Friday, October 19, 2007

New York, Baby!

Just wanted to post some of my pictures from New York. These are some of the highlights and favorite parts of the week. There are so many little stories I could tell!

We spent Thursday, the 23rd, in flight to New York. We had a stop in Atlanta, Georgia, where we got Ben and Jerry's ice cream and took on the plane. It was so humid there! Just from the plane to the airport was almost unbearable. We got to the city, after a few hours of figuring out the transit system we made it to our motel and crashed for the night.

Friday we did a lot of the main touristy things that people do when in the Big Apple. We hit up Ground Zero, Battery Park, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Federal Building, Wall Street, and had our first bite of New York pizza just around the corner from ground zero. My favorite part of Friday was Ellis Island. It is pretty moving and a must for all who can make it there.

Me at Ellis Island

At Battery Park waiting for the Ferry to the Statue.

Saturday we went by the United Nations, but all the stupid country flags were down, it was mildly frustrating, but still neat to know where a lot of the world's political relations go down. Then we proceeded to go to The Met, aka the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was huge and amazing! Kara and I weren't so smart though, as we were in there for over two hours and didn't make it to the Roman and Greek exhibits, which were the ones we really wanted to see. We walked across central park and made it over to the Manhattan Temple. We were supposed to join up with a singles ward group, but none of them showed. Kara and I had our own personal baptism session. An old man even got in the font! The temple was my favorite part of that day. We were wondering how we could prepare ourselves for the Temple in the hustle and bustle of the city, but you walk in and BAM! you are prepared because the Spirit is just so strong. That temple is gorgeous on the inside by the way. Granite, marble, mahagony, gold fixtures.... Beautiful. The temple was right across from Juliard and Time Warner, etc.

Left: Me at the Met, pretending to touch an ancient egyptian temple.

Right: The Manhattan New York Temple, a tall building but not in comparison to the rest of the city.
Kara's two shoes, outside the temple.

Sunday we headed to one of the young single adult wards in downtown. It was actually in the same building as the temple. When you walk in the door, a guy at the desk either directs you left to the temple, or right to the elevators to get to church. They even had a gym in that building! The church is the same even in the big apple! Afterwards we went to a street fair/market on Madison avenue. They shut down about a dozen street blocks and vendors set up shops. It was a fun, low key activity. I got my way cute purse (Dolci and Gabana) there.
After that we went to St. Patrick's Cathedral. The artistry and architecture that went into that building is amazing. I've never been in anything quite like it. Then we wandered and found ourselves at Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, and NBC Studios. We also, for fun, took a bicycle taxi ride around Times Square. We were actually at Times Square almost every night, mainly because it is right above the Port Authority where we would get on the bus to head back to our motel in New Jersey. Our "taxi peddler" was from Brazil and he told us to eat at Ray's Pizza in Times Square, where apparently the likes of John Travolta have eaten.

Left Above: Just a taste of the cathedral
Left below: Times Square by bike, the Brazilian driver in the right corner.

Me standing in awe outside NBC News studios.

Monday was our final full day in NY. We went shopping! It was pretty thrilling to be shopping in the Fashion District of New York City. We definitely underestimated how much time we would need there. We did go to Macy's as well as other stores, like one of our personal faves, Forever 21. We also partook of some excellent roasted nuts from a street vendor. If you do nothing else when in New York, get some roasted nuts. They are splendid. I also ate at a little Korean cafe, got some California rolls. Then we went back to Jersey to get dolled up for Broadway. We ended our little hurah with The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. It was AMAZING and an awesome way to cap off a surreal week.
Tuesday, Kara was supposed to go for a run through Central Park, while I read and watched the luggage. Unfortunately an undercover subway cop "pulled us over." We had our big, scratch that, HUGE suitcases, plus duffle bags and purses. They are quite a pain to go through the rotating arm entries. We had our "metro cards" out to swipe as we went through, but a lady came through the regular sized emergency entrance and exit, so we gratefully slipped through there. We didn't think twice about it because we had seen plenty of people do it and we had our huge suitcases and had prepaid for the weeks pass on the subways. After a 30 minute "investigation" in which I felt like the lady cop thought we were harboring terrorists in our luggage she wrote us $60 dollar tickets each. It was obsurd. I thought, "Haven't we spent enough money in your city lady???" So instead of a parting goodbye to Central Park we caught a subway and a bus to the airport and left the big city. We had a layover in Chicago, and a stop in SLC. By the time we reached Boise, we were exhausted. The trip was amazing, once in a lifetime and one of the best experiences of my life.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My Journey

Well, I haven't blogged in a ridiculously long time, and I am sure no one will read this, unless I tell them to, but I had to write about a journey I have been on.

August '05
On Wednesday, September 27th, 2006 I began a record of my journey to weight loss, health and fitness. The heaviest I remember weighing in at was 205 pounds around the beginning of January 2005. Over the next few months I tried a program ran by Liz Meyer called Weight, Mind and Body Management, with my cousin Morgan and aunt Stephanie. While they had significant progress in losing weight, I struggled. Within five months I had only lost about 10 pounds. I blame it on the many distractions I had. It was the last semester of my senior year of highschool, nuff said.

February '06

I stayed at that weight throughout the summer and my freshman year of college. The summer after my freshman year I got a job working Litter Patrol for the Oregon Department of Transportation. From the start of work to Kylee's wedding in August I lost about seven pounds and was down to 188 pounds. I didn't really do so much different, just walking out in the hot sun and not snacking so often. I ate whatever I wanted at night and wasn't really trying to lose weight.

As I entered my sophomore year of college I dropped four pounds in about three weeks. This "sudden" drop in weight excited me. I realized I was in control of what I ate because I made my food purchases and would eat what I bought. I remembered the Weight Mind and Body Management Program. It was a sensible calorie limiting/counting program. You ate what you wanted, but you had to pay attention to calories and grams of fat. When I started the program at 205 pounds my daily calorie limit was 1500 calories, and we were supposed to eat foods with under 15 grams of fat. Vegetables were free foods. Typically breakfast was 200 calories, lunch 300 calories and dinner was 400 calories with the remainder of the calories divided up into 100 calorie snacks.

I decided to try this program again, it being the easiest program I could follow and still allowing me to eat what I wanted, just limited. Being that I was about 20 pounds lighter than my first shot at this lifestyle change I took my daily calorie count down a bit. I also decided to integrate exercise a couple times a week to help speed up my metabolism.

On that September day I made a few lists. First, I made a list of reasons why I wanted to lose weight.

Second, I printed a picture of somebody I didn't want to be and taped it in my "journal." It was a fat lady, sitting in her chair, a cat at her side and an oxygen tank. Under it I wrote, "Don't want to be her: Fat, Cat Lady; Lonely; Stuck in my chair." Poor cat lady....

Third, I then wrote a list of possible consequences for if I didn't change. There were six of those, but I am not ready to share those quite yet. Then I printed out a scale showing my BMI (Body Mass Index). I got it from 'The Biggest Loser Club' on My BMI was 29.7, overweight. My ideal BMI for my height was 24, and ideal weight was 114.6-154.3. It also suggested a healthy daily calorie goal to lose weight, at 1,288.
Finally, I took measurements of my body, which I have shared with no one, but I am going to now, on the internet, for the whole frickin' world to see if they want:

Hips: 43 1/2 inches Waist: 41 1/2 inches Bustline: 37 inches Bust: 41 inches

Arms: 12 inches Shoulders: 44 inches Pantsize: 16-18 Weight: 184 lbs.

I set ultimate goals which were:
Pant Size: 10
Weight: 145

I then took pictures of myself in just my bra and underwear, printed them out and taped them in my "journal." To serve as a reminder and motivated.

Then I set weekly, and bi-weekly goals as well as a first weight loss benchmark. I found that setting smaller goals made things seem much less overwhelming. Then, also I was able to feel good about myself sooner because I had reached these goals and that motivated me to set new goals and work towards them. It helped for the first while to write down what I was eating, just as a way to keep track.

By January 4th of 2007 I was at 170 pounds. That semester I was signed up for a morning weight training class with all girls. I lost weight, gained muscle and toned up. By the end of that semester I was 160 lbs. It was exciting to reach that weight because that had been my goal weight when I started the WM&B program my senior year.

The first month I was back in La Grande for the summer was hard. Food, bad food, was so accessible! I wasn't in control of the groceries, though Mom was pretty good about getting me healthier options. I finally had to get back to the basics and write down what I was eating for a couple weeks to keep track of calories. My new job at the particleboard plant allowed me to get plenty of exercise and definitely helped me tone my upperbody, especially my arms. I continued to set goals for myself.

Towards the middle of August I reached my first ultimate goal weight of 145 pounds! It was really exciting! But, now that I had reached that goal, I saw more progress to be made and set new goals for myself. I now jog 2-4 times per week, hit up the gym to do the bike and some weights 1-2 times per week. I try to work on flattening my abs, because as much weight as I have lost, I still feel like my trunk is thick and my boobs small ;-). I walk a lot. Drink lots of water and take my daily vitamin.

Here are my stats as of today:

Hips/Thighs: 38 inches Bustline: 32 inches Bust: 37 1/4 Arms: 10 1/2

Shoulders: 39 inches Waist: 35 1/2 inches Pant Size: 10/11 Weight: 143 lbs.

That puts my total weight loss from January 05 to now at 62lbs, or from when I started a record of all this at 41 lbs. Total inches lost since last September is
27 1/4.

It's a continuing journey, it's my lifestyle now. I think a key in my many little victories over the year is that even when I have had a crappy day or week, there is always tomorrow to start again, not allowing myself to just give up or give in because of one, two or twenty mistakes. Let me tell you it is worth it! Maybe in another couple of months I will have the confidence to post the pics from last September and new ones..... Maybe.....

August '06 vs. August '07