Archive of ‘weight loss for weirdos’ category

Weight Loss For Weirdos -one year later

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Image: GESPENSTER KRIMI 513 — Aerobic Horror

Well and so. A year has gone by since I began writing of my weight loss for weirdos exploits and I thought I would report back with my results.

I am now one pound heavier than I was when I started.

A lot of great things have happened in the past year. I traveled to Iceland! I hosted my second Death Cafe! Several friends have asked me to participate in fun projects!  And some not-so-great things happened.  My grandfather passed, making our small family even smaller.  Care for my grandmother has consumed me, and in providing this care I missed out on what may have been a once in a lifetime opportunity to attend a family reunion in the Midwest, and a chance to meet some relatives I didn’t even know that I had.

As is the way sometimes, right now it feels like the bad outweighs the good, and emotionally that’s weighing on me quite heavily.  Physically, all of the weight I have not lost (and the little I lost but gained back) is weighing on me as well. All of this weight is no small burden and it’s making me pretty glum.

What have I done about it?  Well, I stepped on the scale, for one.  That was rather terrifying, but I guess you have to know what you’re working with, right?  So, now we are starting all over again, I suppose.

I’ve got so much on my plate right now – pardon the pun – that I almost don’t even care what happens with my weight and with my health, and I certainly don’t care to dwell on it. I guess I could make a list of all of the things I’m going to do or not going to do, but that’s of interest to no one but me and to be truthful, it doesn’t even interest me that much.

I went for a walk last night.  I will go for another walk tonight. I will probably do it again tomorrow. I have been walking for exercise since I was eleven years old, and it’s what I know how do to. I don’t believe I am going to make myself crazy about it right now.  I am going to walk every night this week, and we will see what things look like next week.

Not much of a report, is it? Well, that’s just the way things go. In the meantime, I don’t look too awful in this dress, so I’m not going to cry about it.

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Part Time Herbivore (& a WLFW update)

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In a previous lifetime I worked part-time for a small, independently-run health food store. I look back upon these few years fondly, for it was during these snippets of time that I met many interesting folks (some of them were kind of nutty, but mostly in the fun ways) and I had immediate access to a lot of things I otherwise might have never known about. It was at this point in my timeline that I spent a year as a vegetarian.

Why only a year?  I suppose, as lame as this reason is, I got bored.  I missed eating sushi and hamburgers and pepperoni pizza. In analyzing this, though, I realize that during this flesh-free year, I really cleaned up my eating habits.  There’s something about eating meat that gives me license to make poor eating choices; it’s (somehow, at least for me) the gateway drug to eating Sour Patch kids for breakfast and Doritos for dinner every day. However, while making vegetarian choices I grew used to broadening my palate to include new foods – I suppose I was trying to make up for the things I was not eating – and in doing so I became more conscious of the things I was putting in my body.

I lost weight and I felt really good. Like, good all the time.  No aches or pains or creaks like I have now, that’s for sure.  Then again, that was seven years ago -I was also younger and  so I am sure that’s got something to do with it too.  I won’t say that I felt morally superior to anyone; I was not doing it for any ethical reasons so that doesn’t  factor in.

Nowadays I probably eat a 50% vegetarian diet.  And to be frank, cooking with meat kind of grosses me out, anyway.  I always feel like it is a dangerous undertaking, that there’s a chance I might inadvertently murder someone with something undercooked or tainted by disease. Plus, there’s something really cathartic about chopping all of those vegetables.
If you invite me over for dinner though, I will happily eat your roast chicken or your pork tenderloin or your baked salmon or your barbecued spare ribs. Just don’t serve me pot roast.  Bleeech.

In preparing vegetarian meals on and off over the better part of the last decade, I have discovered/adapted/improvised a few favorites, which I’ve showcased at the top of the page, with links to the recipes, if applicable.  Don’t judge by the photos though, as some of the tastiest dishes made for some very lackluster imagery (lentil loaf, you are kind of hideous.)

Top row: 1. Jamie Oliver’s Mothership tomato salad & eggs baked in avocados & rosemary bread  2. roasted cauliflower and vegan alfredo sauce over spaghetti squash  3. veggie and black bean burgers  4. black beans over cauliflower rice with avocado

Bottom row: 1. zucchini noodles with “meat”balls and marinara sauce  2. walnut lentil loaf  3. baby lima beans in chipotle broth  4. vegetable broth

That vegetable broth?  I made 20,000 gallons it to incorporate into the seitan “ribs” that I was planning for dinner this weekend, and only later did I find out that the seitan recipe I remembered from way back when only needed a scant, amount, if any.  I ended up using the rest of it as a base for veggie chili and I’m not sure if it’s due to the inclusion of home made broth, but it turned out quite good and has been perfect for this rare winter weather we are having.  And by that, I mean…it’s in the 50s. My apologies, Northern Friends.  I will stop complaining now.

Are you a part-time plant eater?  A full time herbivore?  What are some of your favorite dishes& meals, if you are so inclined to share? Do you find that eating a mainly plant based diet has made a difference for you, either physically or otherwise?

WEIGHT LOSS FOR WEIRDOS UPDATE
Well.  It’s been a few months, hasn’t it?  I, like many others, succumbed to the excess and hedonism of the holidays and on top of that there was a fair bit (and by that I mean non-stop) sadness eating thanks to Dead Mom Anniversaries.  When I finally got the courage to weigh myself again in January, I found that in that short span of time I gained back half of the weight I’d lost.  You’d think that would have been some sort of motivation to rally but sadly it that has not been the case because my brain is backwards and slow and apparently does not work that way.  I did, however, get a gym membership this weekend. What!  I know!  I can’t believe it either, I swore I would never be one of those people who go to the gym. (“Those people”? I don’t know what I mean by that.  Those fit, well-disciplined people? Yeah, who wants that for themselves.)  And also, the first thing I did after joining a gym is sit down and write a poem so maybe I need to figure out how gyms actually work.

 

 

 

Weight loss for weirdos: the deblobbening

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Goths at the Gym for VICE magazine. Photo: Matias Uris

Let me get this off my chest right at the beginning.  I have 0% will power.  If I want to have popcorn for dinner, I can’t fob myself off with a more nutritious option and tell myself to wait it out and eat a bowl of popcorn during the weekend.  That won’t work for me.  Chances are I will eat the salad and the small portion of whatever healthful protein du jour AND I will just end up eating the popcorn later that night anyhow.  I have learned it is just easier to give in to my baser cravings and get it out of my system.

Also: I am slow.  I am maybe one of the slowest moving people in the world. Slow to reach a decision, slow to act on that decision, interminably slow to carry out that decision.  I remember as a child, my mother on more than one occasion, shouting at me to hurry up and “get in the car/get to the dinner table/ get out of bed, Sarah GOD SARAH YOU’RE SLOWER THAN MOLASSES”. It’s true.  And I have not gotten any faster 30 years later.

I can also tell you that rewarding myself for goals met is not something that works for me. That bottle of perfume? I want it now.  It won’t wait til I’ve lost 5 or 10 pounds.  Chances are I have already ordered it and it is setting on my shelf and I am wearing even while I am typing this out.  I’ve probably already ordered another bottle of something else.

Excuses and personality defects aside, with regard to my weight loss for weirdos  progress, I will report that I have lost 12 pounds.  Now, you might be thinking “huh…12 pounds in 5 months doesn’t really sound like fantastic progress” and you’d probably be right. But to be perfectly honest, I am not really going at this in a hardcore type of fashion and I’ve got no deadline and I’ve no desire to buy new, smaller clothing every month, so why not take it slow?I am not about to give up my Monday night popcorn-for-dinner and my glasses of wine during the week.   I’m not in it to torture myself, I mean really.

But as to the changes I am making and the aspects of deblobbening that I am getting right:

  • I purchased a fitbit.  Yeah, they are gimmicky. No they are not absolutely necessary.  But I hate to exercise, and ANYTHING that gets me to move around a little bit more is worth it to me. I work a desk job from home, so in addition to all the activity I am not getting from a more physical job, it’s not like I even have to walk to and fro in a building to interact with co-workers or walk to my car to drive to lunch or anything like that.  I am in my chair in front of a computer in more or less the same position for 10+ hours.  The fitbit would have you believe that your daily goal is 10K steps a day and I was rather horrified to find out that with no modifications to my daily schedule, I was lucky if I hit 2K.  Now – armed with the fear of a wee gadget sticking its tongue out at me – I find myself infinitely more motivated to find small, strange ways to exercise during the day.  My work day has basically turned into a 10 hour long extended peepee dance. But I am surpassing the 10K step goal and I figure hey – whatever kind of movement it is, no matter how ridiculous it looks, it’s got to be better than none at all, right?
  • Walking (or any sort of exercise, I suppose)with a friend.  I have made a commitment to meet a friend twice a week for walking and catching up.  On Wednesday evenings we meet at the local library and walk around the pond, about 2 miles or so.  On Saturday mornings we meet for a 6AM beach walk which amounts to about 4.5 miles.  Sometimes we do a healthy meal after, sometimes not, but the food isn’t really the point – it’s that we are getting out of the house, we are getting some exercise, and having a friendly human encounter.  I suspect that last part might be especially important for me, since other than my live-in paramour, this might be the only person I see all week long.
  • Finding some exceptional exercise music.  I’ll admit, so far it’s just one album, but it works perfectly for me.  Daft Punk Alive 2007. In the meantime, you have got to fill me in on what you are listening to now whilst running or walking or crossfitting or milking cows or hoisting cadavers into the crematory or whatever you do.  I need variety.
  • Having some meals planned.  I am lucky enough to live with someone who will, for the most part, eat – and like – any homecooked meal that I put in front of him… so when cooking for myself, I automatically know that the other person I am living with will eat it as well, with no complaint. This makes meal planning for me so much easier than other folks might have it. Some recipes I have found myself preparing quite often and for which I can personally vouch for their tastiness: black bean soup, chana masala, tofu stir fry with peanut sauce and “zoodles” & sauce. For breakfasts it’s been steel cut oats with a dollop of skyr and fruit or toast and peanut butter if I am feeling lazy.  Lunches have been tuna salad or avocado-egg salad or canned soups, and a quick cucumber tomato salad. Simple stuff. It is during the weekends that I encounter trouble, as we are usually visiting friends or family and that usually means dinners out and cocktails and I don’t always make the smartest choices.  Especially after the cocktails.

I am not one for before and after pictures and anyhow, I really don’t look any different.  So you’re not going to see that sort of thing here.  I have, however, managed to wriggle my rump into my first ever pair of skinny jeans.  Oh, how I railed against skinny jeans! For years I wouldn’t even acknowledge their existence. They were the devil’s denim, I thought, and would never darken the door of my wardrobe.  I’m afraid I was wrong.  And I am wearing them today. And they are amazing.  You can only see my face in this picture, but I promise you, I am wearing them.

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Also, amongst other things that wouldn’t serve as a proper weight loss reward because instant gratification is not soon enough for me, I am wearing this oversized cross tee shirt from Aakasha (recommendation courtesy Tenebrous Kate!) and it is pretty great.  One of my current favorite pieces.

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I hope to report back in the next four months with similar results, but in the meantime, I would love to hear what’s been working for you, health and fitness-wise? Where do you run into problems? How do you reward yourself? And etcetera.  I am nosy and want to know all of your secrets!

BONUS: The ultimate after death workout experience!
Zombies, keep your bodies fit! Never stop training!

SUPER EXTRA BONUS: A lovely lady friend recommended the 7 minute workout to me, stating that it is quite remarkable, it has incredible effects and it is perfect for weirdos!
Weirdos? That’s US!  Let’s do it!

“In 12 exercises deploying only body weight, a chair and a wall, it fulfills the latest mandates for high-intensity effort, which essentially combines a long run and a visit to the weight room into about seven minutes of steady discomfort — all of it based on science.”

P.S. She also said it is quite unpleasant, but let’s do it anyway!

Running for your life

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Apparently you can customize the embroidery on the back of your shoe on the new balance site – how cool is that?  I kept mine simple as it appears that “Ph’nglui Mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.” just won’t fit in the space allotted. Drat.

Notice too, the all-black-all-the-time design – perfect for midnight cemetery runs and nimbly slipping between dark dimensions undetected!

Wondering how to style these blacker than black and quite frankly otherwise quite boring sneakers? You weren’t? Because black goes with everything? Fair enough. But here’s an idea for you.

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Product details*:

POLITE AS FUCK” tee from buymebrunch  // SHOCK ABSORBER Ultimate Run mesh and stretch-jersey sports bra // TEK Gear Elements Hiking Capris // The 7 Wonders American Horror Story tote // Naked Eye Beauty for Sisters of the Black Moon lip balm

*Socks were via amazon and are out of stock and GO GREEN is, I believe, discontinued. Use your imagination re: goofy socks and fresh smelling post-workout body sprays.  You’ll do fine.

 

Weight loss for weirdos

Goths at the Gym. Photography: Matías Uris Rey

I am a woman who likes her ghost stories and her soft core lady vampire movies and her occasional Viking metal or haunted cathedral music. I’ll give up my black clothes when they can find me a darker color. I dislike activities that involve sunlight and the possibility of other humans looking at me.  I can’t muster much enthusiasm for anything that makes me sweat or restricts my indulgences.  I am not peppy.

Diet and fitness blogs don’t seem to exist for people like me.  And yet, I think, people like me are inevitably the sort of black-hearted, lazy folk  who might find themselves in need of such resources.  But not the cheery RAH-RAH-RAH sort of diet/fitness/weight loss blog that seem to be de rigueur in certain circles, filled with clichéd claptrap encouraging you to love moving your bod! and nourish your soul! and blah, blah, baloney forever.  I need my motivation served subtle (you almost have to trick me into it) with a soupçon of snark and a sizeable side of spooky.  I’ve tried googling “goth weight loss blogs/goth fitness blogs” and I know I made mention in a previous post of a BLACK METAL DIET blog – but neither of those adequately describe what I am looking for.  I am not, nor have I ever been all that gothy. I listened to Iron Maiden in high school for pete’s sake, and if I recall there was a distinct rivalry between folks who listened to Iron Maiden and Slayer and those who listened to The Cure and Nine Inch Nails. So 20 years later I feel like calling myself a goth would be some sort of betrayal to Bruce Dickinson.

So I guess I am sort of weird and I don’t quite fit in anywhere. And that’s the direction I’ve decided to take with this.  Every once in a while, when I decide to get chatty about my progress, I’ll be using the “weight loss for weirdos” tag. I would say “you have been warned” but you’re here anyway so you may as well read it.

SO, I am going to share two of my WEIGHT LOSS FOR WEIRDOS tips with you this evening.

1. Bedtime Yoga + MORTIIS

There is nothing, NOTHING so important as bedtime and a sound sleep and 8+ hours of epic dreams.  Before tucking in for the evening, I turn off the lights, turn down the bed and do maybe 5-7 minutes of bed time yoga right on my mattress  (you can find some poses here and here, I personally like the goddess pose and the spinal twist). I am cranky and irritable if I have a difficult time falling asleep, but I have found that since starting this, routine? regimen?  I am usually asleep within 10-15 minutes. Bonus points: Mortiis’ Fodt Til Å Herske album is perfect to have playing in the background while you are stretching and slipping into sleep. Nocturnal dungeon/crypt sounds, when even the tortured spirits are at rest.

 

2. Something that you look forward to wearing when you are exercising.

I realize that might sound kind of silly and it’s not like I put a lot of thought into my appearance when I am venturing forth to sweat for an hour in 100 degree weather.  But there’s something about looking down at this particular shirt when I am exercising that makes me cackle.  And I love that. It makes the time spent working out seem a tiny bit less dreadful.

Cat magic tee shirt by killercondoapparel on etsy

 

Weighty Matters

From the time I was 5 years old, my mother had me on diets.  I suppose I was a chubby little girl.  Maybe it is embarrassing to have a chubby child, maybe it makes you look like a failure as a parent.  I know I rather felt like a failure as a daughter in that regard.

I loved food.  I loved the way it tasted, loved the way it looked in the cookbooks, loved the delicious smells my grandmother coaxed forth from her kitchen.  I became obsessed with food at an early age, and my mother, realizing that, probably became a bit obsessed with keeping it out of my mouth.

I recall an instance when I was 10 or 11 years old.  My grandmother had brought an apple pie over to our house for us to have with our supper  She often cooked for us as my mother had decided to go back to school in her late 30s and wasn’t around to prepare meals for us. On that evening my mother sent me away from the table so I didn’t have to forlornly watch my sisters enjoying their slices of dessert, for, of course, I was not allowed to join in.  I imagine my feelings were somewhat hurt at the time, but I got over it and life went on.  My sister tells me that years later when she thinks of me going pie-less that night, she still gets a little sad for me.

In my early teens I had a bit of a growth spurt and thanks to my mother’s insistence on Lean Cuisine and salad for every meal and a two mile walk every night, I had fairly streamlined my physique before heading into middle school, and after that I managed to maintain a reasonable weight throughout most of high school.  I somehow was able to snag a boyfriend my freshman year and though I now realize now he wasn’t much of a catch, I think that his mere existence was probably incentive enough to keep me on my toes regarding diet and exercise during those years. Alas, I was dumped right before my senior year and my weight ballooned so rapidly and to such an extent that one particularly nasty girl even asked me if I was pregnant.  I still dream about punching that girl in the face.

After almost 30 years of yo-yo dieting and weighing between 115 and 200 pounds at various points in my life, I have developed a rather complicated relationship with food, and I am afraid I am getting to an age where these sorts of things are, as they say, “nothing to fuck around with”.

This is not going to become a space where I talk about diet and exercise because quite frankly I hate diet and exercise with the sort of loathing that one reserves for Nazis and telemarketers and those reply cards in magazines that fly out when you open them to read an article.  Also, I find diet blogs with their positive attitudes and feel good propaganda and sunny blond bloggers more annoying than I can possibly explain.  I want to see a diet blog where the writer worries about what to eat before going to a Norwegian black metal concert or how can they incorporate healthy snacking into their D&D weekends or what’s the best exercise to get if you don’t want to do any fucking exercise at all because you want to watch an entire season of Hannibal in one go, thank you very much and you are not leaving the couch for any reason. I want to know that someone else is googling things like “funyuns casserole” and “cheeto burritos” as part of their ridiculous coping mechanisms fueled by food deprivation.

Those are the kind of blogs I want to read, but they don’t seem to exist and I don’t want to make one because let’s be honest here – I am really lazy and that is 80% of what got me in this spot to begin with.

Inspired by two wonderful friends who have undertaken weight-loss journeys, as well as riding the coat-tails of my own post-food poisoning weight loss, I did begin making some changes a few weeks ago, and I have since lost 7 pounds. I’ve got quite a bit to go before I reach a weight that I know from experience looks and feels good for my height and body type, etc. The last time I lost a large amount of weight it’s because I was dating a married man and depressed and anxious all of the time, and also kind of addicted to Xenedrine (which I think killed a few people – but hey, it worked).  I’d really rather not resort to such measures this time around.

All of this is rather personal to share with the world at large  – or at least the two people who read this blog – but I write about personal business all of the time, so it’s more than that.  This is more about really opening myself up and making myself vulnerable to talk about these issues which have quite literally plagued me for as long as I can remember. It makes me feel a little raw, and it’s scary.

I resolved a few years ago to do one thing a day that scares me, and so let’s just call this my Scary Thing for today.