Monday, January 31, 2011

Split Personality

I've got two blog entries in mind, so rather than do the easy thing and write them out separately, I'll throw all my thoughts into a pile and let you try to sort them out. ;)

First, the "Yay, me!" stuff. I just got back from a brisk lunchtime walk with a friend in the chilly Seattle sunshine. We are congratulating ourselves on our new activity-based, as opposed to the longstanding food-based, friendship, haha. A baby step, yes, but I did a) take note of the sunny day and b) ask her if she wanted to go for a walk instead of sitting in the lobby yakking, as we usually do. (This, in itself, is quite a change from our pre-surgery habit of walking over to another building and buying lunch. When I started my pre-op diet, my buddy took a vow of a protein shake lunch as a sign of solidarity.)

Also, I cooked tonight's dinner (soft tacos - easy) before work this morning and pre-arranged with my daughter for her to re-heat them when I call, after I've picked up the boys from daycare. We will eat in the car on the way to the YMCA to work out! This is a major feat, as their dad and I have a late afternoon doctor appointment (consult) for my youngest today. Normally, I would say NO WAY I could work in a trip to the YMCA. However, this morning I thought about it and thought if I really, really want to be successful at this, I'll need to find ways to challenge my expectations of what I can handle with the kids in the evening. It will be tough, but do-able. And I really, really want to be successful.

My weight loss is, um, non-existent. I cannot explain to you how frustrating that is given I am taking in practically no calories, and haven't for a month. It is foolish to get stressed out over this, however! What's the point? And, really, when I say that I have lost 21 pounds in January...well, that is nothing to sneeze at! It's just...well, I haven't lost a darn thing since those 14 pounds dropped off immediately after surgery. So seeing the scale at the same - NO! Not even the same!! Seeing the scale at 1-4 pounds more than my lowest? Well, it stinks. *

*Coming back to add - I am closing in on the lower number again. After spiking from a low of 241 to 244.5, this morning the scale was back to 242, after a week or more of lingering on the higher end. I have a feeling the scale is about to start cooperating.

It's all a mind game, though. Must be fluid, maybe from the surgery, must be my poor freaked out metabolism hanging onto every ounce, something. However, it cannot last! I am patient, and I will prevail. (Okay, I am not actually patient, but I will ultimately prevail.)

The happy flip-side of that is that while the scale is not budging, my body is changing! JUST LAST TUESDAY (I had to go back in search of my original post, to see when it really was) I think it was just two weeks ago, if that, I mused about an old pair of jeans that I have that I could *almost* wear, but could definitely not wear yet. Ahem...ladies and gentlemen, I give, rocking those jeans since Thursday of last week. And they definitely fit much better today, fresh out of the dryer, than they did last Thursday. Hells yes, I fit into those jeans and I am pretty darn pleased about it, too!

Okay, that's a terrible picture, and even the original isn't in focus, so it's not the scaled-down size that's causing trouble here. I am about to break up with my iPhone! Grr. And, I did mention that I just took a brisk walk outside, didn't I?

Hmm - you know what? I don't have to qualify pictures of myself. :) I am trying to get better at just loving me and being happy for me, without qualification or reservation.* I am wearing jeans that I stopped wearing probably two years ago, and I feel pretty damn good about it. Messy hair and all.

*If I get too good at loving me without qualification or reservation - well, just tell me to shut the hell up, haha.

A little bit on the flip side of this post. It's not bad - I decided yesterday that I wouldn't exactly characterize it as "buyer's remorse." Because, in fact,

I am experiencing exactly what I expected, and exactly what I choose for myself.

Yesterday was sort of a grouchy post-op diet day for me. I was hungry, and I am tired of foods that I know will not give me a stomach ache, and I am tired of guessing which foods will not. Actually, I kind of hit this wall where I just didn't want to *think* about what I was eating anymore. I was hungry, and I wanted...FOOD. Moreover, I was hungry *and* thirsty, and I wanted to sit down at a restaurant and order food and beverage and enjoy them both. ROAR!

Fortunately for me, I have a pretty good sense of practicality and pragmatism. So, since this surgery is not reversible, and I will, in fact, live out my days with 85% less stomach - well, I'm not going to waste any effort second-guessing the decision. Practical and pragmatic.

Unfortunately, I also have a good dose of self-indulgent and whiny. :) I've taken the liberty of graphing out my state of mind yesterday, and you can see the scales barely tipped in my favor:

It was a close battle. Fortunately, the more sensible side of me won out - it would be a darn shame to get all spun out over things that I cannot change. I merely fell victim to a little self-pity. And it wasn't even self-pity, really, because I didn't want to change the surgery - I guess I just wanted to reap the benefits in a more timely fashion. Like immediately. I was hungry and I was not losing weight. Ipso facto, the only fair solution would be to wake up this morning weighing 128 pounds and independently wealthy. (Hey, where did that come from?)

No, I won't play the recriminations game. Instead, I put on my didn't-fit-a-week-ago jeans, and I banished my these-were-the-only-pants-that-fit-and-the-next-time-I-want-to-see-them-is-when-I-can-fit-all-of-me-into-one-leg jeans to the top shelf of the closet. I dutifully ate my two ounces of cottage cheese and went to bed happily, looking forward to a brighter future now that I've taken a hard turn off the very bad path that I was on.

*The author was not compensated by the National Association of Strikethrough, Italics, Asterisks, Bolding and Other Font Embellishments (NASIABOFE) for this post. It just happened to work out that way.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stage 3 Diet (Begin 2 Weeks Post-Op, Continue for 2 Weeks)

I've been thinking about Sheila's comment about what was allowed in her diet two weeks post-op, versus mine. Funny how things vary so much between surgeons!

My "Stage 3 Diet," beginning two weeks after surgery, and continuing for two weeks:

4, 2-ounce protein servings, 1 dairy serving, 3 fruit/veggie/starch servings, 1 fat serving

- 2 oz chicken
- 2 oz ground turkey
- 2 oz fish/tuna
- 2 oz cheese or soy cheese
- 2 oz eggs or 4 egg whites or 1/2 cup Egg Beaters
- 2 oz deli meat (no roast beef)
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese
- 1 cup tofu

- 8 oz smooth light yogurt
- 8 oz skim, 1% or low-fat soy milk
- 1/2 cup sugar free pudding
- 1 cup sugar free hot cocoa
- 8 oz light yogurt drink

- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup mashed pears (no juice or syrup)
- 4" banana, mashed
- 1/2 cup mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup pureed butternut squash
- 1 cup low fat creamed soup
- 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal, cream of wheat or farina

- 1 tsp butter, margarine, mayo or oil
- 1 T light margarine, light salad dressing, fat-free gravy or light mayo

- At least 56 oz non-caloric, non-carbonated, non-caffeinated liquid per day

- 60-70 grams/day

*Yawn.* I think I had a point in mind when I started writing this post, but it is late and I am tired. I was just thinking about the differences in food plans following surgery. I had cream of potato soup tonight, and a sugar-free pudding, and for the first time in my life, I am laying in bed with a terrible case of heartburn! I knew I had not eaten "off plan," but pulled out my manual just to make sure. Funny - I can eat many things, but not nearly what is on the plan, nor in the quantities suggested. When I have cottage cheese, for instance, I am measuring out two ounces, and it leaves me *stuffed.* One cup of tofu?? One cup of anything = no way possible right now.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sooner than I Expected - "Oh, I Didn't Recognize You!"

Laugh, I wasn't expecting this so soon - but it was fun, anyway. A coworker (from another floor) walked right by me and I called out hello. "OH MY GOSH," she said. "I didn't recognize you!" She immediately fussed over my hair and discreetly pulled me aside to comment on my weight loss.

Funny! This is no casual acquaintance, either...she and I worked together very closely for a couple years. I'll chalk it up mostly to the hair (besides the 6-8" inches I lopped off, everyone's been commenting on the "new" color of my hair, which is the same that I've been doing for months), but it's fun to think my body is already changing. Also, a coworker pointed out that my inner diva is already coming out, haha. She says she's always known I'm PLENTY sassy, but thinks others will be surprised. I dunno, I've never been much of a wallflower.

We were discussing this in the context of me musing about whether my (male) coworker can sue me for sexual harrassment since I've told him the hallway between our cubes is my runway, and catcalls are appropriate and appreciated. ;) My friend says that it's his word against mine, and thus far, anyway, he's been quite obliging.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Back to Reality

I'm back to work tomorrow - today I am officially two weeks post-op! I'm ready to go back, actually. I miss my buddies, miss interacting with folks, etc. It would be fun to be independently wealthy and get to travel and spend money when you have time off. But if you're not loaded with disposable income - you may as well work. :)

It will be interesting, because although I do feel great, I do also get tired. Heck, I just had surgery two weeks ago! But more than that - I'm only taking in a few hundred calories a day. No wonder I get tired! I should be fine, though. My job is total office work, and I can get up and walk around, go to SBUX, etc. whenever I want.

Today was a good day. I tried eating a couple different things that didn't agree with me at all. This morning, I made the kids omelets, so I scrambled myself up about two ounces of egg. I only ate a couple bites - it sat in my belly like lead. Yuck. Maybe next time I'll try egg whites, instead.

This afternoon, I ate about 1/2 of a string cheese. Same reaction. Yuck! Just got into my tummy and felt awful. Thankfully, this feeling passes pretty quickly! But it is really unpleasant.

So, my experimentation with food so far has resulted in these "good" items: cottage cheese, turkey deli meat sliced ultra-thin, Wendy's chili. (I had that one on Saturday, actually, following my weight loss support group - the subject of the chili came up and was resoundingly recommended as easy on the tummy, filling, and tasty. Had to try it myself.) Refried beans are iffy. I've tried them a couple times since surgery (diluted with broth to a gruel-like consistency). They sit *okay* in my tummy. Not great.

Bad: string cheese, eggs. I haven't tried much else.

For my food tomorrow, I'm packing two two-ounce containers of cottage cheese and two ounces of turkey meat. I'll bring along a protein shake, too. Bottled water. I've been drinking iced tea from SBUX - I pre-negotiated this diet staple with my surgeon, haha. I don't drink coffee, I don't drink much pop, and won't following surgery, at least for the foreseeable future. But I like my iced tea (sweetened with two Equals) and I don't want to give it up. He was fine with that.

It's interesting. It's amazing how little interest food holds for me now. I'm not hungry - I know I have to get my liquids and proteins in, but I'm neither hungry nor thirsty. I still totally enjoy watching the Food Network - I love cooking shows. :) But I just don't have much interest. I'm feeling good, keeping busy, working on liquids slowly all day.

In the evening, I am battling a bit of the boredom/eating that has plagued my life. I just feel like I *should* eat. I'm using this disinterest in food as a time to totally re-train my brain. What if the disinterest is temporary? I'm trying to teach myself now, then, to finish up my food for the day and be DONE. Instead, I'm chatting with the kiddos, finding ways to distract myself. Like I said, right now it's not hard - I just don't want to eat. I just want to be very, very successful with the sleeve and my new way of life.

Speaking of success - I'm not losing any weight. This is frustrating, but not tremendously so. I'm not eating, therefore the weight has no choice but to ultimately come off. I did take a couple quick measurements today, though. Since the day before surgery: THREE INCHES off my waist, an INCH off my upper arm, nearly an inch off my calf, etc. Clearly, even if the weight is stuck for some reason, my body is changing! It's all good.

Today I shopped for a cute return-to-work outfit, but I ended up only buying a couple pair of earrings. I found a pair of jeans that were a size 20 - they fit great and looked great and I was soooo tempted to get them! But they were about eight inches too LONG and I just didn't feel like getting them altered. Being 5'2" has its challenges! I have my Divorce Day jeans which fit fine (although I already need a belt) and another pair of jeans that are too snug to get into right now, but *just*. There will be plenty of new clothes in my future. :)

And finally - I did take the boys up the YMCA and walked on the treadmill for twenty minutes. I'm thinking of some work out goals and a way to track them here on the blog. My big challenge will be working out when I'm back to work. It is *difficult* to get three kids wrangled through dinner, homework, working out and other evening requirements. Plus, I am a stickler for an early bedtime. My crew goes to bed by 8:30 p.m. That leaves us with evenings that are only two hours or so - I generally pick the boys up from daycare at 5:45 p.m.

It will all work out. I think once we're in a good routine, I'll find a bit more flexibility in our schedule. Right now I'm not too worried about anything: I'm feeling good, things are moving forward, I'm feeling very optimistic and excited about the future!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Small Victories on the Path to Success

My schedule is still a bit goofy with the kids. My ex is generously taking them so I can have a nice long recuperation time. (I will pay, believe me, I will pay, haha, he's already given me a long list of weekends he wants to trade in return.) Anyway, it is really wonderful because I've had lots of time to rest and recuperate.

But, oh my God, have I ever missed my kids. They are home tonight and I think I drove them all a bit nuts with the love and adoration. :) Anyway, they're only here for two nights: I'll get them off to school Wednesday, return to my first day at work, and "X" will pick them up after school Wednesday. Then they'll be home Sunday, and we'll fall back into our normal routine of me having them Sunday- Thursday, him having them Thursday - Sunday.

Anyway. So, I had the kids tonight, and since I wasn't working, and I got a clean bill of health from the surgeon to start exercising...we went to the YMCA.

Here's the small victory - you knew it had to be coming sometime, right?

We had a great time.

Up until now, going to the YMCA with three children has been agonizing. I stopped even trying months and months ago.

1. Child #1 (daughter, almost 12) only wants to work out. Insists on me being with her (this is actually a facility rule, too).

2. Child #2 (son, almost 10) hates "child watch" (supervised child care). His alternative? He could swim -  he is old enough to swim alone, but does not want to be left alone at the pool. His brother is too young to be left at the pool.

3. Child #3 (son, 5) loooooves child watch. He's actually the easy one in this case (laugh! It is uncommon that he is in the position of being my "easy" one.) He loves child care and also loves to swim.

Well - lo and behold, Child #2 is now old enough to use the work out facilities! Well, close enough. He's almost ten, and that's the magic age. Today, he received training from one of the trainers on all of the cardio equipment and much of the weight equipment (not free weights). He was ECSTATIC!

And that is how it came to be that we all had a wonderful time at the YMCA. I did twenty minutes on the treadmill. My oldest used the elliptical for 20+ minutes (I am desperately hoping to bring her weight down along with mine), my middle kid used some cardio and a lot of weight machines and was as proud as a peacock of himself. My youngest played happily in the child care area and after an hour, we left the YMCA, sweaty and satisfied.

YAY! This is a major milestone for me and my family. We have already made plans to do it again tomorrow. The logistics of taking the family to the Y has been a TREMENDOUS obstacle in my desire to work out and exercise. The fact that everyone is now content with their available options there....well, it is extremely promising for all of us. I am beyond happy about it.

Mushy Food, Baby!

I had my two-week check-up with my surgeon today, and everything is going very well! He cleared me to start the second phase of my post-op diet: two weeks of mushy food. It's better than it sounds. :) I can eat deli meat, ground meat, cottage cheese, tofu, refried beans, etc. Just anything that doesn't require a lot of work for my tummy to digest.

We're celebrating, then, with a tiny two ounce serving of cottage cheese, eaten in a tiny green bowl with a tiny green spoon. :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Body to Julie: WTF??

I probably will weigh myself daily. There's a method to my madness. I'm a "if I don't get on the scale, the weight gain doesn't exist," type of girl. You may also know me as a "if I don't open that bill, it does not exist" girl. How about, "if I don't check my online bank balance, then I must still have money?"

Yes, I need to hold my feet to the fire, or the fire doesn't exist. As part of my reform, I may even start requiring this of myself: check your weight, check your bank balances, open the bills. Revolutionary.

Anyway. So I've been weighing myself, and let me tell you, that scale hasn't budged in DAYS. Is the digital scale stuck on its favorite weight for me? Perhaps, but not likely.

Am I hanging on to weight, or, my favorite - GAINING weight this morning, because I am superbly overindulging in my 2 oz bowls of boullion and 6 oz glasses of water and constant sips of protein shakes all day? You can't gain weight off au jus broth. I'm no nutritionist, but COME ON!!

No, it's my poor body. WTF, JULIE? What is going on here? I am used to a constant flood of food, anything my enlarged little heart desires. Now you've cut me off? Boullion? REALLY? What happened to going to bed each night, so stuffed with late-night snacking that you still wake up full? Well, I'll tell you what - you're gonna cut me off??? I'm not letting go of a single ounce of weight. In fact, thanks to the salty boullion, I've now got an excuse to hang on to some of the meager ounces of water you're giving me, too!! TAKE THAT!!

Ah. Yesterday I focused on getting in lots and lots of water. Today, it's lots and lots of water and at least two of these 30 gram protein shakes. My body has drawn a line in the sand. You will feed and hydrate us, or we will hold you hostage at this same weight in perpetuity.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Care to Buy a Girl a Drink? PLEEZE??

I got woke up by my cellphone ringing at 7:30 this morning, and my nearly-twelve-year-old screeching into my ear "Fact or Fake? Men with long hair didn't used to be let into Disneyland??"

Uhh, this was a very confusing way to be woken up. I was expecting, "Daddy is bringing me over to get such and such before school," since the kids have been staying with my ex since the surgery.

Stranger, though, was the dream I was having before waking. I was GULPING down entire glasses of water, entire cans of pop, anything liquid I could get my hands on.

After I got off the phone, I dozed off again. And again, the GULPING dream returned.

Umm, I took this as a not very subtle hint from my psyche that I needed to concentrate on my hydration today. Mission accomplished. ;)

"Alpine Weight Loss Secrets" Giveaway

My friend Kim is giving away this book on her blog - check out her review and information on how to win!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kicky New 'Do!

So, I've been mulling over a major change to my hair. I don't mind making big changes to my hair, and it has been due for awhile. Plus, from all I've heard, at about three months post-op, your hair starts thinning. I read online that long and straight is the worst style for thinning hair, so I thought I may as well make a change now!

I stopped in a salon near my parents' about 30 miles away. I just wanted a cool new haircut and I wanted it tonight. Had no intention of forming a relationship with a new stylist (since I've been wearing my hair long and straight, I just stop in at Hair Masters or wherever for a trim). Of course, I adored the stylist and the cut, so now I'm on the hook to drive 30 miles to get my hair cut, doh!


Here was the picture, taken earlier today by a friend, that made me think..."hmm, yes, today is a good day for a hair cut!"

I'm Soooo Normal...

Got a call from the hematologist, who has given me the four (five? No, I think four) iron IV infusions and four weeks of mega-dosing vitamin D. My iron and vitamin D levels are all normal now, yay! I didn't talk to the nurse, so I don't know what defines "normal." I've been tracking those ferritin levels pretty closely, so I understand the numbers a bit. Same with the vitamin D, although he's only tested it once: before the prescription, and now after.

I've been told to come back in a month and get my blood tested again, so he can see how I do without supplements. I'm not to take any iron/vit D supplements in the meantime. This will be interesting!

If my levels are at the low end of normal, I'm going to beseech him to renew the Vit D script and let me take OTC iron supplements. I can get some decent chewables online at Celebrate Vitamins. I maintain that it would be quite nice to see what a mid-range normal feels like for a change, since all my levels have been floundering outside the bottom end of the range. What if, with mid-normal levels, I'm actually Superwoman?? I'm missing my calling!!

Anyway, that's good news! It's been several months of trying to get these levels on track.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Is Nothing Sacred? (Post-Op Belly Pics)

You will find that I have very few filters or boundaries when it comes to sharing my own life. Oops! At least you can plan for it. (I'm more respectful of others', acknowledging that most aren't as open-bookish as me, hehe.)

When I was planning/prepping for surgery, I wondered what exactly five laproscopic incisions entailed.
T'weren't nothing!! They are just little bitty. Here is my belly, one week post-op. I had five incisions and one red-mark bruisy thing that is not an incision. You'll see that I still have steri-strips on two incisions, the others already fell off.

The biggest incision, with its odd dimpling, is where they ew, extracted my stomach, ew. The surgeon said the dimpling will go away. I am stuck with the stretch marks and that other big scar below my belly button, which is the remnant of a back surgery in 2004. I have a matching scar on my back, haha!

Can you even count five incisions? They are tiny. And already nearly healed. The *only* one that has caused me any pain is the biggest, by my belly button. The bruisy one on my side (which required the artful photography set up) - I can't even feel, and I forget all about it. I only found it tonight because I was looking for the fifth!

Before Pictures - Oh Yes, I Have Them...

The day before my surgery - my birthday, actually - I had my daughter take a range of before pictures so I can see how my body changes over the coming months. Scary! Well, let me tell you two things:
1. I was so nervous about the surgery. Until I saw the pictures, then I was like, BRING IT ON!
2. My swimsuit is one of those ultra-tight "Take 10 Pounds Off You" suits. I was afraid it would distort my true body shape. Uh, I think you get the idea.
And a *BONUS* item!
3. My body is 90% boobs and belly. Will I have a butt at all after this?

Hmm, I am off work another week...I am thinking of doing something with my hair!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Finding the Sweet Spot

Would you BELIEVE that I have lost 21 pounds since the day I started my pre-op surgery diet? And thirteen since the morning of the surgery, not quite a week ago? A-may-zing.

But let me tell you how it's happening. I can't hardly eat drink a darn thing. My guide says to drink 2 oz every fifteen minutes, and let me tell you, this is a lofty goal. I am doing well, though, and my pee is the right color, so I think I'm fine. Although I had some blood drawn today (the two week check following an iron infusion) and the nurse did ask me if I had been drinking enough fluid.

Today I took in more than I did yesterday. I bought a cup of chicken noodle soup from Panera and asked them to just give me broth. I drank it all. I drank half-ish a protein shake, several ounces of a smoothie, another four ounces of chicken broth tonight, a few ounces of water at my dr. appt, and I think that's it. I feel fine, I look good. Again, tomorrow, I will focus on getting in more fluid.

Here's my problem. I'm having a hard time finding the sweet spot. It is very easy to get over-full, and that hurts. And makes me paranoid about ripping out my staples. I abused the cup of soup tonight - too many sips in too short a time period, and I was concerned about the stomachache I gave myself. I am not in pain, though, and the pain passes quickly into just over-fullness. I just need to learn to find that sweet spot of taking in liquid without hurting myself. It's tough, because the amount of liquid I can take in is really pretty laughable. I feel like I should be feeding myself out of an eyedropper! :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Loser (in the most positive sense of the word!!)

They weighed me right before surgery: 255 lbs. My starting weight is 263 pounds, before I started the two-week liquid diet. This morning, I clocked in at 248 pounds! Wahhooo!! I'll add a little weight loss ticker to the blog site. I am very impressed with my loss thus far. I am living in sweats and t-shirts and I think I'm a little worn out looking from the surgery, so I don't see the weight loss. In time, dear, in time.

One of the most surprising things following surgery : The extent that you really cannot eat or drink. Yipes! I completely overpacked to go to my friend's, I brought a jar of Unjury chicken soup flavor mix, a jar of Muscle Milk Light powder, eight ready-to-drink protein shakes. I had her pick me up a box of sugar free popsicles and a half gallon of vanilla soy milk.

The first day I ate a popsicle, and I worked on the same 16 oz glass of Crystal light for two days. Oh my! Do you EVER have to take super small sips!! I have an advantage in that I am already a really slow eater, always have been. But when my friend and I were chatting, I thoughtlessly took a regular sized drink, and WOW, did I pay!! Tennis ball in the gut feeling. Feeling like I was going to puke. Feeling like I WANTED to puke.

I haven't puked, by the way. I do think I screwed up my vision by touching the anti-nausea sticker behind my ear and then my eyes. They warned me doing so would dilate my eyes, and for a long time. I'm not sure if that's what's happened, but I suspect it is. At any rate, my vision is...funny...right now. Not bad, not good, just weird. Things look fuzzy that shouldn't.

Today I've eaten three popsicles, probably a few ounces of a decaf tea and soymilk I got from SBUX, and a few ounces of chicken broth. With each, I have found that I have over-stuffed myself to the point of being uncomfortable. And I'm not wolfing it down, believe me!! It's all about pacing and tiny sips. I'll get the hang of it. Tomorrow I will focus on protein shakes. My protein intake today has been negligible, and the surgeon said that was okay, but it's important to work it back into my diet.

Another thing that surprised me: HUNGER. Oops! Well, how couldn't you be hungry after not eating for several days? I am quickly satisfied, but the hunger comes back in quickly, too. And oh, yes, when my friend had her afternoon snack of chips and salsa both days, did I EVER want to dive into them, too! We've decided that salsa qualifies as a soft food, so I'll be working on incorporating it back into my diet in a couple weeks. But no, the surgery did not turn me into a robot who does not experience hunger. :) At least what I've wanted has been good stuff: salsa, or when she talked about dinner for tonight (french dip with au jus and salad, yum) my tastebuds were totally turned on. On our way back to my house, we stopped at the store and bought me au jus mix so I can have my own little yummy broth sometime.

Erg, I did also mix a pack of unflavored protein into two small cans of spicy V-8 and work on it that first day at my friend's. Hmm. I'm not a giant fan of V-8, anyway. The protein powder thickened it but didn't alter the taste too much. I worked on it all day and have probably burned myself out on V-8 for awhile.

Bit by bit, it will all work out! I am feeling really good, I think I look good and healthy (my color is right, and such). I am looking forward to my weight loss surgery support group next week. Tomorrow, I'll work on my protein intake, and maybe drive up to the mall to walk around. I am dutifully checking in with my parents at least once a day. :)

Ok, We All Knew Recovery Wasn't a Walk in the Park

:) But it ain't so bad, either. I am home now, resting comfortably in my own bed. My friend loaned me a wedge-shaped pillow. I highly recommend this little luxury! It is nice for propping you up at a good angle. In the hospital, they made me sleep at a 30 degree angle, to prevent gastric fluids from roaming into my throat. I don't think that precaution is necessary at this stage, but it is a much more comfortable angle for me right now. Plus, it's a breeze for watching tv, which I plan to do a lot of. :) surgery was bright and early Tuesday morning. Everyone remarked at how calm I was, and excited to get it done. Secret: not calm - nervous. But I tend to think your attitude defines your experience, so I pushed the nerves aside and went into the surgery 100% enthusiastic and ready to go.

My surgery was at 7:30-ish, not sure exactly when it occurred. I was out of the recovery room and into my own room by 11:00 a.m. I was in pain, but not a tremendous amount of pain. The pain was only in one area: the bigger hole where they extracted the excess stomach. Ew. That particular cut is also dimpled in funny on my belly. The surgeon said it won't stay that way, but if it does, it's a small price to pay.

By 3:00 p.m. the day of surgery I was begging them to let me get out of bed. Argh! The IV, the catheter, the cords, the doting parents staring at me...too much, too much! They let me get up shortly after 3:00 p.m., and everyone remarked that was pretty early to be moving around. For me, it was the right thing. I started my two-day odyssey of wearing a path around the hospital floor.

I was still pretty perturbed about the painful incision site. It's so funny! I did not feel like I had surgery at all. My body felt fine, my head felt fine, etc. But this one spot on my stomach hurt like hell. I told the nurses I had two children without drugs (actually three, but it wouldn't have been fitting to take drugs for my third one, since we adopted him, so my labor experience was all cheering on and supporting the birth mom). I see no need to be a drug-free hero at this juncture in my life. :) So I kept myself pretty doped up with the morphine dispenser. Oddly, there was one medicine that I could only have a couple times - it was non-narcotic, it was in the ibuprofen family, and because of it being an NSAID, they were pretty stingy with the dosing. But *that* one was the one that worked!

At any rate, the pain was never too extensive. Certainly not much of a deterrent to the operation. I slept much of the day, I walked around with my catheter and IV cart, I sat up in the chair in the room.

Remember that, if you are planning your own surgery. Pull yourself up by your little bootstraps and take charge of your recovery. There were two other women who had surgery that day (not sure which procedure). One was significantly older than me, one my age or younger. The nurses had a hell of a time getting both of them out of bed. I heard the nurse tell another at one point, "Fifteen minutes - I told her in fifteen minutes she's getting out of that bed one way or another." It is so important to keep your body moving. Blood clots are scary. Plus, I think once you are managing your recovery instead of being managed by it, you feel stronger and more able to get well.

I slept fine the first night, although the heparin shots every eight hours are a bit of a downer. Why did I think I only got one of these?? Nope - every eight hours. I declined to have them in my stomach after being told I could have them in the back of my arms. Only one nurse was in tizzies about that during my whole stay. She was also the one who ground it into my flesh - after I was told by the first nurse who gave me my first shot that they shouldn't rub it in. Meanie. Anyway, I had several of them. They are sneaky in that you don't even feel it go in, then it gets to stinging. When I was on morphine, I didn't feel the heparin shots at all, nor the stinging. And at its worst, it wasn't too bad.

The next morning, I was given the opportunity to drink 60ccs of water per hour. ROFLMAO!!! As if!!  Oh my, I worked SO HARD on that little 2 oz cup of water (they put 2 oz in three cups lined up on my table). Nuh-uh. Couldn't do it. Oh, my stomach hated me for trying! It hurt, it felt like I swallowed a tennis ball. Slowly, slowly, slowly, I choked down several ounces. Because if I did it - I GOT TO HAVE MY CATHETER OUT! Yay!! That afternoon they took out the IV and catheter and I was a free woman. But they also started bringing me laughably huge portions of food: 1/2 cup broth, 1/2 cup sugar free jello, 1/2 cup diluted fruit juice. Oh boy - I never even put a dent in the meals, and another one would arrive before I had barely started on the first. That was a little silly. I did, however, manage to take in a few ounces of water - per DAY, not per HOUR. It was tough going.

Second day I took a shower, walked the halls much more. Watched TV. Watched my parents stare at me. Sigh. My mom actually had my dad drop her off on his way to work, so she was there when I woke up at 6:00 a.m. :) It is good to be so loved. Annoying, but good.

My ex brought up the kids to the hospital that night, but I had him stop at the library and pick up a book for me on his way. I had every intention of starting to read it but it hasn't happened yet. Now, I know my kids came up - I don't remember much of the visit other than they saw I was fine, I saw they were fine, we all hugged and they went home. I was pretty drugged still. My ex has the kids for a couple weeks after my surgery date, but I have checked in daily with my oldest (my daughter turns 12 next month).

Funny sideline - I told my girlfriend today that everytime I check my phone, my friends have blown it up with texts and voice mails asking how I'm doing. My daughter's message, though, says, "Guess what super-spectacular me did today??" Uh, she is coping well without me, I think.

So...I was discharged from the hospital mid-afternoon Thursday. I felt fine, save a bit tired and the one painful incision. My friend picked me up and took me to her place, where she had fixed me up a spare room and I had my own private bathroom. I got a prescription for liquid oxycodone, which we filled on the way home. I stayed with her for two nights, and just returned to my own home late this afternoon. I am comfily propped up on the wedge pillow I borrowed, and I am all set to watch tv for the rest of the night.

Last night, my friend and I went to the mall and walked around for quite awhile. Probably close to two hours. It felt great doing it - and then I was as tired as hell. I came home, took my oxycodone, and went to bed! Slept great and woke up this morning and took it easy all day. She lives on a little ranch with her husband, so both days I gathered eggs, helped her lead the horses out to the pasture, and made myself uber-comfy on the couch while she doted on me. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Recuperation! Yay!

I'm going to keep this brief, because although I was warned many times, if you touch the nausea patch behind your ear and then rub your face or eyes, you will dilate your eyes - and they will stay that way for a long time! I can see everything distance, but I can't read or type worth a damn. Hope this goes away soon!

The sugery was a great success! I am feeling very good. The nurse at the hospital said I win the award for best looking post-surgery ever! :) I was up and around as soon as I could be, about 3 hours after I left the recovery room.

I got discharged yesterday afternoon and I am hanging out at my friend's house for a couple days. We are kicking back watching the America's Next Top Model marathon. I don't expect I'll want to take any pain meds today.

I am, however, learning the hard way that you *must* take tiny sips! I took a regular sized drink while I was yapping with my friend, and it sat (still sits) in my stomach like a ball of lead. Yuk!

Otherwise, all is well! Everyone said I did awesomely with the surgery - I feel really good. We're going out walking later, too.

I'll be back online soon!

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Chapter

Wahooooo! The big day is upon me! I got a call first thing this morning from the hospital. My check-in time is 5:20 a.m. Gulp. O' Dark-Twenty. Will I be able to sleep tonight? Probably. Experience tells me that I will have a hard time falling asleep, but then will sleep soundly and the morning will come upon me very quickly.

Let me just say that any nerves I felt about the surgery were beaten down this morning. I had my daughter take my "before" pictures in my swimsuit. OH MY! Yes, in reviewing those pictures...I am doing the right thing by having surgery. Eep.

I would post them here, but for two things: 1) before pictures are just kind of scary without a "Happily Ever After" picture to chase it down with! and 2) I can't find the camera cord to transfer the pictures off my camera. I stopped at Radio Shack last night to see if they had a replacement, but they didn't. I will have to chase one down at a camera shop, or, heaven forbid, find the cable, which I *know* is in the house somewhere.

Note to self: buy a label maker. My happiest, never lost, cables are the ones that I have labeled as to what they go to. Anonymous cables just get lost in a sea of cable anonymity.

My weight today was 256, so down about seven pounds on the liquid diet. This is good. It's not great, but it's down about where I was when I started seeing the surgeon at the end of September, and before I quit smoking twelve weeks ago. I feel like this is a respectable way to go into the surgery: shrunken liver via weight loss, no "last meal syndrome" weight to be ashamed of. My "small evening meals" typically could have been smaller, but with the exception of cheating with a hard boiled egg, my days have been purely liquid diet. Oh, I did have a couple soy chai tea lattes during the couple weeks - I decided those were infrequent enough as to be okay.

Anyway, so excited! I will be in the hospital for two nights, then away at a friend's for a night or two. My mom is really haranguing me to come stay at their house for a few nights. She is my mommy and she is worried about me. :) I, on the other hand, like to live in a cave when I am sick, and the thought of being away from my own bed, my own stuff, when I am not feeling well --- well, that's just icky. We'll see. Unfortunately, it is supposed to snow in the next day or two, and the Seattle area completely shuts down in the snow. I am afraid if it does snow, my parents will convince me to stay with them in case I need anything. Even though I live five minutes from the hospital and they live 45 minutes from it, and they are in a more rural area and their power *always* goes out in the storms and mine *never* has...blah blah blah.

Hopefully, the surgery will go very well and my recovery will be quick enough to be clear to my parents that I can, in fact, be trusted home alone. ;) My ex will take the kiddos after work tonight and bring them to the hospital tomorrow or the next day. He'll keep them for a couple weeks, although my 11-year-old will continue to come home after school and be picked up later.

Oh! And it's my birthday! What a wonderful way to start a new year!! I am BEYOND EXCITED. :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Good Day - Getting Close!

I tried to make this title something like "T minus three and counting" but truth be told, I do not understand that expression. What is "T"? Time? Probably. Anyway, I gave up. :) Three days until my surgery!

This morning I had an acupuncture appointment bright and early. She gave me pins and needles in all the places to prepare me for surgery, along with some yummy smelling aromatherapy oils applied to my ears, palms and tummy. It was nice! I have an appointment to go back next Saturday, to get post-surgery healing treatment. Does it work? I think so! And it feels good to lay on a heated massage table and relax. :)

I volunteer for the police department, going out on domestic violence calls and providing assistance to the victims. I did that today - it was a good shift. We were called out to a couple locations and I think provided some help and comfort. It's a good thing, too, because I was a terror on the police radio today!

1. I would make the world's worst police officer. I am claustrophobic, and wearing all that gear would drive me i-n-s-a-n-e. Just wearing the belt and radio is enough to give me fits.

2. Plus, I have a terrible knack for pushing the buttons inappropriately. I have not pushed the orange "EMERGENCY" button in awhile (I have pushed it twice, though: well, once me when I was juggling too much stuff in my arms, and once when we were watching a two-year-old at the precinct until CPS came. I knelt in front of her, she saw that big orange button and pushed it in the blink of an eye!). Dispatch when you push that button.

3. I did not push the orange button today, but I did push the MIC button, which they don't dislike as much, but still don't like. That one is just for if you are ready to speak. If you are not ready to speak, why are you pushing the button?? Because you are bad, that's why!

4. I logged us in as the wrong team this morning. Then figured that out mid-day and had my partner (who was radio) call us by the correct team number. Which did not exist, because we were logged in as a different team. Sigh.

5. The woman and children we assisted in the afternoon did not have a safe place for us to sit and talk, so we drove her to McDonald's. And I had my partner radio, "We are transporting two to McDonald's at (intersection)." Then when we got to McDonald's "We have arrived with two at McDonald's." When we got back to the precinct, later, the cops were asking us how we enjoyed the trip to McD's. This was silly, but then when I called to log us out and the next team in (the ones whose team number I had used) I was told we were still logged onto a call (McDonald's) and could not be logged out. So yes, I should have had her radio a third time, "We are all done at McDonald's!" Sigh. And then there was the matter of logging in the next team when I had stolen their number, and you can't log out one team and log them back in immediately!

6. I confessed to the dispatcher that I had been feeding her lies and misinformation all day long, and I would strive to do better next time. ;)

It was a good day, we worked with several nice officers and the domestic violence victims seemed to benefit from our services. I coaxed my partner out of her shell: we had never worked together but did our initial training together in 2009. She has been coasting, letting whomever her partner is take the lead, rather than handle the interventions herself! This is easy to understand, but puts you in a bad situation if both you and your partner are inexperienced leading interventions. They can be pretty tense: going into people's homes right after a violent fight, helping with children who have witnessed all this, etc. So I urged her to lead both interventions and handle the radio all day. She was nervous and stressed but did it very well. I told her that once I had come to terms with my role - I am there to help as best as I can, but cannot change her situation, and cannot "fix" things for her, I was so much more comfortable and thus able to enjoy the work. At first, though, I put such pressure on myself to not forget to tell them anything, to "save" them in such a short visit, etc. I think that only comes with experience, because now I don't get nervous before the interventions and don't stress about it.

Now I'm home and should be getting ready for the surgery! My kids will be home tomorrow afternoon, I work on Monday and check into the hospital at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday. (Ex- is taking the kids back Monday night.) Going out with friends after work on Monday for my birthday. That will be interesting since I can't eat, haha. So this is really my small window of opportunity to get packed and get the house ready so it's clean when I come home. Undoubtedly, though, I'll spend the time kicked back on the couch watching TV. :) It's been a long day!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Setting Fun Goals

I have been thinking today about goals I'd like to set for myself. I'm very gold-star oriented. :) So it will behoove me to have some fun goals in mind to mark my progress. I'll have to figure out a cute way of tracking them on the blog, too!

I am 63 inches tall and we're calling 263 my starting weight. It's a bit less than that now, but it has fluctuated, so I'm just picking a starting point!

Ideas so far:

- Weight limit of a Little Giant ladder (250 pounds)
- 25 pounds lost (238 pounds)
- 10% of body weight lost (236.7 pounds)
- Less than 100 pounds to lose (227.5 pounds)
- Passing from "Extremely Obese" to "Obese" (less than 40 BMI) (225 pounds)
- Weight limit to ride a burro into the Grand Canyon (220 pounds)
- 50 pounds (213 pounds)
- Breaking the two hundred pound barrier (199.9 pounds)
- BMI less than 35 (out of "Obesity Class II") (197 pounds)
- 75 pounds lost (188 pounds)
- Surgeon's Goal: 65% Excess Weight Lost (183 pounds)
- Reaching my driver's license weight (180 pounds)
- Passing from "obesity" to "overweight" (169 pounds)
- 100 pounds lost! (163 pounds)
- Beat the Surgeon's Goal 85% Excess Weight Lost (158.5 pounds)
- A buck and a half (150 pounds)
- Weight limit to ride a Razor scooter (143 pounds)
- Passing from "overweight" to "normal" BMI (140.5 pounds)
- Reaching goal weight (128 pounds)*

*So, I have to pick a goal weight, and I can't remember the last time I weighed anywhere in the 120s. I was trying to pick a number, and I decided, in honor of my good friend and motivator Kim, I would pick a BMI of '23,' her favorite number since the beginning of time, I think, or from her high school basketball jersey, at least!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Whole 'Nutha Level of Cheating

I am so slammed at work and home this week, getting ready for my surgery on 1/11. Remind me to come back and tell you how my request for donated leave (from friends!!) was denied by HR because it was deemed "elective surgery." Grr. I am confident that decision will be reversed shortly, but for many reasons, it really had me fuming yesterday. More later. Ask me what I think of my HR director and staff tucked away in their office, musing about the merits of my weight loss surgery and whether or not I should just "buck up" and go on a diet. ARRRRRRRRRRGHHHH! Not cool. I was trying to think of a more personal issue that would have to be presented to HR for them to evaluate and scrutinize, and I decided this is one of the most personal issues I could come up with, besides sex-change operation and HIV. Uh, leave me alone, HR, there's nothing that says you get to evaluate the merits of the nature of my medical leave in order to receive sick leave donations. The requirement is "certification from a medical provider."

Anyway, quick update: all is well, everything is moving forward nicely to my surgery on Tuesday. Just busy! Trying to leave my desk in good shape.

The main point of my post right now is that I let myself get over-hungry today and didn't have a cold shake to drink. So I "cheated" on my pre-op liquid diet and bought a hard boiled egg. Believe me when I say that a plain hard-boiled egg represents a whole new level of cheating for me, haha.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Musings on Psych Evals

Since I started my latest all-consuming hobby, reading weight-loss surgery blogs and forums, I've read a lot of concerns people have about psych evals, typically part of the pre-op regime you go through to get approved for surgery.

Now...I'm an open book. Online, in real life, I just don't have many secrets, so it never really occurred to me to be worried about the psych eval. But for posterity's sake, since I hope that one day this blog will be helpful to people considering or undergoing weight loss surgery themselves, I'll tell you my thoughts and experiences.

I went to the same clinic for a psych eval that I had gone to following my divorce. This was the clinic associated with the hospital I'll be having surgery. This clinic would not have been my first choice for the surgical eval, because, well, did I mention it's the same clinic I went to following my divorce?! :) The one that I went to and spilled my guts to a psychiatrist about every dark, sad, awful thought I'd had for the last couple years? Every admission that I did not think I could handle my life anymore, every throw-in-the-towel thought, every awful thing I'd done to my marriage to end it (ok, I didn't really do anything too awful, other than be a stark raving beeyatch to my husband - who, rather than having the cojones to address it, decided to just walk out on an eighteen year marriage - hell, yes, I am still angry!), every awful thing I'd done to myself following the divorce. This clinic, in other words, had SERIOUS DIRT on me.

I had sought out the clinic initially because I was having such a hard time adjusting to life as a single parent, had been so blindsided by my husband's departure, and had been so psychologically beaten and bruised over the last couple years...I decided I must be bi-polar, or borderline personality, or, or, or...

My psychiatrist was so wonderful. He set me right in no time flat. I had gotten divorced, I had been forced into bankruptcy (ex took the credit card debt in the divorce and I took the other stuff, then he bankrupted the credit cards, leaving me with all the non-bankruptable debt and unable to pay the credit card debt). I had lost my "dream job" (ex walked out on me and kids the day before I started new power job, completely, completely unexpected - I battled to keep new job but it is hard to impress people when you have the proverbial rug pulled out from under you and your three kids), I had lost my home (I sold current home and backed out of purchase of larger home when ex left). My kiddos had never been in daycare, my oldest went through horrible anxiety issues causing me to miss an ungodly amount of work, I spent three months unemployed, blah blah blah. I was not mentally ill, I was at the lowest point in my life, and I was having a very, very hard time getting through it. But, he emphasized repeatedly, I *was* getting through it.

Serious dirt. That clinic alone could kill any aspirations of a political career I had ever had, haha (I have no such aspirations).

So, when my surgeon said he was referring me to that clinic, and I could find a different one but this is the one that knows how to do the WLS psych evals, and does them quickly, etc. - I thought, what the heck. My psychiatrist at the clinic was no longer there, so I didn't even have the advantage of someone who knew me and knew I had worked through those issues.

This wasn't ancient history, either. My ex and I separated in March 2009, and I filed for divorce as quickly as the law allowed, and our divorce was final in August 2009.

I had my eval appointment, and it went very well. I am a terribly candid person, so I had no qualms about describing my current state of mind, as compared to the time following the divorce. I have my ups and downs, but all in all, life is pretty good. I had gone off the anti-depressants since I had been to the clinic last, so I had a few months med-free under my belt to further illustrate that I was feeling good.

The psych eval seemed to focus on these key issues: what will you do in place of food? what are your (hopefully reasonable) expectations of the surgery? what sort of support system do you have in place?

That's it, and that's all. The doctor was checking to make sure I had a clear understanding that this was not a magic wand, that my weight issues and the issues that led me to be overweight were not going to go away by themselves. We talked a lot about  how I would spend the time I currently spent eating, why it was that I had gotten so terribly overweight, what I thought post-surgery life would be like.

I explained that I wasn't expecting my 40+ year old body to become my 20-year-old body just because I took off the weight. I think I have reasonable expectations of the surgery, and a reasonable expectation of the amount of hard work I will have to do to maximize its success. I'm aware of the risks and the trade-offs. There is no reversing this surgery, so whatever its results, I've got to be positioned to accept it and make the most of my life. No changies or take-backs!

I think that's all the psychiatrist wanted to hear. I want to say that if I could pass the psych eval, then anyone could, haha, especially given that thick file of mine in the evaluating doctor's hand. But it's more than that - I think I'm proof that if you have good, solid, realistic expectations of the surgery and its risks, as well as what it will and will not do for you, you'll pass the psych eval just fine. So rather than say anyone could pass it because *I* did, I'll say that you shouldn't worry about what demons lurk in your past - if you have dealt with them and are well-positioned to succeed with the surgery, you will not be tripped up by the exam.

Good luck! We've all got our scars from life and none of us are perfect. I have been open with my doctors about my times of crisis, because I wanted to deal with them and move past them! It's nothing to be ashamed of, and as long as you are always working hard to keep life moving forward, your weaknesses won't keep you from achieving your goals.


I'm not much for New Year's resolutions. Many years ago, I got tired of making resolutions that I didn't keep, and then beat myself up about not keeping.

I have dreams, though. And with my surgery right around the corner, 2011 is on my lap like a shimmering gift, just filled with hope and promise and joy and expectations. I am *so* excited!

I think I'm having my surgery at the perfect time. 1/11/11 is a cool date, let's all admit. ;) That's a great start! It's right at the beginning of a new year, a brand spanking new year. And my 41st birthday is on 1/10, so my birthday is full of promise and self-love and taking care of me. Putting *me* on a path I haven't been on in a long time, investing in my own health and future.

I can't wait. There is so much that I am looking forward to!
  • Getting dressed. As it is, I hate getting dressed. Too-tight clothing is no fun! I want to get out of the shower, knowing that my clothes will fit or be too loose. No more walking around getting the kids ready for school with my jeans unzipped/unbuttoned, trying to 'break them in' before the big belly suck.
  • Boobs that stick out farther than belly.
  • My feet! Hello, feet, it's nice to look down and see you again!
  • Good bye, sour puss. I hope that it truly is from excess weight, haha, but I hate my carp-face dour look when I'm not smiling. Blech. Fortunately for me, I smile a lot, but whenever I see pictures of me in my "natural state," well...yuck. I am looking forward to seeing my features emerge from behind the fat.
  • Crossing my legs! Easily! With grace, not by pulling at my pant leg, and not like a man.
  • Not sweating! This will be another interesting one to see what changes with the weight. When I was thin, even, my face would sweat a lot. Especially if I was in claustrophobic-type situations. High school assemblies in the middle of the bleachers were the worst for me, I just get weird in a crowd. Anyway, so I have a known propensity to sweat (almost exclusively my face, oddly), but I am hopeful and confident that weight loss will help this immensely. It certainly can't hurt!
  • Pretty underwear!! 'Nuff said!
  • OMG - buying clothes in regular stores or the regular sections of stores. Even more fun, buying petite clothes in petite sizes! I am only 5'2", so I really do need to buy in petite sizes. Shopping for petite/plus-size sucks. I am happy to leave it behind!
  • Rollercoasters! And any carnival ride with my kids! We are going to have a BLAST at the Puyallup Fair this year!
  • Fitting easily into restaurant booths, sitting next to someone at the movie theater and not feeling cramped and claustrophobic (my size has really become an aggravating issue for me when it comes to my claustrophobic tendencies).
  • Hugs.
  • Reduced pain and burden on my body. For pete's sake, everything hurts these days. When my boobs and belly shrink, my back will feel better, my knees and feet will feel better, etc.
  • Buying clothes, period. I used to like to dress cute and wear cute things. Now, I pretty much live in t-shirts and the same pair of jeans.
  • This is a ridiculous one that I probably shouldn't say out loud. Volunteering more. I volunteer for the police department, but when I work, I have to wear a belt and a police radio (thus, the belt). Yes, the prospect of putting on a belt and having that infernal radio smooshing into me is unfortunately enough to deter me from my shifts. (*blush*)
  • Remembering what I liked to do before eating became my number one leisure activity. I am excited, hopeful and scared to death about this one. What DID I like to do? How will I fill my time that isn't in front of the TV munching? I am excited to re-gain energy and rediscover my passion for life. It's always been there, it's just been hiding for a long, long time.
  • Positive effects on my children and our eating habits. I am going to drag my children, kicking and screaming, if need be, into my healthy eating lifestyle. I have been soaking up post-WLS recipes like a sponge, most especially from my favorite, The World According to Eggface. We are all going to make major changes, and I am excited!!
  • Men!! Oh, I'm ready to date again. My ex and I separated two years ago and it is time, baby. Come this summer, I will be out in the sun, feeling good about myself and looking forward to a new chapter in life.
  • This summer, nothing - I'm turning the page on a new chapter in life right now and I am all pins and needles with excitement to get it going! And I'm ending this post because Firefox + Blogger = oil + water and I am about to go nuts trying to get rid of the "stray bullets" in my post, haha.