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KATRINASVANS's Recent Blog Entries

My reaction to seeing myself on video yesterday

Thursday, March 29, 2012

hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Oh God no!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why????????????????????????? What is that????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Sniff) Ggggaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh
h!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Sob leaking snot everywhere.)

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ARDUINNA 4/17/2012 12:22PM

    This is pretty much my reaction to any photographic evidence of my physical being emoticon

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Family Affairs

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

So, I'm talking to my mom on the phone the other night and she says to me, "You know, I was feeling sorry for myself because I need to lose some weight and then I thought how much worse you have it dear. What with my mother's metabolism, the McGuire (my mother's side) butt and the Swedberg (my father's side) thunder thighs. I could have it so much worse." Wow. Good talk Mom. That got me thinking. As familial circumstances for being fat go, I seriously got the shaft. Let me explain; I am Finnish on my mom's side and Swedish on my dad's. Seeing the pattern? Yes, I am built to live in a really cold climate. Trouble is I live in 21st century California, so I've never had to go ice fishing for a meal. Sure there are a couple advantages; I got Ingrid Bergman cheekbones and valkyrie blond hair. Also I'm pretty sure that if I ever survived a plane crash onto a snowy Andes mountain top I would last way longer than any skinny brats who keel over because they only have enough fat stores for 2 days leaving me to subsist on their svelte corpses. But I digress. You see, my mother's side of the family consists of diminutive, but very tough women, who have the kind of extra wide birthing hips that allow one to give birth in 5 minutes, because that is exactly how long you can lay in the snow without freezing to death. My dad's side consists of statuesque vikings, with big thighs and long legs. My brother got the viking build, and while I've seen his little pot belly come and go, when he needs to get in shape for work (he's in the military), all it takes is a month or two of grilled pork chops and pull ups for him to resemble Dolph Lungren circa 1985. But me on the other had? Oh, I got the viking thighs alright, but I also got the birthing hips and I'm only 5' 2"! WTF?! The thing is that everyone on both sides of my family has struggled with weight at one time or another... and won. I'm the only who's still fat, maybe I'm just making up excuses to feel sorry for myself, but since my mother pointed this out to me I can't help but feel as though I got a raw deal genetics-wise. Dear readers please post and tell me, do ever feel as though your family backround had hurt or helped your weight loss goals?

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ARDUINNA 2/7/2012 11:09AM

    I feel your pain! I too have the Viking metabolism stuck on a small frame. My mother's side get the apple shape (& the diabetes to go with it) & my dad gave me the ability to convert little food into big fat (great in the harsh northern winters...less useful in CA).
Maybe we need to work on an exercise plan that would involve pillaging the Pacific coast!! Do you want the spear or the magic helmet??

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Top 5 Movies to Watch on a Diet

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ok people, resolution time is right around the corner, and we all know what that means...diet time!
While the promise of a new year can revitalize our weight loss goals the effect is often short lived. So come Jan. 3rd when your faced with grilled fish and brown rice and you find your motivation waning, try watching one of the following films.

5.) Wall-E
Yes, I know this one is a little preachy, but there is something disgustingly reflective about the legions of obese individuals mindlessly floating around in their hover recliners, sucking on their cupcakes in a cup. Particularly if you're watching it while lying on the couch eating oreos, and suddenly have a flash of yourself in a couple decades; continuously watching the reality TV channel on your smart phone while driving one of those motor scooters to the store to get more oreos. Also you weigh 500 lbs.

4.) The Dark Knight Rises
I admit this is cheating, since the conclusion of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy doesn't come out until summer, but here's my reasoning. About once a year a film comes out in which a normally beautiful and underfed actress goes through and intensive diet and exercise program in order to make her body so unattainably thin and perfect that the women of America have no choice but to cave in to their insecurity and immediately go home and google said actress' diet and follow it, in hopes of being able to flaunt themselves in a catsuit or some such getup in time for Halloween. Last year it was Natalie Portman in Black Swan, I predict in 2012 it will be Ann Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises. In some circles I believe this is referred to as "thinspiration".

3.) Food Inc.
You could watch Supersize Me with the same effect. Basically the point is that finding out how the crap you eat is made will leave you so disgusted that you will have no choice but to eat vegetables! Bwa ha ha ha! The scene in which a cattle worker reaches into the open hole into the stomach of a still living cow actually made me puke in my mouth.

2.) Rocky (1, 2, 3 or 4)
I have written about the valuable diet lessons to be gleaned from the Rocky movies in a previous blog, so for the purposes of this list I will just say that after watching Rocky, I really want to go for a jog.

1.) The Silence of the Lambs
Yes, the face-eating is off putting to the appetite, and you could get a similar effect from watching any cannibalistic zombie gore fest. But the real dietary benefit to watching Lambs is that the message of the film seems to be something along the lines of "Fat girls get thrown in a pit by a psychopath, with a yippie poodle and skinned." And if that doesn't give you the urge to eat a salad and hit the gym, then pay special attention to the autopsy scene where the poor dead fat girl has had her back skinned, leaving her subcutaneous fat globbily visible. Mmmm...hungry yet?

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KATRINASVANS 12/23/2011 1:40AM

    The Godfather makes me want to gorge on pasta.

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ARDUINNA 12/22/2011 11:15AM

    Hmmmm....now I don't feel like breakfast either ;) I am curious what film is the anti diet for you, that is it makes you want to pig out?

I agree with you on these movies. I've often felt that I would use the exercise equipment on the Axiom (the spaceship from Wall-E). Maybe not the jogging track, but a least the pool. Of course I'm saying this while sitting in front of the computer, so I may not be completely believable... I think the US Congress gets it's nutritional ideas from Wall-E: "we'll grow pizza plants!"

Comment edited on: 12/22/2011 11:18:55 AM

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The real reason why French, Japanese, Mediterranean and Scandinavian women don't get fat

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I will admit it. I'm a diet junkie. Every time a new diet does business I check it out. I'm also an enthusiast of world cuisines. I'm constantly fascinated by what people cook and eat in other countries, you can learn a lot about a culture by understanding their eating habits. So I was particularly interested in Why French Women Don't Get Fat. I bought it and read it, but was very disappointed. The overall message of the book was buy all your food a farmers markets multiple times a week (an impossibility for me and many people I suspect), cook all of your food from her time consuming recipes (including homemade baguettes and croissants!) and walk everywhere (also an impossibility for me and many others I suspect, as I live and work in different cities.), the philosophy being that French women don't have the self loathing to make time to intentionally exercise, but instead incorporate exercise into their daily lives. I also read the Mediterranean diet, the Nordic diet and Why Japanese Women Don't Get Fat or Old. I didn't find any of them particularly useful. Here's the thing; none of these diets reflect what they actually eat in these respective countries. You know what they have for breakfast in Italy and France? Pastry and coffee! Barely anyone in Japan eats brown rice, and I hate to drop a bombshell here, but in Italy they eat lots of white pasta. These diets present traditional cuisines refracted through American "diet correctness". In Italy they have a festival celebrating lard! I'm not kidding, look it up. So what gives? Well I suspect there are a couple of things going on here. First of all how thin are these people? The average European or Japanese woman has a BMI lower than the average American woman, but she's not super thin. She has an average healthy body weight, so eating like her will not give you the movies star physique that the American women buying these books is looking for. Secondly, as someone who has spent time in Europe I can tell you, food in these countries is expensive! When you go to a restaurant you pay more and get less than you would in the USA. When you order a soda, you pay the equivalent of 3 or 4 dollars and they bring you a single can of soda and a glass of ice. There are no free refills and no big gulps. I'm not saying that we as Americans are victims of our own success and that we have no control over our weight, but I am saying that if these countries had the heavy government subsidies on corn and grain to make food prices artificially low, then they would probably have higher BMI's too. I only point this out because when people talk about the American obesity problem in comparison to other countries, they try to make it a moral issue. Like there's something wrong with Americans that makes us evil gluttonous people, when in reality we've done a better job than most other countries in reducing hunger in our lower income populations. So, what should we take away from this? I think you all know. When you live in an affluent society and you're overweight, you need to work at eating fewer calories and burning more (its so annoying when people say this like its so easy). However, when your reducing calories, trying some new recipes from foreign cookbooks can be a fun way to add interest to your meals and stave off the inevitable diet boredom. But if you really want to lose weight like a Scandinavian woman, your only real option is to move to Denmark.

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ARDUINNA 1/3/2012 4:38PM

    I definitely agree with this. I think think we've stopped enjoying food as much as some other cultures. Sadly I don't often have the time to cook everything from scratch. Watching portion size is key! I know that after watching what I eat closely, I start eating smaller portions & being satisfied with them!

Now about moving to Denmark: when do we start packing??

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JOY2BSLIM 1/1/2012 1:01AM

    They also take 2 hours for their lunches instead of our inhaling and running, maybe being less stressed helps without worrying about cortisol landing on your stomach. I would like to try it but there are no portion sizes so you just wonder how much is enough or what is too much.

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JOY2BSLIM 1/1/2012 12:59AM

    I just got a book from the library about the French diet and I think what it was saying is that their food is less processed and they get more nutrients out of it and enjoy their smaller portions in terms of taste and not volume. i am eating real chocolate like 80 or 90% and lost pretty much the craving for candy as i have chocolate just about every day.

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BUTEAFULL 12/14/2011 2:35PM

    I'm glad someone other than me read these books and narrowed down that it really is just portion size where we fall down the most

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RR1_RR1 12/14/2011 1:08PM

    Its true! Maybe because French people eat those meals with just a little bit on the plate. Also true, everyone in my family is Italian and very skinny....and all my asian friends dont gain weight!

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MSPRIS3 12/14/2011 12:22PM

    Thanks for sharing!
You are so right about the brown rice and whole wheat pasta thing, I worked with many Chinese people, and none of them have even tried brown rice!

The difference between us North Americans (I'm from Canada) and those in Europe and Asia, is that they have a much more realistic portion size. You said it, in France, you pay more for less food. I observed all the Chinese people I worked with and what they ate for their lunch (only because I was the only "white" person who brought their lunch to work too) and they usually ate white rice, with either chicken or pork. Maybe some soya, or ginger sauce. They never added ketch up or other condiments to their meals. Another thing, Chinese do not eat much sweets. They have sweet stuff in their markets etc, but it is nowhere near packed with sugar as our food is.

Last week, my hubs cooked us some steak for supper, I looked at my "slab" and thought, that is huge! I plopped it on my scale, and sure enough, it was 9.6 oz! I cut in in half. I was just looking at a restaurant menu friends want to meet at, and the smallest steak they have on the menu is a 10oz. (Guess I'm going for chicken! LOL)

I noticed too that even the single serve bags of chips are now 3x the size they used to be! I used to love Salt & Vinegar chips, a small bag would be about 250 calories, now the serving listed on the back is close to 400 calories for that small bag. They increase they serving sizes, charge more, and we end up eating more.

I like the size bag of chips at Subway, mini bags is what I call them!

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CYNTSATIONAL 12/14/2011 12:05PM

    Wow - you are so correct! I find portion control is a big part of successful weight loss and maintenance. Our portions are so distorted here. Thanks for sharing and keep on SPARKing!

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Everything I Need to Know About Dieting I Learned From Rocky Balboa

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

1.) Its all about what's in your head. Rocky always battles and conquers his self doubt before he kicks butt, without this step, you cannot win.
2.) You have to work hard. Whether your training in the Russian tundra, or just trying to get through your pilates class, its the effort that brings results.
3.)You need good people in your corner. Rocky had Mickey and Apollo, get yourself a friend a trainer, a group anyone to cheer you on and tell you to get up (and maybe cut your eye open when its swollen shut).
4.) But you have to be able to stand on your own. No matter how great your support system is, you need to be mentally prepared for the fact that they can't be there 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
5.) You will get knocked down. The thing that made Rocky great wasn't the fact that he was the biggest or the strongest, it was simply the fact that he had the most tenacity. No matter how many times he got knocked down, he simply got back up, and that's what made him a champion. I think this is the most important lesson; perseverance. You will get knocked down and you will not feel like getting up, but if you have followed lesson 1, you will be able to get up anyway because your head is on straight, and your eye is on the prize (maybe even the eye of the tiger?)
6.) Don't piss of a gigantic Russian boxer amped up on steroids. I think this is self explanatory.
7.)Have a high protein breakfast, but if you're going to have eggs, you should probably cook them.

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SA9CHI 12/14/2011 12:03PM

    Yep, Rocky's my hero! In the quiet of the morning, when only a few are up and around, he pulled himself out of that bed and dedication to training. I came away after seeing that film, getting the message of never giving up on yourself and going the distance till the very end!

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ARDUINNA 11/9/2011 2:33PM

    ROFLMAO!! Perfect analogy. I'll now have inspirational music running thru my head as I eat my salad emoticon

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ROGUE_RUNNER 11/9/2011 12:46PM

    Loved it - had to click ... since Rocky is my hero ;o)

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BLACKROSE_222 11/9/2011 12:37PM

    LOL - I love it! Fantastic!

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