Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It's a deck-saster

So you remember when we got a little carried away with yard work and ripped out our small deck? Well, we had some friends over a couple weekends big deck fell off the house. While people were on it.  At least the railing was attached well, right? Yeah...

Ick. We're hoping that there is no major structural damage to the house. We thought the deck was just a tad wobbly, turns out it was mostly rotted, not attached to the house well at ALL, and had zero concrete footers. In fact, the posts were barely in the ground at all. 

Shane got busy with our circular saw and cut it all into pieces. There was basically no useable, good wood on that thing once we got to looking at it. Anybody know a good contractor or deck builder in the area? We've got a nice little redneck setup for the time being...took the stairs from the deck, added some wobbly supports, and voila. It's not great but it's a lot easier to let the dogs walk out rather than having to toss them down. 

So, Yard Crashers crew, you think you could squeeze us in now? 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Weekly weigh in

To see all past weigh ins, click here. To see my whole weight loss journey, click here.

This week had a disappointing start. I was supposed to run for 20 minutes straight at a time and that was a huge disaster. I tried running in different shoes than normal after my regular ones got muddy a few days before and were in the process of being washed...that was a horrible idea. My knees, feet, and legs told me they thought so too. 

Today made up for it completely. I was back in my regular shoes plus I was sporting some new gear, like a high impact sports bra, some compression style running shorts, and some expensive but worth it Nike anti-blister running socks. I also tried running on the treadmill today instead of the YMCA track like normal. A lot of people complain about the treadmill, but I had a rather magical experience. Being able to set my pace and stick with it helped me get to 23 minutes of pure running bliss. A personal fan and my own TV playing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows helped out a lot too. It helped so much that I ended up walking for another 30 or so minutes after the run just because I wanted to keep watching!

My progress: I've lost 3lbs since last week for a total of 26lbs lost...I'm now at 200lbs!
28.9% of my goal complete. 

Shane's progress: He's lost 7lbs since last week for a total of 38lbs lost...he's at 271lbs.
30.4% of his goal complete. 

And just for proof, 200.0 on the dot! I once promised myself (when I was around 185lbs or so) that I would immediately go on a crash diet if I ever reached 200...and then proceeded to get to 226! What's really important to me here isn't the number on the scale but what it represents. I've made a commitment to myself that I am going to treat my body with the respect that it deserves, and I'm sticking to it. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day, y'all!

Earth Day is a great opportunity to help delay our planet from becoming the trash filled one on Wall-E, but of course we don't have to keep our planet-saving activities limited to only one day! It's a good idea to take opportunities when you see them, like Shane and I did the other day. 

We went for a run over Easter weekend at my in-laws' neighborhood track, and boy oh boy, somebody got bit by the litterbug at the playground area. This was only the tip of the iceberg but we grabbed all we could carry with our bare hands, and every little bit helps. I even got really muddy (if you read this post then you already know that freaks me out) when the boggy mud sucked my shoe right off. Eew. Don't fear, I did survive. 

Every little bit really does help, so the next time you're out walking around and see trash laying around, do the world a favor and pick it up. Mother Earth will be very thankful :)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Weekly weigh in

To see all past weigh ins, click here. To see my whole weight loss journey, click here.

This weekend was truly a test on ourselves and our willpower. Easter weekend for most people means an overabundance of chocolate bunnies, home cooked food, desserts of all shapes and sizes, and anything they might've given up for Lent. 

While I didn't even bother tracking my calories today (who really knows how I'd put in my sister-in-law's delicious hashbrown casserole or the chicken we had at my Mimi's  house?) I did try my best to watch what I ate and not go overboard. The car ride back home to Nashville seemed to take about ten hours instead of three though, so I did have to load up on candy to stay awake at the wheel. 

My progress: I've gained 1lb since last week for a total of 23lbs lost...I'm now at 203lbs.
25.6% of my goal complete. 

Shane's progress: He's lost 2lbs since last week for a total of 31lbs lost...he's at 278lbs.
24.8% of his goal complete. 

You might be asking yourself "If she gained, why is she still giving this week a thumbs up?" Two reasons:
1) Even though we were in Knoxville for three days, we still kept with our exercise routine. We went running twice in the neighborhood, and we went to do our weightlifting routine at the gym with my sister-in-law (not the one who made the hashbrowns, a different one). 
2) I cheated and weighed myself Thursday night before we left and I already weighed 203 then, so the added pound wasn't from the weekend. I'm sure once all the chocolate calories process the number will probably creep up again, but hopefully being at home and on track with my eating this week will help balance it out. 
One last word of advice before I hit the sure to check the nutritional facts before pigging out on any leftover chocolate bunnies. While the big label on the front might say "300 calories per serving" might just find that one serving is the size of that bunny's little cotton tail.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

#40: That's all, folks!

Now don't get your panties all in a bunch. It's not the end of my blog, just the end of the 40 posts in 40(ish) days! I might've skipped a day here or there, but I also make the rules. 

I must say, writing this many posts in this short amount of time was not easy by any means. I was running out of ideas by like day 3, but somehow I keep going. Who knows, maybe this whole fitness thing was just a quest for content? 

I feel very accomplished that I actually did it, and it really forced me (a little bit) out of my comfort zone. I enjoyed writing a lot more than normal and getting my voice out there, and the positive feedback I got from (a surprising amount of) readers really kept me going. So if you're reading this right now, just know that you're awesome and I love you! 

So what happens next? I think I'll settle into a nice, comfortable routine of 2, 3, or 4 posts a week. Definitely weekly weigh ins every Sunday, and then at least a post or two about something else fun during the week. 

Just in case you're interested, I know I am, here are my top 5 posts from this experiment based on page views. Click each picture to relive the magic :) or click here to see all of my 40 days posts. 

#5: One step closer to being debt free, I paid off my car! (day 10)

#4: Does anyone know a good agent? Because I'm about to 
be famous...aka that day we kinda sorta met Gordon Ramsay (day 2)

#3: My top motivators to lose the weight and get in shape (day 7)

#2: I took my workplace rage out on the internet rather than screaming 
at a client. That's a good thing, right? (day 3)

#1: And of course this would admission that yes, I know 
I'm fat, and I fully intend to do something about it. 
Also embarrassing pictures of me with pie. (day 6)

See y'all in a day or so for more of my crazy antics!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

#39: Countdown to TomorrowWorld!

Only about five and a half months or so until Shane and I are headed down to the Chattahooche Hills in Georgia for TomorrowWorld! We will be spending five nights and four days (the first day is meet and greet for campers, the next three are the music festival) camping under the stars and enjoying a LOT of people watching. 

While I am really excited, I am also incredibly nervous about the situation. I'll let you in on a little secret...I suck at camping. I hate being dirty and being around bugs and dirt and all of that mess. The one time I went to summer camp (for one week) in the fourth grade, we had to sleep under a tarp in the woods after a bonfire one night. I gave myself a pep talk and managed to power through until I woke up in the middle of the night to find my stuffed dog sitting in a giant pile of leaves. I lost it. 

I like to think I'm not a high maintenance person. I mean, I hardly ever wear makeup. My hair is barely dry when I leave the house in the mornings. You'd never be stuck waiting hours for me to get ready to go somewhere. But just try to get me dirty, that's when my attitude really screams "DIVA". I have a tough time working in the garden because what happens when your gloves get dirty and your face gets itchy? I actually looked at a listing for one of those tough mudder type 5ks and said to myself, "Oh, that looks fun, maybe it wouldn't be so bad?" until I clicked through and saw a girl crawling under barbed wire and up to her neck in mud. That's my version of hell right there, y'all. 

I also hate being sweaty for extended periods of time (more than thirty seconds), but the exercising has helped me a lot with that. You are going to be really sweaty, and you can either deal with it or be out of shape. Maybe I should try a similar approach to the dirt thing, gradually expose myself to it and just learn to deal. Then who knows, you may find me rolling around in the backyard mud patch right alongside Charlie. Yeah, right, haha. 

I am really nervous about the packing situation too. I had a dream about it last night and I obsessed all day over what I could possibly need. I feel like I should open up the suitcases in the spare bedroom and start massing supplies. I'm a notorious over-packer (I bring like six outfit options for a two day trip home) but I still feel like we're going to get there and say, "dang it, why didn't we think of _______!" Two must-haves on my list so far are: 1) two small tarps in case the tent leaks and we also need to put one under the air mattresses, 2) lots of baby wipes (see above dirt-ophobia). Also snacks, lots and lots of non-perishable snacks, which we will probably eat through on the first day when we realize a hamburger costs like $20 or something. 

Regardless, I still think it is going to be an amazing experience for Shane and myself. It will definitely be an adventure that we won't soon forget. As long as I haven't annoyed him to death and he hasn't murdered me by the end of the trip, it will be a success. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

#38: Weekly weigh in

To see all past weigh ins, click here. To see my whole weight loss journey, click here.

Shane was out of town this week so it was a LOT harder to motivate myself to go to the gym. I really depend on him for that push, and I am incredibly lucky to have him working through this all with me. It really does make the difference, I couldn't do it alone. I even stuck with my food plan and worked through a moment of weakness where I REALLY wanted to go through a drive thru window. 

My progress: I've lost 3lbs since last week for a total of 24lbs lost...I'm now at 202lbs.
26.6% of my goal complete. 

Shane's progress: He's lost 4lbs since his last weigh in two weeks ago for a total of 29lbs lost...he's at 280lbs.
23.2% of his goal complete. 

I can't believe that I have completed more than 25% of my goal! I'm crossing my fingers that I'll be at or under 200 by next week's weigh in...I'm so ready to see that number on the scale!

Sheldon gives his paw of approval :)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

#37: Shane's home!

Shane spent the last week up in Minnesota getting some training on an exciting new opportunity with work! I don't want to give away too many details, but it looks like he might have the chance to move from commercial kitchen ventilation into industrial ventilation sales. It has happened pretty suddenly and it would be an amazing opportunity for him. 

This was one of the jobs they visited. 
I'm very proud of him and I know that he will be amazing in this new field. He got a week of training and site visits, and they also got to visit their manufacturing facility in Iowa, which I'm sure he enjoyed very much. 

He actually really enjoyed Minnesota and wants us to go back on vacation sometime. He didn't get to do much sightseeing but he did get to go to the Mall of America and took some fun pictures. He didn't get to really shop around because he was with a bunch of other guys and they were headed to dinner. 

4 stories of shopping madness! He didn't see a single empty store either.

They have room in this place for a whole Nickelodeon theme park!


A former 30,000 sq. ft. Bloomingdale's has been turned into the Barbie Dreamhouse Experience, a life-size mega Barbie mansion. And out front they have my dream car!

Can't you see me driving that? Just take off all the Barbie stuff and it's ready to go. 

Shane, being the wonderful sweet husband he is, brought me some presents to make up for making me stay by myself for a week and having a heart attack every time I heard a weird noise or the dogs started barking in the middle of the night. 

A Chicago pig from the airport to go with my collection. 

It says "Dear Dorothy: Hated Oz, took
the shoes, find your own way home. -Toto"
The shot glass came from his stop over in Kansas City, Missouri. I asked him "Why Wizard of Oz in Missouri?" Apparently every souvenir there was Oz related, I guess they think as long as they have Kansas in there somewhere, it's all the same difference. 

He also brought me a neon yellow shirt that says "Minnesota" but it's in the washer as I wore it on this morning's run. 

I am so glad to have him back home, and I'm thrilled about this new possible opportunity and can't wait to see how it turns out! Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

#36: Happy Sibling Day!

Happy National Sibling Day! I thought it would only be appropriate to do another #TBT post with some cute sibling photos to celebrate :)

Me and Hannah. Aren't we cute?

I'm pretty sure this was Hannah's idea.

Wedding! And Shane's extra-crazy picture face.

Me and Hannah...and Shane being Shane.

And of course, it wouldn't be a complete sibling day post without sharing a photo of Shane's brother and and sisters :) 

Jason, me, Shane, Julie and Shannon. Can't tell they're related, can you?

#35: Are you afraid of the dark?

Normally my (somewhat) fear of the dark is reserved for home, when I have to make a quick run downstairs in the middle of the night or if I have to take the dogs out when it's really late. We have a creek and some woods behind our house, so it's a tad creepy. It's not by any means a huge fear, I just sometimes feel like someone is hiding or watching me and I can't see them, which I think is a reasonable thing to get creeped by. 

Lately though I've been getting really nervous around the office when I'm opening up in the mornings. Our second floor has no windows in the hallways and the lights are all off (except for the exit signs) when I come in. If I go up my preferred staircase (more convenient to my routine), the light switch is all the way at the other end of the hall. Worse, I have to make a couple stops along the way, opening up pitch dark conference rooms. 

A little office has a lot of smaller offices in it, and all these people have keys and can pretty much come and go as they please. 

Anyways, every time I have to open up the conference room and walk INTO the room to turn on the lights, I feel like I'm walking right into a horror movie, that somewhere in an alternate universe, an audience is screaming "don't go in there, stupid!" And that as soon as I turn on the lights, someone is going to grab me from behind and kidnap me. Or that maybe I'll walk in and find a murder scene and I'll be framed for the murder. 

I think I've just been watching way too much tv. I know it all sounds really crazy and paranoid, and I really doubt my office would be exciting enough for any of those things to happen. Still, it wouldn't hurt for me to borrow Shane's headlamp for a while...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

#34: I don't know what to say.

This morning I was shaken by the news of the sudden and tragic death of a member of my extended family. 

I don't want to share details out of respect for my family, but although I was not close with this relative, I have not been able to stop thinking about it all day. I held in my emotions during the workday but I broke down when I got home. 

Hug your friends and family every chance you get. Don't miss an opportunity to tell someone just how much they mean to you. You never know when that day might be someone's last. Do what you can to learn and recognize the warning signs of severe depression. Hopefully you will never have reason to use this knowledge. 

If you are suffering and you don't think you can go on, please, I beg you to talk to someone, anyone. You are not alone. Your friends and family need you, they want you, they love you. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline : 1-800-273-8255

As Dr. Suess would say, "there is no one alive who is youer than you." When we leave this earth, we leave a hole that can never exactly be filled. Even if it doesn't seem like it at the time, you mean a lot to a lot of people. 


To my cousin...may your soul now find the peace that was missing in life. 

#33: Doodling is fun!

When Shane and I went to McKay a couple weeks ago, I randomly picked up a book on drawing cartoons just because. I have always been interested in drawing because my dad is an architect and can crank out some amazing drawings, and of course, I always wanted to be just like him. I didn't end up as an architect (that market is soooo saturated right now) but I still doodle occasionally. I don't get to practice very much and my drawings can't hold a candle to his, but it's still fun. 

I pulled out the cartoon book tonight and decided to give it a shot. Not to toot my own horn here but I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out! 

This guy in the hat is actually the first thing I attempted, from a diagram showing how to show perspective and get the face shapes right. The top three are using the drawing techniques taught in the book, the bottom one I freehanded. Yep, I'll be using their methods from now on haha.

Next I got into the actual "lessons". I decided to flesh these out a lot more. I'm a perfectionist so you can bet that the chins took at least 10 tries before I got them halfway straight and not all squiggly. I'm a lot better at rough sketching out a line, but when it comes down to actually drawing ONE line and that's it, I have trouble. 

My sister has given these next drawings all names and elaborate back stories, which I will share in each photo's caption. 

This is Roy J. Marcus. He's a used car salesman who lives in Oklahoma with
his wife and three kids. 

I didn't worry too much about drawing them EXACTLY like the drawings in the book, but tried to stick pretty close. Roy's eyes are a little less beady than the illustration, and he also has a much toothier grin. 

This is Stanley H. Fillmore. He is Roy's cousin, and the manager of the
local chicken shack. He has a wife and two kids.

This is Susie Q. Marcus, Roy's wife. She works at the bank. 

Susie gave me the most trouble of all three. I just couldn't get her eyes to look quite right (drawing perfect-ish circles is hard!) and they always ended up a little too far apart. Oh well, close enough. 

Just in case you're interested, here's what a sample lesson looks like. I had a lot of fun working on these and hopefully that can be a regular thing in the future. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

#32: Weekly weigh in

To see all past weigh ins, click here. To see my whole weight loss journey, click here.

I have gotten into the habit of doing pretty well food-wise during the week now, but weekends are killing me. I made some poor choices last weekend, and I'm sad to say it was the same this weekend too. When I say poor choices...I am still eating (mostly) within my daily/weekly calorie limit, but the things I've been choosing aren't the best fuel for a body. Eating out is the hardest, especially when you get grilled chicken tenders but the only option for sides is french fries. They were tasty, but that's what got me into this predicament.

My progress: I've lost 1lb since last week for a total of 21lbs lost...I'm now at 205lbs.
23.3% of my goal complete. 

Shane isn't available for a weigh in today, but here is his progress from last week: 

Shane's progress: He's lost 5lbs since last week for a total of 25lbs lost...he's at 284lbs.
20.2% of his goal complete. 

I will update his progress next weekend. 

When I compare this week to previous weeks, it seems discouraging to say that I ONLY lost 1 pound, but then I remind myself I'm crazy and "HEY I LOST A  POUND!" Every pound that comes off is awesome. I know a time will come when I plateau and don't lose ANY weight, and possibly even gain back a bit from week to week. The reward here isn't just the number on the scale but to have an active and healthy life, and as long as I focus on that I think I'll be just fine. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

#31: NSV! (non-scale victory)

NSV (non-scale victory) is a term used online to describe a weight loss victory that is not just the number on a scale, rather something you are now able to do, etc., that you couldn't before.

My mom got me a shirt for my birthday in January and it just straight-up didn't fit. It's a size XL from the juniors section at Target and nothing about it worked. I looked like a stuffed sausage when I tried it on and the sleeves were just way too tight. I didn't take it back or exchange it though, just put it in my "someday when I'm skinnier" clothes pile. 

Last night I was looking for something to wear to dinner and picked up the shirt, and guess what, it fit!! The sleeves were perfect (a smidge short but you can't have everything) and the body of the shirt was even a bit loose like it's supposed to be for this style. 

It's a small victory but oh so awesome. Saying I've lost 20ish pounds sounds like a lot but it's been hard for me to see any real noticeable change. It's nice to see changes in my clothes pants fit just right straight out of the dryer and I don't have to squeeze into them...tshirts I used to stretch out before wearing are starting to look roomy...even the dress I wore to Founders Day was a bit baggy when I wore it. 

It's not quite time to go shopping for a new wardrobe just yet, but I'm excited to add old favorites back into circulation.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

#30: TBT

I've been feeling nostalgic lately so I thought I'd do a post on Throw Back Thursday. Enjoy!

Me with my Mimi's new puppy, Mandy.

My mom and me (in my Beetle!) when I was moving to college.
My dad was behind us with a whole pickup truck full of my junk.

Mom, Granny Opal, Hannah and me at Hannah's 16th birthday.
Yes, we had a hayride with cowboy hats and all. I'm reppin
DG cause I'm pretty sure I had just come from Bid Day to the party.

That time Hannah and I got to stomp grapes at Biltmore.
It was really squishy and gross. 

Shane and the rest of the PHS Rugby Team. Glad I didn't have to do
his laundry!

Me, my dad and Hannah, when she had an eyebrow ring

Me, sometime in high school, wearing a tap dance outfit
Not sure why, cause I'm pretty sure the recital was NOT that
day. I think it might've been for Halloween?

Granny Opal and Hannah when they went to Kwajalein to visit
Aunt LIsa. I've been thinking about Granny Opal the past few days,
I really miss her!

Me and Shane on New Year's Eve. Shane being crazy as usual.

I'd better stop here for now, my iPhoto library has over 33,000 photos (most of them crazy) and we could be here a while. See y'all tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

#29: SLEEP!

I've always had a hard time getting myself to bed at night, and the mornings are even worse. I'm lethargic and half asleep while getting ready and have to fight myself to not lay back down in the bed. 

Starting tonight, it changes. I'm not staying up super late to write posts anymore, they'll be done at a reasonable hour. Packing my lunch won't wait until 10:30. I'm giving myself a bedtime, and I'm getting the rest I need for my body to recuperate from the day. Hopefully getting myself in a nighttime routine will help with a morning routine, too. 

Goodnight, and wish me luck! Oh, and if you're reading this, you should probably hit the hay too :) 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

#28: I'm getting better

Remember a couple weeks ago when I found my mantra? I think I need to write it on my hand or something, because today at the gym I was getting all discouraged when I had to take a quick break here or there during my running intervals. 

You know what I realized tonight? I AM GETTING BETTER. Just a week and a half ago I thought I was going to die when I ran for 3 minutes...but today I made it about 4.5 minutes before I had to take a quick breather (we're talking 10-15 seconds, then I got back into it and made up for the break and then some). I know it doesn't sound like a lot to add 1.5 minutes of running, but OMG YOU GUYS I RAN FOR 4.5 MINUTES STRAIGHT! When I started the Couch 2 5k program almost a month ago, I could barely make it to run for 30 SECONDS at once. 

I'm starting to realize that I have always put too much pressure on myself and trying to be "perfect" while trying to lose weight and exercise. If I slipped up and ate a candy bar, well there goes the diet. When I missed a night's run or doing the next day of the exercise DVD, I was just all off track. Might as well wait til next week to start, right? Oh that week's no good for me? Well how about the next....

No more of that nonsense. Realistically I know I will never be perfect at anything. All I can do is try my best to take care of myself and make the most of what I've got. And if I eat a candy bar or miss a run here or there, what's gonna happen? The workout police gonna get me? But if I completely give up over something small and silly, I'm only punishing myself. 

Today's run was no cake walk, but I (mostly) did it! I'm sure next week when I'm huffing and puffing through 6 and eventually 8 minute runs, a 5 minute run will seem like small potatoes. 

And look! I'm halfway to running a 5k! (Some C25k programs vary in length, this one is 8 weeks instead of the usual 9). 

That gives me plenty of time to be ready to run in the Color Me Rad 5k this year, which according to my countdown, is in 81 days. We're feeling good enough about our running that we're looking at signing up for an earlier 5k, the Stache Dash on May 3rd. You should join us, it looks like a lot of fun!

It's most exciting to see progress like this when I compare my activities on my RunKeeper log. I'm pretty consistently training for more and more time, and going farther and farther while I do. I can't wait until I finish the program and then think back on this, and how hard it seemed, and how much better I will be. 

Just will never get easier, but you will get BETTER.