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.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Soapbox Sunday: Through Great Distress We Find Great Progress

This was a rough week for me.

And by "rough," I mean, well....I actively committed to eating Tostito Chips for breakfast Friday morning.

Talk about a stomach ache and a half.

But here's the thing about having rough eating weeks: I can see my habits have changed. Previously, rough weeks consisted of binges of fruit, snow-piling every food within distance into my mouth, reaching for sweets sweets sweets, piling up on fruit until I was going to explode, and reaching all-time emotional lows.

But this week, I feel just a little bit off. I kept my calorie intake reasonable, I ate small portions of almost everything (sans tostitos and some cake), and I even balanced out my sweet binges the rest of the day. If I had a cookie, I made sure my other caloric intakes were veggies.

So, going forward, I'm returning to balance. You guys remember that thing called a "food pyramid?" We saw them in second grade science when we also used m&ms to learn about probability (by far my favorite experiment?) Well, I've been taking another glance at that food pyramid. It's kind of helpful. Lord knows it saved my ass this week. I could be a bloated, unhappy, depressed and lonely spinster. Nay, I surge forward, alive, hearty, healthy, and happy.

I'm even gonna look at the scale again this week. YIKES!
P.S. My exercise was balla last week. That helps, I'm CERTAIN.

Accomplishments:
1) Not eating late.
2) Realizing I don't need to eat late.
3) Talking myself out of sweet cravings when they were unneccessary.

Goals moving forward:

1) Get on a scale. Tuesday morning.
2) Pay attention to how often I eat sweets, and act accordingly to space them out.
3) If I'm going to be baking, to not eat half of what I make, effectively, as I make it.
4) Balance out my foods with a food pyramid psyche.

Let's go!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday Success Story: Anita with No Last Name


I was never really overweight as a child, but I was always bigger and taller than the other girls. My weight crept up during junior high and high school, and by sophomore year I was about 20 pounds overweight. I've lost and gained that 20 pounds many times since then.

My biggest source of weight gain happened when my husband and I decided we wanted to have a baby. I wasn't even sure if I could get pregnant at my age. I was already 25 pounds overweight because an injury from a past marathon kept me from exercising. I couldn't run anymore, so the weight began to pile on. The pregnancy was an IVF, and I had to take a hormone shot every day, which caused added weight gain. I gained a total of 75 pounds during my pregnancy, and by the time my son was born I was at 240 pounds. I had never been so heavy in my life, and I knew I did not want to keep any of the baby weight. I was determined to get back into my PRE-pre-pregnancy clothes.

I decided to pick up Jillian's DVDs and books along with running on my treadmill. I figured Jillian was in the shape she was in because she follows the same eating and exercise program she delivers to her fans. It clearly worked for her, so why not for me? It's definitely healthy eating and the workouts are intense, but they're also fun and energizing. Jillian has been a long-distance mentor and inspiration to me. I followed another diet for a couple months, then started the Making the Cut food and exercise plan, and then I joined the JillianMichaels.com New Year Challenge and used the daily exercises on the site combined with the DVD and cardio workouts.

I had a food journal and wrote down my food every day, which helped me be honest about everything I was putting in my mouth. Did I ever cheat on my food plan? Yes I did, but I wrote it down. I'm not perfect, but if I slip up, I just hop back on the next meal.

Today, at 48 years old, I weigh 138 pounds. Losing the weight and getting into shape allowed me to become a personal trainer and help others achieve their goals just as I have achieved mine. I have more energy and stamina to keep up with my one-year-old son. I have more self-esteem — not only because I look good on the outside, but also because I accomplished really big goals and have been an inspiration to others because of my success story. If I never tuned into The Biggest Loser, I doubt I ever would have achieved what I have so far. Seeing Jillian's commitment to her team members convinced me that she is not only America's toughest trainer, but she is a woman with dignity, grace, and a warm and caring heart. Because of her, I am dedicated to my clients and commit myself to help them achieve their fitness and weight-loss goals.

Best compliment: I've been thin before many times in my life, but I've never been sculpted. I have women telling me all the time they want to have muscles like mine and that if I can do it at my age, there is hope for them too!

Activities now: Running! I was running marathons before I got pregnant. I suffered an injury and my body has never fully recovered from some spine issues, but with determination and persistence I have been able to resume running once again.

Advice for others: Never, never give up on yourself and never settle for less than the very best you can be. Why? Because you are worth it. Being fit and healthy is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and your loved ones. Also, stop comparing yourself to the women on the covers of fashion magazines. Just do the best with the body God gave you and be proud of who you are.

Yes, I like the way I look. Yes, I like that I can fit into my cute clothes again — but I love that I made a commitment to myself to get into shape and stay there for life. No more yo-yo dieting. I am committed to a healthy lifestyle and that's what I love!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Friday Find: Anne Bogart


Dearest Blogoworld, 

I do not think most of you live in the artistic realm of theatre the way I do currently. So...basically, I got the chance to meet and masterclass with the CREATOR of post-modern Theatre: Anne f*&%ing Bogart. 

You have no idea how excited I was. I could not even speak. I laughed and enjoyed the moment, and four hours flew by as if Anne's mere whisper asked them to.

Anne Bogart is my Friday find.

Please read her musings, her blog, HERE.

And then scream like the young adult/girl you are from meeting your college-career hero. 

Now. Here's a good question that I would be honored to have you answer. This woman inspires me. Who inspires you? 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday Things Thin Girls Know: Kate Mulhauser

Dear Blogoworld. 
I'm not gonna lie. This is, by far, the most inspiring and knowledgeable Thin Girl I have yet to feature. Meet Kate Mulhauser. She's a kick-ass technical design student at the one and only, College-Conservatory of Music. And she's worth her weight in gold (and then some.) Blogoworld, love her like I do. Fall in love with her genuinely happy photos and her hilariously real adventures. Hook on to her spirit, her laughter, her desire to follow interests that spark her heart. She inspires me. She will inspire you (and evenually, you'll see a photo of her eating a Hagrid Cookie, which was the best photo I've seen all day.) :)


Allyson's timing to get me to write this couldn't have been more perfect; I am writing this as I watch the Winter Olympics. There is nothing more inspiring than being amazed at what these people are capable of when they put their minds and bodies to it! My favorite sport to watch has to be short track speed skating. While watching the Olympics back in 2002, I turned to Mom and asked, "Can I do that?" A year later, I started skating, which is my general motivation to stay in shape. It requires physical strength and endurance, not to mention that you're wearing a full-body, skin-tight suit.


I have never been overweight (Mom is very health-conscious, but more on that later), but I did have some pudge. I think that it was through speed skating that I became accepting of my body. There's something about being with other skaters, also in skin suits, and realizing that nobody really cares how you look, and that it's all in how fast you're able to skate. That said, the faster skaters tend to be slimmer because of how fit they are, which is what made me think, "I don't need to lose weight. My size is fine. I just need to get better muscle tone, and then I'll be less flabby."

Now, I generally hate exercising. How was I supposed to get better muscle tone if I don't exercise? Other than skating, the only exercise I get is through walking everywhere. Walking is amazing. There's a reason why you don't find many overweight New Yorkers. It works your leg muscles, especially your calves if you're walking really fast. Stairs are also great. My high school was 10 stories high, and there's a reason why the sports teams did sprints up the stairs for practice.


But back to my question: how to get better muscle tone if I don't like to exercise? The first step is to eat right to avoid putting on extra fat. Muscles eat fat for energy, but they can only consume so much. As I mentioned earlier, Mom is a health nut. Growing up, she made sure that I took my vitamins, and more importantly, taught me how to eat right. Vitamins are great, but they're even better when found naturally in foods, rather than laboratory copies of the real thing. Try to have at least one serving of vegetables at lunch and dinner. Fruit is also great. Lately I've been eating some blueberries at breakfast, along with my bowl of honey nut cheerios (Or some other cereal that is healthy, but slightly sweet. I also enjoy corn chex. Sugary cereals have always been a treat for when I'm at a hotel's buffet bar or at a friend's house. They taste good, but aren't that filling or nutritious.) Juice has its purpose, but you really only need a small glass a day, or else you sugar overdose. Mom also taught me about portion control: eat until you're full; you can always save leftovers for lunch, or even dinner, tomorrow.


The second step to my question? Actually exercise. This is the part I struggle with. Why? Because it's hard to motivate myself to do something physical when I'm on my feet and lifting props furniture all week long. Most of the time, I just want to collapse on the couch (it's far to comfortable for my own good!) and play Mario Kart. And for as much as I talked about skating, there is no speed skating club here in Cincinnati, so the only ice time I get is a grand total of 4 hours over winter break when I go home. As for exercise in Cincinnati, I live at the bottom of a 2-block-long steep hill that I walk up and down at least 3 times a week, but that's not enough to actually keep me in shape. The past couple years, I've been getting gradually more anxious, fidgety, ADD, and slightly depressed due to feeling trapped. Last quarter, I realized what has been missing in my life that I have always had before: a gym class; ie regular exercise. To fix that, I started taking kickboxing classes once a week at the rec center. There's something about setting a time at certain points of the week to set aside to force me to exercise that works. I'm already feeling more relaxed and am getting back to the toned self I was senior year of high school when I had kickboxing gym class 5 days a week, and it feels great!


So, after all those stories and tips, I'll sum everything up:

What advice would I give to anyone losing weight? What is the one habit I swear by?
1) Eat right: eat nutritional and filling food, but don't overeat. For that matter, don't under-eat either. Eat what your body needs. For example, I wasn't intaking enough calories senior year to keep up with the energy spent in kickboxing, and instead spent the nights frustrated that I was getting dizzy while skating around the rink.

2) Get exercise: set a time (or times) during the week when, no matter how tired you feel, how much work you have to get done (and we all know how many hours are required of us in CCM theatre), you can work out. Do a physical activity that's enjoyable. Don't like running? Find some other aerobic activity. It'll strength your heart, increasing your endurance and general health. I personally enjoy kickboxing classes because it's aerobic, but it also works my muscles.

My next fitness goal is to be able to stay in shape so that next winter, I can make the most of my 4 hours of ice time. I want to be able to keep up with a pack - I'm tired of being better than the beginners, but not good enough to keep up with the advanced skaters. If you want to know what a pack is, watch the short track Olympic races! Maybe you'll get inspired too!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Watson Wednesday: Bras and Bodies


I may not know much about how to dress myself, but I do know a good deal about bras. Great, good for me, big pat on the back, if all else fails I can always look good strutting my business in a cutie bra and panty set. But since I don't see incarceration in my future, I actually don't think I'll do that anytime soon. I've been working at Victoria's Secret for almost a year and in that time have learned myself a thing or two about what a bra looks like when it actually fits. Did you know that over 70% of women aren't wearing the right bra size? Now the company gives us that number and I don't know how they've managed to calculate it, but I can tell you from my own experience that it's a surprisingly common problem. How can you ever expect to fit into your clothes, nay, feel sassy and sexy in your clothes if the foundation of the outfit is popping your hoo-ha's all over the place? I have to be polite at work, but the same rules don't apply here, GO GET A BRA FITTING!!!! Even if you "know" you're in the right size, a pound lost or gained can make a huge difference, you may get a little surprise.

So my wardrobing tip of the week:
Go to a VS store, head on back to the fitting room, ask to be fitted, and ask to see the Bra Wardrobing Box in your size. This is an easy and efficient way to go through the bras in the store, try on a bunch of styles, and see what you like! Be sure to ask for help, even if you don't think you need it, make sure they're fitting correctly. You will be glad you did.

On to appetite. As you may recall I made a dainty little promise to criss cross pizza, candy, and baked goods off my grocery list. Well... in the course of three weeks I have successfully, utterly, and completely failed at this goal. Not sort of, I didn't slip up "once in awhile", nope, it was pretty much every day. Not only am I a repeat offender, I am a deliberate repeat offender. But it hasn't been a complete fiasco! Nay, nay, nay. I've discovered that I have a truly remarkable talent for rhetoric and justification which I successfully developed in the many hours I spent deliberating over food. I should be a lawyer. For example: Apparently donuts don't count as baked goods. Who knew? Next on the list, this is a good one, Godiva truffles don't count as candy and California Pizza Kitchen pizza doesn't count as (you guessed it!) pizza.

Driving home from Denver tonight, I had a good long thinky think about this little dilemma. For the the life of me I can't figure it out. Candy, sweets, and baked goods are absolutely delicious in moderation, but after truffle number six they just don't taste good and they make you sick too. So why do I continue on to number seven, eight, nine? I don't want to cut out candy, baked goods, and pizza, what I really want from this little challenge is an appreciation for moderation. What I really want is to appreciate one truffle without feeling like I need to fill some gaping hole with five more. One truffle is so much better than a box full. Clearly, I am still working on this goal. The cold turkey endeavor failed, but I haven't given up. I'm on a search for appreciation and I'm not stopping until I find it!

Your Wicked Workout Partner,

L. Watson


P.S. from Allyson--I made that cookie in the photo. Isn't if funnier because it's got a few pounds to lose? Isn't it funnier because it's in a tiny bathing suit? Yes. Yes, it is.

On a second note--Miss Watson and I had a little chatty-chat about this here dilemma she be facing, yo. I have also been suffering from "Poor Delicious Things Moderation." In other words, I'm great on my diet, but as soon as I'm hungry enough to decide to eat a little chocolate or half a cookie, that baby is GONE and I'm totally off into an orbit of incredibly poor, calorie-laden eating choices. UGH.


My diet has been focusing on proportions lately. That is where the "Moderation" bit comes in. I could see where, if you HAVE to eat Oreo cookies, it would be easy to have two after dinner today, knowing that you're going to get two more tomorrow. No need to stockpile them all into your stomach today.


But there is a word of caution to this tale--if you're gonna have a treat, make sure you do it on a stomach that is full of healthy food already. Pigging out on treats is a surefire combination of undereating and cravings--you aren't getting enough nutrition already, and your body's senses go crazy when they hit the sweet stuff. Be smart about your sweets.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Truth Tuesday: Sneaky Sugars Masquerading as Carbs


Americans consume an average of 82 grams of added sugar a day. That's more than you'd find in six Breyers Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches. But truth is, a good part of the excess sweet stuff isn't coming from ice cream or cookies or even soft drinks--it's coming from the sources we'd least expect. Open your pantry and start scanning ingredient lists. We're willing to bet that nearly every food you buy contains at least one of these blood sugar- spiking elements: modified food starch, maltodex-trin, cane sugar, crystallized cane juice, evaporated cane juice, honey, tapioca syrup, brown sugar, brown rice syrup, barley, or anything with "ose" at the end of it.

Food manufactures have an arsenal of empty carbohydrates at their disposal, and they're not shy about using them to make everything we eat taste like candy.

Cereal
Just because your favorite cereal doesn't have a cartoon character on the box doesn't mean it isn't still loaded with sugar. Not even heart-smart logos and bloated health claims can salvage the contents of boxes like Post Raisin Bran, General Mills Basic 4, or Multi-Bran Chex, all of which have more sugar than the same-size bowl of Froot Loops. Stick to cereals with high fiber to sugar ratios ensure a wholesome start to your morning.

Eat This!

Post Shredded Wheat Original
(1 cup)
170 calories
1 g fat
0 g sugars
6 g fiber

There's one ingredient in this box: whole wheat. Either eat it as is or add cinnamon and ground flaxseed--together they will give your blood sugar the smoothest ride possible.

Not That!

Kellogg's Smart Start Original Antioxidants
(1 cup)
190 calories
0.5 g fat
14 g sugars
3 g fiber

The numbers don't lie; this box has more blood sugar-spiking impact than Apple Jacks and about the same as Frosted Flakes. That's because sugar in its various forms shows up no fewer than 10 times on the ingredient list.

Yogurt
Here's an interesting fact: Milk is the only animal product to be naturally sweetened. That's probably why most people don't think it's odd to lift a creamy spoonful of yogurt to their lips and get a dessert-like blast of flavor in return. But the truth is that nature's treats are more subtle. In fact, if you haven't been skimming ingredient lists, you might never have tasted real, unadulterated yogurt. The stuff you've been eating is a candified version of the real thing, and it's probably jacking your blood sugar ever higher with each cup you eat.

Eat This!

Stonyfield Farm Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt, Plain
(1 container, 5.3 oz)
80 calories
0 g fat
6 g sugars
15 g protein

At the very least, you should convert to plain yogurt and sweeten it at home with real fruit, but if you want to do one better, switch over to creamier Greek yogurt. It has three times as much slow-digesting protein as the regular version.

Not That!

Yoplait 99% Fat Free Cherry Orchard
(1 container, 4 oz)
170 calories
1.5 g fat (1 g saturated)
27 g sugars
4 g protein

The marketing brains at Yoplait are hoping that by painting 99% Fat Free on the label, they will divert your attention from the ingredient list, which exposes this yogurt for the dangerous snack that it is. By using more sugar, than fruit, they gave this cup as much sugar as three Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Momentary Monday: Exercise?


Ten Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise
(from
ZenHabits)
I found this article a few weeks ago, and was all into it. Motivation is so key to sticking to a work-out and healthy eating. That's how this website started! I realized I needed to be constantly inspired by the fitness world, and to not allow myself to be sucked away from it. It is working very well, thank you. :) See if one of these works for you.

1. How you feel after a workout. I always feel great after a good workout. It’s a high. And I let that motivate me the next time: “You know how good you’re going to feel, Leo!”

2. Time for you. While many people make time to take care of others (kids, spouse, other family, co-workers, boss), they don’t often make time to take care of themselves. Instead, make your “you” time a priority, and don’t miss that exercise appointment.

3. Calories burned. If you count calories (and it’s really one of the most effective ways to lose weight), you know that the more you exercise, the more calories you burn — and the bigger your calorie deficit.

4. Having fun. Exercise should be fun. If it isn’t, try a different kind of activity that you enjoy. As long as you’re moving, it’s good for you.

5. How you’re going to look. Imagine a slimmer, fitter you. Now let that visualization drive you.

6. Magazines. It motivates me to read fitness magazines. Not sure why, but it works.

7. Cover models. Sure, they’re genetically freaky, and probably Photoshopped to look perfect. But for some reason, looking at how good a cover model looks helps motivate me to work harder.
8. Blogs. I enjoy reading blogs about people who are into running, or losing weight. It can show the ups and downs they go through, and you can learn from their experiences.

9. Success stories. I find the success stories of others incredibly inspirational. If a fitness website has success stories, I’ll almost always read them.

10. Forums. Do the monthly challenge on the Zen Habits forums, or join another forum full of like-minded or like-goaled peopled. Check in daily. It really helps.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Soapbox Sunday: Gettin' in the Groove of Things




You cannot make any rational decisions in the comfort of your couch.

You just can't. It becomes nearly impossible to convince yourself to take your hand out of the Tostitos bag (even when they don't even belong to you), or to get up and work out to your Jillian Michaels Thirty-Day Shred video, or even just to exert the energy it would require to get my own butt in bed.

I just can't do that from my couch.

Thank God I know it now.

My journey to a healthier, slimmer me has to do with making good decisions. I discover my "pitfalls," recognize them, and just stay away from them. It's the easiest way to not make a bad choice. It's the easiest way to continuously make good ones.

Speaking of couches--did anyone else used to want inflatable furniture when they were in their teens??

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Success Story: Amber with No Last Name

Hey guys--there's a disclaimer for this post. First of all, I confess--I work out to Jillian Michaels' Twenty-Minute Shred video lately, (as an additional supplement to my life.) Secondly, they're legit. It's like having a best friend that yells at you and is terrifyingly in shape do push-ups and crunches with you when you're in sixth grade and just getting into the basics of fitness. What I mean by that is that it uses the practical aspects of working out and gets the job done. They're freaking great. (More on this Sunday.)

Now, since I, OF COURSE, researched little Miss Jillian Michaels online, I found loads of success stories. And so here we go! While I don't dig the cheesy tone of the articles (boy--they sure are sell, sell, SELLING the franchise, aren't they?) I'm totally into these real-life people who HAVE improved their lives by re-learning a push-up and just teaching themselves that they are capable. It's the greatest, and oh so heart-warming. :)

Hey! Ps. My mom sent me a bag of Reeses today. I am the happiest! 1) I love Reeses. 2) I ate a few, then put the bag away to save. I'm totally starting to understand this body-needs-x-amount-of-energy thing. :P



Amber
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


Growing up, I always led a very active life. I played softball and basketball, ran track, and was a member of the cheer and pom squad. However, during college I lost a lot of weight (down to 107 pounds at 5'6") due to a bacterial ulcer that doctors didn't pinpoint for two years. After two weeks on a heavy antibiotic, I was good as new…or so I thought. After two years of near starvation, my body started to hold on to every morsel of food I put in my body. For the next ten years, I slowly gained pounds at a time, and I struggled to find myself. Not happy in my personal life, I dove headfirst into my career in politics, never realizing just how out of control my weight had become.

The final straw came in May 2007 at my sister's wedding. She had asked me to be a part of her big day, and I turned her down, because at 247 pounds I didn't want to stand up in front
of so many people. I was never so ashamed of myself for allowing my life to get so far out of my control. I made a vow to myself that day I would shed 100 pounds and take control of my life.

It took time for the transition: I needed my friends and family for accountability, and I threw out all my bad food and restocked my fridge with healthier food. On Monday, June 4, 2007, I officially began my journey. I developed better eating habits first, and in late July I started working out. Like almost everything else I do in life, I went full-steam ahead, not realizing that the years of being sedentary weren't going to allow me instantly to run for two miles. I got an overuse injury, but I was determined to not let it stop me from accomplishing the goals I had set for myself.

During this time, I found Jillian's site and the 10-Ton Challenge — it was exactly what I needed to motivate me. I saw how passionate and deeply caring Jillian was with her contestants on The Biggest Loser, but I also admired how she pushed them out of their comfort zone both mentally and physically at the same time. I started doing circuit training "beatings" religiously, leaving out the lower-body portions because of the injury but eventually working my way up to completing all five circuits, as well as two more days of spin class and two additional days of running. I purchased a heart-rate monitor to ensure my workouts are on point and a calorie-counting book to make sure my diet is on point. My goal, which Jillian helped me formulate, is to be able to maintain five hours of exercise a week for the rest of my life.

I am grateful for Jillian Michaels's passion to help others lead healthy, fulfilled lives. After winning the 10-Ton Challenge essay, I was amazed by the time I spent with Jillian in Los Angeles. In my one-on-one workout she helped me realize something about myself that I hadn't known up until that day — I'm strong and capable of much more than I ever thought possible. I'm still learning, growing, succeeding, and failing. And I'm okay with all of it. Before I couldn't and wouldn't tell people "No," but now I say it regularly without guilt. I love that I feel confident enough to wear cute little tank tops, I love that exercise makes me feel strong, and I love not being scared of what lies ahead.

The extra weight I carried around for a little more than a decade not only weighed me down physically, it also weighed down my personality. Now that the weight has been literally lifted off my shoulders, I feel like a completely different person. I'm the Amber I used to be — I've always laughed a lot and enjoyed making others laugh, but now it has a whole new meaning. I'm not laughing to cover up insecurities in my life; I'm laughing because of the pure joy I feel deep inside myself.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Friday Find: Student-Created New Works

Here's the truth about my life: I am the luckiest girl in the world. Sure, I talk about working on weight and body shape here on the site, but let's be real--life is about doing what you love! And I love love LOVE working on shows.
Recently, all the drama students in my program were thrown together into various groups and told to create thirty minute shows for a festival sponsored by the Drama Department. So we did. We struggled, created, worked, learned, and grew throughout a ten week process, and here we are, right at the end, opening up yesterday, and just working it out! Look at this show! This looks intense!
I'm so happy working on theatre. It's what I love. And I want to encourage you to find what you love, and work on it. I never have "eating problems" when I'm working on theatre. I never have to worry about my exercise or my health when I'm in the midst of a project. I'm happy enough that I take care of myself without thinking about it. This is how I love my life to be.
What do you love?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday Things Thin Girls Know: Heather Guernsey


As a thin girl, what advice would you give to anyone losing weight?
I’d say to someone trying to lose weight, that before they begin, they have to believe they can do it. I think that it’s important to be able to visualize the way you want to look in order for you to become that way. Take a few minutes each day to close your eyes and see yourself the way you want to look, and then tell yourself that it’s possible, and that you’re going to achieve it! Positive energy is the only way to accomplish something like this.

How do you feel about your body?
Honestly, we all complain about our bodies. And despite the fact that I will point out my “lovehandles” to my boyfriend sometimes, or feel frustrated when dancing in front of “The Fat Mirror” in one of CCM’s dance studios; I’m very happy with the way I look.
Fortunately I come from a family of sticks, and I'm happy with this body type. However, they don’t get all the credit for my body. I’ve been dancing (ballet mostly) for almost fifteen years now. I molded myself into having long and lean muscles from the way I’ve utilized them after all these years. Dancers have a very different way of working the body than any regular sport. Of course I have the things about my body that I’m not totally happy with: that mole on my stomach, and how about the fact that I have ‘tits and ass’!? It may be great for a Friday night, ladies, but it’s not what ballerinas generally desire. Luckily I can see my dance and performing career go in a variety of directions, and don’t get too hung up on any of the above mentioned things.


What is the one habit you swear by?
Eat a sweet! I’m SUCH a choco-holic! I love Ben…and Jerry. But I’ve found ways to cut back. I don’t believe that a person needs to "diet." And I don’t believe in dieting pills, or machines, or any other ridiculous method you might see on a TV infomercial! I’m a firm believer that the only TRUE way to get and maintain a thin, healthy body, is to eat healthily and exercise daily. Have three meals a day, and a small snack in between each meal. Don’t eat after 10pm or so. And although as a newly-21-year-old it’s tough for me to say: cut back on the drinking. Especially BEER! Your body doesn’t know what to do with alcohol; it has no purpose in the human body. And the calorie numbers are disgusting. So have your fun on the weekends, but keep it to a minimum. As for the sweets, I had a dance teacher tell me once, when I asked about losing a pound or two, that obviously it’s painful to think about letting go of all sugar. So don’t; simply have that slice of chocolate cake for breakfast! You will work it all off during the day. The worst thing you can do is eat the sugary junk food at night, when you’re done being active for the day and it can just sit inside of you. But alas, I still get cravings after dinner sometimes. So I recommend either a really good-quality chocolate bar from the Health Food store (break off a small piece or two and make it last over a week or so) or the Weight Watchers chocolate ice cream bars. They’re delicious, and actually taste like chocolate ice cream. I dunk mine in CoolWhip. Also, Ben and Jerry’s sells their flavor “Half-Baked” as a frozen yogurt in stores now- it has SO many less calories.


What inspires you?
I’m inspired by my friends. Especially my musical theatre friends. They make me see the joy in the performing arts when I get frustrated with myself sometimes. They’re so supportive, and they make me believe that I can do more than dance ballet. I can sing, for example, and love it. After the initial shock of two of my friends one night when I was screaming a song in our dorm (apparently I was “belting”) I decided that I missed singing and would pay for some voice lessons last summer. I love it. I think it’s important not to build walls regarding your career. I’ve always thought I wanted to be a ballerina bun-head, but I love modern dance, too. I’ve always been a huge musical theatre nerd. It would be fun to be in the Rockettes. Maybe dance overseas. It’s now that I’m beginning to see that my possibilities as a performer are not as limited as I thought, and I think my friends had a lot to do with making me realize that. I love you guys!

What else would you like to tell me?
Be active! It’s so important. I just don’t believe a person can lose any weight without moving! Get your groove on! Find a form of physical activity that is fun for you, and do it as much as you can. Make time for it in your busy schedule because the outcome will be so worth it. Take some dance classes, find a pilates or yoga studio, go for a jog, swim, play a sport at your local rec center- ANYTHING. But make sure you enjoy it.

Also, if you have a boyfriend/girlfriend who you love, make sure you take the time to enjoy them as much as you can. I’m lucky enough to have that, and whatever decision I make about wanting to eat healthier, etc, he’s always there to back me up. Having that kind of love and support from someone truly helps.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Watson's Workout Mix!! (with an emphasis on Arms)




Alright! Watson's Workout Mix!!! The winner's this week are- *DRUM ROLL*-

1) "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys
2) "Come Around" by M.I.A


There is absolutely nothing like Jay-Z to get you in the running-hard, lifting-heavy, and crunching-furiously state of mind. This is a favorite of mine when I'm walking to the gym, getting pumped for a good workout. "Come Around" offers a hip swaying sassy beat that makes it impossible to sit still. I just dare you to stay on the couch once you've got these tunes on your iPOD!

Now for arms, arms, arms. Here is the deal. In spite of all the sass in last week's posting, I have to confess, I am in the midst of a yoga OBSESSION right now. What has lead to this feisty and fabulous fixation? Well, after the shock of my first Bikram class subsided (a process which took several weeks), a friend was able to talk me into trying an 80's themed Yoga Sculpt class. Hello fun fabulous workout! Never have I worked harder, sweat more, or had more fun.

On this particular Wednesday-- I had spent all day at school, was in a fairly treacherous mood, and wanted nothing more than to curl up in my bed and watch Law and Order: SVU.

*Ding*

My phone notified me of a new text message. Glancing down at the screen I was disappointed to see an invite to an "80's themed yoga sculpt class." I thought, "Yeah, I don't think so," and plopped my phone back into my bag. I resolved to let my friend know I just wasn't feeling up to it and avoid the sweaty cult of contortionists in the process. But nay, nay, nay this is not what came to pass. My friend’s invitation had inadvertently dispatched a rowdy band of spandex clad, leg warmer wearing yoga nymphs to my imagination and try as I might I just couldn't shake them. As they danced tirelessly round my head, quietly nagging me to try 80's sculpt, I relented. Perhaps it was out of exhaustion, or perhaps it was a carnal desire to wear tight clothes and leg warmers, but regardless I dug my phone back out, punched in an affirmative message to my friend, and darted home to change.

The concept of 80's yoga sculpt is simple.

80's music + yoga + weights =
F***I HAVEN'T BEEN THIS SORE SINCE THE LAST TIME I FELL DOWN THE STAIRS.

And as funny as caps lock can be, this is a very serious statement. I am not kidding. Not one bit. The incorporation of weights into the yoga poses is a surefire way to tone those shoulders, biceps, and triceps and leave your arms nice and sore for a good long while. But wait! There's more! Not only did I tone my arms to within an inch of their ever loving little lives, I was able to watch men and women in neon leggings, glow bracelets, and leg warmers lift weights and shake their hips to some of the groovier love songs of the 80's. It doesn't get better than that.

There may not be an 80's sculpt class near you, but never fear, many studios will offer some variation on Yoga Sculpt. If they don't, try taking a more conventional yoga class. In the course of an hour poses like Downward Dog, Upward Dog, and Plank will work the arms and core in an extremely effective way. You’re balancing your own body weight and stretching those muscles at the same time! I heartily encourage you to look into classes! Trust this moper, you'll gain a toned figure and a much better outlook. How can you go wrong? So get in an "Empire State of Mind" and conquer those poses! You'll be on your way to stronger arms in no time!

Your Wicked Workout Partner,
L. Watson

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Blips and Quips: FAT TUESDAY!


All sass aside, are you celebrating? If you're hardcore into Lent, I would expect so.




Truth Tuesday: Pizza is my Favorite Food


Pizza is, by far and large, my absolute favorite food. Am I 21? Yes, I am. Do I apparently still have the tastes of an 8-year-old? I guess I do. :)

No worries, though, when one is smart with their pizza! I went on an internet hunt for pizza information (this delectable dish has obviously been on my mind for a few days.) And seeing how the bread-y crust is not on my diet, I won't be opting for the delight anytime soon. BUT. I want to be prepared.....just in case.....

And seeing how Cici's is one of the most common pizza chain, let's just learn a smidge about their food.


The Worst Cici’s Pizza
2 Slices Cheese Pizza (To-Go)
446 calories
15 g fat (11 g saturated fat)
1,075 mg sodium

Don't assume the barest slice is the best for you. Here, the cheese pie has nearly three times the amount of saturated fat as busier versions like the Ole, a spicy, beef-laden ode to Mexico.

Eat This Instead!
2 Slices Ole Pizza (To-Go)
339 calories
8 g fat (4 g saturated fat)
700 mg sodium

Monday, February 15, 2010

Momentary Moments: Visuals


What kind of learner are you? Visual, visceral, aural, kinesthetic?

Think about it. It's going to help you accomplish your goals.

My goal: Lose twenty pounds.

My way of reminding myself: I placed twenty sticky notes on my bathroom mirror, in four groupings of five. It's easier to get through a row of five sticky notes than it is to get through a hunk of twenty, and it's far easier to remind myself of my goal when I see it every freaking time I walk into the bathroom.

Figure out how you're going to get the information across. How are you going to train your mind and your body? GO.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Soapbox Sunday: Better Late than Never


HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

I'm incredibly late posting today. My show is starting tech week, and life is getting CRAZY. However, this is the way I like it. I wish all the weeks of my life could be this active, this inspiring, this moving and running forward and then when I get to the edge of the cliff I just let myself keep going and suddenly I'm falling so happily into something new. This is the way I am loving this week.

And in the midst of all this craziness, I'm doing the unthinkable: CONCENTRATING ON MY BODY.

I am always amazed at how little I know and more importantly, recognize about my own body and my own habits. How can someone live twenty-one years, consider themself very in touch with their inner personal state, and still not be able to stop shoving the Valentine's Chocolate Cake into her face? :) Amazing, right?

So here's what I learned this week.

1) I like to eat when I'm tired. My mind jumps immediately to food as a way of comforting myself after a long couple of days, and this past week, I certainly let myself fall into the late-night-eating trick. But recognition is an important step, and I curbed my tendency by the end of the week. When I'm tired, I get ready for bed and sleep. I don't need to eat in order to prep myself for rest. I need to wash my face and brush my teeth and put the dog on the end of the bed and close my eyes. So I do it.

2) Two weeks of healthy habits = healthy eating incredibly easy. It's been two weeks since I started my "diet." And by diet, I mean incredibly low grain, low sugar, low alcohol--the healthy essentials. I've lost 4.6 lbs, and more importantly, my body feels like it is active again. AGAIN. Finally. It may not be what I prefer, but it's not sitting on me anymore. It's moving with me. I once again recognize and find the best way to function in my body, with my organs, with my blood and bones and guts, and I'm using it to my advantage. I love making healthy food!

I've found that setting this ultimatum of "diet" has, by far, set me up for incredibly healthy choices. I take small, prepared meals with me to work and school. I carry fruit around for snacks. I eat healthy sized meals, and remember to stop eating when I'm full (mainly because I'm able to think ahead and remember that there's eventually going to be more food in my body later. ) :)

3. I slip up when there is a celebration, I've just accomplished something that makes me feel great, my schedule is thrown off (SNOW DAY!), or I just decide to bring a particular food into my house. I've not quite figured out how to solve these challenges entirely. Yes, I celebrated and ate a lot of sugar and drank two glasses of wine. Yes, I accomplished an entire run of the show, and only noticed my tendency to want to eat (I didn't act upon it.) And yes, having small bags of little Vday treats makes me want to eat them. (And I did...slowly....throughout the entire week....when I shouldn't have).

4. Can my body use this? <--was my mantra for last week. My body will take what it can from everything I put into it. After that, the rest becomes fat. And stays as fat until my body can use it. I began to think about whether or not I was hungry, and if I was---HOW hungry I was, and what calories I could consume in order to get the best nutrients into my system so the food didn't become an extra chunk on my lovely lady lumps. Gotta be smart about this. :D

Here's to another great week of body education!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday Success Story: Christy Thatcher


More Energetic Than Ever

How a low carb diet and triathlon training helped Christy Thatcher kick up her energy

Women's Health


Vital Stats 
Name Christy Thatcher
Hometown Limerick, PA
Age 35 
Height 5'5" 
Job Speech pathologist 
Weight before 205 
Weight after 135

The Gain: "My life was insane," Thatcher says. In 1999 she was going to graduate school, holding down a full-time job, caring for a young child, and driving from Pennsylvania to New Jersey on weekends to visit her mom, who was battling cancer. With so little time to spare, she routinely reached for fast food. "Taco Bell was my demise," Thatcher says. A typical day's diet: nachos, a hamburger, ice cream, and soda. Over the next 2 years, she gained 70 pounds.

The Change: By 2002, her mom had passed away, and Thatcher had finished graduate school and given birth to her second child. For the first time in years, she really took a look at herself — and hated what she saw. At 205 pounds, she felt winded climbing stairs and had trouble getting up off the floor. "I wouldn't even let people take photos of me," she says. Thatcher knew she had to do something. She borrowed an Atkins diet book from a coworker who had lost weight on the plan, and in June 2004, she decided to give it a try.

The Life: The low-carb Atkins plan was a radical change from her usual diet. She started eating scrambled eggs with cheese for breakfast and a salad topped with meat or poultry and dressing for lunch. Dinner was usually chicken or pork, with another salad and a low-carb vegetable like broccoli or green beans on the side. Instead of ice cream, dessert was strawberries and blueberries. Thatcher also began going to the gym, where she walked on the treadmill and lifted weights. Two weeks into the diet, she had lost 16 pounds. When a colleague who participated in triathlons suggested she take a shot at one, Thatcher added swimming and cycling to her fitness routine. She completed her first triathalon in August 2005, loving the camaraderie so much that she joined a cycling group and a swim team. She now competes in two triathlons a year.

The Reward: "When you're 35 with kids, your life is all about your family," she says. "[Triathlons and team training] have given me a social network and time for myself — something I'd never had before."

Her Tips

Do your homework first. "I had some concerns about how healthy the Atkins plan was, so I asked my doctor about it first. When my doc gave me the all clear, I began the diet with no reservations."

Go all girl. "I found going to a women-only gym less intimidating when I was getting started. It didn't matter what I looked like, and the trainers were really focused on helping women."

Challenge yourself. "I started getting bored running on the treadmill, but training for competitions helped me stay motivated." 

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Friday Find: Sandwiches for All!

Hey everyone! Friday Finds take on a variety of characteristics, no? Yes. Yes, they do. And today's made me LAUGH OUT LOUD. It seems to sum up a secret desire and wanting of mine. And even though breads aren't on my diet right now--they will be, in moderation, soon. So, love this website as much as I did. Because....HERE......for your bemusement and pleasure......is a whole site filled with recipes for.....SANDWICHES.


No more pb&j for me everyday. No more meat and cheese and lettuce every day. Do I feel like making a Ratatouille Steak Sandwich? How about a Pork Poor Boy? A Philadephia Tea Sandwich? Oh the options are now virtually limitless! Please enjoy, my loves. Make strong choices that make you feel better.



Oh my god, I'm so happy.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday Things Thin Girls Know: Adrien Finkel

Today's Thin Girl is the popular and helpful Adrien Finkle, currently of Los Angeles, California. An actor, Adrien takes us on a new-twist with the tired, old adage of deathly skinny being popular and hip. Read on for more!



I really hate to use the word “thin” as the goal. I truly believe the goal should be to get to a place where you are happy with your body and you feel good in what you wear. The word “thin” seemed to get me into a lot of trouble at CCM (Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.) I arrived my freshman year very comfortable being 4”11 and 115 pounds. I wasn’t skinny and I wasn’t fat. I was comfortably right in the middle. I had just moved from New York City, where fabulous food was a way of life for me, and guilt didn’t exist. If I could only have that feeling back for one moment, I would give anything. My first weeks at CCM I met an amazing group of female singers, dancers, and actresses. I found them all beautiful and fascinating. They all had something in common: the quest to be thin. I began to join them at the gym every day and listen in on diet tips at the cafeteria.
As school became more and more stressful and I began to feel out of control, I knew I could control one thing. My weight. As the pounds shed off, I became addicted. In three months I had gone from 115 pounds to 91 pounds. I was definitely THIN. Instead of concern from teachers, I got compliments. And my friends in class didn’t dare bring up the subject of my weight. I knew I was too thin, but I was scared to gain too much weight back if I started to eat more.
By spring, it had gotten worse. I remember coming home for spring break and weighing myself in my bathroom. I was 87 pounds and hadn’t gotten my period in months. I looked and felt like a little boy. Even though I still denied that I was sick, I knew I wasn’t okay. But I didn’t know who to talk to or where to even begin.My case was a lucky one, because when I reached that point, I decided to do something about it myself. I made a doctors appointment, got on meds to help me get healthier, and I moved into a house with a bunch of girls who could keep track of what I was doing.
My sophomore year was incredibly hard as I slowly, but surely gained back the weight I needed to survive. My friends were amazing and stood by my side, and by the end of the year I had gained 10 pounds back. Ever since then, I have remained on a constant, but healthy diet, which included gym visits 4-5 times a week and 3 healthy meals a day. I created a scheduled lifestyle that I could have a healthy control over. And I don’t weight myself anymore.As the years went by, I remained healthy, and happy.
But I truly believe when we, as women, begin a weight obsession, it is terminal. The quest to feel skinny will never end. There always be moments of guilt and sadness. My wish for every woman that enters college, is that they begin a healthy life styleof diet and exercise immediately, so they never have to resort to crash diets, which eventually lead to disorders. It’s a lonely road to nowhere.
As I graduated college and headed to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, unhealthy thoughts began to creep back into my mind. I wondered if Los Angeles would accept me the weight I am, or if they were going to want the sick, stick figure I was my freshman year. The myth of having to be thin in LA, weighed down on me, but I stayed strong and remained confident in the way I looked. I wasn’t skin and bones, but I felt healthy and beautiful, just hoping Los Angeles would think so too.When I arrived, still weighing a little more than I had hoped, I was signed by an agent and a manager within days. They loved and accepted me for who I was. They helped me realize that film and television aren’t looking for a certain weight or height, they are looking for interesting and talented people who have something to bring to the table.Within a few months I booked a lead in a feature film. I asked the director if he wanted me to lose weight for the role and he thought I was out of my mind. He said we want YOU. That’s all. That was the moment that all of my unhealthy fears and doubts left my head for a long, long time. I would have never guessed that it would be in Cincinnati where I would become obsessed with being thin, and Los Angeles, where I would find self-acceptance. As I began to work as an actor in Los Angeles, it inspired me to keep regularly visiting the gym and watching what I eat.
Honestly, I have never felt better in my life. Since I did the movie, I found an even better agent, booked a contract with the Disney channel, did a role for a pilot on MTV, and just last week I booked a part on ‘90210.’ Life is good, and I never have to skip a meal for it.I know I got a bit off track with your question, but when I heard the word ‘thin’ it didn’t sit well with me and I wanted to share my story. The quest to be thin can be wonderful, but it can also be harmful. I may be “thin” in your eyes, but I am also healthy, strong, fit, and I feel great about my size, which is all we are looking for in the end.
What is the one habit you swear by?
Eating breakfast!!! Even if you are not hungry when you first wake up, I think it’s important to eat a hardy breakfast and a huge glass of water or tea. It will curb your urges to snack throughout the day. I usually eat a bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon and cut up peaches or pears on top. Otherwise I make an egg white and veggie omelet.Another thing I swear by, is avoiding late night snacking, and giving yourself a few hours to digest before you go to bed. If you just do this, I think you are guaranteed to shed some pounds.
What inspires you?
My friends and family. I think its important to surround yourself with people that constantly inspire you. My friends are all hard working, loyal, and interesting people who keep me in check and teach me something new every day.
What else would you like to tell me?
You are beautiful.

Thanks, Adrien, for the strong words and the clear vision. Break a leg!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Watson Wednesday: Yoga My Life





Goal #2: Take classes in something I have never tried before.

Hell. A dictionary definition: "In Christianity and Islam, Hell is traditionally depicted as fiery and painful, inflicting guilt and suffering."

Dozens of smelly sweating people are tightly crammed into a very small space. Their bodies are slowly being contorted into various inhuman positions. The air is stifling hot and there is absolutely no prospect of a cool breeze or water.

THIS IS MY IDEA OF HELL.

Welcome to Bikram Yoga.

I am an ex-soccer player, for God's sweet sake. My idea of a good workout is a hard run, some hefty ab work outs, and a gosh dang cable weight machine; not a yoga instructor in skin tight Spanks explaining why deep breathing will introduce me to a deeper level of myself. So, why did I go to a Bikram (heated) yoga class? Mostly to say that I had. You can not truly say you are a fit American if you have not attended yoga or some other off-shooting branch of the discipline. I’m claiming to be a fit American and so it was necessary.

These classes are offered everywhere. I mean, everywhere. Apparently this form of yoga is extremely popular. I myself have several friends who swear by it and who go every week. I'm not sure exactly what the implications are of having friends who regularly subject themselves to hell, but I'm sure a therapist will draw it out somewhere down the line.

In any case, now I have experienced this phenomena. The studio was very modern, exactly what I would expect from this "new age" yoga type. I hadn't made it twelve feet into the studio and I knew I was in trouble. I decided to sport long yoga pants and a tank top, my usual apparel for yoga. However, the regulars to this studio were wearing far less, and it was making me nervous. As the gentle creature at the desk took down my information I smiled politely and took in the horror of little booty shorts, tiny sport bras, and what I believe to be a "yoga" speedo. I smiled politely and took my rented mat, silently wondering what booty short clad yoga master had used the mat before me.

In light of this, my first piece of advice when attending a Bikram Yogo class- WEAR AS LITTLE AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT EVERYONE ELSE IS WEARING! You will thank me for this when the room temperature is hovering around 106 and you don't look nearly as uncomfortable as the dweeb in the corner who decided to wear long yoga pants and a tank top. (I'm helping you look cool here regardless of whether or not you know what you're doing, which leads me to my next point...)

Aside from booty shorts and sports bras, the crazy individuals who regularly attend these sessions sported the necessary Bikram yoga accesories; a yoga mat, a towel, and a very large bottle of water.

My second bit of advice- HAVE ALL THESE THINGS. OTHERWISE YOU WILL BE VERY UPSET WITH YOURSELF HALFWAY THROUGH THE CLASS WHEN YOU'RE SWEATING EVERY OUNCE OF MOISTURE OUT OF YOUR BODY.

As the classes progresses through sun salutation and downward dog, you will start to think you're going to pass out. This will occur mostly because it's hot as a Hades and also because they will continue to tell you, "Now, if you feel like you're going to pass out..."

My third bit of advice- TAKE IT EASY. NOBODY WANTS TO BE THE NEWBIE WHO FAINTS. THINK OF IT AS A WATERING HOLE PEOPLE; THE WATERBISON THAT FALLS IS THE WATERBISON THAT GETS EATEN. KEEP THAT IN MIND. EVERYONE IN THAT ROOM IS SWEATING, SO EVERYONE'S HUNGRY...

You will want to keep pace with the yoga demons on all sides of you, but do not do this-- you will wish for death (or you will puke), and neither will improve your opinion of this exercise regimen.

This next point is an especially important one, so pay attention; the instructors are vigilant in their regulation of your water intake, and some will not allow you to drink water unless it is "in between posed." I'm sure they have a valid reason to enforce this policy; however, my suggestion on this particular point, is simply to wait until they turn their back. Don't drink too much though, or they will know. Because you will puke. Take it at your own pace. You won't die, but you may have to sit down from time to time.

All joking aside, I can safely say that I have never been so challenged mentally in my life. It took every ounce of my mental strength to try the poses and complete the class without trying to flee. At the end, having bathed for a full hour and a half in my own sweat and clearly likening my experience to a jaunt through the fourth ring of hell, I can say I have completed a Bikram yoga class. I have never felt more outwardly filthy or more inwardly cleansed, and as I returned my rented mat I had never felt more proud. Leaving after the class, I vowed to subject myself to it again. When? I don't know. But we all know, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

Your Wicked Workout Partner,
L. Watson

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Truth Tuesday: Mexican Food




Pozole. A delicious broth-based soup built around hominy--the fiber-loaded member of the maize family. Most pozoles are also loaded with chile peppers, which impart antioxidant capsaicins, and pork, which adds high-quality protein. This is one of the lighter meals you can order at a Mexican restaurant.




Chimichanga: More fun to say. Behind every tasty chimi is an ultra-absorbent flour tortilla and a long bath in hot oil. That means it will be saddled with literally hundreds of calories of pure frying oil. Plus there's nothing remotely Mexican about it--it was created in Arizona! We should have known that a 1,200-calorie deep-fried burrito would be an American invention.




Tostada. A tostada takes a crispy corn taco shell, irons it flat, and buries it beneath a heap of beans, meat, cheese, and salsa. Ordinarily that sort of pileup approach would lead to trouble, but with the tostada, the perimeter of the corn shell halts the expansion before it gets out of hand. That makes for an awesome lunch for about 300 calories.



Guac. With its load of brain-boosting, cancer-fighting healthy fats, guac is a first-class condiment, but it still packs about 100 calories per scoop. Pair it with salsa to replace, not supplement, cheese and sour cream.



Enchiladas. The sleeper hit of the menu. Choose chicken over cheese or ground beef, skip the rice, and trade refried for black beans and you have a top-notch 600-calorie meal. SO DELICIOUS.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Soapbox Sunday: I refuse to give up.


I've done this before. I've dieted. And I had no freaking clue what the hell I was doing. BUT NOW I DO. And now I am smart enough to see when I'm slipping. Sure, Friday is my "freebie dinner" day, but that's just bullshit when I let it slip into my Saturday "Well, I haven't "technically" gone to bed yet...." or my "Gosh, these Valentine treats I'm making for Kaiao look soo good."

Bullshit. I call bullshit on myself. I am strong enough, and EDUCATED enough to see what I am doing, and I. REFUSE. TO. GIVE. UP.

I refuse to slide off the deep end this easily. I refuse to let myself slide away slowly. I cannot hold myself to that standard. Losing weight begins with healthy, consistent diet. It adds with strong, positive, constant exercise. These are things I can do. These are things I can promise myself. And I will. I do. I do now.

So. Sure, I stand by my "Friday Freebie Dinner" but I stand by my no grains, no sugars, as well. I stand by my making good choices and making good concessions. I stand by my tendency to treat myself well. I stand by my ability to make the best, strongest, most playable choice. I will succeed. I will accomplish my goal. I will lose the weight I want to lose, and I will do it because I WANT TO, and not because it "accidentally" happens. Whatever happens to me, I will choose. Because I can.

I will not accept excuses from myself. I will celebrate holidays ONCE. I will love the way I feel, because I cannot help it. I will let myself enjoy being healthy. I will remind myself that this feels good, and I am allow to explore what healthy feels like. I will realize that I know my body so well, and I know what I can and cannot handle.

I will stand by my goal until it is accomplished, and then I will set a new one. I will be better because I already am. I will. I can. I do. I shall. I am.

Saturday Success Story: Tami Carter

Hey y'all--here's what I love best about Tami Carter, a lady I found from Women's Health Magazine--she says "You never know what you'll love unless you try it." Take that one into the ol' brain of yours and see what comes out.


Working out Like It's Her Job
Trading in her office desk for the fitness treadmill helped Tami Carter lose 15 pounds and land a new job

Tami Carter, Cincinnati, OH
Age- 29
Height- 5'5"
Gym customer service rep and model
Weight before- 164
Weight after -120
The Gain
Tami Carter had been a little overweight for most of her life, but taking a job in human resources at a corporate office back in 2000 is what really did her in. "My position wasn't very active, and I gradually started gaining and gaining at work," she says, remembering how she couldn't resist the cookies and brownies that coworkers kept bringing by her desk. Within a year and a half, she'd packed on more than 15 cupcake-fueled pounds.
The Change
Whenever she'd gone for medical checkups in the past, Carter would overestimate her weight so she'd be pleasantly surprised when the nurse read out the true number. But this time, Carter's guess was way off -- in the wrong direction. The shock of seeing the scale register 164 was all it took to spur her to action. "I used to eat whatever I wanted," she says. "It was like I was living to eat. Now I knew I needed to eat to live."
The Life
Refusing to touch office treats, carefully tracking what she ate, and trying to incorporate healthier foods into her diet wasn't all that difficult. The tough part was forcing herself to move. "It wasn't until I got laid off in October 2001 that I thought, 'I don't have any excuses here,'" Carter says. The tight job market meant that she suddenly found herself with hours to spare for exercise. "I wasn't working, so it was time to get serious!" To kick her metabolism into gear, Carter began working out on a treadmill or cardio bike at home, then added walks on trails to her fitness routine. By the following summer, she'd already reached her goal weight, and in 2003 she started modeling for local store ads and commercials. About 2 years later, she took a job at Gold's Gym, where she got turned on to weight lifting. Now she strength trains several times a week.
The Reward
Trading in extra pudge for solid muscle has sparked a whole new career for Carter and rocketed her self-esteem to new heights. "I never had the confidence to play sports," she says. "Now I feel like I can do anything."
Her Tips
Sub something for nighttime snacks. "Chew gum or brush your teeth. It curbs hunger and gets your mind off wanting to eat."
Try new tastes. "I love turnips, peanut butter, and low-sugar jelly...together. I slice the turnip like a cracker, and on goes the PB&J. You never know you'll like something until you try it.
"Pump up your food. "I put vanilla protein powder in my oatmeal or my pudding and mix flaxseed meal or flaxseed oil in bread and piecrusts—it's a good, healthy fat."

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Friday Find: Spring Break


I just recently discovered that I may be going to Florida for Spring Break 2010! What's more inspiring than warm weather? Nothing. What is more inspiring than the perfect bathing suit? Nothing. And what is more inspiring than spending a whole night searching through the Victoria's Secret website? Nothing.

Love it.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thursday Things Thin Girls Know: Jennifer

Today's Thin Girl is one with a completely different story than any other featured Thin Girl. Miss Jennifer Brindley, author of the blog "Ex-Hot Girl" and a constant, current, this-is-my-life-and-this-is-how-I'm-just-doing-it inspiration drops in with us to share her advice on how it feels working towards her goals. Thank God. I mean, I literally read her website every one-two days. I am totally in to her honest tale, zero simpering. Way to set a standard, Jennifer. So, here she is! And check out her blog, Ex-Hot Girl, and then on to her totally amazing and super chic work at JBe Photography.




1. As a thin girl, what advice would you give to anyone losing weight?

Wow! Well, first of all, I don't relate to the term "thin," and definitely don't consider myself to be that.



I have lost a substantial amount of weight over the last five months, but still am not to goal yet. And even when I hit my goal, I won't be "thin," but rather hope I'll be healthy instead.


The best advice I can give is to find the eating plan that works best for you. Being active is a good thing, but it never did the trick for me, personally, in terms of weight loss. Find an eating plan you can stick with permanently, and don't cheat. And since nobody is perfect, be aware that you most likely will slip on that eating plan once or twice. When it happens, don't give up. Don't throw the rest of your day or week out the window because you "already messed up." Just get right back on the horse and keep going.


2. How do you feel about your body?

Phew. Well, I like it much more these days now that I've lost weight. I really struggle with body image, and I'm sure that many people do. In fact, I'm pretty sure most women do. I have to work every day at loving myself regardless of what size I am or how my pants fit that day. Self-love is something we all should work toward.


3. What is the one habit you swear by?

Cutting carbs. Seriously. Now, everyone's body is different, but I recently found out that each gram of carbohydrate holds on to 4 grams of water. I ate Taco Bell a few days ago, then had a pasta soup for dinner. After not eating carbohydrates (in the form of bread, pasta, potatoes, crackers, etc) for two months... it put four pounds of water weight on me. I'm working on getting the water weight to drop back off. Oh, and coffee. Coffee curbs hunger, so if you find you're a habitual snacker, a cup of coffee will help cravings pass and the hungry feeling to subside. At least, it does for me!


4. What are you currently fascinated with?


Aside from John Mayer? Well, I suppose the fascination I have for eating disorders still continues. Though I might regret calling it a "fascination," because that word holds sort of a positive spin to it, and I definitely don't feel positively about eating disorders. But, I can't stop reading memoirs written by women who have gone through it. We all can relate to feeling poorly about ourselves or out of control with our weight or food issues. The fact that those women have such a sickness... it breaks my heart. Reading their stories of struggle and overcoming the adversity really gives me hope, and reminds me of how grateful I am to have simply been a fat girl instead of an eating disordered one.