Thursday, March 31, 2011

Checking in

I haven't posted anything since Sunday because my job is consuming me lately. I'm slightly stressed at work. I still love where I work and love my job, but sometimes I get myself in situations with deadlines. There's always a deadline looming up ahead, and I'm always trying to meet it. I have one next week that I'm struggling to meet. I guess that's just life.

I'm doing okay, managing to get to the gym every day, although I took today off because I couldn't remember the last time I missed a day at the gym.

Sometimes I'm getting in a lunch hour walk with a friend at work that practically race walks, I almost can't keep up with her. I think it would be easier if we just ran. Of course we only walk when it's not raining in the third most miserable city in the nation. At least that's according to this article in the Wall Street Journal, although they say it has nothing to do with the weather (really?).

It's funny because my niece was here a couple weeks ago (from Fairbanks, Alaska) and she couldn't get over the deep green of everything, from he grass to the trees. She kept saying how beautiful it looked. She's right, at least when the sun shines here I think this area must be one of the most beautiful places on the planet. If only the sun would shine a little more.

My eating hasn't been perfect, but I'm tracking my food which is big improvement. My food choices have been excellent, but sometimes my portions are too large (four ounces of chicken breast just doesn't do it for me). I've also managed to avoid eating added sugar for the last two weeks, which is huge for me.

When my weight got up to 187 a couple weeks ago I had bought some cookies and other sweets which I consumed over a two-day period. I didn't write about it because I was pretty freaked out. I feel like I have that under control again.

I also stopped buying and eating the Weight Watcher frozen treats. The only "treat" in my freezer are the sugar-free fudge bars that Dawn convinced me to try, and they're not that bad. However, they're not that good either so there's no chance I'd eat a whole box.

Lately my evening snack has been a cup of Greek yogurt with a cup of frozen fruit, and some Stevia. It's more calories than one of the Weight Watcher ice cream bars (about 200 for the yogurt & fruit), but it's the same PointsPlus (3). It's a lot more filling than the bars and sort of like ice cream, and I never go back for seconds (or thirds like I did with the ice cream bars) because it's a lot of food.

I tried the Simply Filling a few days this week and then switched back to PointsPlus on Weight Watchers. You're not suppose to switch mid-week, but I still can't trust myself with the "eating until satisfied" idea.

This is a pretty boring post, but I just can't think of anything interesting to say. I guess all work and no play makes Diana a very dull girl.

Off to work now!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It's hard to lose weight but it's even harder to be fat

As I struggle to get control of my eating and get my weight back down, I constantly wonder why this has to be so incredibly difficult. I know I'm not alone in these feelings. Almost everyone with a weight problem can relate. It's hard to constantly deprive myself of things I want to eat. For whatever reason, food makes me happy. It's just that simple.

Three years ago I was 240 pounds. I honestly don't know how I was walking around. I don't know how I held a job or how I managed to start going to the gym. Carrying around an extra hundred pounds on my body made life very hard.

Two summers ago I was 152, last summer I was around 166. Right now I'm at 182.2. Down 5.2 pounds from my last weigh-in on Wednesday. I'm still 30 pounds up from my lowest weight in the last three years. I've beaten myself up about this over and over. 

The biggest thing I've noticed about this recent weight gain is how uncomfortable I feel in my own skin. More than anything, I'm embarrassed about the weight gain. How could I let this happen to me? Don't I even like myself? The answers to those two questions are sad. I let this happen to me because I don't care enough about myself to want to take care of myself. Like myself? Silly girl, of course not.

Added to the embarrassment is the discomfort. My clothes don't fit. Everything is tight. Every morning looking for something to wear is a challenge. 

Added to the embarrassment and discomfort is the constant nagging fear that I'm going to end up where I started. Every morning I wake up and my first thoughts are "what did I eat last night?".  If the answer is "nothing bad" then I'm happy. If the answer is "oh darn, I ate that entire box of Weight Watcher Truffle bars" then I'm miserable (that was my thought this morning). 

My workouts the last two weeks have been hard. The more weight I gain, the harder it is to exercise. My body doesn't want to work hard, it just wants to lie down and sleep. Every day I push myself to exercise, but with the added weight on my body, I can really feel the difference. It hurts so much more to exercise at this heavier weight.

The bottom line is that it's really harder to be fat than it is to lose weight. Fat hinders my entire life. Being uncomfortable 100% of the time and hating myself because I'm fat is really no way to live.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I didn't know I was so fat but pictures don't lie

Before Pictures (from the Big Climb March 20, 2011)

Rear view (ugh!)

It's weird how I often don't see my body as it really looks. When I weighed 152 two summers ago, and 166 last summer, I thought I was a fat pig. That's the picture on the lower right, me in the black size 10 skirt and pink top. 152 pounds and I thought I was fat.

Now that I'm fat again I don't see it when I look in the mirror. Even though the size ten's hanging in my closet don't even begin to fit, I still think of myself as the same person that weighed 152. It's like my head hasn't caught to the fact that I'm fat again. It's the opposite of what an anorexia thinks.

The pictures really hit me hard. Really? I'm really THAT fat?! Yes, Diana, you are really that fat. How fat am I? Read below.

My second weekly Weight Watchers meeting
Today was my first Weight Watchers At Work meeting. There were 28 employees at the meeting, each with their $130.20 check in hand for a 17-week series of meetings and e-Tools.

My company is picking up the additional 30% that Weight Watchers would normally charge. I work for an awesome company! Of course, it's in their best interest that we all get to a healthy weight to keep our insurance costs down, as well as take fewer sick days. Smart move on their part, and I get to benefit from it.

I'm very excited about this meeting. I'm not new to Weight Watchers. I've been going to meetings for three years non-stop. It annoys me that I haven't reached goal yet, but I also know that without the meetings I'd definitely be back up to my high weight of 240 pounds, plus a few extra for good measure. Going to two meetings a week is sort of like AA, where the alcoholic goes every day if possible. Like an alcoholic, I have a serious problem.

I weighed in at home this morning and was appalled I saw184 pounds. I decided to eat breakfast, have my cup of coffee and drink water all morning like normal. I'm not going to starve myself or go without water because I have a noon weighin.

The official weighin (are you sitting down because this is rather shocking):


Now I could make all sorts of excuses, I was wearing "heavy" clothes or I'd had food and water during the morning, or there was something wrong with the scales the leader brought to the meeting. That can't be my real weight! Seriously folks, it's my real weight. As real as it gets. 

My plan isn't to dwell on how horrible this is or how mad I am at myself for letting this happen. My plan is to get down to business and lose the weight!

I have my regular Weight Watcher meeting on Saturday, which I pay for online so I'll have two official weighins a week. I know that sounds kind of crazy, but I'm kind of crazy. My eating has become totally out of control with no accountability.

Now that I know how fat I am, I need to fix it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Back to square one

Now that the glow of the Big Climb has worn off, and I can't use the stress of the event as an excuse to eat, it's time to get back to basics.

Tomorrow is my first Weight Watchers at work meeting, which means I'll have my first official weigh-in in weeks. Even though I've been faithfully going to my Saturday meetings I haven't been weighing in. I weigh at home, but it's just not the same. I need the accountability of the Weight Watcher weigh-ins.

I also haven't been to the gym for five days! A new record for me of being absent from something I was doing almost every day without even thinking about it.

I didn't mention this but last Tuesday I hurt my bad knee going down the 37 flights at the Sheraton (I used the elevator the second time). Going up the stairs doesn't hurt my knees at all. In fact, I've read that stair climbing is one of the lowest impact exercises possible, even lower impact than walking. Going down stairs is really hard on the body, especially the knees and hips. For stair climbing they always recommend using the elevator for going down. Except when I hurt my knee going down the stairs, it really starting hurting going up the stairs too. Not good.

After my workout last Wednesday where my knee was hurting pretty bad, I took off Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and Sunday (Big Climb day) from the gym. I only had an hour long walk on Thursday, but it was down and up a very steep hill, one mile each way, walking super fast with a coworker. It killed my knee. Luckily it was healed by the Big Climb on Sunday. Yesterday I was just lazy and skipped the gym.

It's 5:04 a.m. right now, and I'll be out the door in about 15 minutes heading to the gym. Back to my regular workouts.

Tracking my food and following the plan
I also haven't been tracking my food the last few days, and I even went out to lunch yesterday. Thai food, Cashew Chicken with white rice! I ate the entire thing. There must have been a lot of sodium in it because I was dying of thirst all afternoon and could barely get my ring off last night.

I haven't done anything like that in years. I'm always really careful when I eat out, ordering the lowest calorie item and only eating half. It was like the old me was back, and I don't really like the old me. The one that ate whatever and whenever she felt like it.

I'm nipping that in the bud. Back to healthy food, and tracking every bite.

Killing the nighttime eating monster
Anyone that's read my blog for a while knows I have a terrible time with eating late at night. Last night I decided that has to stop. It's been out of control lately. I decided that once I go to bed, that's it, I am done for the day. The restaurant is closed! No more getting up in the middle of the night and eating. I didn't use to do this, and I'm not even sure how it got started, but for the last year or so it's been my demon.

Even if it's healthy food, it has to stop. Last night was night number one of my new "rule". I thought about getting up a few times when I woke up at midnight and again at 1 a.m., but I didn't. I stayed in bed and eventually fell back to sleep. A little self-discipline is good for the soul (and the waistline!). It wasn't really that hard last night, but of course, I'd eaten much more than normal during the day. I know it'll be a lot harder now that I'll be back on plan.

Back to square one, what's always worked in the past will work again in the future.

Now for the gym!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Big Climb was totally AWESOME!!!

The Big Climb Seattle 2011

After all my worrying and fretting about being a Big Climb team captain, after kicking myself in the butt a zillion times because I didn't lose twenty or even ten pounds for the event, I would say today was one of the best days of my life!

My husband took a ton of pictures today (and many of them not at all flattering to me), but the one below is my absolute favorite.

The guy on the left is Steve, and our team was Alaska Airlines Climbing for Steve. Steve was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndromes (preleukemia) last August and had a stem cell transplant last fall. The guy on the right is one of our pilots, Paul. He was in the exact spot last year that Steve is now, recovering from a stem cell transplant after being diagnosed with MDS. This year Paul did the climb, and next year, both Paul and Steve will do the climb. I really love this picture. That's me in the back, on the right (with the bleached blond hair hiding behind people).

The anticipation and excitement was in the air when my husband and I entered the lobby of Columbia Center at 8:30am Sunday (my team's start time was 10:30am). It's a huge space, and it was packed with people, many wearing their team t-shirts. Most people were very fit and healthy looking. You could feel the adrenalin, as well as the fear that some of us first timers were feeling.

We arrived extra early because I wanted to make sure we had a space next to Starbucks on the main floor. It turned out not to be a problem because the Starbucks was located in an out of the way corner. I was a little worried no one would find us, but they all showed up.

Our company had two teams, my team, Climbing for Steve (since most of us knew him we wanted to honor him with a team just for him). The other team wasn't climbing for anyone specific. All together we had 60 people. Between the two teams we raised $8,500 dollars, which I thought was pretty good for a first time effort.

I was very surprised to see Steve show up to thank us in person. He had told me he would try to come, but if he wasn't feeling well, he might not make it. He's had a rough few weeks lately so I wasn't sure if he'd make it or not. Steve is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I've ever met. He made a little speech of gratitude to our team before we took off on our climb. It was very touching and made me cry.

As we were going up the escalators for our 10:30am start time I heard someone shout my name, "Diana!". I turned around and there was Alan from Pounds Off Playoff, with his wife and two kids. I recognized him from his blog picture. I yelled back a "Hi Alan, and Alan's wife and two kids!". I wish I could have spoken to him and his family. It's so cool to meet people that write blogs. It's like you know the person before you even meet them. But we were on our march to the start of the climb and there was no going back at that point.

I'm not going to kid you and say the climb of 69 floors or 1,311 steps was easy for me. It was not easy. It was hard. I slowed down a few times to let younger, more fit people pass me, but I never stopped and rested. My heart rate got up to 161 and stayed there for the last ten minutes. When I work out on the StairMaster at the gym (which is NOTHING like the real thing) my heart rate is usually in the 135-140 range, occasionally going up to 151.

A heart rate of 161 for ten minutes is extremely high for me, especially because of my age (55) my target heart rate (85% of maximum) is 140. I really felt like I was pushing myself hard, and I kept repeating over and over in my head, mind over matter, mind over matter...I can and will do this.

The hardest part was the first ten floors, because I knew how far I had to go and it seemed like a really long way to the 69th floor, the last ten floors were killer because I was exhausted! They number the last ten floors, each floor with a big sign, only ten more floors, only nine more floors, etc. Plus as you get close to the top there was a person at each landing cheering us on, saying things like "good job!" or "you're almost there!" The floors left numbers and the cheering really helped.

One thing that was so emotional for me was the big 8 1/2" x 11" photos on each floor. Several said "In memory of" and a name and date. Some said "In honor of" and a name. This gave me momentum to keep going. I couldn't help but think what each of these people and many others have gone through with cancer. If I could honor them by making this small sacrifice, then it was worth it.

The team t-shirt that really touched my heart the most was a team called Project Trevor. On the back of a bright orange t-shirt it had a picture of a young boy. Below the picture, it said "Dad, I have a question. Is Leukemia life threatening?" ~Trevor 2002. I saw some people wearing the t-shirt in the elevator and said to a woman, your t-shirt made me cry, but what a wonderful way to honor Trevor. She pointed to a man standing beside her and said that Trevor was his best friend's son. Then we all started to tear up a bit and someone said, "No tears here today! Only happy thoughts!" and we all laughed.

I looked up Team Trevor's web page and this is what their greeting said:

Project Trevor is the Big Climb Team Honoring Trevor Price, a young man, lost to Leukemia at 12 years of age. We have been a a key team in the recent growth of this fantastic event. We are encouraged by a young man that will forever be 12 years of age; a young man that was always older than his years.

Here's a link to more about Trevor. What's even sadder is that he lost his life five months after he was diagnosed with leukemia, at 12 years of age. Team Trevor raised $15,808.59 for today's event. Wow.

Sorry, I digress. Back to the actual climb. First of all, I didn't run it, but I was in the "racer" group so I could be timed. When I got to the sign that said "Five floors left!" I could hear the Rocky theme music (Gonna Fly Now). That really helped. It got louder and louder as I neared the top. You know the music, where Rocky is running up the steps in the movie.

So, are you wondering about my results?

Time:  19 minutes and 38 seconds
Place overall:  2635 out of 3242  <---these were the timed climbers, there was another 3,000 untimed
Pace by sex:  1100 out of 1499
Place in my age group:  91/131

Now those numbers aren't super fantastic, but dang, I'm kind of proud of it for my first time. Especially considering that I'm 55 years old and at least 30 pounds overweight (but not next year!).

Are you wondering how the 80-year old woman placed? Actually, this year she's 81.

Shirley Lansing, 81, 36 minutes and 36 seconds.

I hope I do that well when I'm 81!

My goal for next year, 15 minutes! I saw several people in their fifties did it in 15 minutes or less this year. Imagine how easy it would be if I was thirty or even fifty pounds lighter?

Overall, I really enjoyed this event. I talked to the other team captain and we're already scheming how to have one big team next year of over 100 people. If we raised $8,500 with 60 people, we can raise at least $10,000 (or more) with 100 people.

Speaking of weight
I weighed this morning when I got up.


Holy Crap Batman!

I've been stressed out a little over the Big Climb. It had some sort of negative effect on my eating. I realize that doesn't make any sense but it's almost like I had this overwhelming pressure to lose weight. I mean seriously, the fat girl is going to climb 69 floors and not have a heart attack? The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to eat. It was really odd how it made me feel.

Looking through all the pictures my husband took of me today, I'm looking very fat. There's just no other way to say it, but I can really see the weight on my body and face and I don't like it one little bit. Not to mention hauling this body up 69 flights was a lot harder than it should have been for me.

We have a Weight Watchers at work group that just started, and I'm joining it. It's on Wednesdays at noon for 17 weeks. We have over 20 people signed up so we get an extra discount with Weight Watchers for having over 20 people, and our company is paying for 30% of the fee. Plus I'm staying in my Saturday meetings and paying my online fee. So I'll have two meetings and two weighins a week for the next 17 weeks. I feel really excited that I'm going to finally make some headway on losing weight again.

Battle: Los Angeles
This post is already too long, but I have to tell you about the movie we saw this afternoon. Battle: Los Angeles. I loved it! It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire movie. I laughed, I cried, and was thoroughly entertained for almost two hours (but it seemed like twenty minutes).

It's a sci-fi with aliens-war-suspense-scary movie. All the stuff I love rolled into one movie. I'm sort of a weird female because I love war movies. I'm sure it's from being married to a big history buff for the last 23 years. I've seen more than my share of war movies (but I kind of like them now).

Anyway, I loved it. I know the ratings aren't the greatest, but it's one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Definitely worth seeing on the big screen.

I must still be high from my climb. I'm a real chatterbox tonight!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Zero days until the Big Climb

In about eight hours I'll be getting up and getting dressed for the big climb. In about twelve hours I'll be lined up to start the climb of 1,311 steps.

I've picked out what I'm wearing, black cropped workout pants, a black sleeveless, v-neck workout top, the kind that stays dry (you can't see or feel the sweat, it wicks away, whatever that means), my favorite workout socks, and my favorite workout shoes. I have my heart rate monitor ready next to my socks so I don't forget it. Plus my gloves to wear so I won't be touching the bannister with my bare hands (I have a slight germ phobia about public stair bannisters--they're gross!).

I picked up the racing packets for my team in Seattle this morning and they're in the trunk of my car.

I had my hair cut and highlighted today so I'm ready for pictures. I had about an inch cut off, and it's really blond again (almost need sunglasses to look at it). No reverse highlights this time, just two tones of blond. I'm thinking it's a little bit too blond.

And I'm nervous as heck. I don't really know why but I feel anxious about this event. I know I can do the 69 floors, but I know it's going to be hard. My bad left knee has been bothering me a little since I did the Sheraton stairs on Tuesday (37 flights twice).

Maybe it's because I'm team captain, and I know I'm going to have to be all smiles and friendly. Basically, I'll have to be "on" as I meet and greet people tomorrow morning. I keep telling myself not to worry, it's no big deal, and it'll be over before I know it.

It's for a good cause, raising money for a good reason, to help the people that have leukemiaia, lymphoma or one of the other blood diseases. I keep telling myself that this is nothing in comparison to going through cancer. If you've ever known anyone that's gone through chemo, you know a little about the agony of having cancer.

This is basically about 35 minutes of my life where I'll have some discomfort climbing stairs. Imagine months of chemo, daily doctor visits, hospital stays, losing my hair, feeling sick and weak all the time. Nauseousness from the drugs, throwing up. Those are the people that are the heroes in this story.

Funny, I suddenly feel better about this whole thing. I'll report back tomorrow how it went. Hopefully I can beat that 80-year old woman's time from last year, 35 minutes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Three days until the Big Climb!

 Grace, Me, and Roxie at Palomino's in Seattle
Not my best picture but Grace and Roxie look gorgeous.

Tuesday I had a wonderful lunch with Roxie and Grace in downtown Seattle. It was the first time I'd met Roxie. She's exactly like she is on her blog, sweet, really funny, charming, beautiful and skinny too! I absolutely love her. Seeing Grace again was very fun. She and Roxie are very much alike, and I adore them both.

After our fun lunch I climbed the stairs at the Sheraton, twice. 1,154 steps up total. It was 37 floors to the roof, but their floors are weird. Some are 30 or 40 steps, but most are only 15 steps. On my way home I stopped at the gym for thirty minutes on the bike and a half hour of lifting weights. This morning it was back at the gym for 30 minutes on the StairMaster. I'm planning a regular workout tomorrow, a light workout on Friday, probably the elliptical and some upper body weights, then nothing on Saturday. A day of rest before the big day, the Seattle Big Climb.

I'm a bit nervous about the climb. I'm sure I can do it, but I know it's going to be difficult. Going up 37 floors at the Sheraton in eight minutes yesterday was difficult, but thinking about 69 floors without a break is a little intimidating.

My eating has been pretty good, but not perfect. No junk food, but a little too much chicken and fruit. I've been tracking my food, tracking both calories and PointsPlus. Yesterday was 1900 calories but only 17 Points (I'm suppose to have 29). The new Weight Watchers plan is a struggle for me, I can't seem to figure it out. I think it's best if I stick with calories.

I missed breakfast this morning because I was running really late for work. I rarely miss breakfast. I had lunch out today at Anthony's Seafood at the airport (my favorite Sea-Tac airport restaurant). I had Cioppino - Wild Alaska salmon, Manila clams, Puget Sound mussels and lingcod simmered in a savory tomato herb broth. I love this stuff. The last time I had it though it was super salty. I asked the waiter to tell the chef to go really light on the salt. It was perfect!

Well, it's past my bedtime (midnight!). I'm going through a really bad spell lately of not being able to sleep through the night. I can fall asleep in a flash, but I wake up several times during the night, finally getting up exhausted in the morning. I have my annual physical coming up in a few weeks. I'm going to ask my doctor if I need a sleep study or something because something is wrong with me and it's making me crazy!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

You know what they say about weight loss bloggers that don't post

When a weight loss blogger stops posting it's almost always a bad sign. Boy, is that ever true for me!

Tonight I looked back at my draft posts from the past week. These were posts I wrote, but could never actually make myself hit the publish post button. They had titles like "Disappointed", "Depressed", "Struggling". Each time I'd write about my life and re-read it, I'd think to myself, who would want to read this depressing stuff? If you weren't depressed when you started reading it, you'd certainly be depressed by the time you were done reading it.

I've had a bad few weeks. Actually it's been more like a bad few months. Okay, several bad months. About a week ago I seriously was considering the following:  divorcing my husband, quitting my job, and completely giving up on ever trying to get to a healthy weight. I wanted to run away from everything, including myself. Definitely bad times.

I'm not getting a divorce, and I'm liking my husband a lot more this past week. I'm not quitting my job. Even though it sucks the  life out of me at times, it's not a bad job. I love the company I work for and the people I work with. I like the work I do for the most part, I just need to figure out the life-work balance thing.

Weight loss or lack thereof
About getting to a healthy weight and how I've failed. Where do I start?

The last six months of trying to lose weight has not been successful. Almost every day was perfect from the time I woke up, all day until about 9 or 10 p.m. Then I just throw away an entire day's hard work and binge. Maybe it wasn't always an actual binge, but it was always too much food.

Usually I'd overeat healthy food, but a few times I bought candy or some other junk food and ate it late at night, alone. I probably did that four or five times in the last three or four months. Mostly I'd eat too much fruit or too much chicken, or some other healthy food but in a large quantity.

The last two weeks my exercise, the one thing I was good at doing, went south too. I was going to the gym at least five times a week, but most of my workouts were a struggle. I knew it was my 180+ weight that was making everything so difficult. A few weeks ago I was up to 187. I still went to the gym, but my eating wasn't good.

I've been going to my Weight Watchers meetings but not weighing in, and I stopped getting on my own scales at home. Not weighing every day is really a dangerous path for me.

Fortunately, whatever had been going on with me seems to have passed. Like my mom use to always say when I was having a difficult time in my life, this too shall pass...and it always does.

On Saturday I started tracking my food again and counting calories. I'm still struggling with the new Weight Watchers plan, the zero Points for fruit and most vegetables doesn't seem to work for me. I'm doing a hybrid of Weight Watchers, where I'm trying to follow their healthy eating guidelines, but also counting calories. When it comes down to the bottom line, it's really about the calories.

This morning I stepped on my scales at home. 182.2. Not much I can say about it. True, it's just a number, but it's also an indication of how poorly I've been doing with my goal of getting healthy.

Fun news
Tomorrow I get to meet Roxie in person. She's here in Seattle for a workshop. Grace, another blogger, and I are meeting Roxie in downtown Seattle for lunch. I consider both of them great bloggers. I met Grace last fall at a Geneen Roth workshop and loved her. I just know I'm going to love Roxie too. I've been following both their blogs for a long time. I want to be them when I grow up (make that if I grow up).

Big Climb update
Five days until the Seattle Big Climb on Sunday. Obviously I'm not going to lose the twenty pounds or even the ten pounds I wanted to lose before the event. I've stopped beating myself up about it. I can't change my past behavior so there's no purpose served by crying about it. I screwed up. Plain and simple.

In preparation for the Big Climb, I've been climbing the stairs at the Sea-Tac DoubleTree on my lunch hours. Last week on Tuesday and Thursday, and again today. Fourteen floors, climbed six times, or 1,350 steps. I don't take the elevator down, but walk down the stairs. It takes me thirty minutes for up and down fourteen times, and burns 230 calories according to my Polar heart rate monitor. Plus I've been doing the StairMaster at the gym almost every day. I keep thinking it's going to get easier, but it's still a killer every time.

Tomorrow after lunch with Grace and Roxie, my plan is to climb the stairs in the downtown Sheraton, 34 floors. If I climb it twice it'll be 68 floors, comparable to the 69 floors in the Columbia Tower for the Big Climb on Sunday. I'm sure it's going to be a challenge but I want to see if I can do it without passing out. :)

Thankfully my workouts are back to normal. I feel stronger and have more energy. I'm starting to feel like my old self.

My plan
My plan for the next week is to keep exercising, keep tracking my food and get back to daily posts. Even if my life isn't going perfectly, it helps to write about it. I'm back.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Happy Saturday!

Silly title to this post. Happy + Saturday goes without saying!

It's a gorgeous day here in the Pacific Northwest. The sun is shining and not a cloud in the sky. It's been raining nonstop for what feels like weeks, wet, cold and gray. I'm thrilled to see the sun and the deep blue of the sky. It makes me smile.

I'm off to Weight Watchers for my 11:15 a.m. meeting. I don't think I lost anything. In fact, I may have gained. I ate an entire bag of frosted animal crackers a few nights ago. I'm not sure what came over me. I was in the store, saw them on the shelf and bought them. It wasn't planned, it just happened. Over 2,000 calories in the bag. I kicked my own butt the next morning when I woke up and remembered what I had done. I don't know why I did it when I know I have the Big Climb in only two weeks. It made me angry with myself, but time to move forward. That stuff happens, I just have to keep going.

Plans for today are not very exciting, Weight Watchers, gym, grocery shopping, house cleaning. In that order. Already started on laundry. Fun times weekend chores. My husband is working on taxes so he's not the most fun guy to be around today. At least it's not pouring down raining so running errands will be slightly more enjoyable. I won't have to worry about a monsoon hitting me running from car to store and store to car.

Hank update
Here's the latest on Hank. I'm so relieved he's safe and in a good foster home. I talked with Jessica several times every day last week about Hank. I was the point person in my neighborhood since he was always spotted a few blocks from my house. One time he was seen two houses down from me. Anyway, Jessica loves this dog to pieces, and she persevered until he was found. Great ending to the story!

Post on Saving Great Animals Facebook page:
We have Hank out of the hospital now. Here he is with our wonderful volunteer Jessica St Germain. Hank is now recouping in a loving foster home who has lots of experience working with dogs in emotional need. We will begin to look at who is the best fit for Hank for his forever home! THANK YOU to everyone who helped save him!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hank's capture video

I loved this video!

It made me cry because it's such a happy event. You can see what a gentle soul this little guy is just by his demeanor. He's been on the run for a week, in a completely foreign land, with snow and freezing temperatures this last week. Scrounging for food and sick with bronchitis. He didn't understand our language since he's from Taiwan, and I'm sure everything smells very differently here than it did in Taiwan. You can see how gentle he is when Jim (the tracking dog owner) picks him up and puts him in the kennel. Really touching.

Posting today on Saving Great Animals Facebook:

Please email us if you would like to FOSTER HANK. He will be in need of a soft warm place to land as of this afternoon. He is being treated for Bronchitis with antibiotics and has a sore hip and leg from being on the run. The best place for him is in a home without any other dogs, since he has been through so much this past week, and with out any young children. Once he is settled and the PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) has worn off his new home settings may change, but for now we want to find him a home where things are quiet and he will receive lots of TLC. PLEASE let us know if you can help.
If you live in the Pacific Northwest and are interested in either fostering or adopting this very special dog, email the Saving Great Animals director, Vashti Escobedo- Director Saving Great Animals: Matching Families and Pets at


I've never heard of this organization until last weekend,  Missing Pet Partnership, Seattle Pet Detectives. They were hired by the Saving Great Animals rescue group to find Hank. I was really impressed by these folks.

The lady in the yellow vest in the video is Cat, and she is really a neat lady. They worked so hard to find Hank. They plastered the neighborhood with signs. There were signs everywhere. You couldn't go down a street within a two-mile radius from where he was lost without seeing one of the lost dog signs (and they were huge signs). They used a tracking dog to find where Hank was hanging out. They had a video camera at one of the live animal traps. They had a phone hotline that was answered 24/7.

I guess most major cities have a service like this, but I'd never heard of such a thing. Good to know in case I ever lose a pet.

There were also about 30 volunteers working to find Hank. A really nice group of people donating their time to help in the search. The whole thing just made me feel better about people in general. The world really isn't such a bad place. There's a lot of good out there, we just don't always see it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Best Day Ever!! (Hank and me updates)

After four crazy, emotional roller coaster days of searching for Hank, posting signs, checking the live animal traps, I received the following email this afternoon:

BEST DAY EVER!! Hank has been caught! We can’t believe our eyes and there are plenty of tears from this exhausting long haul. The work is not done yet, as off to the vet he goes.  He is tired, dehydrated, scared and hungry.  But he is alive.

We have paid the homeowner a reward (which they made sure to ask for!) and Vashti and Jessica are ready to take him to the vet.

We will keep you posted through the day and send a picture. We are not done thanking you ALL!

A happy ending!

Me update
It turns out that setting a goal of losing ten pounds in three weeks was kind of stupid. I know when I put crazy deadlines on myself they backfire in my face, so I don't know why I do this. It never works. You know the definition of insanity, well, that's me...insane.

My food has been pretty good, but not good enough to lose weight (I'm down a couple pounds to 180, but that's not the number I wanted to see). I've been eating very healthy food, but my portions are too large. Same old story with me. I eat too much of the good stuff.

Exercise is rocking. Today was a pure cardio day. I do those about once a week, where I only do cardio and no weights.

Thirty minutes at a steady pace on the StairMaster, 121 floors, average step rate 68. Thirty minutes on the stationary bike. At lunch I went over the Sea-Tac Doubletree. Fourteen floors from the basement to the top. Each jaunt up was 225 steps. I did it four times, or 900 steps. The Big Climb is 1,311 steps.

After 14 floors I had to turn around and go back down the stairs, back to the first floor, then start over. So I get a break every 14 floors. It was still hard. The first time it wasn't bad, second time a little bit more difficult, third time, ouch, it's hurting me. Fourth time, OMG I'm going to die! No way can I climb 69 floors non-stop.

My co-worker that's done the Big Climb three times in the last three years keeps telling me it's a mind game. He said it's really 70% mental and 30% physical. If your mind believes you can do it, then you can do it. I know today my mind kept saying 'you are so screwed Diana!'. If only I'd lost that 20 pounds or even 10 pounds, this would have been so much easier.

Since I can't lose a lot of weight at this point (only 18 days left!), I'm going to focus on the exercise. I'll continue my gym workouts as usual, adding in the exercise bike more often since it's good for the quads and quads are good for the stairs, and add in a daily DoubleTree stair workout during lunch. I also need to focus more on my core, a strong core is good for climbing stairs.

Mind over matter, mind over matter. Yes, I can do this!