Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Beating Heart

I read something yesterday that sent me into a spin and my heart a beating. 
My entire life, I’ve always thought about the future. I planned conversations, replayed how I thought things were going to go over and over in my head. I thought about possible scenarios’, thinking about how I would respond when someone said something. And when they didn’t, I would play out new scenarios. Source:  Prior Fat Girl
I'm a planner.  I talk about it here on my blog.  I talk about how my once roommate/friend told me that I always think of all the bad things and I explained that I was problem solving ahead. But the truth hit me like the proverbial train yesterday.  I am not a planner.  I have anxiety.  Even writing this down, my heart is beating fast.  As though writing it down makes it somehow scary; as though it wasn't scary before.

That paragraph up is me.  To a capital T.  I plan everything in my head.  Whether it's a possibility of the situation arising or not.  And to see this somewhere other than my brain is shocking.  Shocking because the truth of it is that I thought this is how everyone's brain worked.  But it's not.  So when I tried to explain social anxiety to my husband and ended up all frustrated because he didn't understand, I know understand why.  Shocking because I'm not just a planner as I thought.  It's not normal to plan out scenarios in your head for something that may or may not happen. 

So when I read it, my breath left me and then I slowly inhaled and resumed breathing.  Then I thought about it.  Jen talked about how her Mom's death lead her anxiety to become worse and the other stressful life events caused it to become even worse.  This morning as I was drying off after my shower and thinking about how a conversation with my husband would go about putting the scale in the corner and what I'd say if he said no and what else I could say...I stopped again, breathless.  I know exactly where my anxiety comes from, the exact period in my life when it started.  It was a situation that I had little control over that occurred over and over.  My only coping mechanism was to do the scenarios in my head to come up with a plan of how to gain control.  Only none of them ever worked as I was little prepared for them and they never had any outcome that I could ever imagine.

So you know what I did?  I walked into the bedroom where Pete was sitting and explained it all to him.  How the blog post triggered this in me.  How I understood why he didn't understand.  How I knew where it came from.  All of it.  And he listened.  And he didn't think I was crazy or nuts or off the wall.  He listened.  He asked me what I wanted to do about it and I told him I didn't know.  Then he said the thing I most needed to hear - "I'll support you in whatever you need to do."

Ever since this morning I've been thinking about it.  I don't quite know what to do.  I don't know that I have the tools to retrain my brain not to strategize every move, conversation, social setting, work day, home day, motorcycle ride....ahead of time.  I don't know if there is a way for me to gain the tools on my own or if I need outside help.  But I do know that I understand myself a little bit better tonight than I did 48 hours ago.  I do know that losing weight isn't going to solve all my problems.  This is very clear to me now.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2012 Word

I talked a while ago about how people chose words to use as their theme for the year.  Cheesy, yes.  But sometimes I think that we need a little cheese to get us through.

2011 wasn't easy. 

There were family stresses that seem to have settled back out.  Although they're always there, lingering, ready to resurface.  My Grandma seems to be better from her back injury and has regained enough strength to live daily again.  She was fabulous on Christmas.  I spent a realtivly relaxed Christmas with family and it was a good one.  Whether it's the idea that she may not be around all that much longer and we need to enjoy it or that we were all simply getting along, it was a good one and I'll take it.

There was financial stress.  Pete was on unemployment more than he worked.  It's frustrating as hell to see how he struggled to find a job that was a good fit for him and the employer.  He started working for a new company, permanent and full time the week of 12/12/11.  The steady check that is much more than what he was getting on unemployment is certainly welcomed.  We have a good plan to get caught up on our emergecy fund, our travel fund and savings again. 

There was physical stress.  I struggled all year with losing additional weight.  I'd be active 6 days a week at the gym, watching portions and what I ate and still see no results.  Many times I felt like giving up.  And to some degree I did that after I hurt the balls of my feet in August.  But I'm back at it.  Working out 4-5 days a week and doing what I can to help myself out.  I struggled through getting approved for a gastric banding surgery and I'm still in the process.  But I see a window of light and I'm reaching for it with all I have.

There was emotional stress.  All that suff that I just causes emotional stress in various ways.  A blue day here and there.  Frustration, anger, irritation....  Pete and I are in for the long haul marriage wise.  We both understand there are ups and downs along the way and quitting just isn't an option.  It's not that we have problems, it's that we are finding our way.  We're understanding that it takes work and just doesn't happen. 

So for 2012, my word is CHOICES.

I see how choices that I made in 2011 determined my path all along.  Even when I didn't make the better choice, I rode it out and figured out how to get back to center with new choices.  Choices are made with lots of thought and with little thought.  I'd like 2012 to be the year that I really consider my choices and be aware of why I made that choice.  I'd like to think that I continue to learn from wrong choices and when the situation presents it's self again, I can chose to make the better choice the next time. 


Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Baking

It's no secret, I love to bake.  Actually I love to cook, bake, grill...  I love food and all that goes into it.  So Saturday morning I was up at 5am and made about 8 different kinds of cookies & candy for Christmas. 

WOAH you're saying.  Why do that when you're trying to lose weight? 

What to know my secret?  When I spend all day baking like that or even half a day or several hours - I can't eat what I bake.  The overwhelming amount of sugar and sweetness really turns me off.  Similarly when I spend a lot of time cooking a whole meal, I get the same way, although not as badly.

So Saturday I had about 3 cookies and that was it.  Sunday on the other hand I could have eaten everything.  But I had one of several kinds over the day and then packaged them up into trays for the various places we have Christmas.

Want to know my other secret?  I give all the cookies away!  I keep about 3 of each kind for Pete and I to share from Christmas t New Years and the rest go to other houses to be enjoyed. 

So you can bake and cook while trying to lose weight.  You just have to have strategies for making sure that you don't overindulge.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Memories

A had a friend ask on Facebook how important traditions were.  I immediately assumed this was a Holidays question and answered:  Traditions are important and I miss the old ones.  But I know that things change and we adapt and find new ones.  The important thing is not to forget the old memories in the sights, the smells and the sounds of the holidays."

I love traditions.  I think because I am so happy when I know what is happening.  Also known as I'm not usually spontaneous.  I've written before about how happy the holidays were for us as kids.  We didn't have much throughout the year and my parents struggled, but the holidays were always magical.  Presents, family, food, fun, laughter and joy.  Such joy.

As family members started passing away and we kids started growing up, the traditions had to change.  I resisted and threatened and sometimes cried about it.  I liked things the way they were, the familiarity of it all.  In the end, it didn't work, even I had to move on.

With Pete, I've developed new traditions.  Things like St Nikolaus Day on 12/6/11; presents in your shoes!  Opening gifts on the 23rd each year because that is when I opened my engagement ring and he proposed.  Things like buying gifts for 4 kids, instead of just my niece & nephew. 

Although I resisted, I see how changing my perspective, learning new things and welcoming change has made me a better person.  Sappy Christmas blog entry, right?  Well, yes and no.  When you think about it, I resisted change for so long when it came to my health.  I was ok because what I was doing was familiar and safe.  Taking chances and making changes was new and not very fun.  I hope that the coming year has me firmly set in place with an about face healthiness-wise also.  New traditions, learning new things and welcoming the change in perspective for my body.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Argument

4:30:  Pete's alarm goes off.  I think I woke up.  I mean, I might have woke up.  Or maybe not.

4:40:  My alarm goes off.  I think I woke up.  I mean, the only reason I know I woke up is because my phone was laying on my pillow the next time I work up and the cord was stretched across my neck.

4:45:  I woke up, checked the time and rolled over.  I am not going to the gym.  I just got to sleep about 4.5 hours ago.  This is nuts!

4:47:  I woke up to a wet tongue in my ear and it wasn't Pete, it was the schnauzer.  No way I'm going to the gym.  Leave me alone dog and everyone go back to sleep.

4:48:  I woke up and rolled back over.  Should I go to the gym?  Crazy talk. 

4:49:  Rolled back over and felt for Pete.  Yep, he's still sleeping so I can sleep too.  Ahhhhhhh.

4:50:  Wait.  I only went to the gym once last week.  Had the same feeling on Tuesday morning that I do now and never went back.  I'm a quitter.  A one day a weeker.  I can't do this.

4:51:  Hey, what if you just do it?  I mean what harm is there really in just getting up, getting dressed and going?  What can I lose? 

4:52:  Fine.  I'll go, but I don't like it. 

4:53:  Jump out of bed.  Wet my random stick up hairs down, get dressed. 

4:54:  Run downstairs & let the dog out.  Bring the dog back up to bed with Pete.  Ahhh BED!  No, gym.

4:54:  Grab banana, water bottle, keys, gym card and phone. 

5:11:  Arrive at gym and proudly walk in.  See you can do this!

5:12:  Realize I forgot my water bottle in the car.  I should get it.  No, they have water up there, just go and get going!

5:13:  Get on treadmill.  Start moving.

5:22:  Accidentally hit "cool down" on the new treadmill that I'm not used to and stop the thing.  I should just give up.  NO!  Stick with it.  Press start. 

5:23:  Pressed start.  Feeling good.

5:30-5:45:  Actually do intervals of jogging and walking.  Feet hurt, but I'm not giving up now.

5:46:  Walk out of the gym with 375 less calories, 30 minutes of accomplishment and a smile.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Do you believe in your body?

Last week I went to see the dietitian at the surgery center.  I spent an hour talking with her about eating.  As it turns out, I know much of what I need to know.  I know to keep portions small, eat balanced diet with all the food groups, low fat, protein first...  In essence, I have a good base to start out with.  Then we talked about what I need to do in the time that I have prior to the surgery.  She explained and gave me a 1200 calorie a day meal plan.  1200 calories.  When you think about it, 1200 calories is sufficient to live.  And there are many days that I eat around 1200 calories.  However, it's not always a balanced 1200 calorie day.  And example of the plan is that for lunch I would get 1 ounce of lean protein, 1 cup of green beans, 1 ounce of cheese, 1/2 banana and water. 

1 ounce of protein.  It's not much.  About the size of half of a small deck of cards.

I walked away from that appointment and gave the meal plan a try for 2 days.  Eating that way only got me to about 600 calories the first day and 800 calories the second.  That's not even enough to sustain me. I was hungry All.The.Time.  And while I need to lose weight and limit my calories, I also don't want my body in starvation mode, clinging to every calorie I consume.

So I went back to eating the way that I was eating before.  Clean eating with the fewest amount of processed foods I can.  Lean protein at about 4-5 ounces for lunch & dinner.  Lots of fresh veggies at lunch & dinner.  Lower carbs, but whole grain or multigrain carbs.  Lots of water (75-100 oz).  When going out to eat, make healthier choices, halve your portions and limit sweets/alcohol.

I didn't work out this weekend, but I stayed busy the entire time.  Wrapping presents, running to and from stores, walking with Pete.  We went out to eat twice.  The first time I shared an entree with Pete - sirloin with  mixed veggies of zucchini, squash, carrot, onion and peppers and mashed potatoes.  Prior to the meal I ordered a salad with no dressing.  The salad filled me up and I ate less of the meal and when I did I concentrated on the veggies and the meat.  The second time we went out to an Italian place for my Mom's birthday.  Again I had a salad of beats and arugula and that helped to fill me up first.  Then I ordered a half portion of pasta and ate about 3/4 of it.  I still felt indulgent both times, but made better choices.

This morning I got up at 4:30 am to get ready to hit the gym when it opened at 5 am.  I weighed 231.  This is the lowest I've been since high school/college.  And I don't feel like I've done anything different in the last 2 weeks to lose weight.  But I feel like I am starting to believe in my body.  As though it knows what I have to do and is helping me along the way.  I went, overjoyed, to the gym and pumped out 30 minutes on that treadmill.  No stopping when my left foot started hurt, but pushing through the pain and reaching the mental goal I set.  And again my body got me through it. 

I believe in my body.

Monday, December 05, 2011

I did it

I had an exhausting weekend.  Let's just say that my status update on Facebook read: 

"So cookies made, dog washed, dog treats baked, cookies frosted, make your own pizza eaten, homemade ice cream eaten, Rango watched...and everyone's in bed. I believe Nico was out first and Grant not long behind him. Girls are quietly giggling in bed. I need to recharge too!"

Only there was no recharging for Pete or I.  Grant (my 6 year old nephew) had a cough that kept him and I up and him and Pete up at times.  My thoughtful wonderful husband Googled homemade cough remedies and started giving him honey when he'd start coughing, rub his back and play Enya for him to fall asleep to.  Very sweet. 

Sunday morning was breakfast for all the kids and games, crafts and then off to their homes.  Pete and I then ran to the Mall of America to get a couple of last gifts and then to my aunts house so Pete could help with the computer issue she was having.  Dinner when we got home at 6:30 and I was asleep by 8pm.  TIRED.

This morning my alarm went off at 5am and Pete sweetly rubbed my cheek while the dog sat on my chest and listed my nose.  I heard a voice say, "Are you coming t the gym?"  Surprisingly, my voice answered, "Yes."  I got up and dressed.  Then searched the house for my gym card and headphones and headed out.

I spent 10 minutes on this new machine that is like a bicycle and elliptical in one and 10 minutes on the treadmill.  354 calories in 25 minutes. 

I did it.  I went back to the gym.  The world did not stop.  No one gave me the stink eye when I walked him for not going the last 3 months.  No one asked where I'd been.  I was welcomed as though I had been going daily and left to do my own thing as usual.  Can't wait to go again.
I think I screwed up with my weight.  When I went to Dr. July's office in early October I was 237 there and 235 at home.  When I went to see her last week the scale in the office said 240.  I never weighed myself at home that day.  This morning when I got on the scale it said 233.  It's the lowest my body has been on that scale.  So now I have no idea how much weight to lose to qualify for the surgery.  I should have weighed myself that day.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Steps to a Goal

1. (n.) goal:  the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.

These are my mini-goals or my steps to the bigger goal of losing 12 pounds by 1/1/12.  I'm going into this with the understanding that I don't have to be perfect, but I have to try.  I know that I'm better off when I set goals and tell people (lots of people) about them to keep me on track.  I know that putting the goal information up where I can see it will help immensely.  And I know that when I put my mind to something I can do it.

1.  Workout Calendar:  I used a planning calendar in March to get my activity in and it kept me pretty accountable.  I loved seeing the results on the paper from what I had panned to do and what I actually did.  I hung another one up yesterday.  My goal is 4 times a week.  Anything above that is like extra credit.  And who doesn't like extra credit?

2.  Tracking Food:  This seems to be something that I have a hard time doing regularly.  I feel like I'm much to "into" my phone when I had to enter all the things that I eat.  And let's face it, if I don't enter them when I'm eating them, I forget.  But for the next 30 days I plan on making more days of tracking than not.  My goal is 1200-1500 calories a day, less than 100 grams of carbs, less than 50 grams of fat and at least 60 grams of protein.

3.  Water:  I'm back to drinking 75-100 ounces of water a day.  It's making for frequent bathroom breaks, but that's ok.

4.  Sleep:  I think that I'm a better person overall when I'm not tired.  I have less headaches, less stress and better days in general.  So my goal is at least 6 hours of sleep at night.  This is going to be a struggle when you add in the combination of the CPAP.  But I'm working on it.

Thursday, December 01, 2011


My immediate goal:  228 pounds by 1/1/12.

I met with the bariatric center yesterday.  Dr. July at Unity is very nice and a no nonsense kind of person.  She tells you like it is and I like that.  We talked for quite some time about my progress, my apnea and weight.  I realized that at my largest I likely weight somewhere between 275-285.  I never want to see that again.  When she asked me what my goal was in all of this I didn't hesitate.  I want to be a healthy me with less joint pain, less swelling in my ankles, more energy, better about to control what I eat to keep me a healthy adult for as long as I can. 

For me, this isn't about how I look right now.  I understand that it's part of it and a huge part for women.  But for right now I want to be healthy.  I want to have energy to do things again.  I want to feel good in my body.

So she qualified me for surgery.  I've completed most of the process already.  The last 3 things are:  see the nutritionist, have a psych eval completed and lose 12 pounds.

I'm not taking this lightly.  It's a huge decision and yesterday while waiting for her in the office I asked myself if this is really what I wanted to do.  My answer was yes.  I want to like food, but not have it control me.  I feel a bit energized again.  I feel a bit like I have a purpose, a goal to work for. 


Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Took my trusty CPAP home last night after getting distilled water for the humidifier portion.  I moved things around on my bedside table and set it up. I was a bit disappointed because I felt as though I was in a hospital with the tubing and machine and something over my face. 

Pete and I got caught up on Sons of Anarchy while cuddling in bed.  Then it was time.  I had to put the mask on and try to sleep.  The machine operates at a lower force of air for 20 minutes to give you a chance to fall asleep.  My thought was to read my Nook a little to relax and then go to sleep.  Only I can't put my glasses on over the mask.  I then thought about reading the Nook with large print without my glasses, but the mask separates your eyes so they can't focus right in front of your head.

So I just laid down and tried to sleep. 

It was the worst night of sleep in a long time.  Although my eyes were closed and I was "sleeping", I don't think I ever got into REM.  At some point I woke up and took the mask off.  When I think about it, my mouth was dry when I did that and I think I may have been mouth breathing.  It not only negates the CPAP, but it works against it.  After I took the mask off I remember nothing until Nico woke me up for breakfast at 6.  My 5am alarm must have went off, but I have no memory of shutting it off.

I got up and fed him his kibble and made myself some toast.  Pete came home from the gym and I told him I needed to lay down.  The next thing I knew it was 9am and I was late for work.  I have a killer headache, I'm tired as hell.  I feel crappy.  Worst of all I dread bedtime.  I know it's going to take some time to get used to, but this is hard.  Really hard.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Had my appointment with the lung specialist today.  Turns out that I stop breathing at least 5 times and hour and at most 33 times an hour while sleeping.  They consider it mild to moderate sleep apnea. 

So as of about 10am I am the proud renter of this:  S9 CPAP Machine.  Apparently you rent the machine for 10 months of paying 20% of the rental and your insurance paying the remainder.  After 10 months if you still need it, it's yours.  Which is all good, but I about had a heart attack when I started looking up actual costs of them and bemoaning my decision to choose the high deductible health care plan at work.  It appears as though I'll be "renting" this thing on my own and hitting my deductible pretty soon in the year.

Before I went in I told Pete that if they said I needed a machine I'd try it out a few nights, but didn't know if I'd continue it.  Only when I met with him and found out how many times I stop breathing I was shocked.  I also found out that there is a memory card in the machine that tracks how often I use it and for how long.  I have to go in to see the doctor 30 and 60 days out to make sure that the settings are right.  I'm hoping that within 6 months I will have lost more weight and my use of the machine can go down.  But I'm also willing to use the machine nightly if that is what it takes to get good sleep.

After I left the appointment I called the bariatric surgery center to make an appointment with the doctor there.  I want to sit down again and see if the surgery is still an option for me.  I think I need to not be in limbo about this anymore.  I need to either have a yes or a no so that I can psychologically move on from it and figure out a new plan.  Limbo sucks and I don't want to do it any longer.

Friday, November 18, 2011

No Words

I think my bloging voice is lost.  At times there are things that I think about writing.  Then I realize that it's more about life thatn weight loss.  And I dimiss it.  I'm still struggling with going to the gym.  I feel a huge breakdown the minute I step into the building and I don't want that.  I'm afraid that my feet will hurt on the treadmill like they do when I try to walk outside.  I'm afraid that I've lost everything that I worked for.  I'm just pure afraid.  I have my lung specialist appointment on 11/28/11.  I keep thinking....hold on until can do it.  Right?

Monday, November 07, 2011

Cold? Flu? = MIA

So I spent last week in bed.  Pretty much all the time in bed.  I had a cold/flu/sinus issue thing that knocked me down for the count.  And just when I was feeling a bit better I had to go in for my flu shot and a whooping cough/tetanus/diptheria booster.  That knocked me down for the count again on Friday afternoon and night.  I think I'm just starting to feel ok today...other than the very sore tetanus arm.

Pete and I are having holiday card pictures taken by Jessica Fleming Photography next Monday.  So yesterday I went searching for something to wear.  I always intend for our photos to turn out like the photos on here, but usually end up with something not so good looking.  Just once I'd like to have a flattering photo of both of us where my hair isn't standing on end or I have a half open mouth or something.  I love how everyone coordinates, but isn't matchy matchy. 

Pete is so not a button down kind of guy and I want us both to be comfortable.  So I bought him this shirt in black (his favorite color):  Black Henley to wear with some dark jeans.

Then I went to searching....  It was hard because I'm between the plus sized clothes and the misses sized clothes in most stores.  I found these:
Green V-Neck to wear with a cami and some sparkly silver & green jewelry and jeans
Cowl Neck Sweater to wear with dark jeans, a diamond circle necklace that lays on my collarbones and dangly earrings
Blouson Shirt very similar to this with dark jeans and I have no idea what to wear for jewelry...

But after thinking about it, I have a grey & black dog and therefore we'd all be grey and black...weird?

I also have one of these shirts that is primarily white with some black, some navy blue spots and some green spots in it that I've worn with dark jeans, a black elbow length cardigan and some silver jewelry. 

Decisions, decisions.  The only thing I do know is that I'm praying that the middle aged pimples that I've been getting lately ease up for the pictures...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Yay! I'm sick! (tongue in cheek)

From the call I received I believe that I have sleep apnea.  Why do I only believe this?  Because the scheduler would tell me nothing.  Just like the nurse at the sleep study.  She simply told me, as an answer to every question, that I'd be meeting with the lung specialist and the Cpap fitter specialist in November. 

So I called Pete and said both of the following:

1.  Yay I have sleep apnea!
2.  I have sleep apena and occassionally have an obstruction when I sleep.

Number 1 is good because it means that once they confirm this I will qualify for the surgery.  Number 2 is sad and happy in that I now know why I feel so horrible when I try to sleep and why I keep Pete up at night.

So I see the specialists later this month and I havbe a call into the bariatric surgery center to see if they received my results so that I can schedule an appointment to actually talk to the doctor this time.

Strangely I'm not as overjoyed as I thought I'd be.  Just accepting.  I haven't quite processed why.  I can only say that I still feel like there will be something to hold me back.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Story of the Walmart Pants

In 2007 Pete and I were going to the gym everyday.  I'd spent 40 minutes on the elliptical machine and I was watching what I was eating as far as portions, but not content.

After a couple of months I bought some smaller clothes.  It was awesome!  Then Pete and I had the idea to but clothes 1 size smaller than we were so that we could work into them.  So I bought I pair of Walmart jeans.  $9.  Perfect.  If I never fit into them it's $9 bucks.  If I fit into them, it's $9.

You know where this is going, right?  Those pants stayed in my closet on the shelf for the last 4 years.  Occasionally I'd pull them out and try them on.  At times they'd fit over my thighs, at times they'd only come up to my knees.

Yesterday Pete was cleaning out his part of the closet.  As a joke, I tried the pants on.

They fit.  They fit.  I was shocked.  They are a size smaller than I've ever worn in a long long time.  They're not exactly in style and they're not exactly flattering, but they fit!  YAY!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Celebrating Halloween

Weird huh?  I mean who celebrates Halloween?  Indulge me....

As a kid and even now as an adult, Halloween has always been special to me.  As a kid I'd come home from school and hurry up with any homework.  I'd don my homemade costume of a pioneer girl, Raggedy Ann, a M&M or whatever my Mom sewed for me.  We'd get into the car and drive a few miles to my Grandparent's house in town.  Not that we lived out of town, but they lived in a proper city with blocks close together and lots of neighbors. 

We'd arrive and as soon as we got out of the car my Grandma would fly out of the front door and tell us to pose for a picture.  When that was done we'd run inside to the smell of tacos.  When I was an adult I learned just how much taco meat my Grandma made; 10-15 pounds!  As a kid all I knew was that the smell of taco meat was enticing.  We didn't get tacos at home much because my Dad didn't like them.  It was also special because we got to make them ourselves with things like black olives, lots of cheese and crushed up Doritos for the shells.  We'd each make our dinner and head to the table to eat. 

Inevitably, while eating, the doorbell would start to ring, signalling the start of Trick of Treating.  We'd glance at all the costumes and eat quicker, knowing it was our turn next.  After saying hello to some of the neighbors that had dropped by to both see us and been seen with their grandkids, we'd head off to collect our share of candy.  Up one side of the street, down the other, over to the next block and do it again.  The pattern stayed the same every year.  And every year you could count the houses that would have "good" candy and "bad candy.

We'd return home with heavy plastic pumpkins or bulging plastic treat bags that snapped at the top.  The adults would ask if we had fun and which were the best costumes.  We'd yell as we ran through the house to the TV room in the back.  There we'd dump out the candy and finger it all.  Then we'd start picking out the best ones and the ones that we'd trade away for what we wanted.  Sated with candy, we'd sit back and watch the Peanuts Halloween or Charlie Brown Halloween cartoon.  Soon it would be time to go home and sleep.

As an adult I still love this day.  But for different reasons.  I love going to my Grandma's house early to help her set up the taco bar.  We sit and talk about life while chopping tomatoes and onions.  Once done we sit at the kitchen table, looking out the front window and waiting.  We wait for kids to come in cute costumes.  We wait for neighbors to come and catch up.  We wait for family to arrive with kids all excited.  About 15 years ago my Grandma was known for taking pictures of kids in cute costumes.  More recently she stopped because she was concerned that parents would be fearful of where to pictures went.

All night long we adults would sit, stand and hand out.  Kids would ring the doorbell and we'd take turns answering the door with the massive amount of candy that my Grandma buys.  Giving out one item and watching as Grandma opened the door and couldn't help but give out 2 or 3 when it was her turn.

My Grandma is 86, about to be 87 in January.  She's had some health scares in the last 18 months.  She had a stroke last year.  This year she's spent time in and out of the hospital and in a rehabilitative nursing home.  She's not able to host Halloween this year, even though it breaks her heart to break the tradition.  For me, it's a happy and sad time.  Happy because I still enjoy the Halloween spirit and I have a new puppy to dress up in costume (insert evil giggle).  Sad because this is the first year that I can remember not being at my Grandma's house the whole night.  My sister has decided to continue the tradition at her house, but it's not the same.  I'm planning on visiting my Grandma with the puppy in costume.  But it's just not the same.

So as many say in various times, hug your Family members and enjoy them in the here and now for you never know when it changes.  Happy Halloween to you and yours!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mid Week With Pete Update

I thought it pretty fitting, since this is a Wednesday, to update you on Pete. 

50 weeks since he started trying to lose weight.
34 weeks since he had the gastric band placed.

Highest weight:  327 pounds.
Lowest weight: 205 pounds.
Current weight: 209 pounds.

Most working out:  January--March of 2011; 1-3 hours a day, 7 days a week doing cardio at the gym. 
Least working out:  Currently; 2-4 sessions a week, mostly weight training.

Most food:  honestly I don't know.  There were times that he could eat most of a rack of ribs in one sitting with a side of fries.
Least food:  definatly after surgery when he was eating 1/2 of broth, 3 times a day.
Current food:  a piece of toast in the am for breakfast with a protein drink, 1/2 cup of baked beans and 1/2 hot dog for lunch, 1 mini cupcake sized homemade chicken potpie or 1-3 inch by 3 inch slice of meatloaf and 3-4 cheeseball sized potatoes.

Pete and I talk a lot about his journey.  He goes through everything that a woman goes through, even though for some reason I thought a man doing this would be different.  He's struggled with working out, with clothes fitting, with over eating, with eating the wrong things...everything you can think of.

So where is he today?  He's currently about 209 pounds.  Originally he was told that he should be getting down to 165 but anyone who sees him now (including himself) can't imagine him much below 200 pounds.  He's lost a huge amount of fat and had very defined arm, shoulder and back muscles.  His chest and leg muscles are are defined, just not as much as the rest.  His tummy area has what he calls extra fat, but I've been telling him that it's excess skin.  It took the doctor telling him this for him to believe it.  (And for the record he had no interest it getting it removed after seeing/reading what the procedure is like.)

He's struggled with continuing to lose weight.  The goal in the back of his head was always that he would be below 200, even if only for a day and even if only at 199.  I think he's realized that between 207-212 is were his body just naturally wants to be.  He's a size medium/large for shirts (he's be a solid medium if it wasn't for the belly skin) and a size 34 pants.

He's struggled with how to continue to workout.  He has no issue with the motivation to lose, but has never figured out what it takes to maintain.  This is a lesson that he will continue to learn the rest of his life.  He's was down to  lifting weights twice a week and didn't like that he was gaining a little back.  After meeting trying to convince him to set a schedule or 30 minutes of running and 30 minutes of weights several times a week, that's what he's trying currently.

His band is filled to 10.25 cc.  The most it can be filled to is 11.  He's comfortable where it is now.

When I ask him if he'd do it again, knowing everything that he does, he says he would. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sleep Study - Check!

Had I know what was going to occur with the sleep study I would have been a lot more freaked out than I already was.  Do you want to see most of what I had to sleep with?

Go ahead - Giggle!  I slept an hour in the shower getting all the electrode goop out of my hair...

Seriously?  I had electrodes everywhere.  No wonder Pete smiled at me before I left and said, "Let's video call each other before bed."  He wanted to get a good giggle.  And he got one.  I have to admit that the ridiculous of it all made me giggle too.

Anyway, I slept horribly and at one point the nurse came in and said that we'd have to start thinking about staying for the day time study.  Thankfully I figured out how to get some kind of compfortable and sleep for a few hours.  I left after asking about the study and being told that I'd have to wait for my doctor.

But here I am, post-sleep study.  What's changed?  Nothing.  Nothing.  I got past it and all the importance that I placed on it and nothing has changed.  I still need to jump back onto my path to healthiness.  All that lead up to nothing. 

I am doing pretty good with the things that I can do.  Portion sizes are still good and I've been drinking lots of water.  My weight hasn't changed at all either.

My next goal is to step back into the gym.  Just go for something and try to get back into it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What Can I Do?

I keep thinking that I need to get back into the healthy journey, but can't quite figure out how.  It's amazing how something can throw you so far off track and you can struggle with how to get to where you were before.  It's also dawning on me that I don't need to get back to where I was before, I just need to get back on the journey somewhere. 

So while doing some heavy thinking in the shower this morning I decided that I can work my way back to my journey. 

I noted in a post earlier this week that my skin is horrible because I haven't been drinking water like I need to.  So my goals for the next week:
  1. Drink at least 75 ounces of water a day.
  2. Eat breakfast lunch and dinner.  No skipping meals.
  3. Be aware of portion sizes and eating until satisfied, not stuffed.
3 simple things.  But I think that they're 3 simple things that can make a big difference and get me back to thinking about healthy.  Back to a rhythm of being healthier.  Back to realizing that doing these things makes me feel better.  Back to my journey.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Orange Theory

No, it's not about eating oranges or even orange colored food.

It's Orange Theory Fitness
Orangetheory Fitness has been featured in The New York Times as an effective new plateau-busting workout in which participants can burn up to 900 calories in a 60-minute session. Backed by the science of post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), our heart-rate monitored training is designed to keep heart rates in a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy.

The result is the Orange Effect – more energy, visible toning and extra calorie burn for up to 36 hours after your workout!

Have you heard of it?  Pete and I went to the Twin Cities Marathon event fair and found this workout group there.  It sounds kind of nuts.  It also sounds kind of fun. 

I'm thinking that Pete and I should try this out.  A new way to exercise may be the motivation that I need.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sporatically Posting

Is sporatically a word?  Hope so.

It's been almost 90 days since I've tried the gym. 
I've been eating okay.  More whole foods and less boxed/packaged food.
I've been struggling with getting my water intake and my skin is going nuts because of it.
I've been more active around home because of the puppy and cooking more.
Life is still stressful.
Work is nuts right now.

I think I'm on a healthy living hiatus.  I'm in limbo still until the sleep study is done and I can figure out my next step.  I'm kidding myself when I say that I'm not gaining weight.  Because in my mind I know that I'm losing some of the muscle I gained and likely gaining fat.

I have to admit I never thought it would be like this.  I thought that I'd make changes, do them for a period of time and they'd stick.  They'd become habit.  And while some things have, not all of them stayed obviously.  Do I miss the gym?  Yes and no.  Do I miss counting calories and fat grams and all that?  No.  Do I miss the feeling that I have when I leave the gym after a good workout?  Yes.  But it's not been enough to motivate me to workout. 

I realize that I'm placing a lot of pressure on this sleep study.  A lot.  And it's either going to go really really wrong or really really right.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Over the Over Emotional...

I think I've made it through to the other side.  I think that the combination of the life stressors and the PMS, (which is like when stars collide) meant that life was just way too overwhelming.

I have my sleep study scheduled for 10/23/11.  I have to be there at 8pm to get started.  If they don't get the data that they need overnight, they require that you stay the following day and take 5-2 hour naps for them.  I keep they want me to sleep for 8 hours then get up and sleep for another 10 hours?  I' so nervous that I won't sleep so the doctor gave me Ambien to try for that night.  And that makes me even more nervous because of the crazy things that I read about people doing on that med.  At least there will be someone to watch me...

I'm both fearful that I have sleep apnea (because it's a serious diagnosis) and that I don't have it.  It's like I'm balancing on a line and I could fall either way.  Another reason why I feel like I'm in limbo right now.

As for the healthiness journey...I think it's on pause.  That's not to say that I don't think about it.  I limit my portions and I try to eat healthy with veggies, fruit and whole grains.  But I'm not going all out and I haven't returned to the gym.  I do hover take Nico for walks almost every night so I'm getting 1-2 miles of walking in most days.  My goal is to get the sleep study done and return to the gym to start up something by 11/1/11. 

I'm getting better about meal planning/grocery buying.  I've been using this free printable planner from Vertex to help me.  I sit down each Saturday or Sunday and plan out a weeks worth of meals from what I have on hand.  Then I use the grocery list to add what I need.  It's cut down on waste and I feel much more organized.  I keep a few of these in the household bills binder that I made after seeing it on Echos of Laughter organizing blog.  When I'm done making my list and shopping, then I pull it out and hang it on the front of the fridge so Pete knows what's on the list and can help.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Lungs, Moonlight & Motorcycles and a Goal

I think some weight (pun intended) has been lifted from me and for various reasons.

1.  The Lung Specialist:  Yesterday I had my appointment with the lung specialist.  The nurse rooming me had no bedside manner, but that's beside the point, right?  Anyway, he was a nice man (why do I feel the need to place everyone into he nice/not so nice category?).  He listened to me talk and breathe and asked all sorts of questions about my sleep, my days, no breathing, symptoms...  Then he said that he thinks I have sleep apnea.  People with this stop breathing anywhere from 5-100 times an HOUR at night.  So he scheduled me for a sleep study and I'm waiting for the place to call me back for a time.

I'm a bit relieved because somehow I had decided that if I didn't need a breathing machine at night, I didn't have apnea.  This is false.  So my hopes of qualifying for surgery are a little increased, but I'm not all in yet.

2.  Moonlight and Motorcycle:  Yesterday I sent Pete a text asking him to take me for a ride after dinner so I could hug him close and feel the wind on my face.  My mind seems to settle on the motorcycle.  It races through all kinds of subjects almost like a word association game with myself.  I spent the first 20 minutes with my arms around his chest, my chest leaning into his back and my head on his shoulder.  I could smell the cologne he was wearing, the hot fall day, the dust from farmers in the fields, the engines of vehicles passing me by...  Little by little my mind calmed down.  I won't lie, I shed a few tears behind my sunglasses, but I was more peaceful than I had been in over a week. 

Later on in the ride, the coolness from the low areas and the bodies of water that we passed seemed to wake me up and shake me up. By then it was dark and the moon was up and shining on me.  And I stared at it intently and wondered where it would take me if I could ride it.  I wondered how many other people were looking up at the moon along with me.  I wondered if the pull of the moon was pulling me out from my feeling of overwhelm; if it would heal me slowly as I stared at it from the back of the motorcycle. 

When we got home I was strangely peaceful as though the wind had blown away some of my worry.  I slept better last night than I have in a while.

3.  Goal:  My goal is strange.  My goal is weird.  My goal is almost an experiment to see what happens.  My goal for this weekend is to cry it out.  Shed the tears as though they are baggage to me and need to be released. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Figuring it all out

Monday I had a really hard day at work.  I shared on Friday how disappointed I was in a work related issue.  I did my best not to think about it all weekend and was pretty successful.  Only by Monday it was so huge in my head that I had a hard time staying at work and couldn't concentrate at all.  I'm realizing that I should have through more about it over the weekend and talked it out with Pete or someone so that it wasn't so HUGE on Monday.

So I left work early on Monday and decided to hit up HomeGoods.  I had decided that I deserved to make over my office.  Now it started out innocently as I really had been thinking all summer about how I could make organizational and decorative changes to my office to kind of lift me up while I'm there.  I have a need to change and it's been stifled while here as I really can't change the layout of my office and I dislike stagnant spaces.  However, my plan was to hit up Salvation Army and the Goodwill for pieces that I could make over and bring in.  Bright pops of color that would make me happy to see them and new organization for keeping things in place.

Only what I did was buy this:

Metal basket, Wood organizer, Wood magazine holders, statue, silver cup and frame, plus more...
I spent $150 without even blinking.  And I put it on the 'emergecny credit card' because I didn't want to take it out of my short supply in my every day bank account.  Oh I walked out of there excited to try it all out in my office, but went home instead.  I spent the evening planning out in my head how it would all work out in my office.  I bought wall stickers/rub ons to add some modern decoration.  I bought spray pant and a drop cloth to change the color of the metal basket above and to paint my filing cabinet, among other things.

Yesterday I was still out of sorts, not quite in the moment and feeling down.  So I brought all the pieces in my office, one by one.  In the afternoon I shut the door and rearranged my desk/computer desk area.  I spent an hour cleaning and decluttering and then placed the new/exciting pieces where I wanted them.  I rearranged and rearranged until I decided on a layout.

Then I sat down and looked around.  And you know what?

 I wasn't any happier.  I wasn't any less out of sorts.  I wasn't any more in the moment.  I wasn't any less sad and disappointed.  I wasn't any less overwhelmed by my life right now.  And what I realized was that I not only use food to help me out of an emotional bind, but I use shopping and new things to do the same.  But neither one works. 

So I went home, all emotional last night and struggling.  I expected to find Pete there so we could have dinner and I could just relax.  But it didn't go as planned and we ended up miscommunicating and I ended up in tears.  And as much as I want to make myself better, Pete wants it more.  He hates to see me cry.  I had to remind him that telling me not to cry doesn't help.  He held me as I tried to settle down and stop crying.  But I can't help thinking, even today, that maybe what I really need is that good cry.  I need to get the emotion out of me and into the world and experience it.  Then and only then I can see if I'm ready to move on and get into a better place.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I'm still floating

My head is all kinds of messed up.  I'm admitting defeat for now.  I need to figure out how to get my head situated again so that my body can follow suit.  I am hoping that tomorrow's appointment with the lung specialist will help me set something in motion.

In the mean time I'm still here.  Floating along, doing the best that I can for now.  I get lots of puppy snuggles, lots of Pete snuggles and I'm indulging in what keeps me calm and peaceful.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Not Good Enough

Honesty, right?  I mean this is why I have the blog.  To write what's happening in my life.  To be able to look back a week from now, a month from now or a year from now.  To see what I was going through and how I got through it.  And if I'm not honest with myself then I'm not honest to anyone.

I had an opportunity at work that I wasn't chosen for.  In and of it's self, not a big deal.  It's happened before, in fact about this time last year.  And I accept that there are things I want to do that I cannot do based on the department that I work for.  I got notice of it today while in the car on the way back from the Twin Cities Marathon Expo that Pete and I went to.

I wanted to cry.  And yet the whole way home I kept wondering why I was feeling so emotional about this?  It's a work thing.  There have been plenty of disappointments before and they'll be more in the future.  After we got home I dropped Pete off so that I could go shopping and finish my errands. 

While in Target, I again wanted to cry.  And what I realized is that I'm not feeling like "enough" lately.  Not good enough to lose weight on my own.  Not fat/good enough for lap band surgery.  Not good enough to be chosen for the work project. 

Not Good Enough.

And my prayer went something like this: 
Dear God, I can take a lot.  I can handle much.  I can work though problems and issues with the best of them.  But please, send me something.  Anything to show me the way to happiness and that feeling good enough feeling again.  Amen.
Now I'm praying for that sign.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Feet

My feet still hurt.  It worries me. 

It used to be that if my feet were hurting and I just backed off a little on the cardio it would get better and I'd go back to exercising.  Well, I went to the podiatrist and I have new shoes that are correct for my feet.  Yet Monday night we walked around Centennial Lakes (1.5 miles) and my feet hurt at the end. 

I don't wear heels (for the most part) and I choose shoes that have a lot of padding in the front part of the footbed.  But even my everyday shoes are making my feet hurt.  Last night we went for a late summer/early fall motorcycle ride and walking in my boots hurt.

It worries me.  I think my next step is seeing if my feet hurt when I'm back on the treadmill.  And yet that would require me returning to the gym.  And if I'm really honest with myself, returning to the gym scares me.  I get an anxious fluttery heart, my tummy spins and I start to sweat.  I feel like a failure and returning there feels like defeat, even if it's not logical.

On a good note:  Pete and I have been married 3 years as of Monday.  I told him that it feels like forever.  Not bad forever.  Forever like we were meant to be and this is always the way that it's been. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Starting Over?

After thinking about my weight situation and the inability to get insurance to pay for a gastric banding (so far), I think I've figured it out.

Debbie at Ex-Yo-Yo Dieter talked about rewards and about just doing it.  Just losing the weight and getting to where you want to be.  It sounds so simple, doesn't it?  And there are people who can do that.  They can just set the goal, figure out what they need to do to achieve the goal and get it done.  Pete for instance is one of those people.  For him it's all about the competition to push himself farther and faster.  So it's only natural that he has the ability to just lose.  Although he has other issues with maintaining.  Me?  I can't find the motivation within to make myself just lose. 

I think that I have motivation at times.  Actually I know that I have motivation at times to make myself lose.  The issue is that the motivation fades and I'm left trying to figure out my next motivator and how to get back to losing.  I think that's where the start/stop comes in.  I'm constantly starting or stopping with periods of nothingness in between.  I need to find motivation within myself to keep going at a constant pace.

I also need to find other rewards.  In the past I've rewarded myself with a new piece of clothing, more training sessions, a headscarf from Harley for riding...  But like Debbie said, external rewards kind of set you up.  If you get them, you're proud of yourself and you see that thing you bought/got.  If you don't get the item, it haunts you...forever.  I need to rethink my reward system.

Start/Stop...I think that I've figured out that the gastric banding was some sort of reward as silly as it sounds.  Try being healthy and losing weight for 2 years and if you can't do it then, "reward" yourself with the gastric banding.  While it's not really a true reward, it kind of is.  It's akin to the extra training sessions at the gym in that it's a tool to get more healthy.  And I think because I can't get this reward (as of right now), it's haunting me.  I also think that I'm confused about what to do because it means that I need to figure out a whole new plan and start over.

Friday, September 23, 2011


I feel in limbo lately.  Pete was at the gym yesterday and our trainer asked him if I was ever coming back.  Pete told him that I'd be back, eventually.  I love that he has such faith in me and my journey.  I love that he has this faith even when I don't.  I guess it's truly a sign of a loving husband.

My limbo comes from not really knowing what to do next.  I have to wait for the lung specialist appointment on 10/5/11 to see if I can have a sleep study done for apnea.  Until that time I don't know what to do?  Do I workout again and possibly let my BMI drop more and have more issues with insurance?  Do I just maintain like I have been?  Do I try to gain the 10 pounds that will allow me to qualify? 

On a good note, Pete and I celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary Monday.  We've got plans all weekend to hang out with each other.  Saturday morning we're going to the Oktoberfest at the Mill City Museum.  Sunday we're going out to dinner to celebrate that and the fact that Pete got a job!  Yay!  It's another contract to hire, but I'm so very prayerful that it will be a forever thing this time.  Monday after work we're headed down to Centennial Lakes to walk around and sit in the amphitheater where we said our vows.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Still Here, Struggling

Saturday night Pete and I went out on a date.  It's been a long time since we've been out on a date.  We tried to go Friday, but Nico had some weird things going on and we ended up postponing it.

As we were getting ready Pete said "I'm fat."  And I cried.  I finally had to tell him that it was getting really hard for me to hear him say that when he's lost over 100 pounds and I am stuck.  Even more so when I've hit a roadblock and may not be able to have the band surgery.  He seemed shocked.  I felt bad.  It was an uncomfortable situation. 

I want to support him, I have supported him.  We talk daily about his workouts and what he ate and what supplements he took and how they're not working or are working for him.  Honestly, it's sometimes exhausting.  I give him what I think is good feedback each time.  I tell him what I think would work for him.  I suggest things or shoot things down as I see them.  However, it seems like we have the same conversation over and over.  I've listened to the same complaints and frustrations and issues for the last 4-5 months.  And I listened, up until now.  Now I can't seem to think about weight loss or healthy or exercising without getting misty eyed.  Without getting frustrated.  Without getting upset.

We finished getting ready and headed to Famous Daves Blues Club to listen to some music, relax and talk.  After we parked, we walked through the mall to get to the club.  Next door was a GNC.  Pete went in and started suggesting supplements for me to help lose weight.  Inside I was screaming NO NO NO.  I don't want to rely on supplements and gimmicks and shakes and all that.  I want to rely on me with help.  I said it to him again, just as I have in the past, that I don't want to do that.  He started looking at things for himself. 

Our date night turned into shopping for his supplements.  I checked out.  Physically I left the store and wandered over to a bench to wait.  Mentally I tried to retreat into a game application on my phone.  After about 20 minutes he came out of the store and we went into the club.  After a few minutes he noticed that I was still checked out and asked what was wrong.  I started crying again. 

It's so hard to feel like you're on a path and have decisions to make along the way, only to have a huge roadblock set in your way.  I told someone earlier this week that I feel like I am just floating along and there is no shore in sight for me to stand on solid ground again.  Add this with some medical issues in my family and I am a mess.  I'm over emotional and tired and just feel like I'm coasting through each day.

I'm still here, just struggling.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Forward, right?

I keep thinking of the 2 BMI points that separate me from the insurance paid band.  It's really hard not to think of them at this point.  But thinking about them is going to get me no where. 

I emailed my doctor Monday afternoon when I stopped crying and she emailed me back yesterday.  She can't send me for a sleep study, I have to go through the lung specialist in the clinic.  So I waited until today for them to call me to make an appointment.  The first appointment available?  10/5.  It seems like forever even though it's only 3 weeks.  So many hoops.  Sometimes I feel like my life is one big set of hoops.  And just when I think that it will get easier on the other side of the big hoop, there is another hoop to jump through.

In the mean time?  In the mean time I guess I go back to exercising and eating good for me food.  I have to say, I'm still dreaming of the ice cream and cake in bed idea.  I know it doesn't solve anything and it creates new problems, but it's one of those feel-good-at-the-time things.  I've realized that my other 'binge' area is shopping.  My hand went to the phone several times yesterday while watching shopping newtworks.  And I keep thinking that I need a new outfit for my all day training on Friday.  Something professional, but casual.  In actuality, I need nothing.  I know this when I stop to think about it.  Shopping isn't going to do me any better than eating cake.  In fact it will make it worse, as Pete is still laid off.

My solice is playing with that cute little Nico puppy while sitting next to my husband.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Does defeat equal binge?

I've binged.  I didn't know exactly what to call it before.  I just thought of it as indulging in what I wanted to eat at the moment.  I'd stop at the grocery store and usually pick up salty chips, salsa/guac, sour cream and salsa which was my appetizer.  Then some salads from the deli - high fat, high calorie.  Then a pint of ice cream and a small cake from the bakery.

I'd think nothing about eating loads of the food.  Nothing. 

Now I know that it's a binge.  I know that these occurred after disappointments, after hard times, when I felt down, to celebrate, basically any excuse. What to know what stopped me?  Pete.  When Pete moved it it meant that if I wanted to continue this I'd have to share it.  not share the food, well that too, but share the fact that I did this.  It embarrassed me.  So I stopped.  Aside from a couple of times,. I've never even looked back on this.

But last night?  Last night I would have given anything for a large chocolate cake, a pint of ice cream, salty chips and those high calorie salads.  All washed down with a quart of rootbeer.  And better yet, all eaten from the comfort of my bed, in the dark, while watching trashy TV from my Tivo.  The urge to binge like this was so strong that I mentioned it to Pete.  Not that I wanted to binge, not in those terms.  When he asked me what I wanted for dinner through my tear stained eyes and cheeks, I said ice cream, chocolate cupcakes and junk food in bed.  And bless his heart, he would have indulged me.  Only he can't eat all that stuff and we don't have it in the house purposely.

So instead I played with the puppy, blogged, played games on my phone, watched some TV from the living room and just obsessed about it silently.  It's a victory that I didn't indulge, but it saddens me that I thought about resorting to this again.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Admitting Defeat

I went in for my consult today with the surgery center.  Oddly enough, my goal these last couple of weeks was not to lose weight.  And guess what happened?  I lost almost 10 pounds to be back to 233.

Pete and I went to the center together because he had an appointment almost the same time.  He went in and talked to his doctor and came out.  She asked me if I wanted to skip the process and just consult with her right after the nurse today.  I told her that I'd follow the procedures and she said she was looking forward to seeing me soon.

I went back when my name was called.  I had already spent time filling out my health history and documenting all the attempts to lose weight and writing a letter about why I wanted to do this.  First they take you picture, then they weigh and measure you.  I tried hard not to look at the numbers because my fear was that I wouldn't qualify.  We went into the exam room and started talking about my medical history, my current medical state and all that I've been doing.

Her first concern was that my TMJ would pose an issue with me being able to chew sufficiently.  Post surgery you have to chew everything to applesauce consistency.  It's not that I can't chew, it's that my jaw sometimes tires more easily.  So she suggested that I spend some time practicing this in the next few weeks, saying that I'd actually have to have a consult with the doctor to approve me based on that.

Then she said it.  I don't qualify for insurance purposes.  I kept my face clear of emotion, while inside my heart started beating faster.  She does think that I have sleep apnea and if I do, then she said that insurance would pay for the surgery.  So she sent me off with a few things to do:  1. Ask my doctor to order a sleep study to see if I have sleep apnea.  2. Ask my doctor for a different medication for my TMJ as I won't be able to take NSAIDs post op (should I qualify) 3. Practice chewing each thing at least 20 times.  Once I've accomplished those things she said I should make a consult appointment with the doctor to get approval for the surgery.

I walked out of the office with a smile on my face and Pete started asking me questions.  I was talking slow and low on the way back to the car because I'm a pretty private person.  Once in the car I lost it.  I feel so defeated.  I feel like I tried the healthy way to lose this weight for the last two years and had some limited success.  However, that success meant that I don't qualify for my insurance provider to help me achieve it all.  This was my fear that I talked about a few weeks ago.  And it came true.  And I feel defeated.  Utterly defeated.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 - 10 Years later

I have about 12 hours of programming set to record on my Tivo today.  I plan on watching it all as soon as I can. 

I looked at pictures on MSN Friday at work.  When I started at the first picture I thought that it was sad.  By the 5th picture, I was 'there' again.  Back on 9/11/01, sitting in my Grandma's livingroom watching the whole thing unfold on the TV.  I can smell the smells, see the items around me and the sun shining in the windows, hear the phone ringing and talking with my Mom, feel the terror and uncertainty.  I am there again in an instant and it brings tears to my eyes and the same feeling of terror all over again.

Every year since then I watch the documentary from Jules and Gedeon Naudet.  I have had it saved on my Tivo since 2006.  Only this year it's not on my new Tivo.  I'm conflicted.  I want so much to watch it again.  I can't tell why I continue to watch it every year.  It's almost as though I force myself back to feeling the things I felt on that day and the days afterwards.  Almost like I have to keep re-feeling it to remind myself how bad it really was.  I think it's like losing all the veterans from Pearl Harbor.  I wasn't alive and the importance is not lost on me, but I can't FEEL it.  The veterans could feel it.

Today I am sad.  Sad that my innocence (and I did have innocence at 31 years old) was shattered in 2001.  Sad that the devastation that occurred on that day is still unfolding with first responders getting sick, no complete memorial yet, and arguments over who belongs at the memorial this year.  I'm sad that the American unity and bond that we felt in the days after 9/11/2001 seem to be gone.  I'm sad that the years since then have had wars in many countries with many service members killed.  I'm sad that our country has turned into a political firestorm that cannot seem to accomplish anything. 

Yes, at 31 I was innocent.  I think most people my age were.  We had never 'seen' war or attacks on US ground.  The innocence that I speak of was shattered with a realization that US is no longer a superpower that it untouchable.  I lived for 31 years thinking that I was so very safe while in the States.  That my government would protect me.  Now that I think about it, I think it was a combination of innocence and having my head in the sand.  At any rate, it was gone at 8:30am on 9/11/01.

I've talked about this before in prior blog posts.  While I didn't know anyone personally who died in the attacks I feel as though I was there.  It changed me for weeks afterwards.  I was glued to the TV 24 hours a day.  I was living alone at the time and would sit in front of the TV watching all the news and reports and thought I didn't want to see anymore at the time, I couldn't not watch.  It was as though my brain thought that I needed to watch in case something else happened.  In case there were more so that I was on top of it and not surprised.  I had trouble sleeping and working.  Eventually it passed, but it returns to me about this time every year.

So to all, I wish you a safe 9/11/2011.  I ask that you pause and remember the many who perished 10 years ago.  The innocent people in the towers, Pentagon and planes.  The first responders who gave their lives to rescue others.  The people who worked for months afterwards to find remains so the families could morn loved ones.  I ask that to remember that America is still struggling and that we all need to participate to help recover.  I ask that you hug your loved ones and do something that makes you happy.  To celebrate life and all that it entails - good and bad.

God Bless.

Friday, September 09, 2011

6 pounds

Somewhere in my random eating and inability to work out I lost 6 pounds this week.  I do feel like we spent less time sitting around in the last week. I had a full week last week with something every night.  Then we ran all weekend off doing something each day.  This week I don't sit down when I get home.  I play with the puppy or we go for walks.  We're also eating out less.  Actually eating out none.  We stay home with the puppy.

It's Friday!  Yay!

Tonight we're going to a movie.  It's both a relaxing time for Pete and I and a chance for Nico to get used to being in his crate while we're away.  Tomorrow I have a date with a 5 year old's soccer game.  Actually Nico and I are going to the game.  Sunday is relaxing day again.  Relaxing.  I need it.

Thursday, September 08, 2011


I've had really good intentions of going to the gym this week.  Intentions.  Only my sleep pattern is shot.  The puppy is up every couple of hours and whether or not he squawks about needing to go out or just wines for attention, Pete takes him outside.  By 5am when my alarm goes off to get up, I'm so tired that I never remember shutting it off.

I'm hoping it's better next week. 

It will be better next week, right?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

All Over & Nowhere

I feel like I am all over the place in my eating and nowhere in my workouts.

My workouts pretty much stopped the end of July when I was having such an issue with my feet.  I can't tell you how incredibly frustrating this is.  I'm ok for 20 minutes of walking/jogging.  But then the balls of my feet go numb and shoot pain into my toes, preventing me from continuing.  It was so bad that at the State Fair I was actually happy to go back to the car because my feet were hurting so much.  I had to tell myself, "just a little farther" repeatedly in my head.

I actually went to see a podiatrist about this.  She said that there didn't seem to be anything wrong persae and gave me suggestions.  Supportive shoes that have good, thick soles so that the soles are doing the work instead of the ball of my foot.  Small, thin gel inserts for the ball of my foot.  And keep trying.  She also told me that eventually I'll want to have surgery to correct my bunions.  I've resisted this for years because I hear that it's one of the most painful surgeries.  Someday I guess my feet will be so painful that I'll want it.

So I do have new shoes.  I have these Brooks.  Yes.  Men's shoes.  My feet are a double wide (kind of like the trailer homes!  lol) and it's hard to find those locally in shoe stores.  Mens shoes seem to fit my feet better.  Oh, I could have ordered the turquoise or purple ones, but I'm not staring at my feet as I jog and I certainly don't qualify for most fashionable at the gym.  That said, I'm almost scared to try the new shoes.  Weird?  Probably.  But, much like I'm afraid that I won't qualify for the surgery, I'm afraid that these shoes won't fit.  It would be very depression on both things if it didn't work out.

As for my eating...I'm doing healthy portions.  But the kinds of foods aren't necessarily the healthiest.  Mini cheesecakes for my Dad's birthday, pretzel dog at the Fair, Sweet Martha's Cookies.  And yet, I have been eating apples every day as snacks and pears.  I just feel all over the place with how I'm eating and what I'm eating.  To make matters worse, all I can think about this time of year is cooking.  Baking sweets and breads and treats.  Cooking big comforting dinners, chili, stews, roasts...  Not necessarily what the person who is trying to lose weight should be doing.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


These last few weeks I feel like I've been trying to fit all the summer that I can into life.  As though I know that the changing leaves, cooler weather and snow is right around the corner.  So much so that I looked into my kitchen last Friday and tried to remember the last time I spent any time in it cooking.  I couldn't remember.  I think it was the week I took vacation and spent lots of time cleaning every nook and cranny and cooking.

But it wasn't meant to be that I spent any time in it on Friday.  We were up early and headed out for some shopping.  Then to the State Fair.  We started out at about noon, walking around and eating.  I had to try the sweet corn ice cream.  Pete and I shared a pretzel dog and a cone of Sweet Martha's cookies.  Then I lost my energy.  I've been fighting allergies and a cold and likely a sinus infection.  So we spent 2 hours in the car so I could sleep.  Bless Pete, the man of my dreams for realizing when I need a break and being ok with it.  Then we watched Garrison Keillor and The Prairie Home Companion Show which was pretty funny.

Saturday morning we were up and headed to the last campout for the day.  It was a 3.5 hour drive down there and I relaxed in the car on Pete's lap for most of the ride while our friends drove.  We didn't stay long because it was cold, wet and not very many people there.  But when we came home, we came home with this:

Meet Nico.  He's a Mini-Schnauzer 8 week old puppy.  He's about 5 pound right now and will only be about 15-17 pounds and 12 inches tall when he's grown.  He's the black & silver color that's not very often seen like the salt & pepper version.  And I am in L.O.V.E.  We searched for a name everywhere.  Finally decided on Nico, which means victory in German. 

Sunday we headed back to the pet store so Nico could pick out some toys and we could get some good food for him and sign up for puppy classes.  Then we left him in his crate for about 3 hours while we went out to eat with my family for my Dad's birthday.  Nico did very well and had fun with the kids when they came back to our house to meet him.

Yesterday was relaxing.  I took a 2 hour nap with Nico.  I make chili and cornbread and banana bread.  It was the most wonderful day in a long time. 

Thursday, September 01, 2011

What's your drink of choice?

ATLANTA - Health officials say half of Americans drink a soda or sugary beverage each day — and some are downing an awful lot.

A new study found that one in 20 drinks the equivalent of more than four cans of soda each day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research also showed teenage boys drink the most soda, sports drinks and other sugary liquids.

Sweetened drinks have been linked to the U.S. explosion in obesity, and health officials have been urging people to cut back. Many schools have stopped selling soda or artificial juices.

The CDC report released Wednesday is said to be the first to offer national statistics for adults and kids. Past studies have focused on certain groups, particularly school kids.

Half of Americans are drinking their sugar daily.  It's no wonder we're obese.  It's no wonder us kids of the 70's grew up with weight issues.

I remember as a kid drinking soda from bottles like these.  They came in 6 packs from the Red Owl store that my mom shopped at and my aunt worked at.  I remember going up and down those aisles and coming home with lots of food.  What specific food, I can't remember.  I remember the soda though.  And when it wasn't soda, it was Koolaid made with the maximum amount of sugar.  And when it wasn't Koolaid, it was Schwann's Vita-Sun

Water?  Water was for washing dishes & clothes, for sprinkling lawns and taking showers.  We never drank water.  Wait, I take that back.  When we played softball, we'd bring water jugs.  I remember begging for the powered Gatorade to make it taste and never getting it.  Water is something that I discovered in my 30's as a drink that I should be drinking.  Even then my relationship with water was limited.  I did it when I was really thirsty in the summer or I was sick and not feeling good.

I gave up sodas 3 years ago and I don't regret it.  But I will tell you that I rarely drink plain water unless it's from a bottle.  I use Crystal Lite or frozen fruit/fruit juice in my water.  While I like not drinking sodas and sports drinks, most times I crave flavor.  It's as though my mind expects that the drink should have taste.  I think my mind is programming to expect a flavor and it's a really hard habit to break.  There are times when I'm better at it than others.

So how many spoonfuls of sugar did you drink today?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bariatric Surgery Information Session

I walked in the hospital last night with anxiety.  Not wanting to be there, but wanting to be there.  I found the room and checked in to get my paperwork.  I walked in the room and it hit me that this was me I was here for.  Me.  Not Pete.

I looked around as if to size myself up against the others in the room.  I'm not going to lie.  I felt small.  I was one of the thinnest, if not the thinnest person there.  I had a moment of wonder; wondering if I really needed this.  Then I started filling out paperwork.  They asked many health questions.  However, when I got the point about my weight and the diets and weight management programs that I've tried, I was reminded that this was something that I needed to do.  It was clear. 

My heaviest?  I found a picture of myself in 2000 at Christmas time.  My face is very full and from looking at my face now, both Pete and I think that I was around 275.  I was a solid size 24 pants and I remember buying them, thinking that I really needed new pants and wondering if the store I shopped at regularly had changed the fit of the pants because I needed such a large size.  I thought that my short hair fit my face well, but it only served to further fill out a full face.  I thought I looked good. 

Looking back, I remember that I never stepped on a scale.  Seriously.  I don't remember being on a scale (other than the doctor's office) until I lived with Pete.  Oh I'm sure that I randomly weighed myself on my Grandma's scale when I lived with her or was at her house.  But the point is that I don't remember doing it.  I knew I was big, but didn't think that I was THAT big.  And I wasn't interested in numbers.  I was defeated at that time, thinking there was no way I could lose weight and I was just meant to be that large.

I now know that I had a strange body image in thinking that I was smaller than I really was.  I know now that there are things that I can do to lose weight.  I know that exercise is important.  I have lots more tools at hand to help me.  But I really do need this additional tool to get me past my roadblock of the last couple years.

So my next step is meeting with the nurse.  I go in on 9/12/11 with my health history and some notes from my general doctor and see if I qualify for this.  If I do, I would start the same process that Pete went through earlier this year. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Do I need to Justify?

When I posted about making an appointment for the gastric band a few things happened. 
  1. I felt raw and very exposed.  Not only to Pete (the only one in my life who knows), but to the world through my blog.  More exposed and raw than I think I've ever felt.
  2. I lost readers.
  3. I gained more readers.
  4. I felt like I needed to justify my decision to...everyone.
Why?  Why do I need to justify my decision to anyone other than myself? 

I think that part of it is my mindset from growing up.  I feel (this my only be my impression and I'm recognizing that) that I asked my parents for things many times.  To go places, see movies, be with friends, get new clothes...all the usual things that kids/teens ask for.  And many times I was shot down.  Likely there were good reasons for it, but to me it just felt like they were saying no all the time.  So I stopped asking for things.  I had been shot down enough times to know that the answer would be no.  Almost as though it had crushed a part of my spirit.

When I really did want something and thought it was worth asking for, I would develop a plan.  The plan was thinking about every reason in the world that it would benefit me or my parents or my family.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing.  But what happens in my head with likely every decision is that I think about the decision, think about all the obstacles first.  All of them.  Then plan around them.  In essence, I am not a spur of the moment thinker.  I am a planner. 

So before I even decided to tell Pete I came up with a plan in my head.  Before I talked to my doctor, I came up with a plan in my head.  Before I wrote the blog post, I came up with a plan.  What I realize now is that my plans are more justifying what I want to do, even when I don't need to do so.  It was a major realization for me.  Major.  It made me think about how I mentally process things.  I need to note that I don't need to justify myself anymore, I'm an adult. 

I'm going to be practicing this tomorrow night.  My appointment with the bariatric surgery center starts out with an informational group tomorrow night.  I went to it with Pete, but still have to do it again for me.  I learned that a co-worker will be there with her husband.  I haven't said anything to her about going through the process myself.  But tomorrow I'm going to practice telling her without it seeming like I'm justifying my decision to her.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Worst Fear

Sunday I talked about my worst fear.  And like I said, it's not even really my worst fear.  My worst fear, the one that instantly brings tears to my eyes, is that something happens to Pete.  I am so tied to him in every way that the thought of not having him instantly brings me to tears.  I don't think about that very often.

My worst fear right now?

I won't qualify for gastric band.  Either the program or my insurance won't qualify me.  I'm anxious and nervous and left kind of in limbo for right now.  I almost feel like this is my last chance to get some of this weight off and get truly healthy. 

So when I whispered this to Pete and took a deep breath in...and he replied that we'd deal with it then, it was the best answer ever.  The most calming supportive answer.  The answer that I needed to hear.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Out of Hiding aka Where I'm At Today

I've been on this healthiness journey since November 2007.  Some months were on target and I was losing and feeling good.  Other months were filled with illness/injury and there was either no losing or gaining.  Admittedly, there were also months that I gave up and never worried about being healthy.  There were months that I was so consumed with life and all that goes on, that healthiness never entered my mind.

I've lost a solid 30 pounds.  Oh, I've lost more.  At one point I was up to losing a total of 40 pounds. But in the last year I've yo-yo'd that final 10 pounds more than the elevator in the Sears Tower.  I've counted calories, made meal plans, only shopped for fresh food, eaten more fish, cut up low-fat/low sugar items, eaten every 4 hours, only eaten 3 meals, 1200 calories, high fiber, had a trainer, been a gym rat, taken classes, tried new things, C25K, read books, read blogs, blogged myself, read recipe books, taken challenges...

Where I'm at:  I weigh 237.  I definitely have more muscle than I did 2 years ago.  I have more endurance with cardio.  But I can't get past this plateau.  Because of my weight, I'm at high risk for heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer; I have arthritis in my knees and issues with my feet; I snore and keep my husband and I from sleeping through the night.   I don't want to be here anymore.

Can you guess where this is going? 

I made an appointment with the bariatric surgery center for 8/30/11. 

I know it's not popular.  I know that people are going to tell me not to give up and that I can do it on my own.  But the truth is that I'm not giving up and I will do this on my own.  The truth is that I'm going to do with with another tool to help me.  Just like a calorie counter, the gym and my trainer were tools, so is the gastric banding.

Please don't judge me.  This is a decision not quickly made.  I've thought about this for about 4 years since one of my friends did it.  I've tried several things on my own and with the help of doctors, nutritionists and trainers.  I need more help.  I've discussed my weight at length every 6 months when I see my doctor.  I've discussed this decision with her and she agrees with me.  I hate surgery and fear it because of issues in the past with surgery.  But I'm willing to go through it for ME.  When it comes to medical issues, my motto is always to do the least invasive things first.  And I have. The gyms, the calories, the training, the meals, reading blogs, books, trying new plans.  It's not working.  I need to step up to something more invasive, but that I can live with.

So there.  I've said it. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Did you ever tell someone your worst fear?

I did.

There was nothing either spectacular or earth shattering this weekend.  It was a normal weekend where Pete and I went to a motorcycle club campout.  Well, we did stay in a hotel because we knew we wouldn't get to Hayward, WI until 9pm Friday night.  Setting up the camper in the dark isn't fun and we usually fight.  And I guess you could say that it was unusually cold for August.  Well, there was also the fact that my music didn't work.

I had a good 7+ hours of riding on my bike by myself to do nothing but think and enjoy the ride.

When we got home I was wiped out.  Between the cooler temps, the running around, and the wind, I was tired.  Pete and I took the bag off the bike and settled in for a nap.  When he woke me up an hour later I felt more refreshed, but still tired. 

We lay, cuddled together in bed.  His back to my front, my legs and arms wrapped around his.  Then I told him my worst fear.  And when I did, tears started coming out, as though the words were the keys to release the floodgates.  As though my body had a instant response to my brain and my heart.  They fell silently down my sunburnt/windburnt cheeks and slid over the side of my face into my left ear. 

It's silly really.  Because even though I say this is my worst fear, it's really not.  My worst fear is something happening to Pete or my nieces/nephews or my parents; something happening to my job or Pete not getting a job.  Those things are my worst fears, but they're everyone's worst fears.  They're normal worst fears.  They're things things that everyone can relate to.  My worst fear is something that feels specific to me.  Something that if I utter out loud, then it becomes real.  If I say it, I then admit that it means something to me and I can no longer care that it doesn't.  It feels akin to me telling everyone I was happy when I was single, just so they didn't know how lonely I was.  It both breaks my heart and makes me smile.

But I said it.  And Pete responded the best way that he could.  Lovingly supportive.  Confident.  Calm and reassuring.  And encouraging.

Friday, August 19, 2011

It's better to ask than assume

Over time, I have learned that it's better to ask about things that to guess or expect them. 

Case in point.  This is my bathroom.  These are my hand towels hanging from the little cabinet.

The towel on the left I use to dry my hands after I use the bathroom.  The towel on the right used to be a decorative towel and a wash cloth and look pretty.  Then I noticed that those decorative towels were wet, messy and generally not pretty.  So I started hanging a regular towel.  I'd use the other towel for my hands or mouth after tooth brushing.

Then, one day, I was in the bathroom while Pete was drying off after a shower.  I watched in amazement as he used that right towel  TO DRY HIS BODY OFF after the shower.  So in other words, I was drying my hands and face on his behind....  I asked him how long he had been doing that and he said for some time.  Let's just say that I don't use the right towel any more.  For ANYTHING.

Then last night I came home to this:

For those that don't know, this is a dental tool used in cleaning teeth.  I have TMJ and cannot open very far.  Flossing is a a killer exercise that leaves my jaw tired and cranky.  I was given this my by dentist to use in getting stuck food out.  It's home is in with my toothbrush.

After the towel realization I decided that I needed to get to the bottom of this one right away.  So I asked Pete why it was out.  First he launched into how he was cleaning something and needed to get into a small space.  I was horrified.  Then I looked at his face and saw him smiling.  He actually used it on his teeth.

*sigh*  I'm not thrilled about it, but I can live with it.
It's better to ask, than assume.