Monday, December 26, 2011

Gone Shopping

Cindy and I do all of our shopping together 95% of the time, so Christmas surprises are nonexistent. This year we decided that we'd use that to our advantage and not shop for each other, but to shop with each other after Christmas!

What fun! We started out at Ulta with our fabulous gift cards and then a jaunt to Aeropostale (my first time in) before heading north to the Gateway Mall. That was the most fun... I have never been able to shop the clothing at Anthropologie... ok they're still out of my price range but I used to just go in to see the items for the home. Today, I was finding clothes, trying things on and actually enjoying a new side of shopping. Losing weight has been full of those little surprises, and I'm still absorbing all of that excitement. I still ended up giving Old Navy most of my clothing cash, but I had lots of fun window shopping other places I've never been able to shop before doing so.

It was a nice new approach to Christmas, much less stress, and we had a great time just being out and about.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Sharing

Here I am on that day before Christmas wishing everyone a Merry Christmas Eve!

I've seen many wishes on Facebook for a Merry Christmas Eve... this is the first time in my life that I've seen or heard this particular greeting, and I find that I like it very much... so I had to try it on for size.

I have been taking a lazy approach to today, but still have accomplished some things... like starting another Christmas craft project... am I crazy? What must I be thinking? Ah, well, the project is drying now, so it's nearly complete... there's still daylight... and I took the time to send some Christmas wishes through the fabulous email delivery system. You see above that I'm a procrastinator (craft projects on Christmas Eve isn't indicative of this? Really?) so I didn't get any cards out... which means Email really IS fabulous! And speaking of cards, I am currently waiting for the glue on one to dry.... is it lame to mail them after Christmas??

The other day I posted a favorite by Bowie and Der Bingle... but I really couldn't share just one favorite Christmas carol. That would mean neglecting some very favorite performers singing another great Christmas tune or two... so turn it up and enjoy this selection of Christmas tuneage.
Gunnar and Matthew Nelson (@NelsonRockBand) singing "Jingle Bells" a la Rick Nelson

Gunnar and Matthew with Scrap Metal performing Jingle Bell Rock

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 23, 2011

My Favorite Things

I remember the very first time I saw this - It was an instant favorite. I was a teen, I was into the likes of Duran Duran and at the time was not quite sure about Bowie because all I knew was "China Girl" and wasn't a fan. I loved Bing Crosby because I'd grown up with my grandma Mimi loving Bing and she inspired many of my first loves of music and movies.

This was the crossroads of things I'd grown up with and things I was getting into, so it resonated with me in a sense. Also, the song is beautiful - the way they brought the two songs together with their distinct voices, it was symbolic of the peace they were singing about.

Up until this performance, my favorite Christmas songs were Silver Bells and Silent Night... move over tunes, Bowie and Der Bingle are in town...

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Get your Party on

Brave Cindy-is that laughter? She DID have fun!

Last night, I dragged Cindy to my friend/coworker Lindsay's "Dirty 30" party. She needs to get out of the house more and I need a DD. Alice, my supervisor hosted the surprise party at her house and "Ms. Safety" - you know the "it would be safer if..." person that lurks inside of many of us - almost made me reconsider, however, I was still able to override that creature and go. I think if I'd told Cindy about my wavering she would have encouraged me to stay home... she's still got a closer bond with her own "Ms. Safety".

Sherry with Alice's Caramel Apple concoction... yummy!

I'm so glad I did go, it was fun to get out and be among people, especially people who love to live, drink and laugh with abandon! I hope I continue this adventurous journey and go out with people more often.

Here's to a Very Happy 30th birthday to Lindsay!
Birthday Shots!

Alice taking a picture of me taking her picture...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Gray Day

I took my camera with me to work, after all, most of my daylight hours are spent there so I'd hoped to get some use out of it.

It was a gray day, which was ok for lighting but everything except for the berries on this tree seemed to be on the glum side. Even they're a bit shriveled.

There will be more experimentation in the very near future. Probably once the sky lightens up and I take Sheldon on our Saturday stroll... there's always something down our country roads to take pictures of, including that rascally Sheldon.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Giving Santa a Hand

With an incentive payout just in time for the joys of Christmas, I opted to give Santa a hand and buy myself a DSLR. It's been on my personal wishlist for several years and I knew that if I didn't get a lump sum of money to spend it would probably never happen.

We've been busting our butts for the past 6 months at work trying to get this payout and I knew just what I was going to do with it.

I have a Canon EOS Rebel film camera and still love it. I just don't love the constraints of working with film these days, with it getting trickier to find processing, harder to find the film and working around the film-grain issue. Not to mention the expense of getting the film processed and digitized. I know the poor thing is destined to be practically retired. There is still one good thing about having that camera-the 2 lenses I have for it are going to work with the new one.

I haven't been able to play with the new Canon EOS T3  much since the UPS man brought it to my door 2 days ago, but tonight I monkeyed around a little bit with the limited subjects found in the family room.

I did get one of the best shots of Mickey I've taken in a long time, one that shows the beauty of his soulful brown eyes and his loving countenance without the typical burnout and pet-eye.

He was right on top of my camera lens so he's got a bit of distortion but really, who can look past those eyes?

I've much to learn, this camera is not really much like the film version at all, having about 12 years of technology under Canon's belt since the RebelG was new. I look forward to learning and sharing as I go. In time I'll even learn to note my settings so I can learn a thing or two about what I've created.

My first goal is to be able to get some great (good would even be acceptable) shots on Christmas day... so practice is in order over the next 10 days.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

330 days and counting

Yesterday my daily status update from said "funauntsherry has logged in for 330 days in a row!"

Yes, 330+ days ago, I started earnestly keeping a daily log of what I was eating. I reduced my calorie intake from something I don't even dare estimate (I scoffed at "serving suggestions") to as low as 1290 per day.

That said, I don't deprive myself, nor do I feel deprived.. Just last night I helped myself to a delightful cookie from Ruby Snap. I also do not punish or guilt myself if I go over in calories one day or even a couple (which seems inevitable this time of year) of days. I just record it all and go on. After all, tomorrow is always another day!

I'm currently in the 1500 calories/day range and very slowly losing pounds. It wasn't always so slow. In March I bought a pair of pants in size 20 instead of the size 22 I was wearing last December/January. By May, I couldn't wear the 20s any longer. Good thing it was nearly summer and skirt season, because i was able to take in some of my skirts and capris until I started getting the urge to shop in June/July and was able to buy a pair of size 16 jeans. By August I was back to Old Navy on one of their jeans sales for a size 14. I still have those, have to have a belt with them, and I have Cindy's size 12 Levi's that she shrunk out of and they fit me comfortably snug.

It hasn't just been a reduction in calories, I've also been walking. I started walking at about the same time I started tracking my calories. I went out in cold and wet, I was very determined to do something smart. I haven't been half as disciplined in this recent cold weather as I was last winter. I don't know if it's the cold, or if it is just that we've been so busy at work lately that I don't even take my breaks. I do still take Sheldon (and sometimes Mickey) on weekends so I'm not terribly lazy! Sheldon has been a huge asset to me in my walking. He loves his on and off leash adventures.

I need to get back to it! I only walked a few times this past week and I feel kind of like a slacker!

The past 330 days have been amazing. I started out at just over 300 pounds last December and as of my last recorded update I was down to 182. This is so close to my goal of 150, but still so far away. The last 15 pounds I've lost have taken almost as long as the first 100 did.

I have been getting so much good motivation from my coworkers in their timely and excited comments. Kids have the best reaction, because they're SO unedited. Cindy's nieces exclaimed "You've lost SO MUCH weight" when they opened the door this past October and my niece asked "why were you "SO FAT" before?" Hey, they're kids! Honesty is beautiful. I was SO FAT and I did lose SO MUCH weight. And to have it noticed is a far better feeling than one would think.

My best motivation of all has been simple things.. underpants! I have a choice in styles and fabrics at every store I go to.... who'd've thunk it? Tights and boots are also a new addition to my wardrobe. I am no longer resigned to ballet-type flats and long pants and long skirts... lets show off these legs a little (ok, they're not perfect, but they're not trunks anymore either).

I'm not exaggerating... nor is it cheating to show you a photo of me from May of last year, since from May to December of 2010 my appearance didn't change... May to December 2011, on the other hand the change was phenomenal!

Some visual aids - Left: Sherry with Mom, Mother's Day 2010. Right: Sherry at the Gateway; November 2011

I'm excited to see how the next 30+ pounds come off and how it makes me look and feel physically and emotionally. I've never felt quite as content with myself as I do right now, after losing over 120 pounds. I weigh less at 43 than I did in my 30s, possibly even my (late) 20s. I know I've got a way to go but, having been on the other side of things, I don't feel quite as "fat" as I ever did when I was in this weight range before. What a great liberator!

Thanks to everyone for the support, encouragement and for bearing with me through this post.