Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dropping a Decade - Feels Like It, Anyway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oops, getting cranky there again. :)

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fertility Goddess

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Surgeon Reality Check and Dating News, Too

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

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

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

Surgeon: grimace.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Skin Suit

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 14, 2011

Weekend Update

Not too much to report today - see how this poor little weight loss surgery blog will struggle for material? I am a bit vexed this morning because I just realized I don't have my kids on Thanksgiving, after all. Silly me for not checking the calendar. :( And here I've already told my parents the kids would be over, and everything. Normally my ex and I would figure out a way to split the day or something, we do try to accommodate each other. However, they are going to the ocean and will be away for the day. Sigh.

(This makes me unhappy, but the devilish side of me also thinks, 'whew, X can figure out the gluten-free/dairy-free Thanksgiving dinner!')

Speaking of GF/CF diets - my ex is backing down a bit on the diet. We all agree that Reid needs a sugar-free diet, to the extent possible. Taking sugar out of his diet makes a big difference, and you can see it when it is reintroduced. But with the GF/CF, we are all concerned that he is not eating anything enough. Pre-diet, he subsisted on cheese quesadillas, string cheese and go-gurt. Now, you're lucky if you get anything into him. He eats eggs, and meats, but he gets tired of them easily. And he is already so thin!! A real string bean. My concern is that we don't have anything to compare to in an "elimination diet," e.g. eliminating troublesome foods and reintroducing to see how it effects him. Gluten and dairy don't seem to affect him, so when you reintroduce, what does an effect look like? There are no food allergies on either of his birth parents' sides. I told X this morning I wanted to take him to a pediatric allergist/immunologist.

I was glad that X has been thinking about it, too, initiating an appointment with the naturopath (which my ex-MIL and his girlfriend took Reid to, grr. I struggle with the girlfriend being such a "player" in my kids' lives, but I recognize this is my issue to accept. Better to be too involved than to be making my children miserable when she's around. Oh wait, she does make the older two miserable! But again, I think that's from "over-caring" not any "bad" behaviors.) Anyway. X asked the naturopath to carefully chart his growth. He and I talked and we talked about not seeing a change in behaviors we were hoping for with the diet. I think he's backing down from it, which is nice for me to see that he's not so stuck on it that we're endangering our kid. We are talking about talking about a temporary modified custody agreement wherein Reid would have more time as a pseudo-only-child because we both agree that there are positive gains in that regard, for all our kids. I have a tremendous amount of mommy-guilt when I even contemplate such an arrangement, but I'm trying to put that aside.

I am struggling with my stairs! It is exhausting. This morning I did 52 flights down (in one shot) and Barb and I are doing 60 flights up this afternoon at lunch. But I have been reluctant to do the upward flights in lieu of the elevator. It is just tiring. But when I look at all the muscles that are emerging in my legs...wow! The effort is worth it, I know.

Hey - I did go to WLS support group on Thursday. It was good. The nutritionist has been grilling me about how my eating changes have impacted my daughter (or not), which is a little uncomfortable, because it's a bit of a sore spot. But I am happy to report that on Friday we did buy my daughter a used exercise bike from craigslist, and she hooked up the wii, as well. She was an exercise fiend this weekend! She and her girlfriend did the wii for a long time yesterday, too. My daughter has been seeing a counselor off and on who specializes in eating disorders. I wouldn't say my daughter has an eating disorder, other than compulsive boredom overeating. She has the same problems I did do - too big of portions, eating when there's nothing else to do, etc.

My surgeon was at the support group meeting, and he said I'm looking great. My next follow-up with him is 11/21, and I'm hoping to bump myself below the 164/165 I have been hovering at for a few weeks now. It's truly amazing how the weight loss slows down, you would think with these tiny portions it would just keep rolling and rolling. But I am still eating much too much on the weekend, and evening munching continues to be my weakness. The nutritionist suggests eating more throughout the day to help resist nighttime munching, but I am unconvinced. This is something I struggled with pre-op, and I ate plenty during the day!

As a follow-up to all my posts earlier this year about the Mirena IUD and its subsequent removal (which may or may not have been necessary - I would say at specific times of the month, I am still a hormonal mess, and may have been with the IUD, too)...I am seeing my GYN about uterine ablation (NovaSure) on the 21st, as well. My hematologist thinks it would be a good idea, or at least a "couldn't hurt" idea as we try to regulate my iron levels. I, too, would benefit from the piece of mind of knowing my uterus is closed for business.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

10 month pics

It's not quite my 10-month surgiversary, but Sabrina took my pics anyway, in case my chitlins can't do me justice at home tomorrow, or I forget. I'll do the little official collage thing later, but we did have fun doing silly pics today. I deleted the silliest. ;) So that's 10 months and 100 pounds...and my size 6 jeans (in that brand only, but still, it says size 6 and I'm wearin' 'em, haha).

Peppermint Hot Chocolate and Ringless Men

Well, given my druthers, I'd take the ringless man, but yesterday I went for the hot chocolate instead, because I had a coupon and knew I'd get exactly what I ordered. Can't say the same for men! :)

Sadly, however, the hot chocolate had me tied to the toilet all afternoon. I *knew* I should not drink it! Just coming from the lobby, sipping, my stomach said, "Uh, this maybe isn't so good for us." I offered it to my coworker, who said (famous last words) I should just sip it. It was soooo good. I'll admit, over the course of the day, I polished that baby off. And then I got hit with the intestinal distress.

Before surgery, I was fairly lactose intolerant. I was also incredibly slow on the uptake about it. I would only suffer when I had things like cheese fondue (the Melting Pot used to be a favorite of ours), or fried mozzarella sticks. But when I suffered, I suffered badly!

After surgery, I am even more lactose intolerant. I can't eat cottage cheese, more than a little Greek yogurt, stuff like that. It sits badly in my stomach and then ties me to the toilet.

So the question I pose to myself is, "if too much dairy is so bad for me, isn't a little dairy probably also bad for me?" See, I drink Earl Gray tea like it's going out of style. All day, every day. A venti size from SBUX, with 3 or 4 ounces of whole milk each time. Probably four or five 20 ounce cups a day - it is my daily hydration strategy! And I feel fine. Or do I? If one 20 ounce cup can render me useless for the afternoon, what is 20 ounces throughout the day doing to me? I know last week I had a slice of Swiss cheese on a sandwich, and shortly afterward, I blew up like a balloon. Holy smokes, was I ever gas-filled. I knew it had to be the cheese.

Can I cut dairy out of my diet? We're doing it at home. The kids have been bouncing back and forth between homes, so we haven't had a true test of it there. I'm continuing with my own eating at work and afterward, but I'm looking hard at that dairy. And dying a little inside when I think of tea without milk. (I'm fragile these days, it doesn't take much to overwhelm me, haha.)

Anyway, for sure no more peppermint hot chocolate. That's a pleasure best left in the warm, cozy autumn memories of my mind.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

If You Like it Then You Better Put a Ring on it

Not me, silly! Your man!

When I was married, my ex and I never wore wedding rings. Well, hardly ever. My fingers were always of such varying size, with weight loss and weight gain, and I am not much of a jewelry person, anyway. My ex is a massage therapist, and the ring would bug him while he was working, plus his fingers bulked up with massage-y type muscles and weight gain, as well.

I'm telling ya as a single woman - if your man is not wearing a ring, he is being scoped out, and he is fair game until proven otherwise. Several single women and I were talking about this the other night. And it's funny, because when I was married, I really didn't think anything about my ex wearing a ring or not. Was he being scoped out? Flirted with? I have to believe yes, just based on my own empirical data. There's your fair warning, married ladies! (Not that I am coming for your man, but that your man is being sized up on the bus, in line at Starbucks, at the grocery store, in the gym...there are so many single women around, and they are all scoping out ring fingers and turning up the volume accordingly. ;)

Yesterday, my bloggy idol, Kim at 23imaginaryfriends, told me she keeps an "editorial calendar" for her blog. I do not know what this is, nor do I keep one! No, mine is a stream of consciousness blog, so I will write about what I thought about on the bus this morning: ringless men and SBUX Venti Peppermint Hot Chocolate. As in, I think I'm gonna git me one. I have a free drink coupon, and I don't want to use it on my standard Earl Gray tea. And boy, do I love peppermint hot chocolate. It will probably be too rich for my sleeve, but I think I'm going to give it a whirl.

Also - a coworker talked to me about VSG surgery and WLS in general. My weight loss has had an impact on others to the point where they are thinking about it for themselves. I think that's very cool. I am happy to discuss it, of course, and it is fun to think of someone I know getting this same freedom back in her own life.

Stair challenge is going well - I am just a few flights behind schedule, and I haven't banked any extra stairs for Friday's holiday. But I think it will be fine. I am BEAT! Yesterday I did several flights of skip-a-step (what on earth would you call this??), just to challenge some different muscles.

My weight lingers at 163/164 pounds. Oh crap! It's almost my 10-month surgiversary! I'll have to have one of the kids take my picture, since I'll be home for the holiday. Hmm, this means I'll wear a skirt or something I wouldn't normally wear to work (yet). My weight loss has been pretty flat this month, but I'm not stressing.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Keeping on Track

So far, so good on my little stairclimbing challenge for the month! I'm running a teensy bit behind (I am at 13,760 stairs, when I should be at 14,400 stairs). Not too far off, considering I was out of the office for much of one day last week and I only did half my runs.

I can only think of one time when I took the elevator back up to the office last week, when I was returning from that seminar, wearing uncomfortable shoes and deciding "screw it, I'm taking the lift." (In my imagination, I'm British, haha.) I can't think of any times that I took the elevator down.

I feel great! My calves powered through their soreness last week, and I have fully-functioning legs again. This morning, for my first run after the weekend, I was tired and winded. It is becoming more and more clear to me that this whole physical fitness thing is a lifetime commitment. Yes, duh, you athletes already know that. It takes people like me longer to figure out. ;) My stairclimbing buddy and I were talking last week about how quickly you revert back to square one when you get out of the habit. My legs always feel stronger, but you get winded so much more easily if you stop doing it for awhile. I'm trying to embed this into my memory so when I feel like quitting, I'll hopefully find a way to push through it and keep going!

Anyway. My little guy is home from his dad's, and we're resuming our normal custody schedule and incorporating the gluten-free/casein-free diet. I am committed to it without really being committed to it, if you know what I mean. Honestly, I don't see a change in his behavior, and he was already a very healthy little sprout. I've read some online that calls into question the results of these "food allergy" tests (e.g. he doesn't have physical symptoms like puffiness, breathing restriction, etc.) My older two also have said they don't notice any change in his behavior. We will play along, though, because it forces me to be more thoughtful about what we eat, and I think it forces a healthier diet for all of us. No more woosing out with grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner, haha, a quick and easy staple in our house. Honestly, the main reason I'm doing it is to force a low-carb diet and see how that effects my daughter, since she is a fellow carbaholic like her mama. Well, the other reason is that it is important to my ex, and I need his buy-in and support as much as possible as we try to figure out how to help the little feller succeed in school, which is going to be a tremendous challenge, even with all the great support we have received from the school administrators. But our ADHD psychiatrist and pediatrician cautioned us that the diet would not have much, if any, effect on his behavior. I think he did really, really well with his dad this last month because he always does really, really well in one on one situations. I'm glad we split custody for last month, because I think it's a rare treat for a third child to get to enjoy a stint as an only child. :)

It raises questions, though, about birth order and what's best for the kids, etc. In my heart, I think that Reid would be best served by that sort of arrangement. He needs lots of one one one time, and truly, over this last month, he's grown and benefited from the extra time with his dad. When he is alone with me, it's the same way - he's just a high-needs kid who does really great when he gets the attention he needs and deserves. The reality of being one of three kids in a single family home is just that - it's not like being an only child. My ex has said he's willing to continue the arrangement, but I don't like it. He is part of a family, he is my son, he is not one of one, he is one of three. Instead, I'm going to continue to make more of an effort to give everyone the time they need. What a tough situation!

Anyway - this blog isn't about Reid's eating, it's about *my* eating! You can see over the course of this blog how the emphasis in my life is gradually drifting away from WLS and post-VSG eating. Life returns to normal! I am eating too much on the weekends. I can't eat "regular" portion sizes, but I do notice that I am eating too often and uhhhh, too many Sour Patch Kids. I meant to bring those damn things to work today to fatten up my coworkers. I'm trying to compensate with extra exercise: Saturday my friend and I went campaign-leafletting for my friend who is running for council. (Ugh, you're welcome if I dropped one on your doorstep - campaign flyers drive me insane when delivered to my home, but this shows what I'll do for a wonderful friend, haha.) It was a gorgeous day and we covered a large area. This morning I missed my bus (welcome back to the routine, Reid! I guess mama didn't plan our morning very well, haha.) and walked a few extra stops down the road while I was waiting for the next one.

I am happy this morning. My coworkers and I targeted a specific piece of art that was on exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, and we asked to have it rotated to our office when the exhibit was over. (This was an exhibit of City of Seattle owned art, and some of it is utter rubbish - which we had - and some of it is really fantastic by actual talented artists. Anyway, I love this piece, although you can imagine it is creating quite a stir in our office this morning. Haters. :) ) My coworker really lobbied for us to get it, and at least three of us will absolutely adore it on our wall. It is massive, too.

Locusts and Bird. Gaylen C. Hansen

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Out of Pace

Whew! Well, my seminar out of the office yesterday did present too much of an obstacle in my stairclimbing for the day, so already I am off pace! I completed 3.5 of the 6 complete runs I had scheduled for myself. Today I will have to be aggressive in making up some ground if I want to stay on track. My goal is to end every week of the five-week challenge on target. Next week, Friday is a holiday, so I will be busy paying it forward for that, and, if I'm smart, putting a few extra stair runs in the bank for Thanksgiving week, too. Whew!!

Tell that to my calves. They are not enjoying the renewed interest in stairclimbing, and I think it is actually the downstairs running that is causing them pain. Not so much pain that I can't do it, but enough pain that I am getting grumbly about it. :) I hope my calf muscles don't get so big and burly that I can't wear my sexy new boots - that is already a pretty marginal "fit" to begin with, I must say!

Ah well, press on. I will feel so good about my success at the end of the month (well, 12/2, to be exact). And exercise is good for me, because, wow, do I shut down this time of year! It's funny, because I love me a sunny fall day, and we've had a bunch of them lately. But I feel myself winding down like an old clock: going to bed early, dragging my ass out of bed in the morning. Feeling put-upon for any commitments outside of work.* Bah. Tonight, though, I have a massage right after work, and I am long overdue! Then a couple friends and I are going to catch a movie. I drove in so I wouldn't have to fuss with taking a late-night bus home. I could have done it - I jus' didn't wanna.

Eating this week has been bad. I bought a package of chocolate chip cookies last weekend from the Safeway bakery, and I'm afraid too many of them have passed through my lips. There are only two left, and my kids will eat them after school today, thank goodness.

Part of my major stress lately has been finances. Today is payday and I am going to exercise great restraint this pay period and not go overboard with what I call "catch-up expenses." Last pay period it was bras for my daughter and myself, umm, sexy new boots that probably weren't a necessity, an overly expensive trip to the pumpkin patch, and taking the kids out to eat a couple times. Seems like there were a couple other not-large-but-not-insignificant purchases for things we needed around the house. Oh yes, sheets for my bed (I am SO OVER worn flannel sheets that have turned scratchy!)...just "stuff." The pay period before that it was my new iPhone which I-swear-to-God-I-would-die-if-I-didn't-replace-that-piece-of-crap-phone-I-was-using-since-my-old-iPhone-died. Anyway, too much spending, and I am still recuperating from moving expenses this summer (I am prepaying my last month's rent per the terms of my lease, and thus have a chunk taken off each check so it will be paid by the end of the year. This sucks now, but will be nice when I actually don't have to pay the last month's rent when we move. Which I hope we never do, until I marry rich and move into the house he's built just for me). By the end of the year, I will also be caught up on all the medical expenses that I've been drowning in the last several months. Suffice to say, between all this bill catch-up, my paycheck is pretty much spoken for! It's tough, because I also want to buy clothes for this banging new body, and realistically, I only have a few articles of clothing in my wardrobe.

2012. Except for the world-ending part, it will be a great year! I am looking forward to accessing my health flexible spending account again, which is how I typically address all these copays and expenses. Rent will be paid, bills will be paid off.

Here's a little known fact about me. I am 1/4 Eskimo, or Native Alaskan.** Why is that relevant in this blog entry? Because that's Christmas money, baby! I'm not sure exactly how this works, but tribes were organized into "native corporations" a billion years ago. I am a member of two native corporations. They have business enterprises in the Nome and Anchorage area. They pay dividends at Christmas. :) I have already seen that one corporation is sending $250, and usually the other one is more. During the leaner years, we wouldn't get dividends at all, or they'd be about $50. Last year, I think I got the most ever - about $750 between the two. Ironically, there was something to do with birth year cut-off in joining the corporations, so I, with my 1970 birthday, am a member. My sister, with her 1975 birthday, is not. I think my mom gives her the dividend checks she receives. Anyway, that's why I'm not stressing too much about Christmas for the kids. The dividend checks will come, it is a three payday month (yay!!) and all my catch-up bills will be paid off.

2012, baby. We'll enjoy it right up until 12/22 when the lights are shut off. ;) (My 10-year-old is actually very, very worried about this! I'm not - it's my long-term financial plan, hahaha.)

* I always feel put-upon for the commitment *of work*. Just sayin.
** My ethnicity, I will place my hand on a bible and swear, is the reason I am fat. It's Eskimo genes, keeping me warm. You can't fight genetics, baby!! ;)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Legs are Crying

Deep, wracking sobs, with every upward step I take. This morning, I actually didn't want to get off the bus, because it would mean going to my building, which would mean taking the stairs. I was having a "Monster at the End of this Book" moment, where every page led inexorably to the dreaded monster, e.g. stairwell.

But I survived my first 12-flight run. It was really more like a crawl, I think. You'll see that I put a little exercise tracker at the top of the blog. My plan is up and down 12 flights, six times a day, or 2880 stairs per day. Plus, I have a sneaky challenge in there, in that November actually includes three holidays for me, so stair climbs for those days will have to be distributed over the remaining days. I set the dates from 10/31 - 12/2. It wasn't too hard to work in the six runs a day, with getting to and from the office, lunch, tea breaks. Both days I had to force in one extra run in order to make it work - one run just for the sake of getting it done.

Today will be a challenge because I'm out of the office for a seminar from 10-3-ish. That means I'm going to really have to push it to get these stair climbs in today!

Anyway, yesterday I was all reveling in my new-found stair bad-assery. This morning, my legs are weary and I am a little less gleeful about my plan, haha. But let's git er done!