Thursday, May 31, 2007

Coming out of the broom closet

Everyone, grab your favorite Muggle and get ready to hop on your Nimbus 2000, touch a port key, use your floo powder, or wingardium leviosa yourself to Orlando in 2010! Why? Universal Studios Islands of Adventure is opening a Harry Potter "Island."


As Ron would say, "Wicked!"


I couldn't be more excited if they were to hold the Triwizard Tournament on the campus where I work. Ok, maybe I'd be a little excited if that were to happen, but it's not likely so this is the next best thing.


Obviously, I have been hiding my Harry Potter mania from you all. Interestingly enough, I heard the news from my Mom who is right now running out to Diagon Alley to outfit herself in the latest witchy wear. She's already got the cat. Seriously, you have no idea how much my mother would love to find a letter from Hogwart's in the mail apologizing for the late notice but she's been accepted. I have to admit, I'd think it was pretty cool myself. (And, uh, yeah, I already have the scarf. What? Kiss my quaffle, mudblood*.)


For those of you who didn't follow any of this post and think I am speaking in a different language, get thee to a library, or the nearest breathing person, and borrow the books.


* I'm so entrenched in the world of Harry Potter that I feel I should apologize for using this term.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Is anyone else craving popcorn now?

This is 7 pounds of butter.

Each stick of butter is 4 oz., therefore 1/4 of a pound. My 7 week challenge is to lose these 28 sticks of butter - mostly the ones spread over my inner thighs, upper arms, and abs. Good lord.

As of this morning, however, I had lost 2.5 pounds. Translated into butter, that's nine sticks. Nine sticks!
As a very visual person, this stick of butter comparison is very helpful. Not for stopping my craving for anything I can dip in or coat with butter, but for realizing that a pound is actually quite a large mass. Not to mention an accomplishment.

Do you have any requests for pound to object comparisons? (Something easily measurable) Perhaps I will have more fun with Photoshop on your behalf.

Inert gases

I am conducting a very dangerous experiment this morning.

I went a little crazy at the grocery store yesterday and purchased Nature's Path Optimum Power Cereal with Flax, Soy, and Blueberry. What can I say? It was on sale. I was feeling virtuous. I was trying desperately not to buy the Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs (#82). I had some this morning and it was surprisingly good. If you're a Captain Crunch kind of person it might shock your pallet a little, but despite the fact that I don't really like the texture of something as "healthy" as Cheerios, I actually liked it. It's got sweetened twigs, flakes, and puffed rice thingies so the texture and "mouth feel" vary enough to make you not think someone has tied you to a trough.

The thing is, it also has fiber. Lots and lots of fiber - 10g in one serving, which adds up to 40% of a person's daily fiber needs in one bowl. And who am I kidding, when was the last time I ate just a serving of cereal? Even of something that claims to have flax in it (Don't feel bad, I didn't really know what it was either.) I also added raisins. Methinks I will be dealing with some serious gastrointestinal issues later. My co-workers may as well. Indirectly. Be thankful you are not within a 100 foot radius of me today. And if you are, move the hell out of the way if I need to make a break for the restroom. And hand me some reading material as I fly by, would ya? I may be in there awhile.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Welcome to Week 3 of Sassy's Fitness Challenge

Ok, so it's practically half way through the third week. So be it. It's that much closer to Friday.

Mostly, this post is going to be about random stuff and nothing at all of real interest or help to you.

First: I somehow lost 2 pounds over the last week! I was getting a little disheartened since I hadn't lost a single thing before now. I was convincing myself that the new muscle was simply cancelling out the weight loss. Luckily, I lost the 2 pounds (!) before that lie started to lose its powers.

Second: I am in love with Lean Cuisine Glazed Turkey Tenderloins. It's like all the best things about Thanksgiving in 5 minutes. I have no idea how they pack all that flavor into 260 calories of formerly frozen goodness. Seriously, I had to stop myself from licking the plastic container.

Third: I am wearing a skirt that I usually consider unflattering, i.e. makes me look larger than I actually am and, for some reason today, it actually looks good! I think the top I chose to wear with it is helping a lot but still. I'm even managing to look like I have curves. In a good way! Yeah!

Fourth: I had dinner with 6 firemen last night. Just me and the boys. From that experience, I have now determined one major difference between workplaces that are all women, and those that are all men. When men work together, they torture each other physically and with overtones of comraderie and good cheer - as in, "I bet you can't eat this entire jar of jalapenos/maple syrup/old bulging-sided apple cider." There was no end to the delight these guys felt retelling the tale of the night so-and-so spent moaning on the commode because of one of the above episodes. At least their torture is fleeting. Women's torture tends toward the psychological and the scars can last forever. I still wouldn't eat the jar of jalapenos though. Blech.

Die laughing

There's something both disturbing and amusing about the hearse I saw this weekend with the license plate "LKY STF."

Friday, May 25, 2007

Self Love and Chub Rub*

Welcome perverts of the internet**! This post is not about what you think it's about.


What it is about is this: I would find it infinitely easier to love my body if I didn't have to worry about my inner thighs catching on fire/fusing together/chafing to hamburger*** now that pantyhose-free season is here. Ouch.


* I totally couldn't resist the title of this post. It came to me as if from heaven. Who am I to squelch inspiration from on high? Or for that matter, from below?

** You know who you are. Nice to see you again.

*** Mmmm....hamburger. Welcome to the opening weekend of grill season! whoo hoo!

Thank God/dess, Jesus, Muhammad, Yaweh, Krishna, Buddha, Baha'ullah, Gaia, Oprah, Juan Valdez, and Mrs. Butterworth it's Friday!

And a long weekend no less.

Amen and Ohm.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Headlights

Yesterday, at the gym, I had a slight problem. The problem was that it was a tit bit nipply. Actually, it was not a tit bit, it was a whole hell of a lot of bit nipply. I couldn't have been standing at attention anymore if I'd been dumped into an ice bath. It was almost obscene. And there's no way to hide that when you've got weights in your hands and mirrors all around. I don't know if it was the vigor with which I was exercising, or the shirt I was wearing or what, but damn. I know for sure I wasn't being checked out by the guys because of the amount of weight I was lifting.

All I can say is that at least they were pointed forward and perky. Still, good grief.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

And now, for your viewing horror...

You - "Oh no she di'int!"

Me - "Yup, I went there."

You - "But why? I mean, really, what purpose could it possibly serve?"

Me - "Well, I needed some accountability. I needed to know exactly what I'm talking about when I say, 'I need to lose a little weight.'"

You - "Apparently, you also needed some humiliation because, c'mon. Putting your "Before" pictures up on the internet? Holy bejeezus."

Me - "I know. I'm kind of appalled at myself as well. Especially since some of my readers happen to be ex-boyfriends (Hi guys! See what you're missing?) and co-workers. And a whole hell of a lot of people that I don't even know but who can now say they have seen me in as little as I ever tend to be dressed in. Especially on the abs. I love that they invented tankinis in my lifetime because my abs never see the light of day (as you can see from the overly caucasian pigmentation.) As you can also see, I have no hips or waist. None. I go from shoulder to knee with nary a degree of indentation. Unless I remove a rib, this will most likely continue to be the case."


You - "Aaahhh, my retinas!"

Me - "Good lord, it's not that awful. It was a lot worse fifteen pounds and no muscle ago. In fact, I keep looking at these pictures thinking, 'hmm, not as bad as I thought,' but then, 'Do I really stand that swaybacked?' Anyway, sorry. I was trying to inspire you, not blind you. But I see now that I have failed. My bad. Hopefully in six weeks I can share some new and improved Sassy pictures while doing less damage to your eye structure. And more boosting of my ego."

Sassy's Seven Week Fitness Challenge Week 2 (Slightly Belated)

How y'all doing?

I know it's a couple of days in to the second week of Sassy's Seven Week Fitness Challenge and I have said hide nor hair about it.

"Sassy, did you get all in a kerfuffle about trying to be funny and then clam up in fear because you have this irrational need/urge/drive to be liked?"

Why yes, dear readers, I did. And now I'm over it. So pblttt!

Ok, so, I did not lose any weight this week. On the one hand, sweet mother of mochas, why, god, why!? On the other hand, I didn't gain any either. Phew. Since I can't prance around in a tizzy over any weight loss, I can congratulate myself on other things I did well. If you're in the same boat, I suggest you do the same.

Quick review: My goal is to lose 5 % of my body weight which ends up being 7 pounds. So far I'm O for 7. However, when it comes to the steps I laid out to get to this goal, I'm doing pretty well. I have been writing in my food journal and exercise log religiously. I've mostly been planning my meals ahead - especially breakfast and lunch. I had planned to join the 200 Club - i.e. do 200-250 minutes of aerobic activity per week, and I have exceded my expectations. Last week I did over 400 minutes! And managed to have a full time job, see friends, eat (duh), do laundry, and have sex a couple of times despite the gym induced fatigue (yeeha!). And that activity didn't even count in the cardio minutes! This week I already have 105 minutes under my belt, and it's only Tuesday morning. This more than anything will be what gets the weight off I think. I have not yet bought a heart rate monitor. When I crave chocolate or sweet foods, I haven't been eating fruit. But I have been eating fudgicles - which is not perfect but is better than dishes of ice cream or the whoopie pie I wanted to get yesterday.

The most miraculous thing however, is the total lack of mocha lattes for an entire week. I was less Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde than I thought I'd be about it as well. I will say that the unsweetened pomegranite iced tea I tried yesterday instead was foul (blech!) so I won't be having that again, but I do think I can stick with my iced coffee and splenda plan.

Hmmm... fudgcicle dipped in iced coffee...

Good wishes for the coming week ladies and gents. Feel free to add your week's accomplishments in the comments.

[Update: I forgot to mention that I was able to tighten my belt an extra hole this week. Awesome!]

Friday, May 18, 2007

His, mine, and ours

I met my X in college. We were in the same major, the same classes, and we had the same close group of friends, mostly guys, and everyone was friends with everyone else regardless of relationship status. The fact that he and I were "coupled" mattered very little. We hung out as a group. College as commune, if you will. Except for a few awkward periods of time when someone in the group broke up with someone else in the group, all was hunky dory.

After we got married (two days after graduation and coincidentally nine years ago this past Saturday. My brother called me to congratulate me on my "un-iversary." How and why he even remembered that date considering he was about 12 at the time is beyond me.) we moved to another state for graduate school. We weren't in the same program, or even in the same part of campus, but we somehow had a few of the same classes and my friends were his friends and vice versa. When I quit grad school, I went to work as an administrative assistant in his program, so that became even more the case. And since it was still technically college, there wasn't a lot couple stuff. There were definitely couples, but they were more the exception than the rule. And since most of us were grad student poor (po' was more like it), there were a lot of people with roommates, making instant non-coupled couples. Ergo, get-togethers were still group related and not based on relationship status. In fact, for us already in relationships, it was kind of fun to see others "hooking up" and still in the early stages of dating. At the ripe old age of 22, I felt full of wisdom and able to impart advice should it be asked for.

After we moved to NH, I worked for a temp agency. I was transient staff person while my X was forming another group of grad student friends. (Between the two of us, we have alot of degrees.) One of my jobs was a nine week stint as a receptionist in a cubicle answering a phone that never rang and receiving people who never came. I had phone headphones and had a couple of incidents like Toula Portokalos in
My Big Fat Greek Wedding where I forgot myself, walked away, and got yanked back. Those were the moments where I was happy to be completely isolated from everyone else. However, after about the 7th week I watched a documentary on the Discovery Channel or TLC about men in solitary confinement. I almost cried with lived empathy. "I know what you're going through!" I said to the tatooed murder/rapist/bad guys on the screen. Obviously, I needed a real job with real people. Since none was forthcoming, I confronted my X and said, "I know you aren't social, but I'm going completely mental. Please introduce me to some people." And he did. Once again, his friends became mine.

Later, when I got a real job, I worked with only 2 other people, one of whom was my boss and coincidentally the most negative person on the planet. Because of that, I didn't really have a lot of ways to meet people not connected to my spouse for about 2 years.

That changed when I started working for the college I currently work for. All of a sudden, I had my own circle of friends independent of his. As my relationship with my X started to go sour (i.e. my X played more and more Dungeons and Dragons and I had to entertain myself), I got to know people that he didn't know. I was forced on some level to live the life of a single person. I didn't care if my X accompanied me to events and social outings and he seemed to prefer not to be invited anyway. So, I cultivated friendships with other fancy free ladies. I'm glad I did because they saved me when I was going through the divorce and the great dating frenzy of 05-06.

Now, however, I am in a relationship where we each come with our own distinct set of friends. Mine are still mostly single ladies, or women who, when they go out, want to go out with the ladies. His are married couples, mostly known through the man. So far, we have not discovered any overlapping circles of friends, which, given the other coincidences in my life (my X moving in with his new girlfriend/mother of his child 4 doors down from Friendster Guy anyone?) is surprising.

Because we ourselves are a couple, the natural pattern is to fall in with other couples. It's easy. Two and two make four. No one is the odd man out. Clean and simple. But because my friends are less coupled, I'm having difficulties integrating my life as part of a couple into my life as a friend of many single ladies. With the added bonus of Friendster Guy's funky schedule that can change to include extra shifts with little notice it's difficult to make plans with anyone. As such, we've had a tendency to hang out more with his friends. He knows his schedule and can control it more than I can. Plus, his friends understand the funky schedule. They live it too. If I make plans with my friends to interact with FG (as I did on Cinco de Mayo), it is quite possible for FG's schedule to mean he can't make it (as happened on Cinco de Mayo.)

I'd love for my single gal pals to interact with FG. However, three is an odd number for a reason. I'm afraid that if we go out, someone will feel left out. Either the gal pal because I'm in the relationship, or FG because, let's face it, my gal pals and I can talk. And talk. And if I make it a foursome, good lord, poor FG and three women? His head would explode - although he would learn some things.

I know I need to just chill and let the interactions happen. So what if there are only 3 of us? Or 3 girls and one FG? The only way his friends and my friends can become our friends, is to let it happen. I'd love to do that, but it's easier said than done.

Friday Afternoon Entertainment

Meeting in the Ladies Room: Klymaxx

Oh dear God! My eyes. They are buuurning. Make it stop. This is a bad video for a great song. Bad. Very, very bad. On so, so, SO many levels. The clothes. The hair.
The shirtless sweaty minimulleted guy off his meds having a seizure in the chair he appears to be tethered to.

The only reason I'd be going to the ladies room is to vomit if he approached me.

How did we ever make it through the 80s? I mean seriously. There are no words. Was everything really that asymetrical, shiny and just...crazy? I'm so glad I was only a tween at the time. There's something to be said for your parents still having control of your clothes purchases.

Owen!

You ever look at yourself in the mirror in the morning and think, "If they ever make a sequel to Throw Momma From the Train, I could totally play Momma"?

TGIF

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Out of the ether

I just got a comment from Tanklm on my last post that said:

"Hey, this blog used to be funny. Can we have some funny posts every once in a while?"

My first response was to want to tell tanklm (who does not him/herself appear to have a blog, or at least not one he/she shares) to take a long walk off a short pier. Instead, I am going to "live in the gap," as I learned in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Which means, essentially, that between something that happens, and your response, you have a choice on how you'll react. You can do something knee jerk, or you can think about it and then respond. You may still go with the original knee jerk response, but at least you'll know why. So, that being said, I'd actually like to thank tanklm for thinking that my blog was funny in the first place. It's hard to know what people think since I'm literally putting my words out in the ether not knowing even if it's being read, nevermind enjoyed, hated, or whatever. Feedback is good. Yeah! I was funny! Go me.

The entertainment level of my blog has actually been on my mind recently, but so has improving my health. I started this blog as a way to talk about my divorce, my new life in the dating world, and my feelings around those events (see archives for the beginning of that saga). The blog has bloomed since then into a daily journal and my ramblings about life in general. I'm glad people have found it and have been reading. It's odd to know that there are readers out there that I do not know exist who know some pretty darn personal stuff about me. My family doesn't even know I blog so you should consider yourself special.

Not surprisingly, it is not easy to be funny on cue. There are days when I'm so pumped that I can't help being amusing about even mundane things, but then there are days when it is easier to pull out my own toenails one by one than to share a story, even if it is intrinsically amusing on it's own. Granted, I've had plenty (more than my fair share perhaps) of those incidents. If you've joined me recently and began with the poop/fainting episode you may have a distorted view of how amusing I can be. I'm pretty sure I can't top that story. There's only so much humiliation one person can handle. I mean really. Panties around the ankle face down on the linoleum at work? It's awesome material, but I don't want to have to repeat things like that too often.

I read several other blogs that I find amusing and I wonder how they do it. Day in, day out they are entertaining. I guess I'm more cyclical than they are, or maybe not as talented. Although I may beat them in volume. I post pretty much every day. In fact, this is my 604th post since October, 2005. That's about 32 posts/month! Good lord! That number surprises me. (If only I spent so much time on my day job.) Perhaps those other bloggers have decided that their goal is to be amusing. A lot of those blogs have advertisements and strive to grab an audience. I don't always have a goal for this blog. I don't think I necessarily need one either. I'm certainly not in it for the money, or to grab a book deal (I just finished my thesis. For the love of all that is mocha, if I never have to write anything longer than a blog post in my life I'll be happy). Because I don't have a "goal," I can experiment with things and see how they go. Obviously, tankml wants me to bring back the funny. I'd love to oblige, but on my own terms. They are the only ones I've got after all.

I appear to be in a cycle where I want to reach out to people through my blog. I'm excited about finally taking steps to lose those last few pounds. I know that my excitement will wane sooner than later. However, if I enlist a few people in my cause, and perhaps help them as much as they help me, I'll keep on going. I promise (and I would have promised this before tanklm's comment) that the current thread of health and exercise will most likely be relegated to 1 post per week unless I come across something interesting to share. I can't, however, promise to be funny. I can try, but it ain't always going to happen.

If I do happen to top my poop/fainting episode, I'll be sure to tell you.

In the meantime, a priest, a rabbi, and a blogger walk into a bar...

I Dream of Diva

Besides having the goal of losing 7 pounds, I would like to state for the record, that I would love, love, love (exclamation point!) to be able to rock a dress like this one. To do so, I need fabulous shoulders, a waist, and non-stickyouty abs. I'm getting there on the shoulders because of the weight lifting. Losing 7 pounds will help the abs. The one thing I may have difficulty with is the waist. I just don't think that I am genetically programmed to go in in the middle. Mostly because my rib cage ends practically at my hip bone. It's hard to be an hour glass when you're more like an egg timer. But we'll see. Hope springs eternal.



For my own future reference, the dress is available here (and costs more than my wedding dress, prom dress, and a bridesmaid dress I once had to buy, combined). Still...


Interestingly enough, I posted this inspirational (and/or depressing depending on the moment) picture on this blog about 500 posts ago. I sense a theme. That theme may be "clavicles." I'd like to find mine.

Thoughtful Thursday

I was reading an article in Self magazine yesterday (or at least trying to - I was bouncing up and down on an exercise machine that simulates side-to-side cross country skiing so it was hard to focus on the words) and the subject was happiness. The gist was that too many people are focused on the goal they've made for themselves and don't enjoy the journey. For instance, "I'll be happier when I ... get that job, find that mate, lose the weight." Then, when they don't reach their goal, they not only feel like failures, but aren't any happier than they were when they started.

Since many of us have just signed on to reach a goal of some sort I thought I'd pass along that wisdom. (I'd bet money it's easier to lose the weight if you're enjoying yourself.)

I took stock while I was trudging through my workout and realized that I am happy when I'm at the gym or working out. When I'm not happy, I change what I'm doing. Get off the treadmill and do some weights. Go on the elliptical instead of the stairmill. Take a new class, or stop taking the same class I always do. Nothing says the process has to suck (although some days, that's just the way it's going to be). My 4.5 year old niece and I played "Soccer Coach" the other day. We kicked the ball around. We stretched. We did sprints from the fence post to a lamp post. She giggled and laughed the whole time and thought it was an amazingly good time. To her, it was playing pretend. You remember what that was like right? When a cardboard box could be a rocket ship, or a castle, or a cave? I got in some quality time with her AND some cardio.

On a totally unrelated note, here's a silly, but astute, internet quiz. (Any quiz that tells me I'm perceptive and smart is a good one in my book.)

What color are you?

YELLOW

You are very perceptive and smart. You are clear and to the point and have a great sense of humor. You are always learning and searching for understanding.

Find out your color at QuizMeme.com!



On another, only vaguely related, and mildly TMI, note, an additional good thing about eating your veggies is having good poops - as opposed to the kind where you end up passed out on the floor of the bathroom at work. Not that I'd know anything about that.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Eat your veggies!

Did you know that if you have vegetables in your fridge and take the time to cut them up ahead of time, you will actually eat them? Shocking! I know!

In the last few days I have had so many vegetables I don't even know what to do with myself. I had veggies in an omelette for breakfast, a large salad with dinner, and additional veggies in that dinner (veggie and chicken quesadillas). I even chose a more vegetable oriented dish at the chinese restaurant I went to for lunch yesterday (I still need to learn not to bite off the hand of the guy trying to take the fried wontons and duck sauce off the table. I've got witnesses. If I'd still had my chopsticks, it could have gotten ugly. But whatever, baby steps.) Tonight, I intend to make pizza and use more of the vegetables before they go bad.

Here's 10 reasons to eat your veggies. (Most links go to further articles on veggie eating)

  1. Keep Trim
  2. Prevent Heart Disease
  3. Control Diabetes
  4. Avoid Diverticulosis (Diverticulosis has to do with your colon and it doesn't sound all that pleasant.)
  5. Reduce the Risk of Certain Types of Cancer
  6. Prevent Stroke and Other Diseases and Illnesses
  7. Bring Blood Pressure Down
  8. Lower Risk of Adult Blindness
  9. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
  10. Pure Pleasure

Go here to learn how to fit more fruits and vegetables into your diet.

Vegetables, they aren't that bad. Who knew?



Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Words of encouragment and Bitchiness

First, the encouragement.

Welcome JT (not to be confused with TJ) to the Challenge!

1) Thanks Celebrate WooWoo for pointing out FitDay.com. You can start a free account there and track your food and weight loss. I'd been there a long time ago and it looks like they've improved it since then. 2) You go TJ for getting out there and running! Every little bit counts. 3) Good luck saving up money for a bike December Flower!

Finally, go me for passing three, count 'em, 1, 2, 3, coffee houses at lunch yesterday and not getting a mocha latte. And boy did I want to.

Why did someone not tell me sooner that fudgicles are only 70 calories?! I have found a replacement product for when Friendster Guy buys ice cream. Perfect!

Now, on to the bitchiness. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

So, you may recall that my X's girlfriend is pregnant and I found out because my X told my sister but told her not to tell. Whatever, she told me. I promised not to tell anyone, but did tell my X I knew. At a party the other day, my friend Dr. C and his wife Mrs. Dr. C, who are co-friends of me and X (Dr. C was in our wedding party), brought up my X and asked/stated, "His girlfriend's pregnant isn't she?" It was fairly out of context so I wasn't prepared to lie to his face. I said, "I'm not saying anything." which they, probably rightfully, took to be a yes. Anyway, I get this email message from my X this morning.

He wrote: It wasn't very nice to find out that Dr. C and Mrs. Dr. C already figured out the pregnancy based on something you said at a party. I know things can slip out, but I was really looking forward to surprising them with the news and it was pretty dissapointing to not be the first one to let them know. And even if the comment, (which Dr. C can't remember) was meant for co-workers, I thought you were not going to say anything to anyone until I let you know it was OK, as my girlfriend and I have gone to great lengths to keep it quiet. I hope you haven't mentioned it to the Smiths or Carrie [other co-friends], as I'll be calling them this week.

Not angry, per se, just a dissapointed, X
--- end of quote ---

Here's what I responded:
I understand, you're right and I'm sorry. However... I can't recall the exact conversation but I know that for some reason they brought it up, which I thought was odd, almost as if they knew already, but even still, I didn't say anything directly and I did not confirm their guess, which was something along the lines of, "she's pregnant isn't she?" I seem to recall that it didn't even fit in the conversation at hand. It really made me think they knew already. So I said, "I'm not saying anything" (I didn't have time to blatantly lie to their faces) then I changed the subject and thought they'd left without being the wiser. Or at least not knowing for sure.

No, I have not said anything to the Smiths or Carrie.

[Here's where I got bitchy, and I think rightly so.]

Maybe if you stopped telling your secrets to my sister...I'm just saying. If we're sharing disappointments, I'm disappointed that my family knows your girlfriend more than they know my boyfriend because of his schedule and your insistence on going down to visit. You may not realize how much it hurts me but it does. I've been trying to be the bigger person but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't glad you are moving farther away from them.

Anyway, congratulations on making it through the first trimester or whatever deadline prompts you to tell people. You'll be a good dad.
--- end of quote ---

I can't even manage to be bitchy without also being nice. (I should take lessons from my sister. She told my Mom that if I didn't call on Mother's Day I was going to hell.) So that's how I started my morning. Good times.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Misery loves company!

It looks like I've got some people doing the Challenge with me! Yeah!

Please welcome my current co-challengers:

Canadian Sadie
Celebrate WooWoo
December Flower
TJ

Polls are not yet closed, so you are welcome to join in at any time. I have nothing to offer anyone who joins me, except pride and maybe a little motivation.

As for the steps I laid out for myself, I have started a food journal and exercise log that includes what I ate or what I did, where and when I ate/did it, and how I felt at the time - both emotionally and physically. I have also included questions at the bottom - "What did I do well today? What could I have done better? Other concerns/comments?"

I also started planning my meals. I went grocery shopping yesterday and got a cart load of veggies and good for me stuff. The only thing I bought that wasn't in the "healthy horseshoe" (i.e. the periphery of the store where the veggies, dairy, and meat are) was canned veggies and fruit. I also ran 4 miles yesterday. At about mile 1.5 I didn't want to run anymore, but I did it. Under "Other concerns/comments" on my log, I wrote, "I can't believe I can just get up in the morning and run four miles if I want to. Go me!"

And go you! What have you done for yourself today?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sassy's Seven Week Fitness Challenge

Hello dear readers and welcome to -

Sassy's Seven Week Fitness Challenge!

I was just going to do this by myself but then I thought, "Heck, a lot of the people who come visit me at Big Girl Underoos have been trying to lose weight or get fit or both, so why not share my goals with them and see if they want to join me. Plus, it'll make me accountable and force me to do this."

So, what is the "this" I'm talking about? "This" is a weight loss and/or fitness goal, and seven weeks to do it. I realized that in the back of my brain I always have the goal, "Lose weight." But even when I'm supposedly trying to lose that weight, I'm not really doing anything. I'm thinking about it. A lot. But I haven't really DONE anything. And the reason is that I haven't thought about the steps to reach that goal. I suppose "eat better" and "workout more" are steps, but really, what do they mean? They are amorphous and not really helpful in the long run unless you define them more specifically. Out of my realization that I need some actual measureable steps came Sassy's Seven Week Fitness Challenge!

My Goal:
  • Lose 5% of my body weight (Translation - 7 lbs)

Steps (current, may be tweaked over time):

  • Determine a deadline (7lbs in 7 weeks. Just in time for July1)
  • Write a food journal and exercise log
  • Join the 200 Club - i.e. do 200-250 minutes of aerobic activity per week
  • Plan meals ahead
  • Get a heart rate monitor
  • If I crave chocolate or sweet foods, eat fruit
  • Either ingest 500 calories less per day, use 500 calories more, or a combination of the two.
  • Don't drink my calories (Anybody know a good subsitute for mocha lattes? Luckily, we are now in iced coffee season and I can drink that instead w/ sugar subsitute and skim milk.)

That's it. Do you have a goal? Run a 5K, lose 5-10 pounds, go to the gym 3 times/week, finish a program on the treadmill? What are the steps that will get you there? No step is too small. If your goal is to get to the gym 3 times per week, what's been stopping you? Do you have the right tools - a membership, sneakers, maybe an iPod. If not, go get them! When you've conquered that excuse, conquer another.

If you'd like to join me, feel free to put your goal and steps in the comments. I'll try to post an update and maybe some interesting links every Sunday or Monday until July 1.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Something you don't know about me

I was filling out one of those cheesy email surveys your so-called friends send you now and then (Favorite ice cream; If you were a crayon what color would you be; Would you bungee jump; etc...). I was going to ignore it but my brother sent it to my whole family and I appeared to be the only person not filling it out (my sister even had my 4.5 year old niece respond) so I had to do it - familial guilt is a powerful motivator. Anyway, one of the 834 million questions was, "Do you have any special talents?" The first thing that popped into my head was gleeking. Yes, I am able to shoot my saliva out of my mouth from under my tongue like a cobra.
Many people do it accidentally, but I can do it on demand. It's a skill I honed while waiting at my bus stop as a kid. (There was no one else at my bus stop.) It's not really a marketable talent (although if I tried hard enough I'm sure the internet could yield something. Something fairly seedy, I'm sure, so I'm not gonna go there), but it was really useful in torturing siblings. "I'm not touching you" wasn't quite so fun for them since I could turn and shoot spit at them from up to 3 feet away. Just a fine mist, but enough to send them scampering away. "Mom! Sassy spit on me!"


My mom thinks it's fascinating, ergo I rarely got in trouble for it. Awesome.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Good morning. You suck.

I accidentally left my office window open last night. About an inch. For some reason my windows don't have screens and I'm on the first floor. Obviously, I know I need to close and lock the windows, yet two people have already gone out of their way to mention something about it this morning. Well fucking duh! I didn't do it on purpose. (And yet my boss can leave hers open every night and no one says boo. Yes, she has a screen, but whatever.) I don't need the chastising before 8am people. I really don't.

In other news, in the never ending saga that is my thesis, I present it today. It's not a defense in any way shape or form. It's more like a show-and-tell. But it's one more thing I have to finish before I can truly be done. Someday, all the "one more things" will actually be all over. And I will run through the streets shouting "oh happy day!" Or I may just get myself a mocha latte. It depends on how I'm feeling at the moment (which may be dictated by how many people tell me I forgot to close my window before I take off my coat in the morning. grrr.)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Forboding and dejavu all over again.

You know that feeling you get when you're nervous about something although you don't know what, or you feel like you must have forgotten something. I have that. Again. I'm fairly certain I blogged about this a few weeks back. I feel vaguely like I've had too much caffeine. Or not enough. And now, looking down at my fingers on the keyboard, my right index finger is twitching. Like it desperately wants to type something independant of what I'm typing - very Ouija board-esque.

It probably wants to type something like, "It's Monday morning. You are once again an office prisoner. No wonder you feel all squinky."

Sigh...

Friday, May 04, 2007

Amateur Friday Entertainment

Just stick it out for the first minute and see.

Annoying? Or Awesome?

Either my pants have all decided to stretch out at the same time, or the shape of my thighs, butt and hips has changed. I haven't lost any weight but I also don't think my entire wardrobe decided to spontaneously lose elasticity and shape at the exact same time.

So on the one hand, F'ing A! Welcome skinny thighs, you sneaky little devils! I had no idea you were coming.

On the other hand, drat. I don't have the money for a new wardrobe at this point. And saggy bottomed pants are not altogether that flattering. But, saggy bottoms are better than bursting ones. So I'm not really that disappointed. Duh!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

To pass, you must answer a riddle.

When you post a comment on someone's blog, and the spam reducer thingy asks you to type in that hard to read string of letters and numbers, do you feel like you've completed some sort of puzzle code or cryptogram and get all happy that you actually managed to make it work? Like you've cracked the Da Vinci code or hacked into the Pentagon or something?

Yeah, me too.

Sassy's tips for getting fit:

1) Sign up (and be sure to pay) for a race of some sort - 5K, sprint length triathlon, 20 mile bike, whatever. (Go to coolrunning.com for a list of races in your area and training tips). Most are for charity so you can feel good about where the money goes. Feel free to drag a friend into it. Misery loves company.

2) Determine how much time you have before the event to train.

3) Have a panic attack

4) Get over your panic attack and create a plan of attack.

5) Start your plan. (There are plans on the website for every possible event and fitness level. I didn't use one until I did the half marathon last summer. It actually worked. Who knew?)

6) Continue having panic attacks and mini meltdowns. (They are actually good for you because they get your heart rate up and your blood pumping. It's cardio!)

7) Continue getting off your couch and getting either outside or to the gym. You will have set backs. You will want to whine and curse. You will rue the day you ever signed up for the race. But channel that negative energy into a workout, not into a bag of potato chips.

8) Go to the race you signed up for. Be nervous. Be excited. Be sure to go to the bathroom beforehand.

9) Finish. Even if you are dead last and have to crawl over the finish line using only your lips. (Or give it your best shot anyway. At least you showed up! And probably got a T-shirt.)

10) Celebrate! You did it! Whoo hoo!

Now get up and do it again.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

"I be up in the gym just working on my fitness" I'm Sassylicious

I discovered yesterday that I have managed to somehow mascarade as a fit person. I suppose that technically I am a fit person, but I wasn't always, and the fact that I am still amazes me. I feel like I'm getting away with something, or pulling the wool over someone's eyes. Like I get to hang out with the cool kids for a while - until they discover I'm not so cool. Or maybe that I'm cool anyway.

I was chatting with my bestest bud NPapaya about working out and she said something along the lines of, "blah, blah, blah. You've always been fit."

Now, NPapaya and I chat about pretty much everything. I don't hide a lot from you, dear readers, (hello, toilet incident) but I really don't hide a lot from NPapaya, so the fact that somehow she thought I have always been a fit person surprised and amused me. Admittedly, we met when I was already into my transformation from couch potato to gym rat (I still can't say "athlete" because I don't think that's appropriate despite the triathlons and other races I've done. Inside I'm still that "plumpish" kid/adult sitting on my ass.) At the time, I didn't even realize that I was going through a transformation. It was very slow going and very much not planned.

To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, here's my physical life in a nutshell:

Age 10-18: One "jazz" dance class per week (My brother and sister were taking 4 or 5, and then teaching some. I was the "smart" sibling, not the active one.). Maybe one or two gym classes per week (and we all know how fabulously beneficial to our physical fitness those are.) I'm 5'2" and there was a short period during high school where I weighed 119 pounds and was a size six. It lasted about 3 days and was the result of being in the school musical while fasting for 20ish days for a Baha'i holiday (I was in lust/like with a fellow student who was Baha'i and I was trying it out. What?) I did not play any sports and I could not run once around the track.

College: I took a "fitness" class one semester that involved doing a circuit or two on the very, very, very pathetic nautilus machines in the gym basement once or twice a week. It counted as my entire phys ed requirement for all four years of college. It did get me over my fear of what to do on the machines so that was good. I took a random aerobic class or two. I didn't have a scale but I believe I was at least 140 pounds with no muscle when I graduated.

Age 21-23: I lived in Texas and was in graduate school. I joined a gym and took my first Step class. I don't remember doing anything other than that. I must have gone on a stair master or something but it wasn't much. Then I started at a different gym with better equipment and I started using nautilus. Still with no goals and also with very little motivation. I had a friend at the time who was fairly overweight but had confidence oozing out of her pores and she got certified as a Step instructor. People loved going to her class because she was "normal", not a vision of perfection in spandex. That was the first time I actually knew a "fitness professional." I thought it was totally cool for her to do it, but it never crossed my mind that I could do something like that. I left Texas weighing 151 pounds, as far as I know that was my highest weight.

Age 24-28 (2000-2004): Moved to NH, joined a gym but continued to just kind of be there. I wasn't training for anything. I wasn't really using heavy weights. I had no plan. I just walked on the treadmill. Two things happened in about 2003-2004 that started me on my path toward fitness - 1) there was a really (I mean, really) cute guy teaching a 15 minute ab class two times a week at my gym, and 2) a friend of mine, A, who was no more fit than I was, hired a trainer to help her do the all women's Danskin triathlon. She asked me to do it with her and I said no way, but I was intrigued.

I began to take the abs class religiously and my friend managed to complete the triathlon. I decided that if she could do it, I could do it, so, before I thought about it too hard and backed out, I invested the $75 in the registration fee in January and started training for the triathlon that was coming up in July. I was too cheap/poor to hire a trainer so I just started doing stuff on my own. I knew I had to do a 5K run, a 12 mile bike ride, and a half mile swim so now I had goals. Instead of walking on the treadmill, I tried to run. I could do maybe a half a mile. Maybe. And it was torture. Then I tried to run for longer. Or faster. I didn't have a real plan, but I knew that I'd have to be able to run 3.2 miles so I just kept working up to that distance. I jogged with friends of all levels at lunch on a nearby track. I did the same thing in the pool. When I first started, I could do one length. That's it. Not even a full lap. But gradually I got better at everything.

I certainly wasn't going to win the race, but I might just finish. My only goals were to finish and not die. I did a 5k race as training. I came in second to last. But I finished and I now could say I ran a 5K. Doing a 5K had always been one of my secret goals and here I was doing it as training, almost as an aside. It was awesome. Painful, yet awesome. Speaking of painful, my friend A and I decided to do a local triathlon as training. Not just for the physical training, but to see what I'd need to do at the transitions from water to bike from bike to run. I believe I came in dead last. And I may have cried. Not at the finish, but on the run. It was awful - my calves and Achilles were on fire. The swim wasn't too fun either. I had to convince myself that I wasn't going to drown. I was panicky and I couldn't breath and the finish line never got any closer. But eventually I made it, and I wasn't even the last person out of the water.

The great thing about the Danskin triathlons is that it is all women, there are a bazillion competitors, and you start the race in heats (one group at a time, one after another) so even if you are dead last, you may not actually be in last place because someone who started before you may have taken longer to finish. Also, about 50% of the people in the race are first time triathletes so you're in a race with people just like you. Not "athletes," just normal, mildly crazy, women with a goal. I managed to finish and I went on to do two more triathlons the next summer.

At some point, the really cute ab guy left but suggested to the gym management that since I was there all the time and knew all the exercises, I should teach the class. Holy shit! Now, I was a "fitness professional." Who knew?

I am still 5'2" and now I weight about 136. I am not teeny tiny (size 10) and despite the fact that I do a whole lot of ab work I still have a tummy. But, I have actual muscles now (somewhat hidden beneath a mildly padded exterior). I use weights, nothing hard core, just enough to do the job. But I keep trying to improve, and keep trying new things - like skiing. I also keep surprising myself. And I think that's the most important part. There's nothing like realizing you can now easily do something that used to make you want to die to make you feel proud of yourself.

So to all those of you out there trying to get fit, I applaud you. And I really mean it when I say if I could do it, you can do it.