Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Month: December 2008 (Page 1 of 4)

New Years Resolutions

Every New Years Eve I spend some time pondering on the year past and the year to come.

Here is drunken little me on December 31st, 2007 toasting the new year.

2008’s resolutions (pulled right from my LiveJournal):
1.  Will take off at least another 45 lbs by continuing the healthy eating and exercise habits I’ve developed this year.

How did I do?  Great, actually.  Even if you count it from my January 1st weight of 210, which took me about half of January to get back to, 45 lbs lost would be 165, which I am below right now.  I have definitely at least kept up on the “eat good most of the time” habits and expanded on the exercising.

2.  Will finally figure out what my goal weight is, even if I don’t get there in 2008 yet.  I thought the 45 would take me to a place where I was happy before, but I think it was just because I was afraid of failure I didn’t want to hope for a lower weight. So somewhere between 45 and 85 down from where I’m at now, I find the happy place where I’m 100% comfortable in my skin and just need to continue building my muscles.  (FYI for anyone concerned with my safety, I can lose another 100 lbs before I’m underweight, so it’s not like I’m trying to be a supermodel or anything – I just tend to carry weight well.)

How did I do?  In technical terms, not so good, but I feel differently about the journey than I did last year.  I have no idea what my goal weight is, but I’m not in as much of a rush to get there.  I know I want to lose at least another 12-ish lbs and get to 150.  Beyond that, I think I will just keep going, slowly, and see where it leads me.  So somewhere between about 12 and 30 lbs should find me there.

3.  Will figure out what I’m going to do when I get in shape – is it dance classes or water skiing or running or underwater basket weaving?  What do I want to do so badly but I’ve repressed it because I think I’m too out of shape?

How did I do?  Well, I guess I found running, but I still feel like I need to finish the weight losing before I can “reward” myself with “fun” workouts (besides DDR).  It’s not the best attitude – I know.  But I can’t quite shake it yet.  I’ll have to keep working on this.

4.  Will start planning our wedding and set a date.

How did I do?  We sort of set a date, started thinking and planning and then *bam*, unemployment and crunch time happened.  We’ve talked more and are looking into alternative, cheaper options that are just as cool.  However, I can’t really say I’ve done enough with this to call it a success.  Considering the original date is in May 2009, I should really get on this, or give up and hire a wedding planner (though the inner jew is screaming “But that’s money you can spend on the wedding and you can do it yourself”).  Again, something to work on next year.

5.  Will be open and receptive to all the good that comes into my life and share it with others.  I will celebrate my successes but not rest on my laurels!

How did I do?  I think this is an ongoing type resolution.  I tried to make a conscious effort to dig myself out of bad moods quicker than before.  With everything that happened this year – it certainly put things in perspective how lucky we had it (and still have it).  While it wasn’t all GOODTHINGGOODTHING one right after another like 2007 seemed to be, there was way more good than bad and if I felt 5 years younger after last year, I feel 10 years younger now.

So what’s on tap for 2009?  As you know if you read my blog I like lists in 5s, and 5 seems like a manageable number of resolutions to work towards next year.

Here is the most recent pic of us, from Christmas Eve.  Wonder if I’ll think how horrible I looked in this one next year (like I think about the one last year)…

1.  Body: Will continue to eat in a manner that is mostly healthy as I do now and improve when I can, continue improving my fitness, and work on reaching my goal weight, whatever that ends up being, in 2009.  While I’ll always work on improving my muscles and endurance, I’d like to get to the point where the scale is just a double check a few times a week that I’m not way off track, and food journals are a thing of the past, by the end of 2009.

2.  Fitness: I will do at least one new exercise-y thing a month.  This cannot include running, DDR, yoga, traditional weights, or Cybil the arc trainer.  By the end of the year, I would like to transition 1-2 days per week to something like dance classes or volleyball or some other competitive sport OR seriously start training distance running/triathalons.  By my 30th birthday, I need to pick ONE of these to focus on and concentrate on it (and make ancillary resolutions/goals based on what I pick).  I guess what I’m trying to say is to start working out for a reason that is not just to make the scale go down.

3.  Soul: I will pick something creative and establish a plan by my birthday to complete a concrete goal by the end of the year.  Decide if I’m going to pursue writing (maybe actually giving a novel or book of some sort a go), songwriting/recording, pick up drawing/painting again, acting, or work on selling my necklaces.  Maybe take up web design and flesh out this site into a pretty one like I used to do and really give blogging a go beyond just using this for personal theraputic purposes.  Realize that I need to pick ONE of these and focus on it or I’ll feel as lost as I did in 2008.

4.  Get married sometime this year!  That’s about all there is to say on this one…

5.  Allow work to be on the back burner one more year. Of course, be open and receptive to any wonderful opportunities that fall into my lap, but work on enriching my personal life and hobbies instead of focusing on promotions, raises, extra responsibility, etc. Realize that having a 40 hour per week stable job right now that I can pretty much just leave at the office when I walk out the door is a blessing that is giving me opportunities to further the work on my body, fitness, and soul.

It looks like I have a lot of thinking to do before my birthday, but I definitely like where 2009 is headed. Except for the turning 30 thing. As my younger self would tell me, 30 is ancient! I guess feeling and looking better than I did since my teens is a pretty decent consolation prize, so I can’t complain. Have a happy new year, I am off to get a nice sweaty workout, and make preparations for the masque ball thingee we are going to attend. Ciao, bellas – see you next year!

Random (not-so) Recipes: Burritos the Size of Our Heads

So sometimes, you just have to order out.  And what’s better than a gigantic burrito?  Zliten, myself, and Mr. P were hanging around being couch potatoes on a Saturday and ordered up food to last us the rest of the day from Freebirds.  Essentially, it’s a local Chipotle-type place where you can customize your burrito to your whims.  You can actually make a great burrito there for right around 500 calories, and if you can finish it in one sitting, you’re more man than I.  Which isn’t hard.  Unless we’re talking pushups or running.  At burrito eating, I am pretty much a wuss.

So I, at the coercing of my peers, got not my usual half bird, but a full bird.  They decided to go with the monster.  There is a super monster burrito, but I think it’s the kind of thing you might put on a tray and serve at a party, or offer to an attacking tiger, not something fit for consumption by one human at one meal.  When bringing home the bag, I think it was about 10 lbs, it felt like a bowling ball.  It could have seriously injured someone if thrown properly.  Here is documented evidence of burrito party ’08.

Mine is somehow longer, but way skinnier.

The boys breaking into heaven…

See, no joke, the size of his HEAD.

Pretty much, after this, I had to drop the camera and eat my own.  It took me all through lunch and dinner, and I finally gave up on the last third of it and put the contents over a salad, which actually may have even been better, if possible.

My poison consisted of a cayenne tortilla, chicken breast, black beans, a half scoop of rice, fajita veggies, corn salsa, garlic, onions, pico, tomatoes, lettuce, and hot sauce.  Om.  Nom.  Nom.  This place wins over chipotle because they list all their nutritional info on their website, and it is possible to create a healthy and lo cal burrito.  Though, I really wish they’d do barbacoa, which is pretty much the best burrito filling ever.

One warning: never eat this burrito before running.  I’ve done it twice, and almost PUKED both times from burping up garlic and hot sauce.  Do not try this at home, or especially in your gym.

So Not Fierce Most of the Time

I am pretty much a cam-whore these days.  No, not in the get-on-the-webcam-for-extra-money way, but I like being in pictures.  I figure it’s excusable, because I have quite a few years of hating pictures of myself for which to compensate.  However, I’m only sometimes-photogenic and have to take a lot of pictures to get some good ones.  Getting good ones of me and Zliten is like a miracle – either he looks fantastic and I am sporting chins I didn’t know I had and half closed eyes, or he’ll look like he’s about to attack someone while I have the most darling smile that could melt an iceberg.  Since I’m having a week of sort of “outtakes”, or posts I sort of let rot at the bottom of the draft bin, I figured I might as well make fun of myself here.

Last week I thought I looked pretty cute in my new spiffy red shirt and lipstick, so I tried to get a good picture of myself.  Here is probably what I would pick out of the bunch:

But the reality of night is I probably looked more like THIS gem:

Oy, mama would be proud.

Then over the summer, this pic was snapped, which is actually one of my favorites of all time and is my facebook profile pic:

And then, the same night, this wonder was snapped:

I am totally never going to be president.  Of anything.

I guess the moral of this story is no one is completely un-photogenic, you just need a lot of practice to figure out how to make the most of what you’ve got in pictures. The best way to practice is to take lots of pictures, you’ll look good in some of them, and you have a much better chance of figuring it out if you’re snap happy.  Usually the best ones happen when you’re not really trying or paying attention.  Or maybe the moral of this story is to hide the camera when you’re drinking.  Whatever the moral is, have a good chuckle, on me.

Random Recipes: Shepard’s Pie

This is not the healthiest fare, but when served with a big ol’ salad with low cal dressing, it makes a hearty and yummy part of a balanced meal.   I do want to note, in the interest of full disclosure, Zliten made this all.  I pretty much took pictures.  All you veggies out there, I suppose you could make this sans ground beef, but you might be better off getting some of those soy crumbles that are supposed to be ground beef-like.  However, being omnivorous myself, I haven’t tried it.

Start by browning the thawed ground beef.  We use 96/4 (the leanest stuff you can get) so you pretty much don’t have to drain it.   If you get anything less lean, drain it before you continue.  Then, add 2 small cans of tomato sauce and about 2-3 cups of frozen mixed veggies.  Previously, we used a can of corn, can of carrots, and can of green beans, until we realized that our frozen costco veggies took care of that need and added yummy peas.  Extra credit: you can also add garlic, onions, and rooster sauce at this stage for extra spicing.

This is what you should be looking like now.  In another pot, make your potatoes.  Normally, we go the lazy way and get a package of instant taters, but a friend had just brought over his perishables since he was leaving on a 3 week trip, so we had a bunch of potatoes staring at us with their ever-growing eyes.  Five little ones became this:

Quix’s perfect mashed potatoes – cut up potatoes as desired and throw into water.  Leave the skins on, as mom said, they have all the nutrients (and I think they taste better).  Extra credit: throw in garlic and onions.  Pretty much anything besides cookies are going to have that extra credit direction – btw.  Leave an itty bit of water in and mash ’em up.  Add about a tbsp of low fat ranch and a tsp of light margarine, a handful of blue cheese, dill, rosemary, fresh ground pepper, and stir.  These, however, weren’t made by me, which was fine, they tasted great.  Just don’t know exactly what went into them.  For this dish, you can skip all the flavorings above and just do taters and lube (butter, ranch, or both) because the bottom is so flavorful.

Next, pour your meaty concoction in something you can throw in the oven.  Spread the tater goodness on top of it.

Now, the important part, the cheese.  Sprinkle a thin layer over the top.  Cheddar is the best, but we had Italian blend, anything is ok.  Just keep in mind, fat free cheese sucks at melting well, so you might not use that.  I guess you could skip the cheese, but I don’t suggest it.

Throw it in the oven for about 25 minutes on 350.  Go do something else for a while.  I suggest sometime during this time make yourself a salad to go with it or you’ll want to eat the whole pan of it.  Because shortly, you’re going to pop it out of the over, and it will look like this:

Hey there, beautiful.  My name’s Quix.  Wanna come to my plate for dinner tonight?  Just you, me, and salad.  Om… nom.. nom…

Oooh.  Sorry.  Got caught up there a moment.  So the calorie breakdown on this bad boy is approximately 400 calories per quarter section (which is a good size serving with some sort of side dish, I highly suggest a salad with but I can’t control your whims), and should feed 4 normal humans (somewhere between birdlike eaters and garbage disposals).  Time invested is about 30 mins prep, plus about 30 mins wait/cooling.  Feel free to liberally douse with more rooster sauce if you’re spicy like us.  Enjoy, and thank me later!

A Day Before the Day Before Christmas Tale

Since it’s Christmas Eve and I’m probably the only sucker at work (besides the few suckers still sitting here with me).  I am pretty much counting the unidentifiable minutes until they send us all home early *crosses fingers*.  I think any deep, meaningful thoughts I might have on the brain are being eaten by the bouncing up and down in my seat listening to my crappy pop pandora station and waiting for the moment I tear open the new DDR disc and start playing.  Yeah, we open presents on Christmas Eve in this house.  Makes up for my parents making me wait UNTIL AFTER CHRISTMAS DINNER when I was little.  I’m pushing 30 here and am still not over that.  Parents, don’t do it.

Anywhooo, here is how we celebrate the day before the day before Christmas in the Quix-Zliten household…

I got crazy and painted my nails.

My toes are all that green color, but I couldn’t resist doing at least ONE nail on each hand too.  Also, because it will unnerve my mother all day tomorrow and make her more susceptible to losing at games.  Oh yeah, we’re competitive in this family.    Tangent- an effect of weight loss I did not expect initially – my fingers went from sausages to not-so-sausage-like.  Here was a picture from the day I got the ring:

My ring was a 9 1/2.  I am now wearing a 6 1/4 and it’s almost a little loose again.  And this was actually the BEST picture of my fingers, I remember rejecting the ones where I laid the ring out flat because they looked even more sausage-like.  Interesting observation.

Anyways, my dearest Zliten baker-man made cookies.  Lots of cookies.

These are all for the neighbors – but we still have some of the dough in the refrigerator for baking of individual servings of fresh hot cookie goodness.  Or Quix walking by, throwing caution to the wind, and munching on the dough.  Salmonella be damned.  Just don’t tell Zliten or he’ll yell at me.

Last night about 4pm, when I was still at work, he had chinese food syndrome – ya know, being hungry a few hours after eating.  I told him to eat a snack, which he did, and headed to the gym.  I got im messages while the arc trainer was beating him up saying how HUNGRY he was (he uses his phone as an mp3 player).  Then, he went home and I went to the gym and was incommunicado (I leave my phone in the locker or it would probably be broken by now).  Apparently he baked over 6 dozen cookies, still feeling just as hungry hungry, and only ate one little one.

I come home and we start talking about what’s for dinner, and he has this gleam in his eye. Something like this:

I recognize this gleam, it’s sort of like our carnivorous lizard when he has a taste for man flesh.  If he could have grown a tail right then, I would have been tailwhipped when I talked about maybe starting to thaw some fish.  Instead, I did the quickest change out of my sweaties ever and we headed to the soup and salad bar before my arm looked like a viable option for dinner.  Soon, he looked more like this:

And that, dear friends, is our day before day before Christmas tale.  Happy Holidays, yet again, and make sure to feed your families and pets appropriately so they don’t start looking for body parts!

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