Thursday, January 29, 2009

#27 Tyra and Marilyn, Size 8?

The summer between my freshman and sophomore year I interviewed to be a receptionist for an Ophthalmologist. I was told during this interview that if I got the job, I would have to wear dresses or skirts. Fast forward to shopping for those dresses and skirts. The time is 1981 and I'm on the thinner side of my weight loop. As I shopped for my office attire, I automatically went to the racks that had size 10 and/or mediums. Back then, even at my thinnest, I bought size 10. When I got married in 1991 [10 years later], I was 126 pounds and wore a size 10 wedding dress - nipped and tucked here and there, but still a size 10. Truthfully, there was no way I could have worn a size 8 without the seamstress letting it out... a lot.

Why am I telling you this? Because today, as you know, I range between 134-138 lbs. What you probably don't' know is that I wear a size 6. Don't you think that's weird? Sharing this new found knowledge with a good friend of mine, she nodded her head in agreement. This is one of the few people I know who, besides gaining pregnancy weight, pretty much maintains her size and weight from year to year. She told me that for most of her adult life she has been a size 2. However, now when she shops, she has to buy a zero.

I wonder what size Marilyn Monroe would wear today? I did a little research and discovered that she was a size 12 during her hey day. Well, if the camera puts on 10 pounds and she was a size 12, just shoot me now. I mean she was curvy and buxom, but not what we consider a size 12 in 2009. If I worked as a sales associate in Bloomingdales today and Marilyn asked my advice as to what size dress to try on, I would send her to the size 8 rack. I would also recommend a more natural shaping bra instead of the double missile launcher on her chest and also recommend that she love herself and stop looking to men to make her feel complete [but that's another babble].

Look, I understand why the designers do this. It's a psychological mind game they play with us crazy women to make us feel better about ourselves. In the end though, I guess it comes down to how you feel about yourself - without the outside influences of people or garment size. Maybe we should all be a little bit like Tyra Banks. She supposedly weighs 40 pounds more than she did when she was modeling and feels just as good and just as beautiful and just as sexy as she did then. It sounds banal, but if you know your true self, then YOUR self image should shine through and the size on the clothing tag really shouldn't matter... much.

Quote of the day: People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why it is recommended daily" Zig Ziglar

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

#26 Street Walking

I saw this poem many years ago in a Trevose Behavior Modification monthly newsletter. I keep it pinned to the bulletin board above my desk and every once in a while I take it down and read it. This poem could be about anything. Perhaps Ms. Nelson wrote it about procrastination or drinking or smoking, but for me, it's about dieting and weight control. I don't know this author personally, but I hope that she "continues to walk down another street".

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
by Portia Nelson

I walk down the street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in
I am lost....
I am helpless
It isn't my fault
It takes forever to find a way out

I walk down the same street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I pretend I don't see it
I fall in again
I can't believe I am in the same place
It isn't my fault
It still takes a long time to get out

I walk down the same street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I see it there
I still fall in.... it's a habit
My eyes are open, I know where I am
It is my fault
I get out immediately

I walk down the same street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I walk around it

I walk down another street

What I can share about my "street walking" is that although I too have found another street, I sometimes decide to take the short cut and find myself back in the hole. It's very frustrating and I get down on myself for my inability to keep to my healthy eating and exercise regime. Knowing all that I know about keeping a healthy lifestyle, I ask myself, How can you let this happen.... again? I think I finally found the right answer. I can let this happen because I'm human, and not superhuman. I recently responded to two different blogs. In one, I told the writer to stop being so hard on herself and in the other, I told the blogger that we all have good and bad days and that hopefully [when it comes to dieting] there are more good than bad. I need to take my own advice.

I am a positive person. I am a strong person. I am a hungry person. I will fall into the hole on occasion, but most of the time I know which streets to go around. However, I'm thinking that my future should have more Avenues, Lanes and Drives.....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

#25 Bobbie's "Skinny" Foods

Many people know that about 8 years ago I lost 25 pounds. What a lot of people don't know is that this is the same 25 pounds I gained in 9th grade, and have since lost and gained more times then need mentioning. During my mid 20's I remember my dad once saying to me, "honey, do you really need that?". I probably gave him the "look" and told him not so nicely that I had gained and lost hundreds of pounds [those same 25 of course] without his help and that I didn't need it now. Of course he was only trying to be helpful, and there I was being an overweight defensive bitch. Obviously I knew I didn't need whatever it was that I was eating, but I wanted it anyway. So here's a photo of me around 20 years old weighing about 165. OY!!!!

It's now 2009 and I've maintained this 20-25 pound loss for almost 8 years. It hasn't been easy truthfully, but the alternative is just so abhorrent to me that I won't, will not, never ever go back to being FAT! How have I maintained this loss? Well for starters, I don't eat "diet food". Those frozen pre-packaged lite/low cal/diet meals are just too salty and I would have to drink even more water than I already do to flush all that sodium from my swollen ankles and fingers. In addition, those sugar free, fat free, diet cookies and cakes and those 100 calorie packages are just a gimmick, and it's too tempting to eat more than the allotted amount, AND most of the time they don't even taste that good. I still love to eat brownies, muffins and cookies, however instead of buying them, I make them. Here are a few of my favorite recipes [modified to reduce fat and calories] and some of my favorite products that help me maintain my weight.


I buy Arrowhead Mills gluten free mix. I like it because it has little chocolate chips in it and because when I eat gluten free, I don't feel bloated. I follow the recipe on the box, but instead of oil, I use Natural Applesauce with no added sugar, and instead of 2 eggs I use 2 whites and one yolk. By exchanging applesauce for oil, it reduces the amount of fat from 7 grams to 1.5 grams per serving and about 70-80 calories. I also cut the brownies about the size of a packet of sugar and this way I can have two and not feel like I've gone overboard.

Quinoa muffins [gluten free]

1/2 cup of brown rice flour
1/2 cup of quinoa flakes
2 tbs of honey
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 very ripe bananas
2 eggs

Above is the recipe off the box of quinoa flakes. In addition, I add flax seed and whey vanilla protein powder [18 grams of protein per serving]. Because I add dry ingredients, I also need to add wet ones; about 1/2 cup all natural applesauce and water as needed. I sometimes also add raisins, cinnamon and carob chips. I don't happen to like really sweet muffins, but if you do you can add xylitol. These muffins are dense and filling . I don't make them as large as the box recommends and this way I get about 14 muffins instead of ten. Their baked muffin is 131 calories. Even though my muffins are smaller, because I add raisins, applesauce and protein powder I would say that they are about 125-135 cal. per muffin.

Peanut Butter

I love peanut butter and although I eat the all natural kind [Crazy Richard's is my favorite], it's still a lot of calories and fat. I'm going to tell you about this great product and when you first read what I'm about to tell you, you are going to think "no way". That was my reaction, but loving PB, I decided to give it a try. This product is from Bell Plantation in Tifton, Georgia [] and it is real peanut butter. PB2 has 85% less fat calories than regular peanut butter, but I swear it still tastes the same. The oil is squeezed out of the roasted peanuts and what you receive in the mail is a peanut butter looking container with powdered peanut butter. You just add a tablespoon of water to 2 tablespoons of PB2 and mix. You'll love it and it only has 53 calories and 1.87g of fat per a 2 tablespoon serving. I eat peanut butter guiltlessly now on my gluten free waffles, breads, and of course my red delicious apples. And guess what, I found this PB while reading someone's blog [I wish I could remember which one so that I could thank her]. See, blog reading can be fun, interesting and educational!!

Adora Calcium Supplements in Dark Chocolate

A friend told me about these and I thank her every time I pop one in my mouth. They are a little larger than a quarter and much thicker and they also come in milk chocolate, but I like [ok, LOVE] dark chocolate. Each piece is 30 calories and has 500mg of calcium plus vitamin D2 and K1. I give these out as snacks to girlfriends when they come over and I have to buy 3 bags at a time because they sell out so quickly at my local Whole Foods. Sometimes when I'm really craving chocolate, I pop one of these babies and it's totally satisfying.

Turkey Chili [serves about 4]

white meat ground turkey [or any type of turkey]
1 can of black beans [drained of fluid] - I read somewhere that beans, but especially black beans, are really good for you.
1 can of Trader Joe's tomato sauce [no added sugar]
15-20 cherry tomatoes [cut in half]
1/2 chopped onion [whatever type you like]
1 can or jar or fresh mushrooms [rinse the ones in the cans and jars]
chili powder [to taste]
red pepper and black pepper [to taste]
salt [to taste]

In a pot sprayed with Pam [or olive oil] saute onions til soft and getting brown. Add turkey. When the turkey looks like it is almost done, add the mushrooms and tomatoes stirring every few minutes. After about 4-5 minutes stir in the black beans. When their is no more raw turkey, add the tomato sauce, chili powder, peppers and salt. I keep the pot uncovered and let it simmer on low for about 20 minutes. I then cover it and turn off the stove. During this time, it gets a little watery from condensation. About 10 minutes before serving, take the cover off and cook on a medium-low flame stirring every few minutes. Serve with a salad and I promise you will be satisfied. Bon Appetite!!!

Here are just a few other items and ideas:

- if you are trying to stay away from breads, try melting a slice or two of light Jarlsburg cheese on tinfoil. It's like picking the cheese off the pizza.

- Fiber One Bars - keep them in the fridge - these taste like chewy candy bars and are only 140 calories. Have a 1/2 or whole. Oh yeah, they're called Fiber One because of they have 9 grams of fiber per serving. They will definitely help you "go".

- '' Plain Yogurt - this product is from Iceland and tastes like the Greek yogurt that is so popular now. However, this 6oz serving has 22 grams of protein, zero fat grams and only 110 calories. I make this a meal by adding blueberries and/or raspberries and/or blackberries, pistachio nuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, flax, and sometimes a gluten free cereal. Just mix it all up, but remember to measure whatever you are putting in there because those calories can add up quickly.

"The body is a bundle of careful compromises" ~ Randolph Nesse and George Williams, Why We Get Sick

Friday, January 2, 2009

#24 - My Year

During my winter vacation in warm and sunny Arizona, I had time to sit by the pool and read - not just a book or two, but all the magazines that had piled up over the months. In one of the many articles I perused about food, diets and exercise, a question was posed - "What am I really hungry for?". Without thinking, two words popped into my head, meaning and purpose. As you all know, it's not always the call of belly hunger we're answering. Although the article I was reading had to do with food, strangely, my answer wasn't for a warm chocolate brownie topped with vanilla ice cream.

Laying on my lounge chair people watching, I thought about those two words. Did I really feel like my life had no meaning or purpose? Do other 40ish year old women feel this way? Does my "non-hungry" eating stem from these feelings? I'm not really sure, but I can share that in discussions with friends with college and post college degrees, shuttling our children and pets, running to the grocery store, overseeing homework and after school activities, and doing charity work here and there, leave us feeling a little under used and under appreciated.

I can only speak for myself, but perhaps it's my talents and brain that feel a little under used and under appreciated. Until about 4 years ago, I had a job [outside the house]. I started working full time in my junior year in college and only took off twice - once when we moved to another state during my husband's fellowship year [at which time I also gave birth to our son], and about 3 years later for 6 weeks when I had my daughter. Life was definitely more stressful and demanding, but I also felt smarter and more interesting, and excited, and stimulated and stimulating. I don't want to say that during this time my life was more meaningful and had more purpose, but those objectives that I pursued on a daily basis definitely seemed more quantifiable and apparent. Being a Mother, Wife and Hospital Administrator felt normal. However, right now I can't and don't want a career to be my main purpose, but I do want to find "purpose"... with balance.

That being said, my new year's resolution is going to be to pursue those feelings that I had while working. Those feelings, of having a purpose and meaning, are felt strongest during times when I'm inspiring others to achieve their goals. When I inspire them, I feel strengthened and stimulated and excited and inspired to be better and do better myself. I'm going to find a way to achieve these feelings in a new career. I'll admit, I'm a little scared that I don't have the talent nor the aptitude, but there's only one way to find out. This is MY YEAR.

So, Happy New Year to you all. May all your desires be fulfilled, your resolutions accomplished, your dreams answered and your hard work rewarded. My wish for me is that for you too - to feel emotionally, spiritually and physically "FULL".

"Everyone is gifted, but some people never open their package"