Friday, November 20, 2009


I hate forwards as much as the next person, but someone sent me this and I had to share. Maybe my downstairs neighbors will hate me, but me thinks I need a jump rope of my own. Check out these jump ropers!

Supposedly jumping rope is one of the best overall workouts you can get. If you jump rope for 15 minutes you can burn about 250 calories. WOAH!! (although 15 minutes straight of rope jumping would probably seem like an eternity!) It's cheap, a nice way to recapture some childhood fun, and it packs a lot of punch in a small amount time!

Do any of you jump rope for cardio?

PS. On Wednesday I did not eat a giant breakfast muffin at a meeting because I thought of all of you and how I need to practice what I preach. So thank you!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Making the Most of the Next Six Months

First, did I wear my dress at opening this weekend? No I didn't. I could have worn it, but I didn't feel 100% confident in it. (A lifetime-long pooched belly is hard to work off, sometimes I think no matter how toned and tiny I get I will still have one.) While girdly/spanx-y type aids may be great in general, I felt like for goal purposes, that it would be a bit of a cheat. I have just a little ways to go before I'll surely be able to wear my dress with pride. I could wear it for closing or to some upcoming holiday parties-there are options. Here are some before and afters.







So I'm getting close.

With six months left to work toward my ultimate goal, I want to fully embrace the time I have left. Like I've always said, this journey is about toning up both my outside and inside, so I am happy to continue forward with two strong tools to help with both: Kind Food and Soul Food.

Kind food:  Like I mentioned last week, I dove into reading The Kind Diet and learning about the benefits of a plant based diet. I have to say that I am really enjoying exploring all of the delicious, healthy, and very satisfying foods associated with kind of eating. There are so many dishes I was already eating that were basically in line, I've just done some tweaking like using soy butter instead of a chemically spray and adding in some essential whole grains that I had been leaving out because I've had the fear of carbs instilled in me like so many people. My favorite delight thus far is freekeh wheat. I stumbled across this at Trader Joe's and gave it a try since it was a whole grain, had a rad name (I like to say "give me some of them freaky wheats"), and the ingredients list contained only two simple things: freekeh wheat and water. It is delicious!!!! Add a dash of sea salt and a little soy butter and it is just amazing paired with some organic beans or sauteed greens. I am stocking up since you never know when TJs will stop carrying things (when they stopped carrying canned curried chick peas a few years ago I was decidedly destroyed.)

Soul food: I am signed up to begin a monthly women's seminar in January that focuses on the spiritual life cycle of a woman. I am super thrilled about it and can't wait. Think of it as a place to learn all about yourself. How cool is that? There are sections on self esteem, clearing out old blockages from past negative experiences, appreciating yourself, exploring your life's goals. Sound like therapy? Well, I guess it kind of is, the leader is actually a licensed clinical therapist. Ain't no shame in that game. I can't wait to tell you about it next year.

Anywho, now that my show is up and running. I can begin to commit fully to exercise again. I have to admit, I've had three weeks without a proper work out. I've hung in there with some maintainance: arms circles, leg lifts, good eating, but as far as solid workouts, I was so insanely busy with work and the show that sleep was actually the healthier choice. I remedied all of that Sunday with a nice workout on the elliptical finished off with some good belly blasting leg lifts. I am so happy to be on track and thrilled that I was not winded or exhausted. Phew! I am so happy to be back on the work out track and continuing to tone up!!!

I hope all of you are well, and know that I'll be right here with you as we head into high holiday season and all the food temptations it will bring! We will survive!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Kind Diet

With my life at such a grueling pace right now and two bouts of sickness in four weeks (the last week of October I was riddled with sinus headaches and migraines for five days), I really feel the need to get on track with taking care of myself and being good to me. My skin is stupid dry (I've fallen off the fish oil wagon-I just keep forgetting to take them), I have really dark circles under my eyes, and I'm achey. I need some TLC inside and out. Enter an interesting read that I have been anxious to get my hands on! The Kind Diet by Cher Horowitz herself Alicia TooAdorableForWords Silverstone.

I won't call this a vegan book, but rather a book about all of the benefits of a plant based diet and why animal products can be bad for you and the environment (there is a difference to me). The word kind refers to eating foods that are good to your system and friendly to the environment on the way to your mouth. I'm such a cheese and egg head that I don't know if I could ever adapt to losing all animal products, but I am really open to what the book has to say. It's written gently (aka the animal cruelty stuff isn't as graphic as some rougher literatue I have read-I get it, I don't need to read every gory detail) and Alicia, as a former meat eater, totally understands what it's like to change your diet. She speaks from experience about what it feels like and how wonderful a vegan life style has made her feel.

Veganism intrigues me (but can also seem a little rash and possibly unhealthy), and I wanted to read this book to see just how one is supposed to get essential nutrients when eating this way, and she does a great job of explaining it. She covers all the questions I had such as where you get calcium and protein, how eating so many carbs will not make you gain weight (you eat tons of beans and whole grains in this lifestyle), and even openly addresses "fartiness" and pooping (yes she actually uses the word fartiness-love it).

In addition to going animal product-free the kind way of eating also eliminates processed foods and white sugars. It's extreme (epecially in the land of fast foods and disgusting degrees of how we overwork ourselves), but Alicia claims it changed her life, gave her beautiful skin and hair, and has made her feel light and healthy. So far I really love that the book seems to focus on what you gain-awesome new foods and dishes to experience- instead of bombarding you with all of the things you have to kiss good bye. Because she knows that this is a serious life change, she presents three degrees of transitioning: flirting (maybe cutting out a meat meal or two each week or switching to whole grains and noting how you feel), vegan (no meat or dairy), and superhero (no meat, dairy, or processed foods). I've basically been a flirter for almost two years and have brought down my cheese consumption a lot since the spring to help ease my hot liver.

Bethenny Frankel mentions in Naturally Thin that if there are a lot of ingredients in a packaged food that you can't pronounce, then it's probably not a good investment. The Kind Diet follows a similar principle and sort of equates quality foods to gasoline. You can put regular ol' gas in your car, but it runs oh so much better on higher quality fuel. You can eat foods that are hard on your system, but you'll run so much better on nutrient rich, high quality, unprocessed foods. Makes sense. If we spend extra money to give our cars the good stuff-why not our bodies?

So I am making efforts to focus on fueling with kind foods and respecting my insides. Sunday afternoon I cooked up some kind lunches to enjoy during my upcoming busy week (I have some day trips for work for a huge project on top of rehearsals and an opening weekend of shows. Ooof. My two worlds have colided most unpleasantly this week.) My personal pre made meals include: Tofu and black beans marinated in soy sauce over whole wheat cous cous and quinoa. Accorn squash and parsnip steamed and mashed like potatoes (it's so good) with kidney beans, and tofu and veggie sautee with cous cous. All super flavorful and good for me on so many levels.

We'll see how incorporating some better quality foods aids in putting a spring back in my exhausted step!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Half Way There

Tuesday marked my six month mark (and my half birthday). The time has flown by. First things first, my monthly results:

Oct 3rd Waist (at belly button): 31.5 inches
Nov 3rd Waist (at belly button): 31 inches
Down 1/2 inch! Down 2.5 inches total!

Oct 3rd Hips: 36.5 inches
Nov 3rd Hips: 36.25
Down 1/4 an inch! Down 2.75 inches total!

Oct 3rd Arm: 11 inches around
Nov 3rd Arm: 11 inches around
No Change (but I really think I am exchanging it for muscle).
Down 3/4 inch total!

Oct 3rd Thigh: 22 inches around
Nov 3rd Thigh: 22 inches around
No Change. Down 1 inch total!

Now for the six month pics. Suprisingly, posting these was not easier than posting them last time. I thought I would be over it and confident, but I still feel exposed and vulnerable. However, I think it's really important to share. First you'll see Day One, followed by the Six Month Mark. And yes, I got new curtains in my livingroom :)

Then  Now
Then   Now

I didn't share my back pic in May, because I was embarrased, but the pics show some telling results, so I am sucking it up and sharing, because there is nothing to be ashamed of-these are just progress shots, I'm not done yet!
Then Now

So, although I dreamed of being further along after so many weeks of effort, I think I represent the many women who are very busy, don't have personal trainers, private chefs, and expensive pre-made food services, or have hours to work out everyday. I am a real woman on this journey! (However, I think a personal trainer and private chef sound dreamy!) I also need to celebrate the fact that I've lost 7 inches of mush off of my body, I am much firmer, and my clothes are loose. That's a great feeling!

I've realized that since I am someone who has always been chubby (and at times clinically obese), I don't have that picture in my head of what I will look like when I reach my goals. I've never been in shape and thin. I have never seen myself slim and svelt with muscle tone. I've neer been able to wear an outfit that shows off my legs because my thighs have always been jiggly and doughy. The goal pictures in my head are of other people and what I hope I can look like. I have to make sure to manage those expectations since we're all different and the look of my fit bod will be unique to me. Unfortunantely I will never be able to look just like fitness inspiration Janine although I can definitely use her as motivation!

I would say the two biggest factors that have contributed to what I have achieved thus far are:
Support and Being Picky

You fabulous motivating followers are always in the back of my head when I have tough decisions to make, and the first group of people I want to tell about successes. I appreciate you!!

My hubby and pals: I feel very lucky to be surrounded by people who are supportive of my plight and accept when I turn down junk food offers and don't pressure me to overindulge.

Being Picky:
I am a pickier eater than I have ever been. For the most part I only eat or drink something if I really want it. If I am not really enjoying something I typically stop, because it's a waste of calories and will only doom me in the end (even if it's not a seemingly detrimental high cal treat). I think this is a great habit to form, and it keeps me from mindlessly eating everything in sight when I am stressed out and helps me pay better attention to my food.

So there you have it. I am half way there. There is still a long road ahead, but I haven't given up, and I am glad so many folks have stuck with me.

Up Next: Embarking on a new way to nourish myself inside and out and really care for myself. I'm very excited to talk about this!