Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Leaving, on a Jet Plane!!

So, in a few moments, I am leaving for a vacation on a cruise!!  So, I will miss you all....  but I will be taking a bit of a break to live some life!!  I promise to keep in the box.  I promise to get my fitness on.  I promise to kick some tail!!

Oh!  I am also doing the Biggest Loser Challenge!! My starting weight will be 235.8, which is what I weighed in at on Monday, and is currently where I am still at today.  I will not see Mr. Scale again till I come home on the 5th.....  I will let you all take bets on what side of the needle I move while on a cruise, aka food machine that floats!!!

Cheers! Bon Voyage!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Vanessa's Dumpling House

I realize whole heartedly that reviewing a restaurant on a blog dedicated to improving heath seems like a bit of a diversion, but I just have to. I am so thrilled to find a place in NYC where I could get an astronomically cheap, yet healthy meal. Besides, I want to live a healthy, normal life. Part of that life being able to go out from time to time.
Vanessa's is on Eldridge, in the border of the lower East side and the village. It has a few tables and chairs, so people share tables. The menu is very simple: Dumplings, boiled or fried. Fillings, chicken, pork, shrimp, veg. You can have them alone or in soup broth. You can also have sesame pancake sandwiches with your choice of filling. They are usually filled with finely chopped, but bountiful veg, and then a lean protein. My Sweetheart's was filled with egg. 4 dumplings is 1.50. A sandwich is 2.50. The price is just unbelievable. I had 5 boiled dumplings of various kinds. I think the pork and scallion were the best, with the shrimp being a close second only to the veggie. I could have left the chicken and chive. They were just OK. They also have buns with the fillings, but I thought they were a bit heavy on the bread.
All in all, 3 people, bill was less than 20 bucks and everyone took stuff home.

Great win for the day!
Hope you have a strong start for this week!
Where are your healthy eateries in your town?

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I am without my pc this weekend, so I am blogging from my Blackberry. How cool is technology?

Anyway, I have reached a new level of soreness in my workouts. I have awoken this morning with what I can only describe as a fitness hangover. My head feels cloudy. My shoulder and right side are incredibly sore. My ass hurts. I am hobbling as my hip joints are incredibly unhappy. So, I popped a few advil, made some tea, and am contemplating putting the covers over my head and hibernating till next Spring.

So, what is my plan for a cure? Well, the hair of the dog that bit ya! I plan some angry elliptical and a bit of park walking should get my body lubricated and moving again. I also am going to drown myself in some water, as I need to replenish.

What do you recommend for the fitness hangover?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Price of Getting Healthy

Ya know...  the costs of losing this weight are getting up there!

I spend $50 per month on my weekly weigh-in call on HMR
I spend $148 on my meals from HMR bi-weekly, equalling $296 per month.
Plus, I buy fruit, veggies, bottled water, and a million spices and salsas which makes my monthly grocery bill about $175 per month.
I have a gym membership at $60.00 month.
I have personal training at $455.00 per month.

So, that puts my monthly total at:  $1036.  Wowza~!

But let's qualify this.  Article to chew on:
1. An obese person is 93% less likely to be hired for a position over a healthy person.
2. Life insurance is 2 to 4 times more expensive for someone who is obese.
3. Your net worth decreases by $1,000 for every point your BMI increases.

How about these reasons: 
1.  The average monthly prescriptions for a Diabetic in the US is $252, plus Annual pump costs of up to $3,000 per year out of pocket. We aren't even talking doctor/hospital visits, let alone costs of complications.
2.  One Cardiac patient in the US spends $12,000 out of pocket annually.
3.  The average Cancer patient in the US spends $7,489 annually out of pocket.

I don't know about you, but I would much rather spend money on living better than just trying to cope.  I have the trifecta in my family genes (Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancer) and I am going to fight fight fight my way around them, for as long and as hard as I can.  So, the next time you say, well, that personal trainer is expensive, or that nutrition program is costly, think about that investment in you.  You are your most valuable asset.  Don't forget that.  You are worth every penny.  Invest what you can, while you can.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Late Night Exercise

I have started to see a trend on my Sunday nights:  the Late Night Fitness Routine.   At about 10:30, while sitting on my duff, watching TV, or blogging, or eating a snack, or shooting the breeze, I seem to remember that weigh-in is the next day.  I remember that I was not 100% on my eating.  I did not drink all the H2O that I probably should have done.  I begin the Panic-Whine cycle.

The Panic-Whine is a combination of the 'oh sh*t, I need to get off my a$$ and move!' and the 'but I am so tiiiirrrreeeedWhaaaa!'  They kind of come out of my mouth at once in the form of a very heavy sigh. *sigh*  However, this is the last chance to get the burn before Mr. Scale makes his judgement.

Then, I putter about, thinking about what exercise clothes to wear.  Then, I think about what my fitness routine should be.  Should I run?  Should I do a DVD?  Should I do some fitness moves that Trainer Debbie has taught me?  By the time I am dressed, have heart rate monitor attached, shoes tied, and IPod tunes selected, it is closer to 11:15 at night.  

So, after 45 minutes of prep, I got in a 35 minute workout.  I did some wood chop hell.  I ran two miles.  I probably could have kept going, but it was late.  Work beckoned in the am.  However, I liked the workout.  It was a great temperature to run.  I got a good stretch in before bed. 

I am wondering now if this should be the trend for my Sundays or if I should insert my fitness earlier.  What do you guys think?

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I have been reading your blogs the past 24 hours and they have put me in a strange place.  You have forced me to think.  First, it was Bobbie.  She asked:

“Can you remember a time perhaps when you were very young, when life as it was – just the fact that it was early morning or any old day in summer – was enough?   When you were enough not because of what you looked like or what you did, but just because everything was the way it was. What if you could live that way now, and what if your relationship to food was that doorway?”

Then she posted a picture of her as a young girl, so happy and vibrant and free.

I didn't have that.  My home was filled with bitterness and anger.  My safe haven was my grandfather.  The love between us was magical.  I even named him his own special name, Peeps.  He took me away from my tormented house and gave me freedom to be a kid.  They were brief encounters, maybe just a few hours per day, but I still remember the excitement of going to his home and the anxiety of leaving.  While there, we would talk, play cards (I am an indestructible poker player now), read the grocery circulars (It wasn't until I was much older that it occurred to me that my Peeps was illiterate).  We would garden for hours.  I have never before or since been so pleased to dig in the dirt, feeling like I was on my way to China.  I never was so proud to be able to pick the fruits of our hard work: tomatoes, zucchini, squash, beets, carrots, you name it, we had it. 

But my favorite thing of all, the moment that made me so happy, so vibrant and so free was swinging.  Just me and him on a wooden swing, looking into the sky.  We would watch the planes fly over and count the seconds between it and the next.  We would cuddle and nap and just say nothing and everything in those times.  It was such a simple thing to do, with such little effort, and it means everything to me.  Even now.

It wasn't until Bobbie's post that I realized that when I lost Peeps, I started to loose me.  I began to gain weight.  I stopped being a good student.  I stopped really investing the same confidence in myself.  I always thought, till now, that my weight and confidence issues started later.  But, now I am not so sure.  When Peeps died, he was the biggest person I had ever known.  He must have been 350 pounds, and 6'3".  He ate horrendously, as many German-Bavarian immigrants ate: lots of smoked meats, bacon, butter.  I have never seen anyone take down a cake like that guy.  I wonder now if he was unhappy like I am unhappy about my size.  I weep for not knowing and not asking.  He was 68. I was 14. Too young and too soon for him and me.

The second post that got me thinking was Buzzy & Breezesly's Mama.  But, it wasn't just the post, but a response by Chris.  She said: "It (food) was your friend because it was convenient.  I am just glad that for me, it was..or it could have been drugs or some other thing.  Eating makes you feel less scared and lonely.  I hope you get your finger on it.  I know figuring it out was key for me."

Drugs or some other thing.  I wonder sometimes if drugs would have been an easier vice.  With drugs, they are horrid life changers.  They alter everything you know about yourself and the people around you.  But, you can stop.  You can't stop eating.  You always have to feed the addiction, feed the vice.  It is a constant torment and struggle.  How do you stop feeling comforted by food when food is well, comforting.  When you don't eat, you get hunger pains.  You eat, they go away... satisfaction.  It is such a twisted thing. 

I eat because I mourn the loss of who I should have been.  I eat because I miss my Peeps, and all the comfort and confidence and flight he gave me.  I am trying to be that person for me now.  It is a struggle.

Thanks for all of you who make me think.  Much love and I hope you all have someone to swing with today, even if it is just yourself.

Friday, May 14, 2010


I took a well-deserved blog-cation this week.  My Sweetheart had requested that I spent more quality time with him than my pc. Since he is such a delight, I just couldn't say no.  So here I am!!

So, what have I been up to?  Funny you should ask:

Well, last weekend, I went to the zoo.  The Philadelphia Zoo.  This place always makes me happy.  Everyone is so nice, the park is clean, and it is a great place to walk.  I also love Philly.  In fact, we went because they opened a new hotel, Le Meridien.  It was fabulous.  If you ever get to stay at one of these puppies, run and do not walk.

So back to the weight...  well, I recovered my weight gain of last week, and pulled off a little loss from where I was before the gain...  I will take it.  I took a bit of an intensity-cation this week.  I ate well, but I didn't do the crazy fitness routine that my trainer would have preferred.  I mostly walked and was chill.  I needed to listen to my body a bit, and it said CHILL.  Chilling included dinner with friends, eating sensible food, and having a few glasses of wine.  All yay.

BTW, have you guys been following Mr. Jack Sh*t lately?  I was ripped from the headlines the other day in my Awesome Sauce t-shirt.  You can check it out here.  If you want the t-shirt, you can get that here.  I have decided that while working out, I am not going to wear lame, matchy work-out gear.  I am going to wear all the t-shirts that I think are fun or funny that I can't wear to work or to the Chateau Marmont.  Why not, dang it?  Why not??!!

It is supposed to be glorious outside this weekend on the East Coast.  We bought a book on hikes and we are going.  Happy trails and I'll be blog-stalking you and catching up this weekend.  Rock out with your jock out!!  Baam.

Friday, May 7, 2010

My Coach Pisses Me Off

Yesterday, you couldn't get me to do anything without some sort of sigh, or comment, or some sort of ... of negative energy.  I was whinging about everything imaginable. 

Co-workers annoyed meI think I spent 4 hours yesterday spinning my wheels on a project.  I could not get any of my co-workers to get on the same page with me.  In the end, I had to do many pieces of the project myself, and others, I needed to push out their completion dates.  I hate that.

Walking at lunch in the beautiful sunlight annoyed me: I decided to go for a walk at lunch because needed a break.  The weather was nice, but the wind kept blowing my hair in my face, I have a nagging blister on my big toe, and a co-worker who came with me spent the whole walk talking about depressing topics.  Total bummer.

Doing the dishes annoyed me:  I had a whole sink full.  I know it was my turn, but I work all day and I just don't wanna.  Phewy.

My Coach annoyed me:  So, as a result of my utter charm, Sweetheart just said to me, 'that's it.  Get your gear on.  Get out.  Go for a walk, go for a run, go to the gym.  Do what you have to do, but get out.  Move.'
He really pissed me off.  I really wanted to tell him to go @#$#@$.  However, I was feeling pretty crappy, so what the heck, right?

So, I grudgingly put my gear on at 10:30 last night and decided to run my block a few times.  Well, 1 time turned to 2.  2 turned to 4.  In the end I ran 16x's for a total of over 4 miles.  I felt fan-flipping tastic!  I ran 10 minute miles.  I didn't feel tired.  It was perfect turn around to a pissy day. 

I love my Coach.  Who is your coach and how do they piss you off?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Yummy Eats & Cruise Prep Begins

You know, I never talk about the yummy food I eat and the fun stuff I do to food to make it taste better.

1.  I use spices.  Spice does not necessarily mean heat.  Spice means flavor.  I am a huge fan of using different spices to change up the taste of your food.  My faves:  coriander, dried mustard, paprika, ginger, basil, cilantro.  Sometimes, I use them all, sometimes just one.  When you can, fresh herbs work too.  Rosemary, thyme and parsley rock fresh.  In fact, you can even buy them fresh-frozen now.  I get them sometimes in what looks like mini-ice-cube trays.

2.  I like nuts.  I really like almond and peanut butter.  However, it is really high in fat, so a little has to go a long way.  So, to help this along.  I use peanut dust.  Ever try this?  check this website out:  PB2 rocks.  You can even get it with chocolate! 

3.  I use salsas.  I have 4 different types in my fridge right now.  a.  Peach Mango Salsa b. Chipotle Salsa c. Green Tomatilla Salsa d. Habanero Chili Lime Salsa.  They can completely change the flavor of a dish.  They can add heat.  They can increase acidity.  I like it on hot and cold dishes.  I almost always use salsa in place of salad dressing.

I am not afraid to change the flavor of anything, even if it is an old faithful dish.  You never know what will happen.  For example:  today for dinner, I added fava beans, chipotle salsa, onions, coriander, mustard powder and CAPERS.  I love capers.  I put them in almost everything I eat. 

The key is these things are low calorie, good for you, and make a huge difference.

So now for something completely different.  I am going on a cruise at the end of the month.  This means I need to go shopping.  I did some yesterday, and I bought a purdy dress.  Here is the model wearing it.  I just might show you guys me in it, but I need to well, buy some undergarments..  :-) 
Dress by Adrianna Papell.  Love their stuff. LOVE. and BTW, they have sizes 2 through 28W!  They sell this in department stores on the East Coast, but you can also order online.  Very true to size.  I am sharing this with the ladies because it absolutely sucks to buy plus size clothing. 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Month Recap

April was an interesting month.  I started the Fat-Rat Challenge.  I committed no 0 Physical Activity Days.  I hired a personal trainer.  I started C25K.  Big wins all around.

I also lost a total of 7.8 lbs (3/29-5/3).  This is a bit less than I had anticipated for the month, but if I am really honest, I have had at least 1-2 'out of the box' eating days every week.  I have not written everything down.  I also have not been keeping up with my water intake.  So, the line is drawn.  Today, we start clean and get in gear.  H2O + 3 Shakes + 2 Entrees + 5 Servings of Fruits and Vegetables, and that's all folks.

Here is the super big win:  I lost 9.6 inches around my body this month.  How cool.  The biggest change was in my waistline, which I will totally take.  I am so tired of not having a waist.  My clothes definitely appreciate these inches lost.  I appreciate the inches lost!!

So May, what will you bring me?  Fitness goals? Pounds lost?  Snacky cakes?
At the end of the month, I am going on a cruise, which will be an exciting treat.  Bathing suit purchasing is eminent.

Here is to a strong week!  Rock out with your jock out...  erm..  or something like that.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

5k Success, Womentum, NYC ROCKS

I did it.  I did a 5k.  Here is how we started.

7am registration.  Me and my mom got our t-shirts and goodie bags and took a photo.
The crowd was huge.  Over 30,000 people came to do this walk, closer to 40,000.  I had heard on the news that this event was larger than the NY Marathon.  It was so exciting and inspiring to meet the different teams and people on the walk.  People walking to support Survivors, Survivors walking.  People who were obviously sick and still walking-running.  It makes your shin splints feel like such a weenie excuse to slow down. 

For the event, their slogan was "Womentum".  I liked it. I think I am going to keep using it.

So, like all cool events, they have celebrities.  Do you know who these guys are? :-)

So now the race begins, and this awesome ticker tape parade begins in Times Square.  This was rad! NYC Rocks.

So then, it was time to move.  Because there were so many walkers, it was close to impossible to get any kind of speed while jogging.  A wall of walkers means you walk at the group's pace.  So, we finished in under 50 minutes.  Not a bad day for Bib 20672!

As a treat to ourselves, we decided to go to an exhibit after the race.

So, with the 5k, walking to and from the train station and walking in and around the city, I walked over 8 miles yesterday.  Today, the dogs are hurtin'.  Well Happy Sunday!  Hope tomorrow kicks off a strong week!