Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Update

Howdy strangers!  Sorry I didn't start the post with a "how many Mondays I've been alive" number, but it has been so long since I last posted that the math cheat sheet I used to have no longer goes this high.  I've decided enough has happened to me in the past couple of months that it was probably time for me to purge a little and get some words on paper.  Some of the stuff is linked together, but most of it is completely random, so I'm opting into a Three Updates Post.

1) Weight update!  Sooooo, the real reason I came on here is because I'm getting ready to start another summer weight loss goal.  A brief history of where I've been the past couple of months: lost weight, gained weight, lost a bunch of weight, gained even more weight.  I think that pretty much sums it up.  I entered a weight loss challenge with the boys at work, and I decided to take the strategy of waiting until the challenge was almost over to kick it into high gear.  Back in January I was pushing 255 with the March end date looming, so I decided it was time.  For those of you scoring at home, 255 was a 13 pound gain from my October celebration weight.  Not something I was proud of, but something I was willing to live with post-holidays.  I discovered a little something called the 17-Day Diet.  I read outside reviews and resources, tore through the book, and decided that it was something that I could handle.  For the most part, it involved giving up red meat (which I rarely eat anyway) and carbs (which I lived on).  The diet is broke down into 17-day stages that allow you to add new foods at the end of each stage.  For instance, after the first 17 days I introduced pork and some less complex carbs.  Because the diet is broke down into 17 days, the end always seems to be in sight and makes it seem more doable, plus there is a plethora of recipes for this diet out there that turned out to be pretty darned good.  I had still been playing basketball everyday, so even though the scale went up, my fitness level was still sitting pretty and I thought I had a legitimate shot at making a run at the weight loss total.  Two months later and with a lot of patience from Molly, I managed to get to 227 lbs by the second week in March, a weight loss of almost 30 lbs.  And then....

Here's a quick stream of consciousness filled with lame excuses for why I stopped being healthy: our gym closed for construction at school so I couldn't work out everyday and I really hate non-competitive workouts like running but I really don't know enough people nor am I confident enough in my sports abilities to join a random league and Molly and I were looking at apartments but we still didn't live together and so fast food was just easier than cooking for one person and it helped ease my stress and then I found out that Ben and Jerry's is the best thing in the world and started eating it more and more often because I needed something sweet to balance out the large pizza in my stomach and then Molly and I found an apartment in April and decided to rededicate ourselves to being healthy only we were still so busy with the getting settled in that it became really easy to keep eating out and loving ice cream turned out to be one the things we really have in common so I turned her from Dairy Queen, which is kind of inconvenient to have to go get because once I'm home and in my underwear I don't feel like leaving again because I work such long hours, towards Ben and Jerry, who are always waiting at home for me in the freezer, and then summer started and there were a lot of hot days and it turns out I really, really like beer on hot days, especially non-lite beers, which always seem to taste really good when mixed with pizza which gives me heartburn that can only be put out by Ben and Jerry's.......gaaaaaaaaaaasp!

I knew there was a problem.  I've been aware of the problem and prepping myself for a bottom out that was inevitably coming.  Sunday night, Molly and I sat down and mapped out all of food for the next 17 days, but I was still wary that I wouldn't make it that long.  I stepped on the scale, but blamed the artificial inflation on a weekend bachelor party.  Yesterday, the impetus for change finally came through.  I walked by about 10 mirrors at work and couldn't figure out what was going on with my shirt.  For some reason it was all blousey in the front and I couldn't get it tucked quite right so that my belt was visible.  Then it hit me...it wasn't the shirt that was hanging over the belt.  It looked something like this:

I started yesterday at 264, a whopping 27 pound gain since mid-March.  I promised myself I would never see 250 again.  Then I promised myself I would never, ever, ever, see 260 again.  I lost control.  Now I'm gaining it back.  Luckily, the 264 really did have to do with the bachelor party because I was back down to 257 this morning after a day of eating better yesterday.  Still, the 30 lbs I've gained in the last three months isn't something I'm patting myself on the back for.  I had already thrown away a good chunk of my fat clothes, and I'm not going shopping again.  I need to get back to where I know I can be, and I need to do it fast.  I hope to keep you updated along the way because it really does help me to know that I'm accountable to people who are supportive.  We'll see how it goes.

2) In case you stopped reading my long rant up above, Molly and I are living together!  As of next week, we've been dating for a year, and I honestly couldn't be happier.  I wish I could put into proper words just how "right" it has all felt.  It is almost scary how effortless the past 11 months have been (it took her the bulk of the first one to realize how amazing I am).  We found an apartment in Edina that we got a great deal on, I've started a garden on the deck (more on that in a future post), we rarely fight over the remote, and for the past two months we've co-habitated without me having to sleep on the couch a single time.  I love her family, she seems to tolerate mine (just kidding!), and I've got a good feeling about the path we're following.  Speaking of paths and sleeping on couches, there are many, many roads leading in and out of Edina and we have an extra bedroom, two comfy couches, a cot, and two air mattresses.  Consider this an open invitation to come say hello.  

3) Besides just the need to be accountable and to blab about my life, there's another reason I needed to blog again.  Today I'm losing to a new job one of my best friends who just so happens to have been one of my biggest supporters in all things blog/health.  We really started bonding back in my first few months at Anoka-Ramsey.  I think we found in each other a common passion for higher education, and we recognized a flicker of energy for innovation within our field.  Or maybe it was because we shared a love of distance running.  Or maybe not.  Whatever the reason, Kacey took me under her wing and made sure that my transition to a new job (and eventually a new campus) went smoothly.  She and her husband Aaron were the first of new co-workers to invite me into their home for a night of great food, great wine, and great laughs.  It wasn't until the whole Jenna debacle took place that our friendship really took a turn from the work buddy to the real friend.  Kacey was one of the first people to e-mail me to make sure I was okay.  She let me use her office when I needed to shed a quick tear.  She sat and listened to my false sense of emotional security until it became a real one.  She was one of the most avid readers of the blog in its original form, and if a new post hadn't shown up by mid-afternoon, she would send me an e-mail or stop down to tell me, "I haven't seen your blog post today..."  There were times where I wasn't sure I was writing them for anyone but her, but that's the exact reason I started this blog.  If nothing else, I was accountable to Kacey, and hearing her big laugh every time she recited a line I wrote or talked about the Thanksgiving posts made them all worthwhile.  

Unfortunately, even though our name tags both read "Advisor", we didn't get to work together nearly as often as I would have liked.  Instead, we used each other as a sounding board when we had new ideas.  We helped each other find solutions when we ran into professional frustrations.  We pointed each other towards new articles or new ideas in our field to make sure we were offering the best services we could offer.  Even though we didn't log a lot of time in the trenches standing next to each other, I admired her work ethic, her organization, her drive, her ability to think way outside the box, and most of all, her ability to care about students.  In my line of work, there's no higher compliment I can give someone than to say that I genuinely believe that they care.  A lot of my frustrations as a professional have come from dealing with people who I didn't feel embodied that one basic principle.  You can be fat, skinny, tall, short, black, white, green, have a stutter...whatever.  As long as the people around you know that you care, they'll continue to come back to you for help in the future.  Kacey cares and inspires those around her to do the same.   

I really, really hope that Kacey is able to continue her quest to be the best at the University of Minnesota and that the Golden Gophers realize just how ridiculously lucky they are to have her in their midst.  ARCC is losing a great innovator, but the world of higher education is gaining a future rockstar.  I'm losing a work confidant, but I'm keeping a great friend.  There will always be headaches and hurdles, and she's the kind of teammate you want next to you when they come your way.  I tried to tell her in my own clumsy way the other day that it is people like her that inspire people like me.  That won't change when her school mascot does.

Lots of love,


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