Monday, August 10, 2009

It's On Like Donkey Kong!

So, after what felt like a very long process, I am finally able to say that we have been approved for a loan on the Walnut! For those that are curious, the home is built by Shea Homes and is in the Fiddyment Farm development in West Roseville. We had to go through a pre-qualification, which led to some work that needed to be done on our part, that finally led to a loan application and another week of waiting. We didn't want to make any announcements, or really get excited about anything, but last Friday we got word that we had been completely approved. The whole thing took about a month from start to finish. All along I had a feeling that it would be okay, but there was that part of me that just didn't want to get my hopes up. So, as my coworker suggested, I remained cautiously optimistic. It paid off!

I am going to try to visit the homesite every week to take pics of the progress. We went a couple of weekends ago and took some after they had framed the foundation and dug the trenches for piping and whatnot, but then JB lost his phone. My intention is to use snapfish to create a coffee table book of the whole thing once it's done. I am not sure how much longer we have to wait to go in and start selecting options and whatnot. We were able to visit the design center in the beginning to get an idea of what the upgrades would cost and work within our budget. Luckily a lot of stuff comes standard, so we don't have to pay as much for certain things that we want.

It's so funny because once you tell people you are buying a new home, they all want to give you their suggestions and tell you to try to get as much out of the builder as possible for free. Just as much as I am not a salesperson, I am also not a very good negotiator. If I ask once and they say no, I don't push the issue. JB is the same way. But when you tell people this, they just try to give you even more ways to try to get stuff for free. I do appreciate some of the good heads up tips I have been getting from people, and every time someone tells me to ask for something for free, I just go, "Oh yeah, I should ask about that next time we are in there." and move on with the conversation. Luckily I know quite a few people who have been in this situation recently so they have given me good advice as far as picking options and what to ask about.

The home is set to be finished and close escrow by late November/early December. I am hoping it's earlier rather than later for tax purposes. It would be nice to get that tax credit and pay off a student loan. :) I will be posting updates as they come, so stay tuned!

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Results Are In...

Okay, so I know boot camp ended a week ago, but the instructor was on vacation and was not able to test my body fat, therefore I could not post my progress. I finally met with her this morning. After 1 month, 3 days a week for an hour at 6am, the results are in:

Weight: 143.5lbs
Body Fat %: 14.95%

Now, if you look back at my initial post, you might notice that I have gained .5 lbs. But I also lost 0.68% body fat. This means one of two things; that I lost some weight, but built up muscle which repleaced it or that some of my fat turned into muscle, which actually weighs more. My goal was to lose 8lbs and 3% body fat, which is quite ambitious in a month's time. It's do-able, according to JB, but probably not for my lifestyle. In order to reach this goal, I would have required much more gym time than my days allow.

That month did quite a few things for me besides shape me up. It added a level of discipline that I really needed. Getting up early requires going to bed early. Also, knowing that your body needs a certain amount of sleep to recover from hard workouts made it more of a priority for me to get more sleep. I stopped staying up late watching tv or reading. I was in bed by 10:30, 11 at the latest. Also, I started drinking more water and remembering to take my vitamins everyday. Of course, if you are working that hard, you don't want to ruin it by eating junk, so my eating was much cleaner than it had been. Lots of lean meats (chicken, tuna, ground turkey), fresh fruits and veggies, and complex carbs (brown rice, wheat pasta, whole wheat breads), and other protein packed snacks like yogurt and cottage cheese, peanut butter, cheese and crackers. Of course I had a few days where I let go a little and enjoyed myself, but I would get right back on track the next day and not let it derail me. I also cut back a lot on the alcohol intake, which always helps.

One thing I have learned, especially with restaurants being required to post the nutritional information for their dishes, is that eating out can really set you back and derail any progress you are trying to make. Restaurant-prepared meals are packed with fat and sodium and can blow your entire day of caloric intake in one meal. It's quite ridiculous and rather discouraging. Some people like to play dumb and ignore the facts because they really want to enjoy their night out. I would say that once in a while, that's fine. But if you eat out for lunch or dinner, or both, on a regular basis, you are not going to get anywhere very fast. And if you look at this information and try to order the best possible health-concious choice, it turns out to be a huge waste of your money. It makes me wonder if it will eventually change the way restaurants prepare their food. I sure hope so.

I am quite pleased with my results. I am very proud of my dedication and determination. I have noticed more definition in my arms and legs (not so much in my abs where I wanted it), and have received a ton of compliments, especially from JB. And the thing I think is the best part about it all, is that I am inspiring others to do the same. I have had several friends and family, including my roommates, that have started working harder to acheive their goals because they have seen a glimmer of hope that the hard work actually pays off at some point.

So, I just went shopping for new work clothes since all of my old stuff, even the stuff I had altered, was not fitting properly. Saggy and baggy to say the least. To give you an idea of how far I've come, aside from the pictures previously posted, two years ago I was a size 10 at NY&Company. This is the store I buy all of my work clothes from because I know I like thier stuff and I know my sizes there. A while back, I got to start buying size 8 pants and eventually had to have those taken in. The ones I had taken in are now baggy on me, hence the shopping spree.

As I am loading up my arms with size 6 pants and medium sized tops, the store clerk keeps coming up and unloading them from me and putting them in the dressing room. Once I get in there to try stuff on, I realize that everything is too big. The size 6 pants are just a smidge to big, so I ask for a 4. Well, let me tell you, we are not quite there yet. Although I could get them on just fine and buttoned with no problem, they created a bit of a muffin top. Much like my size 10 pants were doing 2 years ago. I opted to stay with the 6 for now, but was excited about the fact that I could even fit into the fours! I also bought smalls in some of the tops I purchased. A few were still in the meduim range, but it all depends on the style. I can't even remember the last time I bought a small anything!

So, all in all, the boot camp experience was great! I made a little progress, although not as much as I had hoped for, and I am still on my quest for a 6 pack. I just purchased a 90 day weight loss pack from which, along with my gym activity and healthy eating, should help with the progress. The most important thing to remember is to not get discouraged. It takes a few months to see initial results, but after that it's encouraging to actually see the hard work pay off and know that you are doing all of the right things.

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