Wednesday, December 29, 2010

christmas at my house


But luckily I think the afterglow of present-getting-and-giving and fun times with family and friends will keep me going for a while :D

My family and I only have a few Christmas traditions, but we always stick to them and the holiday wouldn't feel complete without them:

Tradition #1 - We go to the Christmas Eve vigil at church -- this is partly because I am an employee of the music ministry and I have to provide piano accompaniment for the singers, but I'd probably go anyway. I really like to sing Christmas songs.

Tradition #2 - We have a fancy five-course dinner on Christmas Eve with practically the same menu every year -- French onion soup, cornish hens, ham, and creme brulee for dessert. The only thing that changes up even slightly is the sides and the salad. I guess that sounds like it could be boring, but I always look forward to it, maybe because we literally only have this meal once a year. Another important component of this tradition is that it's always just the family -- no aunts, uncles, cousins, or friends. It's awesomely mellow and honestly, that's how I like my Christmas Eve. I'm not religious at all, but I do like to honor the quiet and stillness of the Christmas vigil, if only because it lets me slow down and reflect on the past year.

Tradition #3 - We turn on A Christmas Story at 8:00 on Christmas Eve and we don't turn it off until we go to bed. Then, the next morning, we turn it back on again as we're eating breakfast and slowly getting ready for the annual family Christmas party. I'm very serious about my dedication to this movie. One year I watched it four times in a row before I got tired of it.

What are your favorite Christmas traditions?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

this week is crazypants

I'm neck-deep in end-of-semester grad school assignments over here, which is why I'm not posting much. For the past week or two, I've been slowly and begrudgingly compiling the research for my first graduate-level research paper EVER. Gah. It's due on Sunday and I really should probably already have started writing it, but I'm just so DISTRACTED. Why does the last week of the semester always have to be smack in the middle of the best part of the holiday season? How can they expect me to focus on how teens construct their consumer identities when I could be watching Christmas movies or baking cookies or participating in Reverb 10 or lighting 39 menorahs? (I actually did this. It was 39 kinds of awesome. I'll post pictures next time.) On top of all of that, I got sick for the first time since college and I'm kind of pathetic when I'm sick. I basically revert to my 6-year-old self: helpless and whiny. But I chugged some Theraflu today and I'm hoping to charge through my research so I can get the actual writing part started some time before Sunday.

Needless to say, I'll be a little scarce around these parts until the 19th, when the semester is officially over for me. But I'll be back with a vengeance after that!

See you on the other side :D

P.S. In case any of you were wondering how I did on my first weigh-in of the 10-lb challenge, I'm currently down to


Four pounds down, six to go! Wahoooooo!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

i'm taking back december

You all know from previous blog posts that I have struggled my whole life with losing weight and regulating my eating habits. There's no harder season for me to deal with those things than the holiday season -- from Halloween to New Year's, all bets are basically off. I just say SCREW IT and figure it's impossible to lose weight/stay sane throughout the holidays anyway, so why even bother trying?

Then I stepped on the scale this morning and saw a number that I wasn't really happy to be seeing. Basically I've gained 10 lbs in two weeks. But this isn't even about a number. I feel worse, bloated and tired. I come home from work limping from the strain of carrying the extra weight around all day -- something that I've never experienced before. I'm busting out of all my clothes, guys, and not in a sexy, Pussycat Dolls way.

Then I stumbled upon this -- Fatty's 10-lb Challenge. Here's what it boils down to:
And so, starting today, I am going to spite the Winter Weight Gain god (his friends call him “Melvin”). I am going to use the (nearly) four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas to lose ten pounds, instead of putting on another five.
And I’d like you to join me. The solidarity will help.
I'm not officially signing up, but I will be participating on my own and blogging about it here, because it's important to be accountable when it comes to stuff like this. Here's what the weigh-in schedule looks like:
  • November 29/30: Initial weigh-in
  • December 6: First week weigh-in
  • December 13: Second week weigh-in
  • December 20: Third week weigh-in
  • December 23: Final weigh-in
So, my initial weigh-in was this morning and the results were pretty disappointing. I'm up to 164.2, a number I haven't seen since May. Unless I want to nudge that weight any higher, the time for change is now.

So how am I going to do it? Along with cutting out all the fast food I've been eating, drinking more water, and eating breakfast, I'm going to be eating mainly grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. I'm also going to dust off my old Pilates DVDs and incorporate 3 core workouts per week, plus at least one trip to the gym per week, for cardio. And so I don't strangle someone when my mom starts making cookies and pies, I'll allow myself one anything-goes meal per week. Based on my previous experiences with this kind of stuff, I anticipate a really big loss of around 3-4 lbs the first week, then a steady loss of around 1.8-2.0 lbs per weigh-in after that. Et voila!  At least 10 lbs gone by Christmas!

OK, it looks easy on paper, but it's a tall order. I've never dieted during the holiday season; in fact, that's usually when I fall off the wagon. But I'm going to try, and if I fail... well, you guys will be the first to know :P