Monthly Archives: May 2009

What a day

Let’s hear it for the first day back at work following a holiday!

This was just an interesting day all around.  Things are getting kicked into gear at work.  This is good…lots of things to keep me busy and make the day go quicker.  And it’s work for my clients rather than other clients.  Not that I mind helping with the others.  I don’t.  But I’ve really missed my clients. LOL  I like it when things are happening – it’s more interesting that way.

Of course, the middle of the day brought the news that Prop 8 was upheld in California.  Damn!  The fight continues.  I wish I had been able to go to the protest at the Center on Halsted tonight, but I just couldn’t.  Besides already having plans to work out, I had plans with my family.  I’ll have to go another time.  I’m sure that Pride this year will be interesting.

I wonder where all of this hatred comes from…I was not raised to hold hatred in my heart.  And I come from a very Catholic family! I sometimes want to hit my head against a wall when talking to my mother about this stuff.

Seriously, why should anyone care if I choose to spend my life with another woman?  How does that affect their lives?  I don’t tell my straight friends that they shouldn’t or can’t love/marry a person of the opposite sex!  Perhaps that’s what I’ll do – I just won’t recognize other people’s marriages.  Rather than, “How is your husband?” I’ll ask, “How is your life partner?”  or “How is your boyfriend?”  You don’t recognize my commitment to the person I love, then I’m not going to recognize yours.

And don’t bring God into this.  I believe in God.  I believe in my Catholic faith – not the church, mind you, the faith.  I have a relationship with God and it is MY relationship with God.  My God does not hate.  Besides, this isn’t about religion(s).  This is about Civil Rights.  I don’t believe in abortion…I never have.  Yet I am Pro-Choice.  No one has the right to tell me what I can and cannot do with my body.  However, if it came down to it, I would not have an abortion because I do believe that a fetus is a baby.  Just because I feel this way doesn’t mean that anyone else has to.  I may try to talk you out of it; but it is, ultimately, your choice what you do.

So it goes for Gay Rights.  Just because YOU don’t want to share a life with someone of the same sex doesn’t mean you can tell me that I can’t.  You don’t believe in homosexuality?  Fine.  Don’t have a homosexual relationship.  You don’t believe in Gay marriage?  Fine.  Don’t have a Gay marriage.  But get the fuck out of my bedroom and out of my life!  I’ll reciprocate and stay the fuck out of your bedroom and your life.  I’m fair that way.  Why can’t you be?

Off my little soapbox for now.

The work out went pretty well.  I felt a little tired.  But I still managed to hit 581 burned calories.  So that’s good.  I’m staying close to 600.  I really rocked it last Thursday – 677 calories burned!  Woot!  I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to hit that, but I’m hoping to break the 700 barrier by the end of the summer.  That would rock!!

I had my weigh in and measurements on Saturday, 5/23.  Rock and Roll, Baby!  I’ve lost 21.8 pounds and 6.85 inches!  My pants are pretty much falling off these days.  But, I can’t see buying new clothes yet…I still have weight to lose and it’s coming off fairly quickly.  I’ll just keep hiking up those pants…maybe get some altered…maybe go through my closet and see what I have that hasn’t fit me in a while.  All-in-all, I feel pretty good about things.  I have days here and there where I swerve a bit to the right and indulge, but I don’t go way over-board and I always come back on track.  I’ve just gotten it in my mind that I can’t punish myself.  If I stray, I stray.  That’s just life.  I’m doing good.  I have lots of support.  I’m determined.  That’s what matters.

My web site has a new look!  Do you like it?  I hope you’ll let me know.

The Bookstore is up and running.  I really hope people will stop by and do some shopping.  By the end of this week, I should have the Merchandise page finished and published for public consumption.  I’ll be sure to make an announcement.  And I got my first batch of Reader Recommendations – those should be up by the end of the week as well.

The June Featured Author will be….*drum roll*….the marvelous JD Glass!!!  I’m excited.

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Finding a groove

I’m really starting to like this healthy stuff.  I think I’ve eaten more fruits and vegetables in the last 3 weeks than I have in the last 3 years!  But it’s feeling good.  I did my last weigh in (unofficial) last Saturday.  I believe I’m at a total of 19 lbs or so.  That’s since the beginning of May.  So I’m well on my way to meeting my goal for GCLS, which is to lose 25 lbs.

I’m considering reevaluating this goal.  I think when I hit the 25, I’m going to set another goal…perhaps another 10 or 15 lbs.  We’ll see how things are going.

I have an official weigh in on Saturday.  My measurements will also be taken then.  I’ll have to make sure I post the results here.

Tonight’s work out was good.  I burned 615 calories!  Last Saturday it was 603 calories.  Breaking the 600 barrier two work outs in a row…exciting!  Now, I need to see how long I can sustain that.

I also signed up for the Spring Challenge.  I’m on a team with other people – we’re the Mums. LOL (All of the teams are named for flowers.)  We get points by coming in to work out our regular 3 times a week.  And then another point for coming in 4 times a week.  There are points for losing inches and weight also.  So now, I’m doing it for my team as well as myself.  It’s a fun motivator.

Carleen

I’m just a bit psyched!

The last 24 hours or so have been pretty good!  Some very nice things transpired.

Dollhouse has been renewed for a 2nd season!  I find this quite exciting!  If you haven’t watched Season 1 of this show, you’ve really missed out.  It took a bit to get the ball rolling – the first 5 episodes were good, but they were stand-alone episodes, so they didn’t really “fit”.  However, with episode 6, Fox got the hell out of the way and let Joss Whedon work his magic!  Actual TV ratings were low – and they declined over the course of the season – but it was aired on FRIDAY nights?!  I mean, other than me, most people have lives!  The good things:  DVD pre-orders were high; DVR ratings were high; hits at hulu.com and Fox.com to watch the episodes were high; and the fans of the show were loyal, aggressive, and vocal!  So many phone calls went into the Fox viewer line after Miracle Laurie (November on the show) put the number up on Twitter, the whole thing went down!  It will be nice to give Whedon the chance to develop another great show – he was severely gyped with Firefly.

I went to work out this morning.  I decided to do a weigh in before I started the work out.  Since this past Tuesday, another 3 – 3.5 pounds GONE! (I can’t remember the exact amount after the decimal from Tuesday.)  Based on my starting weight and today’s weight, I’ve lost a total of about 19 lbs!  Yay!  AND I burned 603 calories today!  The person working this morning said that I’m only the 2nd person she’s heard of to break 600.  Yay again!  Next Saturday is my official weigh in and measurement day.  Keep your fingers crossed!  I also joined a team for the new challenge.  Every 3 work out week earns a point.  Come in a 4th day and get another point.  A point for every week weight is lost.  A point for every week inches are lost.  This goes for 6 weeks.  I don’t know what the winning team gets as a prize…except the increased healthiness!  Should be fun!

So, yeah, all-in-all, a good day.

Snacking – helpful or diet death?

I admit it…I spend the majority of my day in a hungry state.  “Drink water” people tell me.  Well, sure, I do.  But that doesn’t alleviate the hunger.  The snack machines in the break room do NOT help me out.  There’s nothing but candy bars and snacks high in calories, sodium and fat.  I refuse to allow myself those anymore.  I need to start bringing food with me to work – food that I’ve picked out for it’s healthy content and calorie count.  So what to choose?

I found the following article here – it has some good suggestions:

No Calorie or Low Calorie Foods & Snacks for Weight Loss!

By Kristie Leong M.D.

If you love to eat but you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll want to know about these no calorie and almost no calorie foods and snacks you can eat without guilt. Plus, most of these foods are healthy which is an added bonus. Just be careful not to restrict your calories too much as this practice can cause your metabolism to slow down and stall your weight loss efforts. Plus, it’s important to maintain good nutritional status while dieting. So, here’s your list of low or no calorie, guilt free foods and snacks:

1. Sugar free Jello Sugar free jello is available both already prepared in plastic cups in the refrigerated section of your grocery store or you can buy the powder in a box and prepare it yourself. Either way it’s almost calorie free and comes in a variety of flavors. A cool and tasty treat that tastes great when its hot outside!

2. Lightly steamed broccoli sprigs This is one food that’s highly nutritious, yet has only 20 calories per 100 gram serving. You can steam them lightly and add a touch of lemon juice and garlic to create a healthy snack that’s loaded with antioxidants and vitamins. A completely guilt free, almost no calorie food!

3. Green tea sweetened with Splenda Not only is this treat almost completely calorie free, it’s loaded with catechins which help to promote weight loss and may have anticancer properties. To get the highest concentration of catechine, brew your own at home. Bottled green tea is significantly lower in catechins than is fresh brewed green tea.

4. Eggbeaters or egg whites Egg whites are an excellent source of vitamins and protein and are low in fat and carbs. A 1/4 cup serving of eggbeaters has only around 30 calories. Scramble them with a little salt and pepper and you have a wholesome snack that’s quite filling.

5. Salad greens and herb mix You can buy big bags of salad greens mixed with fresh herbs at your local supermarket. These taste delicious seasoned with a light touch of balsamic vinegar dressing sweetened with Splenda. Go light on the olive oil in your balsamic vinegar dressing to keep the calorie count down. This is perfect for a light late afternoon meal on a hot day. Salad greens are the ultimate almost no calorie food due to their versatility.

6. Italian soda flavored with sugar free coffee syrup. Buy some seltzer water and a bottle of sugar free coffee syrup at your local grocery store. Pour the seltzer water over ice and add sugar free coffee syrup to taste. The sugar free coffee syrups come in a variety of flavors including : fruit flavors such as raspberry, strawberry, cantaloupe, honeydew; nutty flavors such as hazelnut and macadamia nut; as well as old standards such as chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and coconut and more. Another nice hot weather treat!

7. Berries sweetened with splenda. Almost all berries are extremely low in calories and have healthy vitamins and antioxidants to give you added health benefits. Try placing some strawberries in a bowl, sprinkle them with Splenda, and a small scoop of a sugar free whipped topping. (Cool Whip makes a delicious sugar free topping). You won’t miss those high calorie cookies and cakes when you have this dessert around.

8. Wow Cow frozen dessert If you haven’t discovered Wow Cow, you’re in a for a treat! It’s a lactose free treat that tastes like whipped yogurt and comes in an enormous variety of flavors including peanut butter, chocolate decadence, world class vanilla, maple, pistachio, coconut, marshmallow, and many more. Best of all, it has only 10 calories per ounce and is sweetened with fructose. You can find this frozen treat at some local ice cream stores. If not, you can purchase the mix online and make it in your ice cream maker at home. It’s a fantastic substitute for ice cream!

Keep this list handy the next time you’re looking for a very low or no calorie food to get you through until your next meal. Pretty soon you’ll be able to get into those size 6 pants again!

This was a much better day!

Whew!  My fall off the wagon on Sunday didn’t hurt me that much!

I went to work out at Curves today – I go on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (though I think I’m going to add a day).  Since I officially began the Cambridge Diet last Tuesday (at which point I weighed myself for a “starting point”) I decided to see how things were going after one week on the program.  Wow!  Was I happy!  I was hoping for 5-7 pounds in my first week.  I figured that would be a pretty good start.  With how much my system has been flushing itself this past week (because of all the water I’m drinking) I figured I would lose a lot of water weight.

It turns out that I lost TEN…yes, TEN…pounds in the last week!!  That takes my total (since April 2) to 15 pounds!  That is so awesome!  I had set a personal goal of 25 pounds by the time GCLS rolls around (July 19).  If I can’t lose the additional 10 pounds – plus some – by then, then I’m just useless. LOL

Another thing I’m very happy about is that I DECIMATED the abductor/adductor machine during the work out.  For those of you who don’t know what that is, here’s a photo:

This sucker is BRUTAL!  But today, I surpassed my goal on the damned thing!  The machine we have doesn’t quite look like an erector set like the one above – the Curves abductor/adductor is much simpler.  But the idea is the same.  I’ve determined that the machine is, in fact, the Devil.  As such, I encourage everyone to smite  it!  I will not let it beat me!!

Let’s see what the next few weeks bring for me!

Not a stellar day

I rather fell off the wagon today.  Oh, not badly – nothing was broken, but I got a few bruises.

Mother’s Day.  Yet another day when the family comes here.  Sometimes, living with Gram has disadvantages.   Because she is the matriarch of the family, everyone travels to her for all holidays.  Of course, that also means Gram and Mom do all of the cooking…everyone else just shows up to eat.  I help, but not with cooking.  That’s not my strong suit.  I do the heavy lifting – clean the porch, take things up and down the stairs, set up enough tables and chairs to seat 30+ people…that sort of thing.  +

I also assist with getting the “munchies” ready.  As I said, people come here to eat, so there had better be plenty.  So my job today (among others) was to put together the snack trays.  The vegetables were okay – a cucumber or piece of celery aren’t a big deal.  You do know that there’s some sort of rule that says, “Thou must not prepare the snack tray without nibbling,” right? It wasn’t so bad when I put together the crab dip either.  Well, not so much a dip as a couple blocks of cream cheese, crab, and cocktail sauce.  The crab was low in calories, so a couple of nibbles here and there weren’t detrimental.  Of course, I also needed to test the ham, right?  Gotta make sure it tastes good before putting it out on the table for everyone else!  A couple of small, bite-sized pieces were okay.  Oh!  Mom needed the spaghetti sauce tested.  So, have to have a spoonfull or two to make sure it didn’t need more basil or garlic.

Then it’s time for the meal to actually begin.  Okay, it’s Mother’s Day.  I really should spend some time with the family and have a meal with them.  No problem, I usually have a very low calorie meal each day – a salad or something – so I can just have little bits of things and it won’t kill me.

Until I tasted the pasta.

Mom made it my favorite way – with the ground beef cooked right in the sauce.  She hadn’t made it that way since I was a kid when we were living in San Diego.  It was SO GOOD.  Just a small scoop, that’s not too bad.  And a small piece of ham, because it was quite tasty.  Then there was the second scoop of pasta.  Ugh!  Why did I have that second scoop??  I felt so horrible after eating it!  The upside to that was the fact that I felt incredibly full when I was finished.  Usually, I could eat much more than that.  But the downside is that I felt incredibly full for a while afterward.  It was a constant reminder that I fell off that damned wagon.

I stayed downstairs for the rest of the day, hidden away in my room watching TV.  I needed to stay away from the food.  Around this house, on the holidays, there is around-the-clock food – snacks before the meal, then the meal (which stays out for a while since some people come late), then more snacks out and about for people to much, then desert (which consisted of my cousin’s chocolate pie and my mother’s pound cake), and, still, the snacks are out on the tables.

I’m sure my family thought I was being rude.  I wasn’t.  I was actually looking forward to talking to some of them.  But I just couldn’t put myself in that place where it’s so easy to just reach out for that Cheeto or say yes to that small slice of cake/pie.  I simply needed to say away so that my tumble off that rickety wagon didn’t cause more injury.

What’s worse – I didn’t work out this weekend.  My back hurt yesterday and I didn’t want to aggravate it by working out.  I have two herniated disks, so I need to pay heed when my back yells at me – I’m trying to avoid surgery. Using the treadmill today was out of the question since it’s on the porch and that’s where everyone was.  So I feel particularly bad.

I’ll just have to make up for it this week, dammit.  Hopefully I’ll be able to work out tomorrow night to make up for yesterday.  If not, definitely hitting the treadmill.  I’m determined to lose this weight!!  I’ve been doing very well up until today – I’m fitting into some clothes that have been too small for a couple of years and actually starting to notice the change in my body.  It’s not significant and others may not notice, but I do simply by the way my clothes are fitting.

So that’s it.  No more.  Renewed dedication.  Hitting the circuit hard.  Drinking water, water and more water.  I have to!

CB 13a

A beautiful day. The most beautiful day. Look around, take it in…take it all in. Revel in it. The fountain, so real. Can it come to life? The water bubbles and gurgles, flowing smoothly over polished stone. Laughing? Full of mirth. Is it the fountain? Can the girl on the swing not contain her joy? No. Somewhere else. It’s all around…not in one place. Moves around, moves through. It’s visceral. Makes the body quiver. So good. But where? Wildflowers. Oh, they’re everywhere. Look at the colors. Orange. So clear. Yellow. So bright. Pink. So radiant. Their scent carried on the breeze. Fresh. Breathe it in. So fragrant. Laughter again. Full. Rich. Where? The air is crisp and clean. It moves gently, makes long tresses flow over nearly bare shoulders. Turn to the breeze, feel the air, breathe in the smells. Face to the sun. Warm. Enveloping. Eyes closed. Yes, closed. Basking in the beauty. Laughter. Welcoming. Comforting. Where? Smiling. Ah, so good to smile. And mean it. Glance around, take it in…take it all in. Revel in it. There. Tall. Stately. Solid. The oak. Let the memories come. Remember. Relive. Laughter. Feel it? Yes. So good. Where? A flash of color. Red. Deep. Vibrant. Look for it. Find it. There. You’re here. Movement. The swing. Swooshing sounds. Mingling with the breeze. Mixing with the laughter. Blending with the fragrance. All senses heightened, attending to all stimuli. Taking it in…taking it all in. Reveling in it. Under the tree. Stretching out. Languid. Lazy. Look down and see crimson. Look down and see green. Laughter. Feel the tingle. Relish the reverberation. Slender fingers sifting through red locks. Slow. Feeling the silkiness. Scent of strawberries. Clear azure meeting twinkling emerald. I know you. Falling. Falling. Lost. Surrounded, wrapped by a field of green. Taking it in…taking it all in. Reveling in it. Pearl white sparkles through soft pink. Display of happiness. Content. Complete. Moving up, green coming closer. Warm breath. Silky lips on velvet cheek. My Tara. Brief, only a moment. Enough for a lifetime. Stillness. Frozen in time. Smile. Twinkle. Sparkle. Strawberries. Laughter gone. Silence. I need time. Turning away. Incomprehensible murmur. Reaching out. reaching away. Cold. Changing. Breeze turns to wind Changing. Fountain joy, gone changing Water bubbles and churns. changing. Lifts into the air. misty Clouds covering the source. fading light turning back Nosmile. Notwinkle. Nosparkle. Nostrawberries laughter gone. Wildflowers rippedattheroot. dead blown away. Sobbing gasps followed by salty streams. Weeping. flooded green no sparkle. take it in take it all in drown in it. pain so clear. it hurts. I’M SORRY! keening wailing Why are you doing this to me? Somuch pain. Hurtful mistnomore. downpour drenching saturating Pain. Force of windWhipping twisting PLEASE! Limbs creak branches crack Pick up the pieces. Fallingfalling beside me. Broken ground quakes fearthereverberation can’t hear. deafeningwind. It would kill me. can’t see. blindingrain. I would deserve it. nolight changing takeitintakeitallin suffocateinit reachingout She’s hurting. reachingforred wantingtocomfort wantingcomfort You’re so selfish. pushedawayretreating I left. leaveschanging notleavesFORGIVE ME!inthecore surrounded wrappedbyatunnelofgrief painithurts pummelingbeatingbruising Pain peeringthrough seeingredseeinggreenseeinganger feelit Beat yourself up. feelhatredfeelregret takeitintakeitallin bleedfromit cacophonyofpain Loathing kaleidescopeofanger SeethingDON’T HATE ME!smilingnosneering greensflashes firebehindgreenblazingburningfeelit feelthedisgustWHAT MORE CAN I SAY?voices hearthem belittlingvengeful strikingagainstflesh leavingmarksnotonskin painofthebody Anger painoftheheart Hate painofthesoul Regret takeitintakeitallin beburiedinitWHAT DO I HAVE TO DO? pleading begging You’re being uncaring. getting closer closingin trapped noroomtomove wrappedup Give it up. damning defeated NO! You screwed it up. I WON’T GIVE UP! can’tbreathe airallaround noneforbreath Anger whirlingwhippingrelentless laughter takeitintakeitallinwallowinit You promised! notlaughingwith sneeringscowling Cruel beatingbrusing Stop being a bitch! hurtfulmalicious You don’t love her. I DO! insistent begging needingtotell I LOVE YOU, WILLOW! sneeringscowling laughter Evil fierceemeraldmeetingfrightenedazure takeitintakeitallin be stabbedbyit Fuck you, Tara! turningaway movingon leavingbehind Broken NO! WILLOW!

4 Things

Here are four things about me that you may or may not have known, in no particular order. Some directions are at the end.

Four names that people call me:
1. Car
2. Carly
3. Carleener
4. Shithead

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Teacher (University)
2. Sourcing Associate
3. Framer
4. Account Manager

Four movies I’ve watched more than once: (only 4?)
1. All Harry Potter movies
2. All LOTR movies
3. Howard the Duck
4. The Shawshank Redemption

Four places I have lived:
1. Chicago, IL
2. San Diego, CA
3. Ft Worth, TX
4. Mt Pleasant, MI

Four places I have traveled:
1. Toronto
2. Washington, DC
3. San Francisco, CA (far too long ago)
4. New Orleans, LA

Four People who e-mail me regularly:
1. Mom
2. VLR
3. Netflix
4. My work staff

Four of my favorite Foods: (ugh! now I’ll be thinking about food)
1. Mexican
2. Gram’s Lasagna
3. Popcorn
4. Bacon & Eggs

Four places I’d rather be right now
1. NYC
2. California
3. Las Vegas
4. In bed

Four friends I think will respond (possibly…)
1. Whoever is most bored today, besides me
2.

Four things I’m looking forward to this year:
1. GCLS
2. Losing weight
3. Quit smoking
4. Women’s Week in P’Town

Four TV shows that I watch:
1. Dollhouse
2. News
3.
4.

RETURN DIRECTIONS:
Now, here’s what you’re supposed to do….if you want to…and please do not spoil the fun. Copy and paste this in to your MY NOTES (or other blogging method), delete my answers and type in your answers. Then tag a whole bunch of people you know INCLUDING the person who sent it to you.

Which Dollhouse Character Are You?

It has begun! (Cross Post)

Yesterday I received my month’s supply of The Cambridge Diet via UPS. Today, I started the program.

I have to admit that the morning was rough. I got up and had my first “meal” – a delightful, rich, chocolate shake. I followed that with a full glass of water and left for work. I got to work at about 6:30am and began my day. Usually, this is where I would break out the blueberry muffin I purchased for breakfast on my way to work. Well, no muffin today!

My tummy did some “I’m hungry” grumbling throughout the morning, but whenever it did, I simply drank more water and/or chewed a piece of gum (sugarfree). By the time Noon rolled around, I had polished off just over a gallon of water. Of course, I spent more time going to the ladies’ room today than I usually do, too! LOL This was a pretty big change for me – I usually drink Diet Coke. But, honestly, it felt good. I didn’t miss the caffeine at all.

However, I did miss the carbonation. So, around 3pm, I got a Coke Zero, which I’m not overly fond of, but I also thought it was caffeine free. It’s not. Oh well. I’ve only consumed half of it.

I got home around 5pm and had my second shake…again followed by a full glass of water. After a day of so much water, I was very satisfied with my “meal”.

Off to workout!

I’ve decided that I will no longer allow the work outs to kick my ass – I shall kick the work out’s ass! And that’s just what I did tonight. I hit all of my targets on the machine and burned 584 calories! I’m finding that the work outs are getting easier each time. I don’t mean to say that I’m not still “feeling the burn.” Oh no…I’m definitely feeling that! However, I find that I’m less winded at the end of the work out, I need less time to recover, and my heart rate is getting closer to the “normal” range (I’m a little high when I’m working out). All in all, good stuff.

Because today is the first day of using the Cambridge program, I also wanted to get a base weight. Turns out that I’ve lost 3 pounds since 4/23. That’s not too bad!

When I came home, I got a bowl of freshly cut watermelon and, honestly, I’m rather full! I need to drink about another glass or two of water for the day. Then later this evening, I’ll have one more delicious shake! (That’s not sarcasm…they really are quite good.)

Overall, I’m feeling pretty good. Hopping Devil