Tank Top Arms, Bikini Belly, Boy Shorts Bottom

For the past few weeks, when it comes to weights, I’ve been winging it @ the gym. I have a few books w/weight lifting routines, but they are all packed up in my aunt’s garage. I’ve gone online and pieced together a few routines and just never remember to get myself to a library and check out a book or two, so I was quite happy to receive a copy of Tank Top Arms, Bikini Belly, Boy Shorts Bottom by Minna Lessig. Yes I raved about LL Cool J’s Platinum Workout, but truth be told, I spent more time than not gawking and his FINE body than absorbing the words. This book however, is quite girlie, and I like it.

The book starts off w/a brief intro and some words on cardio and stretching. It’s then broken into 3 sections: arms belly and bottom. Minna breaks it down even further into 3 levels: novice, skilled and master. At the end of the book, she puts it all together and gives 3 four week programs. One for each level: beginner, skilled and master. In the appendices, she gives eating principles and training logs.

It’s a big book, about 275 pages, but I love the layout. Instructions are on the left side and the right side contains pictures of the actual workout in various stages. Based on your level, you She first gives the set/reps based on level. Your sets and reps are based on the level you select. Then she gives direction on doing the move either at home or in the gym.

If there was one thing I wish it had, it would be instructions on using weight machines. All the moves are done w/dumbbells or using your own body weight. Right now and for the next few months, I just don’t have enough floor space to do any weight training at home. That also means I won’t be able to test the book, but I will be pilfering a few lower body moves for my current routine.

Her eating plan is very basic and pretty much what is known to work. Eating slowing, eating every 2-3 hours, eating small portions, good carbs, healthy fats, enough protein. Since it’s primarily a weight lifting book, I’m glad she does touch on food a bit and for the most part, offers reminders and personal examples on why the basic way of eating perhaps is the best.

Back in town

I got back to ATL late last night and brought a splitting headache w/me. So splitting, it was still w/me when I woke up this AM and took 2 doses of Tylenol to fade away by late afternoon.

Other than being a bit tired, I’m fine. I managed to get in 2 workouts whilst I was gone a BIG deal for me. And also ate clean every day from Tues to Frid. Saturday we both ate out.

I had a few light bulb moments during my time away and will get my thoughts sorted on what I’m feeling and what direction I’m going in, both personally and publiclly as it concerns my blog. Were I to be 100% honest, I emotionally checked out of blogging here a very long time ago and have just been going thru the motions.

Part of the problem was my need to keep things the same, despite feeling otherwise. Which caused me to start shutting down to the point where I find myself forcing myself to post, moreso than doing it out of any true desire.

There’s many reasons for it. A general malaise about my life and what I’m not doing and should be doing vs. what I want to do vs. feeling stuck. As well as the big ole elephant in the room, I’ve had a weight loss blog for 2 years and have managed to gain 20lbs.

While where I live serves many purposes, I am NOT happy w/the situation and it takes all of my emotional energy to have a stiff upper lip, that when the time comes for me to do what I’ve always done online, I don’t have the ooomph anymore.

And on and on and on.

However, I dunno, I’m scrappy I guess. I may sulk and pout for a bit. I may even let myself get defeated, but deep down, I always plan for a way out of whatever I’m feeling.

So, later this week, I have a book review for tomorrow, I’ll put words to what I’m thinking and feelind and where I’m changing the site a bit. A few may have noticed certain things have “vanished” or changed…I put other features on hiatus…hopefully the system I’m thinking about will not only work better for those who are interested in what I have to say, it’ll re-engage my passion for blogging.

So thanks for still checking in and being patient…

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 like…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.

Diet Pills

I am in a somber mood today.

I take my role as a public weight loss blogger extremely seriously. Perhaps @ times, too seriously, but that’s my own personal demons to battle. I post things I like, don’t like, do, don’t do w/the acute awareness that my words and actions can be influential to a few folks.

To that end, I try to be as honest and forthcoming as I can in demystifying the whole weight loss experience that one doesn’t wake up overnight and voila become 60lbs lighter. It’s a day after day struggle, victory, setbacks & huzzahs. The damn thing is a process.

And in that process…you try things.

I’ve alluded to doing this before, but I’m never specific, again b/c I know it may influence someone else and b/c I always due my own extensive research before I try something as benign as eating fruit to as radical as diet pills.

Coming off the news of of Anna Nicole Smith’s passing yesterday, and while there are tons of factors that could’ve led up to her death, including harboring an unhealed broken heart after losing her son, last night, I made a decision to never ever again use diet pills.

This post isn’t a call to promote any new fangled diet pill, to slam me for my own use, or attack that industry as a whole. I am not saying her use of diet pills contributed to her death, but I do have a right to voice an opinion and share my thoughts on how something makes me feel.

That said, below, I’ll share my own history w/diet pills and at the end, while I don’t particularly like to steer comments in any given direction, if you’d like to share your own history w/diet pills (I’d rather you not name specific names yea or nay) or your feelings on Anna or the extreme measures people use to lose weight, feel free.

When I was 13, I was quite pudgy. It felt like it happened overnight, but it really happened the summer before I went into the 8th grade. I don’t remember really feeling fat, except for the times I’d go clothes shopping. Other than that, I was fairly active, I walked more times than not. If the bus was running late, I’d just walk the 20+ blocks to school. Or my best friends and I would spend hours roaming around our neighborhoods and they’d either walk me ½ way home, or I’d walk them ½ way home.

Plus I had gym daily and on weekends played outdoors w/my friends. Tag, double dutch or just hide and seek up and down the stairs of 6 story apartment building.

The one thing I did more, or more than I had before, was eat a lot of fast foods. Hey, it was my first year of public school and I had lunch money allowance burning a hole in my pocket.

But looking back now, I’d say the main reason for my pudginess was, puberty. It would take me going into high school a year later, to shoot up about 5 inches and just like that *fingersnap* I was slim.

While I can’t say for sure my mom said anything to make me feel fat nor was I teased by anyone in junior high, I vividly remember making a decision to go to the drugstore to get Dexatrim. I vaguely remember hearing the name from commercials and that’s how I knew what to buy.

Yet, even @ 12…13…it felt wrong. I was also too lazy to commit to taking the stupid pills for 30 days and I dunno, something about those side effects scared me, so I took it for 3 or 4 days and that was it.

Many years later, post high school w/a car at my beck and call, my one-way 30 minute walks to work, that kept my figure down, ceased. In it’s place, I now had access to any and every food I craved @ that minute w/o having to wait for the weekend to catch a ride. That included having Red Lobster dinners for lunch! I packed on the lbs. Not much by today’s standards, but a lot for me @ the time.

I was still leery about diet pills as a whole and while I didn’t have a brand in mind, something called Chromium Picollate (sp?) was the hot thing, so I got that. I was also veering into my zen like way of living so I also bought some kind of liquid w/fermenting mushrooms in it.

Once again, I took the pills for 3 or 4 days. I barely opened the mushroom tea and that was that.

Fast forward to the recent past.

My philosophy on diet pills didn’t change. It still wasn’t something I wanted to do long term and as much as possible I wanted to take a “healthy” version. In other words, not one that had been pulled from the market. I wasn’t the type of person to try to find it anyway on eBay.

The fact that certain diet pills made full grown physically healthy athletic men drop dead, just didn’t bode well for me.

Plus I like to do things by the book, I didn’t take diet pills in lieu of working out or eating healthy, I took it while I did it. The minute I’d fall off the wagon, especially when it came to working out, I stopped.

My final rule was @ least 1 month, preferably 2, off for every 1 month I took pills. That was to give my system a break of chemicals.

I have a slight heart murmur. Nothing serious my doctor says, and something that benefits from exercise. So I wasn’t one to take more of any pill to lose weight faster.

As I thought about all this last night, I really think the pills were just a catalyst for me.

For one, it forced me to eat on a regular schedule as you take a few an hour before breakfast lunch and dinner. It was another way to get more water in, as I was chugging glasses to wash it down and to flush it out. For all I cared, it could be a placebo. Sometimes I just needed the mindfuck to get me back in the fitness game.

If the pills I took contained an extra ingredient that would help me burn off a few extra calories while exercising, that was even better, but that wasn’t my goal.

But it still didn’t feel right. I never wanted my weight loss to come from a product that I would either have to take forever to keep the weight off or diminish the other work, eating better & exercising, that went into it. I wanted to keep my efforts as organic as possible.

Over the weekend, as I planned out my meals for the coming week, I went to my vitamin chest and started planning out my doses of vitamins again. Which is another thing I only take when I’m eating balanced. In doing that, I discovered 2 unopened bottles of diet pills that I’d been taking over the summer and figured, why not? I’m going to be eating better next week, I have my work out regime in place, I can start taking them again. I divvied up my doses and put them in baggies.

This week, @ least 2-3 days, I’ve worked out 2 hours a day and the other days @ least 30 minutes. I stopped taking afternoon naps and have been setting my alarm to wake up @ insane AM…yet…I can’t sleep. By mid week, thinking it’s the stupid jitters I get from knowing I’d wake up early, I STILL wasn’t sleepy and today being Friday I’ve slept an average of 3-4 hours every night this week.

I’d start getting sleepy around 7pm, really sleepy by 8 and just when I’m ready to go to bed, 10, I’m keyed up. It’s around 6pm that I take my final dose of diet pills for the evening. I found myself looking @ the ingredients on the pills.

On Wednesday, not exactly wanting to stop cold turkey, I just thought to myself, I’m gonna cut these things out after this weekend. I think they are keeping me up @ night.

Then Thursday happened.

The pills are not worth it.

Even if they help me burn an extra 100 calories by speeding up my heart, who knows what that’ll do to me in 10 years w/a heart that’s already a bit weak?

Plus if what I really want for myself is some sort of act, a ritual, some sort of placebo, to make eating more structured, I rather have a glass of hot green tea w/honey and lemon an hour before eating or working out than take a pill that has some chemically altered green tea extract that’s 1000 times the dose of what a cup of pure tea can give me.

In a way this is hard to write b/c I hate that Anna Nicole Smith died. I wasn’t a huge fan, didn’t know much of her, never watched her reality show, vaguely knew she was the Marilyn Monroe look-alike GUESS model and married an old guy.

I hate that she died @ 39 just like I hate that Chris Penn & Gerald Levert died so young and both those dudes had weight as a contributing factor.

I hate that her daughter will never ever know her mom and that her son died the way he did almost the day she gave birth.

I didn’t know her personally, but I can empathize that she was a tragic soul and from the bottom of my heart, I hope that she finds the peace in her after life that she didn’t find here on earth.

This is going to be hard

I have absolutely no idea what loving myself means. Sure on a literal level, I get it. Love yourself. Fine. But on a practical level, I’m twiddling my thumbs on today, day 2 of 30 days of love.

Challenge me to do something physical, say run, no problem. Tell me to look myself square in the eye and really see what the mirror reflects, I feel like I will literally die.

Yesterday and today I did a feeble, positive affirmation, in my head. Later in the month, I have ideas of various things I can treat myself too, like manicures, a facial etc, but they seem so superficial. I’m not sure how I even begin to scratch the surface of how I feel about myself.

Thinking through it today, I realized, it was far easier for me to want a guy who my intuition told me from day 1, was all wrong for me, to say he loved me so I could coo it back to him. How could I even utter those words to a stranger, when I can’t say it to myself about myself?

I guess if I end the month doing nothing more than being more mindful of my negative chatter that would be a good thing. I also realize, b/c I don’t want attention, b/c I don’t want to be hurt, b/c it’s easier to be judged when I’m “temporarily” fat b/c when I’m judged while I’m skinny, it’s way too much pressure so being fat means no one has expectations, I can just fade into the background, that it made it easier for me to stop caring in general. First I let the small things slide, now it feels like everything is out of control.

If I really truly *loved* myself, deep down I know this, not only wouldn’t I abuse myself in the various methods I do, I won’t tolerate ½ the shit I do, that I only allow b/c I feel I deserve to be treated poorly or I’m not worthy of respect, which makes my eyes sting w/tears just to write, much less think out loud and publically admit.

So I guess as petty and superficial as the manicure and facial may seem, maybe those tiny steps back to myself, will spur the inside to match how the outside looks.

I really dunno y’all. @ this point, I’m just winging it. This is painful.

Quarterly Rewards

Now that you know my fitness goals, both yearlong & quarterly, in addition to my ultimate reward, today I’ll share my quarterly rewards.

Each quarter I have specific things I want to accomplish. I’m going to reward myself for accomplishing the ones I can control. Managing to accomplish the uncontrollable is icing on the cake and is it’s own reward.

In my best game show host voice, want to see what I’m working for? Make w/the mouse and clicky click click!

Q1 – Sneakers

After 3 months I think I can reward my tootsies w/some new kicks. And while I didn’t think it true, going to a true running store and getting fit for real live running sneakers was a good move. I can’t predict what kind/style I’m going to get, as I let them tell me what works best for me based on my dainty stride. I then pick the one that don’t make my boat size feet look like a yacht. I can’t WAIT for sneaker shopping day!

Q2 – Pedometer

I’m a pedo-ho. I’ve had so many, free ones, cheap ones, now I want the one Dr. Oz and The Other Guy recommended on their show, YOU: On a Diet….

…the reviews on amazon.com are really positive. Not only is it more stable than clip on models, it has tons of neat features that makes my inner geek drool. In 6 months I can retire the current pedometer, provided it lasts that long.

Q3 – Digital Camera

Over the holiday I realized my USB cord wasn’t working properly to transfer the pics. I had to jiggle it to work and now I have to leave permenantly plugged in the camera. It’s just awkward. Plus the battery cover cracked so when I hold it, if I touch it, it resets the date/time and I lose the last pic I took. Oh and Callie knocked it off my desk so the front lens is dented in a bit.

I was going to bite the bullet and get the best model I could afford, under $150, and found a 6 pixel model for $129…

EASYSHARE C653 Zoom Digital Camera

…I realllllllllly wanted it, but decided it’d be too easy to just get it just b/c. Instead I want to earn it. After 9 months it’s safe to say I have. Plus @ the rate prices drop, by then I may be able to get a 100 pixel model for $25

Q4 – iPod Nano

The BESTEST gift!

When I get this baby…

iPod Nano

…I’m going to get the talking sneakers. It’s not enough to be self motivated, I want to be like the dude in the commercial, pretending I’m running a race as the robotic woman tells me, 200 kilometers to go and shove thru a group of people as I bust through an imaginary finish line. After 12 months it’s a heckuva reward to finish the year.


Now that I’ve spend the first two weeks of the year getting the physical plan down, next week I’ll sum up how I’m eating. That should take about an hour……I’ll also share one final set of plans: my twelve 30 day challenges.

Do you guys have any rewards planned to motivate you along your weight loss journey? I’m always looking for new ones to steal