Thawing out

Sorry for the break in posts, I’ve been busy! Today I started a full time position with my company (I have been a part time temp since December) and with that comes a lot more work and more hours. As we begin to thaw from the coldest and longest winter since I can remember we have actually started doing fun things on the weekends again. In the kid’s case…they had a week full of adventures.

Last week the kids spent a good part of the week in Los Angeles with my mom and her side of the family. They have never met that side of the family (I don’t know that side of my family well and haven’t seen them since I was 7). They went to a science museum, Universal Studios, took a bus tour, strolled down Hollywood blvd and Rodeo drive and went to the beach. Oh and they ate a LOT of Filipino food (well Tara did at least). I’m seriously jealous. I’d also like to point out that they were awesome when they got home. Tara is quite the snarky little teenager and she was totally pleasant and enjoyable to be around. I’m not sure I got the right kid back but I’m ok with it because this version of Tara is awesome. Hopefully it lasts…

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Vince and I didn’t do much with our kidless time since we both still had to work but we did have a nice little date downtown on Saturday right before they came home. We caught the matinee of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream coat at the Cadillac Palace, checked out “the secret garden” at Macy’s on State and wandered through all 9 floors while we killed time before our dinner reservations at Smith and Wollensky’s. The last time I actually went into Macy’s on State Street it was still Marshall Field’s. During the summer when I was a kid my best friend, Kerry, and I would take the train downtown with her parents and wander the city while they worked. We would check out the Stock Exchange (where her father worked) and we would always stop by Field’s and wander through the many floors. I have been back often for the holidays just to look at the holiday windows but I’m pretty sure the last time I was inside was as a teenager with my best friend. I had forgotten how gorgeous the building is and Vince and I decided we have to start changing our holiday trips downtown to include actually going into the store with the kids. Also I will never stop swooning over the city. Chicago is by far my favorite city on the planet. I’m obsessed with the architecture, the history, the people. Everything. No matter how many times I go down there I still get a little excited, even if it’s just for work. I never take for granted that I have one of the coolest cities on earth so close to home. And while it’s nice to return the quiet and peace of the suburbs a part of me will always wish I lived in the city.

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So let’s continue the longest blog ever with a short chat about food. There’s no greater feeling than blowing almost all of your bonus points in one meal. But that’s what they are for, while it would be nice to dine at places like Smith and Wollensky’s or Capital or Morton’s on a regular basis we haven’t quite yet reached that status level in life lol. For now they remain a special occasion type of meal which means when we go there we go big. I almost ordered the salmon in an attempt to make a smart choice but you can’t go to Smith and Wollensky’s and not get a steak. It’s just wrong. I got the Filet Oscar and it was delicious. I mean seriously, veggies are great and stuff but that is what has been missing from my life this past month or so. I got the truffle mac as a side as well as the stuffed shrimp for an appetizer. It was incredible. I kept an eye on my portion size but it’s definitely the most I have eaten at one time in forever. We ended the meal with the “gigantic chocolate cake”. I’m pretty sure this slice one of cake could have fed a family of 6. We ate like an 8th of it and the rest is still sitting in our fridge for the kids to enjoy. It’s amazing how quickly the points added up but it was totally worth it. I will say that I felt like I might die afterwards, we parked pretty far from the restaurant and even after a nice walk I still felt totally stuffed. So maybe there is something to this healthy eating thing…;

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Why I write

I have run out of ideas to write about since no huge accomplishments have been made weight loss wise and my camera is currently residing in my medicine cabinet. So I’m using a prompt from a blog I follow and this week’s topic is reflecting on yourself as a writer.
First, I would hardly describe myself as a writer but I guess that’s basically what I’m doing here. Writing my story for everyone to see.
I used to keep journals as a kid, I loved writing and I guess I was ok at it for awhile. I did well in English and won a few awards in school but nothing huge. As an adult my writing came to a screeching halt. I wish I had a journal, especially one full of funny stories from my kids when they were little. All I have now are bag I memories and stories I have told them a million times (I know this because they remind me every time I repeat a story). I’m quickly turning into my father who loves telling us the same stories over and over again.
Something that has returned to me from my childhood in full force is my love of reading. I’m in two book clubs because I’m just that cool, although my attendance record for both clubs isn’t stellar…at least I try. It’s funny because I have read a ton of incredibly thought provoking and meaningful books and my favorite book on the planet is still Mindy Kaling’s “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And Other Concerns”. I like to laugh ,who doesn’t) and Mindy fits my exact sense of humor. If I ever did want to be a writer (no plans for that) she would be my inspiration.
So while I have no aspirations to become a famous writer maybe this blog will not just cover my weight loss journey but also give me a way to look back and remember. I guess that’s the short answer, I write to remember. I never expected anyone to ever actually read this but I am grateful for the ones who do. So like I said in my welcome blog, this isn’t just about weight loss, this is about my life and my experiences….hopefully you aren’t bored out of your mind yet.

Inspiration

Over the past week a few people have told me that I have been inspirational to them and I can’t even begin to tell you how great it feels to hear that. This started out as just a way for me to make myself accountable for my own actions, I never expected this journey to reach so many people and I definitely didn’t expect such an overwhelming outpour of support and love from friends, family and strangers. I feel like I’m not doing this alone, I have a sea of supporters there for me while I go through this transformation. That is an amazing feeling and an even better feeling is knowing that this has inspired others. You guys are the best and I mean that.

I have an incredibly inspiring person in my life who has also been on a mission to get healthy and let me tell you…she’s killing it. I mean talk about inspiration, it’s one thing to talk about it , it’s another to see someone transform before your eyes (I’m hoping I start transforming soon too…it’s still early lol). I hope to share her story soon, or maybe have her guest blog? We’ll see…first I have to ask!

In the meantime I have come across a few incredibly inspiring stories that I thought I would share.

This first one has made the rounds on Facebook so you may have already seen it but it’s too good not to share. I found this story about a military wife especially inspirational since I have been there, let me tell you it’s not easy being on your own when your spouse deploys, especially when you have kids. To do that and lose a life changing amount of weight is incredible, this woman is just amazing.

Military wife loses more than 100 pounds to surprise husband

This second link has a ton of helpful tips, I am obviously not following all of them but it has some great ideas. Check it out 🙂

Healthy-living: Worst way start diet

And finally this last video was shared by a good friend on Facebook, it actually made me tear up a little. This guy is no joke, they should play this video at gyms. If you only have time to click on one link this is the one to click on!

Relationship Inspired Weight Loss

xo
Christina

I love french fries

and lattes and Portillo’s chocolate cake…ugh. Temptation is an evil little bitch. The whole point of weight watchers is to lose weight without depriving yourself but there are just some things that I’m not willing to waste my valuable points on just yet. For those of you who follow me on Instagram or Facebook you saw that tonight when Vince and I stopped at Starbucks so he wouldn’t fall asleep during the Hawks game we were handed an extra free cinnamon dolce latte just because the baristas were in a friendly mood. I immediately handed it to Tara (she was more than happy to take it off my hands). First of all if I’m gonna blow a meal’s worth of points that wouldn’t be my latte of choice and second right now I can’t justify blowing that many points for an evening latte. But I still wanted it, just like I wanted Vince’s fries the other night at dinner. Who knew I had willpower?! The only person I’m cheating is myself if I start back on the slippery slope to eating whatever I feel like eating. I’m not saying I’ll never have a latte, or fries, or even some Portillo’s chocolate cake at some point, but this early on I think saying “no thanks” is pretty beneficial to the process of teaching myself how to eat healthy. For now I’ll stick to my fruits and veggies as treats, as much as I love my indulgent treats I’ve never felt like crap after eating a banana…the same can’t be said for that chocolate cake.

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xo
Christina

Shopping Healthy

When you are changing the way you eat you also have to change the way you shop.  I used to just go up and down the aisles buying whatever I felt like grabbing.  Now I use a list, first of all I don’t forget things nearly as often and second I give myself plenty of cooking options at home.  I have finished the “Simple Start” program with Weight Watchers but I still use the grocery list as a guide for my own shopping.  I’ll be honest about this whole clean eating/healthy living thing, I’m pretty sure I eat more now than I did before I started this weight loss journey.  But I’m eating good stuff, I love fruits like mango and bananas.  I’m also a big fan of zucchini, tomatoes, and asparagus.  This is what I snack on now.  No more chips and I honestly don’t miss them.  My husband is not doing weight watchers along with me (he and my son are incredibly picky eaters) and so we still have stuff like ruffles and cheese its in our house…strange enough I have no desire to snack on them.  And it’s not that I can’t have them, I can as long as I account for them, I just don’t think they are worth it anymore.  My daughter isn’t a huge junk food person usually and is loving the change in our grocery list.  She is always more than willing to eat any of the healthy meals I cook and I’m hoping through this I am teaching her habits that will stick with her into adulthood.  So enough rambling from me.  Here is the Weight Watchers Simple Start Shopping List that I base my grocery shopping off of.  Of course I don’t buy every single thing on it and buy other things for the picky eaters in my house, but it’s a great start and it has really helped me navigate the grocery store with a healthier mindset. 

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photo courtesy of http://www.weightwatchers.com

xo

Christina

My daughter knows more about makeup than me

I have a gorgeous daughter. I know I’m partial since I like made her and everything but really…as objective as I can be as her mother…she’s just stunning. It’s 99% thanks to me (kidding) and 1% her insane makeup skills. Here are a few pics stolen from her Instagram. I apologize in advance for the duck face overload…she’s 14…it’s like mandatory I think?

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Let’s all flashback to our 8th grade days shall we? Yeah we didn’t look like this (or at least I didn’t). Thanks to the wonder of YouTube and some honest God-given skill, Tara has developed into quite the little expert. Now I’m not new to the world of makeup. I used to think I actually knew a lot…nope. Tara gives me beauty advice all the time…and I take it because 8th graders are mean but in an accurate way (thanks for the joke John Mulaney). Anyway here are some of Tara’s favorite video tutorials. Please note that I didn’t actually watch any of these all the way through so if there is something horrible in them then well…it’s Tara’s fault. And high five to the girl in the last video. I tip my hat to you and your teasing comb.

My Go-To Makeup Look | Casey Holmes
Getting Ready | Lauren Curtis
Everyday Spring Makeup | ciaoobellaxo

xo
Christina

My adorable family

So I still really don’t know what I’m doing with my camera but here are some random shots from the past few weeks of my husband, kids and dogs.  I’m pretty sure Vince regrets getting me a camera for Valentine’s Day.  ImageThis guy.

ImageRoxy RooImageBentley needs to be groomed like yesterday.

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This is all they do.  I want this life. Image

The boys.

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If you ask Mike what his favorite thing in the world is he’ll say “waiting for my sister’s choir performance”. Image

She never poses for photos so I take them while I can.  Here she is walking past me like she doesn’t know who I am before her concert.Image

She can hardly contain her enthusiasm.Image

Not the best picture I’ve ever taken but she wouldn’t let me take another.  Teenagers are the best.

 

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Tara steals the show in this shot.  This is how she looks at me pretty much always.