Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Getting Ready

That's right, I'm getting all the info in line in order to get things off to a strong start. And I've got a plethora of people on board for the same eating regiment as me and the Maestro. By the way, Carmine is the Maestro due to the fact that, well, that's what he is...the music director and conductor of several opera companies here in the now you know to whom I refer. seems that people are ready and excited about getting healthy and they all agree that they want to do it even if it means it will be hard. Nothing worth having is ever just become accustomed to new habits. So that said, I want to give a big shout out to Kistin, Challis, Chelle, Giuditta and the Maestro for joining me in the Labor Day Challenge (the Fat Flush Plan). We're gonna eat, work-out and supplement our way to a lean healthy bodies. Let's see if we can all stay on the wagon together...strength in numbers, right! I think I'll even throw a little cooking party at my place on Sunday to prepare for the week and those who are so inclined can come over and join in the preparation fun. This is going to be GREAT *repeats over and over again*...Ok...this is going to be f@cking hard! But we can do this, especially with such a great support system, here and out there. So no worries, we'll make this happen AND we can share the work.

The Maestro was mentioning he was feeling a bit fatigued and blue for the past couple of days and couldn't understand why...I mentioned that perhaps it was due to the lack of physical activity. We haven't shredded in the past two days and that his body was already used to a daily dose of adrenaline from the fabulous Shred DVD. So sure enough he Shredded today and is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed...that's the great thing about exercise, it really sets you right both physically and mentally. It's such a fragile balance and we have to remember that usually the last thing we want to do is the first thing we probably need, like getting our butts moving! In fact, Mark Salinas mentions this very thing on his blog in an article he found on WebMD...check it out. Thanks for the share Mark.

I'm also excited about how many peeps Val of the Dietbook has on board with The Labor Day Challenge as well...I mean it really was her idea this time kudos to her for challenging me and welcome to all those who are on the happy train to positive change! Granted there may be more grumbling during, but in the end I think we'll all be pleased with the results.

Ok, so now to my next snack and more reading up on the Fat Flush Plan.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Labor Day Challenge

I know I'm a day behind on blogging, but I was recovering from my debaucherous birthday weekend :) More on that later.

Now, the Labor Day Challenge...hmmm...well as always I aim to get in shape...however this time, we're gonna attempt optimum health. So this entails several different phases of cleaning out and up the bod.

Phase 1 will be a healthy detox using natural aids of flaxseed oil, cranberry juice (100%) and lemon juice. I'm going to cut out major gluten, dairy and of course all processed foods for the first two weeks and really concentrate on healthy/organic fruits, veggies, and proteins. I know I can eat these things without incident.

After the first two weeks, I will continue to use natural supplements and start adding back the dairy and some of the grains (Phase 2)....I've got to figure out which one is giving me stomach aches and bloating...I had an episode last week when I started eating basic carbs again and I was in miserable shape, all curled up and fetal with stomach cramps...and that bloated, overly-full feeling continued throughout the weekend, even when I hadn't had anything to yeah, we've got some work to do to see what has been causing such odd effects.

Then Phase 3 will be the set way of eating once we've figured out what my reactents are and the bod is running like a well oiled machine. During all 3 Phases, we will continue to do the 30 Day Shred with other work-outs mixed in, ranging from yoga to interval cardio to weight training...I plan on keeping it mixed up and shocking the body as much as possible to keep it constantly growing and changing...besides, it'll keep me from getting bored. This is going to be a tough challenge...especially all the pre-planning, preparing the food and getting together the supplements. I plan on starting Week 1 next Monday 8/4/08 so that I can get ready half-assed attempts here.

I guess you see that I've been writing we, that's because the new roomie Carmine is going to do this with me. He's excited about getting in mad shape and having a healthy bod to show for it'll be really nice to have a partner in this. Something's got to be said for those who keep us accountable, and a big thank you goes out to all you out there in blogland for that :) LOVE YOU FOLKS! You're the best blog friends a girl could have *sniffle, sniffle*

Ok, so now back to the research and accumulation of info for my crazy challenge goals. Look for the bday party update once I get the pics for show and tell.

Have a great day!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A New Year

Today is your birthday...duh nuh nuh nuh nuh's my birthday too yeah...duh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh...

Well it is my birthday, I don't know if it's yours or not, but happy birthday to all :) I feel like Frosty the Snowman, how every time he's brought to life he says "Happy Birthday!"...I may be tired today, but I definitely feel alive...granted it's more like Frankenstein's Monster, but I'm moving.

Yesterday I took a really fun class at the gym, Cardio Strip Tease...she really worked our core with the warm up, I was almost hurting by the end of it...but I guess due to my TOM condition I wasn't feeling very sexy. I know it's all mental, but there were moments I felt like I was an awkward adolescent again AND a hobbling old granny at the same hips were stiff and I just didn't move very well...I had that moment of...Oh, I feel stupid.

Today I'm feeling like a Blobby McBlobbster...yeah, yeah, I know it's TOM, but the scale shows a 4.5 lb. gain (not to be confused with 45 - I think I'd throw myself in front of a taxi cab if I gained that much in a few days) and I feel like there should be a beeper warning anytime I decide to back up. I think once the Birthday week passes, I'm gonna really hunker down and eat ridiculously clean (yes cleaner than I've been eating...which may entail the half & half in my coffee in the mornings :( I wish I didn't get so bored with healthy eating...I could get alot more inventive with recipes, but it's a time issue. Maybe my new roomie will want to help me experiment with the cooking...he's already been great about the working out. Besides I'll be cooking for both of us, so I'm sure he'll be happy to help out, even if it's doing the dishes...oh God I hope he does the dishes...I hate that chore...especially after cooking for the week.

I'd really appreciate any insight to getting past my plateau, my weight seems to want to hover between 140 & 145 on my best days. I eat 5-6 small meals a day and work-out everyday (with an occasional 1 day off)...and the work-outs are always changing up at least every two weeks or so...I like to mix it up. Here's an example of my regular day.

7:30am Coffee w/half & half

10:30am 15-20 almonds

1:30 pm Lean beef & bean chili

4pm 0% Greek Yogurt w/1 splenda

6pm Chicken & Broccoli

8pm - Work-out: 30 Day Shred (currently on Lvl 2)

Sometimes around 12 or 2pm I'll throw in a lunchtime work-out at least 2-3 times a consists of either a 45 minute dance or pilates class OR 35 minutes interval training on the treadmill. And yes, I'm finally getting sleep...6-7 hours a night currently.

Maybe I should up the lunchtime work-outs to 5 days a week, on-top of my evening 30 Day Shred sessions? Perhaps I should have more than just coffee w/half & half for my 7:30am meal? My clothes fit fine...I don't feel like I'm really gaining we think the muscle composition is changing after being on the 30 day shred for 2 weeks? Oh I don't know, I'm just starting to get frustrated with the whole process...Why can't I break 140? I'm only 5'4...I need to drop some poundage...I still have a lot of belly & hip/thigh fat that's got to go but I think my arms are starting to look pretty decent. This is the point where I always start to freak...I always see a gain on the scale when I'm doing any type of training that builds muscle...and instead of riding it out I stop, so I don't keep gaining weight. Do I just keep gaining weight? When does the scale turn the other way and you start seeing the muscle that's under the fat? When does the fat finally melt away? 6 weeks? 8? Ever? I think I've got the formula right? Eat small lean meals and work out doing a mix of cardio vascular & weight baring exercise...both aerobic & anaerobic...what else do I need to do? What am I missing? I really want to start this new year off right. I want to get really lean and toned. I'm tired of having the jiggles and the dimples. Any wisdom out there?

Alright, well now that my cry for help is out there...I'm on to enjoying the rest of my Birthday and celebrating the end of the Birthday Challenge. I didn't lose the pounds that I may have wanted, but I still think I look pretty good and my back and arms are starting to shape up...granted I can't really see my back, but I'll trust that it's happening by the way it feels.

Have a great day everyone and a great weekend!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I Enjoy Being a Girl.

You know, I really do enjoy being a girl...or woman if you will...but sometimes its sooo hard! *cue whimpering* Sorry to all the boys out there reading from this point on, and any squeamish females, but come on, the menstrual cycle sucks! Why do I have to get all bloaty, gassy, crampy, and cranky...grrr. I was in such pain and doubled over last night that I couldn't bring myself to do my work-out. The bloated, gassy cramps in my stomach where pushing out on my abdomen so bad that I had an earache as a result AND back spasms as well. WHY!!! I took some ibuprophen and sipped soda to help with the gassiness (is that a word?)...but by the time I started to feel a little bit human, it was way past my bed time and I knew if I stayed up another hour to work-out, I wouldn't be able to sleep for the following 2. I know you can't "make-up" a work-out, however because I'm feeling like a heffer and a sow [sou] (yeah, two different and large animals), I think doing a double dose of activity can't hurt. So, the plan for today: Interval training on the treadmill or find a fun class to take during my lunch hour, and do day 4 of lvl 2 of the 30 Day Shred tonight when I get home. Tomorrow's work-out will be tricky due to it being my actual Bday and all the going outs & ons. I may have to do another lunchtime work-out and then based on home arrival after my bday dinner tomorrow, if there's adequate time, day 5 of lvl 2. I'm definitely going to try to get them all in and I've already made plans to take Friday off to pamper myself before the big party with my group of friends that night. Pampering entails: Sleeping a little bit later, getting up and doing the 30 Day Shred, a nice long shower, followed by a leisurely brunch, then a little mani/pedi action & perhaps a visit to the mystic tan booth to add some color into my life (no real sun exposure for this girl)...then home with a final shower-off of the chemicals applied to the bod and on to dressing for Friday's fabulous events.

I'm sure I've mentioned the plans for this Friday evening, but here's a recap: Cocktails & nosh at the fabulous Pegu Club followed by Karaoke & sushi at Japas. Some of my bestest gf's are in charge of the guest list and I can't wait to see who will least they told me where we're going so that a girl can dress accordingly...granted, I've had the bday dress ready and waiting for over a year to be worn, and I would have worn it to mud wrestling if need be...I've worked too hard not to. I'm getting really excited...but more than just going out to celebrate the bday...I'm excited to put that dress on and really see the progress I've made this year. Sure I have a back-up dress, but I don't think I will be needing it...this will be the year of my happy and fabulous NOHO boutique dress and there will be pics to document the occasion...I'll make sure to share after the approval process is over.

On another note, my friend Damon said the callback interview for The Biggest Loser went really well and he's up for phase 3 of the process...this is the background checks, a homemade video and a bio with photos. I can't say enough how much he needs this...I feel it will give him the jumpstart he needs to change is life. So everyone thank you for your previous good wishes and please keep sending them his way.

Alright, I guess its back to work for me.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ramble On

We did day 3 of lvl 2 last night of the 30 Day Shred, and I REALLY didn't want to. I guess I should give the little back story that after work we went to my voice teacher's house to have a little pre-birthday celebration...there we drank champagne, ate brie & crackers, french bread, and spinach/artichoke dip, to be followed up by mini chocolate cupcakes...I had 3... So by the time I got home I was buzzed and on an extreme carb & sugar high. I HAD to work-out, and boy was I not in the mood. I bitched and moaned the whole time, BUT I did get through it (without yacking). I accomplished day 3 and with sweat pouring off my brow. I'm excited now that I look back that I did push through and continue my endeavor to complete the 30 Day Shred, and by GOD, day 3 of lvl 2 is down. Only 7 more days of lvl 2 to go and then 10 days of lvl 3...almost halfway there. Oh and I guess I should mention that we is my friend Carmine and I...he's been doing the 30 Day Shred with me and he's the new roommate as well, so it's a healthy household indeed. It's also nice to have someone to work-out with, he's been such an encouragement...I'm glad he's around.

To make things worse or is it better?, TOM came last night and so now I'm sitting hunched over at my desk contemplating serious drugs. I do know that getting and staying active will help with the cramps so at least I've got that to look forward to.

I'm really starting to feel inspired with the whole regiment I've chosen for myself this time around. My muscles are in the good sore category and I'm seeing a difference already in my physique...even with TOM here. My tummy is tightening and getting less arms are starting to shape up and my legs are looking pretty toned. In fact I wore a dress today that shows my arms and gams and I couldn't hardly walk down the street without a comment every block from some passing Joe. It IS NYC they're very "complimentary" here...especially when walking alone...I don't know if I'll ever get used to that, it creeps me out a bit...but I think it would be worse if the compliments stopped coming.

Oh, some interesting news, one of my dearest friends in the world called me this weekend looking for old photos of us in our college days. He was my partner for years in show choir and we did many a musical and play together. He was always on the larger side, being genetically predisposed to it and growing up in small town Texas, he's been plagued with obesity. For years he's been trying to lose it and the weight has really kept him from continuing to pursue a performing career...which is a great loss, because he's VERY talented. Well it turns out that the call and the need for photos is because he got a callback for this coming season's The Biggest Loser. This is very exciting and I know if he gets in, it will change his life. He truly needs the guidance and opportunity that the show offers. So everyone send good thoughts and wishes his way...his name is Damon. I really really hope he gets it...oooh, and maybe I'll get to meet Jillian Michaels in person...hehe...I'll be able to tell her how her 30 Day Shred is kicking my ass and she's reduced me to a whining, crumpled baby!

Ok, so now to the rest of the day...and I just got a present delivered at work. It's from my sister in Cali...oh, it's a stress relief gift did she know...good sister! We love her!

Have a great day everybody!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Daily Grind

Wow, so I'm on day 3 of Lvl 2 of the 30 Day Shred, and OMG am I sore. It's definitely the next step up. I'm looking forward to getting home and getting it over I'm also way PMSing and everything seems to tick me off...isn't that always the way. Today I did not wake refreshed and ready to face Monday, instead I woke up almost a half hour late and running like a chicken to get off to work...ugh, I just want to make it through the day so I can go back to bed. Meh!

On the positive side, I can totally feel my muscles active and engaged from the weekend's work-outs and I feel that I'm getting stronger, even though the scale is at a standstill. I know I know...stop consorting the scale, especially when training and building muscle (+ PMS doesn't help), but it's SUCH an addiction. I guess it could be worse, there are worse my addiction to fast food...this one's been a constant battle and I'm afraid it will always be that way.

What else...oh, I'm getting a new roommate. He moves in at the end of July I believe. This will be such a big help with the bills...Money is tight and everyone I know is feeling it. It will be nice to be able to breathe a little in the finance area of my life...but only a little. My cousin who also lives with me has also been offered a new job making almost twice what he is currently making, so that too will be a big help for us. Things are looking up, but let's not jinx it just yet...a piano may fall on my head or something.

Alright, back to the grind. Have a great day and week.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Final Day of Level 1

Today will be day 10 of the 30 Day Shred and the last day of Level 1. The plan is to complete day 10 and to rest the following day in order to be fresh to take on Level 2. According to fitness experts, you're suppose to allow a day of rest in your work-out regiment, but no one can agree between how many days. Should I work-out 6 days and rest 1 a week? Or 3 days on and 1 day off and then on again? Is it ok to do the 10 days straight of one fitness Level, rest, and then progress to the next level for another 10 days? Or should I do 5 days rest and then do the next 5 days of each level? I won't lie, it's been HARD! I mean really hard, to the point of wanting to cry and throw a tantrum. It seems like every other day I'm feeling the effects but on the alternate days I feel pretty charged. Last night was a pretty good was officially day 9 of the program, so I wonder if tonight's going to be one of drudgery or if I've progressed far enough that it's really time to move on? I've got 10 days until the big B-day celebration and the much anticipated B-day dress...I have to hold strong with my clean eating and working-out. I think I'll get to a nice point that will give me the gift of confidence, as long as I stay strong and forge through.

Tonight I have a voice lesson for the first time in weeks. I've been having some coachings, but not a voice lesson due to the filming schedule from a couple of weeks ago and the cold I brought home after it. I feel I'm ready to now concentrate and to progress in my music career. I also turned down the contracts offered to me from my current opera company due to the big possibility of a SAG contract for a feature film coming up. It's all in negotiations and I won't know for awhile, but it is possible that shooting may begin as early as September. I'm a bit sad and will miss my friends and the opera house I was working with, but it's time to move on to other things. I'm still working with Opera Manhattan though and will be doing the role of Zerlina in Don Giovanni in late August...I'm also up for several other roles this year with this new company and I'm very excited. So life is changing but it seems in a positive manner, so there's much to look forward to this season.

I hope all of you are doing well and I can't wait to read and catch up with you.

Have a great day!

Monday, July 14, 2008

7 Days Straight

I have done the unthinkable...I've actually worked our 7 straight days in a row (a first for me). My latest goal is to do the 30 Day Shred DVD for an actual 30 days straight...7 down 23 more to Actually there are 3 levels to the DVD so I assume you're supposed to do each level for 10 days and then move on to the next. So I've only 3 more days on Level 1 and then I progress to Level 2. I am very excited so far and feel that I'm accomplishing something in the short time that is left before my Birthday. The actual Birthday is July 24th, but we're partying on the 25th since it's a Friday and we can sleep in the following day :) Yeah, there will be drinking involved. BUT, until then it's hardcore eating clean and healthy, no alcohol, lots of vitamins and water...and the 30 Day Shred...I'm even considering taking the 25th off instead of my actual birthday, so that I can get my work-out in before the events happen that evening. I believe we'll start with cocktails & tapas at Pegu, followed by dessert & a wine pairing at Chickalicious, then onto Karaoke at either Sing Sing or Japass...we'll see who cuts us the best group deal. It will only be 20 of my closest

So far I've lost 7 lbs. and I already feel slimmer in my clothes...that birthday dress is going to look fabulous and I can't wait to dress to the nines and go out to celebrate, not only my birthday, but the hard work and accomplishment. The great thing about the DVD that I'm using is that it tones the bod while burning hopefully, my arms & back will be in a state that I approve of by then...and I really feel that I'm getting I'm totally stoked.

I'm also being considered for a feature film at the moment, so it doesn't hurt to be getting in shape for the never know when filming will go up and I have to be ready. The only thing is that I don't know if the shooting schedule will interfere with my Opera schedule and the trip to Hungary this's really just a waiting game and so all I can do is hope that it will all work out.

Ok, it's time for my mid-morning snack and on to working on my music.

Have a great day!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Forging Through

I'm still sick but forging through. I did exactly what I set out to do yesterday and felt productive in doing it. I ate clean, took my vitamins, took a nap and then got up and did the 30 Day Shred DVD...I'm literally trying to do it for 30 days back to back (if possible)...Today will be day 4 and I'm looking forward. The eating has been really good today and although I'm sniffly, I feel pretty ok...Not great, but not terrible.

My bday is coming up soon and I'm already getting the fabulous evening planned out. It looks like cocktails at the Rockefeller Center Cafe (where the skating rink is during the winter season) followed by dinner, live music and dancing at Havana Central. Should be loads of fun filled with happy people sipping mojitos. I'm really dedicated to looking FAB in my bday dress and really sculpting my back & arms...those are the main body parts I'm concerned with in this dress...I will look awesome!

That's all for now...Hope you're all doing well.
Have a Great Day!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sick, but Still Going

Ok, I'm officially sick with a head cold. Annoying, yes...but other than that, I'm still functioning. The fitness experts say that you can still work out when sick if you follow this simple rule: Neck up = yes, neck down = other words...if it's in your lungs or have full body aches and pains from fever and sickness, stay out of the gym. As for the simple little head cold or sinuses, then keep forging through with your program. I have to admit, I'm also way drowsy from the medicine I took to breathe and sleep last night...I'm sitting here at my desk with fuzzy vision and the sad nodding off that comes with it. I took the meds around 11:30pm last should be out of my system soon. However, I could just be really tired from the amount of working-out and lack of sleep I've been getting...about 6 hours a night...and we know that when working-out, you need at least 7-8 hours of sleep to really recover.

My goal for today is to continue to eat well, get in a work-out, get lots of water, and get some good rest. I may skip my lunch hour if I don't feel better by then and leave early from work. Hopefully I can get in a nap and then work-out...but it's all contingent on how I feel...that's all one can do.

Now back to my zombified state.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I know

I've been MIA for way too long, but I was up in PA shooting a film short for a possible SAG Feature film. Oddly my film career is happening and I'm not even trying. As for my opera career? It's all turned upside down as the rest of my life is right now.

I broke up with my boyfriend of 3 1/2 years, I'm shooting films, I'm getting opera contracts that don't offer me much more than cover roles and chorus, and I'm questioning my validity in the world that I'm pursuing at the moment. I seriously have alot of thinking to do and much to accomplish and I feel a bit lost at the moment. I'm sure all will present itself in due time...I just trust things will work themselves out.

As for diet and exercise; I gained 5 lbs. while on location for the film shoot, thanks to craft services and Doritos. I haven't eaten Doritos in I don't know how many seriously may be close to a decade...but boy are they yummy...I can see how people get addicted. The good news is that I've had two full days of healthy eating and hardcore working-out and the weight is already coming off. I have about 2 weeks to finish getting in shape for my Bday celebration and I will not be derailed.

Sorry to have disappeared for so long...but I'm back now!