Wednesday, March 31, 2010

We Be Needin' Some Rules

Like all challenges, they need to have some guidelines. Some of you emailed me with some ideas and I am down with the suggestions. 

So, here are three basic tenants:

1. You need to set a SMART goal for yourself. Something, that if you achieve it, it will enhance your health. The only thing that is fixed is the time: 12 weeks.

Examples could include: I would like to lose 1.5 pounds per week for 12 weeks ( 18lbs). Or: I would like to burn a minimum of 2000 PA Calories per week for 12 weeks (24,000 PA Calories) Or: I would like to run/walk a total of 10 miles per week for 12 weeks (120 miles).

Remember, whatever your goal is, it needs to be:






2.  We can measure these goals together. I will create a chart that can be shared and maintained by all of you. Each week, it will track two things: 1. Did you commit to your goal this week? (Y/N) 2. What is the value for this week. Remember, it needs to be something measurable. So, maybe it is -1 lb, or 2000 PA. But it is something that we will measure together. This way, we can route one another on. I would like you to post to the sheet on Monday.

3.  We will need to post/comment to at least one member of the Rat Pack daily. This means that we know someone is reading, someone is there for support.  I know most of you have quite a few following, but it is nice to know that someone is really going to look and be committed. 12 weeks of checking in on someone to make sure they check on you is kind of nice. I would also like all of you to post something to me specifically on Thursdays. This way, between your goal measurements and Thursdays, we are checking in at least twice a week and keeping one another accountable.

I will be creating a Page Link on my page where all of the challenge measurements will be displayed. We will use Google-docs to update because it allows us to maintain properly.

Throughout the 12 weeks I will dedicate at least 1-2 posts to how I am working on my SMART goal.  I will also be asking some of the blog rock stars out there to do some guest posts and weigh-in on being a Rat.  I have also asked some pro's (as in medical pro's) if they would also weigh-in.  I will keep you posted.

So, I have been thinking about possible rewards.  I feel maybe a mouse-pad with our new Rat Pal prominently displayed might be kinda cool.  The more who join, the cooler we can get.

So, for those of you who who are still interested, please send me a mail at
The more, the merrier!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Fat-Rat 12 Week Challenge

Sesquipedalian: noun. one who uses large words

When trying to read about what the latest research in weight loss, one can become irascible, disjointed, even constipated by all the big, bloated words in these f#$%^ studies!

Dopamine D2 receptors in addiction-like reward dysfunction and compulsive eating in obese rats

So, a big one was published yesterday. Huge. It basically found that fatty food can cause the same type of addictive behaviors that we find in drug addicts. THE SAME. So, naturally, I want to know everything about this study. Here are key points I have decoded so far:

1. The brain releases a chemical, dopamine, when we do something that satisfies us. This chemical releases when we laugh, exercise, have sex, all kinds of natural things. This chemical can overload with the use of some drugs, causing people to crave that dopamine fix. Suddenly, that satisfaction feeling is not as easy to get and therefore drastic measures need to be taken in order to feel that ‘good’ feeling or just to feel ‘normal’. Thus, my friends: ADDICTION.

2. Your brain has a regulator for this chemical, called a receptor. Not only does this help us release the dopamine, but it also helps us determine that we have had enough and don’t need anything else to satisfy us. This receptor becomes dull/ less sensitive in addicts. This is why addicts need more and more and more, despite the fact they are overloaded, leading to possible overdose.

3. So, to do this study, they used rats. They fed the rats fatty food with the equivalent nutritional value of our typical fast foods. The rats got fat. They also started to eat all the time, ignoring when they were full. Later, they gave the rats options to eat the fatty diet or a healthier one. They went straight for the fatty foods.

4. Then, they took away the fatty chow and only offered the healthy food. At first, the rats did not eat, but eventually caved and started to eat the healthy chow. However, once they started, they just kept on eating. In order to keep eating, the rats put themselves in uncomfortable, cramped positions. They even subjected themselves to bright lights; something rats hate, all to eat.

5. Then, they killed the rats so they could look at their brains. (PETA< don’t start). Their brains showed the same atrophy and compulsion factors as those addicted to cocaine or heroin. BRAIN DAMAGE.

So, here is what they didn’t do: they didn’t see if they could break the rats of the habit. This is something I would like to know. Is this brain damage permanent? Once you become a compulsive-eating rat, is there no hope for you, other than removing the bad options? Maybe so. So, now, looking at us, how many of you are these rats? I know I am. I don’t have a cage to regulate myself. I need to use self-control, which apparently is not so easy for me, because like these rats, I have something in my brain that is preventing me. Now, thankfully, I am not a rat and have free-will. This means that I can make good choices, even when I don’t want to. But this study kind of confirms what I suspected: I am not like everyone else. I have a problem that is not easy to fix. I have to have discipline. I have to work harder than the masses. I need to force myself to do the right thing, to make the right choices. If not, I will be the fat rat, stuffed in the corner, with a hot-lamp burning my eyes out.

So, today starts week 12 of my journey. I am going to recommit myself to another 12 weeks after this. I will dedicate these next 12 weeks as the Fat-Rat Challenge. I will spend this week talking about what it means for me in more detail, but basically it means dedicating 12 weeks to healthy food, healthy exercise, healthy choices. I will leave the bad food, the bad energy and all the triggers to my addiction out of my rat cage.

Who is with me? I will start this 12 week challenge on April 5.  Send me a post or an email at  I will come up with some sort of reward for doing this together.  Unlike Pavlov's dog's, we all need a little reward, and not just a bell rung for us.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Working in Deutschland

Hi guys.  Work has gotten the better of me this week, so I have been behind on my blog reading and my posting.  So, let me give you a recap of the last few good days:

Monday:  I finished work about 6 and then went to Mainz for dinner.  it was such a cool place.  The restaurant was called Heliggeist, or 'Holy Ghost'.  So why do you ask would a restaurant be called this?  Well, it is a converted church.  Apparently the church was abandoned before WWI.  It was used as a hospital during the war, and then immediately afterward, it was a dance hall for American soldiers.  Now it is a rockin' restaurant.  Their website is here.  (yes, it is in English)
My hotel does not have a gym, so I improvised.  I danced to MTV-Germany and listened to some really Euro-trashy music and rocked out for 20 mins.

Tuesday:  Went into town and had some Thai food.  When watching what you eat, Thai for me, is an easy choice.  Lot's of broth soups, lots of flavor and great salads and fresh fruits.  I drank 2 banana wheat beers, which are the most awesome things in the world.  If you haven't tried it ever, it is totally worth it (Wheat beer + banana juice = big girl shake.)

Wednesday:  Had a salad for lunch at work.  Was kinda sleepy, but didn't think anything of it.  Then I went for a walk in the local park.  Within 15 minutes, I started to feel really whoosy.  Next thing I know:  (bluoiuouiuuoiugh)  Food Poisoning.  Produce is a danger sometimes man.  Spent the night in the fetal position wanting my Mommy.  (I wonder if that counts as a workout?)

Thursday:  Well, that is today!  Well, today I really slept it off.  I am definitely on the mend, but I feel swollen from the food poisoning.  I have been drinking some colas, which I normally don't do because of the calories, but they settle my stomach...  so, such is life.  I took a 20 minute walk outside, just to get some fresh air.  I went to a Chinese restaurant and got some Wanton soup.  It make my tummy happy.

Hopefully, tomorrow I will be back up and running and can set some real fitness in my schedule.  I am planning a nice day in  Rüdesheim on Saturday.  It is neat little town with great shops and lots of Rieslings and Sekts to try! 

I am still getting in my 3 shakes a day, and 5 fruit and veg per day as promised. Under the existing conditions, I am doing ok.  When I get home to Mr. Scale, it will tell me what the deal is :-)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Week 10 Weight Loss- In-Transit

Hi!  This will be a quickie for two reasons: 

1.  I already told you I did a weigh-in on Saturday instead of Monday, but this post makes it official:  I am down 5.1 lbs.  (Hold the applause till you read #2.)
2.  I am in Schnitzel-Fried, Pretzel-Brezlen, gravy-sauced, starchy eating Germany and am surrounded by only overly fatty choices of food.  Everything has sauce/gravy on it.  EVERYTHING.  I have never seen so many choices of fried cutlets of meat in my life.  Fried Veal, Fried Pork, Fried Chicken.  Variants include Fried Veal /Pork/Chicken with Cheese, Gravy or maybe an extra piece of bacon or smoked ham.  Don't get me wrong:  it is all terribly yummy, but it ain't healthy.  I suspect that I won't be sustaining these 5 pounds this week.

My hotel doesn't have a gym, so it is run around my room being an a$$ till I sweat before bed.

Talk soon.  Hope everyone is rocking out.  I am thinking of you.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


It is early on Saturday.  5 am.  Why am I up?  Well, I am going to Germany tomorrow for work.  You would think I planned to get up like this so I could adjust to the time change.  Nope.  Instead, the taxi driver that I hired phoned me at 5 this morning because he thought I was arriving today and not Sunday.  I checked my itinerary, and now I know why:  because I CAN'T READ.  I told this guy I was coming on Saturday.  Dummy me.  So, in punishment for my stupidity, and the extra bill that I am undoubtedly going to receive, I am up. 

I am not surprised at my blonde-moment move.  I have been off-kilter all week.  I have not really exercised at all this week.  (I have earned only one, lonely donut on daily mile)  I have been really twisted about the time change.  I can't seem to adjust.  I have literally forgotten to eat a few meals this week.  I can't remember the last time when I didn't anticipate a meal.  Maybe that is a good thing.  Maybe my body wants me to focus on something else.  Unfortunately, that something else is just fiddling with work stuffs, playing meaningless games online, watching TV and going to bed early.  I have not been writing down my food choices.  Usually I make a point of settling up my food logs at least 2-3x's a day.  Not this week.  Now, I haven't eaten anything 'out of the box,'  but I am losing my mojo.  I think last week's travel to Tennessee did me in as well.  As soon as my schedule is altered, I don't accept the change as well as I once thought.  They say that as you hit your 30's, you brain synapses start to solidify preferences in how they operate, hence making you set in your ways. 

So, let's talk about what going to Germany means this week.  Well, for one, I fly tonight.  This means I won't be near my scale on Monday's weigh in day.  I thought about brining it for half a second and then laughed at myself.  Instead, I am going to weigh in today and make it my soft number for week 10.  This is a non-measurement week, so I am clear on that too.  Here is the other rub:  I cannot bring all my meal replacements to Germany.  You can't import meat without having the wrath of Customs on you.  So, I am going to have to modify my eating a bit.  I will still eat at least 5 fruit and vegetables per day.  I will still eat 3 shakes/cereals, but I need to make some choices on my meals.  It is all about portion control.  I know this sounds like an easy, practical thing, but I am on a 'decision-free' diet for a reason:  I make crap choices.  This being said, I know how to plan the right ones.  I am a little afraid about asking waiters for veggies and no butter in a foreign country.  I do not speak the language well, so there is definitely a barrier.  That being said, Germans are usually excellent English speakers and exceptionally helpful. 

Well, since I am up, I might as well do some stretching and get some laundry sorted.  Have a great Saturday.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sucking in Jack Sh*t

Dear BBF(Blog-Boy-Friend) JackSh*t,
(He asked a few questions and wanted to be ‘sucked in’. So like a good BGF, I am answering.)

Why do you suppose you let your life be less than you imagined it to be?
Well, I got lazy. There is really no other excuse. I think I have always had a little of this in me, but I started to feel entitled to things when I went to college. I didn’t have to work hard to get the things I wanted. They were just going to fall into my lap and make things clean. I could slack off in my studies. I could slack off at work. I would just eat what I wanted and sleep all I wanted and physical activity is so lame. Not only was I not stepping up to the challenge, but I wasn’t really interested in being challenged. This strategy had worked up to this point, so why change?!? Ultimately, this method did have some consequences. I quit school because it did get more difficult. I broke up with my Sweetheart for stupid reasons, like he was taking up too much of my time. I purposely made myself reclusive, all when things got harder. Some would say I was depressed or just immature. Maybe so, but it was a pattern that continued for 10 years. Slowly, I got certain parts of my life together. I have a good professional life. I reconnected with my Sweetheart and mended that relationship. I just left my health to suffer until now.

Why do you stumble so often despite all your good intentions?
Isn’t the road to Hell paved with good intentions? Actions speak louder than words, and it is so easy to be a hypocrite to yourself when no one is looking and no one is asking the hard questions. No one came up to me and said, you look like sh*t Missa. Get off your fat*ss and get moving. No one was coming up to me and saying, you can do it Missa. I believe in you. What I have learned is no one asked, not because they don’t give a sh*t, but because I didn’t ask them to do it.

Why do you sabotage yourself?
I just find it ‘easier’ to focus on other people’s battles than on my own. I would make myself ‘too busy’ to fight the challenges that I needed to fight for myself. Eventually, this pattern made me overly anxious and then I would just stuff my face with gratifying food. Then, without realizing it, I would be blaming the people around me for my failures.

Why are you here anyway?
I’m here because I am dying. Period. We all are. I just don’t want to die any sooner than I should and I want the experiences in my life to be full. I owe that to myself.

If you’re making it, if you’re succeeding on this weight-loss journey, tell me why this time is different than all the others.
So far, I am making it. It is only week 10, so I don’t know if I have really been at this time around long enough to say this is the make-it moment. But, what I can say is that I planned the hell out of this time. I actually made a project plan, like I would do if I was doing one for work. Project: Losing Ethel. I planned my health plan. I saw a physician and a health educator. I set up my blog. I cleared my kitchen of crap. I spoke to my family to tell them what support I needed. I told them that I need them to ask me the hard questions and keep me accountable. I told them that I need praise when I do well. I cleared my professional schedule to ensure I had time to do some fitness. I did all of these things before I could start the process. These things seem to be working. I needed to clear my life of the little BS that ultimately almost always gets in my way. The goal is to plan what you can so you can cope with the unexpected.

Why are you going to make it this time when you’ve fallen short before.
I have wanted it for so long and it is just time. One of things that makes me so confident is knowing that if I follow the plan, it will really work. I had worked with this eating and fitness plan about a year ago and lost weight. I failed because I didn’t make it a lifestyle, I didn’t enlist a good support system, and regressed back to old habits. There is definite comfort in knowing that if you work on something the result is going to happen.

Why are you going to keep it off this time when you’ve gained it back before.
I am really changing my life, not just habits. The people in my life are even different. Hey, I even have a whole blogosphere of love in my life this time. Good energy, good support are just so great.

Why are you a different person now than you were before?
Well, I don’t know if I am a different person, but I am definitely letting the real me shine. I guess you could say that this is a time to be selfish instead of selfless.

So Jack, did I suck you in?

Your BGF forever,
Missa xoxo

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

Imagine a pilot who’s read an instruction manual about flying and aced the written test. He can tell you exactly how to fly a plane, but he’s spent very little time in the simulator. Would you fly with this person on his first day in the cockpit? *

So now imagine someone who has read lots of fitness magazines, read cookbooks and health blogs. They can tell you exactly how to lose weight and get healthy, but they have been eating out and have not yet step foot in a gym. Would you hire them as your personal trainer or fitness-health coach? Do you think they will be losing weight?

We all know how we want to behave, but there always seems to be a gap between ideal behavior and reality. The only way to bridge that gap is by practicing repetitive skills. It is the only way to move from knowing about something to doing something. This is why even experienced pilots are required to practice in simulators, log their hours and complete certain amounts of 'practice' take-offs and landings.

So, how do we practice getting healthy? Try role playing. Here are a few scenarios. Feel free to practice them in front of a mirror or perhaps with a friend.
Now, it is important that you act out the scenario and not say, "well if I were in this situation, I might say ______" I kid you not, your brain won't take it in unless you really do it. Channel your inner Cary Grant or Kate Winslet. Oscar-worthy performances baby!

Scenario 1: Restaurant. You are in a restaurant and need to tell the waiter to prepare your food without extra butter sauce, with veggie sides instead of rice and fries, and you don't want sugar in your iced tea.

Scenario 2: Working out in the gym. You are at the gym and you need to finish all 3 sets of a workout and need a machine. Someone is on it. Approach them and tell them you need the machine. Ask them to let you in when they rest. Find out how much longer they need that machine. 2a. Go to one of the trainers at the gym and ask them to show you an alternate exercise.

Scenario 3: Explaining your Food Choices to Family. You are at a family dinner with all the fixin's. Your Aunt Bessie asks you why you aren't eating everything. You tell her about how you are eating. You make her understand what journey you are taking.

Scenario 4: Tell your family what you need from them in order to stay on track. For example: I do not want candy all over the house. It has a specific home and it has to stay there. I buy certain treats for myself: diet soda, certain fruits, certain juices. They are fair game in the house, but no one can eat the last of these treats without asking me. I need them available as healthy choices so I don't binge on something less-than stellar.

Practice will become reality. Reality will become you getting healthier.
What other scenarios would be helpful? Post them here.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Week 9 Weight Loss: 10% Down!

Yeah Baby! I lost 1.7 lbs this week which brings me to 10% of my total body weight lost! Woot!

There are all kinds of statistics on what happens to you when you do this:
1. You lower your cholesterol
2. You decrease your chances of contracting heart disease/stroke
3. You decrease your chances of contracting Diabetes.
4. You reduce your risk of Cancer
5. You reduce your risk of Gallbladder disease
6. You decrease the risk of Osteoarthritis (wearing of the joints)
7. You decrease any sleep apnea

These are just a few wins, but let's just say that I feel like I accomplished something.

Only 31 percent of U.S. adults report that they engage in regular leisure-time physical activity (defined as either three sessions per week of vigorous physical activity lasting 20 minutes or more, or five sessions per week of light-to-moderate physical activity lasting 30 minutes or more). About 40 percent of adults report no leisure-time physical activity. (National Center for Health Statistics. Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans. Health, United States, 2008. Hyattsville, MD: Public Health Service. 2008.)

Of the 31 percent, when physical activity is measured by a device that detects movement, only about 3–5 percent of adults obtain 30 minutes of moderate or greater intensity physical activity on at least 5 days per week (Troiano RP, Berrigan D, Dodd KW, Mâsse LC, Tilert T, McDowell M. Physical activity in the United States measured by accelerometer. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2008; Jan;40(1):181–8.)

I am pleased that I am in the top 30.. (Mom would be so proud) but now I am curious if I made the top 3-5 %. Maybe that bodybug is in my future.

I think April Fool's is coming early. There is a NJ woman trying to become the fattest woman in the world... and it isn't me. Check it out. I wonder what y'all think. She lives nearby. I am seriously thinking of driving to her house.

OK, so as for the Truthiness. No one guessed correctly!
1. I am a Grammy-Award winning Recording Artist.
No, but I am on a recording that won for best sound.
2. I speak 4 languages fluently.
Nope. English and French (functionally) Pig Latin doesn't count!
3. I have 4 US Patents.
Unless we are talking about patent-leather shoes, nope!
4. I am an Opera Singer.
TRUE! Went to University and everything. I am a Soprano who sings gloriously in her shower.
5. I have travelled to all 7 Continents twice.
Nope. Never been to Africa... but I am working on it. Let's say it is a goal.
6. I have been a featured guest on the TV show ‘Clean House’.
No, but I should be. I am freakin' hopeless when it comes to cleaning and organization.
7. I am a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist.
Well, I am eligible. In 2005, I completed a 1 yr. certification program and can practice in NJ, but I never sat for the National Exam. I need to do that.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

In The Airport

I hope you all had a nice weekend. I am in the airport, getting ready to make my way home. Great weekend with a side of my family that I do not get to see very often. I heard all the fun stories about my mom that she probably did not want me to know, but she was so incredibly funny. I did not realize that. I am finally seeing her as a different person and not just my mom.

As for eating, I was pretty good, but I had a few indulgences. 1. I had BBQ. I am in the South. It had to be done. 2. My Aunt made Pizza. Now that is sitting in my gullet like a boulder. I am uncomfortable. Kind of bummed about it because flying in this state will kinda stink (literally).

Well, time to board. Have a great Sunday and for all you Brits: Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


The rules are:

1. Thank the person who gave this to you.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you.
4. Tell up to 6 outrageous lies about yourself, and at least one outrageous truth.
5. Nominate 7 "creative writers" who might have fun coming up with outrageous lies.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them.

1. Thank you Miss Luscious-Lipstick-Life-DailyMilin’-Tina-Dean.
2. Her link is

My Truthiness:
1. I am a Grammy-Award winning Recording Artist.
2. I speak 4 languages fluently.
3. I have 4 US Patents.
4. I am an Opera Singer.
5. I have travelled to all 7 Continents twice.
6. I have been a featured guest on the TV show ‘Clean House’.
7. I am a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist.

There are so many blogs that rock. I kind of find these awards to be kind of weird, because if they didn’t rock, I wouldn’t be reading them. I try to leave rockin’ comments on a regular basis, so if you aren’t on this list, it is for a couple of reasons: 1. YOU ARE LAME (just kidding) 2. You have said before that you think these awards are lame.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Strive To Be Happy

I am on the road so I don't have much time to blog and read blogs this week. However, I am eating OK and I have used the hotel gym.. Double-win! Things are a bit stressful here, so I brought along a poem that keeps me centered when things go crazy. Hope it brings you some Zen.

-Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Week 8 Weight Loss

The weight is releasing. I am down another 3.3 lbs. I didn't get a chance to measure myself before my flight this am, so it will have to wait 'til next week. Besides, I think measurements might need to move to bi-monthly installments anyway.

It was a good week, despite expanding my comfort zone. I did not eat my minimum amounts of meal replacements any days this week, and since Thursday, I have had to eat at least one meal at a restaurant. However, I think I made some good choices. I didn't over indulge, (with the exception of one glorious handful of Doritos which tasted so extra-salty-cheesy-yum), and I had a chocolate-covered strawberry instead of birthday cake at a family party.

I managed to get all my PA calories in this week too. I hit 2150, which is a nice, safe number. I had a few harder workouts in there, but mostly this comprised of walking at lunchtime with co-workers. The buddy system works for me.

So, this week, my comfort zone is much more expanded, as I am on the road for work. I have just unpacked, and have a nice little stack of HMR foods at the ready. I have a little fridge in my room, so I am going to go to the grocer in a few to pick up some grab-and-go fruit.

I haven't checked out the gym yet in the hotel, but I brought my bathing suit. Not only is it a little treat to soak in the whirlpool, but I just might have to rock out some wet fitness. When I am bored, I get the munchies, so I am going to do my best to keep myself busy. Happy Monday Everyone!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Road Warrior Preparation

Missa and Ethel are going on the road tomorrow for work. Knoxville, TN here we come! We will be there a week and will be surrounded by the Smokey Mountains. As well, we will be out of our element. We won't be in our bed. We won't be near our gym. Most importantly, we won't be near our junk-free kitchen. Instead, we must buy our meals a la carte, and in a rush, as we can't refrigerate them in our rooms.

As well, travelling for work is naturally stressful. When all there is to look forward to at the end of the day is a hotel room, it is natural to not stop working. So, what should have been an 8-hour day, can easily turn into 10, 12, 15 hour days. Make those days consecutive, and the stress levels skyrocket without you even blinking.

So, here are some tips for all of you Road Warriors (Keep in mind, even if you are travelling for pleasure, these can apply):

1. Develop a travel routine. Try to pack everything you need in a carry-on and avoid checking a bag. There is nothing more stressful than losing luggage. Once on the plane, change into your favorite slipper socks, bring an eye mask if you wish to snooze, and if you have them, wear some noise-cancelling headphones. They make the world of difference, even on short flights.

2. Get to the airport early and leisurely find a comfy spot to read a book, chill on the Internet, or listen to the i-pod.

3. If possible, do not set your first meetings at 7 or even 8 am. Give your body the opportunity to adjust to its surroundings. If you also travel to a different time zone, try to spend about 30 minutes outside. The sunlight will help your body adjust.

4. Set a start and end time for your day. Make sure you schedule some down time for yourself. This would include sitting in your hotel room to clear your head, going for a walk, or maybe taking advantage of the sauna or whirlpool in your hotel.

5. EXERCISE. Even before you travel, think of fitness strategies that do not involve equipment or going to sophisticated gyms. This could include bringing a DVD, going for a walk-run, or investigating what amenities are in the hotel's gym and working from there. Since I recognize that you might not be in control of your schedule, any exercise is good exercise. If you can only fit 20 minutes and not 60, great. It is still a win. Be honest to your co workers. If they schedule evening meetings, tell them that you need some time to get your workout in.

6. Eating and Drinking. While you are on an expense account and it seems like the world is your oyster in the food market, this is not the best option. Go to the local grocer any buy some healthy snacks: grab-and-go fruit, carrots, and edemame are my favs. In my case, I actually shipped a small box of healthy choices to the hotel in advance. If you are eating out, skip the appetizers and deserts. Get a main entree that isn't fried or drenched in butter and oil. Do not be afraid to tell the waiter what you want and need. Another option is to pick several healthy sides and combine them together to make a main course. Google your favorite restaurant chain and pick your meal in advance. As for drinks, I usually make a habit of having only one, maybe two glasses of wine at a work dinner. Primarily, I don't like to mix alcohol and work-life together, but also because it is empty calories.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Yesterday was a pout day. I have been having a tough time at work lately, as I am a victim of the standard company policy, 'do more with less'. Well, it is catching up with me. I don't have any more to give at the moment, so I am feeling pretty sorry for myself.

Second, I have been searching for other job opportunities. I had a really strong interview this week, and I was almost certain that I was going to get the job. Well, I got the 'thanks but no thanks' call in the middle of the crap day at work. This just put me over the edge. Not only does work suck, but I am stuck there.

My first inclination was to raid the vending machine. I held back, but I felt my face turn absolutely red. My emotions were getting the best of me. I can't work at all when I get like this. I was just too overwhelmed. So, I packed up my gear and called it a day. Did I leave early? NO.

I get to my car and I left the friggin' lights on. Battery DEAD. In the interest of full disclosure, I just did this 2 weeks ago too. Where is my mind? Called AAA, got a jump, and was home about an hour later than I planned.

Sweetheart greeted me at the door with a big hug. I stripped myself of the zoot suit and climbed into bed for a cuddle. This helped somewhat, but my energy was really drained. So, I skipped the gym and went to bed. (Damn, I promised myself no 0 PA days).

So, today is a new day. I am going to try my best not to get down. While I didn't get the job, I got some good feedback about why. It turns out that they want me to get more education on a few subjects. I have to chew on this. I love learning, but hate school (if that makes sense). Plus, school is costly. But, if I want out, then I have to do what I have to do.

Well, happy eating-exercising and all that jazz for today. In the NE, it is supposed to be pretty. Get outside.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Keeping Your Momentum-Learning To Be Patient

Sometimes, I ask of myself too much. I think too far ahead to the finish line, and not to where I am right now. When this happens, I am certainly headed for a fall. So, I read this interesting article about burnout, specifically geared around fitness and burning the candle at both ends too soon. It turns out that people need to give themselves time to process and learn this healthy lifestyle that we all are trying to achieve. Give a read and tell me your thoughts. I think it has some great strategies to success.

Workout Burnout? Avoid the Four Stages

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
-Confucius (Chinese philosopher & reformer (551 BC - 479 BC))

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Week 7 Weight Loss- Progress Pics Included!

Not a bad week. I am down another 2 lbs and I managed to drop a few inches in the last 2 weeks. Woo Hoo! So, as promised, I am showing some before and during photos. I have been keeping up with my fitness goals and continuing to move. The last two days have been delightful, so I was even able to get a few walks in at lunch.

First: the Horror. So, while I am absolutely not looking my best, I am in a majestic location: Singapore. What an absolutely wonderful place to see. I cannot say enough rocking things about the place. (Except that being on a plane for 15 hours to Shanghai, and then taking a 4 hour flight to Singapore, in coach, really SUCKS when you're big.)

So, Pic 1, I am at the National Orchid Garden. This is my profile pic, just much closer. This was the pic that really gives Ethel her due. When I saw this picture, I knew things needed to change. However, notice the orchids. So pretty.

Next, here is me and Ethel at the Singapore Zoo. We met a few exotic birds. I would also like to point out that this zoo has an open plan, meaning that there is only a moat separating you and the animals. It is rad. I have never been so close to primates ever.

So, now the moment you have all been waiting for.. No, let me phrase that: the moment I have been waiting for: PROGRESS. So, this is me, 23.7 lbs lighter after tonight's Angry Elliptical session:

Note: I am wearing the same t-shirt that I wore in the Orchid Garden. It is definitely looser. New feeling for me: It is amazing how happy one can become when your clothes don't fit!

So, I guess the lesson in all of this is that despite where I was and where I am, I try my best not to let it limit me. Ethel comes with me everywhere. For those who are waiting to travel when they are thinner, or waiting to do anything for that matter... DON'T! Life is short. Live it!