Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: The Recap

In keeping with tradition, here is my 2009 Recap (or what I can remember before I get too hungry for dinner)

Oof. So long ago. My cousin Erin has a baby. She's early, but an amazing fighter and is now getting ready to celebrate her first birthday. What a blessing! I decide to start making more home-cooked meals and do a fairly decent job. My parents dog, Tanner, dies after a fairly short life. He was Missy's bestest bud and my dads constant companion so we are all a bit broken up about it. I resolve to start working out more and lose 10 pounds. Zach starts new job and works until midnight. We only see eachother on the weekends.

February: I consider entering a triathlon but chicken out, numerous times. Things start getting stressful at work. We celebrate Zach's 29th birthday. I made the worlds richest (and definitely the most unhealthy) peanut butter brownies for the first time and it looks like they will be a staple for every birthday from here on out. Walk Missy every single night, even in the freezing cold, because DAMN that dog is wild.

Run in the 1st annual Drumm Farm Run. It was an off trail run and holy hell, it was hard, but I finished. My "official results" say I came in 4th place and even though I know that's SO not right, it makes me happy. Oh and I won a free pedicure (that I let expire before using it. Dang!) We start thinking about adding to our family in the canine sense. Zach draggs me out to look at English Mastiffs. No way. Too big. Ha! I go out for my friends 29th birthay at the Power & Light district and have a total quarter-life crisis and leave in tears. Realize I'm getting old. It was a tough month.

April: Survive my frist round of layoffs at work. Realize I need to step up my game. Do. Get noticed. I compromise and tell Zach we can LOOK at Great Danes. Find Ted. Heart melts. Sign papers. Wait for him to grow up a smidge. Run the Trolley Run for second year in a row. Get the exact same time. Become very frustrated with working out. Consider, for a second, training for a half marathon.

Bring Ted home. Don't like him much at first. He bites and Missy won't leave him alone. Zach goes to visit friends in Sioux Falls and leaves me the puppy on his first weekend home. I cry, a lot. At least he slept more than Missy did. Zach starts summer break and we start training dear Ted. He learns fast. I grow to love him. Decide to run Hospital Hill 10k instead of Half Marathon. Hate training with a firey burning passion.

June: Run Hospital Hill 10k. Finish with a decent time and have fun. Shoes really hurt my feet. Vow to run Half Marathon in 2010 (unless unable to...wink!) Zach's mom and sister come visit and spend most of the time babysitting Ted. He's a hit! Zach joins the Nelson Atkins "fan club" and says we'll go all the time. We haven't been yet. I turn 28 and am deeply saddend. Get a new bike and ride it all the time. Still very frustrated with working out. Ted starts puppy school. He's the shy kid in class.

July: Trade in the 'ol Neon for a Ford Escape. LOVE! Spend the 4th of July at my parents and nearly get killed by renagade fireworks. Go to a couple Royals games with friends. Really like the new stadium. Start baking "healthier" desserts. Ha!

August: Take the pups to the lake. Missy loves it and wants to explore the whole time. Ted falls off the deck and will likely never go near water again. Try laying out and drinking, realize it's not for me. Get a Costco membership and feel like a "real" adult. Decide to switch gyms. Ted "graduates" puppy school. Barely. Mom is diagnosed with cancer.

September: Start taking working out seriously. Join new gym down the road and start to get my groove back. Go on vacation with Zach to Chicago. We have a blast. Have a mole removed and can't workout for two weeks. Gain a million pounds. Get chosen to do the Ink Magazine fitness challenge. Start working out all the time, which totally helped with all the stress that was starting to build. Realize Ted hates other dogs and stop going to the dog park and taking him on walks by myself. Very sad.

Work out and diet like a crazy person and love every second of it. Ted tears up our carpet, eats our bannister, chews our couch and destroys countless other objects. I nearly lose my mind. Purchase my first "little black dress" and go to second cousins wedding. Looking fabulous. Spend Halloween in Atchison, KS hunting ghosts. Sad that we didn't find any. Make it through the second round of layoffs.

Continue to workout and diet like a crazy person. Totally succeed. Vacation in Vegas for Thanksgiving. See The Beatles "Love". Get an awesome suite at Bally's for nearly nothing. Work gets insane. Missy and Ted start behaving a little more and life with two dogs becomes manageable.

Enjoy "Girls Christmas", bake lots of cookies even though I said I wouldn't. Work gets REALLY crazy. Dread Christmas. Hate Christmas shopping. Half-heartedly decorate the house. Vow to enjoy the actual Christmas holiday. Mom starts having seizures during Christmas Eve dinner. Spend Christmas at the hospital. Go to Christmas mass in the hospital chappel. Worry, worry, worry. Get ten million grey hairs. Experience first blizzard. Stress, stress, stress. Mom has cancer surgery. Wait, wait, wait. Try out new Garmin GPS. Enjoy new Slanket. Plan to eat lots of cheese and dink lots of wine for New Years Eve. At home, alone.

2010 Goals:
-Maybe run that half marathon? Eh. I wouldn't bet on it. At least do 4 runs.
-Maintain weight loss and maybe get in even better shape.
-Continue home improvements.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday Ho-Hum's: Part 2

Well friends, things didn't get much better after I last posted.

My family spent our Christmas visiting my mom in the ICU. I don't really feel like going into all the details, but we had to rush her to the hospital when we were halfway through our Christmas Eve dinner. She's doing 'OK' now. Finally got moved into a regular room and might get to come home tomorrow. Only to go back to the hospital for surgery (for another issue) on Monday. She'll be in the hospital for 4-7 days just for that, plus a lot of recovery time at home.

Le Sigh.

I don't care that we missed "Christmas". It's just a day, but man alive, it was scary.

On top of the stress of my mom being in the hospital and not knowing what is going on. We were struck with a full on, actual, blizzrd. A BLIZZARD! And not the kind you get a Dairy Queen. Everyone that knows me knows I turn into an absolute wreck when it comes to driving (or riding) in the snow. Basket. Case.

So the past three days have about done me in.

The good news is that my whole family was together on Christmas, just not where we planned, and it looks like my mom is going to be ok. I guess that's about as good as you can ask for given the circumstances, right?


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Holiday Ho-Hum's.

I'm not sure what my deal is, but I'm totally not feeling this Christmas. Not at all.

I've tried, really I have!! I've baked cookies, I've decorated the house, I've gone to holiday parties, I've listened to the music (is it just me or are the KC Christmas stations playing REALLY boring Christmas tunes this year..?), I've even driven myself around to look at Christmas lights. It's not working.

I mostly blame my job. It's Christmas 24/7 at that joint and whoa baby, we kicked it in to high gear for 2010 (yes, 2010) and are in the middle of a bunch of crazy. Maybe that's it?

Either way, Christmas Eve is tomorrow and it's traditionally tied for "Favorite Day of the Year" in my book (duh, Halloween!), so I'm going to try my best to enjoy it. I'm going to start my day off with an intense cardio session followed by my annual McDoanlds double cheeseburger and french fry lunch (with a Diet Coke, naturally). What? Everyone has different traditions people! Zach has to work that night, so he's going to miss out on the Conwell Family Christmas. We are even having Jack Stack (and hopefully Scotcha too!)! Boo. It will be a bummer without him there, but hopefully he'll be home in time for late mass. We'll see.

Then Christmas Day I think Zach and I will exchange gifts first thing in the morning and spoil the dogs rotten. After that is our big breakfast at my parents and opening of presents. That afternoon we head to the Anello Family Christmas where we are not having manicotti this year(sad), but instead having ham (meh.). I'll probably just pick at my plate and save room for the 10,795 desserts people always bring. (What diet??) Then it's home to spoil the dogs some more.

That is, if we don't get the "Snow Of The Century" that they are currently blowing out of proportion on the news.

Merry Christmas All. Maybe the spirit will hit me tomorrow.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas from the whole gang!





Ted's first christmas


Ho Ho Ho!!! We hope you have a great Christmas week!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Viva Thanksgiving!

Yes, I know this post is terribly late.

For Thanksgiving this year Zach and I went to visit his dad and step-mom in Las Vegas! Well, not really Las Vegas, the suburbs of Las Vegas. Mesquite to be specific.

I've been to Las Vegas a few times now. Mostly for fun, spring break, girls trip, first vacation with Zach... And yet, every time I go my dad would ask me if I was going to go see the Hoover Dam. Nevermind all the shows and casinos and partying I was going to do, I NEEDED to see that damn dam! So finally, when Zach and I decided to go visit his dad for Thanksgiving I told him we were finally going to see that dam!

So we got off the plane and in the car and drove straight there! No time to waste people! I had a dam to see!

Oookie-dokie. That about does it! No really, it's a dam. I guess I just don't get it. Oh and did I mention I'm deathly afraid of heights? Kind of a problem when standing on the ledge WAY UP THERE looking down on a big concrete death trap! Oh and see that one picture of the BRIDGE they EXPECT PEOPLE TO DRIVE ON someday? Yeah, ok. Good luck with that, bridge people. Needless to say I passed on the dam tour. Maybe some other time.

The rest of the week we spent at his dad's place. Zach and the family mostly just sat around and relaxed. I got a major case of ants in the pants so I decided since I was fresh off the fitness challenge, the weather was gorgeous and I brought the appropriate gear, that I'd go for a run and see the sights in Mesquite. It was great! Soooo pretty!

Zach also got to visit with his sisterdog, Ripley! She is a major sweetheart. Even though she hadn't seen Zach in something like three years, she totally remembered him and immediately wanted to play some fetch in the back yard! She made me miss my crazy furballs the whole time.

Friday after Thanksgiving we went down to the Strip for dinner and a show. Zach's dad generously got us tickets to see The Beatles Love show! It. Was. Fantastic!

That night we stayed at Bally's. I'd never stayed there before, Zach had never stayed there before, but we thought the price was right for one night. Apparently we won the lucky hotel lottery that we always seem to win and got a hugnormous suite for the night! I won't bore you with all the room pictures, but trust me, it was awesome! Check out the view!
It even had a workout room! A work. out. ROOM. Duh, of course I was going to try it out!! The bike? Totally broken. Apparently nobody really works out on vacation....

Too bad our show got out close to midnight and we had to leave for the airport at 8am the next day. I could have stayed in that room forever!!

So that's it. Thanksgiving. Pretty typical, just out of town!

Now it's Christmas and I'm TOTALLY Christmassed out. All I work on ALL DAY LONG every day is Christmas. So when the actual season rolls around, it's a bit much for me to handle. Total Christmas overload. I'll still try to post something about it anyway.

For now, that's it. I'm on Zach's computer and it's totally wacking out and moving the cursor around without my telling it to, so pardon the typos!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fitness Challenge - The Final Issue

I'm not going to lie, it was a little lackluster. I was expecting this big grandiose issue with full articles about each participant and lots of pictures of everyone.

Apparently I've let fame go to my head.

What there was: A two page spread in the back of the magazine with a small before and a small after picture along with a couple sentences for each person. Really?! That's it? I knew I shouldn't have brought my wedding dress. You can't even really tell how much weight I lost because it's a huge ballgown. The picture I posted here is much more telling. But, what can ya do.

Everyone I've talked to about it is seriously impressed and I feel great, so that's really all that matters right? Except people keep asking me "when's the wedding". Then they look at me like I'm an idiot when I tell them "two years ago". So I have to go into a big explanation about how MY goal was to "Be back to the same weight I was when I got married" THEY spun it into "fit into my wedding dress". Eh. Whatever.

I'm thankful I had the opportunity and it was just the kick in the pants I needed. Now if all these holiday parties could stop, things would be great! It is so tough right now with sweets at every turn. I will say, I've done really well so far. I think this might be a successful Christmas after all! I've also had a few people tell me that I've inspired them, and honestly, that's really cool. I've shared my plan with a few people and maybe they'll jump on board, but like I've always said, you have to do it for you. So, good luck! I'll be sure to keep the blog updated with my future endeavors. I gotta keep the momentum going!

Click HERE for the "full" article.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Post Thanksgiving Post

Just in case you were wondering - if you eat super healthy for nearly 9 weeks then go on vacation and throw everything out the window for Thanksgiving, you WILL feel like death. Literally. I thought I was going to die, I felt so sick. Who knew!? Right now the very thought of anything besides rice cakes and oatmeal makes me want to hurl.

It's back to the healthy stuff for me.

I'm making ONE batch of cookies right now. I haven't had a single one. I hope everyone else enjoys them for me.

This Christmas is going to be weird.

Final issue comes out Wednesday! You Kansas Citians better grab a copy (it's free)! Everyone else can probably see it on under "this weeks issue". I'll probably post again when it comes out too.

Thanksgiving/Vegas Vacation recap coming later.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fitness Challenge - FINAL RESULTS!

The fitness challenge is over! I met my goals!! I've been meaning to write my recap for the blog, but this week has been pure insanity. The dogs are on a total rampage right now. Their mission: Destroy my house. It exhausts me just thinking about it, so I'll save those stories for now.

I had to provide a recap to the journalist for her final article (coming out December for it!!!) so I thought I'd just re-post it because it really sums up what I have to say.

I think the challenge has been a really positive experience for me. It has taught me that if I really want to achieve something I can. I just have to put my mind to it and do the work.

Biggest surprise: How easy it was. Sure, the first week was pretty hard. I had to totally change the way I was eating. I suddenly had to
start eating right and at first I missed all my favorite foods. It got to the point where I hated eating because what I had to eat didn't sound good. However, after that first week of shock (hell week as I call it), it got so much easier. I started getting creative with my meals by adding different spices or switching out one healthy option for another so I wasn't getting bored. Now, it's just become how I eat. The cravings for all the bad stuff went away for the most part and it started actually being less stressful planning my meals because I ate so similarly every day. Now I don't dread my meals, but look forward to them. Sure, I still get cravings here and there, but it's never anything I can't get past! Before I started the challenge I figured I'd be "starving" all the time, as is typical with most diets. However I was pleasantly surprised that my meal plan was balanced so that I am really never hungry! I feel like I have more energy as well.

Challenges: Making time was the first challeng
e. I'm constantly being rushed around and finding time to cook meals and fit in longer workouts took some planning. After a couple weeks I started getting the hang of it and settling into a routine. I frequently make meals ahead of time and always try to go to the gym at the same time each night, so it just feels like it's a part of my normal routine. It was also hard for me to openly talk to people about my challenges with weight. I'm a pretty reserved person so it took a lot to get used to people I hardly knew seeing my "fat picture" then coming up to me and asking "so, how much weight have you lost?" I was really put off at first, but realized that by being a part of the challenge has opened me up to these sorts of questions. Now after finishing the challenge I feel like I am more comfortable openly talking about what I'm doing to achieve my goals. People keep saying they are really impressed an that's a huge confidence booster.

Advice: My biggest piece of advice to anyone wanting to lose weight is to get in the right frame of mind. The only person responsible for your body is you. You have to make the decision to get up and go to the gym every day. You have to make the decision to eat chicken instead of pizza. I'm always thinking about my long term goals for my body and have gotten in the habit of weighing the pros and cons of each decision before I make it. Sure I can have that slice of cake if I really want it, but do I want to spend an extra 45 minutes at the gym burning it off? Probably not, but sometimes I do! Also, my schedule is really busy, but I've managed to find time each and every day to get in that gym. There's always time!! You just have to make it work for you!

I was in a huge rut before this challenge came along and didn't quiet know where to start. I've always been an active person, but my diet clearly needed to be changed. I feel comfortable now reading labels and knowing exactly
what I need to eat to fuel my body and lose weight. I don't plan on "stopping" after the final weigh in either. I see this as a life changing experience and plan on living this new lifestyle from here on out. I'm so happy this happened right before the Holidays because now I feel like I am ready to face them head on and will continue to eat right because I love how I look right now, I still have a little bit left to lose and I don't want to stop this momentum! I love the new me :)

And now without further delay: The Pictures!

BeforeSeriously, I looked like this? Really? Disgusting.
That's more like it.

The Stats:
Weight Lost: 15 pounds!
Body Fat Lost: 9%!
Inches Whittled Away: I can't remember!!!! Ah! I'll have to ask the trainer! It's enough so that nearly every pair of pants I own is too big. My work pants are hanging on me. So I went from looking pudgy to looking frumpy. Awesome. Haha! I'll take it though! I want to say I lost 5 inches around my waist though! Holy hell!
The Wedding Dress: FITS! Almost too big!

And I'm not done yet! The holidays might just be a "lets maintain this" period, but I'm not stopping, no way.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fitness Challenge - The Home Stretch

I go in for my final weigh in and photo shoot on Sunday!! I can't believe it's almost over. I feel like I just started!

I gotta say, these last two weeks have been rough for me. I'm still not feeling totally better. I know for a fact that I didn't rest nearly enough as I should have, but the thought of not losing any weight the last two weeks was too much for me to handle, so I pusehd through some pretty tough workouts anyway. My lungs are angry at me, but I'll be sure to give them a rest on Monday and Tuesday. As for now, it's go time!

My scale says I've lost a significant chunk of weight. I haven't seen that number on the scale in a couple years and it feels really good to have it back. I have definitely decided I don't want to see that number go up again either. I don't mind this new way of eating and working out like a crazy lady as much as I thought I would. Sure, I miss being able to "just eat whatever" but most of the time I realize it's simply not worth it. I'm totally committed to keeping things up, even after Sunday. Now don't get me wrong, Sunday night I'm totally chowing down. I'm thinking pizza. And breadsticks. And dessert! But then Monday it's back to the ol' standard!

I randomly pulled out a pair of jeans I haven't worn in well over a year (had them almost 3 years now) and put them on this morning. MUCH to my surprise and delight they fit better than they did the day I bought them. I snuck a peek at the size and they are a size SIX!!! I couldn't believe it. I did a happy dance right there in my closet! I've still put off trying on my Most Favorite Pair of Jeans Ever. I want to lose a couple more pounds first. I look forward to rocking them very soon!

Full recap of the final weigh in will be coming next week! Fingers crossed for me!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fitness Challenge Week 5 - I'm sick

The cold did not get better. It got worse.

I still tried to go to the gym though, stupid mistake. I went 4 times and even though I did much lighter than usual workouts, I still managed to overdo it and now I am even sicker (that's not a word is it?).

I broke down and went to emergent care today. I had to wait over an hour, but at least I didn't have to hassle with trying to get an appointment with my regular doctor and drive all the way out to Kansas. Turns out I have bronchitis. I think it's a fairly mild case, but still, not good.

I'm officially benched and can't workout until I feel much better. It. Is. So. Hard. I'm not good at "resting" to begin with. I literally can't sit still, I'm always doing stuff. So being forced to rest is even harder. Especially now that I'm just one week away from my final weigh in for the fitness challenge! I want nothing more than to be running like a crazy woman at the gym right now. Or lifting weights, or doing crunches. ANYTHING but sitting on my rear wasting time on Facebook.

I'm on a cocktail of drugs too. Some cough pill laced with Codeine, prescription strength Motrin and Claritin-D. I took the codeine about 5 hours ago and I'm just now starting to feel the side effects. I'm so dizzy, I feel like I could fall out of this chair at any second. My thoughts are a bit jumbled too, but my mind is racing! And the dry mouth, holy lord this is torture! But at least this way I'll drink more water. I haven't quite figured out how I'm going to get through an entire work day. Luckily I take the bus, so I'll just wait to take the pill until I get to work and hopefully it's wore off enough after work to drive home from the bus stop (about a 7 minute drive). I'm so stupid. I should totally take time off, but we are in the middle of planning Christmas 2010 (yes, 2010) and it all has to be done for our buyer presentation right after Thanksgiving and OF COURSE I'm taking a whole week off to go see family in Vegas the week of Thanksgiving. So I'm effed. I have to go.

This might get intersting.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Howl-o-ween 2009

I didn't want to go out and buy all new costumes for the animals, so I used what I had then improvised. How funny are they?! Ha! No way did I even think Ted would leave those ears on his head, but I just plopped them on him and he went about his business like nothing was up. I will definitely be having fun with this in the future! Missy took a lot of extra coaxing. I cornered her right as she was about to fall asleep. Mean mommy!!! George has just gotten used to me torturing him every year. Doesn't he just look so happy?!

Zach and I went to Atchison, Kansas for a "Haunted Tour". Supposedly Atchison is "the most haunted town in Kansas". I was pretty excited and even made a fantastic Halloween-esque playlist for the drive up. It was pretty awesome, if I do say so myself... The town was pretty creepy looking on it's own. Old, old, old and some pretty awesome creepy looking (and some that were quite lovely) houses. Unfortunately the tour wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Hard to see, rude lady on the bus, cheezy story telling. We'd like to go back next fall for the walking tour and go in a few houses. That would be fun! We still had a great time though! I love Halloween, it's my favorite holiday!

Hope you all had a great Halloween too!

Hope you all had a great Halloween!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fitness Challenge - 4 Week Check-In

Well, things with the fitness challenge are still going well. I was really nervous all week because my scale wasn't moving, like at all. So I emailed my trainer, we tweaked a couple things and I totally started watching my salt intake. I also killed it at the gym 8 days in a row (oof!)

So, I'm very happy to say that I'm now down 10 pounds and 6 percent body fat! WooooHooo!

I'm about 5 pounds away from my "goal" but I'm really happy with where I am at now. I think 5 pounds in the next 2 weeks is a pretty lofty goal, but I'm going to give it my best.

Unfortunately I started getting sick last night. It all started with this uncomfortable feeling in my throat and gradually worked up to where I could barely swallow or talk by the time I went to bed, totally exhausted, at 9pm. I woke up this morning even worse off. I called in sick (for the first time in 4 years) and went to the CVS Minute Clinic and to get checked for strep. Thank goodness it was negative! I just have a killer cold. It's now moved out of my throat and into my head. I'm stuffy, got that gross post nasal drip and now I'm starting to cough. So, I'm kind of freaking out. Ted The Great Dane got neutered yesterday, so he's not feeling the best either, so we just snoozed the day away together. I'm feeling a *tiny* bit better now, but I know I'm not out of the woods yet.

I'm going to do my best to get to the gym tomorrow and the rest of the week. I gotta finish strong! Even though it's not really "finishing", I have a feeling this whole eating right, working out all the time has become part of my lifestyle. I'm really enjoying all my clothes being a bit looser, or just plain too big. It's a nice feeling. I want to keep it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Alarm Ghost

Oof. It's been one of those days.

It all started at 4:56 am when my cell phone rang. I thought it was just my alarm going off early (wouldn't surprise me, the thing didn't even go off 3 days last week!), but no. It was our security alarm company calling to let me know that a "medical emergency" had been reported from our house and they had dispatched the fire department and paramedics. WHAT!?

A quick glance around and I see that Zach is sound asleep right next to me and both dogs are on the floor. So unless George The Cat has figured out how to press and hold the medical alert button on our alarm system (4 ft off the ground) it was some sort of mistake (or our lovely alarm ghost is back). He asked if I wanted the paramedics to be called off and I think my response was "Oh God, YES!" all the while I'm elbowing Zach to wake up. He PUTS ME ON HOLD and then comes back to tell me he can't call them off, they are on their way. I finally get Zach out of bed and he has no clue what's going on. It's like waking the dead when I try to tell him things in the middle of the night. I think he finally got it when I said "THE FIRE DEPARTMENT IS AT OUR HOUSE" I was afraid they'd start tearing down our door! Finally he makes it out to the front of the house just as the fire trucks and ambulance are rolling down our street, lights blazing!

I stay holed up in our room with the dogs. Ted is going bananas trying to get out and barking his head off (good dog!) but Missy just takes the opportunity to steal Zach's warm spot on the bed and curls up to go back to sleep! Ha! After Zach assures the paramedics that nobody is indeed dying, he comes back to bed. Since I normally get up at 5:10, I just got up anyway. I go to let the dogs out and then I hear a knock, knock, knock on our door and see lights flashing in. Awesome. The police are here! I think the officer was more confused than I was. Oh, the joys of small town living. He said 'sorry for the mis-communication' and went on his way. What a fun way to wake up! Ugh! It messed up my whole day! I just felt off all day. Zach called the alarm company and apparently they did some test a WEEK or so ago and it just now fired the alarm. What?! This has happened before too (a few times!!!). We are giving them yet another shot, but if we get a false alarm ONE MORE TIME, it's over. Ted will just have to be our alarm system, and I think he'd do a fine job. The only reason we have it right now is if there's a fire or something while we are gone. Ted's a good watch dog, but I don't think he can put out fires. We love our animals too much to risk that kind of thing.

So then, of course, work was a total headache.

And now, as I was talking to Zach on my cell phone it just up and shuts off. Goes black. Nothing. Nada. It won't turn back on. I tried a million times then plugged it in the charger. Still nothing. Not even the charging light. It's done for. GREAT! I have no idea what I'm going to do without my phone. It is basically my right arm! It's even my alarm clock! UGH!!! What crap!

Today was stupid!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fitness Challenge - Week 3

Well, I'm halfway through the challenge! I lost another 2 pounds this week bringing my total to 8 pounds lost so far! I'm super excited!

I was expecting to only lose a couple pounds this past week. I've been fighting a weird cold thing and It's been hard a couple days to really kick up the cardio intensity as much as I would have liked. I'm still feeling a bit "off" but hopefully whatever it is goes away soon and doesn't get any worse! Still, 2 pounds is good with me!

I got bit by the baking bug this week. As most readers know, I love to bake (I even dream about having my very own bakery some day!) For quite a while now, Sunday has been baking day. I'd been avoiding it since I knew I was doing this challenge, but it just doesn't seem fair for me to have to give up something I love so much. I figure I can bake all I want, as long as I give away the treats instead of eating them all! Of course, I will let myself have a tiny bit! Today I made Fall Harvest Bars! They are super sinful, but very delicious! Zach took them to work tonight for his pot luck, so I know they won't be making a return trip home, so that's good. I guess all our friends, family and co-workers will just have to deal with more sweet treats from Stephanie with this new life style. I'm sure they are all just totally broken up about it too ;)

Zach and I also celebrated our anniversary at The Hereford House on Friday night. Our anniversary was actually October 13, but our schedules were too crazy to fit it in last weekend. We were going to go to Accurso's (it's "our place") and have some super yummy Italian food, but since I'm in the middle of the challenge I don't want to set myself back too far since my trainers say I'm in "transition", so I thought steak would be a good option instead. People, FILET MIGNON is on my diet plan! So I just had to get it :) I won't lie, I had some mashed potatoes and a little bit of chocolate cake too!! BUT I did way more cardio the next day than normal to help offset it. I'm still losing weight so I think it was ok. It was our anniversary!! :)
Happy 2 years Zach! Loves you!
*Imagine me 8lbs lighter here, this was taken a few weeks ago :)

Other than that, I've been sticking to the plan! It's not so hard any more. The workouts are fun and I love switching it up and trying new things to keep it interesting. The diet isn't so bad anymore either. It's just what I eat now, I've realized that my meals don't have to be "exciting" all the time. They just have to fill me up and keep me going. So, it's all good! Here's to my new lifestyle!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

They grow so fast...

I've been lacking on the pooch pictures lately! Ted kind of ate through my camera cable so the only way to upload pictures is with Zach's laptop, which he always takes to school and work with him, so most of my pictures are cruddy camera phone images. What can ya do?

Let's start off with the Queen Bee. Missy. She's become quite the cuddle bug as of late. Follows me everywhere, they both do, but she is constantly wanting to be by my side every second I'm home. She's practically turning into another house cat. She even lays on me when I watch tv on the couch (BAD Stephanie!) . But it's just so dang cute. This picture was right before I took her to "Doggy Overnight Camp" when we went to Chicago. She totally knew something was up, but she had a blast. Miss Social Butterfly!

Ted got to stay at my parents house. They said he was happy as a clam, but he sure didn't like the car for a few rides after we got back! He decided that jumping in the front seat was the thing to do. The first time he did it I was in the front seat. Ooof! You try riding with a 70 pound Great Dane puppy freaking out on your lap! Luckily my parents live close! AND lucky for us he has forgotten he is afraid of car rides and loves them again. This picture just cracks me up though. What a baby!

Snoozing on our bed is his most favorite activity. I have about 10,000 of these pictures.

Ahem. We are going through what they call "The Teenage Years". It's not pretty. First he out grew his XL Kennel that we spent nearly $200 on. So we decided to start putting him in the kitchen with a metal baby gate with a clever little hinged handle lock a ma boo. He figured out how to OPEN IT within 2 weeks. Smart little cookie! He'd be sitting down by the garage door everyday for a week just happy as a clam! So we figured, what the heck, we'll leave him out! What's the worst that could happen?!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you "The Worst".

The carpet. All the way to the floorboards. Now, I don't think he was alone in this, Missy started a teeny hole when SHE was his age, but I think they both had a hand in this one. I blamed Missy, since she had a hurt paw and was acting out a bit already. So I sprayed the crap out of it with Bitter Apple spray and gave Ted a second chance:

Seriously. This was the Very. Next. Day. Needless to say, I was an unhappy Mommy. Doesn't he just look SO proud though!!! Needless to say, we now block him in the kitchen with the metal gate and chairs in front of it so he can't swing the door open. Sometimes he still knocks it down though. I forsee another kennel purchase in our near future.

But look what happens when he doesn't get his way, or when Missy gets one more treat than him. This. Pouty McPouterson

He's 7 months old now. I took these two pictures this weekend. What a horse! He's just so lovey dovey though. We can't imagine our lives without our furry monsters.

"Technically" he's still on the floor....

Fitness Challenge - 2 Week Check In


I have lost 6 pounds and 4% body fat (I think it was 4% anyway, whatever it was put me back in the 20's)

I'm feeling much more comfortable with my new lifestyle now. The food really isn't all that bad once you get creative with it and the working out is really addicting! I feel like a total bump on a log on the days that I don't work out(and there's only been 2 this month).

I'm very happy about my progress and it just excites me even more to keep pushing myself to get even more fit! Even Zach is jumping on the bandwagon! Tonight he substituted his beloved Regular Jif Peanut Butter for Reduced Fat Jif Peanut Butter AND he liked it! :)

Onward and upward!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fitness Challenge - The First Issue

Well, it's out on newsstands. Everywhere. Me. Looking.... well, let's just say, it's not my best shot. I actually got chest pains when I first saw the pictures. I cannot believe thousands upon thousands of people are going to see this. WHAT WAS I THINKING!?

Luckily, the tidbit about me, including the ginormous half page picture isn't too terribly horrible. They do throw out the "skinny fat" terminology and give my body fat percentage, but I guess things could be worse. One poor girl has a picture of her actual scale reading (yeowsh!)

I do hate, hate, hate the way I look. It's horrible. I mean really? I look like that? Oh crap. I have a ton of work to do (including investing in some brow pencils).

I at least *feel* like I'm making progress. I've been to the gym every single day this month except for one. I've even been fighting a cold for the past few days, but I've still gone. I wish I could move into the gym and work out for hours straight, but I still try to at least get an hour in each day. I alternate between weights one day then hard core cardio the next. When I have extra time I'll run after weights too.

I'm still struggling with figuring out the diet thing. I got in trouble for not eating enough (I can't win people) so I'm trying to figure out how to balance getting in enough calories without blowing my allotted carbs and fat grams out of the water. It's a challenge.

I made the mistake of getting on the scale today. It hasn't budged since Sunday. I literally cried and then cussed it out and then went on about my day. The bottom line is that I feel like I LOOK better and my clothes already fit better, so something has to be working here.

I meet with the trainers again on Sunday for my "official" 2 week weigh in. I'm so nervous. It's time to kick it up a few more notches!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fitness Challenge - Week 1

I am not amused.

I have stuck to the plan. In the past week and a half I have given up all sweets, fried food, junk food, basically all GOOD food. I am literally living on plain chicken breast, egg beaters, broccoli and rice cakes. I worked out (HARD) 6 days this week and what have I lost? 3 pounds. Three measly pounds. THREE.

I'm pissed.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fitness Challenge - Official Start

Today is the "official" start day for the fitness challenge. However, I gave myself a head start. I got the list of foods I could eat last week, so I've been trying to only eat those foods. I can already tell I'm going to get really, really bored eating the same things over and over again, but I'm going to do my best.

I got my personalized meal plan a couple days ago and quite frankly it's really hard to understand. I'm going to have to ask the trainer what she means on a few things. I have to eat 6 meals a day, which sounds great, but it's a lot of work trying to get stuff ready for 6 meals and make sure that I'm eating the right amount of protien, carbs and fat at each meal. There is MATH involved! Ugh! I'm going to be doing a lot of cooking ahead I think.

The working out part seems pretty alright. Nothing really different from what I already do, just much more cardo and some more intense weight lifting. She wants me to do cardio at least 5 times a week and burn 500-1000 calories during each workout. You typically burn about 100 calories per 10 minutes of cardio so, you do the math. That's a lot of treadmill action right there. PLUS 30-45 minutes of weights 3 times a week and I'll be spending a good chunk of me evenings at the gym. Whatever works I guess.

So far I'm not feeling too hungry, so that's good. I'm eating better foods and definitely feel a lot better already. I just need to remember how good I feel whenever I really crave something bad. I'm watching the Chiefs game right now and I could REALLY go for some pizza, but I guess cottage cheese will have to do (that stuff is not my favorite, that's for sure).

Zach's been really supportive so far too. He went grocery shopping with me Friday and ate dinner with me both Friday and Saturday. We even ate VEGETABLES!! Go us! Oh and by the way Ezekial Bread is REALLY good!!! Too bad it's crazy expensive! We are still on the hunt for Quinoa though. That's not easy to find!

So, here I "officially" go! Wish me luck.

In the past week I've already lost 3 pounds and I'm just getting started!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fitness Challenge - Meet The Trainers

So, a couple weeks ago a guy I worked with mentioned that his wife's friend or something works for Ink Magazine, which is a weekly free paper here in town that's kind of geared towards the "young and hip" crowd. He said she was doing a story about getting fit in KC and was looking for anyone with a specific fitness goal in mind to participate in a 6 week fitness challenge. We would be hooked up with some "experts" to customize a fitness and meal plan to help achieve the goal. I didn't even think twice before having him volunteer me.

After quite a few emails back and forth with the journalist, today was finally the day I went to meet my trainers. I was super nervous. Apparently there are 3 or 4 of us doing the challenge. Two other people where there when I was. I had just walked in the door and was already being shuffled back outside to take a few group shots. We posed with some barbells, weighted balls and I got the resistance band. I'm sure we looked super geeky. Anyway, after some individual photos, it was time for me to talk to the trainer.

She was really nice and super knowledgeable, but totally didn't sugar coat anything. She said I really needed to change a lot of habits if I want to reach my goal of dropping 10-15 pounds in 6 weeks. She asked about what I typically eat in a day and I fully admitted my carb-o-holic lifestyle to her and she said point blank "well you can't eat that stuff any more". I'm sure the look on my face was similar to what I'd look like if you kicked my dog. I'm in for it. They will be emailing me my diet plan sometime later this week. I am seriously nervous. I'm pretty sure it will consist mostly of water, chicken and eggs. Just a hunch.

After talking for a while, it was time for the dreaded calipers. I've always hated getting my body fat measurements done. However, nothing quite compares to having it done in front of 4 other people and a PHOTOGRAPHER ZOOMING IN ON MY FAT. Holy lord, I honest to God, thought I was going to pass out from sheer mortification. Then after a few quick measurements it was time for a horrific trip to the scale where a number poped up that I swore on my life, I would never see. It was like someone slapped me in the face.

That wasn't the worst of it though. Then she calculated my body fat percentage and showed me the little chart associated with it. People. I am nearly obese. O-B-E-S-E. I thought I was going to faint, right there in the chair. I wanted to laugh at first, then I wanted to cry and then I wanted to get up and run away and never look back. But, I sat there and listened. They called me "skinny fat". They said nobody would ever look at me and say "whoa, that girl is fat!!" but aparently I am. It's horrible. The whole thing was completely surreal. It was like this was all happening to someone else, because no way, this couldn't be about me, I'm not....Fat. But oh...yes I am.

So, now the entire Kansas City Metro Area will know my weight, body fat percentage, potentially see a picture of my fat and get to watch me try to drop 15 pounds in 6 weeks. I'm scared as hell.

I've been asking for help and motivation to get my ass back in gear for a while now, and this opportunity just fell in my lap one random morning. So, I'm taking it. I'm going to do my best and stick to the plan. Hopefully it works and maybe, just maybe, I can be an inspiration to someone else. I plan on keeping my progress on the blog too, but for the full scoop, you'll have to read the articles!

Now, I'm off to buy some chicken!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Chicago Vacation 2009

A couple weeks ago Zach and I took our first real vacation since our honeymoon. On September 10th we took off for Chicago!

I've been to Chicago a bunch of times for school and with friends. Zach had never been. I was actually a little nervous that he wouldn't love it as much as I do, but after just a few minutes walking around downtown, he quickly fell in love too! We had such a great time!!

We got in fairly early on Thursday and took advantage of the check in early option at the Palmer House, where we were staying. the hotel is gorgeous! I've stayed there before in a gigantic suite for school, but this time we ended up getting the non-remodeled teeny tiny room I pictured in my previous post. We didn't mind though, since we knew we'd be out and about all day anyway.

The weather was great when we got there, so we wanted to take advantage of it and go on an Architectural Tour first. We took our time and slowly meandered down to Navy Pier. It was quite a hike, but neitherer one of us minded since it was so nice out. Oh, I should mention that I'm pretty sure I broke my little toe the night before we left. It was completely swollen and disgustingly black and blue. However, by some miracle it didn't hurt to walk on it! I totally lucked out. I was just stuck in cheap-o flip flops all weekend instead of comfy tennis shoes I planned on wearing. I made it out OK. We got to Navy Pier and wandered around a bit before having lunch at Charlies Ale House where we had a pepper jack chicken sandwich and fries. It was just ok. We decided to do the Seadog speed boat tour. It was a combination 50 minute tour down the Chicago River to see all the awesome architecture and then a 25 minute speed boat ride out on Lake Michigan. It was so fun! We got tons of great building pictures, but I won't bore you with those. It was a great way for Zach to see Chicago for the first time and we both learned a lot! Afterwards we wandered back to our hotel in "Chicago Rush Hour" which just means masses of people walking around. It's just SOO different than KC. We were totally jealous.

After a short nap we got up and headed out to dinner at Giordano's for some true Chicago deep dish pizza. I'd really hyped this place up and we were since it was getting pretty late. We started with some garlic bread and then finally got our awesome pizza. Oh my goodness, it was so good! Zach is what I consider to be a "pizza snob" and is pretty picky. He loved it so much that he wants to order some online and have it shipped to us for his birthday! Ha! They really do it too, we totally might take advantage!

While we were at lunch on Thursday I randomly thought to check to see if the Cubs were in town by chance. Zach's a huge baseball fan and most people know that Wrigley Field is one of those places that you "have to see". Turns out they were in town and there were tickets available! So we decided to forgo a couple of the museums we were going to go to and take in a game instead! You have to take the subway to get to Wrigley. I've been on the "L" many times, but never the subway portion. The subway is just as I'd always imagined it would be. Dark, dirty and slightly scary. At least it was daytime. Wrigleyville is pretty cool! It's so.... Old. The scene was really neat with a ton of bars and people selling stuff. We each bought a tshirt and then had a frosty beverage at one of the bars. Our seats for the game were really good too! The stadium is pretty much the opposite of Kauffman. No video screens, no bells and definitely no whistles. Oh, and the fans actually pay attention and cheer! Amazing!
After the game we took the train back downtown to do some SHOPPING!!! Yay! I'd been telling Zach I really, really, really wanted to go to H&M and like the fabulous husband that he is, he didn't fight me on it and actually made sure we left time to do so. We really need to get an H&M in Kansas City. It's so fabulous! I guess Forever 21 does the same thing with trendy clothes for cheap, but the quality isn't the same. Anyway, I tried on pretty much everything in the store and walked out with 3 new shirts and some bracelets. I held myself back. We also went to Gap and I got a bunch of stuff there too. After making Zach suffer, we headed back to the hotel for another nap before dinner.

That night we wanted to go Portillo's for an Italian beef sandwich. I've had takeout from there and it was yummy, but I'd never eaten there. I did not realize that it is technically "fast food" Oh well, we ordered at the counter and enjoyed every last bit of our huge sandiwches. So good! That night we wanted to stay out a little later so we headed to Murphy's Pup which was located right next door to our hotel and I had some wine and Zach had some beers. I kid you not people... Johnny Depp's estranged brother or someone that REALLY was trying VERY hard to look like Johnny Depp (ala pirates) was sitting across from us. I'm still convinced it was him (becuase how cool would that be?!) but Zach wouldn't even entertain the thought. Whatever, it was him. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Saturday we got up early and headed out to the Shedd Aquarium. I let Zach pick what museum he wanted to see and that's the one! It's actually one of the few I haven't been to, so I was excited. On the walk over there we stopped at Buckingham Fountain to get a few pictures. Zach thought it was neat that it was the "Married With Children Fountain", however I've never seen the show, so I'm not quite sure what that's all about. It's a huge ass fountain, that's all I know!
The Shedd was cool. I mean, I can only look at fish for so long, but there were things that were fun to see. The sharks were not as scary as I though they'd be, sea lions stink way more than I ever imagined, penguins are cute, anacondas are disgustingly huge and we got to see a beluga whale get an ultrasound! Cool!

As it started getting closer and closer to 1:00pm I noticed Zach getting really antsy. It was time to find someplace for lunch where we could watch his beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers play football. Bennigans it was! Ha! I will say that my burger was freaking amazing though! After I finished eating, I set out on my own to do some more shopping. There were a few stores close to the hotel I'd wanted to explore. I didn't buy anything but a couple pairs of earrings though. It was nice to walk around by myself and take my time window shopping. Zach ended up watching the game until haftime and then headed back for a nap. When I got back I took (another) nap and then it was time... to get ready... for the U2 CONCERT!

We met up with some friends who were also staying at the Palmer House for some drinks before and then we tried to take a cab to Soldier Field where the concert was. We got a few blocks and quickly realized that traffic was not going anywhere and we'd be better off just getting out and walking. And walk we did. So many people! And holy lord, Soldier Field has GOT to be the worlds most bizarre looking stadium on earth. I'm not sure what they were thinking when that rennovation went on, but wow...weird. Even Bono commented during the show that it looked like a UFO had landed.

We got there in the middle of Snow Patrol's set. I wasn't too upset about missing some of it, but they actually were really were good! It seemed to take forever and five years to change the stage over for U2. We had fun people watching though! At one point I started getting hungry so I sent Zach off for a pretzel and he returned not only with my pretzel, but with a Soldier Field edition U2 tour shirt! YAYYYY! I was so excited!! Mega points for him! Finally the show started and whoa baby. I was NOT disappointed! Amazing. Seriously. Amazing! The stage was unbelievable. Bono has got some pipes on him! It sounded even better than the albums! What a show! I shook my booty off and even sort of reluctantly sung along when asked to (note to rock stars: I pay to hear YOU sing, not a bunch of fans. Ok? Ok.) It was such a great time. They played almost all my favorite songs! We definitely got our money's worth, thats for sure! For some reason I didn't bring my camera, but snapped a few with my cell phone that turned out halfway decent. However, these don't even come close to betraying the awesomeness.Getting back to the hotel after the show was quite the feat! Nearly 90,000 people were pretty much trying to get out of ONE gate. Luckily everyone seemed to be in really good spirits and took it in stride. A few people started jumping the fence and that was pretty funny to watch, but we are good eggs and just waited with the herd. It took about an hour and a half to walk back to our hotel. Our feet were killing us! Totally worth it though. Totally worth it.

By Sunday we were getting pretty tired. We checked out and stored out luggage at the hotel so we could go to the Sears Tower. Zach had really been looking forward to it! I am afraid of heights so I was pretty nervous, even though I've been there before. However, now they have added some really stupid glass boxes that protrude from the building that you stand in, so there's just glass on all sides, including the bottom. I was not amused. Zach loved it though (of course!). I reluctantly took pictures...

After that we decided to eat a quick lunch at Qdoba and then head back to the airport a little early. Three hours early. Big mistake. I was so bored!!! Ugh. I was happy to get home and see my doggies though. I missed them tons and they missed us.

So, overall it was a great vacation! I think we both really needed it and I'm glad we got a little break. We go to Vegas for Thanksgiving to visit Zach's dad. I'm not sure how much sightseeing we'll do, but I'd like to see the Hoover Dam if possible. We'll see. I know we are goin to see The Beatles Love the day after Thanksgiving and will be staying the night at Bally's. Other than that, I'm sure it will mostly be family togetherness. We shall see.

Until then Zach and I are currently dreaming about packing up and moving to Chicago. Or just waiting until we win the lottery and buying a multi million dollar condo for the the summers :)

About Me

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Greenwood, Missouri, United States