You want to order what?

anything to lose weightIt’s Food Friday, but no food today.  I wanted to share an interesting conversation I had with the hubs last night about supplements.

So, we’re sitting there watching “Hannibal”-great series if you’re into gory deaths, hallucinations, and dark imagery, and the ubiquitous Dr. Hannibal Lecter-and the hubs says, “Hey Pause it for a minute, I want to show you this stuff I think I should get.”  After expelling a long suffering sigh (I hate for my shows to be interrupted by chatter), he shows me his iPad, which is open to this page touting some “miracle” muscle building pills.  I give the article a readthrough, then open a browser window so I can see if I can find more information about this stuff.  I’m not surprised that most of the links that I find are more “testimonials aimed at selling more of this product.

But the hubs was all excited about it and keeps asking if I think he should get it, and wouldn’t it be awesome if he got all ripped like that, etc, etc.  Finally I look at him and ask if he wants my honest opinion.  He hesitates (because he knows my answer is not just no, but hells no-LOL), but then says yes, he wants to know what I think about it.  I tell him that he doesn’t need any pills or muscle-building supplements to get ripped.  If he would lay off his 3 scoops of ice cream nearly every night (!), the copious amounts of beer he’s been drinking lately, not sit around eating out of the bag of trail mix, crackers, chips, etc, and stuck to a exercise program, he would build muscle and burn the fat.

I showed him pictures of Tom Venuto, who wrote the ebook “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”-excellent read, great information, BTW.  He is a natural body builder, meaning he doesn’t take any enhancement drugs to be totally ripped.  He trains hard, and he gets results.  I told the hubs if Tom could do it, so could he.  I also pointed out that he would look like a total freak if he had too much muscle because he’s short, and that he should focus on building a lean and flexible physique, not a bulky one at any rate because I didn’t think I could love a man whose boobs were bigger than mine.  I think it was the last comment that swayed him.

There is NO substitute for exercise and eating right.  I don’t have a problem with using protein powders or drinking Shakeology, because while technically they ‘are’ supplements, they don’t do anything but add calories, protein, and minerals and vitamins to your daily diet.  You don’t know the long term effects of using metabolic “enhancing” supplements, especially ones that label themselves as an “steroid alternative”.  As part of the microwave generation, we all want quick results and yeah, I would love to be able to lose 30 lbs in 30 days.  But the reality is that shit is just going to come back.  I feel any advertisement you see that claims you can lose a ton of weight without exercising is a crock.  Sure, I guess it’s possible, but what exactly are you losing? And once you stop taking those precious little pills, how long before you put that weight back on?

The hubs looks at me, and says, “So, I shouldn’t get this?”  I just look at him until he huffs out a breath and says, “Fine. I guess you’re right.”

I pushed Play.

What do you think about all these ads for “steroid alternatives” and “lose weight without exercise”?

 

A Tale of Two Women

It’s Whiny Wednesday.  Fair warning:  I do have a need to talk about something (someone) and this tale is sure to be loaded with snark with a few dashes of vitriol for good measure.  So, if you don’t want to read any further, it won’t hurt my feelings.  However, if you’re in the mood for some head shaking, guffaws, and drama, read on.

body imageThere are two women, Ethel and Maude, who are related by marriage.  They each have their own little lives, and their own families to deal with.  You would think that they might be good friends, but no.  Maude can’t really stand Ethel because of a variety of reasons, mostly because Maude thinks Ethel is a dumbass.  At first, Maude wondered if her dislike of Ethel was misplaced, since Ethel is skinny and sort of has the body Maude would like to have.  But Maude’s husband has said if she ever lost that much weight, he’d divorce her because he doesn’t want to have sex with a skeleton.  Maude thought that was pretty funny, but after spending more time around her, she’s decided the dislike is rooted in the stupidity of the other.

Ethel is stick thin, and her bone structure is small.  Maude, in all reality, could never be that thin without looking like an anorexic, and she knows it and has determined that she doesn’t want to be skinny anyway  She wants to be strong and fit, something Ethel in all her skinny glory, isn’t.  Over the last months, Ethel has started complaining about her body because she’s gained weight since she moved to the area, developing a nice pair of saddlebags (which you can totally see because she’s always wearing leggings) and a bit of a belly (big enough now it looks like she had to lay down to zip her jeans).  She even has a pair she keeps wearing that she can’t button, and then wears a little shirt that shows a little belly (and her undone jeans).  She thinks she’s so sexy, but it’s just sad.  She likes to make like she’s a supermodel if you see her pics on FB.

She knew Maude exercised at home, so asked if she had any old DVDs she could have so she could get in shape.  So Maude, being the nice gal she is, gave her 2 of her older DVDs that she didn’t use.  For all her complaining about wanting to get in shape, Ethel has only used the DVDs once.  Another time, she also went for a little run-1/4 mile and used her husband’s weights. And a time after that, she went for a little walk (4 miles).  These events occurred weeks apart from each other, after which she spent the rest of that week complaining about how sore she was from her exercise.  Maude just shrugged, because she knows how it is when you start a new workout, in shape or not.  Ethel thinks she’s healthy and fit because she’s not overweight, so doesn’t get that she isn’t healthy at all because weight is only one indicator of fitness.  She thinks she’s in such great shape, but Maude could probably toss her across the room without breaking a sweat.  Maude may be fat, but she’s strong as hell.

But you can’t talk to Ethel and explain these things, because despite a lack of education, she thinks she knows everything.  Like how Nutella and fried potatoes are essential food groups, and skinny means she’s healthy.   Seeing Ethel and hearing her complain about her body, yet does nothing about it only annoys Maude these days, and it just pisses Maude off to no end that Ethel is determined to make her kid just like her, by saying things like, “oh, you don’t like to eat that” just because Ethel doesn’t like it.   Just like doing all sorts of things for Ethel and her family annoys Maude because whatever they gave, it wasn’t good enough, what they wanted, or they wanted more.  Ethel pesters their mother-in-law to ask Maude for things or information, but Maude doesn’t have time for such ignorance or these annoyances because she’s on a mission.   Oh, she still does what she can (family’s family and all that), and tries to do it with a gracious heart, but still gets annoyed to have to be doing anything at all for that lot of ingrates.

See, Maude has spent most of her life overweight and out of shape and the last couple of years complaining about it.  She spent some time blaming her husband (his snacking), her kids (no time), and genetics (family is overweight too).  She spent probably too much time in negative self-reflection, wondering why she could never lose weight, and why she was a failure.  Recently, she realized she was doing waaaaay too much complaining and beating herself up for past failures and not nearly enough DOING.  So, she decided she’d had enough of making excuses and rationalizing her shortcomings away.  In short, she decided to quit bitching, because no one else was going to be living her life but her, and if she wanted to have a good one, she’d better “git-to-gittin'”.  So, she put on her big girl pants and decided to make her own destiny instead of waiting for someone else to give it to her, unlike Ethel, who didn’t want to learn about her new home (hers was so much better), learn the language (she hasn’t bothered, other than a few phrases), and expected her in-laws to help her find a job (which they did, and then regretted it when she acted like she was too good to work there).

Maude doesn’t think she’s better than Ethel, but she knows damn well she’s smarter and more determined.  Smarter being the sticking point-Maude knows that the random efforts Ethel makes toward fitness are not going to get her in “bikini-ready” shape.  Maude knows that to make it with anything-whether it is making a new life, or transforming the one you have-you have to want it, and you have to work hard for it.  Maude struggles with the slow pace of her weight loss, but knows the number on the scale is not the be-all-end-all of her journey to fitness.  She’s keeping her eye on the prize, because with every workout, she feels how much stronger she is getting.  She feels how rock hard her thighs are getting, and sees how her butt is looking more and more awesome with every set of lunges and squats.  She admits to flexing her biceps in the mirror to see those proud little bumps she never had before.

Whether it was more money, more fitness, more time, more things, Maude often dragged herself down thinking about what she didn’t have.  But realizing her wanting never got her anything but more heartache, she’s changed the way she thinks.  Maude now likes to keep her focus on what she wants and HOW she’s going to get it, instead of WHY she doesn’t have it.  Maude looks at Ethel, and sees a shadow of her old, unhappy self, who often wondered why she didn’t have “it”, whatever it may have been.  Ethel only sees what she doesn’t have and WHY she doesn’t have it and who’s to blame for the lack.  Oddly enough, she’s never the one at fault.

I can already see who’s going to get their “Happily Ever After” 😉

It’s Monday-again

Funny how that just keeps happening, isn’t it?  It’s Motivation Monday and I wanted to throw out a quick blurb out there to everyone.  I am hitting it hardcore with the final packing this week before the movers come.  You know, they have all those pesky rules about what they will and will not ship.  Of course, that just makes it harder on those of us who are trying to leave town with little more than a few changes of clothes.

I found some time to do some research last week about staying fit while traveling.  You know, like tips to help me eat healthier, workouts I can do in a hotel gym or in my room.  I’ll share what I’ve learned later this week.  Also, I’ll be keeping in touch during our travels with shorter entries over the coming weeks.  Next week is going to be a doozy and I’ll be busy “supervising” the packers.  You know, like making sure they don’t pack the trashcans with garbage in them.  Don’t laugh.  It’s happened.

So, I’m leaving you today with this little gem I found online from Nike.  Gotta love their marketing department.  They have a way of making me want to get up and go for a nice long run a la Forrest Gump.  Well, I’ve spoken about greatness before, about feeling great, and being great, and making yourself great, but this really sums it all up nicely.  Have a wonderful day and don’t let ‘you’ keep you from finding your own greatness.  We all have it in us.

nike greatness

Tempus Fugit

Time flies, and man does it.  I apologize for my absence over the last 2 weeks.  I realized about that time that Holy Shit, we are moving in a matter of weeks, not months.  So, that of course got the whole pre-move hullabaloo rolling to its inevitable conclusion.  We are now looking at a short and hairy 2.5 weeks before the packers descend and all of our worldly goods get loaded up into a big ass truck to be taken to the other side of the country.  I signed up for this life, vicariously now, but nonetheless, while I dread moving, I also kinda like it because it gives me a chance to get rid of the crap you accumulate over the years.

dali clockI have, so far, taken 2 car loads of stuff to Goodwill, some of it my “fat” clothes.  Can you believe I was able to cull out 20 freakin t-shirts from my current wardrobe?  20!  And I probably still have another 20 left to wear.  Sad, and yet oddly amusing.  I got rid of all my jeans that I can pull down without unbuttoning, and other shirts that are too big for me.  I even delved into the boxes of my smaller clothes to see if anything fit.  Nothing did, but it’s oh so close.  I did find a pair of jeans in one size smaller that make my butt look awesome, though.  And it was good to see how many clothes I’m just that much closer to wearing again.  I know I won’t have to drop a bundle on a new wardrobe when I lose a little more weight.

Officially, I’m right at my dreaded 15lb mark. That particular point I have not been able to get past for whatever reason.  I have been trying to remember what I’ve done that keeps me there before I start gaining back.  I can’t think of it, but I highly suspect that it’s something to do with a combination of things.  One being I lost weight and “cheated” my way through it, so I don’t need to be so strict with my food.  Two being I get busy and forget what I’m all about.  And I’m guessing that not setting specific goals about what I want and how I plan on getting it have something to do with it as well.  Of course, these are just a few things that I’ve considered.  I’m sure there are tons of other reasons, which at the time, seem perfectly reasonable and true, but when I think back on just the few that I already mentioned, I am filled with a sort of mild disgust with myself.

It’s just so easy to rationalize bad behavior away.  I’m trying not to do that.  Doesn’t help when I don’t make time to exercise, yet, don’t feel overly guilty about running down to KFC because I don’t feel like cooking dinner.  Doesn’t help that I had a flare up of plantar fasciitis last week that pretty much killed any urge to exercise.  That pissed me off-how can I do my squats or go for our walks when I can barely hobble around in the kitchen to cook?  And then, the hubs was no help-I got the impression he thought I was making excuses for skipping our walk and not working out.  Well, fuck him.  It hurt like hell, but I can only blame myself as I wore flip flops for most of the weekend instead of regular shoes.

Heel’s all better now.  Nothing that wearing proper shoes didn’t fix over about 5 days, and I was able to go run at the end of the week, so that made me feel good too.  Now, I am trying to put together my plan to keep exercising while we are on the road visiting family and heading to our future place of residence.  I’m worried about the effects of being on the road all day will have on my diet, not to mention I’m apprehensive about visiting my family and the food choices that will be there.  I hope by planning ahead with my exercise and keeping the majority of my meals light, I can avoid at least gaining weight on the trip.

Secretly, I want to lose enough weight so I can fit into my smaller clothes as soon as I get there.  I can’t tell if I think actually making such a goal would be incredibly unrealistic or if it’s merely difficult, but possible.  Either way, the clock is counting down, and I’m feeling the crushing press of time as ours draws to a close in this place.  We’ll be on the road for about 2 weeks before we reach our final destination, and I can only hope that I’ve prepared myself enough mentally and planned enough physically so I don’t arrive back at my starting point.

 

Harmony in My Head

Good Motivation Monday to you all!  The other day I was reflecting on how, a lot of times when I wake up,  I have a bit of song playing in my head.  I used to wonder if I was crazy because it’s not something people talk about, and by the time I’m brushing my teeth, I’ve forgotten what it was.   But in that half-twilight between sleep and awake, I find myself playing a little ditty in my head, sometimes an old favorite, sometimes something new.

I love listening to music.  Mostly, I just tune in to the radio, but when I’m exercising, I like the hard, driving beats stored on my iPod.  I haven’t quite caught on to the whole iTunes and I’m terrible about ripping my CDs to my computer, which means I don’t have very much new music, and what I do have on there is pretty old. I’ve been listening to the same playlist for over 10 years now, but a good song never goes out of style.  I favor techno beats above all else, but there’s some rap and rock mixed in there too.  What makes it even better is that the songs I listen to on a run or in the gym are not songs that you hear on the radio, so when they queue up on my playlist, it’s like a little visit from an old friend.

music is my fuelSometimes, a song might come on that’s not what I need right then.  Maybe the beat is too slow, or the lyrics are not what I want to hear, cuz, you know, I’m not really feeling Taylor Swift’s “Today is a Fairytale” when I’m trying to get my cardio on.  Those are the times when I start fumbling with the iPod trying to find something else.  Something that keeps me going, pushes me to the end of the set or interval.  There’s just something to be said about the right song that motivates me to finish strong, that finds the little extra fuel I need to get to the end.  I especially need this when I’m running.

When the hubs and I go for our walks, we don’t listen to our music since we spend most of the time talking.  Well, I can’t speak for him, but I spend most of my time gasping out half sentences between steps and grunting in acknowledgement or dissent as we make our way on the route.  Sometimes, especially when we hit the hills (all up, natch), I wish I had my tunes to keep me going when my shins start burning and I want to slow down.  The hubs, who is in better shape than me, just trucks right on up, leaving me in the dust.   Gah, sometimes, I wish he’d get nicked by a car on one of the blind corners!  He’s nice enough to wait for me at the top of the last hill, bastard that he is.

In appreciation for those things that motivate us to keep going even when we think we don’t have the juice,  I thought I’d share with you 10 of my favoritist tracks from my meager collection, in no particular order.  Have a good Monday, and an excellent start to the week.

Song Artist
1 Sabotage The Beastie Boys
2 Lose Yourself Eminem
3 Spice Eon
4 Busy Child The Crystal Method
5 Millionaire Queens of the Stone Age
6 Feuer Frei Rammstein
7 Get Free The Vines
8 Lust for Life Iggy Pop
9 We Have Explosive The Future Sound of London
10 Kernkraft 400 Zombie Nation

Don’t Look Down!

Hello, Motivation Monday!  It’s time to rock and roll, shake the cobwebs out, and get moving and a groovin’.

new way to beThe weekend was fraught with peril-it was the hubs’ big 4-0, and Orthodox Easter (Kalo Pascha! to any other Orthodox out there).  Next weekend will be another whopper: our anniversary and Mother’s Day.  Will the insanity ever end?  Yes.  Yes it will.  Things are SOOOOO much less stressful since I’ve given up on the “all-or-nothing” attitude.  It helps me to put things in perspective, reminding me that a half slice of the hubs’ b-day cheesecake was not going to break the calorie bank, or undo all my hard work.

Of course, if I ate like I did last night, I would, but that’s the beauty of special occasions.  They are called so because they aren’t everyday occasions.  A big part of changing my life has been about changing how I think and react to things.  In the past I might have denied myself the cake.  Or I would have had it and then felt tremendous guilt.

These days, I like to redirect my mental energy into positively programming my subconscious.  Instead of focusing on what I want to avoid, I focus on what I want to achieve.  You know how you might be climbing to some precarious height, and someone else yells, “Don’t look down!”, and of course, the only thing you want to do is look down?  This is the same concept.  For me, this revolves mostly around food, but sometimes  around my workouts too.

For instance, I haven’t worked out yet today.  I feel bad about it, but I haven’t yet done anything about it.  However, when I was reading up for today’s entry, I realized that I’m the one holding myself back.  I have had rather dismal results in the weight loss department (I’ll post updates tomorrow), but I have lost significant inches in my hips and waist.  But instead of focusing on the improvements, I have unfortunately focused on the number on the scale.  So, in my head, I’m telling myself that I’ll never get where I want to be.  And of course, what is the outward result of that?  I ain’t done shit today!

I’ve determined I need to focus and shower myself with positive affirmations consistently.  I know, it sounds stupid, and my inner pessimistic cynic is sneering in mockery.  But here’s the truth:  if you’re already telling yourself that it’s not worth it, then it won’t be, whatever it might be.  Believing that positive thinking doesn’t work becomes a self-fulfilling negative affirmation.  You can’t think yourself thin, but you can change the way you think to make your fitness and weight loss goals totally achievable.

If I’m just sowing weeds with my negative thoughts, I’ll never see my goals achieved.  I have spoken before about changing my inner monologue, but like a lot of things, this is something I need to practice everyday.  And I have been neglecting that part of my growth.  Sometimes, I feel like I’m trying to juggle a toddler, a baby grand, a medium hippo, and 3 camouflaged balls, trying to keep up with all the things I need to do on the outside, I forget to work on the inside stuff at the same time.

So, instead of the voice in my head so insidiously whispering that I’m not going to workout today, so why did I bother with the sports bra? I’m whispering back to it that I’ll be working out when I get home from picking up my son from school.  That I will make time for anything I’m committed to.  That I love working out.  That the scale may not be budging, but my muscles are growing stronger.  That I am the only one responsible for my results.  To quit bitching and get fit.

Instead of telling myself not to look down, I’m going to tell myself to look up, and ahead.

 

Food is Fuel. Choose Wisely.

This Food Friday, I want to remind everyone to be conscious of what you are putting in your body.  The weekends are usually the time when I sort of just let it all go, and eat whatever, and then struggle to undo the damage over the next week. Which of course, then ends in another weekend where anything goes.  Breaking the cycle is tough, and yes, sometimes it sucks, but if I want to reach my goals, I have to be totally committed to the change, because this isn’t a diet.  It’s a lifestyle.

I saw a Facebook post from a friend who is also a Beachbody coach, and he was talking about how he had just bought a box of Hamburger Helper and a package of oreos.  He was talking about how he and his wife used to eat stuff like that twice a week because it’s quick and easy, and of course it tastes good.  Or, at least it used to.  After having cleaned up their diets and lost weight, they found that the Hamburger Helper was not as good as they remembered it.  Way too salty, and just generally nasty.  They ended up not finishing it.  The oreos, he claimed were just as good as he remembered, but they ended up throwing that out too.

work hard in the gymThe other day, we had pizza from Domino’s.  And guess what?  Same reaction.  Pepperoni pizza and I could taste the fat in the meat!  So gross.  And it was soooo salty!  We used to have pizza all the time.  That night, I managed 2 pieces before I just couldn’t take it anymore.  Anyway, Robbie’s post got me thinking about how we used to eat. We were a box dinner family, too.  I also used to buy those frozen chicken patties and put it on a bun.  I was also a HUGE fan of Stouffer’s French bread pizzas.  God, I can almost taste them!  And those Tostino’s party pizzas?  We would eat 1.5 of those-each! We also ate out frequently: fast food at least 2xs a week, and dinner at a restaurant every weekend.

Wow.  When I think about the way we used to eat, it actually makes my stomach turn.  It took me a while to think about all the trash we used to eat on a daily basis.  I’ve been slowly changing our diet, learning to cook (and well!), and making smarter choices at the grocery store.  I generally stick to the perimeter of the store, and only go down the aisles I need something from.  Of course, I still end up at the check out with items that wouldn’t get past the food police.

However, as my picture suggests, I have busted my ass in the past, trying to lose weight, get in shape, etc, but I always failed, and the reason always boiled down to a bad diet.  Previously, it was starvation.  Now, it’s a certain overly liberal slackening of the food.  I noticed the other day that I have not been eating as clean as I was, or even should.  Too many snacks and other stuff I just don’t need, and it’s interfering with my results.  Honestly, I have not been as strict with myself since I finished the 6-Day Express.  And that’s terrible.  When I saw this meme on my Facebook today, I realized I have not been paying attention to what I’ve been putting in my body.  In short, I have not been choosing wisely.

So, now it boils down to:

1.  I have 6 weeks before we move, and I’ll be seeing my family en route.

2. I want to lose at least 10 lbs before then.

3. I’d like to wear my wedding rings by the time we leave.

And, the plan for that starts with:

1. Tracking my food and exercise.

2. Planning ahead.

That’s it in a nutshell.  Do you find yourself making poor food choices, even though you are busting ass working out?  What do you do about it?  Sometimes, I just need to see something that gives me an “A-ha” moment, and I’m good.  This week it was a blueberry meme.  Next week, who knows?  The only thing to do is to make better choices and keep moving forward.