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The graduate :)

[caption id="attachment_1777" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="The graduate...:)"]Me after graduation[/caption]

Where I’ve Been: Now with more Big News!

Since Fitbloggin, I have been MIA when it comes to all things social media.

It wasn’t the conference– I had a BLAST.

My break had alot to do with my personal life and now that alot of the issues are resolved, I am finally ready to come back.

Lots of stuff has been happening…. Here is a little bit of this and that….

First, some news on the fitness front– I am signed up for my FIRST 1/2 MARATHON!!!! A 1/2 marathon is on my bucket list, and when my friend Loren told me about the training program that helps support the AIDS Foundation of Chicago along with giving me world-class training, I was IN! I don’t want my first real post back to be a pitch for money, but if you would like to support me on my journey to 13.1 miles, please click here for more information and a secure donation area. So far my training has been good: This is in part what I wrote as an update to my friends and family this morning:

Yesterday, I did my timing/pacing group 3 mile walk for the AIDS Foundation 1/2 Marathon. I “slogged” my way through it– “slogged” is a word I stole from amerrylife that means “slow jogging” — and did OK– 16:30 minute miles. Not the best time I have done in a race, but good enough. Because there is a time limit for the Marathon, I was put in the 14:00 minute mile group with my friend Loren. Atleast I will have a friend to help me on my journey to 13.1 miles! :-) I am still a bit sore today, but know the more I train the faster my recovery will be.

If you have trained for a 1/2 marathon and have any tips or tricks, please let me know. I can use all the support i can get! :-)

Second big news- and I am kinda burying the lead here-

I AM FINALLY GAINFULLY EMPLOYED!!!!

Cue the confetti and get out the party hats!

A big reason I have been gone from the blog is hat I have spent many a sleepless night worrying about not having a job. The past 6 months have been rough. Ok, the past 3 months have been rough. I actually enjoyed having “time” to do things I wanted to do and not have to worry about meetings, deadlines and waking up at 6 am. Without being laid off, I would never have been able to be an assistant coach for Girls on the Run. Or babysit for a great mom’s group. Or take 4pm naps!

But after a few months it got old sending out resumes and never getting a call back.

In early March, I heard about a program here in Chicago that allows people who already have a B.A. to train to become an urban teacher through “residency-style” program. The competition is stiff- out of 1000 people who apply, only around 100 people are asked to join the program. I was late in hearing about the program (they start taking applications in September and close applications April 1) but decided that I would apply and see what happened.

After a crazy application process, rigorous testing (and by rigorous I mean two 5 hour entrance tests in one day–ack!), 2 strenuous interviews and countless nights spent worrying I wouldn’t get in, I found out Friday at Noon that I have been accepted!!

I am humbled, honored and am still pinching myself.

I will begin graduate classes toward a Masters in Elementary Education in downtown Chicago on June 14th. I won’t know for a while which grade I will teach, though I applied to be a K-3rd grade teacher. My hope is for 1st grade.

Here is an issue– I may not be able to go to BlogHer now. I will be in class on Friday that weekend and I am not sure if I can miss any days of class. I will find out June 14, but if I do miss BlogHer this year, I know that I will be missing it for a good cause. :-)

—-

3rd big news:

During the time I was going through my first and second interviews for the graduate program, I was bitten by a (spider? some sort of bug? not sure) on my left shoulder. Overnight it went from a bite to the circumference of a baseball- sized infection. It was hot to the touch, blood red and I was only able partially lift my arm.

Of course.

I went to urgent care, where they put me on a SUPER strong antibiotic and Rx strength Motrin for the swelling. I was tired, not sleeping more than 2 hours a night and feeling crappy for days after starting the meds, though my infection seemed to be healing nicely. Then I had my final interview for grad school last Tuesday — that’s when I started having numbness in my left arm and pains in my chest on the left side of my body.

I figured I was having a panic attack/stressed out from what I thought was a horrible job I did at the interview, and tried to just shrug the pain and discomfort off.

but when I woke up Wednesday morning, I was still having the same feelings. I called urgent care back, and they told me to go to the ER.

So I went.

I will spare you the details, but in short, the infection that was in my shoulder was deeper than they thought, and it was pressing on a nerve in my arm causing it to go numb. I was also having a nasty reaction to the antibiotic, which caused my blood pressure to soar to 188/66. They got me up to the observation deck, got me fluids and some kind of meds, and got an X-ray of my shoulder, just in case. I came home with a muscle relaxer and a blood pressure of 118/47. MUCH BETTER.

My arm is still a bit numb, but I am feeling much better. The meds that made me so sick are done now, and the infection seems to be gone. Thank goodness.

I have to say, the nurses and doctors at the Northwestern ER were great, but I hope to never see them again.

It has been a crazy mixed up life the past few months, but I am glad I was along for the ride.

I am not sure how my blog will change now that I am going to be training for and then teaching. I of course will continue to blog about my 1/2 marathon training, and I have short and long term goals to continue on my weight loss journey. I just have to be a bit censored now that some know my real name (though some still don’t) and I don’t want to be penalized for what I say on this blog.

AJ Weighed in today….

…AND LOST 8 POUNDS!!!

IN SEVEN DAYS!!!!!!

HOLY CRAP!!!!!

I was so freaked out the past 2 days as I was SURE I was only going to lose like 2lbs (or GASP stay the same or GAIN) after staying exactly on plan. I promise you don’t want to see my texts or hear the crazy conversations I have had with friends the past 2 days. Really.

Thank you to my online and IRL friends for all your/their support of this sometimes-neurotic “loser”!

Most of the people at the weigh-in said that they weigh themselves everyday so they knew what the damage would be. I had resigned from the beginning to NOT weigh-in daily– I fluctuate so much, I would disappoint myself and end up eating a pound of french fries for going up 0.8 lbs.

My 8lb loss proves that I have been on plan, walking 2 hours each day (other than last Saturday) and staying upbeat and positive.

My 8lb loss proves that ANYONE can eat properly and lose weight.

My 8lb loss proves that I CAN DO THIS for 3 more weeks.

Tonight I had grilled chicken breast, wilted spinach with garlic and about a 1/4 of red pepper* for dinner. It was filling and fantastic- and did I mention, fully homemade? :) My snack after working out (2 hours walking, thank you very much) was a medium banana and a small handful of walnuts. We are supposed to have our “snacks” in the morning, but if I don’t hold my banana until night (when I do my bulk of working out) I am STARVING by 10:30pm. I am doing what works for me but still keeping the calories at 1200.

Onward and upward (which for tonight means going to B-E-D!)

*Red pepper was not part of the plan, but I added it as the pepper was going to go bad, and, actually, as a treat for losing 8lbs. Who knew that red pepper would be used by me as a treat?? :)

I Raaaaaaaan…. and NSV’s

I have been feeling a bit “slacky” lately. Pasta has been my best firend the past few weeks, I have been SICK (fever, chills, horrible sore throat, the works) and work – well, everything at work has been super stressful the past few months. I have been staying stable at 190.8 (DAMNIT- SCALE MOVE!!) for the past 3 weeks. I have been slacking on going to my normal Tuesday night WW meeting and I haven’t been going to the grocery store for fresh food twice a week like I did when I was actively losing. SOOOO, I decided I need to post some Non Scale Victories for me too look at and realize that I am actualy doing something GOOD for my body. That I am accomplishing something even though I have hit a plateau.

So here they are- I no particular order:

  1. Ladies and gentlemen, I RAN tonight. I ran 5 intervals of 5 minutes (walk 1 minute, run 1 minute). No cheating, no stopping. I was not overly winded, and I actually feel GOOD. The inhaler is WORKING PEOPLE!!!
  2. People are really starting to notice that I am smaller than I have been in a LONG TIME.
  3. I keep hearing “Those pants are too big for you…
  4. I am realizing that bigger is not better when it comes to clothes. I have always thought that tight=scanky and while too tight + too tight + too much skin  DOES = scanky, clothing that fits the body actually makes you look thinner. I know Roni posted about that a LONG time ago on her photo pages, but I really had to see myself in mirrors and pictures (that are now long deleted) before I saw that it is really true.
  5. While I haven’t been going to weigh ins on my “normal” day and time (Tues PM right after work), I HAVE been going to WI’s at a different center on Wednesday AM or Thursday AM’s before work. I am proud that I have been keeping to my personal pact of “if you pay for it, you have to go” Monthly Pass mantra.  
  6. Whie pasta, salt, cheese, FAST FOOD, and Chipotle have been calling on me a BIT too much lately, I have been able to keep my weight constant for the past few weeks. This is a first for me and I credit excercise, which is also a first for me.
  7. I have already mentioned this in an earlier post, but I Lance Armstrong came on my Nike+ the other day and told me I had beaten my fastest mile for the first time in like a year. I am proud of myself for pushing my body to get faster.
  8. I started training to walk my first 1/2 marathon 2 weeks ago. The Nike Women’s 1/2 Marathon in Chicago.  While illness this week set me back a few days, I still got back on the horse by stretching and hydrating– and I ran/walked tonight to get back on track.
  9. I signed up to walk the Nike Human Race 10K and will be participating August 31st. I challenge YOU to participate- walking, running, whatever if you can. You don’t even have to live in one of the cities participating if you have a Nike+ iPod attachment. Visit www.nike.com/nikeplus for more details or info.
  10. I have started realizing that Lane Bryant may be a store I no longer have to shop in. A few of my friends (who are also losing weight) have asked if I am in 14′s and if I want their clothes that no longer fit. Well, I am currently between a 14 and a 16, but I am no longer in a 18W or even a 16W. Clothing that fit me really well (or was a bit tight even) in May/June are really big on me now (16W/1X). HEY- If you are in a warm climate and need cute barely warn 16W/1X skorts, shorts, and shirts, please let me know. They are not designer, mostly Target, JC Penney and WalMart stuff but they are cute and not too “mom” looking. I am happy to ship them to you. Leave me a comment and I will email you back.

Well, I gotta get to bed, but this was actually a good thing. I needed to see some of my accomplishments written out. I challenge YOU to to the same if you are struggling.

Here’s to a GREAT OP week and a loss on the scales!

AJ

PS: I can’t remember if I posted this earlier, but DIZZY had her twins!! Check out StrawGirl’s blog for more info!! CONGRATS TO DIZZY and her husband on their healthy kids!!! :-) She has spotty internet service, but I am sure as soon as she has the ability she will post pictures!

Guess who…

…Currently fits in an Ann Taylor Loft size Large and the size XL is TOO BIG on?!?!?

 

That’s right, THIS GIRL!

 

You could have knocked me over with a damn feather. I haven’t shopped in “real” sizes in over 9 years. My co-worker (who was with me on a “fact-finding meeting” for work) said “of course a large fits you — all your regular clothes are TOO BIG!”

I am pissed!

The good: I WAS down 1.6 yesterday at WW. 4 weeks=down 4.4. I have also made it to the next level of points, 25 instead of 26.

I need to vent now. Thank you internets for listening to me, and thank God I never shared this blog address with anyone I know IRL.

The not so good: I have been extremely pissed off at work since Monday over something that a co-worker asked if I would do, I was (am still) overwhelmed with projects that I deem important, I told her no (I can count on one hand how many times I have said no at work in FIVE YEARS) and my boss came to me later in the day and told me this other project was more important that my job and I was the only one available to do it as the project was due on Friday. I am pissed for a few reasons:

  1. I NEVER say no. I am always there for my co-workers when they need help. EVEN for those that don’t ever do work.
  2. Since I never say no, when I do say no, I expect my co-workers to understand that I must be overwhelmed and to respect my own stress tolerance evaluation.
  3. Others said no to this project, and the response to them was “OK”. I say no, and the response was “Nope, you do it”. WTF?
  4. The person who was originally given the job, ON MARCH 6TH NO LESS, decided she was too busy to do it on FRIDAY of last week. It really makes me angry when others are not responsible enough to plan out their time and pass shit on to others at the last F’ing minute.

I think I am most mad at this since last year I was told that I had to find a new job because my department decided to downsize my job. I scrambled and found a new position in another department and started in January. My old department is mostly staffed in our headquarters, I am in a regional office. While they are nice people, they do not help the regional offices. I can’t even count how many times they have said no- TONS of time. Our work is not deemed important to them (seeing an organizational pattern?) The project I was forced to work on came from my old department. I feel like “so I am good enough to work on your M-F’ing project now, but I was not good enough then?!?!” 

The other thing that REALLY makes me mad, is that when I contacted my old department for some information (after I had worked on the project for a whole day), they pretty much said they would have worked on it if they would have been asked.

Such is my F’ing life right now. I am tired, I am stressed out, I am having severe diarrhea (Sorry, TMI), and I am going to end up working on two very important projects all weekend that are due Tuesday. Next up, a severe illness that is from my immune system being warn down from too much stress. Pity party for one, please.

OK, now I am done venting.

Anyway, with all this stress, I can’t believe that I am not stress eating. Amazing – usually I would be knee deep in cheese fries.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Morning
2  item egg white(s) 0.5
1  serving Starkbucks non fat no whip 2 pump mocha, 3 pump vanilla 5
6  oz Strawberry nonfat yogurt 1
32  oz water 0
Subtotal 6.5
Midday
1  6-inch Subway Club® Sandwich (with less than 6g of fat) 6
1  tsp Vinegar 0
1  package Apple Slices 0
1  Tbsp Light Mayonnaise 1
32  oz water 0
1  small clementine 0.5
Subtotal 7.5
Evening
8  fl oz Diet Coke 0
1  serving steamfresh brown rice 3
1/3 cup canned green peas 0.5
1/3 cup cooked green beans 0
1/3 cup cooked corn kernels 0.5
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice 0
1  tsp lemon pepper 0
1/2 breast uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast 3
32  oz water 0
1  tsp olive oil 1
Subtotal 8
Snacks
1  item Chocolate 1
2  Rice Krispie Treats 2.5
Subtotal 3.5
Food POINTS values total used 25.5
Food POINTS values remaining 0
Activity
0 min 6694 Pedometer Steps 0
0 min 2252 Pedometer Steps 1
Activity POINTS values earned 1
Check off these important items daily:
Water
        
Milk & Milk Products
   
Fruit & Vegetables
        
Multivitamin
 
Oil
   
Activity
 


Notes
down to 25 pts today

mmmm… did I meet my new weekly goals today……

I DID! Yippee! Back on track!! As a reminder, here are my goals:

  1. Eat a healthy breakfast including protein and veggies/fruits for 7 days DONE
  2. eat 5 servings of veggies/fruits each day DONE, ate 6
  3. Drink 3 16.9fl oz bottles of water per day (or more) DRANK 4
  4. my walking goal each day this week is 6000 steps (either outside or with Walk Away the Pounds) 7408 STEPS
  5. Count every little bite that hits my mouth!!! OH, I DID!
July 17, 2007 – Points goal 26
slim fast 3
2 Ry Krisps 1
LC Cheese 1
peach 1
salad with tons of veggies (small amount of chicken) 2
WW black cherry yogurt 1
bing cherries 1
breadstick 2
diet soda 0
Izze Soda 2
4 LC cheese 4
chips 6
salad with tons of veggies (small amount of chicken) 2
blueberries 1
Activity points – 30 minnutes of aerobic walking -1
Total Points for Day 26
Day 1 of week-Flex points remaining:35
Daily Activity-walking 7408 steps, 2205 was aerobic

Today was so busy at work – lots going on. I am filling in for my boss while she is out on 4 months maternity leave and am a little overwhelmed.

Mom update: no news is good news. Her Dr appt is tomorrow at 1pm.

Well, off to read more of your blogs- I am starting to catch up!!

AJ

Lucky 7!

It’s 7-7-07… Did you play the lottery?? ;-) I did buy 2 1 dollar tickets, but I did not win a thing.

Mom update- she is still stubborn and still hurting. I have talked her into going to the hospital Monday if she is not feeling better before. Small victories, you know? :-) I would rather she go today, but what can I do.

I ate OP today – good for me! Still stressed out, but I am making better choices. Stress is not controlling me. I am going to try to eat more in a few minutes, to make it to 26 pts.

July 7, 2007 – Points goal 26
Purdue baked chicken breasts (2) 8
1/4 cup cmotzerella heese 3
tomato sauce 0
cherries and grapes 1
ww brand yougurt- black cherry 1
baked potato 3
cheese 2
broccoli 0
fresh cherries and grapes 1
Hostess cupcake  -100 calorie pack 1
popcorn 4
Total Points for Day 24
Day 5 of week-Flex points remaining:0
Daily Activity- 20 minutes of areobic walking

Weigh in weight loss…

I weighed in – and lost .2! I know it is not much, but with my binging and salt intake lately, that is tremendous for me!

AJ

Stressful Day and Binge Eating

Today was one of the most stressful days – even though I have flex points left, and I plan to eat “normally” tonight, I am not really going to count today (I am going to write everything down though). Mr More (my cat-child) went in for VERY EXPENSIVE tests today and I was a basket case all day. I actually lost it at the vets office and was “ugly crying” in front of the vet. So not cool. Mister is home now and is kinda pissed at me for all the drama this morning. The tests will be back tomorrow. The vet did tell me that Mister MUST lose weight to help some back leg pain. He equaled his weight to a person that weighs 350lbs. I told the vet I am on WW and that Mister can join me :)

ETA: Let’s just say I went overboard tonight. I added what I ate below, but did not count any of the points. )I did remove all of the rest of my flex points though, for the rest of the week) Ack. Stress + almost TOM + boredom = eating. Atleast I realize I am stress eating. That sometimes is half the battle.

ETA again: OK, I changed my mind again. I AM going to count the points. I went overboard and I need to take full responsibility for my stress eating actions. I had 26 flex left before I decided to take them in the earlier post above. After actually fessing up to my binge, I still have 10.5 points. I am actually really proud my myself for counting these points. I guess it is not a “no counting” day after all.

June 29, 2007 – Points goal 26
Slim Fast 3
2 McDonalds cheeseburgers 14
Medium French Fries 5.5
diet soda 0
Peach 1
pixie crinkle cut french fries 3
3 1/4 cup servings of cheese 9
full fat microwave popcorn 5
strawberries 1
Total Points for Day 41.5
Day 4 of week-Flex points remaining: 10.5
Daily Activity-5000 steps