Monday, September 29, 2008

Winter's Coming!

Saturday night was a bit boring at the Casa di Kiki. With said football game in town, I really hate trying to go anywhere, because there are all these tourists/fans that crowd bars and restaurants, so I usually just stay home. And staying home leads to big cleaning purges when I'm trying to avoid grading or editing. I decided to look at my winter coats after I saw on that this week, the low in my region is going to be 43 freakin' degrees!! To me, that's a sign that winter is coming and soon! I have a lot of coats. What can I say? I love to shop. I also love to hold onto things that I won't ever wear again. Most of my coats are 2x, which last winter, they were a little on the large side but I wore them anyway. This year?

I'm drowning in these super huge coats! Since I'm going home in a few weeks, I decided to put all but one of my coats in a huge garbage bag and bring them there. My cousin's wife has inherited many of my "too big" clothes (which is not to say that doesn't weigh on my conscience... is she not losing weight because she's getting all these great clothes that fit her perfectly?) and so I'll see if she wants any of these coats before I hand the rest over to the Goodwill. It breaks my heart because I love the blue coat that I'm wearing above (affectionately nicknamed my Sta-Puff Marshmallow Man coat) as well as my Columbia rain/winter coat that I bought my first year up here. But at the same time... onto newer and better things. I have one coat, a red peacoat, that still fits nicely, mainly because it was an XL petite (outlet shoppping... what can I say?). I need a black dress coat, as I think everyone does, and I'm still looking for one. But, my favorite purchase? A Columbia black down filled coat off ebay for $20. I freakin' LOVE ebay, but I always forget to look at it as I'm replacing clothes in my closet. I'm off to look for a pair of khakis right now!

I can do it!!!.... I can't do it :(

Running on a treadmill reminds me of a song from "The Producers" called "We Can Do It". Basically Max (the greedy shyster producer) is trying to convince Leo (the timid accountant) that he can get in on his scheme. In my life, it goes more like this: It's night/raining/humid and I decide to go to the gym to run on a treadmill. I get on said treadmill and start running. Not so bad. It's my "I can do it!" moment. Then about 8 minutes in, I start to die. I try slowing down the treadmill... too slow. Try to speed it up back to where it was... too fast. "I can't do it." That was basically my night on Friday. Thanks to big university rivalry football game, my usual running paths were taken over by RVs and other types of ridiculousness. Now, I don't hate football. I hate that my routine gets altered by football traffic. Blah. Needless to say, Friday night's run (if you could call it that, after about 15 minutes, I gave up and did an elliptical workout instead) sucked.

But this morning... I rocked! I decided to do that 8 minute run/5 minute walk/8 minute run interval again, and I kicked its butt!!! I also figured out another way to run around the construction, but staying on a blacktop path instead of the concrete sidewalk, so that helped as well. Wednesday, I'm going to try my 20 minute run, and if I can get through it without walking, I'll move onto Week Six of C25K, which is another set of run/walk intervals. And if I can't get through the 20 minute run? I'll just keep trying it until I can. This is the new approach to the C25K program that I'm taking. No halfing it... I'm going to punch it out and finish it like it should be finished.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

30 Day Shred Update: Level 1

I've now completed 10 days at Level 1 of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. Hard to believe that it's only been ten whole days. I told you I would share my before and after stats, and here they are:

Weight: -3.2 lbs
Chest: -2 inches
Arms: -.5 inch
Waist: -2.25 inches
Hips: -1.5 inches
Thighs: -.5 inch

I have to say, the 30 Day Shred is really helping me out. Obviously I'm proud of my losses overall, but it's helped me past that as well. I feel slimmer, and I find that I'm walking taller and remembering to engage my abs while I'm in the "real" world. My clothes are definitely fitting better. It's also making me think twice before I put something not so healthy in my mouth (do I really want that white mocha from Starbucks or should I get a non-fat vanilla latte instead?) I really haven't changed my eating habits past following healthy eating guidelines (no programs, no calorie counting for me right now) and I'm still losing. I'm really committed to giving Jillian my all during the next 20 days. It's working. Even better... measurement wise, I've never been slimmer. I'm past my hump, smaller than what I was when I left for Spain in June, and it's all systems are a go! Woot! I'll be starting Level 2 tomorrow, and give you another update in ten or so days.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Weekly Weigh-In: Running With the King

Larry King, that is. The past few times I've been out running, I've felt my shoulders start to creep up towards my ears. Because I became conscious of it, I've started to give myself reminders to put my shoulders down, relax, keep breathing, keep going. A few minutes later, I'd find myself in Larry King land again. Then yesterday, at the office, I found myself sitting with my shoulders up around my ears AND walking through the hallways like that. Sheesh. I thought that I had good posture, namely because my back is straight. Now, I need to teach myself how to relax my shoulders. America's Next Top Model, here I come!!!
I weighed in today, and lost 0.8 pounds!!!! Woot! Little by little, this weight WILL come off of me. I do have to say that I've been seeing some measurement success with the 30 Day Shred, but I'll be posting that separately when I finish Day 10 (which is tomorrow... so expect a post on Sunday or Monday). I know that the slow weight loss is due to building muscle through the Shred as well as running, but still. I like to see some major results for some instant gratification :)
Hope y'all have a good weekend!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Things I'm Lovin'

Wow. I feel like Oprah. The more products I try, the more I feel as thought I need to share!

1) Lean Cuisine's Shrimp and Angel Hair Pasta: Y'know, once in a while, I forget which frozen meals I really like. That's mainly due to the fact that I go through months where I make sandwiches and salads, and then months where I eat frozen meals. I keep coming back to this one. It's only 4 WW points (220 calories) and it tastes yummy. Definitely something to eat when you need a creamy sauce craving.

2) Pink: Okay, so, she's not really a product, but over the past week, I've added a ton of Pink's songs to my Ipod. They include "So What?", "God is A DJ", and of course, my oldie favorite "Stupid Girls". If you need a good dance beat, I say turn to Pink. And don't know the songs? Find 'em on YouTube and listen!

3) Fruit Leather: I've become hooked on these things as a "dessert" after my lunches. It seriously takes me back to the 80s when I used to fight with my mom to buy me from fruit roll-ups (her response? there's actual FRUIT at home. why don't you eat that?) It's a little naughty, but at 45 calories a pop, I feel like I'm in the 4th grade again!

Er... can't think of anything else. Went for a run last night. The intervals were 8 minutes running, 5 minutes walking, repeat. It was fine, although at the end of my last 8 minutes, I was dying. Don't know why, but I am going to rinse and repeat this one. I want to kick butt on all these intervals, and not half-change them and move on. So, Friday, C25K and I are giving this one a try again. I'm still Shredding. Last night was Day 7. Tonight is Day 8. I purposely did not Shred this morning because I'm going out to dinner tonight. I want to be able to come home, do the Shred and watch Ugly Betty and Greys (priorities people!!) Anyway, if I know the Shred is waiting for me at home, I'll not eat as much at dinner and therefore, will be able to come home and work out.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Biggest Loser Recap: Fat Farm Edition

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!! Stop reading if you didn't watch last night's Biggest Loser!!!!

How upset was I when two of my favorite teams ended up in the bottom two? I think the Purple Team was right when they kept giving Coleen the eye during the bidding wars... what was she thinking??? But we'll come back to that in a minute.

The Brown Team... oh geez, they're getting worse by the minute. Oh, Brady, could you fake that limp a little more? And Vicki, um, could you please CLAP for the person who actually participated and won this challenge? What a beeotch!!!!! Or when she wouldn't taste the food because there was CAULIFLOWER in it????? Or when Brady thought that MUSSELS were a vegetable?????????? Please, in all that is merciful in thise world, could we PLEASE get them voted off next week?????????????????????????????

Oh, my gray team. My boys from Boston. I was so upset to let you go, and yet... LT gave what I believe to be the greatest exit interview in the history of BL. "I went to a Fat Farm and GAINED weight! Wouldn't you be p!ssed if you went to a makeover show and they made you ugly????" I was so worried with that attitude that the "what happened after the show" clip would be so disappointing. But wow!!! Could Tom and LT be looking any better? I am super impressed with weight loss and how they were able to keep up with it after they left the BL campus. Woo! Seriously, the last two weeks' non-losers are serious competitors for that $100K.

Almost crying moments last night: The red team calling home... of course. The pink team weighing in and Michelle's speech about the two pounds gone forever... yes, tears in my eyes. Heba with her dad on the phone. Tear!! Rocco DiSpirito looking fine... oh, yeah. I'm totally going to try that turkey meatball soup. Sounded delish! And Rocco looked delish! It was a complete win-win situation.

So, thoughts on next week's road trip? I think everyone's going to realize how psycho Vicki is and maybe throw her off the Grand Canyon. One can only hope!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

An Open Letter to Nordstroms

Dear Nordstroms,
I really really like your clothes. And, it is really unfortunate that I've never lived any closer than an hour's drive away from you, because I think we could have a really great relationship. However, I'm beginning to realize that we've never been as close as you think we are. You keep sending me emails, well, at least every other day, telling me about these great PLUS SIZE clothes that you have, and well... I haven't been wearing plus size clothes since March, at least. If you want to keep up this friendship, please update your records. If you insist on sending me emails about plus size clothing, you're just going to end up in my spam box, and I really don't want to do that to you.



Monday, September 22, 2008

Running Plans

Last week, I came to the realization that I probably need to take a puff or two of my inhaler before I go for a run. To me, this is a temporary solution until I see my doctor in three weeks. I've also started to reevaluate some of my goals. I really DO want to run a 5K. Will I be able to do that in four weeks? Doubtful. I just don't feel like my stamina is ready for it. However, I found a 5K that will be run back home when I'm visiting for Thanksgiving (and thankfully, it is the Saturday BEFORE Thanksgiving, because I know I'm going to need some recover time from the great food that my family prepares). So, I'm aiming for that one instead. I'm actually going to contact the guy today to see how I can register for it NOW, so I'm working towards that goal. November 22 here I come!!!

That being said, I've decided to go back to the C25K program and start working those intervals again. I started at Week 5 again, and really what I'm concentrating on is having clean runs. I think part of my issue with moving forward, having strength and endurance is that I decided to move through the weeks quickly, not focusing on having clean runs or not. That's going to change. If I can't do a clean run, I'm going to re-do that day. Today I started on Day 1 of Week 5, which was three intervals of a 5 minute run followed by a 3 minute walk. I started getting tired towards the end, but I think that's mostly due to partly running on sidewalk. I had to jump on the sidewalk when there was traffic, but at the end, I mostly ran on the blacktop. And I did it! I ran a clean run that day, so on Wednesday, I'm allowing myself to move on to Day 2 of Week 5, which is two intervals of 8 minute runs and five minute walks. I can do this. It is completely doable :)

As for those of you interested in the Shred... I completed Day 5 of Level 1 this morning. The strength and ab moves aren't so bad (which makes me think that I'm getting ready to move on come the end of the week when I hit Day 10 of Level 1), but the cardio kills me. It's two minutes straight of jumping jacks or "jumping rope" or (as Jillian puts it) butt kicks. The first 2 minute interval seriously makes me so out of breath. It gets better on the second and third intervals, but the first one... oy. I've read on other boards that the 30 Day Shred helps with cardio endurance too, which obviously, I need, but it doesn't need to beat me so! The thing is, I'm actually seeing results (which I'll post specific results after I finish the first 10 days) which is what is keeping me going.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Workout off the Cuff

Yesterday was a gorgeous day here. It was hard to sit in my office for most of the day while the sun was shining so brightly. I decided to skip my morning workout in favor of something later in the afternoon, since I had plans with friends for around 9PM. That would give me enough time to shower and eat and get to where I had to be going. Yeah, that never happened. Instead, E tempted me with a walk on the rail trail, which we haven't done in ages. When I first started working out last year, we used to go for walks all the time. Unfortunately, life gets in the way, and that tapered off. So, yay! Rail trail! We usually walk this loop which is about 3 miles long. Halfway back, with a half mile to go, we ran into D, another of our work and walking friends with her son. So... we decided to do another two miles with them, and our walk went from 3 to 5 miles. Woot! Plus we all had enough time to catch up and chat while we were walking.

Since I didn't do the Shred last night (those extra two miles put a cramp on my time schedule), I woke up this morning to get it done. Day 3 wasn't horrible, but it wasn't that much easier than Day 1. I was still sweating a river by the time I'm done (it's those stupid squats, I'm telling you), but I do have to say that the scale has gone down significantly since I've begun! Let me say that is the biggest motivator. I also have to say that challenging my body is another motivator not to put crap in it all the time, like I've been doing. Later today, E and I are going for a hike in town, so that will be fun and challenging all at the same time.

Foodwise, yesterday and today are both going great. I recently bought two things that I can't wait to use. The first is a Magic Bullet. I know how cheesy that sounds, but seriously, I was thinking about buying a a blender AND a food processor. I used to have one of these gadgets back in my married days and I left it behind. But a year later, I still miss it! I used to use it all the time! So, I had a coupon for Bed Bath and Beyond, and that's what I used it for. The second purchase is Hungry Girl's Cookbook. Last night I used BOTH of my purchases to make these yummy chicken fingers . I used my Magic Bullet to ground Fiber One cereal to be the coating for the chicken, and I used my handy dandy toaster oven to cook it in. The main thing I love about HG's cookbook is that most of the recipes are for ONE serving. Perfect for moi! I can't wait to try something new tomorrow :) How's YOUR weekend going?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Weekly Weigh-In: A WHOLE Year!!!

Um, wow. Hard to believe it's been a whole year since I embarked on this weight loss journey. (If you want to know how it started, click here.) I might have started blogging in January 2008, but really, it was September 2007 that was the beginning of this whole adventure. It's even harder to believe that I lost FORTY FIVE pounds in that year. Woot! It's funny, because when I started, I thought, hmm... I could TOTALLY lose 100 pounds in one year. I didn't realize how hard that would be. Why is it that we're geared towards thinking that weight loss is easy? If it is so easy, why don't more people do it? And what are some things I learned since that has taken me out of that mindset?

1) I really have to treat food like I'm a recovering addict. Seriously. If I bring in a bag of cheese popcorn (mmm) or a tube of Pringles, it's like that commercial, "Betcha can't eat just one." Um, no, I can't. And I realize that now. And, ain't no shame in buying something for one bite of it and throwing the rest out. Sure, a waste, but it satisfies my craving!

2) I'm responsible for my food decisions. I love to go out with my friends for dinner. And growing up, food + people = good time, so socializing and food has always been ingrained in my mind. What I've come to realize is that I'm not going to be a party pooper if I order a salad or if I only eat half of my meal and take the rest home with me or if I only drink one glass of wine while others have three drinks. If people are truly bothered by these things, then they don't deserve my company!

3) Exercise really IS good for you. It's funny (and sometimes hard to believe) that I was a dancer throughout my adolescence. I *loved* dance, and I was at Miss Jeanne's three times a week, doing ballet, tap (my absolute favorite), and jazz. But after high school, I stopped doing all that. I went to college. I knew I wasn't going to be a dancer. So it was time for me to get serious. And serious meant hitting the books, not having fun with tap. And I gained weight, not surprisingly. Now, the cardio I do isn't dancing, but running or challenging myself to a tough hill climb on the elliptical or a 10 minute row on the rowing machine. I love that my body can do these things, just like when I used to be able to a mean time step or a high kick.

4) Just keep going! Sure there are months (like the past three) where I've lost and gained the same five pounds over again. However, I've lost 45 pounds (which includes the .6lb I lost this week)! How on earth could I ever go back to what I was? Just that makes me not want to go back to how I used to eat, but it also makes me realize that, come September 2009, I can be sitting here, less another 45 pounds.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Shred This!

I've had an gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket for some time now. I finally spent it. I bought a book that was recommended to me by one of my darling lurkers (thanks to whoever suggested "Straight Up and Dirty"... when I got it in the mail, I realized that I had been eyeing it in a bookstore not too long ago!), a chick flick, and Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred. I've been hearing so many good things about this new DVD, and I wanted to try it out.

The way the Shred works is that you do it for 30 days straight... no breaks. The whole idea is that your body can do exercise, and you can push it, you just need to be willing to. Sounds okay so far, right? It's the whole philosophy that Jillian uses on the Biggest Loser, so I'm game! Each workout is 20 minutes long: a 2 minute warmup, three 6- minute intervals of 3 minute strength training, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs, and then a 2 minute cool down. Easy. I can definitely do this every day. There are three levels of intensity. You start at level 1, and when you are ready to move on (usually in about 10 days), you move up to the next level. Obviously, I started at Level 1.

Yowza! I'm not sore, and most people say that they are sore after the first day of the Shred. Well, I'm not, at least, not yet. The hardest thing for me was the cardio (lots of jumping jacks and jump rope) and the last minute of ab work. Sweat was pouring off of me like crazy. At the end of the workout, I had to sit down, drink a whole bottle of Gatorade G2, and eat some peanut butter to replenish my system. I gave 100% to the Shred, and trust me, the Shred took all of it!

I also went for a run last night. I had some work to do yesterday morning (same with this morning), so I've decided to switch my workouts to night a few times a week. I went running on the university's track again last night and did 20 minutes before I called it quits. My allergies are starting to mess with my asthma (which, until I started running, was pretty dormant for at least the past year) so I'm running to Target a little later today to pick up a new inhaler. I'm going to my doctor next month for my annual check-up, so I'm going to speak with her about my asthma and running if this continues to be the trend.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I knew it!!

Remember on Monday when I asked how many calories are burned when using BRAIN power? Well, check out this article. Seems that people who were given tasks on a computer ate 253 more calories than people who were told to just relax and had the option of munching. I knew it! There are waves coming out of our work computers making us eat! Team that up with the Batman-esque air in my department that makes me sleepy around 3PM (I always picture those old Batman episodes with Catwoman robbing the bank... y'know what I'm talking about?) and work is just a black hole for me!

Started Jillian's 30 Day Shred tonight.... oy. So tired. Need sleep. Will write more tomorrow about Shred and running.

Biggest Loser: Meet the Families!

Sorry for the late post. I had to prep for a work presentation this morning, and unfortunately, work trumps chatting up the Biggest Loser. But now I need a bit of a break, so let's discuss! *obviously there are spoilers ahead, so if you didn't watch last night's Biggest Loser, and you don't want to know what's going on, STOP READING NOW!*

Can I just say how mean Jillian was last night? What the heck? Where was she coming from when she said, "People see me on TV and think I'm a sweetheart." Um... huh? Because I thought she was 100x meaner last night than she has ever been before! Bob... well, he's just Bob. I loved how all his teams ran to hug him when they saw him, but Jillian, they were all dumbstruck. The teams. There are a few that I love from the beginning and there are a few that I was wishing would get voted off last night.

TEAMS I LIKE: The Yellow Team (Jerry and Coleen): Please tell me you don't love these two? I was so proud of Coleen last night when she ran up that hill (you go girl!) to save her dad from elimination. I was even prouder when we saw how much Jerry lost in a week with just food and 30 minutes of exercise! The Gray Team (Tom and LT): Okay, I have to admit I'm a sucker for Boston accents.... I love that everytime they say something you have to say "huh?" I'm also proud of LT for getting up the hill and getting the two votes for him and his dad. I think they will do great. And maybe see a little romance between Coleen and LT? The Red Team (Philip and Amy): Okay, I wanted to cry right then and there when Amy talked about how hard it was to raise an autistic child and how her "me" time was eating in front of the TV. As a stress/emotional eater, I can totally sympathize with her. I hope she gets something out of her time on the campus. The Orange Team (Ed and Heba): Wow, when Heba said that some of her family members said that she shouldn't be on the Biggest Loser because she wasn't big enough, but yet, she's the biggest woman on campus? Wow. I like these two. I like that she gets in his face to make him go, but at the same time, she'll cry because he's feeling bad about himself. I can't wait to see how great they look!

TEAMS I'M AMBIVALENT ABOUT: The Pink Team (Michelle and Renee): At first, I didn't really like this team, and their back story (which I'm still confused about. Did her parents get divorced when she was six? Or was it six years ago when she was 20?), but they did really well this week. I'm kind of blah on them. The Purple Team (Amy and Shellay): I'm kind of blah on this mother/daughter team as well. First off, Shellay? Really? That's your name? Okay. But then when I heard that Amy was a smoker... what the heck? You want to get healthy and yet you smoke? I'm just not sympathetic. The Green Team (Adam and Stacey): Okay, they're the eliminated team last night, but I liked their spunk. But there wasn't enough of them on there for me to form much of an opinion about them before they were kicked off. But wow.... talk about a FABULOUS transformation! Do we have some $100K contenders already?

TEAMS I HATE: The Brown Team (Brady and Vicky): No sympathy for them. Sorry. Vicky is a complete whiner. Hate her. Hate hate her. Wah wah... my four year old is 61 pounds. Yeah, well DO something about it. Then when she almost bit Brady's head off during the hill challenge? THEN when she was badmouthing the Green Team for being proud of their hard work? "They're showing off, they aren't team players." Um, no, they're not. It's a competition, fool! I was so mad when they kicked the Green Team off. But maybe Vicky has more drama up her sleeve, and that's why she's still on there.

Guess we'll see next week... when Rocco Di Spirito will be back!!! I heart him. So, who are you loving or hating already?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ugh... allergies again!

While I'm grateful that the weather has FINALLY cooled down enough to turn off the AC and open up some windows, my sinuses are not so grateful. In fact, they're waiting for a nice steamy shower, but I wanted to do some quick blogging.

This week is crazy. I have a ton of work to catch up on, since I let some things go while I was feeling bad for myself last week (lots of ex related anniversaries happen to pop up around 9/11, and yes, it contributed greatly to my exercise funk). I'm happy to say that I've been to the gym both yesterday and today... today being a great workout once again. I feel strong and in control. I can't wait for tomorrow's run. The cooler weather will help greatly!

I can't wait for the Biggest Loser tonight!!!! I just set the timer on my VCR (yes, I'm old school, don't need DVR).... let's hope that it records and that I can watch it when I get home from trivia tonight. I'll definitely do a blog post on it sometime tomorrow :) Have a good one!

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Thought Before Bed

How many calories do we expend when we do a lot of "brain" exercise? I put in 30 minutes at the gym this morning before spending eight hours at the office and teaching. If I'm not expending that many calories thinking, then why on earth am I so tired? :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

All About Kiki

I've been meaning to write a post about who I am and how I've gotten here on my weight loss journey... when I found this on Briy's blog. Thanks for putting it together (and anyone can be sure to steal this to fill it in for themselves... I am curious to see where y'all are coming from).

1. What's your name? Or at least something we can call you that's less of a mouthful than the name of your blog. :)
My name is C., but my family has called me Kiki for years. It's a nickname that my mom hates, and yet, almost every male relative I have still calls me that (it usually goes something like this: "Hey Kiki!.... I mean, oops, C." You would think they would give up on the other name all together, 'cause I really don't care). I guess you never grow out of some things.

2. Give us a paragraph (as much or as little as you'd like) about your weight loss story, including at least your goal. (You don't have to give actual numbers if that's not your style. :)
I started gaining weight around 14 or 15 years old, to the point where I was self-conscious about it (I probably wasn't more than 160 pounds on my 5'1 frame). By the time I graduated from college, I was 185. By the time I was hooded for my PhD? I would guesstimate (I never stepped on a scale) somewhere in the range of 230-240 pounds. I seriously can't believe I just wrote those numbers up here. How did I get started? I got started when my marriage started falling apart. Those were the loneliest and most frightening days of my life. I barely ate anything, especially for someone who used to snack all the time. I basically was so depressed that I ate about two mini-meals a day. I lost some weight, but I knew I had to stop doing that. After I moved into a place of my own, I made it a point to start eating right. I actually started planning out my meals and not buying the junk that my ex insisted that I buy every week when we went grocery shopping. This was in September 2007. I kind of stopped worrying about diet and exercise until the beginning of the new year 2008, which is when I started blogging (yay!), exercising regularly (first with BL, then I joined a gym in May, and started C25K around the same time), and food journaling.

3. What kind of exercise do you do? What works best for you? What doesn't work for you?
I've really been exercising hard core since January. From January until the end of March, I did the Biggest Loser Vol. 1 DVD. I think that really helped me transition from someone who was super stationary to someone who was a lot more active. In April, I started the C25K (Couch to 5K... go to for more info) and by the end of the month, I joined a gym. I try to work out at least 5 to 6 times a week. Working out in the morning works best for me. I have a pretty active social life, so I like to leave my evenings open if an opportunity for dinner or drinks arises (and if not, I do have my TV to keep me company... hello, Dr. McSteamy!). What doesn't work for me are group classes (had some bad experiences at my gym with some of them... one instructor not being coordinated to begin with) or working out after work. The gym's super crowded and it doesn't help me get ready for bed!

4. What are your biggest struggles?
Munching. Period. I'm a grazer by nature. I love to be constantly eating things. Also, in my line of work, I spend a lot of time at the computer, writing or analyzing data. Throughout grad school, I used to constantly be munching on things that were bad for me, like chips or M&Ms. Now, I eat a lot of dried fruits, roasted peas or chickpeas, or chew on gum. My daily diet coke (I know, I know) also helps me get through those times. I'm also a big night time eater. I have to say I've cut back a lot on that (mainly because I don't keep bad things in my house), but it's still something that I continue to struggle with.

5. What are three of your hobbies that aren't weight loss-related?
#1) I like to read. A lot. And not really anything related to my work. I read a lot of "fluffy", chick lit type of books. I think some of my colleagues would cringe if they heard me admit that, but seriously, that's what I liked. If you do X all day, spend years of your life researching X, on your down time, are you seriously going to spend more time doing X?? Heck no, she says, sipping on her Diet Coke and reaching for the latest Jen Weiner novel...

#2) I do like my TV, but I've recently cut my cable back to about 25 channels. The reason why I did this was that most of my social life revolved around my TV the year after I left my ex. Mondays: Dancing with the Stars, Tuesdays: Biggest Loser, Wednesdays: Project Runway and Private Practice, Thursdays: Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy... and Sundays: Desperate Housewives. Not to mention that I'd spend most of the day on Saturday watching some HBO movie for the 1000th time or another marathon of the Real Housewives of Orange County or whatever Bravo felt like showing that day. By cutting my cable, I have two shows I like to watch (BL-- of course!-- and Grey's) and whatever's at home on Netflix (usually Frasier DVDs). Needless to say, my life has expanded past TV since then, but at least I recognized that I was turning into the old lady who never leaves her house except to check her mailbox.

#3) I love to cook and bake. If I lived in a house with a huge kitchen, I would probably have people over all the time for dinner parties. I love to play hostess, which is so hard to do in my shoebox of an apartment. So, when I finally buy my own house, you know, sometime in the next decade... my friends will be sick of me and my dinner parties.

6. Tell us one cool, unique thing about you.
I'm first generation American. My mom emigrated from Italy to the United States when she was 16, along with her parents and my aunt and uncle (her younger brother and sister). I guess most first generation Americans today are Asian or Latino, since most Italians and other Europeans were already over here prior to World War II, but not my family... we had to be different. I grew up speaking a mixture of Italian and English, mainly because my mom insisted that we speak English at home so I wouldn't have any language problems in school. That did work, but I do regret not being able to speak Italian fluently.

So... tell us about YOU!!!! I'm curious to see where y'all started your weight loss journeys, and I thought it would be something helpful for those of you who just happen to stumble across my board recently.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Food Post

Lately, I've been eating a lot of frozen prepared foods. I just haven't been in the mood to cook (and make it as hot as an oven--literally-- in my shoebox of an apartment) and in the mornings, I'm bored with slapping a sandwich together for lunch. So, I've tried a few new foods, and I thought I'd share with you my opinions of some of them.

Progresso 50% Less Sodium Minestrone-- I've told y'all that I grew up eating authentic Italian food. My family's from Italy, and we'd eat all sorts of things like minestrone all the time (don't even get me started with the Olive Garden version of Pasta e Fagioli or Minestrone... that's just wrong). Again, don't want to slave away for hours putting my own minestrone together, so I bought this one. And I was pleasantly surprised. The tomato-based broth was not water as I expected it to be, and there was plenty of extras-- kidney beans, pasta, carrots, string beans, and potatoes. Progresso never skimped on this one. I'd try it if I was you! I believe one serving (half the can) was about 190 calories.

Smart Ones Chicken Enchilada Suiza-- Even though the picture is blurry, you can imagine my surprise when I saw the appetizing picture of two chicken enchiladas and rice for only 5 WW points (about 310 calories). Imagine my further surprise when I opened the box at my office to find two enchiladas about the size of my two fingers put together. That's what I was going to eat? It wasn't all that bad after I warmed it up. The enchiladas (and the cheesy sauce that goes along with it) were pretty spicy and you could actually see the chilis in it. If you can get past that initial surprise of REALLY? THAT SMALL??, it's actually not bad. I'll be buying this again.
Smart Ones Orange Sesame Chicken-- If you know me, you know how much I looove Chinese food, especially sesame chicken. While I was browsing the Smart Ones selection at my local Kroger last Sunday, I saw this and almost cheered. Talk about false hope. For 320 calories, I was really disappointed in the taste. It was overbearingly orange-y. I thought there would be a hint of orange. Plus the sauce was so thick, I found it kind of revolting. I probably won't be buying this one again.

Smart Ones Morning Express Canadian Style Bacon English Muffin Sandwich-- Mmmm.... I love me some McDonald's Egg McMuffins. I also love me some breakfast for dinner (c'mon, you know you do too!). When I saw this, I thought I was getting an awesome two for one deal. Eh. Again, not all that impressed. It was teeny tiny, and for another 90 calories, I could have the real thing (as a treat of course, not every day!). Another thing that I probably won't be purchasing again.

Smart Ones Chicken and Cheese Quesadillas-- These things rock!!! Sure, they're not as greasy as the ones you enjoy at Chili's (mmm... and I do love those) and they have that weird kind of cheese in there, but they deliver what they promise... yummy, low calorie quesadillas. You need to remember that there are TWO servings in each package (so each quesadilla is one serving), but you can pair this up with a salad or some carrots for a good lunch.

Um... wow. I've been eating a lot of frozen/prepared meals over the past month! Scary. I guess that's what happens when you get burned out on PB&J sandwiches. Amy's of course has been my standby-- love her burritos and her Garden Veggie Lasagna. What are your frozen/canned standbys?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Weekly Weigh In: Rain

This morning, I woke up around 4 or 5AM to hear it raining on my balcony. When I got up at 8 to go for my run, it was overcast, but definitely not raining. So I drove to the stadium and started my run. I was about 18 minutes into it when again, I got completely winded and took a minute to walk and catch my breath. Then... I kept going! I completed the whole 25 minutes! Woo!!!!!! And seriously, as I hit that 25 minute mark, the rain came down. It felt so good to be walking in the rain, during my cool down. I felt like doing a little Gene Kelly in the middle of the path in front of the university's football stadium because I FINISHED A 25 MINUTE RUN (with a minute walk in there but still!!!!) I have to admit that my thighs and my butt are burning right now (hills anyone? not to mention the squats I did at the gym yesterday!) but it is so worth it.

So, the not so good news. I weighed in this morning, and I gained 0.2 pounds. Not much of a gain, but it wasn't a loss either. I'm hoping for a better weigh in next week, mainly because I'm feeling a bit bloated lately (Hello TOM!) not to mention my social schedule this week has been ridiculous. I swear, it's either feast or famine when it comes to being social. I have been out to eat every day this week except for Monday. Sure, that's a good thing, because I'm getting out of the house and seeing people. It's bad on my wallet, not to mention my waist line. I really think that this week was the outlier, and next week, where I only have plans for one night to eat out and then my usual Tuesday trivia night drink, will be the norm. But, when you lead a busy life, it's hard to reconnect with people except at mealtimes. I just need to remember that it's all about making (good food) choices, and not eating everything on my plate! What do you do when you go out to eat with friends to stay health conscious?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Starting Up a Brand New Day

I've been listening to a lot of Sting lately... and this song really sticks with me when I hear it. Like I did this morning when I was at the gym. I had a series of really disturbing dreams last night, which made me sit up in bed, wide awake at 5AM. I said to myself "Calm down, sleep for another 75 minutes, and then hit the gym." Yeah... I ended up sleeping until 8:15 (have you noticed that I have no qualms about hitting the snooze for about an hour straight before I just turn the damn thing off?) I finally got to the gym right before 9 (NPR sucked me into the 9/11 stories) and decided to do something that I had been doing prior to the summer black hole of exercise. I did some cardio circuit training. On the days that I wasn't running, I would choose two or three different cardio machines and spend 10-20 minutes on each one, just to mix things up a bit.

I did that today. Did 10 minutes on the stairmaster, 20 minutes on the elliptical, and 10 minutes on the rower. After that, I did my weight circuit and I felt AWESOME. It felt good to have a clean workout after getting hung up on my running over the past week. I spend about 5-8 minutes stretching at the end of each workout. (do YOU take the time to stretch?) During this time, I like to reflect on my workout. I felt strong. I felt slimmer (phew... that's a long time coming!) I felt accomplished. Maybe a workout like today's is what I need to get over this mental hump. We'll see tomorrow when I go back outside (if it's not raining) to do another run.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The weather is here... wish you were beautiful

The weather here is FANTASTIC... it easily dipped into the 40s last night, and as I'm writing this, it's still in the 50s. I'm loving it, sitting here at my computer, my deck door open, me wearing a long sleeved t-shirt. I went for a run this morning, but I had a new strategy. I went to the track. I figure some place nice and flat (and not as hilly as my hospital/stadium run) would help me run. And it did! I made it through a mile (at about a 14 minute pace, which is better than my "die at the end of 20 minutes" pace I've been doing at the stadium) in no time. Then I had to walk. Y'know, I love the cold weather. But there is just something about exerting myself in the cold weather that, um, makes my chest clear up. I sound like an old man who has smoked for 40 years. After I was finished with my run (I'd say I went for about 23 minutes, but I forgot my watch at home, so I really couldn't tell you), I coughed all the way home. But... I stuck with it and made it through, even though it wasn't a whole 25 minutes again.

I have to say thanks for all the comments and/or emails of encouragement from those of you who read my last desperate-ish blog post. I'm NOT giving up on the weight loss. I'm seriously half way there! And sure, it's taken a lot longer than I expected (why on earth WOULDN'T I be able to lose 100 pounds in a year, I thought to myself last year... who knew how DIFFICULT it would be), and there are a lot of frustrations that keep popping up, but at the same time, that's life. What would life be without frustration and challenges and roadblocks, not just in the fitness/health department, but in our work lives, our love lives, our every day lives? One of my favorite quotes about life comes from the movie "Scent of a Woman". It's the scene where Al Pacino is going to tango with a very young Gabrielle Anwar, who is scared about messing up. Al tells her, "There are no mistakes in the tango, not like life.... If you get all tangled up, just tango on." Actually, I disagree with Al on this one. I think the tango is ALOT like life. And instead of getting hung up on our mistakes, whether it's eating a whole tube of Pringles in a matter of 10 minutes or getting married to the wrong guy and ending up divorced before the age of 30, we just need to learn how to move on. And I'm getting there... slowly, but surely.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Clouds in My Coffee

Have I mentioned that I've been in a funk lately? Not just regarding my exercise and diet, but just in general. Today really reflects my mood: it's been terribly stormy, and once the storms have gone, it still hasn't really cleared out. Cloud #1 hanging over my head (literally). Seriously, if I could make up some sort of credible excuse, I might have to just crawl back into bed.

But I didn't. I got up, put on some clothes, and have chained myself to my computer for most of the day. I've been working on two seperate articles to submit for journal review. When I check my email, I find out that a third article has been rejected. Cloud #2. I usually get REALLY upset over rejections, but these reviews, although harsh, are also helpful. Once I clear my research agenda with these two articles that need to go out ASAP, I'm going to jump right on revising this one, not ignoring it for years, as I've done with other articles.

Now, if only I could do that with my exercise. Yesterday was another crappy run. Cloud #3. Tomorrow, I'm gearing up for another run. I *have* to make it through this one. I'm just getting so frustrated with this 25 minute run which I don't seem to make it through. I know part of it is the whole allergy/humidity situation that we have going on here. I think another part of it is a huge mental block. I've been feeling very heavy lately. It's so stupid, but it's true. There's no way on earth that I'd let myself regain the 45-ish pounds I've lost over the past year. But, after five months of C25K, why am I willing to just shrug it off? Did I not put a lot of time and effort into going from running for 60 seconds straight (thanks Margie Anne for encouraging me to go back and read those blog posts from the beginning) to running for at least 20 minutes straight? Then, yesterday, while I reached that 20 minute point and gave up... YET AGAIN... why was I thinking of shelving the whole running thing until it cools down? Sure, giving up is the easy thing to do. But, frustration definitely isn't making my life any easier.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Makes me that much stronger

Don't have much time on this busy Monday morning... but I was listening to this song during my run. It made me think about how far I've come from that girl who started losing weight around this time last year. Hope y'all are having a good day!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

50 First Dates

Thank goodness I didn't wear my Sophia Loren dress today... It would have been a total waste. This is the second date in a month that was just awful, although more awful than the first. I'm seriously starting to wonder that now, since I've come into my own and have taken the time to get to know and actually like the "real" me, if I'll ever find a guy that will do the same. If I don't, that's fine. But geez, it is frustrating to go out with the wrong guy, again and again. And these are painful dates, not even fun "Mr. Wrong" dates. Sigh.

Since my classes are prepped for tomorrow, I'm going to take up residence on my couch for the rest of the evening and watch "Under the Tuscan Sun" and other chick movies. Hope you had a better Sunday than I did :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sugar Kane

When I first started losing weight, I tore pictures out of US Weekly and Marie Claire of women who I thought were gorgeous and had great bodies. The only "real" looking woman that I had up there was Sara Ramirez (the gorgeous Dr. Callie Torres from Grey's Anatomy). Over time, I've ripped down the unattainable bodies that I had decorating my fridge... Nicole Kidman, Katie Holmes, Lauren Conrad. Instead, I've decided to make a real looking woman my body inspiration:

Miss Marilyn Monroe. Yes, she had her issues (don't we all?), but talk about someone who looks real. Her chest, her hips, her thighs... all real! I've come to the point where I think I could look like a Marilyn. I'll definitely never be a Keira Knightley or Nicole Kidman, but Marilyn is a real girl. I'm coming to the conclusion that I'll always have noticeable hips and thighs, but why hide them? Why not show them off like Miss Monroe did?

I bought a dress this summer. It's sleeveless (a big step for me) and it is black with huge white polkadots. I like to call it my Sophia Loren dress. But then again, it could easily be a Marilyn dress as well. It shows off my much smaller waist and emphasizes my curves. Why should I be concerned about fitting into clothes that Kate Moss could wear, when I could easily emulate one of these real beauties from the past? The best part about it is that whenever I wear it, I get a ton of compliments, which just boosts my self-esteem. Hmm... maybe I should wear that for my date tomorrow!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Weekly Weigh-In: Ragweed = Sleepy Kiki

Since Monday, I've been having a hard time getting out of bed. I was writing it up to me just being lazy, but then two of my friends started complaining about their allergies. Wait! I have allergies. Mean ones to boot. But I'm not stuffy at all. Instead, I realize that I've been existing in this drug hazed stupor. I take my allergy meds at night in order to sleep some of the drowsiness off, but I guess combined with my usual dose of melatonin (a natural supplement to help me fall asleep and stay asleep), it's making me super tired.

Which brings me to the last few days. Yesterday, I completely skipped my workout. Woke up at 9AM. I never wake up at 9AM on a weekday! 8AM if I'm feeling particularly lazy, but never 9. I had to go into the office because I had a lunch meeting, so I planned on going to the gym afterwards. Yup, never happened. Ended up coming home, throwing a blanket on my legs, finishing my fun book that I was reading, and taking an hour long nap. This morning, again, I woke up at 8. But instead of writing my workout off until later, I decided to get up and go for my run. How often do I need to remind myself that I hate running when the sun is up? I love my early morning/ 6:30-7AM runs. I like driving home around 8AM, not getting to my parking lot at 8AM to start my run. This one was another stinky one. I only ran for about 20 minutes. Then I quit and walked back to my car. I tried to make myself feel better by saying "Hey, you got out of bed this morning and went for a run instead of just hitting the snooze!" but I was still feeling awfully lazy. Damn Allegra.

I've also been feeling incredibly Inspector Gadget-y. When I go out for a run, I always check to make sure I have my tools: my pedometer (which I figured out how to switch it back to miles), my Ipod, my watch, my water bottle (which I leave in my car), my ball cap, and my super cool wrist keychain (although, I fully admit to stuffing my keys in my bra... hey, what's the use of wearing two of them if you can't use them as a pocket too?) Obviously, my focus when I run is on my watch. Then I check my pedometer. Then I need to switch a song on my Ipod to keep me going. I feel like saying "Go go Gadget Ipod!" I wish there was a way for me to reduce my gear, but at the same time, I don't want to spend any extra money on doing that right now :)

Oh, weight wise, I gained over the past two weeks... 2.2 pounds to be exact. Am I surprised? No. I've been eating crappy and drinking way too much. Holidays and conferences will do that to you. But am I back on the right track? I am. And I hope to see some results next week :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Personal Best!

Okay, so I finished my morning run about 45 minutes ago, and I'm still in a bit of shock. This morning, I woke up a bit on the late side... around 7:30. It all started last night when I got in from my Tuesday night trivia group. I always seem so tired when I leave there (I guess two amaretto sours will do that to you) but by the time I get home, I get a second wind. So, I didn't actually turn my light off until midnight, and I adjusted my clock to let me sleep in a bit. My alarm went off at 7, but I didn't roll out of bed until 7:30. In my head, a little voice said "this run is going to be as crappy as Monday's 'cause you slept in too late." But I shrugged off, threw on my running clothes and drove to the stadium.

When I got there, I decided to try something a little different. First, I did my warmup walk through a neighborhood not too far from the stadium/hospital complex. Then, when I turned around towards the stadium to start my 25 minute run, I didn't take my usual route. Instead, I followed some paths around the stadium, and looped through the hospital parking lot until I got to the path that I usually take. I followed that path for a while before I once again deviated off the path and through the parking lot (much better on my knees than concrete sidewalk). At one point I looked at my pedometer (did I mention that it's stuck on kilometer mode and won't switch back to miles?) and it said 2.4 km. Um... I've been averaging 3.6 km on these 25 minute runs (and yes, that includes warm up and cool down walks). So, that freaked me out. I thought that deviating from my usual path totally messed up my run.

It got to the point where, about 18-20 minutes into the run, my legs felt like lead. Seriously, it was like someone put leg weights on me. I also felt so tired, like I couldn't keep going, that I just wanted to curl into a ball on the lawn next to the smokers and die. But I put some Eminem on (Lose Yourself is a great motivational song!) and kept going. Got to my car and looked at the pedometer.

4.66 kilometers. That's 2.8 MILES. Are you kidding me?????? I did that with a 10 minute walk and a 25 minute run?????? So, then I started questioning myself. Could the pedometer have misfunctioned? Did it really seem like I ran that far? Is something messing with me?

But, finally, 45 minutes later, a calm has come over me. I DID IT. I kicked the 25 minute run's butt. Me. Crappy Monday run Kiki. Drank one too many amaretto sours last night Kiki. Feeling super heavy since her food and drink orgy for all of last week Kiki. Me.

I am proud. I feel strong. I did it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Groundhog Day

Since the end of the spring semester, I've become some what lax in my approach to my weight loss/fitness goals. In the past three months, I've lost a total of five pounds. That's it! I don't understand what has happened. I lost 20 pounds in four months during the spring semester. Then I crashed and burned. I spent the summer eating everything I wanted (moderation be damned) and barely exercising (it was way too hot). So, here I am, typing on the day after Labor Day, wondering what went wrong.

There is something about the semester that brings about a schedule for my eating and my exercising. Something that I think can be recaptured since my travelling for work is done for the semester (next conference is not until February) and that should help. Looking ahead, I really shouldn't have a stressful semester. I should be able to get my work done, workout and eat healthy. So, there. I'm not going to aim for 20 pounds by the end of the semester, but I think I can lose 15. That's an attainable goal that won't stress me out. I also want to run a 5K by the end of the semester. I'm aiming for that one on October 19, but if I can't do it by then, I'll definitely do the one in November. I want to continue this progression towards a healthy body weight and not get frustrated at this self-made plateau that I'm at.

Grr... so I've said it. I haven't been losing because of ME. No one else to blame. But I recognize that, and am ready to move on and forward instead of giving me another pass at eating bad or not exercising. I hope those of you who have been having troubles staying motivated take that to heart and recommit yourself as well.

Monday, September 1, 2008

My weekend... The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

I fully admit to C&P'ing this from an email I sent a friend about my weekend. However, I can't imagine retyping this WHOLE thing. Hope you're all enjoying your Labor Day holiday... and that you actually got a day off like me!

Boston: Was awesome. E's a great roomie (so much so than any of my other conference roomies, which is good because I hate roomming with friends and then not getting along). Ate lots of good yummy/bad for me food, including Italian pastries, Cheesecake Factory, and two bowls of lobster bisque (on different days, not in a row). Bought a pair of dressy, comfy shoes that I thought would rock for my 30 minute walk to the conference hotel. Ha. My heels are all ripped up. They look awful and feel even worse. I swear, it's not a conference unless blisters/skin ripping are involved. Friday: saw lots of grad school people. My dissertation chair commented on how happy and relaxed I looked (it's just not in D Chair to comment on my physical changes, he's so old school sometimes). Ran into R (my friend from Argentina that started our grad program at the same time as me)... he told me after a 30 minute chat (and imagine the accent): "Kiki, not only do you look great physically, but you are so... HAPPY." Seriously, thinking about that makes me want to cry. The rest? They actually had to look at my NAME TAG in order to figure out who I was and then was like OMG! Kiki! My fave (after R's comment) was one of my old prof's wives who now lives in NC, but we used to play softball together. She grabbed me, hugged me, and said YOU LOOK SO GREAT. It felt awesome. Seriously, I was walking on air on Friday (not to mention my poster session kicked ass and I got a lot of helpful comments on my project and I had two free glasses of wine at these receptions).

Boondocks, Saturday night: Drove home from the airport, got back around 9PM. E got in her car and drove away before I even got in my apt, which I'm usually cool with but... I don't know why, but something made me try my door before I even put the key in the lock. IT WAS COMPLETELY UNLOCKED. The door was shut, but the locks were open. WTF? I started to freak out, but for some reason, went in anyway. Walked around my apartment and NOTHING WAS MISSING. Nothing. Not the credit cards that I had left on my kitchen table, my jewelry in my jewelry box, my tv, my computer. Nothing. The only thing I found out of order was a piece of insulation on the floor of my closet, which my AC unit is in my crawl space. So (still freaked out at this moment) I call my landlady and tell her what's going on and say to her "was someone in my apartment to change my ac filter because they left the doors unlocked?" Her response? "I can't tell you if that happened or not because I"m not in the office." UM WTF????? You can't remember if the AC filters were changed this week or not? So, she tells me to call security, which in this state of mind, I'm like, what's the number to which she says "YOU SHOULD HAVE THAT PROGRAMMED IN YOUR CELL PHONE." Um... again WTF? Are you kidding me? I just got back from being gone for five days to find my apartment unlocked most probably by one of your workers and you have the guts to yell at me for bothering you on a Saturday night? So, I finally find the security number, the guy comes over, walks through the apartment with me again, and he give me a big hug (because at this point, I'm hysterically crying between the finding my door open/bitchy landlady) and tells me that he has a daughter about my age... because I'm 21 or 22 right? Um... well, that made me smile considering I'm 18 months from my 30th birthday. I eventually calmed down, and slept like a baby. I'm still alive, so I'm guessing that's what happened and that Hannibal Lector isn't living in my crawlspace and indeed it was someone from the office who left my door open.

Yesterday... S and I drove to the local Italian Heritage festival. Um, boring. Good food, but small and boring. But we got caught up since we hadn't seen each other since before I left for Boston. Went to Walmart yesterday and bought a watch for $8 for running (and it's pink!). This morning, thought my heels were ready for a run, so I went... ugh. Bad idea. It was too hot (I went around 10AM because I slept in), my heels were killing me (bandaids be damned) and it just sucked. I ended up running the half out, but then I walked the half back. Eh, can't all be good runs, right? I'll wait until Wednesday to try it again.

I'm going over to some friends for a cookout this afternoon. S and E will be there as well. It'll be nice to get out of my apartment for a while even though I've been completely bumming all weekend. Tomorrow, I'm starting over. Yet again. Geez. Let me rephrase that. I'm going to concretely recommit to my fitness and nutrition program. Stay tuned for that :)