98 pounds lost! And interview day!

by Christine on November 5th, 2010

filed under General Information

Wow, I didn’t update my blog yesterday! I’m afraid I was completely in avoidance mode. I was avoiding thinking about this interview, jobstuff in general, money, friends, everything. I had originally planned to go for a hike and do a little soul-searching along the way. However, it ended up raining all day, and I turned inwards and hibernated.  In the evening hubby and I went to play pub trivia. It was lovely to see friends there. We didn’t win at the end, but we were in first place at halftime so we won prizes again. Hooray! Go team!

Today is my job interview. It was originally scheduled for Monday, but then the HR lady called to reschedule to Wednesday. She called and said that one of the interviewers was sick, and could we reschedule for today? So…three schedulings later, today is the big day. My portfolio is packed and ready to go. I’m showered and clean. All I have left to do is de-cat-fur my suit and drive down there.

If my weigh-in today is any indication, then it will be a good day! I hope this is the case! The scale told me I was 127.8, which means that I’ve lost 98 pounds and am only a mere TWO POUNDS from my goal weight! How fantastic!!

Here are some fun before and after pictures! The “before” pictures are from 2000 and 2001…

And these days:


Job crap!

by Christine on October 27th, 2010

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

What a tumultuous couple of hours!

Immediately after I posted that last post, I got a call (voicemail) that an employer wants me to come in for a job interview!  I can’t decide if this is a good thing or bad. I am enjoying not working, of course, and I am enjoying writing.  This job description is right up my alley description-wise, but the organization itself sounds like the jerkoff agency that I just left in many ways. It makes me cringe to think of stepping into the same crappy job that I just left, but I won’t know about the organization until I meet with them, of course. It’s not fair to them to place judgement on the job without knowing more about it.

This morning the NYS Department of Labor called with my unemployment claim. My former employer originally lied and said that I quit, but I had proof in the form of a Letter of Discharge that this was not true. Now the former employer is saying that I was let go because I did not live up to their job performance standards. When I got off the phone with the lady when it occurred to me: I have a performance evaluation from ONE WEEK prior to being let go that shows all satisfactory marks!! So I try calling back to tell my claims representative this, but I don’t remember her extension number, and the idiots at the Dept. of Labor refuse to transfer me to her because of some ridiculous policy of theirs. So now I have to fax the information over to them and just HOPE that they forward the information to this claims lady.  It’s so frustrating it makes me want to scream! Talk about ridiculous red tape, and it’s all compounded by the fact that my former employer is jerking me & the State around with their ridiculous claims and lies. And now I have to run to Staples and pay for the fax…

I’m supposed to call this potential employer back this morning, but I’m unhinged by this ridiculous run-around, so I want to wait an hour or two to calm down before I make the phonecall to schedule an interview. I don’t want to come across as negative or pissy at ALL, you know what I mean?

My in-laws want to take me out to lunch today….to the Cheesecake Factory! The Cheesecake Factory is, of course, known for their ridiculously high calorie menu, so it’s imperative that I do a little research prior to going to the restaurant to find out what’s safe to eat or not. Some thoughts:

  • Pot stickers – 377 calories
  • Ahi carpaccio — 260 calories
  • Edamame – 323 calories (I’m not a big edamame fan though)
  • Tossed green salad – 189 calories

There honestly isn’t very much on the menu that is a good calorie value. I don’t eat much, so I don’t want to order a large meal and have a fridge full of leftovers, either. I’ll probably go with the Ahi Carpaccio. I’ve had it before and it’s delicious AND a good calorie value.

If you haven’t signed up for my half-marathon “Walk, run, or crawl,” then check it out here! So far I have a few takers: Shane, Patrick, and Libby!! I’m so excited that you three are going to support me in this challenge, and I can’t wait to support you guys, too!! Wahoo!

Also, if you haven’t seen my “Holiday Planning” post, you should check it out!


A busy day with interviews and autographs…

by Christine on August 26th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Happy Thursday Revolutionists!

Yesterday I got a reply from crazyfatgirl:

Um Hello??? Pay it forward… help other in the community… think about the vlogging community, not just your geographic community. How many people have you offered encouragement and help? You can’t even measure the amount of good you do right here. It means so much to a newbie just to get a comment or a follower… and then to be supportive… you rock girl! You are good at this. Are there support groups for WLS in your area? You could be a guest speaker or lead meetings… just a thought.

No, I guess I didn’t consider the blogging community when I wrote my post the other day, about being a hero to your community. I certainly don’t consider myself a “hero” in the blogging community! I think it’s just because…I think I find it hard to believe that people would try to emulate or look up to my blog, my weight-loss methods, or overall craziness that is my life. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the people that come here to read and comment and say hello — I very much appreciate you all, so thank you! I just find it hard to believe that I’d be one of those people up on a pedestal, I guess. I have had so many failed weight loss attempts and whatnot that I don’t feel like anyone should look up to me. If that makes sense. I appreciate what you’re trying to say, CFG, but I don’t feel it. That being said, I’d *LOVE* to moderate or run a real-life weight-loss surgery support group, but I don’t know what organizations would be interested in my helping with that. I know my surgeon offers his own WLS support group, but I believe one of the nurses oversees that group. (Because it’s associated with the hospital, I have to imagine that there’s a lot of legal liabilities and red tape, especially if suggestions are being offered or problems are overlooked, etc.)

So yesterday was my interview. There were two soups offered at the restaurant: french onion and broccoli and cheese somethingness. I chose the french onion soup. I vaguely remember sipping on the broth and eating some of the cheese, but honestly it didn’t even look like I touched it when the server took it away.  I had no issues with my lapband either. I had diet coke, because I needed the caffeine. (I was dragging a little bit.)  As you all suggested, I did NOT tell them about my surgery prior to eating. In the end, it turned out to be a non-issue.

The interview itself went pretty well, I think. I did so brilliantly guiding the conversation between all five people that I’m not even sure if they were aware of what I was doing. Then again, I thought the interview with the publishing place went well too, and look how that turned out — a big fat failure! The job description was different than they had advertised, which is actually a good thing. I found the job far more interesting than I feared it would be.  There are some definite plusses to the job (such as making my own work schedule; getting every other Friday off work) and some definitely downsides (**NO** internet connection. At. All. Not even Wikipedia.)  Either way, I’m not even going to think about it unless they call me back for a 2nd interview, which he said would would take 2 weeks for them to call me about it.

Last night I had the hardest time eating.  I made a salad (with some tunafish) but it smelled horrible to me and so I only had two bites of salad. The smell was making me nauseated. All told, I’m lucky if I ate 500 calories total yesterday. Maybe it was a weird hormone thing going on, or nerves from the interview, or something else entirely?

Last night I went through my recently-received autographs. (I talk about my autograph hobby in this old blog post.) I logged in all my new autographs, which to be honest weren’t very many. That’s because I haven’t sent any letters out in about four months! Wow! I wrote a bunch of letters last week, so I got 30 new requests in the mail this morning. It’s always a pleasure to get autographs in the mail, and it’s a great, potentially profitable hobby with low start-up costs: just the price of stamps and paper!

(I had to laugh when I got Olivia Munn’s autograph in the mail because her boss, the producer of G4’s “Attack of the Show”  is one of my hubby’s “Star Wars” kids! Brian Twigg is one of the guys we were hanging out with last weekend.)

Bangs. They look a little straighter today, yes?

Tonight I’m going to hear the Dirty Heads play. I’m looking forward to it!  Sublime is one of my favorite bands of all time, and I’m excited to hear the Dirty Heads because of their Sublime connections (and because their music is clearly influenced by Sublime.)


Taco Night & Silly Pics

by Christine on August 12th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Yesterday I was having a hankering for some tacos, so I decided to whip something up. First, I went into my garden to get a fresh tomato.

Then I chopped up some mushrooms and onion and threw them in a frying pan, with a little Pam.  I opened a can of black beans and threw in three small spoonfuls.

When they were done, I threw in a package of sauce, with 3/4 cups of water and let the sauce cook down a bit to thicken up. While that was going on, I chopped up a tomato and a small thing of lettuce. I threw two shells in the toaster oven.

I served it up!

Always always eat on small dishes! It keeps your portion sizes in check.  (I had plenty of leftover sauce for a salad later in the week!)

2 taco shells = 100 calories
1 tomato = 16 calories
Lettuce: 2 calories
Mushrooms = 8 calories
Onions = 3 calories
Black beans = 15 calories, perhaps
Sauce = 20 calories
Total meal: 164 calories

Today is my in-person interview! I hope I do well, that I love the people, and that the job will be a perfect fit. Oh yeah, it would be nice if it pays a shitton of money too. In my best James Bond pose….

Yes, I’m looking at YOU!

I know, I’m silly!! Like, DUH!

(the kitten calendar in the background is very threatening, yes?)

The scale this morning is staying pretty much the same. Salty taco sauce yesterday is one of several contributing factors. I am doing my very best to stay on target with my eating, but I know I’m going over my calories a little bit the last few day. Yesterday I had 720 calories, which is under my calories just a smidgen (I needed to compensate for the ice cream the day before) but I didn’t work out like I should have. Instead I stayed home to sort through my design and writing portfolio. That’s not a task that I could put off, so I don’t feel bad about my priority in this instance. But do I feel bad about not going to the gym? You bet I do. There’s only so many hours in a day…

For the next three days I will be tout seule! My hubby is going out of town for a card tournament.  For years he mentored a group of high school kids that play the Star Wars Collectible Card Game (CCG).  The kids are all grown up now…graduated from college, have jobs, are getting married and having children! And what a remarkable group of kids they are too — one is a professional violin and viola player (he was concertmaster at Julliard!); one is literally a rocket scientist; one is a math professor at a university; one is a professional poker player in Las Vegas; etc. It’s awesome to see where they all ended up, and they almost all attribute their success to my husband teaching them how to play this incredibly complex card game.  Well, the national championship is this weekend in Philly, and my hubby and “the kids” are going down to kick some world-wide ass!  Go hubby go!

Isn’t he adorable? That’s one of my favorite pictures of him. Someone said that he looks a little like Fozzie Bear. Yeah,  can see the resemblance!

So what shall I do while the hubby is gone? Hopefully a lot of relaxing!  Friday I may go to hear the symphony play. (That viola player card player got me comp tickets to the show on Friday, although he won’t be there because he’s playing in the tournament!)  Saturday I might go to the race track and do some gambling and walking around.  Both days I fully intend on going to the gym!

I also have another random act of kindness planned….


Rocked it out! (plus…gazpacho + excess skin)

by Christine on August 11th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

Yup, major score. It went great. I was prepared. I had good answers. I think I said the things that she wanted to hear. The job as she described it was different than I imaged; it apparently involves a lot more business development and client management than editing. That’s all good with me. Plus, it involves some really fun travel. She said she just got back from a trade show in Alaska.  Could this be my dream job? Needless to say, I’m totally excited about it, and I definitely look forward to learning more at my in-person interview on Thursday.

I felt so good about the phone interview that I was blasted with some serious energy afterwards!  I dove into the kitchen and tried my hand at making homemade gazpacho. It turned out really yummy, but the recipe needs to be tweaked; it was way more olive oily than I would have liked.  But the soup was close, really close.  I was a little clueless about how to guesstimate the calories. Aside from the olive oil, it’s all fresh veggies, so it must be very low in calories. I blended 3/4 of the veggies in the blender, then put the veggies through a seive and eliminated the pulp, leaving a really light, watery broth. (Delicious, too!)  What are the calories, in say one tomato or one cucumber, if you eliminate all the pulp? The sugar and juice is still there. I can’t figure out if it would still keep a substantial amount of its calories or if it would be substantially reduced in calories; I can make an argument either way. Hmmm. It looks a little something like this, but not quite as chunky and more watery… (EDIT TO ADD: My Ph.D. scientist replied to my question above about the calories in juice-not-pulp. He says that you’d lose half of the calories, if not more, by juicing the fruit/vegetables, even considering the residual sugars. So if a tomato has 30 calories, assume that by juicing in you’re only consuming 15 calories.  Limitations of this analysis: my friend a stem cell researcher and not a dietitian, but he did ask around the hospital for me to ask about this question.)

I’ll post the recipe when I work out the ingredients properly!

Then I went on a cleaning frenzy. I scrubbed my laundry room from top to bottom, until the floor was gleaming and the washer/dryer (oh my, they are so old!!) were sparkling. It felt fantastic to make that room so shiny and new!

Then our honeymooning friends called to say that they were back in town, and did we want to get some ice cream? Hells yes I wanted some ice cream! I went, and I indulged. I had way, WAY more than I should have (I ordered a small and ate it ALL — normally I’d eat a third and stick the leftovers in the freezer), but it was hot out and the ice cream was delicious.  What a treat! Now, I need someone to remind me of this ice cream if, in a week from now, I start bitching about the scale not moving.  No shit sherlock. It might have something to do with your eating choices.  I don’t think it’ll be a major problem, especially if I can make it to the gym tonight, but I also need to take responsibility for my actions and own up to them, you know? In this case it was worth it, but I also don’t indulge like that very often.

Now onto my last point for the day: skin excess.  This is what has been bothering me for the last few weeks. My husband is bothered a lot by my droopy boobs (he brings it up several times a week and tells me he wants me to get plastic surgery on them), but it seems that I’ve been far more pre-occupied by this leg-skin. This isn’t fat people, this is excess skin. I’m THRILLED to have lost almost 90 pounds, and I wouldn’t take it back for anything in the world. But this is one of the consequences that I either need to live with or deal with.  If anyone is out there that has had surgery to tighten up skin…is this “serious” enough that insurance might pay for it, or no? (Sorry everyone…I would have taken a pic of my droopy boobs but I didn’t want to horrify you guys more than I already have.)

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