The Cheating Myth

So here’s a lesson I keep on not learning: THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS CHEATING. As in, YOU NEVER, EVER GET AWAY WITH IT. Maybe if I write it out, it will start to sink in. Or at least help you. Here’s what I’m trying to tell myself:

1. Cheat days don’t work.

2. Cheat meals lead to binge weeks.

3. Cutting carbs doesn’t mean you can chow down on cheese and sausage and eat steaks the size of your face. Trust me. I have tested this theory quite thoroughly. I have eaten many face-steaks.

4. Starting to eat right tomorrow doesn’t mean you should eat way wrong tonight. Because how many times have you done that? All of the times. That’s how many.

5. Unless it’s a whole food, “low carb” just means “highly fake.”

6.  “impact carbs” =  “intestinal cramps”

7. Protein bars? They’re just candy bars that don’t taste as good. They’re full of weird stuff. They’re not satisfying. And they’ll make you fat anyway. And you’ll still be hungry.

11. Atkins bars and snacks? You are literally paying someone $8 to make you bloated and cause you pain. Great service! Sign me up! Here’s my money! See you in four days for some more!

12. Sugar Free Candy? It won’t make you hyper or give you a headache like real candy, but it will fill your intestines with a holy terror that will take away the next twelve hours of your life. And the life of anyone in the same building.

13. A serving is not one bag or one box.

14. Calories count. They do not disappear into thin air because they are low carb or low sugar. A bar is a bar. Candy is candy. Overeating is overeating, no matter what the ingredients.

15. And unfortunately, it still counts if you eat it in the car.

I have been spending more time cheating than not lately. And it sucks. I’m an idiot. Don’t do it! I feel terrible. All I want is for this shit to be out of my system and to go back in time and eat whole foods instead of lying to myself for the past month. I am wearing my mistakes. These lies don’t fit into my pants. Wah wah.

Whole 30…here I come…Tomorrow…Probably.

 

 

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Eating is fun.

Two things have made my produce and protein lifestyle infinitely more fun this week: QUEST BARS! SHIRATAKI NOODLES!

Dude. I was at ye olde Vitamin Shoppe the other day contemplating protein pudding, and happened upon Quest Bars. I tried a cookie dough and a cookies and cream. And they are the shit. I love me some cookie dough. I am capable of eating half a tube, easy. But obviously that’s not a constructive activity. This Quest Bar was very cookie dough-like and delicious. Screw you Atkins bars. Screw you Pure Protein. I know I shouldn’t be eating any of these science experiments, but when I need some “junk” food, I am absolutely Quest Bar for life now.

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Speaking of needing to eat something that reminds me of real food…remember noodles? You know, those starchy carb bombs you used to eat when you thought vegetarian pasta entree was the good weight loss choice? Well they’re motherfucking back on the table. Shiritaki noodles are these pretend, made from nothing, quazi-noodles that take zero seconds to prepare and you can stuff in your face like real pasta without the bloated, jangly, insulin disaster after. And they’re in your grocery store right now. I promise. Look above the tofu. Nasoya Pasta Zero. Put it in your face. pasta-zero-all-natural-shirataki-spaghetti-noodles_0

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How to wash your workout wear.

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OK. So. Now that you’ve ponied up 100 bucks for a schmancy high performing pair of workout pants, you need to take proper care of them to make them last.

Why? Because if you don’t, they will start to hold onto odor, they’ll stop wicking, and they’ll lose the perfect stretch and compression you paid so much for.

HOW should you wash athletic clothes? 

-In COLD water. (hot is bad for elastics)

-Only with other performance fabrics. Why? Because heavier/ rougher fabrics will beat up the sport fabric. Rough it up. Stretch it out. Cause it to pill.

-And HANG DRY. Before and after you wash. You should really hang your workout clothes up after you peel them off. Let the sweat evaporate, don’t throw them into your laundry pile all crumpled up and wet to fester and rot. Hang them to dry after washing, too. I am personally a hang dry-only freak. I hang dry everything except for sheets and towels. Because I can’t handle the emotional damage that shrinking will cause. I’m dead serious about this. Do not wash my clothes. Beware the wrath of the girl whose favorite whatever doesn’t fit anymore because it accidentally got thrown in the dryer. You do not want to be on the receiving end of that torrent of uncut rage and tears.

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Don’t even aim a blow dryer at my shit. I will cut you.

WHAT kind of detergent should you wash your athletic clothes with? 

-POWDER not liquid. Why? Because you don’t want residue. Any residue stuck to the fibers will coat them and keep them from wicking. You also don’t want fabric softeners or “optical brighteners” because they also coat fibers.  So unfortunately, Woolite is out.

-This is also why “Tide plus Febreeze” or any regular wash that just adds an odor eliminator doesn’t cut it.

-Most “sports detergents” focus only on body oils and odor. Apparently, active wear really likes to become permanently stinky. Because body oils and stinks bond differently to synthetics than they do to cotton. I guess I’ve noticed that a little, but overall, I’m more concerned with keeping the wicking performance and elasticity. And I assume if a detergent is good enough to preserve elasticity, it’s probably already got the odor and body oils thing covered.

Even the most “sporty” sports detergents (Win, Sport Wash) are liquid. So despite their macho labels, high prices, and sports-store distribution, they’re totally not ideal for keeping the physical performance properties of the fibers in tact. WTF right? BUT. Good news…

There are a few powdered sports washes out there, Vapor Fresh Sports Laundry Detergent (which is a good source of information, too) and Sports Suds. I haven’t tried either, but it seems like they should be good.

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I usually use Forever New. It comes in through the “fine garment care” door instead of the “odor eliminating” one. It’s for delicates and it says that it “preserves fiber flex” and “maintains elasticity.” I mean, if people wash their french lingerie in it, I trust it.

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Here, I’ve done the shopping for you!

Forever New: $14.50 for 32oz (16 washes)  on Amazon, prime eligible.

Vapor Fresh: $22 for 80oz (32 washes) + shipping on their site, same on Amazon, but prime eligible.

Sports Suds: $21 for 14oz (34 loads) through Amazon, prime eligible.

I was about to just order some more Forever New, but after doing this research for y’all it’s obvious that these other guys are cheaper per load, so I’m going to try Vapor Fresh, too. Although, I’m still not sold.  I don’t trust a detergent designed by a boy to eliminate stink to take care of lycra and preserve stretch as well as a lingerie detergent. Hmmm… Either way, I’ve gotta stop using the Tide with Febreeze. My clothes just feel slimy. Bad news.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE  The residue from liquid detergent is coating your washer too. So you’re supposed to clean it out by washing old towels in your new powdered detergent first. Not sure how this is going to work for me since we wash everything else in liquid…but…I guess we’ll just have to gradually switch from liquid to powder for everything. No reason not to.

Here’s what Sports Suds says about that:

http://www.sportsuds.com/First-Use-Information.html

So. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you you’re doing everything wrong. But now you know. And I learned some new stuff too. If it makes you feel better, I can’t do my stinky-ass laundry for a few days because I’m waiting for the special detergents to get here…

 

 

How to curl your hair quickly post-workout

Gym Shirt DIY

Old Navy T-shirts make me sad. Real sad. I bought these V-necks a while back because I thought they’d be a cheaper version of my favorite American Apparel V-neck that doesn’t seem to exist anymore. But no. It’s all about the fit, and these fit as basic and sad as can be. So they deserve to die.

First I hit them with bleach and RIT dye. Then I took my Nike tank, which has a nice loose-ish long-ish fit, and used it as a template, and turned those stupid shirts that made me feel sad into easy to grab no-brainer, I know that will work gym tanks. I mean, why not? Nothing to lose.

I also tank-ified a Nike men’s T-shirt so now I might actually wear it. I just can’t do sleeves when I work out. Why?

1. I feel all constrained and claustrophobic and sweaty.

2.  I have pretty broad shoulders, so tanks help me look more balanced.

3. I’m not going to show my legs (like ever) and I like my arms, so bare arms, covered legs is my gig. Again. Balance.

 

 

Why I don’t miss sugar or wheat. And why you can’t be annoyed by that.

In the past, if you told me “I just don’t eat sweets” I would hear “I’m a pretentious liar who can’t deal with the fact that I’m on a diet.”

Today, I would say “Really? Me too? Why? Do they make you sick?” and I’d talk to you for a half hour about inflammation and the politics of the food industry and stuff.

Today is the 100th day I have been off sugar. And of those 100 days, I only had bread once. It was inspired by the lady who documented her 100 days at the gym and Whole30. I had bigger plans, but my “Whole100” devolved into just 100 days w/o sugar and wheat. I don’t care. Progress is progress and 100 days is game changer. A change has been made.

Sugar and wheat/bread/flour/whatevers make my whole body ache like I have the flu. After dinner EVERY DAY I would curl up and whine. Sometimes I’d take a bath to feel better. Like, multiple times a week. I have no idea why I accepted that existing meant feeling like crap for so long. I didn’t even think about it. I’m sure there are other things I’m doing to myself now that make me feel like crap that I should work on next. But my point is this: you can read all the books on sugar and wheat (I have) but until you have a powerful, meaningful reason to not eat them, they’re literally addictive drug-like things and they will make their way into your face. Once I realized that I felt like shit all the time, and it was their fault, making them go away was psychologically effortless.

Physically, there was a bit of effort. Yes, I went through the carb flu. And I felt like the walking dead. And no I haven’t lost any weight despite not eating most carbs. (excuse me while I go have an IT’S NOT FAIR!!! hissy fit…) But now that I’ve kicked the habit, I just don’t want to go back to eating that shit that makes me feel like shit. Also, I don’t want to have to start at square one with the carb flu. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

People can talk about positive motivation all they want. You can say you’re working out “to be healthy” and I will still translate that statement in my head to “I’m working out to be thinner.” Sure they’re the same thing. But don’t bullshit me. “Healthy” and “Clean” and “Strong” are not concepts that motivate.

Negative motivation is more powerful. It’s real. It embraces what really matters to you, and that, my friend is what WILL GET YOU THERE.

So lets be a little more honest, OK?

I don’t eat non-produce carbs because they make me feel like shit.

I’m working out because I don’t want my body to look and feel like it does. I don’t want to be self-conscious, and hate getting dressed, and have a nervous breakdown when someone invites me to the beach. Basically, I don’t want to feel like shit.

Those thoughts get me moving. I am literally running away from the negative. “Better cardiovascular fitness” does not get me to put on a jog bra.

Why are you doing P90X? Because you don’t want to keep on taking “before” pictures.

Why are you running a marathon? Because you have something to prove.

Why are you going to boot camp? Because you can’t push yourself hard enough on your own.

Why are you lifting weights? Because at some point someone made you feel weak. (Who can’t say that?) And you need to feel like you can kick someone’s ass.            Or you’re going bald.

Why do I go to Dailey Method classes? Because my butt is sagging lower by the day and will soon reach my knees. And the only way I’m going to workout hard enough to change that, is by paying so much for class that I’ll feel like shit if I half-ass it. (I have the Dailey Method DVDs, but they lack this feature.)

So if someone is honest enough to say “I’m going to spin because I feel fat” do them a favor. Don’t say “You’re not fat.” Say “That’s awesome. Do you like it?”

We’re all doing what we’re doing because in one way or another we don’t want to feel like shit. We’re motivated by the negative. And that’s a very positive thing.

 

Wining About Off Weeks.

 

red wine and grapes

Hello, lover.

I love wine. It tastes good. It’s relaxing. It’s pretty. It’s like consuming sunshine. I lived in San Francisco for almost ten years and I am all about California old style zinfandels. I love the whole “having a glass of wine” thing. And my favorite smell on earth is the barrel cellar in a vineyard. Liquor hits too hard and isn’t as delicious. Beer is totally fun but is pretty much like drinking bread so it’s kind of out. Wine is king.

So I’ve been doing my own quazi version of The Whole 30 for the last 80ish days. I called it the 100 Days of Healthy. No sweeteners, grains, soda, sugar, packaged food, beans, alcohol. It morphed to include soda, sweeteners and “cleaner” alcohols: tequila and vodka occasionally. Basically because if I didn’t give myself those, I was going to go off the rails and it was worth the compromise to keep moving forward. But I’ve stayed off of grains, sugar and beans completely for over 80 days. I literally do not want to eat grains or sugar at all. No need. So that’s really a great GREAT turn. Because grains and sugar cause inflammation in me and my whole body aches after I eat them. Like the flu. It’s super fun. So not wanting to eat them is a really good thing!

I’m starting a P90X3 Challenge next week, so I figured, close enough. I’ll take this week off before I buckle back down for another 90 days. Long story short: I’m eating whatever I want this week. (I still do not want grains or sugar.) Long story shorter: WINE!

I’ve missed it a ton. It’s 90% a habit thing. Having a treat at night. And I do really enjoy the taste. My first glass was like “oh sweet nectar of life I have missed you!!!” And it was really nice to REALLY taste it and APPRECIATE it because it was special. But I’ve been having wine all week, and I’ve learned some really good lessons.

TRUE FACTS ABOUT AN OFF WEEK

1. I feel like absolute shit. My stomach is burning. I’m extremely uncomfortable. My SWEATPANTS are tight in the waist. Bloated. Bags under the eyes. Puffy face. Total package!

2. Wine tastes good, but feels terrible pretty quickly. Namely, as soon as I finish my first glass. Headache. Uncomfortable. I feel poisoned. Wine is basically an instant hangover. Plus you get the tomorrow hangover too!

3. I’ve always known that wine is the worst as far as affecting your workout the next day. But now that I’m old old old, Wine = not sleeping. Not sleeping = not being able to do things, like function, work out, or walk around the block without shuffling like the walking dead.

4. One protein bar/ Atkins bar is not satisfying. A box of Atkins bars HURTS LIKE HELL. I knew that already, but apparently I have to keep on testing that one. Over and over and over.

5. I am not a person who can have nuts in the house because I am not a person who can not shove infinite amounts of crunchy, ready-to-eat things in my face. Ideal serving size = hand full. Actual Aimee serving size = all of them. It’s not even that I like nuts that much. It’s just the nom nom mindless shove it in my face hole enabling nature of them.  Nuts = chips.

6. It’s going to take who knows how many days to get this out of my system and start feeling good again. And I can’t wait to start feeling good again.

7. Off weeks are no bueno. Off days, probably better. Off-something: you gotta do what you gotta do to stay sane and keep moving in general in the right direction. Off-anything will definitely teach you something useful and reinforce why you actually truly like eating right and working out.

Conclusion?

Off weeks are a terrible idea. You’re welcome.

And one good thing about getting older is: it’s easier to feel like crap, so it’s easier to actually really authentically want to eat well. So you don’t feel like crap.

Work Out Hair

This is where I post workout hair pics and ideas. I’ll just keep adding to this post infinitely. Also, see my instagram feed. 🙂 http://instagram.com/iamaimeeschewe I’m always posting stuff there.

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How to work out with WET HAIR.

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Pig tail braids look cute after, too.

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high and tight. put the pony at ear-lobe height, then tighten it upward for some top-of-head volume ala Blake Lively.

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These work. And they look like 80s jelly bracelets!

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sometimes you gotta run like a wild woman with your hair down.