Saturday, July 31, 2010

About That Last Post...

Since I'm still figuring out this whole "blogging" thing, my mindset here with Epbot has always been geared toward your entertainment. And I love it. In fact, writing here is actually my reward for finishing a few day's CW posts. However, I'm still working on that balance between humor and my day-to-day reality - and on average, I'm always going to err towards humor.

That said, I just wanted to stop and thank all of you for the comments on my last post. Your words of advice, encouragement, and even concern were both surprising and surprisingly touching.

I also want to assure you that John & I are doing our best to keep any "diet" plans as moderate and healthy as possible. And, for the first time in our lives, we're not even thinking of this as a diet - just a lifestyle change.

I also want to say that I think curves are beautiful, as does John. I'm actually more comfortable in my own skin now, at 40 pounds "overweight," than I've ever been in my life. However, I'm pre-diabetic, and heart disease and diabetes run in my family. I'm also recovering from adrenal exhaustion (why hello, cortisol-induced spare tire!), and I'm in my third year of treating some absolutely fascinating internal issues that I'd be delighted to bore you with - some other time. So yes, this is a health thing. That being the case, I'm not expecting to ever be skinny, and in my wildest dreams I mostly just fantasize about having more energy - and maybe one less chin.

One or two of you were especially concerned about John losing so much so quickly, which is understandable. However, here's the thing: to maintain his current weight he would need to consume 3200 calories a day (!!), and right now he's trying to keep that under 2000, plus he's doing a lot of walking. So don't worry; he is most *definitely* not starving. :)

Gosh, it feels weird to be talking about stuff so personal and non-funny. Right? Well, I'll now return you to our regularly scheduled geeky girly goofiness.

And thanks again for being awesome.


  1. Congrats on taking your health seriously! I'm a nurse and far too often see the complications of people not taking prediabetes seriously enough!
    I, myself, got diagnosed with diabetes in March. I've lost 56 pounds since then. Mostly it's an "eating in moderation" thing, but I've realized I just do not do well with carbs, so had to lose most of those. Sigh, ick, boring. But, still... ya gotta take care of yourself. Cheers to you for doing that BEFORE you are in really bad shape.
    And, special cheers to John for loving you as you are and supporting you as you try to do better. What a good guy!!!

  2. I need to get started with some of those life style changes. Good luck with all of yours.

  3. I've gone through the adrenal fatigue, it's no fun. Hope you have a good doctor to help you through it! It can get better, but it takes time and less stress. (Yeah, like that's easy) Anyway, hang in there! I love both your blogs.

  4. I can't remember if I commented on your last post, but go you! My weight-loss plan sounds much like yours...minus the treadmill of course ;-)

    Good luck!

  5. Yep, ditch the 'diet' mindset and embrace the whole 'healthy lifestyle upgrade' concept, way easier, reminds you that it's your health you're improving not the waistline and makes it easier to say no to the nom nom of deliciousness.

  6. I wish you both the very best of luck with your lifestyle change. Now, as a lifelong dietyoyodieter, and type II Diabetic, the best type of diet is an Atkins type, but that is pretty boring in the long run, so just take eating tips from them and modify it to your own liking. You can buy anything in a low carb version. Dreamfields makes the best lower carb pasta you will ever find,the is some stuff called CarbQuick that is like a low carb version of Bisquick...all the bready stuff is a bit on the dry side I have found. I refuse to give up cake, wrecked or not!

  7. Lifestyle change is the way to go. I'm never going to be skinny either but Hubby and I wanted to get healthier for my chronic health problems and for our Son's benefit. I gotta say in 3 months we've lost 11lb's and 8lb's respectably by mostly upping our activity and eating home cooked food more often.

    I've got diabetes in my family as well, but doing it together is more fun as well

  8. I love reading about the day to day lives of people I find entertaining and share a sense of humour with. I was really happy when you started this blog alongside Cakewrecks as it was more about you and I love reading about you. I hope that doesn't sound all stalkery, I just mean you write like the kind of person I'd be friends with in "real life".

    Good luck with your healthier lifestyle plans. I always feel much better when I eat well (sugar/simple carbs make me feel more tired, less focused and my skin doesn't like it!) but I like bacon, cake, large portions... I'm lucky in that I'm only hovering just into the overweight category for my height but I know long term I need more exercise at least.

  9. I made a lifestyle change a few months ago. I've lost 26 pounds, which is only half of what I need to lose, but it's amazing how much better I feel already. It's difficult sometimes, but it's so worth it. Good luck with everything!

  10. Sometimes all you want to do is vent to a group of people who know and love you, Jen. And, I feel pretty safe in saying that we love both you and John, and will give you whatever support we can to help you attain your goals. Now, I've always found upping my water intake has helped with weight loss and maintenance.

    Great big hugs to the pair of you.

  11. I wish you both the best of luck! Summer is the best time of year to get fresh fruits, which (if you're like me and like to nom on something while you're at the computer, thus ending up grazing all day) make great, healthy snacks. ^^

    And major kudos for looking at this for health and not vanity reasons. Like Jayne said, one's health is a strong motivator!

  12. My hubby and I are in a similar situation - except he's the one with all the health issues. Well, and we have a lot more than 40 pounds to lose, too... good luck to you - and keep that sense of humor. It helps. :)

  13. The quickest path to discouragement is to compare your weight loss to your husband's! It's totally ridiculous the way men can drop pounds so quickly. It just doesn't work that way for us. I've lost weight by the old chestnut "eat less, move more." I've also been using the Lose It app on my iPod; it tracks calories burned through exercise as well as those eaten. It's great to see what I can "afford" to eat after a great workout. You can even track gardening or housework as exercise! Good luck on your journey, your body will thank you for it!

  14. Ms Jen, you are my hero. It's not a weak person that can look at cakes for a a living and still have the word "diet" (or "lifestyle change" or what you will) in her vocabulary. Go you!
    And about John's success... He's a guy. That's what they do. My husband was banished from dieting with me because he'd lose 8 lbs a week and I'd lose 0.8. My advice? Find a girl weight-loss buddy in addition to John; you'll find it much more motivating. (No offense John. We won't blame you for your chromosomes.)

  15. I was thinking you couldn't be that big or you wouldn't need to recon the geeky guy-sized t shirts that you were talking about in the previous post. :-)

  16. I wish you and John the best of luck with the lifestyle change. That is what it really should be, overall. ^.^

    My goal is to shed 88 pounds with no gimmicks (so far, I've lost 14 pounds in 2 1/2 months). This is for overall good health and, on a more personal level, to beat Shakira on the hotness scale. :-P

    Just know that we readers are here for you!

    -French Bean

  17. Good luck on your getting healthier! We're (unsurprisingly) in the same boat. As to people being concerned about John's fast weight loss, I know I personally tend to lose weight really fast the first week or two, so that sounds pretty normal to me. Anywho.
    You know what will REALLY help? Keeping a food diary! It's pretty much the only way I ever effectively eat better and lose weight.
    I went to a nutritionist to get help with how to eat (I'm an ovo/lacto veggie too) and she really helped. I'm now eating more healthy fats and snacking on almonds and walnuts, and eating greek yogurt instead of the regular stuff (and cottage cheese) and er, stuff like that. Anyway, good luck! :) I'm leaving for GenCon Indianapolis soon and I intend on using the hotel pool and gym every day. EVERY DAY YOU HEAR THAT BODY FLAB? Ahem.

  18. As someone who has also been pre-diabetic with diabetes and heart disease running in my family, being over weight has been a concern for me. I started Atkins just over a year ago and immediatly started losing weight (I had lost all of my excess weight in college then gained it back when I graduated and started cooking for myself everyday). It's pretty awesome because being on Atkins forced me to stop eating sugar and all the horrible preservatives and chemicals they put in food. For a long time I had had continual headaches that lasted for days, but after starting Atkins my headaches went away and I started to feel pretty amazing.
    All that to say, when you start eating right and cut out all the terrible thing we so commonly put in our bodies without a second thought, you start to feel really good and healthy, so I applaude anyone who tries to change their lifestyle through eating right.
    Also, I love cake, too. I crave it so bad sometimes and have come up with healthy alternatives. Coincidentally, I started reading Cake Wrecks shortly before going on Atkins and was seriously craving some yummy cake. Thanks to your blog I've managed some pretty awesome self-control.

  19. I think that sounds like a great plan! You know your body type so you know what is healthy for you and what isn't. Shoot for healthy and you can't go wrong. I've read an article where they figured out that some people who seem to be "overweight" are actually healthier than some skinny people. Their hearts and arteries are healthier, they have more energy and muscle and less fat. It was a duh moment for those researchers-skinny does not equal healthy. Fluffy does not equal fat. Its all about doing whats best for each individual person.

    I like when you share these non-funny moments with us. I think it shows how much you guys care about your readers as people, not just fans. You trust us enough to share personal tidbits and that is a wonderful thing. :)

  20. You must have been overwhelmed by all the contradictory information. I find food and our society's relationship with food absolutely fascinating.You should check out Michael Pollan- he is a rational voice in our world of food science.

    On another note though- One thing to keep in mind, exercise is the key to being healthy. If you simply reduce the number of calories you intake then you will loss body mass- not just fat though. Lots of the weight loss you will see is going to bee muscle loss because you are not consuming enough calories to maintain the muscle mass you have. Then when you lapse (we all do it) or have a bad week and go back to some old eating habits the pounds will pack on even more quickly than before. That's why yo yo dieters often gain back all the weight plus some. Yo yo dieters often don't incorporate a consistent exercise regimen into their lifestyle.

    Losing and gaining weight too quickly is never good for you- that's why exercise is so important. It can act as a stabilizer- even on those days that the cake is just too tempting.

    I hope you enjoy the changes you make and wish you all the best. Remember though- size does not signify health. Skinny does not equal healthy.

  21. I like that you're talking about lifestyle changes, not just a diet. Others have commented that Atkins Diet is the best kind of diet. Since you said you're pre-diabetic, it's probably a good idea for you to cut back on carbs, like in the Atkins diet. But be careful... just because the Atkins diet is good for some people, it's not good for everyone. At some point (if you haven't already) you may want to consult with a nutritionist. Make sure you're still getting the nutrients you need while cutting calories.

  22. Oh, I liked the part last post about eating the Frosty on the treadmill... mostly because I'd rather be shot, strangled, defiled, and drawn and quartered than set one toe on one of those torture devices! Ah, the lifestyle change... don't we all have some of those to be working on? ;) Good luck guys!

  23. 1) Eliminate drinks with sugar. Switch to water.
    2) Drink water all day. first thing in the morning when you get up to rehydrate yourself (and to fill you up a little before breakfast so eat less). Drink before meals. Drink before snacks or when you get the urge to nosh, just in case it's really thirst.
    3) if you feel like noshing, do something else first (go for a walk).
    4) Walk every chance you get (without the milkshake ;) )
    5) eat more fruits and veggies.
    6) eat more fiber. eat wholegrains instead of white flour products. they help to fill you up more so you eat less.
    7) eat some protein/healthy fat for snacks and with meals. (ex. nuts, lowfat cheese. just watch how much, they have a lot of calories.)
    8) Laughing Cow cheese. spreadable and creamy, light in calories. I like it with red peppers or apples. you can put it on whole grain crackers, celery, etc.
    7) eat more fish.
    8) eat half the portion you normally would, and eat it slowly. then see if you really need more in 20 minutes. chances are, you're not hungry.
    9) pay attention to your body. eat only when you're hungry, and only until you're satisfied. Try not to eat from boredom or comfort. Do something else instead that gives you pleasure. Or take a walk!
    10) log your food religiously and don't cheat. it helps you be aware of your habits and how much you've eaten so you think twice about whether you really need more than you do.

    to lose 1 lb. a week, you need to cut 500 calories a day. find out where you can cut them from. (working out can count towards this but cutting the actual calories is easier to figure out.) Log your food for three days and find out where you can troubleshoot. Make substitutions when you can. If you're drinking a lot of calories, there's a good place to start!

    check out the Sonoma Diet or South Beach. good food, reasonable plans. no cutting out entire food groups like Evil Atkins. Try the first phase of South Beach to "detox" your body from carb cravings. (No pasta, rice, bread products or fruit for two weeks. then switch to certain fruits and whole grain carbs.)

    eat yogurt.

    also, for fun reading and interesting tips, read "French Women Don't Get Fat." the French eat (and do everything) for pleasure. they don't give up chocolate or champagne/wine, but they moderate how much they have. it's a lifestyle thing.

    also, don't think about the negatives and what you're missing. approach food for it's benefits to you. "what can I eat for protein? what can I eat for vitamins? which superfood shall I eat today?" eat for the antioxidants and fiber and health benefits. think about "healthy" food's positives and not the negatives. It's not alfalfa sprouts and grapefruit! (YUCK)

    find foods you can live with and love so you will embrace the "diet" and stick with it. Also, consider a 30 minute walk a day (whenever and wherever you can squeeze it in) like your daily vitamin. something you must do for your health.

    Good luck!

  24. ugh. I just posted something and it was "too large." I hope you can still read it, Jen!

    meanwhile, here's an example of some changes I made.

    I used to eat multigrain cheerios for breakfast every morning with milk and fruit. healthy right? however, I would be starving by 10:30. After switching to a higher fiber breakfast with a little protein, I can last until lunch without having to snack. That shaved at least 100 or more calories off my day before lunch.

    example: multi-grain toast with lots of fiber or high fiber English muffin with some jam or honey and ricotta cheese (the protein) topped with fruit (especially berries), and possibly nuts. sweet, creamy--as pleasurable a piece of cake and far healthier! a change I could easily live with.

    or creamy nonfat Greek yogurt with honey, granola and fruit (and a little omega-3 rich flaxseed oil stirred in to thin it out and add a huge nutrition boost.

    p.s. if you didn't get my huge post, let me know. i had some tips i've picked up over the past few months and three book references for you

  25. I think it must be weird to have a blog, in the sense that you post something for a particular reason, but it seems like an invitation to some people to pour out their lifestory back, or to write 18 paragraphs about how to eat properly. I'm not down on those who share their story, or want to help you out, but I think sometimes people assume because of one thing you write that you want them to become your personal food counselor. I don't blog myself but I do enjoy yours and your great sense of humor. Working on being healthy is a great thing and certainly having more energy is a big plus to weight loss. Best wishes to you both!

  26. You guys ROCK! Just had to get that out there. :)

  27. Jen,
    Way to go on taking the initiative to get healthy and lose weight! Sometimes a diet can be really hard (and aggravating judging by the rate of John's weight loss), but so rewarding! Keep on keeping on! :)


  28. Congrats, you two ! I'm currently in the middle of a "lifestyle change" as well. So is my guy. It's been tough, but we're dealing. We're trying to eat as a diabetic would. No more sodas. Sweet tea on occasion. My sis just found out she's Type 2. I'm 8 years away from the age my mom was when she passed from a massive heart attack. So... Yeah... Lifestyle change. We are supporting each other in good decision-making and lightly chastise by recommending better choices when we goof. So far, it's working.

    I just wish he'd been there before I decided to go with the crayon-red "highlights". Meh.

    Good luck ! You can do it ! Just cutting out the sodas will result in 10 lbs this month. EASILY 10 lbs. More if you forego the Frosty. (Girl, I KNOW. I really do KNOW.) :\

    Cheers !!!
    (Don't forget to allow yourself ONE "cheat day" if you behave all week. IT HELPS !!!) :)

  29. It's awesome that you guys are doing this together. My hubby and I just started Medifast last week. We've been doing a great job supporting each other - I couldn't do it without him.

    Our motivation is to lose as much weight as quickly as possible. (Under doctor's supervision.) We're hoping this fixes our infertility issues before we both turn 40!

    We've heard some opinions but we're of the mindset - bite me. It's our lives, our choices. I applaud you for putting your opinion in such a nicer way. :)

  30. Good for you guys on trying to be healthier! And if you're looking for something structured, Weight Watchers is the best. I love it.

  31. I am also one of those "I'll never be skinny" people, and my doc said, "You don't have to be skinny to be healthy." I can definitely tell the difference when I'm healthy and when I'm not. My weight rarely changes, but when I'm exercising and "trying", I definitely notice the difference. I'm quite curvy and I'm learning to embrace it. Curves are beautiful, skinny is beautiful, healthy is beautiful. Feel good about you - you're beautiful (though photographs of you are a rare *nonexistent* entity). =) *hugs*

  32. Best of luck! I'm sure you both will do great!

  33. Good for you. I hate that notion of Skinny=Healthy. My sister would give her left (or right for that matter) arm to be skinny like me, but the problem is w/ her bone structure she would look worse than Rachel Zoe. I tell her all the time go to soy milk for her sweet coffee drinks and just eat healthy non preservative processed food.
    I guess it's hard for her to take me seriously when she sees me eat two platefuls at dinner. (I have a fat-kid appetite,I admit it. I blame it on years of being told 'no' on seconds since I was a gymnast)

  34. You, GO girl. You have to do what's right your YOU.

  35. Awesome! As an actual diabetic, I say nip it in the bud now and try to avoid the whole diabetes label if you can.

    Sounds like you guys are doing a great job of making some healthy changes.

  36. I lost over 70 pounds while on an "unofficial Weight Watchers" diet and have to echo jo's post. In fact, I'd only add two more things:

    1) Eat on small plates.

    You'd be surprised how easy it is to trick your mind into thinking you've eaten a lot of food from an overflowing small plate when that same amount of food would look like nothing on a bigger plate.

    2) Find ways to 'cheat' without blowing it/don't deprive yourself.

    If you love chocolate and deny yourself any at all, you'll wind up falling off the wagon at some point and eating a ton of chocolate. Instead, find ways to work these foods that you love into your healthy eating habits.

    For chocolate cravings, I recommend Hershey's Kisses. Don't chew them, just let them dissolve in your mouth. Takes a ton of willpower not to chew, but your chocolate craving will be gone and you won't have consumed that many calories.

  37. No worries, we get invested after reading all your bloggy goodness and it feels like we're keeping up with a friend when we read all of your entries. I don't think anyone has any doubt that you are funny, and not to sound ghetto, but "keeping it real" is never a bad thing. Honesty is beautiful. :)

  38. You know we love you (both of you - but we have "known" Jen longer). We want you to be healthy and happy. Please post anything you feel like posting no matter the subject and no explanation needed. We'll sure read it and comment and still love you.

    Lifestyle advice: Yoga! Treadmills can get a wee bit boring. Also, with yoga you not only feel better, you accept that change may be slower than you'd like. But one day you're doing something like, I dunno, stitching awesome steampunk curtains, and you stand up and you notice that, hey, my back's not achy. Give yourself permission to go slow; the changes you want will happen, but true change takes time. As my extraordinarily patient yoga teacher says, "It's very subtle." Try hatha or hatha flow.

  39. Well done. Don't make yourself miserable along the way and you should be able to stick with it. (Although using weight as an indicator of how well you're doing can be misery-inducing. If you find weigh-ins frustrating, try tracking how many healthy meals you've eaten, or track other health indicators instead.)

    I'm surprised anyone who knows about dieting was concerned about John losing 8 pounds the first week. It wasn't all fat--your body can't shed that much no matter how little you eat. The first week, a lot of people see a big loss of water that they were retaining because of all the added salt in processed food and soda. It's normal, it's healthy, he's extremely unlikely to lose as much the next week, even though men do lose weight more quickly than women and deserve to be kicked in the shins for this.

  40. Changing habits is the hardest thing you can do. Ask any smoker! I have to change my eating choices and loose some extra me, too, so please post occasionally about your 'journey.' It will help knowing that someone so awesome as you is going through similar struggles.

  41. I lost 8 pounds the first week I started Weight Watchers too, so I say definitely not worth worrying about. Just don't expect that to happen again, sorry John. Most of what I did is the same as you two are doing or trying to do. Keeping track of what you eat so you can keep it in appropriate levels, and exercising are the best way. No diet, lifestyle change. Good for both of you!

  42. Finally caught myself up on EPBOT posts! And first time commenting over here I believe.

    Anyways. Read this post before the previous, so had to go read through that one to make things make sense. Anyways, rambling. From what I know about making Lifestyle Changes losing 8 pounds isn't abnormal. I lost something like 5 pounds in as many days at first a couple years ago when I made some lifestyle changes myself. I lost 20 pounds over that summer, and I've managed to keep it off pretty well. :D Good luck to the both of you!

  43. Good luck. It can be done. I come from a family of "fluffy" people and was 180lbs fluffy on my 5' frame by the time I was 20. I decided I hated it and started looking at ways to change it. I did just what you said and made lifestyle changes. I eat a healthy diet and exercise and I weigh 125 lbs. I kept it off through 3 kids and 14 years so it works.
    The person who suggested Michael Pollan (I like his book "Food Rules")I totally agree with, his books are wonderful. He can direct you into true healthy eating. He has such simple rules that anyone can follow. Things like you can have have all the junk food you want as long as you make it your self, from scratch. Really limits the cheetos! He also says if your great grand-mother would not have recognized it as food you shouldn't eat it. Think about that one the next time your at the grocery!
    And squeeze in exercise everywhere. Park at the back of the lot, wrong end of the mall. Take the stairs. You've heard it all before, but it works.

  44. You can do it!!! I'm about a year in to a very similar plan, and it really does work. I know my partner loves me however I am, so I try to focus on this being about having a longer, healthier life together. Extra confidence doesn't hurt either...

    Best wishes and much love!

  45. Just needed to ask if you have ever told your doc about your "fascinating internal issues". Celiac's is way under-diagnosed. It is a simple blood test for the initial screening. Look up the symptoms and see if they apply to you, ask your doctor for a test as more likely than not they won't think to run it. Takes most folks more than 5 years to figure out what is wrong and 3 or more docs. Hope this isn't your problem but might want to look into it.

    Congrats on deciding to care for yourself in a way that isn't easy for most of us.

    ~Jenn in Forest Grove

  46. ooh, Techy Dad! forgot about that one! (I think that's part of the Sonoma plan, too. the plate thing. good catch!)

    also, dark chocolate is supposed to be full of antioxidants and it's richer so if you nibble a little, it may go a long way to stave off a craving.

    and the high calorie day is a good idea (the cheat day). helps to keep your metabolism guessing.

    best of luck! I have family members and friends I wish would take their health seriously. I also like the tip about "if Grandma wouldn't consider it food, don't eat it." love that! processed foods are a big part of our problem these days...

    and Carolyn, lighten up. if someone posts these tips it's a help to everyone who reads them.

    also, my spouse and I were finally motivated to lose weight when our neighbors challenged us to a competition. bragging rights and money were on the line and we had to be accountable, not just to ourselves! we both finally dropped 10% of our body weight and are at healthy weights.

  47. I just finished reading "The End of Overeating." Great book with lots of insight into WHY Americans tend to eat so much and HOW we can not do that. Turns out, the combination of fat, sugar and salt is addictive, in the same way opiates are. Small plates, avoiding processed foods, keeping temptation out of your life as much as possible.

    Anyway, it's a good book, with really short chapters that are as easy to swallow as unhealthy food.

  48. I have seen your pictures on the site and I have to say (With all respect to John) that you are a beautiful woman. Good for you for being comfortable with yourself.


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