About Maria

After having 4 kids (a set of twins to boot) and an addiction to clearing my plate and theirs, I've decided enough is enough. This momma refuses to buy a Genie Bra and mom jeans. It's time to get on track and share with the world the ups and downs of how Im getting it done. See ya rubberband pants! Skinny jeans, here I come!

Use it AND Lose it… Ass be Gone!

Often times I see great plans for rebooting your system, cleaning out toxins, losing weight and feeling good. Great plans, but way too complicated for my lazy bones to stick with. I personally hate cooking (ok, hate the shopping, preparing, cleaning and the thinking involved). Also, it’s really hard to find the right ingredients here in China (Hmm, this is green…must be kale??). Plus I’m too damn lazy. Plus I could care less about baked salmon soufflé with a low carb, pine nut-lemon zest cream sauce. That’s what restaurants are for. AND if I was willing to put forth the effort to make that shit in the first place, I’d never have gotten fat to begin with. I like easy, grab and go, filling and energizing. I don’t really care if it even tastes that good. I save those yummy treats for meals with my friends. My plan helps with weight loss, but most importantly, it controls blood sugar levels (found out I’m pre-diabetic, but that’s another post), it reboots your body and makes you look and feel amazing.

Well, here you go my friends. Here’s the plan. I’m starting again tomorrow with round two of weight loss mode. My goal is 120lbs by summer…that means I have 7 lbs to go. That’s nothing! At least from where I started. I’ve actually maintained my weight from my last post so trust me, it works! Don’t be left behind with a Big Mac in your hand wearing a swim skort this summer! (Or the only guy with a shirt ON.) Are you in? Let’s do this together!

My goals: to lose 7 lbs by 4th of July. To tone up the backside. To drink more water and get more sleep.

What you need: A good juicer,  one tub of chocolate or vanilla 100% whey protein and one of soy protein powder GNC, optional shaker bottle for quick mixing of powder, optional bag of Chia seeds (China friends, it’s at Oliver’s in HK), optional coconut oil, optional Barlean’s Superfruit Greens Powder (also at Oliver’s). I also take vitamin D, a vitamin B blend, iron, and magnesium.

Fruits and Veggies: Lemon, ginger root, celery, cucumber, green bell peppers, whatever dark green leafy stuff that looks good to you,

What to do: Exercise early in the morning before work or before the school drop off. Just suck it up and get it out-of-the-way. Do whatever you like. I power walk on my treadmill at 5am while watching some sort of non-animated show. It’s easy to get used to because you’ll feel awesome all day.

Drink a huge glass of water with lemon, or without if you’re too lazy to squeeze a lemon  like I am. I stand frozen at the water cooler and chug it down. Done. Hate drinking water, but I don’t move until the glass is empty. It’s like some sort of psycho mind game.

Before showering or anything, make your juice. One lemon, one lipstick sized chunk of ginger, one large cucumber and about six celery stalks. That is the daily base. Then add  one optional green pepper for zip and the rest is just whatever green things you have on hand. Keep stuffing it in the juicer until you have about enough to fill two tall glasses or the whole juicing pitcher. About the size of two Starbucks Grande cups. No measuring required. Just jam it all in. Then clean your juicer.

For those of you who just can’t stand the lack of sweetness, this is where the Barlean’s Superfruit Greens powder comes in handy. It’s really sweet, but has no real sugar. I don’t use it because I like the unsweetened juice now, but in the beginning, it was hard to swallow. Don’t be tempted to add fruit! All those fruity “green” drinks taste great, but fruit juice is loaded with sugar and that is not good if you want thigh gap. Ok, who am I kidding, I just don’t want thigh chafe. If you really want fruit, then eat it. At least you’ll get some fiber. Stay away from mangos and bananas. Try to stick with apples and berries.

More on fiber later….

My original plan that totally works: Drink your delicious juice (aka “Glass of Ass”) all morning long. You’ll be surprised how energetic you feel! No coffee needed! You’ll also be surprised how full you feel. Your body is getting all the nutrients it needs so it tells the brain to not send out hungry signals. Totally not kidding. Plus without the fiber, it’s like a straight shot of nutrients to the system. Your body does not have to work as hard to process the juice and it gives your organs a break. If you’re dying  to eat something, I’d grab a handful of nuts or a boiled egg, but it’ll slow down your results and the detoxification process.

Sometime around 1-2:00, make yourself a shake. I put two scoops into my GNC hand shaker bottle, add really cold water, then shake it up and chug it down. I alternate whey and soy, just in case my body likes one more than the other. You’ll be stuffed until dinner, in which case you’ll make better choices.

For dinner, eat whatever your family is having minus all rice, wheat, packaged foods, dairy,  dressings, sauces… ok, basically watch them eat and make yourself a salad with some sort of protein involved. It sucks, but so does having a fat ass.

Note on Fiber: If you don’t have fiber, you may feel constipated. I eat some Chia seeds everyday to get a high dose of fiber. The best way I find is as a pudding for breakfast or dessert. I mix 2 tablespoons (eyeball it) in a cereal bowl with about a 1/2 cup of almond milk. I add cinnamon and wait about 10 minutes. It gets all gooey and looks like little fish eyeballs. Yummy!

Hard Core Plan: Now, for those of you who want to look like Heidi Klum/Ryan Gossling this summer, here’s what I personally am going to do: Chia seeds with water only and cinnamon for breakfast. Replace my lunch with another juice. Replace my dinner with the protein shake  or another juice.  I plan to do this Monday thru Friday afternoon. Until summer vacation. I did the above illustrated plan before, but not as extreme as the one I plan to try now. I’d really just like to do a juice fast, but I know it’s not something I can realistically stick with.  Not with all the farewell parties coming up, four kids and a high stress job. One day I’ll give it a try. Maybe that will be round three. New Year’s resolution time.

The weekends for me can be a bit more relaxed. For sure I will have at least one large juice each day and a fun meal or drinks or whatever. But still, no grains, sugar or dairy.

Wait, one more thing. The coconut oil. I’ve been swishing coconut oil around in my mouth for 20 minutes a day. I do it in the shower. It’s called oil pulling (really?) and is massively disgusting, but is said to remove toxins from your body. After 20 minutes you just spit it out. Of course I’m trying it. You know me. Couldn’t hurt.

Eating healthy is hard. Dieting is hard. Weight loss is hard. But the hard part is not forever. Lose the weight and then figure out a maintenance plan that works for you. Wow, I feel like some sort of sales person selling a diet book. Thankfully, I’m not. I’m just a 40 year old chubster who needs major self motivation to stay on the right track.  Let me know if you give it a try, I’ll be curious to hear about your results. Here’s to using it AND losing it! Ass be gone!

It's amazing what all this juicing has done for my hair and skin! Ha ha. Here's my current "before" shot.

It’s amazing what all this juicing has done for my hair and skin! Ha ha. Here’s my current “before” shot.

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The pants are ON! I repeat…The pants are ON!

After two years of trying out, and failing at:  5AM Crossfit workouts, running, Paleo Diet, Master Cleanse (twice),  Dukan Diet, Hollywood Miracle Diet, writing down everything, using online calorie trackers, crazy weight loss challenges with Fat Tom, no carbs, no sugar, no processed foods, no soy, no gluten, NO FUN…I’d had it. Just freakin’ had it. Threw in the Twinkie and bought myself some Not Your Daughter’s Jeans in a US size 10. Why not? I’m 40 and have four kids. This is what I’m supposed to look like, right?

And that’s when it happened. Just as I’d given up on myself, some crazy Chinese guy wakes me up at 2:30AM with a knife and reminds me that I can’t give up. EVER. He reminded me that I’m strong, capable, smart and worth taking care of. Not to mention, have four kids and a husband who need a fit, healthy mom in the picture.

So do you want to know what this chubster’s been doing? I bought some protein powder from GNC, then I bought a juicer, then I stopped bitching and took control. Less than four months later, I’m in a US size 6. I went from 145lbs to 128lbs.  I can’t say it’s been easy, but it’s been easier than any other diet attempts I’ve ever, well….attempted.

I slowly worked my way into this routine, which is the one I’m sticking with until I lose my final 8lbs. I lost about a half to one pound a week.

Morning Juice:

  1. one lemon
  2. one large fresh ginger chunk the size of a lipstick
  3. a handful of celery stalks
  4. one cucumber
  5. a crap load of green leafy veggies (any kind)

No apple or other sweet fruit. It took me about two months to slowly phase out the apple. Sounds disgusting, right? At first it was. I called it Ass in a Glass. But the instant energy that drink gives me and the way I can feel it seeping into my cells is totally worth it. I read an article that explained how when you are not giving your cells the right nutrients, it signals your brain to eat more. Really, that’s it? Drink some nasty green juice and your brain tells your stomach that you are full. I drink the equivalent of two tall glasses. Just suck it up and suck it down.

Lunch: Leftover salad or cooked veggies from the school lunches at work and a Protein shake with double the serving of powder mixed with a single serving of water. That way it’s nice and thick and satisfying. Ok, so it’s still just a crappy protein shake, but it’s not as crappy as having a big, jiggly ass.

Snack: Boiled eggs, nuts, or the occasional granola bar or nothing

Dinner: Whatever I want. Heathy choices if I’m at home, and nachos, burgers, pizza etc when I go out (maybe once a week). If there is pasta or rice, I eat half the serving I would have had before and double up on the veggies and meat.

If I have a night out of beer and nachos, I avoid the bread, pasta and rice for the next couple of days to make up for it (minus the greasy hangover breakfast).

The thing is, I don’t actually think about any of this. I just do it. No worrying about it, no thinking about it, no talking about it all the time. Just doing it. I no longer weigh myself all the time either. So nice.

As far as exercise, I walk to and from work everyday. So maybe I get in about two miles a day. Again, not worrying about it. Just walking everywhere as if I’ve always done that. SO easy!

I will admit, the element of terror has  been a great self-motivator, but I wouldn’t recommend having your neighbor sneak into your house with a ski mask and a knife. Just take my word on it. Or, try watching the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. That should be terrorizing enough. So here is the moment I’ve been waiting for. The pants! Even though I have 8lbs still left to go, I just couldn’t wait to share some pictures.  I think I’m going to keep that pink rubber band hanging somewhere as a reminder. A reminder to not give up. EVER.

Almost there!

The pants are on!

The pants are on! 

Always a silver lining……..

About two months ago I had a really frightful experience. Coy was sleeping downstairs with Kaia, Noah was at a sleepover and I was in our bed with the twins who were both sick. At about 2:30 AM, I’m woken up by a strange clicking noise and a strange sensation on my neck. I pull off my sleep mask to find out the noise is a flashlight being flashed on and off into my face.

Next, it was flashed onto a knife which was then placed back on my throat. I was blinded by the light, but got a clear view of that knife and I knew that shit was not about to, but was in fact, already going down. It was a Chinese man, a very desperate one. I had to wake up real fast. I figured if he was going to slit my throat, then why did he bother waking me up? So I slowly sat up, thinking I’ve got to get this man out of my room. NOW.

I cautiously reached for my cell phone, even while he was saying not to in Chinese. I tapped on the light to show him my two 4 yr. olds who were asleep in bed with me. He kept the knife on my throat as we walked out of the room. At this point, I assume he’s looked around downstairs and I assumed that Coy and Kaia were dead. Trying to walk in the dark, knife to my throat, with that though in mind, was the longest moments of my life. It was as if I was having a heart attack but fully functioning through it.

I then asked him in Chinese (thank GOD I can speak Chinese) if he wanted money and he said yes. I told him the money was downstairs. I just wanted to get him away from my kids as quickly as possible in case he (or I) decided to make a dangerous move. On the way downstairs, he removed the knife from my neck, twisted my arm around my back and placed the knife back into the center of my back. Then he asked me where my husband was and I realized they were still alive. I finally let out my breath and I told him he was “sleeping with our baby,” but didn’t mention where. As we walked past the room he and Kaia were sleeping in, he pointed at it and asked what was in there. I told him it’s my son’s room and just has toys and children’s clothing.

When we reached the front door I knew that the best thing to do would be NOT to wake up Coy, and to just get this guy out of my house as calmly as possible. I kept whispering to him, “I understand,” and “I want to help you.” I handed him my wallet and slowly opened my front door. The entire time he is telling me “NO.” But I did it anyway. My thoughts kept telling me to remain calm, but at that point I knew it was almost over. I wasn’t going to rock the boat.

As he stood there counting the money in my wallet, asking me which bills were fake, and what my bank cards do, I pulled off my wedding ring and tossed it. I lied about my bank cards and said they only work in the US and Hong Kong, so he left them behind. All he wanted was cash. He was desperate. He then handed me back my empty wallet, put his knife in his bag and began to walk out of my house. He only turned to say, if you call anyone, I’ll return and kill your family. Ouch. Then I offered to help him open my front gate and thanked him for not hurting my family. It was all a bit surreal.

After he left, I turned on every light and ran through the house checking doors and windows until I found where he’d come in at. The slider. I locked it up, took a big breath and went to wake up Coy. All I said to him was “Emergency!” and he jumped out of bed. When I told him what happened, Coy grabbed a knife and jumped on his scooter to find the guy. He told the security guard and they dove into action. German Shepherds and guards suddenly appeared from everywhere, within minutes.

Then we all heard a woman scream. He was in another house. The dogs ran straight there and they caught him in the act. I had to go down to the police station along with two members of the other family for questioning. This guy will be locked up far away for a good number of years.

We immediately moved out of our house and into a new one just down the road. That was step one of the recovery process. Step two was getting on anxiety medications since every chinese guy suddenly looked like that very same guy. Step three was tackling the nightmares. I was given all sorts of sleeping pills which worked for a bit. Every night in the beginning, I never wanted to go to sleep because of the reoccurring nightmare of my children being slaughtered in front of me one by one. I couldn’t wake up until it was over. My current nightmares are now just ones where my kids have been kidnapped and that one goes on forever, and again, I can’t control it or wake up out of it. Right now my doctor is most concerned with me developing PTSD. I’m back at work and it’s good for me to keep busy. The nightmares are the reason that the invasion never really seems to go away. Even when I’m happy, I’m thinking about it. Not the best way to  start off my 40’s.

So what is this title of silver lining mean? Well a few things.

1. I got to go out and buy cute silky pajamas since I’ll never risk sleeping in the nude again. (Fortunately I has some on that night because the kids were in bed with me).

2. Every panic attack I have must burn an additional 3,000 calories (And it could be counted as a cardio workout since it feels like a heart attack.)

3. I learned that I’m the one you want to sit next to when the plane is going down! Apparently, I can calmly function under insane, possible life or death situations.

4. But the most silvery of all the linings is this one: I’ve lost 10 lbs!! Nothing like a knife to the throat to knock off a few pounds!

So friends, I’m sorry too have been gone for so long. I’m really looking forward to some fun blogs and reading your as well!

Best wishes and stay away from the Christmas cookies!

“Pass the feet, please.”

You don’t hear that one at most dinner tables, including mine. If you were at my table tonight you would have heard, “I want the foot! That’s not fair! He already ate the neck!” My kids are once again, officially Chinese Nationals. Their days of pizza and hot dogs are in the past and they are back to fighting over the innards more than the outtards. Gross. Why can’t I be like them? How many calories can possibly be in a boiled duck foot?

Kaia Duck foot Noah Duck foot

Maddox, at the tender age of three, just had his first foot massage last night. What is it with our family and feet? Of course, I asked for them to press on the weight loss pressure point for the entire 80 minutes. They politely ignored me and pretended that they couldn’t understand me. My Chinese translated to this; “Please you only this one, very long time push, make hurt, I want fat bye-bye, ok?” What’s not to understand?

Maddox and Kaia foot rub

I wanted to take this time to let you know that I have dropped out of Fat Tom’s The Biggest Loser contest. SInce I hadn’t yet paid my entry fee, see, already the Biggest Loser, I (and my other two fat friends), decided to donate it to a special cause instead. Tom just found out that his six year old daughter, Delaney, has leukemia. For those of you that have read his blog, you know that he is an amazing and highly entertaining writer. He has now started a blog about his daughter’s battle with cancer. I am complaining A LOT less these days, kissing my kids a lot more and am so in awe of this sweet little girl and her amazing family. Please feel free to pass his newest blog on to anyone who you think it could motivate, inspire or help. Also, prayers, well wishes and support from around the world can lighten any spirit. Delaney’s Blog

Two-faced people aren’t so bad….

I realized that not only have I let the fatness get back out of control, I’ve also lost all motivation to, as my mother says, “put a face on.” It’s just so time consuming to have to put on makeup, blow dry my hair, flat iron, curl, whatever. Hell, it’s just hard enough these days to drag my lazy, Twinkie filled butt to the shower! Where has all my motivation gone to?

But to be fair, I’ve had back to back flu, food poisoning and now walking pneumonia. It’s not been a pretty sight. However, three weeks of no appetite, nausea and bed rest is every weight loss competitors dream right? Think about it… slurping broth, puking it out and losing muscle tone all at the same time! Yeah baby! For sure I was going to slip right into “the pants” after enduring three weeks of this torture, right?

I gained a pound.

But no worries, now that I’m feeling better, I’ve decided to at least put some effort into looking my best. Meet halfway.  Who said it’s bad to be two-faced anyway?

PS. If you click on the photo and it shows up SUPER BIG on your computer, not only will you get an awesome view of my massive pores and crows feet, but you can see that my eyelashes are in fact growing quite long. I’m using Lilash and so far, I’m pretty excited about it!

Ok, so there was a picture here previously, but a year later I deleted it because it was just CREEPY!

Thank you, Baba Yogi.

Last week, I was shopping in Hong Kong, when my credit card was denied. This sort of thing happens fairly often as technically Hong Kong is not part of China, which is where we live. Although it’s only an hour away, VISA seems to think that once a month for the past seven years, my card gets stolen by the same random, presumably balding, shopper who always happens to go to Hong Kong to buy Nioxin Shampoo and Oprah magazine. My first two purchases almost always go smoothly but, by purchase number three, which is usually something impressive, like a box of tampons with ten people in line behind me, that I get denied. This time however, it was when I was trying to buy some face wash and skin cream at Clinique.

So what do I do when this happens? Well, I first call the number on the back of my credit card and yell at the poor person who happened to answer my call. I tell them how ridiculous this is. They tell me it’s for my security. Then I tell them right now I need tampons, not security. Then they tell me that I’m not the primary card holder and my husband has to call. Then I interrupt my husband in some important work meeting and demand that he call VISA to release the hold. This last time he was especially thrilled as he was asleep while on a business trip in Canada.

So Coy calls the credit card, authorizes the release and calls me back. “It says that you are spending $200 at the clinic?” The Clinic? I ask myself. What is he talking about? And then it dawns on me…. oooh, Clinique. Then it really dawns on me. Oh shit, he’s gonna figure out that I spent $200 on freaking face cream! Maybe I should just play along? “Oh yeah…… that’s right, the clinic. I have a yeast infection.” That will gross him out enough to inquire no further.

No, I spilled out the truth and guess what? He said, “Ok, I’m glad you got what you needed.” Really? That’s it? Funny thing is, later that day, I met a “yogi.” He was some sort of Indian fortune-teller. He told me that I will continue to have an excellent marriage, but that I have to “trust.” I think I know now what he meant. Thank you Baba Yogi for your wise words. Even if you were just trying to scam me out of some cash, you got me thinking. Thinking that I’m one lucky girl to have such a great guy.

 

Hubby Coy chowing down on some Hot Pot!

Hubby Coy chowing down on some Hot Pot!

 

 

Dumb people do the Master Cleanse. Idiots do it twice.

 

That was my FB status today. Yep. Did it again. Lost about 3 pounds, and 3 days later, I found them…. with their friends, next to the enchiladas. This was supposed to be my year of change. Focusing on health and well-being. I told my self I was doing the cleanse just to clean out the pipes and make a fresh start, but really, I just wanted to lose 10 pounds.

I turn 40 this September and want to do something great, like get my boobs done or maybe some inner thigh lipo. Ooooooh, thigh lipo. In reality, I’ll probably just buy a Genie Bra and some mom jeans.

Speaking of fatties, the challenge is on once again with Fat Tom and I. It goes until June, so I’ve got time to do this the right way. He, of course, has lost over 10 lbs already. All I need to do is pop a few Twinkies in the mail to fix that one.

I found a nice lady down the street who sells dried bats! Low carb AND paleo! I bet Fat Tom doesn’t have a bat lady.

Bag O Bats

Bag O Bats

Has anyone tried the honey and cinnamon diet drink? I’ve just heard about it again from another friend and one said she was going to try it. The jury is still out. Let me know if it has worked for you.

I think I’ll stick to the low carb street snacks that they have here in China. So many options, and with all the shells, tails and heads to maneuver around, I’m bound to eat less volume.

Lunch on the street. Scorpions and seahorses!

Lunch on the street. Scorpions and seahorses!

With living in China, you’d think I’d be so skinny. I still believe it’s going to happen. We have our 10 year wedding anniversary this summer, a trip to Bali planned and my 40th. Now if those things are not motivation to look my best, then I don’t know what is. My new goal is simple: Lose a pound a week. That would be 26 lbs by summer and our trip to Bali. Now, I have no desire to lose 26 lbs, but 20 would be a dream! That would put me at a healthy 120 pounds. Just right for my 5’2″ frame.

Ok, fingers crossed that this VPN keeps working and I get  back on the blog wagon. I know you’ve all been missing me bitch and moan about my fatness! What’s my next crazy diet attempt? I don’t know yet, but you, my friends, will be the first to hear about that. Aren’t you just thrilled?

Don't ask....

Don’t ask….