Relaxing 4th of July! (weekend in pictures)

by Christine on July 5th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Gastric Banding Surgery

Our long 4th of July weekend was very nice. Here’s a little re-cap!


Friday I was on my own. I went up to the Saratoga Springs State Park and had some Paneras (the vegetarian black bean soup…yum!) picnic-style on the lawn and read a book for a while. The State Park is one of my favorite places to hang out. The people-watching is fantastic, and the beautiful buildings (like the Hall of Springs) are amazing!  I wandered into the Hall of Springs once, a few years ago, on accident. A wedding was going on there, and oh, how beautiful it was! The room was lit with sparkling Christmas lights and it was like walking straight into some beautiful fairy tale.

When I was done eating and the sun went down, I went over to the Harness Track and won $50! Woohoo!



Saturday we relaxed around the house; hubby mowed the lawn and I did some laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and paid the bills.  Then we headed out to an historic house on the Hudson River called Clermont. What a great little estate! It’s just south of Olana (which I visited on Mother’s Day, read about that here) and is the home of a surprisingly not-well-known but very important person in American History!  It was the home of Robert Livingston, who was one of the creators of the Declaration of Independence, a co-patent owner of the Steamboat, Chancellor of NYS, and was the guy that swore President Washington into office.  I was surprised I had never heard of the guy. The house was wonderful, and our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and answered all my crazy questions.

Afterwards we went down to Hudson and did some shopping. I got a great antique necklace for $10, my good bargain of the weekend! Then we stopped at a pub for some late food (I had some fish…very healthy!)  Hudson has a ton of antique stores and one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. It’s a great day trip from Albany!

Then we ran home, change, and headed out to hear some live  music. A friend of ours, Allie, plays trombone in a few bands, and she was getting together with some old friends in a ska band, the Mixers. We had a great time listening to them skank!


Sunday was our really lazy day.  We got up and enjoyed our morning just lounging around. Then we headed up to Saratoga Springs again for the Saratoga History Museum exhibit opening. They have an exhibit about the Ghosts of Saratoga, which was based on the Ghost Hunters episode. In the tv show, the ghost hunters investigated paranormal activity at the Canfield Casino, which is where the history museum is located. They have a fantastic exhibit of clothing from the 1800s as well. The turnout was huge, and I got to meet a few board members. All in all, a wonderful outing!

We grabbed food in Saratoga (I had a greek salad at Circus Cafe. Delicious!) and then headed home. Unfortunately it was rainy on Sunday, so we couldn’t do anything fun and outdoorsy. We took a long nap and hung around home until the evening, when we went over to a friend’s house. He was having a backyard BBQ party, and we hung out and chatted with some old friends and watched our friends set off (illegalcoughcough) fireworks! John built a dirtbike track in his back yard, so it was a bunch of drunkassed fools driving around on dirtbikes and John’s expensive corvette convertible, setting fireworks off in the woods, and blowing shit up. You gotta love this group of guys. They definitely will never grow up!  The cops drove by and waved a few times, so all must have been good.

oooooh that’s a big group of troublemakers right there!


Finally, the 4th was upon us!  I went out in the morning and ran some errands. I discovered that I really don’t have any shorts that fit me, so I went out to buy a pair…and bought a few sale items in the process, really more $$ than I bargained for.  Hubby and I played frisbee and catch in the yard.  In the evening we cooked a dinner at home (grilled chicken + corn for me) and then headed out to Buffalo Wild Wings just to have a beer and play some electronic trivia. We had a friend join us and we chatted for a long time there until we left to do some grocery shopping. It was LATE when we got home!


My weight has stabilized, kind of, I think, thank GOD.  In fact, if anything I lost 3 pounds over the weekend. Still up (way too much) but at least the freakshow has halted for a few days.


I get my port replaced tomorrow at 11:30! I’ll post information about that tomorrow. I’m hoping that it’s no-big-deal, is painless, and has a quick healing time. I’m REALLY hoping that they don’t pump that gas inside of me because that stuff HURT last time!  Wish me luck!


Friends & Fun!

by Christine on February 7th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Well, my Steelers didn’t win, but that didn’t keep our group from having a good time.  People started trickling over around 4 pm to play some board games, then more came over when the game was supposed to begin. All in all we had close to 30 people at the house. I had some food put out, and some other people brought food, too. We had enough food to feed an army, and today I brought my leftover bean dip into work to give away. I did extremely well with my eating–I had a few scoops of bean dip on potato chips, 2 beers, and a couple (1 handful) of peanuts. All in all, not bad at all!

Despite my restraint, the scale is still up a teensy bit.  The top end of my “maintenance range” is 125 pounds, but I’ve been holding steady at 126 for over a week now. It’s one pound; it’s NOT a big deal. But it’s also time to cut a little something out to shave two pounds off. That’s what maintenance is all about, right? Keep your perspective, keep an eye on the weight, and just tweak your diet here and there so that the weight stays within range, right?

Hubby wants to start P90X sometime in the next few weeks. I fully support him doing this, but I told him that I haven’t the need, time, or energy to adhere to the diet and daily exercise plan. I will, however, support him any way that I can, including periodic exercises and cooking him whatever healthy meals that he needs.

Today starts a new, busy week for me! We are hosting another get-together at our house on Tuesday, three work-related luncheons, skiing on Saturday, and perhaps a spa (swimming & relaxing) on Sunday if I can make the reservations.  With these work luncheons, it is very important that I plan ahead and make smart choices! Salad (dressing on the side), soup, and fish dishes are my healthy fall-back plans.


Sugar is the devil!

by Christine on October 24th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Well, overall I think the party was a success. The turnout was only mediocre (7 people total) but I think everyone that came over had a good time! Mostly we ate, drank, giggled, talked, played a few board games (Apples to Apples) and giggled some more.  There’s about a trillion empty beer bottles in my kitchen!  I have a refrigerator full of leftover food, which is unfortunate; there’s no way I’ll be able to eat it all!  I am instructing hubby to take the leftover sweets (cupcakes, rice krispies) to work to give away to his co-workers. I don’t need that shit in my house anymore because I’ve done nothing but eat it all day today! BAD CHRISTINE!  Sugar is the devil, I swear. It’s like crack: you try a little, then need a constant dose of it forever after. It’s seriously wretched!  I’ve eaten very little today, but there’s no doubt that I’ve gone over my calorie limit because of the damn sugar-crack.  If it’s not gone tomorrow, I’m going to throw it out!

Tomorrow there’s a showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show! I’ve never been to a showing of it in a theater; I can’t wait! It’s only $5, which is even better! I can’t wait! I wonder if I should go dressed up…?  Columbia was always my favorite, but I definitely don’t have any “costumes” laying around that would fit her character! Boo!

A year ago today I was interviewing for a job (interviewed with the horrible place that I no longer work for!), packing for a trip to California, and I weighed 182 pounds. One year later, I’m down 54 pounds! Awesome!  A post from last year, which shows how desperate I was to get the fills working for me:

Today I nearly forgot that I had a doctor’s visit!!! But I made it there in time. AND HE GAVE ME A FILL! About freaking time! It was fascinating — I could actually feel the band squeeze my tummy. It was a trippy feeling but kinda cool. :-)

I was totally deceptive when I went in for the appointment, too. I wanted to make sure he’d give me a fill, but he wouldn’t if I have lost weight. So I wore heavy clothes (in layers), chugged a bottle of water. I figure it put on 2-3 pounds??? Turns out I was *STILL* down 0.1 pound from my last visit! Anyway, it was enough to convince him to give me another fill. Hooray!!!


Party Prep!

by Christine on October 23rd, 2010

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

I’ve been super busy for the last two days preparing for my girl’s night party tonight. As usual, I’m going to have WAY too much food to go around. I have a lot of great low-calorie foods to snack on that I can enjoy without feeling guilty! A lot of the food I need to finish up just prior to guests arriving, but here’s what I have done so far:


rice krispy treats

Tuna on cucumber

Marinaded veggies

Grilled saffron chicken



  • Jello shots
  • Raw veggies with ranch dressing for a dip
  • Crostinins: Three kinds: (1)Gouda cheese with pesto; (2) Brie and red pepper, and (3) cream cheese & avocado
  • Homemade guacamole (I make the best!!) with tostitos
  • Homemade salsa & tostitos

I’m quite excited about my marinaded tuna on cucumber slices (photo above). It’s delicious!

The drink of the night will be Slippery Nipples, but I’ve got lots of other beverages for everyone to enjoy.

More pictures later!!


Reward Day! Massage, Crepes, & Party!

by Christine on August 29th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Friday after work I met up with my friend Billi. She’s a sweetheart, and it was so nice to catch up with her!

We met at a restaurant and we shared an appetizer (bruchetta. OMG this restaurant has to-die-for bruchetta. I had 2 small slices) and then we decided instead of a meal we would split two deserts! We shared a canoli and some carrot cake.

Afterwards, I went up to Saratoga to the racino. I watched the harness track races for a little bit and lost $20 in the slot machines.  It was a relaxing way to pass a few hours.

I couldn’t wait for Saturday though! Saturday was my reward day! For losing 80 pounds, I wanted to reward myself with a 1 hour massage + mineral bath + sauna time.  My friend Danielle agreed to go with me. We went up to Saratoga Springs and oh, what a beautiful day it was! 70 degrees and sunny and absolutely perfect.  The sauna was warm and wonderful. The mineral bath was warm and relaxing. The massage was PERFECT and felt oh-so-good! I was particularly curious to know how the massage would feel after losing 80 pounds. Indeed I could tell a difference! Before I would have to tell the masseuse “please feel free to really press hard and get in there” because, let’s face it, there was a substantial amount of fat protecting against the muscles! This time I didn’t have to tell the masseuse that.  I could feel it in my muscles even more than before. The massage felt better this time than ever before!

Afterwards we were saying what a value the massage was. The Crystal Spa offers the 1 hour massage + mineral bath + sauna for only $90. That’s a real bargain! But I don’t want to have it all the time; some things are meant to be a real treat and reward, and massages are something that I like to keep in that “special circumstance” scenario.  I wish that going out to restaurants to eat is also something that is revered as a special occasion thing, but unfortunately it’s so commonplace with my household that it’s not special at all. I would like to try to change that little by little, if possible.

Afterwards we headed to downtown Saratoga for a special lunch. I really wanted a crepe to finish off the reward!  Ravenous is a wonderful crepe restaurant with real authentic French crepes, just like the ones I used to eat when I lived in Paris!  I couldn’t wait to order my favorite: nutella + banana.  Danielle ordered asparagus + goat cheese + tomatoes.  Both were delicious!

After a little bit of shopping downtown, we headed home to go to our neighbor’s pool party.

Before I went to the party, I wanted to make darn sure that I had healthy food on hand to munch on. I made a two-avocado bowl of fresh guacamole (I make awesome guac! It was devoured within seconds) and a large bowl of gazpacho soup.  I’m so glad that I had the foresight to bring over some healthy foods because there was nothing healthy to be found there! I had about 3 scoops of my guac with some nacho chips, plus two bowls of my gazpacho. I had 2 beers while I was there too (over the course of 8 hours) plus two butterscotch shots. I also managed to play a little volleyball and swim a little bit. I can’t call any of that really exercising, but I at least got a little movement in.

As a surprise, my hubby shaved his beard off! In all the years that I’ve known him, this is only the 2nd time he’s been beard-free. It was strange, like looking at a stranger, but nope, that’s still my awesome hubby! This morning he was proud to share that he’s lost almost 30 pounds!  I’m so proud of him!

I only have 12 pounds to go until I get to my goal of losing 100 pounds. This morning the scale was at 137.2.  I can lose this last 12 pounds, but I need to really focus on this and watch my eating better. My goal for reaching my 100 pound lost goal? Las Vegas baby!!  My 2-year bandiversary is at the end of February, and I would love to be at my goal weight by then.

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