So in total my trip to Wisconsin for my friend Kate’s wedding this past weekend lasted 33 hours from door-to-door. Wow! That is what I call a whirlwind trip for sure!
Thankfully I live near the airport and not many people were traveling to Logan at 5:30am on Saturday. I made it from my front door to the airport through Security and to my gate in 10 minutes. Yes folks you read that right … 10. Minutes. I was damn impressed. My new Premier Status helped get me through security, but overall it was a painless trip to the airport.
(Note: did you know you don’t have to take off your jewelry? All these years I thought you had to, but nope. Maybe it’s because of the new fancy screening machines? I’m not sure, but I was happy to skip that step.)
Thankfully when you travel for such a short period of time you can get away with just a carry on … and that early in the morning means COMFORT wear.
You know I had to search the terminal until I found a Dunkin Donuts.
I also lucked out and got the exit row. Not that I woulda trusted the guy sitting next to me to help in the case of an emergency, BUT I dealt with it for the leg room.
I had a layover in Chicago and was able to travel through my favorite terminal at O’Hare. I always love these lights!
So I made it to Madison, Wisconsin around 10:30am CT (thanks to Brandon for the ride from the airport) so it was time to explore the city before the afternoon wedding…
We tried out some of the local craft beers on the main street in Madison…
I loved that Madison wanted to combine people’s love of both a delicatessen and a carousel. Normal, right? :P
It was finally wedding time after this! We headed to Badger Farms, where the wedding was held in a cute barn surrounded by fields of green. Nice scenery for a group of city kids.
Kate and Joe looked picturesque on their Happy Day. I absolutely LOVED her dress.
I loved the country set-up and colors used to set a great scene.
And I was able to see some of my friends from college that I haven’t seen for almost three years. You may not speak everyday, but when you are back together it’s like no time has passed at all … that is friendship!
The next morning we hit the road at 5am CT to make the 1.5 hour drive to Milwaukee to fly back home. Thank you to my lil’ pregnant Sarah for taking the wheel as her husband I slept the entire ride!
After a flight from Milwaukee to Chicago then a delay in Chicago, I headed from Chicago to Boston and was back at my house at 2:30pm ET.
What a busy and awesome 33 hours. It was great to be able to see my friend tie the knot, catch up with friends I haven’t seen in years and be a part of a magical night.
Now someday, I too will get to have that kind of magical night. Not sure when the wife & I will be able to afford it, but we will… someday!
I first heard of the Somerville Brewing Company, Slumbrew, through my friend Kim who is a local craft beer aficionado. She told me about it just before moving back to Boston from Chicago in January. So of course, as soon as we got back to town we had to give it a try.
Wow! It is awesome. The company has four great brews: Flagraiser IPA, Happy Sol, Porter Square Porter and My Better Half.
I can’t tell you which is my favorite because they are all great! But, if you twisted my arm and told me I could only have ONE. Well, first I would say stop twisting my arm … then I would tell you: My Better Half.
On Friday night, I was honored enough to FINALLY meet the masterminds behind Slumbrew … and even got to check out where the company all began. My dad, another Slumbrew fan, joined me for the awesome night. Here are just a few pics:
In addition to some pretty yummy beer, a local Somerville chocolate shop – Taza Chocolate. It was delish! Chocolate covered almonds, cashews, etc. Mmm…
I had a great time meeting the brewers, Caitlin and Jeff, and sharing a great night with some other craft beer fans.
Yesterday during my run I was being a complete Negative Nancy and Debbie Downer. I’m really not sure why. I think it I was sad to be running alone. I really love solo runs, but there are just times that you want someone by your side – to chat with, rant with or to just keep the pace going. But, since leaving Chicago, I haven’t found a consistent running partner for my weekday morning runs. Thankfully there have been people to go to 5ks with – meet up before and after. But, the training runs are a different story.
It really made me miss my old running partner-therapist-hair stylist-friend Ellie. She was a huge motivator and thankfully still is. We still compete running wise even though we are over 1,000 miles away.
But, I digress…
As I was running, I was letting all the negative thoughts about myself creep back in. Not sure why. I tried to banish them away. I kept coming back with some positives. But, I was just in a negative place.
Hey, it happens. I know we have all been there before.
So then I tried to think about where all my negative thoughts stemmed from. Since for me, negative self talk has been around since I can remember.
Then it hit me … the first time I remember becoming conscious about my body and my body image.
(I don’t think I have shared this story with you before, but if I have – sorry, but it bears repeating)
It was 1995. Summer. I was in seventh grade. I was ROCKIN’ my Notre Dame football jersey and some shorts. I know. Epitomy of style. Also, not sure how I didn’t know then that I was gay.
But, I was standing with my mom waiting for the bus and a car of like four guys drove by … and “moo”-ed at me.
Yup, that’s right.
They actually “moo”-ed at me.
I thought this was something that only happened in the movies or something, but nope. There it was.
And that memory has stuck with me ever since.
Whenever I get upset with myself over “messing up” and going over my points for the day or gaining on the scale or not tracking or not going to the gym – it is the first thing I think about.
I think that instance dropped the little negativity seed in the back of my mind that I let grow. Any other negative comment that someone made about me, just watered the little seed and let it grow. Until, after years, it became this huge living creature all in my brain.
Thankfully with the help of Weight Watchers and one kick ass support system, I’ve started – for lack of a better word – pruning the negativity plant in my brain down. Little by little, I’m becoming more confident and more impressed with who I am and who I am becoming.
So there isn’t a huge moral to this story but just a glimpse into how one action can cause a serious reaction to one person’s life. And I’m not talking about externally, but rather internally.
I allowed this one moment in my life to shape how I thought about myself for years to come. The ramifications can’t be fully understood.
But, as I said. I will take each day and work to cut that negativity tree back until it’s nothing…
This seems to be a running edition of Wordless Wednesday…
Saucony Find Your Strong event
BAA 5k on the Boston Marathon course
I WILL run the Boston Marathon
Non-Scale Victories: Shirt Size Small & Shorter Workout Shorts
How cool is that? Yes the 5k course was part of THE Boston Marathon course. The bleachers were even set up for the Marathon so as you walked to the START line you could feel the energy that the marathoners would be feeling the next day. Okay, the bleachers were empty so I had to use my imagination, but man it was a cool feeling.
The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) 5k was the first race of the BAA Distance Medley, which includes a 5k, 10k (June 24) and a Half Marathon (October 7). The cool thing is you get a medal for each race then a SPECIAL medal when you complete all three. Yes, I think we can see why I signed up for the whole scha-bang.
What was cool was actually having a big group of runners that I knew – okay, well I met three of them that day – but it was still a fun experience. We met up before the run and got our pre-race photo in.
Are we seeing all the Sweaty Bands going on in this pic?
Can you also see that Dawson from Dawson’s Creek even made an appearance. Yes, best race shirt ever!
We made our way through the crowd to the START line. Well, as best we could with 6,000 runners participating.
This is where I had to regroup. We all know how well I handle these “big races.” I had to tell myself not to expect a PR since most of the run would be bobbing and weaving through the crowd since there weren’t any sort of min/mile corrals anywhere. Which really shocked me seeing as how this was a BAA race. But, I digress.
So I finally hit the starting line and started the usual process of making my way through the crowd. This was my first road race through Boston and I was psyched. It is just so nice being back and taking in all the sights I love downtown.
The first mile was the roughest … especially with elbowing. I haven’t seen so much elbowing and shoving in awhile. There was one woman in particular who got me in the right side that I was determined to pass. You know, to show her.
Thankfully, after the first mile, I was able to break through the tougher crowd and find more space. As the space cleared, my pace sped up.
I was impressed that my Runkeeper didn’t get messed up due to the buildings so I was actually able to keep track of my time/pace.
As soon as the Runkeeper let me know 20 minutes had passed, I kicked it up a notch. I wanted a PR of course, but I would be happy if I could still finish in under 25 minutes.
(Disclaimer: when did I become the person that wants to finish a 5k in under 25 minutes?? I can remember finishing in 38:21 and now I want to finish in under 25 minutes. Wow! I still amaze myself and forget how far I’ve come)
I just crossed the Mile 3 marker, saw the photographer getting my “about to cross face” as a little girl comes barreling passed me on the left. Yup, definitely not going to be ordering THAT photo to show off. Hey look at me getting passed by an 8 year old at the Finish. I. Don’t. Think. So.
But I hit the Runkeeper as I crossed the line and I saw 24:58. I also saw 3.2 miles instead of 3.1, but I was happier with the 24:58. Okay, I was pissed for a minute that I was 26 seconds shy of a PR, but then I remembered the bobbing and weaving and told myself to get over it.
Plus, I was a-okay once I got my medal … and my “snack bag” at the Finish. The “snack bag” included a chocolate chip bagel. It may have been the BEST bagel I have ever eaten. Or it just felt that way in the moment.
Official Results: I finished in 24:58 (8:03 min/mile pace) … I was 1,295 overall out of 5,253, 365 out of 2,973 females and 88 out of 587 in my division.
Not too shabby.
Oh, and I happily passed the girl that jabbed me in the right side. Take that girlie!
The six of us headed for a post-race brunch at Brownstone Bar and proceeded to get the WORST service I have ever experienced at a restaurant/bar. The waitress was rude, the location was unprepared for a large group of customers and the kitchen produced cold and incorrect food. Boo to them. But thankfully the company was great and really that is what Brunch is all about.
Well, the time has come to finally change my weigh-in day!
Truth Tuesday treated me well, but it is time to welcome Face It Friday to the game.
Tuesday was a great weigh-in day for me in Chicago. When I started Weight Watchers in November 2009, I was a Monday night weigher-in. Rough! I didn’t really like night weigh-ins because I would eat/wear the same thing all day Monday to make it consistent and I had to watch how I was over the weekends.
So when my Monday night meeting closed, I made the switch to Tuesday night since my Monday night crew transferred over there and the Leader Lisa was AWESOME!!
Well unfortunately, I missed most of the meetings on Tuesday nights in 2010 because we would have a ton of games that night if the Cubs were home and if we were on the road – sometimes I was too. So my attendance in 2010 suffered from February-September and it showed on the scale. In 2010, as a whole I only lost 9.8 lbs – that means I did a lot of up and down during that time and a LOT of missed weigh-ins.
So in 2011 after chatting with a friend who had WW at work, I convinced the Cubs to offer the same program to employees. Okay, originally the plan was totally selfish so I could stay on plan, but it ended up benefiting my coworkers as well.
The at work meeting also ocurred on Tuesdays, but at 11/11:30am. Yay! That meant I only had to keep the morning consistent and the rest of the day could vary. I also started bringing in my pre-determined “weigh-in” outfit to change in to just before hitting the scale.
So the Tuesday weigh-in continued to be a success. Towards the end of my time in Chicago, I started weighing-in at 8am on Tuesdays. It happened one time when the office was closed thus cancelling our at work meeting for the week so I had to go somewhere else.
From that point on (December 27, 2011), I kept with the 8am weigh-in on Tuesday morning at a WW center then I would attend my regular at work WW meeting at 11:30.
But, as soon as I got to Boston, I realized there was no Tuesday morning meeting close to me or even a WW store with open hours. So I had to come up with plan B. This was when I originally toyed with the Friday morning weigh-in idea, but I was stuck on Tuesdays.
So, for the past two months, I have been taking the train in to the Boston store, weighing in at 8am, taking the train back home and then attending my normal Tuesday 10am meeting.
I didn’t mind it really, but it was getting to be a bit of a pain to commute all that way for what amounts to what a 45 second weigh-in.
Yes, obvious thing would be to loosen the reigns and change my weigh-in time … but c’mon now – do we think my OCD tendencies could handle that?
Plus, I just really like having my weigh-in in the morning. Get it out of the way and go about my day.
I thankfully know there is a 8am meeting near my house at the WW in Malden, where I can pop in and weigh-in anytime between 7:30 and 8am – right on my normal schedule and only 1 mile from my house. Win-win!
This concludes Part One of “Why I am switching to Friday weigh-ins?”
Part Two of “Why I am switching to Friday weigh-in?” is easy … I looked at my social calendar – I know, I have one of those now – and realized I was using a lot of my weekly points plus values Friday-Sunday. This wasn’t boding well because sometimes I would use them during the week thinking I was banking enough for the weekends – only to realize by Saturday night – that I wasn’t.
I think I would feel more comfortable going in to the weekend with all 49 weekly points plus values then being able to adjust the week (Monday-Thursday) accordingly. Plus, I am always more diligent during the week.
Also, after seeing the damage from the weekend, I have four days to kick up the activity before the weigh-in.
As I was chatting with another Weight Watchers Leader in New York, Melanie, on Twitter. She reminded me how we need to mold the plan as our lives changes and what will help us succeed for the long term.
So that is what I am doing. Giving a new game plan a try to see if that helps me maintain the weight loss I have worked so hard for.
How do you pick your weigh-in day? Has it changed as your journey progresses?
I am a boredom eater.
I am a grazer.
I am a sneak eater.
This are all characteristics that I have had since I was younger … and have crept back into my routine as I temporarily moved home two months ago.
I have been battling these food tendency demons since we got back to this fare city and I think I have come up with a solution. Okay, a member in one of my meetings on Saturday gave me the idea while helping another member out.
So a woman on Saturday was concerned about working from home and wanted to know how to tackle the ever grazing that would occur during her “work day.” She asked if anyone had a suggestion on how to combat the problem.
A woman told her to act as if her desk at home was her place of work and to give herself assigned “snack breaks.” I thought this was an awesome idea.
For the first time in almost a decade, I am not spending all of my time at work, where I had a much more structured eating pattern. Now, I spend more of my time either commuting between meetings or home alone with the pups … which lead to perfect “secret snacking” time.
BUT, if I set my eating schedule the same as when I am say working 7-1:30 today when I am off until 5pm tomorrow – I could create a pattern.
Some people call this eating to the clock. You know you always have breakfast at 9am and lunch at noon, etc. Some folks don’t like this method, but for my anal retentive/OCD mind, it is comforting. I find comfort and solace in a routine. Could be why I end up eating many of the same foods day in and day out.
So this week, I am going to try and create a basic routine and try to stick with it as best I can or at least use it to curb the unexpected and unnecessary tips to the cupboard … where all my little trigger foods are luring me to.
Well, that is the game plan for this week, there is no harm in trying a new tactic to beat the evil junk food demon. Right?
I will let you all know how it goes…
Do you eat to the clock or can your meal planning easily change as your plans do? Please share any tips or tricks you use for success!
It finally happened. The long awaited final piece of the Weight Watchers Leader training puzzle was completed Thursday night. After that the next three days became a whirlwind … but let’s back it on up.
I let you all know about how I led my first ever full Weight Watchers meeting on Tuesday night…
After that, I felt a little more comfortable with the “big” meeting that would take place on Thursday night in front of my boss. Well, that was on Tuesday night/Wednesday. Thursday the nerves set back in.
Thankfully Thursdays are my busy day as I am the receptionist for three meetings (8am, 12:15 & 1:15) so the nerves really didn’t set in unti I got home around 3ish.
I went over my notes one more time, got in to my “power dress” – the same one I wore at WW training and have worn a few times (the black ny&co dress) and headed out to the meeting.
My Leader coach Heather got me my very own “Leader Bag” A Leader Bag basically is a big bag to keep all of your WW stuff for your meetings together – not an official thing, but many have them. I felt wicked cool receiving my own. She stocked it up as well with great little goodies.
Thankfully she loved the gift I got her – Dunkin Donuts gift card & her very own reusable DD iced coffee cup – I know, we were a good fit.
Then all of a sudden it was 5:30 and time to start…
The meeting was great! It was a great topic – “Anchoring” – and the group was talkative and more than willing to share. I felt a lot more comfortable at the front and really tried to learn everything I had at training while being true to myself.
They even loved the “anchors” I gave out to the group as well – tiny sneaker erasers – for them to take with them for the week to remember the topic and ideas we had discussed.
The meeting wrapped up and it was time for the final verdict. It was great hearing what my Leader coach, Heather, and big boss, Elaine, had to say.
I felt awesome! You couldn’t, and still can’t, take the grin off my face from the awesome conversation we had. And after all that…
I got the word…
I WAS OFFICIALLY A WEIGHT WATCHERS LEADER!
Now would come the fun part of working on getting meetings of my very own to Lead. How cool, right?
I am so honored to be a part of such a great group of people and a great organization, Weight Watchers, trying to help people change their lives.
I then found out that I would be subbing in for a leader the next day (Friday) and then two the following day (Saturday).
Wow! I went from leading one full meeting that week for my big boss to leading five meetings. Woo! I was ready for the challenge.
I happily went off to the meeting on Friday, but it was a smaller crowd because of the holiday. It was a small group, but one that challenged me … and I welcomed it. Plus, they liked the little dog erasers I handed out at the end for “anchors.”
Saturday brought my first experience with leading back-to-back meetings, but they were groups I was familiar with since I am normally a receptionist at that location.
The groups can range from low 50s to high 60s depending on the week so I had to make extra “anchors” to be ready for any size crew. This time I used decorative plastic easter eggs with motivational sayings in each. I made 122 to be on the safe side.
Despite it being Passover/Easter, we had a great turnout and totaled about 70-something between the two meetings. The groups were great and I had an awesome time.
They also let me know they loved the meeting and were shocked I was so new to the role of Leader. They thought I was a veteran. Yay! I loved hearing that.
What a week. I went from one meeting to five and I loved every minute of it. Each group was so unique and each meeting was different from the next.
I can’t wait to continue this journey and start the next phase … waiting to hear which meetings I will be able to Lead on a regular basis!
I was completely honored when Dr. Sherry Pagoto, creator of my favorite twitter challenge – plankaday, asked me to be part of her “Real Life Biggest Losers” series.
I still don’t see myself as someone deserving of such a cool title, but I was eager to chat with her so I could share my journey with others. Because if I help one person with something I have gone through and shared then I have completed my mission.
She entitled the piece “From Weight Watchers client to employee” and I love it. I really have come so far through this journey … which will never end.
I am along for the ride and loving it.
Tuesday night marked the first time I ever led an entire Weight Watchers meeting. Me. Little ol me had the honor of standing in front of the room of members and be a part of their journey.
I had been dreaming of that moment for years. Ever since I started Weight Watchers in November 2009 and had one amazing Leader that really got me started and committed to this journey, I wanted to help others with their success.
I got the call Monday night – 24 hours before the meeting would have to take place – asking if I could Lead the meeting instead of be the receptionist for it since the Leader had to have immediate surgery.
My immediate reaction – FEAR – me in front of those people I KNOW for the first meeting. I don’t know about that.
My coworker, who gets me, could tell I was freakin’, but I simply said – yes. I had to bite the bullet and get that first one under my belt. I knew these people and they liked to talk. They like to talk to me at the scale. I assumed they would want to talk when I was at the front of the room.
Thankfully I was wicked busy before the meeting weighing people in that all of a sudden it was 6pm and showtime. I took my deep breathe – just like I do before I step on the scale – and I took off.
Some of the meeting is a blur as you are kind of in the zone. But boy was I happy with how it turned out. The group talked, connected, shared and most of all seemed to enjoy themselves and the topic. I could see some lightbulbs going off in people’s heads.
I did it. I led my first Weight Watchers meeting and I didn’t fall down … I didn’t spontaneously combust … I survived!
Now … I prepare for the first meeting in front of my boss and
hope know that it will go even better…