Decorators Envy.

mcmansionI’m in Utah.  I had a few customers to visit late this week, and decided to stay the weekend and stay with family.  I’m now staying with AbFab and her two awesome kids Mayonnaise and Shahnaynay.  4 and 6 now, 5 and 7 in very short order. My twin also came up for the evening, and she looks awesome.  I got a few pictures of us together, which is a rarity for us.

Since I’ve last talked about AbFab, she has gotten divorced from the kids’ father and has since remarried to a great guy. I’ll call him RoadRage for now… he is a very nice calm person, RoadRage is a great name for him as its opposite of the personality I’ve seen of him.

Anyway, they now live in a 5800 square foot home.  Its GORGEOUS. I love it.  It’s not the size that I love, it’s the dream of decorating and making a home.  It’s turning each room into a masterpiece, with color, with furniture, with flare. I can see why rich people keep buying new homes even though the ones they already have are Martha Stewart perfect.

On a personal front, I’ve been sick lately – a combo of allergies and a head cold.  I took a long nap today, it was good for me. I feel much better. Tomorrow, Sunday, I’m cooking dinner for the kids and my family…. Its going to be gluten-free (my new diet) but delicious.  I love to cook, it’s nice to cook for others.

O.k. so that’s it.  Not much tonight, but a little bit of something.  Which is what I’d love to see/read from Grey Goose…  hint hint GG, give me something!

GM Diet Day 7 – Fruit, Veggies, and Rice.

Day 7 has come and gone.. I’m SO GLAD that this diet is over with!  Again, not because the diet is a challenge food wise, but because the no drinking really hinders my social life.

The results of day 7… drum roll please…  4 ounces down.. for a 7 Day total weight loss of 3.5 pounds for the week.  Not great given that some have experienced 10-17 pounds of lost weight…  but I have officially lost all the weight I gained while working in Atlanta.

Day Date Day Morn Weight (lbs) Daily Loss/ Gain Total Loss # glasses of Water Daily Activity
1 29-Aug Mon. 126.1     8 10 min walk
10 min abs
2 30-Aug Tues. 124.1 (2.0) (2.0) 8 40 min run
10 min abs
3 31-Aug Wed. 123.6 (0.5) (2.5) 7 60 min golf
4 1-Sep Thurs. 123.6 0.0 (2.5) 9 30 min low impact work
5 2-Sep Fri. 123.7 0.1 (2.4) 10 60 min bar burn class
6 3-Sep Sat. 123.0 (0.7) (3.1) 6 lazy day
7 4-Sep Sun. 123.0 0.0 (3.1) 7 40 min run
10 min abs
FINAL 5-Sep Mon. 122.6 (0.4) (3.5)    

My thoughts on this diet:

  • It’s not really a diet but a cleanse.  I wouldn’t put much stock in losing weight on this plan UNLESS you plan to work out every day.  The days that I worked out are the days that I actually lost weight.
  • Eating Healthy is a lifestyle, not a diet.  I love fruits and veggies, so this diet was pretty close to my lifestyle, and if you too eat mostly fresh fruits and veggies, you are more than halfway there. 
  •  Carbs aren’t that hard to avoid.  I love only a few carbs – tortilla chips is about the only thing I really missed.  
  • You have to exercise.  As I mentioned a few times, the days I lost weight were the days I physically exerted myself….  to lose weight you have to exercise, period.  I love to workout, but it became clear to me during the week that I’m not exercising enough IF I want to lose weight. I exercise enough if I want to maintain.
  • Where does dairy fit into this plan?  I don’t like milk so I drink soy milk, but I’d love to know where cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt fit in?  Are these things considered “bad” for you? Why are they not mentioned at all? 

A friend of mine mentioned that he lost 30 pounds on the 17 day diet… I think that will be my next diet attempt.  Like I stated before, I’d love to get down to 110… its my ideal weight – keeps enough meat on the bones but reduces the layer of fat that currently covers my muscles…..  🙂 .  So I would need to lose 13 pounds (I’m now at 123, I was 120 at the first of the year)…

So today is Monday, Labor Day, and I’m going out with friends to enjoy the sunshine and have a few afternoon cocktails.  I’m deliriously happy about it…

GM Diet Day 6 – Beef and Veggies.

Day 6 went.  Results of Day 6 is  no weight loss, no weight gain.  The highlight of the day was that I met friends for happy hour.. and it was soooo nice.  I loved being out and about.  Finally!  We sat outside, in the sun, enjoyed the summer late afternoon/early evening…. Its been the highlight of the week.

Day Date Day Morn Weight (lbs) Daily Loss/ Gain Total Loss # glasses of Water Daily Activity
1 29-Aug Mon. 126.1     8 10 min walk
10 min abs
2 30-Aug Tues. 124.1 (2.0) (2.0) 8 40 min run
10 min abs
3 31-Aug Wed. 123.6 (0.5) (2.5) 7 60 min golf
4 1-Sep Thurs. 123.6 0.0 (2.5) 9 30 min low impact work
5 2-Sep Fri. 123.7 0.1 (2.4) 10 60 min bar burn class
6 3-Sep Sat. 123.0 (0.7) (3.1) 6 lazy day
7 4-Sep Sun. 123.0 0.0 (3.1)    

I didn’t stick to the diet specifically, just did what I normally do.  I had a lot of fruit today – I don’t think that it is allowed, but its a hot summer day and that’s what I wanted.  I did eat some ground beef for dinner – ground beef with lots of tomatoes, onions, avocados, lettuce and Cholula sauce (no beans, cheese, sour cream, or chips).  As you can see, I didn’t work out either, so I’m sure that had an impact on my not losing any weight on Day 6.

The Final Day, Day 7, will prove interesting, I went for a run and worked in the yard for an hour.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

GM Diet Day 5 – Beef and Tomatoes.

Day 5 went well.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  I ate all the tomatoes and only 1/4 lb of ground beef.  I drank a ton of water.  I felt full after eating the beef at lunch time, that all I ate in the afternoon and evening was tomatoes with basil and balsamic..  I had the fresh organic heirloom tomatoes from Farm Fresh To You and they were absolutely divine….  I don’t know if I can eat another tomato that doesn’t come from garden.

So after the beef and tomatoes day, I’ve lost 7 oz, for a total loss of 3.1 pounds.  I’ve officially lost my Atlanta weight. 

Day Date Day Morn Weight (lbs) Daily Loss/ Gain Total Loss # glasses of Water Daily Activity
1 29-Aug Mon. 126.1     8 10 min walk
10 min abs
2 30-Aug Tues. 124.1 (2.0) (2.0) 8 40 min run
10 min abs
3 31-Aug Wed. 123.6 (0.5) (2.5) 7 60 min golf
4 1-Sep Thurs. 123.6 0.0 (2.5) 9 30 min low impact work
5 2-Sep Fri. 123.7 0.1 (2.4) 10 60 min bar burn class
6 3-Sep Sat. 123.0 (0.7) (3.1)    

However, I had hoped to lose a bit more with this diet, I was looking to lose a total of 6 pounds – the 3 pounds I gained while working in Atlanta AND the 3 pounds that have crept on during the year.. that would put me down to 120 – the weight I rang in the New Year at.  Ideally I’d love to be at 110.. which I would consider my ideal weight given my height and bone structure.  Maybe that will be my 2012 New Years Resolution…

I think the secret is eating healthy AND working out.  The days I had “strenuous” workouts are the days that I lost the most weight.  I love to run and I love the classes at the gym… so I will continue to eat healthy and focus on working out.  What I do not plan on doing is giving up my social life for a diet any longer.  I’m going to stick to the ‘lots of fruits and veggies no carb diet’, but not waste away my weekend by avoiding activities with friends so that I don’t drink.


GM Diet Day 4 – Bananas and Milk.

I made it thru Day 4. It was pretty easy. I love bananas.  I made myself 2 banana shakes, each of them had 2 bananas mixed with ice and soy milk (vs. regular milk).  Super yummy.  You are supposed to eat 8 bananas, but I didn’t need anymore than the 4 I ate.

I had a banana shake in the morning, a banana shake in the early afternoon, and a bowl of the soup for dinner.  I drank a lot of water today … I marked 9 glasses officially, but I know it was way more than that.  It was a warm day today and I did a bunch of stuff around the house…  I was just thirsty and I love water.

But get this, I GAINED weight!  Yes, only an ounce, but seriously?!?!?  I have no idea why, I felt good, didn’t feel hungry, stayed on target/plan..  just boggles my mind (maybe the soy milk vs. regular milk? not eating all 8 bananas?, the alcohol from the day before?).  I keep thinking to myself, why am I doing this?  I’m doing this to lose weight, not gain weight..  surely something is up.  I eat pretty healthy as it is, and cutting out carbs hasn’t been that big of a deal..  but cutting back on alcohol, and thus my social life, is a BIG DEAL.  So I’m now tinkering with the idea of giving up..  Below are the stats:

Day Date Day Morn Weight (lbs) Daily Loss/ Gain Total Loss # glasses of Water
1 29-Aug Mon. 126.1     8
2 30-Aug Tues. 124.1 (2.0) (2.0) 8
3 31-Aug Wed. 123.6 (0.5) (2.5) 7
4 1-Sep Thurs. 123.6 0.0 (2.5) 9
5 2-Sep Fri. 123.7 0.1 (2.4)  

 The only craving I had was for fruits, and specifically the organic grapes I have sitting in my fridge.  It was hard to not grab a handful every time I opened the fridge.  I’m looking forward to eating some meat on Day 5…   I have dreams of a hamburger.. I might make some ground beef and season with taco seasoning, mix it with lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, onions, a bit of cheese.. yum! 

What I miss the most is not sweets (I don’t really have a sweet tooth), but tortilla chips and beans.  I eat mexican food all the time – I love it, the chips, the beans, salsa, cheese, etc.. it’s a staple in my life, along with soft toilet paper. 😉

Wish me luck on Day 5… if I don’t lose weight, I’m NOT going to stick with the plan…

GM Diet Day 3 – Fruit and Veggies.

Summary for Day 2 – 1/2 a pound down … not as much as on Day 2, but hey, its something!  

Summary of Day 3zero gain, zero loss.   Day 3 was fruits and veggie day – yeah!!  I had a great breakfast and lunch…  however, the afternoon and evening took a turn for the worst.  I went with a friend golfing and had a glass of wine afterwards.  I also had a date on Wednesday night, had a great Greek salad and took a few bites of my dates skirt steak. The big no-no was the glass of red wine…  This is why I cannot go out while I’m dieting, I have zero will power…  drinking has more to do with socializing than it does with drinking…. 

Oh, and my period started..

Given all of this, I’m actually shocked I didn’t gain weight.  But I didn’t… so its o.k..  I’m interested to see how this affects the rest of my diet.

Day Date Day Morn Weight (lbs) Loss/ Gain # glasses of Water Daily Activity
1 29-Aug Mon. 126.1   8 10 min walk
10 min abs
2 30-Aug Tues. 124.1 (2.0) 8 40 min run
10 min abs
3 31-Aug Wed. 123.6 (0.5) 7 60 min golf
4 1-Sep Thurs. 123.6 0.0    

Thursday, Day 4, is all about bananas and milk.  I had debated whether to do another day of fruit and veggies, but decided to just continue with the plan…  Wish me luck – I’m crossing my fingers that I didn’t derail myself.

GM Diet Day 2 – All Veggies and a Potato For Breakfast.

Summary from Day 1 – down 2 pounds!  I woke up this morning, hopped on the scale, and just smiled.  Thank god Atlanta didn’t get the better of me.  I’m almost down all the weight I gained…  Yeah for me!

Day Date Day Morn Weight (lbs) Loss/ Gain Total # of glasses of Water Daily Activity
1 29-Aug Mon. 126.1   8 10 min walk
10 min abs
2 30-Aug Tues. 124.1 (2.0) 8 40 min run
10 min abs

Today is Day 2 – all veggies and a potato for breakfast.  So after making my coffee, I cleaned a potato and stuck it in the oven.  An hour later, I had a potato with 2 pats of butter and a bit of salt and pepper.  It was delicious.  I felt full, but not too full until late afternoon.  For dinner I made myself some baked eggplant with homemade chunky tomato sauce and a big salad.  I cheated and added some cheese to the eggplant and I think that was a mistake.  About 30 minutes after eating, I got really bloated and my stomach hurt for about an hour..  the same feeling I get all the time.  I’m wondering if I’m allergic to cheese?   I’m going to eat the rest of the eggplant minus the cheese tomorrow and see how I feel.  If I don’t feel bad, then I’ll know that I don’t feel good when I eat cheese.  It would be an absolute bummer because I LOVE cheese.

I went for a run today – the first one in a month. I was slower than usual but it felt so good. The weather was perfect – it was warm out, there was a slight breeze, the sky was clear and blue.. the sun on my skin felt glorious.  I feel so much better when I exercise I don’t know why I don’t “just do it” when things get busy/crazy….  seems backwards.

I ran errands tonight after dinner so I wouldn’t be tempted to relax with a glass of wine.  It worked… and now I’m home, blogging, and getting ready for bed. 

Tomorrow, Day 3, I can have both fruits and veggies except bananas and potatoes.  I’m looking forward to my berry shakes, more mango (yum!), and the grapes I just received in my organic care package from Farm Fresh To You.  It came at the perfect time as it contains a bunch of grapes, two containers of heirloom tomatoes, an eggplant, some broccoli and lettuce. I used the eggplant and a few of the heirloom tomatoes for dinner tonight…  I’ll use the tomatoes with my beef on Days 5 & 6, and the broccoli for a stir fry on days 6 & 7…   Yum!

Alright, I’m tired.. off to bed I go.  Have a great Wednesday everyone.

Trying The GM Diet.

My month in Atlanta was brutal, especially on my physique.  The 3 hour time change made it almost impossible for me to work out.  I know this sounds like a lame excuse, but getting up at 7am pst is about all I can do…  If I wake up any earlier than that, I feel sick to my stomach and have on many occasions, thrown up.

I also felt bloated and uncomfortable the entire time .. I don’t know if it was the weather or what I was eating, which for the most part was the same – oatmeal in the morning, salad for lunch, low carb dinner), but I just didn’t feel good.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that I didn’t work out and I drank too much…  which has resulted in a 3 lb gain.  Of course I’m not happy out it, I had 5 lbs to lose before I left for Atlanta a month ago.  So, I’m going to try the GM Diet.  A few friends of mine have done the diet one week a year for years (they do it once a year for cleansing purposes)… and have consistently lost weight and have kept it off.  So I’m going to give it a try.  I’ll blog my progress …   

I’m actually looking forward to it because I do love fruits and veggies..  and I can substitute chicken for the beef days if I want to..  I went shopping today and purchased a bunch of fruits and vegetables… the bill came to $68… which is very low for me.  Normally its close to $100, and that’s because it usually includes alcohol…. And honestly, after all the drinking I did in Atlanta, I’m looking forward to an excuse to NOT drink.  I know, shocker. 

Wish me luck.  I’ll let you know how day 1 goes tomorrow.

Delta and United Suck Too.

I spent a weekend in Utah and was trying to get back to Atlanta …   Everything on my itinerary looked good – I booked a ticket that balanced my personal commitments with my work schedule.  However, Delta and United had different plans for me.

So now I hate both Delta and United.  I get better basic service from the bartenders at the airport bars — eye contact, a simple “I will be with you in a moment” (just a small acknowledgement that you actually SEE me and the other dozen customers waiting for your help).. And given my experience, I may just go back to AirTran.. at least they will fly an airplane in any condition. 

So, my day began with a hug and kiss from my mom, coffee and conversation with my dad, a few hours of work, then a shower.  My dad dropped me off at the SLC airport, and I was happy as a clam. I was in my own little world – remembering what a great trip I just had, bonding with my nieces…  I love them so much, every time I’m in Utah I just wished I had more time…  Ideally I’d love to live there part-time so I could be a greater part of their lives.  Yes, I was in la la land… I get thru security (even with more than 3 oz of toothpaste), and head to my gate.  Below is how the airlines fucked up my mood: 

  1. Arrive at the Delta Gate Counter in SLC – hanging around are two gate agents, a bunch of pilots and flight attendants.  Not a good sign.  I finally reach the desk and ask about switching seats, and the gate agent says “I don’t know anything, but we aren’t dealing with seat changes right now”.  I then remark, “to leave on time, you need to be boarding now, I see the airplane is here and you aren’t boarding, is something wrong?”. Her response the ENTIRE time people are asking her questions – “I can’t say”.  Flight was scheduled to depart at 1:50pm.. which is exactly what the board said until about 2:10, which then it read cancelled.  Instead of standing in line behind 300 passengers, I called Delta to change my flight.. they had nothing available, and put me on a United flight that works its way to ATL thru Chicago.  I stop off to get a glass of wine before heading to another terminal.
  2. Arrive at the United Counter in SLC – one gate agent, a bunch of pilots and flight attendants, and security were standing at the gate.  I got in line, behind the dozen or so other folks waiting to be serviced by the one gate agent who was running around like her head had been cut off.  So I turn the “hard-working” (sarcasm) TSA agents and ask “why are so many of you here?” (I hesitated to ask because I thought the guy was retarded… but I had to, that’s what I do).  They guy said that TSA had decided to “spot check” this gate (what, they don’t even trust themselves??  Talking about TSA just gets me going, a rant on them is coming soon).  There are 5 of them, and they all are overweight and look like high-school drop-outs still living their dreams in too tight uniforms (think Reno 911!), eating cashews next to the gate desk…  There is no gate agent in sight.  The woman finally comes back, starts to help folks, I finally get my turn, ask for a bit of help with seat assignments (as I have none because Delta can’t give me seat assignments on another airlines flights)… She gave me one for the immediate flight, then told me to deal with my ORD to ATL flight in ORD.  I said no, that I had been standing in line, waiting for her to help me, and I wanted a guaranteed seat.  She then started berating me about her “bad day” (sounded more like a bad life.).. something about an ex-boyfriend, a dead cat.. I dont’ know.  I just stared at her and then said (remember I’m not always nice), “You are here to help me, not give me excuses as to why you can’t help me. We all have troubles in our lives…  I won’t even start in on mine.  But I want to get to work so I can get home.  Can you help me with this?”  You know what she said?  In a very heated, high voice she says to me,  “Thanks for being such a nice person (sarcasm oozing from her tone), I’ve got too much to think about/on my mind right now to help you with future travel“… and a few other things.. then she turned around and walked away.  You know, I didn’t feel bad at all.  I got her name, and wouldn’t you know it, she is the Service Director.  Yes, this is the person who is training/setting example for others on how to treat customers…  No wonder “customer service” has all but disappeared in the airline industry.
  3. Arrive at the United Counter in Chicago.  So I do finally make it to Chicago, I get to the gate,and wouldn’t you know it, the flight was delayed.  No reason given, just delayed.  For 2 hours.  I was so exhausted, so tired, and I desperately needed to get into ATL at a decent time as my week was going to be brutal work wise.  United didn’t care – the flight was delayed until 11:30pm (it was originally an 8pm flight).  The gate agent was o.k..  didn’t look at me when I asked for a seat, but did give me a seat with no one next to me (which I specifically asked for). 

I finally arrived in ATL at 1:20am (vs. my original 7:30pm arrival time) got to the  hotel by 2am.. asleep by 2:30, then up at 7:30 …  needless to say I was exhausted.  I never made up for the lost sleep all week…  by the time Thursday (yesterday) came around, I was completely spent. 

Here is the thing.  I get that things happen.. that flights are cancelled, delayed… but when they happen AND  you get consistently horrible customer service, I just lose it.  Its it so unneccessary for rude behavior, especially from someone who is “on the job”..  So, here are a few words of wisdom I’m going to share (for free) to the airline workers of the world: 

  • Focus on the customers.  Airline managers, execs, and the like – your front line staff is the face of your company.  if someone if an asshole, then you are an asshole.  You are guilty by association.
  • Get rid of folks that make you look bad. Just do it .. unions be dammed.  If you don’t, you aren’t going to be successful.
  • Focus on basic common courtesy.  Yes, the same manners your mother taught you, extend these to your customers.
    • Look at people when they talk to you.  Not the computer, but into the eyes of the person standing in front of you.
    • Listen.  That’s right – listen. Listen for how you can help someone (not what you can’t do, what you CAN do).
    • If you are busy but see that someone is waiting, acknowledge their presence and let them know you see them.  For example, “I see you need help, I am busy at the moment but I will get to you as quickly as I can”. See how easy that is?
    • Don’t mock your counter mate or other co-workers in front of the customer.  It’s in bad taste and makes you look bad, and honestly, we don’t care what Shaniqua said/did/wore/etc., we just want to get home/to work, etc.. 

Fellow travelers, feel free to pass on other WOW that you would like to send/share with the airline industry.

O.k.. so now all I’m left with is Jet Blue, Virgin America or my own private plane. My experiences on Jet Blue and Virgin America have been awesome…  I hope they keep up the good work.

Happy To Be Home.

I’m home… slept in my bed for the first time in almost 2 weeks.  I love my bed, my home… I can’t tell you how happy I am to be home.

I spent the month in Atlanta … 4 full weeks, working on a Proof of Concept with a prospect.  I had a great team to work with – my company has the most amazing people (and the best technology).  I truly love my job.  We really rocked it – did a fantastic job, and successfully jumped another hurdle.  Although we have a lot of work to still do to close the deal, we are moving forward.  We are progressing and all signs are pointing us to a successful outcome.  Yeah for us!

On the personal side, my CA dating life was suspended.  I tried to meet up with both MM Guy and Middle Seat Airplane Guy the weekend I was home (8/12-14) but it didn’t work out (largely due to me changing our scheduled meet times). Bummed me out, but that’s the way it worked.  I do have a dinner date with MM Guy tomorrow, Saturday, and as luck would have it, the Executive Chef is available and wants to take me out on Sunday.  I am SO looking forward to a relaxing and pampered weekend.

Speaking of which, I am starting off well in this endeavour to relax and enjoy my weekend.  I’ve not done anything for work today even though I have stuff to do.  My brain just can’t take in anything today. I’m just hanging out at home, watching Sliding Doors, hanging with the cats. I am heading out for a 4pm pedicure, then drinks with CLicious.  I’m sure I’ll be to bed early tonight – I’m still on East coast time.

I’ll be home this weekend and the following week so I’ll get caught up on blog entries.. I have lots of ideas and stories to share, I just haven’t had time to get them all written out.

Have a great Friday everyone.