Monday, April 30, 2012

How To Lose Weight And Find Your Waist

If you are totally disgusted with yourself and your Bread Butt and Pasta Belly, then read can escape your pudgy little self and actually start to discover something that feels like a waist.  Remember waists?

I absolutely adore Horrockses dresses from the 1950's - the lines of the dresses demanded waists, but still allowed a soft plumpness in the shoulders and hips.  The dress above is one of my favorites, and not least because the fabric features small plates  I am a die-hard foodie, always have been.  But even if I won a Horrockses dress in the lottery, I couldn't wear it because right now, I don't actually have a waist.

But I am getting it back.

I'm 5'2", and until 2005, enjoyed a fast metabolism and petite little figure.  But then I moved to Coastal North Carolina and opened a fabric store in downtown Shallotte.  When I emerged from unpacking 700 bolts of fabric and started looking around for a place to eat lunch, my heart began to sink.  There was nothing, absolutely nothing that even closely resembled what I was accustomed to eating.  No Latino/South American, no Thai or Indonesian, no Greek or NY Deli style food in sight.  Everything except for The Purple Onion was Southern Cooking, buffet style.  Eat all you want.  And I did.  It was fast and cheap. 

I went from 115 pounds to 140 pounds in seven years.  Then I sold the store and moved back to Atlanta, and literally dove into the international food scene.  I was ravenous.

Last month, we went to Washington DC and I caught a glimpse of myself in a store window.  Wait.  That couldn't be me, could it??  It was.

As soon as we got back to Atlanta, I pulled our old electric steamer out of the cabinet and headed to the Farmer's Market.  And in the first week, I lost 8 pounds.  This morning, I was at 128, down 12 pounds from a month ago.  It wasn't hard at all, and I'm starting to wear belts again for the first time in years.  I can't believe that by simply changing the way I was eating, my body instantly started to return to itself. 

This is what I'm doing:

First, foremost, and last,  I'm adhering to the Calories In, Calories Out rule of thumb.  I try to never eat more in one day than I can burn up before I go to bed.  And, I started walking every day for an hour.

I Cut out white stuff.  Like white rice, white potatoes, pasta, refined sugar, breads.  And I cut down on salt.  I started drinking a lot more clear water - once I was hydrated again, my body quit hoarding fluid and started to flush it out.  I had forgotten that little trick!

My fridge is loaded at all times with Fresh Vegetables, Tofu, Eggs, Crisp Salad Greens, and Blueberries.  For protein, I eat only Chicken or Fish.  No Red Meat.   
Image from Easy Recipe Collection.

Image from

I steam Broccoli Florets, or any of my veggies, just until fork tender, sprinkle with a little sea salt and drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil...the real dark  green, expensive stuff.  Yum, yum.  

Image from Baby Food 101.

Rough chopped cabbage is exquisitely sweet when steamed - I take it out of the steamer just as it is getting tender, and then either serve with sea salt and that yummy drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil or...

My other favorite condiment:

For lunch, I always eat tons of steamed veggies and boiled or roasted Chicken Breast meat...and I never get hungry.  For dinner, Grilled Salmon or Shrimp over a bed of Baby Salad Greens or Spinach, punched up with dried Cranberries, fresh Pineapple chunks, a toss of Gorgonzola crumbles, and anything else lurking in the salad bin.  I use a LOT of fresh herbs and seasonings...fresh ginger, basil, thyme, cracked black pepper, etc.  If it is full flavored, my mouth is happy!

Now that I've got you interested, just let me just throw this whole cup of steamed Broccoli has 40 calories.  One cup of Cauliflower has 28.  Yes, 28.  The Cabbage?  31.  Squash has a whopping 30 calories.  And the yummy diced Sweet Potato that would be forbidden on a fad diet has about 170 in a whole cup, and trust me, you won't eat a whole cup. 

The absolutely essential Extra Virgin Olive Oil adds about 120 calories per tablespoon.

These are the rules if you want to find your waist:
Remember:  Calories in, Calories out.

You have to walk or do something physical every day.

You have to drink lots of water.

You have to get real about what you are eating.  Every day.

Go get a Digital Scale and weigh yourself Every Day.

Get enough sleep.

And once a week, eat something out of a Grilled Salmon BLT with French Fries - it will trick your metabolism and rev it up.

Don't eat a bite after 8:00 P.M. if you can possibly help it.

And have those 2 glasses of wine every night-you've earned it!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Azalea Heaven

The Azaleas in our yard are fabulous this year; perhaps because of the mild Winter, or maybe they decided at the annual Azalea Conference that they haven't done such a good job lately, and needed to be looking Really Fly this year to avoid being replaced with Oleanders.  Or Camellias.  

The blooms are so luscious and thick that they look like bright blankets...

When I run my hand across the blooms, they are silky and juicy feeling.  Makes me want to get a big spoon and eat them up.

Our normally shady, plain walkway to the side door now looks simply Royal:

And the front of our house has a ruched collar of tightly scrunched blooms.

They are so glorious that it is hard to spend any time inside, where I need to be working.  I've decided it is okay to roam endlessly around the yard...they have absolutely nailed it this year, and if I don't gulp them down with my eyes and heart, then all their efforts would go unnoticed, for crying out loud. 

Think I'll go on out and take another look...


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