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Monday, 1 September 2014

And so it Begins.... Again

Hey everybody! IT IS SEPTEMBER! Yaaaay! I love this time of the year! We had a non-summer weather wise and so I am ready to fogeddaboutit and move straight into Fall. Pumpkin spice lattes (low fat low cal low taste), crisp sunny days (we need a couple) and cozy and forgiving sweaters and boots.
It's like they know me.
As I mentioned last week, I have decided to start another 12 week challenge. Today is the day and I have almost made it to the end of the day. God give me strength.

I'm not going to lie, it was a rough day. There is crazy rain outside and all I would like to do is curl up on the sofa and eat Bugles... but I won't. I started off this morning with a great 40 minute workout with my handy dandy small step machine. Had a low fat latte for breakfast, an Atkins meal replacement bar for lunch, briefly considered gnawing at my arm for protein and then had a yummy meal of a blended veg. soup and a chik pattie and English muffin. And, because I was within my calories, a glass(es) of wine. The soup helped to fill the hunger and I made enough for lunch tomorrow. Remind me to bring it with me, y'all.

I made it to over 16,00 steps and I'm feeling good. Only 11 weeks and 6 days to go. Siiigh. There a few people participating in this challenge and that is awesome! The more people participating the better it will be... Misery loves company, non?

I stepped on the scale this morning and took my measurements. I'm not going to lie. It was painful to see.

I give myself a hallpass because of the past couple of months but I have to come to the realisation that there will always be something happening that will trigger eating orgies. This challenge will be about taking each day at a time, not beating myself up if I go off track and trying to meet my goals.

So what are my goals this time around? Walk with me...

(1) Walk at least 10,000 steps a day. Fitbit is keeping me on track.
(2) Get at least 5 hours of cardio a week
(3) Keep my calories between 1200 and 1400 a day
(4) Weigh and measure myself at least once a week (will publish stats next week)
(5) Bribe myself by putting away 20 euros for every kilo (2.2 pounds) lost so that at the end, I can buy some pretty things.

Sound simple? Well, of course it sounds simple. But it is going to be hard. This is a mental game and I need to win it. I NEED TO! WHO'S WITH ME!!! RAWR! But let me take one more sip of wine, first...

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Fitbit and Bite Me

Sup? Sup? Sup? The week is winding down and this weekend the Husband and I are taking another weekend trip. Just the two of us and a barrel of wine. The Mother in Law has generously offered to take care of the Kid once again and we figured it would be good for us to take advantage of her offer... before she changes her mind. We are heading to Waidhofen an der Ybbs which is about a 90 minute train ride from Vienna. We have already stayed in this town... and actually, the same hotel, but that was years ago, before child. Before exhaustion. Before real life. I'm looking forward to some fresh air and to finally getting to go into this castle.

Last time we were here, it was under construction and the Husband took away my grappling hooks to scale the walls.

Dammit G! Just let me see their colour scheme.

The town is along a rapidy river and if I remember correctly, there is a nice walking path through the forest. I cannot wait! P.S. if you don't hear from me by Monday, G did it.

In other news, the Husband has a business trip tonight - in town but has decided that instead of staying at the hotel, he'd rather come home to which I responded with "Why?" The Kid was put to bed 30 minutes ago but keeps coming out intermittently which is turning me into Bethenny Frankel vs. Kelly Bensimon.

I'm getting off track here. A few weeks ago, a friend went out and bought the Fitbit Flex. This little bracelet type thing records steps taken, your quality of sleep and calories burned. Their handy dandy website is also great for a food log and weight goals and cheers you on. The initial goal is 10,000 steps a day. After hearing her rave about it, I waited to pick a fight with the Husband to be able to justify me buying one. No real fight came so I finally went yesterday and boy was she right, this thing is AWESOME!

It is user friendly and I got one in pink because duh. I started my day off with my normal morning walk, got the Kid up, waited for the Mother in law to come, walked to the Ubahn station, got to work, did my office stuff and BOOM! by 11:30, I was already at 10,000 steps. I also decided to eat for the Duggar family and recorded my calories.
16 bagels and counting
That was a shock. Or perhaps a scientific experiment. Yes, I ate more than I do on a regular day but what surprised me the most was that on a normal day, I actually get a lot exercise. I'm currently at 16,000 steps and still have an hour or two until I crash. So what's the moral of the story? I can exercise until the cows come home, but if I don't eat right, I won't get anywhere. Stuff I knew but now can see. Lightning bolt moment.

So eventhough the 12 week challenge doesn't start until Monday, I feel like today was the last day to go a little nutso with the bad food/life choices. This bracelet will hopefully be a great tool to keep me on track. Slowly I bid you all a good night. The Kid has once again snuck out of his bed and is currently in our bed watching me type and getting high off my everything bagel and pepper jack cheese breath. Nighty night and see y'all tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

12 Week Challenge - Back in the Saddle

Hello my lovelies! Last night I did another dinner inspired by a film thingy and it was a mucho success... well, I think it was - my arteries? Not so much. Anyway, expect the pics and post in a day or two as well as the draw of the Operation Tubetop giveaway! Just need the Kid to stay still long enough to pick a damn name out of a hat. I digress. As you probably know, July and August has been a real emotional struggle and ergo, I have not stuck to the challenge. I was gung-ho and then tragedy hit... so now I need to get back on the wagon and start the whole challenge again. One friend stuck to it (I am so incredibly proud of her!) and has lost 11 pounds. I find that incredible and when she wrote that last night, I felt like I had to kick my tuckus back into gear. And so, once again, I am announcing the 12 week challenge starting September 1st.
YAAAAY! Here we go again!
I find that September 1st is a great day to start for a few reasons. One, it is a Monday. Two, it is the beginning of the month. Three, it is the beginning of the bestest season of the year. September is pretty much like the start of a new year for me; great fashion, crisp mornings and evenings, less chub rub and an all round awesome feel in the air.
I want to snort you so bad.
The Kid starts his new daycare on September 3rd. It will only be part time for the first month but come October, we will hopefully be back to regular scheduling. It has been a tough 6 months of childcare; requiring military coordination of the Nanny, the Husband, the Mother in Law and the Me. The costs have also been astronomical. I CANNOT WAIT! Regular date nights might also start to happen again. Yippee! Now I really feel like the pieces of the puzzle are coming together. Last piece? Get this kerblasted weight off FINALLY!

To aid me on this journey, I have purchased an Ultra Lady Swing Stepper which sounds a little like a swinger's bar. But I assure you, it is not. I barely have time to shave my upper lip... so meeting strangers for sex seems like a lot of work. I'm digressing. So I bought this:

And I will continue with the Bikram.

And I will try and avoid process foods and this time, really really count my calories, aiming to be within 1200-1400 calories a day.

And, of course, keep myself accountable by filling out the chart I made a couple of months ago with my weight loss progress and measurements. I aim to do 30 minutes of exercise a day (averaged out). So, if anyone is up for it, please join! Countdown to September 1st: T-5 days. WOOOT!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Kirtag Schmirtag

Where livers go to die.
You probably saw on Facebook that I had a wild evening at the Neustifter Kirtag on Satuday. This once a year event is like my New Year's Eve - like when I was 20 and didn't have a toddler screaming  "MOOOOMMMMYYYYY!!" every ten minutes and knocking my Gatorade all over the sheets. Every year, for at least the past 4 years, I head to a friend's house in the vineyards and pre-party for the infamous Kirtag. Kirtag, loosely translated, means "dress in too tight traditional Austrian garb and tie one on" and by "tie one on", I mean, do some macrame around your liver. In recent years, these types of events have exploded in popularity. The dirndl is back "in" and that makes me happy. Well, happy when I can actually fit into one. This year, once again, I lost all feeling in my breasticles but.... worth it.
If I just breathe in, real tight....

Around 3 I got to my friend's house and a bottle of prosecco was popped open and it was the beginning of a very long day. More friends showed up and I battled the discomfort of my uniform with more drinks. The rain started to come down and we waited and drank for it to pass and then, with red solo cups in hand, we headed down the hill.
The hills are alive, with the sound of Tova yelling "ZOMG! SO PRETTY! I NEVER GET TIRED OF THIS VIEW! ISN'T IT PRETTY, EVERYBODY? SO PRETTY!"

The rain held off for long enough for us to get a shot of Pimms (yeah, that was random) and then it turned into a lemming type search to find cover. We weasled our way into one heuriger and then came time to really show dedication to Kirtag. Little note here, Heuriger wine will kill you. Heuriger wine plue Jaegermeister will kill your soul. So anyway, at one point, a friend and I had a brilliant idea to check out the back of a heuriger in the pouring rain. We fell, oh we fell. Mud, mud as far as the eye can see. At that point it became clear that it was time to call it a night. I hailed a cab and it wasn't until I got home did I finally see the extent of my "mud run".
The one real casualty of the night
The Husband was not pleased at the state of the tub the next morning "WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO LAST NIGHT?!?!" I spent most of the morning inhaling things with cheese but by the late afternoon I felt human again and did some laundry. It was a rip-roaring good time and the last time for quite awhile until I pull another stunt like that. Bring on the smoothies! O Zapf!
Selfie in a dirndl, cause I can.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Operation Tubetop August Giveaway!

It's that time again. I get to be a poor man's Oprah. An incredibly poor, down on her luck Oprah. An Oprah that should apply for food stamps, perhaps sell some clothes on Ebay. Poor poor man's Oprah.

Last time I said that everyone who participated and didn't win would automatically be back in the running this time. The peeps are: Kat, Sarah T., Giovanna, Angela, Dragi and Debra. Please let me know if I missed anyone! If your name isn't above, then you have to werk it. To qualify for the giveaway, all you have to do is share my blog on your wall and then let me know so that I can add your name to the raffle. And this is what I'm giving away!

Yeah, I like them too. So good luck and God speed and remember, I will mail these to anywhere in the world! Competition ends Sunday evening 6 p.m. Central European Time.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Dinner Inspired by a Film - The Birdcage

So my hair is dark brown and all is well in the world. Yesterday, after work, before hosting my film inspired dinner, I decided that I should check out some dirndls. I have two already. One fits which means that I am not fatter than last year but one does not fit which means that I am fatter than two summers ago. This is like an SAT question, right here. Anywho, I thought I would cheer myself up and consider purchasing another one. A friend discovered that C&A were selling some at amazing prices and after we oohed and aahed over the Interwebs, I decided to go forth and check them out. I picked out a couple in what I thought were bigger than my size so that mentally I could be all like "Oh shucks. Need to try a smaller size. How droll." Yeah, that didn't happen. I huffed and puffed and got the side zipper up only to my hip. I looked in the mirror and thought "Not today, Shamu".
I'll take a size Orca. Thanks.
After a couple of tries, I gave up and headed to my local for a small white wine spritzer and blasted myself for all the cheese I have consumed recently. I vowed to lose weight. I headed home and started on my cheddar cheese bechamel sauce for my burgers. Yeah, is that irony? Still don't know. Again, I curse you Alannis.
Oh, I forgive you. Only because Jagged Little Pill was like the album of my angsty teenage life
So back to the whole point of this post; The Birdcage. Now I know that the American version is based on the French version but I have only seen the American version and I love it. Adore it. C'est magnifique. The cast includes, Robin Williams (I miss you, man), Nathan Lane, Dianne Wiest, Gene Hackman, Calista Flockhart and the most incredible Hank Azaria character ever. I'm not going to recap it but let's just say that Nathan Lane is my spirit animal in this film. And in the dressing room yesterday, while I was trying on Nazi garb (SIDE ZIPPERS?! WHY?!? FASCISTS!), I kind of turned into him.
In fact, having re-watched the film recently, I have realized that my relationship to the Husband is eerily similar to that of Robin Williams and Nathan Lane in this film.

Now, the film is set in Miami and I was going to wait until the Spring to do this challenge but since the sudden passing of Robin Williams, I decided to do it pronto. I have always wanted to go to Miami. Ever since Will Smith sang about it, Ben Stiller chased down Cameron Diaz, or even when Horatio Cane first put on his sunglasses, I have wanted to go... I digress. But yes, I have been smitten with the idea of Miami.
I decided that since the film takes place in Miami, I had to figure out what is considered "traditional" food. First thing that popped up; Frita Cubana. This is pretty much a meat patty with has hashbrown potatoes on a bun. I decided to make up my own version because I am the boss of me. So I cooked some burger patties, fried up some shoestring potatoes and made a spicy cheddar bechamel sauce. I topped the burgers with some roasted onions and voila! Heart attack on a bun. I regret that I did not take a picture of the food but I had already downed a couple of cocktails so my mind was more on face planting into the food. I apologize.

Speaking of booze, I made a little welcome drink which I have named Tovnado. Yeah, I did. It pretty much was comprised of white wine, Blue Bols (how many terrible jokes have been made in bars over THAT name?!), a dash of coconut/pineapple juice and garnished with a gummy shark. Behold its beauty! Behold the fact that my shark is ending his life in my drink. Respect, homie. (Editor's note: The shark gummy was spicy because cutting chilis and then cutting gummy sharks makes the sharks spicy. It was a lucky mistake. Added totally to the drink)
Kind of an awesome way to go.
Of course we can't forget the table! I decided to make it is as FABULOUS as I could on a budget. Oddly, I had most things already. Except for the pink feathers... which is odd if you know me. Moving on.

For dessert we had cheesecake ice cream because I did not have time to make a schnecken. The schnecken did not beckon last night. It was a great evening and the Kid blessedly fell asleep just before 9 without too much DRAMA which actually would have been totally appropriate to the theme. Maybe he too is a little Nathan Lane. I'd embrace that. So happy Thursday and stay tuned for the next dinner theme. I'm thinking, Amadeus...

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Hair Diaries

Oh you guys. I did a bad thing. A very bad thing. I was away for the weekend for a funeral and I will write about that soon because it was a life-changing event and I am so glad that I was able to be there. So that will be a post in a day or two... but back to the very bad no good thing I did. I dyed my hair. Now, I be no stranger to the at-home hair dye. In fact, I probably could major in chemistry by now or test positive for asbestos. I have had every hair colour you could ever imagine and I would like to believe that I rocked them all. Well, depending on the lighting and my make up. So anyway, I got it into my head that I wanted to be a redhead again. Stupid stupid. I figured that after my recent haircut, I would have healthier hair and that the colour would just take to it. I figured wrong. Oh so very wrong. Monday morning, after a quick run to the drug store, I locked the Kid out of the bathroom (3.5 year olds are determined little buggers - we need to re-paint the door) and applied a ruby red dye. Deciding to go the extra mile, I added dye to my eyebrows. As the dye sat on my head and the Kid got high off the fumes, I Google Imaged pictures of famous redheads. Emma Stone kept popping up and I thought, also high off the fumes, I'm so going to be pretty. After the 30 minutes, I stepped in the shower. Washed out the dye. Wrapped my head in a towel and thought about how my eyes would just "pop!". Yeah. About that.

And this is what I saw an hour later. But my hair was darker in spots and parts were ketchup red. I looked like I was malting. And the best part? I had hot pink and orange eyebrows. The shame.

Since I was at home with the Kid for most of the day, I had to hide my shame from myself. I coloured in my eyebrows and waited for the Nanny to come. I then ran to the drugstore and bought two different packs of lightening dye and then visited a wine bar to convince myself that platinum blonde would be great on me. JUST GREAT. When the Husband got home, he looked at me and stuttered "Your eyebrows!" and I screeched "SHUT UP! SHUT UP!" and then I cried a little. After dinner, I started on the first pack. The burning I will never forget. After it dried, I did the next step that involved more bleach. I couldn't bear to look at myself so I went to bed with wet hair and ignored the scabbing. In the morning, I leapt out of bed, hoping to see a buxom Gwen Stefani in the mirror. And.... no.

Apparently I turned myself into a golden hamster. Fanfuckingtastic.

So I wore a bandana to work today. A nice one in cream and with an Hermes motif. I made it through with a minimal amount of GUFFAWING from co-workers and headed back to the drug store in the evening. I'm a junkie with customer loyalty points coming out of my ass. And so now, I sit with dark brown dye in my hair and literally am praying that I still have some hair left in an hour. Life, it's awesome.