Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Almond Milk

I cannot say enough good things about the unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze from Blue Diamond. Technically it can't be called almond milk because almonds don't have nipples to be milked, although they are sort of pointy at one end, but I digress.

At approximately half the calories of regular milk, and only 1 gram of carbs (2 less 1g fiber) per serving, Almond Breeze is awesome over high fiber cereal or in coffee. The only con is that it can't be used like milk to make fat free sugar free pudding. It will never gel. Believe me, I've tried.

Accosted at Costco!

While leisurely perusing through my local Costco this morning, I was verbally accosted out of nowhere by a lady that quite frankly needed to mind her own freakin business.

I was pulling two boxes of "Egg Starts" (the Costco brand egg substitute) out of the refrigerated case when this lady who I hadn't noticed before pipes up with "those really aren't a good choice for you." Excuse me?

Flashback to 4-5 months ago when my cart at Costco would have contained that big package of go-straight-to-my-thighs muffins Costco sells and maybe the lady's comment would have been slightly warranted. But today I was buying egg substitute and the only other thing in my cart was frozen boneless skinless chicken.

So I looked at the lady and said "Excuse me?"
Her reply: "There are really better ways to lower your cholesterol than eating those."
My reply: "My cholesterol doesn't need lowering, it is in normal levels."
Her biotchy reply: "Only a doctor can tell you that and I doubt it is."
My reply: "Well he has and it is, not that it's any of your business."
Her snooty reply: "Well there are better things you should do if you want to be healthy."
My taking-the-high-road reply: "Well thank you for your input, have a good day."
Her not-getting-over-it reply: "If you want to know more I have good information......"
My walking away reply: "I'm sure you do. Bye."

I figure she was probably selling some product and thought it to be brilliantly good marketing to approach women in Costco. But what nerve to pick me out and insult my health and make comments about my food choices. Uggh.

By the way, Costco has the best price on egg substitute anywhere. It is one of my breakfast staples.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Getting over your number?

I'd freely tell you my cholesterol numbers, my credit score, my number of prior sexual partners, my SAT scores, but don't dare ask me my weight.

I'm sure many people saw Tyra on the front of a recent issue of People magazine. She has been criticized recently for being porky. Yet at 5'10" and 161 (my exact height and roughly my goal weight) she has a BMI of 23.1, well within normal weight ranges. But to mainstream America, most of whom aren't within normal weight ranges these days, that number sounds high. You ask most people what a healthy or desirable weight would be and they quote something in the 120's, without regard to height or frame size. So apparently that puts Tyra in a position of defending her 161 pounds.

Yesterday I noticed the Tyra show was going to be devoted to her People magazine issue. While I'm normally not a fan of hers as I feel her ego sucks the air out of a room, the promo for the episode showed an audience full of women in bathing suits with their weights displayed across their chests. Since the idea of being in my bathing suit with my weight printed on my chest would be akin to having toothpicks shoved under my fingernails then pouring salt water in there, the show merited a Tivo'ing.

As I watched her show the message seemed to be about saying "so what" to the number that is your weight. However Tyra repeatedly had to post up pictures of what she used to look like when she was at the top of her modeling career. Her justification seemed to be "so what if I've gained weight because I used to look this way." Well what if we didn't? Does that just make us losers? To be honest, the last time I was at 161 pounds I was 20. I thought I was SO fat back then that there are really no pictures of me. And chances are I was never on the cover of Sports Illustrated or Victoria's Secret.

So while I support Tyra's efforts at trying to emphasize the differences in bodies everywhere, I still think she needs to take a look at herself and stop living in the past. Be proud of what her body is now without dwelling on what it used to be. And about saying "so what" to your weight? Well, I can't do that. The number is important to me. The number doesn't define me, but it is a number that I'm spending conscious effort to lower.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Exercise is like homework

The other day as we were giving my stepson the umpteenth lecture about the importance of homework, I caught myself saying the following:

"If you're waiting for it to be fun, it won't. Nobody really likes homework. It's just something you have to do and get it over with, then you can go have fun."

It occurred to me about 5 seconds after this left my mouth that the same goes for exercise. The biggest excuse I can come up with for not exercising consistently (and believe me I can come up with some creative excuses) is that I don't like it. Plain and simple. But if it were homework, that excuse wouldn't fly. Perhaps Nike was onto something with their "Just do it" mantra. Damn those Nike people.

This week I vow to up my exercise. You heard it here.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

What is your Real Age?

I'm sure by now many of you have heard of the "Real Age" calculation website that tells you whether the use and abuse you've put on your body makes you biologically older or younger than your actual years. You answer a serious of health and lifestyle question and the results tell you what factors are making you biologically younger or older. I like this approach as it tells you where you need improvement, instead of just saying "you're old, deal with it."

The Real Age testing process has been discussed numerous times on the Oprah show by her new Dr. buddy, Dr. Mehmet Oz. Dr. Oz is also the man behind the books, You The Owners Manual, and You On a Diet, the first of which I highly recommend, the second of which I wouldn't personally recommend due to the high carb level in the proposed diet.

Anyway, I came across a printout of my Real Age calculation from January 20, 2006 in my files. At that time my Calendar Age was 35.8 and my Real Age was 38.4. Closer to 40 than I'd care to be. So I retook the test this morning and at a Calendar Age of 36.9, my Real Age is now 35.7. I went from being biologically 2.6 years above my age, to being 1.2 years below my age. Pretty nifty. As I continue to up my exercise and lower my BMI, I'm sure that figure will be even lower! At this rate, I might have the body of a 21 year old in no time! ;)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Positive Body Image Distortion?

You know how an anorexic person has a negative body image when they look in a mirror no matter their weight? Is it possible that an overweight person has a positive image distortion they've developed as self-preservation for their confidence?

As I mentioned previously I just had a small oceanside elopement this last weekend. A few weeks before the ceremony I bought a size 22 pale pink full-length gown at a bridal store. I tried it on multiple times after bringing it home and each time I had to smile at how beautiful and elegant it looked on me. Frankly, I was rather gorgeous. :)

Then I saw the pictures.

I swear I didn't recognize myself. This girl was FAT. Not PHAT, like MTV says, but good old fashioned FAT. Surely the camera adds 10-40 pounds? But why don't I see that same image when I look in the mirror? I swear, I really don't. It isn't that I see myself as thin, and my house has no special mirrors, but I don't see myself anywhere close to the way I appear in pictures.

As a chunky girl these past 10 years or so, I've avoided cameras like the plague. I wonder if I'd seen more pictures of the REAL me, if I'd not have let my weight creep up to its current state? I wonder if my positive body image distortion has actually enabled me to keep my head in the sand, figuring I didn't look half bad?

Unfortunately when I look at the pictures from one of the happiest days of my life, all I see is a sad girl. Not sad in that actual moment, as you can clearly see in my eyes and face the joy I was feeling. But I feel sad for the denial that has gone on so many years.

Today as I write this I don't feel sad. I feel happy that I'm not one of those people that waits for life to begin until after they lose weight. I look forward to the day soon when I eagerly anticipate being photographed....and there are no surprises.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Love & Marriage

While I haven't gone into too many personal details of my life and those in it, I wanted to share that after 2+ years of being engaged to a wonderful man, we had a very private and special oceanfront elopement this weekend.

As a testament to our love of this specific ocean spot (and each other) we stood hand-in-hand in 42 degree weather along the breezy Pacific ocean feeling as if someone had simultaneously turned a leaf blower and hose on us as we recited our vows. It was a glorious time. :)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Temporary chocolate insanity

Last night (Valentine's Day) there were chocolates in my house. They were not necessarily invited guests, but they were there nevertheless. After going out to a big dinner somehow the thought 'you know what would taste good on top of too much oily and salty chinese food? Something with sugar' went through my head. At the time it seemed reasonable, I swear. So instead of making myself busy with something else, I proceeded to eat about five See's chocolates. Granted I only ate half of a few of those (which might not count, I'm not positive).

For someone who rarely eats anything sugary these days, I had an instant sugar buzz. However, what was really pronounced was my complete loss of focus. Each evening I spend 30 minutes reading with my stepson. He reads his book and I catch up on my reading. Last night after my sugar gluttony, I read exactly 4 pages in 30 minutes. And I kept re-reading the same paragraphs over and over, while not remembering or comprehending anything. Then as I came further down off my chocolate-induced temporary insanity, I became sleepy and irritated.

They say if sugar was released onto the market today, it would be labeled a drug by the FDA. I'd have to agree. It should come with a warning label.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Why I kinda sorta hate Oprah today

A while back, Oprah had a good portion of her show dedicated to Spanx. No, nothing kinky, Oprah doesn't do that (anymore). Spanx are a women's hosiery super-product dedicated to those of us trying to fake it 'til we make it. In other words, it supposedly squishes in your blub, hides various bumps and bulges, and smooths everything out. Basically a girdle. Although there are several different styles.

Knowing it was just another girdle would have given me reasonable expectations. But no. On her show Oprah went on endlessly about Spanx as if they miraculously give you the figure of Elle McPherson in minutes. Seeing as the Sugar Plump Fairy is somehow rarely confused for Elle McPherson, I figured it was my duty to try out the "Power Panty" product and report back.

Problem 1: I may have picked a size more in line with my goal weight than my actual current weight. This may have played a minor part in the product not completely sliding over my hips and subsequently nullified the validity of my consumer report.

Problem 2: What did slide over my hips felt like a tourniquet (see Problem 1).

Problem 3: As I stood naked in my master bathroom with $25 of non-returnable beige spandex cutting off circulation to my legs, absolutely nobody would have confused me for Elle McPherson.

Problem 4: I guess I'm going to have to up my efforts with the elliptical machine.

Watch out Elle!


I just turned on the "comment" feature today, so feel free to add what you're thinking. Think praise, acclaim, exaltations, flattery, raves, and warm fuzzies.

Speaking of praise....Jimmy Moore, over at the world famous mother of all low-carb blogs, highlighted the Sugar Plump Fairy in a post yesterday. Read the post, HERE.

I say Jewelry not Jujubees!

Jujubees, is that what those are called? Those hard little fruit candies that you had as a kid? At any rate, I'm starting a movement (oh yeah, I'm so good now I can start movements) to lessen the focus on candy at Valentine's Day and put the focus back where it belongs. Jewelry.

In all seriousness, why are there so many holidays that focus on either candy or food? Especially food that is bad for you. You have Halloween, Valentine's Day, then the mother-of-all-pork-outs, Thanksgiving, which mixes food and family guilt. A terrible combo. Even the B-list holidays like Labor day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc. focus around bbq's, alcohol and food. And because they are a "holiday" you convince yourself that is a free day to load up.

Are you really celebrating your well-being by harming yourself with massive amounts of food on a holiday? Wouldn't jewelry make you feel just a tad better? That's what I'm saying. I've never woken up the next morning regretting wearing too much jewelry the night before.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Monkey Lovin

This guy in Washington is doing a really cool thing to keep accountable with his weight loss, and save little abandoned/research monkeys.

Check out his website and show him some love:

By the way, since starting this blog, I've lost almost 5 pounds! That might be enough to save some sea-monkeys.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Xenical & Maltitol and Poo...Oh My!

Why do products marketed towards people trying to lose weight or cut out sugar seem to cause anal leakage?

As you may have heard Xenical is now being marketed to the masses with no prescription necessary. This means, people are gonna try it to see what it is all about....just once. Remember how you tried the Epilady in the 80s that promissed to rid you of unwanted hair? Then you used it once and realized you would need an epidural to ever try it again, but by then were stuck with the $100 gadget because it was non-returnable? Marketing genious...that company made millions!

Well Xenical is kind of like Epilady in a pill, but instead of ripping something off of you, it is going to slowly, or not so slowly, ooze out of you. Oh yeah, sign me up for that, please. Xenical supposedly works by attaching to the fat molecules you eat and swiftly moving them out of your system instead of letting you absorb them. I believe this was the same "medication" that in it's original tv commercials had a quick little end tag line that said "may cause frequent bowel movements and the inability to control them." Wow.

My other personal favorite thing to warn people about is Maltitol, a cheap sugar alternative used in many "low-carb" products. This stuff is bad bad news. Without getting too gross (although I did begin this post with the words 'anal leakage' and yer still reading), this stuff will give you the worst gas, bloating and cramps that you have ever experienced in your entire life. Right on the label it warns that "excess consumption" may cause loose stools, or something like that. I don't know about you, but I don't like to see the words "loose stools" on any food product. Plus, the symptoms come about after less than 1 serving size of the product, which is hardly "excess consumption" in my opinion. One time I had half the chocolate bar that contained the stuff...about 3 servings....and I thought I was going to die. Anyone around me probably wished I would from the noises and smells that were produced!

On that note, happy Saturday!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Exercise, exercise, why do you suck so badly?

Last week while wandering aimlessly in Ross I found a cart of exercise DVDs marked down to $2.99! For $2.99 I'm buying it even if I never take it out of the shrink-wrap. Oh yeah, I'm a bargain-hunting goddess (or cheap-skate as my bf likes to call it). Anyway, I bought one called Yoga for wimps, then one about torturing and finding ab muscles under your blub with Pilates. I also picked up the Biggest Loser 2 DVD at Target recently because I'd heard it was good.

So today I tried the Biggest Loser 2 DVD. On only one cup of coffee I popped it in only to learn that it is mostly hosted by the new chic trainer from Biggest Loser, the blonde one. She is too perky and I let that be my excuse for turning it off when I started to sweat too much about 10 minutes into the DVD. Uggh, my bad. Anyway, she is all about lunges and stuff that hurt my thighs. Imagine that? I will try the DVD again tomorrow. This time after my 2nd cup of coffee. :)

I did manage to do a little bit of time on my eliptical machine. I think eliptical is latin for "sucks badly," because that thing really kinda hurts your legs and makes you sweat and stuff. But, to be honest, after a few days of doing a little more each day, guess what? I'm doing a little more each day! Yay me!

Getting it? and Blogging

So two or three days into blogging (have I turned into one of those people?) I'm understanding why people do this. Something about putting down your thoughts and not knowing where they are going is a bit invigorating. My attitudes have shifted in these last few days. I can't place exactly why, but I notice the change.

One of my goals is to continue to educate myself on weight and health issues EACH and EVERY day. It keeps me focussed on where I'm going to take time to read new books, magazines, blogs, articles, etc. I'll be sharing those as I come across some pearls. :)

I love blogs about real people and I looooove the low-carb blogs as I believe this is the sanest way to go and is actually do-able! I'll be posting some of my favorite blogs in the section on the left. I'd love links to new blogs, so don't hesitate to email me your favorites!

Oh yeah, I also like the occasional snarky celebrity gossip blogs now and again, too. Don't judge me! :)

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Fat & pushin' 40. Time to get fit!

In an effort to clean out a stack of old magazines in my home office, I spent the better part of the last two days flipping through a foot tall stack of old issues of various magazines. In Self magazine I read about a woman who had a quadruple bypass. She worked out every day. She was 37. In Woman's Day I read about a woman who was discovered to have blocked arteries. She was 34.

Today I'm 36, 37 in a few months. Hardly pushing 40, but as Sally cried about in the movie When Harry Met Sally, "it's out there!" Up until now when I read magazine or internet articles about heart health or diabetes or breast cancer or many other health concerns, in the back of my mind I was thinking "you have years before that is even an issue for you." Well guess what? The people that are having these health concerns are in some cases younger than me! My days of playing ostrich (head in the sand) about my health is over, baby. It's over now!

It would seem the best panacea for nearly everything is exercise, weight loss and accountability. For exercise I have to bite the bullet and just do it. Sound easy? Oh no, it will also suck big time. :) The weight loss part will come as a result of the exercise and staying on my low-carb regime. At least that is what "they" say.

The accountability? This is it. I will be posting my progress, and the occasional backslides, as I go. It will take some time, but eventually my fat fabulous self is going to be fit and even more fabulous (if that is possible).