My Eats

How "The Accidental Fat Chick" Hatched...

Welcome to The Accidental Fat Chick's new online home!

During the summer 0f 2008, I woke up one morning with a drive to live a healthy lifestyle. Since then, I've made many changes and lost nearly 50 pounds. Many of my friends and family members have come to me, asking about what I'm doing & how I'm doing it. While I certainly would never claim to be an expert, I'm happy to share what I've learned along the way.

So after careful thought... "The Accidental Fat Chick" has hatched... with the hope of helping at least one person and to be the accountability I need to finish what I started. :)

Thank you for visiting!!

Monday, May 31, 2010

I Wanna Run!!!!

Don't worry, I have no intention of changing what I write about or how I write it. You all cracked me up with suggestions of writing about grass & ditch digging, lol. I didn't have time to watch grass or dig any ditches today, but I saw an amazing sunset and beautiful rainbow on the way home tonight. :)

The highlight of today was my first ever trip to an actual "running store" for running shoes. If you're remotely in the local area Fairhaven Runners and Walkers in Bellingham is sooooo the place to go. They were super knowledgeable & the prices were pretty reasonable. Not only that, it was sort of a pampering experience... they do pretty much everything for you. Totally glad that I went there instead of trying to find something at a store where the employees know nothing about the products they're selling or how they relate to the feet you're putting the shoes on.

Now why did I buy running shoes?

Because I want to RUN!!!! Seriously, I can't believe I'm even saying that. I have NEVER been a runner. Remember I'm the girl that begged and pleaded her way out of physical education from the 7th grade on. Maybe I'm inspired by all of the people I've read about doing 5Ks lately. Maybe I just need a new challenge, something that will really push myself. Maybe its the awesome new trail that they just finished by our house. Whatever the reason, I can't wait to get out there. I just hope my body will hold up for me... remember back problems, knee problems, the nearly broken ankle...

Food was a nightmare today. Well, breakfast was good... but after that it all went downhill. And the really bad thing, I made a conscious choice to eat the foods I ate. Large lunch/dinner at the Olive Garden... followed by Cold Stone Creamery. I thoroughly enjoyed every bite. Won't be doing anything like that again for a long time. Enough said.

June 1st... the official kick off date for my personal "Deployment Challenge." I'm really excited to get it started. I've figured out the details, the rewards (mostly), a cool little motto... now if I could just come up with a nice little graphic or button. I'll be sharing all of the details in my next post. And just a heads up... if you're interested in participating in my latest round of craziness I would LOVE to have you join me for the ride. :)

I'm off to watch some grass grow or something... lol

Sunday, May 30, 2010

How It All Fits...

Okay friends, I got an email yesterday questioning why I talk about so many things completely unrelated to weight loss/healthy lifestyle on my blog when that's what its supposed to be about. Here's the answer:
In my opinion (take it as you will), everything in our lives contributes to the struggles we face when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle and/or losing weight. Stress caused by jobs, spouses, children, friends, finances - whatever - it contributes... so its relevant. And my adventures in shopping, jewelry making, gardening - to name a few - those are things that distract me from obsessing over food/fitness... so they too are relevant.
Saturday, I might as well confess now turned into a bit of a "shopping frenzy."
I got up bright & early to go order my furniture.... and ended up purchasing something else entirely. They were having a super good sale & I was able to get a sofa, chair and ottoman for the price of just the sofa from the other set. One more chair and the seating area for the room will be complete. Everything gets delivered Wednesday & I'm super excited.
Next stop, the jewelry counter... where yes, I cancelled the layaway. When she pulled them out for me to look at (to be sure), I knew I was doing the right thing. It will mean so much more to get them when I'm finally where I wanna be.
I used part of the money they refunded to get this little beauty...

Do you get the idea I love all things Coach by now? LOL. Seriously though, I chose this little beauty for a few reasons. First, I've been wishing for a pink watch for awhile now (though it seemed frivolous to spend the money for something that would only go with a handful of outfits). Second, it is bangle style & prior to losing 50 pounds it NEVER would have fit on my wrist (even with the extender piece). Reason number three, it has silver hearts... which will serve as a reminder to love myself enough every day to make good choices for my body. The last key factor was the price - we know I love a good bargain. The suggested retail on it was right around $400 & after all of their good discounts for the holiday weekend, I got it for $150! There are a few advantages to being able to shop on base. :)
Before I was done for the day, I had also purchased one Vitamix blender, one Kitchenaid Chef's Chopper (which will fill in til I replace my food processor) and a new DS game for the boy one. The chopper was a display model that they replaced for a non-dusty one (and sold the "old" one at way less than half price). Well, the blender is on layaway & he used his birthday money for most of the game... but still it was a BIG shopping day.
Food victories of the weekend - I resisted Krispy Kreme donuts that were being sold outside of Walmart as a fundraiser & I made it through the snack aisle of the commissary without caving in. Oh, and my friend DiAnne made these scrumptious peanut butter cookies last night...

3 1/2 dozen of them! I admit I ate four of them last night and have had my share today. But, I also took a dozen to the people at the furniture store & there are still at least another dozen left... so I'm not literally inhaling them. I swear to you these are the best peanut butter cookies on the planet... the fact that there are any left at all is a miracle.

Here is my big dinner treat tonight... and its actually healthy, lol.

Copper River Salmon.... YUMMY! At $20/lb I just got a small piece... but it was like heaven & I savored every morsel.

Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend... and please take a minute (or more) to remember the meaning of Memorial Day...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tough Choices

Remember my beautiful diamond studs that are on layaway? I've officially come to the decision that I am going to cancel the layaway & hold off on getting them for now... unless of course I change my mind before I actually get the deed done. Here's the thing, The Husband agreed that I could get them as a reward for getting to a goal weight. Then he let me put them on layaway when he figured I was close enough that I'd be there by the time they were paid for. But things haven't gone that way at all now have they? Here I am still at least 40 pounds from where I want to be and the earrings are due to be picked up in about two weeks. Yes, I like them a lot. Yes, I want them badly. Yes, I have come a long ways (and he's even said I deserve them). Yes, they were a good deal at $600. But the bottom line is I don't feel like I've done the work to deserve them just yet & it would be a total waste of that $600 if I got them and they just sat on the dresser for months til I get to a goal weight. Or worse, if I gave in and wore them before the goal was met and felt like I didn't deserve to wear them. I wouldn't enjoy them that way. I figure I can put another pair on layaway when I'm at (within maybe 10 pounds) of a goal weight. And until then the money can be spent on something more "responsible" like... maybe the new furniture we need.

I went furniture browsing today. The day before payday, so that there was no temptation to impulse purchase. I found this set that that I'm more or less in love with... its the only thing that really caught my eye in the whole freakin store.

There is an accent chair that goes with it... which is what really drew me in. This is what happens to me, I set out fulling intent on being happy to get a sofa & add chairs later... but I fall for a whole freakin set. I could get just the sofa & chair with ottoman or the sofa & love seat... but I can't decide... the set is so attractive together. The good news is that I checked in at the store on base & they can order all of the pieces for me at a savings of about $600 (plus no sales tax & free delivery). Plus, I only have to pay 25% down & the rest when they get it in... which is nice because I can avoid using credit for it that way. The bad news is that it will take them several weeks to get it.

Since I'm going to cancel the layaway, I might replace something I lost last spring. It was this simple silver heart necklace that was inscribed with "The Journey Begins." I wore it every day as a reminder that every day was a new chance to make healthy choices for my body. The heart shape was to remind me to love myself & know that I was worth the effort. The day I lost it we had been to probably a dozen yard sales... I tried to retrace my steps with no luck at all. Its just a thought... not sure yet.

Finishing touches are going on my Deployment Challenge tonight... should be ready to share this weekend... when I suppose everyone will be off doing holiday things, lol. Maybe I'll wait and post about it on Tuesday morning...

Can you tell choices are not my strong suit today? lol

Okay I had to come back and add...

I just noticed I have 100 followers!!! Wow, I can't believe so many people read my dribble, lol. The Husband would be shocked! Thanks for following my "drama." :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

This n That

This is going to be one of those posts with a little bit of everything in it... which pretty much reflects where I'm at right now. My mind is going a thousand different directions, its like I've developed adult onset ADD or something, lol.

First things first, thank you for all of the heartfelt comments on my last post. Deployment is nothing new for us, but its sure nice to have supportive friends out there. He finally called tonight to let me know he got to his final destination. And if there's any concern over him being well fed, rest easy... he had lobster for dinner last night (but was bummed that they ran out of steak before he got there).

Next, I finally picked something for my special thing with the "play" money from my first paycheck...

Peridot earrings set in 14K white gold. They were an awesome deal at a local jewelry store that is going out of business & definitely something I wouldn't normally go out and buy for myself.

My only other burst of retail therapy for the day was the purchase of these little 2oz containers...

They are going to be so perfect for pre-portioning things like peanut butter, almond butter, dressings, hummus, slivered almonds, etc. I found them at the restaurant supply store. I can't remember who suggested looking for something like that there, but if you remember making the suggestion you have my thanks! :)

A brief synopsis of the conversation I had with my Mom yesterday. It was her bday, so I went to take her to dinner. In the car I mentioned my travel plans for the coming months. She thinks its TERRIBLE that I'm going to go to Chicago to meet a bunch of people from the "evil Internet." Seriously, you'd think I'd said I was going to be the star attraction at a strip club by the way she reacted.

The Deployment Challenge is under construction... I'm planning to kick it off on Tuesday... so I'm taking my time with the decisions for now. So far, I know that it will involve marathons on the bike, 5 & 10Ks on the treadmill (and maybe outside), and some insanity on the StairMaster for sure. I'm working on the strength training & core parts now. Also, the food part is under construction. Some aspects will carry throughout the whole period and others will change month to month just because six months is a long time and I need variety. I also have to consider rewards because I think its pretty clear by now that I'm motivated by prizes, lol.

As I'm preparing my meal plans & grocery list, I find myself wondering... are there any great, new products out there that I should try? If you've found something particularly yummy lately, please let me know.

My other big plan for the weekend is to find some new furniture for the house. What are your plans for the long weekend?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Let the Faux Single Parenting Begin... Again

The Husband is somewhere between here and the big sandbox now... he called from their first stop over a few hours ago to report that he'd chosen chicken over beef & had slept for several hours. Lucky him!

We figured out last night that this is the eighth deployment in the 15 years we've been married and the sixth since the boy one was born. We usually try to get everything ready early so we can relax and create fun memories in the last few days of the home cycle. Most of our plans for fun times together went out the window in the last couple of days. We got notice for a housing inspection to be completed today. The Husband very sweetly spent most of the last couple days helping me put the house in order. Normally its pretty tidy, but honestly with him getting ready to leave the last thing I was worried about was if the laundry was put away or the surfaces dusted. We tried to get them to reschedule due to the fact that he was deploying today & I have confidential files here for my temp job (so they couldn't have full access to the house unless I were home to monitor). The lady we dealt with was anything but helpful and insisted they could not change the inspection date/time for any reason. She pretty much told that I had to choose between saying goodbye to my husband as he was leaving for deployment or protecting the confidentiality of those work files. That the company the military has partnered with to manage their housing would force me to make such a choice is something I find nothing short of deplorable. But, the lady that actually showed up to do the inspection was really nice... and the inspection went well... but still to have to deal with that stress on top of everything else was exhausting and frustrating beyond belief.

After that fun, the rest of the day was spent with "normal" stuff... my work meeting, babysitting & the boy ones speech therapy appointment. I collapsed for an hour long nap (after only two hours sleep last night I needed it badly) and am feeling somewhat refreshed now. I don't think the reality of the day has hit me yet because I was so busy & at this point its still kind of like he's just having a long day at work... which is so typical that its the norm.

I'm still thinking about Melissa's idea of a "deployment challenge" and how I can incorporate that with my 1750 miles by Chicago thing. Hopefully, I'll have something to post about that in the next day or two.

In the meantime, here are a couple of "deployment day" photos... the first one is from last deployment, June 2008....

My weight was 241 lbs. in this photo...

And deployment day... May 2010

Weight in this photo 198.4 lbs... which is ugh... but probably not totally accurate in comparison to my last weigh in because I had to hit the scale way earlier in the morning than I'm normally out of bed even.

Today was pretty much like a transition day between home cycle & deployment... food and exercise were the least of my worries. However, I did make sure I have something healthy in the house for breakfast and lunch tomorrow.

So... my plan for the rest of the night and tomorrow is to really focus on planning my meals & time so that I get back to my gym regimen. One might think that after seven of these lovely experiences I'd have time management down to a science... One might think after five times with the boy one I'd have the single parenting system down... but yeah, not so much.

The Husband asked me what my goals are for while he's gone... I told him to maintain my sanity, lol. Naturally, I told him about stuff I want to get done in the house & my travel plans... but what I left out is my ultimate goal...

To reach a "goal weight."

I still don't feel totally comfortable trying to pinpoint an exact number for that because I haven't been anything smaller than 180 since my freshman year in high school. I also have a hard time with it because I focus so much on doing the basics of living a healthy lifestyle & and not so much on the number on the scale. But, maybe I need to be more number driven... or at least have a range to work with...

So here it is...

My ultimate goal is to be 150-160 pounds by the time he comes home from deployment!

There I said it, its done, no backing down now!!!

Btw, I have an award to pass along... will work on that tomorrow too. :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weekend Rollercoaster

This weekend seems to have had it all...

Quiet relaxation.

Hysterical laughter.

Tears of sadness.

Tense arguments filled with hurtful words.

Goofy chats.

Productive discussions.

Saturday was mostly about fun... we went to some yard sales & had friends over for dinner. We found new chair cushions for the patio furniture & I got a new plant for the backyard; so looking forward to sitting out there and enjoying the view this summer. I skipped out on working, thank goodness for the ultra flexible schedule right now.

Sunday was a day of productivity. I actually convinced The Husband to do some last minute things that I needed (or thought I needed) his help with... pictures hung, desk moved from the garage to the office, large bags of potting soil hauled to the backyard, etc. We went to the furniture store on base to look at living room stuff... just so I have an idea of what he likes when I go shopping for it (which had better be soon considering we've been using "lovely" folding chairs for living room furniture since the beginning of the month, lol). They are supposed to be having a big sale over Memorial Day... so hopefully I can find something good. I even managed to work for a couple hours in the evening... aren't ya proud of me? lol

Food and exercise still seem to elude me... but I'm okay with it being that way til he leaves. My body did a workout of sorts today... between moving furniture & working on the yard... so I guess that counts for something, right? I love Chris' idea of a "Deployment Challenge" and have been brainstorming on it all day.

My two favorite things about the weekend...

This dress... a size 12!!!!!

I picked it up at Ross a couple of months ago... it was a little clingy (aka tight)... but now it fits perfect. Also, I'm discovering a really odd reality... I'm beginning to like pictures of myself... this is totally foreign to me. I have always HATED to have my picture taken.

My second favorite thing about the weekend... I got The Husband an early Father's Day gift. Not just a gift... but a one of a kind, artist's original drawing of the aircraft he has spent his whole Navy career working on. Better still, this drawing depicts an aircraft of the actual squadron he is attached to right now (and has spent well over half of his career with). The artist was at the festival we went to at the end of last month, and had the drawing displayed there, but we couldn't afford it then. Not that we could really afford it now with all of the other expenses leading to deployment, but I called the artist when I got my paycheck on Wednesday and made arrangements to purchase it anyway. Its just one of those things that I felt like he was meant to have... I don't know how to explain it. He complained a little about me spending the money on it, but I could tell he was really pleased because I kept catching him staring at it. Needless to say, its one of the pictures he hung up today.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Last Weekend...

Its the last weekend before deployment... and I have to say I've never felt quite this way going into a deployment.

Yes, I'm sad that he's leaving... a bit, but not like you might expect... though I'm sure it will hit me hard when the day really arrives. That's how it was last time anyway.

Yes, I'm stressed over all the last minute details... but I know it will all work itself out (it always does).

Yes, I feel a tad overwhelmed knowing that EVERYTHING is going to fall on my shoulders from now til December... but let's face it... that's pretty much how its been this whole home cycle anyway.

And this is where it gets weird (and where I find myself struggling with guilty feelings)...

There is a part of me that is genuinely looking forward to the freedom of being on my own. NOT so I can run wild... lol. But, so I can get back to the business of taking care of myself.

The bulk of the weight I've lost was when he was deployed the last time; it was so much easier being on my own. I could plan the meals I wanted (thankfully my son is really easy going in the meal department). I could schedule workout time without interruption. I could grocery shop without having a ton of extras tossed in the cart when I wasn't looking. Staying out of restaurants was so much easier. In short, I was able to focus on me without the distraction of trying to please The Husband. Ugh, now I feel sufficiently guilty all over again.

While I've been able to lose small amounts in the 18 months he's been home, its really been mainly an exercise in maintenance. I'm down roughly 10 pounds from when he came home from the last deployment. This gives me hope that if I can just get to a "goal" weight while he's gone, I'll have success in maintaining it after he gets back.

I feel like I've been doing only half the job - in terms of taking care of myself - for the last year or so. I can't wait to kick it back into high gear... which is where I find myself looking forward to time on my own... and where I start to feel incredibly guilty for the little part of me that is glad he will be leaving.

Stay tuned for my newly revised action plan... coming soon! I sooooo need a serious kick in the tush!!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Its All Over...

Kids group at Church that is... and only til the Fall... but for this year its over. Wednesday night was the awards for the year... which got me to thinking about last year's awards night.

Throughout the year, I put in my weekly appearance and did my stuff with the kids... but there were a lot of parents and other people that I didn't really see on a weekly basis. So awards night rolled around and I got up on stage to help hand out awards like I do most every year. The most amazing thing happened afterwards... person after person came up to me and commented on how good I looked and/or asked how much weight I'd lost! It was the first time I was really aware that the change was noticeable. I went home that night feeling a little like the "belle of the ball." It was such an amazing feeling to have so many people recognize the change!

Initially, I believed that night gave me great motivation to continue toward my goal. After spending the last year fairly stagnant... flirting with the same five pound range and still 40-50 pounds from goal... I wonder if maybe what that night really gave me was a false sense of achievement. Maybe its just total coincidence that I've been more or less maintaining since that night... but the timing is ironic to say the least.

I knew this year wouldn't provide that kind of experience because - well - there hasn't been much change in the last 12 months. But for the first time in the 14 years I've been doing kids group, I had almost ZERO anxiousness over walking up to the stage! For the first time in several years, I even - willingly - took the microphone and spoke for a brief moment.

A few weeks ago, one of the girls was telling me that I needed a hair cut - duh, my last hair cut was in November 2008 - so I obliged her (even took her advice on the cut) and made a quick trip to a new salon in town yesterday, resulting in this....

Can I just say that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it when I get my hair flat ironed!!! Its hard to explain, but it gives me such a feeling of confidence and sleekness... almost like when you put on a pair of jeans that makes you look 10 pounds lighter. When I look in the mirror - with my hair straight - I feel like a totally different person.

As expected, I got tons of compliments on my hair... not so much otherwise... which is fine (its what I was anticipating)... but ya know what... it truly gives me a new sense of motivation... because I want that "belle of the ball" feeling again!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Something Long Overdue

If you've been reading for awhile you might remember my post about the "outfit in the window". Two long months after purchasing it, I finally have the picture that some of you insisted I must share. Pretty sure this is the first pic I've posted since I changed my hair color & I know its the first pic since Around the World ended. Please ignore the pasty white legs, lol.

I actually wore it on Mother's Day/my son's birthday... but finally got the picture uploaded tonight.

Why did I wait so long to wear the outfit? Well first I had to find the shoes... which actually was easy (they were already "hiding" in my closet). Then, I had to wait for warm enough weather... which turned out to be a long wait here in western Washington. Particularly here on the island, where even when its sunny the wind still tends to blow.

The debate over what to do with my "fun" money from my first paycheck is still ongoing. I actually ended up using the money to buy stuff for kids group... so I'm waiting to be reimbursed before I can use the money for myself. I'm torn between a spa treatment at this hotel I've been dying to go to for years or something like the spendy sunglasses I've been eyeing (but don't really want to spend The Husband's money on)... decisions I tell ya... but considering my Mother's Day experience, I'm tempted to do both, lol.

Ohhhh.... look what I finally got....

My reward to myself for finishing Around the World!!! They finally got another one in stock. Its actually sitting on layaway - just til we're sure The Husband has everything he needs for deployment - along with a little swing pack that matches it. :)
Day one of food/activity journaling went okay... Food wasn't the best; but I wrote it all down & I talked myself out of hitting the Starbucks drive-thru when I was in town. Activity was non-existent. I had planned to go for a long walk in the evening... but we got news of a serious financial setback and I ended up in a ball of tears instead. Sigh.
Wait... can crying count as physical activity? Probably not, but I'm tellin ya my abs are screaming at me after all the tears, lol.

Pizza or Hot Dogs???

When I found myself walking into my son's room at lunch time and asking this question - pizza or hot dogs??? - I knew for certain there was a serious problem. This is me who makes the deliberate choice to NOT bring foods such as these into the house. Yet here I was - after a trip to the commissary - asking this very question. Not only did I bring home pizza and hot dogs... but also pizza rolls, tortilla chips, full fat cheese (in two varieties), non-whole wheat pasta, and a few other poor choices that are slipping my mind at the moment. On the bright side, I did get a bunch of fresh produce & I refused to go down the snack food aisle of the store at all.

All joking aside, there is a problem here... a serious one that I think its long since time to chat about. It feels like I've reached a point - much like I did a few months ago - where I'm self-sabotaging. A number came on the scale and something inside of me went into "what if" panic mode. Or sometimes its not a number on the scale, but that I've lost more in a week than I feel like I "deserved" to lose based on my actions... this too can set me in panic mode.

Its happened a few times before and I've made excuses much as I could choose to this time - life is getting in the way, I'm worn out after the Challenge, I need to find balance, The Husband wanted all this good food, other people need my attention, the house needs cleaning... really the list could go on for days I'm sure. But really the time for excuses is over... so I'm going to say it here - though I don't know if I've ever really said it aloud to anyone... so you get to know one of my deep, dark secrets...

Okay I guess the secret is a two parter... first, when I hit about 190 I panic because I don't remember ever weighing any less than that... I know it makes no sense, but its like I don't know what to do with myself. The second one, much more serious in my mind, if I lose what I feel is "too much" for a given week based on my actions... I start fearing Cancer. Why? Because I remember when I was growing up and several family members were diagnosed with Cancer, hearing my Mom talk about how they had suddenly started losing lots of weight prior to being diagnosed. Literally since I was about eight years old, a big part of my mind has associated rapid weight loss with Cancer. The flip side of that is that somehow in my childhood mind, plumpness equalled health (or at least lack of Cancer).

How do I combat this secret fear of mine & keep it from hindering me?

Part of it is an attitude adjustment and forcing myself to let go of the fear. In a more tangible sense, blogging helps... so does keeping food and activity journals is critical. Then if I do a double take on the scale, I have something look back on and verify that I "earned" the number on the scale. Planning meals helps because then I know I've planned for success... it isn't something that's just randomly happening for no apparent reason. The last couple weeks have legitimately been insanely busy... I've barely blogged, haven't journaled a thing & meal planning has been something of a lost art... and guess what... I'm faltering BADLY.

This coming week is going to be as insanely busy as the last two - if not worse. Its always like this leading up to deployment (which is now a week away) and its only more chaotic this year with me having this job. Regardless, I must pull myself out of this downward spiral... so I'm going to focus on journaling all of my food and activity this week... even if I eat like I'm trying to gain 40 pounds instead of lose them and even if my activity level is that of an 80 year old woman who just had hip replacement surgery.

An unrelated side note... my son has decided that his coping mechanism for his Dad leaving is to proclaim that he hates him and will be happy when he leaves. We know its his way of dealing with it, but its still causing a lot of stress and anxiety in the house... especially hard for The Husband to hear when he's getting ready to deploy. So... if you're the praying kind, please pray for them... and maybe me as I try to keep the peace, lol.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

NSVs & The Next Challenge

Here I am! Thought I'd better hurry up and post before someone sent out a search party, lol. A few people have emailed me to see if I'm okay because I haven't posted... and yes, I am okay... just super busy. New job, the boy one's birthday, last minute details before The Husband leaves on deployment, end of the year events for kids group... I think I need an IV drip of caffeine to get through the next couple weeks. :-)

We took the boy one here for his birthday...

The Great Wolf Lodge. It was lots of fun for all of us and a major NSV for me. First, I have to share that thanks to a fellow blogger I was sporting an awesome new swimsuit... in a size MEDIUM!!!! Holy crapola I don't know when the last time I wore a medium swimsuit was... or if I ever did to be honest. Besides the suit, I actually felt comfortable going down all of the slides & there was no concern about exceeding the weight limits when I went on a tube with The Husband... which was an awesome feeling!

A quick note about a couple of other recent NSVs... these probably would've been posts of their own if I wasn't soooo dang busy the last couple weeks.

When I was at the bank getting change for the yard sale I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in a couple years. She told me that she'd seen me at the festival in town a few weeks ago. I asked why she hadn't said hello & her response was "I wasn't sure it was you, you look amazing!" Crazy I tell ya... I don't feel like I look that much different that a friend wouldn't be sure if it was me or not.

Then the very next day, at the yard sale, my new friend Lisa (I met her at the job training) and I were discussing my son. I commented that he was going to be twelve in a few days. She looked at me all surprised and said "Wait, how old are you? You don't look old enough to have a kid that age." When I told her I was 33, she said that she would have guessed I was closer to 25!!!

These little victories all mean so much right now when I'm struggling to eat well & haven't seen the inside of the gym in days... too many days.


Now for the next challenge...

I don't know if I've really mentioned this on my blog, but I'm going to the BOOBS gathering in Chicago in September. Someone had to keep Drazil from being the only band-less one there, lol.

I googled the distance between Seattle & Chicago, depending on the source I got numbers anywhere from 1727-2049 miles. Most sites said it was 1727-1749 miles, so I'm going to go with 1750 miles for this challenge. What is the challenge?

To move my tush (and the rest of me) 1750 miles between now & the Chicago trip! Miles will be combined for all of the cardio equipment at the gym... plus if I'm out walking, hiking or beach walking I'll be sure to have my pedometer so I can count that too. Yes, its a long term challenge... so naturally I will have short term things going on along the way too.

As for May goals, I mentioned in my last post that my only goal for the month was to make healthy choices in restaurants this month. The reason for this is just how crazy things are right now and I don't feel like I can handle the stress of overwhelming myself with a laundry list of goals/rewards til The Husband is on his way. One thing that is always true of the cycle leading up to deployment is that he wants to eat at all of the restaurants he will miss when he's away... so I KNOW that restaurants are going to be one of the biggest challenges this month.

On another note, my first real paycheck since I was pregnant with the boy one (yes the one who just turned 12) went into my bank account tonight... pondering what I should do with the part of it I've designated for "play." I have some ideas... but curiosity makes me ask...

What would you do with it???

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Around the World Challenge Wrap Up.... Finally

Note to self (and anyone who will listen): do not get sick while completing a major gym challenge & starting a new job... but if you must don't be stubborn and deny it until it turns into bronchitis. Yeah, that pretty much sums up what I've managed to do to myself in the last ten days.

The challenge has been done for over a week & I'm just now getting to updating you on the outcome... geez I told ya I'm waaaayyyyy behind here, lol. Honestly, I work well under pressure (the deadline drives me), but I HATE getting behind. And I've been missing blogging like crazy... my body says rest though... and I've been trying to listen.

As for the results... I don't have full results. You'll also notice I don't have post challenge pics - have to find time for someone to take them still, lol. The guy that did my measurements at the end did not do them in the same places as the girl who did them at the beginning & he insisted on measuring over my clothes. I was really frustrated because I wanted to see the true numbers. With his method of measuring I lost about 2" each from my waist & hips. I can tell that I lost inches in areas that they didn't measure for the Challenge. My weight loss was 6 lbs during the six weeks of the challenge. Not too bad, but not quite what I was hoping for. However, I do want to make it really clear that I increased my calorie intake considerably during the Challenge. I didn't want to rapidly drop weight in a manner that I can't sustain for the long term. And as much as I'd like to say I could... I don't think three hour workouts six days a week is something I can maintain.

The awards ceremony - complete with lunch - was Saturday. Now before I talk about the prizes, I have to tell you all I was FLOORED when they carried in 12 large pizzas & bread sticks from Little Caesars!!! Seriously, here we are at the gym challenge awards & they serve pizza???? Am I the only one that thinks that was a little out of place? I did not eat pizza, but had three bread sticks (they were the little ones) with fruit & veggies.

Now for the awards part... my name was chosen three times! But you can only keep one prize - I ended up with a $50 gift certificate for a local antique store. I'm totally happy with that since I love antiques & vintage stuff. My other choices when I was chosen were for a restaurant or rounds of golf. Once again, I have stop and ask why I would want to reward myself with food?!? These prizes are from "corporate sponsors" of the Challenge... so I understand there will be a variety of prizes, but still. My BFF Erika (yes the one I've been so frustrated with recently) won a family bowling package (which includes pizza, go figure). She was also the Women's Body Composition winner for our location! She was totally shocked, but I wasn't too surprised because I could see a big difference in her from the beginning.

Erika & I were two of only six people to complete the entire challenge for our gym location. The other location that combined with us for the awards had five people complete the entire thing. So out of 200 participants only 11 people finished the whole thing! I was a little bummed because they have decided to stop giving out the individual plaques for those who do the whole thing. I was looking really forward to adding another one to the wall in my office... but they are going to do a wall display inside the gym with all the names on it. I guess that's cool too because I can look at it every time I workout in the gym.

Kind of a cool experience. I was in Walmart with The Husband on Sunday night & two people stopped me to congratulate me on finishing the whole challenge! They were both people that completed part of it. I think it totally caught The Husband by surprise... which was amusing considering his general attitude about the whole thing. :-)

I had this whole post in my mind about my reflections from the challenge... but since I'm playing catch up its time to abbreviate I suppose. Conquering a huge goal brings a huge sense of empowerment... but as I've said before there is a feeling of peace that comes with it as well. Not only peace, but a feeling self-security... knowing that you can do what you need to do for yourself.

Beyond that the biggest thing I'm left with this year is a "stop the I can't" mentality because... I CAN. Let me explain... I'm one of those people that gets bored on any given piece of cardio equipment after a short time. 20 minutes on the elliptical & I'm ready to bolt... treadmill is about 10 minutes at best. This has led me (and I've heard others say it too) to say "I can't do more than 30 minutes." Well the simple truth is I CAN do quite a bit longer than that IF I choose to. Believe it or not, I discovered that the first 30 minutes is the most difficult. By the time you hit 30 minutes all of those little aches and pains that we so often use as excuses for stopping have subsided (or I suspect numbed away, lol). It actually got to the point where it was easier to stay on a single machine for a full hour than to split that hour between a pair of machines.

One other thing that I really noticed this year was the difference that skipping breaks can make. For example, I used to do the StairMaster in 15 minute increments - with a two minutes break in between - for a total of 30-45 minutes. I did this to catch my breath and let my heart rate recover a little. But when I would start again, it was hard to get going. I think those little breaks gave my brain just enough time to tell my legs that they were tired of climbing. Midway through the challenge, I started going all the way down to level one for my recovery periods rather than stopping. This helped immensely and I was able to climb for much longer periods... up to two hours on one crazy night.

The overall take away from the Challenge (barring injury & illness).... WE CAN DO ANYTHING WE SET OUR MINDS TO... its just a matter of being brave (or crazy) enough to set our minds to things that will truly push us to new levels!

Now that I've written an entire short story, its time to take the boy one to therapy & then off to be a "good" government employee for a few hours. My "advisers" have weighed in & with any luck I'll be back to share my next "crazy challenge" with you all soon!

Btw - My one and only May goal is to make healthy choices in restaurants... more to come on that later. :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Trying to Catch Up & A Winner

Wow, I am soooooo far behind! The last few days have been CRAZY and I have TON of stuff to share. Job training ended, the job officially started, we did whirlwind prep for the yard sale, had two full days of yard sale, and the awards at the gym for the Around the World Challenge. Somewhere in the midst of all that fun, I had to concede that what I was insisting was nothing more than allergies was in fact a nasty cold (bordering on bronchitis). Saturday it was all I could do to make it through dinner without falling asleep at the table. I was in bed by 10:30pm, which is unheard of for me. Sunday night, I crashed out on the floor (our living room furniture went the way of the yard sale) before 9:00pm & finally stumbled to the bedroom around 11:00pm. It was all I could do to get my son up & on the bus this morning... then I "napped" until after 10:00am. I'm feeling some better and managed to put in a couple of hours work late this afternoon.

On to the first installment of catching up, lol. I was supposed to announce the winner of the Cheerleader prize Friday night... which I remembered about 4:00am Saturday morning (when I was going to bed after setting up for the yard sale). So sorry... I swear my brain has turned to mush.

Here it is... the randomly selected winner of the Cheerleader prize is....


Congratulations!! Please look for an email from me in the next day or so.

Packages for all of my Cheerleaders (the ones that sent me addresses) will be in the mail this week.

I'm finalizing some plans for my May goals & rewards... hopefully I'll be back with another installment of catching up & those plans later tonight... or in the morning if I succumb to sleep again, lol.

What are your goals for May?