Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Biggest Loser

So my parents went on a sweet little vacation last week, just the two of them…I don’t know when the last time is that they went on a vacation without dragging one or more kid along! While they were away I took care of things around the house (read FEAR for more) and even rearranged my brother’s room…I’m sure he won’t care!

Well, they returned while I was at work last Thursday, and when I got home I asked if they had seen Nate’s room, and they said, “Yeah, it looks great!!” then they asked, “Who did you get to help you move everything?” Beaming, I proudly said, “Just me and my new muscles!!” they laughed and said, “No, seriously. Who helped you?”

A little thrown, I replied, “No one helped me. I’ve got muscles now!! I did it!” To which my loving parents replied with, “Claire. There’s no way you moved that heavy wood cabinet your Grandpa made…did you go get Al [my neighbor, who can be found in CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE]? Or Ed? Dave? Who helped you move the bed?”

Oh I’m so glad that my parents are able to see my newfound strength, lol. After ten minutes of my insisting that I was actually strong enough to move everything on my own and did NOT in fact, have to ask the neighbor men to help me move things, they finally clapped me on the back (seriously. I got a back clap.) and said, “well good for you!” in the same kind of tone you would use to tell a puppy “good job” for finally peeing outside and not on your new nice rug.

I haven’t lost tons and tons of weight yet, but I am noticing a difference. For example, there is suddenly definition in my upper arms/shoulder areas. Pam told me that I shouldn’t be focused on the number on the scale, and I try not to be. I’ve been really exciting about the little accomplishments that I’ve made, as well as the little drops I see in my weekly weight loss. Like, a few weeks ago I didn’t eat that cupcake, for most people that’s probably not a big deal, but for someone who LOVES cupcakes and has been known to eat something to appease those who brought it to me, it’s a HUGE deal! So, I’ve really been learning a lot about my eating habit over the past month, and learning how to CHANGE those eating habits so I can become healthier.

However, that is not always enough for everyone…it’s so easy for someone to undermine the little successes you’ve made when you tell them that you’re not only down three pounds, but maintaining it as well, and they respond with, “Well that’s good, but there’s really no reason that you shouldn’t be losing 2-3 pounds a week.” And now, as silly as it may seem, all that I’ve done just seems to be so…worthless. Like, now I have to justify what I’ve done and why it’s a big deal when before I didn’t have to justify anything. Now I feel like until I’ve lost a significant amount of weight, I should just keep my mouth shut. Who cares that in one more pound I’ll see a number that I haven’t seen in a year, if I’ve only lost 3 measly little pounds, it’s not worth it. I don’t want the looks of “that’s all?” I don’t want to feel like I’m not working hard enough when I know that I am working.

Anyways, since only about 6 people even read this blog, and only 3 of you know how to leave comments, I’ll still keep telling you about my little accomplishments…because I know that all I get is mega support from all of you! And I want to say to all of you…THANK YOU!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


So my parents went out of town for the week and I'm home by myself. Perhaps you aren't aware of this, but I happen to be a huge wimp (see Choose Your Own Adventure for more proof). My dad thinks it's funny to end a conversation on the phone when he and my mom are out of town by saying, "Oh and Claire? Don't forget to feed the man who lives in the woods!" Thanks Dad. It might not be so bad at night if our back room wasn't all windows with woods beyond our yard. But it is. Three walls and a ceiling of only windows. What happens in scary movies? You look out the window thinking you hear a noise, and then all of a sudden there's a face (sometimes masked, sometimes not) staring through the window directly at you. Well, at 6pm I was pretty fearless, and just wanted to circulate some air while I made dinner and cleaned up a little. So I opened up all of the windows and the sliding door.

Around 8 pm I decided to rearrange my brothers room. After I moved the bookshelf, the bed, the desk, and the little bedside table, it was dark out so I thought I should go find another lamp for my room. But when I got downstairs I realized that all of the windows were still open, and then saw that the basement door was wide open. I immediately thought, "did I open that? I don't leave doors open. Maybe I did though. Maybe Lucy [our cat] shoved it open to get her chubby little body downstairs...what if someone came in the screen door...maybe they're hiding in the base--no. Claire, you're being ridiculous. No one came in the house. Relax."

This is seriously what goes through my brain!! After a while, I went to bed and then couldn't fall asleep because I kept hearing noises that were probably my cat, but I was seriously contemplating going out and sitting in my car where at least I could get away if I needed to. But then I would have to go downstairs and possibly confront some crazed killer man, so I stayed in bed and eventually fell asleep.

Maybe it would be less scary for me if a few years ago when I was dogsitting across the street someone hadn't tried to come into the house while I was there, but they did. Luckily the dog went crazy barking and it scared them off. I already have fears about someone trying break in, so that just affirmed it for me. But we only have a cat, and she's not very scary to strangers...And I know I'm not the only one. A high school friend, Matt S., once told me that he hated going home at night because of his fears that someone would be hiding in the bushes next to his porch, so he would run as fast as he could and wouldn't be able to breathe again until he was inside with the front door slammed shut and locked. I have the same fears.

It's funny that we have these fears of people coming into our house, but then we continue to watch Law & Order, and Halloween, The Strangers and other scary movies. We continue to subject ourselves to shows and movies that feature gruesome deaths and murders, and then wonder why we are afraid to walk in the woods at night? I've stopped watching the scary movies, and know enough about myself to switch the channel if a Law & Order is too gruesome, and that's taken away much of my fears. But sometimes you want the scare, you want to jump, to grab onto your boyfriends arm and cower in his shoulder, have him hold you tight...and then you have to decide: is the scare worth it? Sometimes...but as for me? I'd rather cry laughing at something with my boyfriend then cry because I'm scared.

Friday, July 17, 2009

What's Your Kryptonite?

Yesterday I couldn't stop thinking about cake. Beautiful, moist, vanilla cake with just the slightest taste of sugar. Soft, buttery,creamy pink frosting, swirled about just perfectly. Mmmmmm....I could literally taste it in my mouth, smell the sugary sweetness...so I reached into my lunch box, and pulled two perfectly round clementines out. I didn't have any cake, and I don't trust my "self-control" enough to not eat the entire thing if I made one. So I'm eating fruit instead. It's not the best replacement (I miss the sugary sweetness!!!), and thank goodness no one at work has brought in a sugary treat, because I would fall of the nutrition wagon faster than you can say, "Yum, cake!"

I thought I was doing pretty good last night, I had a roasted veggie wrap at Bar Louie (this is, without a doubt, THE MOST AMAZING SANDWICH EVER!!!) with Bradley, and it came with shoestring fries (thanks for helping me eat those Bradley!) but then I also had three margarita's on the rocks...so that wasn't too great...better than frozen, but still...

After my hair appointment I met up with Meredith at TGI Fridays for a drink...did I really need it at this point? Nope. Did I still get it? Yup. I ordered a Blue Moon while I waited for Meredith, then when she got there the bartender asked if we needed a menu, and she said yes, so I thought, well maybe she didn't eat yet. Then she suggested that we split the Spinach Artichoke Dip...I said, "let's look for something else." but what was I really expecting to see? A veggie tray?? C'mon Claire...and Meredith says, "Um...I don't see anything that would be any better..." and she was right. There were nacho's, mozzarella sticks, and buffalo wings. There really weren't any "healthy" options for appetizers. So what's a girl to do!? Order another beer and eat the spinach artichoke dip.

So apparently, I'm good at not baking/cooking/buying things that aren't good for me, but when we're sitting at a bar, I'm about as helpless as Superman around Kryptonite. On the plus side, we didn't eat ALL the chips & dip...and most importantly, we had a FABULOUS time together!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Butt Kicking Has Commenced

I asked for it, and I got it!! [In case you forgot, I told Pam (head of Personal Training at the Y) that I needed a trainer who would kick my ass, she volunteered for the job] Pam has been kicking my butt all over the YMCA! From squats, to push ups (I can do ten girly ones in a row with good form!! WOOT! WOOT!!), Supermans to arm curls, she's got me moving! And although I can barely lift my arms by the third set, and my legs feel like jelly, I keep on trucking on...mainly because I don't want Pam to have to yell at me to stop being a wimp, lol...which so far, hasn't happened! Except for the day that I told her I had a blister and she stared at me for a minute and then said, "If you were going to cancel for a blister..." shook her head and finished, "I would NEVER let you forget it." Well, I didn't cancel, we worked upper body, I couldn't extend my arms for three days, but in the end, I was glad I didn't cancel! It's better to be unable to utilize your arms for a few days than to have your trainer think you're wimping out, lol...

But it's great! My chest, shoulders, and arms are still sore from our workout on Tuesday, I've been doing cardio almost every day (walking mainly, sometimes biking at the Y), and I now have a very small (but also big!) accomplishment to report:

Not only did I not eat the cupcake that was offered to me last week, I also have managed to drop two pounds and keep it off for a week and a half!! If I am able to drop two more pounds by Monday, then I will fall into my next weight zone!

Now, I am not going to probably ever tell you what my weight is, only two people know: Me and Pam. And as far as I'm concerned, no one else needs to know!

Well, I suppose that's all I have to report for now...tomorrow I go back and I can't wait!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Choose Your Own Adventure

A Day In The Life of Claire...The Biggest Wimp You've Ever Met

Chapter One

After a long day at work, you can't wait to get home. It's 85 degrees outside, and you are dying to get home and have a creamsicle while watching a rerun of WIFE SWAP (hopefully it'll be your favorite: HUSBAND EDITION!). You know your parents won't be home for awhile (that's right, you still live with good 'ole mom and pop) as your dad has meetings and your mom is figure skating, so you know that no one will hassle you about your TV selection.

You flip on the TV and settle on the couch with your creamsicle. You suddenly detect a faint buzzing noise. What could it be? You think it's the TV, but then you remember that this is 2009 and you don't own an antenna TV. You look above, trying to see a plane flying low through the skylights. There is no plane. With horror, you slowly turn your gaze towards the back windows and you see them. Not one. Not two or three...but 8-12 wasps buzzing around in the corner of the window...you fly off the couch and clasp a hand over your mouth to muffle your scream...now what??

Turn to page 21 to see what YOU would do, turn to page 51 to do what Claire would do.

Page 51

You grab the remote and flip the TV off, no need for extra noise. Throwing your creamsicle in the sink, you run across the street and bang on your neighbor's door. Little Emily answers, "Hi." she says with a small red popsicle stain around her lips. Trying your best to seem pulled together, and not at all like there is an army of wasps invading your house, you say, "Is your dad home?" As Al comes to the front door, you hold back the tears and try to keep the panic in your voice to a minimum. "Wasps." you whisper. "So many wasps." He hollers back into the house, "Colleen! I'm going to help Claire with the wasps again!"

Once inside, you show him where they are. "Okay, you got a vacuum cleaner?" he asks.
"Sure, why?
Waiiiiit...you're going to vacuum them up?!" you ask.
"Yeah, there's too many for me to kill them all. I don't wanna get stung!" he says. As if vacuuming up the wasps is an everyday thing, as simple as putting toilet paper on the toilet paper holder.
"Ummm...okay...but Al?" You ask the question that burns through your mind, "what if they crawl out of the vacuum after you leave?"
"Claire. You always ask this, and I always tell you the same thing: They won't crawl out and start flying around."

To use the vacuum cleaner, go back to page 18. To do what Claire would do, go back to page 17.

Well, it's not like you have a choice. Either let Al suck the wasps up, or risk being stung (probably to death. Wasps don't lose their stingers so they'll just keep going until they're satisfied you've learned your lesson). So you get the vacuum cleaner.

Al tells you to turn it on, which means you have to get much closer than you would like, but it also gives you the opportunity to count the little furry winged creatures. Ten total. ugh...ten too many! You press the power button and the noise makes them buzz louder. You run to the kitchen and grab a newspaper and roll it up, ready to swing at the slightest buzz near you. Al sucks up a few, but the loud noise and huge machine infuriate (or maybe just scares) the wasps, and some of them crawl further away, allowing Al the ability to suck them right up. But a few others fly. Al climbs onto the couch to get closer and chases them across the living room, towards the kitchen. You back up, ready to move into the family room if necessary. You see the two wasps...they're coming closer to you, the buzzing almost loud enough to hear above the noise of the vacuum. Hot tears spring to your eyes, but you're too afraid to move, to draw attention to yourself, so you just let them fall. But all of a sudden, like a knight in shining armor, Al jumps for it, and sucks them both up.

You're saved. You thank him profusely while duct taping the mouth of the vacuum shut. You wave to Al as he walks down your driveway, back to his
popsicle gang. You open the freezer, get a new creamsicle, and decide to read the latest TIME...in the kitchen this time.

See details: Close up of a bee

If Love Were Enough

The thing about break ups, is that they suck. It doesn’t matter if you’re the one leaving or the one being left. You’ve both put time, love, faith,commitment, affirmation, and trust into each other; into your relationship with one another. And then at some point in time one of you feels that they’re giving more than receiving, or something happens to disrupt that love or the trust, or faith…I think it’s actually worse being the person who has to end it. You love them and you want to be with them, but something tugs at your heart and tells you that it’s not right. Sometimes you don’t even know why, all you know is that you are about to break this persons heart, and you don’t want to do that.

But you know that it’s the right thing to do. You know that you will suffocate if you stay. You’ll suffocate from taking care of them, from staying with them for fear of hurting them, from the way they crush your dreams…crush you…So you know you have to leave. And you do. And you cry and sob and your body is wracked with emotional waves that just keep slamming you down and down and down, and you second guess what you’re doing and wonder if maybe they will change, maybe they will do the things you need them to do so you can stay together and get married and have babies and buy a house and a dog and live happily ever after. But in your heart of hearts, you know that they never will. They are who they are.

And you know what the trickiest part is? They’re sneaky. They tell you that they can change. They promise they can change. They cling your hand and swear up and down with little pools of tears in their eyes, cascading down their cheeks, hiccupping because they’ve been crying so hard, and they say, “I can change! I’ll do whatever it takes!” And this is why it’s worse to be the one ending it. Because suddenly, after all of the thinking, the praying, the pro’s & con’s list you made, after all that, you find yourself beginning to believe them. Or maybe you just find yourself so full of pity for this person you love, you hate causing them pain, but there’s no other way to go around it…you have to hurt them to take care of yourself.

And in the end, we’re almost always glad that we made the choice to leave. We’re better people for it, and we’ve taught that person an important lesson that they hopefully picked up on. The lesson being (in some cases): We’re together, you have to be onboard with me the way that I’m onboard with you. You have to show me that you love me in ways other than just telling me. You have to BE THERE FOR ME. And you can’t just suddenly be there for me when I’m leaving, or when it’s convenient for you. You have to be there for me all day, every day, just as I have been – and will continue to be – for you.

Sometimes we see a temporary change, but it's rarely ever permanent. It's a change that lasts just long enough for us to get sucked back in...but we have to remember: If it’s meant to be, it will be. As a very wise friend once told me, “If love were enough, we’d all be with our high school sweethearts.” And guess what? We’re not. We need more than love. We need commitment, faith, trust, and affirmation, without those, the relationship suffers…if only love were enough...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Clobbered, But Not Down For The Count

Well, I've had two sessions with Pam, my personal trainer, and I'll tell you what, she is REALLY kicking my butt!! She has me doing things that are difficult, and hard, but not impossible. I'm able to do everything (even the push-ups!!), which is great. I don't feel like a total wimp. I've also been keeping a food journal that I take to her and she looks through it to see how I'm eating. She'll make suggestions like, "maybe eat more vegetables & fruits." or "maybe don't drink a days worth of calories." Which did happen. Once. Okay twice. But not anymore! She even suggested drinks that will be "better" for me (anything frozen is bad, fruity drinks have lots of sugar. Best to stick with clear liquors & diet pop, or light beer), which is cool because she doesn't drink!

My last session with her was on Monday, and this morning I woke up and swung my arm out of bed to hit my alarm clock, and then cried out in pain...apparently I have zero muscle in my shoulders and arms because they are BURNING!! I could barely straighten my hair this morning! And putting mascara on? Yeesh!! Pam says that the first five or six (oh is that all? lol) sessions will hurt the most, but it will get better after that.

Since I wasn't feeling any pain last night, I decided to power walk. I grabbed my iPod Touch, put it on a pretty sweet mix of some old school music (think Poison, Chicago, Eric Clapton, AC/DC) and started walking. I was planning on walking to downtown Farmington and back, which is about 3 miles. I got a mile into, and my heels started to hurt a bit. I thought it would be okay, that maybe my shoe was on weird, so I adjusted my feet and kept on going, thinking that I only had another half a mile and I could turn around. Plus, I was really trucking along! I didn't want to quit!! But when the sugary sweet smells from Baskin Robbins hit my nose, marking the point to turn around, I began to realize that I was really in some pain. As I scooted past the skateboard shop, the Village Mall, CVS, and Fitness 19, I began to wish I'd brought my phone so I could call my dad for a ride. I figured out that the plastic in the heel of my New Balance (which are super old) was sticking through the fabric and rubbing against my heel...poking my heels was more like. I had to keep going, and I tried not slow down, but by the time I got back to 9 mile, my heels were throbbing in pain. As I stumbled across the road and past the 7-11, my iPod jumped to a song that was most appropriate for the way I felt, almost as if my sneakers were trying to apologize to me: "I didn't mean to hurt you...I didn't mean to make you cry!" Oh sneakers...but you DID make me cry!! And then, as my sneaks realized I was still mad that they were causing me so much pain, my earbuds were flooded with, "Every rose has a thorn!" okay, by now I was crying from laughing so hard. I'm sure that if you drove past me yesterday you thought, who is that lunatic laughing to herself while she hobbles down the sidewalk?

Well, luckily, I made it home, and after a slightly painful shower (at least for my heels), I zipped right over to Kohls were I bought myself a brand spanking new pair of sneakers!! Maybe tonight when I walk I'll hear "Luck be a lady tonight!" and I won't have any pain...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

okay, so I had to keep that food diary for my trainer, and I have to tell you...I was shocked. I've always felt that my diet isn't too bad, but I'll tell you what, I was living a dream world. I had no idea I was eating so much!! I'm mortified!!! I'm going to continue to keep the diary for the rest of the week, and I have to keep it for a weekend, so we'll see what happens come Monday, but so far NOT so good...