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Archive for November, 2007

I did it again. I fell asleep on the couch at probably 8:45 pm and woke up at 1:30am. 5 hours sleep, not too bad, but since I was pretty groggy, I headed to bed to hopefully get a few more hours of sleep.

No luck.

I laid there and tossed and turned. I couldn’t stop my mind from thinking about all the different things I need to do. Essays to grade, projects to complete for grad school, surveys to distribute and collect for my action research project (also for grad school), the food I need to buy to get ready for the South Beach Diet (SBD) on Saturday, what clothes I am going to wear to school tomorrow (today), the fact that I need to mail my rent check, how much money I’m going to get on my paycheck this time, since I gave a workshop after school and will be getting paid extra money, friends I haven’t talked to in a while, etc., etc., etc.

I was making myself miserable, so I finally just got up and started doing some of the things I was thinking about. I know getting up at 2:45 am for the day is not good for me and that it will catch up to me eventually, at least for now I feel somewhat productive and I can get things done.

I think that tonight’s sleeplessness was caused by the fact that I don’t have a prep period at school anymore. Usually teachers teach 5 classes and have 1 prep period to get copies made, grade papers, plan lessons, etc. One of the teachers at school who is a good friend of mine was going to go on maternity leave, but because she only teaches 1 period on “A” days, she didn’t know if she wanted to get a substitute for that class. So she asked BeachGirl and me if we would split the class and cover it for her. We wanted to help her out, so we said yes. I’m covering her classes before we get out of school for Christmas vacation and BeachGirl will be covering the classes for her after Christmas vacation until the end of the semester, in mid-late January. We get paid $40 per day to cover a class that lasts 90 minutes. Not bad money. What is bad is not having any time to get things organized or prepared. I was actually using my prep to go and workout, not coming in until half an hour before my 2nd period class began at 10:25. Even though I wasn’t using my prep in a traditional way, going to work out was good for me mentally and physically. Trying to go in the evenings with BFF hasn’t been working out very well. One or the other of us is too tired or unmotivated. It’s hard to gear up to go workout when it’s 8pm and you’re tired from the day’s work. When we do make it, it feels great, but it feels so bad when we don’t make it that this time is just not working out.

I can’t wait to finish covering this class so I can resume my normal schedule again. Maybe the combo of eating well, working out, and being more organized will help me get on track with my sleep patterns. One can hope.

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The trip to IKEA was great, even with the searching for a parking spot, dealing with tons of people milling about, and rude, useless employees.  This was only the 3rd time I’ve ever been to IKEA, and the first time in at least 3 years.  I know they have tons of cool stuff at amazing prices, but I hate all the hassles, so I avoid it as much as possible.

The main reason for going today was because my parents were going to buy me the Billy Bookcases that I’ve had my eye on since the summer.  The bookcase I currently have is literally falling apart (one of the shelves has caved in on another), and it was free to begin with.  Plus, I have all of these bags and storage bins and other compartments with my stationary, binders and papers from grad school, etc.  I really want to put it all in one place and organize it.  I think my bedroom will feel completely finished if I can gather it all up and organize it.  I ended up getting two bookcases that are 15 3/4 wide and one that is 31 1/2.  The small bookcases will have doors on them that go about halfway up.  I wanted to get the doors so that I could hide the more unsightly items (like binders and stationary).  My dad was a champ through all of the looking, waiting in line, and hauling.  The man has the patience of a saint.

As a side benefit, I wanted to go into the “marketplace” to get wine glasses.  Right now I have really nice wine glasses — 4 white wine and 4 red wine, but I feel like that might not be enough if I ever had more people over.  So I got some great everyday wine glasses that will fit in my dishwasher!  (The ones I have now are too tall to fit, so I have to wash them by hand).

I also found great sets of tealight candles — 42 for $3.99.  I got them in shades of pink and blue (for my bathroom) and another set that are in cream colors and smell like vanilla.  Then I saw some great candles in glass (I love self-contained candles that are guaranteed not to drip everywhere), so I bought six of those — 3 cream (vanilla scent), 3 sage green (pear scent).

Finally I got a shitload of tupperware.  Seriously, if you need to store your food, come on over, I know I’ve got a container that can fit it.  They had these really inexpensive food storage containers that were 17 pieces for $4.99.  So of course, I bought two sets.  Just in case.  I figure that with the food I’m going to be making ahead on South Beach, I’ll need plenty of containers to keep it all in.  Plus, the little ones are so adorable, and I could see my 15 almond snack fitting perfectly inside.  No need to waste Ziploc baggies if you can use reusable containers, right?  Saving money and being “green.”  Or something like that.  Really, I just love the tiny little tupperware containers.  I think they’re so cute.  I’m going to be dreaming up snacks to fit in them, I’m sure.

I only spent $42, but I had a huge bag full of fun housewares that I can’t wait to use.  In fact, I’ve already hand washed all of the tupperware and I have a few of the tealight candles burning as I write this.

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I told myself there was no way I was getting anywhere near a mall on Black Friday. Who needs the hassles of finding parking, fighting crowds, and then waiting in line for hours just to purchase something at a slightly discounted price? What person in their right minds was at Mervyn’s or Kohl’s at 4am on Friday morning? Really? Are the sale prices that important?

Even though I didn’t set foot near a cash register for most of the weekend, I did spend $250 on some new clothes. I went online and found some nice, new sweaters that should fit well and serve their purpose until I start dropping sizes thanks to the South Beach Diet.

I also bought a few Christmas presents. In fact, I only have a few more to buy, which is a great feeling. Before you think I’m super organized, I should admit that my Christmas list is very small. I only buy for a few close friends, my sister, my 2 nieces, and my parents. It makes it pretty easy, really. Plus, my sister and I already gave each other our presents (both yoga related, but more on that later) and BFF and I decided that our gift to each other this year would be to start taking yoga classes at a cool spot near our houses. My sister and I went in on gifts for my parents together since they were fairly big ticket items. I even found some great (small) gifts for CTLB, CBCB, and BeachGirl. (I won’t mention what I got them, since they read this blog). Let’s just say that their presents have a “C” theme this year.

(I should say that I’m well known for giving themed gifts. I love trying to come up with a theme and making all of the presents in the bag or box go with that theme. I’ve come up with some pretty innovative themes over the years, and it’s become almost like a little game of my own creativity to figure out a new theme).

Yesterday I even made the trip down to Target. I didn’t go in there planning to buy too much — a few cleaning supplies, some eyeliner, personal care items, etc. I walked out with a receipt for over $124. How do I do it? I can never walk out of Target for less than $70, it seems. Yesterday the Christmas decorations were calling my name. I have tons of ornaments and other Christmas baubles in boxes in the basement, but for some reason, I just HAD to have some mini balls in fun colors. You see, I decided against a tree this year, because I just didn’t want to go to the trouble. I’m not having any parties, and since it’s just me, I wanted to keep things low key. Sure, I want to decorate a bit, just to get in the Christmas spirit, but nothing too time consuming or costly. I’ll try to take some photos when I’m finished decorating.

Today I’m headed to IKEA with my parents to purchase my long awaited bookcases for my room. (They’re buying the bookcases for me as an early Christmas present). I’m hoping they have what I’m looking for and that they look as good in person as they do in the catalog. No doubt I’ll find a few more can’t-live-without items in the housewares section of the store. I think the wine glasses and tupperare containers will be calling my name. Oh, and maybe some new coffee mugs?

For someone who tried her best to avoid the malls like the plague, I sure did my share to help contribute to the national economy.

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Last night after the fabulous dinner had been eaten and the orgasmic pumpkin pie had been devoured (seriously, the pumpkin by was the best pie I’ve eaten in my life!), my dad decided to show some old home movies.  He had been fooling around with the computer and had made my sister and I our own personalized DVD of home movies that featured the first drive home from the hospital all the way through high school graduation.

It was pretty special really.  So nice to see so many relatives who had passed away.  Looking back on a more innocent time and realizing how far I’ve come, how much I’ve gone through, and how I had survived.

I saw myself as a precocious, chubby baby, who turned in to a chubbier toddler and then a chubby grade schooler.  Sensing the pattern?  This is what I remember — being heavy since I was little.

The most shocking revelation of the evening was that in high school I wasn’t as big as I remembered.  In fact, I was pretty slim.  So, no, I was no size 2 by any means, but I was probably about 150-160 pounds, which is more than 100 lbs less than I am right now.  I looked good.  Curvy, feminine, but very fit and healthy.  And back then I  thought I was so fat compared to all of my friends.  In reality, I was the same size that they were, and in some cases, my waist was a lot smaller, thanks to the hourglass figure I have.

What happened to make me gain so much weight since then?  18 years and lots of eating, I guess.  But there have also been some really emotional things that I’ve gone through and while I came out a stronger woman, I guess I also came out a fatter one.  With each major emotional upheaval in my life, I think I turned to food for comfort.  Not that I’m an emotional eater, because I’m not.  I mainly eat when I’m bored, or hungry, obviously.  The problem is that I eat too much, and lately, the wrong things.

Looking at myself 19 years ago was interesting.  I wish I could’ve somehow told my younger self that I was going to turn out to be an intelligent, funny, sarcastic, well liked person who had a major weight problem.  I would’ve warned my  17-year-old self that I really needed to workout more often and take what I was eating more seriously so that I wouldn’t be in the predicament I find myself in now.

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It seems appropriate to take a minute today and explain what I’m thankful for. I am lucky to lead a really good life, and here are a few things (people) that I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving:

1. My Parents. They have always been there for me through everything. They are supportive, critical, inspirational, and so proud of me. They make me feel like the person they know I can become.

2. My Sister and my nieces. My sister and I aren’t as close as we were growing up, but I still love her so much. I am so happy to see her with her two little girls, ages 5 and 4 months. She is such a great mother, and every day she amazes me. I don’t know how she manages to do it all — family, husband, career — and still stay sane.

3. My Friends. My friends are the ones who have seen me through my highest highs and lowest lows. They are used to my overly excited, energetic ways, and love me anyway. They are wonderful, and I don’t think I could make it through the day without all of them.

4. My Determination. I am thankful that I am an ambitious, determined person. I set my mind to something and I can make it happen. I have learned this through the example my family has set for me, and I’m so happy that I have such a strong mind.

5. This Blog. I don’t know what I’d do without a place to get my feelings out. This blog allows me to tap into my creative side and it chronicles my musings and hopes for the future. I may not write to it as often as I’d like, but I am so glad I have this outlet.

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Today I’m also glad (or thankful, if you will) that I got up this morning and worked out with BFF. It wasn’t easy, but we did it. I feel so much better knowing that I can go into Thanksgiving Dinner 350 calories lighter. 🙂

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To continue the last post (if you haven’t read it, scroll down and read it first so this one will make more sense)…

I walked into the coffee house and wasn’t sure what I should do about the weight loss options in front of me. I was all set to join Jenny Craig, but now I had this whole other option that made a lot of sense, would allow me to eat real food, and cost a whole lot less money.

BeachGirl showed up to grade papers with me, but before we began digging in, I had to let her know about what Dez had just shared with me. As I was talking BeachGirl got a smile on her face. She said that she had tried South Beach a while ago and really liked it. She said that it worked, was easy to follow, and while it did require organization and food prep, she really liked it. She encouraged me to try it and if I didn’t like it, I could always go with the original plan and join Jenny Craig.

BeachGirl then said that she would be happy to do South Beach with me. She said she even had an online South Beach account that gave access to recipes, tools, and other weight loss tips. She said that if I wanted to pay half the fee, she would share it with me. Cool! I love having online access to a diet plan.

BeachGirl suggested that rather than waiting for January, we should start South Beach on December 1. That way, we’d go into the holidays with at least 8-13 pounds off. (Most people lose between 8-13 pounds during Phase 1 of the diet). She said if we started right after Thanksgiving we could go into January slimmer and could focus our New Year’s Resolutions on something else. Plus, we could take Christmas off, and begin Phase 1 again the week after. The book says that you can do that at any point in your diet journey — if you go on vacation from following Phase 2 and need a bit of a jump start, all you need to do is go back to Phase 1 and get back to it. It began to sound like a plan.

I was getting really excited about the whole plan. I talked to my mom the next day and she was really happy. She was glad when I told her I wanted to join Jenny Craig, because she wants me to look better and is concerned about my health, but she sounded even more positive about this. I think part of it was because she knows that I’d tried Jenny Craig twice before and gained the weight back, so while she was trying to be supportive, she wasn’t sure that the expense was going to be worth it for me. She said that she thought South Beach sounded like a plan I could live with, and she was very happy that I was going to try it. Plus, she said that I should put aside half the money Jenny Craig would’ve cost so that I could go on a mini shopping spree when I lost a set amount of weight (50 lbs sounds good, since it would be about halfway to my goal).

That night I saw CBCB and I began telling her my plans while we were out to dinner. She too got a smile on her face and said that she had tried South Beach over the summer and really liked it. She said that she stopped it once school started because life had gotten hectic, but that she’d like to try it again with me.

So now BeachGirl, CBCB and I are going to start South Beach on December 1. Who cares if that’s a Saturday? That gives us all week to go shopping and cook a bit of food ahead of time so we go into the weekend with everything we need to start the program.

I even came up with the idea that we should take turns making lunch for each other. CBCB could do Tuesdays, I’d do Wednesdays, and BeachGirl could do Thursdays. That left us to make our our lunches on Mondays and Fridays, which was doable. This way, we could eat good food, but only had to go through the trouble of cooking/preparing it 3 times a week, instead of 5. (Weekends don’t count since there’s so much more time to cook and prepare food).

I’m so excited about starting this diet. Actually, it’s not going to be a diet, it’s going to be a lifestyle. At least I hope it is. I haven’t had diet buddies in so long, and especially not two who I see everyday at work. The support that we’re going to give each other is going to help so much. We’ll be able to keep each other accountable and give each other the extra encouragement we need during moments of Christmas cookies or holiday parties.

Ok, I’m off to read, my South Beach Diet book came from Amazon yesterday and I’ve been dying to read it.

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Last week I went for a cut & color, and when my stylist walked up to greet me, she looked amazing. (Dez had a baby about a year ago, and even though she has a fairly tiny frame, the extra baby weight was really bothering her). I could tell right away in her face and her midsection that she had lost a lot of weight. Since it was only 6 weeks since my last appointment, I asked her what she’d been doing.

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She said she started the South Beach Diet 2 weeks ago, and in that time she’d lost 11 pounds! She said that even though the first two weeks were the most restrictive part of the diet, it hadn’t been difficult at all for her to stick to it. Well, except for the no alcohol part. She usually has a glass of wine or a beer when she gets home from work, but even that wasn’t that hard for her. She said she felt better inside and out and was so encouraged that she had lost so much weight in such a short period of time. She said she went from 160 to 139 in 2 weeks. Wow.

I told her that I was planning on joining Jenny Craig in January, right after Christmas. She said, “well, if you want to do that, good for you, but why don’t you just read the book while the color sets on your hair.” So she brought out the book and I read it for about half an hour.

What I read made so much sense, and seemed sensible. Sure, it would be hard to go off bread, rice, and pasta. Not eating fruit for 2 weeks sounds pretty difficult, but with results like hers, it would be worth it. When I looked at the meal plan for Phase 1, I saw lots of eggs, which gave me pause — I don’t eat eggs because of a gross childhood experience with them. I’ll spare you the details, but I will say that I’ve tried to eat eggs several times, and just couldn’t get them down. Or I’d have to drown them in tons of hot sauce and swallow them almost whole. How was this going to work? Still, when I read the recipes for the egg breakfasts that included fritatta and little egg “muffins,” I thought to myself, “maybe I can eat eggs.” Mind over matter and all of that.

I mentioned the egg hesitation to Dez and she said that she thought I could probably just substitute some other protein, like cottage cheese, for the eggs. Hmmm… sounds good. She mentioned that Phase 2 let you incorporate most fruits and some whole wheat grains back into your diet, plus an occasional glass of wine. The more she talked, the more excited I got, although I was still hesitating.

You see, I’m a girl who likes to have a plan. Always has a plan, actually. Goals are what keep me going. The current plan was that I was going to join Jenny Craig, but now Dez was throwing this new idea out to me, and I was sort of confused.

South Beach sounded really good, and I liked the idea of eating real food, which would allow me to keep going out with my friends and remain in the social loop. Jenny Craig would mean that I would be more hermit-like, since you have to stick to the program and eat all of the pre-packaged food. Jenny Craig was a slam dunk because if you ate the food like you’re supposed to, you’ll lose the weight. South Beach would mean a lot more organization, which is something I’ve been lacking lately. It would mean making menus, shopping regularly, and cooking meals ahead of time. It would force me to get my shit together and keep things under control.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do when I walked out of the salon, but I was interested in the possibilities. I went across the street to a coffee house with free wifi, got online and ordered the South Beach Diet book from Amazon.

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