JENJESS48   52,241
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JENJESS48's Recent Blog Entries

Planning for a Weekend Getaway to the Beach

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Weekends at the beach are a summer classic for most Americans. But not for me. I burn in about 15 minutes and have to be super careful about heat - I got heat stroke as a teenager and am therefore susceptible to new bouts of it. Also, and this is the odder part, I have hardly ever traveled to the beach in the U.S. Generally speaking, I know Latin America better than my own country: work pays for my trips abroad, but I'm on my own time and my own dime to travel domestically. I grew up in the Midwest and my folks never had the money for a 1,000 mile trip to the beach. And since moving to DC eight summers ago, I've just never quite gotten to the beach despite being within easy driving distance of both Maryland's eastern shore and North Carolina's Outer Banks. Go figure. But there you have it.

My husband's good friend's parents own a beach house on Maryland's eastern shore, and he and his fiancee have invited us up for the weekend. emoticon This is my big chance to see the Atlantic north of Miami! emoticon (Yes, seriously, lol.)

Yes, I'm super excited. But I'm also panicking a little. How much sunscreen will I need? Will our new convertible really hold it all? How many changes of clothes will I need? OMG, do I have summer/beach clothes that actually fit? What are we going to eat? Can I stay within my calorie range and sane eating habits? Will I have time to work out? What if it's too hot to go outside? What if it rains all weekend and we have to entertain ourselves indoors?

[takes several deep breaths, counts to ten]

Okay, let's stop panicking and unpick this problem.

emoticon Sunscreen: Prior experience has shown that spray sunscreen is a godsend. Pack several bottles of SPF 30 and 50 and reapply every 90 minutes or so. Do it up Latin style and go indoors at the hottest part of the day for an extended lunch break and nap. And for Pete's sake, wear your straw cowboy hat!

emoticon Packing space: There is some room in the trunk even with the top down, and the new windscreen covers the back seat so you can cram it full of stuff. You know how to pack efficiently, as does DH. (There are many advantages to marrying an Eagle Scout...) Make a list and pack carefully and everything will fit. I promise.

emoticon Clothes: One set of jammies, 2-3 swimsuits, one set of gym clothes, and two sets of super light weight street clothes per day oughtta do the trick. A raid on the too-small boxes in the basement and a couple of good picks at Old Navy last weekend should provide plenty of suitcase fodder.

emoticon Noms: Here, my dear, you have every advantage. DH volunteered us to take care of the food since our friends are providing the lodging. Yes, you were annoyed at first. But embrace it: this gives you a huge opportunity to eat right. You know that the other couple are super healthy eaters with very specific food needs. So: plan the menu to your liking, buy or pack what you'll need, and if people don't like it they can fend for themselves. You know everybody well enough to plan a super tasty, super healthy menu. Just suck it up and do it!

emoticon Workouts: Go for a run and do ST both today and Friday. That way you'll have all your workouts in before you even head out and won't have anything to worry about! Pack some gym clothes just in case you and Leah decide to go for a run together. (Missy Healthy Eater is also a runner and might want to go with you.)

emoticon emoticon Weather: You can't control it, so don't worry about it. Just bring some board games to play in the evening and/or bad weather, and you'll be all set. You can even bring some extra yarn and needles and give Leah that knitting lesson she's been asking for.

emoticon Orders received! Will do! (And will report back to my fellow Sparklers next week on how it went.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JMUCKINHOUPT 6/16/2011 7:24AM

    I love the analytic way that you think. Yes, you can overcome any negative thoughts/worries that you have with thinking it through. Have a great time!!!

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WM_STAR 6/15/2011 6:52PM

    I hope you're not disappointed...beaches this far north are rather NOTHING like Miami. Water will likely be cold. And murky. But you will be at the beach with friends, hanging out and relaxing, and you have a health plan in place, so YAY!

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SAMMYSWEETPEA 6/15/2011 5:30PM

    Sounds like you've got everything figured out. Have tons of fun this weekend!

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KATHIERAE 6/15/2011 4:18PM

    Oh, what fun!! I love how you calmed yourself down and planned. Have a great time and I want pictures when you get back!! I would love to see the ocean...

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    I am so excited for you. It sounds awesome! emoticon

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LOTUSFLOWER 6/15/2011 3:39PM

    Great plan!!!! And I LOVE Neutrogena's 90 Spray SPF, especially when I'm running outside. Let us know how you do! That way you'll feel accountable, too. But have FUN! You can do this and have fun too.

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DOMS, Compliments, Distance Ratios, and the Chitchat Factor

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Today I am not feeling great. TOM and DOMS are a potent team, leaving me extremely fatigued and sore. To the point where I'm going to leave work early to run errands with DH. Mostly fitness and health related errands, actually: running store (15% sale this week because of National Running Day), gym equipment store (DH wants an elliptical), spice store, and optometrist. Probably more productive - and definitely more fun - than sitting at work today.

What has carried me through the day so far, and made my current pain very worth it, are the compliments I've gotten today. Two people commented that my time at the gym is totally paying off. One of them was MY TRAINER. Boo ya! She asked how much weight I'd lost and was a bit surprised that it wasn't more. I told her that I'm losing inches, though, and she said that it's clear and not to worry about the pounds since the results are both obvious and good. Take that, quads, and quit yer complaining! You're getting a rest day today, but we're back in action tomorrow.

LOTUSFLOWER mentioned in a previous blog that men have started opening doors for her now that she's shed weight. Men in DC always open doors; DC is technically the South and certain acts of chivalry are not optional. Instead we have what I call the distance ratio: the hotter a man thinks you are, the longer he is willing to stand still and prop open a door. The hotter you are, the further away you can be and still expect to have a door held for you.

Today I realized that my distance ratio has definitely notched up by a fair bit. For example, I can be several stairs down, not even on the landing, and men will wait for me to exit the stairwell. They smile wider and speak to me now (aka the chitchat factor). I also get looked at more in the hallways and cafeteria. I find this flattering, not threatening or annoying. My office and building are very professional environments and the guys never cross the line. They also don't mean anything by it. In fact, I'm pretty sure that they're generally unaware of the distance ratio and the chitchat factor.

While I'm making this journey to health and fitness for myself, it feels great to have other people notice the changes I've made. I can and do motivate myself until the cows come home, but I still find these compliments--both verbal and implied--a motivational shot in the arm. Yeah, I'm going to the gym tomorrow, no matter what my quads say. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JMUCKINHOUPT 6/8/2011 10:02PM

    Enjoyed reading... distance ratio... hmmmmm! I am in the south so doors are always opened for me because I'm old. emoticon

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KITHKINCAID 6/5/2011 1:16AM

    Haha - this is hilarious. I love it. And - it's totally true. Distance and Chitchat factors - haha! And when you're dating it's even crazier. I somehow forgot over time that I'm a desirable person. Couple of dates and I just might believe it again!

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ELLYFINT 6/2/2011 10:29AM

    This is such a great blog, and such awesome news --- so many different ways in which living healthier and losing extra weight makes life better!!! Woohoo!

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BONJI40 6/1/2011 5:14PM

    Hee does feel nice to be looked at, doesn't it? Good for you! Interesting perspective on the distance and chit chat factor. Hmmm, I'll have to watch that.

Hope you're feeling much better tomorrow!

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ATINYDANCER 6/1/2011 4:32PM

    I love it! I am going to keep an eye out now for how long a man holds the door for me! It's the little things that keep me going too! Keep up the good work! emoticon

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KATHIERAE 6/1/2011 4:24PM

    FANTASTIC!! I love it when it's noticeable and so glad you got to that point!! Yay YOU!

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LOTUSFLOWER 6/1/2011 4:20PM

    This is awesome!!!! I love it, and love that term about the ratio, too!!!!

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TERI331 6/1/2011 3:22PM

    I lived in the DC area for a while and you are right about the distance factor now that I look back on it!! Funny how I never noticed that before!

Good going on the loss of inches.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 6/1/2011 3:21PM

    Your blog totally made me smile! Congrats on the "noticability" factor - WOOT!

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May Wrap Up and June Goals

Monday, May 30, 2011

This month I lost 3 pounds and 2.25 inches. emoticon That's less than I wanted to lose, but I worked really hard so I'm not going to complain. emoticon

Here are my May goals and how I did against them:

emoticon Drop to 170 pounds (a 6 pound loss).
I got to 173, a 3 pound loss, and I'm happy with that.

emoticon Do 3 cardio sessions a week.

emoticon Do 2 ST sessions a week.

emoticon Take one rest day a week.

emoticon Start C25K.
I finished week one and plan to finish week two tomorrow.

emoticon Track my food 5 times a week.

emoticon Blog once a week.

emoticon Do monthly goal blog.

emoticon Participate in Determination Challenge.

emoticon Make significant progress on a UFO.

emoticon Knit 2 baby hats.

emoticon Start Mike and Leah's wedding afghan.

emoticon MIL's socks.

emoticon Cross stitch niece's birth announcement.
I didn't finish it, but I made a good start.

emoticon Read one book.
Actually, I read two books: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J.K. Rowling, and The Big U, by Neal Stephenson

emoticon Continue working on wedding photo book.

emoticon Read 2 magazines a week.

emoticon Wear lingerie once.
That just didn't happen this month. Oh well.

Overall I am very pleased with how I did this month and give myself an A. emoticon New sandals, here I come!

June goals:

emoticon Do cardio 3 times a week.

emoticon ST three times a week.

emoticon Take at least one rest day a week.

emoticon Track my food five times a week.

emoticon Blog once a week.

emoticon Participate in Determination Challenge.

emoticon Read two magazines a week.

emoticon Knit Dad's socks.

emoticon Start niece's baby blanket.

emoticon Work on wedding afghan.

emoticon Work on my niece's birth announcement.

emoticon Work on UFO.

emoticon Read one book.

emoticon Wear lingerie once.

emoticon Do monthly goal check-in.

emoticon Continue working on wedding photo book.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KT-NICHOLS-13 5/31/2011 12:17PM

    Great Job!

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WM_STAR 5/31/2011 10:42AM

    I just started C25K yesterday - week 1, day 1. Ugh. Hard, but I did it without stopping or cheating or anything. I think my hubby's gonna do it with me for the rest of the time, so hopefully that will keep me on track? Having a buddy is always better!

WAY TO GO on your goals, girl - you're on fire! My role model! emoticon

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JMUCKINHOUPT 5/30/2011 9:21PM

    Hey, great job on a three pound loss this month. I like following your monthly goals. It helps to motivate me. emoticon

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LOTUSFLOWER 5/30/2011 6:24PM

    Congratulations on your progress this month and those are great goals!

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ELLYFINT 5/30/2011 4:17PM

    Some very cool goals!!! Hope you achieve ALL of them --- good luck for JUNE :) :) :)

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Hello, Goodbye

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I admit it: I have emotional attachments to a lot of my clothes. Today is a particularly bittersweet day for me. One of my old standby camisoles, a dear friend, is on its last outing. It will go from the laundry to the "too big" box. While I'm sad to see it go, it's also a triumph: it is the very last of my Lane Bryant clothes to go in the too big box. They are now all officially eradicated! No more plus sizes in my wardrobe! emoticon Getting rid of all my plus size clothes was one of my goals for this year, so I plan to reward myself with a pair of new sandals.

As if this wasn't enough, I got to wear a new blouse for the first time this year. Last year I bought an exact replica in a 14. I absolutely love the thing; it's lightweight, cheerful, and very flattering. Plus it was one of my very first rewards for meeting a goal after joining SparkPeople. At the end of the season I bought the same blouse in the same color, which caused DH to question my sanity. I told DH I couldn't resist the sale and furthermore the blouse is a 10, two whole sizes smaller, and I expect to be able to wear it next summer.

Summer weather has already come to DC - it was nearly 80 degrees when I left the house this morning - so I pulled out the new blouse, hoping it would fit. And lo and behold, it does! Despite the too-big camisole! emoticon

This is definitely cause for celebration. As I mentioned in my previous blog, the scale isn't matching other measures of progress. My clothes are definitively proving that I'm shrinking. That's a psychological boost I can really use right now, given the scale's irascible behavior. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DITZYCHICK 5/26/2011 7:53PM

    I can't tell you how happy I am for you!!! Although you have to say goodbye to some of your favorites, it's gotta feel GREAT to get rid of those plus signs!!! Keep it up girl, this is FABULOUS!!!

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ELLYFINT 5/26/2011 7:15AM

    This is great news, Jen! Good to read that you're making big and steady steps towards a healthier being :) :) :) Keep going!!!!

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KRAZYKATT 5/25/2011 8:50PM

    Hooray for you! How wonderful for you!

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DANCEMANIAC 5/25/2011 4:46PM

    I am very happy for you!!! emoticon

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BIRKIE528 5/25/2011 3:26PM


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KT-NICHOLS-13 5/25/2011 3:17PM

    Great job ...
Enjoy those up and coming shopping trips!

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KITHKINCAID 5/25/2011 2:23PM

    Hurray! I'm in smaller stuff today too for the first time. Feels great! Congrats :)

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CAALAN23 5/25/2011 2:19PM

    Good job, schweets! You are in that twixt stage...almost single digits! WooHOO!

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ANGELI68 5/25/2011 2:16PM

    Wonderful! Keep up the great work! emoticon

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LOSE4LIFE47 5/25/2011 2:14PM

    Congrats!! Great job.

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Scale Battle

Monday, May 16, 2011

The scale and I are having a bit of a battle. Last week the scale told me I lost 1.6 pounds and I was happy; my hard work was finally paying off and I busted through my plateau. I was good all week on my nutrition and worked hard in the gym. My reward? I gained back that weight.

Here's the thing: I think it's water weight. I'm still sore from my workouts on Friday and Saturday and I've been drinking water like a maniac without needing more bathroom breaks than normal. I know for a fact that I am losing fat because my clothes fit differently and my fat deposits are definitely smaller. I also know that I'm gaining muscle. Not only do I feel strong, but DH commented today that I'm getting nice definition.

So. The scale clearly does not indicate whether I'm making progress or not. I am doing the right things and improving my health and body composition. Body composition and how I feel are now going to be my goal, not a number on the scale. If I get to my goal weight of 145, great. But if I am happy with the way my body looks and feels and my body fat is 24% or lower, I'll declare victory and move to maintenance mode regardless of what the scale says. I'm starting to think 145 may not be realistic for me anyway since muscle is so heavy and I'm very muscular. I am also one of those people for whom BMI doesn't really work; I have broad hips and shoulders, and a nice sturdy bone structure.

That said, I am still going to weigh myself. I like having as many indicators as possible; I just have to remember to put it into context. Measurements, my clothes, body composition, and fitness tests are all more accurate indicators for me. But the scale can be instant gratification, which I like, and I'm not ready to give it up yet. I'm just going to take it a lot less seriously.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAMMLIN 5/18/2011 2:56PM

    I'm having the exact same battle with my scale. I stayed in all of my ranges, did all of my workouts, including a half marathon, and I gained 4 pounds? really?

Keep fighting- I'd take definition any day!!!

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LOTUSFLOWER 5/18/2011 2:00PM

    I love Jenn's comment on this, you WILL win the scale battle. As Jenn told me, there is no other choice. Love ya!

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KITHKINCAID 5/18/2011 9:46AM

    The scale and I have been fighting for a month. I do a ton more exercise, it compensates by staying the same. It dropped today, but I can't count on that to stick around with TOM on the will all even out in the end though!

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DITZYCHICK 5/17/2011 4:22PM

    Great job looking at the whole picture! The scale can be a tricky little bugger.'re doing great and you're obviously changing. Stay positive regardless of what the scale is telling you now because it'll catch up with what your body is showing you!

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CAALAN23 5/17/2011 11:29AM

    Oh yeah. If you're feeling any kind of sore, your body will be pulling in and holding on to the fluids. A day or so and you'll have tossed that pound or two off. :) Good work!

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ELLYFINT 5/17/2011 7:21AM

    Very reasoned, reasonable post. Yeah, the scale is one of many indicators but yeah important to keep it in perspective. :) :) :) Congrats on moving closer to your healthy ideal! WTG, Jen!!!

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KATHIERAE 5/16/2011 11:57PM

    Good for you, to make the scale one tool of many. I lose and then gain, then stay the same, lose, gain , etc. Makes me crazy!! I am blaming my thyroid partly and my bad food choices partly. The clothes are def fitting differently and my arms getting more definition so... some things ARE working. Guess the key is to KEEP GOING! emoticon

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KT-NICHOLS-13 5/16/2011 7:29PM

    Putting it into context is great. I have to remind myself of that daily. Sounds like you're on the right path and staying healthy mentally and physically.

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JMUCKINHOUPT 5/16/2011 7:21PM

    The scale can be a friend or enemy... I have to learn that it is just a tool and not either. It sounds like you are trying to keep that perspective, too. Good luck!

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