Put It Down Already

Happy New YearWell, it's finally here: 2004. The Donut took a little hiatus over the holidays, as you may have noticed, but the new year is here and from the e-mails we're getting, you're itching to "start anew". We have a lot of good articles, recipes and tips planned for this year, so please be sure to keep us on your "must-read" list.

My resolutions? Normally, I try not to make resolutions, since they always seem to fall in the crapper. But, 2003 was a year that totally changed my life and changed my way of thinking about myself, my relationship with food and realizing that it doesn't have to stay the way it's always been.

It's never too late to be what you might have been. -- george eliot

An old friend of mine gave me a magnet with that on it and while she may not realize it, that quote has helped motivate me to change how I look at life and how I look at my body. These days, I prefer to look at my body as something I have complete and total control over. The Cheetos are not the boss of me! I am the boss of me, my body, my health and how I look and feel about myself. On www.jasminlive.mobi attitude is everything.

On January I made a vow that I wasn't going to live that life anymore. I was 307lbs, I was miserable, I was lonely and I felt like shit. I was 29 years old and who the hell wants to live their life like that? Sure, it hasn't always been smooth sailing, but I joined Weight Watchers, started doing the Walk Away DVDs and eventually... *poof!* Fifty pounds were gone. Then, another 10. Now, 12 months later, I'm down 80lbs. and 6 dress sizes. I've been at a plateau for a few months, even though I've been working out with a trainer, but my sizes have still gotten smaller.

However, I know what's causing it (moving, too many welcome home/birthday/holiday cocktails, etc.), but I'm ready to get back on the bus and recommit. It doesn't mean I haven't been committed or I fell off the wagon, but sometimes you just need to regroup. I managed to make it through the holidays by not only not gaining any weight, but by losing half a pound. I have no idea how, really, but honestly, I believe my attitude helped. Knowing that I've changed my perspective on food and realizing that I wasn't an elephant seal or a bad person for enjoying an Irish Coffee or two, that I normally make healthy food choices, really helped me. It keeps everything in perspective.

Sure, I have a few "resolutions" or goals, if you want to call them that. This year, I'd like to drop 50-60 more pounds to reach my goal weight range. I don't have a set weight because I realize that it might vary based on the amount of working out I'm doing, body fat and generally, if I like myself with a little more meat (which I tend to -- I'm a voluptuous girl).

I'd like to become more flexible and regular practice of yoga and pilates to should help that.

I'd like to remember to breathe once in a while. Take some time, meditate more, rediscover my center. I think the epitome of grace begins with knowing who you are and loving yourself to the very center of your being. It's not easy and it's a constant practice, but the benefits are well worth it.

I am very proud of the woman that I have become in the last year and there is no shame or arrogance in that Chaturbate statement. And I'm insanely proud of Kathy for all that she has accomplished and of every one of you who is willing to put down the donut, tell it to fuck off and love the amazing person you are.

Happy New Year. Here's to 2004 and all that you will accomplish. We can do this.

Resolutions Are For Losers!

Happy New Year!New Years always reminds me that I should be making resolutions. Resolutions to better myself or my life in some way. For whatever reason, they always seem to include "Lose X Number of Pounds" or "Go to the gym 5 days a week". That's fine ...but how often do I actually DO that? Well, only once. Thanks to help and resources and new ideas I have been able to honor those for almost 2 years.

But they weren't actually resolutions. More of a "Goddammit I hate being this way" kind of an epiphany that didn't happen until mid February of that "New Year". Resolutions to me make setting goals for myself more difficult. There is pressure related to a "resolution". There is failure associated with it if you don't do everything you set out to do on January 1st of a new year.

Making yourself better in my eyes has always been a "I've had enough.... this has to be different" type of reaction to something bad for me. Like quitting smoking, eating better, getting healthy, working harder, etc. I did all those things because I was sick of the way they were and needed to fix it.

I say make the resolution to not set yourself up to fail this year. Make a list of things that you would like to accomplish this year. Write it down on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope, then hide it, or throw it out. I call it the Anti-Resolution Exorcism. You can even write "Fuck Off" on the envelope which is my favorite part of this exercise. In fact, I encourage it. Use a red sharpie even. Go on...it'll feel good. It's not so much the importance of whether or not you obtained each and every jasminelive goal you set out to do... it's how much you want those changes for yourself that really matters in my opinion.

This year, instead of resolutions, I am making myself promises. I promise to take care of myself. I promise to take care of my body and my health and to do those things so that my year will be a happy one. A year filled with good memories and positive feelings. Sappy shit isn't it? I know. But I deserve it. And so does everyone else.

New Year is a time to start new. Hence the "new" part of the very title of the holiday. Most importantly, allow yourself the flexibilty to enjoy a few things along the way. Have that champagne tonight, and what the hell, have a fuckin' cookie. But when it's time to get down to business. Do it for you. Not for that Nazi Resoluiton List.

Happy New Years Everyone! May it be a happy, healthy, and No-donut-on-my-ass year!

Tomatillo Chicken Enchiladas : Ole!

Green EnchiladasMy friend Heika made these and says they are the amazing, so I'm going to post the recipe here for y'all to try.

Heika's Chicken Green Enchiladas


5 oz boneless chicken breast

8 oz canned black beans

2 cup Kraft 2% Milk Reduced Fat Natural Shredded Cheese Cheddar and Monterey Jack

5 small fat-free flour tortilla(s)

1/4 cup cilantro

1/3 cup onion

1 serving tomatillo salsa (half a jar or so; this has been factored into the "1 serving" thing. Also, don't skimp on the quality, here. Use the best one you can find.)

Desk Dieting : Stand the Hell Up, Would Ya?

A Case of Desk AssI came across an article on Weight Watchers Online which reminded me that most people have desk jobs. I mean, I do also, but I work from home, so I can go run around the block suddenly if I feel like it. Most people can't do that... or at least your coworkers might think it odd when you take a lap around the cubicles.

Sitting at a desk all day is what helped me get fat. No, the desk didn't force feed me Cokes and powdered donuts, but I went from a job on my feet as a teenager, to my first desk job as a receptionist at 18. I've been sitting on my ass ever since. And then one day, I broke my office chair.

Quakes Rice Cakes (Chocolate or Apple Cinnamon): for when someone brought in cookies or sugary things. I could eat 7 of them for 1 POINT.

Tuna Packets: Ok, so these were more for those times when I was working through lunch, but needed something quick and tasty. Those new flavored tuna packs are really yummy and chock full of protein. The Starkist Sweet & Spicy Tuna Creations package is only 2.5 POINTS for the entire thing.

Snack-size Popcorn: I prefer the Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop 97% Fat Free Snack-Size bags. It's just right amount of popcorn that I feel like I've had some without gorging myself, it doesn't taste like complete ass (in fact, you kind of start to like it better) and it's only 2 POINTS a bag.

Dried Fruit: I'm really bad about eating fruit. I totally don't eat enough of it and it's one of my resolutions to fix that. But, I would usually keep some dried fruit on hand for the 3pm Sugar Fix that happens. Peaches, apples, apricots... whatever you like. It's chock full of sugar, but at least it's good sugars. It depends on the brand, but a 1/4 cup of dried apples usually is around 1 to 2 POINTS.

Water, water, water : Keep your water full all the time. When someone waltzes by with a morning Krispy Kreme, before you go get one, finish the entire glass of water (or bottle). See if the craving has passed then. Funny how we'll get off our fat asses to go see who left donuts in the break room, but we won't go for a walk around the block, huh?

This is a time of year when everyone is making resolutions, a lot of offices are "health conscious". It'll probably fade by February, but you don't have to let it. Stick with it. Keep inspirational, motivational sayings and images around you, if you can. Don't get discouraged. It's just fat. It holds no power over you and you're smarter than the cookies.

Green Tea : It May Even Do Your Laundry

Green TeaIt is so easy to get stressed out over the holidays. There is the shopping, (and the spending way to much friggin' money), and the food, and the relatives, and the visiting, and the travelling... It's enough to make your head blow clear off. Though there isn't much you can do about that and you just have to survive it anyway you can.

Green Tea is something I have made a regular habit of in my life for multiple reasons. But right now is the best time to continue it for a variety of reasons. Not only does it control high blood pressure and refresh your body (two things I need badly during the month of December) it has a long list of health and weight loss benefits including:

prevents cancer

restricts the increase of blood cholesterol

controls high blood pressure

lowers the blood sugar level

aids weightloss

suppresses aging

prevent sun induced damage

refreshes the body

deters food poisoning

stops cavities

fights virus

This is good news. But the most enticing part about the findings of Green Tea are the weight loss benefits.

In November, CNN did a piece on Green Tea in Japanese culture which reinforces some of the health benefit findings.

There is a lot of information out there about green tea, if you do a Google search on it you'll find a variety of web sites. I don't think the evidence is written in stone since studies have been mixed. But there is a lot of curiosity about it and it has done some good things for my health and weight maintenance. Besides, it's tea, it can't hurt you. And it tastes good!.

I have been drinking Celestial Seasonings Decaffinated Green Tea which can be found at most grocery stores. But there are a lot of varieties and brands out there. I'd love to hear what other people have tried and liked/ disliked.

Walk Away the Pounds

As important as cardio is to my life and weight maintenance, there can be so many obstacles preventing that from being fit into my daily schedule. I don't own a gym membership because if I did, I probably wouldn't go enough to make it worth the money.

I rely on the outdoors to give me my exercise arena. I love the fresh air and the alone time. Today like many days over the winter it is snowing. I'd love to go trekking in it but I just don't get the same workout.

Leslie Sansone has a series of great in-home workouts that are good as a supplement for my regular exercise. They range from 1 - 4 mile "walks" which consist of marching, knee lifts, and side steps. You don't need much space which is great for people with limited space. I started using the 1 mile and quickly worked up to the 4 mile tapes. One series which is my favorite incorporates the use of hand weights. So your getting more than cardio in the work outs.

The only drawback to Leslie's tapes is Leslie. She can be a little annoying sometimes and you would love nothing more than to smother her, but over all she is upbeat and not all "come on! yeah! Woo!" It's tolerable compared to some others I have tried. She uses real people in her programs which is much better for me since I hate looking at Susie Skinny Rubber Legs go through a workout without so much as breaking 1 bead of sweat.

I recommend using Leslie's tapes if you need something to supplement your regular workouts if you can't get outside or to the gym. As an everyday workout, I would try not to since she can get to be a little much. I could also do without the religious references but she doesn't get nuts with it.

Overall, I give Leslie Sansone's workouts 4 barbells out of 5. Her workouts are available in Target stores and Walmart... and I am sure it can be found wherever you find fitness tapes and DVD's.