A Great Loss

This weekend I achieved a goal that I’ve been working toward for awhile: I dropped below 130 pounds. As of Saturday morning, I weighed in at 129.9 (I know, just barely below, but a win is a win). This was exciting for me, because I haven’t been this light in three years. Once we decided to relocate to Washington in early 2010, I got lazy about the gym, and the stress of preparing for an out-of-state move combined with bad eating habits left me much heavier.
In October of 2010, I discovered Zumba. Taught by the wonderful Nancy McFadden, my Zumba class is not just about losing weight, it’s about being the best person you can be…mind, body, and spirit. And for me, Nancy’s class was life-changing. Long before I started seeing more favorable numbers on the scale, I noticed awesome changes in my attitude, self-confidence, and outlook on life. I’ve become a braver and better person in the last two years and I credit Nancy and the rest of my Zumba friends with a lot of the improvements in myself.
I do Zumba workouts three to four times a week. Nancy’s classes are on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights, and recently I’ve added in Saturday morning workouts as well. On non-Zumba days I work out at the gym that we have onsite at my office. I can either take lunchtime classes (I do way better in a structured class than in the gym by myself) or hit a treadmill after work if I can’t make it to a class.
Even though I was enjoying Zumba and I did lose a little bit of weight, I didn’t really see any major changes until recently, when Paul and I made a pact to lose weight together before our December vacation to Hawaii. I introduced him to Lose It, a web-based application to track your calories and exercise. When I set up an account on Lose It, I input my height, what I weighed, and what I wanted to weigh. Then I decided what pace I wanted to lose at (in other words, how many pounds a week I aimed to lose). Then the app calculated how many calories I could have a day to keep me on track to meet my goals. The math is simple: the more exercise you get, the more calories you burn, so the more you can eat. Paul and I have had a lot of success with this app and I recommend it to everyone. So if you want to track calories, sign up for Lose It and add me as a friend, so we can motivate one another!
Another great weight loss tool that I swear by was introduced to me by my friend Cambria, who among other things is a Beach Body Coach. When she came to visit me earlier this year (I hosted a Scentsy party, as she is also a fabulous Scentsy consultant!), she fixed herself a morning Shakeology shake and let me have some to try. I was instantly hooked. In short, Shakeology is the best lunch ever. As it explains on the website, “This patented daily nutritional shake helps your body gently eliminate toxins more efficiently while allowing for better absorption of the essential nutrients you need.” For me as a consumer, replacing my lunchtime meal with a Shakeology shake helps me to feel full all afternoon, yet stay on track to losing weight. It’s healthier than Lean Cuisines or other such fare that I would bring for a quick lunch. I make a shake in the morning, using a packet of Shakeology, some ice, and a cup of soy milk. I put it in a travel cup to keep it cold, and when I get to work I stick the cup in the fridge til lunchtime. Delicious!
Something that I remind myself of constantly is that this is NOT a diet. This is a change to my lifestyle for long-term health and happiness. The changes I’ve implemented are things that I need to stay in the habit of doing forever. I haven’t given up foods I really love, and I still eat pizza and cupcakes…in moderation. I don’t deprive myself of anything, but I’m getting better at assessing whether I really need to eat something. I’m hoping that I can continue to make and maintain good habits and see lower numbers on the scale.
My goal weight is 125 pounds. Now that I’m less than five pounds away from that goal, I’m super excited to reach it and then focus on maintaining my weight and healthy habits.

The Great Hair Debacle

Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that I’m no stranger to changing my hair, and often do it to alleviate boredom. This year I’ve had very long hair that fell halfway down my back, a shorter collarbone-length style, and currently have it in lots of choppy layers. The color has been brown, brown with blonde highlights, entirely blonde…and now that fall is here, I’ve decided it’s time to go back to my, er, roots and dye it red again.
I know that every hairdresser on the planet is cringing when I say that I’m an old friend of box dyes. Yes, yes, you’re not supposed to color your own hair, you’re supposed to go in and have your stylist do it….yada yada yada, blah blah blah. I KNOW. So really there is no one but me to blame for what happened on Saturday morning.
I got up early, watched some tv while munching breakfast, then headed into the bathroom to begin my transformation. I’d chosen a box of copper red, because I wanted a more dramatic change than just blonde to strawberry blonde. I pulled on the little plastic gloves, mixed up the dye, and went to work. I finished up, set the timer, and went off to fold a load of laundry until it was time to rinse my hair.
Fast-forward to me, post-shower, staring at my still-wet strands of hair. I could already tell this wasn’t going to be good. I’ve never actually had a botched dye job before, so I tried to take deep breaths and tell myself it’d be okay once I dried my hair. Determined to prove my nervousness silly, I whipped out the blow dryer and meticulously dried my hair.
Yup, it was orange. Bright, circus clown orange.
I debated what to do. I called my friend Maggie, who colors her hair just as frequently as I do, and asked her advice. She recommended coloring my hair again, this time using a medium brown, but warned me to lay off until tomorrow if I could.
Well, I couldn’t, so I booked my orange-headed ass to Fred Meyer for more hair dye.
Approximately forty minutes later, my hair was colored, rinsed, and dried again. To my relief, it looked normal. A lot darker than I’d originally planned, but it was at least a color found in nature. Now that the shock’s worn off, I actually really like the new color.
I’ll probably wait a couple months before coloring again, to give my hair a chance to recover a bit from the recent assault of dyes. And next time, I may just fork over the cash to bring in a professional to get the job done right.