30 December 2005

Back on the exercise wagon

I went to my sister's gym with her this morning. We got there right as it opened, so there were thankfully no issues getting an elliptical. (It's at a university, and being that it's the week between Christmas and New Year's, they didn't open until 10am. So, no I'm not _that_ psycho!) I could definitely tell that my body wasn't thrilled it had been almost 3 weeks since I'd done any real exercise, but given that it was the elliptical and that I had The Price Is Right on the TV in front of me, I had absolutely no trouble doing 48 minutes (including a 6 minute cool-down). I don't remember how many strides I did, but it said I'd burned about 325 calories (and that's without entering things like my age & weight). And, it's weird, but I kind of liked having others around me doing the same thing ... the mob mentality, I guess. Maybe I could ask my upstairs neighbor to bring her treadmill down and we could exercise together? ;)

4x4 Meme

Taken from Holly's Zoo ...

Four jobs you've held in your life: Audio Visual/Distance Learning Consultant, Dot Com Customer Support Manager, English lab teaching assistant, McDonald's "trash castle" cleaner (one of my most favorite duties among many)

Four movies you could watch over and over: Steel Magnolias, Emma, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Somewhere in Time

Four places you've lived: Answers withheld for paranoid privacy reasons

Four TV shows you love to watch: Sex and the City, Amazing Race, What Not To Wear, Grey's Anatomy

Four places you've been on vacation: Walt Disney World (about a million times), Disneyland (a few times), The Everglades, New York City

Four websites you visit daily: Living After WLS, the blogs you see at right, CNN, New York Times

Four of your favorite foods: Just about anything from Su Hong in Menlo Park, CA (but especially their General's Chicken), edamame, chicken with string beans, cheese grits

Four places you'd rather be: San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, New York City, Tucson, AZ (in winter)

29 December 2005

Feelings of largeness (to put it mildly)

I suspect it's due to not being able to weigh myself for almost 2 weeks now coupled with the feelings of guilt over the poor food choices I've been making lately, but regardless of why, I've been feeling rather fat lately. I _know_ I'm no where near where I was, but I'm still not feeling so hot about myself. So, in an attempt to help quell this feeling, I asked my sister to take a picture of me with my nieces that I could compare it to a picture I found the other night while browsing digital albums I've uploaded over the past few years. The result is the photo you see here. The one on the left was taken at Jordan Winery the last time my husband and I visited California in March of 2005.

Some of the most glaring differences to me are just the breadth of my chest, the chubbiness of my cheeks, the fact that you can see my collar bone in today's picture and well, my hair looks a lot better. Oh, and why in the hell didn't anyone tell me those capris looked so horrible?! I mean, they're tapered, so all they do is successfully accentuate the widest part of my body. How could I have possibly thought they looked good?!

Unfortunately, I also think I look happier in the picture from March. I haven't felt particularly unhappy or sad today, but I just don't think I look as happy ... despite being thrilled to be with my girls. Maybe it's because I think I'm coming down with something, but I know it's more likely due to my marriage issues. I know I shouldn't dwell on it, but how can I not, right? I'm trying to do things to keep myself busy, and I've been reading a lot. But, my mind keeps returning to those thoughts of missing him at almost every turn as well as what I can do in the future to make our marriage better. And, while I'm still not sleeping soundly and I really dread returning to my empty (and very messy) house, it will be nice to return to somewhat of a routine and my sweet doggie.

27 December 2005

Therapy via shopping?

We made another trek to Birmingham today. I received a very generous gift card to Eddie Bauer from my sister's family for Christmas, so I was excited to use it on the post-Christmas sales. I happily found a pair of dress pants, a shirt, a sweater and a pair of PJ bottoms. Although, it was a bit of a set-back in that the pants are a size 16, and the shirt and sweater are an XL. But, as Jenn discovered, things at Eddie Bauer tend to run on the small side. But, wait, there was another punch in the gut ready for me: seeing my sister in the SIZE 2 cords she tried on that were TOO BIG!! Practically my entire life I've been bigger than my sister (even though she's 3 years older than I am), and I've always struggled with it. I mean, when she was 9 months pregnant with her first daughter, she borrowed clothes of mine! That's not to say she hasn't had to work at it; she runs marathons for crying out loud! But, it's still rather unfair. ;)

Back to the shopping, I found this fabulous jacket at Anthropologie at an amazing price; unfortunately, the largest size they had was a size 10, and while I can get it on and buttoned, I know it's not supposed to fit like it does. I bought it with the knowledge that I _love_ it and that I _am going_ to lose more weight (despite the setbacks I've suffered while here), but I keep telling myself that I shouldn't have bought it because, well, I shouldn't be spending any money given my current financial situation. So, I have an out; my sister and her family are leaving to go to Disney on the same day I'm set to fly out, but their flight is a ton earlier than mine. So, I can continue to think about it, and if I decide to return it, I'll have time before my flight. Good plan, huh?

And, lastly I bought a fabulous, limited-edition glass ornament from Smith & Hawken at 50% off plus an extra 15% off for being a "preferred customer". When we lived in California, I worked at Smith & Hawken for about a year, and enjoyed a 40% discount, so buying their yearly limited-edition ornaments became a tradition. It's one I've not taken part in for the past few years (as there isn't a Smith & Hawken anywhere near where I live, and the full-price of the ornament is way too much), so I was happy to find it this year at 50% off!!!

My sister posted pictures from Christmas today. This one's of me, my brother-in-law and my two nieces. Aren't they adorable? I'm having a fabulous time here with them and don't look forward to leaving, but it's got to happen. I have to get away from all of the food temptations and face the realities of my life at home.

26 December 2005

Post-Christmas Wrap-Up

Overall, the day went well. I began the day with 3 breakfast-sized apple chicken sausages and 6oz of skim milk (despite having blueberry muffins available). The girls then began their first round of present opening before we left for church. The church service was very nice, but what I enjoyed most was being at the service with my sister and her family. We got back to their apartment at about 11:45am and decided to have the girls begin their 2nd round of opening. (A lot of what they were given ended up being replacements for things they lost in the house fire, so they had _a ton_!) At about 1:30pm we decided to take another break to enjoy some crepes. I had 2 crepes at 80 calories and 2 grams of sugar each, and I put 5 slices of peaches on top (but I did choose to forego the traditional powdered sugar on top of it all!). After finishing our crepes, the girls finished opening their presents. By the end, they'd both begun to break down a little. For the 4-year-old, it seemed to be more about the process of opening than finding out what was inside. But, it was very enjoyable to watch them both as they discovered each new thing.

My sister and I then began cooking the big dinner. We'd purchased a spiral sliced ham from the local Super Target, and my sister had found recipes for three cheese scalloped potatoes, lemon-pepper green beans and a cranberry Waldorf salad. I did very well by eating the ham first, then the green beans, a few bites of potatoes and lastly a couple of bites of the cranberry salad. I'm not typically a cranberry fan, but the salad was fantastic! It had fat free vanilla yogurt mixed in with cranberries, apples, grapes, walnuts and celery; it was just the right mix of each without the cranberries being too overpowering. While after eating all of that I was without a doubt full, I wasn't stuffed to the gills either. And, I didn't feel guilty about any of it. Sure, I could have lived without the potatoes and the cranberry salad, but I didn't overindulge in either. Not too bad of a day.

24 December 2005

Happy Festivous Everyone!

May you enjoy your Christmas, Chanukah or Kwanzaa celebrations!

Things at my sister's have been going well; although, I feel like I've been wrapping presents forever. (I volunteered to wrap their presents as well as the ones I brought from me and my parents.) It's still torturing me not to know what my weight is, but I suppose I'll survive. I know it's all about making correct choices and not grazing (which I have been doing a lot less of), but I still have this desire to know exactly what my weight is.

Oh, and I keep having dreams with my husband in them. I don't remember many details of the dreams; I just know when I wake up that he's in them. We've got an appointment for joint counseling when I return home, so I'm looking forward to that. And, of course, he's in my thoughts, so I'm not surprised he's been in my dreams. I'd just rather he was in my daily life instead. :)

22 December 2005

I bought a size L!!!!

I went with my sister and niece to Birmingham yesterday afternoon. I had a coupon for $20 off a $50 purchase from J Jill, so I decided to wander into the store. I immediately went back to the sale racks and found they didn't have much there in size XL. So, I decided to look through the L rack as well. (I know their stuff tends to run a little on the large size.) I found a couple of shirts at $9.99 and decided to keep looking around as I'm in serious need of sweater type tops as none of my old sweaters fit anymore. I grabbed an XL in a long sleeved velour top and headed to the dressing rooms. When I slipped it on, I couldn't believe it; it was too big!! I had to send my sister off looking for a Large ... completely surreal!! Woo-hoo!

20 December 2005

No weigh-in today

I typically weigh myself every Tuesday, but as I mentioned before, my sister has no scale in her house. It didn't hit me this morning, but as I sat here reading others' blogs, I realized, hey, it's Tuesday! And, I haven't weighed myself. :( I did exercise today for the first time in about a week and a half. We went to a local park where my 9 year old niece and my brother in law were meeting the rest of her soccer team to run. I had the forethought to bring my heart-rate monitor and watch with me, so I was able to monitor my heart-rate as I walked. I always kind of thought I was cheating myself out of "real" exercise by doing the elliptical (I dunno why), but I realized today that's totally crazy. I don't run, so it took me a lot longer to get my heart-rate up to a decent level. I finally got it up to about 148, but with the wind and the fading sun, it had gotten really cold (even for a New Yorker!). So, I only walked for 35 minutes. I don't know how many calories I burned, but at least I was able to get my heart-rate up. It truly makes me realize how much I love my elliptical, though!

18 December 2005

This is not going to be so easy ...

I've had probably one of my worst food days ever since surgery. My two nieces are big snackers. They don't necessarily eat bad foods, but they snack a lot. They're both so tiny and do so many activities that's not at all an issue for them, but just by being around them I found myself snacking too ... something I really haven't done since surgery. I didn't do so badly for my meals, but in between lunch and dinner, I had about 3 tbsp roasted and salted soybeans (10 grams of protein, so I didn't feel horribly about this one), probably 15-20 pieces of light popcorn (I was previously proud of myself for not running out and buying popcorn after I found out it was ok to eat occasionally), 2 original Sun chips and probably 10 Goldfish crackers. Arrrghhgh!! I have to make a conscious decision to not allow myself to snack or else this 2 week trip meant to help relax me and allow me to think other things through will end up stressing me out. And, there's no scale in the house, so I have no way of truly knowing how it's affecting me ... other than feeling defeated mentally. Yes, I have a big stressor in my life right now, but I know that if I weren't here w/ all of this snack food around, I wouldn't be doing it. So, I've just got to stop. I'll let you know how it goes.

17 December 2005

Traveling is sooo different!

Thanks to my office's Verizon wireless network card w/ unlimited service, I'm currently sitting in the middle of Philadelphia airport in a rocking chair listening to a fine Jazz quartet play the very familiar "Christmas Time Is Here". (I don't know if that's the actual title or not, but it's the song that's played in the Charlie Brown Christmas special when they're skating on the pond.) It makes for a much easier 4 hour layover.

The 37 minute flight here was thoroughly uneventful ... unless you consider easily fitting into my small airplane seat, very easily buckling the seatbelt (without having to ask for a seatbelt extender!) and being able to cross my legs while sitting in my seat eventful. Wait, I consider that _very_ eventful!! I used to travel for business and flew entirely too much; I loathed flying. (I still don't enjoy it, but because of my weight it was torture!) I have vivid memories of the looks people would have on their faces when they realized they were sitting next to me, I dreaded having to ask for the seatbelt extender and in most cases would do everything I could to get the belt secured without having to do so and hated winding up at my destination all sweaty and disheveled just from making my way across airports. I wish I were here under better circumstances, but I can't tell you enough how thrilled I am at the ease with which I was able to board the plane (I didn't hit every other seat with my hips while walking down the aisle ... damn!), sit comfortably in my seat and make my way from terminal F to the center of the airport! I've even found men being kinder to me ... doing things like allowing me to walk through a doorway before them and holding doors open for me, and I've even had two men walk by and say comments to me. They're completely innocuous ... stuff like, you're not going to get any work done with all this noise (the Jazz). But, that's never happened before! I'm not looking for it, but it's nice to know I'm no longer so repulsive to most people.

One downside, after an hour and a half in this wooden rocking chair, my butt's really hurting! See, a smaller ass isn't always so good! Here's to easier travel, though!

16 December 2005

Six Month Post-Op Follow-Up

I went to my surgeon's office this past Wednesday for my 6 month post-op follow-up. The surgeon's office has moved to a renovated location in the hospital. They've consolidated all of their offices into one location with one central waiting room. I was called back by a nurse very soon after arriving (which is _very_ different from my previous visits) and was asked to step on the scale. I approached the scale with trepidation knowing because of clothes, having had water and some food that I'd have to weigh more than what I had on my own scale. The first number that popped up was something like 155 lbs, and while I _knew_ that wasn't correct, my brain, of course, jumped at that number. As I watched it jump around, I kind of felt like I was a contestant on the biggest loser. However, in the end their scale confirmed what mine did, a total weight loss of 91 lbs!!

I was then taken into an exam room where I found a very large exam table that reminded me a lot of a massage table in form ... only larger and lower to the ground. I think it's great that when designing these new rooms they took the potential size of their patients into account. However, I found the table very hard and uncomfortable because of how it was positioned in the room relative to where the seat the Dr/Nurse would be sitting. I ended up having to straddle the corner of it in order to sit somewhat facing the nurse but not take up too much of the space she needed. Then, the this person I didn't recognize walked in. She said she was the new nurse practitioner and that the previous NP had left for another job. So, I immediately felt less comfortable than I had in the past. She first asked me how I was doing, and I answered that I felt fantastic physically but not so well emotionally. She asked for more details, and I explained that I was having some emotional difficulties at home but that I didn't feel it was at all related to my weight loss. So, she left it at that. We discussed the few questions I had about the weakness issues I've been having, the spacing of taking my meds and whether or not I could indulge in a few pieces of popcorn every now and then. Then, she talked with me about what their goals were for me. She said that based upon my height and age, my ideal body weight is 134lbs, but she said that was not their goal for me. She said that ideally, they'd like to see me lose 60-80% of my excess body weight at the time of surgery, and that with my 91 lb loss thus far, I'd already achieved 65%! So, needless to say, she was pleased with my loss. We talked about exercise and she suggested that I continue doing the elliptical every other day and do strength training on the off days. She said varying my exercise will be best to promote continued weight loss. And, unfortunately, she said that I could expect my issues with hair loss to continue for up to a year and that it probably wouldn't grow back as thickly. (Not a good thing for someone who started with fine, thin hair!)

Overall, I felt the appointment went well. She said that I'd come back in another 6 months for my 1 year follow up but that I could always call if I had any questions. She also explained that I could always call the nutritionists if I had any specific nutrition/diet questions.

After finding lunch at Panera Bread, I made my way to another hospital where I had an appointment w/ a PCOS OB/GYN specialist. We talked about my history and proposed treatment options for about 50 minutes and decided it was best to get some blood to see what levels things are at so as to determine how my meds might need to be modified. She also asked that I have a fasting blood draw to check blood glucose and insulin levels since she knew I wouldn't tolerate a glucose tolerance test. So, I'm very interested to see how that all will come out.

I've decided to fly down to my sister's in Alabama for Christmas so as to be able to hopefully somewhat take my mind off of my current relationship problems. So, I'll be leaving tomorrow and will be back on January 2nd. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers. What I'm struggling with most is not knowing what's best to do so as to show my husband I'm very interested in working as hard as I need to to make this work but not wanting to seem like I'm pushing too hard.

13 December 2005

Some better news ...

First of all, a big thank you to all who posted comments, provided offers to listen to me and to those who kept me in your thoughts and your prayers. My husband and I talked (really talked) for about 4 hours yesterday morning, and it was fantastic to be able to do so. While we aren't reconciled, my hope from the conversation is that we are on that path. It will take a long time and a lot of work, but I know we can do it. I love him with all my being!!

10 December 2005

My life was shattered yesterday

My husband came to my office just a few minutes before I was scheduled to leave to tell me he was leaving me; he wanted a separation agreement and a divorce. It kills me to write this, but I have to get it out. I'm at my parents' house about an hour from where we live, and my sister is coming up from Alabama to try and help. I am beyond devastated. We didn't argue or fight, but I guess that's because he didn't tell me when I did things to upset him. I had no idea this was coming; I have no idea what I'm going to do. I don't feel strong enough for this. There's a slight chance he'll give us a chance ... to try and work things out. So, he's agreed to see me Monday morning. I'm having such a hard time eating; I try to eat and can hardly get anything down. I'm drinking a lot of water, but I'm crying so much. I couldn't sleep last night; my parents just don't know what to do with me. I know they're trying, and I know it's killing them too. Our dog, Koba, won't stop looking for him. When I made it back to our house after leaving my office, I found everything that was his gone. I miss him so much; I miss his smile, the way he hugged me, the way he laughed, the way he smelled. I'm so lost. I'm just so lost.

08 December 2005

I'm still struggling with it ...

How can I _know_ that I've lost a lot of weight but still look at myself and see myself just as, well, myself? Does that make any sense at all? I'm sure probably most people who have had WLS struggle with this issue, but it's just so bizarre for me. I sometimes look at myself in the mirror when I'm changing for bed or when I've put on something that actually fits and think, wow, I'm really looking good. I mean, how can I not realize it when I can do things like comfortably sit in the front seat of my Jetta and fasten the seat belt without having to squish myself up against the door ... not to mention the fact that I easily fit in the seats at the New Amsterdam Theater?! But, then, later, I'll look again and not see any differences; I just see the same bulging stomach, thick thighs and calves, flabby arms and big butt. Will this ever change? Dangit, I sure hope so!

06 December 2005

Back from NYC

Quick summary of the trip: NYC was good; work was ok.

Long summary: I'm an excellent navigator, and I'm not shy about making this known. Despite this fact, I was in the van that followed "the men" on the trip down. The people in my van were heading directly to our hotel in Queens, and those in the other van were heading directly to the office in Midtown. As such, they should have separated with us off of I80E prior to reaching I95S just before the George Washington Bridge. But, it was decided that we should all stop somewhere before reaching Manhattan to eat lunch together. Instead, "the men" continued their poor navigation and hopped on the I80 express lanes when given the option and thus had no opportunity to get off prior to where they had to separate from us if they wanted to be sane and not drive all the way south to Midtown from the Bronx. So, whatever, right?

We made it to our hotel, checked in and found out there was no nearby parking. So, we found a parking garage a few blocks away and made our way back through the neighborhood. We were in the middle of Chinatown, so there were authentic Chinese restaurants. But, my co-workers weren't brave enough, so it was decided we'd just eat at the restaurant in the hotel. It was a Chinese restaurant, but they had a lot of American food on the menu as well. I ordered Schezuan Beef, and when it arrived at my table, I found chunks of beef literally doused in crushed red and black pepper and swimming in a brown sauce that had separated at the edges from the grease in it. Gross! This was not authentic Chinese food! I love spicy food, but I knew I wouldn't be able to take all that pepper. So, I did my best to remove all of the sauce and pepper before taking bites; then, as soon as I got back to my hotel room, I ate a few Rolaids to try to combat the potential problems my stomach might have. (Thankfully, I didn't have any problems; it was a complete miracle!)

After lunch, we headed to the office to get started. My director and I had a meeting on the Upper East Side at 4pm, so we headed out not long after arriving. We managed to hail a cab and made it to our destination a little early, so it gave me time to buy a bottle of water (thankfully) and to check out the building. The meeting was helpful, and we left at 5pm feeling good. We had some difficulty hailing a cab (at 5pm on a Friday afternoon in NY, duh!) and getting through Midtown Manhattan was a bit of a chore, so we were late for our 5:45pm dinner reservations. The menu was a Pre-Theater 3-Course Prix Fixe, so I ordered the Pumpkin Soup, Brick-Fired Chicken Breast with Chiorzo-Cheddar Grits and Spinach and their Seasonal Sorbet Collection (despite the fact that they offered a fantastic-sounding Creme Brulee). The soup was very good, but it ended up being a bit sweet. So, I only had about 5 spoonfulls. The chicken was excellent, and the grits were even better. But, I did my best to only take about 3 bites. Then, out came the dessert. There were 4 small scoops of the sorbets, each a different flavor. With my first very small taste, the flavor just exploded on my tongue! I'd never tasted such a small amount of any dessert with such a big, but complex, flavor. It was absolutely amazing!

We left the restaurant with plenty of time to make our 8pm curtain at The Lion King which was only 4 blocks away. It's not a very good picture, but it shows the view of the stage from our seats. We were in the 2nd row on stage left!! The show was, in a word, amazing. I've seen a number of Broadway shows, and this one was, by far, the most impressive. This post is already way too long, so I won't describe it with any more detail. But, if you have a chance to go, do it!

The next morning, we left the hotel at 7am and immediately began working on the migration as soon as we arrived at the office. There were a number of problems which caused significant slow-downs in the backup, re-image and data migration process with one of them being so major that we had to completely stop what we were doing. At that point, we headed out to lunch so that those working on the problem could do it without us hovering over them. We decided to go to the Heartland Brewery in the base of the Empire State Building, and despite slow service, we had a very good lunch. I had their Chopped Chicken Salad with roasted chicken, dried cranberries, seasoned walnuts and of course lettuce. I did well with the salad by eating the chicken first and then the nuts and some of the lettuce. We finally made some progress in the afternoon and left the office at 7pm. (Sucks!) Four of us made our way up toward Rockefeller Center to see the tree and try to do a little shopping. I was able to get a few things at American Girl Place for my nieces, so I was happy. Rockefeller Center was a complete madhouse, though, so we weren't able to see and do all that we'd hoped for. We then decided to make our way 2 blocks west to Times Square to see if we could find a place for dinner along the way. (And, for those of you who aren't familiar with the East/West blocks in NY, that's not a very short distance. And, I was absolutely starved and beginning to get weak.) Two of my co-workers were only interested in "normal" food, so the Moroccan, Turkish and Indian places we passed weren't acceptable. We made it into Times Square, and one of them suggested the Olive Garden. Ugh! Not horrible, but we're in the middle of New York City. Come on?! So, we ended up compromising on a little Italian place called Trattoria Trecolori. I had the Tortelline filled with meat in my attempt to get as much protein as possible without eating chicken (I'd had a lot over the weekend already!). Again, service was slow, and the other patrons were very loud. But, overall, it was good.

We left the hotel the next morning at 7am again and arrived in Midtown shortly thereafter. With the problems of the previous day mostly resoved, I was able to get almost all of the 12 machines I was assigned to migrate finished before lunch. We all went to Macy's Cellar Bar & Grill in historic Macy's Department Store on Herald Square. The thing that impressed me the most were the wooden escalators in the store! Even the treads of the steps were wood!! I chose the Cellar Burger which had cheddar, bacon and onion frizzles. Horrible, I know, but I was really craving beef. I ate half the burger and 3 of the fries and wondered how much weight I'd gain over this weekend while doing it. I then took the rest of the burger with me to eat on the bus trip home.

I completed all of my machines with plenty of time to spare, and we left the office at 4pm to begin the 10-block treck north (with all of our luggage in tow!) to where we were picking up a bus to get home. I had a suitcase, a toiletries bag, my purse, another bag and a shopping bag from Macy's. Seven months ago there's no way I would have been able to do it, but other than some sore arms, I had no issues!! The bus trip home was uneventful, and I made it back home about 9:45pm.

Despite not being able to do as much in NY as I would have liked, it was still a good trip. The work could have been better, but it wasn't horrible. And, when I stepped on the scale on Monday morning, I'd lost 2 pounds!! I really figured I'd gain, so I was thrilled! I'll defintely go to NY during this time of year again but not for work. :)

01 December 2005

Ok, now I really see it!

I just finished packing for my trip to NY. It completely hit me how much I've changed when I put my folded pants into my small suitcase; I no longer had to fold the pants over from the sides to get them to fit! Eureka! I'm really liking this!! Have a great weekend all!

30 November 2005

Ditzy, wait, no, dizzy girl!

So, it happened again this morning. :( What's the it you ask? Well, while showering today, I got so weak that I knew if I closed my eyes for more than just a few seconds I'd pass out. (A difficult thing not to do when you're trying to wash shampoo out of your hair or soap off your face!) And, now that I've thought about it, I'd say it's happening about once a week. At first, I thought it would only happen on days when I'd gotten up later than normal (5:15 am), but it happened again today. And, while I can typically resolve the feeling by sitting down, it usually hits me when I've got conditioner in my hair, soap on my face and I'm shaving. So, I have to finish all that up before I can get out of the shower and get myself to a chair. I struggled with low blood sugar problems prior to surgery, so it may be related especially since I rarely eat before showering. But, it doesn't really feel the same as the low blood sugar attacks I remember. I dunno, but I'll certainly talk with my surgeon and my ob/gyn (who treats me for PCOS) at my appointments on the 14th. Anyone else out there experience something similar? I've got to make it stop, though, because I'm afraid I will pass out and then really hurt myself!

29 November 2005

The end of the road ...

I returned to Lane Bryant yesterday for what will probably be one of (if not the) last times. I bought three pairs of pants and two shirts all in size 14 ... size 14!!! I haven't seen size 14 since 1992ish! I also bought two new bras in a 38D; pre-surgery, I was wearing a 44D (which was probably wrong). Yes, this is all a very good thing, and I'm absolutely, completely thrilled! But, I'm also somewhat sad. Since I began shopping at Lane Bryant (which sadly was only about a year-and-a-half ago), I've found that what they offer is very good-quality, well-fitting clothes. And, while I've purchased some things from other stores since surgery, I'm afraid that once I can no longer find things that fit well at Lane Bryant I'm going to be in kind of a limbo for a while because of my problem areas (the stomach and arse). We'll see.

On Friday, I'll be off to NYC with the majority of my co-workers for a business trip for the weekend. (We're migrating our NYC office from Novell to Windows Active Directory for other techies out there.) I absolutely love New York and am thrilled about being in NY at Christmastime. And, while we are going there for work, thankfully, our director is also into shopping and using what time we have to enjoy the city. So, we've got tickets to see The Lion King on Broadway and have dinner reservations before the show at a fabulous restaurant, but I'm really nervous about eating arrangements the rest of the time. Everyone in my office knows I had gastric bypass, but I don't think they completely understand my limitations as well as needs regarding food. And, I guess what I'm most nervous about is the trip down and back because I suspect we'll stop somewhere for food, and who wants to stop for an extended amount of time to eat a sit-down meal, right? But, I won't eat fast food. Yes, I know there are some ok choices at fast food restaurants (as well as poor choices at sit-down restaurants), but I've not had fast food for 6+ months. And, I don't want to start now!! I'm also concerned about eating times given that I know some of my co-workers are psycho and will want to "just finish this one last thing up" before leaving the office for food. I don't want to be a complete pain in the arse on this trip, but when I've got to eat, I've got to eat. Has anyone else out there had a similar situation? If so, do you have any tips or recommendations on how to best deal with the issue of food?

27 November 2005

So much for a good day ...

Yesterday, my husband and I watched my beloved Gators of the University of Florida pummel the Florida State Seminoles. It was a big victory on the field but not one in our house. I'm a _big_ college football fan, and what goes best with football ... snacking! I've done pretty well all season at not snacking during the games, but for this game, my husband decided he wanted snacks. So, we made our way to Wegmans before kickoff to pick up the goodies. I let him lead the way to choose what he wanted as I knew I was not in need of anything snack-like. (Although, I did end up with some fresh salsa.) He ended up getting a thin-crust frozen pizza (as he couldn't find the pizza-ring type thing he wanted) and some Toll-House cookie dough ice cream thingies. The game started slowly (as did the eating) until the Gators finally scored a touchdown to start the 2nd quarter. That's when my husband found the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que potato chips left over from a party we threw back in September. Potato chips have always been a weakness, and I relented and had 10 chips. Then, at half time, he threw the pizza in the oven. I was getting hungry myself and decided to walk in the kitchen; as soon as I smelled that pizza, I was weak. Damnit! Well, at least it had chicken and was a very thin crust! And, yeah, the Gators won!

25 November 2005

Gobble, gobble ...

said the turkey but not me! I successfully made it through turkey day without a scratch! Yeah!! The restaurant offered a 4 course all-inclusive meal, and despite the fact that I knew I'd never be able to eat it all, I decided not to worry about not eating everything put in front of me and to just enjoy myself (while being conscious of the choices I was making). I had the artichoke and spinach fondue (not exactly healthy, but at least it was spinach and cheese ;), a Boston lettuce salad, the turkey entree with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and peas and finally the (and this was the deadly one) peppermint roulade (peppermint ice cream surrounded by chocolate cake covered in chocolate ganache) for dessert. I ended up eating only very small portions of the appetizer and salad and had one slice of turkey, a few bites of the stuffing, only 2-3 bites of the mashed potatoes as they ended up swimming in butter and only 2 very small bites of the dessert. Oh, and I was very proud, I asked them to bring the gravy on the side of which I only had one little dip. And, save one tiny bite of my husband's roll, I had no bread! No feelings of loss or missing out on anything, and I left feeling pleasantly full with the majority of my entree (and the rest of the dessert) in my hands. In all, a success!

Then, today, we decided to brave Target because my husband needed to pick up some meds from the pharmacy. I needed to pick up a few things as well including one last minute item for his upcoming birthday, so I asked him to return a pair of pants I'd gotten from the Gap earlier in the month that were way too long. I found everything I needed at Target and waited for his return at the front of the store. When he didn't arrive after a few minutes, I decided to return to the car to see if he'd gone there. He hadn't so I walked back to the mall and down to the Gap; I still didn't find him. On my way back to Target, we finally crossed paths. The reason for this story? I did all that walking ... around Target, out the car, back into the mall and down to the Gap and finally back to Target without even thinking twice about it. That's just so incredible! Six months ago, I'd never have done all that walking. I would have either waited in Target or just waited in the car. Yeah me! :)

22 November 2005

Just too much!

I've got so much stuff swirling around in my head right now; it's difficult to get it out. We've had to change our Thanksgiving plans because my MIL has been having a difficult time recovering from sinus surgery. So, my husband has wisely decided it's best not to stress her out more with our (and our dog's presence). Thankfully, I was able to get a reservation at a nice restaurant that's going to be open as I'm just not up to making a full Thanksgiving dinner for two.

And, my grandmother was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer and began chemotherapy treatments last week. My mom talked with her on Friday and relayed that she sounded pretty upbeat about it. Then, yesterday, we all learned that she had to be taken back to the hospital due to being unable to deal with the pain caused by the chemo on her own. She's always been a very strong woman, but she's never handled drugs very well. So, the entire thing is all rather scary.

In the months prior to when my dad's mom passed away, I'd managed to lose about 20 pounds doing a doctor supervised low-carb diet. But, losing her caused me to give up on that diet so as to comfort myself with eating whatever I wanted. So, I'm beginning to stress out that if we were to lose my mom's mom that I might somewhat do the same again. I know my body won't let me lose all control, but I can still eat things I shouldn't, graze (which is something I've managed not to do thus far) and stop exercising. I know that it's good that I'm at least cognizant of the potential, but it's so difficult to remain aware when dealing with such grief. Here's hoping she can make it through the chemo as easily as possible and that it will help.

Oh, and I only lost 1 pound this week. Better than nothing or gaining, but it's not the 5 I was hoping for. Although, now that we're not going to my MIL's for Thanksgiving, I have more time to get lower before we see them at Christmas.

20 November 2005

Almost unrecognizable

I drove down to where my parents live today to go to church, and upon entering the church, I found my dad at the entrance to the sanctuary being the greeter (he's also the minister). When I walked up to him and said good morning, he leaned over and whispered that he actually didn't recognize me when I first walked in the door. It's only been a couple of weeks since I last saw him, so I was pretty surprised by this admission. Maybe it's that I was wearing my new diva boots that make me appear taller or that I just got my hair cut a little shorter, but when it hit me, I almost started crying. I really think it says a lot that my dad almost didn't recognize me. I just can't wait until my sister and nieces see me in January.

I wish I had a shot of myself prior to surgery (the left one's from a month and 9 days post-surgery when I'd lost about 30 lbs and the right one is from today), but seeing this comparison of these two shots really helps sink it into my head. Yes, I am changing; yes, I am changing.

Speaking of change, this might be of interest to you other PCOSers out there. I was diagnosed with PCOS in October of 1997, and since that point, I've been on the pill to regulate (read: make happen) my periods. Now, since surgery, I've been getting my period _before_ I start taking the sugar pills (or whatever the placebo pills are). This has not happened since, well, who knows?! But, every month now (including the first) since surgery, it's been a few days before. Makes me really curious what my PCOS specialist is going to say when I see her next month. Maybe I can stop taking some pills?! Oooh, that reminds me, I've been meaning to pose a question to the other post-WLS patients out there who read this. After surgery, were you told to take your pills separately leaving 10 minutes between each one, and if so, are you still doing this? I'll obviously ask my Dr at my 6 month follow up next month, but I'm just curious if this is something that's going to have to continue for the rest of my life?

19 November 2005

Party girl?!

Not quite! My husband and I went to a party last night given by one of his friends, her boyfriend and a neighbor. Jason's friend and her boyfriend are both graduate students in Architecture, and the party was, well, more sophisticated than your typical college party. (The host was wearing Prada and Ferragamo! I know because we commented on both his shirt and his shoes.) They had lots of bubbly and wine as well as a fantastic spread of food (of which I had very little). And, the majority of the attendees were fellow grad students. Their apartment was small, and by the time the party really got going there were quite a few people there making it rather difficult to move around. I've never been known as the life of the party and in the past would typically do my best to squish myself up against a wall so as to be as out of the way as possible. So, while I still found myself trying to stay out of the way (old habits die hard), I came to the realization that I could move among other guests without, well, knocking into them with every turn. I still probably weighed the most of all of the women who were there (yes, I still pay attention to that), but it wasn't by that much. I'll probably never be the life of the party, but at least there's a good chance I won't always be the total wallflower either.

17 November 2005

Ohhh, the pain!

My back hurts (I have no idea why), my butt hurts (from doing the yoga-like moves in the Gaiam Resistance Cord Workout on our hardwood floors) and now my thumb hurts (from trying to pull a damn power supply out of a classroom computer). I just don't get it; I'm not _that_ old. And, I totally figured by not carrying around so much weight that things would begin to hurt less. But, maybe it's that it's distributed differently, so my back is having to compensate. Or, maybe it's that I now find it most comfortable to cross my legs when I'm sitting for a period of time (something I'd never been able to comfortably do for a long period of time before), so my back is having to strengthen b/c of the different position its in? Or, it could be the lack of normal nutrition is causing my body to be weaker? I dunno, but I wish it would stop ... along w/ the damn hair loss. I honestly don't have much left. :(

15 November 2005

Shrinking pants ... and consistency

I've had another epiphany. I was doing my laundry, and while hanging things up, I realized my pants no longer take up the entire width (or sometimes more) of a hanger when folded in half. In fact, it's not even 3/4 full! I still find myself not believing that my pants will fit when I hold them up in front of myself, and then when I put them on, I find they're loose. I continue to struggle with the per week weight loss; mostly, I lose 2-3lbs per week as of late. And, I want more, but the thing I have to keep telling myself is that while I may not be seeing the pounds drop off as quickly as I'd like I'm still seeing changes in my body itself and in how the clothes I bought not that long ago are becoming looser and looser.

But, on the other hand, when I do stupid things like watch "The Biggest Loser" on NBC and I see the women contestants losing 7-8+ lbs in a week and they weigh less than I do, I get frustrated again. But, again, I'm not working out all the time every day, and when I do work out each day, I'm not killing myself the way that they do.

I'm 5 months post-op as of yesterday, and as of today, I've lost 80 lbs. So, I'm still losing an average of 4 lbs per week (which I did manage over the past week), and I really think the exercise I've been doing lately (38 minutes on the elliptical with an average heart rate of about 137 burning about 290-300 calories every other day with strength training on the other days) is helping keep the weight loss going. I just hope I'll be able to reach my weight goal of 85 lbs lost by the time we go down to my MIL's for Thanksgiving as they haven't seen me since before surgery, and I'm expecting a pretty big reaction from them. So, I just want to be at the number that an 85 lb total loss puts me. It's a lot less than I'd originally hoped for a couple of months ago (a total of 100 lbs lost), but obviously, it's a lot more realistic.

14 November 2005

The emotional rollercoaster

Most rollercoasters start out by climbing a hill upward, so I'll start with the positive: I took last Friday off in order to run errands and decided to stop by my former place of work to say hi to some of my former co-workers that were still around. From just about everyone that I spoke with I received a rousing message of congratulations about my weight loss and how great I looked. I got a lot accomplished and even found a couple of Christmas presents while out shopping. So, I entered the weekend on a good note.

Then, on Saturday, my husband and I went to Friendly's for dinner. We were seated at a booth right by a window, with me facing out, and it had become dark outside. After placing our orders, we began a discussion of our Thanksgiving plans. While discussing these plans, I noticed my husband's eyes following someone across the room. Having the window in front of me, I was able to easily look up to see that it was a gorgeous, young, long-haired blonde that caught his attention. It crushed me. I know it was harmless and shouldn't have meant a thing, but I'd never seen him do anything like that in front of me before. And, given my recent state of feeling better about myself because of my weight loss, I think it hurt more. All those good feelings flew out the window along with her image walking across it. I did my best to recover; although, I let him know right then how much it bothered me. And, that night, we ended up staying up until 2:30am talking about it as well as other things.

So, the next morning we went ahead with our plans to drive to a mall about an hour away to go shopping as I had a 40% off coupon and gift certificate from my parents for Lane Bryant and a 25% off coupon and gift certificate from my sister for J Jill. I bought size 16 jeans and size 14/16 tops from Lane Bryant and a size XL sweater and top from J Jill. It was great to be buying stuff in size 16 from Lane Bryant and to be buying something other than accessories from J Jill, so in all, a fabulous shopping trip.

As for the weekend in toto while on paper the two positives should outweigh the one negative, that lack of self-confidence keeps creeping in, and I'm trying very hard not to let it take control.

09 November 2005

Ya know what really bothers me?

Why is it that it's highly acceptable at most places of work when an employee needs to take a day off because their child is sick or they don't have daycare, but when an employee calls in sick for himself for just a day, it's looked down upon? Yes, sick days are for being sick and family care, but who's to say that not feeling well for reasons other than physical well being is not "being sick"? Sometimes, you just need a day away from work and the normal requirements of the weekend for yourslef. But, because I have chosen not to have a child, I can not take sick days I have earned without receiving the full interrogation look upon returning to work to see if I really look like I've been sick. I'm not saying that people who have children that say they'll be out b/c of the children are lying, but why am I penalized because I do not have a child? Grrrr, it just makes me sick! Hey, maybe it'll make me too sick to come to work tomorrow?! ;)

08 November 2005

Heaven (and hell) in a doughnut!

Someone came around to our offices today selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and one of my co-workers bought a box. I have always _loved_ Krispy Kremes; there isn't one in the area, so it hasn't been a temptation at all. But, they arrived out of mid-air at my office!! How could I not have a bite?! So, I took a knife and cut out a little wedge (it couldn't have been more than an eighth of the entire thing), and I ate it. Man, was that heaven! Thankfully, they weren't hot, or I might have been tempted to eat more. I was so, so bad. I just hope they're gone by tomorrow; I don't need anymore temptations like that!

Mad hot ... Jenn?

I watched Mad Hot Ballroom yesterday and found myself completely enthralled by a bunch of kids from New York City in their efforts to learn ballroom dancing and compete in a citywide competition. I was amazed by the language some of the kids used (and I don't mean foul) to describe other students, their feelings and their surroundings. These were fifth-graders, and they were expounding on the reasons why girls are more developmentally advanced than boys. Then, others would easily articulate the challenges of their lives and forcfully insist they wouldn't end up dealing drugs, pregnant as a teenager, etc. despite all of the pressures from their environment. I cried along with one of the school's teams when they realized they wouldn't be going on to the finals and cheered whole-heartedly when another did. I highly recommend this film to anyone looking for something out of the norm. And, who knows, maybe I can convince my husband to take ballroom dancing lessons with me?!

04 November 2005

It's that time of year again ...

It's my birthday today, and this morning, my husband had me open a present from him before leaving for work. It was a pair of Life Is Good pajama pants, a cap and a very cool mug. When I pulled the PJs out of the bag and held them out in front of myself, Jason said, "try them on!" I hesitated and said I'd rather not try them on in front of him (because just by looking at them they looked like they'd be too small). So, after he left the room, I got out of bed and immediately slipped them on (the operative word being slipped!). There was no tugging or pulling involved; I just slipped them on! Mind you, they must have intended them for Amazonian women as I was walking on them, and they are an XL. But, hey, they fit! So, I immediately ran to the kitchen to show him, and he gave me a really big hug. Amazing, just truly amazing.

And, to top it off, he sent some absolutely beautiful flowers to me at work! Yeah, I think I'll keep him. :)

01 November 2005

Unhappy Halloween

We had not one trick-or-treater last night. I'd even dressed up as a spider lady for the day ready to give out candy to the kids. Our neighbor told us not to expect many kids, if any, but I put up lights and carved some pumpkins. So, I thought maybe that would help encourage the few kids in the neighborhood to come down, but alas, not a one. I truly do not understand why, but this fact depressed me. So much that I had a strong desire to eat some of the candy I had ready to give out; the chocolate just smelled so good. I refrained, but it was really hard. And, that, honestly was the first time since surgery that I'd had such a desire to use food as a comfort. Up until today, I honestly believe I've just been using food to sate my hunger. I'm not saying I've been perfect (I've given in to reduced-fat potato chips a few times.), but I really think I've done well at not using food to make me feel better emotionally. Last night sucked, though, to say the least.

Speaking of despressing subjects, my sister had to have an emergency appendectomy last week. They were able to do it laparoscopically, so I've been trying to help her by describing my experience with laparoscopic surgery. But, as of today, she's still feeling weak, is coughing and has had signs of a fever. So, the Dr. told her to go back to the hospital for more tests. Her 9-year-old is taking it all pretty hard (given that their house mostly burned down a little over 2 months ago and she was already stressed out about that), and it just kills me that I can't be there to help. Both of their girls are heavily involved with activities, and couple that with the stress of school, losing just about everything you own (which is your whole world when you're 9) and having your mom unexpectedly go into the hospital for surgery, it's amazing these girls don't break down more. I just wish I could do more.

On to happier things, though. People are really beginning to notice (and comment on) my weight loss! I went to a Chinese restaurant with my parents this weekend that my husband and I used to frequent quite often. We'd been there regularly enough that the waitress/owner had gotten to know us. So, when this weekend I walked in by myself and didn't receive the normal warm welcome I'd become accustomed to, I was surprised. I thought it might be due to the fact that we hadn't been there in a while, but once my parents arrived, she recognized them right away. And, then it clicked; she came over to give us our menus and said to me, "You're so skinny! I didn't recognize you!" Dang, did that feel good!!

26 October 2005


I love Halloween. I don't know exactly why it is, but I do. Maybe it's because as a child my parents were never into it, so I never had a very good costume or anything. They'd let me go trick-or-treating and everything, but it wasn't a big deal to them at all. So, recently, I bought some candy to give out to kids on Halloween and decided to take some in to share with my co-workers. I've had it there for about a week, and every day I have to refill it. But, I've been very good. I haven't had one piece of the stuff despite the fact that in previous years it was the one time of year I'd allow myself candy. Although, I will admit I did buy myself a small bag of sugar free York Peppermint Patties. I've had a few, but it's not something that I'm really drawn to anymore.

And, further bolstering my resolve, I had to get a new ID today, and when the person taking my picture saw what my old picture looked like, she was thoroughly shocked! I hadn't looked at my old ID much, and now that I have the new one to compare it to, I just can't believe the difference!! It's soooo fabulous!!

25 October 2005

Too little sleep ...

makes a very wonky Jenn. We had a power outage last night at about 1:30 am. I sleep with a white noise machine, and as soon as the power went out, I was up like a bolt. Jason wasn't in bed, so along with the dead silence and pitch black, it really freaked me out. The power didn't come back on until 4:30am (just a half hour before the alarm was set to go off), and during that time I got probably no more than an hour of sleep. So, today, I've been thoroughly run down and completely exhausted. I can't say that it's any worse than it would have been prior to surgery, but who knows! I just hope it doesn't happen again anytime soon!!

22 October 2005

Hmmm, maybe being in pictures isn't so bad ...

This picture was taken today by my husband in our great room. We absolutely love the stone fireplace! Now that the highs aren't getting above 50 or so degrees, we just wish the room were insulated. I'm wearing a sweater from last year (so it's big) and jeans I bought a little over a month ago. I'm still not where I want to be, but I'm thrilled with how I now look. Maybe I won't hide from the camera so much this Christmas.

18 October 2005

The Navy's In Town!

For the first time _ever_ I shopped at and bought clothes for myself from Old Navy last night. (I don't think Old Navy was around the last time I was able to fit into "Misses" or "Regular" sized clothing.) I did learn, though, that Old Navy has a Plus sized line of clothing for women now, but previous to last night I had no idea they did because it's not something they’ve publicized very well. (Oh, the shame of being a woman and being overweight!)

Despite the existence of the Plus sized line, I was very interested in seeing if I’d fit into pieces from the misses sizes. I ended up purchasing 2 pairs of pants from the misses line (probably more of a mental victory for me than anything) even though pants from the plus line might have fit a little better.

But, what it left me wondering is why are a pair of pants in a misses size 20 cheaper than a pair of pants in a plus size 14? Is the cost of designing and manufacturing plus sized clothing that much greater than petite sized clothing (which in my experience isn’t any more expensive than misses clothing)? Yes, I realize there’s more fabric needed for plus sized clothes as opposed to petite, but in the case of my earlier question, there’s got to be more fabric going into a misses size 20 than into the plus size 14.

I’ve stepped down from my soapbox. Thankfully, I lost 4 lbs over the past week. So that takes me to a total loss of 69 lbs and ever closer to hitting the below 200 lb mark. I do, however, finally weigh less than my husband. Yeah!!!!!

10 October 2005

Thoroughly Frustrated

Not only is my hair falling out, but I haven't lost more than 2 lbs over the past 2 weeks. I'm doing 32 minutes on the elliptical every other day (which is a lot more than I'd (sadly) been doing), I'm not sitting on my butt all day at work (I end up having to run all over the 4 building complex I work in all day) and I know I'm eating well. (For example, we went to a dinner party on Saturday, and everyone else was pigging out on cookies, tortilla chips and soda. I had not even one! And, yesterday, I spent probably a half hour to 45 minutes searching for a low calorie, low fat, high protein recipe that I could make and eat for dinner over the next few days.) I know I shouldn't compare, but I look at other RNY post-ops who had surgery about the same time, and they've lost so much more than me! What the hell am I doing wrong?

Yes, I'm thrilled with the 64lbs I have lost (as compared with nothing), but because I'm not losing at the rate I'd like, I'm becoming much more critical of the issues with my body that are really sticking out to me now. And I _really_ wanted to be around a 100lb total loss by the time we go down to my husband's mother's house for Thanksgiving. Now, I'm beginning to doubt if I'll even be under 200lbs by then. :P~~~~~~!!!!!

One positive note, I got two new bras yesterday, and as Stacy and Clinton would say, the girls are finally up where they should be! And, it's a completely comfortable bra! Yeah!!!

20 September 2005

Well, it's happening ...

I'm 3 months and 6 days post op, and I've begun to notice a significant amount of hair loss. I didn't have much to begin with (I've always had fine, thin hair), so I really don't need this! It's not falling out in clumps or anything, but when I'm just running conditioner through my hair in the shower, a lot more comes out onto my hands. Oh well, guess I should have known I'd be one of the ones it would happen to. :(

16 September 2005

Wow, it's been a while!

Things have been rather hectic in my life since my last post. We moved, classes have started again (I work at a university) and we're hosting a party at our new place this weekend. Since moving, we've had a lot of problems with the well water that have essentially caused us to be unable to cook much because of not being able to clean dishes without heating up water in the microwave 6 cups at a time (not a fun task!). So, I've not been eating as well as I know I should be. Despite that (and partly because of having to run all over the 4 buildings of the college I work for within the university), I'm now at a total loss of 57lbs!!!! I'm _thrilled_ with the loss both in how I look and how I feel. Although, I recently came down with a little cold, and I'm wondering if I'm more susceptible to colds because of the lack of complete nutrition.

Anyways, sorry for the long hiatus. I'm sure I'll post when I hit the below 200lb mark as that's going to be a very big deal.

02 August 2005

Eye contact

My husband and I went to Barnes & Noble last night. While walking around, I took notice of what I thought was a lot more people looking/noticing/paying attention to me. (No, I did not have a booger hanging out of my nose!) At the time, I decided it was because I'm looking better and feeling better about myself. But, I've since changed my theory and believe it was actually that I was allowing myself to look at others instead of keeping my head down. It's difficult to admit, but I had this self-conscious feeling that if I were to look at someone they might think I was interested in them. And, because of my size, they'd not want to reciprocate the feeling and would in turn do whatever they could to make it obvious they weren't interested. And, quite frankly, I didn't need that kind of rejection (regardless of the fact that I'm not interested in other people; I'm married to a wonderful man whom I'm thoroughly grateful for)! But now because of my 39 pound loss (yes! 39 lbs total!! I've somehow lost 7 lbs over each of the past two weeks!!!), I'm feeling so much better about myself that I'm willing to look others in the eye and not feel like they're going to recoil because I've done so. It's a fantastic feeling!!!!

13 July 2005

Back to the salt mines ...

Well, I went back to work yesterday. All of my co-workers seemed genuinely glad I was back, and thankfully, since I work at a university, there's not much going on at this time of year. So, it wasn't at all stressful. No one really noticed my now 24 pound weight loss, but I came to the realization that it's probably not enough of a loss to be significantly noticed unless someone were to have paid attention to how my clothes fit previously.

My infected incision is still refusing to close, and it's been itching. And, the spot on my arm where the 3rd IV that I had while in the hospital is sore, so I don't know what's going on with that. I've got my 1 month, 1 week follow up next Tuesday, but if the soreness worsens, I'll call my Dr before then.

05 July 2005

Yeah, 3 lbs

(Please read the above title with facetiousness.) Again, I know I should be thrilled with any kind of loss. But last week was hard for me, and I thought I was doing better with drinking more water and exercising more. So, to only lose 3 lbs is disappointing. My infected incision is doing better, though!

29 June 2005

Ewwww ...

One of my incisions is infected. :( It's the bottom-left most incision and it hasn't been doing as well as all the others. Per Dr. O'Malley's NP recommendation, I went to see my local Dr. (so that I wouldn't have to drive the 3 hours to Rochester to see her) today, and she confirmed that it's infected. The area around the incision is very red, and that area keeps getting larger. And, the incision itself hasn't fully closed. So, she gave me a prescription for an antibiotic which I will take twice a day w/ food for the next 10 days. Fun! :P

28 June 2005

Time to get my money back?

Only 2lbs lost over the past week. I know I should be thrilled about losing anything, but after the 1st week of losing 14lbs, I'd really hoped to lose around 10lbs this week. I realize things have changed with the new diet, and I think I wasn't drinking enough water during the first part of the week. I also probably didn't walk enough. When I told my husband, he said, "Ask for your money back!" Mind you, I've not paid a cent yet. :)

I know it will get better; well, at least I hope it will. I mean, I'd been able to successfully lose 2lbs a week on my own; although, once I'd reach the 20lbs lost mark, I'd typically hit a long plateau and then fall off the wagon.

Here's to next week!

27 June 2005

Food Journal

Since being given diet 2, I have been keeping a journal of what I've been eating. Thankfully, I've been able to reach the 60-90 grams of protein level that my Dr. wants me at each day. But, I am finding myself tiring of the protein shakes that prior to surgery I actually enjoyed. I have a very hard time getting a full cup down now, but given that they're a major source of protein, I know I have to keep at them.

I've also tried some of the recipes from the book Before and After that I've mentioned previously as well as some of my own concoctions. The recipes have gone pretty well; although, I didn't at all like the hummus recipe. Thankfully, my husband did, so it didn't go to waste. But, my own attempt at making a little flavorful pureed chicken with the help of lemon juice, olive oil and lemon pepper seasoning didn't go so well. Oh, it tasted good, but after eating it the first time, I couldn't believe the cramps it caused. The pain got so bad that night it made me puke. Not fun! And, I hardly put any of the lemon-pepper on there.

And, the other night, my husband and I got a salmon filet grilled w/ lemon caper sauce (I didn't eat any of the capers) and yukon gold mashed potatoes at our local grocery store, Wegmans. They both tasted so good that I ate too quickly, and a wave a nausea hit me so quickly I couldn't believe it. I used to have nausesa come on after eating pasta, rice or potatoes due to my insulin resistance, but it was never anything like this. And typically, I could tolerate a small amount of potatoes and rice; it was just the pasta that really brought it on. But, this was terrible. I stopped eating right then and didn't eat anything else the rest of the night. And, I'm obviously going to do better about being aware of how quickly I eat.

14 pounds!!!

I have officially lost 14 pounds according to the doctor's scale. Not bad for the first week, huh? Although, I know I can't expect it to continue at that rate as I've been given diet 2 which consists of pureed foods, so now, I can nix the Jell-O (thank you!) and broth and move on to things like mashed potatoes, chicken, turkey, veggies, etc. as long as they're pureed.

I also had my staples removed at this 1st post-op visit. I was pretty freaked out about it (as just looking at them after getting home about caused me to pass out), but I hardly felt a thing! Fabulous!!!!

And, I discussed the issue I was having with always getting weak while in the shower, and Dr. O'Malley's Nurse Practitioner, Kim Meecham, explained it to me with the following:

The hot water from the shower was causing my veins to expand which caused my thinned blood to fly through thus causing my blood pressure to lower ... ta-da, the weakness. So, I've just reduced the temperature of the water in the shower, and woo-hoo, I can stay in there long enough to shave my legs! Finally!

And, she said that the dizziness is typical until my body is given more nutrition through the pureed foods. Yeah for pureed foods!!

22 June 2005

First week at home ...

I had gone to the store prior to going in for surgery to get all of the necessary liquid type foods so that I wouldn't have to send anyone to get them for me after arriving home. So, I had the requisite surgar free Jell-O, pudding, yogurt and popsicles and cream soups. After day 2 of being home and trying regular skim milk, I found I wasn't tolerating it at all (major gas pain). So, I sent my husband on a grocery store run to get some Lactaid. My daily meals pretty much consisted of a 4oz. protein shake and 4oz. Jell-O for breakfast, 4oz. diluted 100%juice for mid-morning (if I got up early enough to have breakfast and mid-morning), 4oz. cream soup and 4oz. yogurt for lunch, SF popsicle for mid-afternoon and 4oz. cream soup w/ 4oz. SF pudding for dinner. I'd chew a Flintstone's complete w/ breakfast and dinner and take my Tagament at bedtime. By Monday, I was _really_ getting sick of the soup and Jell-O, so I was thankful my first post-op visit was coming up on the 21st (where I was to be given my 2nd diet).

I felt rather weak the entire time and even had multiple episodes of becoming extremely weak to the point of almost passing out while showering every day (more about this later). But, with the exception of Saturday, I was able to take my 15 minute (albeit slow) walks every day.

I made an effort to get up and do things for myself as opposed to asking others to do them for me. I knew it was best for me to be up and moving around as much as I could tolerate. My husband kept catching himself asking if I wanted him to do something for me. (He's the best!)

I slept quite well the entire week despite having to completely pick myself up to turn from side to side.

I'd say my biggest issues were gas pain, the weakness caused by taking showers and dizziness. Thankfully, the gas pain issue was largely relieved by switching to lactaid, and the others were answered with my 1st post op visit. More on that later ...

19 June 2005

It's over ... and it's just begun.

On Tuesday, June 14, 2005 at 7:15am, I had laproscopic RNY gastric bypass surgery performed by Dr. William O'Malley and his team at Highland Hospital in Rochester, NY. My pre-surgery weight was 271lbs with my high being 275lbs.

Waiting in the pre-op area with the parade of techs, pre-op nurses, the operation nurse, anesthesiologist and surgeon coming by to prep, poke and prod me brought me to the height of being scared ... not so much about what I was in for after the surgery but about the surgery itself. (I'd never had surgery before.) Then, when my husband and mom were brought in, I lost it. Everyone was great about explaining everything that they were doing with the biggest credit going to the anesthesiologist. She was fantastic.

Once I was given the "relaxant", I was, for the most part, out of it. All I remember about the surgery prior to waking up in recovery was how tightly the blood pressure cuff squeezed my arm in the operating room. (It bruised all around my arm.) I don't remember too much about recovery, either.

Upon being delivered to my room in the hospital, I was left in the wonderful care of Alicia and the techs Barb and Meg. I wish I could have had them around the entire time I was there. The others were fine but seemed a lot less caring and considerate. For example, my original IV had to be removed because my hand had swollen up so badly that I could barely touch it, and the 2nd IV started backing up on me. At some point on Wednesday, one of the many techs that came in to get my vitals smacked the blood pressure cuff against my very swollen and sore hand that was covered by a bandage (so obviously something had gone on there) without a thought to what pain that could have caused.

Alicia had me up and walking around the nurses' station by Tuesday night; although, it was only one lap that caused me to about pass out. As it was described in the book Before And After, it wasn't so much the level of pain that I felt but more a description of how big of a truck I felt I'd been hit by. I don't think I did much more than sleep that first day and probably most of the second as I was on morphine and a medicine for nausesa.

By Thursday morning, however, I felt much better and was able to go to the bathroom, brush my teeth and brush my hair all by myself. I was ready to go home. I just wasn't looking forward to the 3 hour car ride home. By that time, I'd been off the morphine for a while and had yet to take a vicodin as I'd had a previous experience with it after having my wisdom teeth removed. The nurse convinced me, however, as I had been able to get down some instant breakfast and jell-o. I'm sure the ride home was much better for it ... not good, mind you ... but better.

More about what it's been like since being home later ...

05 June 2005


Yesterday my husband and I took a bus to Manhattan to see Wicked and to explore Manhattan a little more. We arrived in Manhattan later than expected because of an unexpected issue with the bus (loathe the bus), so we only had time to grab a quick bite before the 2pm show. We ended up only a block away from the Gershwin Theatre at Victor's Cafe 52 on W 52nd St. It and Wicked were fabulous! After the show, we headed toward 5th Ave for a little shopping. It was sunny and warm (despite what the weather forcast said), and the walk from the Gershwin to 5th and 57th and back just about wore me out. It's so embarassing to step into a fine store covered in sweat. Here's to seriously hoping this surgery and the subsiquent work will get me to a place where walking around in Manhattan (while trying to keep up with my husband) won't be a cause for embarassment.

The first

On Friday I told the first person (other than my family and healthcare professionals) that I was having Gastric Bypass surgery. After answering questions about the surgery and what it means, she was very excited for me given that she knows what it could mean for me. I've been somewhat embarassed by the surgery in that "I have to have surgery to lose weight", but it made me feel good to tell someone and to get the encouragement and support that she gave. Maybe I'll tell others ... who knows!

02 June 2005


I found out today that my surgery has been approved by my insurance company. Given that I'm only 12 days from my surgery date, this is a _very_ good thing. I'm becoming more and more prepared for this major, life-changing surgery as well as more and more scared. I know it's the right thing for me, though, so I can't wait.