Finally, a diet book that rocks.

Alright, so it’s not technically a diet book. But Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster really does rock.

You won’t find any recipes. Or diet tips. Or any real exercise advice.

She doesn’t go out of her way to try to motivate you. In fact, she spends the first half of the book giving you all the proof you’d ever need that diets are doomed to fail.

So why’s it so great?

‘Cause she tells it like it is. She’s funny as hell. And she gets it.

Dieting sucks donkey kong. But if you work it right, you can make it work—without declaring food the enemy.

Her rant on the cake haters at Weight Watchers meetings alone is worth the price of the book. Seriously.

So, all 10 of you who read this blog, go get this book. Because no, you can’t borrow mine. I don’t want this one disappearing on me—it’s one I plan on re-reading obsessively.

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Published in: on June 22, 2008 at 8:21 pm  Comments (1)  
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Small Victories

Today was Scale Day.

Somehow I actually managed to lose a half a pound this week. This is particularly surprising because I had what you might call a Bad Week. It started with drunken karaoke-ing on Friday night. Continued with greasy hangover food on Saturday. Then Monday hit, along with a Mack truck loaded with stress (and brownies).

Like I said, a Bad Week.

Apparently, those five mile runs I forced myself to take as an alternative to drinking an entire bottle of wine each evening paid off.

And those endorphins? They really do a body good.

Hurray for endorphins!

Published in: on June 20, 2008 at 6:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Behind every great man…is a great ass.

Iraq.

Global warming.

A foundering economy.

A health care system in crisis.

These are just a few of the issues that we, as a country, are dealing as we head into the presidential election.

But apparently, we’ve got better things to focus on. Things like the size of our prospective First Lady’s ass.

In a recent Reuters article, we learn that:

“McCain posed in size zero jeans for the latest issue of Vogue. Obama, who has also appeared in the fashion magazine, was praised by style writers for the violet sheath dress she wore to her husband’s Democratic nomination victory rally…”

Really?

That’s what we need to know about the next presidential spouse?  That she can squeeze into a size zero? And look stylish while holding up the podium?

Really?

I feel like I should have something profound to say here, but I’m too pissed off about the whole thing.

Could someone please let me know when sanity returns to the planet?

Published in: on June 12, 2008 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Vending Machine Confession

It’s 10:30 a.m. and I just raided the vending machine.

I’m currently eating—make that I just ate—a whole bag of peanut m&ms.

And yes, I did have breakfast, just 2.5 hours ago. Whole wheat peanut butter toast and a peach.

And no, I wasn’t really hungry.

Just can’t seem to find my funny, and a deadline is fast approaching. Suddenly, chocolate sounded pretty damn good.

Guess I haven’t quite conquered that whole emotional eating thing.

Published in: on June 10, 2008 at 2:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Maintaining is the hardest thing

It’s 7:30 a.m. Friday morning. Time to face the music. Or, rather, the numbers. I’m standing in front of my scale, heart beating loudly in my chest, trying to get the nerve to step on board.

“Please, please, please don’t let it be bad news. Please don’t let it be bad news. No bad news, not today,” I chant.

Finally, there’s nothing to do but do it. So I close my eyes, hold my breath and wait for the digital demon to do its thing.

Thankfully, the gods have decided to be merciful. My weight’s exactly the same. In fact, it’s stayed steady for a whole month now—I seem to be actually getting this maintaining thing down.

Now, in a perfect world, I’d still be losing. I still have ten more to go. But given everything else I’ve got going on right now, I decided to take a little break from the whole diet business.

Instead, I’m trying to just live. And good lord is that scary.

There’s something very comforting about being on a diet. When I’m working toward a goal, it’s easier to make myself do stuff I have no desire to do. Like ignore cravings for cake and eat carrots instead. Or go sweat at the gym after a 12-hour work day when I really want to go home and watch reruns of Scrubs.

But now that I’ve hit it? Well, for a while, it was great. People noticed. My clothes fit better. I felt better. But eventually, the novelty wore off. And now I’ve just got to keep on keeping on. With no real reward in sight.

Well, except for stress-free encounters with the scale.  Clothes that continue to fit.  And a self-confidence level that remains somewhat healthy.

All good things. But when I’m faced with a plate of brownies, or a grease-laden pizza, or am weighing the pros and cons of that second pint of beer, they’re hard to remember.

And the easy excuse, “I can’t because I’m on a diet,” is gone. Instead, I have to rely on the self-discipline that I’ve supposedly learned over the last year or so. And the healthy habits that are supposed to have burned themselves into my consciousness.

It doesn’t always work. I’ve eaten a few too many brownies lately. Blown off a few too many gym dates. Indulged in a pint or three. But I’m getting better about it. And I think I’m finding some balance.

But I still feel like I’m blundering about in the dark. And I remain just a little bit terrified.

After all, forever is a mighty long time to keep this up.

Published in: on June 9, 2008 at 3:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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Working out with the Worms

Every once in a while, I get tired of running to nowhere on the treadmill.

Sick to death of smelling that special gym-fresh rankness every exercise facility ever built seems to share.

Ready to quit the whole going-to-the-gym-to-sweat-profusely-and-hurt-incredibly routine.

In fact, over the past month and a half I’ve averaged oh, maybe two workouts a week. Max. Which ain’t nearly enough. But when burnout strikes…it hits hard. And I was fried.

Then, five yards of prime topsoil (and a bit of cow poo) landed on my driveway. Why? Because my blood runs a bit green. See, my mom is a Gardener. With a yard worthy of a magazine spread. And she taught me a house isn’t really a home until it’s surrounded by flowers o’ plenty.

Unfortunately, my house sits on top of a quarry. You can’t dig into rock. Or grow anything in it. Trust me. I tried. Thus, the giant dirt pile.

So what does that have to do with exercise, you ask?

Well, let me tell you, after 72 hours of shoveling, hauling, digging and planting, every muscle in my body hurts. And since gardening burns approximately 383 calories an hour, I killed something like seven bazillion calories.

If that’s not a workout, I don’t know what is.

And I feel good. Sore, sure. But I accomplished something—something Big. Something that I couldn’t have done if it weren’t for those muscles I spent so many hours building in the gym.

In fact, if I had gotten that same pile of dirt delivered this time last year, I would have had a heart attack—or at the very least, a pain-fueled temper tantrum—before the first wheelbarrow load got moved. And the results wouldn’t have been nearly so satisfying.

So what did I learn today?

First, you don’t have to go to the gym to get a workout. But all those exercise sessions I do put myself through inside that hall of torture? They’re way worth it.

So I guess I won’t cancel my membership just yet.

Published in: on June 2, 2008 at 6:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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