Monday, April 29, 2013

Why Would You Even Ask Me That?

Ha - so, Greg has been around a lot and I have been doing a temperature check with the kids: How is this going? Do you like Greg? Do you like having him around? etc. It's just that they hate their dad's girlfriend so much - I don't want to cause this problem for them at home, too. (And I have to say, the primary reason they hate X's girlfriend - over-parenting - may not not be an issue for them with Greg at some point, too. I think it must be hard to be a  [pseudo] "step-parent." And a step-kid.)

The difference being here, that my boys are alllllll boy, and Greg is allllllllll boy, and so they all just get along swimmingly. Would you like to learn how to:

  • use a hatchet in the back yard? 
  • build a fire?
  • plant a garden?
  • fillet a fish?
  • catch a fish?
  • build a shed?
  • change the oil in a motorcycle?
Well, the answer for my boys to all the above questions is YES! They eat it up. I'll admit that this need in my boys (my oldest, Blake, especially) and Greg's over-the-top-know-how is a huge appeal to me in this relationship. X knows how to do lots of things, too, but I think his living situation (still living with his dad four years after we split) and his working situation (trying to build a struggling small business and massage therapy practice) keep him from having the time necessary to devote to the kids. I'm not judging (well, I am a little bit judging): single parenting keeps me from doing a lot, too. You spend so much time and energy in keeping the family afloat, you miss out on a lot of opportunities in other areas of developing your kids.

Anyway, so the boys especially are crazy about Greg and they love having him around. It was my Blake, a long time ago now, when I asked him how he felt about me dating, that said, "Are you kidding? I'd love to have another man around here!" (implication being that he was the other "man,"which just cracks me up to this day.)

It was a foolish question to ask Reid, age 7, if he likes Greg or not, and he let me know. Reid and Blake and I were in the car, driving to lacrosse. "Do you like Greg?" I asked.

"Why would you even ask me that?" Reid deadpanned. "You know I do. A lot."

Of course. On Friday night, Greg got out the barbeque and the boys built a fire in the fire pit and we grilled burgers (turkey burgers with spinach, feta and sauteed onion, to which Reid announced, "Mom, these burgers just taste BAD.") and hot dogs and s'mores. And we all sat outside until after it got dark, and it felt like summer, even though the next day was cloudy and rainy and cold. Hullo, Seattle weather, welcome back.

Alli, my baby, whom has never once told me she hates me, or she doesn't want to be with me, who tells me at least ten times a day that I am her best friend, who tells me she and her six children are going to live next door to me her whole life...well, she likes Greg, too. In a way that only someone who would really prefer to have her mom to herself and get rid of her brothers so we could just hang out can like a boyfriend of her mother's. She accepts him. If I said, "Whew, that didn't work out with Greg, I'm never going to date again!" she would say, "OKAY Mommy!" and be the happiest little clam on the face of the earth. But she likes Greg, and they get along well. They both like watching The Voice. Greg and I will never, ever find a single of "my" tv shows that we can happily watch together. Sigh. But I'm glad Alli finally found someone who will watch The Voice with her, haha.

Well. Greg and I are going to see The Jersey Boys on Friday night with my friends N & K, aka "Don't You Freaking Hurt Her Again or We'll Kill You." Should be fun. :) We chose a new sports bar for dinner, looking for something that will be close to the theater and not be uncomfortably foo-foo for Country Mouse.

In athletic news, I logged 65 miles on the bike last week (two full commutes, two rides around the neighborhood with Reid and Greg, and in one case, Alli; and Greg's inaugural 12-miler). I'd like to commute two more times this week: today and Friday are out, so we'll see about Tu-Thur. Alli and I are going to the Y after work, she is starting the Couch to 5K program. I am woefully behind on my 30-day squat challenge and I have to kick it back in gear today with 180 squats, which I will commence this afternoon. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

And you thought this was a weight loss, cycling, running blog

Thank you to My First 5K for this fun blog idea this's a clip from of the most frequently used words on my blog, haha. You plug your blog address in and it searches...I have to say, looking a little deeper at the word count, I don't think it goes back more than the last one or two entries, but it's still fun to see!

Go play with it yourself at

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sticky Wicket


Boy, do I love that game. :) I had never even seen it played before my older son started this season, and now I want both my boys to play in college, haha. I think I should join a women's league, but I hate having my hands hit with sticks!

I think it is very cool that a mom from the opposing team took some gorgeous pictures at one of Blake's (12yo) games and then shared them with our team. I got some great shots of my boy in action:

And then my younger son Reid (7yo) started lacrosse clinics last weekend (no teams for that age yet) and I got the coolest shot from their facebook page:

I am the first to admit that I am easily overwhelmed with parenting. Whew! These guys are hard work - and expensive! But when I see pictures like this, I marvel at what wonderful young men they are becoming and how very, very proud I am of them.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Seahawks 5K, Bikey-bikey and Boys

Yesterday, my 14yo daughter Alli and I did the Seahawks 5K. We had a great time! I am very proud of Alli, who is really working hard at her fitness and health. Besides that, she's as cute as a button. :)

With Partybot.
It was very cold yesterday morning, and it rained some during the race. As usual, we weren't breaking any land speed records, but Alli was giving her all and I was impressed. We run slow, but she ran nearly all of the race!

I had left Greg at home, and really we were only gone a couple hours. But look what I came back to:

Aw. All my favorite flowers.
He pulled old scrubby plants and weeded the whole thing then planted the three pink hydrangea plants and Gerber daisies I had bought (and subsequently let sit around, unplanted). He scrambled to get it all done before I got home, and he just finished as I pulled into the driveway. BEYOND AWESOME! I was so happy.

Here's the thing with Greg: that man knows how to make a *home*. He is (probably too) clean and organized, he cooks, he gardens, he, these are all areas where I am decidedly weak. Well, I can cook. But I'm the messiest cook you've ever met, haha. Plus he's got that real Grizzly Adams thing going for you ever listen to Dave Ramsey? I love him. I don't heed nearly any of his advice, haha, but I love him. (But I have to stop listening to him during election seasons - our politics do not agree, haha, and he is pretty religious, too, but not usually uncomfortably so...just sometimes.)

Well, Dave Ramsey has an expression, "Get up, leave the cave, kill something, and drag it home." Ah, no wonder Republicans are so rich ;) on the face of it they just make darn good sense. Anyway, Greg is the guy you want to be with so you don't go hungry - that man can do anything! Fish, hunt...he buys whole whatever sides of beef or whatever and cuts it into steaks and grinds it into hamburger...he grows his own veggies, cans fruits and veggies...crazy, man. So exciting! I feel my quality of life ratcheting up several notches.

Anyway. I'm happy. Very happy. Plus I'm extra-super-happy today because I rode my bike into work again! I am going to try my darndest to start bike commuting, because it gives me a solid two hour workout a day. I'm really pressed to squeeze these workouts in, and it's not going to get any easier. I just signed my youngest up for soccer that meets weekly on, you guessed, it Wednesday afternoons. The night of my weekly ride! I will, of course, pick the youngest over the weekly ride. But fortunately, X has agreed to take responsibility for most of that, since it meets pretty darn early in the afternoon.

Biking makes me feel like a little kid. :) And it makes me strong and fit. Lookit, I was playing with my Strava app today and I pulled this comparison table of one particular segment of a typical ride for me. It's westbound across the I-90 bridge. See how my time has improved since last fall? That's progress, baby!

Rank Date Speed Time
1 22-Apr-13 16.7mi/h 5:49
2 17-Apr-13 16.4mi/h 5:57
3 3-Nov-12 16.1mi/h 6:03
4 9-Mar-13 13.8mi/h 7:03
5 29-Sep-12 11.9mi/h 8:10
6 4-Oct-12 10.4mi/h 9:20

I like the bump between lines three and four, where I was stronger on 11/3, right before my tummy tuck. That tells me that after months of working hard, I was at my peak. Then I had the surgery and recovery, now my strength and speed is ramping back up again!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Super Star Super Bike Commuter and Squat Diva Extraordinaire

Whew, I had to get some help from google to spell "ex·tra·or·di·naire."

Today will be my first round-trip bike commute into work. I was going to throw the bike on the bus this morning and ride home, or ride to my Wednesday night ride meetup spot. It was so nice this morning, though, and I had time, so I just thought, what the heck, let's do this thing.

Riding in, I told myself I wasn't going to think about time or speed, just enjoy the ride and be happy that I'm doing it at all. So, wouldn't you know it, when I got to work and checked my Strava GPS app, who got NINE PERSONAL RECORDS for segments along the ride?

It's impressive to me that I'm getting so much better at cycling, I'm just naturally getting faster and stronger as I go along. I have a bike computer on my bike, and it is interesting to see my speeds on the flats hovering around 17-19 mph. Sucks, though, that I am still slow enough on the hills that I lag behind my Wednesday night group on the hills. Although I did notice last week that there was only one other woman I was lagging behind, which made me feel better. I think it's more difficult to ride with men, in general. They are often times just a lot faster.

I may have to skip my group ride tonight. :( I am having a conscience-crisis. Their dad forgot some other appointment and asked me to keep the kids this evening. When this sort of thing happens, I try to oblige, because I know he does the same for me when I need it. Anyway, I reluctantly said yes to keeping the kids until about 8 p.m. Problem is that I would be getting home from my group ride at about 8 p.m. That leaves the kids at home alone, fending for themselves for dinner. I hate thinking of them being lonely, plus if they're all three together it means F-I-G-H-T-I-N-G.

Sigh. I'll probably skip it. That's why I rode my bike in to work, so if I do skip, I'll still have gotten a couple solid workouts in today. (My ride is just less than 12 miles and takes me 50+ minutes to complete.) If I can get my butt bike commuting, this takes a HUGE pressure off me to fit in workouts during the week. I'm happy with 24 miles on the bike a few times a week. Wouldn't you be? Then I can do weekend rides for leisure and entertainment, not because I feel like a sloth.

Well. I am also on Day 13 of the Squat Challenge, which means I have to do 130 squats today, which I gotta say, I am really dreading. :) They are exhausting. I am glad to be doing them with Sabrina and her friend, because it is helping with accountability.

Everything is going so well on the man front. I am greatly enjoying being back with Greg, and he with me. The nice thing about him is that he is rather genuine and direct, like me, and so I feel like I can have a pretty high degree of trust in "the new Greg." Who is just like the old Greg but is totally into me and we both know it, haha. Things are moving quickly, but in a way that I am comfortable with.

This weekend, we were at the store and he bought his fishing license. Last year I bought mine with him (for almost a hundred bucks, yikes). He looked at me questioningly at the store and I said, "No way - I don't have that kind of money right now." And wouldn't you know it? He bought mine for me. Then he asked me to drive his new muscle car...I told him between the fishing license and driving his car, it was as good as a diamond ring. He laughed and said that was on the horizon.

Today he told me his friend texted about carpooling but he said he was staying at my place. The friend texted back a picture of a Zales storefront and said maybe they should go there at lunch. I thought this was funny (intriguing?) but more so that he showed it to me, haha.

Well, we're not moving that fast but things are moving quickly and we've been fairly inseparable. I am including him in my life with the kids because I need him to be immersed in it to see how well that will fit on both sides. My boys have always been crazy about him (Reid calls him "Greggy," as he called Mr. Wonderful "Matty-Matt-Matt." Reid loves everyone.) and my daughter also likes him, although mostly my daughter just likes me and would love to keep me all to herself. But just as I won't get rid of her brothers to accommodate her wishes, I am trying to see how we all fit together.

We'll see. It all feels really good right now. I hope I'm not re-reading this post in a year wondering WTF I was thinking. In case I am, I'll just tell Future FreeJulie now, "Hey girl, you gave it a try. No regrets! You were just doing the best you could." And I'll give myself a consoling little pat on the shoulder. (Hopefully I won't need to be re-reading this with a WTF mindset, haha.)

I told my mom today that I am seeing Greg again. Yikes - and then I washed my ears out with soap to get out all the nastiness she threw at me. EEK! My mom said she and my dad knew I'd be getting back with him when I said that he had contacted me again, and then later that I had broken it off with Matt. So I let her give me an earful. And at one point I was going to say that I need to be careful about my body issues because, as with Lance Armstrong, I bring my own brand of insecurity and crazy to the table when it comes to my body and weight loss. Remember when I was *destroyed* about my perception of Lance Armstrong's take on my body? (I'll see if I can find the link.) And when LA and I talked about it later he was like, WTF are you talking about? That was a case of my rampant insecurity blowing up in my face. When I got back with Greg I decided to forgive him and forgive myself and give us both a clean slate. I told Greg that the only thing he is allowed to say about my body is, "Damn, girl, you are HOT!" and that's pretty much what he says every day, haha.

Anyway, I started to tell my mom this and I said, "I need to be careful..."

"To not gain weight and piss him off?" she interrupted.

Yikes. Mama Bear has her hackles WAY WAY UP when it comes to Greg.

Well, we talked. And they'll be fine, they are just protecting me because I am their 43-year-old baby. I gave her these points that I have thought about as I defend/justify/break it to friends and family that I am *that woman* who went back to the bad boyfriend:

  • I am not stupid. I know what he did to me and it will not happen again without me ending it.
  • I bring my own craziness and insecurity - a lot - to the equation w/ regard to my body and weight issues. For as much as we have talked about it, Greg fails to fully understand how badly he hurt me w/ regard to my body and I have to accept that part of this is his personality, a certain degree of obtuseness/insensitivity, and also, how I viewed everything through my own damaged filter. I decided to forgive us both and give us both a clean slate.
  • If it works out with Greg, great, if it does not, I will know I tried.
  • I have dated *a lot* of men since my divorce. I do not feel like I am rushing a decision to be with "someone." I also feel like I have developed a pretty clear idea of what I want.
  • Of all these men I have dated, I have never felt such a strong connection and desire to be with anyone, and I felt it from the night I met him. Remember when he brushed the hair out of my eyes at the car? I see him and I get butterflies.
  • I know from dating the rich Navy guy and Matt that I will not settle, even if it all looks great on paper and they are wonderful men. My heart simply will not let me settle. Believe me, with Matt, I tried to talk myself into it. Hard.
  • Greg is unable to fake it and he doesn't lie. So it makes all the things he says now easier to believe, he's not going to put on airs to impress me. He's a thoughtful guy and he has said, and continues to say, everything I need to hear.
  • I have a confidence in myself that I did not have last time around. He's a strong personality - I didn't want to lose him and I stifled myself to be who I thought he wanted me to be. I don't give a shit anymore  We're looking at a lifetime together and I would get exhausted pretending to be something I'm not.

Well, that was such a fun conversation, as you can imagine. :| I told her to let me do this, I am a big girl. I told her I expect them to be nice to him.  She said she and my dad know he is a good man and a hard worker and good for me in many ways. She said she thinks he will always say what he is thinking and not give a shit if it hurts anyone's feelings. I pointed out that this is one of my own weaknesses and maybe it was no coincidence that I would be attracted to someone who shares my directness. I don't like hearing "what I want to hear" and with Matt, for example, this was a huge problem for me. I steamrolled X and I am sure I would have to Matt, too, so it's no surprise to me that I would be so attracted to Greg, who will not be steamrolled.

I think I'm doing the right thing. Famous last words, maybe, but it feels good and right and we'll just roll with it for now. I decided I would regret more not trying than I would trying!

Hey - who asked about the "move out of stuff" with Mr. W? Oh boy, that was awful. I bawled, which did neither Mr. W nor me any good because it further fed his hopes that we would get back together. He is such a good, good man. He as much said that he wants to just give me time and then try again. I told him repeatedly that something is not right between us - we are missing something. He disagreed. Well, he took most of his stuff I had boxed up, leaving me with a bike pump ("you need one, and you need to learn how to use it"), the lemon squeezer (he already had one), the daylight simulator floor lamp (for your "SAD"), and probably a couple other things. The treadmill, which he said he has no use for and didn't want to transport. Alli doesn't like it, so right now it's just stuck in the garage.

Anyway, it was awful and he really had the impression he just wanted to give me time and I felt badly about that but it would have taken being mean to him to clarify that and I couldn't do it. I did not tell him about Greg but I almost did a couple times in the days that followed when he texted and said he bought a second tennis racket and did I want to go hit some balls with him. Another couple similar texts. Finally I said I just need space between us and I haven't heard from him since.

Yuck. It was awful. I felt badly and I felt guilty. And a little guilty for feeling so happy right now, but I'm just going to relax and enjoy myself. If it ends badly, I might as well have had fun while it lasted, haha. I do not think it will end badly, though. :) I'll keep ya posted.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Breast Bump

Ha, I am struggling for a post title, so you're stuck with that one! I had my follow-up mammogram today, which then led to an immediate follow-up ultrasound, so no frayed nerves there, right? But no worries, all is well! They said with all the weight loss, my breast tissue has changed, and what started out a little dense is now real dense. I'll go back in six months for another mammogram just to be sure. And they said if I end up doing a breast lift or breast augmentation in the future, they'll want to biopsy this density beforehand so they have a definitive answer of what exactly it is.

Whew. Coincidentally, while I was in the waiting room, my mom walked in! Was she there to support me in my time of stress? No! She had forgotten all about my recheck, haha. Thanks mom. But she had been spurred on to schedule her own late mammogram, admitting she was six months overdue. She had talked to my ex-mother-in-law, who is currently getting radiation for her own early-detected breast cancer. I was very glad that my mom got in, and glad to talk to X's mom this morning to tell her about the chance meeting in the waiting room and to hear that her treatment is going well.

Glad that's all over. Now I can dish on boys some more. While I eat Hot Tamales. It's another sex and candy post, haha. Things are going great with Greg - I am pleased and optimistic. The other night was wonderful - we went back to my place after work and then I headed out for my Wednesday night ride. He stayed home and made dinner (baked salmon and homemade coleslaw - yum) and cleaned the kitchen. Heaven. :) 

He's been really great and sure is being sweet and well, courtly. Yesterday we met at his place after work and walked down to the beach, then out to dinner. This weekend I think we're going on a long drive - he has an ambitious drive in mind but I am thinking something closer. Next weekend we're going to Eastern Washington for my son's lacrosse tournament, so I don't think we need another 300 mile drive tomorrow. :)

Thank you all for your sweet comments, and Sheila, you're reference to your mammogram post from last fall made me feel much better and I appreciate it! Also, hello and welcome to my couple of new followers! I'll be back later with a more substantive post, I'm spread a little thin today. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mind Freak

Starting weight: 151.8
Freakout weight: 145
Today's weight: 148.8
Freakout factor: Ugh.

I had a little revelation today, as I was thinking about my seemingly permanent weight gain. I think my body still looks great: if pressed, I'd have to say I've gain this ten pounds in my boobs, which now have a bit of form to them (more on this in a moment), and my butt, of which you could never call me bootylicious (more on this in a moment, too).

Here's the thing: I feel great at this weight, except. Except I feel really ashamed of myself for the rebound weight gain, which I promised myself I wouldn't do. When I had the VSG surgery, my doctor said patients tend to lose 65-85% of their excess weight, then regain about ten pounds. Well, I lost 100% of my extra weight, and, wanting to beat the statistics, said I wouldn't regain any of it.

I have my six-month follow-up with the plastic surgeon next month, and I am due for a re-check with my VSG surgeon, as well. I don't want to go to either, because I am embarrassed and ashamed. I feel like I've let them down, and feel like I've let myself down, too.

That's the thing about the weight loss - I think there's some permanent head-fruckery involved. Here I am in better shape than I've ever been in in my adult life. I can run (a relative term, haha) up sixty-two flights of stairs without pause. I'm a bicycling fool. I could crank out a half marathon next week, if I had to. Do you remember when I blogged about running all the way around .25 miles of the middle school track? I was soooo excited about doing that, and it truly was as far as I could run at the time!

I'm in great shape. My muscle definition, although not in itself astounding, astounds me sometimes just because I've never had any. :)  I have nothing to be ashamed of. Heck, some of this has *got* to be muscle weight. But I don't wanna go see those doctors. :(

Today I wore my jelly bean pants and my old lady shoes. You remember Sabrina in my office - she's in charge of my regirlification, and she told me she never wants to see these shoes again, haha.

Frump Shoes are going to Goodwill.
Anyway - that's enough moping! There's good things going on, too. Sabrina and I are on day six  of a 30-day squat challenge. I did seventy-five squats this morning, although she showed me up by doing them while holding a 12-pound weight. Although I have knocked out 200 squats in a day several times, I always end up paying for it. With this challenge, after I complete the day's squats, I am glad to be able to stand up from a chair without crying, haha.

We're going for bootylicious, here.
It looks sunny-ish outside this afternoon after a crappy morning, and that means I'll be going on my Wednesday night ride tonight! I'm so glad - I've been looking forward to it after its brief hiatus. They have it on the calendar every week through the end of May, and I'm planning on attending all. I am aware that I can ride by myself on Wednesdays, too, haha, but it is fun to go on pre-planned group rides.

Oh, as far as the boobs go - I went in for a mammogram last week. Hadn't had one since 2009. The tech was very nice and said that with all this weight loss, my breast tissue will certainly have changed a lot, and to go ahead and expect a call back for a follow up appointment. She made me promise not to worry if I did get called in to have more films done. I promised. So, of course, when they called the other day, I started to worry. I have to go in for more films on Friday and while I'm not terribly worried, I'm slightly worried. Ah well. It's an early morning appointment and the radiologist reads your films immediately, so by the time I leave I'll know what's going on.

Happily, Greg is picking me up from work and making dinner at my place while I'm on the group ride. Me likey. That's all going very well, I'm happy to report.

When was your last mammogram, if you're part of the over-40 crew? Did the experience bother you? Mammograms don't hurt me in the least, even when I was PMS'ing at the time of last week's appointment.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I'm So Over You.

Starting weight: 151.8
Freakout weight: 145
Today's weight: 149.0
Freakout factor: WHATEVER.

Ugh, I am so over that scale. Look, I'm trying. Admittedly, I haven't done the protein shakes this week. But I'm eating well, and gosh, I have really been exercising a lot this week. It will all even out. I'll continue to weigh myself daily for awhile just because not doing so is what gets me in trouble in the first place. At bare minimum, I think I have my sweet tooth back under control: no candies this week!

Hey, yesterday was a BANNER DAY! I put my bike on the bus for the first time and I rode my bike home for the first time. It was awesome! It was also anti-climatic, hahaha. I've put off commuting home out of fear of those two things: bus rack and the piece from downtown to the I-90 bridge. Both were ridiculously easy. :) Funny how you create these mental hurdles for yourself. The ride from my office to the bridge is only about three miles, and only has one somewhat dicey intersection. But it's such a bicycle-commuter thoroughfare, I crossed that intersection with SIX other cyclists who just happened to be there.

The rest of the ride is just the standard course I've ridden a hundred times now. Strava said my whole commute was 11.4 miles and took me 53 minutes. Now the plan is to get started commuting regularly, at least by repeating yesterday's adventure: bus in, ride home.

So of course it's pouring down rain today. And it's supposed to through Monday. But that's okay, because after three days of climbing 62 flights, plus the couple rides yesterday, plus a half an hour on the treadmill last night...I decided my legs get the day off today. I might do the stairs later. Probably not. Okay, how's this? I'll do the stairs if my friend Barb both initiates and orchestrates the event. She says she wants to do it, then blows me off. :) So I'll leave it in her hands today, haha.

On the man front, I hadn't heard from Mr. W in a couple days, but he did text me at 3:30 a.m. saying he does want to meet this weekend to get his stuff. He will have a whole van load, and then we will have to figure out things like how to get his treadmill back to him, too. Seriously, he was moving in with me one trip at a time, every time he came. I should have picked up on this sooner as a red flag. I know I said it before, but I have *nothing* at his house: no toothbrush, no spare change of clothes.

Greg is out of state with his daughter this week so nothing is going on there. He has been very good about saying nice and supportive things on the phone or by text. And also having fun - this had turned into such an issue with Matt and I have to say, going back into it with Greg, he isn't the first person you think of when you think "fun," hahaha. But something is very different chemistry-wise between me and the two boys (ugh, I am such a harlot), so it's okay. Neither men are boring at all, but neither is busting you up with laughter, either. Is this okay with me? I think so. Greg and I are laughing a whole lot this time around, mainly due to the fact that I am not filtering my obnoxiousness for him anymore. :) Poor man. Maybe because we're TALKING so much more, instead of me mooning over him. That man is here on a trial basis and the interview of a lifetime. Roar.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Super Star Super Cyclist!

Starting weight: 151.8
Freakout weight: 145
Today's weight: 148.5
Freakout factor: Oh, who gives a crap anymore? :) Maybe this is what I weigh now.

Well, I am very happy to say that today I successfully loaded my bike onto the bus with very little drama. It was a bit short-sighted, in that I had to walk it the long block to my son's school and then across campus to the bus stop. Hrm. I was wearing high heel boots and probably could have pedaled it anyway, except for the big-ass bag of bike gear I was carrying. And my tea cup. :) Maybe I need a backpack. I had bought one but  one of my children absconded* with it shortly after I brought it home.

*This is not proper use of the word "abscond," but I don't care, I'm sticking with it. Me likey.

Later, MTB and I rode from work to the I-90 bridge so he could show me the way. I have been so nervous to ride into work because of this piece of the ride! So much traffic. Trucks. Buses. Another cyclist in my office told me laughingly that I was overthinking this portion of the ride and I would see how easy it was. It was easy. :) Ha! Really easy. Um, I'm glad I didn't hold off commuting in for years over this, just months. :)

Because you can never have too many pictures of me standing at the same spot overlooking the Lake Washington I-90 bridge, here I am feeling triumphant! And a little silly. It wasn't hard to get here from there.

Future bike commuter.
I am lucky because they have really awesome bike parking in City Hall and they set up my access in a blink of an eye. There's showers and locker rooms, too. I think I'll just start by bringing the bike in on the bus in the mornings some days and riding home. We'll see. It is really, really fun and not a hard commute. I think it's about 12 miles, we'll see what my bike computer and Strava says today.

Strava is this very silly app that I love with my whole heart. :) It tracks your rides and runs with GPS and you get your speed and such. There's leader boards that compare your time to others that have ridden certain road segments. For a gold-star person like me, this is pure heaven, even though I assure you I am always at the bottom of the charts. I don't care!

So two funny things with, I told MTB (who hates Strava) that I *thought* I had SUCH a fun ride with him this afternoon...until I saw the Strava leader boards for our ride and that I am at the bottom on all the segments. That made me realize that, in fact, I did not have fun at all. What would I do without Strava to tell me how good I am? (Or not, haha)

The other thing is this little image I found online...

Hahaha, I love it. :) I'm a goofball.

Let's see, Greg is out of town the rest of this week with his daughter but he did tell me he told her we're seeing each other again and she was fine with it. It's different this time around because she did move back to her mom's shortly after we broke up and is not moving back. That was a lot of turmoil for both of them at the time.

Mr. W hasn't texted me today for the first time since we broke up. It's been awful. I hate hurting him, and boy, did I ever break his heart. And he has soooooooooo much stuff at my house! Oh my, it's like he was moving in piece by piece every time he visited. I have to say: I did not have one single thing at his house. Not a toothbrush or article of clothing, nothing. I think the contrast shows that we were in very different places in our relationship. Maybe this weekend I'll get his stuff back to him, but wow, I am dreading it. He was so blindsided, and he shouldn't have been, because I have been telling him for months to SLOW DOWN and stop reading step-parenting books and stop telling me he'll never leave my side again (after his week in Cali on vacation) and stop, stop, stop. :(

Well, today is a giant workout day if all goes as planned. The short ride at lunch (six miles of urban riding was giving me absolute terrors, haha, I still feel a little silly). Doing the stairs again later and riding my bike home. Promised to take my daughter to the Y when I get home, even if "taking her to the Y" means sitting on my butt reading while she works out. :) I am very, very excited at the prospect of riding my bike to/from work now that the weather is improving. Besides being FUN, it will also take a lot of pressure off me to fit in workouts, because that's a good length ride with some hills. Plus, my Wednesday night ride series starts up again next Wednesday night and I believe it's scheduled through the end of May. The starting point is halfway on my commute home, so riding in those days will be perfect.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sex and Candy. No, Really, This Time.

Hahaha, okay, that last post was supposed to be about sex and candy, but I derailed talking about my bike, because, really, isn't biking FUN?? SO FUN!! 

We can dispense with the candy talk quickly: no more candy!! I reminded myself that I spent $9K on a tummy tuck, and candy is not a very smart way to celebrate that decision, haha. And Sheila reminded me that my six-month post-op visit will be coming up in May, and yes, I will post new tummy pictures! You know what I'm packing under here? Some ab muscles! Not a lot, but they are definitely here for my amusement and semi-constant admiring in the mirror, or palpating while I'm sitting at my desk. Sounds dirty but it isn't. :)

You want the real scoop on my belly - the tummy tuck has me wanting/needing to address some issues for reals. When I have seen my plastic surgeon for post-op appointments, he is not pleased with my bloated gut. I'm detracting from the aesthetics of his work by failing to address my digestion issues, I'm afraid. Golly, I'm lactose intolerant and also, post-WLS, my little digestion system just doesn't move things through the way it should. Consequence: bloated gut. 

If I can address this, e.g. stop eating foods that blow me up like a balloon and start doing things that make my intestines function like a well-oiled (hahaha, good pun) machine, then I will have the flat tummy I have earned paid for. I'm getting this resolved before my six-month appointment, and I'm also working on ab muscles. I know my plastic surgeon loves my results and I know he would really love to use me as a poster child for the operation. I'll do my part for my follow-up pictures! Oh, and for me, haha.

Okay, that's the candy part - now for the sex part. This is really my favorite thing to talk about, anyway. :) Greg picked me up on the motorcycle again yesterday...he has figured out the way to my heart is that darn motorcycle! I just absolutely love riding on the back of it. Do I miss having my own motorcycle? Hmm, maybe. But he's such a good rider, I really think I'd rather just hang onto the back of him. Plus, this is one of those luxury cycles, I have my own seat back and platforms for my feet. I ride holding my cup of tea, haha.

He picked me up yesterday, and even though I planned all sorts of smart things like keeping him away from the kids for awhile (although I did talk to them both about Mr. W and about seeing Greg again), I invited him to dinner last night. He quickly accepted. When he walked in the front door last night, my 7yo came down the stairs and yelled, "YOU'RE BACK!!!!" and ran and gave him a giant hug. That was the cutest thing ever. And I really share the sentiment. Cautiously.

Part of my thinking in letting him be around the kids is that really, this is the crux of it all. I can chalk some of the other stuff (body issues) etc up to his cluelessness and my own emotional baggage related to my obesity and weight loss. I have to, in order to move on. But the kids...all three of 'em....well, they're not going anywhere. This was an early-and-often issue between Greg and I last time around. His kids are older, almost 16 and 18, and mine are younger and more multitudinous: 14, 12 and 7. A very, very, very young 7.

We have talked a lot about this since reconnecting. What has changed for him? He knows the kids aren't going anywhere. Further, I've told him my older two are opting to stay home more frequently rather than go with their dad. 

He says he was crazy to let me go and that my kids are part of me and he wants me, so he wants them. That he misses having a family around. His daughter, 16, is no longer living with him. We have discussed things like my kids' school district: before, this was a real issue for him because he didn't want to move out of his daughter's district and I will not move out of mine (although, truth be told, this was an area where I pretended to be willing to negotiate, but I was not, in fact, willing to negotiate. That old Julie is not in this relationship the second time around, haha.). We've talked a lot about the kids, so I guess it's really time for him to put his money where his mouth is if we're going to continue seeing each other. We already know that between *us* the chemistry is excellent, we have very similar goals and plans for the future, etc. Fundamentally, it's just a matter of whether or not is willing and able to embrace three kids and all that comes with it.

There's other issues, too, of course. I'm a fitness fiend now, don'tcha know. I want to be able to ride my bike, and run, and whatever. He is not a fitness fiend. There's the smoking: of which I have not seen any evidence of since we've reconnected. He has not smoked in front of me at all. If that continues, we're golden.  And honestly, it might be fun to have him ride, but for me, this is pretty solitary stuff - it didn't mean a lot one way or the other to ride with Mr. W.

You know what I am thinking, though...I need to get Greg interested in bicycle maintenance. Now *that* was a huge gift from Mr. W, he loves to tinker with bikes and mine runs like a top. Greg is also uber-handy and I will just need to convince him how fun bike maintenance is! Score!

More to come.

Sex and Candy. Because Really, Isn't That What Life is All About?

(and you thought it was the hokey-pokey. But I say, nope, sex and candy!)

Starting weight: 151.8
Freakout weight: 145
Today's weight: 148.4
Freakout factor: Meh. Hey, this jacket I'm wearing didn't close when I bought it, and now it does. Some things are different, anyway! And all this extra weight I've gained is in my boobs and butt, that can't be all bad, right?

Thank you for all your nice comments, and affirmation that when I am typing away, rattling my fool head off, you're at least enjoying reading it! I do have some exciting athletic tidbits to share, though, so I'll get those out of the way first, haha.

My MTB friend at work made a very generous offer yesterday. I really want to ride my bike to work, but I am a little whiny about it. See, I don't know the route from my skyscraper out of downtown to my comfort zone spot, the I-90 bridge.
Me at the I-90 bridge last summer with my MTB. I'm soooo much faster now!
It's scary. Or, at least, I've *made* it scary in my imagination. In reality, I've ridden so much on busy roads and such now, it will be no big deal. But it is a huge mental road block. Plus, there's a scary tunnel:

MTB said that when I want to ride home from work, he will ride with me up to the I-90 bridge, then I can continue across to home and he can divert back onto his normal route. No scary downtown streets, no scary tunnel to face alone! This is huge!! I would love to commute to work on my bike, and getting comfortable with the route will be the last hurdle to doing so.

MTB is a pretty smart guy, anyway. He had another idea for me, too, one that should have occurred to me before. It's hard to ride my bike *to* work. Most mornings, I have to get the kids off to school, and I walk my youngest to school before hopping on the bus. MTB said I should just throw my bike on the bus in the morning and then ride it home. PERFECT! I have much more time and flexibility in the afternoon. Plus, I won't need to worry about showering and changing at work, etc. 

We're doing this tomorrow. Eep! I've never put my bike on the bus racks before. I understand from MTB and another coworker that I am overdramatizing and overcomplicating the process, hahaha. We'll see. :) My boss - I have pulled together a full team of bicycling consultants for this one - says that there is actually a video on how to load your darn bike on the bus racks:

I would link to the video here but the silly blogger Youtube linker can't find the video through any of its regular means. But here it is. You'll see that it is a nerve-inducing prospect. So many levers to pull!!

Well, I'll update you on that process tomorrow, you can be certain. This is definitely a major milestone! Partially because, well, what are two of my concerns with regard to dating Greg again? 
  • Do not start smoking again.
  • Do not stop bike riding and exercising in general. But mostly bike riding. Perhaps running. :)
I'll end this here so we can all remember that I had one recent post that was pretty much exclusively about cycling. :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Freakin' Easter Bunny Chocolates

Starting weight: 151.8
Freakout weight: 145
Today's weight: 149.3
Freakout factor: Easter weekend eating fail :( darn you, Robin's Eggs!

I don't even like them that much.
Well, the only thing to celebrate about today's weigh-in is that I talked myself into getting on the scale. Hiss! And the damage probably won't even catch up to me for a few days, as all that sugar converts to fat. 

Ah, well. Press on. I did get on my bike, briefly, this weekend even though the kids were home (haha, I like how "riding a bike" is something to do when the kids are gone - how screwed up is that?). It was a very short ride, but it cleared my head, 'cause I gotta say, it was a rough weekend.

I broke up with Mr. W on Friday night. You saw that coming...he did not. Which is so unfortunate, but also illustrates how far apart we were. I had been telling him for over a month that I couldn't handle how *heavy* he is about everything. I am not a serious person, he is a very serious person. I told him it was depressing me, and that I *need* to be able to just have fun and be lighthearted with him. 

Ugh, I won't go into all the details here. I bawled, breaking up with him. On paper, he is so perfect. I wanted so badly to fall in love with him, but I did not and was not going to, either. He was blindsided. Even after we had barely spoken all week, even after I texted him and asked him to meet me at the lake to was sad. He has been texting me (ironic, considering this is what I've asked him all along to stop doing so much of) trying to get me to reconsider. It stinks. The coup de grace today was asking me to meet with him because "he wants to be able to defend my position." Sigh.

Deep sigh.

And in a "what is that woman thinking?" way, I saw Greg a couple more times:

Hopefully not. Jury's still out.
My favorite things that he's said are "I was wrong," "I blew it," "I'm sorry," and "forgive me." I also like "you were right," haha, but that's always one of my favorites. I'm not raking him over the coals. We'll give it another try and if it works, it works. I decided I'd rather try with him again and fail than stay with Mr. W, which I already knew was not right. 

I did get a jab in, though, when he asked if I was meeting Mr. W. "Yeah," I said, "What kind of monster breaks up with someone by text??"

The rest of the weekend was lovely, though. We had gorgeous weather, and I greatly enjoyed my son's lacrosse game on Saturday. Don't tell him, but I like watching lacrosse a lot more than football! So fast paced! He makes me swear my loyalty to football, though.

My Boo is #11 on the right.

Newport Knight (red) on the left.
Saturday night, my daughter graciously agreed to babysit my youngest while I took Blake to a professional (?) indoor lacrosse game - the Washington Stealth. It was a blast! Where has lacrosse been all my life?

I am soooo easily amused.
Sadly for Mr. W, lacrosse is what got him dumped, in the end. See, he was supposed to come to Saturday's professional game with us. And I started thinking that it wasn't fair to my son, or to Mr. W, to spend an evening together, knowing what I was going to do. And Mr. W had texted me that he had made his hotel reservation to go to an out of town lacrosse tournament with us in April. And I was thinking, we all need to know what's what so we can get on with our spring and summer plans.

I feel badly, but I feel like I made the right decision. I slept great this weekend. I'm going to jump right back into it, slowly, with Greg, which is perhaps a bit tasteless. Reckless, perhaps? Ah well. I've been the dumpee enough in my life, I might as well do what feels right as the dumper. Who knows if it will work between Greg and I, but I am happy to give it a shot. And I can handle it if it doesn't work out, too: fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice...

Coming back to add: Sometimes I feel badly when my WLS/running/cycling blog only talks about men and candy. :) So after re-reading this post, I was inspired to go "run" the stairs in my building. And you know what? I can't remember for sure, but I'll bet ya I just broke my old record! I did sixty-two flights in 16:27. I did a quick search through the blog and my facebook page, but can't find any references to my old times. It has been a loooong time since I climbed the stairs, but I guess I'm in pretty good shape these days because I knocked them out with only a brief leg cramp to complain about!