Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I have an interview for a different/better position tomorrow (technically today), and I'm terrified. I usually rock interviews, but this one is so important to me that I'm kind of freaking out. I've been studying the sample questions all night, trying to come up with answers that sound awesome yet unrehearsed.

I'm pretty concerned about my appearance, even though that shouldn't be a factor. I weighed around 290 pounds when I got the job at this company, and I weighed about 320 when I got the promotion to my current position. I'm mostly nervous because I couldn't find a black blazer in my size on short notice, so I'm worried I won't be dressed-up enough. (Again, this is a silly concern; I wore a red blouse and black pants when I interviewed for my current position.)

My company offers really good benefits, and I liked my previous position, so it's really just a matter of this being a horrible fit. My boss thinks the new position would be perfect for me, and it's a LOT less stress. (I've heard that from multiple people in that department.) If I don't get it, I'll just keep applying for other positions as they come up. There are a few other departments that interest me, so all hope is not lost.

I'm still worried, though. I freaking HATE interviews. It's the eye contact that does me in. I never make eye contact with anybody, ever, so it's really hard for me to hold eye contact with someone AND come up with a witty/professional/informative/creative answer to a question.

Thoughts and prayers, please? :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Yesterday was Beth's birthday, so we met up with Beth, her husband Tony, her brother Pat, Pat's girlfriend Brittany, and Beth's parents (Debbie and Bob) at 12:00 to do birthday stuff. I had no idea what the plan was for the day, so I just wore a regular shirt, jeans, and flip-flops.

We started off with lunch at Jaspare's Pizza. Then Beth asked if everyone was ready to go to the zoo. I was thrilled about going to the zoo, but I was wearing a slightly heavy shirt and flip-flops. Oops! I figured I'd be okay, though. My flip-flops are really comfortable and squishy.

As soon as we got there, of course, I remembered I had my walking shoes in my car, which meant I could have switched my shoes before we got into Pat and Brittany's car. Oops again!

Everyone in the world was at the zoo that day. It was the first nice Saturday of the summer, about 80 degrees instead of 100 like it's been lately. We had to park a half-mile from the entrance, and then every exhibit was super crowded and packed with screaming kids. The animals were cool, though, and I had a really good time socializing with everyone, but Brent was at his wit's end. He hates crowds, especially when it's a crowd of screaming children. I tried to give him lots of space, especially because if he's in a crappy mood, I start to feel crappy. I didn't want to feel crappy; I wanted to have fun! :) I don't say that to be insensitive; he knows his mood wears off on me, so I think he was giving me space too. He and Tony pretty much hung out together all day talking about computer stuff.

I didn't have my camera with me since I had no idea we were going to the zoo, so we didn't get any pictures of us together like I was hoping. Beth took some pictures of us looking at animals, though.

I'm to the left of Bob (in the yellow shirt). I uploaded this one because it shows off Brent's hair. ;)

Looking at prairie dogs

For $1/leaf, you can buy big pieces of lettuce and feed the giraffes.

It's a really great zoo. A lot of the environments are as natural as they can make them, and there isn't any concrete. All of the paths are dirt/fine gravel with lots of rocks, twigs, and terrain. There's a lot of wild forest growth and a minimum of fences, just enough to keep everyone safe. It's really beautiful.

It's a good two to three-mile walk with hills and such, and it felt good to get exercise. A lot of the animals were hiding because of the heat and noise, but we got to see about 75% of them. Beth said we should go back in the fall when it's cooler and not so crowded (and I'm wearing better shoes). I'm definitely up for that. :) I had some pretty bad blisters from my flip-flops, so walking hurt near the end, but they were much more supportive than I thought they would be. Standing around didn't bother me at all. Usually, my feet are killing me after a half-hour or so.

After the zoo, we decided to take some time to go home, wash up, and cool down before dinner. Brent decided to stay home since he was still stressed from all the people and kids, so I got ready for dinner and met everyone over at Martell's. It's this really nice restaurant in a yuppie apartment/condo community, set back in a pretty wooded area with a pond and stuff. The food was delicious; I'm definitely going to take Brent there for special date nights.

It was only 9:30 when we finished dinner, so we went back to Beth's to hang out and play Trivial Pursuit. We played guys against girls, and the girls won! I got home around 2:00 and passed out almost immediately. I'd had a Grasshopper (delicious alcoholic drink) with dinner plus two allergy pills (Beth and Tony have a cat and a big, yellow lab). Brent was watching a movie in bed. I barely remember talking to him before I passed out. I'm never able to fall asleep with the TV on, but I was DEAD.

All in all, it was a great day with fabulous company and delicious food. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Oreo Cake

I decided to make this Oreo cake for a birthday party at work tomorrow. Since Brent was so sweet to buy me a present, I made another one just for him. :)

The recipe is:

One package (2-layer size) Devil's Food cake mix
4 squares Baker's semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup butter
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups thawed Cool Whip - make sure to thaw it in the fridge, not on the counter
12 Oreo cookies, coarsely crushed

Bake the cakes in two 9-inch round pans according to the box directions.

Using a mixer, combine the cream cheese and sugar on low until relatively blended. Gradually add the Cool Whip and Oreos.

Once the cakes are cool, place one cake on a plate and spread the Oreo mixture on top, making sure to spread it evenly and get it relatively level.

Place the second cake on top.

Combine the Baker's chocolate and butter in a small bowl and microwave on high for two minutes. Stir the chocolate and butter until the chocolate is melted and let cool for five minutes. Once it is no longer runny, spread it slowly and evenly over the top of the cake.


This recipe makes twice as much filling as you need. I used half and then saved half to make the other cake. The filling is super yummy, though, so you may want to use all of it. Just keep in mind that's going to make a BIG piece of cake. ;)

It was 97 degrees in my kitchen tonight. I had to put the glaze in the fridge for a bit, and even then it started running a bit as soon as I took it out (you can see the drips in the picture). If your kitchen is warm, you may want to put the cake in the fridge for a while before making the glaze. Then, the coolness of the cake will help "set" the glaze. I had to make a mad dash for my fridge since my cake was room temperature.

Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving. It's best to make it the night before and let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours. The middle is like a whipped cheesecake, so treat the cake as a cheesecake and give it time to set.

Nutritional Info: This cake is designed to be cut into 16 pieces. One piece has 417 calories. If you cut the filling in half, it goes down to around 350 calories.

Recipe Credit: Kraftrecipes.com

Doctor Appt

I went to the doctor today because it has been a Really Long Time. I wanted to set up some blood tests and have him analyze me for PCOS. I never had hormonal tests done, and this plateau and gaining weight even while eating at maintenance (back in the day, I mean) has me irked.

He's a new doctor to me but came highly recommended by a couple friends. He was SO NICE. He commended my meals and said I have the nutrition down-pat. He asked what kind of exercises I do. He asked about how/when I get hungry and what I crave. He asked eleventy billion questions instead of saying, "So, what are we going to do about your weight?"

It was like ten tons came off my back.

Additionally, when he measured my height, I discovered I've gotten shorter by about 1.5". Ha! The last time I had a doctor measure my height, I was 23-years old. He said it's common to shrink over time. I was pretty excited because I really want to grow old and be just like Sophia.

Coincidentally, today would have been Estelle Getty's birthday

Anyway, he printed out a lab request for more tests than I ever thought possible. It's two pages! In addition to checking every single hormone level, my cholesterol, and my triglycerides, he's also having my thyroid checked, iron checked, and fasting glucose done. He told me to just fast for 12 hours, go in, have the bloodwork done, and then go have some food. He gave me a separate sheet to bring back two hours later, asking them to check my glucose again. He said it's a way to trick them and check for insulin resistance; otherwise, if he orders a standard glucose tolerance test, they'll keep me hostage there and have me chug that horrible sugar-syrup drink. Blecch. He told me to just go to IHOP or some other place and "eat like [I'm] on vacation". :) Told you he rocks.

I cannot express just how kind and awesome he was. I was so happy I wanted to cry. He treated me like someone who can overcome this and succeed, as long as we can get over whatever hurdles the PCOS may be causing. He didn't treat me like "just another obese patient", which is how I've felt since I was 23.

Additionally, my resting heart rate has come way down, and my blood pressure was just slightly below normal. I've never, ever had blood pressure that low. It's usually borderline hypertensive! I was so excited.

When I got home, I emailed Brent to let him know how everything went, and I told him I want to get a Wii and buy the Wii Fit. I meant in a few months, when I lose enough to use the balance board (I'm too heavy by about 12 pounds). When he got home from work, though, he had a present for me. It was a Wii and the Wii Fit!!! I was so excited.

I felt bad, though, because he wanted me to try it out, and I had to explain I was over the weight limit. Then he said, "No, it's 330 pounds. You're fine," and then I had to explain that, no, his girlfriend weighs more than 330 pounds. To his credit, he didn't react. He just said, "Oh, well then you can use it in a couple months. You can still have fun and play regular video games on it, though." I said I'd play Sims and Mario Kart and stuff and then told him I can get EA Active, since that doesn't use a balance board.

As soon as I said that, he changed out of his pajamas and back into regular clothes. I asked where he was going, and he said, "I'm going to Game Stop before they close. I want you to have your new toy tonight, not this weekend." Awwww. *love*

As a thank you gift, I made him a new dessert, but I'm going to put that in a separate entry to keep the recipe entry separate from a regular blog entry.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Wrigley Field

My parents came to visit over the weekend, and we took my dad to Wrigley Field on Saturday. He'd never been there before, and it had always been on his bucket list.

I wish I had a picture of his face when we walked in. He was like a kid at Disney World. We walked all over the concourse and all around the seats so he could see the field from every angle. We got free hats when we came in, and he got a "First Timer's Certificate" from Fan Services. He got an Old Style and a Chicago Dog. We rode the shuttle bus from DeVry, so he even got to experience a bit of the CTA. After we had dinner with my friend, Stacy, up on the far north side, we drove south on LakeShore Drive so he could get a great view of the city before we left.

He kept saying, "Best. Birthday Gift. Ever."

I'm so happy we could give this to him. :)

I was a little worried about the seats, as usual, especially since I haven't lost any weight the past several weeks. I've lost inches but not weight, so I was interested to see how it all worked out. I'm not as heavy as I was the last time we went (when I had a crying fit because I couldn't even sit on the edge of the seat, forcing us to stand at the back of the section), but I'm not as small as I was the first time we went. The jersey I'm wearing didn't fit a few months ago (too tight in the arms/back), but it was comfortable on Saturday morning. That gave me hope.

As soon as we got there, I sat on the edge of the seat and realized I had more room. My dad was right next to me, though, and since he's a bigger guy, I couldn't really scoot back. Once he got up to get some more beer, I scooted back as far as I could. I wiggled and turned and managed to get myself almost all the way into the seat. The metal bars were digging in, so it wasn't comfortable, but dammit - I was almost in that seat! I was so happy. I showed Brent and Dad that I was really close. The people behind me probably thought I was some nutso fatty, but whatever. I didn't care. I was grinning about it for the rest of the game because I knew that when we go next summer, I might be able to not only fit all the way in but fit comfortably.

I can't wait to go back to Chicago again. While we were there, I felt like I was home. I didn't want to come back to Kalamazoo. I wanted to stay and have fun in the city, maybe see a museum the next day. I told Brent, and he reminded me that Chicago is #1 on the priorities list. It will all depend on how the next year pans out, though. He also reminded me that we'll be back for concerts, a Bears game, and so on, but I was still pretty sad when we were driving south on LakeShore Drive. There was so much more I wanted to show my dad, and we simply didn't have time.

We'll just have to make a list for next year, assuming we don't already live there by then. ;)

Monday, July 9, 2012


Guess which child of the 80s just bought tickets to the Duran Duran concert next month?


I am so excited. I had a huge crush on Simon when I was 12-years old (but not as large as my Billy Idol and David Bowie crushes). I've wanted to see Duran Duran for a long time, but their tour never jived with my schedule, or I'd find out about the tour the week after they came to my area, or whatever.

I read about their tour on Success Along the Weigh and knew I had to go.

They aren't coming to Michigan, but they will be in Highland Park, IL, which is north of Chicago. The concert is on a Wednesday, which just happens to be my day off. :) I won't have to find anyone to cover my shift (score), and I can take a half-day on Thursday since I'll be getting home super late (double score). Additionally, I can take the Metra to Ravinia Park (triple score because I love trains).

Now I just need to take a look at the various train schedules and figure out if I'm going to take the South Shore to Chicago from Indiana or if I'll have to park somewhere in Chicago. Parking won't be an issue since I know a few neighborhoods that don't require permits. ;)

/cue my usual beef that Amtrak doesn't offer a late-night train back to Michigan


Update on 9/13: Duran Duran had to cancel their Chicago date due to illness and do not plan to reschedule. :(

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sarasota Lemonade

Beth and I had a girls' night last night since her husband was nerding it up with all the nerds in the Nerdery (their basement). We decided to make a new drink recipe I found: "Sarasota Lemonade".

The recipe calls for:

Two 750 ml bottles of Moscato (or one 1.5 liter bottle)
3 cups Sprite
6 ounces pink lemonade concentrate (thawed)
One package raspberries

Pour the wine into a punch bowl. Add the Sprite. Add the lemonade. Take half of the raspberries and mash them up before adding them to the bowl. Mix. Take the other half of the raspberries and put them in the glasses before serving.

Since we were afraid it would be too sweet, we decided to use the entire 12-oz can of pink lemonade and two packages of raspberries. The end result was more tart than sweet, which was perfect. Next time we make it, we're going to use Fresca instead of Sprite. We think the citrus will be more prominent; plus, Fresca is sugar-free.

Also, make sure you chill the wine and Sprite before making this. I bought everything on the way to her place, and it didn't taste quite right until we put a ton of ice cubes in our glass.

I have no idea what the calories per glass are, but it was a nice, refreshing summer treat.

As soon as Jess discovered (via Facebook) that we were drinking wine and watching shows like "Bridezillas" and "Say Yes to the Dress", she came over to help sample the drink and join us in our wine-induced mocking. It was a lot of fun! I haven't done something like that in a long time. Everyone has been so busy lately.

I barely remember the drive home. I wasn't drunk; I was just soooo tiiiired. I got three hours of sleep before work Saturday morning. Then, when I got to Beth's, I took an allergy pill since she has a dog and a cat. So by the time 2:30 AM rolled around, I was pretty sleepy. I debated calling Brent for a ride, but I wasn't so sleepy I couldn't drive, and I was barely buzzed, certainly not enough to impair my driving (and believe me - I'm a stickler for not driving when I'm unsure).

I stopped for gas, and the gas station had a case of Sweetwater's Donuts (they are a local legend, and they were featured on the Food Network a while ago). I don't even like donuts that much, but they just sounded so GOOD. This is probably proof I was too zonked to be out. I ended up buying two donuts and ate both of them on the way home. Ha!

I got home around 3:15, and Brent had left a light on for me. Awwww. It was a good thing since I'm not quite used to the new apartment yet. I ended up playing Sims for a while before going to bed. I have no idea why; I was SO ready to crash. I guess I just thought it was a good idea at the time.

I'm pretty sure I passed out around 4:00 or so. I woke up at 9:15 out of habit and went back to sleep until noon when Brent starting doing his morning routine. I could have slept another few hours, but I hate "wasting" days off.


It's 83 degrees right now. This is a WONDERFUL break from the 100+ temperatures we've had the past week. We also had a bit of rain and thunder last night; it was the first time it's rained in six weeks, so we were PUMPED. Chicago, Detroit, and northern Michigan have all been getting rain, but it keeps passing over Kalamazoo.

It's so strange to go through June and part of July without any rain, and I've actually been pretty depressed about it. Some people get grumpy during winter, but I tend to get grumpy during summer, especially when we have weeks upon weeks of hot, dry weather like that. I'm definitely one of those spring/fall/thunderstorm-loving girls. If we could move to a maritime climate, like Oregon or Washington, we'd be there in a heartbeat. ;)

Friday, July 6, 2012


As a P.S. to the earlier entry:

Even though my weight hasn't budged, I had a NSV just a few minutes ago.

While tightening my belt, I realized I was a good inch or so past the last notch I punched into it six weeks ago. :)

Weigh-in & Water Weight

Last week was definitely water weight. ;) I've been weighing in at 341-342 consistently for the past two weeks. I've been good about calories but horrible when it comes to sodium and exercise. The recent heat has made even the slightest movement absolutely unbearable. Even just doing dishes or folding laundry has left me dripping with sweat. Our heat index has been over 100 lately, and the humidity isn't helping. Our A/C can only do so much.

Since I'm maintaining my weight at this caloric level, I'm hoping exercise will kick the weight loss into gear again. Plus, our nice, big kitchen with a normal-size fridge means I can actually cook meals for the week ahead of time and stick them in the fridge/freezer. We still eat out WAY too often, and even though I make healthy choices, it's still too much sodium and such.

I've been at 341-342 for a few weeks, to be honest. I think exercise is the key. I stopped exercising a few weeks ago because we had piles of boxes everywhere and I literally had paths in every room. There was no room to move, let alone do Turbo Jam or The Firm. We could barely squeeze through the doorway to get to our bed. :-P

Additionally, I was walking for a while, but then my left foot gave up the ghost. I could hardly walk for a week, and then I spent two weeks on my feet painting, loading boxes, and moving into the new place. This is the first time in about three weeks that I haven't had foot/ankle pain. It's nice.

Anyway, I'm trying not to feel like a big, fat failure. While it's awesome I've maintained my loss and not fallen off the wagon, I still feel like I could have done more the past few weeks, even though I was hot, sweaty, and sore every day doing all the moving stuff. I'm a little worried that I'm stuck on a plateau, even though last week's water weight loss proves I probably just need to re-examine my nutrition intake, increase my water, and make sure I exercise. I'm trying not to let it get me down.

I keep remembering that I've lost weight in the past, sometimes as much as 60 pounds, and I can do it again. I just have to remember it wasn't always easy, that I did get stuck for weeks at a time, that yes... it will happen... if I'm patient. I think it was easier the past couples times because I didn't really care. It just sort of happened because I was bored and walked every night, or I did SCA dancing which burned a ton of calories every week, stuff like that.

If anything, I am definitely getting in better shape; the stairs in our house that threatened to kill me when we first moved in are much easier to climb now. So there's that. :)

A big positive is that I have my own workout room now, since we have two bedrooms. The bedrooms are quite large, so even with a full-size bed in the spare room, there's still plenty of space for me to workout. I could even fit a treadmill in there if I wanted to save up for one (which I'm definitely considering). For now, though, I'm going to put a small TV and DVD player in there and create an area for storing my free weights and step and so on.

/crossing fingers

I hope that scale starts moving again soon.

Monday, July 2, 2012


Most of the bloggers I read are runners, so it seems natural that it would pique my interest in running. Last night, I had a dream I was running in a 5K, and it felt awesome.

The path went down some streets and then into the woods. Some people from work were there. In fact, the guy who sits in the cubicle next to mine passed me at one point and said, "Good job! Keep going! I'll see you at the finish."

It wasn't easy, like you'd think a dream would be. I was still sweaty, hot, and tired. I had a sense we were halfway through the race, so I'd been running for about 20 minutes. I was going at the same pace I ran in high school, when we ran a mile on Monday, a mile and a half on Wednesday, and two miles on Friday. I had gym class right after lunch, so it was torture. My mile improved from 14:50 to 10:37 during that year - nothing stellar, but I remember being so excited when I ran the entire mile instead of stopping to walk for a bit (that's when I got the 10:37).

Anyway, the 5K ended early for some reason, and everyone was told to stop. I was pretty bummed because I really wanted to finish that race and feel the accomplishment of doing something new and awesome. They decided to reschedule the race, and I started to bug everyone, asking how I could sign up again. Someone told me the race would be on March 3rd, and I remember wondering, "How on earth am I supposed to dress for that? I can't wear a scarf. Maybe I can wear a heavy sweatshirt with something under it."

Then I woke up.

Given that my feet and ankles can hardly handle a serious walking regimen right now (well, at least until I get fit for proper shoes and stop over-pronating), training for a 5K is a ways off. It's definitely on my list, though. I don't think I'll become one of those people who does a 10K, half-marathon, or even a marathon, but who knows. Maybe I'll fall in love with running. I always hated it during high school, but it was after lunch, the popular girls made me feel slow, and I couldn't wear headphones. Maybe, when it's on my own terms, I'll like it. There are times I'm walking and a super powerful awesome song comes on, and it makes me want to run so badly. It would be nice to actually do that once in a while.

Mostly, I'm scared of training in public. Walking is one thing, but watching a 340-pound girl huff and puff as she runs... I'm not sure I want to be that girl. There is a small track at the intermediate school just around the corner. Hardly anybody is there after school hours. The playground isn't used, and the track actually has weeds growing through the tracks. It's also sort of hidden from the road with a fence and some trees. My HRM has a stopwatch feature, so I'd be able to time my splits if I follow the C25K program. Once I get fit for some proper shoes, I might have to see what I'm capable of. I'm not expecting much right now since I'm so heavy - and I'm scared to hurt my knees - but it's worth a shot.
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