Friday, February 19, 2010

My First Victory - A Weight Loss story

Ladies... I am so excited I just couldn't wait to share the good news with you!

As you know I began a weight loss journey just over a month ago.

There was no big turning point for me that made me go - I want to lose weight - no terrible picture, no major dip in self esteem (I've always suffered from high self esteem ( : ) just a couple of personal realizations such as: I love healthy foods like fresh veggies, and fruits, whole grains, etc so why am I eating so much junk (hello sausage Mcgriddle!). The other came to me by nature of my job. One day while spending time with some of my 80 yr. old + residents I thought- I'm 25 years old, God willing I have 60 + years left of living to do and as nature goes- my body will only get harder to maintain as I age- why should I not bust my butt to make it the best that it can be at any give time?

These thoughts nudged me towards healthier eating habits and I used the best system I know of to base my decisions on.

I've been following the Weight Watchers plan which allows me to still live my life, make choices, indulge from time to time and NEVER feel deprived. If your not privvy to WW formula its essentially High Fiber/Low Cal/ Low Fat. You calculate points based on those nutrition facts and are given a target point # to not exceed each day and also given a weekly allowance to use as best suits you ( a piece of birthday cake, alcohol) but you are also given good health guidelines to follow such as limiting added sugar and alcohol, drinking enough water so you know to keep these special idulgences limited.

You can also earn bonus points for working out -I personally have not allowed myself these activity points these last several months because I don't want to get myself in the habit of equating a work out to junk food as a reward (or MORE food as a reward). I want excercise to be for the benefit of excercise- at least at this stage in the game.

Anyhow, I have followed the food plan quite well for the last 5 weeks and have gradually been adding in workouts/ additional activity (such as shoveling snow, taking stairs, etc). I am not where I want to be with workouts but I will say that on average I work out 3 times a week.
At about the end of week 1 I got my first, "Are you losing weight?" and it felt damn good. I said that I had just started and that I couldn't really be showing much yet but my supporter swore my face looked thinner and I was geeked- maybe I was doing something right- so I kept right on going, feeling encouraged but too nervous to get on the scale- not wanting to get discouraged by weighing myself too soon. So I used my clothes as a guideline- first my tightest fitting jeans got loose, then pants I've not been able to wear comfortably for years zipped right up and made it through a whole day without pinching my skin off. I started thinking about getting on the scale.

This week I finally got the encouragemet I needed to do it!

5 times in one week- by 5 different people I was asked if I was losing weight and it wasn't just anyone asking- 4 of the people who were asking were residents of my senior living community! This may not seem like a big milestone to most but to me it said- I really must be losing because it takes A LOT sometimes to get my residents to notice details and changes. I knew I could wait no longer to have cold, hard numbers as proof of my hard work so yesterday after an evening meeting I drove to my mother's for our pre-planned dinner together- greeted her and made a bee-line for the bathroom where I located her scale, took a deep breathe, and stepped on.

I was fully prepared to be completely bummed by what I saw. Instead, when I looked down I saw a 22 lb difference between the number on her scale and the number my doctor wrote on my chart back in the fall!

I immediately called my mom into the bathroom and asked her if her scale was accurate. She stepped on, waited for her number and told me that it was probably off by a few lbs because at her drs appointment earlier that week she weighed 9 lbs more when she was still wearing boots, jeans, and a sweater.

I was kind of bummed but reminded myself that even if it was a 10 lb difference- that would be a huge accomplishment for just over a month on plan.

About 15 minutes later my sister came by to visit for a minute and almost instantly gestured at me and said, "You look good- what are you doing?"

Hmph. Mixed messages. So I knew I needed a second digital opinion.

Long story short- today I went out and bought my own LED digital scale and hopped on.

My mom's scale was 4 lbs off....

Its official and I can say this with confidence. I HAVE LOST 18 lbs!

I can't say exactly when I started losing because I didn't weigh myself at the very start of my journey and unfortunately all I have to go off of is my last physical from September 2009 - but still I feel that this is such a huge accomplishment and only the beginning.

I set an initial goal for myself of 35 lbs and without even realizing it- I'm over half way there!

I'm so excited to see what will happen once I start amping up my workouts and once all this snow melts and I can get outside!

It all just feels like such a journey and I'm so glad to be on it!

I hope I don't sound like a braggart- but damn I'm geeked right now!

Thanks for bearing with me while I share! I can't wait until I have even more good news to share with you in the coming months!

Much Love Always!

Miss Amber Lane

Starting Goal: 35 lbs
Weight Loss To Date: 18 lbs
Left To Go For Goal #1: 17 lbs

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What's Been Goin' On

This weekend went by in a blur of not much.

Friday night - well honestly I can't remember what we did Friday night. Hmph.

Moving on...

Saturday morning: Woke up bright and early to discover one of our cats knocked my prescrip. acne meds in the toilet while the lid was cockeyed thus ruining the whole thing (almost full) so on my way to my 9am hair apt. I stopped by Walgreens for a re-fill only to discover the pharmacy isn't open yet. Fail. So I swing by Starbucks and cruise over to my hair salon, check in with the receptionist only to discover that whomever took my apointment down over the phone scheduled me for A WEEK FROM SATURDAY instead of that Saturday. I almost cried. My roots were heinous and I knew that I wouldn't be able to make it next Sat. because I'm MOD. Luckily I got in with another hair stylist who is almost as cute as my regular and she did a fantastic job. Not only that but I got to have my waxings done in the spa (as opposed to over the shampoo bowl) because this stylist doesn't do waxings (my reg. does) so that was a life-changing experience- I am so always going to book my facial waxings with an aestitician instead of my stylist from now on. Ok and I'm not going to lie- the very best part of my hair appointment fiasco Because it was the salon manager who f*ed up my appointment- I got EVERYTHING gratis. That's right- fo free. Be jealous.

After the hair apt. took longer than originally expected Boo and I missed our invitation appointment and had to reschedule so we cruised the mall and then had lunch at Chilis. Know how hard it is to find something healthy/want something healthy at Chilis? Hard. But I succeeded and that was a major challenge. While at Chilis Ben and I struggled to come up with some spectacular Valentines date- but we came up empty handed and/or lazy and just went home for awhile. Then it was groceries, subway, and Up (which made me ball like a baby) followed by bed.

Suday: We didn't plan on exchanging gifts or flowers or having a date for Valentines Day because of the expenses of the wedding so we just spent Sunday together shopping for some wedding related items and doing some trial and errors with centerpieces.

A few pictures from Sunday:

Boo and I on Valentines Day (Ben found a vintage Bengals sweater and much to my dismay has been wearing it out in public)

(Pay not attention to my half up, half down collar...I really have no idea)
We Love each other!

Me and my other Valentine:

My Princess Kitty: Izzy and me.

Ok... so the pinwheels I've been talking about....

I know its kind of hard to envision but Ben and I are planning a very colorful, summer, garden party inspired wedding. For ceremony flowers we are planting our own flower boxes full of pink annuals, for escort cards we're hanging a clothes line and using pink clothes pins, for centerpieces we're using pinwheels. Hand made pinwheels. I kid you not....

The first trial of our pinwheel centerpieces:

Ok keep in mind a few things. The mirror we use will not have any tacky edging I just had this one lying around for repurposing. The vase will be filled to the top (ot just the ribbo) with pink gumballs, and the Vera Bradley tag you see will be an actual table number that coordinates with the ribbon around the base.

So far so good. I made those pinwheels all by my lonesome and they are so easy to do! I'm really excited about all our whimsical ideas! The pinwheels will factor in elsewhere too- but for now this is the only tangible thing I can show you!

What do you think?

The weekend ended with Ben and I watching HBO's new series How To Make It In America- a show that my future brother in law is a set designer for! If you have HBO tune in next Sunday at 10pm and help make "his show" a success.

The early part of this week has kept me busy by dumping loads and loads of snow on my life. South Western Ohio received 21 inches of snow in just over a week! We broke the record for February snowfall set in 1914....and I AM OVER IT!

Here is a picture of me that Ben took when we were outside shoveling/playing yesterday evening after Ben drove me and picked me up from work (unfortunately with my job I HAVE to be there no matter what- so nearly two feet of snow and no snow day for me)

Oh Well! You may notice that I'm all bundled up yet my belly is creeping out from under my coat- that's cause my pants are too big and falling down! Hooray Me! Also today I wore a pair of pants to work that haven't buttoned since 2008 and haven't buttoned comfortably since 2006.

I officially rock!

That is all. I have an early work day tomorrow so I'm off to night night (yes, before 10pm and I love it!)


Much Love Always!

Miss Amber Lane

Sunday, February 14, 2010

6 Years Ago Today ...

I was a 19 year old with a date.

A date with a friend whom I had known since I was a 6th grader. A friend who used to talk to me about his girl problems over the phone for hours in high school. A friend who just so happened to be my best friend's first love in highschool. A friend who I didn't know if "crossing the line" with would be worth potentially losing my friendships over -hers if it worked out and his if it didn't. A friend I knew I had to find out about.

I stopped by my mom's house before driving the 45 minutes to his place where I would leave my car and he would drive us to dinner. My mom would say that she could tell I was nervous because I paced around fussing over my clothes (a hot pink, low v-neck sweater, black pencil skirt, and black knee-high boots) and my hair ( warm strawberry blonde, just skimming the shoulders, curled under to frame the face) and whether the choice I was making to go on this date was the right one - (I still hadn't told my bff what my intentions were and this date was to be the deciding factor).

Mom reassured me that everything was going to go fine, I looked great, and that I should just go and have a good time.

So I did. I drove the 45 minutes to his apartment and he met me on the stairs wearing a suit. We went to a cozy little restaurant near his place- I have no idea what we ordered - but we sat close to the fire and close to each other. Though I was rarely at a loss for words, this night I could hardly find a one that didn't fit awkwardly in my mouth. I wanted to say everything and nothing all at once my nerves were bouncing throughout my body making me feel as though at any moment I was going to come right out of my skin!

Then somehow (and I can't remember how) through the awkward nerves of a first date we reclaimed the rhythm of our friendship. We joked and laughed and spoke to one another as friends who had known each other since middle school. My nerves settled and the flirtatious energy that perhaps was always there between us on some level - took over.

We had a truly unforgettable date that ended in roses and a dessert of strawberries and cream at his apartment while we watched - of all things - The Lion King 1 1/2 on DVD. We snuggled on the couch and enjoyed our Valentine's night together. At one point I looked at him and said,

"If we do this, really decide to do this remember we were friends first and that's always the most important thing to me" he said me too and kissed me. It wasn't our first kiss- after all something had to lead us to this first date...but it was a kiss to seal the deal- though we wouldn't officially declare our relationship for another week and a half (after telling my bff- a declaration that caused us not to speak for the better part of two years) and from that point on I knew we had something special.

Exactly 5 years later on our "millionth" date he slipped a ring on my finger and I said "yes" to being his wife.

We've come this far as a couple because we've based our relationship on the friendship that we began 8 years before we even dreamed of becoming a couple (ok..there may have been a mutual crush in 8th grade that led to nothing) and that has made us stronger together than anything else.

4 months from the 25th we will finally say "I DO" and I'll get to put a ring on his finger too and what we started so long ago will come full circle.

And to think - it all started with a little Valetine's date.