Friday, August 15, 2014

Robbed! These pictures crack me up

There is a woman who bike commutes in my neighborhood, and we have almost the same work schedule and we live and work very closely to each other. When I leave work to walk to my bike, there she goes, pedaling by. Sigh. This woman vexes me to no end.

I am faster than her on the flats, because I am fairly speedy on the flats. But she is faster than me on the hills, and because we have the same route and she is not particularly friendly, when I see her, I drag my feet a bit so our commutes don't bump into each other. Otherwise we'd be a tag team of passing, being passed, passing, being passed. No fun. 

Yesterday, I rode in to work and I was a bit late, so I saw her in the morning for the first time. I was already done riding, showered, dressed, and crossing the street to my building when she pedaled on by. I nearly threw a fit on the street: she gets to work later than me, she leaves earlier than me, she is faster than me, she is younger than me, she is prettier than me, she has the sculpted biker calves I crave, while I need to go buy new fall boots to fit over my monster calves. Seeing her pedal by rocked my apparently fragile commuting state of mind, haha!

So I know the angst this runner is feeling when she is about to celebrate her finish, only to be blown past by some fresh-faced dynamo who obviously still has a lot of gas in the tank and wears cool shades, to boot.

Oh, I feel your pain, sister!
I was telling a friend this morning that my family is probably about to revoke my biking privileges, anyway. School is about to start, and school + bike to work is a tough combination. I am wracking my brain trying to figure out how to make it work, ugh. I think I can do it. My goal is to extend my bike commuting season by at least a couple months this year: last year I exhausted myself and bailed early, really too early in the season. This year, if I can figure out a workaround for getting my youngest to school, I will be okay. It is a challenge, though.

My privileges will be revoked though, for a variety of reasons:

  • Football season is upon us, and my 13 yo does not trust me to bike home and get his butt to practice on time;
  • Soccer season is upon us, almost, and I will have to run my youngest to and from practices, too;
  • Back to school is always such a busy time with lots of commitments;
  • Frankly, my bike commuting gets on my family's nerves in a way that I do not fully understand. I think they are all jealous;
  • I have been very busy at work and leaving a bit later, which is adding to their inconvenience factor at home as I collapse post-ride unable to focus on dinner and bored summer children;
  • I wiped out on my bike yesterday, thus proving that it is in fact a death trap. It wasn't a bad wipeout: I hit a patch of fresh gravel unexpectedly and my tire sunk into it and I was thrown from the bike at a low speed. Road rash and some bruises. A sore shoulder where I clonked into my cross bar. One of the hazards of logging so many miles on the same stretch of road and path is that it becomes overly familiar, and that's what happened. You can ride it like a mind-wandering zombie if you aren't careful! And that's pretty much what happened, I took the little shortcut from bike path to roadway and as I pedaled onto what should be a potholed dirt driveway mess, my brain thought, "hey did they put gravel in these potholesssssssssss..." and BAM! thrown off my bike. Oops!
  • Today I rode my bike to work in the rain (yay, me!). Not rain, really, a warm drizzle. Dark and rainy enough that I am shopping for fenders for Jake and clear-lensed bike glasses for me today. It was rainy enough that G was surprised I was biking in, and he was a little disappointed, too, because rain = no motorcycle and no motorcycle = no carpool lane bridge unless he has his little woman by his side to commute with. I will not pretend that I won't be under some carpool-with-me-not-Jake pressure, there, too, as the weather changes.
Me, me, me. I need to think of me.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Bye Bye, Carema

I sold my first road bike yesterday: it was a bittersweet occasion! I'm glad for the extra space in the garage, and my new man Jake the Snake is plenty of bike for me. But the Carema was a great first bike and I really liked it a lot.

I was so excited when I bought it.

You never forget your first.
Well, it went to a good home. The woman who bought it fell in love immediately and didn't even haggle. Happily, for me, I sold it for only $22 less than I bought it. I did leave the rack on the back, though, which I had added. I would say, for sure, I got at least $22 enjoyment out of the bike in the 1600 or so miles I spent riding. :)

Still, being the emotional sap I am, I did get a little teary-eyed when it left. But I love my Jakey lots more than I ever did this bike, so it's cool.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Iron Lady

I wanna be an Iron Girl, I've decided. Well, I wanna be a half Iron Girl, anyway. Completing the full thing just seems inconceivable to me! We happened to be in Couer d' Alene last weekend the day before the Iron Man competition and I had event lust like I have never had before! I wanted to be there the next day to watch it watch it finish. I wanted to be in it!

That's a lofty goal, considering I ran a block or so with Reid the other day, and besides peeing my pants, thank you very much, old lady bladder, I was also winded and stiff. Hrumph. Maybe the Iron Man is outside my range. But it did at least really get me thinking about triathlons, which I know I would love. Except for the water temperature part...I'm not really much for cold water. But I could totally do it.

In the works, then, are early planning stages for some 2015 triathlons.

In happy biking news, I am still commuting regularly to work on my Jakey, who will hit his 200th tracked mile in the next couple days. I say tracked mile because shortly after I got Jake, my Strava app crapped out on me several times, which irritated the snot out of me, because it's how I track my cycling mileage. I am so glad I bought that bike! I just love it.

What is funny, though, is that immediately before I bought Jake, I had bought panniers for my road bike.

Black ones, though.
I had just gotten used to them, but I tell you...Jake is too pretty for panniers.

If you're this good looking, you don't need accessories.
I just can't bring myself to put a rack and panniers on this baby. Can't do it. I've been wearing my backpack, and it's time for me to get a real cycling backpack instead of my Old Navy kids' backpack. That's next on my shopping list!

Last week, it was a scorching 90-something degrees one afternoon, and I pretty well killed myself biking home. Ack! So hot. I did not have it in me to extend my route, and I also had to get off and push Jake up the last hellacious hill, so tired was I. It's going to be warm this week, too, so I am strategizing by drinking lots and lots of water all day and reminding myself that it's not a race, it's a bike ride. But I like to ride, and I like to ride fast! In so many regards, I'm just a fast girl. That's why I bought this shirt the other day, hahaha.

I never buy shirts with writing and I have bought two in the last month!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Who's a Pretty Baby? Aw, Who's a Pretty Baby?

I'm in love with a bike named Jake. Jake the Snake, to be precise (the brand of the bike is Kona, the model is "Jake the Snake," if you wonder why I keep calling him that, haha). On Saturday, I got up early and ventured down to Portland to Sellwood Cycle Repair. Alllllll the Kona dealers in Western Washington were sold out of the Jake the Snake in my size, but I found this one in Portland. Hmm, I should have called around to other Portland stores to see if I could get a bike bidding war going, but I was SO EXCiTED to finally find one in stock, I didn't even think of it.

After arriving at the store shortly after it opened, I met my new man. Love at first sight, I tell you! I took it for a couple long test rides and it was everything I had hoped. I had ridden the base model of the bike in Seattle, the "Jake," and it fit me perfectly and was a wonderful ride. "Jake the Snake" has upgraded shifting components, though, and after riding a different bike with the better parts, I knew it was worth the upgrade. "Jake" had the same shifting components as my road bike, and I knew I wanted better this time around. This bike also has disk brakes, which are more effective and will be especially so if I can talk myself into foul weather (or moderately foul) commuting.

A night on the town with my cool ride. Okay, I left Jake the Snake at home, haha.
Yesterday was my first commute home on the new bike and it was glorious! I wouldn't say it was any faster: Jake has wider, knobby tires that are slower than a road bike's skinny, slick tires. I got home in the same amount of time at a higher level of exertion. But the smile on my face was twice as big! Okay, for one, Jake is just a really cool bike. Look at that bright green! The wider tires make for a much nicer ride, not having to worry about Seattle's bad pavement through downtown and the International District (I think we are supposed to call it Chinatown now but I am not sure).

Jake's a real looker, too. My biking coworker friend had told me people would chat me up about the bike because it's so cool and so distinctive looking. Sure enough, two men on the way home separately rode along side me and talked about the bike. Do you race cyclocross? No, but I am looking into it, I said, truthfully!

This morning I told my friend that I will have to have a custom bike sticker made that says, "No pictures, please," haha. You know, you can actually make custom bike stickers. I crack myself up.

Seriously, I crack myself up. :)
I'll end the blog here because all I think about is my new bike, my new bike, my new bike. I had a fun time staying with Kim on the whirlwind trip - we got all dolled up like the fancy ladies we are and went to a friend of her's birthday party. That was fun - I have been feeling like a MAJOR FRUMP, so it was good for me to feel all pretty. It has even inspired me to go two whole work days without wearing yoga pants to work, hahahaha.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Road Trip!

I have a giant case of bike lust. Meet Jake. You remember Jake from Sixteen Candles, right?

I always knew you'd come for me, Jake.
Well, he was one "Jake crush," and here's the other. Meet Jake the Snake.

Yeah, you.
How much do I need a bright lime green bike named Jake the Snake? Uh, bad. Real bad.

This is a cyclocross bike, so maybe I will also have to take up cyclocross, an idea that has crossed my mind before...

But that's neither here nor there right now, because what Jake the Snake offers me, besides beauty and form, is disk brakes, a nice commute to work ride (even...gasp...year-round...something I should really give more thought if I don't want to spend the first three months of my bike commuting year whining about how out of shape I am from not riding for six months...)

Okay, there's only one Jake the Snake available in my size on the whole freaking west coast. And it's in Portland. It literally has had my name on it for over a week while I hem and haw about shelling out that kind of bank for a bike. I have drivers ed and football and soccer and, and, and to pay. But you know what? Mama wants a new bike!!

I told the bike shop this morning that I would see them at 10 a.m. tomorrow, if I could pull together all the details. Um, the details are filling up the gas tank and pulling some benjis out of the bank. I think I can do it!

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Instead of feeling like I have to have something profound to say or report before I blog, I will just feel free to share my little passing blog thoughts or happy moments. I fell into a rut of thinking I needed some athletic or weight loss milestone to blog about or it wouldn't be worth reading. But, then I remembered that it's myyyyyyy blog, hahaha! I have missed writing.

I wish I had taken pictures for the very happy bike commute home I had yesterday afternoon. I had a couple objectives for this ride: get a couple "trophies" on Strava, which I use to track both my overall mileage and my times on certain "segments" of the ride, usually hills or specific stretches of road. I have times going back to when I started riding in 2012, so it's always interesting to me to see my progress, or lack thereof. Really, with biking, just like running, it's hard to shave *substantial* times off your ride. I do see that my times compared to a year ago are consistently slower now, but only in a range of a handful of seconds on short segments to a couple of minutes on long segments.

My other objective was to enjoy the rest of the ride at my leisure. I have a "problem": when I ride, I am almost always riding for speed and exhaustion. It works, haha. I arrive home utterly spent, ready to lay in the front yard and alarm the neighbors. It doesn't have to be this way, but if you are riding, you might as well ride fast.*

*my "fast" is nowhere near tons of other women's "fast," as I can see on Strava. I'm no racer girl. I would say I can hold my own with the more than casual rider, but while I am fast on flats, I am agonizingly slow on hills, which vexes me to no end. If some biking pro said, "What do you want to learn?" my answer should be "how to change a flat tire," but instead it would be, "to go faster on hills!"

Back to my objectives. I identified three segments I wanted to beat my best time on, or at least get back in that neighborhood. I've been working on these segments when I ride home, but I'm consistently a few seconds off my best. Some would say I should stop obsessing about this, haha. I did not get my highest time on any of them, but I did get my 2nd best (1 second off best) and 3rd best (21 seconds off best) time on a couple. Eh, I'll continue working on it.

For the other objective, I concentrated on riding at a more leisurely pace. I don't really know why this mattered to me, haha. It was fun, though. It wasn't much different, because on the hills I am still agonizingly slow and it's hard to go much slower. On the flats, I really do like riding at my faster speed, it makes me feel like a little kid!

I made a couple stops, though. There is a "Little Free Library" in front of someone's house, a cute little free bookstand where I chose a book that I cannot recall right now. :) I didn't take a picture but you can click here to see their picture, it is very cute and did, indeed, have a container of dog treats, too.

Later, I stopped at a spot where three very ambitious girls were selling kool-aid, or giving it away if you could get their question right. Two of them were sisters, and they wanted you to guess which two. I failed it miserably, only getting it on my third try, and that was after they identified one of the sisters. It was pity kool-aid, really, at that point. And they were so cute I dug into my bag and found them a dollar. It was only then that one of the girls asked the littlest (about six years old, and clearly the group's spokeperson) if she had told me it was for charity? She had not. I wanted to dig in for more money, but by then it was time to go, haha.

They were raising for this bike ride, maybe put up to it by a parent, haha,
because it's a $1500 per rider commitment or you pay the difference where your fundraising lapses.
It was hot yesterday, about 84 degrees when I got home, so I was happy to have exhausted myself and happy to have taken it a little easy. As usual, Greg made his astute post-commute ride observation, "You're all sweaty." I wondered, again, if I would have the courtesy of being told I'm sweaty every time for the rest of my life, but he had made a wonderful chicken/avocado/bacon salad, so I decided it was well worth it, if so. ;)

As a parting shot, I will throw out some happy milestones: I have been consistently riding my bike home on sunny days (today will be my fourth ride of the week, it remains to be seen about tomorrow). I am riding up to my old house in order to make myself suffer with the longer hill that I used to battle when I lived there, and it stretches my mileage a bit. It has been so nice, I've worked a little bit of extra miles in on top of that, but I am battling against Reid's daycare closure so there's not a lot of time. I've ridden in excess of 185 miles this year, which isn't bad considering it's all been 12.5 mile or so commutes: that's a lot of days ridden home!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I Like to Ride My Bicycle, I Like to Ride My Bike

Spring has sprung!! I have been enjoying riding my bike home after work, and as the weather picks up I am committed to riding at least three days per week. It is glorious - really, there is not much more fun things to do than ride a bike. Seriously.

And since the scale has been breaking my heart and also making me hate my blog, today I am not posting a scale picture, but instead, a couple pictures that actually make me happy and proud of myself. :)

That's 76 miles I didn't log on a bus this month.

Okay, this is a goofball picture.
Haha, the picture of me on the bike - I stopped at the I-90 bridge overlook, roughly half way home on my commute. There was a little girl, probably six years old, on a tag-along thing on her dad's bike. And I asked her to take my picture: she was very sweet, "Oh, my dad knows how to do that, not me!" I told her I bet she could take a great picture for me. She said she didn't want to hurt my phone if I dropped it. By this point, I'm totally coercing her to take the picture, haha, as I explain that I have three kids and a super strong, super waterproof case on my phone! So she took the picture. I looked at it, and realized what a terrible photographer she was, capturing me with such a goofball expression on my face! ;) Ah well, it was a beautiful day and I am happy, happy, happy when I ride my bike. Except up hills. Then I'm pretty damn whiny and remarkably weak and slow. :)

So, I did buy a new scale for my bathroom and I have been using it. I am damn tired of posting about it, though, so I will commit to continuing to weigh myself weekly and track it on myfitnesspal, but right now I am done talking about it on the blog. Grr. >:)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday: Bye Week Edition

Well, I was stepping into the shower this morning and remembered it was Wednesday, and remembered I gave my daughter my new scale last week. And it was alllllllllllll they way upstairs, and I was already nekked and stepping into the shower...

And I thought, "screw it." :)

That old scale, well, I told my daughter A that she didn't need to use it, either. I think it's dying. And she has been doing soooooooooooooooo well on her eating plan for, gosh, I don't know, two or three weeks now? I figured she deserved a scale that had screaming bright numbers and an implied accuracy to those numbers. I'll pick up a new scale at Costco this weekend. It's too far for me to go visit hers, haha, and I think G also benefits from having a scale handy. ;)

It wasn't a great eating week, anyway. G and I went out of town for the weekend, and while I largely kept my eating in check, there was too much snacking and too much food, in general. I confess I am not eager to face that bad ole scale at all.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday: Working Mama Triathlon Edition

What bright future lies ahead!! Spring is coming, spring is coming!! This week I was able to spend some quality time outdoors: walking several times to get my youngest from daycare, one day even diverting to a different bus that dropped me farther from home, so I could stretch a .8 mile walk into a 3.0 mile walk on my way to get him. (Only to be reminded by staff that his dad had picked him up earlier in the afternoon, hahaha, thus making my trip a WASTED WALK! Not really, it was wonderful to be outside and I felt stronger and healthier and I am increasingly believing (remembering) that the key to my sanity is exercise and some alone time.)

I rode my bike home from work twice: once I already posted about and then again yesterday. Such good timing, because this morning is junky and rainy. I was very proud that I pushed myself to take advantage of the weather window (I work in construction in Seattle, you have no idea how many times a day I hear the phrase "weather window" this time of year, haha, as my project managers all scramble to get their construction contracts in place in time to build this summer.)

Yesterday's ride was glorious, too, although it was 7 degrees cooler than my last ride (50 degrees versus 57) and I learned that seven degrees matters. I was chilled for the first maybe quarter of the ride before my body warmed up. And then I was just GREAT, even across the long Lake Washington bridge, which I had feared would be windy, but really wasn't.

Riding all the way home, I cracked myself up, thinking about what I called my "Working Mama Triathlon" that I would do that afternoon:

Biking (11 miles)

Chasing (split: 0.8 mile walk there followed by
0.8 mile very spirited game of "Rock Soccer" home.)
Rock Soccer is freaking exhausting. He kicks the rock, I chase it.

My favorite: Competitive Wine Soaking. 

The scale continues to be an enemy this week, but I am resigned to the fact that I need to make some unwanted changes in order to see the results I want. This week, I would say my eating was pretty good - I am getting lots of protein and not terribly many carbs. Not too many sweets, either.

The failing this week? Wine. Way too much wine! I have my reasons: G is home with an injured knee, awaiting *another* knee surgery (other knee this time). Maybe it's my shortcoming, maybe it's his, but I find house-not-quite-husbands stressful to have around. I have given a great deal of thought to this, and I am pretty sure it's my shortcoming, not his, haha. Maybe I'll delve into this later. :)

Also, G's mom stayed with us for a couple days last week. Again, my shortcoming, not hers. This was a great visit, just a couple nights in duration. I have never had house guests before, never had family that lived out of town (that I am close to) and for whatever reason, this is just stressful to me.

I think I'm a head case. :) I also continue to feel like I sometimes struggle with my first grown-up relationship, wherein I attempt to have everything my way all the time and...I am sometimes denied. WHA??

Anyway, I have never been much of a drinker but I feel myself falling into this "glass or two a night" trap that I think affected the scale this week. G has a drink or two in the evening, it is easy to join him, especially when I am feeling stressed.

Hell, I live in Washington, I may have to take up pot to relax. ;)

Chill, baby. Bike season is here.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday: Beautiful Spring Day Edition

Oh my goodness, it couldn't have been more beautiful in Seattle yesterday! (Unless maybe it's today!) It was just glorious outside, so much so that look who I loaded onto the bus bright and early in the morning to ride home for the first time yesterday afternoon:

Aw, baby, I've missed you soooooooooo much.
Well, I did get on that scale yesterday morning even though, again, it was the last thing in the world I wanted to do. I thought about skipping it, actually. Tuesday night had just SUCKED and I had fallen asleep feeling very sorry for myself, then I had lain awake from, oh, about 1:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m., still feeling sorry for myself. So getting on the scale was not high on the list of ways I wanted to make myself feel good on Wednesday morning! But I did it anyway. My logic was, it wasn't going to be any more fun on Thursday morning, haha.

Whatever. Maybe this is just what I weigh.
Do you just hate love how BRIGHT those numbers are on the scale indication? Your weight, seared into your retinas at 5:00 a.m. Lovely. :)

But now I'm going to stop talking about my sucky week and my sucky weight and I'm going to say that yesterday I rode my bike home and it was heavenly. Beyond heavenly, it was just magical. How on earth can bike riding be SO FUN?? I just love it. I may not love it in a wow, it's 42 degrees outside and pouring down rain, I think I will go ride my bike home from work in the dark way, but I absolutely LOVE it in a WOW, IT'S FIFTY-SEVEN DEGREES AND GORGEOUS OUTSIDE AND I AM COUNTING DOWN THE HOURS UNTIL I CAN BLOW THIS POPSICLE STAND AND GET OUT ON MY BIKE way!

Sure, it's a bit of a hassle. I simply do not have time to ride my bike to work in the morning. I maybe rather prefer the ride to work over the ride home (not sure on this one as they both have their merits!). You gotta get your bike to the bus stop (wha, put on all the cycling shoes and helmet and such for a few block ride??) and then you gotta load the bike on the bus. Pause for a long dramatic moment as your forehead breaks out into a light sweat as mine does...will there be space on the bike racks? Will it be easy access front space, or oh ufck, it's the hard back space(s)? Will cars honk? (Ok, cars don't usually honk, but mightn't they, one day?

So much packing involved. Yesterday was a very last minute decision to ride my bike. G wasn't going to work, it was supposed to be a very sunny day, and I needed to lift my spirits. Why not? My bike was not prepared, though, and neither was I. Bike shoes needed to be located, helmet dug out from a moving box in the garage. Tire pressure added. Stuff. What to bring? What not to bring?

Well, I made it, anyway. I forgot a water bottle, and my lunch, but I survived. :) And I FLEW out of the office at the end of the day and did a complicated strip tease in the parking garage, changing shoes and out of pants and, and, and...

(See, last year, I would have have walked out the office in my bike shorts and shoes, etc. But this year, I was just really happy that my bike shorts still fit - a relative term, I'll admit - so those pants went back on over the shorts to get me out of the building without undue scrutiny by my peers, haha.)

The ride home was glorious. I would have stopped and taken a picture to illustrate, if I hadn't been so happy just enjoying myself. Sure, the hills were hard. My legs were weak and weary. I didn't feel as much of the POWER as I felt riding late last summer, but hopefully that will come back. :)

And hey, I was riding through the most perilous part of my commute, the International District near the bus tunnel, a street fraught with buses and train tracks and pedestrians and cars and turn lanes and taxis and bums and OH MY GOODNESS that one block stretch of road is just STRESSFUL. And at the height of it, I kid you not, a fan man yelled out, "Go, Julie, go!" as I passed by.

I know a lot of people downtown, I would say, having worked here for half my life. And I will probably not ever figure out who yelled out to me at that busy train station bus stop unless they mention it in passing. But on a perfect sunny day, when I was so super happy to be back on my bike...well, heck, that just made my day.

Go, Julie, go!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday: What-EVER Edition

It was actually a good week. My eating, while not beyond reproach, has been good. And on Tuesday morning, I was feeling optimistic about what the scale would show today. But then I started my period.

What-EVER. :) I will just be glad that I can honestly say I am quite satisfied with my eating this week.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday: My Brand New, Smashed to Bits Scale

Well, I bought a new scale for the master bathroom this week, not wanting to deprive my daughter nor G of the sheer joy it is to step on a scale once in awhile. Plus, my daughter's bathroom is so much nicer than mine, and when I weighed in her bathroom, I used her shower. Which made me feel sorry for myself with my teeny tiny shower stall. Which made me resent my 15 year old daughter for having such a luxurious space to herself. Which made me beat her. Oops, okay, that part didn't happen! But I did decide that perhaps downstairs bathroom people should stay out of the more plush upstairs bathrooms unless they planned to either wallow in grief for their tiny shower stall, or drag themselves all the way up the stairs to take a shower every morning. First world problems, I know!

So. New scale. Let me start by saying that the morning started off rough, as sleeping with G can be like sleeping with a newborn baby. He is up on the hour, every hour, it seemed, or at least last night he was. Most nights, it seems, although I have become better at cultivating my ability to sleep through it, haha. But at 1 a.m. he bashed his leg on the footboard of the bed for oh, I don't know, the 1000th time this week, but THIS time it surprised him and he screamed loud enough to wake me out of a dead sleep.

Plus the night before, I had a horrific nightmare about a spider, and I went to sleep afraid that I would dream about it again. What did this nightmare spider do? It existed. That's all it needed to do. In my dream, I ran across it in a crowded corner of a garage (not ours, thank goodness, or I'd be afraid it was a premonition). It was HUGE. With a fat, round purple body. In my dream, I was so terrified of it, I couldn't move. And it was trying to get away from me, but in doing so, it CAME TOWARD ME. In my dream, I was so scared I was even unable to scream, or move. It finally ran down a wall and its spell was broken and I was able to run across the garage. But horrifically, I could still see it on the wall from across the garage, it was so huge. 

In my dreams, I can never scream. Most of my nightmares center upon how utterly without voice I am, at a time I need to be able to scream. I hope, should the awful need arise in real life, I could manage more than the raspy squeaks I eek out in my dreams. I pray I never have to find out. :)

Well, two days later you can see how badly that spider dream terrified me, but it was no match for the horror I found waiting for me on the new scale:

Haha, I wish. I guess that's the New Scale Motivational Sticker.
Before I share my shame, let me make my excuses. I was so EXHAUSTED this morning, I utterly and truly forgot it was Weigh-In Wednesday until I was happily in the shower, minding my own business. And you know I have a weighing routine on Wednesdays: pee, weigh, shower. Never the three shall be done out of order.

Except today. I decided that I was really just postponing the inevitable if I didn't weigh in. Things are not going well and me and my bloated body know it. G and I rode the motorcycle to work yesterday for the first time in a long while, and when I put on my pants after the long season of not riding, I thought, "Okay, you've got maybe a couple more rides at this rate before you have to go buy new motorcycle pants." The pants that fit me from the time G and I first met (they were his son's quad-riding pants) do not so much fit me right now. I couldn't button them (to stay buttoned) although I could zip them. It would be mortifyingly embarrassing to have to buy new motorcycle pants, I'm telling you. And what a waste of money!

I can't feel my ribs and hips the way I've gotten so accustomed to doing, anymore. My breasts feel huge and round and heavy. My chest, or d├ęcolletage, feels puffy and padded. I am miserable in my own body.

Another excuse is that I had some major dental work on Thursday, and spent much of the next several days on pain pills, which wreak havoc on my digestion, despite all my best efforts. But I remedied that situation on Sunday - although I still took some pain pills up through last night, I have been really suffering. :( So, constipation is an issue, but it's not *the* issue.

Finally, who's to say the new scale isn't more accurate than the old one? I may replace the one in my daughter's bathroom, too, it's so dramatically different. How old is that old scale, I wonder?

And the new scale wasn't going to pull any punches, either. Look how bright those numbers are! They seared themselves in my eyes. Blech. 

Oh sure, *now* you'll orient the pictures in the right direction.

I can say all the things I need to say, but I keep saying them without doing the right things. So for right now I'm just gonna shut my g*d mouth. That's the biggest thing I need to do to take off the weight anyway, hahaha.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday: Stoopidhead Scale Edition

How fun it is for me to post Weigh-In Wednesday pictures week after week, as I bounce up and down the full gamut of the 160s! It has become one of my very most favorite things to do, and talk about. Not.

I do believe, if nothing else, that Weigh-In Wednesday has done a lot to get my weight in check (argh, and even that's all relative), although I'm clearly not losing. Things had gotten ugly with the scale and my scale avoidance, and my I've ruined it all now, I might as well eat whatever I want philosophy. Nice to know that even after all the weight gain, surgeries and weight loss, I'm still my same old food-ufcked twisted self underneath it all. Insert deeeeeep self-pitying sigh.

I'm so over it.

Now, at least, I'm hoisting my ass onto that scale every Wednesday without letting myself off the hook. I started back up with and yesterday's eating was 1248 calories. This is actually a lot, considering I had only protein shakes during the day! But what I hate?? HATE??? My Fitness Pal says "if you ate like this every day, in five weeks you would weigh 163 pounds."

I simply do not need many calories to operate this machine. I hate that the reality is that 1200 calories don't go very far, and if I eat that, or certainly any more than that, I gain weight.


Can you tell how cranky I am about this this morning? Haha. Yesterday I had three Muscle Milk Light protein shakes from Costco (which are lactose free and thus did not give me the nausea, gas and bloating that the Costco Premier Brand shakes had started doing to me so badly). Dinner was not a wise selection, as when I learned that Greg was working surprise OT until midnight, we switched from the planned grilled salmon and broccoli to canned chili over Fritos with lettuce and melted cheese. Haha! Hello, children, Mommy's home! Did you have doubts that Greg is not the lynch pin to all this wonderful eating and delicious meals? Nope, when he's gone, the old mommy resurfaces! ;)

Well, in my defense, there was a reason. We had the salmon all defrosted and a yummy meal planned, and G was looking forward to it, too. And yesterday, running for the bus, which I very nearly missed AGAIN, I hurt something in my back, or hip, or thigh, or something. I did this last week, too, but yesterday my body SCREAMED out in protest. Really super painful. My objectives last night upon arriving home were to take a hot epsom salt bath and find the right combination of drugs and alcohol to make my body stop killing me. ;)

Frito taco salad was a perfect meal to direct my 12yo budding chef to prepare without assistance, in other words. :)

I need to go see a physical therapist about whatever is going on. I fear that the 30-day ab challenge situps have done horrifying things to my lower back and spinal fusion. This is an awful nerve pain, I have something way tweaked and I'm a little scared. :( When I had that spinal fusion, they said it's an excellent 10-year remedy to all the pain, and December 2014 is ten years. :'( I truly believe that this is just aggravated from the sit-ups, which I will surely not be doing any more of. I have been largely pain-free for so long, I am not toooooo worried about returning to the old pre-fusion days of back pain so bad I didn't care if I lived or died. But I am a teensy bit scared.

Anyway. This is day two of protein shakes during the day (which are vile, but better than the Premier brand for me). I am delighted to have found something that I can use to kick-start myself, as I think I need a mental reset with regard to eating, eating, eating...always seem to be eating these days. Yesterday, I thought I would starve. to. death but today I am feeling good about taking control.

Onward and upward. Err, downward. You know what I mean. :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday: On-Time Edition!

Hey - it's Wednesday and I weighed in, as usual, but I'm actually posting it on Wednesday! Or that is my intention as I start out, haha.

The scale pleased me this morning.
Weigh-in day got off to a lurching start as I remembered the event as I was stepping into the shower. Because I am superstitious and ridiculous, I only like to weigh in before I take a shower. God only knows how much water weight that adds on in the shower! So I turned off the shower, left the bathroom to retrieve my phone, came back in to hop on the scale. Which was nowhere to be found in my tiny downstairs bathroom.

I had a pretty good idea who may have taken the scale, so I grabbed my camera/phone and ventured upstairs to my sleeping 15-year-old's room. Sure enough, there was the scale in a corner of her bathroom! I decided to leave it there, as it is probably good for her to have access to it, as well. I just took my picture there - her bathroom floor is so much nicer than mine, don't you think?

So, Alli and I are on Day 9 of the 30-day ab challenge. I was dragged into participating, but I'm glad. I am a little concerned that since embarking on this great adventure, my low back spinal fusion has been very sore. Like sore when I go to bed, sore when I wake up. Yesterday was a rest day, so when I do today's challenge I will try to use really great posture. When I was briefly lifting weights, I had this same sort of problem, but it was mid-back above the fusion. I expect that was probably due to poor posture while lifting, and my back is just not at all forgiving about that sort of thing. I am thinking, as I sit here in pain first thing in the morning, that probably sit-ups and crunches are not going to be a great thing for me to be doing. However the ab challenge also includes Leg Lifts! and Planks! so I will modify as necessary to continue doing the challenge with Alli.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday: Very Belated Edition

Oops, I did weigh in last Wednesday, but have been super, super busy and didn't have time to post it here. Just holding steady, I guess!

I do not understand the random photo orientation on these pictures!
Well, I am not happy with the numbers but I am not unhappy, either, I suppose. This week I did do my mini-workout of walking my youngest to and/or from school several times. I also pooped out on it several times. :) It was COLD here last week! Also, my oldest made plans for my limited evening hours on at least one occasion, demanding to be taken grocery shopping or else she'd wage war on me. Teenage, hormonal war, ugh. I'll pick the unplanned trip to the grocery store every time, haha.

Last week was busy with, among other things, the parade to end all parades! The city was *OVERRUN* with Seahawks fans, and I was happy to be out in the incredibly huge throngs of crowds along with everyone else. Crazy! They say 750,000 people or more crowded onto the 4th Avenue to cheer the Seahawks for their Super Bowl win. I wouldn't doubt the estimated numbers, I have never seen anything like it. I have some pictures, but the one I wanted to post here was the one that reminded me that even though I am struggling with my weight, I don't need to beat myself senseless about it, either. This is a nice picture of me and my coworker, whom you may remember I call my Sugar Daddy*.

Greg says Don and I make a nice looking couple, haha.
*Well, Sugar Daddy is tongue in cheek, as when I started working with him, he and his longtime partner, Doug, owned two beautiful homes in Seattle, both of which were for sale. They had decided to live in whichever one didn't sell first. I was very recently a single mom, and I lobbied hard for him to give me one of the properties, which he did not. Even though I offered him the ready-made family his mom had always longed for from him, haha. Anyway, Don doesn't deliver often on his Sugar Daddy role, but he does occasionally treat me to lunch or SBUX. :)

Aw, I take some of my favorite pictures with Don.
A trip down memory lane: this was from August 2012.

Alright, more later! My oldest turns fifteen today, it's a happy occasion!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday: Thursday Edition

This is actually from yesterday, but it was a very technologically challenging day for me and I wasn't able to post here. It started out bad: I noticed that the scale, when I stepped on it, was looking a little dim. I was also taking the picture in my new bathroom at the new house, and so when I moved the scale to try for better lighting - the weight was significantly different. Uh-oh. I tried a few locations and still the number fluctuated within 5 pounds or so.

So I changed the batteries on the scale, thinking this might help a bit. Not really. Maybe the bathroom floor is uneven. It is on the ground floor of a daylight rambler, so the floor is concrete, I'm sure. I moved the scale to a place that seems nice and level, and it gave me the same weight several times in a row, so I decided that's just the weight we'll go with, and I'll weigh in the same spot each time.

I went to take a picture and my iPhone camera was full and wouldn't take any pictures. Isht. People, I am doing all this in the morning before I take my shower (and after I go pee, haha)! I gotta get ready! Plus I have three kids to get ready! Ok, deleted some pictures. Snapped a couple pictures from the phone. The numbers are still dim - I wonder if this old scale is giving up the ghost? Now that we're in a bigger house with more bathrooms, maybe I'll pick up another scale. Everyone in the house should have the same opportunity for the joy that is stepping on the scale in the morning, bah.

Who even knows if this is accurate.
I wouldn't have been surprised to see the number skyrocket from last week. I just feel *fat.* Really bulky. Very unhappy with my body. Blech. An effect of weight gain after the tummy tuck is that my tummy doesn't (didn't, anyway) have fat cells to fill up, so fat goes to other parts of your body. Specifically for me, boobs, thighs and arms. I feel like the Michelin tire man. Blargh!

On a good note, we are all moved into the new place and we all love it! It will take some time to get settled in, but we have actually made wonderful progress and in some places, it is looking quite homey. To celebrate a nice new house, we are doing things like taking our shoes off at the door, the kids are making their beds in the morning, etc. No food or drink in bedrooms. Eating at the table only. This is largely due to the fact that the old house was all hardwood and this house is all nice clean carpet. Greg is ecstatic about that, he doesn't like hardwoods. I prefer hardwoods over carpet, myself. But the move was a great time to make some new habits and keep the house looking nice.

Hey - on another good note, I got back gobs of money from the old house: last month's rent, full month's security deposit, plus I sold my w/d to the new landlord. I used this money and rolled it right into PAYING OFF MY TUMMY TUCK! Yay! This is a big win, as it's no fun having credit card debt rolling around sucking up money and accumulating interest.

I have a couple fitnessy plans in the works, though neither of them are particularly groundbreaking. I'm going to cancel the Y membership, since we are rarely using it. Greg and his f'ing family cooked formal dinners really screw with doing anything else in the evening outside the home, I will admit. :) When it was just me and the kids, we ate out I would guess 3-4 times a week. When I made dinner at home, it was lots of prepared foods. We do neither with Greg, haha.  There are advantages and disadvantages to this, for sure. I have a nice gym in my building at work and dues are less than $30. Sabrina and I are going to join, and I'm just going to figure out a way to get up there, even for 20 minutes at a time. I dunno.

I'll at least get a little walk in every day as we're about a mile away from Reid's daycare. I'm planning to have Greg drop me off there and Reid and I will walk home. When there's time, I'll go home with Greg and walk to and from the daycare so I'm picking up a little more time. The kids (and dinner, dinner, don't forget thinking about and planning and preparing dinner) fill up this time, though, as lacrosse starts next week and my daughter's extra-curricular's require a fair bit of ferrying around after work, too.

Sheesh, I just made myself tired writing this out. I miss my bike.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday: In Which I Admit Everything I Do is Wrong

I would prefer that this be a "Wordless Wednesday" post.

That says 168.3.
I couldn't get the light right and felt it was self-torture to keep trying.

But, here I am, ready to blather and make excuses. I am stress eating, I think. I feel so frigging *hungry* all the time! This cannot be true. I am battling old demons. The stress of the move, maybe, the stress of...I don't know. I know I have a lot going on, but I don't feel like anything is particularly challenging or out of control right now. I do know that I feel edgy, edgy, edgy. It is so CLAUSTROPHOBIC living out of boxes, living around boxes, thinking about packing constantly, etc.

I'm a totally claustrophobic person, anyway, and I've been feeling it lately. I have a new coworker who is very chatty in the morning and I feel like she is laying in wait for me at our little pod when I come in in the morning. I have noticed I am typically in a bad mood before I get to my desk each day, haha, which is highly unusual for me. I do not like to speak in the morning. :) Call me a bad employee, I don't give a isht. I need time to warm up.

We are up to our eyebrows in boxes at home, in a house that was already cramped and cluttered with too much stuff. I can barely breathe when I'm home...I cannot wait to get moved in to the new place. Soooon. Saturday AM bright and early, we are outta here!

I'm sorry, it's a terrible divorced mom thing to say, but sometimes I miss our days of 50/50 custody. Lots of times I feel like the old woman who lived in a shoe, with so many children she didn't know what to do. Having the kids home most of the time feels good and right, but there are times when I think about how I would cry out of loneliness when the kids were gone and I was home alone in that big, empty house.

A side note: as a formerly single woman with children, I *hated* to be told by friends that "Oh, what I wouldn't do for some time alone!" etc. I would never wittingly say this to a lonely single person. But as a not-single mother of three, I have to say, sometimes I would kill for some time alone. :) I just wouldn't tell any lonely single person that, as I know how awful it can feel. But still. I am having to draw on distant memories to relish those days of what am I going to do, I am soooooooo alone.

Now I always know what I'm going to do, I am going to be surrounded by lots of people in a crowded, box-laden home. 

Saturday. Soon. We will be ready. But in the meantime, I eat. I'm eating well, lots of veggies and hard-boiled eggs and chicken breast, etc. But the Seahawks playoff game was a root beer float, Doritos, baked beans, potato salad and hot dog. A Klondike bar. Insatiable appetite these days.

I am a little person. I don't even have to eat much food to gain weight, it simply does not take a lot of fuel to run my engine. It is not fair. It is what it is.

I think I need to get back to blogging. I am forcing myself on that ufcking scale every week, but I am starting to avoid the blog for it's hatefulness of putting up my scale picture. I'm not running, I'm not cycling, I'm not losing weight, ugh, I feel like I am without a theme. Adrift.

But I was thinking about it this morning: first and foremost, this blog was about my gastric sleeve surgery. I am putting my head in the sand by not acknowledging that the challenges I face are part of that life-changing surgery. It wasn't a magic wand. It wasn't a quick fix or a cheat. I lost my weight and I still have to put in the work to be where I want to be. And I'm not.

I'm more than the weight loss surgery, but all these struggles are part of the experience. I wonder if I let myself feel like it's part of the journey and not my failure, if my mindset will change. As usual, this is just a very, very rough time of the year for me, and as usual, I wonder if moving away from Seattle to a sunnier climate would improve things.

Well, I am thinking, thinking, thinking. I think the new place will do marvelous things for the whole family. Space. Amenities. Comfort. Getting our belongings out of these friggin' boxes.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday: Dear Scale, You Suck

Ah, frustration. I just cannot seem to do this right, and I'm not sure why. On Saturday, 1/11, the three year anniversary of my weight loss surgery, I was feeling upbeat and happy about my progress. I took a picture of the scale, with hopeful confidence that this Wednesday's weigh in would win big on the scale:

You go, girl!
I've been back to weighing myself every day, because I decided these 20+ pounds I accumulated from my lowest weight did not magically appear overnight, but were instead a result of my head in the sand scale avoidance. So I knew that the numbers were creeping up, even though I do not consider it fair or accurate. Alright, I suppose it's accurate, at least, haha.

Dear Scale, You Suck.
Well, I am on my period, anyway. It's really not faaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrr. And I have to tell you, in a factual here's an effect of weight loss surgery that you may benefit from hearing about way, I continue to have a real problem with constipation. Is this from the sleeve? From my gallbladder removal (I don't think so as I believe the opposite problem is more common)? Just my lucky draw of old woman aging symptoms? I dunno. At any rate, I realize I have been saying for three years "I need to find a way to address this" and I really do. I eat gobs of fresh fruit and veggies. I am super well-hydrated. Ah well. I feel, in all honesty, this is contributory problem to the number on the scale this week.


Big developments on the home front, as G and the kids and me have found a new home. We are all super excited. It's in the neighborhood: this will be my FOURTH address in a one mile radius following my divorce, haha. I tell you, when those kids grow up and throw in my face that I didn't do everything I could for them, I will throw back FOUR ADDRESSES IN A ONE MILE RADIUS SO YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO CHANGE SCHOOLS!

So there.

Anyway, it's a fantastic home with a commensurate rental rate. We will have gobs more space and there are tons of man-cave features for G that have him practically singing with joy in anticipation. My daughter will have her own private luxury bathroom. My sons have a wooded ravine adjacent to the back yard to lose themselves in. The whole family is humming with anticipation and pleasure at the thought of our new home.

For me, it has kitchen cabinets. And counter space. Whoa. I never understood what a luxury this was until I lived the last four years without them (the teeny tiny condo we lived in had a worse kitchen than this one, but not by much).

The move date is a bit ambiguous right now, it will be as early as next weekend or as late as the end of February. We're just trying to hash things out between the two places, as they're doing a bit of work for us on the new place before we move in. It's all very exciting. And stressful. I have been up since 2:30 a.m., suddenly waking with moving organization thoughts and such that kept me up for the rest of the night. I was in good company, though, as when I woke up G said he was laying awake since 1:00 a.m. with the same thoughts, haha. We're both in peak form today, in other words.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday ain't setting the world on fire, but at least it's down-ish.

I will say I'm eating lots better, and lots of veggies. Recently, I have been eating baby spinach salads with only a few chopped strawberries, a diced hard-boiled egg and this, the yummiest non-dressing dressing ever:

Oh, it's so very, very good.
I'm (mostly) tracking my food, too. All in all, I would say I'm heading in a very good direction. And it's amazing how quickly my body responds to eating well: I have been feeling pretty darn good lately.

Which is good, since my personal life is a roller-coaster ride right now! Ups and downs, highs and lows. More on that later, but I wanted to get this posted while it was still Wednesday...

Friday, January 3, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday, Ketchup Edition

The holidays and a bout with a very bad cold kept me from posting my Wednesday weigh-ins for the last couple weeks. But I did force myself onto the scale on Christmas, Merry F'ing Christmas to me, as I nearly picked up the scale and threw it out the window:

Oops, this is not going well.

Well, I did buckle down and clean up my eating quite a bit. It's all these sweets, I tell you. I don't honestly think my eating had been that bad in the week prior, I think that all the SUGAR I had been eating between Thanksgiving and Christmas finally translated on the scale as fat. 

Greg and I both got very ill right after Christmas. My New Year's Day weigh in was a tad better, but was also tainted, I knew, by the cough syrup with codeine that I had been guzzling since Saturday. I hadn't pooped in days and days! I felt like a stuffed sausage, so constipated and miserable. 

I knew I had done better than this, I just need to give birth to that food baby.
Yesterday, I took steps to rectify the situation, so I allowed myself an updated weigh-in today, which I feel better reflects reality. 

Still up, but getting better.
I'll just post this now and get to work on my Why 2014 is FreeJulie's Year post that I'd rather talk about, haha. I am glad that I'm at least holding myself accountable by getting on that scale - I have to say, getting on a scale with a camera on Christmas morning, knowing it was going to be up, up, up...well, that takes grit.