Friday, December 28, 2007

Follow Up

Down 5 lbs. and only 2 more to go before the New Year...I'm gonna lose that 7 lbs. I just know it. If not, no biggie, I'm totally PMS'ing so that can make weight loss a bit touch and go with the water weight fluctuations. However it's nice to know that I'll be ringing in the New Year on a nice healthy note and feeling pretty lean and sexy. In fact, if I do decide to go to my friend Jan's New Years Eve Party, I'll take some healthy snacks to make sure that I stay on the straight and narrow. My spinach stuffed mushrooms are always a hit and so are my homemade kale chips. I may even try to make the new recipe that Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen Asparagus, Mushroom, and Goat Cheese Frittata that sounds absolutely divine...can't wait, I just adore all those ingredients, especially goat cheese. I totally stole the pic of the casserole from her website, hope she doesn't mind. I personally think it's gorgeous all golden brown, but she suggests cooking it for less time.

Oh I promised a report on my hypnosis experience...well I'm still rolling that one around the ol' head at the moment. I don't know what to think. It's one of those things where they want you to let go and stop trying to be in control, and for a control freak like me...well that proved to be rather difficult. It was sort of like pulling teeth and it made me feel uncomfortable. Not that I mind going out of my comfort zone, that's part of the biz that I'm in...always overcoming obstacles and fears...but I wasn't too crazy about the experience. It really is like guided meditation, but I find that I feel wayyy more relaxed after a nice yoga class with a shavasana & meditation at the end. I'm gonna try it a few more times before I knock it, but so far I'm not too thrilled about Hypnosis.

Today there's a Fat Burning Pilates class at the gym and it sounds like just what I need to give my work-out a bit of a kick in the pants...I love changing things up, it always gives great results and makes me sore for days. If I don't tell you on Monday, Have a Happy & Healthy New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

So far so good...

As soon as Christmas was over, so was the junky eating. Sure there are still treats around and being offered, but as I said in my last post, I've had enough! It feels good to be eating clean again. I was a little worried about last night's ladies night, but my teacher had made some low cal. veggie soup! My vegan friend would have loved was made in a vegetable based broth with bokchoy, cabbage, onions, carrots, tomatoes, and peppers, I think that was it, but the bokchoy (sp?) greens spiced it up was perfect, filling and cleansing all at the same time...yay for fibrous vegetables! Today at work, lunch was catered of those really huge heroes with Italian meats and cheeses all over it, and a nice mixed green salad with tomatoes, onions & olives in it...I made myself a big plate of the mixed greens with a few olives (3 to be exact) and the other veggies I mentioned and sprinkled it with a nice balsamic vinegar & olive oil. I didn't even touch the monstrosity of a sandwich...yay me! Tomorrow is Pizza Friday at my work...that's a tough one...I smell it and I start to drool for a piece of pie...but absolutely not! I must stay strong. I've got a goal to reach by New Years and I'm not going to let one piece of pizza defeat me. I'll just have my morning snack around 11ish so that I won't be hungry when it arrives.

I worked out today and yesterday as that's another plus I can check on my list of good things done for me.

On another note: I'm trying out hypnosis for singers tonight...why not, it couldn't hurt. If I can over come underlying anxieties and the like its all the better. The brain is a curious thing...I'm not a big believer in these sorts of things, but it's more like guided meditation I hear, and since I enjoy yoga, perhaps this can't be too way out there. I'm willing to try anything once. :) I let you know what I think about it...a sort of review on the subject. So wish me luck or whatever you wish in those situations.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

High Hopes

Wow, I'm sooo done with "Holiday" eating! Seriously, how many cookies, chocolates, and other sugar-loaded carbs can one eat in less than a month? Well as we know from past blogs and fellow bloggers, an average of 7 lbs. per American. That's a lot of junk that's consumed. Have you ever truly thought about it? What goes into a basic treat? The main ingredients are generally Sugar, Flour, and some kind of oil or Fat to hold it together. Empty, Empty Calories...yummy? Sometimes, but generally you're left feeling lousy after the consumption of it.

So now what? That's right, it's time to rid our bodies of the crap we've been putting into it...key word: Detox. Time to feed our bodies good wholesome foods like leafy greens, clean water, whole grains, and trying to make sure it's as organic as one can get. There's no good in trying to eat healthy when the veggies you're consuming have been covered in do your best to know & plan on what you're putting into your's the only one you've got, so treat it nice. And why we're at it, make sure you get away from the computer and walk around...get some exercise. Not only do we need to feed ourselves well, we need to keep the body moving and burning those excess holiday calories that may have been consumed. For me that means hitting the gym and really pushing myself. Perhaps a nice circuit training class, or a good jaunt on the treadmill or elliptical...oooh or even better, YOGA! No better way to detox than with a yoga class full of stretching and twisting that really encourages the body to rid itself of unwanted radicals. enough talking about it, time to put it into practice...I believe I'll have a nice hand full of nuts right now with 2 glasses of water & my first dose a vitamins. Enjoy the rest of the holidays!

Friday, December 21, 2007

OMG it's Friday!!!'s finally Friday 12/21...the day that I've been trying to make it to and through. The day where I can finally take the Holiday off as soon as they release us from our desks. Did I mention that besides being an Opera Singer, I also work a day job in order to supplement my finances. It turns out that I'm a rather quick & efficient assistant...I get all my work done so fast that it leaves me time to do things like write in my blog and study my music and languages :) I truly do have the best boss ever (He knows that I study and he's totally cool with it...such a great guy). As soon as the clock ticks to 12:30 noonish we have an inner-office party with actual libations...but seriously, people are already partying and enjoying some holiday cheer.

I decided to make gifts this year, so I made little gift bags of sugar-free, low carb, low-cal. Spiced Chai mix to enjoy with Hot Water or Milk...hopefully my friends and colleagues will appreciate this...I'm giving them a warm, soothing gift that they can enjoy without adding to their seems a bit chintzy, but it was made with love and consideration. I personally enjoyed a cup last night w/some splenda was delish.

So now off to finish some "work" and prepare myself for a nice Holiday of reclusiveness and rest (if possible).

Happy Holidays to All!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Uphill Battle

I feel as if I'm fighting an uphill battle at this point. With finances running thin and the offers of free lunch, how does one say no...I mean that's at least $20 bucks I can save towards purchasing a gift or paying a bill. Unfortunately the lunches provided are not the healthiest, generally consisting of a pasta, a fried something, or a fatty sandwich...even the vegetarian options are slathered with cheeses and condiments. How does one win in this situation unless one abstains. So I've resigned to trying not to eat many goodies, but to eat what I like in moderation. I also know that once this week is over, it'll be time to detox something major (Hello Phase I). I actually can't wait. My body has been screaming at me for eating off my program lately and no wonder I have this lingering cold (or whatever it is) for the past 3 weeks now.

On that note: I had a voice lesson last night and I hadn't realized how out of shape physically and vocally I had gotten in the past 3 weeks. Being sick really takes a toll on the voice and I felt like I was relearning how to sing last night. My teacher also stated that I allow too many people to get into my head about singing, and that a vocalist must be strong and confident in their technique and ner be swayed from it, no matter who's doing the to the devil with the Maestros...she makes a good point, that the greats, especially the current Russian crop of singers would be damned before allowing anyone to screw with their technique. I mean you are hired based on how well you sing, so who has the right to try and change it once contracted? I originally come from the world of Musical Theatre, and in that world you do what you're told...or you don't work...but apparently in the Opera World, you smile, say yes Maestro or Herr Direktor and keep on doing what it is that you do well. Same with coaches...there seems to be a big faux pas that's happening in the coaching realm of the Opera World, with coaches trying to give technique notes...No're a're job is to make sure my diction, notes, rhythm, and dramatics are accurate, but screw with my technique and we're done! It sounds a bit bitchy and diva-esque, but you have to protect your instrument...and if singing the words is causing vocal stress then it's up to you as the singer to correct it until it sounds & feels right (you may have to correct this with your teacher). A general rule is...if it hurts, don't do it! You could do some major vocal damage otherwise.

Alright, enough ranting...I've got to study my French before my coaching this evening...oy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Nowhere to Run to Baby

I used to look forward to the holidays...really I did, but that was before I became weight obsessed, sleep deprived, and financially I believe that was at the ripe old age of 6. Now I dread the holiday parties with the bubbly flowing & the passed hors'durves and the catered lunches with the pastry platters and the gifts of cheeses & chocolates coming in nonstop! Ahhhh...there's nowhere to run and hide until it's all over. No wonder Americans gain 7 lbs. between Thanksgiving & New Years, we're inundated with food, no, not just food...fattening food brimming with lard, butter, sugar and empty carbs all decorated with a glaze, sprinkle and spackling of chocolate & whipped cream. I can't gain the 7...I must lose the 7 by Jan. 1st...I've got major competitions & auditions coming up and I must be at my vocal, mental and physical best! So I will do my best to stay away from temptation and keep pushing myself to work-out and get proper rest...and boy could I use a nap right now - seriously.

Tonight I go to yet another Holiday Party, this time for the staff & board members of my opera company...and since I've been helping out with hair, make-up & wardrobe, I got an invite :) That's great for networking and it's nice to be appreciated by the folks you work for...however, the General Director is making his famous Lasagna (he's Italian, and from what I hear an incredible cook) about temptation. Well if I decide to partake, I will definitely have to burn it off at the gym.

Good luck to all during this trying season.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again

Ok, the shows are over (for now - until January) and now I can focus on that 7 lb. weight loss goal I made with the lovely Ms. Dietbook Lady.

I went to the gym today and took a 45 minute circuit training class (which kicked my @$$ - I'm probably going to be way sore tomorrow) and I've stuck to my eating plan so far...Now to keep it going and continue to lose unwanted fat and gain much needed definition. I don't think I've been to the gym in 2 or 3 weeks since I caught that cold which lingered forever and I definitely wasn't eating all that great with my family in town...but now that is all over and I can concentrate on ME...Yeah, I know it sounds selfish, but believe me, it's self-preservation! Survival of the fittest and all that know proper upkeep is essential.

That said, I got the DVD of my latest opera and I watched a bit...I didn't look half bad, but I do see the areas I want to concentrate on and it just gives me extra incentive to keep going. I'll post some pics once I get a disk from the photographer.

Remember moderation during the rest of this holiday season...and make sure you get lots of rest if possible!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Any Inspiration Out There?

I keep telling myself I just have to make it through the 15th of the month and then I can "rest"...which means, once the Christmas show is over I don't have to be at the theatre every night. Not that I don't love being there, but a girl can only do so much and boy am I tired! There is some good news, I'm auditioning for another production of Mozart's The Impresario, so hopefully I'll get the role and be able to sing it again, this time well! Wish me luck, I audition for The Bronx Opera Jan. 14th :) I also have been invited to sing in The Liederkranz Foundation Vocal Competition on Jan. 7th...this means polishing new rep. and dusting off some old in order to meet the 6 aria in at least 4 different languages much for rest huh?

It seems that I've gotten everyone sick with whatever it is I had the past couple of weeks...including the Maestro of my past and current show...I hope everyone remembers to rest and take their vitamins (and of course get better soon)...

Other than that, I'm finding it hard to get back on my diet...I just want to eat whatever...not sweets necessarily, but things like bread and rice which are a big no no on Phase I. I may allow myself to eat those things in a healthy modified version and wait to cut them out until next I said, I just have to get through the 15th, so I'll get completely well and then restrict my diet again starting on to just make myself go to the gym and work out...ugh! Wow...I'm such a whiny B!+ch today.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Taking Control

So I'm back, and exhausted. Sadly I just couldn't shake the cold (or whatever it is) that's been growing and had to just sing through it this weekend. I didn't feel I did my best, it's hard to sing high E's & F's on swollen vocal chords that are inside an inflamed mouth with a swollen tongue...yeah, not good. I just have the worst luck this time of year with illness. I know it's due to the fact that we do to much, and then you add family visiting on top of rehearsals and working a day job, and blamo, you're immune system crashes and burns. So now I'm trying to rest up and get back to not feeling so overly exhausted. My last performance for awhile is this weekend's Christmas show and once that's done, I can "rest"...which means just work my day job, and get ready for the competitions and auditions I have coming up while learning new repertoire.

On another note, tis the season of goodies in the office everyday. The baskets of treats are coming in, the donuts are arriving and the lunches are catered...not to mention all the holiday parties. Yeah, definitely no healthy choices around here. So I'm bringing in my almonds and my 2% string cheese for snacks and I'm making plans to do healthy lunches with my family who is visiting and work-out sessions with my friends...we will get through this holiday relatively unscathed if possible, and plus I have a 7 lb. weight loss goal to meet before Jan. 1st! I will get there, but I have to admit, this has been hard since Thanksgiving. At least I haven't gained any weight back...just keep me away from those donuts...they look stale anyway ;)

Now if I can just get a nice massage to undo the knots that have stayed present in my neck, shoulders and upper back, then I'll feel much better and rested I think.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Out of Commission

There won't be any blog tomorrow...we're in HELL WEEK and my preview is on Thursday with Opening on Saturday, so I will be a bit nuts for the remainder of the week. Hopefully I'll get good photos from the show and a good review...if so I will see if I can post them here.

Wish me "Break-a-Leg"


Friday, November 30, 2007

Staying Positive

Just a quick bit of blogging today...I'm definitely being a "woman" today and that has left my immune system compromised. My boyfriend has a cold and I feel I'm coming down with something. So I'm doing everything I can not to get sick. I'm avoiding sugar, eating my nuts and yogurt and taking my vitamins. Wish me luck at not getting sick, I can't afford this one week before the big opening night...I guess rest and relaxation is all there is left to do to protect myself....yeah, wish me luck on that

Thursday, November 29, 2007


If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again. That was a great motto growing up...I don't remember where I heard it, but I have a feeling it may have been from one of my childhood cartoons. Basically it put perseverance in my head and kept me positive enough to keep trying new things and perfect the things that I wasn't necessarily the best at. I'm a competitive person by nature, and even though sometimes I find myself insecure or a bit crestfallen at not being good or great at something, I still relish the challenge of continuing to try and learn. Opera singers continue to study voice, even when they've "made it" because there is always something to learn or "perfect" also have to consider that singing requires a great deal of muscle and agility that people don't realize. It's training just like any other competitive sport...You wouldn't run the Boston Marathon if you had never jogged a day in your life. So my challenge is to not rest on my laurels and really persist on to becoming the best singer I can be...really push myself even harder now that we're coming into the home stretch of my upcoming performance...yet at the same time keeping myself healthy and well rested so that I have the stamina it takes to truly give it my all. I know it sounds like I'm asking alot from myself, but there's no harm in trying.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Good

Ok, so last night's rehearsal went very well. We had a sing through of the whole show before we ran through it physically and blocked the final scene. I did so well and the Maestro seemed pleased with all of our performances from what he heard from the sing through. I guess all the well wishes and positive thinking really came thank you for the nice thoughts :)

Now to build up my endurance and work out the pacing of the music with the choreography & blocking...whew, this is such a challenge. It's one thing to sing a Mozart aria in German well while just standing there, it's quite another thing when you add in burlesque fan-dancing choreography...this role was definitely not meant to be danced...but I will do it! If I can do years of dancing and singing in musical theatre, then I certainly can figure out a way to to incorporate it into my opera singing...that's why we have rehearsals. Tonight I have a voice lesson and with my Teacher we will work through the entire show with the blocking and figure out the breathing, support and what I may need to cut in order to maintain good vocal technique. I'm so fortunate to have such incredible people in my life, without them I'd be lost.

As for the diet and exercise front, I've lost another 1/2 pound and my muscles feel completely jazzed from the class on Monday and last night's rehearsal. I plan on taking a ballet bar class today during lunch, but that's if my girl Challis makes it into the city in time...if not we'll hit the cardio or something like. It's nice to have a work-out buddy every now and then, but I've finally reached a place in my life that I enjoy working out on my own and getting into a zone where I can focus and think. Life is good!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Good, The Bad, and The...

Even the sunniest of us have a cloudy day...but what truly constitutes a bad day? I could share with you some stories of a truly bad day and I'm sure all of you could share tales that would give me night sweats...but that's for another blog. I'm actually not having a bad day per say, it's more like a mixed day with high waves of insecurity...yeah one of those days. Granted I am PMS-ing and my diet's been a bit screwy because of my hog-fest over the past I'm not as physically and mentally balanced as I should be. That said, this is what's going on. As you know, I'm an Opera Singer (see name of blog)...well I'm going through one of those times that all of us go through in life of questioning ourselves & our talents. Am I good enough? Can I really do this? Will the audience approve? and what about the director & maestro? You think you're doing great and then BLAMO insecurity hits you and you think you possibly suck at everything...not to mention feeling like a fat cow! Do men go through this, or is this just a hormonal But seriously, I know it all about being human. We question ourselves, and the answers don't come to fruition until I actually prove myself. However, I have to remember to muster all the courage, discipline and optimism in myself to keep going...because if you don't believe in yourself, who will? I am blessed with a lot of awesome cheerleaders in my life, but I have to really believe in myself to actually get to where I'm going. Even with the greatest encouragement, you won't accomplish anything if you don't think you can. So like the little engine who could...I think I can, I think I can...actually, let's change that to: I KNOW I can, I KNOW I can!

On a happier note, I'd like to report that overnight 3lbs. have disappeared...yep...I'm sure it's that wonderful little womanly problem know as water weight gain! I also took a new fitness class yesterday that totally kicked my butt (in a good way). It's called Circuit City (no, not the store and it has nothing to do with shopping for electronics) and it was a great circuit training class using steps, bosu balls, sand balls, and mats that completely utilized our whole bodies...and I am definitely feeling it today. I also ate really clean yesterday and today, I have a gym date with my girl things are going great on that front!

Tonight I have rehearsal for my upcoming Opera, and I plan on going in early, warming-up fully and really singing the $H!t out all my music tonight! I plan on really kicking @$$! So send your best wishes my way...the universe will get all your mental well wishes to me and I'll be great!

Toi, Toi, Toi,


Monday, November 26, 2007

Damage Report

That's right it's time to weigh in on how the Thanksgiving Holiday went. Well the title of this particular little excerpt is appropriate... damage indeed! I've gained about 3-5 lbs. over the course of 5 days and it's not pretty (granted I'm sooo PMSing and about to start any second now.) So I'm back on the straight & narrow today and have already promised to lose 7 lbs. between now & New Years with the lovely lady of The DietBook blog (see left column blog roll). I'll get there too! I'm already scheduling work-out dates with my girl Challis and have healthy meals and snacks at the ready for consumption in order to stick with my diet. Oh and you know what eating like a maniac over Thanksgiving means don't you? Detox...time to get rid of all the crappy damage I did to my body over this semi-past week.

More damage to report on the physical front. On Wednesday, I thought I'd treat myself to a nice long work-out since we were excused from work at 3pm that day. So I took myself to the gym and did a nice 30 minute treadmill excursion on a 10 incline at a 4.0 speed and really burned some calories...then I got really ambitious and took a 60 minute yoga class. I haven't taken yoga in a while, due to a shoulder injury that happened while practicing a year ago and I was doing pretty well, my body settled right back into the poses. I was able to go deep into the stretches and keep my balance throughout. My breathing wasn't labored and I easily moved from one pose to the next...but then....the teacher got even more ambitious....she asked us to do a handstand. A WHAT...a handstand...but I just learned how to perfect my shoulder stand and stand on my want me to do a handstand? My gut said this was a BAD thing, but I didn't know if it was because I was unsure and insecure about trying something new that I wasn't good at, or was it because my body knew it was dumb to try something so ambitious since I've been out of practice for so long? The answer was both! And sure enough, as soon as I tried to put my legs up from my downward dog stance, my shoulder popped and I was done for. No inversion happened, and I was stuck holding my arm/shoulder for the next minute. I did finish my practice and had a nice few minutes of meditation at the end, but my shoulder was sore for the next 4 days and still isn't quite up to snuff yet. Other than the shoulder thing, I felt good and energized from my work-out...sadly that feeling didn't last into the next day when I woke up a bit sore...and the next 2 days after that, I could barely walk...Talk about damage...Boy am I out of shape. It's time to really get back into the swing of things. I need to start doing more yoga and pilates, to get my whole body involved. Cardio & a few calisthenics are not enough to keep me progressing. It's time to up the ante.

So the goal: Lose 7 lbs. before New Years, add in more yoga & pilates, work-out at least 5 days a week, and eat really clean and lean. I can do this!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Pre-Happy Holiday

Ok, so I probably won't blog for awhile until after the holiday and the long weekend, soooo Happy Thanksgiving to all :)
I plan on totally eating everything and not feeling the least bit guilty. However, I will work in a work-out over the long weekend & I'll start the detox phase again to undo all the "damage"...all things need balance in the universe. So remember moderation and to keep your butt moving during this time and things will work out ok.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Ok, I'm feeling a bit like a bloated cow at the moment. I'm guessing it's the lovely abbreviation know as PMS. Unfortunately I'm in search of undergarments to protect my womanhood during the upcoming Opera where all I wear is a body stocking? The costumer of the show has still not come up with the exact outfit I'm going to wear, because she and the director haven't settled on an agreement of what that is yet! script, no definite costume and we've only blocked two number in the show...I'm getting a little anxious. However I am a professional and I will make the best out of the situation and shine! :) And now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Great Expectations

Great Expectations, that was a great book...However I don't have any for this coming Thanksgiving week. I'm not a masochist...I will totally eat and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings and then go back on my diet afterwards. I'll also make sure that I get in exercise to help burn all the excess calories I plan on ingesting this coming week. I'm actually looking forward...I sure do love Turkey & stuffing w/candied yams and green bean casarole...mmm...this has to be one of my favorite Holidays...but I also have to remember not to go "hog wild" with the eating either. Not only because of the caloric intake, but mainly because my body is just not used to eating so much in one sitting anymore...I don't want to be sick from dinner, so I'll take it slow and eat small portions while enjoying the taste :)

The weekend was good nutritionally, but not exercise wise. I was so swamped with rehearsals and recitals, that I didn't have anytime to work on me...however I stuck to my eating plan and avoided the dreaded breads, potatoes and empty carbs that come with going out and eating at events with others. The only "cheats" I had were some red wine and some chestnuts (mmm). I know what you're wondering: Are chestnuts really a cheat? Unfortunately they're equivalent to eating brown rice as opposed to say, almonds. So it wasn't a terrible cheat, however it wasn't perfection. But like I said in the above paragraph, I'm not setting impossible expectations for myself at this moment, I will enjoy the holidays in moderation.

Today's plan includes going to the gym at lunch and eating really lean all day until my dinner date with a friend. I never know what I'm going to find at restaurants, but I can usually stick to my diet. Wish me luck and good choices!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wine: Good for the Body & Soul

Ok so we're only one pound shy of the mythical number...if I don't regain mythic status by tomorrow I promised 300 crunches. However, I may still do those crunches even when I do reach it. My goal is of course to really lean up with good muscle tone, so crunches can't hurt, neither can squats, nor I'll throw those into the mix as well :)

I had my weekly voice lesson last night. I truly love and adore my teacher...not only is she brilliant, she's also an inspiration. The woman's in her 70's but doesn't look a day over 54...I hope to God that I look that good at 50 much less 70. She takes her vitamins, does pilates and tango dances...and doesn't spare on drinking wine...sounds like a lifestyle I could totally get into. I feel that we always accomplish so much...I have to remember to be accepting of the knowledge one has to offer instead of being such a stubborn mule when change or adjustment is advised. People are funny like that...a bit afraid of change, however I've always found that change is generally a good thing and brings about fun, new experiences. Yes, I'm merging the ideas of the previous sentence into every aspect of my life, including the positive changes we make when taking up a healthy and active lifestyle...Moral of the story: Don't be afraid of change...embrace it!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Niagra Falls

Slowly I turn, step by step, inch by = I'm down another 1/2 pound, so we're back on the southern journey to hottieville :) I'm just eating clean and doing my cardio and really happy that results are still happening.

I went shopping yesterday and bought fabulous sizes that I've never been able to wear before (no never, unless you count pre-pubescence...ok that's exaggerating)...but it was nice to try on a dress that fit everywhere but the bust...oh darn my boobs are too big...ya know I'm crying about that *snicker*.

My family is coming in for the show in December, so I can't wait for them to see how svelte I'm getting, they're all going to be very proud...actually more in awe, because being anything less than a size 12 in my family is something of a rarity. No really...we're just a beefy group that really has to be disciplined in order to maintain a healthy physique. I grew up in a small town in Texas and we ate lot's of Mexican food, meat loafs, potatoes and anything you can think of that runs the gambit of carb & fat loaded food. It was fine until I hit puberty and the estrogen started to hold on to every bit of fat. I weighed 150 lbs. when I graduated high school at 17...that's terrible for a 5'4 girl in her teens. As we know, I learned how to change my eating habits and started working out and a decade or so later, here I am....weighing less than I did in high school. I honestly never thought I'd get there, but each little step, each time of trying, each small success has and IS paying off. I can't say it enough: Perseverance Baby!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

On the Road Again...

I love that song by Willie Nelson (On the Road Again...) its so melodic and catchy. Well I'm on the road again back down the scale. Ok...I know, I's not all about the scale weight. I do realize that, but it's such a nice reaffirmation that something's happening and changing. I've found that most people are terrible at judging what they really look like. It's so hard to see you're body change, because we're so used to seeing ourselves everyday, so the little changes go unnoticed...and those little changes add up and make big changes, and before you know it, you're slipping into a pair of jeans that you never thought would fit...or on the downside, you've gained so much weight that you don't recognize yourself anymore. I have to remember that on this journey to a healthy takes one step at a time to get where you're going. I can do that...I can take each step as it comes and eventually I'll get there, and if I slip up a bit, I can just get right back up and continue on. Don't you love metaphoric reasoning....makes one feel clever about Another nice noticeable change is when Jake (the boyfriend) comments on how easy it is now to put one arm around me and pull me to him or that my legs look and feel curvier & firmer. This is a man who works people out for a living and is surrounded by hot chics in the gym all it's nice that it's me he notices and wants still (actually even more *eh hem*). If that doesn't keep a girl focused, I don't know what

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

And That's Why They're Called Myths!

So the Mythical number has gone the way of the unicorn or the leprechaun...non-existent *sigh*. I've gained 3 lbs in two days? What went wrong? I know, I's how the fickle female body is...We gain water or muscle or any number of other things in a given day and we totally freak! At least I'm totally freaking...wahhhhh. Ok, now to dry my eyes and pull myself up by the boot straps, we won't let this get us down! We will win the battle of the bulge and take no prisoners. Those 3 lbs. will be history by this weekend or I''ll...oh, I 300 crunches! That's constructive :) I should really be working my core anyway.

On a funnier note...the Burlesque Rehearsal went well last night. This show is really going to be a treat in the world of opera...or at least a few laughs.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Mythical Number

So this weekend I reached the mythical weight number that I haven't seen since the age of in my *eh hem* 30's (yeah I said it) finally reaching a weight goal that I thought had only existed in fairy tales or movies. It's not the final destination, as we know that a Body Fat Percentage around 18% is the true objective, but it's nice to see the scale weight heading south for the winter. Yes my pretties, migrate, migrate *cackle, cackle, cackle*...

On a different note, I start my burlesque rehearsals tonight for my upcoming opera, so that should be fun...and maybe I'll learn a thing or how not to fall over in high heels while trying to pretend I'm some sexy would be nice. I truly don't know how I get through life...I'm really one of the clumsiest people out there, always tripping over my own feet and others...I really need to get a choreographer for everyday things like...walking. Oh well, I've survived this long, I should make it through.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Holding Strong

Well I really held strong last night...I avoided adversity and temptation...I said NO to pasta even though I REALLY wanted to cheat last night. Everyone else was ordering chicken parmigiana and baked ziti, but I ordered a nice grilled steak w/sauteed spinach. I was a very good girl! I have to say, this was one of the worst nights of being tempted with the foods I'm supposed to be avoiding...and cheesy fried pastas and meats are definitely NOT on the diet.

I think I'll reward myself with something positive...maybe a nice night out with my man or a massage...who knows, but I definitely need to reinforce the good I'm doing for myself.

Oh and I'm totally having a nice skinny day, you know when you feel just lean and svelte and nothing can detour your confidence...Yeah...That kind of day :)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Howard Hughes meets Hugh Hefner

I know you're thinking what's with the title...well that's what I'm considering my mantra for the next month as I prepare for my upcoming performances...Where Howard Hughes meets Hugh Hefner (say hello gentlemen). Ok, EXPLANATION: Howard Hughes, because I need to be a total germ-a-phobe (is that a word?) for the next month, so that I don't get sick before, during, or after the show...I mean I do live in NYC and it's a pretty germy that means lots of hand washing, and covering of my mouth and nose while in public (seeing as how I can't avoid the public). Hugh Hefner, because well, I AM doing a bit of burlesque in the upcoming Opera, so I'll be thinking of trying to get into playboy bunny shape (curvy, soft, and svelte). And it doesn't hurt that both men were pretty good looking young men...I just want an excuse to ogle their pictures ;)

My first rehearsal for The Impresario was last night and I have to say it went pretty well. I felt well prepared and in good voice. So my confidence is way up concerning the outcome of my performances in this should really be a HOOT! The little criticism I got from the Maestro, I found actually constructive and encouraging. I was accused of singing too big and, a lyric coloratura too big and loud? there truly such a thing?...Joan Sutherland would be proud!...and so will my voice teacher. It's nice to be told to back-off for once in the realm of opera singing...I never dreamed I'd hear that from really tickles me and makes me realize that I truly am progressing vocally...nice to know I'm finding the power in my voice. I should be heard nicely in the theatre I think...I'm really excited about this opportunity and showing my (of course I'm referring to my acting & singing abilities *wink, wink*)

Ok, kids I'm off to lunch. This is where it gets hard...going out to a restaurant and finding something that's on your usually takes some tweaking when you order, but they're usually obliging. Thursdays I usually do lunch with a friend, it's the only day I don't work out at that means finding time elsewhere in my day. I can make it happen...there's nothing I can't do if I put my mind to it! Hey as Mike Ditka would say:

You're never a loser until you quit trying.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I'll Fix Your Wagon

You know I never thought about it, but the word Wagon is sure a fun and interesting word...and I love all the phrases that go with it, i.e. "I'll fix your wagon" or "on the wagon" or "off the wagon" or "joining the bandwagon". In fact, I really loved my little red wagon when I was a child, so to me, wagons are a good thing. We like wagons...especially if they're keeping us on track.

The word origins of jump on the bandwagon and on the wagon are two more commonly used phrases. To be "on the wagon" means someone has given up drinking alcohol. Before paved roads were created, water wagons went around spraying the roads in order to prevent dust clouds from forming from the passing traffic. The only drink other than alcohol in those days was water. Therefore, if someone was to be drinking large amounts of water rather than alcohol, that person "climbed aboard the water wagon," which was shortened to "on the wagon."

Unfortunately I fell off the wagon last night. I didn't stick to my eating plan and ended up having some majorly unauthorized carbs. Note: 1 glass red wine (not too bad, but not allowed until Phase III), cheese & crackers (mmm...bree, absolutely terrible, high in fat and the crackers are full of empty carbs) and finally little puffed pastries w/spinach and assorted meat stuffing (Really awful...not only empty carbs, but lots of lard hiding in those flaky layers). I didn't over do it in quantity however, and I still lost a pound according to this morning's weigh-in. Back on today and you know what cheating means?...that's right...2 more weeks of Phase I. I did it to myself! So, now I have to count today as Day 1 for the next 2 weeks...OK, discipline and perseverance will get me through. I can totally do this. And heck, it could have been worse...

I did have a great time last night. The event was fun, NYC children were helped, and Jennifer Holliday was amazing! Yes, she did sing "And I'm telling you" as the final selection of the night and it was everything you could want...absolutely fantastic. And coming from an opera singer, that's a big complement. I took a fellow opera singer friend of mine and he too thought it was a fun night and a great treat to see Ms. Holliday belt it out as only she can.

Luckily I had good train-karma and got home within 20 minutes from the event and still managed to get 8 hours of sleep, so I'm ready for tonight's FIRST rehearsal of The Impresario. I feel good and as prepared as I can be going into an unknown rewritten show...yet I know it'll all work out fine, it always does...that's the magic of the theatre.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Burlesque and Opera?

I'm going to an event tonight where all they serve are hors d'œuvre and cocktails followed by Jennifer Holliday performing in a cabaret setting (She's one of the original Dreamgirls). It promises to be a fun night, however it also promises to be a night of temptation. What kind of hors d'œuvre are they serving?...Generally not much of a healthy choice in that department, and cocktails are certainly not on my diet. So the plan: Go and get the tickets for the cabaret and then go find a healthy dinner (while avoiding the cocktail hour), followed up by arriving just in time to see Jennifer Holliday perform. So now to figure out where to go have dinner...something that I can stay on my eating plan with. You'd think finding lean protein and veggies would be easy, but surprisingly, alot of restaurants cook hidden flours and fats into your be aware and!

Today I found out about the rewrites of the next show I'll be doing. In December, I'll be performing the role of Madame Goldentrill in Mozart's The Impresario. HOWEVER, they've completely rewritten the script (the music will stay the same...high, fast and hard) but now Mme. Goldentrill has been renamed Fifi LaFleur...and no longer is she an old time opera diva, but is now a burlesque fan dancer trying to get into opera. That's right kids, I just found out that I'll be doing a striptease w/big fans and nothing but a nude bodystocking on. Talk about incentive! I'm definitely sticking to my diet and I'm going to work-out so hard, my sweat will hurt! OMG, talk about a time to not be a fat opera singer...woah...ok, and now breathing. Heck, maybe I'll be in such great shape, that I'll really do it in the nude...NOT! I guess the question is...Can Opera and Burlesque coexist and be successful in the same production? It worked for Vaudeville, guess it's just a natural progression for Opera? I won't go into the artistic meaning and seriousness of opera...I truly believe if Mozart was alive today, he'd be all for the change. I mean knowing what we do know about him, he would truly appreciate the bawdy humor and the idea of nudity. And besides, it is still opera...they won't go over the edge in bad taste...the opera world is known for being reserved, so how "bad" can it get? nothing to worry about except how good I look in that bodysuit. ;)

Monday, November 5, 2007

In a Room Full of Personal Trainers.

I had a really good weekend, despite working myself to death in the packing department. We got my friend Rebecca packed up and ready to move out by a decent hour on Saturday...enough time infact to go and have a lovely dinner with her and my honey Jake at the swanky little restaurant, Dumont in Williamsburg. I had some delish Roast Chicken w/au jous and sauteed spinach, Rebecca had their famous burger, and Jake had the butternut squash bisque w/chestnuts & mushrooms and their mixed green salad w/pecans & blue cheese...a most delightful and satisfying evening.

Sunday I actually slept late, then had my favorite brunch omelet. The omelet was just as good as I remembered, however they've changed the mixed green salad :( It is no longer mixed greens with a lemon vinaigrette, but has now had other veggies added with an orange citrus dressing (which tasted as if it had too much sugar mixed in, so I sent it back and was truly saddened that they had messed with their previous perfection.) So I ate the yummy omelet and had a nice apple sage breakfast sausage on the side. I sure hope they go back to the original mixed green salad...I mean who needs the added stuff and sugar?

On Friday night, after Rebecca and I had reached a stopping point on her packing, we went into the City to meet our honeys who just happened to be at two different bars that were only 5 blocks from each other. Her boyfriend Jason was with the production staff of the Theatre he works at and my Jake was at a birthday party with a bunch of personal trainers. I spent a few minutes with Jason and Rebecca, but after watching them make googly eyes each other, I longed for my own honey, so I excused myself and meandered down to where Jake was partying the night away. Once there and into the mix, I realized that I was in a room full of personal trainers...and you know what?...I felt really confident about myself. I wasn't sitting there comparing my abs to someone else's, nor was I thinking "am I the fattest one in the room?" I really felt good and comfy in my own skin...not to mention I was wearing a pair of "goal" jeans that I bought over 3 years ago and Rebecca had found as we were packing her stuff. I had given them to her a year or so ago after resigning that I would never be able to get them over my fat thighs. Yet, that milestone had been met on Friday night. I slipped them on and they buttoned easily and fit perfectly...I was wearing my goal jeans! All the hard work has and is paying off! And I felt like a goddess in my goal jeans and wasn't the least bit phased by the room full of people that get paid for working others out...infact, I felt like one of the most beautiful people there.

Meeting that goal was such a nice incentive to keep going and I guess it's now time to buy the next pair of goal jeans!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Friday, Friday, Friday

Yay...It's Friday and although that means no day job to go to during the weekend, I'm still helping my friend Becca move. No rest for the weary I guess. I'll just keep on truckin' and hope my body can keep up with my spirit.

I got a great comment about supplements. It's so true, if you're going to be dieting, heck even if not, we all need vitamins and minerals added to our diet. There's just no way to get all that the body truly needs unless you supplement it into your diet...even then the body doesn't necessarily absorb it all. However, I definitely recommend getting something as simple as a multi-vitamin if nothing else. My grandmother who is 84 and still lives alone and is VERY active, has always taken a daily regiment of vitamins and has eaten well balanced meals since her young adulthood...she's in great shape, both physically & mentally...heck she's still got a very active social & dating life...yeah, she rocks! So the moral of the story is, get your vitamins so you can stay on the healthy track. Currently I'm taking a Multi-Vitamin for Women, Vitamin C, Calcium w/D, B-100's, & Flaxseed Oil (I'm allergic to fish, so no fish oil for me). I definitely think I haven't gotten fully fledged sick thanks to the supplements added to my diet.

As for progress...I'm down 2 lbs. this week and have eaten clean every day so far. We are currently on day 5 of the detox phase and so far so good. I really do feel lean and Jake has even commented that I look and feel leaner too...weird how the progress happens so quickly on this particular diet & exercise program.

Have a great weekend! And I'll be back blogging on Monday.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Fighting the fight

I've had auditions every other day this week and in between those, a voice lesson or a coaching...and remember I just got back from Tour on Monday morning. I'm really feeling it too. I'm way exhausted and fighting the good fight to not getting sick. I've had the sniffles since Friday and have refused to let it go any further! Unfortunately that doesn't allow for the perfect vocal conditions for all these auditions that I have been going to. I do think the healthy eating has helped me keep the sickness at bay. I've found that when I eat like crap, I feel like crap and when I eat healthy...oh well you can figure it out. Everyone around me is sick too. I don't know if it's a cold that's going around or if it's just terrible allergies with the drastic weather changes we've been having from hot to cold to warm again...the body just doesn't know what to do.

On the bright side, I've avoided temptation thus far this week and have really kept up with my diet. I've gotten in exercise as well and have a good nights sleep ahead of me tonight (well assuming I can make my mind stop and rest.)

I actually got up and made myself breakfast this morning and thoroughly enjoyed it. I really do love eggs & Canadian yummy! And today for lunch a friend of mine took me out and I had the Taco salad, sans the sour cream and shell, and made with fajita beef instead of was delish and very satisfying. I've already had two snacks as well and plan on my 3rd around 6pm before my coaching tonight. Wow...I wonder how much I can actually fit into a 24 hour day? If I could I'd sing for at least 4 hours a day and dance for 2 hours on top of that...However holding a full-time day job, singing with the Opera nights & weekends, coachings, voice lessons, the gym and auditioning doesn't really allow for much more openings in my schedule. No wonder Jake & I have a hard time getting together...

This weekend (starting tomorrow) I'm helping a friend of mine pack to move out of her apartment of 6 years...that gives one time to accumulate much, so I won't be surprised if I'll be there from night into the morning...but I don't mind, she IS one of my best friends in the world and she would do the same for fact she has for the past 3 times I've moved...I really owe her.

So that's the deal for this coming weekend...and I'm REALLY looking forward to my brunch date that I have with Jake & my cousin every weekend. There's this place we go to that make the most incredible mushroom, scallion and goat cheese omelet and it comes with the perfect medley of mixed greens in a lemon vinaigrette...and it's on my diet! YAY...we Love That!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Uh oh, diet soda just as bad (New Study)

Thought I'd share this study on sodas. It turns out that diet soda is just as bad as regular for you...duh, it's all chemicals, BUT its sad that you can't even have a diet soda in a pinch due to the caramel coloring causing insulin resistance. That's what I'm trying to avoid.

Oh well...bye bye soda.

Happy Halloween!

Alright, it's already started...the offers of chocolates, candies and cookies...and it's still the morning! In fact, one of my co-workers just put a Halloween cupcake on my desk, yet I wasn't the least bit tempted (actually I thought it looked a bit disgusting with orange frosting and candied corn sticking out...blech!) I've been holding strong and steady. The past two days have been really good, no slip ups. I've been right on track with my diet and had a lovely work-out yesterday (I really felt the burn - granted I think that's because I'm terribly out of shape).

I'm currently sipping my decaf coffee and trying to decide what to have for my snack at 10:30 a.m...probably pumpkin seeds...I mean it IS Halloween after all :)

I've already lost a couple of pounds this week (the first two weeks you drop anywhere between 8-13 lbs.) and this while on my's a I really feel good too. Something feels different inside; cleaner, leaner, a definite change is happening. Always listen to your body, it has so much to tell you...mine is certainly speaking loudly. The carb cravings aren't as bad either, which is nice...that usually takes the first 2 weeks to get through. So I have a positive outlook and start to the program and I feel it's going swimmingly.

Now to really up the ante on the working out. I've only been doing cardio so far...Jake and I have had such opposite schedules that we haven't been able to have a training session yet for him to show me the kettle bells. That's alright, I'll figure something out in the meantime. Push-ups, crunches, squats and stretching are simple and efficient enough until I can learn something new to add in...AND it uses your own body weight as resistance, so it seems a safe enough way to get started.

Happy Halloween Kids, and avoid the candy & empty-carb Witches if you can! *cackle cackle cackle*

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

So Far So Good...

Phase 1 Week 1 Day 2: So far so good, however it IS only the second day of the detox phase of my diet, but I've held strong thus far and that's in conjunction with this being the 2nd day of my menstrual cycle.

V came and had lunch with me yesterday and I truly enjoyed my black bean soup & lamb kabob w/hummus, grilled veggies & salad. It was so much food that I ate the other half of the meal 3 hours later...and it was still delicious. It's so nice to have her doing this diet with me. It makes it so much easier when the person you dine with has the same dietary needs as you. Of course that's not always the case, but I've got such a great support group of friends and they generally let me pick the location so that I can stay on my diet.

I have some favorite meals & snacks I'd like to share that help me stay on this diet...sure you can have salad...but one does get tired of the same ol' grilled chicken on a bed of mixed greens thing (or at least I do.)

Sample Menu:

7:30 am: 2 eggs (or egg whites) w/Canadian bacon or Morningstar veggie sausage (I happily can eat breakfast anytime...mmm)

10:30 am: 2% String Cheese (so easy to grab & go)

1:30 pm: Fat-free "refried" beans w/fat-free cheddar (just a sprinkle), diced onions, and salsa (make sure it's low in sugar).

4:30 pm: Nuts - 15 Almonds, 30 Pistachios, or 3 tbl spns Pumpkin Seeds...another quick and handy snack.

7:30 pm: Turkey Kielbasa w/onion & cabbage (sauteed in Smartbalance "butter")

Usually I'm done eating by this time, but if I want one more snack, I'll take some whey protein & blend it with skim milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon and Ice for a nice smoothie/vanilla protein shake, or just have some sugar-free jello...oh and 2% or 0% Fage yogurt w/a package of Splenda mixed in is always a nice treat too (so thick & creamy).

So that's generally what a day in the life on this diet consists of during Phase 1. Not bad and a lot of food...The cabbage was delish last night by the way :)

Ok kids, I'm off to the gym!

Monday, October 29, 2007


That's right kids I'm back from a quick weekend tour and it's D-day: as in Disembarkment Day...DETOX Day...Diet Day? Ok, that last one stinks. Don't you hate that last word? Diet? That 4 letter word has become a 4 letter word to a lot of really has been given a bad connotation yet is perfectly harmless in meaning:

diet (1)
"regular food," c.1225, from O.Fr. diete, from M.L. dieta "parliamentary assembly," also "a day's work, diet, daily food allowance," from L. diaeta "prescribed way of life," from Gk. diaita, originally "way of life, regimen, dwelling," from diaitasthai "lead one's life," and from diaitan, originally "separate, select" (food and drink), freq. of *diainysthai "take apart," from dia- "apart" + ainysthai "take," from PIE base *ai- "to give, allot." Often with a sense of restriction since 14c.; hence put (someone) on a diet (c.1440). The verb meaning "to regulate oneself as to food" (especially against fatness) is from 1660. An obsolete word for this is banting (q.v.). The adj. in this sense (Diet Coke, etc.) is from 1963, originally Amer.Eng.

That's what I plan to do; EAT "regular food" in small to moderate portions, 5 to 6 times a day. No pills, potions, packaged or processed foods...whole foods, organic if I can get them. I'm just cutting out the crap and letting the body detox & re-balance itself. No sugars, flours, hydrogenated or high-fructose anything. Lean proteins, green & colorful veggies, with some low-fat dairy thrown in for the next two weeks. After those couple of weeks are over, then I'll slowly start adding in the complex carbohydrates, like a piece of fruit with dinner. Why the slow add pace? To see how much insulin MY body can truly process before it stores it on my hips or around my waist.

I'm also starting the resistance training this week. Jake will be back today from sunny Florida (I did miss him terribly). He kindly called me on Saturday while laying on the beach to let me know that I'll see him tonight around 8 pm, so perhaps we'll get in some weight training after-all? Just a note: While he was laying on the sunny beach, I was riding on a bus in the cold & damp northeast *sigh*. It's all right, I had fun anyway (I always do!) And looks like I'll be having fun tonight too...YAY working-out, I just LOVE working-out (keep telling yourself that and someday you'll believe it).

So now you know the plan and the goals. I'll be doing it in 12 week increments, so this is now Day 1 of Week 1 of Phase're #1...sorry couldn't help it...I'm still very groggy from the LONG weekend and way too many hours on a tour bus.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A touring we will go...

Ok, off on tour today...a very short one for that matter. We leave for Massachusetts at noon and as soon as we get there, off the bus, into walk-thru, hair & make-up, and then wardrobe...the show starts at 7:30 pm, so I hope the bus doesn't get lost this time.

The plan....have Brunch with my cousin Philip and then get on the fancy schmancy bus and watch dvd's until we arrive in good ol' Mass. 5 hours later. Note to self: don't drink too much coffee, you've got a long road ahead of you! Granted there's a bathroom on the bus...but they always creep me out a bit...and this coming from a women who lives in NYC. Oooh...maybe I'll nap, that's always nice (unfortunately, I've never been one to be able to sleep while traveling...oh well).

So I'm off kids and will be back blogging on Monday...


Friday, October 26, 2007

Diet Opera Blog?

Well it IS called "Not a Fat Opera Singer" and that is the goal...not to be fat, plump, or even pudgy while pursuing my opera career (or EVER for that matter)...heck I'm burning calories even as I type ;)

So, Jake (the personal trainer boyfriend) flew off to sunny Florida at 5 am this morning...yeah you guessed it South Beach, Florida. Isn't that a funny coincidence he's in South Beach, Florida at the same time I'm about to start Phase I of the South Beach Diet...However, I think he's currently getting the better end of the deal here. So while he's on the beach, soaking in the sun and catching some waves (do they do that in Florida?) I'll be going off to Massachusetts on tour with the National Lyric Opera. I'm not complaining...I love going on tour and I think Cape Cod is fabulous...I just want to point out that the North East is a bit nippy in late I don't think I'll be doing much sun and wave catching action, but at least it's pretty :)

Good thing I start Phase I on Monday (doing that restrictive part of the diet would have been pretty difficult on tour over the weekend...they always feed us pasta on the road or chips & sandwiches.) But I'll be back late Sunday night / early Monday morning and ready to hit the detox trail. Oh and hopefully my program will be ready from PT Jake so that I can get a good start to the week...actually he doesn't arrive back to the City until Monday night, so I'll more than likely do cardio and calisthenics and then Tuesday start his training program...kettle bells?...boxing?...who knows, but I can't wait! Really...I'm ready to get seriously lean & healthy!

Oh, I just celebrate the start of Phase I on the SB Diet, V and I are going to get together and either eat an authorized meal together for Lunch or we're going to work-out during the Lunching hour...either way, it's a win/win situation. It's good to have a buddy on this journey...we just love her! (yeah, I do occasionally break-out the "royal" WE...I AM a bit of a Diva).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Day 2: Uh, Right.

Day 2 my @$$...I mean really. Ok,'s day 2 on this blog at least.

Let me be honest with you folks. As you know, I once weighed 186 lbs. My drop to 140 lb-land didn't happen overnight, nor even in a year. It's taken me almost a decade to whittle it down...Yeah I know...soooo encouraging, but I've had a lot to learn about the whole eating healthy and working out thing. I actually lived on fast food & Dr. Pepper during college (never a good idea)...I was seriously addicted too...I'm not kidding. Some people smoke, or drink, or take recreational drugs, but my addiction IS food, especially fast food. I love me some Taco Bell.

Now on to the positive. I've changed my approach, thoughts, way of eating AND am much more active in my lifestyle...I live in NYC for "Godsake", it's a hard City to sit still in. So I'm on the right track and my weight has been the better for it.

Just recently (the past 4-6 months) I've lost 20 lbs. doing the South Beach diet. No I'm not talking about eating the marketed "South Beach" products...I'm talking about detoxing the body and re-balancing it with good healthy foods. This "diet" was actually designed by a doctor in South Beach, Florida for his diabetes and heart patients. It was created in order to help increase their health and gage how much insulin their body could process. The weight loss was just a bonus side effect to their new way of eating. What got me to try it, was my own sensitivities to insulin and my family history of diabetes & heart disease. I figured "might as well nip it in the bud before it grows into an actual problem." Not to mention, I'd drop some unwanted pounds in the process. So I finally found what works for me, and when I cheat (WHICH has been as of late) I feel crappy and find that my body really can't handle processed sugars and carbs.

So the plan: My friend V and I are starting Phase I of South Beach again THIS coming Monday Oct. 29th. We will detox on this phase for the next two weeks and re-balance our body's insulin levels. Then I will slowly add back one serving per day of complex carbs and then another serving per day the following week and so on and so on...until I find out how much insulin/carbs my body can handle. If I cheat, then I have to do Phase I again in order to re-balance the body I'll do my best not to cheat...cuz Phase I ain't no picnic. Sorry, sometimes I'm soooo "country."

*Oh...and as you know, I will also be working out with the goal to change my body composition to a much leaner body fat percentage. Nice side note huh?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Day 1: Always Promising

So here we are, it's Wednesday, that's right, the middle of the week. WhAt? I'm starting my "program" in the middle of the week in the middle of the day in the middle (almost end) of the month? Eh...why not. No time like the present, so let's get started.

Day 1: The goal to eat well (healthy) and get at least 30 minutes of exercise.


8:30 am - 1/2 a blueberry muffin and a decaf coffee w/half & half.

*Note: That's soooo not healthy, let's try some eggs or something tomorrow morning body doesn't handle sugar very well.

11:30 am - 15 almonds and a cup of chai tea (redundant)
*That's better (yay vitamin E)

More times and foods later as the day progresses.

Exercise: 30 minutes of cardio
(Treadmill - 4.0 speed, 10 incline, 314 cals. 3 miles)


Height: 5'4

Weight: 140 lbs. (not terrible)

Body Fat %: 35% (oye! are we did this happen?)
*Note: The Goal...I really want to be 18%...whew, now you know.


At my heaviest I weighed 186 lbs., not good on my 5'4 frame, and just recently I lost 20 lbs. on the SouthBeach diet. However, I don't think my Body Fat % has ever been so high. It was only 30% when I was at 186 lbs. and then it was 26 % when I was in the middle of loss at 168 lbs. I've definitely done something wrong, or at least I haven't done enough right. Dieting is just not enough, nor is just Cardio. I have to do resistance training...not only for my bod to tighten up and look good in a bikini ;) but for my well-being, and bone density...hello, I'm not getting any younger AND osteoporosis is another lovely affliction that runs in the fam. So, I've got to visit the dreaded weight section of the gym and really do something in there.


Pro: The boyfriend, Jake, is a personal trainer and a good one at that. All his clients see results and are very happy.

Con: Our schedules are crazy, and we hardly see each other, except to say good morning and good do I utilize him?

Pro: He has volunteered to help me (how nice)...and create a program for me to follow.

Con: I'm such a stubborn, pig-headed person and I suck at taking advice...I want to do it my way and take all the credit (This is definitely one of those times to suck-it-up, shut-up and listen to what others have to offer...especially if they know what they're doing)

Pro: I'm learning, even as I type this (hmmm...somebody IS home)

Con: Now I have to STICK WITH IT! Did I mention Stubborn & Pig-Headed?

So I guess the moral of the story is: Be big enough to accept help and listen to what others have to offer. Not brain surgery is it?

Addition: I'm inserting a page of what my fitness & nutrition log looks like, not the most legible...I'll do my best to insert a better pic.

Here Goes:

Ok, so what the heck am I doing? Well, I guess I want to keep a journal that I can share with people who care, or at least might have a passing notion of interest in this blog. I will warn you, I do tend to write in run-on sentences and do have the occasional fragment. So if you're looking for brilliant writing with incredible grammatical skills...This isn't the place for you.

Now, to get started. My reasoning is to keep myself honest and accountable for my actions. Mainly in the realm of diet and exercise, thus the name of the blog, Not a Fat Opera Singer. That's really the goal, to no longer be nor to become the stereotype that has been long associated with the world of Opera and it's singers. You know what I mean. If you're not really involved in this world, what image comes to mind when someone says Opera Singer? Is it the large, buxom woman with viking horns on her head? Unfortunately, that seems to be a widely shared thought of how we opera singers are viewed. Oh what I wouldn't give to wear that horned hat and seriously sing Wagner, however, I'm just a lyric coloratura soprano trying to make it in the world.

The Opera World is-a-changin' however. Have you seen all the press on Dramatic Soprano, Deborah Voigt and her gastric bypass surgery? Or the Vogue spread of Anna Netrebko? The craft of Opera must survive in a multi-media world and to do that, it must present the whole package for the audience to least that's what we're being told. It's no longer just about the voice, but the acting and the believability of the character. I personally have always been on-board for good acting and believability...but in this endeavor let's not lose the beauty of voice. Alright, so now all I have to do is sing great, act great and LOOK great (not to mention have some nice networking on the side) in order to get the job.

But let me make one thing clear: This is not just about my career in the arts, this truly is an endeavor to be HEALTHY. Diabetes and heart problems run rampant on both sides of my family, and I don't want to suffer as many members of my family have and still are. I don't want to die of a heart attack or stroke by the age of 50, nor do I want my legs amputated from diabetes. It happens, it has happened to my loved ones, and if I can eat right and exercise my way to having a long and healthy existence, THEN LET'S DO THIS THING!