Amazons Aren't Fat

{October 19, 2010}   Listen to my Interview!

Amazon Liz with SpearMy interview on the Dr Fitness and the Fat Guy radio show is now available to listen to! I snagged the MP3 and uploaded it here so you guys could hear it. Unfortunately my husband’s cell phone died while they were interviewing me, which was awful! I was only using the cell because we had had a bit of a power outage 10 minutes before I called in and I was afraid it would happen again, so I thought using the cell would be safer. Not so much. Oh well.

So, you can listen to my interview right here: CLICK ME TO LISTEN

I talk about my weight loss, what started it, my support system, taking baby steps, using (and the INCREDIBLE people that are there! They don’t pay me to rave about them, by the way. I do it for free because the site WORKS), and my goals for the future. It was a really fun interview and I want to thank Dr Fitness and the Fat Guy for having me on! Hope that we can do it again some time, because it was a blast!

(I hate my voice though!)


{October 13, 2010}   Oh… Hi! Checking in!

So, I figured that with what’s going on tomorrow, I should probably update the blog and actually try to update regularly again. Even if it’s just once a week, right? Because tomorrow, at 11 a.m., I’m going to be an interview guest on Dr Fitness and the Fat Guy! I’ve never been on a radio show before, so I’m feeling a bit nervous. I thought the interview was going to be today, then realized that my email said the 14th, not the 13th. Oops.

Maintenance mode has been going well. I seem to have naturally settled in to a 175-180 pounds weight range, actually, which is interesting. I haven’t actively been trying to lose more weight but it seems that my body is pretty comfortable being five pounds lighter than what I was aiming for. I had always said that I would stop actively trying to lose weight and just let my body find its comfort zone once I got down to the goal, and it seems to have done so. This makes me very happy, because the lifestyle changes I’ve made have apparently stuck! I really think that a year down the line I’ll still be at or very near my goal, rather than having gained all the weight back like what happens to so many. Which is good, because I can’t afford to buy bigger clothes again. 🙂

As for why I’ve been silent. Well, reason number one is that I’ve been crazy busy. Just insanely busy. Job hunting, apartment hunting, trying to dig up freelance work where ever I can find it. I even went back to making plush toys, which I had stopped doing about a year and a half ago. Of course, now that I’m back doing them again I’m getting commission inquiries like mad. Very random how that works.

Reason number two is that I’ve been big-time depressed. Which blogging would help with, but I’m too depressed to blog! Argh! Vicious cycle, I tell you! I didn’t even realize how depressed I was until I read something from another blogger who reached their goal weight and got depressed. It made me realize “Holy crap, I’m depressed!”. And I guess there’s nothing wrong with that. I mean, 2 years ago I was the woman who had been tall and fat her entire life. Then I became the woman who was trying to lose weight and get healthy because of back and hip problems. Now, I’m… well, I guess I’m the tall and skinny woman now! I don’t know how to be that! And transitioning from what I was to who I’m hoping to be for the rest of my life is kind of hard, you know? I don’t really much know what to do with myself. Plus the weather going to all erratic gets me down too. I’m trying to get out of the depression though, and things are starting to look up, thankfully.

That’s about all I have for a check-in. Someone send me an email or a comment if I neglect to update again! (comments on the blog send me emails. Heck, comment anyway. If I get comments, I’m more likely to update regularly. I crave the comments and I’m not ashamed to admit it!)

By the way, if you’re finding me here through the radio interview, WELCOME! If you want to see more about my weight loss, you can visit my page on SparkPeople. Also, I am the writer and artist for a web-comic, and you can see more of my art here.

Amazon Liz Measuring Waist I’m a terrible blogger. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it until the day I finally realize that I should probably just stop trying to keep up with a blog. But today is not that day, even IF I haven’t posted in over a month. Because a lot has happened this month and I feel the need to update now. And maybe recent developments will motivate me to get back to updating regularly.

Because, you see, today I moved on to a new phase of my life. Yes, today… I have entered maintenance mode. Yes, that’s right, the Amazon is sitting at a trim and lovely 180 pounds, which is right at goal weight! (Actually, all of my weigh-ins this week have been in the 180.0-180.4 range. Can’t ask for much better than that, though last week I did have a 179.6 weigh-in)

So today I’ve been tracking maintenance calories, which seem MASSIVE and I’m going to have to work up to them, I’m sure. What used to be about the high end of my calorie range is now the low end of my range. I almost never made it NEAR the high end of my range in weight loss, so this is going to be a big adjustment. But I can do it!

I’ve also been running, still. Started Week 7 of C25K again. 25 minute runs, and still hoping to run a 5K before the year is over. There are a few coming up in the area here soon, I just haven’t had the money to enter any of them. Now I’m hoping to be able to get myself back to doing strength training regularly because I NEED to do it more. I just… really don’t like to. I would rather go outside and take a walk than stay in and strength train. Maybe I should do my strength training outside? That might work.

So anyway, that’s what’s been going on with me, in a nutshell. At least a VERY short version. I promise, again, that I’m going to try to get back to updating regularly. Especially since I’m going to need somewhere to talk about the trials and tribulations of maintenance!

{July 20, 2010}   Inside the Amazon’s Kitchen
Strawberries, by maxxitaly

Strawberry Photo by

Last week we went out and ate dinner at this fantastic little restaurant in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It was called the Dogfish Head Alehouse, and I had the most fabulous Slow Roasted Roast Beef sandwich I’ve ever had in my life. It came with a little thing of that Au Jus stuff I love so much and it was just a really tasty sandwich. Had water to drink, subbed a salad for the fries (with in-house made Balsamic Vinaigrette that was also to die for!) and ate a little bit of hummus for an appetizer. It was really wonderful food and company, but that’s not the point of this post. The point of this post is that as I was eating, one of our friends said “I can’t believe you’re eating bread!”

And that got me to thinking. Because I do eat bread. I eat a lot of bread. And rice. And pasta. I LOVE carbs and I’m not ashamed of it. I just eat whole wheat carbs when possible (we buy separate bread for me, and I’ve been trying to incorporate more brown rice and whole wheat pasta in to our diet, but it’s slow goings). In fact, I eat a lot of things that most people who are “on a diet” shouldn’t eat. Or so they say, whoever this mysterious “THEY” are. And I thought that I would give you all a glimpse in to what I have in my kitchen and what I eat on a regular basis. Here’s what I try to keep stocked in my kitchen.

  • Whole wheat bread (my favorite is Stroeman’s Dutch Country)
  • Rice cakes and Corn Cakes (Chocolate flavor and Apple Cinnamon or Caramel flavor)
  • Smooth Peanut Butter (used to only eat chunky, but now that I measure it I find I get more bang for the “buck” with smooth)
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Carrots
  • Bagged salad (just easier, really, than having to prep everything)
  • Onions
  • Broccoli and other frozen vegetables
  • Rice
  • Pasta (trying to do more whole wheat, but we usually buy whatever is on sale. The store we like to go to sometimes has certain types as 10 for $10, so we grab whatever’s on special)
  • No salt added Pasta sauce
  • Low sodium beans and dried beans
  • Fresh pineapple
  • Dannon Light N Fit Vanilla Yogurt (large container, for making smoothies and fruit and granola parfaits)
  • Frozen fruit (pineapple, peaches, mixed berries, also for smoothies and parfaits)
  • Greek Yogurt (new love of mine. I specifically like the Chobani brand. Mmmm!)
  • Low-fat Granola (love it with yogurt, especially with the Greek yogurt)

Seems like a pretty darn healthy list of regular items to have. But we also buy ice cream. Or cookies sometimes. And chips. And we still have Easter candy left over, no joke. But I rarely touch that stuff. When we have ice cream or cookies or cake I’ll eat one serving per day as a treat, but that’s it. It’s not the several-servings-several-times-a-day that I used to eat back when I was heavier.

Speaking of kitchen stuff, I’ve convinced hubby that it would be a good idea if we tried to eat a vegetarian dinner at least once or twice a week, mainly to cut down on our food bill. Especially since we’re wanting to move out on our own again here in the next few months so we’re going to have to keep costs down low to do that. So I’ve been looking up vegetarian recipes to try and I’ll try to post reviews of them here.

Hoping to have another post for you all on Thursday! I’m such a bad blogger, but I’m trying to get back in to the routine that I had when things were running more smoothly for me and I was staying on top of everything.

{July 18, 2010}   Poking My Head Back In…

Amazon Liz Measuring WaistI know, I know. I’m a terrible blogger. The good news is that I still am pretty much on track with things and that my busy-ness should improve here in the next week or so. I’m finishing up a 12 page  comic project that I’ve been working on since May so I’ll have that off my plate at least!

I’m at 183 pounds today, so still down 100 pounds and only 3 pounds from goal. I’ve decided that I’m going to do C25K again because I really miss running and I miss having the stamina I did back at the beginning of the year. So tomorrow I’m going to start with Week 3 since I’m not a total running newb anymore and work my way back through to Week 9. When I went through the program the first time I never actually finished it, I stopped at the end of Week 8, so  this time I’m actually going to finish! And hopefully they kick start of running again will budge these last three pounds.

In other news, I started trying to get art commissions and jewelry commissions specifically to get myself clothes when I get to my goal weight. Have had one bite, and my mom has ordered some pictures of her dogs from me as well as some jewelry, so that’s good, but it’s not a lot yet. And considering all of my pants are falling off, I really need to get promoting more and see if I can drum up some more business.

BUT I did have 2 podcast recordings for web-comic stuff this past Friday! One podcast I was a co-host for, and the other one was an interview about my comic from a big podcast called Seattle Geekly. I was SO nervous, but I had gone after them for the interview so I wasn’t going to back out. It was a lot of fun though and I really enjoyed talking about Adrastus with them. It was nice discussing the comic with two people who have read it, because to be honest it was the first time I had! (well, sometimes I discuss upcoming story stuff with the hubby, but that’s not the same thing) That podcast and the other one should be out some time next week, so I’ll try to get links up to those when they go up.

Other than that I’ve just been drawing like I’m in some race or I’ll blow up if I stop. Have to take a road trip today down to an anime convention meeting that I’m not even on staff for, so I’ll be doing some writing. Maybe I can even get some blog posts written up and scheduled for posting! 😀

What have you all been up to recently?

The Studio by Ellen Barrett Barefoot Cardio About two weeks ago I got an email from saying that I had won a prize pack in their Birthday Giveaway. I was shocked, because I never win anything (I had forgotten I had even entered, actually…), and then I was really excited because I had won seven exercise DVDs! These were ones I had never heard of before too, so that was really neat and I was anxious for them to get here so I could give them a shot.

Well, of course, they got here and then I realized that the living room was a wreck and needed to be straightened up before I could do the DVDs, which is why I’m just getting to them now. Oh, and just to let you all know, normally when I review DVDs, they are ones that I’ve purchased on my own. I am not getting paid to do this, so you can be assured that you will be getting a fair and unbiased review. If I ever do start getting gifts of DVDs to review, I’ll still review them honestly and will disclose when they have been donated.

So, since I’ve been bored of looking at our neighborhood, and since it’s getting pretty warm out even at 6 a.m., I decided to try Barefoot Cardio first. I was pretty unimpressed when I was previewing the DVD (I like to watch them before I do them so that I know what I’m getting in to. The only DVDs I don’t do this with are Leslie Sansone ones), but decided to give it a try and see if it was better while I was actually moving along with it.

I have to say, I do like this DVD! It’s not complicated and doesn’t require a whole lot of room. I managed to get by with about six feet of space across the living room. The only time I had problems was the first time I did the video, and that’s because the living room has a ceiling fan and I’m six feet tall. When reaching up high… well, I’m sure you get the idea. I’m just glad the fan wasn’t going, or I would have some bruised hands! There were a few moments of confusion when I first did the DVD because sometimes during kicks she doesn’t let you know when to switch beforehand, so I would look up and suddenly they’re on the other side. There’s nothing required to do this workout, not even shoes, which is another good thing. I can stumble out of bed in the morning and just get to it rather than having to put on my shoes.

The overall workout is pretty fun. I really like that there are moves in it I’ve never seen before. Of course you have your usual stepping side to side, shoulder rotations, plies, and some lunges and squats (It’s not real heavy on those though, so even if you don’t like lunges and squats, you may want to check it out), but there’s also things like Star Arms and Swan Extensions that I’ve never done before. Considering I was bored with my other workouts, this is a really good thing! I also like that it’s cardio, but with some sneaky toning and strength training in there, especially for the arms.

The DVD case is pretty nice. I don’t like that there’s an introduction before the DVD menu that I have to click through if I don’t want to hear it every time. The actual menu is very basic, with just a “Play All” and “Chapter Selection” option that, frankly, looks like someone made the thing with a home DVD burning software. That doesn’t turn me off from it though, I just was expecting something a tad more flashy based on how nice the DVD cases look. The actual production of the workout looks good. The set is nice, the sound quality is great, and I like Ellen Barrett’s energy through the workout. She manages to be upbeat without being “annoyingly perky”, which is good for me some mornings when I don’t want someone chirping at me. (As much as I like TurboJam, Chalene is guilty of being annoyingly perky at times) I think the music could have been a little bit better at spots because it all sounds like warm-up or cool-down music to me and I like something a bit more fast-paced when I’m doing a workout.

Also, I really like that there’s one assistant in the background doing the workout modified for less impact/lower intensity and that they actually show her quite a bit! I’ve seen some DVDs where they have someone doing a modified workout and then they hardly ever show them!

Barefoot Cardio definitely gets my heart rate going and makes me break in to a sweat. Overall, I give it 4 Spears out of 5! This one will definitely be making it in to my regular rotation of DVDs to do when I don’t want to go outside and walk or run.

{June 15, 2010}   I’m back on track!

What do I buy??Just wanted to do a quick check-in today. I was going to make a much more formal post and do a DVD review, but today was a bit crazy. We had a friend up starting Sunday night, then today we went down to Rockville for me to visit a friend and get some things dyed. Then after that we had to drop the visiting friend off at the Metro so he could go home. Got caught in traffic on the way back and then pretty much had to get dinner cooked and report for D&D game on Skype!

Anyway, I’m doing well on my goals for the week. I did a new DVD on Monday morning, and I’ve tracked all my food, with the exception of today’s lunch and dinner. Didn’t track lunch because it was very all-over-the-place and such. I was sampling a little of everything because my friend we went to visit had a lot of stuff I’ve never had before!

I’m really proud of myself for sticking to my goals so far this week. I just know that if I keep up with the tracking I’ll get these last few pounds off soon!

Oh, and I noticed today that there’s a LOT of room in these size 12 jeans. I don’t know where all this room came from! Who’s been adding extra fabric to these when I wasn’t looking? Seriously?

Anyway, I should have a DVD review on Thursday! Sorry the entry is so short today.

Hey, what are your goals this week? Weight loss related or not, tell them to me!

So, weighed in this morning and, surprise surprise, was up a pound. I kind of knew I would be, so I’m not worried about it. I’m finishing up my period and we were treated to dinner out last night, so I’m sure my sodium wasn’t where it should be.

I think I need to go back to tracking my food again. I haven’t done it for months, but I’m going to have to once I get to maintenance mode (because I don’t have any idea what maintenance calories look like!) so I should try to get back in to the habit. Tracking my food and trying out two of my new DVDs is going to be my goal for the week, so let’s see how I do. I’m going to put a Post-it right on my computer monitor so that I remember to do these things! I’ve also started sleeping in my workout clothes again so that I’ll have no excuse not to get up and just get the exercise done and over with.

Oh, despite the one pound increase, I did get an email saying that I’ve been named a SparkPeople Motivator! I was stunned speechless (which isn’t hard when I’ve just woken up and haven’t gotten moving yet) and found myself just staring at the email for awhile. This was pretty cool considering I had blogged on SP yesterday asking for a kick in the butt to get my motivation going. I guess that’s my kick in the butt! I’ve just been feeling down this week, a side-effect of PMS and period crap. Was feeling like there was no point in losing my last 6 pounds because I’m not going to be able to give myself the rewards I was wanting to do. So I was pretty much wondering why I was killing myself when I don’t really have anything tangible to look forward to (I have maintenance mode and a healthy, fit me to look forward to, that’s for certain). But I *think* I’m over that. I hope. I really want to get to 180 so I can move in to the next phase of my healthy lifestyle! I’m not going to let myself give up now, even if I can’t go on a shopping spree or get myself anything other than a pat on the back and a jump for joy.

Anyway… What do you all think of my bellydance outfit, in progress? It still needs work, not done yet. I want to change the collar on the shirt and add trim. Would like for that V-neck to be deeper now that I’ve seen photos of it. I also want to add trim around the sleeves and on the shoulder details. Especially on the shoulder details, because right now they’re raw holes in the fabric with nothing around them, which makes them look… not good.

The pants were a gift from someone else in my class. I’m not sure if I’m going to put trim around the bottoms of those or not. I did add the trim on the sides of the legs though. There was also a black tie-wrap thing attached to the pants around the waist that I took off and am going to add coins and beads to to make another hip scarf, but I want to wear my purple one for the performance on the 27th. The hip scarf was a present from a friend who lives in Oregon. Isn’t it beautiful? I love it, and it makes the prettiest noise!

Take a peek at the muscle definition on that calf! Holy cow, where did that come from? It’s kinda sexy!

Alright, that’s all for right now. I’ve set some goals, now I just need to hold myself to them. I’m going to do my best, because the end of this first part of my journey is so close and I know I can make it! I can, I can, I can!

{June 6, 2010}   Weekly Weigh In

Amazon Liz Measuring WaistSo, I’m beginning to think that updating 3 times a week may just be too much for me to handle at the moment. I’m working on two comics at the moment, one of which has  a finite end and the other is my web-comic project that’s going to be going on for quite some time, if i have anything to say about it. So I may just go to updating on Tuesdays and Thursdays until I get the short comic done with, which is about another 6 weeks.

Anyway! I’m down to 186 again. 186 exactly, actually! So, back to needing to lose 6 pounds (or thereabouts) to get to my goal. So long as I get to 180-something, even 180.9, I will be happy and consider myself to be at goal. I don’t care about the tenths of pounds so long as the first three numbers are 1, 8, and 0.

Last week was crazy. I was putting all kinds of stuff on Ebay and then having to ship it out. I got some walks in, but not a lot. Mainly I threw things around here at the house and dragged it to the post office. Oh, and had bad mood swings. Because my period is coming, so PMS time is nigh. And when I have PMS, every little thing sets me off, even if it’s spilling a drop of something on the kitchen counter. I really was pretty shocked at seeing my weight drop a bit this week considering it usually goes up more, but hey, I’ll take what I can get!

Yesterday I got my package from one of the FitBottomedGirls birthday giveaways! I won seven workout DVDs that I’m hoping to do some serious training with this week, plus an awesome set of wrist weights and a black t-shirt from Buff Girl (which says “Buff Girl” across the front! How appropriate for the Amazon woman!) So I should have a lot of DVD Reviews to do coming up with these new videos. I did get to watch one and it’s very much like the Yoga Dance Fusion video I already reviewed, but seemed a little bit less repetitive, so I’m going to give it a try. Once I get one of those sticky yoga mats, because my feet slip on the carpet here.

So anyway, that’s my check-in for this week. Should be back again on Tuesday and Thursday!

Yoga Dance Fusion DVDOne of the things I’ve also been wanting to do around here (like my posts on recipes that I’ve enjoyed) is to start doing reviews of DVDs that I have from time to time.  I have purchased all these DVDs and am not getting paid to review them, so you can be assured that you will be getting a fair and unbiased review. If I ever do start getting gifts of DVDs to review, I’ll still review them honestly and will disclose when they have been donated.

So, with that out of the way, the first one up is Yoga Dance Fusion with Patricia Moreno. First thing’s first: the title is misleading. This is only “dance” in the sense that the poses all flow in to one another and there’s music. Other than that, there’s no dance. This was really disappointing to me because I love to dance and want to get better at it, and I thought that Yoga and dance would be a really fun mix.

Other than the misleading name, the DVD is alright. The music is okay and the setting is pretty nice. Patricia Morena has a lot of energy and is upbeat, but not annoyingly so. She isn’t like one of those peppy cheerleader types. She explains the moves pretty well, but I found it hard to follow along sometimes with some of the moves because I had to keep looking up at the screen to see what we were doing next. This is a bit annoying when in Downward Facing Dog!

The other thing I didn’t like about it was that a lot of it is the same few moves blended together over and over. While that’s okay, I got bored with it after awhile and wished something else would happen. As much as I love Child’s Pose and Cat Pose, I don’t want to do them 25 times in a row. However, I did feel the burn and thought the overall concept of the DVD was pretty good. I definitely was sore after doing this one, and there’s a 30 minute “Express” workout on the DVD that is really quite difficult! Actually,  I couldn’t make it through the Express Workout because it was too hard, though I could probably do it if I didn’t try right after coming in from a run.

Overall, this DVD is pretty good but not great. I give it 3 Spears out of 5.

et cetera