Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas a la....Bizzaro??

So this year, Christmas was....well a little freaking BIZARRO. Every year, as long as I can remember and as long as my house has existed, we've hosted the holiday. Usually anywhere between 15-30 people will show up. It's a wonderful day of pepperoni, bacon wrapped water chestnuts, crescent rolls and bananna bread. This year my Dad was given the xmas gift of 3 trips to the ER, starting christmas eve morning.  YAY.  Long story short, he needs a knee replacement and while we're getting the red tape BS sorted out, he gets the never ending gift of excruciating pain. So first, Xmas was delayed....ok, delayed is doable... but after the 3rd trip in, it has been officially CANCELED for the year. That's right. The grinch literally stole out christmas.  Talk about bizzaro holiday.

"Me am Superman."

The day itself was also beyond strange. We hadn't even decorated the tree yet with all the craziness, so we did that. We made beef stew and dinner was completely sans crescent rolls. We waited until nearly 2 to open gifts, which we did on the couch instead of next to the tree so that my dad didn't need to move. Oh my sister wasn't there either, so it was just the three of us.  To top of a wonderful day, I did some work I had taken home and my dad and I watched the second Transformers movie. Now if that doesn't scream Christmas, I dont know what does.

As for our wonderful xmas gift exchange, that worked out pretty well I must say. My sis got me the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies book, which I'm quite excited to read. My gifts for everyone went over well. I was worried about giving my mom Sweeney Todd since apparently it turns into quite the blood bath of slashed throats at the end, but turns out she had seen it and really likes it, so success! We watched it and I thought it was great. Really not that gorey - just blood. On a more embarassing note, one of my biggest pleasure was.... MY BRAND NEW VACUUM (imagine bob barker saying that one). My old one died and I was too lazy to get a new one on craigslist, but santa (aka mom) came through for me! It was one of the first things I did when I got home.  Definitely a bit of my Grandma's spirit shining through me.

As for friends, they got jam packed into one super busy day. Hit up a coffee shop with one friend I hadn't seen in ages, and managed to run into a mutual friend of ours there. small small world. Then hit up the $2 movie theater to see Paranormal Activity. Let me tell you, I do NOT do well in scary movies, but the $2 atmosphere makes it totally different. You can laugh, cry, scream, bring infants, do anything you want. literally. It's amazing. So I squealed my way through the movie, which thankfully had a crap ending, making it not so scary at all. Then hit up the bar with my cousins and got to visit with my Aunt and Uncle for a bit, catch up on my celeb gossip. Always a good time and guilty pleasure.

Food and exercise wise, the vacation was good. I got to do some at home exercising and hit the gym twice. I was impressed with myself. Found a pretty damn good balance between indulging in xmas treats (come on....that apple crumb pie had to be eaten by someone), while still pretty much staying on track.  And I actually think I was able to even make PROGRESS over the holiday.  Who does that?  I dont know, but I'm feeling pretty pumped from it.

I can't eat myself....

So not exactly a normal year, but hey, its certinaly one I'll remember. I still got to spend a good chunk of time at home with family and friends and that's what counts really. Still, would have been nice to at least have fake xmas.  Maybe we'll pull something togethr later this year. Next time with less ER and more pillsbury.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Territoriality. He was Mine First.

No, not Clerks. DEGRASSI!!!! Seriously people, when did Degrassi become the cool place to be??

I remember first being introduced to this Canadian wonder in 7th grade guidance class in our music room. This of course was the original version of the show.  It wasn't until several years later that I was introduced to joys of The Next Generation (and not the Star Tek variation). Since then, I've seen this beast grow out of control.  Example A: Aubrey Graham.  How do you go from being shot and paralyzed by crazy Rick after Spinner blamed you for tar and feathering Rick to on stage rapping with Lil Wayne?!?!

Seroiusly, WTF???

I remember the early days of Drake when he was in love with Ashley and I had to stay up to random hours to find re-runs on Noggin, or better yet, marathons. And then...sigh...the college years. WPI doesn't exactly pay for their students to have access to the-N. I missed JT get Liberty pregnant, her give the baby up for adoption, him start dating Nina Dobrev and the triangle of bitchiness that proceeded when JT tried to get daycare at school for his new lady. Little did he know that she would soon be on the WB trying to ride this vampire wave - quite successfully (and kinda creepily below......)

Uhhhhh..... Teenage mom to teenage vampire lover?

And how can I leave out possibly the most dramatic transformation of them all? She started as sweet little Darcy, the Jesus lovin, virginity saving, Friendship Club attending Cheerleader who tamed the Spinmeister. Maybe it's the decay of moral values and eventual coming back to Jesus after being raped (sorry, but Paige's post-rape performance of Poor Thing was much more moving)  that set her up for her next role... on the remake of 90210?!?!?

Sooo not in Canada anymore, Eh?

How did Degrassi become such a start-up role for people? I don't get it! Dorkiest show ever. A true after school special and appearently the new Mickey Mouse Club. Here I thought I was going to have to wait for New Years marathons and bootleg episodes online to get my Degrassi drama. Slowly but surely we invaded the local channel MyTV, MTV's 10am slot, a primetime Degrassi Goes Hollywood Movie premiere and we're going strong!

My guess for the next step....Manny Santos comes out as one of the many mistresses of Tiger Woods.

Oh the embarassing guilty pleasures I have :)

Merry Meathead Christmas

Otherwise known as my surviving the holiday feasts post (filled with lots of goody links so click away). OK so I'm a bit late on this one as much of the season of eating has come to an end, but most of this stuff can really be applied any time of the year. It's quite easey at this time of the year to justify eating all sorts of crap - grandma's pecan pie, uncle joe's stuffing.... or if you're me, a few packages of Pillsbury crescent rolls.

Yes, these most definitely will be served at my wedding - from the doughboy himself.

Unfortuntely, this kind of stuff really adds up fast and is easy to snowball (ha ha ha winter pun intended). First thing is to remember that this is NOT the one and only time you're going to be able to enjoy this stuff. You don't have to eat like the world is ending or Pillsbury is going out of business.  It may be cheesey, but this time of the year really is supposed to be about friends and family and enjoying time together. food is fun, but it's a lot easier to chat it up with that cute guy when you're not shoveling food down your throat.

And those foods that you do decide to indulge in, remember there are bad, good and better choices and it's ALWAYS a good idea to have a snack BEFORE whatever ugly sweater party you're going to if you wanna fit in that naughty santa costume later. Going to a party hungry is no different than grocery shopping when you're hungry - a very very very bad idea. And when you do find your plate full of wonderful, delights, remember to eat slowly and really enjoy what you're tasting (again, much easier to do when you're not hungry!). My favorite trick is always to bring a healthy "safe" snack myself that I know I can dig into guilt-free. Double win there - you look considerate and like a good guest while you're really taking care of yourself.

If you're like me, I find it much easier to enjoy myself when I know I've earned it and will be putting that food to good work. with a solid pre-party workout, a post party (usually the next morning) workout or even better, BOTH. One bit issue (aka excuse) with this is travel and being away from home during the holidays. With a little research, even people like me who live in the middle of nowhere CAN find a gym to go to. And even if you can't find a gym, most people can find a staircase and some empty space. Most important thing is to get that workout in, even if it means strapping a car to your back and getting strange looks from the neighbors. And if you're lucky enough to have a prowler and the space, you can always make pretty christmas patterns in the snow.

So not really the most personal post in the world, but definitely some good strategies, good workout ideas and nutrition ideas to keep you going and stop you from turning into one of the Bobs of the world. And really, it's not what you eat between Christmas and New Years, it's what you eat between New Years and Christmas that counts :) So don't be afraid to indulge a little. But remember that challenge.....

"What do you say, Bob? Monday, Christmas morning, 6am, my house. The ball's in your court."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

To Trainer or Not to Trainer

If you've spent any chunk of time talking with me about fitness, then I'm sure you've heard my opinions about trainers at least once... and probably in a quite irritated tone. After a few encounters with some trainers in my gym (posts on this to come!), it finally occurred to me walking home, "Hey! I should write about trainers!"  To trainer or not to trainer.... that is the question indeed.

To be or Not to be
If you ask me, it's more like a Catch-22.  Many beginners assume that 1) they need a trainer, 2) that all trainers are knowledgeable and 3) the trainer is going to be a good use of their time/money. This struggle is usually even worse for women, who thanks to society, stereotypes, so-called "fitness" magazines and the crap crap information out there, have an even higher tendency to be intimidated in the freeweight area. Even worse is when they're told a squat rack would be wasted on a woman!?!?! Their usual solution - hire a trainer.

And here comes the catch: people who don't know what they're doing hire trainers BUTTTTT to tell if a trainer is worthwhile, you kinda really need to know what you're doing yourself, in which case you wouldn't need a trainer.

Great, huh? In my opinion, a lot of the problem comes from the variety of certifications available. It makes it extra difficult to judge a trainer's competence unless you're really familiar with these differences.  I've heard of online programs you don't have to pay for until you pass the test up to real, legit, intense programs where you're actually learning about form and function and nutrition.  Even better is when you can get someone who has a degree related to diet/fitness/physiology - then you know their life is really about this.  So many many trainers can say they're "certified" but what that really means, who knows.

On the other hand, EXPERIENCE and interest deserves a lot of credit as well. I'd much rather be trained by someone who has been there, done that themselves, spends time reading and educating themselves and may have less impressive certifications than by someone with all the certifications in the world and little experience to back it up. I've learned first hand how oh-so important actually testing a lot of this stuff (diet and exercise) out on yourself is and how much you can learn from that.

Ugggh SOOOOO many things wrong in this picture.

Then I have some gender-specific griefs as well. For men, using a trainer on a regular basis is typically more like paying for a spotter and someone to chat with and distract you. Much better off just getting someone to design a workout for you (better yet, finding one yourself), check your form and then do it on your own.  For women, most "strength training" is totally fucking bogus. For the most part, I see more of a plyometric/metabolic bodyweight circuit, and it rarely progress past this. 

Ok, I totally understand that some people need to start there, but THIS ISN'T STRENGTH TRAINING. You might be getting stronger and more fit in some aspects, but you will NOT build muscle like this (and thus not raise your metabolism or improve your body composition, which means you might lose fat, but you might end up skinny-fat and still unhappy).  On the occasion I do see a trainer actually lifting with a woman, the woman is usually asking unquestioningly "what weight do you think i should use" and is never taught to really try to push themselves and their limits.

STEP AWAY from the purty wainbow

And don't get me started on the trainers standing next to their client deadlifting with a totally rounded back (hello injury central) or doing quarter squats or freaking tricep kickbacks (for the love of god, at least do some skull crushers).  So really, these women who have no idea what they're doing and think they're going to right source are usually getting screwed over at quite a high pricetag, and even worse, are getting no closer to their goals, despite the time, money and effort they're putting in. It's really quite infuriating to me actually.

So what should my beginner friend do when looking to start on this journey? Don't get me wrong, I don't think hiring a trainer is the worst thing in the world, but I think educating yourself is the biggest key. It's much more effective to spend an hour learning about proper nutrition and fitness than to spend another hour mindlessly running on the treadmill. But like I said earlier, there's such a crapton of crap out there when it comes to this stuff. How does one begin to sort through this?

Stay tuned for part 2 to this article, where I will give my opinions on where to start, how to progress and some great links about diet (the dreaded 80% of the equation) and exercise (that remaining 20%). In the meantime, there's tons of great links already listed on one of my sidebars. I find skwigg's blog and stumptuous to be particularly good places to start.


(that means end rant for those that don't spek nerd)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

TIME OUT! for a tribute to my man.

Sooooooo.... I'm sitting around last night trying to just have a nice relaxing evening.  I read some Bridget Jones (working on that reading list baby), took a lil nap, had some dinner, made some more roasted chick peas, played the piano for a bit, did the dishes and then settled down to do some more reading.  I decided, why not turn to TV on. BJD is easy enough to read that something fun in the background wouldn't be awful.  So I turn it on...scrolling channels....not much on.... maybe I'll watch the Sing-Off.  So I turn it on, look up....AND TIME the F*CK OUT ZACK MORRIS!!!!!


 On the TV in front of me is my one, my only, my idol, Benjamin Scott Folds. Apparently he's one of the judges (with a girl from the Pussycat dolls and a guy from Boys2Men) on the show.


How in the world did I not know this? And how all of my friends fail to inform me of this.  A little history... as much as I would love to say I was there from the start, I got hooked back in the day in 7th grade with Brick, just like everyone else. But from there it was instant love.

I dragged my Uncle and my cousin up to upstate bumblefuck NY (Buffalo i think) to go see him and picked up my sis on the way. He played with the Flaming Lips and Train, and he was them (Ben Folds Five) then.  It was just love, pure love. I was hooked (like I hadn't been before).

Since then... I've seen him, oh, I don't know... every chance I get?
  • NYC Ben Folds and a Piano (release tour of first solo album) with my sister
  • Worcester with my college friends
  • Lupos in RI with my sister
  • Bank of America Pavilion in Boston on the Odd Man Out Tour (with Rufus Wainwright and Guster) with my ex James
  • Orpheum in Boston with my ex Steve for the release of Way to Normal
  • TD Bank North (ugh, opening for John Mayer) with the ex - Steve
  • With the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the BSO with my friend Danielle (cause ex-steve f*ed up bigtime) - FRONT ROW CENTER, maybe 5 feet away - I have amazing video.
  • With the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the BSO with random Craigslist girl- probably the BEST performance of his I've ever seen. TRIPLE encore
  • With the Providence Performing Arts Symphony at PPAC with a bunch of co-workers
And I know there's at least one or two more times that I'm brain farting on right now.... so that's a minimum of 10 times either way.  If you couldn't tell by now, I kinda like him just a bit. Especially back in the day when he was adorable freaking Ben.

And especially before he had 5 million wives and left them all one by one... Kind of hard to love his love songs as much after quite so many failures, but that's ok. I love him anyways, and The Luckiest will still most definitely be played at my wedding at some point.

So what's new in the works for Mr Folds besides this random judging shtick you ask?  Well actually, his next album coming out will be with auther Nick Hornsby.  Hornsby is writing the lyrics and Folds is putting them to music and performing them.  Between the PPAC show and the last BSO show, I got to see three of these demos performed live. And let me tell you, this album is going to be FANTASTIC.  First, a really sad but incredibly moving song called Picture Window (this is my favorite - total ben folds emotional style - chokes me up every time). A hilarious song about a washed up musician singing his one-hit-wonder about his ex-wife, Belinda (this is the actual performance I saw btw). And finally, an absolutely freaking hysterical song about Palin's daughter's baby-daddy, Levi Johnston and his tough tough life, called, The Levi Johnston Blues.

Alrighty, now that I've gotten that all out there and paid my respects, I feel loads better. Time-in.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Progress Pics

First round of progress pics are up, and I'm doing great if I do say so myself :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Musical Motivation

As much as I love hitting the iron, some days I just don't feel like it. Really who doesn't? So what does one do in this situation?  What helps me the most is having a mental image that really fires me up. Might be something positive like the future fit you, or it might be something that gets you angry- like an ex or the office bitch or if you're me, your f*ing pig of a sexual harasser.  Usually I like to save these extra-motivating images for the really tough moments (like the last few reps of a set of the evil bulgarian splits squats). So for the remaining 98% of the time, it's usually just some good tunes for me.

"So Katie, what kind of tunes pump you up?" you ask.  Well, here is a random sample of some of my gym favorites - motivating, fun, and embarrassing - and some hopefully entertaining explainations of why.

Lunchlady Land - Adam Sandler "Sloppy joes....sloppy sloppy joes." This is usually when I get stared at for chuckling to myself for no apparent reason.

Punk Rock Academy - Atom and His Package You just need to hear it.

Brass Monkey - Beastie Boys  No 'splanation needed.  But I will say, this always makes me think of the boys at our middle school dances.

Bitches Ain't Shit - As covered by Ben Folds I can't think of a more perfect song to be covered by a man and a piano.

Mortal Kombat - Techno Remix "Test your might..... Test your might." Probably my most embarrassing but also probably the most motivating.  How can you not try to push yourself that extra bit when you have Kano and Johnny Cage by your side?

What Would Jay-Z Do? - Ben Lee Because the lyrics are just amazing and the tune is just so damn catchy.

Gimme More - Britney Spears I can't help but think of Billy Tank Guns when I hear this one.  Again, people staring as I chuckle at myself.

Machinehead - Bush This is one of those motivational ones. It was used at most every championship meet I swam at, and a few times it was the song I got to walk to the blocks to. Just one that really gets me in the zone.  I know, I know, kind of cheesey nostalgia, but it just reminds me of how empowered I felt walking up there, KNOWING that I was pretty good at this and I was going to do well and kick some ass. I don't miss 5AM practices, but I do miss that feeling.

You Gotta Be - Des'ree This one is the girl in me coming out. Again, really the lyrics on this one are honestly kind of touching? Wow, i'm such a sap.

Change - The Lightning Seeds This is an obscure one, but from one of my favorite movies of all time - Clueless- which I think it's just the most perfect representation of the 90's ever... but anyways, the cheeseball lyrics (specifically "Don't ever chaaaaange") of this one just make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and I get that mental dialogue going where I'm telling myself "You're great! You're wonderful! Don't ever change!!!!"  Yes, embarrassing, girly, but true. This usually gets the speed up another 0.3 mph for me. (hey, i'm a swimmer, remember????).

Popular - Nada Surf  Just a classic that I actually didn't know when it was popular (hahaha pun intended). I got into them through some list of "If you like Ben Folds, you'll like...." and then discovered the song several years after it was cool.

Fuckin' In the Bushes - Oasis Besides Brad Pitt making it incredibly famous with this scene from Snatch, this song just f*ing rocks.  Cause kids are running around naked fucking in the bushes and that makes me want to move some serious weight.

Peaches - The President of the USA Millions of them. 'Nough said.

Wannabe - Spice Girls No, I'm not joking.   I'm finally comfortable enough with my masculinity to enjoy hot pink, Dawson's Creek and the Spice Girls.

I Wish - Skee Lo LOVE LOVE LOVE this 90's classic. Brings back memories of sneaking into my grandparent's basement to watch MTV. Who doesn't want a rabbit in a hat and a bat and 64 impala? And recently I just found this kinda wonderful remake:

The Sunscreen Song - Baz Luhrman OK OK, it was so overplayed and I hated it at the time... but again, the lyrics.... kinda poignant if you really listen.  Another tear-jerker moment for me on the treadmill. ::sniff sniff::

So that's my embarrassing list, or part of it. Hopefully you got a chuckle out of it or maybe some ideas for your next playlist. And I'm counting on seeing some ridiculous songs of your own. Don't let me down :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Functional Strength and Foster Frustration

Like most people, I hit the gym for a number of reasons- to stay healthy, to look good nekkid, to check out the eye-candy Adonises, hopefully to make a few friends, the adrenaline rush... all that good stuff. But also for something most women overlook and undervalue- FUNCTIONAL STRENGTH. I don't need no damn man :P  When I bought my piano (I think 40kilos and a very bulky box), I got that shit up the stairs sans men. Screw you salesman that laughed at me when I said I would manage. And when I come home to 85lbs (and no, that's not an exaggeration- I have the FedEx email to prove it) of rabbit food and hay, I can haul that shit up my itty bitty, narrow, windy, north end staircase myself too, mother fucker! (envision Samuel L. Jackson saying that one).  Seriously though, it's really really freaking useful to be able to do this stuff yourself. I can't tell you how many times in my life, whether at work inspecting or loading up my car or carrying huge loads of laundry, that I'm reminded how convenient it is not to be a dainty little flower who is afraid to pick up anything heavier than her handbag. Blech. But I digress again.... so anyways.....

I think the boys are set on food for a bit!

Are they grateful for my unexpected exercise? NO WAY. What do I get but foster troublemakers making more work for me! Toby hasn't been the best with her litter box habits lately, but has greatly improved since I added a second litter box. Great news right?  WRONG. Now instead of her just tossing her food bowl around, she's decided she can toss the litter boxes too!!!  Guess she's built some of that functional strength herself, much to my shagrin. Today, she decided to do this:

Toby the Troublemaker - Trying to look so innocent!

Does it stop there? Of course not! Amy, my newest foster, decided that she would join in on the fun too. Unlike her bitchy neighbor (I say that lovingly Toby.... sort of), I try to give her a break. She's only been here since Sunday and is still settling in to a totally new place.  She was abandoned on the side of the road in a cage with 5 other buns and no food or water. I can't imagine she trusts people too much. But appearently she also doesn't trust shelving!?!?!?! She decided that she was going to somehow manage to flip hers over, pull off the carpet, pull off the waterproofer and tip the plywood off the supports.  I have a hard time removing this cause it's such a tight fit! Not tight enough for Amy.  She may be a really pretty snowshoe bun, but she ain't so innocent either.

So it appears I'm in for some interesting adventures with these fosters. They better watch out... I still need a present for Grandpa and you know how much he loves hasenpfeffer!!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

A North End Christmas

It's Begining to Look a lot like Christmas! Yes it is! I think I'm officially in the mood.  It started ::hangs head in shame:: in mid November. I was doing a bunch of night work in Providence which means driving home at like 4am exhausted, attempting to stay on the road. My salvation? 105.7 FM all Christmas music all the time! So my nights were me, half asleep, mumbling "Rudolph the Redness Reindeer" trying not to drive off the road. And as much as I really dislike her, who can't love this:

 I got the xmas shopping done mostly! I have a santa pub crawl, an ugly sweater party, some regular annual holiday parties and a ladie's tea party!  So lots of holiday fun!

Pretty ugly, eh?

My roomie bought a wreath for the door. I've started to get xmas cards in the mail. And on my way home from the gym tonight, I finally found someone selling mini trees! So I picked up our tree and got stared at blatantly as I walked it home. Put up the lights, put up the ornaments, plugged her in and Voila!

Christmas Tree Success!

So that's my christmas update! And for the GRAND FINALE, "A Christmas Story", reenacted by bunnies in 30 seconds or less, for those that haven't had the pleasure of Angry Alien Productions yet.

Where did that post go?

Some of you might have noticed a slightly different layout. My original intention with my blog was to keep this fairly light hearted, maybe some funny pictures or stories, but nothing super bloggy. Problem is, I can get super bloggy sometimes, and not always about stuff I want everyone to know. So I decided to create a parallel blog of sorts where I can link to my posts there, maybe summarize them, but keep it set to private. In the coming days I'll be working out the kinks of making sure everyone is invited to that one. So please bear with me as I make this change.

I think it's a really good thing that makes me just a bit more comfortable keeping this section totally public. And dont worry, if you're a random reader that I don't know that has somehow stumbled across my blog and feel this crazy connection, I'm totally open to giving you access to both sites so please let me know!! I'd really love people in similar situations to mine to be able to read and relate!

Disclaimer: If you're not on the "cool list", please dont be offended. Obviously there are some things everyone prefers to keep a bit more personal for a variety of reasons :)

DIFO FRIENDS: I don't know most of your emails to invite you, so somehow get those to me and I'll set you up!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Weekend Foodie Update

So time for a foodie update! Ya know, since this is kinda a fitness/nutrition blog and all... thought it might be appropriate.  First stop, holiday party.  And guess what...?

Excellent news on that front!  I neither got sexually harassed (though I did have to watch him be a creeper with his Dolly Parton lookalike gf) nor had to deal wtih the ex. DOUBLE WIN. On the food side, I was a big tempted, I can't lie.  Beforehand I had decided that I didn't want to overdo it. This wasn't a worthy occasion (no offense to my wonderful co-workers, but there are so many damn parties coming up- gotta pick and choose).  But man is it HARD when you're there and the waitress are running around with delish looking apps and there's an open bar.  I almost gave in, but got my resolve under control. My night consisted of diet coke, 2 stuffed mushrooms, 1 mini-beef wellington and a crapton of raw veg and cheese. So overall a very successful night foodwise :) And of course dancing like a maniac is always fun.  We certainly know how to start the party. I love me my C&C Music Factory and dancing like a fool.

And today again was an excellent day.  Woke up, had a lovely breakfast of scrambled eggs and sauted swiss chard. Yum Yum Yum. Went to church and then went out for the christmas shopping trip.  That was very successful on many fronts. I think I'm mostly done with the must-dos, so that's a HUGE relief.  And I got to visit my favorite fast food joint, B. Good. Here's the half attacked snapshot of my lunch:

Why do I love this place so much? Because you can sub your bun for fresh veggies!!! It's really an awesome, good meal that I can feel good about and enjoy. No guilt whatsoever.  So I got a westside turkey burger. It's an awesome combination of cilantro, salsa and avocado. So some great lean protein and healthy fats. How can you not love it? Oh and I think the cashier was kinda eyeing me, which is always fun.

The Giants finally won, I have some new trashy VH1 to watch and I got a lot done this weekend. Sounds like a winner of a weekend to me!

Friday, December 4, 2009

teeeeheeeeee. some motivation :)

Woah dude has it been a crazy two weeks.  WTF. I had thanksgiving food stress, got sexually harassed (yes, literally), found out my ex's father is having brain surgery, actually spoke with the ex for the first time in weeks, and am going to a party where both the ex and harasser might be there.  FML. I have a million reasons to be stressed right now. And one big one not to.


A crush, a crush, a wonderful crush.  It's amazing how much relief one of those can bring to life.  Is anything realistically going to happen? Nah - doubtfully.  But a girl can daydream, no? And reviving an oldie, well that's the bestest.

I suddenly have a newfound sense of motivation but there are a TON of temptations in the weeks to come.  I'm thinking I might go on what some friends and I call a "no-booze-cruise" for a bit.  It's really just so bad for you when you're trying to lose weight, and I'm seeing at least 6 or 7 opportunities for heavy boozing in the next few weeks. I do have some good excuses not to, so I think I might cash in on those. 

I'm ready to make some more damn progress motherfucker!! So you better watch out :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Baby!!!!

A second WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOO in one day!!!!! It looks like my baby Danica, one of my foster rabbits (for those that don't know, I volunteer and am a foster home for the House Rabbit Network) is going to get adopted!!!

I've had the pleasure of fostering this little spitfire since this past February and am honestly, now that it's hitting, a bit heartbroken at the idea of her going. The sweetie has a bit of cage aggression (due to a rough life) but is absolutely amazing outside of her cage and has made so much progress since being with me. I just want to run home and hug her right now!

This is what it's all about. I'm so happy for her. Just gotta keep my fingers crossed that everything goes as planned. She should be in her forever home Wednesday. What an amazing Thanksgiving surprise.


WOOOHOOOOOOOO. Today, I finally fit back into my skinny jeans! Not my "I'm skinny" jeans, but the actual cut. Either way, it's a step in the right direction and was super exciting. My weight isn't changing too much lately, so this was much needed. They still used to be fat pants, but for a month or two, I couldn't even fit into them. Now I can with ease, so I must be doing something right.

I know I shouldn't use food as a reward, but I used good food in moderation as my reward today. I went out to my favorite sushi joint and instead of my usual three rolls leaving me stuffed, I had a gentle two rolls and savored them. It was just the right size and totally hit the spot.

So yay for having more than one pair of pants to wear to work and yay for enjoyed moderation!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Reinventing Yourself

How will you know you've reached your goal? I will be able to fit back into all the damn cute clothes I bought. I wont think twice about wearing a bikini. I won't think bad thoughts when I look in the mirror anymore. Food will not control me. I won't be terrified of gaining it back. I will be able to splurge without feeling guilty.

What sacrifices will you make? I'm ok being less indulgent in social situations. That's a biggie for me. I feel like if I'm paying for food I need to get something really indulgent and that shouldn't be the case. I should be able to (sometimes, not necessarily all the time) go out to dinner and not get pasta.

What sacrifices won't you make? This is horrible, but I'm not ready to give up social drinking entirely right now. I'm really trying to reach out and make friends and that's a common method. I definitely am willing to nix the booze some nights and go for some Diet Coke instead, but not all nights. I want to be able to cut loose like that when I feel like it, which I guess would be part of my 90% compliance so it should be OK. That's the big one that I feel like will become more of an issue the closer I get to my goals. It's not like I go out a lot, but I do tend to have half a dozen drinks or so and some junk food when I do. I also need to be able to give into my cravings at least some of the time, but again, 90/10.

How will you feel when you're a fit female? This will mean the world to me. It's so frustrating knowing I had it. To know I finally have it again will be a huge accomplishment and RELIEF. I will be confident in my body again and happy with it and love it. Not that I shouldn't do that now anyways, but man, I remember that shock the last time I tried in bikini's and they fit and looked good. I want it. I want it bad.

What makes this a must this time? What are the repercussions of failure? Well, short term, I want to be able to go to the beach and feel great and have awesome pictures and not be worried about what I look like. (I probably don't have time to get quite there, but I'll be a ton closer). The repercussions of that are going to be not enjoying my trip or pictures or adventures. Long term repercussions, well I've kind of talked about them. I don't want to yo-yo anymore. I don't want to be a bad example. I don't want to do this again and again. I want to be stable. I will not waste this energy and stress and unhappiness anymore.

Mission Statement I think this one is going to get it's own post, but I'd love to sum up with two that really stick with me. "Suck it up princess" and "food will not control my mood."

Deciding what you want and Why

I recently finished (and loved) reading the Female Body Breakthrough. There were a couple of questionnaire type sections for goal setting that you're supposed to do. So I figured why not put them out here? All my blogging related to the book will be under the category FBB if you're interested in following along to the book specifically. So here it goes (paraphrased Q's below).

Why did you pick up this book? I picked up the book because I need a change. I've put back on a good chunk of fat, especially post-breakup, and it needs to be gone. I don't feel healthy, confident or good about myself much at all anymore, and I want those things back. I picked up this book because I've done some of Rachel's workouts before, and I know she's an ass kicker. I feel like if someone is going to push me, it's going to be her and I knew I would get results. I also knew she would force me to do things I don't particularly like, but are good for me.

Are you ready to do what it takes? I think so. Not the most confident answer, and probably not the ideal, but it's an honest one. I am definitely ready and eager, but I'm really scared too. I know I have a long way to go and that really intimidates me. That being said, this is as good a time as any and I'm loving the results I've got already.

Why now? Because this is out of control. Because this is the biggest I've ever been. Because I hate this. Because I hate the lack of confidence. Because I need to feel like me again. Because I'm sick of stressing about my body.

What has stopped you in the past? Stress and my love of food have been my usually derailers. I freaking love food and I'm a huge comfort eater. I do fine with exercise. I really love it and enjoy it. But I hate dieting. I hate feeling hungry. I hate limiting myself. And it's always been diet that I've given in on. I'm all or nothing, on or off the wagon, and that's a guaranteed way to put the weight back on.

Are those obstacles still issues? Again, honestly, they probably are. I'm never not going to love food and I'll probably always be somewhat attracted to junk. But I do have hope that it will get better. I'm trying new recipes all the time and becoming a decent cook and I think that if I can make my daily food more delish that will help a lot. As for stress eating, I'm trying to decrease/eliminate stress as much as possible. Really trying to change my mindset and the way I think about things. So hopefully the situations where I want to stress eat can be fewer.

What motivates you? I've been there before. I've felt awesome about myself. I've felt healthy and fit and attractive and it was amazing. I just want to get back there so bad. Short term, I'm trying to plan a trip to South America this March, so looking good for that is motivating me too.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Let's Get Real: A look in the Mirror

For year and years there's one body part I've always hated: my stomach. It's the one body part I've always judged myself on, based my progress off of and has had the biggest ability to affect my happiness. It's what i'm most self-conscious about and always trying to hide.

Lately, it's come to my attention that I'm a moron. As much as I might be self-conscious of my tummy, it really isn't where I hold/gain most of my weight. It's actually a really poor indicator of progress, and even though it doesn't look good persay, it really isn't my "trouble spot." Still, it's admittedly hard to not focus on it when I look in the dreaded mirror.

But like I said, I am a moron. Just looking at a handful of pictures, it's adundently clear that my weight goes to primarily to my thighs (then the lower back, ass and finally to my arms). So why the hell look at something like my stomach to judge progress??? I know in part I'm definitely trained by the media/society/etc etc to be looking for those abs. But I also know that's not a good indicator for me. Maybe in the future, but certainly not now.

Not a really exciting post, but I hope it maybe gives you a reason to re-evaluate what you're looking at. I know for me, between the media and my distorted body image, it's been really difficult to realistically look at myself and my progress, and appreciate what I have. I know for me, pictures are the clearest indicator of this and the best way to keep myself in check. I can't recommend them enough. So get snapping and take a real good look at yourself.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Practice Thanksgiving

So a few friends and I have what we call Practice Thanksgiving every year. It started when a friend was hosting turkey day for her fam and wanted to practice making a turkey. So we decided why not turn it into a fun potluck? This year was our third annual celebration. It's a really fun time to get together with friends and just enjoy an awesome meal.

The Ingredients

So this year I decided to go for some non-traditional turkey day options that I had been waiting to try. The first was a quinoa broccoli fritatta from Oxygen Magazine and the second was a roasted chickpea recipe from Clean Eating Magazine. Both turned out surprisingly well! Here's the fritatta:

The Fritatta

I had been aching to make this for a while and this was a perfect opportunity. It was also my first fritatta! So both exciting. I burned the bottom a little (probably when it was on the stove, not in the broiler) but overall success! It was OK at dinner cause it was a little cold, but was amazing when I reheated it. So good! I can definitely see adding more veggies and egg and having it as a regular breakfast. And it was really easy to make!

Next, were the roasted chickpeas. Again, super easy to make, pretty cheap, nutritious and they turned out quite well! I can definitely see making them as a regular snack food. Here they are:

And the final results of Practice Thanksgiving? An awesome, colorful plate of food! And it was a pretty successful meal for me as well. I was able to savor my meal, not totally stuff myself and enjoy dessert in much more moderation than I'm used to! Now if I can just conquer the crescent rolls in two weeks at home!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Funnies, Part I

So to lighten the mood a bit (I know I get uber-bloggy sometimes), I thought I would also throw in some random funnies that I enjoy. Of course, genres of all type and some might be a bit inside joke-ish. But mostly, I just don't want to lose track of most of these! So I hope you enjoy.

Can squats cure cancer? An amazing compilation of Rippetoe quotes.

Most Legit Workout Workout Vid Ever. I want to marry these guys.

And one I was introduced to last night. German Forklift Safety:

Poke, Sniff and Lick: a lovely production by a coworker's kids (sorry, can't imbed this one!). Really funny actually. I think I would have had tons of fun with these guys :)

My heroes from The Principal's Office on Dirty Dancing.

Marker Face, again from the Principal's Office. Cause who didn't have a kid like this in their school?

And finally... my favorite clip from The Soup discussing our President's sexual habits that made me nearly piss my pants. MUST SEE.

Hope you Enjoyed!!!! Stay tuned for part 2 as I come across more funnies.

My Reading List

One big thing on my to-do list has been starting to read again! So here's my list of books I want to read. All varieties included. Please PLEASE post suggestions of more! I love lots of different genres so suggest anything!
Chick Lit (or just anything I know will make me cry)
  • Bridget Jones 1 and 2
  • Twilight Series
  • Joy Luck Club
  • Memoirs of a Geisha
  • The Notebook
  • The Princess Bride

  • In Her Shoes
  • The Time Traveler's Wife
  • Persuasion- Jane Austen (and the rest that I haven't read)
  • Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
  • Maximum Strength- Eric Cressey
  • Muscle Revolution/ Huge in a Hurry- Chad Waterbury
  • Under the Bar - Dave Tate

  • Raising the Bar -Tate
  • Starting Strength - Mark Ripptoe
  • reread Nutrient Timing
  • The Female Body Breakthrough
  • Rock, Iron, Steel
  • Bigger, Faster, Stronger
  • Good Calories, Bad Calories
  • Built for Show- Nate Green
  • Scrawny to Brawny - John Berardi
Highschool/Middleschool Classics I Missed
  • Rebecca
  • Killing Mr Griffin
  • Forever- Judy Blume
  • A Hero Ain't Nothing but a Sand
  • Boy - Roald Dahl (pretty sure that's a re-read)
  • Anything Dean Koontz
  • Finish up my Clive Cusslers
  • Something Bill Bryson


  • The Great Bridge
  • The Poisonwood Bible
  • Outliers
  • Running with Scissors
  • Girl with the Pearl Earing

Friday, November 13, 2009

As per always...

We. Are. Fucked.

Yup, that's right. We as a society are nutritionally fucked. No ifs, ands or buts about it. It becomes more and more and more apparent to me every day. People are clueless. Utterly clueless. And it's being completely taken advantage of.

Let's look at TV to start with. We have lovely commercials such as those put out by the Corn Refiner's Association telling us that HFCS is fine and nothing to worry about. After that, General Mills tried to convince us with a big white check that cinnamon toast crunch and froot loops were healthy choices, with tons of whole grains and fiber and the ability to increase concentration and help your heart. And my new FAVORITE commericals by far, are the Nutella commericals, like this one I regularly see on TV praising the health benefits of the hazelnut spread and this one I've only had the joy of youtubing:

Oh and you can't forget... hagen daaz's newest ice cream invention that only have 5 ingredients!!! Since when did 3/5 of your ingredients being crap become something to brag about? Oh wait, it's pure, natural crap. That's right.

And finally, I can't stop without a wonderful recount of my favorite bastardization of nutrition of all time... David Zinczenko, Editor in Chief of Men's Health Magazine and author of "Eat This, Not That!", and in particular, his season 7 appearence on the Biggest Loser. During this particular challenge, the teams had to identify which meal option was HEALTHIER. Not least fat. Not least calories. Not most balanced. Not most nurtritaional. They were specifically told (and this was repeated) to chooise the healthier option. One round was A) Grilled chicken burrito with the works (like, ohhhhh, a dollop of guacamole), I believe prepared with brown rice too, or B) 18 lite beers. The correction option was A, but they were told that if it was 17 BEERS, that would have been the healthier option. Excuse me?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!? Are you really telling me that a lovely burrito with some healthy fats, decent carbs and lean protein that would keep me satisfied for hours and has some excellent nurtrients is worse than drinking 17 beers? I think it took a week to pick my jaw up off the ground. Fucking Zinczenko. And people really honest to god trust him and think his POS books are a good source of information. Ugh.

So does it really surprise me that people are clueless? It shouldn't but the stuff that comes out of people's mouths... Recently, I had two amazing overhears from my cube. The first was from a friend of mine, a relatively informed one (compared to the rest of the population) who is actually trying to loose weight. I guess he had recently visited the golden arches and was looking up some calorie counts, when he exclaimed in shock about the ~1000 calorie count of a large shake and how he could not believe that. WTF did you expect????? You're basically having 4 or 5 bowls of extra processed, extra sugary ice cream mixed with lord knows what kind of syrupy flavoring. How is that a surprise? Since when does LARGE MILK SHAKE from McDONALD's not imply caloriefest 2009? Not nearly as bad, and maybe a bit more understandable, was the shock of finding out a Starbucks scone was about 500calories. It's not breakfast; it's a freaking pastry!!! Just because it's not creamy doesn't mean it isn't filled with loads of sugar and butter. But they again were horrified at the calorie count. Really people.... really?

Does it surprise me that the same friends talk about "taking protein" as a supplement? You don't say you're taking chicken. A macro is not a supplement buddy. A whole nother tangent I could go off on....

But back to the point. We're fucked. If this is what somewhat intelligent, informed people who are actually trying to change their bodies think, what does the average Joe think and how the heck are we supposed to begin tackling this issue?

I know I can laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation, but truly, it's quite terrifying.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Whys

I've been feeling a bit unmotivated lately and was really starting to loose my "umph" for this. I hate dieting- I really do. Maintainence I can deal with, but actually cutting, ugh. And I know I haven't been perfect lately (the past 2.5 weeks have included 2 nights of binge drinking and a day of pizza devouring) and I'm doing a "light" version of my usual diet strategy with a little more wiggle room, but I was getting frustrated with the lack of progress anyways. Well I finally got back out of the 160's for the first time in at least two or three months. Thank freaking god. Hopefully that lasts. We'll see.

But more importantly, it made me want to finally get my list of Whys. It's really so important to know why you're doing something, espeically when things get tough. So here they are- The Whys. The selfish, the vain, the health, the family, the fashion, the energy... all those reasons and more:
  • I don't like the way I look and similarly,
  • I loved looking like an athlete.
  • I want to fit back into my clothes (and really dont want to have to buy new ones!).
  • I want that confidence back.
  • I miss being able to shop so easily (minus the fact that my hamstrings and arms/back dont fit into stuff lol).
  • I hate feeling out of shape.
  • I want to be able to enjoy active activities.
  • I want to be confident and comfortable to do anything anytime, like random skinny dipping!
  • I miss enjoying the beach.
  • Pullups. Nough said.
  • I'm sick of being "that girl" eternally dieting/yo-yoing.
  • I really love the idea of clean eating and do enjoy it.
  • Kind of into the future, but I want to be a good example for my daughter, if I should have one. I'm terrified of the idea of my child growing up feeling the way I did at times, and I don't want to be anything but a positive influence and role model. That one really has been resonating with me lately.
  • I don't want any reservations dating, and....
  • I certainly dont want any reservations sexually because of my body.
  • I want to just be able to throw simple things on without worrying- like tank tops and jeans
  • I want to look like I know all that I know.
  • I cant lie- I want to be looked at again. It's nice being checked out.
  • I want to get all this under control now while I have freedom and flexibility and my youth and fewer commitments.
  • I want to give away my fat clothes for real this time so I can finally have some room in my closet!
  • Cellulite. When the fuck did that come back on my legs? So not cool.
  • I worry a bit about my health. I'm not huge, but I'm a bit unhealthily overweight at this point if I'm realistic.
  • Oh and that ever so poingnant inspiration.... revenge hottness. I want that man to ache when he sees me.
Now I just have to remember to really keep this stuff in mind during those tough moments! I'm thinking some sort of morning ritual or something crazy like that or some motivational quote to focus on when I need it. We'll see :) But I really just have to keep focused.
Ideally, I'd love to plan a trip for February or March for some south american voluntourism. and I want to feel damn confident there and have no freaking qualms about hitting the beach and taking tons of pics! That gives me about 12-16 weeks, and that's during the holidays, to lose about 20-30 more pounds. Not an easy task by any means. I really need to get on this. Really.

Veggies galore, here I come. Ready to attack.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Heads Up for a Good Deal

This week, one of my favorite trainers, Rachel Cosgrove, released her new book- The Female Body Breakthrough. For those that are familiar with The New Rules of Lifting, she's the wife of the main trainer/author, Alwyn Cosgrove.

Rachel is a great author and an amazing author. I particularly enjoyed her series of articles on FA about her ironman training, the fat gain she experienced during this, and the steps she took to get her bod back (phase 1, phase 2, metabolic workout 1, metabolic workout 2).

So tomorrow there's a special deal with some fun free gifts if you order her book from amazon. I know I was planning on getting it anyways so tomorrow is just as good of a day as any other. Thought I would pass on the good news. More info about the book and ordering it here.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Just what I needed

A merry christmas it was tonight. It's been a while since I've done the diet thing, and I was honestly a little apprehensive about going out tonight. Knowing I was going to want to drink. Knowing I was going to be questioned. Knowing there were going to be some awkward moments. Knowing I was going to be mocked a bit. Knowing I was going to have moments of self-doubt. Knowing I wasn't going to have quite as much fun as I could. But knowing it was the right choice for me.

What I didn't know was that I was actually going to be reminded of how totally doable this can be, and better yet, get a nice little kick in the ass.

It was fine!!! And I had fun. I forgot how it really can be OK to go out with friends and NOT drink even if they are. And it's not always worth it. Yeah, a few beers would have been really relaxing and I would have been a bit looser and all that good stuff, but I wouldn't feel as good about my choices tomorrow morning as I will instead. The marginal benefits of a beer or two certainly would not have outweighed all of the cons. SO...No beers. No shitty apps. And I was able to go home, relax, do a little workout and I know I'll feel great in the morning and that I'm one small step closer to my goals, both mentally and physically.

It's not just about loosing. It's easy to have a short term excuse (i.e. I'm on a diet) to fall back on when making these choices. But what about maintainence? Or what about when I'm trying to put on muscle withouth packing on the pounds? I'm going to be faced with these choices all the time, and a big and very important goal of mine is to be able to SAY NO to those things that control me and still be able to have fun. So in the long term, I really need to gain this skill of balance, self control and making the better choice sometime, even if it isn't the most fun. Don't give up what you want most for what you want now, right?

Now for the kick in the ass. I know I should have more compassion... BUTTTTT, when you're sitting there drinking the booze and eating the shitty apps, which are probably even worse for you than the beers, you just can't lecture me about how my diet coke is bad for me while trying to lose weight. A) Forest through the trees anyone? B) I've researched the crappy studies, which are totally inconclusive imo. C) Do you really think the news reports accurately on nutritional studies anyways?

I know the hype is enticing and it feels good to spread the word about what your crappy overpriced trainer told you, but nooooo. Just no. You're really not helping yourself by focusing on stuff like that. So go and stress about avoiding your diet coke and consume lord knows what instead. I'm going to enjoy mine and savor the motivational kick in the ass you just gave me to not be another Bob.

Overall, a good night. Next step, not feeling guilty over a little planned fun tomorrow. That's going to be the real test. Balance.