Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Fight with "Food Addiction"

I am officially declaring a fight with the phrase "Food Addiction." It's bullshit. I do not believe you can be addicted to something that is required for sustaining life. What you can be addicted to is a habit of consuming too much, or a feeling that too much food or certain foods give you. But addicted to food? No. You don't hear about "air addictions" or "water addictions" why? Because these are things you can not give up entirely. The phrase alone, "food addict" is inherently setting people up to fail, and simuletaneously giving people an excuse.

Thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc., we are so quick to jump to the conclusion that doing something in excess is an "addiction." A person that is having a hard time controlling their weight automatically diagnoses themselves with a "food addiction." What is the traditional "cure" for addictions? Giving them up entirely. Well, now that works well for things like alcohol, gambling, and drugs, but no one can give up food entirely. This is how people are set up to fail.

Someone that diagnoses themselves as a "food addict" goes through the mock steps of accepting it, then possibly trying to change it, and most likely followed by the realization that they cannot simple give up food. This leads to throwing ones hands in the air, saying "I'm a food addict, but I have to eat food, so, guess I'm screwed." This is how people are given an excuse with the term "food addict."

I acknowledge that I have an unhealthy relationship with food, however I will never comfort myself under the blanket of a "food addiction." I have years of habit forming overeating to break. I like the way certain bad foods make me feel (perhaps dopamine is released?), but I also like the way I feel when I resist temptations, and the way I feel after a good, hard workout. Overeating and eating certain foods are things I CAN give up. I can not give up food altogether.

One thing I've learned is that fat people LOVE excuses. And I refuse to give myself another excuse by claiming a FOOD ADDICTION. End of fight.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Spandex is Baggy

I recently acquired this beautiful cake plate (it was a present from my mom for getting through the interview, before I had heard either way). The timing of the cake plate acquisition does not coincide very well with the timing of me trying to change my eating habits. Such is life. As soon as I got this plate, all I wanted to do was make a huge, fabulous, giant, covered in fluffy frosting, layer cake. For the past week, CAKE could not be thrown from my mind for more then 5 minutes.

This happens to me a lot, actually. I get these ideas (food based usually) that I absolutely CANNOT get out of my head until a) I make them, b) I eat them or c) both. I guess one could call them cravings, but it goes beyond that. I have a hard time believing that a pregnant lady will have cake (or some other "craving") in her mind for a full week, and not do anything about it. I think a craving is somehow more carnal, and gets satisfied immediately no matter what.

No, what I have is beyond a craving, obsession would be a better description. For the past week I have been thinking about what kind of cake to make, then talking myself out of it because a) I'm trying to change my habits, b) making a whole cake for two people is ridiculous, c) it isn't anyone's birthday, d) I will eat it, e) I must figure out a way to deal with these obsessions that doesn't result in me consuming the said food. These obsessions usually always involve foods that are not the best for me...some of my frequent ones- Thai food, Paseo (life changing pork sandwiches), cake, Indian food, you get the idea.

Finally last night, I broke down. I got home, made a delicious salad for dinner, and as I was chopping lettuce, I noticed the pineapple I bought at the store the other day needed to be cut. So after dinner, I begin cutting it, and then, *cake* flashes through my head. Oh, how cute a pineapple upside-down cake would look on my new plate. I will just make it, I don't have to eat any. I'll make it for Dave, yeah, he likes cake. We can freeze some. See? Crazy.

So I made the cake. I did not eat any yet (well, if you don't include batter). And it does look pretty on my new plate. I figure, hey, I got the cake plate thing out of my system. I did not make a huge 3 layer frosting laden cake like I was originally planning, and pineapple upside-down cake is practically fruit (kidding).

I do know that the more I give into my "obsessions" the more obsessions I have, and the more I give in, and the more obsessions I have. I do know that when I don't plan ahead I'm more likely to make bad decisions. I do know that sometimes I just need to get something out of my system (like making a cake) and move on.

Oh, and today, at the gym, I noticed my spandex pants are getting wrinkly around my legs, and they are not really tight. Baggy spandex? That's an oxymoron. Guess its time for new workout clothes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ode to the Foam Roller

After I lost 10 pounds, my biggest fan sent me a gift. I opened up the the package and found this inside:
No, its not some trendy decoration, dog toy, or sex pillow. Its a FOAM ROLLER, and its so awesome it deserves to be on a pedestal (especially one my dog can't reach). This tool can simulate deep tissue sports massage that runners and other athletes swear by. I'm too cheap to see a sport masseuse, so I roll my body over this thing nearly every night while watching tv.

My right hip gives me trouble sometimes when I begin to run a lot. I think it has something to do with my mattress sucking, and being out of alignment. So I tend to favor my right side. I've even noticed a little bit of asymmetry in my legs. So, I googled "foam roller exercises" and got this.

The roller is in no way as fun as it looks. First I must battle my dog because anytime I'm on the floor, he thinks its playtime, and he wants to tear the roller to shreds. Second, it hurts, and is practically a workout in itself to do some of the recommended exercises, but the results? The results are so worth it. I already see a huge difference in my hip, and the exercises do get easier each day.

A huge THANK YOU to my biggest fan for introducing me to the foam roller! We will run together again soon, and I will be running the whole way.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again

Much like couples do after say...20 years of marriage, I have decided to renew my vows. Only the vows I'm renewing are to myself, for my life, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, with me. Eight weeks ago I vowed to be a healthier me. I started a new routine, entirely changed the composition of my meals, and significantly cut down on the amount of food that was entering my mouth. Last week I was tested, and I am determined to come out of the test with flying colors, hence the renewed commitment.

Over the last 8 weeks, I have lost a total of 15 pounds. My scale somehow said I was one pound lower today, but I have no idea how that is possible. Bodies are magical. Last week I was out of town for three days interviewing for a job in California that I really wanted. I was worried about being out of my routine so early in my journey, and I was worried about what a potential disappointment in not getting the job could do to me. I found the time to workout at the hotel gym, and I ate as close to what I eat here as I could while away. I nailed the interview and felt great. On the flight home, I came down with a cold. All I want to do when I'm sick is sleep and eat. I was not able to return to my routine as soon as I got home like I wanted. I got offered the job, but not at the salary that meets my requirements. I spent the best February weekend ever recorded in Seattle doing nothing but lounging and eating (sick).

I am putting last week behind me. My cold is waning, I have no plans to go anywhere anytime soon, and I have come to terms with not accepting the job in California. Full steam ahead into my routine...with a renewed commitment to myself. I went to the gym this morning, I packed my standard lunch today, I am back in the saddle again!

Friday, February 19, 2010

I Lost. (Won?)

So, the company is sticking to their low-ball offer. They gave me the weekend to "think about it." As much as I said I was ok with whatever the outcome was, I feel a little defeated. Being sick probably doesn't help much either. I know I'm not capable of seeing the reason right now why this didn't work out for me, and I take comfort in the philosophy of "it wasn't meant to be." But still. I have an ego.

When I find myself in this situation, I often make pro/con list of the outcome in my head. In this case, the "pro" is not getting the job. The problem with those is that they are imaginary, frequently changing, and subject to A LOT of bias. My pro/con list would go something like this:

I have a job/ I have THIS job
I do not have to move/ California is sunny
I can keep up my great routine/ I'm way more active in the sun
I stuck to my guns/ I turned down a good job
I have great friends here/ I have no friends there
My boyfriend has a job here/ My boyfriend has no job there
I can try and sell my condo again/ I could buy a cheap house there
Learning to kiteboard in the summer/ Water is over 40 minutes away
I don't have to quit the condo board/ I wouldn't be on the condo board
Pedro hates hot weather/ I love the sun
Moving would be expensive/ They don't cover relocation costs

In all honesty, making this pro/con list and writing this post is keeping me distracted from what I really want to do. I want to eat something horrible and comforting. I'm sure if I wasn't sick, I would be craving a good long run, but for now I want to "treat" myself with food.

I have to stop using food as a reward, or comfort, or as a tool to make me happy. I've been at this long enough to know that the food will not make me happier, and a reward of tighter jeans is not really a reward at all. I will feel so much better if I just get some rest, focus on getting over this cold, and eating the soup my boyfriend made for me. Besides, I can't taste anything anyway!

This too shall pass, I know, however, until then, I'm just going to keep repeating the rehearsed lines (justifications) until I really believe them. "It was a great experience." "Something better will come along." "I didn't want to look desperate." "I'm lucky I'm in a position where I can turn down a job." "Now I don't need to buy a new work wardrobe." "Receptionists and conference rooms aren't that great anyway." "Their salary offer was insulting."


Tug of War



They also offered me a horrible salary.

This is the first time in my life I have not immediately accepted a job.

I will be sad if I don't get the job because of stupid salary requirements, but I have to remember that I have a lot going for me here in Seattle, and remaining at this crappy job means no relocating, no making new friends, no shake up to my routine...easy. Also, in 4 months, assuming I get my annual raise, I will be making what they offered me here.

I will be annoyed if I miss a shot at getting out of here because I am asking for a lot, but, its so SUNNY there. And I hate this job. I'm over Seattle. My friends here won't really miss me. I could get a new routine. And they had a CONFERENCE ROOM.

Stay tuned to find out who wins the war.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

And....I'm Sick

Yeah, about 1/4 of the way into my flight home from Ontario, CA to Seattle, WA I instantly came down with a head cold. It was the strangest thing to happen, I thought it was allergies at first, but then, instant cold. I only get about one cold a year, so I'm due, but still, doesn't my body know I have a gym to go to and plan to stick too?

In my near 31 years, I've learned a lot about my body. Some of it I have to keep learning, but never the less, I feel pretty in-tune with myself. Normally, I can feel a cold coming on, and combat it with mass amounts of Airborne. In high school and college, I used to get a cold immediately after finals. It was like my bodies way of knowing it could finally relax. So, I'm thinking since I just had a BIG interview, my body says, "hey, time for a cold!" Fair enough, I pick this option over sniffling and sneezing DURING my interview!

So, the interview. I had half a day on Monday to explore the city my prospective job is in, and I was pleasantly surprised. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but the town was clean, scenic, and had a nice vibe to it. The fact that it was 75 degrees perfect didn't hurt any either. I had dinner outside, on a patio, without a jacket on in February. I took as many pictures as I could for Dave. I wanted to make it an early night, since I still had some studying to do before my interview, and I wanted to straighten my hair (a 1.5 hour task).

Monday night, I straightened my hair, which only took 30 minutes, thanks to the zero humidity, and reviewed California noise regulations. I woke up on Tuesday nervous, but mostly calm. My mom and I had a quick breakfast at the hotel, and I went upstairs to get ready. I was excited to wear my suit, nylons, and heels and pretend for a day that I was a professional.

I headed over to the office at 8:30am, ready to face whatever they threw my way. I opened up the door, and a whoosh of clean, air-conditioned air washed over me. I walked over to the receptionist (THEY HAD A RECEPTIONIST!) and introduced myself. She told me to have a seat in the conference room (THEY HAD A CONFERENCE ROOM!) and Michelle would be right with me. The office was Michelle (company president) went over all I was going to do, and it was a full day. She apologized because she had a lunch meeting, and couldn't take me out as she planned. She led me to the station I would be working at, and gave me my first piece of the interview. She wanted me to fill out a "work plan" for a project, and gave me an e-mail from a client, with the details of the project. She gave me an example to follow. The example was 12 pages. She said, "I'll give you about an hour." Whaaaa???? I couldn't retype that whole thing in an hour, let alone make an entirely new one!? So, 2.5 hours later, I was still working on it, and she comes over and asks how I'm doing. I show her where I was at, and she said to just finish up, have lunch, and then gave me the next assignment.

A few minutes later, one of the girls in the office came over and said that they wanted to take me to lunch. I agreed, and had lunch with most of the office. One girl was out for the day, and one guy didn't want to join the rest of us for lunch since he brought his own. Everyone was easy to talk to, friendly, and it was not awkward at all.

After lunch, I went back to work on the assignments, and things started moving along better as I got into more interesting stuff. At the end of the day, Michelle had me go out and take a field noise measurement, to ensure I knew what I was doing. I got back from that portion of the interview at 5:15pm. All the girls had gone home, and Michelle was on a call, but still wanted to talk to me. I waited till 5:30 or so, and Michelle and her husband/business partner came over to talk to me. It was a relaxed conversation, in which we wrapped up the events of the day, she mentioned a CNN Money article that she and the company is featured in, spoke about the next step, and discussed good places for my mom to take me to dinner that night.

I left at 6pm. It was dark out! Whew. I drove back to the hotel, and my mom couldn't believe they kept me there that long. We went to one of the recommended spots, but forgetting it was Mardi Gras, had to wait FOREVER for a table/food/service. It was annoying, but couldn't disrupt the buzz I felt of nailing the interview. We got out of the restaurant at 10:30 pm.

So, I should be hearing from them in a week or two. Then the real fun begins!

I managed to get two workouts in in the three days I was there, and my eating was pretty good, considering I was away from home. I was so excited to get back into my routine today, and then I got sick. Needless to say I did not go to the gym this morning. Being sick makes me want to eat like crazy too, but I have to keep reminding myself of my goals. This blog is about my overall health, not just my weight. Being sick means a rest for my body, and an eventual boost to my immune system. If that isn't part of getting healthy, I don't know what is!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Seven weeks, WOW! Seems like week one (the longest week ever) was just yesterday. Each day, I continue to impress myself with the little changes I have made, or am able to make because of my success this far. I keep expecting my jeans to fit me like they did 7 weeks ago, and then smile when they go on with ease fresh out of the dryer. I stared at a boat load (literally, the bowl was shaped like a boat) of guacamole for 4 hours, and only had 2 corn chips dipped in the green goodness.

Tomorrow (President's Day) I fly down to California for that interview I've been talking about for well over a month now. I'm trying to prepare myself the best I know how, and have come to terms with either outcome. Because tomorrow is President's Day, and I will be on an airplane at 7am, I took the liberty of weighing in this morning, on my Wii Fit.

In the last week, I lost 3 pounds (in case you didn't notice my ticker move)! I did really well last week. My eating was the best it could have possibly been, and that's all I want to be able to say every week. I don't expect or want 3 pound losses every week, but it was so nice to be rewarded with a big number this week!

One thing that I have started doing that shows a whole new kind of progress is being less shy about people I share this blog with. At first, I didn't plan on sharing it with anyone (well, anyone I see on a regular basis). Initially, I sort of branched out to people I see on a semi-regular basis that are very close to me. After spending hours reading tons of blogs, I began soliciting the authors of blogs I like, told my sister about my blog, and even told people I never thought I would tell. Perhaps one day I will link it to my facebook page, but I'm not there yet. I figured, everyone around me can see that I've gained weight, I might as well make my taking it off public as well. The support I have received from everyone that has stopped by has been overwhelming. I am very lucky, and this blog may be the best thing I've done for myself in years.

The next few days are going to be challenging as I travel away from home, out of my routine, and face potential emotional roller coasters from being around my crazy mom, and getting or not getting a new job. At the very least it should make for some good blog posts! Also, I will be back in Seattle on Wednesday, so I have four days to correct any major mistakes I make while traveling.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Strike While the Iron is Hot

So, I've come to the point in my evolution where I am borderline OBSESSED with other weigh loss/ get healthy blogs. I knew they were out there, but I hadn't searched for any, nor really read any before beginning my own. Recently, one of the blogs I do follow (because I know her, and she's the one that inspired me to start this) listed a bunch of blogs she follows. At first I felt unspecial. I knew going into this I would be one in a million, but now I was looking at hard evidence. I began clicking and checking out these blogs, and spent a good 2 full days at work doing nothing but reading (good thing my boss was gone). I mean, I would click on one blog, and THEY would list the blogs they follow, it was a Facebook-esk time sink...

One thing that blew me away is a distinct pattern that each blog contained. It goes something like this:
"Last Straw" post
"My Story" post
"How I'm Doing it" post
"Initial Weigh-in/Before Pic" post
"This is Hard" post
"What I've Learned" post
"First Weigh-in Success" post
"Oops" post
Etc, etc.

Most of all I was blown away that I unwillingly/unknowingly followed the EXACT pattern. Another thing that really creeped me out was how many of these bloggers owned a Wii Fit! I had to laugh. As I navigated through 10's and 20's and 30's of blogs, I saw many different styles. Most were unable to hold my attention longer then one post, and so I thought about what it takes to have a blog like this that people follow regularly. To hold someone's attention, I must do at least one of the following:
a) know them personally
b) be witty
c) have the exact thoughts the reader has at the moment
d) be successful

Out of all the journey blogs I've checked out over the past couple of days, the one that stands out the most for me, and one that I added to my "favorites" list is Jack Sh*t Gettin' Fit. This guy has a gift for witty writing, and he has been extremely successful. It seemed that every blog I clicked on had his page linked to theirs. Very inspiring.

Ok, back to me. I was in the shower last night, the shower is my #2 place for "great" thoughts (some form of exercise is #1). I was thinking about what I had eaten for the day (roughly 1150 calories), my run in the morning (made my net calories roughly 650), and about how after dinner, I wanted something sweet, so I had 6 chocolate chips. Then I thought to myself, "how is it that today, I'm able to stop after 6 chocolate chips?" I mean, I didn't have to stop at 6. According to my iPhone, I still had 800 calories available to eat. What makes this time different?

What makes this time different is that I'm finally ready. No one can tell you when you are ready to make a change this big, you can't even tell YOURSELF when you are ready to make this change. Just like everything else in life, it comes at the perfect time, but you don't realize it until much later. The shitty part is, you just have to keep trying, and floundering around, and failing, until one day it different. It's different and you can feel it in your bones, in your fingertips, in your mind, in all the fluids, and in the muscles in your body. Its the day/week/month/year that you have finally STOPPED failing, and you know the difference, deep down, you know. My advice to anyone that is still failing? Keep at it. One day it will stick, when you are truly ready, and no one, not even you knows when that will be.

I woke up today and put on a pair of pants that hadn't fit me well in over a year. I tried on a bra I bought months ago that didn't fit. It still had the tags on... I'm wearing it now, and its cute. I don't know how long the success is going to keep up, but I'm planning on riding it out all the way. I'm grabbing this bitch by the horns and showing all my haters that I can do this! I'm striking while the iron is hot, motivated by all that I've seen out there, and all that I've seen in myself. Yay!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Serious Runners Club

Yeah, that's right. Today I was an honorary member of the Serious Runners Club. Ever hear of them? Well, me neither, but apparently when you show up to run 3 miles around a lake in February at 7:30am before work when its raining out, you are in the club.

I thought up this plan yesterday while completely bored out of my mind on the elliptical machine. Instead of going to the gym, I would just go to the lake and run outside. Well, just like many of my genius ideas turn out, this was much better in concept then in practice, but not because of any lack of effort on my part.

Last night, I made sure to wash and DRY my workout clothes. I made "Violet's Ass Kickin' Run Mix" playlist. I dug out the weird neoprene arm band iphone holder. I packed my lunch. I went to bed at a reasonable hour. I drank a lot of water yesterday. Essentially, I made sure I had zero excuses.

I woke up one minute before my alarm. I fetched my clean clothes out of the dryer, got dressed, looked outside, and....RAIN. Of course. A thought flashed through my mind about going to the gym. No, I'll just put on my light weight rain jacket and go, after all, I made a playlist. I pull up to the lake and my brain continues with the following dialogue:
1. Damn. Nowhere to put my car keys. Forgot about that.
2. This arm band feels like its taking my blood pressure too.
3. Dodge puddle. Dodge puddle.
4. Oooh, good song, who made this mix?
5. Wow, already to the stadium, I can do this.
6. Ouch.
7. New gravel, nice.
8. Dodge puddle.
9. Left leg cramp...can't will be better if I can run this whole thing.
10. Must stop. 2 minutes max.
11. Ok, starting up NOW.
12. Breathing controlled, legs feel good.
13. Ouch.
14. Almost done.
15. Last song on mix, must be close now.
16. Last song is too slow, must delete and replace with something more motivating.
17. I see my car!
18. Wow, can't believe I did that. Go me.

This run was no where as great/satisfying as the one two weeks ago. Running in the morning is hard for me, always has been. However, I much rather get my workouts over with in the morning, and I ALWAYS feel so good after a morning run. In the car on the way to work, I felt almost euphoric. Of course it was worth it. I'm not sure that I'm ready to trade all my morning gym visits for Greenlake runs, but it for sure cured my workout boredom for today!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dear Mind: Please Stop F*cking With My Plan

Since beginning this journey/blog/quest whatever you want to call it, I have been constantly thinking. Thinking is the DEATH of me. I wish I could just turn my mind off, because so many times, my mind f*cks with my best intentions. The ironic part is that thinking about something as much as I do is always more work then to just do whatever it is I'm thinking about doing or not doing. How's that for self-defeating?

The past two days I have literally dreaded going to the gym. I think about the treadmill, and I get bored. I think about the elliptical, I get bored. Then I think to myself, why can't I just do this? Why can't the gym just be habit/routine/easy for me? Then I think about what I could do instead of going. Then I think of how bad it is not to go. Think, think, think. See what I mean?

I believe after 6.5 weeks, I'm suffering from workout fatigue. I for sure thought that I would get sick of eating the same meals everyday before I got sick of my workouts, nope. Walking upstairs to the cardio room, dragging my feet, I still didn't have a plan for the day's workout. I toyed with the idea of doing some weights first, then getting on a machine. I know myself, and weights mean "no workout" so I hopped on the elliptical, told myself I'd be there for 20 minutes, then switch to the treaddy. I knew what was going on, I was bored. After more thought (heh) I decided that tomorrow I would drop Dave off at school, and instead of driving to the Y, I would drive to Greenlake and run. I was excited for this. My excitement in my genius plan for tomorrow helped me make it to 30 minutes on the elliptical, and then I decided to do some ab work instead of jumping on the treadmill.

If I had talked (thought) myself out of my workout this morning, I would have been mad at myself for the rest of the day. I would not have incentive to eat well, since I already f*ed up my day. I would not have come up with a genius plan to fight boredom for tomorrow, and I would not feel as good as I do right now. This is what I'm talking about when I say doing the "thing" is WAY easier then thinking about not doing it.

Preaching time is onto something that I am very proud of. My refrigerator! Aren't you all curious to see what really lies within the fridge of someone that is trying to re-shape how they eat?
Top shelf: Strawberries, La Victoria Green Salsa (my condiment du jour), grapefruit, whole wheat tortillas, greek yogurt.
Middle shelf: Cheese, string cheese singles, cooked off chicken breasts for my lunch (thanks chef bf), green onion, eggs.
Bottom shelf: Homemade stew from Sunday night, romaine hearts, ground turkey, cauliflower, and my bagged lunch for the next day.

For some reason last night, as I was going to bed, this struck me as a thing of beauty. Vegetables, various proteins, colors, I don't know what it was, but I think this fridge is gorgeous!

Oh, and a follow-up to my annoyance yesterday with my interview set-up, TICKET IS BOOKED. They called me today, and told me to go ahead and book the ticket, I would be reimbursed upon arrival. My mom decided that she is going to fly down and meet me.

I just got off the phone with her, and I'm already thinking its a bad idea. Remember, the last time I saw her, she told me (out of context) "you used to be so pretty" and "no one is going to hire you if you are this fat." As she was making arrangements (she is paying for hotel, btw, and I'm guessing that's why I'm willing to put up with the annoyance) she starts spouting off "advice." I'm talking verbatim here: "So, at your interview, its the first 10 minutes that matter." "If they take you to lunch, chew slowly." "Don't talk with your mouth full." "Oh, and don't wear anything tight."

I wish I could make this up. After the last comment, I said "that's it, I'm going to hang up on you." Then she gets mad at ME saying I'm over sensitive. WTF? I would love to hear feedback from anyone on I being over-sensitive? I can take it. Please be honest. The last thing I want is to be thinking that my mom is being obnoxious when I deserve it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Phew. I just spent way too long on adding the newest gadget to my page. If you didn't notice it right off the bat, it's the graph thing under the fish. I'm still trying to figure out how to adjust the colors so that all parts of it are visible, but I'm already embarrassed about the amount of time it took me just to display it as it is.

If you haven't figured it out now, I love graphs/charts/etc. They are so visually satisfying, and motivational. I got the idea for the ticker above from another weight-loss blog, ex-hot girl. She has over 1,900 followers---*AHEM*. Anyway, I really like how it displays BMI and pounds lost, and now readers don't have to read through entire blog posts to see my progress. Its all right there...

It's probably time for me to give an update on this new job in California prospect. They called me last Tuesday (2/2/10) and said that it was time to set up a time to fly me down for an in person interview. I e-mailed them my availability (which was basically, whenever). On Wednesday I got another quick call from them asking me what the closest airport is to me. I told them Sea-Tac, and that was the gist of the conversation. On Thursday (2/4/10) I received an e-mail from them asking me if I had time to search for a ticket since all they were coming up with were $400-$500 tickets. Ideally, they said, they would like to spend under $300, and have me come down in the next week.

I took the challenge. I have spent a lot of time searching for plane tickets, so I figured, no problem. But wait...I had so many questions- what was the best airport to fly into there? What is their availability? Do I book the ticket or do they? How long do I need to be there for? Also, I mentioned I would prefer to be there for a weekend so I could visit with family and check out the area. They like this idea, since it meant that they didn't have to pay for a hotel. So I just started doing some research, and I found tickets for under $300, I found tickets for $400, and my questions had still gone unanswered. I left work Thursday night completely frustrated, as no ticket had been purchased.

I called them first thing on Friday morning, and left a nice voice mail suggesting that this process may be better conducted over the phone rather then back and forth on e-mail. I pulled up itineraries in preparation for them to call. I did more searching and found a time I could deal with, although it meant I would not be able to visit with family since it was during the week. I heard nothing all day. No call back, no e-mail.

By Monday (2/8/10), I was OVER IT. I mean, if this is how they do everything, do I really want to work there? Did I somehow piss them off and that's why they aren't calling back? At 4pm they call, they agree it would be better conducted over the phone. I pull up the best itinerary I have found so far...leaving next Sunday (2/14/10) and returning on Tuesday. I mention I won't be staying with my family since its not a weekend. Nope, that won't work because they have a holiday on 2/15/10. So I check the following day...leaving on 2/15/10, returning 2/17/10. Success...that will work. She mentions that they will get me a rental car, and asks how many days I need it. I tell her two, since this ticket would put me in at noon on Monday, and leaving around noon on Wednesday. I e-mail her the link to the Southwest itinerary so she has all the information.

Today I receive the following e-mail: Thanks Violet, we are set for the 16th. $296.80 and 1-day car rental.

WTF?!?!?!?! So, does this mean I book my ticket? Or do they? And ONE day car rental? I thought we had agreed on two. No mention of hotel...guess I'm covering that and the extra rental car day. I give them unlimited availability. I miraculously find them a ticket for a trip one week away for under $300. I sacrifice the opportunity to visit with my family while down there. This is not off to a good start. I received the aforementioned e-mail at 9am this morning. I immediately wrote back asking if they book the ticket, or if I do. Its nearly 1pm, and I haven't heard anything back. I just hope that the ticket is still there for that price if they make me book it. Jeebus.

Perhaps I'm over reacting. I should be happy in the fact they are covering my plane ticket down there. It's not like I'm a celebrity or some outstanding citizen that commands such things as an all expenses paid interview. However, I do think they could be a little quicker to respond and spend a little more time with me getting this squared away. Sigh...

Another upside to this, is now that I'm annoyed, and not blinded by free stuff, I can look at the job more objectively. Is the job worth an entire uprooting and relocation? Am I going to be taking a lifestyle pay-cut? Is the office really a step forward for my career, or does it simply get me out of the current one I'm in? All of these things will be in the forefront of my mind. All of this back and forth with them has been stressful, I know it will be over soon, and I'm looking forward to continuing my life with or without the changes this potential new opportunity will bring.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Bed Bugs

Last night, I did not sleep very well. I went to be at 10:00pm roughly, before my boyfriend, and lavishly enjoyed an empty bed to myself. Well, myself and the dog, but he curls into a small ball and is barely noticeable. Dave came into bed about 2 hours later and proceeded to be fidgety, in my half-sleep I was annoyed. I just wanted to be back in that comfortable spot, with no warm body touching me, or breathing on me.

Apparently I managed to fall asleep, because the next thing that woke me up was the distinct ZZzzzzTT of a large bug landing/falling somewhere close to my head, and definitely into my bed. I nodded off again, and was awoken by annoying itching/burning on my left arm instinctively I scratched, and felt BUG. Big BUG. I quickly grabbed comforter and placed it between me and the thing. My left arm continued to be irritated. It was hot, and I wasn't sure if it was from me scratching, or if I had some sort of bite. The worst images raced through my mind...spider, horsefly, spider. I threw the covers off and went to the bathroom to check it out. Nothing. No redness, no raised bump, just my head being crazy.

I still had to deal with the fact that there was a bug in the bed. I turned the light on, expecting that to wake up my boyfriend, which in turn, he would be irritated by my girlishness, and get the bug out of there. I pulled the covers back, reveling the bug...a big ugly beetle thing. I looked around for something to scoop it up with. The cat meowed, and I grabbed her and put her on the bed. She eats bugs all the time. I couldn't get her to focus on the bug. Now my boyfriend wakes up and rolls over onto the bug, and looks at me. "ROLL BACK OVER" I yell. He rolls over and looks at me like I'm nuts. I tell him there is a big bug in the bed, and he asks for his glasses. He extracts the bug, I inform him there is still a bug leg in the bed. He brushes the sheets off, reaches past me to turn the light off, and tells me to go back to sleep. Laying in the dark, adrenaline going, I say "my arm is burning." He says "its all in your head." I swear my arm still feels weird today.

All bug stress aside, I lost one pound today at my YMCA Monday morning weigh-in. Yay! Anytime that I don't maintain or gain is a good week. I had an awesome work out this morning, and am continuing to notice little changes in every thing I do. After 6 weeks, I really feel that this is becoming a way of life, one that I can actually live with. I don't feel like I'm in prison or depriving myself at all. Quite the opposite actually, I feel like I'm finally treating my body to a spa day. A spa day that is everyday, for the rest of my life.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Bravo, Seattle! Bravo!

What a day we are having today here in Seattle. It's February 6, but you would never know that by stepping outside. I had to get outside and enjoy the day. I decided to run all my errands on foot today. Shoot...all my jeans were in the wash, so I put on a pair of striped black cotton pants that are sort of tight on me, and the waist annoying folds over every time I sit down, or breathe. I pulled on the pants, and to my surprise, they slid on with ease. I sat down and the waist did not roll down into an annoying ball. Huh.

I headed out to the house and was so pleased that the pants I was wearing actually fit me like they are supposed to, mix that with the warmth and the sun, and I was feeling great. I was on my way to Nordstrom to try on suits for the interview that I think I have coming up sometime this month. I'm just preparing, I can always take the suit back if the interview falls through.

I picked out a variety of pieces, in two different sizes, just to see what worked best. I had a helpful sales woman set me up with a room. I went into the room, and began trying on the suits. Wow, a three-way mirror is a great way to kill my sunshine/pants fitting buzz. When did I let myself get this fat? Perhaps I should install a three-way mirror in my bedroom. Even though I've lost 10 pounds, I still have a long way to go.

I found a nice black suit, and fuchsia colored shell to wear underneath. I had to force myself to buy the suit that fit me right now, not the one that I hoped would fit by the interview. This was SO hard to do. But then I remembered, this is me right now. I'm only shopping for the me right now. This will not always be me, and when that day comes, I can shop for that me. For today, however, I must shop for the me right now.

Leaving the mall, I headed out for a longer walk to the grocery store, I needed a few items, but mostly I wanted to enjoy every second of this day. As I walked, I was reminded again of how much better my pants were fitting me. I thought of all my progress over the past 6 weeks, and refused to get discouraged by the images from the dressing room that continued to pop into my head. I am making progress. Slow, but definite progress.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Upside-Down Smile

I set some pretty lofty goals for myself for the next two months (February, March). My goal is to lose 12 pounds this month, and 13 pounds next month. Being 25 pounds lighter then where I'm at now is comfortable. I've been there many times before, and lost weight many times from that benchmark. 25 pounds lighter is my previous high weight. It's the weight I began at before I lost a lot of weight in college. Its the weight I would always return to when my health kicks were over my first five years living in Seattle. This week, I feel like I'm falling behind a little, and as a result, going to make my February goal harder to meet.

There are little signs of improvement all around that I must acknowledge, and force myself to remember that I'm in this forever. It is not only about weight loss, I do not have to meet any arbitrary goals I set, as long as I continue to stay true to what I know my body needs.

Today I woke up and went to the gym, even though its my normal day off, and my boyfriend does not need a ride to school. I went to the gym because I missed on Wednesday. I only did 30 minutes on the eliptical, but I made sure to make it worth it. I stopped at 30 minutes because I want to give my muscles some recovery time from yesterday's treadmill domination. I brought my lunch today, as I do everyday, but I did not eat it. I went to Trader Joes, and got my favorite salad and some delicious wheat bread and hummus. I probably ate more then I should have. Because I went to Trader Joes, I told myself I could not go for a walk as well. As I sat alternating stares between my computer screen, and the blue sky outside, the idea of not walking became impossible to handle. I kicked off my flip-flops, and tied up my Asics. I headed out the door sans fleece, because, yesterday I got very warm on my walk. It was cold at first. Then it started raining. I swear there was only one cloud in the sky and it happened to be over my head, dropping rain. I kept going, I was almost to my turnaround point, and I had extra clothes at the office if I got too wet. I reached my turnaround point at the bottom of a mini-hill, and as I started back up the hill, the rain slowed enough so I didn't have to look at the ground, and I saw this gorgeous sight.
If I turn my head upside-down, its a big, gay smile. That made me smile. So I have to get rained on and power through it in order to see a rainbow. I get it. As my mom informed me yesterday, "whatever it is you don't want to do, that's the thing you need to do."

I think I have extrapolated that sentiment to other things as well...whatever you don't want to eat, that's the thing you should eat; whatever you don't want to clean, that's what you should clean; the work you don't want to do is the work you need to be doing; you get the point.

I guess if there's something I don't want to do, I'll do it anyway, because today, that's how the frown became an upside-down smile.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thought Soup

I have all these random thoughts swimming in my head...I can't seem to turn any of them into a full post, so I'm just going to turn all of them into a post.

Almost immediately after yesterday's post about how nice out it was, and how I couldn't wait to go for my lunchtime walk, it started pouring. It didn't let up till well after 10pm...I'm not going to make the mistake of bragging about Seattle weather today, point taken God, point taken.

Yesterday, I gave into some old habits and ate a small amount of highly processed food while over at a friends house (a sliver of pizza from Papa Murphy's and a box made cupcake and frosting). What happened 2 hours later was a miracle/awful. I felt like crap. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I had a food-over. I had only given up processed foods for what, 5 weeks? And I eat the smallest amount, and wow, I could feel it. I went to bed feeling like crap, and I dreamed of grapefruit. I kid you not. I dreamed of the best grapefruit I've ever had in my life.

I woke up feeling like myself again, and proceeded to run for 30 minutes non-stop on the treadmill this morning. So much for my easing into running plan...looks like I'm ready to go!

The California job called yesterday, and they are scheduling a in-person interview for me next week. I need to go shopping this weekend for an interview suit. While I'm happy to be 10 pounds lighter than when I spoke to them on the phone in early January, I still had hoped I'd be a little farther along then I am now.

I think its crazy, well, I've always thought its crazy how much weight I can loose/gain and still wear the same clothes. I mean, don't get me wrong, there are definite differences, but the ability for clothes to stretch is amazing. Perhaps when I pull these jeans out of the dryer, they don't have to stretch AS far, but they are still a little snug after a wash. And its weird that I can still wear the same size in Gap jeans when I'm 30 pounds lighter as now? Perhaps they keep adjusting their sizing (vanity sizing) just for me. Well, I don't want to be a size 8 when an 8 is really a size 12 (you know, hypothetically speaking).

Things I miss: I miss my collar bone, I miss my knuckles, I miss my Citizens of Humanity jeans. I miss my defined calves, I miss the space between my thighs. I miss running 4 miles in 34 minutes, I miss eating without consequence.

Things I won't miss: Getting winded tying my shoes, looking frumpy, feeling like crap and not even knowing it, my stomach sticking out farther then my boobs, being reluctant to participate in activities, not wearing cute clothes, my parents disappointed looks, not being the me I know I can be.

I wonder when people will start to notice a smaller me? That's always been extra motivating in the past.

Phew, ok. Feels good to get all that out there. Hopefully I will return with a more coherent post tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Rock the Lunchtime Walk

February is the month of the lunchtime walk. In addition to my morning gym visit, I will be taking a 30 minute walk at lunchtime. Thanks to El Nino, we have been having an unseasonable warm and dry winter. Getting out of the office for some fresh air really breaks up the day and clears my mind. A desk job is a hard obstacle for my body to overcome. I must spend as much time as possible moving, and build up the muscle mass in my body to make up for the nearly 8 hours a day I spend sitting.

For the past five weeks, I have tried to incorporate something new to my routine/lifestyle each week. I spent the month of January working up to a 45 minute cardio session, comprised of mostly the eliptical machine, followed by some running on the treadmill. Now that I am at 45 minutes, I will work on changing the composition of each workout, and shift to more running, less eliptical.

I think it is important to keep challenging my body, and shaking things up a bit so my muscles don't get bored. This means running at different paces, participating in sports/activities I don't normally do, weight training, and varying the lengths of my workouts. Who knows, maybe in a few months, the lunchtime walk will turn into a lunchtime run?

Another beautiful, dry February day it lunchtime yet?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Taco Tuesday

Not sure when Taco Tuesday started in our house, but it is easily one of my favorite nights of the week. It's the one night a week we don't have to discuss what we are having, we usually just discuss the how. Tacos in our house take on many different personalities. We are not confined to the 1 lb of ground beef and sodium infested seasoning packet thrown inside of hard corn shells and sprinkled with lettuce, cheese, and sour cream. Perhaps the word "taco" should be redefined, anything we roll inside a tortilla and squeeze lime on is considered a taco. Dave made this vegetarian version last week, and wow, if every vegetarian meal tasted like this, I would have no problem giving up meat!

1 Extra-large Sweet Potato
1 Onion
2 Bell Peppers or 1 bell, 1 Anaheim
3 Cloves Garlic
2 Tbps. Olive oil
2 Cups Corn (frozen or canned)
1 Can Black Beans
1 Tsp. Chili Powder
1 Tsp. Cumin
Salt, Pepper
Whole Wheat Tortillas
Lime, Green Onion, Cilantro, Salsa, Cheese (whatever toppings you love, these are just my favorites)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and cut extra-large sweet potato into steak-fry size (about 3 inches long, and 1/2 inch wide). Lay potato pieces out on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix up the potatoes and oil till evenly coated. Spread the pieces out for cooking. Place into oven and cook till tender (about 15-20 minutes).

While the potatoes are in the oven, chop garlic, and cut onions and peppers into nice long strips. Heat 2 tbsps. olive oil in a skillet on med-high heat. Add onions and garlic, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Keep on med-high till some nice carmelization occurs. Toss in the peppers and cook till everything is nice and soft. Add the 1 can of black beans, chili powder, cumin, and corn. Mix and turn heat down to medium. Cook until corn is heated all the way through. The onion/pepper/bean/corn mixture should be done right around the same time as your sweet potato, maybe a little bit longer.

To assemble: take a warmed whole wheat tortilla, lay 2 pieces of sweet potato in the center, spoon on some of the bean/veggie/corn mix, sprinkle with lime, and top with your favorite toppings. To eat it, you can either fold the tortilla in half, or roll it like a burrito.

Monday, February 1, 2010

And So It Begins...

Ten pounds gone since December 28th. I am so happy, I lost two pounds this week! In the last month I have begun to accomplish what I have been trying to do for three years. I am finally getting all my ducks in a row, everything is clicking at once, and the results are rolling in.

Sometimes I wish I were able to see my future as well as I am able to see others. My co-worker for example; she is a kind, giving person, but man, she makes some horrible life decisions. When I started working here, she was in the process of going through a break-up with her boyfriend of 5 years. To say that she was a train-wreck for the next year would be an understatement, however, somewhat understandable. At least 3 days a week, she would come in after 10 am, still drunk from the night before. Sometimes she would make frequent trips to the bathroom to puke. She would take naps in her desk chair when the boss would leave, take 2 hour lunches to run errands and get fast food, she would stay here till 8pm or so, and the cycle would repeat itself.

Her stories from the nights before about drunken craziness, and well over 50 hook-ups were entertaining at first, but then just became sad. It was really hard to watch someone be so self-destructive. Her whole social life revolved around the bar, and the drama that resulted. I slowly learned that she was not a diffuser of drama, as she lead on, but rather a magnet for it, if not a creator.

Over the train-wreck year, our boss probably had 4 discussions with her about getting to work earlier, and just cleaning up her act in general. At any other office, there is no way she would have still been employed. It was clear she was desperately seeking escape? A boyfriend? A new job? She would begin 'dating' these piece-of-shit guys from the bar. She would cook for them, buy them drinks, let them stay at her house etc. In these times of 'dating' boys, she would come to work on time, drink less, and generally seem a little more together.

The relationships would inevitably come to some crazy ending, usually with her finding out that the guys had been stealing from her, or worse, and the cycle of her coming into work drunk would begin again.

In September, she began dating a boy. I didn't have any reason to believe this one would be different, but she had her mind set on making him her boyfriend. After about a month, she was practically living with him. She had stopped spending her weeknights at the bar, and would always be in the office before me. What a switch this was! She was making his apartment their home, buying stuff like towels and placemats. She cooked impressive dinners for him every night. Maybe this was different? Afterall, none of my girlfriends end up with boyfriends that I like initially, perhaps this was no different?

Fast forward one month...she forced his roommate out in a huge drama fest style that plagues her. A month later her boyfriend went on a cocaine bender and broke up with her. She called me devastated. I told her it was for the best. She refused to accept that he had problems, and went back to him. Two months later, cocaine bender, and break up. She called me again, crying. I didn't even let her finish. I told her this was going to happen. This time, she did not go back to him.

That was Friday. Today is Monday, and I pulled up to work and her car was not here. "And so it begins" I said out loud to myself, and so it begins.

This made me sad in a way, that her times of "being good" were so short lived, and some event would trigger her to return to a destructive lifestyle. How am I any different? How do I know this isn't just some short-lived success, and tomorrow something could trigger me to fall back into unhealthy ways? I don't. That is scary, but I'm hoping to continually bring more and more awareness into my habits to potentially avoid a situation which could cause me to revert back to comfortable ways.