Monday, April 12, 2010

Settling In...

I've neglected my blog for a few months. Won't make up any excuses. It's been rough. I got a great apartment, which basically I will start working for my mom to pay my expenses. I will be training to become the landlord to her apartment complex here in Dallas. Good solid income from being a property owner. But I've never been one before, so I've got a lot to get familiar with.

Aside from the apartment, I can't really say things are better. I'm about 10 pounds heavier than my last weigh in. There's a lot more "comfort" food here, and that's my weakness... Tex-Mex... steaks...

I got sick after I moved here, and as I think I've mentioned before, it's hard to eat healthy when I'm sick. Only a few things sound good. So there was 2 weeks of bad eating. It was cold and even snowed for a day or two, which didn't help. I haven't had any real furniture until this weekend. Long story, but the short version is I didn't get around until shopping for furniture until my 3rd week here, and then it took 5 weeks to deliver and order. And when it did arrive, on Sunday, there was a problem with almost every piece in the order. So I am still waiting on the bed frame, dining table, and end tables. I have a much nicer kitchen, which I was really looking forward to, but to my dismay, the grocery stores here don't have the same things as in Los Angeles, so I have to search around and modify my good recipes.

On top of all of this, my skin has been breaking out, probably from the combination of bad food and getting off birth control last year. So, I went to get back on the pill, and it's starting to slowly get better. But it was bad. Worse than when I was a teenager. Which I find ridiculous that anyone should have to go through once they are an adult. That got me really depressed for awhile and I didn't want to leave the house or see any of my friends.

Joe is coming to visit in 2 weeks, and I really want to shed the 10 pounds that I've gained since I've been here. During the move, I read a book that you may have read also. It's called Skinny Bitch. It's sort of a wake up call on what's really in the food we eat, and it promotes veganism and eating organic. I can't imagine becoming a vegan... I like steak too much, and well, I live in Texas now... it's really hard to avoid it. But I'm trying to eat healthy again. Today I went to walk thru the neighborhood on a path called the Katy Trail. It's a couple of miles long and boarders a really pretty creek that runs thru downtown Dallas. There are a lot of people walking, jogging, biking, rollerblading... it's like the Boardwalk in Venice Beach. I think the only way I will truly lose weight is to wake up early (to avoid the afternoon heat) and go jog this trail. I won't be able to do the whole thing by jogging... it will probably be a combination of walking and jogging for awhile until I build up some endurance. And I am writing out a meal plan that I will post once it's finished - it will start off to get me thru the next 2 weeks. Then I will see where I'm at right before Joe arrives.

I should also mention the glitch in my two week plan.... Wednesday I am having a tooth extracted. I will be under anesthesia and eventually have to get an implant. Before I left LA, my crown fell off and my tooth cracked. I didn't fix it because I was trying to pack and move, so now, it's infected and must be removed. I think it would have had to be removed anyway because of the crack, but for at least 1 day my meal plan is going to consist of smoothies... and I can't eat for the 12 hours before my surgery... I'll also be on lots of painkillers after the surgery, and I don't know how that will affect my appetite. Or how swollen my mouth/gum/jaw will be when it comes to those days after my surgery...

That's about all that has happened in the last few months. I did make a few notes over the weeks of my weight, so I could post it and see the progression of how I went from bad to worse. It's going to be more challenging to keep this up now that I'm here. The combination of richer food and not being able to find what I'm used to in the grocery stores is going to be tough. But I'm determined to keep on track. Other girls here can do it. There are really pretty, physically fit girls here just like in Los Angeles. That hasn't really changed too much.

2/21 245.5 pounds
2/24 243.4 pounds
3/2 242.0 pounds

Week: 66
Weight: 249.6
Pounds gained: 11.4
Total pounds lost: 7.4
Goal: 150
Pounds to go: 99.6 - WOW! Almost back to the start :(

Friday, January 29, 2010


I haven't been in the mood to write much. I haven't really been in the mood for anything. I'm... depressed. I've made a decision, and even though I think it will be for the best, I'm not excited about it.

Over the holidays, I made the solid decision to move back home. To Dallas. And it's breaking my heart.

Twelve years ago, I had so many ideas of what my life would be like in Los Angeles. I came out here ready for anything. Now, I think all those images in my mind have faded away, and a reality has set in. It's not so glamorous. It's not so fun. What it is, is really expensive. It is really frustrating. Sometimes, it's even a little sad, when you see your friends with their dreams that don't come true. Sometimes, it's your dreams that don't come true.

I thought that when I'd eventually leave Los Angeles, it would be for something bigger, something more... a career, a love.... but now, I'm just going home. I'm going back, and it feels backward. I'm going to be closer to my mom, who's 69 now. There is no career waiting for me. There is no great love waiting for me. There's... my mom... waiting for me.

I love my mom, as much as I can. Our relationship isn't the best. We talk almost everyday, but I hesitate to call her my friend. I wish that could be different, but we are a generation and a culture apart. Going home to be with her, while I am 34, never married, and with no children, feels like I am going home to become an old maid. All the friends that I left behind twelve years ago are now married, most with a few kids. There is no one that I can call to do anything with on a moment's notice, except of course, my mom.

The hardest part in all of this, is leaving Joe. I love him. I've loved him for years. But our relationship isn't moving forward. It's in a holding pattern, and I can't help but feel responsible. I'm too insecure, and I think it comes across. I wasn't like this when we met. If I dwell on this, I will just feel worse, so that's all I'm going to say about it for now...

Tomorrow is my last day of work at Bloomingdales. I will be leaving Los Angeles on February 17th. I will leave 12 years, 1 month, and17 days from the day I arrived. I'm a few pounds heavier, a few gray hairs older, but I'm not sure that I'm any wiser... I guess only time will tell. Time.

Week: 55
Weight: 238.2
Pounds gained: 3.0
Total pounds lost: 18.8
Goal: 150
Pounds to go: 88.2

Monday, December 14, 2009

Upcoming Holidays

I've been working a lot over the last few weeks. Last week I worked 7 days in a row. My mom will be coming out to visit at the end of this week, and while she is here, we will be spending 2 days in Big Bear. I want to work on my snowboarding, and I've only tried it twice. Last time I went, I ended up not fitting into my snowboarding gear from the first time I went, and I had to buy new clothes from the men's section at a snowboarding shop. It was so expensive, because it was local and last minute. I was really depressed. Since I don't want a repeat of that experience, I decided last week to eat mainly salads until the trip. I've been eating some other foods here and there, but mostly staying away from the carbs. It's been raining a lot, so I've occassionally been making chili at home. It's canned, from the grocery store, and it's quick and easy and filling. At Bloomingdales, I can get a chicken salad for just over $7 with my employee discount. It's decent. Nothing special, as far as salads go, but it's better for me than a Bloomies burger. Tonight I splurged a little and ordered carne asada from El Torito Grill, which isn't bad itself necessarily but comes with little scoops of corn cakes. I figured, one night a week shouldn't hurt me if I've been sticking to my plan all week. I haven't gotten much exercise in, except for the hours of walking around the store returning clothes to different departments. I know in some ways that counts, but it's not targeting different areas of my body. AND MY FEET HURT! I told Joe he could buy me a foot spa for Christmas. It would be nice to have a foot spa. You can find them at almost any drug store, so it shouldn't be a difficult gift.

If my salads pay off, I will try to continue with a low carb diet and have 1 day a week to splurge. I should know more by next week, right before I go to Big Bear. Since I missed a blog last week, I had gained a little before implementing the salads plan, and now i'm back to where I started during my last blog.

Another friend from high school found me on Facebook tonight. Even though he wasn't an old boyfriend, I'm still motivated. It's hard, because at the store I see all these cute clothes that I can picture myself in when I am thinner. I'm just not sure how realistic it all is.

Week: 49
Weight: 235.2
Pounds gained: 0.2
Total pounds lost: 21.8
Size: 16
Goal: 150
Pounds to go: 85.2

Sunday, November 29, 2009

In Pain

My post-Thanksgiving blog... I guess in theory it's the biggest food day of the year. Which is ironic because, for as much as I love food, it's my least favorite holiday. I could care less about turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, yams, cranberries, sweet potatoes, stuffing.....

Joe was struggling with whether or not he was going to spend it with his daughter at her mom's house, or with me. I told him he should just go - we had talked about it months ago and decided then that he would spend Thanksgiving with them and Christmas with me, because Christmas is also my birthday and it would probably be the last one we spend together since I am moving back to Texas next year. I told my friend Elena that I would spend Thanksgiving with her while she was housesitting. I made a southern macaroni and cheese dish and biscuits, and she made a chicken with stuffing, yams, and corn. It all came out really good, and perfect for 2 people. But something happened to me that day. I'm not sure when, or how, but I developed a serious lower back pain.

Is it possible to sit down to eat a meal, and have eaten so much that by the time you stand up, your back gives out to the new weight it has to support? Because I can't think of anything else I did that day that would constitute the pain I now have. Its been here ever since Thanksgiving day, and mostly I feel it when I bend over or go from a sitting position to a standing position.

What's worse is the the pain makes it practically impossible to do anything physical that I might otherwise try to do to exercise off some of my weight gain. I've tried popping my back, applying heat, doing some slow stretches... nothing helps. All I can do - I've been doing - is not eat so much in these days that have followed, so that I might lose some weight from not eating so much. From what I can tell, it's working, but it also makes me a bit lethargic. I don't have great energy. And that really becomes apparent when I'm at work. It's the holiday season. I've had to work all this weekend. I finally had today off, but when you are working retail during the holidays, those 7 and 8 hour days of standing on your feet can really get to you.

Here's hoping the pain goes away this week.

Week: 47
Weight: 235.0
Pounds lost: 3.6
Total pounds lost: 22
Size: 16/18
Goal: 150
Pounds to go: 85

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Losing Focus

It's been a few months since my last post. After the trip to Washington, I had a hard time getting back on track. Mostly, I was stressed about not having a job, and my unemployment was running out. I had found a job, if you could call it that, with a real estate law firm that helped people who were at risk of losing their homes due to the economy. It is one of the top law firms in the country in terms of real loan modifications. But, it paid out on straight commission. So, if I didn't close a deal, I didn't make any money. I gave it a try for 3 weeks, and while I consider myself to be good at sales, I found it difficult. It was easier to convince people to spend $5000 to organize their home than it was to convince them to spend $3000 to save their home. Everyone else there seemed to be finding success, and while I learned a lot in the 3 short weeks that I was there, my heart just wasn't into it.

Meanwhile, a friend of mine recommended me for a position at a retail store he worked at. It was an adult novelty store in Silver Lake. It wasn't exactly something I was interested in, but I half-heartedly filled out an application, and 2 weeks later (while I was at the law firm) they called me to inform me that they were actually considering me for store manager. They did an hour long interview with me over the phone, but working for an "adult" product store wasn't really something I cared to do either, and it would be a bit of a drive, so I finally told them that I am considering moving in the new year, and I don't think it would be fair to allow them to train me to run their store when I didn't really plan on sticking around for very long. They appreciated my honesty and that was the end of that.

I finally just decided to apply anywhere and everywhere, figuring that since the holidays were approaching that my best bet would be to get back into retail. Retail would sustain me thru the holidays until I move, and it's the kind of job I don't have to commit to long term. So I started mall-hopping until last week, when I started at Bloomingdales. I worked for Bloomingdales in Century City a few years ago, from 2004-2005. I was a specialist in the Shop for Women, the plus size women's collection. It was actually a pleasant place to work, and I was about a size 14 at the time, so I was on the small end of that department, and an extra large in other regular departments. I bought a lot of really nice clothes back then, most of which I haven't worn yet. Not that I couldn't fit them then, but I wanted to wear them well. I am hoping that, by returning to Bloomingdales, I will be surrounded by the mindset that I can wear most of these clothes if I do my part to keep losing weight.

I finally cancelled my gym membership. It really was too expensive, and far. So now, the burden of exercise is completely on me. I have no help, except 7 pre-paid spinning classes and the park down the street to jog in. I have to work on getting up to do it though, and that still remains a challenge.

I have also, in the last few months, found my first boyfriend on Facebook. Time hasn't been kind, but I can still see the guy I knew when I look at his pictures. He is married now and has a daughter, and he said that when I move back to Texas, we should meet for lunch one day. I was about 180 pounds the last time he saw me. I want to make sure I reach my goal of 150 if we ever really do meet. It's just one of those things, you know? You want to look good so he can see what he missed. Rub it in without saying a word. Right now, I wouldn't meet him. And truthfully, one of my friends thinks it's just wrong to meet him because he's married. So I don't know. It's just lunch. I don't even find him attractive anymore. But what a great incentive to get back on track, right? Shouldn't I be happy for anything that motivates me?

Week: 46
Weight: 238.6
Pounds gained: 2.2
Total pounds lost: 18.4
Size: 16
Goal: 150
Pounds to go: 88.6

Monday, September 21, 2009


I made it home from Washington D.C. All in all, it was a great trip. I had lots of fun, saw the sights, and had a great time with my mom. But it was also a wake up call for me. With the trip, combined with my 10 days of dogsitting (and whatever else I gained thanks to my period), my weight went up almost 10 pounds! 10 pounds! In a 2 week period! I thought with all the walking, surely it would help. I averaged about 6 miles per day. But it was all flat surface walking, and none of it was fast enough to break a sweat because my mom can't walk very fast. So in hindsight, I'm sure my heart rate didn't increase much. And of course, every meal is eaten out. It really proved to me that vacationing can be dangerous to the waistline.

I was thinking about Bethenny's rules for "thinking thin", and how one of the rules that's helped me at home is just knowing what something tastes like has deterred me from eating it - I know what Oreo cookies taste like, so I don't need to keep buying them. I know what chips taste like, so I don't need them. But on vacation, on a different coast, you don't really know what things taste like. I don't mean Oreos are different. But things in the restuarants. Food might taste fresher, or might be cooked differently. It makes it a lot harder to go into a restaurant on vacation and order a salad, because what if the crab cakes are better here than in LA? What if the bbq ribs or the cajun pasta is something I can't get back home? I'm not sure... maybe it's just the weak argument of a remorseful chunky girl who's heavier now than she was 3 weeks ago.

I have, since returning from my trip, worked out every single day, and some of the 10 pounds has fallen off. I only have 4 pounds to go. But from what I can tell, once I've reached my ideal weight, I will need to diet 2 weeks prior to any traveling in order to lose the 10 pounds that I will end up gaining when I am gone.

As a side note, I have incredible shoulder/neck pain from carrying my bags on the traveling days of this trip. My mom and I flew from D.C. to Atlanta, GA together, and from there I was to fly to LA and she would fly to Dallas. But our plane in D.C. took off 45 minutes late because the weather was too bad in Atlanta to land. So by the time we got to Atlanta, we had both missed our connecting flights. My mom got rebooked onto the last flight out to Dallas that night, but I had to spend the night in Atlanta and fly out to LA the next morning. If you've ever been to the airport in Atlanta, you know it's no fun. There's about 6 terminals and you have to take shuttles between them. And they are always changing the gates at the last minute. So you can be waiting for 2 hours at the scheduled gate, and 30 minutes before they are supposed to start boarding, they announce that your gate has changed and you have to go all the way to an opposite terminal for your flight. It's a nightmare. I spent the night in a sad little motel that smelled like pee and slept 2 hours before having to go back to the airport.

Week: 37
Weight: 236.4
Pounds gained: 4.0
Total pounds lost: 20.6
Size: loose 18/tight 16
Goal: 150
Pounds to go: 86.4

Friday, September 11, 2009

Trials and Tribulations of Traveling

So I've been missing for over a week, largely due to the fact that I've been dogsitting in someone else's home, and not near my blog. I dogsat a yellow lab named Cody in his home for 10 days. 10 days in a house with a gourmet kitchen, to make all those dishes from Food Network that I've been dying to make, and I didn't make a thing except macaroni and cheese. I was too afraid to use the 6-burner stainless steel stove... what if I broke it? I can't owe someone a new stove! Plus, upon rummaging thru the kitchen, I didn't find any cookware that I could realistically use to make any of the dishes in my recipe box. So 10 days of no workouts, sitting on a couch watching TV-PG rated programming (the family has 2 kids and blocked all shows over TV-PG, and forgot to leave me the code to watch regular TV). I knew I gained. I felt the pounds crawling on me. Then, the last day I was there, I got my period. More weight!!!

I ended my service there on Monday night and returned to my life, to my dog that now has separation anxiety when I leave the house (who didn't have separation anxiety before I left to dogsit), and to prepare for a 5 day trip to Washington D.C. with my mother.

It's day 1 of my trip - yesterday was my travel day to get here. I decided to bring my pedometer on this trip to see how much walking I do. Yesterday, the process of "getting here" was quite an ordeal.

My flight left LAX at noon, but I didn't have a ride to the airport. My friends all either work or are, for lack of greater explanation, unreliable. I decided since I am financially challenged, that I would take a city bus to the Van Nuys Flyaway. The Van Nuys Flyaway is a bus station in Van Nuys that specifically takes you to LAX. There are no stops along the way and they depart every 30 minutes on the hour and the half hour. Just straight from their bus station to the airport for $7. I mapped out the city bus route to get to the flyaway. Bus #237 took me straight there. I had to catch it outside my apartment at 9:18am, it would drop me there at 9:38am, just in time to buy my ticket and take the 10am bus to LAX and catch my noon flight. So I went outside to the bus stop. Another girl was waiting for the same bus and we started talking. The bus was about 5 minutes late, and we were ready to get on. Then, it drove right past us.

The next bus, #233, came and stopped for us, but it wasn't going where we needed to go. We told the driver what happened and he offered us to get on and he would try to catch up to #237. Well, he didn't catch up to #237. He dropped me off where I could catch another bus that would drop me off 2 blocks from the flyaway. So I caught bus #163 and got off where he said. But it wasn't 2 blocks to the flyaway. It was 8 blocks to the flyaway. Unfortunately, I had packed everything for my trip in my oversized gym bag and my computer in another bag, so I was carrying 2 bags and my purse - nothing had wheels to make my journey easier. Did I mention I'm still on my period and it's really freaking hot outside?

I get to the flyaway at 10:05am, sweat running all down my face and chest into my bra. You can purchase tickets for the flyaway bus two ways - thru an automated kiosk or at the ticket booth. When I got inside, there was a HUGE line. The automated kiosk was out of order, so everyone had to wait in line for the ticket booth. But I noticed the line wasn't moving AT ALL. The woman in the booth wasn't selling tickets. I asked the woman in line next to me to save my place in line and went to investigate. There was a bus outside with people on it, but it was 10:15am. Was this the 10am bus or the 10:30am bus? I asked. Turns out the 10am bus broke down, so all the passengers and luggage had to transfer to the bus that should have been for the 10:30am passengers, a new bus was ordered for the 10:30am passengers, but would take 40 minutes to arrive. To top that off, there was an accident on the freeway and it was taking an hour to get to the airport. By my calculations, I would be arriving right about the time my flight was scheduled to leave. So after all that work to get to the flyaway, I took a cab to LAX for $60.00. I checked in on time and made my 5-hour flight to D.C., ready to collapse.

While I don't have a totaly weight for this trip (no scale in the hotel), I can tell you from my pedometer that yesterday I walked slightly over 8000 steps, or 4 miles. Today we walked to the Smithsonian museums, totaling 16,632 steps, or just over 8.25 miles. I brought gym clothes on this trip so that I can use the gym in the hotel, but I'm wondering if all this walking is exercise enough?