Saturday, February 27, 2010

Just a few notes.

Hey guys.

Sorry I've been sparse in the updates lately.  There is a lot of change going on in my life, and I'm finding it hard to concentrate on writing here. :(  I'm sure it's just a funk and I'll be over it soon.

One, I am keeping Chile in my thoughts.  Hold tight, Hawaii.  /sigh...   I feel like the end of the world is coming.

Two, you should go check out this post at Eating Journey.  I've never related to the term "compulsive overeater" but considering how out of control I feel the last few days, it struck a small chord with me.  Though I usually won't overeat or stuff myself every day... I definitely am two things:  A fast eater, and a carb addict.  I eat SO fast... I rarely put my fork down.  I often can finish a meal and struggle to remember what it tasted like.  Dan reminds me to eat slower, or to put my fork down every once in awhile, but I can. not. do. it. 

I haven't gone back to low carb yet (going to the grocery store today), so that's probably why I feel out of control, when in fact I haven't actually been eating THAT badly.  I'm maintaining, in fact, back down to 172.8 today.

Three, I'm looking for a new studio space!  Here are a few shots of the place I looked at yesterday:
I'm looking at a few other places this week, but I really, really love this space.  Lots of colorful walls, around 1600 square feet, and it's a killer rent!  The location is really fantastic as well... it's super close to / basically downtown, and it's only about 8 minutes from my house.

Ta-Ta for now,


Monday, February 22, 2010

Puffy Mc Pufferson. Bloat.

It happens every time.  I lose a fair amount of weight (20 pounds or more,) and all of a sudden, the switch that was switched to make me lose weight in the first place, switches back to "no rules!"  Before I know it I awaken from a year-long food coma knee-deep in pringles cans, crusty bowls that once held pots and pots worth of macaroni and cheese, and I have crumbs and frosting on my face.

Well, folks, I feel like I'm at the beginning of that downward slope right now and it's freaking me out.  You all need to kick my ass back into gear.  I hear too many compliments and it makes me complacent.

I ate well last week.  Then, the weekend came and dammit, I ate badly again.  At this moment, Dan is making pancakes.  I'm eating some when they're ready.  I already had two pop tarts this morning and a cookie.  Reasoning for this?  I'm going to the grocery store and I'll buy my good food and start over tomorrow.  So that, of course, means that I can take a bath in crisco tonight and that won't be a problem at all.

I'm still at 174.  And the other thing about all of this... is that being at 174 is one pound under 175 which is 50 pounds down from my high weight of 225 in July of 2009.  So I feel justified and a little safe to eat bad and screw up and screw around for awhile.

Of course I don't remind myself that I still have 20 pounds until I hit my goal weight.  I'm "okay" where I am.  It's "fine" because it's not "bad," and people still say I look "good."  It doesn't matter that I feel bloated and my ring is cutting back into my finger and my pants feel tight.  My face feels puffy and I don't feel proud of myself or good about myself.

So where is the action point?  I already don't feel happy about my actions and small weight gain back.  And yet, I'm continuing to eat bad today.  Will it be the same story next weekend?  Or will I kick it in the nuts once and for all?

The thing about the diet I'm on... it's Low Carb.  The reason it works so well is that your body goes into Ketosis.  You deprive your body of excess carbohydrates, and it goes to the fat reserves for energy.  That burns up your stored fat, and you lose weight.  The problem is that every time I put bread, pasta, chips, pancakes, fruit, sugar, whatever into my mouth... it basically HALTS my weight loss and my body has to start over at the beginning.  That's why this weekly cheating crap has to stop.  It makes all my week-long dedication worth practically nothing.  Add to that, when I'm on any kind of a diet, I do really REALLY well when I don't have any kind of cheat or taste.  We've talked about this before.  The reason they say one taste will kill you... is because it reignites your cravings.


Maybe this is the struggle I'll be dealing with the rest of my life.  Balls.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Attack of the CARBS!

Now for the bad news.

Well, maybe it's not "bad" news, but it's definitely not a post about how I went to Vegas and stared a buffet in the face and said, "HELL NO!" ... Rather, it's about how I went to Vegas, and made sweet, sweet, culinary love to the buffet. In fact, it began at the Super Bowl, when I did not stop myself from eating fried chicken and tortilla chips with my brother's maddeningly good homemade guacamole.

I went out of control, don't care, ate whatever sounded good, and did it for a whole week. I spent seven days knee-deep in food, and I'm only 3.5 or 4-ish pounds up from where I was before vacation. Not too shabby, considering I was shoveling candy hand over fist into my mouth last night.

You guys, it's true. Eating bad makes you eat more badly just because once your body gets some of the bad stuff, it wants more. I never was a sweet tooth, but this week ate sugar. Like, lots of it. Cakes, candy, margaritas, etc.

Last night, I was inhaling skittles, chocolate covered peanuts and pretzels, mike and ikes, and I had a piece of carrot cake. Dan was just staring at me, "Whoa, I've never seen you like this!"

The sugar monster took hold of me. So today I'm cutting that bastard off, cold turkey. Plus, I'm pretty sure if I tried on those size 8 skinny jeans that they would NOT come close to zipping up as they did a few weeks ago. I need to keep moving forward.

So, here's a visual of some of the stuff I ate!  It started out well enough, with a Cobb Salad (super awesome for low carbers) on the first day:

Then, I went for a dinner at Margaritaville, and had this lovely combo, and did NOT eat the bun.  I started to sample little fries off of Dan's plate at this point, and maybe had some of his onion rings.  I die for onion rings.


 So, that was pretty much the end of the good eating.  I tried to maintain at the Flamingo's buffet (which is the most awful, crap food in the universe, so please, skip it.)  And they had sugar free cake.  I had a piece of that, but then ate a cookie and some soft serve with m&m's.  No idea why I did that.  The next day and the next day just progressively became more and more like "Aw, fuck it, I'm on vacation in Vegas!"  And, that's how I ate.  Buffets with desserts and potatoes and pastas, and TCBY at the airport, and a bagel for breakfast, and all the sugar and carbs I should not have eaten.  But come on.  Chicken, spinach and Brie crepes at Paris?  HAD to have it.

Or, this vegetarian restaurant we went to in Denver when I came back?  They had a scramble with cage free eggs, spinach, brie and sun dried tomatoes!  Also, there's a biscuit there with raspberry jam and sweet potato home fries!  Holy crap.  I love food.

Now I didn't go CRAZY overboard like this might suggest... I just didn't care.  I didn't cut those things out.  The only day I stuffed myself was at the World Buffet at the Rio (amazing, you must go if you visit Vegas, and I'm sorry I didn't take photos... I was too overwhelmed by the awesomeness and I forgot.)  -- but I was miserable and thought I was gonna die afterward.  We also probably walked about six miles that freakin' day.  So, given the amount of walking and *other* activities that took place... I think that's why I'm not that far up from where I started, weight wise.  

I'm not lamenting my decisions.  I'm just hopping back up on that freakin' horse, and I'm not jumping off again for a long time.  I had to go ahead and change my weight tracker on the right side of my blog, and I'm up from my low weight last month by like, seven pounds.  Now, I fully will admit that the low weight there was taken after a night of drinking, so it was probably a ...bit... incorrect. ;)  BUT!  I must have something going on inside my head because instead of typing "173.6" I typed "213.7"  ... Yeah, I think my brain is messed up.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Back, Jack!

Yeah.  So... I TOTALLY wanted to update you guys with stories and photos and stuff during my vacation, but ... though I was somehow willing to put $20 into a slot machine and watch it dwindle... I was NOT willing to pay the Flamingo $16 for 24 hours of internet.

I have SO much to tell you guys, I don't really know where to begin!  I suppose I should start at the beginning of the trip, which was actually in Denver.  One of my very best and closest friends got married, and I insisted I shoot their wedding.  I mean, I was gonna be there anyway, right? :)  So, click HERE for the photos from that.

So!  As you all know, Dan and I went to Vegas.  Thank you all so much for your tips!  I literally had my iPhone out and was paging through the suggestions so we could try to decide what to do and see.  You guys rock!

Here are a bunch of photos from the trip!!

First:  Lots of drinking.  Free cocktails wihlst gambling = fun!  goofy!   ridiculous!

We saw Penn and Teller's show at the Rio, and we met them afterward! :)  Yes, Penn is freakishly tall.  And yes, Teller actually does speak, and that was kind of weird.  Oh, and Penn calls everyone "Boss."  Old ladies, kids, dudes, me.  Boss.  I wonder if that's some weird way he passes the time, choosing a nickname to call every single person each night, or if that's just how he is.

Here are some other photos from the trip!

Isn't he so cute!??

My jacket matched the hotel! :) <3

SO serious all the time...

Our hotel:

Pussycat Dolls tables at Caesar's Palace

The chocolate fountain thing I wanted to stand in and eat.

World's biggest fake cupcake:

Our favorite night was at New York New York, where we spent six, SIX hours at the dueling piano bar.  The guys were all super talented, and it was the best night.  And I got so ridiculously drunk... I probably wouldn't have made it back to the hotel if it weren't for Dan.

Just soooo cool in Vegas!

So! That's all for now. I'll post all about the food and stuff tomorrow... this post has gotten way too long and out of control as it is. I look forward to catching up on all your blogs this week!


Friday, February 5, 2010

Just a quickie...

Hello all!

Well, I've arrived in Denver, and I'm hanging out with a few friends at the Barker.  (A low-key bar.)  Yes, we're dork-nerds.  Yes, we hang out with our laptops and blog/work/write at this bar.  Hey, I said it was low-key.

I'm photographing the wedding of a very old and dear friend tomorrow, and then will be spending a weekend with friends and family.  Super Bowl Sunday:  with my Parents!  Dan is flying in to Denver on Saturday.

Monday Dan and I are flying out to Vegas.  For the first time, ever, in my life.  I'm 27 and I've never been to Las Vegas!  I'm stoked.  We're spending a few nights there and flying back to Denver on the 11th.  One more day in Denver, then back to Milwaukee on the 13th, just in time for Valentine's day.

We're staying at The Flamingo.  So... any Vegas tips for me before we fly out?


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Holy Bathing Suits Batman!

I'm gonna share some bathing suit stuff, some shopping stuff, and some awesome news stuff.  So be sure to stick around until the end.  It's worth it, seriously! :)

So, the first bathing suit I tried on didn't quite do it for me, so I went back to return it.  Here are a few I tried on:

Here's the one I went with, but the two-piece version:

And the one I ultimately chose, a tankini two-piece:

So yeah!  I'm pretty happy with it.  It's a teensy small on the bottom, but no biggie.  I also wanted to share with you guys a photo of me in my goal bathing suit.  This is pretty open and out there, and I'm not going to apologize for the rolls ahead of time.  It's me, and that's that.

It's one I bought in Chicago several years ago when I was a size 6/8.  I'm pretty close to getting back into it! :)  Maybe it'll fit me properly by May when I go to Cancun:

Also!  I got to hang out at Kohls a little longer and take advantage of the gift card I got for Christmas and their 2-day sale.  Candies had a ton of stuff on sale, and I went beserk!

Cute pants:

The most amazing jacket:

And, this seriously adorable two piece skirt set:

And NOW FOR the finale! 

Back on December 4th, I weighed 175 and tried on the size 8 pair of jeans.  Apparently, five or six pounds makes a big difference, 'cause suddenly I can zip and button them.  Seriously... this is nuts!  Now, I definitely shouldn't be wearing them out in public by any stretch yet, but, dammit, they're ON!

Skinny jeans on in 2004:

Fat/before alongside December 4th:


Now the really weird thing is that... my hips and waist measurements haven't actually changed since December 4th.  Now I'm kind of pissed that I haven't been measuring my butt or my lower waist/gut.  Apparently those things have shrunken... but the waist and hips haven't.  Has that happened to any of you before?  (And I'm not currently exercising...)

Anyhoo!  Kind of another long update, but wanted to share.  :)


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oh, for the Love of Links.

It's been a while since I shared some link love.  So, it's time.

First, I'd like to do a quick Music Monday post.  Yes, I know it's not Monday, but dammit, every Monday I forget to do one, so I'm doing one now.  Mmmkay?

I've shared with you folks about one of my very favorite bands before... and I'm gonna do it again.  That's right, I'm talking about Mestizo.  If you like Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, or any kind of acoustic pop rock with a bit of folk thrown in... you'll love these guys.  They're in rotation on my iPod almost more than Dave Matthews, so that should tell ya something.

Go ahead and preview any of their songs right here.  My favorites on this album are Fade, Playin, and Hope.  Also, they do a gorgeous cover of Hallelujah.  :)

I have their brand new album ready to give away to one lucky reader.  So, all you need to do to win is leave me a comment telling me who your favorite band is, and your favorite song by said band.  That's it!  I'll be taking entries only through Friday, so you'd better hurry on up and enter!

Okay.  Now.  I need to share a few things with you.

If you have been living under a rock for the last two months... you need to get your ass over to Julia Goulia's blog, NOW.  The woman is not only a kick-ass person, but she's kicking ass at her weight loss, too.  She's lost 30 pounds in six weeks!!!

It shouldn't need repeating, but the ever constant MizFit is still doing badass giveaways and also giving away her depths of knowledge on fitness, eating right and oodles of tips on your healthy lifestyle.

Our favorite Fat Bridesmaid has laid out her plan for Lent.  If you're Catholic, or if you're not Catholic, check her blog out for a buddy in the self control/deprivation/test of will category.  She won't let you down.

Sue over at Did I Just Eat That Outloud is still sexy, rockin' the support, and sharing her thoughts on life.  SO worth the read, people.  Plus, if you're a tweetaholic, this woman will be your new BFF.

Esther, our Faintstarlite, is a Weight Watcher and a Mom.  She posts vids on her travels, weight loss, and bonding with the baby.  She just recently got down to BELOW her pre-pregnancy weight.  Any new moms struggling with post-baby-weight... this woman can hook you up with tips.  Plus, her kid is fracking adorable, and his name is Jude.  Don't think you could ask for anything more than that!

My friend Wes over at Swish Embassy has started a new project in lines with total and utter self love.  Morning Mugshots.  If you want to show your self love to the world, you can start with a photo of yourself first thing in the morning.  That's right.  Pre-makeup, pre-shower, just rolled out of bed-head, you.  You can do it.  I did.

And speaking of self love, I couldn't stop without mentioning the lovely Eating Journey.  She's focusing on Self Love for the entire month of February.  Fuck Valentines, people.  Love yourself instead!

And, last but not least, I'd like to introduce you all to my favorite new blog:  She's got a great sense of humor, and I LOVE her style.  If you like the writing stylings of Julia Goulia or Sue... you need to pay this woman a visit and follow her.  Now. :)

Don't forget to enter for the free CD!!! :)


Monday, February 1, 2010

Birthday Weekend and The Grammy's.

Well, dammit, I'm not exceedingly happy right now.

Weight = 171
Measurements = Bloated
Face = Broken out as usual

This was Dan's birthday weekend, as I've mentioned.  It started out pretty well.  I went down to Chicago with my friend Jesse and we ate at a Brazilian Steakhouse called Brazzaz.  It was amazing!  Most of it was on plan with my low carb eating, except for a few tastes of garlic mashed potatoes and one and a half popovers.

The only picture I got was of the salad bar plate:

Then, a few glasses of wine and the night was good and I felt okay.  The next morning, eggs and sausage at the hotel for breakfast, then some coffee.

Then... I came back to Milwaukee and Dan and I went to dinner at Mimmas.  Now, if you like Italian food, and you're in Milwaukee, you NEED TO GO there.  The food is amazing:

Antipasti Misto:

I got the special... which apparently translates to $38 in chicken.  But it was amazing chicken.  Breaded, and stuffed with a breadcrumb mixture including spinach, cheese and sun dried tomatoes.  Cut into medallions and served with a Gorgonzola cheese sauce.  YUM!

Dan got a seafood ravioli:

But yeah, apparently a "special" is more like... special (unusual/interesting) and less special (blue light).  :(  Seriously, this has been the most expensive weekend!

There was another birthday celebration at the bar, and they had a bunch of cupcakes... they brought one over and lit a candle in it for Dan!  SO thoughtful. :)

So, last night, we went to Dan's sister's house for his family birthday celebration.  And of course, she made pasta.  DAMMIT!  She pulled me into the kitchen and asked me before she put in the fat free half and half and cheese and Alfredo sauce out of sweet concern for my eating habits.  Unfortunately, the fat and meat is great and good on my eating plan.  The pasta is not.  They got Dreamfield pasta which is healthier, and it shows on the box something like 5 grams of digestible carbs per serving.  In reality, if you look at the side/back of the box on the nutritional information, the net carbs (carbohydrates - dietary fiber) is 36 grams of carbs.  I try to keep my daily intake around 20 or less.

So, even though there was a huge salad to start the meal... I had the pasta.  Why?  Because of GUILT.  I felt guilty because:

1.  It was Dan's birthday weekend, so I should not make it about me.
2.  Dan's sister made this meal and asked me about the healthiness about it, assuming I was still doing low calorie.
3.  Given that, I should have made everyone aware that I was doing low carb now.  (How can I expect someone to adapt to my eating plan, or provide for it, or understand if I only eat salad, if I don't tell people what's going on before they make dinner?
4.  I felt it would be selfish to NOT eat it.

So, I ate it.  And then... it was my job to make cake, of course.  I decided to do cupcakes because it'd be easier and cuter and when I brought cake over, and it'd be cleaner than forks and knives and serving plates, etc.

And of course, I got tons of rave reviews, and I really wanted one.  But instead of eating one like a normal person with everyone there eating one too... I didn't.  I upheld the facade of "Jenn the healthy eater girl."  (Despite accepting a glass of Sangria that had about 40 grams of carbs, about 36 of which were sugar, I found out.)

So... Dan and I got home and while he was in the bathroom, I cut one cupcake in half and ate half.  Like I wasn't going to eat the other half?  I ate that too.  Then I threw away the evidence.  Apparently, I've got a little bit of food issues if I'm secretly eating a cupcake that I MADE on Dan's birthday in the kitchen, in the dark, and shoving the evidence into the garbage.


Okay, quick notes on the Grammy's:

Best Performances:  Lady Gaga/Elton John, Pink, Dave Matthews Band, Mary J. Blige/Andrea Bocelli, Zac Brown Band
Worst Performances:  Jaime Foxx, Taylor Swift/Stevie Nicks
Good, Not Crap Performances:  Black Eyed Peas, Lady Antebellum, Michael Jackson Tribute, Maxwell, Jeff Beck/Imelda May

Drake/Eminem/Lil' Wayne:  I wanted to review your performance, but I couldn't hear half of it because of muting out what couldn't be aired on television.  Maybe change things up a little bit, or sing different songs.  Though, what I did hear was pretty damn good.  Oh, and pull up your pants.  Seriously.  It's got to be time for a new Hip Hop pants trend by now, right?
Beyonce:  You were great until you butchered "You Oughta Know."  Don't ever do that again.  Or, do it, but learn the damn words to the songs you're singing before you sing them.
Bon Jovi:  I like you, and you're classic and all, but why are you getting so twangy?  I swear you haven't always been so twangy.  But you all did a good job.
Zac Brown Band:  How did I not know you existed?  I think I'll pick up your album.

Y'all, I do NOT get the Taylor Swift thing.  At.  All.  This is a place I'll disagree with my boyfriend (John Mayer,) when he says she's something special and will be around for a long, long time.  I don't get it, don't hear or see the talent.  DO NOT.  I mean, come on.  Her performances were less than mediocre.  I mean, out of key and boring and crap.  FLAT.  She was SO FLAT!  /ugh.  She's a pretty girl, I guess.  But John, if you love her so much, why can I only hear her sing 2 bars on Heartbreak Warfare?  Admit that it's because everything else she tried to sing, you were tempted to stick sharp objects into your ears.  And don't lie to me and say you didn't hear it, because when you sing live, you tend to be sharp all the time.  That, plus her flatness... you had to have though she couldn't hear at ALL.

I'm sorry, she did NOT deserve the Album of the Year award.  Though Dave Matthews Band is one of the greatest and one of my favorite bands ever... Lady Gaga clearly deserved the award.  Yes she's weird, but dammit, that album was awesome, and there were so many singles... she got screwed on that deal, people.

I also don't understand why each artist who performs... ends up doing a full blown Superbowl Halftime performance.  Why can't each artist sing ... one song?  Wouldn't that, like, make room for more artists to perform?  ... ... ...

/end rant.