Mexican Cable, Andrew Zimmern, ASK NATALIE01/08/09

Recently, I switched cable providers. I used to have Time Warner, but the cable channels kept going all wonky and stuttery with pixels all over, and the internet would go out periodically. I switched to the ATT cable and internet at the recommendation of the neighbor.

The quality of the internet service is yet to be deterrmined, since you can't really tell if the service blows until you get outages. The cable is pretty decent, though. There are a bunch more channels.

There are a TON of Mexican channels. I have been watching these a bunch lately. Regular cable TV channels leave a bit to be desired, since so many shows seem to cater to the lowest common denomenator, but the Mexican channels are challenging to watch, since I do not know very much Spanish. I know enough to barely know what is going on, and once in awhile someone will say something I understand completely, and I feel triumphant. I like the commercials the best, cause there is not much plot to follow. It is very easy to get lost watching something when you only inderstand every 3rd word, and the people are talking really fast.

My favorite Mexican channel is Mun2. It seems more contemporary, like MTV or something. They play music videos and stuff, and the VJs speak half-Spanish, half-English, so it is that much easier to understand what they are talking about. Anyway, we'd been watching a lot of Mun2, and every night I would be all like "Oh, lets watch Mun-Two....," "There is nothing on, change it to the Mun-Two," then I realized that the channel was not called Mun-Two at all. It is actually pronounced Mun-Dos, like a shortened form of Telemundo.

It took me like a week to put that one together. My Spanish speaking skills are enough to barely watch Mexican TV, but not nearly good enough to pick up on any wordplay at all. I guess that is something to work on.

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Have you seen Drew's and my new Ate My Balls Webring? We thought it would be real funny to start some new Ate My Balls sites, you know, cause people love repeating internet jokes so much, we ought to just bring back some really stale ones...

Unfortunately, the joke was on us, cause the feedback has lead me to believe that most of the people who've checked it out do not remember all the old Ate My Balls sites, so now it just makes us feel real fucking old. At least Andrew Zimmern likes it, that makes me feel a little better

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ASK NATALIE

Q: I read in your Dairyland blog about how you lost 60 pounds. I have about that much to lose too, but I'm mainly losing my fucking mind. I've done Weight Watchers (several times) and went insane with counting, weighing (both myself and food), and feeling shitty for eating anything-- though I did eat, and how!

So, how did you shed that 60 pounds back then? How does one lose weight without going apeshit in the meantime?


A: Well, the way I lost a whole bunch of weight was that I just never really ate anything.

I don't really have much success doing regular diets like Weight Watchers and stuff, probably mostly because I spend a lot of time doing activities that don't expend a lot of calories. I think they overestimate how many points I actually need or something, cause being generally mellow and working at home drawing pictures or doing stuff on the computer seems to expend exactly 12 calories a day.

The only way I have ever had any success losing weight, and keeping myself in reasonable condition is to eat hardly anything. I am not saying this is the most healthy way of doing it, I am just saying it works pretty well. I am currently cutting the eating back since I bloated up like a dead whale having the kid, and I refuse to buy clothes in a bigger size than what is already in my closet, so my techniques are pretty fresh in my mind.

You have to figure out a way to eat that is low in calories and junk, that doesn't drive you crazy. If it drives you crazy you won't stay on the diet long enough to lose an appreciable amount. Weighing stuff out all the time is tedious, and cooking diet food is depressing. I like cooking too much to want to use margarine in stuff, or use fat free cheese.

So, what I usually do is not eat much during the day, like 3 or 4 100-calorie meals, then I have a decent-sized serving of protein and spinach or salad for dinner. That is not much food to speak of, so I keep myself from getting hungry by eating a bunch of konjac noodles and sugar-free Fudgecicles. It works out pretty good for me, cause I keep my calories and fat and stuff real low, but I eat whenever I am hungry, and don't really have to think about it too much. I also don't obsessively weigh myself, cause I know that as long as I am eating the usual thing, I am losing weight. I do it every week at the most often, but I will sometimes go two or three weeks. You see more of a downward trend that way, instead of being discouraged by the scale making it seem like you aren't losing anything when it's just that you haven't crapped yet today.

I keep my calories and stuff low enough that I will go out to a restaurant once every week or two and just order a regular meal, or have something at a get-together if I am invited to such a thing. This makes me not feel like being on a diet is making me a social outcast. I don't totally pig out, or order dessert, and I never bring leftovers home, so the one-time not-diet meal does not stretch into three meals. Being a little bit flexible with yourself and having a nice restaurant meal or something to look forward to makes it easier to not eat much the rest of the time.

Keep in mind that I'm not a doctor or anything!! Totally not a medical professional at all... I don't know how active you are, if you're runnng around a lot, you might pass out if you eat what I do on a normal day. If you are teeny-short and real inactive, you might gain weight. You gotta figure out what works for you. This is just what works the best for me without making me go nuts.

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