The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

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

Friday, April 30, 2004

No Meetings, No Conference Calls

Woo-hoo. At last -- a day with no meetings and no conference calls. I'm not sure what to do with all this extra time on my hands!

Yesterday was a different story -- conference call from 9:00 - 9:30, monthly leadership meeting from 10:00 - 3:00, conference call from 10:30 - 11:30, conference call from 11:15 to 12:00, client meeting from 2:00 - 5:00 (which actually ended at 6:45). Yes, they overlapped, and yes I really needed to be there for all. There are days when I really wish they would hurry up and clone me.....although I think I would actually use my cloned self for doing something far more fun than conference calls and meetings.

My food has been OK. I may not be making the best choices but I am staying within my parameters for the most part. I'm marking it up as successful so far, although the weekends are always a challenge.

I am leaving the office today at 1:00 PM for a "doctor" appointment, which really means I'll go to the gym and then spend the afternoon running errands and doing some stuff around the house.

Oh, yeah, and the surprise of the week.....we have quarterly employee recognition called Star Performer. At our Leadership Meeting yesterday, my boss honored me with it. I get a nice plaque and a $50.00 gift check. Not too shabby. It totally came out of the blue, and it caught me off guard which is always a nice way to end a hectic day.

Anyway, off to go finish my work. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Hot Time in the City

For those of you still getting snow (??), it got to over 105 degrees yesterday in the San Fernando Valley. It was in the low 90s for me near the coast. I hope this is not a sign of things to come -- we don't have A/C in the house and rely on open windows, fans and ceiling fans, which usually do the trick. If it continues to heat up as we get into summer (can you believe it's still spring?), we may have to look at alternate arrangements.

So, Tuesday was on plan and I'm doing well on Wednesday (granted it's only 10:40 AM). Of course I made the mistake of actually getting on the scale and I am at my highest weight since last year, albeit that only means up 6 pounds. I'm hoping (praying) that it's only a hangover (no pun intended) from my binge on Sunday. The funny thing is that I'm not feeling bloated or significantly heavier, so I think that might be a good sign.

Now that I'm feeling like I'm getting the hang of this whole "abstinence" thing, I am planning for my next stage after my successful completion of stage 1. The one thing I know I am going to have to change is the whole 1 Diet Coke restriction. I figure as long as I get my water in, having 2 is not going to kill me. I also know I need to be strict about measuring and weighing my food to make sure I am doing proper portion control. At some point, this has got to become second nature. Right?

I am excited about Sunday. I got tickets to Cavalia which is like Cirque du Soleil on horseback. I love going to live performances, whether it's theater, concerts, sporting events. I wish I did more, but it's been really hard with Don's schedule to plan in advance. Anyway, I used to ride competitively and I grew up around horses, so I'm thinking this is going to be a lot of fun. I got the "V.I.P." pass which includes parking and a "back stable" pass after the show to see the horses. When I make out my Christmas list for my parents, my number one wish is a horse. Still. After 30 years. One of these days...

Next item on my agenda for today is to try and figure out what to do for Mother's Day.....Ideas, anyone?

Monday, April 26, 2004

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Good News: I ate on plan for both Saturday and Sunday
Good News: I went to the gym on Saturday and Sunday (60 minutes of cardio, 75 minutes of lifting)

Bad News: I drank a bottle and a half of wine on Sunday because I thought I could handle one glass

The sad thing is that I don't even realize what I am doing. I open the bottle, pour a glass, go about my business and before I know it, the bottle is gone. I hate the fact that I can be in control when I am out or even at home with Don, but once alone, I lose all awareness and control.

Don and I had a good conversation (as good as you can at 5:30 AM). I just feel so stupid!! All that good work for naught.

I had an off day today as well, as I was recovering from the affects of last night. Of course, one would think that feeling like crap would make me change my ways, but the hangover today seemed worse, probably because I was doing so well and definitely because I had lifted for the first time in a few weeks. Nothing like feeling sore and nauseous.

Oh, yeah, I have two agents on vacation, one on jury duty and one called in sick, and we were busier than a one-legged man at an ass kicking contest. I could even hide behind my desk for the day.

This makes it official, I will have to start the mini challenge over.

My Goal:

1. Eat 3 meals a day:
Breakfast: 1 cup of oatmeal, fresh fruit or juice
Lunch: 4-6 oz. of lean protein, 1 starch, veggies, optional fruit
Dinner: 4-6 oz. of lean protein, 1 starch, veggies, optional fruit
2. Drink 100 oz. of water a day
3. 1 Diet Coke per day
4. 2 days of exercise per week
5. No fast food, drive thrus, etc.
6. Absolutely, positively no alcohol

I would like to keep this up until Tuesday, May 4th.

As Denise said, I will only fail when I give up.

Friday, April 23, 2004

2 1/2 Days Down, 7 To Go

The most amazing thing happened today. In front of me was a huge platter of huge pastries and a bowl of strawberries. I didn't even hesitate -- I made up a plate of 10 strawberries. A step in the right direction, yes? One can only hope.

My outlook has gotten a lot better as I realize my new definition of "on plan" is something actually workable. I've eaten on plan. It might not be perfect diet food, but I haven't eaten to the point of being stuffed. I even had a couple of pieces of chocolate and didn't feel guilty or that I had blown the whole day.

Of course, the great weather we are having is helping with my overall mood. It's bright and sunny and I believe it's supposed to be this gorgeous for the weekend.

Don is working both days, although both shifts are 10 AM to 7 PM, so we'll get to wake up a bit before he has to rush off to work (I'd say sleep in, but Baja's idea of sleeping in is 7:00 AM) and he'll get home before it's fully dark. No major plans -- I was going to visit my friend with cancer but we're going to go next weekend instead. Which may mean I might be able to meet up with Denise.

Off to actually finish some work. It's been a very lazy day, although my desk is almost completely clean and I am caught up from my week off -- for the most part.

For anyone watching their snacking, whatever you do, do not come into arm's length of these -- way too addicting.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Joining Forces

OK, now that Denise and Yvonne are taking up the challenge, I thought I might as well.

My goal is to eat on plan everyday until May 1. That means:
Breakfast = oatmeal, fruit
Lunch = 4-6 oz. of protein, 1 starch, unlimited veggies, optional fruit
Dinner = 6-8 oz. of protein, 1 starch, unlimited veggies
Dessert = fruit or 10 cal popsicle

I also have to drink at least 68 oz. of water, limit myself to 1 diet coke per day, and consume no alcohol.

Exercise at this point is optional, but encouraged.

So far, I have 1 day (yesterday) on plan, 9 to go.

Are we ready?

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Say What?

This is deeply disturbing. I first saw the blurb at News of the Weird and then did a Google search -- scary how many sites popped up.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Return To Reality

Back from 5 days of bliss....I won't go back to work until tomorrow, but I'm at home doing chores....

One of the things making this transition a little easier is that it's Dollar Days at Target!! Woo Hoo! I got to stock up on some cleaning and bath supplies. I mean, who is going to run out of toothpaste or Windex?

The bonus was Ralph's (our local Kroeger) was offering 10-for-10 on several items. I picked up 6 oz. cans of white tuna (in water), shampoo & conditioner and shaving cream. I couldn't take advantage of all the items, since I don't forsee Don and I eating 10 boxes of ceral or 10 pounds of Roma tomatoes. I did like saving about $50.00 in groceries, even with all the unpacking and storing.

I'm pretty much ready to go back to work, although one could get used to the relaxing couple of days. I didn't get all my spring cleaning done, but I will be off the first week in June, so I can get some summer cleaning done instead.

Off to finish my chores for today. I still have to finish unpacking (everything is out, I just have to put it away) and I should do some laundry....

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Ahhhhhh..... the sound you may be hearing as I am in full vacation mode. The weather is beautiful, the pool is cool....Don and I are in bliss. I'm not sure how often I'll post between now and Monday as I'm on dial-up and it seems painfully slow. Guess I'm just spoiled.

The one thing about our location is we get a variety of wildlife. Last night we saw 3 coyotes crossing the field and today we've seen a lot of quail. It's nesting season for them, and Baja actually discovered two eggs that must have come out of a nest. They were both cracked, so we had to toss them, but as I held the eggs in my hands it made me realize how fragile life really is.

We're grilling steaks tonight and having some roasted garlic potatoes and asparagus. Yum. I love cooking up here. I don't know why, but it seems that the food just tastes better.

That's about it for the update. I'll try to check in at least once more. If not, hope you all have a great week!

Monday, April 12, 2004

Rumors of My Vacation Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in......

One of the good things about working in a fairly large office is that team leaders cover for each other. The "rule" has always been, if one leader is out the other leader has to be in the office. Fair enough. When the other leader and I scheduled our vacation in December, we sat in a room with the calendar and went back and forth, putting down our time. She scheduled herself off last week and I picked this week. At the time, there was no overlap. Somehow, between December and today, she added a day of vacation to her week -- and the day she added was today, supposedly my first day of vacation.

I called into my voicemail at 8:30 AM since I was waiting for a client to call back and I wanted to forward the voicemail to the other leader to follow up. When I listened to her voicemail, I noticed she said she would be back on Tuesday. WTF??!! I thought. To top it all off, our boss is on vacation so the only leader in the office just took on her responsibilities last week. And, as an added bonus, one of our accounts we share with NYC was calling in to our office because the NYC travel desk was having "techinical difficulties."

After hemming and hawing, I decided to bite the bullet and come in to the office (out of the goodness of my heart, of course). It seems like a wise choice -- we have had nothing but issues today -- a blackout at LAX delaying flights, customer service issues left and right, phone problems. My boss was appreciative, and she knows that the oversight is on the other leader, but it still doesn't make up for the fact that, once again, it's Shannin to the rescue.

And this just in.....the other leader, who is supposed to return into the office tomorrow, actually has a client meeting and she will not be in. Again, it's a scramble for coverage. I swear, I am so angry I can't even see straight. I'm trying to keep it together, but I think the other agents know where I am coming from and sense some of my frustration.

Off to cancel some appointments. I guess the good news is that I am so angry I'm not hungry.....

Friday, April 09, 2004


It's slow today in the office, and my desk is all cleaned for vacation, so I've been doing a lot of surfing and decided to do this:

Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, and find line 4. Write down what it says.
…she led her department in production. She did this in…. (from Fish)
Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What do you touch first?
My ever present jar of lip balm.
What is the last thing you watched on TV?
C.S.I. (repeat, last night)
With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
Charles making a reservation, Sara discussing client strategy with Darryl, the waterfall from outside.
When did you last step outside?
When I walked from my car into the office building at about 7:58 AM
Before you came to this website, what did you look at?
Denise’s site.
What are you wearing?
Denim shirt, jeans, red slides, my cross earrings, and my Rune necklace.
Did you dream last night?
I dream every night.
When did you last laugh?
When Don called to tell me about Baja “helping” with his workout this morning, including leaping into Don’s stomach while he was doing jumping jacks.
What is on the walls of the room you are in?
Travel posters from JAL, a large world map, bulletin boards with employee photos, memos, etc. On my cubicle wall, I have 9 photos of the dogs and 5 photos of Don & me, plus some other stuff.
Seen anything weird lately?
One of our employees who is about 6’3” holding another employee’s mini Chihuahua.
What do you think of this quiz?
I’ve seen better, but I’m on vacation count down!
What is the last movie you saw?
”Identity” on HBO and “The Return of the King” in the theater.
If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy first?
I don’t know if it would be the first thing, but a house in Montecito, CA.
Tell me something about you that I don't know:
My current favorite cartoon strip is “Get Fuzzy” and my all time favorite is “Calvin and Hobbes.”
If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
Make sure all abandoned animals are adopted.
Do you like to dance?
I love to dance, even though I’m not very good.
George Bush:
Not my favorite person.
Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
Isabella Rose
Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?
Aiden Barth
Would you ever consider living abroad?
Yes, yes, yes!!

OK, that wasted like 20 minutes....

Anyway, it looks like my vacation plans are changing slightly. My dad called and wanted to know if Don and I wanted to use his house in Santa Barbara this week since he is staying "in the city" next weekend. I'm all for it, so I'm hoping we can swing it by leaving Wednesday after I get my hair cut and staying until Sunday. Spring cleaning, be damned! The nice thing about the house is that there is a pool & a Jacuzzi (OK, side note....I went to USC with a guy named Joe Jacuzzi -- his grandfather invented the Jacuzzi tub), a built in BBQ, a firepit (perfect for sitting by while some steaks sizzle on the 'que) and a shower big enough for two (OK, maybe a little too much sharing, but hey, Don and I are dedicated to conserving water when we can!!).

I've already started thinking about what I'm going to bring up, what we'll have for dinner, etc. It's so relaxing up there. We usually take it for a week in July to celebrate our anniversary, and I try not to intrude too much, but since Dad isn't using it, why let it go to waste?

Things have really died off here in the office as people make early escaped for the Easter weekend. I've even been the "nice guy" and let some of the staff off early. Of course, I don't get to leave early, but I've made some brownie points with the staff and my boss, so I staying an extra 60 minutes won't kill me.

Well, off to kill 118 minutes.....I think my coffee cup needs washing.....

Thursday, April 08, 2004

In Lieu of a Real Post

If I were a month I would be: September
If I were a day of the week I would be: Sunday
If I were a time of day I would be: Day break
If I were a planet I would be: Venus
If I were a sea animal I would be: Dolphin
If I were a direction I would be: West
If I were a country I would be: Ireland
If I were a piece of furniture I would be: A bookshelf
If I were a sin I would be: Gluttony
If I were a historical figure I would be: Da Vinci
If I were a liquid I would be: An expensive Cabernet
If I were a tree I would be: Oak
If I were a flower/plant I would be: A French tulip
If I were a kind of weather I would be: Sunny with a nice breeze
If I were a musical instrument I would be: Saxophone
If I were an animal I would be: A wolf
If I were a color I would be: Dark blue
If I were a gemstone I would be: A sapphire
If I were a vegetable I would be: An artichoke
If I were a sound I would be: Om
If I were an element I would be: Krypton
If I were a car I would be: Jaguar
If I were a song I would be: “Express Yourself” by Madonna
If I were a state I would be: California
If I were a movie I would be directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
If I were a book I would be written by: Janet Evanovich
If I were a food I would be: A steak (rare, of course)
If I were a place I would be: A bookstore
If I were a material I would be: Denim
If I were a taste I would be: Salty
If I were a scent I would be: Gardenia
If I were a word I would be: Strength
If I were a fruit I would be: Raspberry
If I were an object I would be: Camera
If I were a body part I would be: Eyes
If I were a facial expression I would be: Concerned
If I were a cartoon character I would be: Lisa Simpson
If I were a shape I would be: A sun
If I were a number I would be: 14
If I were a tattoo I would be: Celtic cross

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

The Problem with Potlucks

I love potlucks. I love being able to taste a lot of foods that I normally wouldn't have. I love trying my co-worker's cooking or baking.

What I hate about potlucks are the people who say they can't bring anything, or don't want to bring anything and then feel like they can pig out. We have one woman in our office who never signs up (I'm getting home too late to make anything) but feels free to pile her plate high. My favorite trick was when we catered lunch for our boss' birthday and she came in with Tupperware not once, but TWICE, before some people even got firsts! She doesn't report to me, so I can't really say anything, but it really ticks me off. Hey, I understand not everyone can cook, and I don't always cook -- I've been known to take the easy way out and buy baked goods (but as a leader in the office I do try and bring a main dish -- today it was manicotti) -- but if you're going to eat, plan on bringing something!

Of course, I have my nutritionist appointment tonight at 4:30 PM, so I have to be a little careful about what I'm going to eat.

Anyway, I keep thinking today is Thursday, and every time I realize it's actually Wednesday, I'm disappointed. Plus, Don just called (he has the day off), telling me he's out on the deck with the dogs. Grrr....lucky duck.....

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Justice? Karma? You Decide

A story from News of the Weird:

An 18-year-old man drowned near Eudora, Ark., in December, when the he accidentally fell into a pit of water while attempting to drown his pit bull (which he thought was too old and docile), and the man's father also drowned when he jumped in to save his son. (The dog survived.) [KATV-TV (Little Rock), 12-9-03]

News From the Other Side of the World

Found an interesting link while out surfing today. If you are interested in what "regular" Iraqi people are thinking, click here. It is a blog written by a family in Baghdad. I'm not going to get into how I feel about the war, but I think it's important for us to see how they are living there.

Anyway, not much going on today. I had the worst craving for a tuna melt today, which I gave in to and now it feels like a huge lump in my stomach. Don has the day off so we are planning a long walk with the dogs, and hopefully that will help me feel better. Our office is having a potluck tomorrow and I think I am going to make stuffed manicotti, although I may opt for something like chicken from El Pollo Loco so I don't have to spend the night cooking. I have to be especially careful at tomorrow's potluck since I have my weigh in at my nutritionist's tomorrow after work. I will tell you, I have also been craving pizza and the plan is to have some after the appointment. Of course, feeling like I am now after caving to my tuna melt craving, I may re-think that.

Finally, three days, three hours and 37 minutes until I am on vacation.....

Monday, April 05, 2004

Good News, Bad News

So the bad news is that my mom's friend, Nancy, took a turn for the worse over the weekend. They actually thought she wasn't going to make it through Saturday night. In the end, she did make it and she came out of her light coma (whatever that is). She will be under 24 hour hospice care, at least for the immediate future. I had a good talk with my Dad about what was going on, and agreed that it would be better for everyone if she just went to sleep and didn't wake up. I hated hearing myself saying that and I could never say it to my mom. Not to say I don't believe in miracles, but I have to be honest too. Anyway, everyone is trying to prepare for the inevitable.

The good news is after I posted on Friday, Don and I had a good talk on Saturday morning. I know why I'm drinking -- it's to fill up my loneliness when Don isn't at home. When I look back, I've always been a solitary drinker. It really started when I was living in NYC. Even though I was a social butterfly for the most part, any time I didn't have anything to do, I would drink. Once I moved in with Don, the drinking never really was an issue because we both worked "regular" hours and I really was only alone when he went on business trips (few and far between).

To help remind myself not to drink, I am wearing a silver and turquoise bracelet. I really wanted to find something similar to the Kabbalah Red String, but I had to make due with what I had. Anyway, I'm hoping it will help me think before drinking (or participating in any other harmful behavior).

I did have some successes over the weekend. Don and I went to the gym on Saturday and then took the dogs for a 1 1/2 mile walk on Sunday. We both spent time outside, soaking up some rays and just enjoying the spring weather. When Don left for work on Sunday, I ran a bunch of errands -- Linens-N-Things for pillows, Cost Plus for a few odds and ends (they have great cards and wrapping supplies) and Lane Bryant for two new outfits. The best part about that was they were having a 20% off everything sale, plus I had a $50 gift card and a $25 gift certificate. So even though my total was $312.00, I only paid $175.00. I got two skirts, 3 sweaters and 4 pairs of body shapers, so not too bad. Of course, I now need shoes......

The best part of the weekend, though, was Friday night when I got a chance to speak to Denise. We spoke for about 2 hours. It was just so nice to talk to someone who is going through similar situations. I look forward to more conversations! It's always fun to speak (or meet) someone you have a certain perception of. She is very smart, funny, good conversationalist. You get a great idea of her wit and sense of humor from her writing, but she's even more so over the phone. Anyway, our conversation gave me a lot to think about and got me started a long the right path!

Anyway, only 4 days, 7 hours and 20 minutes until I start my vacation.....not that I'm counting or anything......

Friday, April 02, 2004

I Can't Handle The Truth

I really hadn't wanted to write this, but after another night of waking up at 2 AM and hating myself, I figure I am going to have to face the facts.

I have a drinking problem.

I don't seem to have a problem in social settings or even when I'm out to dinner with Don. I don't even always feel the need to drink when I'm "out on the town." I do, however, drink almost every night when I am home alone and Don is at work. It starts with the idea of "just one or two glasses -- just to relax." It always ends up as almost 2 bottles of wine. Yep, you read that right -- two bottles of wine.

Of course, drinking encourages other bad choices, namely binging on food. Trust me, I am not binging on carrots and broccoli either. So I'm drinking empty calories on top of eating unhealthy food. Neither is doing my waist line any good.

Besides the actual drinking and eating, the consumption of alcohol gives me heartburn, stomach problems (2 bottles of wine on top of a combo platter from Paco's? You do the math.), I have to hide the evidence from Don plus I wake up with a sour stomach that only a fried egg sandwich seems to fix.

In other words, one vicious circle.

So, why the confession? Because it HAS to stop NOW. I am ruining my health. I am sabatoging all the good I KNOW I can do. I am sacraficing my health. I am wasting major money on alcohol. I wake up at 3 in the morning (since I passed out at 9 PM) hating myself, kicking myself, wanting to stick my head in the oven and just end the pain of being such a loser.

It pains me to write this. I hate weakness, and this, to me, is a major character flaw.

Tonight when I get home, the open bottle of wine is getting dumped. I am going to be strong. I have to be strong. This IS stopping NOW.