Thursday, May 29, 2008

I'm Not Stuck :)

I did not go to the gym yesterday morning because I felt I needed the sleep. I had the resolve to go after school, which I did. But I felt bad all day for not going in the morning. I've decided that the morning is definitely the best time for me personally to work out. Since I eat a piece of fruit before exercising, I obviously didn't eat my fruit yesterday morning. So I went all day without carbohydrates. I felt tired, and my vision was blurry. I was OK, nothing disastrous, and I didn't feel completely horrible, but not as good as I would have felt had I gone to the gym in the morning. I also weighed myself at the gym, which I shouldn't have done because the morning is the best time to do that. I still hadn't moved in weight!! I was pretty upset.

But I've been getting 700+ calories on the elliptical every day this week, so that's been fun!

I went this morning, and my gluteus maximus is soooo sore from yesterday and today. Did well, and have stuck to my diet quite well the past few days. I weighed myself and noticed I had lost an additional 1.5 pounds! So I'm at almost 4 pounds lost. I was pretty excited.

But it's not good enough, and this diet doesn't seem healthy enough. I received my Fat Smash book and only glanced at it the other day, but it looked so much more reasonable--involving such wonderful things as OATMEAL! Yay for carbohydrates! FRUIT! Yay. YOGURT! Yay. So I will probably start that on Monday and shop for it on Saturday, as usual. I will continue my normal workout routine just to maximize results.

I've decided after reading about the three dieter types, that I am most likely the "gamma" group, the group that has the biggest challenge in losing weight. He attributed the possibility to hypothyroid or medication--which I've got both. I think my weight stays so stable BECAUSE of my thyroid medication. So there are tweaks and bigger challenges for my diet group, but after this dang no-carb thing, I think this will be easier!

I bought a food scale/diet scale on Amazon for $4. I've been guessing as to how much 4 oz. chicken is (which I've needed for my current diet and will need for this next one), so this will make my life easier. And we all know I'm the queen of commitment, so going crazy with the scale is a must for an anal-compulsive like myself.

Like I've said before, the thing that's great about this one is that it takes you through cycles, and the last phase is meant to be a life cycle. Just being in the habit of making good and healthy choices for life and not considering oneself to be on a diet. It claims to help you lose 12 lbs in 3 weeks. I think I can afford more than 12 lbs with my small frame, but 12 at this point would be amazing. He says some lose less than that and some lose more. I think I might verge on the "less" side, being the "gamma" dieter type. But I'm trying to remain positive nevertheless.

Anyway, I'm trying to pump myself up for this. It seems practical and healthy, and he gives recipes. I love recipes. OK so enough about dieting. I'm doing well in other areas of my life--school is a challenge, relationships are a challenge, but all is well.

Three best things.

1. Flexible work schedule. I've decided two days this week to arrive a little later at the gym than originally planned. My work makes this possible, and I'm so grateful not to be tied down with crazy bosses.

2. Online shopping. What in the world would I do without the search power of google and the variety of Amazon? My life is so much easier.

3. Sleep. Yes. I love sleep. Last night I dreamt about my senseis from my old karate studio. It was fun seeing them.

I cut my bangs today. They're not as jacked as I've done them before. Not in my eyes though, which is nice.

I have to pee.

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm Stuck :(

Well, I've been sticking to my diet pretty well, actually, given the circumstances that have arisen. On Saturday Tanner, Tanner's parents, Cody, and I all went to see Indiana Jones. That was really fun. I stuck to my diet quite well, protein and fat counts and all, although I think I was short on my fish oil and Vitamin C which made me feel like a slacker even though it wasn't that bad. On Sunday though, was my carb-up day. I'm supposed to only stick to good carbs--wheat, wheat pasta, fruit, vegetables, etc. I started off pretty good with a bowl of Kashi cereal and half a yogurt. I got home and had some BBQ Fritos, a grilled cheese sandwich (on wheat) and a banana. At my grandma's, I had spaghetti--where I was going to make wheat noodles but grandma seemed hesitant cuz they would take along time, so regular noodles. Hey, they're still complex carbs, right? Geez. I had two slices of garlic toast (26 g carbs total), and salad... But where I cheated was that I had four or five chocolate covered strawberries as well as a slice of chocolate cream pie. I did horrible on my fish oil and Vitamin C, too.

:(

I feel really bad about it. I also feel really bad about not keeping close track of my food anymore on my computer. I was good last week about writing meal times down, meal content, and measurements. These last few days--not so much. I've just been busy but have done a good job of trying to keep up with my meals anyway. I've also gotten a hang of what foods I can eat and how much fat and protein are in them, so counting has gotten less important.

Yesterday was a day off, as were Sunday and Saturday--adding to the difficulty of sticking to a regular/scheduled diet. I got up and lifted and did cardio, of course... I ate my first meal, with my pills, and then I worked on my adolescent literature project with this girl from my class, and prepared two meals for later that day. I went over to Tanner's and hung out, did some Spanish reading, and watched the movie Speak--based on a book that I had read. It was a decent film version of the movie--kind of low-budge. I had my second meal--protein shake with almonds. Mmm.../sarcasm. I went home to make some chicken to use this week... And I had my third meal with my vitamins. I made my last two meals of the day to take with me for after the Death Cab concert or something, but it didn't work out. I wasn't hungry during the show at all, and of course the food was in the car.

So after the show we were of course hungry, and we went to T.G.I. Friday's. I got a cobb salad, but I still feel really bad about it because I didn't take my vitamins with me, and I didn't get my dressing on the side. So it was pretty much smothered in bleu cheese. I know I hadn't eaten my last two meals of the day and so I probably could afford the fat that my diet allows me, but still... I should have had more control over it I think... And there wasn't as much chicken (protein) as I had expected, although there was a boiled egg or two. So for some reason I feel really bad about it, maybe because it was late or something.

Then I went to the gym this morning, and I'm still stuck at where I've been since Friday. I guess that's to be expected, after a slacker Sunday and a late meal on Monday night. But it's hard. This takes self-discipline and preparation and a lot of work and commitment, and I'm still stuck at two pounds lost. I need at least two more this week. I'm trying to keep my spirits up and hope I can do it.

What's making me really upset is that almost two weeks ago I ordered the book for the Fat Smash diet, and it still hasn't gotten here. I looked at my email, and it says to expect it between the 27th and June 6th. Yeah, today's the earliest I should expect it. That's so frustrating. There's no reason a silly book should take more than two weeks to be shipped. I'm thinking if this diet isn't helping me more by the end of the week, I'm going to switch to Fat Smash. It seems healthier, and you have more options. And if I've been able to do THIS silly diet, I can certainly take on the challenge of the other one. I really just want it to be effective, and the Fat Smash diet (by the time you get to the last phase) is a fit-for-life kind of thing--the way you should eat and do things forever, not temporarily for a diet. Switching to Fat Smash after this diet was my plan all along, but after two weeks of near torture, if I haven't lost five pounds, I'm switching.

I was at the gym every day last week but Sunday and will do the same thing this week. I'm trying to look at all that I've accomplished and the level of commitment I've shown, but I'm beating myself up about a lot of things!! It's really frustrating. The salad last night, not eating my two meals, minimal vitamins yesterday and Sunday... Gosh.

In other news... The concert was AMAZING. Tegan and Sara? Freaking AWESOME. I believe I will purchase some of their music sometime soon. Those lesbian Canadians freaking rock it. The great thing about them is that they drew the lesbian crowd. And all of the lesbians there seemed pretty angry! One "couple" that was there had been in line since five in the morning!! And they sat through rain and hail and everything. How horrible. Then Tanner kept talking about how he was sleeping at that time, how he slept till noon (when another lady arrived), that we watched a movie, that we got there at 6 PM, and that we got in for free and were still up at the front. He wasn't being very quiet about it--as you might expect, if you know Tanner. So they started getting pretty angry with him and were talking crap the rest of the night. I'd have been angry too, if I were them, but I also wouldn't have been dumb enough to get there at 5 in the morning. It's simply unnecessary. That couple wasn't so bad--but they seemed to think they were pretty dang hardcore, with their piercings and ugly hair and emo clothes and talking about Marilyn Manson like they know what's up. They weren't very blatant about their orientations.

This other couple, though--wow. They were crazy. They loved T&S of course, that's who they were there for, but they were jumping around like crazies, moshing and stuff. They were deliberately pushing into people, and it was really annoying. It's not as though T&S is all hardcore mosh bouncing music! They were soooo gross and annoying. This guy and his wife right behind Tanner and I were the ones getting shoved, and he was getting really annoyed and basically asked them to stop--of course the girls (the uglier of the two, whom I shall call Ursula) reacted angrily, cussing at him, flipping him off, and pushing him aggressively... They may have even punched his back at one point, all because he didn't want them to keep pushing him, and especially not his wife! He tried to make peace and say, "K you know what? Push me then, but don't push my wife." And Ursula agreed.

I know ALL about loving a band. I know ALL about wanting to move around. I know ALL about being crazy at shows, okay? But it's just not necessary to push people and inconvenience people--your having a good time is not worth more than theirs. And being pushed and shoved and yelled at is definitely not a good time. I really just don't know why both couples seemed to angry and bitter at the world--really. They just kind of radiated negativity and unhappiness.

I'm realizing as I'm writing this that I might sound a little self-righteous. I don't mean to. I'm actually sure that the couple who arrived at 5 AM is probably pretty cool--they seemed reasonable enough, just mad at Tanner for rubbing it in their faces. So I don't mean to sound self-righteous, but it doesn't speak well for an entire community when 4 representatives of it are pretty bitter and aggressive, and likely (for the pushing couple), drunk or high. I was having a hard time understanding their aggression, and it was rubbing off on me, making me aggressive, which I don't like.

In any case, the drama was kind of funny. It was pretty rowdy for a mellow Death Cab and T&S show, but needless to say, I've been through a LOT worse than that--right Raytch? The show was really fun, and I was right up front, typically two or three people back, but usually behind other short girls, so it worked. It was nice getting to see everything. I even brought my glasses, so I really could see details! I'm used to being blocked by tall douchebags who think they should be up front. Tall guys, if you're not protecting girls you're with, stand on the bloody side! You can be up front and on the side and not block people!

Death Cab was so, so good. They played some new stuff but plenty of old as well--Soul Meets Body was a good one! The Sound of Settling was good, Marching Bands of Manhattan was beautiful, Your Heart is an Empty Room (good), Crooked Teeth (fabulous), I Will Follow You Into the Dark (yeah, thanks stupid crowd, for making it so I couldn't hear Ben Gibbard sing the beauty of this song), and others. No Sunshine off their new album was way fun. I loved it. I was very impressed.

I think Ben Gibbard should consider facial hair again.

Another thing that made this show interesting was the 53-year old woman standing at the rail in front of me. On one hand, I liked that she was so short. And on the other, I wished she would just leave me alone. She kept on trying to talk to me, and it was distracting for me to look at her. I'm sorry. I know that's mean, but really. She was a peculiar person. Her favorite band is Relient K. haha. She goes to Warped Tour and pretty much every other concert there is. She said her husband is 60 and doesn't like to go to shows, so she goes by herself. She just kept on talking away, and I was trying to be polite but not conversational.

Really, some of the strangest looking people, crazy/angry lesbians, and rock-loving grandmothers, on top of someone's lingering hair-dye smell, made this show unforgettable. So worth the temporary pain of sore knees and feet.

Back at work, back at school, and back on schedule with this diet, including my vitamins! Here's to week two, hoping for 2-3 more pounds and the receiving of the Fat Smash book in the mail!

You're all in my prayers! Keep me in yours.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Day 4, Start of Day 5

Yesterday was pretty decent. I did alright with my workout and eating. I wasn't feeling sick anymore, my ears are better and so is my throat. But now Tanner's throat is hurting :( I feel bad.

It's been immensely challenging, not because I feel I'm addicted to junk food or anything like that, but because I'm really just starving. I find that I crave foods of substance--carbohydrates: bread, yogurt, pasta, an occasional candy, things with flavor! I haven't had any cravings for fast food at all, not even greasy food, really, just good, natural, energy-providing food. That's been the hard part. I've been really hungry a lot of the time, dizzy sometimes even.

I've had to take time every day at around 3 to prepare my meals for the rest of that day as well as the two that I eat during school or work the next day. It's getting to be less preparation time, but it is still a lot of work. I'm feeling encouraged that it's almost been a week, then I'll have three more to go! I can do it. Thirty days is not that long.

I told Tanner last night, "I'm going to go to the gym tomorrow, and I will have lost another pound or pound and a half. I decided." Sure enough, I got to the gym, stepped on the scale, and have lost about 2.25 pounds total. This is immensely encouraging. It will be awesome when I've lost ten, then fifteen. After that point, I'll see if I want to keep going, but I'll have to adjust a lot of things.

Anyway, day four was good, kept to my plan, was hungry a lot, but no slacking whatsoever.

Yesterday was amazing for a lot of reasons. I make a big effort not to be public about what goes on between Tanner and I, good or bad. But yesterday was kind of a rough day, and this past week, a rough week, actually. After communicating effectively and talking with the right people (gosh, parents are amazing, especially Tanner's!), I felt about a million times better. I was able to be reminded how lucky I am to have Tanner and how truly great he is. I know the reasons I love Tanner, but the reminder was needed, and I'm grateful for it.

I'm grateful for all we have to look forward to in a married relationship--getting to know every little thing about each other, things that take years to know and understand--loving each other even more than we do now... It's hard to imagine, but I believe it happens, especially as two people progress together.

Today is day five of this diet, 25 to go! I had my apple before cardio and cereal bar and protein shake after working out. I lifted for chest, shoulders, and triceps today, according to the diet plan. Cardio was really hard today, I dunno what it is. I'm really tired and pretty sore and only made it to 625 calories burned. Oh well. I've got my meals planned for today and have work from 5 to 11 tonight. No Tanner for me today :( Then it'll be bed and up again for the gym tomorrow. I can't wait for Sunday. Oh, Sunday. I loved you already, but how much more glorious you will be when you provide a day without exercise and full of carbohydrates?

I woke up feeling spiritually and emotionally much better than I have felt in a long time. The losing weight factor has surely helped in these good feelings, but greater things are the cause.

I am encouraged, I am not craving anything yucky, and I am committed. There was no way I could have prepared for this diet, but it's better that I started it when I did and got the worst over with first. I'm going to knock out day five like there's no tomorrow. But there is a tomorrow, and tomorrow week one will be finished. And I will be victorious! :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 2, Start of Day 3

Oh wow, can I even explain? Yesterday, day two of the diet, was so, sooooo difficult. Oh my gosh. Talk about emotional. In the past I have shown signs of hypoglycemia. Unfortunately, a side effect of it is that low blood sugar can affect my mood. I didn't really consider this before starting the diet--the prospect of being thin outweighed other factors and will continue to do so. On top of the hypoglycemic tendencies, I had major PMS yesterday.

I got up at 5:40, ate my orange, and got my sorry butt to the gym. I worked the elliptical for an hour, finishing with about 670 calories, 50 less than on Monday. That's OK though, I'm only supposed to burn around 550 for this diet. I had some egg beaters (good protein) and almonds for breakfast. What really made yesterday morning difficult was my looming illness. Mind you, I haven't been coughing or sneezing or having an immensely sore, scratchy throat or anything, but I have been sick. The last two and a half weeks I have transitioned from having an extremely sore throat which made it difficult to swallow anything, then to losing my voice on Saturday, to waking up with what felt like an ear infection on Sunday. What a way to live. I haven't felt very good for a while. Yesterday it pretty much defeated me.

So after eating, instead of going to work, I went back to sleep from 7:30 to 11 AM. haha. It really did help though! My ears didn't hurt as bad after getting some more sleep. I stuck quite well to my diet the rest of the day, and prepared myself a delicious slice of lemon pepper salmon, four pieces of shrimp, a salad, and guess what?! A carb-controlled ice cream bar. Thank you, Breyer's!!! Oh wow. I went to Albertson's after work and looked everywhere on the ice cream aisle for something I could eat that was allowable. My thoughts went like so, "No sugar added ice cream, please save me!" I had decided against giving in to this desire, and walked out of the store.

When I got home, I burst into tears. Granted I was PMS and had no real reason to cry. But add the facts that I was freaking STARVING (and NOT because I hadn't eaten), wanted food of substance, and was so exhausted that my limbs felt like they were going to drop to the floor, and you have a pretty ridiculously emotional girl. Yeah, it was hard. Pathetic, really. I googled "carb free ice cream" or some term like unto it, and up came Breyer's carb control ice cream. "I have to go get some, I don't give a crap about what kind of fat it is! I am allowed to have fat!" So I went back to the store. This is desperation at its finest. I didn't find the ice cream, but I found the bars. They are 9 grams of carbs per bar, only 5 of which are sugar. Mind you, I am allowed to have peanut butter, which is 6 grams of carbs per serving, 3 of which are sugar. Make sense to you? So I made the exchange--peanut butter for ice cream--after my healthy salad and seafood meal. And it was lovely! I finished off my night with almonds and a protein shake, and all was well, even though I was extremely hungry.

Tanner came over after American Idol (which was profoundly amazing, by the way), and we read some scriptures and prayed together. I got in bed really early, but I had a hard time falling asleep due to some anxiety.

Anyway, up at 5:10 this morning, I got ready and ate an apple. I got to the gym and walked into the locker room to check my weight because I've found my scale to be a little off. I've lost a pound!!! I know this might not seem like a big deal to you, but for someone whose weight NEVER moves, this is huge, especially after only two days. I'm hoping to continue even more rapidly as the week goes on. I am very excited about that pound!

So I went upstairs and did my 8x8 of quads and hamstrings, as well as both hip abductor machines, and three sets of calf raises. Quads and hamstrings were all that was required, but I'm sorry, I can't not work my glutes. I just can't let my bum get saggy because it's not required.

Over I headed to the elliptical, where I performed pretty well. I made it to 702 calories on a manual setting, altering my own resistance and incline as needed. I was sweaty as all get-out. Might I add, I am SO tired of being sweaty. This hot weather lately has added to my water loss significantly, and then I walk up 101 stairs every morning and sweat even when it's raining. Love being such a sweaty individual.

On weight training days, I'm allowed to have a breakfast bar or candy bar. You'll probably not be surprised to hear that I elected to have a candy bar this morning. Sorry, but I have to have my chocolate some time, and if it has to be in the morning, then so be it. I consumed that Snickers with much joy. Oh yeah, and my protein shake. :-P

I planned out my meals for today yesterday before Idol, so I'm all set for those.

I predict today to be much easier than yesterday by far. I'm not sure my body has adjusted yet, but I feel OK, and I brought some ibuprofen to ease some discomfort I'm having. I so hope this diet works. I'm trying so hard to be good on it, and it takes a lot of time. So here's to a successful day 3 and one pound lost.

Three best things:

1. TV. I don't watch it much, but it's coming to the end of May, and I've been able to have weekly relief through American Idol since January! Both of the final contestants are great, and I think David Archuleta should win. In fact, I think it would be better if David Cook didn't win--as far as obtaining a record label and stuff. So anyway, I'm grateful for that piece of entertainment. On to So You Think You Can Dance!

2. The Phillips' home. I'm glad to have a more family-like environment close-by that I can go to. I was remembering last night when I first started watching Idol over there, and I had to ask where the bathroom was. Now I practically live there (and will, eventually!) and love feeling so comfortable and welcome.

3. My mom again. I called her about a doctor's appointment yesterday, how to go about getting one when we have a California-based HMO, and she called me back and explained things to me. I was being really bratty about it because it's way too big of a hassle, so she resolved to send me some antibiotics in overnight mail. She sounded pretty concerned and felt bad that I was feeling so yucky. It's nice to know that your mom will still take care of you from so far away.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Day 1

Well, I was trying to decide whether or not I wanted to publicize this. I don't like to let people know about my weight or exercise goals. I'm rather good at motivating myself, usually, and would appreciate people noticing without knowing I've even been doing anything. I decided against keeping it a secret mostly because the easiest place for me to keep track of my progress is in this blog rather than in a journal. For some reason, blogs are more motivating.

Anyway, I saw an ad last week on Facebook for this "skinny bride" diet and exercise plan. I was a little skeptical at first, wondering what information could possibly be dispelled by this amateurish website. Nevertheless, I paid $37 to get this downloadable diet and exercise plan with additional tips, mostly out of curiosity to view its contents. I was thinking I might just wait to start it after looking at the other book I bought, the Fat Smash Diet. Then I decided, why wait? It's now or never. So I bought the stuff on Thursday, looked through it, absorbed what I could, and made some goals. I made a grocery list as well. Tanner and I spent almost two hours at Wal-Mart shopping for food and other random things that I needed (including a scale).

I've found that this Wedding Day Diet is somewhat similar to Atkins, which I've always had a vendetta against. It's just unhealthy. No carbs, all the fat and protein you want, no specifications for what kinds of fat... Not good. This diet, however, emphasizes protein and GOOD fats (unsaturated, found in olive oil, nuts, etc.), and makes use of carbs at appropriate times of the day and week. I work out six days a week--weight train on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and do an hour of cardio every day. I have one piece of fruit every morning. On the days that I weight train, I get to have a breakfast bar (or candy bar! woot!). I eat five times a day with particular focus on the measurements of protein and fat that I'm getting, as well as taking fish oil and Vitamin C.

Since carbs six days a week are only eaten in the morning when I most need them, it seems to be efficient. It promises quick weight loss over a 30 day period. What separates it from Atkins is the carb-up day on Sunday. There is still a focus on good carbs--whole wheat, fruit, oatmeal, potatoes, etc. Pigging out and eating junk food is not part of the plan.

I have to drink a gallon of water a day--which, I figured out, is about 4 of my 1 litre bottles in a day. I've already had about two, and it's 9 AM.

This diet gives lots of tips and tricks (e.g. drinking water cold forces your body to lower the temperature, therefore burning calories, green tea, etc.) and seems like it makes sense.

So today is Day 1. I'm pumped, and I know it will be a challenge, especially this week (when I'll likely be pretty PMSy)! In order to make it easier for myself, I've planned out every day what I would eat at what time. I prepared my food for today last night. I will do the same for tomorrow tonight. I've started a list of key measurements--x amount of almonds = x amount of fat, 1 can of chicken holes 27.5 grams of protein, etc. I bought myself on-the-go protein shakes (Body for Life approved, by the way) as well as a shaker for my morning whey protein shakes.

I plan to go to the store later to grab some more green veggies for myself. I need them so I don't starve, although protein might keep me somewhat full.

I went to the gym for an hour and a half where I used his workout plan of 8 sets and 8 reps each of a bicep and back exercise. I did the elliptical for an hour and got some adolescent literature reading done. I got home and got ready and had my breakfast bar, protein shake (which was delicious, might I add), vitamin C, and fish oil while I read some scriptures.

I feel good. I feel attractive. I feel like every person who looks at me is now going, "eh," but I just think, "You just wait, this isn't what I really look like!" I've found that because my weight doesn't fluctuate very much, I've been relatively complacent with my eating habits and exercise routines. But it doesn't mean I can't look better, and especially feel better. I've found also that my unhappiness with myself and my appearance has made my life and struggles lately a lot harder than they have been before.

As a random note, this guy suggests you take a before picture because it increases your chances of succeeding by 2000%. haha. I took mine last night with a self-timer. Shh, don't tell. None of you shall ever see it. It should be motivating like he says.

I am committed to this. I can make my life on this diet easier by simply planning and preparing and making sure I get enough sleep. It will still be very hard. I might get light-headed from workouts. I might be starving. I might get emotional and exhausted, but I am trying to gear up and not put this plan off. I can do it!

Three best things

1. Life. This boy from my high school with a very stand-out glam rock image passed away on Friday. He had cancer, and he had just turned 19. I was extremely saddened by this--humbled at how quickly someone we love can get taken from us. Someone I used to see every day just walking around, now no longer exists physically on this earth. It's just weird to think about.

2. My cute fiancee. Apparently he drove by me this morning on my way to school and his way to work, and I didn't see him. He called me right after he saw me to tell me how hot/cute I looked today. He was so excited that he saw me. Something about seeing the person you love in a context where they are independent from you and in a zone of their own--kind of makes you appreciate them from a distance that you don't normally get to. His compliment made my day, especially because I was already feeling good about my workout and diet plan.

3. A nice gym. I love 24 Hour Fitness. It's nice and small and intimate and not too crowded. It has the resources I need, and I am comfortable there. I'm grateful to have a place so nice and SO close to me to make my workouts more enjoyable.

4. My mom. I missed her this weekend.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ghirardelli Has My Heart

Point A: Last Tuesday, I believe it was, I ventured to my second favorite store in the entire world: Big! Lots. That's right. Big! Lots. Formerly known as Pic 'N Save. What Big! Lots means exactly remains unbeknownst to me. I was mad enough when they made the name change that pondering on what the new name could possibly denote was quite simply out of the question. All tangents terminated, I went to Big! Lots last week in full acceptance of its name, given their amazing variety of products and fabulous prices. I was looking for a birthday card for my younger brother as well as a few Mother's Day cards (mom, grandma, future mother-in-law...).

As I mentioned before, Big! Lot has a variety of products, and I can't manage to escape the store without browsing for at least a few minutes. I wandered over to their candy selection when, lo and behold, I glimpsed a box of Ghirardelli chocolates on the top shelf. Not just ANY Ghirardelli chocolates--the "Intense Dark" chocolate collection for "connoisseurs," as the front of the box reads. A whole box of these fabulous chocolates that are usually around $3 per bar for only $4.50?! It was too good to be true. I called my mother with the news (for she is also a dark chocolate connoisseur). I sadly explained that I would have sent it to her for Mother's Day, but sending chocolate in the mail for it to get all melty was just not a good idea (not to mention the fact that I had spent an enormous sum of money on our family portraits at Sears. Said portraits can be viewed on the right). She was not as excited as I was. She admitted that she still had some left from the last time I was there.

I decided that I would try to control my chocolate urges and walk away from this beautiful deal in front of me. Perhaps I could come back another day for them. I got off the phone with my mom and resumed going to the check-out aisle to buy these greeting cards--without the black box of Ghirardelli chocolates.

Point B: Thursday night, my fiancé, future cousin-in-law Cody, friend Aric, and I all went 80s dancing. This is another tale for another blog. Not our most fun trip to Area 51 by any means. Although you may be interested in the bearded vagrant that somehow made his way in. Aforementioned vagrant's assigned name is Leonard. Leonard could boogie for sure.



Before entering Area 51, I decided that to be safe, I should hide my wallet under the seat. I gently placed my wallet under Aric's driver's seat. One half of my wallet was left unzipped in order to retrieve my driver's license (I'm big 21 now--I can go in the bar!). After having a not-fun time in the smoky, vagranty atmosphere, we decided to go home. After we arrived at the Phillips' house, I was trying to gather all of my things from the back seat. My wallet was still hidden under the seat. This means I did a good job. If I forgot about my own wallet, why would a thief think to look for it under the driver's seat? Take that home. Chew it. Anyway, I got out of the car walletless.

I was a little upset that I had forgotten my wallet, so I asked Aric to please drop my wallet off at my work on Friday, which he so reliably did. I went and got my wallet at work in the afternoon, excited to have my debit and credit cards back to make whatever grandiose purchase I desired. What with it being the end of a really long, hard week, I decided I would reward myself with that box of Ghirardelli chocolates. At this point in the story, we proceed to point C.

Point C: I returned to Big! Lots on Friday afternoon with my wallet in hand--armed and ready for some intense dark chocolate purchasing. Having been there earlier in the week, I walked straight to the spot where the chocolates were still sitting on the shelf, bargain price in tact. I grabbed them and walked to the counter where a very friendly older man was the cashier. I opened my wallet to pay for my chocolates when much to my dismay, I saw no Washington Mutual MasterCard debit card with Paypass... No Citibank mtvU Visa card, and no palm-treed Discover card. "Alert! Alert! Ghirardelli chocolates are escaping my ambrosial future!" my brain was reeling. I embarrassedly admitted to the cashier that my cards had apparently fallen out of my wallet, and I would be unable to pay for my chocolate. I walked away, head down in immense discouragement.

As I walked out, I texted Aric, "My wallet doesn't do me much good without my debit or credit cards in it. ha ;)." I was trying to be pleasant and playful about it, knowing it wasn't his fault that I had left my wallet open, but I was more than frustrated. I returned home without that glorious Ghirardelli box for connoisseurs. I suppose I had not yet obtained connoisseur-hood.

On Saturday I worked at Blockbuster from 5 to 11. I texted Aric asking if he could please bring me my cards, bribing him with a free movie. And I am happy to report that my ever-reliable friend Aric waltzed in to Blockbuster with my cards as well as my BYU ID. Needless to say, I was relieved to have regained my spending freedom.

My weekend and week thus far have advanced rather normally. Today I decided that since I needed to get a For Sale sign for my Neon, I would try Big! Lots. Perhaps I could pick up those chocolates at the same time. OK, who am I kidding? The chocolates were my main reason for going. I had only hoped they would have a For Sale sign so I wouldn't have to travel all the way to the ever-loathed Wal-Mart.

Point D (today): Once again, I returned to Big! Lots after a long day of Spanish test taking and adolescent literature reading. Once again, I marched with my wallet in hand, undoubtedly armed with my spending cards. Once again, and for the last time, I traipsed the floor of Big! Lots, straight over to the shelf that miraculously still held that celestial box of chocolates.

I also realized I needed some more bottled water, so I grabbed those. And I looked for a For Sale sign. I didn't find it. Anti-climactic much? Probably should have grabbed the chocolates last for effect's. But I couldn't wait.

With a huge box of Crystal Geyser bottled water in my arms topped with the box of chocolates, I once again walked to the counter to make my purchase. She scanned the chocolates and bottled water. $8.75. I pulled out my card and victoriously slid it through the scanner.

I delightedly walked out to my car with my Ghirardelli chocolate. At last!

"Why didn't I just buy it last week?" I scolded myself.

All of this trouble, and for what? The beauty that is below!:



I am a chocolate connoisseur.

Friday, May 9, 2008

I Love Blogs

OK guys. I have had a pretty rough day today. I've been extremely emotional, I've bawled really hard at least twice for more than twenty minutes each time. My eyes hurt, they're red and puffy, and I'm sure I look awesome because of it.

The reasons why are personal. I won't go into them--just a rough, emotionally challenging day. At one point I felt more alone than I've felt in a long, long time. I missed Rachel and wished I could talk to someone about how I was feeling.

Needless to say, the day has gotten better, but I'm still in an emotional spot. I went with Tanner and Cody to the mall and didn't get anything, but Tanner wanted to get Mario Kart for Wii. So we went to Best Buy, bought the game, and searched FYE and Circuit City for more Wii Wheels. Now the boys are in the living room, and for whatever reason I don't feel like playing. I'm not very good at games, my eyes are in a lot of pain, and I don't have my glasses to see the screen. Thus, I'd be even worse than normal at the game.

I decided to come into the office and check some stuff. The first thing I did was get on my Google Reader to see if anyone had updated my blog. Wow. Four updates!

I have to tell you that the Lord works through people. I'm so, so grateful for blogging. I'm so grateful for people who put themselves and their weaknesses and emotions out there for everyone to see. Tonight I am grateful for Cody's blog, Amber's blog, and my aunt Lisa's blog. All of them wrote incredibly emotional and inspiring blogs. I am not sure why they all impacted me so much, but it didn't help my painful crying-eye situation. It's just funny that I've been checking my Reader every day for new blogs and never get anything like that... Then suddenly, three inspirational ones in one day. Kind of weird, and not coincidental.

I feel better after reading those things and being reminded of Heavenly Father's love and of people's generosity.

By the way, if you want to read my aunt's latest blog, it really is awesome and not long at all. The link is on the right of my page, or click here.

Loves.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I like makeup

Check out some new mark. products.

I just bought some skincare stuff and am excited to use it.

Click here to view this month's magalog!



Or go to my mark. page at jbalibrea.mymarkstore.com. and click the "shop" tab. Your orders can be shipped directly to you! It's rad. Seriously guys we have always had really good products, so I promise you won't be disappointed if you try something new!

Janae

Thursday, May 1, 2008

So How About that Weather?

Psh, like I want to talk about that. Utah has horrible weather. Two seasons, two extremes, too ridiculous. I hate it. Moving on.

Something I found funny today... I checked the mailbox for our office, and there were flyers passed out by people doing a study on metabolism. These little yellow papers read as follows:

Men Wanted
For A Bone and Metabolic Study

If you...
-Are male
-Are between the ages of 30 and 65 years
-Do not exercise regularly
-Do not have osteoporosis
-Do not have diabetes or thyroid dysfunction

...you may qualify for a research study.

Wow. Yep, like Doug is going to call and be like, "Hey guys I'm 42 and don't exercise! Pick me, pick me!" Seriously, how would you like to be the person who qualifies for that study? haha.

Also, I checked my grades today. I'm pretty excited. They're not as good as Cody's!! ;) But they're good.





They brought my GPA up from a 3.51 to a 3.52. Yayuh! ;) Just kidding, like it's that big of a deal. haha.

I started spring classes yesterday. I'm a little leery of the whole thing. My Spanish professor is quite the oddball--self-admitted, mind you. He was slightly threatening. To me he seems a little arrogant and like he tries really hard to be intentional about upsetting people. It's a little ridiculous, really. In any case, he seems like a good teacher and actually USES ENGLISH sometimes for those tards like me who need that extra clue. There won't be any papers, which I was totally dreading, so that's awesome news! There are midterms with four questions on them each, which will probably be lengthy analytical kinds of things, but as long as I take good notes in his class and try to get involved, I imagine I'll succeed just fine.

I also had my adolescent literature class yesterday. Good news: No final in this class! HAHA! Bad news: We have to read 30 young adult novels (averaging 4 per week) this semester. They should hopefully be short, fast reads though. Hopefully I'll find some that I like! It should be nice though. I like reading. The professor is retired and is kind of exempt from university policies. haha. He's from like South Carolina and has one of the strangest accents ever. Also, he kind of looks like Lord Voldemort but with a beak instead of just nostrils. He's very strange and goofy looking. But he seems really fun and stuff. No big papers or anything here either. OMG, these classes are just what I had hoped for.

Finally, I had a really neat experience with my brother last night. He is 17, 18 in October. He called me out of nowhere because he had had a bad day and was super confused about a lot of things. We're extremely different from each other, so for him to call to talk to me and get my input meant a lot to me. He asked me if I would pray with him. I was so, so humbled and so touched. My eyes are watering just thinking about it. That he would have a horrible day and be ready to go to sleep and be so stressed out and actually think to call me--to think that calling his big sister would help him, means more to me than I can explain. I bore him my testimony about Christ and the atonement and about the priesthood and so many things. It was a great experience, and I did my best to help without being too instructive or chastizing. Anyway, it was really so awesome to get to talk to him. He told me thank you and that I really helped him a lot. It was so sweet.

OK... Three best things

1. The gospel. I had a conversation with Tanner last night about the challenges of some women that we know... And I'm so grateful for a gospel that influences the decisions that I make so that I can avoid particular challenges that I'd never want to deal with. It's amazing to have a Father who cares so much.

2. My bed. It sounds silly, but the comfort of a warm bed in a cold apartment when I am sleepy is so, so nice. I'm glad I don't have to sleep on mats on concrete floors like so many other people in the world do :(

3. Vending machines. They provide me with delicious and oftenly unhealthy snacks when I have hunger pangs at work.