Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Progress...

weighing on scale
I haven't posted an update on my Fitness Challenge experiences yet, but then again, I've been rather slack on the updating of most things these days, so maybe no one's too surprised.

To date, 2.5 weeks have put me 2.6 lbs. down from my starting weight. I lost 2 lbs. the first week and 0.4 the next and have dropped another 0.2 as of this morning. While I'd prefer to see the numbers at a steady 1-2 lbs. lost per week, I'm happy that the number is budging at all since it is going in the right direction. Plus, my supposedly-super-advanced-high-tech-smartie-pants scale says I've shed 2% of my body fat, which is fabulous news, meaning that the lack of lbs. lost this week has been due to muscle replacing fat.

In the grand scheme, the number isn't what I'm concerned about; it just provides a historical basis from which I can create a goal, i.e. if the last time I fit into this, I was at this weight, then I should be at that weight to fit into it again. I just want to fit into my entire wardrobe again. I don't want to have to put a skirt back because it's too tight on my waist or the pants back because they're not comfortable around my midsection. I can see some small changes on my body from the loss of 2.6 lbs. that make me happy, and a few items that were too tight a few weeks ago are tolerable now. Most importantly, though, I feel fantastic. I have met my goal to exercise every night after work and have even included one dvd on a weekend day, too. I love my new dance workouts...too much fun! NS was laughing at the one I was doing last night, only partially due to the actual moves, mostly because of the commentary that accompanies, like "be sassy". I can only imagine the chuckle he'd get from the part of the warm-up where we make weird faces and the weird noises that come from the dvd while we make them. I laughed the first time I did it, so I couldn't hold it against anyone else for reacting the same way.

So, let's see how I've been doing:
15-minute walk during work hours?
GOOD
15-minute dog-walk after work?
GREAT, have also lengthened this during the weekend nights and on a few nights when I didn't get my walk in at work
Complete 1 workout dvd every weeknight?
EXCELLENT, and am having a great time, something I actually look forward to doing every day
Eat 5 times a day (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner)?
GREAT during the week, FAIR on the weekends
Have smoothie (fresh fruit, frozen fruit, yogurt) after workout?
GREAT, skipped only once last night because I didn't workout until after 10:30 last night
No fast food during the work-week?
GREAT, only broken once for a Chick-Fil-A salad (didn't even nibble on a single fry or nugget the boys left uneaten) the night NS got back from sea
More fruits and veggies all the time?
GOOD, I'm definitely eating a lot more fruit, especially with the smoothies, and am concentrating this week to really incorporate more veggies
No packaged snack foods (chips, cookies, pretzels, etc.) during the week and very limited on the weekend?
GREAT, have only caved in to the call of chips or crackers when I've been too hungry to even open the refrigerator or on Sunday when I was caught in the car without having had a snack before I left to our late-lunch Memorial Day get-together
Any restaurant meals must be consumed over the course of at least 2 meals?
EXCELLENT, ate out with mom and her husband the first week of the challenge and saved half of my steak, baked potato, and corn to have the next day; had sushi with NS on Saturday and left more than enough to have the next day had it not made me feel so sick that I told him to take it all with him to work;>
Read labels on everything and buy as close to all-natural as possible (along these lines, avoid low-fat/low-cal alternatives...stick with small portion of real item)?
GOOD, have been using real butter instead of my Smart Balance Light substitute, full-fat dressing but not enough to skyrocket my calories for the day, and I've always been a full-fat cheese kind of girl but have gotten better at cutting a small portion so I can have all the goodness without any of the guilt

One thing that wasn't on the list for my plan that I've inadvertently been doing is really cutting back on my sweet indulgences. I used to have something chocolate every day. Every. Day. Not only have I not had much in the way of refined sweet stuff (twice a week to date but unlikely to always be even that frequent), I don't really crave it. I haven't had any sweet tea since I began this challenge, not even on the weekends, and I'd say that used to be close to an every other day beverage of choice for me. Considering sweet tea has often ranked as #1 favorite non-alcoholic drink for me (having now been tied for that spot with Trader Joe's pomegranate white tea), I'm amazed at this revelation.

I'm also amazed at how I haven't felt that I've had to deprive myself of anything. It took no time to stop craving stuff that I thought I'd never be able to do without, like tortilla chips or chocolate or sweet tea, and I don't feel at all bad about sharing a dessert or fries with a few other people on the weekends, and those now insignificant treats haven't ruined anything. I can picture this as being my permanent lifestyle, carefully planned foods during the week with carefree yet not over-indulgent weekends, which is something I see as being very crucial to my success in getting what I want from this and keeping it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Eatin' good in my neighborhood...

mouth-watering steak
I was tagged by heather last week to do the top five local restaurant meme. I was supposed to have gotten around to it last Friday night, and I might have, but we had some conferring to do beforehand;> After I read her choice for Texas Roadhouse, I decided to list five places that are more than just a good place to eat for me, so that is what I've done...because I have too many favorite eateries to narrow the list to five.

1. Add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you. Include the city/state and country you’re in.
Nicole (Sydney, Australia)
velverse (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
LB (San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy)
Selba (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Olivia (London, England)
ML (Utah, USA)
Lotus (Toronto, Canada)
tanabata (Saitama, Japan)
Andi (Dallas [ish], Texas, United States)
Todd (Louisville, Kentucky, United States)
miss kendra (los angeles, california, u.s.a)
Jiggs Casey (Berkeley, CA, USA! USA! USA!)
Tits McGee (New England, USA)
Kat (Ontario, Canada)
Cheezy (London, England)
Paula (Orange County, California, U.S.)
Jeff (Colorado, USA)
Fringes (around Houston, US)
Tera (Somewhere In KY by way of OH, USA)
heather (upstate new york, usa)
woo-woo (southeast Virginia, USA)

2. List your top five local eating places.

My list is of five local places that I enjoy immensely for the food that also have a special memory or occasion association for me.

1 - Cinco de Mayo (no website) - This is the place NS and I first met each other face to face. We had a great time talking and drinking and laughing and drinking a little more. We followed this with a few games of bowling at a place down the street. If you're ever in need of entertainment, take me bowling. I bowl granny-style but don't totally suck, usually scoring over 100;>

2 - Grate Steak - This is a place where you can cook your own steak. You can also pay an extra dollar or two to have it done for you, which is what we did. This is the restaurant where NS and I ate the night that M called him "daddy". This was where he made it clear to me that he didn't mind. At the time I wasn't too sure if it was that he didn't mind because they were just little kids who didn't know any better or if he really didn't mind them thinking of him as daddy; I should have known it was the latter.

3 - Texas Roadhouse - This was where a nervous yet relaxing dinner was shared between NS and me the night I told him I was pregnant last summer. I was so relieved to have finally gotten to tell him but had also had plenty of time to let the shock of it all sink in and be happy about it; he was just in shock.

4 - Ruth's Chris Steak House - In celebration of NS's birthday last year, his parents took him, me, his sister, and his sister's friend here to eat. Without a doubt, the best steak I've ever had, and we all had a good time. This was only a couple nights after I'd met them for the first time, but I wasn't uncomfortable, and in fact, felt completely at ease. We ended the evening with an extended game of Trivial Pursuit, which NS, his dad, and I won;>

5 - Melting Pot - NS and I ate here for the first time last year for my birthday celebration. It has since become our special occasion place. We've gone there with his family and for our anniversary in November. The food is always wonderful, and the atmosphere is perfect. A bite of cheesecake dipped in chocolate is Heaven on a stick, and I can't not love a place that serves that;>

I don't know how I survived three and a half years of my life as a vegetarian. Three of my five are steak houses, and Melting Pot has an entire course dedicated to meat, poultry, and seafood.

Now comes the part where I should pass along this tag. I don't really know who hasn't been tagged and, frankly, am not up to the task of notifying those whom I've tagged. So, if ya wanna do this...tag.

Wardrobe malfunctions with white pants...

smurf with white pants and banana
I wore white pants yesterday. I am very fond of my white pants. They don't wrinkle, don't require a lining to be sufficiently opaque, and seemingly flatter me since I often get compliments on them. But, yesterday was not the right day to wear them; it was just one of those clumsy days.

The pants are dry-clean only. Since they were in the dirty clothes hamper, I decided to toss them in the dryer with the Dryel sheet Tuesday morning so I could wear them later this week. I put them on yesterday morning. NS mentions the stain on the back of the right leg. That's why I had them in the hamper...how did I miss that Tuesday morning?!? I then remembered the stain appearing the last time I wore the pants. It showed up early in the day, so I had to wear them the rest of the day with the little brownish spot on the back of the leg. So, I think, "I did it once; I'll just do it again...I don't want to even try to figure out something else to wear." I really should have taken the 5-10 minutes to find something else to wear. Lesson learned.

I'm dressed and ready to walk out the door, which means it's time to get the boys ready. I start with M. He decides he wants a peanut-butter wrap. I ask if he'd like some honey on it, too. Stupid, stupid question. He accepts the offer of honey, so I make the wrap, roll it up, and give it to him. As he stands in front of me, wrap in hand, taking bites as I get him dressed, a drop of honey slides away from the wrap to make a silent splat on the leg of my pants. I cringe and quickly finish the dressing of the boy to rush into the kitchen and dab a wet paper towel on the spot. It's not awful, but it's definitely another spot I'm going to need to remember the next time I clean these pants.

No further mishaps from dressing J, but as I'm washing my hands at the kitchen sink, the last task before we all walk out the door, M approaches me from the side, holding a black ink pen. Softly and swiftly, he swipes the pen on the back of my thigh, the same leg sporting the small brownish spot a bit further down. He proudly announces that he's written on mommy. I reacted with much less pride in my voice, especially as I now notice another smear of honey on the front of this leg. This one comes out less than the first since it has had a few minutes to penetrate.

There is no time to change. The top I was wearing was not versatile. I couldn't just change the pants. I was wearing white shoes to match the white pants. Deciding to change the pants at this point would mean an entire change from head to toe. Considering I spend my days cozily hibernating in my cave-office, I just couldn't justify the change. We scurry out the door.

As I'm taking the boys out of the car at daycare 10 minutes later, I somehow forget that J had stuck the peel from the banana he'd eaten on the way in the handle of his door. My backside had been resting against it while I unfastened the seat belt, unbuckled his 5-point restraints, and as I helped him out of the chair. It wasn't until I squished myself further into the door to allow him to exit that I realized what had happened. I reached around to my lower back, hoping that I wouldn't feel anything, disappointed when I felt banana strings smooshed into my shirt and pants. Un-fucking-believable.

Yet, that is still not the end of the stain spree I endured yesterday with my white pants. My lunch was an almond butter and honey wrap. Who can guess what happened? You might not be surprised that some honey escaped the wrap and drizzled it's way onto not only my chest but my lap as well.

To recap:
1 mystery brownish spot on back of right leg, mid-thigh
1 honey spot on front left leg, near knee
1 2-inch black ink pen stripe on back of right leg, butt/hip area
1 honey spot on front right leg, knee area
1 semi-circle of banana goop over my butt
1 honey spot on front left leg, upper thigh

I walked around most of the day trying my best only to expose the back left of my pants since they were actually still white. Not very easy to expose only a quarter of your body at a time, but I saw no one pointing, staring, whispering, or laughing, so maybe I was successful. Maybe they just waited until I left.

Thank God I didn't start my period yesterday.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Too much life...

I'm busy...busy at work, busy at home, busy trying to get announcements and party invites put together and out in the mail in the next few days. I'll take a break some day soon and at least write up a post to fulfill my tag for a meme.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

This is my plan...

boxing female body
Thanks for the Happy Mother's Day wishes. It was a lovely day, me lounging about being mommy to boys who alternated tummy aches. No fights, no stress, just comforting little boys as only mommy can do;> My mom hasn't gotten her gift yet, though, because of that unfortunate turn of events. Turns out she had an ache herself. Maybe it was the turkey the three of them ate on Saturday when I chose the roast beef.

Anyway, this post is about my participation in Sassy Pants's 7-Week Fitness Challenge. I had been doing pretty good at keeping up an every-other-day schedule with my yogalates dvd for a few weeks before the blowout knee injury of a few weeks ago. That put me out of commission for yogalates and the walks at work and the dog-walk after work. The whole thing pretty much pissed me off with its interference of my ability to function as a non-sedentary human being. The frustration of clothes shopping on Saturday (not-so-quick tangent - I'm sorry, but I didn't gain that much weight with Baby Angel's pregnancy, and considering I have many other items of clothing that fit fine in smaller sizes, I am certain that the sizing for most of the Macy's juniors'* department is way out of control, like wedding dress size out of control - end tangent) put me in a more pissed off mood, and combining that with the post on Sunday from Sassy Pants, I became super determined that this weight will come off. And, in the process, I will be healthier.

So, on with the actual plan already:
- 15-minute walk during work hours
- 15-minute dog-walk after work
- Complete 1 workout dvd every weeknight (currently only doing the one yogalates dvd, but I have 2 of them and am expecting a shipment for 3 other workout dvds next Monday...I'm going to be bellydancing, salsaing, and aligning my chakras come next week;>)
- Eat 5 times a day (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner)
- Have smoothie (fresh fruit, frozen fruit, yogurt) after workout
- No fast food during the work-week
- More fruits and veggies all the time
- No packaged snack foods (chips, cookies, pretzels, etc.) during the week and very limited on the weekend
- Any restaurant meals must be consumed over the course of at least 2 meals
- Read labels on everything and buy as close to all-natural as possible (along these lines, avoid low-fat/low-cal alternatives...stick with small portion of real item)

That's what I'm aiming for with hopes that the results will be a healthier me, weighing about 15 pounds less than I currently do. I'm not necessarily aiming for the 15 pounds by the end of the 7-Week Challenge, but by the middle of August, which amounts to a reasonable 1.25 lbs/week.

In order to keep myself on track, I signed up for a FitDay account. I've made it public, so feel free to keep track of my progress, but keep in mind, I'm not currently holding myself responsible for tracking the weekends. Not saying I won't, but I'm not going to worry too much about those days being they are going to be my no-guilt-allowed days. Thanks to Jan B for making her FitDay journal public and allowing me to see what a wonderful tool it could be.

* Yes, I still shop in the juniors' department; I'm not sure when I'm not supposed to do that anymore, but as far as I can tell, it's still not yet. The denim there is much more my taste, and I was looking for denim shorts. I've also found the non-juniors' department bottoms to still be too high-waisted to be flattering on me, especially with the too-short shirts to go with them.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day...

mom's gift
For the past few days I've had the boys creating masterpieces. They applied the foam-sticker flowery border on the photo album we're giving to my mom. They've written their names - along with the names of everyone they know, like mommy, daddy, grandma - on the cards we bought last weekend.

This is what Mother's Day was about for me. I remember crafting gifts and making cards for my mom every year, usually taking inspiration from the projects in Highlights magazines. It was always so much fun for me, and I know my mom still has some of those things. I hope by having them apply their personal touches to the cards and helping with the creation of my mom's gift that I will have years of handmade treasures to look forward to collecting.

They were too excited and proud of the photo album and sort of let it slip yesterday when we were leaving for a day of shopping with my mom. Next year, we work on keeping things as a surprise;>

Happy Mother's Day to every mother, with or without children.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Putting memories on ice...

flashing ice cubes
Now that I've got the beach house (that virtual tour sold me) for our June party reserved and wedding announcement/party invites picked out and ordered, I feel slightly more relaxed. Like I can breathe and do something else with my time. Also helps a great deal that NS is stopped in the Bahamas for a few days and was able to see those two things and reassure me of my choices last night.

I'm inspired to write about several different things, but certainly not all at once, so I'll just start with a piggy-back off of Susan's request last week about moments we'd freeze in time if we could.

A few of those types of moments popped into my head.

* I'd love to freeze the moment during my 7th birthday party when I saw my Cookie Monster cake. It was the most glorious cake I'd ever laid eyes on, and I can picture the cake and the surroundings vividly, but I can't see myself or my reaction, and I'd love to be able to since it is such a fond memory from my childhood.

* I know I could watch the moments when I first met my boys over and over again until the end of time. I remember my reaction being that their skin was "so soft" and then feeling the enormous sense of relief in knowing they were really there and delivered in perfect condition. Tears of pure worry-release rolled down the side of my eyes when I heard those first wails.

* One moment in time that I could relive and just stay in forever would be a night when the boys were asleep in the room next to NS and I as we snuggled on the couch watching I, Robot last summer. I was pregnant with Baby Angel, and at that moment, life was pefect. He rested his head gently on one side of my bulging belly with his hand carressing the other. A moment of simple bliss when I felt certain everything would be alright.

In case y'all didn't share last week with Susan, either, feel free to replay your favorite life moments in comments.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The kind of boys you'd want for your daughters...

farting bunny
I'm so happy to have a couple little boys growing up in my house. I have daydreams of many grossly entertaining episodes in our future. This was not always the case. I used to think I'd be a terrible choice of mother for a boy. What did I know about raising a boy? Nothing. I knew what I liked big boys for, but I didn't think that would make for heartfelt, non-creepy life lessons learned from mom moments. Turns out, I'm alright with the little boy ickiness because they are also sweet to their mommy when she needs it.

* Gross first or sweet first? Sweet. Wasn't nearly as funny. *

After we got home last night, I was quickly scanning the pantry and mentally picturing the items in our refrigerator, trying to figure out something to feed them for dinner so that I could then retreat to my bed to relax my knee (damn driving is killing my knee's healing progress). I made some mention of my leg hurting, may actually have just been some knee-grabbing and high-pitched noises of agony, but M picked up on this and promptly told me I needed to go to bed and lay down. My little man trying to take care of his momma, the sweetness of that boy was dropping off in cubes of sugar right then. He was also the one that dutifully stood by my head Sunday while I was bedridden, stroking my hair, looking at me with sadness and pity.

All that nurturing love is totally gone when it's bedtime, by the way. When it's time to put on the pajamas and go to sleep, those boys couldn't care less that mom's got to cling to a wall every time she has to move into an upright position and only focus on their needs to find their toys or replace their blankets or readjust their sleeping bags. But, you know, it's all heart-warming while it lasts; they wouldn't want me getting spoiled;>

Now, as for this unexpected joy of boys thing - the amusement that comes from things apparently innately characteristic of those possessing Y chromosomes - that happened the night after I first hurt my knee.

Since I had declared my leg out of commission, the boys had to come to me to get ready for bed. So, J is standing on my bed just out of reach as I'm attempting to wrestle him into submission without moving my leg, and M is on the floor, treasuring his safe distance from my arms patiently waiting for his turn. After J is stripped down to bare-butt nakedness, a lightbulb is ignited in his head, and he decides it is time for some classy entertainment to close out the evening. With M directly in the line of fire, J bends over, butt facing M, and farts. Not some delicate little break of wind. A full-fledged fart that even a group of fraternity brothers would have given him a high-five for. Oh how amusing this was! He continued to repeat the movements without the action several times over, even going as far as to grab and spread his cheeks for a couple attempts, delightedly declaring that he was going stinky on his brother. I'm not sure I've ever heard them laughing so much at each other.

In case you weren't yet sure, I also found this show to be hilarious. I am not a flatulent person, myself, and have never had the brilliant notion to fart on someone, so I can only conclude that this behavior is just something boys are born to envision and embrace...and, I love it;>