Archive for the ‘Lbs. the Movie’ Category

“Lbs.” the Movie in Phoenixville, PA

Hi all! It’s been a while since I’ve sent out an update on “Lbs.” movie openings. It was announced today that it will be opening in Phoenixville, PA (about 30 miles outside of Philadelphia) on July 12th. It will be running through Thursday the 15th. You can find out more info on the theater’s website here. I’ve also added the details to my “Lbs.” page.

For any of you who are new to my blog and may have missed my “obsession” 😉 of the last five months or so, I’ve attached the trailer below.  Enjoy!

Fun Stuff (and the WP-Table Reloaded Plugin)

Hi again, guys!  As you all know, I dearly love movies and books and all other such things.  You’ve also probably figured out that I tend to get really excited about things that I enjoy – even a bit giddy.  I have also over the years collected quote upon quote upon quote – the location of which I’m not exactly sure of.  They’re scattered in journals, notebooks, post-its, and the like from my bedroom to the living room to the kitchen to my storage unit.

For a while I’ve been wanting a central location for such things that I love, because they make me giddy, happy, sad, or just make me think.  Now I have one.

I started creating an HTML chart such as I did with my Progress chart above and then realized what a major pain it was going to be, so I finally did a search for a WordPress Plugin that would create the table for me.  And score!  Enter WP-Table Reloaded.  Man, I love this plugin.  In fact, I may redo my Progress chart with it, so that I don’t have to update the html code each week at weigh in.

You can click on the link in the toolbar above or click here to see my chart of quotes and video clips.  It’s even sortable by column or you can search by word or phrase.  Pretty awesome!  I went through some lists of quotes that I’ve made recently and have added those, but I know that I have a ton more to add – if I can only track them down.  So I will be updating this fairly regularly (hopefully).  You can even sort by date added to see what’s new.  Check it out if you’re interested.

Right now, it is fairly heavily weighted towards the show “Supernatural,” just because that’s what I’ve been watching lately.  I’ve been writing down things that struck me as funny or that I just liked as I watched.  And there are a few video links for it, as well, since like my “Lbs.” movie page, this is going to be my one-stop shopping spot for the things I enjoy so that I don’t have to track them down again.

On a side note:  I came across another great review for the movie “Lbs.” by someone else who just happened to stumble across it.  Literally.  He just happened to come across the theater while he was in DC and saw the title when he looked through the window.  Check it out here.  I was going to quote part of his review here, but really, just read the whole thing.  It’s great and not very long.

And just because I have a very addictive personality (I know, you’d never guess, would you?), I’m breaking down and sharing some great Supernatural clips.  The first is quite possibly one of the greatest and most heartbreaking scenes I’ve ever seen on TV.  If you haven’t seen the end of Season 3 or Season 4 of it yet and/or ever plan on watching them, then you probably won’t want to watch since it contains major spoilers.  But just damn.  Jensen Ackles is an amazing actor.  So if you’ve seen it already, you probably know what I’m talking about and won’t mind watching it again.  Or if you’ve never seen it and don’t mind spoilers (like me, since I technically saw this scene before I got to that episode), take a gander.  You’ll probably have to click through to YouTube to watch.

And this one contains scenes from one episode related to a Teddy Bear with “Lollipop Disease.”  Sounds silly, I know, but I think it’s hysterical (and a bit twisted at the end).  Doesn’t give away any major spoilers for the show.  Again, you’ll probably have to click through to YouTube to watch this one, as well.  I think they’re both worth it though!

One of the things I love about this show is the relationship between the two brothers.  There are many episodes, especially in S3 and S4 that made me think about my relationship with and loss of my brother.  But one thing that cracks me up is how they kind of have pet names for each other:  Dean calls Sam “Bitch,” and then Sam immediately calls Dean “Jerk,” or vice versa.  For my brother and I, he was “putz,” and I was “moron.”  I know, I think he got the better end of the deal.  And we got ours after watching the movie “Grumpy Old Men.”  But the way Dean and Sam say it in the video below (in two scenes starting at about 1:00) is exactly how we used to do it.

Okay, on that note…I SWEAR I will get to bed at a reasonable time tonight!  I must get sleep!

“Monday Came” by J.R. Richards (Music from “Lbs.” the Movie)

Hi everyone!  I have a “Lbs.” update! I know you all have been in withdrawal! 🙂

I personally think this is a fun one, though.

When I saw the theatrical version of the film when I was in DC at the beginning of May, the song that was playing over the credits caught my attention.  I really liked what I had heard of it (which actually wasn’t much since they muted it to start the Q&A – not that I’m complaining or anything).

I’ve been trying to find out what the song was (all I could remember hearing was the lyrics “Monday came”) or if it was available anywhere, but haven’t had any luck.  Then today, I happened to pop in on the movie’s fan page on Facebook (or is that supposed to be “like” page now?  Stupid Facebook) and saw that someone finally posted some info about it a few days ago.

The song is called “Monday Came” and is by J.R. Richards.  It also features Michael Carey.  The lyrics are especially meaningful since they were inspired by one of the scenes in the film.

I think it’s my new favorite song.  In fact, I’m listening to it while I write this.  I love the lyrics, and the music genre itself is right up my alley.  Some of my favorite lyrics from it are:

I stand before you.

Take me as I am.

and

So face into the sun.

Embrace whatever comes.

and

A thousand times you fall, but you get up.

You stand.

You fly again.

There may be other places that you can hear it and download it, but the two I know of for sure are:

  • iTunes ($0.99)
  • Amazon ($0.99) (where I personally downloaded it, since I’m a rebel and refuse to use iAnything)

I need to listen to some of J.R. Richards’ other songs, but he may have a new fan.  And this song will become my new anthem once I get my ass back on plan (but more about that later).  Hope you enjoy!

(I will, of course, add these links to my “Lbs.” page.)

Weigh In 5/18/10 and “Lbs.” the Movie in NYC

Hi all!  Today, I thought I would combine two of my favorite things:  weight loss and “Lbs.” the movie.  You have to admit that they kind of go together.

So today was weigh-in day, and I’m thoroughly ecstatic.  For the first time in months (since November, actually) I am below the 250 mark!!  WHOOHOOO!! I’m so excited.  I weighed in today at 248.5 for a loss of 3.2 lbs.  I am back down 21.3 lbs since I recommitted myself to plan, and am down a total of 94.4 lbs altogether.

I’m back in the swing of things!  I deserved this loss, because while my exercise was a bit sketchy, I kicked ASS on the food this week.  Completely stuck to my points (no fudging and all through the weekend, too!) and ate way more fruits and veggies than usual.  I’m so excited!

And for those of you in the NYC area, don’t forget to check out “Lbs.” this week at BIG Cinemas Manhattan.  From what I hear, Thursday will be the last night, though according to their Facebook page, it sounds like it’ll be fun – with giveaways!

I know I’ve been promoting the hell out of this movie on my site for the past few months, and I thank you guys for bearing with me.  But as I’ve said before, it’s something I truly believe in, and hope that you will love it as much as I do.  When I went to see it in DC, and heard the responses of the other people in the audience, and their comments afterward, I felt a bit better about my promotion and knew that I wasn’t alone in the way I reacted to this movie.  You all might not love it, but I know that there are some who will.

In fact, I’ve been watching the comments on their FB page, as well, and one really summed up what I think this movie can accomplish.  Since you can read it directly on the “Lbs.” page, hopefully it’s all right if I quote it here:

Great to see this excellent film at E Street Cinema. Very cool to have the writer/star, director and co-actor on stage afterwards for Q&As. The film changed my perception of ‘being fat’. I had had such a negative attitude to it. Now I feel … it’s not all ‘bad’… and of course the person in a body is ‘OK and equal’, …whatever the shape, color etc of the body.

This movie is changing people’s perception about us.  Here are a few more reviews:

This movie is excellent. A very realistic perspective of a legal addiction…FOOD …

I really liked how you explore the emotional aspect of obesity — the desperation, isolation, loneliness, anger, guilt, fear …. definitely a different kind of movie from boring Hollywood blockbusters. This is a movie America needs to see.

So there you have it.  I’ve also spent some time recently updating and revising my “Lbs.” page – I’ve added some new links (one of my faves is a link to Sundance pics from 2004, and another is a link to the National Eating Disorders Association’s Video Resource list – it’s awesome that “Lbs.” was included) and have done some rearranging.  Check it out if you have time.

So if you’re in the NYC area, please try and check it out this week if you can (and, of course, let me know what you think).  There will be a Q&A after the 7:15 show on Thursday, the final night.

I do believe that it will be heading to other cities soon, but don’t know the details yet!

To a certain extent, while you guys may be sick of hearing about it, I kind of have both you and “Lbs.” to thank for getting me back on track.  As most of you know, I stopped blogging for a long while – pretty much when I was so off-course.  While not the entire reason, my excitement about “Lbs.” played a huge role in getting me back to blogging regularly.  And then that’s where you wonderful, lovely people came in. Your support has meant the world, and I think it and my blogging more regularly is what has helped keep me on this path to health.

So thank you to you both.  You’ve brought me back from the edge.

And I think this weigh in is exactly what I needed.

Have a great day!

Doing It All Over Again

We all know that losing weight can be really difficult.  Especially if you have a food addiction or are a chronic overeater.  Over the past few months, I’ve learned that it’s even harder to do it again.

I’ve explained before that I’ve been overweight since about the 3rd grade.  I still don’t know what the turning point was, where I went from a skinny child running around in tube tops to being so overweight that the kids in my class called me a “beach ball.”  But there was one, and regardless of what brought it on, that’s what happened to me.

I steadily gained weight throughout school until I went to college.  Most people gain the freshman 15.  I lost well over 15 pounds.  Probably closer to 40.  I really don’t know, because I avoided scales like the plague.  I’m sure it was a combination of things that helped me lose weight during that year:  lack of  car (unable to run and get fast food, had to walk everywhere), having to walk to classes, and being around lots of new friends.  I’ve never really had a problem with controlling how I eat in public or around friends.  I’ve always done my eating in private, or as private as I could make it.

The book that I’m currently reading is “Angry Fat Girls” by Frances Kuffel.  You can check out more details on Amazon through the link, but in it she has focused on the topic of losing a lot of weight and then regaining a lot.  Due to my own situation, it has been very interesting.  When I first mentioned the book on my blog a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I knew that I had her previous book, “Passing for Thin,” but couldn’t remember if I had read it.  So I did a search on my blog and I have read it and even wrote about it.  Um, I also wasn’t very flattering to it.  I wish that I could say that I liked the author more while reading this one, but she put me off towards the very beginning of the book once again with the way she described her so-called friends.  Luckily, for most of the rest of the book, I’ve been fairly successful in trying to ignore these comments and just focus on the heart of what she is trying to say.  I haven’t finished it yet, but from what I’ve read so far, I would recommend it to anyone who has lost and then regained a lot of weight.

To bring it back to the public vs. private eating, I read a scene a couple of days ago in which one of the characters, I can’t remember which, had a final blowout before getting back on plan.  She drove to one fast food restaurant, ate a large amount of their food in their parking lot, then drove to another, and then another, all eating the food while sitting in the parking lot.

Also, in “Lbs.” (I swear to God, I do think of other things…I promise), the main character is shown sitting in a diner more than once with the table covered in plates of food.  I would never have done that.

In both situations (hitting several drive-thrus or ordering at a restaurant), I would order the food and then take it home to stuff myself silly.  If I went through drive-thrus, I would hope that they would think that I was taking some of it home to family or friends.  Even if I ate out with friends, a lot of the time I would end up taking most of it home, only to end up finishing it off later that night.

You see, I kept my shame private.  I was a private person. (Then a got a blog and it was all downhill from there.  LOL)  But unfortunately, no matter how private I tried to keep my shame, there was no way I could keep it completely private, because the pounds just kept coming on.  And you can’t hide those.  That shame is out there for the world to see.

So I lost a lot of weight my freshman year in college and then started regaining the summer after my freshman year, because I moved home for the summer and had access to a car again and was back in my old environment (I sometimes really understand Neil’s act of moving to the country to try and lose his weight in “Lbs.”).  Since I brought my car back with me my junior year, the weight just kept piling on.  It also didn’t help that we moved into on-campus apartments (from the dorms) and my roommate was out of town constantly.  Lots of time for that private shame.  And let me tell you, a Sam’s Club membership that year probably wasn’t the best idea.  We’re talking corn dogs, taquitos, and french bread pizzas by the bulk.  My mouth waters just thinking about what my freezer looked like.

So I kept gaining through graduation.  I got a job that turned out to be both good and bad.  The good was that it helped give me a bit of self-confidence and made me a bit less afraid to talk to people.  I was an office manager that also had to deal with the public regularly.  I also believed in their mission and felt that I was doing some good.  On the bad side, my boss was an absolute nightmare.  One example:  she would come to my desk to ask me what conference room I had scheduled for the meeting that was in half an hour.  That was fine, except that she never told me about the meeting and there were going to be 20-30 people there.  I was also expected to do the work of about four people (no exaggeration).  It really sucked the life out of me and I continued to gain.

I finally reached my breaking point, quit, and moved back home all within the span of a week’s time.  Totally spur of the moment and probably the most spontaneous thing I’ve ever done.  At home, I somehow was able to maintain at about the weight that I came home at.  But then the unthinkable happened and my brother was killed – less than a year after I moved home.  I still sometimes think that it was all meant to be.  If I hadn’t had the job from hell and hadn’t reached my breaking point and quit and moved home, then I would never have had those last nine months with him.  I wouldn’t have had all of those days to fight and argue with him.  🙂  I would probably have only seen him once or twice that year.

After my brother died, my weight skyrocketed and I gained another 60 pounds at least, until I reached my all-time high.  I’m still not quite sure what it was, because I had already started losing a little bit before I joined Weight Watchers and bought a scale that would actually weigh me.  And you all know the story of what happened next.

I’ve wanted to lose weight ever since I was a kid.  Especially, as a kid, I always believed that losing the weight would fix everything in my life.  It would solve all of my problems.  As I got older and got to know myself better, I realized that this wasn’t the case, but I still knew that it would make some things so much easier in my life.  But I was never able to actually do it.  I would write up all of these great plans – food and exercise – and would always start “tomorrow.”  But again, that was the “tomorrow that never came.”  In all my life the only times I’ve ever lost a lot of weight were my freshman year in college and on Weight Watchers starting in 2006.  And the Weight Watchers attempt was the only intentional one.

So in 2006, I got it “on like Donkey Kong.”  LOL  And lost about 164 pounds over the course of about two years, only to regain over 80 of them.

So this is where I am today.  Trying to re-lose those 80+ pounds.  And it’s nowhere near as easy or as fun as it was last time.  Last time it was like a game to me, and the excitement of stepping on the scale each week to see losses was intoxicating.  Fitting into smaller clothes and seeing progress photos after reaching each 25 lbs lost was also intoxicating.

But now, while I can watch the scale drop, the excitement of the smaller clothes and the progress photos just isn’t as much as it was.  I already have clothes that I will be able to fit back into – though maybe I’ll make a policy of buying at least one new item.  I also don’t have the excitement of finding out how my new progress photos will compare with the last one.  I already have all of the progress photos.  I already know what I’ll look like.  And now each one will just serve to remind me of how far I fell and of where I was when I had lost 164 pounds.

It’s no secret or understatement when I say that I was extremely strict with myself when I first started Weight Watchers – with my points anyway.  There was no veering off plan and I rarely allowed myself the things that I really craved.  Pizzas made on Thomas Light English Muffins with fat free cheese (that now makes me say UGH just thinking about it) just aren’t the same as Domino’s.

I was looking at my Progress Chart (link above on the toolbar to all of the horribleness) the other day and was looking to see where all my issues began.  The first major appearance of the “?” under the Flex Points Used column happened around my birthday in September of 2007.  I remember that moment very well.  We had taken a weekend trip to Branson to celebrate my birthday.  I remember we were at our hotel and I remember specifically deciding “Damn it! I want pizza!  I’m going to have real pizza!”  And so we ordered Pizza Hut.  And I stuffed myself silly and loved every moment (until I felt sick afterward).

Things kind of fell off track, but I kept losing until I reached my lowest.  Then there is a clear break on my Progress Chart.  It’s right about the time that my friends came to visit me and is also about the time that my doctor told me that my new goal weight should be 170 instead of the 153 that WW told me was the highest I should be.  To be honest, I think I freaked.  I remember posting this about my doctor changing my goal weight. Here is a fairly scary (in hindsight) quote from it:

What then?  Losing this weight has pretty much been the focus of my life for more than two years.  Looking forward to that weigh-in each week and praying for a loss is what kept me going.  Will I be able to maintain it?  And if I am able to maintain it, will seeing a similar number week after week be enough to keep me interested and on track?

And then, from that moment, the “?”s took over my Progress Chart and my weight skyrocketed up.

So now I’m trying to find that excitement again.  It comes and goes.  I did peek at the scale today and am half a pound below where I was the week before last, so that was pretty exciting.  But I’m almost starting to think that I just need to forget about all of my previous progress photos and allow myself to get excited all over again with each new one.  And to allow myself to have new ones.  Hopefully, over the next month or two, I will reach 100 pounds gone again, and hopefully I will be able to celebrate it as if it were the first time.

Even if I choose to forget (or try anyway, because I am still proud of what I accomplished) where I was on the low end of the scale, I will never forget where I was on the high end of the scale.  I will never completely start over and say “this is my new starting weight.”  I worked damn hard to lose those pounds and I am going to appreciate each and every one of them.  They were a part of me.  They helped mold me into the person that I am.

Of course, I don’t ever freaking want to see them again, but I’ve started to learn how to appreciate who I am because of them.

Washington, DC Trip

Hi all!  This week has been a rough, rough week at work.  By the time I’ve gotten home, I’ve barely had the energy to get on the computer, let alone write a post.  But I wanted to finally tell you a bit more about my trip.  I warn you now, this is gonna be a long one – mostly pics though.

Last Wednesday night, I think I got about 3 1/2 hrs of sleep.  Thursday, I got up early to take care of quite a few things before my trip like getting an oil change in my car and picking up a copy of Chely Wright’s new book.  You’ve probably all heard about her in the news lately.  But one of the bookstores here is doing a book signing/performance with her and the only way to get tix is to buy her book.  Of course, I’d probably have gotten it anyway.  When I was in high school, my best friend dragged me kicking and screaming into country music.  I ended up loving it.  By about my junior year in college, though, I was back to mostly listening to pop/rock.  I honestly haven’t listened to country music in years, but I always did like her music and I want to support her.  I actually remember meeting her at a CD signing when I was probably about 17 years old.  I’ll have to see if I can find the pic I took with her.  Here’s one of her more fun videos:

Okay, back to DC.  So didn’t get much sleep Wednesday night.  I also then didn’t get much sleep Thursday night between having to pack, do laundry, and get my dad all set up for the weekend.  I think I got about four hours of sleep that night.  It didn’t help that I kept tossing and turning and waking up every half hour with the worst sinus headache you can imagine.  I’m sure the excitement of the trip didn’t help.  I finally gave up and got up around 2:00 a.m.   We had to leave by 4:45 to catch our flight.

Everything went incredibly smoothly with the flight.  We didn’t have to do those full body scanners (which I was worried about), but did get patted down for some reason, even though the guy that went through before us didn’t.  But the flight was on time and was smooth and it all went really well.  I tried to sleep on the plane, but that didn’t happen.  I guess I was just too excited.

We landed in DC at about 11:00 or so and made our way directly to our hotel, the Grand Hyatt.  We were there by 11:30.  I had requested an early check-in, but since check-in time was 3pm, I didn’t expect them to let us check in quite that early.  But there was no problem and no question whatsoever.  They let us check in as soon as we got there.  Unfortunately, when we got up to the room, it was just a single king bed when we had booked two double beds.  So we had to traipse back down to the lobby and get a new room.  But there wasn’t a problem there either.  She switched it and within five minutes or so, we were back up in our new room.  I do think she could have verified the type of room we had reserved before sending us upstairs.

I have to say that the bed was THE MOST comfortable bed I’ve stayed in in a hotel in YEARS.  I like my beds on the soft side and most are usually WAY too hard for me to get comfortable at all.  But this one had a soft pillowy top to it and was wonderful.  My only complaints about the room were the lack of electrical outlets for guest use.  There were only two on the far side of the desk in the corner – very inconvenient and one in the bathroom (which you obviously don’t want to use for electrical devices – especially when you’re showering).  After we got there, I took a bit of time to iron my clothes for that night and my shirt for the next day.  Just to get it out of the way.  I had to plug it in way over by the desk and then it kept shorting out the power strip and shutting it all off.  That was a pain.  I finally ended up pulling the nightstand out from the wall to plug my cell phone into the one outlet available back there.  My other complaint was that there wasn’t a fan in the bathroom.  Fans really do help in cutting down the steam build-up after a shower and this one was so stuffy that it was awful.

Other than those issues, I was pretty happy with our stay.  We bugged the concierge desk quite often and they were always friendly and helpful.  We learned that though we had taken a shuttle to the hotel from the airport, a taxi would have been about half the price and that’s how we ended up getting back on Sunday.  Much more comfy, too.  They helped us with directions and tour info.  Plus, the place was just gorgeous:

So after ironing and getting settled, we decided to go wander the blocks around the hotel and find someplace to eat lunch.  I also wanted to hit an ATM.  So we wandered a bit and ended up at M&S Grill for lunch.  We didn’t have reservations, but they were still able to seat us right away – I think it was about 1:30 or so at this point.  But oh my god.  I have NEVER had such slow service in my entire life.  I think they were getting revenge for the fact that we didn’t have reservations.  I got the pan-seared mahi mahi.  Another coincidence between last year’s CA trip and this one.  Those are the only two times that I’ve ever had it.  I have to say that there was NO comparison.  The San Francisco version was incredible.  This one was so-so.  They did have a great cranberry lemonade.

So by the time we got out of there it was after 3pm.  We wandered around, hit the atm, and then headed back to the hotel.  Since “Lbs.” didn’t start until 7:50 that night, and since we’d had so little sleep, we were a bit concerned about not snoring through it.  🙂  We decided to try and lay down for a little bit, but neither of us was successful in falling asleep.  It didn’t help that there was a hotel employee that knocked on our door apparently just to see if the room was occupied.  You know, I would have thought the privacy tag on the door might have clued him in.  But we did feel a bit more rested.  We then ordered room service for dinner (I had half of a grilled chicken sandwich and a bit of cucumber/tomato salad.  I wasn’t too hungry yet and was too nervous to eat much anyway.  So then we showered and got ready.

We headed down to the theater at about 7:00 – you’ve seen the pics and heard my story of what happened there, so I’ll spare you the details again.  If you missed it, you can read about it here.

We got back to the hotel at about midnight.  And unfortunately, I don’t know if it was the excitement or what, but I ended up getting even less sleep than I had Thursday night.  But I was up and out of bed by 5am Saturday morning, excited to get the day started.  We had breakfast in the hotel cafe.  I had a slice of banana nut bread, a small slice each of cantaloupe/honeydew melon, half a glass of skim milk, and this incredible (and incredibly sinful) half of a biscuit with cheese, egg, and bacon on top.  It was all delicious.

After that, we caught the metro (which conveniently had an entrance from our hotel) down to the Federal Triangle station.  Again, we were a bit early, but it gave us a chance to look around and use the restrooms at the Old Post Office.

They were forecasting rain for that day and it was awfully cloudy when we got down there, but it cleared up and the rest of the day was absolutely beautiful.  Unfortunately, there was a problem with the shuttle and our tour was about 20 minutes late getting started.  Needless to say, we felt a bit rushed through the rest of the tour, because they still tried to get us done by the time that it was supposed to end.  We were also supposed to stop at the Iwo Jima Memorial, but never did.  I was a bit disappointed, because it is supposed to have a great view of the city.

On the tour, we hit the capitol building:

The White House:

The World War II Memorial:

Where we also saw the Washington Monument:

And did I mention how freaking windy it was?!?!?!?

We also saw the Jefferson Memorial:

Where I also took these two random pics that I loved:

And where we also got to see the south side of the White House from a distance:

Next was the Korean War Memorial:

We then went to the Lincoln Memorial which was in my top three moments (“Lbs.” was one of the others, and the third I will get to shortly).  Just standing next to the freaking Abraham Lincoln statue was something I’ll never forget.

And we got this view of the National Mall:

Next up was the Vietnam War Memorial.  I’ve seen many pictures of it before, of course, but I never realized how it was cut and built into the ground.  I had always thought that it was just a straight line built up off of the ground – like a wall.  I also knew that there were  a lot of names on it, but it was completely and utterly overwhelming and even though I don’t know anyone that died in the war or went missing, I about broke down in tears.  Just seeing all of those names written on the wall and knowing that each one represented a human life was almost more than I could bear.

The start of the wall (and the back of our tour guide):

A flag that was left:

Reflections of life on the wall at its tallest point:

I took this photo of the Washington Monument on the way back to our shuttle from the Vietnam Memorial – we hadn’t been on the shuttle since before the Korean War Memorial.

When they took us back to the Old Post Office, we had just enough time to eat a late lunch.  I had a turkey sandwich with mustard, lettuce and tomato on wheat (and snatched exactly two french fries off of my mom’s plate).  We then started walking down toward the National Archives.  For anyone planning on visiting the National Archives, it is entirely free, but I HIGHLY recommend that you make reservations online.  It only costs a dollar per person.  There is a separate entrance for those who have reservations and when you get up to the security checkpoint where you go through metal detectors and have your bags x-rayed, they stop the line of people without reservations and let you cut in front of them.  Cuts out a LOT of waiting time.  It was really nice, and I’m so glad we went ahead and did that.

Here’s a pic of me in front of the National Archives (on it’s north side):

This would be the third highlight of my trip – seeing the Articles of Confederation, Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States, and Bill of Rights.  The whole archives exhibit was really interesting.  Seeing documents, letters, etc. signed by George Washington and Abraham Lincoln was just amazing, but they also had several different exhibits.  But when we got through the line to go into the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, I seriously about had a freak-out attack in a good way.  🙂  As I’ve said before, I am a huge history buff and just seeing those things in person and just a few inches away under glass was seriously amazing and a moment I’ll never forget.  I mean, these are the documents that shaped our country.  They’re why we’re here and why we have what we have.  And seeing them – and the real signatures (including the real “John Hancock”) – was just amazing.

Outside of the Rotunda, they also have the Magna Carta from 1297.  That was also very cool to see.  Of course, it was in Latin, so I couldn’t read a word of it.  But I just freaking love being around things that old.  I have got to get myself to Europe one day is all I have to say.  But I was just doing a search for a link to info on it and discovered that it was sold by Sotheby’s in 2008 for $21,000,000!!  Holy moly, I think that’s probably the most expensive thing I’ve ever stood next to.

One of the amazing things about the whole National Archives exhibit was the number of foreign languages I heard being spoken in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom.  I don’t know why, but it just surprised me a bit.

By this point, it was hitting on being 7pm or so and to say that we were absolutely WIPED OUT would be a massive understatement.  Not only were we sleep-deprived, but we were sore from being on our feet all day, sweaty and in need of showers and, well, just exhausted.  So we decided to head back to the hotel by metro and that we would decide what we wanted to do next.  Of course, the entrance to our hotel from the metro wasn’t a handicap accessible entrance and the only escalator going up wasn’t working.  So my poor mom had to climb up the steps after spending almost the entire day on her feet.  Did I mention her bad back, hip, and knee?  But she did it.  We even stopped at the concierge desk to check into our tour options for the evening, and I was also dying to go back and see the “Lbs.” guys again, as they had invited us back several times.  But by the time our shoes were off, we were firmly planted and weren’t going anywhere.  Of course, now that I’m rested (for the most part) and not in any pain whatsoever, we’ve both been kicking the hell out of ourselves for the past several days about not going.

But that can’t overshadow the fact that we had an absolutely amazing time.  Even before we left, we were talking about going back.  Next time I want to make sure I have time to hit the Smithsonian museums and the Holocaust museum.

Finally, Saturday night I got a bit more sleep – about five hours. 🙂 We had ordered room service (the aforementioned pizza and chicken fingers which were both heavenly) and started watching “It’s Complicated” on tv.  But we couldn’t even make it through that before we went to bed.

I was up by 6am Sunday morning to shower and go to the airport. When we woke up, the temperature was in the very low 40s, about a 20 degree drop from the morning before.  And they said on the news that it snowed in NY!  My mom blames me.  She made me take a jacket on the trip – I even had to buy a new one – and I was complaining Saturday night about the space it took up in my suitcase since I didn’t need it.  I then complained that I probably wouldn’t need it now that summer is coming and that by the time I did need it again, it wouldn’t fit anymore (wishful thinking since I plan on losing a ton more weight).  So then we wake up on Sunday morning and it’s freezing out, and it’s freezing when we get home to KC.  Ooops.  😉

So anyway, we had absolutely NO problem getting through security at Reagan National Airport.  We weren’t even patted down this time and the TSA agents were some of the friendliest I’ve ever seen.  We did see a couple of cops making rounds with rifles, though.

Bored at the airport:

When our plane took off, we got the most incredibly perfect aerial view of the Pentagon.  I just wish that I could have taken a picture of it.  I did get a few pics later on in the flight – boredom again and amazingly, I was still incredibly sore from Saturday.

Other than only having two seats per side of the plane, this is the best reason to fly Midwest Airlines:

Other random plane pics:

At one point, I dozed off for about 10 minutes (I know – I checked my watch).  Before I fell asleep, my window looked perfectly normal.  When I woke up, the bottom of it was covered in frost:

So now I’m home and back in the grind.  But I have lots of good memories to hold onto and lots of new ones to look forward to!

PS – I sure hope it doesn’t take you guys as long to read this post as it did for me to write it!

PPS – If you’re a glutton for punishment, or really don’t have anything else to do, you can check out more of my DC pics here.

Update:  A couple of thoughts that I forgot to mention.  One of the things I fell in love with DC for is the architecture.  Everywhere you look, it’s simply breathtaking.  The part of town that we were in was also incredibly clean and felt really safe.

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights.html
May 13, 2010admin 4 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Lbs. the Movie , Life in General

“New Boobs”

Okay, get your head out of the gutter.  I’m not talking about for me. 🙂

But I am talking about a great short film by “Lbs.” director, Matthew Bonifacio.  When I was talking to him on Friday, I asked him about some of the other projects he’s done.  I had seen that he had done some shorts and was wondering if any of them were available for viewing.  That’s when he told me about “New Boobs,” which can be found here on atom.com.  Or, you can watch it below.  Like I said, I thought it was great – very cute, and parts cracked me up.  After seeing “Lbs.,” “Amexicano,”  and now this, I’m hooked on his work!

Those of you with Netflix, be sure and check out “Amexicano.”  It’s still available for instant viewing (or by mail), and Carmine wrote and starred in it, too!  If you watch it, be sure and let me know what you think as it has become another favorite of mine.

Update: So I was tooling around on Google (I’m telling you, Google is a dangerous thing) and came across this great interview with Carmine and Matthew from back in 2008 about “Amexicano” and film-making in general.  Great reading!

Okay, here it is.  “New Boobs”:

New Boobs

Weigh In 5/11/10

Well, I’m really sad to see my “Lbs.” movie experience post get bumped down on my blog page, but it’s weigh in day, and I guess it can’t stay at the top forever.  Oh wait.  Yes, it can.  This is my blog and I can do what I want 😛  So I’ve added it under my favorite posts at the right.

Not surprisingly, I gained.  But I only gained 1.1 pounds!  Considering that I ate like the cookie monster from Saturday night through Sunday night, it’s truly a testament to how much walking I did Friday and Saturday that I didn’t gain more.  I’m sure the fact that I did fantastically well food-wise on Friday and most of Saturday helped, as well.  Of course, knowing that I probably would have had a huge loss if I hadn’t gone nutso Saturday night, is something I’d rather not think about.  (We’re talking room service with pizza AND chicken fingers shared between my mom and I – both were thoroughly heavenly).

As a matter of fact, my mom lost six pounds while we were gone!  Six!  I’m happy for her, but geesh.

I know I still owe you all some more info about my trip and pics, and believe me, I’m dying to share.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get some of it up in the next couple of days.  Things at work have been crazy – as they almost always are anymore.

Since I’ve been back from this trip, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.  In my last post, I mentioned the trip to California that I took about a year ago.  When I went on that trip, I had already started to slip up, but was hovering around only a 15 lbs gain.  Of course, I felt huge.  But when I got back from that trip was when it all went downhill and I started skiing towards that 80+ lb gain.

In heading home from this trip, I started feeling kind of down, and remembered that I felt extremely down when I came back from last year’s trip.  And it made me realize something.

I’m constantly talking about how amazing life is with so many opportunities and exciting experiences out there to be had, but rarely do I ever take advantage of it.  At least not to the fullest that I could.  Of course, money is always an issue.  But when I’m on these trips, I could be going on two hours of sleep, and I’m still ready to literally jump out of bed at 5am and get the day started.  I’m so excited to see what fun and new and interesting things the day has in store for me.

When I came back from my CA trip last year, I was sad that I had waited so long to visit.  I was so excited to see in person all of the great places that I’d heard about all of my life and was amazed at how easy it was to hop on a plane and be right there.  As long as you can pay for it, the world is your doorstep.  It also made me think about how I had had a chance to visit my friends when they lived out there a couple of years before (yeah, they move around a lot), but I didn’t, because of my weight.  It was right about the time that I was at my highest.  One more example of how my weight has kept me from doing things.

I almost didn’t go on my DC trip, once again because of my weight.  And I almost let a lot of truly incredible experiences, not just the “Lbs.” event, slip through my fingers.  It’s embarrassing to be overweight.  I hate even being in public sometimes.   And if I’m feeling that way at my current weight, imagine how I felt at my highest.  I was so excited to see so many national treasures, but was terrified at the thought of having my pic taken in front of any of them.  But you know what?  I forced myself to get over it, and I went, and had an incredible time.  When I think of the fabulous things I saw, people I met, and experiences I had, it makes me sad to think that I almost didn’t have the courage to go.  Sure I’m not happy with the way I look in a lot of the pictures that were taken of me, but that doesn’t take away the experiences that I had.  And in looking at those pics, I’m going to try and remember how I felt when looking at that monument, or shaking that person’s hand, or seeing the documents that created our country.

But back to the idea of how on these trips, I find myself wanting to leap out of bed.  I don’t have that in my day-to-day life.  Most people don’t.  But that’s what I want.  I want a life where I’m literally jumping out of bed with excitement to see what the day has in store.  Last time, I came home and settled into my old routine, getting more and more depressed at the feeling of divide between the excitement I felt on my trip and the drudgery of my daily life.

I felt that again this time, but as of Monday at dinner, I’ve nipped the eating insanity in the bud and I’m trying to do some active thinking about where I am and what I want from my life.  And how to get where I am to meet what I want.  I currently have absolutely no clue, but this time I’m trying to make some positive changes instead of allowing myself to undo all of my hard work again.  And even if nothing comes of it other than an attitude change, I know that I won’t be regaining another 80 lbs this time.

What is that now?  Reason #482 (at least) for why I may have gained back so much weight? 🙂

PS – I almost forgot to tell you that when I was talking to Carmine and Matthew, I asked them about the article that mentioned a possible DVD release of “Lbs.” by the end of the year.  They weren’t certain that that will happen, but it sounds like they have some footage that would make terrific extras on it.  I so hope they include it.  They did mention that while it isn’t available yet, there is already an option to “save” it on Netflix for when it does become available.

My “Lbs.” Movie Experience

Okay, guys, the moment you’ve all been waiting for.  And seriously, I don’t even know where to start.  I will say that I absolutely fell in love with DC (and discovered that while I’m a mid-west girl at heart, I’m definitely much more of an east-coast girl than a west-coast girl), but I will write more generally about my trip over the next several days.  I can’t put it all into one post – or you’d end up scrolling forever.  So I’ll break it into smaller posts (which I’ll warn you, still may not be all that short).

I guess I should first start by saying that I’m sensing a pattern here.  A pattern that I like.  Last year, almost a year ago exactly, I went on a trip to a place I’d never been before:  California.  Even better, I had good friends to visit (the aforementioned Shawna and Riley) who were willing to play the tour guide role.  My first night there, May 9th, we went to a play in which the lead actor was one that we all liked, Brian Krause.  He has been in several things:  Charmed, Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers, and Return to the Blue Lagoon, among many others.  We got to meet him after the show:

So here it is almost exactly a year later.  Again, I visited somewhere I’ve never been – this time Washington, D.C.  And again, the first night I’m there, I get to go to a show and meet the actor afterwards.  Actually, two of them and the director!  Like I said, I’m beginning to like this pattern.  I can’t wait to see what next year has in store. 🙂

Anyway, these were the guys I got to meet this time around (click on any of the pics in this post to see larger images):

From left:  Matthew Bonifacio (co-writer/director), me, my mom,
Carmine Famiglietti (co-writer/lead actor), Lou Martini, Jr. (actor)

Um, yeah, cool night.  Okay, so maybe I better start from the beginning.

We got to the theater where “Lbs.” was playing really early.  Here it is:

My ticket:

Fun stuff:

Can you sense my excitement building?  The theater (as I said, we got there really early):

At this point, we discovered that while most people here in KC tend to actually get to a movie before the previews start to get a seat (of course there are always stragglers), most people in DC don’t.  In fact, most people came in after the movie started.  And unfortunately, since there were no previews, several missed the very beginning of the film.  So if you go see it, get there on time! 😉

Both my mom and I really enjoyed watching the movie on the big screen.  Sure, we both loved the cut we saw on DVD, but there’s just something about seeing it on the big screen.  I found myself catching so many more details than I did before.  So if you get a chance, definitely check it out on the big screen.  I did notice several differences from the version I saw:  different music, scenes edited a different way, cut scenes, added scenes, but all of the changes really made it even better, I thought.

But the best part of seeing it in person on the big screen was the audience feedback.  You can’t get that at home very well.  I loved hearing the audience’s reaction to different scenes.  It was reinforcement that I wasn’t the only one who strongly responded to the film.  Hearing them laugh at scenes that I’ve been thinking were funny, and gasping at scenes that I gasped at, or sounding disgusted at certain characters that I felt disgusted with was an amazing thing.

As the credits began to roll, the lights came up just a wee bit and some people walked in.  Two of them were Carmine and Matthew.  Let me tell you, after months of watching these guys either in the film or in various interviews, it was a trip to see them walk into the same room I was in.  And shortly after they started the Q&A session, Lou Martini, Jr. (who played Carmine’s character’s brother-in-law) walked in totally unexpectedly.  Check out the link to his IMDB page – he’s been in lots of stuff and has several things coming up.

I thought the Q&A was very interesting.  It lasted about 30 minutes or so and there were a lot of questions asked.  As I suspected, this movie brought up a lot of discussion of what it means to be an overeater or having a food addiction, and even whether there is a way to “help” people who are overweight.  I loved Carmine’s response to this – he mentioned that he can usually tell when someone is trying to help out of genuine concern or just to be mean.  He said that we know when we’re overweight and need to lose weight – we don’t need to be told.  We have mirrors – we know what we look like.  Totally agreed with this.

Yup, still love my new camera, but it gets an epic fail on the dark theater photo shot scale

I, myself, asked him two questions during the Q & A (once I got up the courage): whether it was difficult to have so much attention drawn to his own weight fluctuations due to the movie’s release, and what they wanted people, especially those who have never had a weight problem, to take away from the movie.  He said that it was a little hard at times, and that sometimes he’s disappointed with himself for the weight he’s regained (I personally think he’s amazing at any weight), and that he hopes people will realize that everyone has problems – ours just happen to be much more visible.  There was also a woman in the audience that said she was a health care educator who happened to be about 100 pounds overweight.  She seemed very appreciative of the film and its message.

My mom mentioned later that she thought it sounded like a lot of the questions came from people who “obviously have never had a problem with their weight.”  I think that’s another reason why these Q&A sessions are so great – Carmine and Matthew, through the sessions and their film itself, are educating the public.  We’re just people, too!

During the Q&A, the issue of shame came up.  One of the people asking about it seemed to believe that because obesity is so much more prevalent in society these days, that shame shouldn’t be or isn’t really an issue anymore.  Carmine quickly corrected that idea – thank God.  I mean, where has this person been – do they not watch how overweight people are treated in the media and the news?  In further proof of what a nice guy Carmine is, at one point he mentioned some of the messages/e-mails he had received from people interested in the film. He said that many of them mentioned how they were extremely overweight and wanted to see the film, but were almost afraid to even leave the house.  He said that he was like, “No, please come.  Don’t be afraid.  I’ll even come watch it with you.”  I’m paraphrasing, of course.

As I said, the topic of addiction came up, as well.  Carmine admitted that he struggles with whether he believes that it is truly an addiction or not (it’s no secret on here that I truly believe it can be).  One of the reasons he said he struggles with it is because he feels like he should be able to control it and control what he’s eating.  So do I.  But I believe that that is at the very essence of an addiction.  You feel like you should be able to control it and maybe even know that you can, but you don’t.  He said that he’s not absolutely certain that it is an addiction, but that he knows he acts like an addict when he wants to eat.  I’ve been there.

At one point, one of the theater employees came in to let us know that the next show would be starting soon – in other words, we had to get out.  Carmine announced, though, that we could just move to the hall.  There was a bit of craziness, but I was stunned that both Carmine and Matthew recognized my mom and I without us having to introduce ourselves.  They gave us a very warm welcome with hugs!  Amidst the insanity, I was able to get photos with each of them.

Lou Martini, Jr. and I (and Carmine in the background)

Matthew Bonifacio and I

Carmine Famiglietti and I

At that point, I wasn’t sure whether we should hang around or take off since there were other people clamoring for their attention, but Carmine told us not to rush off.  I’m glad we didn’t, because after the majority of the crowd left, we ended up getting to chat with Carmine and Matthew for a little over half an hour.

All I can say is that they are both truly wonderful, friendly, genuine (and funny) guys.  They both seemed very appreciative of what I’ve done on my blog as far as keeping people updated with new info and reviews (and even said that they visit it sometimes to catch new info!).

I also learned some amazing news.  Due to its incredible success in New York, the film will be reopening there next Friday, May 14th, at a different theater, BIG Cinemas Manhattan.  There will be Q&As after “select screenings” on Friday and Saturday night.  They also said that they will be heading to Cleveland, North Carolina, and Florida soon, as well.  Believe me, my mom and I did our best to talk them into coming to KC.  🙂

Anyway, the whole evening was an amazing experience and went much better than I ever could have hoped.  We each even got a t-shirt!

Front                                                                                         Back

Both Matthew and Carmine asked us if we were going to come back Saturday night, and we said we’d try.  At that point, we weren’t sure if we were going to be on another tour or not.  Unfortunately, as much as we wanted to, when Saturday night rolled around, we were just too outrageously wiped out to even leave the hotel room – enter room service.  But like I said, more on that later.  It would have been great to see them again, though, even if just to say goodbye.

So if you’re in the DC area, please check the film out.  It should be playing at least through Thursday.  As always, I’ll be keeping you posted on other showings in other cities and any news I run across!

Film postcard I got at the theater

“Lbs.” the Movie (And Me!!) in Washington, DC on Friday!

Hi all!

As you know if you’ve been checking in with my blog at all, “Lbs.” is opening up in Washington, D.C. on Friday. It will be playing at the E Street Cinema and tickets are already on sale. Click here to get yours now!

I’ve seen no official posts yet, but the last I heard, they will be doing Q&A sessions after the last two showings on Friday night (7:50 and 10:10).  I believe there will also be others over the weekend. I’ll update this as soon as I know more.

Here are a couple of new additions to my “Lbs.” page:

Washington Post – “Lbs.” Looks Food Addiction in the Face

Village Voice Blogs:  Lbs. the Movie:  Worth the Weight?
(this one mentions a possible DVD release by the end of the year – fingers crossed!)

I plan on being there Friday night in the midst of the probable crazy-opening-night insanity.  (And after having already been up for 17 hrs by that point – hopefully I won’t be a zombie through it all! 🙂 ) And if you’re there, too, you might just see me!  I don’t know if anyone other than Francesca is in the area, but if you happen to be there, please feel free to stop me and say hi if you see me.

I’m pretty excited!!  (Um, as if you couldn’t already figure that out)