Monday, December 31, 2007

she saw the world through the eyes of a child

So this is my New Year's Eve. Easter Challenge starting weight...

Breakfast! Banana Nut Crunch and 2% milk. I know I could do better calories and fat wise with 1%, but while waiting for my most recent haircut, I read an article in Newsweek about how full-fat dairy helped with fertility issues. So I'm at 2% milk and full-fat cheese. Nathan is happy, and I'm making caloric room.
Lunch: Vegetable soup (some meat, of course) and 4 saltines. There's also a little triangle of chocolate. I ate this one, and another one.
Snack #1: Half an apple and a tablespoon of peanut butter.
Dinner ROCKED. Seared Chicken Salad with Almonds and Dried Cranberries and Sangria. I used spinach instead of arugula - Meijer was really picked over. But the salad was really good and our tummies are happy.
After gym snack: one orange.
After gym, you ask? Yes, after gym. Nate and I went over to the clubhouse, and 2 treadmills were fixed! So I spent 30 minutes on the treadmill, 30 minutes on the bike, and 15 on the weights. Yes, we are awesome.
Happy New Year!!

the dance we shared

Happy New Year's Eve!

So I officially weighed for the Easter Challenge this morning. 239.0. Big Ugh. Are you kidding me? Nope. It's true. I realized that I really have no idea how my weight has fluctuated as I kept this blog, only that this is my highest. In the spirit of all those great cable tv countdowns and yearly summaries that I am unable to watch (did you all know I don't have cable?), I decided to do a month by month blog summary of 2007.

February: I am a runner. I am respectful to my body. I am honest. I'm still working on it. I started running C25K. I had a great ephiphany about loving myself as I am today, not as I will be in the future.

March: I won a spelling bee at work. I had a tantrum over a magazine. I read a book. I made my first trip to Kansas. I ran and then I stopped running. I had a binge, started (but never finished) the Beck Diet Solution, and weighed 226 (after doing the math today because of vagueness then). I also took a lot of food pictures.

April: I officially stopped running. I went to Weight Watchers, had yet another awe-inspiring weight loss (lots of sarcasm there) , got a new car, and had a rant about points and serving sizes. I was interviewed by Fat Bridesmaid and had a successful weigh-in.

May: I wrote the post that entertained me the most, my jeans were loosey-goosey. I began a job search, had a ton of wedding guests, and learned that my grandfather has cancer. I realized that my beauty is an optical illusion. I quit my job and gained my 5 pounds back. I gave some of my weight loss success history, and we went to Asheville (where I "totally stuffed my face all weekend").

June: I went back to Weight Watchers and created my mission statement. I began the purging of my stuff. My whole family went to Kansas. I started a new job and had a successful weigh-in. I weighed 221.8.

July: I made a weight loss plan. I listened to my favorite sermon ever. We saw Nickel Creek. We found our new house. I had a boob ephiphany and made another weight loss plan. I weighed 225.4.

August: I bragged on my amazing husband. We sold our house and found a new one. I posted a Love List (complete with ephiphany). Our air conditioning went out. Work got difficult. We prepared for the move. I voiced my life coach dream. I obviously quit weighing myself here.

September: We moved. Very stressful. And we had severe phone issues (with new construction) so we had no internet.

October: Nathan posted for me! I made my 30-in-30 plan (another plan that was a huge embarrassing failure.) We saw Nickel Creek in Asheville (did I seriously not blog about this?), in Louisville, and Lexington. I found my weight loss motivation. I made more running plans that I did not keep to, and I did not weigh at all.

November: I turned 30. We celebrated 30. I took a lot of Thanksgiving pictures. I made a Christmas Plan (which fell flat before I even shared it).

December: We had an awesome trip to Asheville. I made sausage balls. Christmas! Priorities (including job hunt already). Resolutions. Weight of 239.0

What have I learned?

  • When I blog every day, and am honest with my blog friends, I lose weight. (As in 5 pounds in April).
  • How many times can I say I want to be a runner but I sit on my butt?
  • If I stick with Weight Watchers, I LOSE WEIGHT.
  • I make a lot of plans, and then I do nothing with them.
  • We really love Nickel Creek.
  • I take a lot of pictures.

Well, that's 2007. Here's to 2008!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

all this time and you on my mind

Happy New Year's Eve Eve!

Nathan and I are doing nothing (NOTHING!) tomorrow. I may follow-up on a few jobs, so some more online applications, but we're not going out or anything. That is how we always spend New Year's. And I'm totally content with that.

I've been working really hard on my resolutions. And I'm going to put them on my side-bar. I have 3, and I think they are pretty straightforward and achievable.

1. In 2008, I will lose 50 pounds.
2. In 2008, I will walk/run a total of 500 miles.
3. In 2008, I will try 50 new recipes.

The ONLY way I will excuse not meeting these is the presence of a baby.

There they are. Beautiful, aren't they?

I look at who I want to be, what I want to achieve, and I realize that I may sound weight focused. I honestly believe that is where my issues are. I have a wonderful marriage, a wonderful family, wonderful friends, and a wonderful home. I hate my job, but I am actively pursuing a change, and will be otherwise employed by February 1st. I wanted my resolutions to be simple, achievable, and health related. And three is my favorite number. So there they are.

I am excited for a new challenge I have found to get me off to a good start. Shannon's Easter Challenge starts tomorrow. I am excited that it starts on NYE not NYD. I feel like I'm getting a jump-start on my year. And the treadmill people are supposed to come to our workout room tomorrow, so that is helpful. But tomorrow is the Big Weigh In. That makes me really nervous. I haven't been on the scale since who knows when. But to know that I meet my goal, I have to have a starting point, right?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

so is it raining in your bedroom?

Well, I have filled out applications and sent out resumes. I make one more stop tomorrow, and then I wait.

I have had 2 disappointments today. First, Nathan and I went to the gym at our complex to do cardio. I was ready to walk to Wheel of Fortune. But no luck. All of the treadmills but one was broken, and the one not broken would not turn on. So I was lazy tonight. We watched the 3rd Pirates movie, and I was disappointed. I liked the last 30 minutes, but the first 2+ hours felt like I was watching something like Braveheart. Not that I don't enjoy Braveheart, but that's not what I expect from Jack Sparrow. Oh well.

I have been reading Eat, Pray, Love and have just finished the first section. I really feel like I need to write about how I can learn from the "eat" section before I proceed. (Don't worry...I won't ruin the book - no plot secrets here. Just my reactions.)

(On page 32, for anyone interested) The author describes a very powerful communication with God. She talks about wanting peace so badly, and creating a petition to ask God for this peace. She visualizes all those she loves joining with her in this petition, in support of her request, providing her support in her request. I don't know that I would ever approach God in this way, but it is very empowering. To think that when I have difficulty in my journey to health, I can think of my friends who believe in me. I know that I have the support of Fat Bridesmaid, and Marie, and Shirley, and Token Fat Girl, and Sarah, and Christine. And Nate and Jenifer, of course. It is a powerful visual to me, seeing you all standing around me (like Verizon's "network") in times of stress or exhaustion.

The other thing in the first section that I have been really sitting with is the visualization of my struggles. She puts "Depression" and "Lonliness" into human form and into her life. She talks about how they physically invade her space and what they act within her home. I have really been trying to see what Laziness and Boredom look like for me. I think Laziness and Boredom are my problems. I think Laziness is female. She looks like one of those girls who are skinny and pretty without even trying. She's wearing a UK sweatshirt, pajama pants, has her hair up in one of those messy ponytails, and is hot. She lays on the couch with a bag of chips, watching Oprah, and just rocks. I feel less guilty about being Lazy if she looks like she can be who I want to be without any of the work.

Boredom is just as big of an issue for me. I am actually able to eat healthy portions of food when in stressful situations. Today I only ate half of my Carraba's. I only ate half of my cheesecake at Kent's the other night. But then I come home and eat a decent-sized tub of cheese. Because I eat mindlessly. Boredom. But who does Boredom look like? Male or Female? I can't figure that out. I've been sitting with Boredom for 2 days, waiting for an epiphany, but haven't had one yet. I'll let you know.

I just thought that visualizing my issues as people was so powerful. And hopefully that will help me recognize and work against my issues. I'm not giving up on a picture of Boredom.

I am almost done finalizing my resolutions. I'm trying to make them concrete and specific, not vague "be better" or "do more." I'm also trying to figure out a rewards system, but with my career instability, I have to think of something that doesn't have to do with money. Any suggestions?

Happy New Year's Weekend!

Friday, December 28, 2007

leaning the ladder against the wrong wall

Okay. I'm back. And I'm fierce. (if not in action, at least no more fluff.)

We are having an awesome vacation at home. We have had dinner with friends and family. We have gone shopping. We have watched tv. We have cleaned out closets. I have generally been avoiding all the stress that is balled up inside me.

First, I am having severe career confusion. I may lose my job next week. (I don't go back until Wednesday.) I have decided that I am tired. I am tired of the mental health field. I am actually pursuing other options, mainly retail and Starbucks and reception. I am aware that I will probably have to work 1.5 jobs to pull my financial weight in my family, but I am willing to do so in order to be able to feel like I don't live at my job.

Secondly, I am tired of spinning my wheels with my weight and my health. Just plain tired of it. I am making small steps. I am recording what I eat on For better or worse. I had a salad for dinner last night, even though my friends had fish and chips and the goat cheese dip. I had a salad. No cheese, light on the dressing. I also exercised yesterday. But I'm really sore today. I have big plans for tomorrow.

I have been reading back through my blogs of this year, and I think I have a lot to learn from myself, and you guys. Although the post that struck me most, almost bringing tears, was a quote from the Token Fat Girl. (I quoted you then, and I'll quote you again now. My original post is here, and her's is here.)

My point is, is that for whatever reason, like seemingly a lot of people I’ve succumbed to living a half life. I have very sweet moments, but there are so many times that I go through the motions, get caught up in the negative, fight the wrong battles and take advantage of my body and health as if it were here forever. There are things that I want in life and somehow disconnect dreams with reality. Living a so-so life just isn’t acceptable to me anymore. When I die, no one will thank me for not living my life. I don’t mean to be so cliché. Part of me fears being the best I can, what will people think? Do I deserve the best? What is the best? I know deep down that I have been punishing my life with food and self-pity for reasons that ultimately are not that important.

I have a new understanding that I don’t have enough time to be mediocre. I don’t have enough energy to cater to the insecurities of other people. I don’t have enough time to sabotage my health. I don’t have enough time to not live my life. I don’t have time to take for granted my friends and family. I don’t have time to not be the person I dream to be.

I am printing this out, and taking it with me. I think she spoke so well to where I am today. I know I have more blessings than I can count, but that's no excuse for being satisfied. I am worth more than dreading work every day. I am worth more than laying on the couch and being lazy (especially with the writers strike - seriously).

That being said, I feel really overwhelmed, and I'm not ready for an action plan yet. I have decided that instead of waiting until I get my head straight to blog, I will instead blog to get my head straight. So today, instead of the "what" I am going to do, I am focusing on the "why."

  • I am finding a new job because I am tired and feel totally unrewarded.

That was easy. Now to the big stuff.

I want to be healthy because:

  • I want to be able to buy clothes based on how they fit not if they fit.
  • I want to be a runner.
  • I want to have kids. I truly believe that my weight is playing a huge role in the no-baby arena.
  • I want to feel in control of my life.
  • I want to feel like I don't have to hide from people, and God. I want to be honest, transparent, true to who I am. That's not who I am today.

I am on a mission. I have Nathan's help. I have faith in myself. And I have the support of all you. You all have no idea how thankful I am for all of you.

What about you? Why do you want to be better? Why do you want to change? Why will you change?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

home for the holidays

I am almost done with the fluff posts. I am working on a plan to reinvent my thinking. This means getting my health under control and getting my overall priorities in order. I've got some things written down, but I am reading and writing to solidify my plan, which will be unveiled on (of course) New Years Eve. However, I am not waiting that long to be "good." My sugar detox begins tomorrow. I have been bad. Bad in cooking. Bad in eating. (And there are many recipes here that prove it.)

But back to the fun of Christmas. We returned to our house today, after having Nate's family here on Saturday, and splitting then to now between our parents. It cracks me up how different our families are. Mine loud and obnoxious and not well-behaved. His generally civilized. I'll just show you highlights.
Our Christmas Tree

Dad's Outrageous Christmas Cake 2007
(yes, it lights up)

Mom and Dad's New Cat, Stella. She's crazy. And mean. But so cute!

Christmas Eve + Hair Pick + Nathan = Bob Ross

Mom and Dad got us bikes!

The Carr Kids and Spouses

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

three for the Hebrew children

Well, it's vacation day #1! I am up to my elbows in Sausage Balls. Literally. 10 and a half dozen. Man, they are awesome.

I just realized I forgot to get Nate a Christmas card. I've looked several times, but they are just too sappy. I guess I'm getting out the construction paper and making my own. (Sorry, Nate.)

We finished viewing #1 of A Christmas Story, and all I have to say is, "Only I didn't say fudge..." We just got a call from Nate's brother in Tennessee. It appears that he is having some stomach issues, thus is not coming in tonight. So Kent is coming over and bringing pizza and beer. Oh yeah.

But now I'm thinking of the dinner I have planned for tomorrow (pork loin, honeyed carrots, mashed potatoes, sausage stuffing) and hoping it's not a bust. We go home on Sunday. What will I do with all that food? It's just trama from the New Year's Weekend we had planned several years ago that everyone backed out of. I will have a big dinner tomorrow regardless. And it will be awesome!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

if today was not an endless highway

It is officially Christmas!

We have the first of our festivities tomorrow night, as Nate's brother and wife will arrive tomorrow night. I am very excited.

I don't go back to work until January 2. That also makes me very excited. Work has been incredibly stressful lately. I just hope I have a job to go back to. Or that if I don't, it's all over soon.

I am keeping up with all of you, and making plans for my New Healthy Year!

Enjoy the holidays and I'll see you soon!

Monday, December 17, 2007

these are a few of my favorite things

Saturday, December 15, 2007

there'll be much mistletoe-ing

I started my day with my kitchen looking like this:

Add 7 and 1/2 pounds of chocolate, some liquor, and a bottle of wine...
Tah dah!!
The tins for family and friends are not quite full yet, but they are getting there.

Still needing to be covered are Spicy Truffles and Espresso Truffles.

And somewhere in there are Poor Man's Turtles and Rocky Road Bark that are getting solid.

And I still have these to make.

The good thing about making all this candy is that the last thing I want to do after spending 8 hours around it is eat any of it. I've had one truffle, and that was many hours ago.

Now, the rest of my evening will be spent Farley-style. Hoping I can get him out of my chair.

Hope you all are having safe weekends! The weather might get kinda snowy here tomorrow. As long as I can get to Meijer to get the rest of my chocolate, I should be okay!

Friday, December 14, 2007

something about paper dolls

I Love FB. She called me out by calling herself out. And then Mindy goes and does the same thing. Its time for a confession.


I started this blog in February. It is a Weight Loss blog. But I've gained 8 pound in these 10 months. I'm exactly (to the tenth of a pound) where I was on New Years Day last year. I don't want this to be me. I think the quote from FB really described me (and I know you don't mind that I borrowed it).

And the whole time I was eating that birthday cake and all of it's ridiculously sugary frosting I kept thinking, I don't even really want to eat this but I will because it's here. You want to know how I got so fat? Reread that last sentence.

I love you, girl, for being able to call me out just by being yourself.

Confession #2:

I had a corn dog and a pepsi for lunch today.

Confession #3:

I really REALLY want to be a runner.

I know these things do not go together. I'm not giving up.

I am, however, accepting that my career is in a very stressful season. And I have to put my energy there right now. I am also realizing that I need control, and I have little control at work. I could find that control in my eating and exercising. I'm not done wallowing yet, though. I'm at a much better place than I was 2 days ago, though.

Since I don't have any weight loss tips today (like i have for months), I decided to continue the random pictures of things. Today I'm going to show you my favorite ornaments on my tree.

This is one of our new ornaments this year. It came from you guessed it, the Biltmore. Also in the picture is the new carousel polar bear from Nate's Mom.

This is my ornament to Nate this year: a mini pound of Starbucks coffee.

This is an ornament from Nate's Mom several years ago. It's almost what I do!I think I bought this one myself. But I love it.This is the Angel of Remembrance. It is a nice time for me to remember where I came from, who I miss, and who I have to be thankful for.

I love this ornament. A few years ago, I made ornaments as gifts. This is the one I made for Nate. It says "i love you" and then has a strand of lights. It is probably my best creative moment.

I bought this ornament forever ago, maybe 1999. When I saw this angel, I thought it looked like what our children would eventually look like. It may be my favorite ornament of all.

Last year at work, we did an ornament exchange. I got the one my friend Vanessa brought. She now lives in Idaho and I miss her terribly. (and then there's the backwards butt of Nate's childhood clothespin reindeer.)

This ornament reminds me of my Scully girl.

Any ornaments you'd like to share? I'd love to see them!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

we always stand up straight

It was this time last week we were on our Christmas trip. Because I am so frustrated with myself (specifically my weight and my job), I decided this was a great time to relive our trip. In pictures!

We started off spending Thursday night with Nathan's brother in Tennessee. We started off going to see the Christmas lights at the Bristol Motor Speedway. I was really impressed. We got to drive around the track!
Then we walked around downtown Bristol and had great coffee.
Friday morning, Nathan and I took off for Asheville! There were beautiful views at the overlook at the North Carolina Welcome Center.
Nice highway in the background, huh?
Our first meal in Asheville was our favorite from the last trip: Chorizo in the Grove Arcade. Nathan had this scrambled egg thing, and I had skirt steak. Absolutely huge portions, and amazing food. It's on our must list from now on.
While walking around the Grove Arcade, we got to look at gingerbread houses from the Grove Park Inn's Gingerbread House competition. They were very impressive.
Then we checked in to the Bed and Breakfast. We LOVE the Crooked Oak Mountain Inn. This is the view of the front porch after dark.

Then we did the Candle Light Tour at the Biltmore. I cannot tell you how amazing the tour is. We couldn't take any pictures in the house, so the one picture of the night was in front of the Christmas tree in the welcome center.

We started the next day with truffles at The Chocolate Fetish. It's who we are when we are in Asheville. Bring on the truffles.

Then we returned to the Biltmore with every intention to tour the winery. The line was like 3 days long, so we just strolled around the barn which was decorated very nicely and set up with Appalachain Christmas displays.

Isn't Santa cute? We then continued the day in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Again, bring on the truffles! This stop was Chocolate Gems.Also in Black Mountain was this awesome kitchen store called The Common Housefly. I loved it. These cups are Bentleys, just like me!!On our last night, I realized I hadn't taken a picture of our beautiful room. It's full of our clothes strewn around, and our unmade bed, but this is our suite.I spent our last bed and breakfast night warm and cozy...with water, doritos, Oprah magazine, and a very comfortable bed.Nathan's reading material of choice was the local real estate magazines. Hey, we can dream, right?After a great breakfast the next morning, we took our usual hike around the b&b. Ever since we've been coming, we've been eyeing this tree with plans to vandalize. We added our touch this trip. Think anyone will notice?And we finish the trip with the ceremonious arms-length picture looking back up the trail.

We love Asheville! We had wonderful weather, with record highs in Decemer. It was such a great way to get Christmas started!

I anticipate I'll be doing fluff posts until the first of the year. I'm just not motivated. I'm not happy in work or health, and I'm choosing to just ignore those things (for better or worse) through Christmas and then take serious action. I AM NOT GIVING UP on myself or my blog, I'm just being realistic at this point.

For my blog friends, I continue to read about you every day. I hope to rejoin the family of self-improvement soon. I haven't forgotten about you and I miss you a lot!

And, in case you all didn't know, I have the greatest husband ever. (Kisses Nate!!)