Saturday, June 26, 2010

C25K: Week 2

The "Couch to 5K" challenge is 9 weeks long. Since there are 3 runs per week, that means I have to do some runny-thing at least 27 times.

I'm currently 1/9th of the way there. Or 4/27ths. (Whichever looks more impressive.) (Probably neither.)

I don't have a lot to say about it yet. I was afraid that Week Two's schedule would be too hard for me but it was actually okay. It started rough, but by the time I got half-way through the workout I actually felt good.

I still worry. I am still afraid that just because I can make it through weeks one and -- ostensibly -- two doesn't mean I can make it through the rest. I really have no idea what to expect. I've never done anything like this before.

How are you guys doing? How did you guys do it? And if I'm scared at week two, does that mean I'm doomed?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Adventures In Salon Bathrooms!

I love my hair salon here in Napa. My stylist is named Christy, and she is the owner. She's also a little fun-nutty.

Not surprisingly, we get along famously.

Christy recently had to renovate her salon to make it smaller because of something having to do with her lease and the economy and some other fuzzy details having to do with the business next door. Which is a bar. The result is that the salon's bathroom is now shared with the business next door. Which is a bar.

Of course, this wouldn't matter to most of her clientele, because most of her clientele doesn't traipse through the salon during prime bar hours. But I always have to go to the salon late, after Ish gets home and can take over Eve-watching duties.

I think you know where this is going.

I didn't know that the salon shared the bathroom. So when I needed to use the facilities while my head was sprouting aluminum foil, I thought nothing of it.

Imagine my surprise as I opened the door and saw NOT a small, pleasant, single-stall bathroom (as it had been), but a large, double-stalled bathroom with a second exit door. And a man in overalls standing at the sink.

My mind tried to put all this together but failed. Perhaps the highlights had seeped into my brain.

I turned back to Christy, bathroom door in my hand. "Um, why is there a man in your bathroom?"

She explained that the facilities are now shared with the bar's ladies' room, but couldn't explain why a man was in there.

But then as we both watched the man make his way back to the bar, we realized I'd made a Bay Area Rookie Mistake: I'd assumed that the stocky person in overalls with short hair and baseball cap and work boots was a man. Oops.

Well, so then in the 15 seconds it took us to discover and discuss my error and re-open the door, I guess there'd been a run on the bathroom. There was a young woman waiting in line. So I had to stand behind her with my hair all in foils and my salon apron on, looking AWESOME.

Nothing in my entire life had prepared me for how to have a small-talk conversation with a woman in line in the bathroom when she's been drinking and I've been having my hair highlighted. MISS MANNERS IS USELESS.

I thought about saying, "Um, this is a shared bathroom with the salon," but realized that was probably  obvious. I didn't want to insult the stranger.

I didn't want to feel completely embarrassed either, but it is REALLY HARD to feel like your most fabulous self when you're not wearing makeup and sporting silver Medusa hair and reeking of chemicals and wearing an apron tent.

Thankfully, the young woman spoke first. A kind, kind gesture on her part.

"What color are you getting?" she asked.

We chatted briefly about my color and she mentioned something about happy hour.

But then we had some other issue arise which is also always awkward in the ladies' room.  She's clearly waiting for one of the three stalls to open up, except I can only hear a woman in two of them. I'm pretty sure the other stall is free. But I couldn't check.

You know why?

Because I didn't want to OFFEND Ms. Happy Hour.

If I checked the stall, it would be like admitting to her that I did not trust her judgment. And that's not a very kindly thing to do, even though I really had to pee and she may have been too tipsy to notice OR be offended.

I don't want to hurt imaginary feelings of strangers in the bathroom.

Anyway, two stalls opened up at the same time (by now there was a line behind us) and while I was in there, I casually looked for feet in the stall next to me and lo and behold, there was no one in there.

When I finished, I waited for Happy Hour to leave and then quietly told the women in line that "I think this one might be open."


* * * * * * * * * * *
I went back and finished the highlighting process. At the end, my hair looked fantastic (Christy does a great job), even though I was still in sweats and still without makeup.

So when I had to use the bathroom AGAIN, I was all, FINE! I can handle being with the bar-goers! I have pretty hair! No one cares if I'm not wearing makeup! It balances out! I look just as nice as people who are wearing makeup but haven't had their hair done!

Fueled with good-hair confidence, I practically BURST through the bathroom door, ready to confront a whole pack of Happy Hours.

And then I had to stop short. Again.

This time, the salon-bar bathroom was full of three booze-slinging hoochies. You know who I'm talking about? The model-like girls who liquor companies hire to promote their new drink to slobbery men? The girls were all tall, thin, 20-somethings (possibly 18 or 19) with tons of makeup, tiny bright orange t-shirts and tight short-short shorts, and 4+" heels.

Comparatively, my new hair color -- pretty though it was -- didn't have the impact I'd been going for.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Last Post In The World I Ever Thought I'd Ever Write, Ever

I have to tell someone, and dear, wonderful, wacky Invisible Internet Friends: I figured it should be you.  You deserve to know.

Two things first:
  1. I have made plenty of announcements and proclamations here that didn't quite come to fruition. (See: declaring this a weight-loss blog five+ years ago; my 917 "I'm going to blog more often" announcements; my one attempt at NaBloPoMo that lasted about 13 days; etc.)
  2. I blame this entirely on Stefania.

Okay. You ready?

Today I completed Day 1, Week 1 of the Couch to 5K.

I know. That breeze you just felt on your ankles? That was hell freezing over.  I'm doing my part to stop global warming.

Here's the real kicker though: I don't feel like I'm going to die. I didn't fall down. I didn't throw up. I didn't even throw my iPhone (with the C25K app) into the bushes.


I don't smell great (sorry), and I did slightly pull some muscle in my butt region when I suddenly had to sidestep a dumbass man who SOMEHOW DIDN'T NOTICE A PANTING WOMAN WITH GIANT BOBBING BOOBS BARRELING TOWARD HIM WITH A JOGGING STROLLER and wandered in right front of me. So I'm sore. But only a little. (So far.)

Um. So yes. You might be wondering what the hell is going on with me and how I went from bitching ardently about how much I hate walking -- let alone jogging -- to taking on a "let's run every week!" type program.

And my truthful, deep-down, thoughtful answer is: I have absolutely no idea.

Here's what I can tell you, and you can go ahead and feel free to diagnose my mental illness --

After I posted about my hatred of walking and hearing a few of you sing the Couch to 5K (c25k) praises, I started thinking about it. Meanwhile, Stefania's been transformed into an actual runner, posting her c25k updates on Facebook and Twitter.  And you know, she's got TWO kids and she blogs and runs a company and has a life as crazy as mine and is somehow making it work.

I spent about 3 seconds Googling it. I saw that week one is basically a warm-up, followed by 60-seconds of running, then 90 seconds of walking, then 60 seconds of running, 90 seconds of walking, etc. until you've run 9 times.

I thought there was no way I could do it without dying. End of story.

But then one afternoon a couple weeks ago, I decided to take Eve to the park. My intent was to walk around the park's square, half-mile perimeter, and then push her on the swings. By the time I figured out how to collapse our new stroller and had hefted it into the trunk, however, I decided that the "workout" portion of my afternoon was complete. I was just going to push her on the swings.

I got to the park and discovered the playground is under construction. But after traveling all that way, what could I do but walk? So I walked.

I walked two sides of the park |_. And then, out of sheer curiosity, I decided to see if I could jog one length. |_|

I could.

It wasn't easy, but it didn't kill me. And I discovered a secret. Maybe you know this secret, but I sure as hell didn't. Or at least, I never saw it this way.

The secret is: if you jog, the stupid, hateful walk goes by SO MUCH FASTER.


Well, so then I decided to try to alternate. Walk one length, jog one length. And it kept happening! The jogging length kept going by in half the time! OH GLORY DAY! It's like, you can cram your whole workout into however fast you can make yourself go. WHY DIDN'T I FIGURE THIS OUT BEFORE?

I went back to the park a few days later and did some more walk-jogging.

Then my new Napa friend asked if I wanted to go on a four-mile power walk and thought, "Yes! I can do that!" And it nearly killed me and I don't think it was in any way "powerful" but whatever. FOUR MILES.

Then this last week, I went on a couple of Ish and Eve's morning walks. I jogged just a little bit here and there.

Then I got to today. And this week has kicked my ass and nothing has gone right and everything's stressful and I'm just juggling way too many things. And when I realized I just needed to get out of the goddamned house already, I thought, Hmmm.

I put the c25k app on my phone. I picked my music. (Yes, you can pick your own music to run underneath the man who tells you when to walk and when to run.) I packed up the stroller and the baby and headed to the park.

And I did it.  And I didn't die.  And I think I will do it again.

Who starts a workout program at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon? Well, I guess that'd be me -- your crazy, crazy internet friend who just surprised the heck out of herself.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

And The Back Shaver Winners Are...

Congratulations to Christine & Smeep248!

Christine‬ said...
I live in Philadelphia and my husband has not gone to the beach without a shirt on in a long time. I think he hopes most people blame it on the weight, and while we can say that he (and I) have "more to love," the real reason is the back hair.

If only he were gay, he'd be the hottest bear around.

I've said too much. I'll just say, yes please, I would like to enter this contest.

smeep248‬ said...
first week of dating involved attempting to wax. Seriously, I need this in my life...

Please email me your contact information so you can receive your fabulous prize!

And to everyone who entered, thank you so much for sharing your hairy-man-back stories with the internets. It made the contest so worth it. I heart you all.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Weight-Loss Update: Imma Cut My Scale

Let's just jump in here with a quick recap:

1. I start Medifast on Tuesday, March 2. I agree to try it for a month.
2. I see results immediately, and decide to stick with it. I lose about 20 pounds in the first five-six weeks.
3. By 8-10 weeks, I'm down almost 30 pounds. (Dude. Awesome.)
4. I hit a giant plateau. I don't gain, but I don't lose, in part because:
  • I have a few "off" days and nights*
  • I have gall bladder issues that eventually result in surgery (I lose 3 weeks of momentum when all is said and done)
  • My scale has an awesome sense of humor
5. We're now 15 weeks into the program -- which is still only 3.5 months -- and I have lost 34 pounds.

*IMPORTANT: While I had (and continue to have) "off" nights and "off-program" days here and there, I am still eating about a hundred times more carefully, thoughtfully and better than I was before the program.
Most incredibly, my "off" days while on the Medifast program still look like "diet" or "on-program" days when compared to how I used to consume.

That's why I'm not gaining weight.

But OMG I need to start losing again. Because I've been teetering with this same damned five pounds for over a month now, and it's time for the scale to start moving again. Before I hit someone.

Because you know? I have goals. GOALS. And they are shallow important. And they are looming.  Here are the major ones, all drawn out for me you.

 My Weight Loss & Weight Goals
As of June 15, 2010

As you can see from this very expertly drawn graph, the numbers on the right are the pounds I wish to lose. Like a reverse fundraising chart.

So yep. My overall goal is to lose 80 pounds. Which is a metric shit-ton. And a discouraging amount to think about at the beginning.  But now that I'm alllllllmost at the half-way point, it's a little less intimidating.

And lest you think that 80 pounds is too much for someone my size to lose, let me tell you: Even at 80 pounds lost, I will be considered "overweight" by bullshit standardized BMI calculators. On the other hand, I should be able to fit into single-digit jeans.

And we all know which of those is more important.

Let's look a little closer at these numbers, shall we?

a. I lose 20 pounds. 
YAY! Off to a good start. I didn't give myself a date by which I needed to hit this number, so it happened when it happened. First hunk o' chunk GONE.

b. I plateau, yet endeavor to lose 40 pounds by June 24.
This seemed a lot more reasonable when I was down 34 pounds two weeks ago. Now that I'm still at 34 pounds, I hate this stupid goal. I hate 34 pounds. I want to kick 34 pounds' ass.

But what can you do? Ish and Eve and I are heading to Tahoe for the weekend on June 24, and I wanted to hit that magic number before we left. Just because. (Well, just because the last time I was in Tahoe, Eve was 6 weeks old and I was as heavy as I've ever been in my life.)

So I'm doing what I can. I've started working out a little more. I'm trying to increase my water intake and decrease my wine intake to practically non-existent. I don't know that I can hit 40 pounds lost by next Thursday, but it will happen. And you will hear about it, boy howdy. Because...

c. 40 pounds lost by wheneverthehellithappens.
When I hit 40 pounds lost, I will be the weight I was when I arrived in San Francisco. (Who knows, I may have weighed less, but this was the number they said at my first doctor's appointment.)

Frankly, I was shocked the number was so comparatively low.

When my husband and I separated -- or, wait, no. For those of you unfamiliar with the nuances of my back story, I should phrase that differently:

When my husband left me over the phone while I was visiting my mother who had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and I subsequently ended up spending the rest of the summer alone in my house in the suburbs, I found myself on something of a Divorce Diet. As happens when you suddenly realize you're going to be single again. 

But I had no idea how much I weighed or how much I lost then. I just know the former was "a lot" and the latter was "whatever."

The point is, hitting this number means I will have hit a Finish Line. Which is also a Starting Line. It means I'll have undone the "damage" I've done weight/health-wise since moving to California (and, you know, having the time of my life).

d. 46 pounds. 
Important because it's 10 pounds less than where I am now. And because I've been at this weight forEVER, it seems like being 10 pounds lighter will never, ever, ever happen.

(Also, it bugs me that in my drawing, I left out the period after the d.)

e. 50 pounds by BlogHer.
I don't really care how I look at BlogHer in the sense of like, "People from the internets are going to see me! I should look my best!" That mentality is absolutely comical to me. The last several years of BlogHer saw me at my most stressed, most harried, most chubbed-out, most blemished, most crazy-eyed ever. EVER. I have no secrets from BlogHer attendees, speakers, sponsors, organizers. I could show up as a size 6 in designer clothes and $400 shoes and it wouldn't make a lick of difference. The jig is up.

But. As an arbitrary deadline, it's a good one and I think it's realistic.

More importantly, oh em eff gee. NYC in AUGUST is disgusting. It is a sauna of gross. Weighing less and being more active and healthy is going to make dealing with the sticky-yuck a thousand times easier. Especially since I'll also be chasing after a baby.


Certainly there are goals past the 50-pound mark, but that just seems so impossible and far away that I'll cross that bridge later. I have these next 15 pounds to focus on for now, and that's plenty.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

How To Get Him To Marry You (Hint: It Has To Do With Shaving His Back) Also? A Giveaway!

I just saw a quote on Facebook (because where else would I go for inspirational thoughts?) that said "Going to church makes you a good Christian the way standing in a garage makes you a car." And I was all, "Wow, that's deep."

So in the same vein, I think I should start here by saying that my being married -- for the second time, no less -- makes me a relationship expert the way I am also a car.

This is a picture of a professional back shaver, which will start to make sense in about three paragraphs. Maybe.

Men have hairy backs.

Maybe some men don't. Maybe your boyfriend/husband/partner doesn't. That's fine, you can go live in your smooth-backed world and come back for my next blog post. But the rest of us sitting here are now thinking about men and their hairy backs and wondering what on earth I'm getting at.

I'm getting at this: there comes a point in every relationship where the man's hairy back has to be acknowledged. Maybe that happens early in the relationship because the hair is copious. (See: Harry in Sex and the City.) But maybe, well. Let's just say that the back hair isn't so prominent that it requires a conversation in the first few months of dating.

Let's just say that the back hair exists in a bizarre, fine, patchwork pattern that leaves me to question whether Evolution got seriously drunk and confused and forgot what it was doing.

So but okay. Fine, patchwork back hair is not a first-few-months-of-dating kind of conversation. But it is a conversation.

It doesn't matter who brings it up. Maybe it's you. Maybe it's him. Maybe it's your friend at the beach who's like, "Dude. What's up with your back hair."  The point is, the conversation starts and the only conclusion that needs to be drawn is that back waxing is too silly and expensive and the best solution is that you -- yes, you, girlfriend/wife/partner -- should be the back shaver.

And here is the crux: If you are not yet married, not yet engaged, and you embark on the Shaving Of The Back, he will have to marry you. He won't know why. There's not an immediate 1:1 relationship. But once you have shorn the shoulderblades, there's no going back. The ring is inevitable.

You're welcome.

Now. Just when you thought this post couldn't get any better (because that's totally what you were thinking, right?), have I got a surprise for YOU.

I'm giving away not one but TWO -- 2! -- MANGROOMER brand Professional Back Shavers. They retail for about $50 and will guarantee* you an engagement ring. Of course, if you're already married, you could probably use one of these suckers, too, because did you see? It's called a Professional Back Shaver.

Let me write that again so you can take it in:

Professional. Back. Shaver.

Did you know such a thing even existed? Am I not full of enlightening concepts today?

But for reals. It's like the Cadillac of back shavers and is fancy and cool-looking and is actually called the "Do It Yourself Back Shaver" so if your man wanted to, he could totally do it by himself and cut you out of the equation, but that's only a benefit if you've already got a ring. For the purposes of this post, therefore, we're downplaying the "do it yourself" aspects of the Professional Back Shaver.

Still, if you're married and totally over having to shave your husband's stupid back, you should enter this contest.

Single ladies: ignore that last statement.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Bottom Line:
I was offered the opportunity to review and giveaway a Mangroomer Professional Back Shaver, but I said, "No, that's okay. I don't need to review it. We already HAVE ONE** and I know it works. But I would be happy to give TWO away instead." And now here we are.

So please leave a comment and I will pick two winners at random by 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 16.  You will then get your Mangroomers in time for Father's Day. Which is pretty effing awesome on so, so many levels.

Also? I 100% decided that I would do this giveaway because the pitch I received was personal and well written despite that it had to include the phrase "for the dad who has everything...including back hair!" in the first paragraph.

Props where they're do, folks.

Oh, and doubly awesome? You are eligible EVEN IF YOU'RE CANADIAN! Yep! We know how hairy Canadians can be, so the contest is open to those in the US, Canada, and New Zealand. (Don't even get me started on hairy Kiwis.)

P. S. You absolutely have to go visit the Mangroomer website because it's all futuristic and makes cool Terminator sounds when you click on the products as if you're looking at weaponry and not hairy man shavers. ENJOY!

*I'm sorry, Mangroomer PR Department. I realize that this is not part of your official product description and that I shouldn't be making Mangroomer guarantees based on relationship advice when I'm just a car, but I think I'm totally right.

**True story.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Videos For Your Weekend

Maybe you don't care. I would understand. But in case you do, I have two kind of awesome videos for you.

1. Eve
Yes, she is wearing a Keith Olbermann onesie and hat -- an outfit I bought for Ish for her for Christmas. What can I say? We're fans, and it's ridiculous. Plus, she's cute in a stocking cap.


2. My friend, Emily.
Remember how I told you that I was hanging out with my friends, Bemily (who ALSO HAVE A BABY) and we had some beers and then for reasons best left unexplained I decided it made sense to put on a bridesmaid's dress? (Yes, that's me scurrying out of the frame in the beginning.) And then Emily, not to be outdone, put on a wig and tutu? Yeah? Well, I sort of forgot that she then decided to dance around to Don't Stop Me Now AND that her husband took a video of it (that's his charming commentary, plus my laughing and some thoughts by Ish).

It's worth watching because a) it explains why we're friends with this couple and b) the very last moments of the video are kind of precious. (If by "precious" I mean "disgusting.")


Sorry, Em.

Happy Weekend, Everyone!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Lady Bits!!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
You were right and I was stupid.

But first, an update about the dress.

The answer is: No. I did not wear the dress over the weekend. But before you get all mad and/or disappointed in me, hear me out.

On Friday afternoon after your lovely comments poured in, I went upstairs and decided to put the dress on. I was feeling good, and assured, and ready to commit to wearing the damn thing.  So on it went, and then I decided to look -- really look -- at myself in the mirror.

And as much as I wish I could give you a sweet, heartfelt story about how that moment was the beginning of my owning my better-but-still-changing size, it was not. I cannot.

Instead, I have to tell you that it's a VERY good thing I decided to put the dress on again because I had never looked at it close up before and hadn't, therefore, realized that it doesn't actually fit me.

I mean, I can get it on and buttoned. But the part of the dress that buttons across my waist? It's tight. So tight that when I'm just standing in the dress, it pulls the fabric between the buttons into concave ( )'s.
( )

Like that, kinda.

And maybe you're wondering how I didn't notice this before? Well, okay, that's a fine thing to wonder.

The reason is because when I am wearing the dress, I can't see the part of my body directly below my boobs. (Let's be honest: unless I'm leaning forward, I can't see my feet.)

So my big booby lady bits got in the way of my noticing the dress didn't actually fit my waist after all. SIGH. (I guess I never looked long or hard enough in the mirror to notice, either.)

You can bet there'll be an update once I DO manage to fit into the dress.


Remember how I was all, "Should I try a spin class?" and you were all, "OUCHY! NO! IT'S HARD AND IT WILL HURT YOU!" Guess who didn't listen.

Yesterday I decided on a whim to try my gym's "Intro to Spin" class. I figured it would be like, Spin Lite. Maybe there would be other overweight people in the class who were also afraid of trying a full-blown spin workout. Maybe, I thought, we would bond. Maybe the instructor would be kind and gentle and encouraging.

Or? Maybe "Intro to Spin" should be called "Spin For People Who Want To Fit All The Insanity of Advanced Spin Into 30 Minutes."

There was nothing "Intro" about it, except for its 30 minutes-ness. There was no kindly, welcoming instructor. There was no explanation of how to do things we were barked at to do. There were zero overweight people in the class.

And holy God, but oh my oh my OH MY LADY BITS OOOOWWWWW.

Those seats are super incredibly painful. What in the wide world of workouts were people thinking? Why is this done? Why is this okay? When did everyone become completely nutso?

I will grant that maybe it's because I weigh more, but really? I am supposed to balance my entire body on my, shall I say, "inner bum cheeks"? Because short of balancing on a curtain rod in mid-air or kickboxing while sitting on a bathroom plunger, I can't really think of anything less comfortable.

I lasted 20 horrible, excruciating minutes and then I gave up. I just got off my bike and walked right out of the room.  I then waddled, looking as bowlegged as someone who'd just been horseback riding for two weeks, to a recumbent bike, sat my big butt down in it, and finished off the 30 minutes.

Water Aerobics

Hip-Hop Dance

Intro To Spin

What's next...?

P.S. You'd better believe I am soooooooooore today. Any workout class that makes sitting this unpleasant is off my list for good.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I feel I need to clarify two things.
1. The part that hurts isn't a muscular hurt. I mean, yes, I am sore from the whole 20 minutes (+10!) that I did in class, but that's fine. I like the muscular hurt. That is a good hurt. 

The hurt I mean from spin is a bruising, painful hurt. It was so uncomfortable during class that I was nearly brought to tears and today, two days later -- after only 20 freakin' minutes -- it still hurts to sit. Not muscle hurts. LADY BIT HURTS. BRUISED hurts. 
Oochie in my coochie hurts.

Maybe some folks can come away from class feeling bruised and think that's fine -- all part of the "no pain, no gain" rule book.  I get that. But no. Not for me. I don't mind some pain, I don't mind out-of-breath, I don't mind sweating, I don't mind having to push myself to get the workout done.  That, to me, is different from verge-of-tears pain. Bruise-y pain is not something I will want to go back and do, even if eventually it won't hurt as much.  It's just not worth it to me when there are so many other kinds of exercise out there.

2. I have lost weight and gotten in shape before in my adult life.  I remember what it was like and I know what kind of work it takes. BUT.  I've never taken exercise classes before. This is a new frontier. 

I just want to make clear that I am not clueless about -- or new to -- exercise. I am just new to classes.