Do you want to lose 10, 30, 50 or more pounds? Have you recently reached your weight loss goal but want to maintain it? Are you willing to dedicate yourself to a healthy lifestyle? Then this blog is for you!

I have lost 118 pounds and have maintained the weight loss for two years. One of the things I have learned during the weight loss process is that it is much easier to reach and maintain your goal weight if you surround yourself with like-minded individuals to support you in the process (whether they be in person or online).

I also have learned that learning as much as possible about healthy living gives you the knowledge and expertise needed to lose weight the “right” way. So this blog includes regular posts, a book list, website list, TV list, video list and book and website of the month. In addition, there is a recipe of the month and product review section. Visitors to Weight Loss Aficionado can just enjoy the site for informational purposes or can comment on posts, ask questions, share resources, their triumphs and pitfalls during the weight loss process.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Let's Go Sneaker Shopping!

Once you start going to the gym regularly buying sneakers becomes as enjoyable as buying a new Louis Vuitton pocket book. You want a pair of sneakers for every sport/ activity you engage in. Currently I have 3 pairs of sneakers, one pair for running, one for dance and one for cross training. When new sneakers come out it takes massive self control to help from buying them.

What I can say is getting the correct sneaker for the sports/ activities you are involved in is paramount. You will only have one pair of feet during your lifetime so it is important to give them the support and comfort they need during your workouts. Below are  Fitness Magazine's 2012 sneaker choices.


The FITNESS 2012 Sneaker Guide

New Balance 895 sneakers
The Best Walking Shoe
For casual strollers to serious power walkers
Winner: New Balance 895
Bye-bye, staid walking shoes. This bold "superlight" pair is "incredibly flexible, while being supportive and cushiony," testers say. The unique egg-crate-inspired design of the outsole "puts an extra spring in your step." That, combined with a stable-but-not-stiff foam midsole, makes them "well built for both casual and speed walking." ($85,

Ryka Dash sneakers
The Best Walking Shoe: Runner-Up
Runner-Up: Ryka Dash
"The perfect travel shoes," according to testers, these kicks are "comfortable out of the box" and "have fantastic cushioning, without the added weight." The leather-and-mesh uppers and rubber outsoles "can really take a beating." The verdict: "You'll want to walk in them forever." ($60,

Vasque Talus WP sneakers
The Best Hiking Shoe
For off-road walkers or day hikers
Winner: Vasque Talus WP
These "great" lightweight hiking boots had one tester raving that the waterproof Nubuck leather "keeps your feet dry and warm, even when they're fully submerged in water." The Vibram outsole offers "excellent grip" and "a sufficient amount of traction for all types of trails," and its women's-specific upper "hugs your feet nicely." ($150, for stores)

Teva Forge Pro Mid Event sneakers
The Best Hiking Shoe: Runner-Up
Runner-Up: Teva Forge Pro Mid eVent
Testers were amazed that this "supercomfortable" boot "fit like a glove from mile one." Thanks to its breathable, waterproof membrane, feet stay "pleasantly dry." It also has a "very grippy" rubber outsole, which aced "rock, mud, light snow, ice, and gravel." A stretchy ankle cover keeps grit out of your shoe. ($140,

New Balance 890v2 sneakers
The Best Neutral Running Shoe
For stable foot strikers who don't need correction from their shoes
Winner: New Balance 890v2
A "Cinderella fit," "good arch support," "perfect cushioning" -- testers "absolutely loved everything" about these colorful kicks. The "extremely light," "bouncy" sneakers have a shorter-than-usual drop from heel to forefoot that encourages a "stronger," "faster," "effortless," and more natural stride. ($100,

Mizuno Wave Creation 13 sneakers
The Best Neutral Running Shoe: Runner-Up
Runner-Up: Mizuno Wave Creation 13
Nicely "supportive for people with high arches," these sneaks are "cushioned, without seeming pillowy," testers say. A thermoplastic wave design in the midsole gives them their spring, making you "feel more aerodynamic" on your runs. ($150,

Mizuno Wave Inspire 8 sneakers
The Best Mild Stability Running Shoe
For runners whose feet roll inward (overpronate) slightly as they strike
Winner: Mizuno Wave Inspire 8
This "extremely lightweight" shoe offers "great stability and shock absorption," testers say. Its breathable open-mesh upper wraps around your foot for a pleasing "glovelike fit," and its stable-yet-springy midsole provides "wonderful support for an overpronating stride." ($115,

Saucony Hurricane 14 sneakers
The Best Mild Stability Running Shoe: Runner-Up
Runner-Up: Saucony Hurricane 14
These shoes may be an ounce lighter than the previous version, but they "still offer excellent support," allowing you to "feel connected to the road while still protecting your feet and joints." An antimicrobial sock liner and foam midsole provide "nice cushioning under the tongue and the balls of your feet." ($140,

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12 sneakers
The Best Extra Stability Running Shoe
For runners whose feet roll inward (overpronate) considerably as they strike
Winner: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12
Testers rave that these sneaks are "supportive and cushioned to perfection." Their biodegradable foam midsoles incorporate a thermoplastic device and varying densities of foam to "prevent your feet from rolling in." A flexible forefoot puts a "nice spring" in your stride. ($110,

Nike LunarEclipse+ 2 sneakers
The Best Extra Stability Running Shoe: Runner-Up
Runner-Up: Nike LunarEclipse+ 2
This shoe "doesn't look as if it would be very supportive, because it's so light, but it is," testers marvel. Its midsole packs "unmatched cushioning" and features a wedge-shaped design that kicks in extra stability only when you start to overpronate. In short, "you may never want to take these off." ($135,

Merrell Dash Glove minimalist shoe
The Best Minimalist Running Shoe
For striders who want the barefoot-inspired experience
Winner: Merrell Dash Glove
This "extremely comfortable," "flexible" shoe weighs just 5.8 ounces but "still provides a lot of support," and its Vibram outsole supplies "great cushioning for running on pavement or rocks," testers say. Thanks to its zero drop from heel to forefoot, you land on the ball of your foot. Testers felt "no slipping or friction" from its "snug fitting" synthetic leather-and-mesh upper. ($110,

Brooks Pure Connect minimalist running shoe
The Best Minimalist Running Shoe: Runner-Up
Runner-Up: Brooks Pure Connect
Testers were "surprised by the amount of cushioning" these six-and-a-half-ounce shoes served up. With a heel-to-toe drop of just four millimeters and a split toe box, they make "forefoot striking a joy." The flexible kicks "move and expand with your feet." ($90,

Saucony Peregrine 2 sneakers
The Best Trail Running Shoe
Winner: Saucony Peregrine 2
These "dream" trail runners have "lightweight, flexible" foam midsoles and "nice, low-cut ankles." The durable carbon-rubber tread "grips well on a variety of terrains," and its built-in rock plate protects your feet and "allows you to recover quickly whenever you stumble on roots, rocks, and the like." ($100,

Asics Gel-Fuji Racer sneakers
The Best Trail Running Shoe: Runner-Up
Runner-Up: Asics Gel FujiRacer
"Potholes, uneven roads, gravel and grass were no match" for these bulk-free trail shoes, testers say. With extra gel pads under the heels and "arch-supporting" foam midsoles, they are "just right on cushioning" and "great for running long distances." A water-drainage system helps keep your feet dry. ($110, for stores)

Reebok RealFlex Transition sneakers
The Best Cross-Training Shoe
For exercisers who do workouts with a lot of side-to-side moves
Winner: Reebok RealFlex Transition
Testers loved wearing this "bouncy," "breathable" shoe for their elliptical, stairclimber, total-body, and CrossFit workouts. The flexible, waffle-patterned outsole "offers a ton of cushioning for jumping exercises" and "facilitates pivoting and moving side to side." Its mesh upper is "extremely comfortable" and "takes a huge load off your gym bag." ($90,

Puma Pumagility sneakers
The Best Cross-Training Shoe: Runner-Up
Runner-Up: Puma Pumagility
This "deceptively light" sneaker has "good lateral support" that "prevents your foot from moving around during side-to-side or front-to-back moves." The cushy triangular pieces in its midsole compress on impact so that "your knees feel better supported" when you jump. ($85,

Specialized Torch TR cycling shoes
The Best Cycling Shoe
For those who clip in for road cycling or Spinning
Winner: Specialized Torch TR
This women's-specific clip-in shoe is "great for powering through" your workout and has an arch-supporting midsole that "keeps you properly aligned" as you ride, testers say. Its sturdy, injection-molded and glass-reinforced outsole provides "good energy transfer" and has "generous vents" so there are "no hot spots." ($125,

Louis Garneau Women?s CFS 300 cycling shoes
The Best Cycling Shoe: Runner-Up
Runner-Up: Louis Garneau Women's CFS 300
With two interchangeable insoles that you heat in the oven and then mold to your foot, this splurge clip-in style provides "a custom fit" and "makes you feel in sync with your bike." Two straps and a ratchet cinch the mesh-and-leather upper snugly. ($300,

Asics Gel-Solution Speed tennis shoes
The Best Tennis Shoe
Winner: Asics Gel-Solution Speed
Testers note that these "superb" sneaks "move very well" with "no slipping." The extra gel cushioning under your forefoot and heel provides plenty of shock absorption, and the lightweight upper, with memory foam in the heel, offers "a lot of ankle support." ($130, for stores)

Adidas Barricade 7.0 tennis shoes
The Best Tennis Shoe: Runner-Up
Runner-Up: Adidas Barricade 7.0
"Movement feels quick" when you're wearing this "very comfortable," "sturdy" shoe, testers say. It's more than an ounce lighter than the previous Barricade model, with a seamless upper and a flexible, cushioned midfoot that "keeps knees and joints feeling good." A durable outsole makes you "feel superstable while moving laterally" on the court. ($130,

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, March 2012.

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