Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Feeling Down

Good morning.  This is probably not going to be an altogether happy post so feel free to skip.  Feeling a little down today.  Got a call from my mom last night and Grandma is slowly slipping away.  She's now having seizures fairly regularly throughout the day.  They hope to move her to the nursing home today and then they'll call hospice in to do what they do.  Reality was setting in for my grandfather yesterday and he's quite upset (of course).  I'm glad my mother can be with him.  She's the oldest daughter of six kids so I think he looks to her for taking care of everything.  My mom is, undoubtedly, up to the task but I feel for him and her.  It sounds like it's starting to take a bit of a toll on her but I think she's holding up OK.  Hubby checked out flights last night and good lord they're expensive!  We had been trying to work out how we would both be able to go as far as finding care for the kids but I think finances are going to dictate that only I go when the time comes.  While none of this is unexpected as my grandmother's health has been deteriorating for quite some time, it is still tough to go through.  I'm glad all 6 of her kids are up with her and the majority of the grandchildren are too.  There are only a few of us who live further away.  Oh well...enough of that.

Checking in on yesterday - not quite as good as the day before:

  • No cookies - Check
  • No chocolate - Check
  • No fast food (Mon-Fri) - Check
  • No coffee house coffee (Mon-Fri) - Check
  • No eating out (Mon-Fri) - No Check
  • Get all my water in - Check
  • Work out at least 3 days - No Check
  • Minimal snacking - Not bad

  • Alright...I'll tackle the eating out first - I ate out twice yesterday.  Lunch wasn't my fault (oh yeah...I'm gonna make an excuse).  I had brought leftover fish.  I took one bite of it and realized it had turned so I picked up lunch yesterday.  I think the risk of food poisoning warranted it.  However, the choice could've been A LOT better and THAT'S where I'm going to be held accountable.  I had 2 taquitos, refried beans and 2 forkfuls of rice.  Eek!  As for dinner, no excuse here except laziness.  Hubby and I didn't want to cook so we ordered pizza...and breadsticks...and cinnamon sticks.  Good lord!  Hubby and I talked to eachother about it and while it's obvious we're both enablers for poor eating, we've got to stop it!

    Working out.  Ummm...right.  What's exercise mean again?  Legs were feeling fine...just didn't get it done.  That's all I'm saying about this because it's like beating a dead horse.

    Snacking - Overall, not bad.  Had some chips at work.  No snacks otherwise and chips are now gone so I won't be doing that today.

    I have a parent/teacher conference at Maddie's school today.  I can't remember if I mentioned this previously but her teacher has been out since October due to family health issues.  She had one sub through Christmas break and now another sub through the end of the year.  No, I have not been real happy about this but Maddie seems to like this new one quite a bit.  Hopefully this'll be a productive meeting but I'm not holding my breath.  For every other class, they had conferences at the end of October (we didn't because it wasn't clear when or if her teacher would be coming back and the sub obviously didn't know anything to do it) and now they're having a secondary conference where they've gotten to know your child better and would be able to tell you if they had improved or whatever since the last conference.  Obviously, we've been cheated in this regard.  I'm trying to go in with an open mind but I've been pretty annoyed about it all year.

    My brother-in-law (wow...this is turning into a long, random post) is doing fine...thanks to all who have asked.  He ended the clinical trial this past week but they're going to let him keep taking the meds for another 6 months.  I'm not sure if they'll re-evaluate at that time and allow him to stay on it if he wants to but at least he can for the next 6 months...I think he'll be OK during this time as the meds have worked really well for him.  

    That's where we're at with everything lovelies.  Tomorrow is March 1st and for those of you paying attention, that is weigh day.  It's odd that I picked a Thursday to weigh in as my weigh in days have historically been Mondays but I liked the idea of doing it on the 1st.  I'm scared to death to step on the scale and see what kind of damage I've done.  There I said it.  But we all have to face the music sometime and for me, that music is tomorrow.  Expect another down and out post then.  

    I promise someday the positivity will return.  Just not sure when.  In an attempt to lighten the mood, I give you a Leap Year Giggle:

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012

    Tuesday - Just Checkin' In

    Just checking in this morning.  Let's take a look at yesterday and see how I did.  

  • No cookies - Check
  • No chocolate - Check
  • No fast food (Mon-Fri) - Check
  • No coffee house coffee (Mon-Fri) - Check
  • No eating out (Mon-Fri) - Check
  • Get all my water in - Check
  • Work out at least 3 days - Not yet (why is this one so hard?!?!)
  • Minimal snacking - Not bad

  • So over all, it didn't check in too badly.  I didn't work out as my legs had just had it by the time I got home.  Will be doing this today.  Must. get. back. to. exercising.  I say it and I say it yet it just doesn't happen.  I also snacked more than I had intended to but just couldn't seem to get full yesterday.

    Work is still kind of a mess.  We have this one issue that's just killin''s a BIG issue but it's like all consuming.  My boss has been out of the office the last 2 days and she's not going to be happy when she gets in today.  No change in my grandmother's status...thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.  This isn't all that unexpected but it's still sad to see it happen.  Not that I wish death on anyone but sometimes it's the most merciful choice.  My allergies are a mess.  We had a wicked windy day yesterday and it's kicked up pollen, weeds, grass, branches, you name it.  My nose started running last night, eyes got itchy and woke up with a headache this morning.  It's supposed to calm down today.  Hopefully my allergies do too.  

    I've noticed that a lot of the longtime bloggers are less inspired, motivated or inclined to blog these days.  There's been a few posts batting around about it.  I can definitely see why that would be.  I mean...if you've hit goal and maintaining may feel that you have nothing to blog about, especially if the main focus of your blog was weight loss.  For those like me who have been stuck at 30 lbs to goal for the last 4 months, it may just seem futile.  How many times can I post "I must exercise" before either a) blogger identifies too many similar posts and disables my blog altogether, b) I lose a gazillion followers, feel unloved and drive a screwdriver through my monitor, or c) I get off my ass and do it.  I'm hoping for C.  But I can see why that wouldn't be real motivating.  Then other bloggers seem worried about B (the followers part).  I know we all love having them and the support is fan-freaking-tastic, but really...these blogs are more like therapy than anything else.  Some think we don't want to hear about your kids or puppies or jobs or why Uncle Al isn't invited over for Christmas anymore.  But, personally, I love blogs like that.  Makes me feel like these blogs are written by real people vs some virtual machine that just spits out posts to keep me occupied while I should be working  have free time.  As for me, I don't care who I bore or if no one ever reads this again.  There's a great amount of accountability in this and I feel that if I were to disappear, I'd start gaining the weight back or just lose focus.  OK...those are my little thoughts on blogging.  I, too, have been asking myself what I'm getting out of blogging since I haven't lost even a pound in MONTHS.  I know what I get out of it.  I get all those feelings out that would bore people in "real life" to tears.  And poor Hubby doesn't have to sit through ALL my mindless ramblings (though he does get most of them).  

    Wow...very random post today.  I'm starting to look toward my next event.  I know I'll be doing one in April (thinking of a 10k vs the 5k) but might see if there is one before that.  Otherwise, it's just another Tuesday in Candyland.  Hope it's a good one for ya. How about some cute panda pics to make the blog more interesting this morning?

    Monday, February 27, 2012

    Followers, Hike and Weekend

    First...I logged in this morning to find 200 followers!!! When I started this little blog, it was to find some support in this whole banding thing.  I never thought I'd have so many people playing along in the world of Candyland.  Truly...I feel so lucky to have found this little (though quickly growing) niche in the blogosphere. Thank you all for the support and inspiration.  Now on to weekend.

    Big Hike.  5.6 miles up... and 5.6 miles DOWN.  So I wound up hiking with my BFF and some of her friends from work.  2 of these friends are real hikers and one is just a skinny little thing who is too funny.  Anyway, I held my own on the way up.  Slowed them down a little but not too bad.  We made it to the top. Yay me!  Then they all said that instead of taking the bus down, they were gonna walk it.  Mmmmmkay.  I was set on the bus but I didn't want to be the only wuss who took it.  So I walked down.  That's right ladies and gentlemen...that makes over 11 miles walked on Saturday...half of them UPhill.  I did not die.  I tell you what though...I could barely MOVE Sunday.  Still sore today but getting better.  Here are some pics.
    My walking group...Me, BFF, Skinny Thing, Jeff & his dog Guiness

    Darn glare!  But yes...I made it to the top

    I wrote this on the "Why I Climb Wall" - for my brother in law

    Very excited about making it to the top
    So some NSV's yes?

    • A year and a half ago, I was training for the 3 Day.  BFF and I did a 4 mile training walk through hilly terrain.  I was slow, I was sweating, and I almost didn't make it to the end.  I did 5.6 miles UPhill and felt OK.  I did 11 and didn't feel as bad as I did after that 4 miles.  Amazing!
    • I couldn't pick up my tshirt until the morning of the event.  I didn't want to carry one around so instead I went in search of a tank top I could wear under the shirt as not to be too hot.  I found one at Target...size MEDIUM.
    • I tried on the size large and the size medium 3 times each before deciding that medium was the best way to go.  It clings more to the tummy than the large but provides the girls with more support.  I got on the park and ride bus in that tank top and, for the first time ever, wasn't self conscious that people thought "What is that fat girl doing in a tank top?"
    • 11 miles.  That's a half marathon.  That's right.  I walked a half marathon.
    After the hike, I went home, showered, and then off we went to a friend's 4 year old's birthday party.  It was fun..more like the kids just running around while parents hung out kind of thing than an actual party.  Sunday was spent being sore and at the mall.  The kiddos play on this little play area thing at the mall and love it.  We popped into the Disney Store to reserve a copy of the Muppet Movie and let the kids color a picture there.  We bought them a pair of shoes and then hung out at home.  

    My grandmother is not doing well.  She is able to speak at this point and feed herself but still cannot move.  She's also experiencing heart failure and has liquid on her one lung.  It's really just a matter of time.  My mother seems to be holding up OK but I am debating flying up there to be with her.  We'll see.  

    So it's Monday... work has been really stressful the last few days and today doesn't look as though it's going to be any better.  But I feel good about how I spent my weekend and I'm on the healthy train.  I was going to start up the 30 Day Shred but the muscles just aren't going to do it today.  Thinking of breaking out an old yoga video instead.  I have my breakfast and lunch packed along with a healthy snack if needed.  Some goals for the week:
    1. No cookies
    2. No chocolate
    3. No fast food (Mon-Fri)
    4. No coffee house coffee (Mon-Fri)
    5. No eating out (Mon-Fri)
    6. Get all my water in
    7. Work out at least 3 days
    8. Minimal snacking
    Sounds like a lot but really it's just breaking stuff down into pieces.  Hope y'all had a great weekend.  For a little Monday DEMotivation:

    Friday, February 24, 2012

    BYOC & Stuff

    OK...So Drazil's BYOC this week is a little nuts but here we go:

    Okay - it's Friday - which means it's time for BYOC.  Bring Your Own Crazy!

    This week I dipped into the family reserves (2 daughters and Rambo) and asked them what they'd like to ask you guys.

    #1 comes from Rambo....

    1.  If you were going to scratch your ass in public, which cheek would you start with?

    Ummmm...I'd have to go with whichever side itches. Why else would I be scratching it?

    #2 comes from Watermelon (11 yr. old)

    2.  If you were a fashion designer, what's the first item of clothing you'd design for yourself and why.

    Work pants.  I now this sounds boring but seriously...I am so freakin' short.  Petites are too long!  I'd love to have a pair of pants that I don't have to hem.

    #3 is from me.

    3.  Remember last week when I told you to describe yourself in 5 positive words?  This week - turn to your family or anyone next to you and ask them to describe you in 5 words and LISTEN to their answers.

    So I'm at work and it's 6:30 a.m. so only one friend is here so far.  I could wait for my oldest friend to get into work so it's someone who really knows me but eh.  Decided to go with convenience.  So this is what she said word for word:
    Determined- Honest- Hardworker- Opptimistic (sp)- Friendly (until someone gets on your bad side- hahaha jk)

    It's interesting to me that she said "optimistic."  I think from a work perspective, I am.  I guess I spend so much time *itching and moaning on this blog and to Hubby that I don't do it as much to her.  LOL.

    #4 is a repeat question and I'm only doing 4 questions today since #3 is kinda long-ish.

    4.  Summarize your week in blog land and in real life.

    Blogland - Great week!  Lots of thought provoking posts.  I think everyone's got the commenting issues under control.  I found a few new bloggers and picked up a few new followers.

    Real Life - Can't complain.  Week was going good until...

    So now for the actual blog post.  My grandmother may have had a stroke.  We're not sure as we live in AZ and she's in IL.  My mom and dad were at the airport in Kansas City waiting to catch a flight home when my mom got the call.  She immediately changed her ticket to go to Chicago instead.  Very few details as of last night.  All I know is that she can't move or speak.  It could be a stroke or it could just be her body finally shutting down from the Parkinsons.  I hope to learn more today.  While I definitely feel badly for my grandmother, my heart just breaks for my grandfather.  They've been together 60 years and they'll most likely have to put her in a nursing home, leaving my grandfather alone.

    Big Hike is tomorrow.  Still haven't decided about the ride arrangements, thinking of making Hubby suck it up and take me but not stay and then come back and get me.  I just don't really want to deal with the park & ride nonsense.  Hmmm...decisions, decisions.

    So how'd I do yesterday?  Eh.  No chocolate or cookies but I did have Starbucks.  I had 2 hours to kill before picking up my dad at the airport and coffee houses are great for sitting for a couple hours and reading a book.  I'm OK with this.  I did get all my water in.

    In honor of my hike tomorrow, your Friday Funny:

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    Linda's Mission

    Linda from Linda's Bandwidth issued a mission.  Go read her post because it's really a fantastic idea.

    So here's your mission if you choose to accept it – think of at least 5 things you like about yourself. If you're up to it post it on your blog.

    I'll be honest...this was A LOT harder than I thought it would be.  I guess I don't give enough time or thought to things I like about myself or why I'm a decent person to be around.  It's taken me over an hour to write this post.  But I accepted the challenge and so here it is.

    1. I have a cheesy smile.  No, this isn't a bad thing.  The one thing my smile IS is real.  There's no fake smiling for me.  If I'm fake smiling, you can tell.  When I smile, it's big and toothy and my cheeks almost cover my eyes but it's genuine.
    2. I'm funny.  I'm not sure that other people think so but I crack myself up and I make my Hubby laugh so there ya go.
    3. I am a very loyal friend.  I'll do anything I can for you.  But don't take advantage of me.  Once I'm done...I'm done.
    4. I have a good work ethic.  It may not seem like it compared to my grandfather or parents who never called in sick to work a day in their lives.  And it took some time to get here but I do.  When Hubby and I were first married, I got a job and have worked for that same company for the last 8 years.  I've moved up through the ranks and make ALMOST enough money to support my family even if Hubby never gets a client or decides he wants to work at a McDonald's for the rest of his life.  It'll be OK.  I'm proud of how far I've come professionally, especially with no degree.
    5. I'm a great public speaker.  Small groups, large groups, one on one.  I can talk to long as it's professional or I'm presenting something.  I'm socially shy but if I have to present something, I'm engaging, funny, interesting...everything I need to be.  And I love it because I know I'm good at it.
    Whew...  Will you accept the challenge?

    Ten Thing Thursday

    I don't usually do Ten Thing Thursday (I think it's Thursday, right?) because I don't have 10 things to post...but we'll give it a shot.

    1. Has anyone noticed how freakin' long the word verifications have gotten??  It's absurd!  Now it's two words and in my opinion, harder to read.  Seriously...were robots guessing the other ones?
    2. Speaking of robots, I'm getting spammed bad lately.  I think I'm going to have to block Anonymous posters from my blog.  I hate doing it because if someone wants to respond anonymously  to something I write, I have no issue with it but I'm getting 2 or 3 spam emails a day.  Ugh.
    3. Big Hike on Saturday.  I'm a bit nervous.  Usually I would train for something like this but I haven't.  I wonder if I'm overestimating my abilities on this one?  I joined my work team for this one and one of the ladies doing it said that she does it every year but never goes up to the top.  She goes as far as she wants and then comes back down.  I say, what's the point if you're not going to reach the top?  But to each their own...I better not judge...that might be me on Saturday.
    4. I went to mass for Ash Wednesday last night.  That was probably the first mass I've attended in over a year.  My girls wanted to come with me so I reluctantly took them.  Luckily, it was just a litury, not a full mass so it was only about a half hour.  They were great!  Sat still, listened, whispered if they needed to say something.  I was really surprised at how well they did and they were kind of excited that they got ashes just like Mommy.
    5. Catholic guilt quickly set in though.  My oldest was fascinated by the statues, the priest, the responses from the congregation.  Maddie is very rule- and structure-oriented so she loved that there were things you were "supposed to do" throughout the service.  She had many questions about why we do this or that.  I actually couldn't answer all of them and then I thought to myself, "By the time I was six, I knew all the responses and was in Sunday School."  I had been thinking about my faith a lot lately (won't get into all that here) but I think I'd like to start going to church again.  Hubby has even agreed to come too (He's not catholic so that's pretty awesome of him).  I like that I was raised catholic and had that foundation.  I want my kids to have it too.
    6. Back to the hike thing (speaking of Hubby being awesome) - I'm trying to decide if I want to go by myself or have Hubby drop me off.  Parking at the mountain is a pain so they have several park and ride places set up but it'd be nicer to just get dropped off at the event.  It would also be nice to have someone waiting for me when I'm done to say "Great job!"  LOL.  There's a festival at the bottom with music and food and stuff so they would have things to do but I want to get started right when the trail opens at 7 so that's pretty early to get the whole family out of bed and then the festival doesn't start until 8 so they'd be sitting around a bit.  I'm not sure it's worth disrupting the whole family's morning just so I have someone to say "well done!" at the end of it.  Hubby says it's up to me...whatever I want them to do... I don't know.  Will keep pondering.
    7. Yesterday I stuck to my guns a lot better.  No Starbucks, cookies or chocolate and I got all my water in.  I feel good about that.  Shows that I do have at last SOME willpower.  
    8. Starting to run out of things here at number 8.  So Monday is the day I start hitting it hard core again.  I hate saying things like that because it's very "old Panda."  The diet was always starting on a Monday, the exercise regime always started on a Monday, etc.  But as I mentioned before...I'm not going to waste all the food we've bought for this week to start right now.  Also, I don't want to jump back into the The 30 Day Shred and be sore for the hike.  So Monday it is.  I'm working on some March workout and food goals so hopefully that will help.  I need to get as focused as I was at the beginning of this journey.  
    9. When I first met with my lapband doc, he gave me a book that was about losing the last 30 lbs.  He said it's really no different than losing the first 30 so it'd be helpful to read it.  At the time I thought he was nuts and I thought to myself, "Self, this doc's nuts!.  You've never been able to lose more than 30 lbs before so I really doubt if you only have 30 more lbs to lose to get to goal, you'll be all that upset about it."  I was SO wrong.  The first 30 were a lot easier because it's all new and're motivated.  The weight is "flying off" (it never really FLEW for me but it was steady).  It's much, much harder losing these last 30.  I'm revisiting the book.
    10. I'm supposed to weigh myself March 1st and I don't want to.  I know I haven't lost...I might've gained.  I really enjoyed the respite from the scale and I don't want to face the music.  I've been having that inner battle with myself where I say "Go one more month without getting on the scale - time to 'catch up'."  I know that's a bad idea.  I know eventually you just have to face whatever damage you've done and move on.  
    What do you know?  I did have 10 things to post about today.  So I guess I should probably get to work.  Anyone else thrilled that tomorrow is Friday?  Me too.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    "In The News" with Panda...

    Interesting article in USA Today about mortality rates in women who suffer heart attacks.  Full article is here.  I'll just touch on a few things because I found this article to be rather scary.  My comments are in blue.

    Women are less likely to get immediate treatment to stop the heart attack in its tracks: clot-busting drugs, balloon procedures to open the arteries or bypass surgery, the study says. Partly because of such delays, 15% of female heart attack patients die in the hospital, compared with 10% of men.  That's a HUGE disparity between men and women and they are just now studying why this is???

    The study actually may underestimate the gender gap, because many female heart attacks never make it to the hospital, says Cam Patterson, chief of cardiology at theUniversity of North Carolina-Chapel Hill,  Even scarier!

    Forty-two percent of women never experience the classic heart attack symptom of chest pain or pressure, compared with 31% of men, the study says.  I always just assumed that these were a given when having a heart attack but not on. Women without chest pain may develop shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, light-headedness and pain in the back or jaw, according to the American Heart Association. 

    Women who develop sudden, crippling fatigue — such as the feeling that they can't tidy the kitchen without a rest — may face imminent danger of a heart attack.  Really?  This is the example - the little woman can't clean the kitchen without getting tired???  How sexist is this article getting?!?!

    Doctors or emergency responders may not take women's symptoms seriously, says Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York and an American Heart Association spokeswoman.  "Women are coming in saying they're nauseous, they're fatigued, they're sweating, and doctors say, 'You're fine,' " she says. "Doctors will say it's anxiety and it's all in your head."  Oh yeah...the hypochondriac, delirious woman who can't tell when something is seriously wrong with her.

    "We have a tendency to downplay what we're feeling," Steinbaum says. "If you say to your doctors, 'It's probably in my head,' then the person who is listening starts dismissing it. If you think you're having a heart attack, say it. And if you're wrong, then you're wrong."  I like that they include this in the article.  Because it's not always the big bad doctor downplaying our symptoms.  Many times, we do it to ourselves.  We must be advocates for our own health!  It's our bodies...WE know when something isn't right!  

    I know many of us looked into WLS for health issues...either we already had comorbidities or we wanted to avoid them.  I think it's sad in this day and age that women still don't feel empowered about their health and doctors STILL don't realize that men and women are different and can often experience different symptoms that relate to the same problem. February is Heart a gentle reminder that losing weight is not just about fitting into the jeans or numbers on a scale - it's about a true improvement in health and our well being.  

    Stepping off soapbox....


    So my hubby was out to get me yesterday.  I came home to find oreos.  Yep...that's right...OREOS.  Only the best chocolate cookie E.V.E.R.  So I ate them.  And when I say I ate them, I don't mean I had one...or two...or even three Lord help me!  I binged on oreos.  But that is done.  Outside of the oreos, I felt I had a good day.  I had brought breakfast and lunch to work and did not snack outside of that.  I've also gone back to eating off of a small plate so dinner was a small plate of bbq chicken and macaroni and cheese - no seconds.  Then the oreos.  How did the other stuff go?

    No Starbucks - Check
    Water - Check
    Cookies - Well...I already fessed up to the oreos.  I'm harping on the subject...I know.

    To be perfectly fair, I do NOT think Hubby was intentionally sabotaging me.  He doesn't always read my blog and I know if he knew I had planned on no cookies, he wouldn't have bought them even though we had a coupon for a free package (so he may have bought them but not told me about it).  Which reminds me...seriously?  FREE oreos???  This is why we're fat, America.  One thing is for certain.  Hubby and I need to get on the same train of thought.  I'm ready and raring to go on gluten free paleo type stuff and while he's the one who's all gung ho about that, we haven't exactly taken any ACTION to do it.  With this week's meals already planned and groceries already bought...I'm thinking Monday...Sunday to plan and buy...Monday to cook.  Will keep you posted.

    Today is Ash Wednesday.  I actually do plan on going to mass and my no chocolate rule starts today so I'll be tracking that as well.  Random question - is mocha chocolate?  I'm hoping that avoiding the chocolate will help me shake some of these sweet tooth cravings I tend to get later in the day.  We'll see if it works.

    So SB1 struck again yesterday.  You remember these characters?  She happened to notice Patty eating a lean cuisine for lunch.  Now I personally know that Patty eats these just about every day but it's not for health purposes.  It's for convenience reasons and she's eaten them as long as I've known her.  Anyway...SB1 noticed this on her desk and said "Oh!  Did our conversation yesterday inspire you?"  I heard her respond "No...I eat these all the time," and move on.  I realize this is none of my business and doesn't affect me in any way but seriously?!?!  She's lucky I'm too much of a wuss to go to HR about her behavior because I think it's rather inappropriate and creates an uncomfortable atmosphere.  Here's the other thing I don't get.  It was truly up to her as to who she hired for these positions and if she really believes that Patty and I are this lazy and stupid, then why hire us????  Ugh.  I know I shouldn't let it bother me but it ticks me off.

    Moving on from that...thank you all for your sweet comments on the cake yesterday!  I must admit I was pretty proud of it when it was all said and done.  If money were no object, I would totally go to culinary school to learn pastry stuff or apprentice at a bakery.  I really love putting that stuff together.  Just what a former fatty (Am I a former fatty at this point?  I keep thinking I am but maybe I'm still a current fatty?  Will have to ponder...when did you determine you weren't fat anymore?) work in a bakery.  Ha!

    I love short weeks!  It's already Wednesday and somehow I'm meeting-free today at work so I might actually get some stuff done.  I have a random question (aside from the one up top) for y'all...I'm in the market for new phones for Hubby and me.  We've had ours for years and our contract expired quite awhile ago which means I can finally get a new phone.  Is iphone the way to go or is a different brand of smart phone just as good?  

    And since I'm in a pretty good mood this morning but not feeling particularly inspirational...I've included some tidbits I came across this morning that I just liked.  Happy Hump Day!

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Busy Long Weekend

    Weekend was good.  I didn't get to go shooting Friday night.  We got a call from the mechanic Friday afternoon saying the car was ready so we picked up the car and took it to see if it would pass the emissions test.  It did!  And the mechanic only charged us $390!  So the car got registered but by the time we got to the shooting range, there was over an hour's wait to get in so we skipped it.  We had dinner and dessert and called it good.  I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to shoot anything but it was still nice having "us" time.  We'll try again another day.  

    I spent all of Saturday morning working on the Ferris Wheel cake for my friend's son's birthday.  I think it turned out pretty good!  Here it is:

    Everything on the cake is edible except for the "baskets."  But even the baskets are being held in by dum dum suckers.  The name is spelled out in sugar sheets and I used lemon heads for the "beads" around.  The party was great fun and I think the cake was a hit.  I love my friend's backyard!  They have this hammock that's right under a tree and it is SO comfy!  My girls liked it too...

    Sunday was spent cleaning my house top to bottom.  I wish you could see my kitchen!  I got it reorganized and finally have a place for everything.  Even the bedrooms got spruced up and all the laundry got done.  My new washer and dryer seem to work just fine and the bathroom didn't flood.  All in all, I'd say that was a success.  So all 3 major issues in my house, so far, are resolved - flood, wash/dry and car.  Can't beat that.  Sunday night, my youngest decided to play in Daddy's office:

    After Saturday and Sunday, I was ready for downtime.  I took my parents' the airport bright and early Monday morning and then spent the rest of the day with the family relaxing.  We watched some movies and the girls played outside quite a bit.  Now it's back to work but at least it's a short week.  This coming weekend is my big climb...5.6 miles up hill.  Whew.  I'm looking forward to it though.

    I do have some goals this week.  I have fallen into some old, bad habits and am looking to make a couple small changes this week to get me into a better groove.

    1. 1 Starbucks drink a week and only on the weekend.
    2. No cookies during the week.  Darn girl scouts!
    3. Get all my water in.
    These should be VERY doable but for some reason, they've crept back into my routine.  Gotta shake that.  Also, today is Fat Tuesday, meaning tomorrow is Ash Wednesday meaning the beginning of the catholic season of Lent. even though I haven't been to church in AGES and my girls are not currently going to Sunday School or anything and overall I'm a very bad catholic...I just can't seem to NOT give something up or sacrifice something for Lent.  So here it is...out there for the world to see...I'm giving up chocolate for Lent.  I was going to attempt caffeine but that just isn't going to happen, so chocolate it is.  

    Hope y'all are having a good week so far!

    Friday, February 17, 2012

    Friday - About Time

    So still not feeling great about myself but doing better.  I worked from home yesterday so got to have lunch with Hubby which is a nice midweek treat.  The car is still being worked on but my mom is helping out today so I'm in the office on my regular schedule.  I really hope we get this car back before Monday.  Date night tonight so excited about that.  This morning is already dragging so probably not a good sign that the rest of the day is suddenly going to perk up.  I came into work this morning to find a Fun Dip Valentine on my desk.  No idea who it's from but I'm going to add it to my girls' VDay stash so I'm not tempted.

    I officially signed up for the Climb.  Yes, I had been procrastinating but I'm signed up and ready to go.  I think I can do it without too much of a problem.  I know I could walk it if it were flat but this is uphill.  Could be interesting.  Will try to take pics.

    Tonight is date night and getting started on my friend's cake for her son.  I got the rice krispy part molded (thanks to Hubby) last night.  I am baking tonight and working on the "wheel" and then tomorrow morning will be spent frosting and assembling.  I got it pretty well planned out but still nervous that it won't turn out.  The party is also in the town we used to live in that's 25 miles away from us now so hoping the cake makes it there.  That's a bit of a drive.

    I'm thinking of jumping on the Gluten Free wagon.  My oldest daughter is constantly complaining about her stomach being upset.  Another odd thing is it takes her FOREVER to have a bowel movement.  This has been ongoing for quite some time but it isn't something that stops her from playing or bouncing off the walls so I've never been too concerned.  But last night, Hubby and I started discussing it and think we need to see what can be done.  I don't want to take her to a doctor for it because it comes and goes, doesn't interfere with her activities and I don't want a barrage of tests done for an upset stomach when it's most likely a dietary issue.  I think if it were a lactose issue, it would've shown up earlier in life and she doesn't get much dairy day to day anyway.  But gluten could definitely be a factor so I'm going to start researching what types of foods are gluten free, find some recipes and go from there.  I think going back to a paleo-esque lifestyle will be helpful in this endeavour as well.  Draz and Stephanie have both tried going gluten free with varying degrees of success but if any others have done it, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Outside of this birthday party, no big plans this weekend.  I need to clean my house top to bottom and organize my kitchen.  My mom and dad fixed up a cabinet and made an island for us so I have more storage counter top space in my tiny kitchen.  I love it!  It's going to make putting this cake together SO much easier and make me feel like I have an actual kitchen again.  But gotta get my stuff in it and reorganize.  Nice long weekend which is also nice.

    Special shout out to Andrea who is doing the Color Run on Sunday!  Good luck and have fun!

    The Friday Funny:

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Hit to the Self Image

    Feeling a little dumpy  here.  Allow  me to set the scene...  My boss  is about 5'1" and  90 lbs.  She teaches kickboxing and spin  classes in her free time.  She'll be called SB1 (Skinny Bitch #1) for this post.  A teammate of mine is 5'4" and maybe 100 lbs.  She runs marathons, relays and trail runs often and I'll refer to her as SB2.  My other teammate is 5'4" and probably knocking  at 300 lbs (I have no idea what to call  her so we'll  just go with Patty).  SB1 and SB2 are constantly talking about the different events they're doing, antics from their  gyms,  hikes with so-and-so, etc.  Patty and I are completely left out of these conversations as if we do nothing active at all.  Fine.  Whatever.  SB2 is extremely competitive and I would hate to do any of these events with her.  She's hardcore.  Another lady we worked with recently did a marathon and SB2's advice to her was  "Remember... if you're  not throwing up, you're not trying."  Mmmmmkay.  SB1 is like an evangelical fitness guru who believes her main mission in life is to convert all fat people to live a gluten free, active lifestyle by basically treating everyone as if they're nutritional idiots.  Basically, I just avoid any health topics with her because overall I disagree with her on most of her  nutritional advice (outside of the gluten).

    So yesterday, Patty and I were working on pulling  some reporting at Patty's desk and SB1 goes into SB2's desk and grabs a candy bar and tells us "By the way, I brought candy in yourself."  I said, "Thanks but I already had the cupcake you brought in today for breakfast. "  It was kind  of a joke but she starts in on how it's all just math...calories in/calories out, blah, blah, blah.  Then how she and SB2 eat junk all day but it's OK because they burn it off every day.  Patty feels the  need to defend her obesity by spouting off her history and how it's got to be a "biological issue."  After listening to her, maybe it is but whatever.  I don't really care about  her  situation.  So SB1 just starts in with you just have to start moving and that  if we want her to work out a eating and exercise plan for her, it wouldn't be a problem.  She keeps going on and on about all these things Patty and I should be doing to lose weight and "get healthy."

    The whole conversation hit me very hard.  All of the sudden, I was back in high school/college...back to the "fat one" of the group.  Back to feeling that I'm the largest, most unattractive thing in the room.  Don't get me wrong... I understand reality.  I understand that Patty is twice my size.  I get that.  I also get that the information was PROBABLY mostly for her as opposed to me but it's not the first time SB1 has gone off on these little health tangents with me.  But as I said, she talks about it all the time to SB2 also...just doesn't seem as condescending when she does it.  I'm still just another fat girl that some skinny girl has to pity, feel sorry for, help, save, whatever.  In a 10 minute conversation, I went from thinking I'm looking pretty good these days to thinking I'm a fat slob.  I know I'm still  overweight.  I know I'm not a "normal" weight but I was FEELING normal.  I was FEELING like I blended in with everyone else.  I know I shouldn't let one condescending fitness freak annihilate my self esteem like that but I admit it stung.

    Today I'm working  from home.  No, I'm not hiding  from SB1.  This is purely for transportation reasons.  I'm hoping the car is fixed by the end of the day so we can get back on track.  Washer and dryer was installed yesterday.  Looks nice but  haven't tried it yet and so far, the  toilet seems to be working  OK.  Maybe all  my problems will be solved by the weekend.  We can hope.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    No Witty Title

    I have no witty title today...mostly because I don't really have anything to write about.  The girls had a fabulous Valentine's Day.  We had Taco Bell for dinner so all was right with the world.

    We have decided to fix Hubby's car.  A friend of a friend is a mechanic and is trustworthy.  He's also thinking it's going to cost way less than the other 2 places we took it so we're willing to give it a shot.  Let's hope it works.  That being said, he has to keep the car for a day or two.  That meant rearranging things for picking up my girls.  I came in late today and my mom is picking them up.  I'm going to try to work from home tomorrow to deal with it then.  Gotta love the little inconveniences life throws at us.

    Hubby and I have another date night on Friday.  He wants to take me shooting.  I've never been particularly comfortable around guns.  Hubby's been around them since he was little.  He usually does shotgun type things but this is an indoor range so handguns (is that the right word?) it is.  Every woman I know who has gone shooting has liked it and says it's so much fun so I'm looking forward to it.  We're going to dinner afterwards.  Interesting, if not overly romantic, date, eh?

    I had a kick ass day at work yesterday.  I had a meeting I was dreading for over a week but it went so well and made me look really good so it made me feel good about some of the progress I'm making in my new role.

    Food & Exercise:  What can I say about either of these 2 things?  Not a whole lot.  To be honest, I'm not focusing.  I don't know's just not at the forefront of my mind right now.  I have been paying much closer to attention to feeling satisfied vs full and have been adjusting my eating accordingly.  Paying much more attention to portions and how much food I leave on my plate.  I'm making a concerted effort to actually LEAVE food on my plate.  What I'm not focusing on is WHAT is going on my plate and how much I'm moving after I eat it.  I know where I need to work on things...why I don't is what's causing problems.  I've definitely got some kind of mental block going on.

    So that's where we are all you stud muffins out there.  Hoping that motivation kicks in here eventually...I know I just need to suck it up and do why don't I?

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    VDay Tuesday

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    So Shred didn't get done again yesterday.  I don't know what it is about the exercising that I just can't get back into.  I have the 5.6 mile Climb for Cancer (hike) coming up on  February 25th and I'm hoping I don't die.  Hubby has decided he's not quite ready for it but that's alright.  I don't mind doing it by myself.  My BFF actually signed up for it months ago and is doing it with someone she works with.  This is same BFF who did the 3 Day with me.  She's a bit of a power walker so we'll probably start the hike together but I'm more of a stroller by nature.   Either way, gotta get more active.

    Started shopping for another cake production yesterday.  One of my oldest friend's son is turning 4 and his party is this weekend.  I volunteered to make a Ferris Wheel cake for him.  I think it's gonna look awesome.  I'm changing it up from the pic she gave me just a bit as the inspiration cake is fairly small and I want people to actually be able to eat the cake and not have to make a bunch of cupcakes for people instead.  Similar to the laptop cake, it involves making something stand up but now I have experience in that so I think I can make it happen. LOL.    It's the first time I've made a cake for someone other than my girls so I'm a little nervous that she won't like it or it won't turn out just right.  Will be sure to post pics after the party.

    Before I forget, I wanted to send a message out to Chloe at Chloe's Countdown...  I'm not sure if you follow me but I can't comment on your blog!  You may need to change your settings to not have embedded comments...I know a lot of bloggers had to do that.  I just wanted to make a suggestion for your daughter needing to gain weight.  I know they make shakes specifically for that.  My brother had to use them years ago when he was on the high school wrestling team (these days, he has no problem putting on the weight).  I'm sure they've become tastier since then too.  Try checking out GNC or HiHealth (not sure what's near you).  I'm sure they'll have something similar.  Good luck!

    Tonight, Hubby and I are sticking with our regular VDay tradition (see this post for details) by enjoying a fancy meal at Taco Bell with girls.  I know it sounds silly but we're a silly group.  Hubby and I have agreed on no cards, gifts, flowers, ANYTHING today.  We had our date night 2 weeks ago and are going out this Friday as well.  We don't need to be spending money on anything else.  He loves me, I love him, blah, blah, blah.  So that sums up my day.  I'll leave you with a little laugh on this Valentine's Day and a reminder that if you DON'T share how you feel with the ones you love on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, by all means use this day as a day to do so.

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    Make A List Monday - Shoulder Pain Theory

    Welcome to Make A List Monday .  Lovely Robyn will put a category out there and your job is to copy and paste the question to your blog and make a list of up to 10 things that match the category.

    The category for Make A List Monday is: You are forced to use the 10 items or less line at the grocery store and can only go to the store once a week.  What will be in your cart?

    1. Chicken breasts
    2. Coffee
    3. Eggs
    4. Milk
    5. Frozen Veggies

    6. Apples
    7. Cheese
    8. Breakfast sandwiches

    9. Beef (whatever's on sale)
    10. Clif Bars

    Keep in mind...I have a family of four.  My oldest takes her lunch every day and Hubby works from home so this is just the food I would need for me.  There's no way I can feed all of us 10 items or less. LOL.  Also, I picked things on a relatively healthy eating week, but not paleo.  So excluded from this list, is a Starbucks gift card, fritos, ice cream and little debbie snacks.

    Oh! I had forgotten to touch on this the last few posts but wanted to share my little experiment.  For anyone who doesn't know, I have had off and on shoulder pain ever since being banded.  Early on, I asked my doc about it and he said it was due to eating too fast, causes the stoma to stretch, rub against the diaphragm and creates referred pain in my shoulder.  Made sense.  Well, the pain had become more frequent and even when paying extra close attention to what I was eating, how much, how fast, etc., it was still happening.  So I started paying even closer attention and I think I finally hit on it.  Carbonation!  I can link back each day that the pain started with either having a soda or beer.  Not lots, mind you.  Maybe even just a few sips.  So last week, I gave up carbonation.  So far, pain free.  I even had one time where I knew I ate too much at one sitting but still no pain.  So I think I'm on to something.  I also think that maybe the reason I have this and a lot of other people don't (including my hubby) is because I'm short.  I'm 5 foot even so I figure all my organs are smushed up a little more than everyone else so my stoma doesn't have to stretch as much to hit other organs.  I know that's completely unscientific but this is my theory.  Anyway, since soda and beer are just empty calories anyway and I should never have started drinking them again in the first place, this is a good study for me.  I shall keep you posted.  If the pain comes back, I'll know it's something else.

    Content Weekend

    From a food perspective, this weekend wasn't too bad. From an exercise perspective, it was nonexistent but it's alright.  I'm not worried.

    So last week, BOTH my girls got signed up for stuff offered at their schools.  My oldest is taking a drawing class. I know I'm probably a bit bias but I think she has real talent for art, especially for a 6 year old and I'd like to embrace that.  Her first class was Friday afternoon and she loved it!  My youngest got signed up for a program at her daycare which is basically a weekly PE class.  They use parachutes and balls and dance, jump, etc.  It's supposed get kids to enjoy being fit and active.  I like this idea a lot.  Her first session was Thursday and she had a lot of fun.  She loves Coach Ryan and it breaks up the week a little bit for her.  So for those of you following along, both my girls are signed up for 1 activity which was one of my goals for the year.  Wahoo!  I'd still like to get them both into a dance, gymnastics or swim group but one thing at a time.  Friday was also when my computer issues got resolved and I was able to work from home which I was infinitely grateful for given how I was feeling.

    Saturday was spent doing laundry the entire day at my mother's.  The new washer/dryer was supposed to be installed Saturday afternoon but I didn't want to wait around in case something went wrong and it didn't get delivered.  Instead of being annoyed that I had to spend my whole day Saturday doing laundry, I was content to spend the day with my mom and my girls and visit and catch up.  It was rather nice.

    When I got home Saturday afternoon and found out that the new washer/dryer could NOT be installed because the valves have corroded and need to be replaced by a plumber, I was initially upset.  But then I was content that I am a renter and this isn't really MY problem.  It's an inconvenience but not my expense, nor my responsibility.  Two minutes after the washer/dryer guys left and our toilet inexplicably overflowed without even being flushed, I was irate.  They had obviously messed with SOMETHING.  Then I was content that it did not flood on to the carpet and again, relieved that I am a renter and it's not my problem.  When our landlord refused to pick up his phone for the hour we panicked and tried to reach him for guidance on how we should handle said plumbing issues, Hubby and I let it go and continued with our evening.  If our landlord isn't going to stress, why should we?  Saturday evening was spent with friends and wine (too much wine) and the plumbing issues were well forgotten as the evening wore on.

    Sunday morning brought breakfast at one of my favorite bagel places (yes I can eat bagels in the morning as long as I go slow) and another trip to my mother's house to wash all the towels that were used to sop up the flood.  I could've been annoyed to have to do yet more laundry.  But instead I was content to visit with my mom and dad, enjoy a dip in the spa with a cup of coffee first thing in the morning and take in the beautiful Arizona weather we had this weekend.  Towels were dry and it was back home to find that the plumber had arrived on time and was working away.  New valves have been installed but toilet still not fixed as we found out later.  Plumbers heading back out today.  Sunday evening, the girls got tucked in, Hubby and I started watching Season 2 of The Walking Dead, which is an AWESOME show if you don't mind zombies.

    Overall, the weekend had the potential to be annoying and even what some might consider "bad."  For me, it was what it was.  We are no worse for the wear having dealt with any of it.  Today is Monday and while getting my butt out of bed this morning held no appeal whatsoever, I made it in and am ready to face the week.  I'm feeling much better than last week so I feel Day 2 of the Shred coming on.  I know, I this rate, I'll never make it to 30 days...but I never said I was going to do 30 days IN A ROW.  hehe.  Of course, that was the original intent but sometimes plans need to be flexible.  Overall, I'm proud of how I dealth with this weekend and the stresses that came with it.  I'm finding myself in a very zen place with it and that feeds in to my approach for the coming year.  And with that, I give you your Monday DEMotivation:

    Thursday, February 9, 2012

    Lap Band Non Story

    Time for another edition of "What's Buggin' Panda in the News!"  In USA Today - there's this fabulous lapband story about 2 surgery centers halting lapband surgery while they "investigate."  Investigate what, you ask?  Excellent question.  The link is here but I'm going to copy and paste the entire thing because it's super short.  My comments are in blue.

    LOS ANGELES – Two Los Angeles-area outpatient clinics affiliated with the 1-800 GET-THIN marketing company have temporarily stopped Lap-Band weight-loss surgeries while they conduct a review of the procedure.  This makes you think there's something inherently wrong with the band as a product or the procedure as a surgery, right?  Well, keep reading.
    • The LAP-BAND System is displayed. The Food and Drug Administration expanded approval to patients with a body mass index between 30 and 40 and one weight-related medical condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
      The LAP-BAND System is displayed. The Food and Drug Administration expanded approval to patients with a body mass index between 30 and 40 and one weight-related medical condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

    The LAP-BAND System is displayed. The Food and Drug Administration expanded approval to patients with a body mass index between 30 and 40 and one weight-related medical condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

    The move follows Irvine-based Allergan's announcement last week that it would stop selling the device to companies affiliated with the ad campaign.  What campaign?  What were they doing?  So wait...the clinics are stopping to investigate what exactly?  This makes  it sound like it's something the clinic is doing wrong.  Hmmm....
    The New Life Surgery Center in Beverly Hills and Valley Surgical Center in West Hills say have stopped performing Lap-Band surgeries while they perform "a top-to-bottom review medical and operational review."
    The Lap-Band is a ring surgically implanted around the stomach to discourage patients from overeating and to help them lose weight.  Concise but I'll go with it.
    The marketing company has been the target of state and federal investigations in recent months.  So is it the marketing company, the clinics or Allergan's problem????
    So there you have it.  How many people will look at the headline of this article, assume it's another lapband horror story and move on?  This story tells us ABSOLUTELY nothing.  And yet, it's on the front page of USA Today...granted in the health section but STILL.  WLS has enough dissenters with actual FACTS behind them...they don't need scary headlines that have nothing of substance behind them to help.  

    End of rant.  

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    Old Car, New Computer

    So we still have our old car for right now.  First shot with a buyer didn't work out but that's alright.  We're still deciding what we're going to do with this heap and we still have a few options to work through.  We did, however, purchase a new computer.  Our laptop has been on its last legs for awhile and is about 6 years old so we were due.  We decided to get a iMac.  I'm not sure if this is a good idea or bad idea but after Vista, we were fed up.  One of the reasons we needed a new computer was so I could work from home.  Alas, for some reason I can't seem to connect to the remote desktop from my mac.  I called our company help desk and they were, as always, helpLESS.  So if any of you are Mac wizards or tech people, I'd love to hear from you if you think you could help me out.

    My cold is getting worse.  I woke up this morning all stuffed up with a headache and sore throat.  Gee...working from home sure sounds good right now.  But alas, I'm here at my desk going to try to get through the day without infecting everyone around me.

    I've determined that my work is trying to keep me fat.  OK...maybe not my work but definitely people AT my work.  They discovered a new ice cream shop over here that sells ice cream sandwiches for $2.  The cookies are made on site fresh each day and the ice cream is Dreyers. one double chocolate chip cookie with mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwich later, I'm sure I had about 1,000 extra calories I didn't need yesterday.  Oh was really good.  But I need to remember that things like that really aren't worth it to have often.  I want to get to goal and I've just got to knuckle down and do what I need to do it.

    So last night, I had a hankerin' for ribs so off to Outback we went.  Incidentally I ate 2 pieces of the chicken flatbread, 2 ribs and 2 fries and was done but what was very exciting was just before the food came out, my oldest says " tooth hurts" while it's bleeding all over the place.  This tooth was knocked loose on 2 separate occasions by my youngest daughter's head so we've been waiting for it to get naturally loose and fall out for about 8 months now.  At her last dentist appointment, he said nature would probably take care of it for us.  So off to the bathroom she and Hubby went (with little sister close behind as not to miss the action) to pull out this tooth.  Understand they were about to do this sitting at the table using one of those cloth Outback napkins.  Ummm...gross?  Well, it "hurt too bad" to pull out, so they all shuffled back.  We ate with this thing bleeding off and on.  Well, before the night was done, the tooth was out and Tooth Fairy paid a visit...but seriously???  We're pulling teeth at Outback?  Ick.

    So that was the excitement that was Tuesday.  I can't wait for today to be over and to crawl back into bed.  Happy Hump Day everybody!  And this just made me giggle...