Saturday, August 27, 2016

Hell Froze Over

Um, so...

I'm engaged.

I'm getting MARRIED.

LOL, yes, that's correct!  My boyfriend (or fiancĂ© now, if you will, though I'm still getting used to using that oddball word) proposed to me on August 19th.  It was a sweet, private event - no fanfare, no orchestrated production.  It was just us, in my backyard after an otherwise uneventful dinner of grilled steak and salad.

It didn't come completely as a shock; I'd known for some time there was a proposal coming down the pike, but I had no clue when, where, or how he was going to do it.  While we had been preparing dinner I noticed he was a little out of sorts, but I blew if off, mainly because I knew if I thought he was acting funny because he was getting ready to propose and then didn't, it would sour my mood and I didn't want that to happen.  So I put it out of my mind, chalking his demeanor up to some other stuff on his mind.  Anyhow, during the course of dinner prep, he grabbed a plastic shopping bag and said, "I'm going to take this out to the yard to use for trash."  He'd never done that before, but I just shrugged and said, "okay, whatever."

After we finished eating he said, "Well, Dee, the reason I brought this bag out here was so that I could do this..." at which point he grabbed the bag, came around to my side of the table, placed the bag on the ground, and then got down on his knee. (so as not to get grass stains on his tan pants, which I thought was just about the most adorable thing EVER).  I said, "HOLY SHIT!" and started to cry.  He reached into his pocket and produced a box. "Are you serious?!" I asked, and he nodded his head.  He'd started to cry a little, too.  Then I said,  "Are you kidding me?!" He shook his head and placed the box on the table.  At this point we were both wiping tears from our eyes, and then I said, "Wait! You didn't ask me the question!"  And he said "Oh!!  Dee....will you marry me?"  And I shouted, "YES!" Then we laughed and kissed, and after I calmed down a minute I called my mother and gave her the good news.

My ring is gorgeous, too.  Three cheers for HTG for picking out EXACTLY what I wanted - a round solitaire in a plain, wide band.  It's timeless, classic, elegant., just beautiful in its simplicity..and so damn SPARKLY.  I seriously can NOT stop looking at it.  It's just so pretty.

By the way...that shopping bag?  It's blue.  So I saved it and I'm going to cut a piece off to stick inside my bouquet for the "something blue" part of my ensemble on our wedding day.

So anyway, shit just got real.  Like, really real.  Like, I have to squeeze my sausage-self into a wedding gown, and the whole dress shopping process will need to begin relatively soon.  I've watched enough "Say Yes to the Dress" to know that I can't wait 'til the last minute.  (I have also watched enough to know that there are a bunch of spoiled-ass brats out there, that apparently it's not just acceptable but expected to bring an entourage of friends and family who will make you question everything you ever thought you wanted in a wedding gown, and that my dress budget wouldn't even deem me worth of washing Kleinfeld's windows, let alone buy a dress in a place like it - but that's another blog post for another time).

My point is that I have to get on dress shopping in the next few months if I am to find what I want - because chances are, I'm going to have to try on a whole lot of dresses before that happens, and the wedding is a little more than a year away.  And while it is a common practice to buy a smaller dress and then attempt to diet into it,  I think it's much more practical (and a better motivator) to drop weight first and THEN shop for a dress.  I would like to be at or damn near my target wedding weight before I shop.  And damn it, if this isn't the thing that finally kicks my ass back into gear,  I don't know what is!

Wish me luck!


Friday, June 17, 2016

I'm Back. In So Many Ways.

Okay, so it's only been, um...14 months since my last update.  I've decided it's high time to start talking about this again because, well, things have gotten a little dicey in Deedee's Sleeveland, and I need some accountability, even if it's just in the form of putting it out in the blogosphere.

In 14 months I've been doing a lot of stuff.  What kind of stuff, you ask?  Well.  I'll tell you!  Since I've been on sabbatical from my part-time job (Starbucks is pretty awesome like that), I've managed to fill in the blanks.  My favorite blank to fill in has been that 4:30 am to 8:00 am blank on the weekends when I can sleep like normal people.  Also that 10:00 to 11:30 blank in the evening when I can go to bed early.  But trust me, I've been doing more than just getting a few extra hours of shut-eye.  Here's what I've been doing:

I've been doing a lot of ice skating.  I started taking lessons on a whim about a year and a half ago, and once I learned how to remain upright on a pair of skates I started getting into the sport aspect of it.  Eventually I'd like to compete, even on a low level, because it's something to work toward.  It'll be a long time before that happens, but in the meantime I take weekly lessons and fit in a practice here and there when I can find convenient ice time. If I could find the time to do it more, I would.  I've got some ideas on how to make that happen, but that's a little down the road.

I've been doing a lot of yoga.  HTG* so generously offered to pay for a monthly pass to my favorite yoga studio, on the stipulation that I actually use it.  So I go at least twice a week to make it worth his expenditure.  Yoga also helps with skating in terms of balance and flexibility, and has replaced my regular gym workouts (which I may or may not pick up again at some point - more on that later).

I've been doing a lot of singing.  It's been a pretty hefty year chorus-wise.  We didn't really get to take the summer off last year because we were invited to sing "Carmina Burana" at Chautauqua, which was a complete thrill.  The second time we did it, HTG and I went down there for the whole weekend and made a little mini-vacation out of it, complete with countryside wandering and farm-stand browsing.  We're thrill-seekers like that.

I've been doing a lot of thinking.  About life, love, my future, my career, the absolutely tragic state of the world...you know, the normal stuff.

And unfortunately...

I've been doing a lot of bad eating.  NOTHING has changed since my last update - you know, the one where I'd poured my heart out about how unhappy I was with my weight re-gain, how I vowed to change it THEN AND THERE?  Yeah.  I didn't do any of that.  And I gained another couple of pounds.  I stopped working out as much.   And then I actually stopped working out altogether.  There was a period of about three or four months when the only exercise I got was my once-weekly skating lesson and an occasional walk.  I didn't even get out to ski but twice, thanks to one of the tamest winters on record.

I love to cook.  I love to bake. HTG loves to eat.  And HTG loves me.  So the natural progression has been for me to gravitate toward eating what I've cooked and baked for him.  I'm not making excuses - I know that I'm doing the wrong thing.  It's really so much easier to eat what he's having (and so obviously enjoying while singing the praises of my culinary prowess), versus watching him eat a giant plate of pasta with homemade sauce and a big honking slice of blueberry pie while I sip a protein shake.  But I need to figure out a workaround, I know this.

I've stretched my sleeve a bit - I can definitely hold more food than I could before.  But I did a re-set recently and realized that all is not lost - I'm still only able to hold a little more than a cup of solid food.  Any more than that, or food mixed with any liquid, and my stomach lets me know in the most unpleasant way that it disagrees with my decision.  I've thrown up in my office garbage can more times than I can count, to be honest.  Seriously gross.

But it's not only the volume of food that I can't seem to get a handle on (big surprise there, as someone with a history of compulsive overeating), but it's the quality (another big surprise, as someone who does not have a history of compulsively overeating broccoli).  Unlike bypass patients, sleeve patients can tolerate sugar - not at first, but it's easy enough to build up a tolerance, something I've managed to do with relative ease.  The aftermath isn't always pleasant, but not unpleasant enough to completely deter me from eating that piece of cake, that bowl of ice cream, or that luscious caramel chocolate bar.  I eat bad stuff, I feel like garbage, and I find myself right where I was pre-sleeve; on the couch in a cloud of indigestion and self-loathing.  With pants that don't fit.  And then a week before I go to the doctor I step up my game and lose a few pounds in an effort to fake him out.  But who am I really faking out?  Who's the one who truly suffers?  Not him. It's all me. This sucks.

There have been markers along the way, signs pointing to the error of my ways.  Little blips on the radar that make me pay more attention and realize I've got to get a handle on this.  Remember my fat wrists?  They're back.  That's usually the first indication that I'm above a healthy weight.  Those have been going on now for at least the last year.  My ankles are swelling again - an indication that I'm consuming far too much sugar and salt and not nearly enough water.  None of my pants from last year fit me.  Even the ones that fit me as I wrote last April's entry are now in the "Will fit if I lose 10 pounds" bin. I now have at least five 18-gallon bins full of clothes that don't fit.  I talked about all of this 14 months ago, but did I do anything to fix it?  Nope.  And that, I think, is the most disheartening part of it all.

I realized back in December when my doctor (my regular PCP who I see every month) gave me a literal finger-wagging that I was in trouble.  I lost three pounds over the holidays, but it was the same three pounds I put back on the next month.  I have been hovering at this weight, this 35-ish pounds too much weight, for too long.  Yoga and skating are helping keep the hover from a launch to the next notch on the scale, but the number needs to not hover; it needs to descend.  Soon.  Now.  Because if it doesn't, and I end up feeling like all of this was a wasted effort...nope.  Can't deal.

A friend of mine is getting ready to be sleeved in a couple of days and it has served as an inspiration.  She cited me as an inspiration long ago, and I feel like I've failed her.  Here she is about to go under the knife in hopes of bettering her health, and here I am, three years out, complaining that I'm 35 pounds overweight and can't fit into my pants.  So now it's her turn to inspire me.

I've also decided that it's time to start blogging about stuff other than the sleeve stuff because all of it affects me and is all part of the bigger picture.  I used to have several blogs that were designated for different purposes, but ain't nobody got time for that.  I mean, seriously, I can barely maintain one blog, let alone three.  So look for more subjects beyond food and weight coming soon.

With that, I'm going to go fix myself a protein shake for lunch and stare longingly at the bin full of cute shorts and sundresses that don't fit right now.

---


*for those who don't know, HTG is my boyfriend. His initials are actually WNK, but that's no matter.  To the Internets at Large, he is and always will be HTG.  Long story.  If you don't know it, I'll tell you some day. :-)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Two Years Later: My Big Fat Emo Blog Post

Settle in, kids.  This one is a doozy.

It's been well over a year now since I updated this blog, and while I have frequently thought, "I should update, since, you know, I'm paying for hosting fees and whatnot, and also perhaps I would feel better if I wrote my emotions down instead of engaging in self-destructive behavior," I never quite got around to writing a new entry.  Why not?  Well, you know. Shit happens.  And I have excuses.  Some are more legit than others, but here they are:

1. I've been busy working a gazillion hours between two jobs and fulfilling other obligations like chorus participation, skating lessons, and social interactions when I can actually get out to have them.
2. I'm rediscovering how time consuming and labor-intensive relationships can be.
3. I'm freakin' TIRED (see excuses #1 and #2).
4. I've become a regain statistic and was sort of hoping I could make that go away and then come back and pretend everything was still hunky-dory even though it's really not.

So.  Yeah.  There it is.  Excuse #4 is probably the biggest one.  I mean, after all my shameless "rah rah, check me out, I'm a TRUE SUCCESS STORY!" posts,  it wasn't exactly a priority to come back here and say, "Hey, so...I've gained some of my weight back and I feel kinda shitty about that."

But yes, that's what's happened.  After hitting my goal last year right around this time, I maintained for about three months and then I went to the doctor (my regular PCP who I see once a month or so) and was up a few pounds.  I still remember the number - I was 142 pounds, up 3 pounds from the month before.  He expressed concern, but I scoffed at him and said, "it's just bloat.  I'm about to get my period."  This was true, though I had also been sneaking a candy bar or a slice of pizza here and there.  I'm sure that didn't help.  Despite having started a desk job shortly after my one-year surgiversary, I was still managing to make it to the gym a few times a week.  I was able to take some time off from my part-time job (the one I maintain for health insurance) so I wasn't yet feeling any real crunch in terms of working.  The weather was beautiful, I was riding my bike all over the place, and was generally doing a fine job maintaining my diet and exercise regimen.  I bounced two or three pounds back and forth over my goal line, but seemed to be keeping it in check.  The following month I'd gone back down and all was well.

My full-time job, for those who don't know, is a graphic artist position with a printing company that also publishes a weekly community newspaper.  Toward the end of the summer, my boss asked me to write an article for our paper about my surgery and how my life has changed.  I was delighted to do so.  Right around that same time I started hearing comments from people about me being "too thin."  I thought I looked fine.  But I think that triggered something in my head.  Something that told me, "it's okay to eat this pizza/candy/ice cream because so what if I gain a couple pounds?  I'll take it off easily, and even if I don't, it's not like it'll matter.  It's just a few pounds."

So that guard that had been in place, that resolve that I'd kept, that knowledge I'd been armed with that reminded me that the surgery was just a tool and that it was still up to me to do the work...it slowly began to erode.  I started to eat dirtier and dirtier food. I stopped paying attention to what I was eating.  I started eating out a lot because that's what you do when you're dating someone who likes to eat and has a metabolism the speed of Mario Andretti on crack.  I started cooking a lot more because that's also what you do when you're dating the aforementioned type.  I started to skip workouts because working a full-time day job and then working a couple shifts a week at the coffee shop were taking a toll on me and sometimes I was just too damn tired to drag myself to the gym and spending an evening cuddled up on the sofa with a big, warm dude was more appealing than busting my ass in the weight room.

And then the weather started getting colder so the bike came in and the crockpot came out.

And then the shit hit the fan with my work schedule and I worked two 80-hour weeks in a row so that I wouldn't lose my health insurance.

And then it snowed a lot, which made for good skiing...when I actually had time to go, which was never (see previous sentence),  but otherwise made me want to stay firmly planted on the nearest horizontal indoor surface.

And then the holidays happened.

And then I got a Kitchen Aid Pro Series mixer for Christmas and started baking like a fiend...and eating too many of my own creations.

And then....and then....and then....

Every month my weight crept up another two or three pounds.  And every month my doctor was like, "what the hell?"  And every month I'd say, "Oh, I know...I ate too much sugar/it's late in the day/I haven't pooped yet/I'm getting my period/I just drank a bottle of water/this sweater weighs a ton, etc etc etc...I'm not worried."

But I was worried.  I'd briefly gone back to my therapist to see if a few sessions with him could get me out of my rut.  My behavior was heading in a direction I was not happy with, but I felt out of control.  Being a compulsive overeater with a reduced stomach, I have found, does not make one want to eat less.  I still wanted to eat. all. the. food.  Except now when I did, I would get sick.  Not cool.  I don't like that.  But even if I didn't eat too much, even if I restricted myself to the small 8-ounce capacity of my little sleeve, I was choosing shitty stuff.  I wasn't drinking eight ounces of protein shakes, or eating eight ounces of lean meat and vegetables and other clean choices.  Eight ounces of pizza, chocolate, ice cream, and pastries fits just as easily - and gets digested a whole lot quicker, which makes me hungry again sooner, and plays tricks with my head and triggers my cravings and "head hunger" even more.  And I fell deeper and deeper into the abyss of bad eating and self-loathing until my whole life was beginning to spiral out of control before my very eyes.  And yet...I went to the doctor yesterday and have gained more, still.

Officially I am up 30 pounds since hitting my goal.  Thirty pounds.  In less than a year.

It doesn't seem like *that* much, right?  But you know what?  It is.  It's a lot.  It's too much.  And when I pulled out my bin of spring and summer clothes the other day and realized that not a single fucking stitch of it fit me, I nearly broke down.  Every morning is a battle trying to find something I can wear to work.  I have a closet stuffed full of clothes, two dressers with drawers that barely close, stacks of bins full to capacity, and piles beyond that of clothes I can't wear.  Even my underwear is too small.  I have one bra that fits comfortably; the rest are too tight.  It's all making me miserable.  And yet what did I eat for breakfast today?  A goddamn piece of fucking COFFEE CAKE.  Not because I had no other options; my boyfriend gave me fruit this morning and I could have sliced that up into some oatmeal, which is in plentiful supply at work.   But I grabbed a piece of cake.  This is the sick shit I'm up against.  It doesn't matter that I went through hell and high water to get this surgery and worked my ass off for a year afterward. It's like as soon as I hit that goal, my switch flipped and I thought, "okay, I'm home free now.  Bring me a pizza!"

And that's why I'm writing this entry.  Because the biggest lesson I've learned through all of this is that I WILL BATTLE THIS SHIT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.  I am HUMAN.  With FOOD ISSUES.  And despite having had the utmost confidence that I could beat this thing, these last eight months or so have beaten the shit out of me.  I am not bigger than my issues, and I am in so many ways powerless.  This was not the cure-all.  The surgery is a TOOL.  Who said that a couple years ago?  Oh, yeah.  I did.

I went into this knowing I was a compulsive overeater, and I knew that I "didn't have surgery on my brain" and that I'd be up against INCREDIBLE adversity and challenges.  But the first year just went so smoothly overall, I reached my goal so quickly, and even though I worked very hard, I was enjoying the work because I was seeing constant progress.   Every week, every month, something would fit better, I would feel better, I would get more compliments, I would be stronger.  But once I hit my goal, it was like, "okay, where do I go from here?"  I got what I wanted, so then what?  Where was my motivation?  Life was awesome.  I reached my goal weight.  I landed a job in my field.  I got my finances under control.  I started dating and fell in love with someone I'd been actively crushing on and passively chasing for years.  It was like I reached a point and felt like it just couldn't get any better.  So what did I do?  I sabotaged it.  Because I, for some sick reason, don't feel "whole" unless I'm "fixing" something.  Like those people who put their wipers on intermittent during rain storms (which always drives me bananas), I wait until the situation gets all messy and then set to cleaning it up, feeling satisfaction when I've achieved a goal and get to bask in my accomplishment. Maintenance is anti-climactic.  And I've never been particularly famous for stability, yet the whole reason I pushed for this surgery was because I saw it as a way out of the yo-yo I'd been riding for 30 years.  Well, guess what.  It's not.  What a fucking bummer.

Look.  I can write whiny blog entries about it, or I can put my big-girl panties on and pay attention to how uncomfortably tight they are, and DO something.  I can absorb how shitty I feel every time I run into someone I haven't seen in awhile and there's an awkward moment where I can tell they think I look a little bigger than I did the last time they saw me. And I can maybe spend less energy stressing about what to wear and channel that into getting a handle on things again.  So I put the few remaining things that do fit me into heavy rotation while I work on fitting into the stuff that will eventually fit me again.  It's thirty pounds, not three hundred.  It's still manageable, and I don't have THAT far to go in the grand scheme of things.  It's just that backsliding can feel SO damn defeating.

I can say that writing this entry was a big step.  I'm putting it out there.  I'm once again bringing my personal struggle to the public light.  I'm admitting to the entire world that I am not perfect, that I, despite my cockiness that it "wouldn't happen to me," have fallen into the same trap as so many before me.

So, yeah.  That's where I've been, folks.  Gaining weight and making excuses.  Until now.  The turbulence has been rough, but I'll land again soon.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

One Year Update: Sweet Freedom

One year ago today I was being wheeled into an operating room for a procedure that I knew was going to change my life.  Just how drastically it would change it, however, I hadn't a clue.  A year ago I looked to the future and figured by this time I'd have reached my goal.  And I was correct on that guess.  What I hadn't been prepared for was what that would do to me.  A number on a scale means little in comparison to the ways my life is different now.

I reached my original goal of 143 pounds a couple months ago.  I decided to keep going.  As of this morning I am 137 - two pounds shy of my new goal.  But the number no longer matters to me.  I'm focused on my fitness goals, concentrating on getting stronger, leaner, more toned, and properly nourished.  While I will confess to still enjoying chocolate, I will declare that nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.

Two days ago I had my one-year followup with the surgeon.  My progress astounded him.  Most patients are expected to have lost about 65% of their excess weight by this point.   I have lost over 90% of mine.  I truly believe my commitment to fitness has facilitated this, and Dr. C agreed.  I wasn't messing around with this.  I had this surgery to change my life.  I didn't have it so that I could continue being overweight and unhealthy.  This is why I fought so hard to get approval for it.  This is what I wanted to do, and this is the result I wanted to see.  I knew a year ago I had a long road ahead of me, and I knew it was going to take hard work and dedication.  I also know that at any point I could undo all my hard work, and this is a lifetime commitment to staying on the path.  The most important exercise in my regimen is that of self-awareness.  It doesn't matter how many squats I do, how long I spin for, or how much weight I lift.  If I'm not aware of myself and everything I'm doing, I will fail.  I've already seen how bad behavior affects me.  What's important is that I learn from it and commit to not repeating mistakes.

In the last year I have lost 122 pounds and many inches, but what I have gained is much more impressive.  I have gained FREEDOM.  Freedom from twice-daily corticosteroid inhalations.  Freedom from constant joint pain.  Freedom from chronic fatigue.  Freedom from self-loathing.  Freedom from self-consciousness as I walk through the grocery store.  Freedom from chest pain and shortness of breath and soaking sweat from the smallest exertion. The list is endless.

To count all the ways my life has changed for the better would take far more time and space than I have to spare right now, but if there's one thing I can say with unwavering confidence it's that I have ZERO regrets.  The surgery came with side effects.  I can't drink carbonation anymore, which means I had to give up Pepsi and beer, two things I really, REALLY love and really, REALLY miss.  I can't really eat bread or pasta anymore.  Potatoes, a food I once consumed in obscene amounts (hey, I'm Irish), are something I have to enjoy in extreme moderation.  I have to be careful not to eat too soon before bed or I'll wake up choking when everything backs up after I lie down.  When I go out to eat I have to eat really slowly or I'll be done well before everyone else, which is awkward.  There are many modifications and concessions I've had to make. But there is absolutely nothing that I have experienced in the past year that has ever made me stop and question my decision.  Nothing has ever made me regret having the surgery.  Even the pain afterward, the recovery time, all that goddamn JELLO...I'd do it all again.  In a heartbeat.  Because nothing trumps how I feel now.  Forget about how I look.  I FEEL incredible.

For the first time in my life, I feel strong inside and out.  I feel confident.  I feel healthy.  I wake up in the morning and I don't feel like I'm 80.  I sleep better.  I breathe better.  Those were all expected benefits.  There was other incidental stuff I'd looked forward to - fitting into smaller sized clothes and being able to go nuts at thrift stores (and believe me, I have) and being able to zip up boots over my calves even over pants, for example - and that has all happened.  Then there were the unexpected pluses that I hadn't even taken into consideration.

I smile all the time.  Other people have remarked on this, too.  "You're so happy all the time," they say. And I am. I'm happy to be healthy.  I'm happy to be alive.  My future looks bright. I'm in a relationship with a great guy and I just landed a new job in my chosen career.  Things are falling into place, and it's about damn time.

Things are also very weird. Men look at me.  Everywhere I go.  It's not something I'm used to.  My friend Carla once told me that I turned heads, but I never saw it.  Now I do.  And it's strange and kind of uncomfortable.  I should be like, "yeah, I'm hot and you should be so lucky to get the time of day from me."  But I'm more like, "uh...could you please not eye-fuck me so hard?  You're making me feel weird."  I'm not used to being attractive, and part of me resents the fact that I'm only considered attractive to strangers now that I'm smaller.   It kind of pisses me off, really.

And then there's this exceptionally weird thing I'm experiencing, and that's...portability.  My 6' tall, 210-pound athletic boyfriend has no problem just picking me up and carrying me around.  It's very, very strange, and it makes me realize why my cats put up such a fuss when I do that to them.  In some contexts it can be fun, but most of the time it's unpleasant and I'm like, "put me DOWN!"

So my life is way different one year after my surgery, and in many ways it's far better than I'd imagined.  Having the immense support of my incredible friends and family has helped immeasurably as well. I've had the most amazing cheering section, and it's both uplifting and humbling.

There are so many things I want to talk about, and I will get to them in greater detail in later posts.  Right now I know you're all waiting for the stats and photos, so without further ado, I give you...*drumroll please*...

3/31/13    5/19/13    7/10/13    10/11/13    1/12/14   4/10/14


Starting weight on 3/31/13 (start of pre-op diet): 259.8
Surgery Day weight on 4/10/13: 244.2
Current weight: 4/10/14: 137.0
Total weight lost: 122.8
Goal weight: 135
Pounds to goal: 2-ish but whatever.  I'm happy here.



This is the last you'll see of those polka dot pants.  I had to fold and roll the waistband to keep them from falling down (hence the weird bulge at my waist in that last photo).  And no, my boobs did not get bigger, but I've taken to wearing a push-up bra since they deflated.  LOL.

Thank you to all my loyal readers and friends for your support over the last year.  I will continue to blog, because this ain't over by a long shot.  I may have gotten this far and reached my goal, but this is a lifelong commitment.  Blogging helps me sort it all out, keeps me accountable, and gives me an outlet for the weirdness.  So please keep reading, and I promise I will keep posting!

Love you all!!! <3






Monday, March 17, 2014

Luck O' The Irish

Some colors just look better on me than others.  Green has always been a good choice, so St. Patrick's Day has always been easy to pull off.  This year, though, I think I pulled it off better than I ever have.

We were allowed to wear jeans to work on St. Pat's Day as long as we also wore something green (besides our aprons, lol). I had found this adorable Kermit tshirt at the thrift store a few months ago, so I wore that along with a green sweater.  Just for shits and giggles, here's a photo of me at last year's St. Pat's Day parade:




And this year in the above-mentioned green getup:



It's not luck, really, but looking at these two pictures I gotta say I FEEL pretty lucky.  Lucky to have been able to do what I've done.  Lucky to have the support of so many folks during this process.  Lucky to have the strength to keep at it.  Lucky to be alive.  Maybe "lucky" isn't the right word.  "Blessed" might be a better choice.  But whatever you want to call it, I'm cheerier than a leprechaun with a pot of gold.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

11-Month Surgiversary: Short and Sweet. Unlike This WINTER.

Valentine's Day just passed and Easter is coming.  So you know what that means.  Lots and lots of chocolate.  So much chocolate.  And so much chocolate on sale.

I have eaten too much chocolate.

The last few days I have given into serious stress eating, and those goddamn Reese's eggs are the death of me.  I feel like garbage.

And it's not just the chocolate.  It's cookies.  Chips.  Pastries.  And all other kinds of junk food.  I feel like absolute SHIT when I eat that crap, and yet...something in me just wants to keep eating it, despite the fact that it hinders my workouts, gives me serious gastric distress, and causes intense fatigue.  I know how much better I feel when I eat clean, and yet something in my head is making me want the shit that makes me feel like absolute death.

Seriously, head?  Why???

I feel like the last few days I've taken GIANT LEAPS BACKWARD.  This must stop.  I haven't had food in the house for awhile, mainly because I haven't had a lot of extra money to buy any.  But that's no excuse.  If I go to the store with $10, there's no reason for me to buy $5 worth of candy.  All $10 should be spent on healthy options.  I KNOW this.  But I'm not DOING it.

Maybe it's this fucking NEVER ENDING WINTER that has my head all screwed up.  Maybe it's this guy I'm seeing and the fact that I'm distracted by him and his drama (there's plenty).  Maybe it's my financial situation, my insane schedule, whatever.  It has to stop.

Today I will grocery shop.  And I will behave.  

Monday, February 10, 2014

Layover

Today is my ten-month surgiversary.  Man, did this last month FLY!

Yesterday I stepped on the scale and saw my original goal weight on the display.  143.  I had to step off and step back on about six times before I'd actually believe that's what it said, but each time I did, it was the same.

So here I am.  Now what?

Well...I keep going.  I'm not done yet.  I've decided that although I've landed, it's just a layover in a place I wanted to visit - this is not where I want to stay.  I feel good, I feel healthy, I feel strong...but I don't feel finished.

Where is my final destination?  I don't know.

As I discussed in my previous entry, it's about fitness and health.  I am not sacrificing either to reach a specific number on the scale.  Granted, I understand that I'm carrying more than a few pounds of extra skin, but there's still a considerable amount of subcutaneous fat under some of that skin (primarily on my belly and thighs).  If I get my way, I'll have the skin removed and/or lifted within the next year.  In the meantime I continue to watch my diet, eat cleanly, and exercise at least four times a week in an effort to burn as much of that fat off as I can.  When I've lost all the fat I can lose and I'm as lean (not thin) as I can be - THAT is when I'll be done.