Monday, August 31, 2009

Manage my Muffin Top Monday - You are not the Biggest Loser

It's been 3 weeks since I've blogged and I wish I could say the reason I've not written in so long is because life has just been so full of exciting and wonderful events that I haven't had time, but the truth of the matter is I've just been in a funk I can't seem to pull myself out of. But I've decided to put forth the effort to try and snap out of it and update you wonderful guys and gals on what's been happening in my life lately.

I finally got tired of not knowing and e-mailed one of the casting directors for The Biggest Loser to see if I could get an update and I got the following reply e-mail.


Thank you so much for opening up to our casting team and sharing so much of your life with us. Unfortunately, you were not selected as a finalist for season 9. As you know, in the end the network has the final say in selecting the finalists and cast members.

I encourage you to lose the weight on your own. You CAN do it!!

Thank you for the time you have spent during this process and for all your hard work. We truly appreciate it and wish you the best.

Warm Regards,
Angelic & The Biggest Loser Crew

I can honestly say that I'm not really upset about not getting picked. When I first started the audition process I was excited, anxious and a little nervous, but as time went by the thrill of possibly being on TV waned. Life took over and the idea of being away from Matthew and not seeing my nieces for possibly 4 months made the idea of being on the show less and less appealing, and four months is how long I'd be gone for filming if I made it to the end of the show.

So I'm not really bummed or upset about not being chosen. As for why I didn't get picked.. well they don't tell you that but my best guess would be because I auditioned as an individual and this season's show is for couples. They tell you to audition anyway even if you don't have a friend or family member to try out with you, so maybe they didn't come across another individual they though I'd make a good partner with. Who knows. It was an interesting experience any way.

I kind of wish I was more sad about it though... that would be preferable to this damn apathetic ditch I've somehow managed to fall into.

As for my progress on the weight loss front - I won't tell you what I do weigh but I wills say that I've managed to gain back 10 of the 17 pounds I'd lost in the first round of Operation Muffin Top(ple). I got really sick with some kind of virus on steroids a few weeks ago and just haven't felt like doing much of anything but eating comfort food. So there's been a lot of pizza and ice cream in my house the past few weeks.

All that changed this weekend though. Matthew and I were watching a show on Discovery last week and they were talking to people who were on different kind of extreme diets. There was a couple who lived on the CR Way - CR being calorie restriction. I know, extreme right? Then there was a lady who called herself a freegan, which means she dumpster dived outside of restaurants and grocery stores for all of her food. Sounds disgusting but you'd be surprised at some of the perfectly fine, unused, unopened, unexpired food she found. I don't remember what the third person's diet was but the last one was a raw foodist.

They lived and ate this way full time though so diet isn't really the right word, but one of the people they interviewed caught our eye so after talking about it and doing some research we've decided to convert to an all raw food diet.

By 'all' I mean about 95 percent, and by 'raw' well I mean exactly that - food that hasn't been cooked. Now we're not going to go all crazy and start tearing into raw slabs of beef or chicken. Fish is the only 'meat' we're keeping in our diet and we've decided that even cooked fish is something that really just can't be bad for you, although we will include sushi as well. But other than the fish, and brown rice, which is something else I like too much to give up, we're basically going to eat nothing but raw fruits and veggies. We'll also have legumes (beans) and granola as well as nuts and seeds.

It sounds extreme but the research I did makes sense to me. Cooking food alters the chemical make up and lessens the nutrients you receive from the food you eat. One of the articles I read used this analogy -

Fire kills. What has ever been increased or made 'more' by setting it to flame? If you set your house on fire does it get bigger? Better? No. It's destroyed. Heating food kills it. Period. It really is that simple. So what sense does it make to try and support and sustain a living vessel (your body) by putting dead things in it? It doesn't.

The other thing I read that stood out to me talked about the evolution of man. Animals, plants, every living organism on the planet except for humans live off of raw food in their natural habitat. Tigers don't toss their prey over an open flame before digging in. And as a human I just really can't imagine myself tearing through the woods and taking down an animal to rip it's neck out with my teeth. We're just not built that way.. and we're not built that way for a reason. We're really not meant to eat meat.

As we evolved and people got more curious (and lazy) we started putting crap in our bodies that really didn't need to be there. I say lazy because it's really easy to throw a burger on the grill. It takes work and preparation to make a great salad. And ya know what? I'm ok with that. I don't mind working for my food. I don't mind spending some time cutting lettuce and peppers and tomatoes and whatever other kind of vegetable I decide to eat to properly fuel my body. I enjoy using cool kitchen tools to make melon balls and cut my fruit into fun interesting shapes.

So Friday after I got home from work Matthew and I emptied out the kitchen. Every processed food, every item that needed to be cooked to eat, we loaded up in bags and brought to my sister in MS. When we left to go visit my family the only thing in our kitchen was a half of a head of lettuce, some pineapple, a jar of olives and a box of granola cereal. If the junk isn't in the house - You Can't Eat It.

Saturday night when we got home we went to the store and loaded up on fruits and veggies and haven't looked back. Last night for dinner we had a bowl of watermelon. And you know what? It was great! We ate until we didn't feel the need to eat anymore and we were satisfied without having that 'full' feeling we normally have after eating. This morning I had some granola cereal with rice milk and today for lunch I'll have more watermelon and an orange. Tonight I'll have a piece of lightly baked fish and a huge salad.

I have to say there really is a mind set change that has to happen before you can do something like this. And I'm not sure what triggered mine, but I just got tired of feeling weighed down. Not just by the extra weight I'm carrying but by the food I put in my body. Even eating a piece of baked chicken, which is supposedly sooo healthy, leaves me feeling
heavy afterwards. Well that might be because I've basically put a lump of dead meat in my stomach. It's just not natural.

So I've decided to get back to basics and make eating a means of survival. As the saying goes "You should eat to live, not live to eat". I'll still enjoy what I eat but I won't eat because I feel like I'll just die if I don't have that piece of pizza or bowl of ice cream, I'll eat because my body needs fuel and energy and food is a means of accomplishing that.

At first I was worried about feeling deprived but I really don't think that's going to be an issue. I've found loads of recipes for all raw ice cream using mint and cocoa and almond milk. We haven't drank regular milk in months, so using rice or almond milk will be more normal to us rather than seem like a substitute. Fruit is naturally sweet and works wonders and taking care of a sweet tooth and vegetables are cool and crunchy making not only great meals, but fantastic healthy snacks as well.

The never again eating a nice hot meal thing had me worried for a minute too but something I read tamped down that concern as well. We don't really need hot food to keep us warm. Think about this before you argue with me - it's winter and you get in a nice steaming hot shower to warm up - then you get out and what happens? You freeze your ass off until you can get some clothes on. But have you ever had to take a cold shower? When you get out you feel fresh and invigorated and not. the. slightest. bit. cold.

And I'll leave you to think about that...

Until next time =)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Pitter Patter of Itty Bitty Kitty Feet

No I'm not pregnant.

Matthew and I have become parents though....

Sort of....

A little over 2 months ago a stray tabby cat showed up on the front porch of our apartments and kind of adopted Matthew and me.

She didn't come up to any other people that lived in our buildings, but when either of us walked outside she was fast to twine herself in and out of our legs and express her desire to be fed.

Express may be too mild of a word for what she did.. this was one bossy cat. She basically yelled at us - as if saying Feed Me Now Human! Which of course we did.

After a couple of weeks petting her on our way in and out of the apartment we started to notice a rather large gathering of cats around the apartment. It only took one flick of our little stray's tail to realize she was in heat.

Now Matthew has never owned a cat and has, much like me, never been much of a cat person. We had cats growing up, and I'd been coerced into adopting 2 kittens from a lady I went to church with when I lived in Michigan that I brought with me when I moved south. But when constant sweeping and thwarted potty training attempts resulted in the boys being more of a pain than a pleasure, I eventually rehomed them. They went together to the same new home and from the pictures their new mommy sent me are living it up in a spoiled life of kitty luxury.

Pesca & Blanco as kittens, and all grown up.
They were inseparable!
In their new home - living in the lap of luxury!

I had no interest what-so-ever in getting another cat, but something about this stray called to us and we finally decided to rescue her from the masses of horny tom cats and bring her inside. We'd seen her run from every male cat that got near her for an entire week and felt relatively confident she'd escaped unmolested.

We were wrong.

About 5 weeks after bringing her in I started to notice she was getting a little thick around the middle and her tummy was beginning to feel firm. Matthew brushed it off as her just growing from finally having a steady diet, but after her little ninnies started turning pink even he had to concede we'd soon become parents, er um grandparents? whatever, we'd be having some kittens soon.

I hopped on line and researched how long the gestation period was for cats and from our closest calculation we figured she'd be due about the 1st or 2nd week of August.

The exact same time we were scheduled to go out of town on vacation - oy!

Thankfully we came home to a still pregnant cat and no kittens. Then this morning I woke up to Scathach snuggled up under my arm in bed, which she never does. I didn't think anything of it until I felt her stomach start making funny movements. Let me tell you, I snapped awake in 2.4 seconds. She may have grown on me, but not to the point where I was ok with her giving birth on my comforter!!

We'd spread out a blanket on the floor in the corner of the living room between the ends of the couch and love seat in preparation and I jumped up, grabbed her and ran to the living room to lay her on it. I read that animals will seek an enclosed place to give birth because it feels protected and the space between the ends of both of our couches makes a perfect little square cave.

Delivering the first kitten was rough. She screamed and meowed and hissed, while flipping and flopping all over the blanket trying to find a comfortable position. I felt so bad for her! Women talk about how painful giving birth to one baby is.. imagine spitting out 4.. in less than half an hour!!

We ended up with 4 kittens total and Matthew made it home from work to assist with and watch the last 2 kittens being born. We got them all cleaned up and settled in a box padded with a sheet and towel so they stay safe and warm. Scathach has been feeding them pretty much non-stop since she finished with the delivery.

So now we're parents to a momma cat and 4 kittens until they're about 8 weeks old and can be taken to the Mobile ASPCA to be adopted out. All of Alabama's shelters are guarantee no-kill shelters so we feel safe that they'll all find new homes. I took a couple of really gross - just being born - pictures but I'll spare you the gore and just share the cute fluffy adorableness that they are now!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Manage My Muffin Top Monday

Ok so I'm actually writing this on Wednesday, but Blogger lets me cheat and change the post date of the blogs to whenever I want, and since this is a Manage My Muffin Top Monday post........

Wait a minute... I thought you changed these posts from Operation Muffin Top(ple) to Manage My Fat Monday??

I did.

But the fabulous fatties from
OMT are at it again and I've sucked it up (and in) and joined back in the fight to banish back fat.

@Catherinette has gone all out this time and fashioned us a super fancy website on where we can weigh in - both figuratively and literally as well as check out the weekly challenge; ie adding fruits and/or veggies to every meal, and check out fabulous low fat recipes posted by our fellow fatties!

From June 1st to about mid July I'd lost 17lbs. As of today I've gained 7 of those pounds back. I'm going to totally deny any responsibility and blame going out of town 3 weekends in a row, which resulted in the return of fast food to my formerly healthy eating plan.

Matthew and I had planned on starting a 2nd round of our own 30 Day Challenge of no sweets, no pop and no fast food along with working out 5 days a week the Monday after we got back from vacation, but I ended up getting sick and between coughing and/or sneezing my brains out, it's all I can do to breath, so getting in some cardio is just currently out of the question.

Matthew has been working out though so I've every confidence once I'm fully recovered he'll be back in cheerleader mode encouraging me to get my sweat on (and fat off!).

As for the Biggest Loser - well I've not heard anything back yet, which could be good or bad. Holland said it could be a few weeks before I heard anything, but she also said if they have everything they need from you they may not contact you again until you've been actually chosen to go on the show. This Wednesday is 3 weeks from the date of my 2nd interview so I figure if I don't hear anything by the end of next week, then my road to Biggest Loser stardom has reached its end.

I'm staying positive though and expecting my phone to ring any day. If not, there's always next season!!