Airing Dirty Laundry

for all the world wide web to see

206 April 16, 2008

Filed under: hungryhungryhippo,secrets,Uncategorized — airingdirtylaundry @ 8:49 am

Just an update on my weight issue, for all of you who care.  I’ve lost 4 pounds since Friday.  I know I’ll drop a lot of weight at first and then it will taper off, but damn did it feel good to step on the scale and see a LOWER number instead of a HIGHER one.

I had my first personal training session last night, and Andi kicked my ass.  But it’s a GOOD kind of ass-kicking.  I’m a little sore today, but it’s manageable and not nearly as bad as I expected.  She started off by having me warm up on the elliptical for a few minutes, and then had me do as many push-ups as I could before my arms gave out (30) and as many sit-ups as I could do in a minute (35).  Then I did the sit-and-reach to get an idea of where my flexibility was.  Years ago, prior to boobs and gut, I could just flop my upper body down on top of my legs and reach waaaayyy past my heels.  Boobs, gut, and a few hundred Chicken McNuggets later and I could barely get a few centimeters past.  I joked with Andi that this was just like the President’s Physical Fitness test from school eons ago and that I expected a certificate signed by Ronald Reagan.

After the initial evaluation, Andi measured me and weighed me.  I then wrote down my goals so that we can measure my progress as time goes on.  My goals included losing weight (duh)–35 to possibly 50 lbs; being able to run 3 miles non-stop; increasing flexibility by 2cm on the sit-and-reach; and losing a total of 5 inches off of the various measurements she took (shoulders, chest, waist, hips, arms, thighs).  Please don’t let all 5 inches come off of my chest.  I’ll look even more like a bowling pin than I do now.

Next we worked out a schedule so that Andi can get an idea of what I’m doing when.  I’m currently using the elliptical Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings for an hour, running on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for 30-45 minutes, and am taking her boot camp classes on Monday night and Saturday morning.  For the next couple of weeks until the mini-marathon, I also need to fit a longer run in on either Saturday or Sunday, although I’ll ditch that after the mini is over.  Add in personal training on Tuesday and Thursday nights, and my week is full.  That gives me Wednesday night to rest go to the grocery store and run errands. 

I’ve also been very strict on my nutrition.  I ended up getting frustrated with FitDay.  I spent 15 minutes searching for one food item on Saturday and ended up looking it up on Calorie King anyhow.  That website rocks.  I’ve used it for years just to look up nutritional info, but had never used their diet and exercise software because you have to pay for it.  I signed up for the 7-day free trial and will definitely be buying the software.  It’s so user-friendly and the nutritional information is available for so many brand names that you’re able to get a more accurate idea of what you’re eating instead of using averages.   You can also add in your exercise for the day with estimates of how many caloreis you burned.  At the end of a day/week/month/etc. you can look at pie charts and graphs of your progress and also get an idea of what you need to do to adjust your diet.

Seriously, I’m not gunning to be the Calorie King spokesperson.  I just get so excited over their program that I can hardly contain myself. 

I allowed myself one “cheat meal” this weekend.  A delicious Primanti’s sandwich.  Mike had to take a trip down to the South Side on Sunday and I talked him into getting sandwiches to bring home.  As soggy as it was by the time he got home, that sandwich was fantastic.  I logged the components of the sandwich in on Calorie King and it came up to about 1000 calories, but that one cheat meal was sooo worth it.  I’m already looking forward to my options for my cheat meal this weekend and the thought of it has allowed me to forgo the never-ending birthday cakes circulating at work (it’s like the Seinfeld episode).  I don’t even really like cake.  But I used to eat it just because it was there.  Now I can say “no” because I don’t want to waste my cheat meal on a piece of cake. 

Thta’s all for now.  Bear with me during my long rambling posts about what I eat and my workouts.  One day when I’m a size 10 (or 8!) I’ll need these to look back on to motivate me to stay that way!

In other news, our deck is being started today!  We’re supposed to have beautiful weather until the weekend, so they should be able to get most of it done this week and finish up on Monday and Tuesday.


210 April 11, 2008

Filed under: hungryhungryhippo,life lessons — airingdirtylaundry @ 3:50 pm

Remember boot camp?  Did you think I gave it up by now?  Hell, no!  I love it!  I go twice a week–Monday nights and Saturday mornings.  I have missed some classes here and there for various reasons, but lately I’ve been there pretty regularly. 

I’ve known Andi since college, and maybe it’s the comfort level I have with her and the others that take the class too (one is also a friend from college and one is a friend from our neighborhood) that keep me interested in going.  It’s fun–we gossip, talk about hairstyles and clothes, bitch about whatever’s bothering us–but we also get a good workout.  It’s like therapy with some added health benefits.

I’m ready to take it one step further.  Tuesday starts my twice-weekly personal training sessions with Andi.  So in addition to my 45-60 minutes of cardio in the morning and boot camp twice a week, I’ll have 2 hours of intense one-on-one training.  Also, I’ve been concentrating on my nutrition and tracking what I eat each day on FitDay so that I have an accurate picture of what’s going into my body.

I’m tired of being fat.  I’m tired of continually buying bigger clothes.  I’m tired of putting something on that I fit into just a few months ago and having it not even come close to fitting now.  I’m tired of feeling self-conscious.  I’m tired of being the “big girl”.

I’ve been reading a fertility book that I borrowed from a friend, and there was just a passing mention that some women who are obese have more trouble conceiving, more trouble during pregnancy, more trouble during childbirth, and are slow to bounce back afterwards.  All of this, combined with concerns for my health in general, are forcing me to make some big changes.  I have to.

I still struggle with the word “obese”, since what comes to mind is 400+ lbs, but I think I need to finally recognize that I am technically an obese person.  Wow, is that depressing.

I am 5’6″ tall and 210 lbs.  Did I just type that?  On my blog?  For the whole freakin’ world to see?  Deep breath.  In. Out. In. Out.

I am a size 16 (although sometimes a 14!).  I recently bought clothes at Lane Bryant, a store I had never set foot in previously.  Because I always thought it was for fat people.  Hello, now I am one of those fat people.

It hurts to reveal my weight.  I’m ashamed of it.  But if I have to be shamed into dropping some of it, then so be it.

I had created a FitDay account in the past, but never really used it.  When I logged in earlier this week to start tracking my nutrition, I saw that my weight was listed as 178.  I went back in time and found that 178 was my weight when I originally created my account–2 1/2 years ago.  I’m now 32 lbs heavier (for those of you that are too lazy to do the math).  Even if I could get back to 178 , it would be a drastic improvement.  According to my internet research, 150 would be my ideal weight.  Sixty pounds.  SIXTY. 

WHAT have I done to my body over the years?  Take-out, fast food, mounds and mounds of pasta, cookies, chocolate, alcohol.  What took me minutes to eat is going to take me hours to take off.  It’s going to be quite a battle–that I assure you.

I sent Mike an email this morning once Andi and I worked out the timing for my personal training sessions.  I told him how excited I am to do this, but my only concern is that I’m going to have to be really organized in planning meals ahead of time.  I get up at 4:45-5:00 each morning to get on the elliptical or the treadmill, then eat breakfast and pack my lunch, jump in the shower, get ready for work, play “beat the clock” on my way there, get home at 5:30-5:45 (if I don’t have any errands to run), and THEN figure out what we’re having for dinner.  With boot camp on Mondays, dinner doesn’t happen until 7:30-7:45, and only if Mike called in an order to the pizza place down the street while I was gone.  Now with Tuesdays and Thursdays added in to the mix, it’s even more important that I figure out what we’re having for dinner in advance.  Thank goodness summer is coming and we can use the grill a lot for quick-but-healthy meals–I’m sure that will help.

Mike’s response to my email was that he’s here to support me in any way and I just need to let him know what help I need.  THAT right there is my motivation.  His support means the world to me.


These Irish eyes, they are a-smilin’ March 20, 2008

Filed under: blogging,hungryhungryhippo — airingdirtylaundry @ 9:18 pm

Remember about two weeks ago, when I casually mentioned that I had bought cookies at a local eatery that were stale?  You don’t?  You don’t hang on to every word that I type and breathlessly wait for the next one?  Shame, shame on you.

Anyhow, I made mention of buying smiley cookies at Eat’n Park, a restaurant that’s local to us western-Pennsylvanians (and–to be fair–central PA, eastern Ohio, and northern WV).  I heart smiley cookies.  Maybe it’s because they’re big and I can justify “only having one”.  They make me smile right back at them.  The cookies I had bought were stale.  That didn’t stop me from eating them (impossible!), but it did stop me from serving them during my turn to host book club that week.  I’m not a crazy irate lady who would march right back to the restaurant and raise holy hell over it.  It was no big deal.  It did require me to cram almost all of the 12 cookies down my throat in the span of 3 days, but other than that I didn’t really think twice about it.

Not long after my post, I got an email from a woman named Trina, claiming to be the marketing coordinator for Eat’n Park.  She apologized for the cookies not being fresh and offered a complimentary dozen to make up for it.  I did some serious stalking sleuthing and checked her out on LinkedIn to make sure she was a “real” person and not some psycho pretending to give something away for free in order to trap me.  Because anyone listed on LinkedIn is an upstanding person in my book (regardless of the “don’t take candy cookies from strangers” rule).  [Sorry, my paranoia makes me think that everyone’s out to get me.  Honestly, that paranoia has saved my ass on numerous occasions.]  The good news is she’s not a psycho!  And she really does work for Eat’nPark!  And she really DID want to give me free cookies!

I knew we were having people over for the Pitt basketball game (a little pre-St. Patrick’s Day party) on Friday night, so I arranged to pick them up at the restaurant closest to me.  They were mind-numbingly fresh and absolutely delightful.  You know, I had to try one out before serving them to my guests!

me eat cookie me cookie monsterme eat cookie me cookie monsterme eat cookie me cookie monsterme eat cookie

So, a great big thanks to Trina and to Eat’n Park.  Definitely customer service with a smile! (Pun oh so totally intended!)


Bootcamp–day 1 January 12, 2008

Filed under: hungryhungryhippo — airingdirtylaundry @ 5:26 pm

My friend Andi just moved into our neighborhood.  Although I’ve known her for close to 15 years, I’ve never actually worked out with her or been trained by her.  She offered to hold a bootcamp class for those of us in the neighborhood that are willing to give it a try, and I immediately told her I was interested.  I’ve been spending some quality time with our treadmill recently, but it’s just not enough.  I need someone to push me.

I was definitely pushed this morning!  Her basement is like a mini-gym.  She has a lot of equipment and a lot of knowledge, and is a great teacher.  I was a little embarrassed at first.  I try my best to disguise my ever-increasing weight with clothes, and well, that just goes out the window when you’re working out and jiggling everywhere and your shirt rides up and exposes the mound of stomach underneath.  But Andi immediately made me feel at ease, offered constructive criticism and encouragement, and worked every muscle until it hurt.

Once I got home, I knew I’d better keep moving, and something (perhaps the whole pot of coffee I drank!) inspired me to clean the baseboards and hardwood floors in our family room and kitchen.  My little adrenaline rush is now coming to a halt, so I’m sitting here waiting for the ache to set it.  But what a good ache it is!  I can’t wait until the next session!


Vegas 11/21/07 November 27, 2007

Filed under: hungryhungryhippo,NaBloPoMo,Vegas — airingdirtylaundry @ 7:43 am

We woke up early on Wednesday and headed downstairs to eat breakfast at Planet Dailies in our hotel.  I stopped keeping my food journal at this point when I realized that I had a beer BEFORE even having breakfast.  My original intention was to at least keep track of what I was eating and drinking when we were there but not to keep to my diet.  Less than 12 hours after arriving I realized that I didn’t even want to be bothered with even keeping the food journal.

After breakfast we played the slots in our hotel for awhile, and then headed towards the monorail.  I knew which direction it was in, but wasn’t exactly sure where the nearest stop was.  We ended up one block off of the strip walking behind all of the hotels, while Mike was getting progressively madder at my horrible sense of direction.  And it turned out that you have to go through the hotels to get to the various stops anyhow.  A very nice Bally’s employee took us through a maze of restricted-access hallways and pointed us in the right direction. Crisis averted.

We hopped on the monorail and got off at the Sahara. 


Walking through the Sahara, Mike got in touch with his cousin from Florida who was in Vegas visiting his in-laws for the holiday.  We had hoped to meet up with his cousin at some point, but once we realized that it just wasn’t going to work out, we hailed a cab and made our way downtown to Fremont Street.  Our first stop was the Golden Nugget.

golden nugget

We were amazed and a little bit upset that so many of the hotels were already decorated for Christmas on the day before Thanksgiving.


But that certainly didn’t stop us from having fun.  We saw a tiny sign that said “dive bar.” Hoping for some kind of non-touristy local beer-and-shot joint, we followed the sign.  We were wrong.  When we got there it was a pool with a shark tank and a bar–a dive bar. Duh.

dive bar

waterfall at dive bar

We got a very expensive beer and continued on our way.  I think we went in each of the casinos on Fremont Street, and we spent a lot of time at the Las Vegas Club, where we met Mike the casino host,

mike the casino host

who is also a Steeler fan.

mike the casino host's tatoo

I think it was this casino that also had a sport memorabilia hallway, including Jerome Bettis’ college jersey.

bettis jersey

We gambled more than I thought we would downtown.  Rumor has it that there are

loose slots

at the casinos downtown, and they didn’t disappoint.  I especially liked that they had cheaper table games than they do in the casinos on the strip.

Although we stayed until dark, we left before all of the overhead lights came on.  We weren’t sure what time they came on and we knew we needed to get back to the strip to see Big Elvis at Bill’s Gambling Hall.  What a fantastic show!  I even got to perform with him

me with big e

and have the certificate to prove it!

big e certificate

 And the night was young–we still had quite an adventure ahead of us!



Workin’ it November 17, 2007

Filed under: hungryhungryhippo,NaBloPoMo — airingdirtylaundry @ 12:18 pm

In more ways than one.

I’m going into work today for 5 or 6 hours just to get caught up on some odds and ends that just didn’t get done this week.

And then I’m going to a local health club (just LOVE how the word “gym” is so passe now) to work out under a trial membership.  My jaw almost hit the ground when I found out how expensive it was to join, but I’ll gladly use their facilities for 7 times for free before I decide that I can’t afford a membership.  They have the Precor ellipticals with the crossramp that I adore.  Adore.  If they weren’t $3000, we’d have one in our house.

Workin’ it on a Saturday.

And then I’m going to go home and pass out in bed.


I kinda “fell off the wagon” November 14, 2007

Filed under: family,hungryhungryhippo,NaBloPoMo — airingdirtylaundry @ 8:36 pm

Since yesterday was our anniversary, Mike and I decided to go out to dinner last night after I got home from work.  We went to a fantastic Italian restaurant that sits right on a small lake (although it was dark and we couldn’t even see the water). 

Bruschetta's al lago

Oh, and we went there because we had a “buy-one-entree-get-one-free” coupon.  We’re all about the romance. And the free food.

Our server brought complimentary bruschetta to our table, which has never happened in the past when we’ve eaten there. Of course it would have been rude of me to NOT have any, right?

And that started what could have been a disasterous chain reaction, but I think I recovered well, if I may say so myself.  I diverted my attention from the pasta section of the menu, and instead opted for the salmon and scallops over rice pilaf.  Pasta is my downfall.  I could seriously eat it 3times a day every day.  So instead of ordering it myself, I drooled over Mike’s pasta.  I think I gained weight just looking at it.  And since it was a special occasion, I talked myself into having a glass of wine–a wonderful cabernet that was worth every calorie.

My plan was to eat half of my dinner and save the other half for today’s lunch, but, well, it just didn’t work out that way.  I still ended up under 2000 calories for the day (barely!), but I had that uncomfortable stuffed feeling the rest of the night.

And then we went to the casino (you know, to “practice” for Vegas!) for a few hours.  A nice evening that was just the two of us and never once did the monstrous pile of laundry that was waiting for me at home cross my mind. 

So instead of cleaning the house and spending some quality time with the Ab Lounge, I pigged out.  But today I’m back to eating normally.  The one thing I’ve noticed about losing weight?  The boobs are first to go.  A necessary sacrifice, I guess.


Slowly but surely November 11, 2007

Filed under: hungryhungryhippo,NaBloPoMo — airingdirtylaundry @ 11:43 am

I’m seeing results.  I’ve lost 5 pounds in the last 2 weeks.  I knew weekends would be the hardest to deal with–there’s not as much of a schedule and a lot more temptations.  Last weekend wasn’t so bad–we didn’t leave the house much and I was still at the beginning, gung-ho stage.

But this weekend we had a lot of running around to do and had to eat out for the first time in the past two weeks.  Somehow, I was able to breeze right past the fried stuff and the hamburgers and order broiled scrod with steamed vegetables.  Even when I’ve done this in the past I’ve never been able to keep myself from having just a few french fries, or just one desert, or whatever I rationalized I could have.  But somehow I’m even more committed this time than I ever was before and I’m able to do this without feeling like I’m missing out on anything.  I think I’m growing up and have discovered willpower!

I ran 2 miles on the treadmill yesterday.  Two whole miles.  I haven’t run in months, possibly a year.  And I’m headed back to the basement to get back on that thing right now!  This week, we signed up for the Indianapolis Mini Marathon in May.  In order for me to get back into half marathon shape, I need to start my training now.  Six months should be enough.  I’ve run a half marathon before–six of them, actually–but I was much lighter and in much better shape, except for the very last one I did when I struggled to finish.  My time was pretty consistent throughout the years, so my only real goal this time is to beat my previous times.

Slowly but surely.


I should have stuck with the ThighMaster November 8, 2007

Filed under: hungryhungryhippo,NaBloPoMo — airingdirtylaundry @ 9:31 am

I never watch infomercials.  You know why?  I’m naive and easily impressed.  I would be instantly “wow”ed by whatever I was watching and know that I just had to have it, because look, it does this and it does that, and it’s useful around the house, and I could make 47 low payments of $19.95 and it would be mine, all mine!

So although I steer clear of infomercials, I still get sucked in every once in awhile and end up buying something that I swear up and down I will use every single day, and then it ends up collecting dust or hitting the Goodwill bin.

The ThighMaster is a perfect example.  I had a ThighMaster when I was about 17 or 18.  I think I actually asked my mom to get it for me for Christmas that year.  I went off to college, toted it along, and sure I used it every now and then, but it was pretty much just a conversation piece.  But I had to have it at the time–just had to.  My rationale was that, well, I had big thighs (not that they went away or anything) and the ThighMaster would give them tone and definition.  It probably would have.  If I would have used it.  I mean, come on, Suzanne Somers swears by it, and look at her thighs.

Fast forward 13 years or so.  I became entranced with the Ab Lounge.  But I was cautious.  I had wasted money before on stuff I didn’t use.  I was smarter than that.  But in a moment of weakness, walking through a sporting goods store, I saw the Ab Lounge sitting there in all of it’s glory, and just had to have it.  Mike tried to talk me out of it, sensing that we were about to waste $100.  But I countered his every argument.

“We don’t have room.”

“Yes we do.  It folds up.  Haven’t  you seen the commercials?  When I’m not using it, I can fold it up and put it under the bed or in the closet.”

Needless to say, I won, and we lugged that big box home.  We then proceeded to spend about 4 hours putting it together, arguing, looking at each other in bewilderment, grasping the directions in our hands and waving them towards the heavens screaming “Why, God, why?”.

But we finally figured it out, and took a minute to sit back and admire it.  Beautiful.  Now, how does it fold up?  I seriously could not figure it out.  I was pulling and pushing and bruising both arms and legs (mine, not the Ab Lounge’s), and still couldn’t get it.  Back to the directions.  I couldn’t find anything on the directions, so I jumped online and took a look.  Oh.  We had bought the Ab Lounge 2, not the Original Ab Lounge.  The Ab Lounge 2 doesn’t fold up.  Which is stupid–I mean, shouldn’t products get MORE improved as time goes on.  Shouldn’t the “2” be better than the “original”?  The “2” should fold up, and fold up even smaller than the “original”!

I looked at it in dismay as it sat in our family room, taking up the few precious square feet of free space we had.  My choices were to dismantle it and take it back, or suck it up.  So I sucked it up.  Within 3 weeks it was in the walk-in closet in our family room (which I had to completely clean out in order to squeeze it in).  I would have loved to put it in the garage, but then I would have had to park my car outside.  And to this day, every time I’m interested in the newest “as seen on TV” product, Mike reminds me of the Ab Lounge.

Time went on, we sold our house, put all of our stuff in storage and moved into a tiny apartment while our new house was being built.  Ah, the new house, tons of room.  A basement where I can have a little workout area in one corner and have all the room in the world to stretch out on my Ab Lounge.

We’ve lived here since June 2006.  The Ab Lounge, which as you probably guessed, was collecting dust and spiderwebs in the basement.  The basement that is still a landmine of half-unpacked boxes and, you know, all that stuff we just can’t part with.

On Sunday I asked Mike to bring the Ab Lounge upstairs so that I could put it in one of the spare bedrooms, and, well, maybe USE it.  Between the two of us, we wrestled it up two flights of stairs and through the doorway.  I couldn’t help but think that it would have been easier to transport IF IT WOULD ONLY FOLD UP! Last night, feeling guilty since I didn’t get up early that morning to get on the treadmill (which DOES get used regularly by both of us–money well-spent), I decided to use the Ab Lounge. 

It was dark outside, and there’s no overhead light in that room and no lamps either.  Not feeling like moving a lamp, I decided to do it in the dark.  So there I was, in the room that will hopefully someday be our nursery, in mis-matched sweatpants and t shirt, grunting and groaning on the Ab Lounge, my shirt making a horribly irritating noise as it scraped across the nylon hammock, and with only a thin stream of light coming in from the hallway.  Afterwards, I laid there, stuck in that hammock like a turtle that’s been flipped on its back, barely able to catapult myself out of it. Put THAT on your infomerial, Ab Lounge people.


My favorite weekend of the year November 4, 2007

Filed under: football,hungryhungryhippo,NaBloPoMo — airingdirtylaundry @ 7:06 am

Seriously, this is it.  The extra hour thanks to Daylight Savings Time = an extra hour of sleep. Yes, I know we lose that hour in the spring (on my least-favorite weekend of the year) and it all evens out in the end, but I love the idea of an extra “free” hour.  EVERY DAY should have an extra hour.

Saturday morning I woke up and ran all of my errands, put some chili in the crockpot (extra lean meat of course, and to be eaten in small portions).  As the chilli simmered, we watched college football.  Well, Mike watched college football while I cleaned the house, got on the treadmill, putzed around, and paid bills (including my traffic ticket from Wednesday morning for skating through a yellow-quickly-turning-red light.  I was also speeding and tailgating a big truck–which is why I couldn’t see the light turn. So I am definitely guilty and  can’t even try to fight it.  I got off relatively easy since the ticket was just for the light and not for speeding. And it’s my first ticket since the day after Christmas 1996.  So I’m due.  At least that’s my rationale.).

Of course, I also had to pull the last of the weeds for the year (hopefully) from the flower beds, begbegbeg Mike to cut the grass this one last time for the year, clean out the garage so that we could squeeze our cars in and not have to scrape the heavy frost from the windows in the morning. Oh, and fold 5 monster loads of laundry that I had washed and dried but then dumped in a big pile on our bedroom floor earlier in the week. 

And how does all of this equate to being my favorite weekend?  Spending time with Mike, getting alot done, relaxing a little–perfect.  And that extra hour made it even better.