Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Working It Out!

Once again I owe this blog a huge update and some attention. I'm getting there, I promise! I have so many balls in the air right now and I am trying desperately to get everything lined up perfectly. Is anyone else like that? I'm so viscously Type-A that I want everything, EVERYTHING going right all at the same time.

Guess what? It's close. It's all close.

Work, money, relationship, family, friends, and fitness.

Quickly breaking it all down - work: I am now one of the rarest of the rare - I have not one, not two, but three jobs. I'm still working at Sport Clips, which is my bread and butter. It pays the bills, it's helped me grow leaps and bounds with men's cuts and it lead me to my second job, at a full service salon. I'm assisting at Hairlights Salon in Pleasanton, which is a Paul Mitchell Focus salon. I've already learned SO much both on the hair side and the business side. The owner is an amazing educator with Paul Mitchell and has so much business savvy. I am beside myself that I fell into this opportunity. The third job is less time consuming, but more of a passion that Sport Clips. I was hired to freelance with MAC Cosmetics, after years of working on my own to build a portfolio and waiting for the opportunity. I am thrilled.

Money: Jeff and I have started to budget using a software called YNAB. It was $60 to download the software for our computers and $5 each to download the app for iPhone. After one month of using the budget I can safely say it was $70 well spent. We've been living paycheck to paycheck for sometime, and while we're never dirt broke I hate juggling with bills - "let's pay this now and these two after we get paid again..." - it was terrible. Thanks to YNAB after one month we already have 25% of our buffer (that is a full month's income) built up, so in theory by November we should have a 100% buffer built up and can simply pay bills as they come in. Additionally I set up a debt snowball. We should have all of our debt (minus student loans) paid off within a year, perhaps less. And the total of our debt is NOT tiny. We relied on our credit cards way way way too much in 2011.

Relationship: Without delving too much into it (because it is not just my business but Jeff's as well), we went through a bit of a rocky phase. I was stressed out, worrying constantly and waiting for the other shoe to drop. Luckily we worked it out and are better than ever. Saying our relationship is solid is an understatement, and I'm thrilled neither of us just quit when it got hard.

My family life and friends are great. My mom and dad are doing pretty well, my sister is taking HER cosmetology state board exam tomorrow and things are just going all together well. I'm hoping the trend continues. My friendships have all been flourishing, I don't know how with my schedule being more hectic than ever I've had time to nurture those relationships but I'm grateful. It's only gotten harder to see my high school friends regularly since everyone's married and has kiddos and grown up jobs and lives, but we made it work this past weekend when we participated in The Color Run, then had a BBQ after. And we have plans next June for a girls only joint 30th birthday weekend at a beach house. Two days sitting on the beach with a cocktail in my hand? Yes, please.

Fitness: Remember how in my last post (in JUNE) I said things were clicking and I was seeing big changes? Well that's an understatement:

The photo on the left is June 1. The photo on the right is July 31. In two months I lost just shy of 40 pounds, went from wanting to die running for 60 seconds to completing a 5K training program (still working on actually being able to run the entire 3.1, but I can officially say I am addicted to running!), am feeling STRONG and capable, and am happy. Happy as hell. Thanks to Ease into 5K and the bootcamp I just started I am watching my body change every day.  Feel free to keep watching with me!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hello hello!

Hi guys!

I can't believe I am posting again about how it's been so long, how I'm neglecting the blog, how I suck, blah blah.

But I digress.

Something clicked. In the last month, something clicked hard. Jeff and I joined a gym, have been working out every day, counting calories and getting ready for our life together.

I feel like I sat by and watched life happen. I changed that a little bit in 2009 after my first 3-Day, and it took me the last 3 years to figure out the rest of it.

Here are the cold, hard facts about me:

I can't do it alone. I am independent as all get out, but having my amazing and sweet (and equally out of shape) boyfriend wake me up and say "let's hit the gym" makes all the difference. Working out next to him pushes me harder than I could ever push myself.

I have to be working toward something. Not just "I want to weigh 165 in a year" (which I do) or "when I lose 50 pounds I'll buy myself those Tiffany earrings" (which I will), but something physical to push my body to. I know training so hard (and correctly) for the 3-Day in 2009 is why I lost so much weight that year. So when I signed up for a 5k fun run I had something to work towards. I've stared training using an amazing app, Ease into 5k. And since starting again I have run every single part of my interval training that I'm supposed to. The first time I successfully completed a full training session I was grinning like an idiot on the treadmill during my entire cool down. I think if this becomes habit I'll have to sign up for a race every month or so.

I have to really, really limit my dairy intake. I don't want to get too far into this one, but let's just say it's not a good thing, and I'm tired of what I've eaten impacting the rest of my day.

Counting calories. Have to do it. Everything that goes into my mouth goes into My Fitness Pal. How often do we forget that we ate something earlier? I have to track right then right there or the Luna bar I ate slips my mind, or I forget I was starving so I threw together a turkey and cheese sandwich as I flew out the door for work.

These are the things that are working for me right now, and I'm learning every day to embrace who I am now and who I want to be and not let the person I was impact that.

Things clicked. I'm seeing huge changes. I'm really, really happy.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mono, weight loss and me

So just a couple days after I last updated I got two VERY important things. Number one: A JOB! I'm working at a Sport Clips. It's pretty fun. Honestly not what I dreamed of doing, but for now it's great. I'm planning on staying at least a few months so le boyfriend and I can pay off some of our credit card debt before we make the big leap into cohabitation (realistically that will be a very small leap, if I were less budget crazy we'd be apartment hunting in a few weeks). Then I'll start looking into full service again.

Important thing Number two: I got mono. I shit you not. 29 years old. The morning I got the job offer I woke up with that achey joint feeling I associate with getting a cold. Two days later I took my uninsured ass to urgent care where I was misdiagnosed with the flu, then two days after that my mom had my blood ran and according to her my mono jumped up faster than the control line. Apparently you can get mono from stress - I'd been taking the job search really really hard and it was starting to get to me. It was wearing on my relationship and my family life and pretty much everything.

I was very, very sick for about 10 days. I was in pain all the time, couldn't stay awake for more than two hours at a time (and still get quite tired), and thanks to the fever that came and went every night I wound up with a mouth full of literally 30 canker sores. I couldn't brush my teeth without crying from rubbing the toothbrush against them, I had canker sores on my tongue, the roof of my mouth, the inside of my lips, my cheeks and down my throat.

During at least 5 of those 10 days guess what I couldn't do. Did you guess eat? Yeah, you'd be right. I lost 16 pounds in 6 days, and that's only what I'm sure of. I hadn't weighed before. I was living on meal replacement shakes and even those hurt like hell to drink. It was a blast. I decided to take the lemons mono had given me and make lemonade though, and once I started to feel better decided that mono was designed to jump start SERIOUS weight loss. The first week after returning to eating I gained back half a pound (which I fully expected), and since then I've lost 3 more pounds -- meaning I'm just over 20 pounds away from my first short term goal of 40 pounds and being able to color my hair! Oh GOD I cannot wait to start it. Honestly I might only make it to 30 before I can't take it anymore and have to grab the color remover.

I'm still reformatting my schedule, hopefully I'll have time to finish that this week, and I'm going to be (re)starting with the 30 Day Shred AND Couch to 5K beeeeecause. . .

I'm running a 5K in August!

Several of my best friends and I are going to be running in The Sacramento Color Run! I am so excited to be sharing the experience and running in my first (of many!) official races.

Look for another post from me in a few days with an updated schedule, Weigh In Wednesday annnnnnnd progress photos! It's long over due, but I finally feel like a flip switched and I'm ready to do this.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Starting over sucks.

And here's why: it means you gave up. It means you let some bullshit excuse get in the way of your goal. And yet here I am, starting over.


Here's what's bad - I could be so much further along today than I am.

Here's what's good - I have been keeping track of calories via the greatest app in the world (My Fitness Pal), so I am actually down about 8 pounds and I FEEL different this time.

In 2009 I lost just shy of 60 pounds, then through a host of issues (emotional eating, breakup with a terrible boyfriend, breakup with a terrible job) decided to gain most of it back. I mention that because while I was losing that weight I felt the same way I do now -- not a lot of self imposed pressure, just a very zen state.

So while I am still restructuring and reorganizing my fitness plan this week I am confident I'm on the right path. Finally. I'm also goal oriented, so when I decided last week I wanted to change my hair color (drastically) I told myself "when I lose 40 pounds." So I'm hoping to do that in June.

Back in the saddle again, for the last time.

Here we go!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

369 days to go.

But that's not the focus right now. I'm not here to talk about my absence (computer issues, crap flu), or to talk about how the January detox went (until Sunday), or to talk about my job search (still going on, but hopefully over soon!).

On January 31 it was announced that Susan G. Komen for the Cure would be defunding Planned Parenthood. I've been asked several times in the last couple days what my opinion is on the matter.

What does this mean?

It means that the $680,000 per year that Komen had previously given to Planned Parenthood for breast health screenings will no longer go to Planned Parenthood. It will be directed to another part of this many-headed beast. That $680,000 works out to $13,600 per state per year. $1133.33 per state per month. If you divide that by 20 business days per month it is $56.67 per state per day.

I am not trying to devalue what Komen is taking away from Planned Parenthood. I feel like I've been ripped in two over this. My involvement with Susan G. Komen shaped my life in a way that no other experience ever has. I was indifferent to their funding Planned Parenthood. It isn't what inspired me. To me, Komen and Planned Parenthood have always been two separate things.

I've been donating to Planned Parenthood longer than I've been involved with Komen. Three times over. Full disclosure - the first time I donated to Planned Parenthood I was a junior in high school and I had a pregnancy scare. I was so grateful I wasn't knocked up that I took half my paycheck from Old Navy and wrote an $86.44 check to Planned Parenthood. I've donated every year since then, whatever I could afford at the time. A couple years ago the local Planned Parenthood moved from a small, out of the way building to a much larger building on a major street. I drive by it about 4 times a week. Whenever I see people outside protesting (usually old men who have never possessed female reproductive organs) I pull over, walk in and donate something.

I believe in Planned Parenthood's mission. Hell, I AM Planned Parenthood's mission. I've used their services several times. I believe in Susan G. Komen for the Cure. I will walk in the 3-Day this year. I will walk in the 3-Day next year. I will walk until there is a cure for breast cancer. I can't walk away from it. I can't turn my back on the one thing that's been a constant source of inspiration. I am sure that in the coming days Komen will announce a plan to continue funding the women who would have benefited from the $680,000. I firmly believe the decision to defund Planned Parenthood was a poor one that wasn't thought out and that they spent about zero time with their PR department.

I will continue to support both organizations and hope that a resolution is arrived at sooner rather than later. When the sun rose on January 31st there wasn't a cure for breast cancer. When it set that night there still wasn't a cure. My mission may have changed, but it hasn't ended.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day 76: 2011 San Diego SGK 3-Day recap (Day 3)

Day 3! It was finally here! I woke up not-bright and early (4:30 am early), and walked over to the dining tent to eat. I'd pulled almost everything out of the tent already (including my sneakers!) and left it out while we ate.

Then, when we were sitting in the dining tent I heard the sound I'd been dreading hearing all weekend. Rain drops. My heart sank. And then I remembered my shoes. Sitting outside the tent, getting wet. I jumped up, hobbled back to the tent (keep in mind I hadn't had my blisters popped yet so was walking tenderly). Thankfully the thick plastic tarps that made up the dining tent roof amplified the rain, making it sound much worse than it was. My shoes were barely damp, and the rain let up, at least for the time being.

We packed up the rest of our gear and handed it off to a Gear and Tent crew member, then went to medical for one last round of physical therapy and a blister session. I had about half a dozen blisters lanced and wrapped. The medic I had that morning cautioned me that they would just fill up again (which I knew. Come on lady, I am a VETERAN 3-DAY WALKER HERE). I told her that was fine, just wrap them as tight as she could so I could get my foot in my shoe.

We lined up to get scanned out. The atmosphere was already a party. We were dancing in line, laughing, taking picture after picture and ready to kill the last leg of it. The physical therapist I had Sunday morning sucked. I would like to have nothing but good things to say about everyone on the event, but she was wretched. I told her my issue - 2 different leg lengths, the short one was really sore, and that I needed it massaged with bio-freeze for at least 10 minutes because I couldn't get in a good enough position to really work the knot out of it myself. She patted some bio-freeze on, half-assedly wrapped my calf with an ace bandage and sent me on my way. While we were still INSIDE CAMP the wrap came loose. After taking this picture I just took it off. I am still angry at that PT. Don't volunteer for this event, especially as a PT unless you're willing to work with people who are exhausted, sore and desperately trying to finish strong. Don't half-ass your job.

Anyway. On our way out of camp one of the SJPD officers stopped me, told me that he was so inspired by the way I pushed to get up that hill on day 2 and gave me a bracelet. He made me cry, and I am bummed I didn't take a picture with him. I hate that the SJPD doesn't have the funding to allow the San Jose cops to come down again next year. I'm so thankful Jeff and I are doing San Francisco next year and that the San Jose cops will be there. The San Diego cops are great too, but they're quite a bit more Stiff-Upper-Lippy than SJ. Regardless, I know I speak for many members of the 3-Day community when I say that the support of the police departments is amazing. These men and women are with us every step of the way, it's just as personal for them as it is for us, and they are one of the highlights of the event.

I was handed the "My Hero" flag before we got too far out of camp. I have been dying to be a flag-bearer. It is certainly no secret! I'm hoping to participate in opening and closing ceremonies in San Francisco next year carrying the "My Grandmother" flag. So getting to carry a flag, even just for a couple miles was a huge honor. Shortly after I took up the flag San Diego threw us a tiny loop and it started to rain again. Ponchos came out of bags for the first time all weekend, but smiles never wavered!  It rained for a mile or so, more drizzle than actual rain, then ponchos came off. I didn't want to throw it away and risk ACTUAL rain starting again, so we tucked them onto the straps of our CamelBaks.

My leg was giving me hell. We got to pit stop 2 and I went straight to medical where an AMAZING physical therapist worked on me for half an hour -- well after the "official" closing of the pit. She used The Stick on me and it was like hearing a choir of angels sing. I also had 1000 milligrams of Vicodin on board (thanks Mom!), and had my back iced and wrapped. The bad part of being at medical so long? The caboose showed up. The caboose is a 3-Day staff member who rides behind all the walkers. So when he gets to a pit or lunch he closes it up. It's for walker safety and to keep things on schedule. The caboose will also sweep you if you're straggling. So Janae and I were officially last walkers, and pretty early in the days. She was sore and in pain, I was fighting tears because the pain in my leg was excruciating. The caboose followed us for about a mile, keeping quiet. Then he started talking to me -- asked me about my 3-Day history, told me about his, asked how much money I'd raised. Then he told me "you've already done the important part. Why don't you girls sweep a few miles? It'll make the rest of your day better, and you'll finish strong."

Janae was about 30 yards ahead of me, and I didn't want to scream at her so I texted her (and I quote) "fuck it, let's sweep to pit 3." (yes, yes, texting on the route is forbidden blah blah) Janae heard her phone, read the text and turned around and gave me two thumbs up. We continued down the route about a quarter mile to where there was pit access and waited with a handful of other walkers for the next sweep van. We swept 3.5 miles to pit stop 3, passing the Day 3 hill on Juan Street (I have not conquered that beast yet, 2012 I'm coming for you!). It was far and away the best decision I made all weekend. We hopped out of the van, went to medical so Janae could have a blister looked at and so I could put a bag of ice on each ankle, knee and 2 on my back. After 20 minutes of laying around I noticed that my phone was missing. Never fear on the 3-Day though. I flagged down a crew captain and asked if they would radio sweep van H (I happened to notice the sticker when we were in it) to let them know I'd left my phone in the sweep van, and that it had a return address label stuck on it with my info. Only in 3-Dayville can you lose your phone and have it returned to you 20 minutes later.

When I'd packed my stuff up Sunday morning I hooked my flip flops to my camelbak, knowing I'd want to change into them at closing. While we were at the pit stop I changed my socks and left my shoes off for a few minutes. 53 miles of walking in 3 days was not kind to them. My feet (and the blisters attached to them) swelled up immediately. I think I mentioned that I switched to toe socks this year, and the prospect of working my swollen, blistered feet back into shoes was not appealing. I checked my route card and saw that we only had 5 miles to go from that pit. Then I told Janae I was finishing the walk in my flip-flops. Her feet were also swollen, so she cut the pinkies out of her shoes. These changes made such a difference! We practically skipped out of the pit stop!

The last 5 miles of the walk are electric. Everyone is giddy, there is a ton of cheer traffic and a lot of walker stalkers who are happy to give out "adult blister healers." Yes, there is a ton of booze on the route. Especially day 3. Cheers! That smile on my face is the most pain-free smile I'd rocked all weekend. Now that my feet were free of the nylon prison of my shoes I felt so good, and so did my blisters (despite the fact that now that they weren't constricted the were able to swell like crazy -- and I actually had one even pop on it's own while I was walking. Not my favorite feeling, but still relief!). We were super close to holding, and San Diego really goes all out for us. The community support is a huge part of the 3-Day. If you're just walking all day without anyone cheering you on it feels like 600 miles, not 60. We were about a half mile away from the lunch spot for day 3 when we passed a Chipotle. Somehow a hot burrito sounded better than a cold sandwich, so we elected to duck in and sit on a seat, not the ground while we ate. We were not the only walkers who made that decision! :) Who doesn't love Chipotle?

I am lucky to have such a huge pink family. I'd tweeted a couple times over the weekend that I needed support and encouragement, and Team Twitter came through in the best way! Every time I looked at my phone at a pit stop I was greeted with tons of texts filled with support and love. It made every step a little easier!

We finally wound our way into downtown, and the streets were now LINED with pink people. The last mile or so before holding is a NON-STOP cheering station. Hugs from strangers? Check. Five Hour Energy booth, handing out free samples? Check. People high-fiving you like it is their job? Double check. Janae and I were laughing giddily the whole time. I am so happy to have shared this experience with someone I love so much. I've been talking about it for years and having somebody to share it with made it so much better. Every 3-Day experience this year was phenomenal. Volunteering with my best friend who just happens to be my boyfriend in San Francisco was awesome. I made friends I will have for LIFE being a part of Team Twitter ATL and walking San Diego this year was beyond amazing. It was my best 3-Day year yet.

We finally (finally!) got to holding. I thought I would be in tears (given that it was the theme of my weekend!) but I was SO happy and proud of myself for doing ALL BUT 3.5 MILES OF THE WALK! that I just grinned non-stop.

I was so happy that I managed to find Jim and get a picture with him! Saying he was a highlight of the walks this year would be an understatement. I will link to Jim's Facebook and website later so you can read about his 3-Day story, it's an amazing one! He is a testament to the human spirit and to the 3-Day spirit.

3-Days, 60 miles and memories that will last a lifetime! We buzzed through holding, got our victory t-shirts and took a few pictures before closing ceremonies started.

It started to drizzle as we walked into closing, and as our survivors walked in darkness was falling. The rain, cold and twilight couldn't keep us quiet. Walkers, crew, staff and spectators alike cheered like our lives depended on it for our 533 survivors who participated (either as walkers or crew members). We also raised our shoes in their honor, one of my favorite 3-Day traditions. It's such a beautiful moment.

I listened to Sheri for the last time that year, she shared our fundraising numbers with us -- together the 4175 walkers and crew in San Diego raised 9.2 million dollars. The 2011 3-Day series had over 34,000 participants who raised a total of 74.5 million dollars for breast cancer research, treatment, prevention and eventual eradication. Saying I am honored to be a part of it is such an understatement. I am indebted to this event, and this community. It introduced me to the version of myself that I want to be -- am capable of becoming. And really, that's what this blog is all about.

Thank you for coming along with me on this extraordinary journey. It's a life-changer. :) I'll be back tomorrow with my last 3-Day recap for 2011 -- Day 4 and Beyond, AKA the post-3-Day Hangover.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day 75: Sunday recap

It's been so long since I've written one of these that I forgot how. Lame.

Anyway. I am giving myself half a pass for the remainder of 2011. No, I will not sit on my ass the next 13 days. I will work out, even if it's just going for a long walk. I'm hitting Zumba tomorrow (and hopefully Wednesday or Thursday too).

And I'm keeping a better eye on what I eat. Not due to my vanity or desire to be thin but because of my desire to not feel like complete shit. I probably need to give up the ghost and realize that I have way more food issues than I like to admit to. Clearly there is the classic overweight person "addiction" to food, but I also have internal food issues, like eating too much grease or dairy or sugar or whatever makes me want to die for hours on end/spend far too much time in the smallest room of the house.

After eating pizza one day last week and paying for it all day I decided to just suck it up, bake some chicken and cook rice and steamed veggies. I lived on that for 2 days and was so much happier for it. I have always LOVED vegetables so it's not a punishment for me like it is for my boyfriend, and the chicken was perfectly tasty thanks to my good friend garlic salt.

So I've let myself "half" off the hook for the next two weeks. Because January 2-29 THIS is happening. No chocolate. No candy. No biscuits or cookies. No cake, donuts, or muffins. No pastries. No white bread. No chips. No fast food. No nutella, peanut butter or other naughty spreads. No ice cream. With my personal additions of no soda, no white rice (brown is okay), no "regular" pasta (again, whole wheat would be okay).

I need a holiday detox, and January seems like the perfect time to do it. That way Jeff and I can still celebrate our birthdays to the fullest extent (mine is February 4 and his is two days later) and hopefully I'll have less inches to show for it.

In a new feature of Sunday recaps, let's talk job searching! I got my license last month, then went to San Diego, so only started heavily job hunting a few weeks ago. I have sent out (no joke) 70+ resumes. I have 25 salons on my "to call" list. I've had one interview (that I didn't expect or frankly want a job offer from, but I did want the experience and for her to answer questions for me), one pre-interview at THE DREAM salon yesterday and I have an interview Wednesday at 1:00 at a third salon. I'm after something so particular -- a salon with a dedicated assistant program, a great location, and a product line that I believe in. DREAM salon had all that and I'm really hoping to get a call back for a working interview.

Job searching is hard. And sometimes depressing. And I often wonder (especially in such a looks driven industry) if I'm getting written off before I open my mouth because I'm overweight. It sucks. This is going to sound vain but whatever, I'm pretty. I've never thought otherwise. Sure I have ugly DAYS but overall, I'm pretty. I'm well dressed, my hair looks great and I'm confident. But I know that there is so much fat-phobia in the world and that salon owners can be extremely superficial. It makes me want to be able to change overnight and walk back into salons and be like "BIG MISTAKE. HUGE" a la Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. But alas, I am a fatty, not a prostitute with a heart of gold, so I can't just throw on some designer clothing and magically hide what I am. It takes work to change so fundamentally.

2012 is going to be THE year of hard work.

I hope you're enjoying my 3-Day recaps as much as I'm enjoying reliving that weekend! I'll be posting Day 3 tomorrow and Day 4/Post 3-Day Hangover notes soon after. And I'll be back with a Sunday recap on Christmas, I guess!

Love to you and yours from me!