Thursday, May 22, 2008
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.
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????
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.
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.
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.
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.
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