The Biggest Loser – Who I’m rooting for this season (and not rooting for)

Three weeks ago the 8th season of “The Biggest Loser” debuted on NBC. I didn’t really start watching TBL until last season when I was training for the 1/2 marathon and needed some inspiration. I found a lot of the contestants on the 7th season to be really inspiring. There has been on woman this season who has inspired me beyond words.
Meet Abby.

Isn’t she gorgeous? She has a southern accent that I love. From the first episode I was rooting for Abby. She is really inspiring. And it’s not because she wants to lose weight. About two years before Abby went on TBL, her husband, 5 year old daughter, and 2 week old son were killed in an automobile accident. Her entire family was wiped out in a moment. She inspires me because she gets up in the morning! I don’t know how I would react in Abby’s situation, but I think I would probably lay in bed, cry, and eat all day too. She has the courage to go on national television, say “this is what happened to me, and I’m still here.” I love her. Exercise is therapy and what better way to help move on from such a devastating loss than to spend your life in a gym? Not only that but Abby is a high school teacher who recently went back to get her Masters. She’s amazing.

I’m rooting for you, girl, all the way.

This is who I’m rooting against. Meet Tracey.

I can’t decide if Tracey is evil, really stupid, or just incredibly self-centered. On Tuesday’s episode Tracey decided to screw everyone over so that she would have the advantage at the weigh-in. At first she gave into a challenge and “won” a 2 pound advantage. The price she had to pay for this was she and her partner, (whom she did not discuss this with), Mo, could not work out with their trainers all week. Basically she was willing to throw her own partner under the bus (who needs the trainers) for her own advantage. This royally pissed off Bob and Jillian and after a discussion with her, they thought she had “gotten it.” It being that week 3 is too early to be worried about the game and she should be worrying about weight loss. Also not screwing over her partner in the process. This wasn’t enough for Tracey, during another challenge she scarfed down a butt-load of cupcakes so that she could decide who’s weight, and who’s wouldn’t, would count on the scales at the weigh in. Everyone was pissed because they knew she would target the person in each partnership who had the least potential to lose the larger amount of weight. She also made promises to people she didn’t keep and stabbed some people in the back. Her actions put the largest contestant in TBL history, Shay, on the chopping block. In a stunning act of kindness, the other partnership to fall below the yellow line (Antoine and Sean) asked everyone to eliminate them so that Shay could stay. Shay is only 29 years old and started off weighing 470ish pounds. She needs to be there. Tracey showed no remorse and just kept her nose stuck in the air the entire weigh-in. No one clapped when she lost 11 pounds.
Why I’m not rooting for Tracey is because during the very first challenge, before they even made it to the Biggest Loser ranch, all the contestants had to walk/run a mile. She was determined to win and left the starting line like a bat out of hell. She was in first for a long time. But she over-did it and basically collapsed a few hundred feet from the finish line. The other contestants knew that Tracey would be devastated that she didn’t finish, so all of them went over to Tracey, helped lift her up, and helped her cross the finish line. That’s what I love about The Biggest Loser….most of the contestants help each other out because they know that the real goal is weight loss and health rather than the grand prize at the end. After Tracey was helped over the finish line, she collapsed and spent a week in the hospital. After years of inactivity, girlfriend decided she was going to run a mile. Dumb. Her partner, Mo, had to carry the burden of weight loss for she and him because she over-strained herself.
So why I can’t stand Tracey is because she was shown a lot of compassion by her fellow contestants. They didn’t have to go back for Tracey, but they knew it was important to her. They could have left her face-down in the sand, which is something I suspect Tracey would have done if the tables had been turned. She tried screwing everyone else over just so she could say on the ranch one more week. She’s playing the game and forgetting that everyone is there because they need to be. Boo, I hate that. She reminds me of a stuck-up high school cheerleader, which makes me like her even less.
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Lose It – Week 18

I got to be honest, peeps, I just wasn’t “feelin’ it” this week. I only worked out a couple of times and only mildly tried to stay within my calorie budget. In fact, I came in 589 calories OVER my budget.

I’ve been doing this for 4 1/2 months and I know there are going to be days or weeks where I just don’t care. And then there are days and weeks I’m highly motivated.
With my crummy attitude, lack of desire to stay on task, and love of baked goods, I was not looking forward to stepping on the scale this morning. But I did anyway. The results are in and
I lost 1 pound!!!

Don’t ask me how! Last week I tried really hard, came in waaaaayyy under my budget (2,413 calories to be exact) and only lost 0.2 pounds. So how did I barely try and lost 1 pound? Riddle me this, Batman. The hubs thinks it has something to do with my metabolism. I’m very, very happy to report

I’ve lost 20.2 pounds so far!!!

Honestly, going into this, I had real doubts about whether or not this free application on my iPod would actually work. I had doubts about my stick-to-itiveness (is that a word?). I thought I’d give up after a few weeks, especially if I didn’t see big results right away. But I haven’t given up, even on the days or weeks where I feel like I’m just “calling it in.” I’m starting to see some real results. I’m fitting into all my old clothes that I haven’t worn in a couple of years. Yesterday at church, a woman I used to serve in the Primary Presidency with and whom I haven’t seen in a few months, commented that I’m getting skinny. She’s a very honest person who tells it like it is, so I was glad that she noticed and commented. Reaching this milestone has motivated me to keep going.

Rock on peeps. On we go to week 19.

Marriage Advice

I hate this game played at Bridal showers called “let’s give the bride-to-be marriage advice.” First of all, I’m not an expert on marriage. I’m only an expert on my own marriage. I don’t have the insight into other people’s relationships. And what might work for one relationship, might not work in another.

That’s why I never give serious advice. Mostly I say stupid things like “fight naked” (really, who does that?) and sensible advice for those brides still hanging on to their V-cards, “lubrication is key.” And I don’t think that any advice that is truly going to be useful in a marriage can be summed up in some pithy little saying.
The hubs and my marriage is uniquely our own. We hardly ever fight or argue. We get along great with each other. I think I chose someone to marry who is compatible with me, and yet different enough to keep it interesting, because my parents constantly fought their entire married lives. I really did not want this in my own marriage. I feel like there’s enough conflict outside of the walls of my marriage and so many things I have to fight for that the last thing I want to do is fight with the hubs. He’s my safety net and my soft place to fall.
So my marriage advice might not even be relevant to someone else’s marriage. I believe relationships have to be negotiated and what the hubs and I have negotiated (consciously or unconsciously) works for us. And when it isn’t working for us anymore, we talk about it and change it.
The only marriage advice that I received when the hubs and I were engaged that I actually listened to and actually mattered to me was from a friend whom I worked with at a grocery store. He had been through some pretty hard times in his marriage: the loss of a child, infidelity. He told me that we should never fight about money because no matter how much we make, it’s never going to be enough, so there’s no point in fighting about it. This was very helpful advice and the hubs and I have hardly ever fought about money. Except when we were newlyweds and we had to readjust our spending priorities to be able to afford our new married lifestyle. The hubs and I have really struggled financially through the years. Low-paying jobs, having children really early into our marriage, going to school. It was hard watching all of our friends buy houses while we continued to rent. And yet I can reflect on those times and know that those struggles really brought us together and made us a strong team.
The point of this post is this….if you ever find me at your bridal shower and I don’t give you any real advice it’s because I don’t feel like an expert enough into your own relationship to tell you what you need to do. You and your spouse need to figure that out on your own.

Something strange is happening here

We have been sleeping with the window above our bed open all summer and the cool breeze feels awesome at night. The only thing is, our next-door neighbor’s house is very close to us. So close that sometimes I can hear one of them sneeze at night. There’s only about an alley way of space between our houses. They’re good neighbors, so I don’t mind too much. They have a motion detector light on that side of their house, which provides me with a bit of comfort. If anyone were to try to break into either of our houses the light would go off and probably scare them away.

This morning the hubs woke me up at 3:30 a.m. scared out of his mind. He had heard some tapping outside our window and what sounded like our gate moving back and forth. The motion detector light had not gone off and he couldn’t see anything out our window. So he walked into the living room and saw a big shadow on the wall. His first thought was that someone had broken into our house, so he ran to turn the hall light on. The shadow was from the computer chair. Apparently when he turned the hall light on, I woke up and said “what the hell?” However, I do not remember this.
So the hubs went back to bed a little freaked out. He tried to sleep but then the motion light came on outside. He began hearing our gate being moved back and forth again, and shot out of bed. He looked outside our window and that’s what woke me up. I looked out the window and was flabbergasted at what I saw. Four raccoons were walking along the fence and gate. I have never seen raccoons in my neighborhood before. It was so surreal.
After we back to bed and I was pretty sure I had dreamt everything. It wasn’t until morning when I said to the hubs, “that was pretty weird about the raccoons last night, right?” and he didn’t respond with a “what the crap are you talking about?” that I knew it was real. Today in our Sunday school class we told the kids in our class about it, and a girl that lives across and down the street from us, told us that the abandoned house next to hers has been infiltrated with raccoons. Maybe they were just out for a late night snack and scared the crap out of us in the process? Anyway, it was weird.

You’re so cute and yet so sneaky and mean

Moving Day

Today I’m packing up my entire office and we’re moving to a brand-spanking new office. It’s kind of cool because it’s the first time in my agency’s history where they’ve separated out the clinical services from the adoption services. It’ll be weird to have a whole office to ourselves. And because it’s just us adoption peeps now, we all get our own office. No more sharing an office. Although, I have to say that I have loved sharing an office with my co-worker/friend Kari. Even if she did somehow talk me into doing the half marathon.

I hate moving. Even if I know it’s because I’m headed toward a better situation. In preparing for this move we’ve found a bunch of junk that hasn’t been used in years. We found a pamphlet recommending books on trans-racial adoptions from the 80s. Adoption has changed A LOT since then.
Our new office is so gorgeous, though. We got to pick out the patterns on our furniture. Everything is done in cherry wood. We even got to pick the pictures on the walls. When I saw it all put together for the first time, my exact reaction was “Wow!” I hope our clients feel peace when they come there.

ANNOYED!!!

In my last post I wrote about pancreatic cancer, Patrick Swayze’s influence, and my Mom. I posted a version of this as my facebook status yesterday. I was limited to only 220 characters and couldn’t express myself fully. However, my general message was pretty much well represented.

I had a lot of friends who “liked” my status and made nice comments. However, my cousin chose to use my painful expression of grief as a time to lecture me about her opposition to Universal Health Care. How dare you?! Remind me to show as much sensitivity to you when your mother dies. I don’t give a flying rat’s ass about your political opinion when I’m expressing a deep emotion. I don’t put myself there out there emotionally much on facebook, but when I do I expect it to be respected.

I deleted the comment. I don’t need that kind of crap. Guess what? I’m still ANGRY that my Mom is dead. Dead. She’s not coming back. Don’t use my grief and my pain as an opportunity to shove down Glenn Beck’s ludicrous lies about health care reform down my throat.

In Remembrance

My Mom died of pancreatic cancer almost 2 years ago. I have been a fan of Patrick Swayze’s all my life. This disease is the 4th leading cause of cancer death and yet gets the least amount of money for research. I hope Patrick’s greatest legacy is the dignity with which he carried himself during the last 20 months of his life. I also hope that because of his visibility and popularity, more money is given to research so we don’t lose another person like Patrick, or my Mom, to this horrible disease.