La La How The Life Goes On

(song: Obladi Oblada/artist: The Beatles)

July 21, 2011
Ooo wee, it is hot in New York City y'all! I mean, it smells like pee and rotting garbage from Coney Island to the Bronx. And what's with the hipster's refusal to wear deodorant?! You ride a bike everywhere, you STINK! Thank goodness my son has a super fun summer camp to go to every day, because his mama has a strict "no leaving the house till the sun goes down" rule in this weather.  We are getting the hell out of this and heading to mom-in-law's Long Island home tomorrow. They shut the city down for snow. Why not heat!? But I digress...

So here I am, six weeks out of fitness rehab and I'm happy to report, that I'm doing alright. More than alright really. I'm living life as a healthy person, but also enjoying my life. 
I exercise 6 days a week and I'm eating several small meals a day, and not snacking. Here's an example of my average daily menu:
6:30 AM - Shakeology (meal replacement shake) - this is a wonderful product from that is packed with vitamins and fills me up before my morning workout
9:00 AM - Egg white omelet with spinach and fat-free feta on whole grain/low-carb tortilla
11:30 AM - Pear with 1 tablespoon of almond butter
1:00 PM - Turkey burger (no bun) with sauteed onions, mustard and tomato
3:30 PM - Hummus with red peppers and broccoli (for dipping)
6:00 PM - Grilled chicken breast and a spinach salad with fat-free feta, tomatoes, olives and olive oil. 
I drink at least 2 liters of water a day and exercise for a minimum of one hour a day. 

Since I'm no longer beholden to the Butt Master, I am mixing things up to keep my workouts from getting boring. One of my mom pals turned me onto a great boot camp class at a new fitness joint in my hood called Pura Vida Urban. The trainer/owner Morgan kicked our booties for a solid 45-minutes and I loved trying something new. I'm still doing the Brazil Butt Lift DVDs as I've got more work to do on my thighs and glutes, but I'm exploring other workouts and running more. 

My workout schedule for this week is:
Monday - One-hour DVD + 20 minute ab workout in the evening (usually done while my son is in the tub)
Tuesday - 3.25 mile run in Prospect Park, leg-lifts with 10lb ankle weights + 20 minute ab workout in the evening
Wednesday - One hour DVD + 20 minute ab workout in the evening
Thursday -  3.25 mile run in Prospect Park, leg-lifts with 10lb ankle weights + 20 minute ab workout in the evening
Friday - One hour DVD + 20 minute ab workout 
Saturday - 3-mile run with hubby (to the beach!)

Now, don't let my dedication give you the impression that I'm not prone to slip-ups. Last Saturday I went out to dinner with my husband and ate a whole mess of food that I washed down with some sugary cocktails. And that was BEFORE we went to a party with more food and booze. I only had one beer at the party, but after the two large and really strong cocktails I had before, I only needed one beer to make me feel super boozy. Then I proceeded to shovel pulled pork, BBQ ribs and cookies into my mouth like I was a contestant in an eating contest. AND, I got a to-go bag of cookies, three of which I ate in the taxi cab on the way home. AND, I ate another cookie AFTER I brushed my teeth, while  I was lying in bed. Woke up with crumbs on my face and in my hair. I guess I was boozier than I thought...
But this is real life. And I am a real person. And I had a great time with my husband after many weeks of living in a unrealistic bubble of fitness discipline. I'm finding a balance between that world and the REAL world, and I'm very aware of the consequences of repeated over-indulging. But I'm not afraid of losing my grip on the amazing changes I've made in my life. One night isn't going to make me a size 16 again. This body is here to stay!

Time for me to pick up my little camper. Y'all stay cool...

Two Weeks Without You and I Still Haven't Gotten Over You Yet

(song:Vacation/artist: The Go-Gos)

July 13, 2011
Okay, it's actually been FOUR weeks without the Butt Master, but who's counting? Me!

As I mentioned in my last post, Monday, June 13 was the day we filmed the infomercial. So what does one do after 109 days of chef-prepared meals and intense workouts with Leandro Carvahlo? If you're me, you immediately hop on a plane and head to south Georgia! Okay, the trip was planned long before the test group ended, but the timing turned out to be perfect. The day after the infomercial filmed, my son and I headed to my hometown where I was greeted by my "pretend-mom" (long story..) and my actual cousin - the two most wonderful women in the world and my very best girlfriends. 
My cousin, me and my pretend-mom. My circle.
Thank god they were the first people I saw post test group! As it turns out, when you're life is all about exercise for three months, you get a little depressed when it ends. It also turns out, I needed to talk about it...a lot. My pretend-mom kept saying, "You just got out of fitness rehab." It became the ongoing joke. They were so kind and listened as I spent the first week in Georgia pining for my daily beatings from Leandro and freaking out about being on my own. The first time I went to the grocery store, I damn near had a panic attack. I bought milk, water and some apples, then ran back to the car in a frenzy. That's when it hit me...I'm completely responsible for my own food and exercise. No one is watching. No one is checking in. No one is monitoring me. Shit! Oh Leandro, why hast thou forsaken me!? I was scared out of my mind. I had been in denial about the end of this journey and now I had to face the music and begin to live on my own. Thank God I had such great support from my cousin and pretend-mom. It makes a huge difference when you're surrounded by people that love and encourage you. I didn't know how much I would need them. Georgia was exactly where I needed to be on the first day of the rest of my life...

The next day, I went back to the store - with a list - and survived. I mostly shopped the perimeter of the store, avoiding the delicious, but never nutritious, packaged food on the aisles. I bought chicken breasts, pork loin, almonds, fresh veggies & fruit and CHEESE! We had almost no dairy in our diet during the test group and I really missed it. I bought the same kinds of food we ate during the program - adding cheese and yogurt. I also bought a George Foreman grill for my cousin's guest house, where I always stay when I'm down south. I prepared meats ahead of time so I could easily make meals and stay on the same five-meals-a-day food plan. I can do this!

I'll admit I splurged on sweets and certain meals, but I mostly maintained healthy eating and portion-control during my trip. I limited my alcohol intake on the three occasions when I drank. After the first week back in the real world, I began to feel like I was not only in control of my life, but that I could actually live this way forever.When my husband arrived for the last four days of my trip, we pigged out! BBQ and beer at Southern Soul, a super fancy dinner Delaney's Bistro,  ice cream at Zuzu's , Buffalo wings at The Shack, and a HUGE buffet of food and booze on July 4th. But here's the thing, I never beat myself up about it and I exercised almost every day.

YES, I continued my workouts! Do you think I'd screw up all the hard work I did by going to Georgia and stuffing myself full of fatty foods? Hell no! 

Not after it took me every bit of two-and-a-half years to go from this:
November 2006 - Oooph! The only thing I miss about that body, are the boobs.

to THIS:
July 2011 - That belly hasn't seen the light of day in over 30 years!

I packed my portable DVD player, my Brazil Butt Lift DVDs, my ankle weights and resistance bands and went to Georgia with the same determination I had on the first day of the test group. And thanks to my cousin's other cousin (confusing right?), I had access to hand-weights and a home gym, complete with stationary bike, punching bag and a vintage - and I do mean OLD - cable machine so I could continue to tone my thighs and glutes.
Tiny Butt Master
"Vintage" cable weights still do the trick!
And when it wasn't too smokey from the unfortunate wildfires that surrounded my hometown, I utilized the great outdoors. Nothing like exercising against a beautiful southern backdrop of live oaks and marshland. 
Dock sprints anyone?
In total, I exercised 17 of the 21 days I spent down south. Because being on vacation doesn't mean sabotaging oneself. I enjoyed myself a lot, but I earned my splurge days. I'm totally commited to this lifestyle...for life! 

I know that I will NEVER be fat again because I will never stop exercising! 

To end our trip, my husband and I ran in the July 4th 5K - which, for the metric illiterate, is 3.25 miles. I set a personal goal of 32 minutes for the race. My husband is super competitive so we made a wager: If he beat me by two minutes, he could name his prize. (Both of our mothers read this, so keep your lewd comments to yourself.) If he failed to win the two-minute spread, I would be the victor. Hello new outfit!

I started a little too quickly but stabilized and maintained a good pace. To my husband's amazement (and mine), I was right on his heels for most of the race. I got a little tired on the last mile, but kept my hubby in my sights. Because I know the area, I knew when we were nearing the end of the race. Okay Alison, breathe, steady your pace, then sprint past that bastard and show him your two-minute spread! I couldn't believe how close I still was to my husband. I saw the finish line, took a deep breath, then sprinted as fast as I could. Well, hubby had the same he started sprinting too! I knew I should have tripped him during mile two! That S.O.B. beat me by one stinking second. ONE SECOND! But, he lost our bet, and that was a huge reward. And I exceeded my personal goal of 32 minutes by finishing in 26 minutes and 44 seconds!! I was 13th out of 47 women in my age group. 

If the Butt Master could see me now...
July 4th 2011