January 10, 2009

Check Us Out!

Check out the pretty pictures!

Sometimes the randomest pictures on the whole trip are some of the best. We weren't too tired or too sick or squinting into the sun or anything, so this picture is probably one of my favorites. If we could cut out the silly mariachi man, I'm sure it would be even better. :-)

Later in the same day, we did a dune buggy tour of Progreso to some Mayan ruins, where the tour guides grabbed this shot of the two of us with my brother. They, of course, wanted a stupid amount of money for the picture, but I loved it, so I went ahead and got it. The original is a little blurry from the cheap printing, but I like it anyway.

We got a great group shot of the entire family, but Schondy and I wanted some pictures of just the two of us because things have changed a bit since our last formal cruise photos. So here's the one of both of us. The photographer was quite a character, but you have to admit that he did a beautiful job, no matter how nutty he was.

I made sure to tell the photographer to back up enough to get the shoes.

Well, internets, what do you think? Do I look better?... Why, yes, I AM fishing for compliments. I think I've earned them. :-)

October 9, 2008

See? I promised. And I delivered.

Well, I did, in fact, promise to post a picture of myself once the 'rents had seen me. And I know that some of you have seen the pictures that they took of me when they were here. But here's something even better.

A couple weeks ago, I was chatting with the lovely ladies at the diet place about my success. One of them said I was a superstar and asked why I wasn't up on the wall of before-and-after pictures. I said it was because I hadn't had my "after" picture taken recently. So off we went to take a picture.

The next week, I walked in to the office and discovered that I was, in fact, now included on the before-and-after board. So I took a picture of my pictures :-). And here they are.

So what do you think?

September 22, 2008

Long time, no see OR One side of a conversation with a non-existent entity

Why, hello, Internets. How long have you been sitting there? Been waiting for me to post, have you? Did you think I'd forgotten you? Silly Internets. I never forget you - I just get busy. So what's new with you?
Me? Oh, not much. Working a lot. Cleaning up the house, getting it ready for company...
Yeah, my parents are coming for a visit.
They haven't seen the house since right after we moved in, so things have really changed.
Yeah, I guess they haven't seen me, either. That should be interesting.
Well, I was actually able to give blood, which means they checked my cholesterol.
Yeah, pretty good, actually
No, it wasn't really that high before - higher than it should be, but not that high. Before the diet, I think I maxed out at 215.
I KNOW, right? That's nuts.
Oh, that's too bad. Is she at least on medication or something?
Well, she needs to get on top of that.
A total of 62 pounds. Crazy, huh? Blood pressure's down, too. It really wasn't bad before, either, but now it's really good.
And I'm working out quite a bit.
Yeah, I try to run 3-4 days a week. This weekend, I made it almost a mile and half. Pretty good for someone who's never run more than 10 feet in her life. Never to late to start, I suppose.
Oh, I don't want to ruin the surprise!
Yeah, and Schondy hasn't taken any good pictures of me lately.
Well, I want to surprise the 'rents and then maybe I'll post something after they leave. The last picture I posted was about 30 pounds ago and then I got lazy or busy or... something.
Yes, definitely. We will chat again soon. Promise.
Call me!
Give everyone a hug for me!!


July 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

It's a well-documented fact that for the last 10 years or so, I have not cut my hair. If you've seen me, you know that my hair has been my defining feature for a very, very long time - generally reaching to my waist or lower. I grew it to that length (something between 36" and 40", depending on how long it's been since my last trim) for a lot of reasons.

When I was a kid, I always wanted really long hair, but I never had it, so when I went to college, I seized the opportunity. So roughly 10 years ago, I stopped cutting my hair. I still got it trimmed - mostly by Schondy - but it was on the order of 2-3 inches every 6 months or so.

Cut to the first of this year, when I started this crazy diet (that I never really believed would work) and, through a lot of time and a lot of work, have managed to lose an unbelievable 46 lbs. (No one is more amazed by this than me. I promise.) So in honor of my new body, I decided to cut my hair.

Yes, a lot of people have been pressuring me to do this. But I did it on my own terms and in my own time because I'm stubborn like that.

So Happy Birthday, Mom. Your real gift is on the way, but until it gets there, here's a little extra something. :-)

July 1, 2008

Look, Ma! No love handles!

Check it out! Schondy and I took Lulu to the beach!

So Schondy has had something of a job change, and it has meant a lot more time for him spent down south of home, in Scott's Valley. The new office just happens to be nice and close to Santa Cruz - one of the many beautiful little ocean-side towns in this area. This week, Schondy and I are both on vacation, but he had to go into the office on Monday for a meeting. So Lulu and I went with him. And when the meeting was over, Schondy, Lulu and I went to Seabright Beach in Santa Cruz.

Schondy took lots of pictures. He took lots of pictures of me. This was a good thing because it means I now have proof that: 1. I'm not trying to hide anything, 2. I've now lost 42 lbs., 3. I need a tan and 4. Lulu is still adorable.

Up on the sidewalk
:-) I like the lighting on this one.
Diggin' in the sand
Just me... and the ocean
In the shadow of the lighthouse
The baffles are biiiiiiig.

June 27, 2008

No, I'm not hiding anything.

Okay, so a little birdie told me that my lack of blog entries and the lack of pictures has prompted some people to assume that I'm hiding something. I assure you, that couldn't be farther from the truth.

I am busy, people. Seriously, crazily busy. I've been pulling 10-hour work days, only to go home and cozy up with my laptop and a cup of coffee and continue working - sometimes past midnight. Every day, I think about how I should post pictures of myself or put up a quick note about some of the interesting things I've been doing on the weekends. But the truth is, my brain is full.

But in a nutshell, here's what's been going on:
Last weekend, Schondy and I went with Sapphire and Xippi's younger brother to the Warped Tour in San Francisco, where we all (minus mini-Xippi) felt very old and uncool. Happily, we did get to hear some killer new music from Katy Perry and I got to introduce the peeps to Japanese Ska! I was introduced to the happiness that is ORESKABAND while at SXSW last year and loved it.

Last week at work, I was afforded the incredible honor of being voted the "Unsung Hero" of my team. It's a big team - about 600 people, so this was an amazing thing to win. So. Nothing major here, but it sure made my day.

Several weeks ago, Sapphire and I went to see a college production of "Hair", which was... interesting. We sat in the first row, which was WAAAAAY too close for anyone's comfort. If you know anything about the show, you know what I'm talking about. :-)

And I've just been generally crazy in my usual generally-crazy way.

So if you've felt neglected or anything, I apologize. That was not my intent. If you've been suspicious of the lack of pictures, I assure you, there's nothing juicy or scandalous here (unless you count the number of hours Schondy and I each work). If you've been worried about me, thank you, but I'm fine. If you've just wondered what was going on, well, not a lot and a whole lot all at the same time.

And in case you were wondering, last night at class, the official weigh-in revealed I've lost over 40 pounds. :-)

May 21, 2008

Hugged by an Octopus!!

So. You may or may not know about this particular aspect of me. Either way, I think you'll find this post interesting, but just to warn you, I have included a picture that some of you might find a little... shocking. I hid it behind a link, but I just wanted to make sure I warned you.

Since moving to California, I have become increasingly interested in living a cleaner, more natural life, including becoming a vegetarian, recycling as much as possible and seeking ways to improve my overall health without drugs or other "traditional medicinal" means. (Yes, Mom. I know. Whatever it is you're thinking, I know.)

It sounds crazy, right? It sounds like I've totally bought into the whole California crunchy-granola thing and I have joined the ranks of the famed Fruits-and-Nuts. Maybe. I'll admit to a certain level of that. But I've also maintained a reasonable amount of skepticism and have been pleasantly surprised with how often these things have worked in my favor.

Vegetarianism, in addition to lowering my cholesterol and helping me to avoid fear of Mad Cow Disease completely, also helped me drop 35 lbs. in a few months.

Recycling means that we have roughly one full kitchen bag of garbage to put on the curb per week. This includes all the garbage cans in the house. (I plan to start composting, as well, to lessen the organic material that I'm throwing away.)

Improving my health "naturally", as you know from reading this blog, means that I've lost 30 lbs. (about 25 of which I gained back after the veggie thing), making me the size now that I was when I was a junior in high school. I have done with no surgery, no diet drugs, no liposuction, and without starving myself. It has also sent me to look for alternative ways to deal with muscle soreness, stress and my ever-present migraines. It has sent me to acupuncture.

Before you ask, here are the answers to your questions:

  • No, it doesn't hurt.
  • No, the needles don't freak me out, mostly because I pretty much don't see them. My eyes are closed when she puts them in and then I take and nap, waking only she returns to remove the needles
  • No, they don't bleed.
  • Yes, I do believe it has helped me. It's the most relaxing hour of my week and I always return to work feeling nice and relaxed.
  • You're right. It might be complete quackery. I'm still holding judgement on that point.
  • Yes, it's a little expensive, but I'm okay with that if it improves my health and does so with minimal chemicals and drugs and other ways to muck with my already-wacky body.

There. Did that get the bulk of them?

Moving right along. You may have wondered about the title of this post. Well, today my acupuncturist tried something new (new for me - not for her). It's called cupping and it's supposed to help with... well, all kinds of things, but in my case, we were working on a severe case of muscle soreness following some serious weight lifting earlier this week. So, just like in the Wikipedia entry (if you followed the link), she lit a match to heat the air in the cup, then stuck it to my back while the air was still warm, so suction was created and it stayed where it was stuck.

She told me it might leave a mark, but not to panic, and that the mark was temporary. I didn't think much of it - expected maybe a faint little mark - and went about my day. When I got home, I realized I hadn't had a chance to look in the mirror or anything since my appointment this afternoon, so I asked Schondy to look at my back and tell me if there was a mark. I think his response was "Wow! Um, yes!"

So... check it out.


(Image obscured to protect your eyes.)

Crazy, huh? And... quite like being hugged by an octopus.

Here are the answers to your questions:

  • No, it didn't hurt when she put them on me.
  • No, it doesn't hurt now, either.
  • You're right. It might be complete quackery. I'm still holding judgement on that point.

May 7, 2008

Getting off the couch.

This is an email I sent to my parents, who are currently cruising to Europe and can communicate pretty much only through emails and websites. We tried Skype, but... not so much. So I'm reposting here for the rest of the world to see. (Mildly edited, of course)

This week's weigh-in went well. I've lost another pound for a total of 26!! Holy cow! Another 28 to go before I reach my "realistic" goal. 53 more to reach my "optimistic" goal. Either way, I feel a million times better.

One of my best friends was in town this week for a thing in San Francisco and she came by the house for a few hours tonight (Wednesday). We had a great time catching up a little. It had been months since we had time to talk. I had the opportunity to go to a concert instead of hanging out with her, but gave the tickets to someone else, who seemed to appreciate the tickets and to have really enjoyed the show.

Next week on Thursday is Bike to Work Day in the Silicon Valley, and I think I'm going to do that. A friend is going to come meet me here at the house and we're going to ride together. Turns out if we take the right route, it's only about 7 miles, which is easy to do in less than an hour. I'll have to get my bike serviced, so I think Schondy and I are going to try to get that done this weekend. I'm really trying to get into this working out thing because it's the only thing that's going to make me look better in a bathing suit this summer. There's also a 1.2 mile walk at work on Friday that I think we're going to do. 1.2 miles is no big deal, but the other option is a 3.1 mile run, and I'm not much of a runner - at least not yet - so walking, it is.

I'm in the process of easing myself back into vegetables after almost 3 months of meal replacements only. Have really, really enjoyed eating cans of green beans each night for dinner. Never thought I'd be so happy to each a green bean in all my life. We're going to go to the store at some point and I'm now allowed to have apples, pears and bananas, which I'm so excited for, I can't even describe. My baked potato this weekend was positively divine (no butter, no cheese, no nothing except for one of my entrees and a little salt) and even my plate of carrots tasted like a dream - and I HATE carrots!!

So there you go. The theme of my life right now is to repair all the damage I've done to my body over the last XX years and blow you all away with how amazing I look when you next see me. For some of you, that won't be until at least the fall, so I have plenty of time to work on it. For the ones I'll see tomorrow, just remember - I'm a work in progress.

April 28, 2008

Super Diet Revealed!!

If you're looking for a post with lots of funny and laughs and giggles, this ain't it. If that's what you need, I highly recommend you go here. Otherwise, here's the story of my diet.

So at this point, you probably know that I've been on this crazy diet. And I haven't really talked about it, which I know has probably left you wondering what's up. I've been a little hesitant to talk about it - partly because of my own fears that it wouldn't work and partly because I didn't really have any pictures to prove that it's working. It's been a very interesting process of losing weight - and for those of you keeping score, I've lost 23 pounds in the last 9 weeks.

As a clothing maker - sewing, knitting, crocheting, whatever - I tend to spend a lot of time studying the shape of clothing, especially tops. And as a... fluffy... woman pretty much my entire life, it's generally been highly frustrating to look at patterns. Women (according to clothing makers and pattern designers) have a very characteristic shape - wider on top, two humps between the shoulders (preferably in front and of a reasonably manageable size), narrow in the middle, same width on bottom as on top, and then legs of a reasonably manageable, uniform circumference.

Would the woman who actually IS this shape please stand up? I have some very strong words for you on behalf of NORMAL women everywhere.


I lost a bunch of weight several years ago when I became vegetarian... and then I re-learned how to cook. 5 years ago, when I became veggie, I ate primarily vegetables in various forms - salads, roasted veggies, stir fry - that were pretty good, but not what I grew up on. But, THEN! I discovered that all the foods I loved as a kid - grilled cheese sandwiches, green bean casserole, stroganoff - are either already vegetarian or could be made so. Oh, happy day! And 5 years later, well, here I am. So back in the middle of December, I decided that I'd had enough.

I went to my doctor for... probably a regular checkup. I really don't remember why I was there. But as I was sitting there, I asked the doctor about losing weight. She was so excited that asked! She handed me a bunch of brochures and said it was up to me. So in January, I called and made the appointment to go to an orientation. And 3 months later, here I am.

For the last 9 weeks, I've eaten nothing but powdered milkshakes, pre-packaged meals and snack bars. I've had about a thousand gallons of coffee (one of the few vices still allowed), and I've taken to drinking a cup of vegetable broth (bullion dissolved in water) every evening before I go to bed. It's been both harder and easier than I expected. Funny thing about a very absolute diet. When there's no question about whether or not something is allowed (whatever it is, the answer is probably NO), it's easy to know what to eat. There have been folks in the class that have cheated on the diet (some a lot and others just a little), but for whatever reason, I haven't. I'm very proud of that, but also very surprised. I never expected this to work. And I still don't believe it most of the time. I have real trouble believing that this is going to last.

But for now, I'm wearing clothes that are smaller than I've worn in 10 years. I'm eating about 1200 calories a day, and walking 3-8 miles a day. I start this week working with a friend who has some personal training tendencies, who promises me that things will only get better. We'll see how long this lasts.

And now, pictures.

Schondy posted a few pics several weeks ago that did show me when I'd lost a few pounds, but since then, I've had a hard time convincing him to take more pictures. So today, as I walked in the door from work, I was on the phone with Mom, who was in the process of fussing at me for not posting pictures. Her timing was impeccable since Schondy just happened to be sitting at the kitchen table, right inside the door as she was fussing at me. So I handed the phone to him to let my Mom explain things. And right after he got off the phone, we walked out in the backyard, where he took these pictures... Lulu helped.

There were, of course, quite a few of these pictures, but I tried to pull out the best ones. You can see that I still have a long way to go, and that I REALLY need a tan, but it's not the quality of my skin we're interested in, here. :-) And anyway, I have plans to rectify that particular problem later.

So thanks to my picture-taking hubby, there now exists photographic evidence that I have been working my fanny off (HA!) on this diet and the results are becoming obvious. Hopefully things will continue to improve, but I've got at least 4 more weeks of the status quo, and untold more weeks of variations on this theme. Wish me luck!

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