Tuesday, May 19, 2009

12 Weeks to a Better Me!

I'm starting the American Heart Association's 12 Weeks to a BetterU program on June 1 and have decided to log my experiences and progress here. I've tried lots of ways of keeping myself true to my workout schedule and healthy eating habits, and think that maybe publicly logging them every week will help.

Joshilyn Jackson (who is coincidentally a fantastic author -- check her out) is a spokesmodelblogger for the American Heart Association for this year's 12-weeks program is tracking her own progress on her blog: Faster than Kudzu and that inspired me to do the same, albeit without the fantastic title of spokesmodelblogger.

As for my beginning stats, my cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. have always been very healthy. However, I've gained weight since moving to Cleveland, and I'm hoping to lose part of it over he next 12 weeks through healthy living. I tell you, winter has not been kind to my belly!

As of May 19:

Measurable facts and goals:

BMI = 29.1, which says I am overweight. We all know that BMI calculations are not ideal because they do not take muscle mass, etc. into account, but it is still something measurable that I'd like to monitor.
BMI Goal = 26.6. This is still classified as overweight, but this is just a 12 week program. I don't want to set unreasonable expectations so I can get frustrated with myself. Right?

Waist Size = 33 inches, which is under the recommended 35 inches on the AHA website. I'm ok with this, but who doesn't want a smaller waist line?
Waist Size Goal = I'm not sure what a reasonable goal would be in 12 weeks or what the pounds I want to lose would equal in inches. Besides this week, the last time I measured my waist was for my 6th grade chorus dress fitting (30 inches, if you're interested).

I also like to make random goals that I can't measure with numbers but will notice the results and make me unspeakably happy:

1. Have slim enough calves to be able to wear those sexy knee-high boots in the fall.

2. Have the widest part of my thighs be slimmer than my hips (I carry most of my extra weight in my hips and thighs, witch a few stubborn pounds in my belly).

So wish me luck and stay tuned! I'll be starting this program soon, and encourage everyone to do the same!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This year's Pulitzer Prizes were recently announced. I usually take note of the winning authors and photographers and move on, but I'm finding it difficult to get this year's winning photojournalist in the breaking news category out of my mind.

Patrick Ferrell from the Miami Herald won this category for his photography in Haiti during the 2008 hurrican season. His photos are beautiful and heart-breaking, all at the same time. I can see why the jury called his work "provocative, impeccably composed images of despair".

After seeing his work, I'm speechless, with images emblazoned on the inside of my eyelids. Some of the images are profoundly disturbing, but need to be seen:


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Damn, I'm whiny!

I haven't written here for a few months. I've come to realize that I use this blog mostly to just bitch and vent about Cleveland. Its honestly not as bad as I make it sound. Most of the time its rather nice. I think I just have days I dislike it because I haven't seen my family or friends from home that I grew up with since Christmas, and work so much and such stupid hours that I have no life. Wake up, work, come home, eat, go to bed. SO exciting!

So this is just the disclaimer that I'm honestly not as miserable as I probably sound. Just some days, every now and then, that are getting farther and farther apart.

In other news, I went to Mexico a few weeks ago. It was fun.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I can't shake myself out of this funk I'm in. I just miss home and my friends and my family so much, and I can't find anything like them here. I can't be myself here. I miss being able to call up someone I've known since middle school and having coffee with them. I hate hearing about all the fun activities my friends are doing without me back home.

I wish I had a home. Miami isn't home anymore and Cleveland isn't home yet. I don't know if it will ever feel like home.

I miss being happy.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Spring hasn't sprung, but its... springing?

I'm beginning to understand why they say here "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes." I'm also beginning to understand why they say that this year has been really, really weird in regard to weather.

Let's take this week as an example:

We started out with beautiful temperatures for a few days -- we even hit 70 one day! It was wonderful, despite the earthquake on Monday. Yes, apparently they have small earthquakes in Cleveland (technically a little outside of it).

The weather started to get a bit nastier, and we had rain on Wednesday. Wednesday night: a tornado. That night's rain turned to freezing rain, and then sleet, and by the time I woke up to go to work, we had an inch of snow on the ground.... WHAT??? Also, freezing rain can sometimes make big branches or power lines fall from its weight. As I was getting out of bed, I heard a very loud crack, and heard Dan, in the kitchen, yell "OH MY GOD!!" I ran out, and my neighbor's giant weeping willow tree had fallen over the fence onto our garage. The cars weren't in it, thank goodness, but I'm still mourning that tree... it was beautiful!

Friday: It wasn't supposed to snow, but it started to on my way to work, and continued all day.

I haven't been outside today, and I'm scared to look out the window. What's next, a hurricane?

All the same, spring is definitely on its way. I've been finding blooms and new growth in places around our yard. Hurray!

Here, have some pictures

The tree incident:

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Freezing rain:

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The first buds of spring on our tree:

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No idea what these are, but they look like blooms of some sort. Fooled into growing in the warm days and then being covered with snow. Nature is mean!

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Monday, January 29, 2007

I give up

I give up. I hate Ohio today. I manage ok most days, but today I can't take being so far from my family, from my childhood friends, from tropical weather. I miss everyone so much it hurts. My toes haven't been properly warm since October, when I sadly stashed away my sandals to collect dust in the box lovingly labeled "Summer clothes". I don't CARE that its been a "mild" winter. Its been a mild winter for Clevelanders, not for a Miami transplant who lives in Ohio by some sick twist of fate. And I just might tell the next northerner who makes fun of me and reminds me how much worse it will be next year when we aren't so lucky to have a "mild" winter to just fuck off.

Like I said, I can take it most days. There are just a few days when I can't, and this is one of them. Today I can't stop telling myself that I just want to go HOME. And today home isn't Ohio; it's Miami.

My God, I just want to go home. HOME HOME HOME. Miami.

Friday, December 29, 2006

And they lived happily ever after, without end, Amen.

I'm very happy with how the pictures of the wedding turned out. There's a bunch of them, so dial-up beware!

Getting ready -- Mimi did a great job on the makeup!

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I think Elisa looked amazing in her dress.

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Stephy, my flower girl/niece, spent most of the pre-ceremony time admiring her "pretty princess" dress in the mirror. She also called me a pretty princess for days. She's smart; she knows to butter up the adults right before Christmas!

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She also spent a lot of time cuddling "Baby Duck".

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The girls posed and looked pretty and helped me get ready:

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And the guys tried to help Dave keep his rose on:

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But John spent most of the time before the ceremony begging Dan, his 'heterosexual life partner' to not abandon him:

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And then they all laughed and fenced with roses. Ahem.

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Alex managed to take some good pictures of me (a rarity for me, I assure you):

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And I showed off the pretty back of my dress.

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Also, here are Min and Caleb. Aren't they cute?? They actually matched my color theme, so extra credit for them.

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I managed to get up to the altar without falling flat on my face. Go me!

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We prayed, took communion, listened to a mini-sermon and did the old Spanish arras tradition. My favorite part was when the minister improvised the sermon and based it on Dan's bad knee, and likened marriage to joints and ligaments and cartilage. So is he saying that all you need for a successful marriage is a good joint??

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And then he let us kiss:

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And we're finally a Mr. and Mrs.!

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We recessed, followed by the others. Christopher, my "ring man"/nephew, picked up all the petals my niece had thrown on the way in. What a tidy little guy!

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Corey and Chris looked especially spiffy:

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Then we celebrated the fact that we made it back down the aisle without tripping over each other:

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Dan took pictures with the guys:

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I took pictures with the girls:

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And it was hectic and we were being pulled in 50 directions, but we never forgot what this wedding was all about:

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(Just a tip: The title of this post is usually not a good way to end your history final's essay, even if you DID run out of time. Its perfectly ok for an entry with wedding pictures, though.)