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December 2012

November 2012

Tunes for Tuesday: The Fighter, by Gym Class Heroes, ft. Ryan Tedder

I am all about this song this week. I've already gotten rid of one of the 3(!) pounds I INEXPLICABLY gained on Thanksgiving. Ran 4 miles before dinner, made healthy recipes, had only one glass of wine, and STILL! My fat cells have a hairpin trigger -- one false move and KA-BLAM. (Yes, the caps means I'm in PANIC MODE.) So, anyway, the song. Enjoy, punch something, do some gymnastics. Be a gym class hero.


The clean furniture weight-loss plan (Stanley Steemer giveaway)

Perfect for yoga, not for Cheetos and Kool-Aid.

Did you know that having clean furniture and carpets can help you and your family lose weight? 

"Get back in the kitchen with that ice cream! We just had the carpet cleaned!"

"Cheetos? Not on the sofa!"

Boom! Eating averted.

Having clean and fluffed-up carpet is also great for working out at home. Hitting the floor for crunches is much more enjoyable when the carpet doesn't smell like dog.

Out, damned spots!
What I'm getting at is I have a $100 gift certificate for Stanley Steemer to give away to one of you lucky readers. We just had them come out last weekend to blast through the gunk on the living room furniture and clean the living room, dining room and den carpets, and everything looks fluffy and new again.

We've been using Stanley Steemer for awhile and I trust them to do a great job and be completely professional. So when I was asked to do a giveaway, I immediately said yes.

They're always on time, always quick and professional and they blissfully don't try and up-sell you on things you don't want. 

You can find out more about Stanley Steemer on their Facebook page and on Twitter, too.

So would you like to spiff up your home for the holidays? (No one will be allowed to eat mincemeat pie on your love seat EVER after you have them cleaned.) 

Leave a comment below on how you think clean furniture and carpets will help your weight loss plans. I'll choose one winner on MONDAY, DECEMBER 3 at noon ET. (This is a quick giveaway so you can get Stanley Steemer out before your holiday parties.) And I'm not going to even bother with bonus entrees because I know you love us enough to follow us on Facebook and Twitter all on your own. 

Disclosure: The Stanley Steemer gift certificate, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by Stanley Steemer.

Serious as a (silent) heart attack

I was involved in a car accident at the end of August.  I went to the Cleveland Clinic to get checked out.  My blood pressure was high in the paramedic truck immediately after the accident (go figure) and I wanted to get checked out.  I went to the Cleveland Clinic's ER --  EKG, x-rays all were fine.  But, this accident got me to thinking, it's time to take care of me again.  Over due for my physical, over due for my mammogram, lady doctor visit, blood pressure re-evaluation... time to take care of the person taking care of everyone else.

image from healthservices.fiu.eduOver the summer, I fired my previous physician's office, for dropping all of the loose ends. I went to 
go pick up a prescription for my blood pressure meds, and they moved. I never got notice of the move.  Last straw for me. I made an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic.  Today was my appointment.  LOVELY office staff... attentive, pleasant and all-around awesome.  I met my physician and she was reviewing my history and brought up the EKG and x-rays from the visit to the ER after my accident.  She asked me, "do you have a history of heart disease?" to which I answered "no." She then explained to me that my EKG showed evidence of a previous mild heart attack OR could have been an anomoly from where/how they placed the leads... still, enough to get my heart racing... and to get me thinking... "could you actually have a heart attack and not have any symptoms?"  The doctor answered "yes."  Women can have "silent heart attacks."   HOLY CRAP!  If that is indeed the case, so be it.  I will be treated as a "cardiac patient."  But I won't act like one.

I wanted my new doctor to "kick me in the ass" about getting serious about my health and diet, and even if this was an EKG anomoly, it was a major "kick in the ass" for me.  

I picked up my new blood pressure meds, then stopped at the leasing office where I live and purchased a new pass card for the exercise room here on-site.

Up next for me: blood work, stress test, mammogram, lady doctor visit and a visit with a clinical dietician.  

Be a part of Commitment Day and do a 5K

Commitment dayLife Time Fitness wants 300,00 people in more than 30 cities to start 2013 off with a commitment to fitness, and that's why it is launching Commitment Day around the country.

Kicking off the new year with a bunch of joyous exercisers sounds like an awesome activity. Certainly better than slogging through the day with a hangover. The 5K-run/walk event will take place in 35 cities on Jan. 1, 2013 at 11 a.m. ET, 10 a.m. CT, 9 a.m. MT and 8 a.m. PT. (That's right, East Coasters, we can sleep in a bit!) Everyone will start the year off on the same foot.

Carol and I will be taking part in the Miami Commitment Day and you can take part, too. If you sign up for the 5K this Friday, you can get 50 percent off the registration price (regularly $39), by using discount code CDBF2012 when you register. If you don't register on Friday, you can still save $5 on registration by using discount code CORP0598.

You can also connect with Commitment Day on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Disclosure: Life Time provided Commitment Day registration to Shrinking Sisters.

Tunes for Tuesday: Groove is in the Heart, by Deee Lite

More '90s dance fun! Good for a walking mixtape.

Before they recorded this, DJ Dimitry wrote to Bootsy Collins and sent him a tape. Collins, a funk pioneer who recorded with George Clinton, liked it and flew in to play bass. He appeared in the video.


Will Thanksgiving derail my weight loss? No way!

Mmmm … the smell of burning oven debris is in the air. It’s time for Thanksgiving.

That stench that you may actually smell where you are is me running the self-cleaning oven setting. I’m getting ready for Turkey Day by hauling out the knife sharpener and cleaning the oven for the family meal.

Notice I didn’t say family feast, despite the chance at alliteration. This is no belt-buckle-popping orgy. Instead it’s a chance to gather everyone around the table (in our case, the patio table) and give thanks for friends, family and food – real food, not stuff that comes in boxes and cans.

Yeah, there’s a little of that, in my husband’s family recipe for scalloped corn, which requires creamed corn and crackers, but for the most part, you can recognize the vegetables, which are not gasping for air under greasy onion strings or cheese sauce.

I like to have some absolutely unadorned things on the Thanksgiving menu. Want my secret recipe for green beans? Here it is:

Green beans.

Yep – steamed green beans with nothin’ on ‘em. It’s sort of a palate cleanser for the bacon-festooned Brussels sprouts and cornbread dressing. But never fear, those recipes come from places like Cooking Light magazine and the latest Hungry Girl cookbook. (She has really come far in using unprocessed foods in her recipes.)

If everything is cheesy and saucy and bubbly and creamy, isn’t it overkill?

As for the turkey, that’s the husband’s job. We’ve been cooking it on the Weber kettle grill for years, and every year it comes out perfectly. I order a fresh turkey from Whole Foods (much better than those giant frozen bowling balls) and it’s totally worth the extra cost, especially since turkey is pretty inexpensive to begin with.

Our fresh turkey Thanksgivings began when we lived in Delaware. One windy night after work, I drove halfway down the state (it’s not that big!) down a tree-lined, unpaved dark road to a turkey farm and stood in line with others as farmhands walked past us with buckets of bloody turkey guts. We then discovered why fresh is best.

Will Thanksgiving derail my weight loss? No way! Turkey is about the best lean protein there is, and if you keep the sides clean as well as desserts, then it won’t be a problem. Plus, I have this little built-in appetite suppressant – working all day in the kitchen. By the time mealtime rolls around I don’t want to look at food, so I usually pick at my meal and enjoy the leftovers for days to come. I also make sure I do some sort of informal “turkey trot” in the morning – there’s nothing like a brisk 5k to rev you up for a day of sticking your head in and out of the oven.

So, as for my weight loss, I have FINALLY! gotten the scale to move – 3 pounds to be exact. Once again, I am a mere pound away from pre-baby weight.

What has helped? Snapping photos of every meal and snack for Stefan Pinto’s C Diet over on Facebook. I really like the idea of an “impartial jury of my peers” looking over my meal choices. I’m far less likely to eat a bowl of cookie dough ice cream and call it dinner if total strangers are going to see that. I’m also being really consistent with my exercise, averaging five days a week.

This is just some of the supplement stash.
What hasn’t helped? Watching the “Dr. Oz Show.” I literally made myself ill last week, gleefully and dutifully taking all his “miracle supplements” twice a day. Garcinia, raspberry ketones, green coffee extract – you name it, I was taking it until Thursday around lunch when I felt absolutely disgusting. Queasy, dizzy, spacey, headachy – I thought I was getting the flu. Then it hit me – the last time I felt like this it was after I did the same thing with a different bunch of supplements. So I stopped and went back to one multivitamin and one serving of fish oil. And within a few days I was feeling normal again.

I get sucked into the hype every stinking time. I have to keep reminding myself that the only thing that works -- the only “miracle” -- is a balanced diet of the correct calorie level and regular exercise.

Carol does Nutrisystem: The most important meal

NS Donut
Nutrisystem photos
Nutrisystem breakfasts are varied. My usual selection has been the cranberry orange pastry or the toasted "O's" cereal.  Recent additions to the program are the chocolate frosted doughnut and cinnamon roll.  Which begs the question, "If I'm on a weight loss program, why would I be indulging in a chocolate frosted doughnut or a cinnamon roll?"  The answer? Because I can.

Granted, the doughnut is not what one would get from a doughnut store, and the cinnamon roll is far from the ones sold at the mall... BUT, they are a decent facsimile. That, and a container of fat free Greek yogurt completes my breakfast.  

NS_Breakfast_PattyWhat I have been missing, however is protein.  Good, clean protein.  For breakfast there is a maple flavored pork breakfast patty (tastes good too).  For dinner, there are grilled chicken breast portions, which I have with a big salad.  Every so often though, I really crave a piece of fresh fish.  

But for portion control, convenience and portability, Nutrisystem can't be beat. 

Disclaimer: I have been selected to participate in the Nutrisystem NSNation blogger program. For three months, I will receive the food free of charge to help facilitate my honest review. No other compensation will be received.

Wordless Wednesday: Dove's Self Esteem Project

Saw this commercial again today and it really hits home with me. I took ballet lessons for 7 years but quit when I was 12 because I didn't feel good about my body. Same thing with swimming. I was on the high school swim team for probably a month but quit when we went from land workouts to pool workouts because I couldn't deal with the swimsuit.