Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Woody Allen has said "There are two types of people in this world, good and bad.  The good sleep better, but the bad seem to enjoy the waking hours much more."  Not sure what to make of me - - I sleep well, and tend to enjoy my days as well!  I love to people watch (I find things tend to go awry when I try and interact!).  I love to try and figure out what makes people tick.  Well...most of the time.  Sometimes the last thing I want to do is deal with people and their craziness.  Over the last few months I have had a few situations that have left me completely befuddled, or giggling uncontrollably - or both.  Here are a few.... 

I heard the greatest quote while waiting at Perkins to have brunch with some friends on Sunday.  The last days had been really humid, but Sunday was gorgeous!  Sunny and warm, but lacking in my nemesis humidity.  The lady looked at her friend and told her "This weather is perfect!  Anyone who isn't out enjoying it should be ashamed of themselves!".  She was about 125 years old, and I thought that was worth sharing.

If you are looking for a way to burn some additional calories, and have (or can borrow) a child between the age of 1-2 available, have I got a great idea for you.  Get yourself one of those hiking/backpack kid holders, throw the kid in it and mow the law.  I saw one of my new neighbors doing that, and I felt it was phenomenal.

Bras and underwear/biker shorts do not a swimsuit make.  You aren't fooling anyone.  If you cannot afford a $15 swimsuit from Wal-Mart, you shouldn't have a gym membership.  In the event that you do believe, incorrectly, that these items constitute a bathing suit - it is very beyond unacceptable to go in the water.  It tends to make your WHITE cotton biker shorts transparent (seriously - a lady at LTF in Eagan would come into the pool area daily in this ensemble.  Start in the sauna, then move to the hot tub.)  I don't need to see that.  I'm just sayin'.
This picture is not of a woman using white shorts as a swimsuit, but displays another reason why white bike shorts are NOT ok.  Well...kind of OK - in a kind of gross way.  Sorry if this offends, but it gave me a chuckle.

When you walk into a public library and tell them you are here for 9 months, and would like to get a card - do not assume this will lead them to believe you want to be able to check out books.  I went to the public library (with an armed guard at the door...that was a first for me) near my current home today, and after 15 minutes was given a card to use the computers.  I should have asked when they said I could have a visitor card, and it would be $5/month - but I thought maybe they did that for non-residents.  After getting everything sorted out, and spending another 30 minutes there, I was on my way with my last, and next - book club books.  

I have determined that Milwaukee residents are the least patient people in existence.  Granted, I know it is easy to be patient, when you have nowhere to be - but this is ridiculous.  The drivers are constantly honking (you have approximately 1/8 of a second to get moving when the light turns green, or you are in trouble) at each other.  I have now discovered it goes beyond the car.  While on my virgin library run (see above) I was lucky enough to run into the least patient woman in the world.  I will call her "Pil" for patience is lacking.  So after I figure out they have given me a card for the internet and not to check out books, I had to go back to the service desk to receive my refund and get set up properly.  They library had recently graduated to self-check-out machines (SCOM) (nothing new for a girl from the big city of Eagan like myself - I had been using those for years!) and it was throwing some of their patrons for a loop.  One girl was standing by the new machine, asking if people would be willing to try the SCOM.  Anyone that was unwilling to try the SCOM (including Pil and her fantastic disposition) had to move over into line behind me at the service desk, and be manually checked out.  Pil comes over, and is immediately up in arms over the number of children in the library.  I believe the quote was "there are too many kids in here - - I have to get out of here RIGHT NOW!!".  Now...who among us has not felt this way?  Well - probably a lot of you, but as a non-lover of children, I can tell you I have had similar thoughts on occasion. (granted - it usually isn't the kids, so much as their parents)  However, when you go to the library at 4pm on a week day, what do you expect? (I was informed that if you come right away in the morning when they open, you don't have this "problem".  Problem = kids)  Plus - be happy they are here trying to get something to read.  Sorry for the sidetrack - I am back.  She then begins rambling (to no one in particular, or maybe she thought I looked sympathetic?) about the SCOMs and how she doesn't have time to deal with that, and why would they be trying those today?!?!  Umm...lady - it is a Monday afternoon.  When would you propose they try them out?  When no one is around to try them out?  Certainly not during your precious mornings, I am sure!  Weirdos.  I hope she made it home in time for....whatever it is that she had to get to in such a rush. 

I believe Tina Fey to be a genius. 

I prefer to walk outside, rather than at the gym.  (I hate treadmills, they are the devil's business.  I think my disdain may be tied back to my traumatizing Stress-test.)  Not only do the great outdoors make it possible to get some fresh air, and the option to soak in some sunshine - it also removes one option for laziness for me.  When you start your walk, you have more energy and are willing to walk further.  The great part about being outside is that you have to get yourself back home.  When you are in the gym, on the treadmill, you can just stop.  And I have to have an internal battle with myself to complete my time, from the second I step on this machine of torture.

Ice cream trucks are creepy.  I have decided that I think they are creepy not only because they are, in fact, creepy - but we also didn't have them where I grew up.  It is hard to embrace such a concept as an adult.  It is a combination of the music (the one in my current neighborhood plays "do your ears hang low" and "pop goes the weasel") and the probability of seeing a real-life pedophile (I know - it isn't fair to stereotype, but some things just strike you a certain way.  It is like that guy who used to play the guitar in the Saturday Night Live band, who just looked like he would do bad things to you if he caught you in a dark alley.  Take a look for yourself....
creepy, right?

What about you, out there?  Any observations to share?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Addiction (Part 2)

I finally got around to watching CBS News Sunday Morning from last weekend.  I had received an email from the DFC that said they would be showcased, so I set the DVR to tape it.  I have seen the video segment on the DFC program before, so I think this entire episode may have been a repeat.  It doesn't make the information any less pertinent.  The link above will take you to the site for this episode, which will allow you to read the stories, and look at videos from the hour and a half show called "Obesity: A Weighty Issue".

Dr. David Kessler did a segment on popular chain restaurants (Applebee's, Chili's, etc) and compared the food to drugs.  We have "hedonistic hot spots" (sounds dirty, right?!?) in our brains that start to crave the fat, salt and sugar they use to prepare these foods - similar to a drug addict craving their drug-of-choice.  The greatest part, you ask?  Dr. Kessler referred to the fat, salt and sugar used by these restaurants as the "axis of evil ingredients".  That is fantastic.  It really is the axis of evil!  And the axis of evil makes you want to eat more, therefore perpetuating the problem!  Not that I can really blame these restaurants - they prepare the food the way they do because the consumer (you, me, and every other lover of the axis of evil ingredients out there) demands it.  No one is going to go out and pay for food that is bland, or tastes like crap - not to mention that preparing nutritious food is probably much more expensive.  Any of you interested in opening a restaurant with low-sodium, low-fat, high-flavor foods?  I know it can be done - I had them at the DFC.  I think this type of restaurant would do very well!  Most chains have started offering lower-calorie options on their menu, but those items still typically have ridiculous volumes of sodium. 

There are a lot of startling numbers in this episode, but I thought the fact that most Americans get 1/4 of their meals from restaurants was a bit shocking.  I was doing more than that prior to FC, and was getting back to that during the month of June.  It was definitely time to shut that back down and get cooking for myself!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Weight Is Over! The new name for my fat is.....

My most sincere thank you to everyone that commented on prospective names!!  I got a lot of giggles out of the suggestions, and there were some really great names!  I am going to run through the names, and make my ultimate decision.

Ron - I cannot use this for the same reason I couldn't use Frank.  I managed gentlemen with both of those names at my previous job.  They were both lovely, and neither of them deserve to be permanently tied to my fat.

Bernard - Definitely in the running.  It is a fantastic name for extra weight - it just sounds right!  Shout out to Melissa E. for the idea to name gym equipment.  Edward is my grandpa's name, but will forever make me visualize an elliptical machine going forward!

Bruce - I cannot use this one because I have an ex-uncle with this name.  Ironically - his nickname was "Hoggie".  Hhhhmmmmmm....

Brutus - I really liked this one, too.  When I said this name out loud, I think my FUPA answered!!  By the way - to the "Rescue Me" (one of the greatest shows on TV, with a lot of eye candy) viewers out there - did you hear 2 of the guys discussing "gunts" and "FUPAs" a couple of episodes ago?  I almost spit out my diet coke I laughed so hard!   

Gustof - I cannot use this.  It makes me think of Gasthoff's, which is one of my favorite places in the world.  (who doesn't love Oktoberfest at Gasthoff's in NE Minneapolis?)

Lydell - this one made me chuckle, so it was definitely in my top few options.

Biff - Out.  I don't really need anything as a reminder of my last job. =)  Even though he does sound like an asshole.

Dean - was definitely in the top few, basically because of the Dean/Lean connection.  Love the rhyming... shout out to Gella!

French Names - Shout out to French Fries for playing a major part in bringing us this game.  I LOVED Marcel, but it made me think of the monkey on Friends.  I don't like monkeys.  They eat, and throw, their own feces.  My flubber is bad, but not that disgusting. 

Felix - I really like this name, but makes me think of a cat.  I am happily cat-free at the present, and want to keep it that way.

And the winner is...... REMUS.  Honestly, it made me chuckle for 5 minutes straight.  Plus, lets get real.... Natalie vs. Remus just sounds great! 

I may be using the runners-up to describe other name-worthy things...probably gym equipment!!  Thanks again, everyone.  Remus and I will be back soon with another entry!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Definition of Addiction: being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming

Addiction is addiction is addiction.  Whether it is food, booze, cigarettes, pot, shoes, purses, candy, coke, working out....  I heard somewhere that you can even become "Addicted to Love".  Yes - some are definitely more destructive than others, but these days you can be addicted to almost anything.  Granted, I have never heard of anyone addicted to lettuce, or mowing the lawn, or folding laundry - but I am certain in this day and age we could find someone if we really looked.  It seems the world is quick to throw the addicted label on everything, and you can be medicated for just about anything - and sometimes, one leads to the other.

I have been watching a show called 'Drugs, Inc." - I believe it is on the National Geographic channel.  It pics a specific type of drug, and follows addicts, the growers, the people who traffic the drug, the dealers, etc.  These addictions are no joke.  They mess up every aspect of the addict's life.  They spend their entire day looking for their next fix.  With heroin, they have to inject themselves 2 times a day, or their bodies pretty much shut down.  They lose friends, family, loved ones and in many cases, their jobs...all chasing their next high.  It is horribly sad to watch.  I have found myself, especially when they were showing the pictures of "meth mouth", wondering how could these people let this happen to themselves??  They know, before trying them, that these drugs are highly addictive - and had probably at some point been warned of the side effects of continued use.       

Then it dawned on me.  I certainly don't mean to belittle addiction - I know they are very serious, and in many cases life-threatening.  Although my "addiction" to food didn't get to the point of being quite as severe as the majority of the drug addicts highlighted on these shows, that could have definitely changed had I continued down the path I was on.  McDonald's was my dealer, and as much as I knew french fries were going to make me fat - I ate them anyway.  It seems to me that food addiction can go either way - those that over-eat, or under-eat - and both come with their fair share of issues.  There are a number of people in this country who cannot work because of their weight, or their health due to their weight.  Where drug addicts are spending their days looking for their next fix - food addicts are obsessing about their next meal, or next snack.  Some involve friends and family to either bring them food, or help disguise the fact that they aren't eating - or in some cases, exercising off everything they did eat.  Food addiction, in extreme cases has a very real effect on those around you. 

Some of us are just lucky enough to have families who care enough about us to intervene before it is too late.  I have always felt fortunate that I was able to make healthy changes, before I was on medications for diabetes, high blood pressure - or any of the other medications so many overweight people are on.  I was/am one of the lucky ones.   

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I Have a Huge Favor

Hello everyone!  To all of you out there that read this blog, I want to thank you!  I have learned, since reluctantly starting to blog, that it is something I really enjoy!  I also love to read through the comments! 

I am currently trying to figure out some life plans, and would like to know how many people actually follow this blog.  That leads me to my huge favor.  If you have not already, would you be willing to sign up as a "Follower" of slimmingdowntosexy.blogspot.com?  It is down to the lower right on the main blog page.  I would really appreciate it!  Thank you for your help!

Also - if there is something I haven't written about, that you think would be interesting - please send me an email or a comment.

Thanks again!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Rhythm is Going to Get You

As most of my friends know - I have a borderline unhealthy LOVE for dance movies.  I love, love, love them!!  The acting is fairly consistently crap, but that isn't what I watch them for.  I love Step Up, Center Stage (both of which I own, and have watched the sequels to both.  Note: Step Up 3D comes out August 6th, so mark your calendars!!), Take the Lead, Fame (a good movie - but would have preferred more dancing and singing, and less with the monologues), Flashdance and Footloose (that's right - the oldies but goodies still count).  I also have a slight obsession with "So You Think You Can Dance" - the TV show on Fox.  It is FANTASTIC!!  (and as an added bonus, Mary Murphy isn't a judge this season, so I don't have to listen to her hot tamale train yell twenty times an episode)  I have yet to really get into "Dance Your Ass Off" - which I feel slightly guilty about - but them yanking the overweight host for Scary Spice kind of put me off.

I have dreams of one day becoming (because so many people become accomplished dancers after the age of 35 - and many of these people are also severely overweight) a contemporary dancer. (what would have happened had I stuck with the Jill Hoggard Academy of Dance?  I am certain I could have moved up from striped dog to something amazing!!)  I didn't even know what that was until SYTYCD came along - and it is now my favorite!  Last night they had their first "Tahitian" dance. (it was my 2nd Tahitian thing that I have loved.  My first is Tahitian Treat - have you ever had it?  It is like the most delicious fruit punchish beverage)  It was amazing, and awesome, and has now made my "goal" list.  I can't imagine a day where I can move my rear like that, but it is certainly something to strive toward.  The best part is, I already have a built in partner (yet another reason to name my fat a boy name).  Not to worry, everyone.  I promise to never wear the small amount of clothes so popular among dancers - the world is not ready for all of that!

I finally got around to finding a gym yesterday, and joined.  It is doing its best to put LTF to shame.  All of the treadmills and elliptical machines all have their own TVs!!  And there are 2 pools - one is specifically for classes and walking, so I won't constantly feel like I am in everyone's way.  The most intriguing class I have noticed so far?  Zumba in the Water!!  Seriously!!  I think that should help get me back in the groove - when I don't have to try and get all of this (pointing to my over-sized, jiggling bod) moving on land!  I can't wait to try it!

If you want to burn some serious calories while dancing (I use that term loosely in this case) - you could always watch this video, and try and keep up with my adorable niece Macy.  She has some seriously sweet moves!

Need motivation to move?  You should download Cosmic Girl by Jamiroquai.  Then you should go rent "Center Stage".  The acting is horrible - but the end is fantastic! 

Happy dancing!!  Get up and shake what you've got!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Name Game

It has been brought to my attention - and I could not agree more, really (shout out to Marilyn) - that we should stop giving a woman's name to a negative things.  Girl names should be saved for lovely things - like cars (shout out to my beloved, JaLisa), boats, planes, RVs, etc.  Lady names should reflect solid, dependable and necessary things.  Not to be a complete man-basher, but it seems completely legitimate to use male names to describe unfavorable things.  My fat is unfavorable, and thus requires a male name.  I have officially taken "Irene" off the table.  "Frank" has been suggested - but unfortunately, I have an association with that name.  That kind of weirds me out - so I have come up with a list of names I think would be wonderfully suitable.  I was thinking of "Shamus" - but thought that maybe sounded like I am ashamed.  As much as I don't have a great deal of pride associated with my flubber, I am certainly not ashamed of it.  I do realize how insane it is of me to put this much effort into such a silly thing, but I think having a name for this....padding....will be something to entertain me.  There are enough things about this process that are not entertaining in the least, that I can use anything that gives me a chuckle.  

I would appreciate any input you may have regarding these names.  I am also open to additional suggestions. 

  • Kraig
  • Quinn
  • Dewayne
  • Felix

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Horoscopes: Amazing or Madness?

I am not a person who checks their horoscope religiously, nor do I base life decisions on the information they provide.  I do read them when I come across them - and sometimes marvel at how their vague generalizations pertain to my life.  Apparently there is a new moon in cancer solar eclipse due tomorrow (or would that be tonight?) so they put everyone's horoscopes on my computer homepage.  Except for the part about the job front I thought this was a bit shockingly right on!  I have been considering doing some volunteering - and now I think it is set!  If it is going to bring me joy, I am in!!

Aries (March 21 - April 19)
You're cleaning things up on the home and job front at this New Moon, Aries. Due to recent changes that have improved your health, you now possess the energy and will to make the fresh start you've been craving. Whether it's revamping your abode or making a commitment to improve relations with family or co-workers, this eclipse says, "Go for it!" Channeling any excess energy by volunteering for a cause you believe in brings joy.

Hope you're all having a great weekend, and I hope the new moon brings you all nothing but luck and joy!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sometimes...... Part Dos

One of my favorite entries to write was the "Sometimes" entry back in February.  Ms. Val - I am copying you once again.  Here is Round II.

Sometimes...  you have to choose your battles, and decide you just can't give up caffeine right now.  Damn you Diet Coke and Diet Mountain Dew!

Sometimes...  you feel like you want to come up with a name for the pounds you want to lose.  I get tired of referring to it as "the weight".  Right now the front-runner is "Irene".

Sometimes...  you wish you could have quarterly reunions with all of the people you grew to love at Fat Camp.  I miss them.

Sometimes...  you wish you could reset your taste buds - preferably to a time before you realized how delicious fattening things are.

Sometimes...  you want to get in better shape so you can take some dance classes.  What a great way to burn some cals!  I think this stems from my recent obsession with my beloved dance movies: Center Stage, Step Up, etc.   

Sometimes...  when it is super-muggy outside, you go for a walk, and then mow your tiny yard - and kind of feel like you might pass out.  It is then that you realize you hadn't had any water yet that day, and you have a completely sweat-drenched shirt.  Not a recipe for success.

Sometimes...  you are legitimately concerned about what you are going to eat at your family fun weekend - because everything there is bad for you (i.e.: cream cheese/sour cream/sugar/butter-based.  And don't even get me started on the booze)

Sometimes...  you wish something would click inside you - and make you love food prep.  I try to listen to Rachel Ray and prep everything as soon as I get home - but I really hate it.

Sometimes...  you have visions of your much more svelte self doing really awesome things - like wearing an amazing outfit or doing something really athletic that you had given up hope of ever being able to do - and then it dawns on you that you could really do it.

Sometimes... you wonder if you might be able to break some sort of record for the most days in a row wearing fat pants. 

Sometimes...  Sarah Von does a real-life profile on you for her blog (www.yesandyes.org) and you get really great/supportive messages from complete strangers - and it totally helps you get re-motivated!

Sometimes...  you are super-jazzed to have another niece or nephew on the way.  My sister Wendy is due with number 3 in January.

Sometimes...  you wish you had unlimited motivation to move.  I have the time to go walk 5 hours a day, I just can't make myself want to do it.

Sometimes...  you watch all of these weight loss shows on TV (Biggest Loser, DietTribe, etc) and are so glad you didn't cry and throw a fit while you were at Fat Camp.  I am also glad I didn't have to be on TV in a sports bra and biker shorts - - no one needs to see that.  

Do you have any better name suggestions for "the Weight"?  Or is "Irene" perfect?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Since the dawn of time, or at least my birth - which was the dawn of time for me, I have been sweaty.  Always.  I would play basketball, and be the sweatiest mess that ever lived by the end of the game.  I have visions of the end-of-tournament photo, of these hideous heather blue t-shirts from our one 6th grade basketball tournament - where everyone is smiling so nice, and my shirt is many shades darker than everyone else due to my extreme amount of perspiration.  In high school, during summer softball, I would sweat through my t-shirt and jersey during warm-ups.  The game hadn't even started, and I looked like someone had dumped a bucket of water on me.

As time went on, and the pounds came on, the frequency of my "sweating spells" increased.  It was no longer something that would happen only when working out, or on particularly humid days (seriously - does anyone else just sweat instantly in this insane humidity?).  I would sweat from standing.  In one place.  Not doing lunges.  Standing.  I wasn't even doing butt clenches.  I was just standing there, and I would start to sweat. (it was this fantastic new development that caused me to adopt a "I don't go outside until the sun goes down" rule in the summer - which is just so sad!  We get like 4 months of good weather a year, and I would spend them indoors)  You see that pic on my blog that has the caption "why fat camp is needed" near it - I was baking cookies with my sisters, and was sweating my butt off - in December!!  Ridiculous.  I think that was one of the biggest causes for concern for my family - and one of the more major reasons the fat intervention had to be called.  I get it.  If I saw someone standing in one spot, who didn't have the flu, who hadn't just finished a jog - I would be concerned too. 

I am feeling pretty good lately.  I have gotten myself back on a routine of exercise - and I'm getting to know my new neighborhood at the same time.  One thing that has definitely not changed is the amount I sweat when exercising!  I am drenched every time!  But sweating is healthy - right?  It keeps your body cooled down, and is supposed to help with your complexion...maybe?  I am going to go with that.  Anyway...I had a lot of errands to run yesterday - and decided I was even going to wear "real" clothes.  No fat pants.  No workout t-shirts.  I put on my capri's (which now have a bit of wiggle room, and the snap no longer comes flying open every time I try to bend over.  Victory!!) and head out.  As soon as I walk out the front door I notice my old friend, humidity, is back.  No problem.  I lost some of my body mass - so this shouldn't be an issue, right?  Wrong.  A second thing that has not changed - - humidity makes me sweat.  Period.  My pants and shirt are instantly sticking to me.  Even slightly smaller, I turn into a completely sweaty mess - although not nearly as miserable as I was when I was bigger. 

I had to make a stop at the bank, went to Sam's club, and the grocery store.  I even went to a farmer's market for the first time.  I have wanted to buy locally for years, but was always too lazy (it just seemed like too much work to possibly have to walk a few blocks to the markets in MN - so instead of trying it, I just stayed home) - but look at the sweet stuff I got!!  I am not going to lie - those tomatoes taste as good as they look!  
By the time I returned home, I was a sweaty mess - but had accomplished all I set out to do.  I went out during daylight hours, and it didn't kill me.  I am just going to have to embrace the face that I am going to sweat when I exercise, or when it is really humid - it is just a fact of life.  And as I shrink I can also,  hopefully, look forward to having my body no longer categorize "standing" as exercise.  

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Challenge : Cooking for One

I am just going to put it out there...I have weird food stuff.  I have really weird food stuff where meat is concerned.  I, as a rule, don't care for left-overs (except for pasta, which is somehow almost better warmed up).  Any actual food I try to portion and put in the freezer will typically be thrown away because I think it was freezer burnt, and will taste weird.  I can rarely eat frozen meals (lean cuisines, smart ones, etc) that contain meat.  I cannot reheat anything in plastic, in the microwave - I am certain (or my nutso brain tells me) that it doesn't taste right. 

So how does a single girl, living alone, combat these things?  I can attempt to adjust the recipes, which seems like a decent option - but then you're wasting ingredients (I have found many call for a "can" of something...and storing the unused food doesn't seem like a great option).  When you are trying to be thrifty, and cook well - the pressure multiplies! 

I was looking through a number of my cookbooks and cooking light magazines last night - trying to find that next great dish that is going to keep me on the straight and narrow where healthy eating is concerned.  So many of them have outrageous numbers of servings!  Especially my cookbook from Fat Camp.  There was one that had like 12 servings and the first thing on the list was 57 ounces of chicken.  FIFTY-SEVEN OUNCES!!  Come on!  I guess I can save those up for extended family gatherings....because that certainly isn't going to work for me!  The only recipe that makes a lot of servings (16) and I am still comfortable making or myself is the one for Chocolate Tofu Parfaits (yum).  Apparently, I am willing to abandon all of my weird freezer issues if chocolate is involved - which I think is well within my rights....right?

So I have devised a plan to trick my brain.  I am going to marinate a ton of chicken, and grill it all at once (let's face it... grilling makes everything - even left-overs - taste better!) so I don't have to start up the grill every day.  I have then planned out a number of ingredients I can use to mask the fact that it is reheated when I make sandwiches (I will forward good recipes and calorie counts as I make them).  I will also be making the baked ziti from FC and adding chicken like I did while I was there.  There is so much deliciousness going on otherwise, my poor stupid brain will never know!  And last but not least, I can cut it up cold, and put it on salads.  Sometimes I get a little weird about warm chicken on my salads anyway - and cooking it myself insures it is cooked thoroughly (another thing I get weirded out by).  I also found the recipe for chicken caesar wraps from FC, which I remember being fairly delicious, so I can make those (they also include my fave Caesar dressing I found at FC, and currently have about 5 bottles of).

The only meal that isn't an issue is breakfast.  I am sure at some point I will get sick of my staple meal, but until then - I am going to roll with it.  It is delicious, nutritious, and easy - and FILLING! 
One whole egg + 3 egg whites (120 cals)
1/4 cup diced peppers (I use yellow/orange/red because they are prettier - 15 cals)
28g (thank God for my food scale) of mozz cheese, or I use the 50% light cheddar that I also use for the light mac and cheese (70ish calories)
frank's hot sauce (10 calories - maybe?)
1slice of whole wheat toast (100 cals)
fruit (50-75 calories for most servings) I prefer strawberries or pineapple.
I know this may seem like a lot of food, or a waste of calories - but for me it is good to get something filling in right away in the morning.  That way I am not tempted to chow ridiculous things later in the morning because I am starving before lunch.

When you have focused on food for so much of your life, and have allowed your brain to create all of these nutty rules for yourself, trying to completely revamp your eating style is a bit of a challenge.  Thankfully, I had a number of nutrition classes at the DFC that finally helped some things click.  Add veggies (which I actually do like - unlike a number of my other FC attendees) to everything - especially pasta dishes (which I love).  Volumetrics, baby!  Eat more for the same amount of cals (well...pretty much....).

Well... I am off!  Today I am going to hit Sam's club (cheap chicken and eggs) and possibly the farmer's market.  I need to go to the grocery store, and Target.  It is a pretty full day...for me.

Hope everyone had a great 4th, and has an even better week!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Being Sociable Can Be Painful

When I have lapses in motivation to stay on track with this life overhaul, I channel the immortal words of one Michael Jackson (Man In the Mirror video) : I'm gonna make a change...for once in my life.... I know MJ was talking about making a change with the world, but I am going to start with the woman in the mirror - and go from there.

At this point you all know I am trying to loose some lbs (el-beez), trying to eat better and move my ass.  Trying to get healthy.  Trying to figure out what is going to make me happy in this life.  Trying to figure out a lot of things.  One other area that I am trying to work on is my social interaction.  Being more patient and kind with people.  It is a work in process, to say the least!  I don't particularly care for small talk - unless you have something interesting to talk about (shout out to Norm for his railroad info, and Andy for his concrete canoes - to name a couple), or unless I have had a LOT of drinks. (maybe if I could have shown up drunk to work, everything would have gone better?  Just an idea I'm throwing out there.)  It usually helped when both were taking place.  I tend to just sit back, and watch.  People fascinate me - people watching is one of my favorite past-times - I enjoy watching events unfold in front of me.  Now that I am, for the most part, off booze - and in a city where I know no one - I have decided to make a conscious effort to be more outgoing.  I may even initiate eye contact, and possibly conversations (audible gasp!).

I haven't always been this closed off.  I used to be obnoxiously outgoing.  In high school, I would walk up to complete strangers (just realized how silly it is to use the word "complete" there - - like there are degrees of stranger-hood) and talk to them about anything.  I was unphased.  I never made a conscious decision to stop being that sociable - in fact I can't even remember when I started to shut down.  Now, sitting here, and forcing myself to think about it - I am fairly certain this about-face coincided with the period where I really started packing on the pounds.  I don't remember making a conscious decision to not speak to people - I don't recall the thought process of "they won't want to talk to me - I am too fat", but I am guessing that was just my brain keeping me protected.  No wonder I couldn't study in college!  My brain was too busy protecting my ever-expanding rear (and everything else)!!

So I decided to start my new extrovert lifestyle right when I got to town.  With Marilyn as my safety net, I initiated conversation with a lone gent at the bar.  We discussed the Brewers, the Packers (gross) and how his favorite bands are from Minneapolis.  He asked if we minded if he smoked (you are still able to smoke in WI bars - and I am not a huge fan) to which we replied "absolutely not... go for it" - and then I promptly borderline insulted him by telling him how much I was grossed out by the cig smell after we had gone out a couple of weeks ago.  Really Natalie?  I know it has been a while, but pull it together!!  Geesh.  This is going to be harder than I thought.

I have gone walking in a park near my new home this week.  I had a couple of very different experiences - depending on the day.  On one of the days, I was greeted with eye contact and hello's from a few passers by.  One man even wanted to talk to me about how sad he was the geese were gone, but he didn't miss their crap on the trails.  Valid point - I could not agree more.  Then this morning, it was a bit different.  I passed by 4 different people today.  One was a lady with her 5-7 year old daughter trailing behind her.  I smiled at both.  No response, short of a stare.  I even said hi to the daughter and she just looked me up and down (through her sunglasses), with no facial expression change.  The next was a man walking his 2 dogs.  He veered about 5 feet off the other side of the path while giving me a look that made me believe he thought I might try and kick his canines.  Granted - I am dead inside.  I do not have, nor do I want pets.  But I wouldn't harm them!  Then there was one old guy who actually smiled and said good morning.  The 4th guy just stared at me until I said good morning, to which he mumbled something and kept walking.  Seriously!  Do I look that different?  Did my smile appear to be less than authentic?  Was I giving off a less than friendly vibe?  Then I got back home and realized it could have been my t-shirt.    

Maybe Milwaukee just isn't ready for a girl to be wearing a shirt talking about "family fun" with 2 hands cupping her boobs?  Maybe...

Well...tomorrow is another day.  I am going to bury my family fun t-shirt in the back of my closet, put on one of my many shirts promoting heavy drinking, and see if this town is ready for that.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's Good to be Back!

It has been so long!  I discovered during this month+ of non-blogging that I really do miss it!  I don't know that anyone else cared, or even noticed I was absent - but regardless, I am back! 

The last month has had its challenges.  For those of you that haven't been around, here is a little bit of what I have been up to...  my sister Mackenzie and I lived in an apartment, and she was going to buy a townhouse.  Not just any townhouse, but the ultimate thistle (a term coined by my father to refer to a place that could use some work - the entire phrase is something like: don't be afraid to get a thistle, we can turn it into a rosebush).  It needed a LOT of work.  Unfortunately, she wasn't able to close until 5/28.  We had to be out of our apartment by 5/31.  So we packed all of our things that we wouldn't absolutely need onto a truck, and went our separate ways.  She went to our other sister's, and I went to my friend Linda's (shout out to Linda for allowing me to invade for 3 weeks, and being so great about it!!).  We (multiple family members, friends and a few hired contractors) then spent 3 weeks ripping up urine saturated carpet, painting walls, putting in new flooring, painting new trim/baseboards/doors, fixing numerous holes, and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.  I cannot imagine how the people before her lived in that house.  We both moved in (granted I only stayed for about 5 days) before I relocated (temporarily) to Milwaukee.  After three weeks, it was a completely different house - it is now a home.  Shout out to Mackenzie for having the vision to see what it could be..and going for it. 

I am hoping I can adopt that attitude with myself.  Having a vision of where I can be - where I want to be, and having the guts to stick with it.  I looked at my sister's new place, and wasn't sure that even that insane amount of work would make it what she wanted it to be.  I tend to have the same issues with myself.  I run into problems having the vision to see where I can be if I stick with it, if I put in the work, if I want it bad enough.  I had a lot of time to think while painting what felt like never-ending baseboards and trim - - and had to remind myself that it is all me.  I have to motivate myself to get moving, I need to set my goals and make accomplishing them a priority, I have to talk myself out of thinking I need chips/french fries/burgers, etc.  It is hard to stick to a healthy eating plan when you are borderline homeless - but it is not impossible.  I was allowing myself to make it seem impossible, because I wasn't willing to put in the work to keep up with it.  I was working most of the time, but not making time for working out.  I tried to eat well the majority of the time for lunch - but I could have done better.  I took the easy way out - not working to eat well, and not making time for exercise.  For a month, I was off my game. 

Gratefully, I wanted to get back on track!  The first day I got settled in here, I went and loaded up on fruits and veggies.  I have taken advantage of the fact that I am near a park with a lot of trails, and have spent a lot of time walking.  I am already feeling so much better!  I just had to re-commit myself to this - and gratefully I did it before I gained back all I had lost and then some!!  I am really looking forward to this next phase - where I only have to work on, and worry about, myself.  Shout out to Keith for being so brave to take that assignment in Brussels, and allow me some time at his house to figure out what to do next. 

I know I am not the only person with wavering commitment.  Have you seen the people driving down the road with bumper stickers taped in their rear windows?  That is the ultimate lack of commitment.  I feel strongly enough about what this bumper sticker says to post it today, but I may not tomorrow - so I'll just tape it in the window, so I can take it down anytime I want.  But I am committed to this.  I am committed to myself.  I may have moments where it is less than 100% loyal to this process, but I know I will always get back.  Maybe I should go get a tatoo of "I will be healthy" on my rear - - it will be like my body's bumper-sticker...a booty sticker, if you will.

What would your "booty sticker" say?