Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Work Out Wednesdays: The Lie

I started Work Out Wednesdays way back in November. The last time I talked about was optimistically after New Years. For anyone who doesn't want to do the math, that means I've been trying to work on my weight for over 8 months now.

8 months. 8 long months. And you know how much progress I've made?

None. Actually, I'm pretty sure I weigh more now than I did at the beginning of this. Yep, just checked the numbers and it's higher. (Part of it's my own fault. Let's be honest, it's all my own fault, but how dumb was I to start documenting getting healthy right before the holidays?)

And it's not like I really haven't made any progress. I can run farther and longer than I used to. I eat more fruits and vegetables. I have been able to drop weight here and there, I just haven't been able to keep it from sneaking back on. I've tried numerous things and I feel like I know 99.99% what works for me and what doesn't.

So why haven't I come close to making any sort of dent, you ask? Mainly because I have failed to realize that I've been at this for more than 8 months. Even though I've been writing about it for the past 8 months, I've been battling the weight creeping up since I finished grad school. That was over a year and a half ago. And during that time, my mindset has always been that I can do it. I can get back to a weight where my pants don't torture me. I can be content.

But I can't. I can't without realizing that every single freakin' day matters. Unless I am on my game 100% of the time, I'm not going to get the results I want. Every chocolate chip adds up. Every evening that I have the energy to work out but I don't have to because I have a run scheduled for the next day so I sit on the couch instead works against me.

I just want my old pants to fit again. They're only one size smaller. I just want to get back into them.

I just want to not feel like a weakling all the time. I want to actually be of some help when moving some random piece of furniture with my husband. I want the guys at work to not try and hide their eye rolls when I have a hard time working on one of my robots.

I want to feel like the badass I know I am on the inside.

And I won't get close to feeling any of these things unless I make every second of every day count. It's time to stop lying to myself. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Victory over the System!

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Today, after working hard for 54 days, I have finally been able to achieve victory. After numerous stressful hours, I have finally been successful.

I have access to my work voicemail again.

Don't judge me. It's been a pain in the ass almost every single day since it locked on me.

I apparently entered the wrong password too many times after trying to call into my voicemail from home to check on flights that had been cancelled for my business trip to Chicago and it locked me out. The helpful message it played everytime I tried to get back in?
This mailbox is currently locked. Please contact your system administrator.
And that was it. No directions or clues as to who the hell my system admin would be and how to reach them. 

After weeks asking anyone who would be remotely helpful for advice and scouring the company help website, I finally had a lead: an article on how to unlock it. Just call this number and push these buttons and la di da, voicemail access.

Well, apparently my company has like eight different types of voicemail and I had no clue what mine was called. Another stressful couple of days passed as I tried every combination of voicemail help options and got nowhere. It became like a Choose Your Own Adventure. I would write down the sequence of buttons I pushed any time I came closer to the solution.

But no matter what happened, I couldn't get a living person on the phone. The usual trick of just swearing until it triggered some sort of switch to a real person wouldn't work because I really didn't feel like swearing up a storm in a big collective office. (Although I suppose if I were fed up enough, I could have just stayed very late and waited until everyone left and tried then.)

With my map of numbers, I finally got a real person, and, what's this, you can unlock my voicemail and email me a new password? Yes, please! I wrote down the help ticket number and patiently waited as the human voice said it may take several hours.

Two days later: nothing. I looked up the ticket number on the help website and you know what it said? Ticket closed. No more problems.

Once my brain cooled back down, I gave up. I threw in the towel. So what if the little "missed messages" light on my phone blinked at me for the rest of eternity? If they call me and I don't call back, it's their own fault, right? The dozens, if not hundreds, of people who had called me would just need to know to email me instead from now on. Phones are so 90's anyway. I'm a child of the internet age who doesn't need a phone. Everyone else should be so cool and lucky.

After two weeks of trying to ignore the annoying little light, today the damn thing made me snap. I dug out my number map and managed to get a hold of a real person by the third attempt. She dug up the closed help ticket and do you know what had happened? The system had just sent the email to the wrong person. Someone else had received my temp password. 

Seriously? After the first person had double-checked my email, it still was sent out into the ether without a proper address?

Anyway, long story not so short, I have voicemail again.

And only had six missed messages. In 54 days, only six. That's one every nine days. That's just pathetic.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fan of Friday: Week of 7/19/2012

I found a list yesterday on Apartment Therapy on how to be happier at home. It's a straight-forward list that really resonated with me. While I love my home and being at home, sometimes it stresses me out more than it relaxes me. This list is right up my alley.

One of my favorite points is "If you can't get out of it, get into it". Why yes, doing the dishes is what I hate more than that first instance you spot a spider in the corner of the shower with a head full of shampoo bubbles. Or more than when the AC goes out for two weeks in Arizona in July and you are forced avoid half of your house and bunk in the guest room (true story of the past two weeks). Or more than how all summer TV shows are crap but I watch them all religiously anyway. Anyway, the point is that some things, like doing the dishes, need to be done in spite of the amount of hatred that burns deep in your soul and you might as well get over it. If you have to do it, you might as well enjoy it (This is the only way I get through scooping the cat box. It's like a little, gross treasure hunt, right?)

However, the one that stuck out the most to me on this list was #8.
Call at least one friend or family member a day. You can do this while you clean, while you make the bed, or while you walk the dog. Texts and emails do not count! Make an actual phone call to a loved one, just to chat and catch up. We humans are social beings and studies show that even when we don't feel like it, even if we are naturally introverted, socializing with our loved ones makes us feel better.
Besides the awesomeness of Dan and my family, I've been very lonely lately. I chat to friends through email, text, and facebook, but I don't really talk to anyone anymore. I even have parties and invite people into my home, but I'm so worried about food and everyone enjoying themselves that I don't really connect to anyone anymore. I have people I love in my life that I haven't seen since the wedding and that was almost 18 months ago! I have friends who haven't been to the new house. I have friends who I have no honest idea what they are up to. I know I'm bad at keeping friends, but that's no excuse to not try.

So, my goal for every day next week is to spend at least five minutes a day just talking to the people in my life I miss. Even if I have absolutely no reason to talk to them, they should be reason enough.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

"We Belong"

As much as I beg my husband for date nights, they seem to rarely happen with how things tend to snowball in our lives. A quiet Saturday where he had actually had a date night planned can quickly unravel and turn into me sobbing uncontrollably for no apparent reason on the sofa (a little detective work later showed the reasons to be PMS, lack of sleep, and stress over a homeless kitten).

Anyway, point of this story: our date night last weekend devolved into pizza from Little Caesar's and old James Bond movies. Not that I'm complaining, but I'm a girl who counts a date night as an excuse to wear shoes that torture my feet and show off my toes (stupid closed toed shoe rule at work).

Fortunately, Wednesday, we had an fairly unplanned way to make up for it. A fancy dinner in downtown Tucson and a concert, you say? Yes please!

My parents love to go to concerts and, while I tend to shy away from them (concerts, not my parents), I am more than happy to go with them when they have extra tickets. And my dad loves good tickets. He won't go to a show unless he's got a reserved seat in the first couple of rows. So when my dad asked if Dan and I would like to go see Pat Benatar, I was excited.

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I love Pat Benatar. She is awesome. She is fearless and has such a powerful voice. And given that my soul is made of 80's music, I knew I was going to enjoy this concert.

Dan had no idea who Pat Benetar was. I told him he'd recognize the music when he heard it, so he just happily followed along.

So with a pair of free concert tickets to a show at the Fox Theater in downtown Tucson, we decided to make a night of it. We'd have just enough time after driving to downtown from work to grab some dinner. I got to choose the restaurant and I was incredibly excited about it.

The problem with the restaurants in downtown Tucson is that they are just so freakin' far from my house. They aren't spontaneous sorts of places. After a half hour drive, a battle with the epic construction project to install new trolley tracks, paying for parking, and then walking at least 5-10 minutes to the restaurant, it definitely takes some motivation and planning. Because of this, there always seems to be at least a half dozen restaurants I'm dying to try.

I picked a place called "Janos Downtown Kitchen". From the menu, there would be at least one thing vegetarian I could eat and it seemed like a fancy place worthy of heels. No burgers on this menu.

And it is a very nice restaurant. It's got ambiance. It's got good service. The food is fancy, but I have to say, it's not that great. I had the melon gazpacho minus the bacon and ham, the somen noodles with tofu and greens, and the strawberry shortcake for dessert. Dan had the duck breast with bbq fried rice. Dan had never had duck before and really enjoyed it. He doesn't like to try new things, but his plate was cleaned, except for the last bit of eggplant that I didn't steal.

I'd never had gazpacho before, so maybe I'm just not a fan of gazpacho, but it was bad. Bad enough that I felt I had to choke some of it down since I ordered it. Bad enough that I lied to our waitress about enjoying it. I understand gazpacho is supposed to be cold (who's genius idea was that?) so I'll let that slide, but it was grainy and just tasted like someone had screwed up making a smoothie. Luckily the pasta was better, but it wasn't great either. The noodles were good and the flavors were really enjoyable, but why, oh why, does no one ever know how to cook tofu? Just because it doesn't have to be heated thoroughly to kill all the meat-germs doesn't give you the right to serve me squishy, cold tofu. Gross. And the shortcake was great, but it wasn't anything I can't make at home.

So official review: if I'm going to spend $60+ on a dinner for two people, you better blow me out of the water. It better be my favorite restaurant that I look forward to treating us to for our anniversary every year. Yeah, I'll pass.

After dinner, we hobbled to the theater, and I say hobbled because I grossly underestimated how much my heels hated my feet. I really should have taken a picture of them when we got home, but I'm pretty sure it's illegal to post something that gross on the internet.

I was amazed that, at 7:15, 15 minutes before the show was supposed to start and 45 minutes after the doors being opened, the theater was only half full. However, once the show started at 7:30, it seemed everyone else came stomping in, interrupting the first couple of songs, including my parents. Geez, guys.

It was a great show. It was a very simple show, but fun. No costume changes. No theatrics. Just Pat, her guitarist husband, a bassist, and a drummer. It's just amazing the talent of her voice. Granted she's been doing most of these songs for almost 30 years, but she didn't miss a note or a beat the entire time. She's a true singer. It makes me a little sad about the quality of most the music the radio plays now when there are great voices like hers out there. And, yes, I am still very bitter that the two, TWO, 80's stations I listened to went off the air...

Here's one of my dad's pictures. Security was being a real pain about people taking pictures, so he didn't get too many (and since there weren't any costume changes or theatrics, they all kind of look the same anyway).

After the concert, I got an awesome souvenir. During the concert, the guitarist was throwing picks into the audience, but given the average demographic of the audience (middle-aged women), no one was catching them. So, much to my delight, as we were leaving the theater, I found a pick that someone had failed to notice. I've got a pick from a concert. How cool am I?!?!

It was a great concert. With a voice like she has, I'm really surprised she hasn't been a judge/mentor/token famous singer on any sort of reality competition. Maybe it's in the cards still. I just have a hard time understanding why she's not more relevant with how good she is.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Husband Says I Can't Keep Him...

No, not the husband. I can keep the husband. I think I'm actually legally bound to keep him. He's got a problem with me wanting to keep the stray kitten my sister found.

This is Rasputin, as my sister calls him, or Rusty, as I call him. He's the most adorable thing. And my sister is such a champ for rescuing him. She basically ran around a major intersection for half an hour near midnight last night to keep this guy from getting run over.

And I want to keep him so badly! He's about 3 to 4 months old (the same age as Sam), he's a Ginger (I'm a ginger), and he's a squirmy wormy with an incredibly loud purr.

I would love to keep him. He'd be a great brother for Sam, but I don't think I can talk Dan into keeping him. My parent's have agreed to house him in their laundry room until tomorrow morning and I've agreed to hold him after that until I can find him a permanent home.

So if you know anyone in Tucson or the Southern Arizona area who would be interested in giving this adorable guy a good home (indoor only please!), please leave me a comment and I'll get in contact with you.

Or give me a good argument I can use against my husband to keep him...