughout 2012 and into 2013.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY
This Sunday is Mother’s Day. For the first time in my life, I understand what it means to celebrate mothers. I used to consider it a “Hallmark holiday.”
My sister and I normally wait until the last minute, pick up a gift certificate for a mani/pedi and take my mom to brunch. Hugs and kisses are given and a “Happy Mother’s Day” is shouted as we leave the restaurant.
This year, I plan to tell my mother how much I appreciate everything she has done for me the 38 years and acknowledge how much of herself she gave up or put on hold to do the most important, demanding and selfless job there is. It took me becoming a mother to realize this.
My daughter is two and half and quite a little piece of work. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, I guess. I love her more than anything, but I will say that I have cried as much as I have laughed. The last couple years have been the most challenging and rewarding of my life.
A few months ago, I was having a particularly bad day and called my dear and wise friend who is a mother of three to ask if I was the only mom that wasn’t overjoyed and totally overwhelmed. She sent me the following blog entry.
I have it bookmarked and read this to remind myself to continue putting one foot in front of the other. It’s difficult and I’m struggling, but I am not failing.
Carry on, warriors.
VIDAL SASSOON, A CUT ABOVE
Famed beauty visionary Vidal Sassoon passed away this week at 84. It was a sad loss for the beauty industry and for those who worked with him. I had the pleasure of representing Vidal Sassoon and helping to launch their global salon brand Sassoon Studios.
For Sassoon, it has always been about the cut. He was the “architect for hair,” creating bespoke haircuts with precision, volume, grace and flawless technique. I am grateful for having the chance to represent the Vidal Sassoon brand and meeting Vidal himself.
As we look forward, I’m thrilled to see Zapwater working with some of the top beauty visionaries of our time including Mario Tricoci and Tricoci University of Beauty Culture and Chris Salgardo of Kiehl’s Since 1851. Both brands fill a niche in the market and will continue to be thought leaders within the beauty industry.
However, no one will ever replace Vidal, his reputation and his wonderful brand. May his inner and outer beauty never be forgotten.