Archive for January, 2008


Yesterday, January 29th, was my QUIT DAY. As of 11pm on Monday night (Jan. 28), I haven’t had a cigarette! Go me!!

Last night we had our Freedom From Tobacco class, which was good. We talked about how each of us was doing, did some breathing exercises (which really work, actually), and each us said, “I’m a non-smoker,” which was very cool.

After the class BFF and I decided to stop at Walgreens and raid the gum aisle. I bought three different types of Extra gum (bubble gum, watermelon, and “super”mint), as well as two different packs of Tic Tacs. Grand total? $5.85, just a bit more than a pack of smokes, and they’re sure to last quite a bit longer.

So far, so good, although the evening time is the worst for me. You see, I never smoke during the weekdays from 7:30-4ish, because I’m at school. So nothing is different there for me. What’s hard is the time I get home from school, when I usually looked forward to having a cig or two or 8.

Now when I get home, I’m trying to figure out what else I’m going to do besides smoke. Today I cleaned the kitchen. I have a feeling that my house is going to be spotless in the next couple of weeks.

The hardest part for me right now is feeling like I have nothing to look forward to. I liked loved smoking. I knew all of the risks, but there was something about the relaxation I felt when I smoked. I used cigarettes like a reward: grade x number of papers, and then you get a ciggie. Vacuum the whole house, and then you get a ciggie. Get dinner started and then you get a ciggie…you get the idea.

Which is not to say that I’m going to go back to smoking, because I’ve committed to quitting, but I’m saying it’s hard. Even with the Welbutrin and the patch, it’s hard. But I want to prove to myself that I am strong enough to do this. And lose weight. Yes, I’m still going strong on the South Beach Diet (for details, check out my other blog). I am not giving myself any other options — I’m going to quit smoking and continue to lose weight. I am confident that I can do it.

I have so much support from my friends and family, and I know that they’re going to be there whenever I need to rant, have a pep talk, or whatever. I also have two great examples that it CAN be done — my mom and dad both smoked more than a pack a day for over 20 years and they’ve both successfully quit. My dad quit in 1991 and my mom quit almost 3 years ago.

This is the longest I’ve ever gone without a cigarette, since this is my first time quitting, and I’m so proud of myself.


NOTE: I’m sorry if this post is a bit disjointed. I think that my mind is kind of all over the place right now. I’m sure you’ll forgive me.


Read Full Post »

This week is finals week, and although I will be the one giving the finals instead of taking them, I feel almost as much pressure as I’m sure my students do. You see, I have to have everything graded by Monday at 8am. Ugh. I’m under the wire with this one, do mostly to the fact that I chose to enjoy my Christmas vacation instead of spending time grading essays. Not that I’m upset with that decision, because I needed the break, but now I’m a bit stressed because I’m not sure how I’m going to finish everything.

Still, where there’s a will there’s a way. I just need to keep my nose to the grindstone, and all those other idioms that fit this situation.

So, you may not see much posting this week from me. Besides T.V., I’ve realized that the internet and all of the lovely blogs I like reading on a daily basis are a huge time suck for me. Not that I’m not going to check in on them, but I’m putting the computer to rest for a while and will only be using it to pump out my iTunes “grading” playlist.

Wish me luck!


Update: I did it! I was able to get everything graded. It was quite a grading frenzy at my house over the weekend, but I was able to grade:

3 sets of personal statement essays
3 sets of Transcendentalism Observational essays (very cool assignment)
3 sets of Transcendentalism tests
3 sets of Catcher in the Rye tests
3 sets of finals

Each “set” had about 33 items.

Whew!  I’m tired just thinking about it, but what a relief it was to get that all done. And I’m making a vow that I never, EVER let myself get that far behind again.  It was awful.

Read Full Post »

Yesterday at lunch, one of my teacher buddies heard me talking about going to yoga and asked me which gym I belonged to.  I told her that I go to 24 Hour Fitness, but that I go to a yoga studio to take the Bikram classes. She mentioned that she and her husband just joined Club One, and that they love it.  She thought she’d tell me about it because Club One has great yoga classes, and she thought that if I switched memberships, I might actually save money.

Club One is what I consider a true health club, not just a gym.  The one closest to my house is ritzy — they have all of the normal gym equipment, but they have different rooms for yoga, aerobics, etc.  They have a day spa within the club, and their locker rooms are really more like dressing rooms at a luxurious day spa.  It’s chic and gorgeous, and I’m sure the people who belong to it must feel completely pampered.   I looked at the pictures online (which I can’t post because the site won’t let me copy them), and it truly is to die for.

I looked at their group fitness classes, and they offer so many.  All sorts of yoga (although not Bikram that I could see), Pilates,  Zumba (which I’ve been REALLY wanting to try), kickboxing, and the list goes on and on.

The thing is, it’s expensive.  About $70/month.  Right now I pay $44/month for 24 Hour.  It would be another $31/month, plus whatever initiation fee they feel like charging.  And there are fewer clubs, although there are at least 2 other Club One facilities that are fairly close to me.

So, I have to think about it.  Right now I’m really excited about Club One and all the amenities that it has to offer, but I have to figure out if I could really afford the extra $31/month.  It would actually be cheaper than having 24 Hour and paying for yoga classes at the private studio.  It would be enough of a commitment that I would (hopefully) go to the gym even more often than I do right now.  The downside is that BFF belongs to 24 Hour right now, so she and I couldn’t workout together anymore.  Although she and I haven’t really worked out together lately.  Plus, her personal trainer is at Club One, and she goes there once a week to meet with him and is able to use their equipment after her session with him.  (I used to go to this trainer, too, and I loved him.  I stopped going because of the cost, and to be perfectly honest, because I hadn’t really committed to working out like I should’ve).  I thought about saving up to hire him again, and if I joined Club One, it would make it that much more convenient to go to him.

At the moment I’m thinking that I may reward myself with this once I lose 50 lbs.  Not that I feel that I need to lose any weight to join this fancy gym, because I don’t have any issues like that.  But if I’m going to spend this kind of money, I want to make it special for myself.

What do you think?  Should I join?  Should I use it as a reward?

Read Full Post »


I’m not one of those people who hates T.V. and all that it stands for. I love watching T.V., especially shows that I consider worthwhile, like Grey’s Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Biggest Loser, and Lost (whenever it comes back on). I’ve always thought people who bragged about not watching T.V. were pretentious. Especially when I lived in San Francisco and it seemed that every hipster worth his or her salt had to say they didn’t watch T.V. almost as if it was a badge of honor or something.

With that said, I’ve decided that I’ve become far too entangled in watching some pretty crappy shows on T.V. I have tons of work to do, so why do I find myself spending an entire Sunday watching shows like Rock of Love 2, Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood, and reruns of Project Runway? (Mind you, I had already seen the Project Runway shows the first time they aired, so why watch a second time?) I put the T.V. on under the guise of having “something on in the background while I’m grading.” Fair enough, you can’t just sit on the couch and read poorly written essays in complete silence, after all. I’m not a monk. But soon the “background” comes to the foreground and I’m watching these terrible shows the same way rubberneckers watch an accident. Why, God, why?

It’s become such a problem that I still have stacks and stacks of things to grade. I hate that I look back on my weekend and all I have to show for it is the names of the shows I watched. Not good. I almost feel like a shut-in. Well, except that I do get out of the house and visit people and enjoy life, but still…what is wrong with me?

I know this is partly procrastination because I hate grading. I love teaching, but HATE grading. I’ve seriously given some thought to what else I could teach that wouldn’t involve so many papers, but then I remember how much I love discussing literature with my students.

When I finally analyzed the situation I realized that this wasn’t something that I could slowly wean myself away from. I had to go cold turkey! Which is not to say that I am giving up T.V. altogether. Again, I’m not a monk. It means that I have vowed not to watch T.V. except for the shows that I actually would mind missing out on, some of which I listed above. Probably 6 or 7 shows, total. Which I’m fine with.

So unless I’m watching one of these shows, the T.V. is to remain off. I’ll use my stereo and all of my iTunes as my “background noise.” Which may involve the purchase of quite a few more songs, but that’s a lot better than losing brain cells by watching bad T.V. I’d much rather lose brain cells by having a nice cocktail with the girls, which I’ll probably have a lot more time to do now that I’m not wasting my time in front of the boob tube!

Read Full Post »

If you believe something to be true in your life, does that set up a system where it then becomes your reality? I think that in most cases this is true, at least it is for me in my life.

For example, I have come to believe that losing weight this time around is going to work for me. Something’s different in my mindset, and therefore I am confident that I’m going to be successful. It has become my reality.

Another belief I have held for a long time is that I will not meet a quality man to share my life with until I lose the weight. Now, I know that many of you reading that statement will scoff and say, “it’s not about the way that you look that matters, someone should love you for you, the person inside.” While that is all well and good, reality doesn’t (hasn’t) worked that way.

Which is not to say that I haven’t dated while I’ve been fat, because loyal readers of this blog know that’s not true. I’ve dated. A lot. What has been missing though, is the characteristic of QUALITY. At this weight, most of the men who answered my personal ad online (when I had one up) were not the type of men I want to date: uneducated, looking only for “one thing,” and/or not my type physically. These guys weren’t really looking for a girlfriend, they were looking for a good time in bed. And I’m looking for so much more than that. You might say that beggars can’t be choosers, but I totally disagree. I can be picky about who I spend time with because I’d much rather be by myself enjoying life than with someone who I consider a “filler.” Why waste time dating someone who I can’t see myself with long term? Or even short term?

The measuring stick I’ve used for a few years now is this: Would I date this person if I were thin? If the answer is no, then I believe there is no reason I should date him while I’m fat. I have plenty of friends in my life to spend my time with, and while my social life hasn’t been overwhelming lately, that’s due mostly to lack of time more than anything else.

Which brings me back to my original statement. The belief that I won’t meet a truly quality person to have a relationship with until I’ve reached my goals as far as weight loss and leading a more healthy lifestyle are concerned have made that my reality. It’s almost as if I feel that I’m not ready (emotionally or physically) for The One until I have achieved my weight loss goals. And I don’t see that as a bad thing — why should/would someone want to be with me until I’m the best me I can be? I don’t want to find a man who needs to work on a ton of things in his life — I want to meet a man who has his shit together and who comes to me whole and complete.

I know that weight loss isn’t a magic pill that will suddenly make my dream man walk through my front door, but I do believe that it will help my attractiveness to men, which is the first step in meeting someone.  I don’t see it as putting my life on hold.  I see it more as concentrating my efforts (time, money, etc.) on myself so that I can become the person I know I am inside.  I want the outside to match the inside, and until that happens, I’m fine with being a single girl about town.  It will make meeting my man (aka The One) in the future all the more special.

Read Full Post »

On Thursday, BFF and I went to the yoga studio for our first-ever Bikram yoga class. We were both a bit nervous about the “hot” aspect of it. Would the heat be too much for our system? Would we turn into sweaty pools on the floor? Would we make it through the class?

I’m happy to report that Bikram yoga is just the thing for me! The teacher was amazing, taking the time to make sure all of the newbies in the class understood the poses. She was completely encouraging, saying, “wherever your body can take this pose is the perfect place for you tonight. Be happy with all your body can do.” It made me feel so good that she stressed doing what we were able to do, not what we ‘should’ be doing.

I was also really relieved to see two other larger women in the class with me. The class was packed with people — at least 35 of us all ready to sweat and move and pose. Every so often I’d look towards one of these two ladies to see how they were fairing, and it gave me encouragement. Both of them seemed to have taken the class several times before, because their balance was phenomenal, but it was reassuring to know that they couldn’t do the poses exactly as some of the other participants in the class could. It allowed me to do what my body was able to, without feeling badly that I couldn’t do what some of the other, thinner people could do.

Bikram was hot, to be sure. I was sweating before long, but my muscles felt good. I liked the fact that the class consists of 26 poses, done in 2 sets. The first pose is held for a longer period of time, and then in the second set, you hold it for a bit shorter. These same poses are done each time, so I’m sure that with continued practice, I’ll be able to master each pose eventually. Well, maybe not “master,” but at least see progress towards mastery.

I also liked that the class focused mostly on leg work. My legs are strong, and can do much more than my arms can. I need to work on my balance, but I know it will come in time. There were a few poses I simply couldn’t do, but I was ok with that, and was proud of myself for not getting frustrated.

Oh, and the clothes? Well, no yogatard this night, and that in itself made me feel a lot more comfortable. Those clothes I ordered from netsweat.com were terrible — the pants were skintight; even if I ordered them 2 sizes longer, the would’ve been clingy. They were not the flowy yoga pants that I had hoped. The tops? They were lycra sports bras, not camis, as they had looked in the pictures on the website. So, I have to return all of it and I’ll be out about $20 in shipping (both to me and now to send them back). I did find some nice yoga pants at Avenue, which I ordered, along with some real camis. But on Thursday night I wore some cotton workout pants I had and I wore my regular tank top, with a sports bra over it, to hold it down so it wouldn’t fall over my head. Since everything was black, it all looked fine, and I could move comfortably, which was the most important thing.

Friday I wasn’t too sore, at first. CTLB said that she thought that the heat helped with the soreness, since the muscles were probably really warmed up. Later in the evening last night, I did feel quite sore in my quads, hamstrings, and glutes. It was a great kind of sore, though, because I knew my muscles had been used, but I could still move.

I’m definitely going to keep going to Bikram yoga, because I felt wonderful afterwards. And really, isn’t that what yoga is all about?

Read Full Post »

Yesterday BFF and I attended our first Freedom from Tobacco class through Kaiser.  The class meets once a week for 7 weeks, an hour and a half each session.

I’ve been thinking a lot about quitting smoking, even though I really do love it.  I know how gross it is, and how bad it is for me, but it’s been hard for me to think about quitting because I have a huge fear of failure.  I haven’t truly attempted to quit because I don’t want to fail and go back to smoking.  Then recently, I thought to myself, “why am I going to continue to smoke when I’m trying so hard to lose weight and lead a much healthier lifestyle?”  It makes no sense to finally get down to my goal weight (when that happens someday) and build up my physical health only to continue to weaken it through smoking. Plus, smoking stinks, it’s expensive, and I hate that I feel so like an outcast because I smoke.

So, when BFF mentioned that she had signed up for this support group, I decided to join it, too.

I really enjoyed the class, the teacher, and the other participants in the group.  The philosophy is to take baby steps towards quitting, which begins with doing some exercises in a book they give us that help to determine why we smoke, when we smoke, and how we feel about smoking.  This week’s homework is to do a few worksheets in the book that help identify the way we smoke and to try to stop smoking in the car.  For me, smoking in the car is a huge habit, because it’s my opportunity to smoke on the way to or on the way home from school.  Since I don’t smoke all day at school, it’s hard for me to imagine giving this up, but I guess it is the first step towards quitting for good.

Eventually, we will be given Wellbutrin and the patch to assist us in quitting.  Next week we’re going to be filling out some forms so that the doctor can determine the correct dosage of the individual prescriptions.

We found out, as well, that our quit day is January 29th.  I like the fact that we’ll have 3 more classes before we actually quit.  I’ll be taking Wellbutrin for a week before attempting to quit, so that should help me become more successful.  After the quit date, we have 3 more sessions for support and guidance.

One of my mom’s good friends quit smoking by using this program, so I am very hopeful that I’ll be successful as well.  My main concern about quitting is that I’ll gain weight.  Hopefully I’ll have laid the groundwork to quit without too much trouble, and if I can keep my weight loss goals in mind while I’m swearing off cigs, I hope I’ll be able to do it without too much of an increased appetite.

Wish me luck!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »