Monday, February 28, 2011

Weigh In 2/28/11, NSV & Stuck Support

Weigh In: 187.0.  -1.5 lbs down for the week.  Not too shabby.  I'm pretty happy with this.  It seems whenever I get myself back to gym, my weight loss stalls but it didn't this week.  I made it to the gym 4 times - 3 for jogging and 1 zumba class.  Hopefully I can keep it up.

  1. I did 3.1 miles (a 5k) on the treadmill in 48:40.  I jogged for 18 minutes straight...that was my longest streak without walking.  My shortest was 5 minutes and I never walked for more than 2 1/2 minutes at a time.  Overall, I'm very proud of me.  Keep in pace is pretty slow but I think that's bound to improve over time.
  2. A sports bra that has never fit me snapped in the back just fine.  On the one hand, that means my ladies are getting smaller.  On the other hand, it also means the length around my chest is smaller too and I'm losing some of my back fat.  Shrinking, no matter where it is, is gonna have to be a good thing.

Best Supporting Actor in  Stuck Situation:
In honor of the Oscars last night, I'd like to give an award of my own.  The Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in a Stuck Situation goes hubby.  We were visiting with some friends of his on Saturday.  We took our girls and their girls to this indoor amusement place and then went to their house for the rest of the evening.  Something to note here:  none of his friends know I'm banded and while there are some I wouldn't mind if they knew, these aren't those people.  The wives of this group are extremely catty and judgmental.  They also do a lot of talking behind the other women's backs so I REALLY don't want them to know about the band.  We got some fast food for dinner which for me consisted of a tuna melt and fries.  3 bites into the tuna melt and I was sufficiently stuck and had to dash to the bathroom to deal with it.  This bathroom shares a wall with the eat in kitchen.  While in there, I realized if I can hear them...what if they can hear me?  Uh oh.  Luckily, I had my hubby who caught on fairly quickly to what was going on.  He started rambling on to them about a vacation we took, never letting a moment of silence set in.  If that wasn't awesome enough, later his friend made a comment about how I wasn't eating much and kept asking if I didn't like it, my hubby jumped in and said "It always takes her forever to eat and she doesn't really eat much all at once."  His friend seemed to accept this just fine and even said "They say that's better for your system."  Whew...thanks honey.  And this leads me to why it's so important to have a good support system if you decide to get banded.  Yes, it's good to have the emotional support and someone to lean on through the rough times, blah, blah, blah.  But sometimes you just need someone who can think on their feet and make stuff up to take the attention off of you.  So kudos for my hubby on helping me out this weekend. 

Who has been your best supporting player throughout your weight loss efforts?

So there you have it.  My weekend in a nutshell.  Things are moving right along.  Today starts my first official day of my new budget.  I have to go pay the rent and take out the money for our "eating out" cash for the month.  I'm so excited about trying to lead a more fiscally responsible lifestyle.  LOL.  I know that seems weird.  I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend.  Happy Monday!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Abandoning C25K

Yes, you read it right.  I'm not doing the Couch to 5k or 5k101 program anymore.  Don't take this to mean I'm giving up.  Not at all.  In fact, I'll get to that in a minute.  But I am done with the structured training.  I have tried this program twice (I mean, REALLY tried twice...I've probably started about 5 or 6 times) and both times I just couldn't stick with it.  The first time, I thought it was because I was timing myself and it made me obsess with the clock.  This time, I tried a podcast thinking having someone to tell me when to walk and run would make it easier and I could just focus on form and breathing and not dying.  This so wasn't true.  I would hear Fred (That's what I named the voice of the program) say "You're doing great - only a minute to go," while I was running and think "Are you freakin' kidding me Fred?!?!  Another whole *%$! minute?!?!  I'll never make it."  It was terrible.  So Monday when I just couldn't bring myself to do it, I walked...adjusting the incline.  Wednesday, when I was committed to get back to my running program, I still just couldn't bring myself to listen to the techno music and Fred patronizing me as I attempted to run.  So I did my own thing.  I ran for 4 minutes and walked for 2.  I made it 1.8 miles in 30 minutes.  Not bad.  I think it was a good program at the me pushing myself more than I thought I could but now I think I can do that on my own.  I want to run for 30 minutes without stopping.  I want to run a 5k - run it, not walk it.  That's my goal.  I'll just keep inching up until I get there, watching the Kardashians or E! Investigates or whatever while I do it. 

All that rationalization aside, I am signing up for my first 5k.  This gives me a "due date", so to speak.  I think I need that deadline to keep motivated.  I walked a 5k in 2009.  It took me 1:15.  I want to run this one in 45 minutes or less.  That's shaving just a half hour off the walk.  Let's keep in mind that I'm also 40 lbs lighter this time through and actually preparing in some way.  The walk I did was just that...a fun little walk that required no prep on my part.  Not this time.  This one's at the Phoenix Zoo so there are some hills and what not.  It's March 26th.  So I have exactly almost one month to add 1.5 miles to my workout.  I noticed the treadmill has a 5k run workout.  It adjusts the incline and you adjust the speed.  I think this is going to be my golden ticket to achieving my goal.  Staying on top of my workouts is key.  So I'm looking to "run" (I wonder if the day will ever come when I'll feel comfortable just saying RUN and not putting in quotes since what I do now certainly can't be considered running...anywayz) 3 days a week and then do Zumba on Saturdays.  The Zumba is just fun and is good cardio.  You need good cardio for running too, right? 

I've also set a birthday goal.  Not sure if I had mentioned this and I'm too lazy to go back and look.  As I've mentioned in the past, I don't do weight goals because I find them deflating if I don't hit it.  That's why I have 5k, 10k and half marathon type goals.  But for some reason, I felt I needed a birthday goal so here it is.  By June 30th (yep...big 3-0) birthday...I want to lose another 18 lbs.  That gives me 122 days or 17 weeks. I know that doesn't sound that ambitious to most of you.  That's a measly pound a week.  But for someone who doesn't lose as fast as others, I think it's realistic and if I surpass it, so be it.  That would put me at 170 lbs.  I honestly cannot remember the last time I was at that weight.  So to be turning 30, weighing less than I have in YEARS will feel pretty darn good.  I've even added a Birthday Goal ticker...I must be serious about this.  LOL.

And with that, I leave you with a C25K Friday Funny...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wrinkled 5 Dollar Bill

So I'm not sure if any of you follow the blog I'm going to mention (he has over 1000 followers so it's certainly possible) but Single Dad Laughing has quickly become one of my favorites.  He made this post today.  I highly recommend you go and read it.  If you don't want to take the time, let me give you a quick rundown.  Basically, he compares self worth to a wrinkled up $5 bill.  In essence, he says that it doesn't matter how you're feeling about yourself on the outside (some days are more confident than others), your self worth doesn't change.  A wrinkled $5 bill is still worth $5...just the same as a new crispy one.  I think this is such an important message to anyone that's embarking on a weight loss journey (anyone in life but this is a weight loss blog so work with me).

Amy at the Land of Cheese and Sunkist was talking about how now that she's thinner, she feels she's lost some of her "street cred" about being big.  We all know that's not true.  Amy is the same person she was before she lost the weight.  I've read some other blogs (sorry I don't remember which ones) where people are being told they've "changed since losing weight."  Chances are you didn't change.  My BFF went through this once she lost the bulk of her weight too.  She didn't change either.  I'm not going to change once I lose my weight.  No, I'm not making an empty promise.  How can someone promise not to change?  Easy.  Who we are is who we are.  Some of us were just hiding our true personalities, desires, needs, wants, etc. under a layer of fat. 

Now back to self worth.  Do any of you believe that you didn't deserve happiness, love, your dream job, your dream lover, that new house, new car, or whatever you wanted just because you were fat?  I'm sure some of you did believe that you did/do deserve less out of life because of your weight issues.  Some may settle for a spouse that isn't really right for them because that's who loved you when you were fat.  Some may not have had the confidence to seek out a better job or better situation because you felt you wouldn't get it anyway.  Was any of this reality?  No.  You deserve happiness and peace in your life whether you fat, thin, black, white, blind or deaf.  For those of us still early in this weight loss journey and are nowhere near goal, we still struggle with this.  Losing weight isn't just about the physical adaptation to a new way of eating, moving and living.  It's a new way of thinking...not just about food or our relationship with food, but a new way of thinking about who we are, who we want to be and that we deserve to be healthy.  We DESERVE to take the time to work out.  We DESERVE to feel happy and celebrate our progress.  We DESERVE to be the best possible versions of ourselves.  I think it's important to have this reminder that we ARE WORTHY of all the things we want out of life and the only thing standing between us and those things are OURSELVES.

So...Single Dad Laughing put it a whole lot better than I could so go check out his blog.  And remember...wrinkly, wadded up $5 bills are just as good as crisp, clean brand new ones.  And pudgy, chubby, overweight panda bears are just as lovable and endangered as brand new cubs. 

Asian Flank Steak Roll-Ups

Just thought I'd post a recipe I tried last night.  Hubby and I liked it a lot but my girls weren't as thrilled.  If you have little kids, you may want to have a backup handy.  Of course, I can't just follow a recipe so I did change some stuff.  I used sirlion instead of flank steak, juice from 2 fresh oranges instead of orange juice concentrate and lemon juice instead of lime juice because that's what I had laying around my house.  Banded folks - I did eat this with the tortilla and could only eat about 1/4 of it.  My hubby had it without the tortilla and said it was still really good.  The picture below is from my cookbook - but mine did look awfully close.  Without further ado...

12 oz beef flank steak
3 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tortillas
1 red or yellow pepper, cut into strips
1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings
1/4 c hoisin or plum sauce (I used plum - very yummy)
1 c shredded napa cabbage
  1. Score meat on both sides.  Place meat in a plastic bag set in shallow dish.  For marinade, in small bowl, combine orange juice concentrate, water, lime juice, ginger, oregano, salt, cayenne pepper and garlic.  Pour over meat; seal bag.  Marinate in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours, turning bag occasionally.
  2. Preheat boiler.  Drain meat, reserving marinade.  Place meat on the unheated rack of broiler pan.  Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat for 15 to 18 minutes or until medium doneness, turning once.  Thinly slice meat diagonally across the grain.
  3. Wrap tortillas in foil.  Place beside the broiler pan for last 8 minutes of broiling meat.  Meanwhile, pour reserved marinade into medium saucepan.  Stir in sweet pepper and onion.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer, covered for 5 to 8 minutes until vegetables are tender.  To serve, spread each tortilla with some of the hoisin/plum sauce.  Top with napa cabbage and beef.  Using a slotted spoon, spoon pepper mixture over beef and roll up.
Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Info Per Serving:
411 cal, 11 g total fat, 34 mg cholesterol, 673 mg sodium,
50 g carb, 5 g fiber, 26 g protein

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

40 lbs GONE!

That's right guys and gals!  This panda bear has lost 40 lbs so far!  I weighed in yesterday at 188.5....40.5 lbs down from where I started.  I've always struggled to lose even 5-10 lbs in the past so I am supery dupery happy with this.  As I've mentioned before, I went years without owning a scale.  My emotional need to lose weight was rooted in being several sizes larger than my friends.  My best guess as to when I was last below 190 was for my wedding...I believe I was between 180-190 7 1/2 years ago.  Now, this won't be a news flash to a lot of you out there but 180-190 7 1/2 years and 2 kids ago looked A LOT different than it does now.  That's a little frustrating.  I know, I know.  What did I expect?  Well, to be honest...I had no idea what to expect.  Either's good progress and I'm happy for it.  And for those of you wondering, I have lost the equivalent of 1 seriously overweight skunk...

No...not my skunk

The weekend was good.  Nothing too exciting.  My car is "fixed."  I put that in quotes because I won't believe it until I drive around a good week or so without having issues.  Luckily, said car is still under warranty so not much out of pocket expense there.  I did finish up my budget.  Turns out my hubby and I were on the same page and some big cuts are coming.  We're doing away with cable because we just don't watch that much TV.  We're also doing away with the Internet (at least until we move in June because then we can use a different service provider and get a better deal).  As far as cell phones go... with all the trouble we've had with the car, it would have been an absolute nightmare if I didn't have a cell phone to use when I kept getting stranded places.  So we're not doing away with that.  What we are going to do is research changing our plan to a less expensive one and see what we really need out of them.  Obviously, the biggest areas we can cut has to do with FOOD!  We eat out WAY too often so that's where the biggest change is going to come from.  Not only will that be good for the pocketbook but also good for the waistline.  We're also going to try to cut down on the driving on weekends since gas has gotten so high (again, this will be until we move...we just live so far away from stuff right now).  It feels good to have a financial plan and I'm ready to really start saving some money.

Not a whole lot else going on.  Doing OK on the food front.  My choices weren't the best over the weekend but I certainly ate a whole lot less of it.  I did finally make it back to the gym yesterday.  It was a mental battle, I tell you.  I still REALLY didn't want to go and the idea of doing my 5k program just sounded like the absolutely worst idea ever.  I went.  I didn't do the 5k program but I did 30 minutes on the treadmill, upping the incline every 3 minutes or so.  Then I did some weight lifting...working on my arms (Dear Lord!  The flab!), legs and back.  I worked up a good sweat and it felt good.  Going back tomorrow.  Hope everyone had a fantastic Monday and are looking forward to an even better Tuesday!

Friday, February 18, 2011

News Day Friday

Happy Friday to one and all!  I have a 3 day weekend (as do a lot of people here in the States who get Presidents' Day off) and I just can't wait.

How am I, you ask?  Eh.  I'm hanging in there.  My car is still broken...took it back to the dealer yesterday.  That's right folks...We're on two weeks of crappy car stuff.  Family drama has reared its ugly head again.  But it's Friday so what's not to love about that.  Some of you may recall that one thing I wanted to accomplish in 2011 is setting a budget.  Well, my friends...I started that process today and should have a budget hammered out by tonight.  I'm fighting the need to make drastic changes to our lifestyle.  I know some would think that's what's needed given our current lifestyle but I'd worry about what it would do to the girls and I'm pretty sure my hubby would kill me.  I'm talking things like get rid of cable, Internet, cell phones, sell a car...stuff like that.  I'm so sick of our current financial situation that I'm worried I'll do something drastic.  I won't...because my hubby and I are going over the finances together and he wouldn't let me get rid of all that stuff... or would he?  Would it really be so terrible not being "plugged in?"  Being a one car household?  Both our cars are paid off so maybe that's silly.  But there are things we want to do - buy a new car in a couple years, move in June (so we'll need a deposit and rent a truck, get the carpets cleaned, etc.), and get caught up with my student loans.  All this being said, we need to make some cuts.  Moving on....

3 different weight loss articles were on the usatoday website today.  I apologize for not having the links.  One was announcing the FDA's approval of the lapband for lower BMI's.  Can I get a WAHOO!!!  I think it's great that more people will be able to take advantage of this tool and improve their health.  Let's hope insurance companies follow suit in making it more accessible as well. 

Of course, you knew there'd be something to bother me in the news.  Just under this lapband article, was a general human interest story of a nurse who lost 180 lbs the "old fashioned" way.  Now, I applaud this woman who started at 399 lbs and is now down to 217.  That's AMAZING!!  And to do it solely through diet and exercise....I'm awestruck. Of course, if you scroll down to comments section of the article, it becomes a fat bashing frenzy.  "How many Twinkies do you have to eat to get that big?" and on and on it went.  Then came the WLS naysayers "See?  She didn't need surgery to lose weight.  Can you believe what the FDA just did?"  I realize it's America and everyone's entitled to their opinion.  I just don't see why people have to be so mean.  Seriously...what happened to being nice to people?  Or at least polite? 

The third article is from the "Duh" section of the paper.  Obesity alone leads to higher risk of a fatal heart attack.  No kidding?

So there you have it.  Your Weight Loss News Update in 100 words or less (I didn't count - I have NO idea how many words are there).  Drazil has been going through such a tough time with her daughter being bullied at school and it has roused quite a few memories for me.  I think I will share them with you but I'm not emotionally ready quite yet.  Instead, I leave you with a Friday Funny (of course):

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Disappearing from Blogland

Not me!

There are have been a few people I follow who seemed to have dropped off the planet from Blogland.  They've started coming back around and their reasons are all the same.  They fell off the wagon.  They fell into a pit of despair and vicious cycle of overeating/eating crap, feeling ashamed so they eat some more which leads to feeling more ashamed which leads to...

You get my point.  And because they've got people following their every pound in Blogland, instead of fessing up, they disappeared.  Now that they're trying to get back on track, they're re-appearing.  Well, here's the thing...that's all well and good and I'm happy to offer the support.  I've been there.  We have ALL been there.  But disappearing doesn't help.  We fatties (former fatties for some) have a way of running away from our problems.  What did we do before we got on the healthy train?  We ATE our feelings.  Now that we can't do that, how do we cope?  Hell if I know.  But it seems that avoiding the real issues is what we're good at.  Since we've now involved others in our journey, we run away by disappearing.  We're just not going to post what we ate today or what the scale says.  (I know I got as fat as I did by avoiding the scale completely - didn't even own one) That way, it's as if the binging and crying and sneaking food, etc. isn't really happening.  Well, my friends.  It IS happening.  Avoiding us in Blogland doesn't change that.  We all claim that we started the "journal" (blogging) for ourselves, to have a record of our journeys.  Uh huh.  Then we got followers and we felt the support we get from them but along with that support, came accountability and I think that scares the poop out of some people.

What's the point of this post?  I guess I don't really have one.  I guess I'm just trying to say that if an alcoholic really wants a drink, do they skip the AA meeting that week?  No.  They go and fess up to the feelings.  It's easy to accept suppport and praise when you're doing well but it's asinine to think that if you've fallen, then you don't need (or maybe deserve?) the same level of support.  So to all the disappearing bloggers out there who may just be lurking waiting for inspiration to strike.  Please take this as a wake up call to come back, start typing and start getting healthy again.

Stepping off of soapbox long enough to say I still haven't gone to the gym.  I'm still on Week 3 of the 5k program if I can still even do that.  I've caught a cold or some kind of sinus thing and feel like crap.  That could also be accounting for the tone of this post.  I just know that I find a lot of support here and it makes me angry when people don't let others help them when it's obvious they need it.  Guess I got back up on that soapbox again.  Hmmm...not sure I have much more to contribute.  I had a good day at work today and I finally get the car back from the mechanic today (Yes...still dealing with that).  I'm kind of sad to see the rental go but tis life.  My eating hasn't been terrible but my water intake is horrid.  Gotta get back on track with that.  See?  Struggling a bit here...but that's OK.  I'm not going anywhere.  All of you that follow along are just gonna have deal with it when I'm not feeling the love.  SO THERE!

Happy Hump Day everybody!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Weigh In

Happy Valentine's Day! a cute little V-Day story for you.  I can't remember the exact year, but one V-Day (I was either pregnant or JUST had my oldest) my hubby and I didn't make any reservations anywhere.  We kind of decided at the last minute that we would do something and found out the hard way why that's not a good idea.  Every place we pulled into was absolutely packed.  We were starving and ended up at Taco Bell. romantic.  Back then, being together was all we needed and we spent over an hour just eating and talking.  Now, every year...we go to Taco Bell for Valentine's Day...even this year.  I'll just eat way less.  LOL.

Weigh In - 190. read that right.  That is a 3.5 lb loss from last week!  I have no idea why.  Between my car and my back, I got in 0, zilch, zip, nada workouts in.  But I'll take it.  The scale Gods must just be smiling down on me and so help me...I will just say WAHOO and thank them for it.

Fill news - Holy mother of restriction!  I finally understand what people mean when they say they have "restriction."  Saturday morning, I was a little scared.  My back pain has not only not gone away but it's spreading.  I now have pain that starts in my neck, goes across my collar bone and down through my shoulder blade.  I took Advil Saturday morning and promptly got stuck.  Seriously, 2 little pills and they just sat there.  Finally, after a few painful moments they went down.  I was seriously thinking "Oh no.  I'm too tight."  Yet, I was able to eat regular food (chewing very carefully and eating very slowly) without a problem.  So I came to the conclusion that chugging water is a no-no.  Lesson learned.  We went out to dinner last night and I had 3 pieces of fried zucchini and 2 ribs.  That's right...2 ribs. I can't remember the last time I only had 2 ribs.  What a waste going out to dinner seems like now but I love it!  I love how little I can eat and feel satisfied right now.  I hope this restriction sticks around.

Found: 1 Lost Blogger.  So if you were following Mandy and thought she had stopped blogging because you didn't have the new link to her blog - here ya go.  If you haven't met Mandy yet, go check her out.  She's a cool chickadee with a great name.  Mandy's Journey

So the lack of progress in my 5k training.  I am stalled at week 3 just from a general lack of bothering to get my butt to the gym.  Here's a Monday Motivator for me and everyone else to remind us why we really aren't working out:

Friday, February 11, 2011

BYOC and Fill Update

Been forever since I've done one but here we go...
BYOC Friday….5 little questions you can copy and paste into your blog to get to know each other better and to give your blogging brain a break!

1. What day of the week do you love and what day of the week do you hate?
Love: Saturday.  I love it.  No work, no dreading going back to work.  Perfect.
Hate: Wednesday - not end of the workweek in sight!
2. What is your middle name and is there a meaning behind it?
Marie - both my grandmothers' middle name
3. Since I’m dreaming of my next tattoo, I’m going to ask this one. Do you have any tattoos? How many? If you don’t have one – what would you get if you did have one?
I have 1.  It's angel wings with the word "Panda" between them.  My nickname...because I'm a total angel right?  RIGHT?
4. On that same theme of dirty little secrets…how many piercings do you have? Any you wish you had?
Just 4 - 2 in each ear.  No need for more.
5. Repeat question: Summarize your life in blog land and in real life.

Blogland - Fantabulous - discovering some new bandsters, always fun.  Some people seem to be struggling or trying to remotivate themselves but I love watching them on their journey

Pandaland - I already wrote about that this week...I don't think we need to revisit it.

My fill!!!  Went to my doc.  He's happy with my progress.  He gave me my 3rd fill with a sonogram so he could see (not sure if any other docs do this).  I didn't get to see but my hubby said he gave me "a lot."  So I guess that's all I need to know.  For new followers (and I have picked up a few - thanks for following along), I don't know what size my band is or how much fluid is there.  I find it's better not to know so I don't obsess.  Anywhoozle...already feeling a BIG difference.  I had mashed potatoes last night.  I ate like half a serving and was full.  I had another half a serving today for lunch and that was it.  It  feels like stuff is moving quite a bit slower in there so we'll see how it goes.  It's definitely a different feeling and I hope I don't struggle too much adjusting to it. 

Happy Friday to all my peeps!  (I just don't think I can pull off "peeps")  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Feeling Better

Thanks for the responses yesterday.  Made me feel a lot better.  You always hear it...Things will look better in the morning...and sure enough, they do.  Has anything changed since that post?  No.  Not one thing has changed.  My car is still in the shop, my back still hurts (can you believe that?) and I still haven't won the lottery.  But I feel better.  I feel more at peace, more grateful for what I have.  I realize that in the grand scheme of life, my life really isn't such a hot mess.  I have a hubby and children who love me, parents that support me and help out and an awesome following on my little blog with people who will pipe up when I'm feeling down.  What more does a person need?

I have an appointment with my surgeon today.  I haven't seen him since before Thanksgiving.  According to my scale, I've lost 10 lbs since then.  We'll see what his scale says.  Now that I'm looking at it, that's only 3 lbs per month.  Hmmm...I definitely need to amp up the workouts and get moving.  I hope I get a little fill today too.  I can definitely eat way more than I should be able to and I know I get hungry before 3-4 hours between meals.  I'm a little worried about being overfilled after reading some recent experiences other bandsters have had but I also know that proper fill level is uberimportant when it comes to making the band work for you. 

Just read that BOOBS 2.0 has been planned.  I'm hoping the finances are agreeable and I can go but we'll have to see.  So that's about it.  Hope y'all have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shaping Up to a Crappy New Year?

February 9, 2011

We are over a month in to the New Year and I gotta far it sucks.  My cruise was good...but outside of's just not off to a great start.

First...let's try some good news...(I'm hoping by the end of this post, I'm out of my poor-me rut).  My brother in law - thank you so much for all the prayers and well wishes.  He's been accepted into a promising study that could possibly buy more years with my sister and her kids.  Please continue to keep him in your thoughts...he began radiation and chemo on Monday and so far, so good.  The community outreach has really touched us.  His work held a fundraiser for him and raised over $10,000!  Another friend started a team for the Relay for Life in April (thinking of flying out to participate - money will dictate that I think) and they've raised over $1,500 so far.  All this is good stuff and makes me grateful that my sister has such a good support system since we're all so far away.

My car - Ugh.  Double, Triple Ugh even.  Last month, my Check Engine light came on and since the car is still under warranty, I took it to the dealer to have it looked at.  They replaced the thermostat and it was covered by warranty so it didn't cost that much.  Check and Check.  Flash forward almost exactly one month to last Thursday.  It overheated on the freeway on the way home from work.  I drove it right back to the dealer.  They kept it all day Friday to tell me they couldn't duplicate it and they can't find anything wrong with it.  I take the car back, drive it around all weekend and have no problems.  Monday, on my way home from work in the exact same spot on the freeway... Overheated.  Drove it back to the dealer, leaving the car running and tell them "You couldn't duplicate it.  Well, now you don't have to.  It's overheating right now."  They took it right back and inform me it's "air pockets" from when they replaced the thermostat and had to refill the thingamajig.  OK...this sounds made up but I'll go with it.  Yesterday....same $*&! spot on the highway....Overheating.  I drive it back to the dealer...thoroughly ticked off.  They gave me a rental and said they'll have their "Chevy guy" look at it.  *sigh*  Don't mechanics actually train to diagnose issues anymore?!?!?  They just plug these cars into computers and let it spit out what's wrong with it!  Since the computer says everything's must be fine.  Ugh!!!!  At least I have a rental.  And I like the rental more than my car (even though I love my car) so they can keep as long as they need to.

My back.  Seriously????  I'm in better shape than I've seen in the last 6 years and I woke up yesterday practically unable to move from this horrendous back pain.  I took a couple Motrin (I know, I know) and it didn't even put a dent in it.  I haven't worked out all week (I know, I know) so I couldn't have pulled anything.  I went to bed Monday night feeling fine, woke up Tuesday unable to stand up straight.  WTF???  This morning is A LITTLE better but still pretty painful.  I'm hoping it's completely gone by tomorrow.  Between the car issues and the back workout Monday, Tuesday or today.  Ugh.

Work stuff.  There's really not a lot here to report.  I did have my "discussion" with the guy from that other group that would involve relocation and a possible promotion.  I decided that it just wasn't for me.  1) They couldn't pay me what I'd be worth at that point.  2) Their group is already beyond dysfunctional and I don't think everyone over there is ready to change that.  3) I don't feel the need to get a "promotion" but get less respect for what I do.  So there you have it.  Stuck in my same position in the same freakin' cubicle I've been at for the last 5 years.  *sigh*  Again, it's not that I dislike my job.  I'm actually fairly content with my job.  I just feel like it's time for something more. 

Money Stuff.  I know...I know... Who ISN'T having this problem right now?  Some years ago, my hubby and I got into quite a bit of debt.  We learned our lesson, started paying cash for everything and slowly started paying off the debt.  We weren't getting anywhere.  We finally enlisted the help of a nonprofit debit counselling agency.  Not one where they settle the debt or consolidate...just one that negotiates lowest interest rates, you make one payment to them and they divy it out to the creditors.  We still own the accounts and can make payments ourselves if we want to (not that we can).  Yes, we can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.  In two years, we'll be debt free (outside of my hubby's student loans.  He went to law school so we'll probably have those forever).  Does the idea of being debt free make me happy?  Yes.  But it doesn't change the fact that for the next two years, it's more of the same.  Scrimping, saving...paycheck to paycheck...praying that nothing unexpected happens because we just don't have extra cash around.  It's exhausting constantly trying to come up with enough money even just for the basics...gas, groceries, car insurance.  I feel like we've worked so hard and we have nothing to show for it.  Then I start feeling guilty.  My girls don't get new clothes very often...they're not currently signed up for any kinds of activities (soccer ended in December).  True...they're only 5 and 3 and maybe organized activities isn't really necessary right now but they have interests in doing some (my oldest has expressed an interest in dance class and my youngest liked soccer more than my actual soccer player).  The truth is the money just isn't there to pay for this stuff right now.

So let's try to circle back to the positive stuff.  I'm healthier than I've been in years.  My hubby is back on the healthy train and will, God willing, be banded sometime this year.  My girls are healthy, happy and so, so funny.  And we're making it.  We're paycheck to paycheck but somehow we always put food on the table.  I guess it's just going to have to be enough, eh? 

With that...I leave you with a Hump Day Happy Thought:

Happiness comes only from appreciating what you have right now. You can even be happy by appreciating your troubles because they are helping to build your character.

      - Harriet Meyerson

Monday, February 7, 2011

Weigh In 2/7/11

193.5 - Wahoo!  So that's a 2.5 lb loss from last week.  Just as I thought, the 1 lb gain was water so I lost that and a another 1 1/2 lb.  I'll definitely take it.  Eating has been OK - not the best choices but trying to really watch the portions.  No major PB issues since I've been back from my trip so that's been nice too.  I have an appointment with the doc on Thursday and I am hoping for a small fill. 

This past week, I did realize that I'm a stress eater.  I don't want to say "emotional" eater because I don't find that I eat when I'm sad.  I do celebrate with food but that's more just a habit.  I had car problems last week (ugh) and dealing with the service center was...challenging.  As I got angrier about the whole thing, I started grazing at work.  I ate all. freaking. day. long.  I seriously haven't grazed like that in FOREVER.  As the day wound to a close, I looked back on my eating and thought, "WTF???  I'm not an emotional eater."  And I'm not.  I'm an angry eater.  So there you go.  Something to work on next time I'm feeling stressed or something really ticks me off.

News updates - I've seen all kinds of weight related news stories recently.  It must be linked to all that New-Year-Get-Healthy psychosis I wrote about previously.  So I thought I'd give you the links and my opinions on each.

Working Mothers to Blame for Childhood Obesity.  OK...maybe I'm taking it too personally but the gist is that children with working mothers have higher BMI's than those with nonworking mothers.  It goes on to follow the logical conclusion that working mothers have less time to prepare nutritious home cooked meals and pack healthy lunches, etc.  As a working mother, I can't argue with any of that.  I'm not nearly as good about it as I should be.  Luckily, I have a hubby who is an equal partner in the child rearing.  He makes sure our daughter gets a healthy lunch every day and we work together to try to put healthy dinners on the table at night.  However, what disturbed me most about this study is that it never mentions Dad's role in the whole thing.  Why is raising your child to be healthy solely a mother's responsibility?  I think it was an interesting study but found the sexism appalling.  I also found it annoying that they don't offer any suggestions.  It basically says "'re not doing your job so you better step up."  Maybe it should talk about all the poor food options available at schools these days or how much more expensive it is to buy fresh produce as opposed to fruit snacks in the supermarket.

Let's Start a Mommy War - Formula is Bad! thing I cannot stand about women who are also mothers is the Mommy Wars.  You other moms know exactly what I'm talking about and we're probably all guilty of it to some degree.  It's these fights that mothers start amongst themselves about how breast is best, formula is fantastic, kiddie yoga rocks, baby sign language is the best/worst thing since sliced bread, etc.  And for some reason, some women feel compelled to fight to the death about these issues.  The media doesn't help.  This article talks about a study the links formula fed babies/early solid babies to obesity.  For the record, I breastfed both my girls for the first few months and then went to formula when I went back to work (so everyone knows where I'm coming from on this).  OK...first this article provides very little information about the study itself (how many people were studied, for how long, the methods, etc.)  That always bugs me.  I need data people!  They offer only one possible reason for why formula fed babies would be heavier...that breastfeeding moms stop feeding their kids when they're full as opposed to formula fed mommies who encourage infants to finish the bottle regardless.  I'm willing to say that it's a plausible explanation but I know when my kids were done with their bottle, there was no way I could get them to take more.  They would clam up and keep pushing it away.  What bugs me is that they throw this story out there with very little back up but there are some over-eager La Leche League members who will take it as the bible and use to it make moms who want to formula feed feel guilty.  Bah!
Disclaimer about LLL - I know they're a wonderful resource that provides a lot of support to breast feeding women but I also know of some militant members of this organization that seem to have a whole other agenda. 

WLS May Be Good For Your Heart.  I'm sure this would come as no surprise to most people who follow this little blog of mine but this little gem of a study links to Gastric Bypass to improvement in heart function in obese people.  They ramble on for a good bit talking about the link between obesity and heart disease (and other ailments - a.k.a comorbidities) and then make the obvious link between gastric bypass that allows people to lose the excess weight and improvement in key vital statistics.  This must have been in the "DUH" section of the paper.  "This just in:  Not being overweight may improve your health!  Tune in at 11!"  Here's what especially irks me about this one though - "More research is needed" was added to the headline of this article.  The caveat, obviously, is can people retain this weight loss over time.  Again, thanks for stating the obvious.  People are so hell bent on painting WLS to be a bad thing or a "lazy man's way" that they can't even accept the obvious benefits it offers to a lot of people.  I guarantee if the study were something like "Exercise and healthy diet increases heart efficiency," there would be no disclaimer at the end about "further research needed.  How many of people who have lost weight the "traditional way" have kept it off?  Statistics aren't inspiring.  There are a few that have.  My BFF is one of them.  She's done free.  Not everyone is so lucky.  I'm just getting really sick of the judgment there.

So that's my look at the news.  A few stories that just jumped out at me and I felt the need to ramble about them.  I haven't worked out in about a week.  I was so proud of myself for working out while I was on my cruise and then I came back and turned into a slug.  Getting back into my 5k training this week though.  I gotta keep pushing on.  Tonight, I'm going to my grandmothers 90th birthday dinner.  90 years...can you believe it?  She's a bit nuts these days (don't feel bad - she's always been a bit looney) but just think of all she's seen.  She came over from Germany when she was a teenager...she was actually part of the whole German Youth Movement type thing so, needless to say, she's got some interesting views on things. 

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend.  If you're a Packers fan, congrats!  If not, sorry for your loss.  I hope everyone was able to hold out on the Super Bowl munchies as much as possible.  If you did, you're a winner regardless of which team you were rooting for.

Friday, February 4, 2011

My Trip In Pictures

As promised, this post is about my trip and overall, nonband related.  So let's get started....these things are usually more interesting in pictures but obviously...most of them are of me so deal with it.  My cruise was a 3 day deal out of Long Beach, CA with a stop Saturday in Ensanada.  My BFF and I drove to Long Beach on Thursday and went to the aquarium and to a piano bar that night.  If any of you are ever in Long Beach and looking for some fun, I highly recommend Sgt. Pepper's Piano Bar.  Their facebook site is better but can't access it from work so that's the link you're stuck with.  We had a blast there!
This lady was hilarious

Us at the Piano Bar after several...ahem...beverages

Queen Mary at Long Beach
Pretty Nemo fish at the aquarium
 Then after a teensy issue with a birth certificate question (read: spent an hour trying to check in for the cruise) we got on the boat.

It was windy
And we had our first boat drink...Lisa - this one's for you....

I know it's tough but try to ignore the back fat.  Ewwww...but the drink was good

Then we went to our state room and this was our view

Then we decided to hit the hot tub as we pulled out of port.  Here's where a NSV kicked in.  The bathrobe wrapped around problem whatsoever with a little room to spare!

Saturday we did a winery tour.  Pretty good wine...great food.  Got super stuck on pizza but tis life.
On the bus to the vineyards

Look at all that wine!

Largest winery in Mexico - actually started by an Italian - go figure

These two are all mine!

And of course, your cabin steward makes the towel animals. 

We couldn't decide if this was a dog or a pig
  I did pretty well on the eating front.  I had fish for dinner every night and only had dessert at dinner time.  I did eat nachos every day with cheese sauce because I loved the chips! 

My fish the first night.  Very yummy
Sunday was our "Fun Day at Sea"....ahem.
Hairy Chest Contest finalists

They made a cool little star out of the straw wrapper.  This was yummy too

Last day - all relaxed and ready to face the real world.
 I did have an extra horrible PB episode on the drive home.  We stopped for a "quick" lunch at Panda Express and I was reminded as to why there are no "quick" stops with the band.  I PB'd over and over and over in the 30 minutes that followed trying to eat lunch.  It actually made me feel nauseous causing my friend to have to pull over twice so I could take care of business.  So gross!

So there you have it.  My trip in review.  I had a great time.  I don't think I'll ever be what you might call a "cruiser."  I liked it but I don't think this would be my preferred vacation over a week or anything but it's definitely a fun weekend getaway.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I'm Back

Just a quick post to let you know I didn't fall overboard.  Had a great time and weighed in this morning at 196.  Only up 1 lb since last week so I'm going to attribute it to water retention because the only clear liquid I drank on my cruise was rum.  I know I'll lose it by Monday. 

So busy at work today so hope to get a full post up tomorrow with pictures and everything!  Happy Hump Day and if you live in blizzard country, STAY WARM!