Sunday, October 31, 2010

My husband LOVES...

black licorice. My older son LOVES "Dots" and my younger son LOVES "candy corn." Thankfully, all of these particular Halloween goodies make me want to blow chunks. Personally, I LOVE anything with CHOCOLATE or CARAMEL...preferably chocolate AND caramel together...with or without nuts. Guess what sort of candies we have in our house for Halloween?

If you guessed black licorice, Dots, and candy corn, you win. I win too! LOSE!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Biggest Loser...

is really starting to PISS ME OFF! Considering the fact that I have seen every single episode of the show (some more than once) AND at least one season of TBL Australia...most of them watched from the comfort of my couch at home with a bucket of fried chicken or a bowl of ice cream close at hand and the thought, "I could do that!" bouncing around in my head, my being a suddenly disgruntled fan is really saying something.

These are my "issues":::

1. The TITLE of the show. Yes, I know it's supposed to be a play on words. I know the "contestants" or whatever you want to call them are there to lose weight. There are no two ways about it, however, the words "BIGGEST" and "LOSER" are a none too subtle negative jab. What could they have called the show instead? I'm no advertising executive so, I don't really know...something a little more positive, maybe? Do you have an idea?

2. Jillian is no longer "Jillian." She's become a brand...and therefore a characture of her former self. She used to really seem to care about her team/the contestants/her clients/whatever you want to call them. Now, it just seems like she's going through the motions to sell her protein powder and diet pills. DIET PILLS??!!

3. Bob was always a weiner. Now, perhaps jealous of Jillian's financial success, he's trying not to be weiner. He's putting on a Jillian cape of "tough guy" attitude. It only serves to make him come off as a bigger weiner...and therefore MORE annoying.

4. Taking an extremely obese, sedentary, person straight off the couch and telling them to run a mile on concrete is, at least under most circumstances, a recipe for major injuries if not a heart attack or stroke. It's not only dangerous, it should almost be criminal. I don't know what sort of medical evaluation they put the contestants through before accepting them for the show, but part of it must be determining that they have that special metal bonded with their Hugh Jackman in Wolverine. My orthopaedic surgeon says, "fat people shouldn't do jumping jacks." He's right. There are so many ways to lose weight and get cardiovascular exercise without putting tremendous impact on your joints. How about swimming? How about biking? Why take the risk of injury? If you get hurt, it only sets you back. I've learned this lesson the hard way.

5. The numbers are unrealistic. By now, maybe some of you have read some of the "behind the scenes" interviews with past contestants too. I've read about them coming into the weekly weigh-ins on diuretics and laxatives...dehydrated to the point of delirium. Not good. Even if all of that is sour grapes, however, the numbers are STILL unrealistic...or certainly unachievable in real life. I lived the "fat camp" life for a month. We were on a strict 1200 calorie a day diet. We didn't cook for ourselves, so there was no easy way to obtain a significant number of additional calories. We were at the gym an average of 14 hours a day. Even the heaviest men there didn't hit numbers like they did on TBL....nowhere close. The average weekly weight loss that I saw for women was in the 3 - 5 pound range...often quite a bit less.

I'm home now and averaging 2 pounds or so a week. I'm always ecstatic...right up until I see the numbers on The Biggest Loser. When I see those, I feel, for a moment, like I'm doing something I should have exercised more or eaten less. AND that, more than anything, is why I'm pissed off at the show right now! I'm busting my ass. (Hear that, ass? You're busted!) I'm working harder than I ever have in my life. I'm eating more carefully than I ever have in my life. Then I sit down and watch a show that USED to motivate me and all of a sudden it's starting to make me feel like I'm not doing "enough." It's starting to make me feel like a "big loser." I don't like that feeling...because when I'm at the gym, dripping sweat on the elliptical machine, or staring down my reflection in the mirror in yoga while I hold "warrior 3," I feel like the "BIGGEST WINNER"....or maybe just the strongest one. I think it's time to change the channel.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Five months from...

today will be my fortieth birthday. Yes. I admitted it. I will be turning the big "4-0." I've never been one to make New Year's Resolutions. My "new year" is always marked by my birthday. When I turned 39 (otherwise known as the year of pushing the dark side of 40)...I told myself that I was going to dedicate the entire year to MYSELF. It's bad enough that my hair's been going grey since I was 17; the idea of being a fat and unhealthy forty year old is unacceptable.

The finish line is within reach. The math adds up. Five months. Forty more pounds to lose before I'm forty years old. It's taken a LOT of work, but so far I'm down 58 pounds from my maximum density...the weight I was at during the weeks after my thyroidectomy. Right now, I "only" have to keep up a loss pace of two pounds a week to stay on track. If I can do that, my body fat percentage will be back where it was when I was a slightly grey haired 17 year old. Not so bad, eh?

I saw two things today that stuck a cord with me....

"If you can't, you must. If you must, you can." - Anthony Robbins

Normally, Anthony Robbins annoys the hell out of me, but something about this quote got me. When I was trying to knock out my sets of pull-ups on the assisted pull-up machine this morning (3 sets of 20 at 1/2 my body weight)...the thought, "I can't!" entered my head. This quote got me through...because, you see, I must.

On a lighter note was the quip on the back of my trainer's shirt:


If that doesn't say it all, I don't know what does. Ass, I OWN you now! Mwahahahaha!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Something really scary...

happened to me yesterday. I know it sounds silly, but for lack of a better way to describe it, I have to say, "I lost my mojo." I just didn't have "IT" in all. I didn't feel like going to the gym. I didn't feel like going for a walk. I didn't feel like vacuuming up dog hair. I didn't feel like doing dishes...or folding laundry...or changing sheets...or scrubbing showers. I didn't feel like doing ANYTHING. As far as food went, I certainly didn't feel like going to the grocery store. I didn't feel like grilling any more boneless, skinless, f***ing chicken breasts for meals throughout next week. I sort of felt like ordering a pizza or something...especially when I smelled the meatball sandwich (on garlic bread) that my husband made himself for dinner. I didn't order the pizza, but the thought was there...and like I said, it was scary. I didn't eat according to any sort of plan. All I can remember consuming yesterday was a countless number of protein bars (literally countless) and some fruit....could have been worse...could have been Papa John's....but not what I'd planned to do.

When I say I didn't feel like doing any of these things, I want you to realize that I DID NOT DO THEM. I sat in a chair all day and watched television and farted around on the internet. At one point, I summoned the energy to take a bath. All in all, I probably should have stayed in bed. I felt like I needed to stay in my body was drawing me to be in bed. I was beyond tired with no explanation and it was actually scary. I could see the writing on the wall...a few more days like that and I WOULD order the pizza...probably with a side of fries.

This morning, I felt different, however. I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed. I went to the medicine cabinet to grab my Synthroid and what did I find lurking (in a bottle of the exact same size and shape!!) where I expected them to be? A BOTTLE OF AMBIEN!! bring the mystery to a close....I don't think I lost my mojo yesterday after all. I think I accidentally misplaced it in a bottle of sleeping pills....the sort you're supposed to take...AT NIGHT...BEFORE BED...not in the morning in place of your thyroid medication!!

Ass, you thought you'd tricked me there, didn't you? Clever. Naughty. Turnabout's fair play. Just wait until Danielle hears about this!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

People have been...

asking ME for tips lately! It's more than a little strange. Back "in the day"...when I was rockin' my washboard abs and working all day in a bikini (yes, sometimes even a THONG! **sorry kids!**)...I understood when people would ask me for advice about health and fitness. But now?? Now, I've gone from tight size 16 jeans to loose size 14 jeans. I'm not knocking what I've accomplished, but I'm not exactly "there" yet. Yes, strange.

But, since people have been asking, I'll see what I can do. I'd like to think y'all know all the commonplace things...but I'll throw out my versions of them for what it's worth.

WALK. Don't just go for "walks." Don't just walk on the treadmill at the gym. Go out of your way to make every last trip you make from point A to point B by the longest possible route. Going from the couch to the fridge? Get there by way of the mailbox.

FIDGET. Throw out everything your Mommy told you about sitting still and move around...constantly. Get one of those giant inflatable "balls of doom" and use it for an ottoman. Bounce your feet on it while you're watching tv. Dance in the car. For that matter, clench and unclench your buttcheeks and any other muscle you can think of while you're in the car. For that matter, why are you in the car if you can be walking?

QUIT WASTING TIME WEIGHING YOUR FOOD. This concept is going to tick off some people I know and love. So be it. I own a food scale....a VERY expensive, super deluxe, digital food scale. I used it religiously for about 3 days then I lost patience with the whole idea. I didn't have my food scale with me when I was eating out (do that frequently.) I didn't have my food scale with me when I was eating at other people's homes (do that frequently also.) I also realized I wasn't going to want to spend the rest of my life measuring my food on a friggin' scale! So...I learned to "estimate" portion sizes ACCURATELY. There are LOTS of visual clues out there for doing this. A three ounce serving of protein is about the size of the palm of your hand (assuming you have average size WOMAN'S hands!!)...or better yet, about the size of a deck of cards. A medium piece of fruit is comparable in size to a tennis ball (NOT a softball!!)...and so on. Google "visual clues portion sizes" and learn them for yourself. Memorize. Be free of the food scale.

TAKE TIME TO WEIGH YOURSELF. Yes, it's good to only "count" one weigh-in a week, but for obsessive people like yours truly, getting on the scale, in my birthday suit, SECOND thing in the morning...EVERY morning is a good wake up call. For ME, it keeps me on track. If I had just a little too much sodium (or food) the day before, it's a big reminder that I need to kick it up a notch that day...exercise extra careful about what I eat...drink more water...whatever.

KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE BUT...never forget where you've been. I work off of NEGATIVE motivation. Yes, I'm excited to think about getting back on the beach without a coverup again someday soon. How do I keep myself excited? I spend quite a bit of time looking at pictures of myself at my unhealthiest...with all the extra chins and flab and jiggles and wiggles to spare. I don't want to look or feel that way anymore. If that's not motivation, I don't know what is.

DITCH THE BASEMENT PEOPLE. I read a great book some time ago..."Balcony People" by Joyce Landorf Heatherly. The books puts the people that come into our lives into two categories: balcony people and basement people...those that lift you up and those that drag you down. Seek out balcony people and spend time with them. If you have basement people in your life, reassess their value. It is the balcony people in your life that will help you along this journey.

That's pretty much all I've got. I'm lucky enough to have a life full of balcony people helping me along...I'm walking, I'm fidgeting, I'm eyeballing my portions, I'm minding the scale...and my ass is terrified. Is yours?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I have officially been...

HOME from fat camp (otherwise known as Real Life Fitness and Health) for one week. Reintegration is difficult, but I'm managing. According to the first Sunday (at home weigh in), I'm down 3 more pounds since my departure from camp. If I can keep up this pace (I'd be happy for 2 pounds a week) I WILL MEET MY GOAL by my birthday!

This is what I know right now:

It was a life changing experience for me to go to Real Life. In spite of having access to all the "tools" at home: gyms, trainers, therapists, nutritionists, etc. I also had a whole host of issues to constantly deal with...some real, some excuses that I imagined for myself, All the issues and excuses had managed to bundle themselves up into a ball...then a boulder...then a seemingly insurmountable mountain. I had created a mountain out of doubts and fears and insecurities and food addictions and saboteurs and lethargy and injuries and more and more excuses.

I had to find a way around the mountain. My way was to leave home. It was a difficult thing to do. I left my husband and my teenage boys and all my pets and all my responsibilities. I got in my car and drove to Real Life Fitness and Health in Draper, Utah. When I arrived, the only things left for which I was personally responsible were personal hygiene, waking up in the morning and getting dressed and ready for boot camp. The alarm went off at 4:30 a.m. This was enough responsibility.

We were told where to be, when we needed to be there, what we should do when we got there, what we should eat (the meals were prepared for us and the last time we saw our dishes was when we cleared them from the table). We were given loads of encouragement and support. We had brilliant facilities and fantastic trainers. We spent approximately 14 hours a day at the gym...with breaks for snacks and meals.

We learned not only how to exercise, but how to LOVE exercise and appreciate what it can do for our body. We learned to appreciate food as FUEL instead of a treat, entertainment, or pleasure. We learned to find other things, besides food, to do that are not only MORE FUN but don't include eating as the primary focus and, as a bonus, burn calories. All I want for Christmas this year is a pair of my very own bowling of those cool, custom balls. And if Santa's feeling really super generous, an F1 racing go-kart would be awesome too!!

Since I've been home, I've learned that I'm capable of making good choices when we go out to eat. I CAN go to our favorite Chinese food restaurant and order steamed shrimp and steamed green beans without oil or msg or rice. It's still delicious and when I'm done I feel better than I would have felt if I'd eaten Sesame Beef and fried rice. I CAN go to our favorite Tex-Mex restaurant and order grilled quail with a side of pico-de-gallo and (1) corn tortilla. Did I miss the chips and queso? Sure...right up until we left the restaurant and I was the only person in the car who didn't feel like they needed a nap.

I went to the gym twice today. Once, this morning for group Yoga...again, this afternoon, with my husband, for some cardio. Every time I make a good choice about what I eat, every time I go to the gym, every time I walk instead of ride, every time I say, "Let's DO SOMETHING instead of meeting for dinner!" Every time I call or text or tweet or Facebook a friend when I need a shoulder for support. Every time I do any of those things, I'm taking a step towards meeting my goal.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Wrote it for something else...but using it here anyhow..

A plaque on the wall in the “Women’s House” says, “You never really leave a place you love - Part of it you take with you, leaving a part of you behind.”

I’m leaving Real Life Fitness and Health with a renewed love for taking care of my body, mind and soul. I’ve gained life-long friendships. I’m taking away priceless knowledge about nutrition and exercise and myself. I’m leaving behind blood, sweat, tears, and quite a few pounds and inches.

For those of you who follow in my footsteps, know this: every staff member here, both at Real Life and Treehouse, has something to offer you, make sure to take advantage of EVERYTHING they have to teach. You too will have your own lessons to learn and your own gifts to take…and leave.

Best wishes, Hang Tough, and Roll with the Punches