Sunday, June 29, 2008

The "Hey! I Live in Africa!" Diet

Here's all you need:

A 17-hour plane trip, to include a non-existent layover because you spent it all sitting on the runway waiting for a gate to open up. This means you get no real meal for the day.

A 10-minute sprint through JFK to make up for aforementioned lack of a layover.

No place to put your carry-on bag except in the overhead compartment, leading to not being all that willing to get it out and get to your snacks very often.

Get picked up at the airport and virtually whisked away, taking away any chance of eating there either.

Have someone else do your initial grocery shop so that there's food already waiting for you and your family (yay!), most of it being food I like but don't looove, therefore making it easy to eat alone.

Four words: tiny bowls and spoons. Seriously, this hotel has the tiniest bowls I've ever seen (aside from Ikea's children's bowls, which these are about the size of), and the spoon choices are huge (almost serving spoon size) and teeny. So I go with teeny, resulting in way less cereal being eaten. For me, this is really great (cereal has always been my go-to binge food, even cereal I'm not that fond of).

Sweet sweet jet lag. Ok, really there's nothing sweet about it, but since I have it and it doesn't seem to being going away all that soon, I figured I might as well embrace it. Usually being bone tired all the time makes me stuff my face with sweet sweet carbohydrates (for real sweet, not the sarcastic kind), but this time it seems to be leading to very little eating. Of course, the elven-sized dishes don't hurt these efforts either.

Here's a big one: don't speak the language, so you know there's no chance you're heading out on your own to get food.

Another biggie: don't have a car. Then, even when your husband is home who does speak the language, you can only go as far as you're willing to walk (i.e. the length of time you have patience for listening to your children tell you they're hot, i.e., not that far).

And last but not least, be sure to have the heaviest flow day of your period start midway through your transatlantic flight and continue right on through your first day fighting jet lag.

Result? 3.5 pounds down in 48 hours!

Now for the real plan: this afternoon a guy we just met is taking my husband to the store to do some grocery shopping, so my main task today (if I can stay awake long enough), is to make a menu and shopping list. One of the great things about this move that I'm choosing to focus on is that I get to start from scratch when it comes to our pantry and menus. You know how no matter how much you say you're going to re-vamp you eating, you just can't seem to get away from the ol' stand-bys? Especially when you have kids? Well, since I have a completely empty pantry (and technically, not even a real house yet, since we're still waiting to get into our apartment), I get to say what goes in it. Of course I'll still have food my kids like, but my husband and I have decided that we want to use this opportunity to move our family's eating towards the less-processed side of the spectrum. As in, stop relying on convenience foods and try to make our meals as well-rounded as possible. Our kids are on the "fair-to-middling" side of adventurous when it comes to food (Little Miss Sunshine ate a carrot last night! Alert the media!), we are optimistic that if we are patient, we can make some good changes this year. Feel free to laugh your tails off at us if, three weeks from now, I tell you we're eating mac 'n' cheese and hamburger helper everyday.

As for exercise, I haven't figured out yet how I'm going to get my cardio in until we get our household shipments (one of which contains my recumbent bike), but I have exercise bands, and, jet lag or no (I vote "no"), I can still do some toning exercises. Plus I can do body-weight circuits.

And, if all else fails, I can always try sweating of the weight. It's certainly hot enough outside. Just ask my kids.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Highlight of MY day

I couldn't be prouder (more proud?)! Turns out Diet Cake (that's this blog) is the number one hit if you Google the words "harlot" and "rouge" together. I think this may be the second step on our road to blogging fame (the first step was getting anyone at all to read our drivel). I think I can attribute the Google listing to this post. Since this blog is supposedly about dieting (and cake), and not harlots and rouge, I imagine anyone who Googled this word combo would be disappointed and/or annoyed upon clicking on our link. But I think I can speak for Sara when I say that we're willing to discuss harlots and rouge from time to time. How about now? Rouge: for it. Harlotry: against it. 

P.S. Please don't confuse "rouge" with "rogue." Rouge is a cosmetic, used on the cheeks (aka: blush). A rogue is the main male character in a Harlequin Regency novel, as in "Pierre Charlemagne Augustine DuBleu, rogue that he was, had a left a trail of love-sick, be-rouged harlots in his wake."
P.S. 2  My nose looks awesomely big in that picture. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Smooth Move

You thought this was going to be about Ex-Lax, didn't you? Sorry to disappoint, but it's about my current biggest challenge on the weight-loss front. I'm moving! And homeless! And visiting friends and family! It's the perfect storm for not only *not* losing but for a full-on gaining fest!

We moved out of our house about 2 weeks ago, left California a week ago, and now we're on a prolonged farewell tour before we head off for Africa. Oh yeah, did I mention I'm moving to Africa? But since denial is my favorite coping mechanism, I'm remarkably calm about all that THAT'S going to entail; what I'm having the hardest time with right now is dealing with all the craziness the moving, homelessness, and visiting is wreaking on my attempt to exercise and eat well.

Here's what I've done right during all this:
***Asked my mom not to buy the cookies and sugar cereals she usually stocks up on before we visit--"for the kids"--because I know I can't control myself with those in the house.
***Brought my scale with me. Yes, I am toting a scale around in my luggage. You don't even want to know what the expression on my husband's face looked like when I told him it would be joining us. But see, I know me, and I know that if I don't have a way to consistently track my weight it becomes waaay too easy to fool myself into believing that "I'm doing fine; I can have this half a cake" or "I'm doing fine; exercising is not necessary!" The last time we moved, I was without a scale for 2 months, and in that time I managed to gain 17 pounds. Yes, 17. Granted, I was pregnant, but this was the first trimester! 17 pounds! Two months! So in order to prevent a recurrence of that lovely experience (p.s. NOT pregnant), I brought my scale, and I'm using to keep myself honest. My husband stopped shaking his head at me last week after we got to my mom's house (and I hadn't had access to the scale for a few days). I had just come off of a weekend of less-than-stellar eating and a long day of traveling, and I felt really huge and bloat-y. I was sure my weight was up, and I could feel myself slipping into that Screw It All mindset that tends to hang around when I'm already feeling liked I've messed up so bad there's no recovering and I might as well eat the house. Lo and behold, I got on the scale and discovered that I had actually LOST! 1.2 pounds! Woo! Bottom line is that I need me the accountability, so I'm doing what it takes (i.e. giving up precious weight in my luggage) to have it.
***Laying out my exercise clothes before I go to bed so that I can easily sneak out of the room without waking up the almost-two-year-old-that-doesn't-like-it-when-I-leave-him and get my walk in early before the day gets crazy.
***For almost a week now, I've been working on keeping up with my food journal. This is one of my biggest weaknesses and is almost always the first thing to go on the slippery slope to stuffing my face with crap. Consequently, my eating has been getting better. Perfect is never going to happen, so good and better is my aim.

I know I can do better though. I need to drink more water. My exercise can be more intense. I need to weight train.

Does anybody have some good tips for when you're traveling and/or when your life is just generally in a state of upheaval?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Four Things I Dislike About Being Overweight

1) Chins

2) Accidentally bumping a fellow churchgoer in the head with your bum as you're trying to maneuver over people's legs to get to your seat.
3) Having to hold your upper arm fat steady with your left hand when you wave.
4) Being startled by mirrors at Target.