Friday, January 29, 2010

Chick-fil-A is Not a Yoga Pose

Yesterday was once again Yoga Day, which is somehow becoming my favorite time of the week.  Unfortunately, I've been feeling a bit sick to my stomach, so I debated whether to even go.  I did go, but I took it pretty easy.  Even so, I found a couple times that certain poses were easier for me than they had been in the past.  I also found the room to be FREEZING for some reason.  Forget hot yoga, my community center seems to have embraced cold yoga.  I'm not sure I'm seeing the benefits.  I may start bringing a blanket for final relaxation.

Anyway, I noticed one thing as I was doing my pre-yoga walk around the track.  You know how I posted the other day about how uncomfortable I feel walking at the track on campus?  Well, I truly feel NONE of that when working out at the community center.  I even ran a little bit last week (with very little worries about the boobs attracting too much attention).

I think the reason is that there are truly all shapes and sizes at the community center.  And everyone is there for the same reason: to improve their health and fitness.  Somehow on campus I feel like it's all athletes who are looking at me like they're certain I've stumbled in accidentally, when I truly intended to camp out at Chick-fil-A stuffing myself with waffle fries dipped in an obscene number of condiments.

I've finally updated my ticker again, which shows not quite another pound lost. I've decided to only officially weigh in and update once a month. Mainly because I've found that for me, it's nothing to gain/lose the same five pounds over the course of a month. I'm always going to show a gain before my period, then I'll always miraculously go back down after. It's just not a "real" picture of my true success (or lack thereof) to weigh in weekly.

Oh, also, in my quest to improve my sleep, I've been trying Breathe Right strips, which was EG's suggestion.  I do truly think I'm sleeping better.  It might just be because I'm currently enjoying a hard earned four-day weekend (joys of comp time!) and I always sleep better if I know I don't have to be up early.  But I haven't snored myself awake since I started using them.

(Photo borrowed from

Ask and You Shall Receive...Update

Well last week I was in distress because my favorite flavor of water packet is being removed from the shelves of all of my local shopperies. Shortly after that - I was working late and happened to be drinking my energy mix to avoid the temptation of soda-land. As my night was coming to a close, I developed a horrible migraine - which left me feeling nauseous / fuzzy eyed for my entire hour plus long drive home - in a thick fog. By the time I got home I was in tears and contemplating self-brain removal to end the pain. I woke the next morning with the migraine still raging in my head - not enough to make me fully nauseous - just enough to make me remember it could crush me at any moment.

The fortunate side-effect of this (see how I'm looking for the positive? Brownie point anyone?) is that I completely have one of those food / illness associations and I've gone most of the week without my drinking any at all. Which is quite amazing - b/c it has really become a daily requirement (at least on work days) So - I guess the moral is be careful what you wish for.
On with the rest of the report:
  • Consume a limit of 1 soda per week. I had hopes of going a full month without a soda - however, a visit to a house that could only be described as my allergies-worst-nightmares led to symptoms including difficulty breathing, my throat threatening to swell shut, and in general feeling like I'd been poisoned (after not ever getting back to normal from previously mentioned migraine and also this treatment!) In my compromised state - I consumed 1 soda (on a Sunday no less). It wasn't even gone before the regret set in, but if 1 a month is going to be my new average - that's not bad at all.
  • Do Push-Up's 3xs a week. Done. I have been increasing the length of the sets to build some more endurance. And to meet my "able to do 50 push ups" goal.
  • Walk 2xs a week. Done- we've decided this is what the mall is for.
  • Reduce calories and keep food journal. No. It didn't happen in any sort of formal manner. I knew when I needed to stop - I just didn't always listen. I appreciate all the suggestions for online food trackers - it's just not my thing and I still don't like them - but I'm glad that they seem to work for so many of you. I will officially do better next week in this area.
  • Purchase no more than 5 boxes per week. Apparently this was my "epic fail" week! LOL I did surpass my box quota - twice. I had not had a real "stock up" shopping trip and some prices were just too good to pass up. However, the vast majority of boxes that I did buy were NOT junk food - so I think that counts for something.
Little thing about me: I have a sweet tooth. This week I've fallen off the wagon due to butterscotch blondies and dark chocolate that I've been dipping in white chocolate peanut butter (no trans fats and no high fructose). Regardless of my sugar addiction - I have managed to keep the scale in the same place. I would ask for help avoiding my sugar craving ways- but I'm afraid of how the Universe might deliver that "gift".

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

24 Hour Fitness Update

So far, so good. Went both Monday and Tuesday nights! Monday was my first time there. My husband had went on Sunday morning so he knew a little more of what to expect. We took our son with us so he could experience Kid's Club. It was very crowded but I kinda expected that for 6:30 on a Monday night. So the first thing we do is take our son to Kid's Club. There is a line of people waiting to go in and I'm like what is up with this? Then I notice a sign on the door saying "One Family at a time allowed in Kid's Club". Okay I'll wait. I swear the family in there took at least 2 minutes while we were waiting and more people began waiting behind us. Finally they come out and the next "family" goes in. Takes another minute or two. Finally we go in and I sign the paper for our son to play. I tell them it's our first time there and they say you'll need to fill out this paper work. So I start to fill it out and this lady shoo's me out of the room and says you need to fill it out outside. So okay this is fine but it will take me a minute to fill it out and you've already made me wait five minutes. But whatever there IS a line. So I fill out the paper work (which pretty much absolves them of any kind of responsibility) I think I will feel safer with my 11 year old neighbor watching him. Anyway, I have to get back in line to take the paper work back in. Go back in drop it off, walk out and the
lady who looked like a supervisor walks past and says "will he have any grandparents dropping him off sometime?" I'm thinking grandparents??? What do people us this as a babysitting service. I tell her no. Then she says, "is your husbands name on the paperwork"? Umm... no you didn't tell us both parents should fill it out. So back in line we go to have my husband put his name on the paperwork. I'm thinking, see lady if you would have let us fill it out in front of someone they could have told us all of this instead of standing in line and going back and forth for 10 minutes. So finally we get that all settled. Our son looks like he's having a good time playing video games. We finally walk upstairs to work out. Every elliptical machine on the front row is taken (there must be at least 20 or 30). Second row we find two that are together and start working out. They have like 8 TV's set to different channels. Half of which are sports, then a few on different networks. One of which is FOX NEWS. Now I'm a Democrat and kinda liberal so it always pisses me off when I go to a place of business and FOX News is on the tv. I mean come on people, I can understand having news on but at least choose CNN where it's middle of the road. I can understand not having MSNBC because they are more liberal but FOX! Really!? Bill O'Reilly's face is not something I want to see while working out. So anyway, I end up "watching" The Bachelor. A show that Janet watches regularly and I have never watched and never planned to but I thought at least I can talk to Janet about it tomorrow. After about 2 minutes I understood why I've never watched the show. But almost anything was better than Bill O'Reilly. So we do the elliptical for 35 minutes. I did 2.5 miles! Went downstairs to workout on some weight machines. They have a great idea with about 6 rows of weight machines all identical so you can start at one machine and work your way down the row working out the different parts of your body. If the next machine is taken in your row just skip to the next row and use that machine because it's identical to the one in the row you are on. So we had a really great workout. Then back to Kid's Club to pick up our son. Only one person in line this time and they were farely quick. Go in and our son seems to be having a great time. The girl says ummm "him and another boy bumped into each other and his mouth started bleeding. GRRREAAT... I said well it's probably his loose tooth. She said it just happened that's why we didn't call you. (No one looked real concerned anyway) They were both more busy cleaning up so they could leave in 10 minutes. So we gather up our kid and we ask him how he liked it and he said, "I don't want to go back". "Why?" "The boy didn't apologize for hitting me and I want to workout with you". I explain that he has to be older to do that. Not a happy camper at this answer. So, we'll see if we use the Kid's Club again. I wasn't impressed in the least with the place and I'm not sure how safe my child is in the place. However, last night went much better. I went by myself and got there about 9pm after I got my son to bed.(hubby stayed home) A lot less crowded,I found an elliptical right in front of the television that had Lost on and did about 2.7 miles and actually felt pretty good when I left. I'm planning on going back tonight.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Know What to Do

I woke up this morning (okay, let's be real. I woke up 17 times last night...) and had the distinct feeling that I just can't take it anymore.

I have a terrible time sleeping at night. This isn't new. It kind of all started about four or five years ago. But it's ridiculous now. See, among my many ailments, I have mild carpal tunnel syndrome. So, sleeping in any position besides flat on my back with my arms at my sides makes my hands fall asleep. Not like typical "oh dude, my hand's asleep," but rather like, "OH MY GOD I CAN'T FEEL MY ENTIRE ARM!! MAYBE I NEED TO GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM?!?!"

It sucks, but whatever, I've lived with that particular challenge for a few years. The thing is, now I've started snoring if I sleep on my back. And I wake myself up. So, basically I'm screwed. If I sleep on my back, I wake myself up snoring. If I sleep in any other position, I wake up because my entire arm is numb. And I suspect that I'm snoring because of my weight. Because I've never snored before.

So, when EG invited me to lunch today, I said, "No thank you. I must walk today." And she ended up eating lunch and then walking with me. I was asking her about 24 Hour Fitness, and I wondered if they made you see a trainer or something to get started.

She said, "No. I don't need someone to show me what to do. I know what to do. It's just a matter of doing it."

I read somewhere that health and fitness is the one area where people's knowledge is the most at odds with what people actually do. I know in my own case, it's definitely true.

I know what to eat and drink to be healthy. And I'm sitting here eating Cheez-its (reduced fat though) and drinking Diet Pepsi.

I know building muscle is a great way to increase metabolism. I haven't lifted weights in months. I could even tell you three or four awesome exercises to do to work any muscle in your body. Do I DO them? No.

I know I should walk 60 min. per day. I do 30 or so about 3 days a week.

I know fat, cholesterol, sugar, hydrogenated oils, artificial stuff, etc... is bad for me. I KNOW THIS. And I eat it anyway.

On the other hand...

I know that I should wear my seat belt in a car. And I do it. Every time.

I know the major principles behind effective adult education. And I use them in my work, every chance I get.

I know the rules of proper grammar and punctuation. And I use them.

I know how feng shui works. And I work very hard to keep the chi flowing properly in home and work environments.

I know that Stacy and Clinton forbid wearing bleached or whiskered jeans, and I don't wear them. I know that a woman with a chest like mine should wear V necks to minimize the chest. I have a closet full of V necks.

I know how to properly care for my skin and hair, and I do it.

I know how to apply makeup to maximize my good features and minimize the negatives. And I do that. Most days.

I know how to manage my finances properly. And I do it. Okay, well, mostly.

So WHY do I not put my extensive knowledge of health, fitness, and weight loss into practice???

Monday, January 25, 2010

24 Hour Fitness

Well, folks I've done it. Something I swore I would never do. Join another health club. Last time I joined a health club I spent over $300 and went one time. This had to be over 20 years ago because it was before I was married. (I'll be married 20 years this June.) $300 bucks was a lot of money for me at the time because I was working my first real job in television and actually able to pay my bills without my parents help for the first time. So, I ended up flushing $300 bucks down the toilet and those of you who are young enough to remember the eighties knows that $300 was a lot of money then. Anyway, I digress. I think the reason I never went is because I felt so embarrassed by working out my fat ass in front of a bunch of strangers. 20 plus years later I have no fear or little of embarrassment. Performing in public will do that for you as well as having a very vocal child. So, I think I can actually do this, this time. Plus, my husband joined with me and they have a Kid's Club that my son can go to as well. The best part is the cost. Slightly over $50 a month for the two of us! Plus you can quit anytime you want. It's just a month to month basis. My husband has already went once and I plan on going tonight for the first time. I'll let you know what I think of it once I get started. Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Choose A Size Already

(also known as the post called “My Boobs Are Out of Control”)

Okay, so let's talk. Boobs are kind of a pain. Let's just take your normal average boobs. They can be so sore that you want to punch someone for just looking too close. They can alert others to your personal interpretation of the weather and they always seem to do this at the most inconvenient times. (As an aside, this action burns 3 calories, so it always makes me smile.) They get in the way – stomach sleeping has never been the same since they appeared. And they don't move in graceful manners or even in the same direction as the rest of your body when in motion.

As if this was not enough – they won't commit to a size. They are not thoughtful- like your feet, for example. Until I had a child, I had the same shoe size since 4th grade. Feet are nice like that. Boobs – they can grow in number, grow in cup size, or grow in fruit proportions (grapes to grapefruit). During my yo-yo weight days, I have gone from a C to an A to DD.

I am sorry to say, that I've kind of given up. I plan to lose weight. I want to lose weight. I know, from history, that WHEN this happens I will go down to a lower size. So why would I want to spend the time, energy, and money on a size that I'm not planning to stay at very long? So, because of this – I've been living in a sports bra for way longer than any non-athletic lady should. It's embarrassing to do the math, and I honestly can't say how long it's been going on.

A few months ago, I did break down and buy some “real” bras. I just hadn't been comfortable in the size C's – and that was when I discovered that I'd graduated to a size DD. Ick. I miss the A's. And if it's not bad enough to be a DD - I'm one of those odd ducks that has a smaller number than most stores carry in the DD series.

And you can argue, but I think that A's and B's are perfect. I refer to them as the “why bother” sizes. You can totally skip the bra all together. The boobs stay in place. They do not seem to be having a battle with gravity. They are pretty easy to manage. And yet there is enough to offer physical proof that you are of the female variety.

I could open a Victoria Secret bra shop out of my dresser – and there would be a little something for everyone. And bra's are not really something that you want to shop for at a thrift store / goodwill – which is sometimes a strategy when you are on your way down in sizes. It just makes me nutty. It's exciting to get to buy a new pair of jeans in a smaller size – but a bra? I have not yet met the bra that makes me smile. And let's just talk about the whole bra shopping / fitting process – another source this is the antithesis of joy.

So there it is, my secret bra aggravations – maybe someday they will make a weight loss bra – one that decreases ever so slightly in size with you? Or maybe I should go on record as saying that is officially my idea. Or maybe someone will develop a bra swap – where you can get rid of the wrong sizes in exchange for the new sizes? You know – that whole geisha bonding thing isn't sounding half bad – and I think that Ace bandages come in sizes – but not in CUP sizes. Could that be the sound of progress? Feel free to share your own boob frustrations / tips / discipline techniques – together we can tame the wild beasts.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Food Pyramid and Other Impossilbe Mountains

Do you remember the food pyramid as a child? It involved eat this many servings of each food group. It made SENSE. Okay, so it was kind of tricky - is a serving of meat a half a cow? A slab of fish? A multitude of chicken body parts?

And then some genius came up with the "same size as" theory. You know, a serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards. I think a serving of veggies or fruit was about the size of your fist. Bread servings were about the size of a CD - but there was some rule about thickness that always got lost in my mind. But it was a guideline that I could visualize.

Flash forward to this week - I've openly admitted that food journals stink! (A. They are a pain in the butt. B. Calorie counts are always a guestimation. C. I find that food journals ENCOURAGE me to eat purchased / boxed foods - b/c they come with a label, unlike my homemade meals.) I'm not a total quitter so I'm trying to adapt the food tracking to some kind of system that doesn't make me crazy - so I thought of the food pyramid. Isn't that the idea? If you eat from those guidelines you would be eating a healthy and well rounded diet?

So I began my visit to my pyramid. Now, I have not been living in a cave. I am aware that they revised the pyramid. What I had not noticed so much was how completly UNuseful it had become. Now, before the mypyramid folks go crazy with hate mail - there are some wonderful tools on the site that help to guide you in the right direction of number of servings you need based on age and weight. There is a lot of good information about food groups, variety, and healthy guidelines.

The problem lies here - after my visit to the pyramid of nutrition - I feel like I know LESS than I did before I went there. I was under the impression that you need 5+ servings of fruit / veggies per day. Nope. Apparently not. Mine suggested 2.5 CUPS of veggies and 1.5 CUPS of fruit. Now, I ask you - how many cups is a banana? What is the size comparison to 2 cups of lettuce? And not all produce is measured equally. Dried fruit 1/2 cup = 1 cup - say what? What happened to servings? Where did they go? Is 1 cup 1 serving? (unless you are dried?)

And there were like 5 meat ounces per day. I dare you to find the 5 oz. meat serving on a menu AND by the way - that would be IT for the whole day! What happened to the deck of cards? Are they an ounce? Two ounces? And where do you count wheat germ- is that a grain? And how much is considered an ounce? Because - for the record - if I have to choose between wheat germ in my yogurt or a toasted English muffin - well, let's just say the wheat germ is going to lose.

And, please don't get me started on the veggies. While I need 2.5 cups per day, apparently it takes a statistical genius to make the spreadsheet of how those should be divided - there's a suggested number of servings per week for dark greens, orange, starchy, and then the all mysterious "other". What the hell is an "other" vegetable?

And all of this is without getting into the COMPLEX realities of real life eating. Like corn bread - this recipe has one can corn and one can creamed corn in it. So is that a grain? Is it a veggie? Is it a grain and a veggie? How many ounces is it? How many cups of corn? Let's hope that weight loss is a side effect of insanity - because the doctor ordered a little crazy.

My plan for the next week is to make some kind of modified checklist for daily use where I'll track that I've eaten all of these suggested foods first. I figure that if I cover all my food servings before moving onto the "fun stuff" maybe I'll be too full to over do it. Oh yes, the "fun stuff". That was an eye opening moment. It suggested that I did have some "extra" calories each day - want to know how many? 120(ish)! Suddenly it's clear - that's not even a candy bar. Much less a mini candy bar in the afternoon, some ice cream in the evening, and a little snack while waiting for dinner - clearly I've been doing some creative budgeting with my calorie bank account - or credit card as it may be.

As for the rest of the goals.
  • Consume a limit of 1 soda per week. So far, so good - but I just found out that Wal-Mart is going to stop carrying my life-saving flavored water product. Please Mr. Universe, stop dumping on me. Crisis to follow.
  • Do Push-Up's 3xs a week. Done.
  • Walk 2xs a week. Done.
  • Reduce calories and keep food journal. Adapting to be more use-able, less PITA-ish. (Pain In The Ars)
  • Purchase no more than 5 boxes per week. I fully plan to, but have not yet broken this rule. I only made a short trip to the store - no boxes involved. But when I find those little tasty water packets - I'm buying the full inventory. No questions asked. I'll repent later.
Little thing about me: I am a Prince fan. People that have known me -for years - are seldom aware of my great love for the purple man. But seriously, how many times can Purple Rain, Artist formerly known as..., and Darling Nicky come up in general conversation?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

You Can Go Your Own Way

Except when walking on the track.  Because seriously, you just shouldn't walk the wrong direction on the track.  This means YOU, elderly gentleman who arrived halfway through my walk today.  Honestly, why would you insist upon doing your entire walk in the wrong direction?  And in the lane next to me?  There are six lanes.  I'm in the outside one.  You could have chosen any of the other four, but you chose the one next to me.  Then proceeded to walk the wrong direction.  Which means that every half lap, we were walking directly towards each other.

Can you say, "Awkward?"  I said, "Hi," the first time we met.  Am I required to say it each (of the 14 subsequent) times?  Is a smile enough?  Do I really have to acknowledge you every half lap at all?

And I know I'm not the one walking the wrong direction.  When I arrived, there were three other people walking/running in this direction.  I've been walking on this very track for...20 years?  (Geesh, I don't like the sound of that.  I should be better at it by now.)  This is the direction everyone always walks.  Heck, it's the direction everyone walks on EVERY track in America.  You sir, are confused.  And your insistence on continuing in this manner is confusing me.

Also?  Imposing basketball player dude?  Why are you sitting in the chair two inches from the track and staring at my chest every time I walk past?

Ugh.  I hate that sometimes people make working out more uncomfortable for me.  Because it's hard enough to motivate myself to go and do it.  I don't need any additional negative input.

Anyway, on a positive note:  Todays Most Awesome Song I Heard While Working Out  is Britney Spears, "I'm a Slave 4U."  I'm not so sure I'm behind the message in the lyrics (Especially that part about "Baby Bahama na ma na."  Oh, wait, I just looked it up.  She's actually saying, "Leaving behind my name and age."  Sorry, I was channeling R there.  He has the uncanny ability to turn reasonable song lyrics into something completely nonsensical.) but I love the beat.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recipe Review: Healthier Onion Rings from Rachael Ray

On one of those recent "snowed in" days, Regina and I watched Rachael Ray "together." (Meaning she was at her house, and I was at mine, and we were chatting.)  Rocco DiSpirito was on, and he did this recipe for Faux Onion Rings with Smoky Mayonnaise.

I love me some good onion rings, but I don't love the calories and fat that go with them. So, I knew I had to give this recipe a try, and I knew I had to let you all know how they turned out.

I make a few modifications to the original recipe. Partly because I could not find whole wheat panko breadcrumbs (anyone have advice as to where these might be found?), partly because I see no need to only use the big rings (???) and partly because I just generally don't like following directions. Also, I didn't try the sauce recipe, because I prefer ranch dressing (and I'm just that much of a redneck).

I think they were fabulous, and so did R.  I think you will love them too, and not miss the grease involved with "real" onion rings.  So, without further delay, here is the recipe as I ended up making it:

Healthier Version of Onion Rings

1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
2 cups skim milk
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups breadcrumbs
4 large egg whites
Salt and ground black pepper
Canola oil cooking spray

Separate the onions into individual rings. Put onions in a medium bowl.  Pour the milk over the rings and allow them to soak for about 20 minutes, turning them periodically so that all surfaces of the onion rings have been exposed to the milk.

Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Place wire baking racks on each of two baking sheets (I think it would work okay to just spray the baking sheet and put the rings directly on that, but the wire rack did seem to help them get evenly crispy.), and set them aside.

Put the flour in a shallow dish. Put the bread crumbs in a small dish.  In a bowl, whip the egg whites with a whisk.  (Rocco says until they are, "extremely foamy but not quite holding peaks."  I found that it actually worked better as the egg whites started calming down and not being quite so foamy.  So, I wouldn't whip them so much next time.)

Working in batches, remove the onion rings from the milk and dredge them in the flour, shaking off any excess. Add the rings to the egg whites and toss to coat completely. Add the rings, a few pieces at a time, to the bread crumbs and coat completely.

Spread the onion rings out on the wire racks. Season the rings generously with salt and pepper, and spray them generously (Rocco says "lightly."  I found that the parts sprayed more heavily came out better.) with cooking spray. Bake until the coating is golden brown and crispy and the onions are tender, about 20 minutes.


For more Tuesdays at the Table visit Cole!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

You Gotta Have A Plan

I keep thinking of that scientific approach to weight loss article...reviewed with title Fact of Crap. One of the most important steps to finding success with weight loss was knowing when you were likely to make bad choices and then - having a plan to fix this behavior.

The day is full of times that I might fall off the wagon and decide to head south for the day, week, month - it can be summed up like this....when I am hungry, when I am bored, or when I'm just not paying attention. Generally, I am aware of when I am about to jump ship - so I think what I am missing is "The Plan". Here's my attempt at making one...

There is something about brushing my teeth that simply tells my body - food time is over. I need to use this cue to my advantage. So, if I find my mind wandering over the inventory of my pantry - I'm going to go brush my teeth. If I have to "refresh" and brush my teeth a few times in the evening - so be it. I have also loaded my desk with the proper tooth brushing supplies so that I can use this technique at work.

Chew gum or eat a mint. Again, these signal the end of something for me. They also kind of perk me up - so if I was about to eat for boredom- this should spark my mind with something else to do.

Drink some water. It's good for you. Sometimes you are really thirsty and you just think you are hungry. It's calorie free. It's a lot easier to lose water than to lose fat.

Do some kind of movement. There is something about exercise that makes me not want to eat. So when possible - if I think I'm about to over-do it, I'll take some time to go walk first, then allow myself to touch food.

I'll pretend you are watching me. There is something good about peer pressure. Today I was surrounded by people ALL DAY LONG. I really, really wanted a soda - but then I thought, no, I'm trying to stop (and everyone at my table would not drink one - so by the waiting game rules - I couldn't anyway) and what if you were there? Would I want to bail on my mission? No. I'd feel bad. So I try to push through. I try to eat like someone is monitoring me - even though no one is (except my scale).

I know when I am more likely to fail. This week has been an uphill climb (stress, odd schedules, overwhelming to-do list, unexpected road blocks)- I know I'm in the danger zone. Somehow, admitting that I'm in this state makes it a little better. And if I can go through this time without using a food /soda crutch - maybe this will make it that much easier for me to do it on the good days.

There is no bad food. As I said when this all started - I know myself well enough to know that if it's a "No, No" I am going to demand "Yes, Yes". So, I am allowed to have some cheats. I just have to remember not to use all of them in the same day. By allowing myself a little wiggle room, I'm not as likely to chuck it all just so I can have a little treat. A girl has to snack sometimes - so I've loaded up my desk with some healthy choices that offer variety and chocolate (let's face it, a MUST) and some nutrition - like this.

How about you? Do you have an emergency plan? How to you keep yourself on track?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Exercise Equipment You Don't Need (Unless You Need a Laugh)

One of my favorite pleasures is watching The Ellen DeGeneres Show. I don't watch it every day, but I do record it on my DVR, and catch up whenever I can. That's what I'm doing today, and I caught Ellen discussing this new piece of exercise equipment:

This got me to reminiscing about some of my favorite Ellen excercise equipment moments. One has to be the Shake Weight:

Don't you wish you had one?

This clip is one of my all time favorite moments from her show. It's Ellen discussing three different clips she found online. The first one is bizarre. The second one cracks me up EVERY time. And I've seen it probably 20 times now. The third clip is another classic, and not just because the music in the background is Olivia doing "Physical." Enjoy:

And finally, this is probably my all time favorite Ellen clip. It's another one that I've watched over and over, and I still laugh so hard I almost pee. The Hawaii Chair:

Has anybody used any of these crazy items? What other silly exercise equipment or videos have you tried?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Week 2 Update

  • Consume a limit of 1 soda per week. There really must be something about Sunday that makes me want a soda bad - again this was a testing day. But luckily our house was preferred soda-free, so I put myself on house arrest and survived. The rest of the week was not nearly as tempting.
  • Do Push-Up's 3xs a week. Done.
  • Walk 2xs a week. Done.
  • Reduce calories and keep food journal. Not so good here - like a 100% fail. However, I was mindful of the things that went into my mouth (as if I were going to have to write them down and add them up later). So I think I still did an okay job of cutting some calories. Really, I do not think this goal suits me - I hate it. Just sayin - who's bright idea was that anyway?
  • Purchase no more than 5 boxes per week. Little monsters have stolen time away from me this week - therefore, no time /energy for shopping. By default, no boxes have entered my house. Yeah!
Little thing about me: I am insanely crazy-happy about my new pedometer. I've always have the really cheap ones before - this one is super smart with auto reset, accurate counts, and memory for 7 days! Woo hoo!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Working on Increasing Flexibility

I had to go to a long boring meeting today. One that required a two hour drive each way, then sitting through about three hours of a woman reading a 36 page document aloud. It was joyous. Not.

Parking for this particular facility sucks. We had to park a few blocks away and walk. I was with two other ladies, both apparently much further along the fitness continuum than I. Because I tell you, when we finally got into the meeting, my lungs were burning. I really thought I was about to collapse. Now, granted, the last portion of this walk was up a major hill. MAJOR. I was wearing heeled boots. I was bundled up and carrying my purse and a portfolio. We were late, so we were walking pretty fast.

Still, these women were fine. What is wrong with me?

So, when I arrived home exhausted both mentally and physically, I felt that it was in my best interest to go to yoga anyway. I mean, the only way to not feel this horrible in the future is to make myself go work out even when I don't feel like it. Right?

I changed my clothes and went right back out again to the community center. And when I walked up to the desk to pay, I was told that yoga was canceled. CANCELED?! Can you do that? I don't think you can. Because I say you can't.

I mean, I summoned a lot of gumption to get myself here. It was hard. But I did it. And now you tell me there will be no downward dog? No tree pose? Most importantly, no final relaxation? Not cool.

But, since I'd dragged myself there anyway, I decided to go ahead and walk on the track, at least for my 20 minutes. Which turned into 30. Then 45. And as I walked, I composed these brief "love notes" in my mind:

Dear Absent Yoga Teacher,

I love you. You know I do. But how could you do this to me? This not showing up for class thing? I don't like it.

However, maybe you are working with The Universe to teach me another type of flexibility today. I think I'm learning. So, for that, I thank you.

Your Bendy Student

Dear Woman I Followed on Lap 5,

Why do you look like you have a tail?

Oh, wait! Those are strings. Like from your pants. Where did you find workout pants that tie in the back?

Oh, wait! They don't tie in the back. You have your pants on backwards. Why do you have your pants on backwards?

Thank you for reminding me to be grateful that I have the sort of body that would make comfortably wearing my pants backwards impossible.

Your Forward Thinking Gym Mate

Dear Teenage Boy I Followed on Lap 13,

I didn't think much of it when you sprinted past me. You're what? Sixteen? You should be running past a 38-year-old woman who's worked all day.

I didn't think much of it when you passed me again. But I have to admit, you caught my attention when you ran past me a third time, and then spontaneously jumped up, mid stride, and touched the nine-foot-high ceiling.

My first thought was, "I wish I were taller." My second thought was, "Wait, that's unrealistic. I can't become any taller. But I do wish I had enough energy to feel the need to spontaneously jump up and try to touch the ceiling in the midst of running my third mile."

Your Slightly Older and Much Shorter Track Buddy

Dear Prince,

I'm beginning to get the feeling this song, "Little Red Corvette" isn't about a car. You're a dirty little purple man.

I'd like to think that a creatively inclined man would like to write a song about me sometime. However, I tend to think that if you were to write a song comparing my body to a vehicle, it would likely be called, "Little Red Volkswagen."

Still, this is a good song. I think I shall feature it in my blog's Most Awesome Song I Heard While Working Out Today. Sometimes a song can be great for working out to, simply because it makes me happy. And being happy while I work out is a good thing. Besides, while EG and I love us some Olivia, (and she's been featured here before) you sir, are Regina's Olivia. (And yes, Dear Readers, this is probably the only place you will ever find Prince likened to Olivia Newton-John in any way.)

The Blogger Formerly Known as Janet

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Killing the Soda Buzz

I got this email a long time ago. I just rediscovered it when I was trying to narrow my 4000 inbox to a more manageable 1500. Since so many have commented at also having the soda monkey on your back...

I just had to share. (I did not write the content below. I do not know / claim that it is 100% accurate- feel free to test ideas yourself if you need scientific proof. While the original author used Coke as an example - feel free, to substitute your favorite bubbly beverage.)


  • 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. (Likely applies to half the world population.)

  • In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is mistaken for hunger.

  • Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as 3%

  • One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.

  • Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue

  • Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.

  • A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.

  • Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%., and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer. Are you drinking the amount of water you should drink every day?


  • In many states the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the trunk to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.

  • You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of Coke and it will be gone in two days.

  • To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl and let the "real thing" sit for one hour, then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous China

  • To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a rumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola

  • To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion.

  • To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion.

  • To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan, wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake. Thirty minutes before ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for sumptuous brown gravy.

  • To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of Coke into the load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your windshield.


  • The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid . It will dissolve a nail in about four days. Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase of osteoporosis.

  • To carry Coca-Cola syrup! (the concentrate) the commercial trucks must use a hazardous Material place cards reserved for highly corrosive materials.

  • The distributors of Coke have been using it to clean engines of the trucks for about 20 years!

Now the question is, would you like a glass of water? or Coke?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Improve Your Self-esteem in Ten Easy Steps!

1.  Devise plan to stay home for at least two days (more is better).  This might involve being snowed in, on vacation, or suffering from some sort of illness.
2.  During days at home, do not apply any makeup.  Do not fix your hair.  Do not wear anything but pajamas.  Bathing at all is optional.
3.  At the end of days at home, make plan with boyfriend that involves needing to be seen in public.
4.  Bathe.
5.  Apply makeup.
6.  Fix hair.
7.  Get dressed.  Wear only clothing that does not involve elastic waistbands, drawstrings, hoodies, or fluffy slippers.
8.  Look in mirror.
9.  Be shocked at how good you look.
10.  Say to self, "Self, you are HOT!"

Sunday, January 10, 2010

You're Only as Old as Your Scale Thinks You Are

Okay people, I'm getting back onto this health and fitness wagon.  I actually did a yoga video yesterday, (did not brave the snow to try to get to class) and I walked on the treadmill today.  I also updated and printed out my Baby Steps sticker chart for the next couple weeks.

I'm a list checker kinda gal.  I make To Do lists.  I do the stuff on them.  I mark the stuff off.  If I do something that's not on the list, I write it on the list, then I check it off.  So, I think the chart thing was really helping me last year.  I'm gonna just check things off now though, rather than using stickers.  I've got so many things on the chart now, stickers were getting expensive!

My chart now has water, fruit, vitamin, fiber supplement, walking, crunches, and push ups.  It also has a place to record weekly whether I went to yoga, how much I weighed, what my fat % is, and how many pounds of fat I have.  If anyone wants the chart, leave a comment or send me an email with your email address.  It's nothing fancy, just a Word document with some clip art.  But I'm always willing to share.

While I was updating things, I decided to correct my mistaken scale.  I have a fancy schmancy scale that keeps track of body fat, etc...  Well, I realized when I weighed the other day, that somehow my scale got the crazy notion that I'm 63 years old.  Maybe it re-calibrated itself after seeing me without makeup (or clothes!) so many times?

This led me to wonder, if my scale thinks I'm older than I am, is it calculating me with more or less body fat?  I don't know.  But I fixed it today, so maybe we'll see in about a week when I weigh in next.

Most Awesome Song I Heard While Working Out
"Nothin' but a Good Time" by Poison  R helped me put some new songs on my IPod the other day, and this was one of them.  Funny thing is, back in the 80's I was not into hair metal at all.  Now all those songs seem pretty tame.  This one is upbeat and fun, and I was rockin' out, "..and it don't get better than this!" while walking on my treadmill in the basement.  Except that I do actually think it gets better than what I was doing at that moment.  But whatever.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Self Diagnosis and New Medical Breakthroughs

Oh, you didn't notice PhD behind my name? Well, it's not - but I've had several offers to help me get it there in 6 months or less! So the way I figure, I'm not far off...

I've been thinking. You know how people with serious eating disorders have messed up body images? I've always heard that regardless of how much weight they lose - they still "see" that image of a fat / overweight / chunky body in the mirror. Well I have a messed up body image too!

Well, I don't have that body image disorder- you know the one that sees you in a worse state than is truely there.

I have R-BID. Reverse Body Image Disorder. I have my body image set to default on a more slender, likeable size. Regardless of my current weight - I have this internal image of that girl growing up that was always thin - almost a stick figure, that had to shop at 5, 7, 9's because they carried a size 3. (I know, puke.)

But regardless of the current number on the scale - I just can not wrap my mind around the real picture of the state of my body.

From time to time I have a head-on collision with reality - it usually occurs around swimsuit season. Or around a time that someone points a camera at me and I see the final result - and have to choke on the "holy crap! are you serious?" reaction.

And from time to time - I look around me and think. I'm not as bad off (overweight) as her. Or her. Or her. It's a pathetic game and it's not to be cruel to anyone, but just to find my place on the weight continuum. But then conversations begin to involve numbers and I again have to re-define my place- because I've often assigned myself much lower on the weight scale / clothing size scale than is reality. And while maybe it says something about me having some loving kindness for myself (having a flattering self-image)- that really doesn't help me much if it keeps me in a land of denial while the rest of the world is saying, "Dude, her ass is out of control - why doesn't she DO something about that?"!

Does anyone else suffer from R-BID? Any suggestions on how you get over it? (I know - I could just get my body back to that stick figure so that the image and reality would match - but maybe this R-BID is how I got back here in the first place?) I'm going to have to find one of the millions of Lifetime-ish movies about eating disorders and see if they give tips on how they make your brain picture match the one in the mirror. (See how I just enabled my Lifetime Saturdays?) I'll let you know how it goes - in the meantime, we'll be forming a support group near you!

In a closely related topic -there /is a healthy giveaway at a blog near won't you please consider being part of Go Read?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Update Week 1

  • Consume a limit of 1 soda per week. I drank NO soda - but did almost crack on my first day when we ate out for lunch. Eating out is always harder - but I wasn't going to set myself up with no wiggle room on Day 1.
  • Do Push-Up's 3xs a week. Done.
  • Walk 2xs a week. 1 done, 1 due tomorrow.
  • Reduce calories and keep food journal. I am doing an okay job of logging my food - not so perfect at keeping the calories (but I guess you can always figure that up later). I usually don't have to do the math - just writing it down creates enough awareness to reduce the munching.
  • Purchase no more than 5 boxes per week. Went on 2 shopping trips (3 stores) - spinach came in a box (doesn't count). Salmon came in a box. Pasta came in a box. Graham crackers. One box meal. So, success!
Random tidbit about me: I can not be trusted with a bag of Baked Lays. Ever.

Have you ever considered the Go Red or Better U program? Great info and great start at getting your heart healthy!

Can I Please Just Start Over?

Okay, I just re-set my ticker with my new higher weight.  Ugh.  I just don't want to start the New Year with a ticker saying "gained 4 pounds."  So, I weighed this morning and re-started my ticker with this weight as my "start."  I hope that's okay with everybody?  OK?  OK.

I figure, it's all part of the Love Myself and Take Baby Steps plan I'm continuing to modify in my brain.  Seeing "gained 4 pounds" doesn't make me love myself so much.  Also, I ran out of my little sticker charts with my baby steps, and I haven't gotten around to making more.  I'm on the fence about that method.  It did make me feel good to see what I'd accomplished, but it made me feel like crap to see the days/weeks where I did not accomplish!  Maybe I'll print one starting today and give it another two week trial.

And I'm thinking too of allowing myself to go back or ahead a day, like if I missed my fruit yesterday, but I ate TWO apples today?  I'll counting one of them for yesterday.  Or if I didn't work out yesterday, but then I went for an hour walk AND went to yoga today?  I mean, some things won't work.  Like I don't think I can skip my vitamin for a week, and then take seven on Sunday and have that count.  Since many vitamins are water soluble and will just pass through if you have too much.  Or water.  I don't think drinking no water for two days, then drinking three days worth the next is a good strategy.

Anyhow, that's where I'm at.  I'm still here.  And I'm glad Regina has gone on a wild posting spree, because that makes me not feel quite so bad about not posting.  And we all know that my goal this year is to not feel bad!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Take The Box Challenge - I Dare You!

A bit ago - I shared the blog "You Won't Find It In A Box" - and basically my thinking was that if you eliminated boxes from your shopping list, you'd improve the state of your health (with just a few exceptions).

So I'm starting The Box Challenge. *applause, please*

What can you win? Nothing! *oooh*
What can you gain? Less grocery bags. *aahhhh*
What can you lose? I'm predicting - weight! *yeah!*
What happens if you fail? Self-punishment is in your hands. *boo!*
When do we start? How about now?

And we'll go about a month (officially) and end in time to observer the great chocolate tradition of Valentines Day - though, seriously dude, if you are buying more than 5 of those heart boxes - your following in the footsteps of Tiger Woods and that didn't end so well - so just put the chocolate down...I digress.

The rules. (as I quickly discovered this is trickier than it sounds)
1. Vegetables that are purchased in a box DO NOT COUNT as a box.
(though you could be a dear and buy it out of a bag - just for the sake of following along)

2. Tea or other drink products that are calorie free OR less than 10 calories per serving do not count. Soda ABSOLUTELY counts if it comes in a box form.

3. Oatmeal (or other cereal- as pointed out by Janet) doesn't count as long as it is less than 12 grams of sugar per serving.

4. Dried fruits don't count (so long as they don't include high fructose syrup).

5. Non-food items don't count. No need to go without your favorite over the counter med or cosmetic product!

5. You are allowed 5 boxes on any given shopping trip. (A shopping trip should be defined as leaving the house and returning - regardless of number of stores you visit in between.) And while I am sure that no one would consider such things - let it be said: sending your significant other out to purchase all of the normal box items would be considered cheating.

The object is not to be perfect. Just to eliminate a lot of crap - that happens to be packaged in boxes. Join us (see how I just volunteered Janet to join in) by leaving a comment and come back now and again to let us know how you are doing - and if your scale thanks you! I"ll be self reporting about once a week as part of The Perfect 10 challenge. Happy shopping!

Monday, January 4, 2010

For the Love of Some Omega 3's

Corn and Salmon Chowder

Prep 5 min Cook 13 minutes Cost per serving $1.18

2 Cans (10 3/4 oz each) Condensed Golden Corn Soup
2 Soup cans of Milk (2 2/3 cups)
1 Pkg. (10 oz) frozen Baby Lima Beans
1 Can (16 oz) Whole White Potatoes, drained
1 Can (7 1/2 oz) Red or Pink Salmon, drained
1/3 Cup sliced Scallions or Onions

1. Put soup into a large saucepan. Stir in milk and bring to a boil.
2. Stir in Lima Beans, reduce heat to medium-low & simmer 5 minutes,
stirring occasionally.
3. Meanwhile cut Potatoes in small chunks and break Salmon into small pieces.
4. Add Potatoes, Salmon and scallions to pan. Cook 5-7 minutes longer.
Stir occasionally until Lima beans are tender.

Makes 4 servings.

Linked to: Tuesday's at the Table with Cole
and Tasty Tuesday Parade of Food

Saturday, January 2, 2010

If You're Happy and You Know it...

Unruly Helpmeet just shared with me that today's date is 01022010, which is a palindrome (the same backwards and forwards).  I don't know what that has to do with my post, but I thought I'd share that little tidbit with you all.

I planned to officially weigh-in this morning and update my ticker with my 2010 starting weight, but, I woke up with a horrible stomach ache that hasn't really gone away.  And just now, I stepped on the scale, but I refuse to use that as my "official" weight, because, really, who weighs themselves at 7:41 in the evening and counts that?  Maybe we'll do that tomorrow instead.

I have, however, been thinking seriously about my weight loss goals, and how I plan to reach them.  I've been doing a lot of self-reflection lately, probably because I've been off work for two weeks, going through major life changes with my boyfriend (in a good way, he's moving in soon!), and the holidays tend to bring up all that family drama we all cherish.  (Care to read about my step-mother telling me multiple times yesterday that I'm fat?)

What I've come to is this:  I, like many people, have this crazy notion that if only I could lose weight and be thin, I'd feel better about myself.  When the truth is, until I start to feel good about myself, I won't lose weight.  I've got it backwards.  I think a lot of us do.

So, rather than choosing a diet to follow, rather than joining a new gym, rather than eliminating entire categories of food from my diet, I've decided that my goal for 2010 is to love myself and be happy.  Now, if I can just figure out how to do that, I'll have it made.  (When I figure it out, I'll let you know.)

Seriously, I have a few ideas.  One of which is to spend more quiet time alone thinking about what will make me happy.  But, I have a few concrete things in mind too.  Some are superficial, like doing my nails more often.  Some are practical, like buying and wearing nice clothes that fit me, now, in this body.  Some are fitness related, like doing yoga at least once (preferably twice) per week.  Some are interpersonal and involve avoiding toxic people whenever I can.  (I couldn't yesterday.)

I'm not trying to say that I can love myself, and eat cookie dough for supper, and watch the pounds drop away.  I just truly think that if I love myself, I won't so much want to eat cookie dough for supper.  Know what I mean?  And I know one thing for sure.  Negative emotions don't motivate me.  Listening to SM tell me yesterday how fat I am only made me want more cookies.  So, it follows that telling myself I'm fat won't help either.

So that's my plan.  My goal for 2010 is to take better care of myself, physically and emotionally, because I'm worth it.  So are you.

Friday, January 1, 2010

You Had to See This One Coming!

Recap of 2009 -
I did lose some weight - not enough to "see" but it's a start.
I did make some progress on the decluttering home front - not nearly enough.
I did significantly reduce my soda consumption - mostly going to a soda free life style.

Looking forward to 2010 -
Santa did do some things to help me get on a jump start on my fitness goals.
I'm the proud new owner of the Reebok Easytone shoes. What I like best is that they don't look like a "special shoe" but they feel great. With the multi-inches of sludge that we are currently living in, I have been hesitant to use them out and about. But I look forward to seeing how they help.

Santa also brought this...for my son and I to use.

I like the price of this piece of equipment. It's pretty fun to use and when you are done it slides right under the couch / side table for storage. I'm sure that Santa was hoping that this would help get my son off the exercise ball long enough that I can possibly use it.

Based on my recent scientific discovery (see article Fact or Crap)- I'm adjusting my weight loss goal to be more in alignment with those suggestions. I'm giving myself 6 months (though I would be lying if I didn't say that I hope it will take less) to meet the goal.

I'm also planning to use The Perfect 10 Challenge to keep myself on track.

And with that comes some goals that must be put to paper:

1. Drink no more than one soda a week.
2. Do push ups 3 times a week (at my desk or at home).
3. Walk or hit the treadmill 2 times a week.
4. Restrict calories and keep the food journal to stay on track. (HUGE ICK! - but I know it works, so I'm submitting)
5. Limit number of boxes that contain food (ish) items (I'm shooting for no more than 5 on any shopping trip) in accordance with my "You Won't Find It In A Box" thoughts.

As part of this challenge - there are weekly updates (which will help me be a better blogger).

So ready or not - here we go...what are you doing differently this year? We all get the same number of days - let's make the most of them!