Fall 2008 Semester? I kicked your ass. Hopefully.
My professors haven't graded my papers yet, so maybe I missed, and only kicked the thighs. Or shins. Either way, it's out of my hands now (except for the one class in which we all got extensions because he's expecting masterpieces). I'm even done grading.
Can it really be true that I've moved to Mississippi, finished my first semester of grad school, taught my first course, lost between 25 and 30 pounds, AND gotten engaged? Whew, no wonder I'm exhausted. (And next semester is shaping up to be even busier!)
So other than the paper I have to write, I'm using this break to recoup. To relax. To actively focus on my health. I made kind of a SNAFU of things over Thanksgiving break, and I'm determined not to let the same thing happen over Christmas break. Stay on me, people, in the spirit of kicking this year's shins.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Fall 2008 Semester? I kicked your ass. Hopefully.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Christmas is 17 days away. Seriously? Where did all this time go? Oh yes, I remember now, Thanksgiving break ate it all up. I've been shedding the 5 pound gain I had over the break (yeah, I went a little crazy--engagement means a lot of celebration dinners and lunches) and I'm at about 189 right now. I'm working towards getting to my Christmas goal, so
maybe I I DEFINITELY need to journal for the next two weeks to really keep me on track. I haven't journaled in such a long time, but I'm not trusting my judgment right now, especially when I get to go home for 5 whole weeks this weekend. Times like these I need a babysitter. A babysitter who can help me lose 6 pounds in 17 days.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
We need to talk. You see, I've begun to rethink our friendship. We've simply been together for too long. This relationship has just gotten too big for me. Really. It's just too much for me to handle. I want to go back to the way we used to be--me, with my naive high school ways, I just assumed we'd always we would stay the way we were. I hoped we could keep our cute, perky, 36-C relationship. I was fine with our friendship growing, for a while, but now it's just too big. I mean, I thought you would stop once we got to the 40DDD stage, and I even got hopeful when we got down to 38DDD, but when I saw our friendship just wasn't fitting any more, I decided to have us professionally evaluated. And you know what, Breasts? 36H just isn't going to work for me. 36H is just too big. 36H is too big to shop for, too expensive, and too painful, especially when my back is carrying all the weight. What I want to know, Boobs, is why you've decided to make our friendship grow when the rest of my body and I are taking it slow, shrinking things down a bit. I mean, c'mon. Where's the limit? Are you shooting for a record or something? It's time to cool it, shrink back down a little. I don't want to have to pay for our therapy.
Think about it,
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Whew, getting engaged is busy business. I don't feel like we've quit moving since Saturday night when Dustin popped the question!!! We haven't even posed for pictures yet, but we'll probably do that on Thanksgiving Day.
Until we take our just-after-engagement photos, random shots from our night tonight will have to count (and also I am far too tired to write a real post, unless you count the recount of the engagement story at our wedding blog).
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Dustin and I are engaged!!!!
After I unwittingly foiled his plan A this afternoon, he took me the university where we met, to the ampitheater where we had a memorable picnic date. He pulled out a Norton edition of Shakespeare, in which he'd stashed a ring box.
And of course, I cried. And said 'yes.'
We're getting married!!!
(And of course I'm keeping a wedding blog; I've had it locked until Dustin asked. :o) Keep up with us at here).
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Okay, the paper is almost done, the novel is being read, and all I have left to do this week is turn in said paper and teach said novel. Friday morning almost here! Travel day. I get to go home to my family, to my boyfriend, to a beautifully brined Turkey and delicious stuffing. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, especially when I haven't seen my boyfriend in a little over a month, and my parents and brother in over three!
The downside? The drive. Oxford is about 8 hours (480-something miles) away from Augusta, and I have to go through both Birmingham and Atlanta. Pretty much the rest of the way is farmland.
But I cope. I've got my road trip music (satellite radio is the *best!*), I'll have my cats in the front seat next to me (in their carrier), I'll be wearing comfy road clothes, gas is back down to the $2 range across the southeast, and I've got a few quarters saved for a diet coke.
One problem. Road food. I'm pretty good about not stopping for fast food. The fact that I try to hit the road before 7 helps curb that temptation a lot! By the time I get to Birmingham, it's still to early for lunch, and when I hit Atlanta, I've only got two hours before Augusta, so I might as well wait for the meal Moms cooked for me. But here's my downfall: when I stop for gas (I drive a Japanese economy car, so I only have to stop 2 or 3 times--I can get to Augusta on just a little more than a tank), but at each stop, I tend to buy chips, a candy bar, maybe an ice cream cone, and a diet soda. Whoah! That is far too many bad calories in one completely inactive day. Plus, it leaves me feeling more groggy than driving past 8 hours of farmland does!
So what do I pack? What do you guys rely on for healthy, energizing road food?
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
This is not your time of year. Usually. This year, things
will be are already different.
Remember where you were last year? Feeling a bit miserable? Looking at your body in the mornings and not
knowing admitting how it got that way? Guess what? That's not you anymore. You educated yourself, you put yourself into a great network of bloggers, and your family more than supports you. You're focusing on your health this year, on your mind. You've lost almost 30 pounds this year. You've dropped a pant size and are dropping another right this very moment. Your clothes fit better and you look even sexier than you did last year. You feel good in the mornings.
Last year you were worried about getting into grad school, this year, you're in, and in the program you wanted, no less! Now all you've got to worry about for now is getting the last 5 or 6 pages of that paper done (and reading a novel or two...). Last year, your doctor told you she was worried about your health. When you see her this year, she'll notice your progress and congratulate her. You'll thank her for being so forward with you while at the same time, not making you feel like a failure.
Last year, you would have used your stress as an excuse to eat unhealthy foods. But not this year. This year, you're going to avoid fast food--even Subway!--when you get tired and stressed. Food is not a solution. Bad food may taste good, but it will not write your paper. Nor will it teach your classes. Bad food will make you feel, well, badly. Cut up those veggies languishing in your fridge. Drink that water that's been sitting in the cooler.
You're going home in two days. After a month, you get to hug your darlin, you get to see your family, and spend time together watching old Christmas movies on the couch. You'll get to relax and unwind, but please remember to enjoy your family more than the food you eat when you're with them. It's okay to enjoy yourself over the break, but remember that going crazy with the sweets isn't what makes the holiday memorable.
Don't feel trapped by your old end-of-term/holiday season habits. This is now your time of year.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Whoah, did a whole week just go by? Not sure how I missed it.
I've been holding steady at 187.0 for the past three days, so I guess I can say I'm there now. I haven't been moving past 190 all week, so I suppose it's a good thing I didn't order that pizza for dinner last night after all, huh? This means I've only got 4 pounds left for my Christmas Challenge! It's gonna be tough with my Thanksgiving trip home in about a week, but I think I can do it. I'm packing my scale and my water bottle.
I apologize for being so absent this week--I've got three 15-20 page papers all due in the next month (each one about a week apart!) so I've been trying to work on those in addition to doing my regular reading/teaching. I feel like I've gotten absolutely nothing done, and each time I try to get started, my brain refuses to cooperate. I didn't make it to the park all week, I haven't cooked as much (or when I have I've not liked what I've cooked), and I think I'm getting the cold that everyone has passed around. Even when I get plenty of sleep at night, I wake up feeling exhausted. At least I'll be going home for Thanksgiving soon, so even though I have a paper due the Monday I return, I'll at least have gotten some family time, and my favorite, cuddle time with Dustin in.
This is what my desk looks like, only with about 15 more books stacked on top:
I need strength and a ghost writer.
Friday, November 7, 2008
There's a little park I've been wanting to go to ever since I moved here nearly 4 months ago. Only, I never did. I don't even have a good reason.
Yesterday, I got the sports bra from Gracie's Gear that I won in Roni's contest a couple of weeks ago (I'll post a review as soon as I try it out once or twice more). And you know how I am--new gear makes me want to actually get off my rear end for once. So after I slept in today (ahhh, 10:30 feels good when you're still in your pajamas), I threw on some workout clothes that haven't been worn in quite some time, and drove out to the park I never thought I'd actually muster up the energy to visit.
And I found out three things: A) It's not so little, B) Walking in the chill and wind that's blowing at your face will make your nose run unstoppably, and C) Trying to run while your yoga pants are falling down is pretty impossible, and a cold wind on your plumber's crack is so not cozy.
As it turns out, the part of the park I pass on my drive to school is only about a fourth of the actual park. It's got a huge looped trail (paved) dotted with park benches and tons of little loops that branch off into smaller parts of the trail--it's great to be able to mark off smaller sections of trail you want to walk. They're doing a lot of renovating right now, and it looks like there's gonna be an ampitheater and a botanical gardens, along with tons of picnic areas and places to play frisbee with your dog. Dustin, I want Weimereiners so we can play frisbee with them. There's also a pond, with fish! (But no swimming or diving.)
There were tons of people around, walking their dogs, playing with their kids, old men in their crazy neon colored shorts and muscle shirts and sweatbands on their foreheads. And since the paths are so long and have so many points of divergence, I rarely got the feeling that I shouldn't be getting in the runners' way. I walked for about an hour and a half (not thinking that would make my thighs hurt!!) and took (according to my pedometer) 9,291 steps. That number is probably a little high though, considering that I have no idea how old this thing is, or whether or not it needs new batteries, and that my dad's work gave it to him (he works for DOE, so you know how those government gifts are...). I walked around the park two and a half times, but I have no idea what kind of distance that is.
I really enjoyed being in this park--all the trees were red and gold, and I loved all the puppers running around. I'm gonna try to make it out there 3 or 4 times a week now, I think.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I didn't get as involved in Obama's campaign as I would have liked, but I want to thank EVERY SINGLE PERSON who contributed to Obama's plight, be it through financial donations, driving people to the polls, knocking on doors, making phone calls, making sure people knew Obama's ideas and not just rumors. Thank you.
And thank you Obama Family, for believing in us and giving us something to believe in.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Once every 4 years, we get the chance to participate in something huge (unless the electoral college screws it up for us...can someone explain to me why we still have an electoral college?).
So today, go vote. It might take a while, it will be a hassle to stand in line with your kid, with your to-do list glaring at you, it will mean you've got to muddle through the three-thousand political signs stuck in the ground 27 3/7ths from the polling doors. But it's worth it, is it not?
You probably already know who I've voted for (woo-hoo absentee ballot!!!) and if you don't know, but want to, you can scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on each of the pictures to take you to informative links.
If you want to know an extended explanation of why I'm voting for whom I'm voting you can read a post on my other blog. But mostly, I'm voting for women. I'm voting for my body, which I'm finally learning to love and respect, and for other women's bodies, which should be just as loved and respected. I'm voting for the women in my family (and those men, too) that weren't allowed to vote. I'm voting for my future, for children's, for the future of marginalized and stereotyped and insulted people. I'm voting so that 50 years down the road, I don't have to look back and know I made the wrong decision, that I used my vote to further establish injustice in a world that's already far too unfair.
So regardless of whether you agree with me, or even fully with the candidates, go vote. Vote with your informed conscience. Vote because you have the right to vote.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Yesterday, a bunch of my classmates went to dinner at a really popular restaurant on the outskirts of town. I wanted to go too, so I did. But I got lost on the way there (Oxford has waaaaay too many "County Roads." Anyway, I was 15-20 minutes late, but no biggs, right? My party's already there, I'll just grab a seat with them. No. Yes, biggs. "You can sit, but you can't eat" the hostess told me. Apparently, they are so inflexible that a late order would throw them into chaos and confusion and bring upon the apocalypse. But dammit, I sat, because it took me 45 minutes to get there. Someone ordered a water for me (I wasn't going to even worry with that) and when the waitress brought it out, she gave it to the girl that asked for it, not even to me. But whatevs. I saved the $15 for my meal AND the fried catfish calories. I'm also never going there again. Those crazy people are NEVER getting my money.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Guess who's weighed in at 189 for the past couple of days?
That's right folks, I'm finally out of my 190s. The last time I weighed in in the 180s, I was probably in high school (I remember being 170-ish my freshman year of high school, and 190-ish my freshman year of college).
Christmas Challenge Update: I've lost 9 pounds since whenever it was I started this challenge, and I've got 6 left to lose before Christmas. Only 8 weeks left!! (And three weeks of those eight will be spent with my family and boyfriend, so I've got to be CAREFUL!)
Note to Self: If you would hurry up and incorporate some focused physical activity, those 6 pounds would drop off a lot easier, and you could quit worrying that celebrating the holidays with your family is going to ruin your progress.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I just got off the phone with my mother. Who was slightly inebriated. After drinking half of a margarita. The other half she spilled on my dad's lap. It was a 20-minute conversation that I spent listening to her laugh hysterically. About what? I have no idea. But it was funny.
We do a lot of things like our mothers. I, thank goodness, require just a few more drinks (read: one full margarita, instead of half) to be slap-happy drunk, but once I get there, I, too, laugh like a moron at everything I see. If I can't be a happy drunk, I don't want to be a drunk at all. My mom and I are fabulous together on the rare occasion we drink together (a shared bottle of muscadine wine and you've got yourself a show).
But I'm not just a happy drunk like my mother, I clean like my mother. I cook dinner like my mother, and wash the dishes like her. I argue like my mother, I laugh at the same jokes my mother laughs at. But I eat like my father. That is to say, mindlessly. Anything in front of me is fair game, unless of course, it's healthy.
We all gain weight pretty much the same way--slowly, consistently, and with little notice until one of us points at each other's asses and says, "Hey, your ass is HUGE!" Well, my dad and I get our bellies pointed at; my mother, her ass. We're apples, she's a pear. Together, we're a veritable fruit salad. (And my brother? He's the toothpick we all hate.)
There came a time when I decided that I didn't want to do everything the way my dad does. I stopped going to his church in favor of finding my own. Dad still pretends to be disgruntled when I announce that I'm one of the bleeding heart feminist liberals he hates so much (even though he's voting for Obama next Tuesday!), and he can't understand why on earth I gave up my biology major in favor of studying American Literature (we won't even get into how amazed he is I'm going to Ole Miss when he graduated from Mississippi State--the rivalry is FIERCE, and their game the Saturday after Thanksgiving is going to be funny as hell).
So, if I'm okay with voting, worshiping, and thinking very differently from my parents, why do I insist on keeping up their unhealthy habits? My dad eats because food is there--for this reason, I don't keep unhealthy foods in the house. When I do, they're gone within days. My mom eats because she's stressed or upset. I'm breaking this habit, but I need to learn to work off my emotions with some other constructive activity. Neither exercise, and I quit working out about a month before I moved to Oxford. And why? Because I'm busy, or I can't afford it, or ice cream tastes really good. The same reasons my parents give. It's time to break the chain.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Right now, in this moment, I am utterly and profoundly happy. It's 45* outside, my book review is finished a full 4 hours sooner than it's due (I push it close, around here), and my kitties are acting deliciously giddy. Also, Pandora.com has a plethora of Holiday music stations (including a Motown Holiday station which is just rocking my socks off!!!) to listen to so I don't have to keep searching for artists and giving a thumbs down to not-Christmas songs. And yes, I'm still listening to Christmas music. I can't make it stop! Speaking of, I got a Bath and Body Works email this morning advertising their Christmas scents. I don't like their lotions, but I loooooooove the "smells" of Christmas.
Yesterday, I won a sports bra from Gracie's Gear and Roni. I'm so excited!!! I'll let everyone know when I get it and how I like it. It has a zippered pocket! How cool is that? Seriously, I don't know what took people so long to realize that women's clothes aren't nearly practical enough.
I've only got 24 days left until I get to go home FOR A FULL WEEK!!! for Thanksgiving. So while I've got 3 papers and a lecture to work on before then, it's Thanksgiving! I get to go home soon!
I weighed in this morning at 193.4, 187.0, and 190.4. Yeah, I don't know what's going on with that, but I'm going with 190.4, as that isn't a crazy number for me.
All this randomness demands a picture:
Friday, October 24, 2008
One of my favorite dresses is visibly too large on me now. I noticed it today as I was
studying shopping. It's an XL from Old Navy, and its meant to be one of those incredibly billowy dresses (which I looooove), but it does have a small elastic bit around the waistline. But even the elastic bit isn't clinging to me anymore.
So although I'm super glad things are getting too big for me, I'm bummed that I'll only be able to wear my favorite pieces for a few weeks (months in some cases) more. Luckily, I saved a bunch of my size 14 jeans, so I only had to buy one new pair. But all my dress pants, except one pair, are already too big. My skirts are either falling off of me or are too small still. Thankfully (I think) my bust measurements pretty much require an XL, even though my waist actually fits a bit better in (most) Larges.
That's the thing with weight loss, though, isn't it? It's so great that we're getting healthy and growing happier and happier with our bodies, but then we've got to splurge on clothes, and I don't think ANY of us have the cash to do that?
I think we should start a swap group. Think a combo of Wardrobe_Remix and Wardrobe Swap Shop (both groups on Flickr which I constantly lurk but haven't joined). Would anyone be interested in joining a group like this? It'd be a great way to get new pieces added to your closet in your size, and since we're all at different stages in our progress, I think there would be a big enough pool of sizes and styles to please a lot of people. Let's think about it.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I'll admit, I'm a bit of a grumpus. I complain. I stress. I let things get to me. I try to at least be funny about it, but the fact remains that I'm negative way more than I should be. So I try to be grateful. I'm not as cool as Oprah as to keep an actual gratitude journal, but I am learning to stop and meditate on the little kind actions people take when they don't have to.
I had an optometrist's appointment yesterday (I have the worst vision...I can't see anything clearly if it's not 6 inches in front of my face). I was Dr. Strickland's first patient, and I got into the office even before his office employees did. He greeted me as I came in, and did the most thorough eye exam I've ever gotten. He was more than a good optician, though. He was interested in my life, and talked to me like I was important. I've got a follow-up appointment with him next week, and so he gave me his business card. On the back, there was a handwritten note wishing me the best in my studies, as well as him telling me how glad he was to meet me.
I have a classmate who I've yet to see in a bad mood. I've never heard him utter a mean word about anyone.
Last week, we had a rainy day, and a passing professor (who they didn't know) gave some of my students his umbrella.
Dustin drove 17 hours (round trip) just to spend a weekend with me.
This may be a stretch, but I think that one of the hindrances to my striving to be healthy is my attitude. Failing to recognize the things I should be grateful for regularly tends to put me in a bad mood, especially after a long or exhausting day. When I'm in a bad mood, I make unhealthy decisions. Being stressed and constantly negative is itself unhealthy. I know this about myself: the more I focus on the good things I life, the less significant the bad things are. This is not to say that I ignore the problems in my life, but that I give them the weight they deserve, and no more.
I end with a quote, and a ridiculously cute picture.
Monday, October 20, 2008
I. am. exhausted.
But I had a fabulous weekend with Dustin. I'll post pictures as soon as I can muster the energy to upload them from my camera.
No real surprise, but I gained. I'll be working this week to get it off, and I'm hoping to carve out some time (it's midterm and paper-proposal week) for some actual, concentrated exercise. I've been relying on my treks across campus (and I do trek, let me tell you) to count for fitness, but my body is demanding more. I just need to make the time for it. Perhaps I'll get these out again:
I had a lot of fun "completing" the first DVD in this set of 4, and I actually felt sexy during a workout (instead of sweaty and jiggly and out of place), so that was pretty much amazing.
Just a shameless chance to win less boob-jiggles.
Posted by Ashley at 7:34 PM
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I wasn't tech-savvy enough to figure out how to embed the video here, but I suggest you take a look at this video (Thanks to Roni for the link).
I love that this video talks about wanting a healty ideal instead of a thin one. I like to think that I really am shooting for health this time with my weight loss. And while I definitely am making better choices for better reasons, I still allow myself to slip back into thinking that thinness is the goal (which is the reason behind my endless frustration when my weight has increased every day this week beyond any explanation I have to offer). This video is a good reminder for me. I'm in this for the long run, for a long and healthy life.
Aside: I love that this was started by a sorority. A video like this was just not something I expect from a sorority. Ending breast cancer, sure, but ending negative dialougue about weight? It just wasn't in my stereotype. I was never in a sorority, but I date a (non-typical) fratboy, and I teach college sophomores and juniors at the University of Mississippi--a HUGE Greek-oriented school. To be perfectly honest, I have TONS of anti-Greek feelings. I just don't get it. On my good days, I think the organizations are stupid, exclusionary, centered on gendered, racist, and classist ideals, and a distraction for my students' real purpose in going to college--learning. And that's on my good days. On my bad days? Well, let's just hope I'm not teaching on a bad day. (I will add, though, that many of my Greek students--and almost all of them are in a sorority or fraternity--surprise me.)
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
My cat has a gimp. I stepped on him last night (he got under my feet in the kitchen and I didn't know it), and he started limping a few hours later. He doesn't, apparently, hurt badly enough to jump on my desk, scratch at my furniture, or hang from window ledges and door (and for this reason, the vet said I probably didn't need to take him in, unless his limp got worse or he started acting visibly sick). But still, he's my kitteh-baby, and I worry. But really, does this look like a hurt-kitty?
Monday, October 13, 2008
Yeah, maybe not so much. I'm trying, though.
I weighed in today at 191.6. I've been 191.x all week, so I need to step up my game (Read: Stop eating crap and get my ass off the couch!). I literally did not eat anything substantially healthy over the weekend. Nothing. Well, unless you count that can of pears. That was one thing. I didn't even take my vitamins. I am soooo freaking close to the 180s; think I can make it by Friday or Saturday???
Funny thing. I stepped on the scale on Friday, and it read 189.6. I was stoked. So stoked, that I had to step on it again 2 minutes later (literally, two minutes later), and it was up to 191.2. How does that even happen??
Anyway, Dustin's coming to visit this weekend (are you getting that I'm excited yet?). There will be some excessive foody-ness going on, but I'm planning on taking us the park and getting some walking/frisbee playing in (Note to Self: Purchase a Frisbee). I might try to make it out to the Faulkner house with him too, as it doesn't seem right that I live in Oxford, Mississippi, and have yet to try to glean some Faulknerian genius from his house. Wait, he wrote his novels while drunk? Maybe I can glean some genius from that, too. :o)
Friday, October 10, 2008
This is my boyfriend's uniform (clip-on!) tie for his job; he Geek-Squaddles it for Best Buy.
He supports Mammary Resilience, and you should too.
Encourage all the women in your lives to get a mammogram and perform monthly BSEs. That link will take you to BreastCancer.org's instructions for performing Breast Self Exams. And don't you just love that the woman in the illustration isn't "perfect?!!"
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
(Was I the only one who wanted to be Little Orphan Annie as a child?)
Yes, folks, I am in a MUCH better mood today. I think I just needed to get it all out of my system. (And get it out of my system I did! My apologies for all the negativity!!)
I'm down to 192 today, so I'm continuing to show some loss this week. I'm only 2 pounds away from getting the Birmingham weekend weight off again. Just in time for Dustin to visit me again in a couple of weekends!! I'm stoked about him coming to Oxford (like, it's all I can think about stoked), but I seriously need to not go overboard while he's here. My aim is to maintain that weekend. Maintenance is so, so good.
This loss puts me at only 9 pounds left before Christmas. There are 11 weeks left, so I still think I can do it. I just have to be careful the weekend Dustin visits, and the week I have off for Thanksgiving. I think if I shoot for maintenance those weeks, I'll still have plenty of room to reach my goal.
Also, I don't get winded anymore when I walk up to my 3rd floor office, and climbing up the huge hill to my normal parking space isn't the monumental journey I thought it was just a little over a month ago. I'm wearing 14s now, and my bras are too big (which isn't a good thing, but it is, too).
So seriously, to all of you who left me happy comments, encouraging comments, sympathizing comments, "Sister, I've been there" comments, thank you. I needed it, and I appreciate how absolutely freaking amazing you all are. THANK YOU!!!
Monday, October 6, 2008
I realize I've been a bit inconsistent with the blogging lately- I apologize! I finally got caught up with last week's schoolwork, only to have the kitties chew through the cable to my power adapter for my laptop, so I couldn't use my laptop, even though I had the time.
I did weigh-in this morning, and it's been falling steadily (by .2 lb increments) all week, so I am lighter this week, but by how much, I can't say. I don't remember!
Unfortunately, emotionally, I'm not much better off. I do want to thank Inny, Crystal, Karyn, and Kathleen for the positive vibes sent my way on my last post. I'm trying!!!! I've been trying to stay strong, trying to keep my mind off how much I miss Dustin, but it's not working. In fact, today, I'm pretty much losing it, which I hate to admit. In class tonight, just in passing, a classmate mentioned talking about our assignment with his wife. Seriously, I almost lost it, right then in there. And he only mentioned talking about his homework!
I finally got my new power adapter in the mail this afternoon when I got home from class, so of course, the first thing I do is get on Skype and start a video chat with Dustin. I *REALLY* lost it then. I can't help it! Tonight was his mom's birthday, so their whole family have been enjoying a night of celebration. I want to be there. Or, I want them to be here.
And of course, me feeling miserable means I want to stuff my face. Thank goodness I don't have any more junk in the house, because I could seriously go for some ice cream and Doritos right now. I'm trying to convince myself NOT to go to the grocery store for that junk! It's like I told Dustin tonight, when he asked how eating bad food makes sense to me when I feel bad (oh to not be an emotional eater!), "If I can't be happy on the inside, I want to put happy in my mouth." Which sounds dirty, I just realized. But that's really how I'm operating right now. I feel a little stress, a whole lotta missing my hunny, and all I can think about doing to ease the misery is moose tracks ice cream and cool ranch doritos.
Ack, I grumbled and mumbled again. I promise some happiness for my next post!!!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
I ate an ENTIRE medium pepperoni pizza for dinner, along with almost a liter of Diet Coke, and half a thing of CinnaStix. What the hell? Am I trying to kill myself?
I'm not trying to sound self-defeating, but seriously, what was up with my eating ALL of that food? I think it has a lot to do with my feeling pretty bummed out the past couple of days. I am soooo grateful I took a weekend off to be with Dustin, but I've been struggling to keep up with my work this week (I'm miserably behind). I've been skipping the "pink pill" week of my BC, which I know isn't supposed to change anything (considering that the 'period' you have on pink pill week isn't even a true period), but I swear, I'm PMSing. And also, I miss Dustin. A lot. In fact, I'll venture into pathetic-land and say that I'm miserable without him here with me. I can't believe we have to struggle through another 15 months of this mess. Seriously, I've never been glad for time to go by so quickly, but the sooner we all get to December 2009, the better.
Self-pity diatribe ceased.
Monday, September 29, 2008
It was so wonderful I gained almost 4 pounds! But I'm really not complaining. I met Dustin in Birmingham for the weekend (our halfway point), and since I probably won't get to see him again until Thanksgiving, it was totally worth it. While there, we "stopped by" an Old Navy (we were there for several hours, as it was a HUGE Old Navy, and had TONS of clothes for me to try on), and I got lots of cute new clothes. I still wear an XL top, and I think I will for a long time, as about the only part of me that hasn't shrunk are my breasts. I keep asking them to shrink, but they refuse. Adamantly. But, the new pair of jeans I bought are 14s, and they're not even ridiculously tight (Old Navy has some weird sizing, though, so I may have just lucked out with the cut and fit I like (Sweetheart rise, Boot Cut)). Even greater for this weekend? I like ALL the pictures of myself. Usually I think I look fat, or pudgy, or bad in that shirt, or something else ridiculous, but I'm really happy with how I look. But since I am at 194.4 this week (before I left I was at 190.x), I've got some work to do. Hopefully it will come off pretty quickly.
Photos taken at the Birmingham Zoo, the Kelly Ingram Park, and the 16th St. Baptist Church (where the 4 little girls were killed in the Sept. 16th, 1963 bombing).
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Not really. This is just the 2nd Thursday in a row I've weighed in. I'm down to 191.2 today! I've been at 191.4 almost all week, after a huge losses on Friday and Saturday. Isn't it weird how that works? It's like all of the sudden my body just stops losing. It's almost like it's saying, "Okay, woman, you've made one healthy improvement, let's see another!" I really believe that my body is demanding change from me. And you know what? I love it.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
14s are hugging my ass today, people. They're probably hugging a bit too much, but I'm in them. And I'm staying in them... (I haven't worn these jeans in over a year!!!!!)
Sunday, September 14, 2008
If I were a Weight Watchers member, I'd be getting a token of some sort. Since January 1st of this year, I've lost a total of 21.6 pounds, or just a tad bit more than 10% of my original body weight of 214 pounds.
I'll never forget that day I visited my doctor in December. It was for my yearly ladies' exam, and as much as we all hate those, I've got a really awesome OB/GYN. She's non-judgmental, honest, and is always open to listening to my health needs. It had been a long, hard semester. I'd be graduating in the spring, and I was busy trying to put together all my grad school applications, write my honor's thesis, keep my apartment from falling apart, trying to keep my job together (I was the secretary for a small church that had a terrible pastor for only 6 months. I got all the reverb from those miserable 6 months). I'd been gaining weight steadily since my last bout with Weight Watchers in 2006. I'd been with Dustin for about 8 months, and the evidence of our many restaurant dates hung uncomfortably on my middle. And more, I was feeling, emotionally, miserable. I was happy with school, and head over heels in love with Dustin, but I was beginning to let my self-esteem slip back to middle-school levels, which is to say, really, really bad. I was irritable, easily frustrated, and completely dependent on others (mainly Dustin) to keep me happy and thinking positively about myself.
I shouldn't have been suprised when April (my ob/gyn) told me, rather frankly, I needed to watch my weight. She asked me how I'd been eating, how I was handling my stress, and after I told her how I was doing pretty miserably with both, she matter-of-factly told me what kinds of foods I should be eating and that it would help me both physically and emotionally to find an outlet for my stress. I cried as I left her office, feeling like I'd completely failed myself. I kept replaying the nurse's face as she scribbled my weight on my chart. She didn't grimace or scoff, but I was horrified, more at myself than what she thought. 214 was the heaviest I'd ever been, and I realized how quickly that number could continue to rise.
For a month or so, I continued to beat myself up, aware that I needed to change my habits, but not ready to do anything about it. I don't even know what snapped in my mind, but Dustin and I started going to the gym at our school together. I began using the Weight Watchers system as a rough guide for my diet. I started this blog, and reading others. I joined SparkPeople.com. And the weight started coming off. More importantly, I was feeling so much better. So much healthier. So much more alive.
Towards the end of the spring semester, my upcoming graduation (and all the stress entailed) consumed my energies, and I let myself slowly slip away from all my progress. The 15 pounds or so I'd lost since January were slowly adding back on. I was preparing to move to Oxford, Miss (to go to Ole Miss for my Masters), and I just didn't think I could handle both trying to lose weight and preparing for grad school. In these three or four months, I continued to read blogs and I usually cooked healthily at home, so I only gained 5 or 6 pounds back.
Slowly, I'm learning that my goal is not to lose weight. It's not be a size 10, or to be skinny, or to even look sexy in a swimsuit (although those things must be very, very nice). I want to be healthy. I want to be vibrant and alive throughout all of my life, and I want my life to be long. I want to enjoy all the days I get to spend with Dustin and my family and friends. I want to feel confident in my body; I want it to reflect the beautiful and spunky person I truly am. I feel held back by the condition I've let my body come to, and I want to let myself grow out of it. So really, although I typically talk about this blog as a weight-loss blog, it's really not that. It's about letting myself grow.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
So, guess what? I'm at 194 today. Which is the *lowest* I've been all year. And probably most of last year, too. I've been eating so well this week, I've had fun watching it pay off. And feeling it pay off, too.
Seeing that number this morning was really great encouragement for me to keep it up. I'll be at school today from 8 am to 7 pm, Thursdays are always really, really difficult for me to get through without wanting to kill someone (teaching 3 sections of sophomores who "hate" literature will do that to a book lover), so I'm determined to remember that 194 can soon be 184 if I just keep with it and don't give up! "Never give up, never, never give up." I am worth this effort. My body deserves it.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
This video was made as part of a new ad campaign for Planned Parenthood. And whatever your views on PP are, I'd encourage you to watch this, because I think the message is important for all people, and I'm not just talking about healthy sex here. If you take out the phrase "our reproductive selves" and "down there" and replace it with "our healthy selves" and "of our full selves," you can get a sense that really, somewhere along the lines, we've forgotten how to love ourselves.
If you had video issues, here's the text, which I'm gonna print out (edited to be relevant to overall health and not just sexual health) and put on my fridge:
Ask any three year old.
But somewhere down the road to growing up,
we put our healthy selves in the dark.
Rather than worry about what went wrong, we should remember:
It's never too late to know ourselves.
After all, we are ultimately in charge of our bodies.
It may be the most important responsibility we have.
Starting today, let's make a pact: to make our bodies our best friends.
So that when we make decisions,
we're empowered and aware.
and take care of our full selves.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
I love Christmas. I'm with Shanna on this one. I can't help it! I listen to Christmas music sporadically throughout the year. The ENTIRE year. I don't know what's wrong with me.
Funny story. I started working at Hallmark the summer before my sophomore year in college. I know everyone makes fun of Hallmark for producing mass sentimentalist sap, I know; I used to be one of them. When I started there in July (right before their huge yearly ornament debut) all my friends and family made fun of me for working in a store so often frequented by overly hormonal women and men looking for last minute gifts for their girlfriends and wives. I think it took only a month for my coworkers to dub me "The Scrooge." And I was. I worked at Hallmark for just short of 4 years, and I hated every Christmas and Easter and Valentine's Day (Oh, Valentine's Day, How I Still Loathe Thee!) I had to suffer through. Then, a year a half ago, I started dating this guy:
And my hatred for Christmas dissolved away into a big soppy love mess on the floor. Seriously. It was, and still is, completely pathetic and goopy and sugarysweetieloviebunchie of me. I can't help it. Something about being in love with the best guy in the universe does that to me. (See? I told you something about him makes me completely bonkers.)
So, imagine my delight when I started seeing festive little badges for Chubby Chick's Christmas Challenge! They look like this----->
And as I looked over the Challenge, which is oh-so-adorably-decorated, I really considered adding my name to the list of participants. I really did! But then I remembered how I not-so-gracefully kept forgetting to check into ThinkingThin's Summer Challenge (I'm so sorry!), and I realized that official group challenges are probably not the best for me. Personal goals? Oh yeah. I think it's the remembering to check in that gets me. I so rarely remember to weigh-in regularly that the organization factor (and it's totally necessary for challenges) gets me every time.
So here's what I'm doing. I'm supporting all the cool people at Chubby Chick's Christmas Challenge in full on Christmas spirit. And I'm following along on my own, when I remember to weigh-in. My Goal? 15 lbs lost by Christmas. There are 15 weeks left until then, so it's not completely undoable. Based on my weight loss trends, a pound a week is high for me (I usually lose about a half-pound in a week), but why not shoot for the Christmas Star Tree Topper here? If I lose 15 pounds by Christmas, that will put me at 30 pounds lost for the year, which is pretty good, in my book (but yeah, there's been a total gap in my weight loss this year!!!). When I make my goal (not if, not IF!), I'm going to look super-fab in all those early-early-morning Christmas pictures. I'm determined. And totally listening to Christmas music right now.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
I don't like fruit. Now, I know that, for us healthy eaters, that's like a kid passing over candy at Halloween. Fruit is one of our few chances to eat something sweet that's good for us, no? But I don't like it. Give me a plate of asparagus in lemon juice any day.
What I do like, though, is artificial fruit flavoring. Don't ask me why; it has always been so. Fresh bananas? I used to literally gag at the thought. Banana runts? I wish they sold them without the others. Blueberries? No thanks. Blueberry muffins from a mix? I'll eat them all. Sliced peaches to top my oatmeal? Can't make it through the first bite. But give me the overly dried out peach-esque stuff that fluffs up a bit when you add milk and microwave? I'm all over it.
So when I saw Trident's Splash gum, in Strawberry with Lime flavor, I almost died. It's like a really good daiquiri but with less than five calories and no annoying hangover when you've had 4 servings! But last night, when I grew tired of chewing gum that really only has a 7 second flavor life span, I wondered what I could make from actual food that would taste stunningly delicious. The result was a pseudo-smoothie that I gulped down in, alas, 7 seconds. It was, however, much tastier than gum.
What I did: I threw maybe 6 or 7 smallish strawberries (these were the frozen kind that I'd mostly defrosted), along with the juice from 1 very overripe lime and 3 or 4 small ice cubes in a food processor (I don't have a blender, or this would have been easier). Then I hit the "High" button, and waited until it was mostly smooth. A taste test showed me that I used way too much lime juice, so I added a teaspoon or two (maybe 3?) of sugar and stirred it up. I put it in the freezer with the intention of making the texture like a sorbet or super awesome giant glass-shaped popsicle, but I am far too impatient so I drank it instead. And you know what? It was delicious. Amen.
Friday, September 5, 2008
I hopped on the scale today, and weighed in at 198, even though I have no idea when my actual 'weigh-in' day is anymore. And you know what? I don't even care. I'm up a pound from whenever I last weighed in, but condidering I had a binge weekend at home in Augusta, I'm okay with that. I went home on Labor Day weekend to celebrate my boyfriend's 25th birthday, and we had a wonderful weekend togther, so that's all that matters.
I'm trying to become more intuitive when it comes to my life, especially with my eating (perhaps that's given me the liberties I've taken with the scale?). I feel like I've got a pretty good handle on what's good for me and what's not (I'm not saying I listen to myself all the time, but I do usually know whether or not something is healthy). I never do well when I feel like I have to force myself to eat at a certain time, or certain foods when I don't necessarily want them, so it's a liberating feeling to try my hand at listening to my body's needs.
That being said, I don't want to slide back into my old habits. So stay on me if you sense I'm being a slacker. That tends to happen.
Note: I've *finally* updated my link lists, so if you've left me a comment recently and don't see your name to the right, PLEASE let me know. I don't want to leave anyone out and I'm all for the building of a happy community here. I've also added the RSS-thinger-ma-jigger, so if that's how you read blogs, that will make it easier on you. I think. Truthfully, I'm not entirely sure how that whole process works.
Those of you who don't use blogger, what do you use and how do you like it? I've been tossing around the idea of setting up a .Mac account and moving this blog around a bit, but I don't have the cash to swing the subscription fee. I'm not entirely satisfied with Blogger right now.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Yes, that was a random throwback to 10 Things I Hate About You, which I love, in spite of myself. But Mandella was referring to Shakespeare, and I'm talking about food.
I've become more and more aware lately that I literally am involved with food. And I'm not sure it's a healthy relationship. I literally think about food all day long. Well, not every waking moment, but there's a good portion of my day when, if I'm not thinking about eating food, I'm thinking about how to prepare it, or if I need to buy it, or how to make it healthy, or wondering if it is already healthy, or whether or not I've eaten balanced portions throughout the day. I can't stop thinking about it.
And I'm not sure why. It's like the focus of this journey / project / goal for myself--being a healthy, vivacious woman--has morphed into something entirely different, and completely counterproductive to what I need to be a full, satiated person.
I really admire and aspire to Sally's approach to food: it's a vital and important part of life, and meals deserve our attention and care, yet the energies we pour into the foods we eat should never outweigh the joy we get from eating healthful foods that ultimately, were designed to help us lead happy and satisfied lives (forgive me and correct me if I've totally misinterpreted your thinking here, Sally).
There have been so many times when I've taken so much of my time and energy into creating a meal. I poured through cookbooks and websites searching for recipes, I researched or tested all the ways I could alter it to make it more healthful or more to my liking, I've spent money on buying the ingredients I need, taking care not to buy in excess, taking care to use wisely and conserve my resources. Then there's the time I've spent cooking the meal, nudging a recipe along in it's development. And then, I eat. Sometimes I don't stop working to eat. Usually, I worry about portion size or whether or not I'm getting enough fiber or protein. Sure, the meal (usually) tastes good, but I'm not enjoying it the way I deserve to. Something else always pulls my attention away, and all the energy I've invested in the meal seems wasted.
I feel like I'm dissolving all the wholesomeness out of my food when I fail to enjoy it for what it simply is: nutritive, pleasurable, and healthy.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Okay, so ignoring that this report is coming from Fox News (I tried to find a less obviously Republican publication to pull from, but this was the most complete story), read this article. I'm officially a Georgia resident, but I go to school in Mississippi, so this is close to home.
I can almost understand why this would be a good program. But there seems to be no provision for those who are underweight (and also equally unhealthy), those who are deemed to have an 'appropriate' weight, yet are not healthy at all, or those who have a legitimate medical condition that makes losing weight difficult. It also seems to ignore smokers, chronic drinkers, people who frequently engage in unsafe sex, bad drivers, risk-takers, high-stress individuals, and other people who do not live a healthy life.
Is this "fat tax" just another prejudiced attack on fat people? We can't visually observe most skinny people's health problems, so those smokers, drinkers, and bad drivers (etc.) are exempt from the $25 / month charge. Or is it a legitimate program designed to improve the health of state employees?
And yeah, how pissed off did the last two paragraphs make you?
Give me your thoughts, people. I'm curious for your reactions.
Posted by Ashley at 7:28 PM
Saturday, August 23, 2008
But I'm down almost 6 and a half pounds since I weighed in last. I'd love to say I've been doing everything right, but that's a lie, and you all would know it. I have a suspicion that the beautiful "197" won't last long (I'm serious, there has to be something wrong with my scale...), but I'm going to try to keep it around a few weeks more.
I've been struggling with my decision to not journal the foods and exercises I do. In the past, it's kept me on track when everything else has failed, and watching my progress in writing is gratifying, but I simply don't need another thing on my plate (har. har.) right now. I've got 3 discussion classes to lead, and three seminars of my own to do well in. I'm busy meeting new friends (finally!) and trying to learn my way around a new city. And also, I've got these stinkers running around the place now:
I have to spend time with these babies, right?
In the meantime, my pantry and fridge are stocked with healthy foods. My classes are scheduled so that I've got time to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner (which should really make my students like me a whole lot more...).
I still haven't quite gotten the whole gym time thing down yet. One thing at time, though, I wouldn't want to exhaust these two:
I adopted these two on Thursday. And so I don't have to keep calling them 'these two,' I'd like to come up with some names for, well, these two. Help!
Friday, August 15, 2008
Question: Do y'all do better with your diets and exercise alone, or with a partner (be it your spouse, best friend, or Weight Watchers meeting cohorts)?
I've been alone in Oxford (Mississippi, not the cool one in England) for a little over a week now, and I can't decide if I'm doing better or not. I cook healthier foods, and I have the luxury of cooking vegetarian meals now that will actually get eaten (Dustin has a toddler-like disdain for most vegetables). On the other hand, I've been considerably less active without him. Dustin was my fitness partner--we got each other to go to they gym, we took walks together, and when we were living together, we both tended to be more active with the other person there. Unfortunately, he's still in Augusta, finishing up his degree (16 months and counting!), and we've both noticed that neither of us are ready to get off our rear ends and go to the gym without the other one to go with us.
There's supposed to be a park close to my house (I haven't found it yet), but I'm reticent to go by myself. I don't know anyone in this city yet, and if I were to go missing, no one would notice. And also, I'm used to working out with a partner. It's hard for me to get motivated without someone there, sweating up a storm with me. (Excuses? Maybe. But I'm sticking with them, for now.)
So what do you guys do when you're alone and need motivation to be healthy?
Seriously, y'all. This is getting bad.*
I'm the kind of person that's in her element when she's got a ridiculously overbooked calendar. And right now? Well, it's filled, but with items like "read," "cook dinner," and "make sure you've gone over your budget for the 16th time." And I have: read. cooked. budgeted. ironed. cleaned. read some more. Luckily, my schedule will start to get busy next Tuesday (Meet the Professor! Teaching Workshops! Orientations! More Workshops!), but right now, having dental work would be more enthralling. Not that I have room in my budget for dental work. I know, I've checked 16 times.
If you guys would like to send me some work to do, I would be grateful. Even budgets, I can do those now.
I passed a park at some point this week, and I'll try to find it again tomorrow, if only just to walk around the track (a few thousand times). I mean, seriously, there's only so many times I can check to see if you guys have updated your blogs. (You guys should really consider updating more than once a day. I mean, c'mon, you aren't really doing anything important during your lunch breaks anyway, right? Right? I mean, you could really stand to write just one little extra post a day. Really. It's not too much to ask.)
*I apologize for the addition of a lolcat to this blog. But I am really, really bored. You have no idea.
Posted by Ashley at 12:30 AM
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
If your boyfriend sends you an awesomebox (a care package), it's probably not smart to eat a Little Debbie Nutty-Buddy-Bar before you've eaten anything else.
Also, for future planning, keep a bra and small bottle of mouthwash within reach of your bed, so you'll be prepared when your doorbell wakes you up.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Posted by Ashley at 1:49 PM
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
What's my Monday weight? No idea. The scale is packed away and I won't see it again until after the first of August.
Posted by Ashley at 1:32 PM
Monday, July 14, 2008
Not that this feels like a diet right now, no way, nuh-uh.
Monday, July 7, 2008
5 Things About Me That Affect My Health:
1. I do not handle stress well. (i.e. I use food to calm me down and make me feel good.)
2. If I do not have a plan for every meal, I will not make good spontaneous decisions.
3. If I mess up early in the week, I will most likely bollox up everything else until the new week starts.
4. I celebrate with food.
5. I rely on others to help me make good decisions, and if I am not blogging or talking to those close to me about decisions concerning my health, I am digging myself into a pit of mistakes.
Let's sum it up:
Stress - Plan - Candid Support --> Stress^2 + Bad Decisions = a 1.8 lb gain + a whole lotta regret + Jabba the Hut-like grodiness.
I'm slowly beginning to realize that I can't treat this as a race, a marathon, or even a competition against myself. I'm in this for my health, for my life, for my happiness. (And I am beyond sick of seeing giant 200's on the scale. Why did I buy a scale with such a large display?)
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
I need to walk around with bright yellow CAUTION! tape stapled to my ass, cause lately, I've been a bitch. Not the good kind.
In short, I'm busy taking on the world one long distance phone call at a time, and I need a break. From life. Not from being healthy. But someone might consider not-so-gently reminding me that making blondies and eating fast food is *not* a good way to cope with stress. If I eat one more thing that's not healthy, I'm seriously going to audition for the next Star Wars movie. I'd be great playing this guy:
I weighed in yesterday at 200.6, after being at 199.4 the day before. Go figure.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Cook everything the Pioneer Woman suggests, because omg, it's good. (And if this English major says "omg" for emphasis, you know it's good. Her recipes are not designed to be calorie friendly, but I'm finding that because she uses simple, everyday, pantry-stuffer ingredients, substitutions are a breeze. A delicious, delicious breeze.
This week has gone really well. I cooked every night except one. (!) I'm finally settling into a routine with my eating, and it's showing! I'm down to 200.4 this week. I just knew I was going to be in the 100's this week, but now I've got a goal for next week. I usually have a tall glass of skim milk and hershey's syrup for breakfast, I graze while I'm at work (500 calories or so) and then eat a dinner with my honey. Oh yeah. I said it, with my honey. God, I'm such a sap. Let me tell you about our dinners, because you all need a love story in the morning, right?? (I know there's at least 2 of us PMSing here...)
This is my honey. We met because of Jazz (his favorite: Ella Fitzgerald. My favorite: Miles Davis). My alma mater (that just sounds fun!!) hosted a yearly event called the Cullum series, and a whole year of events revolved around the theme that they'd chosen. In 2007, it was Jazz. A few academic classes were offered, and there were jazz classes and workshops every week. Dustin and I both took a jazz class, but different ones - he, the history of jazz, myself, the language of jazz. It was in this class I became enamored with Thelonious Monk. I went to Best Buy to get one of his albums, and lo and behold, a cute boy was working. (That's always a good thing, I don't care how old and taken you are.) This cute boy had been in my Shakespeare class a few semesters previous, but because he felt the need to advertise his fraternity with every t-shirt he put on, I thought he was a douchebag. Luckily for him, he was wearing a Best Buy shirt, and not a Delta Chi one, because I was willing to talk to him for hours on end. About jazz. About organized religion. About the inability to dance. About being fat kids at heart. About how much I instantly liked him and wanted to knock him on his feet with smooches. Wait, we didn't talk about that last one, but I felt it. I walked out of Best Buy that day full of all the silliest emotions we love so much. I called my brother (who worked appliances at Best Buy) and asked if he knew him. "Yeah, he's cool," came his praise. Before I left him standing at a CD tower, we promised to look for each other at the next show. I've never agonized over what to wear to a jzz show, or whether or not to show up early or late, or if I should let him find me, or if I should find him, but pretend that I hadn't, or if red lipstick would be a bit much for this??, but after that concert, in which he deftly acknowledged my fidgety nature, we were inseparable. When he, unawares, bought 2 rounds on our first date that just happened to be my 2 favorite beers ever, I knew he was mine.
And now? Now we eat dinner in our PJs, and at 9:00 at night. But we eat dinner together. We eat dinners with the food that he bought, and that I put together. And we eat it while listening to jazz. When Dustin first moved in with me, we were really bad about sitting down with dinner in front of the TV. We were also really bad about going out to eat all the time. But now? Now we enjoy the food we eat, and we enjoy it with Miles Davis in the background. It gives us time to enjoy each other, too. And talk. And stare at each other dumbly. And tell stupid jokes. And kiss until our food goes cold. It's a wonderful thing.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
**Update!** I forgot the most important part! How can a recipe survive without a soundtrack, right? The beauty of almost any pasta dish is that noodles and sauce cook remarkably well with jazz vocalists in the air. This recipe turns out beautifully with a Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughan mix. So go forth, and procure the vocalists.
Work has been incredibly slow lately, and the boyfriend has worked every night until 10 for I don't know how long, so I've been going a bit stir-crazy being by myself all the time. So yesterday, I called my Mom and Dad, made sure they didn't have dinner plans, and told them I was going to cook dinner for them. The title comes from what my brother says to me every time I'm home. Ah, sibling love.
- a box of penne or similarly small noodle (whole wheat, of course)
- a pound of jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (and dethawed, as I would learn)
- EVOO and/or butter
- small onion, diced
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream (if heavy cream is too full of delicious, delicious calories for your liking, you could probably be all health-conscious and diet-smart and substitute half of the cream with half-and-half. You know, if you wanted to go there.)
- 5-6 basil leaves, parsley, salt, pepper, and basically any other spice you want
- veggies, optional. I added a zucchini to the mix and it was delicious
- Put on a pot of water to boil for your noodles. It will begin boiling at just the right time.
- In a saucepan (big enough for your sauce and noodles), heat olive oil. While your EVOO is heating up (but not too hot!), run cold water over the shrimp. Add the shrimp to the oil, and let them cook through until just pink. You want to avoid overcooking as they'll go back on the heat later. Remove shrimp prom pan and allow to cool on chopping board.
- Add the onion and garlic to saucepan, cook until a pretty gold color.
- While the onion and garlic is cooking, chop the cooled shrimp into tiny pieces.
- Pour a glass of white wine into the onion and garlic (after savoring a sip or two or three for yourself, of course). If you don't like wine, 1/2 cup lo-sodium chicken broth will do fine, although wine is delicious. Really, really delicious.
- Add 8 ounces tomato sauce, stir together.
- Add 8 ounces heavy whipping cream, stir together.
- Now add your spices. I used dried. Fresh herbs are tastier and prettier, but dried are lazier and from a bottle.
- Add the chopped shrimp to the mix and let it heat through again.
- By this time, your penne should be cooked al dente. Drain the pasta, and add to the saucepan, stirring it all around to coat each and every single last noodle with delicious sauce-y goodness. It's as simple as that!!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I had this post planned before I wrote it. I was driving to the gym, and the arrogant little voice in my head was planning to casually mention to all of you that I started the Couch to 5K program this week, and the first run was a breeze. The arrogant little voice had plans to be deceptively humble, and say that the transition from elliptical to treadmill was really going to be the challenge, because I'm already able to run 30-40 minutes (2.5-3 miles) on the elliptical without stopping. Oh yes, this arrogant voice had plans.
And then I stepped on the treadmill. And then I warmed up. And then I began running. The arrogant little voice in my head run and hid. I don't know what it was about the first C25K workout that was so hard--perhaps it was just getting adjusted to the transition of elliptical to treadmill. There is, after all, a lot more stress on the joints, and a considerably less fluid motion of the legs and arms. I get tired more quickly on a treadmill, my heart rate spikes more highly on one (182 yesterday, yikes!!). Perhaps it was the stop-and-go nature of the first workout (jog 60 seconds, walk 90, repeat for 20 minutes). I'm used to slowing down and speeding up, but never walking. I wanted to quit in embarrassment.
But I didn't. I wanted to absolutely die from the combination of sweat, a too-rapidly beating heart, a face red from heat and embarrassment, and sore boobs, but I didn't. I completed the workout. I have motivation to move on to the second. And the arrogant little voice? He's peeking furtively around corners making sure no one sees him.
Posted by Ashley at 9:09 AM
Monday, June 16, 2008
I'm at 202 today! I was a little worried that my weight would hike again this week, but I'm glad it didn't. I wasn't super-diligent about my plan this week, nor did I completely avoid sodas (I think I had about 60 ounces or so?). This week's challenge: Write down everything I eat. I log all my food on SparkPeople.com, but I don't have internet access at home, so I'm really good until I get home from work at 2 each day. The evenings and weekends are what get me each week. I need to come up with a good way to track this even when I'm at home.
Another thing I want to work on this week is getting back into the gym. I went on Wednesday last week for my yoga class...wow. The instructor kicked my ass. She moved us into the bound warrior pose (image below), which was difficult, but I finally got my fingers locked around each other. Good, right? Until she wanted us to stand up on one leg. I don't know the name of the pose, but if leg-warmer girl was to slide her legs together, and then stand on her left leg while holding her right leg up with her crazy-tangled arms, you'd have it. I was sore for a few days and my lower back is still complaining from all the boat poses we did.
Did everyone have a good weekend?
Posted by Ashley at 9:41 AM
Friday, June 13, 2008
I love Roni's GreenLiteBites. She posts the recipes she's created while on Weight Watchers maintenance. Once a week, she does a video post with her son, "the toddler." It's easy to search and navigate, and even better, every once in a while, she posts a "how-to," which is very good for someone like me, who just today, had to be taught how to cut a mango.
- 6 oz chicken breast strips, cooked and cut to bite-size pieces (I use the frozen chicken strips that come in a huge bag)
- Half an apple, cut bite sized
- a small mango
- 3 oz grapes
- 2-3 tbs plain lo-fat yogurt (add this in small increments to your liking)
- a dash cilantro (I used parsley)
- Mix all together. Serves well with pita.
Posted by Ashley at 7:04 PM