Tiny Shorts

As I mentioned in my post Willpower and Motivation, a tiny dress can be a great motivator in a world full of donuts and pizza pies.

Today, I’d like to adapt that idea for Summer: Tiny. Fucking. Shorts. 

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OK, maybe not this tiny.

I’ve been given a very cute pair of hand-me-downs from my roommate:
a size 6 khaki short from American Eagle.

While they do “fit” me now, they are inappropriately tight. No one wants to see ANY SHORTS (let alone khakis) residing that far up the fathomless cavern that I call my ass.

Tiny. Fucking. Shorts. Here we come 🙂

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Tracking Through the Seasons

I weigh my fat self everyday. I measure my fat body parts regularly.

But actually, I’m not much of a tracker.

I don’t:

  • have great before and after pictures
  • know exactly how much I’ve lost or exactly when I lost it

I do know:

  • I’ve lost a lot of weight (currently hovering around 50-60 pounds)
  • I started in December 2014
  • I lose most during WARM seasons and maintain during the cold

Progress Through The Seasons

Maybe because I don’t track, I am sometimes surprised by the changes.

Here are two pictures of me and my “friend”, roommate, and co-contributor Valerie. The first was taken March 2015, and the next taken September 2015.

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March 2015, road trip! NJ to Tennessee. (I’m the one with the better sneakers)

By this first picture, we had already lost a ton of weight.

I was down about 25-30 ish pounds from my original weight of 188, putting me somewhere in the high 150-ish range.

Val lost weight much faster! (What a bitch!) She started later than me, and by this pic, she was down much more than I was. Incidentally, I happen to think she totally sucks.

Here is the second picture, taken in  September 2015. Notice how much Val sucks:

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September, 2015. Doing our regular 8 mile walk along the Jersey Shore. (I’m the one with the better face)

I realize these are the worst before/after pictures EVER! Yes. We are wearing sweaters. Yes, we are morons.

It was probably Val’s stupid idea. And I’m sorry. But in any event – I feel as though we look like entirely different people.

The point is – by now I was beginning to feel fit.
And I think Val (the bitch) was beginning to feel the same.

During this period, Val had lost an additional 6 pounds, and I had lost maybe 15.

There was also a lot of muscle gain during this time (we were working out like crazy), so those figures don’t account for additional fat loss.  

Two Different Experiences

Because she is a backstabbing ho, Val lost weight consistently throughout her efforts.

But since I, on the other hand, am a good person, I lost it in spurts. And mostly during warm weather.

So even though I lost weight fast, I also spent a lot of time not losing weight at all. Because unlike my so-called friend, I find it intolerable and unpleasant to lose weight when it’s cold. Maybe that’s why Val thinks she’s so much better than me.

Since the Last Photo

We have both lost weight since this period, but not much because we’ve done a lot of toning.

Val has lost 4 additional pounds to date (and gained a ton of muscle). She looks amazing! And I still think she can kiss my ass.

I lost maybe 10 between then and January (most of it in September/October). I then gained 2-3 over the holiday season and on my birthday, then lost it. I’ve stayed the same weight for most of January and February.

In the second photo, I was probably a size 10. Now I am consistently a size 6 or 8. I also have a dimple in my right cheek, and Val doesn’t have any dimples at all.

This was me on New Years 2016 (standing sideways of course!):

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New Years Eve, Mexico (137ish pounds?) Never forget to do triangle arms.

Here I am in the mirror yesterday:

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138, with a certain monthly visitor

 

My Ultimate Goal

I don’t know what my ultimate goal is. But I’d love to see how I look and feel in my 120’s.

I have NEVER EVER EVER been in my 120’s. I’m pretty sure my weight at birth was 140 pounds, 3 OZ.

After two months of maintaining – I’m finally beginning to see some nice weather here in New York! So I’ve left maintenance and I’m finally trying to go for this final 10-15 pounds. 

Because I’ll work hard, and because I remain confident that I’m an overall better person than Val, I know I’m going to succeed.

Wish me luck!!!

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PX90 Sucks

Some people don’t like the gym because they feel self-conscious there or find the atmosphere less than pleasant. For those people, a home workout seems to be the next best option.

IN THEORY this does sound nice – no one is there to judge you except maybe your pet hamster if he’s feeling particularly elite. BUT – even on the homefront, the excuses can arise. A recent popular trend was the PX90 videos. These videos suck for a number of reasons:

1.     They are unpleasant
2.     Your couch is really not that far from you when you’re working out
3.     Why is this stranger telling me what to do in my own home?
4.     Pushing the “play” button is so easy, yet so hard. Would you rather be watching South Park?
5.     No one is ACTUALLY holding you accountable
6.     Did you do that pushup correctly?
7.     There is probably wine on your coffee table

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Isn’t this so much nicer to look at than a sweaty person barking orders at you?

As a former gym-fearer myself, I get the idea of trying to commit to a crappy workout video instead. Just make sure you are actually keeping up with the commitment.

If you find yourself struggling with this, take time to build small victories in your day to day life to get that esteem up and get you feeling good.

1.     Weather permitting, a walk in the park will advance you to jogs in the park which is likely to even lead to running in the park.  (Pro tip: enjoy this with your dog, not your sassy hamster)
2.     Take the stairs every time  — not the elevator or the escalator
3.     Walk to places you normally drive to
4.     Park your car super far away in the parking lot
5.     Don’t put 84789471874 bags on your arms and cut off your circulation to save yourself the extra trip to bring your stuff into the house
6.     Take your bike out
7.    Ease yourself into workout classes: maybe not XTREME boot camp the first time around, maybe some slow-flow yoga just to get things going. I guarantee that once you start feeling good and collecting gym buddies, your fears will be magically washed away.

Related to numero siete (#7), the most effective way to stay active is to have a buddy and/or support system.

..I bet the PX90 guy doesn’t even know your name and that’s not very encouraging. If he does know your name, you should probably ask him to take you out for a nice (yet healthy!) dinner because I’m sure that guys loaded.

If you can manage to commit to these workout videos, good for you! I wish I had your style. But for the rest of us lacking in motivation, we need to keep at it to find better ways to stay on track.

If staring at the TV is what got us into this mess, it may not be the best way to get us out!

Over and out,

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The Power of a Lindt Truffle

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This is what God looks like.

“Eat dark chocolate,”  they say.
“It has health benefits,” they say.

But who are these foolbags anyway? And what do they know about my most sensual desires?

Because I DON’T WANT dark chocolate, goddamit. I want milk chocolate. Sweet, crappy, sugary, milk chocolate.

Can’t I have just a little bit? 
Must everything I ingest have health value?

Milk Chocolate for Mental Health

For the past two years, I eat at least one milk chocolate truffle every day. I believe it was my roommate (and fellow contributor) Valerie who first commented on my truffle habit. She said eating truffles was “very European” of me.

But I don’t have TIME for Europeans. That’s because I’m too busy eating all of the milk chocolates in the land. Milk chocolate makes me dance and sing. It’s what separates me from animals.

What kind of monster would try to keep me from my chocolate? Who dares deny me one tiny little godforsaken truffle? One is never too much. There’s always room for it. Stop trying to take my small happiness away.

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#bestie

 

I am not sponsored by Lindt Chocolates (if only!).
But I DO prefer Lindt Truffles for two reasons:

  1. 7/11 sells them individually, so I NEVER keep chocolate in the apartment; and
  2. They’re good. But they’re not tooooooooooo good. Translation = I can stop eating them (Unlike Twix, M&M’s, Snickers or pretty much any other candy bar.)
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alas! a terrible fate has befallen my truffle

Embrace Your Pleasures

Everyone has their guilty pleasures, and I am a strong believer in embracing mine.

Life really is short. And it sucks to deny yourself chocolate over and over again when the reality is that you could be eating some of that chocolate. EVERY DAY.

No – I don’t want to be a fatass. But if and when my time should come, I think I’ll smile at the thought of all the chocolate truffles that I allowed into my life. And then maybe, just maybe, I’ll flash my middle finger at the universe just one last time. As if to say unto the Lord himself, “Fuck you, man. I ate ALL the truffles. And I lost weight anyway.”

(I’m kidding, God. Please don’t kill me.)

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Valentine’s Day Deck of Cards Workout Plan

Attention fit (or attempting to be fit) couples. This is cute:

 

I hope you enjoy this fun and simple way to burn off that Valentine’s Day chocolate. Best of all, you don’t need a date to do it! Enjoy and be well. ❤

Source: Valentine’s Day Deck of Cards Workout Plan

Temptation Bundling

Woman exercising on treadmill in gym

 

In yesterday’s post, I posed a challenge for those who struggle to find gym motivation.

I  love psychology. And I believe that pairing gym visits with a particularly engaging story can help you not only find the motivation you need to show up, but also cause you to associate more positive feelings with the gym in the future.

The challenge is a form of “Temptation Bundling.”

Willpower is Half Motivation

Willpower isn’t just willpower. Really, it’s a combined term for two aspects of a human trait:
1. The strength of a desire; and
2. The willingness and ability to actually perform a concrete action in furtherance of that desire

If you know absolutely nothing about math, but know that you’ll get $500 if you learn Trig by next year, you might learn it.

But if you know absolutely nothing about math, but you know that your first born will be killed if you can’t figure it out in the same time frame, the odds of you learning it are much higher.

It’s an oversimplification to chalk this all up to dopamine, but certainly it plays a role. Motivation is related to attention. And attention is related to things that matter to you. Like your first-born not being thrown into a river.

Stack the Deck in Your Favor 

Things that matter to you can improve your willpower by increasing your attention, and therefore your motivation.

So make a conscious effort to make mundane things matter more. This is how you stack the deck in your favor.

It will help you in two different ways:

[1] Activation Energy. Increased attention provides the initial interest and activation energy you need to get started and get over initial hurdles.

[2] Habit Formation  Performing any activity will begin your brain on the journey of creating a habit. Doing it in an interested state will likely make it stick better.  As they say, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” Soon enough, you’ll enjoy a semi-automatic behavior, the familiarity of which will bring you comfort and joy.  You just need a little help getting there.

Use Temptation Bundling

Temptation bundling is just one hack of many that you can use to increase your motivation, and thus, your willpower. Bundle an enjoyable activity with a less enjoyable one, and keep the association strict. 

In order to do this effectively, you’ll have to know yourself.

For example, I love audiobooks, and I don’t have much of an attention span for television. I like certain shows, but I can’t focus on a show while exercising. You might experience the exact opposite.

If you LOVE a particular show, then ONLY watch that show at the gym. I personally do the same with audiobooks.

More Examples of Temptation Bundling for Fitness

  1. Make a pact with a friend you don’t see often, but whose company you thoroughly enjoy.  For the next three months, you are only going to hang out at the gym. This is you time.
  2. Listen to your favorite audiobook only while exercising.
  3. Watch your favorite TV show only while exercising.
  4. Have a small piece of chocolate every time you exercise! And at no other time.
  5. Splurge on cute gym clothes, so that whenever you are at the gym you feel like the hottest ticket
  6. If you are motivated by physical challenges, then spend the first 2 minutes of your workout racing yourself on the treadmill and try to beat your old times.

Many people do these things without even realizing. Often, these are the people who experience the most success.

If you don’t do these things naturally, then it’s very important to be concrete in your temptation bundling rule and action.

The only person you are trying to help here is yourself, and a concrete behavior is what you need to get the habit formation going.

If you have any other tips and tricks, I’d love to hear. And I’d also love to hear how any of these tips work out for you.

Happy Bundling 🙂

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What’s More Important – Diet or Exercise?

I’m going with diet.

Yes, they’re both important. Blah blah blah. But I firmly believe that when it comes to weight loss, physical activity is secondary to food intake.

While it’s true that some people don’t move enough, it seems to me that many more people are reasonably active, and still experiencing issues with their weight.  Perhaps I am biased because this was my personal experience – always overweight, and yet always quite active. But in any event, I’m not the only person who feels this way.

The typical Western diet is calorie dense.

In general, food is primary because while we are designed to want to eat until we’re full, we are also designed to eat foods that had a much lower caloric density than the foods we typically encounter today. Admittedly, we were also designed to work a bit harder for those foods (a factor in favor of exercise, I suppose).

Still, typical Western foods are so calorific that even a large amount of exercise won’t offset poor eating habits. And to make things worse, the caloric density of these foods  is probably magnified by our general over-reliance on carbohydrates – the consumption of which tends to affect our metabolic state in favor of storage.

For some, exercise can increase appetite.

My advice to anyone, simply based on my own experience, would be to avoid starting caloric restriction and a workout regimen at the same time.

Of course, you have to know yourself. But in my experience, exercise increases my appetite noticeably. In fact, exercise has been shown to both increase or decrease your appetite depending on a number of factors.

In life, we expect clean and predictable answers. People will say “Oh you can never lose weight without exercising.” But that’s simply untrue, because the truth is much so much more complex than what some person put in a single news headline.

You can look at what scientific studies tell you, or you can sit down and mindfully examine your own life experience, incorporating what you pick up from the news as well. Our bodies and brains are unique, and in the end, what works for you depends on more factors than a scientific study can possible consider. You need to know yourself.

Consider – how did you get where you are now?

If you have a lot of weight to lose, maybe it’s time to consider this – what caused you to put on the weight in the first place? And be honest with yourself.

If you overeat often, you should probably deal with your eating habits before dealing with your physical activity. If you find it’s difficult to get full, then you want to begin opting for more veggies with every meal. Simply adding veggies may cause you to eat less of other more calorie dense foods. This was the case for me. Of course – I still exercise regularly for the health benefits.

On the other hand, if you’ve put on a pound or two each year slowly throughout the years with age – maybe you’ll do fine just adding enough activity to compensate for your slowing metabolism. Try it out, and see how it works for you.

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Netflix and Chill

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Snowed in on a Saturday night? Me too.

Here are just a few of my favorite health and weight loss  documentaries for you to to cuddle up with tonight.

Youtube 

1. BBC Horizon “The Truth About Exercise” 

I’ve really admired Dr. Michael Mosley ever since I read his book “The Fast Diet.”  This short doc is so different and fascinating. Even if you’re a fitness fanatic, I promise you will learn a thing or two.

Watch it here.

2. BBC Horizon “Eat Fast and Live Longer”

If you know me, you know I fast regularly. Fascinating doc, again featuring Dr. Mosley. It’s not about weight loss as much as it is about the latest cutting edge science in aging.

Watch it here.

3. BBC Horizon “Why are thin people not fat?”

Ok, last one with Dr. Mosley, I swear! This documentary covers an interesting experiment where a diverse group of ‘naturally thin’ people are made to put on weight in order to help use better understand the mechanics behind weight gain. Love it.

Watch it here.

Netflix

1. Fat Sick and Nearly Dead 

Follow Australian businessman Joe Cross as he embarks on an extended juice fast while traveling across the USA.

You may or may not agree with his method, but either way you’ll hear from a lot of great doctors (like Dr. Joel Fuhrman), and also from other people who use green juices and smoothies as intro to a more balanced lifestyle .

2. Fat Sick and Nearly Dead 2

..the sequel. Follow up with Joe Cross as well as some of the people from the first movie, five years later. Learn how to maintain your weight with a plant based diet.

3. Fed Up

This movie is important. It tracks the struggle of obese and overweight children. It’s sad, it’s infuriating, and it might make you change your ways completely about nutrition and food marketing

What are some of your favorites???

Happy Binging 🙂

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