Monthly Archive for March, 2007

Tea Time

When I started my 30 days of 1 gallon water, I knew I wouldn’t have any problems drinking that much. I rather like water and am always toting around a 33oz bottle and filling it up @ any water fountain I come across.

Typically, I’m a purist. When I said 1 gallon, I mean pure water, but, I relented a bit. Tea drinking is something I’ve always wanted to incorporate and what better time to do it than now?

A few weeks ago, I went to lunch and had dim sum, for drink, there was black tea. It was so yummy and what impressed me most was the pot was already made and stayed hot. I wanted the same thing, I didn’t want to have to boil 8oz of water and dunk & squeeze tea bags all day.

By chance, I caught someone cleaning out a thermos, which they filled w/coffee and told me it stays the same temperature till the afternoon and sometimes was still warm the next morning. Perfect! A thermos hunting I shall go.

Only issue was, I’d still have to make the tea and then pour it in the thermous. I, being a n00b tea drinker, had to check online to see how to make bulk tea and what supplies I’d need.

Over the weekend, I went to Target and as I looked for my thermos and ceramic kettle to make the tea, I found this baby…

…it’s my new best friend.

It makes both loose and bagged tea. You can make as little as 1 cup or 30oz which is what? 3 cups? (8×3=24, 8×4=32) ok, closer to 3.5cups.

So I filled it up to the max line, put in 4 tea bags and less than 10 minutes later, I had 30oz of tea that stays warm on the pot holder. I’ve been experimenting w/drinking tea str8, meaning no milk or sugar. The most I’ll add is honey. So far so good.

Now when I go food shopping, I see myself going to go nuts in the tea section. Currently on hand I covered the 4 basic tea groups: white tea, black tea, green tea and oolong tea. But at the rate I’m going 30oz in the AM, 30oz in the PM, I’ll be tea-less by the weekend.

Plus, I’m spoiled. I’m finding myself drinking it in the place of sipping water all day. The poor 30oz bottle is only showing up w/me in the gym. Lucky for it however, I’ve been going to the gym twice a day…

Yikes…gotta go…it’s tea time…

I am Changing

I interrupt this schedule of non-weight loss related posts to bring you a post specifically about my non weight loss.


I had to dig thru my archives to find this gem b/c today, for no real reason, I feel stuck.

This time, reading it again as if for the first time, I’m going to chime in w/exactly how I’m feeling today.

It turns out that the idea of changing from the inside out is literally true as well.From the notes I’ve received from some of you, the most common concern seems to be that your fat loss seems too slow. After starting a serious fitness program including cardiovascular and weight training, nearly everyone feels better and more energetic almost immediately (aside from the perpetual soreness).

Yes Yes Yes! I do feel more energy, not necessarily bounding out of bed in the AM, but during the day I feel alert. I’ve been sore for about 2 weeks now, I’m getting used to it.

But even after several weeks, some people do not see a noticeable change in the mirror, so far as fat is concerned.

Sometimes I *think* I do, when I first take the daily pudge pic, but once I download it from the camera to the computer *arggh* I see the same Zeusdammed rolls.

And the scale! You’ve busted your bottom for weeks, and there’s no change!


Of course, if you’ve really been half-hearted about following your program, it’s clear why this may happen,

I’ve had my moments, leave me alone…

but it can also happen when you have honestly been experiencing intensity every day, and have been careful about limiting your portions.

Ok, you can start talking to me again…

I’ve received messages from people literally in tears at the frustration.



Kid, the road to Easy Street runs through the sewer. You gotta get tough (words spoken to me by my favorite teacher, Father Arnold Perham).

WTF? Is that supposed to make me feel better?

Here’s what’s going on.

Come on w/the come on…

Fat is stored in several places, within the muscle as intramuscular fat (which is why pork is “the other white meat”), around the organs as “visceral fat”, and under the skin as “subcutaneous fat”. If you’re inactive as you get older, the fat starts depositing in the muscles first – the muscle tissue gets “marbelized“.

Oh dear Jeebus…I am a walking piece of cake.

After the intramuscular stores are full, the fat spills over to subcutaneous stores, which are more noticeable.

So that’s what the pudge is made of.

Well, now take that process in reverse. Exercise (and specifically interval training and progressive weight training) tends to draw significantly from the intramuscular stores early on, so instead of seeing a major change in the mirror, you may instead feel your muscles getting firmer and less “mushy”.

::feels biceps::

::feels quads::

That’s a good sign. Don’t give up!

It is?

I won’t!

The subcutaneous fat loss becomes more evident once the intramuscular stores are whittled down a bit.Second, if you’ve been lifting weights, you’ll also be adding to muscle mass while you lose fat. The muscles become able to store more glycogen, and every gram of glycogen binds itself to several grams of water within the muscle, so a “pumped” muscle is heavier. Regular exercise also increases blood volume. And since protein synthesis typically goes along with increased cell volume (especially if you’re using creatine and glutamine), the scale will be an awful measure of the improvements that are going on metabolically.

Dammed scale. Pfffft!

It’s ironic – cell volume, blood volume – exactly the things that will be helping you to get fit, can be the things that initially make you think you’re making no progress.

Stupid biology.

Fat calipers are a better measure of progress, but even here, if you vary your pinching technique a little bit, you can get inaccurate readings on a day to day basis. Believe me, you’re going to have nights when you look in the mirror and say “all this work, and I look the same”, and mornings when you just can’t believe the improvement.

Yes! Yes! Just yesterday AM, I thought I was imagining that I barely felt the roll on the right side. Today I felt it came back and brought a new friend.

Don’t base your enthusiasm about your fitness program on either of those short-term impressions.

I’ll try. No promises.

Do try to troubleshoot by periodically reviewing your diet, intensity, and variety, but stick with it!

Okey doke.

Because of these significant differences in fluid-volume changes, some people will notice immediate changes, while others (and I would expect, most) will see only limited changes for the first 5 weeks or so. That seems like an awfully long time to wait, but remember, fat doesn’t “spot reduce” – it comes off in sheets, like an onion.

You mean I can’t lob it off like slicing a banana?

That’s why you can estimate your overall bodyfat levels just by measuring at one or two sites. Fat isn’t so exquisitely distributed that those estimates are exact, so if you’re doing bodyfat readings at just one or two sites, your figures can jump and stall from time to time. The upper body (shoulders, chest, upper abdominal area) generally shows improvement first. But expect that the areas you’ve always thought were “too fat” will still look too fat for a while, even though you feel good, look “healthier”, and can gradually measure that your fat percentage is going down.

Damned lower body.

There’s so much pressure to see quick results that it’s easy to forget the point of this, which is quite frankly to save your life. Don’t ignore increases in strength and overall feeling of health and well-being. Those are goals too.

Yea. You’re right. I guess I’m feeling better now.

If you were able to look inside of your cells and see your “good” enzymes increasing, your energy-producing mitochondria multiplying, your cholesterol falling, your arteries clearing, your blood vessels becoming more efficient, your muscles strengthening, your bone-density improving, and all of the remarkable changes that this program triggers, it would be clear that the scale and calipers are just insufficient ways of measuring success.

I wish they could make a device I could measure those things right now. Next time I get a slick remark like, “You’ve been going to the gym a lot and don’t *look* like your losing weight.” I’m gonna reply, “Shut the fuck up! My energy-producing mitochondria is multiplying you douche you.”

As these internal changes become significant, your external progress accelerates. Some people just start out needing more internal changes than others, because of their prior lifestyle, long-term yo-yo dieting, and other factors.

I’m very guilty of the yo-yo and other indiscretions that have completely FUGGED up my metabolism.

Please understand that if you’re following the daily intensity and carefully limiting your portions, the progress is happening, whether it’s obvious or not. I’ve just seen too many individual cases to think any different.

Ok. I believe you.

So don’t force the numbers. They’ll come.


Here is your job today:

I like jobs.

adhere to a winning pattern of action that you know will produce results if you follow it consistently. That’s all. And if you do that today, congratulate yourself as a winner.

That being the criteria…I’ve been a winner all week…Huzzah Renee!

If instead, you insist on measuring your success by whether or not the scale or caliper show progress today, you’re creating a game you can lose.

Very true. I can’t manage what the scale would say on a given day, but I can manage whether or not I make it to the gym.

In Steven Covey’s words, you’re putting yourself in the position of trying to manage consequences rather than actions. You’ll never get a reliable sense of confidence that way. Look, you’re following a program that works. Do troubleshoot. Do review your workouts, food choices, portion sizes, and meal plans. But make every day a game you can win.

Coach Yes Coach! Raaaaaahhhhhhhhhh I’m ready to get back in the game.

You Can’t Lose Weight Alone

I know, I know. In recent days I’ve been bombarding you all w/book reviews. I just got a glut of book sent my way, to which I’m extremely grateful, and out of courtesy I try to get the book read and review posted in a timely manner. This book was given to me courtesy of Dr Fitness and The Fat Guy.

I’m a believer in getting signs from [Insert your favorite Deity's name here] to get me through certain points. And considering the last two books I read, this one and The Four Day Win, both have similar themes, I think [Insert your favorite Deity's name here] is trying to tell me something.

In this book, You Can’t Lose Weight Alone, you learn The Partner Power Weight Loss Program.

1. Eat right
2. Exercise
3. Get a support system
4. Get someone to keep you accountable

Guessing we all know the obvious, eating right and exercising, the authors jump in with the importance of support. You learn how to develop your support system, choosing a good partner and most importantly, identifying a bad one.

Admittedly I’m a go it alone chick. Could be b/c I’m an only child *shrug*, but there is power in numbers. When I first started blogging about my weight, it was an oasis to find other people, just like me, and in a way, they became my virtual support, though I didn’t call them that, I just called them my blogroll. *snort*

Next, accountability. Something I don’t have any probs with. My site is my accountability. It cuts both ways when you aren’t doing the right thing and you imagine some 200 eyeballs rolling in their heads @ your latest antics. But you are not me, so that doesn’t apply.

In the accountability section, you learn how to set realistic…REALISTIC…weight loss goals and even sign a contract to boot.

The last two chapters are about Eating Right and Exercise. Finally at the end, they cover safety while exercising. This book is a very good read, written in a conversational tone. When I met the guys on the show, they were very friendly and jovial, it comes across in the book as well.

Again, like most books I’ve recently read, there are two recurring themes, Eat Right & Exercise. The rest of the books veer off into their own philosophies on how to accomplish those things. Which I don’t mind b/c we all don’t learn the same way. It’s good to read a variety of books and opinions b/c something is bound to strike a cord and spur you into action.

Smoothie Queen

No, I’m not married to the Smoothie King…though if he asked me…::voice trails off wistfully::

I’ve had a handheld blender for the longest time, just too lazy to actually use it. Lately however, I’ve been craving smoothies. Not sure why. Oh I know. I bought some expensive healthy drinks and realized I can make them my own self. Plus they’ll be fresh and cheaper.

Also, my stash of eggbeaters ran out, leaving me w/nothing to eat in the AM and I figured not only will a smoothie be easy to get down, I can use all my almost ripe fruit, that I usually gag @ eating.

I wanted an easy to make recipe. Something w/6 or so ingredients and no more than 2 pieces of fruit.

Armed w/my recipes and a brand new blender I was ready to go. Here was my first concoction:

Banana Berry Smoothie

  • 8oz Soy Milk
  • 4oz Orange Juice
  • 4 tablespoons of non fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 small-medium banana
  • 1 handful fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons of wheat germ (I ended up stirring this in @ the end b/c I forgot to take it w/me to get blended)

And yes, you busted me, I actually used 7 ingredients, sue me. :p

So I blended it all up, the blender is really good & fast, then stirred in some wheat germ, then drank it. Could be b/c I used so much soy milk, it had that consistency. I wasn’t even sure I blended the banana, but no chunks were to be found. I expected the blueberries to disappear, but saw flecks of their flesh in the mixture. It wasn’t as thick as I imagined, I read to use more liquid b/c bananas thicken it up a bit, so the 12oz I used seemed to have done the trick.

Other than that, I guess it was good. I say guess b/c I’m not a smoothie person. I’m an Oreo McFlurry kinda gal. A Venti Double Chocolate Chip w/extra whipped cream Frapachino kind a gal.

But it was yummy and healthy. Here’s why:

Soy Milk

Significant soy protein reduces Total Cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (the “Bad” cholesterol) and Triglycerides.

Orange Juice

An orange has over 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which have been shown to have antiinflammatory, anti-tumour and blood clot inhibiting properties, as well as strong antioxidant effects.

Non fat vanilla yogurt (no splenda or asparateme was added, I was scared to get plain yogurt, but since I’m blending it w/smoothies and not eating it str& from the jug, I can be brave)

Yogurt boosts immune response, lowers LDL, raises HDL cholesterol. Lower body fat is linked to the consumption of calcium-rich foods, yogurt, specifically, significantly increases fat loss.


A spoonful a day keeps free radicals at bay.


You get cardiovascular protection from the potassium and fiber. It also improves elimination.


Packed with antioxidant phytonutrients called anthocyanidins, blueberries neutralize free radical damage to the collagen matrix of cells and tissues that can lead to cataracts, glaucoma, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, peptic ulcers, heart disease and cancer.

Wheat Germ

An excellent source of Vitamin E and Folic Acid.

Not specifically added, but totally implied w/the banana, the blueberries and the wheatgerm. A drink like this will keep a girl regular for days to come. Hrmmm wonder if I can blend up my precious Fiber One too.

Too many sources to link to where I got the info, just google it. Since making my first recipe and guessing it was okay, I’ve come to love my AM smoothies. I’ve gotten more creative. Now I freeze my fruits and it gives it a nice chill plus, no more blueberries and strawberries going bad in 2 days. The minute I buy them, I divvy them up in 5 bags and toss them in the freezer. I also put ripe bananas in there.

I’ve also gotten more creative. Now I add ground flax, raw spinach! (you don’t taste it when it’s all chopped up), less soy milk (I’m going to just use water when my milk runs out), and other healthy stuff that I wouldn’t eat by themselves, but drinking them down is very doable.

I always kid my life is like a Seinfeld show, but remember when Elaine borrowed Kramer’s meat slicer and looked around her apartment for things to slice? That’s me w/the blender.

I keep looking @ things likeā€¦cheese I can blend cheese! Sweet potato! I can make a sweet potato drink!!

Next up I have frozen peaches, I’ll be buying some frozen mangoes next shopping trip. But I can make just plan ‘nana smoothies when I run low on misc fruit. Now that I can zap fruit so fast, I can go back to buying blackberries and raspberries which I hate to admit, don’t like.

I also want to add some protein powder and even make it w/cooled down freshly brewed green tea!

I really love this blender. Smoothies have become both my breakfast and my post cardio meal in the AM. It’s 500 calorie well drunk. Plus it forces me to drink veggies I’d otherwise ignore.

You know the old sayin’: “If you can’t eat ‘em, drink ‘em.”

30 Days of Love

The last 30 day goal was to love & be nice to myself. How’d I do?

I wasn’t lying when I said it was going to be hard. It was.

I originally started out making it a daily thing, but that got old by noon on day 1. Instead, I approached the month holistically. Looking @ all that I do and dislike and my interactions w/people and in small ways tried to improve.

I didn’t do any frivolous stuff like going out to get manicures or facials or massages. Instead I dug deep on how I was feeling and think had a LOT to do w/the weekend I sorta crashed and burned. I don’t talk about my money woes here, but the weekend I “lost it” and went for broke @ Captain D’s, I spent a LOT of money I didn’t need to be spending.

It was only when I was updating my money files, I noticed the timing and now, a few weeks later, I can look back and see I was in a lot of emotional pain. The usual stuff: disappointments, frustrations, fears, anxiety, etc, etc.

Coming out of it, I had a small epiphany. The external validation I was seeking, isn’t necessary. One of the things I mentioned, can’t remember where or how, was feeling bummed of not getting responses to something I announced. That situation made me think, well if I’m happy for me, what does it matter if no one else is?

I felt a bit free thinking that.

I can’t say 100% today, 30 days later, I’m all like, “I LOVE ME SOME RENEE”…um…no.

But I do feel kinder towards her. In the last 2 weeks I’ve added things to my routine to take care of myself in areas I neglect. I’ve caught myself from thinking negative thoughts. I’ve taken time to do what I want to do and not let myself be manipulated or emotionally blackmailed, but most importantly I realized, if I don’t like me, I can’t expect myself to be truly comfortable in a relationship b/c every time the guy says he likes me, deep down I’ll be thinking, he’s either lying or if he knew the “real” me he wouldn’t. I have to like me first before I am ready to receive that kind of attention.

Not to say I’ll never date between now and then, but I think the way I dated before, where hollow I loves you’s made me feel good, are not what I need, nor want.

This working on myself will be ongoing healing process, perhaps even a lifetime. I don’t proclaim to have changed, or got it or a-ha-ed! overnight, but I am a teeny bit better.

GAH! It’s been a long month. I’m emotionally spent and so ready to move onto the next challenge…

The goal for the next 30 days, 3/4 – 4/3, is 30 Days of Water.

I love drinking water. Really I do. But I lag, this month the goal will be to drink 1 gallon every single day.