Playmates Don’t Eat Lasagna: Finding Health & Balance in 2012

This weekend was one big culinary orgasm. I went out to several restaurants and indulged in countless carbohydrates while unabashedly basking in gluttonous satisfaction. I drank lager after lager and chose mashed potatoes and rice as my side dishes without considering the likelihood to regret later. Far ahead of my concerns to develop rock hard abs was the happiness of myself and the company I was with. Counting calories was the last thing on my mind. But soon after my ass hit the couch, the reality of my beach bum future set in. I decided this month would be the start to my seriously intense training regimen. However, I am worried about making significant progress and being able to maintain it down the road. 

Look, I have a lot of love for cocktails, beer, and all food. I am an Italian girl whose Sunday afternoons revolve around pasta and meat dishes; breads, cheeses and wine as the main course prequel. I have learned to cook the traditional and not so traditional Italian food staples by lingering in the kitchen, watching over my parent’s shoulders and tasting everything without question. For as long as I walk this Earth, Manicotti stuffed with mozzarella and ricotta will be a part of me.

Not only was the food especially grand this weekend, but the weather was as well. The sun was shining and there was a high of 65 degrees on Saturday. I was driving home from a mall excursion pumping the Stones and looking at a sun-setting orange-purple-pink-baby blue sky. This time last year I could not find a place to put the snow I shoveled. I was constantly trapped in my house because of icy roads, and the gas bill was the highest it had been in years- I know because my father reminded us on the regular. And despite my tanning membership, I could not break the Edward Cullen paleness which the dull grey skies had cursed me with. Spring fever shot through my body and sent me into a slight panic. Maybe it was food shock, but it was most likely because I had just realized how much of a Miss Piggy I had been all weekend.

Mind chatter went something like this:

Worried Sarah: Okay, so you consumed enough calories to feed an army of children this weekend. Oh, jeez! And you want a body like some Playmate of the Year? How can we do this? Time is ticking!

Go-Getter Sarah: You are going to cut back on soda, beer and carbohydrates. No fast food, no excuses. You have to work out three to four times a week.

Pessimistic Sarah: I just do not think I can do that. That sounds way too hard for you.

Bitchy Sarah: You have to do it! Or else you will be gross and uncomfortable for all the things you want to see and do this year.

Realistic Sarah: If other girls your age can do it, so can you. You are a driven person. Plus, you are not even that bad to start.

Phew! The mind chatter ended and I got down to business.

I crunched numbers for personal training and gym fees. I also made a loose schedule with times that would work best to exercise. I figure that having a personal trainer once a week would be enough to show me how to go about particular workouts when I head to the gym by my lonesome. It gets pricey if you want their time for two or more days per week, anyhow. I will dedicate my Sunday’s to the Fitness Edge, as the weekends will be the only days I have entirely free to focus on training.

Playboy Playmate, Laura Croft a.k.a. my body inspiration

This year, it is incredibly important that I hit my goal weight and tone my body to my idea of perfection. Let me get to that now. My idea of the perfect body is in fact Playboy models. Now, now. A lot of Bunnies are all natural (Bridget Marquardt, Sara Jean Underwood, Kelly Monaco). I appreciate their balance between curves and skinniness. Realistically, these girls are not eating lasagna and drinking a bottle of Cabernet. Although, I am sure they wish they could treat themselves to said meals, they have something I aim to possess: discipline.

After the Girls Next Door was over for good, I teared up. I loved that show. They may seem fake, but I have seen those girls work out, a lot. They maintain sexy but without over … or under- doing it.  I would never discourage anyone from doing what they have to do to make themselves happy with their bodies and image- whatever that may be. Hey, I am not an aspiring Playmate, I am merely stating my opinion of an ideal body.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, the Tough Mudder competition is four months away. Team Ninja Bitches (fantastic name, right?) needs me to come through for them. Upon reading the stories of past Tough Mudder competitors, I have realized that the majority of the successes come from those who completely commit themselves to becoming stronger and building endurance. Some even prepare by doing “two-a-days,” or twice a day workouts. I could be assured results if I dedicate myself to the gym this way. Ten to twelve miles aint no joke. Twenty five military style obstacles aint no joke either. I refuse to be one.

Balance will be key.

After I completed an abandoned Tough Mudder obstacle, Mount Snow, VT in July

I only have one and half weeks before I start a daunting school routine again. I will have classes as early as 8 a.m., and some that go as late as 8 p.m. I have to get a required science course out of the way, so I chose physics. For anyone who has majored in journalism or the fine arts, I know you can feel my pain. This is not what I am good at! Science is not in my DNA. Granted I have always passed sciences with a steady stream of B’s, physics requires math, and math makes me S-I-C-K!

On top of physics, I will be taking four more classes including Honors English Seminar and Journalism Technology. I am most looking forward to my degree-related courses such as this one, which is intended to show me the ropes in WordPress, Photoshop and other funky computer programs. On my Life List, I have listed goal number 50 to get straight A’s in all five of my classes.

The party-girl lifestyle takes to the back burner tomorrow in preparation for the months ahead. Work out, study, go to class, work, work out, study, go to class, keep up a social life, repeat. You read correct. Going out will soon become the last on my list of priorities. Not only do I have to save my money for a spring and summer filled with beach fun, festivals, road trips and vacations,but there is just no room for a hangover for the next five months. Not to mention, limiting my drinking to once a week will surely result in some sort of weight loss.

Oh yeah, food. In between paragraph one and four I got up to make a waffle and hash brown breakfast. This post is increasingly portraying me as a largely overweight slob. This is my issue here. I have no problem staying at the gym for 2 hours. I do not mind sweating, running, huffing and puffing and feeling exhausted. I actually love that. Working out is not my problem. My problem is that if I continue to eat all the wonderful goodies in my home, I will cancel out all the hard work and time I put into exercise.

My next plan of attack is to get real about my diet. I have to stop eating at restaurants so much, and limit red meat (my downfall) and starches to a bare minimum. I will have to begin grocery shopping for myself, and refuse tasty treats and calorie-loaded dinners. After talking to my doctor earlier this morning, I am armed with some dietary information that will replace heavy breakfasts and in-between lunch and dinner snacks. I still need to learn how to cook healthy, and look into replacements for frequent cooking ingredients. My friend Zoë, over at SexyTofu.com is a vegan and a healthy chica at that. I admire her dedication and passion for veganism, but I am so entirely different. As much as I know the results of nixing out meats and some dairy, I am not willing to change my life that drastically. Am I being a little bitch? Maybe so.

I am looking for suggestions and help. I cannot afford a nutritionist, and in a way I do not really want one. I should be mature and responsible enough to figure some of this out on my own. If you have any tips for me, do tell. If you are planning a weight loss extravaganza like I am, I want to know how you plan to go about it.

Trying my best to stay skinny amongst the flow of alcohol on an overseas vacation

Some people are born with the genetics to eat what they want and stay skinny. I, however, have not one piece of that gene. I enjoy food because it gives me a glimpse into people and what is important to them. Food shows me cultural techniques and personalities. It fascinates me endlessly by holding the ability to mold an age-old recipe into something new, modern and  personal all the time.

Tonight, I will replace wine with water, chips with fruit and keep my eyes focused on the bigger picture; a life of health, happiness, a better self-image and an overall sense of accomplishment. This year is the year to get fit and toned, look sexy and feel confident. Will you join me? 

20 thoughts on “Playmates Don’t Eat Lasagna: Finding Health & Balance in 2012

  1. sexytofu says:

    Hi sweet potato pie! Thanks for the shout out and the lovin. I studied nutrition at Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC, and can help you with your diet without telling you to cut out meat and dairy, if you like! TEAM NINJA BITCHES foooorever. We are gonna kill the tough mudder. Or at least finish and rejoice with the celebratory beer at the end.

  2. Teressa M. says:

    Best wishes with your goals. There are plenty of on-line sites that can help you track calories and exercise and even suggest meals and workouts. Two that I know of are Sparkpeople.com and Fitday.com. Don’t put yourself into debt trying to get in shape.

  3. psychevida says:

    Sarah-
    Oh, food, glorious food! Food and books are the only things I could be said to have addictive tendencies toward! – Would suggest exploring some vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, as the flavors are often delicious, but there are times the body needs some meat and cheese, non?

    If you can find it, I have this book of amazingly scrumptious and satisfying cookbook, “Eat up, Slim Down”.

    – And always remember the balance! You are a beautiful woman, and 25 pounds (especially if you are working out and building muscle mass!) is a lot of weight! Playmate sexy isn’t the only kind of sexy!

  4. lolahbf says:

    I’m like you. I come from an African family that think that me at a size 10 (UK) is still too skinny. I was often overfed as a kid and most of our traditional meals are actually high fat (Although healthy), Luckily I was always active so I never put on weight. But now, I am always worrying about my weight. I think you simply need to listen to your body to know when to stop and when you can indulge.

    So literally, I can tell when I’ve eaten too much food in a day. You need to simply ‘find your limit’. I used to go jogging but I stopped because it was affecting my joints. But I still kept fit and toned the whole of last year simply by walking EVERYWHERE. It’s what I plan to do again this year. And at least you have a good body: skinny legs, big boobs. I am a pear shape and have small boobs and chunky thighs. lol. But I dress up well for it so people don’t notice all that much :D

  5. Stephanie says:

    You look pretty skinny and healthy in all your pictures, but I know suggesting to anyone that he/she shouldn’t bother so much about losing weight is pretty pointless—especially considering that at least maintaining a slim weight is a perfectly fair goal and I, too, am skinny but still like pursuing my ideal weight (I’d like to lose 10 lbs more and stay there).

    Exercise doesn’t seem to be a problem for you, so congrats! You’d never find me in the gym; it’s just not my thing. But here’s how I manage the diet side of the equation—ew, math! :)

    – I keep meals small and eat until I’m *almost* full. Several small meals a day, even if it’s more than the staple three (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), is preferable to fewer, larger meals where you’re more prone to overeat.

    – Never eat after 7 or 8 at night, depending on your bedtime. If you need to, have a snack beforehand. Food sticks to you at night because of sleep! I’m a night owl and stay up late, so my preferred cut-off time is 8 or 9 at night.

    – Limit sweets as much as possible, but indulge yourself a few times a week with a SMALL goodie. Otherwise you’ll drive yourself crazy and just end up overeating all the sweet stuff anyway!

    – If you splurge, like when you eat out, don’t kick yourself over it. Stress can slow down dieting. Just try to balance it out in one of two ways: 1) If you ate too much, simmer down on how much you eat the rest of the day, and 2) If you had something fatty, try to counteract it with something healthy!

    – Don’t obsess over the scale. Look at it once every week at the most, and keep track in your head—writing your weight changes down on paper or monitoring your weight every few days will only make you feel worse.

    – Eat a healthy range of foods—that is, dabble in all of the food pyramid as much as possible. Eating all carbs is bad, but eating all meat and no carbs is worse. Have some carbs, some meat, some fruits and vegetables—don’t resort to extremes in anything.

    – Being hungry (as in you’re ready to eat) for a little longer than you’re used to isn’t a terrible thing to try. Just don’t overdo it and starve yourself. That can slow down your metabolism. But the more you get used to fending off that hungry feeling, the less you’ll want to eat. The key is to reduce your caloric intake gradually over a period of time, so you eventually eat less and maintain a lower weight.

    I’m not at all a doctor, and I know everyone is different, but those tips have recently helped me lose weight. Good luck! :)

  6. The Reinvented Lass says:

    I’m with you. I’ve never met a carb I didn’t love. I tried lots of adjustments to eating…no carbs, low carbs, high protein. Not much worked. I finally caved and starting working with a nutritionist whose focus is on body fat percentage and metabolism. That made all the difference for me. Might be worth checking out. Although I think you look great…you look like most of us want our after pictures to be!

    You can do this. Good luck!

  7. LunaSunshine says:

    I hear you there. I am from a Scottish family prone to overindulgence. Food is a serious vice, and we are apple shaped women. There didn’t seem to be a lot of hope for me.

    First, I will warn you before you read this. I am a mother. I will never have a figure like that, unless there is surgery involved.

    I have always had a weight problem. Until now, after I’ve already had a kid. Figures. I couldn’t figure out why I suddenly dropped all of that weight after I struggled my whole life just to be somewhere around normal.

    Two things occurred to me. Perpetual motion. Chasing a toddler, commuting to work via bus, working on the third floor, and being a music teacher put me in perpetual motion from the time my eyes flew open to the time they shut. Half the time, I’m walking somewhere with my Blackberry while I’m posting. And, with less time, there was far less food consumption. You can eat whatever you want with portion control and perpetual motion.

    Go to the gym. But, make other small adjustments. Park your car in the back of the lot. Take the stairs. Wear heels. Believe it or not, wearing heels is better for your posture, and burns more calories because of the constant need for balance. It’ll be hell on your feet though. Walk to the store instead of driving. Just find ways to keep on moving!

  8. Doc says:

    Just wondering if you’re open to the idea of adoption? I love to cook but C doesn’t like to eat. Well, that’s not exactly true. She likes to eat but just has so many self-imposed restrictions for healthier eating habits. I’ve just recently started playing catch-up by reading http://eatthis.menshealth.com/home which prints an email newsletter called Eat This, Not That. Take a look sometime. Some very interesting food facts you’d never think about!

  9. Jesse says:

    I must say I completely understand what you are saying except I’ve long since realized that it’s almost in my destiny to be a blubber butt. I guess I’m also a heavy Germanic-Italian, “big-boned” male so the dreams of ever becoming a playboy bunny is an impossibility despite the childhood bullies teasing I have breast of Pamela Anderson (though mine are quite smaller, unavoidably fleshier and hairier, but that’s enough about the physical me). I always remember around the new year I’d go back to classes attempt at going back to the Rec Center to run, lift, and cry my way into a healthier self. This always failed me and I’d end up breaking another new year’s resolution by crawling into the dark corner of my favorite bar where I’d order a “Diet Coke and Rum” which my friend said “might help” but even the “Diet Cokes and Rums” soon became a Guinness, a couple shots, and an even larger spare tire and my gut. Such is life; however, I do wish the best of luck to your “Healthy ambitions!”

    In my own admittance, I must say I was drawn to this post by the picture of the Lasagna. (yes I have the Garfield complex.) Your blog was fantastic and well written! Good luck with your next semester.

  10. ostranderblog says:

    OMG the commentary in your mind is hilarious, and I can totally relate. Keep working towards a healthy you, but know sometimes you can lager off the wagon ;)

  11. wanderoneday says:

    Hey thanks for liking my post on Pennsylvania breweries!

    I really enjoyed this post because it is exactly the same as my struggles, though with different food categories. For every “pasta” and “lasagna” you mention, substitute buffalo hot wings (in place of both, I love them that much). And my husband on the other hand, manages to LOSE WEIGHT if he eats fewer than 4000 calories per day. Lucky…

    Last weekend we went out with some friends and I managed to eat an entire 10 hot wings and drink three beers, and the four of us shared a zeppoli. Fantastic, delicious, satisfying meal. But while the meal itself was a whopping 1,000 calories, I’ve been tracking my meals and exercise on an iphone app called Lose It! It tracks your food an exercise daily (also has a handy barcode scanner for tracking foods), but also provides a helpful “weekly summary”. So despite my indulgant meal on Saturday, I still ended up under my weekly limit by 230 calories.

    Like your goal of the Tough Mudder (excellent team name btw), I too have a major goal I’m working toward. I love to travel, so I’ve decided that in 2 or 3 years, I will be hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. It’s a ridiculous hike, in high altitudes with less oxygen than I’m used to. But it is one of those things you just get in your head and you decide you MUST do it in your lifetime.

    Now that I’ve written a novel in your comment section, good luck with your training! Also I highly recommend an app like Lose It!. When I get the craving for some ice cream, or beer, or whatever, I enter it into the app first. If it puts me over the daily calorie limit, it’s easier to just say no. But if I still have room left in my calorie budget for the day, then why the heck not! It’s not about deprivation, after all.

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