Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day 26: Cleanse Day 1

I am in awe of the girls who have followed the TAM Bootcamp diet to the letter-- like the gorgeous Jen TAM, or "Brainy Barbie" (as she calls herself), who started documenting her Tracy Anderson journey a year ago-- with amazing results, I might add.

If you've been following the last 25 days of my Bootcamp mission, the diet, has, been, well....not so much. I have modified the menu, modified the modifications on the menu and further modified those menu modifications with, well, you get the picture. I justified certain changes due to budget, since Tracy's Chef de Cuisine doesn't take into account leftovers and wasting the additional 4oz or 8oz servings that are extras once the recipe is made, just, well....wasteful. That said, substituting choco-chestnut pudding for 3 glasses of Cabernet -- prolly not an even swap out. But, I'm over 3 weeks in and Mistress of Modifications here, is gonna have to live with those bad decisions when my results are not as *fabulous* as they might have been if I'd followed the diet perfectly.

Perhaps to make up for my diet indiscretions-- especially this last weekend's food and booze bender-- I'm following the 5 day TAM Bootcamp cleanse almost by the book. For those of you not familiar with the "cleanse"-- it is Tracy's ramp up to the end of bootcamp and the beginning of Perfection:

During the last five days of your kick start, the Performance Cleanse will help you shed weight to show off your beautiful new muscular structure...The Method Cleanse uses real food so you are still digesting and getting maximum energy. Every day you will enjoy seven different foods that include sweets, savories, soups, puddings and purees. These are:

Sweet Purees
Blueberry Applesauce
Kiwi Dessert
Choco Chestnut Pudding

Savory Purees
Edamame and Carrot with Cayenne
Sweet Potato Corn Pudding

Soups
Tomato Gazpacho
Chicken Protein Soup or Tofu Vegetable Soup

Along with the seven food choices, you can drink Kale Spinach Beet Juice and Kale Juice for energy, as a snack, or to replenish your body after a workout.

The only um, modification adjustment I am making is substituting out the gazpacho for an additional serving of chicken protein soup. Tomatoes give me indigestion and I'd rather have a bit of extra protein anyway.

I got up at 6:15am this morning to start making the pureed food (it's like baby food and baby portions, btw) for the next 2 days since tomorrow is my debut at the radio station... I don't want to be in a frenzy of pureed kiwis when I'm supposed to be channeling my inner radio goddess!

Stocking up on 4oz portions of mushy mush

I spent the summer working as a personal chef for several different clients and I am pretty efficient when it comes to multi-tasking in the kitchen. The cleanse ingredients took things to a whole new level of time consuming! It took nearly 2 hours to get the blueberry applesauce, kiwi dessert, sweet potato puree and the choco-chestnut pudding done! And I hadn't even started on the chicken soup or the edamame. LAWDY!

I got in a 60 minute rebounder workout yesterday morning, saving my mat work for later in the evening. (I have to break up the 2-3 hour workout most days). I was so tired by 1opm that I didn't even take off my jeans to do my mat workout. It just seemed like it would take up way too much time and energy to go all the way upstairs for my leggings!

My goal is to get in a 60 minute cardio workout each day of the cleanse. I'm going to rock out the dance cardio in the morning before work and then do the mat work when I get home.

It's 10:30am-- so far I've had sweet potato puree and blueberry applesauce and I'm starving. Time to make some soup!

I'll check in tomorrow after work to give you an update on cleansing and joining the ranks of the working stiffs...

(And I will literally be working stiff, since this last level of MS work is killin' me!)

xxoo

Friday, January 27, 2012

Days 21 & 22: Early Wake up Calls & Evicting Miss Muffin Top

Eviction Notice Served: Miss Muffin Top
Abs & Friends are Moving In!

I've been trying to mentally (and physically) prepare myself for an early wake-up call which will start with the new job next week. I need to be at work by 8:30am-8:45am, which means, to pull off a 2 hour+workout, I need to be up at like, uh, 5am. While I consider myself an early riser, that's a REALLY early rise and I may have to break up the workout into 2 portions-- an early morning cardio session and an evening MS session. I know, Tracy normally recommends doing the Muscular Structure work first, but if I don't do cardio first, I know myself, and I prolly won't get to it later.

That said, the last two mornings, (and the start of my third-- and last -- sequence of bootcamp muscular structure work) were gradually easing into early wake ups...Yesterday alarm went off at 7:30am and today at 6:30am. By the time I brewed a cup of coffee, took the dogs out and got the space heater on, I was already 30 minutes into my morning, which meant 2 hours later, I got the full workout in. Actually, yesterday's full start to finish took closer to 3 hours!!! As my fave Method blogger, Shan says, "LORDISSA!"

This last bit of Bootcamping is by far the hardest. Tracy promises that this is when "unbelievable things start happening," because you push yourself to a whole new level of "performance."

During the third ten days, the exercises are designed to go after the places in the body where you can bolt your muscles. I'm talking about the "miracle" areas that make sure the lower abs are flat, or that the hips don't bulge, or that your bottom stays perfectly lifted. The places that eradicate back fat and underarm sag.

I am particularly interested in those "places that eradicate back fat," since this is the first time in the Mistress' 36 years that back fat has become a visible issue. NOT PRETTY. I tried to ignore it, but in the series of "before" pics, you can see that yucky line of extra flesh trying to hide in the shadow of my job bra. It's BACK FAT! UGH.

I digress...I'm hoping Miss Anderson is right about results, cuz I've hit a serious plateau in the last week or so. I'm not weighing in every day, but I'm definitely not dropping weight the way I was in the first 10 days. That said, my clothes are fitting differently-- my "fat jeans" are sagging off my butt and I see way more definition in my stomach....Slowly, Ab & Friends are pushing out Miss Muffin Top and her nasty sister Gutty McFatty! I mentioned this on FB yesterday, but running to my car to avoid being drenched in rain, said Fat Jeans literally, fell off my ass! Whoo hoo! Skinny Jeans--- well, we're not going to go there...YET.
Fat Pants Gettin' Loose!
I was planning on doing Week 3 Bootcamp pics and measurements today, but I missed my fabulous photographer, Mr. Man, this morning since I had to leave early for my friend's wedding....and tomorrow, I'll be busy catering her celebration wedding dinner so... realistically, I won't get to the pics till Sunday.

I should have done measurements this morning, since my girlfriend's celebratory brunch involved a Parker chow down to the tune of onion rings, filet mignon and several glasses of Pinot.....YIKES! The menu I'm preparing tomorrow involves crabcakes, beer braised short ribs, mashed potatoes, asparagus, and let's not even start discussing the homemade chocolate eclairs. Mistress of Mischief in the Kitchen will need to be on her best behavior to not devour EVERYTHING!

I snapped the above pic in my red knickers this morning after my workout and I think I can see some big improvements in my belly-- not quite where I want to be, but there's still over a week left to get those big results! I really need to be disciplined about my diet and see if I can get those weight numbers to hit under the 160's...that would be so sweet! To go from 176.6 to 159 would be a huge victory for me.

Stay tuned!

More pics and accurate measurements coming by the end of the weekend....

xxoo



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day 20: Cardio Connection and a Letter from an Angel

One of the good things about the TAM diet "reset" is that you start to realize what your body truly wants and genuinely needs....(I'm still trying to silence Reeses Peanut butter cups and Cheetos!) Seriously, though, back when I was eating well and in great shape, I almost always started my day with eggs and toast because when I had a non-protein breakfast of just cereal or just fruit, I inevitably would be starving by mid-morning.
Where's the protein?

This morning, I had gluten free Chex with blueberries and almond milk which was delicious, but after a Think Thin Bar for lunch, I was ravenous by 3pm. I had celery with peanut butter and raisins (ants on a log) for a snack, but I was still really hungry. I finally had a few bites of leftover chicken before my workout, realizing I was craving protein. That was exactly what I needed. (And a reminder to myself that starting my day with some protein is essential! I think just adding a hard boiled egg to my breakfast this morning would have prevented crazy hunger later.)

A month ago, I probably would have blindly stuffed my face with chips or chocolate, but that little bit of lean protein was totally satisfying and stopped the cravings cold. It also gave me enough energy to get through a 2 1/2 hour workout. 40 reps with ankle weights and an entire hour of dance cardio! Whoop whoop! My Dance Cardio '08 finally arrived! I did 20 minutes of Bootcamp cardio on the rebounder and then rocked out the entire 40 minutes of my new DVD.


It is by far the best workout I've ever done of Tracy's. I really concentrated on connecting-- and it worked. I danced my tookus off and it felt awesome!

To end today's post, I want to share a story with you that made my day:

Ronnie and me through the years...

One of my favorite people in the world was my grandmother, Ronnie. When I was working as a reporter in Connecticut back in 2003, I lived with her and it was one of the most special times of my life. By the time I moved to Baltimore a year later, she was out of her wheelchair and walking again...I had gotten on my feet too-- financially and emotionally, gaining so much from being around her incredibly strong, beautiful spirit.

When she passed away, it was like losing my best friend, my soul mate. I miss "Rinalda" as I called her, every single day. We always had an incredibly strong psychic connection-- I had very vivid premonitions both times she had a heart attack and another time when she had a stroke. After she was gone, I experienced the closest thing I could have imagined as a "message" from her-- in the form of a letter...or rather two letters.

The first time, I had just moved to Atlanta and was making soup in my new kitchen. Ronnie made the most incredible soups I've ever tasted-- my favorite, was her pea soup. I talked to her out loud that day, telling her how much I missed her. While the soup was on the stove simmering, I walked upstairs to look for something and found an unopened letter from Ronnie in my bedside table. It said, "I'm so pleased you're making my favorite pea soup in your new kitchen....please know, my darling, that every time you are cooking, I am there with you..."

The second time, I had just broken up with a long-term boyfriend and movers were taking my furniture out of the house we lived in together. The master bedroom was almost cleared out except for my bedside table. The movers were outside at the truck and I started talking to Ronnie, worried that I was making a bad decision -- my boyfriend was a really good guy, but I just wasn't in love with him.

I opened up the top drawer of the bedside table and there was another letter. Unlike the first one, this one had been opened-- but I didn't ever remember reading it. It said, "I'm so proud of you for starting a new independent life, getting your own apartment. You're going to be so happy on your own..." Somehow it was the validation I needed from her to move forward with my decision.

With all the stress that's been going on the past month, especially, I was talking to my Mom on the phone and said earlier this week, "Now is when I need a letter from Ronnie! I just hope she knows how much I appreciated and loved our time together."

Well, today, in the mail, I received my offer letter and employment contract with all the info about my 401K and health insurance. I went into my office to get a pen and figured after I filled out my work info, I'd write a thank you card to JP's Mom. There in my stationary, was a letter from Ronnie.

The front of the card said, Hold onto your dreams...Inside, Ronnie had written, (addressing me by my first name, Sarah) "Congratulations, dearest Sarah! I am so very happy for you and so proud of you! I hope you will find fulfillment in your professional and personal life. All my love, Rinalda"

I literally, started to cry with joy, so thrilled that she had given me a sign that she was with me! I said, "Ron, I miss you so much! Thank you for giving me the sign I needed..."

I swear to God, under the stationary was ANOTHER letter. It said, "Precious, How good it is to hear your voice! Your loving and wonderful presence remains with me like the scent of lilacs...My heart is so happy to know you have a contract, medical and dental insurance....My darling, I love you so much. Please take good care of yourself. Thank you so much for blessing my life richly with your unconditional love."

I sat there, floored, holding all of the paperwork with my contract and insurance documents as I read her words...It was like she was right there with me, celebrating my job offer.

I don't know if I believe in God or not, but I believe that I have an angel watching over me-- and that angel is my Ronnie....

Thanks for reading, lovelies.

xxoo

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Days18 & 19: State of the Union and Connection

It's only appropriate that the State of the Union address is on tonight, because that has been the subject of my convo with JP today... or rather, the state of OUR union.

The strain of finances (lack thereof), pressure on me to get a job, him getting hurt at work (he fell off a 25 foot ladder and injured his tailbone working as a grip on a local movie set a few weeks ago and has been on worker's comp) and our living situation (cool house but horrible neighborhood-- uh, gunshots and bad peeps creeping around) among other things, have created a tense dynamic. JP said that he feels like we both are walking around on eggshells all the time. It's not good. It's not healthy. It's not us.

But see, that's the thing...it is us -- how we've individually and as a couple, been treating US. Our issues have been months in the making, kind of like my Muffin Top has been months in the making. It got me thinking about how similar things happen to our bodies and to our relationships-- depending on what kind of "maintenance plan" you're on.

We can all think back to that blissful period in a romantic relationship when everything was perfect. Love, love, love...and more love. You finish each other's sentences. A trip to the grocery store together is as romantic as a jaunt to a tropical island, you're so in love. Everyone comments on how great you are as a couple. Love, love, love....Sound familiar?

Now, remember when you were in the best shape of your life? Your body felt perfect-- everyone comments on how great you look? Yeah. I remember. So, you skip a workout, cuz, you're in the best shape of your life, right? And then you skip another one.

Kinda like when things are going great with your man and something comes up, a little ish that irks you, but you don't say anything-- why rock the boat? You're in love, after all. But another issue comes up, and you skip it, like you skip your workout, and before you know it, a little layer of animosity has grown, just like that little layer of fat around your belly. It's not obvious at first, you barely notice. But your jeans get a little bit tighter, your patience with him gets a little bit shorter....and so it begins....

When I did my cardio today, I dragged my rebounder out to the backyard because it was like 65 degrees and sunny, here in Hotlanta...I set my laptop up and thought to myself, Just get through it. Just get through that 40 minutes of bouncing and bobbing on the rebounder so you can check cardio off your list today. I've hit a plateau in weight loss this week, and I think it's because I've been just getting through it-- instead of truly connecting to my body, the way Tracy suggests. In the 30 Day Method book, she says, "I need you to really connect yourself to this process. Dance aerobics alone won't do it. Raising and lowering your arms on cue won't do it. You can't just do it. You have to perform it."

I think that's the perfect relationship analogy. Going through the motions isn't going to keep either person happy in a relationship. You have to connect. (And I'm betting most of our guys would agree that they'd prefer we perform it, too....heehee!!) But seriously, it was an epiphany today, the whole idea of being PRESENT and connecting. It's so easy to ask your significant other how their day was, blah blah blah, but are we really listening to the answer? I've caught myself recently, zoning out in the middle of something JP was telling me that was important to him....and he picked up on it, and I could tell it upset him. I wasn't present. And that's not cool.

BE PRESENT. Even if it's just a 10 minute convo together, be PRESENT. Listen to him. That's all our dudes really want from us, anyway-- that and a hot meal. Oh, and a hot TAM body, right???

BE PRESENT. Even if it's just a 10 minute rebounder workout, be PRESENT.

I am positive I will start seeing better results with a more tacit connection to both my workout and my relationship. Thing is, I have to make time for BOTH every day.

JP just joined a gym which I think will be great for him, emotionally and physically. Believe it or not, dudes get depressed about themselves just like we do if they don't feel good about their bodies. JP said, "Honey, I have BIT** TITS!" I nearly fell over laughing. "Honey, you don't have BIT** TITS, I promise you!" He said, "They're bigger than yours!" Well, darling, if you haven't noticed, almost everyone's are bigger than mine! No surprise there! ( ;

So, tonight, I picked up a card for him, which I thought was totally, hilariously appropriate!
"God, I hope this visor doesn't make me look fat..."

I think everything's going to be fine with us. The great thing about JP is that he talks issues out and I always feel better after we've had a pow-wow like we did today. Again, it's going to take some time to re-connect, get some stability back into our life-- just like it's going to take time to get my TAM bod back in fighting form...but, I'm committed. I truly am committed. To him. And to me.

On that note, it's almost time to turn on the real State of the Union-- so God Bless America and Goodnight!

Here's a little treat-- old school Stereo MC's "Connected"-- I'm definitely going to add this to my dance cardio playlist!




Almost forgot--
Workout stats: 40 minutes rebounder cardio
35 reps of muscular structure work

Breakfast: Zone Bar
Lunch: Chicken with Broccoli
Dinner: Steak with Mushrooms and Onions, 2 glasses of wine















Sunday, January 22, 2012

Day 17: Hurry Up and Let's FINISH this.

Day 17. I'm over it. I'm sooooo ready to be done with 30 days!!! Aunt Flo arrived in the middle of my rebounder workout last night and I have been grumpy, crampy, oh, and did I mention grumpy? Yeah, I'm definitely in the, "I want all of the results without any of the work," frame of mind, which is, well, what got me here in the first place.

When I got stuck in that moment, I put on my workout clothes, looked in the mirror and saw a line of muscle definition in my arm-- whoo hoo! Another reminder that it's worth it to pop some Advil and get on the mat, gurrl.
Newfound friend: Arm definition

I put on my ankle weights and did 25 reps. At this very moment, I'm in the middle of a break to watch the end of Drew Peterson: Untouchable (great performance by Rob Lowe, by the way) and will then....DO. THE. CARDIO. UGH. Arm definition. Look at picture of your arm definition, Parker and DO. THE. CARDIO. My arches are killing me from yesterday-- I really need new shoes.

Food today was OK. I attempted to make the sweet potato pancakes on the menu, but they ended up more like globs of sweet potato casserole...I added cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger for some flavor-- it did taste good, but I only had about half of the mushy mix!
Sweet Potato Pancake Glob

Lunch, I had some grilled chicken made by Mr. Man which was delicious -- and then headed to my friend's baby shower. I wanted to make sure I didn't arrive hungry since I wasn't sure what was going to be on the menu. Fortunately, all the food was in "mini-portions" so I had 2 mini meatballs, 2 mini sushi rolls and a few grapes. No sweets, no cookies and no cupcakes....only one cocktail! ( ;

For dinner, I had the rest of the chicken and roasted some vegetables (carrots, broccoli and mushrooms). I am finally re-learning the feeling of full but not stuffed. For me, portions are definitely the key for weight loss...There are a lot of pounds in the space between full and stuffed! Dude, I could seriously put away 3 pieces of pizza right now...DAYUM!

OK, Advil is NOT working and Aunt Flo needs to pack her bags and GO. Did I mention, Grumpy??

13 Days Left.





Saturday, January 21, 2012

Day 16: Newt and an Open Marriage (with Food)

Newt responds to "open marriage" allegations at the CNN Debate this week

So, there's been a lot of blathering from the 24 hour news networks about allegations that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is a fan of "open marriage," basically a dude solution to that little ish that happens when you take a vow to be with one person forever. When a relationship loses that "newness"-- apparently some guys like to trade in the trusty Buick and take a spin in a shiny new Cadillac. Well, "Newtness" in this case, happened when Newt allegedly asked his second wife for a "Get out of Marriage Free Card." His second wife, Marianne, told ABC and and the Washington Post that he asked her to consider an open marriage after admitting to an affair. "Honey, I test drove the Cadillac and you should see her purr! I think we should buy it...We can keep the Buick, but I'd rather drive the Caddy."

When she refused, he divorced her and hasn't spoken to her since. This, by the way, was after he asked his first wife for a divorce when she was suffering from cancer. Gingrich has denied the "open marriage" allegations, but given his history of affairs and divorces, one might suspect that he's, uh…NOT TELLING THE TRUTH.

The truth is a funny thing…it creeps up when we're least expecting it. For me, as it relates to my quest for a teenier, tinier, healthier me, it shows up in the form of Miss Muffin Top and her nasty sister Gutsy McFatty. Have I been eating clean? Why yes, I have....pretty much, clean, I mean, yeah, but, well, um, Yes, I have. Sorta. But instead of a Pinocchio nose, my Muffin grows with each diet lie. So, my question is: Is it possible to stay faithful to our diet and exercise plans or do we need an open relationship? When is it cheating and when is it being "open" to get all free loving on that slice (or four) of pizza; to roll around with an ice cream topped brownie when the craving calls and to get down and dirty with some Disco fries? (For those of you who don't know what disco fries are....they are the insanely delicious, heart-attack on a platter type french fry variety that is slathered in cheese AND gravy. Oh yes. It's true. Cheese AND gravy. Insane.)

Is it possible to have our proverbial cake and eat it too? In my years of dieting and attempts to get in shape, lose weight, etc...the moment I labeled an eating plan a "diet" I immediately sabotaged all efforts and found myself miserably munching on rabbit food and binging the next moment at a drive-thru. Diet is a dirty word nowadays, so people like to say, "It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle," i.e. the TAM plan. Well, Swingers call it a lifestyle too, but that doesn't mean it's a solution for everyone!

Princess of Perfection, Tracy Anderson, herself, will tell you that TAM is a "lifestyle" that demands a commitment of like 2 hours a day, 6 days a week if you want Gwyneth style results. It's simply not always realistic to be that committed, that faithful to TAM all the time. BUT, what I always come back to with TAM is Tracy's "Consistency is Key" mentality...Keep up consistent work and you will consistently see results. Her 80/20 rule for regular maintenance is definitely something I can live with: 80% commitment to targeted nutrition, 20% guilt-free enjoyment. So, it's kinda like, driving the Caddy only on weekends. During the week, you gotta stick with the Buick-- sorry, dude.

Here's where the honesty comes back into the picture....We must be honest with ourselves about our weaknesses and our triggers: If you're going to a wedding and will be tempted by all the fattening appetizers, eat a healthy snack before you go. If you're married and you can't stop thinking about the hot young dude in the sales department, don't go to the holiday party without your husband! ( ;

We are not perfect...But we can be honest.

So come on, Newt...If you wanted the Caddy, just say so. And for the record, HIS Muffin Top is growing more after each primary. Just sayin'.

Quick workout/diet update: Pineapple for breakfast...shocker, since I'm not a fan of fruit breakfasts...Making a sweet potato for lunch and picking up lamb tenderloin and brussel sprouts for dindin. Getting ready to rock out 45 minutes of DC and 35 reps!

Over half-way there! 14 more days! Whoop whoop!

Here's a little treat for you girls-- a double looped V-for Valentine's Day Standing Abs Video, compliments of a TAM'er on FB!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 15...Eat Clean, House Clean, Man Happy

I was so excited to get such phenomenal response from my 2 week pics on Facebook! It is always gratifying to get validation from strangers-- when you live in your own skin, it's hard to always see the changes day to day. I've decided not to do a daily weigh-in and daily weight posting-- it makes me a bit nutty to pay so much attention to numbers, so I'm only going to post about it with the pics and measurements once a week.

Yesterday, I took a much needed rest day and spent the afternoon with a dear friend of mine. I made us lunch-- a very healthy grilled chicken with roasted peppers and a bit of melted mozzarella cheese. Today, I didn't follow TAM Day 15 menu by the book, but I ate very clean. I had coffee early and didn't have much to make for breakfast, so I hit the grocery store and came home with ground turkey and fresh veggies. I made a delish "healthy taco" with seasoned ground turkey, chopped avocado, tomato, jalapeño and salsa. Instead of a taco shell, I made a lettuce wrap with some iceberg. It was so satisfying and kept me full until late afternoon.

Turkey Taco Wrap

For a snack, I had a kiwi and dinner was a Parker Special: Spicy Orange Zested Cashew Chicken. It was super spicy, just the way I like it....I also made some sugar snap peas and coconut jasmine rice. (For the rice, instead of using water, sub one cup of coconut milk.)

Spicy Orange Zested Cashew Chicken

Things on the home front have been a little tense since the power bill incident, and after a rough couple days, I really wanted to create an environment of calm and love today. First, I cleaned up the guest room (little by little, my former mess is becoming mah-velously clean!)
Then, I decided to make a scrumptious and spicy dinner that I knew JP would love. In my experience, the quickest way to make an unhappy man happy again is to feed him delicious food. I always think of one of my favorite books as a kid, Amelia Bedelia Collection (I Can Read Book 2), the ditzy maid who makes up for her poor housecleaning with a fabulous lemon meringue pie! That is totally ME. I am the worst housecleaner in the world and I drive JP crazy with my piles of STUFF everywhere....but the second he tastes my meals, he melts into a dude food coma that is pure beauty and the stuff of Parker legend.


On the workout front-- I did 30 minutes of DC on the rebounder and Dances 1 & 2 from DC II for a total of 40 minutes. For MS, I did 30 reps and got through it pretty fast. I'm going to have to start adding the ankle weights in another day or two.

I'm waiting for The Tracy Anderson Method Dance Cardio Workout DVD in the mail-- I had to order another one since my original got so worn out! I never quite feel like I'm getting the same intensity workout by doing the other TAM cardios that I do when I rock out the 'o8 dances! Really looking forward to amping up the cardio these last two weeks of bootcamp and need to get my dance on, girls!

Best Dance Cardio DVD...EVAH!

So, it's after midnight and I need to take my tookus to bed. Below is the recipe for tonight's chicken...Enjoy!

Spicy Orange Zested Cashew Chicken
1 onion diced
4 garlic cloves diced
1 (9.4 oz) jar of Kikkoman Hoisin Sauce
3 Tb Chili Garlic Sauce
2 Tb Red Curry Paste
1 Tb fresh Ginger (I like the tubes of Gourmet Garden)
1 Tb Soy Sauce
1 fresh jalapeño diced
Juice of 1/2 an orange
1/2 an orange zested
1 cup coconut milk (regular, not low-fat)
sprinkle of salt
chopped cilantro and cashews

Saute onion and garlic until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the rest of ingredients and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. If you don't want the dish to be super spicy, go easy on the chili garlic sauce and red curry paste. Omit if necessary.

Separately saute chicken breasts while sauce is simmering:
Dry off chicken breasts with paper towel and sprinkle both sides with paprika and Montreal Steak seasoning. Heat 2 Tb canola oil and 2 Tb butter in a non-stick skillet on medium high heat. When butter is bubbling, add chicken and let sit in uncovered pan for 6 minutes before flipping. Cook on other side (sprinkle some more paprika and Montreal Steak seasoning) for another 5-6 minutes until cooked through. Slice chicken in strips and pour sauce on chicken (with or without rice). Top with chopped cilantro and cashews.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Midnight Workouts and the 2.4 Pound Boogeyman

Just call me Mistress of the Midnight Workout. Yup. Finished my Bootcamp MS sequence early, but didn't wrap up my 40 minutes of cardio until nearly 1am lastnight, er this morning! I MUST try harder to get in the morning cardio. Otherwise, I just keep putting it off, then I get distracted, then I put it off again until I'm up against a major deadline to finish.

Being a reporter is a good fit for me because I need a deadline to get anything accomplished. If I have 113 things to do with a deadline, I'll get them all done on time and executed with precision....If I have 3 things to do and no time-frame, I won't do any of them. Hyper-ADD freak show-- otherwise known as ME.

So, I talked about the recent phobia of scales I've been having in the last post and, uh, there was good reason behind that fear...My phobia boogeyman appeared this morning in the form of a 2.4 pound weight gain. UGH! The truth is, the last few days I got overly confident, veered off the TAM diet rails and now have to face the 2.4 pound Boogeyman. He's not very big, but Boogeyman puts up a helluva fight and is scary stubborn. I HATE THE 2.4 POUND BOOGEYMAN. He haunted me all day with a batch of homemade french fries, made by JP. Then, that mean 'ol 2.4 pound Boogeyman nearly scared me right into the arms of a Snickers Ice Cream Cone! I was very cranky all day today having to resist so many morsels of deliciousness. And I'm crankier now because I'm HUNGRY! Just think Freddy Krueger on a diet, dude. Very scary indeed....although those blade gloves might have come in handy today with the amount of carrots I had to chop for my Carrot Ginger Soup.

Parker when she's hungry. Julienned Carrots, anyone?

I digress....it's gonna be short and sweet today.

I have an interview/meeting with a big ad agency in the morning to do some freelance writing, so hopefully it could be an opportunity to supplement my new (but not large) income with Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Until then, I've got a date with the Boogeyman on the rebounder, right about NOW. 2.4 is going DOWN. Quite literally!

xxoo



Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day 13...Pageant Queens, Neoprene Shorts and the Dangers of Duct Tape

Hot Pants...discount version!

Everyone's been raving about Hot Pants on Facebook, the magically slimming spandex shorts that promise to take inches off your thighs.

Well, Mistress of No Moolah can't afford the $80 Hot Pants price tag....I can, on the other hand, justify $9.99 at Walmart for these Gold's Gym Neoprene Shorts, Medium/Large - Color, Black


According to Livestrong.com, Neoprene pants are only a temporary solution and really only create short term weight loss: "If you wear neoprene pants while working out or exercising, you'll begin to feel warm, and your body will sweat in an attempt to cool off. This will result in water loss. If you were to get on the scale right after an exercise session while wearing neoprene pants, you might find you weigh a few pounds less due to this water loss."

So, perhaps a good bet after, let's say, a Mirko's dinner! Not so much for a permanent weight
loss solution.

I got through 50 minutes of cardio on the rebounder and felt like it was a great workout. (META cardio and both sequences from Bootcamp cardio.)

I love the new bootcamp MS series.....I did 25 reps of each move and wasn't swearing at Tracy every 2 minutes the way I was in the Days 1-10 sequence. The abs section, on the other hand, was tough, and I'm feeling it today....it's a good pain, though---- as in, I know it's working, kinda pain.

Unfortunately, I think I prolly undid all the weight loss bonus from my new neoprene pants the second I dove into JP's incredible pork chops on the grill. This recipe is so damn good, that if I had to choose one last meal on Earth, this would be the one. (We didn't measure out the marinade this time, so next time around, I'll get the recipe posted.) I could have eaten three of those big chops-- I only had one. OK, uh, two bites from a second one. / :

JP and I watched the Miss America pageant last night and I couldn't help wondering if any of the girls were devotees to Tracy. It was the most awkward pageant I've ever seen, by the way! Not only were they eliminating girls and then keeping the eliminated ones onstage for awkward interviews, but while each contestant was performing, there were random anecdotes running at the bottom of the screen: "Hopes to visit outer space." "Terrified of Windmills." I literally thought it was a joke at first! I mean, is Anemomenophobia (fear of wind turbines) really the description you want all of America to read about you? Bizarre!

Speaking of phobias, I've discovered in the last couple days that I've developed one of my own: "Gravitaphobia," an irrational Fear of Weighing. For the second day in a row, I could not bring myself to step on the scale! I think I've just been enjoying a few rare moments of content with the job offer and a really great weekend with JP so far, that I haven't wanted to tarnish the happy with any risk of disappointment by seeing any weight increase. That's dumb, I know... I mean, let's get real here, Parker. Step on the scale. Face the number. Move on. I don't think there's been any shocking weight gain, but I've just felt uncomfortable facing the number. I promise-- tomorrow will be Get Over Scale Phobia Day. For now, I'll just stay in my happy bubble of ignorant bliss!

Back to the Pageant....I loved listening to JP's reactions as we were watching. "She's totally flat," he commented about Miss Something or Other. As I looked over, narrowing my eyes, he clarified, "her VOICE, Parker! Not her rack!" LOL.

The women he said he found most attractive were the girls with more "feminine" figures-- who still had some curves and carried themselves with some semblance of grace. It just goes to show, that no matter how talented some of these girls are, if the confidence isn't there, that "X Factor" is simply missing. My grandmother used to always say, "You can be the most beautiful woman in the world, but if you walk into a room without confidence, no one will notice the true beautyyou possess." That always struck me.

Then, the second Miss America 2011 walked onto stage, Mr. I Like a Girl With More Meat On Her Bones goes, "Dude, is she preggers, or what? I mean, you know that chick has to be wearing those Spanx things, so there's something else going on..." I nearly died laughing. Admittedly, she had a bit of a pooch, but, take it from this former TV chick, television amplifies everything-- a minor bloat could be perceived as a bun in the oven!

Miss Wisconsin, Laura Kaeppeler, wins Miss America

I posted this clip on Facebook earlier this week because I thought this little "Honey Boo Boo" girl was a riot-- but then felt terrible when people started reacting about how sad the child pageant world is, how she already is obese (I mean, check out her Mom in the video). But I was just tickled by her precious personality and confidence-- perhaps boosted by her "special juice!"
Thoughts?


I mean, you have to admit, the kid is freaking adorable. But, what chance does she have of any kind of healthy future with a mother like that???!!! Poor little Honey Boo Boo Child!!

I had a roommate in college who was a Beauty Queen and her mom was a total nightmare-- always telling her daughter she needed to lose more weight, get better at her dance choreography, etc...it was horrible to witness. Although, thanks to my roomie, I did benefit, (kind of) from some beauty queen tricks of the trade...She gave me advice once before a fraternity formal to help increase my cleavage. With her careful instructions, I literally duck taped my boobs together. Decked out in my dress (wish I still had a pic) it was a beautiful sight-- for the first time in my life, my cups had runneth over! (This was before the Victoria's Secret Wonder Bra era).

Problem was, my date and I got so bombed, that by the end of the night when he unzipped my dress in our hotel room, I'd forgotten all about my little tape situation. Um, can you say AWKWARD?! He did a double take, slurred something to the effect of, "WTF?" and I stumbled to the bathroom, thinking I could just pull it all off-- not so much. I nearly ripped a nipple off in the process and by the time I got as much tape off as much as I could, my date was passed out face down on the bed. Not only did it take a week for all of the sticky remnants to loofah off, I didn't live that episode down for years on fraternity row!

That's all for now, chicas...I'm about to have a citrus snack (yawn!) and then rock out today's workout. I can't believe it's nearly been 2 weeks on Bootcamp! Almost time for another set of pics and measurements -- yikes! I gotta seriously kick this shit into high gear!

xxoo


Days 11 & 12: New Job, Old Habits & Borrowed Advice

First things, first. I GOT THE JOB*!

*Well, I should clarify-- no papers have been signed, no exact salary has been officially negotiated, so I'm going to reserve 100% confidence about announcing this until the ink has dried on my employment contract...but, off the record, I GOT THE JOB!

By the time I got off the phone with my family and excitedly told JP, it was close to 6pm and I still hadn't gotten my workout in. We had a gift card to Mirko's, a local Italian restaurant chain, so I offered to go pick up dinner for us and bring it home so we could enjoy the meal and relish some good news for once! I figured I would do a quickie workout after dinner. Key word here: FIGURED.

WELL....fast forward to sitting at the Mirko's bar, waiting for our dinner. I ordered us a Caprese salad, an eggplant appetizer, Chicken Marsala for me and Ravioli in Alfredo sauce for JP. I treated myself to a glass of wine while I waited for the meal. They put a bag with the appetizers in front of me and said it would be another 15 minutes for the dinners, so I nursed my wine and watched the clock. An hour later, I'm still waiting at the bar, a glass and a half of wine down the hatch, and-- um, that eggplant appetizer, slathered in melted mozzarella cheese....down the hatch too.

I made choco-blueberry pudding earlier, which was on my TAM menu, but in the excitement of the job offer, I actually forgot about it-- and then found myself so starving by 7:30pm, I completely, unapologetically inhaled the eggplant. The manager apologized for a kitchen screw up and poured me another glass of wine on the house. At this point, I'm feeling very warm, and completely ravenous! On the ride home, I ripped into the hot rolls, (Hello, supposed to be following the BC diet and sticking to a gluten-free menu!!!) and I think I had pretty much licked my plate before JP had barely sprinkled parmesan on his pasta!

Let's just say, it was lights out for Miss Parker by 11pm, no workout accomplished, whatsoever. What can I say? Old habits die hard.

Did I get on the scale today? HELL to the NO. The day before, I was up half a pound and I just couldn't bring myself to see another increase. Lesson learned about menu planning on a program like this, though. I have gotten myself into trouble this week by not eating my TAM prescribed fruit breakfasts. I hate fruit for breakfast, unless it's on cereal. If a Trucker breakfast was on that menu, I'd be all over it. If I had to eat one meal a day, it would totally be a big 'ol eggs with sausage, bacon, hashbrowns and a shortstack of pancakes kind of breakfast. Unfortunately, a diner breakfast is not exactly what Miss Anderson has in store. She prefers grapefruit and berries. GAG me with citrus. BORED with berries. MEH.

So, I skipped my fruit breakfast 3 times this week and I think it set me up for disaster later in the day. No breakfast and no snack yesterday put me on a collision course with Mozzarella Cheese and Hot Italian Rolls. FU**!!!!!!

Here are some new rules for Mistress of Moderation:

1. Eat breakfast
2. Eat a snack
3. Workout in the MORNING.
I'm borrowing this advice I spotted on FB today:

It's so true. Git'er done in the morning, so you don't have to worry about a workout later! (And you can't talk yourself out of it with the lure of wine and buttery Chicken Marsala.)

Now that I know I'm going to be joining the fortunate group of gainfully employed Americans, I'm going to create a schedule for myself starting next week. The job won't begin for 2 weeks, but I want to get started on a routine so that when work does start, I'll already be in the groove.

The workout will be IN THE MORNING. Breakfast, will be eaten IN THE MORNING. I just can't wait to get back to my gluten-free toast with peanut butter!!!!

Oh, yeah, and the other thing I should make note of: Don't make banana bread when you're doing TAM Bootcamp. I had 3 nearly black bananas and justified making banana bread-- for my man. I mean, I couldn't possibly waste those bananas, right?? That would be fiscally irresponsible. Right?? Um, yeah.

Holy Shit. The house filled with the delish beyond delish aroma and I wanted to just bury my face in that loaf when it came out of the oven. (After I slathered it with butter, that is.)

Look at this edible work of art!!!
And buh-lieve me, it tasted even better than it looks. (I didn't have a whole piece, but I had some morsels of buttered banana heaven--enough to know that this is the best Banana Bread recipe I've ever made.

Best Banana Bread EVAH:
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
3 very ripe bananas mashed
2 beaten eggs
2 c. flour
1 tsp. (teaspoon) baking soda
1/2 c. chopped pecans

Cream butter and sugar. Add bananas and eggs. Combine baking soda with flour and stir into banana mixture. Top with chopped pecans. Bake in greased bread pan 1 hr. in preheated 350 degree oven.

Mistress of Jobby Job is now, officially, headed to work her ass off on the rebounder!

xxoo



Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day 10: Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall....

"Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of all?"

Finally OK with the Me in the Mirror!

"Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of all?" Those famously vain words, uttered by the Evil Queen in Snow White, are part of fairy tale history-- and in my opinion, continue to complicate modern-day culture.

Yesterday, The Daily Mail published an article about the controversy sparked by a Plus-Size magazine claiming that most runway models meet the Body Mass Index criteria for anorexia. Size 12 model Katya Zharkova stars in the shoot with an emaciated looking "straight size" model. One picture has a caption that reads, "20 years ago, the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today she weighs 23% less."

The article has gone viral -- some people even posting "Hot or Not" polls on their Facebook pages. Typically in these scenarios, women are the ones labeling the heavier woman "Not Hot"-- while men think a little junk in the trunk is sexy as Hell. Just last night as I was touting my latest weight loss number to JP, he said, "Honey, please don't lose too much weight. Skinny is NOT sexy. I think you look beautiful now." I know for a fact that the ideal weight I'm shooting for (145) is what he would consider too thin.

Without going into the whole, "Society Ideals of Beauty vs. Our Own" argument which becomes tiresome and circular, I'm wondering instead about whether we can transform our minds and our bodies together. Tracy Anderson promises that her program "defies genetics" to tone, trim and reshape our bodies....and it does. It totally works. But what about our Inner Fat Chick who tries to sabotage every bit of progress we make-- who whispers to us, "But you're not thin enough, Muffin (Top)!" "Go ahead and just eat the eclair, Fatty McChunkerson-- you know you have no self-control!"

We may be defying genetics on a physical level with TAM....But can we escape our MENTAL genetic destiny? Can we outrun our dysmorphic heredity?
Family Circle of Body Dysmorphia
Clockwise from Top: My grandmother, my Mom, me in the middle and my Mom's sister...All taken at the age of 22

My Mom has had anorexic tendencies her entire life. When my parents got divorced and I was spending weekends with my Dad, I would sneak phone calls to my Mom, reminding her, begging her to eat...something.

Once when I was seven, I sat on her bed while she changed her clothes for work. She stood in front of her full-length mirror and said with disgust, "Look how fat I am!" I remember thinking that she must have replaced her mirror with one of those crazy distorted Funhouse mirrors, because she stood there, so painfully thin, that I could visibly see her tailbone protruding out from her backside. Years later, as I struggled with bulimia and bouts of anorexia throughout my 20's, I wondered if I had a biological predisposition to eating disorders.

My mom's mother, my beloved grandmother Ronnie, was still obsessed about her weight at the age of 83! (yes, 83!) I lived with her when I worked at a Connecticut TV station and when I took her to the doctor, I'd make the nurse put Ronnie (4'11" and 90 pounds soaking wet) on the scale backwards so she couldn't see the number! LAWDY, if there's ever a time to indulge without regret, I think you get a free pass when you join the 'over 80' sorority. JEEZ. But it begs the question again: Was I genetically destined to have issues with food that may have been passed down to me by my mother and to her by my grandmother?

There was a time when I wondered if I could ever get through a meal without thinking about calories and weight-- I went for years feeling either famished or full to the point of stuffed. There never seemed to be a moderate in-between place for me at the table. All or nothing. Binge or Starve. Purge and Repent. I once described the feeling in a journal as getting lost in the looking glass. It's a scary place when the girl staring back at you is never the one you want to see. Not thin enough. Not pretty enough. Been there.

My love/hate affair with food is why now, in the midst of this Bootcamp, I keep a very close check on myself to make sure those obsessive tendencies don't start rearing their ugly heads. I don't like to follow a "diet" so fanatically and by the book that one slip up makes me crazy. For me, it's enough to follow the plan closely, paying attention to how I'm feeling and what my body is telling me. One benefit of TAM for me is the mind/body connection. I found that you can really teach yourself to respond to what your body is communicating-- whether that's with hunger, soreness or happy endorphins from a fabulous dance cardio session!

Watching people's progress through TAM on the various Facebook posts has been incredible-- but I am still surprised by the perspective many people have as they post Before and After pics. "I was finally brave enough to post this-- the changes aren't all that dramatic, but..." Meanwhile, the 'after' pictures are so incredible, it looks like a different person in the photo! It's refreshing to see the genuine support from other people on the boards, the encouraging and Go Girl! comments.

I do worry that a few of the girls are veering toward obsessive with goals and numbers, comparing themselves to one another...there is a contagious and dangerous enabling tendency that can emerge among women, thinly veiled as "support." I always say, "It takes one to know one," when it comes to that shift toward obsessive and unhealthy behavior. It's the Big Sister in me getting worried for these girls. It's one thing to allow someone's progress to be inspiring-- it's something altogether different when you allow it to be THINspiration in a dysfunctional way. Please be healthy, my sweet TAM'ers!

It feels weird to transition to a weight loss update now, but, let's keep perspective, here, people. Day 10 and down almost 2 more pounds. More important than the weight loss, is how I'm feeling about ME. And I'm a pretty big deal. ( ;

I did 40 minutes of DC (30 min. of Meta DC and 1o minutes of BC cardio on the rebounder). Finally finished 40 reps with ankle weights and did 2 bonus arm sections. Yay for me!

More deets on menu and some recipes tomorrow! I'm going to end, appropriately, with Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror." And in my mirror, there's simply NO room for the Evil Queen and Inner Fat Chick!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day 9: Please report to the lost and found for your abs.

My Mom called me this morning, frantic. She can't find her hearing aids and to replace them would be $4,000, which isn't exactly in her retirement budget. I told her to retrace her steps, not to panic and certainly NOT to order new ones until she'd given it another day or two for them to turn up, which inevitably, they will.

I regularly misplace shit-- my phone, my purse, my keys, etc... Back when I was reporting, I had a work cell phone which was extremely convenient because I could use one phone to call and locate the other phone! Now that I'm down to one personal phone, if JP isn't around to call it for me, I use a great online service http://wheresmycellphone.com/. Personally, I think the service should allow you to record your own message, so that way, when I call my phone, I could pick up and hear myself-- chiding my pathologically ditzy behavior: "Parker, are we really having a blonde moment this early in the morning? C'mon, dummy. Your phone was in the bathroom, AGAIN, right next to your mascara. Wake up, sister!" Instead, I get a very polite recording thanking me for using the service.

The thing with losing things is that no matter how frustrating and stressful it is while said item is lost, it just makes it all the more gratifying to find it again. Take my abs, for example. Even at my former heaviest weight-- (just call me Tyson, people!) -- I've always been so muscular, that you could still spot an ab, even under a layer of fat. Well, this time around, not so much. The muffin top, the spare tire, the absence of a Tracy V, had buried my formerly defined abs into obscurity. They were lost. No GPS (Get rid of Paunch STAT!) to crunch my way out of dough girl status.

This morning, when I got on the scale, the numbers only showed a -.2 pound decrease to 167, down from 167.2, but I caught a glimpse of a long lost friend in my mirror.

Lost and Found: Ab

Peeking around from my belly button, was my old friend, Ab. Oh Ab, my darling, how I've missed you!

Now that Ab has been recovered from the lost and found, I'm going to be keeping my eyes out for his cousins who disappeared months ago, Lats and Obliques...they have to turn up one of these days!

Just as I told my Mom to retrace her steps, I'm looking back at my own steps, er missteps, to discover how I lost Abs, Lats and Obliques in the first place. UM, yeah. Overeating. Not working out. Drinking too much wine. Overeating. Pretty much a How-To Guide for Replacing Ab & Friends with Muffin Top and her sloppy sister, Gut McFatty. Well, Muffin Tizzle and G McFizzle are disinvited to this House party. Buh-Bye. I officially and formally invite Ab & his Homeboys to stay with me FUH-EVAH.

Workout/Diet Stats:
Maybe it was the rant about overpromising and underdelivering yesterday that inspired me to OVERdeliver on my workout-- I did 60 minutes of cardio! I finished all of Dance Cardio II and then put my ankle weights on and did 20 minutes of BC cardio. I was so sweaty afterwards, I had to change my sports bra and shirt for MS-- then did 35 reps with the ankle weights. The problem with the Bootcamp workouts is that it takes so damn long to get through. My workout yesterday took over 2 hours!

I'm trying not to veer too much from the TAM menu, but without salmon, I made chicken with a honey ginger lime glaze and some zucchini for dinner. JP loved it, ate everything, and then, he turned into the Meanest Man in the World. He literally got into bed with me ALONG with the Nutella and some honey nut peanut butter. Really, dude? After I just made your ass an awesome dinner??? MEAN, I tell ya! I had some tea instead and tried not to look at his delicious to the point of inappropriate dessert choice!

Here's the Honey Ginger Lime Glaze-- I'm trying to write down these impromptu recipe creations!

Honey Ginger Lime Glaze
JP's dinner plate (mine was a smaller portion with no rice)

3 cloves of fresh garlic smashed and chopped
Between 1/3 to 1/2 cup honey (I poured it in and am guesstimating here)
juice of one lime
1 heaping Tb of fresh chopped Ginger (*I love the tubes of Gourmet Garden-- no chopping or food processor needed. You get it in the produce section of the grocery store near the fresh herbs.)
2 Tb spicy chili garlic sauce
sprinkle of Cumin
sprinkle of crushed red pepper
sprinkle of salt
fresh chopped cilantro (to top on chicken after cooking)

Stir above ingredients to combine.

Prepare Chicken:
Preheat oven to 350.
Dry off chicken with paper towel (it browns evenly if it is dried off) and season with paprika and sea salt. (I normally use a sprinkle of Montreal Steak seasoning instead of sea salt, but I didn't have any)
Heat 1 Tb butter and 1 Tb oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium/high heat. When butter is bubbling (but not browning), put chicken in pan, seasoned side down. Sprinkle other side of chicken with paprika and salt/Montreal Steak seasoning. Do not move chicken around in pan-- let it caramelize and brown for about 6-7 minutes. Then flip over. Cook for another 6-7 minutes uncovered.
Take chicken out of pan and put on a baking sheet sprayed with some Olive oil/Pam, etc... Pour glaze over chicken and bake for 10 minutes until cooked through and glaze is bubbling. Toss some chopped, fresh cilantro on top of chicken.

Enjoy!

xxoo







Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Week 1 Stats: Beginning the TAMformation, baby!



Right Thigh: -1/2"
Left Thigh: -1/2"
Right Arm: -1/4"
Left Arm: -1/2"
Right Calf: -1/2"
Left Calf: -1/2"
Hips: -1"
Waist: -2"
Butt Length: -1/2"
Cheek Height: -1/2"
Bust: -2"
Weight: -9.4

Totals Lost after Week 1:
Inches: 8 3/4"
Pounds: 9.4

I was so excited after taking measurements, I realized I hadn't even eaten my BC breakfast! The pics aren't great, but I think I can definitely see a difference in my legs and a little change in my abs and butt. If this is what Tracy can do after ONE week, imagine FOUR weeks! I am absolutely thrilled with the progress...More later-- but wanted to post the stats!

xxoo

Monday, January 9, 2012

Nutella, Swinger Landlords and Overpromising...

Last Monday, I was chowing down on a giant Southern fried pork chop with creamed corn and buttered rolls until I felt like I needed to unbutton my jeans! A week later, I'm chowing down on a grilled chicken breast in a spicy Thai sauce with broccoli-- and then had a few decadent tastes of vanilla low-fat ice cream with Nutella. Was spicy Thai sauce and ice cream with Nutella on the Tracy Anderson Bootcamp menu? Hell No! But, the triumph tonight, is, that I didn't feel the need to stuff myself. I had a few bites to satisfy my craving and was able to PUT. THE. NUTELLA. DOWN.

Danger: May consume entire container if opened.
After an ultra-stressful day (I had 2 meltdowns that resulted in tears and fists doing the Parker version of Jersey Shore air punching)...but what always calms me down and takes away the pain is (2nd to Xanex with some Makers Mark) is getting into my little kitchen and cooking! I was supposed to have grilled salmon with endive and triple carrots tonight-- but, salmon wasn't on the budget. Chicken was already in my fridge. So, I made a delicious and healthy sauce with some hoisin sauce, a bit of peanut butter and some coconut milk with spicy thai chili and a sprinkling of cashews.

It was divine. I felt so much better after an hour of cooking!

While my Thai chicken dish was certainly more indulgent than a dry salmon fillet with a few pieces of endive and onion, just a week into this diet has helped me remember that I don't need to feel stuffed to feel satisfied.
Not exactly on the Bootcamp menu...Parker's Thai Chicken & Broccoli with Cashews

Now, the challenge tonight, as it was last night, is to get the whole workout in! I had 2 1/2 glasses of wine and I'mthinking to myself, "Drunk Dance Cardio--- whoo hoo! It'll be like dancing at a club after a few cocktails!" *

*Fade to Black: Parker passes out cold.

Cut to Next morning: UM, yeah. "Drunk Dance Cardio--- whoo hoo! It'll be like dancing at a club after a few cocktails!" Not so much. Mistress of Moderation, here, touting her ability to not STUFF herself and to stick to her PLAN, completely crashed out in a blur of Cabernet and Nutella without even so much as a leg lift! No dance cardio. No MS. Nothing but snores from Miss "Triumph Tonight!"

Am I being too hard on myself? After all, didn't you just read about my TAMfabulous Week 1 results? Down 9.4 pounds and 8 3/4 inches! The pics don't lie! WELL....that's what got me thinking about a little action called follow through. Staying true to your word.

JP and I were having a convo yesterday about "all the people in the past year who screwed us over and didn't follow through with promises." There were the swinger landlords who couldn't get us into bed and then wouldn't pay for the rat infested garbage to be removed from our property which they had dumped there...(Seriously, you can't make that shit up!) Then there was the 80K (yes 80K) art commission that JP was promised and never got a contract for...There was the investor who promised to fund my delish Bonbons and have them in "10,000 stores across the country" but never came up with a check...my possibly future employer who shall remain nameless told me last week that I would know if I had the radio gig by Monday, back pedaled when I called him: "OH, did I say that, Parker? Well, you know how these things go-- it's a process and we have a lot of candidates. We probably won't have a decision made until the end of the week." MMMHHHMMM.

It's easy to play the blame game with all the people who Fu** us over-- "I'm broke because the investor fell through." "I'm not an international art superstar because I didn't get the big commission." But what about the promises we make to ourselves? Ya know, those promises that turn into procrastination, that turn into full-0n lies to ourselves? "I'm going to do TAM 6 days a week, 90 minutes a day!" "I'm going to follow a diet plan perfectly starting tomorrow! RIGHT after this piece of cheesecake!" Is it that we're all inherent liars? Are we naturally prone to dishonesty and broken promises? Nah. I think people on the whole have a consistent problem of trying to do/accomplish/achieve too much too soon. We overpromise and then we underdeliver.

The overpromise/underdeliver issue is especially seductive when we start to see results in our work-- whether it's financially or physically. Take me for example: I justified my 2 1/2 glasses of wine and a few bites of Nutella lastnight because I knew I had achieved great results in the first week of Bootcamp. Part of the reason I'm in such a financial hole is that whenever a windfall of money came in, I'd justify why I deserved a new pair of shoes instead of putting that cash in savings.

Thing is, the second we start rewarding ourselves too soon, (and too often) the easier it is to fall into a trap of fewer results and less progress. 2 1/2 glasses of wine and a few bites of Nutella will add up to a whole lot of calories and not a whole lot of inches/pounds lost if I make that reward a habit! We all need rewards, but we have to be judicious in how we award them--- especially when it comes to ourselves.

Maybe, instead of promising that we're going to do 90 minutes of a workout, we shoot for 30 minutes, adding 5 minutes every couple days until 90 is accomplished. Or sticking to our diets 80% of the time instead of veering so far off the 100% commitment that we end up sabotaging ourselves and starting over-- again and again and again.

Do I regret the Nutella and the wine? No-- I do feel like I deserved it. But my ass is going to be working out harder today to make up for it-- although, I don't think I can fully commit to a double workout.... After all, wasn't it just 2 days ago after my 1am 20 minute cardio session that I was "promising" that I would double up on my cardio the next day? Well, the next day turned out to be my Nutella Cabernet crash out! UM, hello, Mistress of Overpromise and Underdeliver!

Besides, isn't it better to UNDERpromise and OVERdeliver? It would make me so happy to report to you tomorrow, for example, that instead of 40 minutes of cardio, I did 60 minutes. (Don't consider that a promise, ladies....it's an example!!!)

Here's something I CAN promise and make good on: The Nutella and the Cabernet will not be making an appearance today!

xxoo