Fat Tuesday

So today is the day when we're supposed to let loose and really gorge ourselves before the fasting of Lent which begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. At least that's how the story goes. While I haven't been a practicing Catholic in some time, I always seem to get sucked into the idea of giving something up for Lent. Lent is the six weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter where we are encouraged to sacrifice and repent. I hope you have all enjoyed this meandering lesson which has essentially brought me to tell you what I plan to give up.
March 1st will be six months since I got the Fitbit and sort of jumped onto the #fitby40 train that BFF planted in my brain. In six months, I've lost about eleven pounds (though that number fluctuates). I try not to focus too much on the scale because I know I have also lost inches, but losing two pounds a month is not really that impressive to me. I know it's the healthy rate of weight loss but boy is it ever slow going. I have a feeling I have hit a plateau so in an effort to kick start the weight loss, Husband and I discussed giving up beer for Lent. Naturally, because I know who I am, there is a caveat that we can have beer from a tap if we are on date night or maybe hanging with the homies. This all basically translates to no drinking beer at home, no cans, no bottles, no growlers. For six weeks.
I have less than two and a half months to lose about 12 pounds to achieve my goal of being under 200 pounds by my fortieth. If I continue at the rate I've been on, those two months will only be about four pounds lost. Because I'm super competitive and really want to achieve my goal, I'm going to try and take this beer break very seriously. Truth is, I eat pretty well, much better than in the past. I've cut way back on snacking and sweets, especially candy and ice cream. I've made some serious changes in my diet and movement. The beer intake seems to be the main roadblock. If in six weeks I see no progress, back to the brewery I go! However, I'm optimistic that change is in the air.


Weekend Pics

Gluttonous sushi dinner on Friday night with the Germans 
 Tried a new brewery but it was noisy and meh.
 Closed it out at Topa Topa, where I beat Husband at Sequence 
and we hung with a coworker of his that rocked a man bun.
 Took this one's 3-year old photos and our family pictures on Saturday.
We had lots more fun with the real camera, too.
 Sunday snuggle sesh with Byarp
 Can't forget Bijard
 DJ Creesh on the ones and twos
 Walked the pups to get those steps in! 
 Husband at brunch with that chicken and waffles doe!
Daddy finished his Christmas present from Gaga...
Now to keep Casey from breaking it! 


Haiku Friday

Hey, February
Where'd you run off to so fast?
On the brink of March
Getting pictures done
Another birthday party
For Christa Allyn
And some more visits
With cousins, uncles and friends
This weekend will fly! 


Random Thursday

In the vein of BFF's random Thursday post, here is one of my own. I was thinking about what I looked like since I started this job and how I have changed in the last ten months or so. Here's a picture from my first day give or take:
I went and got a haircut today and so I took this fancy ass selfie just to compare and my what a difference: 
I'd also like to add that today at my hair salon there was a basket of LuLaRoe leggings and my hair stylist insisted that I try them on. I have mocked this cult for some time, you can ask Andrea. Leggings are a privilege, not a right. There's also something about an overweight woman in leggings that seems very lazy to me. That's something I have believed for as long as I can remember. Well, I put the damn things on and they felt like I was pantsless. So soft. So comfortable. So I bought them in what is nothing other than a moment of weakness. I promise you this, I shan't wear them outside of exercise and/or the comfort of my own home. Why did the damn things need to match my shirt so well? Sigh.


Weigh In Wednesday & Weekend Pics

Weight: 212
That's down 2.2 lbs since last week and 11 pounds overall. How this is possible I have no idea. I feel like I ate all the things this past weekend at my brother's and at Legoland. But now that I think of it, I remember leaving food on my plate and being reasonable with portions. I also didn't snack nearly as much as I normally do. I definitely drank a ton of beer though. I also walked all the steps so maybe that balanced out. Plus my period just left town so the odds are ever in my favor in regards to the scale this morning.

Lifetime Steps: 1,580,824
That's 68,227 since last check-in which averages to be 9,747 steps a day. I took last week off of lunch walking because of that pain in my back and the rain but I still managed to get about 7K steps a day. Saturday (15,047) and Sunday (13,920) were the only days I hit or exceeded my goal of 10K. We did a lot of driving on Friday and Monday. Yesterday was raining and I just didn't have time to get a walk in because of playing catch-up at work. This week is sort of looking like a bust again but I'll just hop back on the horse when I can and try not to get discouraged or complacent.

Frame of Mind
I'm feeling much better today. Yesterday was a bad day. We had a bunch of technical issues at work that really threw a wrench in my catch-up plans. The rain foiled my walk. I just couldn't seem to get a break. Casey has soccer tonight so even if I can't manage a work walk, I'll still get moving with him. I am glad that I took the time to prep breakfasts and salads for the remaining four days of the work week despite not really having a ton of energy or motivation after returning from our weekend away. Boy was it good to see the fam bam and BFF's fam bam. Lots of love this weekend. Christa had a super great birthday weekend and was very spoiled and I'm still riding high on that. It was nice to take a break from news updates and Facebook scrolling for a few days. I need to really keep that in mind, especially at work. It's a good time to start a new book. I also need to set some goals for March and April in regards to weight loss and exercise so I can hit my goal of getting under 200 by my birthday. 11 pounds in two months seems totally attainable if I can just get gangster. Maybe quit drinking for Lent? Weekend pics sampler below or the whole lot of them are here.

 Rock & Brew Daddy Style
 Rock & Brew Mommy Style
 Double Date Night (plus my first Uber!)
 Kids at the Aquarium
 Fam Bam 1
Fam Bam 2


Haiku Friday

Long weekend ahead
President's Day getaway
For Christa's birthday
Off to Legoland
And to see my brother's house
And family of course
Escondido too
To see BFF's fambam
Celebrate Good Times


Book Review

My most recently completed book was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I remember long ago reading a review in Entertainment Weekly that raved about it so on a whim I added it to my Amazon Wish List. Christine bought it for me shortly thereafter so it has long been a decoration on my bookshelf. Rather than download a newer book on the neglected Kindle, I'm sure glad I chose to read this one. It is about a woman whose cells were taken without her consent in the 1950s. Her cells were the first to successfully multiply in a scientific setting and became both immortal and insanely successful. Those cells, named HeLa, are the most widely cells used in scientific and medical research to this day, around the world.
Henrietta was no ordinary woman, much like her extraordinary cells. This book delved deep into her life as an impoverished black woman in the south. She was a tobacco farmer who married her cousin and had several children before succumbing at a young age to a very severe case of cervical cancer, which led to the biopsy and HeLa. The devastating part of this book was learning that despite the tremendous value her cells have, her children and their children continued living in poverty, without proper health care or coverage. While so many others profited from HeLa, her family didn't even find out until much later that her cells were even being used! Their ignorance - thanks to crippling poverty and no real education - kept them wondering if their mother was out there being cloned into monsters. Absolutely devastating.
This book was engrossing. I could not put it down. My emotions were all over the place. I was shocked that this incredible story was not taught in schools. Why must American history be so utterly male and white washed? How the hell does the USA live with itself when it has been and continues to be so cruel and downright unfair to people of color? The way Skloot wrote about the Lackses really made those very real characters come right to life. I laughed, I learned, I cried. I was shocked. I was educated. Honestly, this book was tremendous. I highly recommend a read.


Weigh-In Wednesday

Weight: 214.2
Down .4 since last week. This seems inconceivable to me because a) I have eaten a tremendous amount of cookies thanks to the little pity party I am having from being hurt and b) PMS like a boss. I guess sticking to a good lunch must make a difference, though it could just be dumb luck. Seriously, so many cookies.

Lifetime Steps: 1,512,597
That's 62,272 steps this week which averages out to 8,896 a day. Wednesday and Thursday were the only days I hit or exceeded my goal of 10K and was only short about 653 on Sunday. Not great. On Saturday we went to the zoo and out of nowhere my back started to spasm and pain started shooting down the front of my quads. I could not rise from a seated position without Husband physically lifting me up. I borrowed a heavy duty prescription pill from my mom because the pain was so intense. Those pills made me nauseous and knocked me out but did nothing to alleviate the pain. I ended up taking an Epsom salt bath, getting an icy hot rub down from Husband, smoking some pot, chasing that with a beer or two and basically lying on a heating pad for the rest of the day. I'm still feeling a dull ache in my lower back but I have been mobile (at least) since Sunday morning. Unbelievable. My co-worker, who is trained in sports and physical training, said it sounded like my sciatic nerve. Because I'm an elderly woman. Either way, I have decided to "rest" this week rather than do my lunch walk so I can be ready to do all the miles this weekend at Legoland. On a "restful" day I'm still clocking between 5K and 7K steps a day so I guess it could be much worse.

Frame of Mind
I'll be honest, the shit-show that is the SCROTUS (So Called Ruler of the United States) is stressing me out. It is probably irrational but I fear war. A lot. It sucks. I mean, a lot of his BS in regards to legislation in this country won't make it through the Supreme Court, etc, but his utter idiocy and incompetency makes me feel like we're going to be the target of some legit retaliation. Other than that... and this pain... and the PMS, things are okay I guess. I'm excited to get away this weekend to celebrate Christa turning three. Casey is showing some real signs of ADHD so that is on my mind. He and I have soccer tonight so I hope that will be fun. You know... just life. Hills and valleys and what have you.


Movie Review

It's no secret around these parts that I was a big fan of The Lego Movie and that one of my favorite things about it was Will Arnett as Batman. When we found out they were going to do a movie just for him, we were all super pumped about it. Next weekend, we have a Legoland trip planned to celebrate Christa turning three. It seems almost serendipitous that The Lego Batman Movie came out just in time for us to watch it this past weekend, right before our big ol' Lego weekend!
We don't really go to movies so much anymore unless we can bring the kids. Date nights are better spent actually talking to Husband over dinner or a game of Sequence at a brewery rather than being distracted by yet another screen. I have to admit, I was not as much a fan of this one as I was of the original. I'm not sure what it was, but I felt it lacked the heart of the first. I noticed Christa was a lot more restless than she normally is in the theater and that Casey sort of just un-enthusiastically watched whereas he is usually a bit more involved.
Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of action and a lot of laughs. I'm continually stunned by the special effects of these movies. The colors and scenery are so rich and detailed that it's hard not to be impressed. Everyone and their mother has a voice cameo and it's such a treat for me to put an actual name to the character. It felt like it just took a while for the story to get off the ground. Batman is a solitary vigilante who is afraid of relationships. The new commissioner Gordon wants to work with him and he's more interested in flying solo. He accidentally adopts Dick Grayson (a.k.a. Robin voiced by fellow Arrested Development alum, Michael Cera - I'm a big fan of that show, P.S.) and Alfred forces him into becoming a "padre." Watching this gorup of misfits form a family was touching, I just wish the story could have been a little more streamlined. It probably deserves another viewing where my expectations aren't so high.


Weekend Pics

 Christa with her favorite zoo baby: the fennec fox
 Christa feeding Moana
 Christa being a good mama
 Christa performing surgery on Betty
 Nothing is more fun than jumping on a bed between sheet changes.
 These bitches
 Casey at the park before the movie
Christa looking like such a big girl


Haiku Friday

It's a good Friday
And a red Friday as well
I guess that's a thing
Got a nice bonus
To cover car repairs and
Taxes and some stuff
Had a tummy bug
And I'm happy to report
I'm down that TEN pounds! 


Weigh In Wednesday

Weight: 214.6
No loss or gain which is great because, boy, did I eat like I was never going to see food again this weekend. Pizza party on Friday, date night full of sushi on Saturday, and Super Bowl Sunday replete with all the beer and snacks... Yikes. It's also PMS time once again so yay bloating!

Lifetime Steps: 1,450,325
That's 80,426 since last week which averages out to 11,489 steps a day. I hit or exceeded five days this week! Friday I was short 1683 steps and Monday I was short 791. I walked the dogs both weekend days (which is how I got about 9K extra steps!) and I guess the way I walk with them is different because I was sore afterward, like a less aggressive shin splint. Looks like I should walk them more often so I'm not aching afterward. Nevertheless, I persisted and walked during my lunch hour Monday and Tuesday through the pain (and rain).

Frame of Mind
Good but not great. To start off positive, we broke even with our taxes and I'd been worried for months that we'd owe in the thousands. Luckily, we made some successful readjustments and that whole thing is behind us. I am happy to report I am almost done reading my book so that feels very nice. I also just bought Queen tickets so that's super rad. I am very proud of all the walking and credit it for making things much better than they otherwise would be.
Now for the not so great. The PMS definitely reared its ugly head this morning. I have not been sleeping well at all due to some outrageously graphic and detailed nightmares for the past several days. I have had some odd interactions at home and some bad days here at work so I think I just need to shake it off and refocus. I'm not doing great on my goal to not drink Monday through Friday but I did succeed on the 1st. Otherwise that ball got dropped except I have stuck to just one with dinner.


Weekend Pics

 Dad has a grown up Star Wars Lego so he's showing the kids.
 Date night at Red Tandem and a Sequence ass-whooping courtesy of Husband. 
 Bought myself roses and got called a "Dumb Fuck" LOL
Christa's "Musnache"

We had such a nice and chill weekend, I just didn't take many photos. Casey's buddy spent the night on Friday night. Husband and I had date night on Saturday and did sushi and a brewery. Yesterday, we hosted Super Bowl so BFF, Ang and Miss Kitty came over to eat and drink and be merry with us while the children played. MIKE was hitting the slopes and he was missed. I took two big walks this weekend so my step bank overfloweth. I'm mildly hungover and definitely ate way too much all weekend. Gonna learn today.


Good Teeth Haiku Friday

 Today was the day
Dentist checkup for both kids
It's a day I dread
 But not this time, guys! 
Casey did such a great job
Best visit ever
Christa followed suit
So they both got tee-shirts and
A full goody bag


Weigh In Wednesday

Weight: 214.6
That's down 1.2 since last week, 3.2 since last month and 8.4 since September 1. Averages out to be about 2 pounds a month but as Andrea reminded me, two of those months had feast holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) in them. I've changed things up and now my breakfast is some apple slices and grapes and a hard boiled egg. I am trying to use less sugar in my coffee. I usually grab some cheese before my walk. Lunch is still a salad with chicken breast or thigh 4x a week. Snacking much less at work but it's usually a serving of pretzels. Drinking more water. Cutting back dinner portions. Trying not to snack after dinner whereas before I was killing ice cream like an assassin often.
Goal for February: not drinking beer at all Monday - Thursday. Last goal was sticking to one a night during those days which I did pretty well on for the most part.

Measurements of last month vs. today
(probably not scientifically accurate but close enough; this is for me, not for tailoring clothing)
Bust - 44 vs 41
Chest - 36 vs 37
Waist - 39 vs 38
Hips - 45 vs 43
Thigh - 27 vs 25
Arm - 14 vs 13-3/4

Lifetime Steps: 1,369,899
68,227 steps since last week which average to 9,747/day. Hit or exceeded my goal on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday I was in the 9K range. Friday was a bust because of the dang wind and tacos (see yesterday's post). I've improved my walk play list. Trying to up my pace. Really aiming to walk at least 4x a week at work.

Frame of Mind
I am feeling really good about this little program I am on. I put on a new pretty bra that is a smaller size and I'm fitting nicely into once quite snug 16s. My clothes feel looser and it's fun to see and feel the changes in my body. Reading for pleasure more has really helped my mood. Still working on cutting back on news and social media because currently it's all horse manure. I'd like to incorporate dance into my evenings to get the heart rate up and also for the fun of it. Need to look up Zumba online or something maybe. Walking is only going to get me so far. My cross-fit coworker is trying to teach me how to do squats. Yuck. Haha.