Friday, July 11, 2008
What an awesome idea! I saw this product featured on the Rachael Ray show this morning, and it's just what I've been looking for! I really want to get back into running more regularly, especially outdoors. But the problem with running outside is that I have a lot of stuff that I need to take with me: phone, ipod, keys. I hate fanny packs, especially ones that bounce around. Well, it looks like the spibelt is exactly what I need. It's small, made of thin stretchy material and -- according to the company that makes it -- it doesn't bounce around when you walk or run.
I'm not sure what stores carry this; I've only seen a few Web sites that sell it. I'd love to go and look at it in person. But I might order one and send it back if it doesn't work out. It's not super expensive at $20.
Oh, and the abs in the picture would be nice to have too!
Monday, July 07, 2008
Yesterday was our 6th wedding anniversary, so hubby and I decided to go out to dinner. Earlier this year, a Fogo de Chao opened in our area. Hubby (being a guy) was instantly intrigued: All you can eat meat, woo hoo! I ignored the little "spark" voice in my head warning me that this was a bad idea for my waistline, and we decided to check it out.
Fogo de Chao is a Brazilian steakhouse and also a place where gluttony reins supreme. This is how it works:
1. First, you visit the monstrous salad bar and fill up with however much you want.
2. When you are ready for the main course, you turn over the little cardboard coaster they give you to the green side. That is when the waiters swoop to your table every 5 seconds or so with offerings of 15 kinds of meat. Filet mignon, sausage, chicken, sirloin, lamb, other kinds of steak, etc.etc.
3. Along with the meat, they put three sides on your table: mashed potatoes, plantains, and friend polenta.
4. EVERYTHING is all you can eat. You can visit the salad bar as many times as you want. If you want to take a break from the meat, you just turn your coaster over to the red side and they stop coming. Hubby joked that instead of a coaster, they should have a little white flag that you could wave when you were finished eating, telling them that you surrender!
The salad bar was fantastic. And that is where I should have stopped. But of course, this was a special occasion and a new place, so I wanted to try the entire experience. And what an experience it was!!
As we ate, it quickly became apparent that this place was all about getting you as full as possible as quickly as possible and move you out of there as fast as they can so that they can seat another party. I had barely put my fork down on my salad plate (with some food still on it) when the waiter was at my side, asking if he can take it away and bring me a clean one. Hubby's iced tea and my water was never less than 3/4 full, at ALL times. When we turned over the coasters for them to bring the meat, they were at our table in 2 seconds. When we were winding down a bit, I wanted to relax and digest my food, then decide if I was done or not. We had no sooner put down our forks when the waiters came by to grab our plates and the side dishes that we hadn't finished yet.
We didn't tell them it was our anniversary but in any case, there was no hope of having a quiet dinner. Someone was at our table every 2 minutes. The tables were close together, so even when they were not at our table, it felt as though the wait staff was always buzzing around . Good service, yes! But I think there is more to it.
I started to think about psychology and how it can work for a restaurant's bottom line. As I mentioned, it seemed to us that they tried very hard to get us full and out the door as quickly as possible.
- The wait staff was working hard, but very quickly. They grabbed our plates quickly, refilled our drinks quickly, and even spoke quickly. This created a sense of urgency to eat faster.
-People rushing around your table at all times also creates urgency and signals your brain to eat faster.
- As I mentioned, the drinks were never less than 3/4 full. The more you drink, the faster you become full.
- By placing tables close to each other, you can easily see what the next table is getting. Once you see that, you think, "Hey, I want some of that too!"
It's interesting how big of a role psychology plays in the layout, design and business practices of restaurants and places where we shop. Next time you eat or shop somewhere, pay attention to the subtle ways they can get you to buy, eat, spend more money. Ambiance, lighting, placement of certain objects, even the wait staff or store employees' demeanor. It's truly fascinating.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
I hope everyone had a great July 4th holiday! Our big news of the day is that we now have a nephew! My husband's brother and his wife had their second child early this morning! We are very excited to be a proud aunt & uncle once again! We can't wait to meet him.
It rained (again) for our July 4th get-together last night. Thus, instead of sitting outside on the roof deck, Hubby and his friends played the Wii. So, a different sort of fun, but fun nonetheless. It stopped raining long enough for us to go up and watch the fireworks.
The bad news is, we have SOOOOO much food left over! If anyone wants any chips, pasta salad (2 kinds), quinoa salad, chicken or key lime pie, just let me know and I will mail it to you! I think we will be eating this food for at least 2 weeks. At the expense of my waistline I'm sure.
Which brings me to my next point -- that my motivation is seriously lacking. And this has me worried. I haven't been tracking my food this week. I never minded doing it before, but lately it's become a dreaded chore. Not sure why. Maybe after more than a year, my brain has had enough? Secondly, I haven't been to the gym in a couple of days. My mom fell and broke her hip about 2 weeks ago. My dad has been home with her but he had to go to work on Wed. and Thur. so they asked me to come over and help out on those two days, which I gladly did. But I was unable to get to the gym for those 2 days. Yesterday I could have gone but was worried I would not have enough time to make all the food for the party so I skipped the gym to work on that. Today, I am just plain lazy. I will go later this afternoon. I HAVE to. But why is it is darn difficult? I love to exercise, I love the gym and I love the way I feel after a workout. So why is it that if I get out of the "groove" of going to the gym for more than a day, it feels (mentally) like I am starting all over again?
I think I need a new reward to focus on for reaching my goal weight. Israel was a truly awesome reward, and this one will not be on that scale of course. It will be something small, yet meaningful and something I can get excited about. Not sure what yet. But in the past, if I had ice cream in the freezer, I would say to myself: "Do I want to eat ice cream or do I want to go to Israel?" Now I can't say that anymore. If you have any ideas for a really cool incentive, I'm all ears!
I wish everyone a great rest of the weekend!
Friday, June 13, 2008
These three words from a near-stranger totally made my day yesterday.
I was walking out the door to go to the gym when I saw my next-door neighbor at her door. We smiled and said our hellos, and then she said to me, "You look great, by the way."
She doesn't know me very well, and I don't know her. She of course had no way of knowing how much I've been struggling lately to stay on track. That compliment and small act of kindness on her part kicked up my motivation by leaps and bounds. I smiled all the way to the gym.
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