Thursday, September 29, 2011

A steady 157lbs.

It's been over a week, I think, since my last post, and I wanted to keep you, faithful dieteers, from worrying. My lack of posts have not been due to weigh gain. I've been busy is all. My weight has been at a steady 157 for pretty much the whole week. If you're keeping track, I guess I did gain 1 pound. [sad face]

Workouts over the week have included running with the dog and my son (who rides his bike) at least 3 times a week for 26 minutes, followed by a 3 variations of mountain climbers.
Yes, my shirt does say, "It's gonna be Legen--wait for it--dary." So what.  I heart How I Met Your Mother.
My neighbor took these. She called 'em paparazzi photos. I call that foreshadowing. hehehe.

On the days that I work I try to go on a walk with my kids in the evening to get the blood flowing and to elevate my mood. I've been drinking the Xocai high-antioxidant weight loss shake continually for 2 meals a day, mostly for convenience, but it really helps me maintain my weight and keeps my energy way up! For example, today I had my breakfast and lunch shakes and by late afternoon I realized I hadn't had any caffeine. Normally, I'd have a migraine the size of Alaska by the time school was out, but not today. Today I hardly noticed. Perhaps, I can finally give up my liquid mistress. hmm...

And, I started a faculty walking group at work. We try to walk a mile during our lunch 1/2 hour. Ours numbers are small right now, but I hope to inspire more people at work to get outta the dungeon/classroom during the day. 

Also, I used to think--and maybe even mentioned it on my blog before--that the Xocai reps had some of the best skin I've ever seen. I'm talking pristine, clear skin. The lot of 'em could be spokespersons for Neutragena, for acne's sake. I wondered if the Xocai really did turn back the aging clock, like they claim. I mean, I know that Xocai is packed full of antioxidants and all that jazz, but for some reason, I never expected to see a difference in my complexion. Someone at work mentioned that my skin looked really good and I was like, "eh", but then I got my annual school pics in my box, and when I saw myself, I was like "Wha--?" I look WAY more clear and healthy than last year. My blasted scanner is broken, so I can't show you the exact pictures I was referring to, but here's a pic from last year...

Close up
I think I was a size 14 in these. Weighed around 175, I think.
And one from this year...
I'm the one on the left. The other is my friend Ashley. She's pretty awesome despite her obsession with Harry Potter.

There must be something to the antioxidants claim after all.

And now it's time for...
I went to a conference in Cedar City last weekend with my English Dept. and we ate pretty horribly. Don't get me wrong, the food was fantabulous, but not good for me.

Here's what I ate for a meal one night.
I confess. I had a love affair with this praline and caramel ice-cream pie. Forgive me?

Seriously, I ate this and nothing else...until around mid-night when I raided the hotel room fridge for my fajita leftovers from the night before when we dined at Chili's and I ate my weight in chips and salsa before dinner even showed up. (Btw, the highlight of that meal was watching the couple in the booth next to us have a first date. I felt like I was watching a mating ritual through a glass partition as if I visiting Sea World and the couple were aquatic marvels. Geez, I can't even imagine plunging into the dating world again. So many awkward moments. So many duds. So many free meals...wait...was this a pro list or con? hehehe)

But somehow after eating like poo all weekend, I still managed to stay right at 157. I think I owe this one to Xocai and exercise.

Peace out, peeps. Be watching for an interview with Jillian Michaels, who is on the cover of the October issue of REDBOOK. Can't wait! I heart Jillian Michaels.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pop Quiz

Sorry, dieteers. You showed up to class today, and now you've got to take a pop quiz. Don't even try to pull that I-lost-my-notes-in-a-freak-gasoline-fight-accident-and-couldn't-study crap. I'm on to you! And this quiz is 50 % of your grade too! Yeah. And if you fail, you also have to publicly flogged with a no. 2 pencil in the commons area! Mwahahahaha!

Teachering is fun...

But seriously, it's a quiz from REDBOOK. An energy quiz meant to help a person figure out the source of their lack of energy that was adapted from Ashley Koff and Kathy Kaehler's book, Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged. And I'll actually just be giving you my answers...but you better not cheat [eyes narrowed] and use them when you take the quiz on p. 102 of the Sept. issue of REDBOOK.

  1. "I have caffeine...only in the morning" and in the form of Crystal Light Energy. 
  2. "At 7 p.m., I usually feel: Relaxed/fine and sometimes Hungry and tired".
  3. "I feel refreshed when I wake up in the morning: Most days." 
  4. "One glass of wine (or one other drink) makes me:" ...I don't
  5. "I've been on a diet: Within the last year."
  6. [This question is too personal. See magazine.]
  7. "My kids and family typically: Adjust to my needs when I take time for myself," but "I'm not great at putting my foot down and scheduling me time."
  8. "My coworkers or friends would describe my energy as: Hot and cold; I have highs and lows."
So now that you have my answers, what does that mean?

Score Analysis: 
According to Koff and Kaehler, I'm a darn-good life-juggler. I can keep everything balanced for the most part, but it's taking it's toll on my energy often leaving me exhausted and listless. I have lots of "up" days and a few days where only all I wanna do is take a couple of Aleve, watch a whole disk of Grey's Anatomy in my jammies, and pass of my responsibilities to Rick. I'm paraphrasing of course.

"Me time" shoes
Their advice? Recharge by:
  1. Getting an examination by a doctor. Have him check you for sleep apnea, depression, thyroid problems, etc. [I'm do for one anyway and will be scheduling one for early October.]
  2. Don't drink too much caffeine or alcohol. It can interfere with your sleeping habits. [I really wanna stop drinking caffeine altogether, and since I don't booze up, that's not really a problem for me.]
  3. Quit dieting! [What the what?] Really, the authors insist that you avoid diets that "involve cycles of deprivation and indulgence", because they are sucking the energy from you. [phew. I feel like my eating habits are less "diet-ish" and more "life-style change-ish". There's a difference.]
  4. Take B Vitamins. [OK. Can do.] B-vitamins are a source of energy, but can be depleted by stress [which is something I've suffered from in the last 3 months]. Foods high in B-vitamins are "whole grains, beans, dark green veggies, and fish" or just take a supplement.
  5. Make sure to get in some "me time". [Now you're talking.] Koff and Kaehler suggest that scheduling time for yourself can seriously help recharge. [A lot of my exercise routines fill this purpose, but I also enjoy shopping (for shoes), lunch with friends, walks with the kids, gardening, and writing] (106). 

Friday, September 16, 2011

How the plan of happiness includes exercise

Heavy Rena
I used to hate working out. Back in the day when I weighed my heaviest (221), the idea of working out put me in a literal sweat. Of course walking up the 5 steps of my townhouse stoop could make me wheeze and sweat like a marathon runner, so that's not saying much. When my gynocologist--a spry-looking fellow who sort of bounced around me like a hyper puppy as he consulted--told me I needed to exercise for 30 minutes a day 6-7 days a week in order to cure (or at the very least manage my insulin resistance), my first thought was that of panic. My second was "I'm sure he means for me to start smaller, right? He does know that I have a bad back, bad ankles, and bad knees, right? And that I have no time to be working out that much every week and day, right? Right?" And then the panic consumed me again.

Light Rena
Of course now that I'm down to 156 lbs.--The last 10 of which I lost courtesy of the Redbook Experiment--working out that often seems perfectly possible. I still may not have the time to work out that often, but I usually fit in 4 hard-core workouts and 2 relaxed workouts a week (I define "relaxed" as a leisurely walk with  my kids or gardening/yard work for an hour). The good news is that adjusting my diet and upping my exercise routine not only helped me lose 65 lbs., but it made me healthier. I no longer feel pain in my knees and ankles, and my back only gives me trouble during times of extreme stress. I was able to go off the Metaformin (my insulin resistance drugs; also the same drug given to type 2 diabetics) months after my diagnosis.

According to the September issue of REDBOOK, in an article entitled, "EXERCISE: IT'S NOT JUST FOR YOUR THIGHS!", the benefits of exercise are more than losing the junk in your trunk. Apparently, when a person words out for 30 minutes a day 5 times a week, your risk of heart disease and hypertension are lowered by 40%. It lowers your risk of breast cancer by 20%, depression by 30%, and type 2 diabetes by a whopping 58% (Halpert 108).

REDBOOK has "Better than nothing" workouts
for the reluctant exercisers.

You could hike a 5K with the Sasquatch.
It's surprising how many of those problems run my family and my husband's family. My dad had a heart attack, both my parents are diabetic,  and Rick's mom is diabetic. Cancer runs in both our families, and don't even get me started on depression! Some members of our families could be the face of a 1-800-I'M-DEPRESSED-AND-SELF-MEDICATING-WITH-FOOD hotline. I'd like to think that the healthy choices I make now will help change my medical family tree.  I don't ever want to discover that I got type 2 diabetes or heart disease because I couldn't be bothered to take a flipping walk with my kids a few days a week and downed sugary foods by the shovel-full. I also want my children to be informed and hopefully they too will be the recipients of good health and longevity.

The moral of the story: 
If you don't exercise, you're doing a disservice to yourself, your body, and your family. Stop reading this blog and go ride a bike or dance to that new Katy Perry song. I don't care what you do, but MOVE IT!

...It's ok to leave a comment before you go.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

An ode to my inner thighs

Chunks on both legs,
Textured like raw dough
I want you to leave.
I hate you so.

My poetry-bone is struggling today. But here's the good news. I've been working out 3-4 times a week. Running on an incline for 30 minutes, burning 400 cals and keeping my consumption of cals at 1300.

I'm hoping this won't be my only feature in REDBOOK.
The payoff: I'm down to 156! I only have 11 more lbs to go! woot. woot. Plus, I'm carrying a lot of water weight this week, cuz...we'll if you're a woman you know. So chances are I'll lose a couple lbs more by the end of next week. I'll take it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

New intel on Big Foot proves that he has a handlebar mustache

My 2 friends, Shan and Nicholette, and I went to Eden this weekend for the BIG FOOT Mid-Night Blood run 5K, my 2nd 5K ever. Held at Wolf Mountain ski resort, which in the middle of September is really dry and dusty, over 50 runners showed up to run/try to spot a costumed Sasquatch on the trail. We got a little turned around on the way up and ended up being 5 seconds late. The three of us (which was originally a group of 7, then 5, then 3 when WAY too many people flaked out. Punks.) had to hike up the hill to catch up with the runners, and did so by the third switchback.

On the BIG FOOT 5K. Not running so much as walking. It was a pretty steep "run". We hiked it.
Oh, I didn't mention the switchbacks? The whole trail was uphill on loose gravel and dust. Sure the foliage and trees were beautiful (OK, that's a full-on assumption. It was way too dark to really tell), but mostly we were focused on the dust we inhaled that was kicked up from the runners in front of us.

Hiking in the dark. Yes, I have two head lamps. Plus we were the last ones (b/c we were late) and you know what that means in the movies. The last ones always get picked off by the psychos...or in this case, big foots.
And by "runners" I mean walkers, because you try running up switchbacks in the dark while getting vertigo from your headlamp and the strobe-light effect of 75 other runners with headlights, and then throw in the fact that you're trying to spot a big foot, so the trail isn't always top priority.

Big Foot is walked behind me while the photo is being taken.
We did actually get to see one too. The advertisement for the run made it sound like they'd have like 5-10 costumed Big Foots?...Big Foot?...Big Feet?...hairy men on the path, hiding behind trees, poking heads out in curiosity here and there.

But here's what really happened. We saw a Big Foot on the second switchback, didn't see one for the whole rest of the run (Though, I did scare Shan pretty good with a shoulder grab and traditional "Boo". Wuss.) until the end of the run when we were almost back to the lodge at the base of the mountain, which is when we saw the same Sasquatch in ALMOST  THE SAME EXACT SPOT!
When the race ended, this Sasquatch/swamp monster showed up at the lodge in a weird camo Snuffleupagus costume. Plus, when he pulled the head off, the guy had a Tom Sellek handlebar mustache. Pretty unusual for a Big Foot, I hear.
I'm sure they got the Sasquatch costume from the Seasame Street wardrobe.

Rick would've been disappointed with that. But he turned out to be one of the flaker-outers, so poo on him.
Scared of the Sasquatch. Nic has my back.

So, we don't know what time we made, nor did we get a tee, because they weren't free. You had to pay $25 for one.

Running up and down a ski lope for 3.1 miles in September makes for dusty shoes.
I'm still glad we went though. It was a killer hike.  My buttocks still ache a little when I walk up or down stairs.

Me and Sasquatch hanging.
Would I go again? Sure. I know what to expect this time, and the girls and I did have a ton of fun regardless of our unrequited expectations.

Plus, have you ever seen Rules of Engagement?
We tried our own version. Apparently, I'm the David Spade of the bunch, but I don't have a Tom Selleck mustache, so I win. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How I one-up Paris Hilton by getting a SLAP watch in exchange for my "fat" clothes

My friend Shan and I have a tight relationship.
Shan and me, breaking hearts

I met her over a year ago at a conference where her personality blew me away. She is hella fun to talk to and has a personality the size of jumbo-tron at half-time. We didn't really become BF's until Spring of this year when I wrote an article for the paper about how she got lost while hiking in Snow Canyon.  Good times. I got to know her really well during these interviews, and now we are tight like...tight things. Shan always jokes that if I ever need another story, she'll be the first to knock over a liquor store for me.

Anyways, one of the layers of our friendship is the the clothes swap. Over the summer, Shan has been inheriting the clothes that don't fit me anymore (I don't mean to make Shan sound fat, in fact she's on a weight loss journey too, and is 1-2 sizes behind me. Funny that it took me 3-4 years to drop the 60 lbs, and it barely took Shan a year. I'm not bitter, I swear. So you see, she gets my clothes when I grow outta them.) And return for clothes Shan introduces me to mild-to-sharply famous people (kinda like cheddar) and once she bought me a SLAP watch.

From this you may learn two things:

Spike hearts me.
1. Yes, my wardrobe could buy you interviews with B-listers and a reinvented 80's accessory on the black market. Suck it, Paris Hilton.


2. She is about to inherit a skirt that I love almost as much as my pet Chihuahua/terrier, Spike.

Seriously. I imagine the hand-off going like this...
Lost inches, gained a SLAP watch.
...I hand her the pinstriped navy skirt (just like the one referenced in Weezer's "Miss Sweeney", [listen to the song on this blog's playlist] which happens to be my favorite song on planet earth. Plus, in my reverie, the song is my soundtrack), and as her hand takes hold of the poly-rayon blend, I won't be able to release it. My mind replays all of our good times together (the skirt, not Shan, although there are many of those too). Like the time a friend did a double take while I was wearing it. Or the other time when I was referred to as a "supermodel" whilst donning this kick-a skirt at a wedding. After a myriad of images, especially one with me running slow-motion through a meadow toward my skirt, just for good measure, I'll finally release the garment with a gasp. My only hope would be that it generates as many compliments and double-takes for Shan as it did for me.
The Weezer inspired skirt

[Oh, Shan. I cannot tell how I loathe to lose this skirt. Take care of it. Treat it like a member of your family your mid-western family. Mostly cuz I'm gonna want it back if I get fat again]

PS. The scale has significantly read 158 all week. I heart that.

Spoiler Alert for my next post: BIG FOOT captured on film during a 5K. Tune in.

Also, will I be able to do a cleanse?
My friend B.C. thinks "no". Something about how I couldn't even get through Atlas Shrugged, so automatically that means I won't read the cleanse book he loaned me. We'll see, B.C. We'll see.
(It better be shorter than Atlas Shrugged and it would help if there was a cameo of Chelsea Handler and a midget. Just saying.)
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