Murder Mystery Weekend!

by Christine on October 31st, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Good morning Revolutionists! I hope you all had a great weekend!

Before I launch into my adventures over the weekend, I thought I’d share a little bit about the gastric band. I’m constantly surprised at how quickly it can change from “just right” to “too tight.” Almost all week I have been doing fine eating; few “stuck” episodes, could eat my normal fare of food. In fact, on Friday I even had 2 bites of a sandwich (a real sandwich! with bread!) and not only was it utterly divine, but it went down with no problems at all.

Then WHAMMO, Sunday happened and I was choking on a glass of milk. I could barely get a thing down. Go figure.  Some days it’s good, and some days it’s a challenge. I don’t know what to expect today, but I almost always start my day off with some yogurt, so I can see how that goes…

But such is my everyday living with the band.  Even with its challenges, I still think that the band is completely worth it. I would choose these difficulties any day versus the alternative–being overweight and the challenges that brings. Skinny is worth it, trust me.

This past week I went away to a conference for work. There I ran into my former boss. He had the gastric banding surgery a year before me, and he’s really what motivated me to get my own surgery done. (Also, it helped, knowing that our company health insurance plan would cover the costs!)  My former boss was a really big guy…like 350 pounds perhaps, and he’s not particularly tall. I want to say he lost about 150 pounds with the gastric banding surgery.

Well, he’s gaining weight back, and it’s really noticeable. In fact, when we went out to dinner, I was watching him eat, and he was indulging in pastas, breads, and just his quantity of food was clearly more than he should be able to eat. When I spoke to him, his conversation completely centered around food…around the food his son’s restaurant serves, about food at a wedding he went to this past weekend, about a great new restaurant he and his wife found last week. Food food food.  I felt really sad talking to him. I hope that I don’t gain weight back like he has.

Fortunately, I’m solidly in my weight-maintenance range, and have been for the past 10 months. This morning I weighed myself, as I do every morning. I was 127.0, right on target for me.

This weekend was full of festivities! On Friday night I went out drinking with a friend. Boy, I really needed to cut loose a bit. I drank beyond “moderation” (and ate too little–a bad calorie swap, really) but I was astonished at how little it took to get me drunk. 3 years ago I would have had 5 cosmos and a few mixed drinks before getting tipsy. Nowadays it takes me 3 beers.  We bar-hopped around town (and I had a bite of his delicious sandwich, omg soooo good) and had a fun time getting out and about!

On Saturday our friend Art was celebrating his 40th birthday in style–he and his fiancee hosted a murder mystery party at Beardsley Castle. It was a fantastic time! It was a 1980’s high school reunion theme. We were given roles and scripts ahead of time, and I was supposed to play Cindy Crawfish (aka: Cindy Crawford), and I was told to dress sexy and flirt. Yikes! Sexy is out of my comfort zone. Librarian or nun, sure, I’ve got that covered, but sexy?  I did my best, and I guess I did well because I won the award for best actress for the day! I had fun playing the sexkitten, and I threw a couple of our guy friends off their kilter, which was absolutely hilarious!

I even had one guy tell Art afterwards that he thought I was hot! That’s a compliment I sure don’t hear every day!

After the party (which was a lunch party) we went over to a friend’s house to chill out, and then in the evening I joined two girlfriends for karaoke.

Yesterday I visited with my in-laws, and I bought a new ski jacket! My old ski jacket was a size XL and no longer really kept me warm because too much air got inside the jacket. The new ski jacket is a size small! (Actually, the sweater I wore for the murder mystery party was a size EXTRA SMALL, from NY&Co!) Non-scale victories that feel awesome!!

Have a happy Halloween everyone!

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Vermont visit, Job interview

by Christine on November 1st, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Good morning Revolutionists! I hope that everyone had a nice weekend and a fun and safe Halloween! It’s been a busy couple of days for me. After our murder mystery party that we attended in Connecticut, I came home and just kicked back and relaxed. Made a healthy dinner: about 1-2 oz tilapia (half a filet), pan-fried, about 4 bites of couscous, a little mashed cauliflower with peppercorn dressing mixed it, 1 beer. We bottled up our homebrew beer, which took about three hours because of the need to sanitize everything!

I actually slept wonderfully well on Saturday, and by the time I woke up and got motivated on Sunday, we headed off to Vermont for a little jaunt. First stop was Bennington, where we visited a brew pub and did a little sampler of all their beers. We also ordered some hummus with veggies to dip with it. Really good! Then we went to Wilmington to another brew pub and I had a 10 oz beer. Then we went to a winery outside of Wilmington and sampled 3 red wines (bought 1 bottle…delicious Cabernet!).  Can you believe that it was snowing in Vermont? Nothing was sticking, but it was flurrying very prettily. When we were sitting at the Wilmington brew pub, several trick-or-treaters came in, and we helped the bartenders pass out candy. It was fun!  If you’ve never been to Vermont, let me assure you: it’s just as picturesque and quaint as you imagine it to be. Everywhere you turn, it’s like a postcard staring back at you. I always enjoy a drive through Vermont, and yesterday was no different.

Then we raced home and passed out treats to perhaps six groups of kids. We don’t get a lot of trick or treaters because we live on the corner of two dead-end streets, but we recognized a few of the neighborhood kids. They were cute!  All told, I think I had about 770 calories yesterday, so I was under budget, but my calories were not quality ones. We ordered a pizza and it just didn’t go down well, and I barfed it all up. Perhaps I was distracted; around 8 p.m. I headed off to see an alternative band called Matt & Kim in concert. (If you watch the tv show “Community,” that’s a Matt & Kim song in the intro.)  The whole crowd was totally dressed up in costumes, and there were several really awesome ones. I had been on contact with the band’s manager…we emailed a few times (he’s very down-to-earth and nice!) and he sent me a few autographs of the band.  I’m sad that I didn’t get a chance to say hello to him at the concert. The concert was really fun, danced around a lot. Came home around 11 p.m.

Today I have a job interview. It’s with a semi-conductor fabrication company, as their marketing and communications specialist. It sounds an awful lot like the last organization I left, but I’m trying really hard not to pre-judge the job. I’ll find out more about it today at 2 p.m.  This morning I need to get my portfolio in order, which means running off to Staples and trying to get this printer to work. I also need to scrape these fake tattoos off my arm, which believe me, isn’t going easily!  Please wish me luck on the interview, but more importantly, cross your fingers that it’s a nice organization with nice people and reasonable expectations of their staff.

Last night hubby and I had a fight about the job, already. He wants me to take the job, regardless of whether I like it or not, because he’s stressed out about money. I told him I’d rather make shit money at Starbucks but enjoy what I do than spend 9 hours a day at a job that I hate although the money is decent. His push for me to have a job (any job!!) has me feeling majorly stressed out about this interview. That’s a bad sign, because I always interview better when I’m lackadaisical and relaxed about the interview. Now I’m uptight about it, which means that I’m going to blow it–which means hubby will be very upset and disappointed in me. Even thinking about it makes me want to run for the Halloween candy, and I’m not being facetious about that. Not one bit. In fact, I will start taking my anti-depressants again today, because this job interview has triggered a whole lot of not-so-pleasant feelings inside of me, depression and feelings of worthlessness being among them.

I haven’t weighed in a few days, but I feel confident that the scale is WAY up. I’ve been eating far too much Halloween candy and enjoying too many alcoholic beverages and not getting enough real nutrition otherwise. It’s nothing that can’t be fixed and rectified, and I’m not sitting here feeling bad for myself, for the few days of bad eating. Not at all! But I’m aware that my diet needs to improve, and it will–immediately!

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More silly pictures

by Christine on October 30th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

I got the best dressed costume award, hooray!

Many NSVs this weekend, too.  I rocked out the knee-high boots and didn’t feel ridiculous and fat. Look at my *SKINNY ARMS* on those pictures! My goodness!  And you can’t see it in that last picture (I don’t know why it doesn’t photograph) but I not only have huge collarbones, but I’ve got that sternum/breastbone showing too! Which is really odd because I didn’t even really know that bone existed.

I drank too much sugary drinks last night. Eating wasn’t TOO bad. Not great, but nothing to try about. Mostly coconut shrimp and grilled chicken wrapped in bacon. It’s the sugary alcoholic drinks (like “Sex on the beach” and the like) that was really bad. Empty, meaningless carbs. Nothing that I can’t fix and adjust throughout the next week of eating.

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Holiday planning!! Start Now!

by Christine on October 19th, 2010

filed under Diet, Food, Nutrition, General Information

It’s not too early to start planning ahead for the holidays. Halloween is only a week away, and before you know it Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year will be on us. Here are some helpful tips for getting through the holidays:

General Tips

  • Put gym time on your schedule NOW. As your schedule starts filling up, work around the gym time you’ve already set out for yourself. Be realistic; five days a week of gym time might be nice, but it’s probably not very realistic. Try to put at least two days of gym time on your calendar, and make it a priority.
  • It’s more important than ever to track your food during the holidays. It’s so easy to steal a candy here, a cookie there, a glass of wine while cooking…and them promptly forget that you ever consumed those calories. Track your food, writing everything down several times a day if you need to, in order to remember everything you ate. Don’t forget that there are tons of calories in liquids; that eggnog is going to destroy your diet!
  • Look up the calories before you eat that food. That way you can decide just how much of that dish you want to indulge in.  Indulge only in the foods that you really love.
  • Limit your alcohol. If you’re going to drink, decide ahead of time how many calories you have to spend on alcohol and decide how many glasses of wine you will allow yourself to have. Remember that “clear” alcohols (vodka, gin) have fewer calories than “dark” alcohols (brandy, sherry, whiskey).
  • Add 10 minutes of cardio to your daily routine, if possible. This will help counteract some of the damage done during holiday eating.
  • Keep an emergency snack on hand, such as a baggie of carrots or (my personal favorite) a 100-calorie pack of almonds.
  • Drink lots of water!  Chug a big glass of water before you sit down to a big meal.
  • Buy a holiday outfit that you are dying to fit into. Hang it prominently in your bedroom, so every morning you wake up you will be reminded of your weight-loss goal.
  • Cut back on the little things that pad your calories today, such as creamers in your coffee, soda, donuts, etc. If you cut these items out now, they’ll leave a little extra wiggle room in your diet in the next few months. You can add these things back in January, if you still want them then.
  • Chew gum when you get a craving for unhealthy food.

Halloween

  • Figure out how much candy you want to allow yourself to eat.  Assume that each of those halloween-sized chocolate candies are about 70 calories. Put pre-portioned candies into a ziplock bag and in a safe spot in the house. Label the ziplock bag for “Monday,” “Tuesday,” “Wednesday,” etc. to remind yourself that you only get one or two per day! When your kids come home with bags of candy in hand, don’t reach for THEIR candy; after all, you have your own candy set aside for yourself.
  • This same gameplan can be used in the workplace. If you bring pre-portioned snacks into work and keep it at your desk, you will be better able to say no to snacks left out in the cafeteria.
  • Buy candy that you DISLIKE as a treat to pass out to the kids. That way, if you have leftovers, you’ll be less likely to eat the rest of the bag of candy.
  • Give the candy away. Give all your leftover candy away. Also, if your kids come home with a giant bag of Halloween candy–it’s not healthy for them to eat that whole bag. Have them pick out a limited number of their favorite candies, then give the rest away to a food bank or shelter, etc.

Thanksgiving

  • At your big family dinner, wear clothing that are much too tight (especially tight “under-garments,” women!). Corseting yourself will help to keep you from eating too much on the big day.
  • Feel free to enjoy the portions of your meal that are healthy, such as a large salad and white turkey meat, green beans, corn, and other vegetables.  Take extra large portions of those, but bypass the stuffing, baked yams, potato salad, rolls, pies, cookies, and other deserts. If you are cooking, replace those typical “unhealthy” foods with healthy alternatives, such as replacing potato salad with a regular tossed green salad!
  • If you are a guest at someone else’s table for Thanksgiving, consider eating a small healthy meal before you arrive for dinner. A small meal filled with veggies will keep you from feeling ravenous at the dinner table.
  • No second servings.
  • Bring a dish to share! Make something healthy, that’s “safe” for you to eat. I’m sure the cook will appreciate you contributing to her party!
  • Practice saying “no” to people who offer you food. These are “food pushers.”  Practice saying “no” with your spouse ahead of time. It sounds silly, but practicing a few sample scenarios out loud with someone will help you when the real-life situations occur.
  • Pre-plan a healthy snack for when you’re watching the annual football game. If you want Thanksgiving Dinner leftovers, decide ahead of time how much of each type of food you want to consume during this football snacking time.
  • If you are cooking dinner, make sure you buy disposable plastic tubs so you can give leftover food away.

Christmas

  • Focus on family. Keep yourself busy with mingling with your family and playing with your kids. After all, isn’t that what the holidays are all about–the people, not the food?
  • Recycle food gifts that you receive from other people.
  • Don’t be afraid of throwing food out, including Christmas cookie gifts from others. (They’ll never know.)
  • Pick out (or decorate) a special box or tin for some of your favorite Christmas cookies. After you calculate how many calories are in your favorite cookies, place a few of your most favorite in your special box. Put the box in a special place (on top of the fridge, perhaps). This is your allotment for the entire Christmas season. When the cookies are gone, you can’t go back for more. These are YOUR cookies; do not share them with anyone else.
  • Create holiday traditions that don’t involve eating. For instance, last year I made a new tradition of making paper snowflakes and decorating them with glitter. It took all evening–time I normally would have spent baking and eating!
  • At your holiday office party, offer to help out organizing. The more time you are on your feet greeting people and setting up the venue, the less time you will be munching on the food and drinking the alcohol.
  • Enjoy family time by getting out and doing something active as a family. The holidays are a great time to enjoy ice skating, snow shoeing, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, sledding/tobogganing, building a snowman, having a snowball fight, etc.

New Year

  • Pre-plan alcohol limits before you leave for the party! Figure out how much you want to drink, how many calories you can afford in your diet. Then plan your food and eating around your alcohol limits.  This will help you keep your calories in check.
  • Ask for low-calorie mixers, such as rum + diet coke, or vodka + diet sprite, vodka + crystal lite.
  • Sit far away from the food, far away from the kitchen. If you’re standing in front of the food, you’re going to end up grazing on food, so just walk away from it and get the party going in a room that doesn’t have food in it.
  • Dance your ass off. It burns loads of calories, so shake your thang!
  • Wear a white shirt, that you don’t want to spill food on.  If you’re worried about spillage, you’ll be less likely to eat food that will spill and spoil.
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