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.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

How many jumping jacks?

I'm a touch disappointed in my weight loss last week.  Here's what I did:

8/6:  1 hour bootcamp, 1 hour elliptical, ate 894 calories
8/7:  1 hour spinning, ate 1006 calories
8/8:  1 hour bootcamp, 1 hour elliptical, ate 829 calories
8/9:  1 hour elliptical, ate 875 calories
8/10:  1 hour bootcamp, 1 hour elliptical, ate 360 calories (I wasn't feeling well at all due to start of TOM, and I spent most of the day in bed worrying about vomiting)
8/11:  1 hour elliptical, ate 1693 calories
8/12:  1 hour elliptical, ate 1157 calories

So I ate 6814 calories and worked out for 10 hours.  According to my math, that should have resulted in a weight loss of about 3 pounds.  Instead, I got 1.5. 

This is frustrating.  On the one hand, I'm happy for a loss.  But on the other hand, I busted my ass this week and my weight loss slowed down.  Should I be eating more (I'm not sure how I can eat more, since I feel like I'm eating all of the time as it is)?  Should I try calorie cycling?  Do any of you calorie cycle?

Or should I chalk it up as a slow week and move on (I did lose 5.5 pounds last week, but with much less effort)?

Also, one of the women in my bootcamp is driving me crazy.  She always has a million questions, and she never listens.  Every morning, we do the same warm up.  Every.  Morning.  And yet this morning, after the instructor said, "10 jumping jacks," like she ALWAYS does, crazyface asked, "How many jumping jacks?"  What I wanted to say was, "10.  It's always 10.  Every damn day, it's 10.  But in your case, 42." 

I am not at my nicest when exercising at 5am.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

10 Things Thursday

1.  I don't like to get political on this blog.  That said, I'm going to, so I'm warning you in advance.  Please feel free to skip this number if you like - no hard feelings... 

I live in Texas.  I'm in a same-sex marriage, though Texas does not recognize it (we were married in D.C.). 

My neighbor has a Chick-Fil-A bag taped to the antenna of his truck.

I don't care if you eat at Chick-Fil-A.  I honestly don't.  My ex-bff used to work in their corporate headquarters, so I've known all about their beliefs and business practices for years (and I used to have access to (and take advantage of) an unlimited supply of spicy chicken sandwiches).  I support a privately-held company's right to do whatever they please and promote whatever they want.  I'm a card-carrying member of the ACLU, for crying outloud - free speech for everyone, even if I don't personally agree with you.  Even if the things you say with your free speech are hateful and bigoted.  You still have a right to say them.  And I'll be the first to admit that Chick-Fil-A is super tasty.  I don't take any issue with Chick-Fil-A as a company, with the Cathy family or with anyone who eats there.

I have a problem with the Chick-Fil-A bag taped to my neighbor's truck antenna.  To me, it says way more than "I support a company's right to its own business practices."  To me, it says, "I hate gays."

Even then, I don't really care.  Again, free speech.  I don't care if you hate puppies, kittens and sad-eyed bunnies.  I'll fight for your right to say whatever you want.  No, the thing that bothers me about the Chick-Fil-A bag taped to my neighbor's antenna is that I don't feel like I have the freedom to say something back.  I know I have my own right to free speech, and I know that I could just as easily put a rainbow flag up next to my mailbox to show that not everyone on my street, in my town, in this godforsaken state, agrees with him. 

But just having a right to do so isn't enough.  Putting up that flag, even though my right to do so is protected by the US Constitution, could subject me and my family to a heaping helping of hate and violence.  It could get my house vandalized.  It could endanger my pets, my belongings, my wife and me. 

But him taping that Chick-Fil-A bag to his car antenna, that subjects him to nothing.  That doesn't endanger him.  He can show off his bigotry and stupidity and hatred and the consequences don't terrify him.  Nothing will happen to him.  There's no need for him to fear.

I can't even hold my wife's hand as we walk down the street.  I have a lot of fear.

And that's what bothers me.  He can say, "I hate you and everything you stand for," and I remain silent out of fear.

2.  That was heavy.  Let's lighten it up, okay? 

I broke a nail in the shower this morning and spent the next five minutes trying to untangle the broken nail from my hair.  Lovely!

3.  I'm *so* looking forward to going to Vegas.  I need a vacation.  A vacation that involves slot machines and limo rides, yesssss.

4.  What are your favorite non-carbonated (preferably low-calorie) cocktails?  I'm not a drinker, except in Las Vegas.  I used to be a vodka tonic or vodka soda drinker.  I'm thinking about switching to vodka water and just bringing along a couple of Mios to squirt in for flavor.

5.  My thighs hurt.  A lot.  Two-a-days are kicking my ass.  Yesterday at bootcamp we did a bunch of team relays and then a bunch of "ladder" upper body exercises.  I die.

6.  The pool is (I think) almost fixed.  Maybe I'll get to use it before the summer ends.  Argh.

7.  My parents live back east.  I'm an only child.  Last year, I went home for Thanksgiving and they drove (my father doesn't like to fly during the holidays) to Texas for Christmas.  My mother says they're not coming here this year.  I told her I'm not going back east twice, so they could pick one holiday. Is that wrong?  I just don't feel like I should be the only one making the effort...  Does that make me a bad person?

8.  I feel like I sleep so much better these days.  My wife says I don't snore anymore.

9.  In my morning haze, I got a little too vigorous with my after-shower Q-Tip this morning.  My ear hurts a bit now.

10.  Is it Friday yet?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What are your favorite workout songs?

Guys, I don't want to be indelicate, but...

My ass hurts.

Oh my god, does my ass hurt.

I went to spinning last night.  Because I'm a glutton for punishment.  Spinning was hard.  At first, I had a hard time standing up on the bike during the "stand up and push!" portions.  But halfway through the class, my bottom was BEGGING me to stand up.  And this morning I feel like...  well, there's no simile that describes how my butt feels that isn't obscene, so suffice to say that I hurt.  And I hurt all the way through bootcamp this morning.


So let's talk about something other than my butt, but still related to exercise:  music.  I work out at two different gyms - there's one close to my house, but older, and one a little further away and newer.  The newer one has personal TVs on most of the equipment, and I really enjoy doing an hour on the elliptical while watching Paula Deen's show on Food Network (oh, the irony).  But when I'm at the older gym, I tend to listen to music on my iPhone.  I have a few very favorite songs to work out to:

1.  Bad Romance, Lady Gaga - This song alwaysalwaysalways gets me going from the very first notes.  It's got a great beat and helps me to set my pace with whatever I'm doing.
2.  Bouncing Off Clouds, Tori Amos - I'm a huge Tori Amos fan (I've seen her in concert at least half a dozen times) and I love how this song couples a fast beat with such sad lyrics.  I don't always want to work out to shinyhappymusic, you know?
3.  Get Some, Lykke Li - You may recognize this song from a Lexus commercial.  I love this whole album, but this song is really fun and empowering.
4.  Hard, Rihanna - Whenever I need to power through something (like the last five minutes of a really intense workout session) this is what I put on.
5.  In My Pocket, Mandy Moore - What can I say - they can't all be Serious Songs.  This is a total guilty pleasure! 
6.  Karma, Alicia Keys - This song is neither too slow nor too intense - it's like the goldilocks of workout songs.
7.  Mean, Taylor Swift - I'd like to dedicate this to all of the jerks who made fun of me in 6th grade.  I rule, you drool.
8.  Part of Me, Katy Perry - Almost against my will, I think you have to have a Katy Perry song or two on your workout playlist, right?
9.  Teenage Hustling, Tori Amos - I love any song that contains the word "skankin'."  How can you not?
10.  Love Is Blindness, Jack White -  This is a cover of one of my favorite U2 songs.  My love for U2 cannot be understated - I've seen them in concert 5 times in four different states.  But this version has such a nasty, dirty vibe to it and a great beat that makes it ideal for working out.

So those are my favorite workout tunes.  What are some of yours?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Two NSVs!

I have TWO NSVs to report this morning:

1.  At this morning's bootcamp we did time trials, just like we did at the first bootcamp in June (the one where I cried and almost quit).  The time trials go like this:

Run 1 lap around the YMCA (1/3 mile)
30 push ups
30 crunches
25 daisy cutters
30 plank dumbbell thingies
30 jumping jacks
Run 1 lap around the YMCA (1/3 mile)
another mess of exercises
Run 1 lap around the YMCA (1/3 mile)
another mess of exercises
Run 1 lap around the YMCA (1/3 mile)
another mess of exercises
Run 1 lap around the YMCA (1/3 mile)

So that's five laps, total.  Last time through bootcamp, I didn't run the laps.  In fact, I actually did the "alternative" exercise of walking to the curb and back, which amounts to about half the length of a lap.  This time?  I RAN ALL FIVE LAPS. And I didn't die.

2.  Yesterday, I fit into (and thus purchased) size 16 jeans.

And now, a product recommendation:

This is in resealable bags like the refrigerated pepperoni.  A serving size is 22 slices, which is a ridiculously large serving - I had 11 slices in my omelet this morning, and that was plenty.  A whole serving also has 80 calories and 10 grams of protein. Oh, and?  It's tasty and convenient.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ten Things Thursday...

1.  This morning for breakfast I made myself a Canadian bacon and string cheese omelet.  It was delicious.  I was also running late for work.  I'll give you one guess what happened.... Yes, I sacrificed several bites of the omelet to the PB gods.  Boo!

2.  Every weekday, I have chicken nuggets for lunch.  I bring them from home and nuke them in the office and eat at my desk.  They're low-calorie (if you stick to just eating a serving) and high protein.  I've been shopping around for different brands to try.  Yesterday I had nuggets shaped like drumsticks.  Today, they're shaped like dinosaurs.

3.  I have a product recommendation for you if you like blue cheese dressing:

Bolthouse Farms Chunky Blue Cheese Yogurt dressing.  Guys, it's only 35 calories a serving, but it tastes like a 160 calorie dressing.  I've been on the hunt for the perfect low-cal creamy dressing, and this may just be it.  I mixed two tablespoons of dressing with one tablespoon of Frank's Red Hot Wing Sauce and used it as a sauce for my chicken last night.  OMNOMNOM, kids.  OMNOM.

4.  As of Tuesday, I'd done an hour on the elliptical every day for 7 days.  I broke the streak last night - I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes on the treadmill.  Awww, yeah, I been getting my gym on, y'all, which would explain why...

5.  ...I am now closer to 200 than I am to 300.  Hell yeah, I am.

6.  I did the unthinkable, you guys.  I signed up for the August bootcamp session.  Remember when I almost quit after the first session?  Funny how quickly things change.

7.  The wife and I are planning to do two-a-days on bootcamp days in August.   Bootcamp in the morning, gym time in the evening.  I may need someone to send an ambulance.

8.  Yesterday, the most clueless and oblivious guy in the office complimented me on my weight loss.  So I know it must be starting to show if *he* notices.

9.  The weekend cannot get here fast enough.  Holy smokes.  My workweek has been hell.  My job is hell.  But I'm trying really hard not to focus on it, because it's not going to change anytime soon, and I'll just drive myself crazy if I make my work misery the focus of my life. 

10..  But that doesn't mean that I won't ask if any of you know of any job openings in the DFW area...?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I'm putting off doing work, so I made a list instead...

So, my pool is broken.  Again.  Second time this summer.  This time, it's the skimmer line.  And my limited research on broken skimmer lines (because I know exactly jack about pools) indicates that this could be a (very) costly repair that involves ripping up the pool decking.  We'll have a pool company out to look later this week.

I am not looking forward to this.

In light of this, I have decided to make a list of things I *am* looking forward to in the coming months/years (in no particular order):

-  Once again wearing the ring that my wife bought for me several years ago.  It is a lovely square cut sapphire surrounded by diamonds, set in white gold.  It's beautiful.  It used to fit me, but it hasn't fit in about two years.  It has been sitting on the desk in the "craft room" (our third bedroom) since we moved.  I would like to wear it again soon.

-  Going to any amusement park without worrying about fitting on the rides.  I did very well on our trip to Disney in the spring (though I was freaking out and had a list of ride tips from on my phone and checked it before every single ride), but I know that Disney is way more accommodating than most.  As I've said before, the wife wants to go to Universal (we will probably be going at the end of January 2013), and I'm scared of fitting into their rides.  Also, the company picnic is at Six Flags in September, and though I should be firmly in the 240s or hopefully even the 230s (WOW!) by then, I'm still freaked out about it.  One day, I hope to not give things like this a second thought.

-  Fly without panicking about what seat I get.  I have a confession - on a trip in April, I couldn't get my seat belt buckled.  It was a small regional jet, and I was in the window seat, and I needed about two more inches of belt.  But I'd rather die than ask for a seat belt extender, so I threw a sweater over my lap (even though the plane was hella hot) and hoped that everything would turn out okay.  It was horrifying.  I fly all the time for work (I've been on almost 40 flights this year), and every time I panic that I'm not going to be able to buckle the belt or that I'll be stuck sitting in a middle seat and make everyone around me uncomfortable by overflowing into their seats.  The company travel agency booked me in a middle seat for the trip I took earlier this month, and I paid my own money to switch to a premium seat. 

-  Consistently shopping in regular stores.  Earlier this month, I needed new pants for the business trip I was about to take.  So I went to Lane Bryant.  I had no idea what size I was, just that my size 24 slacks were too big.  I took a size 22 and a size 20 into the dressing room.  The 20s were the closer ones to fitting appropriately, though they were still a little baggy.  They didn't have any (not a one!) size 18 pants in the store.  So I bought the size 20s.  They were $50.  On my way out, I walked past Old Navy (they're in the same strip mall). I thought to myself, "What the hell?" and I went in.  I found some nice slacks and I tried them on in a size 20.  They were loose.  I went out and got the 18s.  They fit perfectly.  I almost cried.  I can shop for pants in places where *normal* people shop for pants!  And they were $30!  Normal people store pants for $20 less than what I pay at the fat folks shop!  Holy smokes!  And I wore those pants proudly on my business trip.  I wore them with high freaking heels.  I felt like a million bucks.  I can only imagine what it will feel like when I can walk into most any shop and find my size.  I still need to lose quite a bit of weight in my boobies before I'll be able to buy regular sized tops/dresses, but I look forward to the day that I can.

-  Not worrying about breaking furniture.  I've broken a chair at a bar (that ranks up there with one of the most embarrassing moments of my life), two beds the night of my wedding (oh yeah) and my own bed at home.  One day, instead of cursing furniture manufacturers for their shoddy craftsmanship, I will just be able to sit in a chair or sleep in a bed without concern.

-  Similarly, not worrying about fitting into a restaurant booth.  I used to go into restaurants and evaluate if I was more likely to break a chair or not be able to fit into the booth.  I never found a booth I couldn't fit in, but when I was at my highest weight, it was getting to be a tight squeeze.

-  Looking at myself in the mirror/in photographs more.  I used to think, when I started looking at weight loss blogs, "Look how many bloggers like taking pictures of themselves.  And they post them!  That will never be me.  I'm never going to be comfortable enough to do that."  Hell, at my highest weight, I looked at myself once in the mirror in the morning to put on my makeup, and then I didn't look at myself again for the rest of the day.  I avoided looking in the mirror in bathrooms, looking at my reflection in shiny surfaces, and don't even make me take a photograph.  But now I find myself in the bathroom (and I find myself in the bathroom a LOT with the 100 oz. of water I drink a day) actually looking at myself in the mirror.  On purpose.  Today I think I started to see the shadow of a collarbone.  Looking in the mirror, I can see that I'm headed towards a place where I actively like my body, rather than just ignoring it and hoping it will go away.

-  Being more confident in public.  Not worrying that everyone is staring at the fatty.  Knowing that if they are staring, it's because I look *good*, rather than because I look like Andre the Giant.  I'm starting to get here - I know that confidence comes from within, but it does help to *feel* good, and losing 65 pounds so far has certainly helped me to feel good.

This post is like a novel, right?  To sum it all up, I'm looking forward to continuing on this journey, to seeing how far I can push my body and how far it will let me go.  I love the changes that have happened in the last three months, and I can't wait to see what happens next.