Tip of the Week

Roll with the punches! Life is gonna smack you right in the face when you don't expect it. If you're head's on straight, you're certainly gonna handle it just fine. Roll with it. Complain a little bit, and let it go.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Work It, Wednesday!

Today's Work It, Wednesday! takes a different approach from our previously published listings. What is this difference, you may ask? Well, dear Blogoworld, it's that you can do it RIGHT NOW. And should you? Well, that's a different story. Are you in church? You should not be doing yoga in church. Also, you should probably sign off of your Iphone in church, as well. :) Are you at your Texas family reunion? You should probably not do yoga there. Chances are you'll get hit on by your first cousin, Adam and the rest of the family will try to exorcise your demons away. Are you at work or sitting in your apartment/lavish mansion? Then, yes, this could be a good time to do some yoga. :) (P.S. if you're at work, go lock yourself in the file room for ten minutes. I do it all the time.)

So what exactly are we covering today? Oh my darling Blogoworld, it is yoga: the practice of strength and meditation. As the savvy weight loser that you are, I'm certain you've heard about yoga before. Does it help to melt pounds away? Sure, it does, especially if you've already lost the extra baggage. The most common misconception about yoga is that it will give you the results you want, quickly. NOTHING WILL DO THIS. Every weight loss adventure takes at least two weeks. So if you want a toned, amazing, strong yoga bod, you're going to have to put the hours into getting it. Use up energy, that is the point of weight loss.

So what can you REALLY do, if you've never done yoga before? Well, you CAN put yourself into the positions listed below, and this will be fun and hilarious and challenging, but you're missing out on the philosophy and principles of yoga. In order to love it, you probably need to understand it. So sign up for a class. Visit a website. Buy a video. Or learn online.

Child's Pose
This pose lengthens the spine, stretches the tops of your feet, and relaxes your body. Starting on your hands and knees, arms underneath your shoulders, pull your hips back so your buttocks rest on your feet and your torso on your thighs. Keep your forehead on the mat and let gravity help you sink into the pose. Shift your arms to the left and right for a deeper oblique stretch.

Bridge Pose
This pose opens the chest. Lie on your back with feet planted close to your buttocks, palms on the floor. Breathe in, and, as you exhale, press into your feet to lift your tailbone. Clasp your hands together underneath you and walk your shoulder blades closer together so your weight rests on your posterior shoulders and feet. Lift your hips upward.

Boat Pose
This pose builds core strength and creates heat in the body. Start seated -- legs together, knees bent, feet planted on the floor. Holding the back of your thighs, rock your weight back so it rests between the sitting bones. Lift your feet, knees still bent, keeping your lower back drawn inward. Inhale and extend your legs. Let go of the back of your legs, and extend your arms out parallel to the floor.
Warrior II
This pose increases leg, back, and arm strength. Standing at the top of your mat, step your right foot back about 4 feet and turn it 90 degrees to the right. Turn your left foot slightly in. Adjust your torso so that it faces to your right, inhale, and raise your arms out, shoulder blades wide, palms down. Exhale, bending your left knee until your thigh is parallel to the mat. Switch sides.
Forward Bend
This pose stretches the back and hamstrings. Standing tall with your feet hip-width apart, inhale and sweep your arms overhead. As you exhale, lift your tailbone and begin to bend forward from your hips, sweeping your arms with you as you go down. Keep your spine long and straight as you move, bending at the knees if need be. To return to standing, curl up slowly, one vertebra at a time.
Downward Facing Dog
This pose circulates blood to the head and stretches the back. Start on all fours, with hands under your shoulders. Curl your toes, take a breath, and, as you exhale, press into your hands, lifting your hips back. Holding the pose, keep your spine straight (bending your knees if need be) and your weight resting evenly between the legs and arms.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Truth Tuesdays

Betty Calman, 83

Hey there, Blogoworld. Let's take a look today at one very important reason why taking care of your body should be a priority in your life: It's gonna wear out someday.

OHMYGOD, but that is at least forty years away!


Maybe not.

Regardless of how old you are, you need to be aware of the fact that your body is not invincible. It can be hit by a car. It can misstep and snap a bone. It can, and will, age. So what can you do? Well, take care of it. Keep it up and running. Put the right nutrients into it, and watch it heal miraculously when something goes wrong. Know what is and isn't good for your body. Wow, this makes me want to go eat a salad. So, here we go:

The Ten Best Foods to Fight Aging

1. Healthy Greens
They contain folate, calcium, and other nutrients that support bone health, protect against cognitive decline, and help prevent age-related eye problems. Diets high in cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli and cabbage, help reduce risk of memory loss and cancer.

2. Whole Grains
Rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, whole grains can lower the risk of age-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Because they're digested more slowly than processed grains, they also help prevent high blood sugar and diabetes.

3. Berries
Blueberries, blackberries, and cranberries are rich in antioxidant compounds known as anthocyanins, which have been shown to slow the growth of certain cancers as well as improve brain function, muscle tone, and balance.

4. Olive Oil
Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory monounsaturated fat, olive oil figures prominently in the Mediterranean diet. It may explain the lower rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and age-related cognitive decline in people who follow this way of eating.

5. Tomatoes
Certain red fruits -- including tomatoes -- contain lycopene, an antioxidant compound that helps maintain youthful skin texture and may reduce the risk of some types of cancer (especially prostate, lung, and stomach cancers) and heart disease.

6. Nuts
Varieties such as almonds and walnuts contain a generous helping of healthy fats, vitamins, and protein that benefit cardiovascular and brain health. Nuts are also high in compounds that ease inflammation.

7. Red Grapes
Grapes contain an antioxidant called resveratrol, which been shown to extend the lives of lab animals. Resveratrol has anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant properties, which may explain why red wine and purple grape juice also help promote heart health.

8. Fish
An important part of the Japanese and Mediterranean diets, oily fish provide omega-3 fatty acids that help combat inflammation in the body. People who eat several weekly servings of such fish have a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease and stroke.

9. Teas
Of the various types of tea, white and green tea contain the most EGCG, one of the most powerful antioxidants. Numerous studies have linked tea consumption to lower rates of conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease.

10. Herbs and Spices
Spices such as turmeric and ginger contain anti-inflammatory compounds that might reduce the risk of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease. The antioxidant substances in garlic and onions can protect against heart disease and cancer; cinnamon may help lower blood sugar.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Thirty Minute Monday

Got thirty minutes today? Take this quiz.

Let's talk for a moment about repetitive information. I have been trying to lose weight, let's say, for three years now. Why have I not yet been entirely successful? Because I'm not listening OR paying attention to what it is I'm reading about weight loss. So what's different about this time? Take a look, Blogoworld, I have SURROUNDED myself by weight loss. I keep reminding myself of what this lifestyle looks like, and I keep testing my knowledge of it. I'm doing well.

So, today, if you've got thirty minutes, and I am certain that you can, take this quiz to remind yourself what 100 calories looks like. You're gonna need it. :) This info will stick in your brain eventually, even if you're only halfway paying attention to it. So keep reminding yourself of what it takes, what you love, what makes you happy, and what you like about what you are doing with your body. It all adds up. :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Seeing Skinny


I have a lovely surprise for today's Seeing Skinny. It's a Yoga Flip. A what?! A Yoga Flip, and the video lasts four seconds.

This counts as a Seeing Skinny for multiple reasons: 1) It's in a gym. 2) This HAD to have taken practice, and 3) Look what you can do if you set your mind to it! :)

Sure, it may be a stretch, but I love it.

See today's video HERE.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday Success Story

Hey all!
I apologize dreadfully for the lack of posting that has been going on with this blog, as of late. School has been a WHIRLWIND. Have you ever attended summer camp, and when it was over you thought, "Man, I wish I could have done that seven days a week, eighteen hours a day?" Well, I am here to tell you that YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOT WANT THAT.

However, I do have a Saturday Success Story here for you pulled straight from the website of Women's Health Magazine! How do you keep your weight loss going? You surround yourself with information. Get acquainted with this website and magazine, it is a grand one.

Read on to discover Bethany Whirty's way of making her lifestyle work for her. And if you, or anyone you know of qualifies as a Saturday Success Story, give a hoot and send their info my way. :) west.allyson@gmail.com

You Lose You Win: Bethany Whirty
"I can't believe I was once a size 22."

Before: 270 lb, After: 155 lb

Even as a kid, Bethany Whirty, 25, a project coordinator from Loveland, Colorado, was heavy. Though she was active and loved sports, her high-calorie, high-fat diet (she was big on brownies, cookies, and soda) still packed on pounds. "I guess I wasn't raised with healthy habits or portion control," she says.

The Gain

Her weight problem came to a head when she moved out on her own. She stopped exercising, and her eating habits worsened. Meals of Hamburger Helper, pizza, or half gallons of ice cream ("I wouldn't even use a bowl," she says) added up. By 23, her clothing size was nearly the same as her age.

The Change

Her mother, a wellness coach, suggested they diet together, and she agreed to humor her. But when she stepped on a scale for the first time in years and saw that at 5'9" she weighed 270, she was shocked into action.

The Lifestyle

She cut carbs and sweets, starting with soda. Twelve weeks in she was down 30 pounds and had the energy to join a softball team. Six months later, in January 2008, Bethany celebrated her first 100 pounds lost with a gym membership. Then she started running and dropped 15 more pounds before she did her first 10-K that May.

The Reward

This June, Bethany crossed the finish line of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in San Diego a slim size 6. Next stop: the Boston Marathon. Bethany's TipsMake the reward as big as the goal. "After my marathon, I took myself on vacation to Palm Springs."Drink often. "The more hydrated you are, the less hungry you feel."

Her Advice: Recircuit your stress. "I curbed emotional eating with a new outlet: running."

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Friday Find

The FRRRRIIIIDDDDAAAYYY FFFIIINNNNDDD is this book. Skinny Bitch. Many years ago, as in two, I lost twenty pounds by paying attention to the no-nonsense attitude of these sassy ladies. Sassy? Did I just say sassy? I absolutely did. Maybe that's why I love them. This book takes a no-nonsense attitude toward weight loss and health, filling your mind with freaking logical thoughts about what you are putting into your body. Sometimes, the "tough" attitude is the one you need to hear in order to get information at face value.

So, love it. I do.

“What makes this diet easy to swallow is the book's tough-love attitude — part best-friend counsel, part drill-sergeant abuse and a dash of sailor mouth, wrapped in a pretty chick-lit package.”— iVillage, Diet & Fitness

"Don't hate them—be them. The authors of Skinny Bitch offer women a no-holds-barred approach to being thin and fabulous." — Metro

“As the authors rightly point out, thanks to slick marketing and food-industry lobbying, we’ve reached such a collective level of ignorance about health and nutrition that a diet telling us to eat lots of meat and no fruit becomes wildly successful. ‘You are a total moron if you think the Atkins Diet will make you thin’ they tell us. Harsh? Yes. But it’s also true. …there’s more solid advice in Skinny Bitch than in most diet and health books.”— Bitch, Anniversary Issue

“Skinny Bitch combines a ‘take no prisoners’ attitude with cogent analysis and scientific proof to make an engaging, wickedly irreverent, and iron-clad case for eating healthfully. If I had it in my power, I’d provide a free copy to every young woman in the developed world; we could then become, instead of the fattest next generation in history, the healthiest.”— Ingrid Newkirk, President, PETA

"Skinny Bitch dishes up scientifically sound information that will change your health and your life. Its 'in-your-face' approach is at once engaging and humorous, and belies its serious and well-researched underbelly. It’s the spark that will start your personal revolution. Pick it up. Read every last word. Healthy and skinny you will be."— Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D., Senior Nutrition Scientist, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Blips and Quips: UGGGHHHH

Dear Blogoworld,

School is beginning, and I am stressed already. Therefore, I'm issuing my month challenge: attend all scheduled workouts (Curves, T, H and Sat/Ballet M, W/Gym, F) and track my intake of 1200 calories a day.

Additionally, this blog will be updated on a much less constant basis.

As soon as I get my head on straight, I'll be back in the saddle again. :)

Stay Focused!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Thirty Minute Mondays

Got thirty minutes today? Let's freaking clean something. It's time to make something look instantly fantastic. You know, like fad diets say your body will. Let's translate that into your refrigerator. Your purse. Your closet. Your shoe closet.

Just do it. It needs to be done sometime, and it's a great way to make you feel a little bit better.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Seeing Skinny

When I was a little girl, I watched musicals NONSTOP. I love them. There are many reasons why, but I always especially loved the dancing and the prowess of the performers. Incredible. Absolutely incredible. So, watching the Tony's this year, I was more than impressed at Broadway's current "West Side Story," and want nothing more to be in New York so that I can see this amazing show.
Today's Seeing Skinny is the 2009 Tony's mambo in the gymnasium from "West Side Story."
See the video HERE.
And see if you don't want that purple dress as much as I do. I've wanted it ever since I was a six.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saturday Success Story

Today's Saturday Success Story is a cute life-change from Women's Health Magazine. Be inspired!

You Lose You Win: Vernette Vergara
"Shedding pounds turned my life around."
The Gain
Vernette was a big eater as a kid. In college, she ate out often, polishing off huge portions. "I was eating two or three times the amount a person should," she says. In 2004 she hit 210 pounds and hovered there for three years. She also was plagued by high cholesterol and chest pains.
The Change
At the end of 2007, Vernette was hit with a double whammy: She and her husband divorced, and she was laid off from her job as a mortgage processor. Though devastated, she says she saw it as an opportunity: "I was tired of feeling sorry for myself. I wanted to change. And I could change every time I ate."
The Lifestyle
Vernette started by cutting portions in half. "I can still eat what I want and not feel deprived," she says. She cooked instead of going out, traded fried foods for steamed vegetables, and satisfied her sweet tooth with bits of dark chocolate and dried fruit instead of nutritional zeros like pastries. In a few months, she was down to about 175 pounds and started going to a gym. As a kid, Vernette couldn't finish a lap around the track; now she plugged away on the treadmill, building speed and endurance. A few weeks later, she added weights to her workouts, and by the end of the summer of 2008, she was doing yoga and Pilates, too. That fall, she got to 140 pounds—less than she weighed in middle school.
The Reward
Vernette didn't lose just weight; she lost baggage too. Her health problems disappeared, she landed a great job at an investment firm, and she started dating a competitive cyclist. "Surrounding myself with people who feed my energy is how I stay happy and healthy."
Vernette's Tips
Make produce a priority. "Have fruits and veggies with every meal, and eat them first." Adopt a mantra. "Mine was 'I'm stronger than ever.'"
Choose smart subs. "I liked milk but worried about the fat, so I switched to skim."


Vernette Vergara, 30, San Antonio, TX
Occupation: Office Administrator
Height: 5'5"
Time required to reach goal: 1 year, 5 months
Lesson learned: Take your time. "For long-term results, you need to make long-term changes."
Secret weapon: A doggie bag. "I ask for a to-go box with every meal, and before my first bite, I wrap up half so I'm not tempted to overeat."
Weight Before: 210
Weight After: 140

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Friday Find

Look at this girl. Look at her. Did she accidentally walk into a J. Crew wedding gown? She just might have! I love her. She is subtle, athletic, smart, beautiful, and healthy. She likes wearing sweaters and shorts and going hiking with her boyfriend who loves her. I want to wear sweaters and shorts and go hiking! She turns on the charm when she needs to, and her quiet beauty is probably unappreciated in the daytime. Does that matter? No. It absolutely does not. Because she looks happy, sane, balanced. I love that about this girl, these photographs. She alludes to a quiet confidence that I wish to have at all moments of the day, sometimes. She's got it going on.

For an amusing and TRUE ode/love letter to Female J. Crew models, follow this link.

Hey Everyone! It's Friday! Have a good one! Maybe you haven't used your "Day of Rest" up this week (I plan one a week--the day varies), and have a GREAT one to look forward to. Love it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday Things Thin Girls Know

Today's Thursday Thin Girl is a beautiful and sweet Julie Kavanagh, currently studying for her BFA in Musical Theatre from the Cincinnati-Conservatory of Music! Julie is an INCREDIBLY SKILLED performer. She works hard, puts in loads of rehearsal hours, and has such a lovely disposition. This is the kind of girl a person wants to go watch chick flicks with and talk about life. Julie is the kind of girl who makes everything about YOU, okay. :)
BE ACTIVE! It is very easy to slump around the couch all day watching "Law & Order"marathons. It is then much easier to grab a bag of chips to snack on and ice cream, when "Sex in the City" comes on later that night. Instead, find a physical activity that you enjoy doing! If you don't like running on the treadmill, on those beautiful spring and summer days, run outside or take a walk. Find yourself a fitness or dance class at the local gym. Exercise is great for you! And when you find something you love to do, it is lots of fun! :)

I can't say that I have never been unhappy about the way I look. It never helps to open the latest fashion magazine and gawk at all the perfectly toned, airbrushed models that fill the pages. It also doesn't help to be approaching that wonderful time of the month when you feel like a balloon the size of Texas. The trick is that one must remember that our bodies are unique and beautiful, and no one is going to have the same one. I have tons of freckles, and ONE gigantic dimple. Yes, just one. When I go out in the sun I become a tomato-- NOT a bronzed goddess. But I love these little things about myself because they make me, me, and not the girl next to me.

I must admit that I absolutely love sweets. They are my vice. Put cookies, chocolate, ice cream, or cake in front of me and I am a happy camper, but the camper who can get into trouble quite easily. Don't drive yourself crazy by not eating your favorite foods! Reward yourself every once in a while! You can eat your favorite treat AND still lose weight AND be healthy! Just remember sizes and portions! Instead of eating that entire piece of cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory, split it with your girlfriends! You could also save half of your dinner and eat it for lunch the next day. Not only are you watching what you eat, but you are now saving money too!

Thanks Julie!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Work It, Wednesday!

Here's the deal: I'm in a bad mood today. So I rearranged my already planned Work It, Wednesday! and have brought you something easy to do, and easy for me to talk about: Jumping. Guess what, everyone? I jump. A lot. When do I do it? During commercial breaks. Is this hilarious and weird? Yes, yes it is. But every little bit of exercise counts. And once you have jumped for three to five minutes straight, for six to eight commercial breaks, that is a lot of exercise added up. Do I use a jump rope? I used to, but not anymore. I'm afraid I'll break something. So JUMP. JUMP JUMP JUMP. It's great cardio, it's easy to do, and you can even do other things while you're moving your freaking bones. P.S. Your legs will look great.

Guess what else? Wikipedia has classifications of different jumps. This cheers me up somewhat. Here they are:

Jump - jumping from and landing on two feet
Hop - jumping from one foot and landing on the same foot
Leap - jumping from one foot and landing on the other foot
Assemble - jumping from one foot and landing on two feet
Sissonne - jumping from two feet and landing on one foot

Leaping gaits, which are distinct from running gaits, include cantering, galloping, and pronging.

Just jump. Jump for joy, jump for fear, jump because you're in a crappy mood and it will actually make you feel better. That's what I'm doing later. I'll start laughing, I'll keep jumping, and I'll start to feel better. I like that.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Truth Tuesday

Today finishes the three-part series (Part One, Part Two) on The Calorie, finishing with a big discussion about nutrient-dense food vs. energy-dense food, and a testimonial by the author of this article herself, Cheryl Redmond. Why did I take the time to put this article into a three part series for this blog? Because it's important. So, read it, read it again, and internalize this information. Knowledge is power, and power makes you healthy. End of story.

P.S. Welcome back from Labor Day. I'm updating my facebook account with great weekend photos. :) How was yours?

Analyzing the diets of more than 7,500 people, Rolls and her colleagues found that those who favored a low-energy-density diet tended to eat more fruits and vegetables, fewer fatty foods, and drink water rather than soda. They also got higher amounts of important nutrients -- including iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, B6, and folate -- than people whose diets consisted mainly of high-energydensity foods. And even though the low-energy-density participants consumed a greater volume of food, their calorie intake was lower -- a winwin situation overall.
Some foods like nuts are both energy and nutrient dense. One ounce of almonds, for example, has about 160 calories, but it also provides healthy amounts of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You don't want to eliminate these foods. Instead, eat reasonable portions, and you'll gain the nutritional benefits but not the pounds.

Does it matter when I eat?
"There's no metabolic reason that calories consumed at night are different from calories consumed at other times of day," says Neville. The difference, she says, is that you don't have as much time to burn extra calories in the evening. Clark agrees. "Your body does not break down and use calories differently depending on the time of day they're consumed." Indeed, most people get all the calories they need for the day by the time dinner ends, she notes. But if you eat an unusually large dinner or snack late at night, you now possess excess calories. "If you wind down for the evening by sitting and watching television, you're not going to burn them," notes Clark. Bottom line: Regardless of when you eat, too many calories results in weight gain.

How I Counted Calories and Lost 13 Pounds
In the 25 years since I left college, my weight has slowly but steadily gone up. Because I'm tall and never strayed from the "healthy" range (and because I love to eat), I managed to ignore this trend until it became impossible to wear my jeans and breathe at the same time. I was seriously considering forking over almost $200 for a pair of jeans guaranteed to make me look thinner when I had a reality check: Why not lose some weight?

Not a fan of diet plans, I decided to count calories. I registered at a free online calorie counting Web site, set a modest weight-loss goal (12 pounds in 12 weeks), determined my daily calorie intake (1,800), and got started. Since I work on a computer, tracking my meals online turned out to be convenient. I rarely dine out, so I knew exactly what I had eaten and how much. Counting was sometimes tedious, but I treated the process like a challenge, not a chore. (Check out a typical day of my diet, below.)

Was I tempted to cheat?
Sure. But I didn't. What would be the point? I might have fooled the program, but I couldn't trick the scale. Setting realistic goals helped. Knowing I was supposed to lose only a pound a week -- and hitting my goal -- kept me motivated. And it worked. At the end of 12 weeks, I lost not 12 but 13 pounds. More important, the clothes that had been relegated to the back of my closet once again fit comfortably.

I've since stopped counting calories and have maintained my weight. A couple of lessons in particular have helped. I no longer mindlessly snack; there are calories in those foods, I now realize. The world won't end if I'm a little hungry (in fact, hunger pangs often pass). I can still enjoy sweets -- if I use some common sense. Instead of downing a half-dozen chocolate chip cookies (and "treating" myself to 800 calories), I eat just one cookie for dessert -- very slowly, so I can enjoy every bite.

Total calories in a day: 1,782

Breakfast 312 calories
Oatmeal with milk and maple syrup: 210 calories
Cranberry juice: 102 calories
Green tea: 0 calories
Water: 0 calories
Lunch 739 calories
French lentil salad with lemon vinaigrette, goat cheese, and toasted walnuts: 649 calories
Dark chocolate: 90 calories
Plain selzer: 0 calories
Dinner 731 calories
Tilapia with bread crumbs: 298 calories
Mashed sweet potato: 135 calories
Broccoli with butter: 105 calories
Gingerbread: 152 calories
Plain seltzer: 0 calories
Cappuccino: 41 calories

Friday, September 4, 2009

Blips and Quips: Suddenly! Prioritize!

This is a conversation that happened Friday, at about 7:00 pmish.

Me: Yep, three day weekend...I don't even have work this Monday.
Jordan: Ha ha, you guys we could totally go to Chicago to see Oprah.
Me: Let's do it.

So....usually, when I leave on vacation, I make a point of taking care of this blog ahead of time. This was unexpected. I'll see your aces back here on Tuesday, with loads of great Smelly Girl stories about being happy as a healthy, gettin' thin, human being. I've got sixty bucks, two great friends, and a bunch of bananas along for the ride.

The Friday Find

Luckily, I've already registered for ballet this quarter.

Image from Charisma Dance Studio in Utah.

Blips and Quips: Fun Experiences, Positive People (2 of 2)

Hello there Blogoworld! Remember this post with some great travel photos? That was part of a whirlwind trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I met this artist. He is a great person. Was I interested in buying art? Absolutely not. Did he still let me pester him with numerous questions about his pieces and why he painted the way that he does? Of course he did. :) He even gave me a free postcard that I use as a bookmark so that I can see it often.

This is a cool person, a positive person. They are excellent to put into your life. A very good friend once advised me to, "Just be who you are. The people that want to be a part of your life will show up." She was right. Matthew was a great person to have blip into my life, and I thank him for his patience, kindness, and excitingly calm personage.

This is a hilarious painting I adore, "Love, Riding on Music."

Here's a great picture Matthew sent me of some of his new works. Look at those happy, bright colors. That is what I like.

Also--I could not get over the fact that this guy was great enough to send me a picture of him in his boxers, which kind of look exactly like his paintings. Personality coherence? Absolutely.

Thanks, Matthew!

Blips and Quips: Fun Experiences, Positive People 1 of 2

Is that a burrito much larger than a fully grown human hand? Yes. Is this a health blog? Yes. How does this make sense? Well, dear Blogoworld, in the general scheme of a life, it makes perfect sense.

Remember this girl? That is the beautiful Mikayla Stanley of The Bomb.blogspot.com and also my betrothed friend for life (she gave me a ring *see photo below.) Anyway, Mikayla Stanley held a FEAST FESTIVUS in my pre-21st birthday honor as we watched a fantastic showing of Cincinnati Outdoor Shakespeare's "As You Like It." Was there so much food? There absolutely was. Did we stuff ourselves? No. Why? Because we absolutely did not need to.

Mikayla really honed me in on eating when I'm hungry, and not eating when....well, I'm not. As silly as it sounds, I learned how to not eat until I wanted to vomit from her. It's okay to eat what you want to eat--just realize that you probably don't need (or really, want) to eat too much of it. This entire summer, her positive, supportive attitude has really fueled my smelly girl fire, especially since I bounce my thousands of ideas for this blog off of her as we Curves it up.

So, Blogoworld, regardless of what you want to do--find yourself a Mikayla Stanley. She is that person who will tell you YES, YOU ARE CAPABLE. And you will absolutely love her for your entire life.


She arrives! I'm sure she got GREAT exercise in lugging those heavy bags around. :P

Mikayla's a vegetarian. That's a delicious Portobello Hamburger. "It's a mushroom!"

Also--if you're going to eat at The Cheesecake Factory, check out their rarely published Nutritional Guide.
Make smart choices!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thursday Things Thin Girls Know

Today's Thursday Thin Girl is a Miss Emily Matlack, formerly of Arizona! Emily is an inspiring actress-- globe trotting, being fab, updating facebook regularly with her adventures. I love it. Read on to see how she keeps her rockin' bod so "with it" in life.

It is important to find a support group who will be there for you while you are trying to reach your goals.

Also, it is easier to set many small goals along the way as opposed to one large goal that may seem very far off in the distance. And I am a huge fan of indulgence and rewarding yourself along the way! A pair of earrings you have been dying to get or a cute dress are great things to motivate you! We all have the power to change ourselves for the better, but more often than not we choose to ignore our own capacity for individual change.

So, even when you are feeling down, or feel your goals are far out of reach, never forget how amazing you are for being proactive and taking your health into your own hands.

I, like everyone else, have had certain times in my life where I don't love my body. I often wish I wasn't so boy shaped and that I had breasts and curves. In reality, it has been great asset when it comes to dancing and when I was a figure skater as a young girl.

I think it is vital to love your body and love yourself, and realize that when you feel good about your body, your whole attitude and demeanor can change for the better. As I have grown up, I have learned to accept my body for what it is and be proud of the assets I do have.

Drink lots of water and eat lots of small meals instead of a couple of big ones! I never leave the house without a water bottle, and I never let myself get dehydrated. Water helps flush out your system and can do great things for your skin and hair. When I eat lots of small meals during the day, I never am famished or feel like I have to gorge myself during a meal. Also our eyes can often be bigger than our stomachs, so eating in moderation is something I always remind myself to do.

Thanks, Emily for the great, matter-of-fact advice. You're an online BFF. Hey, Blogoworld! Don't forget to check out Emily's website.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Work It, Wednesday!

Oh. My. God. In the spirit of all things on my mind lately, I've decided to Work It, Wednesday! with this kick ass sport: Surfing.

Oh, Blogoworld--there are tons of ways for you to get involved with surfing! How about you take a vacation to a beach-side destination? Try a surfing camp! Go to a local pool and try with a boogie board. Not good enough for you? Okay, just move to Hawaii and do it after work. :)

It's very possible.

I cannot tell you how inspired I am by these women. Look at their bodies. Look at how much fun they are having! They love to play. They love to live. I know it.

Surf requires SUCH physical fitness. Bodily strength, balance, awareness--all good things.

Plus, you're getting a tan and being in the air and water. I love these. Also--you CAN get bit by a shark. But you'll get right back out there, because you love it. So be careful, but do it. Because it's worth it. I have been surfing. I was terrible. I was also a big baby and didn't like the way being flipped around in the waves felt. Do I still feel that way? Absolutely not. I want to go out there and DO IT AGAIN till I am quite happy with it.

Here is a GREAT interview by ESPN's Jon Coen on Stephanie Gilmore, Leading Female Surfer. Can we talk about the fact that pressure motivates her? That she is aware of a largely female populace working towards a goal, together? Her ability to ask for help? Her awareness to exposure? INCREDIBLE.

Womens surfing is an interesting thing. Surfing has been, and remains a male-dominated pursuit. But unlike other sports, where women are largely absent from their early history, females have always been a part of surfing.

Of course, women have always been part of the "scenery" of surfing - the healthy, somewhat sexy, youthful ideal. But there have always been women looking to be more than just a beach prop, and no one can argue their place in our history.

There are women who surf, and will continue to surf where, when, and how they want, despite what we collectively consider their "role." But this role is forever in a state of flux. How do you market women's surfing so that the most driven can make a career without waiting tables on the side? How do you portray a female without a little sex appeal? How much does sex undermine her actual abilities? Does the competitive hunger counter the essence of femininity?

Recently, I was lucky enough to sit down with 21-year-old Stephanie Gilmore on her recent trip to NYC and discuss some of these issues over a pleasant lunch in the West Village.

With a pair of World Titles under her belt, Steph currently leads the Womens ASP Tour again ('07 being her rookie season.) You'd be surprised how many surfers don't know that.

So, Steph, I am hearing all this talk that the Womens' Tour is struggling. You're 21 with two titles under your belt and a great public image. You really have the chance to be the face of women's surfing and take it in a forward direction. Do you see this as a big responsibility on your back?

Yeah. I think about it a lot. There's so much talk about how stagnant the tour is. Everyone of us can picture how far the sport can go, like women's tennis or golf. But right now, we're struggling to find what it's going to take to get us there.

It's been fun talking to different people about it. For the new generation and myself, it's a good position to be in, but I need help.

We're always sort of brainstorming new formats and different ways to involve the general public. The ocean is always going to be a factor. You can't control it. We know we could get a TV audience, it's just so hard for media at an ASP contest. You have a 10-day waiting period and the event may - or may not - run. It's expensive to send a crew for 10 days.

Since '03, competition has stagnated a little. And that has something to do with the economy going to sh*t. We've lost events and the prize money has actually decreased.

But I think overall, that pressure is going to keep me interested.

Well, how do you promote women surfing and femininity, without selling them as sex objects?

With the lifestyle images, you have these beautiful and sexy women, they're at the beach, hanging out, going surfing. That's not stagnant. So, how do you combine the two? I think you show more of the lifestyle with maybe reality TV. We travel the world and surf. That's interesting. It's an adventure and people would love to get a taste of that.

So, what goals have you set to achieve this?

Well, I'm lucky because I have room to move. I can travel to cities and different places to see what's out there and how we can fit surfing into that, while pushing it to the feminine side.

Is that what the ASP was going for with the recent
The Life Campaign?

Yeah. That was a long overdue press release. It portrayed the women as they are, natural and beautiful. It appeals to most of the market. The lifestyle shows that we're fun and we're friends, not just to be competitors. Being portrayed as a competitor is not very feminine. But on the other hand, I'm a competitive freak (laughs.) It's softer, but people still want world champions. It's tough. People still want stories of world championships and battles.

I would imagine that it's hard to promote women on waves. The women's mags haven't done really well and the other outlets have male demographics. I would think it's a shot to their ego to see a woman in a serious wave. They realize that they wouldn't take off on that wave and just turn the page.

That has crossed my mind. As far as women on big waves, is that really what people want to watch? Yeah, the guys find it intimidating. Places like Teahu'poo? That's a whole other realm. It's so far-fetched that a lot of them can't relate to it. And, I'm not the biggest trick surfer. I'm more about style and flow. I keep my fins in the water. Silvia (Lima) and Carissa Moore are amazing with what they are doing — aerials and fin busts. But I'm not sure how people react to it, or if women should have to care.

And you have to consider that when a teenage guy looks at a shot of Mick Fanning, he may want to buy that boardshort to look like Mick or surf like Mick. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way with girls. We're not as exposed to athletes as much as we are to someone like Kate Moss. Young girls want to look like models, so they go out and buy what they are wearing instead of supporting the companies that support surfers.