Thursday, August 30, 2012

Now You're Just Somebody that I Used to Know

Oh boy, will that song ever be stuck in my head for the rest of the morning, now that I've typed it, haha.

Here, let me stick in your head, too. :)

Gotye - Somebody That I Used to Know

I think about this song, sometimes because it is a sad song and I am still nursing a bit of a broken heart, but more often because I kind of feel like it's my new theme song for Old Julie. Enslaved Julie? The old me, anyway. She's fading from my mind - fading from my sense of "me" and who I am. The sadness, the desperation, the hopelessness...I don't feel that way anymore. (Okay, well, sometimes I feel that way, but for different reasons, haha.) So funny, considering that was so much of my "normal" feeling! I had gotten so big, I pretty much had given up...I was used to feeling physically and mentally unable/unwilling to do anything about my weight.

I have a few daily reminders of old Julie. When I take the tunnel bus, there is a long, narrow escalator to escape leave the tunnel. I've blogged about it before. It used to be, standing at the bottom of that escalator, knowing I'd endure the wrath of HATERS if I didn't climb those stairs in rapid succession (it's so narrow, you can't pass on it, so if you don't keep moving, you're blocking a long line of irritated commuters). Following the escalator is a steep one-block hill climb to my destination. And I remember, back in the day, getting off that bus and just feeling...stressed. Too tired to climb the stairs. Too winded to climb the hill. It was a rough way to start the morning.

Now, I smoke those stairs and hill, genuinely not thinking a thing of it, unless I have an Old Julie moment. Then it feels kind of bittersweet. Old Julie moments can be triggered at times like this morning, when I pass an obese person laboring up that big ole hill. I feel ya, buddy.

ANYWAY. I wanted to show you this picture. I have a feeling the "before" pictures are no longer going to be part of this blog. It's like showing you a picture of somebody I used to know. What's her relationship to me? Uhhh, I don't remember. Somebody that I used to know.

You may recall I volunteer for the police department. (My badge may say "LIMITED" but since joining the program, I always assume I am acting with the full authority of the law behind my every action. This theory has yet to be tested.) My ID had expired, so I popped in to get it reissued last week. The women in the ID office marveled at my changes: the first picture was taken 4/1/10, and the new one last week. They verified my signature to make sure it was really me. :)

Now You're Just Somebody that I Used to Know
I showed the picture to my mom, who was, as my mom, naturally very proud of me. :) And she said something that resonated...something that I had been feeling myself for awhile. "Soon, you won't even want to see these's not you."

That's where I'm at. I'm not sure I'll be posting many of the before pictures anymore, or the comparison shots, etc. It's kind of like taking pictures side by side of two different people and comparing them: they're not the same people. Period.

And that, my friends, is exactly what I was hoping for with the surgery.

Now, on to one of my favorite topics: men! Great date last night. :) Kim doesn't like the nickname "Rebar" and she didn't get my literary reference I proposed offline, so we need a new nickname. Alright, she also thinks I am being silly to avoid using real we'll just call him "C." That's a nice name, isn't it? C builds big things, and he is the superintendent in charge of building big things, so this, to a security junkie like me, says sexy, sexy, sexy. He is quite local to me, living in the same city, very nearly the same neighborhood. Wouldn't that be fun? With Greg and me, the nearly thirty miles difference was a vast geographical divide. It would be fun to date someone where you didn't have to factor in commute times. "Hey, you want to meet for a cup of coffee?" as opposed to "Let's plan a sleepover for next Tuesday!"

I had a lot of fun with C. Holy smokes, he's huge! Six foot four, and I would guess that's underestimating a bit, if anything. Not like these "5'7" guys that are really 5'6"-ish. I think he has actually lost quite a bit of weight from the pictures he has posted online, too. I think from a health standpoint, he would be a great match for me. He started kayaking this summer and has been doing it a couple times a week. He's picked out a mountain bike to buy, and has ridden some of the same bike trails I've been riding. He mentioned last night at dinner that he's eating healthy. (Um, I had the Black & Bleu Burger, myself, haha. But I was sort of trapped into that one.)

We clicked really well. I enjoyed talking to him a lot, and we have a lot in common both professionally and personally. We went to a bar near my house and enjoyed people watching: there were some characters there. He has a bit of an evil side, I'm sure. I have a bit of a good side to offset my larger evil side, so we're well matched, haha.

No red flags. No bombshells dropped. Just a great guy and a fun evening. He called me to make sure I got home, he texted me last night and this morning, and he's asked me out again. We will hopefully be seeing each other again shortly. I'd be delighted to go kayaking or biking with him, but between us we have only one kayak and one bike, haha. I'm sure we'll figure it out.

On the flip side, this morning is the first morning I haven't received a text from T, the IS/IT (there is a difference, right?) guy. Boo. I like him, too. We'll see.

Dating is fun. And exhausting. It occurred to me, yesterday afternoon when I was contemplating the evening ahead of me, that I am enjoying myself. In a "I hope I meet someone soon so I can stop doing this" way, haha. Fun, but not fun.

Edited to add: And hey, thank you all for your comments and support and cheering me on! It is fun to write knowing that someone is enjoying my recounting of my trials and tribulations. :) I know my blog is sort of a mixed bag: diary, weight loss, exercise, romance...I appreciate you sticking it out! Thanks. :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Downhill Skier and Other Silly Stuff

Even though I've lost 127 pounds (side note: after awhile, the numbers become so meaningless - AND meaningful, it's crazy. I had to pull up another online tab to see my weight loss tracker to see how much I've lost, haha), there's still a lot of odd stuff going on in my head related to all those years of obesity.

One of them is my toes. A measure of weight loss success, I feel, is being able to see one's toes. Especially for us "apple" shapes, where I carried almost all my excess weight in my belly. And boobs. 

You can imagine my disappoint after all this weight loss, and I'm still only able to see the tips of my toes when I look down! Soooo frustrating. I blame all this belly fat and loose skin.

Well, I did, until my massage therapist, whom I've been seeing twice a week in the epitome of luxury and spoiledness and Cadillac insurance plans, commented on my posture. As in, why do you stand like you're skiing down a mountain?

Bahaha, she didn't say that. But she did point out that my posture is very, very forward-leaning. I remember this from the center of gravity tests on the Wii Fit, too. You're supposed to keep the blue dot within the circle. My blue dot was always at the outer edge of the screen. This is how I stand:

I don't look this good in spandex, though.

See me standing back there? I guess I'm more bow-shaped than skier-shaped.
Anyway - a long story to tell you that when my massage therapist corrected my posture, I can not only see my toes, I can see my whole dang feet and everything else down there. So I've been berating myself for this big saggy belly, and a lot of it is just bad posture. :) I'm working on it.

Now, a bit about what an athlete I've become. :) Yesterday, I was sooooo looking forward to working out. Like, really. Really looking forward to it. Then my daughter was sick and quite pale and I didn't want her working out. So I decided to go for a nice long bike ride by myself. But by the time I got the kids squared away, my iPhone calendar reminded me of an appointment my daughter had that she couldn't miss. I only had 30 minutes or so to get in a quick work out.

Dedicated athlete that I am, I hopped on my bike and rode around the neighborhood. It wasn't a long ride, but it was a satisfying one. And after that, I parked that bike and ran around the block. Yay me! Seriously - I am (getting) addicted to exercise. It has happened. My whole life I have wanted this to happen. I love it!

And finally, a quick update on the man front. We have two contenders. They need nicknames, because the Date # thing is just not working. Both are Class A, Grade #1, Super Contenders. I am eagerly watching to see how this turns out! Interestingly, both of these men are well over 6' tall. Can you believe it?? I am only 5'3", so I can wear 13" heels! BAHAHA! We are all roughly the same age. I think I am actually about a year older than both of them. (Waves cougar paws in the air gleefully)

Dawg: You know him. He's the techie I went out with a couple times last week. Best first date ever. Really, really like him a lot. But he seems to work 'round the clock, and even though he texts every day, who knows when I'll see him again! He has three kids that are G-B-B like mine, almost exactly the same ages. We have been divorced almost exactly the same amount of time. When I asked him how he felt about dating a woman with kids (this will be a sore spot for me for awhile, haha), he said, "I'm in no position to throw stones, am I?" He also suggested we pair them off by ages, put them in a room until only one is left. This is my kind of man. :)

Rebar: New blood! He's a construction superintendent who builds bridges. Oh dear, he is crazy about short women with big smiles: we may be a match made in heaven. We started emailing, then texting, just yesterday. Boy, it is pretty rare that the emails just click along like that - and we have a lot in common. But his kid is 23 and already out of college, and he's been divorced ten years. I am liking, liking, liking this guy, so I have pre-date jitters. Did I tell you we're meeting for a drink tonight? Yes! I hope it goes as well in person as it has thus far. Plus, he loves kayaking - only one of my favorite things in the world (we sold our boats in the divorce, though). And when I said I went on a long bike ride this weekend, he knew exactly where I went and has done that ride before. We are practically neighbors! Wouldn't that be nice? Rebar asked me how many kids I have and how old; I am very don't ask/don't tell about this information, haha, but I will respond honestly if asked directly. So I said:

Kids...yes, I ((cough, cough)), have ((cough, cough)) some. ;) I've got three: daughter, 13 and sons, 11 and 7. It's the dating equivalent of wearing a scarlet A (scarlet K?) on my chest, haha. But they are with their dad (literally) 50% of the time, so I actually have plenty of free time for myself. They've got a great dad and we parent well together, so it only sounds terrifying on paper. ;)

And then he said:
That's a chunk of kids! Damn!! Ha. I'm guessing it must make dating a little harder. Trust me, being kid free doesn't make it much easier. 

So I like him. :) I'll keep you posted. I'm liking my selections, though - things are looking bright.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Oops, if I don't update the blog more frequently, I start to forget things that have happened!

Like...I went on a nearly 21-mile bike ride on Saturday! I was ever so brave, riding across the I-90 bridge into Seattle (brave because I rode into Seattle, not because I rode across the bridge, haha). It was EXHAUSTING! It took longer than I thought, too, approaching three hours round trip.

Yesterday, I did my police volunteer shift, I've been lax on this for months. During the shift, I talked my partner into walking around Green Lake, about a three-mile walk. Because that's how we athletes roll: we are always looking for a chance to work out!

Today, instead of sitting poolside and watching Reid's swim lessons, I got my butt in the pool and kicked 28 laps while I waited. Then, after the lesson, I played in the pool with him, including going down the water slide.

Seems like there's been other work outs, too. I really have been a lot more physically busy these days. I love it. Love it. It's crazy to me: I never thought I'd get to this point!

It was kind of a crap weekend on the man front. Greg brought back the stuff I had at his house, as I asked him to do. So I was expecting it, but it still sucked, yes? I had been planning to go get it, but I had bought a big wicker papa-san chair from his neighbor's garage sale, and I had no way of bringing it home. So I asked him to bring it by for me.

I had two men on the bank roll going into the weekend ;) I'll recap:

- S. is a software engineer, age 50 (I'm 42). He quit his last job recently and was looking for work.
- T. is an IT guy for my favorite college. He's my age, or a year younger, even.

Okay, so I met S for the first time last Sunday evening, on my way home from an evening with friends. Here's what I blogged about him earlier:

Date #3
 has elevated in status. He's the tennis player software development engineer. Very, very nice. Texted me yesterday morning, called me last night as promised. We had a very fun time talking to each other. He texted me this morning to have a nice day. He's a good guy, and I am looking forward to seeing him again. Minor concerns have arisen about his employment status - a lot of these positions are contract positions and I gather he is not working on any of them right now. Admittedly, I do not understand the industry. He made a references to tight finances perhaps changing our plans for Saturday...this piqued my interest as you know what a security nut I am. Greg's online profile was absolutely atrocious, but the job listed said "county lineworker" which to me reads s-e-c-u-r-i-t-y. One of my most favorite things. :) But as far as Date #3 personally, he is just a cool guy. Me likey. We'll elevate him, but there's a little clouds in the sky to watch. 

We were supposed to go out Saturday afternoon. By the time Saturday afternoon rolled around, I was fully irritated with him. Too many texts. Too much "sweety this" and "sweety that." For one thing, "sweetie" is spelled like that. For another, I spent an hour with you, bud, it's weirding me out that you're calling me sweetie. He just came on way too strong, way too fast. I was actually on my way up to our date when I got off the freeway, texted him that I wasn't coming and turned around. Can you say FED UP?

Unfortunately, I guess I wasn't clear, because he did not seem to get that I didn't want to see him again. My message was kind, but not unclear, I thought. Sort of a "hey, it was really nice to meet you, but I've decided to keep looking for my match" kind of thing. He texted back that he believes he's found his match. Sigh. I ignore.

The next day he texted and called and left a rather irritated message. Said he thought we had a connection (we did! he killed it!). Said he wasn't one to call a hundred times to find out what's going on (he was not demonstrating this skill, haha).

Anyway, I decided not to engage and just let my silence speak for itself. He didn't really do anything other than ring a whole lot of alarm bells in my head with his level of attachment and interest in me from a very early point. It's too bad, too, as he landed a $125K/year job last week. ;) But I cannot be bought. And plus, when he told me the details of that job, my first thought was, "Aren't you supposed to call your MOM and tell her this?? Not the chick you just met??"

Okay, T. is still my new man of choice. He's the one that OH, DID I NOT BLOG ABOUT THE BEST FIRST DATE EVER???? Wow!! Here's what I blogged about him early last week:

Date #4 (ooo, a new one!) has emerged as a dark horse! He emailed me through the site a couple times. I sure like his profile. Says lots of nice things about positive attitude and treating people right and enjoying life. A very nice guy. He emailed and asked if we could get coffee this week. We have been texting today, and I must say he has shot to the top of the list in terms of catching my interest. He is smart and funny - two of my favorite things. I hope to meet him soon. Plus, he works at my favorite college...good job and great mascot!

Gosh, so I didn't blog about our first date on Wednesday last week. Loved it. We sat at a restaurant and laughed our asses off for three hours straight. It was super fun. I considered him a full-blown supernova hot prospect. We planned to go out Thursday...which he canceled. And Friday...which he canceled. I said he's in IT at the college, right? Well, apparently, back to school time is a super-busy time in the IT world. I choose to believe this right now, but my interest is waning. I went out with my friends on Friday night, instead, although he and I did get together later in the evening for a bit. I am definitely charmed, but not fully engaged. I don't think this will be America's Next Great Romance. I think he has a very busy and unpredictable job. Or it's predictably just super time-consuming and busy. We'll see.

So, now T is my remaining prospect. I have a couple men who have been emailing, but I'm already nearing dating exhaustion. I think I'll dial back that pace and just focus on my athleticism. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bloaty Update

I had some serious dental work done a week ago, and I confess I was popping pain pills like candy through Saturday. I haven't had a dookie in a week, ugh! This morning when I was getting dressed, I admired my Buddha belly in the mirror and marveled at how swollen I am. Yuck. I guess even with having my gallbladder out, which people told me would make constipation a thing of the past, with my sleeve surgery, I am just prone to constipation. Of course, in this case, I was hopped up on pain pills and whatever is in them that is constipating.

It's so uncomfortable I walked down to the drugstore and bought laxatives. And I'm planning on leaving work early, because how badly do I NOT WANT to have to poo on the bus home?

Silly me. I let this go on too long, and I am paying the price. I just hate dealing with it.

On a weight loss front, I will say that it is interesting being of a normal-ish weight (I am feeling fat and bloated right now) and having these problems. Even Sabrina in my office this morning commented on my gut. :) When I was obese, swelling and bloating were just par for the course. I wore stretchy pants so I didn't notice too much in terms of changes. Today I was gasping at how tight the jeans are over my belly.

Anyway. Don't you worry, I'll go poop. Let's talk about boys. Then we can talk about working out.

The Contestants:
Date #2 from yesterday's post, the single dad with three young'uns, has been downgraded to questionable status. I haven't heard from him since his text Sunday morning about "nice to meet you, can I see you again." Will I? Won't I? Not sure! We're going to put him on the sidelines, anyhow, even though I did really like him and his body.

Man up and get in the game.

Date #3 has elevated in status. He's the tennis player software development engineer. Very, very nice. Texted me yesterday morning, called me last night as promised. We had a very fun time talking to each other. He texted me this morning to have a nice day. He's a good guy, and I am looking forward to seeing him again. Minor concerns have arisen about his employment status - a lot of these positions are contract positions and I gather he is not working on any of them right now. Admittedly, I do not understand the industry. He made a references to tight finances perhaps changing our plans for Saturday...this piqued my interest as you know what a security nut I am. Greg's online profile was absolutely atrocious, but the job listed said "county lineworker" which to me reads s-e-c-u-r-i-t-y. One of my most favorite things. :) But as far as Date #3 personally, he is just a cool guy. Me likey. We'll elevate him, but there's a little clouds in the sky to watch. 

This man knows how to work it.

Date #4 (ooo, a new one!) has emerged as a dark horse! He emailed me through the site a couple times. I sure like his profile. Says lots of nice things about positive attitude and treating people right and enjoying life. A very nice guy. He emailed and asked if we could get coffee this week. We have been texting today, and I must say he has shot to the top of the list in terms of catching my interest. He is smart and funny - two of my favorite things. I hope to meet him soon. Plus, he works at my favorite college...good job and great mascot!

Interest: piqued.

Date #5 can't really be considered a contender at this point. But he emailed me this morning, and he is cute, cute, cute and says wonderful things like "I just finished my masters degree." I emailed him back a brief note of thanks for his very kind email, which I will share with you here. How fun is it to receive this first thing in the morning?
Wow... You are very pretty and your smile is out of this world. :) my name is Eric. I liked your profile and very much wanted to say hi. I would love to chat with you some, so if you are interested  please feel free to message me. :)
Nicely done, sir. Flattery will get you everywhere.
Finally, I was going to talk to you about working out, but I am feeling a little sorry for my bloated body right now and exercise is just not on my mind. We'll come back to that later!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Three Dates in Three Days

Never having been one to sit back and lick my wounds for too long, I started dating this weekend. A lot. It was fun! Exhausting. Sustainable? Ack, I hope not necessary.

So, I set up my online dating profile. I hate online dating - the men all look alike to me. I call it the "man store." Just aisles and aisles of men. What a strange concept. If they're going to commercialize it to this extent, you ought to just be able to pick one out and buy him!

When I was obese, I tried online dating without a lot of success. It was hard for me, because *I* felt attractive, it was a real morale killer that men did not feel the same way. Unfortunately, it is what it is. I am the same person. At a "normal" weight, I am beating men off with a stick. Weight matters. This is still a hard concept for me to think too much about, because on the one hand, I am proud of where I'm at now, and on the other, my heart still hurts for the woman I used to be.

Here's what works for me when I need to wrap my brain around it. It's about health, not just looks. A normal weight conveys a sense of health and vitality about you that is missing when you're obese. I can't tell you how much better I *feel* with all that weight gone. There is simply no way to explain it. I tell people it's like aging backwards.Things that used to be a struggle, things I didn't even *know* were a struggle...well, they're not now. I watched an obese woman labor onto my bus this morning. I don't think I had gotten to the point where my weight made me labor like that, but I am young(ish). It was coming, baby.

When dating, I can't help but look at men that way now, too. I was never into obese men. However, Greg was sporting a fair amount of extra weight, as was a long-time divorce diversion friend of mine. I didn't see it on them - I was very much attracted to them. But with Greg, the extra weight concerned me. Would he regain the 60+ pounds he lost after the divorce? Would I be able to talk him in to doing activities that I very much want to do again, like kayaking? Scuba diving, or even just snorkeling?

Okay, so the three dates. Met them all online, emailed back and forth a bit, had one or two phone conversations. I'm not shy or particularly nervous about online dating, so for me, it pretty quickly gets down to meeting for coffee or a drink. That's an easy way to see if it's worth pursuing at all.

All three men were very smart and articulate, rather good looking in their own different ways from each other. Two of them (dates #1 and #3) mentioned having lost 50-60 pounds over the last couple years, which I found interesting. All three are college graduates. I am deeply, deeply attracted to hard-working blue collar men :) but I think I'm going to go in a different direction this time, or at least be a bit more thoughtful about it.

Two of the three men have advanced to the competition round. :)

Date #1: Uber-Seattle Sounders Fan
I confess, I knew going into it that this one wasn't a match, and I told him so. Or I told him I did not think we have one single thing in common, anyway. But he was very nice, his profile was hella funny, he is a reasonably good-looking entertaining guy. We met for a couple drinks last Friday afternoon before my Sunset Supper wine and food event with friends. He was downtown to attend a concert that I would never want to attend, at a club I would never want to visit. ;) He was great, though. I enjoyed meeting him, and we sat at an outdoor patio of a bar downtown and people watched. There was a hooker turning tricks, and it was a very sophisticated operation of on-the-sly waves to passing cars, instructions hollered across the street from a pimp, pick ups and drop offs (we saw THREE!) from men in generally pretty beat-down vehicles. It was crazy interesting conversation fodder, haha. He was sweet: picked up the tab, texted that night to make sure I got home okay. I do not plan to see him again. Unfortunately, I'm not really in the market for new guy friends.

Thank you for playing.

Date #2: Super Single Dad, Loves Kids
I am pulling for Date #2, I confess. I really liked him. Sure, he has THREE children of his own, and sure they are even YOUNGER than mine...but I did like him. Plus, his kids are all girls: boys would have been deal-breakers, haha. I have two of them. I *know* boys. So, mine are entering 8th, 6th and 1st grade. His are entering 5th, 4th and 1st. Oy. The upside of a single dad is that kids are part of his life. With this guy, who directs a quasi-Boys & Girls Club type facility and program: well, he likes kids. So he's not likely to dump me for my kids six months into a relationship. (Eep, did I say that out loud? Still stinging here a bit, ladies.) This guy turned my crank: he's a big football player type, works out a lot. We talked easily and had a great time, but it did feel like awkward first date. He picked up the tab, too, and walked me to my car. Gave me a hug, did not try to kiss me. Such a gentleman! Or so not interested! He asked me, though, if he could see me again. I said yes. The next morning he texted me that he had enjoyed meeting me and wanted to see me again. Again, I said that would be great. So, WHEN, already? He said he would "get back with me." Sigh. I do hope to see him again. But you know what they say, if a guy's into you, he's booking the next date. We'll see!

(A couple red flags here: he is a four-year sober alcoholic. This isn't a deal-breaker for me [I always love the prospect of a dedicated designated driver, haha] but it is something to think about and watch. Plus, I think he CHEWS. Would he have chew on a date? I came back from the bathroom and I swear I think he had chew in his mouth. This does not seem possible. Definitely something to watch. Because: eww.)

Advance to the next round.
Date #3: Tennis Semi-Pro
Date #3 found religion last fall in the form of tennis. He's lost some forty pounds or so and it can fairly be said he is not packing an ounce of extra weight. All three of these men are tall, by the way. Thank you, heavens above! I know I'm only 5'3", but I have always loved me some tall men. It's greedy, I know, taking away the tall men that should be left for the tall girls. Everyone who knew me was shocked when I married my X, who is only 5'7" or so. Generally, I dated in the 6'0" range.

Anyway, Date #3 was awesome. This man is a great communicator: we had set our date for a couple days in advance, and he checked in with me about it. He was returning from a long drive before we met, and he shot me a text message when he thought he'd be running a few minutes late. I had such a great time with him: we were much more at ease than I was with Date #2, this date pretty quickly turned to easy conversation and joking around. He also was pretty clear right off the bat that he was attracted to me: likes my smile, told me I looked great, etc. He was much more flirty, too...I told him some silly anecdote about falling on the rock jetty (uhh, I left out the "with Greg" part) and how I had banged up my shins. He looked under the table and gave them an appraising eye and said they had recovered nicely, then slipped a quick caress in there and said, "Yep, they feel fine now!" It was silly, but it had me laughing, and he said blushing, too.

Date #3 asked me out again while we were still sitting at the table, so TAKE THAT, Date #2! We're going out again Saturday...more later. Anyway, he picked up the tab, walked me to my car, gave me a hug that turned into a great first kiss. Um, a great kiss. Yay for great kissers! I walked away from that one in a hurry, because one of my favorite pastimes is kissing. :) He texted me within minutes of leaving, said he was happy to meet me and looking forward to Saturday, loved my smile and my kiss. Asked if he could call me tomorrow. Very cool.
You, sir, are definitely a contender.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

First 5K: Me and My Girl

My Bug and Me
We did it! My daughter and I did our first 5K this weekend: the Snoqualmie Railroad Days 5K. Jen from Runner Maybe was able to come out and join us, which was great. We all had a fun time. Our time didn't break any land-speed records (49:19), but the important part was that we set our sights on doing it, we did it, and we finished strong! I am so proud of my girl. She has been really earnestly working out since late May, when we re-joined the YMCA. She struggled yesterday, more than I expected, but I think that was due to the humidity and some allergies that have cropped up for her. Whatever's going on outside has her getting stuffy and having difficulty breathing.

I am so proud of her. She said that when we arrived, she got very nervous. She didn't show it! She's such a trooper, man, just getting in there and getting it done. Today, actually, we were going to go for a bike ride, but her bike had a flat tire. I suggested we walk the route instead. It turned out to be a very hilly five mile walk! She didn't complain once. I knew she was desperate to finish it, but she just kept on going. The most she said was "I'm never walking up that hill again." I said that she HAS to walk up that hill, because next time it will be easier. She said she doesn't have to walk up it because she learns from her experiences, and she knows from experience, walking up that hill sucks. Haha, it's no wonder she's already planning on law school and playing around with LSAT tests. :) She's taking a debate class this fall - it is going to be an interesting time in our house. ;)

For me, I am super excited about how super excited I am about exercise these days. NEVER IN MY LIFE. I've simply never felt this way. When my daughter's bike had a flat tire, I wanted to leave her I was so disappointed. After our five mile walk, I was *this close* to going on that bike ride alone, but I have been neglecting my chores at home, and I have a party to attend this afternoon for a friend. In fact, I am running quite late in getting ready for that party. :|

Also, I will have to update you on my other big adventure of the weekend: three dates in three days. Three different men. It has been fascinating, if not tiring. I am meeting the third tonight, on my way home from that party at a friend's. Of the first two, one was a great guy with no romantic connection, as I had been anticipating. Last night's date was great and I would very much like to see him again. Tonight's date is an equally intriguing prospect. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

On the Upswing

Wow, I'm feeling human again! It has been a tough month, but I feel like things are back on the upswing. I had a fun afternoon with a friend yesterday, going to the Seattle Art Museum and having sushi for lunch. I went with my highly attractive and very flattering friend, J, who always makes me feel good and happy.

More importantly, though, yesterday I went for a ten-mile bike ride! I cannot remember the last time I rode a bike. Well, that's not exactly true: last year after we moved into this house, I remember riding the bike around the block with my youngest son a couple times.

So, here's how it happened. (You can tell this was a monumental event, because I can't just say "I went for a bike ride" and leave it at that, hahaha.) I was planning to go to the Y, but my daughter couldn't come (her dad was picking her up). It was a gorgeous sunny afternoon. I have been wanting to try my hand at running again, but I am still babying my knee. I really, really, really want to be a runner. So I'm trying to take my knee back to Square One, where I was running happily and it didn't hurt at all. I'll get there - it's just muscle, not my joint at all.

I decided to go for a bike ride. I live in one of the most supremely beautiful parts of the country, and there is a big lake right outside my door (well, very close). There's all sorts of bike trails around. Problem is, to get to the lake, it's all downhill. Which means it's all uphill to get back from the lake, haha. As I was getting ready for the ride, my daughter Alli pointed this out. "You're going to be tired at the end of your ride, but you'll still have to ride up all those hills to get home." She's the voice of reason, and I've already decided I should just listen to her, haha. When G dumped me by text? She was OVER him, just like that. "By TEXT?" she said. "What kind of jerk does that?" No excuses allowed for him, nuh-uh, she liked him but he pulled that stunt and she was *done.*

Okay, so Alli says I'll be tired. I know I will be, too, but I don't want to talk myself out of my new adventure. I live at the top of a hill - if I am going to bike ride, I'm going to ride uphill. Or just circle my block endlessly. :)

It felt AWESOME! It's true, you never forget how to ride a bike. You do get a little shaky riding between bollards at trail heads, or passing runners on the trail, but you keep the overall logistics. I rode down to a lakefront park, then turned around and began the long ascent home.

I google mapped it when I got home, and round-trip, the ride was exactly ten miles. Not a long ride, but a good starter ride! And very hilly! I had such a blast. I was tired when I got home, but not overly so. A little shaky-legged. Not sore this morning: I was almost expecting I would be. I can't wait to get out there again! I'm already thinking about what kind of bike I need to buy, haha. Mine is one of those cruiser-types that has seen better days. We'll see. :)

I had some actual thoughts for this post besides nattering on and on about my bike ride, but I'll have to come back another time. I'm happy to be so happy about the's just one more of those NSVs (non-scale victories) that I'm discovering along the way. I had the *best* time riding along - you remember my grinning like a goofball half-marathon picture...well, I am sure I was grinning like a goofball while I rode along, too. :)

Happy goofball.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Pro/Con List

I did a pro/con list about my relationship with G, and I am not terribly surprised to see that most of the pros were hobby related:

- motorcycle
- boat
- crabbing
- fishing (I *did* love this, I tell you!)
- gardening
- cooking

It turns out maybe I'm not in love with the man, maybe I'm in love with his interests, I guess. Interests that I can largely develop on my own, or find someone new to pursue them with.

Damn, I will miss that motorcycle. You have no idea. I should buy my own again. I obviously have some sort of motorcycle lust. But it turns out I like riding on the back more than I like riding it myself. Something about taking the responsibility away and I just get to enjoy the ride!

I ran into him on this street this morning. That's going to happen: I work downtown and he works on a street crew that largely works downtown during my work hours. He waved when he saw me and then came over to meet me when I crossed the street. We spoke for a few minutes. He said he is sorry, he said he misses me and cares about me.

I told him I saw his online profile back up on the dating site. Asshat. Okay, I saw his when I was putting up *mine,* but, sheesh. I said it's clear it's not that he doesn't want to date, it's that he doesn't want to date *me.* He said that wasn't true at all.

I feel like I'm caught in an episode of "He's Just Not That Into You." If I saw me on TV, I would be screaming at me to "RUN AWAY!!!" I'm no dolt, I assure you. I know what I *should* do, I just don't wanna do it.

Plus, I have a million more reasons to break up with him than he does with me. The fact that I have lovingly penned this blog for well over a year but would be embarrassed to tell him about it is high on the list. The fact that my friends and I went river rafting without him (what had been "our" trip) and I had a stinking blast...well, that's a good reason, too. Sure, I would have had fun if he had been along, but it's a different trip. I wouldn't have jumped in the freezing river, for one thing. I probably wouldn't have gotten drunk in the sun while I floated down the river, for another. And I had *fun* while being drunk in the sun on the raft! There is a side to me, an extra dimension or volume, which I always turned off for Greg. I do not turn it off with my friends. :)

Of course, I jumped in the river while I had my iPhone in my running belt around my waist, so maybe it would have been better if Greg were along. I'd still have a phone, wouldn't I? But wouldn't it be nice to have a boyfriend who would JOIN IN that ridiculousness of the day? We would have had fun if he was along, but it would have been a different trip.

Our rafting guide probably would have liked to have him along, haha. We were fairly obnoxious, I think.

Anyway. I put my dating profile back up this weekend, and I did a three-month membership to eHarmony. Bah. Right away I got "questions" (indicating interest) from two men, both 5'4" tall. Sigh. Plus most of my matches are in their mid-50s. I am 42. I do not feel grown up enough to date men in their mid-50's, plus, if G, at 44, was turned off by young kids - how would the parent of college graduate(s) feel about them??

I'm actually emailing with two nice men from the other site. One is a long-term public servant like myself. A bit higher level. Seems like a very nice guy. We will actually have some people in common, I think, just because of the professional circles we're in. Photo-wise, well, he's a middle aged man with very kind eyes. It's so hard to tell.

The other guy would be a good replacement for Cappy, I think. You remember Cappy? He is very funny and we probably have very little in common, but I exchanged several emails with him and enjoyed myself very much. At least, if I do end up meeting him, we have a lot more in common than Cappy and I ever did, and he is a nice, normal looking attractive man (6'3" tall, woohoo!).

Both men are very, very sharp and articulate. Sorry, G, but I have to say they've got you beat there, big time.

We'll see. I wished that when I was talking to G, I would want to spit on him or stomp on his steel-toed boots, but I just wanted him to hold me. :( Jerk.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Moving On (Up)

What a long week! I'm still here, everything is fine. Today's weight was 137.5, a little surprising considering I have not eaten much *at all* this week. Partly not hungry, partly not wanting to open the door to my lifelong friend, Emotional Eating. I'm a bit afraid if I start, I'll never stop. :) I did go out with a friend last night and have two lemon drops, which I was very careful to precede with a slider burger so I didn't get sloppy drunk on an empty stomach, haha.

I'm going to wrap up the G. subject here and close the books on it. We talked yesterday. He was sorry he dumped me, especially in the way he did it, by text. He said he loves me. Briefly, it hung between us as a opportunity to stay together. Even though it was crappy timing (he told me during this conversation his daughter had ridden to the lake with a friend on Sunday who DROWNED while they were there, and she is inconsolable), I just pulled the plug on our little life-support relationship. He has so many stressors in his life - and I don't like how he handles stress. Breaking up with me by text completely out of the blue implies to me that he is so self-centered he doesn't see me as a real person. Or he can't assess how his lashing out like that would impact me. I could expound on this with other examples, but suffice to say it is a concern of mine.

Anyway. He's a good man and I had a great time with him. It just goes to show that the dating pool continued to get better and better as I went along, so I am quite excited about meeting the next good guy. I'm going to take a brief respite and get back out there.

It hasn't been all bad this week. I got to go out on the fire boat on Tuesday with my coworkers.

Coming soon to an online dating site near you.

With my sugar daddy. :)
This weekend will be fun: me and my gang are heading up north for a river rafting adventure that they have thoughtfully ended at a winery for lunch and wine tasting. I am very excited about it. The gang went on a similar trip the summer before last, but I did not go. I was too worried they would not have rain gear and a life vest that would fit me. I have no such concerns now! :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Divorce Diet

Well, one good thing will come of being dumped, anyway. Let's see if I can push that weight down below my last two goal weights: one half of me gone (131.5 pounds) and breaking into my 120s (129.9999 counts, haha).

Freakout weight: 149.9
Today's weight: 137.5

I'm participating in the Run with Jess Lose a Half Marathon Challenge - I'm pretty sure my starting weight was 144, so losing 13 pounds would put me at 129: exactly where I want to be. This is week 7 (of 13?). Maybe it will happen! Last week, I was featured (hey, I was the first one listed!) as a Scale Crusher on Jess' page (I linked to the exact post, above) for losing more than five pounds.

Nope, haven't heard from him. Bah. I will, I just don't know when or what we will say. I must tell you that as more time passes, I am wanting to keep him less and less. Like *getting pissed* wanting him less and less.

Here's another thing. I was thinking about this yesterday while I was running the track with my daughter. It wasn't exactly blazing heat, but it was pretty close. The track had a lot of shade, actually. G is a healthy man, whom I am immensely attracted to. ;) However. He lost about 60 pounds since his divorce (a year next month) and he smokes. A lot. When I met him, he said he was going to lose another 25, but maybe having a hot new girlfriend stalled those efforts. His weight has creeped, he says five or so pounds, since we met. I say more like ten, based on what he told me he weighed then and now.

Two things that I have struggled with my whole adult life: weight gain and smoking. As I was trying to run myself stupid at the track last night, trying to clear my head, I wondered. How smart is it for me to be with a man who struggles with the same demons as me? It would be one thing if he were battling the demons, but he will not try to quit smoking. He has quit once in his life for a month and re-started. He is a big, solid man with a big appetite.

Fishing with my son. 
It took me 40+ years to decide I had enough. Enough of the weight fluctuations, enough of the perpetual gaining, enough of throwing in the towel on my health. And I am fighting the battle, hard. And with my WLS, I can't gain back all the weight I've lost, but my freakout weight surely proves that I can screw this up. Regain after weight loss is very common with WLS patients. Now, I would absolutely, truly pick true love if it came with a few extra pounds. :) But that's not the point.

G is not going to be someone who shares my new passion for fitness. He has a physically demanding job, and he's not going to jump at the chance to go for a run with me after work. Mayyybbbbeeee a walk around the neighborhood. But he's a busy guy and he's got lots to do around the house and yard. If I'm with him, my commitment to fitness is going to remain absolutely, wholly my responsibility. No partner spurring me on, challenging me, encouraging me to try new activities with him. He has no interest in things I love and want to return to, like kayaking and snorkeling...things I would love to try, like scuba diving and maybe even some method of propelling myself down a snow-covered mountain. Skiing, maybe. Snowboarding.

When I was an obese smoker trying online dating, it peeved me to no end how many men's profiles said "absolutely no smokers" and "physically fit only." How shallow! Monsters! As a smoker, I thought, jeez, it's not that bad.

As a non-smoker dating a smoker: it's that bad. And I'm still in my honeymoon period of quitting again, so I am more tolerant of it than I might be a few months down the road. I still sometimes catch a whiff of smoke and think, "Yum!" rather than "Ugh!" haha.

Even though G carries some extra weight, I would characterize him as very physically fit. He is strong and healthy. But he will continue to battle his weight, as I will continue to battle mine. The difference being that as of right now, anyway, I have had enough and he has not. How would I feel if he followed my old patterns and regained the weight he lost? And then some? While I'm out running half-marathons? Hmm.

Anyway, these were my thoughts as I was running around that hot track, thinking about a future with G. I have other concerns, too. (Ask me how pissed I am getting about being broke up with by text message - just ask me, haha.) I am in love with that man, and I know that part of my ruminations are self-preservation. Protecting myself for the breakup, if that's where it's going. But whether I decide to leave him behind, or he decides (or has already decided) to leave me: it will be important for me to remember that while there are many, many great reasons to be with him, there are also lots of good reasons to keep looking.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Freakout weight: 149.9
Today's weight: 140.5

I post the freakout weight, not because I am freaked out, but because I am putting myself on watch for two things: gaining weight and starting smoking again. I can honestly say I do not feel at risk for either one, but I know me, and I know I need to be vigilant right now.

G. dumped me yesterday. By text. I wasn't even going to blog about it, but it's hanging on every single thought I have since it happened: "oh, we need toilet paper...G dumped me." "I'll have a venti single Earl Grey with a little bit of soy...G dumped me."

I might as well spew it all here and see if it clears my head a little. I'm planning to throw myself into my work as a distraction, too. Blech, it's going to be a long week!

It was unexpected. It may or may not be final. For my part, I am undecided if I want him back. I do love him. I am in love with him. He is very much not perfect, but neither am I. For his part, he has been working around the clock and is under tremendous family pressure right now...he may not have room for me in his life. I think he is feeling cornered.

I don't help the situation. Try as I might, I am insecure and suffocating. It's as if I spent months being so afraid that he'd break up with me, that he ultimately broke up with me. Now, I'm not running around "Are you going to break up with me? Do you love me?" Blah blah blah. But I set an expectation that we spend a lot of time together: pretty much all my kid-free time. I'm not the only one who set that expectation: until his daughter moved in, he wanted to spend every minute with me. Then she really struggled with it, so we dialed back - then he wanted more time with me and we ramped it up again.

I think what happens is that when his life becomes too much pressure, he can't handle having an ever-present girlfriend and it becomes my fault that I'm still bopping along the path of spending all our free time together. And instead of him just saying, "I need to take this weekend and deal with my family, I'll talk to you next week," he gets mad at me for making plans to be with him. So it's a little presumption on my part and a little bad communication on his part.

Since we haven't talked, I don't know if there's more to the story. I know that as we have gotten more serious, he continues to struggle with the fact that I have young kids. I suspect this may ultimately be a deal-breaker for him. He is a planner to the nth degree, and he has a plan for his life, and I honestly do not know if there is room for young kids in it.

I think he loves me - I think he's irritated as hell with me right now. He has been working many hours in fire retardant clothing (special heavy fabric to your wrists and ankles, steel-toed work boots) in 90 degree Seattle weather, and he is exhausted. His sister is leaving her partner and moving in with him, along with her two English bulldogs. He is a neat-freak and does not like dogs. His daughter has a long-haired cat which already drives him insane. He is a very, very unhappy guy right now.

It's like there's a target painted on my forehead. He's looking for jetsam and flotsam in an overwhelming life, and I think her name is Julie.

Oh well. I want him back, or at least today I do. I'm really not sure. I love him. He is not perfect. I am *seething* that he dumped me by text, and whatever got him to the point of dumping me was not something he could talk about. My X did this, too. Maybe I am especially hard to talk to. Maybe I keep pairing up with men who can't talk. Oddly, though, G is actually very good at expressing himself - it is just hard for him and he doesn't like it.

Anyway, I responded to his text by asking if we could wait and talk about it in person. He said yes. I said that I feel like I have been suffocating him and I am backing off. We haven't spoken since, and I'm not contacting him.

There are a lot of reasons for us to break up, but there are better reasons to stay together. Just last week, I texted Kim at 10:41 pm, "Ugh, I don't want to see him anymore. Moody asshole. I am texting you instead of him, on the off chance I feel differently about it tomorrow." He has had a lot of shit going on and he was not pleasant last week. We'll see where this goes, I really don't know if he's interested in pursuing it. I am...but only just. We'll take some time and see if he misses me (I already miss him terribly.) and just go from there.

If not, it's back to the drawing board. But I have to say, I'm really glad I have this new interest in running and fitness to draw on. I am looking forward to a massage for my shoulder and knee this afternoon, following by kicking some ass at the YMCA. Endorphins, here I come!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

We Runners Stick Together

My friend is trying her hand at online dating, and one of the men she's matched with has a photo of him running a race here in Seattle. (Not sure if it's a marathon or "only" a half-marathon, bahahaha - see my tirade in a previous post) Anyway, I told her to go ahead and contact him, he looks nice and as a fellow runner, I'm sure he's a wonderful person, full of energy, commitment and passion.

Oh, I have self-diagnosed myself with ITBS. This afternoon I have an appointment with my awesomesauce massage therapist, who has been helping me with my shoulder injury. I will ask her to turn her bad-ass hands loose on my IT band and work her magic. It's kind of sad: I really can't run right now without aggravating it. In fact, I can't really walk down the steep hill to my bus stop without aggravating it. I'll be following the recommendations on the page I linked to, above. Most especially, I'll be heading out to get a foam roller this evening, as that, and ice, feel like what will help the most. (I'm not a doctor, but I watch them on TV.)

I really hope this doesn't screw up my plans to run that 5K on 8/18 with my daughter. Grr. I've sort of goofed up my running training by jumping right into that half-marathon last month. But jumping right into that half-marathon was exactly what spurred me into being really interested in running! It's a real chicken or the egg thing, I suppose.

Don't mind me...I am T-I-R-E-D and a bit loopy. :) I attended a lunch time seminar (food allergens and testing) and I actually fell asleep in the crowded conference room! Not sure what's going on. I can tell you, however, that I *completely* forgot that I am dairy- and gluten-free this week and I got a taco salad with cheese and sour cream. O-M-G I am so lactose intolerant! Puffed up like a holiday parade float.

Note to gassy, bloated self. You are lactose intolerant.
My nearly seven-year-old needs a root canal, his father told me this morning. Who knew they did root canals on baby teeth? Why does he need a root canal? Oy, this child's teeth are made of putty, I tell you. Not even seven and we have spent a fortune on his teeth. Apparently, pulling a baby tooth molar is bad news, creating all sorts of problems regarding tooth spacing as his permanent molars come in in several years. I didn't have him at the dentist, so I'm getting second hand information. Both X and my daughter report that the little guy was up most of the night screaming and/or crying in pain from a tooth infection.

*Yawn.* Is it the weekend yet?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sleepwalking Carb-Monster

Doh! I have always been a sleepwalker. It comes and goes, depending on what's going on in my life. When I was a kid, I was always up roaming around, waking up my parents with weird conversations and such. Yikes! None of my kids are sleepwalkers or sleeptalkers, thank goodness, as it would freak me out!

I haven't walked in my sleep in awhile, although I know I've confused poor G, the world's lightest sleeper ever, several times with talking in my sleep. See, I can be quite convincing that I am actually talking to *you,* when in reality my brain is completely checked out of the conversation. So if I mumble in my sleep, which immediately awakens him to (foolishly) ask, "Huh?" then my subconscious takes this as an invitation to chat. Oh, about pumpkins, or pickles, or how I thought I was on the treadmill but it turned out I wasn't, or whatever nonsense is going on in my mind. I am also really good at the "startle awake," which will make you think I was startled awake, but is really just my subconscious pretending to be awake. I'm asleep, baby, I won't have a freaking clue what we talked about the next morning.

So I wasn't terribly surprised when I woke up with a bag of tortilla chips in bed with me this morning. Uh, and tortilla chips all over my sheets. Looks like I threw a little fiesta in bed last night! It's been awhile since I ate in my sleep. Boy, when I used to take ambien, it was like a freaking food party in bed pretty regularly! (I *always* believe those crazy "I did this preposterous thing while on ambien" stories, because that pill made me do some crazy shite.)

Tortilla chips. How badly has my little subconscious wanted some carbs? Pleeeeeeeeeeeezzzzeeee. Pretty pleeeeezzzzzzzeeeeeee. PLEASE. NOW! Okay, you asked for it - I'm in control now! Get up and get some chips!! Smash them into your pillow, too!

Huh. I'll have to ask my boys if they saw me, because they slept in the living room. I have the vaguest shadow of a memory of checking them or the front door or something. No chip-eating memory whatsoever. Subconscious diet sabotage doesn't count. :)

Freakout weight: 149.9
Today's weight: 140.3
Freakout factor: Hey, did I tell you I made goal?? Not freaked!

I am skipping the dairy and gluten this week (my tortilla chip party last night was at least gluten free). I ate some regular stuff yesterday: two hard-boiled eggs, some sliced deli turkey, a salad w/ kidney and garbanzo beans and beets. A very small California roll from QFC. Probably half a nectarine.
On the running front, I ran six miles on the treadmill the night before last. This will be a learning experience for me. The outside of my left knee has bugged me since the half-marathon on 7/15. I have been pretty limited in what running I can do. On Monday, it felt fantastic and I felt fantastic, and it was a great day to be alive and it was a great day to be running. So I ran six miles. My knee doth protest. Greatly. Two or three miles and the knee probably wouldn't have minded. Six miles and I'm sidelined. Last night I kick-boarded twenty-five laps and soaked in the hot tub. Today I wore my running shoes and am hoping to go trail-walking after work at Greg's. 

I have a couple great half-marathon training books, and it is time to absorb them some other way besides osmosis, which is apparently not working for me.