Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wedding Dress Shopping + A CONTEST!!!

I went wedding dress shopping last week. No, not for an actual wedding dress. Just for a dress to wear to a wedding. This shopping trip felt a little bit more emotional for me than my usual dressing room drama, mainly because the wedding was for a friend that we went to school with (basically making this a mini high school reunion.) I've said it before, but it still holds true: I need to go shopping more often. Trying on clothes is such an enormous motivation for me to stick to my diet & exercise plan. There were several outfits that looked amazing on the mannequin and then didn't look as great when my curves were inserted into them.

Not everybody knows this, but my husband is my best shopping partner. He has better taste than me and he tells me the truth. Usually, I gravitate to my "safe" items. He scopes out the stuff that I wouldn't ordinarily try on and convinces me to "just try it" and that's typically the stuff that looks the best. When it doesn't he (kindly) says, "Nope, not the right shade of red after all" or "That skirt would look better if it were just an inch and a half or so longer." So, imagine my shock when he tried to tell me that I should go sleeveless! Had he lost his gift? Did he not realize that I had in fact inherited my grandma's arms as my father had warned him? (Thanks, Dad...) There was no way that I was going to face people from high school that I hadn't seen in a decade with flipping cellulite looking flab on my upper arms showing!

Well, turns out that's not true. No way turned into "OKay, fine. Whatever." The little black number flattered EVERYTHING but my arms. That's a fair trade off, right? I almost forgot about my arms too (that is until we were out on the dance floor and the song changed to YMCA and I attempted to do the motions until I got scared that my arm flab swinging around was causing too much air current...) So, now, once again motivated... I want to know two things:

#1. What is your favorite way to tone your arms?

#2. Share your favorite healthy recipe for weight loss!

I'll leave this open for two weeks and then choose my favorite suggestion from both of those. The winner & their exercise / recipe will be put on the side bar for the world to see. (Okay, the 4 or 5 readers, but I can pretend it's the world, can't I?)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Them Bones, Them Bones, Them Lazy Bones...

What. A. Week. I've gotta tell ya... I'm pretty sure there are some slugs out there who've moved more than me this week. Turtles, at least. Maybe sloths... I dunno. It's been bad. I got a really bad kidney infection and ended up in the hospital. Once I got out of there, I attached myself firmly to the couch. I'm surprised I haven't developed bed sores. So... now it's time to get motivated again. Have you noticed that once you spend a few days being lazy it's even harder than usual to force yourself to workout?

This morning when I woke up, the sun was glowing in through my windows and the sky was crystal blue. It was stinking freezing, but gloriously beautiful. So, I threw on my tennis shoes to go out and enjoy it. I made it down the porch steps and then I decided to turn around and go inside (promising myself that I would take a walk in the afternoon when it had warmed up.) Then, I fell asleep and by the time I woke up all I felt like doing was blogging. Which brings me to the question: How many calories do you think it takes to blog? I'm thinking about getting one of those stools that you twist & balance on that works your abs. I could do that while I type. Now that's my kind of workout. Oh yeah, and I have to go bathing suit shopping for a family vacation this weekend. Yikes! That oughta motivate me!

How are you guys doing?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Commitment Issues

I have a confession to make. I have diet commitment issues. Oddly, my problem isn't the ability to stick to the diet so much as choosing which diet to be faithful to. In this day & age of choices, I'm really at a loss to narrow it down to just one plan. I was pretty sure that sticking to 1200 calories a day (preferably by eating 200 calories 6 times a day) was the best way to go. Then, I started questioning whether that was really enough. I have the book The PH Balance For Miracle Weight Loss. It claims that if my PH balance is off that I won't be able to lose weight. Which makes sense to me. So, what if I'm killing myself on 1200 calories of rabbit food a day and it doesn't work because those 1200 calories weren't alkaline?

My friend Kelly made an excellent suggestion to try the Blood type diet. Only, I keep forgetting to get the book. I did look it up online and it made a ton of sense. I'm gathering from certain traits that I have that I'm in the gatherer group, but I can't remember for sure what my blood type is and so I'm questioning whether I'm really putting myself into the right group or not. I thought about going to the Red Cross blood drive so that they would tell me my blood type, but they won't take my blood since I'm anemic right now... Hmmph. So, for now I've been keeping that in mind as I make food choices and trying to eat somewhat gatherer like while hoping that I actually am a gatherer.

I thought about simplifying things and just going with a pre-packaged plan like Nutrisystem. I truly love built in portion control. Only, I don't love that when I read the ingredient list for several of their entrees there were so many chemicals and additives. Deep down, I have to believe that it's better for my body to eat real food than to eat processed stuff even if it is in the right calorie range. I've always kind of been a whole foods girl at heart. Besides, too much soy and sodium make me feel sick. Same thing for Slim-fast. Love the premeasured readiness of a chocolate can of goodness, but the sugar sends my body on a blood sugar roller coaster which for me = more food cravings, moodiness, and exhaustion. Not the way i like to lose weight.

A lot of my friends have been having great success with Weight Watchers. While I understand what they mean when they say they prefer to count points, I just don't like counting points myself. Why I don't know. Somehow to me, checking the calories, carbs, and/or glycemic index is fine but counting points is annoying. Weird, I know. I also have several friends that are seeing a registered dietitian. This, I'm strongly considering. If I could only get past the $$$ shock part I would go to her in a heart beat. Sure, the fact that you have to strip down and get measured at every visit sends me into an anxiety attack, but I'm sure it's worth it. If only for the fact that she would be giving me precise instructions to follow as to what to eat and how to work out. Maybe that would take the difficulty out of making a commitment to a diet plan?

For now, (this week) I'm committing to the low carb thing. Basically just because it was something that I had the ingredients for on hand. Also, I want something that will give me rapid results (I have to step on the scale at the Dr. 11 days from now, after all.) I know that as long as I COMMIT to a low carb plan that I'll drop a decent amount of weight. Right now, I'm desperately craving refined carbs and cheese. For some reason, a tuna melt sounded awesome, only I just had the tuna and pouted over the bread. And don't get me started on how bad I want Taco Bell's fully loaded nachos. What is it with these cheesy things that's calling my name? I was way too excited when I read the nutrition info on the back of my lunch meat package and found out that there are 0 carbs & that I could have some. Here I was sad because I thought it was honey ham and would be off limits and it turned out I'd actually bought smoked turkey after all! I'll tell you what, there's nothing like depriving yourself to make you appreciate some strange stuff. Never before in my life would I have cheered about lunch meat.

Maybe after a couple weeks of ketosis, I'll branch out to the PH Balance diet or something. We'll see. I do have commitment issues, after all. With so many choices, I just don't know which one to choose! All I know is that I have to actually stick with one long enough to get the desired effect but I'm hoping that doing a little of each is better than not doing any diet at all. Maybe they'll have some sort of cumulative effect? What is your favorite way to diet?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gain a Little? Feeling Discouraged? Never Fear - I Have Just the Theory For You!

So, in case anyone doesn't already know, this is officially Natalie's blog. This means that she gets to do all the "administrative" blog stuff - like decide what goes on her sidebar. When I stopped by to check out the old Skinny Pants blog today, one question immediately popped into my mind.

Where the heck did she find that picture of me sitting at the table waiting to stuff my face with giant cookies? Seriously. Does anyone doubt that the chick in the picture MUST be me? It's so obvious. Natalie, you are amazing.

Speaking of the cookie exchange, the damage results were officially in three days ago. Please don't ask me to divulge the ridiculous incremental increase that showed up on the bathroom scale, because it would be too painful to make it public. There is, however, some good news.

I have another theory. Kind of like the one about fat cells holding their breath when you lose weight, this one concerns itself with gaining weight. You know how people fall off the wagon for a few days, eat till they're sick, and get that bloated/gained-five-plus-pounds feeling? Well, I'm here to tell you that this feeling is nothing more than another sneaky trick of those greedy little fat cells.

Think about it. When the binge is over, and the scale weighs in the disastrous results, what happens? The victim immediately gets depressed over the sudden weight gain, and gets discouraged. And what is it we usually do when discouraged? Give in and eat. This is all part of the sinister fat cells' evil plan, and no girl should ever fall for it again!

Here's the theory. Just like it takes the fat cells a while to actually admit the fat is gone, they can't really soak up new fat that quick either - they just want you to think they did so you'll give up and feed their greedy little selves. In reality (according to my non-professional theory), the surplus of fat and calories you consumed is only floating around the fat cells. The only way they can actually hang onto the new fat, is if you keep feeding them more so that the "extra" is still extra. Does that make sense?

If - instead of giving up and continuing the bad food binge - you recommence the starving-of-the-fat-cells, all that extra will be quickly used up by your body, and the fat cells lose. Oh sure, they might manage to secure a pound or two, but isn't that way better than handing over the total victory of five or ten pounds??? So if you've been bad and the scale confirms it, remember - it's just an illusion. So, instead of giving up and getting discouraged, get determined instead and fight back. Whatever it is you do to keep off weight and/or lose a little, get right back on it! Be super good, don't get on the scale for three days, and when you do you'll see that at least half of what you thought you'd gained isn't really there at all.

I still say that half the battle is mental. To some extent, you really can "think yourself thin" - or fat, depending on what you tell yourself. So if you've been bad this Christmas season, don't give up, and don't give in. Fight back and don't give any ground to those stupid little fat cells waiting to ruin all your plans. And remember, every time you allow yourself to feel discouraged, you give them the edge, so keep positive!

Happy New Year everyone! Good luck with those resolutions!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Such A Loser

Ever since the season finale of The Biggest Loser I have had this errant thought plaguing my brain: I want to audition. I think that idea popped into my head about the same time as my hubby commented, "Wow, some of them turned out really hot. Who knew they could end up looking so good when you saw them before?" It bothered me just a smidgen. I said, "Well, I could look that good too if I had all of the resources they've had. Of course NBC gives them a total makeover so that the results are sensationalized for better TV... They probably wouldn't even look that good if they had lost the same amount of weight at home on their own..." I went on like that for awhile sporadically spewing out defensive excuses for why their improved appearance wasn't anything special (read: anything that I couldn't do.)

Finally, I admitted the truth. I CAN'T do it at home as well as they can on TV. At home, I cheat. I take my sweet time. I make excuses for why I'll binge today and make up for it tomorrow. I can guarantee that if I were stripping down and getting weighed in wearing those pathetically small little outfits on national television I'd be busting my butt a lot harder than I am now. At home, I have to fix food for my family. I think about going out for a walk and then look out the window at the weather and cuddle up with my hubby to watch a movie instead. I could really use the combination of accountability and guidance and competition that The Biggest Loser provides. I started rationalizing how it would be so worth it that I would be okay with "abandoning" my family so I could go to fat camp.

That's when I broke the news to my hubby. I told him that I'd looked it up online and they were auditioning for next season right now and I was sending in a video tape. Do you know what he did? He laughed. That's right, he laughed at me! I guess I should take it as a compliment that he doesn't think I'm fat enough to make the cut, but I was ticked off. How dare he tell me that I don't have the stuff? (The stuff being lard.) He pointed out that you win based on the percentage of weight lost and some of those people are bringing enough weight to make up a whole other person. So, they could lose 50% of themselves. If I lost 50% of myself I would make Mary Kate Olson look chubby, so that's out. He asked me what the point of going through that would be if I didn't have a chance of winning? True Dat. I want to be THEE biggest loser, not one of a bunch of losers.

So, I suppose I won't send my tape in. I suppose that I'm just gonna have to go it alone & start January off with the New Year's resolution to eat less & move more like 75% of America (same ole, same ole...) I was really digging the idea of an all expenses paid trip to fat camp too.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Dieting Evils of a Seemingly Harmless Christmas Tradition

I went to a cookie exchange the other day. It was fun. Socially speaking. On the trying-to-stay-skinny-through-the-holidays front, however, it was disastrous. Possibly the single most disastrous event in the history of December dieting. Girls like me should never put themselves in the path of such temptation - we should know better.

The idea of a cookie exchange, is rather brilliant. Rather than one woman making dozens and dozens of different kinds of cookies to give away during the holidays, a bunch of women make dozens and dozens of one kind of cookie, go to a party, and exchange cookies. At this particular cookie exchange, we each brought twelve dozen - i.e. one hundred and forty-four individual - cookies.

Which means we each left with twelve dozen - i.e. one hundred and forty-four individual - cookies. To give away. Right.

I swear my intentions are honorable. Really - I always tell myself that this year will be different, and I'll actually give away all those cookies. But then I go to the party and SEE them. And SMELL them. And TASTE them.

Then I start plotting out ways to keep my family from knowing the cookies are in the house so I can eat every single one-hundred-and-forty-fourth one myself. It's like a cookie-eating sickness. And I contract it every year.

This year was bad. The level of badness is directly related to the scrumptiousness of the cookies presented at the cookie exchange. Can I just say that this year there were FOUR different varieties of chocolate peanut butter cookies? And carmelitas - made by two different people, meaning that I took home two dozen of them?

It was seriously way to much to ask of me. I tried to think of someone to give at least some of the cookies away to, but every time I started thinking about it, it was like I had a stupor of thought. The kind of stupor that immediately switched over to thoughts of carmelitas and peanut butter chocolate bars, and how good they were going to taste when I ate them. And then I'd go have a couple. Of each.

Thankfully, I was unable to keep my family in the dark about the cookies, so I was forced to share. For two nights we brought the cookie platter out for dessert, and during both days, I even gave out a few of the ones lower on the I-must-eat-you-or-die list to my cookie-loving children.

I ate the last two cookies for breakfast this morning. Thank goodness they're gone and I can get on with my life - now that all my jeans are suddenly feeling a little bit tighter. Good thing I don't believe my body could possibly have transferred ALL that directly into fat, or I'd be in trouble. I LOOK fatter, and I FEEL fatter, but I'm convinced that if I can just live (primarily) off of the cookie-calories I've stored up for the next few days, I should be fine. It's got to be mostly water weight anyway, right?

And I'm not eating a single Christmas treat of ANY kind until our families actual Christmas dinner. And (aside from issuing a warning against cookie exchanges to all women with zero self control like myself), that is what this post is primarily about. I have now declared to the world that I will abstain from goodies, and so I'll have to do it. And hopefully, if I'm super good, I'll find all that cookie-fat gone the next time I brave the bathroom scale.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Help! I'm Drinking Again!

Yesterday, Dustin had the day off and with all of the kids safely off to school we headed out to spend the day in Olympia together. It was such a fabulous day. The kind of day that makes you want to pinch yourself to see if you're dreaming and when you realize that you are in fact awake you begin to dread going home to the "real world" when the kids get off the bus. I absolutely love his days off. I think it's massively important to our marriage to have these times together to just hang out kid free. Simply wandering around shopping and going out to lunch together is so blissful when you do it with the right person. I only have one complaint about yesterday. I'm fairly certain that I fell off the diet bandwagon and drank my entire weeks worth of calories. (Oh, the guilt! Oh, the shame!)

It started out innocently enough (it always does...) As we set out in the foggy, mud-puddley morning Dustin suggested we stop by the espresso stand and get a hot eggnog. I LOVE eggnog and the thought of a warm drink when the moisture in the air makes your bones cold sounded awesome. So, we grabbed our 20 0Z. of eggnog (675 calories chugged by 9:00 AM.) From there, we headed to the mall to do some shopping (Yay!) Only, after a couple of hours of shopping we were kind of thirsty and the smoothie places in the mall were calling our names. I know I should have quenched my thirst with some good old-fashioned H20, but it felt like a special occasion for some reason and so I kind of sort of had a Jamba Juice (to the tune of 470 calories. Yikes!) Lunch was our favorite- Appleby's. Now, in my defense, I did order the soup & salad combo off of the Weight Watchers menu & we didn't order the appetizer like we usually do. Unfortunately, I washed it down with two strawberry lemonades (190 calories PER glass.) We went to Costco after lunch, where I became possessed by Rosie O'Donnell and filled 2 carts full. I didn't do the math exactly, but I think one of the carts was to hold healthy stuff like hummus and boneless skinless chicken breasts and 5 lb. bags of broccoli and the other cart was for Christmas cookies and eggnog. Yes, you read that right. Knowing full well that I had indulged in almost 700 calories of eggnog for breakfast, I threw caution to the wind and bought MORE eggnog in bulk at Costco. I skipped the cookies that I made for the kids' after school snack and I poured generous glasses of eggnog for them (got to get that stuff out of my house somehow!) I was coming down from the sugar high from my drinking binge by dinner time though and as is always the case when I've had too much sugar... I started craving sugar. I obediently ate my 4 oz. of chicken and 1/2 a baked potato w/ a side of steamed zucchini. Then, I called the day a total loss and made everyone (including me) peanut butter milkshakes for dessert. In hindsight, if I was going to feel loss of willpower thanks to my sugar cravings, perhaps I should have just pigged out on more chicken or zucchini rather than make a milkshake... Hmmm- maybe next time.

This is how it happens people! When you look at the actual food I ate for the day- a medium salad w/ spinach, maybe 5 shrimp, and a low cal vinaigrette dressing, a cup of tomato soup, 4 oz. of chicken, half a baked potato, and 3/4 of a cup of zucchini it's not too bad. I could totally be healthy eating that. Then, you add in the fluids... eggnog, an orange power Jamba Juice, 2 strawberry lemonades, and a peanut butter milkshake. Well, I might as well have fed myself pork gravy intravenously. So... yeah. Time to detox today. The diet is on again. Can you believe how bad we can sabotage our bodies just by adding a few drinks in to the mix? Scary stuff.