Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Blurb

This will be an abbreviated post, as my work environment becomes busier and I prepare for final exams at school this week. 
Things I am excited about:
-I had an awesome weight session this morning, and I feel like it really did something
-I finally renewed my subscription to Oxygen magazine, an endless source of inspiration
-I did really good last week
-I have a renewed enthusiasm about my body and where I can take it
-The weather is going to be really nice this week :)
-This is my last week of class before a nice long summer break.

Over the weekend, I reminded myself that I am halfway to my goal, and that starting was the hardest part.  Every day I get multiple chances to make healthy choices that will enrich my life in the long term.
Hope you are all having an awesome, revved up Monday!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Proof that I am Lame

Last week, in order to keep my mind focused on my workouts, I created a theme.  I am fully aware of how lame it is, but in my head it makes the whole thing a little more fun.  And if nothing else, I can laugh at myself for being such a dork. 
So here is the theme that I have been rolling with:
Muscle Mama Monday-weight training
Torching Pavement Tuesday-run
Work it out Wednesday-dance
Trashing Muscles Thursday -weights
Focus on the Finish Friday-run
Saturday must be Sleep in Saturday (ie I didn't workout)
Suck it Sundays-run

OK, as I said, I know it's lame, but it helps me stay focused on what it is I need to do each day.  And for the record, last week Thursday was more like "that just didn't happen Thursday" because I stayed in bed, and Friday I was getting ready for to leave town and a last-minute meeting with one of my son's therapists ended up squeezing my time.  So, I only did Mon-Wed last week, but having the theme did make it more fun.  Plus, I felt less inclined to just do moderate-intensity cardio each day. 
This morning being Tuesday, I did indeed torch the pavement with a mile run.  I pushed myself a little harder, and I felt every moment of my run, but I didn't give up, and I finished my mile in 13 minutes, which is a little faster than it has been lately.  Whether or not I could keep up that pace for three miles is questionable.  But at least I got out there and did it.  And today I was focused on the run, and not even thinking about whether or not I wanted to work out, which was a refreshing change.  Between yesterday's strength work and today's run, there are few parts of my body that aren't sore.  But tomorrow will just be dancing, which is probably my favorite exercise, so it's easy to get up and do it, and it's low-intensity. 
I am starting to feel positive about the changes, and I don't want to jinx things but right now it seems really easy to stick to this.  I will take it with a grain of salt, because I know it can change at any moment. 
Not much else to report today.  Hope you are having a great week so far!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Size of the Dog

So my Friday trip to my hometown ended up being simply perfect.  It was fun, relaxing and not as off-track food-wise as it could have been.  Sometimes having a free ticket to eat what you want actually makes you want to get less crazy than if you are trying to keep things clean.  The highlights in photos:
I LOVE sushi and in my book, it is not a cheat meal.

This is the fortune I got.  Ironically fitting.

Looot! After the first thrift store I ended up with these gems.  The next day I found several more!  Score!

Mexican!!  I haven't enjoyed a margarita in years.  And the burritos were gi-normous!

Swirling in nostalgia and fun times with my bestie.  This is outside the convenience store where we used to work.  And incidentally, the setting of the book I'm writing.

After the nightclub, we headed to the restaurant that we used to frequent after-club, back in the day.  Way back.;)  The burgers taste the same as they did 20 years ago!
All in all, it was a very fun time, and the rest of my weekend was pretty boring food-wise, so I am starting Monday feeling pretty good.  Scale said 167 this morning, I'm ready to see the numbers slide down again.  I did an awesome back and bicep workout this morning, to help ensure I can "pull off" the cute tank tops I bought over the weekend.  I discovered a powerful tool in helping me strengthen the mind-muscle connection.  While I'm doing the move, I imagine the muscle is all ripped and beautiful, and that I can see it doing the work.  It was really effective for me this morning.  Didn't want to workout this morning, but I reminded myself, this is how morning feels, no matter what.  I can either get up and do something productive or I can continue to watch my body go in a direction I am so not happy with.  While I found a whole bunch of great clothes this weekend, I kept seeing really cute clothes in the smaller sizes than mine, but instead of simply wishing I could fit them, it fired me up to strive to get there.  I don't know what size I am physically able of acheiving, ultimately, but I am going to take it one size at a time.  Next up, size large is in my sights.  It's going to take a lot of hard work to get there, but it's not impossible. 
I logged a run yesterday.  None of my apps for my iPhone are working, so I will have to figure out how far it was, but the key was to get out and run.  Planning to run Sun, Tues, and Friday for the next few weeks, to strengthen my chances of running the whole thing.  The 5K is a little less than 4 weeks away, and to tell the truth, I will be happy when it's over and I can just concentrate on building a normal schedule that doesn't include forcing myself to run.  And if I ever say I am thinking about entering another 5K, I hope somebody talks me out of it!
Hope you all had a great weekend!  Happy Monday.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mary J. Blige Saved My Day

This morning I had the most fierce battle with myself about working out.  It really took me 15 minutes to get going and decide, begrudginly, that I was actually going to do it.  If it had been anything other than low-intensity dancing, I probably would have went back to bed.  My shoulders/arms are still sore from Monday's weight work, and my legs are sore from yesterday's run, so that doesn't leave a lot of parts of me that want to be moving and shaking at 5am.  But I worked through it.  I worked through my tired and irritated eyes (seasonal allergies can suck it) and the fact that I went off the rails for a few minutes last night.
What happened is, in the morning's chaos, I forgot to bring my food with me to work yesterday, so instead of having my yummy peanut butter snack in the morning, I had to eat my raw almonds that I would normally have set aside for during my class at night.  Luckily I live close enough to work that I could run home and eat my lunch and grab my afternoon snack.  Here's the cool kicker, the company had pizza ordered in-from Domino's, my absolute favorite- and I could have easily stayed at work and had some, negating my need for another snack later.  But I felt really strong and good about where I'm at right now, and the two pounds of water weight I lost, so I made the healthy choice.  Oh I thought about the pizza, good and long, and I still made the right choice.  It came down to the fact that I've had pizza before, and I will have it again.  I spent the time to cook a healthy lunch.  All this, despite the fact that I really don't like the taste of chicken once it has been refrigerated- it tastes gamey to me-but I loaded it up with Mrs. Dash and ate it like a champ, and my body happily buzzed.  And my lunch break was suprisingly restful just being at home, and I went back to work refreshed.
Well, you might imagine what happened later that night, as I sat in class, my stomach started growling fiercly.  By the time I was leaving class, it was just shy of 3 hours since my last snack, so by the time I got home, I was so hungry that I couldn't wait for anything to cook, so I gobbled up some turkey dogs on wheat buns.  I ate 6 dogs on 2 buns.  They are allowed in moderation, which I suspect means two at most, but I was just ravenous by the time I got to that point.  And I had two scoops of low-fat ice cream.  Yikes.  I put the breaks on after that, and I skipped my bedtime protein to help combat some of those extra calories and carbs.  Let me say this, I slept deeper than I have in a few weeks, which may be part of the reason I felt so wrecked this morning.
So as I was going over things this morning, trying to decide whether or not to workout, my knee-jerk reaction was to think it would be worthless, since I ate crap last night.  Then I thought, waitaminute, that's exactly why I should workout!  So I did.  It was one of those off days where the music sounded good, but my body was not feeling the music and I felt clumsy and slow; couldn't find the perfect song to wake me from my funk, even though I was smiling and mouthing the words to myself in the mirror.  I realized that my body was responding fairly quickly to being back on track, and what a huge difference water retention makes not only in appearance and the fit of clothing, but in moving. 
Toward the end of my workout, I chose a song that I rarely listen to, because it is not as upbeat as most of the others on my "dance" list, but since I was in such a strange place, I tried it.  Work That by Mary J. Blige .  The lyrics are really affirming and finally I felt a sort of high that I usually get just from dancing, but it came from such a deeper place and I was reminded that I am stronger than all my weaknesses.  If you haven't heard this song, click the link, and see if that doesn't start your day off right.  Music is such a powerful force, and today it saved me from slipping into negative patterns.
I'm gonna go conquer my day, how about you?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fat Funk Fading

As I scan through my favorite blogs, it seems last week's trend of being in a "fat funk" is shifting for a lot of folks, and I can see hope returning, and the number on other people's scales going down.  That is a huge inspiration for me, and I hope to be joining the masses soon.
Hormones contiue to be a huge factor for me, and I need to make it a priority if I'm ever going to have sustainable success.  But for now, I am on the upswing, and feeling really good.  I am quite certain it will be a good week, ending with an out of town trip to visit my bestie on Friday, which is always good for my spirits.
I have been allowing many many excuses to come in the way of me getting proper nutrition and exercise, and I have been noticing how rapidly my body is changing for the worse.  I know I can get things back on track and make up for what was lost, but I know all this yo-yoing is horrible for my heart.  So this week I have spruced up my diet, adding more veggies and swaping out my proteins that I have grown so tired of as of late.  One of my biggest excuses is that since I started school, I don't have time to cook meals.  And while that is true, during the week, I really don't have the time to cook each night, but truly it is merely a lack of planning.  So I headed off the excuses this week, but preparing all of my meals yesterday.  Now, I really don't have any excuses.  And since I didn't have a place to workout this morning without waking anyone, I will use my lunch hour to get in a quick workout.  I can make this work, I just have to focus and plan properly so I don't have excuses.  And I'm learning that I actually feel better having the security net of a plan in place.  It makes it a lot less stressful deciding what and where to eat, and whether or not to stick to plan.
So I am hoping this is the beginning of a successful new start, because just starting fresh isn't enough anymore.  I do that every two weeks or so.  I need to focus on the long-term and make it happen.  I have been short-terming things too much lately, focusing on just getting through the week so I can binge on the weekends. 
My husband and I were talking about is upcoming trip/photo shoot in San Fransisco next month, and the more I hear about California, the more I feel like I need to be there.  I voiced my feelings about Florida vs California again, and we got excited thinking of the prospect of living somewhere in California.  We ended the conversation with him saying he will check things out when he goes there, as far as the living situation.  I know it is very expensive to live in San Fran, but I have to believe there are other places nearby that would be cheaper.  It's a dream for now, but it makes me happy to think about it.
The weather was so nice this weekend, and I enjoyed it so much, but now the forecast might have snow in it for Friday morning.  That's about right, just when I was planning to travel.  This Wisconsin weather is for the birds!
Happy Monday everyone!  Hope your week is off to a great start!

Friday, April 13, 2012

If the Shirt Fits

This week has been washed away by a nasty little cold that slapped me with the reality that I am not invincible.  It was a bit of a relief to find that last week's stuffy lungs were from the forthcoming cold and not from poor health, but I surely didn't do my health any favors this week as I tended to my sick body with whatever would make it feel better, paying no mind to nutrition and trading off early morning workouts for extra sleep.  I made it through the week, and feel slightly better today, I think I'll be able to eat without wincing in pain every time I swallow.  Progress!
Throughout the week, as my diet slowly went out the window, I started watching my gut growing in horror.  I have been very aware of obesity all around me.  It's everywhere!  One morning as I was bringing the kids to the bus stop, we saw a morbidly obese woman walking in the same direction.  She was about 50 yards from the curb where my kids wait for the bus.  We arrived and had about five minutes wait before the bus came, and I swear to you the lady was still making her way to the same spot when my kids boarded the bus.  Despite the frosty 30 degree temperature, she was wearing a T-shirt and breathing so heavy.  I could hardly stop looking at her, it was if my mind couldn't comprehend what I was looking at because of the size.  I felt really bad for looking at her and atmittedly being a bit horrified and sad for her, but I wondered how one lets it get to that point. 
Then I thought about my own eating habits.  Good for two weeks, bad for two weeks.  Repeat after repeat.  I don't like how I feel when I am abusing my own body, and I have analyzed my life to a hair, trying to figure out what I am trying to numb with food.  When I was 223 pounds, I wrote myself off as lazy and weak, and was certain it would just about take a force of nature to make me get healthy.  Then I proved to myself that that isn't true, I made my health a priority, I was damned if I was going to let anyone or anything stand in the way.  There were factors that led to my success, I was losing quickly in the beginning, because I was so heavy to begin with, and I had all the time in the world to do it.  But honestly, when it comes down to it, I have time to workout and I do most days, I have to work through the food issues.  And I will, because it's important to me. 
One fantastic thing is that I only have three weeks of class left, which will feel like a huge stress-relief.  Being home late three nights a week is really tough on my entire schedule, I don't have proper time to prepare things for the next day, much less take care of myself very well.  I hope next semester will be a little easier on my schedule. 
It was all over the news during the week, that there is a link between obese mothers and autism.  I immediately felt really guilty.  The article I read about it said that it isn't necessarily the cause of autism, but may be a factor, or at least, the two are correlated.  Then I used my psychological training to reason that some 60 million Americans over the age of 20 are obese, I'm sure that would make the correlation between ANY disease and obesity appear quite high.  But still, it makes me feel bad to think that a lifetime of poor choices might be the thing that "damaged" my kids.  I have to let out a sigh and let it go, because I can't dwell on things I cannot change in my life.  My kids are pure love to me, and I wouldn't change a thing about our journey.
As a side, I was wearing my baggy work shirt one day, when I caught one of my patients staring at my belly.  I think she was wondering if I was pregnant, and trying to decide whether or not to say something.  It prompted me to take a few pictures of myself in different clothing, so I can see it for myself.  Here are the results,  I look how I felt this week, pretty rough.


Aren't my new Armani glasses a rage?



Clearly I can see the difference now.  The middle one is the best.  I could stand something that is nicely fitted, but unfortunately for work shirts, it isn't available at this time, and these tops are expensive to purchase with the company logo stitched in.  I may find some value in having them tailored at some point.  I just found it an interesting experiment.  My body is shaped so strangely right now, I have a hard time finding stuff that fits right and flatters. 
Well, I am going to enjoy myself this weekend, maybe test out my new iPhone 4S to see if my Nike run sensor will ever activate so I can track my runs, and I plan on getting some extra rest and starting fresh on Monday.  Or maybe Sunday.  Perpetual work-in-progress.  I've come too far to give up.  I am stronger than my fat and food cravings.  I can do this.  I've seen this quote around the blogging world and I'd love to give credit but can never find the source, but I like it so much I will end with it: Face your stuff, don't stuff your face.  Words to live by!
Happy weekend everyone.  Hope you get some nice weather to take advantage of!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Common Themes

I've spent a good deal of time browsing other weight loss blogs, and it seems to me that a whole bunch of us are in the same funk this time of year. Resolves are wavering, and we are flinging our frustrations left and right as we try to find the reason we can't keep our hands off the kids' Easter baskets. I don't know what anyone else is experiencing weather-wise, but here in my little neck of the woods, we had record setting high temps in March, and now it's back to frost on the windshields in the morning. What kind of absurdity is that?! But, spring is all about waiting for something better, something more desirable to come along. Anyone whose ever waited for something great knows how the waiting can drive a person NUTS, right? So maybe the key is to stop waiting for some great thing to happen at some point, and go out and MAKE something great happen now.
Another thing I noticed on these other blogs was how much cardio people seem to be doing! Some people seem to want to kill themselves with cardio and completely neglect weight training, and complain that they are doing everything right and still not losing weight. I found myself wanting to coach them and tell them to weight train, and they would likely start seeing results fairly quickly. But I don't practice what I preach right now, so I didn't feel right saying anything. When I think back to my most successful period of weight loss, I was strength training every other day, and the results and rewards I got from that were untouchable. I realized from how I would answer other bloggers, what I should be doing myself. I haven't been pushing myself the way I used to, the way I should be. I've been wasting time on cardio session after cardio session, and never really stepping outside my comfort zone. Waiting for the temps to warm up so I can feel my mojo return. Waiting to emerge fabulous from within.
This morning when my alarm went off I was waiting for something. Some magical "I want to work out" feeling that just didn't wake up along with me. But I talked myself into some low intensity cardio. The very same cardio room and treadmill that used to excite me now makes me turn my nose up. I am being a baby because there is almost always someone else in there when I go for cardio. And the machines are so close together that they nearly touch each other. It's my own hang-up I know, but its something I'm going to have to get past if I am going to reach my goals.
Food is always the theme underlying all weight loss journeys, as this is a universal drug of choice for most of us, and a constant devil on our shoulders. I ate whatever I wanted this weekend (and the latter part of last week for that matter) and I ate so much garbage that I actually got to a point where I couldn't think of any junk food that sounded enticing anymore. That's when you know you've OD'd on junk. I was eating out of anxiety and celebration and logic went out the window with the first bite. By the time we had a family dinner last night, I opted for a light pasta and could only eat a small fraction of it. I woke up ravenous this morning, and am happy to say I stayed on track so far. I wavered a bit at lunchtime, weak from waiting too long to eat between meals, and by the time I got inside Subway, the smell of the bread just about made me cave, but logic flooded over me as I ordered this little beauty. It made a believer out of me once again! Those jalapeƱo peppers sure make me feel good!
So for today I think I'm going to stop waiting for something wonderful to happen TO me or FOR me, and I'm going to take my own advice and make it happen. It's just spring having her way with us, but if we wait until summer to do great things, it's already too late.
This week I want to do 2 to 3 full-body strength training sessions, and make all my cardio sessions really count. I haven't been pushing myself, but i feel like its time!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

When Kindness Kills

This was a wonderful gesture from an appreciative customer. It is perhaps the finest chocolate available in the state, the kind that feels like silk in your mouth and is nearly too rich to eat the whole thing. What a sweet gesture. If only he knew how it killed me. There were six of them when he gave them to me yesterday, and my kids and I finished them handily already.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

GRRR!

I am starting today with a GRRR!  This week was going so good, I have been so strong lately, but then yesterday I blew it.  I worked at the other office yesterday, and the surgeon who works there insists on buying chocolate and candy on nearly a daily basis.  There is a huge vase on the table, and I have yet to see it less than half full.  And it's full with Snickers and Kit Kats and Heath bars and Dove Promises.  Normally, I just shake my head at it, thinking of how ridiculous it is, watching my coworkers filter in and out of the room taking a few pieces each time.  But what amazes me is how little the surgeon himself eats.  What a huge expense. 
To say it has been a week with higher than normal stress would be a stretch.  I have had a great deal of stress and anxiety this week, but that is nothing out of the ordinary.  When there was a billing mixup with the company that does our car loan and they were threatening to repo, I was extremely stressed out, but I stayed on track.  When my boss didn't show up for her shift until 45 minutes before I had to leave for class on Tuesday, I was stressed out and irritated, but I stayed on track.  Then yesterday, I hit a glich in my childcare for tomorrow, I got a message from my sister that her newborn is having breathing problems and needs to go to a children's hospital, and I realized that I forgot my materials for my class at home and still had to try and coordinate care for my kids and make phone calls before class...I was at a place of not caring about my "diet" anymore.  I ate some chocolate.  And on the way to class, I ate some comfort food.  When I got home, there was a fevered pitch, tempers flying, my kids both having a lot of sensory issues and whining and crying and refusing to do homework.  I was, as usual, the voice of reason, getting the situation calmed down to a reasonable level.  Homework got done, kisses were shared and even a laugh or two before everything settled for the night.  When I went to bed I let out a huge sigh.  Partly because I was happy that the chaos was done, and partly because I was disappointed how I handled myself.  But I told myself that it is just one day, half a day really, and that today is another chance to do it right.  The problems that came up could not be solved by eating junk.  I still have work to do. 
The front end of my week always feels so crazy, with working late on Mondays and having work and school on Tuesday and Wednesday, by the time I hit Thursday, I feel like I am out of gas, and sometimes the bright spot is dreaming about the weekend, of sleeping in and eating junk. 
This weekend my husband will be out of state on a photo shoot, which always raises my anxiety a little, thinking of him driving tired, as he never seems to get enough sleep.  But I also like the way my kids and I make our weekends together special when Daddy's away.  It is all about them, a movie night, a special event on Saturday, and all the fun that Easter brings on Sunday.  I know it will be hard for me to not go off the rails a little bit this weekend, but I am going to give it a try.  I will say this, I have been taking an Evening Primrose Oil supplement, and yesterday I forgot to take it.  It seems to help with cravings, even though I'm not be hormonally tested at this point.  Not sure it is a miracle, but I feel like it is helping. 
I feel like I have bronchitis again, and I'm not even sick, but my lungs feel thick with stuff.  Why do I get this so often?  It's scaring me and I need to have it checked out.  Maybe time to find a different doctor.  My life is never dull.
Well, my thinking well has about dried up today, I need the weekend to get here in a hurry!  Hope you all have something exciting planned, and for those who celebrate, Happy Easter!

Monday, April 2, 2012

This Close

Yesterday, I was this close to not running.  I wanted to enjoy my last few hours of free time before I picked up the kids.  But I feel the race day getting closer and closer, and I really don't want to be unprepared for it.  This is a real 5K with a time chip and everything.  I want to make myself proud.  So I didn't waste the opportunity I had, and once I got outside, I was happy I made the right choice.  It was a perfect day for a run, overcast and slightly chilly, so by the time I was done running, the cool-down felt really tollerable and refreshing.  And just as I was reaching my apartment complex, I saw a bald eagle land on my neighbor's rooftop.  It's not every day you see that.  I felt so good all day after my run, and there were plenty of times when I was aware of how good a choice I'd made to run.
This morning, I was this close to not doing a strength workout.  My lower body was still sore from yesterday's run, and I had been used to sleeping later while my kids were away.  I tried to find an excuse not to, realizing that if my son was in his room, I wouldn't have a place to lift weights without waking someone up.  I let fate decide whether or not I was going to do strength training, which is pretty lame, but 9 times out of 10 my son sneaks off to my husband's bed during the night, so I knew there would be a good chance I'd be pumping that iron anyway.  So I did.  Doing cardio would have been easier, but I reminded myself that my body will never change if all I ever do is cardio, it doesn't burn enough calories.  So I put my arms through the wringer this morning, doing a mega-set of shoulder exercises with no rest, and some back work.  Though the scale hasn't been budging in the least, some muscles are beginning to show in my shoulders and back and that puts me over the moon!  My lower abs/hips seem to be responding to my new found commitment as well, and I will probably bring out the measuring tape for the first time in several months.  I feel like I am really on a good path right now, and I hope I don't get in my own way this time.  There are so many motivators, some are trivial and some are vital, but a lot of things are coming together for me right now, and spring is always a great time to start putting more effort in, so I can wear tank tops all summer long. 
I am proud of how well I did with my diet this weekend.  I stuck to my guns all day Friday, knowing that my husband and I were going to have a cheat meal together Friday night.  We ended up trying out a new Mexican restaurant.  It had a charming atmosphere and phenomenal service, but the food was sort of anti-climatic.  Not much seasoning.  I followed my chicken dish by a plate of churros with a scoop of fried ice cream.  It didn't even taste good.  I was a bit disappointed in that cheat meal, though the time shared laughing with my husband was quite welcomed.  On saturday, I ate my normal breakfast before the convention, and had the two bad foods at the event, but then resumed my normal foods until my husband and I made an impromptu decision to make a late-night stop at our favorite sushi restaurant.  Sushi, in my book, is not a cheat meal, and my body was happy after eating it, that it was humming.  I felt healthy in every cell.  It was probably just the effect of the wasabi, as I added way more than usual, but it made me feel really good.  Sushi is my favorite food, hands down, but I can't afford to eat it as often as I'd like. 
Yesterday, fueled by my awesome morning run, I stayed on track all day, and didn't even think about eating something other than what I had planned.  I am just strong right now.  Seeing the positive changes in my body is helping push me to stay on track so I can maybe finally move on and see what the next chapter has in store for me. 
I have added Evening Primrose Oil supplement, in hopes that it will help control my cravings when my hormones start to fluxuate.  There has been some controversy over whether or not it works as such, but I am willing to try it, I need to find something to help my stay sane during that 1-2 weeks.
I will try to run 2-3 times per week until my 5K, to help my body ease into what I am asking of it, but I will let my body dictate when and what it is ready for.  I have said it before, but I truly think this will be my last 5K I do.  I like the challenge of it, but not necessarily the training.  Not running will give me the opportunity to put more time into weight training and let the cardio become less intense.  All in good time.  I only have a month left of classes this semester, and I am already thinking about adding workouts after work to excellerate my progress.  I'm really looking forward to having less on my plate for a few months!
Well, Monday is in full swing, I hope you are all off to a great start!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Convention

Every year one of our local optical labs sponsors a huge trade show/ convention  in my city, and people from all over the country come to see what's new for the coming year, attend classes and socialize.  I decided to go this year to get a few continuing education credits and see some new frames from my friendly vendors.  I always bump into people I've worked with in the past, sometimes from ten or more years past, and it's fun catching up.  Yesterday the stars aligned and I felt that I looked really good, I even wore heels, which I rarely ever do, but I found a pair that I can walk like a normal human being in, and they make me feel taller and thinner.  I did bump into a bunch of people I worked with in the past, and it was such a warm feeling.  I heard over and over how good I look, how much weight I've lost and how awesome my glasses are.  I literally had people stopping me to ask me what frames I am wearing...at an optical convention, where everyone has cool glasses on.  (They are Jee Vice, by the way, very luxurious hand-made and completely fabulous!) My ego was thoroughly stroked several times over.
Then came Aaron.  He was the lab technician (the one who cuts the lenses to fit the frames) at the last place I worked, and he was a magician when it came to fixing problems.  We had worked for sister companies before we worked together, so there was an immediate bond between us.  To an outsider, he looks very intimidating, often with a scowl, and when I first started working with him, I was quite meek about interrupting him or asking for anything because lab technicians are known for having a wicked temper.  But soon after I got to know him, he was my 'yes man'.  Anything I needed, Aaron would step up to the plate for me.  A job that everyone else passed off as impossible, Aaron knew how to reconfigure and understood the physics behind the lens to make it work.  If I needed something to be soldered, everyone else would grumble under their breath, but Aaron's answer was always, "No problem, Amy."  He was like a brother, and we shared a similar sense of humor and taste in music, so there were plenty of times as I would pass through the lab and one of us would crack a joke, leaving me having to try and collect myself before I returned to the sales floor.
On the last day we worked together, he left before me, and came to say goodbye and gave me a hug.  It was the only goodbye I cried about, even though I was close with all my coworkers, there was something special in him, and I knew I would miss his helpfulness and humor, the quiet bond we had.
Yesterday was the first time I have seen him since September,2010 and it was such a good feeling.  We greeted each other with a hug, talked for a bit, got caught up on each others' lives and then I caught him looking me up and down and he told me how great I look.  I felt that moment that was always sort of lingering there, a slight unspoken two-way attraction, the kind of thing that feeds the ego of ignored married people, and can be quite dangerous if acted upon.  So when he asked me to walk up to the concourse where the classes were being held, I politely excused myself and took another minute to look through the vendors' booths, wherein I bumped into a past female manager I worked for briefly when I moved back to Wisconsin.  It was a bit of a relief to see her, as it took my mind off what it shouldn't be on.
I went through three hours of classes, ate the hugest, thickest, greasiest cookie I've ever seen and a soft pretzel with cheese sauce and then skipped out of my last hour of classes ( I have more than enough credits, and was just taking classes for the fun of it) to visit the vendor booths.  I love my vendors, they are really great at remembering small details about me, and a lot of them greeted me warmly with a hug or a firm handshake.  It was fun seeing everyone out of the usual office atmosphere.  I got a free frame that totally rocks, and I can't wait to get my lenses in it!  I also fell in love with some frames from vendors I don't currently have, so I am going to work on getting them into my store.
I noticed one thing very valuable to me yesterday.  Feeling attractive is very powerful, and the confidence that you have when you do feel attractive makes you more attractive.  I felt like a lot of men were taking note of me yesterday, but maybe it was my confidence allowing my gaze to linger longer than it normally would.  It affected me a little, more so in the fact that as good as I looked and felt, my husband didn't seem to notice it.  All was good in the end, but I think problems in the marriage start so easily in this manner, one person completely unaware that the other is needing something they aren't getting from their spouse, but there are others to provide it if the opportunity is right.  I have never been a fall-back kind of person, I don't like feeling like I have a back-up waiting in case my marriage doesn't work out, but I can see how that could be a trap that is easy to fall into.  In the end, it all comes down to communication.  And men, if you are reading and wondering, the single easiest and most romantic thing you can give your girl is really quite effortless to provide: your attention.
At any rate, my fantastic day yesterday got me in the mood to finally conquer a run this morning, as I have been promising myself I would for the past month of Sundays and have slacked heavily.  It felt so good during and after, and it really started my Sunday off right.  My head is clear and I am focused on starting the week with my sweet children back home, and my health and fitness goals in firm sight.  I am starting to look better and feel great.  I can't wait to see what happens next.
Sorry for the self-indulgent post, it was supposed to be a really uplifting post about my run, but my brain interfered!
Hope your start to the week is smooth and painless!