Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Good Weekend and Other Musings

I had a very nice weekend, thank you! Friday night I saw "Contagion" - it was creepy. Don't touch me, you're all germy and will probably kill me! It was a good reminder to me, though, that I am completely unprepared for emergencies at our new home. It's time to stock the flashlights and batteries and all that good stuff. Always a good thing to do as fall and winter come our way. (Uh, the correlation here is that a lethal virus was going around the world, and there were runs on the grocery stores, etc. as people holed up in their houses for safety. Sometimes I forget to connect the dots when I write. Or speak.)

Saturday morning I got up semi-early and drove myself over to sunny eastern Washington, where I baked in the 80+ degree weather and hunted wineries. I didn't hunt too hard, though, because the roads were crawling with cops! It was the wineries' fall "Crush the Grape" festival, so it was easy pickin's for law enforcement. And since my license plate does actually say "IM HIGH," well, I don't want to get pulled over with wine on my breath. :) I try not to make their jobs too easy for them - where's the sport in that?

In one teeny little town, there are five wineries located on a cul-de-sac at the end of a dead end street. I thought I'd swing in there - but as I turned onto the dead end street, I noticed two cops sitting in lawn chairs at the *exit* to the street. Umm, I'll pass on the wine, thanks.

Sunday I did the police volunteer thing and, while it was a slow day, my partner and I got to watch Air Force One take off, since President Obama was in town for fundraising.

A nice weekend, all told! My eating was fine. I did buy pita chips and hummus for dinner on the way back, but the hummus hit my stomach hard and painfully. Maybe I shouldn't have bought the roasted garlic flavor (which had tons of garlic on top, that I stirred into the hummus). I did buy a small bag of chocolate-coated Chukar Cherries, which have been the bane of my existence this week and I've been making my coworkers eat them.

Perhaps not coincidentally, as I say this in the same breath as "chocolate-coated cherries," my weight loss is stalled again. I'm so over it. :) It will start up again - my eating is generally quite good, I would say. I think that my mental perception of my new physique is catching up to reality, because I am pretty much who I expect to see in the mirror now. Sometimes it still takes me by surprise. I am also experiencing a bit of a reality check with my new body - which I'm no longer simply seeing as "NEW AND IMPROVED" but also as "A WORK IN PROGRESS." Not even that long ago, I was thinking, "where on earth will 35-45 more pounds come from?" Now that I am growing accustomed to my weight loss, I think I am realistically seeing that yes, there is much more work to be done. All the mental trickery that goes on in your head from rapid weight loss is quite interesting - it's a surreal and difficult to describe feeling to no longer know your reflection in the mirror!

I'm at a crossroads, brought about by the change in seasons, among other things. I am a born hibernator. When the weather turns cold and gloomy, which is easily six months out of the year in Seattle, I am perfectly content to curl up on the couch with a blankie and a book. Or I'm content for about 3-4 months of that, then I spend the next 3 months or so battling depression and a deep desire to move far, far away. But those will be subjects for February 2012's blog entries, haha.

For now, I'm entering hibernation mode. So it's time to work on warding off the winter doldrums. First order of business: blood work. I need to call the hematologist that I saw for all the iron IV supplements. When my WLS surgeon ran my blood work last month, my iron was still lower than it was supposed to be, according to the hematologist's recommendations. And my vitamin D levels are still in the toilet. I have prescription iron supplements, which I do not take, because they give me such a freaking stomachache!

When it comes to vitamins and supplements, I'll confess that I just really suck at taking them. I have discussed this at length with my surgeon and have been appropriately chastised and admonished. Ugh, I hate them, though. And somewhat recently, I got cocky and took two calcium supplements at a time, and I think one got stuck in my sleeve, because I was HELLA NAUSEOUS for quite awhile. It was yucky.

Okay, so bloodwork. Supplements. Call hematologist, start taking supplements. Bah.

Exercise. Oh, look at you, Ms. Lazybones! Not doing those stairs too often these days, are you? I am still walking to the bus stop when I can, but realistically, that's only 1-2x a week. It's just over a mile, which isn't terrible, but it's pretty negligible in the grand scheme of things. I need to do more. I have been trying to rally myself into doing my "Performance 90" dvds (the precursor to P90X) early, early in the morning. This is the only consistent time I could work out every day. My kids come and go throughout the week and we have all sorts of obligations that make evenings a challenge. But if I can drag my ass up in the morning, it would help a lot.

Plus I need to kick my stairbuddy's butt and remind her that motivation is a two-way street. If I am not the one spurring us on, she is remarkably silent on completing our work out. Now that things have calmed down at work, it is a good time to run stairs again. I don't think I ever mentioned it on the blog, but time/time-monitoring is a high stress issue at work, and unfortunately my stair climbing had become quite the topic of conversation in the office (in a positive sense) but it led to me feeling very, very nervous about doing it - even though it was break time. Just not something I wanted to call undue attention to, and so I bagged it. Temporarily.

I feel like a broken record - it's not the first time I've blogged about wanting/needing to get my exercise back on track. It's one of those things that when I do, I feel great. When I stop, I am happy to stop and don't particularly miss it. But this is about changing lifestyles and creating new habits. Just do it, already. (There's a Nike shirt for you!)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

VSG Surgery and Ridiculous Whining

Thanks everyone for your comments on my earlier post about "VSG Surgery and Petty Grousing." :) I consider myself very lucky (most days, grr) to be greatly limited by the types of food I can eat. I am sure it helps my weight loss a lot! I'm developing all kinds of taboo/nuh-uh/not gonna eat that/not even worth trying food items that I really shouldn't be eating, anyway.

It's a process, though. When it comes to food and healthy eating, I am not exactly what you'd call a model student. Someone hand me the dunce cap?

I also suffer from "paralysis from analysis." Take now, for instance. I am hungry. I would just as easily be satisfied - hell, would probably be *more* satisfied - by a string cheese or a hard-boiled egg. Both of which I could easily bring from home and save myself lots of rupees. But nooooo. Even though I would be satisfied, I do not want a string cheese or a hard-boiled egg. Which I did not bring from home, even though both are currently in my fridge.

Nope, I want real food. But I am cheap, and broke, and ever-so-increasingly-cranky about spending money on food that I cannot eat. Currently, I am perusing the Specialty's website, where I am bitter about spending $7+ on a small salad, of which I could consume, oh, 1/4 of.

So what happens? I sit here, hungry. I will go to SBUX and get another hot tea refill. I will look at their new bistro lunches and they will appeal to me greatly, but I will curse their $7 price tag. (REALLY, SBUX - $7 for one of those little lunches??)

Hungry. Grouchy. Trying to adopt the attitude that eating a small portion of regular food and tossing (or saving) the rest is a small price to pay for such successful weight loss. And then I will growl at myself in irritation.

Fun Evening - Food and Wine

My friend and I went to an event that I saw on meetup.com for winos. Oops, but I completely forgot we were there for a meetup function and forgot to find anyone to say hello! That's okay.

It was at a wine storage facility in my hometown. For $20, we were treated to lots of samples from three wineries, plus yummy food that was paired with each wine.

OMG. So good. So fun! It was limited to 50 people, and I would say there was about that many packed into the tasting area. Very soon after we got there, my friend and I started chatting with another woman who was there alone...our age, single, loves to go to wine functions, etc. She actually "collects" wine - hmm, what does one do when one accumulates wine - collect it? So she had some actual interest in a wine storage facility. I, on the other hand, have one bottle of wine in my possession. It is in the trunk of my car, because that's where I left it when I took it from Nancy's house when we didn't open it at our last little party. My own portable wine storage facility.

Nancy thinks she has maybe six bottles of wine. We are not the target market of this particular business. But in posh Bellevue, there are potentially oodles of people who need to store wine in these really cool (literally and hipster) lockers.

So...yummy food and wine, met the nice lady. It turns out she is a cop and I am always happy to meet people who may not decide to give me a ticket if they pull me over for what could possibly sometimes be characterized as driving a teensy skoosh over the speed limit, or for maybe possibly having a cell phone device held to my ear while operating a motor vehicle. Not that I have ever done those things, but if, in the rare event in the future, for some emergency situation, I did *have* to do those things...

Well! We had already identified her as a kindred spirit because a) wine and b) wine events, c) single woman liking to go out and have fun, and d) my friend worked for two big local police departments for many years and I volunteer for our police department and work for the government. We talked about a big wine expo in Seattle that she had gone to but we have not ($$$). I also mentioned that we didn't go because I had just had WLS this year and guess what?? She had gastric sleeve this year, too! COOL! We swapped stories of weight loss and eating and successes/challenges. This woman was just really nice - it was a treat to meet her, and we all swapped numbers and such and agreed to get together.

At the end of the night, they did a raffle. One basket of wine accessories - cool; two 12-person tasting parties - yay, I want one of those!; six months free wine storage - um, cool but not applicable. Nancy told our new friend that if she won, she'd give her (new friend) the certificate. I thought the same thing, because, really, what am I going to do with it?

Nancy won! It was great, because everyone around had heard us talking about their deal, so our half of the room cracked up when Nancy won. Our new friend was very happy and we all agreed to avail ourselves of the beautiful tasting room at the facility to share wine and food. (You can come there, drink your own wine, bring your own food, and just hang out in the beautifully appointed room.)

A very fun night for only $20, and we came away with a new friend, to boot.

Edited to add: Wow! When I was posting about the raffle, I had intended to say that I made sure we hung around til the drawing because I am uber-super-lucky when it comes to raffles. And elevators and parking spots. These are my gifts. :) So when I enter a raffle, I feel like I have extra tickets in the mix! My son Blake also wins raffles, and daughter Alli won one at the grocery store this summer (Uhhh, a giant basketball pop-a-shot game - a blessing and a curse). Anyway, I forgot to say that in the original post - and I just figured my luck had rubbed off on to Nancy, who said she never, ever wins raffles.

Well - as I was writing the post, I got a text from my great buddy Kim at 23imaginaryfriends.blogspot.com and guess who won her drawing for the Stillpower book giveaway? Moi!! See, my positive raffle energy was floating in the universe and gave me both the book I really wanted to read (and had put on hold at the library on Kim's recommendation) *and* connections to a new friend with lots of wine. Life is good!

Friday, September 16, 2011

VSG Surgery and Petty Grousing

Hey! Thanks for the nice comments on the last couple of posts, everyone! :) I am always so happy to see that people are reading. As far as the bitchy coworker and her interrogation: after she asked about Weight Watchers, I became terribly distracted by another coworker walking by and *had* to talk to him. Right that moment. "Catch ya later - I've been looking for so-and-so all day!" Then I just walked off with him and thanked him for the rescue. We have all been subjected to the oddities of that particular coworker. I won't go into details but my yardstick I use with regard to her is whenever you have three coworkers spontaneously flip you off as you turn your back and walk away - you are a bit challenging for your coworkers to endure, haha.

I'm really, really glad I had my VSG surgery. I really, really am. And HULLO - have you seen how successful it's been for me? I wouldn't change that for anything.


Every once in awhile I'll get a little down - or not even down - maybe just frustrated. Frustrated at the lengths I had to go to to control my weight issues. To not just *lose* weight, but to stop *gaining* weight! Here I am eight months post-op, and I gotta tell ya something.

Sometimes it's a real drag. It's always what I expected, and it's always what I wanted, but it is sometimes a real drag.

VSG surgery has pretty much taken away any ability to enjoy junk food, for instance. And almost all sweets. And pretty much any spicy food. And ice cream. And pop. Breads. A lot of dairy.

Basically, I can eat whole foods. Meats. Veggies. Fruits - although honestly I seldom do - I just am not a fruit eater.

I think this is more in the forefront of my mind the last week or so because I've been stressed out, and I am simply not allowed to turn to food to handle my emotions. I know - because I've tried! And all I get is a terrible bellyache in the process.

Here's the positive spin of my whininess: I'm a VSG-mandated, lifelong-committed foodie. Darn it all, that surgery has forced me to eat high quality food. Yummm. If eating crap makes you feel bad - then eating the good stuff will make you feel good! This is a good way for everyone to live, but WLS has just made it abundantly clear to me. And it enforces my choices, too.

Yesterday (oh hell, and this morning, too) I tried to eat Cheez-Its. My stomach *hates* Cheez-Its! The day before that, I bought a lemon poppyseed mini bundt cake from Specialty's. Cream cheese icing. I got a couple bites in before I was ill, and had a horrible rumbly tummy. A couple weeks ago I went to see "The Help." I was dying for movie theater popcorn, and I bought a kid size. My stomach does not like or want movie theater popcorn. :) My brain and mouth did, but my stomach thought it was a really terrible idea. My. stomach. does. not. want. this. crap.

Well, that's great! It's just a matter of learning to make the right choices: what tastes good is not necessarily going to feel good. Slowly, surely, I'm forcing myself into these good choices. It isn't easy - I'm a terribly slow learner in this regard and I have had many years' practice letting myself eat whatever I want.

I'm going to keep learning, though, and keep practicing food planning and cooking yummy delicious meals that I actually enjoy. Luckily for me, I love pretty much all vegetables* and love, love, love good high quality food.  (*Eww, mushrooms. I can accept them under limited circumstances.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Breaking Barriers

First off, let me say, I have a super-wonderful group of friends that I love, love, love to death. I am beyond lucky in this regard.

I need some more. :)

I've got my "family," my little core group of besties that I spend most of my free time with. They are my family, and we, collectively, are also the Spinster Sisters. And not 'cause we be up in the gym, workin' on our fitness. We do the same thing: go out together and not meet anyone else. This is fine, we always have a lot of fun. I do not want it to be the backbone of my 20-year-plan, however. Or maybe it's okay if my besties are the backbone of the plan - as long as I've got some good, strong ribs branching off in other directions!

Then I've got my "marrieds." My best girlfriends who are wrapped up in their own busy lives, and we generally hang out at work or the occasional weekend/evening activity. Even our families don't overlap much - in most cases our kids are different ages and different interests, etc.

I've got a couple "specialized," too. :) Two guys (who collectively make up my perfect man - sadly one is married and the other gay) who go to art functions with me, alone or all together. My married girlfriend who is always up for my NPR events that I love so much. Thank GOODNESS for her, because I *need* to go to these events and I tell you, nothing vexes me more than being unable to find someone to go with me. She just bought our tickets to "Fran Lebowitz and Dan Savage - A Night of Conversation." It's in March 2012! I do not know Fran Lebowitz, but I seriously loves me some Dan Savage (like super-crushin'-on-the-gay-guy) love. :) Oh, that man is smart and funny and sassy and opinionated and he just cracks me up.

Anyway - where was I going with this? Oh yes, wonderful friends, love them to pieces. However, it's time to branch out. I am opposed to ruts and routines, and I have decided that I really, genuinely just hate online dating, and thus, it is time for me to meet new people.

Months ago, I started using meetup.com. What a fascinating site! I just learned it was started in response to 9/11. The originator wanted to capitalize on the sense of loving our fellow Americans and wanting to build community that we were all feeling after the attacks. So meetup.com was born: a website with groups based on specific interests (OMG - are there ever a ton of interest-groups!). A fun, free way to meet other people (it's not a dating site) who share your interests. I highly recommend checking it out. There are lots of singles groups, but there are even more non-singles groups.

Well, I didn't actually "start using" meetup.com, because although I am not shy, I am intimidated about showing up to do stuff with a bunch of strangers. I have been tracking several groups for months, thinking about attending functions. I *did* take the kids on a single-parent meetup this summer when we went whale watching. It was a very fun day and while I didn't go out of my way to meet people, it was nice to be surrounded by gobs of other single parents.

Last night I went with one of my art friends to the Seattle Art Museum for an artists' reception (READ: free food and cocktails). This had me feeling happy and social, then he packed me off to my first meetup.com event on my own. It's a group of Seattle singles who like food. :) I am a Seattle single who likes food! This group just picks restaurants around the city and goes and eats there. Usually small groups of 6-10, but last night was the monthly meeting with 30 or so people. The organizer was really good - I think that makes all the difference. When I walked into the restaurant, he was watching for people wandering in looking dazed and confused, and he stood up and greeted me, then immediately introduced me around.

I met the nicest people! Nice professionals, like me. I say this because I was very worried they would be weirdo losers and I would have to then face my own weirdo-loser status. It was a very fun evening and I will not hesitate to go again. I am feeling rather encouraged today about my ability to get out and have a blast, whether or not my own group of friends is available to join me.


Well, if you know me, you know I'm an open book. So it is pretty difficult to make me feel "invaded." But yesterday a coworker did it, blech.

She's a decent sort - but not my cup of tea. CLEARLY she just heard that I had weight loss surgery, and she wanted to talk about it. But the way she approached me also made it clear that she didn't want to talk about it, she wanted me to "admit" I had weight loss surgery. (Umm, okay, the fact that I have chatted openly about it in staff meetings, in little groups, pretty much whenever the subject comes up...this is no earth-shattering revelation she was trying to drag out of me.)

"Hey," she called out. "You look like you've lost some weight."

"Thanks," I said, smiling.

"How are you doing it?" (Knowing look.)

"Oh, lots of exercise and eating changes - my friend and I climb the stairs in the whole building every day." (That has turned into a bald-faced lie, and we need to do something about it, and quick!)

"Yeah, that would help. What else?"

(Okay, at this point, you couldn't stick bamboo under my fingernails and make me admit I had WLS. In fact, I'd deny it.)

Awkward pauses between us.

"Are you doing Weight Watchers or something?"

Okay - I'm not playing any more. :) Talk about yer inquisitions. Of course, I can't convey her tone or the odd smile or the posture here. Suffice to say she had a cat-that-ate-the-canary look about her and she was hell-bent on getting me to talk about WLS. Which I would *happily* do under almost any circumstance, and *have* done here at work more than a bazillion times in the last 8+ months.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stillpower Book Giveaway

This giveaway over at Kim's blog warrants its own special little entry, because it sounds very much in line with everything I blathered about in this entry on my own blog!

Check it out!

Monday, September 12, 2011

8-Month Pics and Update

Another month has gone by! Wow - I would have said that I had stalled out over the last month, but that just shows what a bizarre mindset I have. ;) I'm down 92 pounds overall and six pounds this month. Woohoo!

Okay, I hesitate to point any fingers at myself for shortcomings in this process, but there are a couple:
  • I'm not waiting to drink after I eat anymore. I like to drink when I eat, and it doesn't seem to affect me negatively, and I'm not sure how much I care that I'm not following the rules in this regard. I am mulling it over.
  • I've gotten into a bit of a pattern where I am (not) eating like a champ all week, then cutting loose on the weekends. Now, my definition of "cutting loose" is extremely different after WLS than it was before, so I am not too regretful. But I am regretful enough that come Monday morning, I have started having "come to Jesus" talks with myself about being back on task. If I were to track my eating on the weekends, I would say it is under 2,000 calories but not by much. I'm not terribly concerned with this, except that on Saturday, my eating during the daytime was flat out "eating for the sake of eating." This was disconcerting. I have been under a lot of stress, though, so I knew where it was coming from. The scale was actually up a few pounds this morning (which does not count, because in my world, pounds gained do not detract from overall pounds lost).
The good stuff:
  • Darling, you look MAHV-elous! Ninety-two pounds, that's nothing to shake a stick at. This week, roughly, I'll get out of this nasty "obesity" category, and that makes me HAPPY! And look how incredibly close 92 pounds lost is to 100 pounds lost! AMAZING!
  • That's Kim's old shirt I'm wearing in the picture, which was taken today, one day after my official 8-month anniversary. I am quite boobalicous in it, as you can see! And today I am not wearing my customary spandex-y cami underneath, so I was very unhappy with my flabby belly in all the pictures. Even so, I feel great!
  • At 8 months out, all is well. I am still losing quite a lot of hair, but I have desensitized about it, haha. My nails have grown back in better. I do not take biotin, but I am still regularly promising myself that I will start doing it.
  • I can eat more, portion-wise, so I do have to be careful. Honestly, I have fallen into a pattern of not eating throughout the day. My nutritionist would shudder. But I drink a bazillion cups of hot tea that I put about 3 ounces of whole milk in each time...and one time during the day I use half-and-half. Then I eat a regular dinner with the kids. It is working for me right now, so I'm not stressing about it. I think I'm getting plenty of fats and calories. Of course, if I am hungry, I eat - it's not so much a plan as just what it has turned out to be lately.
  • I am coaxing, coaxing, coaxing myself into making my new passion be my fitness. It is a long, slow, laborious and painful process to coax myself into this passion. But I think if I can get there, I can use my time productively. :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Breathin' Down Your Neck, You Chubby Bunny!

*pant, pant*

I am coming for you, oh magical 169 pounds that will forever free me from the ugly "obesity" label. I am coming for you, and I am going to pass you right by on the way down!

Kah-razy!! You know, the weight loss is so difficult to grasp sometimes...my mom asked me the other day how much I've lost. Without thinking, I said, "79 pounds." Yah - like a long time ago, haha. As I was typing out 169 pounds above, I started backspacing to change it to "269." Me. I almost weigh 169 pounds. It has been forever.

Also, I am trying really hard to give myself credit where credit is due. When I weighed 171 the first time around, I felt FAAAAAATTTT! And so I hated on myself at 160, 170, 180...all the way up to the high two hundreds. When I was nine months pregnant with my now 10-year-old, I weighed 275 pounds. I was scraping that weight again shortly before surgery. I considered it inevitable that I would bypass the 300 pound mark.

Poor baby. :(

Now, I'm checking out my 171 pound frame and dah-um, girl, you are hot! Shake that bootie! Work it, mama! I am pushing myself to actually *see* my success, to let myself really see how much I've changed. I still get freaked out about "will I fit in that bus seat," "am I too big to squeeze onto the crowded elevator," etc. Yesterday at lunch I wanted to walk into Banana Republic. There is a huge mental hurdle preventing me from looking at these "regular" stores.

My commute ends in an underground bus tunnel with an impossibly long, steep, narrowest-you've-ever-seen-escalator to the surface. Really too narrow to politely pass people. So if someone gets on in front of you and stands still, everyone behind them stands still for the whole ride. Generally, people continue walking up the escalator, since, besides being long, it is interminably slow. So as the crowd heads from the bus platform to the escalator, there is always a LOT of jockeying for position. You see people trying to civilly "outwalk" others who they are guessing will block the escalator rather than walk up.

Here are a couple pictures of the impossibly long and narrow escalators themselves!
Back in the day when I was obese (I am already trying on my pending "overweight" status, haha) I always walked up the escalator, but I knew people were speeding past me to get on the escalator first. Now I'm one of the quick walkers. And you KNOW I can rock some stairclimbing, baby!!

This morning, however, I was judged as an escalator blocker (my ex and I used to call these PSD's, or "Professional Slower-Downers", on the roads or malls or wherever) by a man who was speeding to get past me. I let him. It's my new "Be Present" lifestyle. I'm enjoying my walk to work. (Ha!)

And when we got to the top of that long escalator and then had to climb the steep block up toward our common destination - I smoked him on that hill. Show you, buddy. And I was wearing my cute sandals. :)

Finally, sorry to report I missed another WLS support group meeting. It occurred to me that my massage appointment was at 5:00 p.m. and I had splurged with a NINETY MINUTE MASSAGE, and the support group meeting started at 6:00 p.m. In another city. After I took a bus ride to my car. It would have been after 7:00 p.m. before I got there, and the meeting ends at 8:00 p.m. I could have done it, but decided to treat myself to the art museum instead.

Which was...meh. After Picasso and Nick Cave's Soundsuits this year, they were due for a dud. I'm sure others enjoyed it, haha. But I did go to the museum bar beforehand for a glass of wine and a bite to eat. I'm trying to make myself do stuff like that by myself. I can go to the museum by myself easily, but sitting at a bar alone? Eeep. I want to read, or fuss with my iPhone. But I don't have an iPhone anymore. *sob*

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Boredom and Enneagram Personality Testing

Last week, a friend mentioned she is a "type six." Uh, what does that mean? She explained it's a type of personality testing called "enneagram." (any-a-gram) Her husband is a psychologist. I started looking into it online and have been fascinated. I picked up a couple books from the library about it, too.

I'm a hard-core "type seven - the enthusiast" with a side of "type eight - the leader." (oops, from that one I draw a lot of the anger and aggression type issues.) But I'm very much a Seven:

We have named this personality type The Enthusiast because Sevens are enthusiastic about almost everything that catches their attention. They approach life with curiosity, optimism, and a sense of adventure, like “kids in a candy store” who look at the world in wide-eyed, rapt anticipation of all the good things they are about to experience. They are bold and vivacious, pursuing what they want in life with a cheerful determination. They have a quality best described by the Yiddish word “chutzpah”—a kind of brash “nerviness.”

Although Sevens are in the Thinking Center, this is not immediately apparent because they tend to be extremely practical and engaged in a multitude of projects at any given time. Their thinking is anticipatory: they foresee events and generate ideas “on the fly,” favoring activities that stimulate their minds—which in turn generate more things to do and think about. Sevens are not necessarily intellectual or studious by any standard definition, although they are often intelligent and can be widely read and highly verbal. Their minds move rapidly from one idea to the next, making Sevens gifted at brainstorming and synthesizing information. Sevens are exhilarated by the rush of ideas and by the pleasure of being spontaneous, preferring broad overviews and the excitement of the initial stages of the creative process to probing a single topic in depth.

Devon, a successful business woman, shares with us some of the inner workings of her Seven mindset.
“I am definitely a list person. It’s not really for memory since I have a great memory. It’s more for down-loading information so that my mind won’t spin on it. For example, I was at a concert where the tickets were hard to get and very expensive. I couldn’t sit through it. My mind was torturing me with the things I needed to do. Finally, I had to get up and leave. This was very upsetting to the person I went with and I missed a good show.”
Sevens are frequently endowed with quick, agile minds, and can be exceptionally fast learners. This is true both of their ability to absorb information (language, facts, and procedures) and their ability to learn new manual skills—they tend to have excellent mind-body coordination, and manual dexterity (typewriting, piano playing, tennis). All of this can combine to make a Seven into the quintessential "Renaissance person."

Ironically, Sevens' wide-ranging curiosity and ability to learn quickly can also create problems for them. Because they are able to pick up many different skills with relative ease, it becomes more difficult for them to decide what to do with themselves. As a result, they also do not always value their abilities as they would if they had to struggle to gain them. When Sevens are more balanced however, their versatility, curiosity, and ability to learn can lead them to extraordinary achievement.

The root of their problem is common to all of the types of the Thinking Center: they are out of touch with the inner guidance and support of their Essential nature. As with Fives and Sixes, this creates a deep anxiety in Sevens. They do not feel that they know what to do or how to make choices that will be beneficial to themselves and others. Sevens cope with this anxiety in two ways. First, they try to keep their minds busy all of the time. As long as Sevens can keep their minds occupied, especially with projects and positive ideas for the future, they can, to some extent, keep anxiety and negative feelings out of conscious awareness. Likewise, since their thinking is stimulated by activity, Sevens are compelled to stay on the go, moving from one experience to the next, searching for more stimulation. This is not to say that Sevens are "spinning their wheels." They generally enjoy being practical and getting things done.

Frances, a successful business consultant, sounds more energetic than is humanly possible—and yet, she is a typical Seven:
“I am highly, highly productive. At the office, I am joyful and my mind is running at its best. I might create several marketing campaigns for a client, work on the outline for an upcoming seminar, talk out a difficult problem with a client on the telephone, close two deals, make a project list, dictate a few letters and look up to see that it’s 9:30 a.m. and my assistant is coming in to start our work for the day.”
Second, Sevens cope with the loss of Essential guidance by using the “trial and error” method: they try everything to make sure they know what is best. On a very deep level, Sevens do not feel that they can find what they really want in life. They therefore tend to try everything—and ultimately may even resort to anything as a substitute for what they are really looking for. (“If I can’t have what will really satisfy me, I’ll enjoy myself anyway. I’ll have all kinds of experiences—that way I will not feel bad about not getting what I really want.”)

We can see this in action even in the most trivial areas of their daily lives. Unable to decide whether he wants vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry ice cream, a Seven will want all three flavors—just to be sure that he does not miss out on the “right” choice. Having two weeks for a vacation and a desire to visit Europe brings a similar quandary. Which countries and cities to visit? Which sites to see? The Seven’s way of dealing with this will be to cram as many different countries, cities, and attractions into his vacation as possible. While they are scrambling after exciting experiences, the real object of their heart’s desire (their personal Rosebud, as it were) may be so deeply buried in their unconscious that they are never really aware of precisely what it is.

Furthermore, as Sevens speed up their pursuit of whatever seems to offer freedom and satisfaction, they tend to make worse choices, and they are less able to be satisfied because everything is experienced indirectly, through the dense filter of their fast-paced mental activity. The result is that Sevens end up anxious, frustrated, and enraged, with fewer resources available to them physically, emotionally, or financially. They may end up ruining their health, their relationships, and their finances in their search for happiness.

Gertrude is busy establishing her career and family now, but she looks back at how this tendency contributed to her getting a rough start in life.
“There wasn’t anything to do at home or in the tiny Southern town I grew up in. I was dying to get out of it and go someplace more exciting. When I was 16, I started dating, and before long I got pregnant, but the father didn’t want to marry me—which was okay since I didn’t want to marry him, either. It wasn’t too long before I found somebody else, and we got married, and I got to move to a larger city. But it didn’t really work out the way I wanted because after I had the baby, we broke up and I had to move back home. I stayed there for a year or two to get my feet on the ground. When things were looking bleak, I married someone else. I’m 19 now and I guess I’ve done a lot already.”
On the positive side, however, Sevens are extremely optimistic people—exuberant and upbeat. They are endowed with abundant vitality and a desire to fully participate in their lives each day. They are naturally cheerful and good humored, not taking themselves too seriously, or anything else for that matter. As we have seen, the Basic Desire of Sevens is to be satisfied, happy, and fulfilled, and when they are balanced within themselves, their joy and enthusiasm for life naturally affect everyone around them. They remind us of the pure pleasure of existence—the greatest gift of all.

This is just a little cut and paste from online, the books I have are less superficial of an explanation. But that's all largely true. Something about the first explanation of "my type" that I read online caught my eye: BOREDOM. Several places mentioned that for this type, boredom is seen as the ultimate punishment. Last week, before I read the Enneagram stuff, I blogged:
It's a lazy three-day weekend here. The kids are with their dad, and I really don't have any plans! This is both a good thing and a bad thing. I have yet to really fill up my free time on holiday weekends since the divorce, so it can be a melancholy thing for me. Or I can get busy and be glad for the extra time away from the office! I'm trying to push it in that direction, of course.
I can't process boredom. For me, boredom leads to depression, so I have to keep myself very busy, or I start down a dark path. But, one of these books spoke to my heart when it said (paraphrasing) you get to doing too many things and not focusing on any of them, then you don't derive pleasure from them, so you get more and more frustrated because you're doing all these fun things but not having fun...so your life must suck.

Uh, that's me in a nutshell. One book advised that what I really need to do is "BE PRESENT." In every moment, so I can focus on it, enjoy it, and learn to be satisfied.

The point of this whole blog is that I am kid-free and friendless tonight, and I have been in a mini-turmoil all day. I've got a 90-minute massage scheduled for 5:00pm (because I am just that good at self-care, haha). Afterward, I have a few options:

  • Go to art museum, see exhibit I've been wanting to see and it closes 9/11;
  • Go to WLS support group, of which I have not attended in a couple months;
  • Go to volunteer program open house to assist, of which I have already been politely turned down as they are fully staffed for the evening;
  • Phone a friend;
  • Go home and do my damn laundry.
Any of these options would be fine, but I am all spun out not being able to settle on any of them. Going home will leave me feeling unsatisfied and lonely, but I've got tons of stuff I could be doing there.  I also acknowledge that if I go home, I will not do any of those items.

So, I've printed out my art museum ticket (free, because I'm a member), I've emailed about the volunteer thing, I've confirmed on my calendar that WLS support group is tonight. And I've gotten more and more unhappy all day, not knowing what to do and not being happy with any of my options.

This is my new area of focus - being present. I am big on "I will be happy when..."
  • We move out of the little condo into a house
  • I lose weight
  • I get a boyfriend
  • I get a new job
  • etc, etc
I am trying to correct this behavior because I can get very down about not having a boyfriend - but I have had profiles on a couple online dating sites and the men I have talked to are such L-O-S-E-R-S and I know I will not go down that path...I genuinely would prefer being alone over having a boyfriend just to have one. So I know there's this internal restlessness I have to satisfy in myself somehow, or I'll just end up with a boyfriend and want to replace him (I feel this is a strong likelihood, anyway, haha, as something inside me that was jaded with my divorce is just not changing yet...).

Anyway. These are some of the thinks I think. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Say Goodbye to Ninety Big Ones!

Yeah, baby! That's 90 pounds gone for good! Thirty-three of those suckers to go. My coworker, sexy Sabrina, is my height (though she claims to be taller) and is right at my goal weight, so I was having fun imagining myself at her size this morning. We were online dress shopping.

I was a little bummed this weekend to have tried Victoria's Secret bras (at Sabrina's urging) and my cup size is just waaaaaaay too big to fit anything they have - even though the band size is totally fine now.

Extra skin and loose skin. Let's just say it. I had the opportunity to observe myself naked and on my hands and knees this weekend (Oh, come on! Don't tell me you WLS-peeps haven't done the same!). Uhhh, this is not an experience I relish sharing with anyone else anytime soon. It was pretty demoralizing, even though I wouldn't trade the NINETY POUNDS (fanfare! cheers!) for anything! Eek. My legs, which are in the best shape, I'd say, are deflated. Lots of wrinkly fallen skin. My stomach and breasts? Argh, don't ask. This body won't be in a bikini any time soon, I'll tell you that much. It's kind of horrifying. But like a car accident where you can't look away. I hope to marry a plastic surgeon and become his pet project.

Oh well. It's a small price to pay for all the success of getting the weight off. I'll just never let anyone see me naked again, or if I do, I'll make them sign a release form first. (Unless it's my new hubby, Mr. Plastic Surgeon.)

Kids are back to school (fanfare! cheers!) finally and I am glad for it. It's nice to get out of the lazy days of summer routine again. My iPeriod tracker app died with my iPhone, so I know I am in that ovulation timeframe but since I am not mortally wounding anyone...it must not be time yet. I fell short of using the progesterone cream every day as planned. Next cycle!

Oh - I look hot today. Sabrina and I both agree. Maybe I'll post a picture later. It is very fun, starting to have more days when I feel sexy and pretty than I do days where I feel frumpy and fat! I am realllllly pushing myself to dress so that I feel attractive, although it is a daily struggle with my casual self who really just wants to wear jeans and tennies. But I have found that my attitude (and my eating!) are infinitely better on days where I feel like I'm knocking it out of the park.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Gimme Some Sugar!

At the football game yesterday, my five six-year-old was so amused that a coach told a couple boys to "Gimme some sugar!" Reid was rolling - apparently he has heard this on Family Guy (a show that I abhore and do not allow the kids to watch, knowingly). He didn't get what it meant, though, so I was teaching him that if I say "Gimme some sugar!" he has to smother me with hugs and kisses. He was a mostly unwilling student. ;)

Anyway, this morning the scale decided to gimme some sugar! Down a couple pounds. Mercy, the weight loss has slowed to a crawl! I'm almost at 90 pounds, and creeping up on my next hugest milestone (after "Onederland) of passing from "obesity" to "overweight." This obesity label really sticks in my craw, I tell you.

I have been contemplating my shrinking body lately, and uh, it ain't pretty. I've got a lot of loose skin issues going on here. I am completely wracked with stretch marks. It's a bit of a bummer to lose all this weight and still be a little skeeved out by your own body. I am taking comfort in that fact that I still have a lot I want to lose, and I think things will continue to tighten up.

I tried on some clothes at Penney's and Target yesterday. I am trying to reprogram my mind to my new sizes. :) I grabbed all 12P jeans and pants, but ladies, I am happy to say that I just flat out wear size 10s. Not 12s. Wowowowowow!!! (I do have the one pair of jeans from Costco that are size 8s, but really that's just a vanity sizing anomoly, haha.)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mundane Details of My Life!

Nothing much happening this week. In an unfortunate blow, my poor little iPhone finally gave up the ghost and died yesterday. My two-year contract had expired on 6/21, and on 6/21 exactly, my iPhone started having seizures. It was a short circuit in the silent mode, and so the poor little thing just shuddered uncontrollably from time to time. And it was a steady decline from there. Not even sure what caused it to final keel over: one moment it was working, the next it was just dead. All I get is a white screen with lines, and calls go straight to voice mail. As you can tell, this is quite traumatic for me! I'm going in to the Apple store this afternoon to see if perhaps they'd like to replace it for me. I doubt it. But, they have done really wonderful customer service things for me in the past, so it can't hurt to stop in!

Amazing how dependent I am on that little phone, I have been all out of sorts since "the passing." *sniff.*

It's a lazy three-day weekend here. The kids are with their dad, and I really don't have any plans! This is both a good thing and a bad thing. I have yet to really fill up my free time on holiday weekends since the divorce, so it can be a melancholy thing for me. Or I can get busy and be glad for the extra time away from the office! I'm trying to push it in that direction, of course.

Oy. I drank too much last night. This is something I have struggled with since the surgery and weight loss. If I am not extremely careful, I will drink like I did when I was nearly 90 pounds heavier. This is not a good thing for me! Last night I had 2.5 glasses of wine, and I am feeling it today. I felt it last night, too, getting much more intoxicated than I ought to have been. Not good! Sunny days and wine, they are a real weakness for me. Throw in Friday afternoon before a three-day weekend, and I can quickly lose focus!

Today, my oldest son had his first football game. They got their clocks cleaned. :) The score was 31-0, Mercer Island. We are the Newport Knights. It was brutal, but I must say, my son looked really good out there. He is an offensive lineman. I do not know football, but we all agreed that Blake did a great job. I saw my former father-in-law, who fussed over me bunches about my weight loss and how good I'm looking, and that divorce obviously agrees with me, haha. X's girlfriend was there, and I know my kids can't stand her, but I just don't see a real problem with her on the handful of times we've met. She seems very pleasant, she seems to really like the kids, and she *knows* them, so she's not just going through the motions of tolerating them. I have told the kids that they have my full permission to "like" her, that it is not betraying any loyalty to me. I want them to be happy when they are with their dad. I have assured my 10-year-old (who dislikes her the most) that under no circumstances will their dad and I be getting back together, so it is okay for them to be together. I hope that she doesn't have me bamboozled, but I really don't think that's the case. I think she's just a little weird (hippie-ish) but harmless.

It was nice to have my ex-FIL fuss over me in front of her, because I have heard that they do not like each other, either. I get along well with my ex's parents, which is nice. Although I do not shy away from conflict (at all), it is good to be able to maintain these good relationships so it isn't any more stressful on the kids.

I did not weigh myself today, but I will do it tomorrow. I'm interested to see how my weight is, after my period and the long weekend away. My eating this week was good, if minimal. I have just not been hungry lately and I am running with it!

Okay - off to the apple store to throw myself at their mercy. I have been holding out for the iPhone 5, and I do not have the $200 I would need to buy an iPhone 4 today, so I'm in a bit of a bind. I do have an old phone of my daughter's I think I can have activated, but I don't know if we have any of the charge cords for it.