31 March 2006

Evoking memories of California

Immediately upon arriving home today, I threw open 3 windows to let in fresh air. Then, an idea hit me. I should grill something for dinner! Luckily, I had 2 tenderloin steaks in my freezer. So, after thawing them in the microwave (typically a horrible idea, but I was grilling in beautiful weather and I didn't care!), I poured my favorite marinade over them and let them sit for an hour. I got the grill out of the garage (all by myself!) and fired it up! When those steaks hit the grill they sizzled frantically. It's such an awesome sound (when it's the first time grilling after a long, cold winter)! I also "made" Green Giant niblets corn w/ no sauce. Some sort of grilled meat and niblets corn was a big staple of our house when we lived in California, so with the combination of the weather, the open windows and the grilled steak and niblets, it felt like I was back in California. It's odd. I have such good memories of living in California, but I don't seem to from living here. Maybe it's that it's been over 3 years since I left California, so the memories are stronger because I'm out of the situation. I don't know. I just know it felt really good ... although something was missing.

Glorious Sunshine!!

Hubby and I decided we needed to take advantage of the fabulous 70°, sunny weather today, so we made our way down to the area in town that just teems with college students any 'ole time of day. But given the temperature and sunshine, it was even more of a zoo than it normally is on a Friday afternoon. So, not only did we get to soak in some sunshine, we also got in some fantastic people watching! Now, I don't think I'm the best-dressed person on the planet or anything, and I certainly don't follow all of the latest trends. But, holy cow! Were there some interesting outfits out there today! Is the 80s, like a virgin Madonna look back in? This one woman was wearing so much lace,jewelry and ruffley things that I wasn't sure what she was going for; all I know is it was horrid! Another bonus of the trip? I'm wearing my teenie, white t-shirt today (yes, because of the copious sunshine), and woo-whee were the college boys eyeing me! One even turned and stared right at me as he walked by, and there's me eating my 1/2 sandwich sitting right next to my husband. (Although, no one would have known that; neither of us was wearing our wedding rings!) Yeah, I can handle this weight loss thing; it had better just keep on going, though!

30 March 2006

Philly, Part 2

Ok, where was I? Oh, right, Sunday. What food is quintessential Philly? Philly Cheesesteaks, of course! We'd spent a bunch of money on dinner and the club the night before, so cheap was looking mighty attractive. We found one of the places that natives like the best and put ourselves at the end of a line of about 25 people. The smell of the cheesesteaks hit me as soon as the door opened, and I knew I was being really bad. But, upon reaching the front of the line where you order with the cook, I discovered he'd been using the same spatula to chop up the meat and scoop out mushrooms from a giant can; therefore, the cheesesteaks were a no go for me. Lucky for me! I probably would have ended up feeling horribly anyway! So, I ended up with a turkey hoagie (w/out the oil). We spent the rest of the night in front of the TV in the hotel watching my Florida Gators beat Villanova to reach the Final Four. Go Gators!

We woke up Monday morning with plans to go to the Down Home Diner in the Reading Terminal Market. I'd heard about this place on some Food Network show and was looking forward to the Southern style cuisine. I had eggs (which ended up being runny; yuck!), turkey sausage, grits, a biscuit and home fries. Because of the state of the eggs, I didn't eat more than a bite of them but finished the sausage and had a few bites of the grits, a bite of the biscuit and maybe 3 bites of potato. I felt horribly wasteful, but I knew there was no way I could or should eat all of that food.

We said goodbye to Philly for Kennett Square, PA and Longwood Gardens. I'd heard about Longwood Gardens years ago and had been wanting to visit for years. Thankfully, the hubby was amenable to the idea. I stepped one foot into the door of the conservatory (not much is blooming outdoors yet) and knew I was in heaven. I took 84 pictures in about 2 hours! I could have spent hours and hours there, but I knew we needed to get on the road. They had walls of orchids, for crying out loud! And, on the way out, I just had to stop in the gift shop. I picked out a magnet and two plants ... right up my alley!

We were almost ready to make our way homeward, but we had one more stop, Chick-fil-a! I ate about 3/4 of a chicken sandwich. I figured I'm not doing it very often, so it won't kill me to do it. Although, the scale wasn't kind to me Tuesday morning.

Oh, wait, one last stop, my parents' house to pick up the doggie. And, despite earlier plans not to be present, the hubby came with me and we chatted with my parents for a little while before finally heading home.

I had a fantastic time, and although I wasn't the best about making all the right food choices, I don't regret those that I did make. I was able to live the weekend to its fullest and enjoy myself without feeling guilty. I just didn't go beyond the limits I knew I had and listened to my stomach. On Tuesday morning, the scale did give me an 8/10 of a pound loss (my first week without at least a full pound), but since then, it's been creeping upward, the wrong direction dangit! So, now I'm back to my weight of last week, and I've been eating well. What's up with that?!

29 March 2006

Oh Philly!

What a fabulous 3 days! We left NY somewhere around 9:30am on Saturday and made our way down to my parents' to drop off the doggie. They weren't there (as they were making their way back home from a vacation of their own that day), so I hated leaving him. But, it's a lot better than putting him in a kennel; I just can't put our 13-year-old baby in a kennel anymore. Anyhoo, our plan was to stop on our way into Philly at King of Prussia to try and get lunch at Cheesecake Factory, but as the wait was over 70 minutes, we decided to go to California Pizza Kitchen instead. We shared their Tuscan hummus appetizer and Chipotle Chicken pizza. Yummy! Then, because of time, we skipped going to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (bad!) so that I could go to the Mini Cooper dealer near Philly. I want one so badly! Can't you just see me tooling around in it?! Although, we didn't spend more than a half hour there as I just wanted to sit in one and grab a brochure to drool over, so we really didn't skip the museum for the Mini dealer. :)

After leaving the Mini dealer (I had to be drug away), we made our way downtown to our hotel, The Loews Philadelphia. It was rather busy at the time we arrived, and the hotel parking garage was full. So, while I got us checked in, the hubby parked the car at another lot a couple of blocks away. I have this issue with creating such anticipation and expectation when I'm looking forward to something that I usually end up disappointed, so I was a little bit trepidatious. I was in no way disappointed with our room! It was a corner-room on the 20th floor with windows facing both City Hall and the north side of the city.
We had dinner reservations at 6:30pm, and there was a little shopping I wanted to do before dinner. So, We left the hotel shortly after arriving and getting changed. Dinner was at Susanna Foo, and oh, my gosh! I had filet mignon medallions served with bok choy, fingerling potatoes and other Asian vegetables in a Szechuan sauce. It was by far the best food we've had outside of San Francisco, and that includes NYC! Oh, and dessert! I don't even fully remember what it was, but it was just perfect! Some sort of mousse enrobed in a lime and chocolate shell served with a small mound of lime sorbet, lychees and raspberry sauce. Yummmmyyy!!!

After walking back to the hotel after dinner, we changed again for our planned outing to a local dance club, Denim Lounge. While I'd been feeling quite good about myself earlier once I changed into what I'd brought to wear to the club, I began feeling self-conscious. So, before hailing a cab to take us to the club, we found our way into the hotel's restaurant/lounge for a drink. I ordered my traditional Cosmopolitan and planned on sipping it very carefully. Let's just say by the time we were ready to leave I was beyond buzzed. So, once we arrived at the club I was feeling rather pleasant and not so self-conscious. What my fear stemmed from most was that from what we'd read the club was a bit upscale, so I feared we'd be turned away ... based on how I looked. I know I shouldn't have been self-conscious about it, so that's why I plied myself before going with the Cosmo. We got in without incident (after paying $10 for me and $20 for the hubby), and I had him get me another Cosmo. The DJ was fantastic, and within 15 minutes I was dancing (drink in hand). I hadn't been dancing in years, and even before WLS I wasn't much of a drinker. So, with the help of the Cosmo, I developed a bit more confidence, and by the time we left, we were dancing with each other quite raucously. It felt fantastic! Happily, we caught a cab upon stepping foot out the door, and after drinking as much water as I could after returning to the hotel, I crashed quite hard.

Amazingly, I woke the next morning somewhere around 7:30am and had a very strong desire to go to the gym. (Yes, I must be insane!) But, yeah, no hangover! So, after leisurely dressing and eating a Kashi bar, I headed downstairs to the hotel gym. I first tried their elliptical, and I must say it was the crappiest thing I've ever used! Yes, I'm spoiled by my Precor elliptical, but for crying out loud I could barely move on the thing! So, I got off within 2 minutes and chose a treadmill instead. That thing was annoying as well, but I at least got 35 minutes in despite my tennis shoes scraping at my right ankle causing it to bleed. After the gym, showering and getting ready, we booked it (quite literally) 10 blocks east where we had brunch reservations, Cuba Libre, because we got away a bit late; we made it in less than 20 minutes, and I wasn't sweating profusely by the time we got there. Yippie! I had their Ropa Hash which is finely chopped beef brisket ropa vieja tossed with minced scallions, potatoes and hot peppers. Topped with two eggs any style and accompanied by grilled scallion flat bread. I didn't eat anywhere near all of it, but man did I enjoy what I had! Oh, and I saw someone's fabulous Marc Jacobs coat which I'm now on a quest to find! If I ever find it, though, I'll probably never be able to afford it. :P

After brunch we had plans to stay in the Old City and visit some of the historical sites. After picking up tickets for Independence Hall, we visited the Liberty Bell (that's hubby on the right) and the buildings surrounding Independence Hall. So, I know I've spent a lot more time on describing food and clubbing, but what more can I say about these sites other than that it was rather amazing to be in the places where such pivotal events took place so long ago. It was incredible!

All right, this post is already monumental, and I'm beyond tired. So, I'll just have to finish the rest another night. More to come!

21 March 2006

9 Months, 1 Week

Despite no movement on the scale every time I checked previously, I lost a pound between yesterday and today. Yeah! So, that puts me down a total of 117 lbs leaving me only 22 lbs from my goal. The ladybug is getting closer and closer to the end of that chain of flowers on my ticker; I honestly can't believe how close I am to my goal! And, while I hadn't officially set a goal of reaching my goal weight by my 1 year anniversary, I am doing that now. So, that gives me two months and 3 weeks to lose 22 lbs. And, that means I need to lose an average of 2 lbs per week instead of this piddle little 1 pound a week, difficult, yes. But, I don't think it's impossible ... at least I hope not. :) I'm really curious about what size I'll be at my goal weight (without having any plastic surgery, that is). As I think I've said before, there's not much left to lose on my upper body, but there's a lot of room for improvement in my lower body! As of yesterday, I'm wearing a 10 in Eddie Bauer pants and a 12 in Old Navy/Gap pants. Although, I'm sure it also depends on the style within a brand. So, if I manage to lose the 22 lbs to get me to my goal AND most of what I lose comes off the lower body, will I be at an 8 or (gasp) a SIX? Even though I'm close, that's just unfathomable to me!

My husband is staying with me this week, and despite a rocky start (he went out with friends and stayed out until almost 2am!), I think it's going well. I guess I've gotten used to him not being there somewhat. There are daily living things (bathroom time, listening to NPR while getting ready, etc.) that must change with him there, but they're all things I'm willing to change in order to have him there. And, we're going to Philadelphia this weekend; it's just a small trip to get away from our daily lives to give us more time to enjoy each other. I'm really looking forward to it.

And, I'll take this opportunity to answer a few questions I've received lately as I've been remiss. On the Landscape Architecture front, not a whole lot has been done. I met with one of the LA professors a while ago, and he offered to get contacts at universities I'm interested in pursuing for me. It took me a while to decide on which universities I'd like to begin this process at, but I gave him the names about a week ago. So, we'll see how that goes.

Regarding my post on kayaking, it was my idea to try it. I brought it up at least a month ago, and then when we were out at the state park last weekend it came to mind again. It was only in the counseling session the following Monday where he brought up the fear that I won't actually want to do things like that. I'm still afraid I won't be able to do it, and it is expensive. But, I'm leaning toward doing it. :)

18 March 2006

Physical Activity

I mentioned in a post last weekend how I'd gone to a state park with my husband and enjoyed the walk/hike to the falls and back. The following day at our 6th counseling session, he mentioned how he was pleasantly surprised by the ease with which I navigated the trail, but he was still afraid I haven't really changed regarding my desires for physical activity (despite mentioning while on that hike that I wanted to look into taking a kayaking class). He said that it's not that he doesn't think I am capable of a life filled with more physical activity but that his fears are most likely based on my sedentary history. I want to change that. As such, I've found a class that the university where I work offers in introductory sea kayaking. From the class website: "This introductory course is designed for enthusiastic beginners who wish to discover the magic of sea kayaking. Introductory evening lake sessions will cover equipment, safety, rescues, and basic strokes. This course culminates with a long weekend of touring. We'll cover equipment, navigation, strokes, considerations for overnight trips, camping and travel skills. Opportunities will be provided throughout the course to sample both single and tandem kayaks and gain boat skills and confidence." I've never done any "real" kayaking but enjoyed some time I spent in a basic kayak on a lake in Canada one summer, so I figured this class would be good to teach me some skills. But, I'm not entirely sure about it because it costs $264 and will take place in some very deep water. I don't understand why, but I have a fear of deep water. I did a lot of swimming as a child and have never had any kind of negative experience in deep water, but it scares the crap out of me. So, I'm struggling with the decision. Does my desire to learn more about kayaking win out over my fear of deep water? I don't know, and I'd hate to spend $264 to learn that it doesn't. But, if I don't try, I'll never know, right?

I did a little shopping today and decided to go to one of the local jewelers to find out what size my engagement/wedding rings are and to see what size my finger currently is. The rings are a size 6, and my finger is a 4 1/2 to a 5. So, she suggested a 5 so that when my fingers expand I'll still be able to get them off.

I also went to a store that I pass by a lot and have always wanted to go into. Unfortunately, the experience made me feel like I again weighed 274 lbs. None of the sales people said a word to me, a skirt that I liked had no size tag inside it and the largest size they had in a pair of jeans I liked was a 30 (I assumed this was inches?). So, I left the store not only empty handed but also dejected; not the type of shopping experience I need. Although, I really didn't need to spend any money, so I guess it was good I didn't find anything. But, I was hoping to find something nice for a trip to Philadelphia we're taking next weekend. Oh well!

Dragon Day!

Picture compliments of my new Pink Motorola Razr (work got it for me). Not bad from from a camera phone, huh? Yesterday was Dragon Day on campus. What's Dragon Day, you say? Well, since 1901 there's been a tradition on campus where Freshmen Architecture students design a dragon which is paraded through campus on the last day before Spring Break. It's a huge tradition attended by not only students but also faculty, staff and locals. After making its way around campus, the dragon is taken into the middle of the arts quad where it is burned in a giant bonfire but only after the insane Architecture students dressed in any number of crazy costumes (yesterday, we saw a transformer, a shark with legs hanging out of his mouth and a doggie with his fur painted green) dance and run around the dragon. The significance of this story for me? Well, I've been at least a few times in past years, and despite the fact that it's usually cold during this time of year in upstate NY I'd usually find myself sweating, out of breath and wishing there was an easier way around campus while trying to follow the dragon and the mobs of people. But, not this year! I followed it around without any difficulty, and while walking back to my office with my husband (his building is right beside mine) I was leading him! Man, is that significant!

17 March 2006

Is this dumping?

Wednesday night my husband and I went to a small party. On the way to pick up my husband, I began feeling somewhat dizzy. At the time, I attributed it to strong winds moving the car so much that it disoriented me. Then, once I picked him up, it got worse. By the time we reached my friend's house, I was almost completely disoriented. I felt like I was burning up from the inside out, my brain felt like it was swimming inside my head and now, I can not remember crisp details of what occurred while trying to figure out where to park. All I know was that I felt like I wasn't inside my body but looking at myself from above. Then, once we made it inside, I felt like I used to after walking quickly somewhere in the middle of the summer; I was sweating profusely! I ate some Gouda cheese and crackers, and within 15 minutes or so, I felt pretty much back to normal. What's odd is that I had nothing to eat right before I left my house, and other than water and a sip of the sugar free Cosmopolitan I made for myself to bring with me, I hadn't had anything to eat since dinner at 5:30pm. If it was dumping, though, it means I've never dumped before!

14 March 2006

9-Month WLS Anniversary

I can't believe it's been 9 months since surgery, but 9 months ago today I sat nervously waiting in the pre-op area wearing my WLS patient gown wondering what was in store for me. I expected changes but not this many. I could not be happier with my progress to date, and I will never regret the decision I made. The below pictures are from October 2005, January 2006 and today, respectively. I don't see a lot of change between January and today's pictures; although, I know it's there. Case in point? In January's pic, I'm wearing size 14 Vashon cut pants from Eddie Bauer. In today's pic, I'm wearing size 10! Vashon cut pants from Eddie Bauer! I bought these denim trousers a few weeks ago and couldn't even get them buttoned or zipped, but today they fit! (although a little tightly across the derriere).

My weight today is 158 lbs. I somehow gained 2 lbs during the week last week but managed to lose 3 lbs giving me a net loss of 1 pound, so my streak of having lost at least one pound every week since surgery is still intact! Yippie!

After seeing these pictures, I wasn't too thrilled with my butt, so I decided to try the gluteal course on the elliptical tonight. I've always done the weight loss course previously, and I've typically burned a little over 300 calories for 33 minutes. Well, I couldn't remember the exact time I did with the weight loss course, so when I selected the gluteal course and it defaulted to 45 minutes (without the 5 minute cool down), I decided to decrease it to 40 minutes b/c I knew I hadn't been doing 40 minutes. So, not only was the length longer, but the incline of the ramp ranged from 16 - 18! The maximum I previously did was only 10! And, while I'm not really feeling the effects on my butt just yet, I'm really feeling it in my calves, and I burned 402 calories! Woo-hoo! (Oh, and for those of you who may have noticed my right shoulder sitting up higher than my left, I'm not in pain or anything; I have scoliosis and my right shoulder sits higher than my left. But, good gosh! With my angular, bony shoulders, I really think I look like Frankenstein or something in the picture of my back! :P)

One of the biggest differences for me, though, is a mental one. I finally see myself as a "skinny" person ... most days. And, apparently, others are too. At the grocery store yesterday, there were a number of men very obviously checking me out. And, today, while walking across the courtyard between our buildings I noticed some of the construction workers watching me walk by them (I saw them in the reflection of the glass doors). What's odd is that it's been making me uncomfortable. I honestly don't know why; I mean, I'm flattered. But, I'm just not used to it at all, and I guess I'm still being self-conscious.

Only 23 pounds to go! I am amazed!

12 March 2006

Fantastic Saturday ... and Sunday!

Despite waking up at 7am Saturday morning (although I shouldn't complain since I went to bed at 9pm the night before), I had a very good day Saturday. After tending the doggie, eating breakfast, doing the elliptical and getting ready, I left the house on a quest to get some new PJs as all of the PJs I have that even remotely fit are flannels. I happily found a pair of Nick & Nora PJs on clearance at Target, and given the roominess of a size large pair I have of the same brand, I decided to buy a Medium. And, they fit, yippie!

It was a fabulous day outside (mid 50s) for upstate NY in March, so I got the itch for plants and stopped at a local greenhouse that's on the way home. I got a fabulous Staghorn Fern for the bathroom as well as an ET Fern, Maidenhair Fern and Tentacle Fern for various places around the house. (Can you tell I like ferns?) I was sooo happy to be buying plants; it's the first time in quite a while!

After getting home, I found my husband had called as we had plans to go to a local state park to take advantage of the fantastic day. We took the 3/4 mile trail to the base of the falls and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was so nice being outside in the (relatively) warm air and the sun. Having grown up camping all the time in the Pacific Northwest, I was at times reminded of my youth while walking the trail. And, while the trail was mostly flat, I greeted the few hills with aplomb. I look forward to the approaching spring and my new found ability to take advantage of all of the outdoor activities available in the area. I really just can't wait.

After leaving the park, we made our way to the grocery store to pick up the needed ingredients for the dinner Thai Steamed Chicken and Vegetables I planned on making. It turned out pretty well; although, the sauce wasn't completely to my taste. The chicken, however, was amazingly tender, juicy and flavorful.

Then, after dinner, we watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I'd seen it at the theater with my sister the weekend she was up here helping me make it through the weekend, so I didn't remember a whole lot about it. I enjoyed it; although, it's not my favorite of the 4 movies. Then, he stayed the night. :)

I went to my parents' this morning as I had an early birthday present to deliver to my dad. After church, I met my parents at the Texas Roadhouse, and after ordering, I presented my dad with the present. My dad is now the proud owner of a 30GB iPod w/ Video! (My sister got him the iPod, and I got him a case.) Part of my present to him was setting it all up, so I was at their house most of the afternoon. No, it doesn't actually take that long to set up an iPod, but I ripped about 6 CDs for him and wrote complete instructions for the whole process for my dad (as he tends to forget things until he's done them a million times).

Oh, and I took 6 more things to the consignment shop and found I had $59 waiting for me for previous things I'd taken!! Yeah!!! It was also very nice to hear the usually grumpy clerk tell me I have absolutely beautiful clothes and that they look forward to me bringing them in.

A good weekend. I'd like more like these, please. :)

07 March 2006

Sagging ... ewwwww!

The following post is of a detailed physical issue. If you're squeamish, pass this post up.

I loathe public restrooms and avoid them unless absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, I've found myself repeatedly needing to use the one at work as of late. And, because of a previous bad experience with sitting down on a seat in a public restroom, I haven't done so in years. Instead, I squat. (I'm sure I'm not the only one out there who does this.) So, my issue? Well, over the past couple of weeks, I've noticed when peeing from this position that it no longer comes out in a "neat" stream. Instead, it comes out all over the place and ends up splashing all over the toilet seat, the back of my legs and sometimes even on my pants. Not pleasant! I've considered calling my Dr. about it, but I figured if it's due to sagging skin "down there" there's probably not much that can be done, right? How in the heck do I have sagging skin there?! I know there's a possibility that's not it at all, so that's why I'm posting about it ... despite my embarrassment. What do you all think? Am I crazy?

Nighttime snacking quelled

Well, for the most part at least. I've still allowed myself a snack at night every once in a while, but I believe I've broken the habit of having to munch on something every night. I'm also happy to report that I consistently exercised over the past week, and as a result of my efforts, I lost 4 lbs!! This fact is just amazing to me considering I'm just 7 days from being 9 months out! It's difficult for me to believe it's been almost 9 months, but I've obviously come a long way:

Starting weight: 274 lbs Today's weight: 159 lbs
Starting BMI: 44.9 Today's BMI: 26.1 (only 7 lbs from "normal"!)
Pounds lost: 115 Pounds to goal: 24
Starting shirt size: 3X/4X Today's shirt size: M/L
Starting pant size: 26/28 Today's pant size: 12/14

I even got so cocky this weekend that I toyed with the idea of trying on my high school prom gown. I don't remember what size it was (probably a 14 or so; although I remember thinking it was huge), but because my mom had it all wrapped up in plastic, I decided not to deal with it. But, I'm thinking it would have fit. Maybe one of these days I'll drag out my old prom pictures and have someone take a picture of me in it then post them here. That would be quite the sight ... me in my purple, sequined bodice, puffy-sleeved prom gown!

06 March 2006

A tape worm ... seriously?!

I'm pleased to say my office provides spring water. Unfortunately, the water cooler is located in a co-worker's office instead of in a common area. I went down to the cooler this morning and found the water empty, yet again. I grumbled, and my co-worker noticed. So, amazingly, he came over and helped me get a new bottle on the cooler. After he sat back down at his desk but before I left his office, he says to me completely seriously, "do you have a tape worm or something because you're just disappearing?" I don't know what my face looked like, but I'm sure it wasn't pretty. Whhaaaaa?!! Yeah, I'm such a stupid person that I would knowingly ingest a tapeworm so as to lose weight! Perhaps he was trying to give me a compliment, but knowing him, my guess is that instead he truly thought I'd do something like that! I did my best to compose myself and answered, "no, remember I had gastric bypass surgery last June?" His response? No, not the normal congratulations or you look fantastic but I get, "oh" and that's it. I've had even completely oblivious professors say things to me over the course of the last 8 months, but my co-worker who knows I had WLS asks me if I have a tape worm. Nice.

01 March 2006

T-shirt Nostalgia

I did a load of laundry last night, and when taking everything out of the dryer, I came across a t-shirt that I must have worn sometime in the not too distant past. When I held it up, I couldn't believe it. This was a Mickey Mouse t-shirt that had always been a little tight, and it was huge! Sure, I know I've lost a _ton_ of weight and am only a fraction of my former self, but it still hits home when you see something like this. And, when hanging everything up, I realized that while I've gotten rid of a ton of other stuff, I haven't done so with my t-shirts. I don't wear t-shirts very often, but sometimes you just want one, right? And, while I have 2 new ones that fit rather, ahem, well, I don't want to get rid of my old ones. They're t-shirts that I got in college, at special places and on vacations, etc. So, I don't want to get rid of them, you know? I guess I'll keep them around for the memories, and if I find myself really desperate for a bumming around the house shirt, I'll have a bunch ready.

Oh, and I came to a realization the other night. I am only 11 pounds from being in the "normal" BMI range!! My BMI today is 26.7 which is down from 44.9 at surgery. Ah-maze-ing! I may have frustrations with this whole process at times, but this is just too cool!!!