Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Will deconstruct in 5, 4, 3, 2 . . .

Mmmmm, fiber. At least it's citrus flavored. :/
The 10-day cleanse portion of the 24-Day Challenge is over today, and I've consumed my last fiber drink. Eeee gawds that stuff must be chugged as quickly as possible. Then it is necessary to drink an entire glass of water to wash the fibrous particles out of your teeth and gums, as well as off of the glass too! I have a new respect for the elderly who are drinking Metamucil everyday. Grandma, get on with your bad self - that is a challenge!

OK, seriously though, I feel pretty good after 10 days. I have been eating the prescribed foods in a series of six small meals per day, and I'm probably 90% on track or more. Foods I have avoided are breads/pastas, dairy, alcohol, caffeine  and sweets. Yes, just fruits, veggies, and lean meats for this cookie. Oooh, cookie sounds good. Only yesterday did I start to have some major cravings: Craving #1: We had chocolate birthday cake for someone at work after lunch, and I almost took one bite. I don't usually crave chocolate at all (atypical female), but it looked so damned good! Craving #2: In the evening I really wanted a bottle of wine. Not a glass of wine. But, an entire bottle.

I abstained from these cravings. It's only 24 days of the rest of my life. No big deal. *gritting teeth*

Eating clean isn't as hard when you make all of the food yourself. But, when you go out for meals, or someone makes a meal for you, it's essential to learn the Art of Deconstruction. This is the most important skill I have learned in the past 10 days. Here are some of the foods I have recently deconstructed:

1.) The stuffed artichoke: just eat the outside, and make boyfriend eat the inside filled with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
2.) Seafood linguine: ask for gluten-free pasta (made from brown rice), eat all of the fish first so you are not as hungry for the pasta. Plus the pasta is gluten-free which helps to make it less appealing.
3.) Salads: ask for no cheese, no bacon, and all dressing on the side.
4.) Chicken sandwich: just remove the bun and you have a delicious chicken breast.
5.) Breakfast burrito: ask for no cheese, and ditch the tortilla.
A deconstructed cob salad - no bacon, no cheese, dressing on the side.
Yes, I am now that annoying person at a restaurant who changes the ingredients that the chef has so elegantly prepared to burst in your mouth perfectly. It's a good thing I live in California with other finicky, diet-y eaters, so restaurants are used to these high-maintenance requests.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

You are not fat.

This is fat. This is not you. Learn to recognize the difference.
I disagree with the adjective form of the word "fat" and think it should be banned from the English language. We use the ever so popular phrase "I'm fat." too much, and I think it's just incorrect. To say that you are something, means "to be" - i.e. that is who you are, as a person. Take these for example:

I am happy.
I am a woman.
I am American.
I am a triathlete.

All of these things, for me, are true. They are one word descriptions of the state of being. They are one word descriptions of what my being (me) actually is. By saying that you are fat, it implies that it is part of your current mood, ambitions, your genetic makeup, or your gender, your nationality.

Is "I'm fat." really who you are?

That would be like saying, "I'm apple." or "I'm goat." It makes no sense at all. You can't actually be an apple or a goat. Of course you could say, "I'm an apple." or "I'm a goat." But you still can't say, "I'm a fat." That just sounds wrong. Furthermore you are not an apple or a goat - those things are not you. They are a fruit and an animal, respectively.

Fat is a noun, and should not be used as a descriptive word. It seems the proper phrase is, "I have fat." Maybe it's "I have a lot of fat." or "I should lose some fat." But, it's not who you are as a person. Also, stop saying, "I feel fat." That makes it sound like you are sitting there, touching a mass of fat. That's just gross.

So, stop calling people, especially yourself, fat. It doesn't make any sense. Just be PHAT instead (Pretty Hot  And Tempting).

Today I love swimming

I might be high on nutritional supplements, fiber, lean proteins or chlorine.  But, today, I LOVE SWIMMING!
Yesterday I went to my second swim workout with the Tri Club, and it was amazing. My stroke could use some work, of course. But I have two new found talents: 

#1: I can hold my breath for 20 strokes + (no problem). I would like to thank many years of voice training and singing in choir for my remarkable breathing talents. At least I'm still using them for something - right?

#2: I can swim another speed other than slow. When you are holding your breath for that long, you really want to get those 20 strokes over with as quickly as possible. Also when there are two people behind you in the pool, you'd better get moving. I will share my lane with just about anyone. (Please don't kick me in the face. Thanks.)

The last swim workout I went to was last December (fail), and I think I really missed some valuable experiences by not swimming with them every Wednesday since then. I have committed to not miss another swim workout unless I absolutely have to. This is going to be a great season, everyone. A great season.

Happy Valentines Day to my love - SWIMMING. Yes, I said it. I love swimming.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Obligatory Diet (Before) Photo

Here you go! Just putting it out there. If I look really hot in 24 Days, I would be mad if there was no picture. So, I made my boyfriend take this picture. Pretty sure he thinks I'm nuts.

Day 1 of 24-Day Challenge. I started my day with a fiber drink, and ate 6 small meals high in protein, and lots of fruits and veggies. I felt a little bloated, but also we to the gym for a TRX session, and spin class. Not bad for the first day.

Side view. (Clearly I need to work on my posture.)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Everything tastes as good as skinny feels.

The thinnest I've ever been in my adult life (after college) was almost 10 years ago. I was 115 pounds, which is what I weighed in high school. I lived in Vegas, ate Pasta Roni with tuna every night, drank coffee all day, smoked cigarettes, went to the British Pub for quiz night every Thursday. . .  oh, and I didn't work out. At all. People I only see a couple times a year would comment how good I looked when they saw me. That was the worst part - I'm pretty sure I was severely depressed. Seems like looking good doesn't necessarily mean you are healthy.

But, what if you look better and do it in a healthy way? Like eating those fruits and vegetables, or taking on one of those Paleo diet things, or being vegan. You may look better, but does it make you happy? Living consciously of what food is, how it's grown, where it comes from, etc is enough to drive a normal person absolutely insane. I almost cut myself after reading this article about quinoa. If one more person tells me to "eat clean" I'm going to stick a hot poker in my eyeballs.

Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. Really? Next you are going to tell me that there is a cake that is better than sex. What?

I hope that I've never lead anyone to imagine that you have to do road races or triathlons to feel good. My intention is only that you find something in life that makes you tick. Exercise has just been my thing. It doesn't have to be yours. It's fun for me. If it makes you miserable, then for God's sake, don't do it! People have called me crazy, insane, and have said things like, "OMG! I could never do that!"

In the same way, eating like a rabbit isn't going to make every person feel good either. I'm not saying people should sit around and eat crap all day long, but your personal consciousness and how much you pay attention to healthy eating is kind of up to each individual and what they can live with (happily). I mean, trying to follow that shit is a hobby, and not everyone has time to do it, much the same way people don't have time to run everyday. Eating kale and keeping a food journal everyday is crazy, insane, and OMG, I could never do that!

In the spirit of don't knock it until you try it, I'm going to go on a 24 day cleans/diet challenge. I'm going to try to eat like those totally insane people who eat kale and plain chicken every day. The cleans/diet also employs the use of vitamin supplements and fiber drinks because I don't trust myself enough to eat the proper amount of nutrients, and I honestly don't have time to look up everything I need to eat. To top it off, I'm not a good cook. This plan has been developed by professionals, and I'm going to trust them as much as I trust the corn industry. (i.e. I don't trust them, but I still eat corn.)

The 24-day challenge seems less daunting than some of the other challenges I've seen because a.) It's only 24 days, not like the rest of your natural-born life and b.) you get to eat FOOD. Not shakes or syrup and cayenne pepper, but actual food. It's just really boring, plain food, and no processed, (cheese) starchy,(pasta), or fatty foods that are absolutely delicious.

My hypothesis for the diet:
1.) It will be really hard.
2.) I might be really cranky.
3.) I will look better.
4.) I will be hungry all the time.
5.) I will succeed with the 24 days, then go back to eating burritos because they definitely taste better than skinny feels.

Whether or not this cleanse/diet will be life-changing is questionable. Maybe there will be a few ah-ha moments in there. That's all I can really hope for.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Elliptical Trainer. I don't get it.

People like the elliptical. I don't get it. In fact, it seems the elliptical is the most ridiculous piece of equipment at the gym.

Someone please explain the elliptical to me. It is, in fact, called the Elliptical Trainer. Yet, I have yet to understand what you are training for. The treadmill trains you to run. The stair climber trains you to climb stairs. The stationary bike trains you to ride a bike. Weights train you to lift heavy stuff.

Q: So, what does the Elliptical Trainer train you to do?
A: To ride a very small bicycle standing up, while holding ski poles.


If the circular motion of the elliptical is supposed to be easier on your joints, then the bike seems to be a fitting piece of exercise equipment. Then these poles that you are supposed to move back and forth like in a skiing motion . . . what are those for? Because your legs are stronger than your arms, the poles just push your arms back and forth. Perhaps they are for stability? You mind as well train yourself not to hang on to anything at all - this engages your core. Otherwise you end up hanging on for dear life, or perhaps pulling an arm out of the socket.

Why is there always one really cute girl on the elliptical who is bouncing  up and down on that thing with her pony tail in full swing? You know who I'm talking about. You can tell her resistance is set on zero because her body is floundering up and down out of control. If she had resistance, she would be pushing, not bouncing. She looks around to see if anyone notices her. Well, I notice, and I am probably sneering. She bounces around for 30 minutes, then goes to the locker room to shower off the two beads of sweat on her back. Sometimes I feel like telling her she just wasted 30 minutes. Then again - maybe better than nothing?

(I have been so tempted to take a video of her in action. I am worried this is probably illegal.)

The Elliptical Trainer: At no time in your life will someone hand you a little bike with ski poles and say - "Go!"

Thank you.