Leanne Nalani

Baby Shower

Saturday was all YAY with the weight loss. Then we went to our friends’ house for a baby welcome party since they just adopted a newborn last month. He is adorable. When the mom said, “Do you want to hold him?” I looked at Mike and then looked at her and was like, “Oh, you were talking to me??”

Yeah, I’m awkward around babies. I said ok as long as she shows me how to hold him so I don’t accidentally drop him on his head. No one wants to be that person. I held him for a few minutes, wondering what to do with a 7-pound infant staring up at me, and then a little too eagerly gave him back to his mom with perhaps a little whiplash.



That night we went out to El Gaucho for a nice steak dinner to celebrate our 6 year wedding anniversary. We ordered 4-ounce filet medallions Oscar.

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We also shared a nice bottle of wine, some fancy mac & cheese, and a dense bourbon chocolate cake dessert with vanilla ice cream. Sunday was our actual anniversary which we spent being happily lazy.

A Case of the Mondays

This morning was another story. We woke up to stress. Before getting in his car to go to work, Mike noticed this flooding in front of our house:

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We were worried it could be a broken pipe that we’d have to pay for.


So I spent the whole morning dealing with it because we figured it was our problem – It’s a box in front of our house. There was no valve or meter inside because that box was to the left of this one. This one was unique to the whole cul-de-sac. In the end it turned out to be the city’s problem and they took care of it. I was gone most of the day so this is what I came home to:

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YAY, not my problem.

Classroom Family Time

I spent the afternoon out with my family working on my new classroom. It was an awesome day! I started by going to a great teacher store just down the street from my house, where my mom and I looked around and I found a whole bunch of fun stuff. We went to lunch and then headed to the school. Just a few minutes in, we unexpectedly see my dad walking through the door! He happens to work for this school district although with his declining health he’s not really supposed to. It was a very pleasant surprise and he even brought a special guest to introduce to me, the school’s head custodian. He was a really nice guy and I love that I have a family connection to my new school district. Not long after that my sister arrived so I had my whole family hanging out with me in my classroom. I couldn’t ask for anything better than that.

Even my para was wonderful enough to drop in and meet for the first time. She brought her two high-school-aged daughters making the room super full of family. She also is clearly a great person and I am beyond excited to work with her in the coming year!

My mom and sister helped me move furniture and general organization. I bought a calendar kit and birthday kit which Malia opened up and got ready to go for September. There are still a million more things to do so I took home a good deal of homework. After completely exhausting myself for the day and getting in well over 8,000 steps, Mike needed to stay late at work and asked me to call off racquetball. What a relief because I did not have the energy!

I ran a couple more school errands and then got home for… What? More school work?

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Gotta get those IEP files organized!

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Fancy printed labels to match the folders.

I swear I do not have OCD. Much. I just like things neat and tidy and organized and perfect and ready and damn it I have all summer. 🙂

Other Shenanigans

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OMG SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!

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Meet our new cul-de-sac bunny. I named him Roger. He hangs out in people’s yards.

First, I am happy to report that I lost 1.7 pounds this week. As in prior weeks I have been going balls to the wall on eating in terms of calorie consumption, eating the bare minimum that keeps me from going hungry yet not enough to really be excited about life. I just want to get these damn 20 pounds off!

Total pounds down is 9.1, 8.2 to go.

Let’s Talk Data

Anyone have a FitBit and sync it with MyFitnessPal? I love these apps for all the data they provide. It’s motivating to see the exercise for the week…

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…and it’s good to see water intake and how your friends are doing. I’ve been noticing something with syncing calories between both apps, though. For those who track, let me know if I’m missing something but here is something I discovered.

When I set my goals for MFP and FitBit to lose 2 pounds a week, this is what I get:



MFP says, “Eat more! You’re way under your goals! At this rate you’ll lose 4 pounds this week instead of 2!”


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FitBit says, “Eat waaaaay less! Better yet, eat 800 calories today even though you did 45 minutes of Zumba! At this rate you’ll gain weight this week!”

Now obviously FitBit is way off compared to MFP. I lost 1.7 pounds with these low calorie days and exercise. That has been the trend to lose about 1.5 pounds on weeks like these when MFP says I should be losing at least 2 pounds. Fine, I can live with that. I’ve always been a yo-yo dieter and I’m in my 30’s so weight loss is not nearly as doable as it used to be.

I just don’t understand the vast differences between the apps. I experimented and thought perhaps you should only set goals on one of them instead of both. That didn’t work. They don’t sync calorie recommendations as you can clearly see. So what I discovered is that they will agree with each other if I set FitBit to lose 1 pound a week and MFP to lose 2 pounds a week.

Moral of the story – Know your body and don’t trust everything these apps say. We are all different and have different needs. Many people already know that but it’s still worth acknowledging.

*Have you noticed anything like this if you are someone who tracks on these apps?


Successes & Struggles


Lost 1.7 pounds

Exercised daily

Stayed distracted from food

Enjoyed a night with pho and bubble tea as a treat



Eating just enough but wanting more

Feeling kind of yuck these past couple days


*What are your successes and/or struggles this week?

Yesterday my sister Malia and I went on our first hike of the summer. The original plan was to do one hike a week after school got out but things kept happening and plans kept derailing, but better late than never! The first hike of the summer is one of my favorites, Wallace Falls.


Ready to get this show on the road, sista!





This is called “Little Falls”. No joke, it’s marked on the trail!



Woodpecker holes



Malia posing by the water



There are a couple bridges going over the river



The final destination, Wallace Falls


It was a beautiful day for a hike but we were so tired after all the up-hill trekking that we didn’t even look at the waterfall before flopping onto the benches and eating lunch. After replenishing our energy we spent some time enjoying the falls and then headed back.

That night Mike suggested we go out into the sun with the Lotus to get Pho. We tried a new restaurant right across the road from last week’s froyo place. Both are in a nearby city called Covington which we really like because it’s a nice area where the rush hour traffic doesn’t keep you at a standstill. Finally we found a pho place I would like to frequent. The pho is good, they have a million other food options, the place is clean and comfortable, and most importantly they make bubble tea exactly the way I like it.


Mmm peach


*What have you been up to this week?

*Do you have any favorite pho/bubble tea places?

{July 13, 2014}   Sunday Successes & Struggles

After all the junk I ate last weekend and all the alcohol I’ve been consuming throughout this hot week, I still managed to lose 1.2 pounds. Sweet! I was feeling guilty on Sunday after that pint of ice cream and the party Saturday and felt like I should have had a gain the next weekend or best case scenario maintain. I’m really happy with this weekend’s results.


  • Eating the right quantities of food every day
  • Exercising every day, mostly Zumba
  • Keeping cool during the hot days – The portable air conditioner has been a life-saver, especially for Loki with his thick double-coat of fur
  • Enjoying some unplanned Froyo just to get out in the Lotus and enjoy the sun


I got a little too excited and packed a bunch of cookie dough in the middle between cake batter and nutella froyo with marshmallow topping, mochi, and chocolate chips



  • Having a couple light drinks every night, which is really unusual for me
  • Sleeping in after Mike leaves for work is just not happening, but at least I usually get enough sleep regardless


Car Show

Today was a beautiful day and not as hot as they were predicting! Every year there is usually a couple car shows we attend. In past years we have brought Mike’s family’s classic Firebird, but this year we took the Lotus. This car show had a nice variety of all kinds of vehicles, even a dune buggy and a Westfalia.

photo (2)That’s our group under the Seahawks cover

My dad shows his classic ford pickup and one of my uncles shows his black Mustang among other family and friends we get to spend time with.

Interesting thing to note. On my way down to Tacoma I noticed an unexpected message on the digital highway sign:


Well that’s a new one!

photo (1)Its a good thing Loki doesn’t drive :p


It’s been a hot and busy week so far! The weather is getting hotter by the day and pretty soon we will be in the 90’s – For those who don’t know, Washington is not known for “warm weather” or “air conditioning” or “sunlight”. It’s known for “rain” and “vampires” and “gray skies”. At the 85-100 degree point we lock ourselves in one small room with a portable air conditioner. The heat makes us moody and pissy.


Please save us from ourselves!


Exercise has been difficult but I’ve been doing it before too much heat sets in. I’m on the “alcohol” diet – There’s something about being so uncomfortably hot that makes me want to drink. This is weird because I’m not a big drinker, especially when I want all my calories to come from real food. Heat seems to strongly curb my appetite. I’ve been eating a lot more chicken this week which has also helped immensely. All I need is a bit of shredded enchilada chicken for lunch and dinner and my body is no longer hungry. Ever. Hence extra calories for light drinks.


Skinny Pirate – My favorite!

Over the weekend I ate way too many calories. That Saturday party was all food and then the stress from Sunday’s shopping excursion mixed with the heat made me go crazy and get ice cream. I’ve been expecting to maintain or gain the 1.5 pounds I lost from last Saturday. Stepped on the scale on Tuesday and was  up 2 pounds. LAME. I did get right back on the wagon Monday and have been feeling pretty good, so I jumped on the scale this morning. Down 2.5 since Tuesday. So far that means I’m half a pound down from last Saturday’s official weigh in. I am hopeful it will stay that way because I am pretty amazed at being able to lose any weight at all after last weekend.

Here’s what I really want: I really want to live my life and have those “bad weekends” without gaining all the weight back. I really want to stop the binge eating even though I am well aware that it happens no matter what steps I take. I have yet to see a psych which might be really good for me. I really want to be at an ideal weight that isn’t necessarily the lowest possible weight I can get to. Been there, done that, can’t maintain 105 pounds. Probably shouldn’t, either. Jillian Michaels is my height and weighs 115 pounds with all that muscle. I’d like to weigh 115 pounds without the muscle. Yes, muscles are great. I am just kind of over it right now.


5’2″, 115lbs.


Not the kind about weight. We redid our bedroom!

Before 1

Before – Eyesore

After 1

After – Sigh of relief


Before 2


After 2



Before 3


After 3


It should have been Saturday Successes and Struggles but it was a busy weekend and I was being lazy.

Saturday was weigh in day and the results were a 1.5 pound loss. Sounds great! I should have been ecstatic but in my crazy mind it wasn’t good enough. I was sure I’d lose at least 2 pounds because I was going balls to the wall on food. Exercise was about the same as usual. Most days I ate 1200 calories. I did a couple days of racquetball with Mike, a couple days of Zumba, and then I counted moving classrooms and cleaning my whole house as exercise on Tuesday and Friday. Nothing extreme, but naturally MFP was telling me that I was on track to lose over 2 pounds, so stepping on the scale was disappointing when I should have rejoiced.

Instead of celebrating my progress with Mike, I said nothing and decided I could do whatever I wanted with food all weekend. We had friends over on Saturday which was nice but there was food everywhere and I ate a lot. It was a night of socializing so I had a few rum & diets and ate cupcakes, a hot dog, chips & queso, mini chocolate chip cookies, a mini cherry pie, and several other foods.

Sunday wasn’t any better. I was tempted to just say screw it to the rest of the week, but that would be silly. I am feeling more motivated today. If I go balls to the wall until Saturday I might still be able to maintain my weight rather than have a gain after this last crazy weekend.

On Sunday there were no plans so we made some. I said it didn’t matter what the plans were as long as I had time to exercise. We decided it was time to buy a bedroom set since our bed frame was broken and the rest were hand me downs. It was fun going to the furniture store and looking at everything. The set we chose is unique because of its rounded shape and circular metal handles. Just having a set at all will be a huge improvement. While we were there we found a replacement couch for the media room since our old Ikea one had sunken in over the years.

After that we ran over to Costco to look at TV’s since our 7 year old plasma is not long for this world and the colors are getting washed out. That didn’t work out so we took a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond where we picked up way more than we anticipated, but if you get a new bedroom set then you better get new bedding, right? Go big or go home became the name of the game yesterday. Curtain rod, blackout curtains, fancy comforter & shams, fans to keep the upstairs cool since it’s a hot week, etc… Making all these decisions was exhausting. Don’t sign us up for a house remodeling because we’d suck at it!

When we got home the house was sweltering and we were tired so we ate ice cream. It was my fault because I was hot and tired and didn’t care, so we sat down and ate our pints with an episode of Breaking Bad. Then Mike found a screaming deal on a TV so we went on another field trip. Big day. Worth it, yet tiring. Oh and I didn’t get in that exercise. In fact, my only exercise all weekend was just getting my steps in by happenstance.

*How was your weekend?

*Ever do a room makeover or even remodel?

{July 4, 2014}   The Week in Pictures

Happy weekend! I hope you have a grand 4th of July today. We are just staying home and watching the fireworks from the window. This place is all mortars on the 4th and on New Year’s.


It’s been a good week in all areas! Here is the week in pictures:

Mike 1

We went to the Buckley Log show after party after enjoying BBQ at my sister’s house. Yes, that is my husband. Yes, we had a few…


Mike Jesse

We started watching Breaking Bad for the first time and now we are addicted. Mike decided to get in the spirit with his beanie even though it was about 80 degrees.


Old Classroom 2

My old classroom used to be called The Dungeon at one point due to its problems with mold, leaking, etc which at some point were “fixed”. That green wall is kind of fake and there is a bathroom on the other side so we heard it flush all day. The school was built in the 1950’s, so what can ya do? The blue and green colors were nice, though!


Old Classroom Car

Thankfully I was able to fit all my classroom stuff in my car. There’s even a rolling chair in there!


IMG_2503The new school is in a pretty area. Built in the 1990’s. Sweet!


New Classroom 4

The new classroom. Kidney tables? OMG, yes! I’ve never had the privilege. They gave me my own printer so I don’t have to speed walk 3 minutes to get my IEP’s. That door goes straight out to the parking lot. Convenient!


New Classroom 5

Lots of storage! And a sink!


New Classroom 6

There’s a bathroom. In my classroom! And a storage room full of curriculum materials!

I’m a little blown away by this classroom if you can’t tell. I’m not used to being given everything I could want as a special education teacher. Usually we are shoved wherever they can fit us and given the bare minimum to work with.


Final Fantasy 14Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn

I’ve been kind of obsessed with planning decor and learning about the students. The other day Mike suggested I try Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, an MMORPG. I’m big into all the Final Fantasy games but I didn’t think any MMORPG could top World of Warcraft (I played WoW from 2005-who knows when) which is why I hadn’t tried this one. As it turns out, this game takes all the best parts of WoW and other MMO’s and puts them together in a beautiful world. This should keep me entertained and distracted from food and also from obsessing too much over school planning.

*What’s keeping you distracted?

*What are you doing for the 4th?

Bonus pic of Loki. Can’t help it! He likes to be under beds, pillows, and blankets.

Loki Pillow 2

It’s been 10 weeks since I started this big plan to lose about 20 pounds after gaining so much over the winter. You may recall that I was sidetracked the last few weeks so I didn’t weigh in. I think the last time I stepped on the scale was week 7.

Today it was time to see the damage. Based on how I feel and how my clothes don’t fit, I guessed that I’d gained back each of the 11.4 pounds I had lost. This being the result of 5 days of vacation (Better than Sex Cake, Oreos, bugers and fries, ice cream, you name it) and several days of true binge eating episodes.

Today’s Weigh-In: +6.7 pounds.

I’ll take it! I’m not proud of myself but I’m still really happy with the fact that I didn’t gain it all back. Before stepping on the scale I was preparing to start a whole new graph in order to have a fresh start, but after weighing in I decided to just continue on the same graph.

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Getting back on track


The gain wasn’t as bad as I was expecting after 3 weeks of not following the plan



Binge eating – I’m convinced this is at least partially a chemical problem in my brain at this point because there is often no trigger.

Vacation – They usually start out ok and then escalate. It was worth it, though. I don’t feel like I ate much more than anyone else. We all ate a lot.

Motivation – Been feeling pretty depressed and now that it’s summer I’ve been a little bit bored which isn’t a great combo.

Stress – That whole interview thing was getting to me with so many interviews and no love. I’m told this new staff is eager for a resource room teacher who wants to collaborate so I think they’ll like me. 🙂


Short Term Goal:

I don’t want a long term goal right now. Seems like my long term goals always get derailed but I can deal with the short term stuff to keep me going.

Next Saturday – Lose 2 pounds

I think this is achievable because I am really pulling in the reigns this week. I need to avoid sugars from candy and those types of sweets. Reduce calories, exercise like normal. I am cutting back on strength training for a while but don’t worry, I’ll add it back on when I’m ready. Right now I need to focus on motivation and doing what I love for exercise, and that’s Zumba. I really don’t enjoy strength training but I love the feeling after it’s over.

{June 26, 2014}   Two Years


Today marks two years of this WordPress blog! I was thinking about going back and summarizing the last two years but that seemed tedious, so here is the link to my weight loss journey from the very beginning in photos.

Sorry for my absence. I haven’t been getting on to WordPress at all because of things that have been going on. Time for some updates!


As soon as school got out there were more interviews. Then on Thursday we took off for our annual Montana trip! We always go to visit our friends who live in the Missoula area and we do white water rafting. This year we added paintball to the mix, making it the most active little vacation I’ve ever had. There were three couples in our little party. Friday we woke up bright and early for paintball, got everything together (wow, there’s a lot of supplies!), and drove miles down a dirt road where 10 of us played in the woods. There were huge shotgun shells littering the forest floor and someone found some bear poop. And there was a thunderstorm but luckily it subsided. This was my first paintball experience and it’s just not my thing. I don’t like the adrenaline rush of hiding behind trees and trying not to get shot.


Saturday we did a full day white water rafting trip down the Lochsa River in Idaho. It was about an hour away in another time zone. The scenery there was amazing. The weather forecast had predicted random thunderstorms which had us wondering if going out in water all day was a good idea, but it turns out it was a gorgeous day with no rain or thunder at all. Every year we try to do something a little more exciting. The past two years we ended up going later in the season so the rapids were always mild. The largest we ever did might have been level 3 or 4.

This time we got a lot of 4’s and some 5’s. One of the last level 5’s we did had us falling into the raft and almost onto our friends, but our guide was awesome so we didn’t flip. After we made it through the aptly-named “Terminator”, we watched several other rafts flip upside down. Our guide was saying that some guides get their rafts to flip on purpose because “swimming is part of the experience”. haha Just glad it wasn’t us because the water temperature was in the 40’s.


We worked up quite an appetite after that and got a huge dinner. Even though we were active this vacation, there was still a lot of overeating and some drinking.

photo (14)Hucklberry margarita. Burger & Fries.

photo (29)Huckleberry soda.

photo (32)Better Than Sex Cake. Has anyone heard of this? Apparently my husband and I are the only ones who didn’t know. It’s a chocolate poke cake with sweetened condensed milk & caramel poured over the top, cool whip, Heath Bar, and more caramel.

Weight Loss Gain

As you can see, my eating habits have not been good. We never eat fast food but we got McDonald’s THREE times on this vacation! It was convenient, we had no time, and we were hungry. I’m getting back into focus now that I’m home and have no summer plans. Lots of time to get back to business and be super healthy. Yesterday I went grocery shopping and bought a ton of fruit. The cherries are out in full force and I am buying them all. Turns out I don’t like Rainier Cherries nearly as much as the basic red ones.

I haven’t touched the scale in a couple weeks. I will be weighing in on Saturday and fully expect to have gained all the weight back that I’ve lost since April. In fact, I am pretty sure that I am even heavier. Not gonna cry about it, just gonna power through it. I’ll update you on Saturday.



I was really anxious on vacation because of all the phone calls. By tomorrow I will have done probably 7-8 interviews in the last 2 weeks. Pretty much every job I’ve applied for has called me in all in the same time space so nerves and anticipation have been exhausting. The trip to Montana had me even more on edge because my phone was often out of T-Mobile services areas (should have gone with Verizon!). As you’d expect, every time my phone had no reception is when someone would call. I was smart and created a very specific voicemail greeting which was effective because they did leave me messages and e-mail me so I could get back to them.

  • Yesterday was an interview for a reading teacher at an elementary school.
  • Today is my second interview for some potential elementary resource teaching positions. The 2nd interview is a very good sign.
  • Tomorrow is an interview for a reading teacher at a middle school.

I’m noticing after all these experiences that I am able to pick up on vibes in order to determine how interested I personally am in these positions. I also do a lot of research into each school.

The interview I have today I am very interested in because I think there is a positive atmosphere and vibe coming from the interview team, as opposed to an interview I had last week on Monday that left me deciding there was no way on Earth I was taking that position if it had been offered.

What is interesting about today’s interview is the 3-step interview process. Most school districts around here have an informal interview process – They take place at the actual school with the principals and teachers and there is only one interview before being offered a job. This district does a 3-step interview process and all meetings take place at the district office. Things are a bit more formal with principals and district people and you have to make it through the rounds. The 3rd interview is basically a meeting with the superintendent to offer you the job. There are likely to be two schools involved in this interview today and both seem like good ones for a lot of reasons. I hope it works out.


*Have you gone through multiple interviews for one job?

*Have you done white water rafting? What has your experience been like?

{June 18, 2014}   Wednesday Update

“Sugar is the devil,” I said to my colleagues as I unwrapped the cupcake and shoved half of it into my mouth. School was over for the year and I was following up my morning Krispy Kreme donut and Vietnamese vermicelli noodles, mini fried egg rolls, and fried rice.


It sounds pretty bad but actually I am doing very well after last week. I got back on track. Yes, the food choices I make are not perfect but I am exercising a lot and focusing on calorie intake. With all the end of year activities on our widely spread-out campus, I’d been getting in a ton of steps in addition to Zumba and racquetball.

I still don’t want to step on the scale right now. I want to continue doing well, making better choices, exercising, and feeling right in the world.

Speaking of feeling right in the world, I had been down because of the lack of interviews. There are very few middle schools around here who are hiring special education teachers. Crazy, right? That is the age level I was originally looking to switch to from high school, but I decided to open my mind and try for elementary. That is my teaching roots – I went to college for elementary education, so why not try getting back into it?


Once I applied for elementary positions, the calls started coming. There are far more elementary schools than middle schools which means a lot of open positions. I interviewed on Monday, Tuesday, and today for a total of 5 elementary resource teaching positions. They all went very well, so now it’s the waiting game. Maybe there will be more interviews to come for other positions. I feel pretty good to have done this many interviews and especially because I felt good about them all. I am a nervous interviewer usually but somehow I kept my nerves in check this week. It might be that I wasn’t as anxious because I assumed it would be unlikely that a high school teacher would be selected for elementary, but I made my case as someone with many different teaching experiences at all grade levels among other things. For elementary schools I decided I needed to be a little bit more on the persuasive side because I would be competing against teachers with more recent elementary experiences.

Did I mention that it’s summer break? Sure doesn’t feel like it with all the interviews and anticipation!


*How are you spending your summer?

et cetera