Monday, December 31, 2007

Imagine What You Can Accomplish


So I just got back from a run/walk. I'm on Week 4 of C25k. I've done the workout 2-1/2 times since I've been in Vegas. I think I am going to do it one or two more times before I advance to Week 5. As you can tell, I am not doing this religiously. My move and road trip threw my exercise schedule out of whack - I just wasn't willing to make it a priority during that time (sleep, packing and driving were more important). Now that I am somewhat stable, I am more comfortable making the time for it. I'm scared of Week 5, even though I don't know what it is like. I haven't been killing myself during Week 4, but it has still been challenging. I can only imagine what Week 5 holds for me! But one thing that is lovely is that I was right about running in Vegas. It is so nice to be able to go out in a long-sleeved t-shirt, a sweatshirt and running tights and not be cold. (I also have a headband I put over my ears.) The sun is shining, the view of the mountains is breathtaking. Fabulous! In fact, my mom and I are going with her hiking group on a New Year's Day hike. It's longer than I've done before, but I think I can handle it. I'll bring lots of water.


I have been thinking about new year's resolutions after reading some of your blogs. I hadn't thought about making any this year, but after reading your's I am getting inspired. I've found it's hard to think about resolutions when the biggest thing on my mind is getting a job. But, I am reminded by the adage that is attributed to the late John Lennon, "Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans." I have found that to be true the whole time I've been looking for a job. I've reached my goal weight and I'm almost at lifetime, I've started running, I've done a cross-country road trip all by myself, and I'm sure there are other things that just aren't on top of my mind. So, while I am looking for a job I obviously have the time and energy to do other things. So, keep a look out for my resolutions. As usual, thanks for inspiring me :) !

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Viva Las Vegas


Okay, so I wrote this post 2 days ago and then had computer trouble and it didn't save and so I lost the whole thing. I'm going to try to remember everything I had to say, but I'm sure I'll forget something. First and foremost, I'm safely in Vegas. I arrived on Christmas Eve from Albuquerque, NM which was a lovely place that I've been to about once or twice before. Little city, but beautiful during the holidays.


I only exercised once during my 9 day trip - I jog/walked through my uncle's neighborhood in Mississippi one afternoon. It was nice and made me realize I was ready for Week 4 of Couch-to-5k training. I had done Week 3 training one week before I moved to my sister's in Virginia, but I kept doing it once in a while during my journey - like at my uncle's. I started Week 4 a few days ago in Vegas. It was great. I can't believe I actually ran for 6 minutes straight! (It was only supposed to be 5 minutes, but I forgot to look at the clock on my iPod.) I did the whole workout once and then did half of it a few days later. I am going to do it again on Monday. I might stay doing Week 4 for two full weeks since it is so tough. (It transitions from mostly walking to mostly running from Week 3.) But, I need to look at Week 5 to see if that gives a more gradual increase, or another shock :)


I enjoyed food immensely during my road trip. Everything from a frosty at Wendy's somewhere in the south to pistachio encrusted salmon and a local wine in Marfa, TX. I made a few disappointing choices - the shrimp creole in Mississippi just wasn't that great. But, all in all I enjoyed myself and tried to make smart choices. Now that I am at my parents' it is a whole new set of challenges. They eat differently and at different times than I do, so I am faced with a whole heck of a lot more temptation than I was when I had my own place. But, I'm managing. I haven't used all my flex points yet for this week. (Granted, my week started on Thursday :) I'm just taking it one day, one morning, one afternoon at a time and trying to have faith in myself that I'll make more healthy choices than bad ones. And I am trying to exercise more. I'm going to walk to Target this afternoon, which is about a mile each way.


I went to my first new WW meeting on Thursday morning. I am back under my goal weight and I have only one week left until Lifetime! :) But, I am staying with eTools on the WW site because I know I MUST continue to track points for foreseeable future. The meeting leader wasn't on my wavelength, but he obviously cares about the people in his meeting and tries to give them good information. (He has this thing he does every week where he shows packages of food from various grocery stores and gives their portion points values. Everyone was expecting this and there were a lot of pens and notepads being pulled out when he started this segment of the meeting.) But ... he isn't Melvin my meeting leader from Maryland. I don't think I will go back to that meeting, but I do think I will go to a meeting each week. It was good to feel grounded like that and not just get weighed and leave like I usually do when I visit my parents in Vegas. And the familiar process was nice since everything feels different right now. I'll let you all know what the meeting leader and meeting is like next week.


Okay, I think I covered everything. I hope you are all well. I'm still trying to get through the last couple of weeks on all your blogs, so expect comments from me in the next day or so :)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Don't Mess With Texas

Hey y'all. I'm in Abilene, TX today. I had a lovely dinner at Outback last night - seared ahi tuna (one of my favorites) on a bed of mixed greens and cucumbers with a side of broccoli and a little red wine. Love-ly. I had it all planned out to go to a WW meeting here last night, but I got in 2 hours late. There's one in about an hour, but I just don't want to get lost looking for it. I got lost last night and it isn't an experience I want to repeat! :) So, I guess this is one of the few weeks in the past 15-16 months that I won't go to WW. It feels weird and I miss it. I will definitely be going next week when I'm in Vegas. I think I am still on track. I weighed myself at my friend's and my uncle's places and I was 140 at both. Sounds good to me! Guess Lifetime will just have to wait a few more weeks.

I hope you are all well. I haven't had time to visit your blogs and I miss hearing what is going on with all of you. It's just tough when I've been driving for 7-12 hours each day. Oh, if you are interested in reading about my adventures, email me at trixiebelden2006 at yahoo dot com and I'll send you an invitation to my travel blog. (It's private for security reasons.)

Take care! Y'all come back now, ya hear!

Trixie

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

On the Road Again

I'm in Mississippi now. I've been doing pretty good on the eating, but not so good on the exercise. Zero exercise for about two weeks now. I've just been so tired when I get up in the morning I haven't had the energy. And I haven't had the energy to do it after a day of driving either. I drove about 12 hours yesterday from Tampa, FL to Jackson, MS. Good weather. Good tunes on the iPod. Last night's dinner was a salad with no dressing, tilapia and vegetables and copious amounts of Diet Coke. But I did have a small McDonald's shake with my pasta salad for lunch. It was disappointing. I wanted a frosty, but there wasn't a Wendy's around. I won't make that mistake again.

My grandmother, who I saw in Florida, was cute when she saw me. She hasn't seen me with all the weight off. Actually, she didn't know I was trying to lose weight - we just don't have that kind of relationship. She'd worry and bother me about it. It was better that it was a surprise. She did say "I was wondering where the other half of you went to." I ended up laughing instead of being offended. I mean, if that's the worst thing someone says to me, I'll take it. And she's 84. I mean, I gotta cut her some slack. And lastly, it is basically true. Ah ... relatives :)

Now I need to go on the WW site to find a meeting for the city I'll be in in Texas tomorrow. I want to stick to my Thursday weigh-ins, even though I'm on the road. I've been weighing myself on people's scales, but it isn't the same.

Off and truckin'

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Does Driving Earn You Activity Points?

I've just started my road trip. I had a lovely dinner in Savannah, GA. Salad with hearts of palm (which I had never had before and were surprisingly yummy) and roasted mushrooms and mussels in a wine sauce with red peppers for dinner. (Sorry, no food porn.) I did have three glasses of wine, so I wasn't an angel. But, it was better than getting the cappuccino since they said, and I quote, "we don't have skim milk in house" How crazy is that! I haven't been to WW online to see how many points it all was. I am going to try my damnedest to go for a run tomorrow before I get back in the car.

Time for bed. I'll check out all your blogs at my next stop. Take care!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A New Road Trip Blog

So, I've decided to do a dedicated travel blog for my road trip. I'll post pictures and give daily updates of where I am, what I've seen (besides rest stop bathrooms), and who I am visiting - including pictures of all the dogs and cats I stay with during my trip and any good Christmas decorations I see.

The only reason why I'm not going to do it on this blog is because I want to invite some family and friends to read the travel blog who I don't want to read this blog. So, it is going to be invitation only ... but if you want to have access to it, just post your email address in the comments and I'll include you on the list. Sorry for the hassle. I'll still post here during the road trip, you just won't get the exciting details! :)

I'm excited for the trip, but I'm also nervous. I wish I could just go home and be in my old apartment surrounded by the familiar. I don't think I have been between homes in about 11 years.

I have been making pretty mediocre/bad food choices for about a week now and I haven't been exercising. Traveling leads to temptation for me. I am also stressed about the job situation. I think that's why I had ice cream last night (albeit light ice cream, and I ate it in a small bowl so maybe it only looked big). It was so good I wonder what real ice cream tastes like! :)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Home


So, now I'm sitting on my friend's couch with her cat Maddy in Manhattan. I have my favorite hazelnut coffee by my side as well. I got in last night and immediately it felt like I was coming home. The busy sidewalks, the traffic, the cold air, it just feels right.


I haven't mentioned this yet, but I got an invitation to move in with another old friend who lives in New York. He has a two bedroom with a cheap rent (under $1500 for the whole place) and I could move in in January/February 2008. (Yes, he's a guy, but we've been friends for 12 years and there's no sexual tension/interest there on either side.) He would be an awesome roommate, which is not the living situation I am looking for, but I don't have a lot of options right now. (The apartment/neighborhood is a little divey, so I have to check it out to make sure it is some place I'd really feel comfortable.) So, I need to run the numbers, but I think I could afford living there and paying rent/utilties if I got a good temp job even before I got a career-focused job. But, as you know, I am driving cross-country in a matter of 8 days to move in with my parents in Vegas. Moving to New York would be stressful because I would have more fixed expenses than in Vegas, but NYC has more job opportunities for someone in my field. But, to add another element to this story ... I got a second interview with a major casino/hotel/resort company in Vegas. I speak with the VP of Executive Recruitment next Wednesday and if that goes well I'll be invited to their offices to interview again around Christmas. (A stressful, but positive, way to celebrate the season if you ask me :) So, needless to say, things are very up in the air with me.


Well, I found a Weight Watchers meeting, no lie, 1 block from my friend's apartment. It starts in 40 minutes, so I have plenty o' time. I just ate a bagel the size of my head (ahhh, New York), but I am trying to tell myself that it was whole wheat so it wasn't that bad - ha ha ha :) Hopefully this third week of maintenance will have positive results. (Maybe I should add another ticker to my blog to track weeks on maintenance.) I feel like I have so much more to tell you all, but I will save it for other posts this weekend. Take care!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

In Flux

So, here I sit on my sister's couch with the TV on mute (a re-run of Gilmore Girls is on) and two sweet little dogs curled up next to me. They'd be on my lap right now, but that's where my computer is. I am all moved into my sister's house. Granted, many of my boxes are still in her living room, but all I'm waiting for is the green light from my brother-in-law as to where in the basement to put them.

This is the first stop on the "downsizing my life" trip. If you remember, I gave up my apartment to save money. I am leaving for my cross-country roadtrip to Las Vegas in about a week and a half. I'm nervous about all the driving, but excited to see all the different places in the country decorated for the holidays. Living and cooking in another person's house is difficult. We made different things for dinner last night, but she was super understanding and didn't judge. I did have a glass of wine afterwards, but just one. I think maintenance is going to be very challenging while I live here for two weeks, travel cross country staying with relatives along the way and then move-in with my parents in Vegas. I don't think my parents are ready for me to cook something different for dinner than what they are having. Guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. They have been supportive all along my weight loss, I hope they will be understanding when I move in.

So, here's my route for my cross-country road trip:

Start: Northern Virginia (outside Washington D.C.)
Stop: Savannah, GA
Stop: Tampa, FL
Stop: Jackson, MS
Stop: Abilene, TX (or somewhere in Texas)
Stop: Marfa, TX
Stop: Albuquerque, NM
End: Las Vegas, NV (hopefully on December 24th or 25th!)

Any suggestions of places to stay, things to eat or places to (quickly) see while I am in one of these cities would be greatly appreciated. Oh! and suggestions about what to take in the car to eat and have on hand so I don't succumb to Wendy's frosties for all my nutrition would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Kate Harding's Shapely Prose

So, I was just hanging out on the Angry Fat Girlz blog and saw a reference to Kate Harding's blog Shapely Prose and thought I would visit it. I. Am. Blown. Away. I haven't gotten through many of the back posts, but I want to draw your attention to these posts:

* Don't You Realize Fat is Unhealthy? ... Here she talks about blogging about fat acceptance

* It's Not All About You (Or Me) ... Here she talks about how blogging negatively about ourselves effects other bloggers. I am guilty of this, but in my defense I think we have to learn from our mistakes. I think self-acceptance is difficult for most of us.

I've only spent about 10 minutes on her blog and I am dying to meet her and have a cup of coffee with her and pick her brain. I don't know how you all feel about the concept of "fat acceptance," but I am all for acceptance movements and I am still having conflicting feelings about all the compliments I receive for losing weight. (I mean, wasn't I a good person before I lost all the weight? Didn't I deserve attention then too?)

So, Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Packing


So I just dropped my parents off at the airport. It is always nice hanging out with them for the holidays. I am back in my apartment, which is now starting to look like someone is actually moving out on Saturday (which would be me). There are empty boxes in the corner waiting to be packed ... My dining room/office is now the moving staging area where furniture that has been deconstructed and boxes that have been packed are being stored until they are taken to my sister's house. We took two car loads over there yesterday. I'm going to try to take over more on Friday - and hopefully I'll be able to get another load over there sooner so that Saturday morning will be pretty easy and just my furniture. I have lovely friends who are helping out my sister, brother-in-law and I on Saturday. I just don't want to wear them out - did I mention I live in a 4th floor walk-up?

Yesterday I probably climbed the 3 flights of stairs to my apartment 5-10 times and, shockingly, my legs don't feel it today. I don't know if it is the running or the weight loss - probably both. And, I felt fine doing the moving up and down the stairs. It is awesome to feel this healthy and capable!

Okay, so at this point I am basically procrastinating either a) packing or b) grading extra credit assignments. I kinda want to go back to bed, but that would be the pinnacle of laziness. I need a game plan for packing the rest of my stuff. I think I am going to search online for packing tips. I'll share any good ones I find.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Random/Weird Things About Me

Okay, so I just got home from AT. "Black Friday" as they like to call it in the retail industry wasn't as scary as I thought it was going to be, or maybe our store just sucks - ha ha ha. (Don't get me started on how corporate screwed up the Q4 '07 fragrance launch!) I'm just glad to be home and I gain more respect for service industry workers every day.

So, Alanna has tagged me (thanks for thinking of me Alanna!). The subject is weird/random things about me. Well, you be the judge if they are weird or random, or even actually about me:

1. One of my best friends won the National Spelling Bee in junior high and was on Johnny Carson (Yes, I'm so old that Carson hosted the Tonight Show. We were bummed she didn't get invited onto Letterman.)

2. I played soccer for 8 years as a kid and in high school, but quit my senior year to become a pom pom girl with the marching band. My reverse-feminist act of teenage rebellion. Yes, damn it, I am smart, and yes, damn it, I want to wear a short skirt and shake pom poms at the Friday night football games! Ah, my misspent youth.

3. When I lived in NYC I volunteered with the Central Park Conservancy to do gardening in Central Park. It's like having this huge, famous backyard where you get to plant flowers.

4. At my first job I named a mixed drink for Grand Marnier, but they never marketed it. It was called the Grand Parisian (I know, super creative. I came up with 200 names. There was a $250 prize and I wanted the money baaaad :) I think they call it the Grand Cosmopolitan instead.

5. My family's nickname for me is Lump because my initials are LMP. It's endearing, believe it or not.

Okay, now I have to tag people. I pick ...

Angelfish24 at Patience
Vickie at Baby Steps V
Kim Under Construction

I want to see hear some random and crazy stuff people! :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pre-Thanksgiving Edition

Hey there, so I am packing up for a short trip for Thanksgiving and then I have to work at AT on Friday and Saturday, so I won't be around for a few days. I got in a C25K training "run" this morning. I started Week 3 - so I had to run for 3 minutes straight. I was kinda nervous about it, but it ended up being fine. I wasn't too out of breath at the end of the 3 minutes and I felt like I could have run longer. My left heel was bothering me the whole time though (and my underwear was falling down the whole time - I haven't replaced my workout shorts or most of my underwear since I lost all the weight. Looks like I know what I'm going to be putting on my Christmas list :) It really isn't bothering me now, and it wasn't bothering me during the walking intervals. I don't know if it was psychosomatic pain or just stiffness in the morning. I'll keep you posted if it happens again. I'm planning on at least one long walk tomorrow, nothing on Friday (traveling and working at AT) and then running again on Saturday before I got to AT in the evening. I'm really liking this running thing. My mom was shocked when I told her I got up this morning and ran before breakfast. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday whether you spend it alone or with family and friends. I'm thankful for all of you! Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cupcakes


The potluck dinner on Saturday was fun, but it was an eating minefield. I did pretty well and avoided the things I couldn't identify the points for. But, I indulged on 2 small potato pancakes, 2 Black & Tans and 1 Magnolia Bakery cupcake (which I haven't had since I left NYC). I could have done without the potato pancakes, but the other choices were definitely worth it - although I probably would have been just as happy only having one drink instead of two (I was a little foggy the next day. I'm still getting used to alcohol at this weight.) According to my new points allotment I still have 16.5 flex points left for the week and since my weigh-in day is Thursday, Thanksgiving starts a new week for me. I'm glad I don't have temptations like this every weekend! I don't know how you guys with active social lives do it!


I did the 3rd workout for week 2 of C25K today. It was awesome. I felt really good and strong. And it was the first time I didn't get any cramps or stomach problems. I wonder if it was because I hadn't eaten for like 6-7 hours before I ran. Other runs I had eaten an hour or two before.


Oh, I wanted to thank Vickie for the suggestion of the maintenance blog to visit. I had gone there, but I haven't checked her archives, which I think I would relate to more. If anyone else has any new blogs they think I should stop by, please suggest them!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Lovely day for a Black & Tan


Thanks for all of your lovely comments about reaching my goal! It is so great to get all of your support! It really meant a lot to me! :)


So, I am getting used to my new daily WW points. Now that I'm on maintenance I have 24 points, up from 20. I told myself on Thursday that I was going to try to ease into it. So, on Thursday I only used 21 points. Then yesterday I used 26.5 points. Ooops. I did "earn" 2 activity points - an overly generous allotment for my Couch-2-5K workout on Friday. I guess I'm just getting used to handling more points. I mean, of course there were days when I'd use 26 points, 6 being flex points, when I only had 20 daily points. (Sometimes I feel like a crazy person with all this talk of points, but I actually do think it is easier than calories. But, whatever works for you is what I say.) So, what I am trying very badly to say is that I am trying to not over analyze things, but to stay "on plan" as the kids like to say these days.


I have a potluck to go to tonight. I was going to be a good little WW person and make something from a WW recipe. Instead I have decided to bring a not-so-WW friendly drink to the party - ingredients for a Black & Tan (Smithwick's, or Bass, topped with Guinness). [The theme was bring a dish or beverage from your ethnic background, and I'm Irish.] It is an odd choice, because I don't really drink anymore. I don't plan on having more than one. I hope everyone else isn't as lazy as I am and that they actually bring food! Although I did eat a late lunch on purpose so I wouldn't be ravenous when I was surrounded by all the food. I'll let you know how it went tomorrow.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

So ... I Hit Goal Today :)

Yep, that's right, I hit my WW goal today! I was hoping it was going to happen. I closed my eyes when I stepped on the scale. My meeting leader weighed me and didn't understand why I had my hands covering my eyes (why I did it I don't know because you can't see the read-out). Then he looked at my card and gave me a high five. Some people in line were super cute and said supportive things. It was nice. I hung my WW star charm on my WW 10% key chain. For now, that's all the "reward" I need. I had said I wanted to commemorate my loss with a piece of jewelry, but that isn't in the financial cards right now. Maybe I'll celebrate some other way that doesn't cost money.

I'm nervous about maintenance. I'm definitely one of those people who is scared to eat more. I think what Mouse is doing - taking pictures of her food - is great, but my digital camera doesn't work so that's not an option. I need to concentrate on adding more protein to my diet, not more pretzels :)

It's been a long journey, but in some ways the past 15 months its take to get here have just flown by. One thing I have learned through this trip is that it is the little victories, the 0.4 lb losses or choosing smaller portions, that are necessary and make up the larger victory. I didn't lose over 83 lbs. all at once. It helps to know that with other goals that I set for myself I may not achieve them overnight, but with hard work and dedication, I can achieve them. Right now those goals are going to be 1) maintenance, 2) job search, 3) running - but not necessarily in that order :)

Thanks for all your support! I couldn't have done this without you - even the lurkers :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Running at 14 vs. 34

C25K was tougher today. I moved to Week 2's workout. I didn't remember it correctly, so I alternated between running for 90 seconds and walking for 60. Your walking interval is supposed to be 2 minutes each. I don't know why I insist on making this training harder than it already is. I think I am going to do it the right way on Thursday when I workout again, or at least walk in 90 second intervals. Running for the first 60 seconds felt pretty comfortable, but the next 30 seconds I definitely noticed was tougher. Still, I could do it without being completely out of breath at the end of the 90 seconds. I'd like to say that my body remembers running and is just readjusting to it - from the days when I played soccer in high school and had 2 hour practices every day. But, that was like 20 years ago (1986-1989 - I'm old!), so it is pretty ridiculous to say that my body is "remembering" anything. But, I am still enjoying myself and looking forward to my workouts. In fact today I cut my errands short so that I could go home and workout. I was all stressed out and needed a release. I remember hating running laps at practice. Now I'm nowhere near running as much as I did then, but its interesting how something you once hated is now something you look forward to.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Treats




So, I avoided the siren's song of Mrs. Fields' cookies today. I always get a medium Diet Coke from there when I work at AT. I don't know why I tempt myself by going there, but I do. Probably because their medium Diet Coke's are big enough to stick your head in. At first it was "every once in a while" that I would get a "nibbler" - her mini cookies. Then it was just one every time. Then on Saturday I had 3. That's okay, but I realized that I wasn't enjoying them that much. That was the kicker. I am all for having cookies, but you have to really enjoy them. If you aren't enjoying it, it's not worth finishing. So today I actually went there twice and didn't succumb. Now I need to find a new treat that is worth it (sorry Mrs. Fields). I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lazy Sunday + C25K Training = Gold


Today is a nice day. I don't have to work at AT and I am pretty well all set with my lecture for class tomorrow. I have a little bit of studying to do, but not much. It's on different types of sales promotions, so it is something all the kids can relate to.


I just got back from the gym - did my last workout for the first week of Couch-2-5K. (I didn't use the incline function like the girl at my WW meeting suggested, but I up'ed the "speed.") It was great! I'm still really liking this and looking forward to running. I felt really confident running and sometimes didn't even check the clock on the treadmill until after I had already run for 60 seconds. I know it doesn't sound like much, but for me, the perpetual non-runner, it is. I'm looking forward to trying the 2nd level, which I think is running for 90 seconds and then walking for 90 seconds for 20 minutes. I'm trying to take a day off in between workouts. I never did that before when I was riding the recumbent bike, but I think it is a good idea since running is using your whole body. Tell me what you guys think.


I have been noticing my body jiggling a lot when I run (I need a new sports bra). I am definitely not toned. But I'm wearing an over sized long-sleeved t-shirt and pretty big shorts, so no one can really see much. No one was in the gym (it's in my apartment complex), so I didn't have a pace car, but the show I was watching on TV had a segment where a guy was running around a track and that was fun to try to keep pace with.


Okay, off to the grocery store and Target - my favorite store in the whole world. But I was just there on Friday, so I probably won't spend too much time there today.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Up in the Air


So I have been eating non-stop today ... pretzels, Taco Bell !?!, Starbucks. I have made pretty healthy choices within those categories, but it still hasn't been a great day. I decided to have eggplant for dinner tonight to be healthy. (Not to worry about not eating enough, I had a late lunch.) I fell in love with eggplant when a friend made it for dinner this summer. I am pairing it with a nice Cabernet/Merlot. I don't drink much any more, but my sister was talking about what she was having for dinner and the wine she was serving and it is dark and rainy outside, so wine sounded like a nice, special idea. I know it will add more points to an already point-heavy day, but I'm saying what the hell, live a little!


So, an anonymous poster asked about some incline advice I had gotten from a WW friend. Unfortunately, it wasn't detailed advice. The WW friend just suggested not using the incline function on my treadmill to save my shins from the stress. She made it sound like it was a bad idea to use it. She did talk about running on pavement, but didn't talk about whether or not she does hills, so I don't know if it is only inclines on treadmills she doesn't like. Sorry I can't be more specific. I'll ask her more questions at next week's meeting and post her answers.


The move to Vegas is 95% a go. I gave notice at Ann Taylor. Thanksgiving weekend is my last day. I'm waiting to hear about a full-time job I'm up for around here. I guess I really won't know until December, but I am definitely giving up my apartment the first week of December and moving in with my sister and brother-in-law. And then there's the job in Vegas I interviewed for today. As you can see, things are pretty up in the air. But, I'll keep you all posted! :)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Couch-to-5K Training Session #2

So, I "ran" again today on the treadmill. I felt a little more confident when I started, but it was actually a little harder to breath for the first 10 minutes than it was during my first "running" workout. It got easier as I stuck with it. And another woman came into the gym and started running on one of the other treadmills. I thought it was going to make me self-conscious, but instead it was nice to try to keep pace with her. I think I did my best when I was running "with" her. I'm sure her speed was set faster than mine, but it still made me feel somewhat like a real runner :) (I know, I'm getting ahead of myself!) I am definitely going to do it again on Saturday or Sunday, depending on my work schedule at AT. I got some good advice about inclines and shoes from a girl I see at my WW meetings. It also gave me an excuse to strike up a conversation - I've been wanting to talk with her because she is close to goal too and I wanted to know how she feels about it. I guess that would have been reason enough to talk with her. I just get shy sometimes. I know, shocking! :)

P.S. I'm 0.6 lbs. from goal!

It would be great if I could make Lifetime before I move to Vegas, but I think that is a little unrealistic. Actually, I haven't figured it out if it's even possible. I'll let you all know.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Luck Be a Lady


Thanks for all your supportive comments on my new running adventures! I'll post tomorrow on how workout #2 goes!


So I got some good news today... I applied for the MBA Leadership Development Program of one of the big casino chains in Las Vegas and I've scored a first round phone interview on Friday! (I know I've been a little cagey about what I was in school for - I got my MBA, with a concentration in Marketing. Now that I'm out of school and there is little fear one of my classmates is going to find this blog, I feel 100% more comfortable talking about myself in specifics.) I applied because my parents live there and that is the industry of choice in Vegas. When in Rome ... :)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Ready to Run


You'll never guess what you all inspired me to do today ... Run! I actually started the Couch-to-5K workout! I just got back from the gym, but my jacket away and started typing this post. It was awesome! I haven't tried to run since I played soccer in high school. (This includes when it rains and I have to walk from the car into the supermarket. I just walk because it always felt awkward or hurt my shins to "sprint" inside.) I did a 5 minute warm-up walk, which was good, because it got me used to the treadmill and my iPod. Then I did 20 minutes alternating running for 60 seconds and walking for 60 seconds. I was so inspiring and just the right way to start. I felt alive and powerful and capable! (And to think I was depressed all day today and almost took a nap instead of going to workout!) - Can you tell I like exclamation points today! - Around minute 9 my stomach started to hurt. It wasn't sharp cramps, just a low dull ache. I think it was because I had eaten about an hour before I started working out. But the alternating walking and running made it easy to work through. And I LOVED listening to my iPod while working out. I had never understood that before. I always read magazines on the recumbent bike. But the music was so motivating. Believe it or not the song that was playing when I ended the 5 minute warm-up and literally started running, was "Ready to Run" by the Dixie Chicks. It was fate. I would do it all over again tomorrow, but the training guide says to take breaks between workouts and not go to fast, even if you think you can. So, I'm listening to the experts and not doing this again until Thursday. I didn't even manage to do a mile (just 0.94 according to the treadmill). I walked for a few minutes after the alternating and it took me up to a mile. I'm not really concerned too much about distance, but it did seem rather short considering I used to walk that far to and from work when I lived in New York. Is it crazy that I'm thinking of signing up for a 5K race in Las Vegas since I'm most likely moving there in December? If running and I continue to get along (which I know there will be ups and downs) it will be awesome to be in Vegas this winter b/c I won't have to contend with freezing temps and snow. Okay, so I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Any advice on running would be most appreciated!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Better Than I Thought

So the guest speaker went better than I thought it was going to. She talked about a lot of the topics and concepts I have been teaching about all semester. It was good to have some real life examples of these concepts. It was, unfortunately, not interactive. She invited them to ask questions throughout the presentation, and a few did, but for the love of God, they are undergrads, they aren't going to pepper her with questions at 9:30am on a Monday. So, it was a very one sided "lecture." I am definitely having an activity to get the class interacting on Thursday. I was embarrassed that this one jackass read the paper during class and wasn't very discreet. I had meant to tell him not to before class started, but I was talking to my guest lecturer and forgot. Can you tell he's getting a D for class participation this semester? He is beyond clueless, but he should know better.

I think I might go to that rec center in the next town over tomorrow to do laps. I haven't been there in about a month and I want to get 2 more workouts in before Thursday. I don't have to teach again until Thursday and I don't have to work at AT again until Saturday. So, that gives me plenty o' time to look for a full-time job, which I have been neglecting, and workout.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Working Weekend

Today was more about work and less about being healthy. I had a meeting at Ann Taylor from 8a-10a, then I had to work there from 1:30-4:30pm and before and after I was grading exams. I'm disappointed because my students did worse on this exam than on the first one, and they didn't do so hot on the first one. Some students get As and Bs, so I know I'm not missing all of them, but I'm so disappointed with the ones who are basically failing. I'm going to change around how I teach the remainder of the semester to hope to reach those students who just aren't digesting information through the lectures. Tomorrow I have a friend coming in as a guest speaker. I hope they like her. I hope they behave. Actually, I've never worried about them behaving before, so I don't know why I'm so worried. I looked over her presentation. It's a little dry (kinda like my lectures :). And it doesn't seem like there's any room for audience participation. They are going to be falling asleep half way through it! But, it's a break from hearing me speak, so that is good.

Sorry to ramble about non-weight loss things, I'm just stressed and trying to control things that I can't control. And I'm trying to keep myself away from the pretzels. I've already eaten too many for today (4-6 points). I'll let you know how the guest speaker goes tomorrow.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A Voice from the Past

I'm so glad I have this blog. I love sharing things with all of you, but I also love being able to go back to entries from last year and hear my own voice. I looked for a post I knew I had written in September 2006 about the top 5 things I'd like to do when I lost weight - things I was looking forward to. If you don't want to click through, here is the list:

# 5 Eat food in public without feeling like people are saying, "of course she eats that way, look at her" - I still get a little self-conscious when I'm not eating healthy, but not like I used to be. But I figure, I can eat what I want - no one knows what else I've eaten or done exercise-wise that day.

# 4 Wear a skirt without needing a girdle to prevent my thighs from rubbing together - I LOVE this one. I gave my girdle the heave-ho in May. I love wearing skirts now. I even bought a pair of shorts this summer.

# 3 Button my suit jacket - This one makes me really proud. I just got to button my suit jacket yesterday and it felt great.

# 2 Buy clothes in a real store instead of needing to buy the bigger sizes online - It is so weird to be able to do this. It is really confusing too - I have to stop myself from reaching for the bigger sizes.

# 1 Stop assuming the reason why a guy isn't interested is because of how much I weigh - I haven't really been thinking lately about guys all that much. I'm pretty shy and self-conscious. I don't think I'm ready to date yet.

I wonder how I'll feel in the fall of 2008.

The Good Ole Hockey Game

So I had a pretty good day today. (I'm still counting this as Friday since I haven't gone to bed yet.) Here's my good/bad list for the day ...

Good: Interview for a real full-time career-oriented job went well
Bad: Not sure how I feel about the guy who'd be my boss

Good: Had impromptu invite to see the Capitals play the Flyers
Bad: Capitals lost

Good: Actually did my aerobics with weights exercise DVD
Bad: Didn't even break into a light sweat until the last 5 minutes of the workout

Bad: Went to Wendy's for lunch/dinner
Good: Only ate 1/2 of my small fries and had a plain hamburger (okay, with the bun)

Good: Got a nice compliment from a friend of my sister's about how I look now
Bad: Had to listen to him talk endlessly about his "good eating" habits in the same breath as he's describing how he binges on food and alcohol every 4 weeks (I had no idea what to say!)

Okay, off to bed. Actually I'll probably watch an episode of Law & Order Criminal Intent first. I love that show!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Turning Over a New Leaf


Okay, so we are coming down to the wire folks. I'm so close to goal, my current weight on my tracker on my blog is covering my goal weight! (Look up at the top of the screen.) I'm getting excited. Someone in my WW meeting today reached goal. She was beaming. I don't think I really accepted the fact that it was so close. I don't know if I'll reach it by Thanksgiving, but it is a definite possibility. (I have 1.8 lbs. to go.) So, with this realization, I am vowing to turn over a new leaf ...

Inspired by Jessica over at Weight of my World, I am joining her November challenge. Below are my goals for the month:

* It's National Blog Posting Month and people are supposed to pledge to write in their blogs everyday. So, even if it is more boring than taxes (sorry accountants), I'm going to write something everyday. (See you back here tomorrow :) - I'm actually looking forward to this.

* I vow to exercise at least 3 times per week. I'm really going to do this. You WILL see the exercise ticker on my blog move this month! I will learn to exercise on land, or start going to the community pool in the next town over.

* I vow to drink at least 24 oz of water every day. I know this isn't much, but I am sooo not a water drinker (I have Diet Pepsi pumping through my body), so this is a big deal for me. I like drinking out of plastic bottles though, so the 12 oz size is perfect for me.

* I vow to try running (possibly with the podcast idea, thanks Amanda) at least 4 times this month. That is one time per week. I probably should do it more consistently, but this way, if I try one week and don't do it consistently, I can feel good about picking up from the beginning and trying again the following week.

I don't have any goals about pounds to lose because I don't know when I'm going to reach goal and I don't know what my body is going to do in maintenance, or if I am going to want to continue losing, so I don't want to put any expectations on myself. This is going to be a month of Non-Scale Victories. Tomorrow I am going to lace up my running shoes if it is the last thing I do! :)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Coming Clean

Okay, so in recent posts I said I would: (a) take a break from trying on clothes and buying clothes since I was getting obsessed with sizes, and (b) actually try to start running by following the C25k plan. Well, I did the one I wasn't supposed to do and I didn't do the other one. Let me explain:

I ended up buying a couple things from Ann Taylor about a week ago. I bought them in various sizes, whatever fit, and thought I was doing a good job. Then I realized that I had actually spent $60 on a skirt that I'd have to wear Spanx or a thong with. I don't do thongs and I have been married to Spanx, or girdles, for the past 18 years. So, the thought that I couldn't wear this skirt without changing my comfortable undergarments has become stressful. (Need I say that I bought the skirt in a smaller size, of course excited that I could fit into it?) I thought about holding onto the skirt until I finished losing weight, but I tried it on with my suit jacket and it didn't look good - wrong style. So, back it goes, which is a whole process in itself because I work there and it has to be returned to a manager. Ugh. I have since not bought anything from anywhere, including shoes. I need more pants, but I am resisting until I have my head on straight and I don't get lured by little numbers dancing in front of me.

Okay, so about the running/jogging. I was going to go last weekend, but my feet were killing me from wearing the wrong shoes for 5 hours a AT, and then having to go back to work the next day. So, instead I soaked them, put Neosporin and band aids on the blisters, and tried to stay off of them as much as possible. They feel much better. I am not giving up on starting to jog, but I do think I am going to start in the gym, since C25k suggests running for 60 seconds and then walking for 60 seconds, etc., when you first get started. I think that will be too complicated to time without a sports watch on the trail. I don't know when I am going to get up the motivation to give it a try, but you all will be the first to know when I do.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Strategies for Fighting Weight Gain during the Holidays


Okay, so I know this post is a little early, but I just read a great article on handling "holiday temptation" in the November/December issue of Blueprint magazine - a lifestyle magazine from Martha Stewart. (Please note, the cover shown isn't from the current issue. Unfortunately, they haven't posted the content on their website - big mistake from a branding perspective in my opinion.) Here are the hightlights from the article:


* Planes, Trains & Automobiles - bring a healthy snack and remember to hydrate

* Pub Night - avoid temptation by sitting away from the food and pick lighter drinks like light beer and wine, or suggest a more active past time like ice skating

* Thanksgiving Day - take two smaller helpings to satisfy food-pushy relatives, bring a healthy side dish, splurge selectively

* Office Orgies - keep to your normal eating routine and don't let your self get ravenous, hold out for holiday specialities (not just the same old red and green M&Ms)

* Trolling the Malls - bring a snack, just like traveling, opt for lighter options at the food court like steamed chicken and broccoli from the Chinese "restaurant"

* Party Central - keep your hands occupied with a drink and handbag and you'll be less likely to keep taking hors d'oeuvres, eat before you get there, hold on to the napkins you get with each drink so you can keep track of just how many glasses of champagne you've had


I'll admit the article didn't bring up any new ideas or solutions, but like them or not, they at least suggested strategies rather than just recommending to keep your chin up and use your "willpower" to avoid temptation. Ugh. (Although I loved the idea of keeping the napkins for all the drinks you have during the evening so you can keep track! Not that I plan on having that many ;)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Numbers

So, now that I'm like 4 lbs. from goal, I finally met with my meeting leader and told him/agreed to my goal. He was looking at the WW guidelines and was fine with 141 lbs. being my goal weight since 146 lbs. is the upper end of the range for my height (5'4"). I told him 141 lbs. was from another height/weight chart I had seen pre-WW. He thought it was a good number. He said that as far as WW was concerned, 141 lbs. it would be and I wouldn't need to worry about losing any more, but, if for myself, I wanted to go down to say 135 lbs. that would be okay. I really liked hearing this because the WW booklet shows 117 lbs. (!!*#@^*!!) as the low end of the range for 5'4". I thought that was mighty low for me. I don't think I'd be comfortable near that weight and I don't think it would be sustainable for me. (My apologies to anyone who is that weight/wants to be that weight. I'm just talking from my perspective. It's not meant as a judgement on anyone else.)

My meeting leader and I talked a little bit about how I'm feeling these days in my new body and I told him I think I like it, but I'm not sure if I want to lose more, or if I feel like I've already lost enough and don't need to get to my goal. Sometimes I feel this pressure to be a certain size, sometimes I feel like I should be an 8 and I "shouldn't want any more", sometimes I feel like I should be a 6 because its lower than I ever thought I'd be and sometimes, when people say 6s are cut big in a certain store, I think I should be a 4. I know this kind of thinking is all sorts of messed up and not healthy. And I know that I am quite lucky to have such a problem to worry about. I know I've been talking about buying clothes a lot lately, partly because I don't have any, partly because its fun to try different styles on now and partly because of my job at Ann Taylor. I think I'm going to stop looking and trying things on until I reach my goal weight, whether that be the official 141 or 135, or something entirely different. It will take the pressure off linking my new identity to a size on a clothing tag. I don't know why I have started to do that. Maybe all women do it. I wish we didn't care about the number.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Walk in the Park

Thanks for all your advice on my last post. I guess it is going to take some time getting used to this new body. I guess I just have to take it one day at a time, one experience at a time. I'll share stuff with you guys as it happens. I took a lovely walk on Sunday. I found a trail near my apartment that goes through a wooded area and ends at a golf course. I covered about 2-2.5 miles. I'm thinking about trying to do a run/walk the next time I go, which will probably be this weekend because I want to go when its well populated. I'll use the Couch-to-5K training method. I haven't run since I played soccer in high school. I am probably about the same weight now as I was back then, but running did not come easily for me. I always said I didn't have the build for it. I struggled and was in the back of the pack. But running has always held a sort of mystique for me - a sense of freedom and power that I've never had. Probably sounds crazy. My mom took up running when she was a little older than the age I am now. She competed in 5Ks all the time and had a wall of trophies for winning in her age group. She ran until her knees started to bother her in her early 50s. When I was a freshman in college she ran a marathon. I don't think I'd ever want to run a marathon, but I'd love to be able to run 5Ks. I think that would be fun. I'll let you know if I take the first step this weekend.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

101st Post & Feeling Shallow

So, this my 101st post. I didn't realize I was hitting this milestone. I've been blogging for about 15 months, so I guess technically I should have hit it sooner. I just don't post that frequently. But I find it pretty exciting. I mean, I've felt like a real blogger all along, but this is some how validating on a different level. I don't know. I'm not feeling particularly articulate today. Which I guess sucks for everyone reading this post :)

I've been seeing a number of people recently that I haven't seen in months. They have been commenting on my shape/weight. I've been getting the "there's going to be nothing left soon" and "you're so tiny." I feel like these people are exaggerating. It's very nice for people to pay you compliments, which is what I assume is meant by the comments because they are followed with something to the effect of "you look great." But, it is making me feel guilty for leaving my old self behind. I mean, I know I am happier at this weight for a whole host of reasons, but I am wondering why I couldn't be happier when I weighed 223.8 lbs. I wasn't lacking for friends or activities or goals. But, I didn't have a lot of self-confidence. Truthfully, I don't have a lot now either. But, did I just spend 13 months losing weight because I bought into some idea that society has given me that you are happier when you are thinner? I don't think my friends would have been any less happy to see me if I had gained the weight I'd lost back, or if I hadn't lost any additional weight since the last time they saw me. I mean, by losing weight did I just turn my back on all my bigger friends and some how say, people are more attractive when they are thinner than when they are heavier? I don't want to be saying that with my actions. I truly believe that there are beautiful people at all weights. But, our value shouldn't be measured in what we look like. I don't know, I'm just confused and feeling shallow.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Shopping & Body Image

So, even though it was Columbus Day, I had a busy day. I started a new part-time job at Ann Taylor. Five hours without a break. I also forgot to eat lunch. I was so busy. I'm going to have to start wearing a watch so I know when to go on break. My feet hurt. Gotta learn to wear flats and not heels. I didn't make anywhere near my sales goals. Gotta work on that too. I evidently have a lot to work on :)

It was so weird getting different sizes for women and the things that they would say. It was so disheartening, women sharing that they have gained weight, and they feel both the need to tell me and embarrassed about it. I was like, I know a lot about weight gain! And then there were the people who were uncomfortable with different parts of their bodies. It didn't occur to me what kind of insight sales people get into the minds of shoppers. It's almost like being a bartender.

Hey, now that I'm going to be on my feet more due to working retail (in addition to teaching class), do you think I should modify my WW points? I'm not doing either full-time, so it might be overcompensating.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Maintaining & Milestones

So, I've been hovering around 75 lbs. lost for about 3 weeks now (75.4, 75.0, 75.8). I must say, it's not a bad place to hang out. :) I don't really feel like I'm doing anything different though. At least I don't think I've fallen into a pattern of any kind. One week I ate very few flex points, another week I ate pretty much all of them. I haven't been doing much intense exercise, that's true. But, I feel pretty okay about hovering here. I think every time I get to a milestone I hang out there for a while and enjoy the view. I didn't think it was intentional. Maybe it's something sub-conscious. Has anyone else had a similar experience when they have hit a milestone?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Core and I Didn't Know It

So a few weeks ago my WW meeting leader was talking about trying to base your menu on Core foods. I have started realizing, while using WW etools, that for dinner every night I eat Core. (There's this little check mark that shows up on your "Plan Manager" that tells you if your food is Core or not.) I either have grilled shrimp or chicken and frozen vegetables or grilled green peppers and onions. Maybe I throw in a 1/4 of an avocado for a little kick. It was interesting to realize that I have doing this for about 6-9 months. While I have really needed to be on the Flex Plan to be happy with options, I have been following Core for at least one meal a day. I guess it also shows how much you learn about which foods to eat when you are trying to lose weight and get healthy. I mean, I always knew I should be eating more seafood and vegetables, but I just never put it into practice. I guess, if anything, this whole journey has been a learning experience.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

You're All So Sweet!

Seriously, thanks for all your well wishes and compliments to my 75 lbs. lost post. It really means a lot to me that you care :)

So, sorry it's been a week since my last post - things have been a little crazy here. But that's no excuse! I do have a story to tell. Inspired by Kim's dress shopping, I did a little shopping myself last weekend. I needed a new suit because my existing suit (with the tags still on it) is now too big. So, I'm now in a size 6! Craziness! I haven't been a size 6 in like 20 years or more. Full disclosure though, I tried on a jacket in J Crew the same day and I needed a size 10 if I wanted to button it across my chest. (Didn't buy the jacket. You all know I don't have the money.) But, I am oh so fine with that my friends! I also bought a pair of pants at a different store in size 6, so it isn't a total fluke. (They were on sale.) So, riding high on my wave of pride, I went to the expensive and trendy part of Nordstrom's to try on crazy expensive jeans. You know what I mean, like $166 jeans. I had no intention of buying them, I just always wanted to be able to try them on. I was always so jealous when I saw women walking down the street in NYC wearing Citizens of Humanity or Seven for All Mankind. I couldn't believe I might have actually gotten to the point where I could slide those bad boys over my hips! So, I went to the rack and picked the biggest sizes I could find (31 and 32). I still don't know what those numbers mean, but they were the highest numbers, so I figured they were the only ones likely to fit! So, I went to the dressing room and a saleswoman stopped me. I thought she was going to tell me I didn't belong there (always a neurotic fear of mine). Instead she was very nice and found me a dressing room. The 32's WERE TOO BIG!!!! I couldn't believe it. I had a baggie butt. One pair of 31's fit just right, although the waist was a little too low, and the other pair of 31's WOULDN'T EVEN FIT UP MY CALVES!!!! I had to laugh because I have been in that situation so many times over the past 15 years! It felt so familiar to be standing in front of a mirror and thinking, "Why did I ever think these would fit?" Of course, what was nice about this time was that I could say that it was okay that one pair didn't fit, because another pair did. And bottom-line, I had the cojones to at least try the d*mn jeans on. I didn't chicken out and say I wasn't worth it, or that I didn't belong. I gave it a go and it was fun. However, no matter how much money I make, I don't think I will ever drop $166 on a pair of jeans. Too rich for my blood.

So, I guess the moral of my story is that I realized that whether or not some stupid pair of expensive jeans fit or not, I'm worth it and I always was!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Oh my gosh, I hit 75 lbs. lost!

I can't believe it. I wasn't expecting it at my weigh-in today. I'm officially down 75.4 lbs! I'm in shock. I want to celebrate, but I don't know what to do with myself! This is so exciting, I think I should dance around my living room.

Okay, done dancing... I must say the more weight I lose, the more worried I get in a way. I know it sounds odd, but I keep wondering when I'm going to start gaining weight again. I mean, can I really keep it off? Honestly, I get enough to eat and I don't feel like I'm depriving myself, but I pretty much eat every meal alone, so I'm never jealous of what is on someone else's plate. I've stopped keeping alcohol in the house. So, I don't have many temptations (excluding the odd craving for Skinny Cow or Klondikes). I'm not sure if my goal is low enough. It is the top number on the weight loss charts for someone my height. Some charts say its 140 and some say 141. Should I reset my goal for 135 so I have some wiggle room? Or should I say to hell with the height/weight charts, I'm happy when I get to 141?

I now weigh less than my mother. This is a big deal. I haven't weighed less than my mother since I was a kid. What if I'm a smaller size than she is? Have I betrayed her in some way by losing this weight? Should I stop losing weight so that I don't get any smaller than she is? (This isn't based on anything she has said, this is all the crazy stuff in my head.)

So, you can see I have mixed emotions about getting down towards my goal weight. I've been scared of it and now I can see it coming and I don't know how to handle it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Confessions & New Blog

I ate a Klondike bar today and it was heavenly! Better than all 6 Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches put together! And I only had one. I went somewhere I could buy it individually packaged and I savored every bite. It was 6 points, but I figure I gotta live a little :)


I just started a new blog tonight. It's called ...
"In the Red" (http://www.inthered2007.blogspot.com/). The focus is my personal finance issues (debt and unemployment), but I really don't know what it's going to be like. In the beginning I think it is going to be mostly confessional - admitting things and sharing things I don't even want my mom to know. I'm not going to tell any friends or family the address and they don't know to look for Trixie Belden online either. Hopefully it won't sound too whiny or self-serving, but I'm not promising anything :) I'm hoping to find people who can relate to my situation because they have been there, just like on the weight loss blogs. I just need a place to get things off of my chest and a chance to refer back to them as I progress (hopefully in a positive direction) on this journey through life with sizable debt. All of you have been so supportive, I wanted to share this new venture as well.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

It's Called Being Creative

Hey there. Hope you all are doing well. I am off the Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich ledge and feeling much better. I didn't eat the other 2 ice cream sandwiches that night, but I don't think I'll be buying another 6 pack of anything (ice cream, beer, etc.) any time soon. Those things always get me into trouble with control and over-eating issues. I wish I still lived in NYC where you can buy 1 ice cream treat or 1 bottle of beer at a corner bodega any time you want. Of course it is a higher per unit cost, but the per a** cheek cost is lower by far.

I haven't been working out much now that the pool is closed and I have to spend $7 every time I want to do water aerobics. I limited myself to only doing it 2 times this past week. It was lovely, but I just couldn't justify spending the money for the third session. You'll also be proud of me that I have stopped buying non-fat smoothies after working out and I have stopped buying mocha light frappucinos after my WW meetings each week. These "treats" weren't effecting my waist line in a bad way, but they were putting a dent in my pocket book. I need to motivate myself to start working out on land. I'm back to trying to get myself excited over my Cardio Sculpt DVD. It's good, but it ain't water aerobics.

On the job front things aren't looking up. I have a lead on a position at a big candy company located in the middle of nowhere (compared to NYC), but you know how most leads work out for me. I applied for a job at Barnes & Noble on Craigslist, but I think I have to go in and fill out an application too. Believe it or not, I'm actually looking forward to working at B&N - I love books. But, I have no worry I'll spend my money at the store b/c I am a firm believer in libraries. I have about 4 books out right now and I have about 9 CDs and 10 DVDs of popular TV shows on hold b/c I'm getting my cable shut off today. *sniff* But, I'm psyched about everything my little library system has to offer.

Okay, time to get pretty - I have a BBQ to go to. Kinda strange since I am usually a hermit.

Take care, Trixie

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Help!

It's 8:13pm and I just ate 4 Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches in a row. I think I only really tasted the first 2. They come 6 in a package and I am vowing right now that I WILL NOT eat the other 2 tonight. D*mn Skinny Cow! I can't handle portion control even with fake ice cream. That's why I had to make a special trip to the grocery store to buy them. I was okay with having 3 since they are *only* 140 calories a piece. But 4 pushed me over the edge to the place where I used to eat an entire medium sized pizza myself. I usually over-eat alone. And I haven't exercised since Wednesday.

I guess my stress is showing up in my eating. Any suggestions?

Friday, September 07, 2007

Half Empty or Half Full?

Sorry I've been MIA. Things have been a little crazy here and I just haven't been up to sharing about my weight loss or everything else that's going on.

First, the good news. I got a adjunct teaching position at a local university for the fall semester. I am a late to the start of the semester replacement for an introductory marketing class. I'm thrilled. I have always wanted to teach and here's my chance to see if I'm good at it/enjoy it. I had my first class yesterday and it couldn't have gone better if I had tried. The kids participated, took notes, were well-behaved (college juniors and seniors). Keep your fingers crossed that the rest of the semester goes 1/2 as well.

Next, the bad news. You may or may not know that adjunct faculty positions pay peanuts. What I will make this semester doesn't even cover 1 months expenses. I have been looking tirelessly for a full-time job, but now I'm looking for positions that will at least pay me a fraction of what I need so that I can supplement the money I need to ... borrow from family. I won't go into the details now, but as I'm sure you know, borrowing money from family can be messy, frustrating, embarrassing and just plain sucks. I thought I had trimmed all my expenses to the minimum, but now I'm thinking of even shutting my TV off entirely. (I'm a TV junky, and had been pursuing work in television, so that is a big step for me.) Now, it just seems like a frivolous expense. I'm trying desperately to stay in my current apartment since I don't know where I'll get a job and when I'll need to move. (Although I have every intention of seeing the semester through with my class.)

Okay, so I do have some good news. All of this stress has actually encouraged me to exercise MORE. Water aerobics has been great and I'm trying to come up with a way to continue to afford it and Weight Watchers, but I think water aerobics is going to have to go. I have also been eating really well. I just found out at my weigh-in yesterday that I have officially lost a total of 70 lbs. It feels good to have one thing in my life working, but I don't know if I'd rather have some of those 70 lbs. back if I could also have money to support myself. I have been self-sufficient since college graduation 12 years ago, so this whole money thing feels like a big failure of mine on so many levels.

So, thank you for letting me go on and on about my tale of woe. I appreciate you letting me share. I know I am not the only one with money problems out there, so I hope you will not find me too selfish - I am lucky enough to have family who are willing and able to help me.

I'll keep you posted on everything and promise to write more soon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Do Blondes Really Have More Fun?

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your supportive comments about my last post. It is always risky to post pictures of yourself, but I felt comfortable doing that with all of you and I was right, you made me feel like I belong. Oh, and I love the fact that some of you thought I had blonde hair and blue eyes because of the Trixie cartoon!

I've gotten into a workout zone the past two weeks. I've pretty much been working out every day - Monday I even worked out twice! Actually, I might work out twice tomorrow too. I have gotten into the habit of going to the pool in my apartment complex when it opens to swim laps and then on Mondays and Wednesdays I've been meeting people at school to do water aerobics ourselves. It's been working out really well. They are motivating and really nice people, so it's fun too.

The sad thing is that the pool here closes on Labor Day and we'll stop meeting on Mondays and Wednesdays once the next water aerobics class session starts on 9/17. I've decided not to sign up for the session. It's $60 for 10 classes - not a bad deal, but I don't have any income right now and I just can't justify it when I have exercise DVDs at home and access to a gym in my apartment complex. I know I love the water, but I have to be fiscally responsible too.

It's weird. I'm still not feeling much different with my weight loss. The positive thing I can say is that strangers don't treat me any differently. I actually never had a problem with people commenting about my weight, I just felt like people stared at me and watched what I ordered. I don't feel that way now. I guess I am much more comfortable with myself. So, I guess there are some changes. I just don't feel like my self-esteem has really changed. I didn't really want it to change just because I lost weight, because what would that say about how I felt about myself 68 lbs. ago. I guess it has made me realize I can accomplish what I put my mind to, even if it takes a while to achieve my goal. It's helping me stay grounded in the face of a thus far unsuccessful job search. If I can lose weight, I can find a good job! :)

P.S. I have a message for Crankybee if she's reading this ... I can't seem to get to your blog because I don't have access. I'd love to see what you are up to. If you are comfortable giving me access, please email me at trixiebelden2006 at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Happy 1 Year Weight Watchers Anniversary to Me

Yep, this week marks my one year anniversary of doing Weight Watchers. I've achieved more than I thought possible. My original goal was 52 lbs. in 52 weeks. I thought that was far-fetched, but look where I am today. It is doable. It is achievable. It just takes one day at a time. It wasn't always easy, it took me 5 weeks to lose 1 lb. this summer. But, it looks like I am back on track this week (I'm down 3.6 lbs.). I know that some time soon I'm going to lose some of my motivation and feel like exercising isn't working, but today everything looks sunny and possible.

So, I decided it was high time I included some "before" and "now" (it's not "after" just yet) photos to my blog. The picture with me in a suit with a red top is from late August 2005. I was about 200 lbs. in that picture and gained another 25 lbs. after this picture was taken before I started trying to lose weight in August 2006. The second picture, with me in shorts, is from early July 2007 at my Weight Watchers location. I asked the receptionist to take a picture of me at the beginning of Kim's Challenge so I could document the change. I'm about 162 lbs. in the picture. It's kinda hard to get the full effect with the picture of me in the suit since it isn't full length. (The reason why the suit isn't button is because it was too tight to button. I was squeezing myself into it.) I don't notice the difference on a day-to-day basis so looking at pictures is interesting, but the difference isn't as dramatic as I expected it to be. I wanted more tangible proof that I have lost all this weight. I guess I'm going to have to find it within myself.



Monday, August 20, 2007

I Pass the "Nice Matters Award" onto ...


Thanks to Amazon Alanna for the shout out. I've had a hard time singling 3 blogs out for the "Nice Matters" award. I have gotten such nice comments from so many people it is a shame to pick only 3. But, I have decided to pass the "Nice Matters" award along to:

* Kim at Kim Under Construction for the motivation and inspiration to start her own challenge
* Jodi at Just Another Weigh for stepping up and being a team captain for Kim's challenge
* KL at From YAWN to Come Hither for just being herself

So guys, now you have to pass around the love to people in blogland you think are good eggs.

Friday, August 17, 2007

And the winner is ...

Okay, so it's 12:09am and the entry into the great Adidas work-out pants give-away officially closed at 12:00am. I went to random.org and got it to put the entrants into random order. The winner of the pants is .... *kl* from YAWN to Come Hither. Congratulations kl! Thanks to all the participants. My pants were very happy to see that there were many healthy potential homes for them. (kl, email me at trixiebelden2006 at yahoo dot com and let me know where to mail your prize!)

I also ended up a winner this week! I now have a toe-hold in the 150's! I'm very excited and hope to keep up this losing trend. Even if they aren't big losses, I'll take a 1.4 lb. loss any day!

Oh, and the pants karma is definitely on my side today. A friend who gained weight last year had pants that no longer fit (they are too big because she has since lost the weight - go her!). So, I have 5 pairs of pants and 2 cute skirts that are just a hair to tight on me right now. In a couple of weeks they are going to look and feel great. I'm a little confused though ... they are all a size 8. I some how skipped size 10 this summer. I don't know what to do about being a size 8. I haven't been that size since high school. I didn't expect this to happen so soon. I still have 18.4 lbs. to go. I will totally freak out if I get down to a size 6. How I feel about sizes, and what size I'm *supposed* to be, is a whole post in itself. So, I'll save that for another time.

And lastly, Amazon Alanna included me in a list of blogs for a very sweet award. Thank you! I now need to pass on the love, but I need time to think about who to pass it along to. I'll post on that later too.

Oh, and one last thing. Thanks to everyone who commented on my loose skin post. It was very interesting to hear how you all feel. I will probably continue the conversation in a post sometime in the future.

Okay, I'm done for now. Good night!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Big Medicine/ Small(er) Bras

Has anyone ever watched the show Big Medicine on TLC? I watched it for the first time tonight. Even though I haven't gone the weight loss surgery route, I really felt a connection with the 3 people they profiled. The show had some pretty graphic footage of what 2 of the people looked like naked. They had already had bariatric or gastric bypass surgery and now they were having surgery to get rid of loose skin. The amount of loose skin this one woman had was honestly shocking. (The doctor said he removed a total of 15 pounds of skin. Which, according to him, is a lot.) The other woman had less loose skin, but it was still substantial enough for surgery (both tummy and breast lifts). I felt compelled to look at myself in the bathroom mirror and study my bulges after the show. I don't know if it was a healthy way to spend my time or not. I don't think I'm at the stage of my weight loss to know if I even want/need to have loose skin removed. And, by saying that, I think it means that I don't have that much extra skin, or I would be more self-conscious. But, it made me wonder how much smaller my stomach and hips would be without the bulge I do have. I have been a little over-worried about loose skin since the beginning of this journey. I guess I'll think more about it once I get to my goal weight. (Although I don't know how I'd afford the surgery, so that's a big consideration.)

I would, however, definitely like to have a breast lift. But I've wanted a breast lift since I was a sophomore in college! (14 drooping years ago) I just bought new bras that are like a breath of fresh air. I was long overdue for new bras, but I kept avoiding buying them because I told myself I didn't really *need* them and I didn't have the money. (If I don't have the money for new bras, how am I going to afford a breast lift :) Well, when I put on new bras I realized how wrong I was. I figured I would be a different size since I haven't bought bras since well before I started to lose weight. I tried measuring them, but I kept getting crazy figures. So, I went to this website - myintimacy.com - (she was on Oprah's bra intervention show) and it gave me a size recommendation. When I tried that size on - and a few others to check - it was spot on correct. When I'm wearing them, its like my breasts are back where they belong! I went from a 38/40D to a 36DD. And my sister is sort of mesmerized by the fact that my breasts have gotten *so much smaller*. I think it's funny. (She never says it around anyone else.) I don't really notice a difference.

How do you guys feel about having loose skin removed? Do you worry about it at all?


P.S. Don't forget to sign up for my free XL Adidas work-out pant raffle posted on Saturday 8/11!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

XL Adidas Pant Give-away

Hey guys, in cleaning out my closets I found a perfectly good pair of Adidas work-out pants that I didn't want to just give to a thrift store, so I am offering them up to one of you for FREE. (They've been worn less than 10 times. I like to work out in water more than on land :) Here's the details on the pants:

* Size: XL (16-18) [but I wore them when I was also wearing size 20 Gap jeans]
* Color: Navy blue with 3 green stripes down the side
* Waist: Elastic drawstring
* Fabric: 100% polyester
* Additional information from adidas.com Please note, these pants were purchased at a outlet mall and NOT from adidas.com. But, I found the same type of pants online and I don't have a working digital camera, so you can check out what they look like. (Please note, the pants are a different color than pictured.)

So, here's how the give-away is going to work. Just post a comment saying you are interested in the pants. The deadline is Thursday, August 16 at midnight EST. I'll take the list of people who are interested and put them into random.org which will sort them in random order. The 1st person listed in random order will get the pants. I'll post the winner on Friday, August 17th and contact them for their address (U.S. only please) and mail them the pants shortly thereafter. I'll cover postage. (To clarify, the contest is only open to addresses in the contiguous U.S. Sorry to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and my international friends!)

I hope at least someone is interested. They are super-comfy! Happy exercising!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Last Call

I had my weigh-in tonight. I'm down -0.6. I should be happy, but I was expecting to be down more and I hoped to crack the 150's. However, any loss is a good loss. Actually, after thinking about what I had ate and drank this past week, even though I had 13 flex points left, I really shouldn't have been down any more than I was. I had a lot of light beer. I didn't go back to my "no beer in the house" semi-rule that I usually keep once I got back from vacation. I figured I could have my cake and eat it too. I guess I was wrong. I'm not going to bring any beer into the apartment this week. If I'm out to dinner, then maybe I will have a drink, but I'm not going to have beer with dinner at home. I'm also going to try really hard to exercise more this week. I'm going to go the the pool in my apartment complex tomorrow when it opens and swim laps for 15 minutes. I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but it's a start!

I have a crazy goal for next week's weigh-in. I want to be down 2 lbs. so that I can reach 65 lbs. lost and be in the 150's. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Closet Cleaning

Water aerobics was great today! She kept us moving a lot. Definitely put the aerobics in water aerobics today. I am exhausted.

I had a momentous day yesterday. I took two garbage bags full of clothes that were too big to the thrift store. It was pretty d*mn cool. It also freed me to take another look at the clothes left behind and to realize there are more clothes that are too big that I'm holding onto. I'm going to take the rest of it (3 more bags, which includes 4 pairs of shoes and odds and ends) to the thrift store tomorrow or Saturday. It feels great to not be looking at those reminders any more. It's like I get a clean slate. In the future, I can buy what I like instead of just buying what fits. It's pretty exciting actually.

Hey, has anyone noticed their shoe size going down about a 1/2 size when they lose weight? I was always a 7 or 7-1/2 until I started gaining weight and then I moved up to an 8. Now I'm back down to a 7-1/2 ... weird, huh.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Under the Big Blue Sky

Today I was back at water aerobics. It was great. I missed last Wednesday because there was a swim meet in the pool and I thought class was cancelled. Instead, they held it in the outdoor pool. Bummer! I so would have loved to have had class outside. There's a four week break between the end of this session (next Monday) and the beginning of next session (mid-September). A couple of us are thinking of meeting on our own. My only problem is that my ID card might not work now that I'm not a student and I won't be signed up for a class. Oh well, we'll see what happens.

In other water-related news, my mom is going to mail me an extra raft she has for the pool at my apartment complex. I wasn't sure if they were legal, but there were two people with rafts last Saturday, so I guess I got my answer. It is a little ridiculous for my mom to pay to mail it to me, but it saves me the $15 if I'd buy it at Target. I can't wait to float under the big blue sky!

I've started to get more motivated about keeping busy with my days and evenings. Last week I was pretty good because I had all these interviews to conduct for this research project I'm working on with a visiting professor. I have a few more to do AND I need to start transcribing them. That's where all the fun begins, not. I have a "laundry" list of things to keep myself busy. I'm actually a little surprised at how long it is. I can't imagine how I'd get all this stuff done if I was working, and trust me, I worked for 9 years before I went back to school. So I know something about putting in long hours at the office. Actually, I find myself day dreaming about having long days at the office. I guess that happens when you don't have any job prospects on the horizon. Bizarrely enough I'm still not panicked. I have contacted some people at the company I did my internship last summer to see if they have any freelance opportunities. At least it would be in the field I'd like to go into and I'd be making some money. If I get something freelance I still intend to actively look for a permanent job somewhere else in the country. I'm nervous for my mom. She's waiting to hear back from a school she's really interested in working at. I'm afraid its going to be bad news. Keep your fingers crossed that its good news coming down the road.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Getting Back on Track

Okay, so I'm back from Sin City and I weighed-in today at my WW meeting. I only gained 1 lb. since I my last weigh-in before I left, but that was on 7/12/07. So .... I've been fluctuating for about 3 or 4 weeks, depending on how you look at it. I'm still on track for losing an average of 1.2 lbs. per week, which has been my goal all year. But, I had been about 4 weeks ahead of schedule. Now, I'm only 1 week ahead of schedule. I know I shouldn't be upset. I think its just a wake up call to realize that I've gotten off track. I'm glad I only gained 1 lb. total while I was on vacation. I did exercise (hiking and water aerobics) but not enough to mitigate all the Corona Light and woodfired pizza I had (yum!) But, I feel like I've wasted time. My weight loss has been something that has been positive in my life and has made me feel successful. That's important to me and my self-esteem since my job search has not been going well. I saw a friend from school that I don't think I've seen since graduation (late May) and she said I looked thin. I think "thin" was an overstatement, but it was still nice to hear after I heard the news about my gain. I think I need to find something else to make me feel good about myself. While I want to get back on track, I think I need to spend time on something besides me. It's always "my" job search and "my" weight loss. I have been toying with the idea of volunteering. I have the time. I just haven't wanted to make a commitment that I couldn't keep when I do get a job. I think I have to start living my life and not "what if-ing" myself to death. I think I'm going to go onto volunteermatch.com and see what non-profits need help in the area. I'll keep you posted on what I find.

p.s. I mentioned in one of my last posts that my mom might guest post. Well, she's too shy, so she is going to remain a lurker. If you're out there, "Hi Mom!" :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Blame it on the Rain

Hey there. Just checking in from Vegas. I'm on week two with the 'rents. It's been nice and relaxing here - no real stress and the weather was good until a few days ago when "monsoon" season started and it began to get overcast and rain at least part of every day. They actually have flood advisories in effect. Here's a live shot of the weather on the Las Vegas Strip. Not the kind of weather one looks for when you are trying to work on your tan.

I have been doing so-so with eating. My main food choices have been good, or at least in moderation, and I've been drinking only a little bit and when I do its wine or light beer (I now highly recommend Corona Light).

I have also been doing my own version of water aerobics every day in the pool. I start out with "weights" which are really 2 sets of 20 oz. empty water bottles duct taped together. I do about 4 different arm exercises, 3 sets each with 15 reps a set. Then I do abs with a noodle (but not the exercise that gave me the rug burns). For abs I do 3 different exercises. This time I do 3 sets of 30 reps each. Then I do legs which is where the "aerobics" comes in. I walk back and forth across the long part of the pool (which is about 4-1/2 feet deep) doing high knees for 5 sets and then I do butt kicks for 5 sets. I figure it takes me about 30 minutes. It's only 2 WW activity points, but hey, I enjoy myself. I do it while listening to music. (I've found it's a little hard to count and hold a conversation with someone else.) My routine was cut short today when it started to thunder and lightning. C'est la vie. There's always tomorrow.

Lest you think all I do is bake in the sun and play the slots, I have been doing some part-time work for the university (editing a seriously boring paper and conducting moderately less boring interviews) and I've been trying to keep myself psyched for my job search. I've done some networking via email and I've applied for a couple jobs. As with everything, we'll see how it goes.

I must recommend an author I just discovered, who admittedly has been around for a while since her books have been made into Lifetime Movies. Jodi Picoult. She is amazing. I finished The Pact and haven't been able to get it out of my head. Now I am reading her new book Nineteen Minutes which seems like it is going to be just as moving.

Okay, it's time for me to start checking out all your blogs! Hope all is well with you guys.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Greetings from Sin City!

I'm here in Las Vegas, sitting in my damp swimsuit, typing this blog post and loving every minute of it. I did water aerobics yesterday, but didn't find plastic bottles with enough resistance and developed a nasty "rug-burn" from an exercise with a noodle. Who knew exercise could be so difficult, and dangerous!

I have bad news. I'm up 3.8 lbs. this week. I'm not worried because I'm thinking it is due to this weird thing where I am always up when I visit my parents and then I'm down when I go home. I haven't eaten or drank too badly. I definitely haven't been perfect, I was up a few points beyond my 35 flex points for the week, but I don't think it was bad enough to do this much damage. Even so, the true test will be next week when I weigh-in for the second time using my parents' scale. Guess there should be more water aerobics in my future! My apologies to Kim and my challenge teammates that I have let you down this week!

I have invited my mom to do a guest post sometime on my blog while I am visiting Las Vegas. So, keep your eyes pealed for a different "voice" on my blog sometime soon.

I'll check in again soon! Take care.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Here Comes the Sun

Hey there. Thanks for your comments on my last post. It was really helpful to hear how you all feel. Even if you didn't feel the same as me, I felt less alone after reading your comments. :)

While feeling so conflicted and then spending a weekend with my sister where she continually asked me questions about what I eat and how I feel about my weight loss, I needed to take a break from thinking about things. I still counted points and water aerobics started on Wednesday, but otherwise I tried not to concentrate on weight loss. I don't think I even visited any blogs for a week. That is not like me. I tend to be a every-other-day lurker on a lot of blogs. I don't know if I feel less conflicted, or just less stressed about having to think about what I eat all the time. I guess I really am in this for the long haul and if that means counting points for the next 50 years, I guess that's what I'm prepared to do. (WW is going to make a sh*tload of money off of me :)

So, onto the good things ... water aerobics was fun, but crowded as the first class of the session always is. I felt like I had had a good workout when I got out of the water which felt fantastic. I was talking to my sister about doing water aerobics in my parent's pool when I go out there for a visit. I said I wished they had the floatation "weights" that you do the toning exercises with. She suggested I get plastic bottles of orange juice or bleach or something, empty them and clean them out, and use those in the pool for resistance. Genius! Now I'm going to search the internet to find exercise routines to do in the water. My mom is also talking about hiking while I am out there. She now hikes three times a week since she isn't working this summer. I don't know if I can manage hiking that often, but I am looking forward to going to the gym with her. (Note to self: I need to stock up on reading material for the recumbent bike.)

Oh, to back up for a minute. I don't think I mentioned that I'm going to Vegas for two weeks to visit my parents. I found a cheap flight on Southwest and I can really conduct my job search from out there. So far I have only been having phone interviews. Just in case I'm going to bring my suit and shoes in case I need to fly somewhere for an interview. It will be very nice to be surrounded by people for a change. I can go an entire day without talking to anyone besides the lifeguard who doesn't speak English. That was great when I was working or going to school full-time, but now it is very isolating. I feel guilty for spending some of the money I've made from my part-time gig with the university on a flight to Vegas, but a wise friend of mine said that any money and time spent visiting family you love is never a bad decision.

On that note I am off to start sewing a tote bag I am making for my mom. It is the first bag I have made in about 2 years. I'm excited! If I can get their camera to work I'll take a picture of the finished product. Ciao!