Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Perfect Design Day 7: Snapshot of Beauty?


HOT.....OR NOT???

If any of you have logged onto the Tracy Anderson Method Facebook page this week, no doubt you read the vitriolic drama lodged against Tracy and fans of the Method by Team Crossfit, a bunch of anti-Tracy nut jobs who posted doctored photos of anorexic women on Tracy's FB page and links to articles about how Gwyneth Paltrow's diet and exercise program are to blame for her bone density issues. But what was far crueler, was taking pictures of actual TAM'ers from the public page and bashing girls for looking too thin or unhealthy.

It was completely uncalled for. The Tracy team finally blocked them from the page and removed the comments, but it was startling how nasty the attack was.

It's what brings me to the subject of my post tonight: We all know the old adage, "Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder." But what happens when the beholder has an unrealistic or unhealthy eye toward 'beauty'???

There have been some recent pics posted on Tracy's fan pages of women in the fitness industry-- basically with "Hot or Not" threads...Above are a couple of the most talked about pics this week-- a random chick in her bathroom mirror in tiny orange skivvies and Lisa from Body Rock.

Too skinny? Too muscular? Just right? Everyone has a different opinion...

Personally, there was a time when the above picture was my body ideal-- it was, um, a coat hanger....Yup. The Mistress had a little ish with getting thin. Let's not be glib. I had a big issue. And it took years to get under control. It's why this journey to my healthiest self, my fittest self, my most fabulous self, is so important. And why I am constantly reminded to keep myself in check, to not go overboard, to not get obsessive. Some might argue that a blog about weight loss and self-improvement is just that--- obsessive. I like to think it's my dose of reality-- my accountability, my truth.

When I stopped binging and purging five years ago and started to love cooking (and eating like a normal person again), I thought about how much I wanted to help other people who were struggling like I had...to let them know that it will get better, that this disease does not have to own you and control your life. It took a long time for me, but it does get easier. Eventually.

It's painful for me, even now, to read the following account of my trip down the rabbit hole. I wrote about this when I first came to Atlanta and started a job as a reporter with CBS. I submitted the piece (scroll down to read) to Shape Magazine and they actually paid me for the article...But to my knowledge, they never ended up publishing it. Weird, huh? I want to share it with you, because, after all, it's part of who I am, and to know me is to understand my demons, my past, and my triumphs.

Much Love,

The Mistress
xxoo
SKINNY LEVIS
They say the camera puts on 10 pounds. As a former model, and now as a reporter in the cut-throat business of television news, that was the perfect excuse to justify my eating disorder. “Too thin” was always a compliment. “You look healthy” was the sign to start starving again. I lived out my 20’s in Los Angeles about 25 pounds underweight on what I dubbed the “3 C’s Diet.” Camel Lights, Coffee and Cauliflower.

At 5’11, I whittled down to 122lbs. My skinny Levis hung on jutting hipbones as I strummed my fingers along the ribs that poked out of my sunken chest. While “thinspiration” these days is the latest IT Girl looking fashionably emaciated, back then I put a picture of Calista Flockhart on my fridge with DON’T EAT written in magic marker. I was caught in the endless starve, binge, purge cycle that would torment me for nearly a decade.

An old modeling proof with my favorite appetite suppressant

In some ways, I inherited my eating disorder, like I inherited high cheekbones from my mother’s side of the family and height from my father’s side of the family. My mother has always had anorectic tendencies-- -that coupled with chemical depression that went untreated for most of my childhood created a sad, painfully thin woman who was fragile physically and emotionally. She never starved herself the way I did, but when she was depressed, she didn’t eat; while I was growing up, that was most of the time. I remember being seven years old and sitting on her bed. She stood undressed, in front of a full length mirror, so thin that her tail bone protruded out from her backside.


“Look how fat I am,” she said, disgusted. My parents were going through a divorce. On weekends with Dad I made sure to call her, reminding her to eat, pleading for her to just eat something.


It wasn’t until college that I was introduced to the inner circle of eating disordered young women. I joined a sorority my first semester freshman year. We were all former Beauty Queens or Homecoming Queens lost without our courts. Sorority life saturated me with a new physical ideal. I learned the secret handshake—and then I learned the secret to staying thin. All-you-can-eat Dining Hall buffets took on new meaning… junk food regret could be taken away with the “pull of the trigger.” I learned how to chug diet soda before binges so the food came up in violent waves. I mastered the art of the silent puke--- so no one could hear my post-dinner purge. Instead of beer pong matches and drinking games, my dorm suite mates and I had our own competition: Who could lose the most weight. By the end of the year, we were all shells of our former selves, and proud of it.


When I left college to go to Los Angeles, my eating disorder was ruling my life. I began mixing diet drugs—creating dangerous cocktails of Dexatrim, Ripped Fuel and cold medicine with Pseudoephedrine. That combined with nicotine and caffeine kept me running on fumes for days. I also picked up a modeling tip—it was simple: Take a bite and spit it out. The chew/spit compulsion is a less spoken about disorder—I used to wonder why no eating disorder self-help books talked about the “chewing food and spitting it out” habit. I alternated between all out binging and chewing/spitting … The latter seemed the lesser of two evils.

Sunken Cheeks and Starving (circa 1998)


I left LA and the Valley of Anorexics in 2000 to take my first on-camera job with a small cable news station in the Bronx. After an exhausting and stressful two months on the job, I was horrified to discover that my skinny Levis wouldn’t budge over my thighs! I stared down at the soft flesh that covered my once angular hip bone. How did I get fat? How could I have let this happen?


I thought back to all my late nights in the newsroom, living off Skittles and Snickers from the vending machine. Overwhelmed and overtired, I had struggled to get out of bed to work out at the gym, so I just didn’t. My body was also changing—I was getting older. I didn’t want to admit that my hips were no longer the narrow 12 year-old-boy variety.


I punished myself with a two day binge. I blew my meager budget, spending money I didn’t have on a cartload of groceries: frozen pizzas, brownie mix, ice cream and bags of chips. When $150 was literally flushed down the toilet, I tore through the late night drive-thrus, shoveling food in faster than I could taste it.


I will never forget being parked in a McDonald’s parking lot at midnight, looking up from my gluttonous rampage to see the horrified looks of a couple who had pulled up next to me. Grinding the car into gear, I sped out of the parking lot, spilling fries and half-eaten burgers. My narcissism took hold, jolting me from my food coma: What if those people recognized me from the news? I made a rule to never look in the mirror when I was binging. I caught a glimpse of myself in the rear-view mirror—a bloated face with swollen eyes stared back, grease and ketchup running down my chin.


It was like looking at a monster. And that is what I had become.


My TV career would take me from New York City to Connecticut and Maryland. With every new job, my eating disorder came with me---- baggage that I was never ready to unpack and put away for good. Bulimics are masters of disguise and I hid my disease well. In each city I moved to, I discovered the restaurants that had single stall bathrooms. I made sure I never came to work with red, puffy eyes from binges. I looked every bit the put-together “local celebrity,” with her own morning show. My self-hatred was veiled with MAC make-up and a made-for-TV smile.


By the time I accepted a job as a reporter in Atlanta, I felt like I had finally gotten things under control. I started my new job in “Hotlanta” with a renewed sense of self--- I was beginning to feel more confident and more comfortable with my figure. I went shopping for new suits and didn’t freak out when I had to return size 4 to the racks in exchange for size 6. But on the fourth day of work, I had a meltdown.


My cameraman Jim and I were waiting for our live report, killing time by watching TV in the news truck. A shot flashed on screen of a marathon runner crossing the finish line, her hands pumping the air triumphantly. Jim commented on how skinny she was and said, “I prefer big girls…My girlfriend is big.”


Then he looked me up and down and continued, “Well, she’s thinner than you are… I’m sure I’m not the first person to tell you that you’re thick.” He laughed good-naturedly and turned the channel.


THICK?? The only thing I liked THICK were milkshakes-- -and I hadn’t had one of those since 1994!!!! THICK? I felt my face flush with embarrassment, as I nodded and mumbled “Uh huh.”


Later, at my apartment, I stood in front of the mirror and cried. I hated myself for letting one comment unhinge my confidence and sink my self esteem.


But I hated myself more for looking “thick.”


Two days later, in what felt like a cruel joke played on the “new girl,” another one of my co-workers told me that I’d be a hit with Southern men. “We like thick girls,” he said with a twang. “We’re not afraid of some curves!”


What was it with the South? A culture of thick grits, thick accents--- and apparently, thick women. I knew that both the guys from work were intending to compliment me, but it was time for some serious damage control.


My skinny Levis were in the back of my closet carefully folded with the rest of my Size 2 wardrobe. I hadn’t worn any of it in about five years, but I hadn’t been able to bring myself to give any of the clothes up yet—doing so would mean acknowledging my fuller body. Retiring my skinny Levis for permanent “fat pants” just didn’t seem like an option.


I ran my finger along the seam of the faded jeans as if touching them would somehow bring me back to my mini-me size. I stood in my closet and thought back to my former “skinny” self. I realized that the entire time I was that “perfect size” I was miserable trying to maintain it. What was the point of killing myself with deprivation when I never enjoyed the results?


I wish I could say, “And at that moment I decided to change! My bulimia is cured!”


But, it’s never that easy. I frequently read women’s accounts of overcoming their eating disorders, and so often, their story ends, neatly tied with a pretty bow… Recovered.


I will always be recovering.


I think that people with eating disorders have the most complicated and difficult addictions of all. We have to have our drug of choice every day to sustain us. That’s like telling an alcoholic to limit drinking to three cocktails a day; or making a compulsive gambler spend several hours in a casino every day without wagering a bet.


I have committed to making recovery a priority in my life instead of hiding my disease and ignoring my own needs. I hired a personal trainer to help me with an exercise program that both challenges and motivates me. I’m overcoming some of my body issues with our sessions--- I can’t exactly get through tough work-outs on “The 3 C’s Diet!”


I got rid of the Camel Lights and finally kicked my smoking habit. It wasn’t easy to give up my strongest appetite suppressant, but I’ve been smoke-free for over a year. I ordered several months of a food delivery service to re-teach myself portion control. I have always felt my appetite is cavernous; I’ve lived most of my life feeling either too famished or too full. For the first time, I am considering food the fuel I need to stay healthy.


There are still good days and bad days. I don’t remember the last time I threw up, but I still struggle to have a “normal” relationship with food. I get nervous at restaurants sometimes when there are too many choices, so I try to look on-line at menus and decide on a healthy entrée before I get there. I pack my meals and snacks before work so I feel comfortable with what and how much I’m eating during the day. I try not to count calories or obsess about the numbers on the scale. Today I weigh 30-35 lbs more than I did at my thinnest.


As for the skinny Levis, I decided it was finally time to retire them. In so many ways, they symbolized my disease and my commitment to bulimia. Tossing them into a bag of clothes to donate to Goodwill, I felt a huge weight lift from within.


It was the healthiest purge I ever experienced.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Perfect Design Day 4: A Perfect Weekend & Oscar Worthy Snacks

It's been a glorious weekend for the Mistress and her Man. We went out to a romantic dinner Friday night and took the dogs on long walks in the beautiful spring-like weather. In the nearly 4 years we've been together, I don't think I've ever felt so in love! He is truly my PERSON in this life. The last couple weekends, he's been working on various artistic/creative projects and I've been cooking up a storm...There's nothing sexier to me than when I'm coming up with a creation in the kitchen and I look over and see him designing some bad ass piece of leather-- or rebuilding an antique fan, like he was this weekend. He is so exquisitely talented, it's insane.

I took my "workout break day" yesterday and then today I rocked out 80 minutes of hard-core Tracy! Perfect Design and a cardio rebounder workout-- all outside since it was so gorgeous!

I've got the Oscar Pre-Show on as I'm typing this and getting ready to put out my delish hummus and homemade pita bread. The pita is not gluten-free, but I'm going to dip some carrot sticks instead.

Here are the recipes-- they are soooo easy! JP and I both love spicy stuff, so you can omit the jalapeño and the habanero peppers if you're not a fan of heat. It's not overly hot, just the perfect kick!

HOLY DELICIOUS HUMMUS

2 cups canned garbanzo beans, drained

1/3 cup tahini

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

4 cloves fresh garlic

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 pinch paprika

1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley

1/2 jalapeno pepper with seeds

1 small habanero pepper with seeds


Combine in a food processor. Add additional oil and salt for desired taste and consistency.


PARKER'S PITA BREAD

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1 tablespoon of sugar

1/2 cup of warm water

4 cups of bread flour

2 teaspoons of salt

1 cup of warm water

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Preparation:

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup of warm water and set aside, covered, for 15 minutes. Dissolve salt in the remaining 1 cup of warm water.

In a large mixing bowl, add flour and make a well in the center. Add yeast mixture and salt water. Knead with hands for 10 minutes in the bowl. Add olive oil and continue to knead until all oil is absorbed. Shape into a ball in the bowl, cover, and place in a warm area to rise until doubled in volume, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Punch down the dough and knead for 5 minutes more.

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C), and lightly oil baking sheets.

Take pieces of dough slightly larger than an egg and roll out on a floured surface to a thickness of 3/8 to 1/4 inch. (For larger or smaller pita bread pieces, take more or less dough). Prick the bread with a fork in several places.

Place on baking sheets and bake at 350°F (175°C) on the lowest oven rack for 2-3 minutes, then turn the pitas over and bake for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven and saute in a frying pan with 1 Tb of olive oil until lightly browned. When thoroughly cooled, pitas can be stored in plastic bags in the refrigerator, or frozen.

Before using, brown in a lightly oiled frying pan for a few minutes until browned on both sides.

***

OK, Lovelies-- I am really going to be focusing on diet this week. I'm doing so well with my workouts, I simply must not sabotage my efforts by eating crap. I'm going to try drinking more water and bringing snacks with me-- so I don't get tempted by the Snack Drawer!

xxoo


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Perfect Design Day 3: Behind the Door, Inside the Drawer...

After an epic fail with The Plan, the anti-inflammation diet that a bunch of the girls are doing on Facebook, I've been trying to lose my "gluten-baby weight" that was born from a night of Italian bread binging, and a morning of mistaken ingestion of gluten-filled granola....My wheat belly totaled a 6 pound weight gain for the Mistress of Moderation Mayhem.

Here we are, 4 days later, and only 2 pounds have disappeared-- which means I'm still carrying around what has been lovingly dubbed, my gluten baby--- she is 4 pounds and a bundle of joy Hellish Bloat.
So, you may be thinking....OK, so if you stopped eating the bread and the granola, then why are you still carrying around a bloated gluten baby?

Well, since you asked, I'm obliged to tell you the truth. Honestly.

For those of you who don't know, the Mistress is now gainfully employed as a political reporter with a popular radio station. I go to the State Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia to report on the political drama going on in the "Peach State." Every morning, I walk through this door:


What's Behind Door #1?

Every day, I walk through the Capitol Press Corp door with my neatly packed lunch-- -usually some grilled chicken with a veggie or two, a snack of a Think Thin bar or a Zone bar, and maybe an apple with some peanut butter...The perfectly balanced lunch/snack combo to carry me through my exciting day, reporting on Georgia's legislation and the issues that are important to our listeners.
Neatly Packed Lunch

Well, ya see....there's a little drawer inside the little Capitol office press room where my little desk is. And it's a big problem.

That little drawer is the bane of my existence. It is the SNACK DRAWER. Oh yes. A Snack Drawer.

Why a Snack Drawer? Because, all that shlepping around from the Capitol to the Legislative building and to and from press conferences make reporters hungry. So, our thoughtful news bosses provide a snack budget. Yes, a snack budget. There is literally a lady who goes shopping for the reporters-- (not sure if she'll take requests for Think Thin bars and fresh fruit....I'm thinking-- prolly not.)

Anyhoo, here's a peek inside the snack drawer:
Snacky Snack Sins of the Mistress

Notice the Cheez-It packs? They are 100 calorie Cheez-It snack packs. Kinda perfect to have snack pack sizes in the Snack Drawer, right? Not so much.

I LOVE CHEEZ-ITS. I love all things crunchy, salty and cheesy. Little problem is, despite the crunchy, salty, cheesy perfection of Cheez-Its, they are NOT gluten-free. Since recognizing my gluten-intolerance, even a little snack pack of 100 meager calories can set me back 2 pounds by the next morning. 2 or 3 snack packs? Fuhgettaboutit.

So, despite all of the effort and discipline it takes to get my ass out of bed at 5am to do an hour and 35 minute workout-- (50 minutes of Perfect Design + 45 minutes of Dance Cardio) plus packing a healthy lunch with the best intentions....by the time 4pm rolls around, I'm crunching on deadline and suddenly find myself-- yup... you guessed it....CRUNCHING ON CHEEZ-ITS.

I do it to myself. I sabotage all of my hard work. For what? Crunchy, salty, cheesy CRAP.

So, I resolve to go to Whole Foods this weekend and find some sort of alternative. Crunchy, salty, cheesy, gluten-free goodness of some kind. Rice cakes, maybe? Please leave me suggestions, if you feel so obliged.

Workout wise, I've been doing great. I'm on Day 3 of Tracy Anderson's Perfect Design Series, the first of her 3 Perfect Design DVD's.

These are a lesser known TAM series that came out without much fanfare, just before her Metamorphosis Series. Here's a link to an Asian video site that has the entire Perfect Design 3 DVD online: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMjc1MzU5NzI0.html

I love the workout-- and I'm sore today, but a good sore-- that all-over-body-kind of sore that Tracy talks about after a good workout! I'm planning on doing 10 days of each level and then moving on to Metamorphosis Omni.

After spending the last month primarily doing rebounder cardio because of an aching foot from 2 previous metatarsal fractures, I'm back on the floor doing Dance Cardio '08, my all-time favorite of TAM cardio videos. If you haven't done it, ORDER THIS DVD: The Tracy Anderson Method Dance Cardio Workout DVD. It's amazing. It took me forevah and evah to learn the dance sequences, but now that I have them memorized, I feel like a headlining dance star rocking out next to Gaga.

OK, well, maybe I don't feel quite that fabulous, but for a white girl who can't dance, this cardio DVD has helped me not feel like such a doofus on the dance floor!

Despite the weight setback, I still feel like my body is changing for the better-- I'm getting tighter all over and my butt continues to improve! Remember, by the end of bootcamp, it lifted up a whole 2 inches! I'll be curious to see the additional changes after a month of Perfect Design.

I put on some pants yesterday that I haven't worn in probably 8 months and they fit! JP saw me vogueing in the mirror and was like, "Damn baby, your ass looks great!"

Here are some gratuitous butt shots I snapped in a moment of "they finally fit again" pants bliss!

Is that my butt looking cute? OOH! IT is! Lemme get a closer look...
Rock it, Sister!

I highly recommend gratuitous butt shots in the bathroom mirror. Totally therapeutic!

Time to hit the dance floor, lovelies! Get your workouts in this weekend-- and I resolve to not hit the snack drawer on Monday!

xxoo

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hip-ocrisy and The Plan Fails

HIP-OCRISY: [hi-pok-ruh-see]

noun, plural-sies

  1. a pretense of having a virtuous diet, ability to resist bread, sweets, and/or fattening diet temptations, etc., that one does not really possess. Said temptations go directly to hips.
  2. an act or instance of hip-ocrisy.
Um, yeah. Last we chatted, The Mistress and her man were going out to a lovely Italian dinner to kick off the start of The Plan. Let's Recap, shall we?

The Italian Dinner Plan, was to avoid all bread, but to partake in some wine. An even exchange, right? NOT SO MUCH. As soon as that waitress slid the steaming Italian bread basket on the table, my "avoid all bread" plan went out the window. Add a glass (or three) of some spicy Zinfandel, and the diet promises were, uh, in the wind.

There was the bread. There was the fried ravioli with cheese. There was the pasta. There was the wine. There was more bread. There was more wine. There was naming our unborn children-- a little boy named Ben and a little girl named Louise, nicknamed LuLu. How cute is LuLu???

I am not pregnant. Let me make that clear: I AM NOT PREGNANT. BUT-- there was a three pound weight gain by morning. THREE POUNDS!

But, no worries, because I was starting THE PLAN, right? RIGHT. Lord. That sounds like some crazy form of government sponsored birth control!

Breakfast called for flax granola with blueberries. So, I didn't make it to Whole Paycheck Foods to find my "gluten-free flax granola"-- but Publix had some flax granola that appeared gluten-free. Appeared is the predominant word, here. After some tasteless carrot ginger soup, a handful of pumpkin seeds and a bizarre mix of mushrooms, kale and coconut milk, I fell into bed, exhausted...unexercised and anxious, from no exercise. (The Plan calls for no exercise during the first 3 days).

This morning, the scale said: 3 POUNDS HEAVIER THAN YESTERDAY! THAT IS 6 POUNDS HEAVIER IN 2 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!

Did ya'll get that??? 6 pounds in 3 days!!!!!! That could seriously be a Baby Ben or Baby Lulu in pounds! Imaginary babies-- not so imaginary weight gain.

WTF????!!!

So, here's the deal. The Mistress is putting The Plan to bed. Did I get off to the wrong start with the bread basket and the bad granola? Totally. Could I re-charge, re-start the whole thing with the right granola and a few liver cleanse pills, which I also failed to purchase for Day 1? SURE. But ya know what? Everything I was doing before The Plan -- was working. All the stuff I was doing was working just fine!!

SHIT! I WAS DOWN 3 MORE POUNDS AND ALMOST 3 MORE INCHES!

Why did I need to start a new plan when the one I was on was working just fine???

That's the lesson here, for the Mistress...It's so easy to seek out a new plan, a new fix, a new THING.... when maybe, the thing to do is to focus on the THING that's working in the first place!

Just sayin'.

xxoo













Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day 14 Mat: More Weight/Inches Lost and The Plan

14 pounds and 19 inches lost!

Time is just flying by! I can't believe I finished bootcamp 2 weeks ago and I've knocked out another 11 workouts (in 14 days) with Tracy's original Mat DVD combined with 30-40 minutes of rebounder cardio.

For those of you who haven't done the mat routine, I highly suggest it! I actually think it's the most effective Muscular Structure series of any of the TAM videos. The Mat DVD has skyrocketed in price online, but you can watch the videos on youtube for free-- see below:

Since bootcamp ended, I've lost another 3 pounds and 2 1/4 inches for a total loss in six weeks of: 14 pounds and 19 inches!

These most recent measurements include another 1/2 inch off my waist, 1/4 inch off each arm, 1/4 inch off each thigh and 3/4" inch off the length of my "cheek to cheek" measurement-- basically, my ass is getting narrower! WHOOP WHOOP!

Nevertheless, the weight loss is slower than I had hoped-- I still have about 20 more pounds to go, but I'm happy I'm doing this the healthy way. My whole body feels tighter, stronger and leaner all over.

Before I started bootcamp, I was getting a rash on my inner thighs because they were rubbing together so much when I walked-- not a sexy realization when you look down while you're walking through Target in your "fat jeans" and you say to yourself, What is that sound?? And then you think for a minute...

Sounds like....Wait. Is that-- could it be... my THIGHS?....OH. NO. It's a denim on denim rubbing sound. Yeah, that one.

Thigh rubbing against thigh NO MORE!

Tomorrow, I'm beginning a 2 week anti-inflammation diet called The Plan, which many of the girls on Facebook have had success with. Here's the deal:

"The Plan works by lowering chronic low grade inflammation. When the low grade inflammatory response is lessened everything falls into place- health, vitality and optimal weight.

There are 4 basic variables for weight gain- not enough water, eating too much sodium, eating the wrong chemical combinations and eating foods you are reactive to. When you eliminate foods that are reactive you can increase your calories because your body is no longer having histamine/inflammatory responses which retard digestion and causes you to put on anywhere from .5 to 2 lbs in inflammatory response. The inflammatory response is NOT water weight. Water weight can be reversed within 24 hrs. Reactive response can easily stay 3 days and causes more than just weight gain-it kick starts whatever our latent health issues are as well as digestive issues (such as constipation, acid reflux, IBS etc).

Reactive foods also hasten the aging process, people on an anti-inflammatory diet quickly notice that skin, cognitive functioning, sleep and stress response are all improved. As you lower reactivity and weight, your immune and digestive systems will improve. Weight loss is most often very rapid with The Plan.

Sodium and water retention will make it easier for the inflammatory process to kick in. The Plan will teach you how to manipulate factors so that you can minimize this process. A diet that is too high in acid can also hasten reactivity- you will learn basics of acid/alkaline foods so that you can maintain a healthy balance."

The first 3 days are a detox (i.e. no coffee or wine) but what I love about the menu is that there is a pretty high volume of food--- being a big eater with a Super Sized healthy appetite, I'm psyched to not have to subsist on raw veggies and smoothies!

Here are links to the menu and the recipes if anyone wants to join me!


JP and I are going out to dinner tonight-- a little indulgence before my 3 day detox...Wine will be on the menu, but NO bread, despite how decadent the rolls are at this little joint we like to go to. When I had bread last week ONCE-- I put on 4 pounds by the next morning! Can we say, gluten-intolerant, anyone?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

xxoo


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mat Day 10: Valentine's Day Bonbons and an email from the Tracy Team

I didn't get a chance to do a Valentine's Day post yesterday, but I'm sure you'll find it in your hearts to forgive the Mistress when you find out WHY she was so busy....

My best friend from high school, Kelley, came to visit a few months back, and together, we came up with a novel concept for the now over-hyped, it's everywhere, including Starbucks, everyone's making them-- cake balls. My recipes, are, well....better than any of the cake pops/cake balls/cup cakes on a stick than I have tasted! (And I've tasted a lot in my, uh, research!)

Anyhoo, Daily Candy did a Valentine's Day feature on our newly launched company, Three Chicks and a Cow Bonbons-- (I'll still be keeping my day job until our bonbons can pay the bills....but check out the Daily Candy feature on the "three chicks and their heifer friend" -- their words, not mine! ( ;

I actually missed my workout yesterday because I ended up staying to cover a late story-- I didn't get home until almost 11pm and I literally fell into bed without even brushing my teeth.

I've been trying to get both mat and cardio in before work, but it doesn't always happen...(as I sit here blogging instead of dance cardio-ing). I was up at 5am to do my mat workout, though... The arm section is just killer-- an entire 15 minutes of the DVD is devoted to teeny tiny "ballet" arms. I think I cussed Tracy out the entire time!

Speaking of Tracy, I can't believe I forgot to share this!!!! On suggestion from a few of the girls on Facebook, I sent my bootcamp before and after pics to the Tracy Team. I got this email back from Laurie in Client Services:

Hello Parker,
You look amazing!! I'll be sure to pass this along to Tracy, she loves to hear from her home clients!
Keep up the great work!

I immediately started to play the convo in my head-- you know, the one where Tracy calls me to invite me to the Hamptons with her and Gwyneth for a girl's weekend? Yeah, that one. We'd probably hit the Hamptons studio for a private workout, do a little shopping, and then I'd cook them a Parker Fabulous meal that they would be talking about for days.....We'd have such a great time that we'd decide to make our Hamptons sojourn a tradition. Just me and Gwynnie and Trace. Ya know. My buds.

It could happen. Right??

Diet has been OK...I made the mistake of not having a snack with me yesterday-- I really need to stock up on Zone Bars and Think Thin Bars for these hunger emergencies....By the time I got to the late story, it was 8pm and I hadn't eaten since noon. NOT GOOD. I ended up noshing on some chicken fingers at the story location which wasn't ideal, but I stayed away from the bread and cheese, so points for that.

I'm also documenting all of my meals with My Fitness Pal which calculates your calorie intake vs. exercise calories burned. You put in your weight loss goals and it will give you a realistic expectation of when you'll get there. I'm on a "losing 2 pound per week" track.

I had hit a weight plateau for what's felt like forever, but I finally got under 165 to 164-- whoo hoo! Just 20 more pounds to go....I'll be doing more pics and measurements at the end of this weekend-- a 2 weeks post bootcamp status update.

Have a great day and smile while you're dancing!

xxoo

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mat Day 7: Our Bodies Remember...

Whitney Houston: August 9, 1963 - February 11, 2012

My Mom called me last night to tell me that Whitney Houston had died. The music superstar was found dead in her Beverly Hills hotel room-- she was only 48 hours old. It saddens me that so often, the most talented people, like Houston, or Amy Winehouse -- another recent loss to the music industry-- ultimately cannot shake the demons that haunt them throughout their platinum paved careers.

Houston's cause of death hasn't been released yet, but her many years spent battling drug addiction no doubt played a significant part. It brings me to the subject of the post today: Our bodies remember. The truth is, we can't outrun the damage we do to our bodies, no matter how "healthy" our changes are down the road, no matter how many times we try to rehabilitate our behavior.

I was reminded of this yesterday, before Houston's passing, when my left foot started aching. In the last 2 years, I've had two incidents of metatarsal stress fractures-- the little bones at the top of the feet that plague ballerinas with problems-- (which is about the only comparison I have to ballerinas, folks-- but, I digress.)

I am convinced I weakened my bones in general from spending most of my 20's starving on various versions of what I used to call the "3 C's Diet"-- Camel Lights, Caffeine and Cauliflower. I would spend days eating nothing but steamed cauliflower dipped in mustard with a side of Diet Coke and whatever appetite suppressant I could get my hands on.

To this day, I can't stand the smell or taste of Cauliflower since it reminds me of that horrid diet and the twisted mind frame I was trapped in back then. Did I spend 30 years denying my body the nutrients it needed to thrive? No, but even without having had an actual bone scan which would show the strength or weakness of my bones, I know I did some irreparable harm.

We all have our demons. The question is, how do we keep them from destroying the best parts of ourselves, our bodies, and ultimately, our future?

In Whitney Houston's case, despite reports that in recent months, she looked healthy and beautiful, the damage she did to the body which housed, arguably, the most exquisite pipes in music history--was simply too much.

170 million albums sold... but she'll never get to see her daughter, Bobbi Kristina, follow her own music and acting dreams.

I saw Whitney Houston once, when I was working as a waitress in LA (back when I was on the 3 C's Diet) at a restaurant called Gladstone's 4 Fish. Whitney was with having dinner with a girlfriend and a guy I assumed was an agent at a table in the back of the restaurant. It was the end of the night and I was doing my side work, wiping down tables; I watched them get louder and louder, the more drinks they threw down. I think my manager actually had to cut them off.

Whitney was visibly intoxicated, and later, a waitress would swear she saw her snorting lines of cocaine in the bathroom. I just remember thinking, that woman has more talent, more God-given gifts than most people on Earth, and here she is getting plastered at a Malibu restaurant. What a waste!

She was a train wreck that night. But damn, she was so beautiful. Like, stop in your tracks, can't stop staring, kind of beautiful. The kind of person who has an aura about them that just radiates STAR.

But no amount of star power can help you outrun your demons. Whitney Houston is testament to that.

We all have addictions we struggle with-- whether it's cocaine, alcohol, sex, or in this girl's case, McDonald's chicken nuggets. Yup. You read that right. McDonald's chicken nuggets.
Chicken Nugget Addiction

This 17 year old girl collapsed after ONLY eating McDonald's chicken nuggets since she was 2 years old!!! Mickey D's chicken nuggets-- EVERY DAY!! Talk about DAMAGE. DAYUM. Doctors said her body was so deprived of nutrients that she had to be injected with them. Seriously, even if that girl started eating a perfect diet today, she'd probably still drop dead before age 40 from the damage she's done to her body!!

They say it's never too late to make a change for the better, but sometimes "better late than never" just isn't good enough.

Good enough is the perfect segue to discuss workout and diet this week. It was my first full week at work and I am happy to report that I got up every morning to work out! Monday through Thursday, I got through the entire TAM Mat workout (which is almost an hour long, people!) And 30-40 minutes of rebounder cardio. Friday I only did cardio and yesterday I took a rest day since my foot was so achy.

It's getting easier to wake up at 5am-- and I've decided it is definitely better to knock out both mat and cardio in the a.m. By the time I get home from work, I'm so tired that I could literally fall into bed immediately.

The walk from the parking deck to the State Capitol is about 15 minutes-- so a 30 minute daily walk to and from my car. I've had to start bringing sneakers to save my feet! (Maybe that's why my foot is aching-- from the trek in high heels.....hmmm.)

The mat workout is by far, my favorite TAM Muscular Structure routine-- and I feel changes after only a week-- my whole core is tighter, and Muffintop and her nasty sis, Gutty McFatty have their bags packed! ( ;

Diet has been pretty good for the most part. The challenge, like during bootcamp, is to plan ahead. By the time I get the hour and a half workout in each morning, it doesn't leave much time to cook an entire breakfast and lunch. I realize now that I have to start making my lunch the night before.

My new favorite breakfast is a scrambled Mexican wrap-- (I've never liked Mexican styled eggs before, for some reason, but this is simply delish!) I scrambled one egg and one egg white together, added some roasted corn, a few chopped jalapeño bits, some hot sauce and a sprinkling of Mexican "cotija" cheese (kind of like Mexican parmesan, if you haven't had it before) all wrapped up in a warmed corn tortilla. It was heaven. And, most importantly, it kept me full till lunch.
Mexicali-fabulous Breakfast

What wasn't so much of a success, was the turkey breast I roasted-- with the netting on. Awesome. And I like to call myself a Chef?! UH, note to self: Remove netting before baking or your turkey will look like the below photo after you try to take the netting off. I was able to pick through some un-netted meat for a meal, but it was, um, difficult.
Turkey Netting Disaster

OK lovelies-- enjoy the rest of your weekend and get your workouts in! Your body will remember....and thank you for it!

xxoo

In Memory of Whitney, here's one of her first big hits, circa 1988, and one of my all-time favorites, "I Wanna Dance with Somebody"

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Are you there, Tracy? It's me, Muffintop

No shrinking Violet here...but definitely a shrinking Muffintop.

Are you there, Tracy? It's me, Muffintop.

My sister, Gutty McFatty and I have a big problem with you and your METHOD. You must think you're hot stuff, transforming all these chicks into teeny, tiny dancer types. Not everyone wants to be a teeny, tiny, dancer, just so ya know....Take me and Gutty, for instance. We are perfectly happy to have some cushion for the pushin' -- thank you very much! A little junk in the trunk is just how we like it. The PROBLEM, Tracy, is that you are ruining our very comfy living situation.

For the last year, we've been resting comfortably, living large, actually, on the belly and hips of one Mistress of the Method, Miss Parker. But then she decided to get all crazy and do this 30 day Bootcamp of yours. We got an eviction notice, Tracy! An eviction notice! Some dude named Abs and his buddies are moving in and we're not ready to leave!

Your bootcamp, took 3 1/2 whole inches off of Gutty and the waist muffin and 2 1/2 inches off of the hip muffin ....Now, what kind of reputation am I going to have as a shrinking Muffintop? Muffintops need to be larger than life-- (or atleast larger than your pants waist-- so all that loose, fatty skin can cascade over your too tight jeans....hot, right? We think so!)

Now you've got the Mistress doing some hideous Mat routine which is pushing us out even faster...It's just plain rude. What did we ever do to you??

So, not only are Gutty and I kicked to the curb-- we don't even have a say in the menu anymore! Gone are the days of sleeping in and eating our favorite trucker style breakfasts with fried eggs, hash browns with a double portion of bacon and sausage. Now the Mistress wants a Think Thin bar....Thinking Thin is what started us down this whole "Evict Muffin Top and her nasty sister Gutty McFatty," road. And it's just not nice. It's not!
Muffintop and McFatty Breakfast Choice

I tried to tempt the Mistress by diverting her attention from legislation at the Capitol to a plate full of delicious looking donuts on the press table. She didn't even blink. That Bee-atch just walked right on by-- and then when it was time for her to eat... you'd think she'd be ready for a Burger by now. OH NO. It was a mini-grilled chicken with cous cous and veggie salad thing. Can you get any more BORING? The Mistress is all business and no fun at all anymore.

What happened to BURGERS?

OH, Tracy. You and me. It's gonna come to blows, just you wait.

Gutty and I are looking for a new roomie....someone who can handle Big Girls with Big Muffins. This Teeny Tiny routine-- it ain't cool. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day 2 Mat: Balancing Act

Hello lovelies!

I am writing this from my iPhone, so forgive the brevity! Well, I am 2 days post bootcamp and I have been thrilled by the incredibly kind comments on Facebook and the posts here...I was initially disappointed by not having lost more weight-- but I think nearly 17 inches made all the difference! It's easy to get caught up with pounds-- not realizing that this Method is changing the actual structure of your body! I am beyond excited about my newfound "thigh space!"

So, some of you have asked about my next schedule of workouts, so here it is:

I am on Day 2 of Tracy's original mat DVD which is hard core! I forgot how intense the arm section is--- holy sore! Mistress of Muscle Aches!! That's how ya know it's working, right!

I will continue a combo of the mat DVD with cardio for the next 12 days (2 week total). That next day I will be starting "The Plan," an anti-inflammatory diet for two weeks. It calls for a 3 day detox with specific "no working out for 3 days". If you want to join me, let me know and I will email the diet to you. parkerwallacepr@gmail.com

Once the detox is done, I will begin the Perfect Design series in 10 day sequences-- one day off after each 10 day spread. Then, I will begin the Meta Omni journey!

Diet the last couple days has been good. It's a challenge to get everything cooked and packed for work...I am experimenting with slow cooker recipes that I can toss into the crockpot so I have a delish meal ready to pack in the morning before I leave. On today's menu: crockpot chicken that I combined with tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, a touch of honey, a bit of hot sauce, green olives, onions and chickpeas. Everything but the chicken sink, right? I will let y'all know how it turns out.

The balancing act of my new schedule now includes fitting in a very early morning workout, to the tune of 5:15am! But, as tough as it is to motivate at that hour, I feel so much better getting the workout done. I initially planned to split up cardio and mat for morning/evening but I find that I am so damn tired by the end of my day spent reporting at the State Capitol, that all I want to do is take a hot bath, nurse a glass of wine and crash out!

This morning, I tacked on 20 min of rebounder cardio to the 45 min mat workout, so I will need to rock out another 20-30 when I get home. It will definitely be worth it for me to get up 20-30 minutes earlier to save the hassle of a second workout in the evening. Oh yeah. 5:00 am here I come!

OK, that's all for now....

Have a great day and get your workouts in!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bootcamp Results: The Pics! The Measurements!

Before and After Pics: Tracy Anderson's 30 Day Method Bootcamp


Part of me feels like, "Damn, these 30 days flew by!" The other part of me is like, "Damn, haven't we been at this for like 6 months, already??!"

I never feel as validated as I do when I see results in photographic color...no matter how loose or how snug your jeans feel, no matter what the scale says day to day, the truth is in the pics! Check out the shots and the stats:

Weight Lost
Height: 5'11"
Start Weight: 176.6
End Weight: 165
Total Pounds Lost: 11.6

Inches Lost
Right Thigh: 3/4"
Left Thigh: 3/4"
Right Calf: 3/4"
Left Calf: 3/4"
Hips: 2 1/2"
Waist: 3 1/2"
Butt Length: 1 1/4"
Cheek Height: 2"
Bust: 3"
Right Arm: 3/4"
Left Arm: 3/4"
Total Inches Lost: 16 3/4"

I'm not gonna lie...I'm pretty psyched about my butt lifting an entire 2 inches! That cheek height measurement shows some major lifttage of the derriere! Whoo hoo!

I will post more epiphanies tomorrow-- tonight, I am super exhausted and ready to crash out...But here is a rundown of my plan for my TAM future. I had the best results from Tracy's original Mat DVD and I have an entire series of Perfect Design which I haven't completed. In light of the expense of her Meta/Continuity workouts, I want to revisit Mat for 2 weeks, then move on to 10 day sequences of Perfect Design and then begin Meta Omni.

As far as the food plan, I think I have developed a much better sense of my appetite and what food feels good for me--- (pork and red meat are big problems for my digestion right now, much to my dismay/horror/shock/disappointment.) That said, chicken, turkey and fish are all on the menu, combined with lots of fresh veggies and possibly some of the purees from the cleanse-- blueberry apple, kiwi basil and choco-chestnut pudding were my favorites!

OK, lovelies, more from the Mistress tomorrow....Please feel free to email me any questions you may have about the bootcamp experience, diet, exercise, etc. parkerwallacepr@gmail.com

What I'd like to do is to post bootcamp recipes for individual servings, since my biggest ish with the menu/recipes is the wastefulness of the food...Certain recipes make 3X the amount and then you end up having to throw out perfectly good food!

Tracy Anderson's Mat Workout: Next on the Mistress' TAM schedule!

I just want to also take a moment to thank all of you for being such a huge part of my support system-- just knowing that there are amazing women reading this blog, makes it so much more gratifying for me to follow through with my part of working out and writing about it!

Much love to all....and cheers to continuing the TAM journey together!

xxoo

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Days 27 & 28: Celebration and My Body Revolt

OK, weird title, right? Let's talk celebration first...I love my new job! It's going to be so exciting to be covering REAL news in Georgia (not fire, murder, baby killer type news) and the fact that this is an election year is doubly exciting. The people I'm working with are so intelligent, well spoken, and just genuinely NICE. It's so funny to say this, but being assigned my little cubicle almost made me weepy since it's been so long since I've had a "real job." I feel such a renewed sense of purpose. Even though it's been 2 1/2 years since I reported for a news station, for me, writing and reporting is like trying on an old, comfy sweater-- it's what I've always known and it's what I'm best at. It really feels like coming home.

Speaking of coming home and continuing the celebration theme here....I got home from my first day on the job and JP had a rack of pork ribs on the grill, a bottle of red and a triangle of brie to celebrate the fact that Mistress of Major Money Issues will finally be getting a paycheck!

I looked at the spread and just thought, UH OH. It's cleanse week-- and I obviously didn't make that clear to Mr. Man. I had gotten up at 5:15am (or rather, bolted out of bed before my alarm went off) to do a full 45 minutes of Dance Cardio '08. I was planning to do the MS when I got home....but ya see, the ribs, the wine, the cheese....SH*T.

You can imagine how that turned out. Mistress of Moderation Mayhem veered off the diet rails...AGAIN. I didn't STUFF myself like I did over the weekend, but let's just say, brie ain't on the TAM cleanse for a reason. That said, JP being the King of all things Grilled, declared the combo of his grilling and my dry rub and barbecue sauce to be "the best damn ribs" he's ever eaten. Our collaborations in the kitchen are always triumphant-- just not so much of a triumph for my diet, or my digestive tract, as I would soon find out.

Alarm went off this morning at 5:15am again, I put on my workout clothes, turned on the space heater, and, well....this video will sum up what happened next. Glad I didn't have on a wedding dress....just sayin'.

Here's where the second part of my title comes in: My body revolted. It was as if my body was saying, "REALLY, Parker? You're going to give me clean food and then fill my gullet with fattening crap??? I'll show you, PORKER!"

I don't think it was food poisoning. As much as I love all things pork-- pork chops, pork ribs, pork tenderloin, pork roast, pork butt-- yes, all things pork-- I have come to realize the hard way, that my body does not process pork well. (After this morning, that's an understatement). The last half a dozen times I had pork, my intestines went to war with me the next day. This time, was a little more, uh, violent than previous incidents!

Once everything was out of my system, I pulled myself together to get ready for work. I felt so sick that I didn't make my cleanse lunch to take with me, so I had to find something comparable today on my lunch break. (Fortunately, by the time I got to work, I felt 100% better!) I settled on a little Asian place down the street from the office where I ordered edamame, a small miso soup and one chicken skewer.
TAM cleanse "lunch"

Tonight, I stuck with a "non-soup" soup of simple chicken and veggies.

3 more days of the cleanse. I may add an extra day to make-up for my brie bash...

It's almost 11pm and I'm just now getting to my workout-- but I'm GETTING it done.

A quick shout out to my girl Jae, who's French Fries and Thunder Thighs blog is awesome...She was kind enough to nominate me for a Liebster Blog Award!
Liebster means 'favorite' or 'dearest' in German and the award is intended for those "under the radar" blogs that have less than 200 followers, but deserve a gold star in the blogosphere world for their charming posts!

In order to accept, I must share 5 things about myself that you may or may not know and also nominate 5 other blogs to receive the Liebster award.

First things first...The Mistress officially nominates:

I'll let you know when I have #4 and #5...all my other fave blogs have more than 200 followers!

Last but not least...5 things you may not know about the Mistress:

1. I can rock out to karaoke singing 2 (and only 2) songs: "These Boots are Made for Walking" by Nancy Sinatra and "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" by The Georgia Satellites.

2. Sometimes I wear pure Vanilla Extract as perfume. (Can you tell I love to cook??)

3. Doctors told my parents when I was a baby that due to my being in the 20th percentile for height and weight, that I would be lucky to make it to 5 feet tall. I grew way beyond expectations-- to nearly 5'11"!

4. My real hair is a horrible, stringy, thinning mullet of dishwater brown-- so I wear Malaysian weave extensions to make it long, full and fabulous!

5. I was voted Latest Bloomer in High School...and was Homecoming Queen--- without a date. Go figure.

xxoo