HYC Check In

Happy Tuesday! I was surprised that the scale read 220.4 again this week. I’m glad that number wasn’t a fluke last week, but bummed that I didn’t make it to 219. I saw 219 a couple of times last week, after the Official Tuesday Weigh-In, but I guess it was not meant to be this week. Come on 70 pounds!

I really did well at my calorie counting last week. I was staying within the range I set (1750-1900) and wasn’t feeling deprived. Yay! However, my period is coming, and already the sugar is calling my name. So far, the bowl of Halloween candy in the office has beaten me today. But tomorrow is another day, and I can be stronger then.

Wishing everyone a successful week (and me too!)


Dare to Suck!

The call-back was Tuesday. I felt intimidated, confident, and nervous during various stages of the evening. Here's the short version of the story. Girl does improv exercise - poorly, girl does script reading well, girl learns and sings new song, poorly. Girl leaves the call-back trying to make peace with the fact that she did not fail, but she probably didn't get a part. On Wednesday, Girl receives word that after the director spoke with a former director of hers, that she did get the part. Girl pumps fist into the air while walking to catch the bus, and feels silly and giddy.

The director is so amazing, she started the evening with what she dubbed "kind of a woo-woo actor thing". Since each actor will play about 4-5 roles apiece, she gave us an exercise in quickly creating a distinct character. We were reminded that she wants us to do well, and was not trying to make us feel silly or uncomfortable. She is passionate and serious about theater - which is so inspiring for a rusty nail like me. My new favorite phrase is "Dare to Suck" - if you suck, it is okay - but you have to try. And really, that's good advice for just about anything, if you think about it. I rushed through my character exercise, because that is what I do when I am nervous. We did it a second time, and I was a little better. Although it was intimidating watching many others excel. The song - oy the song. I need a lot of time to learn a song, so I did not do very well - thanks again to nerves - an being in my head about my singing talent. At the end of the night, I felt like the experience wasn't a stink bomb, but probably not enough to get a role. And so I went home, had a glass of wine, and rambled on to Mr. Black about making peace with not getting a part.

In the morning, I saw that the playwright called Tuesday night and said that since all the experience on my resume was old, they were wondering if they could speak to someone who had worked with me recently - because they were considering me. My heart leaped at that - but then lurched a little. Oh, to admit that you have not been auditioning because you've been trying to lose weight and scared to try - kind of vulnerable! But they got their reference (a good one, I'm told) and so they told me they would be in touch. The roller coaster was continuing an upward trajectory. I had really gotten into a place where I was content with not getting a part. This was a great experiment, and now I had the confidence to work on some things, and audition for a different show. And then hearing positive feedback sent my hopes got up and released the butterflies in my tummy. So then I went and got a coffee at lunch - that was a really good idea - really helped calm me down.

Thank goodness I went to the gym and had my work out buddy to talk to, and lots of sweat to keep me distracted. Just after I left the gym, the playwright called and offered my a part, playing 5 characters. (All 5 characters who don't sing - what a surprise!) Delicious. Awesome. Exciting. Generous. I just feel lucky. I had so many people rooting for me, believing in me, my wonderful family and friends, my co-workers and even the blogosphere. I am so grateful for the lovely people in my life and the support.

So my advice to you is dare to suck! It really is okay. I also think that there's a beautiful sense of calm and confidence that comes with age. I've built a rich life outside of the theatre, and so if I didn't get it, I knew I had that life to support me while I work on what I need to. So now I get to bring some theatre into my life. I think the theatre might be pretty lucky.


HYC Check In

220.4! Finally!! It has taken 3 months for me to lose the 8 pounds I put on in June and July. Well, 7.6 pounds. This was a total surprise, because I was hovering around 223 all weekend. I didn't make it to my 5th day of exercise this week, but no matter - this is another week to try and try again.

I think I probably sweated out those 2.5 pounds last night. I tried to complete the 30 Day Shred workout number 1, by Jillian Michaels. I stuck it out through the whole thing, but had to stop a few times for some complaining and to steady myself to not fall over. It was a pleasure that all the ab work was a snap, thanks to Pilates. But don't tell Jillian I said that, she'd easily kick my ass. I was inspired that she said change doesn't come easily. You can't do something half way and expect results. Amen to that.

I hope everyone had a successful week!


Flexing a different type of muscle

Sometimes I am terribly impulsive. That's how I ended up with a black leather motorcycle jacket that I think I've worn maybe 3 times. Last week I was poking around on line, reading a few blogs, checking out some recipes, and researching some theater. In the midst of this, I got a wild hair and scheduled myself an audition for a new play. Now, it has been approximately 4 years since I have set foot near a theater as anything other than a patron. I have felt both too rusty to audition, and scared that my weight would turn directors off. Have I been working on audition pieces? No. Did I have a current resume? No. So, I was a foolish woman, basically. But I wanted to do an exercise in getting rid of the fear. You never know unless you try, yes? So no more namby-pamby being scared crap. After I did it, I ran into the bedroom and told Mr. Black, and he said good! What's it for? I spent the week kind of being freaked out about it - and besides Mr. Black, discussed with no one. I wanted to keep it a secret in case I failed miserably, of course. Mr. Black let it slip when we had dinner with some friends on Thursday, and he pointed out that I needed support and people in my corner. Good point, Mr. Black. I got great advice from my friend who works at a theater. Remember that the director wants you to be good - they aren't there to judge you and make you feel inadequate. I kept that in my heart this week.

So Saturday I went out there and just did it. I had classic nerves - heart racing and dry mouth. This is not effective when you are planning to talk for 2 minutes. It was scary and thrilling and kind of fun all at once. I got through my pieces, and was complimented on ending at 1 minute, 58 seconds, as they were going to literally cut people off at 2 minutes. I felt like, okay, you did it, you didn't bomb, you didn't get cut off, you didn't go blank and just stare into space, you got through it. Good girl! Then they asked about the singing roles I've had. "You sing a bit, then?" Hm. My usual approach to singing is to try and look cute so that no one can hear how weak my voice is. Instead of telling the director and her crew that, I told them that I don't read music very well. (read: at all) and so when I have a song to learn, I have to schedule extra time with the musical director. I patted myself on the back for being honest, and prepared to go home. They asked me to sing. Dear god. I didn't have a song prepared - audition 101 - always have a song prepared if you're auditioning for a show with music in it. After looking at my panicked face they kindly suggested my soulful rendition of Happy Birthday. Fabulous. So I sang. Loudly, clearly, and tried to not have my annoying nervous vibrato come through.

I felt being asked to sing could be both encouraging (we like you so far - let's hear what you can do) and a killer (oh - that's what you can do, eh?). But whether they called me back or not, I walked out of there feeling like I didn't embarrass myself, I did as well as I wanted to. I faced my fear, flexed the old muscles that have been dormant for so long, and felt confident that if this was something I wanted to really work at again, I could. I always have an easier time dealing with rejection if I feel as though I did the best I could. And this wasn't about getting into the show, it was about challenging myself. Although I'd be lying if I didn't have some fantasy thoughts about being called back. Also, I noticed how much heavier my face looks in my old head shot. My face has really thinned out and I was tempted to say - hey, I'm 66 pounds lighter than that picture shows - really!

Today I DID get called back to read from the script. I am thrilled and proud of myself, and excited. Tuesday evening, I'll be hanging out with actors, fighting dry mouth and feeling nervous all over again, and I can't wait. The show has 40 characters, and they are looking for each actor to play between 5 and 10 roles apiece. Fun! Hooray for a risk that paid off.


HYC Check In

Do you know what 224 is? It is an area code in Illinois, how many electoral college votes Obama had on September 9th, and my current weight. Even though I was 220.2 on Saturday, and last week I was smiling fondly at the scale as the number went down, here I am again, on official weigh in day with good old 224. All I can say is that I think the weekends with their boozy evenings are messing me up on Tuesday. I hope that I'm right, and that later in the week, I'll get back to where I was before.

I've learned that there is a mind set about losing weight. I think that I want the freedom to eat and drink what I like, and then expect it to not count. I am exercising, I am eating well, but then splurging with the attitude that it will not affect me, since I've stayed on plan for the days prior to weigh in. I wasn't that disappointed this morning, it was more of a confirmation that I can't stray, or that when I do, I have to accept the consequences. And remember that in the big picture, I'm doing well.

Hope everyone else had a great week!


Could we start again please?

Oy vey. I haven't been here and I miss it! My life exploded a few weeks ago. Okay, that's a little dramatic. But I was working 11 hour days, and went in on a weekend to meet deadlines. Oh, those actuaries, they keep me hopping. Then my poor dog 1) Ate chocolate - not good for the puppers, but he's fine. Just a few Hershey's kisses (which aren't really chocolate, so it was harmless to him.) And this incident proved that he has secret opposable thumbs - as I found the foil wrappers. How on earth does a dog get the candy out of a wrapper? And 2) He has developed some kind of allergy that is making him chew his paws and legs. We've been running him around from vet to vet trying to figure out what the heck is happening. It breaks my heart that he can't say what is wrong and that I can't just fix it for him. So we're trying an elimination diet to see if it is food-related. Diet affects everyone - even dogs! Fingers crossed that we solve the issue soon.

This weekend all I wanted to do was curl up with my Google Reader and get caught up, but that didn't happen either. I would like to know how women with jobs, children and exercise routines still find time to blog. Maybe it is something that burns within them that they must do, where as I am more inclined to spend my free time socializing, cooking, walking the dog, doing laundry or watching television (which is shameful). In other weekend news, I digress. My cousin married one of my best friends this summer. It probably took me a year to get used to the idea that my male cousin that I wasn't that close to was going to be a larger part of my life, since he was dating one of my most favorite lady friends. Then I got to be their officiant. I registered as a reverend at the Universal Life Church, which was hilarious and an honor. They are so lovely together, and announced this weekend that they are pregnant - did so on the honeymoon. Isn't that the most romantic thing you've ever heard? They announced it this weekend, and confimed the suspicions I was having, since I last saw her, but couldn't bring myself to brow beat out of her. Mr. Black was hilarious after the announcement, of course. A friend arrived late to the resturant where we were having dinner, and when my cousin told him "We made a major announcement before your arrival." Mr. Black said, quick as a whip, "We're all having the veal - just for fun!".

So then there's my health. In my last post, I set new goals for myself and then boy howdy, that's when things went crazy like bananas. I stopped journaling, I stopped exercising and tried to not bite everyone's head off. My weight was pretty steady that week, which was surprising. I know that a lot of that was due to the fact that since I couldn't exercise, I was careful about what I ate. Thank goodness for good lessons learned the hard way.

On Saturday I weighed 220.2 - such a thrill. But alas, a fluke. I was back up to my old friend 224 today. I'm feeling pretty good overall. I've discovered two new passions for eating. One of them is good for me. Barley. Hulled, not pearled, so it has more fiber. I love it so much more than brown rice. It is super cheap, and you can flavor it with anything you like. Genius. I've also discovered Gimlets. Not so good for the waistline. I read about them in a book, and so I had to try. Heaven. This is as close to a martini as I'll ever get.

So, I need to get back to blogging, and being an active participant in the Healthy You Challenge. I can't promise to do any or all well, but the intent is there.