Deep Breath

Scale for BootcampHello, friends. Yes, I am still here and I still have much to share. Today, I want to update you on my journey of weight loss. Many of you had been following this vein of my blog with great interest back when I was in the thick of bootcamp, battling through numbers and frustration as I slowly crept towards my goal. Since then a lot has transpired….

When we last left off, I was approaching the end of my 10 week stint and had dropped down to 205 pounds. If you remember, my goal was to get below 200 pounds before my 30th birthday, April 24. Back in January/February, such a goal seemed like it would be a no brainer – in fact, I projected I would far exceed it. Did this happen? No. The lowest I saw my scale was 202, which occurred in the second week of April. At the time I was excited for boot camp to end. No more being held to a 6am start time, free to make my own work out schedule… But within two days of finishing boot camp I reverted back to my old ways. It was quite alarming – like a recovered alcoholic slipping back into the drink after years of sobriety. Now granted, I had planned to have a week of indulgence for my birthday, but let’s face it: it wasn’t my birthday week yet. And even if it was, it was still way too much.

Though I knew I was going really overboard, I just sort of let it happen. I’ve been here before: I wanted to remind myself how terrible I feel when I eat in such extreme excess. Let myself spiral downward until I feel so awful that I finally just snap out of it. The last weekend in April I was on the scoring stage with Thomas Newman at Fox. They keep a huge array of food out for the musicians – a cornucopia of empty carbohydrates and self-loathing. For two of my three days there this included an entire table devoted to Porto’s Bakery. I ate cookie after cookie after cookie and then went to the green room for the lunch buffet. When I used the alcohol analogy earlier, I wasn’t exaggerating – it is that level of addiction. Clearly not the food table’s fault.

By the time the first week of May rolled around, all the birthday hubbub was over; the cakes gone, the candies and treats cleared out. As I began to get back in touch with my life, I realized that (at least at that point in time) I was unable to take control of myself, therefore I needed a structure. I needed to regain a focused effort on a goal. I needed boot camp. Though I convinced myself I was ready for a break, in truth I was not even close. My ultimate goal was to be in the 180s and at 202, I still had a ways to go.

So, on Thursday May 2, I was back on the bike at 6am… and it felt amazing. In my last stint I wrote about many times where I felt frustrated. As much as I was working hard, I was also allowing myself to give in to poor states of mind: “oh it’s just sometimes impossible for me to get in at 6am” and “this diet is not really sustainable” etc etc. This time around, I am in a state of zen. I don’t think about the time, I don’t think about the food that I am eating or want to eat or wish I was eating. I just simply do it. Who cares if it’s early? Who cares if I hit a few road blocks? The time away from bootcamp was so necessary: it taught me that not only is intense exercise good for me, it makes me a better me. In many ways, I need it. And I am grateful that the ladies at RPM are affording me the opportunity to go at it once again.

On Thursday I was 214 pounds. This morning, 6 days later, I was 209. A good start. Just need to keep it going. Deep breath…

Ebbing and Flowing

Total Body CleanseLast blog weigh-in:         217
This morning’s number: 215

It’s Monday and that means it’s time for a bootcamp update. If you remember my bootcamp post from last week, you know that the last 10-ish days have been trying for me. I had been dealing with some serious digestive issues, which in turn caused my numbers to stop moving, which in turn was making me feel gross and frustrated. Never a fun emotion to have to navigate, especially when trying to lose weight. But, as I said last week, hurdles such as this are inevitable with any lifestyle change. One must simply keep going.

Today I’m happy to be coming at you on a much lighter and more hopeful note. As you can see from my weigh-in numbers at the top, I am once again on the way down. After weeks of distress I finally went in for a colonic on Thursday. I have done these many times before and highly recommend them to all, but this one in particular was a revelation. Angels sang, clouds parted, spirits soared… it was just what I needed. By Friday afternoon I felt completely light and empty for the first time in weeks. Since then I have begun a 14-day herbal cleanse and will be going in for 5 more treatments. All of this will not only get me squeaky clean, but will (hopefully) reset the workings of my apparently polluted colon. Fingers crossed. In the meantime, I am once again excited and filled with optimism. My body is getting noticeably smaller – I have gotten so many looks and compliments. It shouldn’t be long before we see those numbers catch up. Eee!

This week at bootcamp is what they call “Skinny Week” where they narrow down our diet even further to promote an exceptional period of results. With only two weeks left on this first 5-week stint, I’m hoping that this will allow me to catch up some time I lost while battling with my gut. Wish me luck!

In honor of skinny week, stay tuned for inspired recipes and healthy Los Angeles eats!

Case of the Mondays

Sprinkles Cupcakes Beverly HillsIt’s Monday and we all know what that means. Time to post about bootcamp. I confess this is not a post I had been looking forward to. Why? Because I have to report that my numbers stayed the same this week. Shocking as it may sound, what with all the exercise and dietary restrictions, this sort of thing happens, even to the most meticulous practicers. For me, it always comes down to digestive issues. If you’re not properly digesting your food, you are not going to see the results in your numbers. When embarking on a healthy quest such as this I always always encounter this problem. It’s unavoidable.

As I laid here thinking about this post this morning, I was thinking about how I would give this a positive spin. Some bs about how it’s enough to see my body change and that it still feels so good to be so committed to a regimen of health and exercise and blah blah blah… But you know what? You know what the hard honest truth is? It’s frustrating as hell. To work hard every single day and discover that you are at a standstill. And for all of you who are following this blog and going through your own weight loss journeys, you are going to have weeks/days/moments like this too. Even if you are the most meticulous, consistent, dedicated individual, there are going to be some hurdles, some bumps in your road. Maybe you get sick, maybe work piles up, or maybe you simply can’t take a sh*t. Whatever it turns out to be, it’s important to remember that it’s ok to get frustrated. It’s ok to have a day or a week where you feel crappy and you have a hard time remembering why it is you’re getting up everyday at 5am and spending so much time and effort eating vegetables and green juice. Ugh.

BUT. It is equally important to keep going. Remember that these bumps and hurdles are just that – they can be overcome. Yes, allow yourself to be frustrated. It’s ok. But then take a minute, turn off the TV, switch off your computer, put your phone on silent, treat yourself to a cupcake, and remind yourself of all that you have accomplished. Remember that the world hasn’t ended, that you haven’t nor will you gain back all the weight you’ve lost over night, nor will a little bump prevent you from reaching your goal. Think of how far you’ll go and how great you’ll feel down the road once you’ve thrown yourself over that hurdle… Then everything isn’t so bad, is it?

Now, put down that cupcake, take a deep breath, and carry on. :-)

Magic Green Elixir

Perhaps one of the best habits my weight loss journey has brought me to is juicing. If you had asked me a year ago if I would ever consider buying a juicer and using it to juice fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, I would have said absolutely not. I mean, what a ridiculous concept – time consuming, expensive, and who wants to eat juiced kale?? I was perusing Netflix about 6 months ago looking for health documentaries (I am obsessed with current health trends and research) when I came across a movie called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. It’s the story of an Australian man who goes on a quest to cure his body of a chronic disease that was causing him to spontaneously break into hives. What was his method? 60 days of drinking only fresh juice, followed by a 6-month diet comprised of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. And you know what? It worked. He lost 75 pounds in 60 days and by the end of his 6-month follow-up diet, he was completely off all his medication. Cured. The next day I bought a juicer.

What is so great about it, you ask? Well, I’ll leave it to you to watch movie and learn all the details, but he basic premise is this: fresh fruits and vegetables contain absurd amount of nutrients and phytochemicals that your body needs to thrive. By juicing a mess of veggies and fruits, you are hyper-concentrating the nutrition of what would be three meals of vegetables into one drink that your body can absorb almost instantly. I can honestly tell you that adding juice to my diet (it’s my breakfast every morning) has really been integral in my struggle for balance and healthy weight. If you read my post from earlier today, you know I’ve been battling a head cold for the past week. Though what I want is comfort food, what I know my body will really benefit from is my Magic Green Elixir – the recipe I have settled on as my go-to juice. You of course can juice anything you like, but what’s important is making sure it’s green. The nutrients you get from Kale or any leafy greens are what really make the juice worthwhile.

Now I know some of you are thinking, wait, I thought you were the starving artist – how can you just go out and drop $140 on a juicer? Simple answer: timing. If I saw the movie this week, I would certainly not be buying a juicer. However, I happened to have a little wiggle room and decided I wanted to make it happen. And honestly I’ve used the juicer almost every day since then. Absolutely worth it.

Also I should say that I don’t necessarily encourage you to go on a full on juice fast. I mean, if you want to and your doctor says it’s ok, go for it. But I have to tell you I tried it for two weeks. I lost a good chunk of weight, like 17 pounds, but once I was done I went on vacation and guess what? It all came back… and then some. I think if you’re looking to jump start a new healthy regimen, juice fasting for a day or two first can be a great way to jump start. But for me, I find that using juice as part of my every day health-conscious diet works best for me.

I’ve decided to drink juice twice a day today and tomorrow and see if it helps get me better faster. We’ll see how it goes. Does anyone out there juice? Any favorite recipes or success stories?

Magic Green Elixir Recipe

  • 2 large handfuls of Trader Joe’s Southern Green Blend
    (or whatever greens you like – kale, spinach, collard, etc)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 3 small apples
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 1-inch chunk of ginger
  • 3 sprigs of fresh parsley

Related Juicing Links

One of Those Weeks

Ever have an off week? You know the kind of week I’m talking about. Nothing about it is particularly bad. In fact, a lot of it might actually be good, but for whatever reason, things don’t quite line up. Maybe you’re not feeling quite yourself. Maybe you have some stuff weighing on your subconscious. Maybe you’re just drunk. Whatever the case may be, you get to the end of the week and think, “what the hell just happened?” That, dear readers, has been me this week and I know exactly what my problem has been: a head cold. I’ve been fighting this damn thing since Sunday and it does not want to go away. Like a true starving artist, I don’t have health insurance, so I can’t just casually visit my primary care doctor and get a z-pack for $10. No no. Instead I rely on the starving artist antibiotic: orange juice, sudafed, and whiskey. Quite the trio. Also Vicks Vapo Rub. Classic. Shout out to my friend Molly for hooking me up with the whiskey for my birthday.

Still, I think everyone would agree that when you’re not feeling well, what you really want to reach for is comfort food. I have to tell you that I don’t get sick very often, so usually when I do I use it as an excuse to gorge on all my unhealthy favorites – mac and cheese, pasta with meat sauce, a toasted bagel with cream cheese, etc. This time around I have been shockingly in control. I’ve been eating salads, vegetables, nothing terribly starchy… I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me. Actually I think it’s because I had been on such a good kick the week before – eating right, going to the gym 5 times a week. I was feeling really good and I guess I didn’t want being sick to completely negate all my efforts. Still, at this point some comfort food is sounding pretty damn good, especially considering I’m still sick. Some culinary mischief may be in order… tune in this weekend to find out what it is.

Meanwhile I am super excited for the weekend. One of my best friends who I’ve known since I was in second grade is coming to visit with his girlfriend. Not only am I excited to see them, I’m super pumped to have an excuse to indulge in some local eats that I would otherwise avoid. You bet I’ll be giving full reports here on the blog, so come back this weekend to find out where we end up.

Anyone else have an off week? What’s your favorite comfort food/sick remedy?