Want to Lose 15 Pounds Quick? Do This!

Elephant and Diets

If you’ve heard about the Whole 30 diet and wondered if it was worth the hassle; yes, yes it is. Is it worth the pain? Yes, yes it is. Will it change your relationship with food? Yes; we believe it will. Will you lose weight?  Yes!  We know there are a lot of yeses here; but it really works!
The toughest part of doing the Whole 30 diet is living through the first week. What you eat is completely changed and you must think about what you can and can’t eat. It’s rough. We’re not going to lie. But, once you’re through that first week, it gets a lot easier; and you see the benefits almost immediately!
This was my experience: I had struggled with heartburn for years. I started the Whole 30 and my heartburn was gone (I tell you) gone within that first week. It was heaven! The added bonus is that weight loss begins by Day 3. They tell you not to weigh yourself during the week but you absolutely will!
To do the Whole 30 diet, you need to know this:
You must be totally committed to eating this way for 30 days. (We had a difficult time with this, to be honest. After debating it for 6 months, we finally decided to do the Whole 5 and if we didn’t see any results we were done.) Well, we aren’t done.
It was created to be an elimination diet. You get rid of a bunch of different kinds of food and at the end, you can add them back one at a time and identify potential food allergies. 
It takes some planning. 
You can’t eat sucrose (processed sugar), you can’t eat cheese or other milk products, you can’t eat anything made with flour. You can’t eat peanuts or any type of bean.
You can eat fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat. Really; that is all you get to eat. Oh, and eggs. You can eat eggs. 
There are a few ready-prepared items in the grocery store that you can eat; but you really have to be careful and read labels to do this correctly. This is what we found: Sugar is hidden in a lot of the food we eat. It is only there as filler – to lower the quality of the food and save the producer money. It has been an eye opener; we had to change brands on salsa, spaghetti sauce, soup, etc. once we read labels and realized many companies are adding sugar to our food. We found that Muir Glen Spaghetti Sauce has no added sugar and most of Amy’s Organic Soups (except for tomato) are also sans sugar. This is not a paid endorsement. It is an effort to point you toward food that is actually food.
What do we eat? We mostly roast vegetables and we grill, bake, fry and boil meat. (We only boil chicken.) Sweet potatoes are our best friend. We slice sweet potatoes; drizzle a bit of olive oil over them; sprinkle them with cinnamon, salt, and pepper; and grill or bake them. Let them over-cook a bit and they will be crunchy and delicious! Roasted Asparagus is more delicious than we can tell you: if you drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. The florets get crunchy and they are honestly as tasty as french fries (which you can’t have). You are supposed to limit your potato intake (to 2 potatoes a week) but we don’t do that.
In short, you eat naked food. You buy most of your food from the perimeter of the grocery store and come home with a stunning amount of raw produce. There are no limits to the amount of food you can eat but don’t be a glutton, for goodness sake!   
After 9 days, one of us had lost 8 pounds and one of us had lost 7. We are no longer hooked on sugar (although we will always love it) and the chronic hunger has disappeared. We would die for some ice cream but are willing to forego it because we were tired of not being able to lose weight despite increasing our exercise by 12 miles per week for over one month. Now the exercise seems to make a difference. Added Bonus!
What do we eat? 
In a couple of days we’ll post a list of dinners we have enjoyed. We are literally eating more food than we usually do and still losing weight. So weird!
We suggest you get geared up for this diet and start right after Easter (so you can eat some candy and fresh baked rolls) and you can still be thinner by May!
Let us know any of any questions you might have!


Shopping Cart Gypsy

I didn’t wear long flowing outfits or dwell in a tent but I could tell your diet fortune as you crossed my palm with gold. How? I used your shopping cart as my crystal ball. What you put in your shopping cart inevitably becomes what you eat. And so it follows that what you put in your shopping cart also reveals more about you than you’d like to admit. Here are a few of my favorite shopping cart fortunes. Continue reading

How Old Are You, Anyway?

Brooke took the Mental Age testHave you ever been called immature? How did you react?  I’ve always smiled and thanked the giver of that piece of information. Being young for your age is not a bad thing as long as you aren’t irresponsible.  See what I’m saying there?  Everyone always says you’re as young as you feel but they’re kind of wrong. You can have a body that’s been used for sports – and feels pretty old – and still be young. You can live a sedentary life – and have the body that goes along with it – and still be young. Youth is really more of a state of mind – staying up with the times, not being afraid to laugh at the humorous as well as the ludicrous, and remaining curious. How old are you?

We found a test that will tell you how old you are! Sherry took it, she is 25 years old (we won’t tell you how old she really is, but 25 years old is 1 wedding and 3 children ago). Brooke took it, she is 27 years old (all this despite her tender age of 21 years old). Ha!  Brooke is older than her mom! Brooke would probably have tested out at 27 years old when she was 4 years old (that’s her at age 4 in the photo.)  Emma took it, too. She is 25 years old (despite her tender age of 19).  Emma and Sherry are going to hang out and make Brooke be responsible for them!

Want to take the test and see how old you are? Click this link and let us know your results!

The 7 Deadly (Holiday Diet) Sins

Avoid the 7 Deadly Holiday Diet Sins1. Gluttony

I was in my professor’s office one day when she and a classmate were talking about paying a third party $35 to keep them from gaining wait over the holidays. I exclaimed dismay over this plan and said I would never pay to stay the same weight – they should be getting some weight loss for their dollars. Giving me that “cautious she’s cray cray” look, they explained that the goal of the holiday season is to not put on weight.  Well, that’s easy. If you don’t want to put on weight, don’t be a glutton. Period. Don’t pay some fool to help you not gain weight; just don’t overdo it. Eat before you hit a party. Choose between food and alcohol when you go to holiday parties. Alcohol is expensive when it comes to calories. Holiday treats are expensive, too. So choose one – the one you think you can’t live without and leave the other one alone. Now go take your family to a movie with the $35 I saved you.

2. Lust

Is this supposed to be about the mistletoe?  Kiss everyone you can and give them hugs but keep your clothes on. Hugging is good for your health and mental well-being and kissing actually burns calories; so have at it. Running away from angry spouses can also burn a lot of calories and will motivate you to run longer and faster than you have in awhile.

3. Greed

I’m guilty of this when it comes to gifts.  One year I spent the entire month of November and the first week of December dipping chocolates and baking cookies. I spent the second week of December eating them. Yeah, kind of gluttony but it was truly more I just couldn’t dream of giving them away so I ate them so I wouldn’t have to.  I do the same thing with gifts. I’ll buy my friend an awesome gift and after a week I just have to keep it for myself – so I go out and get her something else so I can keep the cool item. I’m the worst friend that way. If you are greedy, buy stuff; not food.  Then you can’t eat it if you want to keep it.

4. Sloth

You don’t have time to exercise with all of the shopping, cooking, reshopping (if you’re greedy like me), wrapping, and partying to be had during the holiday season. Exercise. Just Exercise. Don’t talk yourself out of it. Power shopping is not exercise. Power drinking is not exercise. If you didn’t put on your exercise clothes and break out a sweat, you can’t count it. Get up early and get it over.  No, exercising does not entitle you to a few more treats. That trap will give you belly fat every single time. Exercise to keep your heart healthy. No, you can’t exercise more to give yourself the chance to eat more treats – exercise is for your heart only.

5. Wrath

The holidays bring family and family usually means one type of drama or the other. Even if you have a peaceful day with them, you know you’re secretly seething inside about something and they are, too.  And you all reach for the comfort of egg nog, homemade candy, baked goods, etc …and they say the turkey is full of stuffing….every one of you are stuffing some kind of anger. Or maybe you’re one of those people who go around correcting people from Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays.  (I’m just going to say it.) Shut up already! Everyone can call it what they wish and no one designated you the Christmas (or Holiday) police! Nobody!  *sigh* My rant just saved me from an entire box of cherry chocolates. I feel better and I don’t care how you feel, you bossy old cow. Go eat something and you’ll feel better. No, wait, I feel so bad I said that!

6. Envy

Keep your eyes on your own gifts. Don’t stuff your mouth with your sister’s cheery chocolates.  They. Are. Not. Your’s.  See your skinny friend with the mounds of whipping cream on her pie?  Keep your eyes to yourself and be happy with your fruit pie. Go wild and have a slice of mincemeat if you wish – but no ice cream or whipping (steal a teaspoon of rum sauce if it will keep you from whining.

7. Pride

Ah. This is the sin for which we should all strive. On December 26th, step on the scales and take a good look at yourself in the mirror. If you didn’t gain weight (or if you lost it) you should be very proud of yourself. Look how good you look!  If you gained weight, you sly old fox, you should be proud of yourself because you enjoyed the holidays a lot more than everyone else.

Okay, Here Is More About Me.

Emily Strange and Weight, I'll Tell You About MyselfFacebook has a little game going on where someone tells you a little about them and then it’s your turn. I got the number 12 and dreaded having to come up with them. But I have to admit, it was kind of fun!   I think we should play a similar game here. In the spirit of disclosure, I’ll go first.  Here are 12 things about me:




1.  I have been married three times.

2. My first marriage was probably my best. I married him for his money. His wife made me divorce him.

3. My third marriage was granted a divorce by the Credit Bureau: I only had to report him.  Identity theft has its benefits.

4. Every significant boyfriend I had before graduating from college is dead. Except one.

5. I really wanted a dog.  Once.

6. I believe in Obama Care.  I believe in Satan.  One of those two statements is not true but I think you get my point.

7.  I love pushing people’s buttons. I have come to believe this is a family trait.

8. I spent my childhood believing I had been born to gypsies. And they had traded me to the family I grew up with for the other me.

9. I aspire to write bumper stickers.

10. There is this thing about me that, when I tell people, they just don’t believe me. It is this: never mind, you wouldn’t believe me.

11. I have come up with a pretty bad-ass theory regarding agentic shift and ethical conduct.  I need to finish that paper and get it submitted to a journal.

12. I watch crime shows (even though they give me nightmares) so I can tell my children what to avoid.  They say this terrorized them as children.

Okay. Your turn.  Please leave 3 or more things about yourself in the comments so we can all get to know each other. Don’t be shy…..

P90X Training Wheels

P90x Abs Workout can move you toward an exercise planIf you’ve talked about exercise at all in the past few years, we’d bet money someone has brought up P90X during your conversation. When you asked what it was, we’re betting you were regaled with tales of how difficult this workout is. “It is killer!” “Don’t worry if you can’t do all of it at first, it’s the hardest workout you’ll ever do!” “You’ll die doing it but it will make the biggest difference!”

You get the drift. And, if you’re anything like Sherry, you run away. Fast! She is a firm believer in not killing herself while exercising.

Brooke and Emma, however, were very interested in P90X  and kept reminding Sherry: if you want to ride the bike, you have to get on the bike (training wheels and all).  Someone swiped a pirated copy of P90X off of the internet to give it a try (we won’t tell you who because we have yet to find a decent cake that can be baked with a file in it).  The pirated copy gave us all a chance to try out this notoriously hellish workout regimen wherein the man who developed it talks at you continuously about how hard it is and takes you through his full week of routines. It’s not a bad workout except for three things: 1) Tony (the P90X guy) doesn’t stop yakking his sales pitch the entire time, 2) the guy doesn’t even do his own workout, and 3) it’s pretty much been developed for men and involves a lot of getting down on the floor and getting back up again.

So Tony starts out telling you how hard this workout is; how you probably won’t be able to keep up. Then he proceeds to sell you on the system you already just (allegedly) spent your good money on for the entire workout time.  We found that annoying. As he chatters at you in his annoying nasal voice, he continuously stops his workout to tell you to keep working out or to look at his helpers who are doing variations of his workout.  He doesn’t even do the entire workout! Sherry got so distracted by his avoiding his own workout she had to stop working out so she could count the number of times he didn’t really do what he was requiring us to do (well, that and she really needed to curl up in a fetal position and go to sleep a couple of times).  She’s correct – he doesn’t and it’s pretty annoying when you couple it with the thousands of times you will end up off-beat in the counts. You’ll think you’re a bigger mess than you thought until you figure out (credit Sherry again – she is willing to interrupt her exercise routine to analyze the tape) they have cut the tape in several places. Gone are the Denise Austin workouts of the 80s where Denise does the workout routine, doesn’t secretly stop the tape to get a break while making you work through it, and talks about funny stuff instead of pitching product sales. And check out the ladies he has selected to show you how to (not) do his continuous routine. They are buff and don’t really look like traditional curvy women. Everyone is doing a lot of “guy stuff” and there is a lot of get on the floor/now get up/now get down on the floor routines that feel very exercisus interruptus when it doesn’t really have to be so. Why not get on the floor, do all of the floor stuff, then get your butt up and do the stand-up stuff?

So why, after previewing P90X, did Brooke purchase the entire workout system?  Well, because it works. Tony has some very good ideas.  First, you do something different every day. This is great because you end up with a very comprehensive workout system and the only thought you have to put into it is: What day is today?   Second, despite its being annoying you will actually get an excellent workout. (Sherry insists Denise Austin is equally excellent so we tried her old tapes and Denise does an excellent job that is more tailored to women. You really have to work to hold in your laughter resulting from views of the 80s style workout gear Denise wears which, we guess, is good for strengthening your core. ) Third, it works if you stick with it. Much of what annoying guy does includes reps of extremely short routines that even Sherry has a tough time working up a moan against because it’s done and you’re moving on to something else before you get to the moan. This means a much more effective workout because you do stick with it. Who can argue that they can’t do this or that for 30 seconds?  So it gets done.  Fourth, if you really don’t like what is being served up on a particular day – you can switch things up and take a Denise Austin day without feeling like you messed up your routine. Fifth, the abs workout. We’re going to give you this because it really works to strengthen your core and give you a nice waist. And it only takes 15 minutes of your time! Tony says to do it every other day to give your body a chance to recover.  If you try this abs workout and love it – you’ll probably want to explore getting the entire workout system.

The Abs Workout  (do 25 reps of each move)

  1. Ins-N-Outs – sit on the floor with your hands slightly behind you and legs extended forward. With feet off the floor, bring your knees up to your chest and straighten them back out (feet still up off floor) and hold for a few seconds. Extend your legs again. That is one rep.
  2. Bicycle  – sitting in the same position (feet off the floor and extended) pump your legs in a circular motion as if you are riding a bike. One full rotation is a rep.
  3. Reverse Bicycle – sitting in the same position (feet off the floor) pump your legs in a reverse circular motion as if you are making the bike go backwards. One full rotation is a rep.
  4. Crunchy Frog – still sitting on the floor get into the same semi-reclined position as for ins-n-outs except your arms will be held out in the air as if you are holding a great big ball. Bring your legs and chest together while simultaneously hugging your arms around your legs. Return to the original semi-reclined position. That is one rep.
  5. Wide Leg Sit Ups with Counter Stretch – Lie down and spread your legs to shoulder width. Work to keep the flat of your back on the floor.  With one hand behind your head, sit up (reaching straight out with the other hand), stretch to touch the toe opposite your outstretched hand. Lie down.  Repeat while alternating hands and legs. One up and down is one rep.
  6. Scissors – Lie flat on your back and extend one leg straight and the other leg up in the air (feet flexed and as straight as possible). Hold the position for 3 seconds. Switch leg positions. When the original foot is back in the air, you have completed one rep.  
  7. Foot Prayers – Lie flat on your back and press the soles of your feet together in the air. With your arms at your sides (for balance) rock your hips and lift your “foot prayer” up to heaven. Lower back down (do not touch your feet to the ground).  This is one rep.
  8. Heels to Heaven – Still flat on your back, extend your legs straight up in the air with your feet flexed. Work to keep your body at a 90 degree angle while pushing the heels of your feet up toward the ceiling (this will raise your hips up toward the ceiling also). Hold for a count of three and release. This is one rep.
  9. V Snaps – Lie down flat. Keeping your bottom on the ground, bring your head and your legs up into a position that looks like a V (arms straight ahead or up over your head). Push your head and legs toward each other (the snap) and release. Each snap is a rep.
  10. Leg Climbers – Lie on your back. Bring your legs up so your feet are still on the floor but near your bottom. Extend one leg in the air toward the ceiling. Keeping your extended leg stable, use your hands to “climb” up your leg and touch your toe and then “climb” back down your leg until you are lying back down. Do this 12 times for each leg – you get a break of one rep because you made it this far.
  11. Kayaker – Sit with your legs extended. Bring your legs off the floor by about 3 inches (you can bend your knees if your wish) and interlace your fingers and twist your body over to one side. Touch the floor and twist to the other side to touch the floor (feels a bit like you’re paddling a kayak). Twisting back and forth touching your knuckles to the ground each time.  Each time you are back at your original side, you have completed one rep.
  12. Stretch 1 – Lie down on your back and extend your arms over your head. Try to touch one wall with your feet while trying to touch the other wall with your hands. (Love this stretch!)
  13. Stretch  2 – (in yoga this is called the Child’s Pose) get on your knees.  Fold yourself over until your forehead is touching the floor and your bottom is touching your heels.. Your hands relax at your sides. Relax.

And you’re done!

(Don’t Be) Fat Like Me

Hips-to-Waist Measure can help after Satan Diet and Cupcake Time DietOkay, our culture always tells us we’re fat. Or flat. Or something else is wrong with our bodies.  You find yourself calculating your BMI (3 different ways), standing on the scales, and measuring everything. But what does it mean? How do you compare yourself to normal when everybody has a different normal standard?  Maybe you’re fat by one measure but in the okay range by another.  So confusing!

We think everyone should choose a measure and stick with it.  Do you feel that your weight in no way reflects whether you’re looking good or not? Don’t do it!  Calculate your BMI instead. Or, as an alternative, you can do a quick calculation of your hips-to-waist ratio.  A normal woman should have a hip to waist ratio of about .70 and studies show that when a man sees a woman walking down the street, this is the woman he will deem most attractive. But society tells us that’s fat.  When asked what hip-to-waist ratio is desirable, women come up with an answer closer to .50 and men tend to agree if they’re viewing silhouettes of women.  For some reason, women have been lead to believe the optimal .70 ratio is bad for them. In reality, the .70 ratio is what women need to correctly regulate their hormonal cycles.

Runners, gymnasts, dancers, and other unusually active women will often sport the svelte <.50 look – and their cycles will stop. We’re betting you’ve enviously gazed at one of these women at one time or another and wished you were there. Stawwp! Over thin is not healthy.

Let’s do this together.  Take a measuring tape and measure your hips and your waist. Now, using your favorite calculator, enter waist/hips = hip-to-waist ratio. What’s yours?

Brooke’s is good. Sherry’s is too! Thanks to the Satan Diet and our newly developed Cupcake Time Diet she has lost enough weight to put her in the range of this measure!  A healthy female body should be in the range of .65  – .85.  Anything above the .85 is too fat and anything below the .65 is too thin for optimal female health.  Dieting can help bring weight up or down but who wants to diet for their entire lives? Not us!

 Non-Dieting Lifestyle Choices To Maintain a Healthy Weight


  • Drink Water. It is amazing to really take stock of what you drink and how it impacts your weight. Many of us drink juices, milk, smoothies, sodas, and alcohol; never even thinking of drinking a glass of water. Figure out how you like yours – hot, warm, cold, with lemon, with cucumbers, or naked – and drink that water!  Water flushes your body of toxins, carries unneeded calories out of your body, and keeps you feeling full. Drinks full of sugar and/or caffeine work against your plans for a healthy, happy body. Alcohol may make you happy but eventually you’ll have to sober up and see what it did you.


  • Eat.  And you thought we’d say don’t eat. No way! You need to eat; just be choosy in what you choose to eat. Ditch the refined sugars (again) and load up on fresh vegetables and tasty fruits while watching your portions on breads, meats, and dairy and your body will respond by treating you to good health and (eventually) a body that hits the hip-to-waist ratio goal. Eat three meals a day or six – it’s really up to you as long as you remember to Not eat six meals that are the same size as the three meal deals.


  • Use Weights in Your Exercise Routine. Cardio is great for your heart and circulatory systems. Weight training breaks down stored muscle glycogen so it actually helps you to burn carbs faster than the couch potato (who would really be a potato – carbs; get it?)  Make sure you mix it up and get a little of both.


  • Don’t Pig Out.  Want a piece of cake? Have one. Just be sure you don’t overdo it. And never ever ever use food to make you feel better.  Anger eating, bored eating, stress eating, and sad eating need to become mere memories. It’s hard. We know it’s hard! And we still slip into stress/bored eating on occasion. But replacing emotional eating with healthier coping skills will make you a better, thinner person in no time.

Once we figured out how to make the Cupcake Time Diet work, we started doing this. Did we still have a few days when the Peanut M&Ms won? You bet. But it’s all part of the learning curve. And although we’ve struggled with having to eat vegetables and reminding ourselves to use our support person (instead of a cake) to make it through a bad day, we are learning! And if we can do it – we are confident you can (because we can be very stubborn when it comes to learning healthy eating habits).

Stand on the scale, calculate your BMI, and compute your hips-to-waist ratio one last time – decide which is the best measure for you – and enjoy the rest of your day!

A Bird’s Tale

Your Dreams Can Come TrueWhen Sherry was a little girl, she really really wanted to catch a robin.  She has no idea what she would have done with said robin once the capture was complete yet she wanted one nonetheless. Her mom told her the secret to catching a wild bird and we’re going to share that with you.   If you want to catch a bird, you have to get close enough to put salt on its tail. With this small bit of (misleading) wisdom in hand, she armed herself with the salt shaker and a crystal perfume bottle that made high  pitched, bird-like noises and spent a great deal of her summer hiding the lilac bush waiting for an unwary bird to fall into her well set trap.  Parents can be so evil.

Sherry would wait and watch from her covert position. When she became impatient, she would spring out of the bushes at the nearby birds – only to have them fly away. Then she began to carefully and quietly attempt to approach birds, salt shaker in hand but hidden behind her back (she gave birds much more credit than they deserve) but the birds would always spot her and fly away. The waiting quietly in the bushes activity was hot, sticky, and quite a drag. No birds ever landed on her lilac bush or even close enough for her to apply the salt. She even tried praying since she heard that might work – God was on the side of the birds. After a few days of crouching amongst the leaves of her pathetic bird blind, this thought came to her: If you can get close enough to the bird to put salt on its tail, that bird can be caught because it’s dead or disabled. She abandoned her effort, returned the salt shaker to the kitchen, and quietly snuck the perfume bottle back to her mother’s dresser. But she never ever forgot her intense desire to get close enough to a wild bird to put salt on its tail.

Dreams are like that. They can elude your every move and rob you of play time. Old adages are like that, too. Many of them are written as a conundrum and the riddle can leave you befuddled as you look for that corner in the round room. Moms are like that. We think they just sometimes need a break and one child out in the lilac bushes waiting for a bird to fly by is a pretty nice break on a lazy summer day.  And God always seems to be on the side of the birds.

Life moves on and your dreams fade as you enter new phases of your life. But sometimes…sometimes…  you remember that dream on an unexpected day. Like today.

The bird in this picture is one that was sitting on a rock as Brooke and I took our daily walk in the park. Brooke noted in the surprise how a baby robin did not move as we passed the rock.  We stopped and looked at this little robin standing stock still and appearing to gaze out over the lake. We laughed that it was probably watching the new baby ducks frolic.  Our dogs politely sniffed the bird’s bottom. It did not move from it’s military stance. We named it Hitler and took a few pictures of it.  Darn, I’d left my salt shaker at home! So we got a branch and tried to coax it to hop into the underbrush so he would be hidden from predators. Hitler would move his legs and flap his wings a little but was very firm on his Stand Your Ground policy.  We think he may have taken a tumble and had a concussion or something.

We left that stoic little robin standing atop his rock gazing out at the pond and Sherry was happy to finally have been close enough to put salt on a bird’s tail. This time we hoped there was a God out there somewhere who was really on his side.

Junk In Your Trunk?

Where Does Weight Go When You Lose it?So, here is our burning question. When you lose weight where does it go?  The short answer is that the bulk of it is excreted from your body via urine, sweat, and exhaling.  Think about your car to make this easier.

You put gas in your car (making it heavier, though not fatter). The car uses up its food by moving and also loses some of the fuel through the exhaust pipe.  If you keep giving the car gas when it doesn’t need it, it will spill out of the car and onto the ground. The car can’t adapt to the more fuel concept because it has an inflexible system

As flexible humans, we all eat food and inhale; these are our sources of energy. If you continue filling your tank needlessly, your accommodating little body becomes…well…big and then bigger. Nothing spills out (unless you want to get into bulimia or diuretics and we don’t choose to go there, thank you very much) but your body will utilize that fuel when you make it move. You also lose some energy via your exhaust system (i.e., breathing), and will ditch some of your unexpended fuel via , well, you know. You even have an efficient fuel filtering system that extracts useless additives without having to go visit the body shop. Thank you, Mr. Colon.

Exercising, walking, and even aimless wandering count as times that you will use up some of your fuel. As your breathing becomes heavier, you will actually push some of your unneeded energy into the atmosphere. The more you move, the more you will also sweat and go to the bathroom. In fact if you ever want to watch your body become a mean, lean excretory machine, take up running. You will never be able to “hold it” when you need to go #2. Running to the bathroom will become a lifestyle habit. (Speaking of bathrooms, you women need to read this.)

We need to pause right here for a public service announcement. Yes, you technically add calories by inhaling. Do not, we repeat, do not stop inhaling in an effort to lose weight. It doesn’t turn out well; we already tried it for you.

Anyway, you have a couple of choices in your weight loss plan:

  • You can choose to increase your energy expenditure. Remember two things:               1)  freeway miles use more gas so rigorous exercise will do you more favors than that aimless wandering option (with the added benefit of people not wondering if you’re the Town Crazy); and 2) miles per gallon will vary between models – so don’t worry abut losing weight as quickly as your significant other or best friend if you’re trying to lose weight together. (We just called you a model – didn’t that feel good?)
  • You can drink more water. Increasing your water intake will help you excrete more unused energy and also work to keep you feeling fuller throughout the day. Your body converts everything you eat into a sugar and that sugar is your fuel.  If your body doesn’t have have the moisture it needs to excrete leftovers, they get stored and you get fat. Drinking 6-8 glasses of water daily is an efficient and effective way to ensure you ditch what you don’t need (your car doesn’t even have this option available – not even in the high end models).
  • You can do nothing. This option allows you to continue life as an adorable chubby person who knows how to lose weight but really doesn’t choose to do so at this time.

It really does boil down to choices and then applying knowledge. If you aren’t willing to do anything, don’t. Just buy bigger clothes and move (or don’t move, as the case may be) on. If you’re willing to do one or some of the above options, you’re on the road to weight loss.

Anyway, we are now pondering a new question. If your fat becomes external to your body as you lose weight, does someone else have to pick it up to keep the world balanced?  We’ll  ponder this one during our next aimless wander through the neighborhood.

The Story of nICE

Elizabeth Garden RosesToday has not been the day we planned.  At all. We got up early and prepared for a relaxing walk in Elizabeth Park. The weather was perfect, we felt great, and we were excited about our morning. And then we saw it….a little purple cell phone. It was sitting on some stone steps. Sherry picked it up and cursed her lack of forethought as she had not put in her contacts. She will often go walking with Brooke sans contacts and make Brooke do all the work of looking for cars and checking out the scary people (we do have to be able to pick them out  in a line-up just in case, you know).  But it was blind Sherry that spied (and subsequently picked up) the little purple cell phone. (Brooke claims she saw the phone first but was remiss to pick it up for fear of getting germs. Ha) After gazing, squinting, and cursing a bit Sherry handed the phone to Brooke for a closer examination.

Brooke confirmed it was an active phone and looked for an In Case of Emergency (ICE) person. By the way, if you don’t have an ICE person in your cell phone add one right now while you’re thinking about it. If you’re ever unconscious or killed and the emergency person picks up your phone, your ICE person will be the first person called. So make sure the person you entered really does like you. We think of everything when it comes to safety. One other safety tip, if a person approaches you with a gun and tells you to get in their car DON’T DO IT!!  Run away screaming! Bad guys are notoriously bad shots. And if the person shoots you, there will be people nearby who can get you to a hospital. If you get in the car – the person can shoot you anywhere and there may not be people to save you. (This is the sage advice Sherry would give Brooke and her sisters when they were, oh, 6 years old and Brooke is still traumatized to this day. BUT. She is alive , Sherry is quick to point out.)  This cell phone had no ICE person.

Brooke found a phone number labeled Dad and sent a text advising Dad that we had the cell phone. We figured that Dad would care about the lost cell phone if anyone did. After 2 trips around the rose garden, there was still no return text so we took the phone to the caretaker’s cottage to turn it in. The nice lady who received it was Karen the Executive Director for the Elizabeth Park Conservancy. She graciously received the phone and promised she would watch for Dad to send a return text. Then she slyly delivered a plug for volunteering at the park (which we believe is a noble thing to do if you live in the Hartford area) and sent us on our way. We meandered through the park and enjoyed the sights and smells of the abundant roses which are currently in bloom. Yes, that picture is one we took in the park this morning. And we began our trek back home. And Brooke mentioned with a half laugh that she didn’t have her phone and speculated whether she had lost it – but reassured Sherry it was probably at home. Deception!  Brooke’s phone was nowhere to be found.

We quickly made our way back to the Park, using Sherry’s phone to continuously dial Brooke’s phone along the way in hopes of hearing the lost lamb sounds of Brooke’s ringer (actually it’s Burning for You by Blue Oyster Cult but whatever). No such luck. We could not find that phone anywhere. Brooke was upset. Sherry was upset. Sherry was worrying about a thief running up charges on her phone account and musing over whether the phone could be tracked through its internal GPS system. She was cursing Karma for not taking better care of us. We had just turned a lost cell phone in.  Come on! Brooke was trying to figure out what she was going to do for a phone, whether a stranger was going to go digging through her emails, and how she was going to make it through the day without the comfort of endless texting and Scramble activities. Dejected, we returned home with a plan of action in hand. Brooke sent a text from Sherry’s phone begging the finder to please contact Sherry’s number and return the lost phone. Next, we planned to transfer Sherry’s phone to Brooke’s number since Brooke uses the Smartphone stuff and Sherry pretty much sticks to the Dumbphone stuff. We would transfer Sherry’s number back to her old phone, since she kinda likes it better than her new phone anyway. And we would shut down access to Brooke’s old phone.

But we had an appointment with a mechanic (and you never miss those or ones with your hairdresser or you’re just screwed) so we had to be quick. We effortlessly moved Sherry’s number back to her old phone  (which, of course, was not charged) but could not move Brooke’s number to Sherry’s phone on-line. Still not sure why that change was prohibited: but we were instructed to call the phone company to make this change. However, this was problematic as Sherry’s phone was now disabled due to the transfer and the new/old phone was not charged. Sherry was standing in the corner blindly trying to stab the power cord into the phone but, minus her contacts, only succeeded in failure.  We had to go. We were sweaty, ill dressed, and late for the mechanic appointment.

As we headed for the mechanic’s, the disabled Sherry phone received a text. From Emma; who now joined our small drama. Brooke (who could not call Emma on the same phone on which we had received said text – yes, she tried) asked Emma to contact the phone company to report the now-believed-to-be-stolen phone as stolen to freeze the number until we could get the number transferred. Unbeknownst to us, Emma also sent a text to any would-be thief imploring them to do the right thing. She offered a reward “if you decide not to be a cruel person” and generously provided Brooke’s email address for any reward seeking activity. We arrived at the mechanic’s harried, disheveled, and seeking an outlet. And then Sherry’s disabled phone rang. It was a nice lady who had found Brooke’s phone in the park, hauled it home, and then called us to let us know she had it. The phone was returned and the phone company spent 40 minutes trying to put all the right phones back with the right numbers. No reward was sought and the lady was deemed to be “not a cruel person” by all. We are very grateful to her, to karma for coming through for us, to the mechanic who restored our air conditioning like a pro, and to Emma for cleverly guilt tripping/bribing any potential thief while calling the phone company to suspend the service.

Whenever we get stressed we eat. And this time we didn’t! Okay, maybe it was because we were short on time but maybe…just maybe…we have a little progress here. We did not buy the candy offered at the mechanic’s shop. Even after everything was said and done, we did not come home and eat. We found a healthy alternative – we took an angry nap.  The purple cell phone is still at the park waiting for its owner.