The body and the enneagram

We’ve been quiet out here lately, but trust us, we’re still doing this. Sidetracked, sure, a little. But we are in it to win it; it being our best whole and healthy selves.

enneagram2wisdomThis wisdom came across my space today, and perhaps it resonates with you enneagram 2’s. Maybe it just resonates because, well, it does. Either way, be good to yourselves, and hey let’s be careful out there.

to be continued …

coming clean

Rachel, post-Labor Day (and State Fair, and birthday, and moving and new job after the other new job didn’t work out and …)

WeightScale435x150Last time I weighed in and told you all about it I weighed 168. Still clinically overweight, but 70 damn pounds down from my first weigh in from January 2013. My trainer tells me I did get down to 166 – apparently I was so ecstatic I forgot that good news. Anyway, Saturday I weighed in and holy shit, I am up. I am up to 180.

Oh, I know how I got here. Sure, I’ve kept up working out (at least 2 times a week – always hoping for 4), but working out is not my biggest challenge. Food. Diet. Nutrition. Good old calories in, calories out – this has been my downfall. Long and short – I have NOT kept up with my nutrition. I learned a lot in the first year of this whole fitness thing and you know what they say: knowledge IS power. But it doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t actually practice what you know.

Want my excuses? There are quite a few. I left Lola, there were plenty of beers involved with that goodbye. I moved to Meritage, where I was miserable, lonely and utterly lost. I survived by eating loads of pommes frites, hollandaise and some of the best damn French food in town. I had a birthday and you know what that means: birthday pie! Also, I moved. Packing and unpacking took the place of cooking and planning and tupperware. Also, the greatest state fair in the country just happens to be in Minnesota every August; its my most favorite event of the year, what with all of its roasted corn, cheese curds, tom thumb mini donuts and Kiwanis malts.

Don’t want excuses? I hear you.

So, I’m saying something now—out loud—so you all know I am back on “the meal plan” again. I am upping my workouts to 6 per week. 3-one hour sessions, 3-ten to fifteen minute bursts. I’ll get one day off. All of this and I am drinking bunches of water, as much as I can handle. 

Want to join me? (Actually us – yes Ratchet is totally on board with me.) Send me an email, or comment. If you want, find and connect with me on as I am logging my food and whatnot there. I’d love to tell you what I am up to, encourage you in whatever you are doing, and/or help if I can. Don’t want to – no worries / no pressure. I’ll try and be better about posting and keeping you in the loop. 

the plateau

Rachel, wondering if you still care about this whole thing. 

The above isn’t some sort of self pity bullshit feel sorry for me question, it really is what has kept me from writing. OK, maybe that’s a bit much. I think that very wondering about caring is a question that is more directed at me than you dear reader. Ugh, the dreaded plateau, it has descended upon me and I am stuck. Stuck stuck fucking frustratingly stuck.

The motivational notes, no longer motivate. Well they do, sort of, but its more like they taunt me, laugh at my sudden exhaustion and say “see, I knew you couldn’t stick to it.” It’s a slippery slope, fitness and health, and I’ve done some backsliding. So fine, there, I have admitted it. Oh I have no problem pointing out how I’ve fallen off the wagon, and the worst part, I know how to get back on. But seriously, the starting over, the resetting, the bargaining, the cleansing, all of it, I am over it. OVER. IT. Also, I am crabby. And tired. And I need help.

This healthy lifestyle thing, it is a choice. Daily, sometimes even one minute at a time, I make choices about food, exercise, water consumption, protein, sugar, to cream or not to cream my coffee. Today I wanted to choose being in bed at 7pm and ordering a large pizza, delivered thank-you-very-much. I wanted to choose that, but instead talked it out with my love, over a tuna melt she lovingly made for me. She listens to me and loves me when I am like this. I am lucky.

Ratchet is calling me from the other room. I have to get sleep; rest is a huge piece of being healthy and losing weight (though sleep has not helped my chicken wing arms or my good lord please go away flab abs). In a few hours I will get up and meet my trainer and have another chance at starting fresh again. Yes, tomorrow is another day.

Hello friends, I am back.

one year on. that was then …

This. Is. Now.

One year ago today we was sore as hell. We had just finished our first workout with a personal trainer, were a week into food journaling, and were quite sure we’d lost our minds by getting into this. One year ago today we’d be starting a low carb, no dairy, no gluten, no sugar nutrition plan that I wasn’t sure I’d last a day on. Ratchet was confident, she always is. I love her for that.

One year ago today feels all at once like forever, and yesterday. So what has changed over this past year, what have we learned?

  1. Rachel says:  Though I work at the best pizzeria in all the land, I have greatly reduced the amount of pizza consumed in my life. I haven’t given it up altogether, and when I do choose it, I mostly choose the gluten free crust (yep, actually we’ve both discovered we are gluten sensitive) and eat 2 slices (not all 6). Yes, the name of this game is portion control, and I am getting pretty damn good at it.
  2. Ratchet says:  I really like almonds.
  3. Rachel says: Oh my gosh, me too. I had no idea how sweet they were until all sugar was eliminated in the beginning. Now, they quite regularly stand in as a “dessert” option.
  4. Ratchet says: I know more about food & nutrition than I ever thought possible. And even still, I want to know more. I find myself googling recipes for ground turkey and veggies, and I use those Mark Bittman books (How to Cook Everything) that my sweetie bought me.
  5. Both:  We drink more water. Rachel says: For me, I still don’t drink nearly enough, but more is good and I am ok with good.
  6. Ratchet: I’ve always loved reading, but now I read more and more fitness articles, about running and shoes and the latest and greatest on strength training. Then I try the things I read about and sometimes I even like it.
  7. Rachel:  I am down from a size 22 to a size 14. Yes, numbers are just numbers, but well, what these numbers mean is that I no longer am relegated to the “big girl” stores and the highly picked over, never satisfying “plus size” section of the thrift store.
  8. Both:  We find ourselves talking to people about being fit. It’s like this shared conversation that we got invited into. We like it, we like that people want to talk about it with us.
  9. Ratchet: if I had to sum it all up in one nice soundbite, I’d say we’ve learned how to make good choices: in dining out and staying in, in portions and proteins, in dessert (yes, we eat dessert) and having fun with our friends (yes, we still have fun).

Yesterday was our 1 year fit-aversary (thanks for that amazing word invention Colleen Welch!). Ratchet is down 60 pounds, and I (Rachel) weighed myself Monday. The scale read 170.5 – a total weight loss of 67.5 pounds, damn near to 70. If you’ve been tracking our progress, you know that we have slowed down on the weight loss, but have done a killer job of keeping up the gym habit. We love our Monday and Thursday classes at the Y, and have started a regular “run” day. In a week we’ll be back to working with our favorite personal trainer Zach. In just one year we have changed our lives, our habits and have allowed ourselves to dream new dreams.

What are we dreaming about? Well as we have downsized our bodies, so too do we feel the need to downsize our lives. 2014 will be our year of living more simply. We will downsize our home and things, continue to downsize our bellies, and eat whole foods, making recipes (read continue to cook more at home) with fewer ingredients.

One year people. One year.
Not only is this shit is possible, it is doable and oh so amazing. We are two women, with one goal: to live lighter, happier and healthier. They say it ain’t over till the fat lady sings, and we STILL ain’t about to start singing.

I’m going streaking #rwrunstreak


Rachel, day 6 of running. In. A. Row.

Running, it was one of the ways I knew my sweetie was for me when we first met.  We shared a deeply held value that one should only run if needed, like because you were being chased by a grizzly bear. Running was a necessary evil, not something to be attempted at home or without dire reason. 7 years later, here we are, changing our tune, again.

A few days ago a post from a friend asked “Hey, anyone want to join me in the Runners World challenge to run (or walk) everyday between Thanksgiving and Christmas?” “I’m in” I replied. Well shit if there wasn’t a group formed and posts flying a few hours later. I hadn’t even told Sweetie, I just sorta thought to myself that I’d try it. No pressure, no big deal, just run a little every day. I’ll post in the group, so I can be held accountable and all.

So, apparently my settings are such that when I post in the group my whole facebook world can see. And all of the sudden it was real. And public. And Sweetie knew. So here I am internets, telling you, I am not a runner BUT I am committing to run every day between now and Christmas (and probably even New Years Day like the challenge says). I will become a better runner, heck with this little app ease into 5k, I might even run some fun run 5k thingie (with cute giveaways of course).

On January 14th Sweetie and I will have our 1 year anniversary of a very non-committal lets-just-try-it-and-see commitment to wellness. We met with a personal trainer and said sure, I’m in. Saying yes to this challenge feels a lot like how we got started in the first place. And I can’t say where its leading, but I can say that I think I like it.


oh wait hang onRachel, lying in her cuddlduds on the couch, having read all of your posts about Turkey Trots, thankfulness and warm family recipes of pie, stuffing and all things carb-a-licious.


If I could remove any one word from my vocabulary and life, it would be this word. I should have run a 5k turkey trot. I should have hosted Thanksgiving again this year. I should be excited about sweet potatoes and turkey breasts. Truth: I didn’t, I couldn’t, I’m not.

After we pass this holiday there will no doubt be much discussion about the “true meaning” of the season aka Chanukah/Christmas/Festivus/Kwanza and so on. But before we get there, I am here, in total conflict over what this holiday is about.

Is it about the food? I mean who can make it through this day without thinking about a meal that includes all kinds of trimmings? From turkey to tofurkey this day is food-centric. And damn if this whole year hasn’t been the most food-focused, count calories-protiens-carbs-sugars of my life. Over the past year I have worked my ass off to train my body how to eat and crave differently. Forget that I have been in the restaurant business since I was knee high to a grasshopper – I have learned more about food and nutrition in this past year of my life than all of them combined. I have built a new life built on portions and control. Today is about expandable pants and farting to make room for pie (or wait – is that just me?). Today feels hard, its messing with my memories and prior feelings of carefree pie choosing bliss.

Is it about just being together as family? Perhaps it is, but today I just want to curl up and grieve. People have been asking “do you have big plans for the day?” I say something like “yeah, well my family is mostly dead with the exception of the ones that are out of town … getting together with Sweeties family.” I swear when I say it, it doesn’t sound as horrible as when I write it, but writing it somehow I can see the pain underneath. This holiday is one where I almost always miss my dad. I made his stuffing again this year, and again this year it didn’t come out like his. I want to call him and ask what I did wrong, but well what’s that saying about not knowing the area code to heaven? I want to show up at his house, having lost all this weight so far this year, and run into his arms and have him be a little drunk, telling me how proud of me he is. Noone can fill in for this insane request. And it sucks. You’d think I was used to this.

If you saw my facebook feed this morning you’d swear today was all about running. Fun runs, turkey trots, little kids and friends I had no idea even thought about running; they all ran today. I didn’t. I keep telling myself I still might, but the truth is, I don’t want to. I mean I WANT the feeling, I just don’t want the work. I want to be lazy, but I hate all of the mental games it plays on me. I want to rest, but I can only see all of those fitness motivational posters telling me “when you think about quitting, remember why you started” and “the difference between who you are & who you want to be is what you do!” Ugh. Truth, these sayings have got me by over the last 10 months. Also true: these sayings are plaguing me today.

My baby sister, an avid fan of me AND running called me to wish me Happy Thanksgiving today. I told her about some of the running guilt I was having. She reminded me how hard I have worked, and that it is ok to just rest some days. I don’t believe her, but I am grateful for her saying so. Ah ha! Hey—did you hear that? I am grateful! Maybe there is some sort of hope for me yet.

daylight savings time and other things one gets used to

Daylight savings Sunday, Rachel after a long time not writing

There I was, along with at least half of my other face-space friends, flipping through the feed wondering why-oh-why I was awake at 6 in the morning; it was FALL BACK after all. If you don’t know this about me, I’m a night owl, always have been. So the 5 am bladder, followed by the 6 am wake up and finally 7 am resign to get up is sort of a weird new thing. Oh how our bodies are a wonderful, frustrating and magical thing.

Right around 7am I thought what-the-hell, as long as I was awake I’d get up and go to the gym, get a run and a few 7 minute workouts in. I rolled out and ran some water through my bed head, brushed my teeth, laced up and headed down the block to the Y. When I was within viewing distance, I noticed there was not a single other car or person in the lot. Oh wait, here comes one person … what time do they open?

I was the second person at the gym, waiting for the door to open. What? Who am I?

A lot has happened since I last wrote, but when you experience it one day at a time, it just seems so insignificant. The workouts are good. The weight trickles off. The body you see in the mirror is still changing, but there is not much rapid or radical storytelling here. Until one morning you wake up and hardly recognize yourself. And you may ask yourself … how did I get here? [It is NOT the same as it ever was.]

How DID I get here? One day at a time.

One cold day in December I asked if Ratchet would be interested in talking to someone. She said yes. Then, we asked someone for help AND allowed ourselves to let be helped. We work out, we eat differently than we used to. We live and learn and try and fail and try again.  What’s the magic secret? There is none. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Shit is H A R D (but can be fun) and  choices aren’t always easy to make (but they get easier with results).

I am thinking of starting a monthly gathering of people who live in the Twin Cities and want to do the work that Ratchet and I have done and/or are interested enough to let yourself sit with other people and talk about it.  I imagine it might look a little like book club? Get together, exchange stories and recipes and laugh (and laugh) and help one another to keep trying. No money, no products, no hitch, just people. Interested? Holla.