Thursday, September 30, 2010

Exercise... The Poor Person's Plastic Surgery

I think it would be easier to, and possibly less painful to, have the superfluous half of my body removed surgically.  Unfortunately, that doesn't really fit into my current financial situation.  What I can afford are periodic torture sessions at the WAC with YC. 

When I am behaving as one should when they are actively trying to lose weight and get healthy, I spend a fair amount of time at the gym.  I have, once again, clawed myself back on track this week.  I did my leg workout on Monday and my tricep workout on Tuesday, biceps on Wednesday, and legs again today.  If you will remember, my initial leg workout left me unable to walk for a week - the first tricep workout caused me to have a nearly impossible time touching my face, feeding myself (not an all-bad thing) or washing my hair.  This week I have only suffered small/reasonable amounts of pain - so this all seems much more acceptable at this point.  The only issue I am having now is that I am just so tired!  Not just my body...everything!  I feel like I am going through the first week of FC all over again - where my body is in some sort of shock that only sleep will fix!
Part of my tricep workout from hell is the actual bench press.  I was slightly nervous to be doing this for the first time without a spotter.  The last couple of reps, on my last few sets, got a little sketchy when I was working with YC.  I certainly don't want to be the person pinned under the bar, unable to lift it off me - or the girl that has the bar slam down on her face and knock her teeth out!  No worry necessary - it went just fine.  Well...just fine except for one small see - sometimes ... when you have little or no upper-body strength, you can't lift heavy things.  When you aren't able to lift heavy things, you have to hunt for the 2.5 pound weights to add to the bar for the correct weight.  Let me paint a picture for you: it is total "dude" time at the gym - like to the point where I had to wait for a bench to do my lifting.  These guys have weights as big around as my waist (I know that is big - they are huge!!), and in multiples.  So here I am....wandering around to find the 2.5 pound weights, which basically look like large washers.  Kind of mortifying to be lifting tiny washers when everyone else is lifting major weights.  I had to remind myself to be content that I'm doing something...right?  It has made me giggle a few times since just thinking about it. 

It tends to make it easier for me to get my elephantine (seriously - that is a listed synonym for "fat") body to the gym when I can find ways to entertain myself.  I have my iPod loaded with my favorite tunes, but it never hurts to have a back-up I looked for something else to entertain me.  That's when I remembered!  People-watching entertains me.  The gym is a great place for this!  I was reminded about one of my favorite types of people to watch: Eye candy (EC).  Whether it is a hot hunk of man-meat, or a foxy lady - EC will help the time pass more quickly than usual, and make the workout less painful.  I showed up a little later than my usual time on Monday and found two cute young men just lifting away.  I figured I wouldn't get lucky two days in a row - but on Tuesday, there they were again!  Sadly, they weren't there Wednesday or today.  In fact, the weight area was almost empty, which was kind of nice for a change.  I can get my workout done so much faster when I am not so...distracted. 

What do you use as an incentive to exercise?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Don't Call It a Comeback

Have I mentioned lately that I love reading the comments you guys leave?  I love hearing what you are thinking.  I like the two-sidedness of it.  Don't get me wrong - I rarely run out of things to say, but it is nice to know I'm not talking to myself. =)

I read a comment the other day from Amber. (please don't be mad about me using this for an entry topic)  She was visiting with family when her father-in-law told her she looked like she was "putting on the beef".  It ruined her whole weekend - and how could it not!?!  Reading about this reminded me of the girl at FC who got told she "wasn't as fat" as her grandmother made it sound like she was.  There was a kid on the bus when I was younger who lovingly referred to me as "Nat-Fat", and I still remember it to this day. (his complete lack of originality probably hurt more than the fat reference...but whatever)  I have been fortunate enough to not have my weight called out by adults, as an adult.  Part of me wonders if that is because I am FAT-Fat, not on-the-cusp-fat?  Or maybe they are just scared I'll sit on them?

What makes people think it is acceptable to comment on another person's weight?  Whether the person is obese, or just put on a couple of pounds - it is not OK to comment on it.  Some (I call these people idiots) may say it is a double-standard...that people want to hear praise when they lose a few pounds, so why wouldn't it be OK to comment when they gain?  Fine.  Never comment on any amount of weight I lose again.  I am OK not having your approval for weight lost if it is going to result in you thinking you have the right to comment on weight gained.

I am just mystified by what outcome these offenders are hoping for?  Do they think they're funny?  Do they believe that you hadn't realized you'd gained a couple of pounds, and needed their keen eye to help you figure out why your pants were tighter?     

Amber thought I probably would have had a witty remark to throw back at him - but I think she overestimates me.  No one is prepared for this type of attack, and it is an attack.  As much as firing something nasty (I can lose weight, but you apparently can't lose stupid) back at them may feel good at the time - and I am not claiming for one second that they don't deserve it - you would ultimately feel bad in the end.  Take the high road, as painful as that can be at times.  My suggestion, if ever faced with this situation, is to simply tell them "thanks so much for noticing!!  I've been working really hard to pack it on!"  Unless they are completely daft, they will hopefully pick up on the sarcasm - and (fingers-crossed) think twice before commenting again.

How would you have responded if someone said this to you?  Or has someone said something similar to you, and how did you respond?   

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Me Against the Music?

I love music.  This should not be confused with: I have musical ability.  I am tone-deaf, and unable to play any instrument (I tried the clarinet - I know...what was I thinking?!? - and the guitar, which I am still sad that I didn't stick with).  I believe music will help you get through just about any task and/or duty faster, and with a better attitude.  I have a slight addition to iPods, and have given many of my dollars to Apple.  I should really consider buying stock.  I believe music (or TV when it is available...but we are talking about music, now) is an absolute necessity when exercise is taking place!

Apparently the music sounds better if you really arch your back?  You should also always wear your iPod on your butt.

I was reading through my Health magazine (shout out to Chauncey for getting me the subscription) the other day, and found a snippet about this very topic.  It said that people who listen to music with moderate-high beats per minute (bpm) were able to work out longer, and exert more energy.  A moderate bpm count caused a 15% greater output of endurance than those listening to no music (I suspect the "no music" group also included the poor people listening to the Musak that is piped through the speakers at the gym.  It typically has the same effect as a tranquilizer dart, and causes about the same amount of motivation.  Who puts their lists together?  They are awful...sorry - done ranting...back to the topic).  It said there is an iTunes Plug-in called Tangerine! that would help with the creation of play lists.  (I haven't checked it out, yet - but will be in the near future)

This got me thinking about creating my ultimate workout play list - something I have considered many times, but never gotten around to doing.  Different music motivates different people (shout out to my BiL who listens to Monster Ballads while he pumps iron) in different ways - - but I thought I would share some of my selections with you.  Hopefully they help keep you moving!!

  • SexyBack by Justin Timberlake (it is like the SDtS theme song!)
  • Eye of the Tiger by Survivor (the beginning alone will make you feel like you can kick ass!!)
  • Say Hey (I Love You) by Michael Frati & Spearhead (I just love this song!)
  • Suavamente by Elvis Crespo (I can't understand one word, but I kind of love it)
  • Kerosene by Miranda Lambert (she is just awesome - and who doesn't like a good song about revenge to pump them up?)
  • Ice, Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice (ridiculous/guilty pleasure)
  • Sin Wagon by Dixie Chicks (it played at the start of my 4th set of calf raises, and saved me)
  • Only the Good Die Young by Billy Joel (come on!  It's Billy Joel!)
  • Lido Shuffle by Boz Scaggs (also makes a great karaoke choice)
  • Cup of Life by Ricky Martin (Do you really want it?!??!??!!!)
  • You Can't Hurry Love by the Supremes (it is can't)
  • Humpin' Around by Bobby Brown (enjoy Bobby before he went crazy)
  • Rub You The Right Way by Johnny Gill (what you've been missin' a man...)
  • Poison by Bell Biv Devoe (might as well get another New Addition alum in here)
  • Dip It Low by Christina Milian (try not to move to this....)
  • Karma Chameleon by Culture Club (it's like you're back at the roller rink)
  • Bailamos by Enrique Iglesias (embrace your inner Latina/Latino) 
  • What Was I Thinkin' by Dierks Bentley (I love him)
  • Shake Your Ass by Eminem (well....shake it!!)
  • Low by FloRida (especially good when you're doing squats?)
  • Stutter (remix) by Joe and Mystikal (Fantastic!)
  • One Woman Man by George Jones (oldie but goodie)
  • Now That We Found Love by Heavy D & The Boyz (remember how you moved at your high school dance?)
  • Yeah! by Usher (it is just so good!)
What song(s) always makes you want to move??

Monday, September 27, 2010

Blame It On The Rain

While watching all of the shows on weight loss (DieTribe, Biggest Loser, Thintervention, etc) I have noticed that most of the contestants have stories about why they are overweight.  I am a mom, and didn't focus on myself.  I was abused as a child, so I used food to cope with it as an adult.  My _________ (fill in member of family) died suddenly, and I only felt better when I ate pizza.  My dad left when I was young, and we ate cheeseburgers when we got together - so I feel close to him when I eat cheeseburgers.  As sad as all of these stories are (I do genuinely feel for the majority of these people), and as much as I'm sure it is challenging to deal with these situations, they aren't the only reason that these people are overweight. 

What ever happened to taking responsibility?  I made poor choices with food, and I didn't exercise.  There.  Genetics does play a role, but am I really the only person on the planet that knows the majority of the reason my ass is huge is because I made bad decisions?  That I chose chugging beer over going to the gym.  That I ate pizza 5 times a week.  That I am the one who lived in the drive-thru.  It was me.  I used to be athletic - I was never a tiny girl, but I was in shape.  Somewhere along the line I realized it was less taxing to be lazy, and dug myself into a hole so deep I thought I would never get out.  It certainly didn't help that I would have had to haul my extremely sizable ass out using my completely non-exercised muscles.  I guess these sad stories might make people "root" for you - but isn't it a little misleading to allow everyone watching to believe it is no fault of the person that they are fat?  It is all the fault of someone, or something, else - which is untrue (unless they were tied down and force-fed by the person they claim is the issue). 

For the few that do take responsibility for their weight issues, their audition tapes tend to show them hoovering cheeseburgers while still in the drive-thru, or eating entire pizzas on their own.  I always find myself fast-forwarding through these portions of the show - I am now realizing it is because they hit entirely too close to home.  That was me not that long ago (Hell!  That is me some days now!!).  Every day through the drive-thru, and typically more than once.  Pizza was an extremely consistent staple in my diet, and it was not rare for me to polish off an entire one all on my own.
Last week, I found myself falling back into that toxic routine.  I didn't want to work out, and I needed (and by that I mean I really wanted) a Big Mac and french fries.  I felt the overwhelming pull to eat pizza.  I would love to be able to blame it on PMS, or some bogus condition that causes an actual medical need for pizza.  The truth is, I wanted to have these things, and I had them.  I have moments of weakness (sometimes more moments than others) - I am human.  Every day is hard when you are trying to lose weight, and some days I just don't want to deal with it.  I just have to be as good as I can be, when I can be - and get back on track as soon as possible when it all goes haywire. 

On that note - I am going to haul my butt to the gym, and then eat a buffalo chicken sandwich - grilled, of course!  I am going to have a much better week, and get back on the wagon (aka: the elliptical machine).  Hope you have a great week, too!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Alcohol: Friend or Foe?

I have spent much of the past 17 years of my life in some sort of alcohol-induced fog.  Preparing to go out for the night of heavy drinking, drinking heavily during the evening, recovering from the night of heavy drinking.  As time has gone on, and I have become....more mature (a fancy term for older)....I have realized that I just can't cope like I used to.  When I went to FC I cut booze, for the most part, from my life.  Not only does it save calories, and a butt-load of cash - I also don't lose entire days to recovery!  Let's face it - the older you get, the longer the healing process becomes.  Additional bonus?  My friends typically have a sober cab when I am around!  Who doesn't love that?

I was somewhat distraught to find an article that claimed that women who have one drink a day gained less weight over a 13 year period, and are 30% less likely to end up overweight or obese.  Thirty percent is a pretty big percentage!!  What am I cutting out booze for, if it might help make me smaller?  Then it dawned on me - - the article stated that you should have one drink per day.  One.  Who has one?!?!?!  I am an all or nothing girl when it comes to my booze.  Why bother having a beer or two?  It will only make you tired.  If you are going to drink - DRINK.  Have fourteen!  I realized the group for this study would not have included me...ever.  In fact, I cannot begin to image who they found that only had one drink per day for 13 years?  So I guess I won't let this study get me too wound up.

 On one of my many "fat" shows I watch on TV they said you could have a Vodka Soda (soda water, not pop) (shout out to Stephanie and Darcy sticking with these) for only 60-65 calories.  They also said you could have Tequila on the rocks with some water - but that made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.  Tequila can only be done by this girl when I have had enough libations to completely deaden my senses, so I no longer have control of all my faculties - and by that time, who cares about calories?!?


It is probably for the best.  I tend to turn into a bit of a nut-ball when I have had to much to drink.  I do the running man, I ramble incessantly and become the authority on a lot of things (I kind of do this when I am sober, too - but I believe it gets worse with booze), I do victory dances ..... wait!  Maybe all of this "drunken dancing" could be viewed as a perk to drinking?  At least I am burning calories...right?

To drink, or not to drink?  That is the question that has been plaguing fat woman since the dawn of time.  I guess I will just have to live with: Try not to drink, but when you do - dance your ass off!

So grab yourself a vodka soda, or tequila & water on the rocks (gag), and root for your favorite team.  It is football season!!  GO VIKES!!

Have a favorite low-calorie cocktail?  Please share the recipe!

Friday, September 24, 2010


Jackie Warner
As another part of my "research", I stumbled upon the greatest weight-loss show ... ever!!  It is called "Thintervention" and it is on Bravo, and it will definitely be my new guilty pleasure!  For anyone who tuned in to "Workout" when it was on a few years ago, you will recognize one Ms. Jackie Warner (fantastic trainer-to-the-stars) as the lady in charge of whipping this rag-tag group of spoiled, rich people into shape.  She always has, and continues to, scare the crap out of me.  She is way more frightening than YC!!  I have only gotten to view 2 episodes so far, but have come across many entertaining happenings and quotes.
  • Stacy wasn't really feeling up to working out, because apparently she was in "Cramp City, USA" - a place most of us ladies have gotten to know well
  • Nikki - an Australian party girl showed up with no sleep, hung-over or still possibly drunk, and proclaimed "I can smell armpits everywhere I go!!".  Which gym-goer hasn't felt like that a time or two?  Nikki was also kind enough to provide me with the term "Fat-lete" - as in "We aren't athletes!!  We're fatletes!"
  • Bryan, who appears to have little or no sense of humor about Nikki's drunken escapades got a little catty by saying she was "out with Mr. Goose.  Mr. Gray Goose."  Meow!!
There is a ton of in-fighting - because let's face it, you can only put so many spoiled narcissists together for so long before there is going to be an issue.  Add to that starvation (diet) and pain (exercise), and it is going to explode eventually!  I fully intend to just sit back and watch the fireworks!

It makes me very grateful for the fact that I only have to worry about myself, and don't have my experience hampered by others.  You can't control other people.  You can't make them have the priorities you want them to have.  You can't make them show up on time, work hard or eat right.  I can only control myself.  I can only control what I do, and how hard I am willing to work.  I now have a whole new appreciation for that!  If I had to work with that pack of nut-balls, I would go insane!  Well...I would go more insane than I already am.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

No Pain, No Gain?

My arms could do this today!!  Amazing!
It seems like a miracle.  I know - I shouldn't throw that term around, but it kind of is.  I did an arm workout with YC yesterday, and still have almost complete use of those limbs today!  I almost couldn't believe it myself when I got up this morning.  I was expecting to have to slack arms at my sides, unable or unwilling to help me in any way.  Instead, I can move them freely, with little or no limitation due to pain.  Maybe when you are really ready for something, and have spent a week preparing yourself mentally for a certain outcome - your mind decides to trick you by causing the exact opposite reaction.  Whatever has caused this, I am just going to enjoy it.  I am planning to hit the gym shortly to get in my leg workout as well as some time on the elliptical machine.  Should be interesting to see if the calf raises cripple me again this time?  (and by interesting I mean : Please, for the love of God, let me be able to walk after this!)

As I attempt a healthier life, I have taken to watching a lot of shows for what I like to call "research".  Tuesday was a big night for me!  I had been watching the re-run of "DieTribe" on LifeTime.  They just did the 2nd season a few months ago, and then ran the first season again.  It is 5 friends who all need/want to lose weight, and get healthy.  It follows them, and their trainer (Jesse, who is total eye candy) for 120 days.  In that time they had to train for, and complete, a triathlon.  Tuesday was the finale where they all completed the triathlon, got makeovers, and did their final weigh in.  It was so good!!  Here are 5 ladies, all with families and other obligations (they didn't get to go to a camp somewhere - they had to do this while living their real lives), who made the time and put in the effort to get from sitting on their couch to doing a triathlon in 4 months.  It made me see that I was completely wasting the last few months by not getting to the gym as often as I should, and not eating what I should.  It reinforced that I need to keep doing what I am now, and with the help of YC I can see improvements pretty quickly.

*Spoiler Alert: I am talking about Tuesday's Episode of Biggest Loser, if you haven't seen it*

Tuesday was also the premier of The Biggest Loser: Season 10.  I have watched most of the seasons of BL.  There are aspects of this show that drive me crazy - the fact that it is 2 hours, but could be 1 hour if they didn't double up all of the stuff before and after commercials.  The fact that I wish they would show more of actual workout information - so people could maybe do some of it at home.  The fact that Jillian is so insane with the yelling and thinking she is a shrink.  But they get results, and there are a lot of people that were on this show that have a much better life now, due to this show.  Plus, as a fatty I just love seeing people beat it - and get their lives back.  It makes me believe I can do it.  Based on Tuesday night, I am now more certain than ever that I could never get on the show.  I do not have a horrible story - - I could not believe what all of these people have been through!  It is the first episode, and there were more tears than I would have thought possible!  I guess you have to have had a serious tragedy in your life in order to get on the show.  I guess I am good living my sheltered little life, and having to do it on my own! 

I am glad the previews showed me that Aaron, who tried out in DC, gets to be on the show.  I wonder if they are going to find a way to get the guy (Kory - not sure how it is spelled) that tried out in Portland on the show?  When he collapsed a few yards before the finish line, my heart broke a little bit.  It made me so happy that no one at FC made me run a mile on my first day - I suspect the outcome would have been similar for me.  What am I saying?!?  It would probably be the same now! 

I guess I should get to the gym.  Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shrug It Off

Me after working with YC?
Today was my biceps and back torture session with YC.  Here is a breakdown on how it went:
  • bicep curls with one long bar (98 sets using various weights) 
  • bicep curls using 2 barbells (76 sets using various weights) 
  • hold the one long bar with your hands close together and lift it to your chin (87 sets using various weights) 
  • shrugs holding 2 barbells down by your side (the least instantaneous pain - 57 sets using various weights) 
  • my least favorite - lift 2 dumbbells straight out to the sides up to shoulder height and back down again (1000 sets using various light weights that felt like 100#)
OK - so maybe it wasn't that many sets, but it was a lot.  At least I could steer my car when I left....I took that to be a good sign.  I wonder if I will be able to touch my face, or wash my hair tomorrow?  Doubtful, but I will keep you posted.

YC also had another great surprise for me.  He wants me doing weights 4-6 times a week!!  I was thinking 3 times a week, but no.  Each of my 3 workouts target different muscle groups, so I can do them on consecutive days.  Fantastic!!  That is really phenomenal news!  According to YC, this will "keep my body guessing", and help me see results faster.  I am all about "faster" - but fear that "keeping my body guessing" will result in it guessing it can't get out of bed in the morning!  Oh well - this is why I hired him, right?  I would never torment my body in such a manner without him.  He will also be tracking me - so basically I am a 35 year old with a 23 year old babysitter. 

I finally got around to sharing the book news with him, which brought up this blog.  I confessed that he is referred to as YC, and I don't have a lot of loving things to say about him.  He smiled, so I am fairly certain he was happy to hear that.  He embraces the amount of suffering he causes.  When I mentioned I had friends that wanted me to put his picture up on my blog he just said "I hope they don't google me".  Hmmm...What is he hiding?  That will be something to discuss next time we get to hang together. 

weird aqua man shoes
There was also a guy at the gym today wearing shoes similar to the ones on the right.  I am sure there is some sort of ergonomic reason these are great for the serious worker-outer, but they creep me out!!  I guess I shouldn't judge him, though.  He was over doing jumps over a one foot stool, off both feet at the same time - he put real tennis shoes back on for this, so apparently the aqua man shoes aren't for jumping?.  I suspect he is training for something more specialized than just losing weight.   He had a very serious-looking old guy with him, who was carrying a clipboard and appeared to be his trainer.  Maybe that guy's name is Craig, too.  He could be Old Craig (OC)?  Just a thought.   

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Greatest Gift isn't just me?
My appointment with YC for today has been rescheduled for tomorrow - which has now graciously given me one more day of full-range, pain-free movement.  A few weeks ago I probably would not have viewed this as the tremendous gift I currently do.  It is amazing the way your viewpoint changes after just a couple of weeks of extreme pain.  I know he is good for me.  The purpose of him being around is to make me do things I would NEVER make myself do - but I am still really grateful for one more day of pain-free living.  To celebrate, I threw a little "Party of One" (shout out to Jason and Marilyn for combining their efforts on that one) for myself this morning.  It lasted about 5 minutes, I was the only attendee as well as the host, and I served whole wheat toast with natural peanut butter and honey with water.  It was awesome!! 

I should have used this new-found free time to get my grocery shopping done, but instead opted for laying around watching TV.  I still have enough veggies and chicken to get me through a couple more meals - so I am putting off grocery shopping as long as possible!  Instead I am going to try and knock another week out on the book.  I have the first week (there are 6 total) done and sent off.  I am also working on finishing up my outline.  I am sure there is some really good literary reason why I need to do the outline - but I hate it.  It takes me back to High School English class - which is nothing but bad memories.  I am more of a sit-down-at-the-computer-and-type-whatever-comes-into-my-brain kind of girl, not so much a plan-strategize-execute kind of girl.  But I know Editor Beth (EB) is much smarter than I am about this, so I will do it - begrudgingly.  

Today is day 2 of putting this blog out on Facebook, where the term "friend" casts a much larger net than real life.  I understand all of these friends recognize that I am fat, but probably few actually knew I decided to write about it - and they are now aware of the existence of this blog.  I was nervous about doing it - no idea why...I had told those closest to me all about it months ago - but now that it is done, I feel pretty good about it.  Everyone has been nothing but supportive since I started this adventure - why would that change now?  I just need to remember my latest mantra: Embrace It.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Technology Super-Highway

I have finally moved forward with this whole blogging thing!  I have created a page on Facebook AND started a Twitter account!  I am still trying to figure out how to get everything to work together, but wanted to get the word out.

If you are on Facebook, I'd love it if you'd "like" my page - you can do that here:!/pages/Slimming-Down-To-Sexy/148264748544766?v=wall
(or you can just click on the pretty pink "F" icon on the right side of my blog)

If you are on Twitter, my user name is: SlimDownToSexy

Thank you everyone!  See you out on the interweb!

Irrational Anger

The last couple of weeks have been tough ones for this old bod of mine.  Two weeks ago I had the leg workout that left me unable to straighten my legs or walk, and last week I had the tricep workout that hindered my ability to bend my arms far enough to touch my face.  Needless to say, it has taken its toll on my mental health.  At no time was this more evident than when I was trying to get ready to get on the road back to MN on Thursday.

one of the devices of torture
I got up and hopped (let's get serious - I slowly made my way to it) in the shower - but there was a very serious problem!  I could not bend my arms far enough to wash my hair!!  After spending 5 minutes slowly stretching my arms so they could reach the back of my head, I was in business.  However, the stretching process had not only let go of some of the tightness in my arms, it had let go of my mental stability!  Suddenly - everything was pissing me off!  The shower curtain kept blowing against my leg (how does it do that??  The vents aren't blowing...the windows are shut...where does the wind gust come from?) and kept moving it off of me until I about the 3rd time, when I had had enough!!  I used my newly mobile arm to throw the shower curtain off of me while simultaneously emitting a noise similar to a growl.  Really?  This is something I am incapable of moving beyond?  It is going to be a tough day.  And it wasn't over there.  I was trying to get my sports bra on and - as any of you that have worn a sports bra will understand - I don't think I dried off enough before making my initial attempt.  I basically had a tightly rolled tube of spandex around my shoulders, wedging into my arm pits.  This is a horrible situations under normal circumstances.  Add to that nearly useless arms and my irrational rage that morning - well, I am sure you can see that I found myself in quite a pickle.  After yelling "come on!!!!" and wrestling (painfully, I might add) with it for a couple of minutes, I was finally in!

Needless to say, it did finally dawn on me how insane I was being.  It was probably good that I had the entire day to myself, and didn't need to subject anyone else to that sort of nuttiness.

The reason for this trip back was to play in golf tournament hosted by the company I used to work for.  It was great to see a lot of those familiar faces again, and catch up a little bit.  Our team (Team V-I-C-T-O-R-Y) was not the team in first place, but we had enough fun to make up for it.  Shout out to Nina, Molly and Wendy for thoroughly entertaining me for the day.  I was even able to get an ab workout in when I had to laugh for 10 minutes straight over one of the greatest putts in history.  I also won a box of balls (pink ones - so I love them a little extra) in the drawing after the tournament.  Anyone who has golfed with me before knows that I tend to go through my fair share in a round - so it was the perfect prize.

I got a little bit of a walk in on Saturday at the Waseca Parade.  My cousin Kory is running for re-election for State Representative for 26A (I think).  It is a pretty short walk, which was good because the temp was about 14 degrees.  On Sunday I got to hang with a couple of my favorite people - my nieces Macy and Jorey - while their mom and dad went to the Twins game.  There was a lot of "wrestling", (which is basically them running at me and trying to knock me down while I sit on the floor) playing on the "park", protecting them from bees (you haven't lived until you have gotten an enthusiastic cheer of "you got it Natalie!!!!" from a 5 year old while she jumps up and down) as well as making planes out of tinker toys.  They are adorable, and so fun.  After that I went to Cerini Village for dinner (shout out to Marilyn for making the most delicious, and huge, lasagna ever!!).

I didn't get all of the exercise in that I probably should have.  I didn't eat every meal as thoughtfully as I probably should have.  But I was busy, fit a lot in, and am now back home and ready to get down to business.  I have one more new session with YC tomorrow - I believe it is biceps and back.  Hopefully I just have one week left of not being able to move, and then my body will be used to this.  I will survive this, and I will be better for it.....I just hope that shower curtain leaves me alone!!     

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

These Arms of Mine....They Are Burning....

Who doesn't love Otis Redding?  Unfortunately - this blog title is hitting a little too close to home right now.  Not in a: I love you.  I am yearning.  I must have you. - kind of way, but in a: my arms are nearly useless because my shoulders and triceps are in knots - kind of way.  I knew it was coming.  If I have learned anything in my short time with YC, it has been that movement for the 2 days after out workout is going to be painful.  This arm workout on Monday was no exception.  But what I have also learned is this: sore legs are far worse than sore arms.  At least they are so far.  I am slightly concerned that I won't be able to use them enough to get my bicep/back workout tomorrow.  Oh well - time will tell.  Another thing I have learned is: YC won't care.  I expect to hear "just do it" more than once tomorrow. =)

Today was pretty uneventful.  I went on the Precor machine for 45 minutes (I didn't need to do anything with my arms, which is good because bending them enough to blow my nose is painful).  I stopped at Target for some essentials on my way home, and witnessed the most ridiculously lazy spectacle ever.  I was coming out to my car, and when I parked my cart by my trunk there was a vehicle already waiting for my spot with their blinker on.  The entire time I loaded my bags into my trunk, returned my cart, and got back in the car - they sat there.  The entire time they waited, there was a spot one more out, on the other side of the aisle.  It would have added about 10 feet to their walk, and my spot wasn't even that close.  It took me back to a time where I would do just about anything to avoid having to walk any further than absolutely necessary.  That trip down memory lane made me so grateful for the improvements, although just the tip of the iceberg, I have made in my life.  Although I still don't want to have to walk great distances, at least not when I am not purposely out walking - I no longer put the immense amount of effort into avoiding walking, that I used to.  I don't avoid events that I may have to walk anything more than a block to get to.  It is nice to realize I have minimized some of the editing I had been doing in my life - just because I was so out of shape. 

I can't wait to see what my life is like when I am in even better shape, and don't have entire days where my arms and/or legs are completely useless!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Pancake Effect

I wish I could report that there is nothing but sunshine, rainbows and butterflies about losing weight.  There are plenty of great things - most tied to your appearance and the fact that you will feel so much better.  But I am sad to report that there are also negative side-effects - which are also tied to your appearance.

I fear I am headed here
It is probably no secret - the bigger you get, the more your skin stretches.  When you are at your least healthy, your body is somewhat firm - as taut as a severely over-sized vehicle can be.  As you start to lose weight, and as you start to de-puff (shout out to a low salt diet) - things start to sag.  Since I have started to lose Remus, I have noticed some areas are more...problematic...than others.  My boobs for one.  The twins are like pancakes that head completely south, and lay nearly completely flat on my stomach!  I apologize - I know this entirely too much information, but it is troubling!!  As Rodney Carrington would say - "they're just a little long"!  There are other issues with them, but I will abstain from sharing more.  I guess I better start saving for a boob job when I get to my goal.  They should be a real crime-scene by then!     

 On another note, I had my 2nd appointment with YC today.  Today was the "arm" workout, and boy was it!  I did the actual bench-press - and am somewhat concerned I may end up pinned between the bar and the bench when YC isn't there to save me!  There were many, many, many other exercises - all arms.  I suspect I am in trouble tomorrow.  I am basing this on the fact that I had to use both hands to turn my steering wheel when I left - - it was going to take more than the strength I had in one arm.  I fear tomorrow my upper limbs will be rendered completely useless.

I have my next session with YC on Wednesday - it will be biceps and back.  I have a golf tournament on Friday, and expressed my concern that I wouldn't be able to move.  YC was less than sympathetic.  I guess I can use my new miracle discovery - Aleve - if I am incapable of moving.  In the meantime, I am going to use all available energy stores to hope for the best.

The Ultimate "Sometimes"

About 7 months ago, I learned something shocking about myself....I love to write!  I never in a million years would have thought that was possible.  I did make a slight foray into the writing world in 8th grade science class - but I think that attempting to write a romance novel (seriously - but it was only about 2.5 pages) was just my way of avoiding doing my "cores".  Shout out to GeekStar for helping me with my story line.  Mr. Esget (my English teacher that I had for all 4 years of high school) would be so proud if he could see me now....or maybe he wouldn't.  He never really embraced my writing style (I did not get a fantastic grade on my character paper on my math teacher Mr. Loe.  It was popular among the other kids in my class - I think it was the Theorems and Postulates cake on the cover that really got them) which I do admit is a bit of an acquired taste.

About a month ago, a friend of mine (the biggest Shout Out of all time to Shannon!!) approached me with a "business opportunity".  She works for a publishing company in the Twin Cities, and they wanted to write a book for tweens about weight - specifically a girl that goes to fat camp.  She thought of me, and forwarded my blog on to an Editor.  I got an email about a week ago from them - and get to write the book!

Sometimes...  you're 35
Sometimes...  you get canned from your job
Sometimes...  you discover you have a new dream
Sometimes...  that new dream comes true

Saturday, September 11, 2010

It's Only a Little Pain

I love Jason Aldean (a country singer, for those of you who were like - - who the H is that?!?) - I count him as one of my boyfriends (it is OK that he is married with kids - my boyfriends are just hot/talented people I worship from afar.  It is completely platonic).  He has a song that starts with the lyrics:'s only a little'll be gone in a couple of days...or maybe a week or two. 

Now, I am thinking he is talking about the fact that he and his lady love broke up, and the pain is heartache.  I feel as though the lyrics can also refer to your calf muscles when you completely overdo it at the gym one day.  Seriously - I have never experienced pain quite like this.  It interrupted my sleep on Thursday night - it felt like I was constantly getting cramps in my legs, which would then wake me up.  Once awake I would have to get up and go to the bathroom...and that is where the problems would really start.  I could not straighten my legs, so they were bent at about 120 degree angle, and every step, or pressure on a leg would result in shooting pains up them.  When I would get back to bed, my lower extremities would throb for a minute or two, and then I could finally go back to sleep.  I went through this extremely pleasant process about 5 times during the night.  In the morning I woke up, sat on the edge of my bed, and gave myself the biggest pep-talk in recent history - just to try and stand up.  I had to text YC at 7:30 and tell him I thought we might have to reschedule, as I had lost the use of the lower half of my body.  We are rescheduled for Monday. 

The good news is that my brain felt just laying around the house and wallowing in my misery was not going to help.  I loaded up on Ibuprofen (which I now realize was pointless, because inflammation was not my issue - shout out to Kristi for the Aleve suggestion!), prayed I didn't fall down my front steps, and headed to the gym...slowly.  I realized I could get my legs to straighten a bit if I just stood in one spot, and forced them to go straight - not pleasant - but I did it in order to be able to walk into the gym without looking like early-man.  I thought the pool, which I believe they said they keep at 80ish degrees, and the hot tub might do me some good. 

A class had just let out when I walked in, and the hot tub looked like senior-citizen soup - it was packed with the elderly - so I hit the pool first.  It was easier to walk, without having to lumber the full weight of my sizable bod around, but my calves still hurt.  There were a few seniors in the pool walking (I use the term loosely, as it seemed more like a social gathering of floating than actual walking, for most of them) and apparently I was something new and shiny.  Everyone wanted to talk to me, which is nice - but when I am there to loosen up my legs + get a bit of a work out, and they are there to socialize and move at the rate of a tortoise it is hard.  I would try and talk for a bit and then go back to my own pace.  (Maybe I am more capable of being nice than I thought?  Nah - probably not.)  Those old ladies were so nice....I got complimented on my ability to walk fast "wow - you are a really fast walker" (first time I have EVER heard that!  I am the one my friends slow down for) and my stamina "you have so much energy!" (again, a first).  One lady was heading back to the locker room and told me "you're still walking...good for you!" (it had been about 15 minutes).  Apparently you need to go where the standard is set pretty low - and you are the youngest by 40 years, and you can be a star!

Needless to say, the pool walk and hot tub appeared to help a bit.  I was getting around later last night.  A friend suggested I try some Aleve, and I did.  Whether it is the fact that I took the Aleve, or the fact that it is now day 3 and my body is trying to work with me - I am actually feeling pretty good today.  Not back to normal, but about 80%, and I will take that any day over what happened yesterday. 

Now it is just sticking with it.  One of these days I will do calf raises, and still totally maintain my ability to walk the next day.  Won't that be something??

Thursday, September 9, 2010

When the Straight and Narrow is Too Painful

You know it is going to be bad when you can feel your aching body before you even move!  I suspected the calf raises yesterday were going to cause some issues.  I don't know that I have used them with such repetition since my final basketball practice my junior year of high school, and that was .....well, more than a few years ago! 

I thought the best way to manage this morning was to do things slowly.  I moved my arms - a couple of tight spots, but nothing really noteworthy.  Fantastic - if all else fails, at least I will be able to wash my hair!  Now my "core" (otherwise known as my extremely padded/insulated middle) - - check!  No major pains!  Now it was time to gear myself up - - my legs hurt this morning without even moving.  This could get really bad.  I moved my right leg, and was sure I was getting a charlie-horse.  Nope - false alarm.  My muscles (or place where muscle should be, or place where muscle is trying to form) was so tight it felt like a cramp.  That is unpleasant!  Seriously - how dormant do you have to be that 4 sets (totaling 70) of calf raises can make you feel like your legs are in a constant cramped state?  And I was only getting started.  I stood up out of bed, or rather - I tried to stand up out of bed - and I couldn't straighten my legs!  The tops of my calf muscles (right under the back of your knee) were so tight and throbbing, that I trying to straighten my legs pulled on them too much!  Well this is just ridiculous!  I had to walk, looking like I jumped out of the evolutionary process a few steps before we got all the way to walking erect, to get to the bathroom.  The good news is that I am able to get down onto things with ease - the front of my legs are feeling fine and dandy.  Getting up is still an issue - who knew your calf muscles were tied to so many things?!?! 

I gave myself the biggest pep talk in recent weeks, and prayed for my legs to start working, and headed for the gym.  I did my 45 minutes on the elliptical.  At no point during this  process did I ever not have leg twinges.  I guess I should just be grateful my legs didn't completely buckle, and send me falling from my machine (which is something I have visualized many times, and feel is inevitable at some point.  I will fall off my machine at the gym one day - - just wondering when?).  I swear at certain points the clock on my machine stopped moving - it was the longest 45 minutes I have experienced lately.  Not even Sports Center could keep me completely distracted today - and it is my favorite time of year: Baseball/Football overlap! 

I survived my time at the WAC, and am now home safe and sound - showered and ready for the game tonight.  I am treating myself to a burger (93/7% lean beef, low fat pepperjack cheese, honey mustard, limited pickles and a sandwich thin) and baked cottage fries (the lowest sodium option I could find, and my fave - when does that ever happen?). 

Now all I need is a Vikings win, and the fact that my legs are almost unusable won't seem like such a big deal.  Well - not a big deal until tomorrow at 11am when I meet with YC, again.  I wonder if he was planning for the fact that I wouldn't be able to use the bottom half of my body?  Oh well - who doesn't like a surprise?

Go Vikes!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Amazing Effort Today" - YC

Today was my first "real" session with YC.  The first two sessions were freebies from the club just for joining.  Now I am paying him, and he is apparently taking that as an indicator to step it up!  The 2nd fake session left me unable to walk properly for 2.5 days, so I am interested to see what today will produce.  We also only had 1/2 hour instead of a full hour, so I was going to get shorter breaks.  Fabulous - I needed additional challenges!! 

I was able to avoid lunges - and was informed that he only makes people do lunges if he doesn't like them.  Ummm...YC - you made me do them last week!  He smiled and said I shouldn't take it personally - he was just trying to figure out what I was capable of doing.  He won't make me do them, again.  However, he will make me do 7 sets of squats, 4 sets of hamstring curls, 4 sets of leg extensions and 4 sets of calf-raises (using my body weight!!!  by the last set I was in full body spasms.  It was super-hot.).  Last week I did calf raises - but it was from the hip-sled machine, which is basically a reclined chair that you get to lay in while you do the lift.  He also had 90 pounds on it...TOTAL!  I had to gently break it to him that my bod, complete with super-tiny rear, weighed just a bit over 90.  He told me it was better for me to do them on the platform, not only because I had to lift slightly more than 90, but it is also harder because you have to balance.  Great.  Let's always jump to 500 times more challenging!!  He is trying to kill me.  When I informed him, between sets, that I preferred the one from last week where I got to lay down he simply told me "this is better for you."  Not only do I need him, but I love him. ( much as you can love things that cause you so much pain). 

On top of this lower-body hell, I also had a number of upper-body exercises to do as well.  I was pooped.  After surviving my time with YC I did earn what I believe may be his highest compliment: "Amazing effort today."  That put a smile on my face - maybe it was worth it?

The question remains...will I be able to walk tomorrow?  Stay tuned....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


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Distractions & My "instrument"

The rest of my weekend was pretty much an exercise in not exercising.  I had the wedding on Saturday (shout out to Ariana and Ryan) which was so beautiful and fun. The weather was gorgeous, I over-imbibed on Mich Golden Lights and Milli Vanilli's (the official beverage of Slimming Down To Sexy, which is Vanilla Vodka and Diet Coke), which left Sunday a complete loss.  I did do some dancing, and some possible screaming along to "Ice Ice Baby" - so does that count as a work-out?  There is a glimmer of a memory of me doing the running man....I guess I should be happy?  There is no way I could have relived the days of OHS Shubblehutz's, and done dances reminiscent of the early 90's 6 months ago.  Silver-lining...I have to focus on the silver-lining.

my niece Jorey
I was pretty sure before, but now I am absolutely certain - I cannot have kids!  I stayed at my sister's house - and I only wanted to play with my nieces!  They were up when I got up, and they are just so excited to see everyone - which makes me feel great - plus I just want to play with them because they are so entertaining!!  On Saturday we were finally able to play with the Tinker Toys (which had been talked about many times prior).  My niece Jorey is tiny enough that she can fit right in the tub.  I informed her that I wouldn't be able to fit my elbow in there - so that was pretty impressive.  They have these pictures on the outside of the tube that holds them of all of these fun things you can do.  Of course Jorey eyes the ferris wheel, and asks if I can put that together.  I told her I would try.  The most cardio I had all weekend was trying to put this thing together!!  We finally finished, and it looked pretty good, if I do say so myself.  Sometimes it is worth skipping the walk by yourself when you can have this much fun!   
my niece Macy with the Ferris Wheel

On my way home today I was doing what I usually do on long car rides : singing/yelling along to my iPod.  Eventually (about 3-4 hours in to my ride) my throat started to get sore from all of the "singing".  It made me think about singers, and how they need to practice so they keep their instrument in working order.  That then got me wondering about my instrument....what is my instrument?  I think my instrument must be my FUPA.  I have to exercise and eat well, or my FUPA gets out of shape (and by out of shape I mean extremely stretched out/huge).  I am excited to see what some dedication can do toward getting, and keeping my "instrument" in top working order.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Laborious Weekend

Now that I appear to finally have regained full-mobility in my limbs, I am feeling like a whole new woman.  I was slightly concerned that the 5+ hour drive back from Wisconsin yesterday was going to do these legs in - but they are doing surprisingly well!  I put in my time on the treadmill, and then got right in the car for the trip home.  I was starving, but determined to make a decent decision (basically - a decision not including a cheeseburger and cheese curds from Culver's) for my lunch.

I decided Subway was my best bet.  A new first - eating Subway in the car, while driving.  Don't ask me why the idea of eating a sub in a car is any more bizarre than eating a burger - but it was.  I just had to suck it up, and power through it.  To the best of my knowledge, there were no major issues.  I got back in time to play with my nieces for a bit - - or rather them ride their hot wheels in circles while each proclaimed she was the fastest and had the prettiest hot wheel.  I got to assemble an amazingly technical "hello kitty" kite - so there were able to fly that with some help from their dad.  They thought it was fantastic, and it grew quite a lot of attention from the neighbors.

I then got to go meet a friend for dinner.  I had a buffalo chicken salad - with a few modifications (grilled chicken, buffalo sauce on the side, ranch on the side) - and it was delicious.  The guy next to me ordered the delicious pizza with the artichoke dip and pepperoni (I know - it sounds gross - but is SO GOOD) on it, and the guy next to him ordered the buffalo chicken salad (with fried chicken - the way I used to get to eat it) - and they both looked so delicious.  Shockingly, I didn't feel the need to knock them off the back of their stools and steal their food.  I guess I really am embracing this "healthier eating" thing.

I was supposed to go for a hike on the trails in Lebanon Hills with a friend today, but the occasional rain showers combined with the fact that it is 55 degrees (SERIOUSLY!!  How does that happen in 1 day?) has required us to rain check that idea.  Maybe my next trip home?  Hopefully.

Tomorrow I have a wedding for a family friend.  I wonder how many calories you burn from dancing?  And I also wonder if you burn more calories from dancing badly?  If so - I will be a burnin' machine tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I have given myself a challenge.  I am going to try one new recipe a week from one of my various cookbooks or magazines that have healthy recipes.  I gave myself this challenge a couple of weeks ago, and have been failing miserably so far.  I fully intend to get on it next week - now that I seem to have adjusted to my return to exercise and healthful eating.  In the meantime, I had some chicken in the fridge, and needed to figure out what to do with it.  I just can't eat plain grilled chicken every day.  I cannot.  It is a recipe for failure for me. 

So last night I came up with a delicious (or at least I think so, and my taste buds agreed) buffalo chicken sandwich.  I LOVE buffalo chicken - tenders, salads, sandwiches...everything!  Now, when trying to eat healthily, you can't eat fried chicken dipped in buffalo sauce (which is basically hot sauce and butter).  You inevitably need blue cheese or ranch dressing as well.  It is a caloric crime scene!  So I tried to adjust the recipe...and it was good!  Not as good as the fried/butter deliciousness you would normally get - but pretty tasty.  Plus, it involves Frank's hot sauce, which is one of my all-time faves!  I figure the sandwich was well under 300 calories, and I am sure it is much lower in sodium that it would be at any restaurant.  I put the recipe below, for anyone that would like to try it.

Moving is slightly easier today.  I went to the gym, and did the elliptical.  I even did some stretching after, even though I was fearful I might not be able to get up off the floor.  While on my machine, I could see the "boot camp" class in the gym.  Good Lord!  I have never been so happy to "only" have to be on the elliptical.  They didn't stop!  It looked horrible.  My heart hurt just looking at them.  It made me wonder...will I ever be in shape enough to do that class?  At this point, I decided it is such a distant issue, I don't need to worry about it.

Tomorrow I hit the gym, and then head for Minnesota for the weekend.  I will try and get online and post - so I don't appear to be my usual slacker.  Hope you all have a healthy, happy and safe labor day weekend!

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
3-4 ounces chicken breast (4 ounces is about 125 calories according to Calorie King)
Frank's Hotsauce (very low calories (zero for 1 teaspoon), but lots of sodium)
Laughing Cow Light Blue Cheese Wedge (35 calories)
Arnold's Whole Wheat Sandwich Thin (100 calories)

I marinated the chicken in Frank's (you don't need much, so it should keep the sodium in check) in a baggie for about 4-6 hours.  I then cooked the chicken on my George Forman Grill.  I cut it diagonally (because it is fancy, and that is totally how I roll).  I divided the blue cheese wedge in 2, and put 1/2 on each side of the sandwich thin.  Put the chicken on the thin, close, and chow.  It is GOOD!  Enjoy!