Monday, October 31, 2011

My Elevator Doesn't Go All the Way to the Top

Oh, people are always saying that about me, anyway! ;) But in this case, it's true. Or that's my goal, anyway. In an effort to revitalize my exercise efforts, I've decided that I have to take the stairs from the mid-building lobby to my office. Every. time.

Now, there may be times that I have to take the elevator, I suppose. And after all this flippin' stair climbing today, we'll see how sore my legs are tomorrow! I've gone up and down 12 flights four five times today, so far. As I mentioned in this morning's blog, I noticed after going down 20 flights last week, I pretty much fried my calf muscles. Since it has been almost a week of them hurting, I decided the only way to make it better was to work those muscles! Clearly, babying them was not helping.

But that's the plan. In order to allow myself trips on the elevator when necessary (I can't actually think of when it will be *necessary,* but still, it will happen), I'm going to say every day this week I will complete six trips up and down the 12 flights, or 1440 round-trip stairs a day. That's actually fairly reasonable, considering arrival and departure, lunch, meetings, etc. I may have to force in an extra trip or two a day, but it takes surprisingly little time to complete! About five four minutes, or so. I haven't timed it in awhile.

My stair-climbing girlfriend and I have really stumbled on our stair work outs, I'm afraid. She works a flex schedule, and has conflicts, etc. etc. and I am ashamed to say that I have let her lack of engagement drive my own commitment to doing the stairs, as well. It's just so much more fun to do with a friend! We are still trying to work it into the schedule, but definitely you have to be committed to it, or it doesn't happen. I need to make it happen!!

So that's the plan for the week. It's actually the plan for the month of November, but we'll take it week by week. I am hopeful that I won't be too sore tomorrow to keep up my resolve. It shouldn't be a problem - I am well-used to the long climbs up the stairs, but the downstairs run was surprisingly difficult to recover from!

These Boots are Made for Walking (Slowly and Carefully)

Especially on hardwood floors. :) But aren't they cute?? They may be the nicest thing I've bought myself since the surgery. They fold and scrunch down to be cute and casual, or go (nearly) thigh-high for the ultimate bad girl look. I lurrve them. 'Course, I feel like a giant spotlight is on me when I wear them, and I'm not entirely ready for that. But I did wear them to work twice last week. Today, I am tired, and I wore my beaten-to-nuttin' Keens that are also filthy from mowing the wet grass this weekend. Today is not a stellar-sexy day in the office, haha, but yesterday I had fun with my one-woman fashion show.

'Twas a decent weekend at my house, although there wasn't a lot going on. My son had his last football game, in which they were beaten again, as was our tradition this season. However, it was a completely gripping game, and the boys wanted to win badly, and fought hard for it. It was so exciting! They could have won it, but happily, my son doesn't even seem to notice if they win or lose, he is out there fighting HARD and being satisfied with his effort. Gosh, he loves playing.

Last week, I was fairly good about doing my stairs - but what was remarkable was that I went down 20 flights after one run. OMG - 20 flights down uses completely different muscles than 20 flights up! We don't usually go down the stairs because it bothers my friend's knee. I have to tell you - it's been nearly a week since going down these stairs and my calves have still not recovered. Bizarre! That doesn't even seem like so many flights, but immediately after doing it, my legs were shaking like jello - thighs and calves. Now I am still using the walls to assist myself down the stairs at home, haha.

You know - I didn't actually have much to blog about this morning. :) You have probably sensed that already from this riveting post. I will end it here and swing back by when I got sumpin interesting to say. Have a great day!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tell Me about Yourself

My dear friend Kim over at 23imaginaryfriends nominated me for this bloggy award, and I'm game! First, a note that I changed the title of yesterday's post "100 pounds, bitches!" to "100 pounds, beeyatch!" I see I lost a follower yesterday :) no doubt due to my crassness and vulgarity - which, sadly, in person exists more than on the blog, haha! Ah, to know me is to love me. But the blog is not meant to offend, and it's an easy fix. I didn't take out the cursing from the post - I'm uncertain how much to pander here, ha. 

The rules of this nomination are:

I get to tell you seven random things about myself as well as pass on the award to seven other great bloggers (see below).

Nominees, in order to accept this award you must:

-Thank and link back to the person who awarded you
-Write seven random things about yourself.
-Award seven other awesome and inspiring bloggers.

Okay, here's my 7 Random Things (aka In Which Julie Pretends to be Interesting):

  1. I started with my current employer when I was 19, and I just missed my 20-year ceremony with the Mayor this week due to a conference with my wildcat's IEP team at school. But I hit my monster vacation accrual bump next pay period, and I am looking forward to it! From here on, it's an extra day a year. I need it! All these freaking school appointments, sheesh. I actually started here in 1989, but it took awhile to get my 20-year accrual because I took long maternity leaves and worked a year for another employer back in 2007. I will be able to retire from here when I am 51-ish!!
  2. I completed my associates, bachelors (University of Washington - Business Administration) and masters (Seattle University - Public Administration) while employed full-time, and my masters while I had two or three babies at home. It was exhausting. My ex was very supportive while I did my masters, or I don't know how I would have done it. I am the first person in my family to graduate from college. As you see by my diplomas, I can administrate the hell out of things, haha.
  3. When I was 21 and had just gotten married, I went to a psychic fair and had my palm read. She told me, "Three kids, two husbands." I was pretty offended - I had just gotten married! I told her I just wanted two kids and one husband. She shrugged. "Three kids, two husbands." Now, I'm looking forward to that second husband, haha.
  4.  We adopted my littlest from our niece on my ex's side. She was a teen pregnancy and I remember we heard about her pregnancy and plans to put the baby up for adoption while my ex and I were on the way to the Oregon coast for a beach weekend with my older two. I have always known he was meant to be one of my children because my first reaction was to say, "We can adopt him!!" The words flew out of my mouth -  he was my son. This was not the reaction I would have expected to have had, haha. We participated in the rest of my niece's pregnancy, we were there when my son was born, and we took him home from the hospital. We legally adopted him immediately after birth. Our niece still sees him, and the whole family is open about the adoption. As our social worker said at the time, "the more normal it is to you, the more normal it will be to him." 
  5. My uncle was killed in a motorcycle accident when I was about 9 years old. Also, I burned the heck out of the inside of my leg on the exhaust of a motorcycle when I was a kid and my cousin (other side of the family) gave me a ride. I have always been afraid of motorcycles. I refused to let my ex have one when we were married. When we got divorced, I took a motorcycle-endorsement class. I wiped out during my final test and destroyed the bike (and a fair chunk of my arm). I bought a bike, practiced riding in the parking lot by my home, and re-took the test and passed. I sold the bike about a year later because it was too small to ride to work (250cc) and I needed $$. But I absolutely loved it! Her name was Elvira.
  6. This is how I looked on Elvira.
    This is how I felt. :)
  7. I am an NPR nerd. Saturday mornings on NPR are my favorite time of the week: Car Talk, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and my favorite, This American Life. The Splendid Table, Travel with Rick Steves, Prairie Home Companion. I never miss listening to the podcasts of This American Life and a non-NPR but lots of inter-ties - Savage Love. I love art, too, though know nothing about it. Art museums, book readings, NPR events, I'm there in a flash. I joke that I can't meet a man at the places I love because the men there are either gay or arty/bookish intellectuals, which I am not attracted to. What a conundrum!
  8. I'm suffering from a bit of a mid-life crisis. I am lonely, and bored, and tired of co-parenting my kids with my ex, and being broke, and the future looks long and bleak at times. Instead of letting this get my down, I'm doing hard thinking about who I am, what I want to spend my life doing, how I will fill the void I feel without a mate in case that second husband never comes along! It is an interesting process to think about what I really want, and what it will take to get there. I will probably subject the blog to more of this process as my life's emphasis drifts away from weight loss. Stay tuned! (Or tune out, haha!)
Okay - that was exhausting! Here are my nominees:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

100 Pounds, Beeyatch!

Check out the Ticker!
(Note: the blog author means no insult whatsoever to beloved friends and readers by entitling this entry, "100 pounds, bitches!" It is simply the only title that will enter my head this morning - and it is yelled with jubilation and great zeal.)

OMG! I did it! I've lost one hundred stinking pounds! Do you know what this means??? I can't even begin to tell you all the happiness and joy this makes me feel. (Okay, and always a little bit of sadness that I got myself into such a mess where I *needed* to lose 100 pounds.) 

I got on the scale this AM, and I'll tell you, the first time, the scale wouldn't give it up. "ARE YOU SHITTING ME??" I yelled at it. (Wow, this is an especially rowdy post, haha.) I decided to pretend I hadn't weighed, give the scale another chance to come to its senses while I turned on the furnace and puttered around a bit. The second time, yeah, baby, that scale had wizened up!

It's a bit silly, I think, to have my last post be about 99 pounds lost and this post to be about 100 pounds lost, and I gotta say, I don't care. :) What a milestone!! For the first time in FOREVER, I get to say, "Oh yeah, I've got 20-something pounds I want to take off."

The last time I remember being at this weight, I was in my very early 20s. I expect I had already married, but just. I really started packing on those pounds after I got married. (Perhaps because you married the wrong man, dips*hit.) Anyway, I remember talking with my doctor, who was applauding my weight loss and telling me that really, I was in a great weight range, and only had about 20 pounds or so to go.

Uhhh, I think I started gaining it back immediately. What a goofball. Open the door to complacency to me, and I will barge right through it every time. Oh, am I practically a normal weight? Well, I get to eat like a skinny bitch, then, don't I? Because I'm normal! 

Tread carefully here, dear Free Julie. You are freeing the beginnings of a really banging little body, and you don't want to screw it up. Keep at it, work hard, feel good. God bless this little vertical sleeve, because although I am sure it is possible to screw it up, my sleeve keeps me pretty firmly affixed to the straight and narrow through greatly limited portions and a high degree of food intolerance. My brain is finally catching up to my body, where my brain says smart things like, "Well, I'm damn sure not eating any of that, it hurts."

Thank you, brain. I need you. The overeating compulsion is very strong in me, and I really, really need you on board to make sure I don't get myself off track. Between new-found responsibility on my brain's part, and my sleeve saying, "really, I'll just make you puke that crap up or make you sorry you ever ate it," well, I'm pretty well grounded on my path to success, haha.

Banging body. Oh, these size 12 levis that called to me from my closet are really just TOO STINKING BIG now. It is time to part company, soon. I keep wearing them because damn, who doesn't feel hot in a pair of levis? And I went to Lane Bryant the other day to get a push-up bra (the style is called "Plunge," I believe.) I told my friend yesterday that what this bra does for my tits is outright false advertising! Cleavage! Lifted! Hot!

It's what happens when the bra comes off that it all gets a little frightening, haha. Between the ultra-compacting control camisole and the hottie cleavage bra, well, I am really strutting my stuff out there. For the first time in a million years!! Wow, I don't even need an audience, I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how good it feels for me to look at ME and not feel...hatred. Self-loathing. Shame. Embarrassment. 

Nuh-uh. One hundred pounds lighter and I feel sexy, confident, strong, proud and incredibly optimistic. What an amazing freaking feeling. I can't even begin to express what a gift this operation was to me. Sometimes I feel like approaching morbidly obese people and telling them, "It doesn't have to be like this!!" But then I think how I would have felt if someone had done that to me, and I keep my mouth shut. :) But seriously. It feels so freaking great.

Monday, October 24, 2011

99 and Counting

Yeah baby! I feel a "100 pounds lost" post coming in the very near future! Or relatively near future. Yesterday I was down 99, today I bounced up a couple pounds. Ebb and flow, give and take, like the tides. Your time will come, mama! Soon, soon, soon.

I have to tell you, I bought some DAMN SEXY BOOTS yesterday! I'll have to post a picture later - not too much later, because I have my tennies to change into when my feet finally rebel in complete and utter pain, haha. Clothes shopping is becoming fun again! Now I just need a never-ending supply of cash to finance my shopping desires. I bought the boots and a pair of leggings at DSW, then took my daughter over to Lane Bryant so she and I could bra-shop. I had ulterior motives: busty me still is best served by shopping for bras at LB (36DDD) and I knew they'd have a bra that fit her, too (38C). I'm pretty packed into the DDD, but it's a nice fit and they have bras with good support. The ulterior motive was that it was "buy 2, get 1 free," so I got her two bras to my one.

While at Lane Bryant, I tried on my new leggings and boots, but needed to see a longer top that covered my bootie - I felt so naked in the leggings! The salesgirl found me a t-shirt dress that was very cute. The smallest size at LB is a 14, and ladies, I am proud to say (again) that I simply cannot shop at LB anymore. :) Here I was just 9+ months ago afraid that soon I wouldn't be able to find my size at LB at the OTHER END OF THE SPECTRUM.

But the cute t-shirt dress over the leggings had me doing the booty dance in the dressing room, I was so happy about how much my body has changed.

My dear friend and major source of motivation and inspiration, Sheila at This One Body, hit her one-year anniversary from surgery the other day. And something she said really resonated with me (well, most everything she says really resonates with me):

So, where am I at today? To me the sleeve is such a gift. I never in my LIFE would have been satisfied with eating such small portions. To try and diet like this without the reinforcement of a surgically-induced smaller stomach would just be pure torture. The no hunger thing is just priceless, so easy to make good eating decisions when your world is not ruled by constant hunger.
Amen, sister! I had success in the past dieting, but what I never lost was my appetite for big portions. And that's what killed me. It wasn't junk food, or sugary sodas, or fried foods, it was food, and too much of it. That is what has changed the most about my post-sleeve life. And amazingly, you don't even think about how small your portions are now! You just eat for satisfaction, and these days, it doesn't take much to satisfy.

It would be disingenuous to blog this morning without blogging about some other things that are on my mind. The primary thing that dragged me out of bed yesterday and off for some much-needed retail therapy is that I have been down in the dumps. This is a hard time of year for me, anyway - the change in seasons must wreak havoc with my brain chemistry and such. I don't wanna go to work, I don't wanna see my friends, I don't wanna do nuttin' but hang out in my bed and feel sorry for myself. This is not a good long-term plan, haha.

I confess, I make a terrible single person. I really need someone to play off of - I am all fun and energy and good times and such - unless I'm alone. Bah. I think I'm just overly socialized. But I'm a strange combination of it, because I am definitely NOT the life-of-the-party type. Big group things stress me out. Thus, you can see my dilemma in hanging out with my little cluster of friends, none of which are interested in the others. There are a TON of singles activities in my area - I really need to get comfortable with getting out there, because online dating makes me feel like slitting my own throat. And in my job, I have very little contact with the outside world, so I'm not meeting anyone there. I have actually thought about getting a second job where I could enjoy chatting with people...but, ugh, second job?? I was thinking bookstore, Williams-Sonoma (where I would not meet men, but instead only women like myself who overspend on kitchen gadgets they will never use)...ah, who knows?

My back-up plan is to somehow force myself into becoming a fitness freak. This would burn up hours during the fall and winter that I would otherwise spending laying in bed watching TV. The results would be measurable and fairly quickly realized. A buffed-out body would help me make decisions in the next year or so about plastic surgery.

It's just the getting myself on board part that is so hard, especially when all I can think are the two tracks running through my head:

- Damn, these boots are sexy! and
- When can I go home? I want my blankie!

Have a great day, all! I'll try to swing back and post a sexy boot pic in a bit. Got to wait for Sabrina to get in the office.

Friday, October 21, 2011

An Homage to 'Once Upon a the Land of Cheese and Sunkist'

Ever since I posted my swimsuit pictures this month, I have really been thinking about a particular blog and how much it has meant to me. Amy's blog over at Once Upon a the Land of Cheese and Sunkist was one of the very first weight loss surgery blogs I discovered when I was thinking about surgery for myself.

Man, I devoured every word of her (extensive) blog! Here was a woman who had been incredibly successful with WLS (in this case, the lap-band instead of my own gastric sleeve). She had started blogging early, and had kept it up regularly throughout her whole journey. And she is funnier than hell!

Amy had the guts to post her swimsuit pictures, and to talk candidly about all the trials and tribulations of her process. And best yet, lots and lots of pictures! As I was starting my own journey, pictures really did tell the story - it is amazing to watch someone's body changing as the numbers on the scale start to come down.

When I started my own blog, I knew I wanted it to be a lot like Amy's. Lots of pictures, lots of truths - shared with humor and humility. I wanted my blog to be an honest depiction of my experience - it would not all be easy, it wouldn't be the magic wand I was secretly seeking, but it would be real and it would be me.

I have shared pictures and bits from Amy's blogs with friends I don't know how many times! She reminds me a lot of myself - happy at her highest weight, happy at her lowest. Fun and funny and full of life. I'm writing this today because, ugh, seeing those swimsuit photos of me come up on my own page makes my skin crawl. :) But I think about the people out there who are starting the same journey I did, who feel both hopeless about their situation and so hopeful about the future. Who want to know what it's *really* like to have WLS and experience this incredible rebirth and rediscovery of all that life has to offer.

Thank you, Amy! You're the best! To all bloggers, I would say, there are people reading, and your tales and photos and anecdotes are impacting a lot of people in many positive ways. Keep it up! I'm reading!

Fun Giveaway - Shutterfly Holiday Cards

Check out the very cool giveaway over at Kim's blog for 25 free holiday cards from Shutterfly! I fully intend to win one of these three sets of cards, but I invite you to try for one of the other two freebie packs. :)


I haven't been feeling very bloggy, because I've been sick this week with a stupid cold. I'm all hopped up on Dayquil and Sudafed. I have been reading news forecasts that this winter is going to be very snowy, so I am dragging my germ-riddled body to work, trying to save my paid time off. If you have ever tried to balance a career with unexpected school and daycare closures due to snow - well, it ain't always easy. Last winter I took a ton of unpaid leave to stay home with the kiddos when schools were closed.

Life is good - I am hovering at 167 pounds (!!!) and I am feeling fly! There's a song with the line, "I'm sexy and I know it," it's on the radio all the time right now and it is my theme song. ;) I am feeling really good!

You know, except for my head being filled with phlegm.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Quick - Think of Something!

It has been too long since I've blogged, and I've got to write SOMETHING in order to get those swimsuit pictures off my front page! Ack! Every time I pull up the blog, I think, 'Oh crap, I've got to do something about these pics.' I was going to take them down, but decided not to.

I have been HUNGRY the last several days. Oh my. It's amazing how much more vigilant you have to be about eating as that sleeve-capacity really does change. The surgeon said it's in part due to swelling, etc. and in part due to you learning how to eat with the sleeve, e.g. chewing better, etc.

Either way, I still can't eat a lot, but I have been surprised at the amount of food I packed away this weekend. Fall is such a rough time of the year for me. I truly think I'm meant to be hibernating. The big slider food this weekend was microwave popcorn. I simply ate too much, I think. Plus I've got my period, which seems to make me more inclined to eat, as well.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nine Month Post-Op: Swimsuit Photos! 96 pounds lost!

Wow, nine months have passed already! Sometimes it seems like I just had the VSG surgery yesterday. Other times, it seems like I've been living this way for-EVAH!

Fun story with those jeans. They are a Levi's Misses size 12. The last time I tried to put them on...uh, it wasn't happening. That actually wasn't too long ago! I grabbed them to wear for my volunteer shift this weekend, and wow, they are almost too big! You see they are pretty baggy in the legs, also in the butt and waist. Mama feels day-um sexy in them, though! And today I am getting lots of compliments - I think it is a combination of just looking good and then *feeling* good, too, because on a day that I am getting compliments, I am generally getting LOTS of compliments. Attitude is everything, haha.

Also, I was talking with a new contractor of ours today. It's a bad news/good news sort of thing, because this will be a long relationship we're entering into. He and I were chatting, and he was TOTALLY talking to my ta-tas the whole time. Eyes on me, then eyes drifting downnnnnn...then eyes on me...then down...

Okay, this kind of thing annoys the crap out of me, but also, WELCOME BACK, HOTTIE! Hahaha. I was a little vexed, thinking, oh jeez, this is the first day of a three-year contract - oy, it's gonna be a long one. But also, "yeah, I'm hot, I know it!" ;)

Let's see, on each monthly anniversary I try to impart some post-op wisdom or lessons learned, or challenges I am still facing...

  • Nighttime eating continues to plague me. It doesn't take much to make me feel overly full, but I can't seem to go to bed without feeling overly full!
  • I am still drinking while I eat. I still do not think I care. It doesn't seem to make me eat *more* or *more often*, so I will not stress too much. I'm not drinking A LOT - I am just letting myself sip normally with food.
  • Exercise. Oy. I am just so not into it. I am taking my iron, though, and I had the IV supplement last week, so I am hoping I continue to perk up.
  • I did go to WLS support group last week, also. I was glad I went. But I also do not feel like I need to go regularly. I'll continue to go when it fits into my schedule.
  • New people that I meet do not know I was ever fat. This is weird. Someday I'll expound on that, maybe. Basically, I've got people I've always known who love me whatever size I am; people I've always known that are seemingly ASTOUNDED that I was hiding an attractive woman under all that fat; and new people I'm meeting who have no idea that I've lost weight and thus I am just "normal." It's interesting.
  • My weight loss and changes in eating have seemed to have zero effect on my overweight daughter. It is heartbreaking. She is not quite 5'0" and 215 pounds, at 12-1/2 years old. The nutritionist at WLS support group asked me about it, and I'll admit, it kills me. It is extremely difficult to think or talk about.  As the pediatrician and her counselor (who specializes in eating disorders) said, the psychologist leading our support group also said, "this is her issue to face when she is ready. You provide the unconditional love and support, and don't put body image issues where there are none now. When she is ready to face it, she will face it." Still, that sucks. And for all the people who muse, "Should parents of fat kids (fill in the blank) - lose custody of their kids, be fined, be publicly flogged," etc. F*** you. If a kid is going to eat, they are going to eat. You may think you have all the answers - you do not. Before I had kids, I tended to be rather judgey about parenting issues. With my diverse menagerie of children and childhood issues, I have pretty much learned to keep my goddamn mouth shut. Parenting is hard.
  • /rant :) Sorry - it's a real sore spot for me. Try feeling like such a major success with your own weight loss and watching your baby's weight continually climb. A good way to make yourself feel like crap on a daily basis.
  • Back to the good stuff - the dairy- and gluten- free diet will be very good for my little household, I agree! Thank you for the nice comments, and thank you Taylor, for your offer of help navigating our new eating! I will take you up on that! It's a difficult diet to implement, but it's hard to feel anything but positive about the potential benefits - both for my youngest and for the rest of the family. My intended emphasis is to avoid processed- and substitute- foods. Mainly because they are so flippin' expensive. I really need to read up on the macrobiotic eating - this sounds like the direction we're heading! Whole foods, unprocessed foods. I am full of both dread and optimism. :)
  • Swimsuit photos. Well, it's been nine months, so it's a good time to post swimsuit photos. I haven't taken them in months and months! It would be better if I had a new swimsuit, as this is the original one and it is really hanging off me. I could never wear it for swimming! Wow, it is so exciting to see the differences! Amazing. I had such high hopes the night before the surgery (when the originals were taken), but I don't think I dared dream of this wonderful journey.  As you can see, I still have a ways to go, but I'm well on my way!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Rainy Sunday

I am doing the domestic violence volunteer gig today, from 11-7, or in police-speak, 1100-1900. It is *POURING* down rain! I am not pleased, but really, people probably tend to have worse days on ugly, rainy days than on gorgeous sunny maybe I'll be more helpful today. As per usual, I have waited until the last minute to think of any food to bring with me to the station...I almost always bring the police a treat, but it almost always makes me almost late to my shift, haha. EVERY TIME, I think, "I'm going to make them something!" Uhh, I never have. Yesterday, I thought I would make them snickerdoodles, when my mom mentioned a yummy snickerdoodle recipe at But my parents were here ALL DAY yesterday, and we all went to my son's football game, and, and, and. It wasn't meant to be. :) A more diligent chef would have stayed up late and made the cookies, but I am not a more diligent chef.

Down another pound - I am closing in on the 100 pound mark. Astounding. It feels wonderful, and also pretty crappy that I had allowed myself to get where I needed to lose over 100 pounds. :(

I have been taking those iron supplements consistently, and I gotta tell ya - it's making me as constipated as hell. No fun!

A couple weeks ago, we had food allergy testing done on my little wildcat (six-year-old son). The results came back super allergic to all dairy and super allergic to all wheat. Sigh. Okay - actually my ex had the testing done, as a prelude to trying any ADHD meds on him. I am more skeptical about this sort of thing, in part because my ex has dug in so hard on it, and we've gotten into a push/pull dynamic here. Anyway, we are planning a dairy- and wheat-free diet for him. For all of us. Oy. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW HARD THAT IS?? There is actually a lot of info about it, and I know for many parents of autistic kids, they swear by a GFCF diet (gluten free/casein free). My son is not autistic, but he is off-the-charts ADHD. I had bought a book, The ADHD and Autism Cookbook, some time ago, as this is something my ex and I have discussed for awhile. We've both wondered if this diet would help my son. It's only been my reluctance to jump into it that has held me back. So much work.

Anyway, we're on! I'll probably blather about it endlessly here for awhile, but I haven't started formulating a plan yet. It kind of stinks that I had such a great day with my parents yesterday and have the full volunteer shift today, because ready or not, the kids will be home tomorrow and I have to figure out a plan for the week.

Have a great day!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ninety-Five, Baby!

Hmm, slim pickings on cute '95' clip-art.
O.M.G. - I am very close to losing 100 pounds! Ha - let's sidebar here and discuss my failure to "be present," as I've discussed in previous blogs. Ninety-five freaking pounds - that's incredible! But of course my first thought is "almost to 100!" Woman, enjoy where you are at!! You may remember my enneagram personality type that I was reading up on (but got distracted away from) said that my type struggles to be happy, because when they are experiencing something that should make them happy - they are already busy thinking about the next thing that can make them happy! Oh boy, is that ever me to a 'T'.

Anyway! Back to the triumph at hand: 95 pounds lost! I think that I need to have some days that I just let myself eat more. I've actually wondered if I maybe don't eat enough, and if that affects my weight loss, too. Because let me tell you, yesterday I ate like they were going to stop making food any moment - and today I was rewarded with more than a pound lost. 

Yesterday's eating (HAHA, I post for my amusement on what was "gorging" pre-op versus now.)

  • Earl gray tea, lots of it, mixed intermittently throughout the day with whole milk, skim milk and half and half.
  • A 2 oz bag of BBQ potato chips from Jimmy John's.
  • An "unwrap" turkey sandwich with cheese (no bread, in other words)
  • 1/2 of a mini chocolate frosted donut, because it was still warm from the Pike Place Market, and how could I refuse?
  • 2 chocolate Chukar cherries
  • 3 ounces low-fat frozen yogurt with chopped strawberries
  • 5 ounces of red wine
  • 1 cup frosted mini wheats, dry
A new 'froyo' frozen yogurt place just opened in the building next door, and you can expect that I'll be eating there often. Remember that Seinfeld episode with the supposedly non-fat froyo? Hopefully this won't be me!

Grr - the first video I tried to embed wasn't the right one. Maybe this will work.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Iron Update and Ugh, That Hair!

Looking at my pictures from yesterday, I can only say...ugh, that hair!! I know I have lost 50% of the thickness. No lie. And all my life my hair has been stick-straight, and now it's just downright curly! I think that's an aging thing, though, not a weight loss thing. Curly is fine - it's just so odd, since it just keeps getting curlier and curlier.

I went looking on for a picture of my hair back when I had my first kiddo - but all I can find is me, blonde, when second kiddo was coming up on a year old. Wow, have I ever changed!

August 2002
Anyway - I am having another iron IV infusion tomorrow afternoon, and I am excited! Plus, I have successfully taken the iron supplement at bedtime for four or five days now. I am taking it with food, and it is only making me moderately ill. Blech. The IV supplement is much faster, though!

The hematologist did some blood work last week on my liver, kidneys and thyroid and all was well, so he thinks another 1-2 IV infusions ought to get me where I need to be. 

Darn the luck, I had to reschedule tomorrow's massage appointment to this afternoon to accommodate the IV infusion. Self-care is torture! ;)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chubby Bunny! Not Obese!

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

Woooo-freaking-hooooo!! Hells no, I'm not "OBESE" anymore, I am merely "OVERWEIGHT!" Who would have thought a one pound loss this morning would have me feeling so good? I would have, that's who! Besides onederland and goal, getting out of that godforsaken "obese" category is my biggest milestone. Heck, maybe bigger than both of those! Onederland was such a mental mindset, the pain and shame of weighing over 200 pounds at only 5'3"...goal is such an elusive place, since you know DARN WELL that I will be rocking it when I am approaching, but not yet meeting, goal.

Heck, it doesn't matter! Overweight! What a wonderful feeling! Bounce, bounce, bounce!!

What an amazing journey - I am so pleased. As I am adjusting to my new body, I am turning an (unfairly) critical eye on myself more and more often. Look at this saggy, baggy skin, look how much weight I still have to lose, etc.

This whole blog has been a celebration of my progress, but it's also been a forum for agonizing over the imperfections. Today is all about how incredibly far I've come in my health in such a very short time. YAY ME!!

There is a Judy Blume book - oh, I cannot think of which one it was...there was a very buxom girl in it with a nickname...can't remember that, either. But looking at these pictures made me think of that book. ;)

And yes, I am wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt to work. Sabrina, my invisible fight club friend (@Amy!) made me put on her earrings before she'd take a picture, haha.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Clearly This Isn't Working

Time to play catch-up on the ole blog! I shouldn't let so long go between entries - the week just got away from me.

Regarding my license plate, "IM HIGH," it's my last name. :) I got it in celebration of reclaiming my maiden name when I got divorced. The guy at the DOL said he would accept my application, but that I would never see the permanent plates out of Olympia. So imagine how shocked I was when they showed up! For awhile, I was pretty nervous - afraid it would result in me being pulled over a lot, when I am already a uhhhh, questionable driver at times. (I have lost 93 pounds now, but not one single pound of it came from my lead foot, haha.) I am happy to report this is not the case.

I have had several cops pull up beside me laughing their heads off. This is always a bit disconcerting, because when a police car pulls up right beside you...well, at least if you're me, you're not generally thinking they want to share a laugh with you! I'll admit, I love parking in the police parking lot when I do my volunteer shifts with them.

There is one drawback of the plates, though. I suspect they will one day get me rear-ended. Many's the time that I've been driving along, minding my own beeswax, when I notice a car ON MY BUTT for no reason. Invariably, they either have a passenger taking a pic (good) or (bad) they are taking a picture themselves while driving.

And, oh the kids! Wow, do I ever get a lot of teenagers honking and laughing when they pass. Uhh, I am probably a bad role model. That's okay, I am just having fun. I cannot wait until the day my cute license plate is on my super-cute little red convertible or other fun car. For now, it stays put on my little econo-sedan.

Oh! I felt skinny this weekend. Why? It was freezing cold and raining when I went to my son's football game. I shouldn't have felt skinny - I was wearing leggings with jeans over them, and a spandex cami and two long sleeve shirts with a coat over it.

That's actually *why* I felt skinny. Never in a bazillion years would I have been willing/able to dress in so many layers a year ago. Nuh-uh. I would have felt like the Michelin tire man. Yay me!

There was a downside to that day, too, besides my son's team getting yet another shellacking on the field. I had rinsed my hair, but not washed it. It was not looking good. I stuck it in a ponytail, but it was truly a bad hair day. And my poor hair has lots of bad days now - it has just thinned so darn much. Anyway, not a good hair day.

Before I say this, I need to say that I love that blunt little ten-year-old of mine to death. Almost literally, sometimes. I could. just. wring. his. neck. But I love him. He seems to have appointed himself my handler, especially since the surgery. "Should you be eating that?" "I thought the weight loss would be faster," etc. Happily, he has also thrown in such concerns as, "How will you stop losing weight when it's time?" and "You won't let yourself get too skinny, right?"

Anyway. Those are nice concerns - but the one he carelessly voiced after the football game nearly got him tossed outta da car. "What's going on with your hair?" he said. "I could see your scalp from the field. Just lots of white scalp. Isn't that kind of embarrassing?"

Pardon me while I remind myself how much I love the little bugger, and he didn't ask with one ounce of meanness. Concern. A gentle nudge to bring my A-game to his games, haha. This from the same son who suggests we start going to church, "so maybe you can meet some people."

Yes, it was a terrible hair day. It was raining and my hair had gotten off to a bad start, anyway. I had mowed the lawn at 9:00 am and then ran out of time. I hope, hope, hope it starts growing back soon, and stops thinning. This weekend I swept the floor in front of my mirror in the bedroom, where I usually blow dry. My (naturally) cherry-red brown hair blends pretty well with the hardwood floors. Uhh, there sure was a damn pile of it there. I am forever cleaning the wheel of the vacuum cleaner, too. Ugh.

It's worth it, it's worth it, it's worth it. But it sure is disconcerting.

Iron. (Wow, I am cramming like five blogs into one entry today!) I went to the hematologist on Friday. I will have another iron IV infusion this week. Can I get a YAY??? The hematologist confirmed my suspicions. In February, my ferritin was 76. In August, it was 40. We are trying to get it above 50: when I first saw him last October or November, it was 0. That, he attributed to my extremely frequent blood donations (every 56 days on the nose) and my long run of menses from putting in, then taking out the Mirena IUD.

Now, he says I could just be absorbing less iron because of the surgery. I do not see how this is possible, since pre-op I rarely ate meat, and post-op, it's practically all I eat. Oy!! Anyway, I have not been taking my prescription iron supplements, since they are prone to give me a hella bad stomachache. Since the appointment, however, I have had good success taking them at bedtime with some food. This morning, I also took my vitamin D and calcium. I have officially qualified for rock star status in my book!

I have two doctors: my hematologist and my general practitioner. I cannot beg, borrow, or steal prescription vitamin D out of them, even though my number is at the very bottom of the scale (30). This vexes me, but it also concerns me for all the peeps that are on high dose prescriptions - of which I have three good friends taking it. Both my doctors are convinced this will cause later bone density problems in women. I'm told to take 2000 IUI 5x/week, no more. Grrr. I told my hematologist I would like *JUST ONCE* to know what it feels like to be mid-range in vitamin D and iron!

Anyway - the hematologist thinks the extreme cold I've been feeling, as well as my lethargy, will be remedied by jacking up my ferritin levels again. I think he's right! There's definitely a peak to how I felt in February-ish versus how I feel now. It's like I have the desire to work out, to keep working on my body, but absolutely no energy to do it. He alluded to an invisible line in my iron levels where I feel great, versus where I feel exhausted. He wants to keep me above the line, and I am all for it! Thankfully, you feel pretty good pretty quickly after those IVs, within a week or so I noticed a difference, I think. Will this be for the rest of my life, do you think??? Not sure. He encouraged me to keep experimenting with taking the oral supplements successfully. People generally don't have problems with the prescription supplements (except for the bazillion dollar price that is not covered by insurance, ugh).

Oh - back to the title of this entry. Without exercise, my weight loss is DOA. I hit 170 pounds this weekend, a new low, but only a pound in almost a month. And it bounced back up to 171/172-ish again, where I have been hanging out FOREVER. I need to exercise to kick this back into gear, or at least feel like any failure to lose is because I'm gaining muscle mass, haha. Point being, if I was working out, I would not feel as stressed as I do about the lack of loss. I don't want to stop here - I've got a lot more to lose and I want it gone!

Edited to add: I had some more good experiences this weekend. I took the kids to a arts/crafts/street festival nearby. My ex's brother and his wife had a stand there (they do concrete kitchen counters, etc type of stuff). I haven't seen that side of the family since the divorce, except my ex-FIL. Anyway, yesterday, we saw a bunch of that side of the family. It was nice to see them again, for one - I adored my SIL, who came into the family just as I was leaving. Ironically, BIL and my ex have gotten a lot closer since the divorce, which I had always pushed for *before* the divorce. (I should do the same with my own sister and her husband, sigh.) Anyway, everyone was really complimentary about my weight loss, which was a nice feel-good boost for me, especially since the weight loss has slowed so much. Also, that evening, we ran into another uncle on that side of the family at Target - he didn't even recognize me when he walked by! (Laugh - or the kids, even though he had cracked up at Reid saying that "daddy bought that kind of peanut butter and it makes me wanna barf!") Anyway, I flagged him down and we caught up a little bit and he said that I was looking really great. It was nice.

Edited to add more: OMG how many times did I say "nice" in the paragraph, above, talking about seeing my ex's family?? Divorce is odd - even a couple years later, there's strained feelings and awkwardness around it all. We did not end badly, but we are definitely divorced. He and his family are good people. It was nice to see them. :)