Friday, December 30, 2011

Thinner


Forgive me if I have already blogged about this, but it is just one of those silly reoccurring thoughts I have had along the weight loss process. One of my favorite Stephen King books from back in the day was "Thinner." A morbidly obese man commits vehicular homicide of someone in a gypsy family. I think he got away with it, too. It's been a long time since I read it. Anyway, a gypsy puts a curse on the morbidly obese man..."Thinner." Just that, just one word. The man immediately begins to lose weight and is thrilled...except he doesn't stop losing. Thinner and thinner and thinner.

Haha! I am not in this position. But my parents have been fussing lately of "how will you stop losing weight?" I am not concerned. I'm 12 pounds (yay!) off my first goal of a "normal BMI." And when my dad's side of the family visited from the south this year, I realized that I actually come from pretty small stock. My grandma, aunt and cousin are all what I affectionately call "little bird women." Short, small-framed, could knock them over with a feather. My dad is not a big guy, either.

On my mom's side, we're Eskimo (and Swedish). Tend to be a bit bigger. My mom, sister and I struggle with our weight. As do my aunt and a couple of cousins. My sister trends average build with periods of weight gain she battles back down. Can I selfishly proclaim here that I saw my sister at Christmas, and for the first time in my whole life, I am smaller than she is?? This was a cool realization.

Anyway, I've decided to align with the bird women on my dad's side of the family, so I am not worried about "Thinner..." That goal is within my sights, and I am loving it! My revised plan is shaping up to be to get into my 120s (129.9 counts!) and pursue plastic surgery to take off the uhhh, evidence. Actually, you'll see on the sidebar to the right that those 120s have always been an optimistically stated goal. I'm not officially changing anything, though, because, as I've said, I have absolutely no frame of reference for myself at these weights. I don't even think I ever stayed in the low 150s as I am now. I think I kind of went from the low 130s around the time I got married, and shot up past everything between there and the 260+s. Eep!

Back to Thinner...when I get on the scale sometimes and have an unexpected loss, I'll think "Thinner..." Today was another such loss - the scale has really been moving down again. Yay, Thinner!

Sometimes I'll think it, too, when I am laughing at my ridiculously small meals. Last night, I *splurged* on sushi...um, I used to be able to put away a whole hell of a lot of sushi. Now, a couple little rolls and I am done, son. How interesting to think that this is how I'll eat for the rest of my life! Sometimes a bit mind boggling. Always a wonderful thought, though!

Thinner.

Oh - I took #holidayboyfriend home to meet the family yesterday. Yup, it was time. And nope, I don't mean my parents and sister! Hahaha, no, no, no. My family - my little core group of friends. Just two of them (one is off visiting relatives for the holidays and one is one vacation this week and could not be dragged from his home). We all went and watched the Husky Alamo Bowl, one of the most ridiculous football games ever played in the history of football.

So, here's where Cappy is both tremendous fun and alarmingly challenging to my present lifestyle. We meet after work (he actually joined us quite a bit later - probably almost 8p, as he was working). The game is terrible (oh, sure, everyone's offense was great fun to watch, but nobody remembered to play defense). The kitchen closed at the bar. It's third quarter, and my two friends are ready to head out. This works great for me! We all head toward the door, where Cappy says, "let's go out to West Seattle to catch the fourth quarter and get some dinner!"

Oh! Really? Bedtime, schmedtime. Ok, let's do go out to West Seattle, shall we? (We were in Pioneer Square at the time.) He wants to show me the sister bar to the one we've watched football at in Renton. He likes the West Seattle one better - what will I think? (I did like it better, too, although I loved the first one.)

We make it out there in California-transplant-driver time, catch the end of the ridiculous game and do not eat, because...he's hungry for sushi. There's a sushi place down the street. Oh, but it closed at 10p. Where is open at this time? (About 10p.) Thank you, yelp, for showing us that his favorite sushi restaurant on Capitol Hill is still open. Uh, way back from where we originally started the evening. Ok, I'm game. Truly, I think it was the best sushi I've had, and I had some cocktail that was the second best I've ever had, second only to the one I had with him a couple weeks ago at some other cool place he knew.

So, I am having a total blast, but I am also challenging my "tired mother of three" persona that I've worked so hard to cultivate! There is much quality food and drink involved with dating this person. It's really pretty awesome. He's all into architecture and ambiance and the history of different neighborhoods and such...I'm all, uh, we just generally go to Palominos or Sazerac (upscale chain bars). He does this with bookstores and buildings and museums, too. Very, very interesting. I consider myself a reasonably interesting person, but in comparison, I feel pretty...uh, shallow? Oh well - it's like Kim and I agreed, he's 40, single and no kids, he better have some damn interests. ;) My interests right now are providing food and shelter to young'uns and trying to keep up w/ this guy on my free time.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Seattle Woman Loses 110 Pounds!



Woohooo! Okay, I was searching online for things that weigh 110 pounds so I could do a list for frame of reference. Did you know that there are a TON of people out there who have written about losing 110 pounds? It's a very popular amount of weight loss to write about and to have featured in the news. Of course, all the people in the news will have lost it "on their own," but I won't go there right now. This is a happy occasion. :) There's even a Miss South Carolina beauty queen who lost 110 pounds, and there's a bazillion articles about her.

I am in good company, then. And I had to laugh when I got on the scale, too. Last night, I very uncharacteristically jumped on the scale before I got in the shower (this, after leaving on my hair color for 50 minutes while talking on the phone to Kim, so I was also concerned I was about to go bald in the shower. I did not, thankfully!). So, I get on the scale and it says 153 pounds. Bummer. Oh well, maybe tomorrow I'll drop a pound, I'll weigh again in the morning. (I haven't weighed for a few days because I've had my period, and I've decided - for my two remaining cycles before my surgery date, haha, - that this is a scale-free time of the month.)

This morning, I get on the scale again. 153 pounds. Ah, well, maybe tomorrow. As I'm putzing around the house getting ready, it dawned on me - hey, I have lost again! That's 110 pounds now!

My point being, after nearly a year of weighing and weighing and calculating and calculating, the numbers all blur together and become both the most meaningful and most meaningless values in the world. Everything...and nothing. I watch that scale like a maniac, but there is nothing in the world that can compare to how I feel with all this weight gone!

This is fun, too. Here's my weight loss graph I've been keeping at ObesityHelp.com.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

#holidayboyfriend

Whew, boy, the work week rolled back around quickly! I am just doing a half day today, as the kiddos are at home and I'm trying to minimize potential damage. 

It was a fun weekend. And who doesn't gain weight over the holiday weekend? Me, that's who! What a revelation. The kids had a blast at Christmas, and really, they scored big in the presents this year. It was a very electronic Christmas at our house. And now, all the wrapping paper has been cleared and it is time to restore order to the chaos.

Let's see...what to update about? I had a crisis of single parenting yesterday, and I am trying to cut myself some slack. Single parenting is tough! It can be a lonely business. X and I work well together, and the holiday was a nice blend of family time with the kids and kid-free time for me. But there is always a moment when the kids come home where I think, "Whew, what am I going to do with these guys?" I've never been one to stay around home and relax and enjoy myself. This year, I have actively worked on changing that attitude. It used to be that with the kids, I was always on the run, going from activity to activity. A couple things changed: my budget tightened up dramatically, and my six-year-old can really be tough to manage in busy/crowded situations. He is getting a lot better, he is always maturing, and I like to think I am, too. I am not one of those gold-plated, endless patience parents. I have always said that he came into my life because he has many, many lessons to teach me. I can be a terribly slow learner. :)

Anyway, yesterday I had a red-flag revelation that there is a large part of me that feels like my family is not complete without a man in it. And really, men bring a lot to the table; or they can, anyway. As a single parent, I have tried to do everything with the kids that I would if I were married. I take them camping, on road trips and adventures, etc. I don't want to be someone that needs a man to make me feel complete; to make my family feel complete.

However, I guess it is what it is. You don't go into parenting as a married person and plan on raising your kids alone. Me, who grew up saying I wouldn't have kids, and who held off on having kids until I was almost thirty, certainly didn't have three of them with any expectation that I would be a divorced single parent. (Here, for a reality check, I feel obligated to throw out there that I am not raising these children single-handedly. They have a wonderful father who spends a great deal of time with them and is a good, consistent parent. Plus we have a lot of support on both sides of our family.)*

*And then when I say something like that, I feel like, "hey man, it's my blog (and my pity party), I don't have to throw anyone props right now. Single parenting is still hard.

So, that was my single parenting crisis. I wished for a nice man to spend my free time with, and now I've stumbled onto it (oh, that's not perfect either, more in a bit). And, typical for me, it's not enough - it's always "what's next, what's next." I don't seem to have a "relax and enjoy" setting, but I'm working on finding it.

The Capricorn - he is fun. Gosh, we've spent pretty much every minute of my kid-free time together for awhile now. However, I am still ROLLING with laughter over mine and Kim's silly text conversation as we marveled about the confusion and mystery of Twitter...I said I never understand the little hash mark comments that people write. But of Cappy, I said, #funbutnottheone and Kim said #holidayboyfriend. (Oh, sorry, Kim, was that a confidential conversation?? Oh, man, I have been dying laughing over "#holidayboyfriend" for days now.)

Really, I think we are both just enjoying some company over the holidays. I don't get the feeling from him that he is particularly into me. And I have my own reservations about him, too. None that affect just happily spending some time together - as I said, I am working on cultivating my "relax and enjoy" mode. I am a notorious overthinker, and not prone to just being satisfied with where I'm at. Patience, grasshopper.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Under the Knife

Oh, bummer! My little gallbladder has to come out, after all. :( My surgeon called last night when I was on the bus home. I decided to answer it because I was expecting a quick "Everything looks great!" and I would say, "Wonderful! Merry Christmas! See you next year!"

Unfortunately, the call didn't go like that. Yes, my little gallbladder earned a gold star for the first part of that hida scan, but bombed out on the second part. Off with its head!

My respective surgeons, gallbladder and GYN-stuff, are going to coordinate surgery dates so I only have to go under the knife once. I'm tentatively scheduled for 1/26, but now that we know the gallbladder has to come out, I'm going to see if we can do it earlier in the month. That way, I don't have to have the date looming ahead of me, wondering if the g/b will turn wicked painful before the end of January, requiring immediate surgery and thus blowing my coordinated surgery efforts. Because if I had g/b surgery alone, I wouldn't be in any hurry to have another elective surgery, and I really want to get it all done.

Anyway. Enough "oh look, it's January, it must be time for Julie to have another surgery" talk. I wonder if I'll have the surgery on the anniversary of my sleeve surgery? ;)

Let's talk about boys. They are so much more interesting than gallbladders. I had dinner last night with the Capricorn, and it was very fun. We met at the same little pub we met at the first time, and had the same waitress, who remembered us, and by now we're all good buddies. It was a very nice evening, and I was glad, because he seems awfully stressed with work and life issues, but last night it was just pure relaxing and fun. And that's how mama wants to spend her free time. :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Psycho

-somatic, that is. I've decided that I'm a hypochondriac, and my gallbladder troubles are really just a pulled muscle or some odd injury. And that is the diagnosis I'm sticking with, until I hear back from the surgeon hopefully later today. Before I went in for my hida scan yesterday, I even told the tech that I've diagnosed myself with a pulled muscle, and I am really just here to be polite and get his confirmation. We agreed to roll with my self-diagnosis, not because I am a doctor, but because I have watched them on TV. That tech was fun. He made the 90+ minutes of sheer BOREDOM pass a little faster.

Okay. So the first part of the hida scan, they inject radioactive nastiness into a vein in your arm. Your body senses this as something that must be dealt with by producing bile. So, while you lay on the table with a giant camera over your belly, you get to watch your innards light up on a nearby monitor. First was my liver, lit up like Christmas. Beautiful liver, he said.

Then the radioactive goodness moves to your gallbladder. Very interesting to track the movement, for about, oh, three minutes. Then you remember how bored you are. Anyway, my gallbladder just lit up perfectly and looked extremely healthy and capable. We were well on our way to confirming my pulled-muscle diagnosis.

The second part of the test, they give you another drug to simulate having just eaten a big meal. This contracts your gallbladder, whose job it is to now push all that radioactive glow into your small intestine.

Hmm.

While on the first part of the test, I got the equivalent of a giant gold star on my medical chart, for this part, I got some tsk-tsk'ing and concerned clucking. "Well," he said, "it would be nice if your gallbladder were moving this stuff out as quickly as it moved it in."

Still - it moved it and I am writing this up in the "win" column. He said they have ranges of time established where there's normal, slow and completely stalled out. They will take measurements, do calculations, and announce a verdict to my doctor hopefully later today. I still say it's a pulled muscle.

Yesterday was a complete CF (fill in with three-syllable bad word), anyway. My appointment was for 9 am, but when I checked in at the hospital, it turns out they had scheduled me for TODAY at 9 am. I think someone had their dates mixed up, because based on my scheduling conversation, we had been clearly talking about yesterday at 9 am. Anyway. I had fasted overnight, then couldn't get in. They shuffled things around to see me at 1 pm, but I still had to fast. I made the decision to not understand their fasting instructions and allowed myself to get a cup of tea, because I was sooooo mad. I ended up sitting at the hospital all day, just waiting. I called the hematologist to see if I could drop by for my overdue blood draw -- nope. No appointments available for the five minute blood draw. Whatever. They did agree to fax over a lab work order to the hospital, so thankfully I was able to have it done there while I waited. They prefer that I use their lab. I prefer that I not take any more time off for my health this nonsense.

After the 90+ minute test, I jetted over to the GYN for a surgical consult on the ablation/ligation. Ugh, I thought it was just a consult, but since this doctor was new to me, he wanted to do a full-on physical assault. Right down to the PAP and breast exam. By the end of the day, I was weary, weary. I'm scheduled for 1/26 for both procedures, an outpatient thing - presuming I don't need my gallbladder out. If so, we'll go back to the drawing board.

I had a date planned last night with the Capricorn - just meeting for drinks. But man, I was worn out, and he was working until 8p, which was just too stinking late for me. I had expected at least one or two of my kids home last night (they are on winter break) but they decided to stay with their dad. Happily, I got to lay around in bed and go to sleep early, then drag myself out of bed late this morning.

I'm thinking of going back to the drawing board on the dating stuff. I like Capricorn, but I think some of the shininess has worn off too quickly. It's a balance, because he is a lot like me - very genuine and without pretense. I talk too candidly right away for many people's tastes. But something stressful is going on at his work and they are doing a lot of unplanned overtime. This is cool, of course. And it's sweet that he is still checking in daily with a quick email or text, but last week's emails were fun and upbeat. This week's emails are a series of "How is your day going? I'm so slammed here, blah blah blah..." Decidedly not fun. I don't know you well enough to be able to generate much empathy or interest in how stressful things are at work. And because last week's emails were so fun - this is feeling a bit bi-polar to me. Who can't muster a little bit of joy or humor?

I even asked him, basically, if he was giving me the brushoff, if now wasn't a good time for him to be dating. If he wasn't interested, I would understand. No, no, he said, that's not it, he definitely wants to see me - he just has to deal with this and it is very stressful. Plus, he is bummed because he is not going out of town for Christmas due to lack of funds, and he is disappointed.

Whatevs. I am reminded of an episode of Sex in the City, when Carrie's boyfriend Burger (Berger?) was telling Miranda that a guy just wasn't in to her. (I think they were playing off the book, which became a movie.) "If he's into you, he's booking the next date. He's coming up to your place, even if he has an early meeting." Anyway, after our first few dates - Capricorn was into me, he was booking the next date. We would have met last night if I hadn't canceled, but I'm not feeling any...urgency. And even if he were interested, the change in tenor of our messages has my interest level down to next to nothing. My own life is stressful and chaotic enough. I've got my own financial issues, and the kids take up all my energy. Mama's play time is just that: play time. Not try-to-bring-broody-new-friend-back-up time.

Oh well. :) Happily, I am discovering there are lots of men to draw from out there. Joyous new chapter!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I'm Still a Pain

Oh bummer, I am still having pain in my side. It is not terrible, but it's not long-term tolerable, either. It's enough that it's a constant little soundtrack in my brain, "ouch...ouch...ouch..."

Tomorrow morning I will have a HIDA scan (hepato biliary scan) to check the function of my gallbladder. Apparently, they shoot some radioactive stuff into your vein and track it as it moves through your gallbladder - it's a LONG test! Like two and a half hours long. Oy.

Tomorrow afternoon, I'm having a surgical consult for the tubal ligation and uterine ablation that I've been planning. This is the consult with the doctor who actually does surgeries, unlike my GYN, who no longer does surgery or OB stuff.

Here's my plan. What I am hope, hope, hoping for is that my gallbladder is just the most perfectly functioning little organ you've ever met. And the pain I'm having is some odd muscle strain. If I do have to have my gallbladder out, though, I am really, really hoping to consolidate the two surgical procedures into the same visit. Then I would have only one anesthesia, one recovery time, one chunk of missed time from work.

The GYN's office assures me this is not an impossible dream. They have coordinated other surgical procedures in the past. As far as available dates, though, it is looking like I'd have to wait until late January.

Which means I need my gallbladder to cooperate. Or not be a sickly little gallbladder at all.

Anyway, so I'll double up on the appointments tomorrow and hopefully get some answers. Let's all pray for a healthy gallbladder, shall we? :)

On the dating front...meh. I am feeling a bit inconvenienced with the whole dating thing, because I'm not feeling all that well, my daughter is staying at home during winter break (and thus I can't go out for a long evening), etc. This is the problem with single-parent dating. It's really hard to juggle a schedule, and you have to keep the kiddos first. We are supposed to go out tomorrow night, but I am already *this close* to canceling. Then you've got Christmas and such...it is feeling like rather a bother right now.

We'll see. For now, I'm just sort of playing it by ear, but sadly, my pain has been increasing all day and I am really just looking forward to going home and curling up in front of the TV. Going out on a date tomorrow, at this point, anyway, seems like an awful lot of effort that I'm not so interested in making.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Weekend Update

Well, I had an u/s on my gallbladder, and happily, they did not see any stones in there at all! Does not explain the pain, which diminished on Friday and has lessened every day since, although it is still fairly sore. I guess I will follow-up with my doctor this week! I have heard that the gallbladder can be blocked but not have stones - I know there is an additional test they can do to check its function. But I don't have any of the "classic" symptoms of gallbladder issues, either. We'll see. This is not the first time I've experienced this weirdness. The last time was months ago and when it stopped hurting, it stopped hurting for good. Hopefully that will be the case again!

It was a very nice weekend. I spent the bulk of it with my new friend, the Capricorn. :) We have been having a good time together: several different restaurants, a bookstore, a funky thrift shop, watching TV at my place. Good news - one of my all-time favorite shows, Arrested Development, is also one of his favorites! This speaks highly of his good character, haha. Last night, we were going to a place for drinks that is quite close to where my BFF lives. I suggested we invite her to join us - he was totally on board, which was nice. She was able to meet us, and after spending a couple hours with us, she gave him the green light, haha. Agrees that he seems like a really good guy, rings no alarm bells for her, would be a welcome addition to hanging out with "the family" (my little close knit group of friends). It was a good evening.

I am at 155 now - only 15 pounds off my goal weight! Super, super cool. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make all this loose skin tighten up! Incidentally, I have not told the Capricorn about my surgery, but I have been on the cusp a couple times. All this eating together we've been doing, he has definitely noticed and commented on how little I eat. But the timing hasn't felt right to say anything. Laugh, but last night after having a little too much to drink, I did spout off that I was getting my tubes tied next month, hahaha. I guess I have very selective filters. :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Please Don't Stone Me.

I think I'm having a gallstone attack today. Oh no! About 10 am, I started walking and thought, "OUCH!" Something on the right side under my ribs is knotted up and quite painful. I am so sad. I am hoping it passes and never comes back. Thus far, it has not passed, and no position is making it feel better.

Just yesterday I was telling a friend that for about the last week, I've been eating something that is upsetting my stomach. I've felt a little queasy, a little off. I've been gassy and not knowing why!

For now, I am ignoring the pain. It isn't easy. :) It's not crippling, but it's annoying as heck. I've even been laying on the floor of my cube, which did not help one little bit.

What a bummer.

Oh! A nice story. Today is my former department's holiday party. (A department that didn't can me, haha.) I ran into a retiree in the lobby and decided to make my way through a couple of floors. It was kind of a hard decision because I've been gone a long time and there are many, many people whom I don't know.

It was well worth it, though. I saw many people I don't see often, and several retirees I have missed. One in particular saw me and gasped, and gave me a giant hug. "You look absolutely divine. So radiant. You look just like you did when you started here." I swear, he almost got teary, and he said it was wonderful to see me looking so well. And it was hella fun to be told that I look like I did when I was 19, haha.

Another two retirees were chatting and I said hello. I realized they didn't have a stinkin' idea who I was. And I went to high school with one of their daughters, haha. I reintroduced myself and garnered lots more compliments.

Dating Dish

Fun date last night! We got off to a bit of a rocky start, as he called about 45 minutes before we were to meet and said he had a flat tire when he came out of his office. Was going to change it and would be about 20 minutes late. Of course I wondered if I'd actually be seeing him. :) But just 15 minutes late or so, there he was at our arranged meeting spot. He looked very handsome - he dresses a little retro/vintage, which is not my style but I admire it on others. I have figured out that the type of guys that I've dated over my life aren't doing anything for me, so maybe it's time to try a different direction! And a (straight) man with a sense of style? How intriguing! I offered to drive, since he was driving on that little mini-spare, and I am inherently suspicious of those things. With good reason.

So we went to the big mall by my house and the first order of business was shopping for our respective office Christmas parties this afternoon. Here's what I got:

While not strictly under the $15 limit, I decided since it was food, and thus no sales tax, it was close enough for government work. (Literally, since my office does government work, haha.)

Here's what R. got, and I liked his logic. It was also close-ish to their price limit, and he said he wasn't leaving C&B without a gift. We were trying to make the movie, after all. And as a wine drinker, I said that I have recently burned through not one, but two, cheap corkscrews because I didn't want to pay $15-20 for one, and instead, I am just wasting money in $5-7 increments on corkscrews I throw away. So while I didn't think the corkscrew would be a great gift for everyone, if it were at *my* office party, I'd be clamoring all over to get it. So he said if it was a great gift for me, it would be a great gift for someone else. He's cute, really. :)

Here, I need to sidebar for a moment. While at C&B, I saw a former coworker from a job that I got terminated on my very last day of a one-year promotion. Have I mentioned this much on the blog? It was years ago now. My X left me on the day before I started this giant promotion with a new agency. By the end of that month, I had taken the kids and moved to another city, and enrolled them all in daycare for the first time. I was trying to save my marriage. That poor job was just not meant to be - I tried my damnedest to succeed there, but I was being pulled in way too many directions. This woman did not play a passive role in my termination: she had wanted the position for herself, and when I got it, she did every freaking thing she could for a year to make it hard for me. She is the friend of one of my dearest friends, although the whole termination-debacle kind of blew up their friendship, as well. (Not mine with my dear friend.)

Anyway, I'm at C&B, I'm on my third date with a guy I like. This woman is there (OMG the last time I saw her was when she was attending a Mariners game with her boyfriend and I was there for a singles-event alone, maybe my first EVER such event - I was a nervous wreck, of COURSE I would see her there). 

I'll let you in on a secret. There are a handful of people (my old director from the bad job is now here, for instance, as well as another coworker) for which I completely exploit my changed appearance. My logic is, I have changed my name, lost 107 pounds, cut and colored my hair...I don't have to acknowledge you. You can look at me, trying to place me, all you want, but I'm looking through you like a piece of glass. 

Last night, I applied this trick to this woman. It was not designed to work, haha, as we have known each for years through our mutual friend. But I didn't give a rip. Can you IMAGINE being out with a guy you like, and running into a passive-aggressive beeyatch like this? She would have gone over the top about my weight loss and all that, and not cared that I was standing there with a man.

Like a piece of glass, baby. I never acknowledged her. I've got a call into my good friend, and I'll fess up, haha, and I'm sure she'll hear from the woman how I dissed her. Oh wells.

Anyway. C&B, gifts obtained. Over to McCormick's for a drink. Easy banter, holding hands, doors being held open for me, all that good stuff. Nice guy, I like him. A quick drink (oh yes, he does!) and off to the movie.

"Like Crazy." Complete and UTTER chick flick. Bahaha, I told him afterward I admired his willingness to watch it - it was a great movie, but it was a total, over the top, chick flick. Slow paced, romantic. He pointed out many astute things about the movie, and then some funny observations about how not-a-guy movie it was. Passion without nudity. No violence. Drinking without getting drunk. Infidelity with emphasis on heartache of it all. 

After movie...back to McCormick's for another drink. By now we are totally bonded with the bartender. The boys talk beer, hops, IPAs, and other beer blahdy-blah-stuff. R. is a beer connoisseur. I drink beer when I bowl, because it looks funny to drink wine. We sat there for the longest time just talking and laughing, totally great.

Because I am a lady of virtue, I take that man right back to his car and drop him off. A little kissing, talk of our plans for the following evening. (Yes, he has my schedule booked for my entire kid-free weekend, with the exception of tomorrow night, when I will go out with my friends and dish on him.) Very nice. 

In a perfect world, this is exactly where that date would have ended. A wonderful, wonderful evening. :) And another date the next night to look forward to. But life isn't perfect!

I'm almost home when I see that he has called - I'm thinking to make sure if I got home, because he really is that sweet.*

*Since I am one to be very specific about what I wish for, it's only fair to note here that one of my self-destructive ways is to wish for things and then be unhappy/unsatisfied with them when I get them. So of course I wish for a sweet guy, and here one is. In his emails, he is super sweet. Naturally, this is almost a little grating to me. Because that's how I roll. Hmm, I wonder why I'm never satisfied? Happily, in person, he is not sugary sweet, he is super nice and has a lively, cutting wit and great sense of humor. This is tremendously appealing. 

Anyway, no, this call wasn't sweet, this call was a...hmm, I want to say disaster, but no, that wasn't it. Well, remember how suspicious I am of little mini-spare tires? His mini-spare blew out as he was getting on the freeway. He has called a few friends, but has been unable to raise anyone (it is nearly 1 a.m. by now). Oh, fine, I'll swing back and pick you up - can't leave him stranded on the freeway in the middle of the night in the rain, right?

I pick him up. (Here's where the story bumps up from PG-rating to PG-13, so you can stop reading if you like!) We decide the best course of action is to go back to my place and I'll take him to the tire store first thing in the morning. His friend had called back and was getting off work in a few hours and was willing to come get him. But really, my place is five minutes away, I can take him home, get him to the tire store and drop him off back at his car with the repaired tire. For a virtuous woman, there were other options to take, but by now, I am up way past my bedtime and I am both a little irritated and a little...so-over-virtuosity. Completely overrated, and, since it is after midnight and we did actually part ways on our third date, we agree the tire debacle is actually our fourth date. According to Sex in the City rules, I am well within acceptable limits.

This morning, we are at the tire store when it opens. Happily, I get my own tires rotated, too! Something I've been meaning to do for ages. Back in August, I had to do EXACTLY what he did, replace two tires and have my front end aligned. So, I can be a little down on him for the hassle but not very much, haha, as I have done the same thing myself. He buys a couple new tires, we take one back to his disabled vehicle, which miraculously was not towed. I sit in my warm car and watch him change the tire in the rain. I told him I wouldn't help but I'd sit and make sure he wasn't crushed, haha. He finishes and heads back to the tire store to get that second tire put on, and I head in to work, only an hour late. On the way, I call Kim and give her the scoop on the whole night's events and we agree, while not perfect, it's still definitely worth seeing where this goes. 

We're meeting tonight for Christmas lights at the park and Kidd Valley burgers for dinner on the cheap, since between the two of us we have outlaid an ungodly amount of money on car repairs since we met. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Picture Reprieve - You're Welcome!

No pictures of me today - Merry Christmas! Haha, sorry, I know I've been bombarding the blog. In my defense, when I was pre-op, before and after pictures were my life's blood...I was reading blogs, forums, wherever I could soak up pictures of people who had gotten out of my miserable situation. And so, you see, I post a bazillion pictures because I care about humanity. Take that, altruistic spirit!

I am, however, date-ready this morning. I am being picked up right at the park and ride after work, and we are going to dinner and a movie. We're planning to see "Like Crazy," which won Sundance awards and looks good. Truthfully, the movie is already a bit up in the air, since the timing is going to be tight and we have already both agreed it might be more fun to spend more time hanging out and talking and walking around the mall. We also both have side missions - office Christmas parties on Thursday for which gifts must be purchased. I don't actually think we'll be making the movie.

Which sort of wrinkled my plans for the evening's attire! I was planning to wear "the boots," you know, the sexy high heel black leather boots. This is not a problem for dinner and a movie. It becomes questionable for an evening walking around a huge, crowded mall with someone I don't know very well. He shouldn't already be subjected to me being whiny and bitchy. That's the sort of thing you have to dole out in small doses, haha.  To compromise, I did not wear the boots to work today - instead, I am in my cute new tennies with my date outfit. This will preserve some longevity for walking around in those mofos tonight.

(Hmm, I feel like I'm going to have to post a picture of me today, anyway...we'll see. I'll check with Sabrina when I see her and see if she wants to photograph me or chuck my camera at me when I ask. Such a naughty photo whore I am these days!)

I will give you a couple pictures, though. Firstly, I want to say that I have lost the equivalent of this boy. He is 106 pounds, and I have actually now lost 107. I intend to take a picture of him on my back, but I picked him up last night and he is freaking HEAVY! Holy smokes!!

My boy, Blake, who loves his mama so much and is always trying to pick me up now. :) This kid is pure gold.
And here's another picture - your dose of blood and gore for the morning! Mind you, I had a *busy* morning planned! Dress for the date, make sure I have everything, take out the stinking garbage cans to the street, get the kiddos fed and off to school, etc.

As SOON as I stepped out of the shower, I hear my daughter coming up the stairs sobbing. She stepped, barefoot, on a piece of broken glass. Stupid fluorescent light bulb fell off a shelf in the night (it was NOT there when I closed up the house last night). I removed this hunk of glass that had gone *straight up* into the sole of her foot. It was so awful. I pray that none broke off in her foot. Our house looks like Helter Skelter with the blood trails and pooling. She is very sore, but seems okay - I am calling the pediatrician this morning to confirm that her tetanus booster is up to date. Poor little baby. :(

Holy crud, that hurt both of us.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kicky New 'Do

I am woefully behind in my preventive maintenance spa treatments. I got that cute hair cut earlier this year, but have dreaded maintaining it because my budget is so tight it squeaks! $70 haircuts are not my style. But today I went back to my old guy, who is right across the street from work and I can pretty much drop in. He's "only" $45, and he's super great, anyway. Stick with what's easy and convenient! I also jetted over and had my eyebrows waxed. Yes, I am getting myself "date ready" for the weekend! ;)

Anyway, here's my kicky new 'do (not much different, just back to where I had it). And I was reading through the blog from the early days, so I'm including a couple reference pictures.

Kim gave me this shirt when I saw her this summer. It was too tight then, it's much looser now!
This was the week after my surgery, before I got my hair chopped.
Here's me on another jeans and t-shirt day (e.g. most days) right after my surgery.
I have come so far, it's just incredible. I can fit my whole self into one leg of those pants now, and back when I posted this, I was happy to be able to fit in them again. :(

Monday, December 12, 2011

11 Month Post-Op: Down 106 Pounds!

When Sabrina took my picture this morning, she told me to pose like I'm showing all those pre-ops how wonderful it is to experience this...convince them the same way other people's photos convinced you! I thought that was great advice.
Who Dat Girl?
It's that time again - the monthly before and after picture! And today, I was all set for work in my jeans, baggy t-shirt and tennies, but I remembered...picture day! So you KNOW I did a quick wardrobe change, and the word of the day was "form fitting," haha.

Let's see, how shall I pontificate on the eleven month surgiversary? I am feeling GREAT. My body - let me tell you, it LIKES having the extra weight gone. Gimme a little spring in my step and everything!

I could be losing faster if I focused better. I'm eating more carby stuff than I should, and my sleeve knows the difference. Last night I ate *maybe* two ounces of a turkey burger patty, and I was filled to the gills. No more food going down that pipe. Carby stuff goes down much easier, and is much more the food that calls to me. I will spend this next month kicking it back into high gear, because mindfulness will help around the holidays.

Pre-op, I always wondered about post-op eating. I read online that people said they could eat a lot more when they got out this far. This is true. I think it will be fantastic maintenance plan - I really can eat (almost) any type of food, and not in quantities that would be embarrassingly/uncomfortably small (in a social situation, I mean). But eating smart foods - turkey burgers, hard-boiled eggs, fish, etc...that's where you see the limitations/restrictions of the sleeve. It's really a tiny tummy. My kids laugh at me because if I eat to much I get the hiccups and/or the sneezes. Last night my turkey burger had me in the hiccups for quite awhile. I am getting much better at not eating too much, haha. So, for a "regular" meal that you might find at a restaurant, I'm guessing I can eat 1/4-1/3 of a serving. For dense protein, I'm good with just a couple ounces.

I do notice a difference in how much food I can eat and whether or not I am drinking with the meal. This continues to be a real challenge for me to practice. I do not like it.

As an overeater, I continue to battle with STOPPING EATING. My stomach can't hold much. I frequently ask it to hold more than it wants to comfortably. I am happy to say, though, I am getting better and better at honoring its wishes. We get along so much better that way. :)

That's the end of the weight loss update for today. :) Now, we shall talk about boys. I am digging this new guy, and looking forward to this weekend, which, with small exceptions for some stuff I already had planned, will be spent largely with him. Yesterday, I abandoned my children snuck away for an hour and met him for coffee, it was very nice. He is easy to talk to, and smart and funny...I dare say that I figured out who he reminds me of and it is...(drumroll please)...Johnny Depp. Not in a movie star, OMG I'M DATING JOHNNY DEPP, way...although he is very cute and does have the same dark coloring and there is a resemblance. It's the kind of vibe - goateed, a little beatnik, a little offbeat, a little sumpin sumpin. When it popped into my head, it was definitely "oh yes, that's who he reminds me of," no question about it.

And hey, that's a great thing. :) I have nearly 30 years of Johnny Depp fantasies to act upon. JD has always been my "if you could run away with anyone, who would it be?" guy. I started on 21 Jump Street young and have been a loyal follower ever since. To date someone who reminds me of him? Well, that's looking like quality kid-free time to me!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!

(whhhhhyyyyyyy do I have these ridiculous phrases trapped in my head? The other day it was W00T! and I'm not even sure I understand that one. What's with the zeros??)


Hello, and happy Friday to you! Oh goodness, I am right on the cusp of my 11-month post-op day (Sunday)...I will need to arrange to have kiddos take pictures this weekend. We have a busy agenda of doing gingerbread houses tomorrow and a kid's birthday party on Sunday. Maybe sneak in some pictures with Santa. So much to do! I have not bought one single Christmas present, so I need to get on the move there, too.

Okay - last night's first date goes down firmly in the win category! I'll try not to blather but I did tell a friend this morning that it was validation for getting divorced and getting to date and find someone who is a good match next time around. Other dates have been good, I've met some nice men, etc. but there's always been things where you think, 'eh, we're different in that regard, but that's workable,' etc. You know my stance on men who do not drink, haha. (inserting the now-standard blog disclaimer that I Am Not A Lush [IANAL]*, maybe I'll just make that part of the blog's acronyms so I don't have to keep saying it and you don't have to keep thinking, "sure, sure, you're not," while you mark a little tally in the "she's talking about alcohol again" column.)

*Needs better acronym

Anyway - this is funny, because I'm actually finding myself a bit hesitant to say much about the date here because I can actually envision copping to this blog's existence to him one day! He purports to love my writing and uhhh, here's gobs and gobs of it. Catching up from the beginning? That'll give you a good dose of get-it-out-of-your-system!

So, I will strike a balance between wanting to give you scoop, and wanting to pass the red-face test of "hey, I read your entry about our first date...wtf??" Okay...we met at a nice bar near my house, pretty shortly after both of us got off work. I was completely nervous, I am not a skilled dater (a coworker met her husband online and she basically made a business out of it, going on 4-5 dates per week until she ultimately met the man she would marry. Then they had a baby within a year, very much according to schedule, I'm guessing. There's some adherence to a life plan! Wooboy. Not my strategy.) and there are still some mental misalignment issues of fat-Julie and hawt-Julie that can mess with my self-confidence at times like these.

Digressing. I got there just a minute before he did so I didn't have time to a) guzzle down a glass of wine to calm my nerves (IANAL) or b) sit around and get nervous I'd be stood up. I needn't have been nervous - we clicked (Kim, that is not an online dating term, that is just a social interaction term) immediately. Ah, I was still nervous, but you know, it was good. We actually hung out there for four hours just talking and getting to know each other and having fun. Afterward, he walked me to my car, remembered my kid-schedule and asked me out for my next free night. Gave me a nice kiss and away we go! He emailed this morning that he'd had a great time and was looking forward to seeing me again. Brought up a suggestion for a third date next weekend to see if I'd be interested.

Tie that sucker up with a festive bow, that was a great first date!

Few things:

  • For no particular reason, I have not disclosed my weight loss surgery status. Sabrina asked me about that this morning and I was a little befuddled. Yes, we've emailed a bunch and talked a bunch, but it just has not come up. The internal Dr. Freud in me wonders if I have not wanted it to come up? It's the sort of thing I talk freely about with friends and family and many coworkers and the World Wide Web, but nope, I haven't brought it up. I'm not ashamed of WLS or anything...maybe just not wanting to paint a picture of my former self before my current self is established in one's mind. 
  • I had the opportunity, last night, I suppose, as I suggested we split a burger and then of my portion, you know I only ate a few bites then turned it over to him...really, this would have been a great time and I did think of saying something but we were busily chatting about something else. I did not feel like saying "Pardon me, I would like to interrupt this interesting conversation to say that I have a teeny tummy."
  • This is really just a general dating observation and even more so a commentary about myself, but prior to the date I was full of little mini-reservations...he's so nice in his emails, what if he's a puss pushover? (He's not, haha. I saw signs of that same sorta-crass humor and he's very much at my energy/spirit level.) BOY - can you see my divorce scars? My ex was a real mild-tempered fellow and I have to say, I walked all over that... Haha, I thought I had a list of reservations that I could address here, but really, I think that was the one I feared most. You are articulate and funny and smart and I have been enjoying the hell out of talking to you...please God, don't be TOO NICE or I will be so incredibly disappointed. I am ridiculous, I see this now. :) But at the same time, I am me, and that's how I roll. No milquetoasts allowed at my party.

Okay, so there's the restrained version of the date recap. I really did have fun and am looking forward to seeing him again. Also, the potential there leaves me with clear conscience in doing what I told my Sugar Daddy yesterday I was going to do, whether last night's date was win, lose or draw. I'm taking the online profile down until after the holidays. This dating stuff is mentally exhausting!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Weight Loss Stuff and Life Stuff

It's a WLS blog, and don't you forget it! At very nearly 11 months post-op, there aren't a lot of new revelations about the weight loss process or the surgery itself going on right now. I'll jot down some thoughts I've been thinking:

  • Gastric sleeve is the new normal. I honestly feel "normal" and don't feel like a bariatric surgery patient, e.g., I think my mind and such are all caught up with "this is just how I am" now. I don't spend much time thinking about how my innards have been changed, etc.
  • The new normal is pretty different, for me, from the old normal. I'm one of the few patients that has different food issues post-op. Primarily lactose intolerance, but I don't "blame" the surgery for that, because I was already struggling with that a bit before surgery. It was definitely amplified post-op. So when I read Sheila's post about yummy Greek yogurt concoctions, I know that whew, boy, I couldn't touch a 6-ounce yogurt without rolling around on the floor in pain! But FUNNY - I can eat frozen yogurt no problem. Maybe since I just get these tiny portions...anyway, I can eat Greek yogurt, too, but just the tiniest bit or it makes my stomach hurt. Cottage cheese also makes my stomach hurt. Spicy foods...tabasco sauce...overly peppery things...these are the ones that pain my heart to have to cut back on so much. Me likey spicy! My sleeve...not so much.
  • Oh! I thought of this when I was going through the medicine cabinet this morning. I saw a anti-nausea patch from my surgery in there. At the time, I thought I had screwed up my eyes by touching the patch and rubbing my eyes. I don't think so now - I think after the anesthesia, my eyes were screwed up for a few days. Just a little out of focus. That hadn't happened to me with prior surgeries (and I've had a bunch, ha). It was like old-woman eyes accelerated. And sadly, I am starting to learn about old-woman eyes first hand. Sigh.
  • You can be every bit as stupid post-op as you were pre-op. I still have many times where I eat until I'm overstuffed. It hurts, it is a bad feeling. I have long heart to heart talks with myself about how silly it is to cause myself pain with food. So while the physical logistics of stuffing a big tummy are different than stuffing a sleeved tummy, you can still cause damage to yourself.
  • I am honestly, genuinely getting so much better with my eating! I've always been a good eater with a big appetite. I eat veggies and nutritious foods and all that. But post-op, it is amazing the choices you make just continue to get better and better (if you allow yourself that wisdom). It's funny how you just naturally start weeding out the bad foods: this doesn't sit well in my tummy, that will leave me feeling hungry soon, this will taste good and fill me up. I feel like I'm making all these grown-up choices I was supposed to be making all along, hahaha. Love it!

That's enough of that for now. I am so happy to be where I am, so happy to have had the surgery. Last night, my parents met me at my daughter's orchestra concert. Of searching for me in the bleachers, my mom said, "I had to remind your dad that we're looking for a tiny woman now!" :)

Life stuff - my needed car repairs turned out to be a non-issue! Well, a bit of an issue. I took the car to my neighborhood shop, which I love, and no one, including blog readers, is allowed to 'dis. Love them and they have been good to me and I trust them.

Which makes it harder to say that I want to kick their arses right now. But I love them, and they meant well, and everyone has a "miss" now and then. My car was intermittently losing power, at the most inconvenient of times. Typically when I was accelerating from a stop light or stop sign. BAM! No power. Lots of engine lights, engine still running but not revving, car not going anywhere. Turn off the engine, wait a minute or two (an INTERMINABLY long time when you are stuck in the middle of an intersection!!)...car starts and runs fine. Little car drives perfectly every second until it is doesn't. And then you're stuck in the middle of the darn street.

The neighborhood shop ran the engine codes, checked things out, said they *hoped* it was the accelerator sticking and the associated accelerator computer module freaking out. They could not replicate the problem, of course. They had it in a couple times (without charge) and said they thought replacement was the best course of action. If it wasn't the accelerator stuff, sadly, it was going to be the car's central computer (power control module) and that was going to be big bucks. So for about $280 out the door, they replaced this stuff. Several days later: same problem. I bring it back in, they say it's going to be that module, which I'll need to take it to a dealership for.

Yesterday, I took it to the dealership. Here's the good news/bad news part. Dealership calls me up: problem is a frayed wire. A something or 'nother resting on a something or 'nother, shorting out, causing the loss of power, causing the engine codes, etc.

That'll be $125 for the diagnostics (that my shop does for free, ummm, when they get it right) and $65 for the labor. "Can I have the old wiring harness to take back and show the shop?" I ask. (They had blah-blah-blah'd about a wiring harness.) No - there's nothing that needed replaced, they just fixed the wire. Uh, I think I bought about $400 worth of electrical tape on this project, plus untold time loss spent broken down in intersections with sweat dripping down my face.

Now. I will take the invoice back to the original shop (not having any frayed wire to produce), just because they will want to know what the issue really is. It's not like they could return the parts they put in my car. I would love it if they would say something like "Gosh, your next coupla oil changes are on us!" But I won't push it. I am a little vexed, but will survive.

Dating. I am meeting the Capricorn tonight after work. We'll see. Gosh, we've emailed so much over the last several days, meeting him seems like a mere formality...but also weird. I don't like online dating. This is something I plan to pull from my repertoire (although that is hard, because really, it's the most accessible path to dating). I'm nervous meeting him - I can get pretty sick feeling about just showing up to the place. Really, he is the one I have enjoyed emailing with the most since I've dabbled in online dating. Smart, funny, interesting. Ugh, he has no money, of course. But a good job and his act together. Really, for this transitional time, I'm willing to accept "can take care of yourself." I believe my online profile actually has the phrase "GROWN-ASS MAN" in it, hahahaha. (Remind me of a little sidebar to this that I should write about next.) It would be so convenient for me to "marry up" next time around. Really, if I met someone who's income matched mine, we could darn near be a power couple. Not one of the 1%, but, you know. Doing good. Also, if I received child support or didn't have kids, neither of which are viable options, I'd be living quite comfortably. Thus is my lot in life, to earn a good living but be cobbling together money for SBUX tea from my change stash in my desk. ;)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Try that Again


Don't say that I didn't accomplish important work on my last volunteer shift. I took this picture, didn't I?
Boy, howdy. I had the WORST day yesterday, I don't even know if I can write about it. But it's over now, and today I woke up sans migraine and all is sorta right in the world. 'Though I am expecting a few difficult phone calls this afternoon (special ed director at youngest's school, auto shop about pricey repairs on car now that I proved, with my broken down car last night, that last week's $300 repairs were not the problem, and an intake call with a special ed learning type center). Yikes, maybe I'll unplug the phone. Hide, hide!

Anyway, better day today, thus far. And I have decided to ditch the Republican, although in fairness, it is hard to know whether or not I would have been ditched first. You know, when I first met him, one of the things that cracked me up was his writing - we had texted back and forth a bit. False presentation of actual communication levels, I tell you. I've decided to ditch him, but remember, by the time my last kid-free Saturday night was rolling around, I had pretty much figured he had already done it. We're not talking a lot of communication here, although we had seen each other quite a lot during my kid-free period. So it wasn't a booty-call kind of thing, but you could see it sort of feeling like a "we'll talk when it's convenient for me" sort of thing. Doesn't feel right. And seriously, who takes scuba and flying lessons at the same time?? Pick an element and master it, I always say. (I have actually never had cause to say that, until now.)

Regardless. I decided it would be better to bag that one because of several things, his seeming lack of interest being at the top of that list, hahahaha. I should call him up and tell him I don't want to see him anymore because he doesn't want to see me. That'd teach him! I'm looking for more of a dating and chatting sort of thing. I'm probably too into the chatting, which is pretty much just me, but also maybe a little red-flaggish for neediness/loneliness that I would find off-putting. This is a potential flaw in me, but I'm good with it for right now. Gawd knows that the Teetotaler and his "accidental" calls were driving me up a flipping tree.  Something to watch.

Where on earth was I going with this?? Ah, communication skills. I can't stand a man who rambles or loses his train of thought, bahahaha. No, seriously, I love a man who can write well. My definition of write well is make me laugh and say funny things. Smart things, too, but mostly funny things. I know it when I see it. Men are almost always guaranteed to win me over through the written word.

So, I still have this online profile up, and I cringe to even think of reading it, because while I love to write, I hate, hate, hate to write for an online profile. Plus, I had three friends read it before posting, one HATED it, one HATED the version I wrote to placate the friend who hated the first one, which she loved, and the third simply said, "men are visual creatures, just put good pictures." Ugh, that was a tough day! Interestingly, now that I am edging into the hottie-pa-tottie category, I really do have to say that many men seem to read the profile, too.

Okay- again I'm rambling. Got an email from a guy, it was nice, a little boring, but definitely not the "U pretty, want 2 talk?" variety. I checked out his profile, very nice. I laughed a couple times. We have emailed back and forth a few times, he is funny and interesting. It is not lost on me that writing to him is a little like writing to myself. Just call me Queen Narcissus. Plus his birthday is only two days off mine, so that may explain the shared sense of humor. Common astrological wisdom says that Capricorns are not supposed to date each other, too. We'll see. I'll keep ya posted.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Wouldn't You Know It?

The Republican doesn't drink, either. But that's in that nice, you'd never even notice it, sort of way. Hmm, when we met he was drinking *something* that night...we've gone out to dinner a couple times and didn't get cocktails, etc. Then yesterday, I offered him some wine, and nope, he doesn't drink. Ah well, he falls into the Yay-Me-It's-a-Fun-Designated-Driver category!

Perhaps. We spent the bulk of the weekend together, I really like him and he is fun. It is probably not a great fit, but it is a fun-for-now fit. I don't think he's all that into me. We talk lots about him, and what he's into and all that good stuff - I ask lots of questions, and he really is interesting. He doesn't ask a lot of questions about me...I'm just not feeling it. For now, it's cool. He has said, when we talked about meetup.com functions and stuff, that he is pretty shy and not good at meeting and getting to know people. He's definitely a lone-wolf-ish sort of type, I'd say, but it's a funny contrast with all those hobbies and such. So, for me, I can say I'm not feeling like he's all that into me, and maybe that's just the way he is. I ultimately want someone who's all that into me, haha.

It's funny to describe, though, I can't quite put my finger on it or put it into words. He'll talk about whatever, if I bring something up about me we talk about that. He's a good conversationalist and a very nice, funny and witty guy. Odd. We'll just see how it plays out from here.

Back to the first teetotaler, I had to text him yesterday and ask him to delete my phone number from his phone. I said that I had gotten so many pocket-dialed calls and hangup calls (like one short ring - not me answering it) from him, it made me very uncomfortable. He immediately texted back and apologized and said he had no idea and it would not happen again.  It hasn't. That was getting really annoying. Twice in a short period yesterday when I was volunteering I got two one-ring calls from him, and I had had enough.

The whole thing is kind of exhausting, really. :) I both have lots of time to date and very little time to date. G (we're going to call him G, and not the Republican anymore, since has he really only made one Republicany statement, we can't call that a predominant flaw, hahahaha) - anyway, G and I were talking today about when we would get together again - uh, between the two of us, it's two weeks from Saturday. This is not exactly lighting the dating world on fire, haha. And him being the way he is, I can pretty safely bet that I won't hear from him again until that two weeks is pretty close to up.

It's not really what I'm looking for. :) Well, *he* would be more of what I were looking for, if I was feeling like it was a mutual thing. I think, even though my kid-schedule limits me to half-time, I'm looking for someone with a little more time.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Exceeding Expectations

Yeah, baby! (Ugh, the space bar on this computer is stuck, so forgive me in advance for any space bar transgressions.)

More than 85% of my excess weight lost, thereby exceeding my surgeon's stated "65%-85% of excess weight lost after surgery" range! W00T!! (I have never in my life said or typed "W00T" but that must be what I'm feeling this morning, haha. I am closing in on you, goal weight!!

Last night, I steeled my nerves and went to a meetup.com singles party at an artists' work space in Seattle (www.gasworksgallery.com). I didn't need to be nervous, it wasn't really a party, so much as an open house. I didn't hang around long to mingle, but that was mostly because I was wearing my sexy boots all day at work and my feet were K-I-L-L-I-N-G me by then. So I hung out briefly, then again pushed myself to go to a meetup.com event at a bar watching a live band. Almost exclusively women at the meetup, but they were very nice and I had a good time. Left early because I am volunteering today.

Tonight, I was planning on going to a meetup.com singles holiday party, but it had a couple challenges. It's in Everett, which is far. I don't normally mind far, I suppose. Also, it's holiday dress, and I have no holiday dress. Uh, hello - I put on the Old Navy size 16 dress that I do have and would work, let me tell you that I put it on my pulling it over my head without unzipping it (the zipper is problematic) and I am SWIMMING in it. Looks like a gunny sack. :) But I figured I'd work on going, again, that's a nerves thing for me, so once I do it once, I am more likely to do it again.

However - the Republican called! We're going out tonight after I finish my shift. I am reserving judgment (well, not really, I am actually all judgey about it, haha). I'm not sure if I said, but he is my age and has been single a long time. He is really good at it. :) He has tons of interests and hobbies and much, much, much that keeps him busy. And the money to do it with. I don't think he's actually looking for a girlfriend or someone to share much of his life with. This doesn't mesh too well with what I'm looking for, except for the part where I don't want to mix my kids with my dating life for the foreseeable future. Um, I don't think it is problematic for him that I am only available every other weekend, haha. So I will go out with him because he is fun, but I gotta say - I don't think this one's going anywhere.

Friday, December 2, 2011

That Rejection Thing Cuts Both Ways, You Know

It would appear that I am not going to hear from the Republican again. Even as I call-screened a call from the Teetotaler earlier this week, I was hoping the Republican would make an appearance. (Maybe dating would go better if I stopped calling these men by silly nicknames - do you think they objected to being characterized this way??) Golly, look at us rejecting each other all over the place. :)

Ah well. When I have tried online dating in the past and felt rejected, I have reminded myself that heck, you don't even click as *friends* with most people you meet - throwing an online profile out there, the odds of clicking with someone romantically are even slimmer. Hmm, I'm rethinking my statement about not clicking as friends with most people - is that true? I'm going to say yes. I tend to have a small cluster of really great friends, and once we're bonded, it's a lifelong sort of thing. I'm not one to have ten gabillion facebook friends - instead, I have ten people I could call for bail and a ride home, hahaha.

(Here, I was looking for a picture online of this funny sign hanging inside one of the police precincts. The top half is a drawing of two stick figures carrying a couch, and it's captioned "Friends." The bottom half is of two stick figures carrying a third, passed out stick figure. It's captioned "Best Friends." Cracks me the heck up every time I see it, haha. But I couldn't find that picture online, although my search did turn up this one, which also made me laugh...)


Gosh, all this talk of alcohol and passing out this week - y'all are going to think I'm a lush. Ain't true.

On the weight loss front, I stand before you, the stupidest woman alive. Last night, I ate probably three ounces of cheddar cheese. Shortly after, I followed it with a small bowl of cereal. I was binge eating, gastric sleeve style, haha. Anyway, I hit the lactose intolerance mega-bonanza bullseye, and spent the rest of the evening sitting on the toilet while I puked into the garbage can. And the furnace was off and it was freezing. It was the height of human suffering. Well, maybe that's a slight exaggeration.

So this morning, feeling cleansed and fresh and ready to start a new day...I had two pieces of Almond Roca for breakfast. I am literally sitting here at my desk wanting to puke in my garbage can. Almost *hoping* I'll puke in the garbage can.

Foolish, foolish woman. Get thee some common sense.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

That's Just Twisted.

Here on my blog, I can confess anything - and this morning I choose to confess that I took a picture of my skin suit last night. :) Ack!!

Here's what happened. I have been feeling really great about my weight loss and my new body. There are skin issues, however. They are not horrific, but they definitely have given me pause. :) I am rolling and folding boobs into push-up bras (which I tell my friend is blatant false advertising). I have odd little puffs of soft, wrinkly skin like where my "side boobs" used to be, etc. Taking a bath is interesting: loose skin floats. Gah!!!

So last night, I'm laying in bed, buck nekked, watching tv. I scratch my back and notice that my skin has made a little fold along the curve of my spine. Ew. Gravity has let all that too-big skin fall, so in that position, I had an odd little vertical fat roll (except I was horizontal, haha, just try to bear with me as I paint this mental picture).

My iPhone is my alarm clock, and it is plugged into the charger right next to the bed, and I figure, "what the hell, I want to see what's going on here." I decide to take a picture.

NOTE TO OTHERS: DO NOT TAKE A PICTURE OF YOUR SKIN SUIT!! Especially while lying down!
This will give you an idea of what my skin suit looks like.

I may be scared scarred for life. I tend to think of the loose skin as being my belly and boobs, and to a lesser extent, my upper thighs.

Uh, it's more than that.

The good news is that...it's okay!! Mama, I am 104 pounds lighter than I was not even 11 months ago. My skin will catch up. Or not. I will correct it with plastic surgery. Or not. Either way, it's all good.

Hey, besides loose skin, I have tons of BONES!! Two hundred six of them, to be exact, and most of them, I didn't even know were lurking under all that fat. It was a momentous occasion when I first rediscovered my hip bones jutting out there on top. Now, I can easily feel the shape of my whole pelvis (well, I guess the side of it, you know what I mean). Bones. Who knew?? I also have lots of muscles - it is crazy to be able to feel them, too.

In more twisted information, I am still working on this uterine ablation/tubal ligation thing. Honestly, when I read about the uterine ablation eliminating the lining of the uterus, ipso facto, not being able to carry a pregnancy...well, when my GYN insisted that I still needed birth control, I thought maybe we were engaged in a philosophical argument about fertilized eggs. I was a little peeved - was I having the tubal ligation to mollify his pro-life stance? He's an older gentleman, I am a single woman with a brood of children - just some of the things he said made me feel...hmm, a bit on edge.

Then I googled 'pregnancy after ablation' and read about all these joyous women who were able to successfully carry babies to term through high-risk pregnancies even after having uterine ablation. Even after they thought they'd never have more children again.

Uh, I'm getting the tubal ligation, too. Eeep. You'll get no more argument out of me, good sir. I envision me, sobbing hysterically in a corner, while my four+ children clamor all over me, demanding food and book fair money and why-didn't-you-save-money-for-our-college-tuition-mommy???

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dropping a Decade - Feels Like It, Anyway

Goodbye to the 260s, 250s, 240s, 230s, 220s, 210s, 200s, 190s, 180s, 170s, 160s!!!!

Hello, 150s! I hope my stay here is brief. :) And OH, how nice it is to be able to say, "I have less than 20 pounds to lose!"*

*Qualified statement, because I have to tell you, the closer I get to goal, the more I'm already planning on pushing that goal number lower. But for right now...the focus is still on that normal BMI!

This, truly, is the first time in my life that I have *lost* weight over Thanksgiving weekend, haha. But, as I told my parents at the dinner table, the stomach may be smaller, but the urge to eat until you're overstuffed is the same. I couldn't get much food in, but I was just as uncomfortable as everyone else after the meal. Oops - continued effort required to avoid the urge to overeat!

Let's play bloggie catchup, shall we? I'll sit here and prattle off any thoughts that come to mind about the last week or so, and I'll try to spin them into some cogent and/or relative sentences...

- Thanksgiving was lovely. We did the big dinner on Sunday at my parents' since my ex had the kids on Thanksgiving day. The selfish mama side of me is glad that all the kids call dinner at my parents' "real Thanksgiving" and my older two said they were glad they would be with me next Thanksgiving.

- Actual Thanksgiving was quiet - I went, alone, to my parents' for a small dinner and hung out for a few hours. My mom held me hostage downloading CDs to her iPod and tinkering on their computer network and such. We had a very good time. :) I don't get a lot of quiet time with my parents without the kids around, so it's always fun.

- How much did I tell you about the two men? I decided not to see one again and have seen the other a few more times since. Dating is fun! Stressful, but fun. This is my kid-free weekend coming up and I am hoping to see him again. I am also contemplating putting my online profile back up, because of the dating is fun part, haha. The guy I decided not to see again, well, I just decided I wasn't interested. And I'm just going to say it, and even though you don't know me in person, you're just going to have to accept that I am neither shallow nor an alcoholic. I am not seeing him again, in part, because he does not drink.

See, now you think I'm all shallow, or have a problem. (whispered quietly with concerned tones) :) No, that's not it. But if you've followed the blog at all, you know that I enjoy me some fine wine. Cocktails with friends. Beers and bowling. I don't drink often, but it is part and parcel to leisure time for me. I don't care if other people drink or not!

But what does ring alarm bells for me is that being one of the first questions you ask a potential date. And then follow it up with "But you don't *have* to drink, right?" or something along those lines, as he did. Because that tells me that you're not in the category of SUPER-LUCKY-ME-IT'S-A-DESIGNATED-DRIVER-DATE! You're in the worried, baleful, exasperated expressions, "oh look, you're drinking again" camp. And honestly, that wouldn't mesh well with me or my friend-cluster at all.

There is one member of my very small group of friends who does not drink at all. Ever. You would never even know it. We drink, he doesn't, we all have a wonderful time. This is the sort of tee-totaller that I can happily work with.

Oh, the other reason I've excluded him is because he left me five butt-dialed voice mails on Thursday. And two on Friday. I'm as prone to electronic faux pas as anyone, but I found that rather exasperating. And the domestic violence volunteer in me was just a teensy bit prickled by the oddity of that many "accidental" calls.

And finally, I just wasn't feeling it. :) That's the big reason. I can make all kinds of concessions for someone that I care about (friends) or am interested in (dates). This guy I have seen a few times? He's a Republican. (whispered quietly with concerned tones). See, I'm all about national unity. And, for the record, I have completely left that part out of my description of this fellow to my "real life" girlfriends, because I just don't have the chutzpah to say it out loud yet.

- That was a long digression. I had an ultrasound yesterday in prep for the NovaSure uterine ablation I am planning. U/S tech said all looks well. I expect to hear from the doctor in the next day or two, then schedule a consult with another doctor in the same practice to go over the procedure and book it (my GYN no longer does surgical procedures, and since I am made of money and available paid time off to go in for an endless series of appointments with doctors who *can* do the job, well, sign me up for as many consults as you can. No, really, it's my pleasure.)

Oops, getting cranky there again. :)

- Ahh, I think that's all I've got for today. It's a lot, really! New set of digits on the scale, quality family time, political scandals, romance, intrigue, medical drama...why, this blog entry just touches on so many levels, haha.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fertility Goddess

So, you know I've had gobs and gobs of these iron IV infusions over the last year. I don't mind them - they put you in a comfy chair with a heated blanket and treat you so nice. :) But my hematologist says we should figure out what causes the low iron to begin with. It's not anything internal, it might just be me, etc.

The question about my periods came up. I wouldn't say that I have terrible periods, but I would say that any periods are an annoyance, haha. Because I've had all the iron infusions, there is a procedure called uterine ablation (ablation = destruction, my GYN says) that destroys the lining of your uterus. No more periods = no more blood loss. Maybe a cure for the low iron?

No more lining also means no more babies. This is fine by me. Oh my, I already have three children! At nearly 42, you couldn't pay me to have another baby, I'm afraid. It's also a little sad, and honestly, feels a tad disrespectful toward my reproductive system, which has served me very well.

A friend of mine had uterine ablation and said it prevents pregnancy. My GYN had a harder-line stance and said it prevents successful pregnancy, but at my age, without sterilization, leaves me open to just miscarrying every month. My friend (age 50) says, phhhbbblllttt. Anyway, my GYN said they could do the ablation, but only paired with a tubal ligation or my continued use of birth control.

I am looking to get everything attended to in one shot. I don't want to destroy my uterine lining and still think about birth control. Nor do I want to have my tubes tied and still have periods. I want it all, baby! (Well, I want it all, no baby.)

I'm going in Monday for an u/s to check out the size, shape and logistics of my uterus to see if I am a candidate for this procedure. Then I have to see another GYN for specifics of the surgery (it would be done outpatient, but my GYN no longer does surgeries). Then I can book it for sometime in the near future. Will keep you posted.

By the way, we talked again about the Mirena IUD, and I asked him if he thought I could just be very sensitive to the hormones in it. "Oh yes," he said, "it's a small dose, but it's still a dose, and many women are bothered by the effects." So I decided to skip getting another IUD, even though it would have been the easiest option.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Surgeon Reality Check and Dating News, Too

Greetings, bloggies! I had my follow-up appointment with the VSG surgeon yesterday. Let's see that's my 10+ month follow-up? I go back in six months and will have blood work done for that one.

My surgeon - I just love him to death. He is a great guy. He is also a total pragmatist and pretty straight to the point. So, his opening line, was basically, "hmm, you've done very well - down 18.5 pounds since your last appointment three months ago. I assume you want to lose more?" Me, "uh, yes."

We went over my eating habits. My surgeon is not one who will accuse you of eating too little. I told him I don't eat much during the day, but consume lots of tea with whole milk. Probably 12-15 ounces of whole milk over the course of the day. Sometimes skim milk, sometimes half and half.

Surgeon: grimace.

Me: Uh, well, since I don't take in many calories, I figured the whole milk will keep me going, calorie-wise?

Surgeon: Cut the whole milk. Use skim or none.

So here's what he says, and it makes sense, in a no-fair-I-wanted-to-stop-battling-my-weight way. He said at this point it's all about cutting out a couple hundred calories a day. Skim milk versus whole milk, there's a bunch of calories saved. The weight loss will become increasingly difficult as I get closer to goal, as I get further out from my surgery date, as my food intake increases. In response, yes, the weight loss has slowed down a bunch, and yes, my food intake is definitely up from when I carried a four ounce container of food to work and couldn't finish it.

He talked about cutting out the calories wherever possible, and bumping up the exercise to burn calories whenever possible. He said that cutting calories (e.g. skim vs whole milk) would keep the weight loss moving, adding calories would stop the weight loss and ultimately lead to weight gain. He said over 3-5 years, they do see weight regain in WLS patients, because they eat more, slip in more calories throughout the day, etc.

None of this is a surprise, of course. I could use the reality check on the added calories - my head said that I wasn't eating much, so whole milk was good (and tastier). In reality, I know that my calorie intake has creeped as I eat bigger meals at night, or when I do eat.

He also told me I can look into plastic surgery at this point for my sagging belly and boobs. And thighs and bat wings. Free Julie will become Franken-Julie. He said that while I will continue to lose weight, my period of  massive rapid loss is behind me, and anything I lose now won't result in the sagginess that would be detrimental to a post-plastic surgery bod. I am a bit pouty about my massive, rapid loss days being behind me, but I know it's true. I am still looking for the magic wand to finish the job!

Okay - there were other developments this weekend. These were on the DATING front. Woo-woo! Well, it was an encouraging weekend, as well as a little disheartening.

I put my profile up on one of the freebie sites late last week. Happily, I immediately received many emails from various men. (People who think that fat women can generate the same interest from men as thinner women are flat out wrong, I am sorry to say. I have been on both sides of this coin, and the number, and quality, of responses does not compare.) Most of the emails I received were...eh.

I did meet one very nice man for coffee on Saturday afternoon. I would not say that we were a match, even though he had tons of good qualities: great job, no drama divorce, just bought his own house, etc. I liked him, and we spent a couple hours together. I think, quite probably, that I am too wild for him. He likes jazz, I like Kanye West. He doesn't drink, I drink regularly. He is quiet and soft-spoken, I am not particularly quiet (or loud) and outspoken. He did say he really liked my directness and humor. He has stayed in touch since Saturday, which is nice, but I am thinking no connection on that one. I could be being a bit premature on that one, but part of that is my own baggage. My ex was a nice, quiet man...I need to amp it up next time around.

Note: In between times that I have been working and coming back to this entry, this guy has contacted me again asking to go out tomorrow night. Arrangements are being made. :)

On Saturday night, I coaxed forced myself to attend a meetup.com function - a comedy club in my town. Literally, I had just pulled into my own garage with my bag of microwave popcorn and Sour Skittles (oops, I didn't talk to the surgeon about that one), and I planned to veg out on the couch and watch a movie. The comedy club thing was on my radar, but I dread walking in to stuff like that alone. Just do it, I said. Ugh, I decided to drive by, take a look at the venue and maybe go in. I gave myself numerous opportunities to throw in the towel (can't find it - oh, there it is; no close parking - oops, I found a spot right by the door). I went in, the people were so nice! The show hadn't started, and the MC greeted me - he was one of the meetup hosts. He ushered me over to the group, where introductions were quickly made. There was quite a group of people there, probably 15-20 meetup.com people. I relaxed quickly and enjoyed myself.

Whilst there, I met a man - very nice, and we shared laughs and groans at what were really pretty bad comedians. :) Afterward, he walked me to my car and we exchanged numbers. He is an east coast transplant, works in a high-level techie job, and, said in my best east coast accent, is "wicked funny." (Here, I am channeling Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin from 30 Rock in that hilarious storyline.) We saw each other yesterday for a few hours and I like him. Again, maybe not my match, but definitely worth pursuing. He and I have also been talking since then, and I do like him. Wicked funny. Another fairly quiet guy, but with lots of interests (some of them too geeky for me).

My type, or what appeals to me right now, is more on the testosterone-laden end, the burly man's man sort of thing. But this type has its disadvantages, too, and really, with as little dating as I've done - who am I to say what's best for me? Not without getting out there and exploring it a bit, anyway. But I do really go for the well-employed blue collar types that are fun to be around. We'll see. The comedy club guy is actually a busy outdoor enthusiast, too...skiing, kayaking, other good stuff. I would say he has definite possibilities.

My friend has pointed out that I block myself from enjoying things, and I do. I do this with Christmas presents (well, maybe I really wanted x instead of y), men (oh, look here's two men that meet all my qualifications but maybe I'm not too interested in either...), jobs (ugh, I am so tired of this job, but maybe that job would be better...but that job has blah blah blah to contend with...). I do, I really do this. It's like I keep myself from being happy, or want to keep all those options open until they disappear.

And so, I am going to entertain myself with these two men, and be grateful to be entering a position of being able to date freely and have interesting, appealing men interested in me. We'll see where it goes!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Skin Suit

"It rubs the lotion on its skin. It does this whenever it is told...It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again." - Buffalo Bill, "Silence of the Lambs"


Well, I don't think lotion is going to help here, baby. I'm growing myself my own little loose skin suit here, one that ole Buffalo Bill would be proud to own! 


At least one of the above tickers is moving again, though. :) I dropped a couple more pounds this week and I cannot believe that I'm almost within 20 pounds of my (first) goal! What a crazy year it's been! I'm going to watch my nighttime eating more closely this time - I seem to lose a few pounds then experience a bounce upward, then lose again. I hope I'm not sabotaging my efforts here! I don't think so, but I'm trying to break some patterns and see what happens.


I'm falling short on the stair challenge. I've got a couple things going on, and I'm working on addressing them. I am liking feeling pretty - it is amazing how much more improved my attitude is when I'm dressed nice, right down to the cute shoes. I'm battling some pretty serious blues right now (seasonal? Probably.) and I'm trying to cut out the frump-factor from my life. I feel so successful when I exercise, but it's offset by the resistance to get myself all sweaty at work and wear my beat-up tennies. Okay, when I do the short runs, I don't actually get sweaty. It's the conundrum of doing all those stair runs and it really just not making sense to change my dang shoes eighteen times a day. I'm working on a middle ground. :)


Anyway - fun day on the agenda. Well, fun evening. Massage appointment at 5:00 - I believe it's for 90 minutes because we were planning to do some guided visualization. I'll just tell him I'm going to skip that part and take 90 minutes of good rubbing. Then dinner with friends (yes, my spinster sisters, with whom I will share my affections between them and my dozen cats in twenty years) at a nice restaurant.