Tunes for Tuesday: Mad World, by Tears for Fears

Every time that Taco Bell bacon something-or-other ad comes on, that haunting song gets stuck in my head. In case you are a youngster, the song is a remake of "Mad World" by Tears for Fears. The 1983 (college!) song was redone by Halsey exclusively for the ad, so you can't download it (yet). But the original tempo is a little better for working out to anyway.

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12 weeks. I can do 12 weeks.

Unproofed galley

That photo above? That's all I can show you of what I'm starting today. A certain doctor whose work I respect has a book coming out later this year and I agreed to follow the doctor's program for the next 12 weeks.  I had to sign a contract saying that I wouldn't reveal any details and part of the paperwork was a release for television. 

Which means it behooves me to knock this out of the park so I can be a shining example on the teevee.

The eating plan is a lot like what I've been doing so I'm not making any big changes to my diet. I'm just going to (drumroll, please) ...


I had to submit "before" photos wearing a sports bra and workout capris, shooting angles from the front, back and both sides. No flattering angles, no Photoshop. 

As I looked objectively at those photos I thought to myself "It is what it is. Look at it this way -- you'll never be bigger than you are right now." 

And while I've always said that while the scale hasn't gone down at least it hasn't gone up. I was looking over my weight stats on the Withings page and I can't really say that right now. From March 2014 to today, I've gained 10 pounds. Bleah. (Funny aside: Just as I was typing this sentence, the golf commentator on the TV uttered the word "Inexcusable." I feel the same way.)

I have no problem being hard on myself, so don't tell me that 10 pounds is no big deal because for me it is. 

Those 10 pounds really are inexcusable. Sure, there may be a few contributing circumstances (IT band problems lessening my cardio, the start of perimenopause, Costco-sized bags of leftover party snacks -- you get the picture) but at least I haven't had to buy bigger clothes, so there's that.

I'm really motivated to do well for these next 12 weeks. For the first time I think ever, I have outside sources depending on my compliance, and I don't want to let them (and myself) down. 

I went back off the electronic grid and returned to using my Fitbook. I pulled out a fresh, new Fitbook because each book is 12 weeks long, and I want to have a standalone document of this program. I'm also, for the first time, going to use all the pages in the Fitbook, not just the food journaling ones. I'm planning out my workouts and my meals, logging my measurements and writing down the good and bad of the week and what I hope to will accomplish.

I'm one meal down (a peach smoothie and coffee) and have a fridge full of produce. After I hit "publish" I hit the gym with my kid. I have vowed to drink more water and also vow to find a new hobby after dinner (like, perhaps, obsessive brushing and flossing) so that I keep the evening polar bear at bay.

And here's something for my FitBloggin' friends

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Remember that session I led about keeping the momentum going and blogging through the good and bad? I got a lot of great comments on my post-FitBloggin' blog post on that, and one of the comments, from Denise, asked: "Were you thinking about doing some sort of weekly link up or check in? If so, count me in."

Short answer: Yes. Long answer: I'm writing something in the next week or so for the FitBloggin' blog on that very topic and we'll either have that link-up or check-in there or here. 

So, I repeat -- Who's with me?

Tunes for Tuesday: Every Little Step, by Bobby Brown

I was thinking about this song when I saw my friend Christine's Periscope chat on making small steps toward big changes. Of course, this is also the premise of Roni and Carla's book, What You Can When You Can: Healthy Living on Your Terms. So to make this song even more useful, I've not only posted the 1988 video, I've also posted two instructional videos so you can dance along!


A post-FitBloggin' call to action: WHO'S WITH ME?

Most of my FitBloggin' friends have been posting wonderful recaps of last week's conference in Denver, and I love reading them as well as seeing all the great photos. (If you're unfamiliar with FitBloggin' you can find out more about it HERE. Over the past six years, it morphed from a healthy living blogger conference into a social media lovefest with around 175 of your closest friends.)

 I posted lotsa stuff on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, including this picture of some of my fellow Enell ambassadors showing off our Raspberry Zest sports bras.

Enell ambassadors

But I'm doing something different. I'm going to toss out a little tough love (something we talked about at FitBloggin' 14) and toss out a call to action.

Three hundred and sixty-something days.

That's how long we have to make a real difference in our weight-loss/fitness/health goals before FitBloggin' 16.

I was watching the Today show yesterday morning and Penn and Teller were on, doing their magic schtick. Before the end of the segment, Penn Gillette talked very briefly about his 100-pound weight loss that he accomplished in the past year. 

I thought to myself "Shoot, I don't have to lose 100 pounds -- maybe half of that. Why don't I do that this year?"

No, I never expected Penn Gillette to be my weight-loss inspiration, but there ya go.

I've been taking a different approach to eating this year -- finding out what foods work for me or against me, which foods make me feel great and which ones make me feel gross. I've become largely dairy, wheat, peanut and sugar free, and my gut has never felt better. (I say largely because I don't have any serious intolerances or allergies to those foods -- I just feel better with less of them.)

After I got back from Denver, I met with my dietitian to go over the results of a really detailed blood test I took back in last May. Instead of the garden-variety blood test that checks the stuff your doctor wants to know (cholesterol, thyroid function, etc.), this test checks your blood for antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids and even things like mitochondrial function and toxic exposure.

To my surprise (because I eat healthy and pound down supplements LIKE A BOSS), I discovered I was low in B vitamins and REALLY low in vitamin D. What am I full of? Vitamin C, zinc and plastic residue. But I'm heavy metal free! (It pays to be paranoid about tuna.) So I'm fixing the deficiencies with some vitamin D drops, better vitamins and more, more, MORE plants.

With these results in hand, I really feel like I know what I should be eating more of. What should I be eating less of? To keep things simple, basically things that are not plants. 

So, getting back to the call to action: I, you, we ALL have plenty of time to either get to a happy weight or make great strides to get closer to one. 

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Scale twinsies!

How will I personally accomplish this? I will make it my JOB to get to my happy weight, whatever that may be. Right now I weigh approximately the same as Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton. But he's 6-foot-6 and I'm 5-foot-5. What I'm getting at is while 240 pounds is perfectly fine for a jacked home-run producer, it's too much for a middle-aged mom. 

While I was flying to and from Denver, I decided to finally start reading State of Slim, which I bought last year, before I was willing to really make the tough choices and really clean up my eating. Now that I discovered that I won't wither and die from just setting aside some foods for a certain period of time, I feel ready to embrace the book. In a nutshell, State of Slim looks at why Coloradoans are so darned fit and healthy. It's written by weight-loss experts Dr. James Hill and Dr. Holly Wyatt, who are associated with the Anschutz Center for Health and Wellness at the University of Colorado (which we passed many times in the car while we were in Denver; I made sure to genuflect in their direction).  They studied thousands of people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off, and the book outlines what people need to do to repair their metabolisms that have been "broken" from years of dieting.

So, that's what I'm doing. Nothing faddish, no miracles. 

OK, here comes the tough love.

Like I have said COUNTLESS times, I've been at this since age 10. While at FitBloggin' this year, I saw a lot of people getting emotional over weight and body image issues. I don't get emotional about weight any more, probably because I had that talked out of me from a few years of therapy. Instead I still get frustrated and, frankly, amused at how difficult losing weight can be. 

Let's stop crying about it and do something about it.

I'm pretty sure by now we know what to do. Let's apply all that knowledge and GET THERE.