Friday, December 21, 2012

I finally got to my 10 percent!

Hurrah - I can finally say I reached my 10 percent goal in WW! I originally thought I could get there back in September, but then life got in the way. With full time school and full time work, WW really took a back seat. I never gained more than a pound or two back, but I didn't lose much either. So at this last weigh in on Thursday, it was such a relief to realize I finally got there! Here are the numbers:

Weight: 145.4 pounds
Pounds lost this week: 1.8
Total pounds lost: 16.6 pounds
Pounds to lose: 20.4 pounds

One of the best parts about this goal is that I got a little WW key chain (yes, I respond to tokens like an elementary school child) and they passed around to everyone at the meeting because they have all been a part of my weight loss journey. It was very touching moment.

So my next goals involve losing half of what is left for my ultimate goal: 10 pounds. An aggressive goal would be to have that lost by February 28 (10 weeks), but with the holidays around the corner and a new semester to adjust to, I think a more reasonable time frame would be by Spring Break, which starts on March 23. So that is 13 weeks to lose 10 pounds. I'm going to need a lot of encouragement and determination to stick with it.

I know talking about weight loss around the holidays is a bit ridiculous, but for the first time in my life, when I sit down to write New Year's resolutions, I know that one of them I have already put some serious effort into, and that is a good feeling.

If any of you out there are hoping to do the same, I know you can do it. You just have to decided to make it a priority. And I have to say, success is one of the best feelings there is, especially when you know you worked hard!

Happy Holidays everybody =)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Still here, believe it or not!

Hi everyone,

Just a quick post to say I'm still around, just been very busy with school/work/life. Classes are over for the semester, but I still have a few things to finish up to get my final grade in one of my classes. I was fortunate enough to have a teacher who would work with me on some things. Working my job and being a full time graduate student has not been easy these last few months. I am actually looking forward to next semester so that I can only take two classes and be in the office more.

In other school related news, since I will be finished with school in exactly one year, Jennings and I are making plans for what to do after that. Originally I thought I may be able to take a leave from my job for a semester and then come back in the spring, but that's not going to work out. So I will be looking for teaching jobs starting in January 2014, which means we will likely go ahead and relocate to Fairhope, which has been our plan anyway. It's pretty scary to think about, but also exciting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

In WW news, I am still going to meetings, but have been up and down on the scale. I am still chasing down that 10 percent loss, and based on the weigh-in last week I am only 1.2 pounds away (need to get to 16 pounds!). I will weigh in tomorrow, so we will see. It has been pretty tough to keep up with WW and all the stress from school, but that doesn't mean I'm quitting. I have just revised my timeline and my expectations. Here are the numbers:

Weight: 147.2 pounds
Pounds lost (since October): .6
Total pounds lost: 14.8 pounds
Pounds to lose: 22.2 pounds

My ultimate goal is to get to goal weight by next August so I can be a FREE Lifetime Member and not have to pay for WW while I'm student teaching - since I won't have an income at that time (scary!). So that is about 30 weeks to lose a little over 20 pounds. If I lose a pound a week - it should happen - wish me luck!

I wish there were some more exciting things for me to share, but unfortunately not much going on with me except the daily grind. Hope y'all are doing well!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Back, and just in TIME (warp)!

So I have, regrettably, fallen off the face of the planet for a few weeks, but for good reason! I have been so busy with real life that virtual life didn't make it into my priority list. But Hurrah!- I am here to update you anyway.

First: I am knee deep in my methods block this semester, and I have been teaching at Northridge High School about 3 days a week. I am learning SO MUCH about what it is really like to be a teacher. I have the same feeling I did about making the transition from a college newspaper to a real-life newspaper. You just can't know what your strengths/weaknesses are until you get thrown out there on your own. So far it has been a great experience, and both my supervising teacher and my professor have given me lots of good feedback. Also, looks like I will be done with school a semester early (out of necessity - grad school is expensive!) and should be an official certified teacher by December 2013. Whoop whoop!

Second: My big sister got married! Even though there was quite a bit of last minute, behind-the-scenes work going on, her wedding ended up being quite a success. Everything worked out, lots of people came to see them on their special day, which means I got to see them too!

I need to take a moment to brag on the photographer Katie used, because she did such an amazing job:

Isn't she the prettiest?
So if you ever happen to be in the market for a great photographer, please check out Camille Moenkhaus, the photographer behind You won't be disappointed!

Third: It's almost Halloween, and around these parts that means it's Rocky Horror Picture Show time! This will be the FOURTH year Jennings and I have been a part of the Pink Box Burlesque's shadowcast, and this is our second year to be "Head Transylvanians." I am excited about the show this year, because I have done a little bit of a re-do of my costume. I will actually be dressing up like a specific Transylvanian from the show instead of just a random Transylvanian, as in year's past. So if you are in Tuscaloosa and are not going to the Mississippi State game, join us:

2012 Shadowcast Photo by Robert Sutton

And last, but not least..The WW story.

Well, the story is that I have fallen off the wagon a bit with WW. I have been going to meetings, but have not tracked in about 2-3 weeks - which is not good! I have gained just a bit, and will share the ugly details sometime in another post. But I am not giving up - just giving myself a chance to do better. Normally I would give myself such a guilt trip over this, but the fact that I have still lost 14-16 pounds is enough to let me lighten up on myself a bit. This is just a little bump in the road, and tomorrow is always an opportunity to do better. =)

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Color Run!

Hi everyone,

As promised, here are photos from The Color Run this past Saturday in Tuscaloosa. If any of you are looking to take the leap to doing a 5k, this one is definitely the one to start with. Dubbed "the happiest 5k on earth," the race was less about what your time was and more about having a good time. Originally I was slated to be on the Pink Box Burlesque team, but unfortunately several of the members had to drop out because they got food poisoning - yuck! (They are all ok now, fortunately.) But we still ended up having a pretty good group.

Here is "before" shot - all clean and white and pretty:

Then, 5k later, and "colorfied":

Here's some more of the group we ran with:

At the end of the race, everyone gets their own color packet and throws them up in the air together in a big cloud of color. They did it a few times for the late stragglers. This was probably my favorite part:

So that's how I spent my Saturday this weekend, how did your spend yours?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Speed bump

So I am a little sad to report that for the first time in nine weeks, I gained instead of lost. It was only a small gain, but that was all I needed to see that I had not been really sticking to my WW plan. here are the (regrettable) numbers:

Weight: 147.8 pounds
Pounds lost this week: +1.4
Total pounds lost: 14.2 pounds
Pounds to lose: 22.8 pounds

Also, due to my incredibly hectic work and school schedule this semester,I have decided to take a hiatus from karate. I am a little sad about this, because I was just about to test for my brown belt (it would have been today, actually). But, if I did not make any changes, I was headed toward a mental break down for sure.

So the only thing I can try harder. People always use the expression "one day at a time," and I would always just sort of nod and go on about life, but I am one of those people who is totally guilty of getting bogged down in either the past or planning for the future. So I am trying to do this one day at a time. Most days that's all I have the energy for.

Tomorrow is another weigh-in. I have switched to Thursdays, and I still don't really know how I feel about having the weekend all at the beginning of my week. I think I was more successful with it at the end of the week. But this is how things will be for now.

Also, Saturday, I am doing a 5k, called the Color Run. Have you heard of these? I think it will be really fun: Hopefully I'll get some cool pictures to share =)


Friday, September 21, 2012

Down 15 pounds! Can't beleive it!

So yesterday at WW, I got to get a little 5 pound sticker and everyone clapped. it was AWESOME. Here are the numbers:

Weight: 146.4 pounds
Pounds lost this week: -1
Total pounds lost: 15.6 pounds
Pounds to lose: 21.4 pounds

You'll notice that the "pounds to lose" number has shrunk significantly. That's not because I have been making outstanding progress, it's because I have revised my goal weight. I had originally thought I'd want to get down to 120, but now I'm thinking a more reasonable goal is 125. Healthy weight would just be 130, so 125 is in that range. I realize that the last time I was 120, I had a significantly smaller chest and almost no muscles (sorry, TMI), so I'm ok with changing my goal number.

In other news, school is driving me crazy and work is incredibly hectic. When I have another moment to breathe, I may update about that. But for now, I just wanted to share this happy moment.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Finally getting my head above water

Hi all,

Since I last posted life has gotten pretty busy, as I expected. But I just wanted to take this time to come back an update y'all (mostly myself) on progress. First things first - still on the WW train. Again, there have been some moments of not so good food choices, but there has still been a slow creep toward my weight loss goal. I've combined the progress from when I last posted:

Weight: 148 pounds
Pounds lost this week: -1.6
Total pounds lost: 14 pounds
Pounds to lose: 28 pounds

There are two big milestones around the corner, and if I can get myself motivated, perhaps they can happen at one weigh-in instead of two. The first is a 15 pound lost. that's pretty serious. To give you some context (because this helps me realize how far I've come) my cat Penny weighs about 7.5 pounds, so I will have lost two of my Penny =) Also she's cute:

The second milestone would be reaching my 10 percent goal, which is 16 pounds. So perhaps if I sit down and make a plan for the next week, I can make it work.

In other news, school is in full swing and i have started my placement at Northridge High School. It's 10th and 11th grade, and right now I think I am just feeling out the teacher and the students. So far, though, I have a pretty good feeling about it and I think i will end up being a good experience for me. the only thing that is a struggle is me taking off time from work to do this placement. So i leave the school feeling pretty good about the day and then I rush back to work and immediately feel behind on everything. It's been hard to juggle and I have 12 more weeks to go! I guess at this point, I really should just take it one day at a time.

So that is all for now. I am hoping to be posting again on a regular basis, but we'll see how that goes. In the meantime - everybody enjoy the promise of fall around the corner!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A small loss and a BIG freak out...

So this week was my last time to visit the Monday WW meeting for the semester, because starting next Monday, I will have a class at the time of the meeting. Boo. It was sad to think about not getting to see the same people each week and check in on their progress. It's amazing, after 16 weeks, you really get to know people's stories and struggles. They have also helped me with my own struggles. There is a girl there who started just a few weeks after me, and her name is Kelli (with an 'i' just like me!) and we have really bonded. She wasn't at last night's meeting, so I didn't really get to say good bye to her. I did tell our leader to tell her I'd miss her for a while, though. So I'll be weighing in Mondays still, but going to meetings on Thursdays. I hope I can start going back to Monday meetings once school is over. One good thing about going to Thursday meetings is my friend Nikki goes to the Thursday meeting. I hope we can really encourage each other to keep up the progress. So here are the numbers:

Weight: 149.6 pounds
Pounds lost this week: -.2
Total pounds lost: 12.4 pounds
Pounds to lose: 29.6 pounds

It's just a very small loss, but still a loss. I am hoping to get down just a few more pounds before Labor Day. I had set a goal at one of the early summer meetings to be down to 143 by Labor Day (that would have been a pound a week) but I know that won't happen. So my new reasonable goal will be to get to 147-148. And that would be awesome.

In other life news, classes officially start tomorrow and I am completely panicked about my schedule. I keep trying to figure out how I can prepare for this, but I know that in the end, there is nothing I can do except try my best and just get through it.

Lots of people started school yesterday, and I have a surprising number of friends who were teachers. On Facebook people were either posting pictures of their kids starting school again, or pictures of their classrooms all ready to start the year. It made me a little sentimental, somehow. I really am looking forward to being a teacher. I know I complain about school right now, and my job gets me down. But I know that I am working toward a goal, and God willing and the Creek don't rise*, I will get there.

*FUN FACT* This is one of my favorite phrases. The "Creek" is thought to refer to the Creek Indians during the late 18th century when the U.S. government was trying to reclaim parts of their land, but some believe its etymology came before that. It's also the name of one of my favorite Ray LeMontagne albums.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A surprising loss!

So after getting my sister to join WW, I was pretty pumped. But this week, unfortunately, I did not do as well in the activity department. Despite being aware that I needed to do some activity to compensate for the lack of karate this week, I was pretty lazy until this weekend. Jennings and I did some major yard work, and I was surprised at how winded I got. I think it was because of the heat, too. But, another surprise is that I lost weight! I was so expecting to stay the same or gain.

Here are the numbers:

Weight: 149.8 pounds
Pounds lost this week: -1.4
Total pounds lost: 12.2 pounds
Pounds to lose: 29.8 pounds

Also when classes start (in only 8 days! Yikes!) I won't be able to go to the Monday meetings anymore, and that makes me sad. I have really enjoyed getting to know those folks. I'm going to have to start going to the Thursday meeting, which means I will miss one day a week of karate. I hate that my schedule is going to be so jam packed, but that is life sometimes.

I'm already stressing about hard this semester is going to be, and I need to quit that, because it makes me want to just go home, get under a blanket and eat popcorn and ice cream all afternoon and sulk.

But I'm not going to do that. I'm going to refocus, and do better.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Katie joined the Weight Watchers Party!

So this past weekend I was down in Mobile because Jennings was the best man in his friend's wedding, so we stayed with my sister. For many months now, she and I have been talking about Weight Watchers. I have been telling her about my progress and encouraging her to start, but she just needed a little extra push.

So on Saturday, without much warning, I told her that she and I had to run an errand. I drove her to the Weight Watchers meeting place that is just minutes from her house and signed her up! I have to say, she is a trooper for letting me bombard her like that. I am very excited for her to go on this journey with me. So if you know her or are friends with her on Facebook, send her some encouraging words!

So here are the numbers from this week's weigh-in for me:

Weight: 151.3 pounds
Pounds lost this week: -.2
Total pounds lost: 10.8 pounds
Pounds to lose: 31.2 pounds

It is a small loss, but a loss nonetheless. I did end up eating Chinese buffet basically twice this weekend (the wedding rehearsal dinner and the wedding food was Chinese because of the bride's heritage), so I am still going to count this in the "win" category.

I do have a challenge this week because our karate instructor is out of town this week on a trip to Costa Rica, so I am going to have to find some other ways to get in some activity points to keep up my progress.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I've lost 10 pounds!

So I weighed in today after missing last night's meeting. It was such a yucky day at work that I drove straight home and completely FORGOT about the meeting. Yea, it was one of those days. The nice thing about WW is that even though I missed the meeting, when I weighed in today my leader was so nice and just wanted to know how I was. No judgement. Just positive support. So here are the numbers:

Weight: 151.5 pounds
Pounds lost this week: -1.6
Total pounds lost: 10.6 pounds
Pounds to lose: 31.4 pounds

I have to say I was totally shocked. I had some struggles this week because of stress, and there were some times where I made pretty bad food choices. I guess the only thing that kept me on track was the fact that I kept up on my exercise. It was the last week of Summer Slimdown, I went to karate, and helped a friend move over the weekend. Another great thing about WW is you can get activity points for any kind of activity you do - even moving! I know it is not structured exercise, but it does take effort - so i counted it! As soon as I get my final results from the Summer Slimdown, I'm going to post them here, too.

So it has been about 13 weeks, and I am pretty positive I am going to stick with it. Now my next goal (in addition to continuing my own weight loss) is to get my sister to join with me. We've talked about it several times, but she hasn't quite committed to trying it. I know she's busy, and I can totally relate! But i just want her to experience the success that I have. I know she can do it! So, you know what this means - I'm coming for you next, Katie!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A good loss

After last week's gain, I really wanted to get back on track. And while I did not make the absolute BEST food choices, I still managed to lose:

Weight: 153 pounds
Pounds lost this week: -1
Total pounds lost: 9 pounds
Pounds to lose: 33 pounds

I think the biggest part of the loss was all the activity I did. I continued the Summer Slimdown, did karate twice, and we spent the weekend at a karate camp in Tennessee. Here are some pictures from the Facebook page:

This is my dojo during the morning workout. I am the short one third from the back =)

Here is me during a seminar on self defense.

This is during the speed breaking competition.

I got first place!

So it ended up being a good weekend. I learned a lot about karate, and it was also a special weekend, because Jennings and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary. Hard to believe five years ago, this is what we were up to:

Here's to 5 more years! =)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A small gain...and I still need a vacation.

So after all my talk last week, I really fell off the wagon Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Most of it was related to stress with work and school, so there was a slight increase in my numbers:

Weight: 154 pounds
Pounds lost this week: +.4
Total pounds lost: 8 pounds
Pounds to lose: 34 pounds

But all I can do is try to get back on track. I went to my meeting, and even suffered through a workout at lunch. I'm going to try to eat better too. So we'll see how that goes....

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A small loss and ...I need a vacation!

So yesterday was another weigh-in, so you lucky readers out there get to see another set of numbers that probably only matter to me - sorry!

Weight: 153.6 pounds
Pounds lost this week: -.2
Total pounds lost: 8.4 pounds
Pounds to lose: 33.6 pounds

So I only lost .2 pounds, but that is still a loss. I think there are a few factors at play. For one, I made some bad food choices toward the end of the week, i.e. FIVE GUYS. I have been telling myself the whole time I've been on Weight Watchers that I just shouldn't go there. There are too many points in the foods there, and is it really worth it? I have been able to stave off any cravings, but on Friday, that just didn't happen. We got Five Guys for dinner. I did make some modifications, such as no cheese no bacon on my hamburger (even though I love both of those things) and only ate about half the fries I normally would. But even with the sensible changes, afterward I still felt like I had let myself down. I thought that it would be so satisfying to eat that hamburger.

But here's the truth: It wasn't.

So here I am, nearly nine weeks in and I'm still learning about my food habits. It's still amazing to me how food can still have a hold over me. I know this is something I will always struggle with.

The other factor at play is that fact that there was no karate last week. Tuesday was the day before Fourth of July, and their office let out early, so class was cancelled. Also Thursday, only three of us showed up, which is not much of a class, so again, class cancelled. I only went to the workout once last week because Tuesday I had a work meeting during the workout time and I hadn't woken up early enough to go to the 6 am session.

I'm hoping to go back to being active this week and see some real progress. I notice that when I plan foods and just eat within my point limits, I tend to get more done both at work and with school. I think if I don't do those things, there is just always this underlying stress going on and it affects my ability to do good work.

So what challenges do you face when it comes to food/diet?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Yes, I'm still alive - just been a little busy!

Hi everyone,

Sorry to break my streak of posting every week, but as usual life got in the way! Between summer classes and several things going on at work, blogging has fallen kind of low on the totem pole. I'm going to try to remedy that soon.

First things first, some good news to report on the weight loss front! Since I last posted, I have continued to lose weight. Here are the numbers:

Weight: 153.8 pounds
Pounds lost (two weeks): -1.6
Total pounds lost: 8.2 pounds
Pounds to lose: 33.8 pounds

I have continued to track all of my food and I have increased my activity level. The Summer Slimdown program at the gym and also an intense karate testing have really helped me keep on track. There are only 4 more weeks of the Summer Slimdown, so I am going to try to focus on getting in some more gym time while I still have access to the Rec Center.

Also, I reached my 5 percent goal in Weight Watchers. This is pretty cool, because it represents a benchmark in weight loss. Doctors say if you lose 5 percent of your body weight, you already reduce your risk of health problems - and that is what this whole journey has been about! So because I reached this goal, I have started to reflect on some changes over the last 8 or so weeks. Most of them are small, and only things I would notice, but I am incredibly proud of the fact that there are any changes at all. As I have mentioned before, I have tried plenty of things to lose weight, but could never stick with anything. And I have stuck with this for over 8 weeks! I even went into Old Navy over the weekend to try on some shorts just to see if my size had changed any. I am happy to report that I dropped two sizes! =)

So anyway, for all of you out there who are on a weight loss journey, or even on a personal journey, just stick with it. If you do, you can expect to see some results!

Over and out.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Another loss - yay!

So I've been plugging away at this Weight Watchers thing for a while, and it's starting to feel like my "normal." That's not something I think I would have said about any of the other things I tried in the past. So here are the numbers for today's weigh-in:

Weight: 155.4 pounds
Pounds lost this week: -.8
Total pounds lost: 6.6 pounds
Pounds to lose: 35.4 pounds

There have been a few times where even though I have stuck to my points, I haven't made the best choices. For example, last night, Jennings and I ate grilled cheese sandwiches AND cheese fries for dinner. It was a major splurge. We even split a big chocolate chip cookie. I had some weekly points left, so it could have been much worse, but afterwards I still felt a little guilty for eating all that. I just know that if I had made a better choice along with the two days I worked out this past week, I would have made more progress.

But, it's a process. So I will learn from it and see how next week turns out. I'm really hoping I can get to my 5 % goal, which is 8 pounds lost. All I need to do is lose 1.4 pounds! That is going to motivate me this week to do better.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Quick weight update

Hi everyone,

Just a quick note to do the numbers:

Weight: 156.2 pounds
Pounds lost this week: -1
Total pounds lost: 5.8 pounds
Pounds to lose: 36.2 pounds

Yay for losing the .2 pounds I gained plus some!
Happy day!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bump in the road

So yesterday was another weigh-in at Weight Watchers. I was not confident that I had done very well the week before. It was just one of those times where life got in the way, I think. So here are the numbers:

Weight: 157.2 pounds
Pounds lost this week: +.2
Total pounds lost: 4.8 pounds
Pounds to lose: 37.2 pounds

So I gained back what I barely lost the week before. Not my finest performance. Also, regrettably, we made a bad choice for dinner last night and went to the Jim N' Nick's that they just opened here in Tuscaloosa. Even with eating a salad, and getting grilled fish, I still went way overboard on the points. I regret to report that those yummy little cheese biscuits are a full 6 points each! I had two of them before I looked up how much they were. So pretty much two of those biscuits is equal to the points value I should have eaten last night. C'est la vie.

I almost didn't post about this because I was so discouraged. But I realize that part of this is to keep myself accountable. So I have to write about the bad as much as the good. So there it is in black and white.

Has anyone else out there had some challenges lately with a goal you are trying to reach?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Quick weight update

The Weight Watchers office was closed for Memorial Day, so I went in to do a weigh-in today during my lunch break. Here are the numbers:

Weight: 157 pounds
Pounds lost this week: -.2
Total pounds lost: 5 pounds (I got a blue star!)
Pounds to lose: 37 pounds

So I decided to change up my number above, because I thought it would serve my own needs better. And well, as for your needs as a reader......I'm not sure? Anyway, I took off the "weeks to go" part, because the truth is, I don't have a deadline for this weight loss. I just want it to happen. I think if I put it into those kinds of terms, I may not be as successful. That is what happened to me in the past. I tried to hard to make myself fit into a certain structure, and as soon as I was out of that, I would quit altogether. I also decided to add the pounds lost per week number because that helps me to see how I am doing from one week to another.

This week, for example, I only went down .2 pounds. That is the least amount of weight I have lost in a week so far. But I went into the weigh in thinking I may have gained, so I am going to proudly display that as a loss.

I have started to formulate ideas on when and why I eat, and one of them I think is triggered by loneliness. There are times when I was a kid (middle school in particular) that I got home from school and I was all alone at home for a few hours before my dad got home from work. Sometimes my sister was there, but many of the times she had plans with her friends or school activities to do. One of my pitfalls during that time is that I would just eat anything in the cupboard, without any regard for what dinner might be. I think it was to provide me some kind of comfort. Not only was I bored, but I think I was lonely sometimes.

This pattern has not stopped in adulthood. There are sometimes when I am home alone because Jennings is out of town, or gone to see some friends, or any number of things, and I end up falling into that same cycle. I want to eat. Not out of hunger, not even totally boredom (though it is a small part of it) but out of loneliness. At first I always tell myself that I will enjoy a little time to myself. But after a while, I realize that it did not live up to what I thought it would be.

So with all of that personal info out there, I guess I just want to say that this journey is becoming about more than just weight loss, it's about changing behaviors and improving relationships.

Have you ever thought about why you eat?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How to go out of town and still lose weight!

Hi everyone,

I am back in town from the Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores. It was a really fun time. I got to see some of my family and some pretty great music. I got a tiny bit sunburned, but that is to be expected with my somewhat fair complexion.

Here is a picture my sister took from the weekend's festivities:

One of the challenges of this trip was trying to figure out how to not completely blow my Weight Watchers progress. So when we got to our beach house, we went to the grocery store and bought stuff to make breakfast, some healthy snacks like fruit and even some lunch items. The whole time we were there, I only had to eat two meals inside the fest. The rest of the time I ate at our beach house and made good choices. The craziest thing about it was it wasn't even that difficult! Imagine that.

We also walked quite a bit each day to get from our beach house to the fest and then back and forth across the beach for shows, so I racked up some healthy activity points. So with all of that, I am happy to report:

I lost 2.2. pounds! That's the most I've ever lost!

So for those of you keeping track, here are the numbers:

Weight: 157.2 pounds
Pounds lost: 4.8 pounds
Pounds to lose: 37.2 pounds
Weeks to go: 18 weeks

Yay! Anyways, hope everyone has a great week.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Embarrassing food story

Ok, so part of my current health status has to do with the fact that I suffer from some pretty serious food cravings and a pretty serious lack of control. When I was younger, I think most of this went unchecked because I was relatively active, etc. but now in my old age (late 20s, hahaha) it is all catching up with me.

So on this Weight Watchers journey, I have really been trying to teach myself about control. Since I know I have to track everything I eat, I have mostly avoided cravings out of the sheer humiliation factor of trying to figure out how many points are in a quarter pounder and fries from McDonald's. I have done relatively well. I have mostly made myself figure out hunger from boredom. But there are still those lingering cravings, and last night was one of them.

So I ended up spending most of the night at home alone because Diablo III came out so Jennings had gone to his friend's house to play it together. We had already eaten dinner and I had already used up my points for the day. All I had to do before bed was some laundry, so in between loads I watched TV. Bad idea. I really think a big factor in my cravings has to do with how many food commercials there are on late night TV. It also doesn't help that I watch shows like Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. So there I am minding my own business and this voice in my head says, "You need tater tots." I tell myself, "That's ridiculous, you already ate for tonight, you're not hungry." But the voice persisted, "You need tater tots with CHILI and CHEESE on them." Ugh. I tried to reason with myself, I paced around the room, I even looked in every cabinet in my kitchen and in my fridge (as if I would magically have that somewhere). So for the better part of 2 hours I fought a mental battle with myself over CHILI CHEESE TOTS. And you know what?

I won.

All I ended up doing was eating a tablespoon of peanut butter. You know how many points that is? Only 3. Instead of the 9 point chili cheese tots that would only make me feel awful.

Yes, it's embarrassing, but I am counting this as a win.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Quick update

Just a quick post to keep track of my progress:

Weight: 159.4 pounds
Pounds lost: 2.6 pounds
Pounds to lose: 39.4 pounds
Weeks to go: 19 weeks

Yay for progress - even if it is small!

Also, later this week we are headed down to Hangout Fest and that is very exciting!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

On North Carolina and President Obama

This week in politics has, in many ways, been like non other in recent memories. For starters, North Carolina joined the party of every other Southern state that banned gay marriage. They went a little bit further than some of their Southern counterparts by also banning civil unions and any and all legal contract that could be construed as marriage. To add fuel to the fire, President Obama finally came out and said that he supports gay marriage. Not only did he say "I am not opposed" but he used the term affirm, which in my mind is a pretty strong endorsement that he felt this way for quite some time.

As per usual,, our state's premier online news source (I say this with sarcasm, mostly), was flooded with bigoted and hateful comments about not only how people shouldn't vote for Obama in the fall because of his belief, but also some went so far as to even call the president a fag himself. If you spend even a millisecond scanning the rest of them someone brings up racism, slavery, reproductive rights, and a whole gamut of issues that will never be settled, especially on the pages of a message board.

What makes me especially angry is that so much effort has been thrown into this argument about the "sanctity of marriage," yet we have an incredibly high divorce rate. Furthermore, the group that talks about wanting to leave government out of our private lives is (in general) the same group of people who jump on the anti-gay marriage bandwagon. The last time I checked, the relationship you share with your partner is about the most private and personal relationship a person can have.

While I understand that states want to have say in the issue because "marriage" for them is for all intents and purposes a legal contract that provides them tax revenue as well as a guidelines for how to view property. But in all honest, why not support civil unions? What harm does it bring? A gay couple marrying has no effect on your own ability or desire to get married, be married, or stay married.

I really hope that I get to see the day when people in the LGBT community get what they deserve - equality. Because frankly, it's long overdue.


Also, I found this. It's a little sarcastic and has some language, but it makes a point....

Monday, May 7, 2012

One week down

So I have officially been doing Weight Watchers for one week. I am happy to report that I tracked my points each day, and I feel really good about sticking to the plan. I have my next weigh-in this evening, so I will update the post with my progress.

I have to say the biggest challenge so far has been deciphering what I thought was hunger from boredom. There were several points during the week (especially right after work or right before bed) where I was on the couch, and normally I would have gotten a snack because I thought I was hungry. But now, since I have to track everything that I eat, I really thought about it, and most of the time it wasn't hunger at all. It's strange how our minds can trick us into these things.

I also think another point that I am guilty of eating at is if I've had a bad day. In my mind, I rationalize the situation and say "I had a sucky day, I'm going to just eat this now because I deserve to." And that's not really how I should be thinking. I need to find other ways to cope with bad days. I also need to give myself some positive reinforcement. If I have a good day, or a good week, or reach a goal, why not reward myself in another way besides food? I will have to think about these things and how I can actually make them work, but I am optimistic.

The other thing to be excited about is that my spring semester is over, and I will have a one month break from school. I get really happy when summer comes in Tuscaloosa, because the city is actually nice to live in. With oh.... 25,000 +/- fewer people on the roads and crowding up every store, restaurant, and bar it's actually nice to be here. Don't get me wrong, those students help pay for my salary, but it's nice to have a little bit of a break!

Anyways, off to work for now and will update with my weight later!


Yay! I made progress!

Weight: 160 pounds
Pounds lost: 2 pounds
Pounds to lose: 40 pounds
Weeks to go: 20 weeks

Monday, April 30, 2012

The only way I know to start is to jump right in

Hi everyone,

I have probably blogged more than my fair share of times about eating better, getting in shape, being healthier, etc. But I am happy to report that I have officially taken a significant first step to doing all of that: I joined Weight Watchers. I started tracking my food on Saturday, but won't be going to my first meeting until today after work. I will add an update after the meeting of my starting stats and the goals I've set for myself.

Also on Saturday, I kicked off this whole getting healthier thing by doing a 5k with Jennings. It was the Mayor's 5k Run/Walk to help support the Tuscaloosa Pre-K Initiative. Here are some of our fellow runners from his work:
Overall it was a good experience. It is the second 5k I have done, but I didn't "train" or "prepare" for either one of them. My only expectations for both of these races was to just do them and run the parts that I felt I could, which is what I did. I think that if I set some goals for myself, then maybe the next 5k I do will have an even better outcome.

The reason I am blogging about all of this is that I have followed several blogs in the last year of people I know (and those that I don't know in person) who have lost weight on various diet and exercise plans. All of them were successful and part of that is because their blogging made them more accountable for their whole process. I am hoping to do that here. Going to Weight Watchers meetings and putting myself out there is a really big thing for me, but I know I have to try something different if I really want this to be a success.

So I guess above will be my "before" picture, and we'll see what happens to the "after..."

Official weigh-in: 162 pounds
Goal weight: 120 pounds
Pounds to lose: 42
Tentative weight loss goal deadline: 21 weeks (September 24)

So i'm totally freaked out that I put this on here, all out in the internet and all, but there it is. I may even investigate one of those tracker thingies....

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thoughts on the day...

...that changed everything.

One year ago today an EF-5 tornado burst through Tuscaloosa. I have very mixed emotions about dredging up the past, but I felt obligated to mark this day somehow. So many things have happened in a year, and yet in some ways not enough has happened.

So I decided to take a trip to my old neighborhood, Forest Lake, and do a one year later video of where Jennings and I used to live.

At this point, I am really trying to focus on the future and on the positive things. For one, if the tornado never came, we never would have found our cat, Penny, who we love very much. For two, Jennings and everyone we know is safe and ok. That's all we could ask for.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Alabama Immigration law

I had to go to the DMV today to get my license renewed, and fortunately it was a much more pleasant experience than when I had to get my vehicle tags renewed. At the time, the state has just begin to enforce the new immigration law that requires anyone who applies for a license of any kind to provide proof of citizenship via approved documents or social security number. Everyone in line was freaking out because it was taking too much time to process. I even had to call and get Jennings' social security number because his name is listed on my vehicle title. Everyone was griping and complaining, and in that moment, I looked at those people and thought, "Well this is what you wanted."

Well it has been a few months since the law was enacted, and as per usual, proponents of the law and critics of the law are doing battle on what the impact of the law will really be, especially in terms of economics. Recently the Center for Business and Economic Research at UA published a cost-benefit analysis for the law, and all the supporters of the bill are not having any of it.

One of the main findings of the study is a very general and practical point, "Economies are demand-driven and so any policy, regulation, law, or action that reduces demand will shrink the economy no matter how well-intentioned."

But, of course, this is what the legislators have to say about it:

"That's baloney," state Rep. Micky Hammon, R-Decatur, immigration bill cosponsor, told the Huntsville Times. "It's clear the study overestimates the negative and underestimates the positive to skew the result toward an agenda," Hammon said. "If 40,000 illegal workers leave the state, they free up jobs that homegrown Alabamians are happy to have."

Do they not think these folks get paid big bucks to do this all the time? Why would their conclusions be erroneous, simply because you think the law is such a great idea?

It just irritates me that things like this are the predominant images of Alabama. People around the country stereotype us as low country, down home, good old boys who are racist, sexist, and poor. In some ways, I can see why they would think that, when so many of the decisions that our state government makes end up looking so backward-thinking.

This American Life did a great piece on this topic. Even Gerald Dial, one of the senators who helped passed the law, said he regretted passing such a widely-reaching law. But he only means that for foreign companies who are looking to invest in the state.

I am the kind of person who believes in the little guy, and in this case, the little guy is the Latino person who lives next to you or goes to your school or you see in the store. All of them, even the legal ones, are being targeted in this law, and I think that is the wrong way to deal with this issue.

::steps off soapbox::

Thursday, January 26, 2012

James Spann made me cry

So for those of you who live in Alabama, the name James Spann needs no explanation. Although he is merely a weather man, he has emerged in the last several years to be a celebrity of sorts. In part, it has to do with his demeanor and his enthusiasm for meteorology. But for another part, it has to do with how he has become synonymous with severe weather. He is a trusted source for the weather in our state, and I haven't met s single person who doesn't think of him as a trustworthy beacon of knowledge on the topic. In fact, the man is so popular that he actually has more Facebook friends AND Twitter followers than Diane Sawyer. But with all glowing remarks aside, James Spann is actually a person, and today, he made me cry.

I went to a monthly luncheon of my professional organization for my job, PRCA, and he was the guest speaker. Since he is from the Tuscaloosa area and since the April 27 tornado was such a big part of this community, most of his remarks were naturally about that day and his part in it. He talked about the warning systems and how he spent hours on end trying to answer tweets and Facebook posts, because he knew that not everyone watches the TV, or has access to TV, and he felt as though if he could reach out to as many people as possible, perhaps those people who didn't know could be warned and taken to a safe place. Still and all, there ended up being 252 deaths - 41 of them in my city alone. And that is too many. He talked about how the antiquated tornado siren system does not work, and that everyone needs to rethink how they get weather alerts.

But then he also talked about the damage itself. He showed clips from the live broadcast of that day. Our power went out right at when they showed the trunk of the storm over Central High School. Today was the first time I actually saw where the tornado hit my house. In many ways, I have avoided seeing that footage. It almost as if I didn't see it, then it didn't really happen. It didn't really do all the horrible things that it did. But I know that I can't run away from that experience. When he switched to the aerial shots of Forest Lake from the next day, and I saw my old house crumpled in a pile of other houses that were indistinguishable from piles of lumber, I started to tear up.

It has been a while since I have really thought about the tornado. In fact, when someone mentioned we were nearing a one-year anniversary in just three months, I was taken aback. I cannot believe so much time has passed, and yet in some places in Tuscaloosa, it looks as though it happened yesterday. Fortunately, my family has been able to relocate and start over, but I know there are many that still have not be able to. And that makes me sad.

I guess I cried out of sadness.
I guess I cried out of anger.
I guess I cried because I didn't know how else to feel.

That storm changed so many things. And as much as I'd like to admit that I am over it, I think that it will still come back and get me like it did today.

But this is what I have learned.

People are important above any material thing.
Relationships require healing, just like physical wounds.
Life is a fragile and strange thing.
You think you have it figured out, and then all of a sudden you feel like you don't know a thing in the world.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Year....Same Me?

So here it is again, another new year. I am usually bitten by the "new year's resolution bug," but for some reason this year's transition from 2011 to 2012 was a little anticlimactic and I am still feeling the way I did before the holidays.

The only thing I can say about 2011 is that it was a tough year for me, and in many ways I am glad to close that chapter. I lost my grandfather to cancer, I lost a house in a tornado, and had many set-backs in between. But...ever the optimist, I am trying to see the good things in life. So here is a Top 10 of sorts of GOOD things from 2011 (in no particular order):

  1. I started a new job as communications specialist in the Dean's Office for the College of Arts and Sciences at UA.
  2. We adopted our cat Penny, who is my very own fur baby bundle of lovey-ness.
  3. I went to the Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores and had a blast!
  4. I got to reconnect with my aunts and cousins at the beach - I've really missed them in my life.
  5. Got to enjoy an annual girls weekend with two of my favorite friends (Can't wait for the next one!)
  6. Moved into a bigger, nicer house that I have really enjoyed so far.
  7. Celebrated 9 years of being in a relationship with Jennings, and 4 years of marriage.
  8. I got to go to not one, but TWO Auburn football games - War Eagle!
  9. Completed my first ever 5k race.
  10. Moved up to the rank of green belt in karate
 Here's to hoping that 2012 holds more positives than negatives!