A Season of Change

Today is Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent. I was trying to think of what to give up and I came up with a list:

Fried food

I figured I might as well sign back up for Weight Watchers. Although they promote the whole “you can eat whatever you want” thing, that’s not entirely true. Even the smallest portions of the above items are a buttload of points, so it’s easier to just eliminate them completely. I signed up at lunch for 3 months and am really excited about it. I WANT to do this. Not only do I need to get healthy, but I need to stop putting so much importance on food (gluttony) and I need to get active (sloth).

I weighed in this morning at 157 even and my goal is 128. Although I’ve been much less than that, that’s how much I weighed on my wedding day and that is when I felt the most comfortable with my body. I don’t know how long it will take me, but I’m determined to make this happen.

My hubby and I are having a church wedding on (hopefully) March 17th. It’s something we always planned on doing, but we have to do it now in order for him to be confirmed. I’m torn about it. I want to do it, but I hate the idea of not having my mom or Christina there. We had to pick witnesses (essentially a best man and maid of honor) and it was so upsetting because I should have been able to pick Christina. We decided to keep the whole thing very simple and immediate family only. In order not to offend anyone, we asked our two sister-in-laws to be our witnesses. They agreed and both said they’re honored, so I’m happy about that. I just wish it didn’t have to be this way. I’m sure I’m going to cry and it’s going to be emotional, but I know it’s only the first of many events I’ll have to deal with without my mom and BFF by my side. I chose the 17th because it’s St. Patrick’s Day – my mom loved that day so much, so I figured if she can’t be there, at least her spirit will be with me.


I can do this.

Despite eating horribly this past week: no green smoothies, no vegetables at all that I can recollect, chips, fries, fried chicken, rice, soda, fettuccine alfredo, too many of these…


…and too much of this…


… I still somehow managed to lose 1.1 pounds.


I’ve tried to do 20 minutes on the elliptical everyday, but I’d be lying if I said I was successful at that. I did get up and do it this morning and then did 10 minutes of WiiFit hula hooping, which I haven’t done in well over a year.

I’ve been thinking about the past two times I was successful at losing weight and what I did then that helped me. Back in 2005, I got up to 144 pounds (I know, the horror) and thought I was huge. My dad also wanted to lose a few pounds, so we both started doing Weight Watchers (I knew someone who used to do the program, so she gave me all of her booklets and info) and we would work out everyday. We would walk on the treadmill and do those 8 Minute abs/arms/legs videos. I lost over 20 pounds in 3 months and kept it off for 2 years. I had gained a little back that I wanted to lose before my wedding in 2007, so my husband (fiancé at the time) and I started walking 2.5 miles everyday, and I got down to 128 in time for the wedding. That is when I felt the most comfortable in my body, and that is my goal weight.

Two years ago, right before the summer of 2010, I was up to 166 pounds. I started doing WW again, got on the elliptical everyday using the “weight loss” preset, and weighed myself everyday on the WiiFit after doing some of the yoga, hula hooping, and stepping. I lost about 16 pounds in a couple of months.

I have the tools to do this. I have an elliptical in my basement, I have a WiiFit in my living room, I have a blender to make green smoothies, and I know how WW works. I know what I should and shouldn’t be eating. I know what proper portion sizes are. I’ve done it before and I’m going to do it again. I’m happy with my additional 1.1 pound loss (that’s 2 pounds total since I started) but I know it could have been so much more if I would just discipline myself. Imagine if I had eaten more veggies and less junk this week. I think I’m finally motivated enough to do this correctly and succeed.

11 Things

I’ve been tagged by my buddy Michelle to play this fun little blog game.

Here is how it works:

1. Post these rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section like “you are tagged if you are reading this”. You (the blogger) legitimately have to tag 11 (or so) people.

My 11 Random Facts

1. I was born in Canada and lived there for the first six years of my life.
2. When I was in elementary school, I sang in my church’s children’s choir. I do not sing well.
3. I joined a sorority in college, which most people find shocking because I’m so shy.
4. My two ring-finger toes grew sideways and look really gross.
5. I could eat pizza everyday and not get tired of it. Ever.
6. I have a completely irrational and debilitating fear of worms. Even typing the word makes me gag a little.
7. My first job ever was at Lord & Taylor as a fitting room attendant. I was the lucky person who got to clean up and put away all the clothes that people leave scattered all over the fitting rooms. I was also in charge of keeping all the shirts and sweaters on display folded neatly.
8. I talk to my cat as if she understands me. Whenever I leave the house, I tell her that I love her, to be a good girl, and when I’ll be back.
9. For Halloween my senior year of high school, my friends and I dressed up like the Spice Girls. I was Baby Spice.
10. I’m 30 years old and I don’t really know how to do my own makeup aside from concealer, powder, and gloss.
11. I do not like coffee. Even the smell of it gives me a headache. I do, however, love me some tea. I’ll have to post a picture of my tea cabinet sometime.

The 11 Questions For Me

1. What color was your room painted when you were younger?
In Canada, my room had some weird-colored paneling. When we moved to NJ, I chose a pastel pink. That lasted until I was about 12 or 13 when I decided that was too girly and changed it to a pastel blue. When I was 16 we moved again and that time I painted my room a bright shade of purple.

2. Did you ever have a favorite doll or stuffed animal? What was his/her name?
I had two! When I was really little I apparently had a koala named Nellie. I lost her on a flight down to FL to visit my grandparents. I had to use the bathroom, so my mom took me and when we got back to our seats, Nellie was gone forever. My mom tried to replace her with other identical koalas, but I couldn’t be fooled. Then when I was about 4 or 5 I got a blue bear which I appropriately named Bluie. He is currently in a Rubbermaid container in my basement.

3. What is your favorite board game?
Scrabble. I love words.

4. What is your favorite thing to do with your days off?
Sleep in.

5. If you could wake up tomorrow and be anywhere in the world, where would you be?
Ireland. I’m desperate to go back and see the country the right way, when I’m not grieving and in shock and on business.

6. What is the most outrageous or exciting thing you’ve ever done?
This is going to sound lame, but the only thing that comes to mind at the moment is when I sang karaoke with my sister-in-law a couple of years ago. I was at my husband’s Christmas party, and since they worked together, she was there too. We both got really, really drunk and she pulled me up in front of the entire bar/restaurant and we sang – what else – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. If you know me in person, you know this is TOTALLY out of character for me!

7. Name the one song or artist you’re not ashamed to admit you actually like!
I have really embarrassing taste in music, but I’m not ashamed of it, LOL. I rock out to all the boy bands, Spice Girls, Hanson, Bieber, you name it. I also am not ashamed to admit I love me some Eminem and Jay-Z.

8. Has a celebrity ever influenced your personal style (hair, clothing, makeup)?
I don’t think so. I admired a lot of celebrities when I was younger, and wanted to look/be like them, but I don’t remember ever doing anything on purpose to emulate them.

9. Do you prefer wine, beer, or champagne?
I don’t like beer, so if I had to choose between wine and champagne I guess I would say champagne. I like the bubbles.

10. Have you ever made an impulsive decision? If so, were you happy with the results? If not, what’s holding you back?
I make small impulsive decisions all the time, but I don’t think I’ve made a big life-changing one. I’m one of those people who obsesses about the pros and cons and worries I’m going to make a huge mistake.

11. Do you sing in the car, shower, etc? Do you think you sound good?
I sing in the car and I do NOT sound good.

I am tagging Killeen and Brandy!

Here are your 11 questions:

1. If you could choose any other name for yourself, what would it be?
2. What’s your favorite childhood memory?
3. If you could have any job in the world (forget about qualifications or salary), what would you choose?
4. Do you have any regrets?
5. What is your greatest accomplishment?
6. Where would you move tomorrow if money and responsibility weren’t issues?
7. Did you ever get detention in school? For what?
8. What is your worst bad habit?
9. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
10. What is your favorite song lyric?
11. Have you ever met anyone famous?

When reality sets in…

I thought I was doing fine. I thought I had gotten my grieving for Christina “out of the way” before she even passed. I was a mess from the time she told me she was officially going ahead with her plan, to the morning I got that awful phone call from her sister. And then it all seemed to go away and I became numb to everything.

The last few days have started to make it all feel very real all of a sudden. Her mom and sister have moved out of the apartment. It’s occurred to me that someone else is going to move in and live there. Someone who will have no idea what happened there – not just towards the end, but all of the good, happy times too. They’ll never know how hard she worked to even move in there, how many hours she spent researching and talking with people who could help her get out of the nursing home. They’ll never know about the birthday parties, movie nights, dinners, and sleepovers that happened there.

I spoke with a reporter last night who is writing an article about her. He wrote a piece about her several years ago, so I suppose this is a follow-up of sorts. He was very nice and asked all the right questions and wasn’t judgmental about her decision at all, which I really appreciated. I can’t wait to read the article. However, I’ve been thinking about it today and it’s hit me that this is it. Is she going to be remembered as “Christina Symanski, the paralyzed woman who chose to end her life”? I would hate for that to happen because she was SO much more than that. I would hate for her death to define her life, but I suppose that’s what happens in situations like this. People who didn’t know her are going to read about her and form opinions and criticisms, but they won’t know the whole story. They won’t know who she was before the accident, or how things changed. They won’t know how kind and funny and giving she was. They won’t know that she didn’t like whipped cream in desserts, or that she was one of those annoying people who couldn’t stay quiet through a movie. They won’t know she was afraid of zombies, or that she couldn’t stand TV shows with laugh tracks. They won’t know what an amazing friend and daughter and sister she was.