On Weights, Watchers, and Percentages

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Sometimes I feel like I have a heavy weight on my shoulders. Did you know there are places out there that make sandwiches with donuts as the bread? With chocolate mascarpone cheese, bacon, sugar, carbs, and butter? (Tom+Chee, I’m lookin’ at you!). Because, right now, that sounds far more amazing than eating yogurt with apples, or oatmeal with blueberries. ^That is the reason why I can be fat.

I knew stepping on the scale at my Thursday meeting was going to be hard. I wasn’t keeping track of what I was eating, and pretty much ate whatever was pre-made out of a box. It’s incredibly easy to fall back into bad habits.

144.2 without shoes.

I was officially 4.2 over my goal weight, and nearly 10 lb. over my “happy weight” range. My weight can fluctuate 5 lb. each day, so 135 and under is a good spot for me to be (According to my  height with Weight Watchers, my healthy weight range is 117 to 146. Click to see your weight range if you’re interested.) 

A common misconception is that you have to exercise to lose weight. And if it were true, I’m pretty sure there’d be a lot less Weight Watchers members out there. I didn’t really start exercising until I lost 35 lb, which then made it a smidge easier.

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30% exercise, and 70% what you eat. Period.

Since Thursday, I’ve been strict with my points and tracking what I eat. Last night I ate at the infamous Shark Tank’s Tom+Chee, and had a turkey grilled cheese with blueberry compote on thick white bread WITH BUTTER.

And I didn’t go over my points. In fact, I was nearly half a pound lighter this morning. It’s all about budgeting.

It’s still hard for me, though. While I’m not hungry, I feel deprived in that I HAVE to limit myself. I’m jealous of those who know when they’re full and just stop eating. I see their half-eaten donut and alarms go off in my head—after all, to folks like me, it’s blasphemous to not finish a donut. Or a fancy grilled cheese donut with bacon (I managed to avoid eating this…. I deserve an award). 

I’m now 140.1, which is 4.1 lb. down since Thursday. The weight loss will be less rapid after this week (the first week of a plan, your body sort of “dumps” all the bad stuff it’s been holding on to. After that initial cleanse is done, losing 1-2 lb. a week is normal).

Since I’m close to my goal, I’ll have a harder time reaching it with just food alone. Because I’m a list maker, you guys shouldn’t be surprised that I’m motivated by nice, round start dates, too 😉

….so Wednesday, July 1 is as good a day as any to hop back to the gym.

It helps to have someone motivating in life to look up to with regards to your goals. I’ve got someone who runs every.single.day. and enjoys it. I’d love to look forward to the enjoyment in working out once again. Mini goal, maybe?

On Weights, Watchers, and Percentages

On Sack Lunches, Fruit and Starting Somewhere

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Lately, I’ve been the type of person to grab a packet of flavored oatmeal or a frozen breakfast sandwich and coffee in the morning before work. Microwave. 1 Minute. Done.

But that hasn’t been a good practice because by mid-morning, I’m hungry. And I usually end up spending a ton of money, or eating junk food, while I’m at work.

Yesterday, I was the only person sitting in a Marriott conference room eating. Even the person leading the conference mentioned that it was “a treat” to be able to eat while working. (Really? I think it should be more commonplace to bring fruit or a snack. It’s not as if I’m frying up fish in the back of the room. It’s a PEACH! I’m a fruit fatty apparently.).  Two people had Starbucks cups. One had a Burger King cup. And two people had reusable water bottles. I was one.

Part of my List for the year included Eat better, and Lose 10 lb. And there’s no reason not to get started, even if I was in a seminar. Getting started is typically the HARDEST part for me. After a few days it’s nearly a routine to pick healthy items, prep them, count the Weight Watchers Points and take them with wherever I’m going. But the thought of doing all this work ahead of time? Ughhhhhh. My lazy, carb-loving self does not want to chop an apple, TYVM.

Yesterday, I woke up at 6:30 a.m. so I could get ready and prep food. The above photo is what I packed:

  • 1 water bottle (a mix of strawberry and tap water)
  • Coffee, 2 tbsp creamer
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 peach, cut
  • 3 c. grapes
  • 1 apple, cut
  • 1/2 c. Fage 0% Fat Yogurt
  • 1 Yoplait Yogurt
  • 1 Chocolate chip bar
  • 1 sandwich with 2 slices Sara Lee bread, 1 slice Provolone cheese, 4 slices Premium Deli ham

This was going to get me from breakfast to dinner. Turns out that by the time the conference ended, I didn’t eat the Yoplait yogurt. Which left me with more wiggle room for dinner. While I may have gone over my points for the day (two pieces of pizza and 3/4 of a decadent cookie for dinner), at least I got started.

It’s not easy for me. Probably for similar reasons why sticking to a budget can be difficult—you’re limiting yourself. You’ve one day woken up and said, “I can’t have everything.”

WHAT? I’m the boss of me. I could go to Taco Bell and order everything on the breakfast menu right now if I wanted to! (But, I’m really not. ‘Cause blerghhh)

No one likes to be told they can’t do something, or that they have limitations. Especially me.

Have you seen the NutriGrain bar commercial that says, “One good decision leads to another”? It’s another of my mottos for life these days.

I’ve got my fully charged Fitbit on. Coffee, fruit and oatmeal at my side. A sunny day and a dog that is looking at me pathetically as he sits next to his leash. Let’s see how far these good decisions go today.

On Sack Lunches, Fruit and Starting Somewhere

On Strength, Independence, and Name Changes

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When I walked out of the Social Security building yesterday, I had tears in my eyes. There was no one there to hug me. No one there to say it was ok—that I was going to be ok. The door attendant didn’t say “Goodbye!” or “Have a nice day!” on the way out. I held the paperwork in my hand, walked to my car, texted a friend that I was in pain. And alone.

Getting a divorce is lonely. Printing paperwork. Filling in blanks. Explaining why you should be granted to live in peace alone. Leaving your personal items in lockers at the court house. Admitting you can’t make it work.

Ever notice there’s always two chairs, sitting side-by-side wherever you go? I never need the second. That’s how life feels lately.

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None of this has been the “easy” way out. The first conversation left me crying because he didn’t fight for us. When he signed the papers, I walked into the bathroom just to be out of the same room. Tears constantly swelled and all I could do was pretend to wash my hands. No. This was not an easy road. I have a tightness in my chest that sometimes takes days to go away.

I have tears that come when I think of memories. In Germany. Door County. Restaurants. Cubs Games. English Class. College Parties. So many smiles.

I’ve heard the word “strong” and “independent” and “envy” so many times in the past few months that I’ve grown an aversion to them. Those words are exactly the ones he used to describe why we’re not good for one another. Right before he said, “You’ll find someone who will care about you.” And all I heard was, “Because I don’t care about you.  I’m not that person who can.”

FullSizeRender2I’m baffled at times when people look at me and see strength and independence. I feel failure, disappointment and uncertainty often. Because it’s real.

Real is ok.

I doubt anyone is ever going to look at me and say, “How dare you be sad because someone you loved is no longer in your life!”

I’ve cried so hard that my eyes burn and I wake up with puffy eyelids. Sometimes I blow my nose so often the skin peels and I curse the makeup gods for not being able to cover it. Sometimes I’m so sad that I don’t move from the couch and watch all five seasons of Game of Thrones because I can.

That’s what real looks like. And guess what? Real is STILL ok for me.

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I want to be happy. I want to be with someone who makes me happy. I want to make someone else happy. And coexist in a way that seems effortless and easy. It hasn’t been that way. And it’s damn well time it should be.

I crossed the first part of a goal off yesterday: Change name with Social Security. In 7-10 days when the card arrives in the mail, I’ll knock off the second part of getting a new drivers license.

Yes, it’s soon. But why dwell? In my heart, I think I know things won’t change, at least not how they are now. If I want to be happy, I have to make myself that way. And sometimes that requires me to do it alone.

IMG_5548Part of being strong is acknowledging the pain. And then realizing it’s life. My track record for getting through hard times, thus far, is 100%.

I don’t like to dwell—What if I already met someone who could make me happy and love me, and didn’t give him a chance? What if there was a sign, and I was too depressed to see it? What if I spent so much time on my thoughts that I wasn’t able to see a lovely opportunity elsewhere?

I knew when it was time to move on. And as much as I hate doing things alone, if it meant choosing between happy/alone and miserable/together, I’d choose happy. Every. Single. Time.

Think of it this way…. those chocolate hostess cupcakes? Snoballs?Always come in packs of two. Now I can take time to savor them both!

On Strength, Independence, and Name Changes

The List – 29 Things After Turning 29

While I was in Florida, soaking up the local color (switching from 100+ spf to 45 spf+ got me plenty), I managed to compile the list. It’s been tweaked and revised in my head so many times that I just need to get it down in writing.

I probably won’t achieve all of these this year.
I probably will think some of them are dumb later on.
I probably will add a few that I think should be on it.

But the good news is that this list is supposed to spur some change and thoughtfulness in the next 357 days. So my type-A personality is freaking out that I’m 8 days past my birthday and the list isn’t up yet… I even briefly had the thought that I shouldn’t even bother anymore because I wasn’t doing it 100% right.

At least I realize that’s a silly thought. And really, reading the number…three-hundred-fifty-seven… in all its glory does make it seem like it’s eons away. So let’s just get down to what I’ll be focusing on, eh? (The photos are extra ones from my trip that I didn’t have a chance to put in the last post. Enjoy!)

Develop a skincare routine. I do a good job at using moisturizer on my face everyday, but I’d like to focus on the other skin on my body, and really the skin around my eyes, neck and back of hands. I’ve also been avoiding SPF in many of my products because I read about it not being good for you in EVERYTHING. I want to make sure that info is accurate and still worthwhile.

Read. I have a stack of magazines in my office that I haven’t gotten to (a best friend of mine could tell you…. as she pulled unread Christmas and Thanksgiving ones out of a box to help me unpack and looked at me like I was insane. Ha!)

Develop a gym routine. I was so good about going Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday that the moment I stopped one day? It was hard to go back.

Walk the dog everyday. Rain or shine. The poor thing is pretty sedentary, and most of it is due to me. 30 minutes each morning.

Look into teeth whitening. I’ve been told it’s a maintenance thing, but in the past 10 years I’ve noticed a significant difference in the white of my pearly whites.

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Learn to swim. Everyone is always amazed at this. “You can’t swim?” And then when they try to teach me, they do so by saying, “Just do this!” Yeah…if it were that easy, don’t you think it would have taken less than 29 years?

Go places I wouldn’t normally go to alone. I often say no to things because I don’t have someone to go with. Who knows? I may meet someone cool along the way.

Learn to run. I’ve admired people who run. And I feel like a lot of gals my age are just now taking up the sport. I want to learn to breathe. Learn to run. Learn to compete. And possibly do it in something longer than a 7k. I’d love to sign up for a half marathon!

Research PhD programs. I’m not done with school. I think I can swing starting a program in the next three years. Where. When. How much.

Travel more. I haven’t been to Yellowstone–and I live in the darn state! I want to focus on traveling in the U.S., locally, and overseas. (My best friend gave me a 3-month subscription to Escape Monthly: A Vacation in a Box and I LOVE it. It was such a good gift to inspire me to travel!)

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Don’t say no to going out. I say no because I could be cleaning, or working, or sleeping, or watching TV. Am I going to remember those things later on? Nope. Get.Off.Ass.

Develop a chores routine. I’m totally guilty of piling dishes in the sink. It’s just me–so it never makes sense to load the dishwasher for TWO plates. But it needs to happen.

Change name with Social Security, and get new drivers license. It was hard to change it in the first place (I cried), but it’ll be hard to change it back.

Develop a writing schedule. Get something on the calendar. I’m thinking early in the morning, because there’s little ways I can motivate myself to actually work out in the morning. I’m not much of a morning person. Ahem.

Do/Eat only what I love. Life is too short to eat liver. Or mac and cheese. Or carbonated beverages. I’m going to vow to only eat things I truly enjoy in the next year. Then I’ll tell you about the fabulousness.

Get butt on a bike. I have a bike that I love, but haven’t ridden it in a year. It badly needs a tune-up, as well as some cleaning and possibly a new tire. There’s an awful lot of open roads here in Wyoming.

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Reconnect with friends. There’s some I haven’t spoken to in ages. Some I’ve never met in person (the internet is a wondrous thing!). Some I haven’t seen since switching jobs. I want to ensure those friendships are solid. Maybe letter writing would be a good option?

Get my motorcycle license. I tried last year and missed it by two lousy points (They docked me for not going fast enough around a turn. Pfft).

Take a baking class or learn to cook something new. There’s no number to this, but I would like to continue to hone some baking skills. I’ve gotten certificates in International Pastries and Yeast Doughs… but there’s a lot more out there. Who wants to eat baked goods?

Keep up with the blog. Yep. I’m one to start something and not often finish. I won’t have a dedicated schedule, but I want to routinely post. For a year.

Start a side business. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting extra income somehow. I’m not certain what this is, but it will be something I enjoy (and don’t spend all my money at. So no clothing stores!).

Finish the inside of the house. Minus the kitchen. Minus the flooring. I’d like to have all the rooms painted. The windows replaced. Lighting replaced. And doors/doorknobs done. But I can’t realistically have the funds to do it all. We’ll see how far I get.

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Date night with Grandma. I’ve told myself over and over that one of the reasons why I’m back in Cheyenne is because of my grandmother. She’s 88 this year, and we can either eat food, play cards, talk, or just read. Maybe a trip to the Library is in order.

Eat better. This goes along with the next one, but as a Weight Watchers member, I want to maintain my good eating habits.

Learn to can. I have cans. I have the equipment. I know the how-to. But I haven’t done much of it. Start small with freezer jam and freezer preserves. Then move on to the longer-shelf-life stuff.

Lose 10 lb. Yep. I’m at the high end of my healthy weight. And I want more wiggle room. So that extra 10 that I’ve been waffling over for the past three years is gunna go!

Get my conceal carry, and maintain a shooting schedule. I took the course. I have the guns. I need a holster and the conceal carry. But I think this will help me go to the range more often.

Save/Stick to Budget. Guilty. Of not doing this. I make X then manage to spend X+5 because of student loans. House. Medical. Etc. I’d like to learn more about apps that make this easy for me!

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Date quality. And finally…. Date intelligent. Date kind. Date quality. Period.

The List – 29 Things After Turning 29

Let’s Talk 29 – Of Peaches, Beaches and Humid Things

You know those themed “over-the-hill” parties that are thrown when someone turns 50? Usually they involve black clothing and tombstones? They’re depressing.

I feel like those dreaded years keep getting younger and younger. On my way home from work, I noticed a sign in a front yard with, “Lordy, Lordy! Look who’s forty!” God…I really hope the person turning 40 didn’t care.

I just turned 29. And I care about 30. No one is allowed to say any negative things or point out that fact. I already cringe when I hear, “ONE MORE YEAR!”

One year closer to 30. And one year away from a reminder that my life isn’t quite what I anticipated it would be. You see, I’m having a hard time with reality right now. I just got this packet in the mail. May not look like much to you, but it was enough to make me cry.

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I’ve been separated since October 2013, and was stalemated. Dating around some, but not moving forward with anything. Finally, the topic of divorce was brought up earlier this year. January 2015. And in the beginning of May, paperwork was filed. I knew I needed a pick-me-up… as divorce wasn’t my first hope in solving the issues. But it’s the solution that was taken in the end. I booked a trip to Florida with a friend. The day I left for the trip, I got the self-addressed, pre-stamped envelope with the final divorce decree in it. I left on vacation officially single.

And officially depressed.

It’s to be expected—while some divorces are happy, this one is not. It’s a reminder that I messed up an awful lot. That I was too proud, too independent, and too selfish. For anyone that has experienced a divorce, you know the pain. Of not being good enough. Of failing at your “forever.” It’s an ache in your heart that doesn’t go away easily, and I am too much of a make-things-happen kind of gal to let it continue forever.

So I wanted to start 29 off with a bang. Florida was my answer.

I reached out to an old blogging friend of mine. We’ve known each other for a handful of years, but have never met in person. Same age; same job industry; same relationship status (single!). Figured, why not? Thank god she was game. (If you think about it….isn’t it weird that you can now make friends online? I swear that wasn’t as normal 10 years ago.)

I flew from Denver to Atlanta. Then drove Atlanta to Birmingham. The next day, we drove 6-ish hours to Destin, Florida where we’d hoped for some good-for-you, down-to-the-soul, relaxing type of vacation that can start the healing process. And fried shrimp. Because that’s instant happiness.

It was gorgeous. And also National Donut Day when we got there. Serendipitous, don’t ya think?

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Once out of town, with the radio up and the air conditioning on (there’s a reason why most houses in Wyoming don’t have A/C built-in…. there’s no way that most cowboys would live in the dense humidity and hot climate of Florida. This curly-haired gal had the best skin and curliest hair of her life for those five days) it felt like a normal life. And normal has been a hard thing to come by lately, ya’ll.

We stopped at a charming farm stand, where we smelled every piece of fruit there, and, no joke, saw some Peach Queens. They give out sashes dedicated to fruit to beauty queens. Yep—big hair, lots of makeup, pearly whites, and dressed to the nines. AND ONLY FOUR FEET TALL. Things are different in the south.

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We grabbed some fruit, hit the road and talked. I’d been tossing back and forth the idea of a happiness checklist for the past few weeks. Something that will get me out of my element. After all, how can you expect to be happy, if you’re not and nothing changes? Going to meet someone I’ve never met, heading to a new beach, and spending my first birthday on vacation was a good start.

But the list was next. And sitting on the beach, with book in hand, sometimes with a slushy-boozy drink, was honestly the best way to think up said list 😉

I’ll post the list tomorrow…. and hope to update you for the next year on that list, and happiness in general.

But let me at least get this image in your brains before I end this post… the south is the best place to buy peaches. Hands down. I prefer nectarines due to the skin. Typically peaches are overly fuzzy up north and out west. But in Alabama? Georgia? The peaches are outta this world.

IMG_5344They even look gorgeous (I did get to see a gigantic peach water tower in Canton, GA that reminded me of the one referenced in House of Cards. When you’re going by at 80 mph, it does sort of look like a vagina. And yes, I’m ending my blog post with the word vagina. You’re welcome).

Let’s Talk 29 – Of Peaches, Beaches and Humid Things