I Fit Inside a Box and Other Weight Loss Related Updates

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I do that shit, myself.

Ok, so fitting inside a gigantic grill box doesn’t make me skinny. I get that. But I’m on this weight loss journey. And it’s working. I’ve been eating healthy foods and tracking my movement/activity. I’m down 7.5 pounds since starting this Pocketful of Quirky Grace DietBet and that pleases me greatly.

So much so, that I had one of my little photo shoots just for you guys. Inside a box.

Because this coming weekend (birthday proper is on Friday [also go enter my birthday giveaway]) involves a wedding, a dinner with Brian’s brothers (his younger brother and I share a birthday), house hunting, and celebration with my favorite person on the planet, my family celebrated with me on Monday, as we christened Dad’s new grill.

My brother and boyfriend put the grill together in the backyard, while I chatted with Mom in the house. I thought I’d join the boys out back, so I meandered out there. As soon as I stepped outside, I saw this magical beast of a grill box and I knew what needed to happen.

I crawled into the large box. And I fit! I knew I was going to have fun for hours. Or at least minutes. It reminded me of that time my best friend, Mark, got a new TV…so my pal Liz and I played in the box for hours. And wouldn’t let him throw it away. Yes. We were adults. Obviously.

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The best part was when Brian rolled the box over. I wish there was video of THAT. He’s apparently glad there’s not.

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For the record, the grease stains are from my sunscreen, not sweat. Dicks.

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Who needs glamour shots, when you can have a Quirky Chrissy style photo shoot?

What’s the strangest thing you ever did during your own mini photo shoot? Would you have jumped right into a large empty box? What would you do if you had an awesome box like this?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

How Dr. Travis Stork and Crest Helped Me Conquer My Fear

This post is courtesy of a partnership with Crest and One2One Network. Of course, just because I’m receiving compensation to talk about my fear and my experiences does not make it any less meaningful. It’s all me…Just sponsored.

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I’m afraid of the dentist.

Have I told you that?

I have this thing with metal touching teeth that drives me absolutely bonkers. When you scrape your teeth against your fork to ensure you get every last bite of food off it? I want to rip my hair out. Just THINKING about metal touching my teeth sends an uncomfortable shiver through my body and physical pain through my mouth.

So the fact that I haven’t been to the dentist in 20+ years is something that I am regrettably ashamed to admit. But I’ll tell you. Because this is important. This week, I’ll be making a phone call to make an appointment with…wait for it…a dentist. Who will probably tell me that despite my twice-daily brushing habits, I have cavities (multiples). But I’m going to do it. (Someone confirm that I have done this by the end of the week. I am notoriously bad at remembering to do things that terrify me. I’m looking to you guys to hold me accountable!)

Because May is Women’s Health Month. And something that you wouldn’t normally associate with Women’s Health Month can have a ginormous effect on (you guessed it) women’s health. Everyone’s health, really. Oral hygiene.

Let’s go back to the beginning.

Last week, I received an invitation to meet the wonderfully handsome and professional Dr. Travis Stork. You remember last time, when I casually touched Dr. Stork’s chest, right? If you don’t, you should probably take a minute to catch yourself up. I’ll wait.

You’re back? Great.

So OBVIOUSLY, I said yes. I HAD to see if he remembered me. Plus I knew he would have necessary and important things to say. Because he’s wickedly handsome smart.

When I told Brian about it…he was less than impressed.

Textversation My boyfriend wants to punch Dr. Stork

OF COURSE, he was only joking, right BRIAN?

Anyways, I quickly discovered that this event was in honor of Women’s Health Month (and Women’s Health Week – which was last week) and the correlation between good oral care and healthy bodies. Oral care. I brush my teeth. Sometimes I use mouthwash. And I’m a Crest girl. That counts, right?

My office is like...a block away.

My office is like…a block away from this Walgreens. I love working on State Street.

When I arrived at Walgreens (Oh yeah, you guys, this event? A BLOCK AWAY from my office. I took an early lunch. How sweet is that?), I was told to head upstairs (yes, the flagship Walgreens is a double decker store. Snacks and bevvies are downstairs and pharmacy/beauty is upstairs) and the good doctor would be there.

Travis StorkI made my way up the escalator and randomly happened upon Travis in the toothpaste aisle. Coincidence? I think not. He was in the middle of a photo shoot, and I immediately burst into the aisle with a big double take and then an obnoxious “HI!” like we’re old friends. Which of course, we are.

And then I embarrassingly asked him if he remembered me. Because like…I told him if I ran into him at the grocery store, he needed to remember me. And Walgreens is LIKE a mini-grocery store. And he pretended to, “from. um. um. BlogHer right?”

Boom!

“Yep! I was the girl with the wheelie sneaks. I almost wore them! But then I didn’t! HI!” Derp.

“Yeah! How are you?” He’s too nice. He’s like the nicest famous person  I know. He may well be the only famous person  I know.

We gabbed as he moved from one photo shoot to the other and he mentioned how it was great to be back in Chicago–as the last time he was supposed to come he couldn’t. “Remember when it was negative 40 degrees?”

“Yes I remember perfectly. I was here. It was COLD. I can’t believe you bailed on Chicago for a little cold.”

“Planes wouldn’t take off! Not my fault!”

My dialogue isn’t exact. It’s loose. Forgive me. But this was the first time it was fun to chat about the weather. Small talk with my favorite doctor? Yes, please.

And this was all BEFORE my one on one interview! I was the first one there. Lucky me, right?

Once he was finally ready to sit down for an interview, I was brought back behind a table, and it was SUPER claustrophobic. Dr. Stork asked nicely to move the interviews to the front side of the table, and he even carried my chair for me. What a gentleman!

So we sat down, and of COURSE, I was all discombobulated and nervous, dropping  my notepad and phone and camera all over the place, while he sat there cool as a cucumber.

I eventually got to start asking a few questions about the campaign with Crest and learned a few new things about the importance of REALLY GOOD oral care.

I thought it was kind of adorable that when I asked about the reason they were running this campaign for Women’s Health Month, Dr. Stork replied that women are essentially the captains and commanders of the household (Fact. Actually his words were more like, “Women are the guiders of good health” which I giggled at, internally) but that’s only part of why they were targeting the ladies.

70 percent of pregnant women have gingivitis or gum issues

So ladies, if you’re preggers, make SURE that you’re brushing, rinsing and flossing daily to protect yourself and reverse signs of this gum disease! but it’s not just pregnant women!

One out of every two adults has gingivitis or gum issuesAccording to the good doctor, there have been several studies that show correlation between periodontal diseases and heart disease. So your teeth health could possibly effect your overall health.

What’s a girl to do? Visit with the dentist twice a year. And brush your teeth twice a day. And rinse with a mouthwash of some sort. And floss (but you only have to do that once a day.) Dr. Stork uses Crest Pro-Health (they can prevent and even REVERSE gingivitis), and I proudly told him that we were a Crest household, as well. So when Crest hooked this girl up with a goodie bag of Crest Pro-Health and Oral-B products (plus my favorite doctor’s diet plan book), I was super excited!

Travis StorkAnd of course, there was the obligatory photo shoot with fancy camera men who made me look slightly washed out next to handsome doctors. And I was gripping my camera because I didn’t know where to put it. But look! We both wore purple!

Travis StorkWhat can you do next? Well, start by reading up on the importance of a good oral care routine with Crest Pro-Health products (paste, brush, rinse and floss) which, at Walgreens, are on sale for $2.99 each; PLUS when you buy 2 you get 1 free.  This offer is valid from 5/18-5/24. </ProductPlugging>

Feel free to be awesome like me (because I’m not obsessing over my oral hygiene routine in typical OCD fashion – no seriously, after this interview, I went and threw a bunch of money at the pharmacy and said make my teeth happy and gingivitis-free! And I’ve tripled the time I spend cleaning my teeth. And I started flossing.) and go spend about $20 on additional oral care products.

And make that dreaded appointment with your dentist. Conquer the fear. Oh, wait that’s just me? I’m working on it.

What’s your oral care routine like? Are you afraid of the dentist? What do you think of my dreamy doctor friend?

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Straight Up Now-Baby Got Back…and Wants to Lose it, Lose it.

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My baby brother and cousin rockin’ out in the sandbox.

I just started playing the throwback  game in the social media world. So I thought it was pretty perfect when Twindaddy planned to start his 25 songs in 25 days challenge on a Thursday with the first song being “A song from your childhood.”

I have two songs for you. Because I’m a terrible decision maker. And I’m doing something else this month for funsies.

The first song is one my cousin (the adorbs blonde above on the left) and I used to dance around my mother’s living room listening to…on CASSETTE TAPE.

Straight Up by Paula Abdul

Most of the music I listened to as a kid was from my parents’ fave radio stations, but we loooved the Paula Abdul.

The second song is from my high school cheerleading days. Not quite childhood, but pretty darn close.

Baby Got Back by Sir Mix a Lot

Yes. That. Our senior year, this song was part of our competition routine. And yours truly was the girl who stood up valley-girl-style to say, “OH. MY. GOD.” It was awesome.

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In this picture, I was doing a single extension with the support of a spotter. It was my proudest cheercomplishment.

As I checked out this pic, I thought about how I used to think I was fat, because I was bigger than the other girls…and what I wouldn’t give to have those legs again! Which leads me to the The Pocketful of Quirky Grace DietBet.

I’m joing up with two of my bloggy friends, Joules of Pockful of Joules and and Kari of A Graceful Life, to lose a few pounds.

Pocketful of Quirky Grace DietBet Team

And you can join us too! I’ve done the Weight Watchers thing since, well, high school…and it has worked and it has not worked…So I’m doing this with my own diet and exercise and financial accountability, but you can use whatever method works for you. The goal is to lose 4% of my body weight in 4 weeks. With DietBet, everyone can win. Join our DietBet now!

  • The DietBet’s official start date is Tuesday, May 6, 2014.
  • All participants will need to weigh-in on May 4th or May 5th.
  • The cost to participate is $20.
  • The Bet is to lose 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks.
  • The official end date is June 2, 2014.
  • You can make your weight private so that only YOU see it.
  • Your pictures can also be private (your full body shot and scale shot).
  • We can all support each other on the DietBet site to stay motivated.
  • At the end of the bet, the total amount of money in the pot is split between the winners (after they take their fee out).
  • If we ALL win, DietBet will not take their fee and we will all get our $20 back.

So wish me luck. And get excited for the next 24 days of musically themed posts!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Things NOT to do When Spring Daylight Savings Time Hits. A Cautionary Tale.

And by cautionary tale, obviously, I mean shit I already did. And probably shouldn’t have done. Because holy fuck, I’m feelin’ it today. And yesterday.

Mostly, I think Daylight Savings Time is stupid, but that’s another topic for another day.

Instead, let’s get into the ridiculous shit I did this weekend without thinking about the time change designed to fuck up one’s life. Let’s just call this… A letter to me 365 days from now. Don’t forget, Christine (that’s what I call myself when I’m lecturing myself). This shit’s important.

  1. NEVER plan on going out drinking (when you pretty much never go out drinking) and expect to be functional the next day. Just don’t. Even if it’s a bachelorette party. You plan on a day wasted napping, snacking, watching House of Cards, New Girl and playing Simpsons Tapped Out on your tablet. You won’t even get to write a blog post. Trust me. You’ll be useless.

  2. Honestly, you probably shouldn’t consume more liquor in one night than you have in the last month combined. You’re not in college anymore, sweetheart.

  3. NEVER leave your blinds cracked open. You don’t remember this from last fall when it was still warm (pretty much EONS ago), but the sun coming in your room in the morning? Sucks. Especially after a night of drinking. When you’re crabbier than normal. Dumbass.

  4. NEVER plan your time at the gym at the crack of dawn after the time has jumped ahead an hour. And more importantly, DO NOT schedule an appointment with your trainer at 9 am. That’s just stupid. You’re a moron. If you’re lucky, the aforementioned blinds will wake you up long before your training session…with enough time to text your trainer and tell her you’ll be in late. Like 6 hours late. If you get to her in enough time to not leave her house, she’ll be cool about it.

  5. Really you probably shouldn’t schedule an appointment with your trainer after a night of heavy drinking in general. I don’t care that you want to work off the calories of the taco dip, potato chips, penis cake, mozzarella sticks, nachos, and Greek fries from the night before…or the eggs, hash browns, corned beef hash, biscuits and gravy, and pancakes from your ginormous hangover breakfast…it’s probably not worth it. And it’s going to take more than one sesh to burn those calories, doll.

Obviously, I had a stellar weekend. And now it’s Monday. How was YOUR weekend? Did you do anything spectacular? How well did you handle the time change? Did you have to push your Sunday back a few hours or were you ready for it?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

As promised, I went back to the gym — And met the devil in plastic

A short while back, I mentioned something about needing to go to the gym so I could continue to indulge in comfort foods. And thus began my journey down the rabbit hole of having a personal trainer.

Brian and I have had a gym membership for over a year. But we’ve gone maybe 5 times. Maybe.

I needed some serious motivation to get back to the gym and I was SERIOUSLY missing the awesome group training sessions I had when I went to this amazing gym back in Aurora (which is much too far away to maintain a membership). Also Brian is determined to keep up with this gym thing (look at us becoming gym rats!) going…so he convinced me that the trainer was the way to go.

OK. Fine.

So, on Day 1: The Assessment, this chick (the trainer) turns out to be super nice (I mean, despite the making me sweat thing) and an English major to boot. Good choice, Gym Manager Guy. Good choice.

She worked me a little hard to see my level of strength, but nothing terrible. Except for the Godawful Bosu.

Bosu Balance Ball

The Bosu Balance Ball*: The Devil in Plastic.

I had informed Trainer about my bad knee, ankles, and wrists…basically that I can’t do a whole lot of anything on them. Or risk serious pain. Push-ups? Planks? No thank you.

So she decides that it’s a good idea to put me on this half ball thing, which only makes shit harder…

Resting my elbows on the Devil in Plastic, she had me hold a plank position (that means a push-up position with a flat back) for…AS LONG AS I COULD.

Which turned out to be 15 whole seconds.

She let me rest. And then she made me DO IT AGAIN.

This time, though, she told me to go to my happy place. And I started smiling. And thinking. And internally giggling. And I said to her,

“If I told you I was thinking about cheese, would that be wrong?”

Her response?

“Whatever gets you through.”

30 seconds later, she told me I could rest. Cheese. Doubled. My. Stamina.

A few days later, she brought out that dreaded thing again. And I was ready for it.

Brie, cheddar, swiss, havarti.

Brie, cheddar, swiss, havarti.

Fuck. I can’t focus. I can’t think of other cheeses.

Brie, cheddar, swiss, havarti.

Blue!

Brie, cheddar, swiss, havarti.

Why can’t I think of other cheeses?!

Why is this so hard!

Brie, cheddar, swiss, havarti.

And rest.

I may not have been able to divert my attention back to cheese but I did 3 reps of 30 seconds each, repeating my mantra inside my head. And if you’re going to have a mantra, it should be things you love right?

Never underestimate the power of cheese.

Do you work out? Do you want to work out? Do you have a gym membership you don’t use?

How do you get through tough workouts?  What’s your secret?

*Some links lead to Amazon and may then lead to Amazon sending a tiny contribution to my cheese budget. I thank you in advance.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I Teach Life Lessons

For couple of summers, I worked for a company that teaches students how to read. It’s kind of one of those last resorts for parents who have tried everything else. They teach children that no one else can teach. And they do it well. It was an incredibly humbling experience. Not only did I teach children, teenagers, and even some adults how to read…I taught them how to comprehend. Sometimes I really miss that place.

What may surprise you is that for some people, understanding what they’re reading goes hand in hand with understanding consequences. Perhaps the young 20-something who keeps ending up in jail for stupid reasons could have benefited from the program that I have come to know and understand. Of course, it’s a lot of fun teaching some of the life lessons that everyone should know. Here is one of my favorites. Be forewarned, it’s a little gross.

Always wash your hands

 

Wash Your Hands

Calia (named obviously changed to protect the innocent), an 8 year old who came to us unable to read the word, “smart,” eventually got to a point where we were solely working on her comprehension. She became an excellent reader. When Calia first started, she didn’t want to work at all, she crawled under the table, and she was really mean to most of the teachers – calling us names, saying rude things about other students, herself, and the teachers. By the end of her time with us, Calia was understanding and making conclusions/inferences based on her reading. She had made friends with some of the students and I can even remember her hugging me when she did something super awesome as far as reading. During one of her later work sessions, she and I were having a pretty interesting conversation about cleanliness.

Calia was constantly playing with her feet. Picking them. Putting pens and other items in her shoes. Putting feet in the teacher’s faces… So I explained to her, “Calia, sometimes the little kids here put this stuff in their mouths. Do you think that it’s a good idea for your feet to have touched them? It’s like putting your feet in their mouth. Would you want someone’s feet in your mouth?”

She thought for just a minute before she said, “No! That’s gross!”

“Exactly. Our feet are pretty dirty right?” I asked her to see if she would understand further…

“Yeah, our whole bodies are dirty, aren’t they?”

“Well, yes and no. Our feet are dirtier, because they walk on the ground a lot, don’t they?”

“Yeah, I don’t really like wearing shoes.” She said, as her shoes lay in a pile on the floor.

“But would you want them in your mouth?”

“No, probably not. But sometimes I pick my nose and put boogers in my mouth.”

ew. Ew. EW.

“Well, let’s think about about our hands for a minute. Are they cleaner than our feet?”

“Yes!” She said as if I was asking her the stupidest question in the world. Almost a Duh! moment.

“Right, because we wash our hands a lot. We wash our hands all day. Every time we go to the bathroom, right?”

“Well….sometimes.”

Knowing she had just come from the bathroom a few moments earlier, “Did you wash your hands in the bathroom today?”

“Of course! I always wash my hands. Sometimes, when I’m at home though…I don’t.” Calia admitted to me.

“Well, your mom is a doctor, right?”

“Uh huh!”

“And she sees sick people and makes them better, right?”

“Yeah!” Her smile beamed with pride for her mom.

“So, sometimes people get sick because they don’t wash their hands and then touch part of their body and the germs get inside.”

“Huh?”

“Did you know that the inside of your nose is inside your body?”

“It is!?!”

“Yep..”

“I didn’t know that!” She started getting really excited.

“So when you pick your nose, you’re putting the germs from your hand into your body.”

“Really?”

“Yep.”

“Miss Chrissy?”

“Yes, Calia?”

“I need to go wash my hands.”

Are you as grossed out by feet as I am? Have you ever had to explain why handwashing is important to a tiny human or two? How would you have explained it?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!