Friday, February 26, 2010

9 1/2 weeks

Around 9 1/2 weeks from now, I'll turn 33 years old.

You should probably know that I love multiples of 3. Three is my favorite number and when given the option, I'll take anything with a three on it over anything else. Since double threes are doubly awesome (obviously!), I've decided that this year will be my year.

To celebrate, I'm determined to be lighter on my 33rd birthday.

Ideally, I'd love to be down 20 pounds - to make my weight loss around 75 pounds and get the 75 pound washer (a small, flat ring that you can put on your keychain) from Weight Watchers. But realistically, losing 20 pounds in 9 1/2 weeks is very agressive...especially for someone that hasn't lost more three consecutive weeks in almost a year.

So instead of being impatient as I typically am, I'm just going to say that I want to be lighter. I want to be done with having my weight loss be in the 50s. I want to be able to claim a weight loss of in the 60s.

It's already taken a bit of dedication. Last night at dinner I had several fantastic "reasons" for not staying with my plan. For starters, the wait for the table was about 30 minutes and there were barrels of peanuts that we could snack on while we waited. Upon sitting down, they gave us warm rolls with cinnamon sugar butter as soon. THEY SMELLED FANTASTIC.

After 30 minutes AFTER we gave our order, the waiter realized that he didn't turn our order we had to wait even longer. The manager came to our table, apologized profusely and asked if we wanted anything in the meantime free of charge.

By this time I was so hungry... how I didn't already eat the three remaining rolls in the basket is beyond me. I almost salivated at her temptuous appetizers. I was hungry. I wanted some food right then and we would be able to get it free! FREE FOOD!! Did I mention it was free?!?!

But I remembered my goal and asked for a side salad instead.

Our meals finally came - mine with a 6 ounce filet and double veggies. The veggies came smothered in butter (which is not how I ordered it) so rather than just saying "well, I'm hungry - at least they're veggies", I sent them back - asking for them to just be steamed.

My food tasted delicious and as much as I wanted to wolf it down, I tried to concentrate on being mindful. I looked at the beautiful color of the meat and paid attention to how tender it was when I was chewing it. Because I took a bit longer to eat than I normally do, I realized that I wasn't as hungry because of the salad I I stopped eating.

And now, I get to eat the other half tonight for dinner. Talk about free food!

I'm trying. And I'm not depriving myself either...I'm being mindful and being good to my body. I want to love my body - and one of the best ways I can honor it, is to listen to it.

My body wants to be lighter. My joints are crying out for it.

So in 9 1/2 weeks, I'm promising to give my body something for it's birthday - freedom from some extra weight.

After all, that's what it's wanted for many years.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Note to self: Wednesday Edition

Dear Self:

Please remember how you felt last night when you went out to eat with your friend. You ate a small starter salad, 3 cheddar biscuits, your WHOLE entree' (which wasn't even that good), two sides of veggies, a glass of wine, and a baked cookie (with lava fudge inside) and ice cream.


You weren't mindful. You ate because it was there. You ate because you were hungry. But oh, how you ate.

Just remember that after you were done, you felt bloated, lethargic, and icky. Remember how you salivated when they brought out the biscuits. Remember feeling *that* out of control.

It's done. You ate it. It's not a big deal.

Just try to remember that next time when faced with gift certificates to a place that you don't even LIKE it's okay to not eat and order tons of stuff because you don't want the money to go to waste.

Practice being mindful. You like that so much better anyway.

Oh - and I'm glad you're going to go for a run today at lunch. It's the only pretty day all week and you're smart to take advantage of that.

Also? Your hair is pretty today. Good job on that.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Do you mind?

I decided to enroll in a workshop this weekend at the last minute. The workshop was entitled "Mindful Yoga - Mindful Eating" and it was really great.

The workshop was four hours and in that time period we did what the instructor called some "light yoga" (which I guess was a nice way to say about 20 minutes of yoga) and then heavy talking (which is to say pretty much the rest of the class was about talking and listening).

The idea of the workshop was to be more mindful about many actions in your life - one of which should be eating. There was a lot of conversation about our relationships with food and at one point it became clear that the leader of the class, who was a trained nutritionist, thought that diets were a bunch of hooey. Instead, she taught us that being mindful eaters should involve a bond with the food to ourselves. When being more mindful about (and when) the food we eat, we can figure out if we're eating because we're hungry or if it's something else.

Not a new concept.

But she took it further and asked us to try eating when we really were hungry. She asked us to eat the foods we (at our core) wanted to eat. And she coached us to stop when we were satisfied.

So yesterday, about 4 inches into my Subway sandwich, I stopped eating and threw the rest away. I was satisfied so there was no need to continue to eat just because it was there and was a usual portion size.

And today, I decided to grab my lunch at 11:45 because that's when my body was hungry - I didn't wait for my normal 12 (or in my case 1 because I want to spend my lunch hour running errands).

To me, this makes perfect and intuitive sense. It's one more step in the whole process of trusting myself more.

Why am I looking to anyone or anything (Weight Watchers included) to tell me what I can or cannot have? Why am I going hungry some nights just because I ran out of points for that day?

I caught up on everyone's blogs this morning and I read through one of MizFit's posts where she decided to not run a full marathon but instead run a half - because the full would be too much cardio for her. I loved that line - it means that this wonderfully fit woman (seriously, I'm guessing about 0.1% body fat on her from the pictures) knows her own body enough to say "no." She trusts and loves herself enough to do what is right FOR HER.

So I want to do the same for me. Am I giving myself permission to go off the deep end and eat high fatty foods all the time? No. Because that wouldn't be good for me either. But I want to arrive at a place where I eat when I'm hungry. I want to eat the foods that I know my body needs because I honor it. I want to not deprive myself or my body.

I want to listen to my body. I want to listen to my spirit. I want to stop thinking of foods as good or bad. I want to stop thinking of my journey divided into on the wagon or off the wagon. I want to stop judging myself and my actions. I want to move learn the lessons of what to eat because I'm listenting intuitively to my body.

I want to start beind mindful to myself...and being kind to my body.

This comes on the heels of reading Pema Chodron's book "Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears." I'm still reading the book, but to me, it just makes sense - it's an intuitive approach of how to handle our own emotions when they rise up. She writes about our own choice to repeat the same habits as we have been or to have the mindfulness and presence to catch it when it starts to happen. If we don't get caught up in the emotions right away, we can empower ourselves to stop, breathe, and let our own intuitive knowledge shine through.

And that's what I plan on doing: Trusting myself, loving myself, and being mindful. When I trust myself more - even (or especially?) about food - I'm teaching myself that I can be trusted to survive any situation. I can trust myself to come up with a great answer to a problem and can know that it will all be okay. Trusting myself doesn't mean I have to be perfect, on the wagon, good, or the best at anything. Instead, it means that I can just BE me - and that is enough.

In a good binge from years past, I could never eat enough. I would be SO uncomfortable - my body literally bursting with pain and I would still eat. I couldn't get enough. I certainly couldn't eat it fast enough.

So maybe, just maybe, as I start to trust that I am enough, I will be able to have finally eaten enough.

Wisdom from Winnie the Pooh

"A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference."
--Winnie the Pooh

I just wanted to take a step back and say "thank you" to the people following, reading, and commenting on my blog. Because of you, I feel like I'm not in this alone and (even if it's weird) I actually think of you as friends who are there to help me on (and with) my journey.

Now I smile when I see yellow VW bugs because Amy drives one.

I smile when I see anything that has "50" on it because I know that Audra just reached that weight loss milestone.

I remember to think of at least one good thing a day, just as Missy does.

When I see anything about pea soup, I wonder where Margie is and what beautiful pictures she's taking.

I bought agave nectar the other day (to put in my Fage yogurt) because I know Lyn likes it and I wanted to try it. I did not buy the weird oranges though. :)

I am practicing and being thoughtful about mindfulness because I've learned SO much from Janell. I've started to read books by the authors that she loves and am getting SO much out of it. SHE is one helluva lady and her support (and no-crap-taking) has helped me in some major ways.

When I see anyone or anything (like a tattoo) that resembles a pin-up, I think of Lisa and her SMOKIN' hot self!

And the other day, I was listening to the radio and heard "Break My Stride" by Matthew Wilder and wondered how Kellie was doing.

All of these things may *seem* little, but they're not. In these ways throughout the day, I'm reminded of you all. I'm reminded that you guys know my dark secrets. You know ME - the me that I am when no one is looking. And you like me anyway.

So when I see the yellow cars or a pretty photo or decide to try some new food that you just tried, I think about how you all are going through your day on your own journey too. Knowing that I'm not alone - that I'm a part of something bigger than myself - is so motivational.

So thank you - for your comments and for your support. Who you are means SO much more than I can ever say.

We're in this together...and while other people may crinkle their noses at our desires to be healthier (no matter where we're at now), WE know that we can do it. I mean, I know that you can do it. And feeling like you believe that I can too? Well, some days that's enough to help me to keep my shit together.

On those days especially, your support makes all the difference.

Monday, February 22, 2010


This past week, I went back to Houston for the second week of company sponsored training. The days were long, and I spent a lot of time worried about the test that I would have to take at the end of the week.

See, I want to change jobs. Badly. If I had to break it down, I'd say that I want to change jobs for three main reasons:

1) I'm strapped for cash these days. No really. I just did my taxes and I made $8K less this year than I did last year - all because they took away our bonus structure. Also, I haven't had a raise since I started working here and it'll be three years in April. Being consumed with worry over money often is not good for me or my soul.

I'm proud of the ways that I cut back last year - it's not easy to remove that much money from your yearly budget without going under. I'm tired of worrying if I'll have ENOUGH. Splurging money on ME (via a massage, a workshop, or even gym memberships) is nice but sometimes it backfires because I worry if I will regret it later when I don't have any money left.

What do I do when I worry? I often turn to food. So worrying about money means that I consume more of it and feel guilty about later. The reality is, I have to break this cycle no matter what my financial situation.

2) I don't like what I do. Years ago, I was an engineer at a major automotive company. I had a chance to learn the financial side of the business and I took it. I figured I could always go back to engineering. Turns out, that's not really the case. It's been 5 years since I've done any real engineering (even though my title is "engineer" at my current company) and I miss it. Right now I bascially do sales stuff, but I don't like that. I never have. Switching jobs will bring more pleasure to my life where at least I'll like what I'm doing.

3) I want to move. Badly.

Two years ago, fresh from a bad break-up, I decided to follow through on selling my house. See, I had just changed jobs from the financial industry to at least be a more technical sales person. The new job paid about $20K less than my old one. Pair that with the knowledge that the ARM on my mortgage was about to go up, I knew I had to downsize.

But at that time, I was so unsure of who I was or even wanted to be. I bought a place in a trendy part of town and downsized from 1500 square feet to 750 square feet. "Stuff is just stuff" I told myself. I can downsize. It might be really mentally healthy! Besides, I can be a Denver version of Carrie in 'Sex & The City!' I'll go to the close by local bars, I'll stay out all night, I'll be that independent woman I admire!

Turns out, stuff is just stuff. But a bad layout of my place means that my place always feels small, cramped, and cluttered. And I found that living in a row home (which is kind of like a condo in the sense that I have people that I share walls with, but not like it in the sense that no one is above or below me) with not a lot of light ISN'T helpful. I crave sunlight. My place is kind of like a cave - I only have three windows for the whole place.

AND as for being like Carrie? Well, I don't *like* to drink to excess. I've never gone to a bar by myself and I don't stay up all night. I don't want casual sex with random guys and I could care less about the "scene." Apparently, I don't want that lifestyle at all.

So I want to move. I talked with my realtor a few weeks ago and my place has appreciated enough (yippee for the trendy part of town) such that if I sell it, I won't lose money even after closing costs and commissions. BUT what I can afford hasn't changed much either (if anything, I can now afford less), so the places that we took a look at this past weekend are run down and have crappy layouts. If I made more money (aka what I'm worth) then I'd be able to afford a bit of a nicer place in a less trendy (but safe) neighborhood.

So, long story short (too late) the training that I went to will help me get the job that I want, a job I'd be (and have been) great at. I'd be able to get the job that would relieve me of the above concerns.

I just need to find that job.

In the meantime, I'm relieved that I won't have to be travelling any time soon. I'm relieved that I can buy groceries and know that they won't spoil because I'll be out of town. I'm relieved that I can cook foods and have leftovers that won't spoil.

And I'm relieved that I get to spend time with Joe. Things with him are so wonderfully fantastic these days - I think, in part, because I am not tempering my love, excitement, or happiness about being with him. The comfort that I get from being with him, falling asleep next to him, and being able to count on him is absolutely blissful. He is one of my best friends and he is someone that I feel loves me just for me being me.

Every now and again, the thought of "this won't last! It never does!" creeps into my head. I know that I have to look at those thoughts as me trying to protect myself from future hurt. So I'm saying it now: I love him. And if this doesn't last it'll be one of the biggest heartaches of my life. But if it does last? It'll be one of the best things in my life.

And oh, what a relief it would be to be done with dating.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I'll Love 'Em

As I wrote, Saturday I participated in the "Love 'Em or Leave 'Em 5K" in a small suburb of Denver.

My boyfriend and I drove down to the race where we FROZE waiting for the race to start. It was in the 30s, but because the wind was blowing so hard and the sun wasn't out, it felt much much colder. He didn't actually participate in the race (despite him being physically fit, he isn't much of a runner yet) but instead read a book in the warm car.

I appreciated his support so much. It helped knowing that while I was running this crazy, cold race, someone was waiting for me to finish. :)

My result was my fastest time yet. As I crossed the finish line, the lady yelled that I finished in 34'16".* I was thrilled. Up until now, my fastest time was 34'49" during the Turkey Trot in November of last year. The fact that I ran this race as fast as I did was pretty cool. The race was so poorly planned that there were a lot of injuries and a lot of confusion. The course was rocky and bumpy (like running through an abandoned field) and it was covered with ice in some areas. I saw at least five people trip, fall, or roll their ankles. They were accompanied by friends who helped them (or else I would've) but I hope that they were okay.

When I finished the race, we went out to breakfast and enjoyed a nice leisurely day. And that day? It led to the best morning that I've had in a while.

Because the next morning was Valentine's Day and the guy that I'm dating? He is absolutely wonderful. I've had my share of guys that have said that they loved me but didn't treat me like they did. My boyfriend? He does both. When I woke up the next morning to 5" of snow on the ground and was worried that I wouldn't get enough stuff done before being able to leave on my flight, he went outside and swept the snow off my car. Then he ran a quick errand for me and he even bought me breakfast and delivered it to me at a convenient intersection after I dropped off my dog just because he knew that I didn't have enough time to eat.

I love this man. And he loves me. It feels glorious to know that. So, when faced with the choice of loving him or leaving him? Well, I think I'll keep him.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Cupid Shuffle

This morning I'm going to be running in the "Parker Love 'Em or Leave 'Em" 5K. I'd normally love to run the 5K on Valentine's Day because I'm weird like that, but tomorrow morning I'm traveling to Houston for another week of training. Thankfully, it's the last week of training and although it will be completely exhausting, I'm so thankful that I got to have this training.

A week ago when I was out with my friends, I heard a song for the first time...and I couldn't get it out of my head. It's lyrics embed themselves in your head... sort of like an alien. And then you can't get it out of your head...sort of like the flash of the visual that you might have when you realize that your parents actually had to have sex to make you. You're welcome.

At any rate, I eventually downloaded it and then listened to it about eleventy billion more times and I am still hooked.

Lyrically, don't expect much. In fact, musically, don't expect much. But the bass beat in the background is funky and it allows me to keep pace pretty well as I'm running.

So for today's race, it's going to be my "Power song" on my Nike +. The idea is that as you're getting tired or sluggish on your run, you can hit a button that immediately plays this song and then you'll be rejuvenated.

And, because I'm kind of a dork, I love that since it's Valentine's Day (almost) it's cute that I'm listening to "The Cupid Shuffle" by Cupid (although I somehow suspect that's not his real name :) ).

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lesson RE-learned

Sometimes I think that I'm so smart. It was one of the few things I was praised over and over about as a kid. So I know that I'm able to see solutions to things before other people. I know that I'm able to apply logic and get an answer that will solve a problem.

But it's SO hard to see that when it's happening *to* me. I have weeks like this past week...weeks where I knew that I was off track but couldn't quite remember how to reign it in. Have I been through this before? Undoubtedly, but I couldn't quite remember how to refocus.

Turns out, one of the key things I had to do was have my own healthy breakfast.

I mentioned before of how I just hadn't gone to the grocery store to get my normal staples. And since I'm leaving town on Sunday for a week, I have been reluctant to go to the store to get them - afraid that they would somehow spoil. My mindset went something like this: Why buy things that could spoil and waste your money? Best to eat crap on the go and end up paying for a few more weeks of Weight Watchers. Alright...that's not quite how logical I was being, but that basically is the end result.

So, I went ahead and bought fruit, some veggies, and bread that could spoil anyway.

And I'm amazed (again!) at how eating my own healthy breakfast - one that is filled with fiber, fruit, and protein - keeps me satisfied. When I'm satisfied, I don't seem to crave the sugar as much. Being able to look at the clock, realize that it's 11:30 and that I haven't snacked all morning is a fantastic feeling.

When I don't pack my breakfast, I end up snacking on things throughout the morning...which just gets me in a snacky/munchy mood and I feel sort of "off" the rest of the day. I don't reach for the fiber filled foods - instead I raid a co-workers candy jar or eat the bagels in the lunchroom. Those sugar and simple carbs have an initial high and then leave me feeling drained and groggy...such that I return to the simple carbs again and again. For me, it perpetuates the "So what?" feeling and indulge in ways that are not healthy.

Reigning it in -with my own go-to and planned breakfast - helps me feel back in the routine of things. I have a few of those breakfasts up my sleeve and I'm happy to share one of them with you.

My current breakfast was adapted from the Hungry Girl's Choco-Monkey Oatmeal. I referred to it in this post.

It is:
1/3 cup of oatmeal (quick, not instant)
a dash of cinnamon
two dashes of salt
1/2 a banana, smushed
1 or 2 tbsp of reduced fat peanut butter
1 packet of diet cocoa (25 calories per packet)

Mix the cocoa with 1/4 cup of hot water. Once dissolved, mix in the other dry ingredients and add another 1/4 cup of cooler water. Add the smushed banana half and then microwave for 1:30- 2:00 minutes. While you're waiting, have the other half of a banana (seriously, does anyone save a half a banana?). :)

Take out of the microwave and stir or add water to achieve the consistency you like in your oatmeal (I like mine a bit thicker so I usually add only a bit more water here). Stir in the desired amount of peanut butter (on days where I worked out in the morning, I usually have 2 tbsp, but one is plenty for the taste). Enjoy!

It ends up tasting pretty good. I mean, I wouldn't serve it as a Christmas Brunch or anything, but it's tasty, filling, something that I can prepare with only a microwave, and it looks like a lot (so my eyeballs feel satisfied too). With only one tbsp of peanut butter, you're talking 5 points for the whole thing (6 if you do like me and eat the other half of the banana). The original recipe didn't have the peanut butter and did have a packet of sugar substitute, but I find that I like more savory things than sweet in the the addition of the peanut butter and an extra dash of salt makes it better.

The best thing about this recipe, in my opinion, is that I can pre-mix the dry goods in a baggie and use the peanut butter in my drawer at work and I can mix it up quickly. I find that if I eat before I leave the house, I'm hungrier in the morning and I don't get everything done at home that I want to do before I leave. Having a breakfast that I can take with me is crucial and with this, I reach into my pantry, grab a baggie, a packet of cocoa, and a banana and breakfast is taken care of.

I do know that there are dangers of sugar substitute - including those it the diet cocoa. I'm not saying that I'll "cook" like this every day for the rest of my life, but for now it's doing the trick. I'll likely experiment with eliminating the cocoa (which is my least favorite part) and adding something else to make it feel just as satisfying, both in my belly and to my eyes but I don't quite know what to do to make that a tasty, lower point, and satisfying you have any suggestions?

Monday, February 8, 2010

You take the good, you take the bad...

This past week, I ran over 10 miles. It may sound like not a big deal to you, but it is to me. See, weeks when I run usually mean that I'm taking care of myself. On one hand, I suppose it's true. Me running or exercising more means that I'm doing something productive with anxiety levels - which have been sky high this past week. That's definitely a good thing.

But on the other hand, I completely went HAYWIRE in terms of my eating. I just couldn't shake the sugar monster - no matter how hard I tried. And that makes my body FEEL bad.

I tried to tell myself it was just one cookie - and who cares? I mean, if my body is craving it, isn't giving into one cookie not a big deal?

Typically the answer would be yes...but this past week it just made me want MORE sugar. I made myself take routes on the way home that weren't near DQ's and other hot spots of temptation, but I just couldn't stop thinking about the sugar. And eventually, I had it.

I guess that this past week I've realized that denying yourself isn't good, but neither is giving in almost every time. True, I didn't have the treat I really wanted every time (I only did that a few times), but even with the substitutions I had so much sugar that I was aware that I wasn't running the show - the sugar monster was.

I know this well enough to know that if I simply omit the sugar intake by just a few days, the cravings go away and I am once again sane around sugar.

I'm not promising to run as much as I did last week (I've got a crazy schedule ahead of me and it's snowing right now and will be snowing for the next few days apparently), but I am promising to get in exercise.

AND I am promising to give up sugar for at least a few days. I'm not saying that it will mean that I lose weight...but I know that I will feel better - and that is a really good change versus my dragging energy level these days.

What about you - do you notice yourself becoming addicted to certain substances/foods? If so, what do you do to combat the cravings?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My brain is full

My brain is full.

That's the only way that I can even think to explain my life at the moment. I have so many things to think about and to process that I can't even begin to write about all of them - the task seems too daunting.

So I'll sum up.

1) The work that I'm doing with my therapist is good. Really good. But OH BOY is it hard.

2) Stuff with Joe is going really well. We're starting to spend more nights together throughout the week and I'm so happy that our lives seem to be meshing naturally. Part of me is a little scared though - I mean, what if this actually does work out? Fear of success creeps up on me apparently.

3) I met with an old college friend last night for dinner. In our conversations, she told me that I made this huge difference in her life and I didn't know what to say. Part of me feels like the person that I was back then is not so much of who I am now. I know that changing throughout the course of your life is natural, but I also feel like sometimes I wonder if I've changed in the best way possible.

4) My workplace was visited again by our VP and the HR manager on Tuesday. A few of us were selected to work out of a sister company's extra cubicles. The way they handled the entire situation completely sucks and it just left me feeling sad. Many great people were laid off and I guess I'm having a serious case of "survivor's guilt."

5) My eating has been pretty horrendous the last few days. Like I've eaten out each night as well as some lunches. I need to go to the store to get "good" things to eat for breakfast, but I've been so busy each night until almost midnight that I haven't stopped by the store. I've eaten like crap and I feel like crap. Part of me wants to say that I should make time to go to get good stuff at the store, but then I remember that in a little over a week I'll be gone for another week of training - and I don't want to buy a bunch of stuff that will just go bad.

6) I'm thinking about changing out my bedroom furniture. LONG story short, it's too big and too dark for my bedroom so it makes my bedroom feel REALLY tiny. I feel like if my bedroom is in order, my life feels more in I'm excited about buying some pieces from IKEA when I go to Houston in a few weeks. That means that I need to get my butt in gear now to sell my bedroom furniture on craigslist. That takes time. And wow, do I feel like I don't have much of it.

7) I have a busy weekend coming up and as excited as I am about some pieces, I really just feel like lounging around. I know that I'll have the opportunity to do that tomorrow night, but UGH I want to do that today.

SO basically, I could've had a separate post for each one of the items above. I feel better when I at least get out some of my thoughts on paper/screen so that they're not so jumbled in my head. Running also helps - and I've done that a few times this week already. I need to remember that in times of stress, running or some sort of exercise is more helpful than I remember at the moment. Even though I have a therapy session today after work, I am going to run or do some form of exercise tonight.

What about you - what do you do to be kind to yourself and help yourself relax in stressed times?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ying and Yang

Last week, Joe and I went to a mongolian grill. If you've never been, I highly recommend it because it's quite the experience. In our situation, your server gives you a bowl and you load it up with as many veggies and meat as you want. Then you're able to select any sauce that you would like to have mixed in it. A quick walk to a huge flat top grill and the grillers cook your food to perfection.

It is DELICIOUS and quite the way to eat as healthfully as you want.

That night at dinner, Joe asked me if we had any plans for Saturday night. When I said that we didn't, he told me to be ready at 6ish, to dress up, and to save points for the night. That was all of the information. And if you've been reading this blog for at least a little while, you probably know that not being in control? It's not really my thing. I enjoy knowing and being able to plan...not just food wise.

So it was KILLING me to not know where we were going.

And then, when I was blow-drying my hair and trying to get it into a sexy sleek look (which never works - am I alone in this??), a horrendous thought came into my head.

What if he's taking me to the Jerry Springer show or some other live TV where your life changes in an instant?

Thankfully, that wasn't the case. :)

We actually went to The Melting Pot and it was delicious. Beyond delicious if you want to know the truth. If you've never been, The Melting Pot is a fondue restaurant where they serve four (FOUR!) courses and it takes hours to eat everything. I'm not kidding.

You start out with cheese fondue. And then you have a salad. Then you have all of the meats and some veggies. And just when you think you can't eat another bite, you eat more...because in front of you is the best chocolatey dessert EVER.*

And in the middle of our gluttonous adventure, we had 4 of their Ying and Yang martinis and a glass of wine. Basically, the martinis were spiked milkshakes with chocolate shavings on them - finished with two little chocolate buttons of yumminess.

I was full when they brought out the third course, but I KEPT EATING. Admitedly, I didn't eat even half of the meats that they brought out - I probably only had a third. I also asked for more fresh mushrooms instead.

I know. There are some of you reading this shaking your head in my general direction - and for the past two days, that's exactly what I've been doing to myself. I ate SO much - way beyond the point of enjoyment. My skirt felt tight, I felt bloated and just icky. And yet, I kept eating. Was it because I wanted to be gluttonous again - after weeks of not being so? Was it that I wanted to "fully" enjoy the restaurant so I wanted to eat whatever was placed in front of me? Or was it that the night was going to be SO much money that I didn't want Joe to think that I didn't like it or that I was wasting it? I don't know.

But this morning, I realize that because of the expense of that resturant, it isn't anything that we would do on a regular basis. I recognize that I ate way too much and that the food wasn't even all that tasty. Because of the broth that we cooked the meats in, everything kind of ended up tasting the same. The dessert was fantastic as were the martinis (more dessert). But everything else was just okay.

So if we ever go again, now I know how much food to expect. I also know that we would've been fine sharing a "feast" as long as we purchased an extra salad. It could be a healthier indulgence versus something that FELT bad.

Now, my weekend wasn't all bad. I went snowshoeing with a friend on Saturday morning and then Joe and I worked out together first thing on Sunday morning. I ran almost 3 miles (then a lady kind of threw a fit at the exercise room so I switched to the eliptical machine) while he lifeed weights. Afterwards, we went out to breakfast and instead of getting my usual egg, potato, and meat filled breakfast, I opted for a breakfast banana split - made with fresh fruit and yogurt instead of ice cream and toppings.

The scale this morning shows that I'm up a few pounds, which comes as no surprise.

I'm not overly frustrated with myself. I'm trying to realize that although I would do things differently if I went to the same restaurant, the damage has already been done. I've already eaten the calories. And to beat myself up further diminishes the great time that we did have at the restuarant. I felt special and spoiled. I was thought of enough, by someone I love, to be taken someplace really nice. We dressed up and looked great. We had fun. We got a few hours to talk and concentrate on just us - and all of that was absolutely fantastic.

So, do I want to learn from the bad? Sure. But do I want to keep the good too? Absolutely.

I'm learning that life doesn't have to be so black and white. Maybe there doesn't have to be a ying or yang opposite approach to life OR weight loss.

* You actually get to pick your cheese type as well as the broth for the meats and the chocolate. The chocolate melty yumminess that we had was the "Flaming Turtle" which kind of sounds like a gay bar. It was (in reality) milk chocolate with carmel and pecans. So. Very. Tasty.