What a difference a year makes! This time last year I was a hot mess. I slammed into a midlife crisis like no other. I hit a massive depression that I could see no way out of. So I wrote. I wrote, and wrote and wrote and told my story of going from the bright lights of Broadway, to the mind numbing monotony of motherhood and housewife-dom. And in writing it all down, it helped me dig my way out. Slowly…. so effing slowly, I began to crawl out of the hole I was in. I saw that what I wrote could have meaning to other people like me. I made it into an actual show and booked a theater 6 months in advance, for the sole purpose of giving myself a deadline so I HAD to finish it.
I’ve alway been a performer. Always. But I’ve always been hesitant to call my self an “Artist”. An artist, in my opinion, is someone who creates. Who takes something from an idea to a reality. I’ve always been a great performer, I’m good at taking someones elses ideas and bringing them to fruition. But I’ve never done it myself. Until now. I now understand that a true artist does’t create because they want to. They create because they HAVE too. I HAD to get this story out of me. I had to tell my story, if only for myself. I had to get it out of my head and onto paper so that I could look at it and see it better. So that I could make sense of it. And in doing so, I created the best work of my life. It’s honest. It’s real and I don’t give two shits who likes it or dosen’t. It’s my life. It’s my truth and it’s perfectly imperfect just like me.
In telling my truth, I have hit a chord with other people. I can’t tell you how many emails, messages and texts I get from people who “feel the same way”, or thought they were alone. I love my show for so many reasons, but knowing my story is helping others is by far the best. If you’d like my show at your venue, let me know. I’ll tell my truth anywhere 😉
So we talked about cutting down on the booze right? So what about the other drinks? You know the ones I’m talkin about. The carbonated ones. If you’re a big soda drinker you could be drinking a ton of extra calories and sugar every day. Even one soda a day can equate to 15 lbs a year! But maybe you’re thinking Diet Soda is the way to go. Guess what, studies show that people who drink diet and regular soda are less likely to get enough calcium in their diet, which can affect bone health. Read more about that here; http://www.livestrong.com/article/406821-how-much-weight-can-you-lose-by-not-drinking-soda/
So the best thing you can do for yourself is drink water! The suggested intake of water has always been 8 cups a day depending on body size and activity. But that’s really just the bare minimum. If you know me, you know I constantly have one of these in my hand:
My hubs wants me to drink 5 of these a day! It’s a 24 oz bottle, so that’s 15 cups a day! It can be a bit much, I ain’t gonna lie. And I have to pee A LOT. But when I do it, (I don’t always achieve this goal. Again, not perfect) I do notice that my skin looks better, I’m not as tired, and my sex drive goes up! Win Win!! So give it a try. Here’s what I do: I give myself little goals through out the day. My goal is to drink one of these water bottles every 3 hours. So I fill one up when I get up in the am and then make sure that I’m done and refilling at 9:00am,12pm, 3pm, 6pm and 9pm. That way it keeps me on track and I don’t fall too far behind. Take a picture of yourself now, do this for a month, and then see if you notice a difference! I bet you will!! Read more about the benefits of drinking water here: http://www.top10homeremedies.com/kitchen-ingredients/10-health-benefits-of-drinking-water.html
So the biggest change for me this summer was the fact that I went from being a weekend warrior (having a drink only on the weekends) to ‘let’s have a glass of wine a night’. And it was fun! But I gotta tell ya, I have never put weight on more quickly. So for those of you peeps who say, “I don’t know why I can’t lose the weight! I eat right and exercise! And I only have a small glass of wine a night”. I can now tell you first hand, it adds up!! Those extra calories really make a difference, not to mention the alcohol bloat. Read this http://stomachbloating.net/alcohol-water-retention/ for more on that. I have to say I’ve stopped the every day glass of wine, and I instantly deflated. And if you’re counting calories, think about this: the average glass of wine is 125 calories and very few people I know actually pour the average glass of wine. So if you’re having a glass or 2 every day, that’s an extra 875-1750 calories a week! That’s a lot. So cut back on the alcohol. And when you do have a glass of something, try to stick with the ones with lower calories and less sugar. This website http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/Tools/Calculators/Calorie-Calculator.aspx gives you a pretty good idea as to how much is in each drink. This weekends drink of choice was a vodka with tonic. Simple yet satisfying.
Through outthe week my drink of choice is good old H2O. But more on that later. Remember, everything in moderation and that especially goes for the booze.
Full disclosure, I am NOT a nutritionist. When I was pregnant there was a book called “A Girls Guide to Pregnancy”, which was written by a mom, not a doctor, and had the low down on what pregnancy was REALLY like. It was my favorite book. So think of me like that. I’m just sharing what I know to work for me. And I live with a food Natzi who likes to tell me what’s in everything I eat, so there’s that. Alright, so I mentioned smart snacking yesterday. Some times that can be the hardest thing to find. So what constitutes a good snack? I’m kinda boring really. I could eat the same thing everyday. I enjoy buying a box of something and taking the guess work out of ‘what should I eat today?” So my snacks are usually the same 2 or 3 things. Between my breakfast shake and lunch I always have a protein bar. Now, I might get crazy and switch the bar up, cause I’m a rebel. 😉 At the moment I have a selection of 6 different bars to choose from.These are my favs:
What you want to look for is one that has a good balance, isn’t too high in sugars. Remember, this is a snack, not a meal. So try to keep the calories between 150 -200. I like Luna bars cause that taste good and have a little crunch to them. They’re also Gluten Free. I don’t have an issue with Gluten, but it’s good to know for those of you who do.
Another fav snack are the little bags of nuts you can buy at Trader Joes. They already come prepackaged so I can just throw them in my purse and go. They have saved me on many occasions. They have some with just nuts and cranberries for those of you like my hubs who are being really good. I, however, like the ones with chocolate, cause sometimes I need a little something to look forward too. I eat these if I’m having a sweet tooth too. Did I mention I’m SOOOO not perfect! I have to keep it real, and if I deny myself everything, I become a very unhappy girl. So a little chocolate for me keeps me happy and these little bags keep me from having too much.
Other ideas: those smoothies from Trader Joes. I buy them for the kids, but I like them too. Hard boiled egg (with salt, yum!) Carrots and hummus…. I’m totally open to ideas. Let me know your fav!
Ok, so one of the biggest issues we have in our fabulous country is portion control. We live in the land of plenty, where we can get whatever we want, whenever we want. There’s a Dollar Menu every where we go, so we can get 5 Burgers for $5 bucks!! Woo Hoo!!We have completely swapped quality for quantity. Bigger is better and super sized is best. The truth is, the average person is eating far more calories a day than they need. If you really want to lose weight, the best thing you can do is portion control.
My hubs is a personal trainer, right? So he’s the first one to tell you that working out is great for you. But he’s also the first one to tell you that eating right is 80% of the battle. Most healthy people only work out 3 to 5 times a week. That’s 3 to 5 hours out of a 168 hour week. So it’s silly to think that working out alone is going to take care of any real weight loss. What you put in your mouth, and how much, is 80% of it.
I think the hardest part of losing those pounds is the first few days of cutting back. The real challenge for me has always been that my stomach is used to eating a certain amount. So those first days of ‘getting back on track’ means letting my stomach shrink back to it’s normal size. To most of us that feels like we’re starving ourselves. But we’re not! You still need to eat, and often. Just do it in smaller amounts. Remember that you never want to have the feeling of being ‘stuffed’. Try to eat just enough to feel sated. The trick to that is snacking so you don’t get so hungry that you over eat. If you eat small snacks between meals, you can keep the hunger pains away so that when lunch time rolls around you don’t gorge yourself. One trick I do when I go to a restaurant is to cut my meal in half. I eat half then, and half later or I save it for the next day. And I ALWAYS have snacks in my bag and a big bottle of water. Keeping yourself hydrated and eating smart snacks will save you!
So eat less, more often. And whatever you do, don’t ‘save’ your calories for one big meal. Self control has always been a big issue of mine, so I know all the little cheats! 😉 There’s no magic pill, you just have to put your health first! Last nights meal was Turkey meatballs with Spaghetti Squash for Doug and I and I made Tortellini for the kids. Baked Zuccini on the side. Everyone was happy and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything!
Ok, so I actually started my 30 Day Challange a couple days ago. This is my breakfast of choice. A nice healthy shake. I know a lot of people don’t like to “drink” their breakfast, and I totally get that. But for me, breakfast is always a way to wipe the slate clean. No matter what I ate the day before, I can always start today off right. So I always start with a shake. It’s also one of the few things that doesn’t “repeat” on me when I teach my fitness class! I use Herbal Life, just because I like the product, but there are many different kinds of shakes that are good. Look for ones that have less fillers, lower calorie and higher protein. Avoid ones that have too much sugar to try to give you ‘better flavor’. Instead, add your own ingredients to add the flavors you like. I use 2 scoops or Herbal Life Formula One Vanilla or Cookies and Cream along with 1 scoop of their Protein powder. Then I had 1/2 a frozen banana and a Tbs of peanut butter. Voila! Breakfast of champions and it’s get’s me through my workouts.
Yep, and I had a LOT of fun this summer! We went from being weekend drinkers to having a glass of wine a night. I didn’t eat horribly, just a little extra treat here and there. And it was FUN!!! What’s not so fun? Putting on my ‘boyfriend’ jeans and having them be skin tight. Most of my life is spent in Yoga pants and Lulu tops, so I really didn’t notice that anything had changed. I’m what I call ‘skinny fat’. You look at me and you see a skinny person, right? Admit it, most of you just rolled your eyes when you read me calling myself fat, right? But skinny fat means just that. I’m still small, but everything is jiggling a little too much. I put on 6 lbs! Now some women are lucky and put it on all over, or maybe in their booty. Men like that right? But I only put weight on in my mid section. Picture that guy on the Saturday morning cartoons who sang about, “I hanker for a hunk of cheese!”
Yeah, that’s me. And rarely do you hear men say, “Dude, check out her love handles! Yeah…I’d tap that!”No, love handles aren’t really sexy. So I’m on a 30 day Challenge!! Who want’s to join me?? 5 lbs in 30 days. I think it’s totally doable. We can help each other out and share ideas and recipes! Or you can just watch as I shed my summer layer. Either way, I’m gonna try and share what I’m doing, and since I live with a Personal Trainer, and a man I dub ‘The Food Natzi’ I’m sure he’ll have lot’s of advice for us. So break out your blender, and let’s get shakin’!
Wow, today is a big day. Both my boys are off to away camp. And when I say away, I mean outside Fresno, away….for 2 weeks. Jacksons been doing this for 3 years now, but this is the first time my little Cole Bowl is going. I’m going to sound like a horrible mother here, but I’ve been planning this day for 11 years now. Way back when I had Jackson and I was deep in the ‘oh my god, will I ever get time to myself’ trenches I would fantasize about taking a trip to France with the hubs. That fantasy got me through many long nights, many tantrums (both theirs and mine) and numerous monotonous days. Well tomorrow Doug and I get on a plane bound for Paris. Now that it’s here I’m feeling a little numb. It helps that Cole was SO excited to go that he could barely sleep last night. But I’m just not sure how I feel. I held it together until they left and then had a nice quiet cry on the front doorstep. I love them SO much it hurts, and yet I’m excited to do something that’s just for Doug and I. These contrasting emotions have me reeling. Last night Cole said, “Mom, I’m So excited for tomorrow, but I’m nervous too. I’m NervCited!” It’s a great word. It completely expresses how I feel right not. I’m so nervous to leave my kids and so excited to get away. So yes, I’m NervCited. I’m hoping the excited part will win out. We’ll see. As they say in France, “C’est la vie!”
Ok so here’s my newest dilemma. So some of you may know, my oldest son Jackson takes ballroom. I know, stinkin cute right? And he started this of his own accord. He took a free lesson once and was hooked. Oddly enough, we’ve had a hard time finding him a partner. (I know, right? I got a BOY who wants to dance and no partner??) So his coach Mr. V asked if I would step in and rehearse with him. Well of course I said no, because what dancer mother would ever want to dance with her 11 year old son? Kidding, my heart burst at the thought! AND my son was totally into it and we all know I only have about another 6 months until he wants nothing to do with me. So we began to practice together about 5 weeks ago. Then Mr. V tells me he wants Jackson to compete in his first competition thats happening tomorrow. “Great!” I say, who will we get to partner with him? “Oh you’ll do it” he says. Wait whuuuut? So now we are registered as a Pro/Am couple. Meaning I’M THE PRO! Yes yes, I know, I’m a professional dancer. BUT I DON’T DO BALLROOM! That’s a bit like driving a car. Just because you can drive an automatic doesn’t mean you can drive a stick shift. Yes, I’ll eventually get it, but it’s going to be clunky and messy for a while. Did I mention the competition is tomorrow?? I’ve never competed in my LIFE. I was a ballerina, not a competition dancer! I’m so out of my element I can’t even tell you. I HAD TO GET A SPRAY TAN YESTERDAY, because apparently you can’t be butt white and compete in ballroom. No idea what that has to do with my dancing. Hopefully they’ll be so mesmerized by my Oompa Loompa glow that they won’t notice my lack of “heel lead”. And let’s talk about that. What self respecting ballerina has ever led with her heel?? None I tell ya! More than anything I just don’t want to fuck it up for Jackson! He’s the one being judged, not me, but can you imagine if I SCREW UP and cost him a medal? I screwed up 3 times in yesterdays rehearsal. I’ve never been so nervous to dance in my life. Thankfully I had some ballroom friends who loaned me some costumes and are walking me through the ropes but OY!!! Where do we enter? How do we find a spot on the floor? Wait, I won’t know what music they’re going to play till I get out there? What if I run into someone on the floor? Did I mention Jackson is 4 feet tall, and I’m 5’10” in my heels? WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO?
But yes, there is the other side too. The ‘OMG I get to be my sons first dance partner!’ And yes, my heart is full when he looks at me while we’re dancing and smiles his adorable smile. So as long as I don’t screw it up, I will cherish this memory forever. Who says there’s no more firsts? Tomorrow, at 43, I will be doing my first dance competition ever. Wish me luck!