Monday, April 24, 2006

weekly update

This was a disappointing week for me. I didn't meet my goals which stinks but at least I haven't gained any weight. Here are the numbers:

Weight lost to date: 5.5 pounds. Considering that I've been doing this for a month, I was hoping for higher numbers. But my co-workers reassure me that I am probably gaining muscle mass. My favorite pants are really loose so that's encouraging.

Exercise: I didn't meet my goal of 5 times, but I did work out 4 times. A co-worker commented on my arms today:) Now if I could just lose the tummy roll...

Goals for this week: hmmm, this is hard. I still need to work on the water thing. I drink at least 4 cups while at work but I want to increase that. I want to try again for working out 5 times this week. I get paid this week so I'm going to buy a pair of running shoes. I'd like to start adding running to my workouts.

That's it for now. Two of my co-workers are also working really hard at losing weight, one has lost 18 and the other over 20 pounds. It's hard not to compare myself and wish I could lose it faster, but I keep trying to tell myself that it's worth it to lose it slower because it will more than likely stay off that way. In another 2 weeks I'll do some measurements to let you know if I've lost any inches.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I can not stop eating! Okay, that's not entirely accurate, but I have been craving food all day. It's driving me crazy! I try to focus on something else, but nothing is working. I've given in a couple of times but nothing helps.

The students are taking standardized tests all week so I have been sitting in a room with a bunch of restless kids every morning. There is a room set up especially for teachers with goodies and I stupidly went there this morning. I was so good, at first. There was a fruit tray so I grabbed some grapes and didn't even glance at the donuts (ummm, donuts...). As I was getting the grapes, there was a sign exclaiming, "fresh warm cookies available after 8 am!" My school doesn't just make any ol' cookies, these are Otis Spunkmeyer cookies! My curiousity got the best of me and I walked down around 9 am to check the situation. There were still piles of cookies left so I grabbed a couple, and they were still warm! Oh, it was so terrible!

As if that weren't bad enough, I also munched on a bag of cheddar and sour cream chips. Then, after dinner I was still craving something so I ate some vanilla wafers. Make it stop! I'm still wanting more food! But not just anything, I want junk! I think I've been depriving myself too long and now my body is rebelling.

By the way, don't worry; I am eating plenty of calories, so I'm not starving myself. My body just isn't satisfied with the spinach dinner salad with chicken or the whole wheat turkey sandwich I had for lunch.

Monday, April 17, 2006

weekly update

I'm not sure what to call my weekly updates. Diet update doesn't sound right because I'm not just doing it for a short time, I'm trying to make a lasting change to my eating habits. Exercise update doesn't fully encompass all that I want to include. Health update sounds like I'm ill or suffering from an illness. I'll come up with something more original.

Anyway, this week's update:
Weight loss: none. Yep, big disappointment. I was actually kind of surprised I didn't lose any weight because I was sick all last week and didn't eat much. Oh, well. I also only excercised 3 times so maybe that has something to do with it.

Exercise: 3 times. First time was at the beginning of feeling sick and I didn't do much, just walked on the treadmill and did some weights for about 15 minutes. The last two times I exercised was after I was feeling better. Those were decent workouts with 40 minutes of cardio and 30-40 minutes of weights.

Goals for this week:
1. Drink more water! I have fallen into the teacher trap of not drinking enough because we don't have a lot of opportunities to go to the bathroom, but this isn't good for my system. I want to bring more water bottles and leave them in a co-worker's fridge so they are always cold.
2. Work out 5 times this week.

Goals for the upcoming weeks:
1. Once I get paid at the end of the month, I'm going to invest in a new pair of running shoes so that I can start running again. I don't want to start up on my current pair as they are at least 2 years old.
2. Check out some of the aerobics classes offered at my gym. Who knows? They could actually be fun:)

That's it for now! Hopefully I'll have some lower numbers to report next week...


Remember that really hard oral proficiency test that I had to pass to become fully certified that I told you about, the one that I was certain I failed because I got so upset that I couldn't even finish and left the testing room crying, the one that 85% of non-native Spanish speakers fail the first time they take it, the one that only about 50% of native speakers pass the first time they take it? Well....

I PASSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That's right, I actually passed the test! You can not even begin to understand the state of shock I was in this morning when I got the email with my score. I barely passed, but it doesn't matter because I PASSED!!! I will never have to take it again, yippee! God totally gave me grace on this test because there is no way I could have passed it otherwise. The grader must have felt so sorry for me as they listened to me cry my way through the last few questions that I completed; maybe God made them pass me because of it. I don't really care, I'm just excited that I passed!
I need to celebrate, but I have no idea what to do. Any suggestions? Where's some Woodchuck when I need it?!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

more pics!

The bridge in the background is hard to make out, but Maracaibo is home to the world's longest concrete bridge. It spans about 5 miles! As I look at the picture, it appears that Maracaibo is very green, but don't be fooled! It is so hot there that grass does not grow naturally. Most yards are made of concrete.

Here are the beautiful, wonderful women in my Bible study while I was in Venezuela. We're standing in front of the VZ flag in my old apartment. Can you figure out which one I am? LOL!!!

This is a painting done by the second lovely lady from the right. She is very talented! It represents several aspects of life in Maracaibo. I proudly display it in my living room.

Easter candy

Every holiday has some kind of candy associated with it, and the candy companies love it. At Christmas you can find Santa shaped Snickers and tree shaped Reeces peanut butter cups. Valentines equals hearts. And of course, the best candy holiday of all, Easter. I think it all started with Easter and the other holidays felt jealous and slighted, so to even it all out, every holiday has candy. But nothing can beat Easter.

Why? you might ask. Because Easter is the only time you can get Cadbury Creme Eggs. These are the best chocolate treat ever. And I love that you can only get them at Easter which makes them extra special.

Easter candy doesn't exactly fit into my new nutritional plan. But, I do reward myself with a little treat on the days I have a few calories left over. Lately it has been with a small portion of Dreyer's Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mint ice cream (yum! who could ask for more?! fave cookie with fave dessert, delish!). I just went to Target to see if there was any candy left over and I hit the jackpot! Not only did they have Creme Eggs, but they now have the mini variety, which is perfect for my diet. Just enough to hit the spot. Plus, I feel like you get more for your money because the mini eggs come in a 12 pack so one per day, whereas you can't easily save any uneaten portion of the larger eggs (like there would be any uneaten portion left...).

Friday, April 14, 2006


Everyone has been posting pictures on their blogs so I need to jump on the bandwagon...

This is one of my favorite Maracaibo scenic pictures. This was the view outside my bedroom window; every evening there was a beautiful sunset to see, but because Maracaibo is so close to the equator, it lasted only a few minutes.I don't know why this one is turning out so weird, but here is a picture of one of my dearest Venezuelan friends. I haven't asked her for permission to post this, so I'll leave her name out for now. Check out my blonde hair!

That's it for now. Maybe I'll post more later.

day off

So far, I slept in until 7:30 and have eaten breakfast while watching the Today show. Not too exciting. I'm still feeling yucky, but not as yucky as before so I think I'm getting better. I think I'm going back to bed here in a few minutes.

My church is having a Good Friday service tonight, so I will hopefully feel up to going to that. I better take an ample supply of cough drops so that I don't disrupt the service. I've been struggling with how I should feel this week in light of Easter. Part of me wants to be somber and introspective, really reflecting on what the resurrection of Jesus means to my life. Another part of me is so self-consumed with my own issues that I feel nothing. I am thankful for Jesus and what He sacrificed for me, but I take it so for granted. I need a good dose of perspective; it is not all about me, no matter how much I want it to be.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

still sick

I've been sick four days now. It started as a sore throat and cough, and now major congestion has been added to it. I have almost completely lost my voice which my students love. It's interesting to discover which students really like you when you can't raise your voice so they tell people to "shut up, y'all!"

I sat in another teacher's class for a few minutes while she had something to do and in the midst I had a major coughing fit. Her class was horrified. Some thought I was dying, others covered their faces with their shirts to avoid my germs. As I'm hacking my brains out, face turing bright red from lack of oxygen, and trying to hold onto my water bottle to take a sip, all sense of dignity went out the window.

I probably should have stayed home today. At least I have tomorrow off.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

weekly exercise update

I have been doing really well going to the gym and eating right, that I am going to include a weekly update in the ol' blog so I can track my progress. Any encouragement that this warrents is well appreciated (hint, hint).

Last week I worked out 4 times, all of those time were pretty hard core workouts. I usually do a mix of 20-30 minutes on the eliptical and 15-20 minutes on the stair master, with some treadmill thrown in to help me cool down. In between the two machines I will do weights for 15 minutes, then after I finish the second round of cardio, I'll do 15 more minutes of weights. Saturday I worked out especially hard and Sunday I walked outside at a moderate pace for 1 hour (it was such a gorgeous day!).

Eating went extremely well, I'm quite proud of myself. I went to a party on Saturday evening and indulged in a chocolate chip cookie (just one) because I had been good all day. Sunday at Bible study someone had made cinnamon rolls and while they were very tempting, I didn't eat one, yay!

Okay, and now for the numbers! So far, I have lost 4 pounds! Yippee! I've only been doing the food bit for 2 weeks, so not bad. I've been working out for almost 4 weeks now and I can actually see muscle definition in my legs and I fit into a pair of jeans last week that I haven't worn in months. Baby just 20 more pounds to go! I should post pics every couple of weeks so you can see my progess. Now if I can just teach Simba to hold a camera...


What could be more embarrassing than being in Starbucks, paying for your latte and the barista hands your bankcard back and says, "it's been declined"? I didn't even have $3.57 to pay for my stinkin' latte! Thank goodness I had my Target card on me!

I'm horrible with finances. I get paid near the end of the month and it works out well because my bill are all due around the second week of the month of the following month. I pay them all (gotta love online bill pay!) and have a little bit left over for the rest of the month. And when I say a little, I mean VERY little. After I have filled up my car with gas, there's usually nothing left. It's a vicious cycle. I bought a skirt last month that I still haven't taken the tags off; I think I'll take it back to Kohl's and get my $20 back so I can have some grocery money...

Those of you that think teaching is a noble profession, would you mind writing to the Texas state government and beg for a pay raise? This is ridiculous!

sick, again!

My throat started hurting Saturday and then a cough developed yesterday. Now I feel all achy. Ick! Nothing's even going around right now! I have lost count of how many times I have been sick this year. At least I have Friday off so I can just sleep, although calling in sick tomorrow is very tempting. If I actually had everything ready for a sub, I think I would do it...

Friday, April 07, 2006


It is finally the weekend. Actually, the week flew by, but I am so exhausted that I could not have gone another day. I have big plans to sleep in tomorrow, work out, and then go to a party/get together that the single's ministry at the church I'm going to is having. Did I mention that before? I finally found a church I like. It's a long drive, but worth it.

My department head gave me some cool news today, but I can't post it because I'm not sure if my co-workers read my blog and it isn't really public yet. If you are interested in finding out what it is, email me and I'll fill you in.

Let's see, what else to blog about? My kids were a little nutso today. Spring fever is in full force. They weren't really misbehaving, they just could not stop talking for 2 seconds so I could explain their assignments. I had my Spanish II classes today and I really like them. The kids are funny and like me, even if they find my class completely boring and worthless. Not that I'm a teacher to be popular, and I do wish more of them liked Spanish. But at least if they like me, they are more willing to do their homework. One student in a level I class is pretty much failing every other class but she has an A in mine. She also told me once that if she had a problem with me, she would let me know, so I'm thinking she must like me since she has never given me too much attitude (and boy, is she capable of attitude!). Maybe, just maybe, I'm making a small difference in their lives.

Okay, enough ramblings for one post...

Thursday, April 06, 2006


I'm disappointed with so much, but mostly with my life. Why hasn't anything gone as I have wanted? It's like the prize dangles in front of me and just when I go to grab it, it is snatched away. Maybe my expectations are too high. I feel like they get lower and lower the longer I live. I don't want to bring anyone down with this post, these are just thoughts I have been processing over the last several weeks. Do you ever feel like you could fade away until you are completely invisible?

On a lighter note, only 7 more weeks of school. I've been thinking about what to do over the summer. Going home to Va ranks highest on the list. I really need to get a job though. Yep, I'm going to be one of those teachers that works during the summer. I could use the extra cash, that is for sure. I would also like to go to Orlando to visit some friends, but we'll see if it will work out. I think I will just sleep the first week of vacation because I am exhausted! In other news, I have started going to the gym regularly again and really watching what I eat. I almost don't want to say that because I don't want to jinx it, but it's fun to see some muscle definition and I have lost 2 pounds. I know, nothing to write home about, but I'm happy to see a little come off. If I could get back to my college weight, that would be amazing! I'll keep you updated...