Tuesday, January 31, 2012
In trying to decide what we should have for dinner on that cold, cold night, I made a joke that Brian could make a cake and we could just have that for dinner. He apparently thought that was a great idea and got to work. When the kids would ask what was for dinner, he just told them, "Something nasty." When they finally figured out what "nasty" actually was, oh my. They were thrilled! They wanted Nasty for dinner every night! Well, yeah. So do I! But we made an agreement. We would have Nasty for dinner, once per year.
Guess what day is Nasty Day?
Yep, that'd be today.
Guess whose kids have been talking about Nasty Day for the last 2 weeks?
Yep. That'd be my Little People.
Guess what Brian prepared for dinner tonight?
Yep. Gave those kids their Nasty.
He ate some for dinner, too.
I did not.
Not yet, anyway. I'm not fooling myself. I didn't fool myself yesterday when my dad brought over half a banana cake. Which I love. And then ate 2 pieces. However, in my defense, they were quite small pieces. Not the whole half-cake I would usually consume. I didn't fool myself this afternoon when I ate the 2.5 Thin Mints that Bubba didn't want. They were okay. But from now on, I'm gonna live without them.
In other news: I have done no exercise in over a week. I know I'm going to be sad when I attempt to Lift Heavy Things again. I'll be walking with a limp for sure. But stay tuned tomorrow when I post January: By the Numbers. I'll be posting my progress for my first month in.
Inquiring minds wanna know! See you tomorrow!
Sunday, January 29, 2012
2 large chicken breasts
½ cup of almond flour
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp dried thyme
3 tbs olive oil
Directions: Slice the chicken into similar sized strips and put into a plastic bag. Add the spices and shake to coat the meat. Beat eggs in a bowl. I added a few drops of Tabasco to them for spice. Dredge seasoned chicken strips in almond flour, egg wash, and back in almond flour. Place on wax paper to set for 10 minutes. This keeps the coating from falling off during frying.Heat the olive oil at medium high heat. Cook the chicken strips for 3 minutes, flip, and cook another 3 minutes. Don't crowd the pan, 3-4 strips at a time would probably fill the pan. Place on a paper towel-lined plate to cool. I mixed up some honey mustard for dipping. Seriously delicious. For alternate flavors, add unsweetened coconut flakes to the almond meal and use some Chinese 5 spice with some salt and pepper for seasoning. Fry in coconut oil instead of olive. Mix up a sweet/spicy chili sauce.
Next, I made some sweet potato latkes that were to die for. I started with an idea from Sarah Fragoso's Everyday Paleo. Then I added some of my own ideas and it came together like magic. Now, there is some debate about the sweet potato and whether it is paleo/primal or not. I think it comes down to personal choice. You have to know yourself and your body. Some people can eat them and not see the results they want to see, it spikes their blood sugars too much and slows weight loss because of the carb count. Some people can enjoy them without issues. I think I have to go easy on them, and save them for an after workout meal maybe once a week. But when I do have them, this is how I want to eat them!
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Considering my former level of consumption, the tiny bites I had today should not be making me this nauseated. But what else could it be?
I am a table host at a community dinner every month. I never know what's going to be served, but I try to make good choices. Tonight was some Mexican theme. I passed on the chips and the rice. But the casserole? I could not avoid the chips as the base. And then, I had a bite of my dad's cake which really was about a teaspoon and a half of chocolate frosting. It actually tasted like partially hydrogenated soybean oil. It was gross. (And this from a person who would eat it right out of the can, any flavor.) Then my daughter showed up with a frosted brownie. I had a bite of that, too. Ewww. It was not good. They call that cream cheese frosting? I was sad that the other ladies at my table were gobbling it up.
My dad sent a cake home with us. Some kind of chocolate-cupcake-with-no-frosting baked into one pan like a brownie. I had one bite. A really small bite. And even though that was made from scratch, I still thought it was gross. Not worth another taste, even though I nearly ate the whole piece out of habit.
And now, here I am. Nursing my sick stomach, and thinking for the first time in my life, those bites weren't worth this feeling of sick. Passing that stuff over just got a whole lot easier. Besides, and this is true, there is no cake in the world that can make you feel as good as putting on a smaller pair of pants does.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
The first week, I did lose 8 pounds.
The second week, I lost 4.5 pounds. Which ain't too shabby.
This week, I can say, isn't going the same as the other weeks. Even though I'm physically working harder by running and lifting my Ghetto Booty Spread, the numbers aren't coming down at the same rate. Unofficially, I'm at about a half-pound loss for the week. I try not to freak out about it and blame the scale for its blatant disrespect of me, but it's hard. It's not exactly time to measure yet, although I have taken a few unofficial measurements, just to see. And it looks like things are going down incrementally. Which is fine, I guess. But the most interesting thing happened yesterday when I got dressed.
I have some fat-girl Levi's that are...stretchy. Seems like the bigger the size, the stretchier they make 'em. Usually, they're a little snug when I put them on, and they as the day goes on, they stretch out and are basically falling down by the end of the day. By the end of the day. Not an hour in. Which was the case last night. It actually wasn't even an hour. So the whole night, as I was teaching and doing my thing, trying to corral my kids after they were so kindly loaded up with sugar at 730pm, I kept hitching my pants up. I hate that.
So I had an idea. I had the idea to grab a pair of jeans From the Other Side of the Closet. You know what I'm talking about. The side of the closet where your clothes are that don't fit. The ones you are saving until you lose weight. I think even skinny people have an Other Side of the Closet. I grabbed a pair of Levi's with less stretch in them and stuck my legs in them. So far, so good. Pulled them up to my hips. Hey! These things were going on. Got them over my rump. Oh. My. These pant are on!
"And then what happened?" you ask.
"I buttoned and zipped those babies up! Without laying on the bed! Without praying! Them jeans? They are the next size smaller. And they came from the Other Side of the Closet."
Which means, mostly, I walk. I hate walking in my neighborhood and it's nearly impossible to keep 4 children safe while doing so. When I do, I feel like a big, fat person and everyone is driving by pointing, "Look at that poor fat girl. She's working so hard. It's a good thing she's out here. She really should be running. Let's go get a big, greasy hamburger on that bun she likes at the Groggy Dawg and have a Shiner Bock with it. Let's drive by while we're eating and show it to her and laugh." I'm like that kid on The Sixth Sense: I don't want people looking at me. So I go to the Nature Center where my kids scream and chase each other down the paths and basically annoy the people there who are actually trying to observe nature. I call what I do there "cross country hiking". I hope it really is because that's what I call it on the program that tallies all my numbers. Other times, we take over the city's Bike and Hike trail where my scootering girls try to race those other January Resolutionists who are huffing and puffing along. I do those people a huge favor and tell my kids, "Leave that poor man alone. Can't you see he's about to die?"
One day a week, I run sprints. I have hated running all my life and I have always truly sucked at it. In Freshman PE, every Monday, we had to run a mile. Except I never did. I always lied and held up 4 fingers when it was really only my 3rd lap. I really don't want to do anything that causes my lungs to burn. I am a former smoker who had a pack-a-day habit for 8 years. In April, I will have been a quitter long than I was a smoker. (Nine years!) That lung burning aside, I abhor running. But for high heels, I will do it. Because I only have to run for 10 seconds at a time. Even this fat chick can run at top speed for 10 seconds. However, it is not pretty. Which is why I do it in the dark when my kids are in bed and all the retirees that live in my cul de sac have been in bed since 630pm. Of course, even for 10 seconds, I have my limit. Exactly, it's 4x. I can run for 10 seconds at top speed on the sidewalk outside exactly 4 times before I have to crawl into my house. And top speed may be slower than Bubba on his trike, but since I do it in the cover of darkness, we may never know.
Two days a week, I lift heavy things. Like Shanon, it is often my very own Ghetto Booty Spread. See, that's what happens when you have a ghetto booty and you gain a little weight. You spread out back there. Back in my day, Sir Mix-a-Lot had a song about me. I am working on mastering 5 Essential Primal Movements: Pushup, Pullup, Overhead Press, Plank and Squat. You master the Essential Movement when you get to Level 4 or 5 of 9. It doesn't really matter at this point because Level 1 is kicking my Ghetto Booty Spread. On my lift days, I do 2 sets of: 40 wall pushups, 20 2-leg chair pull-ups, 50 wall squats, 20 inverted overhead presses and 90 seconds of hand-knee planks and 45 minutes of knee-side planks. I can move on to the next level when I can complete all sets without crying. I still have a ways to go...
Today I rested. Thursday is a busy day and it gets dark too soon to do anything after I corral girls at Girl Scouts. Especially since my own kids demanded food, too. I should have walked anyway. It's 9pm and not one of them are asleep anyway. Tomorrow, I lift my junk again. Push it away from the wall 80 times. Do 100 wall squats. Since I have started this journey, I do not remember what it is like to walk without some major muscle group screaming in agony. This refining process is literally a pain in my ass.
Now, I’m not advocating selling your kids to the highest bidder or locking your children in the closet so you can soak in the bubble bath. Well…no. Really, I’m not. Child Protective Services frowns on that. I’m talking about how to stop putting ourselves last on the To Do list. That walk we need to take gets canceled due to soccer practice. The healthy meal we meant to cook gets postponed because there was dance rehearsal. We skip yoga or let the gym membership go because we need the money for kids’ braces and our busy schedules won’t allow it anyway. We let our health go because we don’t have the time to focus on ourselves for 30 minutes a day. Or we get so tired that we spend the 30 minutes we DO have lying on the couch, catching our breath.
Since beginning this journey, I’ve had to take a long, hard look at how I treat myself. I made a mental list (Yes, mental. I am not so anal that I actually wrote this crap down. Seriously, I don’t have that much free time on my hands!) of all the things I’d done for other people in a day. Made lunches, brushed teeth and hair, checked homework, drove carpool, dropped off at dance, cooked dinner, washed laundry, helped with a project, made appointments, located lost items…and the list went on. Then I tried to remember something I’d done for myself that week. Um…I could hear the crickets chirping. No time had been spent working on my novel-in-progress. There had been no exercise or quiet moments stolen to read a book that did NOT rhyme. I hadn’t even taken the old, chipped polish off my fingernails. And it was left over from Thanksgiving holidays. Not attractive. At all.
I began to consider the fact that I am raising four daughters. These girls see me put myself last and consider myself least important. What kind of message is that sending to them? Don’t they deserve to see a woman who values herself enough to put the time and effort into taking care of her body? A mother who makes time to keep herself healthy? This isn’t about pampering myself, although occasionally that wouldn’t be a bad idea, but more along the lines of providing a model for my girls. Do I want them to grow up and think that mothers do not deserve to treat themselves with as much care as they tend their families? The thought of my precious young women thinking of themselves as inferior curdled my stomach. Yet, that’s the lesson I taught through example.
At that moment, I decided. Yes, I will have to refuse my children on occasion in order to take care of myself. Sometimes, they will have to finish their project and wait for me to get back from my workout to check it. They will, God forbid, have to learn to do their own laundry! And, sorry to tell them, they will have to eat what Mama feels like cooking even when they are certain one taste will absolutely kill them. What I need matters, and the sooner they understand that all of us need to value ourselves enough to take care of ourselves, the better.
So now I’m trying to make a list of treats to use as rewards when I reach weight loss or strength goals (non-food, of course). Number one for me is always some alone time somewhere with a notebook and a pen or a quality book. Taking another look at these nails, I also think a manicure wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Take a few moments this week and see if you’re mistreating yourself, too. Make a promise to yourself to do something strictly for you. Share the importance of this with your family. I guarantee they value you enough to understand. If they don’t? Well, that’s an entirely different lesson you’ll have to teach. I may have a big stick available to aid in the instruction if you need it.
Monday, January 16, 2012
I’m going to write and post this while the emotions are still fresh. As are the tears. Bear with me, friends. I’m not feeling funny this evening. Hopefully, though, you can get real with me. That’s what this journey is about, after all.
I went to my first “regular” workout class. The last two visits it was just me and the trainer learning the movements. This time, I joined the group. I dreaded it all day, knowing how out of shape I am. When I walked in, ‘Satan’ came bopping up and introduced me to some of the other people in the class. By far, I was the fattest, most out of shape person in the room. Every part of me screamed, “Run! Run away!” But I sucked it up, slapped on a smile, and shook hands with all the healthy, trim people. Then I saw the Workout of the Day. My heart fell into my stomach. I am unable to DO any of those movements. What the hell am I going to do? And how embarrassing is it going to be when I can’t do this, right here in front of God and everybody? And we have to do 5 rotations of them? That voice saying, “Run!” got louder. And it brought some tears to my eyes. How did I let myself get like this? All the women in the room were slim and muscular. I imagined them rolling their eyes at the fat girl who couldn’t hang with them. I compared myself to every woman in the room, and came up short. And very round.
This is a common issue for me, this comparison thing. When
So the workout begins, and ‘Satan’ comes over. I can do the weight lifting move, even if there isn’t much weight on my bar. I’m actually pretty good at it. It’s the next two activities that have me feeling nauseous. Hang from the bar and pull your knees to your chest 10 times? I can’t even hang! So he has me hang as long as I can (about 15 seconds, ugh), then do sit ups. With an exercise band for assistance. Not embarrassing, or anything. Next, I am supposed to run 200 m and start the rotation of weights and sit ups again. RUN? And not away, as I’d been planning. Holy crap. He scales it back to 100 meters, and shows me how far it is. Sighing with relief, I take a deep breath and begin. In my head is one sentence. I begin repeating it like a mantra. A prayer. A hope.
I. Will. NOT. Quit.
I jog it the first and second round, wheezing and puffing like an eighty year old lady. With every slap of tennis shoe to earth, I am repeating it. I will not quit. The third round, I jog half and walk back. By the fourth I am strictly walking, still gasping for breath. But I will not quit, dammit. With tears in my eyes, I start the final round. Weights. Hang. Sit ups. Run. Done!
I finished all five rounds with 30 seconds to spare. ‘Satan’ comes over and congratulates me, high fives me for doing all five and not giving up, and I start to feel a little bit guilty for calling him Satan. Then he tells me the “Cash Out”, or ending exercise, is 25 push ups and that feeling fades instantly. I do wall push ups, because raising this bod from the floor just wasn’t happening.
Driving home, I admit I teared up several times. I felt so inadequate and disgusted with the state I’d let my health deteriorate into. I take some deep breaths and try a new perspective. I finished. I didn’t leave. I Did Something About It.
This is not about anybody but me. I’m not in competition with
Sunday, January 15, 2012
I am not a fan.
I prefer an honest representation of my weight loss with no rounding. It's seems like embellishing or cheating to me. Which I am trying not to do. In spite of a very large temptation looming inside my house: It's Girl Scout Cookie Time! What the samhill?! And I have not one, but 2 girls selling cookies this year. Clearly, I did not think this through. It would probably be okay if I could eat just one. Box. But I can't. I love those Peanut Butter Patties, especially after you put them in the freezer. So. Good. And it is not freakin' helping that my daughters are pooling their money together and buying (and eating) as many boxes as they can. Leaving those cookies unattended in the refrigerator.
"Hey, Mom? Want a cookie? Aren't these your favorite? They've been in the freezer, just like you like 'em!"
Really, Little People? It would be okay, just this once, to not share. You don't even have to offer it to me. Go ahead and give my share to Bubba. He's just gonna take it right out of the package when you're not looking anyway.
These stupid cookies are going to be my undoing. I must keep in mind that I did not just lose 12.5 pounds by eating Girl Scout cookies by the boxload. Wednesday I pushed Bubba in his stroller at the Nature Center, in the mud. I am not fighting all this C-R-A-P to eat freakin' Girl Scout cookies. I am not doing this so I can feel like a failure. And I will, if I eat those damn things. Today, it's not about the high heels or the zombies or being healthy. It's these cookies.
For once in my life, THEY WILL NOT TELL ME HOW IT'S GOING TO BE.
Friday, January 13, 2012
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
First, let me explain that I am not “in shape”, unless you count Twinkie as a shape. Very round and spongy, with a soft middle. That’s me. So I made an appointment with the trainer at the local Cross Fit gym for the personal training session in order to get started. The minute I walked in, I knew I was in big trouble. The room was filled with weights and barbells and Things to Lift. Heavy things. People were grunting and lifting, rowing and squatting. Nobody was a fat chick like me. Uh oh.
Standing there feeling like Shamu the Friendly Whale, I contemplated turning around and leaving. I’d work out at home. There were plenty of places to look up these exercises online, right? Then nobody would see me embarrass myself in front of the gaggle of sorority girls that wandered in right before I started my session. (I wanted to lean over and whisper to them that I WAS one of them 15 years ago. I could be their warning image. Girls, THIS is what happens when you have four kids and live off Papa Johns and Burger King for 13 years. Beware!) Just as I was about to slip out and pretend it never happened, the cutest little guy bounded up to me.
“Shanon? Hi, I’m Neal! Ready to get started?”
He was adorable. Probably in his early twenties, lean and mean, and peppy as a cheerleader on game day. Looks are so deceiving. He walked me through six different types of squats. Then he handed me a barbell and we did it again. Then a kettle bell. Then a medicine ball. I pulled my lard ass up on rings, lifted weights, attempted push ups and sit ups, and nearly passed out doing box jumps. He patiently showed me the proper techniques for each move, assessed and corrected, and cheered when I got it right. Dripping sweat and gasping like a fish out of water, I finished up and went to get a drink. I thought I’d done pretty well for a big ol’ girl. Then he said, “You ready for a workout now?” WHAT?!! What the hell have we been doing? At that moment I understood. Neal is a nickname for Satan. The Devil himself has gotten a hold of me, and I’m going to die right here and now on this rubber-floored gym.
He put me through a 20 minute workout. Halfway through, I didn’t give a crap if those cute little pony-tailed girls were watching or not. Big Mama was working it. At the end, my legs felt like spaghetti and I seriously questioned how I was going to drive myself home. The next day, I couldn’t walk. Sitting down and standing up without assistance was out of the question. This made going to the bathroom an interesting event. For three days, I hobbled and whimpered. I stretched and walked and took hot baths. Finally, I got back to normal. So I did the dumbest thing I could think of. I went back to Cross Fit.
Satan met me at the door again, tail wagging and ready to go. Torn between being excited to try again and dreading the torture, I gave a half-hearted nod. Once again, Neal made this soft girl, whose most strenuous activity is carrying a ream of paper to the copy machine, work muscles I thought had shriveled up and died years ago. Again, my knees went weak, and not in the way Hugh Jackman makes them wobble. But I improved. Satan pushed me to the point of failure, but I didn’t quit. When we finished this time, he told me I was ready to begin regular classes. I had done each movement correctly, and it was time to move up. My goal is to go two to three times a week, so I asked him which classes had the fewest sorority girls in attendance. He laughed. I wasn’t kidding.
Satan is awfully cute.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
I've been a bit of a Nazi recently, demanding that the Whole Family will go and Walk Frequently at a Slow Pace. Brian and I did our first walking experience while on a weekend away together over New Years (Year's?)*. About 25 minutes in, my feet were hurting so bad, I had to stop. I blame the track. Who uses that rocky-asphalt stuff for a walking track? They really should put down mulch for all the people like me who are both clumsy and out of practice. But the weather was perfect for being outside.
Locally, we've been frequenting the Nature Center for our walks. Although, the only nature we've ever observed has been a pesky horsefly which scared my children by its sheer size and buzzing volume. Our favorite thing to do as a family there is have the children run off ahead of us, and then my husband and I will yell, "We can't see you!" Then they run back. Good times are had by all at the Nature Center.
Things I love about the Nature Center:
- The walking is not "hard". No big hills, but enough to keep it sort of interesting.
- There is no concrete. Walking on concrete apparently hurts my feet.
- We can do the 2 trails and get in over an hour of walking. Score!
*I have to be very careful here. My co-writer is a teacher who does not tolerate grammatical errors.
But it's more than that.
First, we gotta give homage to The Dude. Mark Sisson of Mark's Daily Apple. It's his information, research and work that has put us on this path. My husband found him a long while back and started reading his blog. He thought "going primal" was a good idea. He told me about it.
I thought not eating carbs was The Worst Idea Ever. Give up bread? Are.You.Crazy?
But then I checked out some of the Success Stories. Hmmmm....what would I have to do again?
We even bought his book The Primal Blueprint. I read some of it. A lot of the information is broken down to the cellular level of the body. Definitely way over my head. And the website is overwhelming with a million places to go and people always talking and commenting.
We were never fully committed to it because, let's face it, bread tastes good. So do brownies. And also cake and pizza. Can you just stop sending your kids to school with a sandwich? What will they eat if they don't have a sandwich?
Every night that Brian eats carbs or grains, he has a nightcap of baking soda and water to try for some hope to relieve his acid reflux. He struggles for sleep because his shoulder bursitis keeps him awake with pain. In his mind, all other issues relieved, weight loss or not, going to bed without tasting his stomach acid is a win in his book.
We just aren't meant to live like we do, eating the processed foods and fast food junk that we do. But it's easy and and we're busy. But it's more than just reducing our carbs. It's giving up the cycle of crazy that they call Chronic Cardio. Prehistoric man was not sweating to the oldies at the local gym, getting red-faced on the elliptical. He was trying to catch his food, walking slowly over the terrain, frequently. He wasn't worried if he was in the fat-loss target zone for his heart rate. Occasionally sprinting for his life as the thing he was trying to catch, decided to try and catch him. He went to bed when it got dark and got up when it was light. He wasn't checking out what his best friend's old college girlfriend was doing at Starbucks today on Facebook. He was getting his rest because tomorrow might be the day he has to run for his life.
But the first step: Eat lots of plants and animals. Macaroni and cheese is neither a plant or animal. Discuss.
I am keeping my carb intake between 50-100 grams per day for the "weight loss sweet spot". (But I am not writing anything down. I am not counting anything.) But I am paying attention. Carbs are in more than just bread and spaghetti. I'm reading labels and deciding, actually committing, to this lifestyle. Not just a way to finally take off the weight I gained and never took off each subsequent pregnancy, but a way to stop this train from going off the tracks, permanently.
And, to answer the opening question: I do not eat grub worms, but I could. Probably lots of protein there.
Anyone else interested in looking good naked?
Monday, January 9, 2012
Let’s face it. There comes a time in every woman’s life when she looks in the mirror and sees more than she wants to see. Who let those boobs sag that low? And why are they resting on a gut that would give Jabba the Hut a run for his money? So she vows to Do Something About It. You know the routine. You join a diet group, a gym, a class…you go for about a month. You tell yourself you’re in this to be a healthier you. You want to feel better. You need to take care of your body.
Being two good-sized girls, we have done this every year. Think of how great it would be to lose 80 pounds! It would be nice not to shop in the fat girl stores. Having the energy to chase down our kids would be a good thing. Our doctors would stop breathing down our necks. There were so many wonderful reasons to do this. We should do this for our health!
We sat down and decided that was crap. There are a jillion reasons why two fat chicks would decide to get smaller, but we narrowed it down to our top two.
- We want to look good naked. Forget all that healthy stuff. We want to be able to drop those clothes and have our men drop their jaws. It’s not about lowering cholesterol or increasing strength. We want the body of Jessica Rabbit. Vain? Sure. We don’t care.
- When the Zombie Apocalypse happens, fat chicks will be the first to go. We’re slow. And everybody knows fat is where the flavor is. Zombies are going to go omnomnom on our asses if we don’t get fit and get fast before they take over. We need to be able to run. Possibly carrying a kid or two. This is survival, people.
So, how are we going to go about it THIS time? Well, we did the research. We read the science. We’re going primal. Not club swinging, loin-cloth wearing, caveman primal (unless we look cute doing it, because then we totally will), but a diet dating back to pre-agricultural man. This is the story of two fat chicks’ journey to get fit, get sexy, and leave those flesh-eating monsters and our flabby bodies in our dust.