Posts Tagged ‘las vegas’

A New Year’s Day Weigh-In

I did not lose weight in December. I wish I could say otherwise, but I cannot. I’m not upset or surprised, and frankly, I’m pleased that I did as little damage as I did over the holidays and a trip to Las Vegas!

January 1, 2012
Weight: 376.4
Change from Highest: -26.4 pounds

In early December, I said that I was going to take $100 and donate to charity. If I made 369, it would be a charity of my choice. If I did not, it would be a charity of your choice (except for PETA or a PETA-affiliated terrorist organization, such as ALF).

Clearly, you get to pick the charity that I donate to.

The sky is ALMOST the limit. Again, I will not donate to an organization that I feel is terroristic in practice. PETA fits this category. (Please note: this is not my opinion. There is plenty of public record that shows the ties PETA has with the Animal Liberation Front, among others.)

So, tell me where I’m going to give my money.

The charity I would have given my money to is the Elephant Sanctuary, a nonprofit in Tennessee that rehabilitates and houses former Circus elephants.

Please leave a comment on this post, telling me what organization(s) you want me to give this $100 to. I may not have made my goal, but some worthwhile organization out there is still going to benefit. I will close comments on Thursday night (January 5, 2012) at 10 p.m. Central time, and at my regular Friday weigh-in on January 6th, I’ll post a voting poll so you can decide. Whoever is in the lead on January 12th at 10 p.m. Central time is who will get the money. If no one leaves a comment, I’ll give the money to the Elephant Sanctuary.

It doesn’t matter how big or small the organization is. It doesn’t matter if the organization is aligned with my political or personal views (again, except for PETA). Just let me know where my money should go, and that’s where it may go, depending upon the voting outcome!

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Geeked Out Weight Loss Series: Power Rangers, Season 3 – I’m Dreaming of a White Ranger

Well, aside from the fact that the above title is probably the LONGEST blog title post I’ve ever written, this is going to be a different article. Today, I’m combining three things. My geeked out review of an old favorite, a Christmas episode, and weight loss. So I present to you… the fairly forced weight loss analogy found in the third season episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers “I’m Dreaming of a White Ranger.”

Alas, I do not know where you can watch this online other than to download it or use Netflix Watch Instantly. If you’d really like to see it, email me and I’ll see what I can do.

Plot

Power Rangers is definitely known for its complex, high-concept, deep plots, and this episode is no exception. Our episode starts off with Kimberly and Aisha (the Pink and Yellow Rangers) leading a group of children through the world’s longest Christmas carol (seriously, these kids sing for at least four hours – an impressive feat considering this is a 30 minute episode, with commercials) as we see various other Christmas-like activities going on.

Ernie (owner of the Youth Center and not a Power Ranger) gives Tommy (leader of the Power Rangers and not a youth center owner) the star to go on top of the Christmas tree (I guess because Tommy is tall), but Tommy seems a rather sad young girl who was just singing in the world’s longest Christmas carol just sitting around, looking sad. Tommy asks her if she would help him put the star on the tree, which is just silly, because she’s not a Power Ranger OR tall. I guess he’s hoping it would cheer her up.

Well, she smiles a little bit when he boosts her up to put the star on the tree.

In a different part of the Youth Center, Kimberly admits to Aisha that, while she is happy she gets to spend Christmas with Aisha and her family, she is sad she isn’t going to get to spend it with her mom. (In a previous episode, we learned that Kimberly’s mother let her move in with Aisha to finish out the school year while she went to France with her new husband.) Aisha hugs her and suggests Kimberly help her with the decorations.

Thanks, I don’t miss my mom at all now.

Thanks, I don’t miss my mom at all now.

Bulk and Skull show up. Quick note – the last time I reviewed a Power Ranger episode, it was early 1st season. This is late third season. So you should know, Bulk and Skull are no longer bullies. Now they are junior police officers. And they are going to be working the Christmas party on duty, although Bulk will be dressed up to play Santa.

Meanwhile, on the moon, Zedd is ranting about how much he hates the holidays. This year, in his attempt to take over the Earth, he is going to make Santa’s elves create a toy that will make any child who sees it instantly brainwashed. And no, it isn’t Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. It’s a spinning top, that I assume uses magic. Any child who sees it will basically be under Lord Zedd’s control and able to do only his evil bidding.

And back at the Youth Center, Kimberly and Aisha are leading the kids through another practice before their big show. Becky, the same girl who Tommy helped put the star on the tree, is especially down. After the rehearsal, Aisha and Kimberly ask her why, and she says that there will be no one there to hear her sing.

At the North Pole, Santa is supervising his elves when Rito Revolto shows up, takes over, and orders the elves to make no other toys except for Zedd’s magic spinning top.

Kimberly has another heart-to-heart with Becky, who confides to her that her dad works too much and can’t spend any time with her. Kimberly suggests that Becky let her dad know how she feels. And inside, just as Tommy is about to get himself some Mistletoe Lovin’, Zordon pages the Rangers.

At the Command Center, the Rangers learn about Zedd’s evil Christmas toy plan. Of course the Rangers will help, but because of magic or the jet stream or something, their morphing powers won’t work at the North Pole. Of course, that doesn’t stop the Rangers, so they teleport to the North Pole to help out.

The Rangers see the monsters overrunning Santa’s workshop, so they come up with a plan to save Santa. Billy, resident genius, thinks that if their powers won’t work at the North Pole, then neither will the monster’s. Fortunately, they are correct. The Rangers proceed to fight the two gigantic warriors, armed with swords…

…with snowballs. And of course, snowballs > swords, so the Rangers win!

With the elves’ help, Rito, Goldar, and the Tengas are defeated, tied up with ribbon, and teleported back to the moon.

Is this over yet? No? Crap. Okay.

The head elf complains about the toy production being off schedule, but the Rangers help with teamwork or magic or power crystals or something.

With Christmas saved, the Ranger teens head back to Angel Grove, Becky’s dad shows up after all, the kids sing, Kimberly’s mother shows up from France after all, and Tommy finally gets to kiss Kimberly under the mistletoe.

Weight Loss Analogy

Hoo boy. This one is going to be tough. Uhm… Okay, we’ll call the bad guys the holiday temptations that we have to face. The high calorie treats. The parties. The deviations from our schedules that make regular exercise tough.

So, when faced with these temptations, what should we do? Give in? Let evil win.

No, we turn into Power Rangers, pelt them with metaphorical snowballs, and take back the healthy holidays.

Okay, that was weak. This one wasn’t quite as clear cut for me.

But hey, Power Rangers and the holidays. What’s better?

How about a trip to Vegas?! Tina and I are leaving for Vegas and we’ll be back on the 23rd. That means I won’t be weighing in for a bit.

My Vegas pledges? I’m going to enjoy myself, but I’m still going to eat as much real, healthy food as I can. We aren’t going to have a car, so we’ll be doing LOTS of walking. I’m going to take my heart rate monitor and make sure I get a good calorie burn in every day. I will also drink LOTS of water.

I’m still planning to be down to 369 by January 1st. I’m also not going to neglect this blog. I didn’t think to do this in enough time to get some guest posts, so instead, I’ve got a few blog posts scheduled to post while I’m in Sin City.

I’m going to post a few times about my Christmas ornaments. I’ve even got some that really are weight-loss themed. And of course, after Christmas, I’ll be sure to share photos of our eats, trips, sights, shows, and more.

If I don’t get to “speak” to you again before the holidays, have a Merry Christmas!

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Pre-Holiday Trifecta Weigh-In

It’s the Pre-Holiday Trifecta Weigh-in!

What do I mean by that? I’ll explain below. But first… the weigh-in!

September 9, 2011
Weight: 374.0
Change from Last Week: -1.8 pounds
Change from Highest: -28.8 pounds
Waist: 53.5”
Change of ½” since 9-2-11

Woo hoo! I definitely feel like I am on the right track now.

I’ll be honest – I had two pretty splurgy days this week. We had labor day at both my parents’ house and Tina’s mom’s. While I didn’t eat AWFUL, I did eat quite a bit, too. Lots of meat. Quite a bit of desserts. More than a few brats. And a few handfuls of chips. I feel confident in saying I didn’t binge, but I did eat WAY over my points.

However, and this is where I’m really proud of myself, I got back on track Tuesday morning. I didn’t say, “Eh, I’ll just wait ‘til Friday and start over.” I actually counted my points beginning Tuesday and just finished out my week.

I don’t know if I can stress how big a deal this is for me, because it’s HUGE! I am the King of the Delayed Start. “Well, it’s Sunday… and Mondays are better days to start a diet.” Or “I’ve heard that people who start a diet on Wednesday or more successful…” I seriously read that in the Weekly World News when I was about ten, and it’s been in my head ever since.

And who wouldn't believe such top-notch reporting...

And who wouldn't believe such top-notch reporting...

But I did it. I stuck to it. I’ve been running. I’ve been counting my points. I’ve been eating a spinach salad every day for lunch. I’m doing this.

Why didn’t I do it sooner? I dunno. Doesn’t really matter, though, does it? I’m doing it now.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to drop big numbers like I did when I lost weight the first time in my mid-to-late twenties. I’m 33, and honestly, even at 33, my metabolism is slower than it was five years ago.

But it doesn’t matter. The weight is coming off.

Why the holiday trifecta? In the past, I could have easily made an excuse for just waiting until New Years to start a diet. After all, we have Halloween (candy!), Thanksgiving (turkey!), and Christmas (everything!) coming up. Oh, and Tina and I are going to Vegas (Buffets!) in December, too. Not this year. I’ll diet hard until then. I’ll indulge a bit on and around each holiday. I’ll keep track of my points. In Vegas, we’ll do some running on the strip every day. I’ll exercise. I may not lose weight over Christmas, but I’ll at least gain less than I have in years past. I’ll enjoy my life. I’ll keep getting smaller.

The holiday trifecta will be here next year, too. It isn’t like this magical food only happens once in a while. It happens all the time. And I’ll enjoy it. In moderation.

I realize I have not lost enough weight this time to truly say, “You can do it! Don’t give up! We can do this together!” Except I’m going to. We can do this together! If you are struggling with your weight, join me, and we’ll be thirty to forty pounds lighter by the end of the year. If we don’t… well, then what?

Do you have a survival plan for the upcoming holidays?

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New Years’ Resolution Update: March Edition

It’s time that I mentioned my resolution update for the month of March, isn’t it? Especially now that the month is HALF FREAKING OVER. When did that happen? Who took the first half of March? Well, enjoy, because the April update will be coming in about two and a half weeks. *sigh* Is time going faster because I’m getting older?

Lose 120 pounds.
February’s Goal: To get below 352
The verdict: It didn’t happen, but that’s okay. I weighed 364.2 when the year started. Last Friday, I weighed 355.1 Okay, it took me two months to lose that, but you know what, I am apparently a slow loser. I yearn for the day when the weight suddenly just falls off of me like hot butter, (mmm… butter), but that day isn’t here yet. For now, I’ll cherish every pound I lose, no matter how long it takes. I’m not going to change my resolution to lose 120 pounds, even though I can realistically say that it looks less and less likely that is going to happen. But you know what? If I weigh fifty pounds less on January 1, 2012, I’m still going to consider my weight loss in 2011 a success.
March’s Goal: To get below 350.

Bench press 180 pounds.
February’s Goal: Increase bench press to 140.
The verdict: Not yet. I tried, but I hit a wall on my bench press. I may have even tried to do too much too fast. I can do 140 one rep (not a big deal – everyone can do more on one rep than a set), but I want to do 180 as a set, not a one-time look-what-I-can-do kind of thing. (Honestly, I *might* be able to do 180 now as one-set-who-cares-about-form. Not my idea of fun or an accomplishment, so I’m not even trying.) So we’ll keep at it.
March’s Goal: Increase bench press to 140.

Eat 52 new vegetarian dishes over the course of the year.
February’s Goal: Report on all four February dishes and plan out all four of March’s.
The verdict: I am getting rid of this resolution. It has become a chore. I’m very picky when it comes to fruit and veggies, and I’m finding that yeah, I have tried most of what is available around here, and I like what I like and I hate what I hate. Parsnips suck. I’m still eating healthy, and in fact, I have recently learned that I love salads with salsa as dressing. Who knew? So this one is going bye bye and will not make another appearance until December 31, 2011, when I post my yearly review and proclaim this resolution as DEAD. I do have a foodie thing coming soon (later this week), but I’m not going to hold myself to a firm schedule or try to increase my taste buds. More info soon, I promise.

Become an ACE certified personal trainer with at least two clients by year’s end.
February’s Goal: Study through Chapter Two of ACE’s Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals textbook.
The verdict: *sheepish look* Work was really busy, okay! But I am working my way through Chapter One. I’ve got ‘til August to take the test… and I’ve got a great idea for getting clients AFTER my certification… Look, I’ll do better this month.
March’s Goal: Study through Chapter Two of ACE’s Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals textbook.

Complete (and edit) that young adult novel that keeps popping up in my brain.
February’s Goal: Write 8,000 more words on my young adult novel.
The verdict: Woo hoo! Success! I found my muse for a few days and got out my required 8,000 words plus a few thousand more. Best yet, I am LOVING this story, and I can’t wait to share it when everyone!
March’s Goal: Write 5,000 more words on my young adult novel.

Attempt to have my watercolor paintings put up in the gallery at the local library.
February’s Goal: Paint at least two paintings in my series.
The verdict: Apparently, I can only have one creative muse inspired at a time. The watercolor muse has taken a hike. Hopefully, that can be reclaimed in March.
March’s Goal: Paint at least ONE painting in my series.

Create an online store to sell my photographs, space paintings, and watercolor paintings (and other arty things, including light-up wine bottles).
February’s Goal: Open store.
The verdict: I did it! Not much in it yet (one item) and no sale, but my store at etsy at least exists! Please check it out at http://www.etsy.com/shop/stellarpath and buy stuff, okay? I’m poor and need to make monies!

Build my first ever snowman.
February’s Goal: Make a snowman, even if it is a tiny snowman.
The verdict: Did it! Already posted about it! http://www.stellarpath.net/2011/02/resolution-accomplished/ Yay snowman!

Send 100 letters out through The Mail Project.
February’s Goal: Mail out fifteen letters, eight for February and seven that I missed in January.
The verdict: Well I suck-diddly-uck. You know, when you love your job, it’s easy to get busy with work. And I’ve honestly been so busy, a LOT of stuff like this went by the wayside. Don’t give up on me, though. The Mail Project will be coming back!
March’s Goal: Mail out five letters. Easy and doable. Just do it.

Take Tina to Las Vegas after she graduates.
February’s Goal: Put this one on the back burner until May 2011 when I re-evaluate our finances.
The verdict: Still backburnered.
March’s Goal: Will remain backburnered until Tina graduates.

Visit at least one more National Park.
February’s Goal: Reference the Vegas trip.
The verdict: Ditto. Not yet.
March’s Goal: Will remain backburnered until Tina graduates.

Begin work on my doctorate.
February’s Goal: Back burnered until May 2011.
The verdict: I’ve been toying with this one for a while, and I’m giving it SERIOUS thought to waiting until after I’ve started a family to seriously pursue my doctorate. I know it will take a LOT of hard work, and I want to give it my all when I finally do start. I’ll still pursue educational pursuits in the time being, but I think babies might be more in my future before an Ed or Ph.D. are. (And no, we’re not having babies YET.)

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January Resolutions Update

2011 is shaping up to be a good year. I made some big resolutions, and rather than make them and just hope they were accomplished by December 31, 2011, I decided to break them up into small, manageable goals. Every month, I plan to report on how I’ve done and set goals for the next month.

So how have I done? The bold is my resolution and below it is what I wanted to accomplish in January.

One quick note – a lot of bloggers (present company included) make a big deal about labeling everything as a failure or a success. I’m not going to curse myself with the word Fail for those goals I did not accomplish as I had planned. I will therefore have successes and Not Yets.

Lose 120 pounds.
January’s Goal: To get below 350
The verdict: Not yet. I’m not going to beat myself up, though. I weigh 358 right now. I weighed 364.2 when the year started. That is six pounds. Is it amazing? Nah, it’s okay. But what is amazing is that even if my weight loss doesn’t increase, I will still weigh 72 pounds less on January 1, 2012, and THAT is amazing.
February’s Goal: To get below 352

Bench press 180 pounds.
January’s Goal: Increase bench press to 140.
The verdict: Not yet. When I got my eye infection, I got grounded from the gym, and I didn’t put the time in on my bench press early in the month like I should have. I am still benching 135.
February’s Goal: Increase bench press to 140.

Eat 52 new vegetarian dishes over the course of the year.
January’s Goal: Report on all four January dishes and plan out all four of February’s.
The verdict: Success! I ate Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas, Savory Sweet Potato Chips, Spicy Brussels Sprouts, and Roasted Asparagus. I have my vegetarians dishes planned for February as well.
February’s Goal: Report on all four February dishes and plan out all four of March’s.

Become an ACE certified personal trainer with at least two clients by year’s end.
January’s Goal: Study through Chapter Four of ACE’s Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals textbook.
The verdict: Not yet. When I made this goal, I’ll admit to having only skimmed the book. I suspected this textbook (a good thick textbook, too) would have twenty or so chapters. Nope, only five. Five chapters of about 100 pages each it seems. But I did do some work, albeit not as much as I planned. I have to get cracking, though. My testing certificate expires in August!
February’s Goal: Study through Chapter Two of ACE’s Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals textbook.

Complete (and edit) that young adult novel that keeps popping up in my brain.
January’s Goal: Write at least 12,000 words on the tentatively titled Athena Institute.
The verdict: Not yet. However, I made some headway, and I’m grateful for that. I may have not written 12,000 words, but I did write 3,648.
February’s Goal: Write 8,000 more words on my young adult novel.

Attempt to have my watercolor paintings put up in the gallery at the local library.
January’s Goal: Come up with theme for series and paint at least seven paintings in said series.
The verdict: Not yet. But wow, that was ambitious. I have decided on my theme, which is going to be Fitness and Weight Loss. I have not yet painted a single painting, however.
February’s Goal: Paint at least two paintings in my series.

Create an online store to sell my photographs, space paintings, and watercolor paintings (and other arty things, including light-up wine bottles).
January’s Goal: Open store.
The verdict: Not yet. I picked out some photographs to sell, and I’ve rounded up some wine bottles, and I’ve even started the process of making my store, but I haven’t actually put anything into it yet.
February’s Goal: Open store.

Build my first ever snowman.
January’s Goal: If there is a snow in January (and there better be), build a snowman. Complete with scarf and carrot nose.
The verdict: Not yet. We had a few tiny snows, but nothing more than two inches or so.
February’s Goal: Make a snowman, even if it is a tiny snowman.

Send 100 letters out through The Mail Project.
January’s Goal: Send out eight letters.
The verdict: Not yet. I mailed out one letter.
February’s Goal: Mail out fifteen letters, eight for February and seven that I missed in January.

Take Tina to Las Vegas after she graduates.
January’s Goal: Put aside $100 to help pay for trip.
The verdict: Back burnered, at least for a while. Tina and I have quite a bit of credit card debt. Far more than I am comfortable having. We will have paid off one credit card entirely here in the next few weeks, but we still have one to go. I can’t in good conscience go on a vacation when I have bad debt. I still hope to take Tina to Vegas before the year is over (maybe over Christmas break this year), but I have to take care of our bad debt first.
February’s Goal: Put this one on the back burner until May 2011 when I re-evaluate our finances.

Visit at least one more National Park.

January’s Goal: See above, in saving up for Vegas trip.
The verdict: Ditto. Not yet.
February’s Goal: Reference the Vegas trip.

Begin work on my doctorate.
January’s Goal: Successful start classes this Spring semester, which begins January 24th.
The verdict: Not yet. The online class I had hoped to take ended up not happening through the fault of no one. It just didn’t make. It looks like any post-graduate work will have to wait until summer at the soonest.
February’s Goal: Back burnered until May 2011.

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Weigh-Ins
12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)