Thursday, November 15, 2012


1.  I am 30 seconds away from climbing through the phone and strangling my "relocation consultant."  Yesterday I asked her several questions regarding my relocation package, including if there's a minimum price at which I can sell my house.  She took more than 24 hours to get back to me and basically said, "You need to ask your contact at New Company."  Lady, really?  My contact at New Company is in Talent Acquisition.  You are a "relocation consultant."  Consult, dammit!

2.  I'm also about 30 seconds away from firing my realtor.  Ugh!

3.  We are moving in less than a week.  I want so badly to be excited - new city, new adventure, new place to live...  But all this bullshit about selling the house is making it difficult to be enthused.  Why do people always rain on my parade?  (I'm very whiny today.)

4.  I weighed in at 201 this morning.  Come on, 199!  You're so close!

5.  I finally took my boss' advice and bought a pair of work pants from Kohl's a couple of weekends ago.  When I bought them, they fit.  When I put them on to wear them to work for the first time today, they're too loose.  This is why pants are hard. 

6.  I wore a size 12 dress from Banana Republic Outlet to work yesterday.  Eeeeeeeee!

7.  You know, the number one reason that I got a Lap-Band was for my health.  I was so miserable, what with the GERD and the rest of it.  And all of those issues have gone away - my blood pressure was 117/71 at my last fill, my heart rate was 72 (which is "above average" for my age), I never get heartburn anymore, my knees don't crack when I walk, I don't need to nap all of the time (though I would still *like* to nap), I've stopped smoking, I quit caffeine, I don't drink carbonated beverages, I haven't eaten at Taco Bell since April...  And I love that all of those things have happened for me.  I'm so grateful to my band for making those changes possible (though I did work my ass off to make them happen).  But I have to say - being able to walk into any store, even an outlet, and buy things off the sale rack and have them fit - I'd honestly underestimated how good that would feel.  'Cause it feels damn good.

8.  The flip side of that is that me and my addictive personality could run the risk of becoming a compulsive shopper.  Luckily, I've banned myself from buying clothes online, because I'm still not a really consistent size - I'm a 12 in skirts and a large in tops at Banana and J. Crew, but an 8 in jeans from Target (WHAT?) and I bought a winter coat in an XL from Old Navy. 

9.  This is going to sound ridiculous (and some of you may want to punch me), but I feel like when I was bigger, clothes were easier - I just put on the size 24 from LB and the XXL from Old Navy and went on my way.  In a sense, it was a little bit easier to have such limited options - 95% of the time, I didn't even try things on before buying.  But now I may have to try on an item in 3 different sizes before I find the right one.  Also, when I was bigger, if an item of clothing fit me, I bought it, regardless of how it actually looked on me - it was so hard to find clothes in my size that I couldn't afford to be picky.  Getting over that mentality is hard - I'm learning to ask myself, "Do I really love this?" before I buy it - I've never done that before.  That said, while clothes were easier when I was bigger, they're way more fun now. 

10.  My parents bought an elliptical for their house.  This makes me very happy, as now when I'm home for Christmas I won't have to run outside in the cold.  Yay!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Liebster Award!

Thank you, Cheri at Staying In the Pink for the award.

The Rules:
1. Think of 11 facts you'd like to share about yourself.
2. Answer the questions Cheri asked.
3. Think of 11 questions you'd like to ask.
4. Nominate 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers.

The Facts:  (I like Cheri's approach of doing something chronological, so I'm going to imitate her (imitation, after all, is the sincerest form of flattery).)
1.  I am adopted.  I don't know my birth parents and really have no interest in finding them - I've always considered my adoptive parents to be my "real" parents.  They're awesome people and I don't have a need for a second set of parents in my life.  That said, sometimes I wonder what it would be like to find someone else in the world who resembles me.

2.  I am an only child.  I didn't always love being an only child, but now that I'm an adult, I fully appreciate it.  

3.  My dad, while not an alcoholic, likes his wine (and brandy).  He used to take me trick-or-treating around the neighborhood with a big plastic cup filled with wine.  So very classy.  I love that man.

4.  My childhood dog was a Yorkshire Terrier.  Even though he died almost 13 years ago, I still look for him in his little place in the window whenever I go to their old house.

5.  I had the highest SAT score in my graduating class.  No, my SAT score was not that high - my high school was just that full of underachievers.

6.  I was a double major in undergrad, and in my current profession I don't use either of those degrees.

7.  I went to all 50 states before I turned 30.  

8.  Though I've traveled all over the States and Canada, I haven't been out of the country much.  I've been to the Bahamas, Germany, France, Turkey, Greece and Egypt.  And though it doesn't count as being out of the country, I've been to Puerto Rico - twice.

9.  I've seen U2 in concert in four states.  One of them was Hawaii.

10.  I've seen Tori Amos in concert at least 10 times.  I've lost count.
11.  I just gave my resignation and I'm so nervous that I could eat my own hair.

Cheri's Questions:

1.   You are throwing a dinner party  - what three famous people would you invite?

Bono, because I love him even though he's a total ponce.  Viggo Mortensen, because he's gorgeous and would have a very interesting conversation with Bono, I suspect.  And Rob Thomas, because he's totally my secret shameful rockstar crush.
2.  Who was your first crush?

Boy George.  I know.
3. What would your dream job be?

I hope that I'm starting my dream job next month!  But if I could do anything in the world without worries about money, I'd love to be a travel writer.
4. Favorite television show?

The wife and I are obsessed with Homeland right now.
5. You are being served your last meal on earth...what do you want?
Spinach dip from Publix with a whole bag of Tostitos scoops and a dozen chocolate iced creme filled Krispy Kreme donuts.  Oink.
6. Place you haven't been yet and want to see?

New Zealand.  One day I want to take a Lord of the Rings tour there.
7. Something that annoys the snot out of you?

Extraneous noise.  Oh my god, I hate it when people tap fingers or jog legs or do anything else that creates unnecessary noise.  I'm very sensitive to noises.  I'm also, ironically, married to the noisiest person on the planet.
8. Something that will always make you smile?

My wife's thigh dance.  Don't ask.
9. Oprah, Dr Phil, Kelly Rippa, and Barbara Walters are on a boat. It's going to sink unless you throw two of them off into shark infested waters. Who are you dumping?

I'm dumping Dr. Phil because I hate his voice and Barbara Walters, because she only has a little time left anyway.  Yeah, I'm insensitive like that.
10. You can wave a magic wand and solve ONLY ONE world problem (ie: water for everyone). Which would you solve?

Religion.  I would solve religion.
11. What are three things you most like about who you are?
I'm generous.  I'm devoted.  And I will try harder than anyone else.
I'm not going to nominate anyone, because I don't want to pick people - I want everyone to do it, because I like learning things about all of you!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wardrobe Victories!

I weighed in at 202.5 pounds this morning.  I am so close to Onederland that I can taste it.  I will be there in the next couple of weeks!

I've discovered a new love of Spinning.  My gym has these Spinning bikes that run programs - I've been doing intervals on them recently - I ride about 20 miles in an hour, and I sweat like a hog.  It's amazing.  I love it!

I had two major shopping victories yesterday.  First, the wife and I were wandering around some shops and decided to go in Banana Republic.  I know I said something the other day about being able to shop at BR now, but I don't know if I really believed it.  But we went in and I started picking through the sales rack, and I found this:  Faux-Leather Trim Dress  It was 50% off, so I figured, "What the hell?"  I tried it on in a 14 and it totally fit.  So now I own my very first piece of clothing from Banana Republic!  My style is slowly getting a makeover. 

I also tried on a dress, a skirt and a couple of blouses from Anne Klein but, while they fit, I didn't like them, so I passed.  But they fit!  I can try on clothes at Anne Klein!

And then we went to Target, because the wife and I have decided that I need to step up my work wardrobe when I start my new job.  I wear a lot of dresses now, but a lot of them are too big and kind of old, and just overall I'm starting to look a little schlubby.  I want to get off to a good start at the new job and make good first impressions, so I'm trying to build an affordable workwear wardrobe.  So I bought a couple of cardigans, along with this dress.  So pretty.

And then...  the second victory.  I tried on, fit perfectly into and purchased size 10 jeans.  Eeeeeeeeeeee!

Now I just have to avoid buying a purse at the Coach factory clearance that's going on right now.  Oh, shopping. 

I found out today that I passed the background check for my new job, yay!  I'm giving my notice at my current job on Wednesday.  One of two things will happen at that point - 1) the shit will hit the fan or 2) everyone will completely ignore it.  I'm 95% certain that option 2 is going to happen. 

The wife and I are narrowing down our apartment search.  Cost of living is certainly higher in the new destination city than it is in Fort Worth, TX - rent prices are higher than I'm used to.  But we're gonna get it done.  We may end up renting an apartment sight unseen - which makes me nervous.  I wish we had friends in western PA (yes, we're moving to PA!) who could help us out with scoping out the neighborhood.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ten Things Thursday

1.  My house went on the market today.  I've got my fingers crossed for a quick sale.  Anyone in Texas or looking to relocate to Texas wanna buy a house?  It's priced to move.  With a pool!

2.  Trying to figure out this move is something of a logistical nightmare.  I'm a person who likes to have a plan, and this whole thing is very, "It depends."  Ugh!  I start my new job in a month in a city 1,200 miles from here, and I don't even know where I'll be living yet.  Does anyone have a couch in an as-yet unnamed mid-Atlantic state on which me, my wife, my dog and three cats can sleep?  It would have to be a large couch...

3.  I'm giving my notice at my current job next Wednesday, assuming that I've passed the background check for my new job.  There is so much stupid schoolyard crap going on behind the scenes at my current job that it just makes me ill - everyone is talking about me behind my back (not bad, just "How do we keep her from leaving?") and no one is talking to me.  I can't wait to run out the door laughing with glee.  I cleaned out my desk yesterday.  

4.  I'm in Chicago for work today and tomorrow.  I had a 7:30 flight this morning.  At least I got upgraded to first class - first class makes getting up at 4:30 not quite so bad.

5.  I cannot believe it's November.  What the hell happened to 2012?

6.  I haven't really been getting as much sleep as I would like for the last week or so.  I'm the kind of person who needs quite a bit of sleep, and between Real Dog and repairing the bathroom and organizing the house and going to the gym, I haven't had enough sleep.  But my kitchen cabinets have never been so organized.

7.  I have a million things to sell before we move.  Anyone want to buy any of the following?:  A Kenmore stainless steel French door refrigerator, a large chest freezer, a 1980s-era refrigerator (currently in use as a second fridge in the garage), a Dolphin pool cleaner, a red Whirlpool front loading washing machine, a white Amana dryer (yeah, my washer/dryer don't match - don't judge me), a 200something grey Toyota Corolla with fewer than 40000 miles?  Christ, why do I have so much stuff?

8.   I painted my nails with Revlon Scented Nail Enamel last night.  It smells like Ocean Breeze, even with a topcoat.  Very trippy.

9.  My back hurts.  My back has hurt since the last time I was on the elliptical, which was Tuesday night.  I'm about 5 seconds away from asking someone to walk on my spine.

10.  I have let my exercise get away from me a little bit in the last week, what with the prepping for putting the house on the market.  I skipped the gym entirely on Monday and I won't get a chance to go today (on account of the 7:30 am flight and the fact that I will be working until 9:30 tonight).  I want to be in the low 190s/high 180s by the end of the year, so I need to prioritize - I must fit exercise in whenever I can!

Monday, October 29, 2012

I am on the verge of collapse!

I had the busiest weekend I've had in recent memory. 

On Friday, I:
-  Agreed to dogsit for a co-worker.  See, I thought I liked dogs.  I have a dog.  In fairness, my dog is really more like a neurotic toddler in a dog costume.  He's not really a typical dog (lookit that face!):

My co-worker's dog is a Real Dog:
-  Discovered that, while I thought I liked dogs, I don't.  I like my dog.  Other dogs, Real Dogs, are kind of a pain in the ass.
-  Wrangled the Real Dog while the appraiser assessed my house.
-  Took my Neurotic Toddler Dog and the Real Dog for a 3-mile walk.  It felt more like a 3-hour tour.

On Saturday, I:

-  Woke up at 7:30 and went to Cycle.  I like Cycle way better than RPM - the instructor was playing Halloween music, so we cranked it out to "Time Warp" and "Thriller" and I got sweaty in a way that I don't get at RPM.  Then I followed that with Body Pump with a new instructor, who was pretty hardcore.  I liked it.  It was a good way to kick off the weekend. 
-  Went home, showered, dressed and went to early vote.  Now I don't have to stress about voting on election day, *whew*. 
-  Went home and met with Realtor #1.  I liked her.  I had originally requested the realtor who sold me my house a year ago, but she's in Italy (hmph!), so her office sent over this woman instead.  We walked around the house, she commented on some things, we went over comps, she stayed for about an hour.
-  Laid down on the couch for 20 minutes.  Tried to avoid getting licked by the Real Dog.
-  Met with Realtor #2.  I liked her as well, just a little bit less than #1. 
-  After Realtor #2 left, the wife and I went to renew our Texas car inspections.  My car freaking failed.  Apparently, my tires were bald.  Wah! 
-  Got new tires.  I do so enjoy these unplanned expenses, don't you?
-  Went back to renew my Texas car inspection.  Passed this time.  Screw you, Texas.
-  Had Chipotle for dinner.  I get a carnitas bowl, no rice, with black beans, fajita veggies, pico and lettuce and maybe, if I'm feeling mischievous, a bit of green salsa.  370 calories, 37 grams of protein, incredibly filling.  
-  Went to Target to look for a Halloween costume for the wife, who needs to wear a "zoo" themed costume to work today and Wednesday.  Didn't find anything, but bought a lot of yogurt.
-  Went home.  Collapsed.  Was licked by the Real Dog.  A lot.

On Sunday, I:

-  Woke up.  Was kind of sad about it. 
-  Showered, dressed and headed out to Burlington Coat Factory.  Did not find a suitable coat. 
-  Went to the Halloween store.  Found a penguin costume for the wife.
-  Went to Home Depot for supplies.  Ugh.
-  Had Chipotle for lunch.  Nom.
-  Went home and started working on the bathroom/bedroom.  See, my house has settled a bit, leading to some cracks in the walls.  So we had to:
  • Spackle some cracks around the archways to the master bath
  • Hardcore spackle one corner of the master bedroom and a bit of the wall above the window
  • Hardcore spackle three corners of the master bath, along with the top of two of the walls
  • Spray texture on the bathroom wall where the wife took down wallpaper only to discover two live junction boxes, which an electrician had to come out and remove, leaving the wall oddly lumpy, so the only solution was to use some spray texture (that made a giant mess, but ended up looking pretty good)
  • Paint acoustic texture on the ceiling in the entry way
  • Sand down the closet doors in both of the other bedrooms and the entryway
-  Somewhere in there, I made the wife put on the penguin costume.  Nothing says "I love you" like home improvement in a penguin costume.
-  Took the dogs on a 2 mile walk.

After work today, I will:

-  Meet with Realtor #1 again to fill out some paperwork
-  Give the Real Dog back to co-worker.
-  Paint the master bathroom and touch up the master bedroom.
-  Try to fit in some exercise.
-  Collapse.

This morning I weighed in at 205.5.  I am no longer obese!  Now I'm merely overweight!  Holla!  The wife is a little upset by this development, because her weight loss has been stalled at about 30 pounds since August.  I gave her a reassuring talk about how, if she's eating well and exercising, it will happen for her - it's just happening faster for me because I had more to lose and I got a freaking Lap-Band to help me.  She whinged that she's "eating all the same things you are and exercising just as much and not losing!"  And then this morning I found the discarded wrapper of a Kit Kat bar.  Hmph!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


1.  So, I have a confession to make - I went a little nuts with the food when our friends were here this weekend.  Here's what happened:

On Friday, we went to The Woodshed Smokehouse and I had smoked almonds, the bun from a chopped beef sandwich (I know, you're saying, "The bun?  Aren't you doing it backwards?" but the meat itself was so fatty that I found it really unappetizing, so I just ate the delicious homemade bun) and all of the homemade potato chips that came with the sandwich, plus two bites of something called buttermilk pie.

On Saturday, the wife and I woke up early and went to the gym (more on that in number four).  Then we took our friends to Rise and Shine for breakfast, where I got the omelet with roast beef, cream cheese and asparagus, with a biscuit and hashbrowns.  Well, I ate one bite of the biscuit, which was gummy and gross, a couple of bites of the hashbrowns and two bites of the omelet before... I found two hairs in my eggs.  *gag*  Done with breakfast!  We headed out to the casino and stopped at Starbucks (where I had a tall, skinny iced caramel macchiato) and The Fried Pie Co. on the way and I had a few bites of some bacon cheese fries and the crust from a pecan fried pie (the filling was way too sweet for me).  After the casino, we headed back to town and had dinner at The Italian Inn, where I had some salad and an order of chicken piccata - I ate three bites of the chicken and half of the pasta.  Stuffed!

Sunday was the really bad day.  We headed out to Lucile's where I debated between the lobster roll and the corned beef hash, but finally settled on the hash with two eggs, hashbrowns and a piece of toast.  Carb heaven!  I ate the whole damn thing.  Then we were off to the State Fair of Texas.  This is where things really went downhill for me.  I had nachos, a bit of popcorn, tater twisters (which are, in essence, thick cut potato chips), three fried Oreos and 3/4 of a fried Snickers bar.  So full I could have died.  And yet, our friends wanted dinner at Uncle Julio's, where I had the meat and cheese from two beef soft tacos.  And then I really, really, REALLY felt like crap.

Proof, my friends, that the band will not keep you from eating (an overabundance of) junk.  Lord almighty, I ate so much.

2.  But here's the thing I learned from the weekend:  I feel like ass when I eat that much of those types of food.  I really, really do.  I felt bloated and oogy, and, on top of it, my skin, which had completely cleared up over the last few months, broke out.  I weighed in at 217 on Monday afternoon, a gain of about 5 pounds over just the weekend.  As much as I liked the food in the moment (especially the fried Oreos, OMG, delish), I should have exercised some restraint, especially given how crappy I felt on Sunday night and Monday.  My body definitely gave me some feedback on what I did this weekend, and it wasn't happy with me.  I won't say that I fell off the wagon, because I fully intended to do what I did and eat what I ate, but I won't be doing it again in those quantities.  Ever.  Ugh.

3.  After weighing in at 217 on Monday afternoon, I was down to 211 this morning.  Thank goodness.  I jumped right back into my normal eating and exercising routine, which is another thing I love about my band - it makes it so much easier to course correct than it ever was when I was "dieting" in the past.

4.  On Saturday morning, I ran a 10-minute mile.  Holy shit, you guys.  10 minute mile!  I never thought I'd be here or be able to do that.

5.  I haven't signed with Dream Job yet.  The relocation company is being... difficult to work with, which is not a surprise (I worked with them when I moved here last year, and they were a pain in the ass then, so I didn't expect it to be any different now).  I'm so ready to sign that I could eat my own hair, though - I just want to get this nailed down so that I can start working towards my future.

6.  I already have my resignation letter for current job written.  Oh yes.

7.  I have to go to Chicago for work next week, but not fun Chicago - airport Chicago.  Joy.

8.  I have to have two real estate agents and one appraiser come out to value my house in the next few days.  Did I mention that I'm currently dogsitting for a co-worker's 70 pound, un-crate trained boxer?  Double joy!

9.  Everyone is out of the office traveling for a trade show this week (I didn't have to go, thank jeebus) and we're having a fire drill at 2pm.  I may go home at 1:45 and stay until 3ish.

10.  I started writing this list two hours ago, and in that time, I signed with Dream Job.  It's official!  (Oh god, oh god, now I have to move across the country again.)

Thursday, October 18, 2012


1.  So far, Dream Job is earning the name, and I haven't even signed my contract yet.  I feel like I'm in the very beginning stages of a romantic relationship - I get good butterflies every time I think about it.  They're doing *everything* they can on their end to make sure that the transition goes as smoothly for me as possible, including accommodating without question one request that I was honestly concerned would be a little outlandish.  We've agreed on a start date at the beginning of December, so it's almost settled.  The relocation process is about to begin! 

2.  I'm leaving my current job for a lot of reasons, and I've been letting those reasons build up inside of me for about a year now.  I've been getting really bitter.  But now that I have Dream Job lined up, I find myself not nearly as bitter as I was a few weeks ago.  I feel like I can see things a little more clearly, a little more objectively.  But damn, guys - I CANNOT WAIT to turn in my resignation letter.  Especially because current job?  Is in a hiring freeze.  *insert evil laugh here*

3.  I'm gonna need a winter coat.  I kind of love this one...  Ooooh, or this one, except the only size they have available is 3X and I'M NOT A 3X ANYMORE, wheeeee!

4.  I'm going to be able to walk to work in my new city.  I cannot even express how happy that makes me.  Which begs the question - who have I become, that I'm looking *forward* to walking to work?  Let me tell you a story:  A few years ago, my wife and I went to a cute little neighborhood to get a Ben & Jerry's ice cream cone.  Once we had our cones, my wife begged me to walk around the block with her, all romantic, holding hands, eating ice cream.  But I didn't want to walk around the block.  It was too far.  I wanted to take my ice cream and drive home.  I bitched.  And moaned.  And complained.  About walking around the block.  Seriously.  And now I want to walk to work?  I love you, Lap-Band!

5.  We have friends coming in to visit us this weekend, so we are planning trips to the State Fair and the casino.  This will be the last weekend of fun before the frantic home improvement begins so that we can sell the house!

6.  We are not buying a house in new city.  I need some recovery from the stress of being a homeowner.

7.  My official wedding band is a plain, polished band.  It matches my wife's.  Mine is a size 11.  It doesn't fit anymore.  Not even a little bit.  It flies off of my hand if I try to wear it.  So I tried on my wife's.  Hers is a 9.  It also doesn't fit - it's way too loose on my finger, though obviously not as bad as the 11.  So then I tried on a cocktail ring that used to belong to my grandmother - it's a giant aquamarine set in platinum, and it has never fit me, but because it's set in platinum, I never wanted to pay to get it sized up (and also, sizing up rings tends to make them a lot more fragile).  I've never worn it in my life - it barely fit over my pinky knuckle when I tried it on in the spring.  Now - it fits.  Holy smokes. 

8.  I have a confession to make - aside from the suit that I had to buy to wear to my interview last week, I don't own a pair of dress slacks.  There are several reasons - I've been going down in pants sizes very quickly, and I'm tall, so I generally need long inseams, which are harder to find (and sometimes a little more expensive, especially in larger sizes).  If I'd bought just one pair of work slacks in every size I've been in since May, I'd have had to buy 6 pairs of pants.  Not an investment I'm willing to make for pants I can wear, on average, for a month.  So I've been wearing a lot of dresses, because my work wardrobe before weight loss mainly consisted of dresses, and I haven't been sizing out of dresses as fast (thanks, giant boobies).  But yesterday my boss said to me, "I think it's time you buy some pants.  Banana Republic is having a sale."  And my first reaction was, "You loon, I can't fit into anything at Banana Republic."  And then I realized - yes, I can.  Oh my god, I can fit into things at Banana Republic! 

I'm still not buying slacks, though.

9.  I have to find a fill doctor in the new city.  This makes me nervous, because I so love my doctor, and everything has been going so smoothly.

10.  I have so much food in my chest freezer that I'm thinking about having a frozen food giveaway party.  Any Texas locals want to come over and claim some frozen steaks? 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Breaking News

My wife is going to kill me for telling you guys first, but...

I got the offer from Dream Job!

Size 12 jeans AND a job offer?  I'm the happiest girl in the world right now.

Two Victories Today!

I have a scale victory and a non-scale victory to report on this Monday morning:

Scale Victory:  I was at 214.5 when I weighed in this morning.  This means that I have lost
100.5 pounds
since I started on the pre-op diet on May 2nd.  I remember when I went to my required psych appointment in the spring, she asked me what my goal was, and I told her I didn't have an end number in mind, but I didn't think it was unreasonable to lose 100 pounds in the first year.  Baby, I will take 100 pounds in the first 5-1/2 months.  I will take it and run away laughing.  I still have 41-55 pounds to go, depending on where I decide my ultimate goal weight is, but 100 pounds feels amazeballs.  That's a two-month-old horse!

Plus?  TOM came yesterday, with all of the bloating and ooginess that entails.  I'm down 100 pounds even with TOM in town.

Non-Scale Victory:  Jeans are on sale at Target this week for $15.  I like Target jeans for what they are - they're cheap, but they fit well (I like Fit 4) and they come in long inseams (I'm a tall gal).  I like cheap jeans these days because I've been through 6 sizes so far.  I'm not at a place where I'm looking to make a commitment to expensive jeans.  So I'm a few weeks away from fitting into a size 12 yesterday when I read in the Target flyer that jeans are on sale.  I figure, "What the hell, I might as well buy them when they're on sale and hold onto them until they fit."  So I bought the size 12 long, fit 4 jeans (possibly the only ones they had - the selection was a little picked over yesterday).  I got them home and the wife says, "Try them on.  Just to see how far you have to go." 

They fit.  They fit perfectly. 

I almost cried.  I haven't been lower than a size 14 in my entire adult life, and those size 12 jeans went right on and buttoned without a struggle and looked DAMN GOOD. 

I cannot wait to see what happens next.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ten Things Friday!

One of my favorite parts of blogging is Ten Things Thursday.  Looking back through my blog, I notice that I've missed very few of them.  But owing to being at a three-hour job interview and then on a plane back home for most of the day yesterday, I didn't get a chance to do TTT this week, so I'm doing TTFriday.  You'll live, I trust.

1.  I haven't been terribly commenty on other blogs recently, and I feel like an ass about that, because I know how much I like comments.  I resolve to comment more, starting immediately!

2.  My interviews yesterday went pretty well, I think.  Thing is...  I'm starting to feel a bit ambivalent about making a job change.  I'm pretty change averse, and for me a lot of the times it's about the devil you know - I'm scared of leaving my current hellhole because at least I know how it works.  What if I get this job, move across the country again and end up just as miserable as I am right now?  So I don't know if I'm just being a chickenshit or if my conservatism is warranted.  

3.  While sitting at the airport yesterday waiting to board my flight home, I got a phone call from a large company wanting to talk to me about a job I'd applied to with them a while ago.  A large candy company.  A bandster with a sweet tooth working at a candy company?  What was I thinking?  I'm talking to them this afternoon anyway.  We'll see where this goes. 

4.  I get so tired of talking about myself during and after the job interviewing process.  Like, there are only so many different ways that I can tell the same story about "A time I led a team to success despite obstacles."

5.  I find that no matter how hard I prep for interviews, there's always at least one question that I could never have anticipated.  Yesterday's curve ball involved dried soup.  Yeah, didn't see that one coming.

6.  It's nice to be wanted, or at least to have my resume spark some interest.  I went into grad school to get my MBA thinking that I was going to graduate and go right back to the career path I'd had before.  Then, in the middle of school, I made a decision to change the career I was pursuing.  I didn't have an internship or any experience in my field, and it was incredibly difficult to get interviews in my desired field, much less offers.  I got two job offers out of grad school - one was with my current company, and one was with a company doing the same work I'd done before school.  So it's gratifying now to see that I can at least get interviews and have conversations with prospective employers.  It's far less difficult now that I have some experience under my belt.

7a.  I must confess - I didn't do any work on the kitchen last weekend.  I do have a good reason - the wife and I needed to buy a new mattress for our guest bedroom.  We needed to do it pretty urgently, as we have guests coming next weekend.  So on Friday, when we were out suit shopping for me, we spotted a brand new Rooms To Go outlet and ended up buying a deeply discounted, Columbus-Day-sale mattress from them.  But because it was an outlet, we had to take delivery the next morning, sometime within a very large delivery window.  So I couldn't go to the hardware store to gather supplies, because I was waiting.  And I missed my Body Pump and Zumba classes, because I was waiting.  And they showed up an hour late.  So then by the time the mattress was delivered and I was free to leave the house, it was mid-afternoon and I still hadn't been to the gym.  So I had to ditch the kitchen idea. 

7b.  Speaking of suit shopping - we went to Macy's and I tried on a bunch of suits in the Ladies (not Women's) section.  I bought a suit in a size that does not have a "W" after it.  Victory!  I bought this pretty black pantsuit with a jacket that cinched my waist just so and made me think I looked so slim.  It was very nice.  Then I went and bought a pair of new black shoes to go with it (after spending 45 minutes in the DSW trying on every single pair of black shoes they had in my size).  And then I went home and hung the suit up in my closet.  Where I promptly realized that the suit was BROWN, not BLACK.  Sonofabitch.  Now I have to return the black shoes this weekend (I already had a pair of brown shoes).  And apparently I need to have my vision tested, though my wife swears the suit was black in the store.

7c.  Yesterday, I walked from my hotel to the interview, because it was only half a mile and cabs were taking forever.  Yesterday was the first time I really realized how much my body has changed, because I walked that half mile in my brown heels, wearing a 30 pound backpack and rolling a suitcase behind me, and NOT ONCE did my feet, legs, or any other part of my body hurt me.  I couldn't have (and wouldn't have) done that pre-band.

8.  I got my hair cut.  I took in this picture of Ashley Greene:

I had really long hair before, so I ended up getting 8" cut off.  It took some adjusting, but I think I really like it now.  You'll just have to use your imagination.

9.  My wife is staying home with me for Thanksgiving, rather than going home to visit her family (in fairness, she was just there last weekend and two weeks before that).  I am so excited for us to start our own little family traditions - like maybe going to the Thanksgiving buffet at the local Indian casino.

10.  I think we might go see the $5 matinee of Argo on Sunday.  Yay, $5 matinee!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

10 Things Thursday

1.  I've been absent for a while, though I've been reading blogs daily.  I just haven't felt much like posting lately, because most of my days are pretty similar, when you look at them - wake up, shower, dress, go to work, go home, change, gym, shower, dinner, bed.  I don't really mind the routine, honestly, but it doesn't make for interesting posts.

2.  My Dream Job called me back for a second phone interview, which I had on Wednesday morning.  At the end of the interview, the interviewer told me that I was one of the first that they're interviewing (there are three open positions), so I shouldn't expect to hear anything for two weeks.  But then the next afternoon, HR from the company called me, told me that my interviewer really enjoyed talking to me and invited me out to the final round interview next Thursday.  Squee!  So I'll be flying out there some time on Wednesday.  I'm really, really hoping that this goes well, because I'd give my left arm for this job...

3.  I am trying not to get my hopes up and/or count my chickens before they're hatched, but I've been looking at neighborhoods in the new city where Dream Job is located (1,200 miles away from here) and getting really excited.  Oh, I miss being on Eastern time...

4.  I have to buy a suit.  The only suit that I have, a grey Calvin Klein pantsuit, is a size 20.  I'm currently in size 14.  So my suit looks ridic.  Sad panda!  I'm a little irritated that I'm going to have to buy a suit that I may only wear once.  But it's all in the name of getting out of the hellhole that is my current job, so I shouldn't complain too much.  That said, I welcome all recommendations for where to get a relatively affordable (read: cheap) but fashionable (read: not schlumpy) size 14 suit. 

5.  I had my fifth fill yesterday, putting me at 8.8ccs in my band (I finally asked).  I really, really hate getting fills - not the fill itself, mind, but the other patients waiting with me.  I just want to shake them all.

6.  I have been taking a step aerobics class for the last two weeks, and I am in major love it with.  I sweat like a beast and it keeps me entertained the entire time - I don't even look at the clock while I'm doing it.  I just wish that my gym offered it more than once a week.

7.  My wife is going out of town this weekend to help her sister pick out a wedding dress.  I am thinking about doing some light remodeling on the kitchen while she's gone - painting the cabinets, changing their hardware (and filling in the cutout design with wood filler), painting the walls and removing some of the Holly Hobby-ish wooden trim, changing out a light fixture.  And maybe doing some vinyl tile over our horrible, sun-stained floor.  I wonder how much I can get done in four days on a limited budget...

8.  I am wearing leggings (under a dress, because I am a firm believer that leggings are not and should never be treated as pants) with boots today.  Screw the fact that it's 86 degrees outside today.  It's October 4th, dammit, I want to dress like fall!

9.  I am 12 pounds away from being overweight on the BMI scale.  I know that the merits of that chart are debatable, but man, how good will it feel to once, just once, step onto my Wii Fit and have it say, "That's overweight!" rather than "That's obese!"?  I've lost 14 points from my BMI so far.

10.  I am so jealous of those of you who lose shoe sizes.  I am still firmly in a size 11.  I hate being tall. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Checking In: Monday Weigh-In Edition

You guys...  WTF is going on?

-  Vitamins and calcium:  Check
-  Water:  126oz.
-  Protein:  70 grams.
-  Calories:  1,090 calories.
-  Exercise:  I ran/walked outside in the drizzling rain.  I did 3.66 miles total, 2.25 miles running. 

-  Vitamins and calcium:  Check
-  Water:  108oz.
-  Protein:  92 grams.
-  Calories:  1,006 calories.
-  Exercise:  I did the 9:30am Body Pump class (after being awakened by the marching band outside of my window at 7:30am, no joke) and followed that with the 10:45am Zumba class. 

-  Vitamins and calcium:  Check
-  Water:  108oz.
-  Protein:  104 grams.
-  Calories:  1,160 calories.
-  Exercise: I ran/walked outside in the drizzling rain (it rained all weekend and the weather was nice and cool).  I did 4.56 miles total, 2.5 miles running.

Today?  I'm down ONE POUND from last week. 

I'm really disappointed.  I exercised for almost 10 hours last week - I ran 13.1 miles!  I ate 7,539 calories and 584 grams of protein - this is the first time since getting my band that I've actually felt like I was seriously dieting.  I drank 794 ounces of water and I took my vitamins and calcium every day. 

What am I doing wrong???

Friday, September 14, 2012

Checking In, Friday Update

So how did I do yesterday?
-  Vitamins and calcium:  I took them mid-morning yesterday.
-  Water:  I drank 100oz.
-  Protein:  I got 78 grams.
-  Calories:  1,028 calories and it was a STRUGGLE.  I did not want to eat the chicken that I had for dinner after the gym.  I just didn't want it at all.  I wasn't hungry, not even a little bit, and it felt so wrong forcing myself to eat.  I need to find some more calorie- and protein-dense foods.  I hear that low-sodium parmesan cheese has quite a bit of protein, so I may have to do some investigating into that.  Also, I'm thinking I may need to reexamine protein shakes.  It's just, with the shakes that I tried in the past, I hated the smell and the texture.  I don't like the smell of whey protein.  Ugh.  Are there any shakes you guys really like that don't smell gross?
-  Exercise:  I ran less than a mile on the treadmill - I got so bored.  So then I cranked it up to an 8.0 incline and walked.  Then I finished on the bike.  I exercised for an hour total (plus the hour at Body Pump), but I felt schizophrenic while doing it - I couldn't focus or get into a groove, and I was just so bored.  I'm for sure going to run outside today in the hope that it'll keep me engaged.

In other news:

-  I phone interviewed with two companies yesterday - one that's my dream job and one that would be exactly what I do right now.  The interview with my dream job went *extremely* well - my interviewer said that I was "highly qualified" and that she was going to "highly recommend" moving me to the next step in the process.  *SQUEE*  I should know more by this time next week.  The interview with the other job went okay, but I was really turned off by the interviewer, who called me 10 minutes late and told me that he only had 20 minutes to talk instead of the previously agreed upon hour (he would be my boss, so this didn't inspire a lot of confidence).  He then described a corporate culture that sounded exactly like what I currently work in.  And the role is exactly the same.  I mean, exactly.  So I think I'm taking myself out of the running for that position, as I have no interest in moving halfway across the country (again) for a job that turns out to be a disappointment (again).  In the meantime, while waiting to hear back from my dream job, I'm going to keep on applying for other positions.
-  Work is cray cray today.  But you know what?  I don't care, because it's Friday, it's cool outside and I'm wearing my size 14 jeans.  Mmmmmmhmmmm.  Snap.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

TTT: Checking In Edition

1. So how did I do yesterday?
-  Vitamins and calcium:  I took them mid-morning yesterday.
-  Water:  I drank 108oz.
-  Protein:  I got 80 grams.
-  Calories:  1,045 calories.  I had four eggs yesterday.  Should I be worried about my cholesterol?   
-  Exercise:  I did 30 minutes on the treadmill - one mile running, then 10 minutes walking at 3.5 speed on a huge (7.0) incline.  Then I got bored (story of my life) and switched to the elliptical, where I did 30 minutes at 7 resistance.  

2.  I had a hard time at the gym yesterday.  See, my wife puts the protein bars in the fridge.  I grabbed one on the way out the door to the gym, because I'd forgotten to take it to work with me earlier in the day.  It was caramel, and it was cold.  Long story short, I got stuck on it.  I didn't PB, but I did have that sensation of a rock sitting in the middle of my chest while I was running on the treadmill.  Working out while stuck is no fun.

3. Does anyone take Body Combat classes?  There's a class right after my Body Pump class tonight, so I'm entertaining the thought of taking it, but I'm not certain what it's all about and whether it will be difficult (ie, require a great deal of coordination).  The problem with my workouts lately is that I get so damn bored.  Maybe I'll run outside after Body Combat...

4.  My two phone interviews are today.  I spent several hours last night and another hour this morning preparing.  Wish me luck!

5.  I'm so ready for a new job.  I just worry about selling my house if I find a job that requires relocating.  I'm probably putting the cart before the horse here, but I do worry...

6.  Do you believe that there are people in this world that you are destined to never get along with?  My boss is one of those people for me.  I don't have anything against her as a person, but our personalities are diametrically opposed.  We're just never going to see eye-to-eye.  And she makes me feel like I'm a crazy person when she talks to me.  It's a stressful relationship.

7.  One of my co-workers told me that he went to the bathroom in our office and sat down on the toilet (yeah, we're apparently so close that he's comfortable telling me about his poops) and a roach came crawling out of the drain next to the toilet.  Ever since, I've been freaked out about the bathroom.

8.  See #1, re: I drank 108oz. of water yesterday.  I spend a LOT of time in the bathroom...

9.  The wife is going to be out of town this weekend (she's going home to help plan her deadbeat sister's wedding).  I am going to spend the time cleaning out our closets and dressers.  I am actually looking forward to this.

10.  I haven't weighed since Tuesday.  This is a huge victory for me, as I am generally a total scale whore.  I'm going to try not to weigh until Monday.  Can I do that?  (Probably not.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Checking In, Day 2

So, how did I do yesterday?

-  Vitamins and calcium:  I took them mid-morning yesterday.
-  Water:  I drank 100oz.  I wasn't nearly as thirsty yesterday as I was on Monday, but I got through 36oz. at Body Pump alone.
 -  Protein:  I got 76 grams.
-  Calories:  1,105 calories.  I ate mostly the same things as Monday, but I subbed in an egg for the shrimp I had and I managed to sneak in a popsicle (mmmm, popsicles). 
-  Exercise:  I got to the gym a little later than I would have liked, owing to the wife getting home later than expected from work.  So I only had 45 minutes to do my thing before Body Pump.  So I walked .25 miles, then ran 2.25 miles, then walked another mile.  After my longer run on Monday, my body really didn't want to participate yesterday, and the first mile of running was really, really hard.  But I hung in there, and it got better (marginally).  Then I went to Body Pump.  I still love it!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Checking In, Day 1

How did I do yesterday?  Let's see:

-  Vitamins and calcium:  I took them mid-morning yesterday.
-  Water:  I drank 144oz.  I was very, very thirsty at the end of the day - I think I drank 36oz. in half an hour at 9pm.  I had to pee like nobody's business when I woke up this morning.
-  Protein:  I got 83 grams. 
-  Calories:  1,105 calories.  I didn't eat any junk.  But my dinner was very odd and too much food - 520 calories just from dinner.  I'm going to try spreading my calories throughout the day a little more. 
-  Exercise:  I walked .25 miles, then ran a 5k, then I had to pee.  After my bathroom break, I walked another .25 miles and then ran the last mile.  So, in an hour, I ran 4.1 miles and walked .5 miles.  I feel pretty damn good about this.

And these positive changes seem to be affecting my attitude as well, at least where work is concerned.  I still hate my job, but I think at this point I'm really starting to see the ridiculousness inherent in the situation, and so I spend a lot of time laughing that I would have previously spent crying.  And even better, changing my attitude seems to be changing my karmic situation, as I've gotten two phone interviews scheduled for this week with really reputable (you've heard of them!) companies doing something much closer to what I ultimately want to be doing.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Holding Steady...

Here's the headline:  I didn't lose any weight last week.  I didn't gain, but I didn't lose. 

Let's look at what I did well this week and what I could improve on:

Where I did well

- I did not go over my daily calorie limit on any day this week.  This included a dinner out with friends at an Italian restaurant.

- I ran 11.5 miles.  I walked 5.85 miles.  I did 2 hours of Body Pump, 30 minutes of kickboxing and this 40 minute weight circuit (I love Jackie). 

- On Saturday, I ran 3.25 miles on the treadmill without stopping.  Last night, I ran 1.75 miles outside

Where I could improve

- I only ate about 6,000 calories.  This number should be more like 7,000 at least if I'm trying to build muscle and tone.

- I only ate 231 grams of protein.  This number should be more like 490 at a minimum.

- I only did two-a-days on Tuesday and Saturday.  I only did 4 hours and 17 minutes of cardio.  This number should be closer to 6 hours.

- I didn't drink enough water.  I should be getting 100 oz. every day.

- I didn't take my vitamins and calcium every day.

How I'm going to course correct

- I'm going to take my vitamins and calcium every day.  When I bring them to work with me, I take them consistently.  When I don't, I don't.  So I packed them up into a little container this morning - enough for a week - and now they're sitting in a prominent position on my desk. 

- I'm going to drink at least 100 oz. of water and log it.  When I log my water, I usually manage to drink 100 oz.  I've already had 24 oz. this morning. 

 - I'm going to get at least 70 grams of protein every day.  I need to start eating breakfast again - when I was making myself an omelet every morning, I was doing better on this front.  Tonight, I will go buy eggs and get back on the omelet train.  For now, I will have a protein bar.

- I will eat at least 1,000 calories a day.  I struggle with this, because I have a difficult time eating when I'm not hungry.  My last fill got me very, very close to the green zone - I am almost never hungry.  As a result, I had a couple of sub-800 calorie days last week, and I know that's not good with as much as I exercise.

- I have scheduled my workouts for the week:

Monday:  6pm, 60 minutes treadmill
Tuesday:  6pm, Body Pump; 7pm, 60 minutes treadmill
Wednesday:  6pm, 60 minutes treadmill
Thursday:  6pm, 60 minutes treadmill; 7pm, 60 minutes Body Pump
Friday:  6pm, 60 minutes treadmill
Saturday:  9am, 60 minutes treadmill, 45 minutes with Jackie
Sunday:  6pm, 3 mile outdoor walk/run

This will put me at 6.75 hours of cardio and three toning sessions, which is closer to where I want to be, activity-wise.

- I'm going to update my blog with how I'm doing on these every weekday this week so that I can hold myself accountable.

I'm also working on some more concrete goals for myself, as up until now I've just had kind of vague things that I've been aiming for, like "lose weight" and "work out more."  I think having SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals will really help me work toward something, rather than just working hard with no real goal in sight.


- I want to be in Onederland by Christmas.  That's 15 weeks from now.  I have 30 pounds to go to get there.  An average of 2 pounds per week seems realistic to me.

- I want to be able to consistently run (without stopping) a 5k outside by Christmas.  I can do it on the treadmill now, but I want to be able to do it outside.  As the weather gets cooler, I'm going to transition my indoor runs outside.

- This is a more difficult goal, because I can never be sure what size I'll wear at what weight, but I want to be a size 12 by Christmas.  On Saturday, I tried on, fit perfectly into and thus bought size 14 jeans from Target.  14 is the smallest size I have ever been in my adult life - I was here for the blink of an eye about 3 years ago.  I have never been a size 12.  On average, I lose a size every 15 pounds or so, so a 12 by Christmas should be attainable.

I have decided that if I can reach all three goals, I am going to reward myself with this for Christmas.

There's no way I'm not getting there.  That watch will be mine.  Oh, yes.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

TTT: The band isn't magic...

1.  I finally did a sub-40 minute 5k last night:

I'm still not fast (more of a jog than a run, really, though at times it feels like sprinting to me), but at least I know I could finish a 5k before they started to tear down the course.

2.  Body pump tonight.  I'm actually looking forward to it!

3.  I had my fifth fill yesterday.  Hello, restriction!  I can feel my imitation Crystal Light going down ever so slowly this morning...

4.  Here's the thing I hate about getting fills:  the waiting room.  I find it's always crowded with a bunch of people whining about how the band isn't working for them.  What I overheard yesterday:

"I should have gotten the sleeve.  My friend had the sleeve and she's lost a ton of weight.  I haven't lost anything.  *takes big gulp of sweet tea out of extra large Panda Express cup*  And I work out for 20 minutes on Tuesday nights, too!  I wish they'd told me I wouldn't lose any weight."

*sigh*  I kind of want to get little cards printed that say, "The band isn't magic.  It only works if you work it." that I could hand out at moments like that.

5.  The traditional stop at Trader Joe's after my fill happened yesterday, so I come bearing another product recommendation:

These are delicious - rich and dark chocolately, and only 70 calories for 22 pieces.  Except that by 11 pieces I'm kind of overwhelmed by the richness and I can put them away.  So 35 calories for a me-sized serving!

And they have the added bonus of being dark chocolate and espresso, which are both things that the wife hates.

6.  I have to buy candy that the wife hates because if I buy candy that the wife likes, I won't get to eat any of it.  A few weeks ago, I bought a bag of individual packs of M&Ms, thinking that I could have a pack (70 calories) every once in a while as a treat.  Over the weekend, I went looking for the M&Ms for my first "treat" and found only the empty bag.  She'd eaten the entire thing before I even had one M&M.  So low-cal candy that she hates is crucial in my house.

7.  She also hates cinnamon imperials:

So those are safe around the house as well.

8.  Lest you think that I only eat crap, I have one more product recommendation:

I really like tzatziki sauce, which is odd because I don't like yogurt or cucumber.  The Trader Joe's tzatziki is delish and low-cal - 30 calories per 2 tbsp serving.  I dipped grilled chicken in it for dinner last night.

9.  When I was a kid, my father was a runner (a triathlete, actually).  He used to take me to the high school track with him and make me run - he would pretend that we were at a track meet and we would run relays and such.  My father is now almost 70 and hasn't run in years, though he still works out every day on his NordicTrack.  I have challenged him to an 800m race when I go home for Christmas.  I think I may actually be able to beat him this time, with some training!  (Though I'm not sure there's a lot of pride in besting a 70-year-old with bad knees...)

10.  At this particular juncture in my weight loss journey, I'm glad that I live in a warm climate and that the majority of work clothes I own are dresses.  Most of the dresses that I was wearing 86 pounds ago still fit me (although they fit me completely differently) so I haven't had to refresh my work wardrobe yet.  I have been through three pairs of jeans, though, and I'm about to need a fourth.  Not that I'm complaining!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New underpants!

So, I got new underwear this weekend, because my saggy panties weren't working for anyone - every time I worked out, I'd get wedgie after wedgie.  Not cute.  Because I haven't updated my underpants since my surgery, I went from a size 10 to a size 7 in one fell swoop.  When I first looked at the size 7 panties, I thought, "there's no way I can even fit one thigh into those things."  And yet - They fit fine.  I'm wearing them today.  No more saggy panties!

As for the job situation, it's actually gotten worse, which I didn't think was possible.  But, I'm going to turn this into a positive: On Saturday, on the way to the gym, my wife started talking about "home" - back east.  It got me really down.  We got to the gym, I got on the treadmill, and I was still feeling horrible - I was on the verge of tears.  But I thought to myself, "You can't cry at the gym."  So instead, I ran.  I ended up running 2-1/2 miles (quarter mile walk, mile run, quarter mile walk, mile run, quarter mile walk, half mile run).  It was one of the best workouts I've had. 

Of course, the next day I had to try running outside.  And I nearly died.  It felt like I was actually moving backwards.  It barely felt like running - it felt like moving in slow motion through molasses.  Ugly.  I only managed to run half a mile consecutively, plus two quarters that were split up by walking. 

Apparently, I need to take the incline up on the treadmill.  And I need to add the occasional outdoor running workout to my routine. 

Friday, August 31, 2012

How can I make this day go by faster?

I have never been happier about a Friday in my life.  I need some time off work to decompress, recenter and figure out my next move.  And, you know, sleep and lounge around in bed.  And go to the outlets.

So, can I tell you guys a secret?  Something weird is going on with money around my house.  Talking about money may be a little uncouth, but I am not a particularly couth kind of girl, so let's chat. 

My band surgery was, theoretically, covered 80% by my insurance.  I was supposed to pay the other 20% out of pocket.  So at 5pm the day before my pre-op appointment, they called me to tell me the final amount that I needed to pay.  I told them that I would pay half at the pre-op appointment and half on surgery day the next week.  I paid my half the next day, but on surgery day, in the midst of all of my anxiety, I forgot to bring up payment, and no one brought it up to me.  So I didn't pay the other half.  I honestly thought they'd send me a bill.  But no one said anything to me about money again until my second fill.  There, the doctor's office said, "It looks like you have a balance."  I'm thinking, "Okay, the other half."  But no.  It was a *very* small amount (the equivalent of a couple of fills) compared to what I thought I still owed.  Hmmm?  Alrighty.  So I paid that.  Then, maybe a month after that (mid-July) I got a check in the mail.  From the insurance company.  A very large check. 

Ooooooookay.  *boggled*

Then the pool skimmer broke.  Fixing it cost almost the same amount as the check that I got from the insurance company.  It's meant to be, says I!

As best I can figure, my insurance actually covered 90% of the band before I got to my out-of-pocket limit.  Which means that the insurance coordinator at my doctor's office had no idea what she was talking about when she said 80/20, and no idea what she was doing when she told me what I owed.  

Then, to continue the money mysteries, yesterday I got a check in the mail from my mortgage company.  It's about two mortgage payments worth.  They say I overpaid into my escrow account, so I get 1) a refund and 2) a lower mortgage payment going forward. WTF?  Who does this happen to?

So now I'm waiting for something else to break around the house to the tune of two mortgage payments worth of repairs, because this is what happens, apparently, when I get random, unexpected and delightful checks in the mail.

Anyway, on to the exercise portion of this post.

Today was the last day of bootcamp for this session, so it was time trials again, the goal being to see how much we've improved versus the beginning of the month.  I took more than 12 minutes off my time.  I mean, I also thought I was going to die afterward, but here's the thing - it helps to compete with people you don't like, because I was really driven to kick their asses.  And I did.  I actually came in first.  Mmmmhmmm.

I went to Body Pump on Tuesday and Thursday.  I like it.  I feel totally badass when we do our clean and jerks.  Even though I'm only doing like 14 pounds.  Shut up.  I can see myself adding Body Pump to my exercise routine.  And hopefully over time it will help with the batwings.

What I will not be adding to the routine is the 5:30am spinning class.  So, I'm no stranger to spinning class.  I've been to a few.  But I've never been to the 5:30am class, and I've never had that instructor.  The wife and I got in early and started setting up our bikes, adjusting the seats, etc.  And the instructor came right up to us and started adjusting the seats for us.  Now, maybe I'm hypersensitive (particularly at 5:30 in the morning), but this irritated me.  It would have been nice if she had asked if we needed help, or asked if we'd done this before, or just stood by and observed and jumped in if we looked confused.  But we didn't look confused.  We've done this before.  The wife said to me (and I agree), "It's like she saw us and said, 'Ooooh, fatties, they won't know what they're doing, I have to go do it for them.'"  I should have told her that I was fine, that we've done spinning classes in the past and that I can adjust my own bike seat.  Instead, I excused myself to go to the bathroom (while she continued to fiddle with my seat) and didn't go back.  Instead, I did 5 miles in an hour on the elliptical, which ended up being my best elliptical workout yet.  So apparently I was motivated by my irritation.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ten Things Thursday

1.  I took the day off yesterday.  I couldn't bear to go to work, and the wife had the day off.  So I went to bootcamp where I worked my ass off, and then I spent the rest of the day in bed.  I resented having to get up this morning.

2.  I talked to my boss' boss' boss this morning about all of the horseshit that went down last week.  I told him how unhappy and angry I was.  It's not going to change the situation, but I feel better about the fact that at least I expressed myself.  I'm still looking for a new job.  Fuck, I'm still looking for a new job.

3.  Let's talk about Vegas.  I love Vegas.

Our flight got in on time to Vegas at about 10:30pm.  There was a woman waiting for us at the bottom of the escalator at the airport - she had our names on an electronic board - that was neat.  She followed us to the baggage carousel, where we claimed our bag, and then she escorted us out to our waiting Escalade for the short drive to the MGM.  At the MGM, we went to check in at VIP check-in, which is a secluded room behind the front desk.  Admittedly, we looked a little schlubby, which got the attention of one of the women manning the room.  But as soon as we said, "Our host told us to check in here," her attitude totally changed.  She offered us drinks, checked us in and sent us on our way to our room in the private elevator.  And then...

Surprise!  Our host had booked us in a suite without mentioning it.  (Yes, that spotlight on the extreme left side of the picture actually worked.)

 A stripview suite!  Here was the view from our wall of windows (sorry for the piss poor night photo quality):

And the bathroom (double sink and separate shower/tub):

So.  Freaking.  Nice.

It was about 11pm by the time we got checked in, so we decided to run down to the casino and play for a little while.  I only lasted a couple of hours before nearly falling asleep at a slot machine, and we were losing anyway (a trend that continued throughout the trip), so we went to bed.

The next morning, Saturday, we woke up early and went to the gym (yeah, seriously, we went to the gym in Vegas).  I did an hour on a very squeaky elliptical.  Then we showered and headed down to breakfast at Studio Cafe, where I had the ham and eggs with an English muffin and the wife had fruit and a bagel.  The food was good but the service was abysmal.  I didn't take any pics of food on this trip, as food porn is not really my thing.

We played the slots for several hours, but they were SO TIGHT.  Ugh.  I completely recognize that I'm going to lose money in Vegas - in fact, I expect it.  But I was putting in $20 after $20 and they lasted about 5 minutes each.  I expect money to last just a little bit longer than that, or else it's really not that fun.  So by about mid-afternoon, we headed back up to the room to take a nap.

And in the middle of our nap:

Room service arrived with a gift from our host.  It had jellybeans, smoked almonds, biscotti, chocolate covered raisins, sesame bites, chocolate with sea salt and two bottles of Fiji water.  It was really a very nice gesture.

That night, we still had $110 to spend on food ($150 was comped per day), so we decided to go to Nobhill Tavern.  It was so nice - we had our own little private booth that was closed off on three sides, so we weren't subject to other people's conversations.  We decided to stick with fingerish foods for dinner.  I started with shrimp cocktail - it wasn't particularly outstanding, and the shrimp were previously frozen.  The wife started with Caesar salad, which she liked.  Then I had the New England crab and lobster rolls, which was essentially three pieces of brioche with crab and lobster salad.  They were super tasty.  The wife had the cheeseburger sliders, which was a serving of two small cheeseburgers.  Again, she said she liked them.  We finished the meal with beignets  with salted caramel ice cream, which was yummmmm.

After dinner, we tried to play the slots again but they remained very tight, so we went to bed early.

Sunday, we woke up early, even though we'd gotten a late check out of 2pm, and we headed to the buffet.  Buffets may be lost on me these days, but I will say this - I ate one bite of about every dessert they had available.  Just one.  And it was nice.

After breakfast, the wife had some freeplay to go through, so we played the slots for a few hours and got on a little bit more of a roll than we had previously, but the slots were still being very stingy.  So we went back up to the room and packed up for our move to Vdara.  After double-checking that we didn't have any charges on our room, we headed out.

At Vdara, even though I was paying (or, well, work was paying), I showed my platinum MLife card at check-in.  I'd booked a City Corner suite and my player's club card got me upgraded to an Executive Corner.  The room, on the 38th floor, had quite a view:

Again, shoddy nighttime photography, but those are the Bellagio fountains.  That view is from the giant soaker tub in the bathroom.  From the living room:

That's Planet Hollywood, just past the Cosmo.

For some reason, I don't have any photos of the room, but the pictures on are pretty accurate.  There was a half bath, full kitchen, washer/dryer and the master bath had a soaker tub, separate shower and two sinks.  It was... swanky.

After checking in, we went to work out.  The gym at Vdara didn't have any ellipticals, so I did my time on the treadmill.  Then the wife decided she wanted to spend some time at the spa, so she went off for an eyebrow shaping while I relaxed in the room.  When she got back, we headed out to Sephora at the Miracle Mile shops, as they had a gift-with-purchase that I wanted.  Turns out, that Sephora was out, so I ended up not buying anything.  We headed to dinner at Skybox at Aria.  The wife and I shared an order of onion rings (she ate the majority) and then I had a hotdog (I didn't eat the bun) and she had chicken fingers.  The hotdog was delish.

Then we headed to the slots, where our money lasted a LOT longer than it had at the MGM, which made us a lot happier.  After several hours, we finally headed to bed, as the wife had an 8 o'clock flight out in the morning.

After that, it was all business for me.  I ate at the Aria buffet for dinner on Monday and at the Bellagio buffet on Tuesday (the line at the Bellagio was like 45 minutes long, which made me very grateful that my player's club card allowed me to pass it).  At each one, I ate a bit of protein and then one bite of just about every dessert.

I worked out at the Vdara gym on Monday and Tuesday, and I also walked from Vdara down to the Wynn and back again, walking through all of the casinos on the way - it was about 3.5 miles roundtrip.

On the way home on Wednesday, my flight was super delayed due to, of all things, rain in Vegas.  WTF?  As a result, I didn't get to work out on Wednesday - I'd planned to go to the gym at home, but it was midnight by the time my flight got in.  But, I got upgraded to first class.  Which makes my seat belt triumph a little less, but I'll still post my plane seat pic:

4.  Wow, #3 was long.  Let's see if we can do one sentence for 5-10.

5.  The company picnic is at Six Flags in a week - will I fit into ride seats?

6.  I want a kicky new haircut.

7.  I also want a manicure.

8.  And I *need* a pedicure.

9.  I have a rash on my chest, which is one of the symptoms of West Nile.  One of my co-workers had West Nile.  What does it say about my job situation that I kind of hope I might have West Nile?

10.  #9 was 3 sentences.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I am not zen enough for yoga

So, yesterday.

Yesterday, I found myself in yoga class.

Let me back up.

I've been getting a little bored by my workouts lately.  To be clear, I work out 10 times a week (twice on MWF, once on the other four days).  MWF, I've been taking bootcamp (though I have decided not to sign back up for September, for reasons I'll discuss later) in the morning and then I put in an hour of cardio in the afternoon.  The other days, it's just an hour of cardio in the afternoon (I also add weights once or twice a week).  All of this cardio is generally on my own, on a machine - I did the treadmill May-July, the elliptical July-August and now I'm switching back to the treadmill (I've never tried the arc trainer - I'm not 100% convinced that it can hold my weight).

7 hours a week of doing the same exercise gets really boring.  Even when I try to switch it up with intervals and whatnot (and watching Paula Deen), it still gets really dull after a week or two.  So the wife and I decided to take some classes.

Hence, yoga.

Yoga was...Intimidating.  Especially because everyone else was wearing flip flops and had their own mat, and I was in my trainers and borrowed a YMCA mat.  My shirt sleeves were too short, so I kept seeing my new batwings (Why hello there, loose skin.  Took you 80 pounds, but there you are!) out of my periphery whenever we did warrior I. 

And lord, downward dog hurts my wrists.  I don't know if I was doing it wrong or if it's because I weigh 233 pounds and my wrists are like, "Girl, you need to lose at least another 30 pounds before you think of putting your body weight on me."  Either way, by the end of it, owie. 

I will say this - parts of it (especially the part where we kept going from downward dog to standing half forward bend) got my heart pumping.  By the end, I was sweating. 

But I'll also say this - I felt pretty ridiculous about a lot of it, especially the part where I was standing with my feet on my hands.  And I'm not sure corpse pose counts as exercise, but I'm *really* good at it.

Tonight?  Body Pump.  I'll keep you posted. 

Now, why have I decided not to sign back up for bootcamp?  1) Even with the employee discount that my wife gets, it costs about $40 total for us to go.  This works out to about $4 per class.  Which doesn't seem like much, except that it adds up quick and I feel like I only get a good workout about 60% of the time.  Last week, for example, I mentioned that we played kickball.  With 7 people in the class.  This meant that the majority of the time was spent standing around waiting to either field or kick the ball.  It wasn't a terribly effective workout, and it made me mad that I got up at 4:45am.  There have been several instances of things like that - where I'm not entirely convinced that I couldn't work harder on my own.  So the wife and I discussed it, and we'll be taking the month of September off to see if we can motivate ourselves to work out harder. 

Monday, August 27, 2012


Bootcamp was a good workout this morning (some mornings it leaves something to be desired, like last Friday when we played kickball...).  And I lost 3.5 pounds this week, after an 8 pound loss last week, so clearly I'm kicking that 1.5 pound loss from three weeks ago in the ass.  All in all, though I didn't get a lot of sleep last night, my morning was going pretty well.  I got in my car, drove myself to work, parked... 

And then the dark cloud descended.  Every step I took from the parking lot to the office felt like the biggest effort.  As I rode the elevator to my floor, every floor I passed made my heart sink a little more.  And when I got off on my floor, I trudged to my desk, dragging my feet the whole way.  I don't want to be here.  I'd rather be literally anywhere else. 

I've applied to a ridiculous number of jobs so far, with a list of at least 10 more to apply to today.  I just have to keep plugging and I know something good will happen.  Something good has to happen.

Something good did happen over the weekend.  I've been doing the elliptical for an hour every day for the last month.  On Saturday, I was feeling a little bored, so I got up on the treadmill next to my wife and I ran a mile.  All at one time.  No breaks.  A whole mile!  A slow (12 minute) mile, but a mile nonetheless!  Then I took a walking break for a quarter of a mile, then I ran another half a mile!  I repeated that until I'd run 2.5 miles.  Then I thought I might die, but at least I'd die proud.  I ran a whole mile!

And then I did it again yesterday.  Yeah, I did.  I feel awesome (emotionally, that is.  Physically, my adductor muscles are killing me - I may have overdone it with the weights over the weekend).

So that's what I'm going to focus on.  Work sucks donkey balls.  I hate it so much, and every night I dread going to sleep because it means going to work the next day.  But every day at the gym, I accomplish something I never thought I'd do four months ago, whether it's an hour on the elliptical, running a mile, making it through spinning class or just showing up consistently, day in and day out.  And in the long run I know that it's this time I'm dedicating to the gym that's going to matter long after I've forgotten how miserable this job is. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

This post is a downer... you may want to stop reading now.

There is not a word to describe what I'm feeling right now.

Work has gone off the deep end.  Like, batshit insanity.  I can't even...  I have never been in a situation like this.  I'm frantically looking for new employment doing anything else anywhere else (legal or...  otherwise).  I cannot stay here, I know that much.  I'll be lucky if I can make it through another month.

I spend every minute I'm in the office trying (and failing) to fight off tears.  I'm wearing my glasses today because my eyes are swollen and hurt and contacts are a no-go.

I'm being vague.  I don't want to be, but I also don't want to get fired before I have a chance to quit.  Suffice to say...  it's bad.  I've activated all of my network connections.  I've applied to everything I'm remotely qualified for, in places that include Kansas, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois.  This morning, I wrote a really enthusiastic cover letter about how much I love beef.  I meant it sincerely.  I would bathe in raw hamburger if it would get me out of this place.

I'm trying.  I have to get out.

I'm so stressed that I haven't been able to eat anything at all since Wednesday.  It's not my band, really - I just find the very thought of food completely repulsive.  I literally gag at the thought of eating anything.

I am planning to spend the weekend hiding under the covers watching The Hunger Games on Blu-Ray, snuggling with my dog and my wife, pretending that there's a way I can 1) have a job and 2) not hate waking up in the morning because I have to go to my job.  

Updates about Vegas to come maybe next week, when I don't feel like the world is going to end.

(God, I'm such a Drama Queen.)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ten Things Thursday

1.  I got stuck last night.  On water.  Yes, I PBd water.  WTF, band?  I mean, I love you and all, but water?

2.  I am going to Vegas tomorrow.  Finally!

3.  I have a ton of work to do today in anticipation of not being back in the office for a week.  But I don't want to do any of it.  Bah!

4.  I also have a ton of things I need to do before I leave tomorrow, including getting the oil changed in my car.  I was also thinking about running to the grand opening of the fancy new outlet mall a couple of towns over, but I'm not really sure that shopping before a weekend in Vegas is a smart fiscal decision...

5.  I'm probably going to spend the rest of my morning avoiding #3 by looking at all of the restaurant menus at the MGM Grand, since that's where I'll be eating all weekend (food is comped).  I like to plan ahead.

6.  The Hunger Games Blu-Ray comes out on Saturday.  Oh yes.  Yesyes.

7.  I only own one pair of jeans that fit.  Cross your fingers that I don't spill anything on them while I'm away.

8.  I need new athletic socks.  Between the wife and I, we go to the gym 20 times a week, which means that we should probably own more than 4 (collective) pairs of athletic socks. 

9.  I need new underpants.  Mine have saggy bottoms.  It's not cute.

10.  The Chick-Fil-A bag disappeared from my neighbor's truck.  Hmmm.  Wonder what could have possibly happened?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Halfway and Potatoes

Upon weighing in this morning, I find myself down a pound from yesterday.  So let's just ignore my panicky post wherein I whined about how I wasn't losing fast enough, shall we?  Though I do reserve my right to post panickily again at some point in the future.

Also, this morning's weigh-in puts me at -71 pounds, which is exactly 50% of my excess weight.  50%!  So I've decided to make it my goal to get to -100 pounds by the end of the year.  There are 20 weeks until 1/1/13, which means that I'll need to lose a little less than 1.5 pounds per week to get there.  Seems reasonable, right?  The stretch goal will be to lose -116 by the end of the year, putting me in Onederland for 2013 (the wife makes fun of me every time I call it that).  That would be a loss of 2.25 pounds per week.  We'll see.

I also kicked up the resistance a notch on the elliptical this week.  My hours on the dread machine were getting (dare I say) a little too easy.  I wasn't sweating as much as I did when I started on the elliptical (which is to say that instead of sweating the equivalent of Lake Superior, I was only sweating the equivalent of Lake Erie).  It's harder now, but still doable.  I've decided that I will take the resistance up one notch a week for the next 10 weeks and see how it goes. 

I do still love watching my Paula Deen while working out, though.  Watching her slather butter on every flat surface (and some not-so-flat ones) never gets old.

Now it's time for product recommendations! 

I always stop at Trader Joe's on the way home from a fill appointment, because trying to go to TJ's on the weekends here is just an exercise in frustration.  So on my way home from my fourth fill yesterday, I stopped in and loaded up on the basics - egg white salad, spinach and kale dip, fat free microwave brownie mix (!!!) and these:

I cooked them up in the oven and topped them with a shake of Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning and they were delish!  The skins crisped up nicely and the cheese got all ooey gooey in the way that the best cheese-stuffed things do.  They were better than some restaurant potato skins I've had, and the best part is that there are 5 pieces in a serving for only 110 calories.  Not a lot of protein to be had here, though - it's pretty much a carb-fest (actually, a serving is only 8g of carbs).  But for 110 calories, it's a great indulgence. 

Here's another one - I stay away from carbonation these days, but I really, *really* miss the flavors of some sodas, particularly root beer.  I love root beer.  I've loved root beer since I was a kid growing up in Detroit (holla!) and my dad would let me sip on his Faygo (as a side note, Faygo Red Pop is like crack, guys.  I'm seriously convinced that Red Pop addiction is responsible for 85% of the current problems in Detroit).  It's also like 107 degrees here most days, which means I'm pretty much constantly craving something cold.  So when I saw these at Tom Thumb the other day, I had to buy them:

It's a root beer-flavored shell over creamy vanilla ice cream.  They're only 100 calories a bar and they stop my root beer obsessing dead in its tracks.  Yum!

Speaking of craving something cold, I like to keep packets of drink mix in my car so that on super hot days, I can just buy a bottle of water from wherever I'm shopping and flavor it up on the spot.  I've been drinking mostly the Market Pantry stuff, because I like grape and I haven't been able to find that flavor in other drink mixes (other than Hawaiian Punch), but I've recently stumbled upon this:

I'd never heard of this particular brand before, but I was in Garden Ridge (seriously, the most random store ever) and I was out of drink mix for my car, so I decided to try it.  LOVE!  It's sweet but not too sweet, with a nice tang.  When it comes to drink mixes, I like mine pretty weak and this is pretty strong, so I make sure to dilute it well - I put two packets of this in a 50 oz. bottle of Ozarka (which is the lamest name for a bottled water ever).  I couldn't find this in other stores for the longest time, so I ended up buying 10 boxes from Garden Ridge (that got me some odd looks, like, who comes to Garden Ridge to buy drink mix?  This girl, that's who).  Then I saw it in the $1 aisle at Alberton's!  I've tried other flavors by Wyler's, but I keep coming back to the cherry limeade.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to finish up my second 36 oz. bottle of cherry limeade before noon.