Fun in Atlantic City

by Christine on January 31st, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

Happy Monday Revolutionists!

This past weekend the hubby and I went to Atlantic City with some friends of ours. Our friend Lawson was celebrating a birthday,  and Atlantic City was my consolation prize for making my Goal Weight. (I really wanted Vegas but due to lack of moolah, Atl Cty was the runner-up.)

We stayed at a super cute hotel called the Chelsea, which is right next door to the Tropicana. It doesn’t have any slot machines itself, but it has plenty of other amenities (2 restaurants, a night club, a lounge, swimming pool, spa, etc.).  We really liked the hotel and found it to be comfortable, affordable, clean, and the staff were all really nice.

We did gamble, but we didn’t have any luck doing so. All the money that I had set aside for gambling we lost. That’s okay–you can’t ever plan to win, you know? We had fun playing, but when the money was gone it was gone–there was no going back into the checking account for more.

My favorite part of the weekend was indulging in the spa services at the hotel. All guests can use the heated outdoor pool for free, so we took advantage of that. However, we later learned that you could use the indoor jacuzzi, steam room, and sauna for $15/person/day. We were so glad we did that! We spent two hours lounging around and relaxing for a while. Super nice!

My second favorite part of the weekend was shopping! It’s funny to me that my brain is still stuck in fat-girl mode. I see a Lane Bryant and my first reaction is to want to go in there, even though none of the clothes would come close to fitting me anymore.  I see cute boutique stores and want to cringe, assuming that the clothing wouldn’t come close to fitting me. I have a lot of mental adjustment to do!

(a good example of me in a JC Penny sweater, lacking any discernible style)

This weekend I went into some cute, trendy clothing stores (White house/Black Market & Cache, to name two) and tried on lots of cute clothes! I bought 2 tops on sale, both in Size Small. I tried on some dresses & skirts, and all the Size 2 fit me.  It was a great way to celebrate reaching my goal weight! It felt so indulgent and uxorious to shop at such cute stores as that. I am still trying to establish some semblance of a “style” to call my own, and cute stores like those have such trendy clothes…much more so than JC Penny, which is my fall-back store.

In addition to all that, we did a nice dinner out at Evo in Trump Plaza. The food was okay, but the service was only so-so.  I had the three-course meal for $20, so I had some onion soup, calamari (I only had a little, promise!), and some grilled salmon. The fish turned out a little under-done, but it was okay. Not too fishy, at least. For Lawson’s birthday we all had some chocolate molten lava cake.

After dinner we caught a comedy show at the Comedy Stop near the Tropicana. The show was great–I laughed a lot! However, there was a group of bitches sitting behind us that would not stop talking! They were even playing cell phone games with the volume turned on! We turned around and glared at them a bunch of times, but they didn’t shut up. Finally my hubby talked to a security guard who gave them a good scolding. After the show, the only guy in the group–a 400 pound thuggish looking guy–wanted to start something with hubby. We were like, “whatever fuckheads, learn some manners” and walked away. I bet it would have been a good brawl though. Even though the guy at that table had 200 pounds on Hubby, I think he would have given the big guy a run for his money.

The drive to Atlantic City from the Albany area takes about 4 hours one way. Ugh, that’s a lot of driving! I tried to sleep on the way back, but just rested and closed my eyes. Still, it was relaxing.  All in all, it was a really lovely weekend away!


The importance of making yourself at home

by Christine on January 27th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

I started a new job after new years in January, so I’ve been working here for almost a month.  This week I brought in some photos to hang on my office walls. I hung six pictures up, and my office is starting to look a little more like home. I still need a little greenery and maybe a coat rack, but it’s a little more cozy than before.

Hanging up photos in my office makes me smile, because it’s an indication that I like my job, and I plan on being here for a long haul. I hated my last job, and it’s really no wonder that it took me about 7 months to hang a picture on the wall. I think I knew, subconsciously, that the last job wasn’t for me, and similarly I think I know now that this job is a really good fit for me.

In the same vein, I think that for the weight-loss game, it’s important to “make yourself at home,” too.  Remember that this is a long journey, and a long haul. Just like work, you’re going to have good days and bad days. If you make yourself at home in your weight-loss journey, it’s going to be a more comfortable experience and help you remember that this is a long-distance journey, not a metaphorically short sprint to the finish line.

So how can you make yourself at home in your weight loss journey?  Here are a few ideas:

  • Post pictures of you at your thinnest on the refrigerator for constant reminder.
  • Hang up a “goal weight dress” (or suit, for you men) on the back of your bathroom door
  • Post inspirational quotes on your bathroom mirror once a week. (You can write on your mirror with a dry/erase marker easily)
  • Ask your friends to help encourage you and keep you on track.
  • Bring a lock to the gym and leave some items in a locker there. That’s your home-away-from-home now.
  • Get to know a grocery store cash register check-out person on a first-name basis. Tell him/her about your weight-loss journey. Then, when you go to the grocery store and check out with your new friend, it’ll be a little more cozy, and your new friend will be checking out your food purchases to make sure you’re staying on the diet.


Do something a little silly, a little fun to keep your weight loss journey fresh and new. And remember…if you slip backwards, it’s not the end of the world! Remember, you’re at home with your new badassed self now, so give yourself a hug, then get up and get back on track.


Stylish Blogger Award

by Christine on January 25th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Thank you to Heather from “Am I actually doing this? Heather’s Banded Journey” for nominating me for the Stylish Blogger Award!

First up: I need to share 7 factoids about myself.

  1. Today I got asked if I’d like to be nominated for the head Creative Director for next year’s MIT Mystery Hunt. This role would be in charge of making sure that all puzzles and activities conform to the overall theme. What an honor to be thought of, but I’m not wholly confident in my abilities to carry this off, especially considering that these are some of the most intelligent people in the world that I’d be on the Management Team with. I’m intimidated and feeling quite insecure, although I think the job would be fun and challenging as all get-out!
  2. A recent Non-Scale Victory (NSV):  I’ve discovered a new bone in my body! My shoulder has a bone that sticks out at the very top, edge of my shoulder (where the arm begins). I can’t see it, but I can feel it, and it’s pretty cool. Yay for bones!
  3. This week I ate at Wendy’s (a small half-salad) and McDonalds (a salad) because both establishments are close to my work. Both meals were both rather gross. I knew that they were calorie nightmares before I ordered them, but I had never had the salads at either place before. I learned my lesson and won’t be ordering from there again.  I’ll chalk that one up to a “learning process.”
  4. One of my favorite songs when I was in 8th grade was “I am the Walrus” by the Beatles, and like a dummy that I am, I decided it would be cool to write the song title on the back of my own jean jacket. Yes, I was overweight. And yes, I was teased about that, a lot.
  5. When I lay on my side, I’ve got so much loose fat on my belly that it droops and pools on the bed. It’s way gross, but it’s still better than being fat.
  6. When I was fat, I tried everything to lose weight. I mean everything. For instance, in this blog post I talked about starving myself…I didn’t eat a thing for 70 days.  I was miserable being fat, and I was desperate for something, anything to work. I was willing to put in the hard work to lose weight, but nothing was working. I tried to teach myself to purge my food. Learning to be bulimic is not very easy. I tried shoving tooth brushes down my throat, gagging on my fingers, throwing myself over the back of the couch to get a gagging reaction–anything. I could never do it, and I’m glad that all my efforts failed. Now, with the gastric band, I can easily vomit up my food if it gets stuck, but I’m extremely aware of how easily it would be to cross the line into bulimia, and so I’m always extremely careful not to cross that line, EVER.
  7. I love ice cold applesauce. I’ll even stick it in the freezer for a bit to make sure it’s really cold. Ice-cold applesauce is amazing when you have a sore throat!

Now I get to nominate five awesome, stylish bloggers!

Congrats everyone, and thank you again Heather!


It’s colder than a…. (plus another fun weekend in Boston!)

by Christine on January 24th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition, General Information

I offer you my apologies, Revolutionists. It’s been a hectic 2 weeks in my life, with the new job, conference, MIT mystery hunt, and last weekend’s subsequent trip to Boston. Life isn’t likely to slow down anytime in the immediate future, but I will try to do better this week about updating my blog and keeping you all appraised of my goings-ons!

First things first: my weight. I rang in at 126.0, slightly higher than my wish-list. It could be post-partying bloat, could be real weight gain, could be period-bloat, I’m not sure. What I do know is that while I’m mostly in my maintenance range, I’m keeping a close eye on that number to see what’s going on with it. For the most part…so far so good.

This last weekend I went with some friends to Boston. A friend-of-a-friend was having a birthday party, and they wanted to celebrate by drinking like fishes, enjoying an expensive hotel, amazingly wonderful food, and dancing. I admit, I party-poopered out on the dancing. Although the exercise sounded like fun, the wall-to-wall crowds did not, so I bailed.

We stayed at the Liberty Hotel in Boston, which is an adaptive re-use of an historic jail. It’s truly a landmark building, and the preservation work on it was extraordinary! The rooms were comfortable, the view from the window was fantastic. However, at $450 a night (our rooms were paid for, a present from our friends) some of the services and attention to detail could have been better.

There’s a restaurant at the hotel called Scampo that is really top-notch! They make fresh mozarella cheese that was really divine, and you know I indulged just a little bit in that!  For dinner I ordered the duck, and it was positively melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. I’m normally not a fan of sweet potatoes, but my side dish was truly stupendous…I guess I need to stop saying that I don’t like sweet potatoes and instead say, “I only like really, really, REALLY good sweet potatoes.”

For lunch we went to a tiny little restaurant on Charles Street called “Figs.” They are famous for their pizza, which of course I don’t really eat. Instead I had some of the apple salad (delicious) and the tomato and spinach soup. The soup was really tasty, but it’s thickened with polenta or something, and it was a little too chunky/carby/thick at the bottom of the bowl. Tasty though! I was told that their fig pizza was truly a mouth-watering treat!

Yesterday we had breakfast at the hotel (at “Clink,” which was yummy! They had a 20-course bloody mary bar!) and then headed over to the Museum of Fine Arts. Man, that place is really big! It’s well worth the visit, although it was packed yesterday, and maneuvering through crowds really isn’t my ideal way to visit a museum of fine arts. They even had furniture and fashion, which I thought was a wonderful addition to looking at paintings on the wall.

Last night hubby and I watched the Steelers spank the Jets! Wahoo! Now I have to plan a superbowl party with our friends….

Today it was -9 degrees while I was driving into work. That’s really, really freaking cold. My low-gas light came on, but there was no way in hell I was going to pump gas in -9 degree temperature. I’ll run out at lunchtime, and hopefully the weather is in the positive digits at that time.

Tonight we are doing dinner with some friends. I can’t wait! I feel like I haven’t seen them in ages.


Being good at conferences is hard

by Christine on January 19th, 2011

filed under General Information

Monday kicked off a big conference here in town. These guys really party hard, drinking their faces off, strip clubs, fancy dinners out, total mayhem in general. It is a fine line that i need to walk to maintain professional boundaries and still be “one of the guys.” Monday I went into the office at 10 am then came to the office at 3. I didn’t have lunch so I had a few handfuls of cheeseits and a vodka and cranberry. I ended up at a fancy dinner with another competing engineering firm (the branch manager gave me what just might be one of the biggest compliments of my professional career). I ordered baked haddock that i ate very little of and a small side salad. I came back to the conference and had a diet coke and ended up coming home at midnight.

Yesterday was technically the start of the conference. I went to the office at 11 while battling sheets of freezing rain on the roads. I came to the conference at 3. I had a few drinks, then met a friend for dinner at a sports bar where I had a cup of soup–pretty much the only think I ate all day. It was a late, late night…finally made it home around 1:30 in the morning.

Today is going to be equally long, so I’m going to kick back at home for a while and relax until I head back to the conference.

The conference is full of cheese-its, peanuts, and potato chips. They ordered pizza and wings last night, which I didn’t want any part of. Outside on the convention center floor there are chocolates and giveaways everywhere. Combine that with all the alcohol, and it makes it very difficult to follow any kind of diet while out and about. Working at a conference really necessitates that you sneak away and order a healthy meal somewhere else, away from the temptations in the hospitality rooms.

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