Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Biggest Loser

Since January 1st, I have been actively trying to lose weight. I know many of you have had first hand knowledge of this process over the past six months; still I have refrained from blogging on it for fearing I would become Oprah about it. But that stops today as I am departing from the diet (for now at least) as I have officially lost 10% of my starting body weight on January 1st bringing my grand total to 19 pounds! If I flash back to my starting weight in October of 2009, I have lost 25 pounds, which as this blog is testimony to, I am very proud of.

How did I do it you ask? Well, I began with just straight up calorie counting ever decreasing my daily total, which for long stretches was 1,100/day. If you have never calorie counted, 1,100 is LOW and some debate if that is even healthy. Confession: for most of the year, I took the weekends off which was my saving grace. Mondays were often fraught with guilt, but I am sure I would’ve called the whole thing off in March had I not had that default.

Slowly, over time, I combined the calorie counting with exercising. And again, if you know me in real life (as opposed to blog life), you know I am not one to go to the gym but focused instead on power walking (I know, could I be more dorky). Gradually, I power walked longer and more often – at times 6-7 days a week. As well, I bought a pair of Shape-Ups (yes, I could be more dorky), which I think helped. Somewhere along the line I started wearing arm weights. I was even doing Yoga a few nights a week bringing me to a season of “two-a-days.”

Off an on for the last month, I went to SlimFast doing their 3-2-1 method. I should add there was a fairly consistent season where I was eating Special K for two meals a day. SlimFast was decent, but I will not miss them. There were two separate two-day periods where I ate only spinach, eggs and grapefruit juice. Not to go into too many unpleasant specifics, but this cleansed my system and wasn’t nearly as unbearable as I thought it would be.

All told, I will be shifting to maintenance through when I depart to Peru in mid-July. When I return, I will reassess my goals and decide if I want to go another round or not. One really big prompt was a six-month contest organized by my work, which because of I won $100 but today’s finale, felt really anti-climatic. I wasn’t in the winners’ group/click and was so far from their percentage loss (and also not really in their friend group) that I wasn’t in on the “celebrations.” Fair enough, $100 is $100 and 10% weight loss is 10% weight loss.

Sorry, no before and after shots – not my style.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Living from a tip jar...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Lakers (sigh)

I have been hearing rumors that the local NBA team is in the Championships. Rumors confirmed by the timely appearance of those God awful Laker flags that seem as reliable in June as the blooming of the majestic Jacarandas. Both tend to be purple and only around for a few weeks.

The Lakers seem to make it this far every year and as much as I hate to admit it, are LA's most successful franchise. Remember USC is not a professional team. The Celtics might have the same title in bean town. Together the Lakers and the Celtics have won 32 championships more than half of the total 63 championships in NBA history. They have met 12 times in finals, the Lakers only winning a dismal three times. It is LA's turn, right?

But really, like the appearance of the ubiquitous Laker flags, there are a few things we can count on. The series will go seven games. I believe there is a network conspiracy to get as many broadcasts as possible (but that is a whole other blog entry). The Lakers will win -- after all they are due against the Celtics. Kobe will get the MVP. Phil Jackson will say something zen. Jack Nicholson will bring a woman young enough to be his daughter to a game. Maybe his grand daughter. People will mention the whole Magic Johnson/Larry Bird era -- perhaps the two will even make it to a game. (remember Magic made it to the Final Four?) A sidebar story on Luke Walton (the pride of the University of Arizona) and Bill Walton.

The one silver lining in all of this, we are that much closer to the end of the NBA for a blissful few months.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mater Dolorosa

Today I spent a good chunk of my day the Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center in Sierra Madre. One of the perks of my job is that I get to do these sorts of things every so often. One of the perks of my new house is that this amazing locale is walking distance from me!!