FFTFL premiere

FFTFL premiere

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Nate Berkus Show!!

Hey! Remember when I went to a taping of The Nate Berkus Show back on 12/6? Well the show will be airing on Tuesday, 12/20. Here in NY he's on NBC at 2pm. Go to http://www.thenateshow.com/ to see when it airs in your area, if you want to sit and wait to POSSIBLY see me in the audience. My friends and I were sitting in the "west wing," which is the section to the left of the stage if you're Nate. I'm the one with the gray hair and the light blue argyle sweater, sitting right next to my gf Donna wearing a multi-color argyle sweater!

that's us in the audience!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I Lied

Up 2.2 pounds since "my solemn vow" on November 23rd. That was only three weeks ago. I am perfectly fine during the day. I get up, eat some breakfast, hit the gym for at least an hour, have a normal lunch and dinner, with some rather healthy snacks thrown in. Then, the night comes. Throughout my life I've done most of my overeating at night. Go to bed early, you say? I usually fall asleep early, then wake up to use the bathroom and grab something to eat on the way up to my room. I've got to get my head back on straight. I am still maintaining my weight loss, but I want to stop the thoughtless eating. Trying to make sure this train does not get derailed!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Epic Fail

Trying to run the morning after you donate a pint of blood = EPIC FAIL. Ok, not quite epic, but I STRUGGLED through 3 miles. I ran 9 last Saturday. I think if I would have pushed myself even 1/4 mile more, someone would've been using the smelling salts behind the desk (I'm just assuming they have some!). Bright side? Because the demand for blood is so great this time of year I earned 500 points at the New York Blood Center Donor Advantage program, which equals a $25 gift card! I think I may have found a new way to supplement my piddly income!

But honestly, I've been giving blood since I am 18 years old and I do it because it costs me nothing and it really does help others desperately in need. It doesn't hurt either that there are Lorna Doones on the snack table after donating!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Why I Took That First Step

Unfortunately, Tuesday nights are one of my nights to chauffer the kids to all of their activities. I head to the high school to drop my son off for jazz band rehearsal at 7pm, go back home to bring my daughter to dance for 7:45pm, sit around at the studio for an hour and then when she's done, head back to the h.s. to pick up Charlie (Jr.) at 9pm from jazz band. This past Tuesday my husband stayed home from work so I could go into the city with my girlfriend to see Nate and he could do all of that running around. So, I don't get to see Biggest Loser the night it's on. Luckily, no one ever ruins it for me the next day talking about it on Facebook or whatever. I don't have a DVR, so thank goodness for 'Free on Demand' from my cable company!

This week was my favorite episode of the Biggest Loser season--- THE MARATHON!! It is alwasy SO inspiring to see people who, just a short time earlier, were 50, 75 or even 100 pounds heavier, now racing in a 26.2 mile course. Some of them didn't have the strength or endurance to even WALK a mile when they started their journey, and now they are running! Back in May of 2009, while watching Tara Costa in season 7 run the marathon, my husband asked me a question, and I'll never be able to express how grateful I am to him for asking it. He said "Do you ever think you'd want to do that?" My response was "Yeah. I mean, what an accomplishment that is." It's kinda like a bucket list item, COMPLETING A MARATHON. Then Charlie said that if I ever decided to do a marathon, he would do it with me. That short, innocent conversation was a catalyst that sparked my desire to lose the weight I have been battling ONCE AND FOR ALL. 

At my nephew Adam's wedding, 7/17/09- my before shot

I started my weight-loss journey, finally, on August 17, 2009. I didn't start running until March of 2010, after I had lost some weight and I wasn't THAT afraid of having a heart attack. Charlie would  be my biggest cheerleader. I couldn't even run 1/2 a lap when I started training. To increase the distance I could run, I would keep adding 1/2 a lap. I remember reporting to Charlie what I had accomplished in a workout. I can remember how incredibly far 3/4 of a mile felt, and when I finally ran an entire mile, with Charlie by my side, how emotional achieving that goal made me. When we got back in the car from coming off the track, I looked over at Charlie and asked him if he was proud of me (for having run a mile). He looked right at me, with tears in his eyes, and said "I was proud of you when you started." This is the man I married. Having his support on this rocky road has meant everything to me.

our 1st 5k together- 9/11/10
So when it was time to finally sit down and watch this week's BL episode, I wanted Charlie next to me to watch it too. This season's marathon was the best marathon episode EVER!! I don't know if it's because I now run and I understand the mental strength as well as the physical endurance it takes to run or because I can actually visualize myself running one now, but this marathon had both me AND my husband crying. I will probably go back and watch that episode several times because it is THAT inspiring. I was so sad for Joe when Dr. Huizenga pulled him off the course. He wanted to finish SO badly. I was so happy for Ramon for winning (and that John DIDN'T!) and getting a spot in the final 3. But I don't think anything can compare to the emotion evoked when Coach Mike and then Debbie and Johnny crossed that finish line in the dark. I was so proud of them. They weren't looking to win or set any records, they just wanted to finish. Three people in their 60's finishing a 26.2 mile HORRENDOUS course. For starters, does any marathon put the runners through a sand storm? AND, I didn't see any of them with an iPod for music AND there wasn't ANY scenery to look at to pass the time! I don't know, I guess I would need some distractions to keep me out of my head so much.

I'm not there yet. I could definitely finish a marathon, but I want to run a marathon. I'm more than a third of the way to that goal. I plan on running a half-marathon next year. I'm not sure if I can tackle a marathon as well, but I definitely want to run one in 2013. Charlie hasn't been training with me. He didn't run the 10k I did this year. I'm not sure if he really wants to run a marathon or not now, but that's not going to stop me from setting my goals and achieving them, and I know he'll still be cheering me on.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Could Be Considered a Grand Slam???

On Tuesday, I went to NYC with my girlfriend to The Nate Berkus Show. The weather was so-so, a little drizzly, but unseasonably warm for a December day, which was nice. We got into the city early to enjoy the sights for a little bit before heading over to CBS Studios. We walked past Macy's Herald Square to enjoy the Christmas windows and through Times Square to do some people-watching.

A Macy's window display

After that we stopped for a drink at Bubba Gump's Shrimp Co. and relaxed. We then took a cab to the studio to stand in line for about an hour before we were coralled inside to wait some more.

We had pretty good seats and LOVED the fact that the studio was decked out for Christmas. Donna and I were hoping that was a good sign for some audience gifts!

Donna and I in the audience
Christmas trees in Nate's studio

Christina Ferrare was a guest for several segments of the show. She co-hosted The Home Show and The Home and Family Show on ABC many years ago. She demonstrated several of her favorite easy entertaining tips. I was REALLY hoping for the food processor she used to make her bean dip! No such luck. However, Nate showed off his favorite table settings and there was a beautiful flower arrangement adorning the table. He then gave us all a $75 gift card to Teleflora! YAY! Then, Christina helped bring attention to many dogs that need good adoptive homes. A representative from the ASPCA was there and Nate presented her with a donation from Petco and we all got a $25 gift card as well! Molly will be so happy this Christmas!

After that, there was an expert on frugal fashion finds and she bought 2 women outfits from head-to-toe for under $25 each! One woman had a faux fur coat on that cost $.50!!! Finally, the beauty editor from Self magazine was there to educate us on some beauty hangover tips. She had the entire table covered with beauty products like toothpaste, eye cream, lotions and the Clarisonic Facial Cleaning System. Nate then told the audience we were all going home with a beauty rescue basket! We got the $200 Clarisonic!! YAY  ME! Goodbye fine lines and wrinkles!! Maybe then people will stop assuming I'm a grandma? Doubt it!

OOH! AAH! A prize package valued at $370!!

So, my talk-show swag dry-spell has finally come to an end! Now I have plenty of fun products to pamper myself with after the craziness of the holidays is over with! You think that the high from our goodie bag would have been enough and we would have called it a night, but we decided to hang out, see some more sights and grab dinner. We headed down to Rockefeller Center to see the most famous and beautiful Christmas tree (in my opinion) in all the world. Fifth Avenue is a holiday light spectacular and it makes you feel like a kid again. I really wish my husband and kids were with me to see it. I think we'll be making a trip in together (if I can convince my husband) between Christmas and New Year's. There really is nothing like New York at Christmas-time. I could do it every year. With the hustle and bustle of this season, it's nice to just stop and gaze at the wonder around you; soak it all in and appreciate the simple yet glorious things in our world.



The most spectacular Christmas tree ever.



Monday, December 5, 2011

Hopefully a Homerun with Nate Berkus

It seems I am batting .000 when it comes to hitting the jackpot at talk-show tapings. I haven't been to many, which is sorta sad since I live so close to NYC and have the opportunity to view several. Anyway, when you watch these shows and see what some of the audience members are walking away with, you want to scream. Also, it would be nice to see a celebrity thrown in there if there isn't going to be any swag.

Back in '97 I got to go to a taping of Regis and Kathie Lee. OF COURSE it was in February when it's wedding week! We saw some couple get married, (Kathie Lee serenaded them), and no luck getting our number picked by the trivia contestant. STRIKEOUT #1.

Not long after that my sister-in-law and I went to a taping of the Rosie O'Donnell show. It was her first season. I couldn't tell you who was on the show, that's how memorable they were. When it was all said and done, we each caught a Koosh Ball (remember she used to shoot them into the audience?) and got a travel size bottle of Listerine, because that year she was voted "Least Kissable" in a poll done by Scope mouthwash. STRIKEOUT #2.

Fast forward to last year when my husband and I went to the premier season's second day of taping for The Nate Berkus Show. Now, Nate's been around a while. He's frickin' backed by Oprah herself! But, I guess product public relations departments wanted to see if he had any staying power. He did a few segments on picking paint colors and shopping, so you think maybe we'd get a Sherwin Williams gift card or something?!? NADA! STRIKEOUT #3.

I think I'd be pulled from the batting line-up if I truly was playing on a team. But, I may be down, but I'm not out. Tomorrow I'm going BACK to see Nate Berkus with my girlfriend Donna. I have been watching a little bit this season, and I have to say, his audience members have been LUCKY BASTARDS!! One show Guy Fieri co-hosted (LOVE Diners, Drive-ins and Dives!). They walked away with a professional Kitchen-Aid standmixer (I COVET that!), a professional Vitamix blender (it gets so hot you can make soup in it!), gift cards for wine glasses, etc. That prize package was probably worth around $1,500!!

So, my gf thinks that since the taping we're going to is about 2 weeks before Christmas, we might hit it big. I am not holding my breath!! I just love the opportunity to go into the city, even if the forecast is crummy. My husband actually took the day off so I could go and he'll do the shuttling the kids to jazz band and dance for me. It will be a nice "girl's day out." Maybe we'll go see the tree at Rockefeller Center if we're up to it. It's not that fun walking around Manhattan with an umbrella, especially during the holiday season. Can't wait to see how it pans out!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Look How Far I've Come!

1 hour, 31 minutes, 31 seconds-1049 calories burned-- OOH RAH!
There was a time, only a little over a year and a half ago, when I couldn't run more than 1/8th of a mile. Today I ran 9 miles. I ran 8 two weeks ago, so I just took the speed down a tenth of a mile and decided today I would run 9. That voice in my head tried to tell me "You can run 6 today. An hour of running is a good workout. You don't NEED to run 9. That half-marathon you're working towards isn't until October..." She only said that a few times, but I won out. I just listened to my music, watched MTV (the gym got 8 cable channels back for the aerobic equipment, better than nothing!) and plugged away. I definitely do the numbers game, breaking everything up, to see how far I've gone, trying not to concentrate TOO much on how much I have LEFT to go. My favorite part, other than hitting the stop button and jumping onto the rails? Seeing people come and go on my neighboring treadmills as I go at it!