Atlantic City

I’m pretty sure that if I was a random stranger reading this blog (Hello Random Stranger) I would think that I was a globe trotter. Well I’m not. I’m just lucky that living in Scranton means I’m very close to a lot of fun things. (I’m also lucky to live in Scranton because good things happen here to but that’s a blog post for a different day.) A few weekends ago I worked the Farmer’s Market on Saturday and drove down to Atlantic City to spend the weekend with some awesome ladies!

As I’ve said (here, here, here) I am a member of Weight Watchers and I found a wonderful place on the messages boards where I get to talk about myself, complain and generally just talk to people who get what losing a lot of weight is like. Anyway, a fairly large group of us went to Atlantic City to get together and just talk. group

It was wonderful to sit in random hotel rooms and talk about all the issues I have losing the last 20 pounds, or why people gained weight to begin with, the daily struggles. It was just good. I felt energized when I got back and happy. These women are my support and are awesome. (This also includes the many who weren’t in AC that weekend.)

Thanks Boardies. I love you!

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As always to many pictures. I also want to say I don’t gamble and because of that I don’t really recommend Atlantic City. I would much prefer a quieter place with less people and less of the depression I think gambling brings. (The homeless sitting at the slots are a lot for me to handle. People bathing in the sink at Trump.)  The weather wasn’t great so I did spend a lot of time sitting in Starbucks or peoples rooms BUT that’s OK because I got to meet and see these women.

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Link 7/20/2014

What a WILD week I’m had. I went to the cardiologist on Wednesday (nothing to be alarmed about), Thursday my car decided it was no longer going to shift out of park (because putting the car in drive isn’t critical at all), and this weekend is just a mass of a million little things I need to do. Like organizing my life!!

Here are some awesome articles I read this week or websites I discovered.

A website with designer clothes for SUPER DUPER CHEAP!! Best thing ever!! Here 

I find articles about people farming in urban or semi urban areas fascinating. Little Farm in Suburbia Here 

Because really when isn’t taxidermy cool? 11 Historically Significant Pieces of Taxidermy   Here (I feel like The Bloggess should check this one out!! )

I convinced myself that I had e-coli this week (I should stay off web MD.) this article did not help! Globe Trotting Virus Hides in Peoples Gut Here 

And a few pictures!

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No wheels means I used these two things A LOT this week. Which is great for my waistline BUT I pulled a tendon which kind of hurts a lot.wpid-20140726_130246.jpg

I feel like the building looked like a postcard. Sadly I didn’t capture it the way I wanted BUT I TRIED. Which is something.

wpid-20140726_120803.jpgNorthern Lights is the yummiest place for coffee!! All my friends agree.

 

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Weight Loss

wpid-cymera_20140722_075811.jpgI’ve mentioned Weight Watchers in pretty much every blog post since I started so I thought now was as good a time as any to talk a little bit about my weight loss trek journey.

I joined Weight Watchers in January of 2013 with Burke. He had been at Boscovs looking for a winter coat and couldn’t find one that both buttoned and that he liked. I mentioned that I had been thinking about going on a diet and asked if he wanted to join me. The rest is history!

We joined online (meetings are MUCH more expensive and weren’t in the budget at the time) and both had over 100 pounds to lose. it was a daunting number but Weight Watchers broke it up into small attainable goals (5%, 10% etc.). Burke learned about cooking (there is life past boxed mac and cheese!) and I really enjoyed helping him learn more about cooking. Early on I discovered Skinnytaste (Gina has NEVER led me astray. I also talk about her like we’re friends. We aren’t.) for recipes and Weight Watchers has a lot of recipes on there site. I also purchased a food scale (best 15 dollars I’ve ever spent!!), and I stopped eating fast food and drinking. wpid-cymera_20131117_213736.jpg

You don’t have to stop eating certain things (or drinking them) with Weight Watchers which is why there program works. I decided to give up those things to help myself be more successful on the program.

Burke lost over 100 pounds and joined the US Navy (I’m so proud of him). As of today I’ve lost 115 pounds and like to buy new clothes.  It’s not all been sunshine and roses (I’ve been hovering where I currently am since March) but it’s all been worth it. I’ve made new friends, discovered a new personality and I FIT INTO WHITE HOUSE BLACK MARKET!!! Which was a major goal for me. I’ve got about 25 pounds left to lose and I promise I’ll be having a blog party if I ever get there! :)

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** If you are going to join Weight Watchers online I recommend either having someone in your life who already knows the system or joining meeting for 12 weeks first. Online is great if you’ve got a good support system BUT it is HARD if you are going at it alone.

If you have any questions about Weight Watchers and don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment you can reach me at Lookingaheadto30@gmail.com. ;)

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Coney Island

When I joined Weight Watchers 18 months ago the first day I went to the message boards to try and meet some people who I felt would understand what I was going through. There are message boards for all sorts of people. 100 pounds to lose, 50 pounds to lose, maintenance, young moms, runners etc. It’s wonderful because no matter what your goals are you can find someone who understands. I found a home on the 100+ pounds to lose board. The people there were welcoming and kind. They cheer your victories and could probably be trusted to solve all of the worlds problems. I’ve been VERY lucky to meet some of the people on the board. One of which was Erin who lives in Brooklyn. We met last summer around this time an bonded over a deep love of pizza and I’ve seen her a handful of times since. She is one of the kindest people I know and she also recently became engaged to another really nice person Ken. Anyway, I’ve spent a lot of time in NYC but like most people who travel into “The City” I really only go to Manhattan. (The bus drops me off there so it’s convenient!!) But I can be bribed out of Manhattan (The Met is there it’s hard to make me want to leave!) by baseball, beach and amusement park rides! So a few weeks ago Burke and I got up REALLY early and took the bus into New York City and found ourselves getting on the subway and HOPING that we picked Erin and Ken up at there stop and heading for Coney Island! When we got off the subway I REALLY did not know what to expect (other then HEAT because it was hotter then I can even tell you!). Clean and pretty like Hershey Park, sketchy like Atlantic City or somewhere in the middle. Well it was somewhere in the middle. Some of the rides looked like they could use a coat of paint but that (for me) was part of there charm. Burke and I rode the Cyclone first (which is a wooden roller coaster) and I’m not going to lie a BIG part of me just kept think YOU ARE TO FAT FOR THIS RIDE. But lo and behold I fit and I loved it. I walked away unharmed save for a few bruises which were totally worth it. roller coaster swing After another few rides it was LUNCH TIME and what would a trip to Coney Island be without a trip to Nathan’s Famous hotdogs?! I don’t really like hotdogs so I had a burger and we all split some AMAZING fries. Afterward we headed to a baseball game. wpid-cymera_20140717_214653.jpg The Brooklyn Cyclone’s are a Met’s farm team who just happened to be playing an Oriole’s  farm team. Now what you probably don’t know is that Burke and I were born in Maryland so this was VERY exciting for us! The game was SUPER HOT (we hid under the roof where the concessions were!) but a lot of fun. Baseball for me is perfect, I can bring knitting, have conversation with my friends, eat ice cream. It’s awesome. Now it was adding up to be a pretty banner day roller coaster, french fries, baseball, ice cream are all of my favorite things so what really could have topped it off?! wpid-20140706_130134.jpg wpid-20140706_134740.jpg   If you guessed walking in the molten lava sand and sticking my toes in the water you are correct!! Coney Island was a lot of fun and if you live in NYC for a $2.50 subway ride WHY HAVEN’T YOU GONE?! If you don’t live there and are looking for something fun to do for a day I would put this on the short list (but did I mention The Met!? You should check that out first!) What really made the day special was chilling with Erin, Ken and Burke who all make the list of my favorite people! wpid-20140706_153941.jpg beach PS: Poor Burke was EXHAUSTED after I dragged him all around Coney Island. On the way back to Manhattan this happened ….  wpid-20140706_183325.jpg

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Links week of 7/13

I’m spending the weekend in Atlantic City with some SUPER awesome people. I can’t wait to show you pictures from the trip!

The Daily Beast: Great Cities are Born Filthy. Here 

Interesting article about how we can stop the food dilemma. Here

Great read!! And a lot of things I need to work on. 27 Life Changing Lessons to Learn from Eckhart Tolle. Here

New Jane Austen waxwork uses forensic science to model ‘the real Jane’ Here I do heart all things Austen. (If you haven’t read Persuasion DO IT!!)

 

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Ohio

Although Burke and I went to Ohio for a not fun reason that doesn’t mean that we didn’t do fun things while we were there! (Although I must admit after not having a cold for 2 years I woke up Friday morning with the sniffles and they continued all weekend!! At first I thought they were allergies but of course they weren’t!)

Friday night we were in the car from 11:15 am until 10 pm!! It was a terribly long drive (although no construction traffic) it just WOULD NOT END!!

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Luckily upon arriving Rugger the chocolate lab was there to greet us and make us feel WELCOME!!

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Saturday we spent the day with my Mom and for dinner we went to Marion’s Pizza in Dayton. The pizza is cut into TEENY TINY pieces and is VERY thin. But it’s good. Very different from the Old Forge style I eat here. What was really important Saturday night was that we got to see a few of our cousins (many have moved away) and two of our second cousins.

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After dinner Burke went to a bonfire at one of cousins houses and I went to bed because I had the plague and wanted sleep. (Sadly my sleep was interrupted by Burke not coming home at 1:30 in the morning and waking up the whole household including Rugger. Not good).

Sunday it looked like rain and after having bacon and eggs we went back to the hospital. Being mature adults we went to Tim Hortons and had donuts because life is short and donuts are wonderful!!

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Monday it was time to go home already (We were in Vandalia for a whopping 56 hours!!!!) and we started the morning off with more donuts. Jim’s Donuts IS THE BEST PLACE and I don’t know why I EVER go anywhere else. Fresh, homemade, SUPER CHEAP, and full of regulars who hang out there. (When I say cheap I mean it. 2 filled donuts, 2 flavored, 2 large coffees $5.70!!! I had 2 donuts and coffee at Tim Horton’s the prior day and it cost 5 dollars!!)

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And we started the long drive home. We hit Akron around the rush hour traffic and I FINALLY took a picture of the clock on the Goodyear Building. Akron was a boom-town for rubber manufacturing but Goodyear is all that’s left. 

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We got back to Scranton around 4 pm and I ate some Italo’s and put myself to bed before 10 pm.

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Life is an odd thing

A few years ago in July my Brother and I were visiting my Mom in Ohio (where she is from and lives not) and she was admitted to the hospital for an infection in her foot. She subsequently had that leg amputated. The following summer in June Burke and I went to visit and she was in a physical rehab center after another near death infection. And this year she is back in the hospital with another infection, a blood clot and a few other problems. I’ve never really liked the summer but I think that next summer I may just skip it all together. I’m telling you all this to explain a little bit about why Burke (and myself in a way) joined Weight Watchers.

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After hearing all the problems that my Mom has you probably think that she is dreadfully old but in fact she is only 51 years of age and had her leg amputation when she was only 49. She has had diabetes since she was a teenager and only did a marginal job taking care of it during my life. That coupled with some depression are how I think she ended up where she is now. Growing up no one in my family ate well and as we got older (and I could make my own food choices) this got progressively worse.  Because of the poor eating, hard living and depression my Mom’s health has been pretty bad since I was in high school. As I said this all came to a pretty serious head when she had the leg amputation. It was early the following winter that Burke couldn’t find a coat that fit and it was the first week of January that we both joined Weight Watchers to try and grab control of our health while we were still fairly young. Burke has said more then once that seeing our 49 year old Mother sans leg and almost dead is what scared him into joining. For me it was a lot of things. I had already joined once so I knew what it was going to take but I was worried about joining alone because it is very hard to be on a weight loss plan without some sort of support. When Burke decided to join it seemed like the right time and I am sure somewhere in the back of my mind I was thinking about my Mom and what she was going through.

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I’m sure that I’m going to say this whenever I talk about weight loss but if you are thinking about losing weight don’t think. Find a program that you think will work for you and CHANGE your life. In the last 18 months I’ve lost 115 pounds and it has changed my life. I feel better, I don’t get sick as much, I enjoy my cheat meals SO much more,  I enjoy traveling more, I enjoy buying clothes more (it’s actually become a bit of a problem), I don’t dread looking in the mirror, and I walk around with more confidence then I have ever had. Weight Watchers is what works for me and I am so wildly grateful for the program but all you need to do is find what you love and embrace it.

wpid-20130603_151556.jpgBurke and I hadn’t planned this trip to Ohio but we went to check in on my Mom, who is luckily doing much better then she was last week. We were lucky enough to see a lot of our family out there and spend some time with my Mom. I’ll write a happier post about that later in the week!

 

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