Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Life in the Past 10 Days: a cocktail of deadlines, midterms, and upchuck fest 2011

I've been a lazy blogger. I know. It's been just shy of a couple of weeks since my last post, and I need to catch everyone up on the events of my life; diet and otherwise.

Results of Week 3: Stress Free Week

Weight: 160
Yes. I gained back the weight that I lost after my Vegas trip.
In my defense, I've been super busy. It has been the opposite of a stress free week. With work, I've been grading papers like crazy to prepare for mid-terms.

And for my newspaper gig, I had 3 deadlines, 2 of which were back-to-back; one interview had to be done in person on location and the others done over the phone with follow-up emails. Then came the actual writing, revising, editing, submissions. It's not as chill as blogging.

This is also symbolic of how I'm
ready for school to be out NOW.
Additionally, my kid has been having trouble on her bus and wants me to pick her up from school from now on. [I only gave in a couple times.] And she and her BF got into a scuffle that ended with a doorknob sized bruise on her back. They made up.

Plus yesterday, I ate a can of botulism, i.e. a can of old beans that my mom gave me when she was cleaning out her pantry, and then I spent a night and a day getting reacquainted with the Rim-y, the toilet bowl.

And the icing on the birthday cake is that I'm turning 30. Aside from what the REDBOOK article said, I haven't actually turned 30 yet, but will in a week. The idea of TURNING THIRTY hangs over me all the time, like a bad, itchy sweater. I'm in total wig-mode. I think the most irritating part about it is that I feel like I'm just now starting to reach a point where I'm happy with my body. I look good and feel good. But 30...30 is a benchmark for women. It's the age where statistically our looks begin to fade. It's not fair. I just started to get my looks, and now I'm going to lose my looks. [sigh]

My fear is somewhat irrational. I know. Someone out there, prolly my sisters, are rolling their eyes and muttering something about me being a drama queen. I need to suck it up, breathe, and hope at least one unlikely person will validate my hotness after I turn 30. Is it too much to ask to be universally attractive for 1 decade out of my homely life?

Yes.
God has a cruel sense of humor.

Here's the part where I can't come up with a segue.

Exercise has been surprisingly successful, despite the weight gain.

During week 3, I worked out 3 times. I ran a total of 4 miles, walked 2, and did a session of planks and side planks.

During this week, April Week 4 (which I have not yet named, unless you count "Picking Up the Pieces of My Crazy Life") I have worked out once. On Monday. I did a 45 minute Hip Hop Abs workout (including the butt-toning DVD). If I feel well enough by this evening, I'll try to squeeze in another workout. Plus, I have a local 5K scheduled for Saturday morning, which I signed up for months ago.

My diet goal for April Week 4 is to cut out sugar again. I have the most success with my eating habits if I do this small thing. I'll be back down to 156 in no time. I still fit into my size 10's, btw.

I am unhappy with my progress lack of progress. I've let myself down and all of you readers in cyberspace. I'm back on track, however, and, 30 or not, I want the body of a 25-year-old, non-smoker.

Wish me luck, and if you are a close personal friend prone to give me birthday surprises, I'll take shoes this year. (I'm a size 8 1/2) No cake.

Unless it's carrot cake from Art City Trolley
...or chocolate cake from Macaroni Grill...

Forget I said that. I'm resolved. See my resolved face. [pointing to resolved face]

Monday, April 18, 2011

April Week 2: Results and Week 3: Stress Free Week

Did I mention I suck on holidays/vacations? Well, I do.

This week was spring break, and I sucked.

The diet plan was to not eat meat on Mondays. Check. But really, I need more than that to focus on. Ugh. I feel like a whale this week. On Friday, I went to a birthday party for my nephew and I ate two hot dogs, a piece of cake, some candy, and chicken salad. Evil food! It seduced me, and I had my way with it.

Workouts when down like this:

MONDAY: planks and side planks
TUES: none
WED: walking in the park with my kids, pushing my kid on the swing for 20 min.
THURS: Hip Hop Abs: buns, hips, and thighs, and digging/shoveling for an hour
FRI: dancing for an hour
SAT: Hip Hop Abs: buns, hips, and thighs, AND HHA: Cardio

My workouts were sporadic and except for the HHA one, I didn't feel worked out. You know? Ugh. Shame on me. I've decided that I am not going to look at the scale until I have a better week. Sorry readers, but this is one of those times where I might just spiral into a pit of depression if the scale is even a pound over. So, I'm waiting. Next week, I'll post my results.

Here's how I'm going to improve this week:

Week 3: STRESS FREE WEEK

Avoid Stress Eating.
DIET & EXERCISE:
REDBOOK gives an awesome blurb on dieting on p. 204 of the April issue. It's titled, "Take the Stress Out of Dieting", which is exactly what I need. It suggests that dieting can turn a person into a "stress eater". According to the article, I can avoid stress eating by:
  • making sure I don't drop below 1,200 calories a day (easy. It's the exceeding 1500 that is a challenge.)
  • eat small meals and snacks throughout the day (got it.)
  • eat lots of omega-3 rich foods, like salmon, scallops, shrimp and walnuts (I hate walnuts, but I still have some frozen scallops left over from the scallop po-boys recipe I tried last month. Plus, I love me some salmon.)
  • working out for 30 minutes, 3 days a week or more, because it "lowers levels of stress hormones in your body."(That I can do.)
    • Workout of choice comes from p. 103. It's an inspiring piece on a woman, Amanda Griffith, who starting jogging to reduce stress, because her stress was messing with her immune system and causing cramping, pain, diarrhea, and fatigue. She jogged 3 times a week around the neighborhood to clear her head (Warnick 103). So that's my plan to. I'm going to run at an easy pace for 1.5 miles a day, 3 times a week to clear my mind. I would do it outside, but the weather is showing rain, rain, rain, rain, and snow this week. Grr. Still, I've got my trusty treadmill.
There you have it, dieteers. I'll be eating fish and jogging this week, and hopefully my results post at the end of the week will redeem my spring break follies.

Love your abs,
R

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wacky Brownies

I made brownies using a recipe from April's issue of REDBOOK. And even though they were wacky, it's not what you think. I used the recipe for a puree that you can use as a substitute for butter or oil in some recipes. I made the "White Puree", which is made of 2 Tbs. of water and canned Navy beans. I swapped out a 1/2 cup of oil with this pasty-looking puree and made a pretty kick-butt batch of brownies. They are low-fat (or lower fat, rather) and delicious. I took the 9" x 13" pan to a function tonight and when I got ready to leave, there were only two left.

Mine were gone before I could take a photo, but they looked a lot like these.
Score one, REDBOOK! Thanks for the wacky brownies (sans hallucinations). They were amazing!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April Week 2: Tummy Tuck the Natural Way


Does not need a tummy tuck.

First things first.
I weigh the same as last week, so I still have 1 more Vegas-pound to go. I'm forgiving myself on account that it's spring break, and I intend on working out hard core this week.

The plan this week:

Tummies of the world: BEWARE. OK, not reallly all tummies. Just my tummy. The April issue of REDBOOK has this whole article about how dangerous, painful, and unpleasant a medical tummy tuck can be. It's a deterring article if I've ever read one. Not that I could ever afford to get a tummy tuck before, but now I know I wouldn't consider it even if I had the dough. You should see the visuals in the article.  Lemme put it this way. You know how when you make pie crust dough and you stretch it over the pie tin and trim the excess? Imagine your skin is the dough and your torso is the pie tin. Eck. It's awful. Doctors actually carve out a new belly button once they stretch the skin taut and slice off the extra flesh (Levine 177). [holding back nausea.] Do they put you under for the surgery or use a local anesthetic? [dry-heaving]

I have to add here that even though a tummy tuck isn't for me, I totally respect Kate Gosselin's decision. If I ever had 6 babies in my belly simultaneously, I'd tuck that belly faster than Kate could list the names of her 8 kids.

Fortunately for me, REDBOOK has some good suggestions as to getting a tight tummy without the torture of a knife.

One thing that I learned is crunches can cause muscle damage in the stomach if you've had children (179). Wish I would've known that way back in the day. I must've spent years doing crunches, trying to get my blasted tummy back to a pre-birth tightness. What the article suggests doing instead is planks and side planks. So that's the plan. I'll do planks every night this week, and at least 3 Hip Hop Abs: Hips, Thighs, and Abs workout.

side plank
DIET:
No meat mondays.

EXERCISE:
3 Hip Hop Abs workouts
and planks every night.

Wish me happy abs.





Monday, April 11, 2011

It's Here!

My little feature came out in REDBOOK today!
Go out and buy a copy of the May issue (with the Kardashians on the cover) and check out p. 32.
...I'll wait...
...
...
...
...
Whatdya think? One of the coolest days of my blogging life.
Here's a couple photos in case you broke your legs in a...Zumba/Ultimate Frisbee competition and couldn't get out to a mag stand or Wal-mart.

Sweet.

I'm too charged to blog about my plan this week, but know this: I've had 2 successful no meat Mondays so far. And I worked out 3 times last week. All good. I'm feeling very chubby though, but it's because of a biological inevitability [Ladies, you know what I'm talking about.], not because of my lack of effort.
Keep on dieting, friends. Together we can lose those last few pounds.
Thanks for your support too.
You'll be hearing from me soon.

P.S.
Sometimes really random people tell me that I'm looking good and those are my favorite compliments, b/c unlike my friends and family, those random people have no obligations to give praise. So thanks random people. You give me warm fuzzies.

Now friends and family, don't get me wrong. I love your praise too. And I wanna thank you for supporting me throughout this journey. I appreciate all you do for me on a day-to-day basis. Without you, I'd be swimming in a tub of custard-filled doughnuts.

Monday, April 4, 2011

April Week 1: No Meat Mondays

The diet goal this week will be adapted to the whole month of April and is as simple as the title.

During the month of April (on Mondays), I will refrain from eating MEAT.

YOU: What difference will that make?

ME: "[I'll] be thinner and healthier" according to REDBOOK's "Good to Eat" article in the April 2011 issue (188). Apparently, plant-eaters weigh less than meat-eaters by 15%! Crazy, right? Also, cutting out meat to replace it with healthy foods, like nuts, can help ward off heart disease (188).

YOU: Cool. Good idea, Rena REDBOOK.

ME: But wait! There's more! Going "meatless" saves money, too!

YOU: How? [confused face]

ME: It's simple. [using infomercial voice] Meat is more expensive than veggies. You could potentially save $1,000 a year by participating in "Meatless Mondays" (188). Now that's a savings you can't pass up!

 YOU: [Screws up mouth] Still, I'm not entirely convinced. If only "Meatless Mondays" supports a cause of some kind...

ME: As a matter of fact, it does! [grin...hold it...hold it...breathe, and...] "Meatless Mondays" helps save the planet! What better cause is there? According to the article, "Skipping meat for a single day saves up to 890 gallons of water (that's what it takes to process a 1/4 lb of beef.) And if the US population did meatless Mondays for a year, we'd save 12 billion gallons of gas" (188). (But seriously, that's a heck of a lot of water. And gas.)

YOU: SOLD! I'm going meatless on Mondays!


[We high five. Camera freezes on the impact. Behind a montage of Earth photos, both real and cartoons. Theme song: "We are the World". Montage ends on a cartoon shot of the world hugging a steak cow.]


This is what the world would look like if it had its own infomercial.
Good thing it leaves that to us.

I know I sound sarcastic here, but I'm really excited about the prospect. So far, I've had no trouble with this goal.

REDBOOK has a full article on tummy tucking too, which I'll blog about later, but know this, I am focusing my workouts on Abs this week. Specifically the 3rd disc in the Hip Hop Abs set. It's a doozey. [doosey? do-sie? doo-sie?]

Wish me luck, dieteers!


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Results of Vegas Rehabilitation Week

One Vegas-pound to go.

The scale this morning blessed me with the loss of 2 lbs. [sigh] I feel some relief about this. I managed to lose 2 of the Vegas El-bees that I brought home with me. [phew] One more to go.
However, exercise-wise, I am still trying to get out of my laziness funk. I think I was too pampered in Vegas, and now I'm struggling with getting back on track.


The editorial photo that matches my exercise week.
I had grand plans to run 3 5K's on the treadmill.

What I actually did:

Monday: nothing

Tuesday: a 5K on the treadmill

Wednesday: Nothing

Thursday: I pushed my kid on the swing for 20 minutes and walked/ran around the park, chasing him for another 10min.

Friday: Nothing
Saturday: Ran a 1/2 mile on the treadmill, walked uphill (5% incline) for 30minutes more. I only burned 250 cals, but I'll take it. Like I said, I'm in a funk.

I know. Totally lazy workout week, huh? Grr.
These are my new size 10 jeans, btw.

I've kept my calories down pretty good. But this funk has got to go. I feel like I gotta pick myself up by the shoelaces and beat this thing!

One more pound of Vegas weight before I'm back to pre-Vegas weight (i.e. 156 lbs.) Wish me luck, but not the same kind you'd need in a casino.

And next week...(spoiler alert)...and for the whole month of April, I'll be trying "No Meat Mondays".
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