Thursday, July 29, 2010

Inspirational people: My Man & Bitchcakes

 My husband!

 Two people really inspired me to try to make these lifestyle changes to improve my health and shape up my body: my husband, and another weight loss blogger, Ms. Bitchcakes.

My husband and I are well matched in most ways, including our physical attractiveness (to each other at least ;) and our larger sizes. But, my husband, Kristian, has recently lost 28 lbs. To me, his willpower seemed to come out of thin air. He started eating salads for dinner, oatmeal for lunch and things like nuts  or dry cereal for snacks. I pretty much stood back and watched, wary but proud. He's looking great!

The beautiful Sheryl from *Bitchcakes*

Then somehow, I'm not sure how, I stumbled across a link to *Bitchcakes*:a Neurotic Glamour Girl's Weight Watchers Experience and Fitness Adventures . Most likely if you're reading me, you already know her. We have never met, in fact, she has no idea who I am. But, her name is Sheryl, and she is a super inspiration. She recently weighed in at three lbs under her goal weight . Weeks ago, when I found her site, I was struck by her vintage style beauty, the fact that we're the same height, that she began at over 200 lbs and was always gorgeous, and that she started out with a vegetarian focus to her diet ( she is now a vegan). She records each of her weight watcher meetings, biking on her Hello Kitty cruiser, what she eats and much more. Her site is basically a gold mine if you need a little push in the right direction. I kept reading and reading her blog, and decided that if she can do such a smashing job of shaping up, then I can too!  XO, Sheryl. Keep writing!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Turning into a Blueberry

I've been eating blueberries like crazy! I must be doing something right because I've lost two more lbs, and I now weigh 217. I think blueberries are my favorite fruit. Which is funny, because I don't ever remember eating them as a child, and I know my dad has always eaten every kind of fruit. In college, when I didn't think that I liked them, a friend of mine had a pint, and they looked so cooling that I begged one. And then a few more, and more until I was cut off and then my passionate future with blueberries was sealed.

Maybe the reason I never ate blueberries though, is that I was psychologically damaged by the little girl character Violet Beauregarde changing into a blueberry in Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (first film version known as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)! ;) I had already read the book when I went to see the movie in the 1970s, and I don't remember being too upset by Violet's transformation until then. I went to the film with my cousins, and my cousin Andy was sensibly freaked out by the psychedelic tunnel scene, which seems to have bothered many kids at the time. But, that's not what gave me nightmares. It was watching Violet, who stubbornly tried an experimental chewing gum dinner before it was ready, lose control of her body and change into something inhuman and unwieldy.

Violet Beauregarde is now a certain blue fruit in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

I don't believe that I was at all disturbed by nasty kids getting their comeuppance. They could turn Augustus Gloop into fudge or send Veruca Salt down the garbage shoot for all I cared, but when I went to bed that night, I was afraid to fall asleep for fear that I would turn into a blueberry like Violet. This was sort of a baby predecessor of the childhood terror I felt at the idea of The Exorcist (which I've never seen) or the psychotic child with the alternate personality in The Other (that I saw at a slumber party and then had to go home in the night because I was afraid). These unexpected things taking you over from within and possibly destroying who you had been up to that point. Scary. As an adult, I would sometimes joke about it, "I used to be afraid of turning into a blueberry, and now I kind of have!" Lately though, I've been feeling like I have much more control of myself and my cravings.

Violet morphs in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

And, it's important to remember that Violet didn't get to look that way from eating too many blueberries. She transformed because she was a brat who wouldn't listen to what she was told. So, If I have to look like a blueberry, I choose this one:

Blueberry Muffin Costume

It's pretty silly though. Just like this post.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Product Review: Smart Ones Pasta with Ricotta & Spinach

As I have mentioned before, I'm kind of lazy. Also, I find cooking really stressful (I love to bake, which is not as helpful right now). In fact, in our house, my husband cooks, and I do the dishes and the laundry. So, if I can take a frozen meal to work for lunch, I'm good to go. I know that this is not as healthy as preparing fresh food, but right now I'm just trying to get into a pattern of eating more reasonable servings. Where I work, we like to go out for lunch frequently, and our favorites are Noodles and Carbones pizza. This is my alternative plan.

Today I tried Smart Ones Pasta with Ricotta & Spinach (see nutrition information here). This is apparently a new flavor. I think that the sauce was tasty, if a little bland, and the noodles had a nice texture, but the amount of spinach was laughable. See the box cover above, with all that green? That was nowhere to be found in my dish. Seriously, the spinach was speck sized. My co-worker Vickie looked and commented, "If you bought that for the spinach, you were ripped off!" Nevertheless, it was a passable lunch, and I ate lots of blueberries for dessert to improve the experience. Maybe I will buy it again. We'll see.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Me, I want a hula hoop!

I saw a weighted hula hoop in an old Weight Watchers magazine and now I want one! It looks like a fun way to work out, and I want to slim down my waist. As I mentioned, I am super happy with my breast reduction, but I'm no longer the hour glass that I was. I'd like a more defined waistline and I hear that hooping is a great way to get one. At $42.00, I find this pretty expensive, but it's a one shot cost, so I'm willing. We just paid some huge vet bills this last week (with a sad outcome), so I'll be putting off the purchase for a little bit.

Confession: I've never been able to keep a hula hoop going. They dropped immediately to the floor. But, I've read that the heavy hoops are much easier to keep up. Also, read that it's a back and forth motion originating from the feet, which I certainly wasn't doing before. I was trying a round and round hip motion. On a scary note, I saw in the Amazon reviews that these hoops bruise you until you get used to them. Oh, goody. Yet, I'm still rarin' to go. You can file this in the "youthful folly" type exercise that I want to try out in spite of my age, along with jump rope and roller blading (break out the pads and pillows!)

Anybody have any hooping advice?

For fun, let me acquaint you with burlesque beauty Lula Houp-Garou, who hoops in her acts. Read more about her at: her homepage .

Image from Vaudezilla

Her take off on Tippi Hedren in The Birds is awesome.

Vintage Clothing Inspiration!

Beautiful "Vintage 1940s DAYBREAK Rayon Bias Cut Nightgown with Coordinated Nylon Chiffon Jacket"
from Fab Gabs on Etsy.

"The Megan- Vintage 1940s 1950s WWII Rockabilly Pin Up Bombshell Pale Pink White Polka Dot Sheer Belted Sailor Tie Neck Short Sleeves Organza Summer Party Day Dress" from Bohemian Bisoux.

"Vintage late 40's early 50's BLACK BEAUTY pencil dress with embroidered lace pockets" from The Dust Peddler.

"Lovely Lace... 1940s Rayon Lace and Rhinestones Cocktail Dress...Stunning 1940s navy dress with amazing details. The lace bodice features integral cap sleeves and a very unusual detail, where the lace gathers over the collar to meet the neckline with a rhinestone buckle (all stones present and correct). The skirt has a waist peplum at the front with pintuck pleats falling into a graceful drape." From Tuppence Ha'Penny

Le sigh.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My Breast Reduction: Before and After

January 2009

October 2009

I made a huge change to my body last year. After years of debating, I decided to have breast reduction surgery. Here is the difference my surgery made.  The first photo is from January 2009, with my husband. My reduction was in April '09. The last photo is how I've looked since. My general weight is about the same.

I'm so glad that I decided to have the surgery. It has changed my life. The recovery was not a piece of cake, but it was so worth it. Before, I knew that no matter how much weight I lost, certain clothes would always be off limits to me. I would never be able to wear pretty bras. Even in high school, when I weighed 102 lbs, I was beyond a D cup. Additionally, there was the strain on my back and the general difficulty I had exercising. Simply put, my breasts were in the way.

All that has changed now. I never thought that I could look and feel like this. It is a great motivator for me to get in shape!

Questions welcome. Have a great Sunday!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Inspiration: Vintage Style Bathing Suits!

First up is this gorgeous Marilyn-inspired suit from Pin Up Girl Clothing. I pretty much love it! It's pink, shirred, skirted and has darling little rhinestone brooches beneath each strap. Hubba hubba.

How cute is this bloomer leg suit from Zelda Sweetwater? It's called Nina, and I think that it's darling. If only it were pink...

Like this one:

Also from Zelda Sweetwater, this is called Jane. I love the pale pink and the cute bodice!

Hey Sailor! Fables by Barrie Retro Matey One Piece Swimsuit  from Unique Vintage Too fun!

Sweet little Kitty from Swing Dance Shop  Yes, you can wear it in the water.


                                                                                                                                                                         Hi Ho Cherry-O! Pink Cherry Sheath from My Baby Jo


The last word in adorable nautical suiting from What Katie Did 

I'm going to keep these images in my head to help me reach my goals. How about you? You like?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Shaping Up Wishes

Nearer goals:
  • Be a size 22 all of the time (no waffling back and forth between 22 and 26)
  • Have my underclothes fit better
  • Be able to fit my garter belts again ( I don't like pantyhose)
  • Have my necklaces get looser
  • Be able to put on special occasion, work supplied t-shirts without worry (Next up: shirt for Camp Read -A-Lot in August)
  • Exercise for a) 45 b)50 c)55 d)60 minutes a day, 6 days a week
  • Feel proud of each little accomplishment
  • Fit into the vintage 30s or 40s tulip patterned feed sack dress I bought. It's still too small in the chest and area above the waist.
Long range goals:

  • Be more comfortable in heels
  • Be able to wear boots!
  • Have a towel close around me
  • Lose the abdominal rolls visible under clothing
  • Lower my blood pressure!
  • Have a waist under 35 inches for better health
  • Shop for clothes in a non plus size store
  • Be more comfortable in booths and airplane seats
  • Buy cute Indian clothes besides saris
  • Feel sexier in burlesque
  • Wear a cute vintage style bathing suit

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Product Review: Fage Greek Yogurt

A splendid new discovery for me is Fage (pronounced "Fa-Yeh") Total 2% yogurt. I love it! It is available plain or with honey, peach, strawberry or cherry.

I am eating this for breakfast, part of lunch or a snack and it is helping to satisfy my sweet tooth. My history with yogurt is that sometimes I'm really in the mood for it, and I'll go on a streak of wanting it all the time, and then suddenly it is unappealing to me and I have to wait until it seems attractive again. I don't like the soft consistency of most yogurts, period. Until now, my yogurt of choice has been either Yoplait Thick & Creamy yogurt strawberry (190 calories & 7 grams of protein for 6 oz according to their website) or lemon flavors or Yoplait Whips! Strawberry Mist or Orange Cream (140 cal & 5 grams protein for 4 oz). The chocolate flavor tasted like another mysterious fruit, but not like chocolate, so I just couldn't warm to it.

I am hoping to have a more consistent relationship with Fage. One thing I like is the texture, which is thick like sour cream. The plain yogurt is tangy and when you add in the sweet stuff, it tastes like a little dessert. My husband thinks that it is like cheesecake. I wouldn't go that far, but it is yummy. Fage honey has 180 calories & 10 grams protein in 5.3 oz. The fruit flavors in the same size carton have 130 cal. & 11 grams protein. You can find more nutritional info here.

Picture courtesy of Bite of the Best

Monday, July 12, 2010

So, who am I anyway?

Hi, I'm Donell. You may have similar weight and fitness goals as I do. Here are some things about me that may be relevant. I'm 5' 2" tall with a long torso, long waist and short arms and legs. Small bones, muscular and plenty of fat. Described as an apple shape or hourglass by some systems. I tend to carry most of my weight in my tummy. I was very large breasted, but I had breast reduction surgery last April, and now I'm just reasonably big breasted.

I admit it, I love to eat. I have a wicked sweet tooth. I especially love cake or cute cupcakes. I'm a semi-vegetarian or pescetarian, that is, I no longer eat land animals or fowl, but I do eat seafood. This has been my diet for 15 years. My friends laugh at me because I'm a sort of vegetarian who doesn't love vegetables. Starch, though, I like. Pasta, rice, bread, potatoes. Yum.

I can honestly say that I do not eat very healthily. I eat a lot of processed food, in addition to other less than great feeding habits. I hope to change this. Exercise wise I' guessed it...lazy. I like the way I feel when I'm doing a dance workout or yoga. I like the feeling when I'm finished working out on my exercise bike. But, it's hard for me to keep to a routine.

 In the last three weeks or so, I've lost nine pounds by eating better and execrcising. As of now I feel inspired, but I may join Weight Watchers if I need help. Currently, I've been eating a modest breakfast (yes, I'm a breakfast skipper), eating more fruit, going out to lunch less, drinking more water and no soda, and cutting way back on sugary snacks or desserts. I've also been riding the EB (exercise bike) six days a week. I'm currently at 40 minutes a day, 10 miles per workout.

So, anyway, I guess those are the basics. If you do happen to stumble upon this very new blog, introduce yourself! Can we inspire each other in our quest for fitness?

What's motivating me? The good, the not as good and the uglish


Improved Health
  • Reduce risk of heart disease
  • Reduce likelihood of diabetes
  • lower blood pressure
Not as Good:

  • be able to wear vintage 1930s-1960s fashion
  • be able to wear reproductions of said fashions
  • be able to wear any fashions that I want!


  • still weigh less than my husband
  • feel better about myself, even though it's who you are that counts and all that...

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Welcome to my brand new blog. My intention is to record my day to day triumphs and setbacks in my attempts to lose weight, become more fit, and improve my health.

I'm 47 years old, and it seems like I spent too much time from age 10 to 26 on a diet. Diet became a forbidden word for me, and I've spent the years trying to accept my size and be happy as I was. I've tried not to let my weight stand in the way of feeling beautiful, glamorous and desirable. I've done okay. But, lately I've been thinking about the many things I would do in my life if I wasn't afraid. And I've decided that it's time for me to change my shape. On my own terms. Not by dieting per se, but by making healthy choices in what I eat and how and how much I exercise.

More to come!