Appropriate that the picture for this weigh-in would be New Mexico's Highway 314, since I just hit the next mini-goal.
I'm down to 314.8, a 2.4-pound loss from last Wednesday.
My mini-goal was to get down to 314, my weight when I flew to Albuquerque for the first time to meet Brent and get a tour of the area. I'd never been to New Mexico before, so I was pretty excited. I thought it was all desert with those big cacti with the arms, and he laughed (nicely) because it was 43 degrees when we had that conversation.
I flew there on February 19, 2010. I was really worried because I knew I was probably too heavy for the airplane seats. The last time I'd flown somewhere was May 2007, when I was closer to 275, and the seats were tight but not bad. Plus, it was a Canadian airline, and they don't make you pay for two seats if you're too big (under their discrimination laws, they have to find two seats together and can't charge you for the second one).
Anyway, it was a direct flight to/from Chicago, so I only had to worry about one seat partner each way. On the way there, this guy gave me such a glare when I showed up to claim my window seat. As I was struggling with the belt, he looked at his ticket and said, "Oh, I'm in the wrong seat," and moved up a row to sit next to a guy with horrible body odor. I was freshly showered, and the armrest went down (but only because I corseted my thighs with the seatbelt), but apparently he was happier sitting next to a skinny guy with body odor. Okay...
Rude dude aside, I was happy because now I had two seats to myself. :) I spent the flight sipping orange juice and reading a book. It was very relaxing. The pilot announced when we were flying over Santa Fe, and I turned and smiled at a lady sitting near me who'd been telling me about visiting her daughter there. She was wearing a bright red sweatshirt with a small "Santa Fe" logo embroidered underneath four little embroidered pieces of pottery and cowboy boots. The man next to her had a white cowboy hat with turquoise beading around the brim and a leather vest. It was stereotypical and charming.
Shortly after Santa Fe, we were flying over the Sandias and into Albuquerque.
It felt like it took forever to land, but we finally did, and I raced through the airport to find him.
Sort of. I did stop to take a couple pictures of this cool statue:
and the beautiful architecture:
It was really crowded, since it was 1:00 on a Friday afternoon, but I finally heard someone say, "Sarah!" I turned, and there he was. My first thought was, "He's shorter than I pictured," which still makes us laugh. Then I noticed he was wearing a long-sleeved black shirt with "Chicago" written on the front, his leather coat, his Cubs hat, and his black boots.
Before I could process everything, though, he was hugging me. It felt like I'd known him forever. It was like hugging a family member.
We went to his place to drop off my stuff, and then we walked to Frontier to get some brunch. This place is legendary. Movie stars stop here while in town because the food is just that good. They roast their own chilies**, they make gargantuan cinnamon rolls drenched in butter, and they have homemade lemonade.
**New Mexico is known for putting green or red chile on everything. They even have it at pizza places and Subway.
I ordered breakfast, and Brent got a burrito (the chile is inside the burrito). He ordered one of the infamous cinnamon rolls for us as well. It was as good as it looks.
We spent the weekend driving around and hanging out with friends. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures with anyone because I was really shy. I did get some pictures of the scenery and Brent, though.
It still feels like yesterday, even though it was nearly three years ago. I think about all of the online conversations, trips to see each other, the waiting, the crying (me) when our time together was over, starting a new countdown on the calendar until the next trip (the longest wait was five months; the shortest was two months), the anticipation when he decided to move here, him actually moving in, the adjustment, and everything we've been through since then - the new job, making dinner at night, talking while watching TV in his office, emailing each other all day every day and texting while running errands, trips to visit family together, holidays, and vacations.
It's kind of crazy how far we've come, knowing how much I still have to learn about him and how many experiences and years we have ahead of us. That first visit to Albuquerque feels like a blip on the radar now, even though it was so huge at the time.
The first visit was pretty short. I scheduled it for Friday, February 19 through Monday, February 22. I didn't want it to be just a weekend, in case we got along really well, but I didn't want to make it a week in case we didn't get along at all. On Sunday night, I was really upset and wished I'd asked for an entire week off. Monday morning, as I was starting to pack, I got a text message from American Airlines letting me know my flight had been canceled and rebooked for Tuesday morning. Apparently, there had been a storm in Chicago. Instead of leaving Monday afternoon, I'd be leaving at 8:00 Tuesday morning.
I called my boss right away and told him I wouldn't be in Tuesday morning, but I could be there by 5:00 to cover the late shift. He said it was a good compromise and that he was happy I would get to spend another 16 hours with Brent.
Brent and I were sitting on his loveseat at this point, and he was kissing me and saying, "I want to be with you forever." Then he got up and got something out of a box. He said, "I can't afford anything better right now, but you can have this." It was his class ring. I wore it until he moved here last summer.
(I just tried to take a picture of it on my finger, and it slides off now. Even though I'm the same weight, I guess I've lost some bloat from my fingers!)
We went to the Route 66 Diner for dinner, and I made a joke about wearing his class ring but not getting his letterman's sweater.
We had to get up at 0-dark-wtf to get me to the airport on time. Albuquerque is home to Kirtland Air Force base, so airport security takes a while. It was much colder that day, so Brent wore a black knit hat instead of his baseball hat. He had it low over his eyes, like Mushmouth. I thought he was trying to hide his emotions, but now I know he always does that when he's super tired. ;)
He gave me a kiss goodbye and stood there until I disappeared into the security line. I was really sad, but I was too sleepy and too worried about the flight (seats) to concentrate on that. Security did take a while, and by the time I got through, I only had to wait a half-hour for my flight to depart.
I ended up sitting next to a really thin, chatty guy. I apologized for being big, and he waved me off and said, "Honey, nobody is comfortable in these seats. They suck. Pro-tip. Fly Continental. They have a single row of seats along the left side. That's where I was booked before Chicago got snow-swamped." Heh. :)
We spent the entire flight with him talking about all of the different planes he's been on, including a Concorde, and me twirling Brent's ring and wishing I could just be home, in bed, relaxing with my kitties and waiting to see him again.
Instead, when we landed, I had to take the L to Jefferson Park, a bus to Stacy's neighborhood (where my car was parked), and then drive from Chicago to State Farm, where I worked from 5:00 to 7:00 as promised. That was the most surreal thing I've experienced in a long time. That morning, I was in New Mexico, hugging Brent, and now I was back at my desk like nothing had ever happened. It was such a blur, the plane ride, the L, the bus, and then traffic on I-94. It was like I'd dreamed it during my lunch break. I'll never forget that weird feeling.
Now I'm sitting in my recliner, with my kitties, waiting for Brent to come home from work instead of waiting for his train to arrive. I'm making chicken and pasta for dinner, one of his favorites, and the scale is going to keep moving down instead of moving up like it did when we started dating. Instead of gaining 43 pounds, I'll lose another 43 pounds, and then another, and then another, and so on.
I'm so glad he's been by my side through all of this.