The CHERISHED Life of Heather Leigh

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Where did February Go?

I can't believe it's been 21 days since my last post! The longer I wait between postings, the harder it is to get back into it. I either feel like it would be too daunting to catch up with all the happenings over the last several weeks or I feel guilty about not posting every detail. I'm throwing the guilt out the window and starting fresh. If you want to know what I did this past weekend, just read Amy's blog (since we hung out Friday AND Saturday night). What fun!

I mulled over several titles for this come-back post:

1. "I've been too busy working and working out like a fiend to blog about my life" - Let alone live much of one, or have time left over to write about it. On the work out tip, I am still pushing play like a maniac and Shaun T of Hip Hop Abs has become my drug of choice. It's addictive and I can't get enough. Unfortunately, I still eat like a P-I-G so, my weight loss has plateaued at 10 pounds since Christmas. About a pound a week. I'm anxious to get into the next set of "10's" and plan to do a 2-day fast soon to cleanse my system and catapult me to the next level. YAY Tina for getting on the HHA wagon with me. You WON'T be disappointed.

2. "My fans miss me" - I was told several times this weekend that I needed to update my blog. Kim even mentioned, oh look, there's Heather and she's STILL in the city. OK, I'm so not in the city any more. It's fun, but it cuts into my Tilt Tuck Tighten time. Well, fans, I'm back....for now. I know I said I'd be back by Sunday, and it's now Wednesday, but better late than never. Now, I just have to get caught up reading all of YOUR blogs.

3. "You can take the girl out of the city but you can't take the city out of the girl" - OK, this title warrants a little lengthy explanation. And there are 2 examples of how big city, fast paced manners (or lack thereof) are creeping in on me. EXAMPLE ONE: Last Tuesday I was running really late for my flight. (As I'm sure you all remember, I get up at 3:30 am every Monday morning to catch a 6 am flight, but this week it was on Tuesday due to President's Day). Well, the alarm went off 10 mintues later than usual, then, I felt really sick like I wanted to throw up - I think from the big meal I had had on Monday night so it took me a while to get motivated and I even contemplated calling in sick!! I got on the road and the go was slow. The roads were icy and it was really windy. I finally made it to the airport around 5:40 am. Remember, I have to catch a 6 am flight. Of course, the security line was longer than usual because they only had one of their two lanes open (Flint runs things on a much slower pace than other places). So, I'm about 15 people back in the security line when I hear "Final Boarding call for passenger Heather Youallknowmylastname". I started jumping up and down...."That's me! That's me!". Now, I hadn't even gotten to the first phase of security to give my ID and boarding pass to the boarding pass checker. I cut in front of about 5 people to give her my ID. Then, I cut in front of 10 people to run my bags through the scanners and whiz through the metal detector. Then, they had to check my handweights in a special machine for bomb residue as I'm standing there putting myself back together saying, out loud, "OhshitOhshitOhshit" and "ComeonComeonComeon". I get clearance and I RUN to Gate 1, the Gate we ALWAYS depart out of, to find the doors shut. "Oh no, is it too late to board?" Then I see the sign at that gate says Orlando. "LaGuardia, I'm going to LaGuardia, what gate is that?" The Northwest gate agent tells me it's downstairs at gate 8, so I fly, in heels - no less, down the escalator to Gate 8. So help me God, I did NOT get up at 3:40 am, suffer through nausea and bad driving conditions to MISS my flight!! I got there JUST in time. PHEW. Then (and here's where I tie into my title) as I'm sitting safely in my seat on the plane, I think back over the last 10 minutes. Oh my gosh, did I say please, or thank you, or excuse me to any of those people I just blew past? Did I say excuse me to the nice woman with the stroller telling her toddler to step aside because this lady is late? Did I say thank you to the gate agent that re-directed me to gate 8? I can't say for SURE that I didn't say please, excuse me, or thank you. But, I can't say for SURE that I did either. EXAMPLE TWO: On Saturday, back in my quaint midwest, nice-mannered town, I needed to go to the Credit Union. First of all, going to the bank is one of my least favorite things to do. I don't know why, I just hate it, can't explain it. Of course the Credit Union closes at noon and I depart from my house at 11:50 to try and make it there before it closes. So, I'm in the left turn lane behind another car turning into the same plaza as the one that holds my beloved Credit Union, and time is ticking away. And traffic clears with a reasonable amount of space for a car to turn. But the car in front of me doesn't turn. Are you kidding me? I have 3 minutes til closing time and this guy is waiting for a freaking engraved invitation to turn?!?! HOOOOONK! Yes, with my 3 kids in the car and my patience EXTREMELY thin, I honked. Finally, during the next break in traffic he and I both were able to turn when I realized, I just honked rudely at this guy, who is turning into the SAME parking lot as me and he's headed for the Credit Union section of the plaza. I was mortified at my rash honking, so I drove down to the Coney Island end of the plaza before retreating to the Credit Union side of the parking lot, after I watched where the guy had parked and saw him go into the tax place and realized I was safe. What was I thinking? Honking like that? For all I know, that could be my son's next soccer coach, or former soccer coach, or parent of one of his friends, and here I am making an idiot of myself HONKING at him. Honking in Jersey is so common place that I've totally gotten used to it as a part of driving. It's like using the wipers when it rains. It's just what you do. But not in our quaint little barn-boot wearing Midwest town.

4. "How many holidays in a row can I ignore posting about?" - I say this one because my dear friend and fellow blogger Mindy seems to post about everything from Ground Hog's Day to Valentine's Day to Target Day and everything in between. How fun is that?!?!

5. "I'm a good getter" - This was just something funny Owen said to me a couple weeks ago when he wanted to get a snack from an upper cabinet (requiring him to climb on the stool and perch on the edge of the counter top to retrieve it). When I told him I would get it for him, he said, "No, I'll get it. I'm a good getter." I just thought that was hysterical.

But, no, I settled on "Where did February Go?", because honest to God, it just disappeared in front of my eyes. At any rate, I'll TRY and blog more often and more meaningfully from now on. Just add it to the list of all the other things I'm going to do more often (work out, floss, get busy <

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Life in the big city

Last week, my project manager found an awesome rate at a hotel IN the the theatre district!! The hotel, whose rooms usually start at $395 per night, was running a special last week for $125 per night, which fit into our project budget. So, both my project manager and I decided to each get a room at the Milford Plaza. We shared a car (because parking in the big city overnight is uber expensive) and rode back and forth to NJ together each day.

The hotel room, itself, was nothing much to speak of. As a matter of fact, I've decided that the mark of a GOOD hotel room, in my opinion, is for it to have a nice sized bathroom, with ample counter space, and good water pressure in the shower. This hotel's bathroom was cramped, old, had a pedestal sink, and the water pressure in the shower was a total of 3 tiny streams of water that cut into my skin like lasers.

However, the LOCATION of the hotel, well it just doesn't get much better than that. And that was the draw, after all.

The best part about staying in the city was the variety. We would return to the hotel after work (between 8:30pm and 9:00pm), drop our bags off in our rooms, reconvene in the lobby and then set out on foot to find someplace to eat. Our dining options were limitless! I felt very European eating dinner that late every's a very European thing to do. Apparently it's a very NYC thing to do, too, because the restaurants always had many patrons in them.

The first night we went to a Cuban restaurant called Havana Central. I don't know if I was just super hungry because it was 9:30 or what but their Sandwich Cubano was HEAVEN! MMMmm with a side of moro and a nice red wine sangria. Ahhhhh.

(Diversion - The next day, I had lunch with one of my clients in NJ. He took me to a place called Minado and their Sushi buffet was PHENOMENAL. Phenomenal.)

The second night we walked a bit further to a section of NYC known as Hell's Kitchen. Our waitress told us that it got the name from when they were building up that part of town, most of the bricks are red and the reflection from the water onto the brick radiated enormous amounts of heat onto the workers, so they gave it that name. There were SOOOO many restaurants in Hell's Kitchen. We stopped in a place called Chelsea Grill of Hell's Kitchen. Tiny, decently priced, and once again, DELICIOUS. I had a filet mignon salad and a Fat Bastard Cabernet. MMMmmm

The third night we walked down a different block (that we had discovered on night two as we were walking back to the hotel after dinner). There were several country - specific restaurants on that block, Brazil, Chile, Italy, Spain, France...and most of them were participating in NYC's price fixing program where hundreds of restaurants are setting one price and it usually includes your choice of soup/salad, entree, dessert, and an after dinner drink, all for like $24.95, or $29.99. So, we figured we'd give it a shot. We chose Brazil Brazil, and I must say I was a bit disappointed. The menu choices in their price fixing program were limited and I didn't feel like I was having a Brazilian experience (not quite sure WHAT that would feel like, but I didn't feel it). I had some sort of steak thing with onions, their house salad, a passion fruit mousse, and of course a glass of red wine. Good, but not FANTASTIC.

All in all, it was a fun experience, I REALLY felt like a local, but I would have enjoyed it soooooo much more if I could have kept company with my husband, or a girlfriend, or Jordyn, or my mom or sister, instead of with Harold.

(I'd just like to point out that my previous post was all about diet & exercise, and this post was all about pigging out.)

Friday, February 1, 2008

The couple that gets fit together…

For the past four years (almost) I have been losing and gaining and losing and gaining the same 10-12 pounds. Shortly after Owen was born, I decided I wanted my pre-baby body back. Uh, did I mention that my pre-baby body would have been a 22 year old super fit machine with out an ounce of fat on it? OK, maybe I'm never going to be a buck-o-five again, but my goal since Owen was born has been lose ALL of the weight I gained during his pregnancy plus the weight I gained from Jordyn & Liam's pregnancies. I lost 30 lbs of the Owen weight, but I kept 10 of it. Unfortunately, I've kept 10 pounds of every pregnancy's weight gain which means that I'm 30lbs heavier than before having babies (plus some).

So, I'm constantly on a quest to lose 20-30 pounds. And every time I lose 10-12, I get complacent, I stop working out, I eat & drink nonstop, and before you know it, I've gained all of that weight right back.

This year, I decided that it's time to stop that vicious circle and finally LOSE that baby weight, but more importantly KEEP IT OFF!!

Here's my problem, I LOVE to eat. I HATE dieting, I HATE depriving myself of something that I know would taste super yummy.

So, in order to get fit, I've decided to try and control portions as much as possible and to work out like a fiend.

I started a new work out program the day after Christmas. I have worked out EVERY day since then. Day 34 in a row and counting.

My exercise program? Hip Hop Abs. You've seen the infomercial! Tilt, Tuck, Tighten and Breathe. Shaun T. I love love love this program. I just feel like I'm out dancing and I have so much fun that the time flies right by - I'm never watching the clock. I highly recommend it if you love to groove.

In 34 days, I've lost nine pounds and 10 1/2 inches!

My clothes fit better, my wedding ring is getting loose (a YEAR after Owen was born I finally had my ring ENLARGED so that it would fit on my finger again!), I have a pair of calf high boots that zip up the back that just this fall didn't zip all the way up and now they do!, bracelets are even fitting more loosely, my boots that are nearly knee high are getting loose around the top, some of my jeans have gotten downright baggy, I've gone down 2 notches on my belt, it's been great!

And it just keeps getting better because 2 1/2 weeks ago, Kevin started doing the Weight Watchers core plan and last week he started working out. On Sunday he stretched with me, then he worked out on our glider machine twice last week, and he has used our new weight bench three or four times (new as in it used to be my brother-in-law's, then my parents bought it, and it's been at their house for many many years and it has hardly ever been used). I'm so proud of him. I've been asking him for years to lose thirty pounds (so he'll stop snoring), but that wasn't enough motivation for him. Right before New Year, Kev went to the doctor for a sinus infection and found that he has high blood pressure. The doc told him to lost 15 pounds to get his blood pressure under control. So, it took something semi-serious health-wise for him to begin the journey, but at least his journey has begun.

Since he began, he has lost ELEVEN pounds!! He has TOTALLY changed the way he cooks - swapping out regular noodles for wheat noodles, more seafood, more veggies and fruits, and almost zero carbs. It's great, it impacts ALL of us in a positive way. Kevin has rarely tried to get fit with me before (on all of my many many many attempts). But I tell ya, there's strength in numbers and now that we're both trying to get fit, I know we can keep each other motivated and MAYBE I won't GAIN these nine pounds back but rather continue to go down to my goal. We do live on a lake, after all, so there's no excuse for us NOT to have smoking hot beach bodies this summer.

And the couple that get fits together....well, YOU finish that sentence! The couple that gets fit together, what? Stays together? Lays together? ;0P