Dear Catie, I’m between a rock and hard place.

On the one hand, I really want to focus very much on my book this year. I want to begin writing /it/. Researching /it/. I don’t want to just do my little writing exercises. I want to make progress! Go, go, go!

On the other hand, I really really really want to lose 50 lbs. Just fifty. That’s all I want. But the extra time I would find to use to write, I could be using to work out and plan my meals and all of the B.S. it takes to lose weight.

I cannot do both and still breathe because you know me. Narrow-sighted and driven, but only on ONE thing at a time.

What do I dooooo?!

 

Miranda

Response to this like a Dear Abbey! Go, go, go! (Inari, if you’re reading this, you can respond too! your advice is stellar!)

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Dear Catie, I haven’t posted in a while.

So, lately, or the past two weeks that is, I have been so fucking busy that I can’t think or see straight. I mean, the first week was going to be hard enough with covering a week’s worth of shifts back-to-back M-Sat (finished with a 12 hr shift Sat), but to do it on top of school M-Thu and with ‘crud’ (an ear infection in both ears plus an upper respiratory infection)… Jesus. That week sucked so hard.

Next, I was playing catch up from my week with death and talking to Matthew a lot. We had a lot of fights that mainly stemmed from, “Why don’t I ever see you?” and we all know why (I just named it), and thus when I was home more the second week, those arguments simmered down.

Then, we decided this past week we also dabbled with the idea for about a week that we were going to move to the city, because being out here in Bumfucknowhere was boring, had nothing to do around, and the nearest grocery store (that isn’t outrageously priced) is 30 minutes or so away in either direction. LAME.

Well, we decided yesterday not to move and to give it another couple of years. There were many reasons for this, but mainly it boiled down to: for the first time since our marriage, we are financially stable. By that, I mean, if I am out shopping once a month and I see a cute damn top, I can buy said top without crying my eyes out with buyer’s remorse, because we have got it! We’re good. It’s a feeling that is so unreal. I am still waiting for the floors to be ripped from beneath me on this.

So, no move. So busy. Been sick. Now I’m here, writing again.

Today, however, I intended to talk about one of the decisions I’m debating, since I DO have that money now, and that is… Weightwatchers. My mother-in-law has lost an enormous amount of weight on this diet, and she’s accountable. It’s awesome. She signed up to have the online tools AND the weekly meetings, which is $43 (roughly) a month. Just online tools and no meetings is $56 for 3 months. Now, you look at that and think, ‘duh. go with the cheaper one,’ but let’s face it.. Catie, you aren’t here. And try as we may, I am never good with accountability when it comes to diets. I feel so ashamed and I hide my mistakes from you, my husband, the world… And I hope to God you don’t bring it up weekly to remind me that I am slipping, and just let me slip so I can eat all the fucking Whataburger I want.

But.. That’s not right. And there’s no way to keep me from doing it to you from so far away. So, while the online tools are fantastic, visiting weekly meetings may be fucking fantastic for me. Keeping me accountable, meeting other women of all ages trying with me, etc etc… I don’t. Dat price, you know?

What do you think? When I think of what’s holding me back, I think, “A gym membership. That may be very expensive, and if you add it to $43 a month, things can get expensive pretty fast…” Not to mention the increase of price when I start buying healthier shit vs. the unhealthy shit I’ve been buyin. (But to counter this argument, let’s be honest, how much do I spend a day in fastfood alone? I’m sure this is no big deal, but I would REALLY have to cut down on fast food. Like, hard core. Ugh, I cringe just thinking about it.)

Why am I all crying about this lately? Well, it’s that nifty little app you got me on, Snapchat. I… I realized I don’t like sending people pics anymore, even snapped ones, because I see how fat I am compared to everyone else chatting with me. I judge myself and think, “God, do they notice how much fucking bigger I am than they are? Do they laugh as they see me stick a french fry in my face?” I literally started crying over some.

Matt and I also took a day to the mall this past weekend. Usually, I can buy clothes at limited stores in the XL size. I… I can’t even fit in to XL anymore. I’m in XXL. I bawled my eyes out. Another X? Are you serious? What happened to the girl who was a Small, but had to buy Mediums because of her boobs? Why is she an XXL?! How much bigger is she going to get before it’s too late? Is it already too late?

So after crying, I decided I really can’t give up, now. I am over 200lbs, which is what I told myself I wouldn’t do when I had Eli, and I am doing nothing right now to stop it. It’s heartbreaking to see you when you visit, and you look like a fucking rockstar, and I think, “Look, Catie did it, you can, too, and then you can both be rockstar gorgeous friends!” Don’t get me wrong, Catie. I know our friendship is deeper than skin or pant size, but Jesusfuck, sometimes I want to strangle you for all the hardwork you’ve done that I count myself as a failure before I even try about.

Ugh.

I think I’ve ranted enough, but that’s been my life for the last few weeks. Sorry I haven’t posted as much. (P.S. Neither have you, get to it missy!)

-Miranda

Dear Catie, The Scientific 7-Minute Workout.

(For the original source of this entire post:, click here. )
This column appears in the May 12 issue of The New York Times Magazine.
Exercise science is a fine and intellectually fascinating thing. But sometimes you just want someone to lay out guidelines for how to put the newest fitness research into practice.
An article in the May-June issue of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal does just that. In 12 exercises deploying only body weight, a chair and a wall, it fulfills the latest mandates for high-intensity effort, which essentially combines a long run and a visit to the weight room into about seven minutes of steady discomfort — all of it based on science.
“There’s very good evidence” that high-intensity interval training provides “many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time,” says Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fla., and co-author of the new article.
Work by scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and other institutions shows, for instance, that even a few minutes of training at an intensity approaching your maximum capacity produces molecular changes within muscles comparable to those of several hours of running or bike riding.
Interval training, though, requires intervals; the extremely intense activity must be intermingled with brief periods of recovery. In the program outlined by Mr. Jordan and his colleagues, this recovery is provided in part by a 10-second rest between exercises. But even more, he says, it’s accomplished by alternating an exercise that emphasizes the large muscles in the upper body with those in the lower body. During the intermezzo, the unexercised muscles have a moment to, metaphorically, catch their breath, which makes the order of the exercises important.
The exercises should be performed in rapid succession, allowing 30 seconds for each, while, throughout, the intensity hovers at about an 8 on a discomfort scale of 1 to 10, Mr. Jordan says. Those seven minutes should be, in a word, unpleasant. The upside is, after seven minutes, you’re done.

Dear Miranda, here is the (super long) weightloss guidbook!

Ok. So… lets see how long it takes me to get this out of the drafts section of the blog and actually posted. lol

You’re new years resolutions fucking rock, and I especially like your last one! Which…I suppose is as good a place as any to start talking about THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABOUT GETTING HEALTHIER. Are you ready? Here it is.

“Do Not let Perfect, be the Enemy of Good.”
Are you listening to me? This means that when you fail (which you will, because hello, your a human) do not just throw in the towel. You say to yourself:
“Hey me. You shouldn’t have done that. But it’s ok, because you have been doing really good and you know what, tomorrow your going to rock it.”
Also I should add… you made your goals REALLY hard. I give myself two big cheat meals each week. To say NO MORE fast food and soda EVER… is ambitious. Now, I’m not saying YOU can’t do it. I’m saying I couldn’t do that… nor would I want to.
Keep in mind a new diet should not be about deprivation, but instead, improvement.
This might seem small but its really not. I HIGHLY recommend you give yourself cheat days. And start big, then go smaller. For example. I now do two meals a week, but before I did two days a week. Then when I felt sure I could do better, I moved to one day a week. I doubt I will ever have less then my two meals a week because honestly, I love good food and there ain’t nothing wrong with eating what you want every now and again.
I also never diet when I am on vacation. A vacation is about adventure and exploring a new culture and letting your passions run wild. Don’t cheat yourself of that. (I will say gradually you might find you ENJOY some of the healthier options and you will FOR SURE start to get full faster after a while.)
Ok so. Now that we have talked about cheating lets talk about what to do when not cheating. We will do food first, then exorcise. Keep in mind… this is what worked for ME. Feel free to modify.
-Drink more water.
Have I stressed the importance of this enough yet? This is SO important not just to dieting but to your health! I will Just drop this here.
Oh yeah… and one thing this little poster doesn’t mention… It also helps prevent cancer. DRINK. MORE. WATER.
I found the easiest way for me to do this was to add lemon or strawberries to my water for flavor and to buy a big ass plastic cup with a HUGE straw. I drink more when I have a straw, I don’t know why.  
-Stop Starving Yourself (Snack).
So in the past when I have tried to diet by eating lots of small meals I felt overwhelmed. FUCK… now I have to plan 5-6 meals instead of three! And it just never worked. But this last time I realized then when I watched what I ate for my 3 meals a day I was a) starving by dinner  and b) had calories left over. And having lots of left over calories SOUNDS like a great thing, but its really not. You want to lose weight but MORE importantly you want your body to function like it is supposed to so you don’t want 600 cal. left over at the end of the day just like you don’t want to go over by 600 cal.
Once all this occurred to me, I continued to eat carefully for my three meals BUT I added snacks in between as I got hungry.
Please don’t panic. You don’t have to plan out 70 million snacks. Honestly You just need a few basics that you don’t mind eating often. I regularly use 100 cal packs of organic popcorn, 100 cal skinny cow fudgesicles (for when I was craving sweets) , 100 cal chocolate greek yogurt.  
When I started snacking I noticed…Holy shit… I’m not as hungry and all my portions became smaller… and suddenly with out even trying I was basically eating 6 small meals a day!
(Later when I got good at doing this I started Juicing as a snack and to add another veggie. I will do a whole different post on Juicing sometime for you love.)  
-Don’t do all the things.
When we start a project we are all: ALL THE THINGS. I WILL DO ALLLLLL THE THINGS. Don’t. Here’s the deal… If you are worried about balancing your diet, and losing weight, and getting in more green veggies, and eating organic, and blablabla,  you will eventually say “fuck it” and feel like you failed at ALL THE THINGS.
For now, you want to lose weight so focus on that. The really cool part of all this is that the other stuff falls into place naturally with out you trying. For a while you just pay attention to your calories and what not… and as you do you reolize “I could eat 1/4 of that candy bar… OR I could eat an entire banana and a small square of dark chocolate.” Suddenly you are making better choices anyway.
I got to where I would eat a salad with just vinegar because to me the oil was a pointless waist of calories and salad is nearly a freebie so I could have a bigger dinner or feel less guilty if I had a few to many cups of coffee that morning (creamer calories always kill me).
Once all that goes down if you want to try and add more greens, balance, take some vitamins or wtf ever THEN do it.
So that pretty much covers Food Rules. I can give you more later if you have questions or what not, but that’s the basics.
Now onto Working out.
I fucking hate working out. Really. I hate it. I WANT to love running. So badly. But I loath it. HOWEVER… I love how I feel after I work out. And unfortunately after baby… you HAVE to work out to drop the weight, or at least I did.
This is what worked for me (I found some of these in a book called the Happiness project and found them to be really helpful):
-Never skip exorcising for two days in a row.
This is so true. By day three it is always SO hard to go back to the gym where as when I have momentum it’s not so bad.
-Always work out on Mondays.
Stupid Mondays.
-Do the type of work out you like.  
I don’t do the treadmill much and NEVER go to the track… because fuck running.
-Find ways to squeeze exorcise in.
This is especially true if you know you wont make it to the gym that day. Instead put on music and REALLY dance for 3 songs. Do a rep of jumping jacks and squats every time you get up from your desk. Shit like that.
-Give your self credit for the small things.
If you had to walk up and down the stairs at school 4 times, don’t write that off. Soon you will find yourself making excused to go up them an extra time just to top of your normal count. If you go for a walk and take the long way, pat yourself on the back. Next time you will probably take the long way again if you do.
That is about all for that. There is only one more thing I want to go over.
The first 3 days of dieting are total hell. You will think you are starving.
Three weeks in you will probably be wonder why the fuck you are still hungry all the time (though less so then the first 3 days).
A month in if you look at the scale and have gained 2 lbs, DO NOT GET UPSET. If you are working out then weight loss is SLOW at first and your body starts building muscle. I promise the loss will come and when it does start to come if you have kept to working out the lbs. will melt off faster than you think. Muscle is a good thing. It basically eats your fat. Seriously… the more muscle you have the higher your metabolic rate will be.
And lastly. Stay positive. Remember this shit is for your sanity and health and any change you make is a step in the right direction.
YOU CAN DO IT! (And I can stop being lazy and get my ass back to the gym!)
-Catie

Dear Catie, About those New Year Resolution things…

I’m am so awful about them. It’s probably the perfectionist / completionist whore in me that feels utter failure when something isn’t done 100%, but that’s how I feel every year when I don’t do something. Example:

Miranda wants to drink NO SODAS. Miranda lasts 31 days and drinks a soda. Miranda doesn’t try harder the next day, because she’s already fucked up and therefor is not perfect, why bother.

This is bad, and I know it’s bad. It’s also probably the reason I haven’t lost weight yet. “I worked out so hard the other day, and here I am eating a Whataburger!… LOLNOPE ON THE WEIGHTLOSS THING.”

But, for you my dear, I will make a list because it’s good to have goals and strive for something, and with your help, even when I inevitably fail sometimes, you can help remind me that I can keep going without the perfection and the world will, believe it or not, still turn.

Miranda’s New Year Resolutions
  1. Apologize only when I regret. This one if a big deal to me because, as you know Catie, up until a few months ago I would apologize for every little thing. Bumping someone’s shoulder on pure accident, not having a clean house when friends would come over despite the fact that I have no time and a child to raise, being too poor to afford things like ‘going out every night’, or for hurting someone’s feelings unintentionally because they took what I said or wrote the completely wrong direction in which it was meant and didn’t give me the benefit of the doubt. Yeah, fuck that. No more. I spent a month with a counselor this past semester at school and she suggested that to help with all the guilt I felt all the time that made me not want to be in this world, I should realize what it is I feel guilt for and why. And if it was for dumb things like the examples above, then I shouldn’t let it make me feel guilty. Instead, I should base every apology I want to make on this sound question: “Do I regret not cleaning the house instead of playing with my son? Do I regret having no money instead of being home to raise my child and use more time to focus on school? Do I regret saying or writing something because someone’s head is too far up their own ass to realize what I’ve been writing? No? Okay, no apology needed.” Works for me.
  2. Be positive. I know my last paragraph seemed a little catty. Maybe it was. I’ve gone from depressed, innocent, crying, pathetic Miranda and turned in to confident, empowered, motivated Miranda… with a side of catty when people try to pull the old shit on me (and took advantage of how compassionate I really am when I care.) You know the types and people. Anyhow, I want to make sure my catty doesn’t become a side-effect and hurt people more than it does make them laugh. And more importantly, I need to remember that everything is in perspective, and with a positive one, I can get more shit done.
  3. No more sodas. God, I will miss Dr. Pepper. I should make ONE exception rule: On Holidays, I can have up to two. TWO. God, they are so bad for you, though.
  4. No more fast food. I would like to note that this does not include healthier places like Panera Bread in which I get the healthiest, tastiest, over-priced shit. But it is the best.
  5. Plan ahead on school work. Last semester, in almost every class, I was given my assignments ahead of time on a schedule. I had ample opportunities to get my things done way before the end of term, and not taking advantage of this really hurt my grades in some classes. This semester, I am taking 14 hours. This includes an online course (Art Appreciation. Easy enough.), a physical education course (Yoga. Yay! Forced Physical Health!), a language course (More Spanish. All the time.), a history course (God, help me), and a creative writing class. The latter three are going to be heavy in things to learn, and I really don’t have time or money to slack off. It’s go time. Take advantage of all my opportunities school-related, go go go!
  6. Write for 30 minutes, every day. Whether it’s this blog, a diary, role play, a short story.. Anything to keep my mind going and keep up the pace I want to set to write that next great American piece of literature!
  7. Work out. I’m really bad that this one. I really am. When I am working out, I am like ‘fuck yeah this feels great’. Before the work out, I am like ‘what excuse can I come up with to keep me from having to spend an hour at the gym.’ I don’t know why. I need to reroute my brain’s pattern of thinking on this one, but I truly don’t know how to yet. So, I’m going to put work out, because it sounds better than ‘lose X lbs’ when I can’t even focus on the working out part just yet. Maybe in June, I can give you a number. For now, I just want to make working out a routine thing. With Yoga being every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:30, and classes (near my gym) every M-Th, I am hoping I can stop by the gym on the way home every day (4 days of 7, if not also on weekends) and do some work. That is, also while keeping my homework under check.
  8. Flesh out one of the many ideas I have for a book, and write a plot line. You know me. I have a million ideas, and they are all half-assed and never finished. I need to pick one and just run with it. Run it in to the ground. Then I need to write it out as much as I can. Then I need to put it away for 3 months and come back to it with a clear head and write some more, and edit. I also need to figure out how to even get published. Hmm.
  9. God, God, God. If anything, the biggest thing that happened to me last year was finally breaking the barrier where I wanted so bad to believe in God, but he seemed so much like a fairy tale that I couldn’t. When I finally broke that barrier.. It’s magical. To save you guys who may not give a damn about religion, or Christians, some time, I will just tell you that… it’s a big deal. And I’d love to get more involved with Him and our relationship because the more I do, the better things seem to get for me and mine.
  10. Complete at least two of these resolutions. It doesn’t count if I complete one, and then this one is the second and therefor 2/10 are done. That’s cheating.
Hope you liked my resolutions, Catie. Tried just for you.
Hey! It would be super awesome if you could explain Juicing to me sometime. I don’t even know what it is, but people won’t shut up about it. Is it good? Bad? Weight loss related? I don’t speak Japanese. 
Just do a nutrition post in general. Or both. Give it all to me, now!
Miranda

P.S. After your last post, my head is the size of Jupiter’s moon, Miranda. Thank you.