Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Okay, okay- real pics.


Okay- for REAL.  Here are some before pics.  They aren't in my bikini- but they are safe enough for now.  Before I get into all the things I have to change about my body.  Let me give a disclaimer that I'm okay with these things.  I can live with love handles and saddle bags for the rest of my life.  I can.  The ONLY reason I'm going to show you my extra fat is because of the competition and my "experiment" on how to get rid of them or at least "shave" them down.  I have no expectation of myself to maintain a completely lean physique for the rest of my life.  I'm a real woman, with real curves.  I'm okay with this.  But for the purposes of my next goal- I have to change some things to meet it.  Okay?  So don't get all  unrealistic on me and start worrying about every little fat deposit on your body.  Or think that that's all I care about.  It is my focus for now- but that's because I'm meeting a goal.  There are WAY too many great things in life to focus on than love handles and saddle bags.  You're smart.  You know this. 

The Breakdown: 

Here's my abs.  Let me start by saying I love them.  They have come so far from where I started.  There are times I wish my tummy tuck scar were lower.  But that was the incision he had to make to keep everything smooth.  And I'm fine with it.  I'm better than fine- I'm thrilled with my tummy.   It will, however, prove to be an obstacle when choosing my Glittini wear.  But I think I'll be okay.   They all seem to wear the bikini circa 1985 anyway where it's all up high and shit.  The side view is to show you the Handles of Love.  Aren't they precious?  Those are the targets with all the cardio.  I have to really melt those off. 

That little rounded bump on the back has to go.  And when I had the lipo done on love handles during my tummy tuck- it cam out a tiny bit uneven (common).  So we'll have to see how that pans out of the next few months.

Now the legs...

Again- I like my legs.  I have good muscle tone.  I enjoy working my legs and often see results fast with my legs.  Or at least the part right below my shorts.  The minute I raise my shorts are when you can see the bags.  It's way more obvious in a bikini.  And you will see that soonish. 

The stuff on the back of my legs is what I have to target with cardio as well.  Gotta melt that bitch off too.  That'll come in handy when I need to get in some of my old jeans that are just a smidgen too tight.  

And so that is why I'm doing squat jumps, squat presses, mountain climbers, and what not.  Burn, burn, burn the bags!  Speaking of squat jumps- I gotta go get those in now while baby is napping.

Go do yours too!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cardio or Die

Remember that whole post about how exercise is useless for weight loss and diet is the sole determining factor?  Well, if you're a woman, it's even more true.  Don't you hate it when a man loses weight and you ask him how and he says he stopped drinking beer.  Huh.  Well isn't that special.....  And then us ladies have to track every little morsel of food that passes through our lips and run 5 miles/day to lose 1/2 a pound in one week.  Because somewhere in our DNA is the "pack it on the back of the legs and hips so that when she gives birth and nurses we can make sure we definitely don't run out of fat to supply milk" gene.  Then the other gene that says: "You know what?  Let's be double sure and give her mad love handles.  And while we're at it- let's add just smidgen to her chin.  K?  Thanks!"

As part of this training, I have to figure out exactly how much weight to lose to get me into the 9% body fat group.  Now, in my head that means, like, 60 lbs.  But then again, 90 lbs just isn't all that becoming.  So, I had to do a little real math to figure it all out.   I can only assume I'm in the 20% and above category right now.   One, because Bag O'Saddles are really flaring right about now.  Alone- they probably make up 15% of that fat I'm trying to lose.  Two- I store fat very proportionately.  I'm an equal opportunity fat distributer.   Everyone little part needs some fatty love.  Good news is that women like to store fat in their hips and thighs.  So it's usually the last to go.  Meaning, I'll lean out up top before I lean out down yonder.  That sounded weird, but you know what I mean.   Short of going somewhere and having my body fat calculated by a large pincher thingy, I'm going on faith that I'm over 20%.  Let's be real- it's not a huge leap of faith.  You'll get this when I post my before pics. So here's the math:

20%-11%= 9% (body fat goal)

150 lbs (my current weight) X .11 (11%)= 16.5 lbs

150 - 16.5 = 133.5 lbs (competition weight)

That needs to be 16.5 lbs of pure fat.  I will be building muscle a long the way- which weighs more than fat.  But I gotta burn that fat.   So 16.5 lbs of fat will require lots of cardio.  Cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is recommended.  You get more burn for your buck because your body is using it's reserves instead of what you ate last.  Which is what I've been doing with bootcamp anyway.  I will eat my last meal around 5pm the night before- then not again until I get home from bootcamp the next morning at 7am.  And really- this makes sense.  Our digestive systems slow WAY down in the afternoon/evenings.  Eating when it's wanting to slow down and rest means it will just store what you've eaten.  Isn't that special?  And I've always lost weight better by eliminating night eating.  It does mean I will need to do more cardio than I originally thought for this particular training.  I thought I got to just hang out and do some biceps and maybe a drink a protein shake or something.  Nope.  No slacking.  Shit. 

But I'm up for the challenge.  I'll post my weigh ins on Mondays.  Today it was 149.6 lbs.  Pre pregnancy was 140 lbs.  But my competition weight needs to be 133.5 lbs.  So that's my goal.  

What's your favorite cardio???

Friday, April 23, 2010

Before and After Pics

Made you click didn't I?

We weight loss/fitness peeps LOVE us some before/after pics.  It was (and is!) a huge source of motivation for me.  And so I took a before pic IN my bikini the other night.  And to make it all the more "special," Ed took it for me.  In good lighting.  And without photoshop.  Unfortunately I'm NOT going to post it until I have a good leg on some after-ness to throw next to it.   That and Ed is like: "You're not putting this on your blog are you?  Cause people are weird."  And I'm like: "Uh, no.  It's, um, for me.  To look at.  Because I.....like seeing myself in a bikini?"

I gotta convince him you guys aren't weird.  So, don't do anything weird, mkay?

I plan to document my training progress (MUSCLES!).  So I'll be taking pics every month.  And I promise I will post them.  Full frontal.  Wait- no, not full frontal.  Fully UNtouched.  But I may need to wax first.   And maybe tan a bit.  And maybe get some lipo on the love handles and saddle bags.  No, I'm kidding.  Just the love handles.

But if I DO want to get rid of my saddle bags and love handles I'm going to have to lose some over all body fat.  I'll share with you what I'm eating right now.  I'm down 2 lbs this week AND that's WITH my special lady friend.  Here's an average day:

The only carbs I eat are  that aren't in fruits and non starchy veggies are:

Sweet potatoes
Brown Rice
Ezekiel bread

I only have 1 of those carbs a day and it's at breakfast.  I do this so that I know it will be burned off throughout the day and not stick to me if I eat it at night.  Remember- I'm trying to lean out for this competition- I will not eat this way forever, nor do I think it's sustainable for that long.  

Meal 1: 7:00am
2 slices Ezekiel Toast
1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
1 cup sliced strawberries

Meal 2: 9:30am
Chocolate protein shake with skim milk and banana

Meal 3: 11:30am
Tuna salad (made with balsamic vinegar and some chopped onions)
2 cups greens
2 tbsp light italian dressing

Meal 4: 1:30 pm
2 tbsp chunky peanut butter
2 celery stalks for dipping

Meal 5: 5:00 pm
Fajita chicken with green peppers and onions
2 cups greens
1/2 avocado sliced up
2 tbsp salsa
1 tbsp light sour cream

Meal 6: 7pm 
Hot green tea with 1 tbsp honey
(I'm not really hungry after dinner)

I prefer to go to bed on a mostly empty stomach so that I burn good fat the next morning at my workout. And I hear it's all the rage.  I limit fruit to only 2 servings per day- but give it a free for all on any non starchy veggies- which give me plenty of carbs and fiber.  I do try *gasp* to limit my mochas to 3-4 days a week as opposed to 7.   My calorie intake on average is about 1300 per day.  I plan my meals the day before.  Down to the snacks.  That way I can relax and just grab my food during the day.  It's actually much, MUCH easier than I thought.  Planning makes everything easier.  But I'm only on week 1.  LOL  Look at me talking like I'm a pro after having just done this for a week.  

And since I can't provide shocking before/after pics for you- I'll leave you with an after, AFTER pic.  I want to be Betty White when I'm old and fabulous.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Exercise is useless for weight loss

I've heard "abs are made in the kitchen" when talking about belly fat.  In other words- you want flat abs?-then you better put down the cookie dough and not talk yourself into that organic, whole wheat, cane sugar "because it's healthy" bull shit- cause you're fooling no one.  Overeating is overeating.  Period.  Speaking of periods- they are not an excuse to eat chocolate by the fist full.  Okay?  Okay.  I'm talking mostly to myself as I, of course, decided to start this lean, crazy healthy eating THE WEEK before said period.  All I'm dreaming about is drowning in a mocha pool where the only life rafts are hot Krispy Kreme chocolate glazed donuts.

I think I just had a foodgasm.

Anyway, back in 2006 when I lost 65 lbs - I did so with zip, zilch, nada exercise.  Okay- maybe I walked a little.  Nothing consistent.   I really never did anything except monitor my points religiously and the weight came off at the rate of 2-3 lbs per week.  Easily.  Goes to show if you follow a plan- it will work.  But when it came to maintenance- I needed exercise to keep it off.  The New York Time's wrote an article  that confirmed this for me.  Obviously I'm a huge proponent of exercise.  The mental health advantages alone are worth it to me.  Not to mention all the wonderful things it does for your overall health.  However, if your only purpose for exercising is weight loss- then forget it unless you're closely monitoring you intake.   In order to lose weight- you need to have a calorie deficit.  You gotta burn more calories than you're taking in.  The reason I think exercise is hard on those of us trying to lose weight is because it makes us more hungry and we tend to adapt  the "I deserve this" approach.

For example:  say you run 6 miles.  Pretty big deal, huh?  You probably burned about 600 ish calories.  Good job!  Well, later you go to a friend birthday dinner.  You made good choices, avoided the the crazy processed gooeyness and maybe have a drink.  Then the red velvet cake comes.  Your eyes lock on the creamy sweetness and you start negotiating in your head:

"No, I don't need the cake."

"But, it's special occasion"

"But I didn't plan for it and it's really not that big of a deal"

"But, it's homemade and looks amazing."

"Well, I did run 6 miles today..."

A slice of the red velvet cake is roughly 580 calories.  And that's if you're taking a thin slice.  So you just traded 6 miles for a thin slice of cake.  Now, if it's a special occasion and you're allowing yourself a treat- I say go for it!  I used to get up early on Thanksgiving to run off what I was about to eat later that day.  I get it.  But if you're trying to lose weight (create a deficit)- you have to be WAY more mindful of your intake than your calorie output (exercise).  Maintenance is sort of a different ball game.  The body wants homeostasis.  It's easier to eat more loosely with exercise and maintain. 

Losing weight is just plain hard and takes some dedication.  I've had some years off from that dedication with maintenance (which was mainly controlled with exercise) and pregnancy (mainly controlled by Chocolate Peppermint Milkshakes).   So, I'm learning all over again how to have self control and get to where my goal is (which I always make sure is healthy and sustainable).  I know from experience that once I reach my goal weight- I don't have to be as strict.  My love of fitness will help me keep that in check.

Right now I'm watching calories.  On training days (Mon-Fri) I eat about 1500-1700 calories.  On non training days I eat about 1300.  And I'll play with those numbers until they work.  Right now nothing is working because I'm PMSing and blown up like a balloon.  Usually I gain about 3 lbs with my period and lose it almost immediately when I start my period.  SO......yeah.  If there's anything else you'd like to know about my bodily functions- I'd be happy to fill you in.  Just shoot me an email.  You should see what happens when I eat chinese food!

Don't even get me STARTED....  (in my best Molly Shannon voice)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Holy Cow these figure ladies don't mess around.  I did my first "training" routine yesterday.  Hamstrings, calves and lower abs.  Or "holy shit my hammies are going to rip apart and burn up."  But I did it!   I kept re reading it thinking there were typos on the number of reps and sets.  Nope.  I was drenched in sweat and burned 275 calories doing:

Lying leg curls (with ball) These KILL!
Stiff legged partial dead lift (with 15 lb DB- 30 lb total- need more)
Standing leg curl (with resistance band)
Dumb Bell lunges (press w/ heel)
Seated leg curls
Step Ups / 3 sets of 30 to each leg

Leg press/Calf (toes in) -onstairs
Leg press/Calf (toes out)-on stairs
Standing calf raises (toes forward)


Hanging leg raises

Hip raises

Weighted Frog Kicks

After doing this yesterday, I woke up for bootcamp this morning and started down the stairs only to realize my calves where shot!  I swear I nearly fell. Guess it's all working. 

It's clear to me that I'm going to have to resurrect my gym membership right when I got all cynical and "I don't need you stupid gym."  80% of the sets are meant to be done on a machine.  And I'm pretty creative with modifications, but I'll need to challenge myself more without having to buy some fancy pants all in one machine thing to keep in my bedroom.  Especially the dead lifts.  The highest dumb bells I have are 15 lbs (30 total).  I need a true bar bell to lift and add weight.  All in good time.  

In the mean time I'm reading books like: "Women's Strength Training Anatomy " and "The New Rules of Lifting for Women."  So I'm all hard core now you know.  I'm not a fan of thick necked women or man arms- so I'll be customizing my muscle build and toning to my liking.  I want my legs to get smaller, but stronger.  But not man legs.  In fact, I don't want man anything.  But what attracted me to the idea of figure training was how strong these women are.  It's not about getting waifish.  It's about embracing your body and working hard to make the best of it.  And I really like that.  

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I'm doing the unthinkable

So, I've been needing a challenge.  Been feeling a bit aimless with my eating and fitness goals.  I do good with goals.  But, honestly, I'm tired of running.  I do enjoy running- but I'm not really interested in doing a race right now.  Or an Iron Man.  Or anything that requires long amounts of time away from my family.  But I did find something that I could work into my schedule (and do at home during nap time) and yet really challenge me.  And so for a couple months now I've sort of filed this idea into the back of my head.  Not really having the balls to commit yet, but thinking it would be a great challenge and something totally new.....

I'll give you a hint:

Yes.  You're seeing that right.  

Ladies and Gent (do any guys read this?)- I'm going to train for a figure competition.  Oh Holy Hell I can't believe I'm doing this.  But I know the minute I  put it here, I have to follow through.  To quote a new friend and blogger (frogger, if you will) Girl Hero- "I needed a goal bigger than 'getting into a bikini by Labor Day.'"  

Now- before you think I'm going to run out to the tanning beds, start pumping protein shakes and living at the gym- this is simply a challenge.  Granted, I will be doing some tanning and protein shakes aren't that bad (who am I?).  And I won't be spending any more time than I do now working out.  I'm just going to change the actual workouts.  OH GOD- and then there's the actual competition.  *cringe*  The idea of getting on stage in a "Glittini" and flexing in heels is quite terrifying for me.  Mainly because I have some serious ass jiggle and handles of love.  But I'm looking at it as an experiment.  I'm not at all going to become a pro figure competitor.   I just want see what I can do to my body with the right training and diet.  And time...  Lots of time.

The biggest and hardest change will simply be my diet.  Lots of lean meats and veggies.  Limited carbs consisting mainly of sweet potatoes, oatmeal and brown rice.  Pretty much no sugar.  None.  Well, except for mochas- they are free.  But.....shhhhhh...I'm going to back off on them a little.  Just a little.  

SO I'm going to be lifting an awful lot of weights.  Cardio will basically be bike rides or walking.  Maybe some jogging.  This will change up bootcamp sum (though they will be getting more cardio than I will).  I tried out a strength routine on them Monday.  400 cals in 45 mins!  On just strength!  And I'm sore.  Real sore.  

So there it is.  There is no competition registered for yet.  I've researched enough to know that I have to spend a few months "shedding."  I've got to get my Body Fat % lower.  And work on my muscles.  They say "Abs are made in the kitchen."  So I'll be eating very lean.  Then, once I get to a good BF% I'll then take 3 months to train for the show.  So I'll have to see what competition will be 3 months out when I get to a good training weight.  All in all- looks like I'll be doing a show this year.  Now, it may be in some rinky dink town near here with, like, 5 girls total- but still.  I'll do it.  I'll get on a funking stage in a glittini and clear heels.  (hand me a paper bag)  And I'll expect every single one of my friends (yes YOU!) to come with me and watch as I do the unthinkable.  And then provide the post show shots of vodka. Cause there ain't no alcohol for this chick for a long time...

Okay- so what do you think?  Who are you?  Am I crazy?  Wait...don't answer that.  But let me know if you'll follow me through on this.  Cause I need some accountability and you're it. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Biceps for the Brain

I was listening to NPR's Fresh Air the other day when picking my friend up from the airport.  There were no kids in the car so I had a chance to focus on something.  They were discussing the surprising strengths of the middle ages brain.  A woman named Barbara Strauch was on.  She is The Times’s health editor and her book “The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain” came out this month.  The entire interview was really interesting, but what I picked up on was the benefit of exercise and brain aging. 

Fitness training actually slows the age-related shrinkage of the frontal cortex, which is important for executive function.  "Executive function" is the set of abilities that allows you to select behavior that’s appropriate to the situation, inhibit inappropriate behavior and focus on the job at hand in spite of distractions.   Clearly I've already lost some executive function...

Executive function starts to decline when people reach their 70s. But elderly people who have been athletic all their lives have much better executive function than sedentary people of the same age. This relationship might occur because people who are healthier tend to be more active, but that’s not the whole story. When inactive people get more exercise, even starting in their 70s, their executive function improves, as shown in a recent meta-analysis of 18 studies. One effective training program involves just 30 to 60 minutes of fast walking several times a week.  Sandra Aamodt,  "Exercise on the Brain"- New York Times

Exercise is also associated with reduced risk of dementia in late life.  So lace up your shoes now!  30 minutes of walk is better than nothing.  I know I tend to think that if I can't devout 60 mins of intense cardio to my workout- then it's worth nothing.  First, that's not true.  Second, that's stupid.  So, I've tried to work this into my every day routine.  On my non bootcamp days I strive to get some activity in.  The other day I had an hour before needing to be showered and heading out.  So I got on the trampoline with the kids and jumped my heart out.  Sure, I may have pissed my pants, but I burned 250 cals!  And it was fun.  The kids and I got some good time together and we were active.  Ameila and I even did hand stands along the fence in our backyard.  Mother-daughter shoulder work!

So go out and get your move on.  Do it.  Even if you have 20 mins.  Just do it.  You'll be so much better for it.  It's not all about fat loss and toning.  It's about over all health. 

This post brought to you by....

Get your sauce on.  

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Music is therapy for me.  I love hearing words and beats together.  I'm no musician, but if I were, I'd be a drummer.  I love drums.  Once, when I was in high school I went to a Cranberries concert and the drummer threw the drum stick to the audience.  Yes, I caught it.  And I coveted that stupid thing for years. Don't get me started on my wannabe Dolores O'Riordon haircut and style back in the day.  Anyway, I still use that drumstick on Rock Band when we play. I suck at guitar- both air and real.  

Anyway, yeah, music.  I'm not particularly poetic or good at articulating things into the right words.  But music can just sum so many things up for me.  The right song can make me cry right in the middle of anything.  Or get spunky.  Or dance.  Or laugh.  Maybe it gives me that outlet to investigate emotions that nothing else really does for me.  I don't know...  But it's just a big part of my personal workouts lately.  And lately fitness and mental health are starting to come hand in hand for me.  

I love group fitness, but at least 1 day a week I have to move on my own with my own music.  It's therapeutic.  Sometimes it's fast and superficial- enter Justin Timberlake and Gwen Stefani.  Or it's reflective and melodramatic- enter everything else in my iTunes library.  I don't know what it is, but going on a run with music is like pouring my heart out.  I feel heard.  Does that make sense?  Maybe it's just me.  

Anyway-for fun- here are some soundtracks from this year's runs:

Therapeutic Run Playlist:

Jon Foreman- Cure for the Pain
Interpol- NYC
Rogue Wave- The Salesman of the Parade
The Cure- Pictures of You
Annie Stela- Heart
Kathleen Edwards-Mercury
Patty Griffin-Florida
Jon Foreman- Equally Skilled
Kathleen Edwards- In State
Iron and Wine-Carousel
 Aimee Man-Save Me
 A Fine Frenzy-Swan Song
Iron and Wine-Flightless Bird
Jon Foreman- Learning How to Die

Jon Foreman rocks my world these days.....

Spunky Run:
(with my spunky daughter trying on her aunt's shoes)

The Sweet Escape- Gwen Stefani
Mr Brightside- The Killers
Like I Love You- Justin Timberlake
Ageless Beauty- Stars
Maps- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Full Moon- Black Ghosts
Superwoman- Alicia Keys
Keep the Car Running- Arcade Fire
Ray of Light- Madonna
The Violet Hour- Sea Wolf
Set Yourself on Fire- Stars
Pagan Angel and Borrowed Car- Iron and Wine
Race for the Prize- Flaming Lips

Twilight Run:

Twilight Sound Track (minus the lame ones)
New Moon Sound Track

If you think about running with Edward Cullen- you can just keep running and running and running.....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Meet Cherry

Her name is Cherry. 

She's purdy ain't she?  
(I'm from the south, but I don't have an accent- I promise)

And the pictures don't do her justice.  She's got cute, little swirly flowery designs on her.  She's a girl's girl bike.  She's beautiful and porcelain.  If she weren't a bike, she'd be a Cullen.  With swirly tattoos or something. 

I've taken her on some nice rides.  Though not as many as I'd like. 

Every time I ride I feel like I have to kiss my kids and husband good bye "just in case."  I live in Atlanta and so my goal was to be able to ride right out of my driveway and into the city and back.  But every time I ride I feel like I'm tempting death.  Drivers are just crazy.  And I get all spooked and end up on the sidewalk for some of the tougher roads- which is just plain dorky.  But safer.  But....dorky.  

And yet there are bike trails just 15 mins away that are made for road bikes.  But the idea of putting my bike into my van to go ride seems silly.  And the road bike trails are so flat.  No hills for challenge.  Just doesn't appeal to me.  And I can't quite tell if I'm nervous to get out on the city roads because I have to get used to it or nervous because it's dangerous.  An old friend of ours was killed on his motorcycle 7 months ago at an intersection just minutes from my house. So every time I go out I think of him.  You can't be in control of other people's mistakes.  What if a car runs a red light?   It's those thoughts that keep me from riding as much as I'd like. 

But when I do ride, I feel I could go forever and ever.   I read about people doing Centuries (100 miles) on their bikes and think: God that would be fun!  I bought Cherry coming off a really low point and felt compelled to change it up.  I had always been a runner and bootcamper, but wanted to branch out.  Get outside my comfort zone.  Expand.  And so when I hop on Cherry with my too tight cycling shorts with a built in mega gel diaper to protect my business along side the ever dorky bike helment- I feel like I'm beginning a therapy session.  And it's nice.  I'm totally distracted with tunes and air and become completely unaware that I'm wearing spandex short- which, in the past, was a recurring nightmare. 

And just to make sure you understand:

Notice how they encase my thighs like sausages?  Isn't that precious?

So maybe I'll put Cherry in my van and take her to a trail more often.  Let her get out more.  And I can focus on riding to my heart's content and not on crazy drivers.   So next time you see a cyclist pedaling their heart out on the road- don't get annoyed.  Don't get pissed because they are in your lane and not going fast enough.  Instead- slow down (car and self) and think about how you can feed yourself today like that person is.  However that may be.  

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Kale Chips!

Kale, kale the wonderful veggie.  The more you eat it, the more you.....  get a wedgie?

I'm funny, right?

Kale is good.  Real good.  Go read how good it is here

I've heard everyone on Twitter (I'll call them my Twizzlers because that's what I naturally want to say) talking about kale chips.  So I finally decided to prove them wrong and make them.  And so I did.  

Kale Chips

Make sure you get fresh, sturdy kale.  Not puny, soft kale.  
Peel off the leaves, leaving the stalk behind.  Tear into bite size pieces.
Toss with some olive oil
Spread on cookie sheet with Edward Cullen overlooking you as you cook (note pic)
Sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and (if you want) cayenne pepper for spice.

Bake at 350 for 16 mins.  Yes, not 15, 16.  

I gotta tell you- they were good!  Very crunchy and flavorful.  And very low in calories (50 per cup) and chucked full of good stuff.  You could add these to salads and sandwiches for crunch or just eat them plain.  I prefer plain.  I saw somewhere that someone dipped them in ketchup.  Don't do that, because that's disgusting and you would be weird.  But there was a part of me that wanted to dip them in that Lipton's french onion dip stuff.  

I also snapped a pic of my dinner.  It was gooood.  Marinated pork chops, sweet potato, fresh green beans (quickly blanched with lots of crunch) and some chopped salad with radishes, jimica and boston lettuce with homemade Tahini dressing from the other night.  And I have to brag that my kids were eating the green beans raw after I snapped them and waited for the water to boil.  Booyah!  (I'm clearly a better mother than you.)

And after dinner and kid's bath and bed time- I cleaned up the kitchen and headed upstairs to throw a load in the wash.  I was shocked and horrified to stumble upon the leftovers of afternoon play. 

Monkey and Horsey enjoyed play time a little too much:

Pain, Epiphanies and Food

I don't really wish to philosophize here.  I keep it pretty superficial and on topic.  That's not to say I don't have more playing through my head than bootcamp and food.  I have a great desire to be fit and healthy, but it's certainly not the only desire I have. 

While pondering the Grays  and the strain and stress of the last year or so- I've been learning to know myself.  I think every does the same.  Epiphanies and revelations just come to people differently and at different times.  In fact, it really annoys me when people have epiphanies about life and assume they're the only ones that have figured it out.  So, that said- I assume I'm the most stubborn and last in line to get it.  Sort of like when Ed tries to get me hooked on some new band and I scoff at it and don't "get it"- then about 6 months later I feel like it's the best band I've ever heard and I want to listen to it 24/7.  And Ed just shakes his head.  He gets the credit for any musical exposure I get.  Total credit.  

Anyway, I've always been really stubborn, set in my ways and very opinionated.  Yet I often find myself wavering, looking for answers and not really knowing what I believe.  I suppose part of that is being 30 something and having a great desire to really know myself.  What I've become aware of lately is that I haven't really taken the time to know me.  I went through some fairly bad postpartum depression that I didn't totally admit was happening after Shepherd was born.  Every day felt like a marathon to me.  I felt trapped, closed in and desperate for escape.  I found myself behaving almost bipolar-like.  High highs and low lows.   And many, many times I'd wake up and do and say things that I didn't even recognize.  That didn't sound like me.  And at some really low points I became someone I ultimately hated. 

I imagined myself as a great damn- holding up an unbelievable reservoir of water.  The water was chucked full of anger, bitterness, resentment, loneliness, confusion, feelings of abandonment, you name it. In fact, I don't think there was one person in my life that I couldn't find a reason to be mad at or resent.  I was pissed off and taking names.  And the load got heavier and heavier. 

And so one day the damn broke.  And when it broke- I could not control the outpour.  It just kept flooding and flooding.  And there I was.  This is me.  What a mess.  I remember one day I literally curled up in a ball and just cried for a solid hour.   Like, heaving, ugly cry.   

Now- before you slowly start to back out of this post, trying to slip out unnoticed so that the psycho chick doesn't get all ape-shit and stuff- let me say I'm on the other side now!  Or at least somewhere close to the beginning of the other side.

I've always used comedy to get me through things.  In fact, as a kid, I got a lot of attention for it.
What did not get attention was having emotional needs.  To be emotionally needy was a liability.  I'm not saying this to knock my parents.  They did the best they could with what they had and I get that now.  If anything- I have more grace for them.  Parenthood is hard.  And I pray my kids have grace on me.  But, anyway, somewhere on my internal hard drive I was taught to "pick yourself up by your boot straps" and move on.  No time to have needs.  And by default, began to view anyone with emotional needs as needy, whiny, sulky, self centered and just plain weak.  At some point I made the note as a kid that feeling sad, mad, frustrated, lonely, whatever- was selfish.  And so I learned early on to be independent and need no one.  But, damn it, make them laugh.

It doesn't take a therapist (though I see one) to tell me that I've projected all that on other people over the years.  Especially as the stresses of being a woman, wife and mother have peaked.  (Will it ever not peak?)  And with all this jumbled mess comes my relationship with food.  I think I my lack of emotional vulnerability caused tension.  Tension needs release.  Food is my release most of the time.

And so this last year has been about these things:
  • Crumbling into tiny, unrecognizable pieces- enough so that I can't put myself back together the same way.  Ultimately a blessing. 
  • Excepting that I have a vast amount of needs and that's okay.
  • Seeing what happens when you hold that damn up for so long and what is left when it breaks.
  • Forgiving yourself.
  • Forgiving others.
  • The above two again and again and again.
  • Realizing that once you're in a position of needing mercy and grace- you will never make the mistake of withholding it from other people (God willing).  It's a free gift from God and is so, so sweet. 
  • It's not selfish to love yourself and want good things for yourself
  • Love dominates all.  Over judgement, criticism, hurts, religion, plans, you name it.  Love.  Only love. 
  • Pay attention to what you're feeling.  Your gut is right. 
  • God still loves me- even if I cuss like a sailor. 
Who I am right now, today:
  • Me!  Which is pretty darn amazing and valuable.
  • Merciful
  • Loyal
  • I appreciate myself
  • I'm worthy of friends, love, loyalty, happiness, joy
  • I'm a good friend
  • I'm a good wife
  • I'm a good mother
  • I'm one bad ass bootcamper
There are some amazing friends (the hubs #1 on that list) that have walked me through this last year and seen a whole lot of ugly Jen- hands on.  Their friendship should be bottled up and sold on the black market, because it's GOOD.  Like, crack good. And they teach me that I can't do anything on my own.  I need them.  I need God.  And that's not weak.  They teach me that God, does in fact, exist and His love moves through us.  And pain ultimately bears good things if you let it.  Trying to provide our own needs for ourselves may work for a while, but won't ultimately fulfill us.  

Why on earth am I sharing all these things?  Well, because, I'm sort of an open book.  Not as much as I used to be, but it's still who I am.  And because I'm an emotional eater- it inevitably ties into my food addiction-which ties into my blog- which brings me back to mochas.  Because everything does.

But, I'm in a balanced place and would like to settle here for a while and maybe share some tidbits along the way.  Not because I'm the first to discover them and I want all you bloggity bloggy readers to worship my revelations and amazing wisdom- but because I'm determined to get the word out that we're all freaks sometimes.  And that can be normal.  Freaking normal.  I promise I'll mostly keep it superficial and funny for the most part.  Because that's my style.  But just know that I believe body, soul and spirit all need some nourishment.  Not just your body.

So, go nourish your ass today!  Well, not your ass ass.  Just yourself.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sexy and Timeless

So, in light of the Grays I figured I'd highlight some things I'm totally stoked (Did i just say that? Am I a frat boy?) about with my body.  They aren't yet the six pack I'm shooting for, but much progress has been made!  I'm calling them the Lil Abners....

And just so we know where I'm coming from.....  A pic of me the night before I gave birth to my third baby.   You see the need for the tummy tuck, no?  Oh I do NOT miss my gelatinous skin apron...

I do actually work on my abs.  A lot.  The tummy tuck alone took care of the separated muscles and skin- but didn't build muscle and tone.  And I want muscle.  It's coming...slowly but surely.  

Here are my tummy blasters that I do at least 3 days a week:

Planks, planks, planks
(military, side, and with hip touches to work obliques)

I like all things that don't actually involve sit ups.  

I think I'm going for more of a J Lo or Scarlett Johasson look these days.  Gwyneth Paltrow used to be my idol. (Hello unattainable and unrealistic goal!)   Then I realized waifish wasn't all that becoming.  Plus I'm not blonde, fair skinned and married to Chris Martin.  I'm enjoying the curves and booty.  I think it's sexy and timeless.  I don't mind some booty if I'm fit and toned.  And the girls ain't too shabby either.  I mean, they sustained this for 6 month alone:  

Oh breasts...

Sexy and timeless. 

 That's my new theme.  No more unrealistic goals. 

Skinny jeans can kiss my ass.  

Mary Kate and Ashely- drink a mocha or two please.  

With a donut.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Grays Have Struck

So tonight I was all snuggled up the PJs, getting ready for bed.  Washed my face with this new stuff I got that takes, like, 15 steps from beginning to finish.  But it swears it will trade my adult acne prone skin to crystal clear skin like the Cullens.  So I'm game. I was finished with that process and brushed my hair.

Looking good, looking good 

OH.  Wait.  Back up.  HOLY @*(#&^*@(!  

Theres, like, a cluster of gray hairs.  A CLUSTER.  I used to have this cute little gray hair that was charming and all, but I swear there's a full on garden of grays sprouting left and right.   The picture doesn't do it justice.  You can't see it well.  But there's way more gray than it looks.

Flip to the other side.  Same sprouts.  OH hell no. 

Great, so now I'm sprouting gray horns.  That's cool.  I mean, that dragon movie is popular now, right?  Do dragons have horns?  I dig Emilou's hair, but not this business.  I knew this was pretty much the hardest year of my life thus far, but dang.

And so I keep flipping around.  Sprouts left and right.  I swear they turned up overnight.  I see visions of Nice& Easy commercials flash through my head.  Next thing you know I'll be wearing twin sets.  A different color for each day.  With khakis.  KHAKIS!  OMG OMG OMG

**serenity now**

Okay.  So I'm 30 something.  I have 3 kids.  This is it.  I'm getting old.   No.  I know 30's aren't old.  Hell, 50's aren't old.   In fact, I don't even think of my grandma as old.  But it's just that MY hair is now gray.  In multiple areas.  Like a dalmation freaking puppy.  Except opposite.  When you have a bad year does your brain just send the signal "Abort! Abort! Let's wrap this shit up!"  or "She's had a hard year, let's give her polka dots on her head.  Yeah, that'll make her feel better."  Do people sprout gray hair during stress or am I making that up?  And why do I even care?  I color my hair regularly anyway.  But it's the principle...


Well, if it's any consolation, I'm in better shape than I was in my 20s.  That's something.  Right?  Hell, my wedding dress from 10 years ago is too big for me.  Right?  Right?

Guess I should get a tattoo now..

The Incredible Edible you know

I go through egg phases.  Sometimes I love them, sometimes I hate them.  I love Eggs Benedict.  Poached and smothered with hollandaise sauce and put on a toasted english muffin.  I mean- that's just heaven.  But I despise scrambled eggs.  Unless they have heavy cream, cream cheese and cheddar cheese completely smothered into them.  So...

Here's the break down of special egginess from wikipedia.

Eggs add protein to one's diet, as well as various other nutrients.
Chicken eggs are the most commonly-eaten eggs. They supply all essential amino acids for humans,[16] and provide several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin Ariboflavinfolic acidvitamin B6vitamin B12cholineironcalciumphosphorus and potassium. They are also an inexpensive single-food source of protein.
All of the egg's vitamin A, D and E is in the egg yolk. The egg is one of the few foods that naturally contain Vitamin D. A large egg yolk contains approximately 60 Calories (250kilojoules); the egg white contains about 15 Calories (60 kilojoules). A large yolk contains more than two-thirds of the recommended daily intake of 300 mg of cholesterol (although one study indicates that the human body may not absorb much cholesterol from eggs[17]). The yolk makes up about 33% of the liquid weight of the egg. It contains all of the fat, slightly less than half of the protein, and most of the other nutrients. It also contains all of the choline, and one yolk contains approximately half of the recommended daily intake. Choline is an important nutrient for development of the brain, and is said to be important for pregnant and nursing women to ensure healthy fetal brain development.[18]
Recently, chicken eggs that are especially high in Omega 3 fatty acids have come on the market. These eggs are made by feeding laying hens a diet containing polyunsaturated fats and kelp meal. Nutrition information on the packaging is different for each of the brands.

Hard boiled eggs are where its at for me. 

Boiling eggs proved to be quite challenging for me.  I mean, I got the job done, but I couldn't peel the shell off without taking half the egg white with it.  And I tried various methods.  Bringing to a boil with eggs already in, adding eggs to the boiling water, etc.  Then I'd over cook them or under cook them.  Sometimes I just have blocks with certain foods.  I cannot cook them to save my life.  The same thing happens to me with coffee.  I suck at making coffee.  

Enter mocha.  Duh.

Last year my mom got me this nifty egg cooker.  I love it.  It's a no brainer and cooks eggs perfectly.  
Isn't it cute?  Reminds me of an Apple product.


First you poke a hole (provided by cute little water cup that comes with egg cooker) in large part of egg. Except don't do it like I have pictured.  Or you'll have running egg goo everywhere.  I enjoy taking inaccurate pictures of things.   You turn egg over and prick the hole by twisting it in.  (I know)

Then put- hole side up- in egg cooker. 

Then put top on and wait about 16 mins.  Perfect hardboiled eggs that peel really easily.  And this works because I'm lazy as hell.  

How do I eat my eggs?

Sometimes I eat the egg whole as is.  Or sometimes I chop up the egg whites into some steal cut oatmeal.  Or chopped up in a salad.  iSalad.  I love deviled eggs and you can make them lower calorie by using greek yogurt in place of mayo.  Or make egg salad sandwiches.  Whatevs.  Eggs are fun.  And cool.  Everyone is doing it.    

So go get some eggs.  They're cheap and easy and full of the good stuff!

And with that I'll leave you with tomorrow's bootcamp workout:

Warm Up: Jog 1/2 mile block

2 mins stations:
3: Mission Impossibles with resistance band on ankles
5: Kettle bell swings- 10 lb and 20 lb
7: Weighted hoola hoop
8:Knee ups on park ledge

Group Work:
Run 1/2 mile block
Leg pushes w/ parter (abs)
60 sec net kicks
30 sec runner's squat
30 sec jumping lunge

1 min plank
60 sec net kicks
30 sec runner's squat
30 sec jumping lunge

Run 1/2 mile block

cool down/stretch


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