The Morning Dog Walk

good morning from the dog

Umm… Mom? I think you should get up now. I sense that there are bunnies outside.

I was just considering writing about my early mornings with Hermes and then I saw Vivienne’s post about her morning wake up calls. I couldn’t resist. Just about 6:30 every morning, I roll over and see this little face, staring at me – Hermes waiting for me to get up and face the day.

This is what I call his “sad eye” face. Hermes doesn’t vocalize at all – no barks or whines. When he wants something he just looks sad, and waits for me to figure out what it is. In the morning, it’s his walk.

If, like on the weekends, I don’t seem to be moving quick enough, he’ll proceed to shake his collar making it rattle. He knows that will always make me open my eyes. (I am a light sleeper.) He’s expecting me to get up, feed him, and then hit the sidewalks for our morning stroll. After all, he has scents to sniff and trees to pee on – this is no time for sleeping in!

Yes! That's better! Nothing like the scent of summer...

Yes! That’s better! Nothing like the scent of summer…

I admit, there are times I resent it. I love sleeping in. I used to be a night owl who would sleep in until the last possible moment. Now that I have a dog, I am pretty much up at 6:30 every morning – even on the weekends. Believe me, there are plenty of times I wish he’d grow some opposable thumbs so he could let himself out and I could get back under the covers! Of course, that is not to be…

On the other hand, walking is my peace, my meditation. It’s now how I wake up in the morning. Even though I am dressed and out the door, I don’t actually feel “awake” for a block or two. I compose blog posts, make mental lists, plan my day and even work through problems on those walks. I know they are good for me – both brain and body.

So, until Julian wins the lotto and hires me my own personal dog walker, I’ll be up, yawning and trudging my way down the road, leash in hand.


Photos of Long View Hill

All right, I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while – I guess now is the time… deep breath….

I’ve compiled a few photos so you can do some “before and current comparisons” that I am going to post. I admit – I’m a little nervous about all this for a whole bunch of reasons, but I figure it’s time to put my money where my mouth is. So, here we go!

Through the years


Good gracious, I have mixed feelings about this photo. On one hand, it was taken on a wonderful trip to Las Vegas with my best girlfriends. We had a great time, and if I look a little tipsy in this photo, that’s because I undoubtably was. I actually have another version of this photo that isn’t quite so… bosomy that I like much better, but this one, (despite my awkward pose… again, lots of alcohol was involved,) shows my figure in all it’s ummmm… glory.

At the time, I thought that shirt was so pretty on me…. sigh….


This is pretty much a standard “me” shot. Nothing fancy, just my day-to-day look. If I look a bit pale, it’s because I had a horrible case of car sickness that day. A friend of mine (the one whose hand you see on my shoulder) and I had taken a long, long drive that day. When we got to our destination I was sick as a dog.  Ah well… Anyway, this is pretty much what I looked like for years.


Me in my new glasses

September 2012

In the photo up above I am all dressed up for a fancy event. This was taken in October of last year. I had a new haircut and brand new glasses at the time. I was lookin’ (and feeling) good that night!

Also in September of last year, I had a good friend take some head shots of me. I needed some photos for work. This is one of the series she took. I love this photo, despite the fact it was hotter than blazes that day and I look a little flushed.

I am not sure of my weight in these, as I’ve said, I have always been a bit slapdash in recording that kind of thingbut I would guess I was roughly in the range of 180 -190 pounds at my heaviest and 170 at my lowest. I am 5’6″.


Last Night - New Dress

So, these were taken last night. The first one I obviously took myself in my dining room mirror (note the crazy number of books piled in front of it) and the second was taken by my best gal Cee. I’m rocking a brand new dress I bought at Target the other day. My boyfriend Julian is out-of-town this weekend so I took some photos of my new dress to send him while he was away. They turned out so well, they were the final push that got me to post all of these.

I honestly don’t have a lot of photos of myself. I have a hard time taking them. If you saw all the struggles I went through with the photographer that took my head shots, you’d laugh. (Let’s just say that tears were involved.) It’s not that I am so particular or even that I don’t like having my photo taken, it is just that I am the most awkward photo subject on the planet. I have dated 3 amateur photographers in my life. Not one of them could get a decent photo of me. All of them threw their hands up in the air and gave up! Of course Cee nailed it on the first shot!

Me and Julian

Julian and Me

Finally, here is a shot of Julian and I, taken just last month. (Hi hon!) Now you can see what we both look like!

Note: I am 135 pounds in the in the one with Julian and 133 in the one above from last night, but I don’t consider these “before and after” photos. They are just past and present. I consider myself still a work in progress, and I am expecting my body to continue to change. (In fact, if anything, I expect my weight to go up some as I continue to lift weights!)

Fit, Feminist and (almost) Fifty had a great post today about Measurements, Counting and Motivation. It’s more on tracking the numbers (like running speed), but along with that, I regret now that I didn’t take more photos of myself back when I started – just for comparison. Maybe I will take some more soon so that I can track my changes as I go forward… and now that I have posted these, I’ll feel more comfortable keeping you all up to date!

A Right Hook

Pin Glove Boxing by TracyThe other day I bought a Women’s Boxing DVD.

I won’t say which one because this isn’t a review and I haven’t had time to really get into it yet. This is more about why I wanted to buy a boxing DVD in the first place. It’s simple really, I want to learn how to box.

I’ve always enjoyed watching boxing matches – particularly during the Olympics. This tends to surprise people who know me, but nonetheless, I have always admired the sport. My admiration, however, never really slipped into ambition for myself. Well okay, when I saw “Million Dollar Baby” I might have had a few thoughts along that line, but who didn’t?

Lately, as I have been thinking about working out and practical ways to build my muscles, I started thinking about boxing. The truth is, when I am thinking about it, I’m not thinking about getting in the ring and actually duking it out with some other gal, what I am thinking about is learning how to hit.

I just really want to know how to throw a punch. Is that strange? I’m not a fighter, I’m basically a pacifist. I freeze at the site of danger. I hate conflict – even seeing other people in an argument makes me very, very uncomfortable. But wanting to throw a punch isn’t about me wanting to “knock someone’s lights out” it’s more about just wanting to know how it’s done. I want to learn the technique.

I could be wrong, but I feel like men are given lessons as they grow up on how to fight. Sooner or later most boys get into some kind of scrap, or even if they don’t, I feel like they talk about it a lot. The girls I grew up with weren’t like that. Oh, I knew a couple of gals who fought, but it wasn’t like I learned anything about fighting from them. I’ve never taken a kickboxing or self-defense class, and I admit, I am curious.

Now, I know this is just a workout DVD. It isn’t like it came with a heavy bag. I expect from what I have seen of it so far, it will be similar to taking a kick class – but without the one-on-one coaching. But still… it’s a start – a fun one! And who knows, in the fall (when my schedule lightens up) perhaps I will take the next step and take a class or two. Julien asked me if I would consider taking a martial arts course. I also know a former MMA fighter who now coaches who might be open to some training sessions.

Nothing is set in stone so far. For now, I am going to enjoy my DVD and see what it feels like. It’s all part of being open to trying new and fun things!


Photo credit: Tracy

Yes, it IS Cold in Here

cold in the office again

This is not me, but I understand your pain Lara604.

Skinny ladies, I apologize.

All those times you complained about being cold, I was one of the ones saying, “It isn’t cold in here!” I was also the one who secretly thought you should just put on a sweater, and behind your back, I said things like “What she really needs to do is eat a sandwich.” I said that a lot. I was wrong. I am so sorry. The truth is:

It really is cold in here.

You look great. The sandwich thing? That was the green eyed monster speaking.

Look, to be fair, when you are carrying extra weight, being hot is terrible. We sweat – and it shows. There is almost no relief when you are hot, especially in an office environment where the windows don’t open. I really was fine, and I really didn’t want the heat turned up.

But now, I know. I understand your pain. I am cold all. the. time. It doesn’t help that the only clothes I have that fit will be incredibly cute for spring, but spring is taking its slow sweet time here in the midwest. I don’t own any sweaters that are in my size, and since I don’t know what size I will be in the fall, I don’t really want to buy any. I have changed the heating vents at my office so the heat blows directly on me, and that helps… when the heat is on. I am wearing layers, but still, I am freezing.

Ladies, I seriously didn’t know what you were going through. I’ve always rather liked the cold. Winter would be my favorite season, if it weren’t for icy roads and snow shoveling. Being cold always felt manageable, like there was something you could do about it, whereas being hot was always terrible for me. I also have always loved bulky sweaters and big wool blazers. I never felt the cold.

Until now. As I type this my fingers are freezing. I have my coat draped over my shoulders. I feel like Bob Cratchit wishing Ebenezer would be a little more liberal with the coal, dang it. I have a cup of hot tea that I keep on my desk primarily for warming my hands. I now understand.

So I promise – no matter what happens with my own weight, I will never again imply that if you are cold, you should eat more. I also promise that I will never suggest you just add a sweater, and if maintenance asks about turning up the heat, I will stand with you!

Photo credit: Lara604

Happiness Questionaire

Happy Orange Bird by Sam HowzitSo, this was fun – I ran across the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire today. The questionnaire has a series of 29 questions which you have to answer with a number:

1 = strongly disagree
2 = moderately disagree
3 = slightly disagree
4 = slightly agree
5 = moderately agree
6 = strongly agree

Once you get through the questionnaire, you tally your numbers average them out to determine your score. I’m not going to give too much more information than that, (I don’t want to bias your scores) but if you have a few minutes, hop on over to the website and check it out.

My result was moderately happy – satisfied. I would say that is true. While there are a lot of things I would like to do, and some changes I would like to make, for the most part, my life is good. I have wonderful people in my life, meaningful work, an excitement for the future, and the love of a hound dog. I can’t ask for much else!

How about you? How did the questionnaire come out for you? What did you think of it? Do you think it was right? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear about it!


Photo credit: Sam Howzit

Sometimes, You Have to Laugh

From the Amusing Compliments File*Day 279: Smiles by crimsong19

Last night I had a Board Meeting. The conversation went something like this:

Board Member 1 (who knew I was working on my weight): There she is! Miss Skinny Minnie! [followed by additional very kind compliments.]

Board Member 2 (who obviously heard the complimentary tone, but not the content,): Oh yeah! I wanted to say, Long View Hill, that I noticed it right away in the parking lot. You have a new haircut! I thought to myself, Long View Hill looks really cute today! **

Note: I have had roughly the same haircut for about a year now.

Lesson Learned: When you lose 20 pounds, you also get great hair!  Who knew?!

* I share these compliments with you because they make me laugh, but please know that these are not the only things people have said to me. People have been awesome! I have had wonderful support from my boyfriend, my sister, my mother, and all my dear friends. One of my coworkers, who I’ll call Always Annoyed Coworker (as she always seems a little pissed off), raved about my weight loss the other day. This is the first compliment she has given me in the 14 years I’ve known her!

** Though I giggle about this with you, I learned a long time ago that a compliment is a gift. You should never turn down a well intentioned gift. The best thing to say when getting a gift is simply, thank you. My response to Board Member 2 was: Thank you. I appreciate that!

Photo credit: crimsong19

Worst Compliment, Ever

So, I wore my new fancy clothes to work today.

My fashionista coworker called in sick.

My weight loss guru coworker was in a foul and grumpy mood and refused to talk to anyone all day.

The only comment was from one of my male coworkers, who said:

“Did you lose more weigh… oh no, you are just wearing a black shirt. Never mind.”

You gotta laugh!