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3.28.2014

Reason #8,289 to Love Mindy Kaling: "I Don't WANT to Be Skinny"

Mindy Kaling might be my spirit animal. I love her style - in both fashion and comedy. She has this great delivery where you might not know if she was joking in real life (which seems partially groomed by her time at The Office). In fact, this video of her "behind the scenes" at Vogue is a great example of that.


But the reason I'm writing about this on a diet-oriented platform is....

a) She's in Vogue! Go Mindy! I feel like Joan Cusack getting the call from Melanie Griffith at the end of Working Girl. As a fellow snack-chomping writer-lady, still bashing away on my keyboard...so proud!

b) Her quotes are phenomenal and should be made into a million Instaquotes, regramed throughout the world
"I feel the same way about clothes as I do about food,” quips Mindy Kaling. “I want everything.” 
YES! Put it on a t-shirt, I'll take a 12. And then this...which is being reposted & re-reported all over the interwebs today.
"I’m always trying to lose fifteen pounds. But I never need to be skinny. I don’t want to be skinny. I’m constantly in a state of self-improvement”—she does barre exercise and occasional spin classes—“but I don’t beat myself up over it.”
c) The article quotes her as being a "fluctuating size 10". Um pretty normal, yeah? And PS she looks amazing and constantly chic in her clothes. I had the privilege of seeing her at SXSW, albeit from far away, but she looked - dare I say - normal. I mean, still sparkly and gravitational like a celebrity, but she has a normal woman body. And she dresses it fabulously.


I did get to see her take down the person who criticized her for being the only woman doctor character. It was awesome, and I hope she knows we were all thinking it too. (I'm sure the bookish girl next to me with a dangerously obvious comedy crush on Adam Pally agrees)




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3.24.2014

Proud to Be Fitfluential!

Ready to get pumped?! I'm coming out of hibernation and cranking up the heat on this dusty old blog.

I'm excited to be a part of the Fitfluential Interactive program!


FitFluential Is Fitness Found
This will give me some opportunities to crank out some good, relevant content for all of you.

Up next - new look, new posts. I'll be here more often. Things are busy - and when you're a writer, that means downtime writing takes a back seat. Like the waaaay back. I'm talking stationwagon jump seats with no seat belts. But if you love something, you make the time for it. I do love writing this blog, so I'm promising it some more time.





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1.15.2014

Yaawwwn...Streeetchhh...Is it 2014 already?

Officially crossing the line with the last "2014 goals" post of the whole internets.




Can I grab a button for that?
Perfect. Maybe I'll put that in my side bar.

I feel like I need to commemorate the new year by releasing my fitness & blog goals into the world. I tried to write up my overall goals (plus steps to get there) and ended up with over 3 pages. I think it's time to focus, yeah? So here, let's talk health, weight loss, and communication.

1. Live an Active Life
This was one last year too, and I feel like I nailed it. But it's so important to me that it's going in again. It's not enough just to crank away at work outs. I need to see the couch as less of a haven. I need to view movement as an escape too. In 2013, my job and schedule came together perfectly to allow me the time to make being active a priority. I discovered Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) and fell in love last year. It helped me realize that I can make my own fun. I can find peace in myself. I can entertain myself. It's been YEARS since I've taken up a hobby. Going to find another active one this year.
  
2. Reach 2 Mini Weight Loss Goals
I still have weight to lose. If I didn't, this blog might have gotten a name change. I have 2 weight-loss milestones I'd like to hit. this year. As I've mentioned before, I don't talk numbers on this blog, and won't until I get to a human-worthy weight.

3. Embrace Positivity 
Ok, so I already am going a little negative on this post. As usual, it's toward myself. It's all in good fun, but clearly it's my self-loathing leaking out in quippy little squeaks. However, I need to stop beating myself up all the time. And I do it ALL THE TIME. About everything. I can feel the muscles in my shoulders tensing up just thinking about it. I'm going to stop wasting time complaining about things (and people) that I cannot change. I'm going to stop wasting time letting things get under my skin that don't really matter. I'm going to stop carrying the stress of "maybe" and "what if" around every day.

4. Blog More
So I haven't been the best blogger (see above self-award). As my blogging goes down, so does my dedication to the process of weight loss. Blogging - as I see it - also includes reading other blogs, commenting, and participating on Instagram and Facebook.

5. Make Living Healthfully Part of My Job
I'm starting to view workouts and healthy eating as part of my employment. I am currently self-employed by choice, and plan to stay that way (PS - writer for hire), also by choice. Part of that decision is so I can dedicate the time to be the healthiest possible me. I now try to approach workouts as part of my "must do" list, instead of my "if I'm not to tired" list. They get scheduled, treated like an unmissable meeting (not unmovable, just unmissable), and prioritized - along with my work, home, and family priorities. It makes sense, plus, I need to see it as part of my job. I'm building a business - confidence and selling myself are part of the deal.

6. Get Organized
Ugh. This one is the WORST! I am historically, legendarily, categorically a mess. My mind just doesn't function in an organized manner. The curse of living a creative existence I suppose. I'm happy to live with a messy desk. That's how I work. I clean up about once a quarter and throw my work-life into chaos by doing so. But the rest of my house - particularly my closet and my side of the bedroom - could stand some organization. I find when that piece falls into order, my head clears and I can focus on priorities (see #5) instead of frantically locating clean underwear. 

7. Walk the Walk 
Lastly, and most importantly, is following through. On my goals. On my promises. On my ambitions. I have big plans for 2014. I made a lot of promises to myself. These goals are merely for my blog & healthy lifestyle. There's more. Everything needs to align so I can make it all happen.

Starting....NOW

What are your goals? 







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12.24.2013

Stay Fit During the Holidays with Wello.com (Plus a Giveaway!!)

Yup. I ended up taking some "time off" in December. Christmas cookies and party goodies have put my efforts on hold a little. But I've been making workouts a priority still, so I've been able to maintain my losses since Thanksgiving. Even if you've stayed on track this far, the "big show" is here - the Christmas/New Year week can be really hard to keep focused (especially since many of us look at January 1st as a clean slate).

The folks at Wello.com have offered up some amazing expert advice to help keep us on track during this busy time. What's Wello? It's an online fitness service, where you can get LIVE personal training and fitness classes over your webcam. All the benefits of gym classes without all the hassle of going to the gym.

Check out the guest post from one of their personal trainers. Once you've read the post, enter the first ever Diet-Drama.com giveaway!

You could win a free month of virtual fitness classes on Wello.com (in addition to the free trial they giveaway anyway - that means you'll have 2 whole months of free group fitness classes).

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Tips and Tricks to Staying Fit During the Holidays

As the Holidays are quickly approaching, life can get hectic and stressful. It can be hard to take care of your body as you put in extra work hours, plan for vacations and family get-togethers, and find the time to decorate while juggling other daily tasks. Certified Personal Trainer at Wello, Judy Kuan has put together 4 tips and tricks to stay fit throughout the holidays:

       Prioritize your health: Schedule in at least 5 hours a week of "me-time" and use as least 3 of those hours for working out, and perhaps the other 2 hours for exploring new recipes, pampering yourself, you name it! You're the only one who can stop the cycle of "deprioritizing" your health when life gets busy during the holidays. Bonus: You'll likely feel less stressed, more happy, and more engaged - and as a result, be able to really enjoy quality time with family and friends. Wello can help you do this - schedule your fave Wello workouts several weeks in advance, and stick to them!

       Act like a kid: What do kids do around the holidays? They're running around with excitement, barely able to sit still.  Take a page from their book and take walks to check out your neighbors' holiday decorations; head outdoors for some sledding or snowshoeing; or sign up for a holiday 5K.

       Workout with Friends: It's easier to stay on track when you've got your friends and family at your back. For example, the next time you're watching a football game, get everyone to do jumping jacks for each point that your favored team scores, and push-ups for each point the other team scores. Lunge your way through time-outs, and fill up on healthy snacks during half-time.

       Always have a back-up plan: The holidays are usually full of surprises, be they presents or last-minute delays. Missed your workout due to a late night at work? Make sure your fitness routine stays on track by having a contingency plan for missed workouts. 

You could win a $50 credit to Wello.com! 
That's a free month of webcam-based group classes!
Enter Now!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

12.05.2013

99 Problems? Gone in 22 Days. The Jay-Z Diet

A few days ago, Jay-Z (yes THEE Jay-Z) announced that he and Ms. Beyonce are doing a 22 day vegan challenge. I’ve done some searching and can’t find a plan. I think there’s a Hollywood nutritionist and/or personal chef that’s about to make some serious cash from the “Jay-Z diet”

But all cynicism aside, this is a great idea. on his blog Life + Times, Jay-Z writes:

On December 3rd, one day before my 44th birthday I will embark on a 22 Days challenge to go completely vegan, or as I prefer to call it, plant-based!! This all began a few months back when a good friend and vegan challenged me to embrace a “plant-based breakfast” every day. It was surprisingly easier on me than I thought…

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Source: US Magazine

Having just completed a Whole30 (what? haven’t you heard?), I totally get this, and admire the power couple’s approach. Now that I went through this type of exercise, I feel like I’m in a much better place. I used to favor those 10 day diets. You know the ones, first 10 – 14 days are hardcore no-carb. By the end of that initial period, you end up diving head first into mac & cheese instead of moving on to the next “phase”.

Keeping at it a little longer makes it a lifestyle, not a diet. And changing your lifestyle is the only thing that is really going to change your size. You’ve got to change for good. It’s taken me a little over a year to get the pieces in place, but I’m losing now, and big things are happening. Not Beyonce big, but good for little ol’ me.

I raise a glass of plant-based juice to them! To your health. May you enjoy 44 more years of ruling the world.

11.20.2013

Life After the Whole 30

I'm still feeling great in my post-Whole30 life. I'm much more conscious of what I'm eating and trying to avoid slipping.

I made some amazing "paleo granola." I saw some amazing recipes, but was hesitant. There's a lot of controversy around this idea. Probably because granola is one of those foods that is perceived healthy, but not really healthy. It's associated with health and whole foods, but it's a sneaky calorie and fat bomb. This is especially true for Paleo granola - it is all nuts and dry fruit and coconut. It's also mega-delicious. It's a dangerous combo. I recommend making it, but not sitting down for a bowl at breakfast. It's better as a snack or topping.

photo (1)
Adapted my recipe from Primal Bites Blog. Check it out, it lives up to its name.
 
I've had a few treat days. Last weekend was one big, sloppy cheat. Wine, pizza, margaritas (see where my weakness is yet?), chips...it was awesome. And I'm not feeling bad about it. I got right back on track on Monday, laced up my sneakers, and tried to avoid eating my kid's food.

That's one of my biggest challenges right now. I'm constantly playing "catch and release" with my kiddo's Goldfish. I try to spit them out when she doesn't see. I don't want to deter her from eating, she's already a skinny kid. Goldfish are one of her main sources of nutrition  (Mom of the Year again, I know), so I need her to know they're edible. 

During this post-Whole 30 period, I worry about developing bad habits like I did post-low carb plans before. If I slip and have bread or chips, I try to get back on track by having a good dinner. On the Whole 30, that means lots of veggies and fruits, but also meat. And after having a big dose of carbs, I tend to get more hungry. So I have to be very portion-conscious. Having a  big ol' plate of meat seems counter productive, regardless of the plan you're on. So I'm working on that. 

My scale hasn't moved since the end of my Whole 30 (See the above mention of margaritas). I slip during the weekend, and it takes most of the week to lose that weight again. I'm aware of how infuriatingly useless this cycle is, but I'm doing the best I can. I hate feeling like I have a disorder and can't just be a normal person and eat pizza. I know I'll be back there, but sometimes a girl just needs a slice. I'll get over it.

Even though I'm not moving the needle, my body shows the changes. My curves are showing themselves again - this time they're concave instead of convex! Yay! My belly is still on the large side (as always) but it is finally shrinking. I had been seeing progress everywhere but there.

It's kind of the worst to have progress stall in the mid-section. Jeans fit my belly, but are big and baggy in the thighs and butt. I'm starting to look like I'm sporting a heavy wet diaper under my pants.

I hit some stores the other day, and was really pleased with what I saw looking back at me in the mirror. It's proof that the scale isn't the be-all, end-all measure of success. I didn't try on jeans. I blew it all on sweater dresses. I fully believe it is the most versatile of all clothes. They're holiday-worthy, comfy, and not too dressy to wear to the office, lunch, or anything. LOVE!

dress 1_tartcollectionsdress 2 kors

And I love them even more now that I don't look like a potato in them.

How do you measure weight loss success? Sizes or Scale numbers?

Any tips for living a post-Whole30 life? Leave me a comment!




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11.15.2013

Diet Drama Experiement: Whole30 Recap

I made it through my Whole30!! Woo! Go me!

That means it is time for the big Whole30 recap and review.

Catch up with my other 2 recaps:
Week 2.5
Week 1
I really do have reason to celebrate.
My Whole 30 Results
Started  10/2 ended 11/1
11.5 lbs lost
3 inches off my belly
3 inches off my hips
1.3% less body fat (per my fancy scale)

I can absolutely feel the difference. In my body and my body's reactions to certain food. If it weren't for Halloween, I would say the end of my Whole30 would've been WholeAnticlimactic. I don't think I'll change the way I'm eating. The program is designed to make eating this way a habit, and it worked for me. I don't foresee going back to sandwiches and lots of cheese anytime soon. But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

Program is on the Whole30 site. The book is amazing too.
I had heard rumblings of the Whole30 plan all summer. I saw other bloggers were doing it, and I honestly thought it sounded cra-zee. I mean, it sounded Ok, but no cheese? No deal. It's one of my life's pillars. I love it so much, I dream of giving it all up to become a cheese monger someday (until, ya know, economic reality hits - that's a lot of perishable product to move). 

Slowly, the idea started to make more sense. I did an Advocare 24 day challenge, and that worked out pretty well. I lost some LBs and cleaned up my eating a little. I tried to stay on track, but just couldn't. I was starting to feel low. I was getting stronger and making progress by becoming fitter. But that bitchy scale goddess just was not showing me any love. Neither was the patron saint of skinny jeans. Even though I could do things longer and harder (heh heh) I wasn't seeing results. 

I wish I remember which blogger pushed me over the edge and really inspired me to go for it. I've checked my browser history and I can't seem to find it. It was probably not one in particular. Anyway. Thank you...whoever you are. This program has truly changed my appraoch to food. 

The basic premise is: eat whole or real food, preferably organic, preferably non-chemically or -hormonally treated. No bread or quick carbs like rice or grain or corn. No soy or beans. No dairy (cheese or milk). No booze. No white potatoes. No weird thickeners or addatives (like msg or carrageenan or sulfites). No fake sugar or sugar subs. 


It may seem like a lot of restrictions, but I swear there is a lot of YES in there. Yes to fish, chicken, and some red meat. Yes to veggies (including carrots!). Yes to sweet potatoes. Yes to fruit. Yes to almond butter (in moderation). Yes to eggs. Yes to limited nuts and dry fruit. 

If you've ever done Atkins or South Beach, some of those yes'es are HUGE. Fruit?! Are you serious?! Being able to have apples during apple season made my life. I had one with some nut butter (cashew or almond) almost everyday. Having some fruit everyday made life without artificial sweeteners totally doable.

Sound like an intro to paleo? It pretty much is. But they say specifically in the rules NOT to paleo-ify any cheaty food like pizza or granola. I think that helped a ton. I also try not to think of it as "paleo" or whatever. It is EATING REAL FOOD. Ya know, like you're supposed to.

I didn't take "before" shots. Every time I do that, I end up failing. Plus, I'm not a big fan of flopping my belly on your interwebs. This is the best I could find for my Whole30 results picture:
Whole30 Before and After (if you be real quiet, you can actually hear my jeans straining in the Before shot)

The "Before" is about a month before starting the Whole30. Trust me, it got worse from there. I'm seriously sucking it in here too. And there is most likely a Yummie Tummie under there. The AFTER is the day after - Day 31, if you will. I only really took the pic because I wanted to celebrate the triumphant return of my waist. I'm still pretty dang proud of my progress.

For the first two weeks, I didn't do many workouts. Ok...ANY workouts. I'll be honest, the first week was a little tough with the carb coma and all. Plus I had pretty much inadvertently given up caffeine. I was throwing back 2-4 Dunkin Donuts iced coffees with cream and sugar per week pre-Whole 30. That's 190 calories, 30g carbs every time. That's in addition to all the takeout and crap I was eating. So getting all that smack out of my system was challenge enough. 

After about 4 or 5 days, the carb coma broke, I replaced my coffee with tea, and I had more energy. Plus I was feeling great. My stomach started shrinking right away. The scale showed good numbers after a short time. So after 2 weeks, I started adding exercise in. In fact, I went back to Jillian Micheals Body Revolution. Now I'm on week 3/4, and doing really well. I'm able to lift more and go harder than I ever have before. I'm being a little more gentle on the knees, so I have to modify.

Here's a breakdown of big changes that the Whole30 has made in my diet:
1. Drinking Tea
So no dairy and no sugar equals black coffee. Which I can do...sometimes. But I'm not going to make a whole pot just to drink it black. Bleh. I had been relying on Advocare's Spark for caffeine most of the summer, so I was already out of the habit of daily coffee. But I needed a pick me up. BAD. So I turned to tea. I messed up and bought some amazing tasting Robius tea. It took 3 days to see through the haze and realize it was decaf. UGH. I fixed that, got some Ceylon Mango tea and a couple of Tazos and I'm good. I think I'll go back to spark now, but the tea thing has grown on me. 

2. Not Eating My Kid's Scraps
I was alarmed at how often I stole a bite from my kid's plate. Sometimes it was to show her that the food on her plate is not poison, and therefore doesn't need to be violently thrown to the floor. But most of the time it was just because I was bored, or hungry, or there was extra cheese. During the Whole30 I found myself spitting out goldfish and bits of food daily. While it doesn't help my kid believe food = yummy, it will help her mama be healthier.
3. Food Awareness
This program changed the way I look at food. I chose more whole foods or homemade options for me and my family. I am more apt to actively look for and choose the organic options. Even if it means less leftovers or fewer meals.  My kid and husband still get bread and pasta, but I don't. And I've gotten used to it, and no longer feel deprived. Someday when I hit goals, I'll work to add those back in on a limited basis. It's just not what my body needs right now.

4. Shopping Style
I find myself in a grocery store practically every other day lately. It's partially b/c I'm not totally organized (lists are my friends, lists are my friends) and partially b/c me and baby drama are plowing through food. I've started to use it the frequency to advantage. Now I buy less fresh stuff when I go, and eat it almost immediately. Before, I'd buy fruit and veggies and they'd rot in the fridge. I finally realized I'm going to be at the store no matter what, lets use it! Buy stuff for 3 days max, we'll be back. Probably tomorrow because I forgot milk. Again.

5. Batch Cooking
On Sunday or Monday, I make a big batch of "main course" to eat throughout the week. Something I can grab for lunch or bulk up into a dinner when we're too tired to cook. It's helped me avoid giant sandwiches, sugar smoothies, and drive up fare for daily food. Plus we've ordered significantly less take out since we had food on hand that's only a microwave ride away from a meal. I've been trying out recipes from Nom Nom Paleo and I'm slightly obsessed with that site/app now. Her recipes are truly paleo, but I haven't ventured into any replacement-y type stuff (like cauliflower "rice" and whatnot). I've just been enjoying the braises and marinades. Her Oven-Braised Mexican Beef recipe is bonkers good.

6. Eating Lunch!
My eating has taken a much more regular schedule. On Whole30, they tell you to eat every few hours. Before this, I would eat some kiddie leftovers from breakfast, then forget to eat until about 2:30 or 3. At that point, I'd find the biggest, most delish thing I could find, and shovel it into my mouth.
source
Now I have a reasonable breakfast, snacks, and a proper lunch. Like a normal person. I try not to wait until I get starved to eat. I tried to keep the furnace stoked. It's easier to think of food as fuel when you're not eating garbage (unless you're a Mr. Fusion).

So Diet Drama Experiment: Whole 30 is a success!!

Have you done a Whole30? How'd it go for you? Would you consider trying it?




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