Because I’m a dork….

I am a dork and I love charts. Not sure if you have heard of or have used Tableau before but it is an amazing software that takes data and allows you to easily manipulate it into charts, graphs and other visual representations. The best part is they have a FREE public version that you can download and use to build interactive charts and graphs right into your blog. Once my home computer is set up I will start using this capability to display my weight loss data and it will allow you to play with the charts and data too. For now, since I am posting from my phone, you will have to just settle for pictures of some of the graphs I built. This is a truly amazing, easy, and fantastic tool to use for just about anything involving data. I highly recommend this software if you are a chart-loving dork like me! Tableau Public

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Thanks for reading!

*These are my personal opinions. I have not been paid nor have I been contacted by Tableau to endorse their product.

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July 29, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Tableau Software, Weight Loss. 1 comment.

Priorities

It is important to set your priorities, especially when you are trying to meet personal goals. For me, exercising has become my top priority followed closely by eating good, healthy meals and snacks. This week because of the moving I had to change up my routine quite a bit. Since I still wanted to get in my daily exercise but I also needed to devote my free time to packing and cleaning I had to change up how I would be cooking and eating. Last week, I discovered that our cafeteria at work has a fabulous salad bar so I decided that instead of making my lunch ahead of time to bring to work that I would eat at the cafeteria instead. For dinners Paul and I decided to take advantage of the prepared meals that Central Market, like Whole Foods but better, has to offer. Everyday they offer dinner for two; a fully cooked meal that is perfectly portioned for two people complete with protein, whole grains and vegetables that only needs to be reheated in the microwave or oven. So far this week we have had two of the dinners for two and then twice we each had individual dinners that were also premade and only needed to be reheated. By purchasing these prepared meals I was able to stay out the kitchen all week and focus on what really needed to be taken care of. Let me just say that I am not sure if I will ever cook again during the week, these meals from Central Market are super tasty, fresh, healthy and exact portions I should be eating so I am not really sure if I want to spend my time cooking when they do it so well 🙂

Yesterday, Paul signed the lease to the house and we got our keys. Yay! Paul stayed at the house to wait for the mattress delivery guy (we got a new bed; King size- it was time for an upgrade) and I went to Hot Vinyasa yoga; it is slightly cooler than Bikram at 95 degrees. I will make sure to tell you more about it in another post. After yoga and mattress delivery, Paul and I met back at the apartment for dinner, courtesy of CM of course, and then headed over to the house to bring over some linens, cookware, a trash can and of course the most important item which was just recently acquired. Like I said we all have priorities. For me it is my health and nutrition, for Paul it is beer 🙂

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Our new kegerator

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You can tell how important it is to him, he’s reading the assembly instructions 😉

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Our new house!

Thanks for reading!

July 28, 2011. Tags: , , , . Life. 4 comments.

Weight Watchers Weekly Update

I am happy to report that even through all of the chaos this past week I was still able to pull off a loss on the scale and it was a big one – 5.2 pounds to be exact. It was my biggest weekly loss so far and I was pretty darn happy about it. This brings me down to 242.8 (getting close to saying goodbye to the 240’s) for a total loss of 37.2 pounds since joining Weight Watchers. Woo hoo! During the meeting I was awarded a 5 pound sticker (which everyone gets every time they hit another five pounds lost) and I was given a sixteen week charm (a gold pair of hands clapping with the number 16 etched in) to put on my Weight Watchers key ring that I received when I lost 10% of my initial body weight.  You receive this after you have attended 16 meetings. This past Saturday was #17 for me but they forgot to give it to me last week. After the class, Sally, my WW group leader gave me a second 5K charm for completing the 5K last week. She told me for each one I complete she will give me another charm so I can celebrate each race individually. It’s pretty cool to have these tokens to help remind me of my progress.

280/242.8/150

As you know, we are getting ready to move this week. Paul is going to sign the lease for our house on post this upcoming Wednesday and that is when the fun times officially begin. We couldn’t be happier to be moving. Almost every day we think of another reason why life will be better living on post most of which, for me, revolve around proximity to the Synergy Studio. Sometime in the next few weeks I will be joining as a monthly member (instead of buying packs of 8 or 20 classes at a time) which will allow me to take unlimited classes. I will still be doing boxing at the Club KO and Bikram Yoga (until my Groupon runs out) at Bikram Yoga San Antonio but by now I am sure you have realized that I am in love with the classes, and people, at Synergy and becoming a monthly member means I don’t have to pick one class over the other, instead I can take whatever I can fit into my schedule. This makes me extremely happy.

You will be happy to know that I did finally break down and help with the packing. Yesterday, I packed up a very large amount of the kitchen items which was no small feat. I know Paul was probably happy for the help since his ribs are still bothering him and any lifting or bending he does just irritates his injury more. Poor guy. He is pretty great though, he doesn’t really complain about the pain or the fact that I am not pitching in as much as
I should. I told him that I think subconsciously my mind feels it is ok to skip packing in order to go to classes because I had to do all of the packing for the move from Philly to San Antonio by myself and now it’s his turn ;)Seriously though, I am just so afraid of taking a week or so off and losing what little endurance I have. I may work out a lot and have definitely become far more active than I was just 5 months ago but the fact of the matter is I am still 90+ pounds overweight and a week off will make a huge impact on my physical abilities. So, I keep going to class and Paul understands why. I think it’s one thing if I skip packing, or cleaning, in order to exercise – that’s ok with him. However, if I just wanted to sit around and watch TV while he was working that would not be acceptable. I am definitely lucky to have such an understanding husband when it comes to these types of things.

Oh, and did I tell you he is training to do a half marathon in the fall? Well if I did, I lied. He is actually training to do a full marathon as part of the Army team which will be running in the Rock and Roll Marathon in San Antonio. I think that’s just crazy. I don’t know how people can run that far, for that long. It seems exhausting. I am literally getting exhausted talking about it. For all of you out there reading this who have done marathons-you are amazing! I have nothing but respect for anyone who can endure something like that. But I also think you are probably slightly mad for doing it 😉

For me, I am on a hiatus from my half marathon training. After I missed three short walks and one long walk over the past two weeks I decided I would take the next two weeks off and decide whether or not this is something I seriously want to train for. I am losing motivation to do it because outdoor walks are becoming next to impossible in this heat and I hate walking on a treadmill. It takes up so much of my time and there are so many other things (like boxing, tai chi, nia) I would rather be doing. I love walking and hiking and enjoy being outside but I am just not sure I can want to even want to continue training. It’s a tough call because on one hand I want to test my limits, to see if I could physically do it, but on the other hand I am starting to dread my walking workouts which is just no fun. So, stay tuned. In a couple of weeks I will decide what I want to do and let you know.

Well, I am off to Poi Spinning in a few minutes so I have to get going. I need to mentally prepare for what I am about to do to my body. Hopefully no more poi to the throat again 😉

Thanks for reading!

July 25, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, Weight Watchers. 5 comments.

Catching Up…Part 1

OK, so I just wrote a post on everything that I have been up to this week and when I hit ‘Save Draft’ it freaking disappeared. This happened on Monday when I was writing up the post from the 5K. I had to start from scratch. WTF WordPress! Why??? Why when I have no free time would you keep eating my posts??? I used to type them up on a Word document and then copy paste but for reasons unknown when I do that now it copies over weird and I spend a half hour playing with the formatting. Blerg! Both options suck! Crap. I lost my momentum. Here is a very abbreviated version- I don’t have time to write it all up again. Will post more later.

Walked 6 miles on Sunday with new friend. Saw pretty flowers.

 

 

 

Broke treadmill at apartment complex gym. Got in less than one mile of a three-mile walk. Awesome. This is the second time this has happened. See post from Feb. 23. I don’t dare link- I may anger the WordPress gods.

I officially hate Wednesday evening Bikram classes. They are always too full. Yesterday there were 37 plus the instructor. Not more than two inches between mats. Too crowded! Going to that studio (Bikram Yoga San Antonio) only on the weekends until my Groupon is used up.

Paul fell in the shower and hurt his rib cage. Then last night he dropped eye dropper in his eye. Not a great week for him.

Can’t wait to move. Six days until we sign the lease. Did I tell you the house has a fenced in yard? Great for the doggies especially this goofball.

 

 

Maggie is laying next to, practically under, our bed while right behind her is her doggie bed. Silly dog!

Can’t wait to move out of the ghetto. They tore up our parking lot yesterday to get to a water leak. Three or four parking spots were ripped up. It’s pretty dangerous and of course no one should be walking or parking there. They needed to put up caution tape.

 

And of course what better way is there to secure caution tape than by wrapping it around two upside-down computer monitors and an upside-down shopping cart- everyone knows that. Where did that stuff even come from? So ridiculous.

Finished ‘Catching Fire’ yesterday and then proceeded to start ‘Mockingjay’ which is the last of the three books in the ‘Hunger Games’ trilogy. Loving my Kindle. Can’t wait to see how it ends. The first two books were great and I highly recommend them to anyone who hasn’t read the series.

Work is great. Actually doing real work now on my own. Ate in the cafeteria today. They have a sweet salad bar- it has edamame. I am in love. No more packing my lunch! Yay!

Life is good. Really happy lately. Think I might have a good weigh-in this week, maybe. We’ll see. I am ok with whatever the outcome is. I am starting to come to terms with the whole process. I feel good which is the most important thing.

Think that’s all for now.

Thanks for reading!

July 21, 2011. Tags: , , , . Exercise, Fitness, San Antonio, Walking, Weight Watchers. 10 comments.

Adventures in Poi Spinning

I took a new class Monday at the Synergy Studio called Poi Spinning and in case you were wondering it does not involve a spin bike. Rather, poi spinning involves swinging balls affixed to ropes. To help explain better here is the description take from the Synergy Studio website:

“Poi is a performance art in which a ball or balls are suspended from a length of
flexible material, held in the hand(s) and swung in circular patterns around the
body.

Poi spinning has grown far beyond the scope of its origination in Māori
culture and is now enjoyed worldwide as a hobby, form of exercise, and
performance art. Poi spinners and fire twirlers may be found performing
alongside jugglers, staff twisters, hoop dancers, and other object-manipulating
performers.

In its Māori beginnings, Poi had the purpose of enhancing coordination and
rhythm. It was soon realized that Poi swinging had several other benefits from
strengthening the wrists, arms, shoulders, and core to improving flexibility.
Learning basic Poi moves can be achieved quickly, mastered patiently, executed
bravely, and be so fun that practicing can become addictive.

Poi spinners can play with tennis balls on strings, socks stuffed in longer
socks, or weighted brightly colored fabric with tails and streamers. For extreme
visual impact people often use glow-in-the-dark or LED-lighted Poi, but the
sight of flaming Fire Poi flying around an expert is a real crowd-pleaser.”

No, I didn’t play with any Fire Poi or ever LED-lighted Poi. Instead I opted for the socks stuffed in longer socks option and boy am I grateful I did. I hit myself in the face, the chest, my sides and legs and even my throat. I am pretty sure if I was using the LED-lighted Poi or even tennis balls I probably would have given myself a concussion. Towards the end of the class our instructor turned off the lights and allowed the students to use the LED Poi and it was pretty cool to see. Afterwards, I asked her if she would mind if I took some pictures of her (poor girl, she was filling in for the normal instructor) using the LED Poi that I could put up on my blog. She kindly obliged so I will share a few of them with you.

Of course, I am just an amateur photographer using an iPhone but if I had my  DSLR camera and could have adjusted the exposure time it probably would have looked a lot cooler. Like this picture taken from the Synergy Studio website.

But to better show what this class was like here is a YouTube video of the Forward Three-Beat Wave, the second move I learned but never really mastered. Poi Spinning is much harder than it looks.

 

Overall, even though I found most of the moves difficult I had a great time doing them and will be back again next week to try it again. The great thing about Poi is I can just stuff some socks in other socks and practice at home. Once again, I cannot say enough good things about the Synergy Studio and all of the amazing classes they offer. In my opinion, this really is the best studio in San Antonio. I hope I have inspired you to get out there and try something new. Maybe even Poi!

Thanks for reading!

July 21, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Poi Spinning, San Antonio. 6 comments.

I’m a Winner!!!

This past Saturday I participated in the San Antonio Road Runners Women’s 5K competing as a walker. I set out that morning with only one goal in mind; to beat my best outdoor time of 51:15 for three miles. Since I would be walking 3.1 miles I adjusted my goal time to include that extra tenth of a mile so basically I was just aiming for a sub 52:54 5K time. That was it, my only goal. I was racing only against myself. When I went to pick up my packet the night before I was told that walkers can only walk; absolutely no jogging/running. They actually had refs along the race route marking down your number if you were jogging/running but were competing as a runner. They were very strict because the walkers received awards too so they wanted to make sure no one cheated. I was pretty excited when I got home after picking up the registration and looked through my stuff. I was in love with the shirt we got for the race (and it fits, bonus!) and I took my bib number as a good omen.

I was pretty excited to participate in a women’s only race and was amazed at how many people were there for the race; participants, spectators, and volunteers.

 

I started off the race with only one goal in mind; to beat my best time. However, once the race started I was overcome with that competitive edge and I fought hard to keep up with the front of the pack. I was doing pretty well until it started to get hilly. At that point it was difficult for me to keep up with the group and I fell behind. Sorry for the blurry picture. I took while walking to try to show you one of the hills.

 

Even though I fell behind the others I continued to push myself as hard as I could. When I crossed the finish line I came in almost 4 minutes ahead of my personal best time at 49:35. I was freaking ecstatic to not only exceed my goals but to walk a sub 50 minute 5K. Although I wasn’t wearing a cape I certainly felt like Superwoman. See my big cheesy grin as proof.

 

 

 

I stayed on the curb near the finish for about 10 minutes or so cheering on the amazing women finishing the race. Strangers had clapped for me so I needed to do the same. Afterwards I headed over to meet up with Paul,
who had volunteered and had spent the race working the 2 mile mark water station, and to get some much-needed water. We spent some time talking with another walker, a women I started off the race walking with who ended up finished 3 minutes ahead of me, about different races and whatnot. Then the announcer let us know the final results were posted so we headed over to check them out and lo and behold I came in second place in my age group and 26th (out of 105) overall. I won! I came in second! I was getting a medal! I was freaking out! I finished the race crying tears of joy because I exceeded my expectations. When I saw I came in second I nearly died I was so overcome with joy. It was such a great moment. Definitely in the top ten.

 

 

 

 

So, if you ever think you can’t do amazing things you are only fooling yourself. I know you can. We all can. We can do anything we can dream of, we can achieve more, we can move mountains. All we need to do is take that leap of faith and not let anything stand in our way.

Thanks for reading!

 

July 18, 2011. Tags: , , , , . San Antonio, Walking. 16 comments.

Weight Watchers Update and Weekly Goals

I’m for the delay getting this post out. Life has been hectic since I started my new job, with the upcoming move, the half marathon training, taking 500 classes a week, and trying to squeeze in a social life. Between all of those things it has been very difficult to make blogging a priority although I am trying. You can ask my friend MS who is a Silver Stars season ticket holder with me. I am sure she loves that I ignore her and the game in order to write my blogs. Although my posts have become more infrequent please don’t lose all hope in me. I am still reading your blogs although I sometimes skip leaving comments in order to read more posts in the sparing free time I have lately. I know I will adjust to this new schedule and once we are settled into our new house in a few weeks things will get easier. Oh yeah, in case you hadn’t heard the news via Facebook or Twitter we are finally off of the military housing waitlist and over the weekend were assigned a house. We sign the lease 7/27. Woo hoo! It even has a fenced in yard which will be great for our doggies. 🙂

Now, down to business. I managed to make to Weight Watchers on Saturday to get weighed in although I had missed the meeting because I was participating in the SARR (San Antonio Road Runners) Women’s 5K; more on the race in another post. I didn’t want to wait around an hour or so for the next meeting so I just got my weigh-in results and left. I was down 1.4 pounds this week which is awesome especially since I had already gotten up, ate breakfast, did the 5K, drank tons of water and coconut water (not very refreshing), ate a bunch of watermelon and then proceeded to weigh in with sweat logged clothes. I was pretty surprised I recorded a loss at all. This brings my total lost since joining WW 32 pounds! Yay! I mentioned in passing that my new job has their own Weight Watchers meetings (Tuesday during lunch) and I am thinking about attending those meetings instead because it would make my life a heck of a lot easier. If I do, my weekly updates will be posted then on Tuesday’s also. Which at this rate what does it matter? It’s not like I have been doing a great job lately posting on Saturdays.

280/248/150

Last Week’s Goals

– love myself more. I definitely have been working on this. This journey although it may seem quite physical is probably 90% mental. It seems every day I battle with myself over appearance, self-worth, desire/motivation, happiness, etc. but the important part is that a persevere through all of it. I have to know that I am worth the effort.

– help with packing. OK, I don’t think I packed a damn thing but I did go to EcoBox with Paul and helped buy some moving supplies. Does that count? Didn’t think so 😦

– be courageous. I need some more courage. Can anyone spare some? When it comes to work, I have been somewhat open with people around me but I still very shy and reserved which is so not me. I did however
meet a Twitter friend for the first time IRL and had no problem whatsoever being open with her.

– eat right, exercise, drink lots of water and be happy. Living this way makes me happy. I tell Paul this all the time; I am happier than I have been in such a long time and that I am truly enjoying life right now. It is all because I try to follow these four little steps.

This Week’s Goals

– help with packing. I promise, this time I will follow through on this goal. Paul may kill me if I don’t 😉

– follow the half-marathon training schedule. Last week I missed a 4 mile walk although I tried three separate times to fit it in it just didn’t work out. This week I will complete all three scheduled walks including the 9 miler on Saturday.

– be proud of how far I have come. You all tell me this all the time and yet sometimes it doesn’t resonate just how far I have come. It’s good to look forward and continue pushing towards a healthier lifestyle but it is also good to stop a bit and think about how much has changed in just 5 months. I should be proud.

– eat right, exercise, drink lots of water and be happy. My new mantra!

Thanks for reading!

July 18, 2011. Tags: , , , . Life, Weight Watchers. 3 comments.

It’s Almost Time to Say Goodbye

The time is almost here to say goodbye to my beloved Harry Potter. I cannot say I am a truly hardcore Potter fan as I haven’t been there from the beginning but I am still slightly obsessed. I started reading the books/watching the movies five years ago and was hooked instantly. I fell in love with young Harry from the first chapter of Sorcerer’s Stone and was swept away into his life every page thereafter. It wasn’t just Harry either; I loved all of the characters, good and evil. I was in Border’s, wearing my ‘Trust Snape’ sticker, for the midnight release of the Deathly Hallows. I was in the store until 2am before I had my copy and then once I was home I did not stop reading it until I was finished. I cried like a baby throughout that last book as I saw the ending unfold.

Yes, I know that to some this may seem a bit ridiculous but for me it is an end of an era and it is hard to say goodbye. Even though it will be bittersweet, and I know how the story ends, I am super excited to see the last Harry Potter movie this weekend. Even if you never read or care to read a single book in the series you cannot deny the phenomenon that is Harry Potter. More than 400 million books sold worldwide and the first and only billionaire author. I know I am in good company with the hundreds of thousands of Potter fans out there. Goodbye Harry, Hermione and Ron; you will be missed!

Thanks for reading! Expecto Patronum! 😉

July 14, 2011. Tags: , . Books, Movies. 4 comments.

{Semi} Wordless Wednesday: Music That Moves Me

Everytime I am out walking alone I listen to Mumford & Sons “Sigh No More”. This is my favorite song off of that album. I hear the lyrics and it feels like your words to me; helping to guide me through to the end. It makes me happy. It keeps me going. Just wanted to share it with you.

July 13, 2011. Tags: , , , . Music, wordless wednesday. 4 comments.

Where Does the Time Go

So here it is, already Wednesday night and I am exhausted and ready for this week to be over. I am not sure what happened this week. Yes, I know I started a new job but I am working the same hours with approximately the same commute time but yet I have felt frazzled and crunched for time every day. I guess I just need to adjust to the newness and the small changes in my habits and in no time I will be back to my old routine.

I have received some comments, tweets, FB messages, and texts asking about my new job so here is a quick update. I will continue to talk about it again in the future when I am actually doing work. Right now I am still getting setup with all my passwords and accesses, meeting co-workers, learning about my work group and our role in the company and all that other fun stuff you do at a new job. However, that being said, I still wanted to give you an update on how it has went so far and I will do this by sharing some observations with you. Sort of a surface level pros and cons list.

Pros:

Every morning we stretch. Like yoga stretching. I love this. It is great to work somewhere where they put safety first and that it trickles down the office workers. It’s a nice break and really helps set the tone for the morning.

They recycle everything. There are recyclable containers for cans and plastic bottles all over the place which is amazing because this is Texas, we aren’t really known for being an environmentally conscious state.

I love working downtown. Our office building is right on the Riverwalk. I have a view of downtown from my desk.

My co-workers are very nice and they have been quite welcoming. On my second day (the first was spent at orientation) they took me down to Texas Land and Cattle on the Riverwalk for lunch.

The company promotes the use of public transportation and offers discounted bus passes. They also have vehicles you can use if you want to carpool. It’s like I am back in Washington again.

They have Weight Watchers at work and they offer reimbursement of fees if you stick with the program. People in my work area are in the program and talk about it openly 🙂

Cons:

It is super cold in my office. No big deal really, I just need to wear sweaters to work in 100+ heat.

Because we have so much natural light coming in to our office we don’t have overhead lights. Each desk has a small under-shelf light but mine is behind me. It makes it difficult to see in there. I plan on picking up a desk lamp so I can see better.

My commute to work is shorter mileage wise than my last job and when we move on post it will be super close, like under 5 miles. However, I have to park in a lot about a block away, enter the front of my building to one elevator, take it up all the way, get out, walk across the floor to another elevator and take that up to my floor. This is what makes it a longer commute. Still, it’s really no big deal and if you get there early parking and the elevators are no big deal.

There are people at work who go out running on their lunch break and groups who go out walking.Yay! However, there is only one shower for all of the employees in two office buildings to use. Boo!

People eat lunch at their desk. This is my least favorite thing. I hate ‘working’ lunches. I strongly dislike being forced to take an hour lunch unpaid while there is an existing expectation that I will sit at my desk and work while I eat. Nope, don’t like it, not going to do it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I will definitely work if I need to but it shouldn’t be expected and it shouldn’t be every day. Today I brought my Kindle (woo hoo) and turned away from my computer and read. It was nice.

Well, that’s about all I have to report on at this time. I hope to have more to talk about come next week. Thanks for reading!

July 13, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Career, Life, San Antonio. 4 comments.

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