“I’ve been dieting three days, shouldn’t I be skinny already?” “Wow, those portion containers are small!” Random thoughts during my Whole30 + Beachbody 21 day fix hybrid regimen.

Everyone I’ve seen on Whole30 posts pictures of tasty looking healthy food. And at the end of 30 days their skin really does glow and they say how great they feel. So even though it’s no dairy, no alcohol, no pasta, no flour, no lots of ingredients you can’t pronounce that seem to be in everything, no bread, no butter, no rice or quinoa, no sugar, and so on – I thought I’d try again. Last time I was on it, I lasted three days. Surely I could do better this time.

It’s all about eating whole, not processed, foods. And getting you off the sugar dragon. So most fruits and veggies, meat, fish and some nuts are allowed. You just have to be careful how you season and cook them. You need to shop and prep for meals ahead of time since so many things you have in your fridge are off limits. Breakfast is a tough meal because you get tired of eggs pretty fast and eating meat that early is turn-off (for me at least).

I did get to employ my quick egg trick though. You crack an egg into a microwave safe bowl and cook on high for 30 seconds. Then voila! You have an egg over medium. I added some dill and sea salt to it.

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I also got to take advantage of fresh heirloom tomatoes and avocados. Whole30 does allow balsamic vinegar without added sulfites (it can have natural sulfites). So I added a dash of balsamic and a sprinkle of sea salt again. Because you aren’t eating sodium-laden processed foods, you do have to make sure you are getting some sodium in your diet still.

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The first few days I was constantly hungry, even though I was eating a lot. That tempered out after a few days. And I thought about using my 21 day fix containers for portion control.

The different colors represent specific food groups. For example, the purple container is for fruit and green is for veggies. You’re allowed three portions a day for the fruit and four for vegetables. They’re both bigger containers because the food is not high calorie and healthier, making larger portions okay. 21 day fix also has an app to help you track what you eat.

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I’m lazy about food diaries and portion counts, so I ended up not using them. Although I did think about how tiny the orange containers for seeds and oils were and tried not to go crazy eating cashews. You get tired of cooking on Whole30 too, so any easy snack is easy to overeat. I lost two pounds in the first week, even without being vigilant about food intake. You are not supposed to weigh yourself at all during the 30 days. But I couldn’t help myself.

I did use the 21 day fix 30 minute exercise videos. They’re great! If you are in a huge rush you can do the three minute warm-up and about 15 minutes of the work-out, then do the warm-up again later in the day and finish the last 15 minutes. Exercises look easy, but there’s always a tougher move that you will feel the next day.

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If you do decide to try the 21 day fix, my friend, Colette Vaigl, is an amazing Beachbody coach. She is constantly hosting Facebook accountability groups with healthy recipes, fitness and nutrition advice and encouraging support. And coaches do this work for free. You just pick them on the Beachbody site when you order your 21 day fix videos, etc. so they get some credit for their work.

I did fall off Whole30 at nine days. In that short time, I noticed that my allergies got better, the puffiness in my face toned down and I had a lot more energy. So I am definitely incorporating Whole30 guidelines into my life as part of an 80/20 diet plan.

The diet’s strictness forces you to be conscious of your food choices. I always look at labels now to watch out for added sugar and garbage. And if you follow it correctly (which I didn’t), after the 30 days are up you slowly reintroduce forbidden foods back into your diet. That helps you realize what foods trigger bad reactions in your body.

I will try Whole30 again, just not right away :). I went from three to nine days this time, which was triple the days I made it on my first Whole30 attempt. So I’m gonna count that as a win.

Good health is a step-by-step journey. I wish you much success on yours!

And, yeah, wouldn’t it be great if we could diet for three days, or even just do the 21 day fix, and be skinny again! I guess it’s 3x3x3x3x3x3x3x3 – until it becomes a lifestyle.

My Bone Broth Experiment – Week 2, Day 12, Diet 1 (Fast one day a week diet)

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After reading about bone broth, I had to check it out! So I found a slow cooker recipe, bought some bones and vegetables and gave it a shot.

As I sipped my first cup I thought about how my hair would glisten, my skin would glow and my joints would be free of any crotchety pain. I just needed to drink bone broth as my afternoon pick-me-up instead of coffee, every day.

It says it needs 8-24 hours for the bone marrow to seep into the broth, but I couldn’t wait! I wanted one before bedtime so dug in about 2 hours into the cooking time. This cup was still watery, and since I didn’t strain the solids out yet, it was more of a soup still. Not bad.

In the morning I had another cup after straining it through a fine mesh sieve. The broth was now rich and greasy. It was my fasting day so I thought I’d start it off with the broth, a cup supposedly has between 34-70 calories, depending on what web site you checked out. I drenched some on my dog Sady’s food too.

After I drank it, my stomach immediately began to hurt, which I guess is okay because it was a fast day. I really didn’t want to eat until late afternoon after that. I put some of the broth in the refrigerator and froze the rest.

But now when I think about the broth, I’m not sure I can stomach it again. The greasy richness might be too much. So – no broth solution for me! At least not on a daily basis.

Weigh-in was 180.8 so holding steady, but the fast one day a week diet is not exactly dropping those pounds off either. Earlier in the week, I made the mistake of thinking these cute little baggies of dark chocolate covered almonds couldn’t be more than 250 calories tops.

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Turns out they were 410 calories. Oy vey! Tried to compensate for that by eating these kelp noodles. The whole package is less than 40 calories.

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I added some garlic spicy sauce to it – but they pretty much taste like stiff pieces of nothing. I’ll try cooking them next time – maybe even in the bone broth. But these are not something I’ll eat on a regular basis.

So – since the weight loss is sluggish – I’m going to amp it up by overlapping the last week of the fast one day a week with the Beach Body 21 day fit program. I obviously need more caloric accountability on my non-fast days to stay on track.

And we’ll have a guest blogger, Colette Salmon Vaigl, joining us for several weeks with nutrition advice too! She’s lost weight and kept it off by permanently changing her eating and exercise habits.

Week 2, day 8, diet 1 – fast 1 day a week diet

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I went straight into my do-over fast day on Friday (the day after my failed fast day). Still had about 750 calories, but did better than the first time. I did have head-aches though and trouble sleeping with a grumbling stomach. The next day I weighed in and had lost 2 lbs in 5 days 🙂

I ordered Thai food (noodle dish) the next day and promptly gained the 2 lbs of lost weight back. But then it seems to have stabilized at one pound lost for the week a day later.

So the moral seems to be – you still have to really watch your food intake on this diet. Fasting one day a week (so far) does not seem to be a miracle, metabolism boosting, weight loss formula.

Deep down I know that – but an overweight girl can dream!

Diet Plan Log, Day 8:

Diet Type: Fast One Day A Week Diet

Exercise: Not much. Made sure not to exercise on fast day as exercise makes me hungry! Will do better with exercise this new week.

Fast Day Meal Plan: Started with an egg and coffee with almond milk. You can crack an egg in a bowl and microwave on high for 25-35 seconds and get an egg over medium or hard fast. No butter or cooking spray needed! One of my healthier ex’s taught me that trick.

My big meal of the day was a Panda Express bowl of spicy shrimp with a side of veggies. 280 calories total (photo above).

And for dinner I snacked on air-popped popcorn with balsamic vinegar and some thin parmesan shavings. I learned that what I thought was 2 1/2 cups of popcorn was really 6 cups. Good to get out those measuring cups and re-learn your portions!

I also had a “Sex and the City” moment when I tossed half the popcorn and then later dug the good bits back out of the garbage (like Miranda when she threw away her Betty Crocker chocolate cake, walked away and then took it back out of the garbage and ate it).

Clink on the link below to watch Miranda, and feel better about yourself, if you’ve done this too!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bqUIcv4M3w

Metabolism Boosters: hot water with lemon and oregano and flax seed oils

Cheats: extra popcorn on fast day, Thai Drunken Noodle dish day after fast day, two glasses of wine day after the fast day too (scaling the booze way back this week, aiming to cut it all out).

First Fasting Day (Diet Day 4)

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Fasting makes food become the only thing you think about! Like those bad dudes you dated who
you mistakenly became obsessed with because you couldn’t have them! So… what should’ve been a 600-800 calorie day, became a 1200ish one. Which isn’t bad, but doesn’t qualify as a fast day either.

So, Friday will become the fast day now. Ugh! Not looking forward to it!

But I did seem to lose a pound already by becoming food conscious – let’s hope it holds!

Diet Plan Log, Day 4:

Diet Type: Fast One Day A Week Diet (week 1). Because I was leading up to a fast day, I became more conscious of what I eat day to day so that helped me stay on track. Did eat at In and Out for lunch one day, but limited it to a hamburger and 1/3 of an fry order.

4th day weigh-in: 180.8 pounds (-1 pound from first weigh-in).

Exercise: Slacked off for a few days, but took an amazing hot vinyasa flow class for an hour and 15 minutes tonight.

Fast Day Meal Plan: Started with an apple and coffee with almond milk. Then ate a small amount of dried cranberries. Approximately 200 calories total.

For lunch, I made a baked chicken with parmesan recipe and had 4 peanuts too. (I remembered a diet lunch meal Elisabeth Shue got with a small protein piece and 2 cashews when we worked on HOLLOW MAN and did my own home version). Approximately 450 calories total.

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Metabolism Boosters: hot water with lemon and oregano and flax seed oils

Healthy Snacks: frozen pineapple (280 calories), popcorn with garlic butter (250 calories) -the snacks started putting me over my limit.

Cheats: mozzarella cheese stick, gouda bites and 2 glasses of wine (okay, way over now and I am not counting anymore!). On to a do over!

Next Log-In: Sunday, but will fast on Friday and give the update in my Sunday log.

Leaving 170 – Days 1&2 – Starter Fails + Pretending I Didn’t See You

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I’d topped 170 lbs and some change and my fat fat pants were already getting snug – one week after I bought them! I knew I had to go full throttle or risk hitting 200 so I psyched myself up and blew some cash on hopes of slimmer days to come.

First – I got the Ab Circle Pro above. The fabulous ladies in my dentist’s office said it really worked and the advertising said it only takes “3 minutes a day!” PLUS look at that photo – it screams “WEEEEE – FUN!”

Not so much. With all my extra weight, it also cranked my back when I used it. And 3 minutes is a hell of a lot longer than you think when you’re out of shape. So – the days (about 3) using this don’t factor in this count.

Second – I joined weight watchers. I’m not counting those days either – because keeping track of everything you eat is tedious. But I’m trying. Sort of. I’m still paying the $40 a month – does that count???

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Third – I hit yoga, that seemed a gentler way to work on the core. I did okay, but my thighs were too fat for the exercise above. You put a styrofoam yoga block between them to keep your knees facing forward – with the block in-between them my thighs were facing towards the side walls and not straight ahead. Yoga Fail. The teacher came over and nicely told me I should look for a slimmer block next time (which, of course, they don’t have available ANYWHERE in LA).

Fourth – The new YMCA in our neighborhood opened so I took a cardio class the next day. I saw a rail thin Korean friend I’d lost touch with – we’d met during real estate classes and got together a few times a year and then years went by. Embarrassed by my new frame I decided to just pretend I didn’t see her and hope she didn’t recognize me now that I’d super sized. Another fail!

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She called out my name, we talked and I admitted that I felt awkward in my new body so I was hiding in the corner. Then we took a super hard cardio class together and I was bound and determined to keep up. I did. And I paid the price.

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Luckily – a hot bath with the Milk and Honey Epsom Salts helped ease the pain. And afterwards you smell amazing. Like an actress on an afternoon audition. I swear they lack sweat genes or something. Going in the lobby to call their names, I was always amazed by the combo of heavenly smells and jealous vibes. Some major size-ups went on between them there.

I’m done with those size ups, can’t wait for my first size down.

Merry Christmas, Mom. Wish You Were Here.

Not where I wanted to visit my mom this Christmas.

She always made it special – her decadent walnut/cream log rolls, family requested Velveeta, green chile, ground beef taco dip and thoughtful gifts (although sometimes she forgot you weren’t a teen anymore and couldn’t pull off that short shirt with multi-colored dread beads hanging off the edges).

When I was working on a Dominatrix pitch and didn’t make it home for Christmas – she sent me a riding whip amongst more typical gifts. The dude I was dating had a tradition where you brought your sent gifts to his friend’s house and opened them in front of the stuffed and mid-afternoon drunken guests. Pulling out the whip was quite a hit.

And so was this year. I’ve lost most of it. Grief suffocating me, paralyzing me, a constant companion. I sink like dead weight in the bed. It was difficult to be around balconies, too tempting to jump.

I don’t look in the mirror much, first because I have similar features to my mom and it haunted me, now because part of my spirit is gone. The loss is visible. Color and levity washed out of my face.

It took seven months to feel “present” again. And triggers (like my mom’s tombstone arriving) set me right back. “Merry Christmas, Mom. Wish you were here” echoed over and over when that happened. I wanted her tombstone to be there by Christmas, but the reality that I’d be standing on that cold ground instead of hugging her and shopping for antiques and nudging her morning piddle-paddle along so we could get going, devastated me. Again.

My understanding, compassionate friend Ana and my cab driver, Sam from El Salvador – were amazing to me as I totally lost it that night. I HATE crying and now I’ve accepted it happens – it fucking happens all the fucking time – anywhere, in front of anyone.

You can tell those who have never suffered anything tragic. They ask you ridiculous questions at the funeral, expect you to come out for a show just a month after the tragic event that shattered you forever. I used to be one of you, I envy you. As my cousin and I said to each other at my mom’s funeral – “This shit happened to other people.” Then my uncle (his dad) was hit by a car and my mom shot herself.

Yeah, I’m still furious. At my mom for not reaching out to all of us who loved her, at “God,” at a country that pretends to be compassionate and educated but is primal when it comes to addressing mental illness. And at the NRA – at least start donating to mental illness community groups if you want to “absolve” yourselves from every bullet’s harm.

What’s getting me through this (’cause it sure as hell ain’t done) is compassion. I am so grateful for my Aunt Suzie, Aunt Sandy, Aunt Joan, Aunt Dawn, Uncle Tom, Uncle Mike, and friend and cousin-in-law Tanya – they helped my brother Jeremy and I pack up my mom’s house when we could barely stand. My mom saved EVERYTHING and owned a consignment store so it was no easy feat to pack up her house. Her life.

We cried, laughed, shared items we knew would be meaningful to one another.

And I am grateful for my mom’s friend Gail, who is always searching for the answer why this happened and why my mom broke her promise not to do anything to herself. And to her brother Randy (my mom’s partner), who kept vigil at the house until it was sold and fixed things that broke.

I have many more cousins and friends to thank too – next blog!

No words can express the bond my brother and I have melded through this trauma – constant allies in a soul shattering situation – no nonsense over dumb shit. And my boyfriend Mark is truly a saint. Standing by my side when I had no idea where – or if – I could stand. And dealing with my tantrums that came out of nowhere. It’s easy to be set off, to act out – when you have no idea where to throw the darkness.

Glen Hansard has a song – “You have broken me all the way down” and – while it’s about a romantic relationship – it resonates. The loss of my mom has broken me. All the way down.

My birthday is tomorrow. The first one without my mom’s call, her encouragement, her Hallmark card with a sweet handwritten message. Life will never be the same.

Miss you, Mom. Wish you were here.

Please pass me a fork, so I can stab you with it.

In times of devastation the warm embrace of true family and friends gets you through the hellishy long yet rapid fire blur of days. You’re vulnerable. Raw. You can’t hide your emotions, no mask can cover this pain. Your body can’t even regulate temperature, you sweat hot and cold. Exhaustion cuts to the core.

It’s easy to be set off. Especially during that awful afternoon where people come by for the funeral viewing. I didn’t want to look at my mom’s body without her spirit, so just finding a place to stand in the room was difficult. I was off to the side until I couldn’t escape when someone kept asking me – “Why’d she do it?”

How the fuck do I know? Since then we’ve all done our own “psychological autopsy” (learning lots of new terms, I wish I was still blissfully unaware of). I think retirement and being betrayed by a young woman who pretended to care about her, but was using her as a pawn as she planned to take as much from my brother as she could, bruised my mom’s heart and gave her too much time to mull things over.

A consult with a pharmacist revealed that my mom should have never been put on a combination of prozac and the anti-anxiety drug buspar without weekly psychological oversight. We learned those drugs together can be toxic and cause an “extreme serotonin event” in the brain. My mom was trying to find counseling, but her family practitioner gave her the drugs without requiring it and it was difficult for my mom to find a psychologist or psychiatrist who accepted Medicare.

She was not in her right mind in that impulsive moment when she took her own life. The drugs had also caused nausea, sleeplessness and weight loss that wore her out more. That I know. I wish I had known more before.

Long story short – at the funeral home of a suicide say – “I’m sorry” – don’t ask for details unless you are close to the family member and they want to share. And realize there may be no logical reason that this occurred. Depression is a dark beast and our easily prescribed “just take a happy pill” medical system can do more harm than good in attempts to tame it.

Rumors keep spreading in the small town I am from – like she planned this ahead of time and paid all her bills 3 months in advance (nothing was paid, there was a full fridge and an $800 propane delivery + she and my Aunt Joan were planning to start exercise classes) and some have said her boyfriend had broken up with her (he had DEFINITELY not, he is heartbroken).

What is true is that a mentally abusive relationship in the past took a toll on her self-esteem as well. Packing up her house, I found a horrible letter where that person e-mailed her “to get your butt down here and start using your backbone for something other than holding your boobs up.” Yeah. Nice guy.

And speaking of that, when someone tells you that they are home because their mom died, leave them alone! Some asshole at the local bar – The Roadhouse – fixated on me. I was there with family and some of my mom’s friends when he kept approaching. I thought he was a son of one of my mom’s friend’s so I was polite.

Then he comes up to me when I am at the bar ordering another much needed drink and says: “How about a one off?” (meaning “you wanna go fuck?”)

I don’t remember my response. Red and black flashed before me and he’s lucky there wasn’t a fork in reach, because he deserved to be stabbed. And I’ve got plenty of hurt and anger to go around for some time.

Fit2Fat2Fit by Drew Manning (Book Review)

Looked through this book while eating nachos. Healthy-ish nachos (as far as nachos go) and reading passages in this book inspired me to only eat half of them. That’s pretty much as good as it gets for my dieting.

The second line in the title is “The Unexpected Lessons From Gaining and Losing 75 LBS On Purpose.” I think that Drew could’ve just mentioned that he gained 75 lbs on purpose, not that he lost it on purpose. ‘Cause let’s face it – losing 75 pounds without purposely trying is a rare occurrence.

If you flip through the pages fast there’s a little man in the corner who starts out fit, gets fatter and then fit again so you can decide whether you want to read about fit or fat Drew. This book was originally a blog so you could follow his progress (or regress) on a daily basis.

Being a hyper-fit personal trainer Drew didn’t sympathize much with his overweight clients. He didn’t understand their sugar withdrawals or caffeine headaches when they had to give up soda (or pop as we say in the Midwest). He couldn’t grasp how they gasped and even vomited so easily when he pushed them to the limit.

This experiment changes that. Once he puts on the weight and his energy level plummets, Drew realizes physically, viscerally, how his clients must feel when they come to him. Drew gets lazy. His wife gets annoyed. She obviously misses his hot body because both of them go on and on about how this experiment changed their relationship. You can skip through all that fast.

The recipes sound good though (going to try the caramelized onion glazed salmon) and it’s an easy read. Worth checking out if you want to learn more about how to combine different forms of exercise to avoid plateaus and how to eat a well balanced meal. It’s basic and sometimes long-winded on the personal whining, but not a bad place to start.

RECOMMENDATION: Take out from the library, then decide if you want to buy for the recipes and step-by-step exercise descriptions.

The Nemesis

The pupil of her left eye is always dilated. A big black dot of hate. An opposite to the filmy vulture eye of the landlord Edgar Allan Poe wrote about in “A Tell Tale Heart” but just as creepy. And in that tale the landlord was amiable – it was his filmy eye alone that irked his killer.

While with my nemesis – everything about her irks me.

Her grating voice that heightens to a screech when she gets hysterical screaming things like -“I will make you suffer, I will get you kicked out of the armed forces” and “They cast me in a BIG movie when I was 8, but my parents wouldn’t let me do it.  THEY WOULDN’T LET ME!!!”

And who can forget this outburst – “YOU have to be your own PR person, YOU have to be a professional, YOU have to know how to talk to the lawyers, YOU can’t be like that other woman who walks around with HER BOOBS HANGING OUT!” (Umm – I beg to differ – boobs have always been a pretty good PR tool for me 😉

I also despise the way she struts around the building – but has a handicapped tag hanging from her rearview mirror.

Her old school typed memos that she shoves in people’s doors late at night when she’s issuing legal threats boil my blood as well.

Yep – who knew an 80 year old woman I wasn’t related to could drive me so insane!  But that’s the ‘joy’ of condo living – you’re bound to these terrors ’till the economy improves and you can escape the madness!

Since I last blogged – Constance and I had another throw down.  I knew I shouldn’t have returned her phone call and I probably should’ve hung up right away – but I couldn’t help myself.

Yep, my own worst enemy – I am.

She started complaining another board member (one who is a saint and goes above and beyond) not responding to her so I said – “well, maybe if you were nicer to people, they’d call you back.”

“I AM NICE!!!”  She screeched.

Things escalated from there and finally ended with her hissing Wicked Witch of the West style – “Enjoy your dog.”

She better watch it – threaten me all you want – but if Constance goes after my dog I’m gonna go all “Wizard of Oz Dorothy” on her.

The weekend after our confrontation she stood on the balcony eating a sandwich in her bra and old lady underwear (it was hot, the weather that is).  She must’ve heard me on the porch because she turned and stopped mid-bite to scowl at my friend who dared to look over at her.   His eyes still burn when he thinks about it.

Each new visit to our building from the paramedics + cops makes me fear that one day I could be the one wheeled out on the gurney (visit below was an “afternoon delivery” gone bad) because the bitter old bitch has pushed me too far.

‘Cause let’s face it – the pain in the ass ones like Constance, they live forever.  They seize energy from you, pushing your buttons so they can get a reaction – hoping they can transfer their misery to you.

But I’m not gonna suck this one up.  I’m gonna simultaneously push back and put up a force field.

I’m also gonna take the stairs 🙂