Monthly Archives: January 2008

Tales from the commute.

Imagine having to sit in front of someone making phone calls like this for a half hour bus ride:

“Hi, Nicole. This is Rachel. How’s Nicole tonight?”

“Hi, Shannon. This is Rachel. How’s Shannon tonight?”

Yeah.  The guy behind me was THAT annoying.

How to Look Good Naked – Episode Two

I wouldn’t know the first thing about dealing with cancer treatment, but hypothyroidism is something that I am familiar with every day as I take my thyroid replacement. This allowed me to empathize with the latest guest on “How to Look Good Naked”. Radiation therapy for Hodgkin’s disease had left Marlo with hypothyroidism. I know how difficult it is to lose weight* while finding the right dosage to treat the thyroid disorder.

The formula for the show is clear by now – showing women how to love their bodies as they are in the present, not how they might have looked five years ago. The biggest message I have seen is that women (or heck, even MEN) should do a reality check when they don’t like their bodies. Is it society’s perceptions of the ideal female body? Is it a relative’s or friend’s expectations, such as in the first episode? Is it a distorted image of one’s self? It’s almost too bad everyone considering a diet or plastic surgery can’t plaster posters of themselves naked in a very public place and receive some honest and surprising opinions. ;)

Marlo provided an excellent example of learning to love one’s body as it is, as she had been struggling with weight gain thanks to the cancer treatment and hypothyroidism. Maybe she’ll go on to lose weight, maybe she won’t, but she genuinely showed that she felt good naked following her days with Carson Kressley.

*Yes, I lost considerable weight following my type 2 diagnosis due to carb counting and exercise. Yes, I still count carbs and exercise most days of the week to control blood sugar, but I’m not actively losing weight at this time. And well, my BMI still labels me as overweight at 25.5. Take a look at the BMI project over at Shapely Prose. You might be surprised at who else has the label of overweight/obese BMI.

A balancing act.

I love my balance ball (also known as a stability ball), working out on it 2-3 times a week. Recently, I added a couple new DVDs to the collection for balance ball workouts. I’ll continue to rotate the use of both of the DVDs despite my reservations about the second one.

On the Ball Pilates Workout for Beginners


  • Lizbeth Garcia is awesome.
  • Well-rounded workout with plenty of time for abs, upper body, and lower body.
  • Highlights breathing awareness.
  • Challenges me and makes me sweat.


  • Cons? There are no cons.

Fat-to-Firm Fitness Ball Workout for Dummies


  • Handweights are used during part of the workout. (A big plus for me given I’m not into heavy-duty weightlifting thanks to recurring elbow tendonitis.)
  • Challenges me and makes me sweat.


  • Music is too fast. I enjoy calm music while I’m working on the balance ball, not cheesy fake bouncy music.
  • Somewhat related…there’s not enough focus on breathing during the exercises.

Note:  I really hope the title “Fat to Firm” means “Fat to Muscle”.   Sigh!

How to Look Good Naked.

How To Look Good Naked.  I have to admit, I was skeptical.  Carson Kressley hosting a show where women are shown that their bodies are amazing, no matter what size – how can a gay man really impact how a straight woman feels about herself?  In only the first episode, he showed how women’s expectations of themselves are much different than reality.  I was expecting a lecture at the end where Carson would tell woman-of-the-episode that they needed to lose weight NOW because that’s what media does.  But he didn’t…and that’s awesome.

As I’ve begun to feel over the past several months, I feel confident with my own body.  Yes, I am a size 12 and at the upper end what my BMI tells me is acceptable.  But what matters is that I’m touting a 5.5 A1C as a type 2 diabetic.  I am usually exercising four or five times a week and usually eating healthy food, except when I’ve been dealing with a nasty cold as I have been this past week.  So what if I’m not losing weight?  It’s the blood test results that truly matter.

It seems more Americans are sharing my view, saying no to diets and saying yes to healthy lifestyles.  Instead of pricey diet plans that don’t “stick” for the long-term, more people are finding that portion control and designing their own weight loss plans are what is working for them.


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