Tuesday, August 28, 2012


You ask for it, you get it. Or rather, a few ask for it, you all suffer. Booty shots. Old and new jeans. You ready for this? Oh, dear.

So I recently bought some new jeans after realizing I could bump down to size 10s. Yes, they were a bit tight in the store, but I'm going with it.

By pure coincidence, I happened to see an article on Pinterest about mom jeans right before heading to the store. ;-)

It's fascinating. I highly recommend you check it out here. So here's my own sorta comparison. I've got three "before" jeans (size 12, from Target and Kohl's) and two "after" jeans (size 10, from Express). Note that none of the "before" jeans are hand-me-downs. I didn't try any second-hand jeans on when taking pictures because I felt it would be rude and tactless. I'm not churlish enough to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Anyhoodle. Here are the results. Because I only had two size 10s, one will be repeated (but I took two pictures of that pair, so it all works out).


All in all, the "befores" weren't that bad. Except for the last one. My goodness, that last one is horrible. And those were my favorite, actually. Apparently I need to spend more time looking over my shoulder in the mirror. Why are the pockets so far apart?? Also, because I was leaning back to get the picture, my torso looks tiny in these pictures compared with my upper body. That's definitely not the case IRL. :)

So now I can consider this request fulfilled. Time to wrap things up at work so I can go on vacation starting tomorrow. Pete and I are tripping to the Windy City for a few days. We're very excited. I get to see my friend be all cute and pregnant, try authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza for the first time (oh YES I am!), explore the Field Museum AND the Museum of Science and Industry, party with the fishies at the Shedd, and enjoy some fantastic architecture from the Chicago River. I'm going to try to take lots of pictures, so be looking for my post sometime next week!

I might post tomorrow, too, after I stop in to the WW clinic to weigh in. By the way, I'm experiencing some serious plan fatigue. That's really not good, considering I'll be traveling. I'm hoping I can hold myself to the healthy eating. I'm going to try, but I might need some inspiration. Anyone have any tips for sticking to it when you really don't wanna?
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Saturday, August 25, 2012

He Cray

I'm just about to hop on my lap top for a little work myself, but first I thought I'd show you all what my crazy husband is doing. In the rain.

I will never ever have this much energy, no matter how fit I become. How does he do it?
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday Weigh-In!

Yesterday was a meeting-heavy day at work and beyond, so I wasn't able to attend my WW meeting. That meant that I had to weigh in this morning before work. Here's my progress:

0 pounds lost/gained.

Oh, hell. I'm fine with it. I haven't gone off tracks, but I'm not on my A game this week, so I guess this is what I get. 

Anyway, meetings. Yesterday. We had our all-company meeting in the morning. Big news: my company might be relocating. They want to find a better campus that doesn't force us to walk between buildings. So there's a possibility my commute would be shortened. It's also possible my commute would get longer, but I'm pushing that thought out of my mind.

I also sneaked out for about 2 hours yesterday so Pete and I could meet with our financial adviser (that's right--we're grown-ups now) and then get lunch. It was pretty fun! As I understand it, there are two types: those who charge a fee but then hook you up with the best plans they find across financial institutions, and those who don't charge a fee, but then only sell you the plans that their particular institution offers. We've got the second type, and I am just fine with that. He gave us a run-down on his institution's track record and showed us how well their plans performed in the last few years. They're pretty solid.

Anyway, because it's free, he takes his cut from the insurance companies we'll end up paying. At this point, we're only buying perm life insurance from him, which seems like a really good idea--with this kind of insurance, the younger you are, the better. Also, you can spend the money in your account whenever you want--I think you just need to leave like 5% with them. I won't bore you with an insurance primer (probably can't remember all the important points anyway), but I will say that meeting with him has been completely painless. He ran the numbers for us and we actually have a plan now. Guys, I highly recommend this. Even if you're single, even if you're broke, you can totally benefit from a little planning help!

Another thing I discovered yesterday: Jason's Deli. OMG. Why do they only have two in MN? Soo amazing. 
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012


This weekend, I decided I needed a little retail therapy, so my sister and I went jeans shopping. My 12s were all getting baggy and I fit into some hand-me-down 10s, so I figured why not take the plunge?

Turns out that at Express, I'm barely a 10.

I ended up buying two pairs, however. After a struggle, I was able to get them on and zipped and they stretch out enough so they're pretty comfortable (I'm actually wearing them in the pictures from my last post). I'm really not one to buy too-tight jeans, but I justified it in this case, thinking maybe buying them tight will allow me to wear them for longer.

Also, did you know that jeans at Express are significantly more expensive than jeans at Kohl's? I don't think I'll be shopping for quite a while. Shameful.

Anyway, in addition to being too tight, my new purchases had one other issue: they were too long. This particular style didn't come in a Short, so I wore them with some high shoes for the first few days. That's not a good long-term plan for me, however, so I needed to do something about it.

I found this genius method for hemming jeans a while back and have hemmed about two or three pairs this way.

It kind of sucks, though, because of my ancient sewing machine. Jeans are thick and when you double up the fabric, it can cause bent and broken needles.

I had to perform sewing machine surgery quite a few times last night. It took so long, that I only finished one pair--the other will have to wait. I was disappointed in how long it took because not only was I not able to finish the job, but I also couldn't start on my next project.

My next project. So exciting! I've put aside my Christmas knitting project for the moment...

Pete will get one, too...I started with mine so it could be the "first pancake"

...so I can focus on another holiday. Once these jeans are hemmed, I'm sewing Halloween costumes for my sister and myself. I'll be combining two patterns into one, and we'll see how it turns out. The last costume I sewed was by hand, also kind of free-wheeled:

Dinosaur costume! I used it twice--the second time Pete and I paired up to go as the Dr. Alan Grant and the T-Rex from Jurassic Park. Most people thought we were Crocodile Dundee and a croc. Or a cowboy and a dinosaur.

But it turned out fabulously, and I have the same expectations for this year. I can't wait to show you guys the finished product!
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I promised a more upbeat post, and here it is!

So my career isn't moving along so swell, but at least my body is! I've hit a few milestones in the last week that I'm very excited about!

  • As of last Wednesday, I now weigh less than my husband. This is monumental, people! It's the first goal I ever set for myself when I started this whole thing back in November. WW suggests you set a goal for your first 5lbs, then 5%, then 10%, but before I ever joined, I fantasized about not being heavier than Pete. A few months ago, I told Pete when I did finally under weigh him, I'd make him carry me around the house, so he'd better be prepared. I've made him give me a few piggy backs, but (luckily for him), I haven't really made good on that promise. Except the other night when my sister was over to snap a few shots. The pics aren't quite as flattering as I imagined they'd be--but then again, I don't really look how I'd imagine I'd look ate 159lbs. Too bulky around the middle (loose skin? Maybe?). But who cares?! Here they are!

  • I can do real push-ups! I can do four real push-ups in a row, to be precise. I can't quite touch my chest to the ground (when I try to go really low, my lower back engages and it hurts--I think it's that stupid pool injury still lingering), but they're about as real as they're going to get! I suspect a few planks might strengthen my core enough to get them lower, but for now, I'm thrilled I can do this. I haven't been able to for years.
  • (As of this morning) I can run 5 miles! I've been trying to get there for weeks, but every time I set out on a 5-mile run, I'd wind up at home just after 4 miles. Apparently I suck at planning routes. Today I took the route I normally bike. I was convinced it was way more than 5 miles, but it worked out perfectly. And I felt amazing while running it--not out of breath at all. I really could have kept going. Mile #5 was probably the easiest one I ran, actually. My overall pace was 11:15 min/mile, which is slower than normal these days, but, as Pete pointed out, better than my 1-mile pace before I started running. I can't tell you how jazzed I am to have broken this barrier!

So those are the positive things. And you know what? Everyone always has something wrong in their life, right? (Or is it just me?) I guess having to stay at a stable job isn't the worst cross to bear. My health is good, my relationships are good, and that's good enough. I'm choosing to trust that my job will work itself out. Or else I'll just become an extreme couponer. Society needs more of those, am I right? :)
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Monday, August 20, 2012

Guess What! Never Mind.

Well, it's Monday. That means back to work. The weekend went way too quickly.

I'm especially unhappy to be back at work because I'm really not liking my job lately. Remember how I mentioned that extra work I'd been doing at night and in the mornings before work? I was applying for another job. I was putting together my resume, then cover letter, then portfolio, and then practicing for my interviews (phone and in-person). I had my in-person interview last Wednesday and was really hopeful. But I got a call on Friday from the recruiter who said that they put the position on hold for now. She invited me to apply again when they reopen the position. Gee, thanks.

I didn't want to mention anything on here until I knew which way it would go, so I kept quiet. I didn't want to make a big deal about it and then not get the job. And apparently I was right in doing so. See? No job, no big deal.

Except it is a big deal. Because I really wanted that job. My commute would have been 5 minutes--I could have biked to work. It was at a company I've been eyeing for years now, and a position that basically distills my very favorite things about my current job. I'll definitely be reapplying when it's open again, but I don't take this as a good sign. Either their approval to hire for it was rescinded, or they just didn't like any of their candidates and decided to wait on hiring. I'm afraid it's the second one. (They "strongly prefer" someone with a JD, even though that really isn't necessary for this type of position. Whatever.)

So anyway, that ruined my Friday. And having seen a light at the end of the tunnel for the past few weeks, it makes coming back to my job on Monday a little unbearable. I've been cranking Kate Nash and avoiding people today to get through it. At least I've got a massage at the end of the day to look forward to. I'm hoping the masseur can help me out with my lower back and my supertight neck muscles. Oh yeah, I got my mouth guard on Friday to help with my TMJ. I think it's protecting my teeth pretty well, but it seems to have made my jaw worse--I woke up with it locked today and had to loosen it before I could take out the damn mouth guard. Pete suggested it might be time to invest in a special pillow.

SO...there's my update. Tomorrow I hope to have some more cheerful news: Present and future craft projects! A big milestone! New jeans!
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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In!

The string of incredibly busy days continues. My goodness, this is getting old!

Yesterday was a weird day. I'd planned to take the afternoon off for an important appointment and go in extra early in the morning for a half-day of work. I woke up at 5:30am and dragged myself to the basement for a quick Shred session (as that was all I had time for). Afterward, I hurried upstairs and jumped in the shower.

...and almost passed out. I became light-headed and felt an overwhelming urge to throw up. I knelt down in the shower and took a beat. After a few minutes, I told myself I was wasting precious time and forced myself to stand up and lather up with shampoo. But I still felt nauseated and needed to lean against the shower wall to stabilize myself. It got worse when I rinsed the shampoo out of my head--the cool water on my burning scalp was shocking and twisted my stomach even more. It seemed like ages until my hair finally rinsed. Then I grabbed the conditioner and sank to the floor. I conditioned my hair in a sitting position. I told myself that I'd lie down once I was scrubbed up and out of the shower. But as I sat there I realized that standing up and scrubbing off was not happening. I forced myself to rinse out the conditioner--more stomach twisting. Then I shut off the water and barely managed to dry off before I needed to rush to the bedroom and collapse in bed.

Pete's used to my sudden, inexplicable maladies and my melodrama, so he moved the waste basket to the side of the bed and tried to help me keep calm. He got me some Tums and then I tried very hard not to throw up for the next two hours. At some point, I drifted off to sleep. Pete woke me at 8:15am, and I still felt terrible. I called in to my boss and ended up taking a whole day of PTO. Then I ate a granola bar and went back to sleep.

When I woke up a few hours later, I felt right as rain. Abbie and I went to a WW meeting, and here are my stats:
Weight: 159.0 lbs
Previous: 160.8 lbs
Total lost: 40.6 lbs

So here's the thing; I've done the Shred dozens of times. I didn't push myself any harder than I usually do. I did the Shred on an empty stomach and then drank water afterward, per usual. WTF was the nausea and light-headedness all about??

Anyway, today has been an insanely busy day (5.5 hours in meetings, whoop whoop). And when I get home, I plan to go for a run, since I snoozed right through my morning workout today. Given what happened yesterday morning, maybe I should eat a banana before I go, though, huh?
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The Day I Stole The Widgeon Wheels - A Guest Post

Hello Widgeon Readers!

My name is Abbie--I'm Kate's sister. Today I went over to the Widgeon Nest and I wanted to share my experience with all of you. The best part about this blog post is that I didn't ask permission to write it. It is always easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission. Sorry Kate! ;-)

Kate has always been an inspiration for me--probably because when she does something, I want to tag along. Kate started Weight Watchers and I saw how amazing she was looking and feeling. I wanted that too. I started in May (about six months after she did) and lost weight right away. I love the program and it's been great. However (there's always the however) summertime has proven to be a big challenge for me. Traveling doesn't allow a lot of control over your meals. I've been away from home almost all summer. So needless to say, I gained. I haven't been to a Weight Watchers meeting in over a month. I'd been avoiding it frankly.

This morning, Kate texted me asking if I wanted to go to a WW meeting with her. I agreed but made it clear we'd best get Subway for lunch afterwards. She was hard to persuade. It was SO much fun to go with her because the ladies were impressed and excited for Kate. Kate has lost 40 lbs! I couldn't be more proud of her! The leader LOVED Kate and kept asking her opinion throughout the meeting. It also didn't help that we're bad listeners and giggle about stuff throughout the meeting. Oh well!

After the meeting and lunch we went back to Widgeon Nest and hung out. I said I needed to go because I wanted to get a bike ride in, and Kate suggested I give her new bike a whirl. After getting me all set up, putting the helmet on, and being called a "douche bag" I was on my way! Such a fun bike! I agree whole-heartedly that your hands and rear start to hurt after a while because of the bumps on the sidewalk. My one complaint was a truck driver who stopped in the middle of the road trying to turn onto the road I was on. He was in my way and I was halfway up a hill. I had to stop completely to avoid hitting him or having him hit me. Jerk. Otherwise it was a wonderful workout and my thighs sure are tired!

After I cleaned up from my ride, Kate, Pete, some other friends, and I went to see the new Batman movie. Which we loved, for the most part! Overall, a very good day!
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Friday, August 10, 2012

TGIF. No Really, Thank GOD.

It's been one of those weeks with just SO much going on that I found myself completely drained. Tuesday night, Pete and I both expressed that it felt like it should be the weekend already, since we'd already crammed so much into the week. Wednesday night, I ended up working literally an hour after coming home until about 11:30pm. I didn't work out yesterday morning because I woke up early to do some more work instead--barely making it to the office on time. This work isn't exactly related to my job, so I can't comp the time. I'll explain in a later post. Maybe.

Anyway, Abbie invited me out for drinks last night because we haven't seen each other for weeks and weeks and we NEED to catch up. I had to pass, and I was really sad about that. I was just so fried yesterday. I left work an hour early and went home and crashed. I slept until Pete woke me for dinner and I felt much, much better. After dinner, I decided to take a bike ride, since I'd skipped my morning workout. This time, I chose a longer, more hilly route.

I LOVE biking.

Pete said I looked like a yuppie. Or did he say douche bag? Either way, he's right. But it was cool, so I had to wear my long-sleeved, sweat-wicking shirt. And I'm too old and responsible to ride without a helmet. And if I crash in a ditch, that phone strapped to my arm will save my life. Sigh. Seriously, though. Douche bag city. 

I used to bike ALL the time as a kid, and even as a teenager. It's probably the one activity that comes naturally for me (guess I CAN use this huge booty for something). I haven't been able to bike for the last few years because my bike was in such rough shape and I forgot how great it feels. I took Black Beauty up north a ways, still in the same city, where the houses get BIG and wrought iron gates start popping up in front of the private drives. I passed cute little city farms next to newly constructed brick mansions. I passed one house with two garages, both with doors made entirely of glass panes. I passed the adorable fire department, which had their engines out and running for a crowd of thrilled little boys. I passed couples out on evening strolls, and a rowdy gaggle of teenage girls dominating the sidewalk. When I turned up our street, I was a little sad--I could have kept riding for hours. It didn't feel like a workout at all, but by the end of it, I was sweaty and my legs felt like jelly. I think this weekend I'll have to get lost on Black Beauty for a few hours.

Pete and I capped the night with some Olympics. We saw the US women dominate in the 4 x 100 relay, watched women's diving, the men's decathlon, Usain Bolt's triumph, and the BMX trials. Then we tried to get to bed a little early. I think we shut off the light at 11:30pm. I woke up this morning ready to run again and started my usual 4-mile loop. I cut a corner in one of the neighborhoods (I'm not even sure how it happened; I was running down the correct street and then all of a sudden I had turned down a side street without even meaning to), so my run ended up being 3.79 miles. Whatever.

As I approached home, the neighbors' three little dogs started barking ferociously at me from their fenced yard, as they do every morning. I thought to myself, "I hate those dogs. I wish I could sic Cosmo on them to teach them a lesson." I got my wish later in the morning when I heard their yapping ratchet up and looked out the window. Cosmo was pacing the fence, having somehow slipped his leash, trying to get in. I ran down to our back patio and called his name and he, of course, came inside immediately. All without issuing one small bark. What a good boy! I couldn't be mad at him--if he's smart enough to slip his leash and he doesn't run away and comes when called and he doesn't sit there yapping at 6:30am, he's done no harm!

So anyway, the weekend is steadily approaching and it's pretty open again. LOVE IT. I can't wait to hang out with my sister and catch up! And I might help Pete seal the driveway. Fun fun fun!
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In: Meet My New Friend

Lost 1.8 pounds this week. I'm down to 160.8. Hopefully next week I'll reach my 40 pounds mark.

When I hear the number, it doesn't seem like so much. So many people out there have lost so much more than I have. It's true that some of them count their pregnancy weight (or their immediately-after-pregnancy weight) as their starting point, (and I don't think that's the same as losing non-baby weight). But a lot of people just started higher. It's easier to lose weight when you have more to spare, but I think it's damn impressive to hear about people who started running at 200lbs + or dragged themselves out of an emotional eating habit.

And here's me with my measly 40 pounds. Even when I get to goal, I'll still have only dropped 60/65 lbs. Big whoop. I guess at that point, the distinguishing factor will be how fit I end up, and what I can do at my new weight.

Perhaps my post-goal fitness accomplishments will include something on a bike. Because you know how I've been halfheartedly mentioning, "I really need to get my bike fixed and start biking"? for the past few weeks/months? Finally did something about it!

Monday night, Pete and I took the old girl into Eric's. The mechanic slung her up on his inspection rack while hard-core-biker patrons eyed her disdainfully. He jiggled a few parts, gave a few spins of the pedals, and concluded that the bike was fucked. That derailleur I've been trying to fix? Completely broken, among other things. It would cost the price of a new bike to fix mine in the state she was in.

So we got a new bike. We'd kind of anticipated this in the first place, so we felt prepared to make the investment. We wandered the store, asked questions of the sales staff, and settled on a pretty modest little number--nothing too fancy.

But she's perdy.

My bike doesn't quite fit Pete.

Side-by-side comparison?

Look how little my old bike looks!! The body is longer, but the tires are tiny tiny!

After we purchased her, the mechanic had to keep her to give her one last tune-up, making sure she was in perfect condition. We picked her up last night. And sent the old one to the curb. We'll see if we get any takers.

I took Black Beauty out for a spin this morning. It is SO nice to switch gears whenever I need to. I absolutely loved it! The route I chose ended up taking about a half-hour and wasn't that challenging (thanks to the handy dandy gears), so after I came home, I did the Shred. I think I'll have to do some exploring and find some more hills and a longer loop. I think this bike will be nice for some activity in addition to my workouts: nighttime rides, in-town errands, maybe someday riding to work, etc. I love her. :)
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cosmo in a Cone

 Here are those pictures of Cosmo. He's been such a baby lately. He freaks out if we take the cone off, and even with it on, he's adamant about being as close to us as possible. This morning I let him out and he seemed desperate to get back inside. I wanted him to do his business, so I thought he'd be more comfortable if I sat out back with him. He came right up to me and fell onto me. He can be pretty "cuddly," but for him that means one or two nuzzles. I don't think he's ever wanted to be held for so long. Little baby.

So if anyone wants to cuddle with a puppy, today is probably the day (pain meds run out tomorrow).

Also, random: I heard this song on the radio yesterday. The Current has been playing it for a while, but I never listened to the lyrics before. Now I'm obsessed.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In!

Down two pounds this week.

7/18: 163.4
7/25: 164.6
8/1: 162.6

So I guess that despite not tracking on Saturday, I didn't do that much damage. Of course, the fact that I didn't track doesn't mean I went hog-wild at the wedding. I skipped the cake (not a huge cake fan, although this one looked absolutely gorgeous), took small portions at the buffet, and stopped drinking early-ish.

I just didn't write a damn thing down that day. Which is bad, because that's what is required of the plan. I got grumpy. I think all these social obligations have been taxing. They're fun--I'm certainly not wishing them away--but they require a lot of planning and strategy and math. And I've allowed myself to be a little lax. I haven't been crazy, but I've drank more than I normally do. I've consumed more chips than is appropriate for a dieter (dudes, we're talking like 15 chips at a time. I know how to eat in moderation.).

I'm still losing weight, but I don't feel successful because I know that I'm not doing as well as I should.

It's easy when I'm eating dinner at home and when I'm in control of my food choices and my environment. But lately I'm confronted with a social eating situation practically every day and I just kind of got to the point where I said, "DON'T WANNA."

Today's meeting was awesome for motivation, though. It was a good discussion about the merits of power foods and about just getting it done. The question for the week was, "what would make this easier for you?" And as we stated our requests (personal trainer, personal chef, faster metabolism, more time), it sounded ridiculous. Yeah, those things could make it easier, but self-sabotage would be just as likely. Ultimately, it comes down to you. To me. Basically, this week's message was "suck it up, Buttercup."

And what appropriate timing. I have a laid-back weekend. No travel, no parties, no family dinners. I am going to rock the plan.
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When I Run, I Pretend I'm Doing a Lap Around the Olympic Track

Last night I got some awesome pictures of Cosmo in his cone. Some actually looked a little avant-garde--that lampshade lends an artistic air to the pictures. :)

Of course, I forgot my SD card at home, so I can't post them until tonight or (more realistically) tomorrow.

Anyway, I'll have my weigh-in results to report later, BUT I wanted to share a quick brag update on my workouts. Yesterday I woke up craving a nice, hard workout. After coaxing the puppy to eat his pain meds (you guys, he gets so doped out on this stuff, it's hilarious), I ran two fast miles and then I did the Shred. Those two miles were AWESOME! Because it was such a short distance, I didn't have to worry about reigning in my pace, and I finished in 18:57 min. At a 9:26 min/mi pace.

When I started running, a 13 min/mi pace was good for me. I remember getting so excited about breaking 11 min/mi. I'm really not a natural runner--AT ALL. I remember getting heckled in first grade for my slow running in gym. And I played soccer for 10 years only to get to high school and quit when I realized they actually expected me to run laps during practice (funnily enough, I played left-mid...mid-fielders are supposed to run 5-6 miles per game...no wonder I was on the C squad in junior high). When I started running, I never thought I'd improve in pace. I only hoped for more stamina.

Today's two miles were slightly slower--19:37, at a 9:46 min/mi pace, but still better than normal. I didn't have time to follow that up with the Shred. By the time I got back to the house, it as almost 7:00am, so I had to start cleaning up. Wednesdays are my hectic day. The shorter and faster runs feel great, though. I know that you burn more fat with longer, low-intensity workouts, but pushing so hard just feels way more taxing and I have to imagine it's better than my normal runs in some ways--if only because I'm switching things up. I remember reading a post on another girl's blog about how she's more comfortable running marathons than 5Ks because with the 5K, she pushes harder and doesn't have the time to get into the groove. When I first read it, I thought she was crazy, but it's starting to make sense to me now.

Tonight I have to make an appearance at a happy hour. I don't plan on drinking, and I hope to beg off after an hour, but it still kind of wrenches my night. Then, Pete and I will do dinner and try to catch some Olympic games. So entertaining. Didn't those gymnasts look TINY last night? So young! It blows my mind how short their legs are--Pete told me he read about a gymnast who grew like three inches after quitting the sport. All that centrifugal force must compress them. And then the program switched to the swimmers, who look so stretched out. I told Pete that if we have a son, we should get him into swimming so he can get lanky and have nice shoulders. Unless he's got a dense body like me and sinks like a rock. In which case I think we should get him into...what? Wrestling? Look at that. I tricked Pete into talking about babies with me. ;-)

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