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Drastic Measures

Sunday, November 23, 2008

HASAY Secret Strategy Revealed

Sometimes, you just fall into something that works for your dieting efforts without really trying. That's just the way the world works. I have learned that running around the house half-naked is a great way to curb your appetite and lose those stubborn pounds, even if I feel a little foolish doing so.

It all began with my thought to wash all the windows of the house prior to everyone arriving for the Thanksgiving holiday. For the exterior windows, I attach the hose to the Windex Outdoor window product to get the windows to really shine. I usually get very wet and now I have Wrigley (14 month old golden retriever) to "help me" wash the windows, so there's a greater chance of getting wet and dirty, too.

I chose a bathing suit top and shorts for this chore, which looked pretty bad even to my loyal dog companion. When I went by the TV room where Bill was watching football, I sucked in my stomach and held my breath until I got outside. I prayed golfers wouldn't get too close to my backyard and get an eye full. Still, I had a job to do so got started. I know what you're thinking. The vision in your head just now is:

(You're welcome, Chris). Not exactly! It was more like:

And now for the ladies, a little window washing treat...

So many window washing videos, so little time!

Still, I find it fascinating that wearing less, changed my behavior and eating habits so drastically.

Original HASAY weight: 135 pounds

Today's weight: 129 pounds

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pilates Event Dishes Out Some Healthy Holiday Fun

I was invited to a casual get together at Sommet Fitness Studio in Scottsdale, AZ this past week. The theme for the event was how to enjoy a stress-free, healthy holiday season. I invited a friend who enjoys working out, put on a cute brown workout outfit (okay, it would be on someone else's body, so there) and off we went not knowing what surprises the morning would bring.

First, we learned some Pilates exercises that relieve stress, increase circulation and that can be done on the go. The owners, Steve and Cherie have brought in the instructor who trained Steve named Vivian Zapanta. She's a television fitness-host celebrity and well-respected fitness professional from the Philippines. Amongst the many accomplishments that she has achieved are the following: Personal Trainer of Her Excellency Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Philippines; IDEA (International Dance Exercise Association, based in San Diego, California) Ambassador to the Philippines; and Exercise Science Alliance (based in Modesto, California) Certification Provider for Aerobics, Personal Training, Aqua Aerobics and Medical Specialist. She was a little dynamo woman who really focuses on breathing properly to get the best workout results. Here's a picture of her from her website:

By the end of her presentation, we were all sitting taller and breathing smoother (sounds crazy, but true).

Next, we were treated to a Thanksgiving cooking presentation by Chef Morgan, owner of The Perfect Portion. She shared with us a few healthier alternatives to traditional holiday dishes that were absolutely delicious. My favorites were the wild rice stuffing and the sweet potato casserole and the pumpkin cheesecake. Yummy stuff. I loved when she said to enjoy all our favorite holiday food dishes, just eat them in moderation.

On hand was Linda Elia, Certified Massage Therapist and aesthetician from Wax 2 Max who was nonstop giving complimentary chair massages. She told me her motto is "don't let the size fool you" and she's not kidding! She has wonderfully strong hands that seem to melt the neck and back pains away!

Julie Heinzelman briefly spoke about the Transitions Products and Lifestyle System®which includes meal plans and a low-glycemic food list. This program teaches behaviors and techniques that will help keep stick with the program to become healthy, feel great and lose weight.

My instructor, Angella, was available to show some of the people how the reformer equipment is used and to answer any questions we had after the Pilates presentation. Ellen, my Pilates workout partner, was there and she was being videotaped for a video/blog for the studio.

Maybe it was the beautiful studio with its bamboo floors and bright sunshine flooding in the large windows, but we left the event with a calm, peaceful feeling and excitement to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday with our health and bodies in mind. Our gracious hostess, Cherie (pictured below) treated us to a delightful morning. Thanks to Steve and Cherie and all those that participated in this special event!

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Week Four- HASAY Heaven

First of all, I want to say that this picture of the little baby looks so cute with the rolly-polly stomach and fat arms. We are just living in the wrong era, because there were times when a good pot belly represented wealth and was idolized by all of society.

Instead, we live in an era where stick-thin models are not only on the runways, but in our movies, our television shows and someday may be our Senators and Governors. Whether we participate in the comparisons or not, everyone around us is so we should just be aware that this is the look of the early 2000's. Damn it!

Participating in the HASAY has kept me focused and doing more exercise than I would do normally. We all need to give a big Thank You to Casey for keeping us in HASAY Heaven! I feel a little stronger, mostly in the arms. I did everything in moderation: a little hiking, a little strength training, a little Pilates with Angella, walking Wrigley daily and some cardio. I know to step it up this week, I need to do lots more cardio. Period. No excuses.

Original Weight: 135 pounds

This week's weigh-in: 132 pounds

Goals: Going out today to buy another tape measure. Wrigley got a hold of my old one and chewed it up. What a loyal dog...he didn't want me to see the numbers and be disappointed! I want to be at 130 or below by the end of this week.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Week Three-Half As Small As You

Week three of my efforts and achievements on the HASAY group diet can best be described as dismal, at best. The excuses/reasons for not progressing on the same pace as the past two weeks are all legitimate and can explain why I always have difficulty dieting and exercising on a regular basis.

I am a comfort eater and almost everything else comes before exercising when I feel stressed and/or upset for some reason. Until I can learn not to associate getting comfortable in times of stress and worry with eating and discover how some people actually feel better after exercising, I probably won't have any miraculous weight change.

On that depressing note, I will say, I am not a quitter and while I may be approaching OLD, I can still be taught new tricks! Listed below are the important facts and stats from this past week:

Starting weight: 135 pounds
Week Three weight: 135 pounds (damn!)

Exercise: Daily walking, total 1 hour each day
Ran with Wrigley: 1 day, 30 minutes
Elliptical and strength training: 2 days, 30 minutes each

Food: Decent breakfasts, decent dinners, candy corn and leftover Halloween candy primarily for lunches, too many cheese and crackers before several dinners, beer and wine with most dinners.

Don't worry, I through out all the candy in the house on Sunday afternoon!

Relieving stress: This is out of my control. Bill's company is working its way through a Chapter 11 (of an apparently bad book!) and "what ever will be will be!" I can only offer support to Bill and maybe do a little praying. Keeping expenses down helps to relieve some of Bill's stress, so I guess it's no new anything for now.

Later in this week, I will posting about learning how to release the endorphins in your body through exercise. So far, my little endorphins get locked up and aren't getting released. If I actually felt great after sweating at the gym, I know I would go more. My dog trainer has told me that if I want Wrigley to stay out of the golf course sand traps, then I need to offer him something far more interesting and exciting away from the fun sand trap. The same theory applies here. Exercising at the gym or hiking one of our fantastic hills needs to be more fun then sitting at my computer and reading every one's fabulous blogs. So, will you all stop being so clever and funny in this week's posts?!*! Do it for me and all those innocent people out there in the world wide web.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Got Crabs?

Many people have a special recipe that they are known for, and my sister is no exception. My sister makes "Crabbies" for me every time I come to Maryland to visit. I think I would be disappointed if I came to visit and didn't enjoy cocktails with the "Crabby" appetizers! I am not sure they are good for my dietary efforts with Casey over at Half As Good As You, but I'm willing to sacrifice a few calories for this dietary delight!

She has given me the recipe to share and I'm so happy that there are not millions of ingredients included.

1 package of English Muffins, halved/separated (she uses Thomas brand)
1 pound Backfin Crabmeat
1 stick of butter (yum!)
1 1/2 jars of Old English Cheese Spread
2 T. Mayonnaise
1/2 t. garlic salt
1/2 t. saesoned salt

Rinse crabmeat, look for and remove shells. Blend all the ingredients except the crabmeat. Gently fold in the crab next. Spread mixture onto each of the English muffin halves. Place on a cookie sheet (or any hard surface) and cut into quarters. Place in the freezer until frozen. Transfer into freezer baggies for future use. When you are ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees and cook until crispy (about 10-15 minutes depending on your oven).

Well, there you have it. Delicious morsels of Maryland goodness.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Week Two- Half as Big as You Are

Week two of my diet with Casey over at Half as Good as You has brought interesting challenges due to my travels. But, never fear...when there's a will, there's a way! Here's how I mixed up my forms of exercise and selected interesting foods while traveling to parents' weekend to see my daughter and then spend a few blissful days with my sister:

Schlepping though the airport carrying two bags and one very heavy carry-on bags with books and magazines: 150 calories, each direction;

Depriving myself of those delicious-nutritious Southwest Airlines snacks and only drinking water instead of using my drink tickets: Saved 300 calories;

Staying (relatively) sober, okay, maybe I should say, not getting drunk while meeting my daughter's new friends and their parents: Saved 600 calories;

Walking all over the beautiful Dickinson College campus, in heels: 200 calories;

Now, staying with my sister brings on a whole different strategy:

It's really simple: Mimic exactly what my sister does and eats. She is tiny, has a flat stomach and is a great role model. What she does is not exactly eat food. It's more like she NIBBLES on food. If she were to write a diet book, we would have to call it "The Nibble Diet". She nibbles about 6 times daily. She doesn't think about or crave food ever. It is the furthest thing from her mind!

The only diet challenges at my sister's house is that she is also the perfect hostess and provides all kinds of food and drink for her guests, including me, so I need to be careful....

Original Weight: 135 pounds
Week One: 132 pounds
Week Two: 131 pounds

All in all, I cannot complain. I need to exercise a lot more this week. Getting back home and making myself do strength training and cardio exercises is the goal for this week!

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