Friday, June 24, 2011
I thought I was going to hit it this week kids. I really did. But sadly the scale is still bouncing daily between 201.2 and 203. I just can't seem to get it to budge any lower.
Not that I've been giving it optimal conditions to do so. I can't REALLY expect to enter Onederland haphazardly - maybe exercising, maybe eating properly, maybe getting 8 hours of sleep a night and 8 glasses of water a day. There is no MAYBE at the gates to Onederland. You gotta seize the reins and conquer Onderland. Take it by siege and never look back. THAT'S how I want to enter Onederland. And right now, I'm too doped up on dreamy dates to concentrate all that much on taking anything by storm. Really. Something about a Trojan Horse and a beautiful woman that made the warriors stupid in the head...I'm feeling like a blitzed warrior right about now.
But the good news is that my spirits are so ridiculously high because of this gushy giddiness that I'm not super depressed about it taking since April to lose a "measly" 13 pounds. For anyone following my progress from last year - that's a LONG time for me. Well maybe not so long. I've lost track. Did I mention I have a new man in my life? Haha.
So here's what "sucks" about finding new love whilst attempting to also achieve a HUGE personal goal:
- New love is all about sleep deprivation. Lots of late night talks on the phone. Lots of long dates talking about everything under the sun. Lots of cuddle time, forgoing sleep to stay awake with each other just a little while longer
- New love is all about dates. Marathon dates, short dates, bar dates, car dates - most all of them assuredly involve eating - and not the stuff you PLANNED on eating, but yummy restaurant food eating
- New love is all about alcohol. It's the dating thing - dates are more fun with social lubrication, so glasses of wine and bottles of beer and a cocktail here and there have certainly crept into my daily nutrition calculator more than I would like them to
- New love is all about new schedules. When do you see each other? When do you stick to your regular schedule? And no longer having weekends completely to myself has made me understand just how much I was using my weekends to plan and prep for the week ahead and catch up on sleep and exercise
But here's why I'm not actually complaining about ANY of the above (and why it couldn't possibly suck any less):
- I have found a man who I adore talking to, who is interesting and smart and educated and foreign, and not at all hard to look at! Who I would give up all the sleep in the world right now to talk to for just one more hour. I will catch up on my sleep - eventually. But for now we are negotiating a relationship, and that is just as important as sleep to me.
- I have found a man who excels on dates. He makes me feel like the only woman in the entire world every time I am with him, both in public and in private. He showers me with affection, and treats me like the lady that I am - more often than not picking up the tab for dinner, drinks and the rest. I LOVE dating him because he makes every time I see him so special.
- I have found a man who supports all of my efforts here wholeheartedly and is proud of all of the accomplishments that I have made so far and who wants to see me go even further for myself. Not to mention he's into all the same stuff I am. He's a runner, having completed a number of half marathons, he's a biker and bikes regularly to work like I do, he has competed in strong man competitions in the past and has a mind for fitness and health - EXACTLY what I want to have in a mate. But he also wouldn't care if I didn't change a hair. He likes me right now for who I am, not for who I might become (but I can't say that he won't like who I might be a year from now, cause I'm pretty sure he'd like that too).
So I'm not losing as fast as I could be if I were still single. That's ok. This is life - and this is an important part of life, and I have to be able to live it. And the achievement will come, soon. And when it does, I now have someone to really celebrate it with. And that's really cool.
The best part is that everything I'm doing or not doing right now is MY decision. Sure dating is fun and I tend to over-indulge because I only get one chance to do this with this guy, so I'm going to enjoy it. But there is no pressure from him to eat or drink or skip exercise. In fact, it is the opposite. If I want to order water with dinner, he's cool with that. If I want to stay in and cook dinner instead of going out - even better. And I'm looking so forward to our planned fitness dates in the future. We have already started talking about training for a half together. He wants to run another one, and I want to get to that distance this year, so I think we're going to start running together pretty soon. And we're excited to go biking together and hiking together and are planning a camping trip for the long weekend that I couldn't be more thrilled about.
But until then, I'm just going to keep holding down the fort and making room for this new thing in my life that I wasn't sure if I had space for (but now I know I do). If Onederland is going to continue to be elusive for another week or so that's ok. The rest of my life is worth it right now. And I'll be ready to stampede across that threshold when I really do get there.
In the meantime I've had a couple of big non-scale victories this week including a couple of people commenting that I look thinner from even last week, and standing in a fitting room tonight trying on BIKINIS!!! Sadly the loose skin has really started to accumulate around my abs, so I know it's going to continue to be an issue from here on out. But I was incredibly proud of how I look in a two piece, and so I bought it! Onederland or not - I look better than I have ever looked. I'm healthier and fitter and prettier than I have ever been and it's only going to get better from here.
Bring it on life! Onderland, The Elusive...I'm coming for you! In a two piece bathing suit!
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
...and he took me shopping!
OK, so it wasn't exactly the scene from Pretty Woman, but it was a pretty damn good day and I'm feeling really great about where this is going.
Saturday was an epic date - 12 hours from start to finish, we basically had 5 dates in one, after which I was completely exhausted...and just a little smitten.
So for all my girls who want the sordid story, this blog is for you:
We made quick plans for another rendezvous after our great Cheesecake Factory date on Thursday night, so by the time he put me in a cab to go home, I knew we were seeing each other on Saturday and that he was planning on taking me on a picnic.
*Record Scatch!* - hold the phone! Yes ladies, HE suggested the picnic, and HE wanted to do the cooking and show off his culinary skillz. (And I can officially say - he's got some serious culinary skillz!) Haha.
I told him that I wanted to do some clothes shopping on Saturday and that I was interested in hitting up Macy's, so he agreed to meet me there with lunch in tow to start our date.
I woke up early Saturday morning for my Zumba class, showered and dressed in a cute jean skirt and white t-shirt, frowned at the crappy weather outside, and took off for downtown.
The weather was not in our favour. Cold, windy and drizzling in the morning - but the sun was fighting hard to clear it off, so we opted to stick with the plan. By the time he arrived on the 5th floor of Macy's to meet me (in the Petites section!) I already had selected a new pair of jeans, a couple of tops and a couple of dresses that I needed to try on. Keep in mind that this is my FIRST "real store" shopping experience where I walked in and pulled what I wanted off the rack, AND ALL OF IT FIT!!!! Holy crap. It was already going to be a good day. I ended up going with the Levi's 515 Bootcut jeans (so far so good - I need to wash them once to see what happens with their shape, but after 2 wears they seem to be doing pretty well in the stretch department). I also bought an adorable dress (Size L) that I can wear on dates (in fact I told him if he wanted to see it, he had to take me somewhere nice - haha) and to my theatre benefit in July.
After I cashed out, we decided to head towards the lake. The sun had come out and we had a bit of a walk through Millennium Park to get there, so we made our way through the crowds heading to the Blues Festival and finally found a quiet patch of grass by the water. He is Indian, and had made delicious chutney sandwiches with a variety of toppings - cucumbers, tomatoes & potatoes. Really wonderful. And for dessert - watermelon tossed in traditional Indian spices, which was also very good and a change from what I'm used to. I'm digging this cultural mash-up. I'm a WIMP when it comes to spice. But he made the chutney very tame for me :) We'll have to see how I do with the next round of spice!
Unfortunately, our picnic by the water was cut a little short because it got very cold & windy again. After he went chasing a bag that blew away, he offered me his jacket (so sweet) which I gratefully accepted, but then he got too cold again, so we had to pack it up and go. We decided to head for hot chocolate, and took off for the Mag Mile in search of a cafe that I had been to a few years ago.
Sadly that cafe was under construction, so we crossed the bridge and found a bench overlooking the Wrigley Building and, sheltered from the wind at this point, had a great discussion about his work and studies (he's half way through his MBA right now, so I got a better idea of where he's headed and what he wants out of his career).
The need for hot chocolate won out again, so we continued on our way and finally came across Goddess and Grocer - perfect! One hot chocolate and one skim chai latte later, we were huddled up in the restaurant together talking while he tried to figure out how to put my puzzle ring back together again. Haha. I finally had to show him the trick.
Once we had worn out our welcome in the restaurant, we decided that seeing a movie would be the next best thing to do. After a toss up over X-Men vs. Thor (X-Men won), we headed out into the misty night again in search of food on the way to the theatre. As we were walking back up the Mag Mile we passed Express (which he had mentioned earlier he'd like to visit for a new pair of jeans). So we stopped in! I helped him pick out a couple pairs of pants and then headed to the ladies side of the store and started pulling stuff off the racks. Every single thing I pulled fit. I modeled a couple of tops for him and he chose a couple that he liked, so I bought them. We joked around trying on sunglasses in line - so much fun. I have never had a shopping date with a guy before. Usually it's the guy sitting in the car or on a bench while you beg him to try on clothes, he settles on a couple of polo shirts that you insist he needs to buy, and that's it. This one has a sense of style, girls. Like, actually LIKES clothes, and it shows. He is definitely put together and pays attention to how he looks. LOVE that. And add to that my complete and utter excitement at shopping off the rack for myself for the first time ever - I was completely elated!
We checked out from Express and continued to the theatre, making a pit stop at Dominick's first to grab some sushi trays and what was left of the fried chicken sandwiches and home fries (I'll let you guess which food choice was mine!) for dinner and sailed out of the store just as they were closing. Got our movie tickets almost an hour early and held a bench hostage outside the theatre while we ate our dinner together. And talked, and talked. We didn't stop talking all day (besides for a few stolen kisses and the movie, of course).
The movie was great. Since I had never seen any X-Men movies before, I thought it was pretty awesome. Him, being a big comic book fan thought it was only so-so. But he confessed to me later that he didn't really care because he was with me and he was just wishing the movie was longer so he could have 10 more minutes with me. (How adorable is that???) Neither one of us wanted the date to end. But since it was pushing 2am, it had to. He walked me to the train (hoping out loud that my train came first so he didn't have to be the one to leave me - gah, ridiculously romantic). Mine did come first, so he kissed me, saw me on the train, and waved goodbye as the train pulled out of the station.
Seriously. Trying not to be completely besotted, but this guy is kind of a gem.
We're seeing each other again on Thursday. Is it Thursday yet???
Cue the cooking date! I get to show him my skillz this time, though I'm gonna have to do it in HIS kitchen. This is gonna be fun :) On the menu - Melted Mozzarella Turkey Burgers on Foccacia Bread. He's taking care of the dessert. Wish me luck. Though, something tells me I don't need it.
Jenn = Happy Girl
I'll keep you posted *wink*
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Oh how I wish this were like the Oprah show where I could get a bunch of free stuff just for playing at home! But alas, this is not that blog. It IS, however, a blog asking for your best suggestions for a few things that I need to go out and buy this week. So here we go Sparkers - give me down low and dirty details on your favorite...
I'm obsessed with Lane Bryant Cacique bras and I'm SOOOO sad that I'm going to have to shop for another variety, and soon. I love Cacique for their sexiness AND all-day wearability! I usually wear push-up (I'm a big girl, but the girls need a little extra oomph here and there), and I like the low cut variety so I can wear low cut shirts that still look awesome. What are some of your go-to brands?
I detest Old Navy jeans. There is so much lycra in them they bag out and make my ass look 5 times bigger than it is in about an hour of wear. I've heard similar things about the Gap curvy fit jeans. No surprise since they come from the same family of manufacturers. I'm still a petite 16 in regular stores (inching towards that 14 really soon) so I need jeans that still fit big behinds, but that look great wear after wear after wear.
CUTE, CHEAP SUMMER TANKS & TEES
Same deal on the stretch factor. I've bought out Old Navy's stock of everything I remotely like. I have a coupon for Gap outlet. I've also hit up Marshalls and TJ Maxx. Anywhere else I should be looking that has good deals on summer stuff?
Like the bras, I have sworn by Lane Bryant Cacique underwear for years. I'm terrified at the idea of trying to find a new brand that I love as much as them. I like classic, cotton thong underwear (which you will know if you wear it needs to fit properly so as not to be uncomfortable!). I guess this one is really going to be touch and go for me since usual sizing guides indicate that I should be wearing a size that is way bigger and baggier than I find comfortable. So I'm gonna have to try a few and see how they work. What do you swear by?
WORK OUT UNDERWEAR
Can't wear cotton thongs all the time. When I run and do zumba classes I need stuff that covers everything and is breathable and sweat wicking. Send me your best finds!
Now - here are some brands that I LOVE and fully endorse!
I won't wear anything but SmartWool. Even in the summer. I got a couple of pairs of these for Christmas and there is NOTHING out there like them. They're cushiony and soft for long runs, but my feet are never too hot or too cold and they NEVER stink! Gotta love that!
Land's End basic swim suits are the BEST for laps. They last forever, don't wear out too quickly from the chlorine, are high enough cut in the leg and low enough cut in the neck not to look dowdy, but they tuck everything in nicely to cover trouble spots. You can get them with extra tummy control if you want and with or without a water bra for added support. They also come in lots of fun colours and are one of the cheaper suits on the market.
So there's my list. Let me know what you like and what I should be out there looking for! I'm planning on doing a bit of Saturday shopping!
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
I think I have a tape worm. Usually the onset of warm weather takes away my appetite, but this year, the onset of the sun has brought out my ability to bike and run and swim and sit out soaking up the rays. I'm already more tan this year than I usually am by August from all the time I've spent outdoors and that makes for one HUNGRY GIRL!
But this is getting ridiculous. I've been very obviously over my calorie limit almost every day for about 2 weeks now. I've been drinking and haven't been saying no to that piece of cake at the cast party, or the extra little treats that have snuck in here and there - "because I'm working them off anyway" - is what I keep thinking.
Well, the scale this morning says something different. I'm NOT working them off. I'm gaining weight. And it needs to stop. But it's crazy. I can't stop it. I'm hungry (physically hungry) all the time. Case in point - I usually don't eat lunch until around 2pm. It's currently 12:30pm and I just scarfed down a whole leftover Pita Pit dinner from last night's work meeting AND extra pita, tzaziki & hummus to go with it. I'm not hungry any more - but give it a few hours and I'll be back to the fridge again. AHHHHH! It's so frustrating.
I don't want to stop exercising. I've made the commitment to continue biking to work as much as possible this summer. But it's only since I've started biking that I've turned into the food ogre. And I do know from wearing my Garmin on one ride that I'm burning way more calories than Spark is telling me I am from tracking my exercise. And the good news from all of this is that my legs and butt have toned down and are starting to look killer now - which is exactly what I wanted to have happen. But this weight gain this morning ain't no patootty muscle building. It's purely and simply a food baby.
I just closed my show - so I should be able to get back to focusing on making healthy food at home and not eating out as much, but because I usually put off everything until my show closes (as I have done again this time), this week is full of meetings (which either involve food directly, or happen after hours so I can't get home to cook dinner), dates (which definitely involve food and drinking, and not usually of the healthy variety), and a lot of additional stress at work to get caught up on everything I've put off until now. And stress makes me eat for sure.
So the deal is this:
1. I've been lazy with my food tracker, so I'm food tracking EVERYTHING again. No cheating. If it goes in my mouth, it goes on the tracker. And already today sucks cause I have at least 10 hours until my work day is done and I only have 300 calories left. Poop.
2. Water, water, water. No more diet coke. There's no need for it anymore. Diet coke withdrawal sucks for me big time. It's not just about the pick-me-up in the afternoons, but because I use it as a treat instead of sugar or other things. It does help curb my chocolate cravings, but I know that I tend to eat more and put on pounds (or just not lose them as easily) when I'm drinking that crap. So I'm going to start a streak in Spark to get me through ridding my days of that again.
3. Grocery shopping and planning meals for the weekend. I've been pretty good about this all along, but pay day falls on a weird schedule this week, so I'm down to my last dollars and thus don't have any good food in my fridge at home until this weekend. So left over pitas from the work meeting will have to continue being my lunches for this week, despite the added salt. They're better than some of the other things I could be eating.
4. Just keep exercising. My body WILL get used to this level of burn eventually. It's been over a month now, but it's gotta kick in soon. I'm not convinced that ALL of this hunger has to do with the added calorie burn. I know some of it is emotional - and emotional tied to physical is the worst, because you eat to feed the physical hunger and then KEEP EATING to feed the emotional.
5. No more booze. Stop it. The celebrations are over, there is really no need to drink wine and beer a couple of times a week. Last night I had a meeting with the cast and crew of the cabaret show that I produce. We had a really great week last week (we made a lot of money from a deal I set up) and the cast brought me a beer to the meeting as a thank you. I drank it. And I was the ONLY one drinking! What kind of crap is that??? Oh, and I also had an iced tea sitting in front of me that was really all I needed with dinner. Drinking needs to stop. Even on dates. No reason I can't drink something else and keep my head in the game and the over-eating from lowered inhibitions at bay.
So that's the game plan. I've been reading a lot of these blogs from other people lately too. Common Sparkers! Let's kick ourselves in the butt a little and not waste this beautiful summer being bigger than we need to be! Enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of the season and love how being healthy and happy (and not eating crappy food) makes you feel!
Monday, May 30, 2011
I wrote a DailySpark Guest Blog! You can find it here:
Although it's a little dated now, I'm particularly proud of this one. Hope you all enjoy it.
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