Thursday, September 23, 2010

National Imperfection Day

In my mind I started with one concept for today's blog post. But a dinner discussion this evening got me thinking about another.

My husband, who teaches a fourth/fifth-grade combo class at an elementary school jokingly shared with our son that he used him as an example in class today. Apparently, today is National Imperfection Day, which prompted my husband to assign his students a journal project in which they list one of their imperfections, embrace it, realize we're not perfect, and then also discuss how they can improve.

As an example, he shared that our son Will, a fifth grader, has this really unusual ability to get a "milk-mustache" every single time he takes a sip of something. The crazy thing is, he even gets a milk (or punch) mustache after drinking out of a straw! I honestly don't know how he does it, and we have a running joke between the two of us about "having a lot of work to do before prom."

Got Milk?

I began to realize my son's tendency to get beverages and food all over his face was somewhat unique to him when I volunteered in his class a couple of years ago. It was a class party and all the kids were eating cupcakes that I made. At some point in the party, I notice chocolate frosting all over Will's face. I promptly grabbed the napkins to pass along to the class, thinking all of them would need to tidy up. But it wasn't long before I realized that my child was the ONLY one in the class that had chocolate all over his face.

We laughed about his tendency, and it became funnier when we realized that Will actually knows a few of my husband's students from various athletic teams he's played on and also from his new role as sax player in the Benicia Elementary School Band.

Our dinner discussion continued as my husband shared with us his own greatest imperfection, which he also shared with his class: Procrastination. My husband has very many strengths. Very  many. In fact, he's drying our daughter's hair after making dinner and giving her a bath, just so I can work on my blog. I will forever appreciate all of the wonderful characteristics of my husband. Truly, I will.

But sometimes, his procrastination drives me crazy!  If you know us well enough, you'll know that my husband has been working on his master's degree ever since our son was three years old. Now our son is 10 years old, has a larger shoe size than me, and will be towering over me likely before he turns 11. And yet we wait, as we have for four years, for my husband to get inspired to finish his thesis. The good news is, he only has until Spring before the classes he took before have to be retaken. It seems to be motivating him, as looming deadlines always do, and for that we are grateful.

So then I asked my husband what my greatest imperfection is. After a short pause, he explained that I have a tendency to let things go and go (like clutter in our bedroom or kitchen), and then all of a sudden I get fed up and frustrated and want to tend to it immediately. He's right about that, but I argued that at least I get things done....eventually. I remember a college roommate of mine commenting how funny it was that I would vaccuum at midnight once in a while, a practice that would occur after I ultimately got fed up with not tending to it earlier.

Actually, I can think of greater faults of mine and told my husband that. He eventually came up with many more as our son chuckled and our three-year-old daughter Piper sucked her thumb. We all agreed that Piper is too young to have an imperfection, but thought perhaps her biggest one was not being able to decide on a Halloween costume. Her latest idea is a toilet.

The truth is, I actually kind of like what I husband calls my biggest imperfection. It's what got me motivated to take my weight loss journey public and start my blog. I'd had it with my escalating weight and decided in an instant one morning last February what I had to do. And shortly after, I had a logo, started a blog, went back to Weight Watchers and began actually making use of my gym membership.

And now, I'm down to only 5.5 pounds away from my weight loss goal of 40 pounds! How's that for a National Imperfection Day celebration?

Here's this week's picture!

Until Next Week,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Trying to Get the Feeling

If there were an award for the worst planned month, I think my husband and I would win it. Don't get me wrong, I loved taking three trips in a four week period, but holy cow, did it do a number on our August budgeting, not to mention my diet.

First, there was Disneyland with the kids. Next, we did Santa Cruz and Carmel for my birthday weekend. Then, as I mentioned and was eagerly anticipating in my last post, Christian and I went to Las Vegas for our first real adult vacation since our pre-schooler Piper was born.

I did my best to prepare myself for the big trip to Sin City. I worked out extra prior to the big trip. I even packed my workout clothes in the new Samsonite luggage I got as a birthday gift. I packed two days worth of workout clothes, just in case I got motivated two times out of three days to hit the Mirage Casino and Hotel gym.

But everything about Las Vegas screams indulgence. And, honestly, what's the point in going there if you're not going to indulge a little bit? From the Wheel of Fortune slot machines to the yard-long frozen alcoholic beverages, to the all-you-can-eat buffets and the amazing restaurants, it would have been a sin NOT to embibe in Sin City.

So I did.

We went to one of my favorite places -- Fat Tuesday -- merely minutes after our Southwest Airlines plane touched down and checked into the hotel. Amaretto and Pineapple was my yard-long drink of choice.

By the way, if you think THAT is bad, there was a big guy in line in front of us literally strapping on to himself a 100-ounce container of some frosty adult libation. The contraption had a strap around his neck as well as his waist! I've never seen anything like it and don't even want to think about what the Weight Watchers points value of his drink would have been!

We spent our first night walking the Las Vegas Strip and taking it all in. We saw the water show in front of the Bellagio...

...and met one of many Elvises lined up and ready to pose for photos in exchange for tips.

We ended up at the House of Blues, one of my favorite restaurants, for dinner and enjoyed live music and warm spinach dip with house made kettle chips and pasta with shrimp in a cajun Alfredo Sauce. It was clear the weekend wasn't going to bode well for my diet. But, by that point, I wasn't too worried.

The following day, we spent as much time as we could at the Mirage pool in 107-degree weather. I've honestly never seen anything like the pool at the Mirage. It was like a giant fraternity party with probably 150 people in the pool, many with adult beverages in hand, simply trying to stay cool and have some fun in the sun. We lasted just about an hour out there until it was time for a nap (Christian) and pedicure (me).

With newly painted toes and freshly rested eyes, Christian and I departed for what was to be one of the highlights of the trip -- the Barry Manilow concert at the Paris Casino. Christian sprung for third-row seats as a birthday present to me, and it was absolutely fantastic! I love Barry and have been a big fan since I was a teenager. I've seen him several times in concert and even met him once when I was 19. But, I've never seen him from the third row. It was a blast!


Afterwards we went to Tao, a restaurant in the Venetian. I love Tao! If you haven't been there, I highly recommend it. After our delicious dinner of sushi, Pad Thai noodles, Coconut Shrimp and mini donuts with three dipping sauces (caramel, chocolate, and white chocolate), we decide to head back to our hotel room. We toyed with hitting the Tao Nightclub, which is a hot spot for celebrities, but it was 12:30 a.m. and this 40-year-old just didn't quite feel like the night club scene. Instead, we went back to the room and I crocheted a hat that I had sold on my etsy shop that weekend. I understand how completely lame that sounds, but my blog is all about being honest, so there.

Our last day had us nearly out of spending money, so we decided to get yet another yard-long drink and hit the movies. We saw "The Other Guys" with Will Ferrell and Mark Walberg. Seriously funny. There is  a scene in the movie where they end up in Las Vegas and Mark Walberg is in the background drinking a yard-long. It was pretty classic.

About an hour before we had to head back to the airport, we decided to hit Margaritaville for a mid-afternoon snack. It wasn't a yard-long, but I enjoyed a modest mango margarita and Christian and I shared nachos, a particular weakness of mine.

I wish there was a way for me to feel the stuffed, heavy, disgusting feeling I feel after eating nachos PRIOR to ordering them. They were good, but during the entire plane ride (and then car ride home from Sacramento to Benicia), I was stuffed. And a little bit disgusted with myself.

As if Las Vegas wasn't enough of a dietary challenge and disruption to my workout and Weight Watchers meeting schedule, I had a last-minute business trip to Seattle that I had to leave for the morning Christian and I got back to Las Vegas. Due to the nature of my work as a fundraiser for a college, I had two receptions and a dinner to attend, all filled with culinary delights and good wine.

As lovely as I find Seattle (and the weather was simply gorgeous), I was so happy to finally get back home to get back on my diet and back on the treadmill! I'm not a very disciplined traveler. I find it nearly impossible to stick with my Weight Watchers program while on the road. And while I always pack my workout clothes with wonderful ambitions about using the hotel gym, I have never once have actually worked out on a business or pleasure trip.

It took me a few days to get back in the swing of things (thus, the missed blog and additional cheating the days after I arrived home). In the words of Barry Manilow, I struggled "Trying to Get the Feeling Again" diet-wise.

I am pleased to report that I have been nachos-free since Las Vegas and am now "back in the saddle" and on a regular workout schedule and back to counting my Weight Watchers points. I am also happy to report that I'm down another 1/2 pounds since my blog post two weeks ago. It's not much, but at least I've taken the weight off that resulted from my jet-setting life in August. That brings my total weight loss to 31 1/2 pounds, which means I have only 8.5 pounds to go until I reach my 40 pound weight loss goal.

Fortunately for me, I don't have any extensive travel plans in my future. Here's this week's picture!

Until next week,