Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bottoms Up!

As a reward for some overtime work and for completing several large projects, my office manager indulged some of my co-workers and me in a Friday afternoon at Spa Nordstrom. Oh, it was heavenly! We checked in and changed into fluffy white bath robes before heading to the relaxation room, where we soaked our feet and enjoyed tea and lemon water before being escorted off to receive our various treatments. I indulged in an antioxidant cocktail facial followed by a 60 minute massage. And all the while I couldn’t help thinking: I am getting paid right now!!

Of course, I had to leave this incredibly relaxing and therapeutic haven eventually, and my kind hosts had left an entire tray of recommended “products” up front for me. All at retail price, of course. I was able to resist each and every amazing, expensive, and ultimately unnecessary item, including exfoliates, scented neck pillows, and… what’s this? A ten-day cleanse… hmmm…

As a person with persistent digestive issues, I’m always looking for a miracle cure, so I couldn’t help myself from picking up the box to ask some questions. Recommended by the woman to did my facial, OCEA DRAINE claims to help eliminate in-depth, helping regain lightness and well being thanks to its 100% natural formula, combining organic plant complex and algae. It is recommended before starting a refining diet, and enhances a radiant complexion.

That all sounded wonderful, and combined with the glowing recommendations from several spa counter girls, I was suckered in and watched my hand as it handed over my MasterCard. (Is it necessary that I also admit to purchasing the most amazing mascara ever from Lancome? But, I digress…)

It wasn’t until Monday at work that I realized this product is a little strange. It is made in France, and I struggled to even find the English directions, which are simple enough: Daily, dilute one vial in a glass of water or fruit juice, and continue for a period of ten days. What, you may ask, does a vial of cleansing fluid look like?

Upon opening the box, I discovered ten of these thin glass tubes. After finally locating instructions in my native tongue, I learned that I needed to simply (simply?!) break off the fragile ends of one of the vials and then dump it into a glass of water to enjoy the pleasing orange taste. I felt a little bit like a druggie as I tried, as inconspicuously as possible, to use the little plastic tool to snap off the ends of the first glass tube while sitting at my desk at work. Then I spent some time using a bent paperclip to remove glass shards from the end before adding it to my glass of water and having a sip. It tasted like bong water with a slight hint of orange.

This is definitely one of the stranger cleanses I have ever done, and so far it hasn’t seemed to jumpstart the “waste removal process” as the box claims. But I’m only two days in, so we’ll see. At least it hasn’t seemed to upset my system at all, which in my world is always a plus, and I’m allowed to eat normally on it.

So, bottoms up!

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's Official

That's it. I'm DONE with my law school applications. Each and every one is signed, sealed with a kiss, and delivered. There's nothing more I can do except wait. Ten schools in the states of Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and Maine (just to mix it up). I'm experiencing conflicting emotions. I'm relieved to finally have the whole thing out of my hands, but now the apprehensive waiting game starts. Realistically, I finished the apps for the schools I really want to go to months ago, but since then I've been applying to the obligatory "backup schools." Moving to another state to attend law school isn't really a feasible option for me at the present time, considering my mortgage on a beautiful Seattle condo that I live in with my even more beautiful long-term boyfriend. BUT, I think getting accepted to some of these so-called backup schools might take the sting out of the fairly likely rejection I will receive from my native state schools.

Point being: I am officially done with the applications and now I begin the waiting game. Please, send good karma out into the admissions universe for me! I'll be sure to update you as the results come in.

This is Sarah, your hopeful pre-law applicant, class of 2013, signing off.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Counting Calories

Thanks to the daily calorie counter I've started using at http://www.everydayhealth.com/, my favorite new fascination is how many calories certain types of foods contain. 

Today, I was headed to Subway to pick up lunch for some people in my office, so I decided to find out if I would be able to eat a sub myself without exceeding my 1,200 calories per day limit. Luckily, current nutrition information is easily accessible from restaurant web sites, so I was able to go online and calculate exactly which sandwich would be healthiest for me. Besides the Veggie Delight (no thanks, not enough for me!) the verdict was:

A six-inch turkey breast & ham sandwich on nine-grant wheat bread with American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, cucumbers, olives, pickles, salt & pepper, and fat free honey mustard... all for a total of 360 calories. A totally agreeable percentage of my daily calorie intake, I think.

However, as we were eating, one of my co-workers mentioned the obscenely high calorie content of one of fast food's biggest stars: Jack in the Box. Interested, I immediately pulled up the restaurant's nutritional information. I decided to check out one of my college midnight snack favorites, a Jumbo Jack with cheese. Surprisingly, this burger only packs 625 calories... I expected much more.

I realized that if I had eaten a foot-long Subway sandwich, instead of just six inches (which I have been known to do more than once), I would have consumed 720 calories... MORE than that greasy cheeseburger! Of course, one would never eat just a burger without about 450 calories worth of fries on the side, but still. I found the comparison quite interesting.

The more I read, and the more math I do, the more fascinated I become. It's just so easy to consume astronomical amounts of calories each day without even thinking about it. And now that I realize how many calories I was likely eating every day before I was more aware of these facts, I'm wondering... Since I've probably cut down my daily calorie intake by at least HALF (if not more), how long until I start to get skinny, dammit?!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Preliminary Review of a Quick Fix

I think Jillian Michaels' QUICKSTART Rapid Weight Loss Program might have poisoned me.

But it could be a combination of factors... I took both the maximum strength calorie control pills and the maximum strength fat burner pills all day on Monday (as directed). In addition, I started a healthy 1,200 calorie per day diet (although I only ended up eating about 600 calories total that particular day). Also, I went to a Step class at my gym on Monday night, and it was basically the hardest I have ever worked out in my life. I was dripping sweat, which I never do, and I had to leave the room a couple times because I thought I was going to puke.

Afterward, I went home, took some more pills, had dinner (even though I wasn't really hungry) and went to bed. I woke up around midnight feeling just horrible. I felt like I was on an incredibly intense caffeine high, my heart was racing, I was shaking all over and I felt super nauseous. I never did throw up but I was basically awake all night tossing and turning. It was not fun, to say the least.

Tuesday morning I opted not to take any more pills, but that morning at work I was still so nauseous I could barely eat breakfast... which I ended up throwing up. I went home from work around 11:30 because I just felt too sick to my stomach to function. I haven't taken any more pills since, but I couldn't even ride the bus to work today because I was still feeling so queasy.

I still have no idea what the exact culprit is, but not enough calories + intense exercise + diet pills = no bueno.

I guess I shouldn't have been that surprised. I usually have pretty intense reactions to medications / drugs. I think they were just too much for me and I was taking them too late at night (because I eat dinner so late and you're supposed to take them every time you eat). So I may try them again once I am feeling better, but at only half the dosage and not after about 5pm so I will be able to sleep. Because they really were working before I got sick... In one day I ate only 600 calories but I didn't feel hungry at all!

My boyfriend was making fun of me even though I was sick, because he says I need to stop focusing on "quick fixes" and instead just on diet and exercise. I explained to him that I am doing those things too, but he still thinks diet pills are dumb. Maybe they are... but these ones are from Jillian Michaels, and I just know she would never give me something bad!! She cares about my health! Right...?
What do you think?

Monday, March 22, 2010


Spring has sprung, which means bathing suit weather is right around the corner. I've been eating like a cow lately, so it's really time to get my jiggly butt into gear. I'm trying a new approach with several tiers:

DIET: I've cut myself down to 1,200 calories per day, which I am tracking on a food and fitness journal at http://www.everydayhealth.com/. I went shopping yesterday and bought loads of healthy vegetables and proteins, cutting out all carbohydrates, sugars, and unhealthy fats. Basically I'm going to be eating a lot of chicken, seafood, and veggies.

SUPPLEMENTS: In addition to a daily multivitamin and extra vitamin D supplement, today I started Jillian Michaels' QUICKSTART Rapid Weight Loss Program. It consists of a maximum strength calorie control pill taken three times a day before meals, and a maximum strength fat burner pill taken twice daily.

EXERCISE: My plan is to hit the gym every night after work. I'm currently on week three of my Couch to 5K running program, and I'd really like to finish the entire program before starting a morning Boot Camp around the third week of April.

I feel incredibly motivated, but I'm not even halfway through the first day, so who knows how long this exhilarated feeling will last. I have my fingers crossed though! My goal is to lose 15 pounds before Memorial Day. Wish me luck!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Obsessed With Refresh

Well, my company IT department finally decided to block Facebook. It's been a long time coming, and even though I'm not nearly as active in this particular social networking scene as I once was, I sort of feel like I've had a limb amputated. Okay maybe not an entire limb... maybe more like a pinky finger. But still.

So this leaves me with email. And I've realized this week that I might have a serious problem with my Hotmail account. My behavior is bordering on obsession, and I'm wondering if it's considered normal and/or healthy...

I find myself clicking the refresh button over... and over... and over. About every five minutes or so, sometimes even more often. I email back and forth with various friends all day long. While doing my regular job, I find myself in a constant state of multitasking. I'll send a work-related email, and then automatically open Hotmail from the bottom of my screen so I can click refresh and see if I've received a response any of the emails I sent three minutes prior. I'll answer a phone call... refresh. Compose a document... refresh. Schedule a meeting... refresh. It's become as automatic as blinking.

I've thought of conducting an experiment in which I don't check my personal email account once during an entire workday. But this line of thinking immediately brings on a mild anxiety attack, so I've never gone through with it.

Ah well, I guess there are worse things to be addicted to. Clicking refresh and seeing the bolded number indicating one (or more!) new messages is just such a satisfying little adrenaline rush. So I look forward to receiving your emails, friends!