Thursday, May 27

Life's a-changing

Sorry I've been MIA since all the supportive, heartfelt, wonderful comments you guys left me on my six-month bandiversary post. You guys are seriously the best. I have read each and every comment over and over (including yours, Cara, yes, I did see it!).

I forgot to write them down, and they're on the computer at home, but I did another set of measurements, and I've lost nearly 70" total! WOWZERS!

Life kind of exploded. Things reached a breaking point at work, where I had to make the decision to either quit a bit sooner than I wanted to or pretend I was going to take the leadership of a HUGE project to only quit days later. I opted for the former, because it's just not in me to make life more difficult for those I'm leaving behind.

So, I gave my notice on Tuesday. My last day is June 11. DH is looking at houses as we speak, and we're hoping he's going to find THE one for us (the company is renting something for us for a year). If all goes the way I want it to, we'll have a lease that starts around June 18. It's going to be crazy for a few weeks. AHHHHH!!!!

In the mean time, my weight is hovering 1 lb above my lowest, but I feel smaller in the past few days. It's so weird. My pants are definitely getting looser, and my waist fat on my back used to double over and touch itself and now it barely even dents in (if that makes any sense). I just feel lighter on my feet. I hope that means one morning soon, I am going to jump on the scale, and it's going to be a few pounds less.

Toodles - work calls...10 more days!

Tuesday, May 25

6 months ago today...

...I was starving. And nervous. And getting cold feet.

I was starving because I'd eaten nothing but protein shakes for two weeks, nothing but clear liquids for 24 hours, and NOTHING the day of surgery. My surgery ended up not being until almost 3 pm, and while food would have been nice, I probably would have traded my first born for a drink by about 1 pm. Oh, I was so thirsty. And then when I woke up, I thought they'd sent me on a year-long hike through the desert without water rather than giving me a band - I couldn't even speak, my mouth was so dry.

But they didn't send me on a hike, I really did get banded. It's been a wild ride - waiting for restriction, fills that swell so tight and then relax to basically nothing, tears, smiles, frustrations, celebrations, and more. However, it's been more than all the frustrations and tears, because the band has given me my life back. It's given me hope. It's made me a better mother, wife, daughter, friend, and human being. I know that sounds dramatic, but it is true. I had resigned myself to being fat forever, and with that resignation went my dreams and aspirations, my self-confidence and motivation, my desire to really live. Being fat had robbed my kids of a mother who was happy, my husband of a wife who felt beautiful, my parents of the self-confident daughter they'd so lovingly raised, and my friends of the friend who could inspire them to do great things.

The band is bringing back the person I was. And while it's not all good (I'm far from perfect!), the good far outweighs the bad (no pun intended).

In the last 182 days, I've lost:
  • 70.6 lbs total.
  • 6 oz per day, on average (yes, I am a stats geek).
  • 50+ inches.
  • 2 clothing sizes, from what was probably a 30W (I don't really know as I stuck to LB size 8) to mostly 26W on the bottom, and a tight 3x to 2x (some 1x) on top.
  • Swollen ankles.
  • My fear of gaining weight back.
  • My resignation of being fat forever.

In the last 182 days, I've gained:

  • A wonderfully supportive blogging community of true friends.
  • New, smaller, sassy clothes (thank you, sisterhood).
  • Confidence in being able to lose ALL my excess weight.

And as the pounds have melted away, they've unburied:

  • My self-confidence.
  • My happiness.
  • My sparkling smile.
  • My ankle bones.
  • The ability to dream about the future.
  • The amazing person I was meant to be.

I am looking forward to the next six months and beyond. There's so much more in store for me as I continue to lose and become the new me.

Thanks so much for all your support along the way. I read each and every comment, often 3 or 4 times, because they mean so much to me. I love you all!

Monday, May 24


It really is all about perspective, isn't it?

DH and I went out for an early anniversary dinner last night (four years on Thursday, but he'll be out of town). We headed to Red Lobster - I know, it's nothing too gourmet, but I knew there'd be plenty of choices for me.

So, back to perspective. My perspective on an indulgent, splurge meal:

Pre-banding: 2-3 cheddar bay biscuits, shared app with DH, salad drowning in dressing, probably a combo platter with lots of fried food, and if I could still shovel in a few more bites, maybe a shared dessert. Oh, and 4-5 cokes to wash it down. Diet if I was feeling virtuous.
Total calories: 2500-3000ish or more

Post-banding: 1/2 glass of water with lemon, crusty top off 1 cheddar bay biscuit, 1/3 of an order of lobster nachos (really yummy btw), and picked up a pint of Ben & Jerry's at Target for later, but opted to have a cup of hot cocoa instead because I just wasn't in the mood for ice cream (huh????).
Total calories: 600-700ish (total guess here)

DH plowed through a few biscuits, his salad, and a PLATTER of food. Granted, he needs to lose about 30 lbs, but it is just amazing to me how much food he can eat. And I used to eat just as much, if not more. Now I can't even imagine. At all.

Other perspectives are changing as well. I've lost 70 lbs, and while I'm proud of that, it's not the feeling I thought I'd have at this point. Don't get me wrong, I know I'm doing well, but it's really not about the total lost or the size I wear or whatever. It's about the journey, about living, about feeling good in my body.

My perspective has totally changed.

I'm 4 lbs from Twonesia, and while I am seriously looking forward to the day the scale says 299.8 lbs, I am not living for that day. I am just living. And enjoying it. And the scale will say that magical number soon enough, but it's not the be all, end all I anticipated it would be.

Does this make any sense?

My perspective has flip-flopped on weight loss:

Pre-banding: I lived, breathed, dreamt, discussed, analyzed, beat-like-a-dead-horse everything and anything to do with weight loss. How much exercise, what kind of exercise, what to eat, what not to eat, new food finds, points, calories, fat, fiber, splenda vs. sugar, fruits, veggies, no carb, low carb, protein. I fought tooth and nail for every ounce that came off and fought even harder to keep them off. It was a horrible struggle, one that left me unable to live life. I had to focus solely on my weight loss efforts, or the weight did not come (or stay) off. I was living a completely one-dimensional life, one that revolved around weight loss.

Post-banding: I am living. Weight loss is happening, and while I am putting in effort, it's not the Herculean efforts of before. I do think about what I am going to eat, but it's more from a perspective of what will go down and keep me satisfied. Food is still pleasurable, but it has a new goal for me - to keep me going until the next meal. And I get to eat yummy food - cheese, chocolate, lattes, butter - because I am limited in the amount I can eat. Exercise has become a part of my life. It's not something I do 2 hours every day. It's something that I incorporate into living - walks with the kids, a quick video here or there, parking further away in parking lots, taking the stairs at work. I do intend to focus more on exercise in the future, but for now, I don't have to kill myself at the gym and I can still lose weight. This is new for me. I am living a three-dimensional life, not living just for weight-loss, and enjoying every minute of it.

So, my last word on perspective is a bit judgmental. I hope that I can explain myself in a way that makes it a bit less judgmental sounding and a bit more "I've seen the light and want others to see it, too."

I periodically read the Weight Watchers message boards. I have for years and years - both for weight loss tips and because there are some funny people over there. I stumbled across the 200+ lbs to Lose board the other day, and wow, talk about perspective.

I obviously need to lose 200 lbs, so I can totally relate to most of them Some have already lost 200+ lbs, and their stories are amazing. But the large majority are early in their journeys, and more often than not, they are struggling. Two months, two weeks, two days into their journeys, many are posting "I just can't do this anymore" messages. They discuss WLS and why they can't/won't do it. They discuss how it's "the easy way out" and how WW is *the* way, but yet they are struggling so terribly.

There are honestly very few people there who've lost a significant amount of weight. It's mostly newbies who pop in for a few posts and then quit posting, which probably also means they've quit WW.

I used to buy into that perspective - WLS is cheating, and WW is the only *honorable* way to lose weight.

But now I want to shout at them, "THERE IS ANOTHER WAY." And it is the easier way. Not easy, but easier. And doable. And manageable. And makes life livable. And enjoyable. It makes food your friend and not your enemy.

My perspective has totally changed.

Sunday, May 23

Hello...oh, you can't see me???

I'm over here. See me yet? You can't see me? That's because I am disappearing!

70 lbs gone! 70! 70! 70!

I can hardly believe it. 4 lbs until Twonesia. Un-fuckin-believable.

In other news, we've worked our TAILS off this weekend. You should see the trash pile, you should see the garage sale pile. In fact, I might take pics later, just so you can appreciate all our efforts. It's been insane, but good insane.

Gotta run - more to do - but will try to check in with everyone later this evening! Toodles!

Friday, May 21


I cannot tell you how much I wish we had done this years ago. But years ago, I wanted 'stuff'. It made me feel better about myself, I guess. My house always looked perfect, and I guess I thought if people saw a perfect house, then they wouldn't see my (very) imperfect body. My decorations all matched perfectly, my style was great; I had a house you could show in a magazine.

Now I see how much that stuff was weighing me down. And that the more perfect my house, the more imperfect my body. I let the stuff consume me, keeping me from focusing on my body. It's hard to say which drove which - did the stuff overwhelm me, or did I not want to focus on my body, so I let the stuff overwhelm me? I am guessing it's the second. OK, I know it's the second.

We threw away 10 garbage bags of stuff yesterday. We have a GIANT pile for a garage sale. And we only tackled half of the basement and our rolltop desk and two-drawer file cabinet. Oh, and the front closet.

And this is after all the decluttering I've done over the past 15 months, which has been a significant amount as well (think 9 trips to Goodwill in one of my decluttering modes).

I'm keeping the stuff that is very important to me (memories, family heirlooms), things that I look at and smile, and things that serve a purpose here and now (not something I *might* use in the future, except for clothes that I am shrinking into). That's it. The rest is going.

I feel so light. I feel very focused. I feel like I can think clearly. Pounds and stuff gone - it's all good.

Wednesday, May 19

Just a quickie...


DS pooped! 3x! YEAH!

I've done some mushies (guac on a piece of cheese, yogurt, ice cream), and they've stayed down. YEAH!

I have a shitload of work to do at work and at home. YEAH!

Just kidding on that last yeah, although it's true. Anyhow, missing you all, but gotta focus around here for a few days...

And Joey, IT'S ON!

Tuesday, May 18

Blah blah blah

That's how I am feeling, blah blah blah. It's just been a crazy couple of days.

DS has been constipated for about 10 days and after trying home remedies (prune juice, apple juice, etc.), cutting his milk consumption in half, and even an enema, we had to make a trek to the ped in the pouring rain to get a prescription for Miralax. Poor kid - he is just miserable. And poor me - dragging two kids to the ped and then to the pharmacy in the pouring rain was not fun (I have to buckle them both into and out of carseats, so it's not quick process). I tried to go through the drive-through at Rite Aid (I shop there a lot!) and they would not fill the prescription in less than an hour. I don't get it - every other pharmacy in town can fill a prescription in 10 min or less, and they need an hour? So, I took my prescription back (the guy was a total a$$ about it), and drug them through a monsoon into Costco. Rite Aid is getting a nasty email today...I am solo-parenting with two young kids, one of whom is screaming because he hasn't pooped in a week, who is trying to fill a prescription in the pouring rain at dinner time and you can't help out a loyal customer by speeding up the process, just this once? Seriously.

Anyhow, DD was a total pistol last night - would not go to bed. Tried letting her lay in my bed. She was beyond tired at that point, was all pissy and o.m.g. I hit my limit with her - I actually yelled at her and shut her in her room where she proceeded to scream for 30 min at 11 pm. I was so. done. So. done. SO. DONE. I then had to work until 3 am on stuff for my job, just because I am so far behind. Ugh.

DD woke up this morning still in a pissy mood, probably because she is still tired. When I asked if she wanted a diaper or a pull-up, she threw a fit and cried that she wanted to "wear her butt." It's funny, but how do you reason with that? Sigh.

I PB'ed my lunch yesterday (very tender, very saucy chicken tikka masala), so liquids yet again for me for 24+ hours. I think I'm just going to give up on solid food and live on frappes, protein shakes, soup, and hot cocoa for the rest of my life. Good news is I am down yet again this AM - aiming for 70 lbs by my six-month bandiversary, which is totally doable at this point. But liquids is getting really old. The PA said if I can keep liquid down (which I can just fine), I can just ride it out. But I am soooo tired of liquids. Oh well, it'll eventually loosen up, right? (In case you forgot, my surgeon's protocol if you are too tight is last fill plus half of the previous fill OUT as an unfill. Um, no thanks.)

And while this is an NSV, I am finding it highly annoying. My wedding rings are spinning freely on my finger...I hate when the engagement ring flips over. Drives me batty.


Cranky Amy

Monday, May 17

I got an F!

Well, really, I got two "F"s...

Or I have two "F"s...

Whatever. The bottom line is I went and got fitted for a bra on Saturday at Lane Bryant, and I don't wear a 44DD like I thought I did. I wear a 42F.


My poor boobies. Been stuffing these suckers into bras that are two sizes too small for years. Not to mention, I've lost 66 lbs and they are STILL Fs. Oh well, hubby isn't complaining! {wink, wink}

I joked with a friend that I had to special order from the fat girl store. Double sigh. (Note, I am just being sarcastic here - it really doesn't bother me!)

Speaking of, he finally comes home on Wednesday after 24 days gone! I am a happy camper...more so to have help with the kiddos than to see him. OK, I am excited to see him as well.

And the move is moving forward. I've got the next three weekends planned out. We are going to bust some butt:

5.21 - 5.23 - DH home, BFF (J) coming from WI, Mom coming in and getting a hotel room and keeping the kids as much as possible - plan is to pack and sort/prep for garage sale.

5.28-5.30 - Very good friend (K) (the one from last weekend) is coming up for the whole weekend to continue packing and prepping for garage sale.

6.4 - 6.6 - Another very good friend, T, is coming from Chicago to help me do the garage sale. K will come up for the garage sale as well.

It's going to be a whirlwind!

I am starting to get anxious/excited about flying to FL. I should be just under 300 lbs by then, and I am really hopeful I'll be able to fly sans extender. Keep those fingers crossed for me!

On the eating front, I still don't feel full or even satisfied, pretty much ever. It's getting old, but until I can eat three (at least two) 'real' meals per day, I'm not counting my sweet spot out. My days are weird - yesterday I was able to eat a few pieces of sushi , 1/2 of a steamed artichoke (thanks for the obsession, Kristin!), and french onion soup including cheese and bread without problem. I went slowly, but no problem. And then I accidentally gulped hot cocoa last night, and I PB'ed it.

Fortunately, I can kinda 'make' myself PB now. Well, I don't know if that is good or not, but it comes up really easily, so I figure it's not doing too much, if any, damage.

Do any of you struggle with a gurgly tummy at night? I can't eat/drink too close to bedtime or I get some reflux. But if I go to bed with too empty of a tummy, it gurgles so badly, I can't sleep. My solution has been a small hot cocoa about 30-60 min before bed, but that's the one I PB'ed last night. So, my tummy gurgled for 90 min before I could fall's like I can feel stuff passing back and forth through the band! Was driving me crazy...

Friday, May 14

Friday Babbles

Let's see...what's rolling around in this pretty little head of mine...
  • I think I have developed a fear of food. OK, not really, but it is strange in how when I look at a normal-size bowl of food, it looks H-U-G-E to me. I can't even fathom how I used to eat 3 or 4 bowls of chili and then couldn't even finish one bowl of my "Italian Chili" in an entire day yesterday. It's playing mind games with me.
  • Following the band rules is HARD when you are on the tighter side. I know that the whole "eat your meal in 30 min" rule is in place so that bandsters don't graze their way through the day. But I can't eat a cup of food in 30 min, and then I feel guilty if I want to keep eating after 30 min. I need to revise the rule for me right now - 30 min OR 1 cup of food.
  • People at work are really starting to notice my weight loss. I thank them, and then they inevitably ask how much I've lost. I hem and haw, and when I finally spit out "65 lbs", their jaws hit the floor. They are expecting me to say 25 or 30, I am sure. It's almost uncomfortable to say how much I've lost. I NEVER EVER EVER thought I'd be the person who doesn't want to say how much they've lost. Usually I am the one telling perfect strangers on the street about my latest weight loss efforts. It's bizarre.
  • I am starting to drop sizes quickly. I started in size 8 LB pants, and couldn't really squeeze into any 28Ws, even though I tried to pretend I was a 28W. I finally pulled out some 26W and 28W pants/capris last week (some of my own, some from the sisterhood). I have on a pair of 26W capris from Avenue today (I think from Heidi?) and they are almost too big already. I am NOT complaining - it's just so weird that it took me 54 lbs lost to fit into them and then within 11 lbs, they are almost too big. It's hard for me to remember what I wore at certain weights, but I do know that I was a 20W when I weighed 260 lbs the last time I really lost weight, so that would be another 50 lbs and 3 or 4 sizes down, so I guess it does make sense that every 15 lbs or so is going to be another size down.
  • Speaking of weight loss, I am now smaller than I have been since about July/August 2007. I weighed 262 lbs when I got pregnant in March 2007. And then I rocketed back up to 320 lbs while pregnant QUICKLY. So I would guess that I was around 310 in late summer, maybe more like early fall. Going down is so much more fun than going up!
  • My friend is highlighting my hair this afternoon. YEAH! Maybe I'll try to vlog tonight...maybe.
  • I got a message from my organization to Crystal Bowersox, who is in town doing her "hometown visit" thing that the Idol finalists do. She talked about her time being involved with us and how much it impacted her. I feel like a celebrity!
  • And I forgot to mention, but a photo I took of one of my clients was published in a local monthly parenting newspaper this month!

Toodles! I am supposed to be working - shhhhh....


1. If you could be a cartoon character – who would you be and why?

Richie Rich. I think the why is self-explanatory. (I used to love reading Richie Rich comic books, even though I *HATE* comic books in general.)

2. Who was your teenage heart throb?

Kirk Cameron, Jordan from the NKOTB, and Corey Haim (sigh, I wish his life hadn't gone so far astray.) - I had the typical teen bedroom, with pictures and posters e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e.

3. Do you believe being overweight is about a mental obstacle or do you believe it’s simply about overeating/food?

Some of both? And some of the food industry making foods hyperpalatable and basically addicting us.

My personal opinion is that some people like food more than others (like my mom and brother, both of whom don't really care what they eat or get cravings), and some use it as a tool to deal with whatever is going on in their lives. When you get someone who likes food and finds that it is comforting, I think it is a recipe for disaster. Add in a insidious food industry, and boom - fatness ensues. The problem, I think, is that if you have abused food for too long (for whatever reason, you like it, it masks pain, etc.), you "break" your full signal, and without major intervention (like the lapband), it is hard to break that cycle.

4. What’s your all-time favorite song?

Closer to Fine by the Indigo Girls - hands down, no question. Two lyrics speak to me - "The best thing you've ever done for me is to help me take my life less seriously, it's only life afterall" and "The less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine." I seriously super-duper puffy heart the Indigo Girls.

5. Whose blog or comment spoke to you/stuck with you this week and why?

Amy W and her soul searching. I've been there and can say I made the wrong decision, out of fear. Fear of being alone. Fear of the unknown. I am not saying AT ALL that Amy is going to make the wrong decision, because she is much wiser and self-confident than I was - I just feel for her, because it is so difficult.

Thursday, May 13

Operation: Solid Food Update

I made a game-time decision to switch my starting lineup, thanks to Southern Belle Jen. She kinda freaked me out when she said chicken salad had a high PB factor for her.

So, I opted for some meatballs that I'd made a few weeks ago and froze uncooked. I defrosted a few and then sauteed them until cooked. I added about 1/2 c. of spaghetti sauce and called it "Italian Chili."

I served myself just over a cup...just because that's how much it made. And I ate about 1/2 c. in about 30 min. After about 20 min, it started going down a lot easier, but I didn't want to risk getting stuck and having to head back to work, so I stopped.

I am not anywhere near satisfied or full, and I'd happily gnaw on my arm right now, but I think that has to do with the amount eaten and not an indication of whether or not I am at my sweet spot. I'll try the rest for dinner and report back.

Thanks for all the ideas!

It's the FINAL countdown...

Earworm anyone?

I have all kinds of countdowns going on. Would you like to join me?
  • 9 lbs to Twonesia - well, actually 9.2 I guess. But I was 309.0 lbs this morning. HOLY CANNOLI! I started this journey at 374.4 lbs. It amazes me how far I've come. 9 lbs until my weight starts with a 2, when pre-banding, my weight was rocketing towards starting with a 4. Incredible.
  • 3 hours until Operation: Solid Food - yep, I am going to attempt some solids for lunch today after 8 days of liquids from my last fill. Leaning towards a mayo-y chicken salad. I am praying to the band gods for no stuckness and definitely no PBs...and even throwing an extra prayer in there for something resembling a sweet spot!
  • The Great Move of 2010 - Draz, honey, don't read this. You will start convulsing. The timeline I discussed yesterday has become even crazier. Don't ask. Bottom line is DH is coming home next Wed (5/19). The owner is supposedly signing a contract that same day, so I will put in my two week notice that same day (I hope); however, I will be off the week DH is home (unpaid) and then do my two weeks after he leaves. The week he is home we are having a MASSIVE moving sale. We are selling everything but our clothes, toys, kids furniture, kitchenwares, etc. Anything that doesn't sell is going to Goodwill. DH heads back to Orlando on 5/24 or 5/25. I'll work and finish packing our personal belongings. He'll find us a furnished place to rent for a year, and then as soon as we have a move-in date, he'll fly back up, rent a U-Haul, pack it, and drive down while I fly down with the kids. This will most likely all happen by 6/15-ish.

Since we've decided to rent for a year, school districts aren't a concern anymore, because they kids aren't in school yet. That opens our search up a WHOLE lot, and there is tons of very nice stuff within the range of what the company is paying (they are paying our housing for a year as a part of our moving package).

I am overwhelmed by how much needs to be done in the next month or so, but the silver lining is in a month or so, we'll be settled into our new place, in a great city, enjoying life. I'll be done working, another 15 lbs or so lighter, and be a SAHM who can focus on getting fit and trim (although I only plan to stay home for a few months).

Anyone in the Orlando-ish area? Do you have a surgeon you'd recommend for me to call about becoming a patient? Thanks!

Wednesday, May 12


Translate that one yet?

What would my blogger/bandster friends eat?

Duh! It wasn't that hard...LOL, I make myself laugh.

Anyhooooo, I am attempting solids tomorrow! GO ME! I feel like such a big girl.

I'm trying to decide what my best lunch option would be.

Really moist chicken salad? Aack, I hate the word moist!
Crab cakes?
Lightly seared scallops?

Hit me with your best option...a semi-solid protein with the smallest PB factor!

And Heidi, yes, probably a bit tight, but my doc does not do small unfills. Their unfill protocol is your last fill plus half of your previous fill. Stupid? Yes. But that's their rules, and I ain't playing by those rules, especially since those fills cost me $300!

Wonderful, wacky Wednesday

Did you see my ticker? HUH? HUH? HUH? Didya? Didya? No? Go look and then come back.

There, you saw it, right?

64 lbs gone...gone...gone...

I can hardly even believe it myself! I lost SEVEN lbs this week. WOOHOO!

So while that is the wonderful part of Wednesday, there's some wacky crappola as well.

I've PB'ed 4x since my last fill (a week ago today). I have been on pretty much only liquids most of that time. I am doing liquids for the rest of today, since I wanted to give myself a solid 48 hours since my last PB, and then I will try solid protein, maybe tomorrow for lunch.

I think I am extraordinarily sensitive to fills. That's got to be the answer, right? The fill before this last one was 1cc and was too tight for about 10 days, when it suddenly loosened. This fill of .25cc has been a week, and I am so tight, I've PB'ed on a latte and on two kinds of pretty soft soup (clam chowder and broccoli-cheddar). My guess is I might actually be at my sweet spot when the swelling from this fill settles down. In the interest of not ruining my band and in getting to that sweet spot sooner, I am okay with liquids for another day or so. But it is getting old. In the last 5 weeks, I've been on liquids for almost 3 of them! This is NOT what I imagined the band to be like. Seriously, at almost 6 months post-op, I have yet to feel relief from hunger. Sure, I'm down 64 lbs, but it would be nice to just be free from hunger for an hour, an afternoon, even a day. I know it will come, I am just whining...but as always, any reassuring stories are MORE than welcome!

On to other wacky news...

I am going to kill DH. For real. Oh wait, who is it that knows people? Can you help me?

We're moving to FL soon. Now, I am still working full-time, and I refuse to put in my two-week notice until there is a signed contract for a new warehouse and office space in FL. While I am 99% sure this is all happening, I don't want to rock the boat at work and end up with both of us unemployed.

DH has been in FL working since April 26 (not as inventory manager because there is no warehouse yet, but as store manager filling in for someone about to undergo thyroid cancer surgery). He calls me last night and says he is scheduled to come home May 24 and be home until we move.

He's all excited.

I am not. And he can't understand why.

Let's review the timeline, my friends:
  • The owner is going down next week to supposedly sign a contract. Let's say he signs it on Wed, May 19.
  • I put in my two week notice on Thur, May 20, which means I work until Thur, June 3.
  • Two of the weeks DH is home (presumably not being paid) would be while I am working. Not exactly productive for decluttering and packing for a move.
  • DH says they want him back in FL by the middle of June.
  • In those three or four weeks he'd be home (again, presumably unpaid and we are not exactly rich), I would be working for two of them, and in the remaining one or two, we would need to: *declutter because I refuse to pack and move a bunch of shit, *pack an entire 4 bedroom house that is busting at the seams, *figure out what to do with our three cats (find them new homes or figure out how the hell to get them to FL if we can have them in our new place), *have a garage sale or haul the shit to GoodWill (we just have a lot, and big stuff, so I hate to give it away for free), *perhaps find a place to live in FL if that is not straightened out before he comes home in the next 10 days, *get a moving company to the house to get our stuff, and *coordinate a move to FL.

Does anyone see a problem with this timeline?

And DH can't understand why I am upset and stressed. Ummmmm, hello, there is NO way this is feasible. None. I told him absolutely we cannot be down there before July 1. It just cannot happen. And I told him that if he has a say in it, to not come home until I am done working. It's silly for him to be here while I am at work, since lord knows, he won't be capable of decluttering or packing or doing anything like that without me.

The other stress factor is where to live in FL. You Floridians know that schools aren't the best. I feel like we are stuck between finding a decent house with a good elementary school, which aren't plentiful and try to stay there until the kids go to school OR picking the house and area we like and resigning ourselves to paying for private school. Unfortunately, we are far from rich, and private school is going to require me working AND leave us with no fun money. Sigh.

Oh well, it'll all work out. In the mean time, if you see me curled up in the corner sucking my thumb and rocking OR heading towards my husband with an axe, please feel free to intervene!

Tuesday, May 11

Working 9 to 5...what a way to make a livin'!

When I was about 5, I had a mole removed from my foot. As a reward for being so brave, my mom took me to the store, where I got to pick out anything that I wanted. Anything.

I chose the "9 to 5" 45. Dolly's always been my gal!

What's that got to do with what I want to talk about? Nothing, other than the title fit. And I like telling silly stories.

I've mentioned before I work for a regional non-profit. We cover 32 counties. I do communications, marketing, PR, writing, editing, and such. There is another me in the southern half of our region who does the same thing. The work is split in that we each do local marketing and PR for our half of the region, and then we split the work that covers the entire region, like newsletters, eNews, Facebook, etc. Make sense?

That's how it works in theory. But it's not that way in reality.

I do 95% of the overall regional work, because she can't handle it. Literally. I do Facebook weekly, monthly reporting dashboards for the CEO & COO, take & submit our team minutes every week, 13 monthly eNews, 4 annual newsletters, our annual marketing plan, our annual style guide, and 3 various annual publications. I sit on several regional task groups for communications/marketing support, sit on several national task groups for national issues, and am also managing a HUGE rebranding effort we are going through (launching July 1).

She manages the crisis communications plan, which needs a minor update once/year. That's it.

It's bothered me in the past, but I've just kinda gone with the flow. The workload, while heavy, is manageable, and I didn't really want to rock the boat. I really thought our supervisor would realize the disparity and do something about it. But either:

A. She hasn't noticed (unlikely)
B. She doesn't care (somewhat likely)
C. I am capable and the other woman is not (very likely)
D. It's okay to take advantage of a fat girl because she should just be thankful to have a job (hmmmm, interesting theory, Amy!)

While I don't think it's necessarily a conscious decision on our supervisor's part and I really think a lot of the answer is "C", as I've been coming out of my food coma (and losing 62 lbs!!!!), I've realized that I haven't helped myself either and answer "D" might not just be in the supervisor's mind but also in my own.

If I can toot my own horn for a minute, I have a pretty impressive resume. I was a good student, have an MBA, had lots of successes in my jobs, and have volunteered many places and have lots of desirable skills.

But I have just kind of accepted what's been thrown my way work-wise. I've been content to just take what's been given to me, feeling like I should be grateful that the fat girl got the chance.

And seriously, who wants to go on an interview when you are busting out of size 28W pants and can't even button the suit coat? It doesn't exactly inspire confidence on the interviewer's part or my own. So I've just coasted along, accepting this less-than-acceptable treatment.

But no more. Granted, I am leaving here soon (they don't know that yet), but I am growing a backbone for the rest of the time I am here, especially because I get to take my new backbone with me when I leave.

And when it's time for me to find a new job in FL, I *will* apply for jobs that I am qualified for with confidence. I will get interviews. I will rock those interviews. And I will have my choice of jobs. Because I am a valuable, skilled employee.

And I'll no longer be held back by fat. Thanks to my band and my hard work.

Monday, May 10

Good friends are like good bras

They are both SUPPORTIVE!

I kinda sprung my news on my friends on Saturday, about 30 min before others were arriving. And asked them to keep it to themselves. Which I realize was kinda mean. But whatever. I am not always nice.

They were both very supportive about it, but we weren't really done discussing it before people started arriving for dinner. And then it was just chaos from then until we left, so we never really got to finish the discussion.

Imagine my tears when I woke up to the following email:

So, I realized that, in all the chaos, I did not have time to tell you how I feel about your surgery. So here it is: I am so proud of you. That step in the right direction, had to be a tough one. I am so excited for you. You know that, no matter what, I will always support your decisions. I am positive that this was the right choice for your weight loss journey. It takes a lot of courage and support and I want to reassure you that I support you. I wish all your extra pounds away! :) I respect that you have to do this journey and decision making on your own terms, but since it's out in the open (at least in our house!), anytime you need encouragement, please call. I will be there to pat you on your back.

I am proud to call you a friend for so many reasons and your dedication is one of those reasons. I will severely miss you being just an short drive away. I mean severely!!! But, I am so super excited for our trip to FL this fall. Ok, I have to go to work, but I felt HORRIBLE because I did not get the chance to say everything I needed to say on Saturday. :)

I really do have some great friends! Ahhhh, here come the tears again. I am such a crier! Will that stop when I get skinny?

Sunday, May 9

News from this mother's front

Happy Mother's Day to every type of mom out there - if you've ever cared for a child, cat, or dog, or provided mothering comfort to someone, give yourself a huge pat on the back!

My mother's day so far has consisted of surviving several temper tantrums, massaging a certain body part on a little boy in hopes of relieving constipation, cleaning the kitchen floor on my hands and knees...and listening to the cutest toddler voice sing nursery rhymes, getting slobbery kisses, and cuddling with my two sweet children on the couch. I guess my day is kind of what mothering is all about!

On the band front, well, I am tight. Probably borderline too tight. I PB'ed the last three days in a row - sigh. Once was on soup and once was on a latte. Not good. However, I can keep liquids down (most of the time!) and am feeling okay, so I am going to ride it out on liquids for a few days. I've had 24 oz of water and a protein shake so far today, and I'm doing good with it.

The good news is I've lost a couple of pounds since my last fill, bringing my grand total to 61.4 lbs. And if you remember, the most I'd lost previously was 59.8 lbs, so the band has officially helped me to lose the most weight I've ever lost! And I'm way ahead of my 10 lbs/month goal, since I'm still two weeks away from my 6-month bandiversary and have already lost 60 lbs. Sweet!

And finally, I told my friends about the band, but not until they'd both been questioning me, "Why aren't you eating? You can't live on that. You need to eat. Blah blah blah." Surprisingly, they weren't all that surprised. I mean, they were surprised I'd done it since I'd been kinda anti-WLS in the past. But it wasn't this big news that I was expecting it to be! And I think it might have sparked some interest in my girlfriend, as she'd definitely be a candidate.

Off to decide if I brave taking these two out by myself somewhere or not. They both refuse to ride in a cart or stroller, which makes life very difficult, as they can both run fast and in opposite directions!

Thursday, May 6

Hard Head (advice needed)

Why? Why must I be so hard-headed?

I tried to eat a burger tonight. No bun, just the meat.

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.


Anyhow, I hoorked like a cat for TWO SOLID HOURS. It was puking-from-the-bottom-of-the-gut PB'ing. It finally stopped, thank goodness, because I was about to curl up in the fetal position and cry. I was home alone with the two kids, and no one was available to come help me.

About 90 min after the PB'ing stopped, I tried some hot cocoa. No dice. It came back up twice. I did manage to keep some water down in between.

I am no longer sliming and am able to swallow my own spit.

My game plan is to let it be for the rest of the night - no water or anything. Assuming I can keep water down in the AM, I will very slowly try a protein shake or a latte. As long as it stays down, I am good to go, right?

I am slightly paranoid that I may have slipped my band or something with all the hoorking (I just like typing that word!). No pain, still able to swallow, etc., so I'm 99% sure I'm okay, but that 1% of me is concerned.

Finally, the kids and I are going to a friend's house for the weekend. She does not know about the band. I'm probably going to have to tell her. I'm okay with it, as she is overweight and I would never want her to think I lost this weight on my own. However, she is also the type of friend who called me 4x/day for the last month of each of my pregnancies to ask if I was in labor yet. That's just how she is. And the reason I didn't/don't want to tell her about the band. It'll be constant questions from now until the end of time. Oh well...

So, my two questions:

1. My band care plan - okay? Other suggestions?

2. If you were my friend, and I sprung on you that I had major surgery nearly 6 months ago, how would you like me to tell you? :) (I'm planning on the whole "This was, and continues to be, a very personal journey for me, and I had to come to terms with my decision before I could share it with others.")


Two totally random questions


Do any of you color your dishwater blonde hair blonder at home? And does it look okay? (Of course, you are going to say it looks fine or else you wouldn't do it!)

I am so tired of salon highlights. My hair grows quickly and looks like crap within weeks. And I'm cheap and tired of spending a good chunk of change to look good for a few weeks (literally 3 before the growth bothers me) and then look like crap for many more weeks while I try to justify spending another chunk of change.

I tried coloring my hair at home a medium brown, and the color itself looked fine, but I just look (and feel) better as a blonde. But the last time I tried blonde at home, I turned my hair a light shade of lavendar, and not on purpose.


I have a floor jewelry box that is on its last leg, so I am thinking of clearing out a drawer in my dresser for my jewelry. I ran to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to get organizers, and WOWZA - to get everything I want/need, it's $80! And they aren't anything special - basically fabric covered pressboard. Ummmm, any cheaper ideas for me that aren't just plastic??? (This is some of my better jewelry, so I'd prefer a step up from plastic.)

Knock on wood...

...I am afraid to even put this in writing.

This fill feels different.

I am supposed to be on clear liquids only for 24 hours after a fill (hahahahahaha, yeah right), but I at least stuck to liquids yesterday. I had a latte in the AM, a McD's frappe in the afternoon (I know, not the healthiest choice, but it was satisfying), about 1/2 c. of tomato soup made with milk for dinner (it was threatening to come back up), and homemade hot cocoa before bed. And I wasn't starving. Normally, I am ready to eat my arm off on fill days.

I'm sipping very slowly on a latte this morning. Slowly being the key word. Again, I am normally HUNGRY in the AM. Not so much this morning.

Could it be? I'm not even going to say or write the words, but you all know exactly what I am thinking!

Fingers and toes and everything else crossed...

Wednesday, May 5

The non-feeding of emotions (and a fill)

First things first, Wednesday is my official "record my weight" day, and I am down 3 lbs for the week, bringing my grand total to 57 lbs in just over 5 months. SWEET!

Second things second, my fill today was .25cc. I told them that I STILL get physically full but no real or lasting relief from hunger. They reassured me that IT WILL HAPPEN when I hit my sweet point, and I have to be close. So, .25cc it is. (My total is 11.25cc in a 14cc band; I got here over the course of six fills.)

Third things third, in the 29 days since my last fill, I lost 16 lbs!!! The good news is 13 lbs of it was fat and only 3 lbs was non-fat. Makes me happy...

Now, finally what I really want to discuss today:

The Non-Feeding of Emotions

I have been swinging from one emotion to the next lately. One minute, I am ready to cry. The next, I am so happy, I could burst. The next, I am frustrated with my situation. The next, I feel blessed by everything in my life. My emotions feel so raw, so right there, so emotional. So real.

So. Real.

I am feeling real emotion. Huh.

I was seriously starting to think I needed an anti-depressant. I kept thinking, "Self, you have so much going on. Anyone in their right mind would need a little help to get through this. It's totally not normal to be feeling this much emotion, and a little pill will certainly help you to dim the emotion."

And then I understood.

I am feeling real emotion. Huh.

I am not drowning my sadness in cheeseburgers. And I'm not celebrating success at work with a milk shake. Nor am I trying to get through the night with two crazy toddlers with the help of some chocolate.

I am experiencing life and all its ups and downs without drugging myself with food.

It's scary. And exhilarating. And very real.

And I think that's exactly how it's supposed to be.

Tuesday, May 4

Lap-band in the news and on tv

I was flipping through the channels last night, praying for sleep, as DD repeated "Mommy mommy mommy" to herself in her room (makes me bonkers).

Anyhow, I came across "The Real Housewives of NJ" and lo and behold, one of the hubbies got a band and has lost 70 lbs!

And while I was looking for an article to confirm that, I found that a Philadelphia Eagle got one as well!

It's refreshing to see this awesome solution becoming more main stream instead of being considered an 'extreme' measure.

This and that

I swear, I am losing my mind. I am having a hard time focusing on things, remembering stuff, and keeping my life straight. I am normally very level-headed, have a great memory, and feel very 'together'. But being overwhelmed at both work and home is pushing me right to the edge of insanity! Ahhhhhhh.....Anyhow, some randomness for your Tuesday:

Even eating ice cream last night, the scale was down another .2 lbs this morning. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my band? She rocks!

I have a fill tomorrow - I'm thinking .25-.5cc should really, finally, be the fill that brings me to my sweet spot. And I love a good sweet spot! ;)

No one has asked for my sisterhood clothes! WAAAHHHHH! I hate being the fattest sister. LOL Seriously, I will hang onto them for a week or so, just in case someone comes along and wants them. But if not, I will sort out the work wear for our local Dress for Success type organization and the rest will go to Good Will. ETA: You guys rock! I so appreciate all the support about being the fattest sister. But no worries - I was saying it in a very tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic way. I wish my very dry sense of humor translated to the written word, but alas, it does not. I am by no means upset about being one of the largest bandsters. I wear it like a badge of honor, and anyhow, who else will be able to say they lost 200 lbs!?!?!? And when that happens, you can all be soooo jealous of MWAH! Smooches!

The most I ever lost on a diet was 59.8 lbs on Weight Watchers' Core plan July 2006 - March 2007. I am quickly approaching that amount and am excited to pass it right by! If my fill is tight, I anticipate doing that next week!

DH still doesn't know when he'll be coming home. Not this weekend, but maybe next. In case you are counting, that would be 3 weeks! I think it's the uncertainty more so than the length of time that is making me nutso.

DH's aunt, who is the controller for the company, is heading to Orlando tomorrow, and the owner told her not to leave FL without a signed contract for a warehouse. So, if all goes well, we should have a better idea of when we are moving by the weekend. However, I'm not getting my hopes up, as I've thought this a few times and it's not panned out yet.

While this journey with the band has not been super easy, it's also not been super hard. If that makes any sense. OTOH, I've had to work for every ounce of these 56 lbs without being in the green zone. OTOH, I haven't worked nearly as hard for every ounce of these 56 lbs as I have when dieting in the past. Something is working right, even if it's not working as right as I would like it to!

Off to drink my latte and attempt to get some work done. Toodles!

Monday, May 3

Scared of scars?

Excuse the braless, scary picture, especially the stretch marks, but I wanted to show you my scars.

If you look reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllly closely on the left hand side right above the big horizontal scar, you'll see a scar of about an inch. It's from my gall bladder surgery about 4 years ago. I did NO scar care whatsoever, and the scar is nearly invisible. In fact, I can't really get it to come out in a picture, and I can barely see it in person. So, no guarantees your scars will disappear as completely, but there is definitely hope!

My turn to repay the SISTERHOOD!

Yes, it is that time.

I cleaned my closet out yesterday, and I have the MOTHERLODE of clothes to pay forward.

Here's the deal. I have TONS and don't really have the time or patience to take pics of each and every item, and since...well...there's no graceful way to say this, there's only a few of us who started out as large as me, let's do it this way (unless it violates the Sisterhood rules). If you need business-casual or weekend-casual clothes in size 28W (a few 30W) or 3x (a few 2x that run large), send me an email at achio4444 at gmail dot com, and we'll work out the details.

I have lots of wintery stuff in those sizes - sweaters and a beautiful Columbia jacket system in periwinkle in 3x (with matching hat, scarf, and gloves).

I have ONE sundress - black from Lane Bryant, floor length, size 26/28. It is loooong - it was almost too long for me, and I am 5'10".

I have a pair of black pants, a brown pair, and a pair of jeans from LB - size 8 blue. They are average, but again, I am tall, and they are long enough on me.

I have several blazers and tons of casualish shirts - appropriate for work unless you have to dress up for work.

ETA: I also am getting rid of quite a few sweaters in the 2xish range. Since we're moving to FL, i don't think I'll need them next winter...also, they should be TOO big!

Anyhow, email me and let me know.

Also, hit 56 lbs today. Although I just shared a leftover Coldstone ice cream with DD, so who know what the scale will say tomorrow! :)

Sunday, May 2

You people have infiltrated my life!

I had a free evening last night (MIL watched the kids), so I headed out to do some solo shopping and dining. SOLO being the key word...however, even though I was alone, I felt very much less than solo. Here's why:
  • I was wearing a pair of Heidi's pants.
  • I was wearing one of Kinzie's shirts.
  • I stopped by Fashion Bug because of Leslie's good deals from a few weeks ago.
  • I bought Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred based on Joey and TJ's recommendations (on sale at Target for $8.50 in case anyone else wants to jump on the bandwagon). I gotta keep pace in the bathing suit challenge!
  • I kept hearing this voice in my ear when I was trying things on, only to discover Draz was sitting on my shoulder, instigating me to buy more and more! I did end up buying some new around-the-house comfy capri yoga pants and a few new t-shirts, so I don't have to be embarrassed to answer my door!

So, thank you!

PS - I am less than a fan of Walmart for a variety of reasons, however, I will say that their line of Danskin workout wear is very nice and reasonably priced (and goes to 5X). I only discovered that after being disappointed at Meijer, Targer, TJ Maxx, and Kohl's!