Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Gifts

So it's that time of the year again. That magical time when all of us full-figured gals of the world unite in our self-loathing and think (vainly) that maybe this year, this time I'll actually stick with it. I'll actually lose the weight. Well, you wanna know something? It almost never works. And you wanna know why? Because we set our selves up to fail. We create these totally un-reachable goals. Like, I'm going to lose 50lbs this year. Or, I'm going to work out everyday. Or, my favorite, I'm going to eat better this year. What does that even mean?
Now, I'm not saying these goals are impossible. Not at all. It's just that they are unlikely. I knew all this. And yet I still made New Years Resolutions every freakin' year. Why? I don't know. Why do all the other little lemmings follow that one little suicidal lemming off the cliff? No one knows, they just do.
Until now.
I read a totally awesome post from one of favorite bloggers, Cranky Fitness - a weight loss blog if ever there was one, that seemed to make a lot of sense. The post said that it really all a matter of semantics. Seriously!
Instead of makinf resolutions we should all be giving gifts to ourselves. Well, I'm liking it already. You know I love a gift. Can we register somewhere.
Well, turns out it doesn't work that way. See instead of making these crazy resolutions that are usually given up on by at least Valentines Day, we are going to start making gifts to ourselves for weight loss or health or organization or any old thing. It actually makes a lot of sense. And I have used this tactic in my own life with out even knowing it. Like when I tell myself that by having yougurt for breakfast instead of that doughnut I am going to have more energy and no headaches for the day.
So this year I have a few New Years gifts to myself.
#1 I will give myself the gift of more exersise time and I will do it in unconventional ways. Such as dance-offs with the kids and snoe-shoeing at the lake house.
#2 I will give myself the gift of more vegetables by trying one new vegi a week. I am a notorious vegi-hater and try to get in my servings by huge salads every day, but come on. Even rabbits get sick of lettuce after a while. So I am going to try some of those weirdo vegis at the Whole Foods produce section. Maybe I'll find a few new favorites.
#3 I'm going to devote more time to my blog and give myself the gift of more promotion. When I first started it was purely for my own entertainement, but now I'm thinking I'm gonna go outside the box, so to speak.
#4 I'm going to give myself the gift of (and this is the one I'm most excited about) a cleaning lady. I am a bad housekeeper, not just don't like it bad, but really really bad. I used to be ashamed, but not anymore. I figure those who can't cook eat out. So I am not going to sweat it anymore. It will give me more time for my kids and cooking healthy meals.
#5 I'm going to give myself the gift of more time with my kids. Yes, I'm a stay-at-home mom, but with my husband working away I often have to be two people at once. So with everything else I have going on (see #4) I often don't have time for a lot of the extras that my kids want to do. So thanks to the new cleaning lady I see a lot more park time and Wii Winter Olympics in my future. Bring it on!
So there it is. Hopefuly this time next year I will not be so worried aboout my weight and I will be able to say that my New Years gift giving was a success. Happy New Years and remember to gift the most important person in your life. You!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good
Cleaning out my closet recently I found a bunch of pants that I can now fit into. Yeah me! Plus I found several other pairs that if all goes well then I should be able to wear this spring. Just in time for their capri-cuteness to be wearable.
The Bad
I manned up to the scales yesterday. Yikes! I gained a bit (3lbs) over the holidays. I'm pretty sure it had to do with the gluttonous amounts of country (read: super duper salty) ham that I consumed. Well, that and the sweets that I tried not to over-do, but come on! I've drunk about 5 gallons of water over the past few days and detoxed with fruits, vegis, and fiber and I think things are getting back to normal. A few days of overindulgence resulting in a week or more of repairing the damage. Totally worth it.
The Ugly
The weather forcast calls for snow for the whole next week. No school + Husband out of town for work = no gym time for mama. Guess I'll have to dust of the workout DVDs and try to do them with two kids frolicking ( read: cabin fever has set in)  in the background.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Honey Line

I have just found The Honey Line. To be fair, I have known about it since I saw it talked about on the Rachel Ray Show last year, but I didn't know they had a website until recently and due to a problem w/ my computer (isn't it always something?) I couldn't actually register as a user until today. So as of today I am an official Bee.
What is the Honey Line, you ask? Well it was begun as a project of pro-vollyball player Gabby Reece. You know, she of the mile high legs and yards of hair. She is one of the few strikingly beautiful women who manages to seem like your best friend and mentor all at once. She told Rachel about how she had this network of girl-friends who helped her stay connected and she called on certain friends to help with certain problems and her friends called on her to help w/ their own. They all encouraged each other and everyone just tried to be generally supportive. She called this her Honey Line. What a great idea, I thought.
I have a group of friends (there is about 8 of us) that have been friends for varying amounts of forever. We have been with each other through college, and first boyfriends, and weddings and husbands, and first jobs, first housess, and first babies (and second), and have been there for each other during family deaths and other difficulties. We are better than sisters because we chose each other. We used to get together every week for supper and TV viewing. Now that we're all married and starting families it is more like once a month, but we all try to stay connected through phone, email, and social netwroking sites. Now Gabby has prvided a place just for this purpose. Only expanded.
And best of all, Gabby - as the Queen Bee - provides help to the rest of us in her area of expertise. Health and Fitness. Yay, Gabby! And she provides a space for the rest of us to provide help in our own areas of knowledge.
In the end everyone is connected. Kind of like a . . .hmm . . . hive? You betcha!
My favorite parts of the site so far is the buzz - a place where all the bees interact and can get questions and answers and leave comments for other bees, and the recipe section. They have some great recipes for healthy versions of my favorite food and some interesting sounding new ones that I will definately be trying in the weeks ahead. There is an excellent fitness section, but I haven't quite braved that yet. I have a feeling that Gabby is definately more ambitious than I am. But we will see.
All in all The Honey Line is a great site to check out. At most, you join and find a whole bunch of new connections to bees all over the country. And at worst you come away with a few valuable recipes and/or fitness tips. Give it a BUZZ!

Reebok EasyTone Review

Yes, I broke down and fell for the hype. I was totally mesmerized by the girl in the commercial in her workout panties, I mean shorts, and glistening legs. And I will say it is a very sexy shoe. As far as looks go, in the fitness shoe department the Reebok EasyTone totally kicks the Sketchers ShapeUps ass. I liked that they looked like real shoes as opposed to the weird moon boot look of the Sketchers. Plus when my grandfather was recently in the hospital I noticed a lot of the nurses wearing them so I figured there must be something to them.
So I bought them. I went for the Go Outside varitey as opposed to the ReInspire because, even though they were about $10 more (at around $109 on amazon), like I said before - I like a sexy shoe. They are silver w/ hot pink accents. They are what I immagine Judy Jetson would wear to aerobics class. If her skinny cartoon ass had to go to aerobics.
But enough of what they look like. Do they really perform? The first day I was skeptical. I wore them to the gym followed by a trip to the hospital where I had to park like a mile away and then walk a long way once I actually got in the hospital (it's a really big hospital). I didn't really notice much of a difference. Until I woke up the next day. Holy Crap! The back of my calves were screaming and my butt didn't feel that great either. Not too sore to move, but close. It was like I had done an incredibly hard and new workout even though I had done exactly the same thing as I've done for months.
I have since worn the shoes for about a month. I even wore them for my pre-Christmas two-a-day workouts without any foot pain- which for me is huge. I also wore them for the week-long cleaning spree I did on my 3-story house before my family descended upon me. I have lost about an inch from my thighs which is more than double what I normally lose in a six-week period. (my gym likes me to get weighed and measured once a month, but I don't always make it.)
The only caveat I have with the shoes is that they tend to run a bit small and narrow. I normally wear a 9 1/2 in Nike, but I had to order a 10 in these. Also the balance balls on the bottom of the shoe are rather hard rubber and tend to make a definate sound on hard floors, unlike regular cross trainers which I have in the past employed as ninja devices to sneak up on my kids. Not so with these babies. But oh well.
All in all I give these shoes and A. I can't quite give it an A+ for a couple of reasons. #1 The price. At around $100, they are a bit pricey, especially if you workout a lot and have to replace your shoes often. #2 The small fit. I know every body's foot is different and we all have our issues. But I REALLY didn't want to wear a 10. And lastly, #3, I just don't give out A+s that easily. The shoe would basically have to workout for me before I could give it my highest marks. For all that that matters.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Need Holiday Detox

OK, so I technically knew all the things I was not supposed to do over the holidays. And for the most part I didn't do them. I did not eat/sample everything I baked or cooked. Much. And I tried to include some healthy options in my holiday feasting. Most of the time. I did!
But, it was still the Holidays. That time dreaded by every dieter since the history of, well. . . , dieting. I'm guessing that back in the day when everyone worked from sun-up to sun-down and every morsell of food was made from scratch gaining a bit of weight around the holidays was not that big of a deal. I'm also guessing that a bit of padding was not even neccessarily bad when you had to make that early morning frosty run to the outhouse. But I live in the land of Right Now. In Right Now things have to be done yesterday and because of this weird female frienemy competition I indulge in things must be done beyond perfection. So here I am working my chubby little fingers to the bone preparing things like bourbon balls and bourbon cake and bread pudding w/ hard sauce (are you sensing a theme here?) and ham and biscuits and hash brown casserol and, oh yeah, a stunningly beautiful vegetable tray. And I did all of this THREE TIMES. That's right. I'm insane.
Have you ever seen that movie "Four Christmases" with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn? Well, my parents are divorced and while my husband's parents are still married they are from 'Up North'. Which creates difficulties every holiday season in that they are poor planners and no one knows what is going on until the last possible minute. Trust me when I say that three more dissimilar families could not be found in a National Lampoon movie. My thinking that having everyone to our house instead of having to lug the kids all over "Hell and half of Georgia" was not as inspired as I thought.
Now I am puffy and bloated and too scared to get on my bathroom scale. I'm thinking I couldn't have actually gained all that much, if any, because I put my regular jeans on (which, if you recall, I was very excited to actually fit into a few months ago) this morning and they fit just fine. But I just feel blah and sluggish, if you know what I mean. I've had a sugar headache for the past two days, or maybe it's the parental pressure (mine and his), or maybe it's just the damn bourbon.
Whatever the deal is or has been, it ends tonight. I have one piece of sauce soaked bread pudding which I intend to thouroghly enjoy in my big fluffy bed after my nice hot bubble bath. This will be my official I Survived Another Holiday celebration. Tomorrow it's back to the gym and a three day kick in the ass eating plan to get me back on track.
My goal for 2010? To make it the last year that I worry about my weight.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Sweatpants. . .

Ahhh, the holidays! The wide-eyed sugar plum bliss of every child. Remember when you used to count down the days until Winter Break with big red Xs over the days on your calender? Oh, the joy of waking up on Christmas morning to find that Santa had brought just what you asked for and wrapped it so neatly, too. And all your family came over and there was delicious food and delightful sweets practically flowing like water out of every corner of your house.
Well, yeah, of course we all remember it that way. We were kids. But I bet our mothers don't exactly remember it that way. In fact, now, that I'm a mother I'm amazed that we ever made it through any holiday much less the Queen Mother of all Holidays. That family fueled, cookie fed holiday known in my family as "Oh, crap! It's Christmas!"
Not being a particularly religious family we have always taken a pretty secular view of Christmas and that was certainly stressful enough. I always envied the Christian kids who would say things like, "It's not about the commercialism." and, "Jesus is the reason for the season." To me it just seemed like an easy way of saying, "my mom was too lazy to put up a tree this year." Now, don't get me wrong, I would never make fun of anyone for their beliefs, but not put up a tree? Come on.
In my family Christmas has turned into this crazy unspoken competition (for lack of a better word) where every one (women at least) try to outdo the other women in the family for who can produce the most Rockwellian Christmas.
My one grandmother whose birthday happened to be on Christmas was the cookie master. I have tried for years to master her "simple" butter cookie to no avail. My other grandmother is the decorating diva. She puts up a tree that while small can easily rival any florist's for it glittery coordination of color and theme. My mom, well, mom kind of dropped the ball on the holidays. She loves the flash and the glitter and her house always reminds me of Vegas at Christmas. But me, I feel the mantle of Christmas Greatness heavily upon my shoulders.
I have in my house no less than 5 trees, all themed and decorated with a precision of a military maneuver. My fireplace mantle and banister all drip with greenery and my front door is festooned and welcoming. I always make sure to have sweet treats ready for all our drop-by visitors and in years past I have convinced myself that calories consumed while tasting are not really calories at all.
This year, I know better. More's the pity, because this year is the year of my personal epiphany. I have discovered that all this self induced stress of the holidays has caused me to lose sight of my weight loss goals. Luckily I have caught myself before the lbs. started to creep back up, but still. All that means is that I will still be busy wrapping the perfect present and baking the perfect cookie all while trying to satisfy my stress-induced sweet tooth with a fat free mocha latte.
Whatever, it will all be worth it when my house looks awesome and my cousins all run out to try and out-do my decorations next year. But what they don't know is that next year, I won't care. I will be smokin' hot in Belize. Feliz Navidad!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'm not OK, if you're not OK

What the hell is up with us as women being so competitive? No I'm not talking about who has the bigger . . .um . . .bag, or even the oft' debated Mommy Wars. I'm talking about the unspoken, but universally understood competition between all women as to who is worse off.
No one pulls us aside in Middle School as gives us that talk. "You know, Suzy, you really shouldn't be too proud of your body and you should take any opportunity to put yourself down especially when you are around other girls." Now, of course, no one says those things to girls, but we all understand them nonetheless. If your friend hated her nose, then another friend hated her flat chest, and of course you hated your ass.
Obviously everyone has something about their body that they are less than pleased with- I mean, we are women after all. But what up with the one-upmanship?
Typical conversation:
"Oh, my God! I hate my ____!"
"Please! I would trade your _____ for my _____."
"Your _____ is fine. Look at my _____. It is huge!"
Sound familiar? Sound like middle school? Of course it does. But guess what? This conversation took place just a few weeks ago at a girlfriend's house. There are a group of about 8-10 of us (at any given time) that have been friends for a long time and have a standing 'girls night' where we all try to catch up and revert back to high school. This year the majority of us turn 30, which has apparently triggered some sort of Valley Girl Ass Envy.
It reminded me of that Sex and the City episode where the women are all setting around eating pizza and discussing plastic surgery. Carrie, of course, hates her nose. Charlotte hates her thighs, and Miranda hates her arm jiggle, or some such shit. Then they all look expectantly at Samantha. Clearly she is supposed to inject her "I hate my ____." s here. But she just looks at them with a "WHAT?!" expression on her face. They are all surprised to learn that Samantha considers herself just fine just the way she is. In fact she deems herself- Pretty Damn Terrific! Samantha is, in fact, surprised to learn that her clearly beautiful friends are not satisfied with their bodies.
So there I was in my friend's living room, wishing I could be Samantha, while listening to every one lament this, that, or the other. Then it inevitably comes to be my turn. Normally I wouldn't hesitate. "God, I hate my belly!" and I do. But not tonight. While I do still wish my belly was less jello and more J-Lo, for the first time in a long time I am proud of my body.
Did you hear that, world? I am proud of my body.
No, it's not perfect. Far from it. But I have recognized that it will never be perfect. Even those Supermarket shelf Super Models do not have perfect bodies. Airbrush, anyone?
No, what has changed is my attitude about it. No, I do not have the tall lean body of Gabby Reece, but no amount of diet and exercise, or even plastic surgery, will give it to me. So why try?
No, I'm not giving up on weight loss. Just the opposite. I cannot give myself a perfect body. But I can give myself the perfect body for me. I have worked hard this year and I am stronger and leaner than I have been in a while and that is something I am very proud of. I have lost almost 40 lbs., I have more energy and better posture, and due to some serious weights my arms are now well-defined.
So the point of this little rambling is this: Maybe being perfect will not make you as happy as you imagine it will. But accepting what you have while working to make it better will definitely make you happier. The proof? Yes, I have belly jiggle but I do have a mighty fine ass!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Back With a Book Review

I just read this book - Hungry by Crystal Renn - and I give it a B+. It was a really good read and the only reason I didn't give it an A is because while Miss Renn is clearly educated this is not a book I would read just for shear enjoyment.
Hungry is the story of Crystal Renn the worlds most successful plus size model, though plus size is certainly a relative term. Miss Renn is a size 12. If you have opened a magazine lately or shopped for plus size clothing you have seen her. She is the girl in the American Cancer Society add shot form the back, beautifully draped in a red silk, showing off her womanly curves. She is also the unofficial face of Lane Bryant. The beautiful dark haired dark eyes one who looks like she's about 7 feet tall.
In truth Miss Renn is 5'11" and in her book she describes how at the age of 14/15 she starved her body in order to reach 95lbs and a size 00 on that 5'11" frame. 95lbs! Size 00! 5'11"! No wonder she was hungry. The author describes her spiral into deliberate anorexia as both shameful and paradoxically empowering. She would be proud of herself for only having an apple and a piece of gum on certain days. During her "straight size" modeling days Miss Renn subsisted on little more than Diet Coke and would work out for 6 hours a day splitting her time between two gyms so the staff would not know how dangerous her lifestyle had become.
The modeling industry, of course, did not care; saying to Miss Renn when she reached over 100 lbs once that her thighs were too fat. Too fat??? Are you kidding me? I'm surprised she could even walk around on those little twigs, much less workout for 6 hours a day. I got your thighs right here.
The ironic thing was that even after all that hard work and clearly unhealthy lifestyle Miss Renn's modeling career never really took off. Finally at age 18 she had had enough. She signed with the plus friendly Ford Modeling Agency and began to eat, even getting up to a size 16 before settling on a healthy 12.
Miss Renn is very clear on the fact that every woman has a healthy weight range and that it may be different for every woman. She is also aware that she is a fashion model and not a doctor or nutritionist. She does however offer observations on her own life and those of other models in her acquaintance. She states, for example, that she has a certain straight size model friend, who is naturally thin (a size 2, I think) and that while this woman certainly eats healthy and doesn't indulge in a lot of sweets or alcohol, she doesn't necessarily "diet". the question raised is, "Why can't all different kinds of women be considered beautiful?" Who decided that tall and thin was the standard of beauty? Are we really saying that heroin-chic Kate Moss is more beautiful than the woman next door? I'm not one of these "real women have curves" girls, because the fact is, not all women do and does that make them less of a woman? My mother is a petite size 4 with "barely A" boobs (I think I was adopted) and she is no less a beautiful woman than my plus size, super stylish, friend Mary. Or myself for that matter with my G boobs.
Miss Renn's book tells of her struggle to find her own personal healthy weight and how once she did she finally became successful in her career. Of course we are not all super-models. But we are all struggling to find our own ideal weight.
It just so happens that size 12 is my personal goal right now. Of course I'm a little south of 5'11", but heck no body's asked me to strip it all off and pose for a breast cancer ad either. Well, at least not yet.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Adventures in Air Travel

It must be a prerequisite to be an employee of the TSA that you have to speak fluent dick. I mean, I get it. You have a job where you are in charge of overseeing something that 99.99% of people absolutely despise. Airport Security. Just the thought of it made you cringe a little, right? But I can just about guarantee that none of you have a worse airport security story than me, which we will get to in just a moment.
But first, back to Airport security being dicks. I don't get it. I mean, I just don't get it. Surely it wouldn't kill you to smile. I would think that it would make their job a little more pleasant, not to mention a better security experience for the passengers which would undoubtedly lead to less delays.
I went to Disney World one time, a place that bills itself as "The Happiest Place on Earth", and when I went to get one of those famous mouse-shaped ice-cream thingies for my daughter the little pimply guy behind the cart was kind of, well - a dick. So I thought that if I could find a pissy employee at the happiest place on Earth, then shouldn't it stand to reason that conversely I should be able to find a pleasant Airport Security person.
I'm still looking.
So here's what happened. My parents own a lake house in Northern Wisconsin and a couple of years ago my brother and I were flying up there to join them to celebrate my dad's birthday. So over the course of many years we have made friends with many of the locals and my mom who is a sales representative for the Sara Lee Corporation in the Hillshire Farms/Kahns division likes to bring them little gifts from time to time. So she and my dad, who were already in the Northwoods called to say that they had forgot their gifts and would I go to their house and get them. They would be on the kitchen counter in a brown paper bag. "Sure," I said. "I'll just stick 'em in my carry-on" Big mistake!
I place the bag in my carry on, drive the three hours to get my brother, and proceed to the airport where by this time I had completely forgotten about said gifts. See, I can tell you think you know where this is going, but I assure you, you don't.
All is well. We check in a little early. We grab a drink at Louisville Airport's famous Woodford Bar. We buy a few magazines for the flight and head to security.
It actually doesn't look to bad. The only person in front of us is some unfortunate woman with three kids. My brother helps her with her stroller and we make brief small talk before it's our turn at the firing range - I mean, security.
I swear to you, I am suddenly convinced that the Louisville Airport's security are hired from German Nazi training camps.
"Keep the belt moving!" "Place your shoes in the box and keep the belt moving." "Place all metal in the tray." "Keep the belt moving!" And my all time favorite, "Did you pack this bag yourself?" and "Has this bag been in your possession the whole time?" As if, "Um no, actually. I had to run to the rest room so this shady looking Arab man with a large beeping package offered to watch it for me." Duh! Of course the stupid bag has been in my posses ion the whole time. I've had to drag it all over this stupid airport because we had to park in almost Indiana and hoof it for 2 miles. And as for packing my own bag . . . well, lets just think about it. I'm flying coach to Rhinelander, Wisconsin whereupon I will drive another hour and a half to get to my destination where we will partake in viewing the National Lumberjack Competition. I hardly think I have a butler packing my bag for me.
So all questions answered, it's time to got through the X-ray. My brother being the gentleman that he is, offers to go first. Remember the stroller-woman and how nice he was? Well, she wasn't his sister. His bags, of course, sail right through with no problem. Now it's my turn, and of course by this time there is a line behind me that reaches to Churchill Downs. My bags is now stopped in the X-ray machine. I immediately think that perhaps it is over sized and won't fit thought the X-ray and they are going to make my check it. If only.
The lady pulls it out and runs it through again, looking at the screen with a troubled look on her face. She calls over the other guy working with her. He too looks troubled. "Ma'am, we are going to need to search your bag."
"Uh, OK?" I say. What else can I say. And she actually pulls me over to the side and holds my shoes hostage until the bag is searched. I guess she knows I'm not going to run with my cute little Cole Haan flats on the line. She's right.
By this time, my brother is through security and is helpfully putting his shoes back on while simultaneously throwing me under the bus. "I don't know what in the heck she's got in there. It's hard to say with her." Well, thank you very much, Little Brother. Feel free to shut up now.
Meanwhile, my underwear, makeup, and tampons are out on a cold stainless steel table for god and everyone to see. "Here it is," the woman says triumphantly, holding the object in question over her head for her co-worker to see. "It's only a sausage," she says sounding disappointed.
It is indeed. A two-foot long smoked summer sausage meant as a gift for my dad's hunting buddy. The security lady looks at me apologetically and says, "sorry, we thought it might be. . .umm . . .shampoo or something." I just look at her. Because even if it was, shampoo is such a threat to national security. By this time Little Brother is back by my side. "We thought it might be a liquid of some kind,"the woman says a little more confidently.
"No you didn't," my brother declares. "You know what you thought it was."
Oh. My. God. I am officially mortified. Everyone in security is by this time rolling with laughter. I swear to you a couple of them are actually having to hold each other up as I stand there holding my two-foot sausage. "Just shut up," I whisper furiously, shoving everything back into my back with as much dignity as I can manage.
Finally after many hours and three airports and a rental car later we finally make it to the lake house where we are greeted by our parents who say, "Oh we forgot to call and tell you. We didn't need that package after-all."
Of course.

I actually had another couple of stories to share about my air travels but they will have to wait for anther day as I seem to have run on a bit.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Perils of Gambling

I don't know exactly what I was thinking. My luck has never been what anyone would call good, especially when it comes to predicted outcomes. So why I thought it would be a good idea to go to Keenland Racetrack last weekend to play the ponies with my best girl friends - I don't know.
Now before I go any further let me state, without a doubt, that we had a really great day. The weather not only held, but actually turned out to be pretty darn good. We all looked smokin' hot, if I do say so myself. And, more importantly, we had escaped our everyday lives, if only for a day, to celebrate the impending end to one of our good friend's bachelorette days.
The trouble started at the first race. Being a native Kentuckian, I am somewhat familiar with the horse racing industry. I know what the odds are, what exactly a furlong is, the difference between fillies and mares, and I even half-assedly follow a couple of different jockeys. And I could even tell you what it means to win, place, or show and what it means when they list super-fecta, tri-fecta, and exacta winnings. So you would think that I could look at a betting sheet and over the course of 10 races at least manage to come out even, give or take a few bucks. You would be wrong.
Every horse I picked came in dead last. Seriously. One race I picked two different horses, thinking to increase my odds. They came in last and next to last.
The first race I bet $5 on Call It The Blues to win place or show. Led the race for almost a mile then dropped to dead last like he was doing it on purpose. Race 2, I bet on Hot Little Mama because, I mean come on. The name says it all. Repeat of last race. At this point I have lost a small amount of money, but I'm not worried. It's only the third race. My luck's bound to pick up, right? So I bet on Sweet Lemon Chello. This time, she doesn't even make a showing. Starts last and ends last. All right, this is about enough. So I decide to set out race four and just reset my luck a little. I just set back, watching all my friends rake it in. WTF? But, I don't begrudge them any of it ( really, I don't) I just want a little bit of the taste of victory for myself.
So next up comes race 5. Here's where I start to employ a little strategy - so to speak. I look at the odds and carefully choose two horses who appear not to suck too much. Everybody knows that you never bet on a favorite, even if they win, the odds were so good that you almost never win any money. So I put down another $5 on an Irish horse with decent 8-1 odds, that should pay out pretty decent and $5 on a 20-1 horse that had bad odds, true, but was being ridden by a jockey with a better than average track record. This was the infamous last, next to last finish. Meanwhile, my friend (The Bride, BTW) bets $20 on Lucky #7 because, get this, she left her program laying open on the bench while she went to the powder room and a bird came along and, shall we say -picked, it for her. She won. The odds for that particular horse were 5-2, so she didn't win whole lot, but still. I mean, really. People who find bird poop on their programs are now considered to be luckier than me?
At this point I did what any sane Kentuckian would do. I started drinking. Piss on them ponies. If I'm going to throw my money away, I ought to at least enjoy it, right? So I proceed to the Equestrian Bar, a Keenland tradition, where I proceed to consume no less than six (yes - really) Bourbon Manhattans. Say what you will about Kentucky, but the liquor sure is fine and in Lexington my drink was done up right. A whole lot of Bourbon (Woodford Reserve, for those keeping score) and very little Manhattan (sweet vermouth).
The next five races were enjoyable if unprofitable and all in all I had one of the best days out with the girls that we've managed to have in a while.
The moral of this story is this. Don't gamble unless your prepared to lose. And don't prepare to lose with out preparing to drink.

p.s. I didn't totally blow my diet. I had no lunch and I walked off my drink with a nearly mile and a half walk tot he car, followed by a 30 minute drive to the restaurant where I had grilled salmon and broccoli and vast quantities of water. Not the best day nutritionally but, hey. Life happens, you know?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Step It Up!

In my ongoing quest for weight loss (and the immediate goal of being below 200 for my 30th birthday now 25 days away) I have added yet another formerly impossible, but no less insane, workout.
First I did the Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds DVDs in the privacy of my own home. These were great and I still occasionally employ them on snow days or other tragedies of house arrest.
Then I bought the Wii Fit. Let me just say that that little piece of equipment is for sadists. It comes with a 'balance board' which is unfortunate for one who has no balance. And you get your own on-screen computer generated 'trainer'. I picked the male trainer because by and large I get along better with men and the female trainer looked just a little too perky in her little yoga top and jaunty pony-tail for my tastes. Yes, I know, it's a computer - but still. So I got boy, which even though that's what I often call my brother just didn't seem like a good name for this guy. Turns out boy had a pony-tail too. And yoga pants. Very new age. And to beat it all he seemed to have the patience of someone who has nothing better to do than workout all day. Bastard! I did a few workouts with boy before he finally just pissed me off to no end. Turns out boy is gay. ( a group that I generally have a blast with - like I said, women can be bitches - but this guy was a be-otch of the 1st degree) Again, I know he's a computer. I know. I just don't need that kind of pressure. I named him Chet. It seemed appropriate.
So I joined a real life gym. Curves. I figured it was women only so . . . Yes, I know what I said earlier. But the women at the gym aren't bitches - well, at least not at the gym and that's all I'm concerned about anyway. These women are there for the same reason I am and that kind of makes us sisters (in a we are the world kind of way). And it has been my salvation. I try to go three times a week. Often more, but sometimes less. I have slowly lost weight, but m ore importantly I have gotten stronger and have more energy than I ever had before. I love it.
The only problem is that now it's coming. You know 'IT'. NO not the Stephen King book (now that guy is messed up, maybe he needs a few sessions with Chet on the balance board) IT = the big 3-0. Actually I'm kind of looking forward to it. I look and feel better than I have in years. I think it's gonna be huge. People are going to see me at 30 and want to be 30 themselves. They say 30 is the new 20. Well, lets make it 21. I want to toast to it after all. The problem comes in the fact that I set a goal for myself last year that I wanted to be below 200 pound by 30. Yes, that's still a long way to go to my final goal. But still, it's important to me and I want to make it happen. It's just that I'm stalled out at 210 and I only have 25 days left. 25 days, people!
So a few weeks ago I decided it was time to pick up the pace a little. Kind of kick start my metabolism. I am already on the Weight Management Program at Curves, which is really awesome. (I'm still on Phase 2 btw. My trainer says I need to move up to Phase 3 to amp up my mojo, but more on that later) Then I started going to their Pump It Up class which is sort of a high intensity cardio aerobic strength training thing with hip-hop music. I was going once a week and it was awesome. I looked forward to the rush I would get after a class for the whole week. And I think I'm maybe going to start going twice a week, in addition to my regular workouts, just until I hit that 200. It will be hard. But I figure those people on The Biggest Loser workout for 8 hours a day and I am already at some of their goal weights. So working out at a regular pace 3= times a week in addition to 2 high intensity classes should be just fine - if life sucking.
However, back to my original point - finally. This morning's Pump It Up class was different. Previously we had done all these semi-dance moves that kind of made me feel like a really over the hill stripper but gave me a really good workout nonetheless. This morning she changed it to Step It Up. Yes, a step class. Me. The girl who could fall down standing still. Paradoxically I used to be a dancer and can have amazing balance if I focus. The problem is the focus. I seem to have lost that somewhere along the way. It was a lot of step-one-two-three and switch-one-two-three and all that. Plus you change activities every thirty seconds. Well, hell, I would just get one thing down when it was time to switch again. But I stumbled my way through it, with only one stubbed toe and no falls, which is a huge victory for me. Whenever I fall - and I do a lot- it's not just in the privacy of my own home. It's right in the middle of the biggest crowd I could possibly fine so a step aerobics class would be just about right. I didn't though. Knock on wood.
I actually made it through and believe it or not, I'm looking forward to going back next week. That is amazing to me. Just one short year ago I would have been mortified at trying a step class DVD, much less doing it with a group of real live people. Sorry, Chet. But here I am, knock, knock, knockin' on 30's door, and not just doing the seemingly personally impossible but actually looking forward to doing it again.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Save the Boobs!

You know 'em, you love 'em, you probably even have a couple of favorites hanging out under your sweater right now; but are you doing all you can to take care of them? As anyone with eyes and/or ears knows October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Yes, of course you know this. Everyone knows this. The problem is - not enough people act on it.
Why is this on a weight loss blog, you may ask. Well, I'll tell you. Being overweight puts you at increased risk for many types of cancer but most particularly breast cancer. Why? It's the estrogen, silly. See, like everything else it comes in contact with, estrogen complicates things in breast cancer and overweight women. You see, estrogen is stored in fat cells. Handy, right?
So, I've intentionally kept it brief here. I hope you'll use your extra time to schedule a mammogram if you're 40+. Or even if you're not, at least make time to get felt up. Hey it could be fun. But more importantly it could save your boobs and your life.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Phase Two and Other Life Altering Realizations

This week, I'm on Phase Two of the Curves Weight Management Plan. This consists of (like Phase One) at least three days in the gym, plus an aerobic workout every day. Also instead of starving on 1200 calories a day, I can feast on a relatively bountiful 1500. Whoo Hoo. Who would have thought that 1500 calories a day would sound like such a cornucopia?
Of course, it's only 300 extra calories a day, but hell. I've been able to add in a few whole grains and even the occasional small baked sweet potato - luxury of luxuries! I love them suckers with a bit of spray butter and cinnamon. Mmmm!
Perversely though, my daily workouts have become a bit harder. Not a lot, but when you track your progress on a daily basis - it shows up. I don't know if this is just a natural week two progression or just some freak that will work itself out next week.
Whatever, I've felt better and had more energy this week than I'd had in a while. I've even gotten more done around the house. Almost like I had been neglecting not just my body, but every aspect of my life as well. Even my daughter commented that I seemed like I was in such a good mood this week. Funny thing is, I hadn't noticed until she said something.
Bless that child. Her and her brother are - if not my whole life - at least the most important part of my life. And I thank them because if not for them, I maybe wouldn't have the motivation to get healthier. I want to be here for them. And not just physically. I know this is incredibly shallow but I don't want to embarrass them. I don't want my kids to have "the FAT mom".
One of these days when my daughter is a doctor and my son is an NFL O-Lineman, I want them to be able to say that their mom inspired them to take care of their bodies and stay healthy. What a compliment that would be.
Besides when I get my own Campbell's Chunky Soup commercial - I want to look good!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Aha Moment

The other day I had an epiphany of sorts. I'm a little ashamed to say that I have been working towards losing weight (seriously this time) for almost a year and I just now had my aha moment.
I was sitting around wondering why in the world that it took my almost 10 years of being overweight to actually do something about it. Sure I had tried in the past, but I had always failed and I couldn't figure out why. Why could I never lose weight? When I was younger my weight was hardly ever an issue. If I was up 10 lbs, well then, I would just cut out pop and desserts and that 10 lbs would come right off. So why couldn't I do the same thing now?
It occurred to me that I had never been afraid of my weight - and here's the kicker - because I had never failed at losing weight. Suddenly I was 20 yrs. old with new baby and a new body. Somehow it had escaped my notice that after the baby was born all of that weight that I had gained while I was "eating for two" would not just magically fall away. Yes, I was 20; but while all my friends were worrying about mid-term exams and college parties and the like; I had a mom body and worse - no time to do anything about it.
So I over the course of the next few years I went on every fad diet known to man. I've listed them all before so I don't feel like I need to relive that embarrassment again. And time after time - I failed. I failed and I failed and I failed. Until finally it hit me. I cannot keep doing this to my body. I needed to get myself healthy and happy. So I just took the bull by the horns. I joined a gym, I've been watching what I'm eating and the results have been positive. So far I've lost almost 35 lbs. Yes, it's slow, but it took me 10 yrs. to gain the weight so to lose the weight for good I expected it to take a while. After all, I had tried fast, right?
But I still couldn't figure out why this time, it seemed to be working. Sure, I'm determined not to be 30 and overweight. But there had been times in the past where I had wanted to lose weight for this that and the other. Then one day, there it was, out of no where. I suddenly wasn't afraid to fail. I just simply was not. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe because I have failed so much in the past. What's one more failure, right? I mean I've been there. I've failed (many times) and nothing horrible happened. My husband didn't leave me, my kids didn't love me any less, no one died because of it, nothing.
The only difference is that now when I have small failures I don't indulge them. Previously if I had one bad day I would just throw up my hands with the whole thing. Fuck it. What's the point?
Not now. Now if I have a bad day I just say 'that's OK. It's one day. I'll just do better tomorrow" and that's what I do. I can't believe how simple that is and how much time I wasted beating myself up. I mean, I could have lost this weight years ago if I had just used my brain a little more and my mouth a little less. What was I thinking during all those 'diets'?
Well, fuck it! I'm done beating myself up today. I will just have to do better tomorrow.

Friday, September 18, 2009

These Are a Few (more) of My Favorite Things.

* Benefiber Cherry Pomegranate drink mix. Tastes like cherry Kool Aid from back in the day.

* BirdsEye Steam Fresh frozen vegetables. They steam right inside their bag in my microwave and are refreshingly tasty now that my summer vegetable harvest has all but slowed to a trickle.

* My Basset Hound Tater. He hates exercise as much as I do. He will run and play in the yard, but strap a leash on him and man-o. Not a fan of the structured exercise.

* Hard boiled eggs. A dish of these in the fridge are the ultimate convenience food. An egg and a banana = the perfect in a hurry breakfast.

* Neutrogena Foaming Blackhead Removing Face Wash. I know, not technically diet related. But anyone who has exercised knows that you sweat. A lot. I have been washing my face with this product after every workout for a little over a week now and it has drastically reduced the blackheads and breakouts on my nose and forehead.

* Ultimate Fake-Out Cupcakes. 1 box Pillsbury Reduced Sugar Cake Mix (any flavor), 1 egg white, and 1 can diet soda (any flavor) Mix all and bake at 350 until done. They are (depending on flavor) a tiny bit over 100 calories per cupcake. For an extra few calories you can add a dollop of fat free Cool Whip on top. My favorite is Chocolate w/ diet Root Beer and White or Yellow with diet Sprite.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Phase 1

I don't know if anybody does Curves, much less the weight management program that they offer. But, I am currently in love with it. Curves, as you probably know, is a women's only gym that works you out by a combo of circuit training and aerobic activity. I didn't know if I would like it at first because, you know, women are bitches. However, after attending for almost a year now I must say the bitches are few and far between. For the most part every one is super supportive. Even the ladies who have already achieved their goal weight are awesome. It's nice to see someone who started out where you are succeed. Or maybe I just am at a place in my life where I'm willing to accept change in myself. Wow - pretty profound, right?
Anyways, Curves offers a weight management class that literally kicks ass. It consists of three phases, all of which are totally doable. (for the record, I did this program last year and lost a butt load of weight. Don't ask me why I didn't stay on it. I don't know)
The first phase, strangely enough named Phase One, is where I'm at right now and it is by far the hardest part of the whole diet. Luckily it only lasts for one week. I figure I can pretty much put up with anything for one week. Well, except for vacations with the in-laws. And country music. And maybe if they ran out of Vitamin Water 10. Oh, and I absolutely can't stand when it's a full moon and your dog acts all crazy. OK, so maybe there's not much I could put up with for a week, but this I can.
It consists of eating 1200 calories a day. I know, not a lot. But like I said, it's only a week. The idea is that this calorie reduction jump starts your metabolism and kind of kicks it into over drive. You also have to workout at least three times a week. Usually I shoot for 4-5 plus walking most days, so 3 days a week is not a problem. Curves says that it is normal to lose 5-7 lbs. on Phase One.
However, don't get all giddy. While it is, of course, awesome to lose that amount of weight in one week - it is not sustainable. Nor is it smart. After the first week you absolutely must go off of Phase One. You cannot maintain a 1200 calorie/ day regiment with any hope of lasting success. Your body will simply go into starvation mode and will actually hold onto the weight. Of course, if you keep up 1200 cals / day for very long you will probably lose weight. However, the likelihood of that weight creeping back on - or in my case, crashing back on like a wave on the beach - is extremely high.
After Phase One week, comes logically Phase Two. There will be more on this next week. Suffice it to say that you are allowed 1500 calories a day. This is still a reduced number sufficient to weight loss, but you are also not starving yourself. A definite plus, in my opinion. Not a big fan of starving, me.
I started on Monday so I'm almost halfway through. I'm a bit hungry when I go to bed tonight, but nothing unbearable. I've not had quite enough energy, but so far it hasn't interfered with my day to day activities. I can totally see how it would, though, if you kept it up for any amount of time. And the most prevalent side effect I can say for Phase One? The Bitchys. Like I said, women, you know? Take away my carbs and look out! Not that this diet is by any way carb free - they strongly encourage whole grains - but on 1200 calories, it's a little hard to get a lot of carbs. If it's a choice of having a huge-ass salad (btw that's a technical diet term - huge-ass salad) or a bagel. Well, I'm in favor of anything that has huge ass in the title.
I have even come to love my own huge ass. Sure I want to lose weight, but I want to keep the booty. If I could just lose the tummy and the thighs, I would rock this ass all over the state. Beyonce who? I wonder if Beyonce has ever even heard of Phase One? I doubt it, but I'm sure that any woman must be in favor of a smart healthy way to lose weight and keep it off. Because believe me, I am not working this damn hard just to gain all the weight back.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

OK. I don't know if it was the goals, the tight jeans, or just the simple disgust at myself; but I am officially back in the groove. I'm almost afraid to proclaim it here, but it has been a long time coming and, damn it, I'm kind of proud of myself.
As we know, I have, um . . . slacked off . . . all this summer and paid the dreadful price. I was on target of losing about 1 -2 pounds a week. Not so much this summer. Since the last day of my kids school I have not only NOT lost anything, but may have actually managed to gain a few pounds (depending on what day of the month I weight - if you know what I mean).
So last week I put my foot down with a virtual, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!!!" I recognized what my problems were this summer, (too much summer time indulgence and not enough gym time) and laid down what I planned to do about it. (more gym time, super-low calorie 1 week jump start followed by a reasonable 1600 calorie/day 'diet') And one week later . . . drum roll, please . . . It has started to work.
Today at the gym, for the third day in a row, I kicked ass. I had all the energy in the world and really turned that into a crazy good workout. And two days ago I actually made it into the green zone (a Curves term) on every machine - a result I haven't achieved since May.
Yes, I'm tooting my own horn a bit here. But maybe that's been the problem this summer. Too much time making excuses for my laziness and not enough time spent looking at the reasons why I actually deserve to succeed.
So simple, right? I deserve to succeed. I do. It's not so much that I ever thought I didn't deserve it. Just that I had never taken to time to recognize that I did. But it's true. My kids are not going to be any less well fed or dressed or loved because I take the time to take care of myself. My husband isn't going to feel any more neglected because I go to the gym. If anything the kids are thrilled because I have more energy to play out in the yard with them. They haven't been so thrilled with the salads at every dinner, but then neither am I. And my hubby certainly hasn't complained when I haven't fallen instantly asleep when my head hits the pillow every night.
The only thing I have a real gripe about is that I hate how much time I wasted. I had heard for years in every woman's magazine out there that when you take the time to take care of yourself you will really see results. And I had never paid it much attention. Why??? Who knows. It's so cliche but it's true. I have more energy now than I ever have and my moods have held pretty stable, which is a huge plus here in Mama's house.
The verdict? Like the old hair color ads, I'm worth it. The only question now is, how far will I take it? I certainly doubt that I will ever make it to Playboy model status. But I think MILF status is not out of the question.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September Goals

1. Workout 4 times a week at Curves

2. Walk at least 4 miles/week. (I know, not a lot. But cut me a break, I haven't walked all summer)

3. Be super vigilant about my food diary. I do so much better with one, why did I ever quit?

4. Do more non-workout workouts. ie: I will not ask my husband to dig the hole for the new trees I'm planting. Yard work counts for something, right? And it's much more satisfying than walking in a circle for an hour.

5. Have me-time every night after the kids are in the bed. Even if the laundry needs folding or the dog needs a bath. 1/2 hour won't kill me.

6. Finally get the playroom organized and the basement finished. Technically not diet/workout related. But the stress of it all is really bringin' me down, man.

7. Be down one pants size by the end of the month.

So here's to hope. None of these goals are unattainable, which is where i have messed up in the past. What made me think I could lose 40lbs in a month by eating grapefruit and cabbage soup? Gag. I will let you know at the end of the month how it goes. Keep hoping!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Wagon Drove On . . .

I didn't just fall off the wagon. I did a total belly flop and lay there breathless as the wagon rolled on without me. In fact nobody even noticed I was gone. I don't think they cared.
The month of August hasn't exactly been the easiest for me or my diet. I am not really sure what the deal is - other than the fact that I lost all will power. I thought that perhaps things would be a bit easier, what with the kids going back to school and all, but evidently not so much.
There has been much stacked against me. The State Fair and their corn dog sabotage, a friend's pig-roast with a table full of Good Ol' Southern Deserts, and a Cincinnati Reds baseball game that I enjoyed in the Luxury Box courtesy of Sara Lee Foods. I'm not trying to make excuses but more offering an explanation of what happened. No - what I let happen.
I did not have to eat the corn dog - but I did. I did not have to eat all the deserts and drink all the beer - but I did. And I certainly didn't have to eat the mammoth bratwurst on kaiser roll and super awesome guacamole dip - but I did. And to add insult to injury, I have not used my workout time to full advantage. I strained my back a few days ago putting in a stone retaining wall in my landscape. So I had to miss a couple days of my circuit training. I could have used that time to get out and enjoy some of the beautiful weather we have been having lately and taken a few nice long walks. But did I? I think you know the answer to that by now.
Now it is time to pay the piper - so to speak. I have gained a total of 3 lbs. I am not sure that this is a completely accurate figure because I am experiencing what my grandmother whisperingly refers to as "my monthly visitor". But the point is that I sure as hell haven't lost any weight this month - which sucks. Big time.
So I have wallowed in self pity for too long already. It is time to do something and not just set back and say that I have to do better. What I need is a plan.
A new weight management class starts at my gym on 9/10. I will definitely be participating in that. I am going to enjoy myself responsibly this holiday weekend. Then starting Tuesday I am going to start a 1 week diet jump start. (More on this in a couple of days.) I will go to the gym 4 days a week and walk 2+ miles 3 days a week. I will give up all pop (even diet). And I will strive for 5 servings per day of fruits and vegetables.
Hopefully in two weeks I should be completely back on track. I know it's a marathon and not a sprint. But I'm hoping that this little boost will at least give me enough energy to catch back up to the wagon.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oh, For Shame!

Had a relatively busy morning this morning culminating in a run-by trip to the Wal-Mart. Which as you know, you can never quite just run in and get anything at the Wal-Mart. It always turns into an hour long "Oh yeah, and I need to pick up . . . " trip and a big fat chunk out of my checking account. And yes, I always refer to it as 'The Wal-Mart'. I know it's hick as hell, but I do so hate that place. I hate it more because I need it. I know that they are socially corrupt and I really shouldn't patron 'The Wal-Mart' but when you live in super small town Eastern Kentucky like I do, sometimes you just have no choice. I would love to fight the power, so to speak. But I can't, I'm just too hungry.
Which brings me back to my original point. I finished up my shopping and pulled my semi-cart into the lane. Sadly not the express lane. Only at 'The Wal-Mart' would they recognize the futility of anyone getting out of there with less than 20 items. I think it's only a myth. But I digress. Again.
So I'm in line. And I'm feeling kind of hungry. I get my usual Diet Mt. Dew, which I know is still horrible for me, but sometimes sacrifices have to be made. But I'm still thinking I'm hungry. Danger! Danger, Will Robinson! But do I listen? Do I make the smart choice and head to the conveniently connected SubWay for a Jared approved healthy lunch? Nooooo, I do not.
I grab . . . (wait for it) . . . the Combos.
That most hateful of all junk foods. Oh, I am helpless to resist them. Which is, I suspect why they are located right next to the Slim Jims and National Enquirer. There must be so many out there like me. But even then, I don't realize that I am making a poor decision. It is only later when I am halfway down the road and almost all the way through the bag, that I realize what a truly stupid stupid thing I have done.
True, it does not rate up there with the buffalo chicken wing-fest I had the day after New Years. Or even the fine German restaurant located temptingly close to my brother's new house. On the everyday bone-head move scale though, it certainly rates right up there.
I indulged in about an hours worth of self-loathing, before I realized what a slippery slope that was and snapped out of it. I will just have to do better next time. I will have to make smarter choices for the rest of the week. Hummus and baked pita chips are just as delicious as Combos. They are. They really are, I swear.
I will chalk it up to just one more reason why I should avoid 'The Wal-Mart'. Along with the ridiculously low priced cheesy poufs and the lure of the take and bake pizza. I will just have to burn a little extra gas and haul my ass to the nearest Target, where I know there will still be Combos, but at least I will already be feeling a little more socially responsible. It is easy to avoid the cheesy pretzel goodness when I am not already hovering a Pig Pen like cloud of shame.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Why the KY State Fair Hates Me and Wants Me to Fail.

I just spent 24 eye-opening hours at the KY State Fair, a fairly decent state fair - to be sure. I have managed to make it almost 30yrs (4 of which I was a dedicated FFA member) and have never had to attend the state fair. Just to be clear - I hate a fair. I am one of those crabby, hateful people who hates a fair, circus, or parade, or any other gathering of "the public" in which there is merriment and joy. I would be relatively happy being a hermit, I am sure.
There was only one thing that could cause me to overlook all this bourgeois crap. It was a concert of Journey featuring Heart. That's right Journey. And Heart. Oooohhhh . . . Barracuda!
What I discovered at the fair, though, is that you CANNOT be on a diet at the fair. I felt like Templeton the rat in the animated Charlotte's Webb movie. "A fair is a veritable smorgasbord!"
There were hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, potato ribbons, cotton candy, ice cream, a beirgarten, corn dogs ( a personal downfall ), and of course, the obligatory funnel cake. Damn the fair! We had to walk almost a mile to and back from our hotel to the concert so I felt that a corndog was justified. Come on, it's a literal State Fair Corn dog. And truthfully, it was the most delicious cord dog I've ever had in my life. And I consider myself a (former) connoisseur.
So, bottom line: Concert - awesome. The new lead singer for Journey kicks ass! And Heart, come on. If I can still rock out when I'm in my 50s then everybody else can, as my favorite comedian Kathy Griffen says, suck it! But do not go if you are watching what you eat and can't deal w/ temptation. Unless, of course, there is a kick ass concert that you absolutely can't miss.
Next up U2 and The Black Eyed Peas in Oklahoma in October. I can hardly wait. For U2 I would brave any corndog - State Fair or otherwise.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Inspiration Station? Not So Much.

It would appear that I have lost my mojo. You see, I am not one of these miracle people who have this internal motivation. Someone who can just get out of bed throw back a cup of black coffee and a banana and actually look forward to a good hard workout. I suppose had I been born one of this alien race, I would not be in the predicament I am in today. I need the external inspiration. Desperately.
See, I am one of those profoundly normal people who must drag my sorry ass out of bed, have a Java Monster (don't worry - the lo-ball only has 100 calories for the whole can), plus my multivitamin spiked w/ green tea and egcg, and even 4oz of orange juice for the sugar rush. Then I have to rush my kids to school and hurry to the gym before my chemically induced high wears off. I plug away on stinking sweating machines, glaring across the room at the skinny new trainer with the impossibly high ass showing the correct way to use the machine. She makes it look so easy. Naturally this is not true. She is nice, but I secretly want to snap her like a twig.
Then I'm home and it's time to force feed myself some form of protein, usually a boiled egg or a cup of fat-free chocolate soy milk - my favorite. I try to get in a few loads of laundry and make the beds before I inevitably crash for a semi-comatose doze for a few minutes before the kids get off the bus. Then, of course it's homework, dinner, dishes, feed the dogs, more laundry, kids baths, my bath, fold the laundry, take a few mandatory minutes to read something completely unnecessary and self-indulgent before falling asleep -I hope- before 1:00 or 2:00am.
The thing is, a few months ago. All this seemed to be no problem. Before the end of the last school year, I seemed to have it all under control. I breezed through my daily workout, burning 500+ calories and even having enough energy to take a 3-mile walk a few times a week. And my house had never been cleaner. Now I can hardly make it up the stairs with my laundry basket and I am trying to figure out just how we can afford a cleaning lady.
The thing that pisses me off the most is that I have changed absolutely nothing. My trainer says that we all go through periodic slumps once in a while. It is natural, she says, and it will soon pass. What does she know, I think, she eats grass and tofu and weight 100lbs. She is what I imagine Satan looks like in my own personal hell. See, I think there will be a personalized hell for each of us and mine will have me too fat to move while I watch this skinny bitch supermodel stuff her face with endless cupcakes and pies and extra salty chips and never gain a pound. Worse, she will periodically, get up, step over to the scales, climb on and blithely say, "oh look, I've lost a few pounds." Yes, this will be hell. And if I am unlucky enough to end up there, this is what it will look like. Oh, and there will be bad poetry. I hate poetry.
So, what do I do? How do I find my inspiration again. I need Biggest Loser to come back on TV. I need for Kirsty Alley to lose the weight again. (although, conversely, it makes me feel worse whenever Oprah loses weight. go figure.) I need Richard Simmons to come bark in my ear every day that I can do it.
Maybe tomorrow I will wake up with a burning desire to go work out. Maybe I will wake up with enough energy to get through my day. And maybe; as my GenX hero, Wayne Campbell, often says; monkeys will fly out of my butt. Oh well. At least if that happens I will at least have lost some weight. I wonder how much a flying monkey weighs?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Getting Used to a New Trainer and other impossible goals

My trainer quit the gym. Just up and quit with no good reason. I know she has her own life and everything and doesn't exist just to whip my ass into shape, but still. My new trainer is actually the owner of the gym and she is super nice and helpful and there is absolutely nothing wrong with her whatsoever. I think, personality-wise, I might actually like her better. It's just that . . . well . . . you kind of get used to a trainer, you know?
It's a very personal relationship a woman has with her trainer. You tell her things you would never tell anyone else, not even your husband whom you love more than anything. You know, things like your weight. She's seen you sweat and groan through your toughest workouts and she's even measured your thighs, for god's sake! And you actually feel compelled to tell her the truth because you know that her sole job in your life is to make your body better. And that's exactly the way you like it.
Now she's gone and you have to get used to someone new. It's a bit like dating, I suppose, after having been in a long term relationship. I can't imagine anything more horrible. Now all I have to do is manage to carve out a good relationship with my new trainer without growing too attached. I have some serious issues.
My next impossible goal is somewhat more short term, but no less unrealistic. I want to lose 3.5 lbs. by the end of the week. 6 days. Not entirely impossible, but still highly improbable.
You see, I have these jeans . . . and then there's this concert . . . and well, you get the picture. I tried the jeans on yesterday and they actually fit. And fit pretty well, I might add. But I can't get over the fact that I'm hovering at 213.5lbs. and I can't help but feel that the jeans would look even better on me if I was at 210.
I know it's ridiculous, but still. I figure if I bust my hump all week then even if I don't lose the whole 3.5 lbs. I will at least have lost something, and hopefully even have jump started my metabolism so that next week is a little easier on the scales, too.
Call me crazy. Call me a dreamer. Just don't call me for the next 6 days. I will be at the gym.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Can you airbrush away my outrage?

This morning on the Today show was a story about Kelly Clarkson being on the cover of SELF magazine. The story was allegedly about Clarkson being comfortable with her body. She is quoted as saying that when asked about her weight she feels: "you seem to have a problem with it. I don't. I'm fine." Awesome! How great to hear a celebrity that is comfortable with her curves. Now, to be fair, Miss Clarkson is by no means fat. She is however what I like to call Hollywood fat. That is defined by not being a size 4 or below and looking like a 14 year old boy with big ol' fake boobs.
Hollywood fat is what Jessica Simpson is. But unlike J.Simps, Clarkson is not going into hiding aka fat camp. She's not going to endorse Jenny Craig or NutraSystem or anything like that at this time. By the way I hate that commercial where that skinny bitch Zora tells us how she went from a size 10 to a size 2 on NutraSystem. Bitch, size 10 is my goal weight. Get over yourself.
But back to Kelly Clarkson. SELF magazine's angle has always been to make women comfortable with the selfs they are now while helping them to achieve their body goals. The story on Clarkson had pictures of her during a recent performance where there was noticeable . . . umm . . . junk in her trunk, shall we say? And fuller arms and a tummy. They addressed reports by her critics that said that Clarkson has let her weight go. Clarkson responded in the above mentioned quote and others that she was perfectly happy with her body and that any problem that other people had with her appearance was their own problem, not hers. Sounds like a very healthy attitude, yes?
Well, yes. As long as it stays inside the magazine covers. But whatever goes on the cover must go the way of Cosmo and Glamour. Even for a self-help magazine, what goes on the cover must be the most beautiful, most sexy, most unattainable that ever was. In a story that praises Kelly Clarkson for her healthy attitude towards her body SELF magazine retouched her cover photo. Not just retouched in the sense that they cover up her under-eye circles or blended out a panty line. These cover editors decided to visibly shave off several pounds of Miss Clarkson's self-described wonderful curves. It would appear to be the case that the editors don't really read the stories that fill in the space between their covers.
What the hell? I can't decide what pisses me off more. The fact that this magazine that had heretofore given the appearance, at least, of embracing all body types, has now gone glam. Or the fact that when I take my family's annual Christmas card photo nobody will be in a studio working feverishly to airbrush away my baby belly and bingo wings.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Is this supposed to be inspirational, or something?

OK, I know this is completely ridiculous, but I have found something new to piss me off. To be fair, on the pissing me off scale this is relatively low and probably completely petty. But hey what are pissing me off scales for if not arbitrary absurdness?
So here it is. For the past two morning in a row I have entered my gym only to be greeted by dance mix versions of church hymns. No, don't adjust your screen, you read it right. Dance mix church music. Seriously? What the hell - to say the least.
Now, please before anyone gets all up in arms that I am against their religion - that is not what I am saying. Not here, anyways. I believe that all music, even gospel, has its place. Just not at the gym. I think even the most filled with the spirit, shall we say?, can see the logic of this. It's like fish tacos. Two things that just don't go, in my opinion.
When I go workout I like to here me some Black Eyed Peas, some Flo Rida, hell - even some damn Brittany Spears is better than this stuff. I'll freely admit it. I don't hate the post post breakdown Brittany stuff. In fact Womanizer and Circus are fairly excellent workout tunes. But how am I expected to work up a sweat to a tub-thumpin' version of Amazing Grace? The ridiculousness of it almost made me lose track of where I was in the circuit. That's the worst part of it. Not only is the God Rock awesomely inappropriate but it's downright distracting.
So while I may be over in the corner moaning "Oh, Jesus!" after any given workout, that should certainly not be taken as a request to the DJ.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Fat Girl Skinny Jeans

Today it happened. I had heard something like this could be possible if one was willing to put forth the effort. I had never been too sure. But today - today it happened. I fit into a smaller size jeans.
Not just any jeans, the smallest sized jeans the big girl store makes. Now, here's where it gets a little confusing. Lane Bryant, my big girl store of choice, used to size everything in the traditional 14/16, 18/20, 22/24 and so on and so forth. At the time I wore a 18/20. Occasionally I could squeeze into a 16, if it was independantly sized and I didn't care about breathing. But then they had to go change it. And confuse the hell out of it along the way.
Now instead of soul crushing 16s and 18s and even 20 somethings on our tags we are greeted by 1, 2, 3, & 4 up to 7. This is evidently supposed to delude us into thinking that we are smaller than we actually are. Does it work? Of course it does! Never in my adult life have I been a 3. Once in ninth grade I got into a 5, but I had mono. I usually hovered around a 10/12 in high school. I reached my body nirvana my freshman year of college. Instead of gaining the freshman 15, I actually managed to lose it. I know, I hated me too. My point is that I had never been a 3 and now I was one at my heaviest I had ever been in my life.
But before you get too excited it's important to know that you can't just be a 1 or a 2 or even a 7. You have to know if you are a yellow, red, or blue. What the hell is this, kindergarten? I mean seriously, what difference can it make? Evidently I was wrong yet again and it makes a big fat difference - so to speak.
Plus sized jeans designers, formerly the mom-jeans queens, have apparently woken up to the fact that the average American woman wears a size 14. Never mind what this says about the state of American health, but what does it say about the bottom dollar? It only took them, like a million years to figure out that just because a woman is big doesn't mean she wants to dress like a grandma. And no woman's body is built like any other woman's body. They call their new sizing system Right Fit for obvious reasons. It begs the question - what took you so long? And BTW, no self-respecting grandma of mine would be caught dead in a mom jean. My mamaw can rock a boot cut like nobody's business. She does, however, draw the line at low-cut. She is a grandma after all.
But back to the point hand. Yellows are for the ladies with minimal curves. The proverbial rectangles. No ass whatsoever. Clearly, these jeans are not for me.
Next is the Reds. These are the average, middle of the road, most women fit these, catagory. Also, not me
No, I fall into the Blue catagory. Blues are for the girls with the big ol' bidonka-donks. A little junk in the trunk. I like big butts and I cannot lie . . . you get the idea. Yes, I wear the Blue. The curviest jeans that the curvy girl store makes. When they implemented this change I morphed from 18/20 into Blue 3. And that was fine with me. At the time.
Then we decided we were going to Vegas and I decided to lose a few. Like 10 or 15 pounds off my big ass was going to make a big difference. Although it was a high point of my life when I was mistaken for Ann Wilson in the MGM casino. Heart was playing the next night and Ihad recently dyed my hair black with red streaks, so it was not an unreasonable comparason. Still I was excited.
But then it got to be serious. I was going to be turning 30. Something had to be done. And it was. As you know I have been going at it diligently for nine months now. And my size 2 jeans (I just like to say it out loud. Size 2!) were getting a little loose. Can you imagine?
So today I was at Lane Bryant and saw these jeans. I had my kids with me so I couldn't really try anything on, but still I had a coupon and I couldn't pass them up. So I bought them and brought them home with the full expectation of trying them on in the privacy of my own bathroom and taking them right back to the store tomorrow. But lo and behold, they fit. And not just fit, they really fit. I could breath and everything. And the best part is they are a . . . drumroll please . . . size 1. Whoo hooo!!!! Look at me go. I am one size away from NOT having that dreaded W behind the size on my clothes.
So as it stands now, I am at the 214/215 (depending on the day) pound mark. My birhtday is in exactly three months. I would like to be below 200 by then. A point I have not been since before my first child was born. Never mind that I was way below 200 at 145, but that's another story. I have made peace with the fact that I will never be 145 again. But I can guaran - damn - tee you that I will not be in the big girl jeans again. We finally got rid of one W now it's time for me to shed another.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Product of the Week (or until I find something I like better)

I have found the answer to my summertime ice cream cravings. Del Monte Fruit Chillers frozen fruit sorbet treat. You find them in the grocery store next to the canned fruit and applesauce and crap and they are seriously delicious.
They are little tubes of pureed fruit (2 flavors - strawberry and grape berry) that you put in your freezer and - Ouila! tasty summer frozen treat. They are even kind of good for you. The first ingredient is fruit puree and there is no artificial flavors or corn syrup. Each tube has only 55 calories, 0 fat, 25% of your daily vitamin C intake, and even a gram of fiber (every little bit counts they say. Each tube also counts for 1/2 serving of fruit. Heck for 55 calories you could eat two, have a full serving of fruit, and not feel like crap afterward. Hell, yeah!
OK, so they're not rich creamy full fat ice cream. But they're also not going to make your ass look like rich creamy full fat ice cream either. So go have and extra hard workout and enjoy one of these (or two if you're nasty) little jewels as a reward. Del Monte Fruit Chillers kick serious diet ass.

* for the record these are not strictly "clean eating" but like I said 80/20. And since these have no artificial flavors or sweeteners or corn syrup, I don't think the addition of a tiny amount of food grade dye is going to kill you.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Clean Eating or Clean Off My Rocker?

It happened like this. I was cruising the magazine rack at my local Target because it would appear that I have replaced my addiction to food with an addiction to glossy magazines. And since I just got back from a 2 week trip in which I traveled over 3300 miles, I had fully exhausted my stash. So there I am looking for something new and I find Vogue Decor (didn't care for it), National Geographic Travel (always on the lookout for the next great destination), and Clean Eating (Loved it!) I wasn't really expecting to, like it - that is, but turns out it's not totally for sandal wearing, granola eating, tree huggers. I will own to two out of the three, but let it be known that I love my fashion too much to wear sandals, at least of the Jesus Creeper variety. And since I am stuck in a dieting rut and my energy has bottomed out I was open to trying anything.
I like it. So far. Clean Eating is not really a diet, which I like. It's more of a way of eating. Pay attention to what you eat. Eat whole unprocessed foods, organic when possible. And learn how to prepare healthy meals for yourself instead of relying on restaurants where you don't really have control over what your eating.
I love that I get to eat yogurt, which I have been doing already. And I was skeptical about substituting honey and/or agave nectar for sugar, but I like it. I don't know if I can completely cut out the white sugar but I have definately cut it down drastically. I have switched from white flour products to whole grains and the best part is that my kids haven't bitched about it. Amazing! I'm not so sure about the quoina and bulgar (exotic grains) not so much because I'm afraid to try something new, but because I'm just not sure how practical it will be to find it in my tiny tiny town. And eating locally is a big factor. I have made friends at the farmer's market.
I've been doing this for about a week now and while I haven't really dropped any pounds (I haven't actually lowered my calorie intake) I have already noticed the energy going up and my mood improving as well. That was an unexpected but totally welcome bonus.
So, the bottom line, after a week of clean eating is this. I don't know if I can stick to it 100% of the time, but I have resolved to try to stick to an 80%/20% type of thing. The 20% allows for life and other crap that gets in the way and as long as I don't go crazy and start snorting Pixie Sticks it should be OK. I liked the grilled pork with peaches, but the raw hummus - not so much. So check it out, if you're looking for something new. Or even if you're not, it's totally worth the effort. Besides who can say no to an eating plan that includes lemon shortcakes with strawberries, blueberries, and fresh cream?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Not Too Bad For You Summer Chicken Salad

1 lb each boneless skinless chicken breast and thighs, grilled (I like the quickness of the George Foreman)
1/4 cup diced white onion
1/2 cup chopped or slivered Almonds
1, 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
1/4 cup low fat mayo
1/2 cup fat free sour cream

Mix together, refrigerate for one hour. If making ahead of time save the strawberries to add at last minute. You could serve this in whole wheat pitas, but I like it just on it's own.
To carry it into the fall substitute red grapes for the strawberries and walnuts or pecans for the almonds.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sum, Sum, Summertime

Reasons why Summer rocks for the dieter

1. Fresh Vegis from the garden or farmers market.
2. Swimming is considered wonderful aerobic exercise.
3. Likewise walking on the sand gives you a rockin' ass.
4. When it's so hot outside who feels like eating anything heavy.
5. It's way better to feel tired from gardening/playing outside/ swimming with the kids than because you logged an hour on the treadmill.
6.When it's time to hydrate - Iced Tea on the deck.
7. Yes it's hot out, but it stay light until like 9:00, so take a walk in the evening.
8. Fishing build tri-ceps muscles.
9. Fish is totally good for you, and when you catch it yourself it's even more delicious.
10. A fake tan that actually looks good. Neutrogena Spray On Self Tanner. Even coverage, not arrange. Perfect for shorts that I can finally wear.