I’d like a skinny bitch, please

I’m actually referring to the drink here; vodka and soda water. Yeah, it’s a thing. My husband, aka the long and lean noodle, has it almost exclusively. I, on the other hand, prefer shorter drinks that usually have traces of worm in them and leave you so confused and delirious by the end of the night that you end up having conversations about religion with plants. I’m absolutely fine with this state, what I’m not fine with is banning alcohol abuse from diets.

On my 4th week of a strict atoms-only meal plan, I began to miss my drunken escapades with society’s refugees. Diets are as varied as the people who need them, yet most of them explicitly ban most traces of good-times-booze. According to many new reports, alcohol is detrimental to weight loss because the minute it is in you, your body stops burning fat and switches to burning alcohol.

Yet it seems to me that these scientists need to differentiate between types of alcohol and how you consume them. If, like this author, you smoothly sashay into a club at ten with the intent of having “one or two glasses of wine”, only to stumble into the men’s toilet at midnight with traces of Jager, Tequila and vomit on your shirt, then banning alcohol is probably a safe bet that you will reach your weight loss goal.

On the other hand, if you can somehow commit to the oxymoron of “sensible drinking”, then you just might have a chance to escape your calorie deficient days with giggle filled evenings. The following list will help fellow dieters commit to a smaller waistline without skimping on good times:

1) Designate a Bar Vader, preferably a good friend otherwise this won’t work, who will shadow you throughout the evening and ensure that you stick to one type of the approved alcohol list. This is for those of us who have the resolve yet struggle with reality.

2) Pace yourself. In this race, the tortoise is the winner. If you have had a light dinner, you won’t need that much liquor anyway, and if you space out the drinks to one per hour, you should be fine.

3) Move! This is no time to sit and ponder the fate of humanity. If you are drinking your carbs, you should be moving, dancing or molesting some piece of furniture/security guard. At least give your body a chance to burn those empty calories instead of converting them into self-hating prophecies.

4) Avoid the sugary, mixed stuff. So long Pina Coladas, anything with an umbrella, or drinks that make your pancreas erect. Instead, befriend the straight up folks like tequila, vodka, gin and the like.

5) To beer, or not to beer. This is a tough one. I know some folks who drink this exclusively and are physically free of the Homer Simpson gut. Yet they are also quite active and drink nothing else. If you use beer as a chaser then it’s probably a good idea to cut it out, otherwise limit your intake.

6) This is probably the most important: Avoid the fast food in the aftermath! I don’t care if the McD’s vendor has promised you his first born, late night eating is a sin by normal standards, and late night junk food binging is an invitation for all sorts of snug trouble.

Thanks to these simple rules, I still make the rounds on the weekends. They have helped me maintain a balance between my night life and my daily commitment to health. For other sources that allow your inner lush to come out and play, try the following. In the meantime, I am enjoying the fruits of my starvation, while keeping my thirst in check.

 

alcohol

New Year, Old Me

I don’t know if it’s my age or not, but having celebrated 30-something New Yearseses, the event is really starting to lose its thunder for me. Even more deflating are the annual declarations we make called resolutions, which are ultimate assurances of failure. Come January first, all forms of communicable media is gushing with messages of how to improve, enhance or further yourself into that gleaming shining star buried deep within your flaws. Read here for 6 easy steps to tightening that neck. Click this for the secret to building muscles on your eyelids. Why are we so drawn into that lure of bettering ourselves? What could possibly be wrong with the way we are now?

Every New Year, I head out and join throngs of intoxicated homo sapiens to count down, drink, scream, and inhale in the new year. And surely enough, once the celebrations have died down and we have located our abodes and dignity; there is always that talk of resolutions. It’s really funny when you see people who in the span of 12 hours go from trying to inject tequila and sniff detergent to singing up for Tai Chi and yoga retreats.

There is a fine line between what our perception of ourselves is and what we actually are. If asked to describe ourselves on a sheet of paper, I’m sure many of us would use words like “kind, smart, creative, funny” where in the same instance, we wouldn’t dote these adjectives so freely on other people and might opt for more expressive terms such as “genetically challenged” or “religiously bound to idiocy”. Point is, even if we think we are better than we actually are, the project of improving yourself is tantalizingly exciting and too hard to pass up.

Unfortunately, the resolution system is inherently flawed. The sheer fact that you need to wait until a specific date to adopt better practices for your health and life carry the same risk of failure as “I’ll start my diet on Monday”. If you can’t say no to those 400 snicker bars now, chances are you’re not going to magically acquire the strength to stop licking butter bars on a certain date. It’s an old cliché but the “there’s no time like the present” has stood the test of time because of its veracity. If you decide on December 3 that you’re going to quit smoking on the first, this means you are going to spend the better part of the month over indulging in a bad habit; trying to suck up cancer through every hole in your body. And unless you’re one of a few talented females in Thailand, I don’t think you can pull off that trick smoothly. Nevertheless, not only will you smoke more, but you will also probably just hold up the resolutions for a matter of nano seconds, so you might as well have not made the damned resolution in the first place, and saved yourself a charred asshole.

While it might be fun to reinvent yourself come January, remember not to pour too many resources into a project with such a high failure rate. I mean, let’s face it, if you had kept all your resolutions, you would be God by the time you were 28. This year, the only thing I’m resolving is to stay as fabulously imperfect as I am. The only thing that will change is the date. I’m going to greet 2017 with the same love handles, renegade grey hairs and copious cursing that have colored my glorious days. There’s a good chance you will too so throw in the towel now and join me in my quest for un-resolving to change.

 

Lateral Living

Thanks to my gloriously soothing bulged disc (as if my 3 curved scoliosis spine wasn’t enough fun on its own), I’ve had to seek out alternative treatments to go about my daily business.

One of my earliest attempts at pain free movement was physiotherapy. A sweet Asian lady was recommended to me, and when I met the little creature, I had no idea she was capable of such evil. Her office was sterile and white, save for a brightly colored teddy bear on one of her chairs.

“Aw how sweet, is that your child’s?” I asked innocently.

She covered her mouth and giggled (the first sign that should have set me off) “Tee hee! No this is for you!”

As I lay on my stomach, she brought the eternally gaping teddy to me and told me to hold it if things got too much. I was a little perplexed, but she answered my quizzical face contortion with a small introduction to “dry needling”. Sounded like something that should be done to a quilt but I was in so much agony, I gave her the thumbs up. As she prepared the needles, I recalled never having seen such a thing in physiotherapy scenes in movies. On screen, the ordeal always entailed a trainer helping the victim of circumstance or genes in some movements. There was no penetration involved. Nevertheless, this little teddy bearing lady was indeed highly recommended, and who was I to go against the grain?

I’ll give you the short version: OUCH. Fucking OUCH. Grit your teeth I’m going in dry ouch. Teddy didn’t help much either with his cold unfeeling stare.

After a few sessions of leaving her office feeling like I had been raped by a voodoo doll, I vowed to seek out another method.

I went through the usual suspects: chiropractors, more traditional physiotherapists, realignment specialists, Santa Clause, and even alcohol (I don’t recommend working out drunk, treadmills tend to suddenly swerve), but all only gave me short term relief.

After months of trial and error; I can safely say that the only things that worked for me and that could probably help most people with back issues are: Kinesiotherapist (performing the Dorn method) and Pilates.

Ah, wonderful Pilates. I have to say, if you do suffer and have never given it a try, you might as well set yourself on fire.

Two things about Pilates:

1) I think they are pronouncing it wrong; I think it should be Pie-Lates (as in “oh my god, I’m so lates to that meeting!”)

2) You will be introduced to a very foreign concept called ‘Lateral breathing’.

In a nutshell, lateral breathing is inhaling without heaving your chest up or letting your belly bulge out. The whole idea is to keep your top chest and tummy pulled in tight as you inhale. So where exactly can this intake of air go?

If you’re like me your first guess might have been: ‘my ass?’ Wrong answer. This kind of breathing works by flaring out your lower ribs, and then contracting them to expel all the air out.

As foreign as this is, this kind of breathing not only protects your back but if you practice it throughout the day, it will invariably strengthen your core and make you more mindful of your posture and movements.

Pilates is full of weird jargon. One of my favorites is “navel to spine”, a command that floods most sessions. In the beginning the expression really angered me. My navel was so far away from my spine it needed a GPS to get there. Nevertheless, a few sessions in and I could see the blatant results of committing to this mispronounced sport.

I strongly and wholeheartedly recommend Pilates to everyone, even the people I don’t like very much. If you can get past the new age lingo and breathing like a flattened flying snake, you will reap a world of benefits and mobility, and you can go back to chasing dreams and victims as you see fit.

Partying Without

Last Friday night, as a social experiment, I decided to try this sober-partying thing for a change. I ventured out into the night jungle with my friends to one of my favorite hot spots; 360.
The Experiment
I had heard from others that partied sober that they literally got drunk on the vibe and the atmosphere, and I was curious to see whether I could experience this phenomenon for myself.
The first few minutes were a little nerve wracking. Friends and acquaintances were already decently tipsy and were starting to lose their elegant dance with gravity. I, on the other hand, stood among these swaying masses as stiff as a tree.
I had to deal with the question “Why aren’t you drinking?” being slurred into my ear. Then came a few “OMG! Are you pregnant?!” comments which really made my night.
After assuring said inquiring minds that the bloat was probably just gas, I tried to enjoy myself. This wasn’t hard; the music was great (Nice7 were tearing the proverbial ‘it’ up on the decks).
I closed my eyes for a few seconds and let the beat in, and soon found myself smiling and oscillating in unison with the drunken hordes around me.
The first 2 hours of this experience were pleasant; I felt like I got a decent work out, no one seemed to notice that I was an imposter and I actually did feel a little inebriated.
However, as the night wore on, and the masses continued consuming drinks, the gap between our wavelengths got considerably wider. I remember the exact moment I lost my buzz; some drunken cow masquerading as a desirable female sunk her heel into my foot and gave me a look as if I was in her way.
The Deluge
One hour prior to the club closing, things got unbearable. Parents don’t warn you of this, but drunken people spit! Even the civilized ones. Conversations became nightmarish. Between trying to make sense of random strings of words and dodging attempts at baptizing me with saliva, I started to enjoy the surrounding less and less. People began to speak faster and spit more; trying to get whatever they could out of their mouths.
I was suddenly surrounded by a confused mass of idiots, mumbling and stumbling, soaking me with their drinks. The lighters being lit around me were now a source of real fear.
The Great Escape
Conversation became very linear but I developed a great technique to help anyone along these situations. When asked where I was from, I would answer “My mother’s vagina” and turn around. By the time the person registered or understood what was said, I had enough time to slip away. I strongly recommend trying this technique; it’s a great way to remind everyone to call their mums at 3 in the morning.
The Lesson
Once I was back on my way home, I compiled a To Do list to help anyone who wants to party sans the drinks:
– Make sure you party in an open air venue, as the smoke will bother you less;
– Wear steel fortified shoes, preferably Doc Martin army boots, and you can enjoy “stumbling” on the feet of all those high heeled uncoordinated tramps;
– Keep a bottle of water in your hands to avoid the temptation of sipping a drink;
– Anticipate that the last 2 hours will get more violent, so if you’re not up to battling the throngs of limbs and lubrication, leave early;
– And don’t forget where we are all from!

The path to inner rage

Weeks ago, I made a solemn vow to myself to give up the boxing and commit to Yoga. The incentive? My husband complained that I was getting too tough and all my yoga friends had incredible figures. So I signed up for Vinyasa Yoga and thus began my journey to inner and outer beauty. By the fifth week, although I would thoroughly enjoy each session of breathing and stretching my muscles to the brink of snapping, I began encountering a wierd phenomenon.
After yoga, I would get intense fits of rage, for hours! I would feel like a rabbied cow, on the prowl for blood. Anything would set me off and I responded with slammed doors and phones, while spewing obsenities that would make convicts blush.
Triple-checking the calendar confirmed that I was no where near the dreaded PMS phase and yet I exhibited the classic symptoms of a delirious hormonal bitch. Research revealed that I wasn’t alone (http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/05/what-nobody-tells-you-about-yoga-laura-stumpf/). Apparently many people end up with negative experiences after Yoga.
What the hell was going on? How come emulating animal poses brought up negative emotions? Was it my evolution as a human that was insulted? Was my brain screaming “why the fuck are you doing downward dog? We walk on two’s now idiot!!!”
Well, as tempting it might be to think that, it turns out (according to the weeping testimonials of people out there crying and chewing their yoga mats), that this ancient practice brings up emotions you may be neglecting. Apparently this is all part of the “healing” process.
I resent this explanation. I’m pretty sure that when my gloves are on and I’m smashing the atomic shit out of someone, that I’m dealing with whatever negative feelings I may have. Same goes for any exercise actually; running literally gives me orgasms, pilates makes me happy, etc…
Alas, the heavy therapeutic price of yoga has forced me to significantly reduce it’s frequency. I still do it, mainly because I love the flexibility I’m gaining and someday I hope to be able to answer the phone with my foot while making pancakes and driving.
However in the meantime, the stinky gloves are back on.
Namaste motherfucker.