Thursday, December 19, 2013
The company's holiday party took place last Friday, and I had a BLAST. One of my secret goals (blush) was to look nice for this Christmas party. It took a village
Karen helped me find the right makeup
Helen helped me find a beautiful, sparkly, little black dress
The hairdresser completely changed my hair color and gave me long soft waves. The salon owner, insisted on taking a picture afterwards. She asked me to pose, so I thought of the girls in the catalogs, smiled, put my hand on my hip and ...
... ended up on the salon's Instagram page. Oh my goodness.
My friends' reactions to the new hairdo were priceless. My favorite was the friend who actually walked right past me, because she didn't recognize me !
With the dress, hair, makeup and sparkly heels, for the first time in a long time, I felt confident and beautiful head-to-toe. Gone was the desire to wrap myself up in giant sweaters or hide behind my friends or conceal my thick calves. I didn't feel that I looked old beyond my years. I didn't want to be invisible.
When we got to the party, I threw my hands up in the air and DANCED ! We danced the night away !
Last year I took only one picture with the party photographer and left as soon as I could. This year, my buddies took pictures over and over again, and I was smiling in every single one. One coworker asked if we could have a shot, just the two of us. He revealed that he's been telling his wife about my journey, and he wanted her to see the change for herself !
It was the company's holiday party, but I was celebrating:
- losing 62 lbs.
- being a size 10, when last year I was a size 18 !
- the decision to turn my life around.
- the fact that it's actually happening !!!
- my improved health.
- having wonderful new people in my life.
- being young, alive and happy.
Don't give up. Don't ever give up. There will be ups and downs. There will be plateaus. There will be times where you just don't know if you'll make it. There will be times you'll need to change things up. Sometimes all you can do is wait it out. When times get tough, reach out to your SparkFriends. Reach out to your real-life friends. Ask for help. Together we are stronger.
Don't give up. Because your health will improve. Because with every milestone, your self-esteem will improve. Because you'll KNOW you're taking an active steps to improve the quality of your life and you'll be able to feel that as you persevere.
Because those moments of pure joy are completely, absolutely, 100% worth it.
62 lbs down. 38 lbs to go. Onward !
Monday, December 16, 2013
It's week 3 of making recipes from "Sneaky Veggies" and working towards my goal of becoming a good cook.
This week's selection:
Ingredients: chicken broth, 1 tbsp butter, 1/2 red bell pepper, 1/2 green bell pepper, 1/2 red yellow pepper, 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 6 dried apricots.
Tasting this at lunch time tomorrow
Because I really liked it last week, I remade the Beef & Veggies Star Soup.
This time, I found the parsnips in the store. First time tasting parsnips - I just discovered that I like 'em !
Ingredients: carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, chicken broth, olive oil, onions, celery, beef.
G'night Sparkles !
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Today, my Sparked Co-worker, Chris, told me that he's now lost 20 lbs ! We have decided to have a non-food celebration of sorts, like a walk around the block. I'm very happy for Chris - he's putting in the effort, and it shows !
I'm like a proud mama, heehee.
Monday, on my way to work, a lady who usually sells tickets to tourists walked up to me. The vendors don't usually approach people, and I've never spoken to them, so it was very unusual. I braced myself to turn down any offer for tickets when she said:
"Girl, you are getting tiny !",
smiled, and returned to her post.
I was so surprised that I literally stood there with my mouth open for a few seconds while my brain caught up with reality. When I finally regained my composure, I waved at her and told her "Thank you !".
Then I walked to the office with an ear-to-ear smile plastered on my face.
As Mondays go, this one was off to a great start !
Later that day, during my training session, out of the blue my trainer said, "I'm really proud of you". I said, "Thanks ! ... Why ?" We talk a lot of silliness during my workouts - it makes working out a lot more fun ! - but compliments from him don't come everyday, so I just had to ask !
He replied, "Remember the first month ? And all your hip pain ? You couldn't even get up from the floor without help. Look at you now, doing Pike Push-ups on sliders ! "
Today, after a long plateau and a few Thanksgiving indulgences, I ate my veggie soups and got back to drinking more water. The scale finally moved down a pound. Happy dance !
My friend Helen took it upon herself organize a day of shopping in order to help me find a dress for the company Christmas party on Friday. With two more gal pals, we spent HOURS looking at dresses. I kept thanking them for being so patient, and they just kept saying, "That's what friends do !"
I'm pretty sure those girls are made of solid gold.
Even the next day, when I thanked Helen again and said that I really wanted to do something for her and the girls, she said, "Our reward is that you come to the party and have a good time. That's all we want"
Gold, I tell you.
Ladies and gents, industrial-strength spanx were solicited, hehe Mama's got curves, and not all of them are in the right places ... not right now anyway !
We finally found the One ... IN A SIZE 10 !!!!
FREAKIN' SIZE 10 !
8 months ago, I couldn't even zip up my size-18 pants !
Last time my dad and I spoke on the phone, I told him I was happy and I meant it. It was refreshing to say it and actually feel it and believe it. But then, I told him, "I don't know about tomorrow though". For me, things tend to see-saw: one day I'm good, the next day, it's the end of the world
He answered, "That's why when we pray, we say, 'Give us this day our daily bread'. Tomorrow, we'll ask for tomorrow's blessings. Tomorrow will take care of itself. We live for today"
Today, I am floored by the kindness of others. I feel blessed, grateful and happy.
Monday, December 09, 2013
Week 2 of making recipes from "Sneaky Veggies" ( based on my goal to become a good cook, by learning how to make healthy meals):
Beef & Veggie Stars Soup (*****)
The recipe asks you to use a star-shapped cookie cutter to cut the carrots & parsnips, making them more appealing to kids.
I decided to skip that step to save time.
This recipe calls for round steak, chicken broth, carrots, parsnips, olive oil, onions and celery. I've never liked the texture onions or celery, so I pureed them in a blender before adding them to the pot.
Funny mishap: I bought green onions thinking those were parsnips ... I started having doubts while cooking, so I googled "parsnips". Imagine my surprise ! I decided to use sweet potatoes instead of parsnips/green onions.
Verdict: the Beef & Veggie Stars soup is DELICIOUS !!!
The beef turned out tender ( a first for me ! score ! ). I find sweet potatoes d-e-l-i-s-h, but the carrots .... wow. Thus far, my taste buds have been at war with boiled carrots, but in this soup, they were sweet and melted in my mouth.
I had my friend James try it too. His feedback: "Wow, you're making me love sweet potatoes. I've never liked them."
Rating: 5-stars. This is my favorite soup so far
( It's only been 2 weeks. I'll give it time )
I saved the green onions for Soup #2: the "Clean out the Fridge Soup" (***):
As the name implies, this soup helps you clean out the fridge by grabbing all your leftover veggies, boiling them, puree-ing them and cooking them again in onions and garlic browned in olive oil.
Veggies used: purple and green cabbage, red bell peppers, broccoli, garlic and green onions. I also added chicken (cooked with all sorts of spices, including tumeric, which I hear is a great anti-inflammatory spice) for chunkiness.
Final result: I guess it all depends on what veggies go into the soup. It looks a little "goopy", and I think the cabbage makes it smell a little bit funny Need to try different veggies or add something else to it to jazz it up.
James' verdict: "Yeah, cabbage is a funny thing. Raw they taste great, but cooked, they have a funny smell. They'd have to be cooked juuuust right. I'd stay away from cooking cabbage for now, until you have more experience with cooking veggies"
Rating: 3-stars. I'll be experimenting some more !
Friday, December 06, 2013
I'm 57 lbs down, with 43 to go. Some days I feel so empowered.
Other days, like this week and almost all of November, when the scale isn't moving downwards, the finish line feels really almost unreachable.
Thank goodness for NSVs :)
I got some makeup last weekend and I've been experimenting with it. The company's Christmas party is coming up and I would like to look nice ! I haven't worn makeup in months and am a bit rusty, so I have been trying it out all week to find out what looks good on me.
Tuesday it was a train-wreck. I thought the makeup was a bit off but that it didn't look too bad - until someone did a double-take looking at me when I walked in - and not in a good way! I hurried to the bathroom and took a second look - it was much worse than I thought - it looked like patchwork :-) I washed my face immediately !
Today was very different. My friend Chris told me "You look so good ! You should do this all the time ! When you put on makeup, it's as if you're celebrating how far you've come. I know you're not at your goal yet but you've changed so much, and you look so happy ! This might sound a little weird, but, you know those ads with girls running in the fields - those ads that are totally unrelated to the product they're advertising ? " (I had to laugh at this point. A couple ads came to mind!), "I almost feel like you should BE one of those girls in those commercials. You look happy"
While a perfume ad definitely isn't in the cards, it means a lot to me to hear that i look happier because I remember long periods when I was miserable because of my weight.
Going to keep pushing, because I know I will be even happier at the end for hanging in there and seeing this through.
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