Monday, August 29, 2011

Oh, I'm Not Pregnant, that's Voodoo Doughnut Belly - So Stop Rubbing It, Please

(Yeah, baby, we killed those stairs today! 60 flights = 1200 stairs)

Oy vey. What a massive food extravaganza weekend that was! I am such a food addict. I took the kids (and babysitter) to Albany, Oregon for the hot air balloon festival (fun!!) and two day trips to the Oregon coast. While we were there, we got to spend an evening with my good friend Kim and her family.

We stopped in Portland at Voodoo Doughnut and I bought myself two maple bars with bacon. Granted, I worked on them all weekend and didn't finish them, but I put a pretty good dent in them. From there, it was pretty much a food free-for-all and the scale reflected the damage this weekend. Plus, I'm two days out from my period (this is *not* TMI, remember, I'm learning to track my body's signals after 10 years with the Mirena IUD) so I'm bloated up a bit. And I'm emotional. I almost wonder if it would be better to have that IUD back - was I just less emotional all month, instead of being extra-emotional for a few days a couple times a month??

Anyway. I look like I have a Buddha-belly today. I'm chalking this up to bloating. I think I am tired of being a girl, all hormone-y and such.

On to happier things! The weekend was a blast. We stayed two nights in Albany and paired that with two day trips to the coast: Lincoln City and Seaside, Oregon. A smarter planner would have just booked the second night's hotel on the coast, but that's not me. It all worked out well in the end. The weather was glorious, the balloons are wonderful, the kids had a great time. I financially devastated myself until the next pay day, but we'll survive. X has the kids the next two weekends, so that takes some pressure off me. No, it does not take much to financially devastate me: $300 in car repairs and a two-night road trip for five is my upper limit.

For five. Did I mention our nanny came with us? Kim was surprised to learn that our nanny has been living with us since shortly after we moved into the new place. I figure I blog every little thought that enters my head, and what I don't blog, I tell Kim directly! It makes me sound very upper-crust to say we have a live-in nanny, but I assure you this is not the case. She would also agree with that assessment, haha.

Bri is eighteen and has worked for me for over a year now. Her parents live out of town and she was bouncing around unsatisfactorily in a couple of unhappy roommate situations. So when we moved into the bigger house, it was becoming apparent that I should either offer her a stable home life or prepare myself for the possibility that she'd move out of town to her mom's. I offered to let her live with us, and she happily accepted.

Family portrait. Alli, 12; Reid, 6; Blake, 10; Bri, Me
She's a good kid, and a low-maintenance kid, but yes, sometimes it does feel like I added a fourth child to my care. Like our family vacation! Bri was interested when I told her my plans for a long weekend away with the kids, and while I would have expected her to relish the house to herself for the weekend...she jumped at the chance to join us. So we all packed into my little sedan and then shared a single hotel room for the weekend.

It was a mini-vacation, yes, but not exactly a *relaxing* mini-vacation, haha. Crowded. My littlest is a real stinkin' handful, I don't mind saying. I am a yelling shrew of a mother and have sworn that child will never have sugar ever again in his lifetime. Argh!!

But we had a great time. And it was a blessed, sweet relief to come back to work today. And post-WLS me got to enjoy playing "chicken" in the pool with my 10-year-old on my shoulders, and I now have the crippled neck to prove it!
My mini-me and me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chit-Chat

It's hard to think up catchy blog entry titles that capture the theme of what you have to say when you don't actually have much to say, haha.

The weekend getaway trip is a go - the car expenses didn't end up being too terrible. Just under $300, all told. Of course, that's about what the trip will cost, too! And it's crap timing, what with being in the middle of back to school expenses.

Ah well. It's a reminder to me to "marry up" next time around, haha!

My ten-year-old is trying contact lenses. Oy. I have no idea if this will work. His eyes roll around like a frightened horse's every time he tries to put them in or take them out. Today, I have conducted coaching/morale sessions by phone for both putting them in (one successfully) and taking them out (no success yet). I am concerned. My daughter took a few days to get the hang of it, but didn't have nearly this difficult of a time. She was a bit older, too.

Bah! Another ten-minute contact-lens-removal pep talk. I am laughing and also near tears. Sigh. That boy. He will not wear his glasses, but honestly, I'm not having a lot of faith he'll get this install/removal thing figured out, either.

Did I mention I'm trying progesterone cream this month? I've been using it for a few days now. The goal is to not be a weepy-beeyatch come O-day next month. Thus far, my revelations have been: ow, my arms sting after applying it there for a few days. Time to find a new spot. And today I got it in my eyes, that hurts. I hope I don't grow eye-boobs!

I am trying to find a passion or an interest or something. :) It ain't easy! I have been reading a lot more - I love reading, but completely fell out of the habit for a long time. When I started taking the bus at the beginning of July, I picked up the habit again in a hurry. However, reading won't increase my chances of meeting someone too much, haha. Unless I met him at the library - I could hang out at a library for days and days, I just love them. We have a family card game for the kids, I can't think of what it's called right now. Anyway, you draw cards and you each pick one from your stack that you think the person who is "it" would like most. Then whoever is "it" takes everyone's cards and puts them in order from favorite to least. So one time the kids and my parents and X and my sis, etc. played together. It was my turn to be "it" and I revealed my mom's choice for me, "Shopping," as number two. "NO way!!" she exclaimed. Then I showed her my dad's choice: "Libraries" as number one. Everyone agreed with my ranking, haha.

You would think I would be more well-read, haha. I'm not. I just love books. Not particularly good ones. :) Chick-lit, crime-drama, blah blah blah. If I hear of a good one on NPR, I'll read it. I'm trying to work my way through a hybrid of a couple "Top 100 fiction books of all time"-type lists. But I'm also only on book two of the "Rizzoli & Isles" series (WHO KNEW?? I heard it mentioned somewhere and checked it out because I love the show). So those will keep me busy for awhile.

I read Slaughterhouse Five, which I thought would be like "Catch-22," which is the one book I have given myself lifelong permission to refuse to continue reading. Ugh, I know it's famous and all, but I absolutely could not get into that book. Bah. Never again.

Okay - true story (Oh, you thought this blog was about WLS?? Umm, yes, I am feeling a little chunky today and plan to kick it into high gear to get out of the "obesity" classification ASAP. There's today's WLS talk, haha). My friend won the primary election for city council (well, he is advancing to the general in November, anyway). Someone commented "yay" or something on his facebook page and I clicked "Like." I got a message from the man that afternoon - "I don't know you, can you see my profile? How were you able to see my comment???" Uh, I emailed back, no, can't see your profile, but can see your post to a mutual friend. He changed his settings immediately so now his message to me says "facebook user" with no picture.

I recognized him on match.com today. I am soooooooooooo tempted to message him, "Oh, I found you on match, too!" just to freak him the hell out. Bahahaha! I'm evil. Don't care. ;)

Do you want to see me dance? You can, I don't care. I decided I look no more stupid than anyone else out there. ;) Watch the sound level on the video, it's loud.

video


Monday, August 22, 2011

Update-y Stuff

- I had my follow-up appt with the WLS surgeon today, he said I'm doing awesome. Then when I reminded him I had the sleeve, not the RNY, he said I'm doing super-awesome! Maybe he didn't say awesome and super-awesome, but that was the implication. And why do I have to remind my surgeon what type of procedure I had? Ah well, I love him and he can do no wrong in my eyes. It does make me wonder if maybe I *did* have the RNY, haha.

- My labs all look good. I am going to get the full report from the lab directly rather than the abbreviated one he showed me. My vitamin D is still in the crapper (32, I think?), but he said it's an acceptable level. Hrumph. I think 30 was the bottom of the scale.

- He said my ferritin was good - it was 43. My hematologist said it should be over 50, that's why I had all those iron IV infusions before the surgery. I will call him. Still better, since pre-op, my ferritin levels were unmeasurable. I think the numbers have about held their own since surgery, and honestly, I really suck at taking the iron supplements, since they make my tummy hurt.

- Had a *blast* out with friends at the Pike Place Sunset Supper last Friday. Let me tell you - I danced. Not like 'stood on the sidelines shaking my shoulders a little bit.' Danced. In the middle of the dance floor (which was the cobblestone street. I have never, ever, in my life, danced in public unless it was a slow dance, and even those, I can count how many times. Prom, one homecoming, my wedding reception. So prolly five actual dances in my life. But I was shaking my shit out on the dance floor Friday night, and I had a blast! Ugh, there's video to prove it, too. I cannot watch the video, or I will never dance in public again. :) Anyway, I did it because a) I was having such a great time, b) everyone else did it, and c) last summer my friend's friend and I had a big production because he wanted me to dance and I would not (we were at a concert at a winery) and this time I just thought, 'oh hell, how bad can I look?' My friends were so super-proud of me - and I did really have a blast. I even had a little boy toy dancing and grinding on me for awhile there, much to all of our amusement. Now to destroy all copies of the video.

- I received a terribly unexpected $400 medical bill last week, and this morning had to replace two tires on my car most unexpectedly, for over $200. And I have to get my car aligned tomorrow, which is only $80, but my dad says to expect several hundreds of dollars (struts or ball joints, anyone?) since the car didn't just pop itself out of alignment. I am very sad. I do not know if we are going to be able to make our trip to the Northwest Art and Air Festival in Albany, Oregon. I am waiting to find out what work my car needs tomorrow. I can't even bring myself to talk to the kids about it: this was the *one* out of town adventure we had planned for the summer! Everyone has been looking forward to it for a long time. Ugh. Taking my car in at 8:00 a.m.

- Hmm, back to fun stuff. Uh, it was a good weekend, although I have been feeling pretty run-down lately! I am trying to make myself be vigilant about the iron and vitamin D and B12. Although on the labs, my B12 was way at the top of the range.

- My blood pressure this morning was 105/72, which was just amazing. I wish I had a similar reading somewhere else, because it has been a lifetime since my numbers were that low. I used to always be 105/68, though, trending toward the low-side instead of the high-side. Amazing! On 7/27, my blood pressure was 121/79.

- It *seems* like I had other fun stuff to report, but really, that's all I got. I didn't hit my goal of 175 at the surgeon's this AM, actually, on his scale I was 179.5 (177.6 on mine at home all nudey). Definitely to keep the weight loss going I am going to have to *work* at it! He said most lose 1/3 of their body weight, and I already have. He said I can hit my goal of a normal BMI but it will take a lot of work and possibly even another 1-2 years. Ah well, I am doing great and feeling great, all is well!

- My Chinese algae-eater fish died today. Waah!! He was my favorite fish, the only one I had any attachment to.  We had him since 2007, though, so that's a good long fish run, I suppose. Without him around, the aquarium's days are numbered.

- I started OTC progesterone cream yesterday. The goal is to see if it keeps my emotions out of the tank come next ovulation cycle. I'm intrigued. Will report later.




Wednesday, August 17, 2011

O-Day (and I Ain't Talkin' Oprah)

One of the beautiful things about having an iPhone is having iPhone apps. Today's favorite is the iPeriod tracker, in which I dutifully track which days of the month I shall be a morose, lonely, spinster-in-need-of-a-few-cats.

Ovulation day. Some women get PMS, I get OMS. For months now, I have verified with my little tracker that I am an emotional basket case for two days right at ovulation in my cycle. I wonder, in all seriousness, if I would not feel so desperately lonely and sad during this time if I had a man in my life. I suspect not. I think I am generating a lot of hormones, and those hormones take the path of least resistance out of my system! ;)

File these musings under thoughts related to removing my Mirena IUD all those months ago, which I blogged about here (and am too lazy to link). Anyway - very interesting. Sad, but interesting. It all ties in with the WLS blog how? I will flag that one "emotional eating." I have simply stuffed myself this afternoon with shredded chicken (hardly a crime, but again, I am stuffed), and I think it's just comfort eating.

I have been thinking about what I need to do to feel fulfilled, less lonely. Gosh, I do a lot of fun things with my friends. And I'm busy as heck raising my kids. I work full-time, I volunteer. I read. I exercise. I am a terrible housekeeper, haha, but there is *plenty* I could be doing at home if I focused. There is no reason for emptiness. I get lots of hugs from my many good friends, I get a massage every week, and I always have a pile of kids laying on me. Thus, I am not touch-starved.

But still, if I don't have every minute of every day filled up, I feel lonely and bored. And lately, I have been bored with my friends (whom I love dearly). I want to do something different, but I don't know what! And I am not scared, but not especially embracing, doing it alone.

Sumpin's gotta change. And I'm working on it.

Edited to add: Oh! I frivolously applied to my alma maters (UW and Seattle U) to have my degrees (BBA and MPA) reissued with my maiden name. I see that both schools have cashed the checks, so I am looking forward to soon being a new graduate again. :) Actually, it wasn't terribly frivolous, I applied to a board and listed my degrees (of which I have no idea where the diplomas disappeared to in the divorce). Since I don't have the diplomas and I don't travel by that name anymore...well, I figured it was time to get them reissued. Exciting!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Confidence and Sex Appeal

As I mentioned last week, I had a great conversation with my massage therapist (himself a study in confidence and sex appeal, haha).

Let me start by saying on Thursday, my seven-month post-op anniversary, I was feeling gooooood. I was looking good and I knew it. ;) The liquid diet (err, we'll get back to that) had jumpstarted my weight loss, I had a pretty new top, my kicky new sandals, I had gotten up early and re-colored my hair (ugh, this cherry red is pretty hard to maintain!)...things were going well for me.

And the little light inside me shown brightly, because I was rolling in compliments all day. Not just "oh, you look nice," but showstopper-type compliments! I came around the corner and ran into a coworker who said, "Holy s***, look at you!" and then he gave me a hug.

When my massage therapist saw me that afternoon, he said, "Wow - what's different? Something has changed in you in a big way."

We chatted about how much better I'm feeling, and I told him about Sabrina, too. Sabrina is my friend in the office, and she has been on a long, two-year push of what I call my "re-girlification." Sabrina is glamourous, there's no other way to describe her. And she's been dragging me back to my glamourous side (of which I never remotely approached her level, haha) for a long time now. Earrings. It started with wearing earrings every day. No earrings? Stern looks and gentle chastising. Once I fairly mastered the daily earrings - well, she just keeps pushing. I am a willing student who dabbles in donkey-stubbornness. ;) I am lazy and uber-casual. She's all dolled up no matter the occasion. We challenge each other.

This is Sabrina, by the way. She appears here with permission, haha.

Sabrina said when her friend took the picture, her friend was all, "come on, Madonna, let's get going..." but Sabrina says, hey, if you're going to take a picture, you might as well take a good one. She was probably on her way to the grocery store when they stopped for a picture. ;)

So, you can imagine the clashing of wills when I asked Sabrina to take my seven-month picture last week. For me, a picture is 1) stand up straight, 2) shoulders back, 3) chest out/suck in the belly. You can see all my monthly pictures, and they're all the same pose.

She humored me for the one shot, then told me we'd take a real picture. I already posted one of them last week. Then she coddled and coerced me into some cutesy poses, all of which made me feel ridiculous. But it was fun, and she encouraged me to put my personality into it.

Looking at the pictures, acknowledging to myself how cute I am ;) - I was feeling pretty darn good all day. Pep in my step, swing in my walk. I am working the hell out of this surgery and weight loss! Clearly, people noticed, because like I said, I was rolling in the compliments.

On Friday, I pushed myself to find that feeling again and keep it up. On Saturday, I went to a BBQ all dolled up (for my standards, haha) and followed it immediately by a volunteer shift at the police department. I was feeling good. I had spent the afternoon in the sun with friends, I had enjoyed good food and good wine, I had enough time to stop at the grocery store and bring the cops some snacks...

I walked into that precinct feeling good and happy and looking forward to seeing my partner (never mind that I ended up at the wrong damn precinct, haha). I greeted the cops at the computers with a big smile and a warm hello, and...

I had one of them in particular fussing over me almost immediately. Boy, was he chatting me up. Told me he was glad I had gone to the wrong precinct (doh!) because it gave them a chance to end their shift with a smiling face. Told me it was his lucky day.

Wow. Oh, duh, I forgot to get his name. I'm a terrible flirt.

Seeing success, I applied the same warmth to the other precincts. Big smile for everyone, chatting everyone up. Amazing the difference in reception. Because, see, I'm already a very warm person. I already smile at everyone and chat people up wherever I go. But turn it up just one notch and have a little bit of glam on, and how different things were. My partner - a handsome single guy I mentioned after our last shift - was getting to know me all night, it's just a very big difference. (We are not a match, by the way, I knew after our last shift but know it now, even more. But a very nice guy and a good partner to work with.)

Back to the massage. My massage therapist, after falling in love with Sabrina's pictures on facebook, which I had to show him for our confidence/sex appeal chat, said Sabrina is very good for me. He told me I've always been beautiful, but that confidence takes sexy and cranks it up all the way. He said he could see it in me the moment he saw me that day. It's funny, because it's true. I can feel it, and I can see others' seeing it in me. The SBUX boys, my coworkers, etc. It's just a happy, confident feeling.

For me, it's all about the shoes. If I have tennies on, I feel no sex appeal. Put some cute shoes on, and I feel cute and sexy. So why, why, why do I insist on wearing tennies all the time?? Lazy. I've been working on it. But definitely the more put together I feel, the more confident I feel and the more outgoing I am with everyone.

Here's my struggle. I am warm, and happy, and outgoing, all that good stuff. But I also feel silly easily. So, push me out of my comfort zone, and I am rattled. I look at Sabrina's picture, above, and I think she is just the sexiest thing ever! I look at my sassy picture, below, and I think, "Oh there I am pretending to be sexy." I can't show that picture except in jest.


On Friday, with my cute sandals on, Sabrina made me cuff my jeans to show them off. She has already applauded me today for wearing them cuffed again. When Sabrina walks around in cute sandals and cuffed jeans, I think she looks great. When I do it, I wonder if they're at the same height. I feel like I'm showing off.

Hell yes, you're showing off, Sabrina says. That's the point.

I've seen a bazillion of Sabrina's pictures (she is not camera shy). In pictures with her husband, he always has a bit of drool hanging down his mouth when he's looking at her. Hands all over her. Um, I want a man who drools when he looks at me, can't keep his hands off me. They've been married forever and he still looks at her like she's the most beautiful woman in the world.

Yeah - she's good for me. I want what she's got! My massage therapist recently broke up with his girlfriend and he said that's part of the reason why. "She stopped caring about looking good for me. For me, it was always sweats and t-shirts, no makeup. She'd go out with her friends and get all dressed up, but stopped putting in any effort for me."

I have long said this happened in my marriage, too. I stopped caring. About myself, and about looking good for him. Not only did I more than double my weight over our marriage, I stopped wearing makeup, stopped dressing up, hell, even stopped shaving my legs. I didn't give a damn about me, and I didn't expect him to, either.

On Saturday afternoon at the BBQ in the sun, I thought to myself, I should be a little bit drunk all the time. I feel so good when I've got a little buzz on - but alas, this isn't practical. So instead, I'm challenging myself to channel that energy and feeling that comes from a glass of wine. Okay, a glass and a half of wine. Happy, fun, flirty. Confident. I've been working on it since last week, and I have to say, it's pretty instantaneous results in how people receive me. Again, it's not much of a bump, but it's a little bump in energy and warmth - enough that I have to make an effort, but not so much that I'm not being me.

Final observation. I mentioned feeling silly. That's part of my struggle. The other part is feeling under the microscope. "Oh look, Julie's lost weight and now she's trying to be sexy." Again, Sabrina: Yeah - so? Isn't that the point? I feel like people are constantly making comparisons between Fat Julie and Free Julie: I know I am. :) And maybe they are. But I had the WLS to change my life, and that's exactly what I'm doing. And in time, Fat Julie will be a distant memory, for me, for the people who know me. And the people who never met her will never know anything different than Free Julie.

(Also, yesterday was the two-year anniversary of my divorce. Strangely, we ended up getting divorced on my son's birthday, or I wouldn't mark the date! It was just the luck of the draw with court dates. Anyway - although I sure have been wanting a partner again, I can't say enough about how much better I feel being away from X. Divorce is hard, and recovery sucks, but I don't think I'd be where I am today without having gotten divorced, and I am very glad for it.)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Weight Loss Graph


Today's Weight: 176.2

Today's Exercise:
-1.2 miles to bus stop

Today's Eating:
- Earl Gray with 3 oz nonfat milk

I freely admit that I am completely obsessed with my weight loss journey. :) I expect the novelty to wear off after I pass my one-year anniversary and get to goal, etc. But for now...well, it's pretty much always in the forefront of my mind.

So, I love looking at things like this graph from obesityhelp.com. Wowsa! That has been a long and steady weight loss. I am so impressed. I don't normally record upward blips in the scale - but you see that little blip where I finally just admitted that my weight was up and I could record my progress back down again. It's a reminder to me that I will always have to be careful about my eating! I have had periods of overly lax vigilance. :) I'm good with that, though, because I have felt very positive and successful throughout this process.

I ate real (yummy) food yesterday. I didn't have any protein shakes throughout the day (in the morning I just could not stomach the thought, and in the afternoon, I realized I didn't have a cold shake - just a warm one in my bag. Ew.). After my delicious massage appointment, I was a little loopy (lightheaded) and thought, uh-oh, this isn't working! I picked up a friend for happy hour at Whole Foods: had half a pork slider (just a couple bites of the brioche bun - unfortunately bread and my sleeve are not friends), a small handful of sweet potato fries and a couple ounces of beer, which was not sitting well in my tummy. Then we went to Chinook's at Fisherman's Terminal and split a berry shortcake, yum! I was very full. I admired my dedication to the cause by not eating any of their delicious foccacia bread - that was an act of superhuman strength, haha.

Later, I shall come back and blog about weight loss and confidence and sex appeal. :) I had the most interesting conversation with my massage therapist yesterday, and he made some rather astute observations about me.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Seven Months Post-Op, 86 Pounds Gone!

And because silly Sabrina took my pictures, I had to throw in a sassy pose for her, haha. And you get to see my cute $5 sandals from Target. And that's a size medium top from Target, too, while the "before" pic is a 3x from Lane Bryant. :( And while I'm listing sizes, there's my size 8 jeans. :)


Today's Weight: 177.3

I am growing tired of my liquid diet, haha. I am super proud that I haven't eaten any food at nighttime! (No food whatsoever since Sunday, but it's the nighttime overeating I'm trying to break myself of.)

Today I had my labs done in anticipation of my follow-up appointment with the surgeon on 8/22. I have never been so excited to have blood work done! I am so curious about my iron/ferritin levels, and my vitamin D, and how everything is doing inside me seven months after surgery.

I am just so pleased with the after-effects of the VSG surgery, with my weight loss, my overall health and the many, many non-scale improvements that this year has brought to my body and my life. I just can't say enough wonderful things about how glad I am I took the plunge.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

License to Lose! 85 Pounds Lost!

Starting Weight (8/8): 184.6 pounds
Today's Weight: 178.8 pounds

Today's Eating:
2 Gosh-I-may-never-eat-solid-food-again-this-is-so-good Premier protein shake (320 cal / 60 g protein)
1 Earl Gray tea with 2 oz half-and-half (xx cal / 2 g protein)
4 Earl Gray teas with 3 oz nonfat milk (124 cal / 12 g protein)

Today's Exercise:
- 1.2 miles to the bus stop
- 1 block up steep mf'ing hill to office (instead of escalators and tunnel)
- 60 flights stairs, 21.5 minutes

Yeah, baby!! That's a truthful weight on my driver license - something I haven't seen in 15 years or more! Gosh, I can't remember the last time I was this weight. Briefly, ever so briefly in 1997/98 I was below 180. Then I quit smoking and had babies and my weight skyrocketed.

Isn't that an awful picture? I can't wait to have it re-done. The DOL person snapped it when I wasn't ready, and because the office was closing, I couldn't have a re-do. That picture was taken on 9/26/09 (I know because I have my old license in hand) - I look, and feel, much better now! :)

Clearly, the liquid diet is jump starting my weight loss. This tells me I wasn't in some long stall: I was eating too much to lose weight. :( Maintenance eating, like I said. When I finish this little experiment, I am going to have to go back to basics on my eating in order to keep the weight loss moving.

Hey - last night I wasn't a grouchy, miserable baby about going to bed on an empty tummy! Yes, I very much wanted to eat - very much wanted to! But it was much more bearable than the night before. Tonight, I canceled plans to go to a meetup.com happy hour function. I know there is no way I could go meet a bunch of strangers and not eat/drink. This weekend I have a going away party for a friend and I will probably eat and drink there, but for at least this work week I want to stay completely on track. And I'm too broke to go out tonight, anyway. :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Night Eating

Yesterday's Weight: 184.6
Today's Weight: 181.1

Today's Eating
- 1 Earl Gray tea with 3 oz half-and-half (118 cal / 3 g protein)
- 4 Earl Gray tea with 3 oz skim milk (124 cal / 12 g protein)
- 1 Earl Gray tea with 2 oz whole milk (3 g protein)
- 2 oh-so-yummy-who-needs-food-when-there-is...Premier Protein shakes (320 cal / 60 g protein)

Today's Exercise
- 1.2 miles to bus stop
- 1 block up steep mf'ing hill to office (instead of cutting through building)
- 60 flights, 21:26 (plus 8 flights down, since my buddy bailed on me and I was locked out!)
- .5 mile walk to bus stop

I'm off my period, so I'm sure that gave me a drop on the scale. I've been bouncing around between 181 and 183 for awhile now! Yesterday's weight was the highest I'd seen in some time - I attribute it to the carb-fest of the prior weekend and my period, which probably drove the carb-fest, haha.

Let's talk about night eating. I have a near-pathological need to go to bed with a full stomach. If I fall asleep without a full stomach, I will wake up shortly to eat until I am full. I have battled this FOREVER. Now, with a tiny tummy, it is easier to fill myself up: but the "need" to be full still exists.

Last night, I played tough love with myself. When I did my two-week pre-op liquid diet, I didn't even make myself adhere completely to the plan at night. (I was allowed 2-3 protein shakes a day and a reasonable dinner. I played it a little fast and loose with the "reasonable dinner" definition - again, eating too much at bedtime.)

I slept like crap last night. :) I had a hard time going to bed, had a hard time falling asleep. Dozed and then woke up several times. I very nearly broke down and went for a snack.

No. I'm going to beat this thing for good. This is a ridiculously bad habit, and it is very self-destructive to my goals. Not to mention a foolish lack of self-control.

I need to teach myself that it feels good to go to bed with an empty stomach. To not wake up still feeling bloated and full. It will be a tough sell, haha.

But! IMAGINE how proud I am of myself this morning! Not one single morsel of food passed my lips yesterday. I ate (and drank) exactly what I logged (except for a couple glasses of crystal light). I am successfully reprogramming my head to regain control of this weight loss.

We'll see how I feel about it later today or tonight, when my tummy realizes we're *still* not eating, and I have to endure night two of no bedtime feeding frenzy. Oy.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lost Yer Food Privileges, Did Ya?

Today's Weight: 184.6 pounds

Today's Eating:
- 1 Earl Gray tea with 3 oz whole milk (55 cal/3 g protein)
- 3 Earl Gray teas with 3 oz skim milk  (93 cal/9 g protein)
- 2 super-yummy-gawd-I've-missed-these Premier Protein Chocolate shakes (320 cal/60 g protein)

Today's Exercise
- 60 flights stairs, 23.5 minutes
- 1 mile walking to bus
- JOGGED .25 MILES!
- Walked track 1 mile

Woe is me and my carb-hungry little tummy. I am on-track for a zero-loss month in my 7th month post-op, and I am not happy about it! Although it is my time of the month, I am a bloated and overfed suckling pig. I can tell you that there is no way on earth that Monkey Munch/Puppy Chow/Muddy Buddies and I can exist in harmony. Refer to my post earlier this year, I Know What Evil Looks Like. So it was perhaps not the best decision to make a giant batch of it to bring to my friend's house this weekend. (Although, with six kids 14 and under between us, it also seemed like a very good decision to bring it.)

Anyway, it was a long, carb-filled weekend spent munching Monkey Munch, which I didn't even know existed until Kim's daughter made me some, and then eating a Drumstick on the long drive home from the Vancouver/Portland area. And it occurred to me: stalls and slow-downs are par for the course with WLS, but with my current eating and lack of physical activity...well, I don't get to blame it all on stalls or slow-downs, do I?

Is this it? Am I happy with my weight loss? Am I prepared to throw in the towel and call this good?

No.

I *want* to get to goal. I want to weigh in my 120s. Hell, I want to weigh less than 150. I am not done. Ipso facto, it's time to hit the reset button on this weight loss game. I have put myself into maintenance mode this month: not eating terribly much, but eating as I would expect to eat when I have gotten to goal. Gone are 2.6 ounce packages of vacuum-packed tuna, a hard-boiled egg for breakfast, et al. Welcome have been half and half in my tea, 3/4 of a taco from Taco Time as a recurring meal, etc. Maintenance eating.

(Monkey munch - cherry vodka cocktails - Drumstick ice cream cones...these are the aggregious food violations of late.)

Anyway, I stopped at Costco and bought protein shakes last night. I'm cleansing my carb-hungry palate. Reminding myself exactly how tiny the tiny tummy is. Forcing myself into a higher protein intake. Try as I might, I just do not believe that I get 70+ grams of protein in a day with my normal eating. That is quite difficult to accomplish without supplements, I'll have you know!

The plan: repeat the two-week protein shake diet. I will be flexible: my goal here is not to starve or punish. It's to remind myself how much of my eating is boredom/emotional/mindless. I have 15% of my former stomach - I simply do not get hungry very often. But my eating has been creeping back to my pre-op days, and I will not stand for it.

Will I make it? I have to say yes, because if I start giving myself outs now, I'll come up with all sorts of ways to excuse myself from the goal. We'll see how it goes, but yes, that is the plan. I have survived it before, I will survive it again.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Seafair Through the Years

Firstly, I love it when the Blue Angels are in town! Don't complain to me about the noise, I won't listen!

Here are pictures of me from very nearly the same day in 2009, 2010, and today, 2011. Awesome! As you can see, my office dress code is business formal. ;) Or at least that's how I interpret it.

You can tell - I put on about 30 pounds between 2009 and 2010's pictures. :(

That's About the Size of It

(This post really needs a picture, but I had buyer's remorse and returned my bounty, so, alas, no pictures!)

I went shopping at lunch time yesterday. I am down to just a few shirts, but the biggest problem is actually the way they hang off my shoulders. I've always got a bra strap (or two) showing, things scoop down too low and show the top of my bra, etc. Unless I'm wearing a simple t-shirt, of course. But the few cutesy new summer tops I've bought? They look big and sloppy.

Okay - I'm only 5'3". I've known forever that I need to shop in the petite section. I *used* to shop in the petite section. But finding clothes that are both plus-size and petite-size is tough! Lands End was always good for that, but that's about it.

And I was too intimidated to try petite sections again right now. The last time I did wasn't all that long ago (it was the beginning of June, actually). That day, the few XL petite tops I tried on did not fit well at all. Ipso facto, too psyched out to go back!

But it is no fun feeling pretty if you also feel sloppy, and that's how these hanging tops make me feel. Sloppy. I made myself go to Nordstrom yesterday and hit the petite section. (I fancy myself a rather rich lady, in my mind, anyway. I love to go to Nordstrom because they have people who know how to dress me pretty.)

I grabbed a bunch of tops and the saleslady chose several more on the way to the dressing room. I tried on the ones I chose and hated them. The saleslady peeked in and said, "Oh my, what on earth size did you grab?"

XL, I said.

Silly girl - you're a medium, she said.

I didn't believe her, but I tried on one of the tops she brought back.

I'M A PETITE MEDIUM! Shocking!!

In not even seven months, I've gone from 3x/4x tops to Petite Mediums and size 8 jeans. It is absolutely mind-boggling. It also makes me think about the 50 pounds I still plan to lose...wowsa! How big will I be then?

There's still PLENTY left to go, believe me. My boobs and belly - ack. I was just telling my boobs this morning that they do a fine tube sock impersonation when I bend over. Which led me to study them in the full-length mirror as I bent over. Which made me realize that I should start saving my pennies for a tummy tuck and breast lift, haha.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Two Years Ago Today

Well, for one, I was out on a boat on Lake Washington, watching the Blue Angels. :) That was a good thing!

I'm cleaning out my virtual desktop, a place I know I should not store files, but do. Ran across this picture from 8/2/09. Who is that woman?

I bought that swimsuit the day before for this trip. I thought it was so slimming. :( Wait until I get around to taking the "monthly" swim suit photos - that suit is hanging off me now! (I should actually buy a new suit for the photos, we'll see if I get around to it.)

Shout Out

A quick shout out to a friend who is having RNY today by my surgeon! Good luck and speedy recovery! You are in wonderful hands.

I blew the job interview yesterday. There were 9 questions: I knocked 7 of them out of the ballpark. I totally had the panel satisfied, and I knew it. However, there was one gaping hole in my experience (managing project budgets over $10M) and they asked. It wasn't something I could bluff my way through: I knew the question was coming and I did the best I could demonstrating other experience.

Then I embarrassed myself with the softball question: what would your supervisor say about your ability to arrive and leave work on time? Ok - my supervisor was a customer service manager for the Four Seasons Hotel. I am a single mom of three kids. We clash in this regard. I wish I had answered smoothly, but it went terribly and I am full of regret.

Oh well. There are two internal candidates who are working out of class in the position - it's pretty much a gimme that one of them will get it. Promotions can be hard to come by in government work. Also, I am not without reservations about the job. We'll leave it at that. :)

Still - you want to be the one on top. I am sad about my pithy budgeting experience and my complete failure to nuance a sensitive subject. Such a miss on my part! It would be a promotion, but I can't say with certainty that I wouldn't be going from the frying pan into the fire on this one. :|

Oh! Guess who packed herself into a pair of size 8s this weekend? Wooohooo!! It is totally cheating - they are the same brand of jeans I keep buying from Costco (Gloria Vanderbilt "Amanda" if you are interested, only $16). They are very stretchy. But does the tag say "size 8" and am I wearing them? YES!!!

I have been dabbling in upping my "girl game." Gosh, yesterday when I was dressed all fancy-schmancy (read: business appropriate) for the interview, I drew a couple looks from men in the building. I maaayyyyy buy some clothes soon. I really am limited to a couple pairs of jeans and a handful of t-shirts. A couple cute knit blouses I bought from TJ Maxx and Target, but they are all distinctive enough that I have to watch the "oh, look she's wearing that again." Bahaha, as if anyone would not say the same about my uniform: jeans, t-shirt, tennies.

Today, however, it's jeans, t-shirt, and cute sandals. :) I'm fancy!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday, Monday

Greetings! I have a job interview with another department this afternoon - keep your fingers crossed for me! It's a nice little promotion, and I'm actually quite qualified for the job, so I've got as good a shot as anyone. I am not ordinarily looking to change jobs, but this is a good opportunity that I couldn't resist. I'll report back.

Ooo, I'm only one pound off my driver's license weight! Wow!! Even when I *got* that weight listed on my license, I was a million miles away from it. I remember specifically changing it because I could not say I weighed "160 pounds" with a straight face, as was listed on my previous license. So it's been a lifetime since I was anywhere in the range I'm in now.

I am also going to TOUGH LOVE myself back into the weight loss game. I have been eating TERRIBLY this weekend. So many bread and pastry products - what the heck?? I screwed up last week and bought Wheat Thins from Costco, and then this weekend on my volunteer shift we stopped at a favorite bakery of mine and got little mini cheese croissants and a pastry. Plus a couple pieces of the samples they were giving away. :| Again, it's not so much the *quantity* of food I'm eating - I really just can't eat much, but it's the poor choices and the mindless eating. I have noticed, in general, I am letting myself make some pretty bad food choices lately.

Enough! Time to rein it back in. I am feeling FANTASTIC at this weight, but it's not where I want to stop, not by a long shot. I have just gotten a little too slack. So - today is 8/1, I have a couple goals in mind:

- By 8/11, 7 months post-op, get down to 180 pounds. That's five pounds for the month, a respectable goal. My surgeon said 5-15 pounds a month during the first year is the target.

- By 8/22, my next follow-up appointment with the surgeon, 175 pounds. That's just a nice number, and it is 71% of my excess weight lost. This is important because my surgeon estimates that you will lose 65-85% of your excess weight from the gastric sleeve. I, of course, want to do better than that. But isn't it interesting that right now I've lost 66% of my excess weight and my weight loss has slowed to a crawl?

I want to hit goal by my one-year anniversary on 1/11, so that's roughly 40 pounds in 5 months or 8 pounds per month. Seems reasonable, especially if I stop the carb binge! It's my weekend eating - it's killing me. I don't know if it stops the weight loss, or if that is coincidental (thank you, complete and utter refusal to track eating). I'm thinking it's not coincidental. :)

In other news:

- At work, they have a nurse come in once a month to check blood pressure for all interested parties. I got a super gold star blood pressure reading this month! 121/79. Yay me! I stopped taking my blood pressure meds within a month or so after surgery. It still trended a little high, but my doctor said it was okay. Now, I'm consistently getting good readings. Last month, it was 131/76. My mom and my little sis have both been on high blood pressure meds since their early 30s, even without obesity, so it runs in my family. My maternal grandma actually had a stroke in her early 30s. My doctor tells me not to get too attached to not taking the meds, haha. But pre-morbid obesity, my blood pressure always ran low, like my dad's. I am hoping this continues!