Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Clash of the Thigh-tans

Thighs.  A gift or a curse?  I'll lean towards curse.

How do some women have that neat little space between their thighs when standing with their feet together?  No damn fair.  Even when I played sports 5-6 days a week year-round, I never had that.  Nope, instead I get to wear through pants in the thigh area.  What can I say, I am a lucky girl!

I go to the gym and do mostly cardio, but I have been slowly incorporating more and more strength training. I know cardio is to eliminate fat all over and strength training is to build muscle that tones and ultimately that burns more fat.  I understand the equation.  So why does the equation seem to come out with a different answer for each person?  Damn genetics.

I cannot tell you how many times I have been on the elliptical and worried that my pace was too fast.  How so, you ask?  Because I was worried the friction of my thighs rubbing together was going to start a fire.  I guess that's one way to "feel the burn."

And how about those cute little shorts some girls wear?  HA.  My thighs are hungry people.  They literally eat my shorts. (Thank you Bart Simpson) I'm talking about that annoying, embarrassing creeping up that the shorts do in the crotch region.  As if people can't see that my legs are curvy, my shorts manage to add an exclamation point.  The alternative is board shorts or walking shorts.  Not a good look on a woman with what I have been repeatedly told are 'child-bearing hips.'  Oh yeah.  Men say that.

No matter the size and shape, the jiggle and wiggle, or the fact that I fondly refer to them as my "wobbly bits," my thighs are mine.  Forever.  And they're taking me places.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Life gets in the way...

Working two jobs, going to school, maintaining and fixing a 102 year old house, writing a blog, spending time with family, cuddling my two dogs and boyfriend, trying to muster up the energy to have a social life...  that's my crazy life in a nutshell.

All of these things are seriously getting in the way of me trying to lose weight.  Fitting in exercise is not as easy as it sounds for most of us.  I am really trying to get to the gym three or four times a week, but right now it just isn't happening.  I have even started doing my readings and highlighting them while on the elliptical.  For those of you who haven't tried it- it ain't easy.  My fellow gym rats chuckle at me on a regular basis.

Take for instance THIS week.  It is midterm week. On top of the short answer/essay exam, I also have to study for a quiz.  For the same class.  Who has a professor who schedules two tests in one week??  This girl.  I have figured out that I have spent almost 18 hours studying this last week and I haven't even taken the damn exam yet.

The stress from all of this is also causing me to stress-eat and I am doing a mighty fine job of justifying it to myself.  Yes, I splurged on chicken nuggets from McDonald's.  They take me back to the good ol' days before the responsibilities of real grown-up life kicked in.

My solution to the time-crunch dilemma?  Suck it up.  Keep trying.  Things could be worse.  So off I go...  to finish working my 18-hour day.  To try and sneak in some sleep.  To drag my butt to the gym two more times this week.  I may not be losing tons of weight, but I'm keeping my head above water.  And right now, that's something to celebrate!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Christina Aguilera is FAT!?!?

In what world is Christina Aguilera fat!?!?  True, she is a curvy woman now and not stick thin.  What of it?  She is a beautiful and talented woman on a major TV show.  Yet that isn't enough?

Why is it that society is so concerned with weight?  I know I think about it every minute of every day.  Sad, but true.  I try my best not to focus on it, but let's be honest- it's a major part of our culture and that's why weight is what this blog focuses on.  I chose this topic because it seems to affect my friends and family constantly.  Usually in a negative way.  I wanted this blog to be a positive thing for people to read, and laugh about, and have a place to say what we are really thinking.

I have rolls.  Ugh.  I still can't believe I typed that.  In the vein of being honest, there is the unvarnished truth.  Now, I don't see any rolls on Christina.  She has been quoted as saying, "I told them during this Lotus recording, 'You are working with a fat girl. Know it now and get over it,'" she said. "My body can't put anyone in jeopardy of not making money anymore -- my body is just not on the table that way anymore."

How sad that it ever WAS on the table like that.  Everywhere we see people saying 'Embrace your originality and your body type' in one breath and 'Woah there, fatty. That outfit was not meant for you' in the next.

Here's what it boils down to for me.  Be yourself.  Go ahead and strive to be a better version of yourself, but don't hold yourself to Hollywood's standards, even Christina Aguilera isn't doing that anymore.  You will just be setting yourself up for disappointment.

And try to keep in mind, these 'stars' have the luxury of personal trainers, nutritionists, personal chefs and cosmetic surgery.  And that lusted-after advantage of air-brushing.  Chin up.  You rock just the way you are.  Rolls and all.

Friday, September 28, 2012

New Shoes!

What is it about a new pair of shoes that gets a girl's heart racing? Truthfully, I have no idea what the science is behind it. True, obsessive shoe buying is a stereotype, but that doesn't make it any less true. That's the thing about stereotypes ... at some point before all of the exaggerations and jokes it was based on someone's version of the truth.

As a treat to myself and to replace my beloved pair of tennies that I wore through TWO Dirty Girl Mud Runs and then donated, today I bought a new pair.

I have joked a time or two in this blog about trying to look your best at the gym when after a good sweat session people often look like they ran through a sprinkler. As it should be! However, there is something to wanting a new, fancy pair of kicks.

I hope my slick new tennies will also serve as motivation to get back to the gym more often. Here's hoping!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

School Lunch Commotion

Have you all read the article at about the students who are boycotting school lunches?

I tend to agree with some of the regulations on school lunches and making them healthier.  HOWEVER-- telling a student how many calories they can take in at one meal seems extreme.  No doubt, childhood obesity is a problem in our country.  BUT, I think the solution lies at home and in programs like Play60 where parents should make sure that their kids get in at least 60 minutes of active play a day.  Now that seems like an idea.

Granted, no cookie-cutter solution works for everyone.  If it did, we would have no need for personal trainers and nutritionists to make "get healthy" plans customized for each of their clients.  I'd be willing to bet those professions are still booming even in these tough economic times because people are always striving to be skinnier, healthier, more... something.

Please keep in mind that I am not yet a parent although I hope to be one someday.  When the time comes, I  think that it should be my choice as to how many calories my kids can have.  Absolutely,  there should be more healthy options available.  Certainly, there should be a limit to the amount of junk food offered to school children in a school cafeteria.  At some point, don't we have to trust our kids to start making healthier choices on their own?

By the way, no one is forcing these kids to eat school lunches.  They are merely an OPTION.  These kids can bring lunch from home every day. And that is exactly what they are doing in this boycott.  I think that this is actually the best outcome we could have hoped for.  Now their parents can see and help choose what they get to eat for lunch.

My suggestion to fix all of this conflict surrounding a school lunch is this:  do what they did when I went to school.  Each student gets a calendar showing the "Hot School Lunch" option for each day.  If they don't like it- they have to take a lunch.  Period.  That may mean some kids with food allergies have to take their lunch to school every day- but wouldn't that be safer anyway?

Kids are spoiled.  I miss the days of "eat what's on your plate, or go hungry."  Don't you?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Guilt Trippin'

My grandmother decided to impart some of her invaluable wisdom to me recently.  She said, "Guilt trips are a waste of time."  So true!  So why can I not shake them?

I think almost all of us (ladies in particular) fall into the category of beating ourselves up too much, too often.  Mistakes are just that- mistakes.  We shouldn't spend more time dwelling on them than it takes to learn from them.  Then we should move on.  Easier said than done, I know.

For instance, last night I couldn't stop myself from indulging in a late night snack of chips and salsa.  YUM.  But I had been so good all say, I felt guilty for letting a craving dive-bomb my otherwise calorie successful day!  I could have said no, sure.  Sometimes it just isn't that easy. To determine whether the 'indulgence' is worth it, what I have started comparing is simply this:  Is the guilt I'll feel after eating this worth it?

No, I don't always sit down and analyze it like that, but I am trying.  I know me, and guilt will never leave me entirely.  I'm just not built that way.  Chances are, I will continue to scold myself for grabbing that fistful of Cheez-Its or when I catch myself drooling in line at Walgreens over the PayDay candy bar I haven't let myself have in years.  Oh yea, that happens.

I tell myself that I shouldn't want these things; they are BAD for me!  But I still want them.

So, now I have a new goal.  I want to learn how to live with myself after my inevitable slip-ups.  Forgiving myself for being human isn't as easy as it sounds.  However, I think as I rant against my weaknesses and lack of willpower vehemently in my head, at least now there will be another voice.  One saying, "Yea, maybe eating that entire pizza wasn't a good idea, but..."  Or, "Really, Heidi?  How many S'mores does one adult need in one sitting, but...?"

But after the chastising, that new, more positive voice will tell me that all I can do is make a better choice next time.  Tomorrow is another day.  This is not a quickflash diet we are talking about, but a war waged over a lifetime.  So, I'll live to fight another day.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Best Intentions

How does the old saying go?  "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."  I'd say that applies to the road to chubby too.

For instance, yesterday I packed my gym bag and even changed into my gym clothes before leaving my family dinner that always happens on Tuesday nights.  (As a side note, I highly recommend seeing family at least once a week to gain perspective on yourself and life in general.)  I find that if I am already dressed for the gym, I run out of excises not to go more quickly.  As I drove up to the freeway exit to my gym, I found that it was CLOSED!  Derailed again!  No fear, I told myself.  How hard can it be to find an alternative route?  Harder than you think when not only my exit was closed, but the entire road that my gym is on was shut down.  I drove around and around for almost 45 minutes before conceding defeat.  Nothing I could do would get me there.

Sick of the metaphorical and in this case, literal roadblocks in my weight loss quest, I grumbled the rest of the way home.  I thought of popping in my Turbo Jam DVD and dancing my butt off (literally, I hoped) but remembered the precious 4 month old mini-dachshund pup, Chili, that just moved into my family a week and a half ago.  No doubt with my recent string of luck, I'd stomp on her and break her long, gorgeous little back.  GRRR.

Instead, I settled for taking both of my beautiful dogs for a walk.  Although I felt like a puppeteer and managed to walk past two apartment complexes in which the occupants were having contests fit for a bachelorette in a strip club (WINK, WINK), I really enjoyed watching my crazy canines interact with each other as we clomped along the sidewalk.  Claire (our black lab and star hunter) walked slower to accommodate Chili's tiny legs and Chili learned to sit better and cooperate more by following Claire's every move with fascination.  It was a heart warming dance to be a party to.

Was this the sweat-drenched, calorie-torching workout I had in mind?  Not even close.  But I had a lot more fun this way.  Still, I definitely need to get back in the groove of hard workouts ASAP.  In the meantime, I have been managing to keep my weight steady with a stricter diet.  I'll pat myself on the back for that accomplishment because summer is all about parties, tailgates and the accompanying party food.  All things that I love.  I find myself learning moderation.  Slowly but surely.

My good intentions may not me propelling me forward at a breakneck speed as I'd like, but they are keeping my head above water.  And as I tread this water, I'll try to appreciate the summer moments while my beautiful pups swim circles around me and just BE GLAD.  Happy is more important than skinny.  And that's the truth.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Olympic Obsession

All right, I admit it- I'm hooked on the Olympics.  My DVR is fast filling up because I am foregoing my regular shows to watch the Olympics almost non-stop.  Truthfully, I am driving Andy nuts.  But that's just a bonus.  Seriously though, I only get this opportunity every 4 years!  I know that the Winter Olympics are only 2 years away, but the Summer Olympics inspire me more.

For instance, look at the women's sand volleyball team made up of Misty May Treanor and Kerry Walsh.  INCREDIBLE athletes and those bodies!  I am well aware that I cannot dedicate 8 hours a day to training like these ladies do- but they inspire me to try harder in the time I do have.  Can you imagine playing a difficult, physically demanding sport in a teenie-weenie bikini?  I sure can't!  And in front of the whole world to boot?  I'm feeling a little faint just thinking about it.

Truly, their dedication to their sport and being healthy is contagious.  They, along with other women athletes competing in the Olympics, have been in every magazine I subscribe to lately.  Each article makes me want to go to the gym- right now.  And that in itself is monumental.  I have even thought of posting a pic of Kerri Walsh on my refrigerator to inspire me every time I go looking for a snack, but let's be honest...  no matter how little or healthy I eat, no matter how much I work out, I will never match up to the 6'3" frame of a professional athlete.  Especially considering I'd have to grow a foot taller above and beyond the obvious training.

That being said, she inspires me to push myself.  All of the Olympians do.  Just look at what these gymnasts can do with their bodies~ I never cease to be amazed that the human body can bend and flip like that!  They are fearless!  I find myself sitting on my couch with Andy, mouth agape, saying more often than not, "WOAH!  Did you see that!?"  Incredible stuff.

Will I ever be an Olympic athlete?  Puh-lease.  Not only am I too old, but I don't have the raw talent required.  Nonetheless, I am choosing to let these feats of human strength drive me to work harder and try new exercises I might not have considered before.  I don't have the time to dedicate to perfecting a sport, but I can spend a little more time each week trying to improve myself.  The Olympics have taught me that with the right attitude, almost anything is possible.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Case of the Ex

Do you know what the only thing worse than trudging into the gym on a day where all you can think about is sleep is?  It's walking into the gym with your butt dragging, no makeup on, big old bags under your eyes and bumping into an EX.  Oy.

Now this ex of mine, who for the sake of this entry we'll call Winston* was not a long term relationship.  He was truly barely a blip on the radar that was my young love life.  However, he keeps turning up like a bad penny!!  The first few times I bumped into him was usually at a bar.  Then he'd ask if I'd like to go out with him again and I'd explain my long-term relationship status.  He eventually got the hint and luckily, he has stopped asking.  UNfortunately, he still wants to wander around the gym following me making small talk.  And it seemed that every time I'd turn around, there he'd be.

Of all the gyms in the world, he had to go and join mine.  I get that he now lives in the Port Washington area, but he's a musclehead so I thought maybe some other gym would suit him better.  Not so much.  Now, I am not truly bothered that it happens to be this particular ex that's a member of my gym...  it's just that an ex IS a member of my gym and a smile and a wave aren't enough to pacify him.  It doesn't help that we often seem to be there at the same time.  Selfish as it may be, I like my comfort-zone as judge-free and ex-free as possible.

Truthfully, I usually like bumping into people I know at the gym, as long as they are people (usually women) that I can chat up about what is working for them and what's not.  No way I'm going to ask an ex what his best advice for dropping a few pounds is.  And of course his first comment yesterday was "I haven't seen you here in a while.  Why's that?"  Big eyebrow raise to accompany said statement.  Go away Winston, I don't need you to judge me- I've done enough of that myself for the two of us.

My gym is a public place, no doubt.  I cannot and will not try to control who works out there.  Believe it or not, I do have a better grip on reality than that.

I did learn something last night the hard way:  The moral of this story is:   ALWAYS remember your headphones!  If you do happen to forget your iPod, just plug the cord into your waistband.   :)

*Names have been changed to protect myself from anyone knowing who that ex really is!  ;)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I love the idea of having a weight loss, exercise, or dieting mantra.  I have been in search of one that will work for me and remind me of what I am working towards in my times of weakness.  In my search, I have turned up a few that I really love and I'd like to share .  They are not ranked in any order except for the first one listed.  I am adopting it to keep my world a little more in focus.

-- Don't give up what you want most for what you want in the moment.

-- Admire what you have accomplished and bask in it.  The rest will come in time.

-- Every step counts.

-- Don't quite before trying.

-- If it was easy, everyone would do it.

-- What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

-- I am building the life I love.

-- Don't try- just do.

-- No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping the person laying on the couch.

-- Nothing changes is you change nothing.

All of them are good advice and I think I'll print them out and stick them to my fridge.  Or randomly on post-its all over my house.  And on the rearview mirror in my car.  And on my pantry.  You get the idea.

Do you have a mantra?  What works for you??

I do have one completely unrelated mantra that I have pasted to my desk to remind me of what life is about and that the only one responsible for me, is....  ME.  Words to live by:  "Make your own sunshine."

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Dreaded Slump

I'm in a slump.  I know it.  Just the idea of going to the gym just makes me want to hide- preferably under the covers with a good book and a bag of Oreo's.  And recently, I have let myself be indulgent if I'm being honest.  Well, sort of indulgent.  Shortly, I have house guests arriving and one of them has allergies, one of the worst of which is my cat.  Therefore, I have been cleaning like a madwoman (burning calories doing it, of course) and tearing out carpeting to help eliminate some of the fur.  So many things like washing cabinets and walls that often go undone in my household for long periods of time, are now done.  Certainly, I am no neat freak as anyone who knows me can attest to.  But people will be living  with me, not just visiting!  I thought some extra effort was in order.  Regardless, the house is far from perfect and it will remain that way.

All of this cleaning has conveniently allowed me to take time off from the gym.  The cleaning has to be done sometimes and right now, I am calling it 'prioritizing.'  True, I'm not melting into my couch with a tub of ice cream, but the calorie burn of housework is not nearly what it needs to be for me to make progress.  Thus continues my slump.

It seems that many of my friends that are on the journey to weight loss have hit a similar rough patch.  We all seem to be taking a step back, reevaluating what we are doing and starting again.  That's the point, right?  We have always been taught that when we get knocked down, it is time to get back up, dust ourselves off and start moving forward again.  That's my plan.  I haven't quite worked out the nitty gritty details.  Some plan, huh?

However, I figure the fact that I am now recognizing the slump for what it is, is that all-important first step.  Step two?  Get my ass movin'!  I'm going to shoot for working out a minimum of four times a week for now and see how that affects things.  Step three will be tweaking the diet. I hate this part most.  Food and I?  We're BFF's.  Food and my waistline?  Not on such good terms.  Luckily, I have learned to eat salad for lunch and keep the calorie count around 400, so I haven't gained much weight back, but I'd like to nip these sneaky couple of pounds in the bud before they call for reinforcements.

The Dreaded Slump seems to grab everyone at one time or another.  I'm not any different.  Now it's high time for me to get back up, brush the crumbs off my shirt, and start making my way to the gym again.  And I think that's a damn good start!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Surviving Vacation

I just got back from vacation.  Normally, that is no reason to celebrate!  But this time, I do have one thing to be proud of.  I only gained 2 lbs!

Sounds silly, right?  To me, it isn't.  I used to come home 10 lbs heavier than when I left.  Then again, in those days, it only took me a couple of weeks to lose it again.

This vacation was full of fishing, eating, drinking and relaxing~ so how did I not put on more lbs?  I think I have an idea.  I always scoff at those crazy articles in fitness and health magazines talking about finding a gym wherever you happen to be vacationing.  And I still say "Yeah right!"  This vacation, I just made a concerted effort to walk, climb stairs and not eat EVERYTHING on my plate.  I'm actually starting to get the hang of this 'stop eating when you are full' thing.  Sounds crazy, I know.

We took a hike around a gorgeous county park, there are 44 stairs going down to the lake that my family's cabin is on, and I have a very active dog.  Those things primarily are the only reason I think I survived this vacation with so little weight gain.  I'm sorry people, but there is no way I am not going to eat basically what I want on vacation.  I also get to indulge in a few extra beers.  That's the way I like to unwind.  Healthy?  Probably not.  But everyone deserves a break sometimes.  So I decided not to sweat it, but to make a few healthier, more active choices.  And it worked like a charm.  Chalk one up for the good guys!

Now, I do have to go through the trouble of losing those extra 2 lbs all over again, but trust me- a week's vacation was more than worth it!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

It's All In My Head

Sadly, my scale is still not moving as quickly as I had hoped.  So, I have decided to judge my progress by instead looking at my self-confidence instead.  I know, I know...  all women's magazines say to think about how you FEEL, not how you look.  It sounds cheesy and I used to roll my eyes until they almost fell out of my head at this advice.  Until I experienced it.  Weird, right?

For as long as I can remember, I have been growling at the jeans drawer in my dresser.  Still, I cannot bring myself to throw away some of my precious smaller sizes so that I can have a 'measure' of my success.  Not surprisingly, every time I fail to comfortably zip a pair of these 'goal' jeans, I pout and curse my slow progress.  I am now realizing that even though I'm not where I want to be yet, I am making real progress, if only in my head.

Just recently, I have been anxiously seeking women's sweatshirts and t-shirts.  I know that sounds like a 'what else would you be looking for?' kind of thing, but for me it's not.  I have forever worn men's sweatshirts.  Now, I want to find sweatshirts built for me.  A woman.  My shape isn't perfect.  I am curvy.  I'm still rockin' the pooch.  But I have earned this shape.  I go to the gym more often than not.  And that is something to celebrate!  I have succeeded in making a lifestyle change that I can live with.  And I will be exponentially healthier down the road because of it.  Chalk one up  for the good guys!

She wears short-shorts?  Dream on, Nair.  These legs were not meant for polite company!  Personally, I have always been of the mind that I would rather wear jeans than shorts.  More coverage means less worry about spilling out of the shorts in a sausage-casing exploding sort of way.  But now?  I'm too old for that nonsense!  I don't need to melt when it is 95 degrees out just because my vanity forbids a pair of shorts.  Besides... these legs have seen countless miles in the gym.  They are far from perfect, but they are strong.  True, they will never grace the pages of a magazine, but they have served me well and they deserve to be appreciated.

I never believed that "judge your progress by how you feel" craziness, but it's true.  I feel better about myself.  I can appreciate my body not just for how it looks, but for what it can do for me.  If you are not there yet, have faith.  You'll get there. Take it from a skeptic:  The magic is transforming not just your body, but your mind in the process.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


On second thought, don't.  If there is one place that I think is inappropriate for cat-calling, it is the gym.  (I am choosing not to include workplaces, etc for the sake of this discussion.)  

Just the other day, I was crankin' away on the elliptical when over the sound of my iPod I could hear whistling and hooting as a girl walked into the gym.  Granted, she was beautiful.  And as a matter of fact, she was scantily clad.  BUT!  The gym has become a safe place for me and a number of my friends.  Don't forget, I have even written about the crazy things I wear to the gym before.  I get to go to the gym without makeup or a care.  I don't go there to feel like I am walking into a dance club.  You don't get to judge me here.  Besides, I do a bang-up job of judging myself already.

Granted, I can be sensitive to these situations because, truthfully, I am insecure about the way I look.  That may well be part of the problem.  However, I still don't think guys should be shouting across the gym to get the attention of a pretty girl.  At least be kind enough not to interrupt our workouts too.

After this incident, I couldn't help but think of the Planet Fitness commercial where a conceited guy struts up to a girl who is just trying to get her workout in.  Even though she looks bored, he persists to ask the gym loudly, "Hey, did somebody lose a washboard?  Because I found one over here.  I'm just joking, it's my abs."  And he lifts his shirt up by strings at the sides that operate his shirt like a set of cheap blinds.  I laughed at this commercial!  I LOVE it!  But part of the humor lies in the truth behind it.  The Stiffler look-alike in this commercial exists everywhere.  He's annoying and never gets the picture when you gently blow him off and go back to your workout.  Such is life.

Thankfully, the gym has gone back to being my safe place.  But sometimes when I hear someone, man OR woman, hooting at someone in the gym, I can't help but cringe.  Don't get me wrong, meeting people at the gym is just fine!  I am merely suggesting that you actually go up and introduce yourself.  Don't scream across the room or machine-stalk them for an hour.  Sorry dude, but that's just creepy.  And it has happened to me.

So, I say...  The gym is my place to sweat.  This is my place to get dirty and not care that my hair is all jacked up and my face is beet red, even though I am surrounded on all sides by mirrors and plate glass windows.  This is where no one cares that I haven't showered yet today.  They care that I showed up, if they notice me at all.  And that's just the way I like it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Zumba is No Joke

I have now tried the somewhat new exercise craze, Zumba, twice.  Keep in mind that I am not the most coordinated person in the world, but I love to dance.  To the beat of my own drummer, of  course!

After reading one of my blog posts, a friend, S, suggested I join her for a night of Zumba.  Truthfully, I was nervous and unsure because I tend to trip over my own feet just walking down the sidewalk!  But after being assured that no one cares, I decided my work out routine gets a little drab, so I'd give it a shot.  After all, what did I have to lose?

I loved it!!  SO much fun and a killer workout at the same time!  Our instructor actually turns the lights off in the gym as well.  I'm not sure if that's so it feels more like a dance club, or so that those of us who can't manage many of the steps don't feel so silly, but I love it!!  The steps range from very complicated to beginner.  Another friend I dragged along just last night, T, said after the first song that it was already a better workout than another Zumba class she tried.  :)

We shook our groove things at a very fast pace to keep our heart rates up and laughed at ourselves when we couldn't quite get the hang of a series of moves.  It was a great time and a fabulous departure from my normal gym routine.  In fact, last Tuesday, after Zumba-ing till I dropped on Monday night, I found my elliptical and weight machine routine to be... well... boring!  I still plugged right along, but was secretly wishing that I could Zumba again.

In fact, I think I might make Monday night Zumba a part of my regular routine.  It doesn't hurt that our instructor  has a terrific figure and manages to make the moves look downright sexy!  I find myself wanting to work harder to do the moves just like her.  

If you haven't tried Zumba, I highly recommend it!  It's a blast!  And who thought a mere year ago that my girlfriend 'dates' would involve more exercise than beer and food!?  It's just one more happy, groovy, shimmying step towards a healthier lifestyle!

Monday, May 7, 2012

If at First You Don't Succeed...

TRY, TRY AGAIN!  We have all heard this saying.  What is most frustrating about it, is that it is so true.  Especially when it comes to losing weight.  For our health's sake, for our confidence sake, for our peace of mind.

And I find myself trying again more often than not.  This journey of mine has not been an easy one.  So many pitfalls, so little time.  I had put 5 pounds back on.  I was discouraged.  With the encouraging voices of my precious girlfriends ringing in my ears...  I picked myself up off of the couch and got back on that blasted elliptical.

I am in the process of trying to 'shock' my body into losing weight.  I am trying to switch up the workouts, but still get my calorie burn in.  Not easy when your gym doesn't offer classes.  That's ok.  I am thinking outside of the box and got a piece of advice from a friend that I'd like to share.  She said her trainer told her to simply "do one thing a week that makes you uncomfortable."  If you are not a runner- run.  If you hate the stationary bike- do it anyway.  And the rule of thumb he gave her was to give it 15 minutes.

Personally, I despise the gazelle-like ellipticals.  They hurt.  They make me feel like a gawky teenager again.  They make me think my coordination ranks right up there with most toddlers.  But I did it anyway.  And hated every second of it.  I cursed the gym, the world, my well-intentioned friend.  Until I got on the scale 2 weeks later.  I have lost those pesky 5 pounds I had put back on.

So it is now my mission to do some kind of exercise that I hate or that I would normally avoid because they make me uncomfortable.  I can do anything for 15 minutes a week.  And last week, i did a full program on the 'gazelle.'  28 horrible minutes.  But I was proud of myself for doing it.  And it's working...  so I'm pressing on, sista.  Are you up to the challenge??

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Real Hunger Games

I'm not sure if it's something that's going around... but most everyone I have talked to lately has had an insatiable appetite!  What is the deal?  Admittedly, I let me routine slide a bit.  But, I have been trying to get back into the habit of eating a healthy breakfast.  Normally, this is a real struggle for me, as I am rarely hungry in the mornings.  Well, that certainly isn't the problem any longer!  I'm hungry from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed!

Now, I try to make sure I am not eating all junk carbs or foods that are super fatty.  I eat a large apple or a breakfast bar with lots of fiber.  And I try to keep breakfast around 200 calories.  I never have a morning snack like some articles recommend, but today?  HAD to after my boss was looking at me all crazy as my stomach growled louder than the radio we have playing in the office.

I have tried that old myth, "drink more water; you are not hungry, not thirsty!"  Baloney!  I'm hungry, people!  Still, I try to drink as many fluids as I can to try to curb my appetite and my only reward seems to be trips to the little girls' room every hour on the hour.  Lucky me.

Am I the only one who feels like she's fighting a losing battle?  The more I work out, the more I want to eat.  The more I eat, the less I want to work out.  Have no fear- I'm not giving in that easily.  BUT I cannot help but feel a little discouraged!  All of this confusion has landed my slowly-improving, more-toned booty back on a plateau.

Do you have any suggestions on how to break loose?  Do I need to add more weight to my strength training? More reps?  Should I be varying what kind of cardio I am getting?  Now, that isn't easy when you go to a gym that doesn't offer any classes.  Right now I am looking to join my girlfriend every other week or so to Jazzercise the pounds away!  It worked for her- she looks incredible!  I am open to other suggestions too.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Have you seen this INSANITY program that they show on TV??

To put it simply, it looks, well... INSANE!  I guess that's the point.  However, they promise intense results in no time flat.  60 days or some such craziness.  As all infomercial workout programs do.  Yet I found myself comparing the price of purchasing the DVDs to the amount of money I pay for my gym membership.  The DVDs are cheaper (than a full year membership), but not by a lot.

On the other hand, I have finally worked hitting the gym into my regular routine. I am going 3-4x a week, every week.   Now I am afraid to break that newfound cycle.  Plus, am I really going to jump around like a crazy person in my living room?  The idea of a little privacy appeals to me, but then I remember that I do not live alone...  I'd probably trip over my dog, collapse on my cat, and Andy would be trying not to crack up watching my pathetic, uncoordinated attempts to keep up with the hot bodies on the TV.  Yea, probably not for me.

But the results........  -SIGH-    I know they probably are not the same for everyone.  And that you probably have to eat dry celery and carrot sticks washed down my some chunky homemade juice. Yeesh.  But those amazing results........

I cannot lie to myself.  I know these 'cleanse' type diets and rabid exercise programs won't work for me.  The fact of the matter is, I love beer.  I love the occasional cheeseburger.  I will never, ever, ever give up pasta and bread completely.  Even though all of the programs promise big results in two months, I don't want a fast fix.  Now don't get me wrong, I wish this process was speedier.  But I am looking for lasting change.  An entire lifestyle makeover.  I don't just want to look better, I want to feel better, I want to BE better.  And I want to be healthier.  I want to live a better life overall.

No, I am not going to lose weight as fast as someone trying the INSANITY program or the Adkins Diet, but I truly believe that my long-term plan will have healthier, longer lasting results.  Baby steps until I reach my goal and am where I need to be.

So, I may not have that killer beach body in 60 or 90 days, but I am determined to lower my cholesterol, lose a little body fat and whittle my waist.... over time.  Mark my words...  Slow and steady wins the race.

Or maybe, I just like that 'moral' because as most of you know, I happen to be a teensy bit fond of tortoises and turtles.  :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

"Schedule" It?

I am no fitness fanatic.  However, I read Fitness and Shape magazines every month. Most often, they motivate me!  I love their success stories from normal people (not celebrities who seem to have unlimited funds and time) and find them to be a real inspiration.  The one thing that drives me nuts though is the incessant advice to 'schedule' your workouts.  Maybe it is because I don't yet have children and their schedules to contend with.  But really?  I need to write it on a calendar?

People ask me a lot where I find the motivation to go to the gym 4+ times a week.  The truth of it is:  I just go.  I rarely feel like it, but I always feel better after I go.  It has become routine to me, like a third job even.  True, sometimes I have to bribe myself with a beer or chocolate.  Nothing wrong with a reward system!  If it works for my dog, why not me?  ;)

I recently read in one of those magazines that people meed to shoot for 150 minutes of exercise a week.  I think that is a great thing to keep in mind.  Not all of my workouts are a full hour long.  For instance, tonight, I have to continue writing a 10 page paper for school.  Therefore, I will try to get a good, sweaty 40 minutes in on the elliptical.  Then I can still get home, shower, and try to cram 3 additional hours into this school project.  If I get enough accomplished tonight, I will extend my workout tomorrow night to make up for the shortfall tonight.  Is this what they mean about 'scheduling' my time?

I am also trying to incorporate more active activities on the weekends.  They might not be considered a workout, like fishing, or puttering in the yard, but it's better than melting into my couch.  Sometimes, they are a workout, like pushing a field 9+ times while pheasant hunting with Andy and our beautiful, talented dog, Claire. Hiking uneven terrain for hours is a killer workout!  Still, often these are impromptu adventures, not something I pencil in.

Maybe I am lazy.  Maybe I am less than organized.  I just don't see writing my workouts on a calendar.

Does anyone schedule their workouts in?  Does it work for you?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Swimsuits = Torture Devices

In every magazine, store or ad we see the constant reminder that "Swimsuit Season is Drawing Near!  Are you Ready?"  Ummmm... NO, I'm not.  Is anyone really ready for that?  But thank you for the reminder that I need to invest in a longer swimsuit cover-up.

I long for the good old days when, as a child, I spent every waking moment at the Mequon Pool.  We were there so often, my parents even bought my brother, Bobby, and I season passes and mom sewed the cute little strawberry-looking patch that was our ticket in on each of our suits.  :)  Ahhhh... the good old days.  We were there every day.  I was so tan... so fit... and I only remember being a little self conscious when an older boy came up to talk to me.  We were too busy to care and reveling in the days where a boy punched a girl to let her know he liked her.  (Once, a boy gave me a fat lip!  Unfortunately for him, my big, bad, muscular, carpenter dad had just arrived to pick Bobby and I up.  Dad lifted said boy out of the pool by his head and gave him the what-for.  I admit-  I grin just thinking about it.)

Fun, beautiful memories!  Sadly, now when I think of going to the pool or a lake, all I can think is "How in the world do I cover all of this dimpled flesh up?!  I always intend to do it without anyone noticing how self-conscious I am and that's why I'm covered from shoulders to ankle.  I've occasionally tried to pass it off as being careful about UV exposure.  I don't think anyone bought the BS I was selling, as they well shouldn't have.

So tell me ladies, why are we all panicking over a little skin?  My theory is: There is no such thing as a LITTLE skin in a ladies bathing suit anymore!  Sure, we don't have to wear a two-piece, but if we don't, they cut the leg holes up to our armpits so we can still look sexy and "elongate our legs."  What I'd really like is for them to elongate the fabric they're using!  And how about the adorable suits with the skirts??  I love the IDEA of them...  but it seems that either I look like I'm trying to wear a 10 year old's suit or I'm a fashion-forward geriatric but look fabulous for my age!!!

On that note, I'd love to see some alternatives to these basic options.  In fact, I am looking for the equivalent of  mens' board shorts!  Seriously now, why do they get to wear baggy shorts and still strut around like they are alluring as hell?  No fair.  I told a friend once that I was going to wear a tank top and a pair of board shorts to the lake instead of my usual suit.  He looked appalled!

I also have one request for the department stores out there...  Could you please find some lighting to put in your dressing rooms that won't make me look like I am jaundiced or dying???  For the love of Pete!  I am sure that I would buy a lot more clothing if I didn't look so damn sickly in everything I try on in those torture chambers!  Luckily, I have a pair of Tiff's that go shopping with me and they manage to look past my sickly pallor and tell me what to buy!  Thank goodness they are there, or I swear I'd sink to the floor in tears of frustration half of the time!  (Thanks ladies!)

So NO, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Shape, Fitness and every other magazine out there...  I am NOT ready for swimsuit season.  I don't know that I ever will be.  Ever.  Just thinking about it makes my guts twist in fear.  And what it all boils down to is that FEAR.  It's gripping, punishing, and probably  unjustified.  Face my fear to rid myself of it?  Been there, done that.  Doesn't work for me.  But given a tempting enough invite...  I may just don my swimsuit this year...  And I promise to try to do it with my head held high!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

3 Snaps in "Z" Formation!

You have all seen the lady (or man) I'm about to talk about.  She's big, she's wearing next to nothing and she's loving every second of it.  She walks around like she's royalty and God's gift to the world!  Truthfully, people stare and I'm one of them.  Wondering what the hell she's thinking.... and secretly wishing I was more like her!!

Now, I don't mean that I want to strut around in public with my wobbly bits hanging out!  Sheesh.  I shudder at the thought!  What I do mean is that I envy her confidence.  To believe whole-heartedly that I am stunning no matter what the imbeciles around me think??  YES PLEASE!

Just imagine what each of us could accomplish without all of the baggage and doubts we are lugging along all the time! If I could set aside my insecurities for a month- oh, the extra time I'd have!  I think I could probably get a raise, ace my class, start a new business, make major strides at the gym and who knows what else!    I truly believe that my hang-ups are holding me back.  So shouldn't it be easy to shake it off and move on?  It should be.  Yet, not so much.

I don't have the answers to how to set the baggage aside- if i did, I'd be raking in the millions in self-help books!!  For now, I am choosing to try and find a way to downsize my insecurities from three luggage carts to maybe one.  :)  It's a lofty goal, I know.  But as I hit the gym more and pay more attention to how my body IS changing for the better instead of considering beating my scale to a pulp with a mini-sledge, I am slowly but surely shedding some of my issues.  Truthfully, I haven't stopped to evaluate how or why it is happening.  I am just pleased to be making progress.  Maybe it's the fact that as I age (gracefully, no doubt), I am gaining perspective.  Then again, maybe not.  For now, I am choosing to enjoy the small victory of not beating myself up over every flaw.

Despite my progress, strutting in 5 inch heels in a skirt that barely covers my naughty business and a tube top, I am NOT!  And fear not, my friends, I never will be.  But every time that girl sashays past me...  I think...  Damn, I wanna feel that good!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sneaky, Sneaky...

I have a confession to make.  I sneak food.  It isn't that hard.  Andy works nights and I am often home alone.  Andy is very lucky in that he doesn't have to worry about putting on weight (I want his metabolism!).  Therefore, all of his favorite (crazy fattening) foods are usually in the house.  Tostitos Salsa Con Queso, heavy cheeses, sausages, french onion dip, chips up the wazoo, etc.  Yet, he doesn't have a sweet tooth at all, which is both a blessing and a curse.  Let me explain.  My family loves to bake.  I've even heard them say that they bake when they are sad, bake when they are happy, bake when they are angry... And because they don't want to eat it all themselves, they often send sweet treats home with me.  I have been lucky enough to explain my weight loss quest to them and they have been incredibly understanding and have scaled back significantly.  However, whatever DOES arrive on my doorstep will not be eaten by Andy in my absence, so there it sits-- calling to me.

Certain times of the year are the hardest, with a focus on Christmas with the fifty varieties of cookies and Halloween since we love to hand out candy and see all the kiddies in their cute costumes!  I have stopped baking myself (since there is only me to eat it) and I try not to buy candy I love, but the temptation is always there, at every checkout, on every commercial.

Here is the ugly truth:  I hide food wrappers at the bottom of the garbage so that Andy will not see that I have fallen victim to my silly cravings.  I do dishes by hand and put them away before he sees that I have been indulging.  Pathetic?  Maybe.  A reality?  Yes.

Would Andy judge me for any of this indulgent behavior?  Definitely not.  He just wants me to be happy and healthy.  And I am truly blessed that I have a man like that in my life.  Still, I hide the evidence of my betrayal of my diet/healthy eating plan.  So who am I hiding it from?  Myself?  Possibly. I am not even sure when this little habit of mine started.  I just know it is impossible to resist.

I even roll my eyes at myself as I bury the wrappers or sneak a few chips while Andy is in the shower.  What is wrong with me??  And after I have crammed the 'forbidden' foods down my gullet, I still beat myself up about it.  No matter how hard I try to hide my dirty secret from Andy, I can't hide it from myself.  And it seems I judge myself the hardest.

Am I the only one sneaking behind my diet's back?  I know they say it is all about willpower, so where is mine?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Gym Guilt

Have you had those days where no matter what you do, you just cannot make it into the gym?  I did.  It happened even just last night.  If I miss a night where I should be at the gym, I then spend the next 24 hours flogging myself for not planning better.  Where does all of this come from?  Planning can help avoid a guilt trip, to a point...

For instance, yesterday,  I got a call from my parents that my late grandpa's house has finally sold!  They wanted to know if, in addition to the refrigerator I was already being given, if I would like the dresser set that my grandparents used in their bedroom.  It's a beautiful set, I'm very sentimental about furniture and so, of course, I jumped at the chance.  However, as my Dad was waiting for his help to show up later that day to load all of that furniture to take to my house, he got a call that some of his help wasn't going to show.  Even after Dad's protests, I decided to go and help since it is, after all, for me!  It took us about 1.5 hours, but we managed and even had some extra help.

After all of that, I was still due at my Grandma's for dinner with the family.  I arrived for dinner only an hour before I was supposed to be at the gym.  After a fabulous home-cooked meal, I helped clean up the table and then as requested, flipped my Grandma's mattress.  On top of all of this, my new niece was having a BAD day.  Poor little thing was screaming her fool head off.  I took her so that her mom and my brother could have a few minutes to themselves and eat.  To be completely honest, even if she screams the whole time, I still love getting to hold her and it feels good to be able to help my bro even if only for a half hour.

Next thing I know, I look up at the clock and almost fell over.  It was almost 9pm!!!!  How the?!?!  I asked, "Grams, that can't possibly be the right time?"  She simply looked at her watch and said, "Sure is."  Awwww hell.  I know I have countless hours of homework stacked up at home even though I worked on it for over 4 hours the night before.  This writing assignment is due Friday before midnight.  Taking all of that into consideration, I decided to go home and dig into that pile of readings and assignments.

I still think I did the smart, responsible thing.  So why then am I still kicking myself for not having been able to do homework AND hit the gym?  Things come up.  Yesterday was a great day!  A success!  Then why does a little thing like missing the gym cause me such grief??

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fun House Mirrors aren't all that fun.

Why do I need so much positive reinforcement?  I need to learn to love myself.  Luckily, my man loves me and my body.  I love that about him, among other things, of course.  He tells me that I am beautiful all the time (or at least that I look 'good').  I am blessed because I know way too many women don't get to hear that at all.  I believe him when he says he thinks my body is perfect just the way it is: ghetto booty, pooch and all.  So why can't I learn to love it?  Overall, my body is good to me.  I can get up every day.  I have the strength to walk downstairs and make coffee. I have the strength to go to the gym and sweat it out for over an hour.  I am capable of things I haven't even considered trying yet, and shouldn't that be enough?  Of course it should be. Yet it somehow isn't.  I want to be able to look in the mirror and think "Hiya, hot stuff!"  Maybe that is superficial, but that doesn't stop me from wanting it.  And then I begin to wonder if other people see me the way I see myself.  I know I shouldn't care what other people think.  But I find that to be a somewhat unrealistic goal.  My personal goal on this subject is just to care less what other people think.

As I stand in front of my closet doors (both full mirrors - yuk) I often wonder if looking at myself is like looking into a Fun House mirror.  Do I see my trouble spots as larger than they are?  Maybe.  They do seem to crowd everything else out of my line of vision, warped and wobbly.  As this blog goes on, you will learn that I have a lot of hang-ups.  :)  Don't we all?  I'm just putting my crazy out there for all the world to see.

One gift I often wish for is to see my body the way my man does.  Just for 5 minutes so when I want to cry because the scale hasn't budged yet again and my jeans won't button without pinching my skin, I can conjure up that image and feel beautiful/sexy/worthwhile again instead of diving headfirst into a bag of caramel corn.  Since I will probably never be visited by a genie to grant my 3 greatest wishes, for the time being, I choose to believe him.  Someday, I will love myself, warts and all.  I think that is the ultimate goal in my quest to lose weight and get healthy.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Stop! You're doing it ALL WRONG!

I have a lovely friend who has lost over 50 lbs to date!  GASP!  You go girl!  AMAZING!  Now she is focused on losing her "last 10."  Will they be the last?  Will she be happy then?  Not when everyone, everywhere is telling her she's doing it all wrong!

Don't eat at restaurants.  Don't eat carbs.  Eggs are bad for you.  Don't eat red meat.  Eat nothing but dry lettuce and celery.  The Green Diet.  The South Beach Diet.  The Atkins Diet.  Smoothie Diets.  They all tell you that what you are currently doing is wrong and make you feel bad so that you turn to their method.  Scare tactics like this are effective so the companies continue to use them.  But the hopeless feeling we get after being told that what we are doing is wrong - even if we have lost 50 lbs on our own - may spur us to try THEIR diet.  Buy THEIR cookbook.  Buy THEIR meal plan.  Take THEIR magic pills.

It's all horsecrap and marketing.  At this moment, I am fuming with righteous indignation for my friend.  At a cooking class, she was made to feel that she can never eat at a restaurant again.  But why?  There is no secret supplement.  (I really wish there was.)  I fall into these traps too.  I want there to be an easy way.  But the basics still come down to-- burn more calories than you take in.  Period.  Simple math.  Is making it actually happen that simple??  NO, or we'd all be shapely supermodels.  Nothing worth having comes easy, I guess.

I have a problem with programs that want to break you down to build you up, so to speak.  I am not talking about the emotional break-through's on the Biggest Loser.  I'm talking about making you feel bad about yourself so vulnerable, you turn to the 'experts' for help.  CUT. IT. OUT.

We are good people and beautiful.  Don't let anyone undermine your success.  If you have lost 5 lbs- it is a victory.  50 lbs?  You should be writing this blog instead of me!  Why not celebrate every time that you make a healthier choice?  I like celebrating!  Don't tell yourself you can never eat at a restaurant or have an egg for breakfast.  You can do anything you want!  In moderation, of course.

Stand up to the bullies.  The media talks about the bullying in schools and the repercussions.  Very scary stuff.  It makes me worry for my future children.  Is what the diet industry is doing so different?  Adults have better coping mechanisms.  Absolutely true.  But the principles seem to be awfully similar.  They make you feel stupid and worthless and like they know so much better.than we do.  Stand up to the bullies.  You are doing great!  Find what works for you.  Make one better choice a day.  Start small and work your way up.

Don't let them push you around.  You're doing great!  Keep up the good work!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Hippy-Hippy Shake

Exercising has obvious benefits.  They are spouted on the evening news, in every magazine we read and are basically shoved down our throats at every turn.  On the flip-side, aren't there some drawbacks too?  Maybe not drawbacks per-se, but unpleasant side effects maybe.

I am a 32 year old relatively healthy woman.  Why then do my hips hurt so much lately?  The pain is in the joint itself, not the surrounding muscles.  Therefore today, I walk like I am an 82 year old.  (No offense Grandma)  I'm not sure exactly what I did last night that aggravated that joint.  I have been hitting the cardio hard lately, but I didn't do anything different other than that.  For the pain factor in particular, I try to stick to the elliptical trainer.  The motion of the elliptical is supposed to be more gentle on joints, and my shins and lungs hurt noticeably more when I am on the treadmill.  Yet I hobble.  A pretty picture for sure.  And one of the big questions in my mind is WHY my HIPS??

Undoubtedly, running is a terrific form of cardio and I would love to have a runners body.  But this ol' girl ain't running unless something big and scary is chasing her.  Again.  Or her girlfriends somehow magically talk her into it.  Again.  (See a pattern here?)  Truly, I do not see the attraction other than it is a do-anywhere form of exercise.  Now, I should mention that I do run the Dirty Girl Mud Run once a year.  That's more for the fun of slogging through the mud though.  I mean, how often do you get to body surf though mud puddles and no one thinks you have lost your marbles?  Running is great.  Except for people like me who seem to do more harm than good to themselves.  I have asthma and that limits me substantially.  I can work my fool ass off on an elliptical and not go into an asthma attack.  Jogging around the block?  I sound like someone should call the EMT's and hook me up to some oxygen.

Truthfully, a few times a week, I have trouble getting out of bed and reaching my feet to put socks on.  It's not the muscle soreness or lack of sleep that gets me.  It's my joints and my back.  Truly, I feel my 30's is too early to feel rickety and creaky.  Don't you??  Exercise should make me feel good and limber and younger and give me more energy, right?  So why is it I shuffle into work and groan when I have to sit down OR stand up?  I'm not going to have to start liberally slathering on Bengay and popping Osteo-Bi-Flex before my 33rd birthday, am I?  Nothing screams sexy like getting your man to massage you, but instead of those flavored body oils you used to use... you wink and slip him the bottle of Bengay.  Yowsa, that's hot.  I know, I'm cringing at the thought of it too.  

Monday, February 27, 2012

Is This the Gym or a Runway??

Why is it when I show up at the gym, there are a ton of people walking around in full make-up and clothes that look brand new and match perfectly with their shoes and socks?  Am I mistaken, or is the gym a place to get sweaty and drop the dreaded lbs?  Apparently some of the people at my gym think that it's a fashion show too and that can be intimidating.

Looking your best is definitely a big motivating factor for going to the gym in the first place.  I see it as a place that I don't need make-up to be in public.  I want it to be a safe place where I don't get judged.  Doesn't looking like that's going to happen, but I keep telling myself it can still be that, for ME.  Just last week I strode into the gym wearing sweats that go just past my knees and my winter boots.  Let me tell you, I got more than a couple funny looks.  I go looking like I got dressed in the dark.  For me, the NOT getting ready is part of the joy of going to a gym.  Hell, I'm just going to sweat all over this stuff anyway, right?

Now, I do not intend to offend you if you do your hair to go to the gym.  I just want to know why?  I have often posted on Facebook that I have hit a new personal best and people ask if that means I got more than two phone numbers.  Why is every venue that men and women go to together an opportunity to meet your soul mate?  Do like I did.  Meet your soul mate in a bar.  JUST KIDDING!  Well, we did meet in a bar.

Moving on... I think the gym should be a safe place.  Whether you get dolled up and wear nothing but the newest fashions or like me wear a TMNT shirt, cut off sweats from high school and Christmas socks, the gym should be a place where you are not judged for anything but the fact that you showed up.  Showing up means more than any primping does.

Yea, people- I look funny and I don't match.  But here I am, at the gym, just like you, trying to get healthy.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

40 Days and Nights Without??

As a personal challenge, I always try to give something up for Lent even though I am not Catholic.  I started doing this about 5 years ago just to see if I COULD go 40 days without.  For the first few years, it was fast food.  Hello, my name is Heidi, and I am a fast food addict.  Mind you, I have now switched over to salads and I carefully research the caloric content of every item I order, but I think it's the fast part I'm most addicted to.  No muss, no fuss.  A hot meal instead of all cold cuts and greens.  This year, instead of giving up fast food, I have decided to give up soda for Lent because I want to be able to keep McDonald's salads and Subway in my diet to help me avoid some of the pitfalls of the last couple of years.

Granted, I only drink diet soda, but I have read enough articles saying that just because you drink diet, does not mean you will lose weight.  Well, I am going to put that theory to the test.  I don't really see how drinking zero calorie beverages can cause you to put on weight, but I am willing to try almost anything once.  I should mention that I probably currently drink 4 diet sodas a day.  Yep.  I'm not much about moderation.  Sad, but true.  The idea of going without the flavor and pep of caffeine in soda has me a little worried.  I will try to keep you posted on the challenges and benefits of my little experiment.

My mom tried very hard to talk me out of giving up soda.  She said just last night: "Maybe you should reconsider.  How else will you get through your days?"  That may sound dramatic to some of you.  To help you understand her concerns, let me tell you about me.  I have 2 jobs, I go to school and I try to hit the gym 4+ times a week.  Sometime in there I find time for my family, my boyfriend and myself.  Am I concerned that the pick-me-up from soda is going to be a detriment to my sanity?  Oh yeah.  But why go through the pain to give something up if you won't miss it?

Have you given up anything that you love, completely, in an effort to lose weight?  What are you giving up for Lent?

Monday, February 20, 2012

BMI (Blessed be My Ignorance)

Taken from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) Website:
              BMI Formula: weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703

Call me crazy, but isn't BMI calculating simply a new-fangled weight-height chart?  Why has this become a standard?  They say it is accurate, depending on the person.  Well what is that supposed to mean??  How do I know whether I am the person it is right for or not?  I know plenty of women who carry their weight differently.  Often, when I confess to people what I actually weight, I am told that I do not look like I weight that much.  Small consolation when people still balk when I tell them I weigh 165-ish lbs.  I try to take their shock as a compliment that I look better than what a woman of 165 lbs standing only 5' 3.5" should.  Wait one cotton-pickin' minute!  What the hell is that supposed to mean?

I told you I would be honest and in that vein I am publishing my weight.  EEK!  I squirmed a little when I typed it.  Why?  It really isn't anything to be ashamed of.  I am a work in progress and that's ok.  I think that may become my new mantra.

None of us fit into a neat little box like BMI's and height-weight charts would like us to believe.  I guess that is the bane of my existence AND a blessing.  How about that for "deep thoughts"?

Now, I am trying to find a way to better measure my health.  What's in a number?  I'm hoping that judging by how my clothes fit and how my body feels will be an accurate measure.  I am hoping, of course, that the scale cooperates eventually.  I just don't want that to be my ONLY measure of success of failure.  Honestly, I am going to try to celebrate the small things.  Skipping that ice cream sundae, getting in an extra workout, being more active in my everyday life.  Baby steps.


Friday, February 17, 2012

SCALE it down

I have an almost daily battle with my scale.  I know that the numbers aren't always an accurate way to monitor my progress.  But it sure as hell seems like it should be.  If I didn't work out at all before other than one night of volleyball a week (sometimes followed by copious amounts of beer and fried foods) and now I work out 3-4x a week for an hour each session, shouldn't I be losing weight?  Maybe my math is off, but to go from 45 minutes of physical activity to 180 or 240 minutes... shouldn't I be coming out on top?  Even if I didn't change my eating at all, shouldn't all of the additional calories I burn show up in my favor somewhere?  Apparently not.  The weight loss math, I do not understand.  I never have.

What is the best way to determine my healthy weight?  Should I look at a weight-height chart?  I sure hope not because it tells me I should weight 50-60 lbs less than I do now.  Sheesh!  That seems like an insurmountable task!  And what would I look like at that weight?  In my head, I picture a skeletal version of myself.  Please understand that I do NOT want to lose all of my curves!  They make me, well... me.  I just want to be a healthier, more svelte version of me.  A version not brought to tears by the thought of wearing a bathing suit.  Am I right, ladies!?  Damn instruments of torture is what they are!  Men get to wear baggy, board shorts and we get stuck in string bikinis.  String, people. As in hiding nothing.  Ah yes, all the ways life just isn't fair.  let's face it though, it never will be.

I'd like to know what the best weight is for me to be healthy, not to be a stick figure.  This journey really is about being healthier and happier, not just thinner.  If there is an equation out there that can help me find what my true goal weight should be- I'd like to know it.  Wouldn't you?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I will be better someday, but as for today? I'm just me.

This blog is going to be all about my crazy struggles with weight loss and all the chaos that ensues.  I promise to try to be 100% honest and show my warts and all.  I'd love for this to be a place where I can stop sucking it in, finally breathe normally and 'let it all hang out.'  Just be me.  I will be better someday, but as for today?  I'm just me.  I have attempted this journey multiple times and this time, I feel like I am doing more and seeing less results.  I am getting older.  I know.  BUT, that can't be the sole reason I flounder because I have several close friends that are older than I and seeing amazing progress.  The idea of a blog is recent, and I confess that I don't know a whole lot about blogging.  Today, that all changes.  Not tomorrow, like I so often promise myself about my eating habits.  Just last night I allowed myself to have a handful (or 2) of Doritos saying "it's ok because I have crazy cravings this week because I have my bleepin' period."  Yeah.  I'm the queen of rationalization.  I have MyFitnessPal as an app on my phone.  I track my calories!  Well, up until I derail so badly I want to cry.  Then I pretend that tomorrow is a new day and that no matter what, I'll be better then. Fingers crossed. I have started going to the gym (truthfully, I started almost exactly a year ago and have lost 3 lbs.)  I go faithfully 3-4x a week.  I watch what I eat and make healthier choices most of the time.  I hope this blog will be what my sis-in-law Britt (she gave me permission to use her name) and I wanted to start with the women in our family just a few months ago.  Almost everyone struggles with losing weight.  Trust me, it isn't JUST you.  It's me too.  Here I hope we can comiserate, celebrate each others triumphs and lend support.