Friday, April 30, 2010

I Love Friday

I'm just going to pop in for a quick post ala BYOC.

1. My favorite Smell-

I have two really and they are the smells of the high desert after rain. One is the smell of wet dust in the summer and the other is the smell of sagebrush after a rain. Just typing this makes me fell all nostalgic.

2. My favorite movie-To be honest I don't really have one. What I do have is two very fond movie watching memories.

One is as a child. After school everyday our television station had the 3 o'clock movie time when they would play old movies. My mom, brother and sister and I would very often sit together, with popcorn and watch them together. It was nice inactive (not good for my weight I am sure) family bonding time.

The second is with my husband. When we were dating we discovered we both had a thing for foreign films. We spent many weekends browsing the foreign section at Hollywood video for good ones that we would then either take back to my place or his and snuggle on the couch to watch.

3. My trigger food-well apparently it is leftover snacks following a party :)...It used to be nice bread, candy, and burgers and fries. Now it is just snackies and availability.

4. Words of wisdom when a friend/family member is hurting-

I don't think it is the words that matter it is the being there. Frequent phone calls to ask how they are doing. an email or facebook post to cheer them up. An invitation to go and have down time. If they decide to talk during this period than be there for them and listen.

5. Blog post of the week-Everyone who posted an answer to these questions last week I guess and the reverberating other posts about how we covered/protected ourselves from the pain of obesity. These posts/discussions really got me thinking about how things are different, why I was fat in the first place, and how I lived my life as a fat person for all of the years I did.

Thanks-really because it is time I really look back on this path in order to gain some idea of what it means to move forward. For a while now I have been wondering what life will be like as a non-dieting, normal person. What does one blog about when they hit goal and just live life? I'm still trying to figure it out here and in my day to day living. I am starting to feel like I am at a cross-roads and one would think that as a non-dieting lapbander I would have already worked my way up to life as a non-dieter but as I lost the weight there was still the scale, still the fills, still he worrying about food..just not in a calorie counting, kinds of food thinking way. Now I am facing hitting goal and I have never been here before (ever!!!) and I feel the need to decide what I want 'it' to be.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Post Lapband Changes

Yesterday I posted a response to someone on obesity help about ideas for protein sources. I listed a bunch of seafood options and this morning I got a reply post that stated: "I don't eat seafood". This got me thinking about how much this band has changed me. It also got me thinking about how important it has been in the process to make those changes in my life but also how those changes can cause difficulty.


Pre-band I said "I don't eat" a lot. I didn't eat brussel sprouts. I didn't eat seafood. I didn't eat pork. I didn't eat brown meat. I didn't drink hot drinks. I didn't eat what I termed brown foods (health food type items) what is worse than this close minded attitude towards a whole range of foods is that whenever I made these statements I did so with a holier than thou attitude towards anyone who did.

What did I eat instead? hamburgers, french fries, chicken breast, steak, lots of pasta dishes. If it could be made fast I ate it. I ate in my car frequently and through drive up windows. I ate out frequently and sure occasionally had a nice rich calorie laden salad but more often than not I would either choose a burger or a rich pasta dish.

For Breakfast I often had a cheese sandwich (two thick slices of french bread or baguette with at least two ounces of cheddar cheese and butter. For lunch it would be leftovers. Either some box of take-home or the occasional large quantity of leftovers from a home-made meal (two or more cups of spaghetti reheated or three pieces of pizza was not uncommon). If I had my lunch via drive up window I would have a two cheese-burgers meal tossing back a medium french fry followed by both cheeseburgers and washing it all down with a diet coke. on particularly bad days I might follow this up with an ice cream a couple of hours later. Dinner would be late-around 7pm and it was often out-Chinese, Red Robin, or Indian food. I would knock back two or more cups of chicken tikka masala, a burger and fries at Red Robin or Orange chicken. In between these meals I am sure there were lots of mindless snacks that I did not even register or remember.

Today is very different. I approach my food as an adventure. I think this may have something to do with the fact that with such small quantities I want the biggest bang for my buck I can get. I want each bite to be of high quality and I want it packed with flavor. My favorite foods now are seafood. Grace, David and I shop the vegetables to try new things and the fish aisle to see what we can experiment with.

A good day (I don't know if typical exists anymore). A morning skim peppermint mocha. lunch-1/2 a grilled cheese sandwich, or 2-3 squares of cheese and crackers. I usually have a mid-afternoon snack when Grace gets home from school. Yesterday it was another latte and 1/2 a cookie. Sometimes it an ice cream cone while other times i behave myself a bit better and have a protein bar or a yogurt. Dinner is almost always home cooked these days. This week we had chicken curry (chicken breast, curry powder, rice, raisins and peas) on Monday. On Tuesday it was Chicken pot pie with a powder milk biscuit topping. I eat these out of a coffee mug or small glass bowl to help my eye register the 1/2 c I will be able to eat. Some of our other favorite dinners are turkey burger cottage pie, spaghetti with turkey burger meat sauce, home-made fish and chips and salmon patties.


Before I did a lot of sitting. I would get David or Grace to go get things for me. Laundry piled up, dishes piled up. I had piles of papers and books next to my chair along with a daily pile of dishes or pop cans. I was tired a lot. My legs ached a lot and my ankles were often swollen. I drove my long commute to work and yes I did run into buildings for observations and teach workshops on my feet. During those times I was constantly looking for things to lean on or sit on so that I could take the pressure off my legs, back and feet. I drove around parking lots to find good spots to park in.

Today I move. I still have 'my seat' in the family room and I still do spend plenty of time on the computer or watching TV but when I want or need something I get up and get it for myself. The dishes are almost always done, the laundry is washed, folded and put away reasonably quickly. I don't crawl out of bed slowly because my body hurts although I might still want to stay in it for its warm and cozy qualities. My legs don't hurt. My back doesn't hurt. I walk around the classroom when I teach now instead of perching myself on the furniture. I walk up three flights of stairs to my office instead of waiting for the elevator. I park at the first spot i can find when shopping (usually near the road entrance) and walk to the door. I have the urge to get up from the couch and go do something now (this always puts me a bit off kilter and I have to do a mental check every time the urge hits-what? are you sure you want to go do something?)...usually it is to take a bike ride. On the weekend I worked and dug in my garden two afternoons in a row and had a grand old time.


I'm not going to go into a lot of detail here...but man o man weight-loss increases ones libido and flexibility and stamina.

Outlook on Life

This is a bit of an odd one. On the one hand I have found a zest for life that I am so extremely happy with. The world is my apple and I want to experience each day actively. Ont he down side I have become a tad more impatient. My family is used to the old me and the slower pace and interactions I have had with them for years. It makes them uncomfortable sometimes when they expect me to always be at the end of the phone for them or willing to wile away an evening or weekend doing nothing.

David and I have had some conflicts lately. He married me as a fat person and our togetherness was largely sitting companionably next to each other watching a film or working separately on our computers. I think in all marriages there are times when a couple are on the same page and then others when they are out of sync. In changing my lifestyle with this band somethings have improved (like family meal times) while others have hopped me onto a separate path from him. I would desperately like to ride our bikes together or work int he garden together or go do stuff that isn't food or shopping related. I get a tad impatient sometimes with this (or in an uncleaned up version..get really pissed off and snark at him to get off his dead arse).

Before the band and weight-loss I always felt like I was sitting at the bottom of a canyon with steep rocky sides. I never had enough energy to climb out and kept slipping back down rolling around like violet in the old version of Charlie and the Chocolate factory. During this time David was half-way up the sides throwing me the occasional rope and saying come on up. The view is great up here. Now I feel like I have climbed out of the canyon and am now standing at the top looking back down at him and trying to pull him up...the only problem is you can't pull anyone else out. They have to climb out on their own and that bugs the hell out of me.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Case of Blogger ADD

I tend to read all of the updated blogs on my list before I actually write a post. The problem with this is that I read each blog and say to myself "ohh yea that is a great post. I should write something about that" and then pretty soon my post idea is either forgotten or deemed stupid or boring. Next I have a posting crisis because If I do not write the post I have already figured out in my head I don't know what to post...geeezzz..its like performance anxiety. so now I am going to post my initial idea plus some extra stuff.

High Heels-
When I weighed 304 pounds I carefully planned my footwear. If i had to do a lot of walking I had to wear tennis shoes. This meant that I had to choose my clothing to go with tennis shoes. I had one pair of dressy tennis shoes (if you can call them that) that I wore to work when I was doing classroom observations and then I had regular on vacation tennis shoes to walk around town or museums. I had slip on work shoes too. If I was just teaching for a few hours or able to sit down for most of my work day I could wear these shoes (believe me they were flat and comfortable).

Today I taught in high heels!!!! In December I bought a pair to celebrate some milestone or another. I wore them out to lunch or out for an evening but in order to wear my new too long slacks to work I needed high heels today and I wore them. I walked in these high heels from my car and to my office up three flights of stairs then down to my classroom and stood and taught class for 2.5 hours and then back up the stairs to my office and then down and back to my car. Best of all I could keep wearing them if I wanted. not that deep pain that I used to have in my legs and feet at the end of teaching a class or even at the end of the day when wearing my practical shoes. wahoooo.

Sweet Spot?

I canceled my fill appointment for tomorrow. So here is the funny thing. I have gotten so used to the lapband needing maintenance I am having a hard time with this. After no loss for two weeks I hit a hormonal and sickness tightening up for a week. I lost 4 pounds then had my bender and now I'm tight again and dropped another pound.

My last fill was months ago but the tightness has tightened and loosened quite a bit over the period. The other weird thing is what tightness feels like has changed. I can now eat some foods that were difficult and new foods have started causing me problems. Pasta and olives and pickles are now back on the menu but beef, and chicken have to be handled very carefully. Crackers sometimes cause me problems. Mexican and Indian food seems to burn as it goes down. I have to be more careful about acid reflux. Chocolate can give me indigestion as can ice cream. If i eat too much I might PB but I also might just have a wicked case of acid indigestion and feel like the food is sitting in my pouch forever like a rock.

I have tried my old fill indicator test and it says I need a fill. I can eat a full 1/2 a grilled cheese sandwich and in the past I could eat a 1/2 a grilled cheese sandwich minus a crust. Now it is the whole 1/2 and this sandwich goes through my stoma quite quickly. I could eat more but don't make one anymore thank goodness!!

So as I come up to the end of April I have lost 5 more pounds and a grand total of 115. Leaving 26 or so to reach the normal bmi range. On May 5 I a have a plastic surgery consult at another doctors office and will again report on what they tell me. We were not 100% happy with the one we went to a couple of weeks ago (flaky would be the term) so my friend and I have decided to get a second opinion. Right now my plan is to have the surgery in December where ever the scale lands. At this rate I will be at goal and need a little un-fill by then :) Fingers crossed this all pans out!

I'm thinking about the hiding behind question everyone has been posting about. Some of you talked about what you thought might be the origins of your weight problems while others talked about the coping mechanisms you used to 'cover' for your not fitting in.

I might not have always had the most positive relationship with food but I don't fully know if my weight problems are the result of my relationship with food or if something is broken with me physically that caused the food issues in the first place. I grew up with a skinny sister. She has never enjoyed food the way I did nor has she ever heard food voices in her head. She also had some kind of internal meter that told her when she was hungry and when she was full. My sister indulged at Christmas and Thanksgiving as much as I did but during the rest of year she ate when she was hungry and had a clear sense of when her body was hungry. I do not think my body told me. Now whether that was something that got broken over time or whether it was always broken I do not know. I have seen similar issues among my own daughters. I also tend to wonder if some of the people who took on a lot of self-blame for their weight in the blogs might not deserve it...I think there is more physical than everyone thinks.

Now after I was fat (and to a greater or lesser degree this has been my whole life). I thought I carved out a life for myself as the 'smart' child. My sister was the 'pretty' one so I took the nerd path. There were lots of times where I used my pursuit of learning as an excuse not to cook dinner or exercise because there was some academic deadline approaching but.I used the nerd power motto to excuse my inability to wear attractive clothes or willingness to fix my hair or makeup.

Now to end all of this I hesitate to take any blame whatsoever in any of it or regret it either. weight gain and the ensuing life i led as a result was painful no doubt but I am who I am as a result. I think much of my life would have been easier if I had been thin but it was a complicated path to my obesity and most of it was physical and out of my control. The life I carved out for myself is a good one. I have learned to value who people are not what they look like. I have surrounded myself with friends who understand human weakness and have experienced pain in a variety of ways and learned from it. My children value the inside of people not just the external. I have learned how to learn and help others learn...Any other life path would not have afforded me the same opportunities.

So perhaps instead of writing about how we hid...we should write about what we learned from this experience?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Calm Again AKA The Snackies Have Left the Building

One would think that this far into things I would have the whole lapband, what to eat, emotional rollercoaster..yada yada thing figured out. Well apparently I don't. I am now back from crazy land and feeling like the kitchen is a reasonable non-tempting place again. I had a good long nights sleep and feel ready to face my kitchen from a sane point of view.

I work up really hungry and instead of heading straight for a morning drink as has become my habit (caffeine and water) I felt the need for food. I had a bit of egg salad and three crackers. AS I have hoovered or garbaged every vestige of naughtiness out of my kitchen it should be fairly safe today.

I do not know if I have written about this before so I am either going to bore you to tears with the catching up or fill you in:

In February I went to a conference where i met up with some people who essentially do the same job as I had been doing a long commute away but in Portland (right at my doorstep). We hit it off and had a really good time getting to know each other.

A few weeks ago I met up with the director of the center and he commenced making a job for me. I know this is crazy and wonderful. I have applied for countless jobs to no positive result since 2006 and now after having a few drinks and ice cream with a group of people a job is falling in my lap. I have been cautious about pinning my hopes on it because it all just seemed to be too good to be true.

Yesterday I spent the morning working on writing a grant with the people I met at the conference. During the meeting I chatted with the center director and it really looks like this is going to pan out!! It is walking back into crazy land from the bastion of calm that I have just moved to. I am thinking that by the time fall term starts I will be all rested up. I am really enjoying working part time and having a semi-retired life. Hopefully...can you tell I'm now getting a little nervous here...I will be ready for the challenge or bored from the calm.

So the game plan-today I will continue to work on the grant (some pro-bono/investment work for the new job, get ready for midterms with my real job and put another day between me and the out of control kitchen episode. By the weight is back down to 190 (phew).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Two-Day Bender

I just read Yana's post over at girl meets band. Her post really hit home as yesterday was day two of my food bender. First I spent a day baking and making things I had no business putting together and then I ate plenty of the non-nutritious bits and avoiding the nutritious (aka the beef and vegetables). Some of my excuse for the food prep was because I was hosting my neighborhood BUNCO game but please...I so did not have to bring in potato chips, cupcakes etc. I could have picked equally good but much more nutritious items.

Day two of my food bender involved systematically snacking on every snacky item still sitting in the kitchen. Breakfast was onion flavored potato chips and some popcorn with seasoning salt. Lunch was more popcorn, some mixed nuts (ok the nuts were not horrible but still not a meal) and m & m's. When I got home from work another cupcake went down the shute followed by a dinner of more popcorn, nuts and m& m's mixed into an evil trail mix concoction. The beef was in the fridge. There were vegetables in the fridge. I could have chosen them but no...I was hell bent on hoovering each and every bunco leftover in the house.

Then came Yana's post. I of course had all kinds of advice for her. Why is it that I can know exactly what to do when I read someone else's problem but nooooo I launch headlong into my own blinding bender. So what follows is a list of the ideas/rationalizations/abusing thoughts that have run through my head as I spent all of last night (while i should have been sleeping) analyzing what the hell I was doing and thinking and what it means maybe??

1. I just came off a week of eating next to nothing and this is my body trying to regain something. My surgeon has discussed with me in the past how our bodies refuse to starve and that dirt will taste good under the right circumstances. As of this morning my body did get 2 pounds back. Perhaps this was one of those primeval urges trying to stop me from turning into skeletor (as if).

2. In my old dieting life this would have been the marker for my turn around trip to gaining again. I would have given up and been off regaining everything I lost.

3. Was I self-medicating like Yana discussed? Maybe a little. In the past I have always been an excellent little dieter when hosting parties, going on vacations, or attending holiday celebrations. It is always the day after when all of the fun and stress of being good in front of other people is over. I have always then lost the plot and eaten everything food related item I could get my hands on. I am not sure if the I am medicating the let down of fun, a way to release the pent up stress of getting ready for the event or just a purging of the goods left standing in the house.

4. Yesterday there were really moments while baking those cupcakes where I tried to convince myself that post-band I could really handle having that kind of stuff in the house. That I could bake and that somehow it would be different than pre-band when I would eat most of what came out of the oven and set myself off on weight gain and the self-loathing of 'bad eating' set in. I guess it is different a little bit because I could only eat 4 or 5 of those cupcakes, 1 cup of mixed nuts, 1/3 bag of potato chips, 1 cup of m& m's, 2 cups of potato salad. This was all of the potato chips, nuts and M&M's left but there was still 5 cupcakes that I managed in a moment of clarity (late last night) to throw into the garbage when I came up for air. The potato salad is still in the fridge and safe from me for today at least as I am not feeling the urge to crack into that really how I want to live my life? and I apparently found foods that wouldn't get stuck aka slider that I could do damage with. Is this just me? Can I change this naughty little habit? Should I stop beating myself up over or face it and try to stop? Is it OK to do this? Do 'normal' people do this?

So...was this emotional or physical? was this me or my primeval starvation-o-meter urging me on? How can I stop it from happening again? Do I need to stop it from happening again? When I have post-event-itis can I reroute my urges to a more positive outlet? I told Yana to find something to replace her urges....perhaps I should have gone out and gotten on my bike instead of laying my head on my kitchen counter with my mouth open:) another day.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2 and 1/2 Cupcakes

It is funny isn't it that after you start blogging everyday things become blog-worthy. Hardly a day goes bye where I don't interact with someone, have something happen or just think about an idea and my brain responds with: hmm that would make an interesting blog entry. I probably think about 3 possible blog entries every day. It is also noteworthy that when I do finally actually pull up my blogger window and start to type I rarely actually blog about anything I thought about before hand.

Today is no exception. I have authored several entries in my head over the last couple of days and now that I am sitting here with a window open I cannot think of a single one to get me started. So where am I going today?....Back to food of course.

I am finally starting to feel better. David thinks I got a double cold whammy...His cold from 10 days ago and a new one that he has also picked up. Now he might just be saying that so he can get a little man cold sympathy while I am sucking it all up in our house. anyway...back to the point. I hit 190.2 this morning down a good amount from 10 days ago because I have essentially been eating next to nothing. I have craved coffee (well actually a Starbuck's skim peppermint mocha)...I have had at least one a day and on some 2. other than that it has been the odd mid afternoon snack followed by 'dinner' and then not much else everyday.

Today my appetite meter turned back on. I was craving food so much that the food master drug me into the kitchen-you know that invisible beast that screams at you from refrigerators or cupboards when they contain chocolate, cookies, or anything tasty to eat). It pulled me into the kitchen for a morning of cooking (fudgy cupcakes, beef brisket for dinner, potato salad, and egg salad for Graces lunch). I was a cooking, tasting, and snacking dynamo. In my kitchen on the counter are said cupcakes frosted in marshmallowy frosting with strawberry slices. I started with 24 cupcakes and we now have 18. Grace and my grandson ate some. I am up to 3 and 1/2...note the discrepancy from the title of this post to now. I had one at 10:30 right after they cooled. the 2 and 1/2 just went down my gullet at rapid pace. My pouch officially holds 2 and 1/2 cupcakes and not one bite more.

I still have two weeks until a fill appointment. Who knows if I need one I am guessing no but after the cold is gone that might change.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

BOOBS, Boobs, Rings....and a Slding Scale With Hair

BOOBS-I am going to do my best to be there. With my new flux in employment I have a potential job in the hopper that will give me weekends off. If the dreamy job doesn't pan out (but it looks really good) I will probably be teaching on Saturdays and will not be able to arrive in Chicago until dinner time on Saturday. Will you all BOOBSy's take a late arrival?

Boobs-Remember my post about buying new bras and underwear finally? well my post plastic surgeon consultation vow to work on the remaining 35 pounds and this cold/flu thing I have had going on has started a daily shift in the scale again. I am now down 4 more pounds and I swear it all came off my boobs and chin. I have just developed a case of turkey neck and my boobs are a couple of empty sacks of skin. eek!! I am feeling the need to put a new picture up and will try and get some taken today to post.

Rings-I took my rings in for resizing and went and picked them up last night. it cost $125 dollars to have my white gold engagement and wedding ring reduced in size by 2 units to a size 6 (I don't know what the units are for jewelers..Bunny do you?).

As much as I hate feeling tired, and stuffy and sore throaty I am thrilled that the cold/flu thing I have is completely harnessing any hunger I have. Yesterday I only wanted warm drinks so all day I ate 2 skim peppermint mochas, 3/4 Starbucks oatmeal with all of the fixings and 1/2 cup of spaghetti and about 3/4 cup of light vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce. A week of days mostly the same I have dropped 4-ish pounds of fat that was failing to shift and I thought was stuck.

I have always had a bunch of really dark thick hair. I have always always shed a lot of hair. Post lapband and weight-loss my hair comes out a lot faster. I just noticed this week that when I am on a losing phase my hair comes out even faster (my weight loss always come in quick bursts of loss then two weeks of sticking and then another burst). My head starts to itch (I am assuming it is from the ends of hair floating around in there). I will run my fingers through it to scratch the itch and come away with a handful of hair. Does your hair-loss pick up when the scale is moving down? I am really trying to take my vitamins better and eat protein but I am not always as good at is as I should be.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Weekday Dish

Breakfast-1oz cheese
Lunch-Tall skim peppermint Mocha, 3 cheetos
Snack-5 corn chips left on the counter and begging to be snacked on.
Dinner-1 cup in two sessions tuna casserole with peas.
Dessert-shared (1/2 cup to 1 cup) a costco strawberry frozen yogurt with Grace. I skipped the strawberry part.

Remember this is not very much food even for me. I'm still pretty sick and not hungry at all. I drank a lot of water in between all of that because my throat hurts.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lifes Little Events

Illness-I am still sick. Last night I spend all night hacking and flopping onto poor David trying to get myself at an angle so I wouldn't gag. There is a side benefit/deficit to having a cold with a band. the continual snot drainage is filling up my tummy.ON the good side I am down a pound because I'm not really interested in food. On the bad side-the snot drainage is filling up my tummy. I pb'ed on nothing tonight...well no food or drink anyway.

Car-When my oldest daughter was 16 years old we bought a small pick-up truck. It provided us with the occasional hauling we might need to go to the dump and served as a vehicle that the girls could use to go to and from school, sports, games, etc.. The truck was also and effective choice because it only held 2 people thus limiting the number of friends they could haul around. This hard-wearing truck that has taken all of the bumps and bruises of three girls as they cut their teeth on driving is starting to show cracks. This fall the old girl had some engine and break problems that required 2 and then another 1 thousand dollars in repairs (the car isn't worth it but we coughed it up because better than devil you know than the one you don't). Yesterday the old cars breaks failed. Cinda, my younger daughter, was coming home and thankfully new how to gear down instead of using said breaks. After a bit of fiddling by her boyfriend (it is a good thing to have boyfriends who know something about cars)..we concluded that the break lines were leaking

Doesn't this just smack of espionage and attempted murder :)--well get that drama music right out of your head. Actually after having a tow truck take it to our honest mechanic we were told they had made a booboo and one of the things they replaced this fall had failed. The old girl will get a few more months of life on a newly replaced master cylinder (that is apparently connected somehow to breaks).

How I earn my crust-My new job is for the local community college. In the states we have four types of college a student can attend. Community colleges are a combined institution where students can learn a trade (nursing, mechanics, carpentry and cabinetry, various tech trades) or take the first two years of their undergraduate degree. Private universities are funded by various sources (usually with a religious affiliation but not always). The usually focus on bachelors degrees and Masters degrees and a few even do Ph.D. offerings. There are then two levels of state universities. Regional universities offer bachelors and masters degrees while state universities offer undergrad through PH.D. degrees.

I used to work with students working on their master's degrees in mathematics and science education at a state university. My new job is teaching hard mathematics to students at a community college. My old job involved lots of paper reading, providing feedback, and grading. My new job is all about helping students learn algebra and pre Calculus. I am sure there is a bit of excitement about my job because it is new but even more than that it is very nice to actually be teaching math again.

One of the problems I had in my old job was trying to write articles or papers while staying on top of all of the little house-keeping duties I was asked to carry out. I received tons of emails from my boss, had grant record keeping duties. I worked from home and commuted 1.5 hours and sometimes 3 hours each way to gather data or show up for meetings at the university. On top of this I was supposed to manage two online courses who wrote approximately two papers a week as assignments. I graded them so that students received good feedback. Yep i'm whining and did not do a very good job getting any papers out while juggling all of the other things.

My new job is a 20 minute drive away. I have a desk in a cubicle. I don't know anyone and my email inbox is now empty for hours at a time. I am in charge of my own course design and have assigned more reasonable amounts of homework. The result is I now have the peace and quiet and attention span to do the writing i needed to do in my old job. I have collaborated on one article and finished it. I am bound and determined to kick out at least two more this term. This job change did come at a price. I am now on a half salary. The full impact of this loss in pay has not hit yet but I am sure it will hurt. My hope is that in the long run the increased output of articles will improve my marketability for later jobs and compensate for my lack of income now. I am already much more satisfied with my work and much less stressed out. (nope I'm not whining now...a happy girl in fact).

Happy Wednesday Everyone.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I've caught some illness from everyone else in the house so it has taken me a bit to get back to the results of my visit to the plastic surgeon. I'm calling this one 'the man cold' I do not get sick and when i do at most it just plops me on the couch for a day but I still have energy to fiddle on my computer or knit or something. This one left me laying in bed so as not to move my throat, talk or any other body part. Stupid germs. Around noon I felt recovered enough to move myself to the couch and now "the man cold" has moved to my nose and can be downgraded to a woman cold. If you have not already seen the Utube video about man colds I highly recommend it to gain a better picture of what I speak.

My visit to the plastic surgeon was eventful. After the preliminaries she had me show her my stomach and backside. She asked me if my butt bothered me. It doesn't but after a conversation about how just a tummy tuck would result in what they call dog ears on each of my sides I decided that a lower body lift is the only way to go. She took pictures with my underwear at half mast and minus my face. I then got dressed again and we talked about what she could do. She had some pictures of other tummy tucks she had done. I was a tad disappointed that she only had three sets of pictures-one post-pregnancy tuck, one weight loss simple tummy tuck and then finally the third was of someone with almost the same stomach issues I have. So much so that when I showed the picture to David he asked me if it was me. Her results picture even just one day after the surgery was very impressive. She went from flop to fabulous abs.

I have quite a large flap of skin hanging down from my stomach. Four kids, too many years of obesity and according to the doctor I have an 'excellent amount of skin' to take off. I asked her about whether the 30 pounds I could still lose would be important or not. She said that if I have any plans to lose it I should do it ahead of time as i would form new floppy skin. She also said that she only does surgeries by region of the body-so if I wanted to have the other areas done they would come later. First the lower body lift, then upper body work (she will do boobs and arms at the same time) and then legs if I wanted them done.

The doctor left after that and sent in the accounting person who told me the ballpark prices were $6,000.00 for a simple tummy tuck and $10,500.00 for the lower body lift. My friend went in for a leg and hip liposuction quote and leg lift--those were about $5,000 each. She said that these prices could change while I'm losing the 30 pounds.

The accounting lady was a bit of a flake and is not doing the doctor any favors. I had to ask her to write down my prices and she did so on a sticky note (you would think they could type up a formal price and mark it with an end date or something) and for my friend she left her sitting in the office for 20 minutes while she tried to figure out how much the surgery would cost. Apparently she 'lost' the proper paper work for leg lifts and lipo. The doctor when she found my friend still sitting and waiting finally tracked the accounts person down and gave her a few words.

Which brings us to the quagmire of decisions that came to a head Friday night. My new job offered me two teaching jobs over the summer, airline tickets are extremely high (1400 per person) and I now want to spend 10,500 dollars on vanity surgery.

The resulting decisions were that we cannot afford to go to Europe in June. We are going to try and talk my husband's mom into meeting us in New York (that is if it isn't too expensive to get there too!) and hang out for a week and then spend another week at the end of summer in Central Oregon with friends. I am going to take one of the teaching jobs this summer (a Saturday class) and finally I am going to try and lose the 30 pounds and have the surgery in December. If I don't quite get the 30 pounds off I am going to be satisfied where I am and if I do wahoo. She said the surgery will cause me to miss work/need help for at least 2 weeks and I should be able to do it between school terms.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Plastic Surgeon Visit Today

At 2pm I'm going in for a plastic surgeon consultation. I made it to discuss a tummy tuck but since making the appointment all I seem to be able to think about is what else needs tucking. ahh if plastic surgery were just a little cheaper and a lot less painful. I would get my boobs done, tummy tuck, arm wing reduction, chin tightening, thigh lift, butt lift....hmm maybe my toes and hands are OK??

I will let you know what they say about cost and suggested sculpting ideas plus the when this should all happen question.

Goal...To be at goal or not? Every morning I still get up do my potty business and stop for a look in the mirror. lift my arms up to get the skin tight and then debate whether I am satisfied with the fat left on my body. I am cool with most of it except the deposit in my stomach still. I do not know if the tummy tuck will take away enough or if I really want the extra 30 pounds off. In addition to that..will the extra 30 pounds satisfy me or will I always see that stomach. Again I hope the visit to the plastic surgeon will help me make that decision as well.

I did not post weekday dish yesterday..yesterday was one small snack after another. I did not eat breakfast, lunch or dinner..just a constant stream of stuff. some of it was high in protein while some of it was just plain crap. Chocolate would have been involved but my daughter hid it (Thank goodness!!!). I was down a pound today, however, so maybe that snack session was not as harmful as it felt. I cannot tell you how much I ate but i can list some of the content-some corn chips, cheese and crackers, sesame snaps, one protein bar, popcorn. nope-no vegetables or fruit unless there some hidden in the protein bar. I did stop eating at 7pm and saved myself the indigestion I have been having since Easter. My intestines seem to be a bit irritated yesterday and today. I think I might have a tummy bug so perhaps the snacking and indigestion were the first symptoms.

I will post later tonight or tomorrow with my gained plastic surgery knowledge.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Weightloss By the Month

I have been meaning to do this for ages now so thanks Gen for getting us all started on it. I will fill in the missing months when I go into the doctor. I did not keep track in the beginning so the first few months are blank. Part of my trusting process and handing this whole dieting thing over to the band to work. 304 was my all time highest weight. I then went on weight watchers and lost 46 then slowly regained it. In August 2008 the day of my surgery I weighed 298. Post band my weight loss rate has been sometimes fast and sometimes slow. Usually the fast bits were immediately following a fill.

Monthly dates--------Weigh-------loss
All time high --------304
August-08 ------------298---------6 pounds
March-09 -------------259--------39 pounds
April-09------------- 253-------- 6 pounds
May-09 ---------------250-------- 3 pounds
June-09-------------- 243 --------7 pounds
July-09-------------- 237 --------6 pounds
August-09------------ 226------- 11 pounds
September-09 ---------221-------- 5 pounds
October-09----------- 219-------- 2 pounds
November-09---------- 213 --------6 pounds
December-09---------- 205-------- 8 pounds
January-10 -----------199-------- 6 pounds
February-10---------- 199-------- 0 pounds
March-10------------- 194 --------5 pounds
April-10------------- 192 --------2 pounds

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Here Comes the Sun

Today was a much better day (a little sprinkle sprinkle and then a little sunshine). It was nice enough when I got home that Grace and I went out for another bike ride. This time we rode out of the neighborhood and over to a friends house who picks up farm fresh eggs for us each week.

Grace got to practice riding just ahead of me on the right so that if a car plowed us from behind I would take the hit first. By the time we got back into the neighborhood
it was almost dark and I don't have lights on either of the bikes yet so we headed home-just a 3 mile ride or so.

Since it was a work day I ate lightly and feel a little better about my food intake today.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Weird Stomach

I have been making crappy food choices since the day before Easter (what is it about holidays that are so difficult?). 'Too much' is the theme. If I am not eating candy i am eating dessert (un-metered doses of ice cream last night) I am eating a meal too late or eating more than I know I should of said item. I have had night indigestion as a result. Tonight my stomach is rolling around like a boat in a sea of acid and I haven't even gone to bed yet!

My weight has been holding at 1 (note-i hit the 1 first!!)196. Tonight I got on my bike for the first time in over a week because the @#%%$W#$ rain has been pouring with wind gusts strong enough to knock me over. It was a great ride really. Grace and I rode around the neighborhood twice with side loops until we hit 5miles. Now if I can regain some grip on what I am shoving in my mouth things would be great.

I'm kind of nostalgic for the old days and I cannot believe I am about to type what I am going to type-up until this point my weight-loss and eating issues have been solved by little fills. Both the decision to go in to see the doctor and getting tweaks to solve eating have become way more complicated.

My restriction thresh-holds are much smaller thus the clearness of whether I need a fill is much more difficult to decide on. Yesterday I was starving and could eat way more than I should be able to with much less chewage. Today I am tight again and although I can eat a tad more than usual I had a little problem with dinner (just a little blip of failed chewing). Then there is the question i keep asking myself-am I done really? if I am at goal do I need a fill? do those at goal get fills? Do I really need to now learn what it is like to maintain? Finally yet another dilemma rolling around my head is: if I am training for a 50 mile bike race my activity level should be much higher and thus i should keep my band a tad looser to make sure I can get in enough nutrients and calories. On the other hand if it is going to f***ing rain all the time and I am going to wimp out and sit on the couch I think a firm boot up my backside restriction is needed.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.....I think in the words of Scarlett O'Hara "I will worry about all this tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day".

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Week Stuff

Easter-I just finished a lovely relaxing Easter day with my family, friends and great food. We hosted this year at our house. Nichole my oldest, my grandson and her boyfriend were here, my friend (the one who lost 90 pounds 6 years ago) and her family were here as were David Grace and I. Cinda and her boyfriend came home later.

David cooked up a yummy and super soft oven roasted beef brisket in the oven (Cast iron dutch oven with lid on 325F for three hours and then 350 for another hour with barbecue sauce added). oven roasted potatoes with rosemary, My herb vegetable saute, David's home made artisan bread and chased with strawberry rhubarb pie. All home-made (David and I) and all delicious no matter how small amount I could eat.

After dinner we played some board games all together and than talked about summer vacation ideas and plans. It was all good fun and very relaxing and fun.

New Underwear Friday-

I took a return trip to the mall to buy Justine's slacks and decided it was time to find those new bras and panties. I went to Victoria's secret but those young girl boobs just do not sit like mine do. Either the bra had my boobs positioned right in front or they had them sitting in my arm pits. My boobs are just not located in either of those positions. They were fighting to get out or spilling out on either side of the cups. In addition to that the bra that did fit best was the most expensive. I then went down to Nordstrom (our local upscale department store) and had a proper fitting. They found me two bras that fit perfectly. They were a bit more expensive but im cool if they fit right. I have gone from a 46G from my largest down to a 36DDD....yes thats right..36!!!!!! I have not been a 36 anything since I was in high school. I also found some very expensive underwear that I will never buy again but they are nice, lacy and comfy. Both are boring beige and I am happy that way.

Body Image-

I talked to my friend who lost 90 pounds 6 years ago. She said, as I suspected, that she did not feel any different body wise either. She said the clothes thing was great and made her feel different. She also thought that if she had still lived in the UK when she lost the weight that she would have felt more different. In the UK because it is more difficult (or was when she lived there) to buy plus sized clothing.

When I pressed my friend and asked about looking in the mirror in the morning, she said she did not feel any different. I put it this way and she said she agreed..I looked in the mirror when I was big and did not see myself as a huge fat person. I saw bits that I did not like-like too round a tummy or fat arms-I did not see myself as fat unless I saw a picture of myself. Now I look in the mirror and I see the same flaws I did before and will probably never like everything. The odd part for both of us is that neither of us at the time saw a fat person in the mirror. Are we all like that? I have heard interviews with anorexic patients who talk about how all they ever saw was a huge fat person no matter how skinny or bony they really looked. Body image is a weird thing.

Friday, April 2, 2010


1. If you could be a Superhero (like Gilly) - what would you be called or what would your powers be? (Thanks Lori for this question)

I don't know who Gilly is?? did i read it and forget (I am after all getting old) or am I just out of touch with super hero lingo?

I pick multi-armed woman (perhaps octogirl?). I would love to better be able to do a whole bunch of stuff at the same time. Say type on the computer, clean the kitchen and sweep while driving?

2. Name one physical thing you love about you and one mental thing you love about you.

I have tiny hands and feet. delicate even...have always like them. Brain-wise i Like it that I make people feel comfortable and at home or safe with me.

3. If you stood in front of God (or whatever Supreme Being you may believe in) - what question would you ask him?

hmm maybe why he/she couldn't have been more clear about this whole religion thing and keep everyone from fighting over it so much?

4. Besides yourself - who was/is your biggest enabler in your weight loss journey?

I think this is a very complicated question. I think everyone has food demons and enablers at some time in their life. Heck I have been one at times. Mostly I think I had physical urges that were strong to solve life's problems with food, a drug addition to food, enjoyed food, you name it. along the way a viscous cycle starts and the food makes you tired, you exercise, you want more food you exercise less and pretty soon I was a fat mass of 304pounds sitting on a couch at the bottom of a cliff with only a string for a rope to get out. The band was a life line with pulleys that I could use and have used.

5. What do you do for a living (another reader request question)?

Well I have a PH.D. in mathematics education and I was working with teachers to improve their understanding of math and the ways that they teach it. I just quit that job and now I am a plain old math teacher at a community college and I am liking it a lot!

6. Whose blog hit home for you this week or whose blog made you think the most this week?

Well Drazil's blog was mighty fine..Not only did i read about her tummy tuck I made an appointment with a friend to get a plastic surgeon consultation. My biggest worry now many procedures do I really need (arm skin, flat-pancake boobs and a big old floppy tummy). How much pain am I willing to endure and how much money am I willing to spend.

Brain is Stuck in the 200's

I cannot believe how difficult it is for me to write 19x...for my weight. Yesterday I wrote that I weighted 294 and then 296...well it is really 194 and 196 (still 196 this morning). Every time I type my weight that little 2 goes down on the screen. I have to backspace and change it to a 1. Last night I didn't even notice I made the mistake. I weighed over 200 pounds for 26 years. I guess my brain and fingers are having trouble coping with that change.

I haven't had too much trouble with shopping in the women's section. Once or twice I looked over at my old stores or racks in the store and said..wahooo I don't shop there anymore. I have really only shopped seriously in my current size once. On this trip I was with one other friend who also lost a lot of weight (90+ pounds lost) and another born skinny friend who agonizes about her stomach. Last week I did a twirl through macy's looking for trans-Atlantic bound slacks and while in the women's section I had a look at this seasons clothes. They are of course beautiful and things I would really like to buy but I can't because they don't fit anymore. I am guessing I will always want the clothes I don't fit into (either larger or smaller). While there I did a quick glance through the sales rack in the 'normal' size department. blech..there was nothing interesting.

It is weird that when you lose weight you don't feel any different. Sure the airplane seat was more comfortable last month and I can cross my legs and wrap my foot around again but I really don't feel like I take up any different amount of space than I did on this planet 110 pounds ago. Is that poor sense of space the reason it is so easy to regain weight so easily? The reason we have body image issues even after we lose it? I guess I need to talk to my friend about it. She lost her 90 pounds almost 6 years ago. I sense that she feels the same way but have never had that conversation. What about you all? Those of you who are down on the scale quite a bit? Do you feel different?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Feels Like a Lot of food--Need to See It In Black and White

Yesterday felt like I ate a lot..especially the later, later..after dinner eating. I remember when the agony of what felt like hardly any food first came. I cannot remember exactly when that fill came about but should search back in my blog because i know it is there. Before that I Lost but with what I considered a reasonable amount of food (about 1 and 1/2 cups of food per meal). On that regime the weight loss was good but it eventually stalled. I went in for another fill. That fill finally got me to what I would call a sweet spot.

Before that fill I could usually eat, rest for a bit and feel the food move through my band then eat some more. If I chose ice cream or soup or a smoothie I could eat as much as my lower stomach could hold. At this point I did have to do some work on controlling myself. I had to refuse the ice cream urge. I drank a lot of protein smoothies to make me feel better at that time.

Then I got 'the' fill. I went down to only being able to eat about 1/2 a cup of food (give or take a few tablespoons) per meal. This translated to 1/2 a grilled cheese sandwich minus the end crust. It was hard. There were two meals in particular where I cried. One was home-made macaroni and cheese on Christmas eve and the other was a casserole I made. I had to really settle into my brain that I did not need more. I had my blood-work done and other than the vitamin D deficiency that every Oregonian sports I am healthy and nutrient stable.

I can still eat more ice cream, yogurt and protein shakes but it is uncomfortable and I have to eat the 1/2 and then wait 10-15 minutes or so to eat more (if you don't like melted ice cream and I don't this really isn't doable).

So that brings us to yesterday and today-Over time my brain? desires? not sure what it is has become accustomed to fact yesterday didn't really feel like a small food day. I am eating less when I work on Monday's and Wednesdays but I am now sitting here feeling like I ate a lot today-definitely more than yesterday. Today is a stay at home day and I snacked more..I am gong to list it to compare the two days.


8:00 am a steel cut oat cookie, 1 small graham cracker square, 1 diet coke (not in that order)

10:00 am another graham cracker square with grandson.

12:00 pm a pickle while I made the tuna
12:15 Lunch-1/4 of a tuna sandwich (I saved the other 1/4for later)

(My grandson ate just over 1/4 of his too and I saved it)

2:00 Snack-the other quarter of my sandwich
3:30 Starbucks peppermint skim mocha
4:00 1/2 a krispy creme doughnut (need to blog about this..soooo nasty!!)

6:30-my grandsons left over tuna sandwich.
7:30-1 cup of chicken and wild rice soup (took me 30 minutes)
10:00 pm-6 oz yogurt.

It is more than yesterday...lots of snacky snacky crap.

so weird-today i would say i need a fill. Yesterday not so much. My weight bounced back up to 296 from yesterday's 294. I have not ridden my bike since Monday. Too cold and rainy in the evenings. Tomorrow I am taking it to Corvallis where I will clean off my old desk and take one last bike ride around town.

Thanks peoples for the blog awards. I will try and get all caught up on the weekend.