Sep 30, 2008

You Know You're Into Justin Way Too Much...

...when you ask your husband to get the November issue of Golf Digest magazine because Justin's featured on the cover and there's an interview to be read. 

I am not into golf, I have never watched golf, I am not a devote of Tiger and the only thing I appreciate about the sport is the cute golf carts. 

Well, that and now Justin, of course.

Sep 29, 2008

I'm Just Saying...WOW!

Sep 28, 2008

I'm Falling and I Can't Get Up - Air Bags to the Rescue

Prop, a Japanese company, has invented a wearable airbag for their 30 million plus elderly population for the mere cost of $1400.00
The airbags are contained within somthing that looks like a fannypack. It weighs 2.4 pounds and if the vest's sensors detects you're accelerating towards the ground, the air bags will inflate in 0.1 seconds with 3.9 gallons of gas each  protecting both the hips and the head.  

Watching the video is pretty funny.  It reminds me of those silly trust exercises that Corporate America so loves where you're supposed to fall backwards and someone will catch you.  Just imagine one of the workers over at Prop being told they have to test out this airbag vest over in R & D.  "Ummm...You're sure this thing works, right?" 

Even though I'm making fun of it, I know from personal experience that if this product was available I would have bought it for my mother.  Towards the end of her life, she fell several times and it's a wonder she didn't break something. I support any device that is marketed towards protecting our elderly population.

My only question is what about the people who fall forward?

It's Not A Pup Tent...It's A Poop Tent

It's been one long rainy weekend.  It's never a good day for our beagle Minnie when it rains.  She has a keen sense of *something* that alerts her to rain.  I am constantly amazed at her perceptiveness when it comes to Mother Nature.
A rainy day means she will hold it in all day if she has to because NOTHING is getting her to walk down our front steps and go for a round.  If we're able to get her to cross the threshold of our front door, she'll hunker down with all the stubborness and determination of a bull dog and will not budge. 
Yesterday while Spencer was at work it was my job to get her to go pee.  I opened the door and had to tug her down the stairs for her own good.  Once her paws hit the wet pavement she must have been silently calling me a bitch because walking in the rain is just not fun for her.
And forget about trying to get her to pee and poop in our backyard.  The only way Spencer can coax her is with jerky treats.  So when I came across this Benji Ventures Poop Tent, I had to check it out.

There is NO WAY this tent would work for our dog.  It's meant to be set up outside to shield your pet from the elements while they go to the bathroom.  The reason why this wouldn't work for Minnie is because there's nothing to keep her paws dry on the lawn.  It's simply a tent.  Granted I'll give you a chance to say it might be good for pets who don't want to do their business with the rain pelting them, but the product description says it protects them from the snow.  The snow?  If you live in New England, there is no way you're hauling this flimsy vinyl tent outside so your dog can go to the bathroom.  No way in hell.

It's even suggested that you get your dog to understand the purpose of the tent, one should "Place some of their waste in the tent to introduce them to its purpose."  If you read the product reviews from people who have bought this tent they're at best mixed reviews.

I almost want to spend the $19.16 for this crappy tent (pun intended) just to see the look on Minnie's face when I try to get her to take a pee inside the tent.  The only way she would get into that thing is if there was a plate of food in there.

Sep 27, 2008

Awww-My Little StormTrooper

At one point my friend Michelle had a collection of My Little Pony figures that she used to buy at yard sales and sort of restore them to their original luster by cleaning them up and meticulously combing their mane to a brilliant sheen. Once prettified, I think she sold them on Ebay for a tidy profit.

Michelle - this post is dedicated to you!

Finland Artist Mari Kasurinen has taken that 80's toy of my youth and transformed them into something wonderful that I have a strong desire to purchase. She caught my attention when I saw photos of her Star Wars creations: My Little Stormtropper, My Little Darth Vader and My Little Princess Leia.  They are clever and simply adorable and I must own one. Someday.

Her profile on DeviantArt says she'll be launching her own website very soon.  I can't wait because  I really, really want one of these.

Lately I'm getting more and more interested in digital art.  I know next to nothing about art, but I know what I like when I see it.  I wish I could be this creative.  I would have never thought to add acrylic and various other stuff to make a My Little Pony into something else. 

The Deviant Art site where I discovered this artist is a good place to begin if you're looking to rub elbows with some really talented people.

Composers Who Have Rocked Me

Heavens To Pittens!

Down 23 Pounds

Just thought I would take a moment to give you the latest update on how I'm doing on Jenny Craig.  In a word - Fabulous!  I'm down 23 pounds and a few pounds away to achieving a 10% weight loss and a new Jenny Craig menu.

Once I hit a 10% weight loss, my menu will drop from 1500 calories to 1200 calories.  I'm told by others that it's really not a big change and the adjustment to eating just a little less will be negligible.  I'm not scared.  I just want to be able to say there is 10% less of me taking up space in the world.

I had a funny experience with the food about a week ago.  I microwaved my SW Chicken Burrito and nearly spit it out when I went to take the first bite during lunch.  Oh God, it was so tangy and nasty tasting.  So I took another bite...just to be sure.  It tasted worse than the first bite so I deemed the lunch spoiled.  I sat at the lunch table eating my Bruchetta Chips and eventually bought two low-fat yogurts to fill me up for the rest of the day.  It was only later that I realized the SW Chicken Burrito should have been kept frozen.  I thought it was one of their lunch selections that you could store at room temp.  Oh, well...lesson learned.  Always read the box before storing my Jenny Craig food.

I did a little clothes shopping last night after work.  I can now comfortably fit into XL again which is such a satisfying feeling because for a while there I was wearing 1X and sometimes even a 2X depending on the fit.   I bought several blouses for work and a few pairs of dress pants that are still slightly snug in the badonkadonk region.  I'll try them again in a few weeks and I'm sure they'll be fine.

Spencer surprised me with a pair of Smurfette Blue Lounge Pants that I had saved to my wishlist on Amazon.  You can see them by clicking here. Their largest size was XL so whenever I saw them last night, well let's just say that I thought it would be a while before I was able to wear them to bed.  But I took a deep breath and tried them on just to gauge the anticipated snug fit.  Much to my surprise, I managed to get both legs into them without busting the seam.  Score!  These blue Smurfette PJ bottoms are now my way of showing myself the progress of my weight loss efforts.  Each day that passes will find them just a little less tight and eventually they will be loose on my hips just like my other pants. 
And when that happens, I'm going to pull out my lime XL Hello Kitty pajama bottoms that Heather got me last Christmas and RULE THE WORLD.

Organizing My Life One Weekend At A Time

I always like to think of myself as person who is extremely organized in both my professional and personal life.  Lately I feel like the scales are tipping in favor of my professional life and I'm hoping to bring back a balance to both.

Spencer works every other weekend at the library which leaves me free to do whatever I'd like two Saturday's a month.  Today it's raining heavily and I really feel like all I want to do is stay in the computer room and hang out.  But I told myself earlier this week that today would be a perfect day to unpack the Halloween decorations and do a little organizing in the basement. My day is nearly half way done and all I've accomplished so far is to catch up on my inbox, read all my RSS feeds and watch the last episode of The Colbert Report.

I just glanced into the bedroom to see my beagle Minnie lounging on my side of the bed tangled up in a mess of covers and pillows without a care in the world.  She HATES the rain and goes into hibernation mode at the first sign of a rain drop.  I want what she's having: to do absolutely nothing today.

But I can't.  I just can't.  I need to exercise for an hour to achieve my weekly goal of 5x sessions.  The kitchen table needs to be cleaned off because I've got half the contents of my purse dumped out  out  on it's surface with store receipts, magazines and other little odds and ends that need putting away. I need to shave my legs.  The dishes need to be washed and the shower curtain replaced.  Not to mention my big decluttering project in the basement.  Sigh.

I've read somewhere that if you've got a big decluttering project, you should set aside a specific amount of time to do one area in the house and do nothing else other than the task at hand.  I could do that, but when it comes to decluttering I develop temporary A.D.D. I find myself flitting around from one thing to the next without much focus or I completely throw myself into the task and won't stop until it's done.  Half way points stress me out!

But since Spencer is coming home at 4pm and I want to spend the rest of my time with him, I've got 4-1/2 hours to get something done.  I'll probably get on the treadmill because exercise has a tendency to kick start me and right now I think that's what I really need today. The cup of coffee isn't working it's magic.

Several of my co-workers were talking about what they were going to do this weekend since it's going to be a 100% washout with all this rain.  Sue said she's renting Season 1 of Heroes and watching it so she can get caught up on the storyline since the new season has begun.  Patty thought she might have a 'jammie' day which sounds wonderfully appealing to me.  Sharon is taking her daughter to gymnastics and hoping to introduce herself to a nice bottle of wine later in the day.

Me?  Well, I think we already know all the things I think I want  to accomplish today.  The challenge will be finding the motivation to shut off the computer, put on my sweatpants and get walking on that treadmill.

Rainy Days and Saturday always get me down.

Sep 24, 2008

Hungry Hungry Hamster



I have this t-shirt that Spencer bought me with a big orange Hippo on it and below the hippo it reads:  I was never really that hungry hungry.  I really enjoyed watching this adorable clip of the Hamster going to town on the animal crackers.  That hamster is taking care of business!

Sep 22, 2008

Loving Your Dad

A co-worker of mine is getting married in January.  She has this wonderful surprise in store for her father that is going to take place during the wedding reception.  I can't give away her secret, but I will say that hearing her gush about her father makes me pine for my dad something fierce: this upcoming November marks the 10th anniversary of my father's death.

Marybeth adores her father and I love hearing about all the things that she gets to do with him.  This afternoon she sent along a link to a whole bunch of photos she took over the weekend of her fiance Chris and her Dad at The New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  Apparently Chris and her Dad are big Nascar fans and she wanted to surprise them both with the opportunity to get out on the track to burn some rubber.  They couldn't actually drive the cars, but they each suited up and got sped around the track for five minutes going over 125 mph.  She described her dad's excitement during the whole experience and listening to her just made me nostalgic about my own father because we had that kind of relationship.

I wish I could tell people sometimes to really stop and think what their life is going to be like when one or both of their parents die. I want to tell them to really savor and appreciate having healthy parents who can enjoy seeing their children's accomplishments during adulthood and be there when they might need a shoulder to cry on because nobody can understand them quite like they do. 

My friend Marybeth gets it. It's clear that she thrives on having such a strong bond with her dad.  It makes me so happy to know that he'll be in attendance in January to walk her down the aisle when she marries Chris.  I cannot wait to hear how stunned her dad is going to be over the surprise she has in store for him after the wedding.

I admit that it's hard sometimes to hear all the anecdotes about Marybeth and her father because it reminds me that my own stories with my dad have already been written.  But for me the important thing is to never lose sight of the fact that I was fortunate enough to have had them in the first place.

Sep 18, 2008

I Knew Post-It Notes Were Fun


via videosift.com

A Cold Front Blowing In

Seems to me that I just need to think about getting sick and I get sick.  It's the weirdest thing about my inner-mechanics. I made a friendly bet with one of my co-workers that he wouldn't get sick prior to leaving for his cruise next week.  We bet $5 on it and somehow I'm the one that got sick.  No fair.

The absolute worst part of getting a cold is when you have that scratchy sore throat in the middle of Sunday night.  You wake up at 6am and toddle into work just knowing that you're doomed for the rest of the week.  Five work days feels more like twenty when you're sick. My cold hit me full force around Tuesday night which resulted in me calling in sick on Wednesday, but only after reviewing all my meetings in Outlook and establishing an out-of-office in a Nyquil-induced haze. 

I spent Wednesday in and out of consciousness. I sneezed, snuffled and hacked myself up a fine mess into  tissues and still the sinus pressure and the sore throat raged on. At one point, my ears were insanely itchy so I stumbled out of bed and inserted a few q-tips into my orfices to see if swabbing the decks might offer a bit of relief.  Not so much.

Wednesday night I remembered a pretty important meeting that I had at 8am on Thursday morning so I went down to the car, grabbed my laptop bag and did a little work from the couch hoping that my efforts would help me squeak by further inquiry the next morning.  I prepared for the meeting by also not injesting any more Nyquil because the blessed green juice makes me feel like an unnaturally drugged woman.  Instead, I awoke this morning and crawled out of bed popping two Dayquil tablets and somehow driving myself into work.  I also dressed all in black this morning because somehow the color just suited me today. Apparently I was mourning my usual perky self.

I made it through my presentation and didn't think twice when it was strongly suggested that perhaps I might want to work from home today.  So here I am on the couch waiting for noon when I can take more Nyquil and go off to lala land for a few hours.  To sleep perchance to dream....

I don't know what it is about getting sick, but when I'm sick I appreciate my life so much more.  I fantasize about how good I'll feel when I can get back to my exercise routine.  I imagine what it will be like to sleep soundly while breathing through my nostrils and most importantly, the return of my chrystal clear thinking. These past few days have found me dazed and confused while trying to follow a conversation and I'm looking forward to being back to my old happy self. 

I predict that this cold won't turn into a nasty sinus infection because I'm going to get lots of rest and take good care of myself these next few days. Once the cold has run its course, I'll be as good as new.  However, my pocket will be five bucks lighter because I'm sure just by coming into work today to do my presentation, my co-worker caught a little something something from me.  Sorry Rick - I owe you five bucks.

Sep 13, 2008

Back to the 80's - Thank You Internet!

If Stephen King can regularly get away with doing Top 10 lists for Entertainment Weekly, then I'm sure my readers can indulge me with the following list of videos I just watched on this totally AWESOME website I found called 80's Music Videos:

  • Adam Ant- Kings of the Wild Frontier: I liked him back in the 80's, but mostly for his frilly shirts and saucy lyrics.  Strangely, I appreciate him more now that I'm all grown up.
  • Andy Taylor - Take It Easy:  I'll always have fond memories of Andy even though he stiffed me on the autographed guitar.  I can't believe how long his hair is in this video nor can I believe how much he ripped off the melody from Bang A Gong!
  • Annimotion-Obsession: I hated this song/video for the longest time because Friday Night Videos and MTV  played it over and over and over for like forever. Plus the chick looked like a skanky Barbie doll.  Now I appreciate the video for the hot guy in the Roman armor.  "What do you want me to be, to make you sleep with me?  Classic.
  • Arcadia - Election Day: I LOVED this off-shoot of Duran Duran.  Needless to say, Simon with jet black hair is disturbing and evil, but Nick's heavily cosmetic features make up for it.
  • Biz Markie - Just A Friend: Funny how even back then the ho's had big booties!   "I asked her her name and she said Blah, Blah, Blah." Watching this video still makes me want to shoot him in the face when he sings the chorus, but I still love me some Biz Markie.
  • Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry, Be Happy:  Whatever happened to Bobby? This should be my personal theme song.  I need to remember to add this to my iPod this weekend.
  • Boomtown Rats - Don't Like Mondays: this is the only song I know by Bob Geldorf aside from his whole massively successful Band-Aid project.  He looks pretty dorky in the video, but I still like this song very much to this day.  And strangely, I still don't like Mondays.
  • Chaka Khan - I Feel For You:  This video takes me back to my roller-skating Friday nights hanging out with Karen.  Chaka Khan is also rocking some serious hair in this video and I still can't help wishing Prince made a cameo in the video.
  • Dead Kennedys - California Uber Alles:  Ahh, to relive my punk days.  Jello B. had it going on with such a catchy tune.
  • Diana Ross - Muscles:  Didn't Michael Jackson have a snake named 'Muscles?'  And didn't he write this song?  I'll have to do a little more research and get back to you.
  • ELO - All Over The World:  Oh My God did I freak out when I found this video!   It's taken from one of my favorite movies of all time - Xanadu starring Olivia Newton John, Michael Beck and Gene Kelly. My parents loved Electric Light Orchestra and I grew up listening to my mom blasting their albums when she was in a bad mood which was pretty much all the time.
  • Hall & Oates - Maneater: Known for making some truly terrible music videos in the 80's, strangely I loved this one.  Thankfully John was still rocking his moustache and Daryl's moussed up hair looked perfect. "The woman is wild, a she-cat tamed by the purr of a Jaguar."
  • Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince - Mike Tyson: I had every one of their cassettes back in the 80's and still do. I loved their clever rap songs and enjoyed watching their playful music videos.  Will Smith, before he became known as 'Big Willy' looks pretty young and foolish in this video, but his charisma still oozes with future potential.
  • Olivia Newton John - Physical:  I had this 45 when I was younger and can remember how insanely popular this music video was for her.  Watching it now makes me chuckle at her leotards because she looks like she's wearing a diaper, but I couldn't stop looking at the outdated exercise equiptment.  That is, no digital displays and lots of levers to slide up and down.
  • Flash In The Pan - Midnightman:  I don't recognize this song or the video, but Spencer helped me remember that they wrote one of my mother's all-time favorite songs Hey, St. Peter.  She'd play it over and over and over.  Now I have to hope that it's available for download on iTunes.
  • Public Image, LTD - Not A Love Song: I never saw this video before, but I love this John Lydon project.  I'm reminded that I need to pull out their CD's and give them another listen because it's been a while since I appreciated their wit.
  • The Art of Noise - Close To The Edit:  This was a group that I discovered watching on Friday Night Videos back in the day.  I'd rank them up there with Laurie Anderson.  I really, really liked this video when I was younger and it still holds my attention some 20 years later.
  • Thomas Dolby - Hyperactive:  He looks strangely attractive in this video and I'll never turn the channel when one of his videos comes on.  Clearly a man who was ahead of his time.
  • Tom Tom Club - Genius of Love:  Another one of my absolute Top 10 artists from the 80's.  This was the song that Mariah Carey sampled in her hit song Fantasy.  I really appreciated that all of their music videos were animated and squiggly looking.  Favorite songs are Wordy Rappinghood, Pleasure of Love and The Man with the 4 Way Hips.
  • Yello - Ooooo Yeah:  I never knew a music video existed for this song. To be honest, I always think of Ferris Bueller's Day Off when I hear this song.
So thanks for indulging me in my trip down memory lane.  Watching music videos when I was younger was a very big part of my life.  I wish I could go back in time to tell my younger self that I didn't have to sneak staying up  until 2am to watch Duran Duran's un-edited 'Girls On Film' video because in the future everything is preserved courtesy of the internet.

Beware of the Bassetsquirrel

It only makes sense that both a Basset Hound and a Squirrel would pair up because they both love to eat so much.

Great Baby Shower Gift!

It's times like these when I wish that I knew someone who is pregnant.  It's certainly not me yet, but should I ever get invited to a baby shower - I'm bringing a plastering kit for the expectant mom because this is such a unique gift.

It costs $65 and the Original Belly Works Cast Kit contains everything a soon-to-be mom needs to remember this very special time in her life.  A time when she was big, fat and deleriously happy because she was bringing a new life into this world.
I recommend checking out the video of how to make the cast of the expectant mother's belly-it doesn't look too hard to do it.  You might also enjoy taking a look at the picture gallery of what some women did to decorate their nurseries and commemorate their pregnancy.

I know it might be considered a little weird to get this as a gift, but I never understood why mother's would get their baby's booties bronzed back in the 70's.  I'd much rather have a cast of my big belly decorated in candy wrappers to hang in my baby's nursery...but that's just me.

Mail Order Husbands

I'm happily married and not looking for Mr. Right because I was fortunate enough to have found him some twenty-two years ago.  But what about all those lonely single women out there who aren't as lucky in love as me?  Don't they deserve to find Mr. Right, too?

Leave it to MailOrderHusbands.net to hook them up.  Click on over to their site to take a peek at the many wonderful offerings of companionship that are out there just waiting for you.

Case in point:  The photo above is of Buzet of Romania.  He, too,  is looking for love.  Here's what he's looking for in his next lovely lady:

I am looking for someone who can hold my attention, keep up with me, and knows how to dress a wound. I am attracted to a girl with a job and a car. Preferably a Camarro. I like to meet Big American Girl.
Nice! Can't you hear  the passionate violence all ready?

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

This is a really adorable animated short featuring a love struck octapodi couple and a Vespa Ape mini-truck.

Sep 9, 2008

What Not To Do...

My Jenny Craig counselor is getting married and will be taking the next two weeks off for their nuptials and honeymoon to Costa Rica.  Here's a little piece of unsolicited advice for all you JC counselor's out there:  if your co-workers  buy you  a gift basket filled with amazingly scrumptious baked treats and things dipped in dark chocolate~be a dear and don't display it on your desk in your office during your sessions with JC clients. I cannot even begin to tell you how distracting my 15 minutes were tonight because my left elbow kept touching the saran-wrapped basket.

Also, the cinnamon twists are done for the season and their new Turkey Panini sandwich is already out of stock so I wasn't able to try that one this week. Something to look forward to next week, right?  I ended up buying the old Turkey sandwich and will hope for the best next week.

'Course the best part of the visit was I'm down another 2.2 pounds which brings me to less than a half pound away from a 20 pound weight loss in 12 weeks.

Yay me!  Go ahead-pinch my ever shrinking fat tummy. Folks are starting to notice my success. I've had two co-workers comment on my slowly emerging 'figure' this past week which gives me pause because I never considered that I ever had a figure. So it's a wonderful concept to consider that somewhere under all this weight is a girlish figure emerging when I least expect it.

One other point to mention.  My massage therapist Heather recommended that I visit Sam's Club because she swears their fruit is amazingly fresh, lasts a long time and most importantly-is very, very inexpensive. (She's been on JC since January and has lost about 58 pounds to date.)  One of her biggest challenges has been staying ahead of the expiration date on all the produce she has to buy each week following the program.  Me, too!  I'm always one banana away from a fruit crisis. 

We visited Sam's last night and I signed us up for an Advantage membership which means I can now take advantage of their amazing choices of fresh fruit and vegetables. If you would have told me three months ago that I would be excited over the cost of bananas, I would have said you were nuts.  Yea, I like fruit.  But I'm not in love with fruit, know what I mean?  I lean more towards being an orgasmic BOGO consumer when it comes to candy bars and boxes of blueberry Pop Tarts at the local Stop & Shop.  But there I found myself last night wandering up and down the aisles sighing over the freshness of  strawberries and a bunch of perfectly ripe bananas for $1.36.  Not $1.36 per pound,  but rather the whole perfectly ripened bunch.  But I don't get this way just over perishable  items. Sam's Club sells a box of 20 Skinny Cow sandwiches for $10.07.  Now that's where the  sweet spot of wholesale club shopping lies - tucked away in a back freezer adjacent to the gigantic tubs of Edy's ice cream.  You just have to know where to look and fortunately for me, I've got all the time in the world.

Sep 4, 2008

What A Difference 12 Weeks Make

I wouldn't believe it if you told me back in June that I would be able to stick to a weight loss program without little "cheats" here and there.  If you know me then you'll understand those little "cheats" could have consisted of an empty Sour Skittle candy wrapper or on occassion an empty pint of Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar ice cream.

To my surprise, I have faithfully been on the Jenny Craig weight loss plan since June 16th. I've lost nearly 18 pounds (Damn the precision of their digital scale!) which is the most weight I've ever lost being on a diet.  I'll say it again...18 pounds off of my 5'2 frame.  This weight loss amounts to 6 Macbook Air laptops or 20 cans of Baked Beans.

I have to admit that I've been struggling with my choice to continue on with Jenny Craig because the cost of the food is very expensive.  I see my weekly tally of purchased food at the center and it goes without saying that it kills me to spend $6.39 for a small piece of portion-controlled frozen lasagna - traditional or not. I walk the grocery aisles a few times a week stocking up on 6 oz. cups of fat-free yogurt, fruits, vegetables and Cool Whip because these are healthy choices to compliment my Jenny Craig menu.  But lately it's been getting harder and harder to walk down the aisles seeing all these 100-calorie packs of food.  They are everywhere.

But I think everything I've been feeling lately is a natural reaction to being on this weight loss plan for what I consider to be a very long time.  I recognize that I'm at a fork in the road to becoming healthier: I could drop the program and count calories on my own (using a free site like FitDay) or continue to press on doing the Jenny Craig program for a year to match my membership commitment I made to myself back on June 16th.

My biggest fear is that I'll convince myself that I can lose all this weight without the support and guidance of Jenny Craig and their pre-planned meals just because I've managed to drop what I consider to be a significant amount of weight.

I feel like a little girl begging her daddy to remove the training wheels off her bike.  Or as the Ting Ting's sing, "Shut up and let me go!"  

Last night I awoke around 3am because I needed to use the bathroom.  When I returned to bed and settled back into my delicous nest of pillows, I shifted my body to and fro a few times so that I was lying on my stomach hugging my many pillows.  It was as I was starting to drift off that it occurred to me that this was the first time that I got up in the middle of the night and returned to bed without feeling my heart speed up in response to the exertion it took to reposition myself in the bed.  Maybe losing 17.8 pounds made that much of a difference to my cardiovascular system?

Here's another example of progress. Tonight I went to the gym and did 45 minutes on the eliptical and 15 minutes on the treadmill.  Being able to be on the eliptical for that long is a major achievement for me.  I recall that when I joined the gym maybe a month ago, my goal was to do ten minutes on the eliptical.  I can't believe I actually did 45 minutes tonight!  I walked out of there with rubbery legs bursting with pride and personal achievement. 

I'm happy to say that I've drawn the rather obvious conclusion that I should keep using my training wheels and re-evaluate my progress in another three months.  It feels good to know that this time around, I challenged my own belief system with new and improved ways of taking care of myself and chose a path that I can continue to follow.  I apologize for sounding like Miss Oprah, but here it goes:  I want to live my best life and for me that means saying good-bye to my old life--one pound at a time.