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Been There

I (Jen with 1 ‘n’) recently went on my honeymoon and of course brought the PassingLEFT Austin shirts. I have loved all of the posts on where the shirts are being shipped and enjoyed seeing all of the different posts on the Facebook album Faces, Places, and Races. I thought it would be really cool to share with everyone where these shirts have been!

My husband and I started in Munich, Germany and road tripped to Strasburg and Reims in France, then to Spa and Liege in Belgium, and then to Nurburgring and back to Frankfurt, Germany. So technically, since the shirts were in my suitcase, they went to all those places. But I have some photos to prove it.

The Tune Up, Tone Up Austin shirt was worn in Munich. There is the BMW factory behind me!

Side note: YES, we drove on the Autobahn. Here is a photo of the speedometer (not taken BY me) while I was driving. It’s hard to tell but it was driving about 160 kmp (about 100 mph). I was up to about 113mph at one point but my husband didn’t get a picture…a little too distracting!

I saved my other shirt until we got to Spa. This was really the main event. The entire reason we went to these countries at this time for our honeymoon was for the Formula 1 race in Spa-Francorchamps. This was AMAZING! The coolest part, in my mind, about wearing this shirt at the race, because Formula 1 is coming to Austin in 2012…very fitting I thought.

Here is my husband and I. I’m wearing the Bikeman shirt.

So there you have it. Two pretty sweet places that the Austin shirts have been! How about you…where have you taken your PassingLEFT shirts? Post them on Facebook…it’s fun to look at!

About Jen with 1 ‘n’: I’m a graphic designers and photographer based in Austin, Texas. I designed the two Austin shirts and had so much fun working with PassingLEFT that I asked Jenn with 2 n’s if I could contribute a blog post from time to time. You can catch me on Twitter and view my graphic design and photography portfolios.

It’s a passion – Burlesque

Another friend, and another Groupon – this time for fitness classes at Oh My You’re Gorgeous in Mars, PA. The classes on the registry ranged from something as harmless as hula-hooping to something as risqué as pole dancing. My friend (alias Mercedes) and I settled on a Burlesque class, which – on the scale of innocent to indecent – seemed to fall somewhere safely in the middle. Of course, I might have revised its placement on that scale had I known that the American Burlesque, from the late 1800s – early 1900s, was basically a bunch of inappropriate comedy sketches and striptease acts.

Luckily, the class did not call for us to uncover our inner stripper. Rather, we were taught a dance routine, which we built on each week. All movements, even walking, were meant to be done in a slinky, sultry manner, and at first, Mercedes and I had a difficult time doing this without catching each other’s eye in the mirror and laughing hysterically. I, for one, could not take myself seriously as a vixen, and with each shimmy, hip shake, and hair toss, my 17 years of Catholic education came back to haunt me, reminding me of a magnet that I keep on my refrigerator:

I tried to ignore the discomfort with the moves and relax, but both Mercedes and I had our set backs. Failure to practice my hair toss before the second class resulted in public humiliation when the instructor pointed me out to the class and then gave me a C- for my efforts. Although Mercedes’ hair toss was top notch, improper placement of her hands in an accidental salute instead of a sexier pose resulted in the admonishment, “Remember – we’re not sailors, we’re sluts.” Mercedes and I both laughed at this, but I started to feel the disapproving eyes of the nun burning the back of my neck again.

Fitness Points: In a 50 minute workout, I burned about 115 calories (probably more, considering the calorie counter only registers when you are taking a step, and we were doing a lot of movement in stationery positions). Essentially, I only burned off my afternoon snack of fat free cottage cheese and yogurt. Maybe not so impressive. However, the routine holds other merits – just about all of the movements require the use of your core muscles. Other muscles getting some love, include: the gluts, obliques, calves, thighs, and hips. As we all know, when we build muscle, we are also building the ability to burn fat around the clock. So, the workout gets bonus points for that.

Other Points: They say that laughter reduces stress… and, Mercedes and I laughed. A lot. So, maybe our Burlesque experience was not extreme fitness, but it was a great way to put the stress of the day behind us and just have fun. And, I would definitely still consider it exercise: the instructor told us that we shouldn’t worry if strands of hair got stuck in our lip gloss, as guys apparently find this appealing, but I was more concerned with how appealing they would find it that my hair was getting caught, not in my lip gloss, but my sweat. I don’t imagine I’ll have to find out how any man feels about it, however. If ever I attempted a show, my performance would be more likely to elicit uncontrolled laughter than induce anything resembling desire.

Ultimately, by the third class, I had left my school-girl qualms behind and discovered that I was really enjoying myself. I think it happened when I stopped trying to take myself seriously and just embraced the ridiculousness of it. And, since the word “burlesque” actually derives from an Italian word for “joke, ridicule, or mockery,” I think I was right in the Burlesque spirit.

Although this may not be for everyone, there are other classes that might be up your alley, so I would still recommend checking out Oh My You’re Gorgeous. You’ll get schooled by the highly certified and highly entertaining instructor Steph who will combine a little fun and fitness in one sexy package. Just be sure to practice your hair toss when she tells you to… and, leave the nuns at home.

~Unathletic Angela

Feeling the burn

When I was a kid way back in the 1980’s, I remember my mom working out at home with a Jane Fonda video. She was a 30 year old then, who was just trying to keep on top of her fitness. Sometimes, I did the workout with her, not that I needed it at the time, but I think I got more laughs out of it than exercise anyway. One thing that always cracked me up was when Jane said, “Feel the burn” – and she said it constantly. I had no idea what she was talking about, but it was hilarious to me. I made fun of it every time.

Fast forward to the present. Now, I’m the 30 year old… but I’m not trying to stay on top of my fitness – I’m trying to reclaim it. Knowing this, a friend of mine decided to help out by emailing me about a Groupon for Jazzercise classes. I instantly reverted back to my childhood. I had heard of Jazzercise before, but I always pictured it like my memories of the Jane Fonda video – all legwarmers and leotards and mysterious “burns.” I laughed just at the idea of it, and I seriously doubted that jumping around to ‘80‘s music for an hour with a bunch of old women was going to take my waistline back in time.

My misconceptions about Jazzercise were almost immediately blown out of the water. On day one, I walked in to find women of all ages (60 year olds to teens) – none of whom were in legwarmers or leotards, I might add – doing actual dance moves to very contemporary songs (think top 40 kind of stuff). I had to do some fast thinking and fast stepping to keep up with the instructor and the regulars… picking moves up on the fly and listening carefully to the cues the instructor gave. I think I was so focused that I didn’t realize how hard I was working. By the end of the 60 minute work-out, I had done a mix of cardio, strength-training, yoga stretches, and kickboxing, which is apparently what Jazzercise is all about, according to their website. Who knew? Still, I didn’t really feel differently. Shouldn’t I feel tired… sore… something?

I pressed on to day two with a positive, if still somewhat skeptical, attitude. As we started into the routines and began using muscles I rarely gave a second thought to (or a first thought, for that matter), I discovered that I was more sore than I realized. Then, we did a killer leg routine that consisted of standing with legs apart, in a squat position, and pulsing for an entire song (Ke$ha’s “Blow”). If I didn’t already hate that song, I hate it now… when it was over and we were finally allowed to stand up and move around, my legs almost buckled. Good thing it was time for the mats after that, so I had a valid excuse to be on the floor.

Day three got even harder. I was definitely sore before we started. We did more awful leg routines… and by “awful”, I mean “challenging,” which is “good,” technically speaking. Then, after focusing on abs throughout the cardio workout, we dropped to our mats to do an all ab routine. By the end, my poor little abused ab muscles were shaking violently with each crunch. It had me using the Lord’s name… not in vain, but in a very real plea to get me through the last two sets without collapsing in dishonor. I woke up the next morning with muscles that felt like they were on fire. I actually reset the alarm for an hour because I couldn’t move, sneeze, even breathe without pain. As I lay there feeling like a broken down old woman, something occurred to me: I finally understood what Jane Fonda was talking about all those years ago – I felt the burn.

Nevertheless, I went back to class that night, and it wasn’t as bad as I expected. I have stuck with the classes and find myself really enjoying them. I now know within a few notes of a song when I am about to get my ass kicked, but I can still be surprised by a brutal routine when the instructors introduce new songs and new dance moves. Don’t be intimidated, though; you can make the routines as easy or as hard as you want them to be, depending on how many calories you want to kick to the curb. The Jazzercise website claims that you can burn up to 600 calories in one 60-minute workout, and if you think they‘re full of it (like I did), then you should probably know that my friend consistently burns this much and more (up to 800 calories), according to her calorie-burn monitoring device,. It shows, too… in a year of taking classes, she has gone from a size 14 to a size 8. Having just started, I have no similar, measurable results to offer yet, but I can tell you that after just a couple weeks of classes, I feel better, more energetic, and notice a difference in the way my clothes fit me. I’ll take it for now, and look forward to more results as time goes by.

All in all, Jazzercise gets the Unathletic Angela Stamp of Approval for Unconventional Fitness. It balances a challenging workout with some fun and camaraderie to help you get to a new, healthier, and hopefully slimmer version of you. If you want to try it for yourself, then check out the website to find a studio in your area and learn more about the classes.

Just one word of advice: if you find yourself in a Jazzercise studio and hear the song “Blow” come over the speakers – run, do not walk, to the nearest exit. Your legs will thank you.

~Unathletic Angela

Help! Where do I go from here?

I feel like I’ve been unfaithful – to myself and the handful of people who read this. Last blog post I vowed to regroup and “for the love of Jesus” put down the fried meats, cheese, and the cocktails. I am here to confess that I have not done that. As you can imagine, it is much more fun to blog about successes –thus the lull between posts. And since the point of all of this is to be honest – I am putting it all on the table. Dread! I am up two pounds (but, still down a total of 14).

I have been stuck ever since I brought the boyfriend home. I am not claiming in any way that it is his fault. As I’ve said before, he’s incredibly supportive. Being long distance, we never had to deal with the day to day drags; it was like we were always on vacation. But, now that life has gotten in the way – both of us working and the tough commutes – I especially value my time with him. I am less interested in hitting the gym and it’s harder to eat right.

As for fitness, I am learning the value of incorporating quality time together with exercise – the kill two birds with one stone strategy. The boyfriend recently purchased a bike and we have been riding together a couple of times a week. In addition, we both joined a kickball league are playing the grade school game together with friends once a week. Admittedly, there isn’t much calorie burning occurring, especially with happy hour afterwards, but it’s a start. We both also love baseball/softball and this weekend we played a double header together and often times “hit-up” the batting cages or play catch in the back yard. He may not know it yet, but my next goal is to get him added to my gym membership so we have that option as well. The moral of this story is not a new revelation, rather a reminder – exercise can be fun, especially if you have the companionship of a significant other or friend.

I am having a much harder time adapting to the changes in my dietary routine. In my prior life, I could just come home and cook my boring meals, exercise, and repeat the entire process the next day. This methodology doesn’t work quite the same as it did when I was flying solo. Now, I cook two versions of dinner – one without carbs for me and one with carbs for him. For instance, last night he had Caesar salad, shrimp fettucini alfredo and garlic bread. For me, Casear salad without croutons, topped with shrimp. This weekend he had shredded carnitas tacos with corn tortillas shipped in from Texas. I substituted bibb lettuce for the tortillas and had lettuce wraps. I find myself getting jealous watching him eat without limitation and in misery I continue to turn to fatty meats and brie. Bottom line, I do not think this low carb thing is working for me anymore. I am extremely bored with vegetables and meat, not to mention I am a stand still with my weight loss. I am considering a strategy change. Perhaps it’s time to return to the WeightWatchers point system (previously I lost 30 pounds on it) or do the old fashion calorie counting thing. I am scared though. I have heard horror stories of people reintroducing carbs back into their diets and gaining all the weight back. For this I am soliciting advice – anyone out there have experience in this arena?

Alaska is just weeks away…..and I have 6 pounds to go. HELP!

Mothering on the road to fitness

Motherhood and fitness is like motherhood and a hot shower, or motherhood and a hot meal, or even motherhood and a favorite 80s chick flick with wine and a box of tissues. Motherhood comes first, and everything else happens if there’s free time, except that moms don’t get recess.

It’s funny how much time we realize we’ve wasted before having kids–at least, that’s my truth. I filled my 20s with boredom. After my kids came along in my 30s, I’ve found that the things I want to do or always assumed I didn’t have time for have exponentially increased in value. So, I’ve found myself cramming extra goals and activities into my life that sometimes leave my head spinning. Fitness is one of them.

I’ve learned the hard way that it’s impossible to carve time out of space, as if I have any control. We can beat ourselves up for not getting things done, but it doesn’t make more time, and it definitely doesn’t create happiness. Instead, I’m working to train myself to steal moments during the time that’s already there. Quiet moments to write a few sentences, or a quick walk around the ‘hood with my kids. The most important lesson I’ve found in using fleeting moments (that in my childless life seemed to have no value) is that they are opportunities to mother myself–to care for myself as well as I care for my children–to give myself what I need. As fitness for my kids is part of my parenting, fitness for myself has to be part of my mothering, for my own body, and as an example for my children. Of course, this goes beyond just fitness. It applies to anything and everything any of us might want for our own lives. In mothering small children, carpe diem doesn’t really apply, but we can seize moments if we choose.

Making the most out of what time there is usually means something just doesn’t happen. Sometimes it’s the dishes. Often, Mommy’s run (exhaustion nailing that coffin). And, sometimes even the kids’ library trip just so everyone has clean socks. The struggle in this is choosing to make peace with a little dis-order. Balance is an illusion, despite what friends seem to achieve in their Tweets and Facebook statuses; we can all trust that the Joneses aren’t keeping up with themselves, either.

I do know some women who’ve achieved mind-blowing fitness goals and body-changing results since completing their families. The difference between them and many others are their local support systems of families and friends–support lost on those of us who’ve been following job opportunities around the country for survival.

It’s come to be that I spend 9 to 16 waking hours of the day completely alone with my children. I know this situation is temporary, and while it appears to make me (feel) the least important in our family, I do know better; I deserve my love as much as my children do, and as much as my hard-working, often-studying husband does. So, I’ve come to see fitness as something to pick away at in the mix of everything else, when I can. Arm flab is the pile of dirty laundry on the basement floor that never goes away, but doesn’t get worse. The pooch that bears the scars of pregnancy, unique of each child, is the sink of sticky dishes that reminds me we’re fed. My house is lived in, but it’s full of life.

Fitness is just another job to do/lesson to learn/thing to juggle on my journey, but like motherhood and all those little things that never seem to get done, it’s a fulfilling one. Just like the laundry will never be done, fitness is something to work toward, to invest in, when we can, as best we can. When we tell our kids, “Don’t give up!” and “Do your best!” we can’t forget to cheer ourselves on, too. For all we do, and for everything ahead of us, we deserve to be our own biggest fans.

Contact the writer at rachel@hurdanger.com, or visit her website. (http://hurdanger.com)

Where was I?

Oy vey, it’s been too long. I left off about three weeks ago, just finishing off the activate phase/second 17-day cycle. The dust has finally settled from my road trip from Austin, TX to Pittsburgh, PA and the boyfriend is all moved in. So it is time to get back behind the keyboard.

As I write this and realize the amount of time that has passed from my last blog post I am disappointed in myself. I am now down 15 pounds total – which is awesome, but that equates to only being down 1.4 pounds since my last posting. With that there are two perspectives: glass half full and glass half empty.

The good news is that I survived the road trip without any weight gain. This is a win in its own right considering my road trip snacks consisted of zero carb meat treats such as pork rinds and beef jerky. We also stopped at two different Man v. Food restaurants along the way. Gus’s World Famous Chicken in Memphis, TN, specializing in fried chicken and The Thurman Cafe. in Columbus, OH, famous for their burgers. And yes, I had the battered fried chicken and ate the burger bun. As they say, “when in Rome”. A girl has to experience life after all and I am trying to get this “moderation” thing down. And hell yeah, it was good.

The bad news is that I am totally taking advantage of cycle 3, as evidenced by my low weight loss number. Cycle 3 allows you to eat pretty much every type of meat, some whole wheat grains, and one alcoholic beverage a day. Unfortunately for me and the jeans I am trying to get back into, I have started getting my protein from higher fat items such as Buffalo wings and gyro meat. Even though the diet allows for chicken, I don’t think it is suppose to be fried, sauced, and dipped into ranch dressing. I’ve also cheated in alcohol department. Very rarely do I stop at just one. I am not drinking every night or anything – but over the past couple weeks I’ve had a number of margaritas and raspberry Stoli vodka and diet Squirt.

Lastly, I’ve had a weakness for cheese lately. Cycle 3 does not permit it, but because it does not have carbs, I’ve talked myself into allowing it. Specifically, I’ve been devouring brie and fruit lately. I think I am making up for all my pregnant friends, as I’ve gone through four wedges in the past few weeks.

All that “bad news” aside – besides the batter and bun on the road trip I’ve done an amazing job staying away from white bread, white rice, and sugar – the carbs they say are the worst for you. And for the record, I am officially regrouping, returning to the blog and aiming to get my booze, cheese, and fried meat intake under control. In addition, I’ve paired up with four other team members and am participating in Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans’, Burst into Summer weight loss challenge. (Go team 12!). My Alaskan cruise is about a month away and my goal is to lose another 5 pounds before I set sail.

Frankly, I am bored of typing out what I’ve eaten, my motivation, and excercise. So I am going to endhere.

This shirt kills Crohn’s and Colitis

PassingLEFT is happy to bring you our second community outreach project benefiting the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) – Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia Chapter. This cause is especially important to me because I suffer from ulcerative colitis and my father was recently diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which are both digestive diseases.

Founded in 1967, CCFA is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization with the mission to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. The organization has 40 local chapters, with more than $150 million raised and invested in research for a cure. This funding has enabled many groundbreaking treatments, improved the quality of care for individuals with these conditions and brought hope to countless lives.

On June 12, 2011, The Western PA/WV Chapter is hosting a “Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis” walk. Approximately, 1,000 people will walk 1.5 miles to fight Crohns and Colitis by raising funds to help the 1.4 million Americans affected by the diseases. In honor of this event, from June 4th through June 18th, PassingLEFT will be donating 50% of our proceeds from the sale of the “I run the RIV3RS” shirt to the Western PA/WV Chapter. Click here to order.

This one is for all the single ladies.

I am thirty and it seems that either my friends are married and having babies (lately it seems like something is in the water) or very much single and looking hard. I on the other hand seem to be the anomaly. My boyfriend and I are in a long-term relationship and very happy. And of course I think the story of how we met is a good one, so I will share it now. Perhaps, it will bring a little hope to the singles out there because I am truly a cliche – I found my main squeeze when I least expected it. This is my version of the story, as my boyfriend may remember it differently. You see, he was drunk off of Crown Royal and 7up when we met.

The story begins in the fall of 2008. I had just volunteered as for a six-month deployment to Iraq and semi-dating a real dufus. Simultaneous to my deployment preparation, plans were being made for my friend Pete’s surprise 40th birthday celebration Las Vegas extravaganza. Pete was already going to be in town because of the Annual Consumer Electronics Show (but, I really believe he was there for the Adult Entertainment Convention that was happening at the same time). Pete and I met while we were both living in the metro Washington DC area but he had since moved to Austin, and I to Pittsburgh. And to be honest, we really did not stay in touch. I caught wind of the celebration through my friend Allison and her husband Dave. The two of them and their friend Kim had signed up for the trip and mentioned I should come and share a hotel room with Kim. My deployment was quickly approaching and I figured that Vegas would be the perfect last hoorah before I left so I purchased my ticket. Soon after I purchased the ticket I emailed the event coordinators to let them know I would be attending. One of the coordinators was a guy name Balex (I thought odd name) and all I knew of him was that he was from Austin.

In January, Dave, Allison, Kim, and I flew to Vegas to begin the festivities and meet up with about 40 other people that were there for Pete. As soon as the four of us checked into the Excalibur (not my favorite) we started drinking those tall bone shaped concoctions and before long we were “feeling fine”. At some point during the cocktails we found out that the “surprise” had been ruined because Pete had “run” into this Balex guy on the street the night before. The four of us were fairly annoyed and I know I bad-mouthed this Balex guy for ruining it.

After we all had our buzz on we returned to our room for naps. We had all taken, “at-the-ass-crack-dawn” flights from the east cost and were beat. After all we had a full night of activities ahead of us so we needed our rest. First on the schedule was a Mexican dinner at the Palms. This is where the big surprise was suppose to occur – until it was ruined.

The four of us headed over to the dinner where we finally met up with the rest of the group. Because the “cat was out of the bag”, the arrival was undramatic. Before the food arrived people mingled and introduced themselves. This is where I finally come face to face with this Balex character. He comes over to Kim and I and introduces himself. He reaches out his hand to Kim and says of all things that her hands were warm. I was thinking what a complete weirdo. But wait – things get more awkward. He notices that I am not drinking and starts interrogating me and asking why I am not boozing it up. The real reason why I wasn’t drinking was because margaritas were $25 and I was already hungover from drinking earlier in the day. He was so persistent and I didn’t feel like explaining myself so I decided to have a little fun. I told him that I was a recovering alcoholic and that I typically had my coin on me but my jeans were too tight. And just for the art of being outrageous I added that I had just gotten out of an abusive relationship.

Balex and I the weekend we met.


Finally, that was enough to shut him up – but at the same time, I must have intrigued him. It didn’t take long for him to realize I misled him regarding my drinking habits, which I think intrigued him even more. He was after me the rest of that weekend and continues to be over two and half years later.

This entire time we have been long distance – really long distance while I was in Iraq. But, we have been very blessed and have been able to spend a lot of time together. Typically, making trips on a monthly basis. I am happy to announce though, that we are finally closing the gap and soon we’ll be together in Pittsburgh.

The moral of this story is – yes, sometimes love does come knocking when you least expect it and there is often the need to to give people second chances. I will also add that you need to live your life for you. Signing up for the deployment was strictly for my own personal growth, so many people put off doing things because they are afraid of what they’ll will miss. But often times, you miss out on more standing still than if you take on life’s scary adventures.

Day 14 – Operation drop muffin top

In the words of Stewart from Mad TV, “look what I can do”. Last week I complained of a plateau and this week – I am back baby! I have now lost a total of 13.6 pounds, which translates to about 4 pounds lost since my last blog post. I only have three more days to this cycle so I have gone a month without a drop of alcohol or nibble of bread.

Although I dropped more weight last cycle, this cycle is much more tolerable (particularly this week) and I am extremely happy with the four pounds lost. My mood has improved and my hunger levels are manageable. I am also proud to announce that my Paige Denim jeans are no longer uncomfortable and I am wearing them this week with complete ease. I still have not tried on my Joe’s Jeans because they are in Austin, but at this point, it seems like an attainable goal.

My favorite food as of late has been beef burgers and greek salads. The local grocer, Giant Eagle, has gourmet burger patties in the meat case that are easy to pick-up. And as a single person, it is awesome because I can buy just one. This week I enjoyed a steak burger and gyro burger that was flipping fantastic. Gyros are one of my favorite food items, so this felt like a huge treat. Au Bon Pain just added a greek salad to their menu and because of their proximity to the office, I think I’ve had it three times this week. The salad is a decent fit to the diet plan – the only hang-ups are the feta cheese and dressing. But, I mitigate some of the damage from the dressing by getting it on the side and forking it on. And I figure a little cheese is alright since it is not a carbohydrate.

Despite my success over the week and my weight loss, I am disappointed in how lazy I’ve become. The weather in Pittsburgh has been monsoon like lately and it has dampened my spirit. I haven’t been out for a ride or run in days. I shouldn’t be making excuses though because I do have a gym membership and I need to get with the program. I do kind of wonder what results I would have had this week if I would have sweated my ass off. But, all I can do is take strides to kick it up a notch going forward. I am also still failing at my water intake and think I might be a lost cause on that front.

I conclude this cycle on Sunday and have full intention of continuing with whatever the book dictates is next. I sure hope more food items are added back into my options as this coming week will be a real challenge. I am embarking on a cross-country road trip and there is nothing I love more than indulging in local fare. That said, I need your support now more than ever!

Next up: set of rules for cycle three and the results of the road trip.

Motivation: Me. I should have listed this as my first motivation. I am doing this for me. Enough said.
Lunch: Greek salad, orange, Activia
Exercise: If the rain holds off, I will be playing a softball double header tonight.

Day 7 – Operation drop muffin top

I am now well into the activate phase – a week to be exact. I was so excited to enter this phase because of the expanded list of food options, but quite frankly I have been disappointed. I was so excited to have my first piece of red meat in weeks, but quite frankly, steak is not as good as I remember. Raised in the Midwest, I am a meat and potatoes kind of girl through and through so I don’t know what has gotten into me. Typically, nothing satisfies me like a great hunk of steak. But now meat in general is starting to skeeve me out.

My second disappointment is with the scale. Unless there is some miracle tomorrow morning when I do the official one week weigh-in, my weight loss has gone stagnant. As of this morning I was only down a few ounces.

The book states that the first 17 days offer a jump start to weight loss and you lose more weight during the first cycle than any other. It indicates that this jump start is a motivator for individuals that need to see instant results (ME!!). It also recognizes that things will slow down as you progress through the cycles. I acknowledge this, it isn’t my first diet rodeo, but really a few ounces?!?! Mentally, I am not ready to plateau so soon. I am the type of person that seeks results for motivation – really, who isn’t? It does not make sense to me either. I am definitely eating less than I did a month ago. Unlike the old me, there is barely any eating between meals. Pretty much, the only snack available is smoked turkey breast lunch meat and I am growing tired of that too. I am playing by all the food rules and getting my 17 minutes of exercise. Whhaaaaaa! I just do not get it.

But as they say, nothing worthwhile is easy and this here experiment is no exception. I have committed to myself and my readers that I will finish this cycle and that is exactly what I am going to do. After all, I started this strictly as a ridiculous diet experiment and had no real expectations. Considering I had no expectations, losing 10 pounds is awesome and needs to be my focus. After all, I could have continued on my path of weight gain and in a worse position than when I started this. Onward I go!

Motivation: The boyfriend. He has never ever made one comment to make me feel insecure about my weight and loves me unconditionally. But, I want to be the best I can be for him.
Dinner: Grilled top sirloin steak, green beans (topped with spray butter, lemon pepper, and a dash of Parmesan cheese)
Exercise: Walked five miles, loving every bit of the sunshine. If the rain holds off, I’ll also have a softball game tonight.