WritersButt Wednesday – Your journey

Hi Friends!

How’ve ya been? How’re ya feelin’? Whatcha been cookin’?  🙂

So, last night I was watching Biggest Loser. I skipped a few seasons but I wanted to watch this season because one of the contestants was a former Olympic weightlifter, which I’m all geeky about and love to do. Also, Bob Harper is now a huge CrossFit freak and since I have a CrossFit gym, I couldn’t wait to see how he incorporated CrossFit workouts into the show.

I have a love/hate relationship with Biggest Loser normally. I LOVE how these people are changing their lives. They come to the show on a path of total destruction and they leave, or seem to, with hope and tools to lead a healthier life.  When the makeover show comes, no one is boo-hoo’ing more than I am! That said, what I really can’t stand is almost ALL of their nutritional advice.  I can’t stand it because it’s paid by sponsors so they have to say all that crap is good for you, when it’s NOT!  Ok, some of it is good. I love ground turkey and veggies, you know, real food.  But diet yogurt?  UGH!

In last night’s show the contestants had a cooking challenge. First, they had 7 minutes to buy all the ingredients to make a dish.  Then they were going to have 20 minutes to cook/prepare that dish which would be judged by 3 of last season’s contestants based on how ‘healthy’ the dish was and also on taste.

I’ll cut to the chase and say that one contestant made a chicken salad. He seasoned and grilled fresh chicken. He mixed it with mayo, he says a teaspoon or tablespoon, doesn’t even matter.  Her served it with pineapple and celery.  In the store, he waffled over the mayo, wondering if he should get full fat or a low/non fat variety. He decided because he’d be using so little and the dish was to be judged on taste as well as ‘health’ he went with full fat. (See Ginger happy with his choice!)

Come time for judging, he listed off the ingredients and the ‘judges’ were clearly flabbergasted that he’d used full fat mayo. The show went so far as to cut away to the female judge, showing her eyes popping out of her head, rasping out, “FULL FAT MAYO? Oh My God. What was he thinking?” (I might have paraphrased, I was in shock!)

Based on last week’s WritersButt post, where I talked about fat, I’m sure you all can picture me doing multiple things, like eye-rolling, waving arms, scoffing, calling the judges names that might have insulted their intelligence.  I wanted to sprint to Facebook and Twitter and vent about this.  But, I held back, showing what I believe is a supreme level of maturity and self-control.  (Yay—I’m evolving!!)

I also knew that today was WritersButt Wednesday so I thought, I’d vent there.  But I’m not going to do that. I’m not because I thought about this all day and realized that not everyone is at the same place in his or her journey and when you are at different levels of your weight loss (or any) journey, your plan of attack will be different.

Let me explain by sharing a story. A few years ago, we had a guy who really wanted to lose weight and wanted to feel better.  He started CrossFit and did very well in his workouts and got stronger. But we talked how a vital component to weight/fat loss was going to come from his nutrition.

Remember: You gain muscle in the gym. You lose fat in the kitchen.

So, our friend made just two changes.  He cut out white bread and soda. That’s all he did at first.  He was still eating other breads and grains and all sorts of things that I would not recommend but, it was a step he could handle. The weight fell off him, dramatically. Eventually, he cut out more and more, as his goals changed in the course of his journey. Once he’d lost a bunch of weight and was getting really strong, he wanted more, so he had to dial in his nutrition even further. But to start with taking everything out would almost certainly have been defeating for him.

All of this to say what you decide to do in terms of your working out and nutrition will be based on where you are on your journey and what your goals are. Knowing those two key components will mean specific steps for YOU to get you closer to your goal.

What I do in my workouts or how I eat is specific to my goals.  I’m fully aware that your goals will be different so that not everything I do will be a fit for you.  I hope that WritersButt is offering some healthy lifestyle tips and tricks that will apply to many of you on your journey to better health, fitness and to boost your writing creativity!  I mean, that’s where all this started.  Understanding the mind-body connection and taking steps to give your creativity a boost which will carry over to your writing.

I still feel that the poor guy on Biggest Loser should not have been made to feel stupid over a spoonful of mayo, and I’d like to tell him I believe he made the right choice. His weight loss goals are so monumental and stem from not caring at all what his choices were, that the very fact that he stopped and considered thoughtfully about which mayo to choose is a victory.

I’m getting wordy here so I’ll try to wrap this up.  When trying to accomplish something, it’s important to first recognize where you are currently and where you want to be. Sounds simple, but most people don’t do this.  In terms of health, if you are depressed, tired, moody, overweight, have high blood pressure, are unproductive, etc., you have a bit of a journey in front of you but it only takes making some initial changes to start. It takes one step to start the journey! Set yourself up for success by making small changes, like the potty squats, incorporating more and more whole foods into your diet, and eventually increasing the intensity of your workouts.

I promise that if you choose low fat mayo, I won’t have a Jack-Jack attack on you. But I draw the line at soda, especially diet soda. Please don’t get me going. I haven’t matured enough yet!

For some of you, you are already in pretty good shape. Maybe you’d like to lean out a bit more, or use exercise as a vital source of energy and as a creativity booster.  Perhaps you’d like to train for a competition of some sort or start a new sport.  Well, you will have to be stricter with your plan of attack. You may not have the luxury of dessert, or simple carbs, or even dairy. It all depends on where you are and where you want to be.  If you’re already pretty good, then you’ll have to be better.

If what you’re doing right now is not getting you closer to your goals, if you are stalled in your journey, then do something else. What’s that saying? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

I’ll leave you with some recipes.  I promise to make it shorter next time!

This isn’t so much a recipe but just some inspiration to use your grill if you have one. We love cooking on our grill and I’ll throw anything on there.  Tomorrow night I’m doing burgers with grilled pineapple and I’m grilling my salad too. I’ll take pictures!  On this grill is turkey dogs (uncured), some bacon-wrapped pork kabobs for the boys and some organic, no anitbiotics, (etc.) chicken sausage.  Of course you see the asparagus.  I totally forgot to trim them and to season them. Oops!  I just threw them on there.

This is the platter of goodness.  I plopped all the cooked asparagus over the meat at which point I drizzled it with extra virgin olive oil and seasoned it.  YUM!

This recipe idea came from my husband. It’s a broccoli, chicken slaw.  I got a couple bags of broccoli slaw mix. You can find it near the cole slaw mix, bags of cabbage, etc.  I added in a can of chicken. (Found near the tuna.) If I had more time, I’d used fresh shredded chicken or rotisserie chicken. Mixed in some mayo (You KNOW I used full-fat, the kind with the olive oil even! Some day I’m going to make my own paleo-mayo, but let’s move on, shall we.), little kosher salt, pepper and some chili powder.  Mix and gobble up! The longer it sits, the better the flavors meld together.

Plate of Yum!


I’d love for you all to tell me what you’d like in terms of workouts going forward.  Do you want me to continue to offer you mini-workouts? Are you all good now?  Anything?  Let me know!  Until then, I want you to give me 5 burpees every time to take a potty break and I want you to lunge there and back for every time to refill your water battle. 🙂

Have a great week!


About Ginger Calem

I never met a notebook I didn't want to buy. Pens speak to me. Sticky notes are dear to my heart. Some of my best friends are those clambering in my head trying to get onto the page. And when they have their stories told, and I release them to the world, I hope they'll be your friends too.

Posted on March 28, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. Those asparagus look so good! We just bought a new grill-now I can’t wait to use it!
    Thanks as always for the fitness and health inspiration Ginger 🙂

  2. I love this, Ginger! I hate when other people try to tell me what I should be eating, especially without knowing what my goals and values are. I eat greek yogurt and I put half and half in my coffee, but I don’t eat “low fat” or “non fat” anything. It worries me what they do to foods to take the fat out of them. I make healthy choices in what kinds of fat I’m eating. Greek yogurt is a good source of protein, and with some fruit and cinnamon it’s basically a healthy dessert. And I won’t give up half and half, but I don’t really eat much cheese. I figure it’s about making the healthies choices for me. And I like to eat as much of the whole food in it’s natural state as possible. Oh, and I’m LOVING my modified version of CrossFit! I am feeling changes in my body already, and it feels so good to be doing exercises using my body weight. I can’t wait until I can actually do a pull up and a real push up. That will be a great day! I am wondering, though, what is the best way to work up to a real pull up. Should I use the weight assisted pull up machine at the gym or jump up to the bar from a bench like I’ve seen in videos on the CrossFit website? I want to be able to do them eventually. 🙂

    • Hi Emma! I’m so glad you’re loving your CrossFit workouts. Excellent. Ok, about those pull-ups. You can do 2 things. Yes, you can work them on your assisted machine, gradually making it harder and harder. I’d made it so hard that you can barely get your chin over the bar about 5 times. Do about 3 sets, even if you get to failure. In fact, you ‘should’ get to failure so that your muscles have to recover and get stronger. Also, you can do negative. Jump up onto a bar from bench or chair and hold over the bar, then slowly let yourself down. Again do about 3 sets of 5 reps. You’re working on control and static strength. For the push-ups, see if you can do what it called ‘greasing the groove’. If you can’t do 1 regular push up from your toes, I’d like you to two things. First, do 5-10 (or just fewer than your max effort) of knee-push-up at least 3 times a day. Also, I’d like you to try negatives from your toes. Get up into a plank, then lower yourself as slowly as possible to the ground. Repeat about 3-5 times. If you do this every day, it won’t be long before you’re knocking them out from your toes! Promise!! 🙂

      Last thing– I have to have cream in my coffee. It’s my treat. Lately I’ve been using this awesome coconut milk creamer. I get it in the dairy section with the other coconut milks and almond milks. I also love to splurge on organic heavy whipping cream. Oh my goodness!

      Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any CrossFit questions. I’m happy to help if I can.

  3. lynnkelleyauthor

    Great post, Ginger! That broccoli chicken slaw sounds soooooo good. And bbq’d asparagus rocks. Last week my hubby threw some slices of zucchini on the barbie and it was delish. I prefer raw veggies to cooked any day, but the zucchini were just cooked a little and still had that raw yummy flavor. You will cringe when I tell you what I just ate for dessert after the scrambled eggs with chorizo. Uh, leftover movie popcorn from Sunday when we saw The Hunger Games! I go to the movies about twice a year and movie popcorn is a fave, so I don’t feel too bad.

    After 3 months of babysitting, lifting Punkin up and down, dancing with him, and now chasing after him when he crawls toward something he shouldn’t be near, I’m finally building up some stamina. This is a much healthier lifestyle than before I started watching him, so inch by inch I’m making progress. I’m interested in reading your posts with all your healthy tips. My sister’s favorite show is Biggest Loser. I’ve only watched it a few times. I never would have guessed that some of the things they say are healthy to eat aren’t healthy. That makes me mad. Just don’t know who to trust. Actually, I trust you. If I have any questions from now on, I know who to ask! I do know that diet soda is one of the worst things to put in our bodies and doesn’t help people lose weight.

    • Hi Lynn. You and I are alike. I’ve mentioned before that when I go to the movies, which is not that often, I’m having me some movie-popcorn. I just ‘have’ to! 🙂 A girl’s gotta have some vices. I love zuc on the grill and like you, I like it to have that raw-ish bite to it still.

      It’s amazing what little changes in your daily routine, like what you’re doing with Punkin, can do for your stamina and strength. Pretty soon you’ll be chasing him as he picks up speed!

  4. Oh, Ginger, how I love Writer’s Butt Wednesdays. Let’s see what I do right: I kicked the Diet Coke with Lime habit about two years ago. I’ve been roasting veggies all winter and into spring, but it’s time to cook them on the grill. (Roasted cauliflower tonight. Do I get a gold star?) Sadly, one of my fave desserts is low-fat Yoplait yogurt over fruit. I coordinate the desserts: blackberry flavored yogurt over blackberries and strawberry/white chocolate over strawberries. Are you scoffing? Anyway, I respect your opinion and want to improve. My goal is better health, better fitness, and additional weight loss

    By the way, I’m with you on the Biggest Loser’s choice of regular mayo. When just a little bit is used, flavor is critical.

    • Pat, your comment made me feel so good. Thank you. You are doing so much right! Rock on.

      I would never scoff at you.

      Ok, so if you want to increase the health factor in that dessert, here’s what I suggest. First step, ditch the low-fat and just get regular yogurt. Next step and really worth a try, put your fruit over full-fat greek yogurt. The added protein would be great and the fat is good too. If you miss the sweetness that the flavored yogurt gives you (because they are PACKED with sugar!), drizzle some honey on top and maybe a dash of cinnamon.

  5. Karen McFarland

    Okay Ginger, you lost me at the Jack-Jack attack! What is a Jack-Jack attack? lol 🙂

    I must live in a cave! First of all, I don’t have T.V. so I don’t watch the biggest loser. I can only imagine from your description what that show is like. I respect your opinion on weight lose and nutrition and I love the BBQ recipes because we’re nearing the season for that type of cooking and it has less fat. I think that sometimes people have a hard time losing weight because they eat foods they’re allergic to. At least that’s what my doctor has said. When you crave and eat foods your allergic to, it turns into a toxin that your body’s fat cells store. Yuck, I know. Especially processed foods which you so nicely have educated us about and have steered us into a healthy way of eating. Let me know if I can do anything to be of help with your writersbutt program Ginger. You’ve got us going in the right direction. I love these posts! Thank you! 🙂

    • Karen, I always love your positive comments. 🙂

      A Jack-Jack attack comes from the movie The Incredibles. The youngest child, Jack-Jack, basically turns from cute, drooly baby, to this sort of crazy, erratic, demon child, but in a funny and cute way! Click on the link in my post to see a youtube example. We use that term in our house all the time. My middle child was the king of the Jack-Jack attack when he was younger. He had an all time doozy of one that I wish I had on video. It would be viral!

      Really great point about craving what we’re allergic to. Makes total sense, especially with gluten, wheat, dairy etc being such high-trigger allergens and all being such highly addictive foods. Did your doctor say why we’d crave them or is it that because they taste so good, we eat them but then crave them because they are addictive. Not even sure my question makes sense.

      You know, let’s talk about a guest post on the topic of organic foods and such. Would love that. Thank you for the support!

  6. Okay GInger that does it. When’s dinner. I’m catch’n the next flight to Texas. If you’re asleep when I arrive just leave the key under the doormat and the food in the fridge. By the way, heavy on the mayo. :))

    • Extra mayo for you! You’re welcome at our grill anytime. Hey, like I mentioned to Karen, maybe we should chat about a guest post for organic foods and other fitness approaches.

  7. Had to go buy asparagus! Forgot to comment when I got home. But had to tell out of all the words these are still with me this morning.

    “Remember: You gain muscle in the gym. You lose fat in the kitchen.” Printing them out and clipping to bathroom mirror and refrigerator door.

    Great blog, Ginger.

  8. I was anorexic for a lot of years so I’m kind of a walking testament to where extreme thinking will get you, and then how hard it is to find balance afterward. (Clearly I haven’t quite managed it since I’m now fighting to lose weight, and to figure out how to do it in a healthy way rather than nearly killing myself again.) One of the key things that helped me was to not beat myself up over something tiny like they berated him for a tablespoon of regular mayo. That tablespoon, in light of all the other good choices he made, wasn’t even a make-or-break thing.

    • Marcy, you are so SO smart to make the effort to lose weight in a healthy and balanced way. You have to be kind to yourself. When people beat themselves up, they just create more stress and anxiety which happens to work against them in the fat loss department as well with all that added cortisol in their system.

      Getting healthy is not just about what you eat, or how much/hard you workout, or what form of workout you do … it’s about how you live your life in every spectrum. So many people just don’t know what to eat because there is so much conflicting advice out there. But outside of nutrition and fitness, it’s so important to love yourself, do things that bring you joy, get enough sleep, play, give away smiles and happiness to others, help others … You know what I mean. This stuff makes you feel better and happy people glow from the inside.

      (sorry, guess I went off track there. haha)

  9. Shannon Esposito

    That’s a good point that Karen brought up, I went to a nutrition class and she said the same thing…that we crave the things we’re allergic to. What’s up with that? I must be really allergic to chocolate. hmmm. Anyway, reading this post is bittersweet for me because you always get me so fired up and I was doing so well but I’ve been down since monday with my back issue again. Finally hobbling around the house today…grrr. Bright side, at least I’m getting some writing done.

    ps. Cracked me up that you grill your salad…lol.

    • I’d really love to learn more about this craving what we’re allergic too. I’m going to have to research it or have someone guest-blog for me. I hope I’m not allergic to wine and seasalt dark chocolate. 🙂

      Dang, sorry about your back. My son is suffering with back issues and it’s SO frustrating. I do hope you feel better ASAP. Once you do, there are a lot of great things you can do for your back to strengthen it and maybe not have it bother you again … assuming this is the issue, because I don’t know sort of back issue you’re dealing with.

      Grilled my salad last night. LOVED it. I took a picture which I will share. You have to try it!

  10. “You gain muscle in the gym. You lose fat in the kitchen.” I LOVE this!

    I’m not really doing the WB-Wed stuff, seeing as how I’ve got my foot in a walking boot. Now that the swelling is down and there’s very little discomfort, I’m picking up again on my sit-ups, push-ups, etc. But all the sitting around with my leg up plus the good weather makes me want to move!

    I just watched that BL episode last night. I agreed with the mayo thing – a teaspoon doesn’t make much difference. And while I”m a lite-mayo gal, I totally disagreed with what they said, along the lines of “go with lite or non-fat, it’s healthier.” Healthier?? Fewer calories, but loads of fake ingredients!

    We need to pull the grill out of the garage – i needed it last night! But your broccoli-chicken slaw looks great until then. Thanks.

    • I bet it’s so frustrating to be stuck in that boot. But great job in doing what you can do. Hey, you can do one legged squats. Put a chair near or in a door jam in case you need support and then sit down, stand up, just using the one leg. Your one butt cheek with thank you. haha!

      Pull that grill out. I want to see some of your recipes!

  11. We grill a lot too, although not so much in the winter with the rain and the wind and sthe now. Looking forward to nice weather so we can cook outside again.

    I love the idea of using full-fat mayo, which I do because nothing else tastes good, but I don’t use very much, just a teaspoon or so. I can’t cut out every single thing or I’ll got raving mad! I’ll be like a rabid dog snarling and foaming at the mouth over my hand full of carrot sticks.

    And I’ve got to say, lunging my way to the bathroom or water fountain is going to be fun watching for my boss. I’ll be in a pencil skirt, pantyhose and stilettos lunging down the hallway. There’s a fun visual. I think I stick with the squats behind the locked bathroom door where I won’t create such an eye full. My work attire is not conducive for all of this extra bathroom workout stuff. What can I do in a business suit and heels?

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • What do you mean … you don’t grill in the snow? What kind of WritersButt Warrior are you? hahaha

      Ok, a challenge for me, pencil skirts and heels. Dang. Let’s see …

      Not sure if you have a place out of view that you can do some sort of push-ups, like even on the edge of a chair. I will not suggest that you do this on the toilet because even I know that’s total EEEWWW factor. 😉 The bathroom sink might be too high to be a challenge but it’s an option. What do you think?

      • I don’t know that the sink will support push-ups because it’s just attached to the wall, there’s no vanity or cabinet. I could squeeze in a few push-ups using my desk I suppose. It’s a big ole heavy beast so it’s not going anywhere. I’ll shut my door and knock out a few right now.

        Of course, I do go to the gym so perhaps I could simply forego the office work-out routine? I’m always looking for an excuse aren’t I?


  12. Ha! Happy I’m able to work at home because I’m sure I look ridiculous as I lunge back and forth to the kitchen to fill up my water bottle. : )

    That slaw is heavenly. Made some last night and let it sit in the fridge until today. Yummy lunch.

    • Oh good, you made the slaw! Yes, I found even more delicious the next day … and the next one after than too. 🙂

      We might need a video of you lunging, Linda, for the next blog post. Come’on! HUG!

  13. Ginger, I just love your eating and exercise philosophy. I used to hit the weights pretty hard, and that whole community is about egg whites, egg whites, egg whites. They’d eat lowfat cheese, then take CLA supplements (CLA is found in full-fat dairy products). So ridiculous. Thanks for a sane approach!

    • Yes, that is ridiculous. That egg-yolk is healthy and they are just tossing it away. 😦

      I saw on Facebook today a comment from a friend which read something like, we as a society are no longer eating ‘foods’ but ‘products’.

      Thanks for the comment and especially for calling me sane. Haven’t been called that in a while. *wink*

  14. I’m printing out your motto and sticking it on my fridge. In fact, I might have a license plate frame made for my trainer!

    I need to go back through your posts and get the deets on the first ‘assignments’ you gave us. Somewhere along the line I lost my way. I remember the lunges to the bathroom tonight! Burpees. Ugh. Okay, for you I’ll do some burpees. No, for my big ole ass I’ll do some burpees! 😉

    • If you make that license plate, I want a picture! Maybe I need to make some WritersButt t-shirts and slap that on there. *idea* !!

      How’d the burpees go? You remind me that maybe I should have a link list at the bottom of these in case people want to go back to the beginning. I’ll try to do that for future posts.

      Thanks, Tameri! (and hope you had a great birthday!)

  15. WOOHOO!! Love it! Biggest Loser made me mad last night with the nutrition stuff too. Like you, I’m mad at almost all the nutrition but, I did get especially bothered by the extra grief just for a spoonful of full fat mayo! LAME!!

  1. Pingback: WritersButt Wednesday-Taking my own advice « Ginger Calem

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