Saturday, June 21, 2008

Better today than a year ago

There is something about the Johnsons, or to be more accurate the Ashworths.  See when we gain weight our faces expand exponentially.  It is really quite sad.  I know a lot of overweight people who maintain nice faces.  I also know a lot of Ashworths that have huge faces anytime they gain weight.  I could name names, but I will spare you.  I could post pictures, but that just wouldn't be nice.
I have lost a decent amount of weight since I finished college, and probably most of it was this calendar year.  I may not be exactly where I should be, but I am doing better than previously.  I have hit a snag lately because I can't go to the gym.  It is not fun.  It is a long story and involves some very unfortunate responses to sweating in which I actually think my body has developed an allergy to itself.  Luckily, I think I may be coming closer to an answer to the problem, thus a return to frequenting the gym.  Yeah!

However, looking back at pictures from graduation and from now, I look amazingly different.  Someone should have staged an intervention back in 2007.  Things got bad.

I think this was about March of 2007, the arm size is killer, and the face is expanding.

Moving on to graduation, April 2007.  It is no wonder that I never felt like I could never find sunglasses that fit without bumping annoyingly against my cheeks.  I think my face is about to pop.  It is amazing I can even open my eyes.

And this is from saturday night.  Not my all time best, but boy is it better than it was.  I think the straight hair makes me look thinner.  If it wasn't so time consuming, I would do my hair straight more often.  Too bad for being lazy.  At least I actually have a neck now.  And the double chin situation has improved greatly.

Update: just got back from the gym and it was not as bad as it has been.  Hopefully this is going to be a trend and not a fluke.  Lets hope for the best.

Hair chop

I got my hair cut today.  I was planning on growing my hair out and only cutting an inch or less off.  Then I got the haircut thrills.  This happens almost every time I get my hair cut.  Turns out there are a few things in which I have no self control: the snooze button, eating strawberries even though I think I am allergic (more on that later), growing my hair out...
So Betsy (my stylist) convinced me to cut a little more off since it is summer time and my hair is so darn thick.  And let me tell you, it took very little convincing.  She said she would leave it long enough for a pony tail.  I am not sure that is what actually happened.  However, so far I really like the cut.  It is sort of an A-line.  This cut is supposed to look good curly too (since that is my every-day hair).  However, my chubby face and curly curly short hair tends to equate to a very convincing Shirley Temple look.  Thats cool.  I mean people already think I am a teenager, so I might as well make an effort to look young, right.  Meanwhile, I will do the straight thing for approximately 1-2 more days, depending on how it looks without being washed when I wake up tomorrow and Monday.
In other good news, Betsy said that she thinks I am prettier than I used to be.  I am choosing to take it as a complement, and not think about what it means about my previous appearance.  By the way I am not wearing makeup in the following pics.  So much for pretty.

Lets start with the front:

And now we will move to the side:

And finish with the back:

What do you think?  Pictures courtesy of my Mac. I need to actually decorate at some point.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I don't like being pressured by your sales pitch

Today I went to one of those time-share sales pitches.  I hate these sorts of things, but I went as a favor for a friend.  You are welcome.

So it went something like this:  First we met in a big group and got a quick introduction from a guy who really thought he was funny.  And who was really impressed that I travel so much (p.s. I don't travel THAT much).  He kept saying "everyone except her..." and pointing to me, because I was already a traveler.  Good start.

Then we went back to sit and talk with a salesman one-on-one.  This is where the fun really started.  Things were going okay (I am being very generous here), until he started laughing at me.  He kept asking how much I pay for hotels.  I kept saying that I never stay in hotels.  This was unheard of to him, how could I travel so much and not stay in hotels?  Apparently it was not acceptable to him that I stay with friends and family.  And weird to him that I have friends and family in so many places.  Here is part of our conversation:
Him: "You are going into debt for your hotels"
Me: "I don't stay in hotels"
Him: "But paying for hotels that you do not own is like going into debt"
Me: "I don't think you understand the concept of 'debt'"
Him: "Yes I do, you are paying money for something you do not own"
Me: "No, debt is when you spend more than you earn.  It is a very simple concept.  I do not spend more than I earn, therefore I am not in debt (except for my condo, but that is a different category)"
Him: "...."
As we went on I just got more sassy and more fired up.  Eventually he said "Now, you are a smart girl, so..." at which point I cut him off and responded "Yes, I am."  He wasn't expecting that.

Next we had a great conversation where he insisted that since I often do not pay for hotels in the places I go, then I must not be traveling where I want to go, only where I can go.  We argued this topic for several minutes.  Apparently smart travelers are not part of their time-share.  And I am not allowed to enjoy vacations that are inexpensive or in which I visit friends/family.

So then his sales-person friend came over and tried to give me pricing.  He made a big mistake by starting with "can you afford $10 a month?"  I said "yes, I can afford $10 a month, but the real question is whether I want to pay you $10 a month."  He just got up and left the table.  But since he had not quite had enough, he came back and asked again if I could afford $10/month.  I said, "that sounds great and all, but I really hate paying interest.  It makes me mad.  And if I pay you $10/month for the next...forever... then I am paying an awful lot of interest to your company, and that seems like a bad idea to me."  His amazing response "But it is only $10 per month, even if all you pay is interest it is really inexpensive."  Seriously.  Do I really want to just pay interest and never actually pay down the cost of the time-share.  And, to top it off, the actual price was much higher than $10/month.

Is anyone surprised that I did not take the bait?  Is anyone surprised that when the 4rd guy sat down to talk to me about my overall experience that day I told him it was a 6 (scale of 1-10), and that I was being very generous in rating the experience a 6?

At least I got a lot of laughs out of it.  And $40 in Home Depot gift cards.  And a 4 day, 3 night stay in my choice of Las Vegas, Orlando, Reno, Kona (Hawaii) or Los Cabos (Mexico).  Where should I go?

Friday, June 06, 2008


Lets start at the beginning.  I have a hard time swallowing.  This is because my esophagus has decreased motility.  It is not very fun, trust me.  Also, in just the last 2 months or so I break out in hives everytime I sweat.  That is not fun either, I promise.  So after getting home from work on Wednesday morning I took an Allegra (prescribed by my dermatologist to help with the hives).  I have had a difficult time swallowing pills for a very long time, but thought I would be okay, the pill is relatively small and is round.  Well that was about 8am.  The pill lodged in my throat.  I will spare you the details, but lets just say at 2pm the pill was still lodged in my throat and I was still unable to swallow even a drop of liquid.  Things were going really well at this point.  I decided that I probably should not be alone since there were several times when I couldn't breath at all during the previous 6 hours.  So, I headed over to my parents house.  No one was home.  Hmm.  I called my doctor and they said that if I could be there in 3 minutes (2:20) I could come, or I would have to wait until 2:50.  I promised them I would be there in 3 minutes, they told me to drive safe and I headed over.  I got there and everyone could see I was in a fair amount of distress.  (gagging and wretching for 6 hours will do that to you).  They got me back to a room (although they first had to get my weight and height...seriously- priorities people).  The medical assistant person took my blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate.  My blood pressure was 135/94 (I think), my heart rate was very near 120.  Her comment was "your blood pressure is normal, except the bottom number is a little high".  What?!?  For those of you not in the health profession, the high end of normal for blood pressures is 120/80.  I was definitely hypertensive.  And, she was not concerned about my heart rate at all.  Normal heart rate is definitely less that 100.  The doctor was concerned when he came in because he immediately took my pulse again.  Then he told me that I would be getting an emergency endoscopy.  Ooh, fun.
After a couple phone calls he told me to go over to the hospital.  I was to go through emergency so they could admit me, then I was to go to endoscopy, they would be waiting for me.  I got to the hospital, my sister-in-law Liz was waiting for me (I had called to ask if she would be so kind as to drive me home from the hospital when the test was over since I would be sedated).  I won't go into the details, but an hour after we arrived at the hospital we finally found the endoscopy lab.  Apparently the staff at the hospital still do not know where things are.
They got me set up immediately, sedated me and got to work.
They couldn't fit the endoscope down my throat so they had to use a bronchoscope (a much smaller scope used to look at the lungs), which barely fit.  Then they had to work really hard to dislodge the pill.  So apparently my throat is about 11mm in diameter, whereas normal throats are around 20mm in diameter.
It has been almost two days and it still hurts to eat (my throat tore when he tried to dilate it).  So, I am still on a liquid/soft diet.  Which mainly consists of mashed potatoes.  Good times.
I am hungry.