Own Your Beauty!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Movin’ My Booty

Alright, I have a confession to make.  I am a serial exercise program starter – I am CONSTANTLY coming up with the greatest exercise program EVER that will cover cardio and strength and if I can just follow it for 5-6 days a week I will be in shape!  This usually lasts approximately 1-2 weeks when I realize that I have developed this program for Tina from 10 years ago when I was in amazing shape and not Tina now who needs to start from scratch and has a lot busier schedule.  Then I get frustrated, bored, annoyed, short on time, and I inevitably quit and then sit around for another month until I develop a NEW greatest program ever and the cycle begins again. 

To some extent I beat this a bit last semester because riding my bike to school every day was an automatic exercise that was happening 4-5 days a week and there was no other way around it (since my car was broken down for most of the semester, it forced me to ride even when the weather was bad).  But my various attempts to start running and going to the gym ended up being overenthusiastic, or maybe I was undermotivated, and they slipped slowly to the wayside by the time December hit. 

I think part of my problem too is that I tend to focus on the future instead of the present.  I want to see results NOW…I want to lose 100 lbs. in 30 days and be able to do 100 pushups in a week and be ready to run a half marathon by next month and that just isn’t going to happen!  I also plan these big hour long workouts 5-6 days a weeks when I haven’t even successfully worked out at all for any length of time.  So basically, I set myself up for failure so it isn’t so much of a surprise when it happens.

But I DO want to exercise, I DO want to get back into shape, I DO want to be healthier and stronger and have more energy, and I DO want to get back to that place where working out for an hour a day isn’t crazy, it just is what I do.  But I have realized that I have to start slow and stay in the now to get to that point and be respectful of my current fitness level (slim to none).

So in that vein I decided to do the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred.  It is only 20 minutes a day which means I can get it done in the morning before school, it is high intensity which means I am getting good workout bang for my buck, and it is easy enough to modify that I can do it at my current fitness level.  Most important, it is getting me back in the habit of working out daily without having to find the time to get to the gym at school, without having the weather or ice outside as an excuse not to go out running, and without being responsible for creating my own workout which I might make too easy or too hard. 


I even bought this awesome set of Jillian Michaels weights to go with my at home program.  I know, I know…I wouldn’t have bought them just because they are Jillian Michaels (even though I do love her) but it was actually cheaper to buy this set and get the 3 lb, 5 lb, and 8 lb weights than buying them individually.  Plus they are pretty and have an awesome rack to hold them all Smile 


So far I have done 4 workouts in 5 days.  I skipped one day because I was cramping so bad I thought I might be ill if I even LOOKED at someone else jumping around.  I am going to do as she suggests, 10 days at Level 1, 10 days at Level 2, 10 days at Level 3, and then see how I feel when I am done.  I will be honest, after the first 2 days I was so sore I could barely move!  I kept having to manually straighten my arm because the muscles hurt too bad to straighten on its own!  But it is feeling better now and I can already feel an increase in my endurance and energy level.  And honestly, knowing that my workout will be over in 20 minutes is a good motivator to just doing it…feels a lot less intimidating than 45 minutes – 1 hr. 

I do have to watch myself though, because I am already finding myself looking up other programs like P90X and Insanity which are meant for people who are already in really good shape.  I do NOT need to get myself overwhelmed just yet!  I know that once I finish the 30 Day Shred I will want to increase my exercise in some way, but I am resisting my urge to start planning out what that will be when I am still 26 days away from that point.  Stay in the now and enjoy the changes that are happening now instead of worrying so much about the future.  And make sure I do day 5 today!  And maybe at least copy the Tae-Bo videos I have onto my laptop in preparation…maybe Smile

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Moment for Yogurt

Can we please just take a moment to talk about yogurt?  Some people are not yogurt fans.  My mom for example will choke down some now and then because she thinks it is healthy, but has never really liked something about it.  I on the other hand have always been a yogurt fan!  I downed those little cartons like candy!  And when I was on Weight Watchers (one of the many times) or just looking for a healthy breakfast option yogurt was my go-to.

HOWEVER – as I started to look into yogurt more and more I started to realize just how much of a nutritional gloss the industry has been putting on yogurt.  In fact, the big yogurt makers have gotten in trouble with the FTC for making all these grand claims about how their yogurt will keep your digestive system healthy and will boost your immunity because they don’t have the scientific evidence to back it up. 

Just take a look at the list of ingredients on a carton of Yoplait Light Strawberry Yogurt:

Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Nonfat Milk, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Strawberries, Modified Corn Starch, Whey Protein Concentrate, Kosher Gelatin, Citric Acid, Tricalcium Phosphate, Aspartame, Potassium Sorbate Added to Maintain Freshness, Natural Flavor, Red No. 40, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3

HFCS, artificial sweeteners, thickeners, food dye – this isn’t a health food!  This is just another example of chemistry creating a food-like substance and an advertising industry telling us it is the answer to all our problems.

Now let’s look at the ingredients in Dannon All Natural Plain Yogurt:

Cultured Grade A Milk

Yep…that’s it!  Milk.  Just like yogurt should be.  Now granted, it isn’t organic and the “All Natural” label isn’t anything that has a set of standards behind it, but when compared with the 14 different ingredients in a carton of light strawberry yogurt this is such a huge difference!

Something else to notice here – I did not get the “Fat Free” plain yogurt and I will tell you why.  #1 because fat is satiating, when you eat a little fat in your food it is more satisfying, it fills you up, and it makes those calories stick with you longer.  Not saying I am going to eat a stick of butter for breakfast to fill myself up, but for 1/2 cup of whole milk yogurt it is 75 calories, 4g fat and 5g protein.  Nonfat would take that down to 40 calories, 0g fat and 5g protein.  Let’s be honest, is 40 calories really enough to make much of a dent in breakfast hunger?  Not for me it isn’t! 

Reason #2 is because fat tastes good!  Seriously, the difference in flavor between nonfat and whole milk yogurt is INSANE.  It is the difference for me between having to add a bunch of honey to make it palatable, and being able to eat scoops straight from the carton.  Why suffer with the nasty, flavorless, bitter nonfat yogurt when you can enjoy the real stuff and maybe just eat a little less of it (I personally like this policy with a LOT of stuff, salad dressing, cheese, cookies, ice cream…get the real stuff – it will be real food with probably a lot less ingredients and chemicals and a smaller amount will totally satisfy you).

So, I am having some yogurt love this morning.  Topped with a handful of my homemade granola (this batch was made with peanut butter, honey, vanilla, dark chocolate almonds and orange cranberries…fabulous!) it was simply delicious and satisfying, the way food should be Smile

Now I am just watching the snow and wondering how bad it is going to get again.  They have already cancelled the first day of classes on Monday in anticipation of the forecast blizzard.  It is coming down steady, but not doing much sticking yet.  Looks like knitting, WoW and Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix for me this weekend!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Live Blogging The Biggest Loser Season Premier

8:05 Haven’t watched Biggest Loser in years, giving it a try tonight since I am starting the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred tomorrow.  Already have tears in my eyes…damn tv editors love to wring every drop of emotion out of you don’t they!

8:11 AND the predictable commercials of the same BL sponsors begin…water bottles, gum, turkey, jello, yogurt…any others I missed? 

8:13 Is it just me or does the new Extra Gum dessert flavors like key lime pie remind anyone of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? “Violet!  You’re turning Violet!”  If I eat this gum will I turn green and you can then use me to chase tequila shots?

8:18 I think my mom would rather die than ever consider doing Biggest Loser with me.  Then again, I would probably die before being in tv in a sports bra and bike shorts.

8:20 I forgot how much I hate the way they cut to commercials in this show “THE WORST SCARIEST MOST AWFUL THING EVER……….after these messages” *cue Jillian looking like she wants to puke and Bob looking like he wants to cry*

8:25 Don’t be nice Jillian!  Don’t be encouraging!  Kick his ass!  That’s why we love you, leave the happy time to Bob!

8:27 Why do some people get to do scale soliloquies and other get nothing but a number and a creepy fade into the next person?  Hardly seems fair. 

8:29 Seriously?  His son is disowning him because he is fat? There is either something else going on there or he raised his son to be a crazy selfish bastard.

8:36 Jillian has some crazy bling going on tonight…seriously, her giant shiny cross is going to blind me if the light hits it right

8:38 RAINBOW TREADMILLS!!!  WANT!!!  They are magically delicious Smile with tongue out

8:39 New trainers wha?????  I think they were dropped off in their spaceship…they really should have had Richard Dreyfus there to greet them.

8:42 “9 to 5 the stage musical”…are there any new ideas out there or are we doomed to nothing but musical remakes of 30 year old movies on Broadway from now on?

8:44 HA!  They have to bribe people to go with the new trainers by giving them a month of immunity.  Sucks to be the new trainers.  It’s like being the kid with taped glasses picked last for dodgeball (not that I know what that is like…nope…not at all)

8:48 If I work out in the morning before class with Jillian’s video and primal scream like that at 7am will my roommate hate me?  Probably…damn

8:51 Seriously, as one extremely well endowed lady to another, get those women a real sports bra!!  There is WAY too much swayage going on there…from experience, it hurts…help the girls out BL

8:54 “Hi, I’m Ben Affleck.  I’m here to talk to you about hunger, but I am so important and movie starish that I have to check my cell phone for the first 5 seconds of this commercial.  Don’t you wish you were famous like me?”

9:04 So pretty much all the commercials are for weight loss, drugs or food.  Way to throw as many mixed messages at your audience as possible advertisers!  “Work out!  If that doesn’t work go eat crappy food at Chili’s…then when your arteries are clogged, take these drugs with a list of side effects a mile long.  We’ve got it ALL covered!”

9:08 Every time they say “Aqua Team” I keep thinking they are saying “Aqua Teen” as in Aqua Teen Hunger Force and I want Master Shake to burst through the wall like the Kool Aid pitcher.  Yeah, my thoughts are getting weirder the further into this show we get.

9:10 “Every time you bitch and moan it just makes me hungry for your blood!” I heart you Jillian

9:13 Yeah, because fainting and puking and falling off treadmills makes me think getting healthy!! 

9:17 Why won’t they show us the new trainers faces??  Are they horribly disfigured like Phantom of the Opera or something?  I have a feeling the big reveal is going to be a big let down.

9:22 “This group behind me…is very unfit” Gee, thanks for those deep words of wisdom Bob!  I dub thee Admiral Obvious!

9:29 I would have enjoyed them pushing the pickup truck more if they had the inspirational band playing the song from the back of the truck.  Live truck pushing music…BL has the money!

9:34 I think it is really unfair that the Alison Sweeny gets to wear all these super cute clothes while the contestants have to hang out in their non supportive sports bras.  I would totally show up in the sports bra AND the awesome red leather jacket!

9:35 41 LBS IN ONE WEEK????  WTF???  These people HAD to water load like crazy before their first weigh in to make that possible.  Either that or overnight liposuction when the camera crews were asleep.

9:38 This is why I stopped watching BL…the drama and disappointment and overwhelming sense of failure for ONLY losing 7 lbs.  The lack of realism at these weigh ins is just what always frustrated me.

9:50 Yawn…this is the part where I just get bored and find myself surfing the net.  Yeah yeah yeah, someone is going home, drama drama boo hoo.  Just get on with it.

9:54 If I were at the BL ranch you would never get me out of that freaking amazing pool! 

9:59 Well that was alright.  I am really disappointed that they only provided disembodied voices and outer space lights for the new trainers.  Maybe they are robots.  We won’t know!!  Next week?  Maybe…we will see.

Welcome to 2011

So I haven't posted in a little while, not because I wasn't cooking and eating and such, but I think I was just getting a little mopey and tired of being alone in my place and didn't want my blog to turn into a massive whining session :-) But today I am back at work, I have meetings scheduled with professors this week to get ready for classes, and school starts again on Monday! I am actually super excited about this because I feel like the semester is just filled with creative stuff happening. First semester back was to kind of ease into the habit of being a full time student again, this semester is to blow the lid off!! *Insert Rocky or Karate Kid theme song here*

No pictures today, although I have been cooking. But my potato salmon chowder while delicious, is remarkably unphotogenic. I also made a smoked salmon and roasted broccoli quiche that I sliced up and froze, and a chicken enchilada casserole with beans, chicken, diced green chilies, corn tortillas, tomatos, cheese and frozen fajita veggies (sliced bell peppers and onions basically). My freezer is just about at bursting point! I am almost done using all the ingredients in the freezer, so now I am just making more room for additional stuff I need to freeze. I REALLY hope my new roommate isn't much of a freezer user for at least the first couple weeks until I start to clear stuff out (Sorry Ethan!). But on the bright side, I think I have counted somewhere between 30-40 servings of food packaged and frozen in 1-2 portion sizes and ready to keep me eating healthy and cheap for the next 5 weeks of rehearsals.

I also made a list of New Years goals - not resolutions because that term carries to much of a loaded ideal behind it that if you make a mistake you have failed and you might as well just quit. But I made a list of 11 goals I would like to strive for in 2011 to help me with my health, fitness and financial well being

11 in '11:
  1. Eat out no more than 3 meals a week - Financially I can budget for this, and being realistic on my time issues this allows for some wiggle room
  2. Exercise at least 3 days a week - I have made a fitness plan for the first 30 days and then can reevaluate after that
  3. Write in my journal daily, even if it is just a sentence - I got this inspiration from the Own Your Beauty project, journaling makes me feel so much better throughout the day
  4. Become more skilled at my tarot readings - I have been doing tarot off and on for 11 years and I find it a great meditation tool, but I want to learn more and get more intuitive
  5. Attend at least 1 support group meeting a week (in person or online)
  6. Create a realistic budget and stick to it - I signed up for Mint.com and created a budget and activated my savings account again. Learning to live within my means!
  7. Put some money in savings every month - Even if it is $5, I want to get in the habit of saving money so I have a little cushion when unexpected things come up
  8. Set up an Etsy shop for my knitting/crochet - This is one I am going to tackle later in the year. I love knitting and crocheting and I think I could find a niche with my felted bags that would make a little extra money and give me another creative outlet.
  9. Wash my face every night - Form the habit for healthier skin while I am still relatively young
  10. Do laundry every 2 weeks - I get busy and tend to put this off for a month since I have to take my clothes to a laundromat and then it takes me 4 hours to get EVERYTHING done.
  11. Work a professional theatre summer job - My first chance to really break into my chosen profession and get a taste of what it it like. This was my plan anyway, but putting it down means I can't make excuses and work in an office instead.

I think these are realistic goals that combined will help continue to move me forward in my quest for a healthier, well rounded life. I don't like the idea of wiping the slate clean and starting from scratch every New Year. I feel like it should just be continuing to build on the foundation you have already laid. Cheers to a healthy 2011!