What is a "bottom line"???

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, there are numerous "bottom lines"...a biweekly alternative newspaper at the University of California Santa Barbara, the running scores and news for ESPN (the ticker at the bottom of the screen); net income (revenue minus costs and expenses); music venue in New York City's Greenwich Village; a World Wrestling Entertainment syndicated television show; catch phrase of Stone Cold Steve Austin and John Vespa; a publishing company...and my backside!!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

30 Days of Blogging Challenge-Day 5

Today's assignment was to post photo(s) of some place that we have been...

For your viewing pleasure (and my desire to be there once again!)...

Both of these pics were taken back in May (this year) when we went on our annual vacation.  Neither one of us had ever been to Ft. Lauderdale...and we have friends that live there...so we decided to go visit.   We LOVED it!  It was nothing like I expected.  There was great eats, great shopping, great walking...just a fabulous vacation.   Seeing these photos makes me very sad...no more fun trips scheduled for me until 2012!

Until next time...

Monday, September 5, 2011

30 Days of Blogging Challenge-Day 4

Today's topic is to write about a habit that I have that I wish that I didn't.  And you know what, it's so funny that I have this topic to write about on this day!  My worst habit (this is just me paraphrasing the assignment...but if it was a great habit--then I wouldn't wish that I didn't have it, right?!?!?) is procrastination.   And the reason that is so funny is that I SHOULD be doing work right now...but I just can't bring myself to do it.   Instead, I will be behind the proverbial eight ball tomorrow morning trying to complete everything for month end close (our month closed on Friday, September 2).  Couple this daunting task with the fact that I have meetings tomorrow morning and training tomorrow afternoon--well, Tuesday will be a super busy day for me.  But, I guess that's how I like it...or I could have (would've, should've) done things differently today.   Along with the procrastination is that I tend to totally overbook myself on the weekends...or maybe all the time.  I just have a hard time telling people "no"...even to my own demise.  Invites to children's birthday parties, family gatherings, any multitude of parties where selling is involved...I am there, and will likely spend loads o'money for (cooking gadgets, storage containers, jewelry, etc.) things that I do not even remotely need.  I just have such a hard time telling anyone (except for myself) NO!  Hmmm...I am sure that there's some heavy duty psychoanalysis that might need to be done...the idea of being a people pleaser or something...hmmmmm....

I know that I tend to do some of my best work when the clock is ticking or my agenda is overbooked...but it also stresses me out.  So, one would (logically) ask why do I do this to myself...and I really have no good answer.  It's just the way that I tend to work.   I get the job done...and usually with a little time to spare.   My husband finds this totally annoying...but perhaps it's what works for us.  He's the one that works and then plays...and I am the one that tends to play before working...but the work still gets done.  Late nights and little sleep doesn't bother me too much...

Alas, I do think that tomorrow's fun accounting activities just might put a crimp into my training plans...wonder if that's intentional on some level?!?!?!

Until tomorrow...


Sunday, September 4, 2011

30 Days of Blogging Challenge--Day 3

Three of my favorite folks...Mei Ling, Chris Young, me, and Emily in Nashville at Chris Young's fan club party.
June 11, 2011

This was part of the Changing Chicas first outing...we went to a Chair Dance lesson at Tips or Taps
The group includes  me, Glenna, Mei Ling, Emily, "Boston" (Lori), Kim, and Jeannie
(The class was loads o'fun...even if we did make complete fools out of ourselves!)
May 8, 2010

Day 2--Blogger Challenge

Okay...so I started writing this post...but forgot to post it on Day 2...Oops...

The meaning behind my blog title is easy enough...I am an accountant by day...so as an accountant (really, as a person in general), we are all concerned about our bottom line...highly financially motivated.  Of course, as a weight loss blog...I am worried about my "bottom line"...errrr...my bottom (i.e., butt, derriere, "junk in the trunk"--there are way more synonyms for this bottom line than for the financial accounting one).   Of course, from my accountant point of view, a big bottom line is desirable...means more money in the company's (or your own pocket, if self-employed).  But from my alter ego (the weight loss blogger side), I would prefer a smaller bottom line. 

And well, just in case you were wondering--and don't know...this is all about me...and my hind haunches...not gross profit!  (More (stale) accounting humor there...).

No great revelations...no super creativity...it is what it is...and well, that's my final line about my bottom line!

Until tomorrow...

Friday, September 2, 2011

30 Days of Blogging Challenge

So, even though I might not be around a whole lot...I do usually read lots of blogs...  Today, reading Allie's post, I found this.  I thought that it might be a great way for me to reintroduce myself...and perhaps give some quality content...

30 Days of Blogging Challenge!

Day 01- A recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself.

Day 02- The meaning behind your Blogger name

Day 03-A picture of you and your friends

Day 04- A habit that you wish you didn't have

Day 05- A picture of somewhere you’ve been to

Day 06- Favorite super hero and why

Day 07- A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you

Day 08- Short term goals for this month and why

Day 09- Something you’re proud of in the past few days

Day 10- Songs you listen to when you are Happy, Sad, Bored, Hyped, Mad

Day 11- Another picture of you and your friends

Day 12- How you found out about Blogger and why you made one

Day 13- A letter to someone who has hurt you recently

Day 14- A picture of you and your family

Day 15- Put your iPod on shuffle: First 10 songs that play

Day 16- Another picture of yourself

Day 17- Someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why
Day 18- Plans/dreams/goals you have

Day 19- Nicknames you have; why do you have them

Day 20- Someone you see yourself marrying/being with in the future

Day 21- A picture of something that makes you happy

Day 22- What makes you different from everyone else

Day 23- Something you crave for a lot

Day 24- A letter to your parents

Day 25- What I would find in your bag

Day 26- What you think about your friends

Day 27- Why are you doing this 30 day challenge

Day 28- A picture of you last year and now, how have you changed since then?

Day 29- In this past month, what have you learned
Day 30- Who are you?
So, there's no time like the present to get started with Day 1...
This is me...on the left...from August 4, 2011 at Keith Urban show in Atlanta

And now for the fifteen "interesting" things about me...I may have to dig deep....very deep...:)

  1. I took dance lessons (tap, jazz, ballet...limited ballet, more tap and jazz) for over 14 years of my life.  There was a time when all I wanted to do was dance.  Fortunately for me, I realized my limitations and my parents encouraged a more traditional career path, that included college.
  2. I love most types of music...though I partial to the Country genre.  My husband has introduced me to many new bands...stuff that I know I wouldn't listen to if not for him and my good friend, Kim.
  3. Speaking of Kim...we met in college, where we were both majoring in Accounting...found out that our names are identical (Kimberly Dawn), separated by 2 months (she was born in January, and I was born in March) and our social security numbers are just a few digits off...Talk about a friendship that was meant to be!  I love her...and even though we don't see each other that often these days, I know that I can count on her in a heartbeat.
  4. My college degree was a long time in the making--likely almost a record.  For a 4-year degree, it took me almost 16 years to complete.  However, in all fairness, 8 years of that was a hiatus from school.  And the first three years I was studying English Education...but quickly (okay, not so quickly) abandoned that idea and went into Business.  (My heart still wants to teach college English, though!)
  5. In my entire school career (Kindergarten through 12th Grade), I only missed 2 days of school.  (And none until high school!).  My senior year in high school, I fell and broke my arm at school and had to leave to have it x-rayed.  After missing that day, I partook in Senior Skip Day. 
  6. I like to think that I am the picture of perserverence.  My parents instilled that you finish what you start...and I think that I do.  Once, when I was about 12...I was in a solo dance competition.  I fell off the stage...and continued doing my dance routine until the bitter end.  It was a traumatizing moment for me--and I was heartbroken...and after the fact (about six months later), we were able to watch the video and have a laugh (or a thousand!).   To this day, I think that my Dad has that video under lock and key in fear that I might take it and burn it.
  7. I won the school spelling bee in 5th Grade and got to go to the County Spelling Bee with all of the other schools in our county...I believe that there were about 40 schools represented (both Elementary and Middle Schools).  I only made it through the first round.  The stupid word was "anthem".  (Silly 5th Grader!!!)
  8. I am one of few true Georgia Peaches....most, at least around the metro Atlanta area, are relocated folks from other states.  I have been told that I don't sound "Southern"...not sure if that's a compliment or not.
  9. I have been attending Weight Watchers for over 3 years now...and have never made it to my 10% goal.  I have gotten close once...but I am determined that now, more than ever, I am going to make this happen!!!  (Approaching the big 4-0 will do that for you, I guess!)
  10. I was born two months premature...39 years ago.  I was born the night my mother had her baby shower.  I was due May 15...and was born on March 5.  I am truly a fighter, so my Dad says.
  11. I met my husband online....not through one of the paid matchmaking sites...but through AOLPersonals.com.  (Guess we were both too cheap to pay!).  We met over 10 years ago...and have been married 9 years as of August 24th.  (That's not to say that I didn't meet a lot of losers while online dating...but that's another story for another time!)
  12. I am always in awe of any celebrity I meet.  I haven't met that many, but each and every time, I know that I make a complete fool out of myself.  I try to play it cool...but I know that I am starstruck and end up saying something stupid...it never fails!  (And yes, I realize that these are real people with real jobs...and that psychos people like me just fuel their egos...but I just cannot stop myself from being all, "I'm your #1 fan (not creepy in the Kathy Bates "Misery" way...just excited...but I guess that it's really a fine line)!
  13. I am in training for my next half marathon (my second of 2011)!  The good news is that I have a close blogger friend, Tammy, that's doing it with me.  I always feel better when I have a partner in crime!
  14. My favorite book in the whole world is TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.  I have read it a gazillion (really, I counted them!) times.   It never gets old.  I have only recently watched the movie on AMC...and loved it as much as the book. 
  15. I miss my Mom each and every day.   She passed away unexpectedly in June of 2006...2 days before her 55th birthday.  While our relationship was not always the best...we had made vast improvements and strides.  We were finally in a great place together.   Just weeks before her hospitalization, we had taken a girls' weekend trip to Talladega to see the NASCAR races.  It was a great weekend...even though the race was cancelled due to rain.  My Dad took her back on that Monday so that she could see the race (I had to work!).  I still can't watch a NASCAR race without twinges of sadness...and I have not been back to any track since May of 2006.
Okay...there you have it...15 things...may not be so interesting...but I have succeeded in completing day 1 of this challenge!  Yay me!!!

Let's see if I can keep this up!!! 

Until next time...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Weekly Update

No, this "weekly update" isn't nearly as funny as the skits on "Saturday Night Live"...well, I guess that it's just all about what you make of it.

I was a Trackmaster this week...tracking each and every day for Weight Watchers.  Who would have thought that there IS a link between holding oneself accountable and weight loss?  (I hope that you read that with as much sarcasm as you could muster!).  I lost 2 pounds this week...shocking I know!  The good news is that the scale is moving in the right direction.   Now, I just have to keep my mind in a happy place because I know that the plan works.  

I have started my new week (my weigh in day is Saturday, so Saturday is the first day of my plan week) on the right foot, too.  The training plan I am using to train for the half marathon in November has the long(er) runs/walk-runs/walks on Saturdays...so today was my first long "run".   It was a 4 miler.   I didn't break any land speed records (not that I EVER will), but being that this is the first week in a long time that I have put forth any exercise--well, I was proud to just have completed it (albeit at 7a this morning so that hopefully I wouldn't pass out from heat exhaustion!).  So, week 1 is in the books (the training guide that I am using is a 15 week plan up to the day of the half marathon).  Whew...I know that I will be oh so glad to have trained like I need to--but I am finding it a bit overwhelming with everything else going on right now...

And by everything else...I mean work.  I believe that I have mentioned that we are transitioning to a new accounting system in October...effective October 1.  Well, this just means that as a department (Finance), we have a lot of work to do before that transition to the "live" system.   Over the past week, in addition to my normal job duties, I was charged with going through a listing of all of our customers, verifying their information (as it is now in our system), and updating a massive spreadsheet of all needed information so that the customers can be mapped to our new system.   This is all due by August 1 to our corporate headquarters in the Netherlands (which means a 6 hour time difference from there to here...they are six hours ahead of EST).  Anyway, I did all of that...and sent it to everyone that needed the information about 3 days ahead of schedule.   Then, as always is the case for me, there were other fires that needed attention...so my "normal" duties kind of got pushed back off the stove (and really, off the countertop...this was an ill attempt to tie to the "fire" reference before--forgive me!).  Anyway, yesterday (Friday, July 29th) was our month end close--and I still have oh so much to do before we can close the books...so I plan to go into work tomorrow to get everything done...So, in essence, today was my only day away from the office.  Nice, huh?!?!!?   (Again, I know that I should just count my blessings that I have a job...and that I know that I am good at my job...and that the job will be done to the best of my ability...but as I use this blog to "vent" about all matters...I am doing just that here.  I don't mean to offend with my whining and complaining...but this is cathartic for me...).  So, once again, I am just doing what I have to do....

There is at least a beacon of light starting next Thursday for me...me and The Gang (my collective group of gals) are going to see Keith Urban and Jake Owen in concert.   And, wait for it....I actually get to meet Jake Owen!  I am so excited (of course, my excitement presents itself in a multitude of ways...overall giddiness, to be replaced with the wardrobe ("What will I wear?!?!?   or better stated, "What can I wear that won't make me look like a cow?!!?!) dilemma, which will finally manifest itself (when I actually meet him) in me likely making a fool out of myself (it's happened on numerous occasions...I am just starstruck or whatever you want to call it!  Think Jennifer Grey in "Dirty Dancing" when she first meets Patrick's Swayze's character..."I carried a watermelon!?!?!??!?!".  I can totally relate to being completely mortified).   Here's a picture of Jake and me (we got meet and greet passes when we saw him on New Year's Eve...just lucky that time...this time's meet and greet comes from joining his fan club).

Then next Saturday we are celebrating my husband's 40th (the BIG one) birthday.  I can tease him for only 6 months...because in March I will have my doomsday.  The plan is to have a few friends over....enjoying good food, good drink (homemade sangria...my newest concoction!), but most of all great company!   I am so excited about that! 

In preparation for our Thursday night outing, I went and had my hair cut and colored today.  As always, Melanie and Collie took great care of me.  I have to say, my husband doesn't always appreciate the money I spend on my hair...but I think these gals are worth their weight in gold...and worth every single penny!  (And in my defense, I do try and hold out 10 weeks in between visits...so they do have their work cut out for them when I get there!).    What do you think?  (Sorry about the quality of the photo...still learning to use the camera on my computer).  Oh...and those are one of my pairs of new glasses that I ordered off of Zenni Optical.  It's a unique way to order glasses...and of course, you can't really see what the frames look like until you get them...but these frames (before my prescription) were $6.95...I ordered two more pairs with these...and the entire bill was less than $60...I just love having options--plus I was ready for a change from my other frames.  

So to keep up the accountability...here are my goals for next week:

  1. Tracking....can I continue to be a Trackmaster?  I am certainly going to try!
  2. Continue with the training plan for the half marathon
  3. Attempt to regain my footing at work...I can still only do what I can do...I am, after all, just one person.
  4. Continue reading blogs daily...I do read many blogs daily...but only post occasionally (as I am usually reading at work via the Google Reader, so leaving comments is not always possible).  Hopefully, with my new mackdaddy laptop, I will be able to post comments more frequently...and who knows I might even post again more than twice a month!
Until next time...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Let's Make a Deal!!!

Image borrowed from Google...

That's paying homage to one of the greatest gameshows (great costumes, money, and looking for nail clippers in one's purse...how can you go wrong?!?) ever!  I loved Monty Hall (even though I guess that I am showing my age by making such nostalgic references).  I have only caught the "new" version with Wayne Brady as a host, a couple of times...but he was equally good in the role of host (I do love me some Wayne Brady, though--so maybe I am not the most objective person to rate this particular show!  That show where he did improv was likely some of the funniest junk I have ever watched on television--ever!!!  Of course, the ensemble cast on that show was also to die for...but again, I digress!).  Anyway...let's get started with this...

Door #1:   I hope that you will take the time to cruise over to Danica's Daily and check out one of the most fabulous blogs that I have recently discovered.   Danica is a devoted Weight Watchers success story and always has fabulous pictures to support her blog.   She's hosting an awesome giveaway...Annie's Organic Snack Mixes...I so hope that you will hop on over there (I am so funny!) and check it out...but don't feel the need to enter the giveaway (this will hopefully increase my odds of winning!!!).  :)

Door #2:  Inside or outside (workouts)?  I am having a terrible time motivating myself to get to the gym...I would much rather be outside walking/running...not on a stupid treadmill that shows that I have gone 3 mi, but I am still in the same spot.  I don't mind the gym when it's freezing cold outside...but obviously, I shouldn't hate it when it's hot as Hades here in GA on a continuous basis.  How do you motivate yourself to do what you loathe  don't want to do?  I am seeking some guidance in this category obviously...

Door #3:  Well...I got nothing with Door #3...so this would be the loser door (so don't pick it!)--you know the one with the mule pulling a load of banged up furniture instead of the shiny new car.  I am suffering from the beginning of a migraine headache today...it's kind of been there waiting to surface...and well, it's almost here.   So, I will bid you adieu for now...(Hoping that someone will proffer the Goody's/BC Powders that they found in their clown costume pocket (not really--just another "Let's Make a Deal" reference!).

Until next time...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Halfway through July

Man oh man!!!!  Here we are halfway through July--and I am a wreck!!!  Work is killing me (though I realize that I need to be grateful for any and all work...and most days, I am...but working until 8p most nights is really becoming a pain in my (growing) tush!!!).   We are in the process of trying to convert over to a new accounting system (read:  a huge pain in the neck...back...hind end...you name it...it's painful!) in October--and the whole way that we do things will change...Isn't this just the way life is--constantly changing?   I am a little bit concerned for my job...only because with the new and improved system, a lot of the functions for Finance will be centralized in our Dutch (corporate) office.  Of course, no one is saying the clock is running down...but would they?   Let's just say that I need to get the resume updated and become proactive in this employment search.

As for exercise this month--NON-EXISTENT!   (See above paragraph for pointless explanation justification).  The half marathon in Savannah is 18 weeks away--which means I need to get moving.   On a sidenote, I got an email from the series (Rock 'N Roll Marathon Series) this week...and because I will have done 2 events in a calendar year, I am going to receive an additional medal.  I am so excited about that!   I am such a glutton for the medals and/or t-shirts from events...nothing does a heart good like a little swag!!!  Anyway...need to get on board with that training plan a.s.a.p.

I have been scoping out local runs/events...I do so much better when I have something on the calendar...and not having anything on the calendar until November...well, that's just not quite the motivation I need/want.  The walk that I have done on Labor Day (last year and the year before) has been canceled due to lack of corporate sponsorship for 2011...so I am looking for another to replace it...I will be diligently searching active.com very soon...

Wanted to share a picture of our newest family member, Newton, too.   He's the (new) light of my life!   We think that he's between three and four years old...and is just priceless.  He never fails to amuse us on a daily basis.   I am looking forward to being able to take him with me for my long(er) walks/runs...but first we have to complete obedience training (apparently, he was allowed to roam in his previous life...he does not walk well on a leash...and it's way too hot for me to fight with him...thus, the reason for obedience training!).   He's recovering from his neutering (now he's Nutty Newton...though it has a whole different connotation now that some things are missing...sorry--that might have been too much information!).  We adopted him from a local rescue group...and apparently he had superstar status in the clinic.   He's been back a few times (once for kennel cough, then his surgery, and then the follow up visits) and everyone there is chanting, "Newton!", "Hey, it's Disney dog, Newt" and finally the vet, Dr. Good (yes, that's really his name...and his son, also a vet, is Dr. Phil Good...hilarious!) met us last weekend and told us that Newton was a special dog in their program...and he was so glad that we adopted him (I am led to believe, based on the above, that Newt was in the program for longer than most...).  Anyway, we go back on Saturday morning to get the sutures removed (I guess that because his manly parts had been with him for way long (his whole life), surgical glue just wasn't enough!).  Anyway...I present to you, Newton...

 How freakin' cute am I?

July has been a very successful month on the weightloss side of things, though...I guess that there's something to be said for tracking your food and maintaining all of your Points+ Values...Amazing how Weight Watchers has all of that figured out --like it's scientifically proven or something (again, read that with all of the sarcasm you can muster!!!).  The holiday came and went...and I lost 2 lbs. that week!  I am hopeful that this week will bring good news again!

Okay...my promise (okay, promise might be too strong of a word...should likely change to something like desire...hope...dream...) is that my posts will become more regular...and less sporadic.   I will rely on Newt to hold me accountable on all things...including my blogging.

Until next time...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Absence Makes...The Butt Grow Bigger?!?!?!

Well, if you read my most "recent"  post (written in May...posted in June), then you realize that I have already failed tremendously with the last item on my post...But how about letting me post twice in the same day...does that count?

Since the half marathon on April 30th, I have gained (yep, you read that right...GAINED) eight lbs.  I was up to 238 at one point.  As of yesterday's weigh in, I am down to 230.2...so I guess that it's a pseudo-success.  The other good news relating to my weight loss journey, is that my husband has joined Weight Watchers.  I will say that it's has been refreshing to have him conscientious about the Points Plus values along with me.  He was always very supportive of my journey--but now that we are doing this together, I am hopeful that we can lose this weight once and for all (so that neither of us will have to pay for our Weight Watchers memberships, although I am quite sure that my fees over the past three years are helping pay Jennifer Hudson's income from Weight Watchers...:)  (That being said, I still believe in the program...when I am on plan--I do very well...and now that J.J. is on it with me...I plan to be a success story sooner rather than later).

So, all is well on that front, I suppose...or at least getting better.

We had to make a hard (painfully, tearfully hard) decision this weekend.  My boy, Albert, returned for his three month follow up visit to the oncologist on Friday.   It was nothing but bad news...the tumor in his neck had grown and he had additional nodules of cancer in his lungs...more than before.  The doctor at Georgia Veterinary Specialists advised that we could do another round of chemotherapy treatments (more aggressive than the first round we went through) to buy us more time with him.   However, the potential side effects, if Albert experienced any of them, were more severe and these treatments would cost anywhere from $280-400 each.  The kicker was that there was only a 50/50 chance of limited success.  As much as I wanted, those odds just were not good enough for me to put him through it...again.   So, together (J.J. and I), we made the decision that we would do the humane thing.  We took him to the vet on Saturday one last time.  I know that I did the right thing by him...that he is no longer suffering, but I miss my sweet pumpkin.  He was a good boy who came into my life almost five years ago (we adopted him after my mother passed away after seeing his super cute mugshot posted on one of the boards at the hospital while my Mom was there.  J.J. just wanted to help ease some of my pain...so Albert was brought into our happy household).  For almost five years (well, four years, and 363 days, to be exact), he brought me much joy and such unconditional love...so I can't be all sad...just selfish, because I would have wanted five more years of that.  For any of you with four-legged family members, I know that you know what I mean.  I am sure that another four legged canine is in our future...but no one can replace my Prince Albert!  Rest in peace, my loyal boy!

Okay...let's move on to something not so depressing...

I did make it to the gym this a.m.  I did 2.5 mi on the treadmill.  I am going to look into the group classes...since there are three of my gyms in close proximity to home/work and see what new (mis-)adventures I can get into.   I will be doing this alone--as my husband would only consider doing the belly dancing class to watch, in his words, "the hot instructor".  (And just so you know, we exited the gym together this morning with him demonstrating all that he had observed in the class while he was doing his free weights...his demo was much funnier and less polished than the instructors, let me assure you.  (Again, I think that he's just trying to keep my mind occupied...I have been an emotional wreck this weekend.).

So...my goals for this week...

  1. Track every single item that I put into my mouth...this is much easier since J.J. is doing this along with me.   My plan is to bring lunch every day this week to work, too...so hopefully the fast food temptation and crazy lunches will save me points plus values (not to mention $).
  2. I will make it to the gym at least three more times this week.  I hope to be able to go in the morning before work at least twice...but I am NOT a morning person.
  3. I will take Bally (our border collie) on a walk every evening, too.  Usually J.J. does this alone...but now we can consider this more family time together.
I think that I had better leave this list at just these three items.  I will update you on progress/completion...

Until next time...

Reality Bites...

NOTE:  I wrote this post back in May...the beginning of May...

Or does it?  (I happen to love, love, love this 90's flick...with Ben Stiller, Winona Ryder, and Ethan Hawke!  Just thought that it would be an equally captivating title to this blog).  If you are still around and reading...thanks!!!  I have had a horrible couple of months...and have started many blogs (at least in my head)..but have never actually gotten them off the ground or posted in cyberspace.

Reality:  I LOVE reality television.  I guess this is one of my guilty pleasures.  Why?  I guess that I love to think that these folks on these cheesy shows ("Biggest Loser", "American Idol", "Survivor", "The Voice", "Real World", "Judge Judy", etc.) are all real...how could any of this be scripted?  (That was completely rhetorical, by the way!).  I am a t.v. junkie...my DVR is constantly filled to dangerous levels...thus explaining the long periods of time spent on the weekend in a comatose state.  :)  What can I say?!?!?!?!

Reality:  I have been so super busy at work that eating on plan has been well...an afterthought.  I have been attending my meetings at Weight Watchers and weighing in...it's just that nothing has been, well, worth reporting.  I guess that it's "keeping it real" that when a blogger seemingly disappears, nothing good can come of it.  I guess that I am living proof of that!

Reality:  I completed the Country Music Half Marathon on Saturday, April 30, 2011.  So, while my eating and weight loss may have suffered over the past couple o'months...I stuck with it..and did it!  I am super proud of myself.  I rocked Nashville...and plan on doing this event again next year!  (And if you are wondering where my newfound "I am awesome!" attitude comes from, it's because I had every chance to bail out of this event...my friend that was doing it with me decided she couldn't/shoudn't/wouldn't be doing it...so that took care of our "free" place to crash...so I had to hustle to find a hotel room (nothing was available in Nashville for less than $225/night!) and figure out the logistics of how I was going to get to the event (our "free" place was going to be volunteering at the event, so we were hitching a ride w/him to the event and back).  I ended up spending a whole lot of extra cash...but it was SOOOOOO worth it!  (Truth:  I have always had a buddy (or two) at previous events when I have participated...so I was a bit nervous about doing this one on my own...but folks...I rocked the heck out of Nashville!!!!   I am ready to seek my next event out...with our without a buddy!  I have now completed my second half marathon...so can I say that I have done a full one?  Nah...I am only half crazy!  :)  Actually, to quote the aforementioned movie, "This girl is cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!!!"  (Nah, not really...prefer real chocolate instead of a chocolate cereal.)

Reality:  I am baaaaaccccckkkkk!!!!!  I am going to make a concerted effort to post at least 3x per week...if not more often.  I realize that you may/may not be able to read that often (or that I may not have anything worthwhile to say in these posts)...but I seem to do much better when I am held accountable...and you, my dearies, are helping me through all of this.  I hope that my ramblings will, at the very least, not put you to sleep.  If so, just think of this as good bedtime reading.  :)

Until next time...let's all keep it real!!! :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly…

I debated whether to post about this or not…but I have decided that it is worth mentioning…even if ever so briefly. Let me say that by doing so, I hope that there’s no hard feelings. This is just my opinion about this particular subject. I welcome your thoughts, as well…but not to the point of being cruel. I guess that it's a fine line, actually...I can handle the truth...but I don't believe that one should be nasty or ugly about anything--no matter how truthful.  There's always a "better" way to say something, I guess...

So, if you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that I am an active member of Weight Watchers. (And by active, I mean that I have never come close to my goal weight (yet)…but I do believe in the plan and continue paying my $39.99 membership fee every month. I believe that his plan works…I have seen it, and I think that it most closely mirrors what I am looking for in a weight loss plan (most especially now, with Points Plus!).

Anyway, my membership has always been active…though my actual participation has not. Late last summer, I thought that I knew best and could do it on my own…but then I began missing the members that I sit through the meetings with on Saturday mornings…I missed the leader’s pep talks…I missed being able to celebrate when another member reached a milestone or Lifetime…those sort of things. I think that it’s kind of like group therapy (no disrespect to anyone who actually is/has been/will be participating in group therapy…after all, therapy comes in a wide variety of forms. I certainly don’t mean to make light of any serious or deeper topics that are discussed in such sessions). Anyway…I am pretty sure that I have always been supportive of the members in my meetings (and even other meetings when I couldn’t get to my regularly scheduled meeting for one reason or another). I have learned a lot from the folks in those meetings…recipes, exercise tips, and just general points of wisdom. On Saturday morning, that came to a grinding halt!

One lady, I will keep her anonymity here, was talking to my friend (and co-1/2 marathoner), Kim when I arrived. It was just a lighthearted conversation and Kim just generally brought up the fact that we are signed up for the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville, on April 30th and that we were starting to train for it…because we wanted to do well (and by do well, I just mean finish under our own power not on a stretcher and not crawling). This lady (and I use this term loosely, because really, my grandmother and Mom taught me that a lady would never do this…because a lady knows that if she can’t say anything nice, she shouldn’t say anything at all!) looks at Kim and says, “Aren’t you too big to do that?”. In all honesty, I think that we were so shocked by her response (and for the record, Kim will be your biggest cheerleader in whatever it is you want to do…so you want to start underwater basketweaving? She will help you find a location and be the one right there cheering you on…I know, because she’s done it for me on so many occasions!). So, with all of our own self-doubt and wondering what were we thinking…we now have this psycho-hosebeast who has decided to take the miles out of our Asics…the wind out of our sails. I sat through the meeting—fuming. I know that she had her own reason for saying what she did…and maybe it’s just curiosity (in her defense, if you can call it that, she is a tiny petite (maybe 5’1”, if that tall) lady…so maybe my 5’9” stature was too much for her to comprehend…I don’t know. After the meeting, heading toward our cars, we discussed that sometimes folks need a filter. I mean, I know that I might not agree with a lot…and we are certainly all entitled to our opinions…but I really think that the lady should have maybe just said something along the lines of “that’s interesting” or “wow” or whatever…And maybe that’s what her comment meant…but I took it along the lines of how are you going to get your fat a$$ 13.1 miles anywhere, if not in a car? Maybe I am a bit too sensitive…

So, for clarification…I am not too big to go 13.1 miles. If I set my mind to something, train and prepare, I can do it. No, let me correct that…I WILL do it!!! (And for the record, I did a half marathon in October of 2008…so I know that I can do it!).

Okay...time to go and see if my filters need to be changed...

Have a great one!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weekend Update

Let's start with the obvious question...I did record a loss at Weight Watchers this week.   Down 1.2 lbs.  (significantly better than last week's loss!).  I had a fantabulous week on Plan.  I ate out once last week...and made a great food choice for lunch on Friday.  I would have loved to see a higher loss...but as my husband says, "It's a cumulative effect". 

At our meeting on Saturday, our fearless leader said something profound..."If you are weighing more than once a week (at your weekly weigh in, for me, before the meeting), then your actions are saying that you do not trust the plan".  I thought about that statement long and hard--and realized that she's right.  I am paying a lot of money to help hold me accountable and do this plan...so why don't I trust completely--instead of halfheartedly?  So...I came home, took the battery out of the scale and put the scale in the closet.  It will take me a while to retrain my brain...but I have to say that it was pretty liberating to not get up and weigh first thing in the a.m. (and sometimes I weighed right before bed, too).   Anyway...stay tuned...just like everything in my life.

I have prepared several meals (including the veggie soup that likely helped me out way more than I even know!) for lunch next week.  I am also excited because I know that it has to be helping us with our budget.

Albert had a pretty bad week last week...he just look generally sad all week.  He went for treatment #5 (of 12).  They took bloodwork, so I anticipate that next Friday we will get some news.  Again...stay tuned.

Okay--off to bed...tomorrow starts the work week!

Until next time...be good to yourselves!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Living for the Moment...

Just heard this Jason Aldean song on my MP3 player at work (with my headphones of course…not everyone has an appreciation for country music mixed with some Kid Rock and some Black Eyed Peas…). Anyway…this song’s chorus, though it says “we”, in the actual song, I have altered to “I”…just so you know…”I was living for the moment…loving every second” (Bonus points if you can name that tune…not a JA fan? The song is “She Loved Me” from his first CD, “Jason Aldean”. Okay—I totally digressed there…hopefully impressing you with my country music useless information trivia…back on track (what a great segue to more country music songs…but I will leave that alone…for now! The words of this song really spoke to me…I do need to live every moment…and try (though it might be super difficult given several challenges as of late) to love every second…will make that a mission for this week!!!

So, I have signed up for the Country Music Marathon (see my previous post)...it’s 14 weeks away. Luckily, I have a 13 week training plan! How smart is that? Actually, I am hopeful that I can stick with the training plan (it’s a run/walk plan…we’ll see if it’s more walking than running (have never considered myself a runner…EVER. However, folks like Shelley totally inspire me…so I suppose that it could happen!). I started yesterday (after a about a 6 week hiatus from exercise). And I did all of my workout outside. Kyle Busch (my Garmin--thanks again to Shelley who named hers Ricky Bobby...I just continued on the race driven/NASCAR theme) showed dismal results (maybe I should rename it Jr...if you are a NASCAR fan, then you know what I am talking about)…but it’s all about the effort, right? I walked/run (way more walking than not) for 47:00 and a total of 2.62 mi. Please remember—while the weather has vastly improved in the ATL over the weekend, there was still lots of ice and snow…and parts of where I was killing myself exercising was still shaded and ice was prevalent. Not wanting to spend the next 13 weeks in an orthopedic boot, I exercised caution…extreme caution. So, I can only hope that those stats vastly improve as time goes on...(Fingers crossed).

I did lose this past week, according to the scale at Weight Watchers. A whopping .2 (that’s not two pounds…that’s 2/10 of a pound…but it’s still a loss, so I guess I will take it!). I am making a concerted effort to track all seven days this week (which I have done since Saturday…yay me!!!). I also bought the ingredients to cook at home and prepare lunches all week…including tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, and all of the ingredients to make a huge crockpot full of the Weight Watchers staple, vegetable soup. Hopefully, the scale will be good to me (or would that be me being good to me? Hmmmm…). I have also made a concerted effort to intake lots of water…lots and lots of water. Another thing that I did, at the recommendation of Joy (my Weight Watchers leader) and several other members is to take the Weight Watchers smoothie mix (didn’t think I would be a fan…but man, these things are awesome!!!) and add fruit (I added an overripe banana in lieu of tossing it into the garbage). This thing was so filling—I was stuffed. I do make my smoothie with the mix, fat free milk (counts as 2 daily dairy servings (Healthy Guidelines)!!!), ice, and the banana. Combine all ingredients into the Magic Bullet…and Tada! Magic Breakfast. Was so super impressed....a banana “milkshake” on the way into work…does it get any better than that? The other “new” thing I committed to this week was spaghetti squash. What you might not know about me is that I can be a pretty picky eater. I like most veggies (can only think of a couple that I loathe—and will not put into my mouth)…so again, at the recommendation of several at the Saturday morning meeting, I decided to buy one…a small one. After wrestling with it in the kitchen (totally not prepared to be taken down by a squash!), I was up and running…Unfortunately, I totally overcooked it…so my “spaghetti” resembled more like a pasta mush…I did taste of it (and was surprised there was no more taste than that…guess that’s why it’s a good pasta swap!). So, I will try it again…cook a little less, at a lower temp…stay posted!

So…until next time…remember…”Every Man Dies…but Not Every Man Lives” (thank you, Jason Aldean).

Thursday, January 13, 2011

January in Atlanta....Really?

This has been a dismal week for me…first all of the snow, which led to ice, which led to two days off of work (Monday and Tuesday). I am sure that it was out of boredom, but my eating habits were horrible…not sure if it was just the wrench in my planned week (I am a creature of habit, after all!), the cabin fever, or something else…but I just ate and ate. The food choices were not too bad (luckily, we didn’t have a lot of “junk” in the house), but I ate a lot! When I am at work, I am not sure if it’s just the planning that saves me, the lack of an abundance of food or what…but at home, I have no self-control…NONE! Needless to say, I was ready to go back to work by the end of Snowcalypse 2011…and by Day 2…I was looking for anything (and I do mean anything) that would keep me out of the kitchen and away from the fridge.

Anyway—back to work yesterday (which was an equally harrowing experience, driving into work with ice to complicate the commute!). I made it to and from work without incident…which was apparently a huge feat! Anyway…today was a bit more normal, thankfully! Of course, losing 2 days of month end close due to Mother Nature has provided its challenges..but we are on our way!!! Yay!!!

Then, I found out that we are likely not to get paid for Monday and Tuesday’s closure. I guess that in the grand scheme, it’s not a huge ordeal…but the company was closed!!! I understand that if you didn’t make it in when the company was open that perhaps one should have to use vacation time or something…but the company was CLOSED…should we have risked life and limb to get here? Apparently so. I know that it’s a bunch of whining…but I was not expecting that revelation. The decision hasn’t really been finalized…and it’s not my boss that is fighting it…but the VP of the company. I would think that morale would deeply be affected if they decide to stick with his decision. Oh well…will worry about that when it’s more of a reality, I guess.

Another big  massive step in the right direction…I have signed up for the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville, TN! I am hopeful that this will keep me motivated (and help me undo some of this week’s damage) to train and do this the right way. One of my great friends (also named Kim…and the similarities in our lives don’t end there) has signed up for it…and since we tend to do better working together, we are going to do this! We completed 13.1 miles over 2 years ago. I don’t think that either one of us really trained the way we should have, but it didn’t help that Pottygate struck! Kim went to the port-a-potty at mile 2…and tripped when she came out and twisted her ankle. Against our better judgment, she trudged on (walking mostly, but at one point, I thought she might have to crawl)…and we did finish (won’t even begin to discuss the passive aggressive behavior study that she could have completed, too…”I can’t”…”I didn’t go this far not to finish”…). At any rate, we did finish…which was our only goal (okay, so we didn’t want to exceed the official time or be last, either…we met those goals, too (barely!)!). Anyway…the date is April 30…about 15 weeks from now. I have a 13 week training plan…that’s a “Beginner Walk/Run” training program. Stay tuned for details of how that’s working out for us…Anyway, I am looking forward to revisiting (hopefully not crawling) through Nashville.  I love that city!!!  (And am hopeful that I will get to see some country music superstars...okay, Chris Young! while I am there).  I think that I am equally excited about having someone at the finish line cheering me on (I have never had that...and always think that it's super cool...and am secretly envious of those that do!).  My mother in law has said that she will come down (from Louisville, KY) if it's after tax season (how quaint! It is!!!  April 30th is way after April 15th!!!).  Plus, Kim will have her kids and Mom there, too (and I consider those kiddos and Mom mine, too!).  Will be super exciting!!! 

Anyway--think that's enough big news for today!!!

Be good...and if you can't be good, then be good at it!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Not the best weekend ever...

Well...I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting of 2011...the weigh in was not what I had hoped for (though, I knew it wouldn't be pretty...was just "hoping" for a kinder, nicer number).  I was up three pounds for the week...some of this is explainable, as I discussed previously, due to my TOM (or is this TMI?).  I hope that I can shed some of that bloat next week...if not take it all away.

It is snowing furiously north of Atlanta right now...I cannot believe that the weather folks got all of this junk right this time.  It's pretty serious for those G.R.I.T.S (Girls Raised In The South) like me...I know that I need to be at work tomorrow, but am doubtful that I will make it (the company has not officially closed...yet!).  I understand that snow is drivable, but they are predicting that this junk will turn to sleet/freezing rain (wintry precip) by early morning.  That's where I draw the line...Just hope that if it turns from a snowy Winter Wonderland to a Icy Igloo that the power lines hold up...no heat, no way out...Kim is not a happy person (and begins to refer to herself in the third person, apparently).

If you get a change, be sure to visit Tammy (from Fat to Fab's) new site.  This is a new endeavor for her--and I think that there's real promise for a true niche here...Who doesn't want an Errand Fairy???

Well, off to bed...need to include a few extra blankets just in case the power goes...My furry friends don't always like to snuggle...:)

Have a great one...and power pending, I will be back tomorrow!

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Year...New Outlook...Hopefully!

I was told that it's too late to say "Happy New Year"...thus, the title of this blog.

I am not going to make this a post about crazy resolutions (because let's face it, we already know what we are supposed to be doing...and how to get there...yada, yada, yada).  So, I have to say that I am not going to change the resolutions (that have likely been the same for the past 5 years (if not longer)...but to expand on those.  Yeah...that's it!!!

I ended 2010 on a positive note, as far as weight loss is concerned...from the week of Christmas Eve through New Year's Eve, I lost a whopping 6.8 lbs.  I could not believe it!  I officially weigh in tomorrow at Weight Watchers--so I will post after my 9:15a meeting...good, bad, or indifferent.  I was quite pleased with myself (although I was sick for part of the holidays...so that counts for part of the loss).  The week of Christmas Eve, I lost four pounds....and then the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, I lost 2.8 lbs (I was sick from Christmas Day forward).  Anyway, I have kicked the crud...but this week was TOM, so I am expecting some gain (happens every month...dang bloat!).

But it's not all glitter and glam for me (as if weight loss signifies glitter)...my (canine) boy, Albert, has been diagnosed as of late with some pretty serious issues.  Last summer, we noticed that he was panting excessively (as if he were in hot temps and high humidity all of the time)...so we took him to the vet.   Our vet, who is exceptional, ran a battery of tests, including bloodwork and the like, all of which came back "normal".  We didn't panic (although in hindsight, isn't it funny how everything is crystal clear AFTER the fact?) but we noticed in October (when temps were significantly cooler in GA) that he was still panting--so again, we were concerned.   We took him back to our vet, who took a chest x-ray this time along with more tests.  This time, because they noticed something suspicious on the chest x-ray (could be something...could be nothing), we were referred to an Internist...Yes, my dog has an Internist (I do not...but my dog does...how bizarre is that?).  So, she looked at the x-ray (says that the spot on the x-ray is nothing to alarmed about) and suggests one of two diagnoses...laryngeal paralysis or Cushings Syndrome.  Both of the tests were costly..but the scope was a bit less invasive and we could get an answer to confirm/rule out the laryngeal paralysis almost immediately.  Turns out my boy, Albert, did have laryngeal paralysis.  This was treatable with surgery...so we got a referral back to a surgeon that had previously done work on Albert (he had TPO surgery, basically replacing parts of his hind legs due to a congenital defect, about 2.5 years ago).  So, the surgeon looks at Albert and does a preliminary exam on him...and notices that there's a lump on one side of his neck.  He re-refers (is that a word) to the Internist, so that she can verify that it's nothing or that it's something.  So, we go back to the Internist...who performs an ultrasound.  (Note:  I have never met this lady at this point...only know what my husband has relayed to me about her).  She comes back and the first words out of her mouth were, "I feel so badly"...Well, that was nothing compared to what I went through the next few days.  Albert has a huge thyroid tumor that not only consumes his thyroid but has grown and "wrapped" itself around parts of his trachea, his carotid artery and his jugular vein...it's massive.  She recommends surgery to remove it immediately--that week (did I mention that this was the week of Christmas?).  So, we (husband and I) discuss...and decide that we will do the surgery (she said that if we didn't remove it, he would die within three months due to the tumor growing and cutting off the respiratory function...horrible!).  So, the next day, I take Albert (after no sleep, worrying obsessively about whether this was the "right" thing to do for him, was he suffering?) back to the surgery center, I am just supposed to be dropping him off ...and the surgeon wants to meet with me.  Again, my  husband has always been the one dealing with the doctors (his schedule is a bit more flexible than mine, as he can work from home), so I knew this was nothing good...He tells me that he can/will do the surgery but wants me to understand all that's associated with it...due to the massiveness of this tumor, he knows he will not be able to get all of it (I get the feeling because of this, he doesn't want to do the surgery); there's major risks associated with infection and morbidity and it would, in all likelihood, leave Albert disfigured on the left side, due to nerve damage.  He says that he is willing to refer us to an Oncologist who will be able to give us a better treatment plan for Albert. I ask about numbers...how much and the odds of this working out for Albert...he refuses to give me either, telling me that he's a surgeon that canine (and other animals, most likely) oncology is so specialized...he's not qualified to speak on such matters.  (Nice...).  So, we get our referral to the oncologist (by the way, in the state of GA, there's only one local place w/in Atlanta...otherwise you have to send your family member to UGA's vet school or Auburn's vet school.  I am sure that either of the last options are superb in what they do...but it's just not geographically desirable).  We go with the local option...They do a terrific job on December 23...they took another chest x-ray, did a full work up and met with the husband (again, I wasn't able to go...).  Unfortunately, the news wasn't so great...the cancer has moved to Albert's lungs.  Radiation (which was the surgeon's suggestion) is not an option.  We are doing a 12 week round of chemotherapy with two different meds (we travel once a week to the local facility) in hopes of prolonging Albert's life.  There's a 50/50 chance that this will "help"...by "help", I mean keep the cancer from growing, as we all know that lung cancer is not one of the treatable ones.  Luckily for me, the side effects of chemo in dogs is minimal (the oncologist has been practicing for over 22 years and says that the vast majority has no side effects)...Albert's not losing his fur or his appetite...and truthfully, if I didn't know he was such a sick boy, I would never guess it...he still wrestles with his brother, runs upstairs at bedtime for his nightly treats, and is still wagging that tail like a madman.  I can only hope that he is truly not suffering...and if/when he starts showing signs of pain that I know it and can make those tough decisions in life.  Yep, Albert has taught me a lot (that's another post for another day, as this one is way too long...)...but most of all, I have learned (again!) to tell those around me what they mean to me...to not wait for a special occasion or holiday.  Albert and I have our (new) nightly ritual.  I lay on the floor with him and assure him that I love him with all of my heart...and good thing for me, he loves to be hugged and cuddled...otherwise, I just might be a basket case!

So, I leave you tonight with a few photos of my Great Pumpkin...
 Until next time...(which will be tomorrow...with my weigh in results)...