May 30, 2005

20 Days of Virtue (and Wedding Pics)

I could find any GOOD pics of just the flowers. The pictures were all clotted up with PEOPLE.

But here is a great shot of my bouquet as Scott and I walk out. HE LOOKS SO YOUNG --- PRACTICALLY FETAL. We are only an egg.

And here is a nice shot of one of the table arrangements beside our cake. That's a poured fondant icing, which looks stunning and smooth but tastes like wet cement mixed with sugar. But we picked a preternaturally moist, dense Amaretto pound cake, rife with liqueur and butterfat, so the idea was you peeled the cement away and ate the cake plain. Excuse me, but it ROCKED.

And here we are going away... I really like this picture because I look equal parts happy and demented, and that's...kinda accurate. We left in a vintage Rolls because I said I thought limos were tacky (I still do, to be honest), and I always feel so sorry for carriage-for-hire horses. They oftentimes have sad lives. We went to a VERY nice hotel to stay before leaving on our honeymoon the next day, and when we arrived, we found out the gay bar down the street was hosting some sort of BEACH MAN HUNKA HUNKA SHOOTERS weekend. It was an annual event of long standing, and it was HUGE! The entire hotel---lobby and bar and hallways and mezzanine --- was PACKED TO THE ROOF with cheerful, rowdy, happy-to-be-out-of-town gay men, each one drunker than the last. I suspect I was the ONLY female guest in the entire hotel.

They thought we were amusing. And the next morning, when we got up, my brother and his cronies had JUST MARRIED our car to DEATH, and the gay men were all STILL UP FROM THE NIGHT BEFORE and even DRUNKER, and we got upgraded from amusing to hysterical. They pretended to throw rice and waived and hooted us on as we ran laughing for the car and buzzed off for New Orleans, where naturally everyone was much more DECOROUS and SOBER. Because New orleans is just that sort of town, you know, an extended-pinky-finger TEA TIME sort of town. Which is, of course, why we picked it. There we attended symposiums and rousing lectures about Sarte. You know, typical honeymoon stuff.

But that was then, and this is now, and NOW is all about TWENTY DAYS OF VIRTUE. You are invited to participate, if you like! For twenty days I am REALLY limiting sugar (including adult beverages! eep!) and other simple carbohydrates. I'm a whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole grain organic couscous kind of a girl ANYWAY usually, but those SOFT FLUFFY BREADS (And cakes! And pastries! And delightful crunchiferous crackers!) crept into my diet on tour, and now all my clothes are snug through the butt-ular area and I am irritated and displeased. SO. If you want to do this with me, PLEASE DO. FOr the next 20 days, I will give a twenty days of virtue progress report at the end of the blog. And you can report in comments, SO YOU ARE ACCOUNTABLE! COME ON. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.

No long term commitment! Just 20 days of solid virtue, ending in better fitting clothes, but more importantly, in better HABITS. You will retrain yourself in 20 days, see if you do not! I am making Scott do it, too, for the health of his good, big heart and because I DO NOT WISH TO SUFFER ALONE, and that is where you come in, oh my lovely internet dumplings! Let's support each other through the next hellish red-wine-and-heavy-cream free days.

Behold, the plan:

Water: My goal is 64 ounces per day. A good minimum goal would be 48 ounces.

Exercise: I'm a big endophin junky and worked out at least 4 times a week while on tour, but this is not enough for me and I feel flappy and gelatinous. SO for me, the goal is a DAILY 30 minutes of cardio followed by 30 minutes of weight training. Supplemented by Tennis (read; Aim Ball) and skating as the weather allows, 2 - 3 times a week. If you are a sedentary person, I suggest a 20 minute walk every day for a starter. THis seems safe, and then you add 5 minutes every week. Of course, I am not a doctor, so do not blame me if you go 17 minutes and then suddenly drop dead.

Cup of coffee with Potentially Deadly Chemicals (instead of sugar)
WHOLE GRAIN, high fiber, low sugar cereal with fruit and 1% milk. (I like to mix Uncle Sam's and GrapeNuts and then top it off with a little Mueslix and some extra raisins or half a banana.)

Snack: 'Nother cup of coffee and either a mozzarella cheese stick or half an avocado or a small handful of nuts or FRESH spinach sauteed in olive oil with a metric ton of garlic or FRESH broc sauteed in olive oil with a few walnuts.

Lunch: A Lean Cuisine Spa Cuisine Frozen Dinner (The spa cuisine ones are whole grains---avoid any other kind.) OR make your own lunch but UGH. How many meals do you want to have to fix in a day? YISH. Plus you can take these to any work place with a microwave. EASY!

Snack: One of the things listed in snacks earlier, or a small bowl of air popped (or low fat microwaved) popcorn. I like to spray it with a little BUTTER FLAVORED SPRAY (just to get it sticky) and then sprinkle parmesan cheese on it. Or if you are a nasty sort of person who actually LIKES that MICROSCOPIC WEEVIL INFESTED, SOUR SMELLING, REPUGANT GOO, you could have a yogurt. Scott says Dannon Light and Fit is a good pick. But UGH. DO not come within 50 feet of me until you have brushed your teeth!

Dinner: A GIANT SALAD with meat in it. We grill steak or chicken or shrimp or salmon OR in a pinch use pouch tuna OR we skip the meat and add a ton of black beans and mozzarella cheese. No croutons. Avoid CREAMY dressings. Paul Newman makes an AWESOME Balsamic Vinagrette that is not too dear and it's paul so the profits go to charity.

Night Snack: I can't live without chocolate, so I will be having a little dessert every night. I think I am just going to get those weight watchers frozen desserts because they come in SMALL SERVINGS and if I made cookies or a cake to eat a little every night, I will just eat it until it is gone ion three days. *burp* SO. Or I will have a york peppermint patty here. Just a little 175 or so calorie DELIGHTFUL SOMETHING that lets me, you know, retain the will to live.

IF YOU WATCH YOUR PORTION SIZES (Web MD Explains Portion Sizes well!) this works out to about 1500 calories a day, plenty of veggies and good fats and good carbs, a nice amount of lean protein, and it is SIMPLE, same-same every day which would be miserable to do for 100 years but this is....twenty days. Of virtue. SO. JOIN ME! C'mon!!!!

I will put the virtue report at the bottom until the 20 days is over...This holds me accountable. IF I do all twenty days of virtue, I will ALLOW MYSELF TO BUY THESE FANTASTIC SHOES!


Except I accidentally already bought them today. OOPS! So I better not mess up.

Posted by joshilyn at May 30, 2005 4:14 PM

OMG I WANT THOSE SHOES... ankle strap and all! Too cute!

I will join you in the 20 days of virtue, in terms of limiting the sugar and whatnot. In fact, I was just out buying yogurt and cottage cheese and NO SUGAR yesterday because I NEED to get back to not consuming my body weight in sugar every day. But I am weak. So very weak. Please harangue me, as I find abuse and ridicule a good motivator.

As for the exercise, I don't know HOW I work that in, but I shall try. You know how I feel about sacrificing sleep for exercise, but I fear that's what life--or rather, my expanding ass--has come to. Alas.

*toasting you with a celery stalk*

Posted by: Mir at May 30, 2005 6:44 PM

I'm with you on the 20-day plan, especially since I'm on day THREE of a very similar self-made plan I started on Saturday.

Oh, and it seems to be common knowledge in the world of how-to-change-habits GURUS that it takes 21 days to change a habit. You might consider adding on another tortuous day. You wouldn't want to miss out on a life-changing experience by a mere 24 hours, would you?

As for the chocolate....I also have to have it every day. My chocolate fix is ALWAYS a Slimfast SNACK bar - the caramel crunch is awesome, tastes like REAL food, and it only has 130 calories! Sometimes I just have that with an apple for lunch. They also have a peanut butter/chocolate one but I'm not fond of it as it tastes a lot like DIET food.

I do love your shoes but can you really hold off on wearing them until after the challenge?? Yeah, right. Hmmm, what will I buy at the end....oh, I saw a lovely shawl that is similar to the one Jessica Simpson made famous. Me thinks me would like that shawl!

Posted by: Carolyn H at May 30, 2005 8:54 PM

Yeah, good luck with that...I think I will just buy the shoes!
*skips gaily about with fat flying in all directions* ;)

Posted by: Amy at May 30, 2005 9:19 PM

Thank you for the pictures! I love pictures! Flowers:gorgeous. Cake: gorgeous! Bride and groom: gorgeous but you are right, just a little bit fetal.

I will not be participating in your 20 days of virtue but feel free to send your chocolate to my house. I will dispose of it properly. Good Luck!

Posted by: Em at May 30, 2005 9:35 PM

As many weddings as I have been to yours still remains one of the most beautiful ones I have ever seen.
I am so glad I got to be part of you day and congrats on your anniversary.

Posted by: Whit at May 30, 2005 10:38 PM

Thanks for the push - I will join you, yes I will! Sugar and wheat have muscled their way to the forefront of my diet and the result is not pretty. Hey - I'm getting my Birkenstocks resoled, does that count as a new pair of shoes? BTW - congrats on the anniversary - and the photos are adorable.

Posted by: Dara at May 30, 2005 11:46 PM

1) Thanks for posting the wedding photos. You and Mr. Husband look lovely and way too young. You look like you should be going to a prom instead of making vows in formalwear. And you're right, the flowers were spectacular.

2) The virtue thing...I hate you. I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course, but I'm just saying.

I have been needing to do this for WEEKS and have been carefully living in the Land of Denial, pretending my eating habits haven't slidden back into a mass of sugar-addiction the past few months.

But a couple of days ago I put on a pair of pants that fit perfectly in February and they were noticeably snug in the butticus and I felt a twinge of awareness creep in. You know, just that little twitchy thought that maybe it's time to take some action. But I put it out of my mind. (I think I buried it under some chocolate.)

Then I come here and...Damn. Damn, Damn, DAMN! Now your plan has totally ruined my denial, so I might as well join you.

So, ok, I'm doing it. I'm not gonna like it, but starting tomorrow, I'm making changes.

But tonight I had coconut cake for dessert.

Posted by: DebR at May 31, 2005 12:54 AM

"Inside me, there's a skinny woman crying to get out. But I can usually shut her up with chocolate."

(Always loved that one.)

Okay, yesterday was pretty good, except for that piece of fried chicken that fell into my mouth at some point after the kids went to bed. But that's not sugar so tralalala.

I need you to tell me if there's something wrong with skipping breakfast, on this plan. I'm having my coffee and my water and wondering. (Cuz once I start eating, it's all over... better to wait til lunch!)

Posted by: Mir at May 31, 2005 8:04 AM

THE SHOES: You people with beautimous ankles can wear those adorable shoes, but HAVE a HEART for those of us who are impaired in the ankular area! Even when I'm a size ten I have Lithuanian peasant ankles; it's simply too much to bear when you post a photo of a SHOE LIKE THAT. :::sob:::

Posted by: Jilly at May 31, 2005 9:53 AM

Hmmmm, I started on something like this myself yesterday. Spent $108 at the grocery store and seemed to fill the refrigerator, not the freezer or the pantry. Fresh foods! Anyway, I'm in. Mama needs a new pair of shoes.

Posted by: laura at May 31, 2005 11:58 AM

Thanks for posting the wedding the car one best. You DO look someone who's heading off to the Crescent City should. I shall cheer you all on in your dieting efforts...and maybe this will inspire me to be a teensy bit better in the food selections. I done gave up the booze long a girl's gotta have a little once in awhile. But I'm a genetically skinny gal and if I were to diet I'd simply disappear. OW! It's not nice to hit! But I will use your 20-day inspiration to get my half-century behind back into walking mode (it has gone completly to hell since leaving the tropics and my daily beach walks). I love your idea of reward first, diet later.

Posted by: Marilyn at May 31, 2005 1:50 PM

Woohoo... I am also in. Especially with the exercise and the water. I started running: if you get bored.

Posted by: Heather McCutcheon at May 31, 2005 3:28 PM

Cute shoes.

You'll have to be virtuous without me though. LOL!

Posted by: Heather at May 31, 2005 9:32 PM

I've been doing your 20 days of virture for 16 months now :) Lost over 50 lbs. Still have a ways to go, so I'm in but I'll go for a new pair of jeans

Posted by: Linda Dupie at June 3, 2005 8:17 PM