Starting the Week off Right!

Bikini Body Countdown – 27 days to go!

It always helps to start your week by slipping easily into a suit that was a bit snug last year.  I’m really enjoying getting dressed these days, suddenly my entire closet is a possibility again.  So, let’s keep up the momentum with a good week of healthy eating and vigorous exercise as I continue on my Bikini Body Countdown.  I’d like to be down another pound this Friday (134), although given how much weight I’m lifting, I’d also be OK breaking even as long as my clothes keep getting looser.

So the day began with a Fruity Waffle Sundae, sans dairy (didn’t have any on hand).  This was one of my favorite Cinch recipes and I continue to eat it about every week.  *** For more about the Cinch Recipes, refer to my January blogs – there are lots of them!  There’s also a Cinch Spreadsheet that includes a lot of the recipes, plus a food journal and weight tracker. ***





Meal Plan Time
Fruity Waffle Sundae 7am
Watermelon, Sunchips, Almonds 11am
Big salad with veg & avocado 3pm
Banana, pretzels (pre-bike snack)  6pm
Small veggie wrap 8pm
Workout – Chest/Back weights, 15 min elliptical, 10-mile bike  

Bikini Body Countdown!


I’m officially on BIKINI BODY COUNTDOWN!  34 days until Hawaii!

Time to get serious, cut the sugar, and increase the workouts.  I’ve done pretty well since starting Cinch in January, although have indulged in one too many sugar binges.  My clothes fit better and I feel good, but I’m disappointed that the scale has not budged much.   I’m still the same weight I was in January after finishing detox (138), although that’s still 6 pounds less than where I started.  My husband has reminded me that some of that might be muscle weight that I’ve put on to replace fat (since muscle weighs more than fat), but seeing the scale was still a bit deflating.  And thus, that’s why I’ve been avoiding it for a month!

OK, so here’s the plan.  Stick to the basics of Cinch for my diet, zero sugar and very limited refined carbohydrates.  Increase workouts to 5-6 days per week, including running, cycling, weight training, and plyometric intervals.  I’ll post my food journal and exercise plan as often as I can in case anyone else wants to join in!  I also see some great articles about bikini-body-prep from time to time, and will link those as well. 

Monday’s Menu:

Meal Plan Time
Cereal with skim milk; orange juice 7am
Greek yogurt with berries and granola 11am
Salad w/ lt ranch, almonds, 1/2 pear 3pm
Whole wheat pasta w/ veggies, olive oil 7pm

Workout:  Weights (chest & back), cardio intervals (10m treadmill, 10m elliptical, 10m jump rope), 10-mile bike.

My husband forwarded me a cool blog link today.  I had to laugh because I love that feeling of beating a guy at something sports related and seeing their reaction to “getting chicked”…!/blog/2011-3-21-gettingChicked.htm.  And yes, I have “chicked” my husband on many ocassions, although he won’t admit it!

Is Social Media Healthy?

Hi everyone.  I have been sick for almost a week and thus absent from my blog.  I’m feeling a little bit better today, but also feeling pretty guilty about my frequent ice cream “medicine”, which worked wonders for my sore throat, but obviously did not help my diet.  My meal plan this week will pretty much be whatever I have in my fridge that is somewhat healthy:

  • Breakfast (8am): 6oz. 0% Fage Greek yogurt with 1/4c. granola & 1/4c. freeze-dried fruit.
  • Snack (11:30am):  Apple with peanut butter and lots of Hershey kisses
  • Lunch (3pm):  Salad with carrots and peppers.   Lots more Hershey kisses 
  • Dinner (7pm): 1 cup homemade squash soup and grilled cheese.


I did the unthinkable today – I deactivated my Facebook account.  I must say, they make you feel awfully guilty about it too, with pictures of my family and friends saying “we will miss you… are you sure you want to leave us?”.  They also make it very difficult to actually delete your account, so I just deactivated it for now. 

So why would I want to leave the behemoth of social media networking?  I got a new phone recently that includes a Facebook widget with rolling status updates, and discovered that most of my “friends” are not really friends at all.  If I didn’t know, or even like this person in high school or college, why would I want to keep track of them now and know every detail of their daily life?  And even if I do know and like this person, do I really need to know the details of their potty-training or what they just bought at the store?  Um, NO.  Nor do I like the thought of these “friends” or random strangers perusing around in my own information.  Besides, I’ve always been more of a loner, not keeping up with my real friends after moving over and over again during my military upbringing.  Plus, most businesses have now caught on to social media sites as networking tools and I’m tired of the barrage of marketing and requests to “become a fan on Facebook” e-mails. 

But more importantly, I found that Facebook was more a source of frustration than networking, and simply unhealthy for my personal well-being.  It seemed to be just a personal brag-book for some of my “friends”, and most of what they were posting was based on the fabulous life they want everyone to believe they are living.  Thanks, but no thanks.  I am a naturally competitive person and don’t need the daily reminders of what I don’t have.  At some point, I have to find acceptance with myself and my own life, and Facebook was not helping. 

I’ve actually read several articles about people pulling the plug on social networking sites lately.  Here’s one of them in case you’re interested, and there are tons more if you Google it.

I even debated deleting my blog, but ultimately decided against it because my blog is mostly anonymous.  There’s no personal information about where I live, where I went to school, or even my last name, and my readers are mostly just random strangers who are looking for Cinch Diet recipes.  My blog is basically my personal journal that is not really meant for social networking. 

So there are my random thoughts of the day.  I’m eager to hear some of your opinions on the Social Media debate, whether or not you agree.

Happy Thursday, it’s Cinch-Eve!

Hi everyone.  Wow, I’m so flattered to suddenly have so many new followers!  That is so motivating!!  Although I am not officially starting Cinch until tomorrow (I’m cleaning out my fridge + the book will arrive today!), I’ve done very well this week.  I haven’t missed a workout, and more importantly, I haven’t touched sugar despite the leftover holiday candy luring me from the candy dish!  I was tempted to throw it out or take it to work, but my little brother was so excited to give me the bags of candy he’d found (Cadbury Christmas eggs), so I’ll keep them around for company and work on my will power. 

On a totally different subject, has anyone tried Maybelline’s new “Red Revival” lipstick?  According the advertisement, it’s the best red lipstick ever.  I’ve always wanted to try red, but after wasting many hours in the makeup aisle, plus several failed attempts at actually wearing it in public, including my boss teasing me about how it “just doesn’t look right on you”, I gave up.  I’m always skeptical of any claim in a magazine or other advertisement, but I had great Walgreen’s coupon that almost negated the cost, so I decided to go for it.  I did have to go to 3 different Walgreens before I found one that had it in stock, and I got my latest Shape magazine in the mail yesterday and there’s a feature about this same lipstick.  OMG!  This is truly the best red lipstick ever!  For someone with fair, blotchy, olive skin, I couldn’t believe this color could actually looked good on me, but it does!  Even my husband, who normally avoids me when I’m wearing dark lipstick, has told me several times that it flatters me.  You can be the judge: 

Maybelline Red Revival Lipstick

I promised to post my daily food journal, so here you go.  I’ve basically eaten the same things for 3 days as I try cleaning out what little I had in my fridge.  I’m assuming I’ll post something similar when I start the Cinch program.  So it’s off the grocery tonight to stock up on organic spinach, raw almonds, frozen raspberries, Eggland’s Best eggs, and Dannon non-fat plain yogurt (the brands are just my personal preference).

Food Description Calories Fat Carbs
Fruit & protein smoothie 300 4 30
Apple 110 0 24
10 almonds 70 6 1
Baked potato with sour cream 200 3 35
Large salad w/ veggies, lt dressing 300 6 15
Teriyaki chicken 150 1 5
Broccoli with cheese 130 5 4
Pineapple 78 0 18
Grand Totals 1338 25 132
Workout – 15 min cycling; Weights + Elliptical   yes

Starting Over – Diet Day 1

The holidays are over and it’s back to reality.  And my reality is that I’ve gained 8 pounds since my 30th birthday 6 months ago!!  I saw it in the mirror and felt it in my clothes, but remained in denial or just plain oblivion until now.  Even my size 8 “curvy” jeans are suddenly tight.  I was a little worried about stepping on the scale this morning after an entire holiday season of sugar-binging.  As I stood there staring at my number, it seemed impossible to comprehend that I’d reached my new high – the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life – despite my 3 to 5 workouts a week and mostly vegetarian diet.  I guess that old saying about not being able to eat whatever you want after 30 is true.  Dang sugar!!!

So here I am, once again.  Wasn’t I here this time last year also?  How do we break this cycle?  I suppose I’m starting over, but at least I know what I need to do.  Time to break out the food journal and the workout log, turn up my nose to sugar and processed food, and get back to the healthy eating habits that I know so well but have recently chosen not to follow.  And when I hit my new goal, perhaps 3-4 months from now, vow to never, ever, get to this point again.  I even took “before” pictures in my bathing suit this morning just to help it sink in and will probably keep the picture close by during this journey to help me overcome temptation.

Do you know what’s scariest to me?  8 pounds = 24,000 extra calories that I consumed above and beyond what my body needed.  How the heck did I eat that many extra calories working out as much as I do!?  So now on a reasonable 1-pound-per-week weight loss regimen (cutting 3,000 calories per week), it will take me 8 weeks just to get back to where I started!  Geez, talk about depressing.  Trying to focus on a positive, at least my weight loss tracker will look better after starting at a higher number! 

Why wait until the new year, I want to start today!  I will start posting my food & exercise  journal with each new blog, as well as my weight loss tracker on Fridays after my weigh-in…  partly for accountability, and partly for whomever out there might need some healthy menu ideas or calorie information.

Food Description Calories Fat Carbs
2 eggs 140 10 2
1 cup 2% milk 120 5 11
1 cup fruit juice 100 0 20
Banana 100 0 21
10 almonds 70 6 1
Baked potato with sour cream 200 3 35
Large salad w/ veggies, lt dressing 300 6 15
Baked fish with lemon 150 2 1
Baked okra 110 3 12
Grand Totals 1290 35 118
Vitamins     Yes
Workout – 20 min cycle + yoga; weights + 3 mile run Yes

Food, Inc.

I highly recommend that EVERYONE see this movie.  It is a farily un-biased look at our food industry from many different perspectives.  As the cover says, “you’ll never look at dinner the same way again”.

Wednesday Food Journal      
Food Description Cal Fat Carbs
1/2 cup light yogurt 50 1 10
Homemade granola bar 210 5 28
Large salad, fruit, feta, nuts, dressing 350 12 35
1/2 avocado 150 15 3
Large sweet potato, light butter 220 5 30
Small side salad w/ light dressing 100 1 1
1 cup 2% milk 120 5 11
Grand Totals 1200 44 118
Vitamins     Yes
Workout     Rest

The Morning After

The morning after a weak moment in my quest for healthy eating.  Granted, there is very little sinful food in my house, so my “splurge” consisted of about 3 servings of baked Tostitos with sour cream and salsa, plus a small bowl of low-fat ice cream with extra dark-chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.  I somehow still managed to get under my daily calorie maximum, but I feel badly nonetheless. 

So as all of my nutrition coaches have said, learn from your mistakes and move on; you cannot undo what has been done.  So what did I learn?  Well, it started just like it always does… someone at work had a treat that I needed to sample.  In this case, some deluxe chocolates from Alaska.  I had 1, yum, then 2, 3, 4.  I stopped at 4, but the wheels were already turning.  So I went to the gym after work to finish the workout I had started earlier that morning.  I managed 30 minutes on the elliptical and became very tired.  I drove home determined to stick to my pre-planned healthy dinner, but then I wanted a little snack while I waited for my husband to finish playing with his bicycles and come inside for dinner.  The little snack turned into a big snack and that was that.

So what I learned is that I have not yet mastered portion control and still struggle just to have one and done… and am very lucky I’m not 300 pounds!  On a positive note, however, I have gotten better at starting over with my healthy habits the next day (today!) instead of letting it drag on.  I WILL conquer this!!!

Food Description Cal Fat Carbs
Homemade granola bar 210 5 28
Low-fat cottage cheese 90 3 6
Pear 100 0 22
Large salad w/ veggies, lt dressing 300 4 20
10 almonds 70 6 1
Lentil soup 340 5 43
1 cup 1% milk 110 3 11
Grand Totals 1220 26 131
Vitamins     yes
Workout – Stregnth,  30m fast walk     yes

Finally Friday

Finally Friday, it’s sunny, and will get close to 50 degrees today.  Great day for a run!

Maryville Alcoa Greenway

Food Description Cal Fat Carbs
Green goodness smoothie 250 2 35
Apple 80 0 14
1/2 southwestern veggie wrap 250 11 15
Small side salad w/ light dressing 100 1 1
2 salmon cakes 325 13 17
Sautéed spinach 104 7 3
Chocolate rice cake with strawberries 130 2 21
Grand Totals 1239 36 106
Vitamins     yes
Workout – Heavy weights, 3 mile jog     yes

Thursday Food Journal

No time for chatting today, but I did want to post my food journal.  I’m so proud of myself… I’ve been faithful to my good eating habits all week and it’s been painless! 

Food Description Cal Fat Carbs
1 cup dry cereal 100 1 19
1 cup light yogurt 120 0 21
Pear 100 0 22
1/2 southwestern veggie wrap 250 11 15
Small loaded salad w/ light dressing 250 8 2
1/2 Baked potato with butter. 150 0 22
Broccoli with cheese 130 5 4
Grand Totals 1100 25 105
Vitamins     yes
Workout     no


I feel great this morning;  partly because we got our taxes done last night and while we do owe quite a bit of money, it’s half of what I was expecting.  I will not be sending them my check, however, until April 15th.  They aren’t getting a penny of bailout money from me until the last minute!

I managed to survive my juice fast for 1.5 days, at which point fatique and dizziness became an issue and I needed to eat something.  However, day 1 was not an issue at all, so I think maybe this is a good option for a single day every now and then.  Since you’re supposed to cut 3500 calories per week to lose 1 pound, a juice fast cuts about half of that in one day!  Not that I’m condoning this for long term use, because then you will screw up your metabolism and send your body into starvation mode.

For those who are curious about what to eat on a diet, I think I can start posting my daily food journal entry from my Excel spreadsheet.  I used to think all you could eat were plain veggies, salads, and chicken, but there is a whole world of healthy food out there!  Plus, there’s no better accountability than putting it out there for the world to see.  I have also started creating my food journal on weekends and then grocery shopping accordingly.  Then I post it on my refrigerator for quick food prep, which negates the risk of standing hungrily in front of my pantry/fridge wondering what to eat.


Food Description Calories Fat Carbs
Green monster smoothie 300 6 24
Chicken mini 90 4 9
Apple 80 0 14
Large salad w/ meat, veggies, light ranch 400 12 15
Mexican Pizza 360 12 27
1 cup 1% milk 110 3 11
Grand Totals 1340 37 100