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A new sister in need of shrinking

    My name is Laura and I am a sister in need of shrinking. So I hope you’ll all welcome me as I join with my sisters in spirit, Gail and Carol, to blog about the pitfalls and pratfalls of getting in shape. Anyone who formerly read the Sun Sentinel’s The Skinny blog will remember that Gail and I were a blogging dynamic duo, with more than 80,000 hits in the short year that our very successful blog existed.

     Boy, was it fun.

     But two years, one layoff and 20 pounds later, it’s time to get back to business.

     I stayed home the last year caring for my kids (ages 6 and 9) while recovering from the shell shock of 20 years as a professional journalist. (High point, interviewing Jackie Chan and him carrying my purse for me. Who’s gonna call that guy a sissy?? Low point, watching the industry I loved crumble around me.)

    My Post-Journalism Stress Disorder is finally fading. And as it does, I’m looking in the mirror – and admitting that a year spent at home with the kiddies (no matter how exceptionally good looking and above average they are) means I gave myself very little attention.

   My four major food groups perilously resemble a Chick Fil-A menu, and my exercise routine is about as steady as the stock market.

   Where’s the love??? The smarter, healthier choices? The daily renewal of commitment? They ain’t at Chick Fil-A – believe me, I looked. I think all of that can be found right here, on the Shrinking Sisters blog. I’m joining your search for smarter, healthier choices, and looking forward to having some really fun “sister” time in the process!

   Let the shrinking begin, sisters!

Send good thoughts to Shrinking Sister Carol today

The Shrinking Sisters are cursed with really lousy necks -- herniations, out of alignment, bone spurs -- you name it, we've probably got it.

Frankenstein While I (Gail) am living with my "bad Lego project" of a neck, Shrinking Sister Carol right this minute is having surgery on hers. Her neck has been giving her all kinds of grief and she hasn't been able to exercise, let alone sleep.

She'll be getting some hardware, some fusing and probably a cadaver disc or two.

So send good thoughts up to the hospital this week -- she's hoping to be outta there by the weekend.

How many calories does a redesign burn?

I was reading an especially poignant post over at the blog See Sara Shrink. She wrote:

... I haven’t lost weight in awhile.  But it’s not like I haven’t been trying.  I wake up every day with the best of intentions, but by lunch I’m fighting the same battles I’ve been fighting for years.  The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

OK, who can relate?

(Raises hand.)

Scale I've been holding steady since the end of the year, when I burned off a few holiday pounds. But I'm tired of holding steady and need to see the scale move again. 

I have to keep reminding myself that I did work on bettering my health in 2009. I got my cholesterol down from borderline icky to perfectly normal and dropped my triglycerides 100 points into the completely normal category. And I did it all with diet and exercise.

So that was 2009. Now it's three weeks into 2010 and I need to make more changes, primarily in calorie intake. I have already mentioned that I have to drop down to 1,200 for a couple of reasons. One, I have a slow metabolism (I had it tested). And two, that will help give me leeway for the "invisible calories" from supplements like fish oil, dark chocolate calcium and other good-for-me things that aren't really food. I really hate counting the calories of stuff that isn't food.

Step one is this redesign. When I first redid the logo I had in it a photo of my sister and me from 1991. That's not realistic, now, is it? So I freshened up the site and added current photos of us.

It's cleaner, lighter and brighter and I'm hoping that'll rub off on us. And you, if that's what you need.

7 pounds in 2 weeks -- how'd I do it?

Cottage_Cheese First I had a painful flare-up of arthritis in my right big toe. Then I caught a really lousy cold.
But in those past two weeks I lost 7 pounds. No exercise, lotsa cold medicine.
How'd I do it?

  • First off, I've been journaling what I eat a lot better than I had been.
  • I've been really putting a lid on the after-dinner grazing.
  • But I think the thing that did the trick was cutting back on starchy carbs at dinner.

I kinda followed an inverted pyramid for my carbs: Breakfast might be a bowl of cereal and milk (carbarific!). Then lunch would be a wrap made with a Flatout wrap (carby but also full of protein and fiber). I switched my afternoon snack from fruit and yogurt to fruit and cottage cheese. Doesn't seem like a huge change but cottage cheese has twice the protein for the same amount of calories. Then dinner would be protein and veggies.
So it's pump up the protein, dial down the carbs.
And that's tough because I love carbs.
But I love losing weight more.

I'm floundering in a sea of diets!

diet fork

As someone who writes about diets and weight loss, I'm subjected to a barrage of information, and much of it is conflicting.

So what happens? I don't know whose advice to take and I just shut down.

Which is where I am right now. So I'm trying to come up with something that I can stick with 100 percent, because, face it, ANYTHING'S going to work if you just stick to it.

But what? One of my freelance gigs has me working all morning, so hitting the gym first thing isn't working for me right now. So I have to find the time to fit in exercise. And I have pretty much the entire afternoon to do that, so I just need to pick a time. Just one stinkin' hour. (I just watched a P90X infomercial and was amazed and inspired by those people who only put in, yes, just one stinkin' hour a day.)

What about food? Yeah, what about it? I've been serving my family an assortment of Lean Cuisines and Smart Ones all week because I'm trying to use them up so I can eat "clean" and unprocessed, which I believe will help quell the boredom munchies and increase satiety.

I have a literal mountain of diet books in my office, and I bet all of them work. I just have to pick something and stick to it.

Perhaps I'll do what my former co-worker Laura Kelly did on our former blog The Skinny. She attempted to do 52 diets in 52 weeks. Only reason it didn't succeed was because the blog died before her resolve did.

I'm really trying to hang onto my January 1 resolve but my brain feels like it's being pulled in a million directions (it also doesn't help that I have a wicked case of ADD, so I have the attention span of a 3-year-old. ("oooh, a new diet!" ooooh, a new exercise gizmo!")

My motto has long been "Do What Works for You." So I ask: What's working for you?

Hello, I'm Carol. I'm a Shrinking Sister

On the boat July 3 2008 040

I'm Carol. I've been fighting my battle of the bulge since about the age of 12.  I vow to win this battle.

Last year, I was involved in the Sun-Sentinel's Take it Off Challenge, where my weight loss was chronicled in the area newspaper.  My team (from American Heritage School - where I work) won, after 12 weeks of having our photos and weights posted in the newspaper.  I lost 29lbs through that challenge, and lost a total of 40lbs.  I've since gained back 12 :-(