Fat Chat!

Costco String Beans boiled in saltwater and run through cold water to keep them emerald green!

For those of you who are fitting beautifully into your skinny jeans, goody for you. This blog is for the rest of us who have survived the Polar Vortex and Super Bowl Sunday, but can’t zip our pants.

My friend Gayle and I regularly engage in what we lovingly refer to as “Fat Chat”, and so I thought I would share the top tips that we have culled.

A word of warning. Neither of us is skinny. But neither of us is obese. We fall somewhere in the “humbly hoping for healthy” department.

Gayle and I walk once a week, and try to get our emotional needs met by talking about our highs and lows instead of eating our feelings all week long. Generally, we do a good job with our co-therapy, and somehow we manage to keep our collective kids fairly satisfied while still trying to express ourselves creatively in our daily lives.

Sometimes Gayle is skinny. Sometimes I am skinny. Sometimes someone asks Gayle if she is pregnant when she is not. Sometimes someone asks me if I am pregnant when I am not. But generally speaking, between the two of us we have come up with a few tried-and-true tips that keep us out of the gut-gutter, and coasting along in the center of the lane of decent health.

This is not easy by any means! Gayle and I both try to say no to sugar, dairy and booze, and the world is filled with sugar, dairy and booze. So it helps to have a pal whose values align with yours and who you can laugh with during your “Fat Chat” times.

Of course there are bigger problems in the world. I realize we are not chipping rock in Bangladesh. And we do try to do what we can to help out with those larger problems.

But for today, and maybe Mondays indefinitely, I am going to bee-bop along with a ceremonious chorus or two of Fat Chat, because it’s more fun if you share stuff with friends. And if you are reading this blog, you are my friend. Nice to meet you! If you are my mom, Hi Mom, and thank you for being a loyal reader and friend.

I hope you like today’s top tips. If you have some top tips of your own, then you deserve a praise pause! Please do share them here so we can all walk along Healthy Street together.

Top Tips to Get Back on Track!

  • Keep track of your ‘budget’ with a great fitness app like “MyFitnessPal”. This app will not only keep track of your calories, but also your protein, fiber, vitamins, water and exercise needs. It makes staying healthy a no-brainer. You can’t meet your financial needs without a budget, so why is your body any different?
  • Walk for an hour every day! You don’t need workout gear, you don’t need special shoes, you don’t need to worry your hair will go flat. I usually walk about 10,000 steps in an hour and find this is a good way to get my body moving. You can do it in stages and walk to the store, walk to the mailbox, walk from a far-off parking space!
  • Ditch the sugar. Here’s the thing about sugar. It may not be bad per se. But once you remove it from your diet, all the whole foods you eat will suddenly start to taste sweet again. Fall off the wagon, and start eating sugar again and the next thing you know you are asking yourself “who stole the sweetness out of my blueberries?” When you don’t eat any sugar, your steamed button mushrooms will start to take on new sweetness. I promise!
  • Eat plant protein like lentils or chick peas that have the added benefit of being chock-full of fiber. Yes, chicken has protein. But chick peas have both protein and fiber. Put fiber and protein in your gut, add a few glasses of water, and you are humming along nicely for several hours. Which leads me to my next top tip…
  • Water, water, everywhere and a million drops to drink. Seriously, drink 8-12 glasses of water every day, and MORE if you are walking, plowing snow, or doing high aerobic activity. Don’t wait until you get thirsty. That’s like waiting to put oil in your car until your engine breaks down. Drink a glass of water before you eat. Drink a glass of water after you eat. Drink a glass of water while you fill your next glass of water!
  • Last but not least, listen to Momma Renata…eat your vegetables! There is TONS of fiber, protein, and vitamins in an array of veggies. If your jeans are tight, eat a bunch of them that are on the lower calorie spectrum like cabbage, string beans, celery, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and mushrooms. Pack your lunch, and pack your snacks which can all be fortified with huge handfuls of raw vegetables. Get a cheap-n-cheerful metal basket from the grocery store and make a big pot of steamed vegetables for the week. Pile them on the plate at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yes, breakfast!!
  • Browse through Renata’s Kitchen for oodles of veggie recipes like
  • Roasted Tricolor Carrots
  • My Little Chickapee 400 Calorie Lunch
  • Packing your Box of Smart Snacks: B.O.S.S.

If you have any top tips to share, I promise you that Gayle and I will discuss them on our weekly walk. If you have a walking partner you want to thank for your own version of “Fat Chat” then please share this story with them or thank them for their friendship below. I am so thankful for my friend Gayle, who is never very far from a good old belly laugh through waistbands thick and thin.


I’ll always be a fat girl, and I’m happy with that.

-Dawn French

My fat never made me any less money.

-Dolly Parton

What is feminism? Simply the belief that women should be as free as men, however nuts, dim, deluded, badly dressed, fat, receding, lazy, and smug they might be.

-Caitlin Moran


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