Tuesday, August 31, 2010

HCG Update

Seriously??? it's been more than two weeks since I posted? Wow. It felt so refreshing to hit "new post" today!

Sorry I've been so MIA. Is there anyone out there who still cares? Big Daddy told me I've probably lost all my readership by now. I hope not! Anyway, I'm finally starting to feel like I'm not constantly drowning in boxes and unpacking and cleaning and all that. I still have a lot to do around here, but hopefully this will be the beginning to me getting back to normal posting.

One of my friends emailed me recently to ask how things have been post-HCG. Have I maintained my weight? Am I still eating right? So I thought I'd post my answer to her in case anyone out there, all two of you, might also be wondering the same thing. I know one of the biggest criticisms of the HCG diet is the results' longevity. So, to answer her questions:

Yes, I've done well. In fact, I'm 2 lbs lower now than I was at the end of HCG. I did the HCG maintenance phase pretty strictly for about a week or two. You're supposed to do it for four weeks, but I couldn't go w/o carbs any longer. But I was very careful to still eat small portions of carbs and little sugar for the rest of the maintenance phase. But the big thing for me was that after I went back to "normal eating" or at least not the HCG diet, I still followed a pretty moderate eating plan and exercised regularly. I think a lot of people coming off this diet, and most diets, go overboard in their eating 'cause they have felt deprived for so long. I think that's why most people gain their weight back--they go back to eating the way they did before. But I was on a pretty reasonable diet/exercise plan for 9 months before HCG, so I just went back to that. Basically, I still exercised 3-4x a week, and I tried to avoid big portions, fatty food, and sweets. But I didn't completely keep myself away from them. I just tried to be moderate. That, plus the exercise, let me keep the weight to within 1 1/2 lbs of my last HCG weight. Then when I was getting ready to move a couple weeks ago, I was doing so much physical labor all day that I lost 4 more lbs. I've gained back 1 1/2 of those since settling in, which puts me 2 lbs below my HCG weight.

Does that more than answer your question?! LOL Anyway, if you're wondering if it's worth it, YES. If you have a hard time losing weight, no diet will help faster. BUT it's a very hard diet to do. You really have to be committed to it. And I would also say if you have a hard time maintaining your weight on a regular basis, don't do this diet. But if you find that maintaining isn't an issue for you, it's just losing weight, just getting over that hump you're always hovering at, I think this is a really good diet. You just have to be sure to go back to your eat right/exercise routine after the diet.

I guess in summary I think it's a sad fact of being our age that you can never live the lifestyle of indulgent eating + being mostly sedentary. If you want to lose weight, the HCG diet can help you--fast. But if you want to stay there, you're going to have to work at it for the rest of your life. You can learn to eat less or learn to be more active, or both. But no matter what diet you do, you can't go back to living the way you did before you lost the weight or you will gain it back.

But I'll also say this: I'm a LOT more motivated to watch my eating and exercise now that I feel really good about my body than I did when I was 15 or 30 lbs heavier. I am so determined not to get back to that old fat me.

Well, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Anything else anyone wants to ask about HCG? (And for those of you that are sicker than hell of hearing about my stupid diet, this will be the last time, promise!)

Monday, August 16, 2010

R.I.P. Yellow Couch

Our old house, the Little Pink House from two centuries ago that we lived in until last week, was quirky. Quirky in a lot of really cool ways. Like the way that there were brick chimneys going up through the middle of several rooms. No fireplaces, just chimneys. And the way that the ceilings slanted in the upstairs bedrooms. And the way that the super steep, formerly-attic stairs split into a T at the top of the landing forcing you to either go left or right.

The downside of the quirkiness was that the chimneys caused you to have to arrange your furniture in an odd way. The slanted ceilings meant you couldn't put anything taller than 3 feet against the side walls. And the T at the top of the stairs meant you couldn't bring up any large furniture that wasn't as flexible as macaroni--it just wouldn't turn those corners.

A few years ago we got a couch. A friend that owed Big Daddy some money and had a Chinese importing business offered to pay him in couches. So we looked at the color swatches and ordered a beautiful soft butter yellow, microfiber sectional for our bonus room. It arrived a few weeks later. And as we opened it and tried to remove the school bus yellow packing around the couch, we realized that WAS the couch. So, not the color we'd planned. And then we realized the bigger problem: that T at the top of the stairs. A lot of lifting, twisting and maneuvering by strong and spatially gifted people managed to get all but one piece of the couch around that corner and into the bonus room. But the chaise longue part of the sectional would not budge, not with any amount of pushing, pulling, turning, or swearing. So finally, in desperation, Big Daddy removed the top two stairs (carpet and all) to get that stupid couch in. Then he rebuilt the stairs and recarpeted them. We decided that yellow couch would be staying with the house. We would not be moving it out again. The new owners of the future, whoever they would be, would inherit this couch, like it or not. Or that couch would have to come out in pieces.

Flash forward six years... the new soon-to-be owners of our house do not want our Chinese, school bus yellow sectional.


Ni how, old friend. Ni how.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Two Steps Forward...

Well, we're in. In our new house. Us and 8 extra people. My bestfrister, Jennie, is here from Texas with her 6 kids and husband. The trip was planned long before we decided to move so we only had 2 days to get as settled as possible before the Central Hordes of Asia descended upon us. (I mean that in the nicest way, of course, Jennie.)

We have furniture set up in most rooms. Ok half.

Our kitchen is unpacked. Minus all the food. Minor detail.

The new dining room table has been purchased, put together, and set in place. The chairs, however, have not. (Thanks a lot for being out of stock, Stupid Swedish Discount Furniture Store Starting with I and ending with kea. I would hate you if your chairs weren't so cute and so cheap.) So we're using the old dining room chairs for now. All four of them. For all 12 of us. We eat in shifts. Once the 4th breakfast shift finishes up, we wipe down the table and begin seating for the 1st lunch shift.

We have most of our clothes unpacked although Big Daddy and I have recently discovered the downside of previously having had built-ins in our closet: Now we have no dresser! So we have our socks and underwear and belts neatly folded on shelves in the closet. It's kind of hard to fold bras to look nice sitting on a shelf. No matter which way you twist and turn and tuck them, they look wrong. It's like solving a Rubik's Cube pretty much.

The most important room, the family room, is far from set up. We are short several sets of furniture including couches for the family room. We put our one giant sectional in the playroom/home theater downstairs. It was too wide for our family room. So now we have no family room furniture. But sitting on bar stools and an ottoman and the old dining room table with no chairs is kind of like having a picnic in your front room. Sort of. Not really.

Our patio chairs are all set up. The patio table, however, is still at our old house. So we sit around the patio in the evening on chairs in a big circle with no table in the middle and it feels so much like we're at a group therapy session that if we're not careful a few family secrets could slip out. But who knows. Maybe it'll be cathartic.

I haven't figured out yet where the hose spigots are. I have figured out, however, that tropical plants don't do so well in high dessert sunlight and no water.

I have also figured out that cats don't adjust well to moving. We've tried to keep Flossie sequestered in the laundry room, but 8 children always want to pet her, so the door gets opened and then she runs under our bed and then the kids offer her salami to coax her out, not knowing that cats hate salami (DUH), so the salami gets left under the bed, causing various husbands to accuse the cat of peeing under the bed and threatening to return her to the cat pound. (Does anyone know what product best removes the smell of salami from the under side of your boxspring?)

Well, that's where we stand. With some rooms set up, some rooms not set up, lots of boxes still unopened, the kitchen clock being in one of them so I never know what time it is unless I walk right up to the oven and peer at it with squinted eyes to see the dim digital read-out, lots of extra kids to keep my kids occupied, lots of fun activities planned to keep the kids entertained and me from finding the kitchen clock.

Ya, that sums it up. Be back soon, when peace and quiet and the kitchen clock have been restored.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Recession? What Recession?

For some reason my mother, who already knows everything that is going on in my life, keeps insisting that I write blog posts about things I've already told her all about. I'm not sure why. She is protecting me from the blog police, I think. I've heard they give you a ticket if they find out that something happened in your life that you didn't blog about. I'm so glad someone out there is looking out for my finances. So without further ado (and for those 4 of you who don't already know this...)

We are officially on the market!
We officially have an offer!
We unofficially have two offers!
We are officially under contract!!!

Wow, that sure went fast! We went from listed to under contract in 1 day! I guess selling our house was meant to be. But it does make me:
1) wonder if we listed our house too cheap
2) wish I hadn't hired a realtor for one day at the tune of $5000
3) wish I had re-activated my own real estate license and saved myself $4000 (stupid dues)
4) wonder if I should just shut up about the money and be happy it sold so fast
5) feel a bit nostalgic about leaving behind this beautiful, charming Victorian house
6) suddenly feel panicked at how much we still have to do to get ready to move
7) get really super excited about parking my car IN A GARAGE
7) wonder if we're really ready to move to the 21st century

I guess we'll find out in 3 days!

Ok...back to packing.

p.s. For those of you (Mom) who are wondering whether I will feel compelled to change my blog name/address/picture now that we're moving, the answer is no. It all started with a little pink house from 1895, and that's the way it's going to stay.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

This pie chart pretty accurately describes my life sometimes:

When I was a kid, my mom used to tell us that whenever we couldn't find something, it was The Borrowers who took it and hid it.

Well, I recently lost two very dear things to me. I guess "very dear" is a overdoing it a bit because, after all, they're just items of clothing. But one is a pair of the most comfortable shoes EVER. Born wedges--dark brown cris-cross straps and jute platform heels. I loved them. They were cute, perfect for so many outfits in summer, and comfy enough to walk in all night. The second thing was a kind of drapey sweater, the kind that are popular right now that come down to little points in the front. It was a bargain buy at the end of winter, impulse, not-even-tried-on. but it turned out to be super flattering and very versatile. And, as it turns out, irreplaceable since it came from the clearance rack. So when summer came this year and my Borns didn't show up in any of my shoe boxes, I was super sad. And when I misplaced my sweater after my dance performance, I was heartbroken.

Then, last week, on the SAME DAY, I found both! I guess cleaning out your closet to pack for a move is sometimes a good thing. Or else the Borrowers finally brought them back. Either way, it was a VERY good day for me. HOORAY For Finding Lost Things!