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...