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!!