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So much has happened since I last reported my health-and-fitness update.
First, I survived and actually enjoyed my first tiny acting gig at Riverfront Playhouse. It was fun, and it definitely inspired me to try acting again one day.
My talented daughter, as she promised, created some rockin’ earrings, which she brought just for my performance. Somehow, just wearing them made me feel more confident.
If I’d been asked to do this Riverfront part a year ago, when I was at my heaviest and most depressed, I would have turned it down. I felt crappy enough about myself without putting myself on a stage for all to see.
It’s hard for me to sometimes see how much I’ve changed in the last seven months, but when I’m out and about, and encounter people I’ve not seen in a while, they comment on how much better I look. I get lots of compliments, which are welcome, but I feel a little embarrassed by them sometimes, too. It’s nice to hear that I look better, but it’s also a reminder of how far I’d fallen.
Of course, I’m still working out with Matthew R. Lister at Align four days a week, but because it’s summer, I have missed some days due to vacations and outings. But even so, I do my best to stick to the nutrition plan, though I allow some wiggle room for a glass of wine or beer now and then, or a piece of dark chocolate. I’ve become one of those annoying people who stare at labels and ask about carb and sugar contents.
When I began this journey in December, I said I’d give weekly measurement reports and monthly photos. I discovered that for me, every pound and inch lost was a struggle, so the reports were kind of boring.
That’s why I turned my attention to others for their weight-loss and fitness stories. So far we’ve featured Diane Hill, Erin Lundgren, Erin Friedman and Adrienne Jacoby, each of whom inspired me with their stories, struggles and accomplishments.
Matthew still has me on a relatively short leash. Each week I’m on five low carb days and two “high” carb days. Don’t get too excited about the “high-carb” days. It basically means I get oatmeal – a real treat – and I can have a slice of that super dense seedy bread. But I look forward to it.
Also, I’m required to message him my food log every night, the down side of which being that I always write it just before bedtime, which means he can see exactly when I’m going to bed, which means I’ll hear about it the next day if I’m not getting enough sleep. It’s for my own good, because as Matthew often says, sleep-deprived people won’t lose weight. I know he’s right about that.
Damn, he’s right about so much, just like he’s right that if lifting/pressing a particular weight feels almost easy at rep No. 1, that same weight will suddenly feel difficult at rep No. 5. Every time. Not 4, not 7, but 5.
Ah, numbers. With fondness I remember those early weeks when I would give you data breakdown regarding inches and pounds lost. I’ve not been weighed or measured in probably a month. The result was, sure enough, as Matthew predicted, I finally stopped obsessing about the numbers.
And wouldn’t you know it, the moment I stopped caring about the numbers, just today Matthew said that he’ll weigh and measure me tomorrow. Am I that predictable, or what?
I did have an unexpected breakthrough this week. I uttered these words to Matthew: “I like working with weights.”
He laughed and asked whether I thought I’d ever imagine saying that. No, as a matter of fact, I didn’t.
Truly, I have grown to love the workouts, especially when there are lots of other people in the same space to either work out with, or be inspired by.
And then there’s food, which I still adore. Shockingly – to me – I’ve learned to appreciate healthier foods, and summer is perfect with so many fresh options, like a Spicy Watermelon Salad. I’m sharing the recipe as I got it, from Louise Tuthill, though you can reduce the sugar, and use sugar-free marmalade. Either way, it’s delicious, and it was a big hit at the O’ Street Gallery reception Friday. Musician James Russell liked it so much he requested the recipe, so here it is. It’s technically a salad, but I served the watermelon and oranges on skewers for an appetizer, which worked great.
I’ve also included a super simple concoction I made up that’s become my summer staple, which really does remind me of pizza.
Yes, I’ve come that far, when a bowl of cottage cheese reminds me of pizza. It’s true. I barely recognize myself these days, but I really like this version. I think I’ll keep her.
Spicy Watermelon Salad
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon sugar (or to taste)
1/2 cup minced cilantro leaves
1 finely chopped jalapeño (or two if you like it hot)
1 finely chopped Anaheim chili
1-2 cloves chopped garlic
1 large chopped sweet onion
2-3 oranges, peeled and sectioned
4 cups cubed watermelon
Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl and then gently add the orange sections and watermelon cubes. Chill until ready to serve.
Doni’s Pretend Pizza
1 cup cottage cheese
Summer tomatoes, sliced, then quartered
Basil, rough chopped
Quality olive oil
Salt and pepper
Put a scoop of cottage cheese on a plate or in a bowl. Top with tomatoes and basil. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Close your eyes for the first bite. It tastes just like pizza. Sort of. A little bit. Either way, it’s good.