Wednesday, July 28, 2010

L.I.E.: Week SEVEN

After a 5 mile run/walk (more running than walking this week), I weighed in to find myself down TWO POUNDS from last week. Then I drank a glass of water and gained .5 pound. The scale is funny. I'm sticking with two pounds and a 17 pound weight loss so far.
Also, I decided to post "before" and "half way there" pictures. Sometimes when you are in the process of losing weight, there are small differences you notice. Sure, your clothes fit a bit better and you certainly see the numbers going lower and lower on the scale but because you see yourself every day in a mirror, it is hard to step out of yourself and really see the difference.
Here is my difference:
Taken May 13, still in denial but slowly realizing that I have a problem. And that problem is huge thighs.
Taken July 19, about 5.5 weeks after deciding to lose weight.
I'm 14 pounds down in this picture
I think I will wait until I reach my 30 pound goal to do another picture comparison but I'm liking what I see so far!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Everyone loves free stuff

I don't have tons of awesome perks at my job. I don't work at Google, afterall. Sure, I get all federal holidays off including about 8 days at Christmas. We have conferences in our building and when there is left over food, we are encouraged to grab a plate and chow down. There are free crystal light packages up for grabs in the kitchen and every now and again, they have a special day where they serve nachos, ice cream or popcorn as an employee appreciation. And there is that whole thing about how I am shaping young minds by encouraging them to develop leadership skills and to stay away from drugs, alcohol and tobacco. But I don't need a pat on that back for that. If YOU want to pat me on my back, feel free to leave a comment but really, the knowledge that I am molding our future generation to be positive leaders helps me sleep at night. Perks are for jerks. But there is one perk that I will gladly take at my job. This is a newer perk. A perk that I welcome with open arms. What is it? 3 weeks of paid vacation? No. Unlimited sick time? Yeah right. Free pretzel M&M's anytime I want them? I wish. Oh how I wish. Free feminine hygiene products? YES. You read that right. I get free tampons. See, the tampon vending machine in our bathroom broke a while back. So instead of fixing it, they removed all of the products and placed them in a basket in the bathroom. Free tampons people. That beats 8 days off at Christmas anyday.

Pretzel M&M's

I've been on the lookout for Pretzel M&M's for weeks now. Every where I looked, I saw empty boxes. Wal-mart, CVS, Safeway, gas stations. They were a mystery. I had to go to CVS yesterday to pick up some products and strolled through the candy aisle to see if I could track down this mysterious candy. There they were. A full box of pretzel M&M's. I wasn't sure what to expect but as soon as I popped one of those bad boys in my mouth, I was in love. Seriously, this is a good candy. I love M&M's. I love peanut M&M's. Heck, I'll chow down on peanut butter M&M's but Pretzel M&M's......those are my JAM. And guess what? For 150 calories and 5 grams of fat this may be my new weekly treat.

Monday, July 26, 2010

High and Low of the weekend

Low: Spending 3 hours and 15 minutes at Toyota on my Friday off to get my tires balanced only to drive away and have my steering wheel still be shaking when I get to 70 MPH. High: Friday afternoon naps Low: Random Sinus headaches High: Frozen yogurt and hanging out with my sister and her family on Amy's first birthday! Low: It was close to a brazillion degrees at the state fair on Saturday. I believe it was being held on the surface of the sun and not in Sacramento. High: Nachos, piggies, ice cream and laughs at the fair
Low: Miscommunications
High: New short hair
Low: Getting our butts kicked in softball
High: Kitty cuddles
Low: MONDAY

Friday, July 23, 2010

L.I.E.: Week SIX

Milestone alert!!! I've lost 15 pounds! I decided to weigh in Thursday morning instead of Friday morning and discovered that I reached my half way point. Losing weight isn't always easy. It takes a lot of hard work and some heavy handed discipline to not give into every craving. But it is really worth it. I don't want to be this size and I am doing something to change it. I don't know if I can lose another 15 pounds in 6 weeks so I'm not going to put a time limit on my goal. Knowing that I have come this far really motivates me to continue to try harder, workout longer and push through until I see that magic number on the scale.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Negative Scanning

I'm sure all of us that were into snapping photos before the invention of the digital camera have TONS of film negatives sitting around our house in boxes. Most likely those negatives are still stashed away in the photo envelopes, collecting dust. Or you have run them through a shredder because you had no idea what to do with them.

For all of you young whippersnappers out there, this is a film negative

When I went to Italy in 2004, I didn't have a digital camera. I took 14 rolls of film with me and used every single one. That's a lot of pictures my friends. For some DUMB reason, I did not order cd's to go with my prints. Seriously, how dumb can I get? I ordered the prints, put them in two albums and was done with it. I saved the negatives for some reason and I'm so glad that I did!

There are many, many companies that will scan your negatives and put them on a cd or dvd for you. Heck, some will even make a movie out of your pictures. Pretty groovy, right? I needed this service. I would LOVE to have the hundreds of pictures from one of the best trips of my life on cd so I can upload them to Flickr and store them digitally.

I did a lot of comparison shopping when it came to picking the right company. Here are some that I looked at:

BritePix: Negative scanning started at .29/frame for 1500 DPI and increased to .49/frame. An online gallery is included free but each CD costs $3.00. I didn't see an option to add additional cd's or dvd's to your order. You can add a dvd slideshow for .25/picture. There is a $50 minimum on negative scanning. Shipping and handling was $12.00. Grand total for my order: $105.00

ScanCafe: I chose this company. My total for this company was a bit higher. Scanning was .29/frame for 3000 DPI. A cd is included in your order price but you can order additional media for a cost. I decided to get a dvd for $7.95. There are lots of additional options as well. You can buy a digital photo frame or an external hard drive with your images downloaded. 50% of the cost is due at the time of the order. I paid $7.46 for shipping and they provided me with a label. I just had to go to the UPS store and buy a box for .99 cents. Shipping back to me will cost $10.25. Grant total for my order: $116.64

Digmypics: Scanning 300 frames at 3200 DPI was a total of $147.00. 300 pictures would take up 5 cd's with a cost of $30. A dvd disc would be $6.00 extra. Before shipping costs the total was $177.00. This company offers a movie format for your pictures including a title page and music for $45.00.

There are several other companies on the world wide web that offer these services. You also have the option of buying a negative scanner at various electronics stores. I'm sure these are "you get what you pay for" type electronics so make sure you read reviews before making a purchase.

My negatives should be scanned and online for me to review by the beginning of September. I'll make sure to follow up with a review then!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Aloha!

I love vacations. I love to travel and I love Hawaii. While in Maui on our honeymoon*, my husband asked what jobs we could get so we could move there. Hawaii is glorious. And that is why we are going back!! We have a 4 night trip scheduled for later this year. We would love to stay for longer but work duties prevent us from having a week long vacation. We will be travelling to the Big Island and I can't wait to hang out on the beach, sip a yummy drink and splash around in the ocean. *I just realized that I never blogged about our honeymoon. The horror! I'm putting that on my to-do list. **I added a couple of features to the bottom of my posts. A "share this" option and a Yelp like rating. Click over to my blog to check it out!!!**

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's all about the food

6 years ago, I was a week away from reaching my goal weight. I'll throw it out there.....155 pounds. I also was just 11 days from meeting my future husband and I'm glad I looked hawt for our first date! Anywoo, I got to thinking this morning about how my body has changed over the past 6 years. And by changed, I mean it has grown in ways I didn't want it to grow. I thought about how in the past 6 years, I rarely went more than a couple of months without working out. I ran 3 half marathons, 4 Bay to Breakers and multiple 5K's. How in the heck did I manage to gain weight? My husband's response to my assertion that I was gaining weight: "how are you gaining weight? You work out every day?" It's all about the food. And I was all about the food. When I moved out on my own in 2005, I managed to maintain my balance of working out and keeping my diet in check. I'm sure I had gained some weight back since meeting my husband. I had someone to go out to dinner with every weekend! And when we moved in together in 2006, it was really easy to toss out those portion control rules and go nuts. And continue going nuts for the next 4 years. It really is all about the food because exercise will only get you so far. You can't exercise away a bad diet. It takes balance of these things to get you to a place where you start losing weight. Luckily, I love exercising but I have a problem with food temptation and I'm going to self diagnose myself as a compulsive overeater. It's all about the food. Control your food intake. Add in exercise. Find success.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lemon infused pasta served with lemon chicken

I'm obviously not a chef because a chef would come up with way better names for their dishes. Whole wheat pasta, chicken breasts, lemon, garlic, chicken stock, EVOO Salt and peppa the chicken Use your microplane to zest some lemon. I love my microplane!! cut the lemons into small slices. Add 2 cups (or less, I added too much) of chicken stock and a few splashes of EVOO. A little butter, some lemon slices, garlic and lemon zest cook the chicken Drain the pasta and place it in the lemon broth. Toss it around to soak up all the flavors. Put the pasta in a bowl and place the chicken on top. Sprinkle some cheese over the top if you'd like. Enjoy!!!! Even my husband enjoyed this dish, although he requested a little less lemon flavor next time. Crazy man.

Crazy, Sexy, Cool

CRAZY: -I went to Chipotle on Friday with my sister in law. As per usual, it was packed so I asked my SIL to sit at one of the few open tables while I waited in line to order. She sent me a text of what she wanted but I wasn't sure if she wanted pinto beans or lettuce or whatever. So I asked her to come over to me. She set her purse on the table and walked 5 feet over to where I was in line. As she turned to walk back, an older gentleman was setting his tray down on the table. I was kind of helpless standing in line because it was really loud and yelling wouldn't have done anything. I could see my SIL saying, "oh no, this table is taken" but the man didn't care. His wife came over while my SIL stood there confused. She told her "I'm sitting here already. My SIL is in line getting our food." I saw the wife say "oh ok" but she still didn't leave the table. WHAT.THE.FRICK. A purse on a table means it is occupied. Not vacant. In use. That was crazy. -On Sunday, I walked into our pantry to get a snack, a few triscuits. I sat on the couch eating my food and my husband was sitting at our pub table. A couple of minutes passed and I heard him say "kitty!!!" I thought maybe she jumped up on the counters but no.....she was in the pantry. We have a partially glass pantry door so she was sitting there, looking out, probably wondering what she did to deserve being locked in the pantry. I usually see her run in there but I have no idea how she got in there! Ninja kitty! I felt horrible. SEXY: -Monday morning weigh in: down 14 pounds. I've been weighing myself more than I planned to but I needed some motivation at the start of this week. I'm starting to have really bad cravings. Ice cream sundae cravings. I had my husband take a picture of me this morning since I'm wearing the same shirt as in my fat picture in my original weight loss post but it isn't a flattering picture at all. So I'll wait until I hit the 20 pound mark for a comparison. COOL: -I play in a co-ed softball league and during the game yesterday, I actually caught a ball and made an out! I play the rover position (shallow infield) and I have this fear of catching the ball. I feel like if I look up and stick my glove in the air, the ball is going to land right on my face. In this situation, the ball was going in a straight line. I had to run for it and stick my arm out as far as I could but I did it. I caught the ball. I squeezed my glove as hard as I could and just prayed that it would stay put. And it did! I was so proud as were my teammates. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

July 18: L.I.E. Week FIVE

I'm a few days late posting my L.I.E. update. My apologies but I have quite a roller coaster weight story for you. I woke up Friday morning and weighed in. I found that I was up a .5 pound from last week. Not happy. I decided that maybe I would do what I did last week: workout and then weigh in again. So I went for a 4.3 mile run/walk and when I weighed in, I was down 1.5 pounds from the weight just an hour earlier. I still felt like I was cheating a bit but I went with it. Saturday, we went to a movie and shared a small popcorn with a small amount of butter. We then went to Fresh Choice where I had a salad, small portion of pasta with red sauce, small slice of pepperoni pizza and chocolate soft serve with some chocolate chips on top. Oh and one of their brownies. So I guess Saturday became my cheat day, right? The soft serve was SO GOOD. So was the brownie. I was feeling guilty for eating that and worried about the scale so I went to the gym and finally added some weights into my routine. I only did about 15 minutes of weigh training but after an hour of cardio, I was tired. Plus, I have softball today and didn't want to be too sore. When I got home from the gym, I weighed in again. I was at the SAME weight as Friday morning. After eating all day, same weight. I was excited to weigh in Sunday morning and see what my morning weight would be....1.5 pounds LOWER than Friday morning!!!! So far, I have lost 13.5 pounds. I really think I can see the difference in my face and my friend Sierra even said she can tell that I've dropped some lb's. :) I think maybe that first Friday weigh in was a fluke, right? Essentially, from Friday morning to Sunday morning, I've lost 2.5 pounds. I'll take it!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Food Ignorance gets you no where!

One of my favorite restaurants is Chevy's. There is a Chevy's 5 minutes from my house and it is a frequent meeting spot when I have monthly-ish dinners with one of my closests friends. When you are trying to lose weight, going out to eat on a regular basis is pretty much out of the question. These days, most restaurants have their nutritional information posted on their website or in their store. Doesn't McDonald's print the info right on the food containers? Out of curiousity, I checked out Chevy's nutritional info. Holy guacamole! Chicken Flautas: 1510 calories, 76 grams of fat. Those are a favorite of my husbands and nearly the highest caloric meal on the menu. I have been eating about 1,600 calories a day. Think about it. Fresh mex sampler: 2560 calories, 139 grams of fat. I hope you share that. I go cheap at Chevy's and get a "make your own burrito" deal. Free tortillas (420 ca. for 3), refried beans (280 ca.), cheese (110 ca.) and sour cream (180 ca.). 990 calories. It costs about $2.95 for this but wow, 990 calories. No wonder I felt like I was going to explode when we went there a few weeks ago. Even more disturbing is the kids menu. A child's cheese quesadilla is 1020 calories. Fresh Mex Chicken bites are 810 calories. Those are astounding numbers for adults but for kids? I highly encourage you to check out the menus before stepping foot in any restaurant or fast food joint. Make a plan ahead of time and stick to it!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Kitty

Kitty photo shoot!
I love my kitty!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Knock Knock Followed Us

Do you remember when I posted about a strange knock knock noise that we could hear outside of our bedroom in our apartment? The best part of moving out of that apartment was leaving that damn noise behind us, in our past! Goodbye knock knock noise!!!!! We are FREEEE! Or not. We have a vent in our ceiling right outside of our bedroom door. Sunday morning, I woke up to hear a knocking sound. Knock....10 seconds....knock....10 seconds....knock. ARE YOU SERIOUS? I like to think that this stupid sound slithered out of the apartment complex and made its way down two freeways and found us. I'm sure it recognized our cars in front of our house. So the sound hid all weekend and then found a nice and cozy spot right outside our bedroom and commenced making noise bright and early Sunday morning. The knock would start and stop throughout the day. We turned the a/c on last night (why was it 91 degrees at 9:30??) and the knock started. Then stopped. Then my husband left the bedroom for 20 minutes to try to fix it. It stopped. Then started. This morning it stopped. Then started. When I left for work, I didn't hear it. Who the heck knows what this noise is. Is something loose up there? Why are we haunted and followed by knocking noises? Did I do something in my past to deserve this? Why? WHY?

Friday, July 9, 2010

L.I.E.: Week Four

Weight Loss: I lost 1 pound* (2 pounds) this week, 10 (11) pounds total. I know one pound lost is better than one pound gained but I'm feeling a bit annoyed. I'm not sure if my 4th of July pig out was to blame. I worked out every day this week and paid very close attention to my calories. I think that initial 4 pound and 3 pound loss was my body's initial reaction to the drop in calories and it may level off now.
*EDIT: Okay, I don't know if this is cheating but hear me out. I ate a bagel, a fiber one bar and a glass of water and went for a 4 mile run/walk this morning. I walked 1 song, ran 2 songs, lather, rinse, repeat. When I came home, I immediately weighed myself and found myself down one pound. I'm counting it. :) I'm not sure what else I can do. I really don't think I can lower my calories anymore since I'm having a hard time only have 1,580 in a day. I think I need to find some lower calorie snacks that are still filling since my hunger during the day is tough to quench. I'm also going to add in 20 minutes of weight training every other day. I did some weights Wednesday night but I need to be more regular than that. Another week begins and I'm hoping to see better results next Friday!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Where is my soapbox? Oh there it is!

I'm posting this from the inside of a phone booth so if I get anything thrown at me, I'm protected! The California chapter of the NAACP is showing support for California Prop 19 which will legalize marijuana in the state. This blog post is NOT about my views on legalizing marijuana. I have strong feelings about this topic but that is for another time. From the L.A. Times: Saying that prohibition takes a heavy toll on minorities, leaders of the NAACP's California chapter announced Monday that they are backing passage of a marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot. The war on drugs is a failure and disproportionately targets young men and women of color, particularly African-American males, said Alice Huffman, president of the NAACP's state conference. The group cited statistics from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice showing that in 2009, 62% of the state's marijuana arrests were of nonwhite suspects and that 42% were under 20. How many young men and women of color are being arrested for murder? theft? assault? Should those crimes be made legal as well? If people are people arrested for possession and drug possession is in fact illegal, I see nothing wrong with arresting them. If a person breaks the law, they should suffer the consequences. No matter their color, race or creed. Perhaps instead of spending their time and money supporting the legalization of marijuana, the NAACP should provide assistance, guidance and opportunities to the population being taken over by drugs. Educate them. Give them the skills and the self worth not to fall into the dark pit of drug use. By supporting this legalization, they are not getting to the root of the problem. That problem being generations of people being addicted to drugs, addicted to selling drugs and abusing drugs. By supporting this legalization, they are giving thousands of people an excuse to take part in a substance that DOES have harmful short and long term effects on the body. This isn't about the legalization of marijuana. This is about racial profiling in their eyes. But why excuse the behavior? Especially when that behavior is not positive? Ron Allen, of the International Faith-Based Coalition has been speaking about this very issue and is angry at the NAACP for their support. Read some of his quotes in this article. You will see that he and I share the same concerns. Another article does a good job at questioning the NAACP and their probable motives around supporting this proposition.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Celebrity Watch Wednesday

Dear Dina Lohan, How about you stop seeing your child as your ticket into clubs and start looking at her as a lost and broken kid? She broke her parole. She didn't follow instructions. There are consequences to those actions. The fact that neither you or your ex-con husband understand that is pathetic. Of course you don't want to see your daughter behind bars but where were you when she was supposed to be attending alcohol education classes? I know she isn't a kid anymore but her behavior doesn't really scream out "responsible adult", ya know? But hey, I guess your behavior doesn't show that either. Start being a parent or the justice system is going to take your place in that role. Your daughter needs help. Why don't you see that? "This is so not fair to do to my child" is your response? What would be "fair"? You break the law, you pay the consequences. Remember that when trying to raise your other kids. Better luck with Ali, eh?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bulls are Big...Don't let them chase you.

For the second time in his life, my dad is in Spain attempted to run with from the bulls. The first time he did it, I think he said he saw the bull upclose and jumped into a door way. Those things are huge. I went to the state fair later that summer and saw a bull up close and personal. Just standing in front of a the stationary beast I was a bit freaked out. I can't imagine it running towards me. Luckily, I will never have to because only a crazy person would actually participate in this event.
Yes, I just called my dad crazy but I think he is well aware of this. I will be thinking of him tonight at 11:00 p.m. Pacific time when the running commences at 8:00 a.m. in Spain. I'm sure he will be fine although I do worry a bit. He might be crazy but he is pretty smart as well and I trust him to get out of the way if he feels like he is in danger.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Food Scale Giveaway Winner!!

I used the random number generator to see who the winner of this giveaway was. Each person was assigned a number (or two or three, depending on how many entries they earned). I am proud to announce that the winner is........ NUMBER 12!! Wait, who the heck is #12? That would be you, Samantha!!!! Samantha, please email me at michelle@seemichelleblog.com so I can get your mailing information. I will be sending the food scale your way as soon as I get your info. Thanks to all of you who entered the contest. Continued good luck and success on your weight loss journeys!

L.I.E.: Week 3

Weight loss: I lost 1.5 pounds this week. That's not quite the 4 pounds of last week but I'll take it. Total weight loss so far: 9 pounds. Pounds left to lose: 21 pounds. Exercise: I didn't make it to the gym on Monday because it was 105 degrees out and I just wanted to sit in my air conditioned house when I got home from work. I also didn't make it to the gym on Wednesday because I had a play date with my niece! My time at the gym the other days was pretty awesome though so I'm excited to kick it into gear this week. Diet: My eating wasn't too bad this week. I went to a salad/sandwich place on Tuesday for a going away party for my coworker and instead of getting a small side salad and piece of grilled chicken, I got a huge salad. It was really tasty but not a good habit of getting large meals. It is 4th of July weekend so I will have to really hold back. For me, it's not so much about letting go for a weekend but training myself (and my stomach) that I don't need to eat a lot....ever. I will announce the winner of the food scale contest later today!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I'm going on Antiques Roadshow

I'm spending the day at work cleaning out all of the papers, folders and dust that have accumulated over the past 4.5 years. Thats not to say that I haven't cleaned my cubicle out in that time but I deal with a lot of papers in my job and they seem to just end up in random places. I'm getting near the end of my cleaning and I have unearthed a fossil, my friends. A fossil from 2001.
I'm pretty sure this is the first digital camera ever made. The memory card is a floppy disk people. A FLOPPY DISK.
I found a review online that says "if I had an extra $800 lying around..." WHAT????? $800 for a digital camera. LOLOLOLOLOLOL. This is hilarious.
The best part is that this has been sitting in my office for 4.5 years. Obviously at some point, we got better (no, they suck) digital cameras to use for our events and this one just continued to gather dust on my book shelf.
I'm currently charging the battery and plan to put this baby to use today. Today is amazing.