90 Day Weigh-in!

This is it! Today is Day 90. I made it. I checked the weight this morning at 6:30AM and am proud to say, I weighed in at 128.5lbs! Hallllllelujah! I am currently a size 4/6! What a trip this has been and I thank you wonderful blog readers for all your support. From this point on, I don’t think I’ll be blogging about my fitness throughout the day, nor will I be posting all of the major meals I consume. However, I will still be talking about all the phenomenal things there are to do in NYC and will be posting my photos and descriptions, so stay tuned!

Top 10 Things I Learned From 90 Days of Diet and Exercise:

  1. I think it’s important to set a short term goal. There is no way that people can be sane and restrict themselves this much, unless you have a set date when you will stop the craziness and start just maintaining. 90 days was the perfect amount of time for me. Sure, I’d still love to be able to run 3 miles without huffing and puffing (Or would I? OK–the truth is I doubt I will ever have a love for running. I still find it really boring, but I think all of you runners are phenomenal!!) Yah, I still have fitness goals and push ups to do, so I will keep going. But, no more of this 1300 calories a day nonsense!
  2. It is much easier to maintain weight than lose it. All of you dieters are amazing and courageous for taking the steps to do this. Do not be discouraged because you see your very in shape friends, “eating what they want.” First of all, it’s not necessarily true that they eat what they want. You’re not constantly around them. Secondly, they probably eat delicious things, but listen to their body when it tells them they are full. Thirdly, your body is different! You respond differently than anyone else, so stop comparing yourself! For my weight and height, in order to maintain my current weight, I can now have around 1900-2000 calories a day. I used an app called “Lose It” on my iPhone to help me determine that, which I highly recommend!
  3. Do not let all those people and their opinions get to you! I know that sometimes it’s hard to work out when your supporters say You’re insane, How could you deny yourself? A little alcohol never hurt anyone! OH, just TRY one, Don’t be THAT person, But you don’t need to lose any weight, You seriously aren’t going to be eating out tonight?! The truth of the matter is that you know how much you need to lose, where your natural weight point is and how you want to feel.
  4. I think it’s smart to lose weight in a slow and healthy way, meaning 1-2lbs a week, especially when you’re at a lower weight. Although Gaiam tried to give me diuretics and food suppressants, I followed my doctor’s advice and did not take them. I know that I was removed for not losing enough weight; however at Day 69, I had lost 17lbs. I think that was very healthy and I felt great. Now I have lost 24.5lbs in three months. For my height and size, it is very healthy, no matter what anyone said and I am confident in my choices over the last three months.
  5. It helps to have a workout buddy. My mom has a friend that comes to her house several times a week to take an hour long walk together–she has told me she loves taking walks, but probably wouldn’t go on an hour long evening walk on her own. I had a whole team of supportive amazing buddies in this program. I recommend participating in a class. You eventually get to know people and then they worry and question you when you don’t show up. It’s a good motivator.
  6. It makes a major difference to put on good music when you work out. I’m still a sucker for lectures, audio-books and talk radio when I walk, but I’m trying to put on music that makes me jump and want to dance when I work out. It truly, truly makes a huge difference in the length and energy of your workout!
  7. Once you get started, you want to continue. That first week was tough for me. I really didn’t know if I could last 90 days, even though it’s not a long time in the span of a life time. But, when you’re doing something new or different in your life, it can be extremely difficult. Once I got past that hump, I just wanted to keep going. As I saw results, I wanted to keep going even more!
  8. Cheat meals are super important! Once a week, I would try a really scrumptious meal or have a little extra something, whether it was a piece of chocolate or a couple of icecream cones or even those liquid calories in a nice glass of scotch. It satisfied my craving and then made me want to work out hard again for the rest of the week. The problem is that in our society of instant gratification, it’s very easy to then want more and more and more! My suggestion is to just allow yourself one cheat meal.
  9. If you fall off the wagon, get back on right away. It’s OK, it really is! If you eat a 4000 calorie lunch because of unforeseen circumstances, all is not lost. The next moment, start again. All of your work and effort is not lost. Your body still has that muscle you were working on and it still is craving for you to walk it to the gym.
  10. Be grateful and thankful to those who support you and love you. I know that this extra thing in my life, plus the hours spent on the blog, challenged me in many ways. I was not always pleasant to be around in my state of sleep deprivation and yet my husband, family and friends were always kind and complimentary. I do get rosy cheeks when I get all these wonderful compliments from all of you wonderful and supportive people, but I promise that I heard and was grateful for each word. It helped a lot when I was down or too tired to push myself to work out. Thank you SO much for all of your support

Now, it’s your turn! In the comments below, share what you’ve learned in a similar journey you’ve taken.

Breakfast: I woke up this morning, pretty pumped that it was Day 90; however, I was feeling awful side effects from a pneumonia shot, so it took all of my effort to get on the treadmill this morning. I didn’t do a full half hour, I just did 19 minutes, but I thought that was pretty good considering the state I was in!  Then, I jumped into a delicious bowl of Lucky Charms with 1% Milk. I normally go for Skim, but again, in my state, I didn’t realize that I grabbed the wrong milk. They were certainly magically delicious and I deserved this treat!

Lunch: I had a sensible lunch with chicken and whole wheat pasta and some melted cheese because I knew that dinner was going to be at my favorite burger joint!

Dinner: Jackson Hole Mexican Burger with Steak Fries. I didn’t eat it all, though I tried and felt extremely full when I left! Pardon for the blurry image, but this was the last day and the final meal of Day 90! I was looking forward to my treat!

Awesome Skating

I was walking home from an awesome workshop at Adorama, when I saw some skaters in Union Square. I stopped and took some photos. I set my camera to do continuous shots and set it to be on shutter speed and captured some neat shots of Gabriel trying out a fakey 360 kick flip. It’s fun to make friends while photographing and he was amazing. He would jump high in the air and would try to conquer this move in the crazy heat, even after falling and hurting himself.

Breakfast: A medley of fruit.

Lunch: Vegetable Burrito, with Beans, Rice and Veggies.

Dinner: Cous Cous, Beef and Green Peppers.

So I Was Taking a Walk…

…when all of a sudden Ray stopped and said, “Hang on a minute.” I always have my camera with me to take shots at any moment and this was one of those days that I was very grateful for my aching shoulder and permanent accoutrement.

When I turned, I saw Ray peeping out from a tree with this chicken near the trash. Where did the chicken come from? What was it doing? Why did someone have a chicken in their small Manhattan apartment? These are questions that may never be answered, but I have a chicken and a photo to forever capture this moment.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Cinnamon and Raisins.

Lunch: Leftover Panang Curry and Rice.

Dinner: Two slices of Green Pepper and Pepperoni Pizza.

Horror Housing in Jersey City

I had planned on going to a class with Green Smoothie Girl, but it was canceled due to inclement weather, so I went apartment hunting with a friend instead. I should have listened to my gut many times throughout the night, but I was also trying to be considerate of my friend.

To start, a worker from a management company was supposed to meet us at 4PM. When we called him, he told us that he would be two hours late. I was weary at this point, but still went along on this adventure. We decided to go eat and take our time getting to Journal Square in Jersey City. When we got there at 6PM, we contacted him and he said he would pick us up in an hour. At this point, I was very annoyed, but still was going along with this. Another girl, who lived in this area and recommended him, decided to take us to her apartment while we waited. Her apartment was really great, it was about a two block walk from the PATH train and we were hoping that the cost and apartment type would be similar. She was renting it for $700 a month–though it was a studio apartment, it had a hallway entrance into the apartment and a hallway to the bathroom, so it felt much larger than a studio.

After three hours of waiting, we called the manager again and he said that he would be there in 20 minutes. I couldn’t believe it. At this point, we had waited for 3 hours and we were going to have to wait another 20 minutes. Needless to say, I finally had had enough and called him myself. He hung up on me several times, told me he couldn’t pick us up because his car was stolen and he was in a cab, but finally arrived after four hours of waiting for him.

I am not sure why I got in the van, but I guess at this point, it was more the culmination of waiting for so long and the hope that my friend would get a similar apartment for a similar price. What ensued was nothing like I imagined. He pulled up in a large red construction van filled with about 6 guys and tons of construction equipment. After the girl who dealt with him assured us that he was fine, we squeezed into the front seat of the van and were on our way.

After seeing that we were driving further and further away from the train station, I spoke up and said, “Where are you taking us? You’re going far from the train station.” I also said a few other things that are not appropriate to write. He told me that he was just taking us to see a great apartment. I should mention that while he drove, he dropped off the various workers at different points along the road to take care of their errands.

After I spoke, he turned the wheel and I saw that we were in a completely different neighborhood. It was not a place that I could imagine my friend walking home to after she got off the train at 11PM. He parked and outside the van was a prostitute. I just laughed. I mean, what was this? I knew that this story would just make a good blog post now, so I just wanted to see the apartment because it was obvious that it would be bad. If only I had the gall to photograph all I saw in those few moments, but all I can give you are these few photos I have.

We entered through a broken down door through a hallway filled with garbage, beer and large hard liquor bottles. To the right was the door where my friend, Monika, could possibly live. An eviction notice was posted on the door and that was just one of the 1000 red flags that occurred to me in a matter of seconds. After he unlocked 2 deadbolts and a padlock, we walked into the 250 square foot studio. The smell was like a punch to the face. The filth was not surprising, but the bugs made me suddenly itchy and want to get the heck out. The best part was that a man, clearly high on something followed us into this very small space and mumbled something, then walked out.

I asked him if he would allow his sister to live here and he laughed and then said that he would, but he understood that I was “too educated” to live in a place like this. Nonetheless, the price was $725 and it included everything. What I wanted to know was if his price included the bugs!

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Cinnamon and a Banana. I apologize, there is no photo of oatmeal this morning! I was rushing this morning and I had the choice of eating a full breakfast or only half and having a photograph of it. I chose the former.

Lunch: Panang Curry with Brown Rice.

Dinner: Chicken Terriyaki Salad. Remember when I said we took our time and ate? This is what I had. Delicious!

Ice Cube Assault

I was assaulted by an ice cube today. Within two days, two ice cubes caused me to bleed! I didn’t even think that was a possibility, but now I will be cautious as I approach the freezer to get a cold drink!

Breakfast: Ryvita Crackers (40 cal per cracker), Laughing Cow, and a Peach

Lunch: Leftover Thai!

Dinner: Whole Wheat Pasta

Manhattanhenge

As you all know, I have a passion for photography. I found out about Manhattenhenge from my friend, Joanna, who is another lawyer into photography. This is one day of the year where the sun perfectly lines up with the street and you can get some really interesting photos. So, you can see all the crazy photographers running into the middle of the street when the light changes to take photos! You only have a matter of seconds to get your shot, so everyone is aggressively taking photos.

There’s really a lot of ways to take interesting photos of the day. As I’ve mentioned before, I like to take HDR photographs. This time, I chose not to do that, but my husband did. He took 7 photographs on a tripod and we post processed them by combining them in Photomatix Pro. The result is beautiful. I begrudgingly will admit that he definitely took the better photos today.

I decided to use my 18-200 lens and zoom in on the interesting Times Square stuff on 42nd Street, while the sun hit the street. I had my ISO set at 1000 and my Fstop was at 22. I had my camera on manual focus and my shutter speed was 1/80.

Breakfast: Cornflakes and Skim Milk.

Lunch: Ham and Cheese on Multigrain Flatbread. While I ate, I researched some trip ideas in my Lonely Planet guide.

Dinner: Panang Curry with Sticky Rice. I obviously did not eat that entire container. It lasted me a while.

The 80’s Attack with Awesome 80’s Prom!

I had a BLAST tonight at the Awesome 80’s Prom with my friend, Donnell. The fun started as we approached Webster Hall, with the actors already in character outside.

We dressed up in our 80’s clothing and headed out to party it up with the students of the Class of 1989! I wore my skinny jeans and David Bowie Shirt with star plastic earrings as a tribute to Gem and Donnell wore a Blondie shirt with Zebra skirt.

We danced and sang 80’s songs and interacted with the class actors. I got my picture taken with “MC Hammer.”

Donnell went up to the nerd homecoming nominee and chatted him up a bit. This is how their conversation went:

“Hey, it’s guys like you that I love. Wanna know why?”

“Why?”

“Because you do things like grow up and start Microsoft.”

He looked dumbfounded in his retainer and said, “What’s Mi-crow-soft?”

Even Screech —errr..I mean Dustin Diamond from Saved by the Bell was there! I feel him with the Celebrity Fit Club and could swap stories with him! And for all of you who don’t think he’s awesome, come here so I can punch you. So, yes, if you ask me…the Awesome 80’s Prom really is awesome!

Breakfast: Cheese Crepes with Apples

Lunch: Chicken and Whole Wheat Pasta with Alfredo Sauce.

Dinner: Personal Pizza!

Arlington National Cemetery

This morning started out with a trip to Arlington National Cemetery. I took this HDR photograph (or actually 7 photographs) of the cemetery. Combining the photographs produced this gorgeous effect. It’s always nice to have a lot of clouds and some interesting foreground. In this case, it was a numbered gravestone, typical in this cemetery.

Our purpose in this trip was to bury Ray’s grandmother in Arlington National Cemetery. She died last year, but her ashes were interred today.

Ray’s cousin Morgan prayed by the grave stone after the ceremony, while everyone else was walking back to their cars. I thought this image of her was beautiful and glad I snapped this shot.

Lunch: We didn’t eat breakfast, since we had planned to go eat around 10am after we were back from the cemetery. I had a very big lunch. What I consumed probably was around 2,000 calories. The “healthy” Blueberry Yogurt Shake was advertised at 600 calories and the Cheeseburger on a Glazed Bun and Fries were around 1500 calories.

Dinner: Because I consumed so much, I just couldn’t even force myself to eat dinner. I was outside of my daily limit during these 1300 calorie days and I felt full all day.

Long Bus Ride to Washington, DC

Ray snapped a shot of me working on my phone (thank God for smart phones!) as we rode on the Bolt Bus to DC. We got on the bus at 7:30PM and got to DC at 12:30AM. Ray’s parental unit picked us up and we went to our hotel near Arlington National Cemetery. We said our hellos very quickly to the rest of the family in the lobby and were off to bed.

Breakfast: Corn Flakes with Skim Milk.

Lunch: Mac and Cheese with Brocolli and Lots of Hot Peppers.

Dinner: I only ate breakfast and lunch today. I thought I’d have time to grab us some deli sandwiches before we got on the bus, but time ran short. Luckily, I had some apples and water with me, so we had a little snack during our 5 hour ride. My mother-in-law had delicious peaches with her in the car, so I had a mouth watering peach before I went to bed.

Concert Night

Tonight, after I worked out, I went to see Joe Firstman at the Rockwood Music Hall. For those of you who haven’t heard of him, you should check him out. He’s incredible and you will love his music. I’m going to write a more in-depth post about him this weekend, but for now, I’ll just post a photo of him. I will tell you that it was incredible and had extra suprises, but I will share those soon!

Breakfast: Apple Pancakes with Walnuts and Bacon.

Lunch: Whole Wheat Noodles with Beef. Of course, hot peppers were added.

Dinner: Thai Ginger Meatballs with Rice Noodles and Bok Choy

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