Friday, February 20, 2009


It is so quiet at the office right seems like no one is here. It's almost always quiet at the office anyways but it's even more like a library today.

I'm debating on running at lunch or not. It was windy yesterday and is windy again today...although I did go yesterday the temps were warmer so the wind wasn't so bad but today the temps are at least 15 degrees colder. (And one of two times I've gone running and regretted it was when it was windy and cold outside. But it's not as cold today as it was that day.) But the sun is shining and it would be nice to be out in the sun. Decisions, decisions. Or perhaps I'll do yoga at muscles feel like they could use a nice stretch. Can you tell I can't make up my mind at all??

For an update on not counting...I'm doing pretty well. I'm still rushing through my meals at times (particularly when I eat with Stephen--he's a fast eater and I think that makes me speed up). I have found myself counting up calories in my head a few times but I make myself stop, with the exception of the healthy muffins I made last night. I added those calories up to get a rough idea of how many calories were in each muffin.

My weekend looks pretty open...we will be going to see "Confessions of a Shopaholic" at some point. We also have reservations tomorrow night at a fancy pants restaurant near our apartment that we haven't tried yet. This week is DC's Restaurant Week which means for lunch you can get a 3 course prix fix menu for $20.09/person and for dinner a 3 course menu for $35.09/person. It's a great opportunity to try some of the more expensive and famous restaurants in DC for a reasonable price. We're going to Willow. Here's the dinner menu with all my choices!! Stephen already knows what he's going to get (Ham & Bean Soup, Steak, and Toffee Pudding) but I can't decide!! I suppose it depends on what I feel like eating tomorrow night.

Hmmm, I can't decide about a lot of things, can I? Whether to run, what to eat for dinner, whether to head home early since no one's at work...

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Here is the dress that I'd like to wear on our cruise in September. It's hard to see what it looks like when it's just hanging there but it really is a fantastic dress.

To answer questions I've gotten in the comments lately...

The not weighing something new I'm trying with the not counting. I get too tied up with what those numbers are...I can feel awesome and be eating healthy, running, working out, etc. but if I step on that scale and it says I've gained or maintained my mood does a 180. And that's ridiculous...those numbers shouldn't control my moods or emotions.

Juice, I get my hair cut and colored at the Paul Mitchell School in Tysons Corner mall (lower level near Bloomingdales). It's definitely inexpensive but the stylists can be a little slow (since they're still students). Overall, though, for the price, it can't be beat!! I started going there 18 months ago when I got tired of paying $65 for a haircut and feeling like my stylist wasn't listening to me...and trust me, I tried so many different places and stylists with the same experience. If you have more questions about the Paul Mitchell school let me know...I'll be happy to answer them.

And finally, here are my interview questions and answers from Heather!! (Please ignore that some of the photos are in the wrong direction...I can't get them to flip and they're not on my camera anymore.)

Q1. You have mentioned wanting to go to grad school...what type of graduate program are you interested in and why?

I want to get my Masters in Business Administration. I've always wanted to get an advanced degree and with an MBA I could move from industry to industry easier than with a Masters in Finance or something similar.

Q2. If you were a kitchen appliance what would you be and why?

I would be a coffeemaker because I associate my coffeemaker with warming me up and perking me up...two effects I like to have on people.

Q3. If you were sent to a deserted island and could only have three things from home what would they be?

First of all, my Chapstick or Burt's Bees lip balm. I can't stand the feeling of my lips being dry so I'm constantly applying Chapstick. Secondly, books. Love em and I could be on that island for a while. Third, I'd want to bring something else comforting and homey but the practical side of me would win out and I'd take a knife or string or something more useful than a picture.

Or I could be like Dwight on "The Office" and take a hallowed out book with matches, protein bars, etc.

Q4. What would people be surprised to learn about you?

That honestly, I don't know what I want to do with my career. I'm interested in so many different things and can't decide what to pursue (hence, why being able to move around easily with an MBA would be beneficial). I think people would be surprised by this because I generally seem very determined and act like I've got a life plan in place that I'm following.

Q5. What is your favorite day of the week and why?

Saturday, because it's the weekend but it's not Sunday when you're dreading going back to work. Although, "Playing Hooky" days in the middle of the week are awesome too.

If you want to be interviewed:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Counting Decision

First of all, I was planning on posting my answers to the interview questions Heather asked me weeks ago but something is wrong with the pictures on my thumb drive...I'll problem shoot this evening and try again tomorrow. :(

My weekend was great! Having a 3 day weekend was fantastic but I was actually contemplating staying home today...seems like the more time I get away from work, the more time I want. We saw "The International" which is a pretty good thriller movie. We're waiting until next weekend to see "Confessions of a Shopaholic"...we have two free movie tickets but we can't use the coupon the first weekend a movie opens so we decided to wait until next weekend for Shopaholic and use the free tickets coupon. We did some shopping at the outlet malls...I did get some new tops at Ann Taylor but nothing too exciting.

My debit card got a ton of use this weekend...long story short, Stephen's account was cancelled without his knowledge on Friday so he couldn't use his debit card (there was suspected fraud/ID theft). I paid for everything all weekend and we kept a tally of what he owes me. No big deal but you should have seen all the receipts! It was ridiculous!!

I also decided something monumental this weekend...I'm done counting calories/points/grams of carbs, fat, protein/all of that for now. I've spent most of the last 16 years of my life in two modes: either on a diet or off a diet. There was never a happy medium of eating healthy but still enjoying food. Mentally, I'm tired of adding up calories in my head and my relationship with food is so wacked. Some days I'm satisfied with 1400 calories but because that's below my BMR (basal metabolic rate), I'd eat more just to get to my BMR. By doing that, it's like I don't trust my body to tell me what it wants or needs. That is absurd!! I trust my body when I'm running to tell me when to stop or when to push body can tell me if it's hungry or not and I should trust it!

This is something I've been thinking about for a while as I've continued to count calories and yet my weight has stayed exactly the same. Emotionally and mentally, I can't keep counting calories to stay in the exact same spot...that is a lot of wasted time and energy. I don't know if I'll lose weight not counting or if I'll gain but I've got to get back to a better place with food. Food isn't a punishment and it's not a reward but I've been using it as both...healthy foods are a punishment when I'm on my diet and not so healthy foods are a reward when I'm off my diet. And when I'm on my diet, I feel like I should eat certain foods and not eat other foods. But when I'm off my diet, I take that opportunity to eat anything and everything in sight. I'm tired of this see-saw way of looking at food.

Here's what I'm doing (which I'll call my guidelines as rules sound way too harsh):
1) No counting. I can look at calorie counts just for informational purposes only. Example: a new product just for an idea of it is healthy.
2) Listen to my hunger cues. If I'm hungry, eat. If I'm not hungry, don't eat.
3) Similarly, stop eating when I'm full. This means slowing down and evaluating fullness at different points during the meal.
4) Eat what my body is craving. If I want chocolate, eat chocolate but make sure it's the good dark kind. If I want squash, eat squash (and, yes, I've actually had cravings for squash before).
5) Keep an eye on portion sizes. This may mean measuring out cereal and weighing meat.

So far, this has been so freeing. It's like all this room in my head that I was using to add up calories is now free to learn other information!! Also, I'm not weighing myself anymore. I'll know if I lose clothes will get baggier, I don't need to know to the tenths of a pound what my weight is.

There are sure to be some mis-steps along the way but I feel so much happier already...I've got tears in my eyes, I'm so happy to enjoy food again. Plus, not talking about calories and food frees up my blog to talk about working out and running more...which are the more positive and uplifting experiences for me anyways.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Conferences and Cruises

I thought I was going to drop kick the person in charge of the conference yesterday (the same conference where I sat at the registration table all day). She is one of those high strung, super stressed out about any thing types of people and I just could not handle her. I've been in charge of conferences before and my thinking is that something is probably going to go wrong but to just try and epitomize "grace under pressure." This woman was the complete opposite. Just one example of her behavior...due to our media team/webcasting team's request, all of the PowerPoint presentations needed to be put together into one long presentation (which was one of my responsibilities). This conference was two days so all of the presentations for the two days were together in one presentation. She comes up to me with one of the media team guys and says, "You two need to get together and find where today's PowerPoints are. They aren't on the computer and I don't know what you did with them."

The guy (whose name I know but cannot remember) and I go into the conference center, open the PowerPoint presentation (with all the presentations together), scroll down, and lo and behold, there's that day's PowerPoints...she didn't scroll down to even see if that day's PowerPoints were there. And of course she doesn't apologize for her outburst earlier implying that I had messed up. So frustrating.

I'm thinking in my head, "If you're going to yell at someone and accuse them of messing up something in front of other people, you sure as heck better be in the right instead of an idiot who didn't scroll down."

Gah, it was like that all day long. It's a bad sign when at 8:30 in the morning, you're counting down to when you can have a glass of wine.

Anyways, on to happier things...

Stephen and I are taking an Alaskan cruise in September!!!! I am so so so so excited!!

We paid our deposit, purchased our airfare, and reserved hotel rooms for the nights before and after the cruise. It is going to be so much fun!! It gives us something to look forward to all summer since we won't be going to the cabin in Canada this year (long story about Stephen's family).

Plus the cruise gives me a deadline for shaping up. I have this dress that I bought for my cousin's wedding three years ago and it would be the perfect dress to wear for the formal nights on the cruise. But since I've bought it, I've gained 15 lbs and the dress won't zip up anymore. My goal is to lose the extra weight so that the dress fits me in time for the cruise which is completely do-able b/c the cruise is 7 months away. I'll have to take a picture of the dress this weekend.

Alrighty...I have a nice 3 day weekend that I'm looking forward to. Hopefully, I can convince Stephen to see Confessions of a Shopaholic.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pictures, pictures, pictures

In leiu of a lengthy word filled post since I've got to sit at the registration desk for a conference today, I'm giving you a picture filled post...I know, don't be too shocked since I rarely have pictures.

So here's my office:

And here's a close up of my OSU bulletin board:
Here's a new hat I bought this weekend...It's actually a men's hat but it looks good on plus it's somewhat trendy since it's a fedora style:

Here's a close up of the pattern...I need a navy blue scarf to match and of course all the stores don't have any winter clothes now...why am I always looking for items when they're out of season?

Here's my new purse (also picked up this weekend)...Filene's Basement was having a going out of business sale so I got this great purse originally priced at $65 for $17!! The leather is like buttah...super soft and plenty of room for all my weekday stuff but small enough to be carried on the weekend.

Now here's a scarf my mom made me...I just got it in the mail two days ago but it's awesome (and my mom is awesome)! She did a very cool design and it's all twisted and stuff (I have no idea how to describe it).

And, finally, here's me with my new hair color (only 2 shades darker)...please ignore my chin area...every few months my time of the month is bad with breakouts, mood swings, and cramps and that happened to be this month. And, man, do I look exhausted or what? Ah well, I'm getting up early to work out so I think the trade off is worth it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I disagree Jillian.

One day last week I was listening to an old Jillian Michaels podcast from November 2, 2008 while running at lunch. I like listening to Jillian's podcasts sometimes when I'm running...sometimes all my music bores me and I want to hear something different. Plus I typically find listening to her no-nonsense approach to be inspiring and motivating. This time was different.

She started bashing marathon running. I literally stopped in my tracks. I continued to listen because I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt but she did not redeem herself, in my opinion. She quoted several studies that showed that after running a marathon, there are increased levels of toxins in the body and that running a distance of 26.2 miles puts a significant strain on the heart. And then she ended with this, "Don't run a marathon. Don't train for one. It's bad for your body." (some paraphrasing here because I don't remember the exact words). I was pissed to say the least.

I've read the studies she quoted. Yes, it's true that there are increased levels of toxins in the body and (no shit Sherlock) running 26.2 miles puts a strain on the heart. However, there was a great article published by Runner's World last year that delves further into those studies and shows that individuals who die after running a marathon (like last year's Chicago or during the Olympic trials) have some prior heart defect. The RW's article also talks about training correctly and understanding your own physical limitations (which Jillian did not mention).

Instead Jillian's suggestions were to train to climb a mountain or train for some long bike event. She does say that you can run races but to make sure they're short distances. I understand that Jillian is entitled to her own opinions and quite honestly I wouldn't listen to someone about running who doesn't enjoy it (as she's stated numerous times).

What irked me was this sense of nonacceptance about running. She may think it's crazy and she would never do it but she shouldn't discourage other people from doing something they love. Yes, there's a risk involved but there's risk involved in everything we do. Training to climb a mountain...I could fall to my death. Biking a long distance...I could tumble head over handlebars. Getting on the Metro...I could fall off the platform and be hit by a train. Running a marathon...I may have a heart attack.

Personally, I'm not interested in climbing a mountain but I'm not going to go out and tell someone who's doing that that they shouldn't...everybody has the things that work for them. Mine is running, Jillian's is obviously not running.

Jillian is usually "Kicking ass and taking names" and I felt that her advice against marathon running went so against who she is. She's not the type to feed into a fear of doing something because you may be hurt but yet, that's what she was advising.

Anyways, as you can tell, I was really ticked off after listening to that podcast. Feel free to ignore me if you disagree or argue back! I'm trying to articulate my points but I don't know that my points are getting across.

Stay tuned the rest of the week...I've got some exciting stuff coming up including posts with pictures (!!!) and an interview with the gorgeous Heather!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Weekend Highlights

The weather was beautiful this weekend. We went for a bike ride yesterday and it felt so good to be outside in the sun. The temps were in the high 50s-low 60s…amazing! There were lots of other people out enjoying the weather as well. When the weather gets warmer for the spring/summer (instead of the freakishly warm for February weather now) I’d like to ride my bike to work a few days a week so we basically followed the path I would follow into work and it was about 10 miles. I’ve got to check into getting a bike locker here at work to store my bike during the day.

Stephen and I went to see “He’s Just Not That IntoYou” which we both thought was a pretty good movie. There is a part about the ending that I didn’t like but don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone. After the movie, Stephen actually said, “That movie was really good for a chick flick.” Which is probably the biggest compliment that a guy could give a movie like that.

My hair cut and color was okay…the color I love. Going two shades darker on my hair makes my eyes stand out more and looks more dramatic. The actual process wasn’t too great though. The girl fixing my hair was so rough with my head, I had a headache afterwards. And that’s saying something because I like for them to be a little rough…it typically feels really good. But this person was way too rough. Plus they are supposed to do a 5 minute head massage when they shampoo your hair but the last two times they haven’t. L Oh well, it was only $37 for a cut and color compared to the $100+ it would have been at a real salon.

The weather is supposed to be fantastic all week long…sunny and temps in the 50s. I’m so excited to go running today and the rest of the week!!! Should be wonderful!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thursday's Things to Love

1. My sister got some fantastic news this week. I can't reveal more but I'm sending her lots of positive vibes and sending lots of prayers to the big guy in the sky.
2. When I come home from work and the first thing I see is a huge smile from Stephen and hear an enthusiastic "Hey Stinky!". (Don't ask about the's a long story)
3. The great country CDs my sister made for me. I love listening to them at's a bunch of old songs we grew up listening to and they put me in such a great mood!!
4. I'm getting a hair cut and color tomorrow. Just a trim and the color will only be a couple of shades darker than my natural color but I haven't had someone else color my hair in years and they always do a 5 minute head massage when they shampoo your hair...feels soooo good!!
5. Even though it's freaking cold outside, I'm in such a great mood (which has a lot to do with #1).

And, just for fun, I'll post my "25 things about me" thing that's going around on Facebook:

1. I get claustrophobic when I’m around a lot of people. If the Metro’s super crowded or I’m at an event where there are lots of people packed into a space, I get anxious.
2. After 3 years of freezing at work, I recently bought a space heater. One of the best investments I have ever made! Space heaters are prohibited so I hide mine every day when I leave work.
3. I broke one of my dad’s plows when I was around 11 or 12 and never told him. He told me not to turn too tightly or the outside disk would break off but after several hours of going around a field in a circle, I turned too tight and the outside disk broke off. I hid the broken disk on the edge of the field and when my dad said something to me about the missing disk, I acted like I didn’t know what he was talking about. (I’m not a very good liar so he probably knew I broke it but I’ve never confessed to the crime.)
4.My favorite fruits are bananas for everyday and fresh pineapple for special occasions.
5.I stuck my sister in the fridge when we were little. At first, it was an experiment to see if the light went off when the door was shut and later, she liked being in the fridge so much I would put her in there. (She claims she went into the fridge unwillingly and that I forced her but I don’t remember it that way…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
6. I love to read. It’s not unusual for me to read at least one book a week. I stick mainly to fiction with a little nonfiction thrown in. Right now, I’m reading “The Boleyn Inheritance” on the Metro and “Pompeii” at night before going to sleep.
7.I created my own library around age 10. I made labels for the spines of the books, check out cards for the back, and dreamed about digging a hole in my bedroom floor to create a reading pit like the one at the Anadarko Library. I forced my sister to come and check out books so I would have customers.
8.My favorite books of all time are the Little House on the Prairie books. Every few years I’ll go back and reread the series.
9.My favorite flowers are tulips and daisies.
10.My grandma and I write each other letters every week. It’s a way for us to stay connected and there’s something cathartic about putting pen to paper.
11.I am an early morning person. I like getting up early and having things accomplished before most people are out of bed. But after 3 pm, my brain stops functioning efficiently.
12.I believe in God/a higher power but am extremely discouraged by organized religion. Nothing makes me more upset than people arguing over doctrine when they could spend that time and energy actually helping people.
13.I have always wanted to go sky diving.
14.I love to run and will run at least one full marathon and one half marathon this year.
15.I worked at Braum’s for 4 years and when I first started they had these old registers where each ice cream flavor had its own number. (So when working the drive-thru you don’t have to try to remember 5 different cars’ worth of ice cream flavors…the flavors show up on the order screen.) Chocolate chip was 17, Chocolate chip cookie dough was 20, and Rocky Road was 35. Yeah, I was a drive-thru rock star!
16.My favorite zoo animal is an elephant. They’re so funny looking but incredibly intelligent.
17.My favorite color changes nearly everyday. Some days it’s purple, some days it’s pink, sometimes it’s red.
18.I went to school at Bryn Mawr College (a small, all-girls school in Pennsylvania) for one year before finishing at OSU.
19.I have a weird thing about words—words that have more vowels than consonants are “good” words and I like those words. I started doing this when I was younger because I was bored and now I do it without even thinking about it.
20.Similarly to #19, I have a thing about numbers. I like numbers that are divisible by both 2 and 3 (and, by definition, are divisible by 6). Again, started when I was younger and now it’s automatic. There are all these rules I have about adding or multiplying multi digit numbers together to get a number divisible by 2 and 3.
21.I won a “Clean Office” award at work two years ago and since then have purposefully kept my office dirtier and messier.
22.The greatest present I ever received was a Barbie doll house my mom made. The premade plastic houses were too expensive and the Barbie dolls couldn’t even stand up all the way inside the house so she made me one with cardboard boxes, leftover carpet and wallpaper, and lots of love. Best present EVER!
23.I love office supplies. When we get a new shipment in at work, I’m the first in the supply closet picking out new pens and folders even though I use the same pen everyday and only need a new folder once a year.
24.I have a very Oklahoma State themed office and it annoys me to no end when someone comes in and says, “Oh, you went to Ohio State.” Um, no, you idiot. Can’t you see the orange and black and the Cowboys?
25.I have always wanted to be on the show Supermarket Sweep. My sister and I used to strategize about what we would grab during the Big Sweep and how we would win. Alas, the show is no longer on TV. And now that I'm on a budget, I'd love to go into a supermarket and throw the most expensive stuff in my cart. “The next time you’re at the counter and you hear the beep, think of all the fun you could have on Supermarket Sweep.”

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Yesterday was a mental health day for me. I woke up at 4:30 to go workout like usual and just did not have the mental or emotional energy to go to a job that gives me nothing back (I get paid, obviously, but never feel like I've accomplished anything or that my work is appreciated). So I went back to bed and stayed home. Watched the last two episodes of Biggest Loser on Video On Demand, had a great talk with my mom on the phone, went to Trader Joe's and Target to browse, read some of my book, and watched Gilmore Girls (I got the first season as a birthday present from my parents). Very much needed personal time.

I've been struggling lately with creating an identity for myself outside of work. It's why I've been working out so much...I need to show myself that I am successful despite what my boss said in my performance review. I've been reading a book called "Quarterlife Crisis" which is about this rather recent phenomenon of mid-20 people who struggle with finding their careers and determining the direction of their life. I'm finding it very helpful and reassuring that I'm not the only one floundering around a bit.

Anyways, yesterday I was really thinking about my identity. My job isn't who I am, it's only what I do. I come from a family where most everyone is passionate about their jobs and loves what they do for a living. But I think there's a lot of luck involved with ending up in a job you love. For my family, their jobs are a significant part of their identities. It's hard for me to think of a job as just a job, just a way to pay the bills because I spend 40 hours a week at work. But that's what this job is...I'm emotionally and mentally distancing myself from this place. It's the only way I can hold on to my sanity.

I'm working on creating an identity for myself outside of work. I'm not good at compartmentalizing and all the areas of my life just blend together (which some of that is to be expected). I'm learning how to separate work from my happiness in other areas.

And to end on an exercise/food front (since this is that type of blog), I tried the Shred level one Monday morning. I didn't make it too far...I just finished with an hour on the elliptical. My energy was zapped. I need to do the Shred first or on its own.

Monday, February 2, 2009

You know you're an adult when...

Your bed isn't from IKEA and you have a matching bedding set.

We've been wanting to get a new bed for several months and we went looking this weekend. Our original plan was to look this weekend and buy next weekend but we found a bed at 25% of the original price...obviously, we took advantage. Our new mattress and box spring was delivered on Saturday. I sleep so well on our new bed!! It's amazing!! First of all, our old bed was a full and this is a queen...even though it's only a few more inches, those inches make all the difference. Secondly, our new bed has a very nice plush top which forms to my back and really helps.

We ordered the bedding last week (we knew we were going to get a queen and we found a bedding set we both liked). Here's our bedding set:

It wasn't my absolute favorite bedding set but it's masculine enough for Stephen and it's neutral enough to serve us for a long time. And the island theme goes well with all of the Puerto Rico pics we have up in our bedroom.

Just like most people, we watched the Super Bowl last night. Well, we watched part of it...I kind of wanted Arizona to win just because they were such underdogs. We started a pot of chili yesterday morning before we left for errands. We tried a recipe for Chili with Chipotle and Chocolate instead of our usual recipe. Verdict: It was good...not the best chili but definitely has different flavors than the usual. And the Super Bowl ads were so disappointing...there wasn't a single one I thought was even close to funny.

Stephen had a hair cut appointment yesterday afternoon at the mall so while he was getting handsomer I got to go play at Sephora!! I love going in there and playing with makeup...of course Stephen hates it so I enjoyed the opportunity of him being entertained. I ended up with some new nail polish (new top coat, new pink and white for french manis/pedis) and a chocolate brown color. Of course, I painted my nails last night with the brown. Only in the last year have I gotten in to painting my nails anything besides clear or pale pink. I have a deep purple and a navy that I really like for my fingernails along with more vibrant pinks and reds for my toesies. Anyhoo, I really like the brown. It's not as dark as navy and it's more unexpected than black. I also picked up a new lip gloss that's a deep purple, new eyeshadow, and bubble bath.

I don't have any close girl friends (besides my sis) and since I work with a bunch of guys and live with a guy, I've been feeling not so girly lately. (I've also gotten lazy with my appearance at for 3 years in a place where people wear shorts and flip flops and it starts to rub off on you.) I feel better about myself when I look professional (plus you should always dress for the job you want, not the job you have) and when I spend extra time on my hair and makeup. Playing at Sephora made me feel so girly!!

Random question: Anyone else freaked out by mannequins? The ones that aren't pink or blue don't have any heads. I was noticing yesterday at the mall all the weird mannequins out there. They are so creepy!!