Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 32: The Paunch

I have been M.I.A. this past week, and not to worry, I didn't lock myself in a closet with a mile-high cheesecake. (Don't think it didn't cross my mind, but restraint is a new friend that I am getting acquainted with.) As you know I am going with a theme of change right now, and the newest change has been with career! I recently accepted an offer with Jan Marini Skin Research as a Sales Consultant (if you are an Esthetician, we need to talk) and I am excited about the change. So I will be getting adjusted to that in the meantime and if my posts are more scarce for a while, just bare with me.
Meanwhile, I have been WORKING IT OUT at the gym everyday doing an hour of cardio and training. And I really have noticed a difference in my clothes thus far (I will post pics at some point!) but there is one meandering visitor that is wearing out her welcome. Who is this rude guest? The Paunch. If you have read previous posts then you are vaguely aware of The Paunch. It is the lingering reminder of the Cookie-Carnival and French-Fry-Fest that I enjoyed during my nine month Gestation period. And now it has congregated like the Southern Baptist Convention on what used to be my abdomen, and true to what the Southern Bap's like to sing, It shall not be moved. So it's time to pull out the big guns. The D-word. That's right, Diet. After speaking with a trainer tonight, he suggested that I do not eat carbs after lunch in order to speed up the departure of The Paunch. So, chicken and broccoli (along with irrational mood swings and raging rants), here I come.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 25: Freak-a-Leak

Who's that girl out on that flo'? It's Mandi! It's Mandi! She's Flossin', she's Bossin', she's lovin that Weight-Lossin'!

This was my theme song tonight as I BLEW IT UP on the Elyptical machine for 60 minutes!! (Who am I!?) I was one with the machine as I glided like a swift gazelle running through the Sahara (excuse the drama- I am still high on endorphins). And just to show out in front of myself, I walked my tight glutes over to the weight machine and started working my arms. Don't act like you're not impressed. Is it possible that this Campaign for Change is bringing on (gulp) Discipline?

Let's start this movement together! If you are attempting your own goal of change, then email me and share!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 24: Does This Life Make My Butt Look Big?

So while on this journey to self-improvement and evaluation, I am learning some interesting things about myself. Like for example, how I am addicted (like, 12 step program addicted) to Diet Coke, and how if I don't have chips with my sandwich I feel like I have suffered more than Nelson Mandela. I think it's safe to say that discipline and long suffering aren't my strong points. So, along with becoming the next Jackie Joyner I am going to have to make some lifestyle changes as well- like avoiding the evil Subway restaurant and their delicious cookies that flaunt their chocolate chips just when I am about to pay and make my quick get-a-way. I will have to make do with Chic-fil-A wraps from here out, which I will chase with my large Diet Coke since there is no way in hell that I am giving that up. I have to find my kicks where I can get 'em.
In other news, I have decided to give up Dairy for Lent. So "Don't Have a Cow" has just taken on a whole new meaning for me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 22: Run, Mandi, Ruuuunnnn!!

Tonight's run was... not like the 3rd dimension of Hell. And that, my friends, is what I call progress. I decided not to wear my Ipod and really be one with my body in all it's glory on the treadmill. As it turns out, all my glory rests in what the Urban Dictionary defines as the Badunkadunk. So the entire time, instead of pretending that I was a in a PussyCat Doll video singing while climbing scaffolding in a midriff, I was focused on the surprising weight that gravity held on my backside. So, do I face my tush head on (so to speak) and deal with the reality? Hell no. Instead I turned my attention to "The Bachelor 9.0- On the Wings of Love" and shut out all further thoughts of oneness with my body. Reality TV is so much better than reality. The good news is I did let my JLo-ish backside hinder my progress, and jiggled my way through the run- which is 60 seconds on/90 seconds off intervals for 20 minutes at this point. Runner's World, here I come!

Many of you lusted after my posting of Food Porn and want the recipes, so here they are...

Portobello Mushroom Burger a.k.a. The Britney Spears:
2 Large Portobello Mushrooms
1 small yellow onion
1/2 Avocado (optional)
1/4 cup Basalmic Vinegar
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 tsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tbsp Minced garlic

Wash and de-stem mushroom and place on aluminum foil in small pan with smooth side up. Combine Vinegar, Oil, Basil, Oregano, and Garlic in a small bowl. Pour mixture over mushroom caps and let sit at room temp for 15 minutes. In a small skillet, add sliced onions with 1 tsp of Olive Oil to sautee. Then place mushroom caps in the oven to BROIL for about 5 minutes and remove. Toast a wheat hamburger bun in the toaster and slice the avocado. Place mushroom on bun topped with onions and avocados... and prepare to have your mind blown. Hit me baby One more time!

Taco Soup a la Jenny From the Block:
1 lb Ground Turkey or Ground Chuck
2 cans of Black beans (drained)
2 cans of Hunts Tomatoes (not drained)
2 cans of Mexican of Shoepeg corn (not drained)
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 Taco Seasoning Packet
1 Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning Packet
1 large white Onion

Brown meat in a skillet and drain. Set aside. Chop onions and sautee in skillet until browned. In a large pot combine ALL ingredients and put on medium heat. Let heat for about 10 minutes or until soup is bubbling.
Prepare by layering tortilla chips at the bottom of the bowl, then layer soup on top, with shredded cheese, sour cream, and a sliced Avocado if you wish (which I do).


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 21: Food Porn

It is for these reasons alone that I could never be anorexic. This is what I did this weekend... Feast your eyes.

Taco Soup:
I call this one Jenny From the Block, because it's got some kick and it's mostly fat free.

Portobello Mushroom Burger with Sauteed Onion and Avocado on a Wheat Bun:
I shall call it Britney Spears, because although it looks naughty, it's surprisingly good for you.

If you want recipes, I will be more than happy to share, you can email me at

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Does it count as a Valentine's Day gift if you actually threaten your significant other to "bring you some damn chocolates or don't expect to get back into the house"?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

Day 19: Burn Baby Burn

So I have been doing my challenge now for almost 3 weeks and it has been filled with ups and downs. Ups: Working out a minimum of 4 days a week. Downs: The Pizza, ranch dressing, and fried chicken fingers.
I thought by this point in my metamorphasis to become a world class runner, I would actually like it a tinge more. Wrong. I honestly cannot understand how and why anyone would like to run, unless it's running to a birthday cake or from a lion. Some say that running gives them a "high", in which the closest I have come to this is when I got dizzy and thought about passing out when I forgot my water. I am realizing that becoming a Runner is more than just a physical goal, it's mental. And if anybody is mental, it's me; but I gotta tell ya, this is more taxing than I originally anticipated. Next immediate challenge? A mental makeover. Because I am finding that the real reward here is not in becoming a runner, but rather to actually like to run. And maybe to lay off the Pizza and Ranch Dressing.

Weight loss this week: 0.5lbs (hey, it's something)

P.S- if you want to join in with you own challenge, let me know!

Day 14: Fit Happens

Weekend update: A Nacho/Pasta/Cheeseburger Food Orgy. It wasn't good. No weight loss- huge shocker.

Coming off of this weekend I am more inspired than ever to get back on track and push toward my goal. So in doing this, I scheduled a consult with a local trainer, let's call her Kristin. I make my way to the gym amidst the falling snow (seriously, are we in Alaska?), anxious for my consult with a professional to guide me in my fitness goals. And so I arrive, and I wait. And I wait. And I wait. Apparently Kristin has double booked herself and is busy with another consult. I try to brush off my annoyance and put on my happy face when she FINALLY arrives, looking forward to her much needed advice. She greets me in a tone that is less than enthusiastic, and begins taking my stats. This is when I find out how where I stand in the fitness world. As it turns out, I am a lard ass. With 37% body fat, it ain't good folks. Kristin makes sure to tell me this, twice. I begin telling her about my 60-day challenge and she looks at me as if I am growing a third arm out of my forehead, so I just shut my mouth instead and listen to her tell me that vegtables are good, sugar is bad, and to work out 5 days a week. Genius, Kristin, Genius. So to make a long story even longer, my visit with the "professional" was pointless and depressing. I guess the lesson here is, if you're gonna get something done, you gotta do it yourself. So I have decided to plan my fitness training with three days of 45 minutes Cardio and two days of Weight Training and 30 minute Cardio, no thanks to Kristin.

Oh Heavenly Day

Last night's dinner was my cheat meal for the week and I have been gearing up for the past couple of days, preparing myself for it like I was an Olympic competitive eater. My pick for this illicit rendevous was Mama Mia's in Nashville (if you have not been there, stop what you are doing and run there right now, run I say!) and my food mistress did not disappoint. Let's be clear, I have no restrictions on my cheat meal, it is a no judgement zone where I am free to let my inner fat girl run wild (whose name happens to be Edna- stay out of her way because she will cut a bitch- you've been warned). So there we sat, Edna and I, and indulged in bruschetta and calamari to start. Then made our way to the bread sticks that I'm pretty sure were fried in garlic butter and almost brought me to a Meg Ryan re-enactment in "When Harry Met Sally." I chose the seafod fetticine Alfredo for my main course, and even though I am starting to realize I have a possible shellfish allergy, it was totally worth the hives and throat swelling. It's a small price to pay... For Edna's sake. So now it's back to business until next week.

Day 11: She's a Maniac, Maniac on the Floor

Let's gather around shall we to form the Circle of Truth. Confession: I need an attitude adjustment. For the last two weeks I have been avoiding cardio like Howie Mandel at a hand shaking convention. So tonight I decided that I am going to convince myself that I love cardio- that cardio is my life. And you know what? It worked! I got on that Ellyptical machine (my former arch nemesis) and turned up my IPod louder than safe or necessary and for the next 30 minutes I pretended that I was starring in every music video to the song playing. While daydreaming that I am Fergie I begin to notice a few looks being tossed my way. Oh yes, Mama is back, I think to myself. I am wearing my capri leggings with fitted v-neck top (I am a firm believer that if you dress the part, your performance is better- this applies to many areas in life by the way) and so I am feeling pretty confident and in top form. However, as I look closer in the mirror, I realize in horror that these stretch capri leggings aren't actually supposed to stretch this much which has resulted in what appears to be more pantyhose-like mesh than actual pants. Needless to say, showing my ass took on a whole new meaning for me and my fellow gym members tonight. You're welcome.

All inappropriate nudity aside, my goal is to make it to 45 minutes at least 4 times a week, but like I said earlier, baby steps. I am now starting to understand that I am going to have to step up my game if I am going to make my goal while keeping it feasible to a lifestyle adaptation. So here's to change within the change!

Day 9: Me Want Cookies!

Setting: Subway Restaurant, Lunch time...

Me: Hi. I will have the 6 inch turkey breast, wheat, toasted, with lettuce, peppers, and vinegar.

Subway sandwich artist: Hey! You no come in here for a while. Where you been?

Me: uh... have been busy, so yeah, I guess it's been awhile.

Subway sandwich artist: You no want cookie today?

Me: No thanks, not today.

Subway sandwich artist: You always get cookies! You no want cookies anymore! (laughing)

Me: (Sigh) No. (Truth? I would have traded my dog, sorry Buddy, for a cookie right then but I am making baby steps.)

Point? You know it's bad when the subway sandwich artist mocks your ability to "step away from the cookie."
Either way, Mandi- 1. Cookie- 0. A Change is comin' people!!

Day 8: Tweak it Out

I. Am. Exhausted. I have a sneaking suspicion that my 5 month old is teething. This has been confirmed in the last 24 hours where I have gotten less than 5 hours of sleep and a very grumpy boy on my hands. Needless to say, this has affected my motivation to go to the gym today (i.e.-my fat ass hasn't come within 2 miles of a treadmill) but I have redeemed myself with a modest diet. I have come to realize that I need to tweak my workout routine in order to achieve the most effective results (as opposed to now where I go in and mindlessly wonder around the weight room like Britney Spears at a Library) so I am going to consult a professional to put together a routine. I have a feeling that more cardio is in my immediate future. Watch out love handles, I'm looking at you!

Week 1: Facing the Giant (Reflection in the Gym Mirror)

Day 1: I won't lie. I was not rearing to go on this Monday morning, but I reminded myself that perserverence is key. Well, that and I already posted my plan on a blog for everyone to see so to slack on day 1 would be pretty sad, even for me. My plan is to eat a diet following the blueprint of a lean protein, a starch, and a leafy green at each meal, all within 1,400 calories with one "cheat meal" per week (if you want details on my diet, let me know and I will be happy to bore you with my day to day meals). I also joined the gym (dom, dom, dom) where I am doing a schedule of Monday/Wednesday/Friday cardio days and Tuesday/Thursday weight training. I chose this to start my running program (couch potato to 3k plan) which requires 3 days a week. So here we go.

Day 2: This whole pressure cooker approach to reaching my goal seems to be working well for me. I haven't been tempted to cheat in a whole 48 hours! This, my friends, is a revelation. I am starting to cook more and this definitely helps with knowing exactly what you are eating. Word to the wise, do not wear sleeveless to the gym when you are just starting out because chances are you will do as I did tonight and completely focus on your back fat waving at you as you do chest fly's and be tempted to go home and eat 6 ice cream sandwiches. (Oh wait, is that just me?)

Day 3: I literally rolled out of bed this morning, unable to bend my legs or torso. But today is Ashley's (my husband) birthday and we are going out tonight, so the show must go on. In preparation for this, I kept my eating clean the whole day so I could have a little room to play for dinner- which I kept clean by ordering the shrimp skewers and broccoli (impressed? Me too). Confession: I had three... ok, four bites of his Brownie Obsession dessert but I consider this a victory as the old me would have taken it hostage. I didn't work out today because I didn't have time due to the birthday celebration, so I decided to make this day my "rest" day which worked out well since I can't move my arms. Flexibility, there's an App for that.

Day 4: I got on the scale this morning (against all the expert's advice) and I have lost 2 pounds! So what if it's water weight, or I can't walk without holding on to the nearest object; I feel like I just won the weigh-in on the Biggest Loser. Victory is Mine!! Tonight was a challenge as my friend asked me to dinner at a pizza joint. Oh what to do, what to do? She is a skinny bitch and ordered Fetteccine Alfredo (seriously?) and it took every fiber of my being not to dive face first into her plate and molest her meal right there at the table. Maybe I haven't evolved as far as I'd like to think. Anyway, I restrained myself and ordered a thin crust veggie pizza with a (tiny) green salad... all while fantasizing about her meal the whole time. Nope, definitely haven't evolved. I got back to my weight routine tonight at the gym where the florescent lights were very cruel to my arms.

Day 5: I am Miss Fitness 2010. Today, amidst the falling snow and sleet, I took my happy ass to the gym and worked out among the exclusive dedicated hard bodies. As it turned out, I was the only one there with sleeves or cellulite but I didn't care, I was high on my newfound discipline. A page has been turned people.

Day 6: What do you do when a huge ice storm comes into your town and traps you in your home? Apparently, if you live in my house then you eat pizza ALL DAY long and start drinking at noon. Needless to say, I fell off the wagon and landed on a large cheese pizza. But guilt is a useless emotion so I refuse to feel guilty about it and will just come back tomorrow with renewed motivation.

Day 7: Drum roll please... I am sitting here 2 pounds lighter than I was when writing you last week! A small victory in this journey to uncover the potential that this body is capable of and ultimately the change that we are all capable of.

Weight Loss to date: 2 pounds! Stay tuned for more to come...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Keep the Change Campaign

Those that know me know that I love change. Self-improvement, awareness, these are a few of my favorite things. However, a funny thing has happened as I have gotten older. Those changes that used to bring excitement and possibility to me in my 20’s have recently brought on discomfort and the occasional case of Hives in my 30’s. What changed? I got into a routine, and inevitably traded growth and curiosity for comfort and safety. Now don’t get me wrong, routines are great and beneficial for a healthy, balanced life; but like many of us I began letting my routine define me while ultimately stealing my joy and personal fulfillment. In other words, I got stuck just going through the motions of my life.
And so, to save my own sanity, I am starting a movement (cue the Brave heart theme song). A campaign if you will, called “You-Can-Change-Anything-In-60-Days” or “Keep the Change” for short. Too many times we hear the words, “That’s just the way I am” or “That is what I have been doing forever” but I refuse to accept that. We are all capable of change, no matter what age or situation we have been dealt. Unhealthy and overweight? Change your body. Pessimistic and Jaded? Change your mind. In Debt up to your eyeballs? Change your finances. It all starts with a plan and a little faith in yourself.
For me personally, I am going to start with running. As simple as it may seem, for years I have convinced myself that I cannot run; that I am not nor will I ever be a Runner. I have watched, envious of those people who run with the grace of a Giselle or the marathoners with their easy gait and lean bodies, as I clumsily stomped the pavement cursing every step of the way. But I am determined to change my attitude about Running while ultimately changing my mind about, well, change.

I will document it every step of the way for your enjoyment, inspiration, and my accountability. I will be completely honest with my stats, achievements, and shortcomings so as to make this process as authentic as possible. The start date is today, January 25, 2010 and will make my end date March 25, 2010. Will I be able achieve my total goal in 60 days? Maybe not. But the point is to establish a routine/lifestyle that will support my ultimate long term goal of being fit and proud of the skin I'm in. I will post new updates everyweek documenting the previous week and recording stats.
If you are reading this, please join me and make your own change and let me know about it. If you are unsure as to what you want to change or how to do it, write me and maybe I can help you find your way to a better you. As much as I love to talk about myself, this is supposed to be a movement so it would suffice to say that it should be more than just me. I will be happy to write in updates on your progress so we can all celebrate that changes we are capable of!

So let's huddle together, and 1..2..3...Go TEAM!!