Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy Holidays Week Review

It's the first chance that I have had to post in nearly two weeks. I have been focused on doing weekly weigh-ins, but will not have an official weigh-in until I get back home on Thursday. It's hard to say whether or not I have maintained my weight loss, which is what I was hoping for while being away from home. I think I may have gained a couple, but it won't be the end of the world if I did.


The FANTASTIC
While at my parents, I went to the gym five days (out of seven). I weight-trained four of those days.
In the first two days at the gym, I met two guys. One was an older gentleman who approached me to let me know that he was impressed with my jogging speed on the track. The other, a younger guy, stopped to tell me to keep up the good work. We chatted for about 15 minutes, and to find out, he's lost 50 pounds himself. The third person I met later, well...to no surprise...a trainer. Do I have dollar signs on my forehead?

The Good
Although I didn't hit the gym yesterday, we walked all over Boston. Today we are going to the gym with Tony (another college friend) and hitting a museum (more walking).
I'm seeing family and friends I haven't seen in a long time.

The Bad
I had a meltdown on Thursday and called Matt. I was tired of spending time at the gym when I don't get to see my parents much as it is. I also knew the "ugly" (see below) was happening.
I'll be eating on the run while in Boston. I've tried to do healthier options on the menu, but we all know how hesitant I still am when I eat out.
I had two beers, one glass of wine, and two martinis this trip so far. I don't plan on drinking tonight, but New Years Eve is a different story!
I can't decide if I'm happy enough in Austin or if I want to still move back to Boston. I'm hoping for a clear answer while here in Boston.

The Ugly
I still have no willpower. While my parents supported me in buying me the food products I use so I could cook according to my meal plan, the fact that there was all that yummy usual holiday food in the fridge...I just couldn't resist.
I cheated for about five days while visiting my parents. I probably consumed 2,000-2,750 calories per day and usually I consume 1,600-1,700. (Hence why I'm concerned about the possible weight gain...)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Photographs: 12/15/07

As promised, here are a couple photographs from the 24 Hour Fitness Christmas party. Take a look at my changes here! :)


Wednesday Weigh-In (on Thursday)

I waited until today to post my "Wednesday Weigh-In" because Matt and I were doing measurements this morning. So here are all my statistics!

Weight Statistics
Starting Weight (1/1/05): 366.00
Weight Started with Matt (5/14/07): 342.00
Current Weight (12/20/07): 297.50
Weight Loss To Date: 68.50 lbs
% Body Weight Loss: 18.7%

Weekly Weight Loss: 2.25 lbs


Measurement Statistics
Starting Total Inches (10/26/06): 258.25
Total Inches Started with Matt (5/14/07): 247.50
Current Total Inches (12/20/07): 224.25
Total Inches Lost To Date: 34.00 lbs

Monthly Total Inches Lost: 2.75 inches


The FANTASTIC
I am happy.
People are being inspired.
Based on 24 Hour Fitness measurements, I have lost just over 80lbs of fat and gained almost 53lbs of muscle (since I started training in July 2006).
I forced myself to go to the gym on Tuesday, even though I fought it soooo hard. I wanted to continue my streak (haven't missed a day in over a month!).

The Good
I realize I let my guard down when I drink and tend to have binging episodes.
My shins are currently not bothering me.
I'm learning (and Matt's quizzing me).
I created a "plan" for holiday gym time when I visit friends and family. Matt reviewed my weight training schedule.

The Bad
Pizza. I love it, but my hips don't.
Relied on "convenience" food (ie, processed) rather than fresh food.
I'm avoiding the stair monster (rotating stairs).
I need to increase my variety for cardio.
I'm still comparing my weight loss to those on the Biggest Loser (they lost 80+ lbs in 7 months, me: 44.5 lbs).
I still don't have all my Christmas shopping done (hmmm, maybe this should be filed under "ugly."
Because I wore higher high heels than I'm used at the festivities on Saturday night, my calves were torn up through Monday (meaning, I didn't have *the* best workout with Matt on Monday).

The Ugly
I still don't have all my Christmas shopping done (Yep! Fits better here.)
Drank way too much at the 24 Hour Fitness Christmas Party. Since I like being honest with y'all, I had (I think) 4 Vodka and Diet Cokes, 4 Vodka and Red Bulls, and a Jager Bomb. While I haven't done something like this since probably graduate school, no excuses.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tip #4: Increase Fiber Slowly

Since I will be leaving for Christmas soon, I'm finishing off what I have in the fridge. All I have is salad, so I bought some chicken to make buffalo chicken salad. It has been soooo yummy, but I noticed after the second day, I started feeling a bit bloated and have had some major gas (I know, I know...too much information for you). I decided to check it out, and here's what I found out.

According to MedlinePlus, a service of the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, "You should add fiber to your diet slowly. Increasing dietary fiber too quickly can lead to gas, bloating and cramps." Go figure, and I have my weigh-in and measurements tomorrow...yikes...

Women aged 50 years and younger should consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day and men aged 50 years and younger should consume at least 38 grams of fiber per day. These past few days have been hovering around 35-40 grams for me. So in the end, I'm taking tomorrow's weigh-in with a grain of salt.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Confessions from a Fat Girl

I like amusement parks, but I have not been to one in...hmmmm...I actually don't remember the last time I went. Actually, it was when Riverside Amusement Park was still Riverside, not Six Flags New England. That change happened in 2000. Crazy. I remember going to Riverside when I was about 17 for a local radio station's "20 Bands for $20" concert. Why can't I get that here? They had some big artists, The Mighty Bosstones, K's Choice, Better than Ezra, etc.

If I like amusement parks, why don't I go to them then? One of the last times I went to an amusement park, a friend made a comment (without knowing it) that made me realize I really should not be riding the rides. We were on a rollercoaster, both latched in with the bar, but because I was fat and she wasn't, she had extra room between her legs and the bar. After we got off, her comment was, "Wow, for a moment there I thought I was going to fall out!" I knew it was my fault and decided that I was just going to make the excuse that I "didn't like" amusement parks so I wouldn't have to go when friends wanted to go.

So why is this on my mind? My conference this March is in Orlando, and who doesn't want to go to Disney World and all the parks while there? After all, work pays for my plane ticket, it doesn't matter when I come home. Do I want to give rides a second chance now that I've lost some weight? It would embarrassing if I don't fit in a ride's seat (it has happened before). I hate making these decisions, but sometimes you have to risk it. I don't know if I have the guts to do it though.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Parties

Wow. Let me just say the party girl social butterfly Michelle might just be back, and she is definitely glad to be back!

Friday evening at the gym, I was talking to a friend, let her know that I made my goal early and wanted to see if she was going to the Austin 24 Hour Fitness Christmas Party at Vicci on Saturday. She said she was invited, but had to work and it'd be 9pm at earliest if she got there. Luckily I stopped to chat with her because she informed me that people tended to get dressed up for the event (not everybody did, but most did). So Friday night after the gym I went dress shopping. I hate trying clothes on since my body is all weird sizes now. I also don't wear dresses; I tend to wear skirts for dates or nights on the town, so I just loathed dress shopping. I hit Macy*s and tried on a few things, almost left the store, but something caught my eye. I picked it up and thought, "Is it worth going back into the dressing room to try this on?" I strolled through a few aisles and grabbed a pair of size 24 work pants as well. (Currently my jeans are a size 26 and they've been falling off my hips. I've been meaning to go in and see if I'm officially a size 24, but haven't had the time.) I tried the dress on in a maroon and a black. I ended up getting the black one, mainly on the basis that every girl needs a black dress in their closet and mine is WELL outdated and probably no longer fits. Here's the exciting news though...the size 24 pants fit perfectly, but the style just didn't look good on me. I actually bounced up and down and clapped a few times. You would have been embarrassed for me if you saw me do that; it was pretty cheesey, but I was stoked.

After my shopping expedition, I ran home, changed, and ran to Joe's Christmas Party. Thankfully he lives in the same apartment complex as me, so it was a short commute. (No, I didn't drive, I walked.) I opened the door to his apartment, and the first person I see is the big boss guy; I was pretty shocked. Everybody was drinking. Their main choices were Miller High Life, margaritas, ginatonics, and who knows what else. A long time prior I told Joe I couldn't drink at his party because I was drinking on Saturday. Luckily all our friends didn't tempt me into drinking. I did have a sip of a ginatonic because I never tried one before.

Saturday was a busy day for me. I hit the gym, and I ran to Sears and JCPenny to see if I could find a better dress, shoes, purse, jewelry, and boob adhesive tape since the one dress I did find was low cut. I got three out of the five. Long story short, a bunch of us were supposed to meet up before the Christmas Party, and as usual, I was running late. I got to Lavaca Street Bar 20 minutes late, but nobody was there. :) Looks like I'm not the only one (cough cough Matt...I'll be there in 20...). I looked pretty smoking hot for throwing myself together like I did. (I know, slightly conceited there.) I'll post a photo at some point and you can be the judge. Actually, the photos people took of me, man, I see the difference in my weight loss big time!

Anyway, I had a great time! For those trainers who read this thing, thanks for taking me out and your encouragement through this...experience, or rather journey. It gave me an opportunity to get to know y'all in a different light, rather than our five minute conversations between your clients OR you getting to know me through Matt. Until next time, cheers!

Weekly Compliments

A client of Scotty's, Kathleen, remarked to him about my weight loss. He mentioned to her that I just hit a milestone goal and that she should say something to me. Her compliment? "You are just melting away!" She and I chatted maybe eight months ago when we were both leaving the gym; she's lost over 100lbs herself. (Congrats girl!)

A trainer (I'm really bad with names) from the gym: "You look great."

Two people told me I was an inspiration to them. One is a hot athletic trainer at the gym (Stephanie) when she was training for her competition. The other was just a member at the gym. She was on a mission to catch up with me on the track, and I was walking pretty slow today (yeah...the three-ish inch heels did it to me).

A co-workers girlfriend mentioned to him that it looked like I lost weight. Yeah...acquaintances are noticing. :)

I'm sure I'm missing a couple, but those are the ones standing out right now. :) It's kind of getting overwhelming...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tip #4: Reward Yourself

I'm sure y'all have read this plenty of times, but reward yourself when you hit certain goals or have completed something you never even imagined doing. Really make these rewards a treat (not edible!), and something you usually wouldn't do for yourself. Make it special and memorable; you deserve it after all! A few ideas:

Massage
Pedicure/Manicure
Facial
A new outfit
A night on the town (in that new outfit)
Trying something new (skiing, snowboarding, etc)
Take a class
Mmmmm...peace and quiet for an hour
Skip town and go somewhere you've never been
Hire a cleaning lady for a day
YOUR CHOICE HERE

So what's my reward for hitting my goal? I'm going to buy a new outfit and possibly get a well needed pedicure/manicure. My trainer's allowing me to drink Saturday night when we go out! First time in about a month!

How do you reward yourself when you achieve the unachievable?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Goals

I have set high goals the next few months, and I do realize it will be hard to reach them. Nonetheless, I'm going to shoot for them.

12/21/07: <300 lbs (CHECK! Goal reached on 12/12/07.)
03/14/08: 266.00 (100 lb weight loss for me)
05/14/08: 242.00 (100 lb weight loss with Matt and in a year)

If you do the math, it's about 2.7 lbs per week. Obviously I'm hoping not to hit a plateau anywhere inbetween, but life happens. Do you think this unrealistic? Do you think I can do it? I'm up to the challenge!

Wednesday Weigh-In

Starting Weight (1/1/05): 366.00
Weight Started with Matt (5/14/07): 342.00
Current Weight (12/12/07): 299.75
Weight Loss To Date: 66.25 lbs
% Body Weight Loss: 18.1%

Weekly Weight Loss: 2.25 lbs


The FANTASTIC
I hit my first milestone goal. AND I did it ten days ahead of schedule.
I am officially under 300lbs and haven't been here in many years.
I am proud of myself for the first time. (Please see this post.)
I ran three consecutive laps (0.3 mile) with Matt at the gym in 3:03 (a first).
I went to the gym every day.
I had to bump up my resistance levels on most of the machines I use.

The Good
I didn't have seconds during Thursday's potluck dinner.
I ate pretty well during Monday's potluck dinner.
I'm getting better control of trigger foods that I would binge on.
I got new sneakers. :)

The Bad
I attended three potlucks.
I had cake (a small slice of two different kindse) on Thursday.
I was nibbly while baking on Sunday.
I had Mexican food last Wednesday (tamales and salsa/chips).

The Ugly
Today's potluck. While I don't think what I ate was all that bad for me, I ate WAY too much. I'm still full and my body does not know what to do with the excess food. Mental note: Never, never, never fill my plate again, no matter how good it was. Stop overeating with my eyes.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The AeroGarden

Let me introduce you to the AeroGarden (photo from the link). If anybody knows me, they know I do not have a green thumb, but I absolutely love fresh veggies and fruit. The last time I tried to grow herbs was when I was in New York and insects invaded everywhere. I had to ditch the whole project.

I bought an AeroGarden as a Christmas gift to myself. The biggest perk is how easy it is to get rid of insects if they invade (you just simply wash them down the drain!). The biggest limitation? The light bulbs are on for like 16 hours a day. What can I say, I'm somewhat an environmentalist.

I'm not selling AeroGardens or advertising for them, this is just an FYI...if you're like me and just don't have a green thumb.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Shame on you 24 Hour Fitness!!!

A couple weeks ago, 24 Hour Fitness had some promotion guys come in to do a "taste test" demonstration. I remember it clearly. It was a Thursday, and as usual, I was getting 1.5-2 hours of cardio in, and I tend to get hungry near the end of my routine. About 30 minutes into my routine, I started to smell something good. On occasion, I get to work out next to somebody who works in a restaurant, so all they smell like is the food in that restaurant, and a guy did just get on an elliptical next to me, so I just assumed it was him. The smell persisted, got stronger and lighter, so finally I turn around to look downstairs to see if somebody left the door open. (The 24 Hour Fitness that I go to is right next to a Saltgrass Steak House, which I still have yet to go to.) Instead of finding the door open, I saw a couple of promotion guys cooking chicken teriyaki stir fry! I passed right on by them when I left the gym. I've never been a big fan of product promotion in this way...

As far as I'm concerned, a fitness facility needs to promote healthy lifestyles. While chicken teriyaki is a pretty healthy food, to have a product promoted during dinner time is just cruel (yes, I'm talking to you 24 Hour Fitness). I almost did not finish my cardio workout because I could not deal with the smell (it smelled great at first, then just made me nauseous), I wonder how many people may have left early because of it?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Gym

Saturday is a HUGE gym day for me, I'm usually there 2.5-3.5 hours, and that does not even include showering! I lift for about 1.5 hours, which is intermingled with some cardio on the track, and then I do at least 1.5 hours of cardio after lifting.

I was using the short block (stool) while using a leg resistance band, one end tied to my ankle and the other end tied to the block. I would use the leg that wasn't "tied" to step up on the block, lift my other knee up (the one tied) then kick my leg back, step down, and repeat ten times. I switch legs for a total of 30 reps on each leg. While doing these, an older woman comes up to me inbetween sets to inquire what areas on the body that exercise was working. It takes a lot of balance (which I'm slowly getting) and works the core, legs, and gluts. It also gets my heart rate up. She inquired about the color coding of the bands. Now here's the really cute part, she goes and gets her husband to show him what I was working on; he comes and watches a set. Three trainers (Scotty, Mike(?), and another) were training in the same area, so they probably got a kick out of this.

The exercise mentioned above is something my trainer had me do once, and well...I just couldn't do them during that session with him. A few weeks later, I tried them on my own and have put them into my training rotation. I am extremely happy that Matt's going to look over my training schedule that I'm going to plan for Christmas. As we keep talking about, this is a learning process for me and this is a big step for me.

Mike (I think that's his name) gave me a great compliment today, he said, "You're doing great." I know, I know, he's a trainer at the gym and he sees me float in and out all the time, but we don't chat like I do some of the other trainers, so I'll take this one! :)

Tip #3: Squeezing in extra cardio when all you want to do is go home...

There are two floors at my gym; the lower has the locker rooms, pool, sauna, hot tub, trainer meeting rooms, cycling room, and the upper has all the weights, cardio equipment, aerobic room, and functional training room. For the most part, I'm always upstairs (a few times I jump in the pool). The only bathrooms in the building are in the locker rooms, so any time I have to go, I have to head downstairs. For me, this is sometimes a trial because I walk pass my locker and it is SO tempting to just grab my stuff and go home. I occasionally have the same problem after lifting with Matt, so I came up with a trick: I leave something upstairs that requires me to go back upstairs no matter what. Since I have to go back up, I'm more than likely to leave my crap in the locker room and do more cardio. Tricking my mind helps every so often!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Five fashion tips for the gym...

I'm not one to judge usually, and I'm pretty forgiving for fashion flaws because I know I have them myself, but there have been a few things that I just have to get off my chest...

1. No matter how cool you are, you are not cool enough to wear shades at the gym. (Now I know some people wear prescription glasses and if they forget their regular glasses they wear their prescription sunglasses. This is fine, but I know this isn't the case for everybody who does this at the gym.)

2. Guys...please...pretty please...do not wear boxers that are longer than your gym shorts.

3. Girls...a sports bra does not need to be reinforced with a regular bra.

4. We're in Y2K7, do we still have to dress as if we're in the '80's?

5. You don't have to match everything you wear, including your ipod and sneakers.


Since I can dish, I will take it too... My fashion flaw at the gym? I occasionally bust out a t-shirt or two that have a few holes in them; although, a good majority of them have been replaced.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

My Milestone Goal

I'm sure all of you are wondering, "Did she do it? Did she lose the five pounds she needed to to meet her first milestone goal?" Well...not quite. While I am disappointed that I didn't get there, I have to look at the positives:

1. I lost 2.5lbs this week, 6.5lbs in two weeks.
2. Since I started training with Matt in May, I lost 40lbs.
3. My nutrition in improving.
4. My ipod is now working again!

The only huge negative right now is my shin splints are now back, and they're pretty bad. RunTex is transferring some shoes from another store for me to look at, so I'm going tomorrow to try them on.

As my new motto goes: It is what it is.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Saturday's Workout

I got too busy with laying out the blog for the big news tomorrow (or so I hope!) that I forgot to write about my workout on Saturday. Sorry!!! I try so hard to keep all the promises I make, even those I'm unwilling to make (e.g., giving up my margaritas)!

I have found that I get a better lifting workout when I don't do a bunch of cardio before it, so I did a 10 minute warm-up then hit the weights. It was a great weight training session, Matt would have been proud if he saw it. Something Matt has me do between sets is jog the track. I had my mind set that I was going to give three 0.2 mile jogs a shot, and guess what? I did it! I did them in 2:03, 1:56, and 2:04 time intervals. I then jogged a single at 0:53, got upset that it wasn't closer to the 0:49 mark, so I did another and got it to 0:47!!!! Eight laps, my all-time high for jogging! After the weight training session, I did at least an hour of cardio.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Getting Ready...

I'm getting my blog ready for the big news that I hope to give on Wednesday! Woo-hoo!!!!! I am so excited! I will be pretty disappointed if I don't hit my mark Wednesday morning, but I am pretty positive (98% sure) that I will. Look for further changes to the blog in upcoming weeks!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Protein

I was EXTREMELY sore Wednesday through Friday, my legs just could not move the way I wanted them to. I knew I was working out hard for a week (at least 1.5-2.0 hours of cardio per day, and an hour of lifting three times per week), and I was getting a decent amount of sleep each night, ~7 hours per night (allows your body to heal). I didn't think much about the soreness until Saturday rolled around and my legs were in near perfect condition again - which lead to my best workout TO DATE. How strange?

I began to think about the foods I ate last week. I did the Farm to Work program to introduce new vegetables into my diet, and I was hoping it would "shock" my body so that I'd lose even more weight. What ended up happening, was that I replaced a lot of my meat proteins with vegetables, so I was not getting animal protein. Here was my protein schedule for the week:
Tuesday: soy based sausage, egg whites, and cheese
Wednesday: soy based sausage, egg whites, and cheese
Thursday: soy based sausage, egg whites, cheese, 4oz of grilled chicken
Friday: soy based sausage, egg whites, cheese, 4oz of grilled chicken, 8oz of 99% fat free turkey burger

I did a bit of research yesterday and found out that there are two different types of protein: complete and incomplete. Animal protein (includes dairy and eggs) and soy are complete proteins because they contain a balanced combination of all the amino acids, whereas vegetable proteins are incomplete and you have to mix and match to make sure you are getting the correct combination of amino acids. Some argue soy protein is still incomplete because it is deficient in methionine (an essential amino acid).

Overall, I believe I was not getting enough protein. When I increased my protein on Friday, my body finally had the resources it needed to heal my aching muscles. I did have the greatest workout ever on Saturday, and I will share what I accomplished Monday night because I don't want Matt to accidentally read what I did, but rather hear what I did first.

Sources used: Max Muscle Sports & Fitness, HighBeam Encyclopedia

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Confessions from a Fat Girl

In my last confession, I blogged about traveling and my issues with airplanes. Today, I am going to talk about another form of transportation: cars.

One of the reasons why I started on this journey now just seems silly. For those who don't know me that well, I tend to rather worry quite a bit. I'm pretty predictable, my spontaneity is predictable, and I'm, for the most part, a law-abiding citizen. (Wow, I just made myself sound REALLY fun to y'all...lol.) Did I mention that I was stubborn too? I still can't believe how quickly Matt picked up on my stubbornness. I have rarely stepped out of my comfort zone, so this has been a hard path, but such a rewarding one at that.

After giving you a quick snippet of who I am, you will then understand why one of the reasons why I started to lose weight was because my car's seatbelt became snug around me during the winter when I wore my fleece coat. (I haven't always lived in Texas.) Being the law-abiding citizen that I am, I was worried that if I got too big, I'd be pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt. It has happened to other people, so it was a possibility. The situation at hand also reminded me of the time I went car shopping with my dad a few years earlier, and one of the car's seatbelt we test drove didn't fit me.

As I head to the gym at 5:15 in the morning, I now pull the seatbelt fully out to remind me why I'm doing this. This may be one of the reasons why I'm having such a hard time getting rid of my current car: almost all reminders of how big I was are gone. While it's not healthy to live in the past, I do need to remember where I once was to see all the current benefits.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Motto: It is what it is.

For a long time now I have to been asking the question "Why?". Why am I fat? Why me? I have been searching for an answer. While I know "why" I'm fat - eating too much and exercising little, I always wanted to blame some thing or someone besides just me (note the word "besides" because I am, in fact, to blame for all, if not most).

While at the gym today, I came up with a new motto: It is what it is. Who cares why or how I got fat. It is what it is. The time to change is now and to move my life forward in the most healthy way possible.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A mesh of things...

I'm not quite sure where this post is going to go, so we'll see when we get there.

About two weeks ago, some maintenance guys accidently tripped the fire alarm at work and we had an unplanned drill. Today, we actually had a fire in our office building - a shredder caught on fire on the first floor. It was nice because it was beautiful outside, but after the "drill" the other week, it has come apparent that it takes a really really long time to get down six flights of stairs with everybody bumper-to-bumper in the stair wells. Not very safe, if you ask me.

I had a great day when it came to going out to eat for lunch. I had a char-grilled chicken breast, steamed broccoli, corn, and a biscuit. Everything was cut in half to save tomorrow, with the exception of the biscuit. I think I scored big time this time while eating out! And it was a Southern Food restaurant: Threadgill's.

Last week, over Thanksgiving, I lost four pounds! Five more to go to my goal! I'm aiming for it this week!!!!!! If I did four last week, I sure can do five this week!

Three compliments in three days (one on Tuesday, two today), and I'm still not sure how to really take them. (I've blogged about this before.) It's harder for me to accept the compliments from strangers than from friends/acquaintances. I am starting to see and feel the changes, so my thank you's have been a bit more sincere. Can't wait to hit my first milestone goal!!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Guys...

I was recently talking to my best friend on the phone and announced to her (yet again) that I was giving up men. I'm not giving them up because I don't enjoy them...heeheehee...heck, in college I probably had more guy friends than girl friends; I think it's because of my laid-back, go-with-the-flow personality. After having a few dates the other week, it dawned on me that it's not fair for my dates' to never become #1 in my life. My focus at this moment is on me and it has to be if I'm ever going to beat this weight problem. I cannot be distracted, and quite frankly, guys distract me from focusing on me. Now if the "one" walks into my life, then he walks into my life, but I'm not going to seek it like I have been. Besides, I have seen marriages fail after one loses a ton of weight and changes. It's probably better that I change as a single.

I need to put myself first, but I need to balance my dedication to myself with the relationships I already have better than I have been. Hmmmmm...maybe I'm trying to please too many people again? I am a people-pleaser, but have been getting better at telling people "no." Things to ponder.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Competition

After my weigh-in and measurements last Wednesday (11/21), I had nine pounds left to lose to meet my first HUGE goal before I go to my parents' place for Christmas. After talking to my sister on the phone on Thanksgiving, we decided to compete to see who can lose the highest percentage of their weight this holiday season. Our official weigh-in for the competition was yesterday, and guess what? Since last Wednesday, I've lost three pounds! Of course I had a whoops today and had pizza, but I am doing a double gym day tomorrow. Also, I did my first double double at the gym: I ran two laps twice. Matt was really excited that I wanted to push through it. I think he would have been even more excited if I did one triple, but I already told him that'll have to happen after the holidays. We'll see!

I feel like if I reach my goal, my time at my parents' place and Tammy's pad will be easier because I will NEVER want to go over that number again (I will no longer hide how much I weigh at this point). Besides, I was always competitive with my sister, wanting to do better than her, so that's just added motivation! Let's not forget that Matt's supposed to take me out when I hit it as well! Looks like I'll be working my butt off tomorrow to pay for the pizza bit today...

(A mental note to me, I feel WAY too full right now, and I'm not liking it one bit.)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

To Love...

On September 26, 2007, I shared with you a passage (1 John 4: 16-19) that I had been studying to address my issue with fears. This past week, God hit me from the back of the head and said "You have it all wrong," and He reminded me of the few verses after what I had quoted last time. Here's 1 John 4: 16-21.

(16)And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. (17)In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement, because in this world we are like him. (18)There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

(19)We love because he first loved us. (20)If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. (21)And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

I have known for awhile that I did not know how to show my love for others, and sometimes I even questioned if I actually loved anybody. As defined by Merriam-Webster, to love is "to hold dear: cherish." If I take this one step further, to cherish is "to feel or show affection for, to nurture."

I have a hard time giving love. To give love means I may not receive it back, and honestly, this scares the crap out of me. I have recently gone through a very childish phase where I thought the world should revolve around me. People should get to know me because I'm a good person. People should want to be my friend; I should not have to seek their friendship. I expected life to be handed to me on a platter. It was all about me.

I have a hard time receiving love. Honestly, I sometimes feel like I am not a good enough person to get the time and attention I occasionally get. I really do not like accepting somebody else's generosity. When Matt offered to help me when he didn't have to, he looked directly into my eyes and said he wanted to. He wanted to see me reach my potential. I am truly humbled (to tears) by those who are completely generous mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I wish, hope, and pray to be the same some day.

Back to the passage. How can I live in God when I cannot live in love? Friends do things for one another without question. Friends do things for one another without ulterior motives. Friends do things (even things they don't want to sometimes) for one another because they love each other.

There is no fear in love. I am really at peace with this verse. How can I fear weight loss when I have such deep-rooted friendships that will not change even if I do? If anything, these friends will keep me in check. And if the friendships don't last, they were obviously not made in love, so it will weed out my true friends. All I can do is improve and become better and greater than what I once was.

For those faithful friends (family is included in the definition of friend) who have been by my side this whole time - thank you. I keep telling myself I need to be a better friend, and I will be from now on. By the grace of God, I know how to love and open my heart.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Pat Monahan Concert

Last Friday (11/16) I went to the Pat Monahan concert at La Zona which is located on 4th Street in downtown Austin. I found out that day he was going to be playing in town, and I called Laura immediately to see if she wanted to go. For those of you who don't remember him, he was the lead singer of Train, but has gone solo. Currently, his huge hit is "Her Eyes." Anyway, the concert was FANTASTIC! Only a couple hundred people showed up at the venue. He played for an hour and a half, and did "Always Midnight" without the microphone, which stole my breathe. He sounds better in person than on the radio, believe it or not. He did a few of his popular hits from the Train days as well.

After the concert, Laura and I went for a drink at Lavaca Street Bar, one of my favorite laid-back bars in downtown. It's a building that opens up to the street so that on nice nights, it almost feels like you're outside, but still inside at the bar. She requested that we sit down since she was on her feet all day, so we grabbed a table by the opening to outside. We were chatting about life, catching up since we didn't see each other in six weeks and were watching the Pistons game. This group of guys walk by on the street, and I couldn't help but notice them. (I'm single, what can I say.) I look at one of the directly, and he looked EXTREMELY familiar, and he looked back at me with the same expression. Finally it hits us, we know each other from the gym. Gene comes over and gives me a quick hug over the railing and goes on his way. Well, Gene is a trainer at my gym who is pretty good friends with my trainer. I thought about it and wondered if he was going to mention seeing me downtown to Matt or if he'd be cool about it like Scotty was in the grocery store...

I hit the gym on Saturday and was talking to Christina, a newer trainer, and I found out that because they had a great sales day, the company rented out a bar for them that evening downtown. I had an eerie feeling that Gene may accidentally tell Matt about the previous night...

On Monday, when I met with Matt, I was going to bust him for getting drunk on Saturday night and him not telling me about the party. WELL...he busted me first by saying "So I hear you were out on the town Friday night..." Let's just say I gave Gene a hard time about him not being able to keep his trap shut. It was more due to principle: I should be telling Matt when I go off my plan, not people I run into in the course of a night. AND, I was drinking what Matt kept telling me to drink if I do drink: Vodka and Diet Coke. Anyway, to find out, Matt and Gene did some "warm-up" drinking at Lavaca Street Bar before going to the company party, and it was probably the place association (and a few drinks) that made Gene spill the beans.

As I have said previously...trainers trainers everywhere...I can't get away from them.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Farm to Work

"Farm to Work is a Texas Department of State Health Services employee wellness program that provides employees with the opportunity to receive a fresh basket of local produce delivered to the worksite every week. Each basket contains 10-12 items of the freshest produce from a local farm." (Taken from this website.) The current price of this program is $25 per basket.

The program started about three weeks ago, and two weeks ago I participated in it for the first time, not knowing exactly what to expect. The main reason why I decided to try it was to see what types of new produce I would be forced to test that I usually would not incorporate into my diet. In essence, I wanted to "shock" my body with different nutrients it may not be getting all that much of (besides the multi-vitamin).

In my basket I got (those with an * are ones I don't routinely eat):
1 eggplant*
1 large container of okra*
5 zucchini
5 baby cucumbers
3 sweet potatoes*
4 red potatoes*
1 container of cherry tomatoes
3 turnips*
1 bunch of greens*
5 jalepeno peppers
2 green peppers
3 sweet onions

Luckily, when you order a basket and many people don't know what to do with some of the items, the program e-mails you a few recipes you could try. So what did I do with all this produce? I made "Crushed Red Potatoes with Winter Greens," "Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Turnips," "Shrimp Stir-Fry," and "Baked Breaded Eggplant and Zucchini with Spaghetti." I'm not a huge fan of the Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Turnips because of the horseradish sauce (never tried it before), so I'm probably going to mix it up with some jalepenos to get rid of that taste.

I have had a decent number of conversations lately about my "diet." Nothing is really off-limits to me, but I try to stick with fresh produce, whole-grain products, and lean protein. As I have read elsewhere, I am a typical "perimeter" shopper at the grocery store, barely going into any aisle unless I'm restocking specific products in my cabinets. Never heard of perimeter shopping? Think about your local grocery store and how it's set up. For me, meats and dairy are at the back of store. The big center aisle is produce, the far right is juices/soda (bunch of added calories...), and at the front - bread. The healthiest items can be found in these aisles: lean meat, light dairy, fresh produce, and whole grain bread. I only dip into the aisles when I need albacore tuna (no salt added), whole grain pasta/rice, spaghetti sauce, and canned veggies (no salt added). I believe that is aisle 3 and 4 in my grocery store.

My total daily calorie allowance is 1,700 +/- 100. I'm supposed to eat at least five times per day, and my trainer requests that I eat in equal calories (meaning I should be eating five 340 calorie "meals." WELL...typically I have three 400 calories and two smaller snacks. Shhhhh...don't tell Matt. Actually, I have found that some typical meals I make, I'm getting more "meals" out of. Hmmmmm...how to explain that one. For instance, the shrimp stir fry: I have the same ingredients for the most part and the same amount of food. I used to get only three meals out of it, but now I get five. Very soon it'll be six. This reduces the number of calories I'm consuming at that meal, meaning I need more meals throughout the day. Got that one? Good. ;)

Lot's to post...

I have a ton to post about, so I will be doing a lot of writing the next few days. My personal laptop is still dead and I don't see it "reviving" ever unless a computer genius comes along the way. Until I get a new laptop (or should I say afford one), I am using my work laptop. I'll let you know when that'll happen.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Life

Life happens, and sometimes it's really hard to adjust to when things get out of balance.

Bad things always happen in three's for me. When the second one happens, I'm always looking out for the third, which usually tops the first two. So what has happened?

1. I was really sick for about a week.
2. My personal computer became infected and completely crashed.
3. I found out that I am on the TSA Watch List at the airport. I went to do an online check-in on Wednesday, and it said I would have to do it at the airport. I didn't think anything of it because they do do this check randomly from time-to-time. I go to the kiosk to check-in, and it doesn't allow me to check-in again. How odd... I talk to the airline representative and she pulls up my reservation. She tells me that I'm on the TSA Watch List and from now on I'll have to check-in at the full service counter. I inquired if this would be all airlines or just their's and she didn't know. Now I don't know if you have realized this or not, but I travel about once a month, so this may get really old pretty quickly. The airline rep also mentioned that this may be due to the fact that I have a very common name...

I weighed myself on Wednesday like usual, and I was down 4.75 lbs. I found this odd, so I weighed myself again today, and the weigh-in may have been wrong. Anyway, we'll see this Wednesday where I'm at...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Trainers trainers everywhere...

A few interesting this occurred this past week.

On Friday, although I took the day off from work due to my cold, I was going stir crazy in my apartment and I could not deal with watching another Jerry Springer show. I jumped in my car and went to the gym. Ironically, I ran into a girl that I see all the time at the gym after work and we started talking. To find out, she's been sick too. I did an hour of light cardio, and headed to the functional training room to stretch. I get intercepted by Paul, another trainer. We start chatting about workouts and what-have-you, and he gives me the best compliment ever. "You really look great."

I stood in on Saturday, slept way too much. By this time, I had been on a soup diet for three days. On Sunday, though, I got up, went to church, and hit the grocery store because I felt I could possibly eat real food again. Since I've been sick, I tend to rely heavily on prepared foods and had some...how do you put it...garbage in shopping cart. Lo-and-behold, who do I run into at the grocery store? No...not my trainer, he lives up north...but another trainer, Scotty, who was one of the first ones to comment and compliment me on my dedication. I quickly put my hands over my cart, and exclaimed, "Don't look!" He chuckled and said, "Michelle, I don't care, don't worry about it." Of course I told Matt this story today and confessed my wrong-doings, and Matt said, "Scotty didn't rat you out, so you know he can be trusted." Matt wasn't too upset with some of the items in my cart...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I overreact again...

As usual, I overreacted again. I lost two pounds in the past two weeks. Go figure. :) And it's back to a 50lb weight loss! It was slightly amusing because I jumped on the scale, moved the weights and it kept telling me that I had a 10lb weight loss is 1.5 weeks. I kept saying, "This is impossible." Matt walks by and was confused with the look on my face. I told him that I didn't get it...a 10lb weight loss? So he jumped on the scaled and weighed himself. Everything was fine on the scale. I jump back on... DRUM ROLL PLEASE. I was weighing myself in kilograms not pounds. So the alleged 10lb weight loss was really only 2lbs. Really, didn't you know I was part blonde?

I'm coming down with an awful cold though. It's right there behind my nose, just sitting there waiting to explode. It's probably why I was so tired this past week, my body was trying to fight it off as much as it could.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I overeat when...

1. I am stressed out.
2. I am bored.
3. I am angry.
4. I am sad.
5. I am impatient.
6. I am nervous.
7. I am tired.

I am currently going through a funky mood that I cannot get out of. Tomorrow's weigh in is going to be hideous, I know and feel like I have gained weight. It's probably due to the amount of food I ate last week while in Atlanta. I was going to post exactly what I ate, having created a spreadsheet for Matt, but can't figure out how to keep its format. I called it "The great, good, bad, and just plain ugly." It's going to be my first gain since I started with Matt in May. I feel like I let us down. I'm tired of screwing up. When will this get any easier?

I'm just super tired these days. I work 8-10 hours per day, am at the gym from 1.5 - 3.5 hours per day, and in the car 1.5 hours per day. This leaves about 8 hours to eat breakfast and dinner, and sleep. Something has to give before I go insane.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Confessions from a Fat Girl

I have decided to start a series called "Confessions from a Fat Girl" in which I reveal things that I have done and do because of my weight.

Since I just got back from a business trip, I will start with a traveling confession. While it is essential for me to travel by plane for work and for pleasure, many times I have been embarrassed to because I'm so big. I know people secretly think when I get on the plane "Please don't be sitting next to me." I claim to prefer the aisle seat because I like to have access to my things. While this is true in some respect, it's mainly because I like to have the extra room and lean into the aisle a little bit. It has also been super embarrassing to ask for an extension seatbelt because the regular one does not fit around me.

Luckily, most seatbelts on planes now fit me again due to my weight loss, but I still fear getting on and having to ask a steward/ess for one. I also had to sit in a middle seat while going to Atlanta, and for the first time, it felt like I was not imposing on the guy next to me. My thighs used to be so big that it would hit the button that leans your seat back, but it would keep it pressed in, so it would be nearly impossible to keep my seat up during take off and landing.

While I have made a lot of progress, I still have a bit more to go. I still can't use the tray tables on planes because they don't always lay flat, especially if the person in front of my has their seat back. Some day...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Wellness Cell Phone



Photograph taken from Cell Phone Digest (October 4, 2007).

While reading the AP Health News this morning, I read the following headline, "New prototype phone gives fitness check." Japan's NTT DoCoMo, Inc. unveiled a new wellness cell phone at the 2007 CREATEC electronics show that has motion sensors to detect movement and can calculate how many calories you burn. Even more so, it can calculate your body fat and can give you advice based on your stress levels. This cell phone can even tell you if you have bad breath! The company is currently testing the phone's function on tracking meals and calculating calorie intake. There currently is no release date, but unfortunately for us in the United States, NTT DoCoMo, Inc. does not sell cell phones overseas.

Why is the U.S. so behind in cell phone technology? If I could get a cell phone to calculate everything my BodyBugg does, I'd be so much happier not to have to wear an armband all day long!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Are Horoscopes True?

I get a variety of horoscopes on My Yahoo! page. Usually, I find them quite amusing because they really don't hit what is happening in my life, but today's overview caught my attention because it did!

"Overview: You're daydreaming about the next big thing and you may need to do something about it soon. Whatever you want to make happen, you can at least prepare for the future turn your life will take."

Matt and I chatted about something, and it reminded me of some dreams I had back a few years ago, part of the reason why I started to lose weight. All of a sudden, all these dreams have resurfaced, and I feel SO alive. I actually began researching one of them last night, to start preparing for the leap when I'm ready. Some day I will expand further on these dreams, but feel it's too risky to chat about now (you never know who's going to be reading this). All I have to say is that it feels EXTREMELY right.

Great Trainer vs. Good Trainer

The difference between a great trainer and a good trainer is rather simple:

1. S/he can look into your eyes and say, "I don't have to do this, I want to do this." And you know s/he means it.
2. S/he has the desire to help you without conditions.
3. S/he knows your limits and pushes you just past them every single time.
4. And lastly, s/he does not use high pressure sales tactics for things you do not need to increase how much s/he earns on commission or for a promotion.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Are stingy parents the cause of fat kids?

As studies have indicated, the type of neighborhood a kid is raised in (Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1992 Mar;16(3):169-75), socioeconomic status (SES), and if two parents have jobs can influence whether or not a child is overweight (Prev Med. 1999 Mar;28(3):293-6). I did not fully review the articles above, but did read the abstracts, so take them with a grain of salt. But all three items above tend to be correlated, meaning, those who have lower SES tend to live in rougher neighborhoods and both parents have to work to pay the bills. It makes sense that there is a higher prevalence of overweight kids in these communities because parents don't have as much control over what their kids eat (lack of supervision) and kids cannot really exercise in unsafe neighborhoods. While this explains the epidemic in urban kids, it doesn't get at the heart of suburban/rural kids.

Today I was at the gym and saw a parent working out their overweight child, a child that looked to be eight years old or younger. A policy at the gym requires only 12+ year olds the ability to work out with parents, so I brought this to the manager's attention (since I've gotten to know him a little bit) because I was concerned for the child's safety (equipment being too big to work the correct muscles). But this got me thinking... Children should be exercising by being involved in a sport that they are interested in. If parents have enough cash to belong to a gym, I'm pretty certain they have enough to enroll their kids into a recreational sport. Basketball is relatively cheap in comparison to other sports. OR better yet, go outside and play catch with them, both would then get exercise.

I have always been taught that being a parent means sacrifice. It just seems to me that some parents are stingy putting themselves and their needs before their kids even when they don't financially have to.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I am worth it.

I won't lie, I watch the Biggest Loser. Sometimes the show encourages me to be better and do more, but other times it frustrates me to see them lose so much weight quickly. Granted, I could drop weight that fast too if I was to dedicate hours and hours a day to exercise alone, but alas, I have to work for a living. Anyway, sometimes there are some really moving moments that make me wonder or just really hit home for me. In this week's episode, a trainer kept yelling at one of the girls to say and mean the following while running on a treadmill: "I am worth it." Why wouldn't I be worthy of a great life? Are we not put on this earth to do great things and be the best that we can be? I think these four words are my new motto every time Matt makes me run a lap at the gym. All the pain, all the pent up anger, all the frustration, all the tears, all the successes, all the...joy... I AM WORTH IT.

While going through a spiritual gifts survey, I was asked to evaluate the following statement: I am willing to attempt impossible tasks for God. The more I think about this statement, the more it confuses me because all things are possible if you believe in God and yourself. I'm beginning to believe in myself. While I was driving to the gym today, I finally realized how negative I am about who I am as a person. I put myself down all the time, usually in the form of a joke or two or three or four. I have decided to try and stop doing this because I believe in the end, it will hurt my chances to lose and keep the weight off.

Oh yeah...I lost 3.75lbs this past week, but last week I was bloated when I weighed in...soooo....

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Games, Food, and Cramps

I've been playing games with myself at the gym. I'll try to do something faster or better than the last time. Today I did some track walking. Last week, I did a mile in 16:45, today? 16:35. Slowly it goes down.

This week I cooked my meals for the week, all fresh, all natural, and whole grain, which means lower calories. Also, work has been extremely busy, so it's been difficult to eat on schedule. But I'm managing the best that I can.

Cramps...I have been having many charlie horses. Two weeks ago, I had one in the thigh, quad, and both calves. Increased my water consumption to a gallon/gallon and a half per day. Last week, it was the left calf, and was the longest one I've had (~15 minutes). Tried adding a bit of salt to my diet yesterday and today. Today, the other calf. I eat enough potassium, so I'm not sure what else I can do.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fat Goggles

Just like people wear beer goggles when they drink, I have fat goggles when I look at myself. For those who don't know what I mean by "beer goggles," here's a quick summary of what it is: When people drink, they lower their standards in hopes to get a hook up with somebody of the opposite sex. The more they drink and the later it gets, the ugly girls/guys begin to look "pretty." To put it simple, drinking warps your vision and judgement.

When it comes to looking at myself in a mirror, if I'm fully clothed, I don't always see myself as fat. It was only through a picture over the holidays a few years ago that I realized how fat I was. I was sitting next to my dad, with my cousins and aunt to the left of me. I couldn't believe how big I was!!! This is why I'm so focused on taking pictures during my weight loss because I can see the differences, as slow as they are. To this day, when I look in a mirror, I don't always see myself as obese. I can only attribute this to Fat Goggles. (If I find that photo, I'll scan it in to post.)

I do feel vain, though. I look at myself in the mirror all time. Sometimes I don't recognize myself. Sometimes I'm disgusted with myself. But lately, I have been pretty hopeful, even though the weight is coming off unevenly.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I have to want it...

I'm not sure why I had this revelation today, but I realized that in order for me to really lose weight, I have to want to do it. Most of you probably think, "Why wouldn't she want to lose weight and be healthy?"

To be honest, it's just easier not to lose weight. I constantly have to think about what I'm eating, what I'm doing for exercise, etc. I fear changing. I fear failing. I fear that people's perceptions of me will change. I fear that I will not only be confident, but I'll be cocky as well. I fear a lot of things when it comes to weight loss.

For the past couple of months I have been studying 1 John 4 to address my issue with fears:
(16)And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. (17)In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement, because in this world we are like him. (18)There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (19)We love because he first loved us.

A few points I have taken from this passage. God provides us unconditional perfect love. All Christians must love (and accept love from) others as God loves us. It is only then, I will not fear.

Is losing weight punishment because I fear it? Actually, I think it is punishment for my previous sins. Every pound I lose is some sort of emotional baggage that I am getting rid of. In the end, I believe I will be a better person and a better Christian when I finish losing the weight that I need to.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Diet Blog

The most recent post on the Diet Blog is excellent (The Beck Diet Solution: How to Think Like a Thin Person), it gave me a lot to think about. The following points are areas that I will be working on:

1. How to motivate myself
2. Plan in advance and self-monitor behavior (I think I got this covered!)
3. Overcome sabotaging thoughts
4. Tolerate hunger and craving

The next few days I will be writing on #1, #3, and #4.

Monday, September 24, 2007

New Goals

1. Four double gym sessions per week (when not traveling).
2. At least 6.5 hours of sleep per night.
3. Eating at least three veggies per day.
4. Eating at least two fruits per day.
5. Lose 23 pounds by Christmas.

Ramblings

The double gym days are killing me, mainly for the fact that I feel like I'm living there. They might as well just give me a locker with a name plate. I'm just tired and cranky at the moment.

This weekend I was frustrated concerning the fact that no matter what I did, I cannot get my heart rate up into its target zone unless I do drastic things. By drastic, I mean jog or the stair monster, both in which I HATE doing. I know, I know...my mom has always told me that hate is a strong word, but I just don't like doing these things to that point. Hopefully my body will get used to them.

Today's exercise log:
Session 1: 26min - stair monster (longest time posted); 20min - stretching; 30min - swimming (breaststroke)
Session 2: 20min - elliptical; 10min - stretching; 50min - weight training with Matt (includes 3 jogged laps and ~7 laps walking, most with weights)


The past couple of days I've been pretty good about eating according to plan, but I have been SO hungry. Matt says it's because my metabolism has increased, but I don't like feeling hungry. I guess I might have to modify the type of calories I eat.

I also desire to have faith in myself that I can do this. I'm living off of Matt's belief that I can do this, and I do not want to disappoint him. When will I want to not disappoint myself?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Photographs from Las Vegas




















To the left, at the Bellagio, to the right, Planet Hollywood in Vegas! Can you believe they have escalators outside that go up to the casino, but not down? Well...I pretty much always took the stairs! Maybe part of the reason why I lost weight that week!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Working While Working Out

I went to Las Vegas from 9/15 through 9/19. Luckily I stayed on target (for the most part) diet-wise, although I probably should have done more cardiovascular exercise. Overall, I lost 1.5lbs for the week.

Meanwhile, at work, it's been super busy with people needing requests, contracts, data products, and presentations quickly (1-2 week timeframe). My team has been working really hard with the time off I have been taking, so I've felt a bit guilty when I was really strapped for time yesterday finishing up a graduate school class lecture that I was giving at the University of Texas today. I love doing this lecture because the students are really enthusiastic about school and get into the presentation I give them. Usually when I'm strapped for time, I work late forgetting about other priorities in life (e.g., exercise, eating well, etc), but I decided to do lecture prep while on an elliptical at the gym. This passed the time really quickly! While my intensity may not have been as fast as it should have been, I still got some in!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I am angry...

I am angry at myself today. I am angry of where I am at right now, trying to lose all this weight, eating all that crap for years and years. I am truly angry with myself. I really need to focus this anger and put it into my training instead of eating a bag of chips like I used to.

So...

From August 22nd - August 29th, on the new routine, I lose three pounds and 1.75 inches. From August 29th - September 5th, I lost one pound, and we didn't do measurements. When my trainer came to the scale yesterday, Matt was so excited that I actually lost weight on vacation, he nearly knocked me down when he hit my shoulder.

I was on vacation for part of last week (August 30th - September 3rd). The following was my workout schedule:

Thursday: Walked about 80 minutes in the Minneapolis Airport. The Minneapolis Airport is a fantastic airport to have a connecting flight! The airport's terminals create a big square, which took me about 22-23 minutes to walk a lap, which would mean it's just over a mile. They also have SmartLockers, like SmartCarts, you can rent them out for a fee so you can store your carry-on bags. Also, one whole area is dedicated to shopping, since Minneapolis is home of Mall of America! Lots to do, lots of fun (and just in the airport!).

Friday: Although I didn't get to the gym as I intended, I did walk 15 flights of stairs.

Saturday: I hit the gym with my aunt. I did 15 minutes on the elliptical, 20 minutes stretching, and about 45 minutes of upper body done. My other aunt and I walked about 1.5 miles at the park and I got eaten alive!

Sunday: While the extended family attended church, I hit the gym. I did 5 minutes on the rotating stairs, 20 minutes stretching, 20 minutes on the elliptical, and 45 minutes of lower body.

Monday: My aunt and I walked about 2.3 miles in the morning.

As for eating, I thought I did pretty well, with a few exceptions. I did eat chips, but I didn't over-indulge. And while at the baseball game, I did have fried dough (aka funnel cake). I still lost a pound though. Now hopefully when I go to Vegas next week, that'll be the same situation!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Executive Decision...

I made the executive decision this week to trust Matt. I'm sticking to the food and exercise plan, even though it has been pretty stringent. I'm not sure what I'll do if I don't lose either inches or weight by Wednesday because I've increased my cardio and the number of weight training sessions I'm doing as well to get over this plateau. I'm saying a little prayer over here...

Food and Exercise Log

Food Log

(B) Bacon with 12-Grain Bread: 335 calories
(S) Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans: 60 calories
(L) Oatmeal with Yogurt & Blueberries: 276 calories
(S) Luna Bar and Pear: 278 calories
(D) Subway 12-inch Turkey: 656 calories

TOTAL: 1,605

Total Water Consumption: ~120 ounces


Exercise Log

15 minutes - rotating stairs - levels 2-5
60 minutes - elliptical
15 minutes - stretching
55 minutes - weight training (lower)
walked 0.4 miles on track
jogged 0.1 mile on track
Maximum Heart Rate: 163
Calories Burned: 1,040+ (1,040 from rotating stairs and elliptical, not sure about everything else)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Food and Exercise Log

Food Log

(B) Bacon and Bread - 335 calories
(S) Grill Cheese - 360 calories
(L) Pizza and Pear - 818 calories
(D) Corn - 280 calories

TOTAL: 1,793

Total Water Consumption: 96 ounces


Exercise Log

50 minutes - treadclimber - mixed terrain
50 minutes - elliptical (cross training, levels 3-11, crossramp 10)
20 minutes - stretching
Maximum Heart Rate: 147
Calories Burned: 1,650

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Measurement Day...

Matt took my measurements today. I'm not happy. No weight loss and pretty much no change in measurements either. I only lost one total inch and that was in the hips. Due to this, Matt's taking my measurements again in a week. He hates doing it because he rather be upstairs working me out. I hate doing it because I seem to never be able to pass this weight marker. I can easily increase my weight, but it just hasn't been going down. Ahhhh! Frustration.

Food and Exercise Log

Food Log

(B) Banana - 110 calories
(S) Everything Bagel with SMART Balance Margarine - 360 calories
(L) Chicken Sandwich with Cheese and Miracle Whip Light on 12-Grain Bread: 420 calories
Pear: 100 calories
(D) Tuna (no salt added) on 12-Grain Bread: 312 calories
(S) Chocolate with Skim Milk: 296 calories
TOTAL: 1,598

Total Water Consumption: 100+ ounces


Exercise Log

10 minutes - rotating stairs - levels 2-4
10 minutes - elliptical
12 minutes - stationary bike
Maximum Heart Rate: 159
Calories Burned: no clue

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Revisiting A Past Revelation

Today on my way out of the gym, I started thinking about a revelation from a couple years ago which was that this really has to be a lifestyle change...meaning it has to be forever. FOREVER. There is something about that word that intimidates me. If this is really going to work this time around, I can't just change the things around me (e.g., buy only healthy food), it has to be something internal as well (e.g., the ability to say "no"). That's why this blog is so focused on my feelings and emotions. I want all the things I learn here to become natural habits. I want to have the ability to pass up that piece of Mocha Almond cake from Upper Crust Bakery without having to convince myself why it is better to do so, without feeling guilty, without having the desire to just eat it. I want to have that natural instinct, will I ever get there?

Food and Exercise Log

Although I log all the food I consume and physical activity I do through the bodybugg program, I have decided I need more accountability than just myself and Matt, especially since I have my measurements happening tomorrow.

Food Log

(B) Banana - 110 calories
(S) Everything Bagel with SMART Balance Margarine - 360 calories
(L) Chicken Sandwich with Cheese and Miracle Whip Light on 12-Grain Bread: 420 calories
(S) Luna Bar: 180 calories
(D) Tuna (no salt added) on 12-Grain Bread and Ritz (no salt added): 520 calories
(S) Green Beans: 70 calories
TOTAL: 1,660

Total Water Consumption: 104 ounces


Exercise Log

60 minutes - elliptical cross country program - levels 3-11
20 minutes - stretching
Maximum Heart Rate: 154
Calories Burned: ~900

Monday, August 20, 2007

Today's Workout...

...was great! Finally, Matt broke out the boxing gloves for me and I got to punch my anger out. I've been having a lot of stress at work for a variety of reasons and this helped release it big time! There's supposed to be a new boxing class that's going to be offered at 24 Hour Fitness on Thursdays. I will watch the class this week and maybe join them the week after if I think I might be able to hack it. Woo-hoo!

I have also set my first big goal. When I lose 100 pounds, I will buy myself a new iPod. I can't wait!

Airport Gyms

"Welcome to Airport Gyms, the most comprehensive and fastest growing community on the Internet for the FREE listing of airport gyms, airport exercise clubs, and airport fitness centers available in and around select popular US (and Canadian) airports today.

With the vast amount of airport based travel engaged in by active, exercise conscious travelers, and the long delays, long layovers, and early arrival times that arise when traveling (along with the current need to be at the airport hours early) - finding a gym in a airport, an airport gym, or a gym near a airport or airport exercise based club in or around your airport terminal may just be possible."


I think this website is absolutely fabulous for the frequent traveler. I do have to laugh at the "early arrival times" bit because that has not happened for me in quite some time. I wish there were more gyms in actual airports though because with long security lines these days, it's difficult to hop in a cab and go offsite to workout during an hour and a half layover. Hmmm...maybe I should go into business. Anybody want to join me?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Products...

Being a chronic disease/behavioral epidemiologist and a frequent reader of health magazines/journals/websites, I sometimes come across products that seem to be useful and beneficial to people who are trying to lose weight. If you are interested in obtaining further information on the products listed here, please follow the links that I have provided.

The Diet Plate


At work, I read plenty of abstracts, especially when I'm writing a publication or two myself. As somebody who has struggled with obesity my whole life, certain publications catch my attention and help keep me motivated in my weight loss efforts.

Like so many others, I have had a hard time losing weight because of portion control. When I started to measure food items out, I was shocked that I was eating two, three, or four times an actual serving size, and this adds up. No wonder why I'm fat.

To the left, you will find a picture of The Diet Plate, taken from their website. The Diet Plate was introduced into the U.S. market earlier this summer. Results from their clinical trial on the control of Type 2 Diabetes were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (June 2007). Patients who used the plate lost more weight than those who did not.


bodybugg


The bodybugg is an interactive website program tailored for you and your weight loss goals. The armband (seen left) calculates the number of calories you burn throughout the day through four sensors:
1) Accelerometer
2) Heat Flux
3) Galvanic Skin Response
4) Skin Temperature

The website program allows you to 1) record your food calorie intake and 2) download your daily physical activity by hooking up the armband to your computer. At the end of the day, you will know whether or not you were in a calorie deficit or surplus for the day.

I am a part of this program and I'm still trying to figure out its accuracy. I was a skeptic at first, but it definitely has increased my physical activity level.

The bodybugg website is slightly hard to navigate at times, so I'm posting the link that lists where their publications are: Frequentely Asked Question 9: Where can I find published research/white papers about bodybugg?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Encouraged...

I got a couple of compliments on the shirt I wore today. I couldn't find the one I wanted to, so I grabbed the first thing that would match the rest of the outfit. It ended up being a shirt I have not worn in forever. After the second compliment, I decided to check the size of the shirt for the hell of it. Well lookie, lookie...it was one of my smaller sizes. Let's just say I had a great workout today because of it.

As much as I need to be encouraged, I try to encourage a few people at the gym I see also. Well...I think one of them now thinks I've been flirting with him; the last thing I'd be doing is flirting with anybody at the gym. I'm usually sweaty, smelly, and exhausted after my workout. Besides, the sooner I get my workout done, the sooner I can do the multitude of other things I need to get done, and the more sleep I can get. Ahhhhh...sleep.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sweat...

I have been sweating A LOT these days at the gym, even in places I never knew I could. Again, ironically, I stumbled across an article in the NY Times about sweating today...

...For sedentary pursuits in temperate weather, people have no need to sweat: excess metabolic heat easily moves from blood vessels at the surface of the skin into the surrounding air. Because the skin is not completely waterproof, some evaporation of water from skin cells adds a little extra cooling.

But when the body’s owner decides to exercise, the muscles generate too much heat for the air to absorb. The same thing happens when the temperature climbs into the 90s: the skin stops losing heat to the air and absorbs it instead. Then temperature-sensing nerves in the skin and the body’s interior tell the brain to unleash a flow of sweat for heavy-duty evaporation and cooling.

Humidity reduces evaporation and makes everyone sweatier. A breeze enhances evaporation and makes skin cooler (unless the air is so hot the body absorbs its heat instead). Dehydration markedly reduces sweat production. So does sunburn.

But individual sweat patterns still vary enormously. Age, sex, genes, weight and shape play a role, said Craig Crandall, a thermoregulation expert at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Presbyterian Hospital, both in Dallas. So does nonexercise activity, and so, according to a pivotal set of sweat studies done during World War II, does clothing, although not in the way one might predict.

Some people have fewer than two million sweat glands; some have as many as four million. Heavy sweaters may have glands five times average size; their big glands are more sensitive to nerve stimuli and make more sweat.

Everyone’s inner temperature cycles around a slightly different genetically determined version of 98.6 set by the hypothalamus, the brain region that serves as thermostat. We run a little cooler in the morning, a little warmer in the late afternoon. Women run about half a degree higher after ovulation...

As for obesity, it is complicated, Dr. Crandall said. Fat may insulate the interior from very hot external temperatures, but it also may compromise heat transfer from interior to skin. Carrying more weight generates more metabolic heat to get rid of. That means more sweat, but research suggests that large people cannot grow more sweat glands to cope with the extra heat load. Radiation of heat from skin to air may become especially important in their heat control. (by: Abigail Zuger, NY Times)

Applying Oneself

I heard the following saying awhile ago, not sure where I was, who it was to, or it could have been in a movie for all I know: "You're really smart, I just wish you would apply yourself more."

Sounds like something from an after-school TV show, but is extremely applicable to my life right now.

I am smart. In my field, I know all the health consequences that are associated with obesity and how obesity increases your chances to having many future chronic conditions (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attacks, etc). So why do I have such a hard time when it comes to weight loss? To put it simply, I don't apply myself as much as I should probably. I pretend some of the items I eat do not have to be logged. I pretend that it's okay to take a few days off from the gym. Then, when I don't see the results I want to, I blame anything and everything other than me. I lie to myself about the condition that I am in.

I am fat. I am not perfect. And I'm okay with that. What I am not okay with is dying young and not sharing the gifts I have with the world.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Almost

I almost gave up tonight; I was extremely close in doing so.

I met with my trainer and couldn't do half of the things he wanted me to do. I couldn't jog because of my shin splints. I couldn't balance. I couldn't do rows because my back hurt. I couldn't push myself and I felt like I failed him. The worst feeling I have had in a long time.

I couldn't even do more than 30 minutes of cardio after I worked out with him because I thought I was going to burst into tears (I did do 12 minutes before I met with him as well). I did end up crying in the girl's locker room. On top of that, I had a few people who wanted to introduce themselves to me and talk; I wasn't in the talking mood to say the least, and hopefully they didn't think I was purposely being rude. I wanted to go home, call Matt and tell him that I was done, that I can no longer do this, that I just have to accept the fact that I was meant to be fat the rest of my life.

Then I really thought about it. "...I can no longer do this..." What really was "this"? The hard work? The exercising? The eating right? Yes, everybody has their setbacks, it's how you deal with them that makes you either a winner or loser.

At the end of the day, I decided to transform this statement into, "I can no longer do the yo-yoing." It has been the yo-yoing that has driven me to be mad. There are things that I'm going to have to give up probably forever, but in the end these insignificant material things will be replaced with...well I'm not quite sure yet. I guess that's part of the adventure.

Sometimes you have to break down in order to pick up the pieces and build yourself up stronger. Hopefully Matt will have the patience to deal with a few more of my break downs (both physical and mental) because I'm sure this will not be the last one.

Just want to be normal...

I want to be a normal 27 year old female.
I want to love myself completely.
I want men to find me approachable.
I want to fall in love.
I want to someday start a family.
I want to no longer yearn for a better life.
I want to be content with my life.
I want to be the best that I can be.
I want my dreams to come true.
I want to find my perfect place in this world.
I want to run a lap at the gym without becoming winded.
I want to climb many flights of stairs without having my knees hurt.
I want to go rock climbing, bungee jumping, sky diving, snorkeling, scuba diving...

But then reality hits...

I want to do it ALL now, not in two, three, five, ten, fifteen years; I am impatient.
I want to start living right this second, but feel held back with the excess weight I have on my body.
I want to give up the fight, but know I cannot.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Just some business items...

Here I am on July 28, 2007 in Virginia Beach, VA visiting my sister. Yeah, I know...I'm slightly burnt. I need to get better at the reapplying sunscreen bit, especially after being the water. As my sister puts it, I've lost it all in my boobs. Maybe this is true...maybe it's not.

My trainer hurt himself a couple weeks ago, so I've been trying really hard to be an easy client. After seeing how much discomfort he was in as he was going to walk with me at the gym, I told him not to worry about it and I'd just jog a lap. Of course he took me up on the offer. I jogged 5 laps (maybe 4...) last Monday, ended up getting shin splints in the left shin, and my right knee was slightly hurting. On Wednesday, he mentioned again that I may need to upgrade the shoes I was wearing, so I bought a pair yesterday. I'm going to try them out today at the gym.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Compliments

I have never been able to take compliments very well. After hearing one, it always seems like my "Thank you" is forced and fake. I believe my thank you's sound fake because I don't believe what the person is telling me to be true. I have always had the perception that if I'm not perfect, then nothing about me is perfect. And if I'm not perfect, I don't deserve compliments. Make sense? I'm sure it doesn't...I'm messed up in the head and sometimes I just need to write things out to have them make sense again.

The reason why I bring this subject up is because I have received numerous compliments from complete strangers these days. Today I was on the elliptical listening to my iPod and watching little league baseball, and a lady comes over to talk to me. I assumed she wanted to change the channel on the TV, so I took off one of my ear phones, and we had the following brief interaction:

"Have you been coming here for awhile?" She inquired.
"Yes, for quite some time." I answer in between my heavy breathing. (I have gotten this question from people who had just joined the gym and they need help for one thing or another or they're curious about if I like it.)
"I just wanted to let you know that it looks like you've lost weight."
"Thank you so much. It hasn't been that much, but I have been losing more inches than weight."
"Well I just wanted to let you know. Keep up the good work."

Three weeks ago the front desk clerk at the gym inquired about the same thing and I had to answer "Well, we'll find out on Wednesday when Matt and I do measurements!"

Two people at work have talked to me about it as well...

It's great that people are noticing, BUT I STILL HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO. I think that's why I like chatting with the trainers more because they understand this and most of the ones I know are extremely encouraging. Also, most of the employees at the gym know me either by name or face and if they don't see me for awhile, they keep me accountable. I ran into Rob this week (another front desk guy), he just finished working out and was going to go back to work, we hugged and he then backed up and said "Where have you been? I haven't seen you in awhile."

As for the compliments...I guess Matt is doing something right with me...I just wish the scale would move already.

Childhood Story #1 & #2

Growing up fat is hard, and I would never wish it on any child or anybody's child. A few weeks ago I read an article on stigma that is associated with being a fat kid.
Overweight children are stigmatized by their peers as early as age 3 and even face bias from their parents and teachers, giving them a quality of life comparable to people with cancer, a new analysis concludes. (Article)
I cannot help but agree with the fact that stigmatization does occur quite frequently. For me, it was from my peers and "teachers" so to speak.

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Childhood Story #1:

I just entered 3rd grade at the age of 8 and was in a new school without knowing really anybody in the school. Within the first month, a male child (whom I will not mention by name but I do remember who) came up to me in the hall and asked me, "How much do you weigh?" I replied, "I'm not telling you." He said something along the lines, "I will start calling you names if you don't tell me. You have by the end of the week to tell me."

I chose not to tell him because I felt no matter what I did, he would still call me all the names in the book anyway.


Childhood Story #2:

Before entering 3rd grade, my sister and I went to private school. I don't know if she ever noticed the difference, but I did notice the way I was treated between private school and public school. In private school, if any sort of bullying or name-calling ever happened, it was always handled. Granted I was a tattle-tale half the time and told the teachers what was happening on the playground, but things always worked out in the end.

When I started public school in 3rd grade, I was being teased a decent amount one day within the first few months of school, so I approached one of the recess monitors and she told me, "Life's not fair, get over it and go play."

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I know I have always been a sensitive child and adult. My sensitivity is slowly going away and my skin's getting thicker, but I have always stood by the Golden Rule: Treat others as you want to be treated. I just wish people would think more before they spoke sometimes because people will occasionally have good intentions, but when it comes out in words, it doesn't come off correctly...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I know I'm fat...

...why do people feel the need to keep reminding me? It is one thing if it's from friends, family, and health care professionals, but strangers are overstepping their boundaries when they do it. Just my opinion.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Emotions

The past few days have been extremely rough for me physically, mentally, and emotionally.

First...I ate all the foods I really craved on Wednesday-Friday, which includes pizza, ice cream, cheese, chips, etc. My body did not like me at all for that. I had major acid reflux and heart burn Wednesday and Thursday night. I got up four or five times each night.

I skipped the gym on Thursday, and decided to go after happy hour on Friday (I didn't drink much). Something I ate didn't agree with me, so I only lasted 20 minutes on a bike and had to call it quits. I was having cold sweats, something I usually only get when I have a foodborne illness. I honestly thought I was going to puke. So spending that night at home, I got to thinking... All my comfort foods are now disagreeing with me physically. This made me sad. Things I used to find comfort in I can longer have.

Which brings me to my next point. I shouldn't be having to find "comfort" in food; I should be able to find comfort in and from my friends and family. So Saturday, I literally spent most of the day on the couch because I was sad. I was sad my stomach couldn't disgest the foods I like and I was feeling extremely alone in every aspect of my life. I made it a point on Saturday night to hang out with my one true friend in Austin, not that I don't like hanging out with all my other peeps, but I don't feel emotionally attached to them, and I'm not extremely comfortable calling them up to talk about these feelings.

The other big emotion I was feeling was not knowing who I really am anymore. Somewhere I lost myself, and it's usually at this point I'd be going camping with good friends to figure out where I went wrong. Well...since I'm feeling alone, I have not been able to see the good friends around me and it's super duper hot out. So I spent today by myself and dedicated the day to me. I cooked a great breakfast, went to a movie by myself, and hit the gym for 2.5-3 hours. I really needed to clear my head and get the garbage out. So am I back to normal? Not quite, but I hope to be soon.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Frustration...

I'm frustrated. I had my measurements taken today at the gym and although I lost inches and some weight, I am still frustrated that I'm not losing weight at the pace I feel I should be. Just so you know, six pounds in about six weeks. And actually, if you look at the past year that I've been in this program, I have actually gained weight... So I guess here's the scoop of what I've done in the past year...

Weight: +5 lbs
Neck: -2 in
Upper Arm: -4.75 in
Forearm: -1.5 in
Chest: -2 in (This is an estimate because Laura measured me in a different spot than Scott and Matt.)
Waist: -7 in (The spot was slightly different between trainers, but probably pretty accurate.)
Hip: -7 in
Thigh: -6 in
Calf: -4.5 in

Based on their computer program, I've lost about 1/3 of my % Body Fat.

I understand the more muscle you have the more calories you can burn...but it's still frustrating, especially when I've read that you should be losing up to 10% of your body weight per week and I've had a doctor tell me he'd be extremely happy if I lost five pounds a week. ::sigh::

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The We Factor...

I read an article a couple months ago from a lady who lost a lot of weight. She said the best thing she ever did was get a trainer because when she didn't believe in herself her trainer did. I definitely have to agree with her on this one. There have been many times in which I have wanted to give up and probably would have if I didn't have those Monday appointments with my trainer. I have been to the gym for nine days straight - the most in a long, long time. I'll be there tomorrow as well, since I'm meeting with Matt again.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Matt has said what "we" will do...as a team. "We will walk...we will jog...we will run." Today, at the very end of my strenuous lower body workout, we jogged. Or should I say, I jogged, he walked fast. :) I have decided if he's going to give his everything to this team, then I must do so as well. I feel Matt has really understood me from day one when I told him I did not know how to push myself. I have never failed at anything because I have never challenged myself. Even with school, the one thing I was always good at, I took classes I knew I could do well in. Those classes that became too hard, I'd withdraw from before the grade would count. I need to not be afraid to challenge myself. Yes, it may hurt at first, but it will get easier.

My old trainer was highlighted on our gym's website recently. There is a section that they fill out called "favorite client success story." As cheesey as this may sound...I want to be Matt's. This has been one of my secret goals. Some day I hope to have these goals be for and about me, but right this moment I'm scared to take the blame if I fail.

Fear. I fear change. I know how the world views me now, and I have grown to accept those views. After all, that has been my reality since I was eight (will tell this story soon). I don't necessarily fear my body changing, but rather the world's perceptions of me. How will people view the new me? Will they still love and accept me? Will my soul, heart, and desires change with my body? All these questions, yet not many answers. The answers will only come with time and as I actually change.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Update: My 4 Mile Marathon

So I hit the gym today and did the four miles in 58:52! :) And that was not sprinting to the finish line either!

I also looked in two sports stores for weightlifting gloves that would actually fit my hands, and none of them really did the trick. Ick...the search will continue.

Socializing...

I love to socialize, especially when it means going out. I love meeting new people, it's interesting to learn about who they are, where they've been, and so forth. There are many strangers that I have met who have impacted my life in some small way, usually for the good, sometimes the not-so-good.

When I was in graduate school, I worked for Hewitts Garden Center for maybe about six months to earn some extra cash. I was cashing out this cute elderly lady, when our hands brushed one another while exchanging money. At that exact moment, without even thinking, she said something along the lines, "You need some hand moisturizer, you have hard man hands. A girl as young as you should not have hands like that."

Now that I have been lifting heavier weights, I feel like my man hands have come back. Luckily for me, after I hit the gym today, I can go buy gloves. :) I set the goal last week that if I went to the gym every day this past week, that would be my reward. Today marks the one week mark!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. If you look at this past month, pretty much every social event that I have gone to has involved food or alcoholic beverages in some way or form. I'm still trying to figure out the do's and don't's to eating out, and I have to figure this one out pretty soon due to some upcoming trips and events. The easiest thing would be to go hide under a rock, but let's face it, I find social situations even when I'm not looking. I have to find a reasonable solution...

So my next goal is to maintain a 1,500 calorie diet (this week was more around 2,000) and workout every day this week (with at least two days of double gym time). I have not decided what my award would be yet...hmmmm...