Diet Wars: 26 Reasons Why We Shouldn’t “Diet”

How we Rationalize our Eating Habits…

We’ve all been there at some point in our life. We start a diet, we’re in the middle of a diet, we‘re in search of a new diet, and we somehow find a way to rationalize our eating habits.

1. I’ll start tomorrow.

2. I just bought all this food, I can’t just let it go to waste; I’ll start tomorrow.

3. I didn’t gain weight from eating that ENTIRE bag of chips last night, and they were really good, so I can probably just eat this bag of chips too…yea, I’ll just start tomorrow.

4.  Beyonce’ was on this all liquid diet and lost like 20 pounds, I’m going to look into starting that sometime in the next few days.

5. It’s freezing outside, I don’t really shave my legs that much in the winter so there’s no real point to staying in shape, besides I can always just start tomorrow. Or next week…

6. That was my cheat meal. I’m entitled to at least one cheat meal per week. I’m on the right track. Tomorrow I’ll get real though.

7. Yesterday was my cheat meal, but that was what I wanted yesterday, not today. So, I can just eat this now and start tomorrow.

8. I’m not going to lose any weight overnight; I might as well wait until next week. Yea, I’ll start at the beginning of next week.

9. Carbohydrates give me lots of energy, I want to lift really heavy in the gym…I’m bulking. I’ll just start next week.

10. I haven’t had any carbs all week, I think I’m fine to eat whatever I want now.

11.The scale tells me I lost a couple of pounds in the past couple of days, I can splurge now. Besides, I’ll just start tomorrow.

12.  I have to go out to eat with my friend, it’s her birthday, I’ll probably have a couple of drinks too…I can just start next week because tomorrow I’ll just have a hangover…

13.  It’s the holidays. I’ll start when they’re over.

14.  I’ve been drinking lots of water and taking a fat loss supplement, I can eat whatever the hell I want. See. I don’t need to actually “diet”.

15.  I’ve been restricting sugar by not eating lots of fruit…I can have these cookies, and a few drinks. Besides, what the hell am I dieting for anyway?

16. I’ve been eating weight watcher frozen meals, and doing lots of cardio, but I still can’t seem to lose this extra fat on my stomach. I give up.

17.  I can eat whatever I want as long as I go to the gym for at least 2-3 hours to do lots of cardio. Screw the diet. What diet?

18.  I’ve been dieting for weeks now and don’t see the results that I’m looking for…I give up. Screw the diet.

19.  The people on the Biggest Loser lose like 20 pounds per week, why can’t I? I give up. Screw the diet. Screw the gym.

20.  The people around me aren’t very supportive of my “diet” they said I’m losing too much weight. They don’t approve. I give up. No diet for me.

21.  Yeah, I’m down to like 900 calories per day, and I can’t seem to lose any more weight. And I have no energy. I give up. No more dieting. Maybe I’ll only eat 1000 calories instead. I’ll let you know how I feel in about a week. Or maybe never…

22.  I’m too busy, I don’t have time to diet. Besides, I only eat once or twice a day anyway. That pizza really isn’t going to kill me.

23.  I can eat this cake, I just won’t eat for the next few days. Ha Ha.

24.  Ihop is running their “all you can eat pancakes” special, I can’t pass that up. “Stack after Stack…”

25.  I also have a coupon for Mcdonald’s…

26.  I can just start tomorrow. No. Really.

This is why I believe it shouldn’t be a “Diet”; it should simply be a “Lifestyle”

How to Keep the Weight Off This Fall Season

Ah! The Fall season is among us. It’s in the air, outside your window pane, on your window pane, and of course! How can you not notice the beautifully colored leaves that float to the ground with every breath a tree takes????

 By now, Halloween has already filled your house with an abundance of sugary treats; temptation lurks everywhere, and I can only imagine that your scurrying around the house trying to hide the devilish little treats before your brain realizes what you are doing. And maybe you’ve even tried to give it away to someone; anyone. I mean, seriously, let someone else buy new pants. Not you…(insert evil laugh here)

 So….Halloween may be over, but that was, of course, just the kick off to the winter blues and the nostalgia that forces us to surrender ourselves every season as we revisit old memories as well as create new ones over and over again with similar aromas, traditions and even the popular flavor of pumpkin (my favorite!) that can still be linked to the Fall season time and time again.

 For some, (or most), however,  it may be a more depressing time; colder weather, less energy, lack of Vitamin D, darkness shields the daylight earlier; faster. And to most, it’s a time many stress and worry about finances; about making it through the holidays debt free and to some it’s about trying to making it through the holidays with a smile on their face, joy in their heart, and light in their soul. It’s also a time to start covering up in multiple layers to outsmart the chill in the air, and psychologically prepare our bodies {and digestive systems} for the overconsumption of treats, food, and bellies that represent an overstuffed turkey on Thanksgiving.  And who doesn’t enjoy pumpkin spiced coffee, pumpkin pie, the sweet aroma of pumpkin, and other yummy sweets and treats? Of course, with Christmas fast approaching, who has time to think about exercising or spending extra money on healthier food choices?  Not to mention, it can be challenging to avoid pumpkin pie, turkey and all the fixings when everyone else has bellies full of joy, comfort, and well, probably lots of gas.

 (Ironically, all of these big meals, comfort foods, goodies, come at a time when people are the most stressed because their wallets are being stretched farther than their paychecks)

 Well, guess what? It’s actually okay to indulge in some goodies and revel in the traditions that surround Thanksgiving and Christmas. And it’s okay to have a piece of candy every now and then too.

Hey. I’m going to enjoy some pumpkin pie.

And no. I’m not going to count the damn calories.

I’m going to sweat, and make my muscles so friggen sore that I won’t be able to move the next 24-72 hours without having to make some minor adjustments, (like have my daughter go upstairs and get me stuff because my legs are too sore to walk up the stairs).  I’m going to laugh about it too. Yep. I’m going to have my cake (pie) and eat it too. I’m going to work for that damn pie. And I’m going to do whatever it takes to get to that slice of pie.

This all probably sounds painful and silly, right?

 But….It’s Fall y’all!

And the holidays are quickly approaching. It’s not an excuse to eat like shit and unravel the tight ball of thread I’ve been carrying around up until this point; this day-this season. But with the aroma and flavor of pumpkin pretty much throwing itself down my throat and into my stomach, how can I resist?

 So how can you enjoy the seasons and the many aromas/flavors that linger and are literally RIGHT IN YOUR FACE???

 Besides Willpower?

 Eat smart. Don’t say, “It’s the holidays, let’s go shove everything down the pie shoot and pray to God that we don’t gain one pound…okay ten pounds”! Or pray to God that we’ll have the strength to burn it all off with some hard work or maybe that you’ll just be able to have the strength to pull one pant leg over one slightly overgrown thigh and hope that your ass cheek will cooperate to let you button it up. But if all else fails, and you really can’t resist binging, eat the pie, keep your ass on the couch, and I don’t care if you don’t even button your pants. Buttons can be a tad overrated anyway. Invest in some leggings. I do. At least leggings stretch and don’t serve as a constant reminder that your waist has expanded a couple inches or so. Besides your ass will look AMAZING in leggings anyway because leggings don’t have obvious seams outlining your every line and curve on your body. Oh! And leggings don’t come in number sizes. That’s pretty friggen’ amazing too.

 Don’t over-indulge. Remember, everything in moderation. And for cripes sakes throw some heart pumping exercise in there somewhere…you know, for balance.

 Also, make sure it’s worth it. If you’re going to indulge, make sure that it’s at least satisfying. And for real, if you work for it, you will feel so good when you’re enjoying all of the flavors of Fall. And without getting all technical on you, if you’re going to enjoy a sugary treat, I say work for it, and I mean it. Following intense exercise, devour your sugary treat without guilt. As long as you worked hard and aren’t overindulging or double dipping all day, every day, that sugary treat will be less likely to get stored as fat and instead will be used for repair and recovery for your body.

 Timing I’ve said it again, and I’ll say it again! While exercise can produce aesthetically pleasing results, the right kind of training for your body as well as proper fuel, will allow you to burn more calories at rest in the long run.  

 See! It doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Especially when it’s fall. Especially when the holidays are approaching. Especially when money is tight.  

 As always there are, however, ways to participate in the Fall Season and be on your BEST behavior (hehe)

 Here are just a few tips I use (Note: If you can’t already tell, I really love pumpkin a lot):

 Green Mountain Pumpkin Spice Coffee (sadly it doesn’t taste like pumpkin spice, it does have a great aroma and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside) I drink my coffee black.

 As for the canned pumpkin that I rejected earlier today, I do use it to make certain meal options (and that’s not saying a whole lot). Calm down. Don’t get all giddy. I’m not referring to recipes here; I’m just talking about opening up a can of pumpkin puree and adding it to other edible things. After all, pumpkin does have a pretty good nutritional profile; it is a great antioxidant as well as a great source of fiber, and because it doesn’t have much flavor, it can actually be added to pretty much anything without altering the taste. (But as I mentioned earlier, when it comes to something like pumpkin pie, I’m going for the real deal. But first I’m going to work my ass off for it and eat it only AFTER)

 So…go to your local grocery store or health food store and buy organic/regular (whichever fits your budget) 100% canned pumpkin puree and enjoy the health benefits I mentioned earlier by just adding it to sauces, pancakes, oatmeal and anything else you can think of. One way I like to add pumpkin is by adding pumpkin puree to diced tomatoes, low sodium tomato sauce, various spices and then serving it over brown rice, brown rice pasta, or spaghetti squash. (It’s not hardcore or anything, but it’s tasty and does the job).

 Buy a pumpkin candle (you could also purchase other scents reminiscent of the fall season) and place throughout the house.

 Fill your house and/or your work space with fall décor, winter décor.  

 I work hard in the gym and I refuse to be a slave to the kitchen. Some may enjoy baking and coming up with alternatives to food otherwise known as “junk food” but I can’t be that fancy and complicated. Nope. The only thing I can do is make suggestions, don’t expect fancy- schmancy recipes here. To me, chicken is chicken, and a potato is a potato. Mix it together and BAM! There’s my “recipe”! If I have a craving for some damn pumpkin pie, I’m just going to go to the store buy it and eat it. Hey, in my defense, it did have “no sugar added”, ignore the fact that it still had about ten different ingredients or chemicals in it that I had no idea what it even was. Not cool. Not fair. But on that note, I would like to also share with you that I did notice that the canned pumpkin I have at home had a recipe for a healthier version of pumpkin pie; no added sugar, very basic ingredients, but I placed it back and shut the cabinet door. You see, I’m tired. I have other things to do other than bake a pumpkin anything with fewer ingredients. Besides, a lot of alternatives can be just as unhealthy as just eating the actual product itself (For example, a lot of artificial sweeteners cause stomach/digestive issues for me.)  It’s not just a tight budget, it’s also time consuming. I just want to eat. I don’t want to bake for cripes sakes.

 There are times I stumble upon recipes that are on various websites/blogs, and admittedly they look so damn delicious, but for some reason I can’t ever find the “place an order” or shipping/billing information. Sigh. BIG SIGH.  I guess I’ll just stick to leaving my ass on the gym room floor and indulging every now and again. God help me.

 For ways to save money on healthier eating, look for that in an upcoming blog post!

 Have a good day everyone!

Top Ten Reasons to Stick to your Exercise/Diet Plan

One of the hardest things to do is stick to a healthy diet especially when temptation is literally everywhere!!! But you have to remind yourself of why you’re doing it. You have to have a reason.

When I don’t have a goal (or sometimes even when I do have a goal) I find thoughts creeping into my mind like, “what am I doing this for?” or I’m never going to look like ____”.  Besides, I don’t have anything to prove to anyone; no one really gives a shit if I’m having dinner out of a Tupperware container or at a fast food joint. When I open the refrigerator and see a roll of cookie dough, I want to just say screw it and eat it. When I feel so tired and don’t feel like going to the gym, I truly just want to have the softest worn in part of my couch latch onto me just so I can just watch my favorite show.  

But I put together a list of my “Top Ten Reasons” to help get me off my ass to the gym or choose a better cookie…oh…oops…uh…I mean….

 Look these are just reasons, I slip and fall every now and then regardless…what can I say, I’m only human.

 A human cookie monster at times even…Anyway, here they are:

 Top ten reasons to stick to your Exercise/Diet plan:

 1. You spend all kinds of money on lotions, nails, makeup, hair etc. Why not treat your insides to a makeover as well? Why treat your insides like shit?

 2. Less medical expenses.

 3. Your body is an investment; it is your house. You fix up your house when something is broken, don’t you? You wouldn’t want someone to draw all over your walls, stain your carpet, spray paint your house etc.

 4. Your mind and body need energy to function. You already have too much stress with work, family, and just life.  Eat sensibly to counteract the stress that you feel.  A proper diet full of nutrients as opposed to a diet void of nutrients acts as your very own ammunition rather than a terrorist.

 5. Every bit of exercise makes you stronger, which will lead to a more independent life for a longer period of time.

 6. Who are you fooling? Put the junk down, you won’t be able to eat “good” for the next 3 days to “make up for what you’re about to eat now.” Life happens. Shit happens. And always unexpectedly.

 7. Yes, I know you worked all day and had a hard day. But skipping that workout is only going to make your next day long and hard also. Exercise releases endorphins and you’ll come out of it feeling like a bad ass.

 8. You will look sexy as all hell.

 9. Because you’re tired of avoiding the mirror.

 10. You’re tired of owning a scale

 Oh and just for good measure:

 11. You’re tired of counting calories.

Seriously, do you ever stop to realize how funny it is that we actually take the time to count calories of everything. Some days, for instance, I’ll start off eating really well, but then that little voice of protest in the back of my mind starts churning, and making all kinds of demands, it usually gets so loud that it starts making my body feel like it’s screaming. It’s equivalent to a two-year-old throwing a temper tantrum in the middle of the candy aisle and then peeing in their pants for further protest. So yea,  I usually just stop counting calories and anything else for that matter because when I go in; I might as well go all in.  

 If you can think of anything else to add to this list, add them in the comments section!

Don’t Just Stand There Smiling….Laugh

Two weeks left..

Until figure competition….

I like to spice things up every now and again. Today, instead of chicken, I had fish. I went to the gym in the afternoon rather than going tonight. I’m going back to my old roots by getting a little wild and crazy, but instead of bottles versus shots, it’s chicken versus fish. And fish wins.  All kidding aside, I feel pretty damn fabulous. I don’t know if it’s the coffee, the workout, or just the excitement that is mounting inside of me for the show in two weeks, or maybe it’s just that I haven’t given myself a whole lot of time to dwell on anything. And that’s kind of a big deal for me right now. I feel like I should have a cape draped over my shoulders and maybe a sword too. Yea. I’d like that. I’d like that a lot.  Also, I’m not as nervous or anxious as I was last year leading up to the show.  It’s weird.  Extremely weird. But I’ll take it.

 I’ve also taken notice of how Dunkin Donuts has been good to me these past couple of days. Usually, I get all twisted inside from too much caffeine, but so far I’m feeling pretty good. No crazy bug-eyed, heart racing caffeine; just enough to make shit happen. 

 Yesterday I was reminded once again to just stay away from people who want to stifle your growth and smother you with shit loads of negativity; their negativity. And I gotta say; it can be extremely draining. It’s like take my cape off, leave me stark naked, kind of draining. I’m like all happy and scaling the walls and someone just comes along and piles heaps and heaps of shit on me. Um…thanks? Being around negative people can be like realizing during a mud run that you have your head and hands covered in dog shit not mud.  Major buzzkill. Major.

 Some days, I feel like I’m ready to go find a cape and twirl around or something like that. I’m all like, la lala la la…Mary fricken Poppins, wishing to share my happiness and excitement, but not really having anyone who is on call for me to share it with, which may or may have not been a good thing, after all, not everyone is picking up flowers, twirling around in an unusually happy-go-lucky kind of mood.  I mean, I have days like that too; days where I feel like an old dirty sock rescued from the next load of laundry, and people are jolly and cheerful, it can be sickening. So, you see, I completely understand. However, it’s different when it’s you. And yesterday, that’s what happened. I was beside myself with excitement, and ultimately found myself mingling with a bit of negativity. Just like that. Boom. Someone turned the damn lights out. I was like the moles in the whack-a-mole game. Hit pretty hard.

 Next thing you know, I was sitting at home with my cape crumpled into a tight little ball.

 A few shots of flaxseed oil and some good ol’ home cooked chicken and brown rice, I was back at it.  I’m pretty sure my mood was also influenced by the stripper shoes that I had to put on my feet to practice posing for the umpteenth time. 

Stripper shoes can make you feel amazing. Even if they don’t come with a pole. They almost make me want to just lift weights or do cardio in them. They’re just that incredible. Don’t judge me. Those are the only shoes that I’ve had on my feet that don’t require me to break a sweat. Scratch that. Posing makes me sweat. That shit is the hardest part. Some may say the diet, but no, it’s definitely the posing for me. When you practice, you should get in the habit of smiling, but I’m sorry, I feel that if I were to smile while posing, I would just be mocking myself. The poses are awkward for me, and I’m not really that graceful. I’ve improved since the last show, but I’m just not quite ready to smile and say cheese just yet. Trust me, when there’s not a mirror in front of me, and my teeth are slickened with Vaseline, I’ll smile. I’ll become someone else and let her do all the smiling.  Again. Don’t judge me. Besides, I think my fake smile looks unnatural; like I should have a crown and a pageant contest wave. It’s not really that convincing. Hmmm…maybe that’s the part I should be working on. Last year, my lips were so dry, I felt like I was scraping them off my teeth every time I smiled. I didn’t know about the Vaseline trick until later. That and to laugh.

When I did the photo shoot in Las Vegas, I was told to laugh;

 1. It would bring out my abs more AND

2. It would make me look super happy…?

 So, I did what any normal person would do. I drank a bottle of red wine and I laughed. A lot.

 Blow out all of the air through your mouth, laugh, and BAM!  

 I use that trick, minus the red wine, in all of my photos too; but mainly to just look super happy.  The person standing next to me in the picture or taking the picture probably thinks I’m a weirdo, but it works. And you do what works. I think a fake smile gives the appearance that you may have had some botox done; the expression is all in the smile, but the eyes are empty. Not to mention, a fake smile and little water just dries out your mouth, which makes you feel like you need to call for the Jaws of Life just to pry your lips off of your teeth. So Vaseline it’ll be. I can live with that. I could put the Vaseline on now and practice posing, but I’m not that into Vaseline as a daily supplement.

 So coffee, stripper shoes, figure competition suits, fish, and chicken..…yep that’s what gets me through my day. Besides all of that, I guess if you invest your heart into something as much as you do your head, you can pretty much expect to ride off into the sunset on your black stallion; cape and all.

Running for Power and Purpose

 I’m not a runner. The only time I enjoy running is when I don’t really think about it. For example, I like to run with my kids when we’re playing, “who can make it to the car first”, which actually happens quite often. But I’m not really thinking about it. I mean, my heart starts pounding, my breathing becomes deeper, the gust of air felt from my body thrusting itself forward is felt, but it’s more about trying to see who can get to the car first. I usually win. Simply, because I have the car keys and the rule is, that to be declared the winner, you have to be in the car first.  

 FYI, I have a car that does not have automatic locks. I guess that is just one of the perks of owning a car with manual locks.  

To run is to have to make a commitment and to make it happen. It requires distance and miles. It requires moving farther and farther away from the starting point, and I really don’t have a lot of time for that. I know people who actually like to run for miles, endurance, speed, and some people just like it to clear their mind. But I actually have discovered that my mind usually turns off around mile numero uno. It turns into me sounding like the annoying little voice in the backseat on a long car ride wondering, “are we there yet?”

There are people who create running playlists and listen to it while they run. I’ve tried that. I end up getting tangled in the cord somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes into the run. Alright, I’m stretching the truth, maybe more like 5 or 10 foot strikes against the pavement. Or even worse; the ear buds don’t stay in, and then the Ipod gets turned off and just ends up in my pocket anyway.    

 Still, it has to be done. I like to keep it short though. No long distances. Tonight I went to the high school track to run. I swear whenever my mind starts to think about running, my body just melts. I was just lying on the couch, relaxing with the phone in my hand, checking my Instagram account, and my mind was literally screaming at me to get up and just go for a run. My body, on the other hand, literally, feels like it is pleading with me; protesting by going limp with just the thought of running. I was just going to do a cardio workout at home, but my mind, apparently, had other plans for me. Apparently, it felt this relentless desire to go outside and run. Odd.  I do have to admit, however, I was feeling pretty pathetic just lying on the couch thinking about doing cardio. Not just that though, it is those damn evil hormones that are getting to me again. My husband is lucky he is visiting his family in St. Martin so he doesn’t have to deal with the wrath of these devious little sidekicks. Ha.

All day long, in the back of my mind, I kept having glimpses of me running down my street or around the highschool track. But before I engaged into some sweat, fat burning work, I decided I should satisfy my cravings by buying my daughter a slice of chocolate cheesecake and my son a double chocolate cookie.

Look, I teach them about balance. I don’t want them to be afraid of food for cripes sake. Anyway, I couldn’t choose which one I’d rather have, so I bought both, and they ate them. They were really good too. I’m just guessing. It was a treat. They enjoyed it, and so did I.  As least I’m assuming that based on the chocolate covered stains that hid my son’s lips and teeth. Mmmm….Chocolate…

 And then reality caught up and hit me in the head…

Once at the high school track; the wind and cool air spent the first few minutes reminding me of how freezing it was outside. It had the feeling of a cool winter day; as though I was going to look up at the sky and catch a snow flake in my eye. I started cursing at myself for forgetting to bring a hat. But, it really wouldn’t have made any sense to drive all the way back home for my hat, since I had already driven to the track, which made me feel silly in the first place. I mean, I just drove right down the street to run around in a giant circle; kind of like a dog chasing its tail.

 I stepped onto the track; made sure my shoes were tied, gave in to the cool air and started with a light walk. I couldn’t help but watch two teenage boys on the field, kicking a soccer ball back and forth to each other, laughing, and enjoying the cool night breeze. I continued my walk once around the track and turned it into a light jog. As I ran, still aware of the teenagers kicking the ball back and forth to each other, my body and mind started to connect. At that point, I couldn’t stop running. I started to run extremely fast until my legs burned, and then I would jog, then run again. This type of cardio, I could handle. Sprinting.

 I lost track of time. There was no music. No cords or ear buds; and as usual, my mind went numb. I focused on my running technique, my force, and speed; time. The lights flickered on as it got a bit darker, and I had suddenly realized that the teenagers were no longer there, I quickly wondered how long they had been gone. Still, I kept moving; feeling every bit of tension in my body dissipating. I finished up with eighty side squats and fifty high knees followed by fifty knee kicks. I could have kept going, but it was extremely dark at that point, the street lamps provided the only light at that point, and the only thing I saw was my shadow. Besides, there was a trail of kid’s voices running alongside the school building and underneath the bleachers, so I figured that it was best to go home.

Tomorrow is another cardio day, and I know that my body will still plead with me not to go, but my body and mind will thank me once I am done. I just have to focus and stay in tune with each muscle in my body as it contracts. There’s no other feeling like being able to feel the energy from my muscles as they work to thrust my body forward; in competition with no one else but myself. Doing cardio doesn’t always have to be about long distance or length of time. If you don’t have time, you could still give it all you got in 15-20 minutes. Just be willing to push yourself as hard and don’t be afraid to let every muscle contract in your body, and let the tension fade.

Music or none at all; it’s your choice. Always.