Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Oh, gosh.... I leave for a week and great things happen!

I have been INSANELY busy. And do you know what happened while I was gone? I got TWO AWARDS! :) It seriously has made my morning. My day, even!! But the thing is, I have to leave in 10 minutes and I won't be home until 10:30 tonight, after class.
I'll have to learn how to go accept it. I've been trying to figure out how to tag people in a post so that you can click on it and get to their blog... people gave me instructions, and I've googled it, but blogger seems to suck just a wee bit much!!
So when I have some time in a couple days, I'm gonna figure this out. You ladies rock. Thank you SO much!

In other news, I am exhausted, but well. I spent the whole holiday weekend catching up on dangerously foul dishes, laundry, and shoving my nose in my schoolbooks. Oh, and a bit of gym-going, too :) I got a gift certificate to Target from my job, and I bought a fitness ball with it. I'm excited about the new possibilities! It's a turning point for me; I'm a shopping fanatic. Clothes, shoes, jewelry; you give me an excuse, and I'll blow money like nobody's business. The fact that I chose to spend it on my health has made me super-happy with myself.

I'm so sorry that I've been absent, but I can't tell you this isn't what it's gonna be like all semester! I'll get here when I can. I read your blogs on my break at work - which always energizes me. For some reason, my employer has blocked the ability to POST somehow. Oh, well. It just makes sure I have time to read up on all of you wonderful women!!

Due to the holiday, my weight loss meeting on monday was cancelled; so no weigh in this week. It's a good thing, though, because I wasn't an angel this weekend! I had a kids meal from McDonald's one day; and a big family lasagna dinner the other. It was delicious, and I don't regret a minute of that dinner! (The McDonald's... not so much). My mother in law even made brownies with black beans to try to make a healthier dessert for me. It was so sweet; and surprisingly yummy.

Well, it's that time. 8 hours of office work, followed by 45 minutes at the gym, followed by 30 minutes for dinner, 4 hours of class, and then HEAD HITS PILLOW!!!!

(is it bad that I'm already excited to go to sleep tonight?)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

This is gonna be bleeping HARD.

Rude awakening: week one of Operation New Amy complete. Full time work (actually, OVERTIME this week, first week of 12 credits of classes (and they each said they assign an hour of homework for each day of the week), and new goals at the gym. I've gone straight from work, to the gym, to school every day. Or to the library if I didn't have class. I'm gonna be one sleepy puppy this semester.
It's going well, for the most part; but GEESH. These kids are babies at my community college. And they take notes on PHONES. I, on the other hand, just bought my first MP3 player 2 weeks ago. A friend told me they were now on MP4's and I believed him... totally asked the guy at Best Buy about it. At least he got his laugh for the day.
On the health side of things, I'm good! My weigh in on Monday was 205.25. The week before it was 206.75, so it's only 1/25 lbs - but I'll take it! I'm putting on muscle as well through my strength training. The important thing is that I can SEE the difference in the way my clothes fit.
What's your body type? I was always very CURVY on my bottom half, and small and trim on top. Bootylicious, you might say. Well, at about the 180 mark, I started putting it on in places I wasn't used to; my belly, my boobs, my arms. At about 200, it starts ALL going straight to the belly. So that's the first thing that's been shrinking. Score!
I've been to the gym every day this week, but tuesday I only walked for 20 minutes. Yesterday I pushed myself farther than I have yet - 33 minutes on the arc trainer. I burned 400 freakin' calories on that thing. I'm an animal!!!
Anyhow, I don't know that I'll be able to blog regularly... but I'm reading your posts every couple days. It's my break from my hectic new life....

so thank you for that, my blogging girlies. :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Getting My Life Back

I feel like I've turned a page and fallen into the person I used to be. I've made several changes in my life, and it's been amazing.

1. going back to school.
-I'm thinking of myself again. Since I got married, my mindset has always been "Lets get him through school". I've recently realized that I can't live for him. I can't even live for us. I have to live for myself, in order to be the happiest I can be. In the end, that IS what is best for us.

Here are the biggest three changes I've made:

2. joining a gym
-My first goal was to lose weight; but I've already learned so much more through it. I've learned to push myself further than I have in a long time. I'm getting past that invisible wall I've put up. I also feel GREAT. I have so much more energy. I've been sleeping better, too!
3. changing my eating patterns
-I eat when I'm hungry. Truly hungry. If that means having a snack an hour after lunch, I do it. If it means going through a day without snacks, I do that too. But I don't just eat because "it's time". It's helping me realize how often I ate food simply for the pleasure of it. Now, when I'm hungry, I'm alright with eating a big salad; because as long as I get food in me, I'm happy. I realize that that is backwards from most people; but I'm an odd duck.

Today was great. I woke up full of energy, and kept going all day long! I dropped the hubby off at work, went and bought his school books for him (his work hours and the bookstore hours clashed), shopped at Dollar General, did my school shopping at the supermarket, picked up some fresh fruit at an orchard on the way home, cleaned the apartment top to bottom, locked the keys in the car, and went to dinner with two old friends from high school.

Yes, I locked the keys in the car. They are still in the car. We can't find the spare. I'm gonna have to fork out the dough for a locksmith. Blech. My friend and I had planned on going to a speakeasy tonight, but an old friend just moved back to Michigan, and we had dinner instead. No biggie; dinner was wonderful, and the speakeasy will be there another day!!

I've decided to set some goals for myself. These goals are for the next 3 months.

1. Work out at least 3 days a week (resistance training and cardio)
2. eat ice cream no more than 3 times a month, and even then, eating a correct portion (this is a hard one for me)
3. run 1 mile without stopping

I'd like to run a 5k by next fall. I say next fall, because I don't think I'll be ready this fall, and I adore fall. It seems like the perfect time for such a huge feat! I could be ready this fall if I wanted, but I don't want to dive right into training for a 5K. I have other physical goals I want to work on first.

I'm high on life. Seriously.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Finding Myself Again

I'm on cloud nine these days... seriously.

I have no idea if I'm even really losing weight - but I feel good, and that's a bigger deal to me. Last night, I had a one time meeting with a personal trainer. She did some tests, and gave me some tips. She trained me on all of the resistance machines at my gym.

32% body fat. Yuck.

But I did the training last night, and I went to the gym today, as well. I did 25 minutes of resistance training, along with 25 minutes on the arc trainer. I hit that same wall at about the 10 minute mark. WOW... it hurt. But I just kept going. And I was so excited and proud at the end... and COVERED in sweat. I don't remember the last time I actually worked so hard that I sweated like that.


When I say I don't need to eat as much as I've been reading, I just mean that I want to focus on other things. I'm still eating probably about 1200-1400 calories a day. Oatmeal, salads, lean protein, veggies, brown rice, etc. My cravings are actually going away. I think it's because I'm so excited!! Lately I've been craving smoothies... and that's a craving I've happily indulged :)

On the marital side, things are going better. I'm cautiously optimistic. We're both working on our own lives, which seems to be helping our life together. I'm working on my health, and spending more time with friends. He's spending more time pursuing hobbies and his own friends. We've been enjoying our time together; playing tennis, watching movies, going for walks. This weekend will be fun... Saturday, I'm going to a speakeasy with an old friend of mine (I KNOW! How cool is that?). Hubby is going to an unofficial high school reunion at a brewery. Sunday, we're going up north to spend the day at the lake with my my sister and my grandma.

Yes, today, life is good.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

There's a difference between "I can't" and "I don't want to".

I've been absent lately. At first, it was a bad thing. But if morphed into something very interesting.

A few weeks ago, I went hog-wild. I'm talkin' pizza, Dairy Queen, kraft mac n' cheese wild. I weighed myself one day and it told me I was 221 lbs. The nerve! But it stuck with me. Something in me clicked. A lot of the weight came off fast, because it was water weight. But it's been hard. Last week. I was down to 208 bs. This week, 206 lbs. I've been rigid in my eating. Lots of salads; lots of veggies. I joined a gym and I've been GOING.

Today, I learned the difference between "I can't" and "I don't want to." Have you ever really struggled with this line? I have. I tend to give up when the going gets tough. But today, I was at the gym. I climbed onto the elliptical and started a program for 25 minutes. I am seriously out of shape. I haven't done more than 10 minutes at a time since I joined 2 weeks ago; but I was thinking big. At around the 10 minute mark, I felt this insane need to quit. Normally, I would have. I was breathing heavy. My legs burned. I was bored. But I told myself that I didn't NEED to quit. I just wanted to.

An odd thing happened. Around the 20 minute mark, my muscles loosened up. I felt relaxed. I found a rhythm and went steady. At 25 minutes, I stopped because that's what I had planned on; but I could have kept on going.

How often have I quit because things got hard? I think back to the weekend I spent at Sleeping Bear Dunes last month. Husband and I got to the dunes in the morning, and began climbing. At the top of the first big hill, I gave up. It was hot. My legs were killing me. But mostly, the BODY was willing but the SPIRIT was weak. I cried. A lot. I told Husband to keep going. Being a gentleman, he said no way - he'd hang out with me until I was ready. But I didn't want to go. I didn't want people to see me struggling so much. I didn't want to continue asking him to slow down. I didn't want to take it slow. So I didn't do it at all. I sat down in a heap on the sand and dug a hole while he explored. When he returned, I put on a cheery face and we ran down the hill.

I could have done it. It would have been so gratifying to get to the end. But I'm afraid, and so I give up.

I know some people will disagree with me on this, but I've stopped having the obligatory 3 meals + 2 snacks. I've spent every evening going through every diet book I own. The Superfoods Diet, South Beach, Atkins, French Women Don't Get Fat, Skinny Bitch, you name it. And it is mind boggling. How can I possibly eat oatmeal every day, eat eggs, eat yogurt, eat the required protein, eat protein with my fruit at snacks, etc. etc. etc. It's OBSESSIVE. All I do is think about food.

So I've taken a break. I don't need all of that food. People always say "the secret is to eat before you get hungry". I'm sorry... but there is a reason people feel hunger. It makes no sense to me that I would lose weight, and never be hungry. That means I ALWAYS have to eat the right things, at exactly the right time, in order to lose. I think that idea is meant to keep people from binging. If you are never hungry, then it's easier to say no to temptations. But I don't want to have to manipulate myself into not failing. I need to become a person who, when she actually feels a hunger pang, turns to fresh fruit or veggies; who can truly believe that when she is hungry, an entree salad CAN be enough.

I've stuck to the same plan for the past couple weeks. Oatmeal for breakfast, a light lunch (veggies and a protein), dinner of either a big salad with a protein, or a protein+veggie+whole grain combo. I have dessert of some sort to end my day on; a sugar free fudgecicle, some greek yogurt with fresh fruit, or some chocolate milk.

I've been finding little things to find joy in, food-wise. Hubby and I found a small asian noodle restaurant in town. It's a total dive. My bowl of noodle soup had some unexpected tripe in it! But you know what? I had a fabulous time. This place SMELLED of China. The dishes looked the same. The feel was amazing. At the end of the meal, they brought a small dish of some coconut/rice dessert. There was probably only 2 tablespoons in it, but I savored it. I walked away from that meal fulfilled. I only ate about 1/5 of my noodle bowl, so I went home and made myself a salad; but I was so completely satisfied and didn't have a single craving in the world that night.

I bought red bean popcicles at the asian market. I came to ADORE red bean flavored stuff in China. Have you ever tried it? It can take a few tastes to really appreciate it; but it's amazing. The popcicles are not only yummy, but they have beans in them, so they are filling.

I know things will probably change; and I'll have to adapt. But for now, I'm LOVING being able to just live. To not think about food every 2 hours of my life. I feel like a normal person again. I get caught up in things; when I feel hungry, I eat. I start college again on monday. I'm terrified. But I'm prepared for the changes. Bring it on!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

My favorite restaurant while living in China was a small hole-in-the-wall Hunan restaurant. A Chinese friend of ours translated the menu into English for us, so that we could order things with our limited Chinese skills. Some of the translations are... a bit inaccurate, but interested nonetheless.

This, folks, is the menu for a TRUE Chinese restaurant. No P.F. Chang's here!

The cake was a success!

They loved the cake. I'm not a complete baking failure, I guess!

Also.. side note... I have a new favorite snack. A cucumber. A whole, peeled, sliced cucumber. Only about 40 calories, and it is so refreshing in the summer. Usually, my issue is not hunger, or even cravings for specific junk foods. I just want to munch... on SOMETHING. I have to say, I've eaten cucumbers in the past days.

Tomorrow we're leaving for an overnight trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes, in Northern Michigan. It's about 3.5 hours away. I'm excited to hike, walk through sand, swim in Lake Michigan, and wander cute shops. It'll be a nice getaway for Hubby and I.

I don't really have much to say, so I'm not gonna bother boring you with useless chatter. Happy Saturday. See y'all tuesday!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Attempting to bake a cake.

How's that for a diet blog title? No, really. I'm trying. I corrupt anything that touches my oven. I can't bake cookies. I can't bake bread. I can't bake muffins. But tomorrow is a pool party, and I was asked to bring dessert. I could have thrown together a fruit salad; but that's not what those boys want. So I'm gonna try to make this... and I'm gonna have one piece.

I'm feeling better. Doesn't the 24 hour flu just baffle you? It come on hard and fast, and leaves just as fast. Sounds like a metaphor...

Today was an odd eating day. I had broth for breakfast. Soup for lunch. Dinner, pita bread and hummus. Lots of it. I finally got my appetite back, and the only thing it was screaming was "HUMMUS! HUMMUS! HUMMUS!!!"

Any of y'all animal people? Because I feel the need to share about my two babies.

Wila (pronounced Veela... she's named after a mythical Polish fairy) is a 2 year old maine coon cat. We rescued her from the shelter. She's GORGEOUS. Fluffy, delicate, dainty. She eats like a mouse. She has the softest fur imaginable. And she's a lover; but she's never sat on our laps. She likes the spot right next to us, where she can purr away, and head butt our hands until we lightly tug the hair behind her ears. She loves that. She's small; at least compared to the huge boy cats I grew up with! She has a small, high pitched voice that sounds like a song. She's sweet, laid back, and perfectly well-behaved.

Mei Mei (Little Sister) is a terror. She's 6 months old now, and all of 6 lbs. She's gray, with white paws and a white chin. She has raccoon stripes on her tail. She likes to eat hummus when I'm not looking. She liks to pull straws out of your cups. She likes to chase Wila around mercilessly, and chew on your toes when you start drifting off. She eats like a cow. She constantly walks right in between your feet so that you step on her 5 times in the hallway. When she meows, it sounds like a big man cat. When she purrs, she sounds like she's missing her muffler.

How is it possible to love these two cats equally? Yet I do. Are you a cat person?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Having a hard time

I'm here to admit it; I'm struggling. I haven't completely fallen off the wagon, but I've had some pretty big snafus in the past week. It's just easier to neglect the blog when you have to admit failure. But, in the long run, that's seriously bad news!

Why did it happen? I could blame one of any number of things. Wanting to enjoy my weekend with my husband, who I'm trying to mend my marriage with. Celebrating a visit from my Florida grandparents and feeling bad turning down her cookin'. Baking in the 90 degree humid-as-heck apartment with no a/c (ice cream is mandatory in those situations, no?), and simply wanting to give in and agree that Fourthmeal is a real thing.

But none of these is an excuse. Joy for the moments I am eating does not make up for the disappointment I am feeling in myself. For the tummy ache and the anger at the scale. Why must I torture myself, when I know that I'm happier and healthier when I'm eating right?

As a side note, I came home sick from the office today. Got there, everything was fine, but 20 minutes later I was puking in the bathroom. I stuck it our 4 hours before I got sick again. I have chills, I'm trembling, and flushed. I think I have the doggone flu.

Anyways, I'm back. Sorry for my weakness.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Wow, are my feathers ruffled! I read a post today from this lovely lady

and I got to thinking about a lot of times in my life where other people's ignorance has caused me pain regarding my weight.

There are those situations where they can't be blamed. I run into someone from high school and they don't recognize me. When I say who I am, they say something like "wow... you look different." Or a time when an old friend of mine I hadn't seen in awhile asked my best friend, "Is Amy pregnant?".

Being in China brought so many of these situations up. It was absolutely impossible for me to find clothes in my small town. The stores carry nothing over a size 10 - and I'm told a 10 in China is about a 6-8 is here. Sure, I could have packed up and taken the 5 hour bus ride to Shanghai, then shelled out crazy money to shop at western stores; but I didn't. Half of me felt too ashamed; the other felt too lazy.

People in China would often smile at me and call me fat. My students on several occasions would describe what I looked like... to me. "Amy, your hair is so brown. You have beautiful eyes and you are very fat." A good friend I made told me honestly that no man wants a fat girl. She has been told that since childhood.

Then, there are those people who cannot feign ignorance. The jerk that always managed to make it into our circle. One night he told me "Amy, you'd actually be really pretty if you lost weight". Or the group of girls that giggle quietly when you have to pull the size 20 from the back of the rack they are at.

Life sucks sometimes. Sure, healthy living can make a big difference. But sometimes, when you feel so beaten down, you simply do not have the energy to try. It's a vicious circle (Oh my gosh, side note... anyone listen to Dane Cook, Vicious Circle? HILARIOUS). Anyway....

Today was an odd day diet wise.

Breakfast was oats with banana and some honey peanut butter. I got caught up in work and didn't have a mid-morning snack, but I did have a lunch date with some friends. It was wonderful. We went to Olive Garden and I got the soup and salad. I passed on the breadsticks (yes, my heart broke a wee bit) and had a small salad, followed by two helpings of their minestrone soup. According to their website, the whole meal totaled about 400 calories. I'm not sure I should believe it, but I'd like to!

Dinner was a ham and cheese sub from pizza place down the street. Hubby and I wanted to sink our teeth into something, and I decided to throw caution to the wind. Then I added up the calories and realized I had pretty much hit my limit. I finished it off with an ice cold cup of rice milk, and finished the day off with 1450 calories (and very little food to show for it).

I've realized that I just like eating healthy more. I like to EAT! I'd rather sit and eat a huge, heaping plate of veggies and salad than a small sub sandwich. I just need to chew and munch.

Tomorrow I'm getting paid, so I'm officially joining my gym. HOORAY!!!

I'm officially down .5 lbs from monday's weigh in. I'm hoping I can keep that coming. My first mini-goal is to get to 198, which was my lowest weight while in Asia last year. Here is a picture of me in Malaysia during our school's summer break. It's the first time I've posed for a picture and felt confident... in years. I want that again.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Bachelorette is my guilty pleasure.

I cannot resist the Bachelor or the Bachelorette... either show is like crack for me. I don't have one of those new-fangled digital box thingies that came about while I was in China, so I don't even get basic TV channels. I have a tv purely for movies and my Wii... but every tuesday, when the new episode is posted online, I am THERE, man.

So obviously, that's what I'm up to tonight. I had a long day; overtime galore. But it didn't break me!

Here's what I've had today:

1/2 a banana
lean cuisine (butternut squash ravioli)
cucumber from my friend's garden
2 eggs
laughing cow cheese
steamed snap peas
fresh cherries
nonfat chocolate pudding
an ice cold glass of rice milk. I'm addicted to this stuff - too bad it's so nutrient-deficient and calorie dense :(

I'm hoping that I'll have enough money this week to officially join my gym. I was on a "free" membership for a week, but now that's over. :( Payday needs to come soon!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Slept through the alarm.

This morning started as a whirlwind. I woke up to soft sunlight streaming in my window. For a moment, I was confused. Why would the sun be so bright at 5:30 am? Then my sleepy haze lifted and I bolted out of bed. It was about 7:00 - the exact time I'm supposed to be walking into the office.

In a matter of 10 minutes I dressed, brushed my teeth, packed my food, and fed my angel and my she-devil (I mean cats).

I hate mornings like that. I didn't get a shower. I felt disheveled. I forgot to bring my gym shoes so I could work out after work. But the day went alright. It was weigh in day, so I ate very light. Fage for breakfast, vegetable soup for lunch.

Weight? 209.6 lbs. Down 3 pounds from my TOPS meeting last week! My goal for this week is 2.6 lbs, so I will be at 207 next week. I'm gonna have to work!

Dinner tonight was random. A lean cuisine pizza for dinner, along with cherries. Dessert was an 80 calorie pudding cup. I'm now relaxing with a glass of rice milk. My calories are low today, but I'm not feeling like cramming them in at the end of the day.

I'm having a freak out day. Am I really starting a full course load of college classes in a month? Along with working 40+hours a week? Wow. I hope the business helps me LOSE weight, not gain. I've got to stay strong.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ah, Geez.

Today? Epic fail. Well, not epic. But considering it's only day three, I feel pretty darn bad about today's dinner.

The rest of my day was great.

Breakfast: oats with banana and blueberries
snack: Activia
lunch: Lean Cuisine (butternut squash ravioli w/veggies), 1 cup baby carrots
snack: Apple

And then? Skipped the gym. There was a horrid thunderstorm going on, and I didn't wanna go. I found a new workout in my Fitness magazine I wanted to try at home, anyway. So I drove home, walked in, and found hubby dripping from his walk home from the Zoo. Apparently the zoo closes when the rest of the day is gonna be a freak storm... go figure! So he got out of work early. And let me know that we were going out to dinner for his uncle's b-day. Not a problem, I wanted to see the fam... but what to do?

The restaurant was Carrabba's. Texan/Italian. What, you say? Yep. Texan. Italian. NOTHING seemed healthy. I settled on a dish with grilled chicken, and noodles tossed with EVOO, basil, and crushed tomatoes. Not too bad! I only hate about 1/3 of it. Good girl, I bet you're thinking...

but I ate bread. Sweet heavens I ate bread. Too much. I'm stuffed.

I probably didn't have more than about 2000 calories today. But with no working out, and no diet, I feel like I took a serious step back. Time to step right back into my good girl shoes, eh? I felt good about myself today. The exercise really is what I've been missing. I diet all the time and fail. But spending an hour a day doing exercise immediately made me feel looser and more relaxed. And I've slept like a log two nights in a row - I NEVER do that!

Tomorrow is a normal work day, and then a movie with friends and fam. Should be a good time. I'm gonna try to work with it and do what I can to make smart choices.

Was there a moment you can pinpoint where you began to get fat, or to lose your control with eating? Was it gradual? Tomorrow I have a post planned about this. I've done a lot of digging in the deep depths of my dreary past to try to find out what makes me tick. It's hard core, I tell ya.

I leave you with more China pictures... just cuz.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oh, China. How I miss thee.


I keep trying to put a link in my posts, and it isn't working. I tried with Kath yesterday, and also with SparkPeople yesterday. What am I doing wrong? Gr.

A guy named Patty

The other day, I called a local gym to find out some information (this is, in fact, the gym I later decided to join. The line rang, and then someone picked up and greeted me with a very low, masculine voice. He said...

_____ Fitness, this is Patty"

Really? Is this a thing? Do guys really go by Patty? It makes me think of a certain Johnny Cash song....

Anyway, Today went swimmingly! Work was same old, same old. I swear, that lil' cube is gonna be the death of me. Good thing I have some fun coworkers (aka partners in crime) around me or I think I'd simply fade into the nothingness of all those sheets of paper and paperclips.

After work, I hiked my flabby-but-optimistic booty to the gym and worked out for an HOUR! Again! I walked/jogged for 50 minutes (okay, mostly walked) and managed 3.5 miles. I also tried my luck for 10 minutes on another piece of machinery... I believe Kath refers to it as a squirrelliptical :) Honestly, that's all that was in my head. I don't know the real name for the darn thing. But I liked it! Much better than the ol' fashioned elliptical trainers. It seemed like a more natural gait.

When I got home, I showered and fixed dinner. Do any of y'all have as many issues with making omelets as I do? (or with spelling omelet?). I blame it on the pan. Always the pan. Anyway, I gave up and made an "egg scramble" of my omelet ingredients. It was really yummy.

Meals for the day:

first breakfast: peach activia yogurt

second breakfast: 1/2 cup old fashioned oats with 1/2 banana and 1/2 cup blueberries

lunch: stuffed cabbage lean cuisine, 1 cup baby carrots

afternoon snack: orange

after-workout snack: apple

dinner: egg scramble (crumbled turkey burger, spinach, lowfat cream cheese), steamed snow peas, and 1 piece whole wheat bread

dessert: 60 calorie chocolate pudding and 1 cup sweet cherries

I followed this perfectly. And it was all delicious!

Final calorie count: 1498 calories

I'm feeling good these days. Things are up in the air, but I have my hope back, as well as my zest for life. I'm enjoying exercise, housework, friends, family, blogging, pampering myself (nail polish, lotion, foot scrubs, etc.), and looking forward to starting the next chapter in the fall. I'll be working full time, and going back to school full time.

I am woman. Hear me roar. :)

What did you want to be when you were a kid? I was talking about this today at work with the two lovely ladies that sit in the Cave with me (aka the "back room"). Ideas thrown out were veterinarian.. writer... marine biologist... psychologist. It's amazing how as kids, we always have such lofty goals. We don't think about the money it will cost for school. Or the time it takes. We cared simply about what we saw making us happy.

I grew up too quickly. I started making the "rational" decisions. Set school aside so hubby can finish. You're married now - you need new friends. You are a wife; you should be cooking, dressing older, etc. My early 20's were consumed by working in an office and sitting at home watching tv in the evenings. What was I THINKING?!

I'm trying to fill my life with a little bit more now. School will be hard. But when it's done, my options are much more open. And I'll take pride in the accomplishment. My weekends are spent doing things. This weekend, we're getting together with some other crazy mid-20's to watch an old cheesy movie and make fun of it. Saturday will be spent at the race track with my sister, Mom, and Dad. Formula One racing... I've never been, but we'll see how it goes!!

Anywho, your wonderful posts from today are calling, and I must answer. Cheers!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

SparkPeople rocks.

Do you guys know this website?


As was today.

I stayed mostly with the menu I planned, but there were tiny tweaks. Instead of an apple, I had an orange. Instead of a WW hamburger bun, I used a tortilla. But... ya know. Health wise, I was RIGHT ON TARGET!

I was able to set up a free profile on the website mentioned earlier, and it let me create a goal. My goal weight, initially, is 163 lbs. That's 10 lbs higher than what I'd LIKE to be (my wedding weight) but right on target BMI-wise. When I put in my menu for the day (it gave calorie totals, along with carbs, protein, fat, etc.) it showed me how I was doing with my goal. It tells the numbers I need each day for optimal healthy weight loss. My carbs were a wee high today, but still within my range. Fat was a little low. I need me some avocado on my burger!

I also had my first day of exercise. I went to the gym and did 1/2 hour of walking on the treadmill, and 1/2 of biking on a recumbent bike. I felt SOO good afterwards! This lifestyle could get addicting.

total calories for the day: 1500

I've had a long, exhausting, wonderful day. Cheers!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Heading North

My mom is on the way to pick me up, and then we're driving north! I'm very excited. It's been a long, hard week. Bass Lake is my happy place. :)

My paternal grandparents were everything to me growing up. My parents divorced when I was 9, and my dad lived with them for 4 years. They were during some very important, formative years for me. Every other weekend, I went to their house. Grandma would teach me to make muffins, walk to the library with me, introduce me to old musicals. Grandpa would give me popcorn in an old paper bag, tell me stories about his birds (he had dozens of bird houses and feeders in the backyard) and hold my hand as he told me stories of his childhood.

Every summer they lived in their trailer on Bass Lake. It was small, but cozy and cute. Every other weekend (plus a full week each summer) was spent sitting on the beach, feeding leftover pancakes to the bluegills, and tromping through the woods. There is no place I feel more "me" than at the lake.

My Grandpa was always plagued with health problems. He had 2 strokes, 3 heart attacks, open heart surgery, colon cancer, diabetes... but the old man just kept going. About two years ago, things changed. He had a hard time moving around. He was having major circulation problems due to his diabetes. We all knew his time was coming.

I was torn. I almost threw away a chance at a year in China so that I wouldn't miss his last days; but he was so proud that I was going that I couldn't do it. Two days before my flight, I went to say goodbye. He was sitting on his couch, watching some old John Wayne movie like he always was. I crawled up next to him and we held each other and wept. His last words to me were "I am so proud of you. Go have an adventure. When you get home, you can tell me all about it".

The following summer was the last one he spent at the lake. He was constantly emailing me, telling me about the humming birds and the new cat that was wandering the park. My Grandma said that it was amazing; he found a new strength that summer. He was walking around, spending time out on the boat, reconnecting with friends.

In January, a month before I returned home from China, I got the call from my mom. She let me know that he had died peacefully in his sleep. I couldn't go to school for two days. When I finally returned, my little students had all make me cards, drawn me pictures. My favorite little female student, Lily, came up and hugged me, and then started crying. I will never forget her simple, loving words. "Amanda, you are sad. I am sad, too. Your Grandpa is game over. I cry for you."

Call me crazy, but once I returned home, I started telling him a little about my trip every once in a while. I've told him about my students, about my travels, about the day I found out I had lost him.

This weekend, when I visit the lake, I will picture me dumping that pail of fish down the side of the hill and chasing after them; and I'll picture you sitting there laughing hysterically instead of helping.

I will also picture the two of us sitting out on the deck watching the stars and the heat lighting.

I love you, Red. You were not only the best Grandpa a girl/woman could ever have, you were one of the best men.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

One night, Hubby and I went to dinner after the bar one night in China. We sat out on the street at a folding table, laughing,drinking, and eating wonderful Chinese food. Later, I had to pee. I was pointed towards the bathroom.. and the photos above are what I came upon. A squat toilet (which is almost always the case)... right alongside the produce pantry.


So busy... so busy.

Geez. It seems like I just don't have enough time in the day, lately! My posts are few and far between.

Well, I've turned a corner. This past monday I weighed in at 209 lbs. After hitting a low of 198, I'm done creeping up. I've been good this past week - lots of fruit, veggies, brown rice, lean protein. I'm hoping for a better weight this coming monday!

Today is a family day. Dinner at Mom's... for Father's Day. My dad lives in Chicago, and visits every month or so (he and my mom are still great friends). So I'm doing Father's Day a week late. Lil' sister is making steak and red potatoes. I am bringing bread and salad w/all the fixin's. Hopefully I'll behave!

Sundays are turning into date days. I like it. Hubby said we could each pick 2 things to do tomorrow. He chose a walk on the nature center paths, and an episode of our favorite show, Babylon 5. I chose dinner and movie, so the day can just keep giving! I'm trying to find a new restaurant with healthy fare.

I'm leaning towards ethiopian though, because I'm craving me some lentils. *wink*

Anyway, I've gotta chop salad veggies. Have a fabulous weekend. And behave!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Perfect Weekend. Perfect.

Saturday, Hubby worked all day. I cleaned up a storm. It's so therapeutic sometimes - wiping down baseboards, sweeping hard wood, polishing hardware... the stuff that doesn't get done often, you know? My place looked brand spankin' new! (well, except that the house is 80 years old).
Saturday night, Hubby went to a brewery/pub with his dad and bro for Father's Day. Me and the sister-in-law sat on my couch, chatted, and... yes... watched Little Women. The Winona Ryder version. GEEZ I love that movie. It's my very favorite.
Sunday was Date Day. We've been so busy, and decided it was time for a day together. We took a road trip to a zoo an hour and a half away. They have baby giraffes! So cute. We wandered the zoo, and nature paths. I'm betting at least 3 miles altogether? We also ate out. I wasn't so good there. But I think with the walking and lunch, it was a wash. We drove home and went to see the new Karate Kid movie. It takes place in Beijing. Hubby and I both had tears in our eyes at certain points..when the kids do their morning exercises, when it showed a shot of the Forbidden City from a spot we stood, seeing the kids running and playing, and speaking in Chinese.
I used to think Chinese was a really harsh language... not fluid and pretty like French or Italian. I love it now, though. The tones are so interesting to listen to. It even sounds pretty!
Today I behaved myself food-wise. I need to... because I'm up to 209 lbs. Eek. Here is what I ate today...

cilantro hummus
brown rice
stir fry (carrots, cabbage, chickpeas, snap peas, peas)

I may just treat myself to a piece of the banana bread my mom gave me today....

Anyway, life is good. I'm watching Babylon 5, petting my kitten, and relaxing. aaahhhh.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Drooling... drooling...

These are amazing, no? The lil' baby oranges are true, grown-in-my-city Mandarin oranges during my time in China. You have never tasted an orange until you've tasted these. The peel comes off in one easy flick, and the juice is just HEAVENLY.

And that spiky torture device? That's a rambutan. I don't know how to explain the taste, unless you've had a longan before... I guess it may taste similar to a lychee? You peel it and the spiky skin comes off, leaving a clearish/cloudy flesh that tastes like nothing you've ever had before. These are COMPLETELY addicting. I am told that sometimes you can find these in asian markets in the U.S. I found longans here, so who knows!

Anyway, hey there! Congratulations on making it to the weekend. :) I called in sick two days this week. I've been having some seriously funky health issues lately, and I was getting pretty darn worried. My parents both have digestive diseases (Mom has Crohn's disease, Dad has ulcerative colitis). I've been having some troubling symptoms, according to my mommy. After a trip to the doctor, it's been decided that I will be going off of dairy for a month. My doctor thinks that after a year of pretty much NO dairy, I may have developed lactose intolerance. I think I'd like to go with that one over the other possibilities! I'm instructed to keep away from it from a month and see if my symptoms go away. Me? No milk? No cheese?!

I've stocked up on a lil' soy milk and soy yogurt, and I'm going to have to become more inventive. It shall be an adventure!

In other news, I'm now the proud owner of a full-time fall college schedule. I have the summer to relax, and then things get crazy - full time work, full time school, part time play :)

Today, I embarrassed myself like never before.

I missed a mass email at my office yesterday since it was sick. It said that any sandals that "flip-flop" are now outlawed. Well, I din' know! I wore my cute white flip-flop heels today and flopped everywhere until I met the CEO at the door. We entered at the same time and walked beside each other.

I don't know what came over me.

I walked like a duck.

Seriously. I tried to stop the sound, and ended up walking like a duck. She looked over, gave me a little smile, and then turned towards the break room and went on her way.

What did I do? Slink back to my cubicle and let my cube-mates in on my debacle. Did it end there? No.

CEO was standing in the middle of the office as I walked towards the lunch room. I looked up, saw her, and fell right back into it. No thinking. Just doing. She looked at my supervisor, who was snickering at me, and asked "Is she okay?" I just hightailed it out. No explanation.

This is so unlike me. I have no explanation. None. But now she thinks I'm crazy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Crazy Thoughts...

I'm havin' em! I haven't blogged much - my mind has been preoccupied. And this isn't gonna be a weight loss post. Or a China post.

I've been trying to pick apart the emotions and thoughts I've been having recently. I am not content where I am. Hubby and I are better than we've been in years, we have a nice new apartment, full of good things, and good jobs... and I'm getting restless.

My insides are being torn up and thrown around daily. What is it I'm looking for? What do I want out of life? Out of the next ten years? The next five?

I don't want to work at my office forever. I've tried to tell myself for years that I'll do whatever it takes to get Hubby through school. I've worked full time while he's slowly chipped away at it. But now, I'm feeling antsy.

I'm enrolling in classes again. How many? Depends on what financial aid I get. We're both bored already. We are young, healthy, and adventurous. We just don't belong here yet! Maybe after 5 more years... but for now, we're gonna crank that school out. After that...

Peace Corps?
A big move?
jobs we actually love?

Who knows. But I've had enough of telling myself that what I've got is good enough. It just isn't for me anymore. Not when I know that if I put in some dedication and effort, I can actually find fulfillment and meaning in what I am doing with my life. Do I want to have a comfortable life making decent money, but doing something I can't stand? I don't do a good thing at work. I send people who are sick or poor a step closer to collections. I ruin people's financial lives for the sake of a little money.

I want to like my job. I want to make a difference. I want to believe in what I'm doing.

Thus begins a massive overhaul of my life.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

China, Love. I miss you.

Long day.

Today was long. long. long. I'm plum tuckered out, and fighting a SERIOUS case of the munchies. I ate up all my strawberries, and all the leftover carrots. So I'm left with the things I'm avoiding, because they are NO GOOD for me. But I'm staying strong. Strong. Strong... strong? *bleh*

After work today, I picked up my kitty from the vet. Her poor little white paws are tinged red from her declawing surgery, and her belly is shaved, with a wound down the middle. How could I do that to my poor baby? But she'll be fine. She's konked out next to me.

After getting the kitten, I picked up my mom from school. Yes, I realize that sounds odd. But she's hit a rough patch. After losing her house a couple years ago, she had a huge flare up with her Crohn's disease. That has finally gotten better due to a great new treatment, but then she lost her job. She's now going to school for medical assisting, something she's always wanted to do. Last week, her car broke down. Living on unemployment and paying her Cobra so she can keep her prescriptions covered means there's no room for a new car in the budget. So for awhile, I'll be helping her out. That's what any daughter would do for her favorite mom, right? :)

Upon arriving home at 7:00, I found the hubby wandering outside - he was locked out! He's now sound asleep (he's working 2 jobs this summer, and one of them is 11:00pm - 3:00am) and I'm finally relaxing. I don't know what's up with me... I'm feelin' stressed!

I had some good eats today. An apple, strawberries, carrots, snap peas, rice and beans, a smoothie, a whole grain waffle, and a cup of half chocolate soymilk/half skim milk. The chocolate is just too much.

I checked my email today and found that I had a new one from a student. It almost brought me to tears...

Dear Amy
I very miss you every day. Today I am happy. I am going to Shanghai. What are you doing? I miss you are my teacher. I miss your pretty hair. I miss you every day.


How sweet is that? Coming from a 4th grader? She is so limited in her language, but her thoughts and feelings show through. I didn't expect to miss China as much as I do. Homesickness for the U.S was nothing compared to what I feel when I think about China. I cry at least every other day when I think about a student, or a friend, or a special place. I hope this gets easier.

You don't realize how crazy the U.S is until you've been away. I had no bills. Here, I HAVE to have a phone. I have to have gas, electric, a car, an apartment, student loans, etc. Everything revolves around money. Money I need to spend, money I don't have.... it puts so much stress on life. I miss being care free. I miss not worrying about "things" and simply taking in life. I need to find a balance here in Michigan. I need to find something... more.

I'm going to post some pics. I'm not going to post explanations... because I think they speak for themselves. If you take some time, and study them, I know you will find in them at least a little of what I find so special.

Happy wednesday.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

More Chinese Food!

This dish was soo deliciously simple. Just pea pods and oil with fresh garlic. Yum!

Isn't the purple beautiful? This is Chinese eggplant, cooked in a bean sauce with ground pork. It's one of my top 3 favorite dishes from Fuyang. So savory and soft!

The last picture is at the BBQ restaurant. There's chicken eggplant, beef, and lots of other good stuff. I'm sooo craving this right now..

Farmers Markets Rock.

Today I took the day off of work so I could bring Mei Mei (my kitten) to the vet. She's getting her shots, as well as being spayed and having her front claws taken out. I felt cruel. First, I had to take their food away last night. Hubby said that he caught both of them in the shower at 3:00 A.M. licking the floor. Crazy kitties. Second, she cried the whole ride there in her lil' box. Third, I can pick her up anytime tomorrow, but I can't REALLY, because I have to work until 3:30. So she'll have to sit there all day. Oh well, I guess. Maybe she'll make some friends (yeah right... she's a bully).

I also drove my mom to class because Agatha has finally croaked. Agatha was her 1992 Olds Ciara. That thing had close to 300,000 miles on it - but now the bottom is going to fall out if she goes over another bump.

RIP, Agatha.

Afterwards, I went to the Farmer's Market. OH MY GOSH! I wanted to spend a fortune. Instead, I spent $9. I got everything local - a huge tomato, strawberries, asparagus, and snap peas. I plan on using the veggies tonight!

Scale says: 206.5. I'm on my way back down!

I don't much feel like blogging today. I wanna MOVE! I'm going to do some cleaning, maybe a little dancing around the apartment. I'll leave you with this story:

One day, Amy Jo was feeling antsy. She decided to put the feeling to good use, and dance her jitters away. She pulled down the shades and blared her new Abba CD, flailing around wildly. She did random squats, with a little wiggle in her butt. She flopped her arms around with a can of soup in each hand. The weight counts, right? With wild abandon, she sang at the top of her lungs and threw her arms up in the air as the song hit it's crescendo.

Then she felt something odd; almost as if she was being watched. Glancing at the front door, she spied a woman peaking through a gap in the shade. Amy Jo's mouth dropped open and she stood, frozen in mortification. The woman knocked weakly and stared at the ground.

Putting down her cans of soup and pausing the music, Amanda gathered her dignity and opened the door.

"May I help you, Ma'am?" She asked. The woman wouldn't raise her eyes from the ground.

"I represent the U.S. Census, Ma'am. Do you have a moment to complete our questionnaire?"

Amy Jo opened her mouth, but no words came out. She thought for a moment, then replied.

"Actually, I was in the middle of something."

The census woman lost control and burst out laughing.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Festival of the Arts

Today was a good day. I didn't have a rockstar day diet-wise, but it wasn't a total bust!

Here's what I ate today:

breakfast: Carnation instant breakfast and an apple
lunch: spinach pie (at the Bosnian stand at the festival)
dinner: protein shake (banana, strawberries, whey protein powder, soy silk yogurt, milk, and flax seed)
snacks: cherries, carrots, whole wheat pita with hummus, jr. mints. That last one was my downfall - I went to the movies, and slipped.

This morning I woke up and went grocery shopping. I bought some good, healthy stuff while I was there; I'm actually excited to eat it all. Let's hope I pace myself.

This afternoon we went to the festival. We watched some bands, wandered, and had lunch. Mostly, I enjoy the people watching. We walked to and from the festival, which was probably about 3 miles total (almost all uphill one way!). It began to rain, so we went to a movie, "Letters to Juliet". It was cutesy, but a bit cheesy. Nice and light!

I decided I'm going to post a picture from China each time I write on my blog. We're starting with the food, though, because I wanna. The first one I posted (in my last post) was one of my very favorite dishes. In this post, I'm going to add julienne cut potatoes. It's spicy-sour due to the peppers and vinegar. It always settled my stomach somehow. I love love LOVE it!

I am craving this.

eggs and tomatoes. Deeeeeliiiisssh.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Blood Tofu and Goat Testicles

How's that for a gripping title for today's post? Anyway, happy Friday!! I’m thoroughly excited for this weekend – although if it rains, I’ll be bumming. This weekend is “Festival of the Arts” in Grand Rapids. Now that we live downtown (WEST SIDE ROCKS!) we’re within walking distance of the festivities. 1/5 miles each way. If the clouds don’t dump on us, it’ll be great. Hubby and I both have Saturday off of work, so we’re planning on doing a cheap date day at the festival. Live music, food kiosk, art exhibits… look how cultural I’m being this weekend!

I’ve already been there once today. Today was not a great food day. Instant breakfast and an apple for breakfast. Chinese take out for lunch. I know, I know. The people at work were ordering and I caved. I ate less than half though, because it was kinda nasty. For dinner I had some leftover macaroni and cheese with broccoli mixed in. Then, we went to the festival. We looked through the art booths, listened to some music, and did some eating. I had corn on the cob and a sate skewer. Nom nom nom! Overall, I didn’t have the best balance of foods today – heavy on the carbs, light on the veggies and fruit.

Sunday is another story – I have to work  I’ve returned to work at the office I was at before China, but I also picked up a part time job at the mall working for my favorite clothing store. Due to privacy issues, I can’t share the name on the blog… but anyway, I thought it’d be awesome. I’d get sweet discounts, the “in” with what new things are coming in, and some fun money to spend. But, alas, it’s been nothing but trouble so far. Scheduling issues, missing family functions, etc. We’ll see how long this lasts!

I think each day I’ll post a little bit of info on my year in China. I have tons of stories stocked up in my head. I spend all day thinking about it; what I ate, where I went, the friends I made. I have some serious home sickness for my Chinese home in Fuyang.

I was homesick when I got to China, but it was nothing like this. I knew that I had 11 months, then I’d be back at home in the U.S. Now I’m facing the fact that I’ll never see most of my friends again. I’ll never play badminton at DongWu Park, or sit next to the West Lake doing cross stitch, or sitting at the Music House playing dice and drinking a Tsing Tao beer with friends.

Geez, that’s depressing! I’m trying to focus on the joy I was able to experience while I was there, and the experiences I had. When I think about it deeper, I know that I don’t want to move back. But that doesn’t mean that the transition home hasn’t been hard.

I’ll share today about the food in China, since y’all know I’m a little obsessed with food. I LOVED the food in China. I tried things I never would have here! Here’s just a snippet of the unusual things I ate…

Duck tongue, chicken feet, chicken heads, tripe, goat testicles, taro, dragon fruit, durian, crab lungs, river snails, fish eyes, blood tofu, stinky tofu, “rope” beans, sesame breakfast cereal, dragon well tea

Some of those things were absolutely wonderful. Some were downright foul. The fruit was amazing. Chinese people LOVE fresh produce. Every day I would buy something new from a street vendor. My favorite sweet treat? I would by a whole stalk (5-7 feet) of sugarcane for $1.00. They would take a machete, slice the outside skin off, then chop it into 3-inch segments. You chew on it and then spit out the fibrous stuff. I’d bring a bag of it into work and share with all of my co-workers. What a way to make friends! Other easily acceptable/delicious fruits were apples, longans, dragon fruit, watermelon, grapes, jujubes, breadfruit, bananas, and various random melons.

AND durian. In China, some people cal it “rotting flesh melon”. It’s an apt description. The fruit smells like nothing I’ve ever smelled before. Some people love it. I, however, HATE HATE HATE it. In some areas of Asia there are laws against eating it in public places. Last summer we spent 3 weeks in Malaysia on vacation. A sign on the door of one of the hostels we stayed at said “No durian beyond this point”. It was very considerate of them to watch out for the people like me, who get nauseous at the very mention of durian.

Our city was right on the river. We were fairly close to the coast as well, so our town was big on seafood. I am not. I branched out a little bit – ate some fish, squid, shrimp. But its all prepared a little different in China. Shrimp are cooked whole – head, veins, legs, and all. You pull off the parts you don’t want during the consumption process. Fish are almost always served whole. They taste delicious, but as an honored guest, you are often offered the eyes. It’s the best part, you see.

My favorite part of the Chinese diet is the veggies. OOOOOOHHH they were good. Sautéed bok choy, eggplant, beans, edamame, cabbage, carrots, wintermelon, squash… I’m drooling just thinking about it.

We had two restaurants that we frequented the most. Eating out for us was just about as cheap as cooking for ourselves, so we ate out just about every evening.
Restaurant # 1: The Hunan restaurant. They had a few dishes that we ordered religiously. Bandit chicken (a dry dish with chicken, hot peppers, and garlic that was so hot my mouth would burn for 24 hours), julienne potatoes (sliced potatoes, Szechuan peppers, garlic, and spring onions stir-fried in oil and vinegar), pork and cabbage, and eggs and tomatoes. Eggs and tomatoes are the easiest thing in the world to make – just chop up fresh tomatoes, simmer with a little salt and sugar, then add someeggs and a little vinegar, and cook until done. Mmm mmm good! Also good as a soup with chicken broth and bok choy added.

I also LOVED their green beans/eggplant dish, and Ma Po Tofu

Restaurant #2: Harbin ShaoCao BBQ). This was a MAN restaurant… but I also loved it, because of the veggies. Everything was served on skewers, and coated with a seasoning of cumin/red pepper/msg. OH MY GOSH this was good. They would stick anything on those skewers. The boys like the meat. Chicken wings, mutton, beef, fish, squid, goat testicles (you heard me), chicken hearts, pork, etc. I loved me some veggies – cauliflower, potatoes, green beans, seaweed, broccoli, bok choy, eggplant. Throw in a can of diet coke and I was in HEAVEN. And best of all? I felt good afterwards. It was dangerous going here with a group of the guys, though. Our good friend Jarvis and my hubby would sit down and say “hm… what do we want to start with? 20 skewers of chicken wings… 20 mutton… 20 beef… make that 30 beef…”

What food did I crave most from home? Good cheese, milk, and beef. Beef there wasn’t too great. Oh, and whole wheat bread. The bread there was all sweetened somehow – ick!

I’ve picked up a lot of new ideas and habits from my eating in China. One thing I’ve started doing more is stir-frying or simmering veggies without spices. This sounds bland, but they have it down to a science! If you get the right fresh ingredients to flavor the dish (ginger, garlic, spring onions, cilantro, etc) then you can really make a flavorful dish that lets the flavors of the veggies or meat shine through. I’ve also become addicted to edamame (soy beans). I buy it in the pod (either in the frozen section of the supermarket, or fresh at the Asian market) and I steam it in my rice cooker. Then, when it’s done, I lightly salt it and eat it as a snack.

The Chinese way of life is so interesting to me. Breakfast is usually similar to the other meals in your day. It could be fried rice, a boiled egg (baby chicken included!), noodles, red bean porridge, or what have you. Lunch is veggies, meat, and steamed rice, along with some basic broth for fluids. Dinner is more of the same. They snack all day long, but on good stuff. Veggies, fruit, rice cakes, etc. I never saw the Chinese teachers without their containers of green tea.

I need to get a’moving. My nightly episode of SVU awaits me. Until tomorrow!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Feeling like a Victim.

It wasn't my fault - I swear.

I was behaving myself.

Instant breakfast and an apple for... breakfast.

A huge salad for lunch - chickpeas, spinach, peppers, black beans, broccoli, cauliflower, salsa...

afternoon snack - two pieces of whole wheat toast with egg salad and some carrots.

Then it happened. Hubby came home with a gift card for Red Lobster. I had a light dinner planned of veggies and an omelet. Instead, we hopped in the car and away we went.

Actual dinner? A baked potato with sour cream, butter, and salt and pepper. Asparagus. And - count 'em - 4 cheddar biscuits. Needless to say, I feel defeated. I feel like there is something inside of me that fights against what I'm trying to do. I felt so good about my eating all day long, then BAM!

When I really think about it, though, I know that I can't blame it on some fantastic "being" that is pushing me away from what I want. I wanted those biscuits. I wanted the extra extra butter.

I know, it doesn't exactly sound like a binge. But that's exactly the problem. I have days where I completely give in. Days where I eat whole boxes of mac and cheese; a whole box of instant pudding; a pint of ice cream. Those days, though, I know I'm guilty. I just wallow in my weakness. Days like today, though, I feel strong. I feel proud. And still, I fall. *sigh* This will be a fight for the rest of my life.

In other news, I've started this blog! People are always telling me I should start one. Something about me being funny or something. Anyway, now I've done it. What kind of blog is this going to be? I honestly don't know. What I DO know is that I love food blogs. I love learning about nutrition. And that I'm a woman who struggles with her weight. After living in China for a year, I've returned home to Michigan with a new outlook on life. I am woman. Hear me roar!

Today was a good one. Watched some SVU on netflix. Man, I have a sick addiction to that show. I just WANT TO BE A PROSECUTOR! *Insert snapping of whip*. I have a desire for power.

Spent the obligatory 8 hours at the office, did some dishes, did some playing with the evil kitten, did some reading of the current book (The Lost Symbol).

The most heartbreaking part of the day? Calling the vet. Yes, indeed, my kitten is ready to get her shots, have her baby-makin' parts removed, and her front claws. I know people don't approve; but they aren't in my situation. They don't see Mei Mei scratching the eyes out of my helpless clawless adult kitty (she was declawed when I adopted her). They don't know what it's like to have a crazy kitten come flying from one end of the house and throwing herself at my bare legs, grabbing on with her claws. Yes, I feel bad for my baby; but it must be done. Her first physical is tuesday. If she's ready, we'll make an appointment for her surgeries. My lil'
guppy is growing up!

Oh, one last thing. This is the place I'm just gonna be brutally honest, because I need to be.

Scale says - 211 lbs. Dang it.