The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

The story of my quest to look good naked -- really good.

Saturday, January 31, 2004

I've added some information on the right. Starting tomorrow I am going to keep track of my weight and also list some of my goals for this year.

One thing I have noticed over the last week is that George has the most influence over me when I am tired, stressed and bored. There were some slip ups this week, especially towards the end of the week after some sleepless nights. I skipped some meals, and then made some poor food choices, mostly out of convenience. George also used a compeling argument, one I always lose. He claimes that I should reward myself with food I like because I had a rough day, or did something good. I have got to stop losing this argument....I have to stop using food as a reward. It's not even like I'm buying Oreos or bags of chips. I opt for mexican food from Paco's Tacos across the street, or pizza from CPK instead of the chicken breasts I baked earlier in the week. I hate myself when I do that, especially because I am paying to see a nutritionist! I have a food plan I can follow -- I get a lot of food choices on my plan. I eat 6 meals a day, so it's not like I'm going hungry. So, why am I eating the wrong food? Depression? Boredom? Stress? Yes, to all of those. I guess the next question is what to do?

I did take a step in the right direction -- actually about 3.4 miles of steps. I did 60 minutes on the treadmill at the gym this morning. I burned about 650 calories (I tend to focus on calories burned more than distance or time). It felt really good to sweat. Don went with me, which always seems to make it easier. I wish he liked to workout earlier, but not too many people like to hit the gym at 7:00 AM on a Saturday or Sunday! We do have plans to go again tomorrow, before the Super Bowl. We have a good eating plan for tomorrow -- veggie platter during the game and bbq'd steaks with a big salad for dinner.

To try and keep myself honest, I will also start putting my food plan on the blog and letting you know how I'm doing.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

I haven’t mentioned this before, I think because I don’t really want to face it, but my mom is going in for an angioplasty tomorrow. She called me about 2 weeks ago and casually mentioned that she had been in the hospital for 2 days because of a suspected heart attack. I was taken by surprise because, even at 62, she is an active, healthy woman. Apparently this is mostly due to hereditary more than anything. It’s still a slap in the face. On top of it, the doctors found some major gallstones. The first step is to fix her blocked artery and then have her gallbladder removed.

I was feeling angry because she didn’t call me right away. Her excuse was that she didn’t want to worry me until she knew exactly what was wrong. I can understand that, but it still bugged me she didn’t call right away. I’m a little stressed about it because I am just not ready to be without my mom – or my dad for that matter. As I told Don, “I am not ready to grow up!” Don lost his dad about 10 years ago – 2 years before we met. His dad died suddenly of a heart attack after finishing a round of golf while having a beer. I’m not sure what is worse – knowing one of your parents is going to die after a long illness or having it happen without warning. I know both my parents dealt with sick parents over an extended period of time and it was really draining. I have a good relationship with both my parents, so I wouldn’t need to make peace or anything, I would just want the chance to tell them I love them one last time.

On top of this, my mom told me about our friend, Nancy. Nancy is a little younger than my mom, and we met on my first day of nursery school when Nancy’s daughter, Jackie, and I were in the same class. Jackie and I have remained friends, and our families have been friends ever since. We used to go to Imperial Beach (near the California/Mexican boarder) every summer. Nancy was like a second mother to me. Sadly, their family has been cursed with cancer. One of Nancy’s sisters died of ovarian cancer when I was in my early teens. Her other sister has had a radical mastectomy. Both Nancy and Jackie have had breast cancer. Jackie lost her second child at 3 weeks to SIDS. Nancy is still dealing with her cancer – it has spread to her liver and she is moving from chemotherapy to radiation next week. The outlook isn’t good.

I don’t deal with death well. I never have. It’s not like I am afraid of death. I know that none of us get out of this life alive. I just am not ready for it to happen to people I love. I’m not ready for when it does happen to my loved ones too early.

Over the last few years, I’ve had to face it a few times when I wasn’t ready, and when I knew they wouldn’t have been ready. Shoba, who died in a plane crash; Brian, Jackie’s son, who died of SIDS; Kristi, who died of anorexia and alcoholism at 37; Patricia and 16 other friends who died on 9/11 in the Twin Towers. Life isn’t fair, my friends. And neither is death.

You can’t choose when you are going to die, or how. But you can choose how you are going to live your life. Live it to the fullest – NOW!

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Even though I knew it was coming, hearing the phone ring at 4:15 AM this morning really made me jump. Because of the storm, I did have to come into work at 5:30 AM. Of course, we have had no calls. As it turns out, only one office is really affected, and the building is closed so we probably won’t get very many calls at all. The really bummer is that I still have to work until 4:00 PM, mostly because of the client meeting. If that wasn’t happening, I’d be leaving at 1:30 PM.

I did watch a heart-wrenching documentary on HBO last night called Shelter Dogs. It is filmed at a “no kill” shelter in upstate New York. It shows people surrendering their dogs, temperament tests, staff meetings, euthanasia (in the case of a sick dog and a dog who cannot be adopted) and adoptions. I actually had to turn it off twice. Both my dogs were reacting to the sound of the T.V. and I think it was stressing them out a bit.

Both of my dogs are adopted. I have very strong feelings about rescuing animals, surrendering pets, spaying & neutering and euthanasia. Some of the reasons people give for giving up their family pet I can understand (a dog doesn’t get along with other pets). I can’t understand why anyone would make a commitment to an animal, only to give it up on a whim. I totally believe in spaying & neutering – unless you are a licensed breeder. I know some of my co-workers haven’t fixed their pets, one because she wants to breed her Rottie. No offense, but do you know how many Rottweilers there are in city pounds and non-profit rescue groups? The last thing they need to do is add 6 or more puppies to the mix. I know they say they can adopt them all out, but what happens if they can’t? They’ll end up in a shelter, hoping that someone likes them better than the Rottie in the next kennel.

I just wish people thought about the responsibility of owning a pet before they decide to adopt a cute puppy. Don and I discussed it for a few years, and knew what our boundaries were – we had to own a home, we wanted two dogs (preferably male & female) – and even though everything didn’t exactly go as planned (Baja was supposed to be fully trained before we got a second dog – ha ha ha), I believe both Don and I know what we have gotten ourselves into. There have been some challenges, but when Baja and Jager curl up with me, I forget about the new hole in the garden or the nibbled hole in the blanket.

I’m getting off my soapbox now. If you do have a chance, catch the documentary. It’s a powerful show.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Boy, I hate it when work interferes with my personal life. I was hoping to leave work early tomorrow and have a “date” with my husband. Don has been working a lot of late shifts – 2:00 PM to 11:00 PM or 3:00 PM to midnight – and he always works at least one weekend day, so I haven’t been able to spend a lot of time with him. I figured we could meet at the gym, get a quick workout in and catch a 3:00 movie. Unfortunately, I have a late afternoon client meeting with a really difficult travel manager and her lackey. There seems to be a lot of internal strife within the company and whenever something goes wrong because of their lack of communication with us, it’s our fault.

I’m also feeling a little out of sorts this week. At this time last year, my husband was working for the NFL as an editor at It was his third year with the NFL. It was a wonderful job. His office was 1 1/2 miles from our house (he could actually walk!), it paid great, he had an awesome boss, and the perks were out of this world. I was able to go to the 2000 Super Bowl in Tampa Bay, the 2001 Super Bowl in New Orleans and the 2002 Super Bowl in San Diego. There were some downsides -- he was in the press box for the game, so I sat with some of the other wives. His days were usually long, especially since he was editing everything that the writers were writing, so we'd eat really late and I didn't actually get to see him a lot. The airports were always a hassle the day after Super Bowl (such as 1 mile-long check in line at Southwest when we were leaving New Orleans). Since we got the dogs, we would have to arrange kenneling. But, overall, it was a great experience. Plus, we got a lot of swag -- watches, hats, jackets, etc. In May of 2003, the head NFL office in NYC decided to close the LA office. There were a lot of politics involved, a lot of lies told, and it wasn't handled very well. So Don became one of the thousands of people looking for jobs. He was lucky. He ended up at, but in a much lesser roll (with less pay as well). So now for the first time in 3 years, I don't have plans for the big game. I keep telling myself I really don't want to be in Houston, and it's going to be great to watch the game from home with Don and the dogs, but to be completely honest, I do want to be there.

It looks like it's going to be an early morning for me tomorrow. The east coast is getting hit by a huge storm and when their offices close, offices in the sunny parts of the country take their calls. I will be getting a call between 3:00 AM and 4:00 AM to see if I will be needed in the office. Oh, joy. I think for every "snow" day the east coast gets, Los Angeles should get "rain" days. Let's face it, no one in California knows how to drive in the rain. Plus, that way there would be fewer cars on the road and that would mean fewer accidents. I think that's a fine idea.

George hasn't been bugging me too much today, although I am hearing him tell me that we shouldn't have to go to the gym if I have to be up at the crack of dawn. I'm hoping I will be strong enough and get my rear onto the treadmill for 60 minutes.

Monday, January 26, 2004

OK, so I am not independently wealthy, and cannot enjoy my mornings sipping lattes while reading the NY Times. Maybe then I would be a more informed voter. Instead, I have to deal with late staff members, severe weather affecting our travelers (especially a group returning from a cruise in Miami), burned out team members and innocuous conference calls. Such is life.

I kept George pretty much in check today. On my Trader Joe’s run after work, he did convince me to get some vodka for an après work martini. Hey, vodka is allowed on my food plan, and so are olives. I even came home and cooked up a slew of skinless, frozen chicken breasts for lunch this week. I have a wonderful new device from Williams Sonoma that will help me not to overcook my chicken. I highly recommend it. I used it on steaks last night and it was wonderful – juicy, cooked to perfection.

The one area that George seems to be taking control is my meeting on Saturday. My company is having our “holiday” party. We can’t really call it that, so we are calling it our 2004 Kick Off party. Between the meeting and dinner, some of the more creative members have been asked to showcase their wares. We have people who make note cards, glazed dishes, decoupage mirrors & frames, etc. I will be displaying my candles, soaps and incense. I will have pillar and container candles. Many of my staff members have received my homemade soaps and candles, and have said they really like them. I really think I do a good job – my crafts are well made, smell good and colorful. The problem is, George (the critical voice in my head) says I am going to lug all these candles down there for nothing. He tells me, “No one cares. They won’t buy this junk.” And you know what? Maybe they won’t. But I am still going to take my wares. I don’t care what George says.
There are days like this when I wish I was independently wealthy and could spend the morning reading the paper and drinking espresso....

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Today was actually somewhat productive. I finished the last of my candles for Saturday's staff meeting. I have some trimming and polishing as well as packaging, but they are mostly done. I took George for a mile and a half walk. He really didn't want to go, but it was such a beautiful day. Don and I took the dogs, and now they will pretty much be floor mats (actually couch pillows) for the rest of the evening.

I've even eaten well. I am making steaks & veggies for dinner. My gym bag is packed for tomorrow. I have my breakfast foods ready for the week and will be baking up a slew of chicken breasts for lunch.

Monday morning is weigh in, and I'd like George to be down to 159 -- only a 1-pound loss -- but a step in the right direction.

Well, off to do the rest of my Sunday chores!
I read something this week that really got my blood boiling. In a January 18 op-ed piece for the Los Angeles Times, William Bennett wrote, “Marriage is about many things, but it primarily ties together three purposes: protecting women, domesticating men and raising children.” He uses this argument for encouraging Republicans to support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Now, maybe I have a different perspective on this subject – I’m from California, I am socially liberal, and, oh yeah, both my parents are gay.

Here’s my take on what is threatening the “institution of marriage.”
1. Infidelity
2. Money problems (jobless recovery, gambling)
3. Dealing with children on drugs
4. Heterosexuals not taking marriage seriously (Bennifer, Brittany Spears)

My father has been with his partner for 14 years. My mother has not been so lucky in love, but has been with her partner for 18 months. Would I feel threatened if my dad decided to walk down the aisle? Would you feel threatened if my mom decided to register at Macy’s?

I fully support a church’s decision not to sanctify a marriage. I do not, however, agree that we need to politicize something that one cannot change about themselves. Would the world really go to hell in a hand basket if homosexual unions were to pass?

I know there is the argument about the world becoming more permissive – gratuitous violence and sex on movies screens, lyrics about hate, “celebrities” arrested for rape and child molestation, etc. – is a valid one. But what is wrong about love? As long as it’s between two consenting adults, do we really care? Should we really care?

As the Bohemians said in Moulin Rouge, “The greatest give you will ever have is just to love and be loved in return.”

Saturday, January 24, 2004

I’m sure some of you are wondering exactly how hard is the road ahead – the one to looking good naked. Well, I am carrying around 160-pound extra person inside of me named George. I met George about 8 years ago when I was in a car accident that left me with a concussion. George came into my life and fed me with comfort food and gave me an excuse to sit in front of the T.V. George talks me out of all kinds of stuff – “Why not be safe and stay inside today?” “Who in their right mind will ever buy your candles or like your photography?” Not that he’s been all bad – George has protected me from getting emotionally hurt, or so he says. Don did break down that wall, much to George’s chagrin. George loves to drink beer, to smoke and could live on Mexican food. He can never turn down a Krispy Kreme, much less a slice of pizza. During his tenure, he has placed a chokehold on my thyroid, my self-esteem and my willpower. He can’t understand why I feel the need to spend 60 minutes on a treadmill – maybe if the gym would put on the Food Network on one of the T.V.s instead of CNN (he figures the gym wants to exercise your mind in addition to your body – phooey!) In some ways, I imagine him as an older brother – one who can’t pass up a chance to belittle me, but who will always be there to protect me when I need it.

Despite all of this, I have decided George must go. I like fresh fruit and veggies. I could actually be a vegetarian (my grandfather, who owned his own butcher shop, is turning in his grave, I know.). Who am I enlisting to help me eliminate George? Well, Don for one. He’s on his own weight loss quest. We both work out at the same gym, at the same time when we can (he works a lot of night shifts, so it’s usually one weekend day). He’s doing Atkins, so he gets to eat bacon, eggs and cheese – all of George’s favorites. I also have a nutritionist, Dr.P, who is helping me develop a healthy eating plan. My physician, Dr. T, who believes George could be removed surgically (gastric bypass), but who is versed in dealing with stubborn thyroids. My mom, a former high school art teacher (and an awesome artist in her own right), who believes in my artistic capabilities as a photographer. My dad who, along with my friends, can’t understand why I don’t have confidence in my crafting. That is my support group. And, if you continue to come back and read, you will get to know very well.

This may be an uphill battle, but with my wonderful friends and family fighting by my side, I know I will succeed!
OK, here it goes, my first attempt at blogging. I've been reading several for some time but never had the balls to try it. Who cares what I think? Well, I don't really care what others think, this seems like a fun experiment.

So a little about me. My name is Shannin and I am a nudist in training. Seriously, I am on a quest to actually look good naked to someone other than my wonderful husband, Don. In answer to your question, this is going to be more of a diet/exercise diary rather than some x-rated blog -- sorry to disappoint! It's going to be a long journey. Weight has always been my enemy, and now that I am in my mid-30s, my enemy seems to have moved right in and made himself at home. I'm tired of hearing my doctor threaten me with dire warnings. Plus, I really do want to feel and look better.

I live in Los Angeles -- I'm actually a 3rd generation Californian -- something virtually unheard of. I have a house in Westchester, with a white picket fence to boot. I have two wonderful rescue mutts -- Baja, a 2 1/2 year old golden lab/hound mix & Jager, a 3 1/2 year old brindle staff terrier mix. They are the loves of my life, and have taught me a lot.

I work in corporate travel -- trust me, it sounds much more glamourous than it really is. I manage a staff of 7 in an office of 30. I've been with my company for 8 years and one of my goals is to be there at least 10. I actually like what I do, who I work with and who I work for, all important things for keeping sane. I actually have it pretty easy, so I try not to complain too much!

Don is my husband of 4 1/2 years. He is the most wonderful man, and I am very lucky to be in his life. He keeps me grounded. When I tend to get overly emotional, he's there to add a rational point of view. We happen to agree on most things, and I think he enjoys listening to my soapbox rants which I tend to go off on every once in awhile.

Some of my hobbies include reading, cooking, wines, watching NFL games, listening to music, candle & soap making and photography (film and digital).

This is just a quick introduction as to who I am and what I am about. I hope that you get to know me on this journey. Enjoy the ride!