Monday, March 30, 2009

Running out of steam.

Maybe it is the congestion (daycare cold number 435 for the year), but I'm running out of steam for the shred. My knees are killing me when I do any bouncing around (I've been doing punches with weights instead), and I have horrible spring fever. I also worked a bunch this last weekend. Work that included a lot of moving around and being active. My back is a little messed up because of that.

All of this leads to some spectacular rationalization. It doesn't help that Comcast puked last night and I couldn't get the shred. I was all dressed and ready to do it. (I ordered it off Amazon instead)

Tonight I didn't think I could handle it, but instead of just giving up and sitting on my ass, I went out for a very brisk walk. The dog was in heaven (she better have lost some weight by the time her checkup comes around). I also thought I'd see just how bad things were if I ran for 60 seconds. That is the starting time for the Couch to 5K program. I don't think it is a good sign that I spent the remaining 20 minutes of my walk trying to catch my breath.

I think tomorrow I'll make a call to A's asthma Dr. At a minimum I need to look into allergy meds (OTC varieties make me hallucinate). Maybe to test my theory I'll bring the albuterol inhaler with and do my experiment of 60 seconds again. You know, after the snow melts.

Even if I don't have asthma, perhaps Kristen won't mind if we start our program with just some walking. Or maybe 60 seconds running, five minutes walking.

Speaking of walking/running, I think that will be my focus for April. The shred has been very good to me, but I haven't really lost much weight. I'll admit I haven't eaten terribly well, what with major work projects keeping both A and I at work late. However, my body shape has changed quite a bit. Clothes are fitting better, and my measurements (damn I wish I had actually kept track of them since the beginning) have resulted in a change of "Right Fit" jeans from Lane Bryant. My ass has shrunk, my waist has not. (stupid belly fat) Walking/Running and more cardio focus will help more with the kind of weight loss I'm looking for. I can go back to shredding if I lose more weight and really need to tone.

So, onward I go. I'm a little off track for my goal of another 40 pounds by July, but the nearly 20 I've lost this first three months of the year is nothing to sneeze at either.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Take me to the river.

Almost exactly 12 years ago, I experienced what will hopefully be my only natural disaster. I figure statistics being what they are, I may get lucky and that will end up being true.

The flooding up in Fargo, and regular tweets and posts from a friend (via SIL & BIL) regarding it have helped me remember it again. Twelve years ago I had dropped out of college and gotten a job doing tech support for a small telephone company turned Internet provider in northwestern Minnesota. I lived in the largest town near by (thus having rental property), Ada. Not very big at all, but big enough for a golf course.

That winter had been record setting for snow. Nearly every week I drove to work in a blizzard. In Minnesota, we do that, no shutting down for snow. There was so much snow that I couldn't see out of my little garden level apartment.

When it started to melt in early April, it became very apparent that things were not going to go well. The former prairie surrounding Ada, long ago farmed to death, robbing it of top soil, had reached it's capacity for water, and flooding had started to occur in places where had been no body of water. Honestly, I wasn't worried. The drainage ditch behind my apartment wasn't flooding, and while there were concerns about the river in town, everything seemed fine. At the time, I didn't have a TV, so if there were issues, I don't know how I would have known.

My primary concern was the sump pump in my building. The night of flood, it failed, sending nasty water into my apartment, ruining my futon. With no place to sleep, and a landlord who didn't seem to care, I left town. Being nervous about my stuff, I put my pet hedgehogs up on a shelf, the clothes on my closet floor up, and headed for my parents. Heading out of town, three of the four roads were flooded. I got out hours before things got really bad. The next morning, the town was evacuated. Then there was an ice storm. It flooded, the the flood waters froze.

I lost nearly all of my artwork, saving only about 15 pieces I had recently set aside for possible framing. I lost all of my art supplies, my dishes (sewage backup I had no desire to wash off), and a cat face pillow from my childhood. I also lost a sewing machine, two futons, and any furniture I had. The smell in my apartment when I returned to get what I could was something I will never forget. Very little water reached it. Most of it was backed up sewage from when the town's pumps failed. I did laundry for a day, washing all but a few things that were too far gone.

About four months later I left the state, swearing that I would only live on hills in the future, and that there wasn't anything you could pay me to move back to the prairie. Without the FEMA money I got, I wouldn't have had any money to find a new place to rent, or to move.

It taught me that stuff is just stuff, something I try to remember every time I need to purge things from my life.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Men's Size 13 Boots & Nearly 2 Year Old

Perhaps a sign of things to come. If I have larger feet for my height (she does as well), and she's going to be taller than I am...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

And today it was snowing

Saturday was 60 degrees and M begged to go outside for a walk. So we did, and when we got back, we hung out in the front yard for a bit.

Sunday it was 60 again, she begged again for a walk, and we went to park, where she was totally overwhelmed by the big kids playing on the equipment. After that we went home and picked up sticks (I mowed up the leaves while she napped).

With every stick she put down in the pile, she said "thank you". The pile is still there (I need to tie it up for city collection) and she now finds more sticks on the way into the house. I have a feeling we'll have a hard time keeping her inside this summer.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pre-shredded for your convenience

You may notice over on my Shred update that I skipped like three days this week. Work was kicking my ass, and Friday is A's night to watch TV. I was going to go for a walk on my day off and try out my new shoes, but then it rained.

Oh well, I'm still going to hit my target three times this week when I do it again tonight. I also went for a long walk yesterday afternoon (well, long for the dog, I could have easily gone farther). Today I mowed (and bagged) the leaves in our front yard. Last fall the tree held on for longer than it should, and then it snowed. Hopefully now the grass will grow in OK.

I didn't put up last weeks weight because it was higher than I would like. The bad week of eating combined with some PMS bloating wasn't in my favor. I think this week I'll be back on track. I'm getting awfully close to weighing what I did when I got married (my fourth anniversary is this Tuesday), and that makes me all kinds of happy.

The shoes I got Saturday were these (I returned the shoes from Friday, too much shoe according to the sales guy yesterday). I'm hoping when I add the next step of my plan in that they fit what I need. I'm going to try out the Couch to 5K program from Cool Running. I watched (after I worked out) Biggest Loser and realized that part of what I need is more cardio. The best way to do that (without buying lots of equipment) is running. I'm a little worried about my knees. They aren't bad, but I'm starting with a lot of extra weight. That stress on your joints is hard no matter how good your shoes are. My friend Kristen is going to hopefully do it with me. She was already a runner, so hopefully I won't slow her down.

Tonight is my 10th time of Level 1, and while I have to do more of certain things to make up for what hurts my knees, I am going through without really stopping at all. I've even managed to feel like I've mastered some parts, and that I'm improving on others. My pushups before sucked, they couldn't even really be called push ups. Now my modified ones are passable, at least for a few. I can also do a crunch for real now, not a half way one.

The biggest difference is that with the weight from January-February, and what this has done for my fitness, I am now able to do things I haven't done in years. I can do a walk that before would have left me sore and huffing. I can crawl on the floor to get the dog's toys out from under the TV and not dread it. The yard work today while a decent amount of work, really didn't feel like much. Last year, it would have kicked my ass.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

And now for the shoes

I love shoes. Up until I had M, no matter what I weighed, shoes were always there for me. (after, not so much with the size 11 1/2 shoes)

Unfortunately, I seem to be passing this love of shoes on to M. She usually has about three pairs in a given size. One seasonal (boots or sandals), one pair of casual MJ's, and one pair of sneakers. I know, I have a problem.

However, I've managed to score some pretty good deals on kids shoes online. I won a pair of See Kai Run back when she was starting to walk, and just recently I won a pair of Keen's from Tiny Soles. (check out the blog where the winning stuff happens here)

I was totally excited because I am in love with my Keens. I'd looked at kid Keens, but since M outgrew the "infant" sole awhile back, I figured they were too stiff. I was wrong, Keen does the "infant" sole up to size 10 in some styles. Also, with her foot growth, M is now wearing a size that gets a little more flexible. So, we got the adorable Payson for the purchased pair, and for the pair I won, we got a Ventura. The Payson's run small, so they emailed me right away and based on the shoes she has here, and how they fit, made sure I got the right size. Which is way more attention then some placed we've gone in to.

M loves them. They are her new favorite shoes, and I love that she isn't destroying the toes on them. (something that happened the first day she wore her Pedipeds to daycare) I only wish the "infant" sole was available in more sizes. That flexibility is a huge selling point for my Keen's and it would be nice if they were all that flexible.


A little only slightly related shoe note, in the form of a letter.

Dear Running Room,

Not all women who want to run have "normal" sized feet. If you're going to specialize in running shoes, consider carrying all sizes that smart companies like New Balance make. I know they make them, don't tell me that they don't. I would have easily spent money at your store if you carried my size.


Big Foot who had to deal with icky man at local big shoe place who gave her the wrong shoe for what she needs so she had to drive another 50 miles to get help from someone with a clue.

Friday, March 20, 2009

And done with the drama.

So, sick of reading about my daycare drama yet? Sorry to just spew it out, but doing that really helped me deal with how I felt about the whole thing.

Here is my final thought. Our local newspaper (Strib) is in Chapter 11. Like a lot of newspapers, they are struggling with finding their place in this new world of social networking, blogs, and "new media". There are some parts I think they are getting right. I adore their parenting blog, Cribsheet. I'm a regular commenter there.

However, sometimes it feels like they just post articles to make a stink. As much as I thought I would have enjoyed comments on news articles if you had asked me years ago, now I hate them. Newspapers seem to bring out the worst kind of trolls and chicken shit assholes. You know that they wouldn't be saying that kind of stuff to your face. (this is home of Minnesota Nice after all)

I feel like the article was posted without proper research, without regard for what that proper research would have done to it, just to shock and create traffic through nasty comments. If you really think there is an issues with day cares, or with how employees are treated, then find the real story. At M's old daycare (thanks A for reminding me of this) the preschool teacher regularly dragged kids around by their arms, berated them and insulted them. Talk about educators who are so burned out that they're verbally abusing the kids in their classes. Talk about how hard it is to get quality childcare, no matter what the cost. Talk about things that really make a difference, not a specific and very personal attack on an organization that from my point of view is really quality.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Let the drama continue

Last weekend, an article in a local paper was published about a daycare teacher who said her firing from a daycare center was a retaliation firing. She reported the daycare for a staffing violation. When the violation resulted in a citation, she was fired the next week. That was M's daycare, that was her teacher. Here is more of our story about it.

Back in December, the lead teacher in M's class quit on short notice. We worried a little, but nothing seemed too terribly off. (I've since learned that because of a very long commute, and a car accident she was in, she took a job closer to home and needed to take it right away) M was slated to move up rooms in March, to older toddlers. In late January, the asked if we would be OK with her moving up early. She was very ready, and the kids in line before her were not ready yet. She had gone from a little behind for her age group, to very ahead. Extremely verbal, and starting to get bored in the young toddler room.

The move to the new room seemed OK, but M did get bit/scratched/pinched more. The issues were thought to be just the transition. She was also back in a class with some of the more aggressive kids. In the new room, the lead teacher didn't seem to communicate as well. She seemed distracted. We now know that was in the middle of the drama. I noticed a change before the alleged incident however, back in December. While she wasn't in M's room, she was one of the teachers we dropped off with, and she had started talking to me less.

There was also the issue of M's diet and medication. M was fed things she shouldn't be, but we weren't told, we had to read it on the cards. They claimed to have known it was wrong right after they did it, but they didn't do a good job of communicating to us. I wasn't liking it very much, but I was giving it time to work itself out. Transitions can be hard on everyone. Then they forgot to give M her nebulizer the first day we brought it in. Despite being given detailed instructions by me, both verbally and in writing through the director. We were starting to be concerned.

When she was fired, we asked questions, and were given as many answers as they could. I asked if it was because of the medication incident. She said it was not that specific incident, but that was an issue that contributed. It was a good diplomatic answer, what I expected from professional people. New staff was hired, but there has been transition time.

Since the teacher left, the other teachers in M's room talk to us more. The attitude has gotten brighter and more fun. It really felt like progress was being made, and it was all for the better.

Things finally felt like they were settling. Then the article happened. The article created a huge uproar in the comments. Fighting between people who claimed to be current and former employees, accusations about the director. The usual crazy blog type comments as well, blame the mothers for working, etc. There were also attacks on us as the parents, for not realizing. It was very emotional. It conflicted significantly with what we had experienced at the center. Other than the teacher from December (which I since cleared up), we never had any reason to believe anything was up.

It has been hard on everyone. People have gotten very serious threats. The teacher who was fired seems to be out to take down the center, and the kids and parents with it. The kids she claimed to care about so much are the ones who are suffering. I can't imagine what she thought she was going to accomplish by doing this. I really can't. Her getting unemployment while a small win for her, I do not think was justified. I do not see how you can be a lead teacher for that long and claim to not know about your responsibility for ratios. She should have come to us if there was an issue as well. We, the parents, can talk with our checkbooks. Many parents with children at the center have had three or more kids go through. The retention rate for staff is very high. These are not things that you see at a center that has the kind of issues that they were accused of. It hurt, all of it.

More tomorrow on my thoughts about old media trying to do new media.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Drama, with a capital D.

I think enough dust has settled that I can write about what happened over the weekend. However, it requires some background. I'm going to split this up to help keep it from being too long. Also know that I'm going to let some details out that are a bit personal, I just ask you be respectful of the level of privacy I try to maintain here. If you have questions about specifics, email me. (ameliasprout (at) gmail (dot) com) So, for today, the background.

We had a horrible time finding a good daycare. Living in North Minneapolis gave us fewer options than in the suburbs. The neighborhood is older, there are less home daycares, and the ones that are there of any quality, are full.

I called around 20 daycares near our house, of that, only three called me back. Two had openings, but neither were familiar with breast milk, or some common safety issues. We ended up settling on a center in our neighborhood. We were lucky to be able to afford center daycare. M was there for 10 minutes. The tour had been nice, we liked the infant teacher. It came recommended by a person I rode the bus with. The day we showed up we found out the infant teacher wasn't in until 9 (I was there at 7). The person who was there said she didn't change diapers, wasn't familiar with breast milk, and then sat M in a bouncy seat, on a table, right where I could see the no table warning. I left, called A, then went back and got her. I brought her in to my office for my first day back at work. My mom was going to be in town that week, so A and I stayed home the next day (split the day) and the rest of the week my mom took care of her.

We found another center a little farther away from home. We liked it enough, and they had an opening. It was a corporate center, there were lots of rules, some hassles about breast milk (it required giant red HAZARDOUS labels), but we never felt like M was in any danger. However, as M got older, we realized that while her basic needs were met, she wasn't getting anything extra out of it. She started falling behind her peers. For the price we were paying, we wanted more than basic needs. Happy babies like M didn't get a lot of attention, because they were happy. There were other things too, we weren't comfortable with the preschool teacher, and had never seen the toddler teacher.

I had heard great things about this daycare downtown. It would allow me to bus downtown with M, giving me more time with her, and their program had rave reviews from other moms. They always had a waiting list, and their prices were reasonable. When we decided to leave our old center after some incidents with M's dietary needs, I got on the waiting list at the center. Right when I was about to pull her for anywhere I could find, they called. They had an opening in July, but M would need to be walking. She was 14 months old when I got the call, she would be 15 months old for the opening. I did something I swore I would never do, I pushed her to walk. We got squeaky shoes, we cheered her on ever chance we got. She'd already been cruising for months, so it wasn't a huge stretch. Right before the schedule start date, she started walking. I pushed out the start two weeks to make sure we were good.

We loved the center. M made huge strides. The new center combined with the tubes helped her start talking up a storm. She seemed more confident too. Her teachers communicated really well. We really honestly loved it. I spent time talking to the teachers in the morning, and never felt anything off at all.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Radio Silence

I'm going silent for a little bit. Work is nuts, and something personal is blowing up and has gone public. I'm having a hard time not writing about it, and I just can't write about it. It involves M, and our privacy. When I figure out how to write about it, I will share. I want to write about it, because I think it involves important stuff. That is the worst part, it should be written about.

Know that I'm struggling with the staying on track while going through so much stress. It is hard, I'm slipping up with my goals more than I would like. But these damn real jeans are so nice, I won't give up completely, I swear.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hanging off the edge of the wagon.

By far one of the hardest things for me is sticking to any kind of a diet/health kick during stressful times at work. We're doing a major conversion right now, which means long hours, food brought in from outside, and little time at home to be healthy. This last week we've eaten out more than we've eaten at home.

The part that sealed as a horrid week was tonight. I had a pretty healthy dinner planned at home, and right before I was about to start making, we discovered M in the office, trying to eat my pins. Straight pins use for sewing. We weren't sure if she had eaten one, so we headed off to the ER for an x-ray. Yay! Right at dinner time. Whoopee! We were all starving by the time the two hour ordeal was over (she didn't eat anything, false alarm, but not one you want to guess wrong about).

The only place on the way home from Children's was a McDonald's. Yeah, not pretty at all. At least I had a small breakfast and really light (nearly skipped it) lunch. No time to really work out when I got home either.

All I'm really hoping for is to break even on weighing in this week.

All of this bad week stuff is tempered by the fact that I am currently wearing my Gap jeans. After YEARS, I fit into a pair of size 20 Gap jeans. They're like comfy and not any special plus size fit. I also had to go back to LB and get a pair of smaller black jeans for work (anyone need a pair of size 4 red fits?). Also, today I went for a walk with M. I walked farther, with less strain on me, than I have in a long time. My lungs weren't burning by the time we were done.

So, bad week, but next week will be better. I'll bring a salad in to work tomorrow (yes, on Sunday) and skip the catered food, and I'll 30 Day Shred when I get home.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lie to me and tell me... (Shredding update)

... that it looks like I've made progress. I feel like the photos don't show anything (or them being taken from farther away is fooling), after all it is only two pounds. Less than one percent of my body weight. That isn't that much really. I feel stronger, I feel better. I feel like I should have bought those pants a size smaller after all. Things that I've been wearing all long, like my PJ's, feel big, baggy. But I don't know. I'm at that point where in my life before, I would have quit now. I still did it tonight, even after seeing the pictures, so that must say something.

1.2 Weeks post start of 30 Day Shred

Starting Point

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

WW - Shoes

I tried to get a picture of M this morning, cause she was being cute. She insisted I did not take her picture. However, I could take a picture of her shoes, while she sat in my lap.

More Wordless Wednesday.

Edited to add: Pediped Flex. They also make them in soft soled baby shoes. We love them because they are available in larger sizes, but are flexible for young walkers (who have gigantic feet. Not even two, wearing size 9). My favorite online shoe store, Tiny Soles, has them.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Progress is totally progress.

Weigh in this morning, 238. Yeah! Two pounds is a respectable and good loss for a single week. Especially when you consider that I lost about 15 pounds between the beginning of the year and my first weigh in last Tuesday. That makes me definitely on the downhill slide to 20 pounds lost. Which is huge for me.

I don't feel like I'm dieting, I don't feel deprived. I feel like I am making healthy choices more than I am not. I do feel like if I want the mini brownie, I can have the mini brownie, and it doesn't mean I've failed, or given up. It just means tomorrow, I don't have a girl scout cookie.

OK, side note here. I have had, count them, two Girl Scout cookies so far this year. I ordered ten boxes, sold two boxes, and gave away a bunch to coworkers.

I've worked out four of the last seven days. That means I have worked out more than I have not. I will work out again tomorrow, and each time I do the workout I will get better. I may actually buy running shoes to run in.

I will totally relish the fact that I am getting smaller, I am getting stronger, and I am doing what it takes for me to feel better about myself. I will so totally be H-O-T by BlogHer.

I am having trouble with the high impact stuff on 30 Day Shred. My knees are starting to hurt some. New shoes are in order. I wanted to use my REI dividend for some new sandals for summer, but it looks like it is going to new cross trainers. Anyone have any experience with the Keen cross trainers? I've only ever worn their more casual/comfy shoes, but that alone makes it seem promising for something I could go walking or just generally exercise in.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Testing the limits of my lungs

Today was my fourth time. While I'm pretty sure that I've found my better form, and proved that I am still strong (carrying around this much extra weight makes little weights not seem so bad) I am getting my ass kicked by the cardio.

I found my tennies, and with them I've been taking on some more high impact parts. Ouch! I know this is the one that comes with time, but it sucks. I've been getting in an extra rep or two of the strength stuff to make up for what I can't tolerate on cardio. If it gets really bad, I just sort of run in place. Trying not to lose momentum.

I know I'm not even half way through level 1 (if I do 10 of each level), but right now I don't know if I'll even graduate to level 2. I need it to get warm out (blizzard warning tomorrow) so I can start walking or even *gasp* running perhaps. I need new shoes before that, but with the way the weather is shaping up, I have time.

One last thing, before I forget. I want to thank everyone who has encouraged me, or said I was brave or inspirational for doing this publically, and posting those pictures. I've tried to respond to the ones that I have email addresses for and thank you personally. The community I have found really makes me think that I am making life long changes here. Kristen, Christina, and Julie especially because they're the whole reason I'm doing it. The fact that I've already gone a week without really stopping says a lot. By the time I'm done with March, I'll have created a new habbit (if you believe Stephen Covey) and that will be the best reward for all of this. No matter how much weight I lose.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Even dogs need to be shredded

Well, my third appointment with Jillian is over. Depending on when I start my "week", I either did it two or three times my first week. (I'll say three, since I didn't really commit until Tuesday of this last week) This time wasn't as bad as the first two, and I finally feel like my body is remembering good form. Considering how long it has been since I did a proper squat, I figure I'm doing good. Nothing injured, and making improvement.

The only issue I'm having is Tess. Apparently human exercise time means puppy exercise time. So to keep her from getting squished during a jumping jack, I'm stuck fitting in throws of her favorite toy while trying to not lose step with Mistress Jillian. Not too bad, my only complaint is that she gives up too quickly. She can only seem to hold up for about 10 minutes, not the fully 20. Maybe if I can work her up to 20 minutes, she can go off of her diet food.

As for progress... after absolutely hating the pants I ordered from Lands End (seriously guys, I'm fat, not pregnant or 60 years old), I furthered my search for work pants and braved Lane Bryant. Despite what the woman on the phone said last week, they did have khakis. I went in to try on a size 20, but ended up having to get a 16. I nearly cried I was so happy about it. They fit a little snug, but I have enough stuff to get me through another week or two until they really fit well. The 18 would have been too big pretty quick, so I think I made the right choice. I also got a pair of tummy-holding-in jeans that do wonders. After weighing 313 right before I gave birth to M, my skin is having a hard time adjusting to the weight loss. I have some below the waist line issues that are hard to disguise and starting to get uncomfortable. I know the toning and time will help, but maybe if I win the lottery, I'll get a tummy tuck some day.

Tuesday is weigh in day, so we'll see how I've actually progressed in that department.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

That was then, this is now.

I was going to do a great post about what I used to look like, when I was a smokin' hot 17 year old. (graduation pictures) However, the scanner died in the over a year since we last used it, and so no old pictures. Maybe if I can figure out another scanner source.

So instead, I'm going to dump part of the contents of my brain out for the whole world to see. Because you know me in a sports bra wasn't enough.

I haven't really gotten in to being in shape, really bought into it, since I was 17. Back when I was 16, I was away at the Art High School, boarding away from home. I was miserable, hanging with a bad crowd, the subject of the "worst teasing" my teachers had ever seen, and anorexic. I starting breaking into online games (text based MUDs and MUSHs, 100 bonus points if you know what I'm talking about) through the library card catalog system. There, I met I guy. A six years older than me Canadian guy. It was awesome. He liked me for me, he thought I was beautiful (oh god, as I write this out, I realize in today's terms how nuts this all was).

I met him in person (committed a felony, he did), we dated long distance. He inspired me to be hot like he was. (he was a "specimen") I started working out, taking Tae Kwon Do (the only martial art in my small town), and lifting weights regularly. I was HOT. I had started taking antidepressants that year, and I felt great.

Then came Christmas. I went to visit. I got dumped. I got dumped TWICE, while stuck in a foreign country! I was broken. It was my first love, and it is a broken heart that left scars. I don't know if they will ever go away. Just thinking about it makes my stomach tie up in knots, remembering how I felt.

I put all of that anger into working out even more (and hitting on the guys I worked out with). I got even hotter. And then... I moved on. Sort of. I went to college. (freshman 40 anyone?) I dated other guys. I quit exercising.

I made a slight effort when I lived in NYC, because it was what you did. However, I never put my heart into it like I did when I was 17. I kept waiting for the right inspiration, the kind he gave me to get in shape and be a gym rat. I kept looking for something outside of me to push me, and it never happened.

I'm 31 years old, and it isn't going to happen. It has GOT to come from me, and no one else. My diet, my lifestyle, the kind of example that I set for my daughter, has got to come from me. So, with all of this shredding, I'm taking ownership again. Sean doesn't own that part of me, I let him have control for almost 15 years, and it isn't his any more.

Oh, this is the oldest thing I could find electronically. From when I last saw Aaron and met Christina in person. That is her dress (and corset) I am wearing. She made that, and she rocks! I was roughly 50-60 pounds lighter then.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Holy back fat baby, what was I thinking.

When I said I would post pictures, I obviously did not think about the fact that there really are no mirrors in our house, and apparently the ones at work are seriously thinning. Oh, or maybe clothing is good for me.

However, I said I would do it. Maybe I can inspire someone else to do this. Because it isn't pretty, at all. Sorry for the guys I know outside of blog who have to look at this. Avert your eyes.

Lest you think I'm kidding about the damn bathroom at work, this was last week I think.

The only thing that is encouraging to me at all is that I've already lost 15 pounds, and a friend who hasn't seen me in like 6 months said I look great. Basically, they could have been worse pictures.

Oh, and yes, bra is at least a size too small. Finding serious sports bras as a big girl ain't easy. Mail order only for them to be the wrong size sucks. This was purchased as I was getting pregnant (only slightly kidding) at the Title 9 store in Boulder two and a half years ago. General fitness clothes for plus sizes has gotten much better recently, underwear still has a way to go. Pretty sure that this was the biggest I could get. At least compression is good for the jumping jacks.

WW - My geeky girl

She has to check out the MicroCenter ad after we get it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Shredded Whee!

I have no idea what has come over me. In the past few days I have actively turned down some treats, made reasonably healthy choices, and just been, good. I have not eaten, even though I really wanted to or was offered: McDonald's breakfast, a Shamrock Shake, chocolate (I know!), french fries and a scone, a really good scone.

Tonight though, takes the cake (oh, I'm funny).

I exercised.

Maybe it is Christina's fault, or Kristen's, or maybe it was finding some old pictures of me from when I was smokin' hot in high school. (I should scan them for proof) No matter what, I do believe I may actually stick with it. To prove it, I'm posting pictures so y'all can mock me into sticking with it.

a) Before pictures

OK, these are coming. I forgot my camera at work, but I promise, they're coming. It will be embarrassing, there will be a sports bra that is a size too small involved. (but damn the girls like to be contained when doing jumping jacks)

Edited: Um, fair warning. They ain't pretty at all.

b) Tag Line

I will shop at the Gap again.

c) Weight

The scale this morning said 240, the lowest it has been since before I got pregnant.
My BMI is 36.5, making me very much obese.

d) Goal

For March, I'd like to lose 10 pounds, but by July (and BlogHer) I'd like to be at or below 200. Putting me in the "just fat" range.

e) Diet Plan

What I've been doing. Less and less sugar, lower fat, smaller portions. However, room to splurge if I have been good. I will be having a Shamrock Shake this Saturday for my friend K's birthday party. No counting calories/points. It just makes me want to be a bad girl.

f) Personal Rules (not eating carbs, only drinking water)

I don't drink soda any more, I need to keep drinking more water, no HFCS.

g) Shred Plan (how often, what level, etc.)

Level 1, at least twice a week. Three or four times a week by the end of the month. If it is 40 degrees outside, I'll go for a walk. I will also park farther away from work/daycare.


I fixed the loading problem, it would seem my BlogHer button was giving me trouble. I removed it, site loads just fine. Oh well, you're just going to have to trust that I am really going.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mystery of Pareting #1

Before I was a parent, I marveled at other parents ability to be be unphased by bodily fluids. Growing up I would have never imagined dealing so casually with the things that come out of my daughter. Fortunately it started slow, breast milk poops, a little spit up here and there, then solid food poops, puking, and most recently, a nasty little stomach bug (when diaper changes require TWO people).

Now, the thought of the possibilities doesn't skeeve me out so much as make me fear the cleanup. Really, "can I get it out of her bed, clothes, carpet..." is all I worry about, not actually having to touch it.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Random Sunday

When M figures out that on weekends when we don't go anywhere, Mama and Papa sit around in their jammies while she has to get dressed, it is going to be a sad day for A. He loves lounging on the weekends.


I keep forgetting to thank PBN for the stuff I keep winning from their blog blasts. A Deluxe Scrabble game, $250 Visa Gift Card, $100 gift card, and a bunch of coupons. On top of everything, a couple of issues that I've had actually getting stuff has been resolved by the always professional and wonderful Kristen and Julie. The gift card is part of why I'm going to BlogHer, where I hope they won't mind if I stalk them just a little.


Christina hasn't instituted it formally, but informally, I'm going to be Hot by BlogHer. It is now March, the weather *should* be warming up (today was not a good example), so I will start walking. Daylight Savings Time, while I think it isn't the best idea, means light after M's bedtime, which means walking on the Grand Rounds.


Having the dress code at work being enforced more again (which normally I wouldn't care about) is hard when you're losing weight and don't want to have to buy new clothes. Especially when quality khakis are hard to find in plus sizes. I had to mail order from and I don't even know if they'll fit. Hint: You can get free shipping if you order online at the store, which did take some of the bite out of it.


I replaced my super nice Coach wristlet with one like this from Fossil. I wanted another Coach one, but they're all sort of... tacky looking this season. I will miss getting taken more seriously at swanky stores once they saw my Coach bag.