Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Blast from the Past

Well, what a November it has been!

-I hit a new low of 210. I can feel 200 coming up, and I welcome that number with open arms!
-I survived Black Friday! Huzzah!
-I am 95% done with my Christmas shopping! DOUBLE HUZZAH!

Now, for my main idea. A blast from the past. This is a homage to my childhood/adolescence. I have always been a pretty positive person. I have my moments, my doubts, my disagreements; but ask anyone who has known me forever and I'm probably described as "permanently happy".

This is actually a bit true, and a bit false. I have many more moods than radiant and gleeful, but I have found that being a sour puss through life is just going to make it harder to cope. So, I be happy. I smile, I help, I put 110% into my everyday life so that it's easier. After all, you attract more bees with sugar, right?

So, that being said, there are a few things that can cause an instant bad day for me. Stubbing a toe or finger is near the top of that list. It just hurts and hurts and the pain radiates through the rest of the limb... it just plain sucks.

What tops my list of instant-bad-day though? Being called a "brown-noser". Not a suck up, not a teacher's pet, but actually being called a brown-noser.

I liken that word to me as the word "cunt" is to women in general, or the "N" word to a black person. I do not appreciate it, and I think it's a vile word.

Look- I get it. Some people don't understand why I'm so agreeable, or understand that maybe I don't totally hate my job, or prefer to be in a good mood. But just because you are miserable at your job, or maybe you think that my willingness to be the volunteer or boss's go-to-gal means I'm trying to get ahead, but that's just ridiculous.

This happened on Saturday. This miserable old woman that I work with called me a brown-noser after I congratulated another associate for coming in early to help the store out. At my store, I'm the morale-booster. I high five everyone when I come in, offer nice words, and simply try and make the work environment a little less miserable, because we all know how stressful retail can be during the holiday season.

It put me in a sour mood for the rest of the day. I just don't understand why some people WANT to make those around them miserable?! I really don't remember much of the day itself, but towards the end of the day my boss caught up with me and managed to get it out of me. He really turned into the father-figure and instead of blowing it off childishly, he gave me some comfort and told me that I'm better than that, and that I shouldn't let people bring me down. Especially me, because according to him I'm the "beacon of the store, and the store is a better place when I'm working."

I know right?! How nice of him to say that. I felt a million times better after I left. I snuck into his office and left him a "thank you" on a sticky note, because that little extra effort he made to be compassionate needed to be returned in favor. Now he knows that I truly appreciated his advice.

So, lesson of this story? Words are just words. They aren't brick, and they don't have to be made into weapons. It's about how you handle the situation. I handled mine poorly, and chose to dwell on the feelings instead of rising above them and being the better person. Now I know that I truly am appreciated at work, and if anyone tries to bring me down I will just smile at them a little brighter and sing my song a little louder, because stooping to their level isn't going to happen anymore.


Have a happy week!

((And to be kind of mean, here's a song to get stuck in your head!))

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

To life, liberty, and the pursuit of 150 pounds.

Good morning!
I just got back from my orthopedic doctor's appointment for my 3-month check-up. I did not drop the 15lb he wanted, only about 6-7 of it actually. But, he didn't say anything bad. Instead, he focused on the good. My 20lb drop since starting to see him, the increased flexibility in my knees, and generally less knee pain than before I started seeing him. He's a very positive person, and has frequently said he doesn't want to do anything invasive for at least 2 years, possibly longer since I am really taking his advice and losing weight and doing my exercises.

Then I dropped a bombshell on him. I'm not doing the knee exercises. I try, but 5 minutes to sit and flex my knees isn't really something high on my list. He burrowed his brow, but said nothing for a moment. Then:

Doc: "How often do you go to the gym?"
Me: "Not often enough. Maybe twice a week."
Doc: "Do you not like going? Why pay all that money if you don't use it to your full advantage?"
Me: Pondering.... "I guess I just don't make the time."
Doc: "Well, let's try a new strategy. Don't do the knee exercises at home. Make it a part of your gym routine. After stretching but before you begin any serious workouts, get on that knee machine and take 5 minutes with no weight to get the blood flowing. This way, you get the exercises in, you have more motivation to be there more often, and you don't need any fancy chair at home in the way."
Me: "Challenge accepted."

So, that's my challenge for the next three months until my next appointment. He said if I drop another 5-10lbs that's great, but he wants me to focus on the knee exercises more than anything. Oh, and cut about 200-400 calories out of my daily intake.

That's the easy part. Soda and I have officially broken up. For good. I'm not going back. That should easily cut at least 100 if not 200 out of my day. Then, Doc asked that I add more veggies and fruits. In some form or another (yogurt, frozen, etc). So there I go. More fruits and veggies, which means I can eat more quantity of, because I have cut out sodas and will cut back on the bad stuff. (I don't eat sweets or chips now, I just don't fill my plate with fruits/veggies like I should.)

I feel like shit when I only make it to the gym once a week. I feel that on top of a 40ish hour workweek and the [[AT LEAST]] 7-10 hours I spend on schoolwork, I don't leave a lot of time for John and I.

Let's break it down:

-Hours in a week: 168
-Sleeping (8.5hrs per night): -61
-Working (incl drive time): -40
-Schoolwork (@ home): -10
-In class: -3

So that leaves me with 54 free hours, broken down over 7 days is 7.75 hours per day.

Now, I didn't include meals, or the hour or so John and I are usually in bed watching TV before sleeping, or the hour-ish per day I take to get ready for work (that includes eating, showering, etc).

But, looking at that, I see where I waste my time. Here. In front of the computer. I think I need to get a timer. No more than 1 hour of surfing the web per day. (homework and school functions not included). I will spend at least 1 hour with John prior to bedtime, hopefully I can get him out of the house and on a walk or something?

I think my challenge to myself for the next week will be to accurately record my time, and what I do with it. We'll see where time gets wasted.

For now, I'm gonna run to the grocery store. I need something to cook for tonight, and maybe stock up on a couple of fruits/veg for the next couple of days. :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I have been battling with finding a tea that I could tolerate. Note what I said:


So, instead of doing it the smart way and getting samples or buying single bags, I buy a box of what I think I can tolerate and hope for the best. This is why I have 3 boxes of tea I will never ever touch again. I have a plan for those. I plan to bring them in to work and set them on our communal "free for all" table we share and let my coworkers have free tea. Because I don't want to just throw them away, and no one in this house will drink these teas.

Well, I have discovered a tea I tolerate. Hell, I even sorta like it. And I sorta like it HOT, which is an even bigger accomplishment! I HATE, HATE, HATE hot tea. It's gross. It's hot. It's yucky.

So, without further ado, meet my new breakfast buddy:

It's zero calorie of course, and I am beginning to enjoy it hot. Which means I will very much like it iced. Huzzah for me!

I use a Publix-brand zero calorie sweetener (it's Splenda, but the generic brand), and I only use 2tsp per 8oz, which doesn't give me that icky spenda flavor. I may even cut back on the sweetener because I can faintly taste it when I get towards the bottom of my mug.

So, yeah. Just thought I'd share a positive to my week. Because with all of the homework I'm going to be doing, I have a feeling this is going to be one shitty week for me. :-\

Until a later date, enjoy this (I know you will, Amy!)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Holiday Challenges and the DREADED Christmas List making!

It's a two-fer Friday! :) I have TWO things I want to blog about today!

Firstly, Holiday challenges. This is actually for two reasons: firstly, I joined the Holiday Challenge on LoseIt. It's simple, just log your food every day. I figured since I flake sometimes when I have no challenge, that this will help. And so far it has. I get up in the morning, eat breakfast, and log the previous day's lunch and dinner as well as today's breakfast to get started.

I don't see a "challenge" in doing this, other than keeping up that routine. Maybe, I can take my Kindle to the gym with me and update my logs as I'm hiking up the trail on the elliptical, followed of course by an episode of Supernatural. (BTW Amy- I have watched the first 2 ep's of season 2 and let me just say I cried!)

The second reason to blog today is about Christmas. Now, ALL of my friends and family know that I absolutely DO NOT get into the "Holiday Spirit" until after Thanksgiving, which is the way it SHOULD be. But this year I've decided to make an exception to the rule and at least begin gift-planning for Christmas before TurkeyDay.

With news reports saying that Americans will spend up to 33% less on gifts this year I think that maybe our stupid economy might be starting to learn to live within its means. I mean, I know most of my gifts this year will be edible or consumable in some form, simply because A- they pretty much have everything they want already, and B- my budget just doesn't fit with giving extravagant, useless shelf-sitters.

Case and point: I have been using Pintrest to get ideas, and boy has it been following through with that! And, with the new opportunity to have a "secret board"... I can pin holiday gift ideas WITHOUT anyone knowing! :) YAY! This means I have somewhere to write down and look for gifts for my husband! Who is the second HARDEST to buy for after his own MOTHER! lol

John and I have already purchased some gifts... little things here and there, so tonight I'm guessing that we are going to sit down and make the list of people we want to buy for. I have a few ideas for some people planned, so hopefully he'll be receptive to some of those ideas. :)

Anyway, off to make my lunch and defrost in the shower! It's COLD this morning! It's 51 degrees outside and my toes are frozen! O.O (Amy, no laughing at how cold I get at 51 degrees... as a Floridian I am cold whenever it drops below 70!!)

My favorite Christmas song, using Christmas lights, and to the tune played by an AWESOME group.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

SCIENCE!! Finally, some sort of advancement!

Just a quickie... I had to share this video with you. It's pretty freaking fantastic!!

That is all. Enjoy your Thursday everyone!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Breakfast : my enemy.

As you know, I've been struggling with my food. Let me tell you the biggest issue I am having and the hurdle I have to eventually conquer.


 Sounds simple, right? I mean, just how complicated can breakfast get?? But that's the thing. I am not exactly a bright and perky morning person, and when I was growing up cereal was always available in my house. And I would eat it. My brother and I could go through a standard 10-serving size box in 2-3 days. We'd have big heaping bowls of anything from Raisin Bran to Cap'n Crunch to Cheerios to Fruity Pebbles. It was whatever we felt like putting in the buggy when we went grocery shopping with our parents.

Well, I still have that nasty habit today. I can eat a mean bowl of cereal. And I do. And I hate it. I'm throwing away 500-600 calories on a meal that in three to four hours makes me starving once again.

So, it's time for a game plan. I organized the pantry last night after our quick and small shopping trip and I have SO MUCH breakfast stuff it's not even funny. I'm going to write out what I have and plan some meals around it. I will have to cook of course, and maybe that will encourage me to actually get up at a decent time and even cook for my husband (who is NOT a breakfast eater at all!).

About that list.....

-Granola (goes in yogurt)
-Apples and Grapes (and sometimes other fruits as well)
-Oatmeal (instant packages and quick cook oats)
-Pancake mixes (I love those Martha White muffin mixes; just add alittle oil and an egg and they make excellent pancakes!)
-Bread (for toasting of course) ;-)
-Cream cheese, jelly, and other breakfast food toppings
-Trail mix bars, nutrigrain bars, and other handheld snack-type items that can be on-the-go
-and of course.... Cereal

I needed no effort to make that list at all, nor did I need to look in the pantry to check what I had. What I need to do is rotate the food I eat. Most of those choices aren't high in calories and take less than 15min to fully prepare a good breakfast from them. I think I can make some decent meals out of this, which my body will not devour and then beg me for more food in 3 hours.

I think I'm going to do just that. I think I'll cook some pancakes and eggs! Yum!

Enjoy your Tuesday! (Also- don't forget to vote if you are in the U.S.!)

Monday, November 5, 2012

My brain hurts!

I have been struggling these last few weeks to do a lot. I feel as though I have a lot on my plate, and I don't even have kids!! O.O

As of right now, I am juggling the following:

-40 hour work week
-2 college courses, one online, one on campus
-a group project for one of the above mentioned classes, which is unsuccessful at the moment due to my group's lack of communication. We have already booted one member, I'm in the process of booting another.
-an analytical paper for the other above college class, which is due on Sunday and I actually have yet to begin....
-keeping track of my food logs, and actually LOGGING them!
-trying to get to the gym more than once a week
-finding a spare moment for my sanity
-planning for my poor Christmas, which means I am crafting A LOT of the gifts myself..

I just feel so overloaded. The Anniversary getaway with John was absolutely wonderful, as I did not think about most of the list above for 4 days. It was excellent! Now that I'm back I'm at the mercy of my brain, which hurts from all of the thinking I'm doing! :-\

One tip I'd like to offer some of you (yeah, you 2 readers! lol) is about balancing the food you eat when you're at home. I have a hard time knowing that my days off can be ruined simply because I stay at home working on school stuff all day with a relatively full pantry at my disposal. Now, I actually have no candy to speak of hidden in there (the closest thing would be cake and brownie mixes), but I do have a few bags of various chips, crackers, popcorn, etc. I am a snacker, and it kills me when I grab a bag with the intention of eating a serving size and look down later to see nothing but crumbs left. So, I devised a strategy which I will test out on Wednesday::

Instead of knowing you have an entire fridge and pantry at your
disposal during your days off, treat it like a work day!
Pack a "breakfast, lunch, and snacks" for when the
kids/husband aren't home, and plan your dinner meal ahead
of time so you know what you'll be eating! This is genius! I will end up doing
this, because it is my days off, when I'm home ALONE mind
you, that I tend to hover in the kitchen from 7am to 4pm when the boys get home. :)

I may also print out a sign that says "Off limits" or "What's in your lunch box??" to help make myself feel guilty if I try and get in there. I think that if I limit myself to what I "pack" I will snack less and maybe drink more water. I know Amy tried drinking a full glass of water beforehand when she had a craving for (pop I think it was??), but maybe it will work for general snacking cravings as well. :)

As for everything else, I feel like I have so much to say but nowhere to begin! So, I'll end this for now, as my shoulder is getting sore from propping my hands up on my desk for support on the computer, and maybe since I have no more reading to do for any of my classes tonight take a couple of Aleve and go to bed early.

Pleasant dreams!