Wednesday, February 28, 2007

America’s Next Top Model – Cycle 8: Season Premiere

I’m not going to lie, I shrieked with glee when I heard that America’s Next Top Model was starting up again this week. I’m not sure what I love more, seeing Tyra Banks dress up like a drag queen or laughing at pretty girls crying, but this show makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

I love the smell of hair and makeup in the morning

The always ridiculous Miss J and the lovely Jay Manuel (Canadian!) enter the show in a Jeep sporting army fatigues. Love it. Apparently they are breaking these want-to-be models in with a little boot camp. I immediately start looking for the token fat chick (sorry, plus size model). The girls are dressed in white tank tops, capris, and high heeled black boots. Completely ridiculous, but totally funny to see them trying to march in 3 inch heels. I spot the “fatties” - Whitney and Diana, both gorgeous, both 21.

Enter Tyra, step dancing a la American colleges in the South. I’m not going to lie; her dancing reminds me of Beyonce (meaning, no grace, no rhythm, no time). She’s an altogether hot mess. Also, it is no wonder she is showing some love to the plus size girls, Tyra is moving in that direction herself. Lay off the cheeseburgers girl!

The show quickly moves to the model intros. Not everyone gets featured. Apparently there are 20 girls here, but I only count 18 getting highlighted. They make the cut in the usual brutal fashion by releasing the girls into a room where they either have an invite with their picture on it to a fashion party or they don’t. Tears of joy and sadness ensue as the girls lose their minds for the first of many times. I sip my wine and smirk, thinking, it really is too bad that the girl with over 20 tattoos got the boot, that would have been fun.

Kathleen, 20 – all about the bod and afro, but dumb as a rock

Sarah, 20 – smart, photographer, blondie, super confident

Cassandra, 24 – looks like Wonder Woman threw up all over her, long face, bad weave! Amazing body!

Brittany, 21, loud talker, potentially deaf girl

Natasha, 21 – Mail order Russian bride living in Texas, married to a 40 year old (wow!) She has quite an ego on her, and not making a lot of friends. I think the girls pretty much despise her

Samantha, 19 – Southern girl with crazy eyebrows and a missing tooth (hawt!). Smacks of hillbilly

Dionne, 20 – loves modeling and denistry (odd?), could talk the paint off a barn and looks a bit like Tamia

Jaslene, 20 – repeat from ANTM 7, Latina with personality, likes to thank the lord a lot

Renee, 20 – married with a 7 month old son, very determined, cries easily, self-proclaimed catty girl, looks a bit like Christina Applegate’s little sister, very critical of everyone

Whitney, 21 – plus size girl #1, looks AWESOME in a bikini, likes to thank Jesus for her success

Jael, 21 – bad hair, big cry baby, background is ½ black ½ German, shows up to the first panel in a red tutu and pink tank top, gotta love her for that

Diana, 21 – plus size model #2 – wants to be first plus size model to win ANTM – dad is a big jerk for making her feel bad about gaining weight and she does not look nearly as good in a bikini as Whitney

Felicia, 19 – bad drawn in eyebrows – nickname is “baby Tyra” (she wishes!), also one who likes to thank Jesus

1st Photo Shoot with Nigel (Hawtness) Barker: “Make a Statement”
The girls are given a different political statement to make in each of their photos.

Kathleen – anti-fur
Brittany – pro-fur
Nathasha – pro-choice
Jael – pro-life
Sarah – life in prison
Jaslene – pro-death penalty
Felicia – straight marriage
Whit/Sam – gay marriage
Dionne – vegan
Cassandra – meat eater
Renee – anti-gun
Diana – pro-gun

Best line of the night:
“We open up the doors and it’s like freakin’ heaven!” (Kathleen describing the white stretch Hummer limo that arrives to drive the girls to their house)

1st Challenge: One Woman’s Trash is another Woman’s treasure

The girls are brought to a Goodwill store where Phillip Bloch, stylist to the stars, appears and gives them three minutes to pick out an outfit to model. Then they have to walk a runway where their outfits will be auctioned off. The outfit that gets the most money wins.

Jael’s outfit wins and then snobby Renee criticizes her because she thinks Jael has an unfair advantage because she clearly shops at thrift stores all the time. HAHAHA! These girls were best friends just hours ago. Later, Renee takes her aside and has a heart-to-heart with her. Jael decides she is way too much work and ditches her. Likely a good decision on Jael’s part.

1st Panel: Tyra, Nigel, Miss J, and Twiggi

Tyra looks like she is auditioning for Pirates of the Caribbean. Also, if she puts one more coat of mascara on her fake eyelashes I fear she will need 2x4’s to hold her eyes open.

The judges go to town, critiquing the girls up and down:

Jael – face was flat in the picture, she made excuses about feeling sick, but she has an exotic look
Natasha – boring pic with no expression, blends into the wall behind her
Dionne – pretty face, but no neck in the photo and her jaw looks big
Cassandra – clearly likes meat, but not a pretty picture and does not look like a model
Renee – for all her bitchiness, she looks scared, timid, and nervous, with no photographic savvy
Diane – no movement in her pic, weak in the eyes, deadpan expression
Kathleen – bland expression, this girl is dumb as a stone, a little slow, clueless, and to quote Miss J, a “straight up Brooklyn hoochie”
Brittany – strong photograph, striking
Samantha – great jaw and neck line
Whitney – nice photo, but needed to find a way to show off body more with angles
Felicia – looks like she could be in Bridal magazine, beautiful bone structure
Jasleen – strong photograph, great eyes, fierce and scary looking
Sarah – blah photo with no expression, though she has a lot of potential

The Deliberation:
I’m hoping they send Kathleen home. She is unapologetically ignorant. I am rooting for Jasleen, Sarah and Whitney, in no particular order.

Return to the house, pack your belongings and go home!:
Kathleen – see ya!

Monday, February 26, 2007

The “Build a Better Butt” Workout.

With one month to go until we head down to Key West for a family vacation, I have challenged Paul to help me get into shape for the beach. His response? A workout that made it hard to sit for two days.

The bathing suit is not a piece of attire that I particularly enjoy. Even worse than having to wear one on the beach is the experience of having to purchase one. This involves the humiliation of selecting several suits that you think may not look completely hideous on you, in several sizes (gawd forbid you should EVER have to leave the change room during this ordeal, for ANY reason whatsoever).


Thursday, February 22, 2007

10 Months Old and I've Lived to Tell About it.

My baby boy Max turns 10 months old tomorrow. Even with all the sleepless nights, going days without showering, and almost no time to myself, the time seems to have flown by. Who knew the toughest job on earth could be so rewarding?

It was 10 months ago tomorrow that Maxwell Hunter entered the world and changed my life forever. He was born on his dad's 31st birthday, two days before his due date. The funny thing is, my husband predicted all along that Max would be born on his birthday, so when I woke Scott up to tell him I was in labour, he wasn't even surprised.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

How to Lose 10 Pounds and 13 Inches in 4 Weeks.

After feeling discouraged by not losing any weight this past week, imagine my surprise when Paul took my measurements only to find out I'd lost a total of 13 inches in the past four weeks – 3.25 of them off my waist!

My Saturday morning workouts are my favourites. Though my family and friends think I'm a crazy woman for getting up at 6 a.m. so I can meet Paul at Totum for our 8 a.m. session, I like starting out the weekend on a high. The gym is all but empty that early in the morning, and it sets a great tone for the rest of the day.


Friday, February 16, 2007

The Secret to Pushing Through the Plateaus.

Either my bathroom scale is lying to me, or it thinks that telling me I haven't lost any weight this past week is some kind of a hilarious joke. Since I'm told it is impossible for an inanimate object to have it in for me, I have to assume that I have hit the dreaded plateau (gasp!).

Paul warned me it would happen. At our first meeting he said "the first three to four weeks, the weight is going to come off fairly easily. Then around week 4 you will hit a plateau and we'll have to switch things up so you keep losing weight". Just like clockwork, at week 4, my weight loss came to a grinding halt. I'm not going to lie; I was very upset as I looked at the number staring up at me from between my much-in-need-of-a-pedicure toes. I may have even uttered some non-baby friendly words under my breath...and shook my fist at the wall...but that is all I will admit to.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Baby Max Update.

The last few months have been BUSY. This kid is crawling, cruising, climbing and pretty much all over the place. Accompanying this are bruises, a few tears, and huge smiles. I need to post a more detailed update, but to start I thought I'd throw some pics up there to make everyone happy. Funniest thing about Max right now is when he laughs. Seems like there are a few key words that make him dissolve into giggles: "Where's Mommy?", "Stinky feet!", "Who's the baby?", and as of last night, "ssssssssssssslurp!". Hilarious, I know

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Embracing Your Inner Athlete.

As a child I swam like a fish, played tennis, rode horses, and even took figure skating lessons. So when did I stop enjoying sports and label myself "no good" at physical activity?

There is more to this weight loss challenge than meets the eye. Part of this challenge is changing the way I eat, another part is changing the way I move, and I have the support of Lilian and Paul to help me with those. The last part is changing the way I think, and I am the only one who can do that. I have always defined myself as an intelligent woman, loyal friend, and creative soul. There are many things that I am good at, but I have never considered physical activity to be one of them.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Less Bounce by the Ounce.

As a big busted woman I have traveled far and wide looking for a bra that will hold "the girls" up and in while working out. Thanks to my readers, I have found the holy grail of sports bras. Behold.

I think that as a woman with a large chest, (meaning one you did not pay for), it is something you get used to and grow to tolerate. You even learn to ignore the leers, snickers and sidelong glances you receive should you wear something even vaguely revealing. I deal with it by poking fun at myself, much to the dismay of my personal trainer Paul, who I more than likely mortify and embarrass several times during each of our workout sessions.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Kickin' Butt and Takin' Names.

How do I top last week's bombshell of telling the world how much I weigh? I can tell you how much I weigh this week, that's how!

Week 2 of the challenge is officially over and I'm happy to report that I am still feeling motivated. My workouts at the gym with Paul are going really well, and I am seeing definite results. My waist is starting to emerge as my stretched-out-jowls-of-a-dog-tummy slowly retreats. I think I may even see the vestiges of my cheek bones returning! Each training session presents a new challenge, but I find I am looking forward to my workouts. They are definitely getting tougher, but with a pro like Paul leading the way, I know I can't go wrong.


Maxzilla crawls, Maxzilla stands.

Ack. It's only a matter of time before he starts to walk. I'm not sure if I'm ready for that! Good thing we have already childproofed the house to the nines.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

My Workout: Phase 1

Want to know what Paul has me doing to whip this body into shape? Well, here's the low down on my training program.

We just completed Day 4 of the workout below and I can already feel myself getting stronger. I also just fit into a pair of jeans that I haven't worn since before I got pregnant. Talk about motivating!