HYC Check In

I have been thinking about blogging a lot - I have posts in my brain that start, then get dissolved in daily life and other priorities. However, today I post a weigh-in. You can't tell that I've lost the 4 pounds I put on over the holiday weekend and then promptly flew to Denver to visit friends and had wine every night with no exercise. But I did! They're gone again. So, today I am up a tiny bit to 216.4. I touched down at 215.8 on Saturday, but then promptly took myself to a food festival. Greek! It was delicious, and worth every ounce I am now carrying.

I am starting to wonder if my obsession with what the scale says is detrimental. I was so mindful this week - not just putting stuff in my mouth willy-nilly without thinking about what I'm truly eating. That's worthwhile, and I was talking to some friends about how I keep getting frustrated with what the scale does, and how I have this ideal that I either weigh 165 and be a size 24, or else weigh 450 pounds, as long as I'm a size 12, and neither the 2 shall meet. BUT - I am fitter and stronger than I have ever been in my ding dang life, I am full of good foods and good intentions. Again, I need to release myself from the guilt and feeling of failure. Obviously, my body is really, really happy at 216.4. I don't know if I can ever let go of the idea of weighing less than 200 pounds, and hitting that 100 pound loss mark, but I'm starting to consider it. Also, weighing a little more after I had a spectacular week of good eating and great exercise, means that I am not as upset as I could be, knowing that I didn't spend the week eating cheese and chocolate.

In the last few weeks being full of travel and busy work stuff, I haven't been around to support some other bloggers - I apologize - I'll try to make up for lost time soon.


HYC Check In

Guess who lost 1.4 this week? It's me! I put on my big girl pants and took the suggestion of allowing sugar on the weekend only. Oh man, I feel good. The next 2 weeks are going to be challenging, as its the holiday weekend, which will involve no gym activity and lots of sitting around with family. And then I'm traveling - so it will be imperative that I really focus on what I put in my mouth. If this week proves anything, it is that the vigilance is worth it. I read a quote in an article once - and I think it was about a former Biggest Loser contestant who said that losing weight is 90% about what you put in your mouth. I'm starting to think that it might be 98%. Happy holiday weekend to everyone!



My dear friend is a dancer, and she recently said she wanted to take a Zumba class together. Enthusiastically, I said yes. And went to work to find a class that fit our schedules. Last evening, I decided to try a class on my own at the YMCA just to see what it is like. Oh my gosh. I don't care who you are - when the teacher tells you to swivel your hips, then jump to the side and clap and then salsa, you can't help but feel like you're a superstar dancer in a chorus line. And feminine! I was hot - and not in a h-o-t-t way, in a red tomato face way, super duper sweaty and kind of confused. Positives about the class - it is definitely fun, engaging, heart-rate raising, and you can choose how much effort you expend. The negatives - when no one explains the moves in advance of doing them, it is very difficult to follow - but I kind of have these special cement feet that don't move unless they know EXACTLY where to go. When it is the last 5 minutes before cool-down and the instructor does a ramp-up super cardio carnival song, and you are feeling kind of exhausted, you can't really set your own pace and perhaps meander to the left instead of salsa-ing, because if you do, your right-hand neighbor will crash into you. I aimed for keeping moving, when I couldn't figure out what to do exactly. I also can't hold my abdomen in when shaking my bust and hips at the same time - brain overload. Also, this is strange, but it made me feel very feminine - moving your body to music is very liberating! It was so fun to try something new for exercise - I'm looking forward to more classes. And note to self - get Mr. Black to take me dancing!


I'm still keeping the name

When I was 11 or 12 or so, I decided that if I was going to be a fashion designer, my company name would be TriSaratops - like Try Sara's Tops - get it? I thought I was so clever. When naming this blog - I imagined my weight loss journey would take 2 years, max. (Hi old dreams - nice to see you again.) I would reach my healthy weight and then I would continue to blog about other things, so I wanted a name that wasn't only about weight loss. So I came back to my old favorite, Trisaratops. Now the super smart and annoying scientists at Montana State University have declared that there is no such thing as a Triceratops dinosaur! It is only a very young version of a Torosaurus. There is nothing cute about the name Torosaurus. Unless, I guess your name was Toro. Which mine is not. Boo.


HYC Check In Week 34

Every time I fired up Blogger to post this today, I quickly made myself get distracted with something else. I am failing. Again. My weekend was not sugar-free, but it was booze free. Baby steps, yes? I exercised, I ate pretty well, although I am terrible about tracking my calories on the weekends, and supplemented everything with sugar. I keep thinking I deserve to eat what I want. This is embarrassing. I know what to do, I just need to figure out why I'm not doing it.


HYC Check In

You know what is wonderful? The Internet! I put out my struggles and specific issues and in return I get a big heaping pile of support. Thanks to Cammy, Chibi, Twix and MargieAnn for your encouragement. It's just what I need. I am ready to cut out the crap. No, really. I had a dismal week in terms of eating and exercise - book club, baby shower, and a concert. I had potato chips twice, and only exercised 2 days. However, the scale is the same today as it was last week. What a relief. Its like a stay of execution!

Here's my meal plan this week. I'm sticking to it!

Breakfast - Lowfat plain yogurt, blueberries, FiberOne cereal
Morningstar Farms soy sausage
Coffee with cream

Lunch - French Barley salad (recipe here)
Half cup 2% cottage cheese

Dinner - Lima bean, corn and greens succotash
Tamale or grilled chicken, salsa

Snacks - cherries, plums, apple with peanut butter, hummus and pita

Tasty and doable, yes? Onward to a better week!


HYC Check In

Today I am 217.6. Up a pound. The simple truth is that I can't get it together. I remember when I first started and it was a challenge and exciting to not eat sugar and less fat. Isn't this fun? I'm losing weight! No sir, no bagels for breakfast for me, I'm eating fruit! And yogurt! Oh, and I just weighed my 1 ounce of cheese. It's so cute.

But now I'm a woman who has lost all commitment. Motivation? I've got it. (fertility, health, beauty) Tools to use? I know them all. Cooking skills? I can steam a veggie like nobody's business. And come up with wacky things that only taste good to me. Budget? Yes - I can afford both my gym membership, and weekly purchasing of organic produce. So what's the problem? I don't know. The only thing I can point to is the commitment. Committing to NOT doing stuff. Not putting the following in my body:

  • Sugar
  • Alcohol

Really, those are the only 2 I struggle with. And every time I put those up there, I think everyone who reads that doesn't know me in real life is going to think I walk around with a wine bottle in my purse. I think focusing on the NOT is also a negative way to approach it. I should focus on committing to only eating the meals I plan. No extras. I'm reading Geneen Roth's Women, Food, and God to find out some other whys and hows. Current reaction: uncomfortable. She touches on some nerves, boy howdy. Operation lose a pound a week, I mean, committing to eating only what is healthful, is on. I think. If I can get it together.


Fait Accompli

Behold the glory of a renovated yard and a refreshed woman. We got a huge help in the yardwork department from my dear friend, the avid gardener, I think I thanked her 17 times. She was able to make it go faster, and she knew how to cut things back, and how to rip out the roses. Thanks again, K! We spent two days weeding, planting and mulching. Over the course of those days I confirmed - quelle surprise - I hate yardwork. Hate. it. Perhaps I should change my system of weeding only once a year whether it needs it or not? That might help. My snarky neighbors who spend 4 hours a week in their yard said my plan to grow giant shrubs to cut down on weeding time won't work. We'll show them!

Before and after:

The Dandelion Circus

Scary Spider Habitat in the ivy:

Sad, sad bed looking for some room to breathe:

Overgrown bushy tree thingy(that's the techinical term) and dying rose bush:

And now, Willow tree happiness!

Trimmed down the star flower bush into a tree shape, and ripped out the dying roses:

Au revoir, ivy!

Grow, shrubbies, grow! And lavender. Breathing room for you!

My other great accomplishment - not eating all day on my vacation. I lost a little weight, and feel great. I was really concerned that I would find myself bored and munchy and eating things I shouldn't. But I didn't! For one thing, I wasn't bored. For another, I made sure I had good things for me to eat in the house, as well as making meals. I am so proud of myself, I can't even explain it in colorful terms - I just ate when I needed to, and focused on fresh. I'm planning my menu for the week and plan to keep up this eating only when I need to train, because its the right thing to do, sister. Sunday cooking commences, for a stellar week. Returning to work will not be easy, but mama needs some money.


HYC Check In

Rejuvenation Vacation Day 1, down. I picked the perfect week, temperatures in the 80's all week. and I've got the sunburn to prove it. I'm getting back to basics, having loaded the fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables, and I'm planning my meals and have dates with old friends and walking my dog in the early morning when it is still cool enough for him (and me!). I'm loving being home in the evening with my husband, having gotten exercise out of the way. Life is so very good when I take care of myself in a healthy way instead of eating garbage to comfort myself. It's so simple to be well, and yet I still fall sometimes. I was not brave enough to face the scale this morning. I will tomorrow, remembering that the damage will be undone, its not impossible!


Rejuvenation vacation! And a salad

Who is the most responsible office worker - it's my last day in the office for a whole glorious week, and I'm typing a blog entry. Not good!

I'm approaching the week as a time for rejuvenation. On my list

  • Weed my GD yard. I loathe weeding. Have roped in the husband to a full day on Sunday, so we can just call it good. Planting shrubs, laying down mulch and building a fence for the tomatoes. Fun!
  • Creating my new menu for jump starting weight loss. I am so good about exercising. I mean really good. Its not an issue to work it into my day, the issue is telling myself that the exercise justifies extra snacks. Although that's a lie! It does not. Must start restricting extras. Bleh.
  • Reading in the hammock - the weather here has been pitch perfect - high 70's. I could even take a wee bit hotter. Please don't let typing these sentences call forth rain.
  • Purging clutter. I can tell my eating is in discord partially because I am on my cycle, I am worn out and tired, but also, the disarray - I need to clean up my environment - too too messy!
  • Visiting friends - I hope!
  • Eating watermelon. Making watermelon popsicles. And possibly a watermelon mojito. In the hammock? Oh yeah, baby.

I also made myself the most delicious salad this week. Cobbled together from what was in the fridge, and modified from a recipe I saw elsewhere. Make it. Make it now. It is delicious - creamy and crunchy and fresh, but if you mash up the garbanzo beans, I'm told it could sub as a mock chicken salad filling in a pita pocket. However you eat it, you'll be glad.

Garbanzo bean salad - serves 2

1 1/2 cups Garbanzo Beans
1 cup Celery Hearts (about 3 stalks)
1 cup Savoy Cabbage
1 cup Cabbage, Red, Raw
1/2 cup Orange Bell Pepper
2 tbsp Sour Cream
1 tbsp Mayo
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp dried Dill Weed

  1. Rinse and drain well, 1 15 oz can of garbanzo beans, or cook enough dry to yield 1.5 cups.
  2. Crush the garbanzo beans a little with a potato masher, or your hands. Or leave whole, the mashing is best for a sandwich filling.
  3. Dice celery, and bell pepper
  4. Shred cabbages to equal 2 cups
  5. Mix beans and veggies together in a large bowl
  6. In a small bowl, cream together sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice and dill. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Pour dressing over salad, stir well.

Serve chilled or at room temperature. Yes, I used high fat dressing ingredients - I was out of plain yogurt. And fat, she satiates me.

Nutrition facts:

Amount per Serving
Calories 314
Calories from Fat 95.0
Total Fat 10.55g
Saturated Fat 2.5g
Cholesterol 12.5mg
Sodium 276.25mg
Total Carbohydrate 37.56g
Dietary Fiber 6.66g
Sugars 13.07g
Protein 11.81g


HYC Check In

Bonjour au Canada! I was working in Vancouver, BC the past couple of days, and now find myself with a few hours to kill until my flight. A perfect time to get caught up on blogs and a little mental menu planning.

My personal outlook has improved, thankfully. I had a very productive conversation with my manager about where to move forward in my career development. I am so lucky that she's willing to work with me.

I am truly looking forward to taking a week off next week. Time to recharge and renew - and some hammock time to boot! And time to iron out a better meal plan. My body is a little sponge, so time to really cut out the refined things that it doesn't like.


The Girl Who ate Bacon and Cheese at noon

I am a medical miracle. Yesterday I hit a low place - not in the scale, but in eating. I always, always, always bring my lunch to work. If for some reason I can't, I have a salad or a light soup - I'm always trying to do what's right. Yesterday, I was like eff it, I'm having a sandwich. With Swiss cheese, bacon, and bleu cheese. Oh, and some chicken, lettuce and tomato. I was having lunch with a colleague to help me get off the wah-mbulance and make some positive changes in my work life, and I just thought -I should get the salad - I don't want the salad. It also came with fries, of which I only ate a few - look at me, I am restraint personified! And I ate the whole damn thing. Sometimes I need to just eat what I want. Foolish? You betcha.

I was planning on a gym night anyway, but now knew that I had to step it up in the strength department. I did 20 min on the elliptical, my full strength routine, and then finished with some core stuff. The whole time, it was as though I was clicking undo over and over again in a frenzy. Also, I didn't do any strength training at all last week, and I expected to find the exercises super challenging - but I could still do it - hooray. I went home, ate my fabulous Asian coleslaw, and some melon and called it a night.

I am telling this long story because... I always weigh more the morning after a strength training workout. Always. This morning, I was 2 pounds lighter than yesterday. Oh the scale, she messes with me, everytime. And thus concludes the tale of the foolish girl who ate bacon and cheese at noon.


HYC Check In - Disenchanted

I am suffering from a case of the doldrums. Losing that job was way more devastating to me than it should have been. I'm feeling a little lost, disenchanted with the way things are. And as my Mom always says, you can feel sorry for yourself for a day, then you have to make a list of what needs to be done, and then do it. In health news, I had a good week exercise-wise and food-wise, with 2 planned indulgences at social outings. Not too bad! Still no movement on the scale, of course.

So here's my plan of attack list for feeling better remedies.
  • Plan a 1,400 calorie meal plan - more on that later
  • Take a week's vacation even though Mr. Black can't go anywhere - spend it cooking, reading, visiting, enjoying the weather, cleaning up the cluttered areas in my house, and exercising.
  • Spend time with my family and friends, and my fun little dog
  • Send out some loves. It sounds cheesy, but when I am feeling blue, I find the best thing to do is to send out some gifts or notes to the people in my life that I love.

I hope everyone is having a great week.


HYC Check In

Here I am, two days late, with the same old, same old. I had a low-exercise, heavy eating weekend. Not a good combination. And man, by Tuesday, I could feel the difference it made I felt bloated and sluggish. I would like to say in my defense, that I had my wedding anniversary (do you say wedding or marriage? Seems like it should be marriage, but I always say wedding.) and we went to an Italian restaurant where I had a not so lean protein, but also grilled veggies and polenta, instead of pasta. But the chocolate creme brulee had me undone. It was worth every pound I'm carrying today! Tuesday evening I returned to the gymnasium and felt like a fool - it was 80 something degrees and gorgeous, and there I am exercising indoors. But that night I had a good night's sleep and felt good about taking a rest day on Wednesday, because I had to be at work at 6:30 am on Thursday, and I wanted to eat dinner in the backyard with my husband. So there.

I am starting to feel like my updates here are like an alcoholic who gets drunk every night and then says "No, sherioushly, I'ma gone get betters." and then passes out. I'm not binge eating, which is good, I've cut back on the candy - but not entirely - and I am still planning my meals. So what's doing me in? The extras. The wine with dinner, the handful of pretzels and mini babybel cheese for a snack that I love, and sometimes ice cream. I think that the last year and a half of being stuck at one number has got me into a maintenance mode. I think I'm going to have to really start saying no to the extras. It will be like my own little EXTREEEEME sport. Extreme dieting. Because ya'll know I can only say no to the cheese for so long, so it is a diet, not a lifestyle change for right now. Thank heavens for the fruit, the fruit! I love summer fruit.


Let's Hear it for Number Two!

On Friday I found out officially that I did not get the job. When I walked out of my interviews on Wednesday, I could tell that I didn't ace them. There was one question that was my nail in the coffin. At least, I think there was only one - who knows, I may have bombed every question! Luckily, I was able to get some feedback from the head woman. They decided to hire a woman that has the experience and ideas that they need. I knew my lack of experience would be a problem, but was hopeful that they would be willing to grow my skills, since I know the office and industry so well. Dude, I made it through 4 levels of interviewing - that is nothing to sneeze at!! Thinking about it now, I realize that I should have focused on preparing some ideas for them, to show that I am willing to try it - also, being an insider to the company, I really should have taken the opportunity to use my inside knowledge to show how I would use the resources we have. I was looking toward let's talk about my skills, and how I can be influential with the relationships I already have. Now I know what to do next time.

Although I understand their choice - they'd rather focus on teaching someone our office and database rather than teaching someone marketing - it is still disappointing. I felt hurt and frustrated by the rejection. Like I don't have any special skills and that I'm not worth developing. So I was a cry baby for a little while - but now I'm moving on to the positives.

The good stuff is this. I've been noticed! The head woman told me I was their second choice - even compared to the other 2 candidates who had a lot of marketing experience. I specifically asked if she thought I was a wasting their time, and she said no - she was very impressed with me, and said that all four people I interviewed with were impressed by me. She said she was glad to get to know me better, and she was glad I applied, because she liked that I think outside the box, and am willing to learn new things, and that she wants to work with my current manager to help get me where I need to be. Also, the HR recruiter said that she thought I did very well, and she'd like to give me some feedback about what I did correctly, and talk about where to go from here. That's going to be a fantastic conversation!

I know I'm not going to go to my grave thinking about my career - my family and friends and health are so much more important. But there's no shame in looking for a little fulfillment outside the home. I hope all of you are spending time with those you love this weekend!


HYC Check In

Here's the week to get it together! Had a challenging weekend, celebrating my Mom's birthday, but I made the healthiest choice I could at dinner. My weight hasn't changed, alas. Oddly enough, I have had people at work ask me if I'm losing more weight - I wonder if my shape is changing? In any case, I'm happy to appear like I'm losing when I'm not. I've made myself a killer lunch, at 290 calories, and I'm toying with the idea of replacing a full meal with a green smoothie. But the experience of chewing is important to me. Does that sound dumb? I don't want to resort to a quick-fix, unhealthy choice like a Sl*m-F*st shake or something, but I'm thinking that instead of portioning out and weighing my dinner, perhaps I can just whirl it and sip it. Will ponder.

In other news, I started physical therapy, and my hip can now withstand a long walk without making me want to cry and take a bunch of ibuprofen! Progress! Tonight I want to do a really long workout so that I can conk out early, and be refreshed for my interview tomorrow. I'm already nervous, which is oh-so helpful. Nothing that 30 minutes on the elliptical can't dissipate!


HYC Check In

Miraculously, I weighed in at 216 this month. That is still a dismal loss for one month, but kind of okay, considering all the traveling. Also, it's TOM, I have scheduled my weigh-ins for 2 weeks after TOM, but missed it this month. However, I should be able to lose at least a pound a week, ya know?

Who wants to hear my speculation about why I'm not succeeding? Again, and again and again. I am strength training, I am cardio-izing, I am watching my calories, I am writing down what I eat. I guess I'm a great maintainer. I can't help but focus and wrack my brain over what I am doing wrong. I thought it was sugar. I know that there have been days when I have gone over my calories significantly, like by 300 or so, but I am eating so healthfully, so proportionately overall, that I truly can't understand why I would have this much trouble. Maybe I am not challenging myself enough in exercise, or maybe I shouldn't eat the extra 200-300 calories that I burn at exercise? Color me frustrated.

The positive news is, I changed my strength routine a bit, to be 3 sets of 10 instead of 2 sets of 12. That's a little more challenging. I also have found a new machine at my neighborhood YMCA rather than the downtown one near my office, that I LOVE. It is like an elliptical on steroids. You can do stair stepping on it, and then there is an increased range of motion. You can run on it, I swear, and you're flying - and you can go backwards. I love, love, love it. I asked at the front desk what the name of the machine is, and no one knows - they call it a climber/stepper, but I don't think that's right. I asked someone who was on one of the machines next to me, and he said "I don't know, but I've heard it called Robot Machine." Ha ha ha ha! Robot machine! Loving it.

So, here's to a month of HOPEfully losing 4 pounds. 4 please. 4.


The Haps - Nervous and Excited

Oh heavens. I have been so busy - I didn't even post my Healthy You Check in. The scale, she says I eat too much. Bah. It is frustrating. I did go candy-free last week, except for two slip-ups. I grabbed a mint on my way out of a restaurant, and another time, I had yuckity breath and the only thing I found in my purse was a hard candy - no gum. I still consider the week a success, in that I did not, after dinner each night, go in search of the gummies. Hooray!

But now instead of weight loss matters, I want to talk about exciting things. A few weeks ago I posted about a job I interviewed for, then promptly thought "Oh, well, that was a mistake." because the HR recruiter seemed to have a checklist for marketing manager thingies that I did not fill. I made peace with the fact that someone encouraged me to try out for this job, and then I did not meet the needs, and I went back to my regular, safe, satisfying job. Fast forward to three weeks later, and they pass me on to 2nd level interviews. The interview is with the most lovely woman who is in that position now, only more senior in another office, and the 45 minutes is basically spent with her telling me what the job entails. She also wants to make sure I do know how to coordinate a webcast for large groups, order catering and use the company-branded templates. And I assure her with confidence, that's 30% of my job as an admin. (Secretly, my response is "Uh, yeah. With my eyes closed." But that would be rude, so I don't say that.) She also wanted to hear about my attention to detail and my extracurricular audits of other offices. A very pleasant interview. I even felt comfortable enough to tell her - how do you know which groups of people to pull together to meet and chat about Human Resources issues? To which she was so generous and told me exactly how she executes her job. It was a fabulous experience. The next day, I met with my boss(es) (the merger has muddied the waters a bit as to who is in charge of my personal development) and I let them know that I had applied - and they were incredibly supportive. I seriously work in the best office ever. They wanted to know what the position was, and told me that they don't want to see me go, but of course they support me trying on something new.

The day after that, I am invited to meet with the big boss, and an Account Director. The big boss is the woman that I met with to say "I need more responsibility!" that scares the hell out of me. I have 9 days to prepare a knock-out interview. To say that I'm excited, is an understatement. I can't believe that I've made it to the final round - and I also am relieved to find that I really want this job. I made a pros and cons list, and sent it to my Mom and a friend, and they both said - whatevs, just go for it. I know that I have many advantages to being an internal candidate, but the fact that I have little to no experience with coordinating "strategic thought leadership" is very intimidating. Basically, I'm frightened of leaving my safe job where I excel because I've been there for nearly 6 years and can do it with one hand tied behind my back. I'm afraid that I'll fail in this position, but speaking with that woman who does the job now, she made everything seem engaging, fun and doable. Really it comes down to the fact that I currently work as an administrative assistant - someone tells me what to do. This job requires creative energy, and coming up with my own ideas. I've never been paid for my ideas, you know? I love that this job is a mix of coming up with creative events, but also has a nice mix of following required initiatives. I'm a sharp girl that can go for it. Right? Right. So anyone reading this, keep your fingers crossed for June 30th - I need to shine!


HYC Check In

Miami left me sun-drenched, and soggy! Thunder and lightning storms every night - but warm. It was a strange sensation for this Seattle girl. But now I'm tan and heavier than I was when I left. We swam and sweated and ate fresh foods, but no "formal" exercise, and had some cocktails and one of the best meals of my life at Joe's Stone Crabs. I had a wonderful time, I don't regret it for a minute!

I'm back on the straight and narrow - went to the gym last night, whining all the way, but I felt great when I was through. I'll get back to normal soon. This week, I'm not ready to kick sugar altogether, but I have to stop eating candy. I love candy. I love junky, fruity, gummy candy. It is horrible for me. I especially love fake watermelon and apple flavors. There's no value in eating it, and it takes away valuable calories from my daily budget. I love black licorice. That stuff, I get the good kind, the really dark Australian stuff. So this week, no more candy. It's a small step. So far, I've got 2 days behind me. Yahoo!


HYC Check In

If last week I felt like the personification of "I'm fine, same old, same old." This is the week of the "WhatcanIeatnow?" monster. Mostly I was a sugar monster. (Who is shaking their head in pity saying "Oh Sara, just give it up completely!") I know, I know, when you eat sugar, you crave sugar, and I should just go cold turkey. (mmm...turkey). I'm still at the "everything in moderation" point, and I really should probably work on eliminating foods that don't bring me nutrition.

I think I also suffer from just not wanting it to count. I want to have 5 great days so I can have 2 eat what I want days, and then hope my body does not notice. A virtual "nothing to see here, folks, let's move along.". Because the reality is, everything counts, even when you exercise. See also: Why didn't I take care of this healthy weight thing when I was in my twenties? Sheesh. Now I'm headed to the land of the South Beach diet, so I imagine the worst thing I'm going to have is a slice of Key Lime pie, a mojito and pork. I'm glad to know that I'll have easy access to salads and fresh fruit. Hope everyone else had a great week!


Miami, Miami, you've got style*...

The first of my traveling-for-work trips is tomorrow - I'm off to Miami on Tuesday! My boss is fantastic, letting me choose that city after I promised her I wouldn't eat too much to keep expenses down. And I'm taking my husband, which will be such a nice reward after a year of biting our nails praying for work. However, hurricane season is kicking off, and thunderstorms are predicted. I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed. However, we're content to stay in the hotel room ordering room service if it is too stormy outside. *eyebrow waggle*

I interviewed for a new job last week. Within the same company, but something totally different from what I've ever done before. (not the new job I originally wanted) It's a marketing position, and I was encouraged to apply by a woman in the marketing department, who after I submitted my resume, promptly gave notice so she could follow her husband to his new job in another state. Frustrating! I actually had a sitcom moment of "You wha-?" with the sound effect of the needle screeching off the vinyl. True story.

It was interesting to interview for this position, when I'm not miserable in my current position. I thought it would make me feel more confident, and it did to a degree. However, the HR woman made sure to tell me that they had over 100 applicants, and it was her job to make sure that she found "the right" candidate with "the right" experience. Well yes, of course we all want to hire the perfect person, I thought. My marketing experience is limited, and as I described my meager experience, I felt sort of silly and inadequate. BUT I know I'm a sharp girl, I know the Seattle office, I know the team, and I know the database that we use, AND I was asked to apply based on my performance as an admin, and I know I can do the job, and it would be interesting. So I am 50% okay with not being passed on to the next round of interviews, only because it was something I thought I would try on, and not a position I was in love with. But the other 50% really wants a chance to meet with the local team, to talk more about the position since we speak the local language, I know our clients, etc. I would rather be rejected by them, than the HR lady with her checklist. I agree they need someone talented, but I'd like the opportunity to hear from the actual team what their expectations are. So, que sera, sera. By the end of the interview, it felt like I dropped it over the side of a bridge into the river and watched it float away. And it was okay. 50% okay, I mean. So tomorrow I'll go to Miami and do some good work, and eat some tasty black beans and Cuban sandwiches, probably have a mojito and remember I have it pretty good in this life.

* 10 points to anyone who can name the reference for this post title!


HYC Check In

This was a good week! Healthy meals, one splurge on a pizza night, and good exercise. I don't have much to say other than I've been experimenting with different breakfast options. Something that isn't just eggs, and isn't just oatmeal. But keeps me full. And tastes good. I'll share the recipe when I find something. I tried the summit climber again at the gym. I only did 5 minutes, after I'd already done elliptical or some other form of cardio and I felt like the Thanksgiving wishbone. S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D. Okay, so most boring post ever, I'm going to just keep on trucking.


My I heart Seattle weekend

Best. Weekend. Ever. My glorious weekend kicked off with some much needed good news. My husband got a job. At a big Pacific Northwest company, I love having major employers here. He starts next Monday the 24th. This is significant, because he has been out of work for 354 days (but who's counting?). I never wrote about it publicly here, because I just didn't want to talk about how my insides were a mess of goo and running mental financial calculations every 2 minutes. Now, we have two incomes! We can eat out and not feel guilty! We can dump money into savings, and then blow it on a vacation. To say I am relieved and excited is an understatement. I would also like to say that I am pretty proud of how well we handled this - I still managed to contribute to 2 retirement accounts, and even socked away some cash while only using a meager amount of the severance package to pay the mortgage. This was possible a) because we don't have any debt except the mortgage and b) the unemployment money and lovely Obama administration that extended unemployment payments. Thanks, Mr. O! Okay. Enough money chat.

Seattle gave us beautiful 70+ degree days this weekend. I know elsewhere it is probably even hotter, but here, this is a big deal. Friday I picked up all my groceries, and we had a very healthy rice, asparagus, cashew and Asian vinaigrette dinner. Delicious. Followed by a nice glass of wine while laying in the hammock. Does it get better than that?

Saturday brought more sunshine and dinner with friends - which always does my body good, no matter what we eat. We had a delicious dinner - outside (!) and chocolate fondue for dessert. It was so fantastic, good friends, good food and kids and dogs and laughing. I ate very well - a bonus!

On Sunday, I had plans to exercise and do my chores. But then we were seduced by the call of the Seattle Cheese festival. Two words: Free. Cheese. How can I say no? Our new favorite is little blocks of smokey sharp cheddar, and a Camembert that was so creamy delicious. And who knew that there was a Parmesan that I would consider eating by the slice? Walking around the market, snagging toothpicks of cheese to sample, people-watching, and buying a famous Pike Place Market bouquet, it was enough to make my heart soar, especially side by side with my sweet (employed!) husband. Plus - the samples were tiny, tiny - I estimate that at the most, I had 4 ounces of cheese total. And that's giving me some wiggle room. We headed home, and I was full of good intentions to go to the gym. BUT - it was sunny, and the floor needed mopping, and I needed to pay bills and stamp them, and paint my toes and make dinner, and I skipped my workout. I didn't even make dinner. We cobbled together something to eat out of what was in the fridge. And I am religious about making Sunday dinner. It felt kind of freeing, and I'm learning to realize that just because I don't get all my fruit and veggies in on one day, I'm not going to die of scurvy, or gain 50 pounds.

Oh! And I watched Geneen Roth on Oprah, talking about her new book, Women, Food and God. It cracks me up how the guest is supposed to be talking, but really it was a chance for Oprah to dump out all her a-ha moments. I found myself thinking a few times - hey, Oprah, let her tell us about that chapter, rather than just your reaction and interpretation. But I know what it is like to be excited and you can't stop talking about it. (see paragraph 1) Would love to hear if anyone else has read it.

That is my super duper fun and productive weekend. Mostly I'm just excited that I had a combination of doing fun things but still eating on plan. Gooooooooo...lifestyle change! Ha! I crack myself up.

HYC Check In

Happy Tuesday - my weigh in is not so good. 216.6. So, down like half a pound or something. There was a point right before Cinco de Mayo and Mother's day and the cold from hell where I touched down at 215 and I was so happy to hit the 75 pound mark. Alas, we're back up. I am thinking my body is a delicate flower who absorbs everything. There are no freebies for me. But I had the most glorious weekend, eating-wise, getting things done AND having fun -it was great. More on that later.

So here I go again - you can kick me, scale, but you won't win! Hope everyone had a successful week.


HYC Check in - Life at 1600 calories

Life at 1600 calories is, in a word, shitty. Okay, truly, it's not THAT bad. The only time it really is unpleasant is when you're out to dinner, or the big gorgeous buffet on Mother's Day, trying to decide between choosing only bacon, or bacon AND sausage. That's rough, amirite?

I actually did very well at the buffet, thank you very much. I got hit with a killer cold this weekend - something crawled inside my chest, and moved into the cavity where my lungs used to be. This made me not so hungry. Since the cold, and the hacking cough, I haven't exercised since Thursday. And boy howdy, when you listen to your tummy - and wait to eat until you're hungry, I am reminded again that a body that does not exercise, does not need a lot of food. Who knew? The old adage is still true - move more, eat less. I'm anxious to get get back to my normal, able to breathe and laugh and not use an entire box of Kleenex in one day, self. I hope everyone else is healthy and happy and smiling!


HYC Check In - May 4th

Here I am, with 2 (soon to be 3) perfect days under my belt. And by perfect, I mean I have planned what to eat, and I eat what I plan. I get hungry every few hours, so I'm armed with fruit, veggies and sugar free gum, which is just as satisfying as a packet of Starburst, or something salty and crispy, you know. That, was sarcasm my friends. I also had a week of perfect workouts - 3 days of strength training with a little cardio and one cardio only day.

Oh! I almost got mauled by a lady in her seventies on Sunday. I usually work out downtown near my office after work, but the YMCA in my neighborhood is offering water aerobics a few times a week. My favorite class is on Sunday. It is at 5 pm for 45 minutes. It's a great time of day for me, because I have all Sunday to do my chores, or laze about, and then go to the gym for strength training, and then hop in the pool for water aerobics, then go home and eat dinner! Love it. So anywho, the instructor decided that we would play water polo for that class. I groaned inwardly and wanted to hop out of the pool and say "Um, I don' t do sports, thanks anyway." but I decided to stick it out. First of all, it turned out to be a GREAT workout - 10 ladies scooting around the pool on their noodles which we're all riding like horses - oh we must have been such a sight - at one point, a woman looked at me and said "This is exhausting!" I concurred, as we were all red-faced and sweaty. So this other woman was so aggressive, at one point, I had the ball and she lunged at me and tried to hit it out of my hands, but when that didn't work, she held on and started desperately trying to pull it out of my hands. It was brutal! And the funniest part was that the teacher kept shouting "Virginia! Virginia! We have to just stop, and put the ball back in play!" As much as I wanted to say "Lady - it's just a game, let go!!" I also hope to have that kind of grip when I'm in my seventies! There's my anecdote for the week. Hope everyone else at HYC had a great week too!


The end of the Plateau

While I was away from blogging – I had my usual annual checkup with my doctor, with blood draw. My docotor called me the next day and said “Are you tired? Your thyroid is low.” I immediately rattled off "No, I am pretty energetic and I rarely get tired and I’m just fine." Then I stopped and thought 'Well, except on the weekends when I get up, don’t eat breakfast, exercise, grocery shop, then eat, then start laundry – by 2 pm I’m ready to collapse.' Hmm, guess I’m not fine. When she said I needed to come in, get re-tested and most likely a prescription, I had a woe-is-me day, and mentally berated myself for years of not giving a flying fig about my health. I’m convinced that I broke my thyroid. That's helpful, isn't it? My lovely doctor said no you didn't, so I mentally moved on.

She gave me a prescription, and within the first month of taking it, those 3 pounds I’ve been losing/gaining in all of 2009 were gone. Oh, I love my thyroid med! Hooray! And I wasn’t so tired on the weekends. A little, but not like before. Awesome, am still in love with thyroid medication. Then I go in for my 8-week follow up in April. My levels are still not right. Apparently getting the dosage right is a very sensitve calibration, and can take a lot of tweaking. So we're playing around with the dosage, trying to see where I need to be.

The relief that I felt at finally knowing that my body was working against me in late 2008 and all of 2009, was tremendous. (Also, kind of embarrassing that I never thought anything was wrong with me.) I look back at last year's fiber goals and protein goals, and exercise goals I was meeting and trying my best to meet and I was still getting nowhere, except MAD. The frustration that I felt last year at getting nowhere on the scale led me to some lazy behavior about tracking food and saying no to sugar, which made things worse for myself. I know it wasn't entirely my little thyroid gland's fault that I got stuck, but this diagnosis has renewed my faith that I can continue to lose weight, as long as I realize that my body is pretty sensitive to what I put in it. More fuel, less junk!


HYC Check In

This week was a story about dedication. Both to exercise, and to eating copious amounts of cheese and sugar. I wanted a cheeseburger in the worst way this weekend. And after having been to the gym, donating blood, and purchasing a week's worth of healthy groceries, I convinced my husband that we needed to go out to the movies and dinner. I only ate half of my gorgeous melty cheese caramelized onion beefy sandwich that night - there's one good thing! But proceeded to buy 186 kinds of candy for the movies. So, I'm moving on (forcing myself) from the Red Tide munchies. Also, when your pants are too tight on Monday morning, it is pretty easy to remind myself why I shouldn't eat like that.

Dedication is going to the gym on a Saturday when you don't want to, and riding the bike AND doing my strength training, thankyouverymuch.

So now I'm going to be dedicated to my health this week. Less cheese and sugar, more good for me stuff.


Triumph - watered down

I acheived something difficult this week! And it turned me into a dry-mouthed speed talker who went on way too long. I was telling the most senior woman who oversees our office that I want a new job. Oh, it was not pretty. I was completely intimidated by her, even though she is a nice woman, I don't know her very well (mostly because she intimidates the hell out of me!). Compbined with asking for a position that does not exist - yet. I only think it is coming. In January, my company went through a merger of equals, so now we are doubled in size. My mind went reeling to where else I could work within the firm. I have been in my current administrative support position for 5 and a half years and there's no challenge here. Our work is cyclical and steady, no surprises. I like being in a support position, but I'm sort of craving to be responsible for my own thing, as well. In my former job, I juggled a lot of balls because we were such a small staff, so coming here was a relief in that it was well-run office where everyone treats you like a grown-up, and you get to just do one job, not 5. Also, I share my position with a very unreliable, immature woman who takes 1-2 unplanned personal days a month. To run errands. Don't get me started on her - but suffice to say, I disagree with how management has reacted to her behavior.

Anywhoee, big boss lady confirmed to me that she doesn't even know if that job will exist yet. She asked me to be patient, and to consider that things may be happening in a few months, even if it doesn't happen now. (I'm looking for the secret message in that). Not the slam-dunk I was hoping for. No words of encouragement that of course, you'd be perfect for that - we'd love to see you apply. The position I want (Office manager - but with a little more responsibility) will likely go to an incumbent who is doing a similar thing now.

But a pat on the back to myself for asking for what I need, yes? Scary - but now it is out there. It was really cool to just do it instead of sitting here at my desk wishing I had done something. Now I have to tell my boss that I want to move to another part of the company. Yikes. No wait, I can do it!


HYC Check in

Last week my husband and I were struck down by the plague – we ate something bad, or I kissed a sick baby one too many times. In any event, we had 12-14 hours of not being upright, and had to share one bathroom. Which is just as fun as it sounds. My husband said “Our house looks and smells like Cambodia” – no offense, Cambodia. When we surfaced, we were convinced we would never eat anything ever again. But sure enough, I'm back on food. Today I am eating normally and weighing in at 217.6 – down 2.4 pounds since last weigh-in. Hooray! I'm looking forward to getting back to my gym routine this week.

This week will mark my first week at trying to stick to 1600 calories a day. Oh wait, what does Yoda say? Either you do, or do not, there is no try. Either I’ll stuff my pie-hole, or I won’t. Yesterday I had a delectable three-course French meal for the Seattle Restaurant week promotion. So I'm not off to a great start - but one day does not make you fat. Right? Right. Hope everyone else has a great week.


HYC Check In

This week earned me a B+, I'd say. Steady work outs, again only twice with the strength training, and too much sugar. Enough with the dessert already! Birthday eating and Easter did me in. I made a delectable cheesecake that my family was too full to eat much of, so I took it into the office - and kablooey, it was gone in a matter of hours. Hooray! My goal this week is to try to live at 1600 calories. When I look back at my days of success, this seemed like the level at which I can consistently lose, and not feel like I'm starving. Eating well isn't hard, it's just so darn time-consuming. I'm having a dinner party this weekend, and well, 1600 calories doesn't seem reasonable. I still marvel at my ability to justify eating more than I should. I know all the mantras - one day of overeating isn't what makes me overweight, its never stopping those days, and that eating more than I should won't feel as good as eating right, and other sensible yet annoying phrases. I know that I will someday be the gal who can eat without measuring every bite. Oh, I can't wait to meet that girl! Here's to a 1600 calorie week - it's worth it, it's worth it, it's worth it.


HYC Check in

I've also decided to weigh in once a month. My weight fluctuates so much, that I can't take the pressure I put on myself to weigh in each week. The end.
I had a fairly successful week this week! I completed my strength training routine only twice, while 3 times a week would be the optimum, but I'm not going to fret. I'm also pleased that I've been able to increase my weight resistance, and unfortunately, I can tell that I am able to increase my squat repetition, but ouchy - don't wanna! Maybe next week. In the not-so-successful column. The eating. Rich foods at social occasions - my Achilles heel! But here's a new week, a chance to eschew cheese in favor of fiber. But not tomorrow, because it is my birthday! I'm exercising tonight, taking the day off tomorrow to sleep in and having a leisurely lunch with my husband and go to the movies. Delightful.


Back at it

Since my last post in September, you could say a lot has been happening and not happening. Personal-life, very busy. Professional-life, very busy - with a dash of conflict to keep things spicy! And weight-loss life? Nothing happening. Until now.

Normally I stop blogging due to the shame of sitting in my house eating cheese and cookies by the handful, but that's not the case, this time. I've just been busy and frustrated and stressed out, and happy and full and content in a great big pile, and not writing about it. Which also means that sadly, I have also abandoned leaving comments for all my favorite bloggers in the HYC - bad support person! Personal reflection shows that inherently, I am not a writer. (I'm a storyteller! Listen to my funny tales - if only I could talk into my blog, this would work.) BUT, writing about my life and my lifestyle change brings focus to my weight-loss efforts, and so let's just do it, already.

Since it is Tuesday, and time to check in, today the scale said 220 - and has been there for about a week, so let's hope it isn't a fluke. I'm grabbing a 70 pound badge from ScaleJunkie and posting it with pride. Here's to moving forward and downward. And to blogging!