Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dear Biggest Loser season 12 casting directors...

@BL Casting Team ~ @HollandStriplin ~ @KerrySCasting ~ and other BL12 CD's...

I want to start by saying THANK YOU! - Thank you for reading (and responding to some) my facebook posts, my tweets and this message. Thank you for reading through my BL application and viewing my pictures and casting DVD.

"What is this message for?" you might ask. I simply want you to understand why choosing me for season 12 of the Biggest Loser is so important. (You don't have to respond to this...but if you'd read it in its entirety, I'd be grateful.)

The Law of Attraction. It's something I've always believed in...the idea that positve thoughts create positive energy and result in positive things happening in one's life. (And the same holds true for negative thoughts.) I just didn't know what it was called. Now I do. And now that I know this much and have been looking into it in more detail, I am so excited for my future...a future that most definitely involves the Biggest Loser ranch in season 12.

Biggest Loser season 12 is IT for me. The ranch, the trainers and all of the resources are what I need to lose the weight that has bogged down my life for the past ten years.

BL12 is what I need to find the healthy me...the fit me...the strong me...and the confident me...the "me" that was around while in my 20's, but soon became lost as life happened.

BL12 is what I need to learn how to eat smart and healthy, not only while on the ranch but for the rest of my life and consequently, pass this new way of life on to my daughters.

BL12 is what my husband needs to kick start his own weight loss journey that actually began ten years ago with Gastric Bypass surgery but sadly, has come to an end as he has gained 95% of his weight back.

BL12 is what I need to inspire friends and family who also need to lose weight, but are too embarrassed to send a DVD to the BL casting directors.

BL12 is what I need to prove to those who say "you're not fat enough to be on that show" or "you look just fine" that while being nice is appreciated, being truthful is preferred and more effective in helping me (and others) succeed...and surely they'll say "Wow!...guess she IS fat enough to be on that show" when they see my first televised weigh in.

I read, see, and hear everywhere (within BL12 social media and as advice offered to me by friends) "don't rely on BL to lose the weight...don't wait for BL12...start today on your own...you can do it by yourself". I hear this and I understand...I get it, loud and clear...I really do. But they don't understand something, which is the one thing that I also want you, the BL12 casting directors, to understand: I don't want to do it any other way than ON the Biggest Loser ranch in season 12. Why? To say that I have a "Plan B", in place of my "Plan A" (BL Ranch) implies doubt...and I refuse to give any attention or power to doubt. Therefore, Plan A - The Biggest Loser ranch, season 12 - is where it starts and ends for me. For the old me, a Plan B would've been realistic and logical. But for the new me, a Plan B is the nail in the coffin and means Plan A will die a tragic death. I'm not even considering NOT being called by the CD's for BL12. In fact, that last sentence is the last time I'm going to allow my mind to go there.

Please understand that I'm not some crazy, irrational person who is delusional in this journey. Nor am I trying to out-do anyone else who has applied for the show. We're all deserving...all good people...all capable of achieving the greatness that we've seen from the contestants over the years. And no, I'm not that cocky, obnoxious, in-your-face, "I'm the best!" kind of person. I'm simply trying to express to you the overwhelming feeling I have that the Biggest Loser ranch is going to be in my future...my very near and upcoming future. And the most exciting part is that after I've been on the show and lost the weight, become healthy, lean and fit, I'm going to pursue a career in Fitness and Health Instruction and/or Personal Training. I'm going to "retire" from working in the Accounting/Finance field and change completely!! And I'm so excited for it! I've always loved fitness, health and dance, but never considered a career in the field(s) because I figured Accounting would get me more money. Yeah...that really worked out for me didn't it? Two Masters degrees and I'm unemployed! Changing careers and heading down the health and fitness path will not only help me inspire others to lose weight and become healthy, but it will be a great way for me to stay on the right path to maintaining my own health and wellness. Who knows?!?...maybe I can become a trainer FOR the Biggest Loser!!

Everything is in place and I've moved into a spot in my life where the ONLY sensible option is for me to come to California and be part of the Biggest Loser experience. In the last five years, I've gone from employed and paid very well to laid off and living a very thrifty lifestyle. I've gone from a beautiful, custom, 4000 sqare foot home to a 3 bedroom, one-level apartment. My husband and I, after being married for nearly 18 years (and together for 21 years) separated last year for the first time ever. We lived apart for 9 months, but are back together and working very hard on our relationship. But despite all this, as well as some other unfortunate events, I actually have a very clear picture of what I want my future to look like. And honestly, this is the first time in my life I've had this much clarity and I've very, very excited. Bring it on!!!

Jennifer Housley
Ogden, UT
38 yrs, 5'7", 245 lbs
(cell # on application or provided upon request)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's...nachos.

I’m wondering if one could actually covet food. I mean…I know all about the not coveting your neighbor’s wife (or husband) rule, but I didn’t think it could actually extend to food. One can crave food or be “in the mood” for food…but can a person truly covet food? Well…let’s talk through this for a second.

The definition of covet is “to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others; to wish for, esp. eagerly”.

In the words of Hannibal Lecter (although a creepy guy, still brilliant) “And how do we begin to covet, Clarice? Do we seek out things to covet? No. We begin by coveting what we see every day. Don't you feel eyes moving over your body, Clarice? And don't your eyes seek out the things you want?”

Okay…so given all that, can a person covet food? HELL YES!!!

That was kind of a no-brainer question, but I still had to talk through it. Now, the bigger question…the frustrating, aggravating question is this: Why do we covet what we know we can’t or shouldn’t have? So in terms of food, why do we covet the foods we’re not allowed to eat?...foods that have made us fat in the first place?...foods that are so good that you don’t know if you’re supposed to eat it or roll around naked in it because it’s easily comparable to sex?

On the HCG diet, I’m not starving…nor am I restricted to eating just a rice cake and a celery stick. I’m actually enjoying my daily ration of chicken, beef, white fish, lobster, crab or shrimp (thank God I’m not allergic to shell fish!...oh, there’s veal in there too as a choice, but I don’t eat veal), combined with my daily ration of cucumbers or tomatoes or asparagus (my 3 favorites lately). I even get to partake of some yummy fresh strawberries for a snack. So why, then, do I literally ache for a warm, chocolate chip cookie or a big slice of cake or a huge bowl of ice cream? Why do those things taste so damn good?

Who the hell made up the rule that all foods that taste really, really good - like a double cheese pizza, or nachos, or french fries, or cookies, or ice cream - have to be bad for you? I know, I know…”just eat them in moderation”. Well what the hell for?!? If something tastes great, why would I want to eat it only sometimes? That’s lame!!

I have literally gone through phases where I’ve discovered something I like to eat and then have eaten it for a week straight (or longer)!! Like the gourmet shrimp tacos I talked about here. (Go back to that post to get the details of how obsessed I became with those.) I remember when I first discovered the cinnamon melts at McDonald’s – I had at least one, if not two, every day as a mid-day “snack” for at least a week. Then there was that time I stopped at Gandolfo’s in Riverdale every day after work on my way home to have a double scoop of Farr’s black licorice ice cream. I think I did that for about a week. Truckstop nachos at Maverick – when I worked for Zions in WVC, I’d stop every day after work to eat them on my way home. Cookies from Parson’s bakery in Bountiful – OMG they are literally the best!! I went through a phase where I stopped there everyday, on my way home from work (commute from SLC) and I’d buy two cookies – butter pecan and white with walnuts and icing. Let’s see…what else? The cinnamon bread sticks from Papa John’s. I remember ordering them for delivery almost every night for about a week…those with an Italian Meat Trio pizza. I could go on and on with examples like these, but I’m sure you get the point. And I know what you’re thinking: GOOD GOD WOMAN, NO WONDER YOU HAVE A WEIGHT PROBLEM!!! I know…I know…what can I say?...I love food!! But in my own defense, I often eat when I’m not even hungry. I eat because I’m restless or bored. I eat because it’s a habit. I eat because it’s a comfort. And I eat when I’m really stressed out…and well, the last few years have been SHIT-TEEEEE!!!!!

Like most people, I’m an emotional eater. I never really thought I was, but in the last year…after working a very stressful and unfulfilling job…I realized that I did, in fact, rely on food to make me feel better. And it makes sense because it was during this time that I packed on the most weight. The phases from when I was commuting to SLC for work were not necessarily to numb the stress, but more for “something to do” while making the hour, often-longer-due-to-dumb-asses-who-wreck-on-the-freeway, drive home. It’s like I’ve somehow been brainwashed by the Mavericks in this state that I MUST have an enormous fountain soda and something edible with me at all times when behind the wheel.

So obviously, these phases of food gorging caught up with me and I soon found myself to be an “official” fat ass who recently jumped on the HCG bandwagon. And I’m really proud of myself for making that leap and staying with it. But it’s still so frustrating when I think about how I got here. Why didn’t I go through phases where I was craving something healthy, low calorie and low fat? I’m sure that a green salad with oil/vinegar wouldn’t have made my ass get so big. Or broiled halibut with just lemon juice – that would’ve helped me stay at a low, decent weight. These foods are good – I enjoy eating them. So why, then, am I eating these things in moderation and the other shit every day?!? Ugh!! Humans are retards sometimes…why do we do such stupid, bad-for-us shit??

So back to the warm, chocolate chip cookie or a big slice of cake or a huge bowl of ice cream that I find myself coveting on a regular basis. Am I partaking? Yes, occasionally, but only a little bit. It’s hard with kids and especially on the weekends…I have had bites of a cookie here and there…or ice cream…but it’s not the end of the world. I would be farther along in my weight loss if I hadn’t done those things, but I’m still doing very well. I’ve lost a total of 17 pounds and 12.5 inches in 21 days…and I feel great!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Just what in the hell is HCG?!?

I’ve had many people ask me about this HCG diet…this is the most popular question: ”Wouldn’t I lose weight anyway on a 500 calorie per day diet WITHOUT the HCG shots?” The answer is YES. But you wouldn’t lose weight for long and you’d literally be starving your body and your mind…you’d probably give up and gorge on everything in sight. So why, then, is the HCG so special? Well…I’m not an expert…nor do I get paid to endorse the product…but what I do know is this: the HCG hormone makes the abnormal fat in your body available, so the body begins living off that fat, which provides a source of energy, just as food does. Now…what the hell does that mean? Let me explain….

There are three types of fat in our body:

Structural fat - this fills the gaps between organs and acts as a sort of "packing material" for the body.

Normal reserves - the body draws upon this fat when nutritional intake is less than what the body demands.

Abnormal fat - abnormal and excessive accumulations are fixed deposits of fats throughout the body and cause obesity. **This kind of fat is also known as the LARD ASS FAT!!**

When exercising or restricting food intake, the body relies on and consumes the normal fat reserves. So obviously, if you were consuming only 500 calories per day without taking the HCG shot, you would initially lose your normal fat reserves. But once that reserve has been used up, the next fat in line is your structural fat…not the abnormal fat. For whatever reason, your body is not designed to be able to access your abnormal fat accumulations. Only in the case of extreme starvation will it turn to your abnormal fat for food. But if you’ve hit the point of extreme starvation, you’re most likely in a scenario that has long passed the point of losing weight for vanity or health reasons. Like…saaayyyy…. you’re anorexic, in which case you think 80 pounds on the scale is screaming FAT ASS!!! right at you so you’re pretty much shit out of luck regardless of what diet regimen you choose….or you’re stranded in the Alaskan wilderness in the winter and you’ve inadvertently eaten a poison berry that is slowly depriving your body of the nutrients it needs, in which case you’re totally fucked!! (no disrespect intended to Christopher McCandless…just stating the facts). You get my point, though, right? (All joking aside, can you imagine how hungry an Anorexic girl must be? I guess, though, it’s rare for an obese person to become an anorexic…it’s usually plain ole skinny girls or maybe not-so-skinny girls who become so obsessed by their weight that they turn into Anorexics…so I guess they probably wouldn’t have a lot of abnormal fat stored in their body anyway. But just knowing the process your body goes through to burn fat, they must be starving…all the damn time!! Talk about mind over matter!! Wow!!)

Anyway, back to the educational talk. Because your body cannot access your abnormal fat (lard ass) accumulations, this is where the use of the HCG hormone comes into play. The hormone (and no, it’s not a sex or a growth hormone) opens the way for the body to release the abnormal fat deposits and makes the fat available for consumption by the body, which provides a source of energy…just as if you were actually eating food…to the tune of 3,500 additional calories consumed each day by the body. This is why you’re not all that hungry while on the 500 calorie diet. And it just so happens that one pound of fat is equal to approximately 3,500 calories…hence, the reason you can lose up to at least one pound per day.


Does that clear some things up??

Oh, and another thing…you can either pay to have a doctor administer the shot for you or you can just buy the hormone yourself (from a reputable source) and inject it yourself. There are drops you can use, that you put under your tongue, but I’ve heard they’re not as effective as the shot. The hormone comes in powder form that you then have to mix with some special type of water before you can inject it. The needles are tiny…they’re insulin needles…barely noticeable. (Especially since you’re inserting them into the abnormal fat (lard ass) areas of your body.) The hormone has been around since the beginning of time and the method of using the hormone for losing weight has actually been around since the 1950’s…so it’s actually nothing new. But like every other kind of diet – the cabbage soup diet, the ice tea diet, the tape worm diet…oh wait, that last one never really took off, did it? – HCG has apparently had its ups and downs of fad-dome in the world of weight loss methods.


By the way, I’m on day 16 of taking the HCG shots and day 14 of the 500 calorie diet (first 2 days are “loading” days where you eat what you want) and I’ve lost 14 pounds!! I would be down more weight, but I had some slip-ups over the weekend…nothing major, but it did make me gain a pound back, then stay even for about 2 days, then started working it’s way back down again just yesterday. I figure if I hadn’t done that, I’d be down 18 pounds…but oh well…no biggie. Losing 14 pounds in 14 days is to be expected for HCG, so I’m on the right track.

Friday, August 7, 2009

French Fries and Donut Holes

So yeah…yesterday was a real test of my will power!! I had to take my kids to my grandpa’s house to be babysat for the day. On the way, we stopped at Artic Circle to get some lunch for them and my grandpa. As I took the bags of food from the drive up window order taker lady, I got a big whiff of the french fries. HOLY SHIT they smelled DE-LISH-US!!! French fries from Artic Circle kick ass!! And with the fry sauce, they kick even more ass!! I wanted to grab a few and throw them in my mouth, but I did not. I stood my ground and resisted their greasy, salty goodness. Had I been on any other diet, I would’ve eaten several. But I’m telling ya…this HCG thing can be a real bitch if you eat anything that isn’t on the list!! For example… On Wednesday, I went to lunch with some friends…we met at Pei Wei in Bountiful. It was a great choice because I knew I could order the lettuce wraps and still be pretty safe. But guess what happened when I got on the scale yesterday? I had gained 2 pounds back. WTF?? Are you serious?!? I figured there was probably a little bit of oil in the chicken, but I didn’t think it would have had such a drastic effect like that. I looked up the ingredients online and sure enough, wok oil is used to cook the chicken, shitake mushrooms and water chestnuts – so there were several things in there that aren’t on the list. (“Not on the List” has become a recurring theme lately…have you noticed?) I’ve been told by others that it’s imperative not to cheat in any way, shape, or form…but wow!…they weren’t kidding. So needless to say, yesterday I was hell bent on getting that 2 pounds back off.

After the Artic Circle, we headed on over to the grocery store to get grandpa a donut, because according to my 7 year old, he really likes donuts and having one would make him so happy. (Turns out, it was just part of her evil plan to get her a donut.) As we were walking through the bakery, I was overwhelmed by the smell of bread – something I haven’t ingested for 7 solid days now. We were headed to the donut case when I turned to my left, looked down and saw the most beautiful looking rolls…I said out loud “Oh man those orange rolls look so goo….OH MY GOD LOOK AT THOSE RASPBERRY ROLLS!!” Yes, I practically yelled it out…I couldn’t contain myself. Raspberry rolls with pink icing. Mmmmmmmmm….I wanted to eat one sooooooo bad. Had it been 2 weeks ago, I would’ve bought them and horked down at least 3 of them in the car. But not now…I can’t risk it. I stayed for about 15 seconds and held them, but that was all. The thought of “maybe I can take a bite, chew it up, then spit it out” crossed my mind, but I pushed it back down into the recesses of my brain. Focus!! We opted for the glazed donut holes for gramps and the girls and they too looked & smelled delicious. When we got to my grandpa’s house, I actually opened the donut holes container, got them real close to my face, and took in the biggest sniff I could manage. Then I sniffed again. Believe it or not, this method did sorta work at satisfying my desire to taste the yummy goodness of donut glaze. Then…again…the thought of “maybe I can take a bite, chew it up, then spit it out” creeped into my head. And I actually contemplated it for about 10 seconds. Seriously?!?...am I really thinking this is a good idea?? Hell NO!!...and here’s why. I remembered a recent “Intervention” episode I watched where the girl hadn’t actually swallowed food for some ridiculous amount of years so she got her nutrition through a feeding tube and a horse-sized syringe. And she would go to restaurants and family functions to eat…but she would chew the food, then spit it out into a cup. So she carried around a 32 oz. soda cup with her where ever she went and would spit her nasty, chewed up food into it. It was disgusting! I do not want to be that person, so I’ll just continue to sniff the fattening, carbo-packed foods that I desire but can’t actually ingest. That’ll have to do for now.

I finally found my way out of the house, into the car, and on my way to work. As I drove there, I thought about how proud I was for not giving in. I had passed the test, at least for that particular hour of the day. The rest of the day presented some temptations, but nothing major. I managed to make it into my bed and asleep last night without any mishaps…and that’s a good thing.

So I woke up this morning, weighed, and……SWEET!!...I lost those 2 pounds, plus another pound. That puts me at 13.3 pounds lost in 7 full days of being on the 500 calorie diet (9 full days of the HCG shot). Not too shabby!!!

“Nothing tastes as great as being thin feels.”
“Nothing tastes as great as being thin feels.”
“Nothing tastes as great as being thin feels.”

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Time to bust out the “Vision Board”

It has been 7 days since I started the HCG diet and so far.....it’s
fan-fucking-tastic!! The first 2 days don’t really count for weight loss, since they’re known as “Gorge” days, so that means since Friday I’ve lost 7 pounds!! Nice!! In the past, losing 7 pounds took me more than a month.

I’ve found it to be surprisingly easy. No, it’s not easy to not WANT to eat everything in sight…but it’s been easier than I expected to keep from ACTUALLY eating “no-no” foods. The diet, as some of you know, is incredibly boring. Although there is some variety in the meats and vegetables you get to choose from, you’re basically eating the same thing every day. And I think I’ve drank more iced tea in the last week than in the previous 12 months combined!! But what has surprised me the most is my ability to stick to it. If something’s not on the list of foods I can eat, I don’t eat it. Even sneaking a bite of the kids’ mac-n-cheese or Ramen noodles has been averted because that stuff isn’t on the list. With other diets, it’s easy to just sneak a bite of this or that, here and there, and simply count it as part of my daily, allotted points/calories. But because I’ve got such a strict diet to follow, I follow it. I’m actually doing what I’m being told!!! Wow!!...this is a BIG step for me. When I even think about eating something I’m not supposed to, I actually get all anxious…stressed out thinking that an angry HCG dwarf is going to come flying out of nowhere and swat said food out of my hand, then kick me in the ass and tell me “that’s not on the list, fatty!” And I’d rather not face that awkward moment of seeing a little person trying to reach my ass with his little foot (on his little leg), so I’ll just stick to the diet.

I’ve realized too that most/all the times I want to eat, I’m really not hungry. I’m either bored or restless. So I’ve been chewing a lot of gum and refilling my iced tea cup. And I keep those fatty pics in my head…reminding me of why I’m doing this.

But tonight was a little different. After dinner, I found that I was still hungry. I ignored the feeling…but it persisted. I’ve been ignoring it all night and am damn proud of myself. But I realized that it’s time to get the Vision Board out (actually, it’s an 8 ½ x 11 piece of paper) so I can look at it at times like these when I want to sneak just a bite of something I’m not supposed to have. Most people’s Vision Boards are positive in nature – they show pictures of what the person wants to attain and display healthy, uplifting statements or affirmations the person reads over and over. My Vision Board?...not so much. I decided to put a handful of pictures of myself on my Vision Board – pictures that I hate because they’re so dreadful. But then I went even further by inserting little text boxes that point out the things I don’t like.

For example…

“Nice gut!” (I'm sure the shot gunned beer you're holding has something to do with it.)

“Are you pregnant? Nice double chin!” (This is the infamous low point picture I've made reference to in the past. I remember thinking I looked pretty good that night...was out on the floor dancing...not too shabby. But when I saw this picture, I was appalled. Who was I kidding?!? I looked like a damn toad. And I wasn't dancing, I was either having a seizure or testing my skills at dancing like Elaine from Sienfeld!!)

“Back Fat!”. (My inspiration for this blog.)
I know that I'm probably being too hard on myself. But I figure if I'm not, who will be? I don't see it as being negative...it's more like constructive criticism.

I’m just being real!! And this is exactly the kind of push I need to get me through the next few weeks, then maintenance, then deep into the shots again. It's either this, or the angry LP who kicks my ass. I'd rather use the Vision Board.