Israeli Fighting Kicks My Arse

Have I mentioned my friend Merrie on here? Merrie is an amazing designer I work with who I work out with. She’s been a great inspiration to me as she works on her own fitness and health, and we (try to) work out a few times a week. As I get to know Merrie better I realize she’s what I call an “Adventurine”. How so, you ask? Well, Merrie likes to try new things. And when a Groupon popped up for four “Krav Maga“, or “Israeli Fighting Classes”, she was all over it. You could tell my other two co-workers and I were on the fence about it, but Merrie’s enthusiasm is contagious… and how bad could it be, right?

Hanging Punching Bags for Swift Agression Relief

I’m happy to say it was an arse-kicking and challenging workout, albeit one that totally took me out of my comfort zone in the best possible way. We arrived to the Thai style boxing studio and met our nice instructor, Brian. We filled out some forms (The line for weight? Yeah, mine said “2-much πŸ˜‰ “) and then got ready to warm-up, with one other bad-ass looking girl and three dudes. First… we had to run in circles around the gym to warm up. RUN?! I haven’t run since 12th grade. (That’s a lie but for comedic effort just pretend it’s true). Fat girls don’t run. They bounce, and hope that a unicorn falls out of the sky to get them out of it. Thankfully, I was with my co-worker/friends (Merrie, Shelley and Susan), so I was a little less self-concious about being a slowpoke, since we’re all buddies.

"Million Dollar Baby" before she got her ass kicked.

After the running, we had to do sit ups… and push ups. The worst part was we had to be partnered with people… And we had to intertwine our legs and arms during the sit ups. So here I am, arms linked with a nice, 6’11 fellow, praying I don’t crack one off as I STRAAAAAAIN to hoist my upper body into some semblance of a “sit up”. Β The warm-up was actually the worst part physically for me, just because I’m still a butterball and am not quite in “shape” yet. (AND, I know this is no excuse, but after my vacation and terrible chest cold, I hadn’t been to the gym in two weeks. So much for easing myself back into the routine…)

Sweat-drenched Alyssa and Ass-Kicking Instructor Brian

The actual fighting part was a lot of fun, and very informative. Our teacher Brian was endlessly patient with my obnoxious questions and groans of pain, and I can solidly say that dude can kick some major ass. The biggest challenge I had was to pay attention to my footwork and stance as it was a little bit different than what I’m used to in my kickboxing class. We have three more classes left, and I’m excited to see how it goes. It was really nice to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. When you have a weight problem, it can be intimidating to try something new that’s athletically or physically challenging. This was a great work-out with the added benefit of learning the art of self-defense.

When was the last time you got out of your comfort zone?

UNREAL Sour Creme

Some of you know that my profession involves using words and grammar to convince people to buy things. (If I wanted to be “PC”, I’d say that I’m truly trying to create brand awareness, but the bottom line is, brand awareness still means we want people to buy things. So there) Given that my profession as a copywriter means I’m familiar with marketing speak, I thought I was a little less…. how do you say… gullible when it comes to packaging terms.

Tonight, I was preparing a favorite warm weather dish of mine – cucumber salad. It’s relatively low in calories and fairly simple to make, requiring few ingredients. First, peel two cucumbers and use a mandoline slicer to make them paper thin. Sprinkle them liberally with salt, and let them soak for about half an hour in just the salt.

Slice 'em nice and thin, like calorie-free potato chips...

After half an hour, make sure your hands are clean, and then get in there and SQUEEEEEZE the moisture out of those cucumbers. SQUUUUEEEEEEZEEEEEE! You want them mostly dry, otherwise you’ll feel like you’re drinking from the ocean.


Then, when all the cuke slices are squeezed and mostly dry, add one TBSP white vinegar and two big dollops of sour cream. Notice that I wrote sour cream and not sour creme. Cuz this? This is “UNREAL!!!” Sour “creme”. And you know what that means?

Anything wrong with this picture?

This is “unreal” sour cream. Like for realz. Sour creme.. that’s not sour cream. I took a bite while I was making this salad and something tasted… Off. And then I thought, well, it needs to be refrigerated so maybe that’s why. But then I thought, wait, this is the easiest recipe in the world and it tastes WRONG! I took another taste and thought, hmmm. Something’s wrong with this sour cream. And then I realized… No, it’s not low fat… but it says UNREAL! You don’t think… OH YES! It’s artificial sour cream.

I’m sorry, but when I want sour cream, I want REAL sour cream… in all of its fatty, sour glory. Hydrogenated soy bean oil? I don’t think so. Give me the stuff that comes from straight from the cow’s udder and congeals into a big, thick paste, cuz THAT’S what I want in my cucumber salad. Not a big glop of gluey white stuff. Unreal Sour Creme? I hate using this term because it’s now so overdone…. but this truly was an epic fail. That’ll teach a consumer goods copywriter to think she’s got the smarts to brave the grocery store. πŸ˜‰

Blog Buddy Appreciation Day

Hi everybody! Today is Blog Buddy Appreciation Day… a holiday I had never heard of until the awesome KJPugs wrote about it! Blogging is special to me because as a writer, it’s a fun way to get your voice out there in a public forum. I always thought that blogging was cool because you don’t NEED any special connections, or html knowledge, or anything like that to be successful. You basically just need to know how to type and have something to say. It’s really fun to have your own little “corner” of the internet. I imagine as this teeny tiny little piece of space in a dusty old corner, back by the cobwebs with old websites like Acrophobia or Smile And Act Nice (if you remember any of those, old school points to you!). It may not be incredibly well known – but it’s mine – and aint’ nobody touchin’ it but me! (Well – except for the awesome Nathan G., who’s helping me set up the new design…WHICH by the way is not finished yet… It’s gonna take some time so please hold your horsies. But aren’t the little icons SO CUTE?!)

Another thing stolen from KJPugs. Notice a trend?

Anyhoozles… Here are the blog buddies I appreciate. I’m still fairly new so I don’t have many besties… yet… but these are my daily readz fo sho!

1) KJPugs. Yes, yes, I know lots of you probably think “GAWD! Who IS this girl she talks about all the time?!” All I know is that if Kelly lived here (or if I lived there), we would be total chums. She’s hilarious and blogs about her life in Indiana with her chef hubby (I drool over a lot of the posts about what he cooks) and she always posts cute pictures of her puggies. She’s a founder of the #VOTMC (Vlog of the Month Club… of which I am shamefully lagging), and she always has funny, unique content on her page. She’s super cool and I’m thankful to her for setting an awesome example of what a successful blog should be like. Go read her stuff… NOW!

2) A Bit of This, A Dash of That! Kendall over at A Bit of This, A Dash of That is a girl I have known for a very long time! We were band nerds together in high school, and she and her sister belong on that list of people you know who are unnaturally nice, good people. Kendall blogs about crafts, food (sometimes WW-friendly, for all you WW folks out there) and books, and her blogging is always a nice break in the day. She just recently posted a recipe for this insane looking broccoli rigatoni that I can’t wait to try out. It’s so fun to be blog buddies with a few people you actually know in person – it adds a nice touch to everything they write.

3) Alycia at the Wonder Wall is also another person I know in real life! We went to junior high and high school together, and re-connected when we were both engaged! It was a lot of fun to reconnect with an old friend during the insanity of wedding planning. She blogs about a little bit of everything – book reviews, movie reviews, and life. She’s a fellow grad student so we have that in common too (insane newlyweds FTW!), and she has a great sense of humor and a likable, relatable tone in her writing.

4) My sister April, at No Love for Bingo Wings! Ok – So What’s a Bingo Wing? Well… when a bunch of fat old women are together playing bingo, and one of them gets a bingo, and they scream out “BINGO!” and begin waving their arms frantically in the air… the little bit of chicken fat or loose skin under the arm waves like a wing… So that’s a bingo wing! My sister is awesome and has the same struggle I do with her weight – so show a little support and stop by her blog. (And if she gets more visitors maybe she’ll update more frequently!!!!!! HINT HINT)

5) My last #BBAD (There’s lots more blogs I read but I can’t list ’em all.. well, I could, but I’m lazy) is a blog that’s new to me, but has been hugely inspiring. Go read All The Weigh by an awesome chick named Kenlie. She has a freakish talent at painting her nails herself, and her inspiring blog posts about weight loss (she’s lost 120 pounds – WOW!) are super motivating to a slacker like myself. I admire what’s she achieved, both online and off – and her blog is what I hope mine can one day become – a success story.

Four things

Yeah, yeah, I know this is supposed to be a weight loss blog, but I’m getting over a bad cold and don’t have much creative energy so… we’re gonna do a four things survey! Gracefully stolen from KJ Pugs . (PS I really hope my new design can be launched this week! I’m workin’ on it!)

Gratuitous picture of Lucia as a kitten. Cuz it's cute.

Four jobs I have had in my life:

  1. Bra Sales person. This job sucked.
  2. Bookkeeper for a very wealthy man (nice cash bonuses here!)
  3. Pre-School Summer Camp Counselor (I got paid to play!)
  4. Instruction Manual Writer

Four movies I would watch over and over:

  1. Drop Dead Gorgeous
  2. Adaptation
  3. Edward Scissorhands
  4. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Four places I have lived:

  1. Naperville, ILL
  2. Debary, FL
  3. Petaluma, CA
  4. Northridge, CA

Four TV shows I love to watch:

  1. True Blood
  2. No Reservations w/ Anthony Bordain
  3. Six Feet Under (RIP, sniff sniff)
  4. Paula Deen

Four places I have been on vacation

  1. St. Lucia – so gorgeous I named my cat after it
  2. Amsterdam – loved the people here, and their red light district seemed safer than most parts of LA!
  3. Cabo San Lucas, MX – Just got back!
  4. New Orleans – I loved the feeling of history and heritage here – and the food was awesome.

Websites I visit daily:

  1. Facebook
  2. Gmail
  3. Groupon
  4. LATimes

Four of my favorite foods:

  1. Popcorn
  2. Artichokes
  3. Baked Potato
  4. Corned beef

Four places I would rather be right now:

  1. Well, I’m in bed cuz my boss sent me home early because I sound like death (good boss!), so I can’t say bed… ummm…
  2. Caribbean?
  3. Petaluma to see my fam
  4. Novato to see my best buddy

Viva La Mexico

I just returned from five days in sunny Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where I toasted my 26th year with many delicious pina coladas!

Mmmm, creamy coconutty goodness!

As usual, I prefer the most fattening option – in this case, a sugary drink loaded with creamy, fatty coconut milk. I ate very well all week – homemade corn tortillas with burnt blisters on their surface, marinated arrachera steak, fresh guacamole mashed with key lime juice and chunks of ripe tomato… Even my birthday dessert was over the top – homemade churros, deep fried and dusted with vanilla scented sugar and cinnamon, dipped in caramel sauce. My birthday “Cake” was two wedges of tres leches cake, soft and spongy, coated with cream and speckled with a mixed berry coulis – the perfect tart and tang to the dense, rich cream.

I wish all birthday wishes were edible.

One of my favorite meals in Cabo is at Gordo Lele’s, which loosely translates to “Fat love” (an agenda I identify with here!). Javier, the owner, is a sweet man who makes amazing tacos (the beef is marinated in soy sauce and cayenne. Ay, papi!) and sings Beatles, Elvis and Frank Sinatra songs as people dine on their food. Even better is he pulls out tiny fake guitars and pianos and as he croons, pretends to rock out on the tiny instruments.

No, sir, I don't know how all those empty Pacificos got in the foreframe...

Here are some of his yummy tacos – and 15 pesos a piece, the slabs of avocado and homemade tortilla make it a total steal. (See the plastic bag? In poorer parts of the country, dishes are wrapped in plastic for hygiene and to avoid having to wash the plates too frequently. Sounds scary but makes sense).

So – as you can see above, I ate my way through Cabo San Lucas and enjoyed every minute of it; except, until, I got Montezuma’s revenge on the last day of my trip. Hey, the positive side to that? Five days of fatty boom boom eating = gone!

Lyssa, Javier and Matt - Thanks for the tacos!