Friday, May 24, 2013

A Mostly-Happenstance Guide to Weight Loss

I used to struggle with my weight. As a kid, I was a firm believer in the "finish your plate because there are starving kids in China" rule. Over my childhood and up to the start of my senior year, my weight fluctuated around 150 to 160 pounds. During my senior year, though, I managed to lose 20 pounds and keep it off during my freshman year at college. No one really notices my weight loss until they creep on the pictures on my Facebook page. You be the judge. 


I would like to share with y'all my secret to success, but sadly, there is no secret. No Atkins diet. No Weight Watchers. No "Eat cabbage soup and bananas for 2 weeks." Just me, making small changes in my eating habits and learning how to exercise. In the list below, I have composed a list of things that may or may not have been why I shed the pounds. 

1.) Don't schedule time to eat. During my senior year, I became very involved, and my excess free time came to a stand-still. I started a routine of coming in at 9 p.m. and eating microwave meals or cup-a-soup. After a few months of having no time to eat, my clothes started to fit looser and I began to wonder if I really could lose the weight. 

2.) Remove an organ. In February of my senior year, I got sick and had to have an appendectomy. I lived off of instant mashed potatoes and saltines for about 2 weeks after the surgery. The surgery really kicked off my diet, like the Special K cereal diet. 

3.) Lift weights. I am ignorant when it comes to lifting weights, so I only use the machines that look like individual bow-flexes. Even though I look like a complete moron and have to stare at the equipment for 15 minutes before figuring out how to adjust the seat, I am happy with the results after just lifting weights for a semester. 

4.) Train for a 5k, like every other woman in America who has lost weight. I am currently in training for my first 5k this fall. It's been slow going, but the exercise keeps me busy and makes my workouts productive. 

Results may vary. Please see a physician before trying ANY diet, including one that promotes becoming too busy to eat, having surgery, running 5ks, and not eating cheese. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Michelle Obama Arms

Dear Mrs. Michelle Obama,

You have nice arms. Never mind all the gains you have made to end childhood obesity -- you will go down in history for pulling off sleeveless dresses with muscular grace.

I just have one question: do you even wear sleeves? Like ever?

One day I will be as toned as you. I swear on the greatest, bestest country in the whole world, the U.S. of A. 

I go to the gym every day. (Okay, I can't lie to you... I try to at least go 3 times a week.) But when I do go to the gym, I go hard. I do reps on the arm machine until my legs are shaking. (Sometimes, my legs start shaking after the first rep, though, so I just call that good enough.) Afterwards, I know I have done a good job when I can hardly lift my fork, but I manage to finish my plate anyway. 

I am a firm believer in rowing machines, especially rowing machines that have games on them. My favorite game is this one where I am a fish, and the faster I row depicts whether I am eaten by the big, ugly black fish or whether I can eat a small, cute white fish. 15 minute can pass by, and I don't even realize it because I am busy being a fish. 

I even go kayaking occasionally with my friend Cheyenne! Last time, we kayaked all the way out to that invisible bridge in my picture. You can't see it, but it's there. We must have gone 2 miles or more. 

If I weren't so afraid of drowning, I would paddle faster, but a main concern for me right now is to maintain balance and to keep from steering into the reeds on the side of the lake. (I am not the best swimmer.) I am considering hiring someone to kayak behind me while playing the banjo to scare me into paddling faster. I'll keep you updated if that method works out well or not. 

I guess it is too soon to see if my attempts have paid off or not. All I know is to keep repping, fake-rowing, and kayaking. 

Maybe one day I will buy a sleeveless dress and everyone will say, "Hey, your arms are so toned and so lean! What is your secret?" 

And I will tell them, "Oh, you know... Just doing the Michelle Obama Work Out." 

And they will say, "Now that you mention it, she does have great arms."

Told you.