jcollie719: (Jamie pawpet)
My federal tax refund will be deposited into my account on Wednesday.

One of the upsides to gaining weight on vacation is that I usually lose it again fairly quickly. My weight the night before the trip was 313, and I weighed 324 when I got home. A week later, I'm down to 317.

The July cruise reunion in Denver will be much easier and more affordable for me. Depending on which activities are added to the schedule, I will likely only book a room at the hotel for Saturday and Sunday nights. The preliminary schedule shows the group will mainly do sightseeing during the day and have dinner and drinks at night. I could just drive to Denver and back on Thursday and Friday nights, then check into the hotel after work on Saturday. I will ask the announcer who follows my shift if he can come in at 11:30 or noon on that Sunday so I can attend a barbecue hosted at a cruiser's house in Colorado Springs.
jcollie719: (Jamie pawpet)
 My Washington, DC vacation started out a bit shaky but quickly got much better. Since my tax refund -- around which I budgeted my trip -- won't arrive until next month, I applied for a $1,500 loan through the Lending Tree website in the week before the trip. A local branch of One Main Financial completed the loan and said the money would be in my account on Thursday, the day I flew out to Washington. My mood was dampened a little Thursday morning when I got an e-mail from Lending Tree saying the loan wasn't approved. I greatly reduced my spending that day, then got an e-mail that night from One Main saying the loan actually was approved and the money was in my account!

THURSDAY
My first flight from Colorado Springs to Chicago was very peaceful because no kids were on it. I had a cup of orange juice and a stroopwafel on the flight, then got a tomato and mozzarella sandwich and a bottle of water during the layover in Chicago. There was a kid on the flight from Chicago to DC, but it didn't make a lot of noise.

The singles group went to Whitlow's restaurant in Arlington for dinner Thursday night. I had a barbecue bacon cheeseburger, chocolate cake for dessert and a rum-and-coke. Instead of separate checks for each person, the restaurant gave checks to each table of 5-6 people. I didn't have any cash on me at that point. The bill for the table was $120; the others at the table offered to reimburse me if I paid for the table with my credit card. I figured this would still leave me with enough money left on the card for the hotel and one or two nights of dining, along with cash in my wallet (This was a few hours before I learned my loan was approved.)

Taking the subway back to the hotel, I thought the train's announcer was beatboxing and calling himself "Willie Rest-In-Peace." Looking at the signs, I realized he was saying the train was headed toward the "Wiehle-Reston East" station and the "beatboxing" was just the announcer clumsily putting the microphone in its holder.

FRIDAY
The day started with a group tour of the Capitol building. There was nothing really going on since Congress wasn't meeting at the time. The group had lunch in one of the Dirksen Senate Building's cafes (I had chicken and fries.) A member of our group took us on a tour of the Senate's TV and radio studios.

The group went to Chadwick's bar before the dinner cruise. The cruise went up and down the Potomac river. I had the parmesan chicken for dinner. After the cruise, the group took an Uber ride to the Crystal City Sports Pub near the hotel. The pub was too crowded, so the group went down the street to Bar Louie instead. I had a couple of s'mores martinis.

SATURDAY
I wasn't able to sign up in time for the White House tour (The deadline had passed before I committed to go on this vacation.) I was told the group would meet at Arlington Cemetery for a bus tour at 1 PM. I took the subway and got there by about 12:50. I waited inside the visitors center and asked the group on Facebook when/where the group was supposed to meet. When I didn't get a response by 2:00, I headed back to the hotel.

That night, the group had a few drinks in the hotel bar, then headed down the street to Ted's Montana Grill for dinner. I had a "Red Rock" bison burger and some "Mountain Breeze" martinis (no relation to the Mountain Dew knockoff from Safeway.)

I got back to the hotel around 10 PM, then played some of the games on Steelwoulfe's Jackbox stream for a couple of hours.

SUNDAY
The group had a brunch buffet at the Crystal City Sports Pub. I got some andouille sausage with peppers and onions, some biscuits with chipped beef, and a mimosa. My ankles had blisters from all of the walking I'd done so far. I decided to just have two of the instant pasta cups I packed for lunch, then had dinner later in the hotel's restaurant. I couldn't stay up to listen to all of Doggy Radio because I needed to get some sleep before my flights.

MONDAY
United Airlines had given me two one-time passes to their "United Club" lounges for this trip. I had a two-hour wait at both DC and Chicago's airports, so I visited the lounges at both locations. I had a light snack at each location, along with coffee in Chicago. My flight from Chicago to Colorado Springs left about 40 minutes late. There was a loud kid a couple rows in front of me on this flight. I had eaten an edible before the flight, so I was thankfully relaxed and unaffected by the kid. The flight wasn't too far behind schedule, arriving 10-15 minutes late.

I thought I had lost weight during the vacation due to all the walking I did because the planes' seat belts fit comfortably on all of the flights. When I got home, I saw I had gained 11 pounds. I don't know if I have less body fat than before or United recently installed longer seat belts. I've had to request seat belt extensions on many of my past United flights, but none this time.

Another cruise reunion is scheduled for July in Denver. That will be much easier and cheaper for me.
jcollie719: (Turtle Farm)
2016 RESOLUTIONS
1. Singles cruise (yes!)
2. Furry Fiesta and RMFC (yes!)
3. Get a fursuit (yes!)
4. Get (and keep) my weight below 300. (no.)
5. Stick to a schedule for certain duties (taking out the trash, checking the mail, etc.) or just stop putting things off until the last minute. (no.)

It felt very good to finally meet some goals that were financially impossible before. I finally have a collie fursuit, though I still need to arrange for its maker to make an adjustment or two so it fits properly.

This year, I began sessions with a new therapist. I hadn't seen a therapist since my former one retired in 2014. I had a few medical issues, including an infection which caused my lower lip to swell up. I finally asked a doctor about being tested for sleep apnea and now have an APAP machine to help me sleep better.

2017 GOALS
RMFC
Weight below 280
Second vacation (BLFC or DC singles reunion)

The second vacation goal might not be possible if the singles reunion is the same weekend as KRCC's spring membership drive.
jcollie719: (Luigi)
2016 RESOLUTIONS
1. Singles cruise
2. Furry Fiesta and RMFC
3. Get a fursuit (currently in progress!)
4. Get (and keep) my weight below 300.
5. Stick to a schedule for certain duties (taking out the trash, checking the mail, etc.) or just stop putting things off until the last minute.

I've accomplished the first two resolutions this year. I will contact my fursuit's maker later today to get a progress update. My weight is still hovering in the same 310s range that it was last year. I've definitely failed at the fifth resolution.

Compared to 2015, I'm doing less "okay" financially, but not poor enough to resurrect the #brokeasscollie hashtag on Twitter. I will see a doctor in a couple of weeks about the results of my sleep test. I hope a CPAP or whatever else the doctor recommends will improve my sleep. That would help me feel more alert and less cranky during the day, which would also reduce my tendency to snack/overeat due to being angry or tired.

I hope to keep another goal alive for next year: attending Biggest Little Fur Con. I tried to book a hotel room online when the room block opened, but I couldn't find any available for the entire weekend. I'll see if anyone with a room is looking for roommates, or hopefully the room block will be expanded later on.
jcollie719: (Ryan Headdesk)
During my last doctor's appointment, the doctor decided to delay renewing my Alprazolam prescription until the results of my sleep study came in. I don't know if that's why I've been feeling sadder lately. The sleep clinic called me today and set up an appointment for later this month. Tomorrow morning, I need to take a blood test. I've been taking Vitamin D tablets daily since I usually wind up with low levels. I'm slightly heavier than my last weigh-in. I slacked off on watching my diet after RMFC and got up to 318; I weigh 313 now.

I will drop off my car for repairs next Tuesday.
jcollie719: (Conan's Got Ducks)
My cruise crud/cold symptoms are almost gone. Another day of nose blowing and a good night's sleep should completely shake it. I will bring cough drops with me to KRCC tomorrow just in case I need them. The inner ear infection I had is almost gone as well. This is the first day in a week or two where I'm not feeling dizzy or sleepy in the afternoon, though the lack of sleepiness might be due to my body clock readjusting from Island Time to Mountain Time. I made a doctor's appointment for early-August, when I'll ask her about being tested for sleep apnea. I've re-lost 10 of the 15 pounds I gained during the cruise.
jcollie719: (Turtle Farm)
I got home from my vacation in Grenada last night. I felt like I had either a cold or bad allergy when I woke up today, but taking a Zyrtec and drinking lots of water seems to be reducing it.

I just weighed myself and found I gained about 15 pounds during the cruise. I didn't eat a lot of junk food during the cruise since this was a small working ship instead of a large cruise ship with lots of food options. I was hoping I had lost weight since a red shirt which had been a little tight on me fit comfortably during the trip.

FRIDAY, JULY 1
A woman from Pueblo going on the same vacation said hello to me at the Colorado Springs airport. Our assigned seats were across the aisle from each other during all three flights. While waiting for the first flight, we saw another passenger with a small dog named Bashful, though it sure didn't seem bashful! I had a breakfast quesadilla during the first layover in Dallas. When the second plane landed in Miami, it had to wait on the tarmac about 30 minutes since a plane with mechanical problems was stuck at the gate our plane was supposed to use. Another gate was found, and my cruise friend and I took a cart to the connecting gate. We landed in Grenada on time, but my friend and I discovered our suitcases were still in Miami.

The cruise group stayed at the Flamboyant Hotel. The hotel itself is spread out with dozens of buildings, and getting from one place to another requires taking flights of steep steps outside. The group met for dinner and drinks at the hotel's Owl Sports Bar.

The rest of the trip... )

RANDOM THOUGHTS DURING MY VACATION

I forgot to pack my name necklace for the singles cruise. The cruise director made me a new one. He had to make one with my last name since he didn't have an O to spell John.

If I do a trip like this again, remember to pack laundry soap and a change of clothes in my carry-on.

The streets on many of the islands remind me of San Francisco. Any unemployed mechanics could move to this area and make a good living repairing brakes and transmissions.

Each of the ship's cabins has an en-suite bathroom about the size of a walk-in closet. I could never get hot water through the sink or shower. Also the floor in the rest of the cabin is tile. "People are going to be stepping out of the shower with wet feet on a boat that's rocking. Let's put down slick tile for them. Not just any tile, but dark blue tile that won't reflect any light in the cabin."

The island tours were okay, but being in the back of a truck with occasional breezes is not the same as being in an air-conditioned vehicle.

PSA: If an out-of-shape person asks how far away something is, either give an estimate or say you don't know. An out-of-shape person's idea of "not very far" is a much shorter distance than someone in shape.

I had a slightly bothersome ear infection before and during the trip. Also, my hemorrhoids began bugging me halfway through the trip.

When asking myself if I wanted to do this cruise again, I thought I would only do it if it were a private charter like this trip was. Also, I'd definitely work harder to lose much more weight before then.
jcollie719: (Buster Sheep)
I got a bill in the mail yesterday for the February treatment of my swollen lip. I can pay the bill with a credit card, but I really wanted to limit my spending over the next two months.

I'm doing well on my revised weight loss plan. I bought a few juices to drink in place of sodas, along with a pitcher to filter water.
jcollie719: (weird al yankovic shocked)
I need to pick up some AAA batteries today. My bathroom scale appears to be working properly, I've been behaving on my diet and I've been more active this week. However, I'm having trouble believing I went from 302 lbs on Monday to 294 lbs. today. I'll re-weigh myself tonight after getting new scale batteries to see if I get a more-accurate reading. I haven't replaced the batteries since I got the scale last year. I had run out of my anxiety medication a few days ago and will pick up the refill today before work. I wonder if going without my medication affected my weight as well.

UPDATE (12:00 PM): I recalibrated the scale and currently weigh 308. Also, I keep forgetting my pharmacy isn't open on weekends. I'll have to pick up my refill on Monday.
jcollie719: (Turtle Farm)
My tax refund (federal and state) will total about $1,100-1,200.

I received word that another member from my singles cruise group died a few days ago. I know I saw him on at least one of the Halloween cruises I took in 2006-2008. No cause of death has been determined yet, but he had been hospitalized recently for exhaustion and dehydration.

I set up a weight loss goal chart for the three months before my next cruise. I set a pace of losing one pound every four days, though I'll work to lose more. This would put me at or below 290 by the beginning of July.
jcollie719: (Turtle Farm)
I might as well resume this countdown: 106 days until my singles cruise! After finishing my laundry tonight, I'll see how many shirts, shorts, etc. I need to get before the cruise.

Taking a weekend off seems to have temporarily reset my sleep clock. Yesterday and today, I woke up around 8 AM.

I gained seven pounds over Furry Fiesta weekend. Unlike last year, I had more sodas and not enough water. Even though I comfortably fit into the airplanes' First Class seats, the tray tables were in the armrests instead of on the back of the seats; the trays couldn't lay flat due to my gut. I will work hard to get my weight back down before the cruise.
jcollie719: (Luigi)
I really need to see a doctor about possible sleep apnea. I was driving to the Howl-O-Ween party in Denver last night when I started feeling sleepy. I thought my feeling sleepy during the late afternoon/early evening was due to my differing weekday and weekend schedules, but I still feel tired even on days when I get 7-8 hours of sleep. I still snore a little bit when I sleep, though it's a huge improvement over the "tractor stuck in the mud" snoring I used to do when I weighed 340-350. I will ask the doctor about possibly needing a CPAP since others have suggested it. I hope getting and keeping my weight below 280 again will also help.

The organizers of Rocky Mountain Fur Con announced the location and dates of next year's convention. The DTC Marriott is being renovated, so the convention is August 12-14 at the Crowne Plaza near DIA.
jcollie719: (lunchiesdogangl)
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS FOR 2015
1. Get my weight back below 280 lbs.
2. Make at least one Toastmasters speech
3. Attend Furry Fiesta and Rocky Mountain Fur Con
4. Find a second job, side business or franchise
5. Singles cruise or Furry Cruise

So far, I've only accomplished #3. My weight is continuing to seesaw between 305 and 315. I'm still brainstorming ideas for a Toastmasters speech since I have two months to do it.  A second job is still out of reach. I've booked a cruise for next July.

2016 RESOLUTIONS
1. Singles cruise
2. Furry Fiesta and RMFC
3. Get a fursuit (currently in progress!)
4. Get (and keep) my weight below 300.
jcollie719: (Jackass Fish Slap)
Last week's calorie average: 1,697.9

A few weeks ago, I thought I was having a stroke because I kept smelling a rusty/burning scent. It turns out the plastic grease tray from my George Foreman grill, which was in the top rack of the dishwasher, had fallen out during a wash and started melting and smoking in the bottom of the dishwasher.

My weight is still in roller coaster mode. It went up to 313 lbs. last week, but I was back down to 310 last night. I need to do a better job of actually eating healthier in addition to counting calories. Those cans of vegetables in my cupboard aren't just there for decoration! 
jcollie719: (Toonces)
I am (at least temporarily) the treasurer of my Toastmasters club.  The previous treasurer needed to travel out of state to tend to a sick relative.  Today, I bought an expanding file, ledger and receipt book at Office Max.

I believe my weight should drop below 300 again within the next week.  I weighed 302 this morning.

Finally!

Aug. 29th, 2015 12:32 pm
jcollie719: (Collie Wink)
Someone attending the Robins Nest meet Friday night offered to check my fursuit measurements.  I'm thankful for that because a few of my self-taken measurements were way off.

I'm glad my weight is headed back down again.  A month or two ago, I got up to 325.  This morning, I weighed 304.  I need to get back into the habit of drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day.  I've been slacking off on that.
jcollie719: (Luigi)
My Sunday at RMFC wasn't as busy as I expected.  I missed the Improv workshop panel due to taking a nap after breakfast.  I had lunch at the hotel restaurant then attended the "Free Can Cook" panel.

My big regret about this year's con was that I didn't get out more.  I need to start taking my former psychologist's advice and avoid taking naps during the daytime.  I should actually be out walking during stretches of time where there aren't any panels I wish to attend.  I used the stairs at least half of the time, and had walked about 0.6 miles each way going to dinner Saturday at Qdoba.  The only time I wore my panda kigurumi was an hour or so Sunday night.  During that time, another con-goer came up and asked for "end-of-con hugs."  Since she said it quickly in a noisy room, I didn't understand her until she repeated it.  I actually thought she said "panda condoms."

I made a "compulsive eating" mistake Friday afternoon.  I had gone to Subway to get a 6-inch sub.  Another customer had a page of Subway coupons he wanted to give away.  I accepted one of the coupons for "buy one sub, get one free."  The hotel rooms have refrigerators, so I should have refrigerated one for lunch Saturday instead of eating both on Friday afternoon.  I only gained about 2 pounds this weekend, so I'm not too unhappy about that.
jcollie719: (Turtle Farm)
I have booked two vacations for next year and have tentative plans for two others. I got a message from my singles cruise group about a private cruise in the southern Caribbean next July. This trip (on the 236-foot S/V Mandalay instead of a cruise ship) starts and ends in Grenada, with stops in the nearby Grenadines. I will definitely work on losing weight since the cabins have bunk beds, and there's at least a 70% chance I'll be in the top bunk.

I've already booked everything for Furry Fiesta 2016 and will likely also attend RMFC 2016. I would like to go to Biggest Little Fur Con in May, but I'm not sure if that will be possible.
jcollie719: (Collie Puppet)
My physician called me this morning with the results of my blood test.  My Vitamin D level is in the low part of the "normal" level.  I was told to double the amount of over-the-counter Vitamin D that I take.  After slacking off on this for a while, I've resumed keeping track of the foods/calories I eat.  I really want to get back below 300 lbs. before the end of the year.

I bought a few more items for my upcoming trip to Deadwood.  The hotel's Web site states the rooms have coffee makers.  I got a few instant meals, along with mini cereal boxes and protein shakes.
jcollie719: (Birthday Cake)
I'll be doing my shopping and errands Thursday since this weekend's weather is much nicer.  I didn't want to risk driving to the store earlier this week since the roads had started to become icy.  This viral video from late-2010 or early-2011 was actually shot on one of the streets I'd need to take.



I'm glad my weight is coming down again.  I weighed 286 at the beginning of the year and now weigh 281.  Reviewing my LJ posts for Furry Fiesta 2011, my weight then was 276.  Also the airplane seat belts actually fit me on 3 of the 4 flights I took to and from the convention.  I'm confident I can be at or below 276 by next month.

I'm cutting down on the amount of grounds I use when making coffee.  I usually make strong coffee to keep me awake during the day.  Lately there are times when the caffeine is still in my system at night, making sleep impossible.

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