Saturday, May 30, 2015

Post vacation weigh in


Welp, I'm up 10 pounds, he's up 11.

I know that may horrify some of you but honestly, I'm relieved.  We were having big breakfasts every day and basically dessert after lunch and dinner because of all of the places we wanted to try so I can only imagine how many thousands of calories we were taking each day.  The Mr was sure 20 was going to be the magic number.  I was hoping for 6 like after Chicago but we were on vacation three times as long as Chicago so I knew that could only be the best case scenario.  I honestly had no idea what to expect and we haven't been hitting the exercise like maniacs the past two weeks.  (Mostly walks and this week some strength sessions)

So we go forward from here.  I've been hitting my water goals every day this week so this weekend will be a test to make sure I hit it there too.  I'm looking forward to getting my old probiotic today because the one I tried last week, well, we'll say it has been a painful experience and leave it at that.  I'm going to look over my old menus from before we left on the week's I had the most weight loss and replicate those to get this flubber off as quick as possible.  I've got 11 months until our next big vacation and I don't want to be anywhere near this weight.  We've got some fun new workouts planned for the summer so hopefully mixing it up will also help things come off quicker.

Onward we go!

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Gearin' up for grillin' and what I'm reading this week

Well, it's been a long, week and I'm ready for the weekend.

Let's get right to it and see...

16 Kitchen Skills Every Home Chef Must Know  (I knew quite a few and learned a few things)

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s Wedding Surprise!  (Very cool!)

When Things in Your Pantry Will Actually Expire  (Good stuff to know)

6  Ways to Make Your Deodorant and Anti-Perspirant Work Harder  (I never thought of some of these but I'm definitely doing the hairline thing when we're out with others in the summer)

The 21 Germiest Places You're Not Cleaning  (Ugh, apparently we're just surrounded by disease 24/7 and it's a wonder we're all still alive!)

Can't Get a Grip on Your Diet? Follow These 13 No-Cheat Recommendations  (Duly noted)

9 Tips that Make Tiny Backyards Feel Bigger  (Even the "tiny" yards in this are twice the size of mine!)

You're Doing it Wrong: How to Get the Most Out of Your Food  (Who knew?)

Skin Cancer: Why You Need to Get That Mole Checked (Maybe Twice)  (This is kind of terrifying)

Melissa McCarthy Says Malls "Segregate" Plus-Size Women's Clothing Stores, but "People Don't Stop at Size 12"  (I'm interested to see what her line will look like but I have to say some of her pattern choices in the past haven't been flattering.  Lord knows it'll be better than Target's line)

Nail Every Goal You Set: The Best Advice You've Probably Never Heard  (Good advice)

20 Awesome Facts About the Golden Gate Bridge  (Missing San Fran)

I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here's How.  (Courtesy of the Mr.  It's pretty long but basically why I don't really rely on anything more than common sense when it comes to food trends.  We eat a few squares of dark chocolate a few times a week not because someone told us we should but because we like it and enjoy it in moderation.  But this is a great example of how the media passes along crap because they need content, not because they researched to see if it's actually true.)

Bill Paxton Reminisces About 15 Key Roles   (We quote Bill quite often.  "You're stewed, buttwad"  "You took 'er ya damn thief!")

I, along with the rest of the country, am stoked to get in more grilling.  It's grocery weekend so I'll be perusing ads today to get the most for our moolah.  I think I inspired myself to get to World Market after our video and we picked up some Hawaiian goodies so we can have people over for cookouts this summer.  I'm in the mood for chicken kebobs so I'm thinking huli huli chicken and some veggies between rainstorms.  I also ordered some stone ground yellow grits from Charleston and I'll be testing my version of shrimp and cheese grits soon.  I just want to find the perfect cheese for my inaugural go.

What's on tap for y'all this weekend?

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Movie mania

We have been on a renting spree the past two weeks.  On vacation we rented Mortdecai with Johnny Depp.  Our local video store is now doing rent three, get one free.  They hooked us.  So our last day of vacation once home, we rented four movies:  Just Before I Go, Cake, The Boy Next Door and Fifty Shades of Grey.  Then last night, we rented Taken 3, The Loft and Hot Tub Time Machine 2.

Here's my two cents on the movies.

Mortdecai -  (affiliate link) Johnny Depp, Gwenyth Paltrow.  Honestly, this movie looked completely stupid so we went in with no expectations.  I am always intrigued when Johnny Depp does comedy though so it's kind of a moral imperative.  Depp plays a shady art dealer seeking a stolen painting that has a code for a Nazi bank account that supposedly has a ton of riches inside.  Since he's in dire financial straits, he goes on quite the jet setting adventure.  It's all so absurd, it's actually funny.  The Mr and I laughed quite a bit and while it's not one we'd need to own, it was a good rent in the right mindset.

Cake(affiliate link) Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington- I was looking forward to seeing Jennifer Aniston in this role.  I heard she was excellent.  She plays a woman in chronic pain after a car accident.  When she finds out a fellow group member killed herself, she becomes obsessed to find out why.  It's not exactly the most uplifting movie but it is a role in which she truly should've gotten more recognition for.

Just Before I Go -(affiliate link)  Seann William Scott, Kate Walsh - I love Seann and I was glad to see he had a newer movie out.  Seann plays a man who was left by his wife for being too boring.  He goes back to confront the people in his childhood who made his life hell before he kills himself.  It sounds like a depressing movie but it was actually our favorite of that batch of four.  Completely strange, funny, heartwarming in a twisted way and we'd both highly recommend it if you're in the mood to say "WTF did I just watch?" and then laugh your ass off at how it all somehow was pulled off.

The Boy Next Door(affiliate link) Jennifer Lopez, John Corbett - Lopez plays a jilted wife whose husband wants her to give him a second chance.  A hot, young dude moves in next door to help take care of his ailing uncle.  In a moment of weakness, hot sex ensues and we learn hot dude isn't quite so stable.  This movie was full of action in and out of the sheets.  Recommended.

Fifty Shades of Grey(affiliate link) Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan- I don't really think I need to go into backstory.  You'd have to be living under a rock to not know what this is about.  No, I didn't read the book.  I read a few pages in the Amazon 'sneak peek' inside and the writing was so horrible that I felt I might lose brain cells if I proceeded.  But not wanting to be out of the pop culture loop, I caved on the movie.  This movie was the most boring movie I've ever seen.  Quite frankly, the three minute sex scene in The Boy Next Door was more erotic than this entire movie.  I know Christian is supposed to be cold and mechanic to a degree but Dornan played him horribly and this was like watching a girl with a lip biting tick try to get romantic with a cardboard cut out.  These two have the chemistry of oil and water.  Thankfully the Mr felt the same and had no desires to try anything new in the sack.  I made it quite clear that flogging my mons pubis is likely grounds for divorce.

Taken 3(affiliate link) Liam Neesan - If you've seen the other Takens, this is the third one.  Lots of fighting, lots of unrealistic plots that you must suspend your disbelief for but you love Liam so much that you watch anyway.  He brings some weird humanity to it and because of the tragedies he's suffered both in the movies and personally, you find yourself yelling "can't Liam Neeson just catch a break!?"  If you liked the other Takens, you'll like this one.  Even if the ending leaves you screaming "there is no way in hell that would happen!"

The Loft(affiliate link) James Marsden, Eric Stonestreet - I was looking forward to this one.  It looked like a good thriller and to a degree it was.  But from the get go you don't really care what happens to this group of cheaters.  Karma, yo.  Half the cast are really horrible actors/actresses so it makes it hard to get past that, the other half do what they can with what they were given.  It comes down to good plot, bad casting.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2(affiliate link) I hated the first movie so I have no idea why I thought it'd be a good idea to rent this.  I'm going to blame the trailer.  This was lame.  A few funny parts but nothing that really made me laugh.  I just kept thinking "we spent $2.15 on this and that was too much."

Rent any movies lately?  

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Product Review: Vegetable Spiralizer

I love pasta but when it's 210 calories for 2 ounces and let's face it, 4 ounces is the typical serving, 420 calories for pasta alone doesn't always fit into the calorie bank.  I'm not one of those people who can do spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles only and be like "voila...pasta!"  

Uh's faux pasta that is limp and my mouth knows the difference.  

But I decided to try a half pasta, half zucchini hybrid and that we can do and only have about 220 calories invested in noodles.  I was using my mandoline on the julienne setting but when it got down to the thinner part, I always wondered how long it would be until I took a finger with it.  Well, it happened.  I got my thumb and it went a wee deep for my liking.  I figured giving a Spiralizer (affiliate link)  a shot wouldn't be a bad idea if it meant keeping my digits in tact especially at under $20.

Here's what it looks like.

I washed and cut the ends off of my zucchini.

Then I stuck it in the top of the zucchini, held the metal sides and started twisting from the top.  There is a thicker setting...

...and a slightly thinner one.

It takes a little getting used to your first time and when the noodles got long enough, I'd cut them with my kitchen shears.  The only gripe I had was the seeded pulp plug leftover.

But OF COURSE after I bought it, they now include a bristle brush to pop it out.  I had to use a small knife.  The link I have to it includes the brush.  (affiliate link) 

The top is for when you get to the top of the veggie and can't really turn it with your hands any more.  It gets an extra twist or two out of a zucchini but I assume it works better on something a little harder.

When you're done, you have this little nubbin left so I just cut off the point and cut up the rest for the Mr's salads.

This is three regular zucchinis worth of noodles.

My verdict:  The Spiralizer (affiliate link)  does just fine if noodles are your goal.  I am a little disappointed at how long it took compared to my mandoline but if it keeps me from making my finger into a mangled mess, I'll do the prep early!  I suspect I'll speed up with practice.  Mixing one serving of whole wheat pasta with 1 to 1 1/2 zucchini's worth of noodles gives that pasta taste but bulked up with veggies!

I will say that zucchini noodles are very water dense so if you don't want watery sauce, drain them for about 10-15 minutes in cheesecloth or paper towels before adding them to the spaghetti noodles and cook them a little longer.  

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

On the same bad page

About two weeks before we left for vacation, I started to get this horrible feeling.  It was like bottomless pit syndrome.  I felt like I wanted to eat everything and anything I could get my hands on.  I was diligent about planning my meals throughout the week so I could continue my weight loss.  I was meticulous about my food, exercise and water on the week before we left so I could finally for once in my life hit a weight loss goal I set out to hit.  I only had one pound to lose and lost nothing.

It sent me mentally on a spiral of...pardon my French those with delicate eyes...F*CK IT!!  I still did well during the week but the day before we left was gynie day.  So we stopped by my absolute favorite donut place afterward because 1) I just got the news the best doc ever was no longer going to be my doc and 2) I wasn't weighing in again before the trip so what the hell did I care?   Oh and for the record, totally worth it.  It was seriously one of the best cream sticks I've ever gotten from them.  Not a single regret.  Then we did our workout which was a 5K around the historic district.  We passed a favorite patisserie that we walk by many times and always pass up because it's not on a high cal day so there's no room for it.  But did I on that day?  Nope.  I wanted one of their baby chocolate mousse thingys and 1) it was for all the times we were good and passed it up and 2) I wasn't weighing in again before the trip so what did I care?

This was just the beginning of a slew of gluttony that followed for basically 2 1/2 weeks.  We lost that weight before the trip because we knew we were going to a place we weren't likely to go to again and would probably gain a lot of weight.  I just didn't want to pile that weight on top of weight we hadn't lost before like previous trips.  I know...makes perfect sense, right?


So while we're on the trip, we're walking a crap ton.  It's no 12 miles in one day kind of thing like San Francisco last year or Chicago in January but probably 5 miles a day on many days and 2-3 on the other days.  So we're not exactly twiddling our thumbs but we're also having dessert after almost every meal so you can imagine that things didn't exactly even out.

I got quite the scare whilst on the tail end of Charleston into the Outer Banks.  You know how runners train for marathons and stuff?  Well, we should train before our vacations because I basically go from sharing a blood supply with the couch except when we're exercising 30-60 minutes a day to walking anywhere from 5-8 hours a day without warning.  I got a HUGE bruise on the back of my calf for no apparent reason and this is the third year that's happened.  It seriously looked like I got hit by a rubber bullet or something.  I didn't even know I had it until we were going upstairs and the Mr freaked out over it.  It didn't hurt so obviously it was my blood vessels having a hissy.  Then when you go from drinking a gallon of water a day to a pint because you don't want to spend all day walking around looking for a restroom (and trust me, the places we went didn't seem to have many.  All we kept seeing were signs on doors saying NO PUBLIC RESTROOM!)  So I would only drink water at restaurants.  Well that was once we got to Charleston because Savannah's tap water is gross.  It tastes like 300 year old pipe...probably because that's what it's running through but still.

So by the time we were almost ready to leave Charleston, my legs were over it and they doubled in size.  I'm talking my skin was so tight it looked like saran wrap was over them and I thought my skin was going to split.  I tried to convey my terror to the Mr but I think he thought me over-dramatic.  If it felt like someone was pumping YOUR legs with a bike pump and didn't stop, you'd feel much different.  I began looking for the nearest sporting goods store on our way to Rehoboth Beach because I knew it was either that or a hospital after a few doses of water pills failed to work.  So we found a Sports Authority in Norfolk, VA and I checked to make sure they had compression sleeves in stock before we made a beeline there.  I paid for them and slapped them on for the car ride up.  Thankfully wearing them every day for 6-8 hours kept my gigantor leg situation at bay for the rest of the trip but you can bet that pair is going in the suitcase and actually being used on any trip we take.

Oh, I have a pair but totally forgot to bring them.  Did I remember my balance board?  Yes.  Did I use it?  Not once.  Did I remember the crappy version of the hard roller stick I bought for trips?  Yes.  Did I use it?  3x but needed it at least twice a day.  Did I do the arch massages I need daily?  Nope.  Are my legs effed up severely now?  Yep.  Only have myself to blame.

When we came home, we didn't even bother to weigh in.  We used to do that but then found it did more psychological damage than not.  We were still on vacation the day after we got back and continued our graze fest even though I told myself we wouldn't.  We did get right back into exercise which was good but water wasn't a priority.  That first week back, we don't track.  We just slide back into better eating and detoxing from having all of that crap.  I wanted to get right back into old water habits but that didn't happen.  I was drinking a half a gallon and that was just going to have to be good enough.  Then you come into Memorial Day weekend.  When you want to grill everything that mooed, clucked or gobbled in it's former incarnation.  We did that...and then stuffed our faces with sweets as though we were still on vacation.  When I told myself we'd be good on Sunday, we mostly were...until I somehow felt entitled to a pizza.  The Mr justified it as well.  So we're on the same bad page.

Monday should've been the saving grace because we were going to track...and I did.  I even worked in a little treat of a DQ kiddie cone.  But when faced with driving all the way into town, that didn't sound as good as getting a scoop at a closer ice cream place that I thought was comparable calorie wise.  Nope.  80 and 100 calories more respectively.  Then because we watched Forrest Gump, I felt entitled to popcorn and while it was only 80 calories, it was 80 calories I didn't plan and I'd already gone over 80 calories with the ice cream.


On a positive note, I got in my old water numbers...a gallon.  I must continue that streak and I must just think of the big picture and try to push this pie hole demon that is trying to sabotage us to the back of the brain.  Because I suggest something I know is bad and the Mr will either agree right away or agree to keep me happy.  This is how we got uber fat as opposed to the fat we are now.

I've got a date with a scale Saturday and I'm super afraid to see what stuck but if I allow this demon to win, I will be back to square one.  WE must get this under control and I need the Mr to step up as well and just say no when he knows that is the right answer, no matter how mad I get at him in the moment.

Do you have a pie hole demon that rears its head out of nowhere?

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Monday, May 25, 2015

The best laid plans...patio edition

Happy Memorial Day all.  Let's take a second to remember why most of us get today off.

Every Memorial Day weekend we, like millions of Americans, get our patio/yard together for the season.  I had the bright idea of doing everything on Friday.

"We'll do the cleaning while the Mr has lulls in teleworking!"  (ha...they are rare)

"We'll do our herb/flower shopping at night so when the rest of the world is out on Saturday, we'll already be done!"

We drove to one nursery that had the best sale, sat in traffic only to find that they only had 3 herbs in the sale containers and all the rest were $1.00 more.  Then the flats were $5 more than the sale I missed at my favorite nursery in the city.  So I decided to grab the herbs that I use most instead of forcing 12 of them for a sale price that I would never use.  Chives, oregano, thyme, rosemary and basil it is.  I thought I'd try my hand at zucchini this year.  I'm sure because it grows so well for everyone else, it'll tank for me but we'll see.  I also got some jalapenos for one pot and because we just came from a vacation in the south, pimento peppers in the other so I can make my own pimento cheese when they ripen.  At least that's the plan.  I say every year I'm going to make a mondo batch of homemade pesto and before I know it, the basil has bolted and so have my plans.

The Mr unloaded the furniture to the yard while I swept up a winter and early spring's worth of crap from the tree from our outdoor rug.  Then I was left with the pretty algae and stains so it was on with the gloves, a dump of Mr Clean and liberal watering so I could scrub away with the stiff brush.  I burned 1100+ calories doing that chore.  We got everything planted and by the nights end, we were pretty much done with the main stuff.  We did have some side plants to get but those would wait until later.

Cue the next day, we're already out and I decide to go to a nursery up the street for a banana plant.  I spy one so we grab that...and some portulacas...and I spied some star jasmine that aren't rated for my zone but I want to see how long they'll bloom anyway and it'll remind me of Charleston.

I told myself I would only spend $100 on the lanai this year.

I think I spent $230.  *face palm*

So I was planting crap in pots well into the night Saturday.  Then that left Sunday.  Usually that is when we're doing stuff like the last of things that need cleaned up, planted, etc.  Instead, it just left us with nothing to do and in a mood.  I was bored.  I was irritated because I know we need to de-clutter but it'll all basically fall on me because come on ladies, when you and your spouse are cleaning things out, how many things does he hold up and say "where do you want this?" or try to throw away something you know you need but he has no idea what it is.  I also knew our cushion of videos for the other site was dwindling and we are almost in a do it or lose momentum situation.  We're both in an "eff it" frame of mind on a lot of things so it's not good.

We decided to throw together a video to check something off the list.  Then we were giving half assed answers to what kind of workout to do so we ended up doing a circuit since we only did one strength last week.

It was a classic struggle over what you want to do versus what you have to do.

I'll just warn you guys, my posts may get a little vinegary over the next few days as I'm going into an Aunt Flo visit after skipping one for vacation so that always doubles the bitch switch.

How was your holiday weekend?

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Back to reality and what I'm reading this week

Sigh, first week back from vacay, always so trying going from doing what you want all day with seemingly unlimited funds back to being in your usual routine like you never left.  


But enough of my post vacation complaining, let's get to...

45 Reasons to Exercise and Eat Right That Aren't About Weight Loss  (Awesome!)

Is Sclerotherapy For Leg Veins Worth The Burn?  (I hope so because thanks to my dad's side and lard pushing against them, my legs are a wreck)

10 Common Symptoms That Could Be Cancer  (Good to know!)

Desserts With a Surprising High-Protein Ingredient You Can't Even Taste  (I'm so making those strawberries)

I Want to Lose Weight, BUT my Significant Other Sabotages My Weight Loss!  (I'm glad I'm not in this boat but I know many are)

5-year-old's touching gesture feeds homeless man at Waffle House  (Faith in the future, restored)

9 Ways to Make an Old Home Feel New  (Cool schtuff)

5 Surprising Mosquito Repellants You Already Have   (Bye bye skeeters!)

Delicious Picnic Recipes  (So ready for picnic season!)

Melissa McCarthy Explains How She Taught a Critic Who Trashed Her Looks to Not "Tear Down Women" Anymore   (Get it girl!)

This Photo Could Save Your Life: The Subtle Sign That Tipped This Woman Off to Breast Cancer
(Never even thought of this!)

Why Your Sunscreen May Not Protect You as Much as You Think  (Just go outside in a hazmat suit)

Why Should I Continue To Workout?  (A good answer from one of our favorite workout peeps)

25 Reasons Why Savannah, GA is the Most Utterly Enchanting Place in the South  (I can't believe it's been 3 weeks)

Do you need to wash new clothes before you wear them? Here's the verdict  (*madly throws all shirts purchased on vacation in the washer)

How to Stay on Vacation Forever — These People Did It!  (I'm down)

We don't really have any plans for the holiday weekend.  Typically we plant flowers and herbs this weekend but it's been a rough transition week for the Mr back into work life so I'm going to let him decide if he's up for getting the lanai together or not.  I know a Trader Joe's run is in the future as we need chicken dogs to cook out and not feel like we're missing anything.

What's on your agenda this weekend?

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Up the Coast - Vacation pics

Two big arse road trips in 7 months, watch out asphalt!

It turns out pretty much anywhere we would've chosen to go except our normal Hawaii trip would've been a weather cluster you-know-what.  The Yellowstone trip we cancelled when I saw there was a "possibility" of snow that time of year turned into Snow Storm Venus that dumped two feet of snow on the areas we would've been traversing and believe me when I tell you, my lil car wouldn't have made it.  

So when Tropical Storm Ana decided to start swirling off the coast by us 6 days into our trip, we considered ourselves lucky as the trip unfolded.  It was looking bad for Charleston but it ended up being scattered rain and didn't ruin anything.  Well, it did make landfall when we were in the Outer Banks.  She was basically stalking us up the coast.  Wench.

We started our adventure in Savannah, Georgia enjoying such wonders as Forsyth Park

...the beautiful squares...

...and the haunting, historic cemeteries like Bonaventure featured in the movie Midnight in Garden of Good & Evil  (affiliate link) 

We sampled quite a bit of Southern food...

Oddly, it turns out I feel about Southern food what I feel about Amish food...way too bland.  Unfortunately I kept giving so many places a chance that I probably packed on 10 lbs of lard before coming to this conclusion.  Do you know how long I've been waiting to try a real praline?  I sampled them in two places and thought they were gross.  Wah wahhh.

We spent our anniversary watching the sun rise on Tybee Island.

We also got to watch them film a new movie with Zac Efron and Robert DeNiro there.

Then it was time to drive up to Charleston, South Carolina.  Because the weather was unpredictable hour to hour, we moved Magnolia Plantation to the top of the list and drove straight there since we knew we'd have sunny weather that day.  It was quite beautiful.

We stayed not far from here in downtown Charleston.

I loved seeing side street gardens and gates.

I fell in love with the architecture.

Seriously, Charleston kind of beats Savannah hands down for us.  All the people in Savannah said people in Charleston were jerks and snooty and it turns out, just as we suspected, it was the other way around.  I would definitely go back to Charleston.

Then it was time to go to the Outer Banks.  Since we watched Nights in Rodanthe (affiliate link)  in Charleston and I had bagel eyes from ugly crying at it, it was mandatory we stop by the house from the movie.

Then on to Cape Hatteras where we climbed to the top of the lighthouse.

We also went down Rodanthe Pier...during Tropical Storm Ana...when the pier has a history of plunging into the ocean during storms.  We're daredevils, I tell you!

Time to head to Rehoboth Beach.  Our first day was spent in Ocean City, Maryland enjoying the boardwalk.

Then the boardwalk at Rehoboth.

The Mr was quite excited to climb the gun turrets at Cape Henlopen park.

It was a looooong drive home but we made it with the help of audio books and a good playlist.

I don't think I'm much of an east coast beach town person.  Charleston and Savannah, were very nice and Charleston is a place I can see myself going back to for sure.  We had a great time and now it's time to get back into the swing of things.  I hope I remember how to cook!

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

She's gone (she's gone)...oh why?

One more day of vacay for me yesterday and I didn't have it in me to edit pics...tomorrow.

But you may be wondering by the title why the heck I'm channeling Hall and Oates.  Well, remember a few weeks ago when I was singing the praises of my gynie?  I was calling her office to see if she was running on time or not and I can never remember her number so I looked it up on HealthGrades.  I saw in her profile she was 60 and I told the Mr "I'd better enjoy this time because she's gonna up and retire soon."

Well...sooner than I thought.

I went to check in and was informed she would be retiring the following month!  I felt like I got kicked in the gut.  I made next years appointment with one of the other ladies I know is in her practice and gets good reviews.  I looked and she's close to my age so I should have her for a good long time as long as she stays in the state.

So I went back and waited for her.  I got my tears out of my system and she walked in.  She did her usual chit chat, didn't mention a thing about retirement so I brought it up roundabout style.  She said she wasn't really retiring but taking on a teaching career and retiring from private practice.  She was offered a job where she's not on call for nights, weekends and holidays and now that her husband has passed (he was 20+ years her senior) she's ready for something new in her life.  I started getting teary eyed as I told her I was happy for her and then went on to full on ugly cry.  She got me tissues and tried to hold herself together.  I asked her who was going to guide me through middle age now?  She was like my life guru and now she wouldn't be there.  She said there were two other women in her practice and the one I chose to make the appointment with next year is the one she would recommend because she has a personality and is basically exactly like her in her personality and abilities.

We had a good talk and she told me not to succumb to the number where my age was concerned.  I told her all of the things that have happened to me since I turned 40 and she said if it happened when I was 35, I wouldn't have thought anything about it.  (I would've because being sick in one form or another for 5 months just plain sucks but I get what she was getting at)  She said looking back, her 40's were the best decade of her life and she wasn't just saying that because of my age.  She said you don't give a shit anymore about what people think, you live your life the way you want and your body hasn't begun breaking down in ways that you don't want to think about yet.  She asked if there was anything she could do for me and I told her with tears streaming down my face to go live her life.  We hugged and I told her thank you for making getting something as weird done as having another chick examine your hoo ha seem like no big deal and almost something to look forward to with her personality.  She laughed and told me I was sick.  HA!

Yesterday I received a letter from her that she sent out to all of her patients.  She tells us what she's doing and how much she's going to miss all of us.  She ends it with saying she wishes she could take us all with her but something in me suspects she will.  All of us in our own way touched her life too.

I can't tell you how much I will miss her.  I have trusted her for 20 years with my health and listened eagerly to any life lessons she was willing to pass along.  She was truly a rarity in this life of not just being an amazing doctor but a friend.  She, like me, chose not to have children and she was the only one who understood from the time I was a teenager that it was not my path.  I could confide in her about that and the scrutiny I received from family and strangers over a choice that was frankly, none of their damn business.  Her understanding and knowing that choosing that path requires support from like minded people was invaluable.  It's something I can never repay.  Now I will have to go through that weird period where you learn how much you can joke or not joke with a new doctor.  Humor is my defense mechanism in medical situations so we'll see how the new girl does with all this woman to take on.

Have you ever had a doctor change your life for the better?

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Monday, May 18, 2015

We're back!

Well, I'm sure a few of you super observant folks may have noticed I've been absent on the responding front the past two weeks.  I have a good excuse...we were on vacation!  You know my rules with vacation, complete social cut off to soak in the sights with my honey.

We were supposed to do a road trip to Montana/Wyoming and see Yellowstone National Park but that didn't work out due to potential weather issues.  I'm glad we chose to forego that because this is what it looked like there 2 weeks before we left:

(via Yellowstone National Park's Facebook page)

We quickly had to change modes in January and figure out where we wanted to go.  The Mr was dying to recreate his childhood vacations and I was not but decided if I could fit in a few destinations of my liking, I'd throw him a bone.  He wanted to go to Virginia Beach and Rehoboth Beach.  I wanted to go to Savannah and Charleston.  An extensive search showed us that despite going in low season, the options for Virginia Beach were not up to my rental standards.  But not too far from there was the Outer Banks area and while the Mr wasn't down with it at first, he came around when I showed him the place we'd be renting.

So we started off with 5 nights in Savannah GA then moved on to 4 nights in Charleston SC.  We made our way up the coast to Outer Banks for 3 nights and rounded things out with a 4 night stay in Rehoboth Beach, DE in accommodations way better than the Mr was used to there since it was usually the ol' Econo Lodge for them back in the day.

Then it was time for the looooooooong drive home and besides a stop in DC for some Georgetown Cupcakes, we throttled through and made it home late last night.  So we're probably sleeping while you're reading this but I'll round up some pics to share over the next few days.

All I do know is that we're getting back in the swing TODAY on water, exercise and food because we've got a lot of southern hospitality and beach food to work off even with as good as we were trying to be!

What did you guys do this weekend?

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Friday, May 15, 2015

What I'm dreaming of this week

I looked through the links I bookmarked and there were two this week.

Uh, yeah.

I guess I've been dreaming more getting past the freeze point so we can plant flowers, vacations and general tomfoolery.  So instead let's dream a bit.  I'm going to share five of my top vacation destinations.

1.  Tahiti  (Includes Bora Bora, Moorea, etc)

Tahiti and staying in an overwater bungalow has always been a dream of ours.  I pray we get to make that a reality some day!

2.  Galapagos Islands


I would love to do one of those cruises that lets you see all the animals there.  It's supposed to be amazing!

3.  Self guided movie tour of Los Angeles

I used to spend my summers as a teen in LA but the Mr has never been (except the airport).  You guys know what movie buffs we are and this would be the ultimate movie tour experience for us and the Six Feet Under house is at the top of our list.  Of course we'd have to add on three days just to account for sitting in traffic.

4.  Yellowstone National Park

This was actually going to be our vacation this year but we found out the time of year we were looking at could still have some snow issues and all parts of the park weren't open.  So we'll save this one for a fall vacation sometime.

5.  Oregon/Pacific Northwest

Obviously driving to the Goonies location will be on the list but Oregon looks beautiful and I suppose we'd better make a trip to Seattle or a friend of ours whose been begging for us to visit will slap us.

Name three to five vacation destinations you want to go to!  Let's dream together!

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Reducing our risk for good and not just for now

When you hit your rock bottom close to 500 lbs, the road to getting to anything resembling "normal" seems long, daunting and possibly unreachable.

(Sorry spammers)

It's pounded into your head that people can't lose that amount of weight without the assistance of weight loss surgery of some kind.  That has never been in our vocabulary as we've seen the results and consequences up close and personal with loved ones and while it was the right choice for them, it wasn't for us.  We skated by without any serious health issues but knew it would eventually catch up to us if we didn't do something.  We were at the age where it was no longer about looking good but being healthy.

Fast forward to 200 lbs lost and you get very comfortable. You know you've greatly reduced your risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancers and all of the other lovely reasons they tell you its important to lose weight.   Life has opened up not only health wise but in ways you know others take for granted.  You can go to 99% of restaurants out there and not have to worry about whether or not you'll fit in a booth or chair with arms.  You walk in a park and when a car drives by, you don't worry about being verbally assaulted.  You don't have to get back to people about going somewhere so that you can stalk Yelp or TripAdvisor looking for pictures of the inside to see if you'll fit in their seats and decide whether or not to accept based on those factors.  You can shop at an actual store instead of having to order from a catalog and pray what you bought fits.  It's a freeing feeling and it breeds complacency. It got to the point where we didn't feel the urgency to lose more weight because honestly, we could do most things we wanted to do.  I mean nothing was like being in that prison we'd created for ourselves and now we were on parole.

Of course we wanted to but being able to still eat what we wanted even in amounts that turned out to be more than we needed during the week was more important than giving up more.  We went on for 3 years telling ourselves that we'd ditched those health risks we had when we were at our heaviest and we did for a time.  But then you see health shows or articles online where people talk about how unhealthy and obese they are and they were 50 lbs less than we were.

But...we lost 200 lbs a piece.

Yeah but you're still over 100 lbs overweight for your height.  In plain speak...we would both still qualify for weight loss surgery.


So that was when we put our newest plan into action and stopped lying to ourselves.  It has been working and we know we're well on our way to kicking the complacency to the curb and truly reducing our risk for good and not just for now.

What weight loss truths and lies have you told yourself?

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Death of my Childhood

Boy, going through your old memory cards is quite the trip down memory lane.  I came across these pictures from a road trip a few years ago and I think at the time I was too emotional to write it and then forgot about it.

Like any 80's/90's girl, if you were within a 10 mile radius of a mall, that is where you spent your weekends.  You'd grab some friends and lap the mall a good 50x looking for cute boys, grabbing an ice cream, trying to look at all the dirty stuff at Spencers Gifts without looking like a perv, buying new buttons for your jean jacket, picking out some rad earrings or faux eyeglasses you might regret 10 years later from Afterthoughts and my friends and I were weird enough to go try on wedding dresses at JC Penney.  Then of course you had to make sure you had some quarters on you so you could hit up Aladdin's Castle but don't expect to catch the attention of any dudes in there because unless you were made of 16 bit pixels, you weren't going to get a second glance.

I can't count how many times I fell in love at the mall.  The first man who broke my heart worked at the mall ice cream shop.  We actually became good friends and I wanted more and later I found out he was gay, so there's that.  My friend and I loved his co-worker too.  (I use love in terms of what love means to a 7th/8th grader at the time)  Man he was a cutie.  Then there was the hottie at Chess King.  I mean it becomes pretty obvious you're getting stalked by an 8th grade girl when she's shopping at a men's store.  Subtlety was not my strong point. 

As friend's came and went out of my life, the one constant was the mall.  My mom would drop us off and pick us up at the JCP entrance and I was only late once because I didn't want to give her a reason not to take me there.  When I got my own car, it was time to go whenever the heck I wanted and I did.  I loved the old standbys like Jean Nicole (where I got my first lace Madonna skirt for my 12th birthday) and I longed to be older so I could raid Wet Seal, County Seat, Rave and the like.  Those were the days and you thought it would always be there.

When we were driving through a town, we saw this abandoned mall and something in us told us to stop.

To our surprise, the doors were open and some lights were on so we went in.

As I saw this dying tree with its leaves on the ground, I started to tear up.

These plants, storefronts like this though we had no idea what it was, were pieces of our childhood no matter what mall it was.

Those empty display cases...

the mold and water damage taking over the ceiling...

the calcified imprints of a wish someone once made hoping it would come true...

It may not have been my mall as a kid but it might as well have been because this is the way of so many places that we've spent our childhoods.

As I wiped the tears from my eyes, I mourned the loss of a friend of a friend.  Because malls from coast to coast all felt somehow related and familiar no matter where it was and I couldn't help but feel like the death of a big part of my childhood was upon me.

R.I.P. malls everywhere.

Share your favorite mall memories below.

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