Monday, October 31, 2011

Is it really Halloween?!

I cannot believe it's the end of October already! Fall is my favorite time of year, and I feel like I missed it. We didn't even go to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch at all this year.

I leave tomorrow for New York, so I won't be blogging until I get home (if I'm not too exhausted, I'll try and write on Wednesday night). I won't be posting anything about the show until AFTER it airs--sorry, but you'll have to wait a couple of weeks longer!  I will let you know the air date ASAP though. Also, I will write everything down while it's fresh in my memory--but I just won't post it here until after the air date. I just hope that they'll let me take lots of pictures of everything!

I went for an 8-mile run today. I did a slow pace. It was pretty cold for the first few miles. I just wanted to get in one long run before heading to NY. Besides, it never hurts to burn 800 calories on Halloween ;)
I take that back... 955 calories. I used my HRM, so I think it's accurate!

I went to TJ Max today because I had a gift card that was about to expire. I actually have about 5 more gift cards that have to be used soon. Do any of you have that problem? Acquiring gift cards and just never using them? I tried on clothes, but I didn't want to buy anything before my lower body lift. So I ended up just buying a pair of pajamas (fleece, of course!) and a bunch of tea cups. Love the cups!
The new tea cups (and that's just some of my tea in the background)
Since I stopped drinking coffee, I've been drinking more and more tea. I like these cups because they are kind of big.

Jerry just took the kids to his parents' house to show their costumes. Jerry's mom always goes way overboard with the candy, and they each came home LOADED with it. Here's a pic of Eli with most of his loot (I say "most" because he'd already eaten some). This is JUST from Jerry's parents:
Could there BE any more Reese's Cups?!  Strangely, I don't really feel tempted by it (yet). I just hope it's all gone by the time I get home from NY!

Well I have to cut this short, because we're going to my parents' house to celebrate Mark's birthday before trick-or-treating. Have a great Halloween!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Subscriptions

If you have a subscription to my blog, please read this!  I discovered today that the spot on my blog to sign up for e-mail subscriptions was linking you to the wrong feed. It's the same content, but it was called "Maintaining Half My Size" back when I first started this blog. It's causing me a lot of confusion now on Feed Burner, so I'm going to delete that feed.

If you have an e-mail subscription, you may have to re-subscribe. All you have to do is enter your e-mail into the box on my page where it says Follow by Email, and it should be good to go. This MAY also effect the people that subscribed to the RSS feed back when it was called Maintaining Half My Size. If you think that could be you, you might have to re-subscribe by clicking on the little box under Subscribe By on my blog page. Regardless, if you don't see a post from me sometime Monday, then you probably need to re-subscribe.

Sorry for the hassle, but it will make things way less confusing for me if I delete that feed. This only effects about 80 people, so hopefully you're not one of them! ;)


It was another cold morning. When the kids were getting ready to leave for church, I thought I would make Noah laugh by attempting to put on his coat. I figured I wouldn't even be able to get the sleeve past my elbow. Turns out I was able to put it on AND zip it up! Hahaha, it's a boys size 8 coat (Noah is 7 years old) so I was actually kind of thrilled at that fact!
If only the sleeves were a little longer...  ;)


I made Southwest Chicken & Beans in the slow cooker for dinner. I was craving guacamole, so I decided to put cheese, guacamole, and sour cream on top. It was SO good.
I love really sloppy food like that--where you can just throw a bunch of shit in a bowl and call it dinner. The messier, the better!


Estelle (my ugly cat) found a new perch that I am NOT happy about. I have a treadmill that folds up when you're not using it, and I like to keep it up so that the cats don't walk on it and scratch it up. Well Estelle must have been offended that I would even think that about her...
Can you spot her this time???
Then when I yelled at her to get down, she of course slides down the nearly 90 degree angle with all 18 claws out full-force.  Did I mention how NOT graceful she is?  When she runs around the house, it sounds like a herd of elephants or something.


When I go to bed tonight, it will mark two full weeks of being binge-free. That hasn't happened in a long time!! I'm loving this, but again--I don't want to speak too soon.  Tomorrow is Halloween, which I remember very clearly was the day that I started bingeing again last year. I was obsessed with Halloween candy, and I ate a ton of it Halloween night. I gained about 6 pounds between Halloween and the day I broke my jaw (November 12).

Tomorrow is also Mark's birthday. We have him over to my parents' house every Halloween for his birthday and to hand out candy. We have dinner and cake, and then my dad makes a fire in the driveway where we hang out and pass out the candy (and Jerry takes my kids trick-or-treating). So tomorrow, my plan is to follow my "rule of two" that I've been doing lately. I tell myself I can pick two things that I really want most, and eat them guilt-free (along with a normal dinner).

I don't know what we're having for dinner, but I'll eat a little of that, and then pick my two choices. I'll probably have a piece of cake and a piece of candy, but if I don't like the cake, then I'll just pick two pieces of candy. Hopefully my kids will eat all of their candy (at least all the good stuff!) while I'm in New York on Tuesday and Wednesday. So maybe I'll avoid the Halloween weight gain this year :)


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Trunk-or-Treat

Well my headache is gone, so it was probably related to the caffeine. I never thought I was hooked on caffeine or coffee, but apparently my body felt it. I don't think I'll start drinking it again, but I hate the lack of energy I feel without it. And the fact that coffee helped keep me "regular".

Tonight is the night that Noah was supposed to go to that sleepover birthday party. His friend Michael came over instead, since I chose not to let him go to the party, and Michael is spending the night here. Of course Jerry is working, so I'm here with the three boys by myself!  They're being a little rambunctious, but not bad!

Tonight was Trunk-or-Treating at the church (kids get to trick-or-treat from car trunks--sounds creepier than it is). I took all three boys, and it was FREEZING. Right when we left, it started hailing!  My mom and dad were there handing out candy, and my dad was dressed in a homemade SpongeBob costume. Surprisingly, it turned out pretty good!
Eli was some sort of creepy pirate, and Noah a transformer
My dad was finishing the costume literally right up until he left. I went for a quick 3-mile run at 4:00 (Jerry had to leave for work at 4:30, so I had to get home to watch the kids), and I ran past my parents' house. My dad was in the driveway spray painting the costume, and he had to leave at 5:00. Might as well wait 'til the last minute, huh?!
Today's running stats

Before I left, I decided that I would allow myself to have two items there--whether it was popcorn and a piece of candy, or a doughnut and cider, or two pieces of candy--whatever! When I was there, I decided to have a cinnamon doughnut and a piece of candy. My mom was handing out Peanut Butter Snickers (YUM!) so I took one of those home with me, and I ate the doughnut there.

All I could think about was candy going home and getting warm.  I was freezing! The kids were shivering too, and as soon as we got home, I put on my fleece pajamas. Now I'm warm and cozy...
Ahhhh, fleece!
Oh, I also noticed when I got home, that I had a big blob of mascara under my right eye, and of course no one told me!  I didn't realize that the mascara I bought on clearance for $1 was NOT waterproof until the first time I cried while I wore it.  So today, the rain didn't help much.

So I decided to torture myself check to see what type of plane I'll be flying in on Tuesday. I had never heard of it, so I asked my brother. It's a plane that has only THREE seats in each row! There is a seat on one side, then an aisle, and then two seats on the other side. There are only like 13 rows in the whole plane. Could it BE any more claustrophobic?!  Why do I do this to myself? Ignorance is bliss!

Friday, October 28, 2011

What is it?

We had this THING sitting on our kitchen counter for a few weeks. My dad gave it to my kids and told them it was an apple he picked from their new apple tree. It's not an apple. It's about the size of a cantaloupe, but it's shaped like an apple, and it has the coloring of a watermelon.

My dad was just teasing the kids about the apple, but they believed him. This morning, I told Jerry to go throw it out in the trash outside, but the kids threw a fit. They wanted to eat it, because they were sure it was an apple. I said it was a very under-ripe watermelon, because it was hard and too small to be a ripe watermelon. Jerry thought it was a pumpkin of some sort.

Naturally, we decided to cut it open and find out. I got my biggest kitchen knife, and pressed down to slice it open--and it didn't even leave a dent. Jerry gave it a try and couldn't cut into it either. So what does one do in that situation? Take it outside and slam it on the ground to break it open, of course!

First, the before pic:
I just woke up, so don't judge how I look!
Jerry did the honors of throwing it on the ground. We heard a thump, and then it rolled. It barely split the skin!
After the first slam on the ground
He chucked it harder this time, and a sprinkling of seeds came out!
The seeds looked unfamiliar to all of us
I was still convinced it was a watermelon that just hadn't grown. I figured the seeds blacken as the watermelon gets riper. Then Jerry threw it again, and finally, it split open...
I was sticking with my guess, and Jerry was just dumbfounded. We gave up, and just threw it in the woods. All of this before the kids even got ready for school!  When my dad came over to walk the kids to the bus stop (he likes to do that in the mornings), we told him the story, and he laughed and told us it was a gourd that my mom picked up at the farmer's market. I have no idea what people do with those things!


I feel like I was so unproductive all day, and the time went by too fast. I went grocery shopping this morning, and then I was sorting through old pictures and scanning them to my computer, which took forever. I cleaned a little and did a load of laundry. And suddenly, it's almost time for the kids to get home.

I was sore this morning when I woke up (from the classes I did with Jessica yesterday), so I decided not to run today. And it was FREEZING outside--literally, because the grass was all frozen and there was frost all over everything. My car door even stuck a little when I opened it.

I don't like this for two reasons: 1) I'm flying in an airplane in a few days, and I am terrified of the thought of frost on the airplane or the runway (even though they "deice the plane" it's scary); and 2) Because I feel like we just barely got to Fall, and now the weather is winter-like outside. It's not even Halloween and my kids wore winter coats to school today.

Remember how I said I had a bad headache when I was running a couple of days ago? Well, it never went away. The past two days, I seriously was in so much pain that I was just lying on the couch every spare moment I had. Then Jerry mentioned yesterday that maybe it's caffeine withdrawal--and it made so much sense!

I've ALWAYS had two cups of coffee in the mornings, and a few days ago, I quit altogether. Coffee makes me jittery, and I was so nervous and anxious as it was, that I figured I should quit coffee until all this stress goes away. So I haven't had any since. *Cue headache* Today, I still have a faint headache, but nothing like it was the past two days. It kind of makes me not want to start drinking coffee again!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Oh my muscles!

I don't know how I got suckered into it, but my friend Jessica sent me a text last night asking if I wanted to go with her to the YMCA today for her classes. She LOVES her fitness classes, and I've never done one before. She had a guest pass, so despite my excuses why I didn't want to go, she talked me into it.

I was super nervous (as per usual, lately!), but I remembered how I wanted to try new things in my second year of maintenance; so I tried not to think too much about it. The first class was Body Sculpt, which is strength training with body weight and with a couple of dumbbells. It reminded me a lot of Jillian's DVDs.

I didn't have trouble following along, but it was HARD. Put me on a treadmill, and I can run 8 miles, easy--but ask me to hold plank for a minute?! Forget it. It seemed like I had to stop and rest during every exercise while everyone else was doing great. I really need to get consistent with strength training; I know how important it is, I just always forget about it!

The next class was Turbo Kick. Maybe I'm just completely aerobicized-challenged, but I found it nearly impossible to keep up with the instructor. Every time I started to catch on, she changed up the moves again. I was totally lost, and I probably stood looking dumb for the majority of the class.

It was an hour-long class, but after 30 minutes, I told Jessica I was heading next door to the cardio room to run on the dreadmill  ;)  I ran a couple of miles while watching The Doctors, but I had no earphones, so it wasn't very entertaining.


Some of you were asking how I managed to lose 5 pounds last week. Keep in mind that I was still a little puffy from my Arizona trip--if you count my weight loss based on my PRE-Arizona weight, I only lost 3.5 pounds. And I still hate to get too deep into all this, because I've only been successfully doing what I'm doing for 10 days.

I still think that for someone who is just starting to lose weight, it's super important to measure and weigh your food and to count calories. Doing that builds discipline, teaches you portion control, tames your hunger, etc. But I've always wanted to be one of those people that can just eat NORMALLY--not measure, count calories, or obsess about food; also that doesn't binge or constantly think about eating.

I've tried intuitive eating exactly 897 times in the past, and I always end up obsessing about food, and telling myself I'm hungry when I'm not, undereating because I feel like I should, etc. So for the past 10 days, I wouldn't say I've been practicing "intuitive eating"... but I've been focusing on NOT thinking about food. I eat my baked oatmeal for breakfast, soup or eggs or something like that for lunch, possibly a Larabar for a snack, dinner like usual, then a dessert/treat at night.

But the key is that I haven't been over-thinking all this. I'm actually trying my best NOT to think. It's hard to describe. I don't estimate my calories, but if I had to, it would probably be about 1,700 per day?  Which is probably why I've been able to refrain from bingeing--when my calories get too low, I tend to binge.

ALSO, and this is probably a major factor, I've been super stressed and anxious lately. I'm a nervous wreck about flying, Dr. Oz, my surgery, PAYING FOR my surgery... and all of that makes my stomach feel a little sick, at all times. With the exception of the money issue, these are GOOD things to be nervous about--but I'll still be relieved when it's over.

And speaking of Dr. Oz, I'm not going to be blogging about my experience until after the show airs--but I promise I will tell you the date as soon as I know it! 

So sorry, but I actually don't have any pictures to post today! I'll try harder tomorrow :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I blew it

Just joking. I think it's safe to say I'm going to New York on Tuesday!!

I had a very long conversation with one of the Dr. Oz show producers this morning--she said she was "writing" this particular show, so she asked me a lot of questions about everything--my weight loss, my life before and after, my family, etc. I think I did pretty well--a lot of the questions are second nature to me, because blog readers ask me that kind of stuff a lot. But I said a few things that probably sounded really stupid, and THAT will be the thing they'll want me to say again on the air ;)

I even cried. Who gets emotional while doing a phone interview? Um, this girl, apparently. She asked me about how my life has changed from the weight loss, and the example that popped into my head was teaching Eli to ride a two-wheeler. I told her how my sister had to teach Noah to ride a two-wheeler because I was too fat to run up and down the street with him; and when it was Eli's turn, I was able to do that. And for some reason, I got emotional when talking about it.

So anyway, she said I would fly to NY on Tuesday night, and the show is filmed on Wednesday morning, and then I'll go home after that. Probably less than 24 hours total!  She didn't mention bringing anybody with me, so I think I'll be going alone. And that's actually kind of a relief to me. I think I'd be nervous having someone I know there. I wish Jerry could go, but he HAS to work.

A lot of you asked if I was going to mention my blog. I had no plans of doing that--I guess because when you first look at my blog, it's probably very overwhelming with TONS of information. I didn't want them to take a look and think, "Wow, look at this freak!" so I almost made it through the conversation without a word about the blog. But then she asked me if I feel I've inspired anyone with my weight loss--the ONLY way to answer that was to talk about my blog.  And I talked about Sparkpeople, of course.

So that is as much as I know right now. I'm still hesitant to tell all my friends, JUST IN CASE they change their minds.  Just as I was typing this, I got a call from the travel coordinator from Dr. Oz, and she took my info to book my flights  :)   (That smiley face is because I'm happy it's actually happening, NOT because I have to fly again!)


Some of you noticed that I have ads on the blog now. I didn't even notice until I read the comments on my last entry! I'm still totally confused about how the whole AdSense thing works, and it's nearly impossible to find info from other bloggers about it.

From what I can tell, I earn a very very tiny amount per so many page views; and then I earn a larger amount when someone clicks on an ad--BUT!!!! PLEASE don't click on the ads unless they are truly of interest to you.You won't be doing me any favors, because my account will get taken away.

I never pay attention to ads on people's blogs, but yesterday I wanted to click on my own ad, because it was for a free sample of JIF peanut butter!! lol, I didn't though, because it's against the rules. I need to read the rules, but there are so many of them.

I don't get to choose the ads, but I was happy with the JIF one they chose yesterday. Hopefully they aren't too much of an eyesore on my blog.


Now, for my weigh-in this morning... I know this news doesn't hold a candle to the Dr. Oz news, but I LOST 5 POUNDS THIS WEEK!
I lost 5 pounds this week!

Body fat: 25% (Down 1.1% from last week) Also, BMI is normal again!!

Waist measurement: 27.75 inches (down 1.25 inches from last week!)
Needless to say, I'm super happy about this week's stats!


Anyway, sorry to keep you in suspense about Dr. Oz ;)  I had so much energy after I got off the phone, that I HAD to go for a run! I put Eminem on the iPod, cranked up the volume, and ran super fast--until I burned out after a couple of miles and had to run a slooow pace the rest of the six-mile run, haha. I felt dehydrated and had a bad headache afterward.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Goodness gracious!

Where in the heck did all of you come from?!  ;)  I was SHOCKED at how many readers came out of the woodwork on my last entry. But reading your comments and e-mails honestly moved me to tears. You gave me way too much credit, but it seemed that the ongoing theme is that you like that I am very honest and upfront about the good AND bad parts of weight loss/maintenance; also that you like the fact that I eat foods I love and skip the foods I don't :)

Okay, I was just going to write about how I don't think the show was going to call me back, but as I was typing that first paragraph, guess who called?!  She asked me if she could call me tomorrow morning for a "more lengthy interview" over the phone--so she's going to call me at 9:00, after my kids are at school. I hope I pass! ;)  I'm going to jot down a few notes so that I don't forget the stuff I want to mention.

Renee asked if I wanted to meet for coffee today, but my nerves were so edgy because I was expecting the phone call that I ordered chamomile tea instead--it was delicious! I didn't get home until almost 1:00, so I wanted something super quick for lunch. I made a chocolate-cherry-almond shake, and I had forgotten how much I LOVE that shake.

I cut way back on dairy a while ago--maybe in May?--and that included giving up the whey protein powder. I tried other protein powders (brown rice, egg protein, etc) and they don't taste good. Today I just decided to go for it and use the whey. Hopefully my face doesn't break out terribly now, right before the whole Dr. Oz thing. The reason I was cutting back on dairy was because I think that is what was causing my breakouts.

My plastic surgeon wants me to have tons of protein, starting now until long after my surgery. She said it will speed up my healing time. I'm following her instructions to the tee, so I am trying to fit in protein when I can. Having protein shakes reminds me of when I broke my jaw and could only have liquids for weeks!

Tomorrow is my Wednesday Weigh-In. I haven't binged at ALL this week, so I'm curious to see what the scale says. I haven't counted calories at all either. I took my own advice and ate how I want to eat for the rest of my life--not counting and obsessing, not bingeing, just eating normally. But like I said, one day at a time... I don't want to jinx anything!

I made a loaf of homemade bread today, and it was fantastic! We made sandwiches for dinner. Jerry had grilled PB&J, and I had a grilled cheese. I could live off of warm homemade bread, but I stuck with just the sandwich!
I'm pretty proud that it actually turned out! I'm not a great baker.

I adore Havarti cheese!
Well, I'll write again tomorrow with my weigh-in AND to write about how the phone interview goes. Hopefully it goes well!

Monday, October 24, 2011

THEY CALLED!

THE DR. OZ SHOW CALLED ME!!  The associate producer called and talked to me over the phone. She said she LOVED the idea of my having an "after" pic to go along with my "before" pic with Dr. Oz. She asked me some questions about my weight loss, and then said she wanted to go talk to such-and-such about me and would get back with me tomorrow.

About 5 minutes later, my phone rang again and it was her--she said such-and-such LOVED the idea as well, and she asked if I would be available to fly to New York on Tuesday, Nov. 1st to tape a show on Wednesday!! (I'm excited right now, can you tell?!)

She said what she was thinking was to keep it a surprise to Dr. Oz--not tell him my story or that I have a before pic with him--and they would show my picture with him, and then I would walk out "looking fabulous" (her words, not mine, lol).

She wanted to know what tips I have to give viewers, and I told her I would think about it and e-mail her. I wanted to come up with something fresh and not something that everyone has heard a thousand times before. Are there any tips I've shared on my blog that have really struck a chord with you? Something that you don't read in every diet book or magazine?

Let me explain quickly how Dr. Oz changed my life--because I'm sure this will come up on the show! We've all read tons of diet books and magazines, tried all the weight loss programs, etc. They tell you what to do and you do it, right? Until you don't want to anymore, and you gain the weight back. Well, when I read Dr. Oz's book YOU: The Owner's Manual (this was before he had his own show), it sparked something NEW in me. He explained all of the WHY'S. WHY you should exercise, and what it's actually doing inside your cells. WHY you should eat leafy greens, and what they are doing in your body. That was the reason I started to eat a little less sugar and a little more veggies. I still only ate foods that I liked--I never ate crap I didn't want!--but I tried to make healthier choices. Over time, it became more natural to me.

Okay, so please help me think of a unique tip--if there was something you've read on my blog that inspired you, NOW is the time to share! ;)

Remember, this Dr. Oz show thing isn't 100% for SURE until I have a plane ticket reserved in my name. But it sounded very promising, so I'll let you know as soon as I do!  (Goddammit, I might have to fly again... *cue anxiety*)

And, since I have no current pics for this entry, I'll show you the ones I have of Dr. Oz :)



Sunday, October 23, 2011

Twilight nerd

True to my word, I did not run today. I spent the day catching up on housework instead. That's even less fun than running!

My surgery is three weeks from tomorrow--I cannot even describe how excited I am! Sometimes I feel extremely nervous, but at the moment, I'm about 99% excited and 1% nervous. We'll see how that changes as it gets closer to the surgery date.

Speaking of the surgery date, I'm SO BUMMED that I have to miss out on a much anticipated event on November 19th. My friend Rachael has a Twilight premier party every time one of the new Twilight movies comes out. It's a really big deal among my friends, and I love to go.

First we go to the movie together and then we go to the party afterward. Rachael keeps the theme with the movie--last time it was a "graduation party" where she set up a tent in the yard and had a graduation cake, and all that. You may remember the outfit I wore:
Very festive, no? ;)  And the atmosphere:

Notice the 'forks' in the cake! :)

Anyways, Rachael hand-delivered the invitations for the Breaking Dawn party recently, and I had already made my surgery appointment. Check this out!
Not sure if you can read it, but it's a WEDDING INVITATION for Bella and Edward!!! How fun is that?!! I so badly want to change my surgery date, but you know how much of a pain in the ass it was to get the date that I have, so I can't. And there is no way I'll be able to go anywhere just 5 days out from surgery.

Renee tried to make me feel better by saying that there is no drinking in the church hall, so there won't be wine involved... lol. But I'm still super sad to miss out.

I've been trying to come up with a list of things I'm going to need in the couple of weeks after surgery. I bought my compression garments that the doctor had me order, and I bought a mattress protector for my bed (I don't want to get blood and yucky stuff on my mattress). My mom has a walker that my dad used after his knee surgery, so I'm sure that will come in very handy. I really need to read the message boards and make a list.


For those of you that asked if I'll ship the Gockets internationally, the answer is YES. They're super light weight and I doubt it'll cost much. If I get to the post office and it's going to cost a fortune, then I'll give you the choice of paying shipping or getting a full refund. But I doubt that will happen!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Might as well run 8 miles

So I didn't end up dressing up in costume for Winers last night, but I at least wore a Halloween shirt (and black and orange striped socks, but you couldn't see them under my jeans). Renee was hosting, and she did a bonfire; the wine theme was Michigan wines.



I'm wearing the green "BOO" shirt, in case you can't tell

The first three wines I tasted were SO SWEET that I ended up giving mine to someone else. There was pinot noir that I liked, but it wasn't anything to write home about. Over all, I think there is a reason that Michigan is known for its fudge and not its wine. But the atmosphere was perfect and the conversation was just what I needed on a Friday night. It was fun! But I still ended up going home at 10:30 because I was so tired.

I have NOT been sleeping well for weeks now. It's driving me crazy! I thought it was because I was stressed about going to Arizona, but now that I'm home, I'm still not sleeping. Last night, Jerry was home, so I took a couple of Xanax and that knocked me out until morning. I didn't wake even once during the night, which never happens. I actually slept until 8:30 this morning.

I made one of my favorite meals for dinner yesterday--Mexican Lentils & Rice--but I had a whole bunch of bell peppers in the fridge, so I decided to stuff the lentils and rice in the peppers. Of course I topped it with some cheddar cheese and stuck it under the broiler for a minute. It was delicious!! If I hadn't been so flustered about responding to the Dr. Oz Show e-mail, I would have thought to top it with guacamole and sour cream.

I steamed the peppers for a couple of minutes before stuffing them, because I like soft peppers.

My kids are spending the night at my parents' house, and Jerry is working, so I have the evening to myself... and you know how I spent it? Running. Who the hell goes for a run when they have a Saturday night alone?! I wasn't even planning on running today, but it was GORGEOUS outside--no wind, about 54 degrees, and all the leaves are in their prime color-change right now. I just had to do it.

Since it was for pure enjoyment, I went very slowly and took in the scenery. I figured I'd just run 3 miles. Then after 3, I thought, "Well, a couple more won't hurt."  After 6 miles, I thought, "I might as well run until the sun goes down."  (It was almost sunset anyway). So I ended up running 8 miles. Tomorrow, I will rest for sure :)

I've been kind of obsessed with peach tea lately. I add 4 drops of the vanilla NuStevia liquid, and it's perfect. I tried adding a packet of the NuStevia stuff, but it was waaay too sweet. I have no clue what to do with all the other NuNaturals stuff I got--I have a bazillion recipes that they sent me, but it's kind of overwhelming.

I haven't heard anything back from my e-mail reply to the Dr. Oz Show. I'm taking that as a bad sign. I just wish Dr. Oz himself could see my story and pictures, because I know he'd want to meet me again. He was SUPER NICE in-person, and very genuine when I talked to him. Unfortunately, he will probably never know how important a role he has played in my health!  (I learned SO MUCH in his book "YOU: The Owner's Manual"--everyone knows you should eat vegetables and exercise, but his book explained all the WHY's).

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Reveal

For those of you that were curious what it is that I made, I've posted a page called "Gockets" here on my blog where you can check it out ;)  I'm a little nervous about this, but we'll see what happens!  If you like it, awesome, but PLEASE do not feel obligated to buy one! And don't worry, I'm not going to keep talking about it on here, because I have no plans of turning this into a crafting blog.
For the explanation, check out the "Gockets" page



It's freezing outside today! I spent the morning cutting up some jeans, and I was hunched over for a couple of hours. When I stood up, I could barely straighten my back. I'm thinking that is just a preview of what is to come after my body lift! I was really stiff, so I decided to go for a run outside. I wore pants and a t-shirt, but my arms were so cold that I was shivering for the first mile and a half. The wind was blowing right in my face, and I decided to cut the run short--I was thinking of doing 5 miles, but ended up at 3.35.

I know today isn't a weigh-in day for me, but when I got on the scale this morning, I was 147.5! That is the lowest it's been in at least a month. Wednesday, I was 150.5. I always seem to jinx myself when I talk about my diet on my blog, but weight loss is really the major point of my blog, so I probably should talk about it.

I haven't been counting! When I got home from Arizona, I felt so much relief that I didn't have to worry about fitting into that bridesmaid's dress, that I decided to relax a little. I wasn't consciously trying to eat "intuitively" or "only healthy foods" or anything like that. I wasn't really consciously trying to do ANYTHING.

THIS, right now, is the way I want to live the rest of my life (as far as food and exercise go). Not obsessing, not overthinking, not counting every little calorie--just living like a normal person!  This obviously isn't a "new" revelation to me--I'm just going to take it one day at a time for now ;)


Ohmygoodnessgracious, I just got an e-mail from the Dr. Oz show! They asked for before and after photos. They are filming a weight loss show next week. How cool would it be to FINALLY get my "after" photo with Dr. Oz?! (They haven't chosen me yet, so don't get excited or anything! It looks like it was sent to all people that wrote the show as a weight loss success story).


Thursday, October 20, 2011

So many ideas!

Wow, thanks for all the great suggestions yesterday about making/saving some money for my surgery! I had to get a loan for the surgery, but I want to pay it off ASAP, and I love some of the suggestions you have. I really like the idea of making something to sell--and while I was running on the dreadmill today, I had an idea of what to make. I even made a few of them today. I decided to skip using Etsy for now, simply because the thing I made has everything to do with my blog! I'll post a page with the details tomorrow, after I figure out how to use PayPal  ;)


It's been raining non-stop here for two days. I'm bummed, because I LOVE Fall weather in Michigan (as long as it's not raining!) and I want to go outside. Yesterday, I skipped my run altogether. Today, I didn't want to skip another run, so I ran on the dreadmill. I did 5 miles at 6.0 mph with a few intervals at 7.0 (always a 1% incline).

I watched the show Revenge while I was running. Are any of you into that show? It's one of those shows that I don't really feel like watching, so it sits on the DVR, but then when I get around to watching it, I'm totally hooked. The way this show is set up makes it nearly impossible to have a second season, however. Not sure what the plan is for that!


Tomorrow is my monthly Winers meeting. It's at Renee's house, and I'm supposed to wear a Halloween costume. Last year I was Little Red Riding Hood, but unless I come up with a costume tomorrow morning, I won't be dressing up this year. I just don't want to spend money on something I'm going to wear once. I could always wear the Little Red Riding Hood costume again, but that's no fun either  :( 



Estelle (my really ugly cat) cracks me up! I told you how she loves to hide in places and then jump out and scare the shit out of me... well yesterday, Jerry found her in the craziest place yet!
Can you spot her?
I have no idea how she managed it, but she was hiding out on top of the hangers in the closet, between the hooks and the wall--literally LYING DOWN ON the hangers. I can't believe she didn't fall. She thought she was so cool when she noticed us looking, too.


I wish I had more to write about today, but I honestly don't. I really need to catch up on my Google Reader--the trip to Arizona made me get soooo far behind!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Not SO bad...

First things first--my Wednesday Weigh-In. I gained. But honestly, I'm HAPPY with the number, because if you consider how much I usually gain on a trip, I should actually have weighed in the 160's today, lol. Tennessee trip in April = 7.5 pounds gained;  Indy trip in May = 12.5 pounds gained. Then this morning, two full days after my Arizona trip?
Weight:  + 1.5 pounds since last week

Waist measurement:  +1 inch since last week




Body fat:  + 0.5% since last week


So to see 150.5 on the scale this morning, meaning a 1.5 pound gain in Arizona, I was actually pleased. I still feel a little puffy, so hopefully lots of water and veggies this week will help me drop back down.  I'm not even going to tell you what I weighed the evening I got back from Arizona 156!

After I weighed in, I thought to myself, "Was it worth it? Was gaining 1.5 pounds WORTH all of the crap you ate in Arizona?"

HELL YES IT WAS WORTH IT! It was worth every calorie. I ate at places that I've never tried before, I had Mexican food with a "real" Mexican, I ate red velvet ice cream, I had cake for breakfast two days in a row, drank enough wine to fill Lake Erie, and ate enough tortilla chips and salsa to feed an Army. And I would do it all again, even knowing I was going to gain 1.5 pounds.

That made me think of the other trips, and how much weight gain they were "worth". Tennessee? 10 pounds! I gladly would gain 10 pounds for the Tennessee experience we had--thankfully, it only cost me 7.5 pounds.  :)  Indy? Indy was probably worth 2 pounds--definitely NOT the 12.5 I gained, especially considering that I ran a half-marathon while I was there!  The wine weekend with my girlfriends? Worth 3 pounds! (It was only 24 hours, so I can't give it TOO much--but all the wine and yummy food was definitely worth 3 pounds. I don't remember what I actually gained).


Anyways, thanks so much for the input on the birthday party Noah was invited to. I should have been more clear (not that it makes a huge difference): Noah is my 7-year old in 2nd grade; ELI is my 5-year old kindergartener. Both of my kids have spent the night at my parents house at least once a week since they were babies, so I wasn't worried about Noah getting homesick. But I definitely worry about my kids getting sexually abused, and I just don't feel comfortable having him spend the night anywhere that I don't know the adults VERY well.

I showed Jerry all of your comments, and he changed his mind. I was expecting Noah to throw a big fit when I told him that he couldn't go, but he was fine with it. I explained to him WHY I was saying no--that I don't let him go anywhere with strangers, and that these parents are strangers to me. I said he could invite his school friend over that day, and he forgot all about the party. Whew!  Now I just have to make the RSVP call, and I am dreading it. I think I mentioned that I have horrible phone anxiety--I HATE to call people on the phone. I know that sounds weird. I might have Jerry do it for me, like I usually do!


Wow, just as I was typing this, Noah lost his first tooth!!  I'm so excited for him! He's the LAST kid in his class to lose a tooth, and the kids were teasing him. He said they called him "Little Tooth". LOL, kids are terrible, aren't they?! It was a little wiggly when we left for Arizona, and I was hoping he'd lose it when my sister was here (she was the one who pulled all my teeth when I was little!) She said she'd give him $100 for his first tooth--crazy, I know. He's only getting $5 from me :)



I made a decision today that I REALLY hope doesn't make my readers think of me as a sell-out. When I first started this blog, I said there was no way I would ever put ads on it. I figured it would be super annoying to readers and I wouldn't make enough money to be worth it. But I've been SO STRESSED about money lately, because of my upcoming surgery, and I've been trying to come up with ways to make (or save) money. I have no idea if adding ads to my blog will generate any income whatsoever, but I figured I'd try it out for a month or two because it can't hurt. I just hope I don't lose readers over it!

I went through my closet and picked out some stuff to take to the consignment shop tomorrow, so there is a little money. I took everything from my chest freezer and crammed it into the freezer in my refrigerator, just to save on electricity. Yes, I'm totally desperate.

I even thought about things I could make in order to sell, because I'm pretty crafty. Ugh, it's just so frustrating! (And if you're thinking the obvious question, "Why don't you get a job?!" the obvious answer is that I need the money for surgery, and if I'm getting surgery, I won't be able to work). So I just need to get creative with ways of making money.

The whole point of all this is to let you know that you may see ads on my blog soon. Hopefully they aren't annoying or distracting. I'm not selling out. I love to write, and this blog has all-but taken over my life because I love it!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Puffy

Thanks for all the nice comments on the entry about Sarah's wedding. I was just super happy to be able to FIT into that dress! ;)

I ate a lot of junk while I was at Sarah's, and I definitely felt the effects of that. My hands were super swollen and puffy every morning, and I know it was because I was eating out on a daily basis. I'm not used to eating out, so my body just got bloated. I did run while I was there--4 miles Thursday and 6 miles on Friday.

As soon as we got home, I jumped right back on the wagon as far as eating and exercise go. I ran 6 miles yesterday and 3 miles today. I have 4 weeks until my surgery, so I want to keep running often, but I'm not training for anything. It feels kind of weird to not have a schedule. I just want to be in really good shape before I'm not able to run for 6+ weeks!

I was craving veggies when I got home from AZ, so I went to the fruit & veggie market to stock up. I'm still feeling puffy, but hopefully a couple more days of healthy eating will help. I'm still going to weigh-in tomorrow for my Wednesday Weigh-In, but I promise you that it's not going to be pleasant :)

I made some baked oatmeal for breakfast yesterday, and it was SO GOOD. Renee ordered baked oatmeal when we went for coffee last week, and I was obsessing about it ever since. I looked up a recipe online, and just made a couple of modifications. I poured almond milk over it and sprinkled a little brown sugar on top.

I brought Renee and Jessica each a piece, and Jerry ate some. I'll be making more tomorrow probably, because I think there is just one piece left. I used this recipe: Pumpkin, Cranberry, & Apple Baked Oatmeal. I typed out the modified recipe here. It tasted like all the elements of Fall in a bowl! Pumpkin, cranberries, apples, cinnamon... yum!!

This morning, I had to volunteer in Eli's kindergarten class to help the kids decorate pumpkins. Kindergarteners are so cute! After all the kids were finished decorating, they performed a few songs for us. I took pictures, but I'm not sure who wouldn't mind me posting pics of their kids on here, so I won't post them.

And speaking of dilemmas with the kids' safety... Noah brought home a birthday party invitation today for a sleepover. I don't know whether to let him go. I don't know the parents of the boy. The boy has a different last name than his mom, so I did some "research" on the computer (Facebook, Family Watchdog, White Pages, etc--yes, I'm a freak about this, but I worry about my kids!) I found the boy's dad on Facebook, and he is pretty young, and dating a stripper. Can't find anything about the mom.

Noah told me that the party is going to be at the boy's grandparents house (which is actually an apartment). Jerry says we should let him go, but I really don't know. I was thinking of just letting him go for a few hours and then picking him up. It's the sleepover part that makes me uncomfortable. I just don't trust ANYONE around my kids unless I know them well. Noah wants to go very badly. What would you do?


Monday, October 17, 2011

The Wedding

Sorry I'm so late writing this. I've been so screwed up from the time change! Yesterday went by way too fast--we got to the airport at 8:30 AM in Phoenix, and we got home from Detroit airport at 7:30 PM. So our entire day was just gone!

But I'll back up. Saturday was the wedding. I tried on the dress as soon as I woke up, and thanked God that I could actually still zip it. Jerry and I went to breakfast at this super cute little restaurant with our friend Lance and his girlfriend. The restaurant was outside at a farm, and everything was super fresh. I took one pic of the restaurant, but it's not very good:

All of the bridesmaids had hair appointments at 11:30 at a fancy schmancy salon. Instead of buying us a bridal party gift, Sarah paid for us to get our hair and make-up done! They gave us mimosas while they prettied us up. I started with my make-up. She airbrushed foundation on my face, which was kind of cool. I asked her to do whatever was best to cover the jawline acne I've acquired over the past year. I loved how my make-up turned out.

My hair was next. There was the "Senior Stylist" and the assistant of the senior stylist. I never knew that stylists had assistants! The assistant brought me drinks and gave me hand massages and all that good stuff along with handing things to the stylist while she did my hair. I had no clue how I wanted it styled, and she described something that sounded nice, so I told her that was fine. I really like how it turned out, but it was hard to get a good picture of it!
This is a dark pic at the reception, but I'll post better ones once Sarah gets them

After everyone got their hair and make-up done, the bridesmaids all left with Sarah's mom (except me--I went with Sarah). Sarah wanted me to drive her to her house to get her overnight bags and stuff, and then we'd drive her Mustang to the wedding site. The drive was gorgeous once we left downtown Phoenix:
This mountain was gorgeous, and then Sarah told me that that is where the wedding site/reception would be!

Once we got to the site, we changed into our dresses and waited for guests to arrive. The wedding was supposed to start at 4:30, but people were still showing up, so we didn't end up walking down the aisle until 5:00. Jerry had my camera, and took a lot of photos, but they didn't turn out well. Here are a couple:
The only pic he got of me walking down the aisle

All of us bridesmaids

Saying their vows
I wasn't feeling emotional at all until I saw Sarah's mom crying, and Sarah cried a few times, and her new husband even cried! I was holding Ne's ring (Ne (pronounced 'Nay') is Sarah's new husband). My only job during the ceremony was to hold her flowers and hand her the ring. I did my job, and I didn't drop anything.

It was over 100 degrees outside, though, and I could actually feel the sweat drip down my arm and drop from my elbow. How lady-like ;) 

Turns out Sarah forgot the marriage license at her house (an hour and a half away!) so the two weren't "legally" married all night. I never got to sign the license as her witness because I had to leave in the morning :(  I guess the minister went to her house in the morning to get all the signatures. Sarah did NOT, however, forget her $31 panties ;)  By the way, I LOVED your comments about those. I read them to Sarah, and she thought it was funny too.


The reception was immediately after the ceremony, and while the bridal party took pictures, there were Mexican dancers that entertained the guests. It was kind of interesting! I tried to get a pic, but it was dark and they were moving way to fast...
The bar was open and there were chips and AMAZING salsa for everyone to munch on while they waited for Sarah and Ne to finish up pictures.  I had a beer and some chips and salsa, and talked to Lance for a little bit. We took a photo that has become a tradition at weddings since we were two years old!
1984 vs. 2003 (at my wedding)
vs. 2011, at Sarah's wedding
I have a few more, but I don't feel like looking for them right now. My mom took a pic of Jerry and me:

 Then the reception was right there on site. There were candles and little lights all over, and it was gorgeous! My pictures don't do it justice:
Head table

We ate right away. Since Ne is Mexican (and his family doesn't speak English) the DJ said everything twice--once in English and once in Spanish. The whole wedding was VERY bi-cultural (is that even a word?!) Traditional American wedding for Sarah's side, but with lots of Mexican flare thrown in. They had American foods like roast beef, mashed potatoes, and green beans, along with Mexican food like fajitas and refried beans.

Thankfully, Sarah told me that I didn't have to do a toast if I didn't want to--and of course I decided not to (although I should have... she did one for my wedding!) After the toast (which the best man did in English and Spanish), there was lots of dancing. The DJ mixed American music with Mexican music, and the Mexican music proved to be the most popular, among EVERYONE. They did the "dollar dance", so the best man and I stood up there and collected cash for everyone to dance with Sarah and Ne. I wished I could've taken pictures, because Jerry went up and paid to slow dance with Ne ;)
The first dance

Me, dancing with Ne

Ne's family was VERY fun

Me, Sarah, and my friend Lance (we all grew up together)




I danced a little, but mostly chatted. I had a few glasses of wine, but I had waaay too much the night before to want to drink much. At around 11, I started loading up Sarah's car with her stuff so that she wouldn't have to stay after the reception. Jerry and I rode back to the hotel with Sarah and Ne in her car. We were all SO TIRED. I fell asleep numerous times while sitting in the back seat. I gave them hugs good-bye, since Jerry and I had to leave for the airport in the morning.

Again, I got zero sleep. I was SO TIRED the next morning. We went to the airport and had breakfast, and then had no problems boarding or taking off on the plane (thankfully! I don't think I could've handled a repeat of Wednesday's flight). We arrived in Detroit and I had to get a cinnamon roll for my kids. Weird, right? Every time I talked to the kids while we were gone, Eli kept telling me that he wanted me to bring him home  a cinnamon roll. So I made it a mission to do that.

When we picked him up on the way home from the airport, he was SO MAD when he saw it. I had no idea what was wrong! Then, after about 10 minutes of questioning him, I discovered that he wanted a SOUVENIR, not a CINNAMON ROLL. He kept saying 'cinnamon roll', thinking that he was asking for a toy. Poor kid!! It was so cute!

The kids had a blast with my sister, of course. Last night when I tucked them into bed, Noah told me, "Mama, you know what my favorite part of the week was? Spending the night at Dylan's!" and I asked Eli, "Eli, what was YOUR favorite part of the week?" and you know what he said? In the sweetest voice, he sighed a little and said, "Coming home."  My heart melted.


Okay, this is way off-topic, but I got a phone call today from the plastic surgeon's secretary, and the date of November 14th has been confirmed!! My surgery is scheduled for 6:30 in the morning that Monday. I'm so excited :)