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Takin’ It To the Stage


Hen & Chickens Empty Stage

Originally uploaded by Simon Scott

MizFitonline requested that I blog a bit about my solo performance thing. I know that some people are like, WTF? is that? and WHY would you do such a thing!!

I don’t know. It’s maybe because I am a total ham? Or because I think solo performance is one of the most amazing art forms on earth. What is solo performance, you may wonder.

It’s basically storytelling, alone, on a stage, (actually WITHOUT a microphone, too, but I liked the feel of this photo I found) including acting stuff out. It’s not just standing there with a microphone and talking. It’s living… the story.

I first started taking this awesome solo performance workshop when I saw a friend perform her piece. I was absolutely awestruck, moved, blown away, and WOW. I had never done any acting before in my LIFE but something about this form just really got to me. I asked her “Where did you learn this stuff?” and signed up for the next available class.

That’s when I was introduced to the amazing W. Kamau Bell and the whole “SPW” community. It’s an incredible thing to work with people who are putting it out there in an honest, real, intense, explosive, poetic, artistic way. It’s really amazing. I have come to love these people very much. Many people who started off in SPW now have their own full-length shows that are wildly successful and amazing.

I took two “semesters” of SPW back in 2007 and they were cathartic and fantastic experiences. But then I got really busy with stuff and also felt like I didn’t have a whole lot more to say. IN addition, I was feeling really self conscious on stage. Because of my weight. Both times, my shows were videotaped but after taking a five-second peek, I felt like I was unable to watch either one. I was mortified. I just felt… UGH.

Just a few months ago, I started getting the Itch again. The urge to tell a story. This time I want to tell the Foodie McBody story. To read this blog from beginning to now, is so full of drama! and angst! and triumph and heartbreak and love. I love this story.

Now, the job is to squish it down into 20 minutes and bring it to life. I’m working on it. Working hard. And the show (the first show) will be (NOT on March 28th thank goodness!) on April 6th in San Francisco. Oooooooh how I would love to have some of my blogreaders out in the audience.

I am in love with this form of expression and very excited about the Foodie McBody story, so who knows, it just might expand (I hope it will) and just may one day end up in a city near YOU.

Ignorance is Not Necessarily Bliss

First of all, I want to thank EVERYone for the wonderful words of support in my time of distress earlier this week. I can’t tell you how supported I felt, and how very moved. Thank you. Newsflash from the offspring is that the fever has broken, and doctor has cleared her to return to classes. Which is a great relief. Yay!

I went to my awesome trainer this morning and was flooded with beautiful lifesaving endorphins. It felt so so good. I’m back, people!!!

I wanted to write a bit about food logs, tracking etc. I heard someone say this week that they do not keep food diaries because it would make them too “obsessive.” I hear that. I think that some people could get carried away. I am not one of those kind of people. I am the kind of person who is more likely to say, “Oh, it’s fine! It’s not that much! It’s healthy!” and think I am doing JUST FINE and then be all baffled because I am not losing weight. Or gaining, in fact. My natural state is to be the Queen of Denial.

A few eye opening things this week. One, I was teaching late. There happens to be a California Pizza Kitchen right next to the building where I teach. I got out of class around 9:45 and was hungry. I just wanted something “small.” I was wavering between a salad and a cup of soup. Well, guess what? This incredible CPK has their nutritional info in a little bound book, right next to their wine list! Which is kinda of shocking because really, if people KNEW, would they eat anything at all?!? Well, I took a browse though that and my eyes just about popped out of my head.

MOST of the salads were well over 1,000 calories. Each. Now I know, or I’ve heard, that these restaurant salads are often 10x worse than many entrees, but still: I was like, WHOA. Are you serious?? Grilled Vegetable Salad with Grilled Chicken Breast: 1044 calories. (doesn’t that sound HEALTHY?!?) BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad: 1257 calories. Cobb Salad: 1070 calories. Caesar Salad with chicken breast: 787. “Thai Crunch Salad” : 1155. (beware the crunch!)  Miso Salad: 1146.

I got a cup of “creamless” asparagus soup: 106 calories. Very very good!! And it was excellent. And very filling. I threw on a bunch of buttered croutons (what the hey!) for another couple hundred cals, probably. Living it up! It was the perfect late-night dinnersnack.

And to think I’d been believing that a salad or a soup would be sorta equivalent. Um. Not. I think that soup is almost always the better option. The largest-serving (bowl) of the highest calorie soup (Chicken Tortilla soup) is only 541 calories, which is miles less than any salad on the menu. And the pizza.

The thing is, most of the pizzas are between 1200-1500 calories. But I often don’t eat a whole pizza at CPK. I might eat a slice or two, which would be 300-400 cals. Which is not bad. In the past, though, I might choose the Caesar Chicken SANDWICH because in some universe, a “sandwich” is better than “pizza.” But that SANDWICH is 1051 calories! And you can bet I’d eat the whole thing.

Just sayin’. It is a good thing to be aware of what one is eating. Not to be obsessive, but to be aware.

In my WW meetings we have a little tradition called the Group Tracker. It is a 3-month food journal that is being passed around the meeting. Members volunteer to take it for a week, track their food and then report back and pass it to someone else. We’ve been doing it for a month now at two different meetings. Which is 8 people. And guess what? Every single person has lost between 2.5-3.5 lbs WITHOUT FAIL the week they have the tracker. Is that amazing? We call it the Magic Tracker. But that is what being Aware, and accountable, can do.

I’ll be honest. I do not write down every single morsel, every single day. But I do try my best to be honest (with myself) and aware of what I am putting in my mouth. And when I bother to really check it out, and get a reality check, I am often very, very surprised.

Sneaky Eating, Foodie Style

I’ve been dyyying to write this post ever since I read ManMeetsScale’s fantastic post on “Sneaky Eating.” Once again I was blown away by the terrific writing, absolute honesty and hilarious humor in this guy’s writing. And I had so so so so many things to say in response but kept feeling as if I’d need two free years and a 500-page blank book in order to do it. (might need that anyway)

Go read that one first. Then come back here. Are you back? Wasn’t that great??

I have to say, it brought tears to my eyes. The kind of tears that come when you really feel SEEN. And understood. Now I suspect that many, many people feel this same way about certain food behaviors, but they don’t go around telling people about it. The thing that astonishes me about this CEO of ours is that he DOES put his dirty laundry out there. And it is such a gift and a service to all the rest of us.

I was completely fascinated by the way he does that “sneak a little spoonful” thing. That’s not how I do it. You wanna hear how I do it? My own personal sneakiness has to do with eating in a car. I think I have had this belief that “if you eat it in a car, it’s invisible” (and of COURSE contains no calories! Natch!) And the car is like this little soundproof, sealed, safe container.

I don’t remember when I first started eating in a car but I suspect it had something to do with when I got married and no longer lived alone. I had to find a place where I’d be anonymous, hidden. My favorites were super-rich macaroni and cheese, or creamy polenta, or chocolate Schoolboy biscuits (the whole box) or shortbread cookies (the whole package). If I was stressed, I’d head straight to the Andronico’s parking lot and there I’d be.

Last week, at my Healthaversary party, someone said to me (in front of everyone else): “I know so many people who try and try and try to lose weight but never can. But you did. What do you think your secret is?” I had to think really hard about that. But I truly do think that the answer is, to come out into the open about what is previously shameful.

Which is at the essence of a really, really good WW meeting. Or blogging about one’s food and weight and eating.

I kept this in the “dark” for so so so so long and it just fueled it, like.. what? Mushrooms? (trying to think of what grows in the dark) Even therapy, a LOT of it, didn’t really touch it because it was just too… private. But talking about it amongst my blogging and Twitter and face-to-face friends has really been the Secret.

I’m taking it another step further. I’m very very very excited to be turning Foodie McBody, the Story, (HA!) into a live solo performance show! I’ve done solo performance before and there is nothing that is quite as wonderful and cathartic and moving. I’m working on a short piece that will be performed (by me!) the night of March 28th, in San Francisco. (same night as the morning of the MARATHON!) If any of you will be around, I’d be extremely psyched to have some friendly faces in the audience. More details to come as it gets closer.

What’s YOUR sneaky eating like? C’mon, tell Foodie all about it.

The Breakfast Experiment

Last week I began an awesome tele-class with the dynamic duo of MizFitOnline and Dinneen  of EatWithoutGuilt. What an amazing team they are! They’re teaching a pilot class called Jumpstart 2010, and I feel fortunate to be part of it. MizFit is a unique expert on all things fitness, and Dinneen is the queen of intuitive healthy eating. Together, they are just fantastic. (for you Twitter folks, look for the hashtag #JS2010 to see Tweets on this class)

For me, I feel it is necessary to always continue learning, finding ways of fine-tuning my understanding of both fitness and nutrition. I can’t afford to sit back and say, “I’m done now.” So it was a great opportunity for me to be able to participate in this class and see/experience things in a different way. Already I am so glad for what I absorbed in the first session.

One of the “homework” assignments of the first week was the Breakfast Experiment. Which consists of eating something new for breakfast every day, and logging how we feel right after, and also 2 hours after each meal.

Here’s what I’ve noted so far.

Day 1: 10am (after heavy workout) mini whole wheat bagels (“bagelettes”) with peanut butter. Pretty good. But since I ate SO late, I was ready for lunch around noon.

Day 2: 8am – caramelized onion scramble (one egg + one eggwhite) with one small slice ham, sprinkling of goat cheese. Plus blueberries on the side. This was VERY filling (Weight Watcher folks will recognize this as a classic “filling food” breakfast!!) and I was happy/satisfied until 12:30pm lunch. Thumbs-up breakfast, but I don’t always have time for this.

Day 3: 10am (again after heavy workout) – 0% Fage yogurt with blueberries, a couple pecans and a drizzle of agave syrup. Very refreshing and yummy after hot workout, but a slight tummyache half an hour later. Was it because it was cold? Because it was dairy? Because it was cold dairy? Hmm.

My trainer yelled at me this morning bc I admitted I had not eaten anything before the workout, only a cup of coffee. I KNOW this is not good. But I am rushing around like a bat out of hell in the AM, driving daughter to school, then rushing to the gym, and it’s all I can do to get a cup of coffee in me to fling myself behind the wheel. No, it’s not ALL I can do, but…

I resist eating before workouts because:

1. It’s early.

2. I don’t like eating the second I wake up.

3. I reallllllly don’t like working out with stuff in my stomach. Because I work out so hard there is often the danger of puking. Today I felt pukey enough on on empty stomach.

I guess the only solution to this is to (nooooooooo!!!) get up earlier. Which means (noooooooo!) going to bed earlier. And maybe I will have one of those mini-bagels, or a slice of turkey? or cheese? on the way to the gym. I’m going to have to experiment with this.  Miz? Dinneen? Any thoughts on this?

Edited to add:

Day 4: Double fiber English muffin with cheddar cheese. I didn’t think this was going to last very long, but it was amaaazingly filling and staying! Four hours, easy.

Day 5: Bear mush hot cereal with blueberries & cream. DELICIOUS. Also very long-lasting. Yum.

Bubbles of Hope

I had the best day today. My healthaversary party was as wonderful and fun as I’d hoped. We did a beautiful walk through the volcanic park to the labyrinth (see the aerial view with cows), walked round and round, laid little symbolic objects of hope and health at the altar, and then blew bubbles of hope for the new year. Then came to my house for a fantastically delicious brunch. Many of my great friends included signs with POINTS values of the delicious dishes they made, including Weight Watchers chocolate cake! YUM!

Not much else to say. It made me very happy. Pictures!

Healthaversary!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Blogaversary! WOOOO!!!!!!


Confetti

Originally uploaded by ADoseofShipBoy

One year ago this week, I got my blood tested and discovered that I had high blood glucose (prediabetes, then diabetes), high triglycerides and cholesterol. I already knew I had high blood pressure. I had been in denial for a long time.

I started this blog a year ago this weekend. Boy, was I in a sorry, scared and messed up state. I really did not think I could manage to pull myself into health. When I read that post now, it makes me cry, feeling so bad for that unhealthy, terrified person. But also a little good weeping too, knowing that I WAS able to pull her into health.

For a long time, I didn’t tell anyone I “knew” about this blog, including my own dear husband. I was so afraid and embarrassed. I knew I had to change but I felt safer sharing with strangers than I did with “real life” friends and family. That’s why Foodie Mcbody was born, because I was too mortified to use my real name.

I feel like all the parts of myself have come together this year.

I am so very grateful to the amazing friends, bloggers, mentors, teachers I have met on this journey. Dinneen at EatWithoutGuilt reached out to me on Twitter and I will forever remember her as someone who truly cared, and wasn’t just trying to sell me some stuff. Her way is a good way, people. Carla at MizFitOnline also threw me a lot of support, and I was amazed that she didn’t even HAVE stuff to sell, other than her awesome Tshirts. She has served as an incredible role model for me. Those two are at the top of my GREAT TEACHERS list. Marsha and the folks at Green Mountain At Fox Run are another great bunch of wise folks, doing it sane and healthy. (one day I’d love to get there!) Once I discovered the joys of Nia, Terre at HelpYouWell has been a fabulous cheerleader and Nia mentor. She didn’t even mind that I thought Nia was borderline ridiculous when I first went – but then I couldn’t stop going! Bookieboo over at Mamavation has started an incredibly inspiring campaign and I am thrilled to be one of her cheerleaders!

Learning that I had diabetes was frightening. But Biz over at Biggest Diabetic Loser has been a real inspiration, a support and has helped me figure out what to eat! Mimi at One Sweeter Life really got me thinking about running as a real possibility and not just a dream, and also got me hooked on fitness gadgets :-). Pubsgal at the Opposite Life is my mirror image in so many ways – a writer, recently diagnosed diabetic mom and runner, and we even got to meet up at a 5k race this year!

It goes without saying that I would be nowhere without the unending support and encouragement and butt-kicking from the World’s Most Awesome Trainer. I am thrilled to pieces that now SEVERAL of my local buddies have caught the butt-kicking bug and are now training with him (and sometimes alongside me)! SO GREAT.

I have not always been the world’s biggest fan, but I am now totally sold on Weight Watchers. This program has done wonders for me. It helped me reach my goal for the first time in my life, and more importantly, has helped me maintain it since July. I feel so happy and “at home” in this program and so fortunate to be working and sharing it with others. From the awesome CEO on down to my fabulous coworkers, I feel really really happy to be part of the WW world.

Then I discovered Twitter and have been amazed and thrilled at the friends I’ve made there: the fabulous and awesome and I-can’t-tell-you-how-I-love-them Shannon (and Angie!!!) at the Fabulous Fatties.  I love Karen‘s insight’s over at Why Weight? Bookworm Jen at Jen In Real LifeHilary at Tinyglow. Kenz at All the Weigh is a real inspiration. (she’s my buddy in the DK Fan Club!) Jack Sh*t has never failed to make me laugh out loud OR to motivate me. I think Mary at A Merry Life is great, and ditto on that for Mish at Eating Journey. I also love @Footdr69, Trish at I Am Succeeding, Shelley at My Journey to Fit and oh gosh the list goes on and on and on and on and I am running late for carpool!

This post is my way of celebrating all of my “invisible” friends and community. Tomorrow, I will celebrate with my up-close and local friends. First, we will take a hike in a beautiful volcanic (true!) park nearby, and do a little walk around the labyrinth there, leaving a small symbolic object for hope and health in 2010. Then we’ll come back to my house for a fabulous brunch. I am sooooo excited – about to do some grocery shopping for a beautiful Caramelized Onion/Goat Cheese/Sage frittata, some asparagus quiche and other yumminess. I’m also going to make some Prosecco Mimosas – yum!

I wish that every single person who has supported, encouraged and helped me this year could be with me this weekend. I am so very grateful and filled with love for you all.

Confetti on everyone! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here’s to another year!

My Scale, My Friend

I’ve been thinking a lot about my scale lately because it seems that several people I know have been breaking up with theirs. I was very very moved by both Mish and Shannon‘s recent decisions to destroy their scales (click on their names to read their stories).  They felt like they were in unhealthy relationships with these pesky machines that were torturing them. Believe me, if I felt the same way about mine, I’d be tossing mine out the window too. I totally applaud their decisions and their liberation from what felt like very unhappy relationships.

I don’t feel that way about my scale. I’m going to let mine stick around for a while. I know that the whole TOPIC of scales is a very hot one. Some people are very anti-scale, and I can understand their reasoning. But over here, I feel like the scale is my friend. A firm, nonjudgmental and honest friend who will tell me what’s what, because you know, a lot of time I really don’t know.

Mish talked about discovering that she gained a small amount (less than a pound?) and that it totally ruined the rest of her day, after she woke up feeling strong and healthy and happy. I cried watching her video. It sounded so painful.

Sometimes the scale surprises me but I have really never had this experience. For one thing, going up or down a pound virtually means nothing to me, because my weight can fluctuate up to 3 pounds in 8 hours, depending on so many things. If I’ve eaten or if I’ve had anything to drink. If I’ve gone to the bathroom (sorry if TMI). If I’ve exercised or what time of the month it is, or if I’ve taken my medication. So basically, a pound either way doesn’t really mean anything to me and I’d never be upset about a small gain like that.

I’m much more likely to live in denial. Take last weekend. I went out to eat a few times. I ran on the beach. I took some long walks. I made some nice healthy meals. But I also made some warm shortbread cookies. On balance, I had no idea what I had done, bodywise. When I got home, I was wearing some rather loose jeans that were kinda stretched out. I’d say I was feeling kinda “skinny.” But when I got home my scale told me I’d gained a few. And instead of crying and wailing and heaving my scale across the room, I almost kissed it. I thanked it for telling me the real deal (ie, that the cookies and restaurant meals had overbalanced the running and the nice veggies I’d cooked). I said, “Thanks. Thanks for telling me the truth, friend.” And then I set to righting my little ship this week, and every day I’ve seen it edge back down toward where I want it to be.

I’ve rarely felt shocked and dismayed by the scale. Normally I feel like, if it goes up, I know EXACTLY why. Sometimes I wonder, “What took you so long?” Over the holiday period, my weight remained steady and even dipped down pretty low about a week before Christmas. I felt like, wow, I was golden. I think I let loose a bit, and then New Year’s week, BANG, reality hit. See, I couldn’t get away with some stuff I was hoping I could.

All this to say that I am really grateful to my scale for letting me know when I start gaining a couple. Because it gives me the chance to U-turn before the couple turns into 5 and then 5 turns into 10 and then I can’t zip my pants. I don’t want to let it get that far.

But it’s easy for me to slip into denial, or to have some magical thinking like, I work for Weight Watchers! I’m immune now! (NOT.) Or whatever little loophole I’ve dreamed up.

My scale sits in my bathroom and it whispers to me. It tells me what I need to do, not in a mean way, but in a gentle, supportive way. I know that different scales have different Voices for their owners. Mine is my friend and I’m not about to give it up.

I’ve Got Mail! Yay!


Mailbox

Originally uploaded by cindy47452

This morning, when I woke up and opened my computer, I found an email from my dear spouse. He usually wakes up about 2 hours before I do, and he likes to peruse the online news. Most days he will send me an article that he finds interesting, and about half an hour after I get up, he’ll ask, Didja read that thing I sent you?

Today he sent me an article from the Wall Street Journal. Basically it’s about the myriad benefits of exercise, in addition to weight loss. It’s the fountain of youth! It’s Prozac in sneakers, and chicken soup on a treadmill. In other words, it helps just about anything.

Regular workouts may help fight off colds and flu, reduce the risk of certain cancers and chronic diseases and slow the process of aging.

I immediately downloaded the article into my “healthy articles” file, and forwarded it to a bunch of other WW buddies. Then I stopped and laughed.

A year ago (just a year! really!) if he had sent me the same article (which he did, regularly, for about 3-4 years), I would have glanced at the title, read a sentence or two, snarled something hostile and punched the DELETE key. He did gently try to prod me in the direction of health and fitness for years, but I really was not having anything of it. I would respond by finding my own obscure articles about how moderately overweight people lived longer than normal-weight people, or about the prevalence of sports injuries (LOL). I was a prime example of that unfertile soil that is just NOT ready to sprout any seeds. (I think this was a Bible parable I learned at camp once, and it was also a song in Godspell)

I felt like HE wanted me to lose weight. (well, I guess he did. He did want me to be healthy) Which made me adamantly OPPOSED to the idea of losing weight. This fell into the “What, you think I’m fat?!?” category. Never mind that I KNEW I was fat. And miserable. And unable to climb stairs without getting winded. And only able to fit into elastic waisted pants.

That’s how it used to be with Weight Watchers, too. It’s a great program. It’s always been a great program. But for so many years I was just not ready to hear about it, think about it, much less DO IT. Now that I’m, as woo-woo types will say, “open to it,” it all kind of pours in and I’m like, “Wow! This is so great!!” I pore through the program materials and it all just seems BRILLIANT. Ha ha.

But it just does go to show that:

1. It’s all about timing.
2. You have to be doing it for YOU and not for anyone else.
3. When you’re ready, the teachers are there.

Another aside: The latest season of Biggest Loser begins tonight! How happy am I that Tuesday night is the ONLY weeknight I don’t have a WW meeting!! I’m getting my box of tissues ready. Yeah yeah yeah, I know we’ve been through the argument a hundred times before, but I stand my ground. I love this show and to witness people changing their lives for health. It does not fail to move me.

A Little Shaky


Fear of the Dark

Originally uploaded by stuant63

I don’t know if I totally psyched myself out with that last post about 2009/2010. But the first couple of days of the year have not been what you’d call stellar.

I was doing great with my holiday period maintenance for WEEKS! Even last weekend after Christmas, all seemed to be fine. I was in my low range. But then suddenly, just in the past 3-4 days, my weight has been creeping creeping creeping up. I am now almost 5 lbs over my pre-Christmas low. This is NOT GOOD. Because I feel like I’ve been keeping things on track with my new BodyBugg, and eating reasonably. I wonder if it just took a few days? for the holiday indulgences to really register and yeah, SETTLE on my body. Ugh!

THEN, I started taking my blood sugars more regularly again. Guess what? They suck. Yesterday it was elevated. Today it was elevated even MORE. I’m going to be testing multiple times daily again to see what is up with that.

And I’m going back to the gym, yeah with all the hordes. I have to. My Saturday morning Nia class was cancelled so I am going to check out a Zumba at my gym later this morning. And then hit the machines.

I’m upset with myself. The mind is such a powerful thing! Did I psych myself into believing that 2010 would be a huge fail for me? Am I bringing that into reality?

Maybe what this is all about is a way for me to feel incredibly solidarity and compassion for all the folks who will be banging down the doors of Weight Watchers this month. I’m with ya, people. It’s a new start for all of us.

————-

Edited to add: I LOVE you guys. Thanks so much for all the great support here, and on Twitter. There’s nothing like community, is there? Well I just got back from the gym. The Zumba class was very high energy although a little too fancy-footwork for me. Not sure I will do it again. But then I did a high-level 30 minutes on my favorite cardio machine (I STILL don’t know what it’s called, but it’s a combo stairmaster + elliptical) and now I feel a lot better. And I just tested my blood glucose again, and it’s (whew) down to 84, so I’m very happy about that. Lunch was a nice zero-point vegi soup with some roasted turkey thrown in, with a clementine after. I feel satisfied, sweaty and clean, and 100x better. Whewwwwwwwwwwwwww.

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