My first week on Weight Watchers was hard but manageable. It always takes a little while to get used to how much less food I'm allowed to eat! There's also the challenge of exercising my willpower and integrity; I can't sneak food and not add it to my points! I did finish the week with 5 points leftover, all of which are activity points (I earned 31 for the week, although I think that's a slight underestimate). Below are the results of my first week (and I do realize that most of it is probably water weight right now!)...
Indy (oldest cat) has been due for his senior check up and blood work for about a month now. After the expenses we incurred from Stetson's chemo, needless to say, I've been putting things off while paying the debt off! I finally gave in and decided to take Indy in, along with Stetson. It never hurts to check Stetson; he has/had cancer after all and he grows new lumps and bumps every day.
Indy hates getting in the crate. Actually, Indy hates being moved outside of his comfort zone which is the four corners of the house. I have to find new stealth ways to get him into his crate because a lack of speed results in being peed on from chest to feet. It's happened many times and it's something I can do without. Today I managed to get him packed up without incident, although the howling happened regardless. I drove both Indy and Stetson over to our vet (10 minutes or less thank goodness) and got settled into a room in record time.
The vet tech came in and wrote down my long neurotic list of things to check and off Indy went into the back. Fifteen minutes later he returned with vet and tech, exam complete, blood work drawn, anal glands expressed, and urine tested. The vet was happy with his exam except for the fact that he has a new heart murmur. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!? For those who don't know my last two cats passed away suddenly from heart disease (in both cases cardiomyopathy). Both had heart murmurs present at a young age; one received daily meds while the other one did not. I'm pretty sure I just gave the vet a look of utter disbelief to which her response was "I feel really bad- every time you come I give you bad news". Yeah, no kidding. I asked her my options and after she went through them I decided to hold off on the heart disease test for a few months; I was more concerned about his possibility of hyperthyroidism. Besides, Indy is 12 years old so I have to be realistic about what I would want to put him through.
Next up was Stetson and luckily his exam was fairly benign. The vet didn't seem too concerned about any of his lumps/bumps and she thinks his other issues (dry mouth, anxiety, random limping) are a combination of his newer deafness and arthritis. I have resumed his Adequan and hope that it will at least help the arthritis again. Otherwise he seemed to be okay. I left after paying a large bill (partially for my neuroticism) with strong hopes that Indy's blood work would be okay.
**Edited to add: The vet called a little while ago and Indy's blood work was BEAUTIFUL. Liver, kidney, and thyroid values were all right in normal range; his thyroid value wasn't even as high as it was last time. At least that gives me only heart disease to worry about now (which isn't a shocker- cats, HCM, and I have a long history).
eating/drinking: a peanut butter/soy milk/banana smoothie
feeling: proud of myself. the magic of working out
listening: penny fling her plastic easter egg around the room, the tv
watching: grey's anatomy
reading: i'm actually in between books right now. i've read a bunch recently (see reading tab) that were all pretty good, but now that i'm starting my new job i need to be reading my icu books so i don't look like a moron
loving: this weather. i super-love being able to leave the windows open all day and night
disliking: that weight watchers hardly gives me any points. it makes sense but man do i love food. i also love eating copious amounts of food. that's my problem
thinking: i can't wait to go to the farmer's market tomorrow. ww allows me to eat most fruits and veggies point free so i will now be consuming large amounts of fresh produce to divert my attention away from cupcakes for a while
hoping: i like my new unit
wishing: world peace. win the lottery. eat all i want and not gain any weight. same things as always
AB and I tried Weight Watchers last year when the cumulative size of our waists had become ridiculous. I recall losing a little weight, but not sticking with the program nor keeping it off (although when I re-registered I discovered that last time I had lost ~12 lbs). Since then my battle with my weight has gone on at a steady rate; I run, I quit running, I diet, I quit dieting, I give up foods, I eat all of those foods in one sitting, let's try running again, rinse and repeat. I have managed to fluctuate within a 10lb range now for several years. Until recently.
This past weekend I was feeling particularly fluffy; I had been sick for the preceding week and hadn't done a lick of exercise other than walk my dog around the neighborhood (and it's more like a slow foot-dragging while he stops and pees on everything). I had also eaten my fair share of cupcakes and been on a few too many beer flights, so I stepped on the scale.
Holy shit. Before anyone thinks "167? Please, that's nothing. And you're tall. Quit being a drama queen" I must point out that I have never weighed that much in my entire life. When AB and I started dating (and I was 28 at the time) I weighed 135lbs. For those who are mathematically challenged, that's a 33lb weight gain during our relationship. I was floored. I was also frustrated, sad, disgusted with myself, and thoroughly disappointed in how far I had let myself go considering I've never had a child, haven't hit menopause, only work 3 days a week, and have a body perfectly capable of physical exertion (not to mention how shallow I am).
The next morning was my first day at work (orientation) so I was required to wear business casual. It only took a few attempts to discover that my size 12 "fat pants" didn't even fit. I had no choice but to suck it in, zip it up, and slouch my way through the day in a pathetic attempt to hide the rolls that had very obviously formed along the sides of my abdomen.
When I got home from work I immediately hopped online and re-registered for another 3 month Weight Watchers membership. I know it failed the first time because of my lack of dedication and self control, but I honestly believe the fat pants experience sealed the deal. Since Tuesday I have been trying to make my 27 points/day allowance work and it's not easy (the more weight you have to lose the more points you get; I'm considered to be close to my "healthy weight range" so I don't get a lot to work with). I've also started back running and using the elliptical, so I pray the combined exercise and low food intake will help this issue out.
My long term goal is to get down to 145lbs. I think back to the times when I weighed that amount, and it was always a healthy weight for me; I wasn't starving but I was comfortable with how I looked and able to carry myself with some pride. It's also a weight that I spent more than a few years at so I don't think it's an unrealistic goal. I'd also be happy with returning to my size 8 frame. I build muscle easily (thanks Mom!) so I could give a little on the weight if only my waistline would cooperate (and I have no desire to spend money on new clothes in bigger sizes!).
This is probably more than most people wanted to know about my body's ability to pack cellulite like a wagon on the Oregon Trail, but getting it out there has always helped my dedication and commitment to something. Wish me luck?
Tomorrow Alex, Laird, and Kris head back Seattle, and as always it's sad to see them go. I'm very thankful for the 3 weeks they were able to stay in Raleigh, but as usual I wasn't able to spend as much time with them as I would have liked. For one reason or another, a sore throat and head cold got passed around at my parent's house during their entire visit and despite chugging Airborne and washing my hands constantly I still succumbed to the sickness. There were also a few work days in there, including this week, which happened to be the times when I wasn't feeling crappy. Shocker.
Regardless, I always end up with an overwhelming wave of sadness when it's time to say good bye. My youngest sister has always been my closest female friend, and while we sometimes go a week without talking, it never feels like we miss a day. We have our differences, but as someone who's incredibly antisocial (not to mention lazy when it comes to making new friends) it's always been a blessing to have the kind of relationship we've managed to maintain. Also, I love the hell out of my nephew and can't stand not having him around for months at a time (and my brother-in-law isn't too bad either!). They grow up fast...no joke.
There's also no chance whatsoever that the three of them will ever move back to North Carolina, so until I'm old and gray and my sister has no choice but to be my caregiver there will always be good byes from one end or the other. I won't lie- sometimes I think it would be nice to be a kid again; with no responsibilities, no job to have to maintain, and family all in one place! What can I say? I grew up with a close knit family. There's an actual list of additional reasons why I'm feeling some good bye depression right now, but I'll save everyone the boredom of reading about them (and in the interest of not looking like an emotional loon).
For some pictures from their visit, please go here.
This past Wednesday was my last day working as an RN in the recovery room at [for those who know me, insert hospital name here] one of our country's larger teaching hospitals*. While I'd been counting down to "the end" for quite a while, when the time came to say good bye to the many people that aren't into social networking and therefore I'm highly unlikely to ever see again. I realized that leaving was bittersweet. This job was my first one out of nursing school and I had ignored just how many truly awesome people I had been able to get to know and work around, and just how much this job had taught me about healthcare. My unit was even kind enough to throw a dessert party for another coworker and I as a farewell celebration (cupcakes, they knew me well). Surprisingly, I teared up a little at the end of the night, but the spat my manager and I got into the first half of the day unfortunately overshadowed everything else (and did she say goodbye to me? wish me well? wish me luck? thank me for working my ass off for her? hell no). I will miss many of my peers though and hope to stay in touch with the ones I formed friendships with.
*In the interest of not getting fired or losing my license months from now due to some ridiculous HIPAA violation, I will not be naming my former place of employment. I try to be vague about patient stories but these days you never know.
Since January I've been doing the Couch-to-10K program on my iPhone. Needless to say, once I made it through week 8 (a 5K distance) my participation in said program has slowed down considerably. The first run in week 9 was a BIG jump up from the 30 minutes I had been running and honestly, I've pretty much stuck with running only 3-3.5 miles since then and working on speed rather than distance. The way I see it, the faster I run the less time I spend doing something I don't really enjoy.
Okay, something I don't enjoy at all.
I feel I've given running an honest shot at being something I would like to do and it doesn't work. I cannot figure out what is so pleasurable about running; is it the inability to form sentences due to breathlessness even after cross-training for months (my cardiologist found nothing wrong other than I'm prone to a crazy high HR)? The aching knees the next day despite fitted shoes and stretching? The sheer boredom of doing the same freaking thing for 30-40 minutes straight? All of the above?
Regardless, I'm sticking with the 3 miles because it's a nice number and I can still function afterwards (I bow to marathoners- no way in hell). With that being said, I've managed to decrease my pace from ~12:45 to, and this is super-impressive for me, 10:37/mile as of last night. I know, I know- that's still not very fast considering there are women out there who can run a mile in 6-8 minutes, but for a lazy, unmotivated person such as myself, it is AWESOME. I have redeveloped hope that I can one day run a 5K in under 25 minutes...hauling ass but ending the torture that much quicker. Plus, from what I've read, the faster you run the more calories you burn. Eat a cupcake, haul ass for 30 minutes, minimal weight gain; sounds perfect to me (and I'm totally being ignorant of the rest of that sentence which includes a risk of clogged arteries, diabetes, and strokes to name a few).
My sister and nephew came over for a few hours today and we decided to drive to Lake Crabtree to enjoy the gorgeous weather. According to AB I've been there before but I swear our trail biking excursion there over the weekend was the first time I had ever laid eyes on the place. My memory sucks. Either way, my sister, nephew, and I enjoyed a picnic lunch and then walked down to the [hardly there] beach for a little while. An older man was in one of the fields flying kites but otherwise there weren't many people around; no complaints about that!
AB and I have a tendency to watch more TV than we should, but there are so many good shows on at times! Granted, we DVR almost everything but on the weekends we do spend several hours watching mindless crap (no really, it's crap) or, more recently, playing Super Mario on Wii (not crap, just frustrating). Ever so often a commercial for Lumosity comes on, which is a computer program that claims to help you build your brain power (memory, speed, flexibility, attention, and problem solving) through various games and puzzles. The basic program is free to sign up for, and when you first go to the site it asks you a series of questions to figure out what areas of your brain need the most work (a "brain profile"). In my case, I need work on all of the five areas listed above; not a shocker. Once the program establishes your problem areas it provides you with a specific set of puzzles to complete each day. I've managed to get on Lumosity most days, and I've seen my puzzle scores improve, but so far haven't seen any difference in every day life...although that's not surprising since one of my main problem areas is attention. Regardless, if you feel like your brain functioning is ever heading in the tanking direction, try this site- it's free, kind of fun, and it won't send you spam emails (big plus!).
Today was my Dad's birthday and for the first time in a long time, the entire immediate family was together. As soon as AB and I got to my parent's house, my Dad, Kris, and AB headed to a local skeet shooting place while my sister Alex and I ran errands. We spent the rest of the day outside in the sun and for dinner did a cowboy cookout (steaks over the fire pit) followed by dessert (I made carrot & rum cupcakes from scratch and triple chocolate cupcakes from a box). It was a very relaxing day, even for the dogs! My sisters and dad took all of the pictures so I'm just going to put my favorite one below...
AB and I sampled two more beer flights over the weekend. Both sets were really good although I'm going to have to find somewhere else to buy the beer from; I've already bought 2/3 of what Earth Fare offers!
Beer Flight #3:
Most favorite: Weeping Willow Wit
Least favorite: New Belgium Trippel
Beer Flight #4:
Most favorite: Magic Hat 9 (after the Hell's Belle which is a repeat)
Least favorite: Buckshot Amber Ale
*There's a fifth cup pictured; AB's dad brewed his own beer and it was really good also (second one from left)