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Friends with Snow Again January 11, 2011

Sargent Wilderness Area, Chama, New Mexico

By the time I’d gotten to the heaviest of my Before phase, I had become a true hater of snow and snow sports. I grew out of my very-largest, expensive snow pants and SWORE I was not going to move up to the next size. So I’d go out in the snow with the pants unsnapped and only halfway zipped up. That was, er, chilly and distressing. I also remember that the maneuvering that involved snapping or buckling ski boots or other such things resulted in an uncomfortable/impossible squishing together of my ample midsection, and just tightening my boots made me dizzy enough to pass out. Often I’d opt to sit by the fire and drink lots of hot cocoa. Eventually I ended up opting out of going to the snow altogether, it was so unpleasant.

It had been probably more than 3 years since I’d done anything snow-related. But my very best college friend and the godmother of my daughter was throwing a 50th birthday bash with all her besties in the New Mexico mountains, and it involved cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and I could not say no. I thought maybe I’d end up sitting by the fire and reading/writing all weekend. But no.

The first NSV (nonscale victory) came the night before the trip, when I went down to the basement to rummage around the piles of snow clothes. I found the hated VERY BIG snowpants that I could not even zip up 3 yrs ago. Then I found the 3-sizes-smaller ones that my kids had worn when they were maybe in junior high. I held my breath. I tried on the small ones. HEY! THEY FIT! So that put me in a pretty good mood.

I got there, and it was beautiful. So beautiful! I am spoiled by being one of those people who can “go to the snow” and then leave it. And this was some of the nicest, prettiest snow I had ever seen. The flakes were giant crystalline shards of beauty. I was entranced!

My friend had rented me some cross-country skis. Back in the day, I was probably the World’s Worst Cross Country Skier. One, I had absolutely no stamina or cardiovascular endurance. So after about three feet I would be panting. Secondly, I was absolutely terrified to go up or down the slightest incline because I would immediately fall to the ground. NO JOKE. Once I went to this X-C ski resort with the family and I signed up for this hellaciously long (could it have been more than 2 hours?) X-C group ski lesson. It was one of the most humiliating experiences of my LIFE because I was either panting in absolute oxygen debt, or I was trying to struggle up from an upside-down turtle position on the snowy ground, while the entire group looked on in abject pity and disgust, or left me miles behind. It was miserable and I swore on ten frozen Bibles that I would never, ever, EVER cross-country ski again.

But my best college friend, the hostess and birthday girl, had rented me some X-C skis. What was I to do? Well, the REI gods were smiling on me. They sent me one defective ski so that I could not for the life of me get it latched on to my boot. DEFECTIVE BINDINGS saved my dignity. I praised the Lord and reached for the snowshoes. Which I loved. And adored.

It is damn near impossible to fall down while wearing snow shoes. And thanks to all the running I did in 2010, I was not the least bit cardiovascularly challenged by this activity. I tromped through the snow, sometimes up to my knees, in total glee. It was freakin’ AWESOME. And it made my heart pump and my DirectLife activity monitor wake up and say “hey, she’s not dead!” and a happiness rang out across the snowy land.

So now I am friends with the snow again. I went out twice on Saturday and once on Sunday, the first exercise I’d done since the Plague hit me on New Year’s Day. It felt really, really good! And now I can actually contemplate the idea of renting some snowshoes again and going to play in the snow in my own home state.

PS. One of the nicest things about this weekend was learning how to make homemade chai. SO DELICIOUS and so simple. There was always a pot of chai on the stove and I became obsessed with it. Recipe and how-to photos here!

happy birthday, JAZ!

 

Homemade Sugary Pecan Goodness Holiday Giveaway! December 22, 2010

Filed under: food,friendship,giveaway,good things — Susan @ 12:51 pm

One of my dearest traditions is making sugared pecans for friends, coworkers, family and random strangers during the holidays. (gave a bag away to a friendly post office worker last week)

I’m ready to send a bag of scrumptiousness to TWO readers TODAY!! They will be chosen tonight and mailed out tomorrow – probably not in time for Christmas, but before the new year.

And here’s the recipe for anybody who doesn’t win. It’s ridiculously easy.

  1. Combine one egg white and one TB water. Beat until foamy.
  2. Add 1 lb pecans (some people like to use walnuts) and coat them until wet.
  3. In separate bowl, combine one cup sugar, one TB cinnamon and one tsp salt.
  4. Pour sugar combo over the wet pecans to coat them.
  5. Spread on greased cookie sheet in shallow layer.
  6. Bake at 275 for 45 minutes. Turn once about halfway through.

VOILA! Yummy yummy amazing holiday goodness!!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment about YOUR favorite holiday tradition, new or old, or one you’ve heard about and would like to try. Ready, set, go!!!!!

And the winners are….Ashley and Jessie! Send me your snail mail addresses right away and I’ll get your (New Years) nuts to you by next week!

 

Tunnel, Meet Light November 27, 2010

That was a pretty bleak post I wrote this morning. But you know what is so very awesome about being part of a healthy living community? You put your ugly stuff out there, and people come through for you. This is so very true. So first I got a bunch of supportive tweets. Then I got a phone call from my WW BFF (who also happens to be an awesome WW leader). She said, “It sounds like maybe you need to go to a meeting.”

Light bulb! I have not attended a WW meeting as a member in so very long. And that is something that we are supposed to never forget, that we are all members first. As it happened, HER meeting happened to be starting in less than an hour. So it got me out of my sad woe-is-me pajamas and into some exercise clothes (yay) and over to the meeting.

I felt like such a sad sack in that meeting, but it moved me. Something clicked. The theme was “Learning from Experience.” The thing is, these weekly WW themes can be SO DEEP if we let them be. I sat there and muddled and pondered and thought about what I can learn from this experience. I realized a few things. One, that I was not particularly enjoying my food these past few days because I was eating out of resentment. I wasn’t really savoring or tasting or enjoying my food, which is one of my own cardinal rules. So I vowed that I would really try to go back to savoring as much as possible.

I also realized that I had just been waiting, all this time, almost two years, to see myself stumble and FAIL. Because that little Gollum inside me has been lurking in there, chewing on dead fish and muttering, “You’re not all that, missy.”

Last night I stayed up and caught up on the Makeover Week episode of Biggest Loser. I just cried all the way through it. For those of you who have not been watching Season 10, there are these two women, Elizabeth and Ada. Elizabeth started out the season keeling over during the first challenge and having to be taken away by ambulance. Ada is this fierce Asian-American woman whose parents have been punishing her her whole life for the deaths of her brothers. Anyway, Elizabeth is often physically overwhelmed by challenges; she gets asthma and just has to stop. Ada is a total WARRIOR and really an unstoppable force but she clearly has all this hurt stuff inside. Her family is clearly still punishing her and they suck.

Anyway, in this episode there was this mega-stair challenge. They had to run up like 100 flights of stairs which believe me, is no joke. OR they could take this trolley train thing, for less credit. After like 50 flights of steps, Elizabeth was really struggling (oh I could relate!) and decided to take the train. She felt way behind and when everyone else was done, she was only at 70 and she just could not see doing those last 30 flights alone. She threw in the towel and then was really really upset with herself.

I’ve been that Elizabeth so many times. I’ve had asthma. I have diabetes and high blood pressure. I had pre-eclampsia and gall stones and messed up ankles and allergies. I always had stomach aches when I was little and I just never saw myself as a very healthy person. I would give up so easily. Even when I was on my high school track team, I’d often keel over IN THE MIDDLE OF A RACE and start throwing up or throwing some joint out of whack or whatever; ie not finishing because I was so afraid of coming in last.

But as I was watching I realized that I’ve also been Ada. I’ve felt like I’m not good enough (to live). And I’ve also been a fierce unstoppable beast in the gym. I’ve been all those things. They all live inside me.

After I went to the WW meeting I felt a lot calmer. I felt like I had a lot of things to think about (I still do). Then I went to the gym. I got on the elliptical for half an hour. It felt good and sweaty and clean. Then I got on the treadmill. After 12 minutes my feet and ankles were SCREAMING IN PAIN. I got off. I swore a whole bunch. I got back on the elliptical and did another 20 minutes.

So I got a good workout. But the running part sucked big time. I’m not quite sure what to make of that. I do know that I am determined to FINISH that damn half-marathon no matter what. I might very well be crawling.

To finish up on the Elizabeth/Ada thing: at the gym the next day, the trainers gave Elizabeth the opportunity to complete her final 30 flights on the stairmaster. And she did it and felt really great about herself. I was so happy for her. She also had her inner fierceness inside. I think we all do.

So I’m feeling calmer, better, sweatier. I want to thank everyone for the support you sent my way earlier. Everyone who texted me, tweeted, emailed and commented – you boosted me up a lot. WHICH IS WHY I LOVE THIS COMMUNITY. Thank you.

 

It’s the Food, Stupid! November 23, 2010

Sammy's guacomole

Okay, I shouldn’t be calling myself Stupid. But nor should I be shocked or surprised to return from my little vacation (less than a week!) to stare at a brand-new, unwelcome number on the scale. I was so glad to be all active, and get in runs and hikes and shredding and such, but on the food arena? Not so good.

And the “food part” is really more than half the equation. Some say it is 70%. It’s definitely at least 50%. Food intake and activity are BOTH important. But last week I was being so focused on my activity, I sorta (no, not sorta) turned a blind eye to my food intake. Because it was sooooooooo good.

You know we all engage in some kind of weird magical or wishful thinking when it comes to food. It doesn’t count if… you’re standing up. Or if it’s after midnight. Or you’re wearing a blindfold. For me, I tend to discount my intake if it’s beautiful, expensive, gourmet or lovingly homemade food. I “know” that fast food or junk food can be excessive or whatever, but … what if it’s Chez Panisse? Or some other amazingly wonderful place? I tend to turn a blind eye.

We went to an area that has an incredible bounty of amazing food. It’s the home of Cowgirl Creamery and oysters and and and… we ate at amazing restaurant after amazing restaurant. Then when we were sick of eating out, our friends came up to visit us and brought a crazy array of homemade and bought goods and we had an insanely delicious feast. Juniorette has turned into the world’s most awesome baker and she brought (I am not kidding) the Best Scones I Have Ever Eaten In My Life, plus some beautiful pecan shortbread. Neither of which I could (or wanted to) resist. But here I am now.

It’s the tracking. If I had tracked all that luscious food (which I obviously did not) I would have woken up very quickly to the reality that I was going over my points in every which way. But I am back now. I’m home. I’m back on track and trying to not turn blind eyes anymore.

I don’t regret it. I enjoyed every single morsel. But I think if I had it to do over, I would’ve been just…a little…more… mindful.

chocolate pudding stuff from Stellina

clam chowder from the Busy Bee

black cod from the Olema Inn

Juniorette's pecan shortbread

Cowgirl Creamery cheese

Sammy's caramelized onions & mushrooms

insanely good homemade roast beef sandwich (I had mine openfaced)

 

Hop, hop, brrrr! Blue Bunny Ice Cream GIVEAWAY! November 12, 2010

I was fortunate enough to be contacted recently by the nice bunnies at Blue Bunny Ice Cream. They offered me a sampling of their no-sugar-added frozen yummies to try, given that I have diabetes. Isn’t that nice of them??

I received a giant styrofoam box a few days ago, and there were three packages of ice cream packed in dry ice. Woo! The fun we had with that! Juniorette remarked that the sound of dry ice melting “is comforting, like mermaids talking underwater.” My little poet.

And then came the ice cream. It had arrived on an evening when I’d already had my allotment of dessert goodness, so I didn’t try it. But Juniorette and my mom did. First thing they noticed is that ice cream packed in dry ice is as hard as diamonds.

Ow! Hard!

They could not bite it. They blew on it to try and thaw it out. 

They put it in the microwave for a few seconds, and it got holes in it. But they still gave it the thumbs up.

I waited three more days for it to temper in the freezer. Good plan. Today I took out the three boxes and had a sample of each.

My favorite was the simple, old-fashioned, chocolate ice cream. I don’t often eat chocolate ice cream because I am more a fan of vanilla or coffee (Blue Bunny? Do you have any of that lying around??). I thought this was really good chocolate ice cream: VERY chocolatey, and it didn’t taste nonsugarish weird. I give it a good two thumbs up.

I also got these two kinds of ice cream bars: the Fudge Lite bars and the Krunch Lites. I liked the Krunch Lites very much because I’m pretty much a fan of anything krunchy. The Fudge Lite Bars were pretty good, but out of the three, my least favorite. But I’m not a big fan of the original Fudsicle either, so.

Have you tried Blue Bunny’s no-sugar-added ice cream before? If not, or even if you have, here’s your chance to win some of them. The good folks over at Blue Bunny have offered to send a box of frozen treats out to one of my readers! Woo Hoo!! Here are the details for how you can enter:

  1. Mandatory entry – Leave a comment about your favorite ice cream flavor OR your favorite bunny.
  2. Additional entry if you “like” the Blue Bunny Facebook page and post the following comment on their wall: “I just entered to win some Blue Bunny ice cream at http://www.foodfoodbodybody.wordpress.com.”
  3. Additional entry for following Blue Bunny on Twitter and tweeting about the giveaway using the following text: “Enter to win some no-sugar-added ice cream from @Blue_Bunny & @foodiemcbody!  http://www.foodfoodbodybody.wordpress.com”
  4. Additional entry if you follow me on Twitter (@foodiemcbody) and “like” my Facebook page.

There is a total of 4 possible entries per person for this giveaway. Please leave a separate comment for each entry method you use. The deadline for entry is 9pm PT on Monday, November 15th. A winner will be selected using random.org. The winner will be notified via email, but I will also post the selected winner here on the blog. If the selected winner does not respond (I will need your address so that Blue Bunny can send you the big box!) within 24 hours, an alternate winner will be selected using random.org.

Good luck, bunnies!

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And the winner is…. according to Random.org…. (drum roll please!)

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….. Brandie! Congratulations, Brandie, now please DM me at @foodiemcbody with your address, and I’ll notify Blue Bunny! And remember… LET IT THAW in your freezer for 24 hours before tasting! (I somehow did not see that note in the box! – LOL!)

 

The “Hunger Diaries” Kerfuffle October 10, 2010

I know I am chiming in VERY late to this conversation, but this is the first chance I’ve had to get my thoughts in order since the huge outburst following Marie Claire’s article was published last week: “The Hunger Diaries: Are Health Writers Putting You At Risk?”

Where do I even begin? Well, lots and lots of people have commented on this issue. Including the “Big Six” themselves: Carrots & Cake,  Healthy Tipping Point, (who started the amazing Operation Beautiful project), Meals and Miles, Cheeseburger in Paradise, I don’t want to be redundant.  And yet there are several things I feel I need to respond to.

  • Healthy-living bloggers (which I consider myself to be) are role models, and as such, bear a certain responsibility to their readers. Well, first of all, I have no idea who many of my readers are. Only a tiny percentage of my actual readers ever leave comments and so I don’t know who they are. I am not anywhere near the readership of “The Big Six,” some of whom have over 15,000 readers per day. (I wish! right?) I believe that my only responsibility is in telling what is true for me. That’s all I can do, really. I’m not here as an expert. I’m just living my life in the best way I can, with all its struggles and challenges, and whatever anybody else takes from it, I really cannot control.
  • One person’s healthy tool is another person’s trigger. We all have our methods. It’s a highly personal, unique and often charged journey, isn’t it? When I began photographing my food, several people commented that it pushed their buttons. It was too much. But for me, it was a comfort. A daily practice, almost a meditative act. I noticed that it made me much more mindful. (I’ve slacked off the pictures lately, and really want to get back to it because I do think it was immensely helpful. For ME.) I was amazed that in some of the responses to the Marie Claire article, MANY people made comments that keeping a food journal was a “dangerous practice” that teetered on disordered eating. That really made my eyes pop because this is one of the main tools of Weight Watchers. Studies have shown that people who journal their food lose more weight. I suppose if you are anorexic and should not BE losing weight, this can be a dangerous thing. Which leads me to…
  • There are eating disorders and then there are eating disorders. They run a huge spectrum, from anorexia/bulimia to compulsive and binge eating. What might be triggering and “dangerous” for anorexics might be just what a compulsive overeater NEEDS in order to be healthy.  Take the practice of “food destroying,” which I was startled to see, ranks as a possible sign of “disordered eating” in some arenas. Wow. Because this is something that I sometimes do, most often in restaurants, when I am given a portion that is way too big for me, and I know that is going to tempt me if I’m sitting there looking at it. I’m satisfied, and I don’t want to eat any more. I might put a napkin over it (I reallllllllllly don’t see anything wrong with that) or sometimes will oversalt it or put something else on it that will make it unappetizing. Case in point: the other night I was out at a restaurant. Server brought us an extra dish of amazing mashed potatoes with butter gravy. How I do love mashed potatoes! I was already full. I had a bite. It was delicious. I could feel the inner Gollum revving up inside me (“My precious… potatoes! Buttttttterrrrrr!”) How easy it would have been for me to just inhale the ENTIRE giant mound, even though I was already done eating. Because I WANTED it. But another voice inside me DIDN’T want it. I dumped some icky sweet sauce from my fish onto the potatoes, and that put an end to it. Now. Was that “disordered eating?” Or was it a tactic that saved me from overeating?   For my particular eating disorder, I think it was a healthy move. Others might disagree.
  • If people with eating disorders wanted to find unhealthy advice out there, it certainly is there for the seeking. People who are prone to anorexia will find instruction manuals in how to do that. People who want to kill themselves, ditto. And people who want to eat themselves into oblivion will find plenty of support as well. Whatever you want to find out there, it’s there.
  • Slanted journalism. I just think it was sensationalistic and wrong. That is all.
  • Back to the Triggers thing. Personally, I am sometimes triggered by reading raw food/vegan blogs because that’s not a choice I want to make, and the sheer idea of it makes me want to go eat a giant bacon cheeseburger. It’s a trigger for me, because of who I am. But if I HAPPEN to read one of those blogs, and then HAPPEN to go on an eating binge, I am going to put on my big-girl panties and not BLAME IT on the bloggers themselves. I mean, come on, people.

I think that’s it for now. But I was amazed at so many things I read this week. Maybe it’s because I’m such a small-potatoes blogger. I am not in any Big Six. Maybe I’m in the Big Six Million. Just one voice in the blogosphere. I write for me because it helps keep me on a path I want to stay on. If it’s at all helpful to others, fantastic. If anything I do or say triggers or is unhelpful to anyone, please avert your eyes. It seems like it should be that simple.

 

I (heart) Frank Bruni: A Book Review September 9, 2010

I just finished reading Frank Bruni’s memoir, Born Round. When I got to the last page I was a little choked up, feeling like I’d found a real kindred spirit. He’s like another Foodie McBody! Someone who loves and appreciates food, AND who wants to be healthy and fit. I know so many fit people who truly seem unmoved by food, or who see it purely as fuel (and not so much as a source of pleasure) OR as the Enemy. Anybody who knows me knows that I am constantly striving to find ways to have my (cup)cake and eat it too. And of course I also know the foodies who turn a blind eye to fitness or health. Please, can’t I have both?

Enter Frank! OMG. For the first (more than?) half of the book, we follow him through his childhood, where he is a ravenous toddler, and then a huge eater at family feasts orchestrated by his mother and grandmother. The descriptions of the incredible food-a-paloozas were enough to make me faint. Pasta! Italian food! Roast turkey! Frites! (fried stuffed yummy things)

And there’s Frank, simultaneously loving all the food and mortified by his plumpness. And I’m nodding like one of those dashboard bobblehead doggies with its head on a spring. Sigh.

I followed, completely rapt, while Frank joins the swim team and slims down, then joins up with his mother on endless diets (Atkins! I did that one with my dad, back in the 70s), back and forth, back and forth. Ultimately it gets into some pretty dark territory, of bulimia and then bingeing.

It’s a classic tale of Too Much of a Good Thing, when something turns and then doesn’t feel so good anymore. And I feel like I am constantly trying to find that balance. I still want food to be a Good Thing. And it is, until it isn’t. I don’t ever want to fear food or not enjoy it. So it was kind of awe-inspiring and very happy making to read about Frank’s ultimate challenge and job: to be the food critic for the New York Times. How could he manage to eat out 7-8 times a week, at amazing multi-star restaurants, and stay fit and healthy?

Exercise. Of course. Lots of exercise. And portion control. Right? Of course that’s the key. Calories in, calories out. I loved reading about Frank’s bootcampish trainer, Aaron, who sounds like a much meaner version of my own trainer. I was intrigued by his description of Pilates. It was fun following Frank on his transformation from couch-potato-dom to athlete.

The writing in this book is fantastic. Funny, poignant, honest, real. I laughed out loud a LOT, and also cringed and wiped a tear or two. And there was a crazy moment of recognition, much like when I read Kate Moses’ Cakewalk and remembered that I ALSO bit the toes off of rubber alligators from Disneyland (WHAT??? Really!). Maybe not quite as bizarre, but like Frank Bruni, I also had a mad love for cold noodles with sesame paste, something I’d long forgotten (I can’t find this stuff in San Francisco). I used to be obsessssssssssed with those cold noodles when I lived in New York, and my favorite spot was this teeny tiny hole-in-the-wall called OMei in NY’s Chinatown. My friend used to bring me those as a special treat after I moved away. It’s been so many years since I’ve had those noodles, and… sigh. Reading this book brought it all back. (Frank! if you or anybody else knows where I can find these noodles in San Francisco, pleeeeeeeeeease tell me!)

Anyway. Back to the book. I loved it. For someone who loves both Top Chef AND The Biggest Loser, it really spoke to my heart (and my taste buds?).  It made me feel like I had company, in the best way. And after I read it, Frank Bruni joined the ranks of my invisible fit-foodie-community. I finished the book on Monday and in the evening, I was contemplating going out to the cemetery to work out. But it was a Holiday. And I was tired. Suddenly, the voice of Frank’s trainer Aaron popped into my head. “Don’t be a wimpy quitter!” I went out there and did 3.5 miles, and added on 50 pushups and 480 stairs. Then I came home and looked for something really, reallllllllly good to eat.

 

Guest Post: Terre asks “What’s YOUR Goal?” August 29, 2010

I’m thrilled that Terre Pruitt, awesome Nia teacher, has agreed to guest-post for me this week!

So what is YOUR goal?  I had a goal, I met it but I wanted more.  Then I kept aging and my “additional goal” kept slipping further away.  See my original goal was to get/stay/be healthy.  Then I decided I wanted to look like a super model.  Yeah, I know.  You don’t even have to know me or see me to know that is ridiculous.  Number one, who really wants to be THAT thin?  And I will never be that tall.  And really, honestly, right?  “C’uz that’s what we do here on Foodie McBody’s blog — is be honest, most people can’t achieve that state of thin.  It is a certain body type that can be a supermodel.  I am NOT that type.  I am of the shorter stockier version.  I started on my “health” kick rather late in life too.  I mean, certainly not too late to be healthy and fit . . . . never to late for that . . . but too late to not have gotten the sag here and the stretch mark there, ya know?  No swim suit runway modeling in my future.

My model goal kind of got me off track.  I started just giving up a bit because I know I could never be like that so why bother, right?  Wrong.  I think they work really hard at being that thin.  I don’t think that most people are supposed to be as thin as our models and celebrities so they have to work really hard.  It is hard work.  I want to enjoy my life and I CAN by eating sensibly, exercising, and being healthy.  Health is so important.

I once knew a woman who said to me one day as we saw someone scootering by, “That’s my goal.  I wanna scooter.” What?  Huh?  Uh . . .   My goal–really, my goal when I started this was to get healthy to stave off having to medicate.  At the time I started working out and eating better,  I knew too many people that were going on the hypertension drugs.  I don’t like to take medication.  Then on top of the medication they had side effects.  See, to me the less you have to take the less side effects you have.  So my goal is to stay off the meds and out of the scooter as long as possible.

Recently I got off balance (heartburn) but all my other tests came out good.  Average.  I think there is room for improvement, but I am basically healthy.  High five!  That is such an important thing.  Often time when getting healthy or staying healthy is the goal some of the others things follow suit.  Some of the other goals might be losing weight, having more energy, feeling better.  It is amazing.  I need to remember that my true goal is being healthy and concentrate on that more and not let the other stuff get in my way.  So what is YOUR goal?  What are you doing to achieve it?  Are you keeping on track and not getting side tracked like I did?  Health is one of our greatest assets.

Terre Pruitt is a Nia Teacher and a certified personal trainer.  When not teaching Nia she is sharing her passion for it on her blog and her website.  She “met” Foodie on Twitter, so she can be found there too@HelpYouWell

 

Guest Post: Paolo on Time Travel! August 25, 2010

I’m really happy to introduce my blog friends to Paolo, who is one of the youngest and most energetic members of my solo performance community. His show is amazing, and in many ways strangely echoes my own, even though I’m like old enough to be his grandma (okay, maybe his mama). He’s also a fitness blogger and I am excited for you all to get to know him. Take it away, Paolo!!

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June 2009: 220 lbs

I’m slightly obsessed with time travel mechanics, and recently I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to do if I had access to a time displacement machine. I’d go back ten years to when I was a freshman in high school. Specifically, high school boys PE class.

On good days we’d have open gym (which was code word for talking about DSL connection speeds in the weight room with the other nerdy kids). On bad days we had organized sports (sometimes with the girls PE class – score?). But before that knowing what we’d be doing for the day, we’d run the mile. And by mile, we were running around the block four times. I used to huff, puff, wheeze and sing Sex Pistols songs while trying to survive the mile. To which I was usually assailed with snide remarks about my lack of fitness.

So back to that time displacement machine. Upon reaching the desired temporal destination of ten years ago I would confront of smug a-holes with, “HEY! THIS IS PAOLO FROM TEN YEARS IN THE FUTURE AND YOU’D BETTER KNOW THAT A DECADE FROM NOW I’LL BE ABLE TO RUN A MILE AND WILL HAVE THE EQUALIVANT OR GREATER FITNESS OF AN AVERAGE HIGH SCHOOL FRESHMAN. Also, all of you will die in a tragic bear raping incident in a rock quarry in 2008.”

That last part would just be me screwing with them. Although, who knows, I might have be able to influence that time line by planting the idea in their head. Kind of like going back in time to stop the Great Chicago Fire, only to inadvertently start it.

Needless to say, I can run a mile just okay now. I never was the ‘fit’ kid growing up, and after working for a year (consistently, I might add) at this losing weight business (and keeping it off), life recently is feeling like that montage in the first Spiderman where Peter Parker is discovering his powers for the first time. Going up the steps to my therapist’s office and NOT getting winded? Not breaking out in a flop sweat after walking ten minutes to Walgreen’s? Being able to fit in medium sized shirts after years of wearing extra large? Able to run a mile okay without cursing the world? What in the world?

To borrow a quote from The Simpsons:
Skinner: Bart Simpson on the side of law and order? Has the world gone topsy-turvy?
Bart: That’s right, man. I got my first taste of authority…and I liked it.

And this is after all the years of false starts and stops, poring over Men Health’s at Borders, grandiose plans relayed to my family of a sweeping lifestyle reform, that one time I thought I wanted to be a fighter and got kicked in the face, compromises reverting back to bad habits because I could fit into a large shirt and not feel like a stuffed sausage, the one time I ate an entire Popeye’s 24 piece family meal by myself. I would like to add that unemployment is terribly conducive to weight loss.

Maybe as a twenty-three (four in…two weeks [as of this writing]) year old, and as a former fat kid, there is something…I cherish about finally being able to do things now that would have been flights of fancy for me less than a year ago. And not taking it for granted. Which means keeping myself accountable for what I do/eat – although I am not above bacon cheeseburgers with two grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon inside them as buns. Not above at all.

I don’t talk to those kids from my old high school at all, but there’s a tiny part of me that hopes that despite their athletic abilities and state championship game winning basketball shots in high school, that they’re working at a gas station with a belly swollen with fat and unfulfilled dreams. Or, killed in a tragic bear raping incident in a stone quarry. Oh, youthful arrogance.

August 2010: 160 lbs

Paolo Sambrano is a solo performer whose debut full length show, “Bi-Poseur” premieres on September 2 in San Francisco. When he’s not attempting to blog on his ‘performer’ page at PaoloSambrano.com, he’s talking about making bacon cheeseburgers with grilled cheese sandwiches (with bacon inside) as buns or working with kettlebells, at his health/fitness/food Tumblr, I Get Wet. He’s also on Twitter, @paolo.

 

Heading Into the Wilderness August 21, 2010

Storm over Yellowstone Falls

I’m realllllllllllllllllllly looking forward to our family vacation coming up. I feel like it’s been a really long, hardworking summer and I am READY for some R & R!

I’ve been scoping out the place where we’re going and it looks like the food situation… um, I don’t know. We’re staying in these rustic cabins and it looks as though everyone who stays there eats in a cafeteria kind of place. Hm. All I can do is cross my fingers, hope for the best, Make Good Choices, etc.

I think it will be a plus-minus sort of situation. On one hand, there will be opportunity for a lot of activity. Hiking, biking, rafting etc! In a beautiful spot! On the other hand, it’s a lot of unknowns, especially with the food. I won’t have my scale. ;-) I am pretty sure there is going to be NO INTERNET (!!!!!!!!!!). So that does not bode well for my food blog. I am vowing to take pics of all my eats though, and when I can upload them, I will.

 

 
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