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Freshly made cookies during a bar crawl in a city by the sea.

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Doesn’t really fit in with the Challenge, but they smelled far to incredible to pass up.

Happy weekend!

I’m so excited so many of you have joined the Challenge! I’ll be putting together a new page listing everyone participating and a small synopsis of your goals. Give me a few days on that one! The Challenge officially begins tomorrow, but if you want to start today, go for it! Don’t forget to email me on Tuesday and let me know how things are going. New members can join any time, just leave a comment on this post.

I started my healthy living plan with a run. I’ve run before, but when I do it on my own I seem to lack the motivation to really push myself. This time I went with Jen. We were sitting on the beach in the evening when two girls jogged by us. “That’s what we should be doing,” she said to me. And she was right. So we packed up our bags and headed back to my house, where we formed a plan to alternate running with tennis and walking by the beach to have a consistent get-our-bodies-moving plan. Exercise is so much easier with a buddy.

Having her by my side made me push myself much farther on the running loop than I ever had before. I couldn’t do the whole thing, not yet, it’s one of my Challenge goals. But, I ran pretty far. All the way until we hit a road block.

A goat. In the middle of the bike path. Being walked by it’s owner.

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of that, since we don’t live in a farmland area and although I knew someone who lived close by raised goats (you can hear them from my house occasionally), I was not expecting to see one being walked like a dog.

We walked by the goat. Neither one of us knew how a goat would react to people running by it.

At least it made the exercise interesting!

Today I started my morning with a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios with fresh blueberries and soy milk. I’m also going to try out a pilates episode OnDemand. As I work towards my goals, I’m also going to try and keep it fresh. I’ve found that in the past, doing the same routine day after day gets stale pretty quickly and when that happens, I start spending a little too much time on the couch.

Although, I want to spend a little time on the couch today. I’m reading The Other Boleyn Girl and it’s fabulous. A few more chapters will be my reward for pilates!

Happy Challenge-ing!

I received great responses about wanting to jump on the weight loss bandwagon so I’m making it official! The These Little Moments Weight Loss Challenge begins Thursday, July 30th and will end on Thursday, August 27th (because I leave for the wedding the next day.)

Rules:

1. Set a goal for yourself. Do you want to lose 5 pounds this month? Start running? Cut calories? Lose inches? Whatever it is, make it realistic for the next 27ish days. Also, please make it healthy. No eating nothing but celery for a month.

2. Keep a record of your activities. What are you doing to reach your goal? Be as specific as possible so others can benefit from you.

3. Keep a record of your successes and your stumbles. Lost a bunch this week? Awesome! Gained a little back, that’s OK too. There’s a readership of support behind you.

4. Email me your weekly results and how you reached them each week by Tuesday afternoon. I will compile them for a weekly Weight Loss Wednesday post where we can all cheer each other on. tlmoments (at) gmail (dot) com. We can also discuss specific topics such as diet, exercise tips, etc. each week. If you have a question for the group, include it in your email.

To participate, leave a comment on this post with your name, goal and link to your blog if you have one (just put it in the blog link field…if you put your link in the body of the comment, it tends to go to spam.)

I’m so excited to start this journey with you!

I hear people say things about losing a ton of weight in the summer because they’re so active! And eating fresh vegetables! And swimming weee!

I’m finding the opposite is true for me. I’m gaining weight because it’s been either too damn hot or too damn rainy to run or play tennis, I’m eating a ton of fresh vegetables…right along side the barbecued platters (and oh yeah, the beer…and the lobster mac n cheese I had this weekend. mmmm.), and I’m not really an ocean swimmer and don’t have daily access to a pool, so I’m not doing a whole lot of swimming.

My friends, I need to lose a little weight. Nothing drastic, just 5 pounds or so. Totally doable.

If I could get my barbecued butt going.

I have a goal, my brother-in-law’s wedding the last weekend in August. Five weeks from now. A pound a week? Can I do it?

On top of feeling better about myself, I’m hoping to also aid in lowering my cholesterol. I know I can do it if I put my mind to it. I lost a ton of weight before my wedding. (In the end, maybe actually a little TOO much weight.) I’m hoping the cholesterol goal plus my time line will be just as much motivation.

I don’t know if I’ll be posting numbers here. It’s not because I think you’ll be judging me for weighing too much, it’s that I’m tired of the “oh shut up, you’re thin” comments that people express when I’ve mentioned it’s time to get my butt in gear. Everyone has a weight they feel most comfortable at, whether their a size 20 or a size 2, am I right? I know that for myself, I could be in better shape. I’ve seen myself there. I want to lose the 5 pounds for myself, not because of vanity. (OK, maybe a smidge for vanity. A girl could do without the arm jiggle.)

So maybe just a weekly update on pounds lost. Because I know for me, other people’s success with weight loss has always been an inspiration for me. Maybe we can buddy up and all take on the summer pounds together.

Who’s with me?

* In middle school, I had a Ben & Jerry’s t-shirt that I got for free by sending in ice cream lids. It had a list of all their flavors on the back and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Until the kid who sat behind me in math class started calling me Chunky Monkey. I was a peanut in middle school, but that didn’t stop me from never wearing that shirt to class again. Ever.
 
** Also, the homemade ice cream shop walking distance from my house? SO NOT HELPING.

I get pretty jealous when I see a pregnant woman. It’s no secret around here that all signs point uterus and getting pregnant is something I really want to happen soon. I’d like to go off the pill. After nearly 10 years on it, I want to give my body a break and see which course nature takes us. My hopes would be it takes us towards a baby.

I don’t know when that’s going to happen. It could be next week, next month…it could be in three months. We talk about it, then we don’t, then we do again. It’s a roller coaster for me. Sometimes I’m up, others I’m down.

So you can imagine the pang I feel when I see pregnant women. I notice them everywhere now. Like when I wanted to be engaged and suddenly everyone had a rock on their finger.

So I wasn’t prepared for the reaction I had when a good friend announced her pregnancy to me. I had my suspicions for a few weeks, but when she confirmed it in person, I screamed with excitement and burst into tears.

Genuine tears of happiness. My heart swelled up and I looked at her little belly and felt just SO HAPPY for the parents-to-be. No jealousy. No why not me. Just happy. It’s not even my baby, but I fell instantly in love with it and could hug my friend all day.

I know my time as a mama-to-be will come, and I hope it comes soon. But in the meantime, I’m going to keep being happy for my friend. So very, very happy.

Yesterday I got a little card in the mail informing me of the results of the routine blood test I took last week. On it were some numbers I didn’t understand and a note saying “Slightly elevated cholesterol levels. Watch diet and continue exercise.”

Elevated cholesterol? Huh?

Of course I went immediately to Google and started reading about it, because if we’re being honest, when I gave cholesterol any thought (which was rare), I usually associated it with problems facing people my parents’ age, not people in their 20s.

As I was reading the foods to avoid, I was getting frustrated. I don’t eat that stuff! If you went by the lists, my diet is basically exactly what it’s supposed to be for a normal level of cholesterol. And yes, I could exercise a little more, but in general, I’m the poster child for a cholesterol-happy lifestyle.

And then I scrolled down to the next section: genetics. So I called my mom.

And yup, she has it too, has since she was a kid. In addition to inheriting her great eyebrows (among other qualities), I got her cholesterol.

My levels aren’t super high, but that didn’t stop me from kind of freaking out about it and reading WAY too much information. If ignored, high cholesterol can lead to clogged arteries and heart problems later in life. But in the end, it’s something totally manageable without medicine (at least in this stage in life) and there are things I’m going to try to lower it a little.

Oatmeal in the morning (I just finished my first bowl since the winter. I’m not a huge fan of it in the summer, so I might have to switch to Cheerios).

Less cheese. This one is going to have to be a conscious effort because UNconsciously, I eat a lot of cheese. I can’t help it, it’s good.

A more regular exercise plan. I do exercise, but it’s not daily anymore and it should be. I am going to make a solid effort to finally find a dance class, too.

Natural supplements. This one I’m holding off on until seeing if the other things work, but there is one — red yeast rice — that has been used as a natural way to help lower the levels. There is debate over whether or not it works and it’s not recommended for use when pregnant (I’m not, but hope to be jumping on that bandwagon soon. In which case, I don’t want to mess around with my body.), so I won’t be taking it any time soon.

This isn’t a huge deal. I’m healthy, but could stand to get the levels down a little. So I’m going to try. In the meantime, I urge you all to get a routine physical and have them run some blood tests. I’m learning that it’s important to be proactive about your health. What we do now is going to make a difference later. And I don’t know about you, but I’d like to stick around for a long time.

Can someone explain to me the need for women to dress up for the beach? I’ve spent the last few days on the sand and I have to tell you, I just don’t get it.

The makeup. The jewelry. The styled hair worn down in 80 degree weather.

My makeup? It’s sunscreen. My jewelry? My wedding band, sans engagement ring because it gets all sunscreen-y. My hair? In a knot on top of my head. Going to the beach around here usually means rolling out of bed and throwing on your bathing suit.

What are your thoughts on this matter?

And OH do I have a people watching outfit to tell you about. Yesterday, a woman sitting near me on the beach was taking off her street clothes and left on what I thought was a really odd shirt. It was cropped at the belly and had puffy sleeves and was plaid.

Not her shirt. Her bathing suit top. I’ve never seen anything like it. It looked like it should be the top of a sexy pirate costume.

I love the beach.

I’ve stared at this screen for quite awhile now and the words? They’re not coming. So instead, I’ll fill you in on where I’ve been.

It started with a night out in Newport for Jen’s sister’s birthday. (You know Jen. I talk about her here a lot. Here she is.)

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The night was a blast…

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(I’m not exactly sure what we’re doing here. I blame that on Jello shots. Hence, the orange tongue.)

…but at some point in the night, a guy climbed up on his friend’s shoulders to get a better view of the band we were watching, then jumped down to the floor. Onto my ankle.

Ow.

It’s a lovely shade of purple right now.

Then I headed home to New York to see the family.

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(I heart my sister. And yes, same shirt as Saturday.)

One of the things I was looking forward to most was blueberry and raspberry picking at a farm I’ve been visiting since I was a toddler.

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Mmmmm.

I beat my dad at Scrabble (a hard thing to do) with my longest word being “Oranges” and my highest score on “Yoyos” (triple word score, baby).

I also broke out in a rash yesterday morning before leaving. I think it’s from eating too many blueberries.

It was worth it.

Posting will be light at best the next few days, as I am spending time with my family in New York.

It’s been great…blueberry picking, Scrabble games amd family bbqs.

There’s also been an abundance of white legs.

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We’re OK with that, though.

After nearly eight full-time years in Rhode Island, I still didn’t have a primary care physician. And since I want to do things in my life like start a family and oh, not be sick, I thought it was time to get one. The physical went fine, until they handed me a lab sheet and told me I had to get blood work.

Blood work and I don’t get along. Actually, blood work is a menace to all the women in my family. When we get blood drawn, we pass out. Like a light. Goodbye.

It must be a genetic thing because it has nothing to do with fear. Our bodies just DO NOT LIKE having blood removed from it.

So any time I have to have blood drawn, I nicely explain to the technician my situation and assure them that if I just lie down from the start, I’ll be perfectly fine.

I’ve found that the technician’s response ranges anywhere from indifferent compliance to my request, to outright annoyance (you would think I asked them to remove their own arm), to flat out refusal. (“No, you cannot lie down, but you can sit in this seat and try and slouch yourself down a little.” Yes, TRUE STORY and by the way, it DOESN’T WORK.)

But on occasion, there is a nice tech, who will immediately lead you to the bed, let you lie down, get the needle in on the first try and even give you apple juice afterwards.

The fact that I just enjoyed a cold class of juice and am decidedly NOT passed out right now, is why today is a Smile Friday.

Happy weekend!

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