Sunday, October 28, 2007

Lost In Translation

After a trip to the mall:

Me: "Can you hand me the C.O. Bigelow that we just bought?"

Him: "What does that mean?"

Me: "BWAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!"

Him: "Seriously, what?"

Me: Apparently you don't speak lip-gloss."

If you are also saying "huh?" right now, go here: CO Bigelow.

Friday, October 26, 2007

4 For the Price of 1

Last night, I headed to Nordstrom Rack to find a big suitcase for our trip to Florida in two weeks. I found one that was reasonably priced and snagged it. I get home, all happy about my $100 suitcase and I go to open the thing. Much to my surprise there was 3 other things inside. A smaller suitcase, a carry-on bag and a toiletry bag. You would have thought I had just won the lottery from the loud shriek that I let out when I realized this discovery.

I always complain about the labels at Nordstrom Rack. First, you see the retail price, then you see the Nordstrom sticker, then the damn clearance sticker and then a 35% off sticker. What the hell is the price already?? It drives me nuts. But, last night my complaints came to a head. Because of the poor marking of the price, I thought I was getting 1 suitcase for $99.97 when really I got 4.

Stupid price tags.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Much Needed Advice

The other day, I emailed Corinne in a tizzy about all of my frustrations.

Her response was that I am not eating enough. WHA??? Really?? Cool!!

So, I am instructed to eat all of my flex points, but divvy them out each day. I also have to eat all of my activity points. SWEET! More eating. My favorite thing to do.

So, yeah...I knew there was something going on. And this whole time, I thought I was doing myself a favor by not eating flex points and activity points. Oops. My bad.

I have been summoned to post....

My good internet buddy, Laura, kicked me into gear today. I have neglected you sweet, sweet blog. And I am sorry.

I have been a little frustrated so far this week. I have been eating on plan, exercising my keister off, and today, after a long break from the scale, I got on it. And I saw what I didn't want to see. A maintain. Talk about frustration!! My goal was to be down 30 lbs by the time I was in my best friend's wedding in November. Here we are, two weeks from the wedding and I am down 15 lbs. A disaster in my book. This has not happened anything like I thought it would.

The first time I joined Weight Watchers Online was in March of 2004. I had just gone on a birthday shopping trip in Chicago with my mom and sisters, and decided that I wanted to finally get in shape for our pending September wedding. I journaled, but not nearly as religiously as I am now. I don't even know my exact starting weight and ending weight. I have some scribbles here and there that say I started somewhere around 202.5 and ended somewhere in the low 180's. I got thinking about that journey and how different it is from this one. Here is why:

---My husband pointed out that my body, even though it is heavier than when I started in 2004 (202.5 lbs), it is a much different body. The working out has been religious for the past several months. When I was 202.5 in 2004, I was a flabby mess. I am still a bit of a flabby mess, but I am MUCH more toned even at 210 lbs. (Aside...my friends swear I am lying about my weight, but when you are 6' tall you disperse your weight much differently! It's a bit of a boost to hear that there is 'NO WAY that I weigh THAT MUCH.')

---This time the journey is FOREVER. It was spawned by a wedding, yes, but it was also started as a result of wanting to be healthy for my future pregnancies, and my future family.

---I have expanded my exercise routines immensely. All I did the first time around was walk, and do the Power 90 DVD's at home. That was it. I think this is part of my frustration. Because I am working SO MUCH harder, but I am not seeing results. Likely a result of my increase in age, and my lowering metabolism as I creep closer to 30. I also realize that changes needed to be made in my diet. See below.

---I stopped taking hormonal birth control. This is a biggie. One I never thought I would be announcing to you, Internet. But, yes, this is a factor I cannot miss. My BCP had a very strong diuretic component. One I am missing very much right about now.

---I am starting to realize how important food choices are. My first time on WW, I lost weight by staying in my points range, but I ate a lot of convenience foods. I was not eating whole grains, complex carbs, lean proteins...I was eating a lot of junk. And I still lost the weight. That is the funny thing about this whole weight loss thing. You can lose by simply restricting calories. That was not working anymore and I have started to eat a lot more clean. I think my body was way too used to using the junk and it needed something to kick start it. Eating clean, will be the answer. I hope. I can honestly say I have not snacked on a 100 calorie pack in over a month.

As you can see, things are different, and I am losing differently. I am 2 weeks away from this wedding, I am nowhere near what I wanted this body to look like, but I think I am okay with that. I feel great, I look toned and my muscles are starting to pop (thanks to Corinne!). I am running (which I have NEVER done in my life) and I am seeing the big picture. This is not about deadlines, or getting thin by a certain date. This is about changing my lifestyle and my behaviors forever. And I won't give up. No matter what the scale says.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Weigh In Day---Break From the Scale

There was no weigh in today. I am taking a break from the scale.

I did however want to report that since August 10, I have lost another 6.5 inches off of my body. 3 inches were straight off my belly! It's amazing how the scale doesn't move, but the inches are coming off. Things are shifting and I feel a ton better than I did 2 months ago. This is why I decided to take the break from the scale. I just won't let it get me down!

I have also been running in conjunction with my Phit-n-Phat routines and I think I am slowly starting to love running. I am doing the Couch to 5k program from Cool Running. This week I logged 8 miles!! I am mostly run/walking but it still feels great! Walking just wasn't cutting it anymore.

Last week, while staying at my parents house, I noticed a really cool set of dumbells in my their room. They were Bowflex Dumbells and they are so cool. They adjust up to 52.5 lbs and we are outgrowing our 10lb weights, so we splurged on them. I am really excited about these!! I am really noticing my muscles taking shape thanks to the PNP routines. Specifically my arms. One thing I love about this thing is watching those muscles really start to take shape. Corinne wants before and after photos and that is my motivation to give it my all during my workouts!

Weigh in will resume next Friday.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lead Foot

Confession Time:

I have a lead foot. I like to drive my car...and fast. I think it's a trait I inherited from my Dad. Not the lead foot, but the appreciation of a good engine. He is a car connoisseur of sorts, and he loves nice cars. He, however, does not have the lead foot that his daughter does. I even have to admit that I have a teeny tiny bit of road rage.

Everyday, I take the same highway from start to finish. It takes me about 25 minutes to get to work. 30 minutes if I am going the set speed limit of 70 mph. I know where the cops hide out and when to slow down as I am approaching one of these said hiding spots.

I have to preface what I am about to say, with the fact that I have never been in an accident, I have had two tickets in my entire 12 year driving career and I think of myself as a pretty good driver. However, yesterday the lead foot was busted. I was clocked going 88 in a 70 mph zone. Even worse, it was a Michigan State Police officer. I knew right away he had me, and I conceded right before he had turned on his flashers. I pulled over, he made small talk with me about the hyphenation of my name; most likely to find out if I had been drinking. I was polite, he asked about my driving record, which I was happy to report was very good. About 5 minutes passed, and at that moment I realized that he was going to let me go. I couldn't believe it. I never catch a break like this, and frankly, he should have nailed me for how fast I was traveling. But, he didn't. I started crying! He asked if I was okay, and I said that he was so kind and we both went our separate ways; with my opinion of state cops, forever changed.

Lesson learned: The lead foot needs to be downgraded, and I need to slow down. And I am going to take his advice and do just that.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

That sweet guy I call husband


They have determined that Curtis' heart and brain are fine. His Holter Monitor test came back perfectly. No abnormalities, blockages or other weird things going on in there. Then he had a CT scan. Again, nothing abnormal or weird there, either. Then this morning he met with a cardiologist and they determined it is indeed vasovagal syncope. They told him it was time to hydrate himself nice and good, and lay off the caffeine too. Things we have been working on for months now during our healthy journey.

I just wanted to say a quick little something about him. This whole thing has really made me realize how much I love this man. He is my rock and my best friend. Without him, I am not quite sure where I would be today. Whenever we have a health scare or something that might threaten to split up our love, we are suddenly brought to this place. This place of knowing how deeply we care for one another. I love him more than anything and I want to be sure he will be around for a long, long time.

We have had a fun time with this fainting thing. I have tried to remain overtly positive through this whole thing. Not wanting to think the worst at all, until it was confirmed. I think he has gotten used to the jokes that he gets about it, and I want to say how much of a good sport he has been. He has never freaked out about this, (not like I did in the beginning!!) and has remained the strong man that I know him to be. I know it's hard for him to admit weakness, and I thank him for keeping me grounded until we knew the results. I love you babe, even if you are a fainter. ;o)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Party Hardy


Bachelorette parties for your best girlfriends are so.much.fun.

My good buddy, Kera, who is getting married in Florida in less than a month, had to have a party. We couldn't let her get married without a bash first. And bash we did.





Saturday morning we headed out to Chicago for this grand affair. It was a nice fall day, a great day for a drive. The city was booming, just waiting for 15 girls to take the town on.




My friend Katie, has a gorgeous house right in Bucktown. Trendy shops and fabulous restaurants, all line the city streets. Five of us headed out, 4 girls and one adorable 9 month-old boy to check out the shops, get our nails done and putz around before the big night. What a relaxing day, and what a perfect day to do it.

We then headed out for some fun. First it was presents and hors' d oeuvres, then we headed out to dinner. We ended up at a drag show, in a place called the Kit-Kat Club. It was such a blast!! The perfect place to have a bachelorette party. The guys....err, I mean, girls, put on quite the show!!! Then it was out for more club hopping and then back to Katie's where we all conked out from our fun evening.

I think Kera had a good time...you be the judge.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Watching the little kids...


We are staying at my parents house, and have been for the last 2 nights. We are watching the "little" kids while my parents are in Chicago for the week. The thing is, that they aren't so little anymore!!

It's totally weird staying at my parent's house. I don't really know why, but it hit me that it just feels weird to be there. And spending the night? Even weirder. My 10 year high-school reunion is coming up which means I have not really stayed there for more than 10 years. It doesn't feel like home in the way that it once did. My room is now bogged down with loads and loads of technological gadgets; it's now known as Dad's office. It's crazy. I sat in there last night, while Mary was playing on the new I-Mac and stared up at the skylight. The same window I used to look out at while laying in my bed, plotting my escape from that house. I never wanted so badly to move out and go and do my own thing, and now after spending a few nights there, I realize how much I miss that house. It was home for so many years. So many laughter-filled evenings, dinners at the table with the entire family (all 8 of us at that time...now there is 11 and one on the way). The sound of little kids voices, the piano lessons directed by mom first thing on a Saturday morning (Part of the reason for my escape!!), the running feet (we never walked...ever!), the smell of dinner cooking on the stove. It all comes back to me in this place. As I sit here, watching the deer out the back window, hearing the scratch of the dogs paws on the door (let me in!!), the memories rush in. It's hard to believe that a family that was once all piled into this house, is now so separate. We are adults, some of us are still molding into being them. My parents are now grandparents. The little kids aren't little anymore. One is off at college, and the other two are almost there. I used to sit back and think about things like "Well, when I am 30, Mary will be graduating from highschool", and it seemed so distant. So far off, as if it might never happen. And here we are. It's like a time warp. This place has changed, we have changed, but we are still the same family.

It's these moments of pondering that make me realize how much there is to look forward to with this family. We have only begun. And that? That is exciting.

Weigh In Day

I had a loss this week of 3 whopping pounds!! I actually weighed in yesterday, as we are staying at my parents house, watching the little (BIG) kids.

Back to the scale and it's power over me....

I weighed in again last Saturday, after seeing a 2.1 pound gain on Friday, and you know what I saw? A 4 pound loss. One day made all the difference. Being a woman, makes the scale war even harder. We are constantly battling the ocean of water within us. That constant bloat feeling that comes and gos throughout the week. For me, it's a daily thing. The sodium intake for example, is a huge catalyst to retaining water. However, I can limit my sodium intake, and still see that water weight hanging around like the elephant in the room.

My point is this. As a woman, we have to understand the chemistry of our bodies. That our husbands might lose at a much quicker rate, and hey, that's okay. We have to be patient with our metabolisms, fire them as much as we can by getting up and moving, and just remember, that self defeating ourselves gets us nowhere. I thought about how frustrated I was last week, and then I stepped up on the scale a day later and voila! Poof! It was gone. Keeping a positive outlook on this whole thing, is what gets me to a 3 pound loss the next week.

So, this week, it's on again! I am going to fight the fat, and stay on plan all week. And I will not let the scale, or the the water get me down.

If you would like to read a neat-o post about the scale, go here. My friend Katie, at Sister Skinny put this link in my comments and it made so much sense for me. Maybe it will for you too.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Blah....

I haven't been feeling myself this week. I think I caught that nasty stomach bug that's going around.

I woke up this morning and noticed how beautiful of a day it was out there. As I was eating my breakfast, I again looked out the window at our 50 degree, fall (FINALLY!) day and I saw this:


That is how you know it's going to be a good day. And it has been ever since.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Weigh In Day

I gained this week. 2.1 pounds. Blech. I am mad.

I don't understand this. I had a stressful week, but looking back on my journal, I didn't over eat (or drink). I worked out and earned the most activity points I have earned since I started this thing, and I gained?? It must be bloat. I mean, it has to be.

On the other hand, I am taking measurements tomorrow (no time this morning) and will report back on those. I am feeling much lighter in my clothes, and losing inches. I can feel it. My workouts are also getting easier for me, which means I am improving my fitness level which is what the goal is here.

I want to talk a little bit about small victories. I won't let the scale rule this thing for me. This is a healthy journey that will last a lifetime. I am already 11.3 pounds lighter and that is something to be very proud of. (thanks for the boost this morning honey!) I don't think that we pay enough attention to the small victories that we have over the course of this journey. It could even be that you took a multi-vitamin every day, or you drank all of your water for that day. It can also mean saying "no" to the bagel from Panera that is in the break room right now (I said "no" very sternly to it this morning!). We have to pat ourselves on the back for the small things that are leading us further down this path to a healthy and fit body and mind.

OK, that was my pep talk for the week! Back on track, and not letting that scale rule this thing for me!!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Vasovagal Syncope

We have a sort-of diagnosis from the doctor. They are calling it vasovagal syncope.

Read about it here.

I am mostly relieved because it sounds like this is something that is very treatable. His nervous system is overproducing adrenaline and under producing the hormone that calms you down. If you know Curtis, he is one of the most laid back dudes you will ever meet, but that isn't stopping his system from having these internal panic attacks. I would have never pegged him as the anxious type, but something isn't clicking.

The next course of action is a tilt table test, a CT scan and a Holter monitor, which will track his heart rate for 24 hours.

Basically, the doctor told him he needs to chill out a little bit, which is good, because I have been saying the same thing for awhile now. I am just so thrilled that we have some answers and we can get on the path to preventing these things from happening.

Thanks again for all of your thoughts and prayers!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Seven Passages: The Stories of Gay Christians

Last Friday night, I had the pleasure of attending a play here in town. A play that I have been following for a little while, very eager to see how it all fell together on the stage. Curtis attended it with me, along with another married couple that we are friends with.

Now, from the subject line, I am sure you are wondering what two married couples could possibly want to know about gay Christians. Why would we attend this play? My answer, is that for some time now, I have struggled with understanding how gays play a role in the Christian faith. For a long time, I myself even shunned them away. I didn't think they belonged in the church. After all, God says so in the Bible, right?

From my research, and from my grasping hard at trying to understand all of this, I have learned to have a lot of compassion towards the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi, transgendered) group in regards to the Christian faith. These are people, struggling with something not that they chose to be a part of. This is a part of them, a part of the person that was so fearfully and wonderfully made. They are God's children, just like you and me. So, why has the Christian church so forcefully pushed them away??

A professor from Calvin College, is the one with the vision for this play. They formed a committee, and chose seven passages from the Bible, that all condemn gays in some way shape or form. They then set out on a mission to interview as many LGBT Christians as they could. The result was amazing. A very moving, captivating performance with each actor taking on the identity of a few of the interviewed. The play is comprised of their words. Their words about the scripture and it's translation, their words about their struggle, their words about their faith. I cried, I laughed, but most importantly I learned a lot. Those that know me, know that I have compassion so deeply implanted into my soul. It is this compassion that I know we need to see more of in the church. It is this compassion that God would want us to have.

I will not go into all of my personal opinions about this subject, because I have many. But, I will say that we need to leave the judging to our Savior. And in the meantime, we need to find room for these people at our table. They are God's creation. They are God's children, just like you and me. And they deserve all the things that the Christian faith can provide to them. Hearing the stories about reparative shock therapy, about having their faith "only in their hearts because the church is unwelcoming", about the relationships that have been torn because of this 'thing'. It all breaks my heart.

After the play, we headed out for a bite to eat, and all of the actors happened to walk in behind us. We had a chance to talk with them personally, to hear that some of their stories were interwoven into the play, to hear about the struggle that has been making this play; making viewpoints on all of the sides heard. The most moving thing we discussed with them was in regards to a roundtable discussion that they did with local church pastors. (I just recently found out that my church pastor has a gay son, someone I went to highschool with) The 4 of us feared that the roundtable that followed the play, would be a bashing session. Those of you that know conservative Grand Rapids, know what I mean. I just couldn't sit there and here all of 'that.' But, 'that' didn't happen. And it didn't happen at all with the pastor's either. The forum is open. The dialogue is wide open, and I feel that is the most important thing. As one of the actor's said, "Let's keep the discussion going."

To read more:

Seven Passages Blogspot

GR Press review

The Dove Onslaught Campaign

I have been very fond of the Dove products and their ad campaign for quite some time now....but this video, makes me love them even more.

This is from their website:
"Half of girls in grades 3-5 worry about their appearance. Here are several hundred reasons why:"



This video moved me...moved me to take action, to raise my children and my niece in any way to not allow the eating disorder and appearance issues to set in. Society and cultural 'norms' need to let go of it's grasp on us....and any media campaign that is effective, is one I will plug here.

Dad, maybe I am a radical, but hopefully I can be one for positive change.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Oh, yeah....that fainting thing....

It was a wonderful weekend, that ended so horribly. For the second time, Curtis has had a fainting episode.

Once was no big deal. Off to the doctor he went, to find out his triglycerides, glucose and cholesterol levels were all high. We have been making adjustments to his diet. No refined sugars, flours...lots and lots of exercise. This Weight Watchers thing has played in very nicely, until Sunday night.

We were in the movie theater, watching Knocked Up, engaging each other in laughter, when I looked over and knew exactly what was going on. See, this happened once before about 2 months ago. He could no longer engage me except for with a nod of his head, and I immediately went into action. I asked the gentleman behind me (oh, he was so kind! I wish I could thank him now) to help me and he ran to get the manager. I picked up the soda, and began to pat his face with ice. "Wake up...please, wake up!!" Finally, he did. In a daze, and not knowing what had just happened, or where we were, we walked out of the theater. And then I threw up...I was just so scared.

There is nothing more freaky than watching your spouse pass out right in front of you. And the worst part, is that we now know this is a problem. One time was acceptable, but two times is not.

I fear this is diabetes, although my Dad would be telling me that I am not the doctor, so don't go diagnosing him!! It has to have something to do with his blood sugar, because when it happened the first time, I don't think he had eaten enough. This time, he was mowwing down on Skittles and Butterfinger in the movie theater.

Keep him in your thoughts and prayers. And if you are a family member, and we have not told all of this to you yet, I apologize for you having to read it here. We are still waiting on a diagnosis from the doctor's office.