Monday, March 31, 2008

Reasons To Go Back to the Gym

1. To find the hot, smokin' pin-up girl body that is hiding behind my ass.
2. To tone my ass that hides my pin-up girl booty.
3. The locker room shower is cleaner than mine at home.
4. Oh, Mike.
5. Feeling like a salted slug isn't all it's cracked up to be.
6. I really, really want a haircut, and I have 11 pounds to go until I get to reward myself.
7. Graduation/Spring Break/Summer vacation pictures.
8. To justify the extra snack after dinner.
9. To catch up to the applesaucer's that are obviously way more fit than me.

Readers, be proud. I made it back to the gym this morning. I got up later than I meant to, so I only got a 15 minute run in. I wanted to do more, but I had to get to class-- good thing, too. Our resident graduate student taught the class, and it was a really fun discussion about Margery Kempe and her somewhat ironic desire for virginity, forgiveness, and haircloths, no matter how much she likes banging her husband. Literature is fun. But anyway, the run wasn't that terrible- I didn't set any resistance, but I set it to a moderately high incline and I ran fairly fast compared to my normal pace. And, like I said, I wanted to do more. I think it helped that I was borrowing my boyfriend's mp3 player, and all the DreamTheater and metal kept me going (compared to the more-than-perturbing story on the Phelps family/Westover Baptist Church (God as head-protestor? Are you serious?)- I'll probably review it later, I want to start some random reviews. There's some flossers I want to review. Yes, flossers. Because I floss now. And I tend to look up reviews on strange things like conditioner, nail polish, and abrasive tile cleaners (is Ajax or Comet right for me?).

Be well, everyone.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Who's Pow and Mia?

I remember as a child, having just come back from a month-long vacation in D.C., riding in the front seat of my mom's Explorer, fingering a POW and MIA flag. "Mom," I began, "who's Pow and Mia?" I thought they were two Vietnamese children martyred in the Vietnam War. That day, I discovered acronyms.

Not sure what made me think of that story, except that I just noticed the date of my last post, and I wondered if it was possible to kidnap oneself. If it is, I would really like to do it right about now. Masters week is fast approaching, spring is in the air, and an inch and a half layer of pollen is covering my car. I woke up this morning with my allergies in high gear, my period waiting right around the corner, and the promise of a history test this afternoon and about 30 unwritten thesis pages clamoring for my attention. This is on top of the two research papers I need to write by the end of the month. At this point, though, I am tired, and I want to crawl in bed, in a CCC cabin in a state park by the beach, and sleep.

I realize I missed last week's weigh-in. Good thing too, because I haven't coped very well with the stress I'm under, and completely bombed last week. I did step on the scale on Saturday, and I was back up three pounds. In one week, I destroyed almost a month's of losing. I'm beginning to get back in the swing of things, though, all my breakfasts, lunches, and dinners have been healthy, but I have been eating a fair portion of Easter goodies left over from Sunday.

From now until graduation (May 10!) things will probably be a little off kilter for me. I haven't gone to the gym in 2 weeks (I know, I know), and I'm only just beginning to get my eating back to acceptable levels. I just have so much I need to get done by the end of April, and I don't really know how to get started.

In other news, I discovered The Office, and I'm totally hooked. I wish I wasn't usually the only person in my office. On days like today, when I'm the only one and I'm bored out of my skull, I could really use a Jim to ogle.

I also sent back my almost-official letter accepting my place in Ole Miss' graduate program. I'm on a waiting list for a fellowship, and I'm waiting for the Graduate School (verses the English department) to send me my official-official acceptance so I can send my fully-official acceptance letter back to them. And to think, Ole Miss had the least amount of red tape to break through out of all the schools I applied to. I'm beginning to be more excited, rather than nervous, about moving to Oxford (MS, not England...damn). A few more of my questions are being answered, and a few more fears are being assuaged. But don't worry, I'm sure I'll be back to normal in a few days, worrying my hair white, as usual.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Snack Time: A Recipe

Today, I am craving nothing but french fries and chocolate. I tried the whole "give yourself a taste of your craving so you won't binge" thing and it didn't work. 4 Hershey's kisses later, and I'm still desperate for Biggie Fries and a Frostie (don't ask me why, I don't know). Despite not even losing a pound this week, I'm THIS close to getting in my car.

In an effort to feed myself (because not only am I craving disgusting food, I'm actually hungry, and even though I had breakfast, lunch, AND those hershey's kisses, I'm still hungry a full 3 hours earlier than I usually get hungry) I decided to make a snack. A healthy snack, one that won't throw me into the "holy shit, I've no points left for supper" range.

The result? Easy Zucchini Parmesan.

Okay, the recipe wasn't mine originally, but from this point out, I'm claiming it.

Here's what you need:
1 you-sized zucchini (by you-sized, I mean the size you want to eat)
~ 1 Tbs grated Parmesan (I used the kind you shake out of a can, as I am not fancy enough to own a block of Parmesan and a grater)
~ 1/2 Tbs butter, light
Non-stick cooking spray (opt.)
This is for a mine-only, no-you-can't-have-any, I'm-not-sharing snack. If you'd like to make some for the other hairy house-apes running around, just multiply this recipe by however many zukes you're chopping up.

Here's what you do:
Line a cookie sheet with tin foil (see? Now you don't have to do any dishes...), then lightly coat with cooking spray (I didn't do this, and had no problems, especially since I don't plan on reusing this tin-foil like my mother used to make us do). Slice your zucchini - I made round slices, but it doesn't matter. You want them to be thin, but not too thin, maybe a quarter of an inch or so? Melt your butter, and drizzle it on your zuke slices (doesn't have to be a lot of butter, so if you want even less, or none, feel free). Sprinkle your Parmesan and broil it in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese starts to get bubbly and brown. Enjoy whilst warm--the zuke, not you. I figured this to be just around 2 points. If you cut out the butter, 1, but keep in mind that today, I am grumpy, and can't do math even when I'm in a good mood (double check it for yourselves).

Here's what you should be listening to:
a zippy pop song with an upbeat chorus and 4-bar bridge. Perhaps "Hard Days Night" by the Beatles. (Yes, all recipes should have a soundtrack. If you have a better suggestion for this snack, please let me know.)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Holy Crap Batman, Week 9 Already?

If this were elementary school, I'd be getting a 9-weeks progress report. Here's mine:

Motivation: A- Ashley has strong goals in mind, but may want to consider smaller, short-term goals to help her through troublesome weeks.

Water Consumption: F Ashley drinks, on average, only 5 glasses of water a day. She needs to give up sodas in favor of calorie-free fruit juice and water. Eating water-heavy fruits would also help her increase her water consumption (and finally heal up her chapped lips).

Exercise: C Ashley began poorly, but in the past few weeks has added cardio to her routine. Her progress, though, is haphazard. She needs to incorporate cardio into her week more regularly, in addition to adding a strength training regimen. Perhaps signing up with the weight-room orientation with Oh, Mike might help motivate her.

Fruit / Vegetable Intake: F How hard could it be to add fruits and veggies into a meal, Ashley, really? Think salads, vegetable soups, or veggie wraps for lunch instead of your rice-heavy leftovers.

Breakfast: B+ Although she eats the same thing for breakfast almost every day, it's a nutritious granola bar and a cup of milk, and a good start.

Healthful Cooking: B- Slowly begin replacing rice and bean meals with more veggie-heavy sides. Meat needs to be portioned better, as well as soup, chili, and casserole portions.

Networking: A+ Keep up with that blog, SparkPeople, and your Li' Fattie. Keep listening to those compliments you're getting, and take them as encouragement to keep strong.

Constancy: C For the first half of the 9-weeks, Ashley was a model for consistency. Lately, though, she's skipping recording her meals and counting points. Refocus, and begin this 9-weeks with renewed energy.

Organization and Enabling: B+ Don't be your own worst enemy; plan your week so you have less room to fail. Get back on track with menu planning and cooking. Set a schedule for going to the gym and don't rely on whether or not you feel like it. Chances are you won't, unless Oh, Mike is there.

Note to the public: I began the long process of preparing my move to Mississippi today. I cleaned out my closet and boxed up my winter-wear. I'll eventually need to move on to going through my books (boo!), and packing up / donating the stuff I know I'll never use again. I'll also need to begin looking for an apartment in Oxford, which should be interesting, as I'm three states away and see no opportunity to get out of Augusta until the middle of May.

Oh, and think your trainers are perfect? They're not. Oh, Mike joined us in my beginning yoga class at the gym (or Power YoLates a friend and I call it). He did considerably worse than I did, maybe even than I did on my first day. Muscled and adorable he is, flexible he is not.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Week 8 Weigh In (and Friday Night Excitement!)

Okay, the weigh-in first. Due to some serious lack of motivation last week, I didn't weigh in. This week accounts for both last week's losses and this week's. I'm down to 197.6, a total of 13.4 pounds lost. I'm truly surprised by this, because I've been really slacking. For week 7, I wrote down a total of 3 days. 3. I've had cookies and brownies for lunch and breakfast several times. And last night, I had a Blue Moon, and 2 1/2 glasses of champagne.

The reason for the champagne? I got into Ole Miss' Masters of English program! They couldn't give me any financial aid just yet, but I'm supposed to wait until later in the semester to find out if any will open up. Even if it doesn't, the tuition is fairly cheap (even for out-of-state) and it's definitely do-able. I just need to figure out if I want to do it. It's amazing what you think you're ready for, and then once the possibility opens up, the gravity of your decision kicks you in the gills. Going to Ole Miss would be a huge move for me--my family and friends and boyfriend would be 8 hours and a drive across Alabama away. I'd be committing myself to at least 2 more years of thesis writing. I've been a ball of nerves since last night when I read the letter. I've got a big decision ahead of me, and I would really appreciate any thoughts / prayers / karma / energy you guys could send my way. At this point, I could go either way with my decision and I don't know which way is the right way. This is making me want lemon-peppercorn french fries.

After I got the acceptance, I called my mom, thinking I sounded totally chill, and told her that Dustin and I would be stopping by for a bit. "Sure," she said, "we'll be here." She opened the door, we sat on the couch, and I told her and my dad I had something to tell them. My mom didn't look the least bit surprised, and once I told her I got in, she looked even less surprised and brought out the bottle of champagne she'd had on ice since she got of the phone with me. How do mothers do that?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Gotta Love Those Supportive Men

For your pleasure, a conversation between the boyfriend and I as I weighed myself this morning (even though it totally isn't my weigh-in day):

Me: I knew I shouldn't have weighed myself!!
Babe: What's it say?
Me: 201.6!
Babe: It's all that pizza* in ya' from last night.
Me: After 9 hours of sleep, the pizza has digested.
Babe: Well, your hair is still wet.
Me: No, I'm just fat.
Babe: But your hair is wet! And you haven't pooped yet!

Aah, to have a supportive boyfriend that reminds me of my poop every time the scale goes up.

*The pizza was homemade whole wheat pizza, with tomato sauce, 2% Mozeralla cheese, Turkey Bacon and Pineapple. Healthy pizza. 3 point per slice pizza which was fantastic AND healthy, thankyouverymuch.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

This Ain't Your Trainer's Sports Bra

Or maybe it is...who am I to say?

The Enell is hardcore. I ordered the red one ('cause I'm saucy like that...and also because it was on closeout) and it shipped yesterday. I had to lay down to put it on. I don't even have to lay down to put on my skinny jeans. When I stood up, my boobs were pancaked. I have triple-Ds--it's not easy to pancake these things. Outside of the initial acclamation to the thing, it's actually a really comfortable sports bra (and I don't have to lay down anymore to put it on). It doesn't pull or cut into my skin, and the pancaking of the breasts? Totally worth it when you do 45 minutes on an elliptical. My boobs moved, but they didn't bounce. They also didn't hurt, which is a first. I wish I'd ordered this thing sooner, and paid for the expediated shipping. I've been wearing my regular bras to work out, and only in comparison to this baby do I realize the torture I've wreaked upon my poor boobs.

P.S.: Bloggers, forgive me, for I have sinned. I ate brownies and peanut butter cookies for lunch. I also had the super-cookie that was made of heaven and had not only chocolate and peanut butter chips in it, but toffee crumbles too. It was delicious... and almost worth it.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Catching Up

Saturday is my weigh-day, but I ignored it this week in favor of a trip to the zoo. This meant road-trip food. I know it could have meant healthy road trip food like apple slices and popcorn, but instead, it meant junky road trip food, like M&Ms and Cheetos for breakfast. Which is fine for me, I just don't want to know what I weigh. (I actually do know what I weigh, but it's 2 pounds heavier than what I weighed myself last Wednesday, so I'm ignoring it.) I'll have an official next Saturday.

On the plus side, I got to go to the zoo, which was fabulous. The boyfriend, Dustin, and I are ridiculously burned out from school and work (Geek Squad worked him 40 hours last week, even though he's part time, and I have a mild panic attack every time I even *think* about my thesis), so when he said that he had a Saturday off, I hinted (read: suggested strongly) that we should go to Columbia and hit up the zoo. He excitedly agreed and we were off. Before he knew it, I was suggesting we get married in the Botanical Gardens there. ("Today?" "No, not today. Next week." "Really?" "No. Maybe. What do you think?" "You're crazy, woman.")

On the plus-plus side, my Enell Sports Bra is scheduled for delivery today (I LOVE shipment tracking!!!!). This is the granddaddy of all sports bras, or it's supposed to be. Oprah backs it up, and she's got funbags like I do, so I trust her word on this. I'll let everyone know how fantastically supportive it is once I get back into the gym tonight. Not that you guys want to know more about my boobs, but hey, part of the deal, no?

Also, this is really hard. I'm not enjoying it all the time, no matter how much better I feel. I know it's supposed to be hard, I know I'd be kind of twisted to enjoy it, but I feel better for the saying of it. This is really hard.