A day in the life…

by Christine on August 10th, 2011

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

Yesterday and this morning I thought I would post some pictures of food and what I’m eating and whatnot.

It all started with a trip to the grocery store. After yoga (yes, I’ve managed to hit every day of my XN 2-Week Exercise Challenge, except for one! 6 days and going strong!) I was pondering what to do about dinner. Now, I live in a godforsaken part of the world that has no Trader Joe’s or Wholefoods. In fact, the nearest Co-op is about 40 minutes away and completely inconvenient to get to. However, there’s a new grocery store in town called the Fresh Market that I think is like a Trader Joe’s. I hadn’t been there before (it’s not really convenient for me…about 10 minutes out of the way) but I decided to hit it up last night.

What a wonderful store! The vegetables look great. Their cheeses went on for miles. Their heat-and-serve foods looked great, and I would have gotten some salmon except the line was too long. Oh, and my favorite part of the store…a long section will make-your-own-trail-mix! They had tons of kinds to choose from! It was terrific!

Have you ever noticed that you rarely see overweight people shopping at organic food stores? Not like you see overweight people shopping at the Walmart Supercenter. I wonder why that is. I mean, the foods that you get at stores like the Fresh Market, Trader Joes, Wholefoods, etc….they might have “Organic” on the box, but they have plenty of crappy foods littering their shelves. You can still get potato chips and boxed/frozen meals…things loaded with salt and preservatives and fat and sugar. Similarly, you can always shop healthfully at other grocery stores like Walmart. There are plenty of fresh veggies, fresh meat, and good natural produce you can buy there. So why the weight discrepancy? And what makes “Fresh Market” a draw over regular grocery chains? Is it the appearance of the products and the store? Or is the food really healthier and more savory? Hmmm. I wonder….

In the end I grabbed some fixings to make a cheese quesadilla and a few snackies for work.

I whipped up a quesadilla. (I ate 3/4 of it.)  It’s always important to measure! I took out the measuring cup to make sure I had exactly the right amount of countable cheese.

I wanted to indulge in a teeny tiny bit of sour cream, but not enough to break my calorie budget. So I took out a measuring spoon and gave myself just a little dab!

Homemade Quesadilla:

2 slices of whole wheat tortilla/low carb: 100 calories
Cheddar Cheese: 23 calories
Sour cream: 40 calories
Salsa: 10 calories
Total: 233; I ate 3/4 of the meal (but all of the sour cream and salsa), giving me 187 calories for the meal.

nom nom nom!

This morning I thought I would try some of this new granola cereal I bought at the store last night. Granola is yummy but it really high in calories (200 per 1 cup) and is high in sugar and carbs. Yikes! I better make this a once-a-week treat. I bet this stuff leaves me feeling hungry mid-morning, too. I would have been better off with an egg! Still, I measured out just a little bit and had my 150 calories worth. 150 calories is my goal for each meal….my lucky number!

Before I left for work I got the measuring spoon back out and measured out a small serving of nuts. You guessed it…about 150 calories worth!  Now the orange stuff is weird. I’ve never seen it before! It’s some kind of dried + pressed peach thing. It tastes like a fruit roll-up. There’s probably a lot of added sugar in the thing, but I can’t seem to find any calorie stats about it online. Still, it is at least kind of natural, and I was wondering if that would help control my mid-afternoon sugar cravings. We’ll see! I forgot to picture a handful of baby carrots as well.

So my total calories for the day yesterday clocked out at:

7:30 a.m.: Cheerios (110 calories) + skim milk (23)
8:30 a.m.: Dunkin donuts coffee (168 calories)
Noon: Out to Chilis with a colleague: 1 bowl of chili with no toppings (310 calories), diet coke
7 p.m.: Quesadilla (187)
8 p.m.: 1 glass of skim milk, on ice (136)
Total calories: 934 calories

Right on target! My goal is between 800-1000 calories. I should have had a lower-calorie lunch so I could have had some snackies in the afternoon, but I had to work with what I had ordered.

This morning I weighed in at 131.0 pounds.  Coming back down, but still up overall. I think the exercise is helping (duh!).

Good morning to you!

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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!

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Rainy Sunday & my first Size Four!

by Christine on August 22nd, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Good Sunday Afternoon Revolutionists!

I hope you liked my before/after photos that I posted yesterday. I have to say, when I saw them, I was astonished at how much I’ve changed! I showed them to hubby and he said, “Jeeze, I didn’t realize you were so fat! You look like a whole new person now!”

Indeed, I feel like a whole new person too!

Today I pulled on the only pair of blue jeans that I had on my closet to wear out to lunch with the Star Wars Boys.  Sadly, at a size 10, they were falling off me. In fact, I could take them off without unbuttoning them! For example (sorry for the ugly tummy..boy that port sure shows, huh? and for the *gasp* underwear!)

Case in point. So I went out to JC Penny while I was doing errands today. I grabbed a bunch of jeans in Size 6, but I saw the 4 there, and I thought, “What the heck??” I tried them on….and THEY FIT!!!

Honestly, I couldn’t even dream of the day when I could fit into a Size 4 when I started this weight loss journey. Back then I wore a size 22/24 and was confined to shopping almost exclusively at Lane Bryant (which, even though they have big sizes, do NOT cater to short women like me).  If I had to have guessed, way back when, I think I would have thought that I would stop losing weight around a Size 10. And that would have *THRILLED* me! I remember the day I got to dig out my Size 10 clothes in the basement. I was so happy as I tried all those clothes on, and I twirled around my bedroom like a ballarina.  Today I’m a Size 4?! For real?! I’ve never been a size 4 in my life, not even in high school or middle school. I’m beyond ecstatic!! Is this really me?

While I was running errands, I stopped at a book store to pick up the next two books in the Diana Gabaldon series, plus two other books: Ender’s Game and Anne of Green Gables. Our neighbors have three kids, and when we were doing our random act of kindness, we discovered that the kids are in various stages of “discovering books.”  The littlest, a girl named MacKenzie, is red haired and incredibly sweet. I wanted to buy her a copy of Anne of Green Gables because I think she could relate to it very much. I remember that book gave me wistful daydreams for years after I read it! (I want to watch the PBS mini series with her when she’s done with it!) The eldest boy is a little leary of books. He is pressured into sports a great deal, but he recently read a book and said, “Boy, that was really good.” My hubby thought he would enjoy Ender’s Game, so I bought it for him. I hope both kids like the books!

Then I went to the grocery store and got a bunch of great loot!

Then I came home and discovered THIS!

Damn cat.

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Job Interviews and NSV(s)!

by Christine on August 10th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Happy Tuesday Revolutionists!

There’s so much going on, on the job front.  Last week I got a call from a job that I applied for (high-security, government, nuclear program) and was told that the HR manager would be calling me for a brief phone interview. On Friday, the HR manager called me. I was really flustered because the call came through at work, so I was rushing to shut the door, talk softly, turn off my music streaming on the interwebz, etc. In other words, my head wasn’t paying attention to the man on the other end of the phone, and I stuttered and stammered my way through one of the worst interviews I’ve ever had. I basically repeated everything he told me about the job description. Really, wretched. He only asked me one question, had me on the phone for approximately three minutes, then said, “Okay, yeah, well, I’ll be talking to Ms. HR Director and we’ll be in touch.”

Yeah, I’m not holding my breath.

Well, the (high security, government, nuclear) job called me back yesterday and scheduled an in-person interview! Needless to say, I was shocked that they called me. It shall be next week, and will take three hours. I’ll have to take a half a day off work that day.  I have a lot of preparation and background research I need to do in order to nail this interview properly, but I feel confident that I’ll do well.

Perceived Pros for Job #1:

  • Room for advancement and growth
  • Probably pays well, since it takes an act of god to get a job there
  • Job security (stable company)
  • Could commute to work with Hubby (save gas money!)

Perceived Cons for Job #1:

  • Probably not very flexible, in terms of schedule.
  • Work may not be challenging.
  • Large company = probably a lot of stupid big-company fighting that I would love to avoid.  I’ve discovered that communications staff get thrown into the middle of inter-department squabbling more often than not….
  • Crappy commute to work (because of traffic, not because of commuting with hubby!)
  • The job requirements are all things I can do in my sleep. Other than learning about the nuclear trade, I wouldn’t be developing any additional skills.
  • Offers zero management (no staff members working for me, probably no big projects to oversee, etc)
  • Requires a really in-depth FBI security check, which isn’t a problem at ALL, just a hassle.
  • Absolutely no interwebz surfing at work.

There is also Job #2, a managing editor position with a publishing company.  I got a call for an interview the day after I submitted my resume, no doubt due in part to the fact that I know someone that works there. I have my telephone interview with them today, then an in-person interview on Thursday.  While I do not have any direct publishing experience, which definitely plays against me, I feel very confident that I could do this job and do it well. Plus, my background and skills (such as technical editing and writing) that I bring to the table will be a definite plus.

Pros for Job #2:

  • Room for advancement and growth
  • I’ve always been interested in publishing. I’d be learning a new industry as well as new skills.
  • Offers management of projects and perhaps of people as well
  • Perhaps pays well?
  • Offers flexible schedule, which is a HUGE plus to me
  • It’s so close to home I could ride my bike there on a nice day! Easy commute!
  • The subject matter that I’d be in charge of publishing are things related to the building industry, such as building code handbooks, green design guidelines, etc. These are all topics that I’m familiar with (I used to work for an architecture/engineering firm) and will enjoy working on.

Cons for Job #2:

  • I hear that the company has been bought out several times, and each time it gets bought out they go and fire a bunch of people (and then restructure, then re-hire half of them back).  Sounds unstable.
  • I don’t have direct publishing experience and therefore may be diving into something way over my head.
  • I’m not sure that this job would build my resume in ways that I’d like it to. For instance, if this job didn’t pan out and I wanted to jump back into marketing, it would be harder to make the switch from editor/publishing than if I took Job 1.

Well, we’ll see how it pans out. I have to nail these interviews and learn much more about the organizations before I make any judgements about which job would be a good fit for me. My gut is telling me that Job #2 would be a good fit for me…

To prepare for the interviews, I went shopping yesterday to get a new business suit. I was very sad that I didn’t find a suit at Ann Taylor or Talbots, but I found a suit that perhaps isn’t as classy (aka: expensive) but looks FANTASTIC on me…at JC Penny! The suit was a fifth of the price ($80) I would have paid at Ann Taylor ($450). A win-win!

My NSV: I am solidly a Size 6! Every suit I tried on yesterday was a Size 6 and was clearly the correct size for me. I tried on an 8 and it was falling off me. I tried on a size 4 and could zip it up, but it felt like it was slicing my vagina in half. A little tight.  I’m close though! I have a feeling that if I can reach my goal weight (125), I will be a size 4. What a dream!  At Banana Republic all the shirts I tried on were in a Size Small! I was giddy with happiness over this NSV!  I remember how excited I was to be in a Size 6 for the first time (read here) and buying a pencil skirt for the first time!  For that matter, I remember how excited I was to be in a size 12! Wow, what a long way I’ve come on this weight-loss journey since I started.

Breakfast yesterday was almonds and Red Bull, then lunch was a can of soup like usual.  For dinner I had a homemade pork roast (tasted like ham, oddly enough…maybe 3 oz worth), with a side salad.  I had very few snacks in between meals, which is bad! My cals just barely topped 600, which is too few, even for me. Today the scale was up…salt bloat? Stress bloat? “Starving bloat?” (ha ha, like that Allan?) Perhaps I need to lock my scale away for the next 2 weeks until the interviews are over. I might make myself crazy over it, and I have enough on my plate to worry about at the moment without worrying about my weight. After a year and a half, you’d hope that I would have built good enough skills to monitor my weight without the use of a scale, yes? You’d think so, but I fear it’s not the case….

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Clothes Shopping & Dinner Decisions

by Christine on July 22nd, 2010

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

I went out shopping for clothes for the bachelorette party.  I asked two friends to go with me – the stunning-gorgeous bachelorette herself, and her extremely beautiful and totally sweet friend Karen. I was lucky – it was like getting a personal shopper to take me out!

Although my weight loss has admittedly slowed down, I’m still quite unsure what size I am when it comes to clothes, what clothes look good on me, and what is “appropriate” for a 32 year old woman to wear out dancing in NYC.  Today, I wanted to break out of my comfort zone and try on some clothes that I’ve never worn before.

First, Karen wanted to go into stores that I had previously designated as “Teeny-Bopper” stores and avoided like the plague.  The stores are even labeled on the mall map as “Children’s Fashions.”  Stores like Bebe, Cache, Forever 21, and Charlotte Russe.

Okay, first of all, children should not be wearing clothes that are so…revealing.  Just sayin’. Secondly, Karen threw a few things at me, with a happy “Try this one on!” to accompany the clothes. I swore to myself that I would try anything and everything on, so I acquiesced every single time.  Once I picked up a dress and Karen said, “Try it, but get it in a size smaller. That’s too big already, I can tell.”  Happy!

This might be a first, but:

  • Everything fit.  Everything.
  • Everything looked good.
  • I looked sexy!

It was exhilarating!  I opted for a skirt (Forever 21, $10) that was far too short to be decent and a shirt that slings over one shoulder (Forever 21, $22). I’m going to need to be drunk to pull this off,  so help me god.  I have to say, at least it’s mostly comfortable. And the shirt emphasizes my newly-skinny arms and collarbones!  Now I just need to find shoes and accessories to go with this outfit!

Afterwards, we were starving. It was 9 p.m. and we had been shopping for four hours. Plus, I hadn’t eaten much in the daytime: only a bowl of cereal, since I wasn’t feeling well.  We went to Houlihans. The restaurant now has calories posted in the menu, which I love!  Karen and Danielle didn’t like to see the calories, but I loved it. It made deciding so much easier.

I narrowed it down based on calories:  the ahi tuna wontons, the Tuscan side salad, or a bowl of French onion soup. All were well under 300 calories. I could have even combined two of the above items, but instead I decided that I wanted a cosmo.  So, with a mixed drink, that allowed me only the calories for one “main dish.” I opted for the side salad (the greens just sounded good to me), and for 231 calories it was absolutely delicious! The beans were terrific, and the salsa was decidedly yummy. It came with goat cheese, too – what could be better?  It came with two crispy bread pieces, like you would get with Bruchetta. I had one of them but left the other on the plate.

All in all, it was a good shopping day and a good dining-out day. I didn’t break the calorie bank, and I had a good time with friends.

When I got home, I asked Hubby about my newly-discovered bone under my collarbones. He said, “Oh yeah, I can see it even from over here. It stands out pretty well!”  Yay for…sternums or whatever it is!

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