A Chip on My Shoulder

Remember how last night I posted about my concerns about pigging out on tortilla chips? The fiesta is over and the results are in. Did I win my battle against the siren song of freshly fried tortilla chips? Read on to find out!

Sad for a lack of chips in my life.

I did not eat a single chip. Not a bite, lick or taste. Zip. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

Nary a chip crossed my lips! Not gonna lie, it was hard. I was starving, the food took forever to come out, but I didn’t do it. Because I knew once I went into that territory and even one salty, sumptuous corn triangle crossed my lips, I’d be done for. I’m like an alcoholic around three things: tortilla chips, movie theatre popcorn, and sourdough bread. Sometimes avoidance is best.

I’m pretty proud of myself. It’s kind of dumb to have to think, “Wow, I can’t even eat a tortilla chip without getting all bingey”, but that’s the American way. The average basket of restaurant size tortilla chips is 500 calories. And I’ve totally eaten like two baskets on my own – and I know other people do it too. Why do we eat before we eat? Weird, right? In this case, it’s better to just refrain. Tonight, I have no chips on my conscience and happily, no chip on my shoulder.

Steak Salad!


Random Thoughts on Wednesday!

Hi Double Chinners! I can’t think of one “subject” for this post so I thought I’d just write a bunch of small things.

1) Can you recommend a decent fat free or light salad dressing? I tried Kraft’s fat free Caesar dressing with asiago cheese and it tastes like maple syrup and pepper – yuck! It’s way too sweet and just tastes nasty. I love Hidden Valley Light Ranch, but at 80 calories per serving I know I can find something better.

Sparkly Glittery Luxe-Effects Essie Nails

2) I’m waiting for my finger nails to dry. Tonight I did a pale pink base coat with chunky pink glitter. Painting my nails is another fun and random thing I like to do when I have free time, or when I’m avoiding working on my thesis (like baking cupcakes)!

3) Tomorrow night is going to be a tough willpower night for me. My grad cohort is having a party at Los Toros, my favorite Mexican restaurant ever – and their tortilla chips and bean dip are out of this world. My registered dietician and I decided I should try to avoid them, as we know that tortilla chips are a big trigger for me. It’s going to be hard, but I’m going to try my very best. I’ll report back on ChipGate 2012!

I'm kind of obsessed with food erasers.

4) I bought more food erasers tonight at Target. A tiny rubber watermelon? Be still, my heart. (Psst – will be giving away a set of these with some of my other favorite things in my upcoming 150 Fan Celebration! But first, I have to get 150 Facebook Fans. Please “like” the Double Chin Diary if you like my random ramblings!)

5) Do you feel like you have 10,000,000 reusable bags, too? I appreciate the efforts to help reduce the environmental impact of plastic bags on the Earth, but good heavens! I’ve got reusable bags coming out the wazoo. The tragedy is, I never remember to take them out of my car to actually use! Now, it seems like they’re the latest freebie at stores like Old Navy… So I keep on collecting them. Hmm. Maybe I’ll have to package aforementioned giveaway in a reusable bag!

That’s all I got. What random ramblings do you have for me?



Charmlee Park Hike

Gorgeous Ocean Overlook with Purple Flowers at Charmlee Park

Happy Memorial Day, Double Chinners! I hope you had a long, restful weekend. This weekend I was a busy little bee, but I did it right: mixed social plans with fitness! My friend Jason had raved about a hike at a place called Charmlee Park in Malibu, so I asked him if he’d want to join Matt and I for a Monday hike. This place was absolutely gorgeous!


After the hour-long drive, we started off by eating our sandwiches – because as you know, any good workout requires the proper fueling up. I had a turkey sandwich and baked cheetos. Nom, nom.

Fueling up before my workout

Then, we were off! We climbed into a meadow full of amber grains and endless grasses. There were wild flowers everywhere, and bees happily flitted around the blossoms. Giant sprays of yellow mustard popped against the blue sky. See?

And we're off!

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for a hike. It was in the low 70s, and a cool breeze showed up every time we huffed and puffed up a hill. I had to stop a few times to take pictures of the local flora, like these pretty purple flowers hiding among some grass.

Cute purple flowers

After a bit of a trek, we arrived at the first vista. Can you imagine living out here?!

Peninsula and flowers at Charmlee

We continued onwards and ended up at the second ocean overlook. At this point I was swooning and thanking my parents for moving us to such a heavenly place.

We huffed and puffed and chugged up a few more hills to check out some “Ranch Ruins”, which were really just like rocks. It’s wasn’t even exciting enough for a picture – with the breathtaking ocean views, a pile of rocks was sort of underwhelming. I took a few more pictures of flowers.

White wild flowers

Happy Hiker!

This was a perfect hike because it was challenging enough – the majority of it wasn’t backbreaking, cardio labor, but there were a few tough hills that had me cursing my excess weight. I really love hiking though, because it’s a great way to work out, socialize, and take in the incredible sights. It doesn’t really seem like exercise. At the end of the hike (about 2.5 hours), I was sweaty, hot and tired – but feeling good after all the endorphins and vitamin D kicked in. Can’t you tell?

Did you do any fun kinds of fitness this weekend? What did you do?



Does it exist? Finding a cute plus-size athletic swim suit

I’ve recently started taking a water aerobics class at my university. It’s a great workout for me because it’s FUN – and it’s deceptively hard! I get to splash around in the sunshine and reap the benefits of a good cardio workout at the same time. However, last class, I noticed an elderly but mischievous man swimming laps who seemed to be enjoying watching the ladies in the class…particularly when we’d do certain moves that caused bouncing, if you catch my drift. My swimsuit, while very cute with its vintage inspired stripes and spaghetti straps, is perhaps not the best for high-impact aerobics.

So – the hunt began for a decently priced, cute athletic swimsuit. Doesn’t seem that hard to find, right? WRONG. I started my quest in person, where even the most simple suits squeezed me like a sausage in spanx. Frustrated with the water-proof girdles I kept finding, I headed online, thinking I’d surely do better.

Well – At first, I ended up with beauties like this. For the love of god, really? As if we need ugly water color paint strokes on the chest and the dreaded skirt to remind us that that we’re less than lithe in the pool.


Source: target.com via Alyssa on Pinterest

Then, I’d get excited when I’d find something like this – sleek, sexy and seemingly functional – until the reviews mentioned how there was very little support. If I wanted to lounge on a towel and drink bellinis this would be a great option, but for water aerobics? Not so much.

Source: macys.com via Alyssa on Pinterest

Frustrated with my usual online clothing standbys, I turned to Target – the place where hope springs eternal. I did a little better finding this suit – but I’m torn on if it would have enough support to keep the girls in place, and I’m not sure how I feel about the little ruffle. I don’t exactly want to call attention to my belly!

Source: target.com via Alyssa on Pinterest

Kohl’s offered up this semi-decent plus sized athletic suit, but it’s out of stock in my size.
The stripes and purple kind of remind me of Tim Burton, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I could go for a cuter design.

Source: kohls.com via Alyssa on Pinterest

Lastly, I found this one on Walmart.com, but it’s out of stock. Shame, because this is the closest to what I want. Good price, cute color, racer back style to keep the twins in check, and a nice design with elongating side stripes. Of course it’s out of stock – of course it is!

Source: walmart.com via Alyssa on Pinterest

Swimsuit shopping is brutal no matter what your size – but DAMN! I never expected athletic suit shopping to be so hard. Does anybody have any recommendations for me? There’s some very basic styles on sites like Just My Size and One Stop Plus, but I guess I’m hoping for a cuter style. Maybe I’m being too vain and need to go for function over fashion, but I just can’t help it – I’m all about the aesthetic.

Fess up – no matter what your size, do you hate swimsuit shopping too?

Birthday Weekend Treats & Eats – And a weigh in!



Hello All! I know I promised to talk about the delicious food I consumed over my birthday weekend, so without further ado, let’s dive right in, right? Good thing looking at pictures of delicious things doesn’t add calories…


Mexican Fiesta!


My parents hosted a Mexican fiesta the day before my birthday to celebrate four birthdays in the family, and two retirements. There were all sorts of Mexican nibbles, like chips and guacamole, Atomic Buffalo Turds (smoked jalapenos stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon), Carnitas, Carne Asada, Smoked Chicken, Adobo pork, spanish rice, two kinds of tortillas, and sweet corn. My father in law made amazing enchiladas, too!

Allison's beautiful and delicious cake!

And what kind of birthday would it be if there wasn’t cake? We had the Costco cake, above… and then my brother’s sweet girlfriend Alison made me this delicious berry and vanilla bean cream cake. It was fabulous, and convinced me I need to buy real vanilla beans to bake with, because they added such a yummy taste and texture.

I went to bed with a very full tummy, and I knew I didn’t do a very good job controlling myself around the deliciousness. There may or may not have been a late night chips and guacamole binge after some champagne and wine….

Cookie dough ice cream at Lalas

The next day was no different, but this time, we mixed it up and had dinner at the inlaws. But of course, what kind of birthday would it be if I didn’t have any ice cream? While walking around downtown Petaluma with my sister and husband, we stopped into Lalas, a vintage ice cream parlor, and got me a dish of cookie dough ice cream. I rarely eat ice cream, but it’s such a delicious treat! This ice cream was organic and hand made in a traditional creamery style. Tasty, tasty.

Fall Apart Beef with noodles and peas, yum!

Later that night, we had dinner at the in-laws! I requested “fall- apart beef”, something Matt learned to make when we moved in together a year before we got married. It’s basically a chuck roast that’s lightly grilled to get a little color and flavor, and then cooks in red wine and onions for a loooooooong time until it’s literally falling off the bone. It’s served with egg noodles and it’s a delicious savory and rich meal. YUM!

Like I said before, I had a tough time controlling myself over the weekend – because I’m like a drug addict with delicious food – I just can’t be around it! So when I went to my nutritionist, I prepared myself for a gain. I stepped on the scale and…

I lost 1 pound.

Yeah, I don’t know how either. All I can think is that in the past few weeks while I’ve been wrapping up the semester and scurrying around at work, I haven’t been snacking as much. I pretty much eat my breakfast, lunch, dinner and a late night snack and that’s it – none of my usual afternoon snacking. It’s also been getting warmer so my appetite is just naturally a little less. I weigh in again on Wednesday, and I’m curious to see how it goes because I’ve been eating out a lot this week, but have been exercising pretty frequently.

Stay tuned – hopefully the losing trend continues. So, how about you – how do you do with eating on celebration weekend? Part of me wants to believe calories don’t count on birthdays, but I gotta keep it real and be thankful the scale didn’t reflect my total lack of care over the weekend. It was a GOOD birthday, not just because of the food – but all the yummy things didn’t hurt! 🙂

Have a wonderful Monday!






Bike to Work Day 2012

Dad bikes to work for his job as a telecommunications engineer!

Last week, it was Bike to Work Day in my hometown of Petaluma, and both of my parents rode their bikes to work. That got me thinkin’, I wanna try it! Here’s a great shot of my dad after his 6.5 mile bike ride.

Though there’s some debate about if LA County’s Bike to Work Day is today or tomorrow, I rode my bike to work today! I live just under 4 miles from work, and on the way there, it took me about 38 minutes. I was going slow and rode on sidewalks and used the lights to cross major intersections. The San Fernando Valley is not especially biker-friendly… I think I rode into branches, spider webs and various sidewalk clutter several times. There’s a lot of major streets that don’t have sidewalks either, which put me dangerously close to the caffeinated soccer moms schlepping their wonder children in gigantic SUVs.

Sucess! Four miles there, four miles back!

What I loved about my bike ride was that I felt so much more awake by the time I got to work. The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, and when I hit a smooth, straight patch where I just cruised, it was like being 9-years-old again and pedaling around town for fun. What I didn’t love is that I didn’t have the foresight to bring a change of clothes – and I spent the rest of the day feeling like a stinky, sweaty chick.

The ride to work was about 40 minutes, and the ride home was about 30 minutes, probably because I took a different route with less lights. I also really took my time – I wasn’t interested in impressing anybody. I feel really proud that I made it both ways! In fact, for the ride home I was thinking of getting a ride with my friend because it was 84 degrees and I felt lazy – but my bike didn’t fit in his car, so it was a sign that I needed to not be a lazy bum and pedal to the metal all the way home.

Helmet hair is so in vogue! (Hey, I'd rather look dorky than have a traumatic brain injury!)

While I don’t know if I’ll become a regular bike commuter just because my bed is far too appealing in the morning,  this definitely gives me some insight into what morning exercise might do for my energy level. All day I felt so alert and alive – pretty impressive for someone who’s usually yawning at 3 pm. I’m proud of myself because eight miles feels like an epic journey – which is why it’s staggering to me that so many of my friends (I’m looking at you, Amy, Jason, Shelley, Matt…) regularly run huge, long distance marathons for PLEASURE. Who knows – maybe I’ll become a convert!

Have you ever rode your bike to work or some place else “far” away? What’d ya think?