I’m Turning 30

I’m not afraid of turning 30. I don’t like the gray hair or neck wrinkles, but I don’t really look or feel “old.” When I was younger I thought I would get so much done by 30. I was sure I’d have two kids, and of course I’d be married. I was sure I would own a home. I was sure I would at least drive a nice car. But here I am at 29.83, still living like a 19 year old.

I’ve set some new goals- goals I can achieve within exactly two months.
1. Save money
This means having money in my bank account after bills day.
2. Get hotter
This means losing those last ten pounds, tightening up my booty and waist and upgrading my skin care regimen.

I suspended my weightloss journey several months ago at 133/135 pounds. And yes, I have kept it off. It’s all about burning more than consuming. I don’t particularly restrict consumption, I just pay attention to my body’s signals for fullness or too much sugar, etc., and halt when it feels unhealthy. I ate a large Snickers bar last night. Felt great.

Here’s the game plan:
1. Lose 15 lbs on the HCG diet by September 16th.
2. After that, intense exercise until October 16th while consuming 2 liters of water daily and doing regular skinny wraps on my waist, thighs, arms and neck.
3. October 17th is the big day. I’ll celebrate by wearing something skin tight (alone in my home) and stare at my accomplishment in the mirror. Don’t judge- any lifelong chubby girl who loses 50 pounds has earned the right to stare.

Wish me luck. Get the details on the HCG diet in my earlier post called “The Secret” and details on skinny wraps are in “Shrink Wrap Shrinks Fat.”

No matter what, I’m proud of how far I’ve come by 30. I have the best friends I could ask for. My family is closer than ever. I love my parents. They are brave and tough and kind.

I’m excited to enter adulthood. I think I can make it.

Love,
Dana

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Forming a Figure

I’ve been stalled around 135lbs for several months now. But I have come to terms with being a size 6. Forty-three pounds ago I thought fitting into an 8 was an unrealistic fantasy! My new fantasy is to rock a perfectly flat belly with some ab lines, but not over the top and increase the dents between my leg muscles so they become visible to the naked eye. And tighten my arms and hips. I have a family reunion next month and while my family doesn’t care if I’m fat, skinny, smelly or alien, I want to wear a bikini so I can tan the midsection.

Experimenting with different exercises, I’ve come upon some useful data. There are certain exercises that will puff up the body, some that will slim it down and some that just suck.

Puff it up:
Puffing up requires expanding muscles through high resistance strength training. This is the key to a beautiful butt. Unfortunately, strength training can also puff up areas we don’t want puffy, like the belly. Strength training in the abs increases the size of your belly. The phenomenon is no different from bicep curls making the biceps bigger; bicep curls do not make arms smaller. If your belly (or whatever) is already thin, by all means strengthen it. Any strength training that creates an intense burning or gentle tearing in the muscle is essentially causing it to expand and get more buff. I learned this the hard way. My abs are really tight and ripped – just below this thick layer of fat that keeps hanging around. In fact the fat layer seems to protrude more than it used to because its base is further out, atop the now expanded abs. First world problems. Strength training combined with slimming exercises and dieting will handle this.

Slim it down:
Low resistance motion for some duration burns fat without puffing up the muscles. Heat the body and fat will melt. Run on flat land rather than uphill. The greater resistance up hill is enough to tear/expand muscle. Low or no resistance stationary bikes are great, elliptical machines are great, jumping jacks are great, Zumba is amazing. The goal is to heat the body and sweat without ripping yourself.

Exercises that suck:
Any activity is better than none, but if you don’t feel your muscles tightening, they aren’t tightening. To see fast results, push your body to feel tired and sore as these are indications of change. Also remember that the more fit you become, the more strenuously you must exercise to create change. Walking while you weigh 150lbs is less of a workout than when you carried around 170lbs. To defeat soreness, drink tons of water. CalMag (a calcium-magnesium drink) helps too.

Find your happy medium:
Most of us want tight arms, legs and waists with nice round breasts and butts. The most ground I’ve made on this was by jockeying strength (in the back, legs and butt) with low resistance cardio. What I recommend is “Ninja Running.” It’s a combination of running, then jogging up and down hills and on flat ground. Start off on flat ground, maybe around a city park. Jog for a couple minutes to warm up the body. Sprint for about five minutes with all your might then reduce to a comfortable jogging speed once you start sweating. To speed up the heating process, wear tight clothes with additional thick clothes on top such as spandex pants and a tank under sweats. Hoodies are great to make your face sweat. After about ten minutes of steady jogging on flat ground, head for the hills. San Francisco is the best for Ninja Running. When you run uphill, try kicking your own butt with each heel. It really tightens up the lower back, butt and hamstrings. Always maintain good posture in exercise. When you get back to flat ground, jog normally. Going down hill, do high-knees. That means pull each knee up so your thigh is perpendicular to your torso. You’ll be moving pretty slow and might look dumb, but the high-knees make going downhill easier on your joints and tighten the lower abdomen. I’m not going to lie, I love showing off my butt-kicks and high-knees as I cruise past doormen and trolleys. The fact of someone watching encourages me to kick my own butt all the way up the block.

I hope this helps!

Love, Dana

P.S. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. I love my mom. She’s fun, kind, beautiful and she’s mine.

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Shrink Wrap Shrinks Fat

Shrink Wrap Shrinks Fat

I’ve seen several of these magical body wraps on Instagram and Pinterest. You may have heard of the Belly Bandit for postpartum belly reconstruction. There are many variations of body wraps, but basically they’re bandages or Saran Wrap tightly wrapped around the belly (or any trouble area) to tighten the skin and shrink fat. I tried it last night. It worked. I didn’t take before and after measurements, but I took pictures and saw results. Please pardon my heaps of (clean) laundry and shoes in the pictures.

Step 0. Drink a liter or two of water throughout this cycle. Drink a liter before the exercise step and as much as you need during and after exercise.

Step 1. Rub TONS of lotion onto the belly. I used Jergens Skin Firming lotion. Once it’s soaked in, add another two layers so it’s really globbed on there like monster venom.
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Step 2. Roll Saran Wrap around the waist tightly. You want to breathe, but consider it a homemade plastic girdle.
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Step 3. My plastic kept riding up with my fat bulging out at the hips so I taped all the way around the top and bottom with packing tape.
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Step 4. Put a bunch of clothes on top. I pulled my exercise pants way up and put on a t-shirt, sweatshirt and sport jacket.
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Step 5. Do sweaty exercise for 45 minutes. I did 45 on the stationary bike and was dripping sweat.

Step 6. Remove the shrink wrap by cutting down the middle, the way paramedics remove shirts. It will be very sweaty and gross with globs of lotion rolling off. You might want to do this part in the bathroom. Then scrub the hell out of your body in the shower.
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Next time I’m doing my thighs and arms too. I might try the neck. According to an article I read, the heat and penetrating lotion loosen up fat. I guess that’s how it works. Sweating is always a good thing in my book. My stomach stayed flat all day. Some girls use mud instead of lotion, others add lemon juice, tea tree oil, cayenne pepper and other ingredients. I might try some of those if I get adventurous and willing to wash a bowl. This was the fastest belly shrinkage I’ve experienced. It took less than an hour. Shrink wrap.

Love, Dana

Fat Girl Playing Skinny

My brother made a diabetic vanilla mousse tonight. That means sugar-free jello pudding made with half and half (less sugar than milk) and whipped. I was able to avoid a taste, though I did watch him eat it like a creeper. It was thick, creamy and oh so light. Once a fat girl, always a fat girl. I love that shit.

I’m on the HCG diet again. After the launching gorge I shot up to 142 lbs and this morning, on day ten I weighed in at 134 lbs. I’m determined to stick with this diet until I hit 127 putting my total weightloss up to FIFTY POUNDS. Fifty pounds is a lot of weight. That’s two and a half of our obese tuxedo cat.

I’ve found some good diet foods you should try. Hebrew National has these DELICIOUS 97% fat free all beef kosher hot dogs. They are only 45 calories each and taste like Slim Jims without that awkward paper wrapping- is it edible? Another GREAT diet food is gobhi chicken curry. It’s cauliflower and chicken breast pieces in an orange curry sauce with no sugar. You can find recipes on Pinterest or go to your local Indian-Pakistani restaurant and order it like I do three times a week. The owner is very proud of me. I’ve been eating there since my chubby days and he swears it’s the gobhi chicken diet that took my weight off. I love gobhi chicken. Spicy foods burn fat. Avoid rice and naan. The last fat burners are blueberries and grapefruit. Both satisfy the sweet craving and they are full of antioxidants.

Drink water. Take your weight in pounds divided by two for how many ounces of water you should consume per day, i.e. 134 lbs/2=67 oz.

I took some revealing pictures before this round of HCG and will post them with the after shots when my belly is camera ready.

Love,
Dana

I Cooked

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I just cooked two cauliflower pizzas and three stuffed bell peppers. Low fat, low carb, low sugar and diabetic friendly for my big bro.

Cauliflower pizza
2 cups grated cauliflower
2 cups mozzarella
2 eggs
Minced garlic to taste
Thoroughly combine and form into a flat dense circle on parchment paper. Bake at 450 for 15 min. Add whatever sauce and toppings you want and bake another 10 min.

Stuffed bell peppers
1/2 lb ground turkey fully cooked
5 small chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup jarred marinara sauce
1 cup barely steamed broccoli
1 cup barely steamed cauliflower
Sprinkles of cheese
And of course three large or four small bell peppers
Combine and stuff into hollowed peppers. Bake peppers standing upright at 350 for 15 min. There will be leftover stuffing that you can store in fridge or eat immediately because you’re awesome.

Love,
Dana

Diet Failure and Changing Strategy

Diet Failure and Changing Strategy

Most dedicated dieters have crashed and burned at least once. I’ve failed countless times! This last round of HCG was another bungee jump. I started around 137lbs and got down to 133lbs in a week. Then cheated and cheated and quit. I didn’t weigh in for a while but when I finally did I was 140lbs. No big deal! Time to change strategy.

The body is kind of tricky. It seems like doing the same thing over and over stops producing change or becomes impossible at a certain point. This last time, I was really suffering on the 500 calorie per day HCG diet- beyond acceptable suffering. So I’ve changed strategy!

I have a couple friends at work who are also very dedicated to getting into shape. We are doing healthy eating and exercise with cash penalties for cheats! Here are the rules:

Three square meals a day of mostly meats, vegetables and fruit. Some very small amounts of lean carbs are okay- like a sprinkle of quinoa in salad or whatever. Snacks can be fruits, veggies and if we are dying, Think Thin bars. Quantities of meat, veggies and fruits are unlimited, any time of day. All fruits and vegetables are approved. Salad dressings or other condiments should be low or nonfat and low or sugar free. If it takes a good dressing to make a salad edible, use it. This diet isn’t meant to make us suffer.

No nuts, but low-fat nut/seed/peanut spreads are okay in moderation- like 2 tbsp once in a while. No dairy except a dash of cream in coffee or a tiny bit of cheese on eggs if you skip the coffee cream. No alcohol. One cheat day per week allowed! You choose which day and it doesn’t have to be the same every week.

At least twenty minutes of exercise per day five days a week.

Each and every diet and/or exercise cheat costs either one dollar paid to each of the other girls next time you see them (no avoiding!) or twenty additional exercise minutes paid the same day as the violation. Cheats count by serving. If you eat pizza for example, you pay each girl a dollar per slice or twenty extra exercise minutes per slice.

Once we get down to our realistic goal sizes we are going shopping! No shopping until then- why waste money on temporary sizes anyway?

So far I’ve lost 5lbs in this game and I’ve made a positive balance of $1. Can’t beat that! It’s such a relief to be back to 135.2lbs. That puts my total weightloss at 42.5lbs! I want to get down to a loose fitting size 4 and I think I can do it within two weeks. I’d love to weigh 127.6 to make my total weightloss over 50lbs. I know I can do it; I’m only 7.6lbs away!

Let me know if you want to play the game. You’ll need a local partner. In choosing a partner try to find someone who is already into dieting rather than making your husband do it, if he has no personal interest. Should your husband want to do it, trade back rubs or some currency other than money from your joint bank account. Dieting partnerships are usually doomed for failure because inevitably one person will quit and then the other guy can easily give up. You might want to set a time period for the game or you can do what we are doing with the size goals. So far this cash penalty method has been very workable! Millions have paid Jenny Craig to lose weight, why not pay your best friends? Oh and the other point is honesty. I ate about twenty almonds today and I haven’t told my friends yet. Nuts aren’t allowed. So even though I have told myself twenty nuts isn’t worth the dollars and they don’t really need to know, I am going to tell them right after this blog post. Especially before they read it. And those damn nuts cost me two bucks. But it’s worth it. One lie can destroy the whole game. Don’t lie! The almonds I ate were covered in cheddar-jalapeño seasoning. Time for me to get on the stationary bike and jam out. I’d wish you good luck, but you already know you’re lucky. We are all lucky.

Love,
Dana