Saturday, February 18, 2012

DANGER: Curves Ahead!

   "I've never wanted to look like a model.  I represent the majority of women and I am very proud of that!"

That's what singer Adele had to say about her full figure.  Even before her six Grammy wins earlier this week, she was slammed by fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld, who was quoted as saying..."She is a little too fat, but she has a beautiful face and a divine voice." WTF???

I love me some Jill Scott too!  "I'll never be a stick figure..." acknowledges a noticeably thinner Scott, even after a 63 lbs weight loss. I love the fact that she simply recognized a need to simply be healthy. After the birth of her son she recognizes that... ‘There’s a world of discovery in his eyes, and I want to be around to enjoy it,’ she said. Kudos to you, Ms. Scott.

I too have struggled with my weight for most of my life.  Despite my most disciplined efforts, I too recognize that I will never be model thin.  My reality is that I am a five-foot, six inch large framed woman.  I've never had a weight goal, so I'm not so sure I can measure this thing in numbers, but if I gotta put a number on it, then maybe thin for me means a perfect size 12, if I am lucky.  That elusive but perfect size 12 still escapes me even as a healthy adult.  I know I am healthy because my doctor never fails to remind me that I am the "healthiest over-weight person he knows!" I'm never quite sure if he means that as a compliment, but I suppose for this purpose that question may be making  a mountain out of a molehill.

The point is, in this regard I certainly do count my blessings.  The family history dictates that I should have diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and perhaps even cancer.  But my blood work and test results show no signs of any cholesterol, thyroid issues, nor any signs of the aforementioned family traits.  And while it may be fustrating to have raised a beautiful but petite younger sister who is a perfect "ZERO,"despite having given to birth of three of the most beautiful children, makes me a bit envious to say the least.   I guess my mother ran out of fat genes by the time she got to my sister... but that's ok!But I also recognize, if GOD wanted us all to be a size 8, he would have created us all that way.

So, despite the Karl Lagerfelds of the world, I will continue my plythe to be healthy.  Continuing to strive for that perfect size 12 that has so far escaped me, will probably never be too far from my realm of targets.  Not because Karl might think I'm a little too fat... but because for me it is the lore of the one thing I have yet to conquer. This one has been on my list for a very long time, and I hate to see anything get the best of me.   I have always wanted to be the BEST me I could be, and somethings never change.  But either way I win - either way I go, there are dangerous curves ahead!

Friday, February 10, 2012

My Dirty Little Secret...

I am a little confused and a bit frustrated.

Since my mother’s second breast cancer diagnosis, I’ve probably been healthier than I’ve ever been.  Educating myself about this dreaded disease while motivating my Mother to change her evil ways has been great for both of us in many ways. The diet has been pretty fantastic incorporating lots of lean protein with nourishing fresh fruits and powerhouse veggies. We’ve managed to keep the diet pretty clean and organic when possible. My workouts have been pretty consistent starting out in the beginning with four 45-minute cardio sessions. In October, I decided that I needed more of a challenge and so I hired a personal trainer in incorporate weight training four days a week and increased cardio to six one- hour sessions per week. I've managed to do the one thing, I never thought I could... I've become a gym rat.  So why the confusion???  What’s up with the frustration???

After the first 25 lbs. of weight loss, my scale hasn’t moved. With the increased time and intensity added into the daily routine, I simply just don’t get it!  Now don’t get me wrong… I understand that I am building muscle and muscle does weigh more than fat. The truth is, I am seeing changes in the shape of my body.  I’ve been tracking my measurements along with my weight and have noticed a loss of a few inches here and there... but why in the world is my scale not moving down???  Is it broken???

Although the temptation is there in an effort to get the scale moving, I really didn't want to do anything to drastic.  In the past, I would try little tricks, but it is important to me to incorporate healthy eating habits that will be easy for me to stick with.  Starting a “diet plan” that I won’t be able to stick with will just set me up for failure in the long run.  For example, eliminating carbohydrates now, will only cause me to gain back any weight I lose later.  That’s not a move that I am willing to make permanent.  Although I am certainly willing to reduce them, I love my legumes, sushi, steel cut oats, and sweet potatoes too much to eliminate them completely

My dirty little secret really isn't a secret at all, at least to those who know me well.  My non-negotiable indulgence is my love of the red grape.  I can live without chocolate and desserts, and usually do quite often without much difficulty.  I can pass on the martini, margarita or even sake’ all day long.  I've even been know to travel in search of this wonderful nectar of the Gods, and see another trip in my near future really soon. Now that I am cooking more at home, the urge to pair a phenomenal meal with a fantastic bottle wine is sheer bliss. At the risk of sounding like an alcoholic… the wine has gotta stay. Its not just a pleasure, it's more like a passion. 

On a positive note, my guilty pleasure has been studied and is known for its effects for great heart health.  Red wine is a particularly rich source of antioxidants flavonoid phenolics. Many studies to uncover a cause for red wine's effects have focused on its phenolic constituents, particularly resveratrol and the flavonoids. Resveratrol, found in grape skins and seeds, increases HDL cholesterol and prevent blood clotting. Flavonoids, on the other hand, exhibit antioxidant properties helping prevent blood clots and plaques formation in arteries.

Now I realize that is a downside as well.  Studies showed that alcohol drinking may increase triglycerides and result in weight gain due to its empty calories, while other also suggested that alcohol consumption is associated with cancer risk. Since the alcohol is more likely to be burned off first, whatever stored fat is in the body will continue to be stored a fat.  It is also a diuretic, meaning that it causes water loss and dehydration. Along with this water loss, there is also the loss of important minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and zinc. These minerals are vital to the maintenance of fluid balance, chemical reactions, and muscle contraction and relaxation. In addition, alcohol can actually stimulate the appetite. On top of that, research shows that drinking before or during a meal, both your inhibitions and willpower are reduced. In this state you are more likely to overeat, and any way you look at it...this can't be a good thing.

So knowing what I know... and I have my wine and drink it too???  While I know that my trainer will no doubt say..."HELL NO!", my head and heart still disagree.  Even with moderation, there has got to be a way to allow my guilty pleasure.  For now, I'll just continue to be a gym rat while I figure this thing out. And, if it makes my trainer feel any better, I plan to run my first 5K in several years.  (Check out ).  Besides, my girlfriends and I have already purchased tickets to the Oakhurst Wine Krawl Wine and I am pretty sure I'm not gonna sit that one out!  Care to join us... check out

Happy drinking... and oh yeah...CHEERS!!!  Here's to you!!!