Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fashion forward!

Well, it appears that the final weigh-in for THWACk! #3 went as planned today, and we have several winners. I'll let Eleanore announce the final results in her sum-it-all-up email, but I'll just say congratulations to you all for sticking with your diet/fitness plans and for doing so well. We're probably going to launch THWACk! #4 soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

Meanwhile, many of you are still recovering from having your eyes peeled by me, in the famed Borat suit. I know it was traumatizing for many of you, and hope by now your sight has returned. Still, doesn't everyone want to have one "fashion-forward" friend? I'm telling you now, I can be that person for you.

Look, the last published THWACk! featured me, in this photograph, on August 10th.

This morning, I looked online at jezebel.com, one of my regular newsfeeds, and what did I see? This American Apparel advert....

Who was first? Point made. She clearly doesn't really "get it" as a fashion statement (the tights are hideous), but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, as they say, so I'll be willing to help her out. I expect the phone to ring at any moment.

If any of you guys want my advice on finding fashionable clothing for your newly svelte bodies, do give me a buzz. I have so many great ideas, you can't begin to imagine. If you give me free rein -- perhaps we could go shopping at some of my favorite spots? -- I guarantee you will look unforgettable at your next soiree.

Ta ta for now, darlings!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

All work and no play....

... makes this girl just work even harder.  And while on vacation, no less!

You know, I don't think I should have to beg to get some cooperation from you people. Here I am, publishing week after week, and will anyone step up when I make a simple request? Apparently not.

Oh and by the way, it's Tuesday, so get on that scale. Only two weeks left, you lazy creatures.

But back to what I was saying. It wasn't a very complicated question, really. I had a sample swimsuit given to me by Baron Sascha Cohen, of Borat fame, after we spent a completely mad long weekend together in St. Tropez. This was shortly after he'd finished one of his recent films and he was giving away all those extra swim costumes to his closest friends. I was sure I could get someone to wear it. After all, green looks great on everybody, and who doesn't want to "wow" the other swimmers at the seashore every once in a while?

Back in Wheaton, after my French Riviera holiday, I asked everyone to just simply try it on. That's all I was asking. I asked Kevin, I asked Glenn; they both just laughed. Matt said "My wife would kill me." Lane, Henry, Mark? John B? No one at the club would even consider it. Honestly. I mean, it's a genuine French couture kind of bathing suit. All the rage in the south of France, take my word for it.

Off to the Michigan beaches. I asked Mr D to don the thing, but he politely declined. To his credit, he worked hard all week and earned some time off, plus he continually takes me back after every one of my little adventures, so I reluctantly gave him a pass. My sons, both in their twenties, flat out refused. I mean, what could be so bad about this suit? Jeepers!

But as the old saying goes, if you want something done right, do it yourself. So I have.

And I hope you're all ashamed of yourselves for being so uncooperative.

You'll be especially embarrassed when you see how easy it was to get this done. Watch and learn.

Step 1:  Choose beach. Recruit photographer from family members.

Step 2:  Check for other beach-goers/voyeurs, looking carefully in every direction. This is a private photo shoot after all.

Step 3:  Practice fancy model poses.

Step 4:  Change into Borat suit.

Step 5:  Begin photo shoot.

Step 6:  Quickly cover up when screamers show up at the top of a nearby dune.

Step 7:  After scaring away unwanted visitors with a full frontal view ("Whatchu lookin' at, g'wan! Git outta here!"), go all arty with a pose reminiscent of the best of Andrew Wyeth.

See the similarities? High horizon line. Woman's face obscured. Background of tall grasses. Strong horizontal orientation. Mysterious sense of longing as woman looks off into the distance.

You too could draw these sorts of parallels if you had an art history degree like I do. Thank goodness I'm so willing to share my expertise with you.

See you next week. I should be back pretty soon, providing Illinois doesn't set up those pesky roadblocks again to keep me out.

Ta ta for now!


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Standards, standards

Of course I know many of you are wondering, "Where does she get The Funny?" I know, I know. I am hilarious. But it takes hard work and close attention. It's not like I sit down to a big steaming bowl of crazy every morning. Lots more to it than that.

It helps if you spend time with people who are also hilarious (intentionally or not). Disregarding the unintentionally hilarious people who surround me, I'll highlight today two of the intentionally funny ones.

Here's my long-suffering husband, whose sense of humor borders on diabolical, especially now that he's got the devilish goatee to suit.

And the other important influence? A flatmate from my London days. You guessed it: it's another ex, Russell.

Russell Brand. I hope you know him. His brand of comedy is off-color, ridiculous, and non-stop. It helps that he's wretchedly good-looking too.

Though he's nearly twenty years younger than I am, age didn't stand in the way of our relationship. Plenty of young lads enjoy the company of older women -- we're wiser, kinder, and as Benjamin Franklin pointed out, ever so grateful.

To a degree.

Russell and I used to lark about in the flat in Ascot, trading jokes and eyeliner tips. Frankly, he's much better at lining his lower lids than I am. But then again, he doesn't have to wear reading glasses yet either, so there. We were fabulous friends as he became more and more famous, though his drug use and womanizing got up my nose a bit. Finally, though, I lost a lot of respect for him -- just about the time he went off to sex rehab, beating out Tiger by a couple of years. It wasn't all the cheating that got to me though, it was the lowering of his sartorial standards that really turned me off.

Take a peek.

To which I say, if you're appearing out in public in this kind of sloppy get-up when you're in your early thirties, what's to prevent you from going out like this when you're sixty? I mean really.

As the English like to say, "that's not on!"

Not on any of MY men, that's for sure.

P.S. Hope your dieting is going well. Feel free to weigh in if you like on Tuesdays. We only have 3 weeks left! Get cracking!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Flattery will get you everywhere. Maybe.

Oh, goodness, I was so thrilled when Glenn stopped me in the corridor this morning and asked if he could take my picture with his new iPhone. Obviously, my diet is going fabulously, and he wanted to document my progress (and maybe print out a copy of the glamorous image to tape to the inside of his locker!?!? My lips are sealed.)

He said he'd email it to me, and he did, with the caption "yummy yummy!" That's me, of course, one of those yummy mummys they're always going on about in the tabloids. I scare myself sometimes, I'm that stunning.

But as I opened the email I had an alarming thought. Hasn't Steve Jobs had to recall some iPhones because of problems? Antenna issues, or distortion, or something, I'm not sure.

Well sure enough, problems abound. Here's the first:

Holy cats! If this is the kind of product you can expect from Apple, well then I am simply appalled at the poor quality of the image. Crow's feet AND a goiter! What's up with that?

This diva is most dissatisfied.

Punishment will be forthcoming. Run and hide, boys, run and hide.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

How to keep your partner happy...

When I lived in England, I had this rather glam girlfriend named Zara. We played tennis together, and I did my best to ignore her terrible line calls because she was a stitch off-court.

She was a sloe-eyed brunette, slim, tawny-skinned, and vivacious. She identified herself as Persian (rather than Iranian), spoke with a sultry exotic accent, and was fond of purring useful advice over a double espresso after matches. The most memorable tidbit was this:

"To keep a man happy, all zat is needed is zees: one freshly pressed shirt and one hot meal per day. Anything more is at your discretion." I don't imagine that she ever did her own ironing or her own cooking, as I believe she had staff for that. Still, the simplicity of the concept was stunning.

Iron ing., originally uploaded by csheemoney.

Yet is it true?

Yes and no. I'm learning to love ironing, and cooking is growing on me as well.

DSC07881_resize, originally uploaded by k.a. gilbert.

Yet it's hard to cook diety-type dinners that still show the love. What are your secrets, ladies?

DSC08118, originally uploaded by k.a. gilbert.
And how can I avoid doing the dishes?

And here's how you can show me the love. You can comment on these posts, just go below and highlight 0 comments, (right after "posted by expateek at 12.:15am" or whatever). When you hit that spot, a comment box should open up, and you can weigh in with your reactions or recipes, my friendishes. Beth C gives me da lurve every time I see her in person in da club, but I want to hear from all of you on line too!

Don't forget, only 5 1/2 weeks until the big day. Step up your iron regime girls -- whether you pump iron or push an iron, it can only help, however you look at it.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Focus, ladies!

I was in the locker room yesterday morning, changing into my workout gear, and overheard two very plump seventy-plus-year-old ladies chatting. They had just finished their water aerobics class, and were sitting half-naked and winded on the benches.

"Betty, I'm so sorry I didn't make it to class last week. I couldn't sleep the night before. Terrible. I just couldn't get out of bed the next morning."

"Oh I know, Ida. Insomnia is awful!"

"Really, I just couldn't get a wink of sleep."

"Well, I've often found that thinking about cleaning my oven works pretty well. I just think to myself 'I should clean that oven,' and by the time I get halfway down the stairs, I'm so tired I turn right around, go back upstairs and fall asleep instantly."


I couldn't help myself and burst out laughing. "Sorry, I didn't mean to eavesdrop, but that's just too funny. And you're totally right, of course. Ovens are diabolical!" I pulled on my sport shorts.

"It's true, isn't it? There's nothing like oven-cleaning to take the wind right out of your sails."


Betty piped up again. "Say, that's some hunk on the inside of your locker there!"

I turned, startled.

"That photo!" said Ida, pointing. "Yes, he's quite amazing. Is that your husband?"

"Sadly, no," I replied. "Though I hear Safin's quite a philanderer, so maybe I'm lucky after all."

"Men! They're just impossible." said Betty, shaking her head.

"I love his tattoo." Ida's eyes went all dreamy. "He looks like he's not even wearing any trunks." With great effort, she peeled off her wet suit and dropped it unceremoniously on the carpet.

"It's Marat Safin. He's a tennis player." I was going to add "and he's my secret boyfriend number 8" but wasn't sure they'd appreciate my sense of humor.

"Just goes to show, you're never too old," Betty chimed in, cackling.

"So true, ladies, so true," I replied.

"In my head, I'm still twenty-six. You go to the movies, and you still fall in love with the leading man. I'm not dead yet. Thank God." Ida sighed.

But what does this have to do with dieting, you ask? Not much. In fact, just this morning I got a sharp reprimand from Matt on court. "Focus, Ellie!" I was entirely distracted by the fact that Glenn had stripped off his shirt, six courts away.

"Think about tennis!"

Ah yes, easier said than done. And we should also be thinking about DIETING since the big deadline is only six weeks away. There's not much room for error at this point. Every little calorie counts.

I think Eleanore is still the closest to her goal. She's stopping at nothing; she even gave me a jar of chocolate covered cherries to try to sabotage reward my dieting efforts. You know that one, always thinking of others! I have a plan though, involving fewer peanut M&M's and chocolate covered cherries, and more exercise, along with large servings of fresh fruits and vegetables.

We'll see who cackles last.

Monday, July 12, 2010

August 31st, 2010

Yup, the big day is approaching, laydeez, so GET IN THAT GYM!

Fifty [50] days until the final weigh-in.
It's coming! And I'm afraid.

Personally, I've been suffering a little bit of a "spell" lately. I seem to be stuck. So once again, I'm trying to "up" my exercise and "down" my snacking.

But Patrice had an even BETTER idea, which is that on the final weigh-in day, we could show up in swimsuits. This would have multiple beneficial effects, i.e.,: increased motivation to actually diet more effectively so as to look good in a suit; and swimsuits weigh less than tennis clothes so you might get the odd half-pound off your total. I'll bring my camera, and once again we'll be famous.

Think about it. My Borat suit weighs hardly anything. Score!

I know this is going to totally motivate ME, so whether you all go for the idea or not, I'm entirely in. It'll encourage me to work harder in Pilates sessions to tone my core, and I might persuade myself to leave the roasted cashews alone after 5pm (world's biggest temptation!) Not to mention the Stoli in the freezer.

Where were we? Of course, snacking on cashews. The Daily Herald today had some good snack suggestions on page 2 of the Health and Fitness section. Joshua Steckler and Mark Trapp, two robust and hunky fitness trainers from Schaumburg suggest the following:
  • 1 apple and 1 tablespoon natural almond butter
  • protein smoothie -- 1 scoop whey or egg protein (ewwww, gross!), 1 cup frozen fruit, 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter, 8 oz of water
  • 1 hard-boiled egg and 1 half cup blueberries (I guess these things go together because they're both ovoid shaped?)
  • 2 celery sticks and 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
  • greek yogurt and one half cup raspberries
  • 1 oz almonds and 2 oz grapes
  • 1 half-cup cottage cheese with a sliced peach
These boys look like they're eating a bit more than the above, but then they're men and they're fitness trainers, so they probably get a few bonus calories. How much is 2 oz of grapes? My scale doesn't go that low.

In other news from this morning's Herald, "Skinny Tips" include:
  • cut out soft drinks;
  • sleep more (ha! you can't eat while asleep, or some of us can't anyway);
  • have 3 servings of vegetables with dinner rather than just one (so exhausting to cook three: this will make you sleep even more! especially since you cut out soft drinks at the beginning of this paragraph, so no Diet Coke! No caffeine! My goodness, things are just going from bad to worse to flippin' terrible here, all in the space of one long run-on sentence!)
And that's just about it. All these diet tips are thanks to someone who said to me today, "What is that blog about?"

And I was like, "Weight loss, and fitness, I guess. Except I haven't posted a diet tip for ages and all I do is run on and on about handsome men and bulging quadriceps!" Whoops, reality check.

But you don't come here for the diet and weight loss tips, do you now? You're here for the visuals. And so here you go.

Eating fruit is good for you.

Vegetables are sexy.

And you should definitely have 6 a day. Just like the sign says.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hot, Hot, HOT!!!

While you girls have been sipping mint juleps by your country club pools, or relaxing at your lake houses, this intrepid journalist/blogger (with neither lake house nor country club membership) has been hard at work. Someone has to keep her nose to the grindstone!

I admit, I was a bit distracted by World Cup goings on.

However, we can attribute my investigations to a healthy interest in ...

excellent glutes here,

glorious abs here,

and lovely thighs (my personal weakness) here and here.

Do click on those links to waste an hour or two.

Come back after you've taken a "nap".

Right-ee-yo, are you back with us now?
Well, we can't all hanker after world cup athletes, so it makes sense to look a bit closer to home. Which means...
Wheaton Sport Centre, natch.

I took my camera to the club the other day, to take some photos to inspire you to greater heights (or lows) in your weight loss endeavours, and look what I've come up with: all these photos are entirely suitable for papering the inside of your gym locker.

Sweet legs...

Amazing abs...

Whoa, hang on, that was a "before" picture!

Excellent biceps...

Tasty calves and lustrous Asian hair ....

Glenn tells me (and I can confirm!) that his skin feels like a baby's. Smooth, silky... you don't even want to know; it's not for public consumption. In this photo, he's showing off his biceps and his new tattoo (obvs, it says "Ellie"). I told him I didn't want him marring his beautiful skin like that, but he wouldn't listen. Men!

Here's another one who wasn't listening. Immediately after I took this photo,

Kevin took out his earphones and said, "You have no idea what you're doing with that camera, do you?"

Harsh but true. Oh well. That's why I usually steal my photos from the interwebz. At least I write my own material.

But sadly, I still have no takers on posing in the Borat swimsuit. Girls, if you're interested I can assure you that it is a unisex suit. If you stand very very very still whilst wearing it, you can make it work. (Also, relax your glutes because the suit is really rubbish at hiding cellulite.) And of course, neon green doesn't work on everyone. That green doesn't go so well with my skin tone, but on the other hand, it did really made my blue eyes "pop". Come to think of it, my husband's brown eyes "popped" when he caught sight of me in the mirror.

I just told him I was doing research for the blog, and he nodded sagely and backed out of the room.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

We're back!

Or rather, I'm back.

I know you missed me... right? Yeah, you did.

I was pretty thrilled to return and find that I still have a writing gig for THWACk! because NO ONE won the dosh from our last go 'round. So apparently, you all need more inspiration. Happily, I'm here to provide it.

My 'round the world tour was wonderful, and quite entertaining. I saw all the sights, logged more than 24,000 flight miles, and walked a couple skillion miles touring. People have asked me how I maintained my weight while on holiday, and all I can tell you is this:

and this:

and this:

Whoah, ellie! Did you eat all that stuff?

Yes, indeedy, I did, but I didn't always go back for seconds.

Except here:

Because I love to eat slimy things. Octopus? For realz. Kind of crunchy and pretty delish!

Anyhoodles, Asia was extremely enjoyable, and yet I'm so glad to be back here. Because even though I got to feast my eyes on some rather tasty world foods in China...

and India...

and ... oh wait... this is entirely wrong!

there's nothing like the Wheaton Sport Center and the ol' U S of A.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New hot totty in the line-up

Well, gang, I've nearly made good on my promise to get photos of some of the local gorgeous talent at the club. The handsome "K" has agreed as of this morning to give me a swimsuit pose or two for the blog -- I'll catch up with him after I'm back from my round-the-world tour. Can't wait!

Meanwhile, THWACk2 is winding down, and several of you are in hot pursuit of the $250 kitty. Sadly, I won't make my goal, but I'm figuring that my Asian diet of starfish,

P1010950, originally uploaded by yan ♥.

skewered scorpions

Unusual street food, originally uploaded by slack13.

silkworm larvae,

Silk Worm Larvae on a skewer, originally uploaded by diggydog.

deep fried chicken feet,

Deep-Fried Chicken Feet, originally uploaded by chooyutshing.

and hundred-year-old eggs

may kill my appetite forever. What do you guys want me to try? Name your poison and I'll try to oblige!

Meanwhile, happy dieting, and keep up the great work. We're ALL looking mahvelous, darlings!


Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm pretty flexible...

But not this flexible...

Chinese Acrobat, originally uploaded by Renee Silverman.

Not yet, anyway.

I was filling out all my visa applications for China, India, and Bali last night, and I realized that I hadn't even told some of you -- now that I've lost all this weight, I've been accepted to acrobat school! Yes, I'm off to Asia for 6 weeks, to train with the people responsible for making those Cirque du Soleil acrobats so bendy and fit. A few weeks in training and I should be able to do this,


contortionist, originally uploaded by Shreyans Bhansali.

or this,

contortion class, originally uploaded by smith.stina.

or this.

I guess having a positive attitude will be important, as usually they don't take people my age. Yet I'm moderately successful at most things, so I anticipate great results.

My husband is thrilled -- he loves to have me accompany him on his travels, and he can't wait to tell his friends that his wife is in the process of becoming a contortionist. They'll all be so envious!! First I become a certified Pilates instructor, and now an acrobat: how sexy is that?

Obviously, keeping my weight low will be ever so important if I'm to succeed in this latest endeavor, so you can be sure you'll still receive your THWACk! updates even whilst I'm in Asia. I promise I'll take lots of photos too.

Liz Z also pointed out that I should be extremely careful in my eating over there, because you don't always know what you're being served. I promise you I'll make sure I inquire, and if I get served any dog or cat I'll let you know how it tastes!