Monday, August 20, 2007

A Few Items of Interest

Hello, sponsors and supporters!

I just wanted to give you an update on the Sanctuary. Here are some highlights:
  • The Sanctuary has changed its name and URL. Please make a note of it, and be sure to update your bookmarks. The Sanctuary is now called the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest (CSNW). Their new URL is and there are all sorts of new items appearing on the site all the time, so be sure to check it often.

  • The first seven chimps will be moving into the Sanctuary in the spring of 2008! This is truly a momentous announcement because getting chimps into the Sanctuary is what this is all about. As soon as photos become available, I will link to or post them here. The chimps' names are Annie, Burreto, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy, and Negra. The one male and six females currently reside at a lab in Pennsylvania, and it will be a happy day indeed when they get to move into their fabulous new home! For more information, see and

  • While all of my supporters and sponsors have already been unbelievably generous, a few of you have asked me how else you can help the chimps. If you, like I, consider the use of primates in entertainment a cruel and unjustifiable pursuit, one easy way you can help is to join the Primate Patrol, an advocacy branch of the Sanctuary that works diligently to end the exploitative use of primates in entertainment and advertising. The people behind Primate Patrol conveniently provide all the information you'll need in order to directly contact those people and companies identified as exploiting primates. You can simply copy and paste the provided sample letters, or you can write your own message. It's a fast, easy, and free way to help end primate exploitation in entertainment. It might seem like sending an email or writing a letter is a drop in the bucket, but you know what happens when thousands of drops land in the same bucket, right? At the very least, every email and letter helps to raise awareness of what these chimps are forced to endure--and awareness is the first step in changing people's attitudes and actions.

In a perfect world, chimp sanctuaries wouldn't be a necessity at all. Until we get there, please accept another hearty THANK YOU for all that you're doing by sponsoring and supporting me as I lose pounds for primates!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

10 Pounds Gone!

Whew! I finally hit the 1o-pound mark today! That came as a surprise because I've eaten some carb-heavy items over the last week or so. I haven't been feeling very well for the last few weeks, and I've been craving carbtastic foods like crazy. There's nothing quite as comforting and refreshing as a cherry Slurpee when my stomach is off. The sugar-free stuff just doesn't cut it.

Anyway, I've indulged those cravings within reason and without completely overdoing it, with the hope that I wouldn't gain any weight. A week of plateauing isn't the end of the world when I'm not feeling well, right?

Yesterday, I went to my favorite lunch spot (Boat Street Kitchen) and enjoyed an amazingly delicious tomato, cheddar, and mustard sandwich. It tasted heavenly, and it really settled my stomach in a way that only bread and cheese could. The most difficult part of eating at Boat Street is resisting the Best Dessert in Seattle: the famous Boat Street amaretto bread pudding. That's the kind of food that fantasies are made of.

Tonight I was craving pizza, so we ordered some Pagliacci. And you know what? That pizza (and the accompanying Gelatiamo cherry sorbet) was the best-tasting thing I've eaten in ages. I tried to savor and appreciate every bite because I know it was a rare treat.

I love food so very, very much. I just wish I loved working out half as much as I love food. How great would that be?

On a more chimp-focused note, check out this piece about some exciting progress on the sanctuary!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Next Stop: Double Digits

What a pleasant way to start an otherwise sleepy Monday morning: A trip to the scale this morning confirmed that I have now lost nine pounds for the chimps! It will be a very exciting day indeed when I hit the 10-pound mark. I'll check again in a few days. Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Happy Sunday

Sorry it's been so long since I posted my last update. Things have been a little crazy. But never fear--I am still doing well and steadily dropping pounds for primates.

I'm down to seven pounds lost so far. The weight hasn't been falling off quite as quickly as I would prefer, but that's OK. On one hand, I want to raise as much money as possible for the chimps. On the other hand, I want to form eating habits that I can sustain for a lifetime, and I know that slow, steady weight loss goes hand in hand with that goal. Besides, I really haven't been feeling too deprived. If I'm truly hungry, I eat something that's both healthful and tasty (e.g., Laughing Cow Light cheese, bell peppers and hummus, celery and peanut butter, Tofurky slices., yogurt, ricotta cheese with Splenda and almond extract...).

So, as long as I'm losing weight, not feeling deprived, making my sponsors proud, and raising money for the chimps, I'll call that success. I guess I'll just keep on keepin' on!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Six Pounds Down!

I woke up this morning to a very pleasant surprise: a visit to the (usually dreaded) scale, telling me that I've lost six pounds since starting the Pounds for Primates program.

That's already $450 for the chimps!

Maybe that money will help this guy enjoy his well deserved retirement:

enjoying my golden years

Or maybe it will buy some snacks for this guy:


And it's all thanks to you, my super-duper, awesomely wonderful sponsors and supporters!!

Seriously, knowing that this money is going to such a great cause is the best possible inspiration and motivation a dieter could ask for.

I'm feeling great overall--just cleaner, brighter, happier, and lighter. It's amazing what a difference six pounds can make.

Now I just need to do this five more times--and then maintain it at a less strict level for a lifetime. You know what? I think I'm up for the challenge. Feeling this good and feeling this sense of early accomplishment is great motivation to keep going.

Big thanks and love to all of you who are sponsoring and/or supporting me,

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Feeling Good!

Greetings, sponsors and well-wishers!

Just a little progress report: It is with the utmost joy and relief that I announce to you that I am over the worst of the sugar and flour cravings! This is a momentous occasion, as the last few weeks have been filled with recurring instances of this type of exchange within my own poor addled brain:

Weak Deb: OMG, that Top Pot Pink Feathered Boa doughnut in the lunchroom looks SOOOOO delicious. I've done really well on my diet overall in the last week or so... So, what harm could one innocent little pink doughnut possibly do? I've earned it!

Strong Deb: Are you kidding me?!? Do not even THINK about putting that thing in your mouth. Think about how hard you've worked to overcome the sugar and flour cravings. Do you want to undo all of that hard work in one fell swoop? Be strong. In 15 minutes, you'll be glad that you didn't eat that doughnut. Trust me.

Weak Deb: But it's just one doughnut. In the grand scheme of things, it's not that...

Strong Deb: For pete's sake, will you just STOP? Pretend that the doughnut doesn't exist. Let someone else's arteries get clogged. Besides, will you please think of the chimps??????

So, you can see what I was up against on a regular basis. The last couple of weeks have been pretty difficult. To tell you the truth, though, it was a lot easier than I'd thought it would be. It turns out that I do have the strength and discipline to make healthful choices about what I eat! What a revelation!

Now that I'm over the worst of the cravings (aka the Detox Phase), I'm going to focus on reducing portion sizes and getting myself to the gym.

And guess what. Thinking about the chimps really does help. It's a surprisingly powerful motivator. I love animals way more than I could love a fleeting doughnut.

Even a Top Pot Pink Feathered Boa.

Monday, July 9, 2007

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Update: OK, Blogger finally allowed me to add a title. I guess it was just feeling temperamental earlier. Poor little Blogger!)

For some reason, Blogger isn't letting me enter a title for this entry. Hmmm... I guess I'll have to come back and add a title later (assuming that feature will ever work again).

How are all of my wonderful sponsors and well-wishers doing? As soon as I'm able, I am going to title this entry "THANK YOU!!!!!!" The response has been fantastic, and I am so touched that so many of you have stepped forward to sponsor me or offer your moral support, or both.

Because I'm a big weenie, I am not going to post on the blog what my starting weight is. If any of you want to know, I'll tell you privately. I know I shouldn't care, but I do. What I'm going to do instead is give you a weekly progress report, detailing how much weight I've lost and how everything is going in general.

Weight-wise, there's not much to report yet. I am eating much more healthfully than I had been, and I already feel waaaaaay better. The scale hasn't moved much yet--maybe one pound lost so far--but I'm hoping the healthful eating will start making a difference on the scale soon.

I have had a few moments of weakness in the last few weeks. There was my birthday, and what's a birthday dinner without dessert? (I can say, however, that it was worth it. It was a fabulous dessert.) And there was the infamous Birthday Trifecta celebration with my friends Deb and Wendy last weekend. (All of our birthdays are within two weeks of each other's, so we have a group celebration each year. It's honestly one of the highlights of my year.) Again, I had some dessert (again, worth it) and two cocktails. Not too horrible, but I do need to be more strict with myself for about a month or so, just to get all of the cravings and sugar residue out of my system.

But on to the exciting part of the post: a sponsorship update!

So far, you wonderfully generous friends and family have sponsored me at a total of $63 per pound lost! How great is that?!? My goal is to get to $75 per pound, and I've decided to kick in the remaining $12 per pound myself if necessary just so I can reach that nice round number.

So, how can I thank all of you for your generosity and thoughtfulness? I need to think of some special way to express my gratitude before these five months have passed. Stay tuned...

In the meantime, please accept this heartfelt THANK YOU!!!! You are all superstars. Whether you're sponsoring me or cheering me on, or both, you are all the ones who are making this count. A million thanks!


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

So Far, So Good

Well, I'm about a week into this diet. I'm feeling so energized and motivated! (And for those of you who know me well, you'll be pleasantly surprised to learn that I did not write that in a sarcastic tone of voice.)

Honestly, these early sponsorship pledges and your moral support have given me just the shot of motivation I needed at this early stage. I'm feeling a good sense of momentum, and I hope I can sustain it.

The sugar and flour cravings haven't been quite as overpowering as I had expected them to be. Sugar and flour are my weaknesses (especially when held together with butter), and I expected to be crawling out of my skin for a few weeks while I broke the time-worn cycle of craving, giving in, and crashing. But, at the risk of jinxing myself, it hasn't been as difficult as I'd thought it would be. Yay!

To tell you the truth, the worst part of this so far has been not drinking. I've gone out with friends a few times over the last week, and it sucked drinking sparkling water. (However! Sparkling water served in a wine glass is somehow more enjoyable than straight out of the bottle. Who knew?) Alcohol is a relatively easy thing for me to give up, and the only time I miss it is when I'm out with other people who are drinking. I might need to avoid those situations for a while. Oh, well; it's only for a month or so. Then I'll go back to my favorite summer cocktail, which just happens to be relatively low on the glycemic index: Absolut Citron with soda and a twist of lemon on the rocks. In diet-friendly moderation, of course.

Oh, booze... How I miss you.

OK, I'm done waxing sentimental about liquor. For now anyway.

In the next couple of days, I'll post a sponsorship and weight-loss update. I am so touched by and grateful for those of you who have stepped up and sponsored me at this early stage. I'm equally grateful for those of you who have offered your moral support and encouragement. It's great to have so many people rooting for me and for the chimps!


As a token of my appreciation, here's a cute picture of Bear:


Saturday, June 30, 2007

To Spill or Not To Spill?

Why am I so terrified to publicly reveal The Number? Why do women not want anyone to know how much they weigh? Why is that number so taboo and scary and shameful?

a cry for help

One part of me wants to be completely transparent and honest about this process because I want my generous sponsors to know exactly what we're up against, and I want them to be able to see my progress in black and white clarity along the way. I also don't want to perpetuate that whole weight-should-be-swept-under-the-rug-and-never-discussed thing. That part of me wants to shout the scary numbers from the rooftops--how liberating would that be, once it's all out in the open?

Another part of me is, well, a more typical chick who wants to keep The Number a quiet mystery. To be perfectly blunt, I simply don't want people to know The Number. I don't even like my doctor knowing The Number. Hell, even I don't want to know The Number! Can't I just keep my head buried in the sand, and can't my sponsors just trust me when I say that I lost x number of pounds at the end of the program?

Here's the cold, hard truth: If I were sponsoring someone in this type of fund-raising program, I would want a fully transparent view of the situation. Wouldn't you?

I think I need to reveal The Number. Once I do that, the rest will be easier. Besides, if all goes well, I'm going to want to shout the "after" number at the top of my lungs anyway. I might as well get the "before" number out of the way now.

Stay tuned while I muster up some courage...

Friday, June 29, 2007

What a Great Start!

I haven't even sent my "please sponsor me!" email out to folks yet, and two extremely generous sponsors have stepped up to the plate. I'm going to keep people's names anonymous (unless you specifically want to be "outed" in public), but it's hard to hide the identities of the people who post in the Comments section here. As you can see from her comment in yesterday's post, my wonderfully generous, animal-loving sister, Liz, has committed to sponsor me at $5 per pound!

Another incredibly giving and thoughtful person has committed to--get this--$20 per pound! Oh. My. Gawd. Really?!?

Holy cow. I suddenly have a HUGE dose of motivation to jump-start my efforts, and this officially means that the challenge is real and tangible. Every pound I lose will mean at least $25 for the chimps. Now that's meaningful. And that's a million times better than a fleeting chocolate-malt milkshake from the Luna Park Cafe, or a king-size package of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Thank you SO much to the two of you who have sponsored me so far. You guys rock. I'm going to do what I can to maximize your generosity! Oh, yeah, baby: It's ON!!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Journey Begins!

Welcome to my new blog! Here I will document my progress, successes, setbacks, and tiny victories along the way as I shed pounds for primates.

Here's the story...

There are two things I've been wanting to do lately: get back in the world of helping animals, and get back in shape and lose the extra weight I've been carrying around. So, when a friend told me about the Pounds for Primates fundraising project, I knew it was destiny calling my name!

Pounds for Primates is a fundraising program to benefit the Chimpanzee Retirement Sanctuary Northwest ( Each of us on the Pounds for Primates team is committing to lose a certain amount of weight, and we're asking our friends and families to support us--and the sanctuary--by sponsoring us per pound.

Pounds for Primates is a five-month program that starts on June 25 and ends on November 25. I invite you to support us and spread the word to others you know who might be interested in sponsoring us in this effort to lose a bunch of unwanted pounds and raise a bunch of much-needed money for these wonderful retired chimps.

Here's how it works: If you decide to sponsor me, you'll decide on a dollar amount that you'll donate for each pound that I lose over the five-month program. For example, if you sponsor me at $3 per pound, and I lose 30 pounds during the program, your total donation amount will be $90. You can sponsor me (or increase your sponsorship amount) at any point during the program, but the earlier sponsors will be the ones who really help me with some much-needed early motivation! The actual donations--the amount of which will be determined by how much weight I ultimately lose during these five months--will be collected after the program ends on November 25, 2007.

We're in the process of setting up a web site to track and collect donations. I will send you a link to the official site as soon as it's set up. If you are eager to sponsor me now (which would be wonderful!), contact me directly by email or post a comment in the Comments section of this blog. Thank you in advance for your generosity and compassion for these beautiful animals.

The Chimpanzee Retirement Sanctuary Northwest is a 26-acre facility in eastern Washington that was founded by a group of dedicated and passionate people I know. Their mission is to guarantee a lifetime of quality care to captive chimpanzees, end the use of apes in entertainment, and facilitate collaboration among sanctuary care providers to continuously improve the care of captive apes. For more information about this organization, visit their web site at .

Let me know if you have any questions about the Pounds for Primates challenge. If you want to sponsor me, either contact me now (by email or by posting a comment here) or be on the lookout for another email in the next few weeks; I'll let you know then how the sponsorship process works.

Thanks so much for your interest in this good cause!

More details:

Deb has loved animals her entire life. Over the course of her lifetime, Deb has enjoyed the companionship of many special dogs and cats, as well as some other assorted animals. Deb volunteered for many years at the PAWS Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, and she also worked at PAWS training new volunteers for just under a year. Deb currently works as a technical writer for a software company. She lives in Seattle with her boyfriend, their two cats, and the sweetest dog ever--a rescued Samoyed named Bear.

After a few years of frustrating yo-yo dieting, I'm ready to accept the fact that I need to make healthful eating and regular exercise a life-long commitment rather than a temporary fix. I also really miss being involved with the world of animal advocacy and hands-on volunteering. While my job makes regular hands-on volunteering a challenge for the time-being, I figured that there must be something extra that I can do to help animals in the meantime. The Pounds for Primates program came along at just the right time. I can do something positive to improve and protect my health--something I need to do anyway--and I can help animals in need at the same time. If the welfare of these wonderful chimps can't motivate me, nothing can!

Ultimately, I want to form healthy eating and exercise habits that will last me a lifetime. However, because this is a time-constrained fund-raising effort, my goal is to lose as much weight as possible (in a healthy way) so I can raise as much money as possible for the chimps. My goal is to lose approximately 30 pounds during the Pounds for Primates program. The more you sponsor, the more motivation and determination I'll have! Thank you in advance for your generosity. The chimps thank you too!