Considering the Cupcake Diet

ImageThe long silence has been due to our insurgency. Sorry.  We decided to do a few weeks of maintenance by trying out a diet on a phone app. We spent a couple of days trying to decide whether to do Noom or Myfitnesspal.  We aren’t willing to use either of them.

No.  We don’t think they’re awful. We just don’t want to play right now.  Some of it is Spring fever. We have it pretty bad. We enjoy taking the dogs and heading to the park to play which sometimes gets in the way of Brooke’s homework.  But she always gets it done. Yay!

Anyway,  Spring brings the end of the school year and some adjusting that comes with switching from school to internships and trying to figure out how to get all of Emma’s and Jake’s stuff to Connecticut from New York in the easiest manner possible.  And this beautiful, beautiful sunshine!

We just can’t get our heads around a new diet regimen right now. But we want to keep losing weight!  After discussing this on myriad walks in the park, we have decided to shake it up a bit. So we’re going to try creating a variation of the Satan Diet that will let us lose weight and stay healthy all at the same time.  Today we started by doing Day 1 of the traditional Satan Diet. Yes. Fruit. Tomorrow – we really aren’t sure yet what that will bring. We’ll let you know when we get there.

We were going to start this yesterday but got sidetracked.  See, we went to dinner with Emma in New York on Saturday and, as an after dinner treat, went to Crumbs Bake Shop. If you haven’t been there, add it to your bucket list. We love that place! They specialize in making to-die-for cupcakes. Cupcakes extraordinaire!  They’re better than any cupcake place we’ve ever visited. They make these yummy cupcakes that are filled in the middle.

The first time we went there, we got a Raspberry Swirl cupcake, an Apple Cobbler cupcake, and a Carrot cupcake.  We shared them so we’d know which ones we liked best and left one for Emma to share with Jake.  We devoured the Raspberry Swirl first and were delighted to find it filled with gooey raspberry filling! Next, we attacked the Apple Cobbler cupcake and found the center filled with cinnamon apples! We were both in heaven and wondering where this bakery had been all of our lives.  After a refreshing glass of milk, we eyed the Carrot cupcake and decided if you only live once you should really do it filled with cupcakes on occasion. And the Carrot cupcake was looking so yummy!  Sherry stuck her fork in the cupcake – then hesitated and glanced sideways at Brooke.  “If the raspberry cupcake is filled with raspberry filling and the apple cobbler cupcake is filled with apples…..omg what have we done!?!?!?  I am not prepared to find a carrot in the middle of this cupcake!” We were cautious and ate all around the center of the cupcake. In a moment of sheer bravery, Brooke sliced through the center of the cupcake to find – only delicious cupcake. No filling! Those Crumbs people are so kind and wise.  Anyway, yesterday was another Crumbs cupcake day so the diet had to start today. And guess what! We both somehow managed to lose a little less than a pound each while feasting on cupcakes!

  Life is good.

The End is Near – Satan Diet

ImageToday we finished up our Satan diet. Are we sorry we did it?  No!  It’s really a pretty easy diet for us.  It’s still hard not to eat when we’re bored or upset; but we’re improving.  But we do have this little problem.  We think it might help explain why we are so enamored of the Satan Diet.

When we wake up in the morning and see day after day of no true progress (like we have on other diets) we are understandably disappointed.  If we’ve been really good the day before and not lost any weight – why are we bothering? We aren’t willing to eat my 24 points or eat the food someone else planned out for me if it’s not going to work anyway. We think this is why we cheat. We cheat because we are avenging ourselves.  We feel ripped off – and ice cream not only makes it better but makes up for the stupid diet not working.

With the Satan Diet, we’ve seen steady downward progress each time. And with that progress, we’ve acted much more like grownups. We’re willing to eat vegetables all day knowing there is a reward in store for us the next morning. We will choke down yogurt for the same reason. (Well, Brooke won’t, to be honest. There is nothing on this earth that will convince Brooke to eat an entire container of yogurt.)

Sherry went to the store yesterday while Brooke was in school. She picked up the few items she needed to purchase and found herself in the ice cream section with a package of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia in her hand and headed to the cart.  “No, no, no!” she scolded herself, “This will cost you $5 and gain you one pound.”  Although she has said this to herself a multitude of times before, it has never ever stopped her from allowing the ice cream to make contact with the shopping cart. Until yesterday. She came home without the ice cream – not to say she hasn’t tried to contrive a new reason to go to the grocery store to try again. But small victory – we’ll take it and are recognizing that progress is very closely tied to victory for us.

Brooke says it’s like kissing. If you have a boyfriend and then find out he’s kissing other people, you will probably go out and kiss a bunch of other people. Not because you particularly want to but because you are tired of being in a place that isn’t working.  So getting a whole bunch of what you were restricting yourself from makes you feel better. And kissing doesn’t make your butt fat…..hmmmm.

Lost My Pants Dance

ImageUsually the loss of one’s pants is a less than a joyous occasion.  Well, not really true. Everyone takes great joy in shedding their pants to wander about the house – if they can get away with it. But this one is more of the pants falling right off of your butt kind of loss. How could that be anything but bad?

We once needed some wallboard moved. We had a neighbor come over to help us out. He was holding one end of the wallboard and I was helping everyone safely navigate the bar, the dining table, the wall, etc. Well, long story short, he inadvertently dropped his pants while his hands were full of wallboard.  He could feel them slipping and looked at me helplessly. What was I to do!?!?!  Not touching that! So his pants hit the floor and we all laughed until we cried and we almost lost a piece of wallboard and a friend in the process. He eventually forgave us for making a potentially embarrassing situation a simple devastation of the whole person. But it took a while.  He wore tighty whiteys, in case you were wondering.  Old people.

Sherry was thinking about that today as she was doing dishes. She has a ratty pair of sweat pants that she loves to wear around the house. She tied a knot in the string at the waist a couple of years ago. She got to the point when she almost had to untie them to widen the, errr, girth a bit.  But she just quit wearing them instead. She’s been happy to be able to wear them for the past year after losing a little weight. But today they were falling off her butt while she was doing dishes! They aren’t loose enough to hit the ground but this was most certainly worth a happy dance!  It’s the little things that make us feel we’ve accomplished something. Even if the little thing is an oversized pair of sweats. 

Weight Watcher’s Points Plus Gains and Losses

ImageWell, we followed the Weight Watcher’s Points Plus diet in an effort to lose a bit more weight after getting fabulous results on the Satan Diet. We hoped to at least maintain our losses – if not lose more weight. We’re ready to talk about what we gained, what we lost, and whether we’d do it again.

 

What We Gained:

  • The freedom to eat what we wanted to eat. And we absolutely loved it!  Easter Candy was an issue for a few days until we clued in to the fact that 24 points worth of candy isn’t enough to sustain a person for the day.
  • The knowledge that those vegetables we are learning to like have less of an impact on weight than the apple pie and macaroons that we love so well.
  • The coolest website to go to if we need to know the point value of restaurant food.
  • The conviction that the weekly Weight Watcher’s classes are probably very important. They provide the social support and teach you the tenets of good nutrition if you will actually attend and listen.
  • The belief that this is probably not a terrible way to live….when maintaining weight loss. It’s rather inconvenient and it isn’t very effective at letting you lose weight. But it isn’t terrible, if that makes sense.

What We Lost:

  • Our faith in our ability to write down every morsel of food we ate. We would eat without realizing it (or eat and not record) so at the end of each evening we had to sit down and do reconciliation of points to see if we could have a bedtime snack. Brooke often felt like the crazy cat lady looking for bitty slips of paper with her food intake recorded on them.  She hates feeling like a crazy cat lady.
  • Two weeks of potential great weight loss. Ouch!
  • Not weight. Neither of us lost weight on this diet and we were convinced we would. Sherry stayed the same and Brooke gained 2 pounds.  We would lose .4 pounds just to gain it back a few days later. We kept waiting for the scales to give us great news but it never really did.
  • We lost our deeply held belief that a traditional, sensible diet is the way to lose weight and that crash diets are bad. Don’t judge us. Do the math or read about it here.  We have come to firmly believe you can lose weight quickly, spend that same period of time learning about altering your relationship with food, and making a commitment to long term maintenance of your new weight.  Then use a sensible diet as your long term eating plan. But lose the weight first if at all possible.

 Weight Watcher’s Points Plus:    1.8

                           Educational:   2.5          Doable:    2       Did we lose weight:    1

What’s Next?  This is our plan. We’re going to use the Satan Diet once a month to lose our 5 pounds of weight. Then we’ll continue to look at other diets to find the best one for long term maintenance. We don’t exactly love either of the two Weight Watcher’s diets for the long term. We know we won’t record all the food we eat every day. It just won’t happen. The Original Weight Watcher’s was hard to follow because it lacked choice and it was too strict. We are thinking we’ll explore the diets that come as phone apps and evaluate them next.  A lot of people have told us about them. If you know of one you’d like us to consider, leave us a note and we’ll take a look at that app. 

Satan Doesn’t Lie

ImageWe aren’t sure if this is supposed to be the Satan Diet or the Satin Diet.  We did a little research. It’s called the Satan Diet because you can “eat your heart out”; which we thought was kind of gross. We would propose changing its name to the Satin Diet because the weight just slides off; like when you’re using satin sheets. Wait, if it’s the Satin Diet we would probably just fill ourselves with chocolate satin pie – forget it. We are back on the Satan diet. Why? Because it takes weight off, fast.

Will the weight stay off? Probably, if we don’t eat a bunch of calories that we don’t need. We were able to maintain our last loss on this diet with the Weight Watcher’s Points Plus plan.  So, at least for the short term, we would say yes.

We know dieting lore says that crash diets don’t work for the long term. But we’re wondering who decided that for everybody. We were actually talking the other day about how, when you’re a teenager, people will tell you not to shave your upper thighs. They tell you that the hair will grow back courser and thicker.  Millions of teenage girls wander around life with hairy upper thighs until one day, logic kicks in.  Your mind cocks its imaginary head and thinks, “If I shave that hair off, it doesn’t matter how it grows back because I’m going to keep shaving it off.”  We wonder if this is the indicator that your frontal lobe has finally reached maturity. Who started that lie anyway?  The hair doesn’t grow back coarser, it is simply stubbly at first just like any shaved hair. If you wait a few weeks it’s right back to soft. Don’t believe us? Try it.

The same principle can be applied to crash diets (in our opinions). Do the math. Say you diet on a sensible long term plan for 6 months and, through persistence and your staid ability to not cheat, you lose 10 pounds. You stop dieting but, because you have theoretically learned some good eating habits, you continue to eat pretty well. Well, except you do revert to some of your favorite eating habits that you missed dearly. At the end of the next six months, you regain 5 pounds. That means that at the end of the year, your net loss is five pounds.  Unless you were extremely thin to start, no one will ever notice you lost weight.

Now say you use the Satan Diet and lose 5 pounds each week you’re on it. In that same six months, you would have lost 30 pounds (5 pounds each month as this is a once a month diet). If you’ve maintained the loss, you’ve probably picked up a few good eating habits along the way. At the end of 6 months, you quit dieting once every four weeks but you eat pretty well since you’ve figured out how to add fruits and vegetables to your diet – you hold on to some of your old eating habits because you never really gave them up. At the end of the second six months, you have gained 10 pounds. That means at the end of the year, your net loss is 20 pounds. Everyone noticed how thin you looked so you feel better about yourself and work to keep that weight off. And besides, you can always go back and visit Satan a few times to quickly lose that weight again. We kind of think the same people who lie to you about your thigh hairs are also telling you to never crash diet. Think how much better their lives will be if you remain fat and hairy!

Our Hearts Go Out to Boston

ImageOur hearts and minds are with those who attended the Boston Marathon today. And to the families and friends who will inevitably have their lives upended by the cruelty that occurred. 

Fred Rogers (may he rest in peace) said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”  It makes us cry when we hear the stories of the helpers: the marathon runners who finished the exhausting race only to run to the hospital to donate blood, the people who have opened up their hearts and homes to those at the epicenter of this heartbreak. 

May we all find peace and love in this world – and may we do our best to move forward in kindness when everything seems upside down.

Weight Weight Get Sleep!

Today is our last day of the weight watchers points plus diet.  We tried it, and it hasn’t been bad.  The downside is that we didn’t lose any weight.  We managed to maintain our weights, but were looking to lose weight and were disappointed.  Not a pound dropped.  So we’ve decided we are going to take tomorrow off and then do another round of the Satan Diet.  Although it is restrictive it provided us with plenty of food every day and the weight loss that we crave.

Last night neither of us slept well due to a combination of nasty colds and insufficient allergy pills.  It’s not the only night this week we’ve gotten insufficient sleep and, we’re realizing, it may be part of our weight loss problem.  Apparently not getting enough sleep makes you fat.  Part of what happens is that when you are tired you eat more sugar, drink more coffee (which isn’t good, even if it’s gorgeous), and eat more in general in an effort to keep yourself awake.  Even more frustratingly, it slows your metabolism.  This means you eat more calories, and burn them off more slowly.  With this in mind, we’re going to have to stop going to bed past midnight…..tomorrow perhaps.

Red-Line Ad Red-Lined

A disgruntled, graduated law student  red-lined a help wanted ad by IBM that was hoping to hire desperate J.D.s (who can’t find jobs) as red-liners. 

IBM is seeking desperate candidates for employment as IBM Attorneys “Law Clerks” in the IBM Law Department’s “Legal Resources Center” (LRC) located in the basement of an abandoned bank on the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing, MI (when there’s an actual office IBM building just 45 minutes away in Southfield, MI). We plan to conduct on-site interviews at the last minute at some top tier schools and other lower tier schools, hoping to grab those with no options left who we can trick into believing that our program is “unique”. Our lawyers in the LRC perform a wide variety of busy work legal work in support of the IBM Corporation, such as the analysis of bitch work during due diligence in M&A transactions, analysis of applicant restrictive covenants, confidentiality agreements, EEOC work, environmental work, software licensing support, government contract negotiations, and various legal research projects, with a particular emphasis on complex technology agreements playing WarLight online video games as a team, learning poker, and playing board games in conference rooms.

Our lawyers analyze and red-line a wide variety of technology agreements, including outsourcing, systems integration, and other IT contracts, basically monkey work. These attorneys support more senior IBM lawyers and business professionals who negotiate with the company’s customers don’t even know the LRC attorneys exist and barely acknowledge the program and laugh at the salary.

Prior technology experience is not a requirement, as successful candidates will receive in-depth training foreeeeeeever. The paralegal $55,000 starting salary, which doesn’t even allow you to qualify for loan forgiveness, forcing LRC members to choose between a real dinner or paying Sallie Mae, will be augmented with health benefits, paid vacation or unpaid whenever the managers decide not to fly in; not even they want to live in East Lansing, and other IBM employee benefits like “working” from home on Fridays.  As admission to the Michigan (55% pass rate… why would you take this bar?) or New York bar is required, IBM will pay bar review course tuition and bar examination fees, although you’ve likely already paid this yourself since they don’t make offers until well after bar registration. In the future After 2 years, successful lucky candidates will have the opportunity to compete beg/boycott/mutiny or date in order to leave East Lansing and to be treated like a real attorney elsewhere within the company for other assignments and advancement to more senior positions in the IBM legal department like in NY or DC, where they won’t even give you a cost of living adjustment.