Sunday, May 31, 2009

Where I Get Real

Friday I was sent to a specialist who was supposed to do a test on me to figure out why my neck sprain wasn't healing and if there was an inflammation that went undetected in my MRI (which showed nothing). Long story short the specialist spent a few minutes with me and said, "Of course the MRI of your neck was clean, there is nothing wrong with your neck. Your rotator cuff is strained." I felt my cortisol levels rise with stress. "You mean I've been being treated for the wrong thing for a month and a half?" I said. She confirmed the worst. Now I must go back to physical therapy to heal my actual injury and help me regain strength. I am under doc's orders not to lift anything over 10lbs (thank goodness my angelic dog child only weighs in at 8.5lbs!) I am very frustrated with all of this and just want to stop hurting. It has really taken a toll on me physically (I look so drained) and of course emotionally (I just want to curl into a ball on the sofa). That mixed with being busy, some personal issues, and being in the driest spell ever of my acting career has made it tough to really kick into gear. On the other hand in a lot of ways my new vows to enter fit-dom have been helpful when I've mustered the energy to be active. Friday I was feeling particularly frustrated after my doc visit, so I went home and went on a run. It felt great to focus that negative energy into something good for me.

Wednesday marks the official One Month Down point. I was always a gold star kind of student in school and excelled with projects and assignments, so I am kind of embarrassed to not do as well as I had hoped this month. However, this would not be an honest blog about the road to fitness if I didn't properly address my struggles, because no matter where anyone is with whatever their personal challenge is, everyone struggles. I found myself so frustrated when I couldn't/wouldn't/didn't meet my goals that I lost sight of all the days I did exercise, won a battle against temptation, or had a positive day (and there were several!) So my goal for week five is to: Do the Best I Can. If I can end my day by being able to say that I am confident that I did the best I could that day, then my goal shall be met.

I leave you with one of my favorite ways to cut calories while getting a dose of healthy good-for-you fat, the Misto Olive Oil Sprayer. My hubby and I go through so much less olive oil this way and don't lose any of the delicious taste. Spraying your olive oil covers more surface area with a smaller amount of oil. Brilliant.

Are you having frustrations on your fitness journey?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Goal and a Poem

So, what’s the sitch for week four? A combo of a food goal and an exercise goal. I’m sure you’ve heard of people toting the value of not eating after 9pm (this played a part in my bestie’s triumphant slim down for her wedding), so I am going to give it a whirl, and for the rest of the week I will close the kitchen after 9pm. I will also aim to get in three strong workouts. I know these will need to take place today, Friday, and Saturday since I have a class after work followed by seeing a play tomorrow.

Positive of the Day: At the ol' day job our kitchen is connected to our copy room. Thus today when I went in to make a copy and happened upon a slew of leftover lunch meeting food (including brownies-a serious weakness) I turned my soon-to-be-fit arse right around and sought out another copy room, so I would not be tempted.

I leave you with this:

Ode to Veggie Chili by BB30

Oh veggie chili, thou art a perfect luncheon treat,
One cup of you is fiber filled and oh-so nutritious to eat.

Vegetable and beanie goodness keep my belly full,
So I am not so hungry later fighting the midday pull
To the vending machine with its Grandma’s Cookies
Whose chocolate dough is just the shiz-nit.
No way, Vendy, I don’t need you-I am on a deadline to get-fit!

So bring on the protein, bring on the tomatoes,
Iron, potassium, and vitamin C!
Leave out the rice (but brown’s okay), the beans are carb enough for me!

Don’t forget the zucchini with its folates and Vitamin A,
Add in some zinc filled carrots, maybe some onions, and call it a day.

Dash in some herbie goodness like some basil in the pot
And don’t forget the tumeric-cause damn girl, your liver’s hott!

Oh veggie chili, you’ve taken my heart-it’s gone away, it’s stolen.
But I do wish you were a bit gentler and nicer to my colon!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Party Weekend Survivor!

We married off my bestie this weekend in a charming, beautiful, magical event. There was too much excitement to over eat and enough dancing and tears of joy to burn off those extra mojito calories.

Now down to business and making the most of my last week until the end of Month One.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Big Weekend

I am leaving soon for my big weekend in sunny SoCal. Surely there will be temptaions and challenges, so I know there will be lots to tell when I return next week!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Am Being Stalked

I have a stalker, and her name is Ice Cream. I told you all of my recent struggle with the yearning for ice cream. I survived a baseball game, took an alternate route to avoid Dairy Queen, and resisted an ice cream truck all in one day! I forgot to mention that I tried to satiate my unruly desire on Sunday with a McDonald’s vanilla cone (a mere 150 calories-good tip alert), but alas, their machine was broken. So, I stayed strong.

Cut to Tuesday, ICE CREAM SOCIAL DAY, in the cafeteria at work. Seriously? Seriously!
I am officially being chased by a personal food demon!

Do I dare? Stressful! Curses!

Notice that a pictue of me with ice cream all over my face is not here. That's because I ran away from the cart and lived calorie savinging-ly ever after!
Like I've mentioned my eating goals revolve around balance and not thinking of any foods as "bad foods," but right now I know I would over do it in an instant, so I need to hold off with this dessert for now.

What food demon stalks you??

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Damn Girl, Your Liver Is Hott!

Someone with a legit background took a look at my tongue recently and told me that I have heat in my liver. I thought that was sort of a weird statement (second only to the request, “lemme see your tongue”), but I was very open to listening to what that means. Apparently there are foods that irritate our organs. Cheeses (especially cow’s milk) and red wine effect the liver. Let it be known that I love red wine, and shredded 2% sharp cheddar appears atop most of my dinners. Just as the students of South Park Elementary woo their classmates with promises of punch-n-pie, I am as easily swayed by wine-n-cheese. So, I have begun to watch my intake of these liver offenders and tickle my cheese fancy with more sheep’s milk and goat cheeses (although sometimes a girl just needs her cheddar cheese stick and almond combo protein-y snack). Likewise I am aiming to eat liver cooling foods such as artichokes, dandelion tea, and incorporating the spice tumeric (sometimes called Indian Saffron-used in a lot of South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking). A little soy butter or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter with a pinch of tumeric for steamed artichoke dipping anyone??? Please try it. You shall love it and your liver will too. Yum! I have been dashing tumeric into my stir fry for a few weeks now and it is such a nice flavor punch! Warning: It will turn your cauliflower yellow, don’t let that freak you out.

How can you detect a hot liver by looking at your tongue? According to the person who gave me the diagnosis, there is an inflammation of your tongue and a curling that indicates liver heat.

As I’ve delved more into research I have learned that another factor that can contribute to liver heat, or liver fire, is anger. The liver can actually hold on to anger, and it sort of boils up creating this heat. Hmmm….BB30=struggling artist + frustrating day job. An equation for anger some might say. Could it be that my liver is my emotional trash compactor? (I call dibs on penning that as a country/western song!) My Liver’s An Emotional Trash Compactor by BB30. In all seriousness, I am a true believer that your insides (emotions and organs) must be in tact before you can fully take on your outsides!!

According to here are some foods I should avoid:

Chilies (Okay, but I find chili powder such a delish seasoning)
Cinnamon (I thought cinnamon was good for metabolism -this is confusing)
Garlic (Whaaaa??? Maybe I will just deal with a hot liver.)
Ginger (No cleansing my pallet between makis?? Isn’t tumeric a cousin of ginger?)
Wasabi (What will become of sushi Fridays?)
Onions (Dammit)
Coffee (Double Dammit)
Vinegar (Fine, I am typically salad dressing free!)
Mustard (Shut your face!)
Horseradish (I am loyal to Koop’s Horseradish Mustard-this does not bode well for me)
Chocolate (No comment, it’s too painful)
Red meat/Veal (No problem!!)
Shrimp/Prawns (Crap)
Cheese (sniff)
Citrus Fruits (Ok)
Peanuts (Easy)
Lard, Margarine (Ew-narsty!)
Fried foods (no prob those do not promote bikini readiness)
BBQ’d foods (although a native Texan, actually easy, and again, not conducive to bikini readiness)
Cigarettes (I don’t partake.)
Alcohol (Afterwork drinks can be a necessity, but I get it-we are dealing with the liver afterall.)
Artificial preservatives, artificial colorings and all highly processed foods (I will try, but I have the fact that I reside in America working against me.)

Here are some links to info I found about this subject:

Stay tuned as I work to cool off my insides!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Week Two Round Up

So how'd I do this week? Meh. I did okay exercise wise. It was quite a busy week involving several different areas of life, so I felt spread a bit thin. I didn't manage my time well enough to get in work outs on Tuesday and Wednesday. I was only getting in six hours of sleep a night tops, so I just couldn't bare to lose any hours and get up early. I had to swap the weights for soup cans, and I am a bit frustrated with having to take strength training so slowly. I am definitely not able to follow the Prevention plan full out, but I am using it as a guide and enjoying the power walks (one day it was raining so I did it on my elliptical and burned even more calories-woo hoo). I noticed that I actually need to do a light jog in some places of the speed bursts to get my heart rate up correctly. Food wise I have done a pretty good job of combating temptations.

For example, Saturday I attended the Cubs/Astros game (hooray for my first married Cubs game!)

YOU: BB30, what's that box you and your fine husband are holding?
ME: Do you know what they are selling at Wrigley Field this season? A four pound soft pretzel!

Don't worry I did not inhale the entire thing, this is how much the two of us actually consumed together (and shared a piece with a pal), we really just wanted to say we bought one. It is still sitting in our kitchen:

So, my baseball game lunch included the equivalent of about half a soft pretzel, some peanuts in the shell (they take a long time to crack open each one and eat which is a good tip), and a light beer. This is of course not a meal at the height of nutrition, but I avoided the processed cheese sirens that are ball park nachos and the one thing that has been calling me for days cream. I realize that having a cup last weekend was too soon in the game, because I have been in a crave spiral ever since (the ol' monthly hormones do not help either). I need to be strong for now until I stabilize a bit. I also avoided the temptation on my walk home from the game to take the route that would lead me past Dairy Queen. BB30 2-Ice Cream 0. Wouldn't you know what was lurking on my alternate route.....

Seriously, there was an adorable ice cream truck singing on the corner. Good grief!
I knew I had stretched my limits enough with my less than appropriate lunch, so I stayed strong! Whew! That was close. I have since continued to long for ice cream.

I have some challenges this coming week in the form of a fabulous trip to California for my bestie's wedding (weeeee!!!!!!) There will be temptations, but I vow to enjoy all of the delights of a wedding weekend and still maintain balance. I can do it! It's also good motivation to be on point this week.

So, my goal for week three is to continue to do what I can of the Prevention Magazine plan and be even more committed! Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bitch of a Read

Last summer I read Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. It is hilarious and I dig its humorous tough-love real approach to food. A book about healthy eating written by foodies struck my fancy-VEGAN foodies at that. (I am not a vegan, but was intrigued to read what they had to say!) Skinny Bitch provides very healthy alternatives to everyday indulgences, and because it is written with the passion of two food lovers, you can rest assured that their offerings are aimed at taste satisfaction (muy importante). I think what I found most appealing is their very frank approach. Here is a quote from their website, “You cannot keep shoveling the same crap into your mouth every day and expect to lose weight.” Honest and enthusiastic. Love it. I also love how their descriptions of food make you want, nay, NEED to try them. This is what they say about Turtle Mountain products, “Their soy ice cream has ruined our lives. Ruined.” Bwahahaha. This is how real people talk about food! It motivated me so much at the time and helped jump start shedding some pounds acquired from medicinal weight gain (perhaps a story for some other day).

I need to re-read this gem soon....and try some Turtle Mountain soy ice cream.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Minor Set Back easy as I went with the weights yesterday (baby 5lb-ers), my neck/shoulder/arm problem is rearing its ugly head today. I am a little down about this, because 1) the strengthening execises weren't that strenuous so it is a reminder of how weak my injury has made me, and 2) I don't want to throw my weekly goal out the door. I will just have to breathe, regroup, and think of what modifications I can make. Maybe use soup cans for a few days instead of weights, maybe skip the little push up interval. I know I can at least continue with the power walk regimen. I have to choose not to let this minor set back get me down!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hello Week Two

Have you ever wondered if those magazine workouts really work? It seems like there is one in every magazine I flip through. Well say hello to my Weeks Two and Three Goal:
Magazine Fitness Plan Lab.

I didn’t spend oodles of time looking for a plan I just went for the first one that caught my eye and it actually seems really great: Prevention Magazine’s Two Week Turn Around. It combines cardio walking and strength training, alternating activities so you are working all of your muscles groups. This is a kick start kind of plan, and this is exactly what I need! The workouts are an hour total, so not completely time consuming which is good. I do have a long class after work tomorrow and the following Tuesday which will present me with the challenge to fit this in. I may have to (gulp) set my alarm early and do the work out tomorrow before work!

I know there will be some things I will have to modify due to my problematic arm/neck, but I can still give it a galant effort.

They have the plan posted online as well if you would like to take a gander at it (or join me…wink wink nudge nudge):

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Practcin' What I Preach

Friday night: Didn't feel satisfied with dinner and really wanted something else. So, I took a three mile brisk walk and came home and evaluated my hunger then. I guarantee you I would have over eaten had I not done that. So instead of ordering two more starch filled sushi rolls I went and exercised and came home only needing an egg white scramble and an apple dashed with some proteiny peanut butter. BALANCE. I didn't let myself starve and my blood sugar drop, I gave myself time to digest what I had eaten, and gave myself time not to make a bad food decision.

Saturday night: I knew a Mother's Day dinner with my precious in-laws was on the schedule, so I made smart choices during the day eating a few small meals. At the restaurant I passed on the bread basket, and enjoyed a sip-able liquor drink (no soda or juice) a few pieces of calamari, and a big salad with grilled shrimp. I also indulged in some after dinner low fat ice cream. BALANCE. More calories than a typical evening, yes, but let's look at the gray area: I gave up the bread and lots of alcohol and a heavy entree in exchange for one long lasting cocktail and went for filling fresh veggies for dinner which allowed for some ice cream. Not bad.

How'd I do this week:

Five days of brisk walking and two days of time on the elliptical. All of which I would not have done last week.

Smart food choices.

Practiced balance.

Stay tuned for my week two goal!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Black and White

No, not the infamous cookie delight, the thought process.

A nice gal I met that did some personal training sessions with me last summer gave me some very sage advice regarding attitude toward fitness and eating. She said that successful eating and exercising is not black or white, there is a multitude of gray. For example, you cannot see your sampling of the office birthday cake as a complete failure of the whole day. Maybe you made what you consider a blunder and fell of the proverbial horse or wagon, but the day is not ruined. Did you eat only one piece of that cake instead of your usual two? Did you eat a healthy breakfast? Did you trade the greasy lunch Panini and/or creamy soup for a salad topped with protein? Did you walk to work?

Allow me to once again mention my reality show lover The Biggest Loser. One thing I connect with and love about this season is that focus has recently turned to balance. The final handful of contestants have gotten almost cruelly tough on themselves with their personal food regimens, so much so that their fierce trainer Jillian (I will surely write of my love and fear of her at some point) had to stress moderation and show them that on special occasions it’s okay to have a glass of wine and a little dessert because if you’ve worked out and planned ahead you will be okay consuming those 500 extra calories. My precious Tara was beating herself up about a moment of weakness one night after a work out when she went to the grocery store and kept being drawn to an old food flame, pita chips. Jillian’s words of brilliance: You can’t go through life without pita chips. Surely I misquoted, er, misitalicized that, but you get my drift. I connect so strongly to this, because I can get very obsessive with dieting like this as well and use that terrible phrase, I can’t have that. Yes I can, and I will, because only Unconfident and Negative BB30 use that phrase and don’t have balance, and they aren’t invited to my getting’ fit party.

I find that I err so much on the black and white way of thinking. I am very hard on myself about little stumbles and let them pollute my successes for the day. This is something I will be trying to conquer over the next year.

Here’s to striving for more gray!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Did I make efforts to move today? Yep. Another brisk, heart rate raising walk-this time in the fresh spring drizzle! Who did I think of when I was tired and just wanted to sit on my sofa?

Meet one of my fitness inspirations:

Tara Costa
Biggest Loser Season 7

(slight TBL spoilers below)

I love The Biggest Loser and Tara has been my favorite from day one because of her amazing attitude. She stepped onto TBL Ranch and the former model has put everything she has into making the most of the opportunity (even winning a car pulling challenge after having odds stacked against her when her co-contestants ganged up on her when given the opportunity to add weight to another person’s disadvantage.) She has lost 135lbs in mere months, completed a full marathon, and I can’t wait to see her come finale time next week! Her devotion and effort is so inspiring and every week she gives me a dose of motivation. If I can muster half the enthusiasm of this gal I will be in a bikini by 30.

I’m rooting for you Tara!
In other news: I had a proud temptation moment today at work. I was waiting on an elevator with my lunch salad in tow eyeing a man’s pizza box and enjoying the wafting goodness. The bell rang and an elevator door opened. Although I can resist rushing out and buying an actual pizza of my own, I knew the succulent smell was no match for my food triggers and riding upstairs with the pie in question would be torturous and possibly disastrous (aka running for chips in the vending machine or something junky and salty like pizza). Thus, I waited for another elevator to come to avoid sparking a snackfest. Take that Elevator Pizza, you cunning cat!

I also avoided baked goods someone brought in. I am on a roll!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Before

Moved yesterday? Yep. Same two mile brisk walk, just a bit more brisk!

Moved today? Yep. Despite working all day and having a class until 10pm. I boarded my elliptical.

Down to business...

I know that it is important to post my before shots. Gaining the sense of bravery that comes with making a personal challenge public has required me to muster a new sense of confidence. This has definitely been tested. I am feeling scared and shaken and timid about posting my before shots for a few different reasons. 1)'s unflattering and exposing 2) it's tough to face that after years of working on myself, I still have a ways to go 3) there will inevitably be people who scoff and think my battle and goals aren't that big a deal since I am not obsese.

But, to Unconfident BB30 I must choose to say, "You're not welcome here! Look not at how far you have to go, but what a big deal it is that you are seeing something you don't like and are making efforts to fix it!"

So we go:


So I bid you farewell doughy belly and saddle bags!
Waist (at belly button): 33.5 inches
Hips: 39 inches
Arm: 11.75 inches around
Thigh: 23 inches around
Whew! I made it through the scary post!

So here she hangs in my closet waiting for me!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Birthday Blog Part Two did I do yesterday?

Well, it was a successful birthday all around.

Presents? Check. I was showered with love from my handsome hubby and dog child.

Most Important Meal of the Day? Check. I had a delicious homemade brunch of scrambled egg whites and almond crusted French toast (and it was actually figure friendly-I will share the recipe one day if you're lucky.) Two pieces of French toast were had instead of the typical three.

Day of Fun? Check. I saw amazing dinosaur fossils and learned all about the Pirate Ship The Whydah. Seriously, old skool pirate life is fascinating-they were democratic, non-discriminating, skilled (y'know, really cool guys if you can get past the stealing, fighting and ruthlessness.)

Maintained Blood Sugar? Check. After the museum, I enjoyed a snack of almonds and a cheese stick.

Stayed True to Fitness Goal? Check. When we returned home we leashed up the dog child and went on a two mile brisk walk around the neighborhood. I refused to cheat by telling myself, "Oh, I walked around a lot today."

Birthday Dinner? Check. Of course my foodie man and I had to celebrate my birthday with a delicious dinner! Boy oh boy did we choose a good place. We enjoyed Latin American food that was so well seasoned it was an actual flavor party in my mouth. I indulged in a handful of birthday tortilla chips, but was definitely less heavy handed than normal. We enjoyed a flavorful appetizer plate of arugula and grilled calamari-a garlicy lime delight (although I promptly threw the tentacley pieces at my fella). For my entree I enjoyed Mexican zucchini stuffed with vegetables and a side salad with citrus vinaigrette. Holy mole (literally)! It was all so delicious. (Chicago-ites this is Mixteco Grill on Montrose and Ashland.)

Birthday Cake? Check. The hubs purchased a mini cake from the grocery store and we each had a small piece.

More Birthday Cake? NOPE!

Moderation with all the food temptations
Grilled appetizer vs. fried
Packed up half my entree and took it home (hello dinner tonight!)

All in all a great day!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Birthday Blog Part One

Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday BB30!
Happy Birthday to me!

Alrighty gang, it is officially my birthday.

My day has lots of fun in store including a special breakfast made by my adorable hubby, a day at the museum looking at dinosaurs and a cool pirate exhibit, and a birthday dinner.

Of course birthdays go hand in hand with food treats, but in a way this is a great way to incorporate balance right from the start. Somewhere in my day of celebrating I will throw in a dose of my week one goal: MOVE EVERY DAY.

Yes, I decided that my main goal for the first week of my one year challenge will be to make the effort to exercise in some way every day whether it be an additional walk, time on my elliptical, or a work out DVD. I think this is the perfect way to gently reintroduce myself to working out and kick off my journey!

I am feeling lots of emotions as I stand at the starting line: excitement, nervousness, fear, pride, anxiousness, and curiosity. I am reminding myself to take this one day at a time, to be forgiving, to stay positive and to enjoy the ride.