The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

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

Friday, December 31, 2004

Looking Forward, 2005

I love new beginnings, clean slates, the possibilities. That's why I love this time of year. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, we usually spend our time looking back at things we're thankful for. On New Year's Eve, though, it's all about what's to be.

I think I've already outlined some of my resolutions, although I prefer to call them my focuses for the new year. Obviously I didn't walk the walk so much last year when it came to weight and exercise. I allowed myself to let the move become my excuse for not meeting my expectations. I've always been too easy on myself when it comes to being really critical. If I were speaking to someone else who said, "I didn't lose weight because I was caught up in a cross-country move," I would reply, "There is always going to be something -- work, kids, marriage, divorce -- that will take the focus away from getting healthy. It's up to you to remain focused and not let the outside world become your excuse."

Bottom line: I have to get healthy. I need to care about me as much as I care for other people. I'm always reminding Don to take his pills or to eat lunch, and yet I don't even do that myself.

I also have to stop letting any hint of depression keep me from making this a happy home. All too often lately, I have allowed myself to flop on the couch, turn on the tube and turn off my brain so I don't have to feel. I moan about this not feeling like home yet, but I haven't really done anything to make it so. Yes, I finally got a tree and Christmas decorations up, and that's a good first step. I'm even pleased with the way I reorganized the kitchen and things seem to be where they should. I still have a lot to do. We've been in the house a full 2 months now and I don't have any of my photos up. How can it feel like home when all there is are blank walls?

This is my chance to do it right. To make a commitment to myself that my conscious self will take care of my physical self. I have the tools, I have the motivation (for the moment) and I have the support. I've said it before -- losing weight doesn't have to be hard. It's about putting proper fuel in your body, keeping your body moving and loving yourself. It may be hard to get started, but once you get on that path, it should take a lot to deter you.

Having said all of that, I plan on having a very nice New Year's Eve. Don and I are going to dinner, but will be home well before midnight. He's gone this weekend, and I am feeling very motivated on getting my TO DO list completed. Most of it surrounds getting things put away and organized, but it's one step towards actually making this place feel lived in. Also, I think for Saturday and Sunday, I'm going to do a mini-fast / cleanse, just to get my body cleaned out to start the new year. Nothing but water, juice and broth for those two days.

Here is to a fun, but safe, New Year's Eve. For those going out, please don't drink and drive. See you all in 2005!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Looking Back

This is coming around again, but I first saw this on Denise's site in 2003, before I was even blogging.

1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?
I moved to Minneapolis, 2000 miles from my family and friends, started a new job in a different division and sold our first house.
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make any next year?
I didn’t make any, although I did try and focus on my eating.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, my friend Nancy. She was my mom’s best friend and my good friend’s mom. She had been fighting breast cancer.
5. What countries did you visit?
For the first time in many years I did not travel outside of the country – unless you count Minnesota.
6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
Less chaos. The last half of the year was crazy with the selling and buying of houses, cross-country moves, new jobs, etc.
7. What date from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 23. That was the day Don was offered a job in Minnesota.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Selling a house in LA and buying a house in Minneapolis and making the actual move. Most of it I did on my own since Don was here working his new job.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I felt I let my attitude get the best of me my last few weeks of work in Los Angeles.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes – I tore my ACL falling from a ladder as I was trying to fix the garage door. I still haven’t gotten it fixed, but that will be a priority in 2005.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
A new house, which is twice the size of our one in Los Angeles and a new king-sized bed.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Don – again, the last half of the year was dominated by the move and he was my rock through the whole ordeal.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
George Bush and politicians’ in general.
14. Where did most of your money go?
The new house and furnishings for it and paying off all of our credit cards.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Eventually, the move and the new experience of living in a different state.
16. What song will always remind you of 2004?
“All I Know” by Art Garfunkle. It was played over the final scene of Nip/Tuck and it stayed with me, especially through the move.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier, for the most part.
ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter (but not by much)
iii. richer or poorer? Richer (but not by much)
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Spend more time with Don, exercising, spending my money more wisely.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Watching TV, worrying about work, the move and money.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
In our new house, with Don and the dogs.
22. Did you fall in love in 2004?
I fall in love each and every day.
23. How many one-night stands?
24. What was your favorite TV program?
CSI, Lost, Nip/Tuck, Desperate Housewives, House
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I hope I don’t waste time on hate.
26. What was the best book you read?
The Time Traveler’s Wife
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Ray Charles
28. What did you want and get?
A bigger house and yard.
29. What did you want and not get?
A job for Don in Los Angeles
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Fahrenheit 9-11
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
We had dinner at Café Del Rey and talked about Don leaving for Minneapolis the next day. I turned 36 and got a pink mini iPod.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
An NFL team in Los Angeles so we didn’t have to move or time off between jobs so I could have gotten more organized.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
Make do with what is currently fitting. I didn’t want to spend more money on clothes that hopefully won’t fit next year. I did have to purchase several winter items, including boots (dress & casual), a winter coat and gloves.
34. What kept you sane?
Baja & Jager. Of course, they also drove me insane from time to time.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
No one.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The election
37. Who did you miss?
Don – when we were apart for 7 weeks.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
My new boss and his group of leaders.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004.
You can’t count on anything lasting forever, no matter how many people tell you otherwise.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
The endings always comes at last
Endings always come too fast
They come too fast
But they pass too slow

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


I think I am still full from Christmas dinner -- it's like I'm hungover, but not because of alcohol but because of food! I actually think I have a bit of a stomach bug, although it seems to have passed. On Sunday night, I was burning up and last night I had the chills. I'm hoping it's gone as I have the week off and really don't want to spend it not feeling well.

Christmas was very nice. Don was home on Saturday and Sunday. I got a cashmere scarf, 3 frames, gift cards from Pottery Barn, Barnes & Noble and Restoration Hardware, a day at a spa and some perfume. I made a standing rib roast with brandied mushrooms, bleu cheese mashed potatoes, green beans and creme brulee for dessert. Now you can see why I'm in a bit of a food haze. I've been trying to eat a lot lighter the past few days and drinking a lot of water. I didn't do too badly with treats -- it's a lot easier when you aren't surrounded by a family that bakes. I was a little sad about not being in California with my friends and family, but it was nice to be with Don and the dogs.

It is now official -- all of my boxes have been unpacked. Granted, this doesn't mean that everything is in its final resting place, but the only boxes left are full of books and I know where those go. Don is working from home today so I really can't get into the office to put together those bookshelves, but I should have it done tomorrow. I've even started to hang some of the art, shelves and photos. I want to get as much done between now and Sunday so at least I have something to show for my week off. Two of my biggest accomplishments have been getting my kitchen organized and getting my wireless connection up and running. I would like to get my two guest rooms cleaned (meaning getting all the crap I have stored in there in the right place) and getting my craft supplies properly stored.

No big plans for New Year's Eve. We'll be going to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Redstone. We have early reservations -- 7:30 PM -- meaning we can be home before all the rookies stumble from bars and parties after midnight. Don has to fly to Washington, DC on Saturday for the last game of the season, although there is still a chance the Vikings will be going to the playoffs -- probably Seattle or St. Louis. Of course, if they lose on Sunday, they might not be going anywhere, which I don't think Don will mind as he'll be able to take some well-deserved time off.

I will be brave and weigh in on Saturday, no matter what I eat on Friday night. Gotta start (again) somewhere. The menu planning has been working very well, and I've discovered some quick, easy and healthy meals that can be whipped up in under 60 minutes (usually less). I've been getting my seafood and veggies in although I do need to work on eating more fruit. I do plan on using my crockpot a lot more, that's for sure. Better take help where I can get it! I am excited about the start of a new year -- all the possibilities, starting anew and all that jazz.

My updates will be a little more consistant now that I can work downstairs. Plus, I'm going to work on my photos today so I can get some up soon.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas

Just a short note wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas. I hope Santa was good to all of you. I will be spending a rare day with Don -- I actually get him today and tomorrow! I do have all of next week off which will be spent working around the house, but maybe hitting a sale or two.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Faking It

After much internal debate, I think I am going to purchase an artificial tree this year -- no needles, no watering, no disposal issues. I feel a bit like a fraud, but I really miss having a tree but really do not want to deal with getting a live tree home, making sure it's even, having to worry about keeping it watered and then figuring out how to toss it come January. Plus, most already have lights, so I can add more if I want a brighter tree. I'm still not planning on putting lights outside the house, but will next year. There won't be a lot of presents under the tree, but it might start feeling a bit more like Christmas.

I figure, besides the tree, I'll put up the stockings, get a wreath for the front door and maybe some garlands for the banister. I'm pretty much done shopping for Don and just need to get a few stocking stuffers for the dogs. I don't think I'll bake this year since I don't need the temptation of dozen of cookies in the house. Last year I did gingerbread, Mexican wedding cakes (shortbread with crushed walnuts), chocolate chip cookies, 2 kinds of fudge, sugar cookies and lemon bars. It's bad enough with all the boxes of chocolates around. I'm still debating on Christmas dinner, and leaning toward a standing rib roast with twice stuffed baked potatoes and green beans.

Today is our seasonal blood drive, so I will be giving up a pint of the red stuff later this morning. I'm sure most of you know that there are often blood shortages this time of year, so if you have the chance and are able, please think about donating -- it's an inexpensive gift that will mean a lot to someone.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Setting The Plan In Motion

SO, once TTOM went away, I screwed up my courage once again and stepped on the scale -- down exactly 3 pounds, meaning I'm really only up about 4 pounds this year. That put me in to a better mood.

I did OK this weekend, although we did try a new restaurant on Saturday. I didn't realize it served "family style" and even the half orders were big enough for two. We did split calamari fritte (Italian for "fried") and New York Cheesecake (total overkill!). I had chicken Marsala with a side of spaghetti in olive oil & garlic and took half of it home. I made Tomato & spinach soup with Sausage in Puff pastry (I substituted chicken for the lamb) and Garlic & Herb Croutons for the top of the soup. Perfect for 0 degrees outside (with the windchill). I'm doing pretty well in the planning of the weekly menu. I have chicken breasts defrosted to toss on the GF grill tonight. I'm also looking at shrimp scampi over angel hair pasta and farfalle with turkey sausage & peas. I did already eat one meal out -- breakfast this morning. I didn't plan to bring something in and the cafe downstairs was serving corned beef hash, one of my favorite breakfast items. Wednesday night, my boss it taking his direct reports to dinner so I don't have to worry about cooking that night. Don will be on the road this weekend so we'll go out on Friday night for a quick bite -- I'm thinking Chinese.

I have had almost 90 ounces of water so far, so getting my 100 in today shouldn't be a problem. I did walk this weekend -- around the mall -- getting my Christmas shopping done for Don. Since he often reads the blog I can't let on what I got, but I have to get two more small items and I'll be finished. Plus, my creative wrapping job is just genius, if I say so myself. I also shopped for my nephews at, got each of my parents a subscription to the Wine Cask wine club, and got AMEX Gift Cards for my brother and best friend. I am pretty much done. Since I'm so new here, I'm not sure if I'll be giving gifts to the 9 team leaders I support. We're all going in $10 for our boss (gift card for clothes) and I probably should do a little something for the two admins who have really help get me settled. Damn, I hate when my list grows like that.

With Don in Detroit this weekend, I may brave the crowds and hit Macy's at Mall of America. I think if you get there early enough, it shouldn't be too bad, plus I know exactly where to park. Plus, maybe a few hours listening to canned Christmas tunes will get me in the holiday mood.

Baja got his stitches out on Saturday. He's still hobbling around, but the vet thinks he's making great progress. We can start walking him around Dec. 29 and he goes back to the vet for x-rays on Jan. 25. I just want to be able to let him off leash so he can run around the yard.

I think we'll have leftovers tonight -- maybe add a small salad. I'm feeling pretty good about this plan.

Friday, December 10, 2004

New & Improved

I’ve been giving a lot of thought about the direction in which this blog has been going. It started off as a “diet” blog, at least in the sense I wanted to write about my weight loss journey. With all that has been going on since August, it’s obviously gone off track, and so have I.

I did screw up the courage to step on the scale earlier in the week. I was up about three and a half pounds since I weighed in on September 1. Granted, I did weigh myself about 3 days before TTOM, so it might be slightly less. And while I guess I should be somewhat proud that I didn’t totally go off the deep end, I am up about 7 pounds from the beginning of the year, or a half a pound a month. Now, in the bigger scheme of things, 7 pounds in one year is not a huge mountain to overcome, but it is +7 not -7.

I do know why and how I got off track. And, yes, I do blame the move, the separation from Don for 7 weeks, the newness of my life right now and the stress that goes along with all three things. And, in a way, I’m proud it’s not more. I have not been drinking my water. I have not been eating my daily servings of fruit and veggies. I have been relying on eating out, fast food, the café at work and processed food to sustain me. Those foods are usually high in calories, carbs, sodium and fat. I have not done anything about getting my knee looked at so I could get onto an exercise routine. I have allowed myself to accept my internal excuses for pretty much everything – why I’m eating poorly to why I’m not exercising.

So, here’s the plan. It’s a “working” plan, meaning I will probably be making changes, additions, and other assorted modifications.

I’m going to take one day and plan my meals and my shopping lists. No more standing in front of the fridge and deciding there’s nothing I want to eat, so I go out. No more wanting to fix something, only to realize that I don’t have all the ingredients. I am going to limit my weekly intake of beef and pork (1 meal per week of one or the other) while increasing my intake of fish and shellfish (1 to 2 meals per week) and one meatless meal per week. I want to limit eating out to once for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Speaking of breakfast, I really need to start eating it! I also need to make sure I’m eating 2-3 servings of fruit and 3-4 servings of veggies per day. I want to focus on my fat and sodium intake. I need to make sure I’m drinking 100 ounces of water per day. I am going to start using to track my food and water.


One of the first things I need to do is make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon to see if I still need surgery on my knee. Since it’s still going out, my guess is yes. Until then, I am going to start walking three times per week for 1 mile. That’s a whopping 20-25 minutes out of my day. I even know where my pedometer is, so I don’t have any excuses. Depending on what the doctor says, I am going to join the gym here at work. I have got to get into a routine, even if that means getting up at 4:50 AM to get here by 5:30 to get a 60 minute workout in before work.


Besides a specialist, I shouldn’t wait on finding a regular doctor, dentist and eye doctor as well as a chiropractor. I need to make sure I take my prescription meds (thyroid and blood pressure) as well as my supplements (multi-vitamin and calcium).


Just as important as physical health! I need to stop making mountains out of molehills (I’m good at that) and learn to relax a bit. I need to take time for myself, whether it’s to write, read, blog, meditate or dance around the house. I need to make sure that I’m communicating with Don (usually not a problem, but I don’t want to lose that focus), and talk about my feelings.

Of course, there are other goals I want to accomplish next year – maybe do some exploring of my new city, getting back to my photography and crafts, planning a romantic getaway after the football season, etc. This is just a start.

Having said all of that, my food just sucked this week. Part of it was due to TTOM – I ate pizza, bagels, and hash browns (not in one sitting, mind you). I did make dinner three times this week – beef burgundy, tilapia (fish) and stuffed shells (meatless). We even had veggies with all of the meals (green salad or sugar snap peas). Tonight will be leftovers. I only brought my lunch once this week, and that needs to change. I did eat breakfast four times, but all four meals were from the café downstairs (hence the hash browns). It does look like we’re only going to have one dinner out this week, so that’s a step in the right direction. I’ve also come close to 100 ounces of water about 3 times this week.

Bottom line, I need to re-focus, get off my ass and do what I know is right for my body.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Quote of the Day

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but
rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the
other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming
"WOO HOO what a ride!"

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Caught With My Pants Down

I knew Michele would get me when I haven't updated in a few days!

Anyway, for my new visitors, come on in, browse around and enjoy!

On the real world front, things are pretty much status quo. Baja is getting around better, although we still have to leave him with the dreaded lamp shade when we're gone. Don is working from home today, so that shouldn't be an issue and he's getting the stitches out on Saturday, so assuming all of his other little areas are healed, the lamp shade shouldn't be an issue for much longer. For the next 3 weeks, he's only allowed in the back yard and on a leash. After that, we can start taking him for short walks. He's pretty full of beans, and Jager can't understand why she can't play with him (her favorite move is to charge at him and bowl him over, even though he is twice the size of her).

I am hesitantly getting my hair cut and colored on Saturday as well. Out of all the things I knew I was going to miss by leaving Los Angeles for Minneapolis is my hairdresser who has been doing me for going on 7 years. It's a very special relationship, and he has never disappointed me. There is an Aveda salon close to where I live, so I will be giving them a go. Even though I have pretty simple hair -- thick and straight -- I'm nervous about how it's going to look. I don't do new relationships well, and have actually thought about just flying back to LA every 6 - 8 weeks to see Nick. Yeah, maybe if I win Powerball....

Saturday is also the day we get the rest of our furniture. Two more pieces for the bedroom, the living room and the dining room stuff. I have never owned this much furniture (I actually have 3 beds!!). I remember the days when I could move everything I owned in a few trips in my Honda Civic. Life was so simple then. Now I actually feel like a grown up. When did that happen?

Of course, the best part is I'm wearing new boots today. They look like black English riding boots. I have paired them with a long black skirt, my pink shirt with French cuffs, a dark pink suede jacket and the requisite pearls. A power outfit if I say so myself.

Off to take care of the rest of the day. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoy Naked Girl!

Friday, December 03, 2004

I'll Have What He's Having

So, one of the tools to help Baja deal with pain and discomfort is a pain patch that is on his shoulder. It was put there before the surgery and should stay on 4-5 days after the surgery. I was reading the packet of information we got as far as when we can take off the bandages, get the stitches removed, physical therapy steps, etc. There is an entire page devoted to the pain patch. There are dire warnings about not letting human skin come in contact with the medicated portion and that only a vet can safely remove it. Oh, yeah, and don’t let human skin come in contact with the medicated portion of the patch. It looks like a clear bandage – I mean, how much damage could it do?

See, I’m the type of reader that skips to the end – I don’t always read the set-up. If I had, I would have noticed, in big, bold letters: MEDICATION 100 TIMES STRONGER THAN MORPHINE.

Why, yes….

So that begs the question, if you could experience something at 100 times it’s regular strength, what would it be?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

And The Beat Goes On

I do love the occasional easy days at work. My boss is at an off-site meeting all day, I’m pretty well caught up in my work, I only have 1 meeting to attend and the only thing on my To Do list is make copies for the meeting. I am really enjoying this Administrative Assistant gig. I listen to a lot of the same complaints that I used to make as a Team Leader (people calling in sick, low performers, staffing woes, multiple deadlines) but I don’t have to get involved other than offering my advice.

The one thing that gets me, and it did as a leader as well, is how often people are unaware of how much vacation time they have left in the year. The team I’m working with now is essentially a phone bank, and it’s very busy. There are people with at least 2 weeks’ worth of vacation time unscheduled and they are not going to be able to use it. They have had all year to schedule it, but for one reason or another, chosen not to. They seem to all have the same reaction when told the number of hours they have left – "I have THAT much time left? I had no idea." Argh!

Baja is home safely. He came through the surgery just fine, and seems no worse for wear. We actually have to use lampshades on both dogs since Jager will probably try and lick his wound for him. They are so pathetic with those things on, but I do have to laugh when they aren’t around. I will have to get photos up soon. Plus, his leg looks like a plucked turkey leg. It’s bandaged for the first few days, mostly to help with the swelling.

And, just in time, I got approved for parking in the building. We’re expecting snow over the next few days, and I really did not want to have to park out in an open lot. In fact, assuming I don’t have to go outside during the day, I could actually get away without wearing a coat or gloves, although it makes me feel so much more local when I do. I am now the proud owner of 2 scarves, 1 pashima wrap (I actually bought this in Hong Kong 2 years ago, but never used it), 2 hats, 2 ear warmers, 6 pairs of gloves (leather, suede, knit) and 5 coats. Hey, I have even started an “emergency kit” for my car – extra gloves, a city map, 2 different types of ice scrapers and a flashlight. I’m told I also need a shovel, cat litter, energy bars, extra water, wool socks, and hand warmers. Good thing I did decide on the SUV.

Don’s off to Chicago this weekend. I don’t think I’ll be out and about too much with Baja still in recovery mode and the potential for snow and ice. I still have plenty to do around the house to keep me busy. The only thing I may try and schedule is a carpet cleaning for downstairs. We have a very light colored carpet, and with the dogs and the snow and the mud, I would really like to get it cleaned before the furniture is delivered next weekend. I also am in desperate need of a cut and color, but that may be pushed back to next week as well. There is an Aveda salon near me, and I figure they have to know something about hair, right?

Question for you all – some of the meetings I go to have snacks, and one of the popular ones is cut apples with caramel sauce. Would it be appropriate if I just take the sauce and not any apples?