Tight pants make for a moody Monday.

So that whole "Woohoo! I indulged in all of my cravings and ate my way through my weekend and have ZERO guilt or regret!" thing has come back to bite me in the bum.

As enjoyable as this weekend was, I am totally, completely, 100% feeling the after effects of eating so unhealthy. First of all, I slept terribly last night-- I couldn't get comfortable, tossed and turned, basically never fell into a good deep sleep. Once I woke up (at 4:40, in case it has been forgotten how early my mornings start everyday) and headed to the shower, I just felt sluggish/nauseous/icky. After swapping my comfy pajama pants for my (slightly uncomfortable/tight) work pants, it dawned on me that the most likely reason that I feel so gross this morning is the amount of junk that I ate this weekend. Since I've joined WW, I haven't let myself just throw all caution (and points) to the wind eat whatever I wanted like I did this weekend, so I never eat a ton of unhealthy stuff all at once-- more like here and there, and in reasonable portions so that it's not unhealthy, just a splurge (the wise way to do this-- eat healthy the majority of the time so that you can indulge when you'd like to-- duh, Katie).

***This is the point where the lightbulbs start flashing on above me***

Now that I DID have a couple of days where I just ate whatever I wanted... I don't miss it. It is really hard (and weird) for me to believe that my body was used to eating that way. Greasy cheeseburger? Sure! Doritos? Love it! Salty tortilla chips and queso from Chili's? Don't even THINK about taking that away before I scrape the life out of that skillet. My body never used to freak out when I ate unhealthy, because I ate that way all. of. the. time. Since I've completely changed my diet and my lifestyle, I've really come to see how different I feel. I have more energy, I feel healthier, I obviously look healthier... I guess it really does help to eat your veggies.

Now don't get me wrong. I love food. LOVE food. I love to cook and bake and try new recipes and make old faithful recipes and could spend all day reading cooking magazines, cookbooks, and watching the Food Network. Food makes me so happy, but I don't NEED food to BE happy-- big change, my friends. New healthy lifestyle or not, I will eat Velveeta, Mexican food, and pasta until the day I die. It's just all in moderation (biggest lesson of my life).

There was no intention when I started writing this little blurb of it being 100% food-focused, so if you were bored to tears (or if you actually made it this far), props to you! This was more of a journal post than a bloggy post.

I am also happy to report that I have chugged 3 liters of water (I might swim home) and unhappy to report that my tight pants are still making me moody. This, on top of an already manic Monday, make me way too happy that I brought my gym clothes to work with me.

Comfy running pants, here I come!

Our weekend = food. That is all.

This weekend has been just what I personally ordered/requested/demanded of us as a couple. There has been lots and lots of good food, plenty of relaxation (both together and in separate rooms-- let's face it, couples just need that every now and again), and just time to catch up and take a deep breath... finally.

Yesterday morning I was at the gym when they opened at 7 and had a great workout-- I ended up using the Arc Trainer for about 30 minutes, then managed to book it on the treadmill and turn out a 27 minute 5k, which definitely beats my "official" 5k time of 29 minutes! After showering and getting all prettied up for the day, I headed to Old Navy to return two tops that I bought a couple of weeks ago and just ended up not being all that crazy about. After browsing for a bit, I stocked up on a few basics: a white ruffle henley top (cute under cardigans), basic henley-style shirts in purple and black, a hot pink fleece vest (for $5!!), and a super cute pair of orange pajama pants with black cats (and with tiny green eyes-- love!).

From there, Brian and I headed to Macys in search of khakis (for him) and boots (for me). Sadly, my search was unsuccessful, as I am pretty lost in general as to how to decide on a pair of boots and the Macy's shoe department was an absolute mob scene. The rest of our evening entailed seeing Paranormal Activity 2 (still creepy but not as scary as the first, probably because it was filmed in the same format and you kind of knew what to expect), and stopping for dinner at a semi-local restaurant called Not Your Average Joe's. We split guacamole and blue corn tortilla chips for an appetizer and our dinners were Spice-Rubbed Flank Steak (me) and Steak Tips (Brian). It was phe-nom-en-al (as always-- it's for sure one of our favorite spots). We came home, watched TV and had a bit of wine, then headed to bed.

Today has continued the whole theme of perfection, beginning with me sleeping in until 9:30. Y'all, for me on a weekend, that's like I've slept the whole day away. I headed to the gym around 10:30 for a quick workout, then we were off to Chili's to satisfy a craving that I've had for the last week:

That's right, my friends. Not only did we have chips, salsa and queso, but I had this coupon for it! Free food just makes it so much more enjoyable :) And that whole thing about this weekend being all about food... after plowing through the cheesy wonderfulness, we split a Mushroom Swiss Burger and fries, which I have been craving for the last 10 months... no kidding. Chili's isn't all that Weight Watchers friendly in general, so not only do we rarely stop there, but when we do I'm pretty strict about what I order, so to say this indulgence was badly needed is the understatement of the year!

The rest of my day has been spent in bed, in my comfy pajamas, watching Lifetime movies. Love it! I'm off now to throw together our supper-- chicken enchiladas with a black bean and brown rice dish (I figured we'd go out with a bang, after the way we've eaten all weekend).

Since this was indeed the most boring blog post ever, a play by play of my weekend, I promise I'll work on having something a little more interesting soon.

Nothing a good bar of chocolate can't fix...

I just realized that somewhere between last week's PMS shopping spree/semi-binge and right now, a half of a Dove Chocolate Bar with Almonds went missing.

Also chocolate-related, a co-worker has been home in Europe for two and a half weeks and (because she hearts me dearly and I over-explain things to her out of the goodness/kindness of my heart, no matter how long it takes), she brought me this:

I have no idea what type of chocolate it is, other than the fact that it's very high in cocoa because it has fewer calories, according to her (girlfriend knows my never-ending journey to drop the pounds-- she even remembered across the world!). She's just the sweetest person-- she's a bit older than my mom and is always very concerned when I have even the slightest cough, if I look too tired, if I'm looking a bit pale... Anna is all over it.

Also, the best props to Anna: When she hugged me and said she'd missed me so much while she was gone, she stepped back, looked me up and down, and proclaimed "My goodness-- you've lost even more of the weight! You look like a statue!" with the biggest smile on her face (judging from her excitement, I think looking statuesque is a good thing, though I picture like, Giselle Bundchen when I think of "statuesque," though if the comparison is there, I will run with it like the wind).

Today has been one of those days that makes me want to lay on the floor and cry.

The floor of the research building that I work on is really high tech/top notch, and our conference room is dedicated to the previous program director (who was also quite a big deal). Because everyone wants to use the prestigious conference room, it's always booked.

Well, today our little computer just decided to have its own temper tantrum and up and quit working. I've spent the afternoon taking accusations that it's my fault, being questioned as to why I can't fix it (hello, do I LOOK like the Help Desk?), and sending out emails to the meeting coordinators who have the room for the rest of the week to inform them that the essential computer is not working.

Yea, it's been one of those days.

Earlier this morning, my evening was going to consist of going shopping for new work clothes, hitting the gym, and baking/cooking my night away while finishing up a Halloween craft on the side.

As of this very moment, I cannot wait to walk in my door, take a hot shower, and collapse into bed for a nap before I have to face the kitchen and put dinner together. Brian and I have plans to catch up on a lot of DVRd tv and eat our supper (apple bourbon pork tenderloin and parmesan orzo, anyone?) and relax in PJs in bed.

Sounds like a perfect night to me, particularly after the day I've had. And I'm not in a bad mood, although I've fought back tears approximately twelve times today. I just need some good comforting and relaxing tonight.

On a completely selfish note, keep my dad in your thoughts. He's in Houston today and tomorrow with my mom to find out if the frame on his leg can finally FINALLY, after two years, come off.

Thank y'all!

P.S. I'm totally hitting up that chocolate bar this evening.

I am my MaMaw

It has been a r-o-u-g-h week. I try really hard not to wish for time to hurry by, but sometimes you just really need the weekend to be here, and that time for me is now.

The good news is that this weekend is one of our "let's definitely do nothing" weekends, and I'm way pumped for that. Saturday (as of now) will consist of lots of college football, healthy-ish snacks (although I'd LOVE some Velveeta...), and date night. We're going shopping for work clothes, to dinner, and to see Paranormal Activity 2 (which I'm already expecting to ruin my already restless sleep for the next infinite amount of time).

Speaking of lack of sleep, I was moving really, really slowly this morning when I got off of my train to catch my shuttle to work. It was a struggle to climb the stairs, and my bag and lunch bag and coffee were just weighing my down. Mid-climb I realized a high school-age boy was walking really, really slowly too-- because of me. I smiled and said "Oh darlin', go ahead around me. I'm not moving too fast this morning."

And then I stopped and looked around, expecting to see my MaMaw because, Hello? When did I become her?

In addition to walking around oh-so-slow, guess what The Boy and I did last night for our fun and entertainment.

Give up?

We rolled a sandwich bag of coins that have been sitting on Brian's dresser for a really, really long time.

And on that note, I'll wrap things up. This is the reason the blog posts haven't been free-flowing lately. We've just been laying low and getting through the daily grind. Plus Brian has been studying for his CFA exam, so we're kind of buckling down and staying in in the evenings so he can get his readings and such done.

Hopefully I have something more exciting to report after this weekend!

Oh, how my mind can wander...

Today is my day of exhaustion.

The family that I nannied for when I first moved to Boston asked me to babysit last night so they could go to the theater. After checking to make sure they were NOT seeing Wicked (I would have been insanely jealous and therefore potentially NOT agreed to sit), I remembered how much I heart the kiddos and how long it had been since I'd seen them... and said yes. Despite what the rest of this post might suggest, I had a great time with the kids. We played dress up and I was a pirate who had to capture BatGirl and some Star Wars man with my special ruby necklace (ah, love them!), followed by dinner, stories, and bedtime.

Now, when I worked for the family, I could walk from my apartment to their house in 15 minutes on a sunny day (who knows how long on a snowy/icy/windy/rainy day); now that I've moved out of the city, the commute is about an hour and fifteen minutes by train. When confirming times and such, I stressed to the mom that I couldn't stay too late since I wake up before the sun in the mornings to get to work. She assured me that they have a rule to be home by 10 when a babysitter's there.

At 10:45 last night, I was still staring at the clock in their kitchen.

To make matters so, so much better, I started reading American Psycho a couple of days ago. (Sidenote: In my defense, it was in Brian's parents basement last summer and I thought "Ooh, sounds intense and thought-provoking. I'll give it a whirl." It was the most horrific, disturbing book I've ever opened. If I would have known what was truly going to happen once the pages started turning, I'd have left it in the basement.) So I'm sitting in the huge, dark, silent, decked-out-for-Halloween house, trying to convince myself that the noises I'm hearing are just the wind/animals outside/creaky pipes, thinking about every scary story I've heard since I moved to Boston, panicking about walking to the train IN THE DARK when I leave. They finally got home around10:50, paid me, and I BOLTED down their street to the train.

Having lived in Boston for three years now, I can assure you that taking the train past 10pm is one of the least safe/rewarding/enticing things that you can do. My dad has repeatedly said "Keep your guard up" forever, and that is literally all I could think of last night:

Stay in the well-lit spots
Be on the phone with someone if you're alone
Stand with crowds of people while waiting for the train, never off to the side
Sit near the conductor's window on the train

I was fine and safe and everything, but there are just certain types of people that ride the train after a certain time of night, and it's not the most safe-feeling place for a girl. At all. Brian knew my status and ETA, but as far as my parents were concerned, I was in bed watching TV and had been home for hours (for their own peace of mind). By the time Brian picked me up and we got back to the condo, it was 12:20.

I washed my face, crawled into bed, and burst into tears for the following reasons:

I had eaten a dinner of organic tortilla chips, an organic "Oreo", and a pink lemonade Jolly Rancher sucker. Brian made me dinner which I was too tired/it was too late to eat. I felt guilty and hungry and guilty again.

I was painfully aware that my alarm would be going off in 4 hours. Four hours, my friends.

I found a sticker on the seat of my jeans which one of the kiddos had so kindly attached while I cleaned up dinner dishes, which means the creepy train people saw it (as if they cared).

The creepy people on the train scared me.

My feet/back/eye hurt.

The psycho book made me sad for the fictional people IN the book.

My blubbering subsided, I reminded Brian that sometimes "these cries just need to happen", and sniffled myself to sleep. Needless to say, it was a rude awakening when that alarm went off this morning. Despite the last twelve hours, I put myself together this morning and actually don't feel quite as exhausted as I was expecting (I'm thinking that energy drop will occur riiiight about 1:30, my slow time of the day).

Starbucks is currently calling my name, and because I need a little pick-me-up today, I'm going to post a "Things I'm Loving Thursday" list... right after the caffeine kicks in.

Be back soon!

Staying Southern

Today is Flu Shot Day at work for me, and I jumped on the bandwagon to get one.

(Sidenote: It may sound terrible, but a decent portion of my rationale to do this was getting away from my desk for a bit. On the necessity side, I've already been sick three times between the end of summer and about two weeks ago, so I figured the darn shot couldn't do me any worse.)

I've always avoided the flu shot in the past because I typically get sick once when the weather gets cooler, and then that's it. Well, between my mom's persistence each year and the fact that I work at a childrens hospital this flu season, I thought I'd take the plunge and get the shot. And I'm not afraid of needles, so that wasn't the issue. That's not to say that I jump at the shot of being stuck, but y'all catch my drift.

Around lunchtime, my coworker and I headed over to face the flu. We filled out our little employee survey and walked straight up to the nurse station.

Now, let me preface the remainder of my story by saying that I love when my Southern-ness comes out in my speech and I am 150% confident that I have the grace and presence that I have today because I was raised in the South. No matter how long I may live away from Texas, I will say "y'all" until the day that I die. My mama and daddy raised me to be respectful to others, always saying "Yes ma'am/sir" and "No ma'am/sir," whether it's to a teacher, a friend's parent, or a worker at the Taco Bell drive-thru-- every single person deserves respect. When we would visit my dad's side of the family when my brother and I were growing up, we would always be full of good manners and pleases and thank yous. While the adults admired it, our cousins constantly poked fun, saying that we were "sucking up" and such. No matter to us-- we were from Texas and proud of it, y'alls and all.

And seriously, cousins-- graciousness and good manners are going to get you a heck of a lot farther in life than your Yankee-born bluntness and rudeness have thus far proven to help you.

As my junior high school English teacher always said, "I digress."

One of the first big culture shocks for me when I moved to Boston was the extreme lack of hospitality and manners. Seriously. You would have thought that a good portion of these people had been raised by heathens, as my Aunt Linda would say. No politeness, no manners, no kindness without wanting reciprocation, no holding doors open for women or giving a lady your seat on the train... as I said, I'm from Texas, where ladies and gentlemen are born and bred, so this was quite the surprise. There have been times when I've had people here straight-out tell me to NOT call them ma'am because it makes them feel old. Hmph.

So I sit down in my chair for the shot and the nurse is going over my little employee questionnaire:

"I see you work in ____ building and this is your ID number?"
"Yes ma'am."
"Okay, and this is your first time getting the flu shot, correct?"
"Yes ma'am, it is."
*explains procedure*
"Now do you understand the process?"
"Yes ma'am, I do- thank you!"
"Hm, you must be from the South, huh?"
"Yes ma'am, I'm from Texas."
"Yeah I figured with all of the "yes ma'ams". We need to teach you to talk like us-- 'Pahk the cah in the Hahvahd yahd." *laughs*

Um, no ma'am, I would rather die than have those words naturally come out of my mouth. The Boston accent may be attractive in some ways and interesting to hear, but to speak it will be the day I die. I'll hold on to my y'alls and ma'ams, thank you very much. Before my mama panics, I was very polite and told her that I would never stop with my "Southern speak" and she laughed again.

You can take a girl out of the South, but you cannot ever take the South out of the girl.

Now Y'ALL have a lovely day, my friends!

An ode to rainy Monday mornings... and my warm bed.

Rainy, dreary Monday morning,
Oh, I wish I still were snoring.
Cozy and warm, nicely tucked into bed,
I love how my pillow just cradles my head.
Drowsily watching my good a.m. shows,
hearing so slightly that brisk fall wind blow.

But awake from this daydream, alert I must be,
to make all the copies and brew the coffee.
Fill all of the staplers, run errands through puddles,
order cookies and test tubes, "Oh no, it's no trouble!"
Sit pretty and smile and wait for the time,
when the clock hits that minute; the evening is mine!

As quick as a whistle, the 12th floor I leave,
Oh please, elevator, do not mess with me.
My chariot is waiting, the shuttle is there,
that trusty shuttle driver, thank goodness, always cares.
Climbing on, I grimace, he laughs at my face,
"Long day?" he questions. "Please get me out of this place."

We speed off through Boston, I wait for the train,
stop after stop, this commute is so lame.
Finally, yes finally! "Last stop" is announced,
watch out, slow pokes, down the stairs I do bound.
The Jeep is there waiting, like a desert mirage,
"Hi, love you, please GO! Escape this garage!"

In traffic we sit, we creep the few miles,
then finally we're parked; a deep breath and a smile.
My bags are hung up, my work clothes are shed,
on go my pajamas as I climb into bed.
Dinner, the laundry, the gym-- they can wait,
my eyes, they must rest, before it's too late.

I return to the daydream that's teased me all day,
for just these few moments, so still I do lay.
Avoiding the thought that it's almost tomorrow,
let's not ruin this moment with thoughts of such sorrow.
Day in and day out, to work I must go,
but keeping me sane is this daydream-- yes, y'all know.

Have as happy a Monday as possible, my friends! A weekend review is still to come.