My Exercise Plan 2015

Exercise Monday: My Exercise Plan 2015

Work it Out!

Work it Out!

Hello People,

This is the big doozy. The part of my plan that is really pushing things into high gear. I posted a few weeks ago about the diet portion of this plan, which isn’t really ground-breaking news but what sets this time apart from the other times I have attempted to lose weight on this blog is my exercising combined with eating lower calorie.  Let me explain a few unfortunate things.

I lost and reached my goal weight twice before in my life.  Once I did it  on Weight Watchers and the other on a little known diet called Prism.  Both of those attempts had me eating extremely low calorie, 1000 to 1200 a day, with no cheat meals EVER. Due to the low calorie nature and the choices of what I was eating then (lots of processed foods) I was unable to exercise because I had zero energy.  Yes, I lost weight, I had no energy, but I lost weight. The unfortunate thing about losing weight is that when one loses weight or is in a fat losing state the body will lose some of its lean muscle tissue in the process. It is just what happens and you can’t stop it; even if you are lifting weights during the process of losing.  Muscle is what keeps your metabolism humming when you are young.  It is often easier to lose weight when you are young because your fat to muscle tissue is usually different than when you are older.  I am older and have lost weight twice losing lots of my lean muscle tissue twice; up to 25% of it both times!!! Therefore, at a certain weight, like 130 pounds, I can weigh the same today as then, but I may be far fatter now at that weight than when I was younger because I just have more fat than muscle on my body. Aging also causes us to lose muscle over time if you are not diligent to keep it from deteriorating over the years.  I did not want to lose weight again and not exercise. This was in the hopes that I could protect some of that lean tissue and at the same time change the shape of my body, not just lose weight. Note: this is one reason health experts say that weighing yourself is only a fraction of the truth.  A really healthy person has a healthy BMI. Weight is just a number that is not really telling you what it is like on the inside.

I was also noticing that weight was not coming off of me at this age (43) as easy as it was when I was younger (20’s and early 30’s) without exercise. In some instances I didn’t lose weight at all even eating 1200 cals a day.  In other words, I have to exercise now in order for true weight loss to happen especially as I get closer to my goal weight. My calories aren’t too far off from those former diets but the difference now is what I eat. It makes a huge difference in my energy and performance output. Eating lower glycemic and having a balanced fresh Macronutrient diet is a world of difference to eating fake food out of boxes heated in the microwave.

You may be surprised to find that I am pushing myself to exercise a lot.  I am. It’s because I want the weight gone and don’t want to wait around for it to happen. It is not a quick fix, it is discipline and determination. I am not perfect and this is only an outline.  If I can accomplish it all then bravo.  Recently I had a bike accident and sprained my hand and cut up my knee so I had to make adjustments and not lift any weight for a week. I try to follow this program to the best of my ability and it is making a huge difference.

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My Program:

Mon: Jog/Walk Intervals 1 hour, Walk Dog uphill 1 hour, Arms/Back, Yoga 30 min

Tue: HIIT Cardio (such as jump rope) 16 min, Legs/Butt, Walk Dog flat route 1 hour

Wed: Day Off

Thurs: HIIT Cardio, Arms/Back, Walk Dog flat route 1 hour

Fri: Jog/Walk Intervals 1 hour, Walk Dog uphill 1 hour, Legs/Butt, Yoga 30 min

Sat: 2 hours Medium Intensity Cardio of choice (such as Bike Riding)

Sun: 1 hour Cardio (such as Tae Bo Kickboxing), Legs/Butt, Yoga 30 min

NOTE:

  • Cardio is medium intensity unless it is HIIT, then it is full out.
  • Strength Training is done with and without weights, depends on the routine
  • Strength Training varies in time; 20 min to an hour
  • I often am not able to walk my dog due to time constraints, so I do my best
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When in Doubt…Go Back to Basics

Think It Through Thursday: When in Doubt…Go Back to Basics

Hello People!

I was going to film this update for you but decided to spread out the info over the next few days in separate posts.  I want to make the posts really personal from now on and make this blog more about me and my journey and what exactly is going on in my personal transformation.  In the past it tended to take on a more general approach to weight loss and staying in shape; although after saying that, all of which I have formerly posted I did and am doing.  Right now though, I want to be extremely selfish because I am fed up with the way things have turned out in regards to my getting and staying in shape…read: NOT.

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First things first, it is NEVER a good time to start.  There is always a reason why it is too hard to do these things.  The fact is if you don’t do it now, then when?  I had to just make up my mind to stop staring at the clothes waiting patiently in my closet (for years now!) to wear because they are 3 sizes too small thinking, “I’ll wear those when I’ve lost weight.”  I am also wearing out my shape wear (a.k.a. gut suckers) and don’t want to buy more to flatten out my belly and thighs.  I just want it done and the only way to get it done is to start and then keep going until it is finished.  No dilly-dallying anymore.  No taking time and the easy route.  That has kept me in maintenance mode and in falling-off-the-wagon-one-too-many-times mode.  I have hitched my trailer to a fast car and am speeding down a highway called Lose Weight Now!  This is the only way for me to do it.  I am focused and have a plan with a mission.  Some may be shocked at my plan and may think I am a hypocrite because I have gone back against my word that I have written posts about, but it is all temporary to get the weight off.  Maintenance will be a different plan.

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So that brings me to my next point: Make a Plan.  My plan is mine and works for me but may not work for you. I’ll share it with you, but don’t think that I believe this is a one-size-fits-all sort of deal. Losing weight is personal and you must experiment (as I have been doing for years!) with what works best for you.  The long and slow routine wasn’t working for me, so I created a more direct approach with fewer pit stops.  The specifics of which I will share in later posts this week.  Just know that I have it in writing and I live these “directions” every day until it is done.  It’s sort of like following an instruction manual; do this, then that, then another until you reach the end.  It has specific guidelines to follow.  I write it all down and look at it and go back and look at other days I have recorded before just to reflect.  I’m using a small spiral bound notebook to track all of my food and exercise info.

My plan is to work in 6 week segments.  I will weigh myself once every 6 weeks (YES!) and measure myself as well.  I have a chart to write down this info on.  I have a goal date of June 10 which gives me about two 6-week groups.  If the weight isn’t all off by then, I will continue until it is. This is a hard-core plan, so a lot should be off by then.

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One funny thing I want to share with you all is that I have been weighing myself all these years on a broken scale!  My scale is probably from the 1970’s and apparently weighs me about 5 pounds less than I really am.  Now that’s a problem!  I only just realized this and was horrified to know that my starting weight was much higher than I had thought. Here are some stats:

Age: 43

Height: 5’2.5″

Starting Weight: 152 lbs.

Hip Measurement: 42 inches

Weight to Lose: 34 lbs.

Goal Weight: 118 (I’m short!)

Reaching Goals

Now I know that weight/weighing oneself is not that great of a measuring tool.  If I find that at 123 I look and feel great and have muscle tone to die for, then that is where my weight will stay. 118 is a goal that I am working towards and that number can be adjusted later if I want it to be different. I formed this very specific plan after I filmed my last video for you but am incorporating things I was doing then into what I am doing now. More to come on this topic later…

 

Backyard Coffee Talk #1

Hello People!

Yep, it’s me.  After a super long time of disappearance, I have resurfaced from the ashes.

Rather than go into a long explanation here, I’ll let you view my video and hopefully that will answer any questions. Since I made the video (about 2 weeks ago) I have been staying on track and doing well.  Hopefully, you are too.  If you are new to my blog, welcome and please join me on my weight loss journey to lose weight once and for all.  My intention is to inspire healthy habits for everyone.

Sugar Anyone?

Inspirational Sunday: Meditation for Sugar Avoidance

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Hello People!

Yes, yet another post about sugar being bad.  Are you catching a theme here?  Not that I have ANY PROBLEM with the white stuff! And by that I mean, hell’s yeah I do.

If you haven’t seen the video for Sugar the Bitter Truth, well get yourself a viewing ASAP!  It really tells all the ins and outs of what sugar truly does in the body.  Long story short, it purely gets stored as fat, well in most cases it does, by 100%.  If you are trying to lose any kind of weight, sugar can be your greatest burden on that journey especially if you are past the age of 40. Remember too that “sugar” has other forms in addition to glucose or sucrose (white sugar) such as white flour, white rice, refined grain products, and alcohol.

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We could take a few more liberties when we were young, right?  Remember how you could eat a binge meal on the weekend and it really didn’t effect your weight too much?  After you reach mid-life, the metabolism changes, especially in us women…and I don’t care what the research says on the matter (it says we lose muscle which slows it down, but most of it says the slowing of the metabolism is a myth!); it does change. Until you get to my age and are a woman, no one gets this!  I hear a lot of younger women touting advice, but they have no idea what they are talking about.  They are still young!  This metabolism issue has been my problem since I started this blog.  After age 38 I gained 10 pounds in a month and have been struggling for 4.5 years to take it off.  Every meal, morsel and sugar crystal counts these days. It was never this hard before. Do you have the same issue?

I’ve been reading a book called Think Yourself Thin – Change Your Brain for Permanent Weight Loss by Darcy D. Buehler Ph.D.  It is an interesting book on using mediations for focusing on your trouble areas of weight loss.  There is nothing new in the book about how weight loss works, but she is a psychologist who understands that the brain needs a little coaxing in the area of the subconscious to change its old ways.  This is a fascinating area of study for me.  We consciously know what to do, but because of old habits and old ways of thinking, we repeat bad eating choices and continue to have eating issues despite what we know is right.  Why?  The subconscious is playing that old record of sabotaging good eating habits over and over and we won’t change the subconscious until it learns to think differently.  Somehow, someway, the subconscious has learned to think along one path and it will take a bit of work to make it ditch it’s former beliefs.  And actually, she tells in the book how you can literally change the shape of the neural pathways in the brain with new thinking patterns. As she puts it:

 “The mental process you are about to embark upon will, over time, imbed the new thoughts into the brain.  Once this is done, the new thoughts and urges will outweigh the old – and you will stay thin.  Your brain circuitry will now support – and sometimes even initiate – the urges fundamental to your new healthy lifestyle.”

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I leave you now with one of her meditation verses.  It is written for you to do while laying down and relaxed.  Focus on the phrases that speak to you and repeat them over and over until you really feel their solidity in your thinking.  Mumbo jumbo?  Try it…what have you got to lose?

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Meditation: Sugar Avoidance (part 1)

  • In a nice, relaxed position, begin to breathe slowly and rhythmically, inhaling and exhaling, as you relax your shoulders and soften your belly.
  • Allow your body to breathe rhythmically and naturally.
  • Notice the support of the cushions beneath you as you begin to relax.  Notice a heaviness throughout your body as you become more and more relaxed.
  • Over the next several days you will find yourself in many situations, many situations in which various forms of refined sugar will be available to you.
  • You know the situations, so begin to see yourself.
  • See yourself at home, out at your favorite restaurant, at work, at the grocery store, at the convenience store when you go in to pay for your gas -many situations- and the growing image you have of yourself is one of strength and confidence, feeling almost no desire for sugar.
  • Your head is held high, your shoulders are thrown back, and in your eye is a glimmer of hope.
  • You are feeling so good about yourself and your desire to limit refined sugar from your lifestyle.
  • That’s right, you are going to limit refined sugar in your lifestyle because you know that sugar may be the number one culprit in lowering the quality of your life.
  • You will go as far as beginning to see sugar as almost lethal when ingested in your body.
  • You are becoming convinced that regardless of the situation, you will not allow yourself to overindulge in sweets.
  • Continue to develop this image of yourself feeling strong and having no desire for sugar.
  • With this image of yourself in your mind take two or three nice deep breaths.
  • With the first breath just feel the confidence welling up in your chest
  • With that next deep breath feel the psychological strength centering in your body.
  • One more deep breath as the excitement courses through your veins — the excitement of knowing you will dramatically decrease your intake of sugar.
  • You are feeling so good about your decision to limit that old-fashioned and embarrassing habit of eating sugar.
  • You feel sure that you very often will be able to avoid refined sugar.
  • You are becoming more and more confident that you have the strength to AVOID REFINED SUGAR on a regular basis.
  • To assist you in developing an aversion to sugar, you will be doing a rather difficult visualization.  This visualization will help you to gain the strength to almost completely eliminate refined sugar.

To be continued……HA!

To continue to part 2, click here.

New, Old Plans

Hello People!

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Sorry I took a long break from the blog here.  It wasn’t that I lost focus on losing weight or exercising or reading anything and everything about health and wellness.  Those things are always happening in my life no matter what.

In fact, I began a rigorous exercise program 3 months ago and have dramatically changed the shape of my body.  I mentioned somewhere on here before that I would take photos to show a before and after effect.  I was doing just that, but then I started to notice something that was irritating me…I was changing the shape of my body by building muscle, but I was not losing any weight (talk about stubborn!).  You may also be aware that too much rigorous exercise can increase one’s appetite, offsetting the fat loss one hopes to lose while sweating and dying to such routines. So, I’m keeping my workouts to under an hour and a half.  But usually, it’s just an hour a day.  My long 2.5 hour Sunday walk is out.  Walking is great, for beginners, but if you want to really see changes, you must up the ante.

So back to that non-weight-loss problem.  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhhh!  Full Charlie Brown style.  I have become one irritated person and it is time for the big guns.  I was really hoping that I could lose weight by eating a sensible number of calories, thus not lowering my metabolism and causing metabolic damage.  Let’s just say I have, during my absence, taken every road for that plan and no weight has been lost.  I have maintained weight, which is great and useful for later on, but I need to drop these 25 pounds now!!! I don’t want to wait any longer (not that I’ve been waiting, it’s been more like an exercise in futility for 3 arduous years).

Therefore, I have gone back to an old flame.  The one diet that I lost considerable amount of weight on about 13 years ago, is now in my possession.  Since reading the book that was written about it, I have realized that this particular diet is now defunct across the nation.  Not because it was a bad diet or had problems with it’s requirements; actually, I don’t know why.  The phone number listed for more information connects you to a “Win a Cruise for 2!!!” hotline.  A website does not exist.  The only thing that keeps popping up on Google is about a “Fat Chick on a Diet” complaining that because she wanted a bite of fudge at Christmas, she wasn’t going to go on the diet and sent all the materials back (LOSER!, or, not really).  One of the main important features of the diet is to have an accountability partner or leader help you weekly with your lessons and progress.  This person checks your food diary and goes over your workbook answers and discusses anything that may need to be addressed.  That is the best part because the accountability holds you, the dieter, responsible and makes you think twice about eating that “forbidden food.”  The diet is called PRISM.

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I will go into more detail about it in another post (I ordered from Amazon an incomplete workbook for phases 1 – 3, but there are 4), but for now I just wanted to inform you that along with my fitness regime I now have a rigorous diet plan.  It isn’t easy or flexible.  It does work though, and that is the bottom line.  For some of us, we need strict adherences.  Even a little bit517TAn-00PL of leeway opens the door to temptation which then leads to failure.  This has been my pattern and I want to end it as soon as possible.  For now, my accountability partner will be you all  🙂  and God.  I’ll share my weekly food journals with you on Thursdays from the previous week.

more to come….

Meal Snapshot: Black Bean Burger

Hello People!

I mentioned a few blog posts ago that I would show you a pix of a recent meal I had/made of a black bean burger recipe. Here is the final product.  It was paired with a salad with Ceasar dressing that I bought from the grocery store.  As mentioned in the earlier post, the taste was good, but the burger fell apart when eating making a giant mess.  Oh well, more recipes for me to try to perfect it!

A Yummy Lunch!

A Yummy Lunch!

Soup 101

Foodie Friday: How to Make Soup 101

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Hello People!

I want to share with you a great tip and recipe for helping you with your weight loss goals.  I’ve been making soup forever and love how it can be so easy and filling.  It’s also warm and inviting when you crave comforting foods.  Soup can be fattening, but I’m going to show you my recipe for making it simple and low-calorie; but not low in flavor. This soup should evoke the purest taste of the vegetable you choose. Therefore, I would highly suggest that you choose vegetables in season so that they will be at peak ripeness. I like to have a  1/2 to 1 cup before a meal.

Last year I watched a BBC documentary on helping obese people lose weight.  The show was called “How to Be Slim” and it gave several tips on how to  lose weight while not feeling like you’re starving. Towards the end of the program it featured soup as a great way to ward off hunger and stay full after a meal.  I’ll include the documentary below, but first I’ll share with you the easiest way of making pureed vegetable soup.

VEGETABLE SOUP 101

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  • Unknown-21 Pound of Any Vegetable (squash, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, mushrooms, eggplant, green beans, carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, colored sweet peppers, snap peas,Unknown-3 fresh/frozen green peas, tomatoes, bok choy, lettuces, dark leafy greens, etc.)
  • Water or Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock (or bouillons)
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil or Coconut Oil or Butter

How To:

  1. Chop Onion and Vegetable of choice.  Some may need extra prep such as carrots – they need to also be peeled. (You can mix vegetables, but mind that if you do, some cook quicker than others and will need to be added later so that they don’t become mush).
  2. Heat Oil/Butter in stockpot until hot and add chopped onion.  Sweat until translucent. You can add a dash of salt as well if you want.
  3. Add chopped Vegetable of choice and coat with the Oil/Butter.
  4. Add Water/Stock to stockpot just to cover the Vegetables by one inch. You can add more later if it is too thick.
  5. Bring Water and Vegetables to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until Vegetables are really soft and tender; beyond the way you would normally cook and eat them. (Add veg accordingly; if you are cooking carrots, they will take longer to soften than lettuce, so cook the carrots for 10 minutes alone, then add lettuce for the remaining 10 minutes, as an example.)
  6. Thow everything into a blender or use a hand-held immersion blender and whirl until soup is liquified. (You can reserve some of the cooked Vegetables if you want the texture to not be completely smooth)
  7. Put back into stockpot and add extra Water/Broth if you want, add salt/pepper, spices, seasonings, fresh herbs or chopped green onions/cilantro, lemon/lime juice, cream, milk or nothing.
  8. Eat!

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Of course, after you’ve made it you can refrigerate extra portions or freeze them.  Also, try adding some pesto or olive tapenade on top to make it extra special when you are about to eat it. Enjoy.

“How to Be Slim” Documentary

Workout to Lose

Exercise Monday: Workout to Lose

Hello People!

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This is an extension of a post I did recently on my New Year’s Resolutions.  I had mentioned that I didn’t just write down on my resolutions list to “lose weight,” like I had done last year, but also included in the written goal a specific pattern or plan; in other words, not to be vague about my goal, which will lead to near or nothing being done about the problem.  Making the goal have more tangible tasks will get the job done, at least in my case.  I’m not one to be willy-nilly about things.  That type of planning is my recipe to plan to fail.  I need a plan of action that I can follow to the letter.  This is how I work best.  This may not be for everyone, however.  I thrive on being strict; any wiggle room and I get lazy.

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So, to clarify the goal on my list: I not only have written in bold letters to lose 28 pounds (or what remains thereof from my losing weight efforts last year) but what each week needs to accomplish.  My ultimate goal is to lose 1 to 1 1/2 pounds a week.  This is done two ways: eat 500 calories less per day, and burn up to 500 extra calories a day in exercise.  Due to the fact that I will take two days off to “rest” during the week for exercise, I will make up the 1,000 calorie loss on other days doing active things in daily tasks like gardening, walking to the grocery store, etc. and by also choosing cardio workouts that really burn calories.  Some weeks will go as planned, and I will burn a lot of calories through exercise and activities and eating low-cal, other weeks will have setbacks like getting ill and missing a few workouts, etc.  Remember too, I’m not counting calories too exact due to my “relaxed intention” principles (post to come on that later).  I’m eating in the ballpark of 500 calories less than my BMR.

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It looks like this as an example for one day of the week:

Monday – Eat: 1350 calories / Walk Dog: Burn 100 calories / Strength Train Upper Body 20 to 30 minutes: Burn 150 to 250 Calories / Cardiovascular Exercise: Kickboxing 50 minutes: Burn 300 – 400 Calories (tallying approximate calories with a Heart Rate Monitor)

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I am only doing this for a short time.  I want to lose my weight by May and be done with it.  Then I can focus on the challenges of maintenance, which some say is harder than the losing weight bit. It is also important to mention, that for 2013 I had a goal to be more organized with my time, so I’m using that tool in conjunction with this new goal. I am using a day-planner to plan out what and when I will eat and exercise.  It’s almost like an appointment already made that I must not miss.  I spend Sundays creating this list of things-to-do which also includes a grocery shopping list to only buy what is needed for the week ahead.

For the month of January 2014 I want to lose 4 to 5 pounds.  I’ll let you know at the end of the month if that happens!  Here I go…..

Resolutions 2014

Inspirational Sunday: New Year’s Resolutions for 2014

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Hello People!

Happy New Year as well.  It is indeed a new year, a fresh start for those of us who like turning a new page. Last year I posted my resolutions and I must say that I accomplished about 3/4 of them to great success!*  You can read about it HERE.  The other fourth, I attempted, but for one reason or another, were not completely accomplished; hence my 7 pounds out of a hopeful 28 pounds loss.  Not a total fail, but not completely done with. My list below is a basic outline of what I hope to “do” in 2014.  I left it a bit general for you reader, but rest assured, I have them written down in great detail and posted in plain view for me to see and think about each day.

This year, my plans that weren’t accomplished are more narrowed down to be more specific.  In other words, just saying “I want to lose 28 pounds this year,” I have made the job more of a weekly task to work on gradually with actual numbers and a plan.  More on that later.

I want to discuss, briefly I hope, the fact that even though my best-laid-plans of 2013 weren’t completely conquered, there were so many important things that I realized about myself that are important to point out.  Perhaps you also realized things about yourself through my journey.  Plans are good, but growth is the most important thing to me.  Becoming a better version of myself is always number one on the list.  So here they are itemized in no particular order of discovery or importance:

  1. I am gluten intolerant.  Well, this certainly cuts down on a lot of once available calories for me.  That’s been the plus side.  It is still easy to overeat (I’m baking my gluten-free birthday cake as I write this!), but regardless, this will be something I will have to contend with for the rest of my life.
  2. Lots of extraneous exercise will not help me to lose weight. You may remember my posts about marathoning and walking for hours upon hours only to gain weight.  I called it the “marathon effect.”  Cardio, strength training, and stretching are great in moderation, but are only 15% of the equation in losing weight…DAMN!
  3. Proper macronutrient ratio’s help me feel full.  I’m a person who needs equal parts of complex carbo’s to protein with some fat.  Too little of carb or protein and I am toast.
  4. Sugar is my enemy and creates binging problems.  This one sucks.  I love sugar.  But, it is a completely useless and un-needed “food.”  It triggers my blood sugar to rise and drop, sometimes to dangerous levels and then makes me frantic to eat the first thing I see…and then keep eating.  I turn into one of those spring caterpillars before they go into the cocoon.
  5. Binging can be dealt with.  Not completely done with this one yet.  The devil on my shoulder will always be there.  But I can learn to master those temptations by following the former two discoveries listed above.  Most of all, riding out the wave of greed, and always being prepared if it does strike, is key for me.

And now for the Resolutions:

  • Find a home church to meet new people, find ways to socialize and commune with like believers. (I am protestant Christian, if you didn’t know)
  • Find the best Baked Beans recipe. (I know that may sound weird, but I LOVE them)
  • Financial Responsibility (this is more detailed, but that’s all I’m going to list here)
  • Lose 4 pounds a month (this is also more detailed, but I’ll write more about it later)
  • Visit 5 museums
  • Attend 5 Art Openings
  • Make 5 artworks (more specifically written down, but again…)
  • Cook through the cookbook How to Eat by Nigella Lawson (sort of a Julie & Julia scenario)
  • Improve romantic social life (not going to give you more on this, but I have a plan)
  • Make a “Garden of Envy” (I’ll take photos all through the year for you to prove it!)

I wish you all the best if you also have set goals for yourself.  It is easy to give up and quit.  But then nothing ever changes.  If it isn’t working, what if you re-work the goal?  Good Luck!

* I successfully accomplished goals #3,4,5,6 & 7

Diet Plan (Current)

Foodie Friday: My Current Diet Plan

Hello People!

I am anxious to do this post not because I want to do it, but because I don’t want to do it.  Anxious as in, I am scared this may be my downfall and all hope will be lost, kind of way.  Other than that, life is great!

So…..I am quitting dieting.  Well, I’m quitting on a trial run.  I am going to throw out my diet books, cookbooks, low-calorie recipes (that taste like crap) and diet plans that I somewhat follow on a rotation basis.  I’m even looking at some of the food/recipe advice on some of my favorite health guru shows and thinking, “That looks like it would taste awful! But, in order to have a body like them, I should eat it.”  Well, if I wanted a body like them, I would have it already.  I am not that disciplined in the exercise department the way they are either – no surprise.

I want to look like a normal person who isn’t bulging with muscles and ripped abs.  I want to look soft and womanly with a few curves, but also feel comfortable in a bathing suit.  These are my small hopes.  Therefore, rigorous exercise is out (I’m not sure I think this is good on the cells overall anyways – it causes massive oxidation, read: aging) and eating/drinking/exercise in moderation is in.  WHAT???

A billion years ago (more like 20) I was going to a psychologist for fear/anxiety issues.  There was a point in the discussion where I mentioned I had been dieting for many years and was tired of it.  Imagine, I was tired then!  She, the psych, told me to stop dieting and eat what I wanted.  I was floored!  Why, that’s like walking the dog off leash!  That’s like driving blindfolded!  Holy Crap!  What will become of me?  It was also a very freeing moment for me.  No restrictions, no rigid rules, no obsessing over food and meals.  No more telling people, “No, I can’t go out because I’m on a diet you fool!”  This denial had made me into a machine I’m afraid.  At first I went crazy and did eat what I wanted ignoring calories and portions.  Ok, that’s not horrible, but not the point I think she was trying to make.

A few years before this occurrence, I traveled to Europe on a graduation present.  For a major portion of the trip I was in France – Paris and Nice – and did what you hear all the time about people to who travel to France and eat all that rich food – I lost weight;  5 pounds actually, in the course of only a couple of weeks.  I have a picture somewhere to prove it… Anyways, I was amazed because I was eating richly; in fact, one evening, the husband of the house I was staying in offered to make me homemade french-fries (we were joking about how they aren’t french and he was a chef) and suddenly, he lept upstairs from the table we were eating at and made me an entire basket.  Of course, I was obligated to eat and enjoy them!  Not gonna lie, we walked our feet off everyday too because my Spanish friend thought at the time that she was fat and refused to take the Metro anywhere but from the house to our daily starting point. Then, we proceeded to walk all over Paris from one side to the other for about 5-6 days.  When I was up in the Eiffel Tower, she showed me where we had been all week and I was flabbergasted at the distance we had travelled.  Blisters galore!  I did not bring exercise shoes to Europe.  Why did I tell this little story?  To prove my point about ignoring diets and eating what you want.  Life will not blow up, nor will your butt.

Also, a few years ago, I went off my “diets” and wanted to clear out my freezer that was containing a lot of food that I desperately needed to eat up because it was getting old (I have a tendency to stockpile in the tradition of my Grandma).  So I cooked up all sorts of yummy dishes containing the things I already had, in a sense, shopping in my own freezer/refrig for a few weeks.  Guess what? I lost weight again.  Yeah, I was exercising too, but nothing more or less than I do now.  3 pounds – torched.

What is my point?  I want to re-calibrate my system.  I think my metabolism has dropped and I think my “diets” have made me food crazy. (binging issues anyone?)  After 26 years, I need a break.  I understand food portioning, calories-in-versus-calories-out, balancing foods and food groups, eating healthy, etc, etc, etc, etc.!!!  This time, as opposed to the first time 20 years ago, I won’t go insane with my food choices due to this learned knowledge.  This time, I will only live by the “rules” of 1.eat when hungry and 2. stop eating when full.  Eating a balance of foods like fruits and vegetables at all meals is a part of my life now that I won’t ever give up.  It makes me feel better when I eat this way.  I don’t want to be fat, but I don’t want to live in a food prison anymore either.  I want to be normal and the way I have been looking at food isn’t normal.  Let me try this out for 6 weeks and I’ll get back to you on it.  It’s sure to be an adventure.