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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I'm a grinch

today's weigh-in: 148.2lbs
down 1.6lbs from last week

First & foremost, I hope everyone had a lovely, wonderful & happy Christmas.  I have a confession - I'm a grinch.  I've never particularly liked xmas.  I'm not religious, I think its too much work & effort for just one day that usually ends up disappointing & overloaded with family drama.  Not a great attitude to roll into the holidays with, I know.

Xmas last year was really lovely - I was recovering from surgery which gave me an excuse to nix all travel plans & ban all family visits.  (although no one in my family knows about the WLS).  Well last year's karma is catching up with me.  This year, I had visitors *and* we are traveling.  bah humbug.

My family is a mess & I've done my best to distance myself from them.  But they caught up with me for the holidays.  My father & brother came into town xmas eve.  Thankfully my house is too small to support overnight guests so they stay at a hotel.  I have nothing good to say about the visit so I'm not going to say anything.  They left early Monday morning - thats the best thing I can say.  sigh.

Hubs, kid & I did our own xmas gift exchange on xmas morning.  That was lovely.  My hubs is totally spoiled!  I got him lots of goodies.  The kid is not really into toys & already has tons of clothes so we are going to redecorate her bedroom.  gonna be cute.  Hubs knows that I'd rather have one or two really nice things than a bunch of stuff.  quality over quantity.  He got me a very luxe cashmere sweater and a sexy chemise.  This was the first time in a looooong time I let him buy me clothes.  I think he liked it.

Later on xmas night after my family had left & the kid was asleep, the hubs knew how wound up I was.  We cuddled on the couch & then made love in front of the fire bathed in the glow of the xmas tree lights.  best part of my holiday.

It gets better!!! I went to the gym on Monday morning - by the time I got home the hubs had already taken down the tree & put away most of the decorations.  :) love that man!!!

He was so anxious to clean up because we are leaving at first light tomorrow to go see his family in Kansas.  His family is absolutely lovely.  I always enjoy my time with them but its a 12 hour drive across western Kansas to get there & we often get snowed in some little podunk town.  Right now I am blogging instead of packing.

As for weight, I haven't been making the best food choices but I haven't been binging either.  Still getting a lot of gym time in.  I think I'm now hitting the gym more for my mental health rather than my physical health - especially after dealing with my father & brother!  I think this latest weight loss has more to do with my usual post-period drop.  I'll take it :)

I owe you guys a post on maintenance (the mere idea is totally freaking me out).  Plus I need to come up with my word for 2012.  hmmmmm.....

cheers,
chloe

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What Has Helped Me Be Successful in the First Year

This post is not for you.  This post is for me - well, actually a future me.  A potential, possible future me that has fallen off the "band"wagon, who is struggling, who is watching the scale go up.  I want to be able to come back to this moment & remember how good this place feels, to remember that I have been successful at losing weight and that I can be successful again (if need be).

The lapband is just a tool - if you work the band, it'll work for you.  Sick of hearing that??? Me, too. But, sigh, it is the the truth.  The band is not a magic bullet that suddenly killed my appetite, controlled my hunger, banded my head, banded my lips or made me make 100% perfect food choices.  Yes, the band is an important tool for me but it is not the only one.  Here is a list (in no particular order) of the other tools that have worked for me this year....


1. Make a commitment - honestly, this surgery scared the shit out of me.  The fact that my weight was quickly becoming a problem & I was so helpless that I needed surgical intervention was a low point for me.  The fact that we were going to drain our bank account for *me* was daunting.  I knew I needed to make a lot of changes along with lapband - but could I really do it?  Last year at this time, I didn't know the answer to that.  But I decided to commit to doing everything I needed to do to be successful for one year.  Just one year.  May sound like a lot of time but in the grand scheme of things, it passes in a flash.  So,  give yourself over completely to the journey for a week, a month, a year, whatever and see what can be accomplished if you truly commit.  You will be truly amazed.

2. Exercise - in the very beginning, I thought I could do this just by calorie restriction alone.  But then I had some early losses & wanted to keep the ball rolling.  Luckily, a good friend dragged me to her gym & I loved it.  Great facilities, great classes, great schedule.  I now spend 8-10 hrs per week there.  You need to move.  Quit your bitchin'.  No more excuses.

3. Tracking my food - as of this morning, I have logged into myfitnesspal for 366 days in a row.  Even though I travel a lot & spend a lot of time overseas with spotty internet access, I've still been able to keep it up.  I am very proud of that!!!  I have never kept a food journal before but it is so freakin' easy on my iphone.  In the beginning, it was a huge eye-opener to see calorie counts for what I normally ate. yikes!  It made me very sensitive to making better choices.  It made me aware of the impact of portion sizes.   I could intelligently made food trade-offs knowing my daily calorie & protein counts.  In the last few months when I've plateaued, the journaling has kept me accountable.  I can look back through the weeks & see when carbs started sneaking back in or protein started dropping.   Simple mantra: if you bite it, you must write it.

4. Do sweaty cardio:  I see these people at the gym just moseying along on the treadmill.  really?? what's the point?  if you managed to get your ass to the gym plus squeeze into your workout gear and you're just going to go for a stroll?  I guess I want to make every minute matter but I believe you need to get actually break a sweat.  For me, sweaty cardio means kickbox & spinning.  I leave both of these classes just drenched.  downright stinky.  Per my Polar heart rate monitor, I burn 550-600 calories during that hour.  That feels like an hour well spent.  Find something you love & get your sweat on. 

5. Visual cues - small plates, glasses, silverware, etc.  This one I stole straight from LapBandGal.  Proud of that.  I don't do the small baby-sized gear she does but I do use the smallest plates. When I eat at home, I eat off a small bread plate rather than the big dinner plate.  I use the small forks & spoons.  I use the small juice glasses.  Early on, I bought a bunch of 1/2 cup & 1 cup sized gladware.  This is what I use for leftovers.  I know it may sound odd but I do believe it helps keep my serving sizes in check.  Out with the super-sized dishes.

6.  Make it easy - I go to the gym most nights during the week.  As soon as I get home, I unload my gym bag & then immediately repack for the next day.  Then I put the bag right next to my purse by the front door.  Easy to grab as I'm running out the door in the morning.  Break down any barriers that get in your path to success.

7. Lift weights - I have never lifted weights until now.  I like it.  To be honest, I find all those weight machines & free weights quite intimidating.  And I have no idea how to create a good lifting routine.   So, I make this simple & just go to a Chisel/body pump type class (low weights/lots of reps) at my gym 3-4 a week.  All I have to do is whatever the instructor says.  easy.  I like the results I'm getting.  I never wanted to be "skinny."  I don't think the flat, anorexic bodies in Vogue or other high fashion mags are all that attractive.  I aspire to look more like the tone & fit bodies in Shape.  I'm only going to get there with some weights.  Plus, weights help increase muscle mass which increases metabolic rate.  sweet!   Pump some iron, sister.

8. Blog - this blog was always intended as an anonymous place where I could record my highs & lows of this journey.  the good, the bad, the ugly.  I've never kept a diary before so this was a new experience.  My goal wasn't a lot of followers but I am totally tickled that anybody would bother to read this on a regular basis.  I love comments even more!!! Better yet, I learn so much by reading fellow bandster blogs.  I've found people ahead of me in the journey and who've laid down a path I can follow, I've found people at the same point & going through the same struggles as me and, finally, I found newbies who are full of hope, worry and determination like I was back in the beginning.  Seeing the journey through their fresh eyes helps rejuvenates my own mojo.  I love this blog community!  Plus, posting my weekly weigh-ins keeps me accountable.  Share your journey - I promise you'll get back more than you give.

9. Purge your closet often - when I wear clothes that are too big & baggy, I feel dumpy & depressed.  When I'm depressed, it saps my motivation.  On the flip side, when I wear great clothes that fit, I stand up straighter & walk taller.  That confidence fuels my mojo.  I've purged my closet several times this past year.  No matter what size I'm at, I need to look good, polished & professional for work.  I've always enjoyed nice clothes but now its starting to get really fun!  Yes, its been expensive but this has probably been my most stylish year in a long time.  I've always been on trend because I'm shopping every few weeks.  My husband certainly glares at me every time I walk in with another bag from the mall.  I just tell him to suck it up & deal.....and then I go model the sexy lingerie I just bought.  Works everytime ;) Dress yourself well.

10.  Bring others along with you - My husband has lost about 20lbs in the last year & he's now close to his high school weight, too.  Hell, even the dog lost about 10% of her weight.  ha!  Having his support on this journey has been critical for me.  He was not particularly supportive of the surgery itself but he was definitely supportive of me getting healthy.  His support materializes in a million different ways that all add up.  It also means that he is not working against me or secretly sabotaging me.  It means that as I change, he changes with me.  We eat better - together, we are active - together, we are planning our future - together.  Remember, you are better together.

11.  Cook at home - This one has had a huge impact for me.  When I eat better, I feel better.   It is that simple.  The best way to control what I put into my body is to plan the weekly menu, go shopping & then cook at home.   I don't think this really saves any money over eating out since we buy high-priced organics & fresh foods.  But I also don't think it takes anymore time than going out.  I tend to choose recipes that are fairly simple and only take about 30minutes to prepare.  About the same time for pizza delivery.  By cooking at home, I can better regulate the quality & quantity of food I consume.  Get your butt in your own kitchen.

12. Clear the clutter/distractions/ temptations - a year ago, I was a major carb addict.  Part of the problem was I'd get home from work all stressed out & starving.  We used to keep bread & rolls out on the countertop.  As soon as I'd see it, I'd eat it.  One of the first things my hubs did for me was add a new shelf to one of the cabinets that was high enough to be out of my line of sight & that is where we keep all the bread items now.  He also cleared out a couple of kitchen shelves just for me.  Now, when I feel snacky that is where I browse.  His snacky items are in a different cabinet in a different part of the kitchen - again, out of my view.  I guess I really am that simple - out of sight, out of mind.

13. Pics & measurements regularly - Like everyone else, I hated having my pic taken when I was a fatty but I did take pre-op pics & measurements.  I'm so glad I did.  When I'm feeling down, I can go back and see where I started.  We were flipping through some pics earlier this week & hubs said he didn't even recognize that girl...even though I was a serious fatty for almost 10 years.   Measurements matter, too.  When the scale isn't budging, I can still see changes in inches.  For me, I've regularly taken new pics & new measurements every other month.  Another way to keep accountable.

14. Fills/dr appts regularly - I've been back to my dr's office every 6-12weeks for the last year.  Looking back now, I can see that my longest plateaus coincided with longest period between drs visits.  Thankfully, my doc has a pretty aggressive fill approach in the beginning but also does small tweaks.  If in doubt, go see your doc.  He's a good guy & is available to help you.

15. Supplements as needed - I never used to take vitamins or supplements but its a part of my daily routine now.  I take a daily multi-vitamin for bandsters.  Like many others, I also have issues with constipation.  ugh.  after a lot of trial & error,  I now take probiotic pearls plus flaxseed oil several times a week.  this combo works ok for me.  If things aren't going well, I'll take Miralax for a few days.  Complete your nutrition.

16. Find a protein you like - I have a protein shake most every morning.  I'm not really a morning person & not much for breakfast.  A protein shake fits easily into my morning routine & I know its a good start even if the day gets crazy.   There are a lot of bad protein powders out there but there are also some good ones.  I suggest checking out vitalady.  She sells single servings of all her protein powders.  Early on, I just printed out that page & started ordering bunches of different samples & made notes about each one.  I quickly discovered what I liked and, more importantly, what I did not like.  Cheaper & lower risk than buying big vats of something you've never tasted.  Personally, my favorite is BSN Syntha-6 Chocolate.  At 200 calories, it's more that most other protein powders but it doesn't need any add-ins like milk, fruit or yogurt.  A couple of ice cubes, 1-2T of flaxseed oil, a little bit of water in my magic bullet is a great way to start the day.  This brand also travels well for me - a ziploc baggy with a couple days of protein & shaker glass fit easily into my suitcase.  Don't fear the protein.

17.  Set an exercise/sport goal - sensing a theme?  exercise has been key for me but setting a scary, stretch goal helps keep me motivated.  I did my first ever organized bike ride (67 miles!) over the summer.  When I signed up for it,  I really did not think I could complete it but it gave me something to focus on, train for and strive for.  When I started the race, I still wasn't sure I would finish it.  When I crossed the finish line, I was so amazed with myself.  I loved the challenge and am looking forward to doing several more distance rides next year.  Last year, 67 miles was a total stretch goal.  Now I'm shooting for full 100mile races....up in the mountains.  Challenge yourself.

18.  Discover the new 30-  I once read that a typical family has about 30 recipes in their standard meal rotation.  When I started cooking at home, I knew I'd need to completely change our "30."  Chicken fried steak wasn't going to cut it anymore.  Again, the hubs was supportive - he said he'd eat anything I cooked & would try anything at least once.  I love that man.  This has actually turned into a fun project for us.  We create the weekly menus together, shop together & split cooking duties.   After trying a new recipe, we rate it.   Good?  Make again?  Thirty worthy?  I've found Eating Well to be a reliable source of yummy, healthy recipes.  Other good sources are Gina's Skinny Recipes and Susan Maria Leach's "Before & After" book.  Wake up your tastebuds - go try a new recipe tonight. 

19. Pack your lunch - One of the benefits of cooking at home is the leftovers.  By packing my lunch, I stay away from the company cafeteria or vending machines.  Eat better to feel better.

20. Small meals throughout the day - I eat 3 meals & two snacks most days.  So, I'm eating about 200 calories about every three hours.  Controls my hunger & keeps me energy level even throughout the day.  Manage your intake.

21. Schedule an appointment - I'm a busy girl.  I'm a mid-level executive at a large IT company with a sizable staff and running a $600M+ global business plus I'm a wife and a mother.  My day is as full as yours.  To make sure I got to the gym consistently, I scheduled regular appointments on my calendar.  In the beginning, it was hard to leave the office to go to the gym when I had unread emails & unreturned phone calls.  In the beginning, it felt odd to leave the office at 5pm when I was used to working til late into the night.  In the end, it was so worth it.  I did have to make some adjustments and occasionally get back to work after the gym.....but actually a lot less than I expected.  I think this has helped me find better balance in my life.  Make an appointment for yourself - you are worth it.

22.  Enjoy the compliments.  what else do I need to add to this?  Enjoy it all!!!

BUT! don't think for a second everything is perfect & sunshiny here in Chloe-land.  uh, its not.  There is still plenty of room for improvement.  I think I PB too much.  My restriction is all over the map - mostly because I am all over the map. literally.  Altitude seriously affects my band.  In the last two weeks alone, I've been to Sao Paulo (sea level), back to Denver, San Francisco (sea level), Boston (sea level) and then back to Denver.  This much travel tends to do a number on my restriction.  Sometimes I can eat, sometimes I can't.  Oftentimes I find out after the first couple of bites.

Other bandster sins include not enough water, first bite syndrome, don't chew well enough, gone from carb addict to sugar addict, too many sliders, I eat when I'm not hungry, I haven't dealt with all the emotional drama. blah blah blah.  I'm still working out all the kinks, my friends.  The struggle isn't over yet.  I'm certainly not cured - and I probably never will be.  Which is I why I wrote this note to a possible future self.  I hope I never have to read it.

cheers,
chloe

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I feel 20 years younger. Literally.

This is my one year bandiversary post and it is unabashedly triumphant!!!!  Never in my wildest dreams could I have ever imagined this much success.  Looking back over the last 365 days, the journey is almost overwhelming. 
A la Fluffy, I'm going to turn this event into a series of posts: 
Today: measurements, data & pics. 
Tomorrow:  recap of what's worked for me
Thursday: contemplating maintenance (yikes!)

So, here are some of my stats:
height: 5' 8"
pre-surgery: 225.4lb                  1 year: 149.8lbs
pre-surgery BMI: 34.2               1-year BMI: 22.8
pre-surgery body age: 50          1-year body age: 28
this last stat really blows me away - I've gained 20 years back & I feel it!  I feel soooooo good.  Check out my measurements - I'm pretty damn impressed with these results.  How the hell did I end up with a 29" waist??

Here's my latest (& craziest!) NSV.....I saw one of my trainers last night that I haven't seen in a few weeks.  He was out & then I've been traveling.  I've been attending this guy's Chisel classes since Jan/Feb so he's seen me go through this transformation.  He looked me over last night & said "you're done".  He said I looked great but I had reached the right point.  Trim, fit, healthy looking with a bit of good muscle definition.  He asked what my body fat % was - I told him my scale at home was reading 26-28%.  He shook his head & then had me get on the gym's machine to get a more accurate reading.  The answer?  17.2% body fat.  holy cow!!!!  this just insanity - the good kind :)

Finally - here are the before & after pics.  :)



























cheers,
chloe

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Running between airports...

Monday weigh-in: 149.6lbs
down 0.8lbs from last time

not bad considering I spent last week in Brazil drinking the local drink & eating the local specialities.  This week I'm on the road again - west coast now and east coast back half of the week.  I can tell I've changed in the last year - now the first things that go in the suitcase are athletic shoes & workout gear.  Even in Sao Paulo, I managed to hit the ellipticals everyday for an hour.  ah, the new me.  :)

even though my weight has stabilized around the 150 mark, I can tell my body is still changing.  I'm getting leaner.  for me, back fat, shoulders & arms are last to get in shape and it feels like its finally happening.  I'm no Michelle Obama or Madonna but I can finally see arm muscles :)   I hit the mall over the weekend & ended up doing more shopping for myself.  in late Sept, I was comfortable in 10s but now the last 2 skirts I've bought were size 4.  shocking!!  however, the find of the century was hanging on a sale rack in Nordstrom.  I found a totally kick-ass motorcycle-style jacket from Burberry marked down from $900 to $300.  Only one jacket, though, in a size 6.  it fits like a dream.  I don't think I'm ever going to take it off.  :)  I can now say I am a designer size 6.  NSV, sisters!  one I never dared dream could actually happen to me.

this NSV is why I hit the gym.  I'll probably never weigh much less than I do now but I certainly feel a big difference in clothes from size 10 to 6/4.  not sure how people who never really catch the exercise bug do this on calorie restriction only.  guess I'm in the LapBandGal/Catherine55 camp....you gotta sweat.

Unbelievably, next week is my one-year bandiversary.  does.not.seem.real.  I'll do a recap with pics, measurements & latest numbers.  hopefully, that will be eye-opening for me.  My brain hasn't quite caught up to this new body yet....

off to the airport....
cheers,
chloe

Thursday, December 1, 2011

weird rash

I woke up Tuesday morning with a weird rash on my palms & wrists and soles of my feet & ankles.  By Tuesday nite, it had spread to my inner thighs.  After a very restless night (my feet were so freaking itchy I couldn't sleep!), it had spread to my lower back.  By the time I saw dr Wed afternoon it was starting to show up on my belly.

How weird is this?  I've never had anything like it.  The doc was a usual doc - he had no clue & no real interest in finding out the underlying cause.  He's guessing its some sort of viral thing & prescribed me some oral steroids & a huge tube of steroid cream plus he told me to pick up some OTC antihistamine.

And side effects of the script?  other than the expected irritability & 'roid rage?  Increase in appetite.  oh, great!!!!  puffy face, too.  fabulous.

I started the meds yesterday (altho' I still couldn't sleep last night) I am feeling better today & it looks like the rash has stopped spreading.  I just hope its on the mend before I hop a flight to Brazil on Sunday.  Medical emergency in a foreign country is near to top of my "I hope I never...." anti-bucket list.

This rash also means I'm not working out this week.  First, I just don't feel up to it but also, I feel like I should avoid the gym.  I know what I would think if I saw someone else walking around the locker room covered in some nasty looking rash.  ick!   

cheers,
chloe

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving recap

Monday weigh-in: 150.4lbs
up 0.4lbs from last week.

Given that it was Thanksgiving binge weekend, I'm pretty happy about this!  Actually, I didn't really overeat...I mostly overdrank.  Downing an *entire* bottle of wine on Thursday wasn't ideal - but it was very yummy.  Definitely carb & sugar overload for me - now its time to clean up my act & detox before xmas gets here.

One thing I did do well this weekend was working out.... 1hr kickbox + 1hr weight on Wed nite, 1 spin + 1hr weights on Friday morning & 1hr weights + 1hr massage yesterday.  As well as a bunch of yard work. I've been such a slacker out in my garden but was lucky enough to catch a couple of 60deg days here in Denver over the long weekend.  I was able to do my final clean-up & put my garden to bed plus put almost 400 bulbs in the ground.  Will be a red tulip riot come spring :)

Thanksgiving was really quiet - which I loved.  It was just three of us so everything was low stress & no drama.  Xmas will be the exact opposite so it was nice to have a couple of days of peace...something that won't be coming my way for the foreseeable future.  I'm home this week but off to Sao Paulo, Brazil next week.  Home for a few days & then off to Boston.  Home a few days before xmas & then my family is here for a few days before we head back to Kansas City to see in-laws through New Years.  And the fun really starts - I believe I'll be on the road most of Jan, Feb & March.  ugh!

cheers,
chloe

Monday, November 21, 2011

Experiment Results


Monday weigh-in: 150.0 lbs
down 1.6lbs from last week.
As much as I've been bouncing around lately, I consider this to be just noise.  But, wow, its feels like my body is totally resisting the 140s....

So, lets do a recap of last week's experiment on adding back in carbs.  After about 2 days of additional carbs, I definitely felt better - more energy, more perky.  More my sassy self.  I did add a roll to my late morning snack & added carbs to my main meals.  For instance - this was dinner one night that included a crostini on a steak.  Also, this was another dinner that had shrimp over polenta.  I liked adding carbs in with protein rather than as a stand alone snack.  My body now feels very sensitive to what I eat &  I seemed to have fewer ups & downs when eating carbs with protein.

On to the B12 shots....first, the place is a totally dodgy "medical" weight loss sham.  They offer phen, HCG & all sorts of other potions.  It was a Groupn - what can I say??  Since I had also upped my carbs, its hard to say if the b12 was really adding to my energy.  However, I did notice one difference - heat.  Ever since I crossed from the 170s into the 160s, I have been freezing.  Long sleeves, wraps & scarves during the day to sweats & ski socks at nite (mmm, sexy).  Not this weekend.  Even though I woke up to frost & a light dusting of snow both yesterday & today, I was comfy sleeping in just a tank top & skivvies. I guess the internal thermostat just got boosted a few degrees.  I like it.

All in all, I still think carbs are a slippery slope for me but I know this is not the week to try to wean off of them.  I plan on enjoying mashed potatoes & gravy on Thanksgiving!  I will plan on pulling carbs out of the menu starting next week but continue on with the shots.  I bought a 15-shot package & I'm up for another one tomorrow.  I'll keep you guys posted on any other changes....

Here is the weekly plan -
Menus:
Monday:  Oven BBQ Asian Chicken with some carrots
Tues: Pan seared tilapia with mashed sweet potatoes
Wed: Bacon & swiss quiche
Thurs: Thanksgiving!!!  Its going to be nice & quiet - just my hubs & daughter.  We've pared down the menu to only what we really want - turkey, gravy, potatoes.  Plus, hubs loves stuffing & he makes his own.  Dessert is just pumpkin pie & I may make some homemade rice pudding.  Since we don't want to be swimming in leftovers for weeks, I was glad to find that my grocery store was selling split turkey breasts.  We can get all the great smells of Thanksgiving but just the best part of the bird plus it'll probably cook in under 2 hours.
Fri/Sat/Sun - leftovers.  yum.....my fav :)

Workouts:
stick with the standards
yesterday: 1 hr spin + 1 hr chisel
Monday: 1 hr kickbox + 1 hour chisel
Tuesday: 1 hr yoga
Wed: 1 hr kickbox + 1 hour chisel
Thurs: gym is offering some special turkey day classes - I may do the yoga class. or I may not.
Friday: 1 hr spin + 1 hr chisel
Sat: rest


cheers,
chloe

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mae West

This Mae West.....
         
                                                 ....not this mae west......

I am reading a book now called Art of Seduction by Robert Greene.  Its a very interesting blend of psychology, history and practical guidebook.   Its broken up into three main sections.  First, an exploration of seducer types.  its a little like a Cosmo quiz & you are supposed to figure out what your style is.  I'd say I'm a "charmer" Second, a list of target types & victim psychology.  Here, I think I'm a "professor"  The author is quite witty & throws in a few observations about each type - some, he says, are worth seducing but some types just become too tiresome or annoying.  Third & final section is a 24-step guide on how to set up, execute & deal with the aftermath of a seduction.  The whole book is liberally sprinkled with historical figures & lots of quotes.  Its not really about how to get to laid - but more about how to engage someone's feelings, sexual manipulation & social power.  So, why am I reading this fascinating, if somewhat creepy, book?

Traveling Bandita just did a post on something that's been coming up - dealing with men.  Frankly, I've never really attracted much male attention before (other than "friend") & I'm a little unsure on how to manage it.  It is my lack of experience that I fear could make me a an easy target.  Really, sparkling eyes,  a few soulful compliments, some drinks combined with lots of time on the road and I could envision myself doing something stupid.  That may not be the ideal thing to say but at least its truthful.   In a perfect world when I get hit on, I would just stick my nose up in the air & stomp away but its never really that simple, is it?  My thought process is I figure the best way to armor myself against seduction is to learn to recognize the signs.  To know when I am being seduced in order to guard against it.

The word "seduction" may infer a sexual component but it doesn't always have to be that way.  This book notes that great politicians - JFK, for example - "seduce" on a mass scale.   Seduction seems like another form of power - just ask Marilyn Monroe!  Anybody with any modicum of job success or ability to influence others around them is used to wielding power.  I am certainly comfortable with using several forms of power in my career.  Its just that seduction has never been a type of power within my reach - until now.  I'm just thinking that I need to learn how to master this one as well.

Logical approach or psyhco?  How do you fabulous skinny bitches deal with all the men falling at your feet?

Finally, I was watching a Mae West double feature on the TCM earlier this week.  I've always had a girl crush on her but now its fascinating to watch her while thinking about this book.

So, I leave you a pertinent Mae West quote..."a dame that knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up."

cheers,
chloe

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Adjustments


I've been feeling blah. run down. tired.  this is really not like me - especially not since losing all this weight.  Over the weekend, I really needed to work out in the garden - something I usually love.  But somehow I couldn't manage to get my butt in gear.  (I did finally get out there by only enough to clean up the front yard - still gotta clean up the back & put all my pots in the garage for winter) Maybe its the season, maybe its the time change, maybe its the looming holidays that I hate.  maybe...

The hubs commented maybe I wasn't eating enough carbs.  This got me thinking...now that I am so close to goal, maybe there are less reserves on my body & I need to rebalance what I'm eating.  I've always tried to stick to the bandster way of life - protein first plus maybe some veggies.  No bread, no rice, no pasta plus do my best to limit sugar intake.  Is that what it should *always* be??  I'm not "low-carb" by any stretch but my daily carb intake is under 100gr.

I've noticed I tend to get dizzy or woozy if I don't eat at least a little something every few hours.  Being this skinny is a new frontier for me.  So, this week I'm consciously trying to add carbs *back* into my diet. I'm going with a small roll with some goat cheese as a mid-morning snack.   My restriction level is quite good - I can pretty much eat whatever I want but only a few bites & not much hunger.  I have mixed emotions about this little experiment.  For me, I think carbs are the devil & I'm afraid that a "little" could quickly turn into a "lot."  Also afraid I'm going to pack on 5lbs overnite.  mental, I know.  However, I'm starting to feel perkier & more alert.  Let's see if I can get back some of that old fire in Kickbox tonight....

Another thing I am going to try are B12 shots.  Anyone tried them?  I've been taking b12 orally for awhile now.  Definitely gross tasting but I can tell my energy flags on days I miss a dose.  However, I know my body does not absorb much of it since it passes right through & turns my pee neon yellow.  I've heard the body absorbs more of the b12 when delivered via a shot.  Plus, there was recently a deal on Groupon - so I'm going to give it a shot (bad, I know).  I bought a 15-shot package & shots are supposed to be done weekly.  First appt is tomorrow.  I'll post updates.....

cheers,
chloe





 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Two steps forward, one step back

Monday's weigh-in: 151.2lbs
up 3lbs (yes, 3!) from last week.

can you say "backslide"?  last week was full of poor choices.
too many meals eating out? not enough time in the gym? a heaping dose of self-sabotage? check, check and check!

seriously, I think I was a bit spooked by hitting my final decade last week.  A very good friend of mine has noted that I am a "project" person.  I like to have a project or goal I am working towards.  But that means when I get close to finishing a project I get a little weird. what to do next??  This weigh-loss thing has happened both slower & faster than I ever thought.  I never expected to be this close to goal - how could I expect it?  I've always failed at this particular project in the past.

I guess I need a new goal.  suggestions?

cheers,
chloe

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Final Decade


Today's weigh-in: 148.2lbs
down about 3.5lbs from last week.
oh shit!!! I am in the 140s....this is my final decade, my final frontier.  how completely crazy is that?

This weekend brought another round of cleaning out the closet.....all those 12s I'd been holding onto had to go. Even the $800 suit.  ouch.   Even the 10s I bought a few weeks ago could go but then I'd have nothing to wear.  My closet is definitely looking like Old Mother Hubbard's Cupboard right now.  Naturally, I hit the mall this weekend for some big sales.  I'm right between a size 6 & 8.  All the 6s zip up & button but are a little too tight for comfort.  I figure I'm not a fatty anymore, so why deal with too tight clothes??  At goal, I'll definitely be a size 6....and I'll enjoy it then!

Same old, same old here.  I'm home for the next few weeks which means I can easily stick to my routine.  I like my routine - its obviously working. I did swap out yoga for spin last week & LOVED it!!!!  I remember I tried yoga back in early spring but I didn't feel strong enough.  This time I felt strong.  solid. balanced.  physically capable. joyous!

None of the recipes from last week were really all that good.  None of them are worth repeating or worthy enough to make it into our family rotation.  I think this was my last chance for Cooking Light - their recipes never seem to tickle my taste buds.  I've asked hubs to cancel that subscription & start up a regular one for Eating Well.  I'll even put their cookbooks on my xmas list.

Here's the plan for this week:
Menus:
Monday:  Crock Pot pot roast - supposed snow again tonight in Denver so should hit the spot
Tuesday: Chili Rubbed Tilapia with Asparagus & Lemon
Wed & Thursday: customer meetings including dinners
Friday:  Turkey taco meat in roasted acorn squash. yum!!!

Workouts:
Sunday:  1 hr spin & 1 hr chisel.  plus 1 hour massage - does that count??
Monday: 1 hr kickbox & 1 hr chisel
Tuesday: 75 min yoga for strength & stability
Wed & Thursday: customer meetings
Friday: 1 hr yoga

cheers,
chloe

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sugar & WEIRD Dreams

Monday's weigh-in: 151.6lbs
down 4lbs from last week
dropped all the Paris pounds even though I didn't hit the gym at all last week.  pretty happy about that!!!

Happy Halloween, everybody!!!  This is far & away my absolute favorite holiday & we spent all weekend doing Halloween-y things.  We always dress up as a group & try to incorporate my daughter's wheelchair into the costume.  I usually spend weeks planning our costumes - its the only creative thing I do all year.  Most people don't generally react well to a kid in a wheelchair and tend to quickly look away or avert their eyes so they don't have to "see"  us.  But I find when we're wearing costumes, people can look all they want without seeming to stare.  So, I try to do humorous costumes that will bring a smile to a person's face.  We've done some good ones in year's past.....a punk band called the "Rock'n'Rollers" where my daughter was the drummer was one of my favs.  Last year, she was a judge behind a big desk, the hubs was a cop & I was a criminal.  This year we did a Peanuts theme.  She was Lucy as the "doctor is in", the hubs was Charlie Brown (complete with huge paper mache head) & I was Snoopy.  super cute!! had a blast!!!  What a difference a year makes though.....last year's criminal outfit barely fit over my huge ass but this year's Snoopy pants kept falling down. :)

Of course, there is now a ton of candy in the house.  good grief!  Of course, I ate several pieces.  Yesterday, I ate 8-10 pieces & had the WEIRDEST dreams ever!!!!  In my first dream, I was with LapBandGal and Catherine55 in NYC, riding the subway & they were lecturing me about my eating habits.  How strange is that??  The next dream was about fumigating a Hoarders: Buried Alive house & me walking around barefoot with giant cockroaches crawling across my feet.  What is that all about?? Seriously, I blame the sugar.

Given these horrendous side effects, time to live clean.  Happy to not be traveling this week!  Just got this month's Cooking Light issue, so the week's menu is heavy influenced by it:

Meals:
Sunday: Pumpkin Ravioli with Gorgonzola Sauce - not good. don't bother.  the sauce was all wrong - too heavy.  altho' hubs was thrilled to see a pasta again...
Monday: Skillet Chicken with Cranberries & Apples
Tuesday: Chiang Mai Pork Patties
Wed: Dijon & Cognac Beef Stew  - supposed to snow in Denver on Wed so this should hit the spot
Thursday: Pan-Roasted Fish with Mediterranean Tomato Sauce

Workouts:
Sunday: 1hr spin + 1 hr Chisel
Monday: 1hour kickbox + 1 hr Chisel
Tuesday: 1 hr spin but thinking about mixing things up and going to a Yoga for Strength & Stability class.....hmmmmm
Wed: 1hr kickbox + 1 hr Chisel
Thursday: rest
Friday:  1 hr elliptical or run on treadmill or yoga class

cheers,
chloe

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Practical Applications of being Skinnier

just had to share this story with you guys...

so I live in Denver & we got our first snow of the season yesterday.  6 inches of heavy, wet snow & lots of broken tree limbs plus a low around 12 degrees F last night.  anywoo, I'm leaving for work this morning & head out to my car.  We live in an old house downtown that only has street parking.  The hubs is a major sweetie & brushed off my car before he went off for his errands.  what a doll!  HOWEVER, when I get to my car I realize that the drivers door is frozen stuck.  it.will.not.open!  Hubs is gone so I can't borrow his car.

hmmm.....what to do? what to do?  I get in on the passenger side, crawl over the middle console & twist myself into the drivers seat.   voila!    the best part of this story?  that I could physically accomplish it.  75lbs ago there would have been no way I'd have been able to navigate my body like that.

sun is shining, everything is covered in a fresh, clean coat of snow & I'm sporting a big smile!!!!
cheers,
chloe

Monday, October 24, 2011

Paree - oo la la!

pic of skinny me outside the Louvre on a fall evening.  Jacket is size small, size 10 jeans from the G.a.p, boots that zip over my calves & daylight between my thighs.  how sweet it is!!!!

I'm back from my weekend in Paris with the hubs.   We had a lovely time!  Walked all over the city & tried to just soak up the ambiance.  sat in cafes drinking chocolat chaud & eating croissants.  Did do some shopping but funny thing is I didn't buy anything.  I did feel confident enough to walk into several little boutiques & try things on.  It was interesting to be waited on by French lady shopkeepers..."bonjour, madame!  'ow can I help yoo?  ah, oui, yoo are a meedium, no?"  Everything fit but nothing really struck me.  Now,  I want to ( I expect to) fall in love with everything I'm going to buy.  I've earned that much :)

First time in a very looooong time where I volunteered to be in as many pics as possible.  kinda nice to make an appearance in my own life again.

Definitely did some damage but I don't regret it.  I know what I need to do to get back on track.  Back to cooking at home, planning the weekly menu & hit the gym.  voila!!
Monday's weigh-in: 155.4lbs
up 4lbs from last week.

Its also my 10-month bandiversary so here are those pics, too





 cheers,
chloe

Monday, October 17, 2011

Paris, people!!!

Monday weigh-in: 151.4lbs
down 2lbs from last week.
truly, I find the whole thing simply amazing.  I'm almost in the 140s.  who is this girl?

Good weekend!  totally gorgeous here in Denver on Saturday.  Seemed like the last of the nice weather so I skipped my garden chores & went for a long bike ride instead.  I rode solo & got sooo lost.   I ended up riding almost 70miles.  70 MILES!!!! and it felt so gooood.  For the first time, it feels like my body is mine to command.  I'm feeling strong, confident & capable.  again, who *is* this girl???  because I really like her :)

In all fairness, my recent downward trend was greatly helped by a way-too-tight band.  I've been living the mushy life lately and while I do love the results, its not sustainable.  Nighttime heartburn has raised its head.  I do not want to go down this path so I went in for an unfill today.  Last visit they put in .5ccs - today they took out .25ccs.   Hope this is my green zone.

Other than fighting heartburn, I have an even better reason to loosen up my band.  My husband is whisking me off to Paris!!!!! Its our anniversary so we've decided to be a couple of crazy kids and jet off to Paree for a long, romantic weekend.  how sweet is that?

some very good friends have volunteered to take care of the kid this weekend which lets us get some adult-only time.   I'm so grateful!  Its been years since I've been in Paris & the hubs has never been.  I'm just looking forward to wondering the streets, lingering in the cafes, people watching, holding hands, kissing in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower....and, of course, eating!!!  sorry - may not be bandster orthodoxy but there it is.  I want to munch on a croissant :)

cheers,
chloe

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Shrinking Ring

a quick NSV I had to share.......went to a jewelers today to get my wedding ring resized.  Literally, my ring was just falling off.  Old size? 8.5  new size? 6.5  the look on the clerk's face was priceless!!!!

cheers,
chloe

Monday, October 10, 2011

LBD

Monday weigh-in: 153.4lbs
down 1.6lbs from 2 weeks ago
also, this is another milestone for me.  actually, its my last milestone.  that sounds so strange.  when I started this journey, I broke it up into 10% chunklets.  With this weigh-in, I just hit 90% to goal.  only 8lbs to go.....even though its gotten really slow, this still just blows my mind!!!

Sorry no weigh-in or posts last week.  While many of you ladies were enjoying BOOBs fun in Chicago ( so jealous!!! love all the great pics), I was off to a huge company conference.   I was one of 45,000+ people to invade San Francisco for the week.  It was absolutely crazy - so much to do.  I'm still tired.  My band is quite tight so I only munched sporadically.  I actually packed my Magic Bullet, favorite protein powder & soy milk to ensure I was trying to get enough protein in.   One night I did have a big dinner & I could only nibble a couple of bites.  it was one of those awkward bandster moments we all have....

One HUGE new NSV for me.  I arrived in SF on Saturday morning & found some time to squeeze in some shopping in Union Square.  There is a big event coming up & I wanted a new dress.  I wanted something I've never had....the little black dress.  It should be a staple in every woman's closet but its never been in mine.  til now!  I didn't want just any LBD - I wanted something epic.  And I totally found it in a small boutique off some little alley way.  It's short (yes, above my knees) & all sequined.   Its from a British designer so its got a tough (but sexy) edge to it.  no way I'm NOT going to get noticed in this thing.   love it!!!

cheers,
chloe

Monday, September 26, 2011

Down

Monday weigh-in: 155.0lbs
down 5.8lbs from last week.
nothing like a little yo-yo to get this week started.

obviously, I am ridiculously pleased with today's number.  Its a new lowest low for me on this journey.   Its also a decision point.  A little while ago I was wondering what my goal should be.....its one thing to set a goal at the beginning when every number seems just like wishful thinking.  Its another thing to be nearing the end of the journey and trying to really figure out the end point.  So - here's my decison:  yes!  I want to go for the original 145lb target.  I'm a roomy size 10 now & I know size 8 is just around the corner.  this is my goal.  whew!  feels good to say it. :)

A little recap of last week's activities:

Got a monster fill on Thursday - 0.5ccs.  I haven't really tracked this too closely but I think I'm about 8ccs in my 11cc band.  Fill has gone great so far!  I can eat just about anything - just in really small amounts & no hunger for hours.   oh god, I hope it stays this way.  I just need to be a very good bandster now - small bites, chew well, etc.  I've always kept my band pretty loose but its nice to feel this restriction.  hopefully this will get me the momentum to roll into the 140s....


Compliment from my hubs.  We went hiking with some great friends on Saturday morning.   It was a ton of fun!!! Boulder is just beautiful.  I wore some workout capris that I usually just wear at the gym.  I don't wear them about the house so the hubs really hasn't seen me in workout gear.  We'd wrapped up the hike & heading out to brunch when he commented that my calves have slimmed down a lot.  "Much smaller than they used to be."  awww....


Full Length Mirror.  This one is actually a big NSV for me!  At the start of this journey, I realized, as a fat girl, I did not own a lot of things skinny girls own.  I did not have: a scale, workout shoes/clothes,  a gym membership, etc.  There has also not been a full-length mirror in my house for almost 10 years.  seriously.  til this weekend.  I now have a full-length mirror in my room.  And I like what I see.....  :)


cheers,
chloe

Monday, September 19, 2011

Up, up & away....


Up!
today's weigh-in: 160.8
up about 4lbs from 2 weeks ago.

there it is in all its glory.  bad behavior, bad results.  I'm totally feeling MandaPanda on falling off the wagon.  HARD! A few days ago, I saw 155 flash briefly on my scale - now look where I am!  holy crap, sisters.  I have no restriction, I'm hungry all the time, can eat just about anything...especially bread products. Even those cheese danishes I was sneaking on Friday.  Its been a long time since I did any hidden eating.  I always feel so guilty & ashamed when I secretly eat.  when I sit in my car all by myself & stuff my face.  not sure what's going on in my head right now.

At this point, I just need to own to my mistakes, pick myself up and dust myself off.  So, lets focus on the positive...
             *  I'm home for the next 2 weeks.  :)!
             * Weekly menu has been planned & groceries bought.  see below
             * Gym bag is packed & in the car.  Spin & Chisel are on for tonight
             * Fill appt & 9 month check up Thursday.  I soooo need a fill.
             * Healing.  Right before my big bike race, I totally jacked my foot up.  I didn't just stub my toe - my pinky toe was literally sticking straight out in the wrong direction.  My foot swelled & bruised heavily.  However, it has just ached for several weeks now.  Usually ok when I was wearing flip-flops but heels have been out for awhile.  Today is the first day I've been able to wear closed-toed shoes without pain.  I see Kickbox returning to my routine next week.

This week's menu:
             * Sunday: Seared Scallops & Cauliflower with Brown Butter  this was really good!! definitely a repeater.  Cauliflower is my hubs' favorite veggie.  Super fast, too.
             * Monday: Winter Squash & Chicken Tzimmes  Another Eating Well recipe to try out.  Hubs requested something with Butternut squash now that Fall is creeping in.  I have absolutely no idea what a "Tzimmes" is.
             * Tuesday: BBQ Chicken Blue Cheese Pizza  I love taking convenience foods - rotisserie chicken & prebaked pizza crust - to throw together something quick
             *  Wed: Turkey tacos - old faithful
             *  Thurs: Baked tilapia with pineapple-jalapeno salsa & green beans

 cheers,
chloe

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bad Week

 weigh-in: dunno. on the road.  up.

last week was a tough one.  Before I leave the office, I typically call the hubs & let him know I'm on my way.  When I called Friday, he could tell I was beat.  We were going to go grab dinner but I wanted a drink first.  When I got home, he was literally standing by the door with my bourbon drink in hand. yummmmm....I flopped on the couch & groused about the week at work.    But here's what was really bugging me......
              number of times I worked out last week? 0
              number of times I cooked at home last week? 0
By far, the worst week of "banded lifestyle" for me since I started.  The scale proved it - I know I was up a couple of pounds.  Losing is so slow for me now that I just probably set myself back a month. 

After all my griping, do you know what response I got?  Hubs turned to me & said, "Here's what we're going to do...." and he suggested details on reworking our morning routine to go running together after the kid leaves for school.  So, a) he was listening b) he took me seriously and c) we can make it better together.  Good god, I love that man.

All this dreaminess will have to wait til much later in the week when I get back to Denver.  I'm not sure I could look forward to running but...with him next to me, it might happen. :)

cheers,
chloe
 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Monday (Tuesday) weigh-in

Monday...Tuesday...whatever!
weigh-in: 157.6lbs  exactly same as last week.

I enjoyed a nice, long, quiet weekend at home.  It involved a LOT of drinking & dining out.  I did see 155 briefly flash on the scale once this weekend so I know its just around the corner :)

Seriously, tho', lots of drinking.  I have a bottle of *very* nice bourbon at home - drank a lot of that.  Met a girlfriend for brunch & bottomless mimosas - drank a lot of that, too.

I did get to the gym this weekend...for a long massage & mud wrap.  it felt so fabulous.  I did squeeze in one weight lifting class & went on a 4-hour bike yesterday.  it felt great.

I also managed to do a lot of shopping this weekend.  Jeans, tshirts, great leather jacket in a size 8 that fits like a dream & will be a staple this season.  Also, dropped big dough on lingerie.  For shopping, the hubs & I have a deal - anything over a certain price and the other person has to sign-off on it.  The only exception?  Lingerie!  I can go buy sexy bras & panties at any time as long as he gets to admire it all.  This has been a long standing rule in our relationship & it seems to work.  hahaha.

There is a very upscale lingerie shop in Denver that I was always too embarrassed to shop at before.  Well, this weekend I was feeling bold & saucy so I marched right on in & tried on oodles of adorable things.  Bras?  36D panties? medium  it felt so good in my soul.  of course, I splurged!  Here is one of the sets I got: bra & panties.  I think its cute without being all lacy & itchy.   I will need plastic surgery at the end of all this.....I don't have batwings, per se, but I do have a bunch of excess flesh spilling over right up under my armpits.  its like I have 4 boobs now - the two regular ones & now the two hiding under my arms.  arrrgh!

cheers,
chloe

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

8 month bandiversary! with pics & stats

Coming off my triumphant, epic bike ride & its time for a bandiversary.  I'm about a week late with this but oh, well!

Monday's weigh-in 157.6lbs
down 2lbs from last week & down 68lbs in total

I love being home!  I lost those 2lbs before my race - actually, my scale is up AFTER the race.  how is this possible??  actually, hubs was pleased to hear that because he said losing a couple pounds during a big ride is not the thing to do - usually means significant dehydration which is never good.  whatever - I'll just keep repeating to myself that gaining 2lbs during a race is good. really.

 Here are the latest comparison pics (I'm wearing an XS tank & size 8 shorts - both from Eddie Bauer in these pics):





















I also took measurements - interesting to note some things keep changing.  All the big losses are behind me but there are still improvements. :)



cheers,
chloe







Monday, August 29, 2011

I DID IT!!!

Racing into the finish
I DID IT!
I DID IT!
I DID IT!
I DID IT!
I freakin' DID IT!
Above is a very blurry pic of me cruising into the finish.  I really did do a 67-mile bike race. :) Behind my sunglasses, I was totally bawling.  So proud of this accomplishment!

All in all, it followed pretty close to my expectations.  I targeted 6hours ride time + 1 hour at rest stops.  It took me a total of 5 hours & 35 minutes (rest + ride) so I'm **very** pleased with that!!!   I was seriously cranking - heart rate was almost always 80+% for the whole ride.  I burned 3503 calories. :)

First half of the race was fabulous - cool morning, Colorado farm land, mountains in the distance.  Even the one big climb was a snap.  Organizers had a water stop halfway up & another rest stop at the top.  Great locations!  Breaking up the climb seemed to make it easier.  By about mile 50 the sun was out & it was getting hot.  Sun beating down & reflecting off the pavement and I started to wonder what I got myself into.  Fortunately, the last rest stop was at mile 59.  Great place to chill a bit with a steel drum band before pounding out the last 8 miles.

Hydration & nutrition were key for me.  It felt like I was always stuffing my pie hole with something.  Actually, I ate too much & too fast at the 40mile rest stop so I ended up getting stuck.  It never really eased up so I had to pull over & PB.  (Gross!) I stopped drinking & eating for a while but then I could feel the leg cramps coming on in the last 5 miles.  I now know what the point of goo/power gels are.  They are not tasty in anyway but a very easy way to get in some calories - especially appreciated as a bandster :)  Had a quick gel shot & was feeling fine in about 20 minutes.

I am so very proud of this!!!! I lost 67lbs for this 67-mile race.  There is just no way I could have even imagined doing this ride a year ago.  Hubs is already asking when I'm going to do a 100-mile ride with him.  I've started looking at the calendar....!

At the starting line - wearing size medium cycling gear!
cheers,
chloe

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Preparing for my big ride

Its Saturday evening and in about 12 hours I'll be leaving my house & heading to Boulder to start the big ride.  I can't believe I'm doing this!

Just going through a checklist in my head to make sure I have everything: helmet, camelbak, gloves, bike, etc.  Also thinking about my expectations for this event.  In no particular order, here they are:
            1. I expect to finish this race.  each & every mile. no quitting
            2. I expect it'll take about 6 hours ride time + another hour for the aid stations
            3. I expect to burn 3000-4000 calories
            4.  I'm going to work on staying well-hydrated & well-fueled all day (challenging since my band is being quite fickle right now.  soft foods for me)
            5.  this is no Sunday afternoon leisurely ride!  I want to keep my heart rate about 75% of max on the flats & 90% on the climbs
            6. No dawdling for me. I will pedal on the downhills &keep cadence on the flats
            7.  I will relish every single part of the experience!!!!!!

It sorta sunk in today that I'm 8 months from surgery.  that's it.  just 8 measly months & yet here I am preparing for an epic ride.  Preparing like its no big thang; like its completely natural that non-athletic me is capable of this.  Who is this girl???  I took pics & measurements today that I'll post later this week.  who is this girl? I honestly don't recognize my body at all.

Jennifer Hudson's "Feeling Good" is my theme song for tomorrow.  what's yours?
wish me luck, my lovelies!!!


cheers,
chloe







Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I got to the gym

Happy to report I was able to peel myself out of the office & got my ass to the gym tonight.  1 hour of spin & 1 hour of chisel.

I'm glad I went.  I feel good.  I ate a sensible bandster dinner.  I'll sleep well tonight.  I just need to remember this feeling in the future. :)

Of course, now its almost 11pm & I'm working on slides for my boss but I think this is how its going to be for me now.  At least, I got my a$$ to the gym.

And as a cosmic reminder of the benefits of this journey, I found this dress I'd ordered on my doorstep.  Prana dress.  its very simple but oh, so soft & comfy.  very flattering.  I have this image in my head of a look I love but its never really worked for me in the past.  this year I'm hoping to rock it!  Imagine....simple dress, cute belt, tights, fabulous boots & colorful scarf.  Autumn, casual, cool.  the best part?  I had to order the dress in a small :)

good night, my lovelies!
cheers,
chloe


Fail.

Two days into my new responsibilities at work & I already blew my workout schedule.

I blogged recently about a new role I'm taking on at the office & wondered how it would impact my ability to take care of me.  Yesterday, I found out.  My big bike race is coming up this Sunday & I want to rest the few days before the race which means I need to hit the gym at the *beginning* of this week.

Monday morning my boss sent out the announcement of the re-org & it has been chaos since then.  I made it to the gym Monday & had plans on hitting a spin class last night.  But, then, work happened.  Meetings all day & needed to catch up with some folks who are in town so more meetings.  Then a couple of us went to grab some drinks to continue the conversation.  out goes any hope of making to the gym.

Plus I'm now post period & SUPER tight.  I can barely eat.  just had a glass of red wine last night.  When I finally got home, I had a bowl of cereal (Kashi Go Lean Crunch w/ lite soy milk. yum!!! lots of protein).  Or I should say...I tried to eat.  A couple of bites & then it all came up.  ugh.

its only mid-day & I still have high hopes for today.  My gym bag is in the car & I'm trying to keep my afternoon clear enough to escape this place. wish me luck......

cheers,
chloe

Monday, August 22, 2011

Can I get a woot-woot?

Today's weigh-in: 159.6lbs
down about 3.5lbs from last week.  WOOT!!!!

Finally, finally, finally in the 150s :) I was in the 160s for over 2 months.  sheesh!!!  on one hand, it seems so slow but then that still averages out to be 5lb loss per month.  Really, not too bad.  get over yourself!

Looking back in myfitnesspal, I'm starting to notice some interesting trends - especially around my period.  I gain right before TOM & then a big drop during the week my period is here and then more or less steady the rest of the time.  sort of a one step back, 2 steps forward kinda thing.  interesting to notice my own patterns.

I also get super-snacky right before my period & the band goes wonky.  Sometimes super tight; sometimes way too open.  guess I just gotta ride out these fluctuations.....Given my super-girl-snackiness last week, I went on the hunt for some better choices.  Hitting up the vending machines is always a poor choice plus I'm burned out on protein bars & wanted something lower in calories than the typical Clif bar.  So I made these Power Cookie from the 17-day diet on Saturday.  After reading some reviews, I made a few changes...upped applesauce to 1/2c, swapped dried cranberries for cherries & added 1/2 c dark chocolate chips.  All in all, each cookie is only about 150 calories & they are quite good.  These days I pay a lot more attention to serving sizes & so I made exactly 18 cookies the recipe called for & they are good-sized.  No two-bite nibbles here.  totally worked on my snack attack, too!  You should give them a try....

Saturday I went for another bike ride - this time it was about pace.  My goal was to keep my heart rate up around 85% of max for an extended period of time & see how far I could get.  In two hours, I rode about 30miles & burned about 1300 calories.  not too bad!  just gotta keep the pedals pumping :).  Last Thursday I went out & rode the climb that is in the race.  It was pretty gentle but long.  my ass was definitely feeling the last two miles.   It took me over an hour to ride up but only 10min to race down.  The plan for this week is to do a couple spin classes early in the week & then rest the three days before the race.

This week's menu is all planned out:
Sunday (last night): Chile Crusted Scallops with Cucumber Salad  it was meh.  not a repeater
Tonight: Bourbon Smoked Chicken with grilled corn on the cob.  I set the chicken to brine this morning. Hubs should turning the bird every couple hours & he is going to smoke it tonight while I'm at the gym.  I'm expecting plenty of good leftovers for lunch :)
Tuesday: Steaks with Pebre Sauce & Avocado with broccoli
Wed: Baja Chicken with Avocado Crema perennial favorite & super easy to prep.  Plus Cumin Carrots cook in the same time & same temp as the chicken
Thursday: Thyme & Sesame Crusted Halibut

Looking forward to a good week!
cheers,
chloe

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Random Ramblings

Its Thursday & I'm here to ramble.....a couple of recent NSVs have stuck with me & so I think I'll write them down.

First happened last week on my biz trip to Cali.  I'm there for meetings during the day but try to build the network if I have time and/or energy in the evenings.  Last week I reached out to one of my mentors to see if she was in town & wanted to meet for drinks.  This lady is about 10 yrs older than I am, she is an EVP at a start-up but has been in the IT business for a long time.  We've worked together off & on for the last 5 years or so and managed to build a professional relationship and something a little deeper in that time.  Her situation is somewhat similar - she's ambitious, she's successful, she's a mom, her husband takes care of the kids.  She knows what its like to be the only woman in a room full of pricks.  She knows everybody in Silicon Valley & if I ever decided to move on from my current company she would know who's hiring & who to stay away from.  All in all, a good person to stay connected with plus I wanted to get some career advice with the recent increase in job responsibilities.   I haven't seen her since I've been banded & she was very complimentary when we first met up.   Later in the evening, she was totally staring at me.  It was actually getting a little odd!  She interrupted my story and said she couldn't get over how good I looked.  She said everything just popped - eyes, cheekbones, the whole bit.  She couldn't get over how different I looked.  Reality is I am not a pretty girl.  I am not photogenic - rather, I'd say I'm well-groomed.  I never got the line "you have such a pretty face if only you'd lose weight"  nope, never heard that one.  So, my friends comments were really nice to hear.  I've gotten tons of compliments on the weight loss but this was definitely something new!

The other NSV happened on Sunday.  We have a wedding here in Denver to go to this coming weekend & the hubs needed new clothes.  He's always exercised a lot but now that we're eating so much healthier he's lost about 20lbs and gone from a 36 to 34.  Gotta celebrate his successes, too!  Since he's a stay at home dad, he doesn't have a closet full of boring buttondowns & drab khakis for the office.  He has a stack of Old Navy cargo shorts (& cargo pants for winter), random tshirts and flip flops plus a few nice outfits for the occasional night out.  Truth is, he does like to dress up & look smart.  He has is vanity, too.  :).  So off to Nordie's we go to get him something fab.  Ended up with a great blue/green/gray plaid jacket that is cut really slim plus a nice blue & white paisley shirt.  For a pop of color, I insisted on an orange pocket square.  Then had to get him some gorgeous new shoes.  I love that man but he is a shoe whore!!!  All in all, he looks damn good.  :)  Well, after seeing how fabulous & sartorially splendid he turned out I knew we had to run up to the Ladies department for me.  Here's the NSV part...we were walking through the designer section and I spied a delicious camel coat in St John.  St John is definitely not my style - too much big hair, ladies who lunch and aging Dallas debs for my taste - but I decided to try it on for shits & giggles.  When I was huge, I totally avoided high-end designer because they are cut so slim.  I grabbed the size 10 coat expecting to be tight across the arms & boobs as usual.  Nope!!! it was huge!!!!! there was only one other coat in a size 6.  My hubs said no way would it fit.  It fit - and it was still very roomy.  I could actually see my husband process it.  I could just see the gears turning in his brain.  I think I might have seen "damn girl" flash across his forehead.  hahaha.

Finally, my daughter started 4th grade today.  I can't believe it.  Really.  seriously.  I.can't.believe.it.  So not typical for me but I am posting some personal pics.  Here she is rolling out to meet the bus this morning.  The other pic I found in my phone & think its really sweet.



.
 cheers,
chloe

Monday, August 15, 2011

Distance Ride

today's weigh-in: 163.0lb
up about 1.5lbs from last week.

Not surprising given my travels last week.  I'm happy to say I'm home all this week & I don't anticipate any travel for the rest of this month.  yippeee!!!!

I just find this banded life a little easier when I'm home.  I'm going to hit the gym tonight - my gym bag is packed & out in my car.  I planned out the week's dinners on Saturday & went shopping to get everything. 

Here's what on the menu:
Sunday (yesterday): Shrimp & Cheddar Grits  pretty good & SUPER fast.  one of the restaurants around my house offers something like this & I love it so I decided to try it at home.  I added some mild green chiles to the grits - they were great.  good comfort food.  the shrimp was ok but I'll try it again with different seasoning.  leftovers for lunch today.  yum!

Monday: Chicken Enchiladas
Tuesday: Chicken & Asparagus with melted gruyere
Wed: Hoisin Chicken with mashed sweet potatoes
Thursday: Scallops with Cucumber Salad

My big bike race is in about two weeks & I'm getting nervous.  I have no idea what I was thinking when I signed up for the 67-mile course.  To help me prepare, my hubs organized a distance ride for us yesterday.  We got a babysitter for the kid to make it a little easier & then headed out.  We went west up to Golden, past Red Rocks, through Morrison, down C470 to Chatfield Reservoir, up past South Pearl Street over to Wash Park for a few laps then up Cherry Creek trail & past the big REI downtown and on home.   Total ride: 55mile.  Total time: 4h 43min (including 2 rest stops) Total calories: 2473 burned.

I hadn't been eating particularly well lately & not drinking enough water either.  I could totally feel it on the ride.  So now I have two weeks to fuel right & hydrate well for this race....

Looking forward to a low key week at home.
cheers,
chloe

Thursday, August 11, 2011

End of my ME Year


Well, its official.  I think today marks the end of my "Me"  year.  I was banded in December & the plan was to step back from work in order to dedicate more time to me.  Lose weight, get healthy, leave work early to hit the gym, clear my head & figure out what I want in my 40s.  Kind of a mini mid-life crisis without the corvette or 20-year-old boy toy.  At the very beginning, it was a little hard to dial down at work, leave all those emails unread, phone calls unreturned & not always angling for some new project.  But I got into the groove & got better at leaving work at work.   It was nice....and now its over.

A little work background....I am a director of product management at a major IT company.  This basically means I run a global business and am responsible for P&L for a portfolio of products.  The company I was working for was acquired about a year & half ago and I have stayed on with the new company.  At the old company, I owned a very large portfolio & the business generated well over $1B a year in revenue.  At the time of the acquisition, my boss knew my portfolio would not find a home in the new company & so he moved me into a new assignment.  I LOVED my new assignment - it was working on emerging technology & building a whole new business from scratch rather managing an existing one.  I had a pretty small staff, cool technology & carte blanche to get out of my silo & work with anybody across the entire organization.  Overall, the business is small but its the fastest growing product line in my division.  A few weeks ago my boss held a huge all-hands meeting & he singled out my portfolio for best marketing.  Nice kudos.

Soon after these very public accolades, he followed up with a HUGE bonus.  Big money & big stock.  I'm lucky to have a good boss (& he's lucky to have me because I make him look sooooo good)   For a few days there, I was feeling pretty good.  Success & recognition at work.  Big $$$ in the bank. Cool, fun portfolio.  And balance.  I could have all this without sinking every waking hour into the office.

But I think that ended today.  A few weeks ago, my company acquired another company.  Today my boss announced the new org structure & I picked up a lot of responsibility.  I am going to keep what I have, pick up the newly acquired company and pull back in the remnants of my old portfolio.  This acquisition was personally driven by my CEO & he will be keeping tabs on how the integration goes.  The new company is extremely small but the execs have high expectations.  The hot mess of stuff I have now needs to be multi-billion dollars in just a few years. 

I know what needs to be done to get there but I also know how much time, effort & work it'll take to do it.  I know that this new assignment is a reward for past successes.  I know that high profile is good for my career & this role could propel me into the executive ranks (if I'm successful).  I know I am grateful for yet another amazing opportunity.

But it feels like the ability to leave the office at 5pm for Kickboxing just flew out the window.  How do I do this & still be good to me?  That's a skill I haven't mastered yet...


cheers,
chloe


Monday, August 8, 2011

Cali

Today's weigh-in: 161.2
down 1lb from last week


I'm sitting at the airport waiting to catch a flight out to the Bay Area.  I'll be there most of the week for an industry conference.  I am not speaking but I do have a lot of meetings scheduled.  My company was asked to deliver the keynote speech.  I am not giving the speech but I did write it once we found somebody with a big enough title.  Should be an interesting week but this is easy work - no stress.  I heading in a day early to spend time in the Santa Clara offices.  I have some staff there that I hope to take to lunch today.

This trip is well timed.  My husband & I are getting on each others nerves!  We went up to the mountains this weekend so he could ride in the Copper Triangle.  He did very well but the steepest, longest climb is right at the end of the 78-mile course & I think it really kicked his butt.  Sunday we went out to Glenwood Springs to enjoy the wonderful hot springs & then caught Keb' Mo' playing at the Botanical Gardens.  It should have been a wonderful day but we spent most of it sniping at each other.  ugh.  Then this morning, he helped carry out my bags to the car (which he does most every morning) and planted a long & truly masterful kiss on me.  damn that man!!! now I have to deal with THAT until I get home Thursday.  sheesh.

cheers,
chloe