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Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Canadian geese & goslings

Swimming nutria (circled)

I am sending happy Memorial Day weekend thoughts to all of my U.S. friends and plain old happy weekend thoughts to the rest of the world. Here are some pix I took today at my office:
Pamela - I don't think your comments are working, but I wanted to say thanks for mentioning my post.

How low can you go?

I wish I could report that my funk has completely lifted, but the truth is I am still struggling. To make matters worse, my fella and I had an argument yesterday and then I got frustrated with my daughter and sent her to bed early. All this after we'd gone out as a family to see Alice in Wonderland at the $1.50 theater. It was supposed to be a fun, special evening and ended up being a big ol' bag of crap!

Mostly my stresses are financial these days. My budget is stretched so thin it is pretty much see-through! I just don't see how I'm going to be able to avoid making some cuts. So what should it be? Food? Health insurance?

Of course I wouldn't have to cut anything if my fella could find a job. He was a student and worked part-time until the first of the year. I wish he could figure out what he wants to be when he grows up! It is so hard for me to go to work every day while he stays home. He is really good about taking care of the garden and the chickens, but he doesn't do any other yard or housework consistantly. That all gets left for me! I am trying to be patient and supportive, but I'm afraid it is all coming out as resentful and frustration. Not my best look.

So that is me today. I know the blahs are going around Blogland and many of you are right here with me. Let's hope June brings some positive changes and some nice weather!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I Love My Band!

I wrote kind of a sad sack post earlier today and then had an experience I wanted to share with you guys. I was planning to get lunch at Café Yumm!, a local restaurant that serves rice & bean dishes. Pre-band I would get a medium or large bowl and a bag of Kettle chips and eat it all. I usually eat there are Wednesdays, but now I get a small bowl and no chips. I was feeling kind of sorry for myself as I drove there earlier and thinking I wanted the chips. I was thinking that I didn't want to spend the rest of my life NOT eating chips with lunch. So I decided to get the chips and portion them out. I got the chips and small bowl and sat down to eat at my desk. I counted out my 13 chips (1 serving) and started on the rice and beans. I couldn't finish them! I threw away about 1/4 of the dish. I love my band!

Weigh Day

Today is my official weigh-day and I am down 3.6 lbs. (1.63 kg.). This brings me to 49 lbs. (22.2 kg.) total and a weight of 231 lbs. (104.7 kg.). I would probably be more excited if I hadn't weighed myself last Monday before my unfill and seen an unofficial 229 (103 kg.). I know I have told several people I'd lost more than 50 lbs. (22.6 kg.). True I hadn't eaten for more than three days at that point and I'd also had difficulty getting liquids down, but I certainly haven't been eating a WEIGHT-GAINING diet since then so I hoped I'd be able to keep that loss. Sigh.

When I convert my weight to kilos, it doesn't seem like it makes so much difference. Maybe I should start using kilos all the time. Also I am close to double-digits in kilos. Is there a special name (ala Onederland) for double-digit weights? For those who are wondering, 220.25 lbs. = 99.9 kg. I'm thinking of a name like "Double D" or "DD-town". Any ideas?

At least one person noticed that I changed the name of my blog. I had the completely generic Amanda's Weight Loss Journey which I gave literally zero thought when I decided to start blogging. Since then I've admired all the cool Band related names and all the other clever titles that you guys have come up with.

Roo says it will be 50 degrees Celsius in Dubai in about a month. WTF??!! In case you are wondering, that is 122 degrees Fahrenheit. I realize this is totally off the topic, but I find it so shocking that I had to mention it!

I was about to wish you all a happy Thursday when it occurred to me that it is actually Wednesday. Sigh. Clearly my funk hasn't lifted. It is still raining. I was picturing myself this morning bobbing in the ocean, struggling to swim to a boat in the distance. I'm keeping afloat, but any minute now a big wave is going to come along and swamp me and I'll drown. Or I'll make it to the boat. It could go either way.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Not much to say...

Things have been rather blah here with me, I'm afraid. I know it is hard to believe that my life isn't all parties and clown cars.

Mostly I've been busy working, busy being a mom, busy with the minutiae that is my life. I wish I could get away for the weekend. It doesn't help that the weather here in Oregon has been, well, blah. Gray skies, rain, dreary, cold. I'm reading about all of you having pool parties and hiking and such with great jealousy! Although I'm not jealous of Andrew playing golf at 6:00 AM in the 35 degrees Celsius weather in Dubai (Is that even a real temp when you're not directly on the sun?).

This weekend is Memorial Day in the States which means we get three days off and the unofficial kick-off to summer. We like to joke in Oregon that summer doesn't begin until July 5th since we've all endured many a rainy Independece Day (July 4th) celebration. Friday is also my big sister's 40th birthday. She will be having a party at her house so that will be fun. If I can just make it through the rest of the week, that is.

On the band front, all is well. Tomorrow is weigh-day so I am hoping for some excitement there. I am so glad I got that little unfill last week. I am coming to realize that I do not like my band too tight. I LIKE to eat (shocking, I know). I am not really interested in starving or puking myself to goal. I'd rather have real food.

My jeans are too loose, but the next size down is too tight. Annoying.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Logging and blogging

I haven't logged my food for a week. I can't decide if it is a problem or not. I stopped logging my food because I wasn't eating any and it seemed pointless. I logged for part of one day after my unfill, but I could only eat a couple of tablespoons of dinner that night and then I PBed so it seemed sort of pointless to log it. Since then I have been able to eat during the day, but I'm still having issues in the evening. It isn't as bad as it was before my unfill, but I still can't get much down.

Take last night, for example. Yesterday was pay-day and it is our custom to go grocery shopping after I get off work on pay-day. When we were bagging the groceries, my daughter asked if we could have McDonald's for dinner. On our budget, even McDonald's has become a luxury, but we did really well with the groceries so I decided we could do it. We took everything home and put the groceries away and then ran to McDonald's. I got a small fries and a cheese sandwich. I had four or five fries and I knew I wouldn't be able to eat much. Over the next hour, I nibbled at my sandwich and fries, but ate less than half the small sandwich and about 1/4 of the small fries.

So my calories count for the day was:

coffee with cream & sugar 165 c
2/3 piece cheese pizza 138 c 6 grams protein
protein drink 160 c 30 grams protein
piece fresh pineapple 28 c .8 grams protein
1/2 MCD ch. sandwich 105 c 5 grams protein
1/4 small fries 57.5 c > 1 gram protein
ketchup 15 c

Total 668.5 calories 41.8 grams protein

I want to say first that I usually try to eat a little bit healthier foods, but I've been pretty disinterested in food lately so I tend to eat what sounds good. Also I had brought the pizza to work the day prior, but didn't want to eat it then. Really the only thing that I was excited about eating was that dang pineapple.

I also recognize that the protein was really low. I usually prepare meals at home and focus more on getting protein. This day was unusual because of the food choices, but not because of the calories. Since my second fill three weeks ago (and subsequent unfill on Monday), I have only topped 1,000 calories per day once.

So I guess what I am saying is that it seems pointless to log my food, but I also don't want to be setting myself up to begin eating foods I shouldn't. Historically in my dieting past, I have done much better when I wrote down what I ate. But this isn't a diet and I'm having a tough time getting enough calories in so do I need to worry about it or should I just go with it and see what happens?

I also know that most (all?) of the super-stars of Bandland do not log their food. Once they had good restriction, they just ate what they wanted and tried to make the best food choices. That is really appealing to me, but I am afraid to give up the log. I know I say this all the time, but I firmly believe that I am an addict and addicts tend to put themselves into situations where they use. I don't want to be setting myself up for that. I don't feel like I am, but what the hell do I know? I didn't feel like I was eating in a way in which I'd end up 280 lbs. (127 Kg.) either, but I did.

So that is me on this Friday. I'd love to hear your thoughts about logging your food. Or anything else you want to say.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Food Glorious Food!

Since my 4 cc unfill on Monday, I can eat again! I was supposed to do liquids and mushies for a few days, but I didn't. I know, such a rebel.

When I was unable to eat for three and half days, one of the only good things was that I wasn't hungry at all. I felt completely full of liquids, I guess. But now my appetite has returned and I am enjoying being able to eat real food.

I still have restriction too, but not so much that I am getting stuck on every bite or PB-ing several times a day. Yesterday I ate 1,150 calories! I hadn't broke the 1,000 calorie mark for more than two weeks.

One thing that struck me about this experience was that Thursday, the day before I was unable to eat or even drink much, I ate more than I had without any issues. I had been able to get lunch down, but dinner had become really difficult. Thursday night I even had seconds. So it was really strange that the next day I was so restricted I couldn't even swallow my own spit.

I asked my fill doc about it and she said one of the things that can increase restriction is the weather - specifically hot weather. Thursday was the nicest day we've had all year here in the Pac NW. It was in the mid 70's (23 C). Not super-warm, but when you're used to weather in the 50's & 60's (10-15 C), a temp like that feels like summer. My fill doc says she actually has one patient, a man, who comes in every summer for a complete unfill because the hot weather effects him so much.

It makes me think of little old men who claim to predict the weather through their trick knee. I guess I'll be the little old lady (with the smokin' hot body) predicting warm weather when my lap-band starts strangling me. Of course I won't be old for a long, long time. Maybe Band Groupie could draw me a cartoon.

So today, enjoy your meals for the blessing they truly are. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Little Un-Fill (And TMI)

Happy Monday! Well I just got back from my fill doc and had a .4 cc unfill. If you follow my blog, you know that I've been pretty tight since my last fill. I was able to get at least one meal in per day plus liquids so I wasn't too worried, but on Friday everything changed (TMI alert!).

I started by trying to drink my coffee, but could only get in a couple of sips. For the next few hours there was this constant gurggling and annoying feeling. I knew lunch wasn't even a possibility. I tried to have some soup for dinner, but that got me started puking. For the rest of the evening, I felt icky. I had this thought that my stoma was full of spit and I kept getting sick, but all that was coming out was...well...spit, I guess. (I warned you!)

Things were slightly better on Saturday. I couldn't drink my coffee, but I didn't feel so full of nothing. I drank water and called my fill doc's cell phone to learn that she was out of town. I tried to eat some scrambled eggs, but no-go. Once I started throwing up, it was hours before I could even keep liquids down. Sunday was the same as Saturday except I didn't even try to eat.

I got in to see my fill doc at 1:00 PM and she took .4 ccs out. I can now drink a bigger swallow of water so I think that did the trick.

The only good new is that I've lost 12 lbs. (5.44 Kg.) since my last fill. I weighed myself this morning and I weighed 229.6 lbs. (104.14 Kg.). I'm not officially counting it, but it is more than 50 lbs. (22.68 Kg.) down which means that if this weight-loss holds, I'm more than half way to my first goal of 100 lbs. (45.36)! I'm happy about the weight-loss, but it was achieved in the most miserable way I can imagine so I'm glad to be back to a more normal state.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Weigh Day

Good Thursday Morning! I'm actually a day late in reporting this, but as of yesterday I am down more than 45 lbs. (20.41 Kg.) since my pre-op weigh-in on 2/5/10! That will be 14 weeks tomorrow for a weekly average of 3.21 lbs. (1.46 Kg.).

This is the first time that I've thought, wow, that's a lot of weight gone! I'm nearly down 50 lbs. which is half way to my first goal. A few people who don't know about the surgery have commented on the weight loss and I feel loads better about myself and my appearance. I've gone from a size 24 to a size 20 in pants and from a 3X to a 1X in shirts.

I think that there a several things that are working really well for me. In no particular order, they are:

1) Blogging - I cannot say enough about what a wonderful support the blogging community is through this. I have learned so much from your experiences and feel like I always have people willing to listen, offer advice, and share their own struggles and achievements.

2) Logging - Yes, I am one of those people who write down my food and the calorie and protein counts. I know several bandsters do not do this and yes, it does feel a bit like a diet, but I know myself well enough to know that I can easily underestimate what I've eaten if I don't keep track of it.

3) Protein - As a lacto/ovo vegetarian since the age of 19, I haven't really eaten a protein rich diet over the years. I'm sure I got enough protein before, but I did so be eating way more calories and carbs than my body needed. Now I am eating at least 50 grams of protein a day and trying to keep the calories under 1,300 a day.

4) Exercise - I have always been a fairly active person. Mostly I prefer to get my activity outdoors by riding my bike and walking. I have a large dog and I walk him every morning, rain or shine for at least 30 minutes. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I try to ride my bike to work - about six miles round trip. I also ride my bike to church on Sundays (two miles) and I walk again in the evenings a couple times a week. Although I have worked out in a gym regularly at times in the past, I don't really have the time or money for that right now. For the last couple weeks, I've been lifting free weights in the evening while watching TV. I usually just do a couple of sets.

5) Eating in Moderation - I do not restrict any foods from my diet. I eat chocolate, chips, pizza, butter, cream, regular cheese and sour cream. I do not eat SF foods or low fat foods. I don't eat these things everyday or all the time, of course, but nothing is off limits. My only pet-peeve about Blogland is that so many people will post about being "bad" and eating something they feel they shouldn't. IMHO that is a sure-fire way to set oneself up for a binge. I have done this enough times myself and I know that if I punish myself for choosing the "wrong" food, I will end up feeling deprived. I do have to be careful when I eat sugar because it leaves me craving other carbs, but as long as I am aware of it, it doesn't cause an issue.

I'm wondering if anyone experiences increased band tightness in the evenings? I have read that several of you are tight in the morning, but I am finding that I am tightest in the evening. I can eat the most easily at lunch time, but by dinner, I am practically choking on my own spit. Hopefully this will settle down now that TOM has left town so I can eat a proper dinner.

Well...I hope you are all having the beautiful weather that we are having in the PAC NW today! Enjoy your Thursday!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I don't remember how old I am or how much I weigh

No, really. All year, I have been thinking I'm 37, but I don't turn 37 until August. I think I started thinking I was almost 37 and that just turned into I AM 37. My mom has had that same experience, but I never thought it would happen to ME!

So I was reading a post this morning and someone mentioned how much weight they'd lost and I was thinking, "No Fair! This person was banded after me!" And then I realized I'd actually lost 10 lbs. (4.5 Kg.) more than I thought. But get this, I had to look in my little book to see what my weight is and how much I'd lost total. Maybe I really do need one of those little counters at the top of my blog to help me keep track. Maybe I should get one that says my age too.

I guess in my defense I should say that I have been really busy at work and my sister/co-worker has been off work most of the last couple weeks so there is a lot of stuff on my plate. When I was in college, I developed my "shelf theory" to explain this sort of memory loss situation. Basically, says my shelf theory, our brains are like shelves and the more stuff we put on them, the more information begins to fall of the side of the shelf. Silly little bits of information like our age and how much we weigh.

On the band front, I am still really tight. I have PB'd more times than I can count. Almost everything I eat gets stuck. It is my TOM so I am hoping things will chill out a bit when that's done. I'm still managing to eat and drink an adequate number of calories so I'm not thinking I'll have an un-fill, but I would sure like to quit puking! Actually I don't mind the puking as much as the getting stuck and the pain and discomfort associated with that. So on that happy note, I'll sign off!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mother's Day

My mom, my younger sister, me and my older sister, Easter 2009

Since Mother's Day is coming up on Sunday I wanted to honor my mom a bit in this post. I can't fully do that, however, without telling you about my grandmother first. My mom's mom, Granny Crackers as she was called, has been gone about five years, but she was a wonderful woman. She grew up in Idaho on a farm. Her mother was a flapper (hard to imagine flappers in ID) who committed suicide when Granny was 15 years old. Granny married shortly thereafter and had four children, two sons and two daughters. She and my grandpa divorced after Grandpa had an affair with his secretary. He later married the secretary. What is so important about this story is that I grew up and never senced an ounce of anamosity between Granny, Grandpa or New Wife. None. We all got together for holidays, weddings, funerals, BBQ's, etc. We would meet at either Granny's house or Grandpa and New Wife's house. Everyone would be there. Grandpa had a farm so once a year we would do things like bring in the hay, can vegetables, butcher, etc. and everyone would participate. Granny and New Wife would happily put up corn together in New Wife's kitchen (formerally Granny's kitchen). Now I adored my grandpa, but he was by no means an easy man to be around. I hold no illusions that it was his sunny personality that kept all of these charecters from cat fighting over turkey dinner. No, it was definately Granny (and a little bit New Wife) with all the grace and class to keep her family from falling apart. I'm sure it wasn't easy for her, but you'd never had guessed.

So this is where my mom comes from. Like her mother, she is hard working and accepting. She has always made my boyfriends (even the jack butts) feel welcome and at ease. She never judges (at least not out loud). My oldest sister actually thinks my mom prefers her ex-husband to her! Mom doesn't prefer him, but she is just that stinkin' nice and accomodating.

My mom is so accepting that she has a tendency to get taken advantage of. I can relate to this and it is interesting to look at how she handles things and see the patterns that I follow in my own life.

My mom is very generous. If someone is in need, she's there. I once received $50 cash in the mail with a little note reading, "Just Because". It was one of those weeks when I had nothing so it was a timely surprise!

Granny worked all her life. She retired about 10 years before she died, but then she ended up working several odd jobs to get by. At one time, she had a good chunk of money, but she gave most of it away to her children. It makes me really sad that she didn't get to enjoy her final years more than she did. Really the only time she didn't work was the last two months of her life after she'd been diagnosed with a brain tumor. So from her example, I've also learned what NOT to do. I sincerely hope my mom also earned this lesson because she recently inheritated a bit of money. I want my mom to use that money to set herself up for her retirement. But perhaps that is a different post altogether.

As you can see from the photos of me and my mom, I resemble her a great deal. She currently weighs about what I did when I got my lap band. I have been talking to her about the surgery and urging her to consider doing it too. She isn't quite as adventerous as I am, I guess, so I'm not sure I have her quite talked into it. She talks about going back to Weight Watchers or going to a medical (non-surgical) weight loss program in town. She, like me, has been down those roads before, but like most of us, she blamed herself when the programs didn't work.

My mom is one of my best friends. My daughters adore her. If they could do anything in the world, it would probably be spend the night at their grandma's house. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful mom. Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I work as a property manager in Eugene, Oregon so I have several properties around the University of Oregon. Yesterday I had an appointment to meet some people at an apartment so they could view the interior and pay the deposit for next school year. I got there about 15 minutes early and had my lunch. It was one of my favorite foods - a small original Yumm bowl from Café Yumm! It is basically brown jasmine rice, black beans, salsa, avacado, their yummy sauce and a dollup of sour cream. I have it every Wednesday for lunch. I had three very, very small bites that I thought I chewed enough. I saw my appointment arrive so I went to the apartment, realizing that I was STUCK with every passing second. I hoped climbing the three flights of stairs to the unit would take care of it, but nope! I walked them through and we stood there talking for awhile. I tried to pretend I was okay, but I finally decided I better head for the bathroom.

I threw up once and it was pretty quick and painless. Afterwards I rinced out my mouth and went back out to the three 20-year-olds who were standing there waiting for me. They probably think I'm pregnant or something.

Since I'm not a quitter, I finished my meeting AND my lunch. No problems with the rest of it although it did take me about an hour and a half to finish. We had chili for dinner which sounds like a slider to me, but after about three or four bites of that BAM! You guessed it, stuck again, follwed by more PB-ing. Twice this time. At this point I just gave up. Today I'm going slow, slow, slow and trying to chew things like crazy. So far so good.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Weigh Day

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo, Amigos Míos!

I decided to weigh in today (technically a day early) since I weighed in LAST Wednesday. I am down 3.6 lbs. (1.6 Kg.) for the week which brings me to 39.4 lbs. (17.9 Kg.) total. So close to 40 lbs. (18.1 Kg.)!

I've also had TWO people notice my weight loss who do not know about the surgery. One was actually a couple of weeks ago and one was yesterday. I personally feel really different. I feel like activities like walking up the stairs no longer leave me out of breath. Actually I now sort of bound up the stairs! When I look at myself, I am not shocked by how big I am.

On the band-front, I am definitely not as tight as I was. I had an amazing sandwich (flat bagel with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, avocado, pickle, and tomato) for lunch yesterday with no issue. I also had a salad and spaghetti for dinner without any major problem. Being so tight before was a little scary. I don't think I need quite so much restriction right now. I like being able to eat all types of food. Also I noticed that my caloric intake didn't go down THAT much even though practically everything got stuck for 4 1/2 days.

So have a lovely Wednesday! Here are some calories counts for your festive Cinco de Mayo: Margarita 300 calories, 0 protein, Tortilla chips - 13, 143 calories, 2 grams protein, Salsa 2 Tbsp. 15 calories, O protein, Guacamole 2 Tbsp. 50 calories, 1 gram protein.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Size 20 and other news

Did you see that lady in the Size 20 jeans today? Yep, that WAS ME!!!

I started in a size 24 so I am down two sizes. Woo hoo! I am also down two sizes in shirts - from 3X to 1X.

I asked my fella this morning what he thought about the jeans and he said, "They look too big." LIAR! But I love him for it! Actually they are kind of a baggy cut except for around the waste where they fit just fine.

Too bad I only have ONE PAIR of size 20's that I like. And too bad they are jeans which will be way too hot if we ever get some decent weather in the Pac NW. Its supposed to be 70 F (21 C) on Thursday. Much warmer than it has been.

I had my second fill last week on Friday and now have 2.7 cc's in my 4 cc band. I am really, really tight. I have gotten stuck on EVERYTHING I've eaten. Even sliders and mushies. This morning was the best so far, though. I made an egg and toast and spent about 30 minutes taking ridiculously small bites until the egg was cold and rubbery and I decided it wasn't worth the bother. I was very minor-ly stuck after the first few bites, but I stopped eating for awhile and then was able to eat slowly through the rest of it. I ate 3/4 of the egg and 3/4 of the toast.

I also had my first PB yesterday. After eating very little Friday through Sunday, I was ravenous yesterday. I had breakfast (protein drink) at 10:00 and then was hungry again at 11:15 so I had lunch. Then I had a cheese stick at 2:00 and then I had some pasta at 3:30. The pasta was what got me, but I was stuck on all of those things except maybe the cheese stick and the protein drink. Through it all, my stomach is gurg-gurg-gurggling. The PB wasn't too bad, or at least not as horrible as some of the ones I've read about. I was stuck after a couple of bites of the pasta. It was really painful. Then I was nauseous so I headed to the bathroom. Then I started thinking I was really going to throw up. I spit a couple times in the toilet and up it came. I vomited once a bunch of clear liquid and probably a minuscule piece of pasta (I'm sorry, TMI, I know).

I feel like this is a whole other level of bandedness (is that a word?). Prior to this fill, I could eat pretty much anything as long as I didn't take huge bites and I chewed things up a bit. I got full pretty quickly and was only stuck a couple of times. I was sticking to my food plan and losing weight because I was working at it. Now I really have lots of restriction. Probably too much, but I'm not planning on having an unfill. I have still managed to eat each day (1,195 calories yesterday) and I am hoping I can work through it by eating even slower and taking smaller bites. I can now understand how some bandsters can only eat 1/2 cup of food at a meal and be full and why they might stop eating bread, pasta and pizza (which I'm not going to do just yet). I wonder if you've ever been this tight and if so, did it go away on its own? How long did it take? If you've had an unfill, what is your criteria?

Monday, May 3, 2010

New Blogger

Hi Everyone!

I have a new follower who could use some support:

She is pretty early in the process of having lap-band WLS. And her blog is just starting too so check her out so you can follow her from the beginning!


Contenment. Satisfaction. Enough. Abundance.

For me these words evoke thoughts about food and how I could never get enough. Eating was about getting as much deliousness into my mouth as I would let myself have. I was never satisfied. Even if I had the most decadent meal, I was left wanting. Wanting what, I'm not sure. More food? Sometimes. Peace with myself? Yeah, probably. Sure, I was physisically full, but I was never content.

But now a miracle has happened! I got my lap-band and I've lost 35+ lbs. (16+ Kg.). The obsession with food has abated. I have no doubt that I will lose all the extra weight over the next year or so. Finally my food-nightmare is ending.

So am I satisfied? No, not really.

Because I am too busy stressing out about money and my finances to even reflect on how MAJOR this is. I have longed to be free from my obsession with food since I was 10 years old! 26 years I have struggled! But am I content? Nope. Am I satisfied? Not really. WTF??? No seriously, what the hell is WRONG with me?

Sure, my finances are strained right now. My fella has been out of work since the beginning of the year. But I've lived frugally for all of my adult life. I don't have any credit card debt. The only bills I have are household bills (electricity, satellite TV, etc.), the mortgage, health insurance, student loan and car payment. My income covers all of these and leaves enough money for gas and food. We're not living LARGE, but we're getting by! And I don't have HUGE reserves, but I do have some money in savings, a CD, my IRA and the kids' college fund. So worse case scenario, we'd still be able to float for a good-long time. A lot of people in my situation would feel pretty good right about now. They wouldn't consider themselves rich, but they would feel that they had ENOUGH.

But the truth is, we have MORE than enough. Like most North Americans, we have lots of stuff. Nothing really valuable, but we are comfortable. We have a small house, but it is warm and secure. We have chickens and a vegetable garden and a bunch of fruit trees so we won't starve. We have books on the shelves and library cards to allow us to enrich our minds. Every member of my family is healthy and usually happy. We live down the street from a little park so we always have cheap entertainment available. We have bicycles and feet for exercise. We have two cats and a dog for companionship. My job is very secure, but even if I lost it, this country has resources for the destatute. We are members of a wonderful church community which gives us lots of opportunities for service and spiritual enrichment. We have an ABUNDANCE!

My fill Friday is doing its job. I am really, really tight and I have a ton of restriction. I am eating about 500 calories/day LESS than I was eating before the fill and I wasn't eating a lot then. I am really struggling to get food in at this point which is actually a nice change of pace. I know this last paragraph doesn't flow with the rest of the post, but I wanted to tell you where I am at band-wise.

So to each of you and especially myself, I wish peace today! Enjoy what you have. Appreciate your blessings. Recognize your progress. Know that no amount of food or money can ever fill you up unless you let it. So allow yourself to be content. Be satisfied.