Saturday, November 22, 2014
...I would be here:
With a cup of hot tea and a good book. And maybe a sexy half-naked man, but honestly today that's optional. I kinda just want to sleep. And not do the 150 things on my to do list.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
(This blog brought to you in part by Arctic Monkeys' R U Mine? because I was lucky enough to hear it on the radio during my morning debacle.)
It's not even noon yet and my morning has been a little nuts.
Like every Wednesday, I got up at 5, emptied my bladder, made coffee, weighed myself (170.0 ugh) and sat down to read some stuff on my phone. Bingley curled up with me, and was mad when I got up to make myself a cup of coffee, but settled back down when I got back to the couch. Around 6 I got on my workout gear, warmed up to a couple songs on my jogging playlist and hit the bell.
I squatted lower during swings, tried to do more high elbows, worked on my form for toe touches/windmills, squatted reaaaal low for squat press, made the bell touch the ground for sumo deads and finally got my rhythm down for lunge fig 8s, and I did 26 in a minute. Probably could have done more but I lost my balance because I am perpetually unbalanced.
Then I did 3 sets of 90 second elbow planks, Russian twists and side crunches (I love the stretch in my side during side crunches, feels good man). I hopped in the shower and threw my breakfast in the toaster oven. All good so far. All GREAT so far. It changes from here.
So I dress, pack my lunch, ready the dog, grab the can of coffee I bought for work. I was trying to get out the door early and thus get to work early so I could get a spot behind the building and avoid having to pay for parking for the third time this week. I get in the car just before 9 and make it to work around 9:15ish. All the spots are taken. WTF. So I put on my flashers and put Bingley inside the back room so I can go park. When I get back into the car I realize... I DON'T HAVE MY EFFING LUNCH. OR MY EFFING COFFEE. And while I have the $2 I need to pay for parking, I am otherwise out of cash.
So instead of parking and putting coffee and lunch on my credit card, I drive the EFF home to get my LUNCH, because I know it tastes WAY BETTER than anything I could buy in this stupid town, haha. This was the point where I heard R U Mine? on the radio and I just cranked it and sang along and bopped my head and chose my mood.
So got home, grabbed stuff, got back in the car, drove back to work, parked in the pay lot, hauled butt toward the building, made coffee, and grabbed Bingley to empty him. As I locked the door behind me to go outside I realized in my haste to get in the building (it's COLD out there, you guys) I had forgotten to PAY for the parking, lol. I have no IDEA where my head is this morning. (Okay, that's a lie, I know exactly where it is.) So I paid for parking. I emptied the dog. My fingers froze a little. I made it back into work. By now it's after 10.
Throughout all of this I'm in a fantastic mood. And it gets better, because I sold something on my personal eBay account, which will be money for either a heavier kettlebell or a new corset, depending on how much I can collect. So the person used the Buy It Now option to purchase the item for 69.99, but before paying for it, sends me a message saying they'll pay $50. What? Hell to the no. That's not how it works. So I manage not to flip out on them and explain that since they purchased it for 69.99, that's what they would have to pay, totally expecting the person to give me crap and have to cancel the transaction. But in a weird, out of the ordinary way the person actually PAID for it AND apologized. That threw me for a loop. I work on eBay every day, and that just does NOT happen. But, I'm happy! So I packed it and shipped it.
And despite all this crazy weirdness I'm still in a freaking amazing mood and loving every minute of it. I just have to make sure Saleswoman doesn't ruin it for me.
Okay, hungry now. Must EAT!
Sunday, November 16, 2014
It's a Fireplace Day today. By that I mean it's cold outside, cold enough to wear gloves, and a little overcast, and all I want to do right now is throw on my flannel PJs and my robe and curl up under a blanket. There's only one problem with this: I don't have a fireplace. Boo. That and my Aunt is visiting from Florida and leaves tomorrow so I want to see her before she leaves, so I can't PJ it, I've got to clothes it. I want to see my aunt but I am not in "venture outside and deal with people" mode.
Last night was a surprise birthday dinner for my Bossman. His girlfriend set it all up. She tried making reservations for 7 PM, but the earliest she could get was 8:30. Hubs and I are usually in bed around 9-9:30 because we get up at 5. Myself and hubs, Josh and his wife Andrea, and Watchmaker and his wife were all there early, waiting to surprise. We promptly informed the server that he would be waiting on a table of smart asses and that he should react accordingly. This went over very well with him, actually. Bossman, as per usual, was late. Then he and his girlfriend grumbled over how to order, because she had requested individual menus but because we were a party of 11, they gave us the family style menus. By the time I got a cocktail (Italian Greyhound: vodka, grapefruit juice and Campari with a giant sprig of rosemary in it) it was after 9 and we hadn't ordered apps. I noshed on 2 pieces of bread because that's all I had and I hadn't eaten anything since 2ish if you don't count the crispy layer that peeled off the Sacher torte I made for dessert.
We got apps: I thoroughly enjoyed the calamari fritti and the salad caprese. I had the spinach salad, which was topped with gorgonzola, pine nuts and bacon. Uh, yum. For my entree I had Linguine with clams in white sauce, which was so good I sopped up the sauce with yet more bread. I lost count of the bread at this point. The conversation was racy and snarky, and Josh and I made bets on how many times Watchmaker's wife would turn the conversation to her children. I guessed 7 and he guessed 8. I think by the end of the night she had reached 14. We learned that Nathan learned to read on Dr. Seuss books, and that Nathan got 5 job offers and Jeremy is going to Texas for Thanksgiving. Every time she would change the subject from what everyone was talking about back to her kids Josh would knee me. We teased each other about being second choice besties and that we're stuck with each other. It was fun.
It was, however, confusing to hear my name uttered so often and then hear a question I didn't understand. That's the way it is when two Andreas are at one table!
So then came the Sacher Torte which they took in the back and decorated up pretty for us, since while everything I bake tastes good it is rarely pretty. Boss's girlfriend tried to cut the cake but I think she was too drunk so it fell to me. Which was fine because then I got to lick chocolate ganache off my fingers! By the time we got home it was almost midnight and I was exhausted and so full I didn't think I was going to be able to sleep. I didn't sleep super well and neither did hubs. He called out this morning from work. Guess we're not used to that much rich food anymore. My stomach feels okay but I have a bit of a headache and am kind of grouchy from lack of sleep. I'm trying to keep my eating on the lighter side today, eating a lot of veggies to feel fuller without consuming so many calories. I don't even want to try to calculate what I ate yesterday, but I know I was over. By like, a lot. Meh, it's over and done with, but I won't be doing that for a while.
I really, really do not want to go back out today, but like I said, my Aunt is leaving tomorrow, so I kinda have to.
So without further ado here is this week's menu:
Homemade veggie soup, grilled ham & cheese
Pork Ragu over soft polenta, green beans
Chicken & Pumpkin soup
Beef roast, mashed potatoes, peas
Sopa de Feijao-Manteiga (Squash, bean and veggie soup. I'm making hubs cook me dinner on his day off)
Southwestern Chicken Bake (chicken breast, pinto beans, corn, salsa verde, onions, cilantro) with rice on the side
Baked Acorn Squash stuffed with quinoa, dried fruit, almonds and middle eastern spices. (I'm really looking forward to this one.)
I can't believe Thanksgiving is next freakin' week! This autumn is just flying by.
Hope you all are having a great weekend, and will try to vlog tomorrow!
Saturday, November 15, 2014
A lot of people I know lately have off-handedly commented to me about how *old* they are. I don't mean they're saying "oh I'm 27" I mean "oh God, I'm so old."
This thought doesn't strike me often. I don't feel old. I've never felt old. (Okay, once, when I was entertaining a pair of merchant services processors for my Bossman while he was helping a customer and one of them told me he was born in 1994. I felt old then.) I've always, *always* felt too young. I've always been a little bit of a scared little girl. Maybe it's because I was sort of overprotected growing up. Maybe it's just my nature: to constantly question my own thoughts, feelings and experiences. Maybe it's my lack of assuredness (I don't think this is an actual word but today I don't care) about where I am in life.
Lately I've gotten a few messages from SparkFolks about how I seem to know what I'm doing around here. This has made me somewhat uncomfortable. Not because I haven't been honest with you guys, because I strive to be honest as much as I can, and there's no reason at ALL to lie about weight loss and food and exercise. It's just that, yeah, I have lost a bunch of weight around here. Yeah, I've been working on my insides, too. Yeah, my life has changed a bit for the better. But I am no means an expert on anything, and would never claim I am. I am extremely honored that you guys like and respect me enough to ask for my advice, and I will gladly answer any questions you may have about my personal experiences with losing so much weight. I hate using this word, but I am blessed to have you guys. Because without YOU, I would not have gotten this far.
I DIDN'T DO IT ALONE. I am not an island.
Over the 3 years I've been working on myself I have come up with a list of things that have helped me.
1. GOOGLE. If I don't know the answer to something, I Google it. Sometimes I just Google stuff because I like to learn. Sometimes I Google things I wish I could unlearn. Don't ask. The point is, asking here will not always give you the correct answer. Remember, you're not asking experts, you're asking other people who have struggled/are struggling. Sometimes you might get a gem, and sometimes you might get bad information. This also applies to doctor's offices, where one of the people who take your weight and blood pressure told me to only weigh myself before bed because all the fluids in the body are off to one side in the morning or something. (Did she not know how crazy she sounded?) Don't believe everything you hear or read. You don't need to know everything, you just need to know where to find the information when you need it. Thanks Professor ____ whose name escapes me.
2. PAY ATTENTION. To your mind, your body, your surroundings. I once read an entry on the Panic Button message board here by a woman who was in her 40s with 3 kids and didn't know women retained water during their menstrual cycles. Even if no one ever told you that, it should be something you observe in your own body. If I didn't pay attention to how my body acted certain times of the month I would have freaked out and given up a long time ago. (And now, that I'm in "maintenance" and working out harder, I have to relearn how my body works so I don't freak out at the scale again.) Speaking of the scale, pay attention to that, but also, don't pay TOO much attention to that. Yes, you may have put on 5 lbs overnight according to said scale. But you have to stop and THINK about it. What factors play into that weight change? Did you actually overeat by 17,500 calories yesterday? Did you have a lot of sodium? Did you have a particularly hard workout? Is it the time of your cycle where you retain water? Pay attention to all the factors. Weight loss is math, but math where the equations never quite equal out in the way you expect. It's Alice In Wonderland math with about a thousand factors and a bunch of Greek letters thrown in. Once you begin to understand that, the scale is less upsetting.
3. DON'T BE A SHEEP. I'm going to be totally blunt in this paragraph, so please forgive me. I think the failure in weight loss for a lot of people is that they hear about a diet, and they just dive into it because someone else already thought of everything and they don't have to think too much about it as long as they follow that plan to the letter. People do that in other aspects of their life, too. Think about it though. Did you pay money to have someone tell you what to eat or how to work out? If so, then the person who wrote that diet plan or workout was in it for the money. Yes, they may have some sound ideas and some very good advice. They may even want to help you. But in the end (and yes, I know I'm cynical), they want your cold hard cash. Plus, a lot of these plans have failure built in. They're strict, they're quick, and yes, they can get you to goal weight. But what do you learn? You learn to follow. You don't learn how to eat, or how to cook, or how to live beyond the diet. So what happens when the diet is over? You gain. You go back on the diet. You buy more supplements, or more workout DVDs, or find a new diet to try. (And I'm sorry but Weight Watchers Points System is a bunch of crap. Yes, some food labels come with points on them these days. But what about all the things that don't? Are you going to carry a book around with you for the rest of your life just so you can know what to buy in the grocery store?) Think for yourself, research for yourself. LEARN. GROW. I will be your guide but I will NOT tell you what to do or how to live.
4. LIVE. Don't put off your life until you lose weight. Don't avoid people, parties, dinners out until you hit goal. Because it isn't realistic, and it makes it harder for you to stick with it. Depriving yourself will only lead to overindulging later. So enjoy your life now. Don't wait for that elusive someday when you're perfect. Perfection IS. NOT. ATTAINABLE. Yes we can strive for it, work towards it. But it is NOT. ATTAINABLE. There will never be a time when you feel perfect. There will never be a time when you are 100% sure of a decision at the time in which you make it. Life is a risky, dangerous, terribly scary place at times. You still need to go out and explore it sometimes, even if it terrifies you. It SERIOUSLY terrifies me at times. Like, seriously, seriously.
5. BE STRONG. I'm really bad about playing up my good parts. I am insecure. My levels of self-assuredness fluctuate massively. But the one thing I know is absolutely true about me is that no matter how bad things get in life, no matter how dark it may get, I will come out on the other side, and I will be okay. Sure, I may delve into a really dark place for a while. But that doesn't last. No state of being is permanent to me. Everything is in a constant state of flux. Maybe everything will not turn out okay, it rarely does. But *I* will be okay. I have discovered so much about myself in my time here: notably that I am stronger, physically and emotionally, than I thought I was before. I just had to push myself. (Okay, I may have had a little help pushing myself in my workouts. I may have been inspired a little.) Remember, you *CAN* handle it. You can.
So, to sum up and sort of circle back around to the beginning where I talked about feeling young, I am not an expert in this game of life or even in weight loss. I'm not an expert in anything. Not remotely. But I constantly strive to improve in all aspects of my life. To learn and grow. To not float. To reflect. I may feel young and inexperienced and insecure, but I hope someday to be to be wise.
Now I have a request for you, an assignment maybe. There are a lot of people on this site who blog. Not everyone is lucky enough to garner the amount of attention my blogs receive. I want to change that, so I'm going to use my soapbox. I put to you the task of finding a blog on here, a recent one, that has no comments on it. I want you to READ it. All of it. Don't skim it. Don't surface-level it. Read it. Read INTO it. And comment on it. Don't just throw a THANKS FOR SHARING there. Give the gift of your time, thought and attention and give a real response. You don't have to tell me you did it. I'm not keeping score. The greatest gift you can give someone is that of your time and your thought. It's the season of giving, doncha know. Give a little.
Rock on, you guys. Rock on.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
(This blog brought to you in part by "Happy Little Pill" by Troye Sivan)
I have energy this morning. A surplus.
I woke up before the alarm after a dream reminded me of some of my insecurities. I spent a half hour or so sipping coffee and thinking. I decided I didn't want to feel anxious today (it IS that time of my cycle where anxiety gets to me, but I had a surplus of brooding on Monday night/Tuesday so I told myself NO) so I got up off my butt and did stuff around the apartment. I emptied the dishwasher, then did the sink full of dishes, realizing I had left my leftovers from last night's dinner on the counter when I rushed off to bed. Then the purge bug hit me again, and I went through the bathroom cabinets and the show organizer full of stuff on the back of the bathroom door and got rid of a whole bunch of crap that was out of date and organized it a bit better. In a month it will be back suffering from the entropy that I can never truly escape, because I like organizing but I'm terrible about MAINTAINING organization. Then I went into the guest room/office and cleaned out the cedar chest, which is now empty and waiting for other stuff to go in there.
In my cedar armoire I found two gifts we had been given previously that we've never used. One is a mold to make a candleholder from ice, and the other makes a wine bottle holder from ice. At this point I'm unsure if I want to try to sell them on eBay or keep them and hope I remember them for some housewarming party I might someday potentially be invited to. I just suddenly am having a feeling that I have too much sh*t. A lot of this has very little to do with me, actually. Hubs likes to keep stuff. He's not a hoarder, but he keeps things he might someday potentially need for yet unknown reasons. (Side note: I love the things he gets annoyed with me over, like the fact that I don't spend enough time putting the flatware away in the divider neatly, or that when I shower I don't twist the shower faucet into the off position when I'm done. Because we only ever SHOWER, so why would it be off?!) So every now and then I wander around the place tossing old movie ticket stubs and receipts and appointment cards for doctor's appointments that took place six months ago.
I'm also doing this thing I do where I start a bunch of projects and don't finish them. I finally put away a scarf I started last year, but never finished. I might eventually. I stowed it with another scarf I started in probably 2006 and never finished. I found two wooden boxes I had set my mind to decorating and never finished. And I've decided to started a new project. I was writing a little story last week and describing an outfit, and when I got to the jewelry I was thinking about earring studs with prisms on them, and an assymetrical fine silver chain with a teardrop prism that rests just above the cleavage. So several minutes on Pinterest and a few minutes of browsing at Fire Mountain Gems showed me that what I want could potentially be possible AND affordable. I'm going to recreate these:
I haven't 100% decided on how the necklace will look yet.
So yeah, new project. Today I don't have much to do at work so I'm going to sell some stuff on eBay. Two corsets, some religious collectibles that my stepmom gave me after my dad died, a set of Billy Blanks Tae Bo DVDs with the stretchy tension band thingies, and a vintage scarf from Curacao that my Gran had and some card stock leftover from my wedding invitations. If anyone is interested in any of those things, send me a SparkMail and I'll link you to my eBay store when I get the stuff listed. I'm going to put whatever I make towards my corset for next year, once I decide what I want to be.
I also looked through my closet this morning and was sort of appalled. A lot of what's in there is too big or are tees, which I don't wear much of anymore. I've kind of gotten used to dressing in ladies fitted tees now, and I feel like a slob when I wear baggy tees. It's weird how that switch happened. My skinny jeans have a 1 inch gap at the waist, in spite of me gaining weight. If I don't wear a belt, I'd look like a plumber. I think I've figured out what look I like the most though. I like the outdoorsy, slightly sexier than LL Bean look. Casual and comfortable and looking like I could go for a hike at any second but still kind of youngish. Plaid flannels, skinny jeans or cords, boots, vests, knit scarves, etc. I've been dreaming about an autumn red v-neck cable knit sweater and tawny corduroy leggings and thick knit socks.
I've decided I'm going to try to add a budget in for clothes for me in the new year. Hubs and I are going back to the thrift store on Sunday, and every time we go to Target I hunt the clearance section for more long sleeved tees. I have yet to find a plaid flannel I really like, but that's probably because I'm unwilling to spend $50 on one.
So today's agenda is finding a recipe for a cake for Bossman. The reservations for his birthday dinner are now 8:30 PM. I am usually in bed by 9. Ugh. Oh well, it will be nice to hang out with work people outside of work, and I really like Bossman's girlfriend and I don't get to see her very much. Bossman's sister is also back to work for us for the winter as usual, so that will hopefully mean slightly less of Saleswoman. She's been working almost 40 hours a week so I see her EVERY DAY.
Okay bestie just informed me that "we" are supposed to get snow tonight. But she lives more than an hour north of me, above the snow line. Camden County will probably not get snow. So LIVEDAILY, good luck with that snow, haha.
Today's thrown together lunch (to make up for leaving last night's Hawaiian Ginger Chicken and Collard Stew on the counter all night) is leftover rotisserie chicken, some feta, a baked potato, some sliced cukes and a bell pepper. Yum. I still would have liked the stew, because collards cooked in ginger, garlic and shaoxing rice wine is amazeballs. MMMMMM. Oh well, I'll manage.
Anyhoo, tchau for now, folks! LUVYABUHBYE
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