Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Days of Christmas Break

I am still knitting-one green pair done and working on the brown pair for Lynda. I am saving the black pair for last. It has been fun to play around with different designs and I am planning on putting the patterns on either this blog or my other crafty one that is super neglected.

Whenever my mother in law comes to visit my sewing machine and crafty self gets much more action than most of the rest of the year when work and kid caring takes up all of my time. I have been collecting some old linens from antiques stores (cheap ones) with plans to turn them into a variety of bags and stuff. Tonight my mother in law put together a bread bag for David. Did you know artisan bread is not supposed to be stored in plastic? nope..fabric works best. I bought him a bag last year when I was in Germany but it has gone all greasy and stinky so he needs a new one. I don't actually eat his bread (too hard to do with a band on a regular basis). Thus he needs to store the stuff (I was the crazy bread scarfer before the band came into my life).

I made a laptop case for a friend out of some Kath Kidston London Themed fabric and made a knitting bag out of a Deal tea towel. Now I am doing a little dabble with some machine embroidery and of course...knitting :)

I have three little days left to finish up this craft fest and really those are a false length of time. There is work that I dumped when Christmas vacation started and I really need to spend some time on it...prepping for a meeting on the 3rd, some data organization, and plan for my Winter term class. I have additionally sent off for a couple of textbooks for a math class I cannot fit into my work schedule so I am going to try and go through it myself this term (feeling like that was a crazy thought at the moment).

I really need to retire and just knit and stuff. :)

My husband is on a food-experimental fest this week. He got a couple of Hester Blumenthal cookbooks for Christmas and is diving head-long in the cooking chemistry. Some of the recipes he has named sound wacky crazy and I am scared for my stomach. snail porridge?????? I guess that would be considered a mushy food that should be avoided by an old-time bandster like myself right????? RIGHT? Come on I need back up to avoid these strange concoctions I am afraid are going to start coming out of my kitchen :)...Do you think I should continue a New Year's resolution to try new foods? EEK!

Well that's it for my ramble...


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Please Excuse Me While I Knit-

I'm working on the fingerless gloves...One prototype didn't go so well but the second is good-first pair are green heathery.

The house is still full of food but I am getting sick of all of the sweets! I threw away a pumpkin pie today and will chuck the rest tomorrow. I ate the last frosted sugar cookie but am planning on freezing the remaining rock cookies. I think the cranberry bread will also be frozen. The fruit cake I will allow out for good behavior and the mince pies are free to remain on their plate (I don't like them).

I made turkey and rice for dinner and it was delicious! I am really craving good food. This evening for the first time in a few days I had a greek yogurt instead of another piece of sugary tasted nice and normal!

Tomorrow I am turning my Christmas house into a spring one! The trees are coming down.

I hope you are all enjoying whatever the weatherman has delivered!!


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Third Christmas With Band-First at Goal

I treated Christmas a little differently this year than I have in years. I just let go. I did not think about dieting, I did not worry about sweets. I ate what I wanted when I wanted and how I wanted it.

Guess what?? I ate more than usual and I ate way more sweets than usual but over the last week I have gained at most one pound. This morning my scale said 165.0. I will let you know what tomorrows scale reads but as long as I dip back down into the 164 range I am all good with this holiday...more than good. It has been great!

1. I wore my first turtle neck shirt and it looked OK...No more big fat face sticking out some neck-less body and for once my boobs were small enough that having a high neck did not emphasize their hugeness.

2. I baked pumpkin pies, candied orange peel, orange rolls with cream cheese frosting, rock cookies, sugar cookies and cranberry bread. Into the house came peppermint bark, mince pies, fruit cake, chocolate cake, orange sticks, almond brittle, British chocolate. David made fresh baked bread and rolls, turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and vegetables. I sampled several tastes everyday between very small meals and enjoyed the crap out of the things I wanted and skipped those that I did not want. I do not feel deprived at all nor do I feel guilty for what I did sample.

3. My energy has been wild good. On December 23 I took Grace to horseback riding and cleaned out 3 horse stalls then went shopping non-stop except for lunch from noon to 7pm. I came home and found out the mail did not bring a gift so I went back out again and did another hour of shopping between 7:30 and 9pm.

This combination of body well being, energy and facing food I enjoy guilt free is the most freeing experience I have ever had and every bit of band related pain/worry/angst is worth this day. The port flip and second surgery-worth it. The original indignities (barium swallow, motility test, psych evaluation and blood tests)-worth it. The fear of failure, giving up high volume eating, giving up burgers and fries, McDonalds, and even bread for a time...worth it. every stuck episode or session of barfing because I overate...worth it.

I love my band and the life it has given me.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

And The Winners Are!

I was going to print off the list of names and have Grace draw them from a hat. I then remembered that my husband studies random number generators for a living. Then...we had to have a lengthy conversation about the math behind drawing names...30 minutes later I was sitting next to three sticky notes with 22 names on it and four prizes to give away. Yes we are nerds...and I kind of like that about us.

So...he let a super accurate machine make my list of random numbers (gotta love technology) and I am going to let you all pick your are going to have to email me your addresses so I can send them off. If you are lucky and live close you might get you package before Christmas if not...perhaps for the New Year just in time for resolutions.

here are the names of those who commented during the last few weeks (after my first goal post prize announcement). 1. Alison, 2. Annie, 3. Tessierose, 4. Dinnerland, 5. Bunny, 6. Lapband Gal, 7. Cozy Coconut, 8. Jen, 9. Rachel, 10. Alison, 11. Lynda, 12. Caroline (at Lonicera), 13. Jacquie, 14. Lyla, 15. Amanda, 16. Gen, 17. Read, 18. Sandy Lee, 19. Kellie, 20. Maree, 21. Caroline at the Dash, 22. Libby.

The winning numbers:

1. 22
2. 8

So that means....that Libby She picked the bike seat!, Jen she picked black fingerless gloves, Tessierose, and Lynda

The four of you need to send me your prize preference and your address to in order to claim your prize. I can make any number of fingerless gloves but there is only one big butt bike seat and one set of lights so Libby gets first pick, and Jen second..I will let you know what remains. If you pick gloves also pick your favorite color :) this prize picking is more complicated than the number generator stuff.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tomorrow I Draw Names

This is the last chance for anyone who want to get their name in on the drawing for the goods. The give away list is: bike seat, bike lights, fingerless gloves (or wrist-warmers). You do get to pick what you want of course. Don't hold back if you are not interested in one item as I am more than willing to knit my little brains out if you don't want to become a night-rider or even a rider at all :)

Today was our neighborhood annual Christmas party. I help out most years (the person in charge is a bit of a super organizer and really gives no one else the chance and I am cool with that-most of the time). We had a few words at the end (as you know me..practicing the drawing of the lines and all that). I drew a line by snapping back when I was told how exactly I was supposed to put the things I was taking home away. Needless to say I was really pissed off by this persons micro-managing tendencies.

During the event I sat down next to a woman from the neighborhood. I have met her a few times but not really had any lengthy conversations with her. She was very nice and commented on my weight-loss. I told her (as I usually do) that it was largely helped by surgical intervention. She responded with..oh I know that gets you started but you can undo things quite quickly if you do not make lifestyle changes along the way. yada yada..about 20 minutes later this woman invited me to do a triathlon with her!! I kept thinking..what who is near me?? you asked me what? The I looked some more because for a split second I actually, very briefly, thought about saying yes!!! I quickly came to my senses and ate an oreo off the cookie table :)....nah..I don't think I am yet up to a triathlon but oddly for once in my life I know I could really do it if I wanted to. The bike at this particular one is 5 miles, the swim is 1/4 mile and the run 1.5 miles. I am thinking about it...maybe. It could provide me with yet another reason to get a tattoo :)

Tomorrow I will talk about anything i missed from this whole goal meeting fiasco celebration week that turned into two or even three.


Friday, December 17, 2010

My First Bike Crash

I took a good long ride with my old work colleague today. We went out to my..used to be..favorite trail. The one that runs right along in front of the house and property we want to buy.

..hmm better start at the beginning. We started with lunch at a little local place called Maggie's Buns in Forest Grove. It is a really cool, real food kind of deli and bakery. I had a cup of fish chowder (another one of those used to hate and now love food items). It went down beautifully. I definitely recommend a cup of soup before a ride. I have had trouble on each of my previous rides after eating toast, oatmeal and even a yogurt...things just stuck above my stoma and would not go through.

After we drove up to the trail head and began our preparations for the ride. Because I had to work in the morning I wore my black stretch pants and a black mini dress thingy I have with an orange t-shirt underneath. I also wore my boots. When we got to the trail head parking I had to pee in the worst way and although in the summer there is a porta the I quickly sprinted over to a group of trees, pulled my commando stretch pants down (you do know your supposed to go commando when you wear bike pants right?) and had my first outside cop a squat pee in more than 15 years. Guess what?? It is totally easy when you are not fat anymore!!! I did a wall sit thing against the tree and the pee didn't get on my clothing or shoes at all!!!

I then went back to the car put on my bike shorts over my stretch pants (warmth for my legs), a balaclava (bank robber hat), my orange tshirt, a thermal underwear shirt and a big old red windbreaker with padding that has a big pouch for a front pocket. I then added my gloves and helmet and we were off.

The first 1/2 of the trail is a gentle incline for about 10 miles or so. I climbed away even though I have not been in a my bike in a couple of months. I got a bit winded a couple of times and had to get off once to give my jelly filled legs a break. Henry (my colleague) readjusted my seat as he thought it had dropped again after he readjusted it for me last time. It makes a HUGE different to have a properly adjusted seat!!

I decided to turn around after we hit the top of the trail as I wasn't sure I could make it back up the other side if we carried on. we turned around and started talking gears and pedaling and speed as we coasted down the hill we had just climbed. About a mile on i rounded a corner that was kind of blind and I was worried I would run into people coming up (it is a busy trail and was busy today). I veered to the right to avoid a pine cone on the trail and came just a little to close to the sloped away at an angle. The front wheel of my bike went to the right and I went to the left. I have three numb fingers on my right hand. an oozing bleeding thing on my right thumb, Two bruised knees, road rash covered left elbow and a big bump above my left eyebrow with a little scab. Oh and a pair of crooked glasses.

After I laid down on the ground for a bit mentally checking whether I had a concussion or had broken any bones i rolled up and Henry said...well get back on then I am not carrying you back to the car and we have a long way to go. I then moaned about the pain for a while. It then got cold and we both moaned about the cold. My three numb fingers began multiplying in the frigid wind. My crookedy glasses were fogging up and i was dripping blood from my thumb on my handlebars as I held on. I of course went really slow....and carefully went around further pine cones and oncoming people...we made it back to within sight of the car and both of us put on the gas a little. Before we could get to our parking lot we had one more wooden bridge to cross and guess what happened ....This time Henry's bike slipped across the bridge and i crashed into him landing back down on my knees (he swears it was his head that took my fall).

I came directly home, showered and laid on the couch until dinner...

Then guess what...because i had thrown my clothes all over the floor in my pain and hurry to shower we got a knock on the door. A couple wanted to look at the house. They did and as I type are making an offer on the thing (even though Graces room was a tip and my biking clothes were left in a heap on the floor)..Crazy eh?


Thursday, December 16, 2010

So This is Christmas-At Our House-At Goal

Since our house if for sale, we are having Christmas at our house and I really do feel more in the Christmas spirit than normal, the house is decorated for the holidays more than it normally would be.

Living room-This is my pretty tree-The one that I decorate all in green and silver with some white thrown in. I originally bought a variety of green balls but over time have collected crystal prisms, beaded tassels, white bisque angels, green glittery stars and white sparkly stars. There are also some blown glass icicles thrown on for good measure.

My older daughters went together and bought this poinsettia for me. I always say I should buy one but never do. They decided to give me this as my present early enough so I could enjoy it. In each corner of the room I have glass containers from my local discount store (home goods). I bought them for about 6 dollars each and then found paper-white bulbs and amaryllis bulbs at the grocery store for 4 dollars. I found some potting soil in the garage and planted them. They turned out better than I expected. I love seeing the roots growing through the glass.

This is the family room and the family tree. It is decorated with multi-colored lights and a mixture of collected ornaments. I have packaging tags that my mother made. She printed old family pictures of my great grandparents and me as a child. They are labeled on the back. David has a string of hot chili pepper lights. I have a string of bubble lights. There are ornaments made by the girls when they were small as well as hot pink balls from my grandmothers tree when I was a child. There are also several blown glass pine cone ornaments..cause i like them. Oh and champagne corks with quarters in them commemorating significant events from our lives together. There is one from our wedding (the quarter is 2000) and one from Grace was born (2001)

Does anyone want to come over for cookies and drink orange juice and peppermint schnapps? I love love orange juice and peppermint fact I just had one...yum.

No fully decorated house is complete without a Christmas tree in the bathroom right? :)...I did this one a few years ago and it is small enough that I can just pick it up and put it in an old cylindrical box I have from my grandmother complete with decorations and all. It is covered in small shell decorations I made by hot gluing them onto the wires. The tree topper is a small beaded start a friend made for me.

The ghost of Christmas past?...I like it when pictures do this. Yes it is me. I was trying to get the candles lit before David took the pictures.

I got on the scale this morning and it hit 163.0. I am still losing despite the fact that I am sampling cookies, candies, and eating reasonably sized (with my new eye to reasonable) meals. At this point I am feeling a bit better about this whole goal thing. I think I really can maintain this. I am even thinking that I might have a little un-fill to stop the scale from slowly ticking down. I think my threshold is another 4 or 5 pounds. If it hits the bottom I will go get some saline taken out.

I have never really hit goal before on any of my diets so I am not sure if this is different than goal by any other means. It is definitely different than any other diet quitting I did. Whenever I 'gave up' before it was a license to indulge and stop weighing myself. I did it time and time again. That is different this time. Really, I think because i don't really feel like I have had to give anything up-just eat a bite here or there on the hardest things and a small portion on the easier things. I also think it is because I am not hungry really. I will tell you that food seems to be tasting extraordinarily good to me right now. I am not sure if that is my body trying to fight back on the weight-loss thing or if I am just savoring small bits more thoroughly.

Happy Holiday's to all not matter where you are and how far from goal. When you get discouraged dig deep and figure out what needs to be learned from this journey. It is after all a fine balancing act between the physical (fills, and our thermostat) and mental (believing we can and changing life choices). If I can do it (miss never hit a goal on a diet in her life) so can you.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Skin and Boobs-Boobs and Skin

Today is the day. I dug them out and I am about to upload the down side of weight loss. SKIN...I have it. All is fine when I stuff this skin into my clothes. It is the naked or clothing that reveals too much that can be problematic. When I was obese I could wear shorter legs were pretty firm and shapely. Now...of course I look way better everywhere else in my shorts thighs are wrinkly. I do have bat wings. I do have quite the flop of a stomach. The boob pic you are about to get does not reveal the sag..

To be fair here I did have to angle the camera to just the right angle to get this arm flap at its worst. I do wear sleeveless tops but avoid lifting my arms when-ever possible. I also do not teach in sleeveless tops as when I write on the board my arms flap about.

Probably the worst body part I have right now-I have plenty of bones underneath that skin and when I lay down or even recline they stick out. when I stand...well not so much. I am torn on whether i want a body lift or not. I would really rather have adventures with the money than I would go under the knife I guess. Before you get all worried about the dog jowl look I have going on at the bottom of my stomach...that is the result of 4 full on external vertical c-section cuts. Yet another side effect of obesity. They don't want to give girls with tummy flap horizontal incisions because they apparently do not heal well.

This is as close to a boob shot as you will ever get. Really when I have no bra on my boobs are not there at all..I look flat as a pancake with a couple of nips appearing about 3 inches above my navel.

I don't have leg pics for you just yet...I tried but all of them turned out showing way too much..umm pubic area. I do have a bit of FUPA sag so I perked up a bit when I Gen at I heart the Band mentioned that a tuck might take care of that as well.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Do Over-

All-righty-oh it is a new week and I cannot believe the H.E. double hockey sticks two weeks I have just had. I also cannot believe that after 2 and 1/2 years that goal came along right in the middle of it all.

As I said on the vlog, everyday was cram-packed with mostly work related stuff and partially crammed with kid fun but have to help out kinds of things. Additionally there were Christmas cards to get out, presents to pack and ship to the UK and house cleaning to maintain as Sunday is open house day. Finally..I can breathe a bit. I still have another week of work at my university job but my grades are in and the work that remains is all about data input checking and passing out new surveys to our study participants.

Grace has a Choir concert tomorrow after her Girl-scout meeting (I do not have to attend!!) but at least I will be home for the concert (the first one that has not been scheduled while I am teaching). Two of my daughters have gone out of town for a bit of a vacation with their dad and two (Meghan and Grace) are home and helping out a bit. My husbands mum has arrived and she, as always, spoils me and helps out like crazy!

Just to give you a window into my day:

1. 7am-up and make school lunch for Grace.
2. 7:50-8:10: graph some data that I should have done over the weekend.
3. 8:10-8:45 Drive to Fedex/kinkos and make copies of the Christmas photo page I created over the weekend.
4. 8:50-10:50 Dentist for the second of I don't know how many appointments to work on my root canal (A whole story by itself..see below).
5. 10:50-11:30-finish gathering work papers and off to meeting.
6. 12:00-4:00 pm Meeting where I had to participate part of the time and type up what was going on in the meeting the rest for data collection.
7. 4:30 Home and make chicken pot pie for dinner (with help from David and Granny).
8. While pot pie is baking I went out and put on one of 5 coats of silver spray paint for Grace's school art project (I have 8 to spray for her classmates and hers).
9. 5:30 Grace's friend's family stopped by and I invited them to dinner (long story but it was the sad look in the dads eyes when he said his wife had to work late). 10. 6:30 dinner over and kitchen clean up.
11. 7:30-got an email that a family friend had lice in her home (rapid lice check on Grace while frantically putting in a pony tail and itching my own head) Crisis averted-she is clean for now. At least I got to sit down for the lice check.
12. 8:00-9:00 Had three students email complaining about their final grade. Spent and hour rechecking grade calculations to make sure I was fair.
13. 9:00-10:00Read emails and blogs
14. 10:00-10:47 (typing this)...and this is a day where I can fit a blog post in!! The last two weeks have been days where I couldn't.

Oh and did I tell you I am sick?? My mother in law (because she spoils us like crazy) gave me her flu/cold. She says cold i say flu because I swear i have a fever. I did tell her all of the gift giving and spoiling has gone a step too far..I really did not need the flu.

So here is the plan-all of you who already put your names in as comments (although there aren't very many of you-don't you want the stuff??) will still be in the drawing. So...anyhow....I am going to start this goal week party over again. The good news is that all that stuff i promised last week will be coming up this week. This includes those long awaited skin pics and another blog.

so the prizes again-if there is no picture click on the name of the prize to see a picture of the item.

1. bicycle light set

2. My own person big butt bike seat (to help the transition into bicycling)

3. And one of two pairs of hand-knitted fingerless gloves (knitted by moi) in a color of your choice. The gloves look somewhat like these but beware I might not but skilled enough for the fancy cables.

Ok the dentist story-

I have a new dentist (well he is of a more advanced age than I am..but he is new to me). He is nice enough but today I went in for a second appointment to work on a root canal that he started last week.

Despite the fact that he said he would make sure and give me super numb to save me the pain of the drill he didn't. It might be because I told him I had to do a presentation at noon but sheesh..i am not willing to exchange ceiling hanging pain for feeling in my tongue when I talk.

So three gum-line Novocaine shots later and too many to count shots down into my gaping tooth cavity he finally drilled the baby out and poked the saw blade down deep enough to kill whatever nerve that remained.

IN addition to the drill and saw blade work they also beat me about with their stupid bite wing x-rays. I am tongue tied (cannot stick my tongue out even) and it has not been a problem ever in my life until i had this tooth problem. Apparently there is no room for the bite wing to fit between my tongue and the tooth root they needed pictures of. With much gagging and mouth tissue damage they managed a picture of my poor tooth.

Then to add insult to injury as the dentist was taking off the dental dam and tooth ring he manage to hook my lip in his pliers and give me a large cut (ok after viewing the picture i should revise this to just cut). He then used some super glue stuff to hold the cut together but tonight the thing is oozing like I have been in a fist fight with my husband (hmmm maybe I could work that one??).

Ok this picture makes it look way smaller than it feels :) Looks?..Really it feels huge!!


Friday, December 10, 2010

Finally!! Vlog

The video blog is here Be warned listen in a quiet location because the volume is really quiet.

Be kind :) xxxooo

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Watch for it..Vlog

I got one step closer to the vlog event today. I figured out how to record the thing (although it is kinda boring). I need to now figure out how to actually upload and connect this to the video.

Topics included: Goal, boobs, exercise, boundaries, self-esteem, Christmas.

It is coming.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This is a Test of the Emergency Broadcasting System

I am still trying to do a vlog..The scary thing is that I actually taught teachers how to teach with technology!! and here miss incapable cannot manage to make a vlog work. sheesh I told my husband tonight to just record me on his flipping phone and upload it to my computer.

I am going to have to postpone celebratory blogging until next week..I give. This means you get more time to comments and get in on the give away-s it also means that you will have to practice patience (good for bandsters anyway don't you think??). I know practicing patience was difficult for me but very necessary!!

The good news is that I am getting plenty of time to think about what to actually say in the vlog when I manage to wrestle technology to the ground and make it work. I have even thought up a bit of a band related math lesson :) ohh actually two!! just thought of another.

I spent today in the dentists chair and in Wall-greens waiting to have my prescription filled. I went in for a check-up mentioned i had had a bit of a toothache over Thanksgiving and viola..root canal. He tried to give me minimal numbing agent but 2 hours later he was slicing away at the inside of my tooth after 5 shots of Novocaine and multiple agonizing moans on my part. I then had to go through the explanation of having a band (because I cannot take anti-biotics in pill form anymore. He asked if I had any tylenol in liquid form and I do in fact have alieve (my doctor prescribed it for me ages ago).

I then had to go to the pharmacy and wait for over an hour with my two year old grandson. We finally started opening yet to be purchased pretzel packets and bread to keep him occupied while dingbats hassled little old ladies about their lack of insurance and failed to find anyone actually on the computer. When it was my turn they had not yet made the suspension and I had to wait for them to pour in the water and then was told that I had to eat before I took my liquid antibiotics. I explained to the PHARMACIST (you know trained professional here!!) that I had a band and she looked at me like I was an alien and just said..this might irritate your stomach. I then explained that if I did that the anti-biotic would sit in my esophagus and irritate it. again the blank stare and a shoulder shake....geeezzzzz there are some consequences to this band.

I promise to get back on track soon~