Friday, June 21, 2013

The Best Thing Possible That I Could Ever Do For Myself.....

I know I haven't been posting much lately, but I am still trying to honor my New Year's Resolution. And in a BIG way. Check this out (reposted from my other blog The Peculiar Palette).

My Life as a Groupie (even if it was only for 4 days)


If you were to ask me who the one famous person I would want to most meet face to face is, my answer without hesitation would be Dave Davies from The Kinks. I just love him....his music, his story, his philosophy on life, but most of all the messages he conveys in his songs. They are so therapeutic for me and have helped me through some really hard times. He seems like he is a genuinely good person, a kind and sensitive soul,  and I would love to just sit and have a conversation with him. At the least, I always wanted to thank you to him for everything he has given me, but never had the opportunity to do that. Until last Thursday, that is.

For the first time since 2007, Dave released a new album this month and to promote it he did a short tour of the US. Luckily for me, four of these shows were in California and I was able to go to three of them! Since chances like this don't come along very often, I wasn't going to blow my opportunity to say thank you. I wrote the very first fan letter I've ever written in my entire life, which said that I planned on giving it to him 3 times, one at each show, and hoped that he'd at least read it once. I know the poor guy is busy and had tons of fans trying to get a minute of his time, so I wasn't really sure if my plan was going to work. But I just knew I had to give it a try.

The letter basically just thanked him for everything he has done and how much his music has helped me. I also included copies of recent blog posts I wrote about how amazing he is, since they basically explained everything I wanted to say to him. Feel free to read them here and here. I printed them out, hand signed them, and put them in big envelopes with pictures that I had painted in my art journal influenced by his songs. I even made t-shirts for me and my friend Erika to wear at the shows. I was determined to somehow get his attention! Then the adventure began....
IMG_3791

I Touched His G-String in Hermosa Beach
Get your mind out of the gutter. I meant the one on his guitar.
IMG_3687

Erika and I arrived at the first show right in the nick of time. We left Fresno late and it took forever to get to LA, plus we still had to stop and change into our cool t-shirts. We walked into the club and I almost fell over when I saw that the stage had a spot just for me right in front of it and next to the stairs that Dave would be walking up to get to the stage. I couldn't believe it. Not only was I getting to see him play live, I was going to be RIGHT IN FRONT! If that was the best thing that happened on this trip I would have went home very content with my experience. But wait! There's more! Dave noticed our t-shirts right away and he said how much he liked them and wanted to know where we got them because wanted one. He spoke to me! Then, as the show progressed, he looked right into my eyes and sang lines like 'Everything I own I will share with you' from Strangers, and 'Darling you know that I love you true' from I'm Not Like Everybody Else. THEN he came up to the front of the stage, held out his guitar and let me strum it a couple of times. I was in shock and was having the time of my life. I couldn't believe this was all really happening.

When the encore was over, Dave walked off stage and I handed him my letter, which featured a painting I did in my art journal which was inspired by Death of a Clown. He took it! I didn't know if he would actually look at it or throw it out, but I was happy just knowing that it was in his hands, even if it ended up being for only a split second.

Deathclown


IMG_3707 

After the show, Erika and I waited by the door leading to where the band was hanging out. Dave never came out, probably because of the idiot that kept drunkenly screaming his name over and over again. I really can't blame him. His band members came out, though, and we quickly became friends with Teddy, the extremely friendly drummer. We found out that the band was called The Jigsaw Scene and they have been backing Dave up for the whole tour. Teddy signed my sketchbook and posed for pictures with Erika. It was all so surreal and the evening was quickly climbing to the top of my list of best experiences of my life.


Erika
Notice the hair sniffer in this one....

  Photo
Jonathan Lea, the guitarist, also signed my sketchbook.

We went back to our hotel and figured that things couldn't get any better than that. But they do....


Dave Defends My Honor in San Juan Capistrano

IMG_3718

When we got to the show the next night, I was initially disappointed by what I saw. We had heard that you needed dinner reservations to get good seats because in front of the state were a bunch of long tables, unlike the last show that was general admission. We called in the morning and got reservations, thinking this would get us right up front again, but they sat us off to the side of the stage and we were kind of far away. I did realize that I could walk up right to the side of the stage from where I was and wouldn't be in anyone's way, so that was my plan for when the show started.
Teddy the drummer saw us right away and came over to give us big hugs and to hang out for a little while before the show. I was busy getting my letter #2 ready, which had a picture on the envelope of an art journal page I made about the song Look Through Any Doorway.



Doorway 

When the show started, I ran up to my spot at the side of the stage. The band played a few songs and all of a sudden I saw a chewed up drumstick rolling towards me. Teddy had perfect aim....all I had to do is reach down and grab it! What an awesome souvenir! Needless to say I had a ginormous smile on my face, at least for a little while....


IMG_3764

Eventually Dave looked over in the direction of where I was standing so I held up my letter/picture and waved it a little. He nodded in my direction as if he recognized me. A little while later he looked back over at me and blew me a kiss...then another one! At this point I started getting all emotional because I couldn't believe that my hero, Dave Davies, knew who I was and was blowing me kisses. It was overwhelming! Plus the song he was singing during the last blown kiss was Flowers in the Rain, and the combination caused tears to start streaming down my face. I was a complete and utter blubbering idiot. And I couldn't stop. Like, for the rest of the show. At one point, this nice lady came over to me and asked me if I was okay and told me she was there to offer support. By this time they were playing, 'I'm Not Like Anyone Else', which is definitely not a sad song, but I was still crying. She wanted to know what about that song made me so upset. My answer was 'nothing, I really don't know what is wrong with me'....Then she asked if Dave was my father which actually made me laugh. I said no, why? And she said 'because they seem to know who you are'. I really couldn't believe I was having this conversation...it was surreal.

When the set was over and before the encore, Dave walked over to the side of the stage where I was standing, bent down and said (with the most excellent British accent) 'I read it'....meaning he read the letter I gave him the day before! He went back to play some more and came back over to tell me again, and this time gave me a hug and a kiss. He let me kiss his beautiful face! I am tearing up just writing about it now, and it's over a week later. Never in a million years would I have guessed any of this would happen when I decided to buy tickets and embark on my road trip. I handed him my envelope anyway because even though he had already read the letter inside, it had a different picture on it that I wanted him to have. Since he had one more song to play, he laid the envelope on the keyboard which wasn't too far away from where I was standing until he was done.

Then, something that I consider completely mortifying happened. The drunken douchenozzle fan next to me just HAD to ruin the moment. You see, the envelope fell off the keyboard and onto the floor, and douchenozzle snatched it up. I asked him nicely if I could have it back, and he said NO. I said I gave it to him. He said NO. I was like whatever. So when Dave came back by on his way off stage, he looked at me as if to say 'where did it go?' I pointed to douchenozzle and said he took it. Dave proceeded to tell him to give it back to me but all DN could say was 'KINKS RUUUUUULE' at the top of his lungs right in Dave's face. Repeatedly. Eventually DN realized that he needed to give it back to me or Dave would have kicked his ass (not really, but I like to embellish sometimes). So I got my envelope, which is now all torn up and wrinkled, back. I really didn't want it...it was for Dave, so later I gave it to Teddy and asked him if he could give it to him, which he did. Why do people have to be idiots? One of the best things that has ever happened to me in my life was ruined by this guy. I can't believe that the one exchange that I will ever have in my life with Dave Davies had to end that way. It was embarrassing! I think I would strangle this guy if I were to ever run into him again. But what's done is done.

When the show was over, I went back to my table with my red, puffy tear stained face and Erika and Matt were wondering what the heck happened to me up there. Then Teddy came out and started making fun of me and proceeded to try and wipe the tears away from my eyes, which was pretty funny. I was laughing and crying at the same time. They thought DN made me cry, but that wasn't the case. I just had some kind of weird emotional breakdown that I really didn't understand at the time, and it wasn't until my friend Diana told me that I had a catharsis did I realize what had happened. I think she was right! For the next 2 days I couldn't listen to Dave's music or talk about that night's show without starting all over again. It was bizarre. I was getting nervous about going to the show the following night because I didn't think I had the mental capacity to handle it. Plus Erika took a train back to Fresno and Matt drove back to Phoenix, so I was on my own...


Full Fledged Groupie (or Stalker?) in Augora Hills
 
IMG_3766


By today, living the rock and roll lifestyle was beginning to take a toll on me and I didn't wake up until almost noon! I had about an hour and a half drive to Augora Hills from San Juan Capistrano and I had to get on the road so I could make it there for sound check...


IMG_3767

I arrived to the venue around 3:30 or 4 and immediately recognized my new friends Johnny and Lee who were already waiting by the door. Dave and the band were already inside working on the songs they were going to play that night. We hung out and talked about Kinks shows that we had been to in the past and wondered if we would ever see each other again at another Dave or Kinks show in the future. It would be nice if we did! I also met another new friend Yoshi, who had come all the way from Australia just to see these shows. And I thought Fresno was far! I asked them if I was an official groupie now. They said yes and welcomed me to the group. Kinks fans are so nice! Dave's girlfriend Kate eventually came out and let us buy t-shirts out of the back of their van.

My original plan was to give Dave the third copy of my letter, but since I knew he already read it there was no need to. I still wanted to give him something to remember me by so I decided to paint another picture. I took out my sketchbook and started drawing until they finally let us inside. I had splurged on a 'Golden Circle' ticket to make sure I got a good seat, and when they brought me to my table guess who was already sitting there chatting with the guitarist (Jonathan Lea)'s wife? Teddy the drummer! What are the odds....? I got a big hug and a kiss, and then I had to explain to him why Erika wasn't with me that night. Boy, was he sad. We made a video to send her to show her what she was missing, and he told me that after the show we had to take pictures together so we could make her jealous.

The audience had to sit through 2 opening bands before Dave finally came on, and I took the opportunity to get out my watercolors and finish painting my gift. I finished just in time. Although my seat was supposed to be great since it was in the 'Golden Circle', it was really kind of far away, especially considering how close I was at the last two shows. I managed to sneak right up to the front, grab a chair and pretend I belonged there. Score! I also managed to hold myself together and not have another emotional breakdown which was also a relief. Although at some point during the show, Teddy looked at me from behind his drum set and put his finger under his eyes to pretend he was crying. So I flipped him off...and he cracked up. I flipped off Dave's drummer. That just sounds so crazy. But it's true!


IMG_3793

I tried to take some decent pictures of Dave playing....
IMG_3776
I didn't get any kisses blown to me tonight, but Dave let me strum his guitar 2 more times!

IMG_3792

For a special treat, Los Angeles City Councilman and long time Kinks fan, Paul Koretz,  came on stage to recognize Sunday June 9th to be Dave Davies Day and presented Dave with a certificate. He stuck around to sing 'Living On A Thin Line' with the band. It was an awesome tribute. Dave looked so cute and humbled by it all as the Councilman went on and on about what a great rock legend he is and proclaimed himself to be a huge fan.

When the show was over I was able to hand Dave my painting and once again he took it. I wonder if he kept it? I'd like to think he did.

IMG_3771

The painting refered to several of my favorite Dave songs, including 'I Will Be Me', 'I'm Not Like Everybody Else', 'God in My Brain', and the song that pushed me over the edge a few nights before, 'Flowers in The Rain'.


IMG_3777




After the show, Teddy and I posed for some pictures that we could send Erika. I'm sure she regretted ever going home early! At one point one guy asked me if I was 'with the drummer'. LOL. So weird.


 IMG_3774
 This one is my absolute favorite.

The only thing left that I hadn't been able to get yet was my copy of 'Kink', Dave's autobiography, signed by him. I had patiently waited around until the last possible minute at the last two shows, hoping he might come out and sign it for me, but no luck. I can't really blame him though, there are some really crazy and annoying fans out there and if I were him I wouldn't want to go anywhere near them. Not like us groupies. We are cool.

I hated to do this, but I ended up asking Teddy if he might be able to get it signed for me, since he's in the band and all. I could tell he really didn't want to do it, and I felt bad imposing on him, but this was my last chance. And because he is amazing, he made it happen! And I know for sure that it's Dave's signature because it was authenticated by my new friend and superfan, Lee. Shortly after, Dave left the building and as he walked to the van we waved goodbye. My adventure was over and it was time to go home.


IMG_3779

What an amazing experience. The whole thing cost me a fortune between taking time off of work, gas, lodging and food, and petsitting fees to make sure my fleabags were taken care of while I was gone, but it was totally worth it. It was better than I ever imagined it would be. If for some strange reason you ever read this, Dave, I hope you know that you are the only person in the world I would ever do this for. Not even for Adam Ant, the Pope, or your brother Ray. And if you come back, I'll get up go out do it again....in a heartbeat. xoxo

Thursday, May 23, 2013

There's Hope For Me After All, Buddha!

Remember I said I was going to sign up for a Mindful Meditation class? Well I did! I searched for one in Fresno and it just so happens that the 'Center for Mindfulness' in practically right across the street from my house, and they meet on Wednesday evenings. Talk about fate! I went for the first time last night and it was pretty awesome.

I wouldn't consider myself to be one of those new age gurus by any stretch of the imagination, but I figure if half the world is out there meditating on a regular basis, maybe there's something to it. I go in (late, as usual), and there are about 20 people sitting around this room being all still and quiet. the atmosphere is so soothing...dim lights, candles, warm colors....there was even a pleasant but not overpowering scent of incense. I decided then and there that I was going to convert my living room to look just like this because it would make me eternally happy.

So I sit down, close my eyes and start breathing. The lady heading the meditation's voice was calming and she gave tips and tricks on how to get your mind to focus on your breath instead of everything else that's going on in your brain. This was very helpful, because I really suck at meditating. It's so hard to concentrate. But she kept saying not to judge ourselves if we can't stay focused and just try again with the next breath. I guess you're not born with the ability to meditate and you only become good at it after a lot of practice. That makes me feel better.

We did sitting, standing and walking meditations. I have tried meditating before but only while sitting or lying down. The standing was okay but the walking was really challenging. You are supposed to look at the ground, walk ridiculously slow, try not to crash into the person in front of you, hold your hands a certain way, and try not to fall over from being unbalanced. And while you're doing all of this, you're only supposed to be thinking about your steps. Pffft. Much easier said than done.

All in all, it was a very positive experience. The things the leader was saying made me think she was reading my mind. She made me feel better about a lot of the things I've been struggling with lately and it was exactly what I needed. If for no other reason, it was just nice to sit in a calm environment and relax for an hour, not worrying about what was outside the room waiting for me when the hour was over. But it was much more than that. I think this class is a keeper.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Congratulations! Here's Your Reward!

Yay me! This week I reached a milestone in my diet and weight loss program! I have now lost a total of 11 pounds. I was so excited to track my progress in MyFitnessPal, and when I did they told me that since my weight has significantly changed and I should recalculate my goals to ensure I continue to lose. No problem! So I did. And you know the thanks I get? I am now allowed to eat even LESS calories than I was to lose the first 11 pounds. I get to eat a whopping 1580 calories a day, and that's only if I stick to my promise of exercising 3 times a week (which I haven't been doing). Do you know how hard that is? Hell, the creamer I put in my coffee every morning takes up about half of it!

This is just SO unfair!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Buddha is Looking Down on Me and Shaking His Head.

This weekend wasn't a complete and total waste like last weekend was....I managed to get some stuff done like laundry and chopping up a million pounds of fruits and vegetables that I bought the other day. I'm hoping that in this state they will be easier to throw in the blender or juicer and I might be more motivated to do so. I also recently invested in a new frying/sautee pan which I put to use tonight to prepare most of my meals for the upcoming week. I breaded chicken breasts in breadcrumbs mixed with ground chia and flax seeds and fried them in coconut oil, which is supposed to be the new best thing for you. I made some egg white and turkey sausage McMuffins on whole grain muffins, and the most delicious sauteed swiss chard you could ever imagine (see below).

I cleaned the kitchen (and messed it up again), did laundry, caught up on my DVR shows, and art journaled a little while basking in the amazing weather we were surprised with over the weekend. I cleaned up dog poop and tended to my garden (which consists of 5 plants, but I'm thinking of expanding because I hooked up the watering hose and potentially might be able to keep something alive).

I also slept. A lot. Like a stupid amount. I don't know what my problem is. I still have that weird vertigo thing going on and I have a doctor appointment on Tuesday, so hopefully it will get fixed soon. I also realized that my addiction to Bejeweled Blitz is becoming a real problem. I can drain my entire phone battery playing that stupid thing, then charge it and do it all over again. I was sitting outside intending to enjoy the weather, but the whole time I had my phone in my hand wasting my day away. At one point I put it down and attempted to be mindful of what was going on around me; living in the moment like they always say you should. That didn't work out very well. I tried to concentrate but the squeaky noise the neighbor's gate was making was driving me insane, as were Peabrain and George barking at every little noise they heard. I tried to focus on the sun hitting the green trees and the ripples in the pool, how good the warm breeze felt around me. I tried to take deep, cleansing breaths. It worked for about 30 seconds, then I started thinking about what I was going to make for dinner, about all the projects I have to make to sell at an upcoming event, and how I had to go in and fold laundry. I saw a plane fly overhead and wondered where the people were going, which made me think about my recent trips for work. Then I started thinking about work. At this point I probably stopped breathing all together and started trembling because I missed having my phone in my hand SO much.

I think I need to take a Buddha or meditation class. I'm going to look for one tomorrow.

Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese from Allrecipes.com

I am not lying when I say this is the best vegetable dish I have ever tasted. I skipped the butter and didn't have wine so I substituted chicken broth instead. Oh yeah, my onions were the dried up kind and I used shaved parmasean which melted a little and made it extra delicious.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Sauteed-Swiss-Chard-with-Parmesan-Cheese/Detail.aspx

Ingredients

Original recipe makes 2 cups Change Servings

Directions

  1. Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chard stems and the white wine. Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard leaves, and cook until wilted. Finally, stir in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese; season to taste with salt if needed.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Good Times, Bad Times.....

I feel good today. It's Friday, my fun ghetto Zumba class is tonight, the weather is beautiful and the sun is warm and bright. It's a productive day at work, I have a fridge full of healthy food options for the weekend from my recent trip to Sprouts Farmers Market, and I had a fun evening out with two of my favorite gal pals last night. I have a head full of projects I want to make over the weekend to earn some extra money on the side. I'm wearing my favorite Cedar Heights Salt Lick Stoneware Clay shirt and comfy tie dye hoodie, and today is Bagel Friday, which means I had a most delicious cinnamon french toast bagel waiting for me when I got to work this morning. I successfully convinced my three legged cat Gimpy to come back home last night so I'm no longer worrying about him getting run over by a car. My pool is crystal clear and perfectly clean for the first time EVER because I hired a new pool service that totally kicks ass over my old guy. I gots to say....life is good!

I am incredibly happy that I feel this way. Last weekend I wasn't so sure I would. I woke up last Saturday with absolutely no energy or motivation to do anything. It was horrible. I was depressed, I guess. Besides it being Mother's Day weekend (which is never exactly a happy time for me), it was 101 degrees and I felt like the life had been sucked out of me. I always get depressed when it gets hot and I expect it to happen again this year, but I didn't think it would be this early. I also have had some really strange allergy symptoms lately which include a bit of vertigo, so I kind of felt a little drunk on top of everything. Not the nice buzz of your first drink, but the feeling that your head is spinning a little too fast and you might vomit. Not cool.

As if I weren't already lying around begging for the weekend to end so at least I could go back to work and be a functional part of society again, I also got reminded on Sunday that people aren't always what they seem to be, and just because someone claims to be your friend doesn't mean they really are. It was time to cut the ties with someone who fits this description, and I really thought I'd have a hard time doing so. In reality, I feel like a gigantic weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I readjusted in no time. I back to my old self again, I feel more focused, inspired and motivated, and I am ready to tear up this weekend!

Happy Friday!




Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Obsession with my Bathroom Scale.

Yesterday I bought a new digital scale. I was holding out until I found my old one which has been packed away somewhere in my disaster of a garage since November of 2011, but finally realized that's not going to happen anytime soon. I'm really excited about my new purchase because I can obsessively compulsively weigh myself several times a day and drive myself crazy!

This scale is fantastic. According to it, I lost 3 pounds overnight! But when I weighed myself about 5 minutes later, I had gained a pound so my net loss is only 2. I'll take it! Had I known that getting this scale would help me lose 2 pounds a day, I would have bought it a long time ago. Oh well, live and learn I guess.

I know they say you should only weigh yourself once a week, but who has that kind of willpower? I want to weigh myself before and after I eat dinner, before and after I pee....you get the picture. If I only wanted to weigh myself once a week, I'd do it at the ghetto gym and I could have saved myself $20. I almost splurged on the $25 one which remembers how much you weighed last time and calculates the difference, but then realized that I am still capable of doing first grade math on my own and I could save $5.

I think my new scale and I will be very happy together.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spring Cleaning in La La Land...

I'll admit it. I'm a dreamer. I have pictures in my head of how I believe things should be, and I have a hard time accepting it when people tell me I'm being unrealistic. Call me spiteful, but when someone tells me that I can't do something, I will do everything in my power to prove them wrong. Maybe it's a little sick and twisted, but I really enjoy proving people wrong.

This quality has served me well in the past. When I started my quest to become an artist, some people who supposedly 'loved' me laughed at me and told me that I was an idiot. Instead of believing and giving up on my dreams, I made the conscious decision to remove these toxic people from my life and surround myself with people who encouraged and believed in me. It took a while, but today I have a great job doing what I love and what I'm good at. I've had this job for more than a year now, and I still have to pinch myself now and then to make sure I'm not dreaming. I get to make a good living by surrounding myself with art and ceramics all day. In my opinion, things can't get any better than that!

A few months ago, someone told me that I was trying to change the world and that it was never going to happen. Of course, my response was 'why not?' Surely I can if I try hard enough, right? Well, I am starting to realize that maybe he had a point. I recently gave a lot of time and energy to trying to make a good situation out of a bad one. I allowed it to consume most of my free time and I was sure that if I gave it my all and had faith that things would change for the better. Unfortunately, my plan failed. Luckily, the whole experience taught me something very important so I don't regret any of it. I learned that even though I might not be able to change somebody else's world, I still have all the power to change mine.  

All of this prompted me to take a look at how my life is today. All is well, but somehow I've allowed some toxicity to creep its way back in. For the most part, I have amazing friends who are encouraging and want the best for me and I appreciate them more than they can ever imagine. There are a few people, though, that have been bringing me down with their negative energy and I'm getting tired of letting that happen. Life is too short to be anything but happy, and if that means distancing myself from the people that are trying to prevent my happiness, then that's what I need to do.

Consider it done. Here's to moving forward and never looking back! And to never giving up on your dreams.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Thank God Fresno is Finally Sprouting.

Wow, have I really ignored my blog for over a month? I am so ashamed.

The good news is that I haven't abandoned my resolution as well. At the very least, I think about what I'm eating each and every day and at least TRY to be good. It doesn't always work but at least I'm mindful about it. And the one day last week when I really blew it by going to Chevy's with my BFF Erika, where we had margaritas, shrimp and crab quesadillas, tons of chips and salsa and shared this mind blowing toasted coconut and caramel ice cream thing for dessert, I didn't hate myself because the bonding and chatting we did over dinner was just what I needed to soothe my soul. Of course, when I tried to log calories for the meal on My Fitness Pal the next day, I realized that the quesadilla alone was 1,700 calories, so I stopped logging and dragged my fat ass to Zumba that evening. The great thing is that somehow I managed to lose about 2 pounds last week anyway so now my total loss for the year is 10 pounds. Ten pounds in 5 1/2 months....wow the fat is just MELTING off! In my defense I was traveling for most of March and April for work and it's almost impossible for me to make smart decisions when I'm away from home. There's just too much temptation. So I've probably lost those 10 pounds and gained them back again about 3 times since I started in January. The good news is that I'm home for awhile so I can fully concentrate on eating healthy and exercising at my ghetto gym. And the better news is that they are finally opening a Sprouts Farmer's Market in Fresno (grand opening is tomorrow....oh happy day!) so I have absolutely NO excuse why I should be consuming anything but healthy foods from now on. I have been begging them on their Facebook page to open up a store here because that is one of the things I miss most about Phoenix, and they finally listened to me. You're welcome, Fresno! You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Burn Calories By Sitting On a Chair? I'll Take It!

Or at least that's what it sounded like. The ghetto gym I just joined advertised Zumba Sentao on Wednesday evenings. When I asked what that meant, I was told it's Zumba using a chair. Well hey, I was all over that! I have something to sit and lean on (translation:exercise without putting in too much effort). I decided to give it a try last night.

The chair ended up being my worst enemy. We did push ups using it, jumped up and down on it, squatted with it, crunches on it, and I don't even remember what else. By the end of the class my thighs were cramping and my arms were trembling! This morning when I woke up I have pain in muscles I never thought existed. I guess that means it worked, so that's a good thing.

Luckily this chair Zumba is only once a week so I have a chance to recover before my next hellish session. Regular Zumba is tonight and I think I might actually go. I've done regular Zumba enough to know where I can slack off and get away with it. Much more my speed....

Want to check it out for yourself? This is what it's all about!

http://www.zumba.com/sentao

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Backyard Zumba

As I pop leftover Hershey's candy coated chocolate eggs into my mouth one after the other, I am writing to tell you how excited I am that a fitness center just opened up practically in my back yard. That wouldn't be enough to get me to join, but I saw that they have Zumba and Yoga classes (pretty much the only forms of exercise I will even consider doing) in the evenings! That means I can come home from work, let the dogs out, change into my workout gear, then take a 2 second drive (I'd walk but it's not though the best of neighborhoods) to get to my workout destination. I believe it was divine intervention that caused this to happen...since I have been whining about how fat I am and how much I want to find a convenient, affordable place to do Zumba. Ask and you shall receive, I guess!

I stopped by the place last night and signed up. Yes, I gave them my debit card as payment, and they will be automatically be taking $20 out of my account every month. Then they tell me that there is an annual $59 fee, but I can live with that too. The way I see it, I haven't found anywhere in the Fresno area where I can take a Zumba class for less than $8 each time, and some places are even more than that! So with the annual fee I'm paying about $25/month for this place, so if I go to Zumba 5 times every month it will be worth it. I was hoping to go more like 15 times a month (stop laughing, I'm serious), so that comes out to less than $2 a class! How can I beat that?

Sadly, when I posted on Facebook about my exciting new find, I got all kinds of warnings from other people who have been members of this gym. It's filthy, smells like BO, half the machines are broken and it's impossible to break your contract. Hmm. Glad I did my research before signing up. I did check the BBB and there were only 64 complaints against the place and they had an F rating. F is for fantastic, isn't it?

The good news is that I think I would have still done it had I known about all these bad reviews. I don't really care about the machines, I'll hardly ever use them. I just want a place where I can go take my classes that's cheap and isn't further than 200 yards from my house. Because if it was, I'd never go.

So wish me luck. I start tonight! Zumba Sentao....which apparently is Zumba using a chair. I have a feeling I'm not coordinated enough for this but I'll give it a shot!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Calories

Happy Easter! I have been craving Peeps and Cadbury Eggs and Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs all day, but luckily I didn't have any on hand. I ended up melting some chocolate chips and dipping fresh strawberries into them which was a relatively satisfying alternative. Too bad my choices weren't that great the rest of the weekend....

It started on Friday when I had the bright idea to bring home Chinese food. I went to this new place and ordered fried rice and lemon chicken. I had never had Chinese lemon chicken before and it sounded like it might be healthy. It was not. Deep fried delicious chunks of chicken breast covered in a sweet lemony sauce....one of the best things I've eaten in a long time but definitely not healthy. It still wasn't healthy when I ate leftovers for lunch the next day.

Then, yesterday I was planning on staying home and eating some of the homemade turkey cabbage rolls I made earlier in the week, but my BFF ended up coming over and we went for a power walk. Sounds great, right? Well we armed ourselves with marshmallow vodka mixed with diet coke in Del Taco cups. It was a great walk! But by the time we got back my self control was completely gone and I was hungry. Cabbage rolls were DEFINITELY not happening....Domino's was calling my name. So I called them back and ordered pizza and cheesy bread. Ate quite a bit of it too!

I woke up this morning with a stomach ache, horrible heartburn, and absolutely no energy whatsoever. There's no doubt in my mind that the marshmallow vodka had a little to do with it, but by the time I went to bed last night the massive quantity of pizza I consumed soaked up all the vodka and just left me feeling bloated and sleepy.

I know I've said this before, but I'm really considering cutting out the booze. I can have a sip of wine and I lose all control over food consumption. If I ditched the alcohol, not only would I be saving those calories, I'd also be avoiding the bad food choices. Plus I wouldn't feel like a gigantic piece of poop the next day. It seems like an obvious choice to me.

I'm glad I'm not a pothead. I can't even imagine the crap I would eat if I were one.

Can you believe I'm considering heating up leftover Domino's right now? I need help! LOL

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Alive and Well...

I have really been slacking on my blog posts. In my defense I have been traveling quite a bit for work. In fact, I've only been home for 3 days out of the last 3 weeks.

It's tough trying to keep on track with eating well when traveling. People want to go out to fancy restaurants for every meal and it is really hard trying to order the broiled fish and vegetables when the choice right next to it on the menu is steak with melted butter, baked potato and mac and cheese. I have spent most of the time I've been away in Texas, and they don't do anything small there. I had a tex-mex dinner last night that probably consisted of about 3000 calories if you add on the blackberry pomegranate mojito I had along with it. But man, was it good!

I have brought my workout clothes and sneakers with me on each and every trip, because most hotels have a nice fitness room. So far I've gone zero times. I'm quite proud of that. Luckily some of what I have to do during these trips involves a lot of walking and manual labor so I'm hoping I've been burning at least some calories. I am afraid to step on the scale when I get back though.

I have managed to make a few healthy choices. This morning I opted for the egg white omelet with spinach, mushrooms and turkey sausage. They gave me a choice between fruit and potatoes for my side and I chose fruit, but wouldn't you know it? When they brought me my plate it had both potatoes AND fruit. The universe is trying to sabotage my program. I didn't eat all of the potatoes though and was quite full from my omelet and fruit. I even ate the asparagus.

So the day is starting out well. Let's hope it lasts through dinner.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New Way to Rationalize Bad Food Choices!

I was doing so well yesterday....Ate healthy, exercised....even cooked a low fat, healthy meal for dinner. While I was cooking I decided to have a glass of wine (I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that even though I came to the conclusion weeks ago that one glass of wine every day is a health food and I was going to start having one every day, I haven't been living up to that promise. I can't remember to do it most of the time, plus I usually want to spend those calories on something else). So I have the glass of wine and start feeling fantastic. So I had another. This is all on a practically empty stomach so it's basically going right to my head.

Shortly thereafter, my best friend and worst influence says she's going to stop by. I said, we should get some cheeeeesecake. We live about a mile away from the Cheesecake Factory and not a day goes by where I don't think about indulging in a slice or two. Instead of trying to set me straight, she says YES! Let's do it! So I go put some pants on and a few minutes later we are looking at the ever-so-extensive menu.

I figure that since I ate my dinner at home, having just cheesecake won't be so bad. And another glass of wine. Besides, I have PMS and deserve some cheesecake. Kind of like a reward for having to go through that shit every month. If you eat something as a reward, it doesn't have any calories, right?

While we're perusing the menu, they bring us a basket of warm, fresh bread with butter. I polished off most of the loaf of sourdough while trying to figure out what kind of dessert I'm going to have. I'm off to a great start.

I decide on some crazy peanut butter cup, chocolate cake and cheesy goodness concoction with a side of hot fudge. Then aforementioned friend orders the diet plain cheesecake with fresh strawberries on the side. Give me a break, dude. Takes about two bites and boxes up the rest. Whatev.

Meanwhile, I devour about 3/4 of my piece before I start feeling like I'm going to explode. I didn't even take home the rest in a box. I guess that's one little silver lining in this whole big gigantic black cloud I have gotten myself into. Yes, I'm grasping for straws.

I come home and calculate the calories I've consumed on My Fitness Pal and as usually am ashamed of myself. I did learn a lesson, though. No matter how good any of the hundreds of cheesecake choices sound, your best bet is to always go for the original, plain with a side of hot fudge. I've been disappointed each and every time I've strayed. I mean, if you're going to eat a 900 calorie piece of cake, make sure it's something you can't live without.



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vintage Weight Lifting.

Hey Folks....I'm still at it! My New Year's Resolution is still usually the first thing on my mind and I'm trying to make smart choices. I've been going on walks around the block where I work at lunchtime, which has been great lately because the weather is amazing. The surrounding area is industrial and therefore isn't the greatest scenery for sightseeing and sometimes even gets a little creepy, especially when I have to walk back on the main road. I really hate that part. So today I decided to take a different route, which was actually longer than my usual one. Not only does that mean I don't have to deal with the creepy part, but I also burn more calories!

I also stayed up late last night and hard boiled some eggs to make egg salad to bring for lunch. Instead of drowning it in mayo, I only used a little squirt and supplemented the rest with extra mustard and dill pickle relish. And instead of eating it on bread, I used it as a dip for water crackers. It was zesty and tasty and low calorie and somewhat lower fat and full of protein. I had some Greek yogurt and an apple for dessert and I'm stuffed. AND I still have more than 1000 calories to play around with for the day.

I'm planning on taking my mid-afternoon break and heading over to the fitness center to pump some iron. We'll see how that goes.


Friday, February 22, 2013

I Fell Off The Wagon.

"Even if a person is getting the daily-recommended exercise of 30-60 minutes, being inactive the rest the day is still a health risk. The best strategy is to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day."

I read this lovely little piece of advice in a wellness newsletter that is sent out by my place of employment. Talk about a buzz kill! Even if I was able to get my lazy ass to exercise 30 to 60 minutes EVERY day (right now I'm shooting for ONE day and thought I was doing well), I still wouldn't be healthy? Come on! That's just a mean thing to say.

They are trying to tell me that I should get up and wander around to the printer (whether I printed anything or not, and considering we're all about saving the environment, printing is discouraged which makes this even more ridiculous) every few minutes. Somehow I think that might put a damper on my productivity level and might even be frowned upon if my boss was to catch me walking aimlessly around for no good reason. Well, it is for a good reason but I have a feeling he might not buy it.

But seriously....talk about making people want to give up! Realistically, I can't get 30-60 minutes of exercise AND walk around for half my work hours. So why even bother?

In other news...I was invited to go to Red Robin for dinner. I perused the menu online so I could make sure only to order something with a decent amount of calories in it. I decided on the Avocado Cobb salad, which would have given me about 400 extra calories to have a few fries dipped in ranch. Seriously, if you're not going to eat at least a few of those why bother going to RR?

Once I got there, I had the bright idea to order the California chicken sandwich instead. I figured it was a grilled chicken breast so how bad could it be? Sadly, when it came it was served on grilled butter bun and was dripping with mayo. Had I been paying attention, I would have ordered the whole wheat, non butter bun and no mayo. But I wasn't. And I ate the whole thing, along with more than 400 calories worth of fries and ranch.

So later I did what anyone else would do when feeling guilty about over consuming tons of greasy, fatty food. I agreed to split a Mountain Mudd Pie for dessert. OMG was it good. I felt less guilty about eating this than I did all those fries and buttered buns.

It appears that I may have fallen off the wagon. That's okay...I have all weekend to get myself back on it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Air Sandwich Recipe

Damn, I ate like crap yesterday. Seriously, I consumed like an extra 1000 calories somehow. I don't feel like I ate that much more than usual but apparently I did. Great, now I have to eat 1000 calories less today to make up for it. Haha, yeah I know...that's pretty funny.

Anyone have a good recipe for air sandwiches?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I'ma Steal my Neighbor's Scale

I just realized that I haven't written anything since my sudden burst of mushiness last week. Ugh, what got into me, anyway? That hopefully will be my one and only sappy post this year. Unless it's about my dogs. I don't mind being sappy about them.

So I haven't written because I've been busy, which is a good thing. I'm coming out of a three day weekend and I'm happy to report that I was somewhat productive. Not only that, but I also managed not to completely sabotage my diet and exercise routine. Saturday I actually intentionally got some exercise by Zumba-ing a little and moving furniture around in an attempt to put together a small pottery studio area for myself. I was exhausted when I was done so I had to burn at least a few calories. I also spent the Amazon gift card that my sister gave me for my birthday on a set of Zumba toning sticks, which will make my sporadic workouts even more fun and challenging.

I also knocked out a couple of projects that have been sitting around my house for the last couple of months. They were getting in the way of progress, so now that they are completed I don't have to work around them anymore. Of course, all of the things on my to-do list for the weekend didn't get done, but there's always next weekend.

And the best part of the whole weekend? I weighed myself on my neighbor's bathroom scale and it said I am about 2 pounds lighter than what my usual scale says. Score! I need to get me one of those.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I Am Not Dead Inside!

So far, I've been focusing mostly on things I've been doing that are good for my body, and doing things that are good for my mind and spirit have taken a back seat. Today I want to focus on something that recently transpired that has been really great for my spirit. But first...I need to provide some background history.

Three days after I moved to Arizona about 16 years ago, I met someone who ended up being my boyfriend for the next 3 years or so. Obviously it didn't work out because we're not together anymore, but I have fond memories of our time together. I also have not-so-fond memories of fighting like cats and dogs with him, but that's another story. We were together at an important time in my life. I had just left the comfort of my parents' house in NJ and embarked on my journey to become an adult. I moved 2500 miles away from everything I knew and loved to where I didn't know a soul and all I had with me were my ferrets, my bed, and a couple of frogs. I blindly rented a studio apartment to move into, and after a 8 day long cross country trip in a Budget rent-a-van with a perfect stranger, I ended up on my own in Mesa, Arizona. Luckily I met this person within a few days, and before long we were inseparable. We explored all of Arizona and parts of Mexico, traveled to New York, New Jersey, Utah, New Mexico, California and Florida, got a couple cats, built kitty furniture together, and shared our mutual love for all things weird and scientific. Being that we are both super goofy people, we'd make up songs and strange noises and funky dances and just laugh like idiots. Ahh, those were good times.

We definitely had our share of problems. My mom passed away during this time, which neither of us dealt with very well. He kind of had a dark side and some anger issues, which I got really tired of. He wanted a family and I generally fear children and commitment in general. We were young and thought the grass was greener on the other side so we went our separate ways. With the exception of a handful of conversations through MySpace a few years ago, I really haven't spoken to him or thought too much about him since.

A few weeks ago, I got a random Facebook message from him.We caught up a little and I found out that he still lives in Phoenix, has been married and divorced more times than Ross on Friends and he has an 8 year old daughter. We have been talking via phone and text messaging ever since and I've got to admit...I'm not hating it. It even has me wondering if I had actually met my soul mate 16 years ago and just didn't realize it until now.

Today we live two different lives, 500 miles apart from each other, so we'll never have the chance to find out what might have been. But it sure has been great reconnecting with him and reminiscing about the great memories we have together. The whole experience has made me feel a little less 'dead inside', and more hopeful about the future...what could possibly be better for my soul than that?





Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Chicken Flavored Popcorn?

OK so it has been a few days since I posted about the plethora of healthy things I have been doing for myself. That's because I really haven't been doing any. This past weekend I had a three day weekend for my birthday, and the time was filled with wine tasting, skinny iced tea drinking, and eating stuff like chocolate, peanut butter and pretzel pie, clam chowder in a bread bowl, and even a burger from In and Out. But calories don't count on weekends and especially on your birthday, right? Plus I have already decided that wine is a health food and I did choose the 'skinny' iced tea over the fattening long island kind. So I didn't completely fall off the wagon.

I started to get back on track yesterday but didn't do anything mind blowing. I came in under my calorie count and managed to do about 3/4 of my stretching video. You can see why I didn't bother posting about it.

Today, though, I have to brag about the great decisions that I have made so far. First of all, we have an all day meeting at work and I go to the meeting room to find mini chocolate bars spread all over the table I had to sit at first thing in the morning. Now, that's just mean. I barely am even awake and I have Twix, Snickers, Kit Kats and Hershey bars staring me in the face. They are all wrapped in beautiful Valentine's Day wrappers which makes them look even more appealing. I feel powerless against their pull. I did eat one mini Twix, but before I downed everything else on the table, I got up and went over to the area where there was a bit of real food. I had a strawberry, half a banana and a handful of raw almonds.

Then, lunch time rolled around. I was offered a meal from Kentucky Fried Chicken for free! My god did it smell good. Free delicious food? Come on... I am so being tested today. But I actually said no. I walked away and came back down to my office with nothing but a memory of how amazing it would have tasted had I chosen to eat it. So now I sit here starving and craving KFC.  Guess I'll go make some popcorn or something. Hope it tastes like chicken!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My Arms Feel Like Wet Noodles.

There just so happens to be a fitness center at my place of employment. I asked for the combination to get into it a few weeks ago and finally dragged myself in to it the other day with the intent to give myself a great workout. Sadly, I got confused and left right away...

I'm not going to pretend that I know my way around a gym, but I'm not completely clueless, either. I've been to the gym many times in the past, but I usually make a beeline to the elliptical machine and maybe try out a weight machine or two. But the equipment in our fitness center is nothing like I have ever seen before. In the middle is a large universal machine that is from 1972. There's a treadmill and a bunch of dumbells...a bench or two...but it's no LA Fitness. That's okay, though. I'm not complaining. The fact that there is this facility about 20 paces away from my desk and it's free to use is fantastic. I just needed someone who has been in there before to show me the ropes.

Today was the day! I went in there with two of my co-workers who go every morning at 10 am and spend 15 minutes a day pumping iron. I can do 15 minutes! That's nothing! Fifteen minutes a day is 75 minutes a week. That's a whole lot better than the 0 minutes a week I usually spend lifting weights. Today I focused on arms and shoulders, and tomorrow I'll switch it up and do legs. I'll be buff in no time!

I am very excited about this. I don't have to spend money on a gym membership that I'll never use because it takes too much effort to get in the car and go to it. I don't have to find an hour or more in the day to spend working out. If I combine this with my lunchtime walk, I'll actually get some decent exercise every day. And that's with barely even trying. This is my kind of regimen.

Today I did about 6 different exercises for my back, shoulders and arms. They now feel like wet noodles. Stay tuned to hear me whine about how much my muscles are aching tomorrow!


Saturday, February 2, 2013

That's Not Pasta...It's Green!


See this? This is all I did today. Mind you, it took some effort....I made marinara sauce from scratch...well if from scratch means opening up cans of tomato paste and sauce. When I say from scratch I mean it's not Ragu. I actually had to put some effort into it. I even diced up zucchini, sauteed it with garlic and onions and threw it in there. While it was cooking in the crock pot I took a nap. A three hour nap. And that's after waking up at noon.
 
I really don't like drinking anymore. Sure, it's fun while it's happening...you get to be social and do things you normally wouldn't do (this time included going dancing at the local gay bar). But when I woke up at 5 am because my head had developed it's own heartbeat that was pounding out of control, I really regretted having that last cocktail. And the one before that. You get the picture.
 
I have a to do list of about a million things, and weekends are really the only time I can get this stuff done. So you can probably understand why I might be a little upset with myself when my entire Saturday was spent nursing a hangover. So next week I'm switching to O'Douls. Wait, not next weekend because it's my birthday. But definitely the weekend after.
 
So getting back to the picture....My marinara sauce went on eggplant parm that I baked, not fried. And instead of pasta and/or bread, I made a side of sauteed mushrooms and Swiss chard. This healthy eating nonsense isn't half bad!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Why Would Anyone Remove the Cinnamon Crunchies?

Fridays make me nervous. A few of us girls (and one boy) here at work have implemented something called "Bagel Friday", where every Friday one of us goes and gets bagels for the group. I used to love Bagel Fridays, but now that I am trying to watch what I eat I know that starting off with a bagel first thing in the morning is not good for my diet. Even with light cream cheese, the Cinnamon Crunch bagel I ate from Panera was 550 calories! So now, I have to be extra careful about what I eat for the rest of the day, and since it's Friday (which is always a cause to celebrate) and I want cocktails and happy hour appetizers, this is an issue. I managed to muddle through yesterday, so hopefully I can do the same today.

So, I go to log my bagel calories on MyFitnessPal and I search for this: 'Panera Cinnamon Crunch'. A list of items matching my search comes up, the first one being 'Panera - Cinnamon Crunch Bagel (Crunch Topping Removed)'. Really? Why would you do that? You might as well get a plain bagel if you are going to take the crunchies off. They are what make the bagel delicious! I would skip the bagel and just eat a bowl full of cinnamon crunchies if I could. Is removing them really saving that many calories? What does this person do with the removed crunchies? Throw them out? God, I hope not! Send them to me! I will take them in a heartbeat! Please, help me to understand this craziness.

I would have posted a pic of the bagel and the crunchies and the light cream cheese that was on it, but before I had a chance to I ate it. Sorry. Maybe next Friday!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Electric Wine Glasses Make Drinking Even More Fun.

It's day number two of my commitment to drink one glass of red wine every day. I was planning on going home and starting to scrub the filth out of my house so I didn't have to spend the entire weekend doing it, but along came a call from my friend Erika wanting to know if I would meet her for happy hour after work. Since I am a sucker for happy hour, and the place we went was right on my way home from work, I agreed. Normally I would have screwed up everything by going out to a restaurant where I don't seem to have control over my calorie consumption, but I was actually good today. The restaurant had the amount of calories in each dish listed on the menu so it was pretty easy to keep track. We opted to share the Thai shrimp lettuce wraps (420 calories divided by two) and a small deep dish pizza with whole wheat crust (150 cals a slice). Of course I had my glass of wine, and even had a pint of berry flavored hard cider. When I got home (by 7pm, mind you) I logged my calories in MFP and saw that I went a mere 15 calories over my daily limit. That's easy enough to fix. I did my stretching video and burned another 243 calories. So technically I can go eat something else right now for 228 calories, but I'm not going to. I'm going to bed early. Nite!



No it's not really electric but it sure looked that way.


PS did you know a plate of nachos has something like 2300 calories? Yeesh.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I'm going to embrace the theory that one glass of red wine every day is good for your health.


Boy, have I been cranky lately. I'll admit it, it's hormonal, but it just happens to be coinciding with a couple of crappy days. I was especially crabby last night, but luckily a very good friend of mine put a glass of wine in my hand and once I drank it I felt so much better! It also might have had something to do with my hour long bitch fest I threw his way before the wine, but regardless I was all better afterward.

Fast forward to today. I was doing much better overall....it was actually a pleasant day. I went grocery shopping after work because I needed food for the dogs, so I figured I'd go to the place with the good produce and get some healthy food while I was there. I bought enough produce to feed a small army, but it all looked so good. I got enough for juicing, salads, eggplant parm, cabbage rolls and probably another meal or two. I came home, put it all away, ate dinner, and whipped up some apple crisp. Then I realized that something I've been working really hard for slipped farther out of my grasp. I won't get into what it is, exactly, but it annoyed me and rattled my already fragile and cranky mood.

I got to thinking about the glass of wine I had yesterday and how it made me feel so much better. Should I do the same thing today? I've read over and over again how one 4 oz glass of wine per day is supposed to be like a health food. That fits in perfectly with my new, healthy lifestyle! According to this article from Food and Wine, one glass a day will do all of this stuff!

Promotes Longevity

Reduces Heart-Attack Risk

Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Reduces Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Lowers Risk of Stroke

Cuts Risk of Cataracts

Cuts Risk of Colon Cancer

Slows Brain Decline

So as long as I stick to 4 oz, I'll be okay, right? That's more than enough because I can usually feel it go straight to my head after the first few sips. In fact, I have been sipping it while writing this and I already forgot what I was so cranky about. I think I'm going to like this plan.

Cheers!





Sunday, January 27, 2013

I Can't Type in My Sleep.

Sadly I don't have much to say today because I spent most of it sleeping. The drunken craft-a-thon on Friday really kind of wore me out. I did manage to eat well and do my stretching video which is something. Oh, and I found my new favorite breakfast. Sliced Hebrew National 97% fat free franks, which are only 45 calories each (!), sauteed with tri colored potatoes and onions, topped with two over easy eggs. At only about 500 calories with a slice of lightly buttered toast, you can't beat it! Purple potatoes are extra fun to eat. And these hot dogs....well, sodium and preservatives never tasted so good! I wish every meal could be breakfast.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cupcake Avoidance....Exercises in Willpower.

Needless to say, after last night's festivities, functioning properly today was a little bit of a challenge. I got up in enough time to show off my new Valentines at the event, but my overindulgence of alcohol and nasty Del Taco at 2 am left me feeling less than stellar. I couldn't even think about eating anything for awhile after I got up, but as I was on my way to show my goodies, I realized that I was ridiculously thirsty and thought a Sprite would be just the thing to make me feel better. So I swung by the McDonald's drive through and got one, and figured while I was there I'd get something to eat too. I opted for a double cheeseburger with no onions. No fries with that, either, I might add. The funny thing is that I didn't even like it. I used to love them, but this time for some reason it was just nasty. Maybe my taste in food is changing and I'm starting to like the healthier stuff more? Yeah right, it must have just been a bad burger...

I still managed to have a 700 calorie breakfast with the burger and the full sugar Sprite, and I'm now feeling gross and ashamed of myself. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. A few lights actually. The first one is that later in the day, my friend Alexa and I walked past a homemade cupcake bakery that I had never seen before and she asked whether I wanted to go in for one. I actually declined! I couldn't believe it myself. I have yet to experience one of these delicious creations from ANY cupcake boutique, even though they have been around for years. So for me to come across my first opportunity to indulge and say no is nothing short of a small miracle!

Dinner time rolled around and I was thinking it would be nice to get take out from somewhere. I contemplated getting Chinese food, pizza, a sandwich from Whole Foods....but I talked myself into going home and eating some of the leftover healthy meal I had made the night before. Once I got home, though, I was overwhelmed again with the desire to have a pizza delivered and started looking at options online. I was about to make the call and then from out of nowhere came a sudden burst of willpower that I didn't even know I had. I got up, ate the healthy meal and forgot all about the pizza.

Sound too good to be true? It was. I had ice cream for dessert which combined with my McBreakfast put me way over my calorie allowance for the day. I did top it with fresh blackberries instead of hot fudge, so that's encouraging. Plus it is the weekend, and calories don't count on weekends. Right?

Painting, Zumba and Alcohol

I had plans to hang with my favorite Fresno friend Erika after work for Happy Hour, but earlier that day I remembered that I had a artsy crafty mixer to go to the next day where I had the opportunity to make some extra cash. I had the bright idea to make what I call 'Socially Awkward Valentines' at the last minute, so I bought all the supplies I needed to make them. The only problem was that I got off of work at 5 pm, the event was at 12 pm the following day, and I had happy hour and sleep scheduled in during this time as well. I wasn't sure how I was going to pull it all off, but I was determined. After enjoying a deep fried platter of deliciousness and a beer or two at happy hour, I invited Erika and another friend of ours to my house for an after happy hour cocktail. While I was waiting for them to show up, I strategically got out the supplies I needed for the Valentines and started painting. At first, it was just me painting while Erika was obsessing over her new iPhone. As time went on and our other friend arrived, we were all painting and having a blast. We had paint all over us, were drinking disgusting concoctions consisting cake flavored vodka mixed with Bud Light Limaritas (after the first one they start tasting kinda good), and even turned on the Wii to do some drunken Zumba for exercise. It was a great night! I stayed awake long after my guests left and finished up my projects so that I had plenty of items to sell at my event.

So, this whole experience may sound like it may have derailed my resolution, but believe it or not there were a few things I squeezed into this day that were actually good for me. I had a mere banana and a Greek yogurt for lunch, which freed up some calories for my deep fried dinner (which I, by the way, not only shared, but left a significant amount left on the plate). That strategy served me well until the second cake limarita, when my calorie count for the day started going off the charts...not to mention the taco and fries I ate at about 2 am.

I also made art that is always good for my spirit, spent some time with friends (also good for the spirit), and burned at least a few calories doing drunken Zumba. Grasping for straws? I don't think so!












Thursday, January 24, 2013

Me? A Morning Person? Nah.

I'm so jealous of the people who get up at the crack of butt in the morning and get on with their day. I suck at waking up. Actually I'm okay at waking up....it's the getting up part that I have a problem with. I absolutely hate it. No matter how early I go to sleep and how many hours I get, I still hate getting up the next morning just as much. I used to sleep until noon when I was a teenager and people would always tell me that I would eventually grow out of it when I got a job and had to be up early every morning. It never happened. I love sleep more than most things. Taking naps is my favorite extracurricular activity.

I've gone to the doctor to try and find out why I am so lazy, but nothing was ever determined. My thyroid levels are fine, vitamin levels are good...I buy First for Women magazine every time I see an article about what to do when you're always tired, then subsequently purchase stupid quantities of supplements or foods I'm supposed to be eating...but it never works (although the supplement companies are happy with me). So anyway, I pretty much have concluded that this is the way it's going to be and I'm going to have to live with it. It makes me sad, though, because there's so many other things I want to do in my free time and spending it sleeping makes me feel like a big, fat loser.

For some reason, this morning I woke up an hour earlier than usual and was wide awake. I couldn't believe it. I tried to go back to sleep but couldn't, then decided that I was going to get up, get ready and get to work early because it would be funny to freak everyone out. All my co-workers get to work at least an hour before me (except for my boss, who comes in around the same time I do which is why I can get away with it), and they are always making fun of me for coming in so late. They also make fun of me when they get to leave an hour or more earlier than I do every afternoon.

So I got up, did some little chores around the house and got to work about 40 minutes early. I got the reaction I was expecting from my coworkers and it was pretty amusing. I'd like to think that it has been the healthy eating and little bit of exercise I've been getting that is making me feel better, so I'm going to keep it up to see if I'm right.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Butt Monkeys and Marathons


Today I weighed myself and realized that by eating healthy and walking a little I was able to lose two of the four pounds I gained when I was in Vegas last weekend. You may have noticed that I didn't post anything for the 3 days I was there...that's because I am ashamed of what I did. I know they say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and I'm hoping that is true for the eating habits I adopted while I was there. People were feeding me left and right. And the food was delicious. I should have just strapped one of those horse feeding bag things around my neck. But hopefully that is all behind me and I can go back to concentrating on my resolution. I will say, though, considering that I was in Vegas for work and I had very little free time, I managed to enjoy myself. I got to go to Serendipity 3 the first night we were there (that's where it all started to go downhill), I enjoyed sipping free Bloody Mary's while gambling at the bar (and by free I mean they ended up costing me about $80 with all the money I lost), and spent some quality time with my friend and co-worker Madi.

Now back to today. I was so excited to see that I was down 2 pounds that I resolved to try even harder. I came home and made dinner which consisted of boneless, skinless chicken breast, zucchini, whole wheat pasta, green beans and Provencal simmer sauce from my favorite store, Fresh & Easy. Here's the exciting part....while I was waiting for it to cook, I popped my Zumba Core DVD (which I had been using as a coaster until now) into the Wii and actually did some of it! I say some of it because I didn't do an entire workout. I wasn't in the mood to do anything but pushed myself to give it a shot. I did about 4 songs which is around 15-20 minutes. Not much, but I figure I am more likely to do 4 songs a day than a whole workout several times a week with the level of motivation I've been having lately. So I'll start small and build on it as I start feeling more energetic. I can tell I am having more energy just by eating better. If I keep it up and do my Zumba everyday, I'll be running marathons in no time. And monkeys might fly out of my butt.



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Off to a Good Start...Now Don't Blow It.

I may actually be getting into a groove! I ate a healthy breakfast and lunch, logged all my calories into MyFitnessPal for both meals, and took a 15 minute power walk at lunch...all before 2 pm! I'd be happy with myself if that's all I did today that was good for me, but I know there will be more to come later. I know for a fact that dinner is going to be healthy because I am going to eat what was leftover from last night (chicken sausage, onions, peppers and potatoes). There's always the possibility that I will pop in my stretching DVD, but I say that everyday and it rarely happens (I even brought it to Las Vegas with me thinking I might do it in my room, but I was so busy eating, drinking and gambling in my free time that I never even gave it a second thought. Oh well, I'll just have to try harder next time). I may even fit in an art project or two, which is always therapeutic and therefore good for my soul. The possibilities are endless!

Monday, January 21, 2013

I'm Retiring From Being a Human Garbage Can.

According to my calculations, I gained about 4 pounds in the 3 days that I was in Las Vegas. That is disgusting, but I can't say I am surprised. I actually thought it would have been more. The sad thing is that it will probably take me 4 weeks to lose them! That is so not fair! I just added an extra month to my diet and exercise program because of a measly 3 days of making bad choices. Why can't it ever be the other way around? Why can't I eat like that for a month and lose it in only 3 days? This sucks!

Considering there's not much I can do about it, I made sure to bring healthy food with me to work for the week. I brought my leftover soup, Greek yogurt, apples and oranges. I know I pledged to eat nothing but air sandwiches for the next week, but I got hungry.

I was craving sausage and peppers for dinner so I stopped at Fresh and Easy to get some groceries. I love Fresh and Easy. They have great food (tons of healthy and easy to prepare choices) and great prices. They even issue a coupon every few weeks which is even more enticing. I like going here because it's a smaller store and it doesn't take all day like it would if I went to a real supermarket. Plus they have the best hummus in the whole entire world. Unfortunately, their parent company, the UK's Tesco, is probably going to shut them down because they aren't as profitable as they had hoped. I will cry if that happens.

I settled on some mild chicken sausage, bought a container of already chopped up onions and peppers, a package of mushrooms and some little tiny tri colored potatoes, then sauteed them in olive oil. It was really good! I even have enough for 1 or 2 more meals.

After entering all of my caloric intake into MyFitnessPal for the day, I was only at 1266 which is pretty damn good if I do say so myself. I was also still hungry and was craving something sweet. Real shocking, I know. After carefully pondering what I should eat to solve this problem (normally I would do something like eat a plethora of marshmallows or enough chocolate chips and almonds to double the amount of calories I had already eaten), I opted for a bowl of Rice Krispies with organic chocolate soy milk and some fresh blueberries. It totally hit the spot and I was still under my calories for the day. Who needs marshmallows when you have chocolate soy milk? Not me!



Sunday, January 20, 2013

Detoxing With Butter and Sugar

For reasons that I still don't completely understand, I was booked on a 7:30 am flight to Fresno this morning which means I had to be up at 4:45 to get to the airport in time. Las Vegas airport is not user friendly and my co-worker and I wanted to make sure we got there in plenty of time so we could get out of there. Even though I went to sleep at about 9:30 pm the night before, I woke up still in a food and bloody mary induced fog. The thought of eating anything ever again wasn't the slightest bit appealing, but a nice cold green tea Frappucino from Starbucks seemed like the perfect thing to drink to help soothe my extremely pissed off digestive system. I love those things. They taste just like green tea ice cream, you know the kind you get at a sushi restaurant. So I got one.

I passed out on the plane and by the time I got home and woke up from my 3 hour nap I was hungry again.I opted for a couple pieces of toast. Cracked wheat sourdough toast. With real butter. What? I don't want to completely shock my body! I have to wean myself off the crap slowly.

Later I decided to go through my fridge and kitchen cabinets and cook up a big pot of soup. The ingredients consisted of rotisserie chicken, refried beans, cheddar cheese soup, chicken broth, salsa, corn, lemon juice and spinach. It was actually pretty good! I love making these kinds of soups...I usually throw in any meat in the freezer that is on the verge of getting freezer burn, any vegetables in the fridge that are about to decompose, and whatever cans of stuff and spices I can find in the cabinet that might make it all taste better. Some are more successful than others. This one was a winner. I ate it with a sprinkle of cheese on top and some tortilla chips. I made enough for three more lunches this week, some to freeze to eat at a later time, and to give the dogs a ladle full each on their dinner.

Let the detox begin!