Monday, May 31, 2010


Long time no blog. It doesn't help that I dropped my lap top on the floor and killed it. A tiny three foot drop onto carpet. Grrr. Hopefully it's fixable and hopefully it's not an expensive recovery.

My show closed one week ago and I've already been in rehearsals for the indie movie I start shooting on Saturday. My day job continues to be, well, a day job. I am focusing on all of the wonderful things it brings me like steady income and health insurance, and knowledge about business. I remind myself that my struggles with lie in the fact that I am not making a living in my true career, and that a change wouldn't make a difference. Since it is here to stay for a while I have decided to embrace one thing I haven't: Access to a gym. This is in no way free or even cheap access mind you, but in my work building lies a good gym and the opportunity to take yoga and pilates and some other exercise classes. I have realized that yoga and pilates and that calming (although challenging) sort of exercise works best for me inside and out, but it's really tricky to do from a dvd or Exercise TV. So I will bite the bullet and take advantage of the chance to go sweat out frustrations midday at lunch or immediately after work. Making lemonade.......let's make that limoncello!

The past couple of weeks have had some ups and downs and I've been in  bit of a fog and feeling spread too thin. I've been tempted to lean on food, but in the moments when I got to the indulgent bites of something that may have once temporarily soothed me, I just didn't find the same satisfaction in them. It's nice to feel those changes even in tough moments. I keep forgetting to do my arm exercises, honestly, I really just keep forgetting, but I know that it become habitual if I just keep at it.

Yesterday was my first day in months without obligations. My husband and I planted a little garden, and if Mother Nature smiles on us we will have an abundance of fresh tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, sage, and basil. Mint and chives grew back from last year, so we will have a great little spread. I can't wait to cook with fresh vegetables from my very own garden. We tried growing a little tomato plant on our balcony last year, and really only ended up with one small tomato. It tasted wonderful, so I am looking forward to being able to cook a meal from my own backyard!

Are any of you caring for a garden this year? Any big yoga fans out there?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Moving Forward

Don’t you hate when the blogs your read don’t update in a week and a half. I do. Oh wait…..sorry about that.

So what does one do when they reach a goal? Make more goals!

Trouble is, I am stuck on where to go from here. I seriously have no desire to run a marathon of any kind. I know I could do it with some practice and hard work, but Ireally, I am just not interested.

I do have one goal established: Scandalous Bikini By November. My east coast besties (that I still can’t believe flew in to surprise me for my birthday-sigh) gave me what I call a “scandalous bikini” for a birthday gift.
You: How is this more scandalous than your black bikini?
Me: Trust me, friend, that is one teensy top and one low rise bottom!

Truth be told, although I am in a great place, there is still some toning up and slimming down I would like to do, and I have yet to actually take that Big Moment first pubic walk along a beach in any bikini, much less this more revealing one. My husband and I are planning a warm beachy trip for November, and I have made it a goal to sport my “scandalous bikini” at that time. So I have about six months to do some more work and feel confident struttin’ it in all of my saucy zebra glory. Good, great, so there’s that.

I also plan to continue measuring myself each month, keeping in mind that maintenance alone is a big deal. I feel like if I know I have made a commitment to measure every month and post it, I will be motivated to be stay true to my clean healthy eating and fitness goals. Good, great, so there’s that too.

One body part that is trouble for so many women of every size (and of course me too) is upper arms. It seems like that area is so sensitive and lacks the same elasticity that other body parts (I ahve no info to back this up other my simple observation), so stretching it in and out over all of my years of ups and downs with flab has done a number on them. This area simply takes a ton of work. So, today I make the commitment to do some form of tricep work every day, even if it’s just 20 reps. Now we are getting somewhere. This is good. I function better a daily and/or weekly goals.
I also want to post more. I am the road to a very busy summer starting with finishing up my current show a week from Sunday (frown) and already doing some preliminary meetings and rehearsals for a little indie movie I will shoot in June and some of July (probably most of July actually). Come August, my east coast besties return for a weekend of Lollapalooza goodness, and then come mid-late August I begin rehearsals for the remount (yay they love us) of a play I did last fall. That takes me all the way to my scandalous bikini vacation- all the while still working a full time day job and doing everyday grown up tasks like doing laundry, keeping my apartment moderately in order, and buying and cooking healthy groceries. Oh yes, and somewhere in there I need to continue exercising, attempt to enjoy as much summer time outside as possible (an absolute must for my spiritual and emotional nourishment) and do crazy things like spend time with my equally busy husband and my dog child, and possibly even be a little social. I am exhausted just typing all of that. BUT, what makes me an "Everywoman" of sorts is that I, like everyone else, am a busy bee. We can all do this and find time to squeeze in health and fitness!! I feel like we are a little support group here, and if I can lend a hand by writing more about what I am doing on a more regular basis, then we'll be unstoppable. Take that Busy Schedule!

So that is where I am.

I’ll leave you with this cookbook my nice friends got for me as a birthday gift. It’s all about how to cook vegetables a ton of different ways. When I get gifts like this I feel so supported. I’ve already made a pea dish and a corn dish both that rocked my face off (and they were sooo simple).

Monday, May 3, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me: The Results

I was stressed about creating a "perfect" post, but have to decided to let myself off the hook and share just as I always have:

Has it really been a whole year since I decided to take control of my life long battle with weight and threw down the proverbial white fringey gauntlet declaring that I wanted to work hard for the next 365 days to become bikini ready for the first time in my entire life?! It just doesn't seem possible. This year has flown by, and it's been such a rich time of learning about myself inside and out.

Biggest Changes:

I became a vegan. I can't tell you how much lighter and cleaner and happier I am. When I began this journey I would have told you that favorite food was cheese. Now, I don't really miss it at all. I love everything that I eat and don't feel like food is my enemy anymore. My head feels so much clearer and I feel more balanced. I totally understand that it's not for everyone, and it's such a personal choice (and one that can be made for several different reasons), but for me, it's been wonderful.

I am kind to myself. I don't beat myself up as much and celebrate triumphs more instead of focusing on goals I didn't meet. I attend guided meditation and really spend time being good to myself.

I don't see food as my enemy. Even "bad" foods like occasional french fries or a handful of chips don't send me into a shame spiral. I can eat some if I really want them and move on. I can also just eat them in small amounts. I don't feel like like every meal is a test that I will either pass or fail.

Now for some results:

April 3rd Waist (at belly button): 29.5
May 3rd Waist (at belly button): 29
Down 1/2 inch! Down 4.5 inches total!

April 3rd Hips: 35.5 inches
May 3rd Hips: 35.5 inches
No change. Down 3.5 inches total!

April 3rd Arm: 10.5 inches around
May 3rd Arm: 10.5 inches around
No change. Down 1.25 inches total!

April 3rd Thigh: 21.5 inches around
May 3rd Thigh: 21.5 inches around
No change. Down 1.5 inches total!

I didn't expect much of a loss this month, so I am happy about a little win in the waist department.
Now for pics. First a comparison of day one, month six, and now in the original blue bikini:

I think my back shots below are most telling:

I got myself a nice classic black bikini for use when we actually have lake/beach weather here in the midwest:


Below is my favorite shot. As often happens in Chicago, a big gust of wind blew through. I had the realization that I've never felt wind on my belly. It was such an exhilerating feeling that I can't believe I've been missing out on! I was taking it all in in this picture:

Thanks to my awesome pal Mandy for taking these shots!

How did I do it?

Putting my intention out into the universe (and cyberland). I know having this blog and all of you to be accountible to has kept me on track. It's scary to out yourself out there, but it's been overwhleming to have people I don't know find me here and offer encouragement!

My husband and friends. I am surrounded by supportive people who don't tempt me with food and are encouraging of my efforts and resp[ectful of my journey.

Determination: I wanted to do this for me and no one else. I was determined not to let myself down. It just doesn't work if you are trying to do this for other people!

So, what now?

There are still some areas I want tone (like my legs and upper arms) and I want to continue working on nutrition and finding the best work out regimen for myself. Since it's still a little chilly in my world, I still have yet to experience being out amongst people, walking a beach in a bikini. That will be a big day, and I definitely want to share that with you! There is also a lot of work that goes into maintenance-it's not like I can pig out and stop exercising now. I couldn't have gotten anywhere without all of you out there reading and encouraging me, so I would love it if all of you came along!! I want to think of some new goals. I would love to come up with a fitness/athletic goal. I'll jog sometimes, but I am not terribly interested in a marathon, so I am not sure what direction to go.  I am open to suggestions. I definitely want to be a more active blogger and post more about healthy cooking.

It's been a wonderful long birthday and I want to spend the last of it snuggled up with my little family, so I'll close by saying: There you have it. I am a very real "everywoman" who has two jobs, a career, a life, a husband, a dog child, and a decades-long battle with weight, and I've managed to make my way into a Bikini By 30! It feels great!

Results Tonight

(Oprah voice) It's my BIRTH-DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tonight I will be putting up my birthday/results post. Stay tuned!

I've already had an amazing birthday! Saturday morning I headed out early to take my bikini shots and Mr. BB30 told me he would have brunch made for us by the time I got home. How sweet. So I took my shots (still nerve racking if you want to know), and I decided to stop by a store on the way home since I just can't seem to find any new clothes that I like. Finally I called the mister to tell him I was on my way back. When I walked in I sensed something weird- what was my hubby up to? I walked in my dining room and there sitting with my pal who'd taken my shots (and beaten me home) were my two east coast besties who'd flown in from NYC to be with me for my birthday weekend. They videoed my reaction. I want to figure out how to post it (a tech genius I am not). I was showered with love and presents and a veganized version of my beloved almond crusted french toast. I was treated to a pedicure and girl time, and it was revealed that several people were coming out to see my play that night and were coming out afterwards for a little party at a restaurant across the street. Birthday bliss.

Today lots of fun things have been planned for me and I feel like a princess!