The Jinx and Reverse Engineered Excuses

I haven’t posted to this particular blog in a long time.  Not because I haven’t been doing well. As a matter of fact, I’m doing great!  Lately, my resistance to blogging about my healthy living journey, stems from a superstitious belief that I like to call “The Jinx”.

I don’t need to explain The Jinx (Just because I put it in a proper noun format, doesn’t make it any different than a normal one.  I do so here only to make it appear more dramatic), but I did want to clarify that this particular jinx is a self-afflicting one; I do it to myself.

Every single change in diet I’ve had for the past 30 years, has been met with a certain level of success right up until the point that someone says, “Wow! You look great! Have you lost weight?  Your skin is glowing! Keep up the good work! Yadda Yadda Yadda!”.  Don’t get me wrong, I truly appreciate the feedback BUT my ego??? Hunny!  Homegirl loses her mind!  She starts telling me it’s OK to “cheat” and not exercise “just this once”.  After a few days of this, the progress begins to wane and the word  “plateau” becomes part of my vernacular (along with a ton of four letter words) at the daily weigh in.

So I’ve convinced myself  that blogging only makes matters worse.  It jinxes me.  It makes the outside world more aware of my journey, thereby creating this positive energy of encouragement and well wishes from my family and friends (the only ones that read this blog anyway lol), which in turn feeds my ego that then convinces me that I don’t need to stay on target, and the weight starts to creep back…again.
Does anyone need a diagram?

I am, of course, totally off base here. The way that I need to visualize things is this way…

  1. I blog about my weight loss journey.
  2. I am accountable for my actions.
  3. I stay focused.
  4. I stay positive.
  5. I continue to blog about my weight loss journey.

THE END

Day 202 – Emotional Setbacks

This specific entry is in the form of personal journaling. Please read it with that in mind…

Spoke to Hank on Sunday, he remarked that I was behind on my blog posts and silly absent-minded me had to actually ask him for the date of my last post…”June 17th,” he replied. Wow, I couldn’t believe it. What could have happened that would have distracted me from posting to my most favorite blog? Oh I remember! I got fired on June 24th; that’s what happened…
So yeah I got canned, and while I will try to refrain from getting lost in the details, what I can say is that I have been dealing with the situation in a positive way on the outside but possibly internalizing negative emotions at the same time. The manifestation of these repressed emotions come in the form of eating; eating food that I know good and well, is bad for me.
So now that I have an awareness of this emotion, this feeling, this impact, how do I make an adjustment? Well, I’ve taken the first step and that is where awareness comes in. It’s almost like when they say to alcoholics “The first step towards recovery, is admitting you have a problem.” or something like that…
So now, I gotta check myself…before I wreck myself (I’m ole skool). For those who are wondering about what my plans are for the future may be, my answer will be something along the line of “I am open to what the universe has to offer.”
I can speak more tangibly however about my future eating plans. I will forgive my recent transgressions and not feel guilty about the past few weeks. I’ve also learned a lot about my role as a “clean eating role model”, a job I’m apprehensive about but willing to undertake, but I refuse to bear some heavy load of responsibility to the people that read this blog (or don’t for that matter). It is not, quite frankly, the purpose of my wellness mission. I would like for those folks to please allow me to inspire them without the purpose of impressing them. This will make me happy.

Day 258 – F^$*% the Hair. Time to Exercise

OK…OK….OK
In a previous post, I wrote about how much more my hair mattered to me than exercise did. As usual, I’ve finally come back to reality and started moving my “bod” in a way that actually produces sweat. If there’s only one single thing you’ll learn about me in these posts, it’s that I absolutely hate the gym. I don’t really mind classes, and some of the machines. I just really hate the commitment part. I’m a bona fide flake which means that I can’t commit to anything that requires repetition. I’m “membership-phobic”.
My solution for this was to find indoor activities where I could go anytime I wanted without having to commit to a damn thing.
First I chose spin classes at 3sixty cycling studio in my lovely town of Montclair, NJ. This place is co-owned by make-up artist Bobby Brown by the way (not that it matters. just an interesting side-bar). The first class was free, lasted 45 minutes, and I liked it a lot. I was sweating like crazy! There was only one little, itsy, bitsy problem. The seats hurt like HELL. OH…MY…GOD!!! I even brought an extra cushion with me and even though it was over two weeks ago, my butt cheeks still clench in fear at the thought of going back to that place…
I’m not going to give up though. I’m currently researching padded biking shorts…
Second on the line up…hot (Bikram) yoga at Be Evolution Hot Yoga; again in my lovely town. Now people! Let me tell you something…I researched this shit down to the bone. Even got feedback from my Facebook friends. I was scared to death of going because I could not even imagine what it would be like to do yoga in a hot-as-hell ass room (over 100 degrees) for 90 whole minutes. Regular yoga is challenging enough (I know this from my past life as a yogi of course), but this shit right here??? Kicked my ass! And the craziest thing of all?? I LOVED IT! I wanted to run (make that crawl) screaming from the room after 30 minutes, but when it was all over, and I walked (make that staggered) out into the 80 degree corridor, you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t Kwai Chang Caine (RIP David Carradine)!!! I felt cool. I felt…high. And I’ll take a legal get-high any chance I can get. I’ve been back again and this time better equipped; lighter clothing, and a change of clothing because when you’re done, you are absolutely soaking wet. There are folks in the class with no shame in their game and now I know why. I highly recommend hot yoga but warning…it is no joke!
So what about my hair? Let’s just say, I try not to look at my reflection from the hair line up when passing store windows, but the view below is much better. My stylist is gonna hook it up tomorrow and even though I’m going to ruin it again in a few days when I hit my hot yoga class, I’m ok with that. I’m making sweat my ally instead of my enemy.

Day 134 Women Food God – Is it Fear?

So this Oprah show everyone is talking about…came on Wednesday. First 15 minutes…I wasn’t buying it.
I really couldn’t understand what the hell O and this woman Geneen Roth were talking about. I was in immediate denial. My guard was up. I was set in my mind that I had found a new way to eat, and that I wasn’t officially dieting so I didn’t really need this advice because I wasn’t a binge eater or food addict (I’m a food lover remember?). But then O said something that made my ears perk up. She told the story of how she was upset by something and went to food to console herself but it wasn’t cake or cookies or chips or lasagna she reached for…she reached for lettuce!
Now it was finally my turn to have an “AHA” moment.

The mere existence of this food/diet blog is proof that I have a strong relationship with food. I think about it ALL of the time; every waking moment (funny, I can’t recall dreaming about food). I have said on occasion, that I am obsessed with food, but just because I’m changing what I eat, doesn’t mean that I don’t run to food when something in me needs to be fulfilled…thus the AHA!!!
I have been holding back on posting about portion control because quite frankly,I don’t have it “under control”. Doesn’t matter what you eat people, more in and less out still makes the scale say “yeah…and?”. And this my peeps is the thing, the door, the whatever that needs to be explored; my dependence on food for some deep seeded reason.
My first instinct is to be afraid of what I’ll uncover, but to also quickly jump the gun and self-diagnose the “thing” to be fear. Maybe it is, but here’s what I’m going to do. I’m actually going to follow along with this book/program (damn them for not being on the Kindle!!!) for two months and see what happens.
I’m scared, but I will keep you posted.
P.S. – still staying whole, natural, and minimally processed…just in case you were wondering.

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Guest Post – "Stop the Insanity"

Here’s a post from a friend of mine who I invited to share with you all as well. He just started is own blog which you can find here:

http://firedupwellness.blogspot.com/

Welcome FiredUp!




This past January like so many of you, I decided to take a fresh new look at my wellness. No, I did not join a gym or start some fad diet. I fired my doctor! This was not a revelation, but a revolution that also prompted me to make changes that will put me on the road to health.



Being overweight is not new for me. I was a chubby kid, overweight teen and yo-yo’ed for much of my 20’s and 30’s. I had some successful weight losses. During my junior year of high school, I lost 70 pounds on one of those weight loss clinics that offer counseling as well as a food-based weight loss program. I did well. But over the next 4 years the weight came back. After college graduation, I lost weight again. This time through caloric reduction and intense exercise. I had a lot of free time then.



Fast forward ten years, a demanding career with a crazy traveling schedule I am at the heaviest I have ever been. How did I get this way? Well, I am just starting to figure that out. In the ten years, I have been to a nutritionist, personal trainers, weight loss providers and of course my doctor.



Here is a synopsis:



  1. The nutritionist told me to “take a dinner plate and divide it into four parts – three of the four parts need to be vegetables”. Needless to my first visit was my last.
  2. The personal trainer, at 10 years younger and 200 pounds smaller than me, saw a big guy and worked me too hard, to the point where I ended up bed ridden with a herniated disk for 8 weeks.
  3. WeightWatchers, although helpful, sends mixed messages with counting calories instead of discussing quality and quantity of food. Besides the group counseling sessions are filled with mom’s struggling with their weight. That really doesn’t apply to my lifestyle.
  4. My doctor of 10 years told me to get weight loss surgery, and pushed it pretty hard.



Through all this, I could not seem to get the mantra of that fitness and diet guru Susan Powter (you know the one from 1990’s with that white buzz cut) out of my head. Remember “Stop the Insanity”? Although maybe a little whacked out, she was kind of on to something. She mentioned that she too, went to the weight loss industry, the medical industry and the food industry all to help her lose weight. The problem is that none of them really want you to lose weight… or maybe better yet, they actually just don’t know how. Isn’t that amazing, they don’t know how. We have learned so many lies about food, our relationship with it, what is healthy and what is not, that even the experts do not know really how to keep us healthy. IF they don’t know, what are we supposed to do? Fire them all! And that is what I did!

Whole Wheat Cashews

Short tale for you all…
I am becoming more and more successful at brainwashing my children when it comes to eating right.
My daughter spots a package marked Whole Cashews on the kitchen counter and yells to me across the house “Ma! Where in the world did you find whole wheat cashews????!?!?!”
Ba-dumdum.

KFC Buckets for the Cure

Not really sure where I should start here..
Is anyone else bothered by this bullshit commercial?
What speaks louder than the bullshit however is the ingredients list. But first! Let me list for you, the five ingredients for my grilled chicken:
Chicken, preferably antibiotic free and vegan fed (please, please, please, my vegan friends…do not abandon me. I still love yall, but I still love chicken too)
fresh lemon juice
fresh rosemary
Salt and Pepper

Now here’s the KFC® Grilled Chicken ingredients list:

Fresh Chicken Marinated With Salt, Sodium Phosphate, and Monosodium Glutamate. Seasoned With: Maltodextrin, Salt, Bleached Wheat Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil, Monosodium Glutamate, Secret Kentucky Grilled Chicken Spices, Palm Oil, Natural Flavor, Garlic Powder, Soy Sauce (Soybean, Wheat, Salt), Chicken Fat, Chicken Broth, Autolyzed Yeast, Beef Powder, Rendered Beef Fat, Extractives of Turmeric, Dehydrated Carrot, Onion Powder, and Not More Than 2% Each of Calcium Silicate and Silicon Dioxide Added As Anticaking Agents.
Contains Wheat and Soy.

And if you’re curious about what’s in all of the other lovely menu items at KFC, feel free to visit their website here.

Nuff Said
Is it Enough?
Do I really need to rant about the transparent diabolical strategy behind this campaign? Do they really think we’re that stupid? It’s as ridiculous and surreal as watching, let’s see…the Marlboro Man as spokesperson for the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society.
Dear KFC,
Stop treating us like fools. I do not feel warm and fuzzy when I see this commercial. I feel sick to my stomach and extremely sad. I’m not sad because you’re lying to me. I’m sad because I know that there are hundreds of thousands of people who are touched by your so-called efforts and don’t realize the irony of this ridiculous attempt to glorify your brand image while heightening brand awareness.
Shame on you.
Sincerely,
Yo Mama!

Day 123 – The Dirty Dozen

If you don’t mind roach spray on your fruits and vegetables, don’t bother reviewing this list. This is the most informative resource I use when grocery shopping.
We don’t have to buy everything organic, but those on the Dirty Dozen list warrant our attention.
You can find out more information by clicking here where you can also download a copy of this shopper’s guide for yourself.
Good health to ya!
Note – the only objection I have to this guide is the listing of sweet corn on the Clean list. Conventionally grown corn is more than likely genetically engineered, so buying organic corn would be a safer bet.

Recipe of the Month – WW Oatmeal Raisin Nut Cookies

Delish! All Whole Grain, All Natural, All that.

1/2 cup organic unsalted butter
1/2 cup Sucanat (non-refined cane sugar)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 walnuts or toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together butter and sucanat until smooth and silky. Add in egg and vanilla and mix until well blended. In another bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture and stir until well blended.
Add remaining ingredients one at a time until all mixed in.

Using a tablespoon measure, scoop onto parchment lined backing sheets; 12 at a time and flatten with a fork. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Cool on pan for a few minutes and transfer onto backing rack to cool completely or….Enjoy warm if you can’t help yourself!

Makes about 2 dozen

Day 118 – Great News from my Doctor!!!!

When folks challenge me about my new “weird” eating habits and roll their eyes when they think I’m not looking, I always felt that I would be vindicated one day. Today is that day.
When I look at my scale with scorn because I truly believe it’s lying to me most of the time, I always try and remember that there is a higher purpose to my mission besides saying goodbye forever to the pounds that refuse to leave me without a fight. Today, that mission was reinforced.
At the end of December, I visited my regular (and fabulous) primary care physician, Dr. Susan Minkowitz. I’ve been seeing Dr. Minkowitz for a long time now and even though her office was in the heart of Chinatown, I would make the trek because she is the genuine article; warm, knowledgeable and…hilarious! Her favorite line when I’m not feeling well is “I’m gonna fix ya!” and she does!!
So at the very end of last year, I knew I had to do something to once and for all get my health to a point where I didn’t have to rely on high-blood pressure medication anymore. I’ve known the solution for years. I had to eat right and get rid of the weight. Hypertension, cancer and diabetes run rampant up and down my family tree and I’ve seen lots of relatives die from these diseases way too early and I am not prepared to add my name to the list.
My blood work is typically…EH, so-so, ok, not bad, but never really great. I’ll be 43 soon and those “EH, so-so, ok, not bad, numbers ain’t cute because as some of you know, it’s harder to combat ailments and illnesses as we get older. I needed to make a change (did you hear Michael Jackson just now too?).
Immediately on January 1st (always a good day to start over), I began to eat natural, whole, minimally processed foods exclusively (on excellent days). Education is key. I made a few mistakes here and there. I didn’t know if certain ingredients on packages where ok and I still struggle with understanding the impact of certain food items on my health but for the most part, I have made a full transition.
Today is Day 118; four months in deep. I feel good physically and mentally and most importantly…I don’t feel deprived. On Friday, I went back to see Dr. Minkowitz who has now moved to Chelsea and she ran the standard blood tests again. She just called me back with the results. I want to share my numbers with you:

Glucose (aka “sugah”)*: was 91, now 79
Cholesterol**: was 207 (borderline/high risk), now 173 (desirable/low risk)
Vitamin D***: was 8 (crazy deficient), now 28 (yay I’m normal now!)
Weight: hahahahahahaaaaa. There is no way I’m revealing that, BUT I am pleased to report that there was a loss of 10 pounds.
Blood Pressure: GREAT!! Still on meds, but the number is the best it’s been in a long time even on meds.

I’m asking …no begging, my friends and family out there to please, please, please go see your doctor. Some of the most serious diseases are silent killers. Take care of your health. Stop eating hydrogenated fats and EAT MORE FIBER. I said “EAT”, not “take fiber pills or supplements”.

My favorite high fiber foods are:
Beans, especially lentils
Leafy greens of any kind
Whole grains (not to be confused with multigrains)

My favorite sweeteners are:
Raw honey
Agave nectar
Pure liquid stevia
Succanat (an extremely pure form of raw sugar), not Sugar in the Raw

For information on what our numbers should be, please check out these resources below.
* – http://diabetes.about.com/od/symptomsdiagnosis/a/glucoselevels.htm
** – http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=183
*** – http://diabetes.about.com/od/symptomsdiagnosis/a/glucoselevels.htm

P.S. – Read my previous post about the foods I refuse to give up. I am pretty much still stubborn about my hunnies (that’s what I call the food I love).