Yay, Hurray, and Zippedy-Doo-Da-Day!

Do y’all remember those pesky three pounds I blogged about exactly one week ago? And do y’all remember my oath to lose them and then some?

DONE, PEOPLE!

One week and 3.25 pounds lighter, I am one happy chick. And to celebrate, pizza for dinner!

Yeah, right.

~B, a victorious, skinny fat girl

Another tiny step…

As I am making all kinds of positive changes in my life, I find that I must give up quite a few old loves.  One of these loves is juice.  Orange juice, grape juice, cranberry juice, I love them all (except for veggie juices. *See my last blog entry).   You see, juice, as you may already know, is full of extra calories and sugar.  Just take a look at a carton of orange juice – 27 GRAMS OF SUGAR!

If you are shocked, just think of it this way, it takes about four oranges to make one, just ONE, cup of juice.  Now you can probably imagine eating one orange a day, but four?  Probably not.

So I resolved to replace my juice drinking habits with better water drinking ones.  Now the one problem I encountered is that after I come home from exercising pretty hardcore, I find that I crave something a little more flavorful to quench my thirst. 

My solution?  Iced tea.

I find that I love fruit flavored iced tea almost just as much as I loved juice.  I personally like the “Fruit Tea Sampler” from Celestial Seasonings so I can combine to my heart’s desire.  This week I mixed “Country Peach Passion” and “Raspberry Zinger” together and sweetened it lightly with agave nectar.  The great thing about these teas is that they are caffeine free (so you can drink them at any time of day) and all-natural, which is a must.  I find that it is just the right amount of flavor with virtually no sugar or calories (there is a little sugar and calories in the agave nectar, but as long as you don’t overdo it).

So there it is – another tiny step in the right direction.

-E, a skinny fat girl and recovering juice-o-holic

Spring Break Catastrophe

Oh, blog. I’ve been avoiding you like the plague. I’ll admit it, okay? I’m overwhelmed by shame!

A week ago, my family rented a van and drove 8 hours south to visit my dad for a 3-day spring break weekend. He lives 30 minutes from the border of Mexico and about an hour away from South Padre Island, and we were all excited to go to the beach.

It was an incredible weekend, but my food choices were absolutely embarrassing. Am I the only one who puts nutrition on the back burner while on vacation? I’m so ashamed. It was a fat fest from beginning to end. Taco Bell seven-layer burrito. Flour tortillas with cheese and mushrooms. Soy hazelnut frappuccino with whipped cream. Cheetohs. Cheezits. Belgian waffle and hash browns. There you have it, my list of unforgivable sins in black and white, for all the world to see. Understand my guilt?

Believe it or not, some people can get away with eating this stuff. I’ve got a friend who went away for a weekend and ate stuffed, fried avocados, chocolate-covered bacon, and a wasabi milkshake and lost weight! How is this possible? It’s simple enough: body types. We’ve all got unique bodies that react differently to food and exercise. The problem with E and I is that our bodies are VERY unforgiving – that is, they’ll turn even the smallest bit of white flour or sugar straight to fat, no questions asked. That’s why we’re obese.

Anybody wondering about the consequences of my sinful spring break? 3 pounds of pure fat. Yup, you heard me right, I put on 3 pounds in 3 days. My pants are snug, and I look like I spread a layer of Crisco around my midsection. It’ll take me a good two or three weeks to lose those 3 pounds, but I will lose it, and then some. I think sometimes you just have to get it out of your system. I had my fun, and now it’s time to buckle down and start living right again.

I went shopping yesterday and stocked up on beans, lentils, quinoa, gluten, and an array of fresh produce. Let’s do this thing!

~B, a skinny fat girl

Good Old-Fashioned Veggies?

Okay, I am about to tell you a secret that I have been hiding from the world.  While, I pride myself in being a health nut…  Drumroll please…

I HATE VEGGIES. 

That’s it.  That’s my deep dark secret.  I don’t like eating my veggies.  Now, I know that vegetables are one of the most important foods in a healthy balanced diet, but I can’t deny my loathing for them.  I have tried to make sure I eat a good salad every day, but since dumping fatty Ranch dressing on top to disguise the taste pretty much eliminates the good of the salad anyway, what’s the point? 

Recently, I have found my answer to getting the vegetables I need without sacrificing my desire to stay away from evil Ranch dressing or just sucking it up and eating them raw.  I can just add vegetables to foods I like!

Seriously, I now add vegetables to smoothies, waffles, casseroles, rice, beans, you name it.  I never eat anything without vegetables!  Now you might be thinking that this sounds much more disgusting than just eating my vegetables the way they were intended to be eaten.  This is actually not the case at all.

Here is how I do it.  I stick an entire bag of fresh spinach leaves and a whole head of kale into my food processer and blend it all up into tiny pieces.  Then I add it to whatever I eat.  Yep, it’s that simple and I can’t even taste it when I’m through!  Now I probably get more veggies into my system with my morning smoothie than I ever did eating salad. 

Goodbye, Ranch dressing.  Hello, good old-fashioned veggies.

~E, a skinny fat girl

To Nap or to Run

So yesterday was one of those days.  By the time work was over, my head was aching and my eyes were heavy.  On my drive home, I decided that I would take a 30 minute nap and at about 6:00 p.m. I would go for my run.  By the time I got into my apartment, however, I was fairly convinced that I was going to forego my workout.  Plus, my muscles were extremely sore.

On Sunday, I had a fitness evaluation done at my gym and part of the evaluation was a workout with a personal trainer.  Let’s just say that I officially worked out muscles that I have never worked out in my life!  It didn’t help that before we started working out the fitness trainer told me I could probably handle quite a bit of weight.  My competitive side kicked in a bit.  Not that I’m sorry, I certainly learned a good deal about weight training I didn’t know before.  Still, head to toe soreness seemed like an excellent excuse to skip my workout.

30 minutes after arriving home, I was still trying to determine whether I was going to go for my run or not.  With my eyes drooping, the bed seemed to be beckoning me.  I had a sinking feeling that if I gave into my temptation to nap, I definitely would not go for my run when I woke up. 

What did I finally decide? 

I went running.

~E, a skinny fat girl

Priorities

After the traumatic obesity diagnosis, I vowed to make changing my body composition a major priority. Unfortunately, sometimes my human desires take over and my priorities go out the window.

Yesterday, a coworker offered me a bite-size Snickers bar, and I politely declined. I want a nice, toned body more than I want chocolate. Priorities in check.

This morning, my alarm went off at 5 a.m. sharp. I got up right away, pulled on my running shoes, and went down to the track as planned, right? Wrong. It seems my number one priority at 5:00 this morning was – you guessed it – rolling over and going back to sleep. Apparently I want a nice, toned body more than I want a bite-size Snickers but NOT more than I want an extra hour and a half of sleep in the morning. Priorities out the window.

As I reset my alarm, I repeated excuses to myself (all valid, by the way): “I’m exhausted. I had a long day yesterday, and I went to sleep too late to wake up this early. Besides, it’s too cold to be running outside. I’ll just go later.”

Now that I’ve been awake for a few hours, I regret skipping my run and realize that none of my excuses were good enough to rationalize putting sleep ahead of my goals. If I choose sleeping in over running every morning, I’ll never be ready for the half marathon in October, I’ll never have the body I want, and I’ll never achieve my goals. If I continue to make excuses I’ll be a skinny fat girl forever.

The truth is, we humans are all about instant gratification. We want what we want, and we want it now! Sleeping in is so much more convenient and comfortable than getting up early to exercise. But who ever had true success without stepping out of their comfort zone? That’s exactly what it is going to take if I want to reach the goals I have set for myself. If transforming my body is truly a priority, I need to stop making excuses. If transforming my body is truly a priority, I need to be willing to work hard and step out of my comfort zone on a daily basis.

My alarm is set for 5 a.m. tomorrow. Priorities in check.

_____________________________________________________________________

Side note: In a jumprope challenge after work yesterday, I did 617 jumps in 5 minutes. My heart was pounding out of my chest and my arches were burning like the dickens, but it felt pretty great. Jumping rope is an incredible cardio workout. Y’all go get a jumprope and try to beat my record. I dare ya!

~B, a skinny fat girl

Glorious Gluten

Gluten.

A curse word to the health-conscious consumer, local food markets are now devoting entire aisles to gluten-free products. Cookies, cake mix, pasta, cereal, pizza crust…the list goes on and on! This anti-gluten movement has become a nationwide craze!  Soon items like water bottles and cat litter will boast “gluten-free” just to boost sales.

But what IS gluten? Simply put, it’s the protein in wheat. So what’s the big dumb deal about avoiding it? If you’re not one of the 5% of Americans with Celiac disease, why not give it a chance? I’m not saying that you should eat it at every meal, but incorporating it into a balanced diet a few times a week may actually be beneficial.

I think half of the people jumping on board the gluten-free train are either doing it to be trendy or as an uninformed attempt at living more healthfully. Hate to break it to you, but just because cookies don’t contain gluten doesn’t mean they’re good for you.  In fact, they may contain additional sugar/and or fat.  What’s more, besides being a processed food, the item has to go through even MORE processing to remove the gluten.  In a way, eating a gluten-free product is like eating a DOUBLE processed food product!

Because processed foods are linked to obesity and higher body fat, along with many other health issues, E and I avoid them at all costs. Stick to whole foods, people. Get thee behind me, processed foods!  Don’t let a gluten-free label trick you into stocking up on sugary, carb-laden goodies disguised as “healthy” snacks.

I’m mostly vegan.  I say mostly because I eat wild caught fish about twice a week and don’t feel right refusing food containing dairy products when I’m a guest in someone’s home. While a vegan diet contains protein in the form of legumes, soy, and nuts, it’s not always easy to get enough to build muscle and prevent the storage of body fat. I’m a prime example.  Last year I was a committed vegan and hardcore runner, and am now at a healthy weight…and 34% body fat. That’s right, over a third of my body weight is pure fat.  Now that I’m aware of the major impact of protein on my body composition, I make certain to incorporate at least 20 – 30 grams of it into every meal (and I eat five times a day).

For me, gluten is a godsend.  Gluten flour is almost pure protein powder, and when mixed with water and cooked, has one of the most meat-like textures of all the meat substitutes I’ve tried – and I’ve tried a LOT of them! The cherry on top? Making seitan (the fancy name for gluten “meat”, or “wheat meat”) is surprisingly simple – just add water and seasonings, and either boil or bake. Yes, it’s that easy!

So as it turns out, gluten is not the devil!  E and I make all sorts of savory gluten dishes and look forward to sharing many of our recipes with you in the future. Hop on board the anti-gluten-free train!

~B, a skinny fat girl and humble gluten advocate

The Shocking Diagnosis

B and I have been close friends since we roomed together our first year of college.  We’ve shared a lot of experiences.  We both started dating our now husbands within months of each other.  Then about 4 years later, we both married our husbands within months of each other.  We also happen to be similar height, weight, and shape.  Recently, we discovered something new that we have in common: 

We’re obese. 

Now, you may be wondering, how is that possible?  Now for those of you who know us, we look like normal, even thin women.  No, you didn’t just read a misprint, both of us are actually clinically obese!  Don’t worry, we were even more surprised than you may be.  How is this possible?  B and I both eat healthy food and exercise regularly.  As far as we knew, we were as healthy as can be.  Sure, we both have had our occasional cheat days, but for the most part we stayed true to our diets and fitness routines and we were healthy, right?  Or so we thought.

Everything changed after we decided to have our body fat measured. What we found was that despite our supposed small/average size and normal weight, our body fat percentages categorize us as obese.  How could this be?  The problem, we learned, is that we were eating too much fruit, too little protein, and not working the weights nearly enough.  Apparently, cardio isn’t everything. Who knew?

Now, B and I have made a commitment to ourselves and to each other that we are going fix our obesity problem head on and we are going to do it together.  We decided to start this blog to chronicle our journey from being skinny fat girls to being healthy and fit skinny girls.  

~ E, a skinny fat girl

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