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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I love cake like a fat girl loves.... oh wait.

Yesterday I bravely resisted cake and nachos which were provided to the office as part of a United Way event.  I proudly went home with my head held high.  And today, when I went into the office kitchen for a cup of coffee, I was expecting the table to be bare as it is most days.  But no.

Cake, tortilla chips and delicious butter mints.  So unfair.
I do so love cake.......
Especially when it has such luscious icing....
Look, it is a marble cake!  I bet the next slice will have a bunch of chocolate in it.
Whoa.  The lid just magically jumped off!
Hey!  How did those plates and fork and knife for slicing get there???
Oh my, what a tiny little piece of goodness
Why hello there.....
Forgive me diet for I have sinned.
Serious happy cake face
So OK, I failed a tiny bit.  But that's OK.  I am still being a good kid and I have to enjoy things a little or I will never make it.  And you know, that little piece of cake wasn't the best I had ever tasted, but it was just the right amount to help me stop obsessing over it.  Onward and up ward my friends!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Food Addict

It's not a habit, it's cool, I feel alive
If you don't have it you're on the other side
I'm not an addict (maybe that's a lie)
Well dearies, I am sure by now you have noticed the radio silence on my end of the world.  Sure I still post on facebook, Twitter, etc. but I am certainly NOT talking about dieting.  And I have not posted a new blog post since last July.  I have failed.  I don’t know how I let this happen, I was doing so very, very well.  I had gotten down to 226 lbs in April, I was certain I was going to meet my goal of being under 200 pounds by the end of the year.  Then I just lost the fire, the drive, or maybe I lost the fear. 

I stepped on the scale last week and read 248 lbs………….damn it DAMN IT D-A-M-N-I-T!!!!!!!!!
I had gone into self loathing, embarrassed of how I look and all around ashamed of myself.  I binged like no one has binged before.  I ate and I ate, I ate out of sadness, happiness, boredom, anger, for recreation, for any reason I could think of but rarely because I was hungry. And exercise became a thing of the past.  Now here I am, only 17 pounds away from where I started at the beginning of the year.  Something big has to change.
So last week I slowly started working my way back to exercise.  Thursday night I joined my friends Jennifer and Lukas in Auburn, Kansas.  We walked from their house to the Auburn fair. The walk was probably only five or six blocks long but I was definitely winded by the end of it. Then Friday night Wunder Hubby and I attended the First Friday Art Walk in downtown Topeka.  We started at Constitution Hall and walked up Kansas Avenue to The Merchant and then back.  This was a good walk for both of us, but we were both pretty worn out when it was done.  Then Saturday, Gavin and I joined our friends Catie Walker, Samantha Bell and Derek Hoppas for the Color Run in Lawrence, Kansas.  Our team was named “Nothing Rhymes With Orange” and our mascot was a moping orange.  The day of the run we were so excited, if you do not know about the Color Run you should really check it out. 
Gavin and I walked the entire 5k while the rest of the team ran on ahead.  That was OK with us, it was nice to get some mom and son time in while we rocked Gavin’s first ever 5k.  We met up with the rest of the team at the finish and it was a wild party of music and colors everywhere. This seemed to me to be the best way to get back on track.  Not a punishment or banishment from food, but instead a celebration of health and life.  So dearies, if you will have me, I am getting back on board.  I am determined to get healthy and stay that way.   Scroll down to see pictures of the Color Run.
Gavin and Mom before the run, we were taking a few precautions against the cold and powder in the eyes.  You will see all of these items came off by the end of the day.
After his third color station.  Feeling a bit tired but having fun.
We made it to the finish line and found Sam, Catie and Derek.  We were all feeling mighty powerful!

Gavin very much enjoyed the after party.  The kid went nuts dancing, screaming and jumping up and down.  There may or may not be some videos floating around the interwebs documenting his sick moves.

After party color cloud

Team: Nothing Rhymes With Orange!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Week of Action

So yeah, Operation Do or Die is not going over so well.  But I am determined to get it going.  In other news, I have just finished one of the busiest and most rewarding weeks of my life.  Here is a run-down.

Monday – Today I turn in my very last assignment for my Bachelors of Science in Accounting.  It has taken me a long time to get to this point.  I started school in 2008, after I received my Associates degree I jumped right into the Bachelors program.  It’s been a struggle at times but now that I am on the other side of it, I am both relieved and incredibly proud that I have finished it.  I get to enjoy two weeks off now and then it is time to start my Masters in Business Administration with a focus on Marketing.  I am so excited to start my marketing degree!

Tuesday – This evening I attended the Shawnee County Historical Society Board of Trustees meeting.  We discussed many interesting things going on with the society right now and some plans for the future.  The board agreed to give me admin status on their facebook page and let me bring a large stack of bulletins home to give away online.  Since I have started this campaign I am happy to report our facebook page has shown a drastic jump in activity. 
The glorious activity jump
Wednesday – This evening after work I picked up my Aunt Sondra and took her grocery shopping.  We had a very nice time shopping around and just talking.  I am so grateful to have her and my Aunt Susie in my life.  They are the absolute embodiment of family.  They have taken me in as one of their own children; they give me so much love and support.  I do not know what I would do without them.
Thursday – This evening my friend Kay Emslie and I taught our very first couponing class for our group Budget Butterfly.  The folks at the Topeka Hy-Vee were very kind and allowed us to use their meeting room for the class.  We had about 10 people show up; some came from as far as Burlington, Kansas.  Kay and I had a great time sharing what we know about couponing with the class attendants.  Kay approached me about a year ago wanting to start a couponing group. She and I are old friends and we both love couponing so we started Budget Butterfly.  We never thought it would grow into what it has today.  We are hoping to continue with the classes and organize coupon swaps as well. 
Friday – Today I hosted a tour of Topeka High School for the Topeka History Geeks.  Of all the tours we have done for the Topeka History Geeks, this one was the one I have looked forward to the most.  Topeka High School is very near to my heart and I had not been inside the school since 1997.  It is breath taking how absolutely beautiful the school is.  See some of my favorite pictures from the tour below.

This is the Polk St. entrance to Topeka High School
Every student remembers rushing up and down these to class
The beautiful Topeka High School Auditorium
A beautiful little spot often missed when reminiscing about Topeka High School,
this is located in the area behind the auditorium seating.

Topeka High Schools glorious Gothic style library

A closer view of the fireplace in the THS library

How lucky was I to eat lunch in this cafeteria everyday?!

Above the fireplace in the cafeteria
One of the many amazing views of the Topeka High School Bell Tower

And last but absolutely in no way least is Boyce.  Boyce was a janitor at Topeka High when I was a kid.  He was always friendly, helpful and ultimately endearing to all of us students.  I was thrilled to see him still looking after our beloved school.  Topeka High could not be in better hands.  Massive amounts of respect are owed to this man.
Saturday – Silverback Kansas invited its members to come out to the Jayhawk Theatre today and help clean it up.  The theater has been left neglected since it’s closing in 1976 and is in very bad shape.  A group of people are working to restore the theater to its original grandeur but it is going to take a massive amount of work.  What we did Saturday is pull out carpeting that we estimated to be around 85 years old, remove garbage, sweep and vacuum the years of dust.  We started at 8:30 and finished around 2:00 in the afternoon.  Our hopes are that now that the theater is cleaner, it may attract investors who would like to see it restored.  See pictures below. 

She was once very beautiful, she'll be again in time.

Sarah Peterson Herr and Brendan Jensen paused for a photo

The theater is getting closer to clean

Adina Mayhew scraping away at some nasty carpet glue

Truck loads of trash and old carpet were removed Saturday

Piles of trash lined Jackson St. while we worked.  It all was taken to local recycling centers. 
Well almost all of it, that awesome sink made it's way into someones basement.

One of my favorite people in the world, Jennifer Goetz, posed with me.  We are so dirty yet so rockin' in our do-rags.

Talk about peas in a pod, I made a new friend in Adina Mayhew, we had a blast getting to know each other!

Sunday – Today I have been able to reflect on a week that has been incredibly busy but also immensely rewarding.  I was invited to breakfast with Phil and Fran Breedlove who are my former in-laws and my son’s grandparents.  We visited, caught up on what is going on in each other’s lives and made plans for future endeavors.  I also visited my Aunts for a short while this afternoon.  My family is not conventional by any means but that sort of thing never really mattered much to me.  I feel loved by family and friends, I feel that I am contributing to my town, and I feel that I am growing as a person.  I may have failed at the diet this week but I feel that I have won in every other area.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Oh The Shame

Oh the horrible, horrible shame

I stepped on the scale this morning and it told me I now weigh 238 pounds.  That my dear reader is a 12 pound gain from my lowest point back in April.  How did I let this happen?!  That’s it!  No more messing around, time to initiate operation Do or Die.  Here is a run-down…..

Operation Do or Die


·         Drink more water

·         No more skipping workouts

·         No more late nights, 8 hours of sleep is now mandatory

·         EVERYTHING I eat or drink will go into MyFitnessPal

No Exceptions

This is it.  This is the point where I either get back at it and start losing weight again or this will be the point where I give up completely and start putting the pounds back on big time.  It must be done.  I cannot go back to the way it was. 

So today I have been very good.  BelVita biscuits for breakfast, a Lean Pocket for lunch and a Fiber One bar for a snack.  That’s it, save a cup of coffee and a bunch of water.  I will eat more natural, unprocessed foods once I get to the store.  For now this is where I am at.  Send me your good weight loss vibes, I need all I can get. 

Tally ho!

Friday, June 29, 2012

5 Lbs of Fat Vs. 5 Lbs of Muscle

I have been a very bad girl.  Every day I get up with the thought “Today is the day I get back on it”.  But by the time 3:00 in the afternoon arrives I have failed in one way or another.  It is frustrating.  I just cannot get back on the bandwagon.  I have settled into this weight, I no longer feel like this is new, it’s simply where I am at.  I find myself forgetting the progress I have made and I start to wonder if I have really made that much progress.  I mean, barely anyone notices the weight loss.  My husband says it’s because of the way I dress, I have always concealed my weight as much as possible.  When I started this I did not take a “before” picture.  I see those as a good way to jinx myself, and then be stuck with a picture of me that I hate.  So I wonder, did 30 pounds really make that much of a difference?  Then I came across this picture. 
This really hit home
Yes, 30 pounds has definitely made a difference.   That is why I went down two dress sizes, that is why I can comfortably reach my feet again, and that is why I breathe better when I sleep.  I took a tremendous amount of mass off of my body.   I still have a lot more to go.  At the beginning of the year I made my goal to be down to 175 pounds by Christmas.  I do not think that will happen now, I have gotten too far off track.  I am readjusting my goal.  I now hope to be under 200 pounds by the end of the year.   I currently weigh 232 pounds, if I stick with it and really work at it I should be able to make it happen.

So here we go yet again.  As of Monday July 2nd I will be back on the diet in full force.  That means NO cheating, LOTS of exercise and LOTS of water.  I can do this, I just have to stick to it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Greetings from Baldknobber Country

As I write this I am sitting in a condo in Branson, MO that is way beyond my financial means.  It is a time share that was loaned to us by family.  I just finished a wonderful bath in a jacuzzi tub and am now sporting a facial mask that looks too close to black face for comfort.  This is a wonderful get away that was long, long overdue.  The only thing missing is my dear wunder hubby who had to stay home due to work schedule issues.  The last vacation we took was back in 2009, it was time for a break.  To prepare for the trip I have taken two weeks off of school, scheduled the time off of work, and made certain to not obligate myself to any other community activities that may come my way until the end of June.  I am very relaxed, this is good. 
Branson is a good little vacation spot, just be sure to save up the deniro before you head this way.  There is very little that is free or cheap.  There are ways to save money; coupons that can be picked up at the Visitors Welcome Center, The Branson Guest Card, and if you can spare a few hours, time share presentations that offer show tickets among other things. 
As you may suspect my food choices have not been the best since we have been on the trip.  Fried foods, BBQ Nachos, Funnel Cakes, Fudge, snacky foods, and burgers galore have been whirling around me for days now.  The week before I left I was actually doing better.  I was tracking my food intake on MyFitnessPal and staying pretty well within my calorie limit.   But as the weekend of this trip arrived all the good work went back down hill.  I plan to hit the new life plan hard when I get back home. 
I find myself continuously making promises to get back to it next week.  My last several posts have had the same theme.  If I keep failing, I am going to end up right back where I was before.  That thought makes my very full stomach ache with fear.  I cannot allow myself to go back.  This blog has helped me to see the pattern I take when attempt to lose weight.  It’s sort of like false start, false start, small victory, binge, false start, false start, big success, taper off, binge, maintain, and fail.   I have got to break this cycle.  Perhaps now that I am more aware of it I can have more power over it. 

Photo evidence of the Brot Trot.  I am the short & round one

Lastly I want to give a quick update on the Brat Trot.  I did it.  But I have to say if it were not for my dear friends Brandon Sheley and Catie Walker, I may not have made it.  I was not able to run the entire route as I had hoped. In fact after many weeks of being out of commission I barely ran half of the thing (that is if you add all of my running time together.  I mostly walked as fast as I could manage).  I ended up crossing the finish line at 49 minutes.  I was proud of myself for doing it, yet very disappointed in how much I have allowed myself to lose the motivation I had just a month or so before. 
So good night my dearies.  I am headed off to bed.  One more day of gallivanting around Branson then back to my beloved Topeka.  And back to the arms of my darlin’ wunder hubby whom I am missing more and more by the minute. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Martie's Tips on How to be a Spiffy Receptionist

Before I was hired on at BerberichTrahan & Co., I had worked retail most of my life.  I knew customer service and how to make people feel welcome.  I think that trait is why they hired me with no previous office experience.   I remember when I started I was very concerned about doing a good job so I would dig through the internet trying to find pointers on how to be a good receptionist.  Now four years later I would like to extend a hand and share what I have learned in hopes of helping someone else new to reception work.  I give you….

Be Positive

No matter how bad your day is, do your best to be positive when you are working with clients.  Your problems are not their problem and your attitude will affect their entire visit to the office.  Be friendly and courteous, think of the clients as a guest in your own home.  How would you treat a guest?  Like an inconvenience or would you be a gracious host?

Smile on the Phone

If you smile while you are talking it changes the way you sound.  Smiling while you answer the phone makes you sound more inviting and gives the person on the other end a sense of ease.  Try it and see!

Candy, Candy, Candy

When I started, the front desk candy basket held just a couple of hard candies that no one wanted.  I decided to buy some chocolate and other candies that are popular.  Soon our candy bowl became a prominent feature of a client’s visit to our firm.  I paid for the candy out of pocket in the beginning but it was an investment that was well made.  Now the firm pays for the candy and sees it as a valuable way to give back to our clients.


I attended some continuing education classes and one of them covered the art of remembering names.  I put what I learned into action and found I could easily remember clients names after not seeing them for over a year.  This impressed our clients and made them feel more important to us.  The tricks I use are 1) say the person’s name aloud while meeting them, “Hello Mr. Smith, nice to meet you”.  2) think of someone or something familiar while talking to them.  When you see their face again that image will come to mind and you will remember the name.  Like meeting Mr. Conch, think of a sea shell, when you see him again, you will picture the shell and remember the name.

NO Gossip

Being in a centralized location and taking all calls to the firm, you are in the unique position to get the dirt on everyone.  Keep information to yourself, or even better, don’t even let it register with you.  Gossip does nothing but stir drama and hurt productivity.  Be professional no matter how sensational the information might be.  If it is something that would harm the firm and your supervisor should know, share with them but no one else. 

Show Some Interest

Berberich Trahan & Co. is an accounting firm.  I quickly realized I needed to learn about accounting to really understand what our people do.  I read some online articles, checked out some books and so on.   The more I learned, the more I could understand what our people needed from me to get their job done quickly and effectively.

Momma’s Gotta Be Resourceful

I am a mom at home and I have found that often I am a mini-mom to the office staff.  I help them find things that are lost, I show them how to use fax machine, and listen when they have had a bad day.  I also keep essentials in my desk like Band-Aids, cough drops, cold medicine, tissue boxes and granola bars.  It’s fun to be able to say “here, I’ve got what you need”. 

Have Fun

Be professional, but still enjoy what you do.  If you cannot have fun in your job then there is nothing to look forward to each day.  Find ways to laugh and do things that make the day more colorful for everyone.  You will be surprised how well your efforts are received. 
These guys have the right idea.  Office weaponry at it's finest!

Well I hope this helps get you started.  Just remember to find joy in everything you  do, your positive outlook will be contagious. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rambo Up

As you may know from my previous posts, I have been fighting some health issues.  I had bronchitis, a severe case of the dizzies (which still comes back every now and again), and thanks to some tests by my doctor we found out both my red and white blood cell counts were low.  Now after some hard core rounds of antibiotics, multi vitamins with high iron content and a massive improvement in my daily water intake, I am feeling much better.  I sleep better, I am more relaxed, and I am getting back to myself.   There is only one problem.  I have lost my motivation to exercise.  
It’s gone, just completely gone.  How can this happen?  I went a good three weeks lamenting the fact that I couldn’t do any kind of work out.  Just pining for the day I was better so I could get out and get back to running.  And now I sit here today with absolutely no desire to get up at all.  I just want to curl up on the couch and cocoon myself in a pile of blankets and pillows.  I want to surf the Internet or play Batman Arkham Asylum (which is totally awesome by the way).  I haven’t turned my Wii on in forever. 
The Brat Trot is officially two weeks away from today.  I HAVE to start getting ready or else I will be a complete failure.   I have managed a couple of walks over my lunch hour but the problem with that is when I return to the office I am a sweaty fat girl, no one wants to deal with that.  I have to work out at home again.
On the bright side I have continued to lose weight, just not as fast as I was before.  I have reached 226 pounds which is 39 pounds so far.  When I started at the beginning of the year I had hoped to be less than 200 pounds by June.  It is not looking like that will happen.  I could be upset with myself but I am not.  This isn’t a quick fix; this is a life style change.  And I have been successful in that aspect.  I have changed my habits for the better.  Even if the Wunder Hubby and I have what we call a “Sin Day” and allow ourselves to eat whatever we want, I just can’t take in the amount of calories I used too.  I am more conscious now of what I put into my body.  I think that is a very good thing.   But lets get back to reality here, in almost a month’s time I have only lost three pounds.  That is terrible.  That is maintaining not actually losing. It is time to get serious.  I mean really serious.  And by really serious I mean Rambo kick ass jungle serious.  It is not going to be easy, I have gotten comfortable maintaining.  But I am not to the point where maintaining is OK.  I am going to make this vow…. My next post will be a report on good behavior, hard work and hopefully some significant weight loss. 

Time to Rambo up

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tomorrow's Historians *Updated*

**Well, yesterday I did something I have never done before.  I was checking on this blog before going to bed.  I was tired, my eyes were heavy and my finger was feeling awful clicky on the mouse.  I was intending to read over this blog post to make sure no additional edits were needed before I retired for the evening.  I intended to click “view post”, what I actually clicked was “edit”.  Now in the trickery that is fate, I got super clicky in a panic and clicked publish instead of close.  In doing so I sadly deleted the post about the kids History Day project.   That woke me up in a hurry.  I franticly tried to find a way to recover the post but I had no luck, it’s gone.  So this morning I will try to recreate the post to the best of my abilities.  My apologies to the kids, their families, and my readers for being the uber dork that I am.** 
History Day students (pictured L to R): Grace, Donna, Nathan and Erinn
and History Hooray! teacher, Anne Hawkins

Look at these kids.  They are fresh faced, happy and eager to learn about history.  These kids created a display called the “American Pantry of Horrors” highlighting the importance of the Pure Food & Drug Act, the Meat Inspection Act and the creation of the FDA in the early 1900’s.  Their display shows what was sold to the public before such regulations were in place.  Two items that stand out in my mind is one, canned vegetables with copper added to make them more green and two, chocolate bars made out of chocolate paint.  Yummo. 

Well these awesome kids did such a good job that they won first place at both the district and State levels of the National History Day competition in Kansas.  (Woo Hoo!  Happy Dance!)  The kids now have a chance to compete at the national level in Washington DC.  The kids would compete with students from all 50 States, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and Europe!  The only thing that is keeping them from getting there is the need to raise $4,870.  They are now reaching out to their community asking for some help. 

So how can we help?  Why, I’m glad you asked! 


This Saturday: CiCi's Pizza will donate up to 25% of sales on May 12, to the student historians. It doesn't cost families anything extra--all you have to do is tell the cashier at CiCi's, "We're here to support the History Day Group." This opportunity is good all day and evening, in all 3 CiCi's locations (Topeka and Lawrence) this Saturday, May 12 only. To help, it's key that you tell CiCi's on May 12 that you are supporting the History Day Group; if you don't mention the group specifically, no percentage of your order will go to the kids. Thanks for considering eating pizza for this educational cause!


The History Day students and their families are hosting a multi-family Yard Sale and Bake Sale, next Saturday, May 19. Sale items include household appliances, tools, toys, and other treasures, as well as homemade pies, cookies, cupcakes, and other treats. The sale will run from 8 am-3 pm, at 1712 SW Cheyenne Road, in Topeka.


You may sponsor the History Day team directly, by donating at This PayPal Link.  Donations in any amount, from $5 and up, will be such a blessing and help to these grateful students!

These kids are doing Topeka proud and it is an honor to do what we can to get them on their way.   Thank you for all you do my dear readers, friends and family, together we are making Topeka a better place to be.

Now, to NOT delete this post………