Monday, November 30, 2009

Trending Downward

I've been keeping track of my weight since the end of our home remodel in July.  During our three month remodel from April to July, we ate out or got take out food almost everyday.  With no functioning kitchen, not even a sink or a garbage disposal, it was not easy to cook.  Eating out all the time was NOT good for the waistline!  There's been four times in my life when I hit the 129/130 pound threshold (I'm 5'3") and I've said, "that's it, time to eat less and exercise more".

The first time was at the end of my freshman year in college.  I gained the infamous "freshman 15".  Luckily, my summer job that summer was as a camp counselor for a Big Brother/Big Sister camp in SE Ohio.  I took kids out hiking every single day.  We would leave camp by 10 am and get back around 3pm.  I was very active, and not eating snacks all the time.  We only ate at meal times, either at camp or on the road during the hikes.  When summer was over, I lost more than 10 pounds. But it wasn't due to my own resolve.  It just happened because of my summer job.

The second time I hit the 130 lb mark was between 1995 and 1997.  Somewhere in there, being a newlywed, I ate too much.  Then I started going to grad school at night while working full time during the day in 1996.  I couldn't find time to exercise regularly.  That's besides the fact that I was not a regular exerciser until Memorial weekend, 1997.  We were at my in-law's house.  My FIL is a physician, and I was telling him about the aches and pains I was having with my shoulders and upper back.  He recommended that I get into a weight training routine to strengthen up those muscles.  At that time, we had a free gym at work, so I went.  Todd also went with me.  Since I was at the gym already, I started walking on the treadmill in addition to doing the weights.  Pretty soon, walking graduated to jogging.  After about a month, I suddenly started to notice that my body changed.  The fat/flabby parts were disappearing.  I was so buoyed by the experience and the results.  I watched what I ate more.  I lost about 12 lbs in four months.  I was back to my high school weight, and I felt great!  1997 was really a turning point in my life, where I started to exercise regularly and made it a 12-year habit so far.  Oh, after I lost the weight, I saw a photo of myself in 1995 when we moved into our house.  I was shocked at how much chubbier my face was!  At the time in 1995, I had no idea.

The third time I hit the 130 lb mark was in 2004.  I don't think I quite got to 130, I was maybe 127 lbs.  I re-committed myself to regular exercise and watching what I ate.  I lost weight and got down to 115 lbs this time.  This was the year I ran my fastest 5K race ever, at Father Joe's Thanksgiving Run.

At the end of our remodel in July this year, I hit the 129 lb mark again.  I was also 129 lbs at the end of June 2008.  I had made perfunctory attempts at losing weight back then, but just could not cut back on the eating.  I was still doing the emotional eating resulting from losing my mom to cancer in 2007.  I was not ready to lose the weight back in 2008.  After our remodel this year, I tried to eat less, and exercise more.  Then in early October, I started using The Daily Plate at Livestrong.com to track everything I ate from Monday - Friday.  I gave myself a break on the weekends, but not free-reign to gorge.  I mixed up my workouts.  I did weights, I ran, I did exercise DVD's, I went back to the after-work gym class at work.  Miraculously, the pounds started coming off again.  I started to regain my confidence about being able to lose weight again.  For two years, I could not lose the weight due to the emotional issues with my mom's passing, and being on the medication Paxil for anxiety.  I am finally losing the weight that I've gained.

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On July 17th I weighed 129 lbs. On Nov 18th I weighed 122 lbs. Since then I've traveled to San Francisco, and had Thanksgiving long weekend. I'm back up to 123.5 lbs, but will not lose heart and will continue to eat sensibly and exercise.

I know losing weight is hard.  And for some people (especially those of us who love food), it is a lifetime battle.  But it really gives your self-confidence a big boost when you start seeing the numbers get lower on the scale.  Not just because you weigh less, but because you know you can do it.  You are stronger, you are healthier, you have resolve.  You can do it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bringing Sunny Back

Yesterday's pouring rain was but a distant memory...

Todd and I headed to Encinitas to run today. I ran five and he ran six miles. We were surprised to find the parking lot almost totally empty. It was such a nice day!

Todd took a photo of me while I wasn't looking. Sometimes I like these types of photos the most, just because they capture an unposed slice-of-life.
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I forgot my camera today! Todd brought his, so all the photos from today are from his camera. I'm not used to it, so this photo has part of my finger in it!
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I took it easy today and didn't try to run very fast. We ran south from Moonlight Beach. About a mile into the run, I got to Swami's. I stopped and took some photos because the weather was so nice and there were so many surfers in the water.

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Then I continued south on Pacific Coast Highway. This part of the PCH actually has a pedestrian side that's separate than the main road, so it's very safe to run on. I was running along and passing two girls and a guy. They were running side by side, so the tall 6'2" guy was sort of in my way. As I squeezed past him, I heard one of the girls say, "fast woman..." as she pulled him closer to her to make room for me. It totally made my day and I think I might have smiled outwardly even! "Fast" is not a word that usually describes my running. I mean, I try, but I know I'm not fast. But it felt so great that someone else thinks I'm fast!

I ran into Todd right as I was approaching 2.5 miles, my turnaround mark. We stopped to talk for a minute, when lo and behold Todd recognized the runner coming towards us as our friend Gloria from West Coast Road Runners. She is also an awesome paper scrapper and works at a local scrapbooking store. Anyways, she stopped to say hi and chat for a few minutes.
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I ran the 2.5 miles back to the Moonlight Beach parking lot. It was fairly easy since I wasn't going too fast, even though there were some uphills on the way back. This is the view from the top of the parking lot down to the beach. They renovated this beach park and it looks really nice.
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Todd with windswept hair.
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After running, we went to the nearby Potato Shack and had lunch. Todd had a club sandwich with ranch fries, which were delicious!
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I had huevos ranchero. I ate half of it already before I took the photo. It tasted more delicious than it looked.
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On the way from the Potato Shack back to the car, we saw this sign and Todd was scared.
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Todd ran six miles today and averaged under 9 minutes per mile. That's so fast!

Here are my stats.
Distance: 5.01 miles
Time: 56:03
Avg time/mile: 11:11
Calories: 488

I ate without keeping track of calories this long weekend. Tomorrow I go back to The Daily Plate!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Tree

I woke up before Todd did this morning (as usual).  I went downstairs and what did I see?
The first measurable rain in San Diego in 165 days!
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We had planned to go running this morning.  I don't mind running on wet ground, but I don't like running with actual falling rain.  Around 10am we both put our running clothes on and grabbed our gear.  Upon opening the garage door, the rain was now falling pretty steadily.  Hmm... that put a damper (literally!) on our running plans.  We decided to go tomorrow instead.  Darn, I was looking forward to working off some of the extra food I ate in the last couple of days, plus have some breakfast potatoes at the Potato Shack at the end of our run.  (Now that statement sounded a bit ironic, ha ha.)

We went out to grab a quick lunch at Brett's BBQ and run an errand.  When we parked the car it wasn't raining.  After we ordered and got our food, we looked out the window and it was POURING.  It is extremely rare to see that kind of volume of rain here in San Diego.  I didn't have my camera so I didn't get a photo of it.  But it was pouring so hard that we had to wait for quite a while for it to die down so we could even run to our car.

After lunch we put up our new fake Christmas tree while watching Elf.  It's our favorite Christmas movie!  "Singing's my favorite!"  "Santa, I KNOW him!"  "Ginormous!"  Todd and I laugh out loud at different points in the movie all the time.  Just repeating the lines makes me laugh.

Todd got all our Christmas storage boxes out of the attic.
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Some of our new ornaments that we got in January for 90% off at Target!
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The progression of the tree.
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I was totally engrossed in "fluffing" up the branches. Occasionally I looked up to find Todd taking my photo.
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All up!
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Notice our red furry Crocs?
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We just took those out of storage today and wore them! I purchased them at deep discount a few months ago. It's finally a good occasion (and cold enough) to wear them. By the way, this week was the first time we turned on our heater!  I noticed the inside thermostat was dipping to 66 degrees during the day.

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Here's the tree all decorated.
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And then all lit up at night.
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Closeup of some of the ornaments.
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Todd cooked Tomato Soup With Pasta and Basil for dinner.
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It was yummy and healthy!  I can't find the link to link you up.  :(

After dinner we played Little Big Planet on the PS3. It is such a CUTE game. Todd got it "for me", but I think he likes it himself, ha ha. Then I did a little Christmas shopping online. I mean, I told Santa what Todd wanted for Christmas!

I wanted to show you this layout I did for Lili for her new collab with Gina Miller called "Merry Jingle".
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It is 20% off through Sunday! So cute and full of doodley goodness!  Oh and be on the lookout for a template set in my store soon, including the one based on my layout above.  :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Dad Got A Murse

We stayed overnight at my dad's house after Thanksgiving.  This morning, we had a traditional Northern Chinese breakfast.  Well, sort of.  The dumpling part was traditional.  I hadn't eaten dumplings for breakfast in a long time.  There were shrimp in them, so Todd didn't eat any.  We also had soy milk and lots of fruits.

We don't like crowds, so getting up early and going Black Friday shopping really wasn't an option.  We like "window shopping" online though!  Todd was shopping for everyone else, but he ended up buying a couple of things for himself.  When I asked him, "what are you doing?", he got a sheepish look on his face and said, "I got the best deal ever!"  Ha ha, it's okay that he got something for himself.  He's such an unselfish guy that I can't blame him.

For about an hour in the morning, Todd helped my dad put together some shelves in the garage. They started this project actually like a year ago! But the steel shelves were too tall for the part of the garage where the garage door rolled up. So somehow my dad finally found someone to cut the steel frame for him, for $10!

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They were both excited to get that project done.

For lunch, we went to a Korean tofu restaurant (they have them in LA too??).
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My dad and Shelly enjoying the food.
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My "Combination Tofu". It had beef, shrimp, and clams in there, as well as tofu of course.
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The funniest part of the day was when we were getting ready to leave for lunch, and my dad took out this bag and said, "I got a man purse!" So I told him, "oh, that's a MURSE! A man-purse is a MURSE!" So then Shelly and I giggled for a while. It didn't seem to affect my dad though. He said he needed a bag to carry his cell phone and pen and notepad. He carried his murse proudly.
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And I'd have to say, not many women my age can claim that their father carries a murse. I'm proud that my dad doesn't just bow to gender pressures, ha ha!

After lunch we left LA and drove home.  We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening trying to get stuff done on our to-do list, with a break for dinner at Sbicca in Del Mar.  We had purchased a $25 off gift certificate for $1 at Restaurant.com a few months ago, so we used that.  The food was decent, but not great.  I got roasted garlic chicken with mashed potatoes and collard greens.  Todd got flat-iron skirt steak.  We both felt that we wouldn't go there if we had to pay full-price.  Now I remember why we haven't been back there since the first time we went years ago!  I wonder why that restaurant is so well reviewed all the time?  After a stop for a pumpkin spiced latte at Starbucks, we went home and tried to make more progress on our to-do list.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Very Chinese Thanksgiving

After some good sleep, we left for my dad's house at about 10:30am.  He lives two hours away in LA County.  The traffic up wasn't too bad.  There were a few slow spots, but we made good time overall.  We haven't made this drive in a couple of months.  My favorite part about the drive up to my dad's (and Todd says it's his favorite too) is that we get to really tune out other things and talk to each other, just chat about what's on our minds.  Todd and I talked about what we're thankful for this year.

Todd said he's thankful for his health.  Even though he got a running injury this year, he has recovered from it and can aim for some fitness goals again.  He's thankful to have a good job, and one that is challenging him intellectually.  He's thankful to have friends at work.  He's thankful for the functional (as opposed to dysfunctional) relationship he has with his family.  He's thankful for the openness of our relationship, that we can talk to each other about everything on our hearts.

I'm thankful for God's grace.  Because I fail all the time, and He still loves me and wants me to get closer to Him.  I'm thankful that my dad is still around for us to enjoy his company.  Thankful that he has a companion in Shelly.  I'm thankful that I'm getting close to 40 years old, yet I still feel healthy and fit.  I can set fitness goals and try to achieve them.  I feel great on most days.  I'm thankful that I don't have anxiety attacks anymore, and I know the early signs that could lead to one and can avoid them.  I'm thankful that even with several years in the same job role, I can continue to grow and learn new processes and responsibilities.  I'm thankful for my friends both IRL and online.  I'm thankful for a hobby that's very fulfilling to me (yes, digital scrapbooking!).

Did you know that most Chinese restaurants and supermarkets are still open on Thanksgiving Day?  Yea!  When we got to my dad's house, we rested for only a few minutes.  Then we headed out for a Chinese Thanksgiving lunch.

Dad and Shelly enjoying some good Chinese food.
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The spread.
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Todd is really great with chopsticks, even compared to some Chinese people I know.
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On the way out from the restaurant, we saw this cute snowman cake in the bakery.
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His head is a little flat, but otherwise he's very cute. Todd wanted me to take a photo of him, but I was a little nervous. I had heard that ever since the Cake Wrecks blog came out, bakeries don't like it when people take photos of their creations. I snuck a photo, then ran away before anyone came after me. :|

After lunch we went back to my dad's house. Even though we were already full, my dad pushed more food on us. Isn't it funny how no matter how old you are, parents still push enormous amounts of food on you when you visit? My dad was the guava-pusher today.
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Can you believe that these delicious pink guava fruits just grows on the trees at my dad's office? Yum! The brown powdery stuff on there is some kind of tangy salt that you put on the guava and it makes them taste even better.

Shelly cooked a really great Chinese dinner that Todd even exclaimed that it was better than lunch.
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Shelly made marinated eggplants, seabass with garlic & green onion, and ribs.  Todd made Creamy Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup and Green Beans with Garlic Vinaigrette. It was all very yummy, and I ate too much.

After dinner we watched a DVD about the Forbidden City in Beijing.  It was interesting but we got tired.  (Maybe it was food coma, ha ha.)  We went to sleep around 11.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Making Our Lists

I worked from home today to avoid Thanksgiving traffic.  Todd got to leave work around 2:30pm, when the CEO said they could leave.  We love special days like this when we can spend as much time together as possible.  (Ha ha, not like we don't spend enough time together already.)  We're weird that way.  We just don't get sick of each other like some couples are prone to do.  Even when we go on vacation for a week and are with each other 24 hours a day, we just enjoy it.  Yes, we're strange that way.

With some spare time before dinner, Todd and I utilized Google Wave and collaborated on a Christmas gift list for our family and friends.  It felt good to brainstorm and come up with ideas.  But also, we already have gifts for most of our family, thanks to some planning ahead.  Yaaaay!

We went to Rubios for dinner, where I chose the nacho grande with carne asada steak.  It wasn't until I came home that I found out it was 1400 calories.  I ate about 70% of it, so it was right under 1000 calories for me.  In total, I was only 30 calories over my allotted 1536 calories/day, due to sensible eating earlier in the day, and a workout that burned around 300 calories.  Sigh.  Better choices next time!

After dinner we stopped by Borders Books & Music.  Todd got a gingerbread decaf latte.  We really enjoy perusing magazines and books in the cafe at Borders.

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I almost purchased two books that my blog friend Christi recommended to me on Goodreads, but even on sale they were pricier than Amazon, so I think I'll get them there instead.

Tomorrow we travel to my dad's house for Thanksgiving with him and Shelly.  I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving in advance!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Road Warrior

In her recent posts, Listgirl told her side of the story of meeting up with me at the conclusion of my conference in San Francisco. But I was there a few days before she arrived. Shall we look back? Dreamforce at the Moscone center. I was there for Dreamforce which is the annual convention for Salesforce.com. I spend more and more of my time with their technology so in terms of work this was a very fruitful trip for me. 19,000 of my closest friends wait for the keynote to begin. They love their cloud imagery at salesforce I was able to catch up with my buddy Joe from North Carolina who was also in attendance. Of course every business trip should have some quality food and this one was no exception. We three admins prepare to chow down. Every day should have a canoli or two. Not being much of a wine drinker I said give me half as much as his. Guess which one is mine!? And now I'm home again. It's nice to be in my own bed and use my own shower. And though the food was generally great I have to give a big thumbs down to the breakfasts at the conference. So I'm happy to be back to my usual...

Monday, November 23, 2009

My Two Dollar Breakfast

Some mornings when I get to work, I stop by my work cafeteria to get some breakfast.  I usually get a little bit of scrambled eggs, and oh about... seven tater tots.  They weigh the stuff you get from the breakfast bar, and it's $5.76/lb.  Guess what my breakfast usually costs?
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Two dollars. Exactly.

Now it's become a game between the cashier Stephanie and me. For my food to be $2.00 including tax, that means I have to get 0.32 lb of food. I try to do this every time. And most days, Stephanie will say, "Two dollars", and we both laugh. Then she hands me the receipt.

I know you'll want to join us at the Digi Dares this week and scrap a page.  Why?

Because, you get this gorgeous kit, Retro Revival, exclusive to the Digi Dares, made by Digi Dare designers, for free! It's our THREE year anniversary (Dare #156!) and we're giving you this kit if you do a layout for Dare #156 and link us up to your layout on the Digi Dares site before this Thursday night 11:59pm Eastern time. If you look closely, there's a template by me in there, along with some solid papers.

Here's my layout for the Dare.
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Full credits at the Dare site. Check out the details and submit your page!

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