Walking in Beautiful Places

I don’t know what goes on in your head, I can only (attempt to) tell you what goes on in mine.

I enjoy everything, and I feel happy. I love being young, and my entire existence feels light and silly. In the same moment, I feel profoundly isolated. I disappoint myself, and I’m disappointed by others. I ruminate and dwell on things that I could probably change but don’t. I feel uncalm, yet strangely unfazed. I’m just watching IT happen, and IT is (for the most part) awesome.

Night time shore walks bring me stillness, especially in the colder months. Usually, I’m  there alone – little Dorit versus the entire ocean and world. I’m tormented by the most intense loneliness and sadness. I’m humbled and silent and reminded of my insignificance.

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Yes, I got soaked. 

Then, suddenly, it all feels like the greatest gift. I have to let it wash over me or I’ll burst. I feel almost unbearably grateful to be living the best possible life at the best possible time. The world is great, and its begging me to make it even better. I can’t be stopped (possibly because I’m having a manic episode?). It’s beautiful and special to feel all of these feelings.

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Night time skyline walks can have a similar effect. 

Then I start to feel that I’m crazy. Then I start to feel that I’m sane. Too sane. Maybe the last sane person walking on earth.

My regular walk takes about three to four hours, during which time the ocean regularly lights a fire under my ass. I write short stories in my head (usually about murder) and I think about how the world will end. I’m never very interested in the plot. I like to play with the sentences and scenes, and I text myself the favorites. Later, I’ll adapt them to whatever context.

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Isn’t this shit special?

When I walk all alone late at night, I feel unpleasant things.

I’d love a friend to talk to, but if one came along, I have a feeling I might lie and say I have plans. I need to leave the world regularly, and go to a beautiful place and just walk. Then when I come back, I can function (most of the time). The world is filled with incredible landscapes to walk through and appreciate.  It’s the greatest gift.

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A Diet Pill State of Mind

Between the ages of 12 and 16, my friends and I use to hunt down 18 year old boys in the mall. And not because we wanted their AOL screen names. We needed someone with I.D. to buy us diet pills.

I suppose eighteen year old boys like prepubescent girls, because we scored plenty of pills. In all fairness, I got my first period by age 10, so by 13, I easily looked 45.

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me, aged 13

..Those poor chumps probably thought they were helping out some nice MILF or widow.

Specifically, I recall:

  • Stackers;
  • Stacker II’s; and
  • Slim Quick (aka “slim death.”)

The ingredient I sought most = ephedra. Especially when stacked with caffeine.

Even at that age, we knew that most diet pills were BS. We had experience, and we had the beginnings of the internet.

DNA helix inside pill capsules

“No snake oil pills for me, my friend. I have dial-up.” 

Stacker II (with ephedra) was my jam. It was the only real pill. You could tell by the involuntary hand tremors and headaches. And also by how quickly it was pulled of the market.

…No worries – you could still score travel size bottles of the original formula at unscrupulous news stands for about a year after it was pulled.

At some point during this time…

I’m in the car with my mom on a warm Spring day. We’re driving past the recreation center, and I’m telling her about these new chips I bought at CVS.  They’re called Lays WOW! Chips and they have so few calories that I’ll probably eat a few bags.

Mom tries one. They DO taste good. “Can you get me these if you see them at Sam’s Club?” I ask.

Lays Wow! Chips contained a magical ingredient called Olestra (aka Olean). Olestra is a fat substitute that adds zero calories to foods. Zero ! ZERO !!!!!!

 

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90’s Kids – do you remember these chips? 

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You might recognize them from the warning on the bag..

In exchange for zero calories, Olestra blocks essential vitamins and minerals from entering you. Essentially, eating these chips will give you malabsorption.

For optimists, this is excellent news. Why wait 30+ years to develop IBS, Chrohns, or bowel cancer? ..You can experience painful bloody stool within hours, no strings attached. In related news, here are Lays Wow! Chips topping off a list of Five Foods that Cause Anal Leakage. Arguably, this is not a list that any major food product should aspire to…

Let’s not miss the silver linings here. Low calories = good. Fatty taste = awesome. And while anal leakage sucks, it might contribute to even more weight loss!

A Diet Pill State of Mind

Why have I shared these two anecdotes together in one post? 

Well, riddle me this…

..In the epic quest for weight loss, does it really MATTER  whether you rely on death pills as opposed to POTATO CHIPS THAT OPENLY MAKE YOUR ASS BLEED?!

Really, these two stories are the same. They illustrate the 26 years I spent searching for a magical weight loss solution. And yet all of that time, beautiful, delicious, colorful whole foods were right under my nose.

The Diet Pill Mindset

These stories reflect what I call the “Diet Pill State of Mind.”
..And in my experience, it’s not a helpful mindset to have.

Does this mean that you absolutely MUST take a 100% whole foods based approach to weight loss? No! …It doesn’t mean anything.

I think you can lose weight fast, OR you can lose weight slow. You can lose weight:

  • doing paleo
  • doing weight watchers
  • drinking slim fast shakes
  • eating nothing but pickles
  • drinking your own urine
  • doing isogenix
  • eating nothing but three pretzels all day long for 17 days straight

I don’t know what the right thing is for you. Because:

  • I don’t know where you are starting,
  • I don’t know HOW you became overweight in the first place; AND
  • I don’t know what your goals are

I also believe that weight loss is very different from weight maintenance.

When it comes to weight loss, I say do what works for you. Who cares how crazy or stupid  it is, provided that:

  • it doesn’t give you nutritional deficiencies; and
  • it doesn’t give you an electrolyte imbalance ; and
  • it doesn’t kill you

BUT! When it comes to maintenance, you MUST get onto whole foods. You can’t waste your beautiful life dieting. You need to (mostly) eat foods that come from the earth.

Another Thing I know

As you can see, I don’t know much. But what I DO know is this: a diet pill state of mind was NOT helpful for me.

..I needed to get on to whole foods in order to experience what I believe humans beings are meant to experience when it comes to food and satiety.

Slowly ridding myself of processed foods was the ONLY thing that worked for me. And I hope you find what works for you.

Here are a few articles that might help:

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The A4 Challenge

If you’re heavy into fitness and/or beauty blogs, you’ve probably heard about the A4 challenge.

Like many disturbing selfie trends, it started in China – land of the once bound feet!

Marie Clare calls it a “disturbing new fitness trend pressurising girls worldwide into extreme weight loss.” I call it inevitable. I also admire Marie Clare’s use of the word “pressurising.”

Of course, the challenge has a hashtag: #A4Waist

“The tiny waist has a long tradition in China, going back at least to King Ling of Chu, who ruled from 540 to 529 B.C. Many in China know the passage from the Book of Han, the history of the Western Han dynasty: “The King of Chu loved a narrow waist. Many people at court starved to death.” – The New York Times

The premise is this:

Step one: Take a selfie standing behind a single sheet of A4 sized paper, held vertically.
Step two: If the paper is bigger than your waist, you win. If not, shame on you!

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Yikes! this means my worth = zero cents

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But wait! I almost make it sideways! 

What I Find Interesting

Most of the articles/bloggers covering this topic seem to have a derisive tone, as if to:

  • blame the girls who are doing this challenge; or
  • express loathing and hatred towards the challenge itself

“Whatever,” I say! “Don’t blame the messengers. Or at least don’t be too harsh on them.”

Humans are only humans. They do what they can for attention. This goes double for young girls who KNOW (based on the sad reality) that a foolproof way to get power is to physically embody the ideal woman.

Challenges like these only reflect what’s already there. And sure, they amplify it too.

There are all sorts of reasons why we value thinness, especially when it comes to the waist.  The reasons are rooted in biology, and then (like many traits) are fetishized in culture. What is “culture” anyway if not the fetishization of all things?

Instead of blaming the messengers, or suppressing the message, let’s try to understand it. And then let’s try to modify it, gently.

Why We Value a Thin Waist

Blah blah blah. I’m so sick of hearing about all the reasons why the patriarchy is destroying the world.

Blame biology!  A preference for a thin waist is rooted in our DNA.

  • It connotes youth and virginity.
  • It might also indicate child-bearing hips.

Things that indicate youth, virginity, and a sizable birth canal are attractive. Sorry, it’s just true. If your goal is to impregnate someone with your man seed, it’s kind of a drag if they’re already pregnant or if they die during childbirth. So we look to cues. We’re just human.

But there’s more! Blame the fashion industry. Ok, but a thin waist is not necessarily an A4 waist. So what’s going on?

Enter the FETISH aspect. If a little bit of a good thing is a good thing, then a lot of a good thing must be a great thing. Right? …Well – probably not as far as health outcomes are concerned. But certainly as far as sales are concerned. 

Think about it. Your job is to hire a model. Good looking people have power. Insanely great looking people have more power. And insanely great looking people are just good looking people whose good features are exaggerated. Often beyond the point of a healthy balance.

So, are you going to hire the good looking person? Or the insanely great looking person?

I suppose the real question is – how many purses/lipsticks/panties do you want to sell?

“Fetishization” describes this race to the bottom. Everyone wants to get closer to the ideal, but no one is alone in this world. As you get closer, someone else gets even closer. There is always someone with a smaller waist than you.

If you want to sell the most things, have the most boyfriends, or get the most IG likes – then you need to have the smallest waist of all.

..At some point, the year 2016 comes around. Inevitably, some random person in China decides your waist needs to be the size of a sheet of paper. Awesome China, thanks a lot. But why couldn’t you have thought of this BEFORE inventing lo mein?

In any event – all of this because we like to take biological shortcuts. Even when it comes to strangers from the internet.

The strangers who follow your Instagram? They are JUST DYING for more information about your fertility than they can possibly know just by seeing your photo. Aren’t people the weirdest? 

A Compromise

Maybe the A4 challenge reflects a compromise. Perhaps a spontaneous social compact?

Maybe what the A4 challenge really says is “I’m hungry!! So let’s all agree – A4 is small enough. Can we please stop competing now?”

But I doubt that. Some other crazy challenge is coming soon. It’s only human nature.

…Perhaps the “Post-It Note Challenge?”

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Our Hundredth Post!

Holy Guacamole! This post marks 100 posts on Fat Girls Fitness.

Thank you to everyone who has been following along, liking, sharing, and commenting. The interaction with likeminded people brings so much more joy to this experience. And the recipes and tips we’re picking up from other bloggers are awesome.

As you might know, Fat Girls Fitness is a blog started by three childhood friends.

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Left to right: Dori, Valerie, Rachel

We each lost a bunch of weight in different ways. We want to share our tips, tricks, recipes, and thoughts with anyone who might be looking for some help or motivation.

If you’re still early on in your fitness journey, or even if you’re just starting out – just know this: the three of us have been exactly where you are. So you are never alone in this and you can always reach out.

Newsletter

We’ll be launching our biweekly newsletter next month, so please sign up here.

If you don’t – just know that we have only seven people currently on our list. And writing for an audience of seven is just plain sad. Don’t make us do it.

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We’re also pathetically low on Facebook friends!!!

So if you enjoy our posts (or even if you just feel sorry for us) please follow us on Facebook here.

Thanks again for joining us for the ride 🙂

-FGF ❤

Why Losing 2 Pounds/Week is a Bad Idea

Successful diet
“Yes! I can finally eat cheesecake again!”

I like goals, small & big.

But there is a certain type of goal I don’t like. And it’s one I hear often – “aim to lose 2 pounds a week.”

Why don’t I like this goal? Because it predisposes you to failure. Instead:

  • aim for 8-10 pounds in a month; or
  • aim for 4 – 5 pounds every 14 days

But wait – isn’t that the same thing as losing 2 pounds a week? 

No! It’s not. Especially not for women.

I’m not trying to mince words here, I swear.  There are psychological aspects to weight loss. And aiming to lose 2 pounds a week simply isn’t a smart goal.

Reasons

  • Weight doesn’t directly correlate to fat. You already know this.
    • So you CAN gain weight while losing fat.
    • When you’re working with such a small number as “2 pounds,” there is so much room for error that you are bound to get mixed up.
    • This makes it tricky for you to track what’s working and what’s not working in terms of reaching your goal.
  • A week is a LONG time. And yet it’s a short time.
    • When you diet all week long, and then you step on the scale to no results, or even to a higher weight than you started out, it can be deflating. Which is stupid, because if you’ve been doing the right things, then you probably ARE making strides towards your goal, even if those strides aren’t reflected by your weight this very minute.
    • On the other hand, if you go two weeks without losing any weight (and CERTAINLY if you go a full month without losing any weight) – then it’s likely there is either:
      • a problem with your plan (i.e., your numbers are wrong); or
      • a problem in the EXECUTION of your plan (ie..you’re eating more than you realize)
  • It’s not how weight loss works. When I was losing weight, some weeks I lost 3-4 pounds, and some weeks I lost none.
    • If I was a fool, I might have listened to people who said “losing 4 pounds in a week! that’s dangerous!” Or, I might have listened to someone who said “if you’re doing things right, but not losing weight, then you’ve probably hit a plateau.”
    • The truth is most likely this: as long as I stayed consistent, I WAS losing FAT steadily. I just wasn’t losing WEIGHT steadily. There is a difference! As long as I averaged out to 8-10 pounds a month, I was losing fat at a healthy pace. Even though my weight loss was staggered.

A lot of people have a lot of opinions on the right way to lose weight, the right pace to lose weight etc. Some of these people have advanced degrees. So what? Advanced degrees never stopped anyone from saying “Fat is bad! Eat more carbs!”

I say, don’t listen to anyone! Don’t even listen to me.

Losing 4 pounds some weeks, and zero pounds other weeks might make sense for you. Unless you’re doing a body fat analysis every week, then there is no reason to think this reflects anything other than a steady fat loss.

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I Want to See You MOVE!

I am going for the “NOW” music effect here… soon I will have 4893582958520535 playlists for you to choose from. We are so close to the weekend, maybe if we run fast enough, we can get there quicker.

Work out mix #2

  • Rudimental (feat. Ed Sheeran): Lay It All on Me
  • Inna (feat. Pitbull): Good Time
  • Zedd (feat. Selena Gomez): I Want You to Know
  • Chris Brown: Don’t Wake Me Up
  • KSHMR: Burn
  • Years & Years: King
  • Inna (feat. J Balvin): Cola Song
  • Edward Maya: Stereo Love
  • Bob Sinclar: World, Hold On
  • Florence + The Machine: Shake It Out (I think this is a good cool down/stretching song)

 

Happy running, lifting, cycling, flipping tires!

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Serge (hubby) is so manly and strong. GRRR!

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Caribbean Jerk Shrimp and Sweet Potato Avocado Mash

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No offense to Paula Deen or my Russian ancestors, but we do not need to use butter in everything! “What do you mash with your potatoes to make them moist and flavorful?”
::insert heavy Russian accent::

 

Say hello to my little friend, Avocado.

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I promise I will get to the recipe in a second but first lets see the difference between avocado and buttah:
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Ingredients for one serving:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cayenne pepper optional
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tbs evoo or coconut oil
  • Walkerswood Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
  • Lemon juice for the avocado and shrimp
  • 3 oz shrimp (I used Target’s Market Pantry small shrimp): 60 cal/13g protein

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Pierce holes around sweet potato and bake for 45-1 hour or until soft or microwave for approx 10 min turning sides once
  • Soak shrimp in cold water for about 15 min
  • Once shrimp have defrosted place in ziploc bag and mix with jerk seasoning. Cook on pan for about 3-5 minutes or until translucent
  • Chop onion and garlic, saute for approx 3 to 4 minutes until translucent
  • Drizzle half avocado with lemon juice, salt and pepper
  • Mash baked potato and avocado together and mix in onions and garlic
  • Serve with cooked shrimped and lemon wedge

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