Wednesday, January 25, 2012
A few things...
1) Not weighing in every morning feels SO weird. But I think it's going to be a good thing for me to take the focus off that and stop thinking when I had a bad day and then lose weight the next morning that I can keep having bad days because it doesn't matter, or when I have a good day and see a gain the next day, that it's just not worth it because it doesn't work. Of course, this means I won't know where I'm at until Sunday.
2) I'm still fighting with that feeling of guilt when I "skip" a workout. Last night I didn't go to Zumba because my foot and back were hurting, causing my head to hurt. I figured if I really wanted to I could Zumba here at home. Instead I came home, cooked a healthy dinner, and then fell asleep almost immediately on the couch. For a minute I felt guilty...and then I realized that I must have needed the sleep.
3) Did you hear that? I cooked a healthy dinner at home last night. I grabbed some chicken, green and red peppers and onions, spiced them and cooked them in some olive oil then added 1/2 a package of fajita seasoning to that. Cooked a side of Steak Fajita rice and then grabbed some low sodium black beans and stewed tomatoes to go with it. Heated up some whole grain tortillas to make some "Chicken Fajita Tacos" of some sort. NOM!
4) Had to take off work today. Ethan is top in his math class and was selected to participate in a county-wide "Math Field Day" at the middle school this morning. For me this means 1) more time with my boys, 2) pride in my youngest, 3) the entire day to get to the gym! *lol*
5) Money is super tight right now, which means getting creative when it comes to healthy. Of course, that made for a lovely dinner last night. Tonight I'm making up turkey meatballs to go with some whole wheat spaghetti.
6) Monday night I did work out. I didn't do my scheduled workout, but I'm trying to be okay with doing what I could/wanted to. I took the puppy up to the park with Ethan and we walked/ran .85 miles. Felt good to run. Hurt the next day, though. *sigh* I miss it.
7) Getting a Runner's mag in the mail yesterday nearly made me cry. I hate that my running future has been put on hold but I hold tight to the idea that I AM a runner, just one who can't run right now. One day. One day it will work for me.
Hope you all are having a great week!
Monday, January 23, 2012
That's what I always do. Any of you who have been "with me" through this for any length of time know I will learn to manage.
That being said, I took the weekend off. I mean, I tried to be conscious about what I was eating, but I had this whole "don't give a flying ----, really" attitude about it. I skipped the gym, and didn't feel too guilty about it. It's not something I can always do...I don't want to get soft, but with the pain in my heel, I wanted to see if stretches and a bunch of rest would help. Very little, but some. So that's what I'll do as I get back to the gym tonight.
That being said, I have this tingly feeling that things are about to start figuring themselves out with my body. I'm not saying I won't be in pain anymore...I have little hope for that anymore, actually... I'm just saying that by letting up these past few weeks on my gung-ho attitude, I've actually learned that letting go a bit might be the best bet for the start of this new leg of the journey. I feel the 290s creeping in. No clue why I have this feeling, I've been juggling so long around that one little mark on the scale, but for some reason this week I felt like I was getting somewhere. (Funny how this was an "off" week of sorts.)
I'm going to try to be kinder to my body.
I will do what I like, what makes me feel strong.
I will stretch and rest when needed.
I won't micro-calorie-count to the last drop. There has got to be some room for error.
I can't and will not spend my life measuring every last thing. My best guess has got to be good enough.
And I need to stop stressing so much.
Because I want to hit the 290s. What's more, I feel like 260 can be in my future. 230 seems far off, but 260 seems doable.
And because I'm really close to the lower 20s in my pants sizes...and that will mean more buying off the rack and, before long, some squeezing myself into "regular store" big-girl jeans.
I'm not asking for the world right now.
I don't need to be buying an 8 off the rack at Macy's or the Gap or (my fav!) New York & Co.
Right now I just want to be able to walk into Old Navy, pull their largest size pair of jeans, and squeeze myself into them. And, eventually, maybe, one day, actually be comfortable in them.
Not so much to ask.
And I need to stop asking so much.
Many of you have wonderfully hit your goals. And I AM excited for you, I promise you that.
Many of you started out where I did and passed me up so long ago. It thrills me beyond belief to see that joy you express at finally getting where you've always wanted to go!
As for me? I've always been a slow and steady kind of girl. Trying to push my body to do more has just led to a full on rebellion by it.
It's trying to tell me, "That's just not how I work. Push me too hard and you'll be sorry!"
I'm not going to hold myself back from what I love to do, though. If I want to kill it on the tennis court for an hour, even if it might mean some recovery time and icing and meds the next day - so be it. Can't isn't working for me. It just makes me angry.
But in the same vein, must isn't working for me either.
The truth is, when I took "off" this weekend, I didn't go crazy. I thought about it, sure. I thought about getting a cake and polishing it off in one sitting. I thought about buying the biggest popcorn, a large regular soda and two boxes of candy for the movie. But when I got there, I got a small and one box of Goobers, and it took me forcing myself to eat it all. (I know that sounds completely stupid to you all...just stick with me.) I kept telling myself, "You used to be able to eat this AND more. Last year you would've polished this off and then stole some from Hubs' bag." As for the soda? It was diet. I drank about 1/3 of it. *lol* I thought about taking it with me, but WTF was the point? I didn't like it. I pitched it. And, yes, the popcorn was good, and so was the candy, but I felt like I needed someone to share with. I have to get used to the idea of "saving it for later" (the candy, not the popcorn, because cold movie theatre popcorn is NASTY!).
And when I went to DQ to satisfy my craving for a Chicken Strip Basket, I realized again how much my tastes had changed. I didn't really care for it. And I certainly couldn't finish it.
And last night I tried again. (God, I know how crazy this sounds - TRYING to binge out of spite...) And I couldn't. I just couldn't get there...not to where I used to be.
And that made me extremely happy. Because, honestly, it means that now I can lay off a little bit. I know this. I got this. It's what my body wants. Hell, it's what *I* want. I'll take a healthy sandwich over a slice of pizza most days. And when I do have pizza, I'll eat a piece or two and be satisfied. (Though I still have a serious weakness for garlic bread! *lol*) And I'd choose a smal square of dark chocolate over an entire bag of milk chocolate covered peanuts 9 times out of 10.
My tastes have changed.
So why the hell am I still beating myself up over who I USED to be?!
Would I still punish my child now for something they did 4 years ago when they've changed their ways?! Uhm, no. I'd praise them for their new good behavior and forgive them of the past mistake.
I need to learn to do that with myself.
"We do the best we can with what we know, and when we know better, we do better" - Maya Angelou
And she's right.
Because, honestly, as painful as it's been. This life is more fun.
I can walk, run, do more than ever before. I have energy to spend time playing with my kids like I didn't before. And even that doesn't mean that I have to constantly be running around with them. Because I have more patience with myself and know the value of "me time" as well. And me time isn't about "I'm too effin' tired to do anything but lay on the couch and veg" anymore. It's about, "My mind and soul need a break so I'm going to choose to do something mindless."
I don't have to always be on.
I'm already Super Woman - I don't have to try.
Do you think Batman wakes up every morning and says to himself, "Today I have to try to catch bad guys so nobody forgets I'm Batman." Uhm, no. He gets up and just IS Batman. And when the bad guys need caught, he goes. And I'm sure even Batman enjoys the occasional down time from fighting crime and stuff. (Maybe he joy rides in the Batmobile sometimes...you know, just for fun.)
So, I feel 290 coming. But I'm making some minor adjustments to the plan.
- I will still plan. It's who I am. I enjoy it.
- I will treat my body well by feeding it yummy, healthy, delicious things.
- I will get to the gym so I can get my powerful, sexy feeling as much as possible.
- I will recognize and take the time to rest and relax when needed.
- I will do the things I love without feeling guilty about them. (Lately I've been feeling guilty about wanting to spend time with my family instead of working out. How stupid is that?! If I don't have them in my life, sorry to say, this whole thing is pointless. If it was just me I'd be alright just getting stupid fat and lazy and never caring about a thing. But I have family and friends and people I love and that love me and that I love to hang out and do fun, active things with now that I CAN do them. THAT'S why I do what I do.)
- I will stretch whenever I think to and rest when it's needed so that I can get back to the gym and get my powerful and sexy feeling back. (It's the circle of my life, baby!)
And for all my rebellion this weekend - I put on .8 pounds. I'm alright with that (especially considering that the previous week's weigh-in was post NTC workout, which always takes a few extra pounds off me).
So - starting weight this week: 302.2
(Oh, one more change, other than today, I'm staying AWAY from the scale other than once a week again...today? Habit and damage control. Thing put me at 301.)
Meals for the Week:
* Spaghetti and Homemade Turkey Meatballs
* Ground Chicken Tacos
* Chicken Fajitas
* Pad Thai
* Homemade Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie
I might throw in some fried rice if needed.
Workouts for the Week:
* Whatever I want and can do. I'd like to try to get to at least 1 Zumba class this week. I'm going tonight and hope to pull out some NTC. Maybe the elliptical on Thursday on Cross Country setting (because it kicks my rear) or a lighter setting if needed. Another NTC day on Friday, probably. (LOVE that workout!) And then Saturday I plan to clean/play in order to burn some calories without overanalyzing the how or how much.
* Drink 10 glasses of water per day.
* Take my supplements.
* Be forgiving of myself.
* Be forgiving of others.
* LOVE on my family. The whole crazy, wacky lot of them. Even the nutso animals.
Weight Goal for Next Week: Lower than 302.2 and closer to 298.9.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Today I woke up with the most severe pain in my right heel. The pain is in the back part of my heel, the very back part of the bottom of my foot. Hurts like hell.
Honestly, I've been having this problem for a while. I've tried everything from rest, to stopping running (yeah, that's been awesome for me...another big fat NO to what Esther can do), stretches. Nothing has helped, but the pain has been manageable - just a slight discomfort. Until this morning when it drove me to tears.
I know I probably have one of those fancy injuries - Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Spurs or something. Fun, right?! And I don't even want to hear the doctor say it. I'm so friggin' angry I might just spit in the doctor's face.
You see, I've dealt with plantar fasciitis before, when I was over 100 pounds heavier. The cause, of course, as told to me, was being overweight. Yay! Chalk another one up for the Causes = Fat column! So what did I do? I took care of it. I lost weight. 115 pounds and counting thus far. And we meet again. I get that I'm STILL fat. I totally get that (if you read my last blog you totally know I get that). But come friggin' ON already! I don't really know how much more of this I can take.
I took every preventative measure I was told to take by every running expert, website, guru, doctor, whoever.
A variety of steps can be taken to avoid heel pain and accompanying afflictions:
•Wear shoes that fit well—front, back, and sides—and have shock-absorbent soles, rigid shanks, and supportive heel counters.
•Wear the proper shoes for each activity.
•Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on heels or soles.
•Prepare properly before exercising. Warm up and do stretching exercises before and after running.
•Pace yourself when you participate in athletic activities.
•Don’t underestimate your body's need for rest and good nutrition.
•If obese, lose weight. "
Thanks so much for that last one, guys. Love that.
I've been VERY careful. I have been fitted for running shoes. I make sure the people there know I have issues with my high arches so they can accommodate that and make sure my foot is fully supported.
I swear to friggin' Pete that if someone puts me into those granny orthopedic shoes I won't come out of my room again.
I know I sound childish, but I don't care. I'm 31. I workout 4-6 times a week for at least 30 minutes. I strength train. I've walked, run, done Zumba, boxed, swam, biked, stair-stepped, ellipticaled, rowed, and circuit trained for over a year now. I give myself rest days. (I feel horribly guilty when I do, but I know they are necessary.) I follow the guidelines and try not to push myself, while still pushing myself enough to get a challenge. I've got the right equipment, I've paid for formal instruction where needed. I've done every damn thing I'm supposed to be doing...and, let me tell you a secret, at least for my life... It's all a load of crap. Sometimes you just get to be that one lucky person. I guess I'm the .1% of this equation. And, in this case, being special isn't a prize (maybe a booby-prize).
Yes, yes. It could be worse. But, seriously!? AGAIN!? I have to go through this AGAIN!?
*bangs head on desk repeatedly*
For those of you reading, this frustration is numero ONE why I set my page to private. I'm not about to be able to motivate anyone to do anything but friggin' give up now before things get worse. Because I followed the rules. I followed the plan. I wasn't perfect, but I forgave myself because I was human. I didn't lose it all super fast. I took it slow and steady. I celebrated the months when I lost inches instead of pounds. Yes, I complained along the way. But I didn't give up. I exercised through the pain, telling myself that stupid quote about how pain is weakness leaving the body. Yeah, not always. Sometimes pain is your body saying OW! OW! PLEASE STOP!! I've rested. I've felt guilty and then told myself to stop the negative thoughts and moved on. Since April 2010, I can tell you matter of factly, there has been only ONE week that I didn't exercise at least one time. AND I did that on purpose - because of these stupid injuries and people arguing with me telling me I was pushing myself too hard. Guess what? That didn't friggin' work either. My body didn't heal in that time. The pain got worse. "If I'm going to hurt either way, I'd rather get something out of it at least," I thought. And I kept going.
Again and again I kept going.
Get back up.
And just kept going. I didn't even take the time to brush the dust out of my hair. I just kept going.
now I'm being punished for that.
Again and again - punished.
The chiro even told me straight up that some of my problems are DUE to me losing a bunch of weight. WTF?! BUT! I did what I was supposed to! Every doctor in my life said every problem was CAUSED by my weight, so I took the hard road and worked to lose it and now you're telling me that doing what they told me to do for years has led me to this road...where I'm in front of another doctor telling me that the solution has become the cause!? WT ever-living F, man?!
I think I've determined that doctors don't know shiz and it's basically a guessing game. And maybe that's why I don't even want to go to the ER to have them x-ray my foot and give me some BS line about how to solve the problem, and I go do that and it causes another friggin' problem.
So, nothing new to report. My foot friggin' hurts. I should probably have crutches right now because the pain in my heel is stupid ridiculous when I try to walk around. But I'm going to do what I've done for over a year now - ignore it and keep doing what I'm doing. Yes, I'll eventually go the doctor - maybe even tomorrow - and find out WTF is up "officially" or whatever. But I don't think it will help much. Ironically, the one thing I'm constantly told (because they love that "you're fat" as a cause for every illness) is to rest, but continue to exercise. Love that line, but every friggin' machine in my gym pains me. Every last one. So I basically go in there and pick my pain every night.
So, yes, right now my page is private. If you hear someone say something about it, they can let me know they want to be added. I just want people to know WTF they're getting into with me right now.
I'm still fighting.
But I friggin' hate it to bits.
And I don't see that changing real soon.
I expected to lose a bunch of friends over this rotten disposition. I totally get it. I can't always read b!tching blogs and then get excited about eating right and exercising. But think of it this way --
If *I* can do it with all the real, actual pain I'm having, WTF is your excuse for not doing it?!
If you're a runner - run one for me. I miss it so terribly (so much so that if I talk about it too much it makes me cry), but I'm coming to terms with the fact that I may not ever be able to really run the way I have wanted to my whole life. Or, at least, I can't right now run at all. So if you're considering NOT running today. Stop chickening out for no reason. Do one for me. Do one single mile for me, because I would LOVE to be out there b!tching my way through it, talking positive talk to myself, telling myself the first 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1 mile is the hardest and pushing through to 2, 3, 4, or even 5 miles in the end. I wish I could be there celebrating the dripping sweat following a great run and that immense feeling of pride that comes from knowing you just did what a lot of people are too scared to even try. So, if you're considering bailing - just do one for me.
I'll fight this battle so hopefully you don't have to. And while I'm wincing in pain at the gym, you just remember that every time you have a case of the simple "idunwanna"s and tell yourself to shut it and keep going.
There, does that help?
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Truth is, the people I meet throughout my daily activities don't know me. (I sound like one of those girls on Maury now...) They don't understand my struggles or that I've actually lost over 150 pounds from my highest weight. What they see is the "after" picture from Phase II that is only a "before" picture of me starting Phase III. While most times this is just how I want it, it has its downsides.
I doubt they'd look at me that way...if only they knew. Knew that I could probably run circles around them in the gym. Knew that I eat more reasonably than they do about 85% of the time. Knew that I do all this while under extreme pressure and pain from my back and hips and pelvis and foot, which, ironically, I've been told is not from carrying the weight and is more likely caused by losing it (or from my pesky kids who may have made a mess of me while finding their way into this world).
I also doubt they'd stare and gawk and make jokes and point and laugh if they understood the struggle I face every day.
Yes, it is still a struggle sometimes to pass up McDonald's after a 10-hour work day, 2 hours driving and an hour in the gym to go home and spend another hour or so in the kitchen whipping up a delicious and healthy meal that fits into my daily calorie allowance.
Sometimes I worry. I worry that I've become so damn obsessed with counting calories that my life has become consumed by it. I worry that I am slowly starting to develop an eating disorder - for don't they mostly come down to a mental need to control what you're eating because the rest of life is impossible to control?
I don't think I binge more now than I ever did. I've just become more aware of it and own up to it when I do it.
I do think I'm exhibiting signs of addiction to exercise, and total mental breakdown when I'm unable to do so.
All of this worries me on an almost daily basis. I spend countless hours of each day worrying about what I'm going to eat, what I'm going to have to avoid, how many cups of water to drink, how many pushups/situps/crunches I can do, when I last worked out and when I need to again.
And then I get that stare. Anyone who has been morbidly or seriously (or whatever they like to call it) obese understands the stare. There's usually a smirk or some disgusted face that comes with it. I remember two that I got from some kid and her mom at the Tennis Clinic at the Resort this weekend. In fact, I got more stares and glares there than I've gotten in a long time and it set me back about 2 years.
It's no secret that I still have body image issues. Who wouldn't when my entire body, when naked, looks like it's frowning.
And no amount of exercise is going to solve all these problems. I realize this. I know what happens when you drop 200+ pounds. I don't care how young you are or how many crunches you do, the damage is done, and the only way to undo it is through surgical means. And, let's face it, I'm still working on saving up money to buy a house...I really don't have the money for surgery. And I doubt with the decline of coverage from most insurance companies these days there will be any way to convince the a$$hats over at my insurance agency that it's needed.
And while I'm struggling with all of this mess of weight loss, or as people like to call it - "getting healthy" - I'm also struggling with the emotional battles that continue to rage on in my head. The struggles of every day life seem to consume me at times, making it hard to focus. My brain shifts from one thing to the next without ever taking a break. Even my dreams are filled with impossible decisions and tasks that will only get me halfway to where I want to be.
But every day I push it down. I push down the fears and uncertainty and just keep going. A kind of "cross that bridge when you get there" way of thinking. I have to get there first to even begin to figure out where I'll go from there.
And that road ahead of me looks daunting too.
I started this journey with a bunch of seriously overweight people who were great friends. And I've watched with joy and, yes, sometimes jealousy, as they've hit every goal I've had and made it to maintenance mode. I've watched them go from Lane Bryant to the Gap, and while I feel extremely happy for them, it makes me very sad.
I just keep thinking...
"It took me almost two full years just to get where they started."
THAT, my friends, is sad.
I keep telling myself not to think that way, but sometimes it's unavoidable. I listen to my best friend talk about her struggles to lose 25 pounds and I have a million tons of advice for her, which she may never take, but I also realize that she could start two years from now, or maybe four, and would likely get there before me. And when she gets there, she'll look amazing and get tons of praise. And I'll be left with mountains of saggy skin and that sad face naked body.
I must say that I am extremely grateful for the people I know in my life who understand this feeling. Okay, so maybe there's only two. But at least there are two. Every woman wants to have that one friend they can turn to and not say a word but know exactly the feeling...and laugh our a$$es off because we know that people don't fully understand, as much as they want to and try, they just can't.
Let me tell you honestly. We all have that moment when we're teenagers or whatever when we think nobody understands us. Some of us carry that into adulthood. And when you find that one other person who just seems to "get it"...it feels so validating - like you can finally take a deep breath and let it all go.
I see people all the time touting mantras about loving your body and all that.
Sorry, I don't.
I haven't loved my body...well, I don't think I ever did. I was always overweight and I knew that. I never liked how I looked and did my best to hide it. Later in life, I tried accepting it, but it's hard to accept yourself when you feel like you constantly have to defend yourself to the world at large. I'm sick and tired of defending myself. But I still feel like I must.
Because they don't look at me and know that my abs, thighs, shoulders, biceps, triceps, and forearms are so sore it almost feels like the muscles are detaching from around the bone and are going to fall apart. They don't realize that soreness isn't from trying to walk from the car to my office, but from 45 minutes spent doing no less than 80 squats, 40 pushups, 80 reverse crunches, russian twists, high knee runs in place, ski jumps with a medicine ball, alternating step-back lunges - and doing them to the point of failure.
They look at me and see a morbidly obese woman (still!). One that winces in pain which, they assume, is from inactivity.
If you don't know they feeling, just settle back and imagine it.
You've lost 165 pounds.
No surgery, no magic diet pills. Just hard work - healthy diet and exercise over the span of the past 8 years.
And you're still seen simply as a morbidly obese (read: fat and lazy) woman.
It's infuriating at times.
I went from Super Super Morbidly Obese (that's super super stupid, btw...) to Morbidly Obese and I still feel like I have nothing to show for it.
Because I may have another 8 years ahead of me.
It will take me another nearly 50 pounds to even get down to the Severely Obese range.
When I finally get to 230 (my current goal), I still won't even be in the simply Obese range.
(And, yes, I know BMI is crap...I'm just using this as an example.)
*bangs head on desk*
Yes, yes, I know what I'm fighting for.
No, I have no intention of giving up.
Yes, I realize things could be worse.
I'm sick and tired of this bulls-hit!
Because the God's honest truth is - this is mentally and physically exhausting. Not the eating right and working out part. Yes, that part gets hard sometimes. But I've become used to it. It's become part of my life now. I miss working out when I don't get to. I like the taste of healthy food over greasy nasty food. Got it. Good. Great.
But what's exhausting is the mental struggle. The constant worry about my calorie counts, that I'm just not doing enough, that I'm never going to get there, and that when I do it won't be enough. And those flippin' looks. Those are the most exhausting. Feeling the rage that burns inside of me when I get that look and know that I've been pre-judged based just on how I look. GAH! Will it ever end?
In 50 pounds.
Or another 100.
Or another 150, maybe.
Honestly, when I take a break, sometimes it's just a mental break from the nonsense. From overthinking it. From trying too hard. From constantly feeling like I'm failing because nothing is good enough.
It's time to plan another month of workouts...and all I can think is how I've failed myself this month. How I skipped last night's workout because I was so comfy (and sore) on the couch with my boys just sharing the time with them. How I went out to eat (again) and ate to just over full (even though, honestly, it didn't kill my calories for the day - I was still in my ranges so I should be okay with it ...but I'm not, because I could've done more, been better, and I'm up 3 pounds from Monday's weigh-in at the gym and I constantly feel like the battle is neverening).
*shoves down the fears*
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Okay, so I broke one of my rules and had to swap some workouts. My friend Andrea came into WV for the weekend and we met down at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV. This meant 2 things - that rule of not eating out more than 2x/wk? Yeah, that one had to go. And the one about sticking to my scheduled workout, no matter what?! Uhm, sorry...that one went too...BUT! I swapped my workouts for something else and managed to keep myself in a pretty healthy state all weekend.
First of all, let me say that I felt two things immediately upon arriving at the Greenbrier.
1) INTIMIDATED! The place is huge and beautiful. Everyone knows you by your name (because they make sure to put it somewhere they can see it - like on the sticker in your car...of course, for me, this meant being called Ms. D- by everyone as my friend had made the reservation in her name. *lol*). I knew I'd need to have cash to tip people and then on my first encounter I simply forgot (was trying to juggle baggage, phone, and speaking with the gentleman helping me with the bags). OOPS! (Don't worry, I didn't forget the next time.) Anyhow, I could tell this was a fancy place. This is where the celebs come for the Greenbrier classic, where Presidents and foreign diplomats have stayed for ...well, forever, it seems! It's not generally a place the average WVian gets to visit, let alone stay at!
2) Did I just walk onto the set of Dirty Dancing?! While the place didn't look exactly like that, it had that aire about it. It's an all-inclusive type resort. You put your bags down and then your car never leaves the parking lot. Everything is on site. There are activities planned for nearly every minute of every day - from croquet to tennis clinics to horseback riding to fly fishing to spa visits to shopping, dining...the works! I parked my car Friday afternoon at 3pm. I didn't see it again until Sunday at noon! *lol*
Before I could leave, I had to get Ethan to the eye doctor. Just as I suspected, my boy's vision is WAY off. 20/50. He needs glasses. We got them ordered. He's flitting between being scared of being teased and thinking it's cool because it make him unique. I'm just worried that he doesn't lose them or break them (these are pretty difficult to break though...the girl folded them in half to demonstrate!).
I left just after noon or so. Three hours later, I arrived in White Sulphur Springs, avoided the valet like it was my job, and parked my car. I waited near the registration desk for my friend to arrive 30 minutes later and then we were off.
The hotel room had two plush double beds. COMFY! With about a dozen pillows each! *lol* The TV was on when we walked in (which kinda irked me...conserve, people!). The hall to get to the elevator to the 6th floor we were in was so long I thought the dude was back at registration laughing at us because he told us to "simply follow the corridor until you come to the elevators" (yeah, three miles later! *exaggeration, of course*). Our bathroom had a vanity with lighted mirror (yay!), double sinks, and a bidet. Yep, a friggin' bidet. With instructions on how to use it (which we didn't *lol*). We knew what we were getting into right there. We unpacked, I changed out of my jeans (dress codes, people, no denim after 7pm!) and then headed downstairs for tea. Yes, tea. With a dance and piano playing throughout. (Good tea, too! We both went British and splashed in a little milk for good measure. And they had little biscuits too. One was even shaped like a mouse!)
A waltz before tea...
That one on the left in the middle? That's the smallest freshly made Chocolate Chip Cookie I've ever had!
Heard nearby - a grandmother to her grandson (about 5) -
Grandma: "Hey, look! It's a mouse."
Grandma: "Want to bite it's head off!?"
(I nearly snorted tea out of my nose...)
There are shops all along one corridor, there's a casino, and several restaurants. I told Andrea that I needed to workout because I hadn't done that yet, but by the time we rolled around to that, the fitness center was closed...but the pool wasn't. It was a super long pool. The largest I'd ever been in. And, thankfully, they had roped off a lap lane for people like us. We did 8 of the longest laps of my life, stopping to take breaks here and there and talk and catch up. No pics, sorry. We spent a lot of time just chatting and catching up. Andrea took more pics than I did and the fact that I don't have pics of everything shows just how much fun I was having.
Other cool things about the pool area? There was a lifeguard on duty. There were actual full changing rooms with a bathroom area that included a shower and toilet, and then a changing area with a vanity. You can come without anything other than your clothes and bathing suit (no wearing that around the hotel!) because they provide everything you might have forgotten. Towels, of course, but also hairspray, aerosol deodorant, shaving cream, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, rubbing alcohol (? not sure why), q-tips, combs (individually wrapped), razors, mouthwash, hair dryer, styling gel... *gasps for breath*. :) There is also something called a "bathing suit dryer" which spins your bathing suit around in this little tub super fast to get the water off it. SO cool! I want one! Also in the locker room? A scale. :) I weighed myself immediately and saw that it was giving me a reading similar to the one at home. I continued to weigh myself every single morning to gauge my progress over the weekend. (Actually lost a couple ounces according to that scale.) Also, they had scales in the bathrooms of each hotel room...that go up to 300. *pounds head on mirror* SO close!
So after swimming, we showered and got all dressed up fancy to go down to a restaurant called Prime 44 West, dedicated to Jerry West, a WV native and the guy my husband calls "Mr. NBA". *lol* We had set our reservations at 8:45pm (late, I know, but we had a late night planned anyhow). The food was pretty good. Nothing over the top OMG amazing. The steaks? Not a single one under $50. NO WAY! I had a vegetarian Wild Mushroom Tart that was $36, some brussels sprouts (my first time ever - they were good!), some mac-n-cheese that was just alright, and my favorite - Lobster Bisque soup. YUM! (But I did get a portion of shell...which after paying nearly $20 for a bowl of soup, I think is pretty outrageous!) Then Andrea ordered some pistachio creme brulee (sp? and I've never had either pistachios or creme brulee, so more firsts for me), which was pretty darn good, actually, with some blueberries on the side.
All dressed up for dinner at Prime 44 West...in the really cool elevator!
After dinner, and 2 glasses of wine each, we were a little tipsy. (Oh yes, there was wine!) So we giggled our way to the casino where I lost myself just 5 bucks (because that's all I played! *lol*) and we walked around a bit and talked and walked outside looking at the lights and such before heading upstairs and planning our next day.
A crappy picture of us outside by the back tree. There was another tree out front, but it had a slight problem...
"Who ate my tree?!"
*lol* Yep, it's still funny...even sober.
So we had a full day planned Saturday, or so we thought. We did end up with a little downtime, but we just took a nap so we could keep going. First things first? Breakfast!!! OMG I was so hungry when I woke up both days...no clue why (okay, well I know why I was super hungry Sunday, but that comes later). My one major complaint about the resort? For some reason they don't believe in breakfast. The room service menu included $5 bagels, $4 bowls of cereal and some friggin' oatmeal. And like 12 different kinds of juice. *shrug* Not one egg. No pancakes. WTF, dudes!? I went downstairs to the coffee shop and got myself a bagel, a banana, and some coffee! (Yay for coffee!!).
About 9:30am we started to head downstairs to meet the shuttle that would take us...to the other side of the resort grounds for... A TENNIS CLINIC! *lol* Seriously, was the most intimidating and the most fun thing I did all weekend. Here are Andrea and I, with like NO tennis experience (I kept telling her that we call it "That game where we chase the ball around the court that we missed") with 2 people decked out in tennis gear. I'm just glad I was able to ignore the 8 year old girls killing it in the tourney next to us! *lol* I learned a lot in that hour. Mostly that I do really suck at tennis, but I can get better. I wasn't watching the ball enough for one. By the time we ended the volley session, I was able to aim the ball back at our instructor a little better. And then it was serving time... *evil laugh* Okay, so you know most people, if they suck at any part of tennis more than another, it's generally serving (and backhand, but let's forget I even mentioned that because we sucked so bad he didn't even want to SEE our backhand swing! *lol*). Well, I must be strange (no comments, please! ;) ) because that's the part I'm good at. He saw 4 serves from me, corrected one thing about my swing (adding in a backstroke at the beginning), which I picked up immediately, and he saw that I was hitting it inside the correct box on the court each and every dang time! He firmly announced that *I* was going to be their designated server. :) At the end of our clinic, he turned to me and said, "Okay, Esther. One shot. You get one serve. You get it in, and *I'LL* pick up all the balls." All 3 other girls laughed and said, "You can do it!" And can you believe, I friggin' hit the thing in? (We still helped him pick up all the balls.) He said, "I can't believe it!" I told him it was an ugly serve, but he said getting it in was all that mattered.
I can now check a tennis lesson off my list, but...I want more! I talked to the people there about some people here in Charleston that might be able to give me lessons, so I'm going to look into that soon. I think I might be able to be semi-good at it! (And then I can really smoke my step-brother! HA!)
After tennis we tried the spinning bikes, basically because neither of us had been on one. I lasted 7.5 minutes...she lasted about double that. My legs were jello! (Not to mention my knee did it's famous pop out-in routine on the tennis court). We headed back to the hotel (we walked, cuz we're cool like that) and then showered and got dressed for lunch. We ate at this place called Draper's...mainly because I'd seen the night before that they had Chicken Pot Pie and I thought it'd probably be delish. (Honestly, mine is better! *lol*) It was a 45-minute wait, but we just headed over to the coffee shop for a cooking demonstration before we went back to be seated. (My other complaint is our waiter sorta kinda sucked...but whatever. I was too tired and hungry to care by that point.)
My girl, Andrea, at lunch.
Chicken Pot Pie...and french fries. Oh, I didn't mention those? Oops! *lol* Didn't much matter since this was to be my High Calorie Day (but probably wasn't anyhow...never finished by pot pie and only ate 1/2 the fries and we didn't eat dinner that night because we were still so full!).
Andrea had Apple Pie a la Mode for dessert. The little individual apple pies were adorable!
I had a perfectly Eloise at the Plaza moment. *big grin*
After lunch there was really only one thing left to do (after tea, of course). SLEEP! *lol* We took a nice long nap in our comfy beds before getting up to get dolled up again for a comedy act we were scheduled to see that night.
Dude on the left was hilarious! Dude on the right? It was painful to watch. He was afraid of his audience. He assumed they were all ritzy rich people and his old "I'm poor" jokes wouldn't work. I just wanted to yell up at him, "Just do your regular routine!" but I didn't want to be THAT girl. Still, it was sad and I felt like he just needed a hug after. :/
Even though Andrea and I tried to find something more "adult" to do after that...we'd done pretty much everything by now (and we had no intention of drinking anymore after the night before! *lol*). So we went back in the theatre, grabbed a cup of popcorn, and watched The Muppets! *lol* (Corny, but good.)
We crashed right after.
It was check out day but, thankfully, they don't make you check out until noon, and we had one last thing to do. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of our next event, and I'll explain why in a second. However, I did snap some of the rooms we wandered through while we were waiting for tea the day before. Warning - pictures can't do this place justice. Here's one.
This isn't even one of the designated "ballrooms". I wish you could get a sense how HUGE this chandelier is. WOW!
So, what were we waiting for? The bunker tour! Turns out Eisenhower's administration commissioned a fallout shelter to be built at the Greenbrier during the height of the Cold War. Everything was top secret...and the cover story? A construction of a new "wing" of rooms at the Greenbrier...the wing we actually stayed in! All weekend we were sleeping over top of this bunker, a fallout shelter built to house all the members of Congress and one staff member each for up to 75 days in the event of a nuclear bomb from our Russian friends. The thing was kept secret (officially, though the locals knew something was up) for over 30 years before a reporter cracked the story and the government admitted to it and (after 3 years of declassifying parts of the information), turned it back over to the Greenbrier.
I couldn't take any pictures of the three floor bunker that was built in the side of a hill because CSX IP is using it now to store valuable data for the top Fortune 500 companies in the nation - no cell phones, no cameras, nothing that might possibly interrupt the signals being sent out. The hour and half tour was awesome! It got you thinking about what other secrets our government keeps. They were going to house the members of Congress dorm-style, serving them in a dining room only built to serve 1/3 of them, requiring 3 turns of service for each meal (which meant they put the most uncomfortable tables and chairs in there). It had 3 huge water housing units in the lowest portion, along with three ginormous drums of diesel fuel to run the diesel generator back-up system, and a huge incinerator which was to be used to destroy all personal items and clothing members of Congress and their staff arrived with (putting them all in army fatigues) as well as the destruction of human remains, if necessary.
Wiki's info on The Bunker.
A link to a PBS feature on The Bunker.
After our tour, we checked out, dropped our bags in the car and I went back in to buy some goodies for the boys and Hubs. Then we ate in town at a local pizzeria (April's Pizzeria), which was SO good, before heading our separate ways.
It was a good trip. And I ended up working out, eating semi-healthy while still indulging, and losing some weight to boot!
Yesterday I caught up with the boys, got the puppy in to get his nails clipped, gave him a flea bath, took everyone to dinner, and we took turns playing video games the rest of the day.
Oh, and I headed to the gym for another weigh-in. 301.4 was my official number after a round of 45 minute NTC circuit training (which OMG I can feel today!). I dropped .6% body fat in a month...and now my target weight is set even lower. *bangs head on desk* *lol* I'm still aiming for 230 for now, though. (Think they have my target at 215 now.) So, all in all, not a bad weekend. It was hard to get back to the daily grind today...but I'm working it out. Going to try to hit Zumba tonight and see if I can last all the way through this time (we'll see...at least 30 minutes though!). I'm having dinner with a friend, so I may miss it, but I've got my Zumba at home too, so no excuses for missing a workout!
Have a great week everyone!
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