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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What to say....

I have been posting with less frequency lately. There are various reasons for this. The first is that I'm crazy busy at work right now. I've also taken some time off this month which adds to the business. But the main reason is I really don't have much to say.

Things are plugging along. I am enjoying the new-found freedom from food obsession that I've had for the last several months. My weight loss has slowed, but is still trickling away. I haven't had any major epiphanies about this process. The newness and excitement have worn off and now I guess I'm just living my life. Which was the whole point, but doesn't necessarily make for very interesting blog posts.

I miss reading your blogs, but will soon resume reading and commenting. Things should quiet down by the end of the month of September.

We went to Long Beach, Washington this past weekend for a family reunion. It was fun. Here's a picture of one whale and one non-whale:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy New Year!

Although the calendar tells us that the actual New Year doesn't begin until January, for most of us, the new year begins in September. That is the time when children and adults alike head back to school. They sport new clothes and carry new school supplies. The promise of a new year full of possibilities and adventure spans before them like the ocean stretching endlessly to the horizon. Back-to-school outfits offer the potential of transforming the identity, turning Plain Jane into the head cheerleader. A new teacher means erasing all the errors and mistakes of the previous year. All the pencils are long and sharp, their erasers complete. Backpacks are organized and free of trash and completed assignments.

Even for us non-students, September offers a new beginning. Parents send their children off to school, knowing that they will live a portion of their life free from their oversight and protection. School becomes a world where parents are seldom allowed and children can try out their wings. TV watchers look forward to the promise of new shows and new story-lines. The summer life we lived, full of vacations and campfires and trying to keep the backyard pool free of green algae, wanes as the days grow shorter and a chill creeps into the air. Dieters vow to lose a few pounds before the allure of Halloween candy calls them back to their usual routines.

In my house, this time of year means it is time to sort through the closets, pulling out the old clothes that no longer fit and making room for the newly purchased back to school things. This year I pulled a few items from the back of my seven-year-old's rack. "How about this Snow White costume?", I wondered. "Do you ever play dress up anymore?" "No.", she responded. "And this Sleeping Beauty dress? Should we get rid of that too?" "Yep.", she replied. So I bagged up the princess costumes, glancing at the movie poster for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse on her wall as I did so. "Can I go watch TV now?", my daughter asked a few minutes later when the task was completed. I said she could and it wasn't long before I could hear the sounds of iCarly or some other Disney Channel sitcom. I wondered when she stopped watching cartoons and started watching shows featuring teenage actors dealing with acne and boyfriends. Was it about the same time she stopped pretending to be a princess and started imagining she was a vampire?

Enjoy these last weeks of summer and cherish too the idea that a new year can transform you into a different person.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Welcome Amanda!

I just noticed I have a new follower with a beautiful name. Pop over and visit Amanda and tell her Amanda sent you! This Amanda is just getting started in the lap-band process and she is a stone cold FOX!

I rode through the desert on a post with no name...

This past weekend was difficult. I really struggled with feelings of frustration, resentment, even anger. Some of it was justified, some not. I've talked before about the things going on in my life that contribute to these feelings. I don't really want to dwell on them now, but let's just summarize by saying my financial situation is a struggle, caused mainly by the fact the the guy I live with can't figure out what he wants to be when he grows up.

And I'm tired. I don't like being the only one with responsibilities in my house. I resent the free time, the lack of obligations, the sense of expectation that all this will be given.

I hate that my so-called "free time" is spent cleaning and organizing. I sorted through my youngest daughter's closet and dresser on Sunday afternoon. I spent all day Saturday cleaning and folding laundry. In the evening I took my daughters and niece to a movie at the second-run movie theater in town. We saw Shrek in 3D. It was fun, but it kind of felt like a chore.

I feel run down. I have a very minor (but annoying) medical condition that tends to flare up when I'm stressed that has made an appearance in the after-math of the weekend. Mostly that was what I intended to post about. I don't want to whine and complain. What I want to say is when will I learn to manage my stress? When will I stop allowing myself to over-do it and then suffer the consequences?

Because I can't control the rest of it. I can't twitch my noise and make my numbers come up in the Lotto Jackpot. I can't make my fella find a job (I could kick him to the curb, but that's another post for another day). I can't find and beat the man who bought a piece of property from my mom (and her sibs) for 3.5 million, paid $500,000 (mostly realtor fees and taxes), tied up the transaction for two years and then announced he wasn't going to be able to finish paying for it. Those things are out of my control.

But how I react and how I feel ARE within my control, as is what I eat. On Sunday I made a couple of bad food choices. Nothing major, but I felt a bit out of control for a little while. I realized that I could slide back into old patterns. I don't want to do that.

Even though I know intellectually that I can't control the external stuff, I still fight a battle with myself about it. I pray and wonder why God doesn't make it all better, even though I don't think I believe that is what God does. But I want that to be what God does. I want God to wave a magic wand and give me "enough". I'm tired of struggling. I'm tired of playing by the rules and not getting anywhere but further behind. I want someone to help me. I want to feel hopeful about the future instead of anxious.

But I have to stop myself and remember that a year ago, I believed my relationship with food to be hopeless. I felt controlled by my obsession to overeat. I thought I'd always be fat. I was afraid WLS was my only option and that I'd never be able to afford it. Well I didn't afford it, but I managed to finance it. I made it happen. And now I'm better. Not perfect, but healthy. So there is hope.

Here's a picture from my vacation taken in the Ape Cave on Mt. St. Helens with my oldest daughter:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Normal" Shopping

I went shopping recently at a department store. I've gone from a size 24 to a size 16 in the last six months and am shopping in "normal" stores for the first time in many years. The last time I was this size was when I got pregnant with my second daughter (actually I weighed about 25 lbs. less then). Since my initial weight gain was during my pregnancy, I didn't experience going from "normal" sizes to plus sizes. And I've been able to shop in my closet as I've lost weight and gone down in sizes. I've also been the recipient of some generous contributions from the Sisterhood. So as I walked through the "normal" section, I had some pretty extreme emotions.

First of all, I assumed people were looking at me and wondering what the heck I was doing looking at the regular size clothes. In my mind they were thinking I must have been looking for clothes for someone else or wondering if I knew that the plus sizes were in a different section. I should say that I realize that most people don't give that much thought to other people, but I guess that's what happens to my crazy, neurotic brain.

The point is that weight loss is stressful. Part of my identity is changing. I'm not the fat lady anymore. So who am I now?

The other point is that I really don't know how I look. A month or so ago I thought I looked pretty good. I weigh less now, but I am feeling less satisfied with my appearance. I don't know why.

When I was 280 lbs. (127 kg.), I thought I looked okay. It wasn't until I would see a photo of myself that I would notice how big I was. I've lost 75 lbs. (34 kg.). Will I ever be happy with how I look?

Here's a pic I took of the outfit I tried on that day. I didn't buy it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

BIG News!

I am so sorry I haven't posted recently. I was on vacation last week and so far this week I am being punished for daring to take time off. In other words, I am so stinking busy at work. So I am taking a few minutes to dash out a post before I get back to work. But I have SO much to tell you! And I am dying to get caught up on your blogs too.

First of all, last Thursday marked six months since I was banded. As of this morning, I am down 75 lbs. (34 kg.). I weigh 205 lbs. (92.9 kg.). SO CLOSE to Onderland! My goal was to be there by the end of August. I probably won't make it since I only have one more official weigh-day this month, but I know I'll be really close. I started this journey at 280 lbs. (127 kg.). I wore a size 24 pants and 3X shirt. I am now in a size 16 pants and size large shirt.

I LOST WEIGHT ON VACATION! I am down 2.6 lbs. (1.2 kg.)since my last weigh-in. This is amazing to me, especially since I am not doing anything special to lose weight. I am not dieting. I eat whatever foods I want. I try to make healthy choices most of the time, but I don't always.

I LOST WEIGHT OVER MY BIRTHDAY! Last Monday was my 37th birthday. Between that and my vacation, I've eaten a lot more dessert and fast food (not to mention diet soda!)than I normally do, but my gastric band keeps the portions small and lets me keep losing weight even when "real life" gets in the way.

When I look back at the last six months, I am AMAZED by how much I've changed. Six months ago I was OBSESSED with food (BTW, I have no idea why I keep randomly capitalizing words. Emphasis, I guess.). I had been obese for seven years and had struggled with disordered eating for pretty much my entire life. I had tried to lose weight many, many times, but had lost weight so painfully slowly since turning 30 that I would always give up in disgust, go on a binge and regain the weight, and then some. Things could not be more different today.

I now subscribe to a diet of all things in moderation. I eat butter, drink my coffee with real cream, have an occasional beer, and am basically enjoying being able to eat whatever I want without worrying about my weight. There is nothing I am doing now that I will not continue doing for the rest of my life. There's no gimmick. No magic pill. No special diet. I don't count calories as a general rule. Every so often, I will tally them up and I generally fall somewhere around 1,200 per day. I am completely satisfied.

I do try to eat sweets on weekends and special occasions only. Not because I think sweets are bad or evil, but because I still feel somewhat compulsive about them and I am trying to live my life free of food compulsion. I've found that when I eat certain foods, they cause me to having cravings. I don't like that. If I only eat those foods on occasion, I don't feel the compulsion (except when I've eaten them which I attribute to a physiological blood sugar reaction). I now realize that a lot of the compulsion that I used to wrestle with came from frequently eating sweets which would then set me up for more cravings about 20 minutes after I'd had them. Sometimes I would have more. I never went long enough without them to get out from under that cycle of cravings/compulsion/overeating.

I have always been a regular exerciser, but I don't go to the gym. Instead I walk my dog each morning (rain or shine) and I ride my bike about 20 miles a week. I find that it is easier for me to incorporate exercise if I don't have to commit a great deal of time. It would probably take me at least an hour and a half if I went to a gym and I just don't have that kind of extra time, not to mention the expense of gym membership. But I do have 30 minutes in the morning to walk my dog. And I can leave for work 20 minutes early twice a week and ride my bike. I also hike, garden, and do housework.

So here are a couple of "before" pix:

And here are some pix taken during my vacation last week:

So that's where I'm at six month post-banding. I am so glad I decided to have this surgery. It was, without a doubt, the best thing I've EVER done for myself!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'm in the aughts!

I can't tell you how happy I am to be out of the teens and solidly in the aughts. I weighed between 210 and 219.9 lbs. (95.3 - 99.74 kg.)since 6/25. It was definitely the "slowest" decade thus far!

I lost 2.6 lbs. (1.18 kg.) last week for a total loss of 72.4 lbs.(32.84 kg.) since February. I now weigh 207.6 lbs. (94.2 kg.).

Next week is a BIG week for me for several reasons. First of all, I will be on vacation. I am sure I will post at least once since I'm not really going anywhere for vacation, but since I don't have internet at home, I probably won't be around much.

Next week is also my SIX MONTH BANDIVERSARY!!!!! I will probably do a post to commemorate this if I can come up with an "after" photo that I like.

Additionally, Monday, August 9th is my 37th birthday! If you write dates the American way, you will notice the date is 8-9-10 which I think is a very cool thing! I love my birthday. I've always loved having a "special day" each year. I don't have any big birthday plans yet, by I imagine my mom or sis will have a BBQ or something.

Finally there is a Friday the 13th next week and that has always been my LUCKY DAY. 13 was always my number as a kid when I played sports and I'm just odd enough to consider everyone else's unluckiest day my luckiest, I guess. I always wanted to get married on Friday, February 13th which would not only be a Friday the 13th, but would also be the day before Valentine's day. The next time that happens is 2015 so SAVE THE DATE! You never know!

So back to my birthday for a moment. Usually my mom and sis would get me a gift card for my (former) favorite store CJ Banks, which is a plus size store. But I don't wear plus sizes anymore so I guess I don't have a favorite store. I need clothes, though so I hope they come up with something!

What else? Not much I guess, but I am feeling chatty!

I'm going to the beach at the end of August! Yea! My family does a reunion every year and it always used to be on the Washington coast. We've gone other places for several years, but this year we are going back to Ocean Park. My girls have never been there (well I guess my oldest was there as a baby, but she has no memory of it). Since I spent four days every summer there as a kid, I am kind of excited to take my kids. But I am scared about the cost. I have a little bit of money put away for my vacation, but I think this weekend trip will cost at least $400. We rented a cabin so we can prepare our meals there for the most part, but it is about 5 hours from our home so I am thinking at least two tanks of gas ($70), cabin($200)
and I know my kids will want to ride go carts and bumper boats and other stuff with their cousins and we will likely eat out while traveling so I may have to hock something to pay for it. Damn, I hate being poor!

Okay, that is too depressing a topic. Did I mention I'm in the aughts? And its almost my birthday? And next Friday is my luck day? And I might be getting married in 4 1/2 years?

Back to work! I'd hate to get fired BEFORE my fabulous vacation gets here!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Blogger

I just found a new blogger: Sarah at

She just had her first fill and could use some love. Tell her Amanda sent you!

Monday, August 2, 2010

I saw the light!

This morning I was applying lotion to my legs, as I do each day. As I bent over (in touch-your-toes style) I noticed that when I press my knees together, there is a gap between my thighs! Woo hoo!

We went camping again this weekend. The girls and I had a blast. My mom came up for one night with my niece and nephew. Here are some pix:

I know I mentioned this before, but one of the worries I had when I was banded was how I would handle things like camping. In the past if I was dieting, I would usually use the change of scenery as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted. What a blessing to be free from the diet mentality! I eat the way I eat, regardless of what's going on. I have all my favorite foods and the lap-band keeps my portions small. I still indulge in the occasional s'more, but since nothing is off limits, there's no reason to go over-board.

I am so happy that I have a lap-band! This is the closest to a miracle that I've ever seen.