In maintenance mode

It’s been a really long time since I wrote any kind of update on my weight loss quest; I guess that’s because once I lost the ten pounds I gained last summer, I stopped freaking out about it. I’ve kept it off, but I’m not shedding any additional weight like I wanted to. I’ve been running outdoors lately, which I’ve decided is vastly different (in a good way) from running on a treadmill. So, I’m planning on doing more of that and spending less time at the gym, which served me very well all fall and winter. This has also solidified my plan to, once my gym contract is over (January 2011! Christ.), switch to a gym that doesn’t lock you into a contract. Month to month, baby.

I still use my phone’s calorie counter app but like I said, it’s not making me lose like it would if I were exercising a lot more. At this point, I’m just maintaining my weight. Still, I’m very happy to at least be doing that. I really wanted to start Weight Watchers, which has worked wonders on a co-worker and a couple friends, but it’s just not fitting into my budget right now. I’m trying really hard to save money for my upcoming trips to Chicago (Memorial Day weekend) and San Diego (June 21-26).

Weighing in, off the wagon

When I fall off the wagon, I fall hard, you guys.

It snowed a whole bunch last night, so I didn’t go to the gym. Instead, in my lethargic state, I ordered a pizza. Poor pizza delivery guy. And those mini fried apple pies I ordered probably weren’t necessary. I won’t be going to the gym tonight either, because I have an SNP going away party to go to at 6 (good luck, Rachel!). If I have any hope of completing the third day of week two of Couch to 5k, I’ll have to either go tomorrow before my first improv class or (God forbid) run outside on Sunday. Why is my gym closed on Sundays? Grrrr.

I haven’t lost any more weight, but I gained two pounds back. Yay. EDIT: This is after running twice and roller skating once this week. Lame.

Also, it seems that running gives me lower back pain. But just on one side. Thoughts? Someone said new running shoes would help. Running shoes = very expensive. Worth it?

Weigh-in time and Chicago re-cap

There’s good news and bad news. I have lost eight pounds since Oct. 12. The bad news is, it’s been almost two months since I started the iPhone diet and I’ve only lost eight freaking pounds. I am glad I haven’t gained anything back, and those pesky ten summer pounds are almost gone, but I would like to see another 13 or so go away. I am setting a goal to lose another five pounds by the end of this month. Surely that is a low enough bar that I even I can measure up.

I have started watching NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” and I am completely enthralled. These people are pretty big to start with, and they’re losing pounds in the double digits every week. I realize they’ve got more to lose, but they are also working way harder than I am. Team Amanda!

Being sick all week didn’t help or hurt my efforts. I didn’t exercise but I didn’t gain weight either. Now that I am recovered I’m heading back to the gym tonight for the first time in over a week.

Chicago was amazing. I had a great time and got to spend more time with Brandon’s older brother and sister-in-law then I’ve spent before, and we had a great time wandering the city, the four of us. Amy is a very funny person and we have more in common than I thought. And Brian looked through the music on my ipod and discovered we have a few bands in common, to our mutual surprise. As before, Brandon’s parents were extremely generous to share their Thanksgiving with me and I enjoy their company.

We stayed at a hotel with a great location, the same one from last year, on Water St. very near Michigan Avenue. We spent a lot of time on Michigan, which I have come to know very well after three Model UN conferences in Chicago, two family trips, and now two Massengill holidays there. Oddly enough, the Model UN conferences were all held at the same Water St. hotel and took place in November each year, the week before Thanksgiving.

We did lots of Christmas shopping, ate Gino’s pizza after waiting in a long line, visited the Signature Room of the Hancock Tower, watched a Tennessee football game in a sports bar and went to Second City. Seeing Second City has been a dream of mine for a long time and I finally got to do it. The famous improv theater is the former stomping grounds of many SNL alums and other comedians including Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd and tons of others. The actors we saw were so talented. There’s some local improv activity here in Columbus, I recently discovered. One of my actors in the Parental Discord video (see post below) is an improv actor. I thought it was ironic that I cast a comedian in my first and only dramatic piece to date. His troupe, “See You Thursday,” is performing twice this month at Wild Goose Creative on Summit, on Dec. 11 and 18. I’ll be checking them out one of those two evenings. Bonus: If you are feeling really adventurous, they are offering beginner improv classes starting Jan. 9.

Here’s some pictures from the trip:

Me outside Second City, called "Improv Harvard" by Vanity Fair, as you can see from the quote behind me

Obligatory photo of "the bean"

Amy and Brian at Gino's East

View from the Hancock's Signature Room

Brandon's parents at Maggiano's, where we ate Thanksgiving dinner

We had awesome weather until the morning we left

Brandon loved Chicago and said it would be cool to live there, but the 11 percent sales tax is a real bee-yatch.

Look, I blogged today

Tonight Brandon and I are going to go see “The Men Who Stare At Goats” at Studio 35. I have no idea what I’m getting into. All I know is Brandon cracks up every time they run a trailer for it on TV. Tomorrow I’ll be playing catch up around the house and Sunday, Brandon’s coming to Cincinnati with me for the first time to help out with the production of “Gnomewhere.” Pretty cool he’s coming along.

Wednesday was my dad’s birthday and so I talked to him on the phone for almost an hour about how I’m doing. Happy birthday Dad! I also celebrated his birthday by going to hang out with my brother and sister-in-law in his stead. Sigh; at least he got a birthday lunch with a friend.

I’ve worked out three nights this week and I’m going to the gym tonight, too. Brandon says he is proud of me for sticking with it. I still swear it’s the iPhone.

Rolling right along


Remember how excited you were to win such crappy prizes? Treasure indeed

Last night I went to my gym around 5:30 when I realized I’d forgotten to pack my running shoes. I must have looked pretty strange, walking into the locker room only to sift through my gym bag and walk right back out. I was really annoyed until I remembered I’d read that the skating rink I mentioned yesterday was having a public open skate from 6:30 until 8:30. I drove over to see what fun, action-packed event they had going on until then. Surely they had something going on until 6:30, like a kid’s skate or a birthday party.

The rink is less than a mile from my gym so I drove over and walked in. It was brightly lit, but eerily quiet. The crazy thing is, it smelled exactly like the roller rink I used to go to all the time in Marietta, when I was in high school. It must be some kind of cleaning product they use. Either that, or the smell of used roller skates. I didn’t see anyone, so I kept walking toward the rink. A guy came up to me and told me they were closed until the all-skate started. It was bizarre. There were all kinds of arcade games and a rock-climbing wall but no one there. This is starting to sound like the plot of a horror movie, and I’ll remember that when I make my upcoming “Paranormal Activity” wannabe movie.


The whole place had this retro mural of a theme park painted all around it

I went home and waited for Brandon to get back from work. He agreed to go back at 6:30 with me to check it out, with the promise that there might be pinball involved. He made a judgment call and opted out of trying roller skates for the first time in years just days after having gallbladder removal surgery. Wuss. He was so nice to come with me only to sit at a cafeteria style table next to the rink, playing on his Blackberry as I occasionally swerved ungracefully by. It turned out they were replacing game tickets and refilling token machines the whole time we were there, so there was really not much for him to do.


I'm just a blur, I'm so fast

I started out with roller blades, since that is what I always used in high school and college. I remembered experiencing ankle pain from them before, but that wouldn’t happen until after I’d been skating for a long time. Last night it happened almost immediately. Somewhat discouraged, I asked to trade them in for skates. I hadn’t worn skates since I was 10, at the oldest. It was rough at first, but after several minutes of winding around the rink I kind of found my stride. Just like riding a bike. Or… roller skating. I think there’s a real advantage to having four wheels evenly spaced below your feet, as opposed to blades, where you stand on top a row of wheels and have to balance yourself on them. Must be something to do with weight distribution. In any case, the skates didn’t hurt my ankles, or anything, really. My lower back hurt a little bit at the time, and I think it was from the stress of trying to keep myself from falling. It’s fine today.


Brandon played ski ball on the one machine (of five) that wasn't broken; unfortunately it was out of tickets so it wouldn't let him play a second game

My mom’s brother is an inline skater who actually competes in races every month. I think when I saw “Whip It,” part of me was sure there was a professional skater inside me somewhere, and that I had the genes to prove it. But the truth is, no one can be naturally amazing at any sport if they’re not trying. You don’t just pick up a pair of skates after several years and start whizzing around like an Olympian. You have to decide which things in life are worth working toward becoming better at, like film making or basketball or skating or painting. The average person probably doesn’t have the time or resources to become a master of all these things. And that’s okay, boys and girls.


Old school concession stand

We were only there an hour or so, but I am really glad we went. It was a different kind of experience, and one we shared only with the handful of people who happened to be working there at the time. Having a nearly vacant rink was strange, but also a thing to be thankful for, since there wasn’t anyone for me to run into. The people working skated together once in a while, showing off their abilities of skating backwards, doing jumps. Maybe someday I, too, will be able to jump forward while wearing skates. Not today, though. Probably not tomorrow, either.

It was a nice change from the gym, but unless I invest in a pair of skates, it’s going to cost me $9 to “work out” there. Too bad, because skating sure beats the elliptical machine.

Speaking of which, this morning I found out I have lost five of my ten summer pounds since Oct. 12. Good riddance. I also dropped below a certain weight, but that’s a number I don’t care to share at the moment. If I reach my goal weight, you bet I’ll be bragging about what I *used* to weigh in at. But not until it’s in the past tense.