Tuesday, May 20, 2008

#9 The Cottage Cheese That Doesn't Live in the Fridge

I returned from shopping at the grocery store the other night and after unpacking the bags I sat down at my computer to catch up on unread emails. I came to an email from a friend from grad school and happily opened it. She had recently read my blogs and had some funny comments and memories to share. At the end of her email, she writes,"...if you could only see me now - plopped on the couch with my laptop and a paper plate loaded up with sponge cake and extra chocolate ice cream (you know extra ice cream b/c the sponge cake is very low in calories), oh the tricks of the trade...I am so gullible to my inner self!!! And here with me is the latest copy of The Enquirer. Have you seen the cover this week?- - STARS WITH CELLULITE!!!!"

I sat at my computer with a big grin on my face because as a matter of fact, while in line at the grocery store just that evening, I too had picked up the Enquirer and turned directly to the article about famous people and their cellulite. And do you know what I thought? I thought, these celebrities have every type of doctor, drug, trainer, juicer, vitamin, exercise machine and spa at their disposal. They also have enough money to do whatever is needed to fight the cellulite battle. If they've failed, if they've lost this battle with an arsenal full of the most up to date and modern ammunition, what can us poor [in all definitions of the word] bow and arrow everyday normal gals do? All of a sudden, I sorta, kinda felt good - in a ha, ha way. Isn't that terrible?

Let me tell you about my battle with cellulite. Simply said, I've lost the battle and the war. My problem started about 10 years ago [late 30's]. I noticed this dimpling on the rear of my thighs, especially when I put on a bathing suite. I believed this was related to having kids, sitting at a desk all day and not exercising. I mean, honestly, I had been FAT many times in my life and had never seen these embarrassing dimples before, and now I was relatively thin [can you ever be thin enough?] and here they were. So what's a girl to do? I hired a personal trainer, got up at 6:00 a.m. 3 times a week and lifted weights, lunged, squatted, ran and sweated. After that fun hour I got the kids ready for pre-school, myself ready for work, and out the door we went. After a year of this, I was in better shape, but that "cottage cheese" look hadn't budged. Grrrr.

One day I came home and told my husband that I had heard about endermology and I was going to try it. Endermology is when a roller/vacuum type machine is moved all over your body sucking and massaging to rid your body of cellulite or at least reduce its appearance. Needless to say he thought it was a bunch of bologna and cringed when I told him the price, but if this worked, he too would reap some of the benefit [a wife with smooth thighs]. For ONLY $1200 [once a week for 7 weeks] I was vacuumed and rubbed [not painlessly I might add] for a good 40 minutes. At the end of my 7 sessions, the "endermologist" showed me my before and after photos. Gee, I thought I looked exactly the same, give or take a few new hickey-like bruises from all that sucking.

Anyway, a year or so later I'm taking a yoga class and in walks one of the endermology technicians I had seen at the doctor's office. After class I went over to say hi and catch up. She told me that she was no longer working at that office. That's when I asked her about endermology and if it really worked. Truly, I don't remember exactly what she said to me, but the essence of what she said was that in her couple of years vacuuming and sucking the bellies, legs and buttocks of numerous men and women, she had never seen one successful outcome. Ok, I admit it. My hubby had tried to warn me that this was a scam, but I didn't want to believe him. I wanted to get rid of my cellulite!!

About six months ago, I was at the plastic surgeon's office finishing my series of laser hair removal on my thighs when the doctor asked if I wanted to be part of a study. He said he was asked by one of his vendors to be a test site for a new cellulite removing cream. Oy, I cringed in embarrassment, but that didn't stop me from signing on the dotted line right then and there. Again, out came the camera for the before photos. I was told to use an ice pack for 5 minutes on my right upper thigh and then rub the cream for at least 3 minutes in the cooled area before bedtime. I did this religiously for 2 weeks. Back I went for the after photos. Guess what? Nothing! Nada! My after photos looked just like my before photos. I heard recently that the trial had been discontinued . I wonder why????

To conclude, I haven't put up the white flag yet. I'm still open to the possibility of a cellulite "cure". However, I think perhaps for me, the cure is here. It's called age. It seems the older I get the more I've learned to accept [not happily or quietly my friends and family will attest to] body parts that in my 20s, 30s and even early 40s I bemoaned and worked so hard to change. Don't get me wrong, I still complain about them, but it's more in a woe is me way. I haven't given up my exercise, yoga and dieting, but I've sorta, kinda come to the conclusion that it ain't happening in this lifetime. I console myself with this thought though. At least when I'm at the beach wearing my bikini and I bend over to fix my towel, I don't have photographers hiding in the bushes waiting to snap a photo of my jiggly, wiggly, cottage cheesy butt. I take comfort in that thought.

Monday, May 12, 2008


I was recently watching the movie The Secret with a group of women I meet with every week. After watching the movie we took some time to chat about what we liked, what hit home with each one of us, what got our attention, what excited us and what made us think twice. During the movie, one of the speakers said, "Energy flows where attention goes". That got a few nods and it was something we discussed afterwards. Another quote that really made a number of us "sit up straighter" was one by Henry Ford. He said, "whether you think you can or you can't, either way you are right".

Now, if you are sitting in a group of entrepreneurs, then these quotes will talk to you in a way that helps shape your entrepreneurial thoughts. If you're in a group of creative artists, again, these sayings will be seen and discussed with the view of being able to create. Our group is made up of 7 women. We are all in our 40's and we all have children. Some of us work outside the home, but no one works full time. What brought us together is our common goal to lose weight. However, weight [although the elephant in the room] is not the major reason we get together. We all are in a place in our lives where we have given [and still do] so much of ourselves to child rearing, family obligations and work, that we have lost a little bit of ourselves. In this group, we do different types of exercises where we try to learn more about ourselves. We ask questions that help us figure out our priorities like - who we are, what we want, who we want to be, why we do what we do and where do we want to go [besides Hawaii]. Needless to say, our interpretation of those quotes lead our thoughts in a different direction than the two groups I mentioned above.

Where weight is concerned, a number of us realized that we put a lot of our energy and attention into wishing we weren't the size we are, or being upset that we don't fit into last years clothing or that our appetites are uncontrollable. If you believe in The Secret and what it is trying to teach, then all that attention needs to be redirected to the positive and away from the negative. So instead of wishing we weren't so big or fat or flabby, we need to focus attention instead on seeing ourselves as thin, in shape, fitting into clothing from last year and eating in a normal and healthy way. The Secret says you need to shift your thoughts and feelings and with that shift, the key to changing your life has been given to you. I think intuitively we all know that. If you think bad things will happen to you, then usually they do. This quote not only helped some of us with our weight issues, but it also helped a few of us redirect our energy in dealing with issues going on in our homes and personal lives. One member even decided to use this in regards to her sex life. She will put more attention on feeling good in her relationship and her feelings towards her spouse and less attention on her body and how she wishes it was thinner. We're all waiting to hear if the "attention" followed where she directed her energy.

The other quote "whether you think you can or you can't, either way you are right" was another ah ha for a number of us. Again, in regards to weight issues.... DUH!! How many times have you started a diet and then when you didn't lose those 20 pounds in the first 2 weeks you just gave up saying it's never going to happen. Well, you thought you could lose 20 lbs in 2 weeks, found our you can't lost 20 lbs in two weeks and found out you were right. However, the path you follow after that realization is the make or break path. If you follow The Secret's teachings, then you know that you need to shift your focus to the positive and say, "Ok, I didn't lose 20 lbs, but I lost 5 lbs and that's still better than gaining 5 lbs so I'm going to keep going and see another 5 come off in the next two weeks". Now, instead of bemoaning your lack of weight loss you are thinking and putting your attention to the positive. If you continue to feel and think positively, your energy will flow there and the shift will have happened. You will have found the key. For those of you who think this is mumbo jumbo - and I know there are a lot of you out there - give it a try, or not. However, this may work for those of you who need a nudge right now to help bring focus into your life, in any area.

Some people swear by The Secret and it's teachings. There are a number of you already living this way and have just never thought about it. Another quote from the The Secret says, "Man becomes what he thinks about". So, our small group is working on redirecting our thoughts, desires and wishes. If this works, watch out! There are going to be 7 stunningly thin, creative, fulfilled and very happy women out there real soon.

Monday, May 5, 2008


I was driving along listening to music on the radio when a commercial came on. I decided to change stations and in my search for another song I came to NPR. The speaker was a woman [an author talking about her book - I don't remember the name] and the topic was weight loss. She was discussing how before a person starts a diet, she works with them for 2 weeks helping them with coping strategies to use when they start dieting and feel hungry [both physical and emotional]. She said it was really important for a person to know how to deal with feelings of hunger. She also said that she tells her clients to eat breakfast one day and don't eat again until dinner. This helps a person remember what true hunger is and also helps them realize that hunger is ok, that it doesn't kill you and that it actually waxes and weins She said that lots of obese people forget what hungry feels like.

Anyway, the one thing she explained to the interviewer that really resonated with me was the "No Choice" rule. I don't remember her exact words, but she explained it something like this.... you don't have a choice about brushing your teeth or going to school or work or stopping at a red light. These things must be done. Well, where food is concerned, you need to tell yourself just that. That you have no choice. She gave an example. A client of hers loves cheese and it is extremely hard for her to not eat it when she is around it [like at parties and such]. This client told herself that she had "no choice" when it came to cheese. This was a food that she was not allowed to eat. Now when she goes to parties or functions or restaurants and there is cheese on the table or in the dish she just tells herself, No. She has no choice. There is no compromise. There is no negotiating. There is just NO. Perhaps down the road she will be able to go back and eat cheese, but the lessons learned from this are two fold. First, she learns that she is stronger than her desires. She relearns that she is in control and that food doesn't control her. Second, she begins to believe in herself again. By saying no and not eating cheese, she can forgive herself for all those times when she swore that she would start her diet, or wouldn't eat this, or would exercise every day, etc. With this rule, she was able to say no and stick with it. And I guess there is a third lesson. Maybe she realized that she really didn't need cheese in her life, that food tasted just as good without it. We get so used to eating things one way, that sometimes it's hard to leave out the mayo or the bread crumbs or the butter or the cheese.

Perhaps some of you will think this is a little extreme. I think maybe it is, but I also know that my self control isn't always controllable and sometimes when I lose it, I lose it big. If there were a food or food group that I had a very hard time with, this No Choice rule may just work. Isn't this what the Atkins diet is all about? He said you can eat this and are not allowed to eat that. For some people, "diet rules" really help. I say if your in a bad spot right now and not happy with the way you are eating, perhaps this is for you. Pick a food or pick a food group and go for it. But, and this is a biggie, don't set yourself up for failure. Pick something that is attainable. If chocolate is your thing, don't use the No Choice rule for everything with sugar. Figure out if it's chocolate bars or chocolate ice cream or chocolate cookies and just start with that one thing. If you can prove to yourself that you can do this with that one food, maybe you can pick another and go from there. If your eating and/or weight is out of control, give it a shot.... you have No Choice.