battling the bulge with a vegan diet and exercise


I Quit Running.

It only took me six years to realize it, but I hate running.

I started running in 2007.  It was the first time that I actually, consciously chose to exercise for the sake of exercise.  I was in law school and needed a way to reduce my stress and lose the 25 lbs I’d gained throughout college.

For a first-time exerciser, running seemed like the go-to thing.  I totally sucked at it — I couldn’t run more than a few minutes without walking, and my “running” was about the speed of most peoples’ saunters.  But I powered through because I knew I would get better.

But six years later, three Disneyland Half Marathons later, pushing myself through insufferable training plans, and countless other 5 and 10Ks, and the only thing I’ve gotten better at is figuring out where the cameras are on the race course.
EFTB Disneyland Half Marathons 2011-2013

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July Goal: Lose 5 Pounds.

Nailed it!  Today I weighed in at 132.3 pounds, down from my trending high of 137 for the year.  FINALLY.  Progress is a beautiful, beautiful, zen thing.

Look, I know how to lose weight.  Now you can, too.  It takes just two easy steps:

EFTB how to lose weight

Then why is it so hard to do? Continue reading

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No-Train 10K — Check.

santa monica classic 10k 2013

Good looking group.

Hey, I ran the 10K!  In style!  (Yes, I’m the one in the gold sequined skirt.)

And by run, I mean I was the 33rd SLOWEST person to finish the 10K.  Literally.  I beat only 32 people out of 1,518.  I saw the truck picking up the cones that delineated the course driving closely behind me, and I ate the dust of countless walk/runners and mothers with running strollers.

But by God, I did it.  I finished that damn 10K, despite having spent the entire month prior with no running and no training.  I did it!

santa monica classic 10k jump

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No reason but yourself.

I know.  I KNOW.  There’s no reason I can’t achieve the milestone I’ve been pining for since forever, except for myself.

So let’s discuss.  INSANITY!  I powered through the first month like a pro, waking up early in the morning and jumping around the living room like an idiot every day before work.  It was exhausting, but very fulfilling.

The scale hasn’t budged, but I definitely notice some amazing results.  I see and feel muscles in my body that I didn’t even know existed.  I feel fantastic.  And my favorite result?  I can do push ups.  A LOT of them!  Few things makes me feel better about *me* than accomplishing a physical milestone.  Push ups!  It makes me feel fierce.

Then came Week 6.  Which corresponded with another pretty large milestone…

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INSANITY Week 1 – Check!

Holy crap balls, am I trying.

This week, my husband and I started the Insanity exercise program.  Every morning, we wake up in the 5 o’clock hour, move our coffee table out of the way, pop in a DVD, and SWEAT for 45 minutes straight.  They’re not kidding.  Even the warm up is hard!

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Trying and Failing… is Actually Working

Stretching after a run on the treadmill. Check out my new Nikes!

This may go without saying, but when it comes to health and fitness, I’m a little bit flaky.  Every week, I’m always trying some new fitness or diet regimen – calorie counting, half-marathon training, P90X, Jillian Michaels’s 30 day workout routine, veganism.  You name it.

With the exception of veganism, I’ve been a perpetual failure at each of my endeavors.  For example, my calorie counting has been a disaster lately with my weekend cheating and last week’s five-day pizza binge.  Last year’s half marathon training started off strong, but I started skipping more and more runs and ended up walking more of the half marathon than I ran.  P90X was a failure from the beginning because, well, I dispised it (so much so that I don’t even think I blogged about it…).  And my recent go at Jillian’s 30-day workout was going so well!  But then my efforts were thwarted by a mini-vacation to Big Bear for Jamie’s birthday, when I put the workouts on hold for two days… and then never picked them back up.

All of this failure was starting to make me feel pretty lame.  (Particularly my pizza binge, which made me feel lame and tubby.)  But then I went shopping yesterday and gained a whole new perspective on my failures when, lo and behold, only the tiny clothes fit me.  Continue reading

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Weigh-In Wednesdays: Weeks 4 and 5

Let’s get right to it!

Would you look at that?  I know it may not be much, but -0.3 lbs is a big deal to this girl.

I must admit, the scale has only budged slightly because each weekend I cheat on dieting.  I don’t plan it, and I try to avoid it, but it always happens nevertheless.

Last weekend, for example, was Jamie’s birthday and we partied in Big Bear with big bowls of vegan spicy sushi bowls.

This week, work kept me super busy and I was very diligent with my dieting.  But then all of the long workdays made me tired.  And when I get tired, I get weak.  By Friday, my will power flew entirely out the window and I indulged.

Yes.  That’s right.  I made pizza.  From scratch.  (:  Continue reading


Jillian Michaels will firm my tofu belly.

Lately, I’ve been really good about hitting the gym and getting in a quick run or throwing some weights around.  But I wanted a little more guidance and some motivation to push myself a little bit harder in the gym so that I’d see the results more clearly (and quickly) in the mirror.

Enter Jillian Michaels’ book, Making the Cut.  It helps you to calculate your daily caloric intake, teaches you what kinds of foods to eat, and — most importantly — has an intense circuit-based 30-day exercise program designed to optimize your 45-minute workout in the gym.

So far, it’s going really well!

Day 3 was nice (:

Today I completed Day 4 and…   Continue reading

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Weigh-In Wednesday: Week 3

Okay, Michelle — it’s time to get out of this yo-yo rut.  I mean, it’s the BEGINNING of a 90 day challenge for goodness sake!

Last week I boasted all about my new ability to eat fun, uncountable meals out because I’d learned to master eating in moderation.  Then this week, I continued to practice moderation.  A lot.

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Read This!

I hope you’re all having a great (short) week!  On this edition of Read This! we have a grab bag of interesting articles.  Let me know which one(s) you like!

  • Read this great interview with Jillian Michaels — all about how to use fitness as a tool to feel confident in who you are.  I love this woman!  Here’s my favorite quote from the article:

When it comes to your “why,” write it down and put it everywhere — in your car, on your phone. Remind yourself constantly why you’re doing what you’re doing. Then remove any sort of temptation. Build a support system, whether it’s a workout buddy or a mom from day care, so you have that person to call when you have a moment of weakness.

  • I love infographics, and this one about the benefits of napping is great!  I’ll take any excuse to take a nice nap in the middle of a lazy Sunday (:
  • Kris Carr’s morning green juice recipe!  Can’t wait to try this.  She’s truly inspirational.
  • An oldie but a goodie: Coach Nicole’s honest “confession” post about the dangers of dieting down to an unhealthy weight.  Thin does not always equal healthy.
  • Check out this app for your phone that might motivate you to run — I know it’s right up my best friend’s (and her husband’s) alley!  What better motivation to get in shape than to prepare for the zombie apocalypse?
  • *shameless plug* Check out my Pinterest where you can find great diet and exercise tips plus some yummy vegan recipes!
  • Lastly, here is a wonderfully inspirational quote that I came across this week from German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche:

Read any good articles lately?  If you have suggestions, feel free to post in the comments below or email me at extrafirmtofubelly@gmail.com — I love comments and suggestions!


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