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SIZE 12!!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Great news-
I have just purchased my first pair of size 12 pants since 1994, which means I have surpassed my original size goal of 14/16. Yippee!
Folks, I would have NEVER EVER believed you, when I started this journey, if you'd told me that I would be sitting here today, writing that, wearing a pair of size 12 pants. NEVER!
Now it seems so far away and distant, almost unbelievable, that I ever wore a size 28... and it was TIGHT! That means my pants today are EIGHT SIZES SMALLER than they were in 2006.
I've lost 122 pounds... I'm so dumbfounded that I'm talking about myself!

Nature walking has it's hazards

Now that summer is upon us, and we've had a rainy spring, the weeds are knee-high on the hiking trails around the river. This is where I jog with my dog.
So, what is everybody's favorite weed? Did I hear poison ivy?
You bet I heard it. And landed in it when I tripped over a rock.
I was thinking about posting a picture, but it's not very flattering.

Um, what does it SMELL like?

Customers come into the nursery where I work all the time, asking us to identify plants and flowers, sight-unseen. They describe them to us, and if we can't tell them what it is they're talking about, they think we're idiots.
Most of the time, it's the words they use to describe them that throw us:
"it has little, white, BELL-SHAPED flowers..."
I instantly thought Convularia (Lily of the Valley). Nope.
Okay, maybe it's Pieris. Wrong again.
Platycodon? Sorry.
The customer was talking about Mexican Primrose.
Okay, that is NOT a "bell-shaped" flower (seriously, if you don't know what these look like, Google them). I even recounted the story to my associates and they all nodded wistfully. It happens to all of us.
But Ted's story took top honors: the customers decribed the plant as "not really having flowers or leaves (huh???) and it looks LIKE BACON..."
I kid you not.
We still don't know what plant that was.
And frankly, WTF????

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRECECOOKS 5/25/2008 2:22PM

    What an accomplishment for you, darlin' - still "results not typical" I see. Hooray for size 12's and 122 pounds gone forever!

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_UMAMI_ 5/23/2008 1:19PM

    Way to go on the size 12's!
But damn, now I'm really craving a BLT....

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NOTBLUSHING 5/23/2008 12:58PM

    Editors Note- We also thought of snake plants and other tropicals, but here in zone 7, they would not be sold as outdoor landscape plants, since they are not hardy.
The customer did point to the annual Celosia (Cocks Comb) and said the plant she was thinking of looked similar (once again, HUH????).
Sometimes you just have to laugh.

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QUIZSHOW 5/23/2008 12:08PM

    Whoohoo!! Congratulations. emoticon

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HOOPYLORAX 5/23/2008 12:05PM

    Congrats on the size 12's! That is such an amazing milestone.

And OMG, I have seen that plant. I didn't get the name, unfortunately, but it looked vaguely bromeilliad. (sp) Thick, fleshy leaves, but not succulant thick, more like a rubber plant. The edges were slightly frilled, but only slightly. It had irregular stripes up the length of each leaf. Kind of a sickly green with bloody red and cream were the colors, and it all sprouted from a central stalk point, kind of like a dracanea. (I'm sure I'm spelling all of these wrong!) It was the ugliest plant I had ever seen. Yuck. Who would buy something like that?

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PHEBESS 5/23/2008 8:29AM

    A plant that looks like bacon. I like that. (I'm thinking some kind of succulent?)

And I am SO SO SO SO SO happy for you, sweetie!!!!!! You are a model SparkPerson!!!!!!!!!

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TRLYBLSD 5/23/2008 7:29AM

    Great job! What an accomplishment!


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What's Goin' On?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Feeling Better, Eating More

After very careful consideration, and reading my friend and teammate secretfun's opinions several times, I concluded that I might indeed have to force myself to eat more, even when I don't feel like it, and even if it means eating some very rich, high-calorie foods.
Several days last week, I ate dessert. It was usually late in the day, and didn't get tracked, but I had ice cream for dinner at least twice, and a pastry (just one) about three other days (my husband keeps these on hand at all times). I have also increased my workouts (SP bikini bootcamp).
So, I am eating more (esp. the dreaded carbs), working out harder (yay for better breathing) and feeling more energized. And today, I put on the next smaller size of jeans, that I bought several months ago, which have been waiting in the bottom of my drawer for this week. The scale is moving very slowly downward.
I'm making progress.


More (and more and more) referrals

Every week, I'm getting referrals from my employers. I'm so tickled by this I can hardly type!
These are from folks who call my employers (the nursery where I work part time) inquiring as to whether our nursery offers landscape design help, on-site consultations, assessments, and evaluations.
We don't. Meaning, the nursery doesn't offer these services... but I do.
I own a business, and that's what I do when I'm not working at the nursery. I work for myself, offering landscape help to homeowners and business owners.

To think that my employer would demonstrate such a willingness to help me further MY OWN business, is just amazing to me. I am so grateful to them.
This morning, I drove almost 50 miles to evaluate a stand of timber for a client, who owns several virgin forested acres in a rural area. Naturally, I included mileage in my fee.
The gentleman asked me, very kindly, why my prices were so low.
I guess I'll have to ask around what other arborists are charging!
Perhaps the fact that somebody else's insurance will be reimbursing him comes into play, but I haven't raised my rate in three years. Hmmmmm.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRECECOOKS 5/6/2008 9:57AM

    How exciting - it is your year to shine!!

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PHEBESS 5/6/2008 8:08AM

    Definitely time to raise your rates! And what wonderful people you work for!!!!

AND isn't it great to NEED to eat MORE???????? Who'da thought we'd get there?????

You're doin' great, babe - looking fabulous, moving mountains, and greening your corner of the world!!!!

And just wait til you come visit, you are gonna ROCK in your swimsuit!!!!!

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HEALTHY_ME08 5/6/2008 12:24AM

    Wow, that's great! Good for you! And I agree - you should get paid a fair price.

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MYKIDSMOM726 5/5/2008 10:43PM

    Suze Orman says, "You are not on sale. Don't sell yourelf at a discount!! You should get paid what you are worth!"

You have qualifications and clearly should be compensated in the same manner of everyone in that industry in your local area.

Good luck. emoticon


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SECRETFUN 5/5/2008 10:26PM

  You have new credentials, so yes, you should consider a raise. Plus cost of living and all that. I also am glad this is working. Keep up those farmer breakfasts and consistent calories.

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No more days off for awhile

Friday, April 25, 2008

I'll still have Monday and Tuesday off, but after the wedding is over tomorrow, I have nothing on my plate but WORK and WEIGHT LOSS. I hope I'm successful at both!
I have asked the nursery to increase my hours, so I'll start working Wednesdays next week. I am also able to come in early whenever I want to, which I will be doing whenever I don't have a project going.
Nursery work is easy money. Mostly I am helping customers, and in between I am watering. It's pretty mindless, and the only stress is trying to avoid the office politics. The more customers I can occupy myself with, the less of that I will have.
Business slows down when the heat increases, in June; and the employees schedule vacations then. Some of our staff will be dismissed. I'll be broke, so vacation may not happen.
But, I'll be glad when this wedding is finally behind us, and I can forget about getting a booking at the hairdresser and the nail salon. Oy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEB0413 4/25/2008 11:38PM

    Hey, congratulations on the marathon!! Way to go! And enjoy the wedding! You'll look beautiful just the way you are!

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PHEBESS 4/25/2008 1:07PM

    You are gonna be gorgeous at that wedding!!!!! DH's family will be looking at YOU, not the bride!!!!!!

And I see you're down another lb!!!!!!! Go Janine!!!!!

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Yesterday I went to pick up the gown I'll be wearing to my brother-in-law's wedding on Saturday.
I brought my shoes, as I did on the first visit, so the hem would be accurate.
Well, the hem was perfect.
However, the armhole gaps still show bra- a LOT of bra.
I brought an alternate bra, and tried the dress wearing that instead. The bra shows less, but supports a lot less too... which completely throws off the bust darts. I will opt for support.

The seamstress said she'll make a few adjustments and I should come back around closing time. It sucks, because the shop is not exactly close to my house. It's all the way across town, about 14 miles away. I had no choice.
My plan was to kill time nearby if I could (silly plan- I can't just dawdle for 5 hrs), so I headed to Dillards. To my surprise, the are going out of business and all the clothes are being liquidated. Now, I definitely need new clothes! I was able to kill two and a half hours very easily. The remaining stock is horribly disorganized and shopping is a slow, painstaking process. Unfortunately, there were not a lot of 14s left, except for super-fugly ones. I did score a few Ellen Tracy tanks and a Ralph Lauren Sweater, all of which are desperately needed. My lack of clothes has been embarrassing lately. The item I really need- a tailored blazer- was no where to be found. It kills me that I may have to spend around $200. to get one.
Well, back to the dress maker. I had been productive, even squeezing in my requisite pedicure (so my toesies look sweet in my silver sandals). When I walked in, I saw a crowd of women who must have all been told to come back around closing time. Eventually, it was my turn. I made my way into a changing room and slipped into my gown.
It looked as if she had done nothing! I am so disappointed.
Now, I really do think she is a talented tailor. That is not why I'm disappointed.
I'm disappointed because I'm feeling like my beautiful dress is just not working. It fits nicely everywhere but the bust, and deepening the darts any further will increase the size of the armhole gap, because that's where the fabric is coming from.
It was a hopeless feeling, standing there, with this tiny Asian lady circling me and muttering things like "dis dress not for you" and "not good dress". She did not know anything about the three other dresses that weren't good for me either, for the same reason: they didn't cover my bust. One of the dresses was an old size 4X, from the back of my closet, which hung on me like drapes... but the bust area was STILL too small.
I related this difficulty to her, and she looked into my eyes and said bluntly "You need breast reduction."
Maybe I do. Maybe I'm not seeing it. I think I look proportional.
We finally took up the straps by about half an inch. It seemed to work. I'll pick up the dress today.
Please keep your fingers crossed for me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANARO 5/4/2008 6:32PM

    I agree with Phebe, you're so close to your goal, it's obviously the dress and the tailor's problem, NOT yours! Is it possible to get a different dress style? Or are all participants required to match?

That's why for my wedding I told my 3 bridesmaids and my family "wear whatever you want!" I didn't try to make anyone match colors or styles, because each person has such different needs. This dress is obviously not meeting your needs...personally, I'd burn it and then tell the bride "oops! Sorry, no choice, have to wear this *other* dress, the first one accidentally got burnt up!" LOL.

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PHEBESS 4/24/2008 5:41PM

    I hope the dress worked out?

And NO WAY should you get a breast reduction!!! Just because the dress didn't work doesn't mean you need surgery. No matter what your ditzy tailor said. I think you look great!

Maybe consider buying a dress that fits in the bust, and get the hips taken in? (I always have the opposite problem fitting the waist since I don't go in much - I've had to go up a size and have the bust taken in.)

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LUCUBRATRIX 4/24/2008 2:03PM

    Oh, and good luck getting the ensemble together for the wedding! I am sure you will look absolutely fabulous!!

If all else fails, can you add a pashmina or a wrap in a complementary color, and just throw it over to camouflage the armhole issue on your otherwise fabulous dress?

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LUCUBRATRIX 4/24/2008 2:01PM

    Oh, NB, I totally feel for you! I started out this process at a 38K cup size, sometimes a 40J. I'm totally not kidding or exaggerating about that, either.

I'm now at 34E (or DD if you go in for the stuttering bra sizes). I am *still* bigger in the bustline measurement than I am anywhere else... but it's gotten a lot more proportionate as I lost the weight. My chest was an area where I stored a lot of weight gain, so it stands to reason that losing weight would cause it to shrink, too. I won't *ever* be able to wear a button down shirt, I think, but I'm now able to get away with things like wrap dresses and dresses in general, and chalk it up to "just a bit more of the cleavage". So, I think there is hope for you that this issue will at least improve, even if it won't go away.

I don't think "clothing not fitting" is a reason to have a breast reduction. There's a huge amount of pain and risk involved as with any major surgery, and having seen photos of other people's reductions, it asthetically leaves a lot to be desired. The people I know who have done it were really happy because they did it for pain reasons, but as someone who has never had bust-related problems other than clothing, that's not a good enough reason. I think we should instead of trying to alter our bodies to fit into clothing, be angry at the clothing manufacturers for failing to accomodate the variety of shapes that people come in.

Good luck finding your tailored blazer!! I bought one at the Gap recently. It's not very tailored on me, but I'm just happy that the sleeves are long enough.

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Charlottesville Half Marathon

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Four days ago, this past Saturday, was the much-anticipated Charlottesville Half Marathon. I was a participant.
It was my first OFFICIAL halfie. I have walked that distance, or better, on two previous occasions, but neither time was I "chipped" and clocked. Most of my official races have been much shorter distances.
As is usually the case, I start out fast, then get progressively slower as the miles roll out behind me. I really had no intention of running, or going fast at all; my intention was to challenge myself with the distance and explore the endurance factor. As it turned out, I did a pretty significant amount of running early on, aided by the long drops in elevation and the cool weather. I just felt like jogging, and when the feeling strikes me, I do.
All that changed after the halfway point turnaround, when those gradual, gentle downward slopes turned into heartbreak hills. The feats of endurance I witnessed were very powerful and compelling. Walking slowly uphill, for miles on end, I watched them push past me. I listened to their belabored breathing, and watched their sweaty shoulders heaving. I was awed by the fact that these athletes never gave up. No matter what kind of terrain the course threw at them, they simply kept putting one foot in front of the other, and did not give up. It was humbling, and I am still emotionally moved by the memories of the many runners who passed me on the uphill, and as they passed, offered ME words of encouragement: "Don't give up", "You can do it", "Keep going".
Did they think I was a fellow runner, who had hit the wall on the hills? That couldn't be, not at my size... could it? Whatever the reason, I had more support and encouragement on this race than any other previous race I've run (and there have been quite a few). Not just the crowd, but from the athletes. It was overwhelming.
I especially want to thank my dear friends, fellow SparkPeople PHEBESS and SECRETFUN, who not only showed up to support me, driving and FLYING in from many miles away, but braved crowds to retrieve my race packet the night before the race (saving me the 150 mile roundtrip), and somehow managed to wake up at 5am to see me off at the starting line. As if that isn't enough, SECRETFUN moved my illegally parked truck and secured lunch reservations. Even though the parking space and the lunch set her back financially, she refused money. It was her treat.
Friends like these two don't come along everyday.
PHEBESS and SECRETFUN, I love you both.

As far as my performance, well, I'm trying to focus on the fact that I FINISHED my first halfie, which makes it a personal best of sorts. Statistically, I came in next to last. Oh well!
Pictures will be posted as soon as I get them.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHORTY20 4/25/2008 10:29AM

    I'm so proud of you Janine, you've come such a long way in the past year and 4 months :)

Also, you're right about Phebe and SF, they rock!

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SECRETFUN 4/23/2008 8:59PM

  Friends are good to have. You are a good person, and I am glad you are my friend. Truth be told I made DH drive your truck because he has driven such long vehicles before. He worked the parking magic, too. You worked the mojo on the walk, though. I hope to join you side by side for the full 13.1 next year! We can still make DH move the truck if need be;-)

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SMURFETTE0725 4/23/2008 1:20PM

    I HAVE MUCH LOVE FOR FOR YOU JANINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ALWAYS!!!!!!!
Congrats my Friend!

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PHEBESS 4/23/2008 11:58AM

    Sweetie, it was a joy to see you off at the race!!! I'm only sorry I didn't get to walk it with you. (Although I'd have been dead last!)

And finishing the halfie is a BIG DEAL!!!!!!!!!! No matter what your time!

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JRF412 4/23/2008 11:26AM

    I love reading your blogs - Friends are amazing, aren't they?Congrats on finishing your first halfie :-) Keep it up! :-)

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CARLASGIRL 4/23/2008 9:34AM

    Well...let me just say how proud that I am of you! I know all too well, the emotions that you're feeling. Before my 30 lb weight gain (all within 10 months) I was a runner...I've would run 30 miles per week...I've ran many 5k's and I also was part of a relay team for the Columbus Marathon. I have recently started exercising again and I began with just walking...last week, I began adding some running spurts with my walking...boy, it's tough. I have a ways to go before I will be ready to run a 1/2 marathon, but it is a goal of dream is to run a full marathon one day. So for today, I'm just taking baby steps towards improving my running time and distance. I know I'll make it! So, CONGRATULATIONS on finishing the race...I know what an accomplishment it is for you!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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