Bad News on Day 69

I was on my way to my pilates workout and then an Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop Conference in the evening, when I received some bad news. I found out, by email, that I was kicked out of the program. Apparently, I didn’t meet their numbers and they cannot use my results, even though I may still be in some of the infomercial.

As you can imagine, I was shocked and disappointed by the news, so I skipped the pilates workout and went straight to the conference.  While walking there, I called my husband, my parents and a couple of friends before entering into the Manhattan Ballroom to begin learning about Adobe Photoshop CS5. I was so happy to talk to each of these people to make me feel better after this terrible news. My friends, Monika and Joanna, were so sweet to me–they bought me some cute gifts to console me! Who goes out of their way like that?! It also made me feel good to go to a photography conference and get absorbed in the vast amount of wonderful things that you can do with a program and a photo.

I have to say that I find being removed from the program completely unjustified and unwarranted. I lost my weight in a very healthy way over these last 69 days. To date, I’ve lost 17.5 lbs and have muscle in places I didn’t realize could have toning and strength. I also started out fairly small, with only 20 or so lbs to lose, so it’s shocking that 20 days before the program is over, I am kicked out.

After receiving this news, I took the weekend to think about it and made a few decisions.

  1. I decided that I would continue the 90 day program on my own because I still have my own goals to complete. I also want to do it for you wonderful readers who constantly urge me and inspire me to keep working hard to get to my ideal weight and strength.
  2. I promised 90 days, so I will definitely continue documenting my 90 days of food, workouts and activities. (Luckily, I can still take a few classes with Marina and she’ll be continuing classes afterward).
  3. I decided to unfreeze my gym membership and make sure I attain my goals, whether it takes 90 days or a bit longer.
  4. I wrote out my thoughts and emailed them to the Gaiam team, though I haven’t heard back yet.
  5. Even though I was kicked down and essentially slapped in the face, I decided to get back up and challenge myself without anyone backing me.

Breakfast: Yogurt and Granola Parfait.

Lunch: Chicken and Lite Cheddar Cheese with Red Crushed Peppers on a Multigrain Muffin.

Dinner: After the conference, Ray took me out for dinner to Jackson Hole, a fantastic burger place. After the depressing news today, I was really in the mood for a splurge. I had a Mexican Cheese Burger, with tons of fresh jalapenos and Steak Fries.

We also split a decadent chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. It was worth every bite.

A Happy Workout

I know I’ve talked about working out with Marina before, but I don’t think I’ve talked about how much I’m smiling and laughing throughout these workouts. Seriously, it is SO much fun to go workout and sing along with fun pop music and laugh when you get off rhythm, bounce around and try out dance moves.

In class, we will sing along to the music and sometimes, even get up in front of the class, and sing while we work out. Above, Samantha Croce, future Glee star, was singing a song and jumping up and down. It certainly takes talent to be able to jump around and sing, without sounding out of breath and Marina does it every day in class.

Just dancing in your living room burns calories and she teaches you to just never stop moving. This whole summer, I’ve been trying to be more active than ever. When I meet friends out, I try to meet them for a walk or to do something somewhat active. It makes you feel good and there’s no reason that every social activity has to revolve around comfort food. You can be social and move your body.

While we were working out, I kept running to get my camera from the back of the studio to snap up some shots and relay the fun of a workout. And, trust me, I don’t normally enjoy working out, but somehow that joy has come back this summer and weight loss has happened because of this fantastic woman and her unique way of looking at burning calories.

Here the class was jumping high. Look at Bridget, all the way on the left side of the photo, she’s jumping so high!

Breakfast: Egg and Broccoli Bake with Red Hot Sauce!

Lunch: Chicken, Brown Rice with Parsley and Egg Plant. A few spoons of hot sauce made it taste even better.

Dinner: Chicken with Rice Beans and Tomatoes.

Activities Galore

I stayed home today by request of my husband. He told me to stay in the living room and not to shower until a very important package arrived. Oh, yes, the iphone!  For those that pre-ordered, we got iphones a day earlier than you could get them in long lines at the Apple stores!

As soon as I got the new iphone, I headed out the door to enjoy the gorgeous day. I took care of errands that I am normally not able to take care of and enjoyed myself immensely in the sun.

I had a very tough workout, which made me sweat unbelievably. Luckily, I had my change of clothes with me, took a “shower” with a towel, water and cologne and headed out for my active evening.  The more active you are, even if it’s walking from activity to activity, the more calories you burn. Obviously, when I am active, especially within this goal of 90 days, I work hard to avoid eating out at these activities and I don’t touch any alcohol. I don’t love to “spend” my calories on a liquid diet, so I avoid juices as well. Though I am always tempted by mouthwatering appetizers and glasses of wine, I keep telling myself that end goal is important.

At the Foreign Lawyers Association, I sat with a friend of mine and watched her drink a beer. I treated myself to water with a huge squeeze of lemon. Water just tastes so refreshing on a hot day and squeezing a lemon in there is that extra cherry on top.

Then, I met another friend and took the subway down to SideBar for a pre-game Twilighters Party with my book club girls. We received all sorts of swag, such as t-shirts, bracelets, pens, pins and a downloadable Eclipse Soundtrack. At the party, I found out that I was definitely invited to a pre-screening of the movie the following Monday. I have been waiting for these movies every since I read the books a year ago, so this was exciting news!

Breakfast: Egg Sandwich (of, course it’s on a 100 calorie multigrain muffin!) and Earl Grey Tea with Lemon.

Lunch: Tandori Chicken with Green Beans, Cabbage, Zuchinni and Tomatoes. The new iphone made an appearance in this photo!

Dinner: Chicken and Veggie Medley

Book Club Treats

I belong to an amazing book club, run out of Brooklyn by a group of fabulous women. It all started with the love for the Twilight series, and because of that, we are called Twilighters United.

Besides sharing our love of various books with each other, we obviously see the Twilight movies together and go to see other movies together whenever we can.

So, after I got in a really great workout for an hour with Marina, I got another perk from my book club.

Tonight, we got a chance to see a free pre-screening of Knight and Day at the Union Square Regal Theatre.  It was a really funny action movie. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I love action movies, but I never find them hilarious. Take James Bond, for example, which has some funny moments, but an overall serious tone. This was quite opposite. I also found Tom Cruise perfect for the role, despite all of his recent wackiness!

Breakfast: Egg Sandwich on Multigrain Muffin.

Lunch: Cous cous with Tomatoes, Olives and Feta Cheese.

Dinner: Normally, when it’s this late, I don’t want to eat anything, but I was really hungry, since I forgot to bring my afternoon snack with me. I was also hungry, after smelling the popcorn all throughout the movie. Luckily, my friend brought some cherries with her into the theatre to keep me a little satiated, but I was looking forward to a real meal. Chicken with Veggie Medley.

Relaxing Evening

After all that filming yesterday and the Polish election stuff on Saturday, I was so worn out, I didn’t do anything all that special in the evening.

I fit in my “No Jiggle in June” pushups and did my 20 pushups, and did 100 crunches and went to bed by 11PM.

Here’s what I ate:

Breakfast: Egg White Frittata on Whole Grain 100 Calorie Bun with Hot Sauce.

Lunch: Sloppy Joe on a Multigrain Muffin.

Dinner: Salmon with Brown Rice and Carrots, Peas, Broccoli and Peppers. There’s a pretty cookie jar behind it, but there aren’t any cookies in it, unless I can find 15 calorie cookies some day…! I try to keep that stuff out of the house, in order to be strict to my diet.

Time to Film Again!

I was back in the Metrodaylight Studios to film again to show off all the fantastic weight loss! I’ve lost 16lbs to date and feel fantastic. I have about 10-12lbs to go until my ideal weight, which I was around 6 years ago. I fell off track and now I’m getting back on target. I have to say, we all have a time and place that works for us when we’re ready to get on the weight loss journey. We just have to find that time and commit to it.

This is a great photo displaying my favorite jeans. I love these jeans that I’ve had them for two years, even though I’ve had to patch the inner thighs several times! Here I’m in a size 12 jean and now that I’m a size 6, they are very loose on me.

Alby did my makeup and covered all those pesky blemishes.

After my weigh-in, I had some water and my snack, a green apple. I didn’t have time to have breakfast this morning. The night before I was at the Polish Consulate for the election and got home very early in the morning, with just enough time to get a couple hours of sleep. Besides, it’s a nice trick to feel like you get your actual weight before you eat!

I brought my lunch with me, but I wasn’t hungry (that’s a surprise because I normally gobble up all of my 1300 calories). My second snack later in the afternoon was a chocolate 160 calorie muffin.

While waiting for my turn to do my testimonial or exercise on film, I had some fun with photography. I took a few photos of some friends from this program. This shot is Marina, in her usual perfect form.

I used onone to create an old world Hollywood effect on Dawn. I think the photo turned out really well, especially with her tossing her hair so beautifully.

This was one of my favorite photos of the day. Cat put on swimmies and laid out in the studio space. She had the perfect look on her face to make shooting her truly fun.

At one point, I looked over and saw Bumper jumping off of the wall. I changed my shutter speed and caught a few shots of him on his way down. Then, I decided to make the shot more interesting by detailing him and making him glow from the wall. I go back and forth with cropping out the left side of the photo. For now, I leave it uncropped.

Anna Flores, a photographer, took this neat shot of me. I enhanced it a bit by adding a cool high key to it. I was trying to be very serious, but every few seconds, she had me laughing hard.

We took group shots of the classmates in the program. This is a great group of people and I feel honored to know all of them!

By the afternoon, it was time to get up and exercise in front of the camera. Luckily, Marina was there to lead us and keep our rhythm together, like she has every day!

We had to do a group testimonial and Marina rallied the group with her high energy, singing and laughter!

I was told to get out in front of the group and do some pushups, so I did just that!

We were so excited, we all did a group high-five. This was a fantastic day, despite the lack of sleep I had had for the past three nights.

The afternoon was quickly becoming evening and you can see some of that effect of the sun in the studio. I was called back to do an individual testimonial about the program before I left for the day. After this eventful day, I headed to St. Francis of Assisi to experience an amazing Mass and chatted with some Franciscan Friars. I walked home, threw some sort of food item into my system (I can’t even remember what it was!) and crawled into bed and slept for hours and hours.

Wedding Dress Shopping

After a tough pilates workout (my arms and abs are very sore!), I ran over to meet my friends to do some wedding dress shopping. I met them at Pronovias. My friend, Monika, had one of those love at first sight magical moments happen for her and she’s getting married to a great Alaskan lawyer.

Here’s a gorgeous dress by Carolina Herrera. It’s not one that Monika tried on (I have some amazing photos of her, one which I’m dying to put in my portfolio–I’m not going to show her in a wedding dress until after her wedding), but I thought the design was incredible!

After looking through dresses, we headed over to a really cute restaurant and wine bar on 3rd Avenue, called Accademia di Vino (at 64th St.). We went to the basement and sat on tall bar stools. They ordered wine and I treated myself with Diet Coke. The extra calories from alcohol were just not worth it for me. I’d prefer having an extra few 15 calorie popsicles or something instead!

Breakfast: Granola with Skim Milk. I know, I’ve been doing a lot of granola lately, but it’s quick, easy and tasty.

Lunch: Lentil, Feta Cheese and Tomatoe Wrap. The lentils make it extremely filling.

Dinner: A small square of Chicken Lasagna with Whole Wheat Noodles, of course.

A Light Snack in the Park

After class, I walked over with my classmate, Donnell, and had a bite to eat in Bryant Park. I knew I had to set up my dinner shot at home, so I didn’t bring it with me. Instead, I had a delicious green apple, while my friend ate her dinner.

We talked and watched people doing yoga in the park. Every time I walk into that park, something new is happening. I love having an exercise class so near to it, so that I can just stop by and see the next happening!

Breakfast: Granola and Skim Milk

Lunch: Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Chicken and Broccoli.

Dinner: Chicken with Carrots, Green Beans, Zuchinni and Peppers.

Vaudeville in the City

Some days, you feel like going to a show called Banana Shpeel. Banana Shpeel is a Cirque du Soleil show currently being performed on the Upper West Side in a really gorgeous theatre.

The Beacon Theatre was completely remodeled and although it took 16 million dollars, it looks like a true Broadway theatre, with sparkling gold veneers and Egyptian statues overlooking the audience.

I was in awe of the theatre; however, the show itself was not like the Cirque de Soleil stuff I imagined. Admittedly, I laughed at a few parts, but I think what truly made it entertaining was the man next to me bellowing a very contagious laugh. I would say that it is a fun show for kids and if you’re in a giggly mood, but not for everyone.

Breakfast: Banana Pancakes with Lite Syrup. Appropriate filling for the later entertainment!

Lunch: I had lunch with a friend of mine. We had baked potatoes with chicken, broccoli and cheddar. I think I watched him douse his potatoe with salt and pepper! Anything to make a 300 calorie meal taste a tiny bit more exciting.

Dinner: Pasta with Broccoli and Chicken. Broccoli is the key to making a low calorie meal, I’ve discovered!

Weight update: Today is Day 60. I started at 153 lbs on the doctor’s scale, 150.6 on a regular bathroom scale and I’m now at 137 lbs and have lost 10 inches overall.  This is very exciting. I haven’t been back here for a couple of years. Only 30 days to go!

Airport Delays

Six hours later and I’m home. I feel lucky to not have been on Spirit Airlines during this strike, but still, even my flight had delays. I missed a doctor’s appointment and got home a lot later than expected.

Today, was mostly about saying goodbye to North Carolina and airport delays. After unpacking, eating a sensible dinner after having Subway for lunch, I was ready to soak in the tub, read a book and relax. Unfortunately, other things had to be done, delayed blog posts and bills and organization for the day tomorrow.

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with Red Peppers. Loved having this lovely breakfast with the family in the morning. My husband and I worked together to create a nice family style breakfast to eat with his mother and father. It was perfect to have one final morning, overlooking the ocean, drinking out of my flamingo coffee cup and chatting away with the family.

Lunch: Subway-a turkey and cheese 6″ sub. Additions: Greenpeppers, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce and LOTS of jalapeno peppers. You know what that looks like!

Dinner: A French Bread Hoagie with Turkey, Low-Fat Swiss Cheese and Low-Fat Salami.

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