Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Orange.

I consider myself an Orange Connoisseur.

Yes, I enjoy and analyze citrus, much like one would with wine.

I love them. Oranges, tangerines, tangelos. Blood oranges, clementines, Valencia and Navel alike. Mmmmmm.

so this afternoon, I put together a snack.
200 calories worth of raw almonds, one carrot, and an orange from yesterday's farmer's market.

And the way I eat my food, is exceptionally specific. I eat what I should eat first, not necessarily the least delectable, but certainly not the most. This builds, and leads up to my favorite thing on my plate, which, in this case, is just the most beautiful, fragrant orange.

But then I peeled it.
And oh my God, if a fruit could be a Mudblood, this orange would TOTALLY be a Mudblood.
(That's a tribute to Harry Potter by the way, for those of you who aren't in the know).

Half blood orange. Half regular orange.
Who knew?

Maybe this is common knowledge.
Maybe I am not the Connoisseur I thought I was.
Or maybe, I just scored some Alien Orange.

Either way, I'm digging it.
Yeeeeaaaah... Half Blood Orange! (Though maybe not as good in Potions class).

I went way nerdy there.

p.s. Orange you glad I didn't say Cookie?

Seriously though, the geek inside me is getting more dominant.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

You Know You're on a Diet When...

...not eating cookies is an accomplishment of a magnificent degree.

Also, when oily, decadent, stab-out-your-eyeballs-yummy focaccia bread, is STILL not getting eaten by you.

Good Job, You.

Coming Clean... plus some produce loving Crazys.

So, first of all my nose would grow if I told you I am proud of my dietary endeavors this week.
Not only would it grow, but it would sprout twigs, leaves, and even a nest of finches on the very end.
Seriously, it's that bad.

And in all honesty, I almost had the intention of not even mentioning it.
But. I think by airing out my dirty laundry, I am more apt to change... so, shit.
Here, goes.

Remember the cashews? The abusive cashews that taste so good they hurt?
Yeah, well that was only the tip of the melting iceberg.

As I was in NorCal visiting my family, my mom decided to make cookies for everyone. Yep, COOKIES.

S000, it should have gone down like this,

mom: 'hey do we have any egg replacer left for the cookies'


But, this is how it really went,

mom: 'hey do we have any egg replacer left for the cookies?'

tess: 'yes, in the top drawer. LET ME MIX IT UP FOR YOU'.

And then I did just that. And then I ate the cookies.
Oh, and these weren't JUST cookies. They were uninhibited, shameless peanut butter and chocolate cookie cake. Oh, and by cookie cake, I mean a casserole dish spread with cookie, with a layer of melted vegan chocolate, and another top layer of cookie.

Holy Hell.
Holy, holy Hell.

To be realistic (and I sooooo don't want to be realistic) I probably had around 6 2-inch square pieces of the damn thing.
After that it was down hill. Lots of nuts, Luna Bars, even a Starbucks soy mocha.

So, this is me-my lament of weighty proportions, desperately climbing to get back on the bandwagon before it speeds away from me- leaving me in a cloud of chocolate dust.

My first effort in getting my shit together, was a visit to the farmer's market today with my roommate. I love Farmer's Markets.
I don't know about where you live, but here in SoCal, Farmer's Markets bring out the Craazays. (Zoom in on 55 year old man, playing air guitar on cardboard guitar and keyboard, singing into mic made with Arizona tea cans with George Harrison's 'I Want You So Bad' playing in the background). Yeah, it's like that.
But also, the streets are so filled with yummy produce and local agriculture, that I can only go in with 15 dollars, or I will spend my rent on the Orange, Honey or Asian vegetable stand.

This time, I went with my roommate, who bless her heart, pretends I'm not a gigantoid next to her. She's skinny. Beautiful, blond, tall and skinny- and get this- a stage actress.
Anyways, we decide to go halfsies on all food, and we came out of there pretty happy.
We scored carrots, sweetpeas, sweet potatoes, Bok Choy, oranges the size of my head, strawberries- you get the idea.
HOWEVER, she did decide to buy bread.
Nope, bread's not the right word.
Try, heaven bread. Yeah, that fits.

White rustic focaccia. COVERED in oil. Baked to a crisp. Oh my God, so delightful.

Anways. I've had too much of it as it is.
And in an effort of climbing back onto that stupid bandwagon headed for Life, I will remember that it is only a dessert. Not for nutrient consumption.

Here's the last thing I'm eating tonight- sweetpeas, one carrot and a V8 (because I should have had a V8- NOT A WHOLE PLATTER OF PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE CAKE).

Monday, September 21, 2009

You Know You're on a Diet When... would pull out all of your hair, and give up the use of your right arm for a whole week, just to have a Thai food feast without the ample amount of calories that come along with it.

Mmmmm... Massaman tofu with coconut milk and raw peanuts.

Just drooled. yep, totally drooled.

Big and Tall.

Okay, first of all, I would like to say, I know plus-size shopping has improved tremendously over the last few years.

fully aware.

HOWEVER, it irks me when mainstream fashion for us Fats, means butterfly sleeved, high collar, wide flared, brightly-colored and horizontal striped potato sacks. NOT TO MENTION 1-inch boots, with rounded toes and cheesy buckles.

Look, just because I'm a little (let's pretend here) overweight, does NOT mean I am happy with any piece of fabric that covers my protruding gut.
No, I'm not happy about my size, but does that really mean I have to sacrifice any sort of personal style I may have scavenged for in my teens and early adulthood?

And unless I want to start practicing BBW inspired sadomasochistic bondage ( or dress like a roundish tween ( I have to settle for the mom-jean, worrisome-ly Spinster-like ensembles from Old Navy. AND DONT GET ME STARTED ON 'WOMAN WITHIN'.

Seriously, though. I feel like I should start a clothing line- and not only for the Chubs of my age, but for older, and younger alike.

This is where I would start:

-Accentuate sexy curves, while minimizing focal points on bulge. (i.e. Low necklines, tighter to-the-elbow sleeves, slender at the waist, but loose at the stomach and hips.)

-Control Top jeans that aren't so wide they hide your feet (look, I know control top is not sexy, but let's be real. They're bomb.)


-Some suitable heels (i.e. 2-3 inch but with excellent traction and a thicker heel- throwing in some stylish boots with maybe a wider calf size, would be helpful.)

-Stylish shrugs, sweaters and outerwear (because I am not going anywhere in just a tanktop- no matter how cute it is.)

Look, I know these things exist out there already. I know it, because I have found them.
And because I have already done the shopping, here are some tips.

Torrid is expensive. But, has a healthy collection of cute boots- if you're into that. However, they also have a healthy collection of potential stripper clothing, so... beware.

Alloy is aimed at young people. However, they are good for scarves, some of their boots, a lot of their flannels and flowing tops- and are pretty reasonable.

Old Navy is a reserve. Rarely do they have things I think are awesome. Keep in mind though, each fall season, they usually get in a good collection of stylish outerwear- which can sometimes be pricey. However, three years ago I bought an amazing plaid peacoat style jacket for around 80 bucks, and it still is rocking it today.

Woman Within
is sort of an embarrassing one. BUT, they sometimes have wide-calf boots, which if pulled with the right ensemble will look more vintage-chic than desperate measure.

If you have any more suggestions, please let me know.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Culmination of Week Three.

2.1 pounds lighter.

I guess I don't have anything to say about that.

I'm happy I lost, so there that is.
And I'm happy I didn't gain.

And the cynic inside me is still whispering that I am pretty much where I was at two weeks ago, so... whatevs.

I've been feeling pretty uninspired recently.
I haven't been active enough, and today, I even had a handful of honey-roasted cashews- which while delicious, can single handedly kick the shit out of me (caloric-ly speaking).

So, I have created a system for SUSTAINABLE INSPIRATION.

I think that is so important. I mean, inspiration is great. But, SUSTAINABLE INSPIRATION is key, since I am in this for the long run.

So here is my SUSTAINABLE INSPIRATION. (And sort of a cool tip for all of you who enjoy traveling as much as I do).

It's amazing, and if you do in fact enjoy traveling, you will go bananas for this site. In fact, maybe I just changed your life. (Okay, maybe that is the King of all Overstatements, but you get my drift).

I also haven't been posting as much as I would like to, however, as I touched on in my very first post, I am working on a photo series meant to shed some light on shedding these pounds- and you would not believe how hard it is to take a nude self portrait.

And because of my digital arts background, you have NO IDEA the restraint I am practicing by not photo-shopping my body into a size 4. NO IDEA!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

You Know You're on a Diet When...

...SmartDogs (soy hot dogs) are not only SCRUMPTIOUS, but a go-to protein.

(45 Calories and 9 grams of protein?! For that I would fashion a SmartDog necklace just so I have access to them all day long.)

Also, Whole Wheat Light RyVita Crispbread- normally a cardboard excuse for a cracker.
Now? Absolute YUM.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Culmination of Week Two.

1.5 pounds heavier.


I am sorry. I really am.
There's never need for profanity...

There totally is. Because did you read? I am 1.5 pounds heavier.


I think the worst part is, is that I am not sure what I am doing wrong.
I work out regularly (except for Friday, when there was one impossible couch involved).
I am eating around 1200-1400 calories a day, all of which is low-glycemic and whole grain.
And I drink an incredible amount of water.

Okay, okay.
So here I am.
I am discouraged, I'm not gonna lie.
I can't help but think that all of this is not worth it.

But here I am, not giving up.
Because there is a part of me, just a small part, a quiet and meek voice that gets entirely drowned out by the part of me that's screaming profanities- whispering to me in its small way,
It's Okay. Keep Going. This is not the end. This is Just One Week.
Work Harder and Don't Give Up.

And if I'm honest with myself, which I am so trying to be, there are things I can do differently.

Soooo... this week I will focus on those things.
I will add 10 minutes to my gym time.
And I won't beat myself up over 1.5 pounds.

Some things I can let rule my life; my family, my love, my passion.

And some things I won't let have so much weight (so to speak).

Here's to a better week!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

An Excuse of Couch-Size Proportions.

Today, I did not go to the gym.

Nope. I didn't do it. Actually, I didn't go to class either. (!!!)

BUT, you know what I DID do?

I moved a couch.

And you say, But Tess, it's just a couch! One couch! I move those all the time to vacuum under! What a frivolous excuse!

And I say, No! This was not a couch, it was the couch of all couches, a massive, gargantuan explosion of every couch that ever lived.
A couch nemesis (if you will) that not only resulted in almost THREE near death experiences upon getting it up the stairs, but ultimately resulted in me doing all of my strength training for the day, thank you very much.

It took three of us to pivot and shimmy, in a somewhat graceful couch dance that took almost two hours. (Not to mention one door-removal, two fragile shatter-ings, two raw hands, and one bruised face.)
Plech. (And if you didn't catch that, that's plech. As in, "plech, that sucks.")

Which brings me to this fact.
I am fat, yes. (Sorry, while true, that wasn't the fact).
The fact is this: I AM STRONG! AAAAHHH! (That was my best Hulk impression via keyboard).
Yes, carrying around SOOO much extra weight sucks to the highest measure, BUT my silver lining is that by carrying around what is essentially 100 pound weights on top of a normal body weight, I have created some serious superior upper-strength, and a couple of thighs that could give Lou Ferrigno a run for his money. (Totally kidding Lou, don't kill me.)

I think I'm actually still sweating... Yep, still sweating.

Tip of Today: you can easily fit intense bouts of working out into your day by simply re-arranging furniture. CLEARLY.

You Know You're on a Diet When...

... you think splurging is eating FOUR (yes, that's FOUR) brown rice cakes.

And then afterward, when at the gym, you begrudgingly count the seconds as each calorie goes by- subsequently regretting each of those four brown rice cakes.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Enigmatic Creature.

And by that, I of course mean, a Fat Vegan.

Who knew this could exist? A FAT VEGAN?
I sure didn't.

At least until I became vegan.
But actually it makes sense, because if anyone can taint such a strict eating lifestyle with fatness, I can.

By vegan I mean this, not only do I not eat dairy, eggs, meat, seafood, or gelatin, but I live my life without animal by-products: leather, silk, fur, animal tested toiletries, etc.
It was a decision I made when I was 18, after 4 years of being a vegetarian. I will never pressure you into eating like this, or living like this.
And it is a sacrifice of sorts- eating out for example, can prove difficult.

But, I do it for the animals. And please do not try to convince me to do otherwise. I have given more than 10 public lectures on the matter, and have done enough research to make my eyes bleed. I do eat the right amounts of protein, and I have become an expert at fitting B12 into my day.

However, I am, STILL FAT.

What could it be? The carbs? The portion? The fat?

And there it is.
Do you see it? Hiding there in the middle? Starts with a P, ends with an N? Rhymes with SHPORTION?

Yeah, because you see, I can eat copious amounts of food, in a very small amount of time.
And I mean troll-ish amounts. Sit me down with some whole grain carbs, a heaping of tofu, a small mountain of nutritional yeast, three carrots and two avocados, and I can make some culinary magic that is sure to make thee gain.

Hmmmm, so maybe I am not so enigmatic after all.

Maybe my vision is just skewed by these top heavy eyeballs that are about 16 times bigger than my stomach. Oops.

And so begins my intimate relations with the measuring cups.

Culmination of Week One.

4 pounds lighter.


That was hard to write, because I am not really that jazzed about it.

And this is why.
The last time I was on a diet, was when I was 15.
Did you catch that? I'll say it again.
The last time I was on a diet, was when I was 15.
It's true. After that, I just sort of lived fatly, and didn't complain enough to do anything about it.

Anyways, being a 15 year old, my metabolism was at its peak, and I had no idea. I thought losing 9 lbs a week was the norm.

NOT the norm Tess! Not the norm!

But from a tiny place in my heart, probably the same place I squeeze out my daily dose of willpower- there is still an urge to celebrate.
So I'm embracing that urge...

Wooooo! (this time, that exclamation mark was a little more genuine.)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

You Know You're on a Diet When...

... the 2 Vitamin C chewable tablets you eat, start tasting like candy.

Also, when afterward, you check the calories in each of those bad-boys.
(And it's 6, in case you were wondering).

Manageable Inner-Leg Blazes and the Fearsome Gym Beasts

Okay, so I don't like exercise.

I'm sorry, but there it is.

I wish I liked it, buuut... I don't.

I mean, I don't pine for a good workout. There are people out there, who do. They think, Yes! Sweat! Adrenaline! Gatorade!
Okay, so maybe they don't think that- I wouldn't know- as I am not One of Them. (One of THEM. I like referring to them as a whole other specie- "Those that Enjoy Exercise"- interesting creatures with active habits. You can find them swarming fluorescent lit, poorly ventilated gyms during odd hours, and huddling around water holes. Social predators with gleaming muscle and veins, usually clad in thigh-hugging spandex. Prey includes fatties, rollies, chubbies and other social ladder bottom dwellers.)

But seriously guys, the whole thing is just kind of a turn off.
At least while I do it.
Because I'll tell you what. Me, on the Eliptical machine for thirty minutes is neither graceful nor sightly.
I sweat so much that I think I can actually hear the beads hitting the floor. I can almost start a fire in between my legs with all the friction, and the horribly un-flattering sight of gravity and the affect it has on all of my weight going up, and then comin' back down... well, it's just not pretty.

But I do it!
Everyday, I get up at eight, bike to class, learn. Bike to gym, sweat. Bike home. Wheeze.

That's my routine.
And lucky for me (I know, I know and for the health of my body, blah blah blah) I'm sticking to it.

tip of today: listen to the people who talk about drinking water. As a natural skeptic, I question all authority and advice pertaining to my body, but seriously- after drinking 72 oz. of water everyday for about a week, my complexion is clear, and it has helped to melt the weight. As a disclaimer though, until your body adjusts, stay near toilets. Or high bushes. Your choice.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Roll- Not Quite THE Arch Nemesis, But a Variation Of.

That's pretty much it.

My demise.

The whole wheat cinnamon roll, with raisins and walnuts. That at the moment is three feet from my over-anticipatory nose.

But really, they're like the love child of Sweet Goodness and Willpower Killer.

A tastefully seductive mix of high calorie whole grains and brown sugar. Only sort of healthy for you, as it is made with multi-grain flours-but don't be fooled! This scrumptious combination opens a whole flood gate of cravings- including but not limited to: Whole Grain waffles, whole grain bagels, whole grain vegan carrot spice muffins (I think I literally just drooled on the B key) and other caloric-ly inappropriate foods.

Yummmm. (And at the same time, Uggghhhhh (in case you were curious, sounds like Yuuuuggghmm).

tip of today: take advantage of your dog!* That's right, use 'em. Take them for walks, strolls, trips to the beach or even down the street. It will increase your enjoyment of your walk ten fold. And if you don't have a dog yourself, chances are, someone you know does- so ask if you can borrow them (the dog, not owner)- and both owner and dog alike will be thankful for it!
*You could use a cat, if you swing that way. Though, I have found it is not as effective**.
**And it is not because I have anything against cats, it's just in my experience, they seem rather resistant to the harness.

Cardboard Lunches and Skinny Kids.

I grew up on a great diet.

And I mean GREAT. My mom was a health-nut... Go figure.

Which I am absolutely grateful for, don't get me wrong. I mean, I admire her enlightened nature about nutrition before it was hip, or fashionable.
But as a kid, not many things could be worse.

Let me explain.
I can recall being in elementary school and DREADING the lunch that was packed by my wonderful mother. Dreading, because it usually involved whole pinto beans in a whole wheat tortilla (and let me tell you, in the early nineties, the whole grain tortillas were not what they are today- pliable and much like a real tortilla. NO, they used to be trampled grains in a sort-of circle, that if bent at all would crack-spilling its innards in a certain 7 year old's lap).
Yes these "burritos" were better than many options, better than no lunch at all, and certainly better than egg-salad sandwiches with non fat mayonnaise and onions (talk about a low blow to the nose).

But scent offensive food aside, I dreaded these snacks because as I begrudgingly masticated the entire wheat field in my mouth, the petite, darling kids beside me opened their ziplocs to a PB&J on white bread with the crusts cut off.

But I trusted, with all confidence in the lack of taste in my food, and the pure goodness of my mother, that there would, someday be some serious payoff. (For like most children, I measured all effort by amount of pay-off).

And let me tell you what. Those children, with their knobby knees and plastic wrapped cheetoh snacks, are skinny.
Thin and slim and skinny. And still eating their bread with crusts cut off.

And I am here, seriously overweight, craving anything with flavor, and feeling sort of deprived.
Well, not deprived.

But at least not fully satisfied.
It's a feeling I better damn well get used to!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chapter 1. Letting it All Hang Out.

Dear ______,

My name is Tess.
I'm in my early twenties, I love animals, and am exceptionally creative.
I have a great eye for aesthetics, I dress semi-fashionably, and when applying myself, I am an excellent photographer.
I create art daily. I listen, even when I don't want to. I remember all of my friends and family's birthdays. I am vegan. I have very small hands and a Mexican and German heritage. I have great parents, and a magnetic sibling.
I sing well, and usually smell pretty good. I have long, dark hair with split ends, and bangs that suffer from home-trimmings.

I cook a bomb french toast that I don't eat- as I don't eat eggs.
I read as much as I can, but usually books that don't make me sound smart nor cultured.

I over-write about myself, as I believe (like most writers do) that others are inherently interested.

And oh, I am absolutely, positively, the most wrong, early twenties female in California.

This is why:

I am very overweight- an issue of mine since childbirth (at 10 pounds, I was a hunker of a newborn.)

I have braces (in my twenties. not teens. twenties.)

I am horribly socially inept (despite having an 18 year history in the theater arts).

And it isn't until now- 2009, that I have made a conscious, intentional and active attempt to change it.

Whatever it takes, the metamorphosis has begun.

and one more thing.
As a student of the world- but more specifically, a student of a certain high tuition photography school in So Cal- I will be creating a two year long photo collection of this Sisyphus-like battle I am embarking on.

But those images are to come.

For now, a history.

I was born in the late 1980's, to an artist and his muse.

My sister, born a few years before, neither envied me nor grew jealous of my attention.
She nurtured me, encouraged me, and translated for me.
She later taught me how to color inside the lines,
draw a star,
smoke a joint,
and gain confidence in myself- in that order.

Our family fought the shadows that crept over modern-American households, but the darkness would always subside after love proved its potency and stamina.

But, I was always fat and slightly awkward.

I pined over Hanson whilst being fat.

Started highschool whilst chubby.

Lost a bit of weight in highschool while fat.

Gained back the weight and then some, while fat.

Went to college, while fat.

Gained the freshman 15 and then some, while fat.

And continued on with the next three years, yep, while fat.

Sense a pattern? I've always been big. Yes, it's in my genes. Yes, I am pre-disposed. No, I do not secretly hoard donuts, or McDonalds.

However, none of these justify this weight.

And while I have lived most of my life very happy (can you imagine? Fat AND happy?!) I have now decided to give in and get serious. (Well, as serious as I can be, which is not very.)

I invite You, Participant of this intangible experience we call the Internet, to laugh with me! Cry with me! And watch my subsequent highs and lows.
Come revel in my courage and perseverance to ensue!
And laugh at my inalienable need to express myself through public revelation.

"You have to exercise for a week to work off the thigh fat from a single Snickers."

-Albert Einstein (not kidding, he did actually say this).