Thursday, August 29, 2013

Starting Over

My action plan?  It's allowing me to earn some dollars for a TV.  But, it's not been that push to eat better and get to the gym that I hoped it would be. 

I stepped on the scale the other day and I was 204.  I cried.

I know in my head what I need to do to lose the weight, but can't seem to get to the point where it's put into motion.  I'm addicted to chocolate and sweets.  I've not been drinking as much water as I should.  I eat crappy food because it's easy or convenient or in my cupboard. 

I sit in the living room or bedroom, watch TV or read or internet or whatever.  I don't exercise or walk or do much.  I know that my back and chest are screaming in pain because the muscles aren't supporting the areas.  I know that I'd be more comfortable if I was exercising and I'd sleep better.

My mind goes in various directions in the day.  I have great plans, but they never come to fruition because I can't get my ass up and do them.  I wander the house and see things to be done, but it's easier to just sit.

I know that I need to just start.  That the first week or two will be difficult, but I just need to do it.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

3 Tips to Lose Weight

There are lots of times that I have people ask how I lost weight.  While I tell them what I did, I'd rather be giving them general ideas to try for themselves.  My path to losing weight is just that - my path.  What worked for me, isn't going to work for someone else.  I'd rather that they listen to my tips, ideas and choices and figure out the their path. 

I know, I know!  Everyone wants the quick fix, the easy track or the sure thing.  But the truth is that it's like a unicorn and doesn't exist, except in our imaginations.  The diets may result in loss, but it returns as soon as you return to your normal eating.  The structured weight loss clinics/plans, again they work while you're involved, but stop when you're not involved.  The point here is that you need to learn what works for you and make it your life.  Not a couple of months here and there, your lifestyle for good.

So here are my top three tips:

Get rid of your dinner plates.  You can keep one or two for serving platters, but pack the rest away.  Use that salad plate as your sinner plate.  You are forced to take smaller portions and therefore eat less.  Your brain is tricked into thinking that it's full because you've cleaned your plate.

Find your water bottle.  Sounds strange, but I bought a lot of bottles that were trendy and cute, but didn't work for me.  I don't like aluminum bottles because I like seeing what's inside and after a while they seem to take on the taste of whatever was put in them.  I didn't like the bottles with screw on caps because it was hard to get them off while exercising; not to mention I always wore more water than I drank with the large bottle opening.

As for the contents:  water.  Fill up your bottles with water and drink.  I drink at least 3 of these a day for a total of 75 ounces, along with any other liquids I drink.  I have 4 of these bottles and I keep 2 in the fridge with cold water.  Sometimes I use room temp water because cold water is just too cold.  In the summer especially, I add fresh fruit juice to it.  I take berries, melon or even veggies and put them in the blender/food processor and puree.  Then I let them drain through a fine colander to get out the solids and seeds.  I keep these in small containers in the fridge and add a bit when I need flavoring.

Shop outside.  And by this I mean shop the outside aisles of the grocery store.  Try spending 30% of your budget in the produce section.  Eat what's in season to maximize your spending.  Spend 25% of your budget in lean proteins:  chicken, fish, pork and turkey.  It's fine to add in some beef every week, but the majority of your meals should be lean protein.  30% should be spent in the dairy section; cheeses, greek yogurt, lowfat milk, and eggs.  10% should be spent in the frozen aisles for frozen veg and fruit when not in season.  The other 5%, spend in aisles for grains, legumes and rice.  this my example of how I try to shop most times.  It varies according to what I might be out of or need.

Stop with the pre-packaged, quick, processed foods.  If you are craving cookies, make them yourself.  This accomplishes a couple of things:  first it allows you to know just what is in the recipe you're eating and you can modify it if you want to fit your eating, it makes you work for your food so you know you really want to eat it by putting in the effort to make it and it's not an instant gratification to pull something from a box and eat it.  All good things when trying to lose weight, not to mention get healthier.

It's weigh in Wednesday.  But here's the deal...I'm not going to weigh myself until next week.  Pete is going to help me get started back at the gym and for now, that scale is off limits to avoid more frustration.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

???; Auntie's Day In with Alison

It's no secret, I love my nieces and nephews.  I love that Pete came with a niece and nephew also.  It started out with Alison, my sister's daughter.  I used to borrow her a lot when she was a baby and toddler.  It migrated to me taking Alison and her brother Grant each out for a day with me in the summer to do whatever they wanted.  Auntie's Day Out.  Love it.

This summer?  What, you mean there was a summer?  I totally feel like I missed out on any summer with planning for surgery, having surgery and recovering.  So it's the week before school starts around here and we haven't done Auntie's Day Out.

I talked to Alison, who is now 11, and told her that I still don't do a whole lot and sometimes I nap.  I offered to just have her come to my house for the day and hang out with me.  She was game.  At this point, I'm not sure if she's excited to spend time with me or is only putting up with me so she can spend time with Nico.  Either way, we'll take it.

I planned on going to the craft tore for a project, but that never happened.  Honestly, we stopped at the grocery for lunch items (grilled cheese), dinner items (ham, mac & cheese and corn) and wet home.  I was tired and sore already.

We (and by we, I mean me) made lunch.  Grilled cheese for Alison, grilled cheese & tomato for me) and cleaned up.  We set ourselves up in my bed, where Alison watched a 90 minute movie and I slept.  We got up and baked some cookie dough we bought and then cut veggies to make refrigerator pickles.  By that time it was dinner which we (again, me) cooked and ate.  Then it was time to take Alison home.

I came home at 7:30 and Pete was right behind me.  We chatted and he left to go take shake mix to a client and I headed to bed. 

Auntie's Day In totally wore me out.

Monday, August 26, 2013

204; Action Plan Monday

Wednesday: 7 points
Thursday: 7 points
Friday: 0 - I didn't track so no points
Saturday: 8 points
Sunday: 5 points

Goal:  $150
Total Points/Dollars: $27

I think what I quickly discovered is that I need a purpose in life.  And while recovering, I had no purpose.  I wasn't working with timelines and to do lists and decisions to be made on a daily basis.  I wasn't cooking/baking for Pete and I which gives me a sense of being a wife and gives me a sense of making people in my life happy.  I wasn't cleaning the house or playing with the dog which makes me feel adult and a homeowner.  My purpose was to recover and get better, but it was all about me, no deadlines and not helping anyone else.

This action plan, gives me back a sense of purpose before I go back to work.  It prompts me to do things around the house like shopping, cooking, cleaning, getting out and going to the gym.  It forces me out of my little cocoon and back into what makes me feel good.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

`199.2; Cut The Crap

Tuesday afternoon I made myself take a shower and go grocery shopping.  I needed to get out in public and I hadn't been to the grocery store in 2 weeks.  I also went to a farmers market that is new to me. 

Before I went, I made a list of what I needed.  Not what I wanted.  It takes about a week to get rid of food cravings.  I know this because I've done it before.  After about a week, my body no longer craves the crackers, cookies and cake.  It takes a couple more weeks, but then my body starts craving protein and produce.  Before this happened for me, I thought it was a line of bull to get people to stop eating sweets, but it really does work for me. 

The farmers market wasn't as big as the one that I usually go to, but I get fresh basil (turkey and hot turkey sausage meatballs with fresh tomato sauce for a dinner and a bread salad with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and olives.), a beautiful cantelope and some Japanese eggplant.  The eggplant is something I've never tried, so I'm going to make something with those.

I actually stuck to my grocery list at the store.  I came home with lots of produce and no cake, chocolate and crackers.  I cut up the fruit and separated it into different containers so that I could just grab one and eat, instead of having to cut it all up or clean it before eating.  No excuse not to choose that.  I cut some of the produce up into bags so that I can just dump it into a fresh green salad.  I put the tomatoes on the stove to start cooking my sauce.  After a couple of hours I let it cool and put it in a bag in the fridge to continue cooking when I make the meatballs.

I spent Wednesday morning cutting out the crap.  I tossed the open bags of chips, crackers and crap on my counter.  I dislike wasting food, but I'm not going to force myself to eat it when I know that it's not good for me.

Today I plan on hitting up my favorite farmers market.  I'm going to get another jar of local honey.  I want to continue using it to see if it will help my allergies this fall.  German bread for Pete from the German baker.  Cucumbers and dill to make some refrigerator pickles. More fresh tomatoes to use in salads.

Yesterday = 7 points to my TV!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

199.8; Pity! Party of One.

Yesterday I was supposed to go to a training for work.  I signed up for it, even though I'm on medical leave because I am about 1 hour short on my total for the year.  But he closer it got, the more I didn't want to go.  Initially I told myself that it was because I just didn't want to go.  So I started talking to Pete via text about it.  When I pulled away the layers, I realize that there were specific reasons for not wanting to go. 

I'm mentally tired of explaining what surgery I had and why.  I still have people in my life questioning my choices.  Maybe not directly to me, but to family members and to Pete.  And every time I hear about it, I'm a little more beat down.  I made this choice to have an elective mastectomy because I have close to 60% chance of breast cancer and doing it this way means no chemo, radiation or the side effects of those treatments.  Are there things about doing it this way that are hard?  Yep.  But they definitely don't compare to life long issues because of chemo.

I'm afraid of people staring at my foobs.  And it's already happened.  It happened before surgery; as though they wanted to memorize what I looked like to compare afterwards.  Last weekend I told someone about the surgery and watched their eyes.  The leave my face and for a second, they focus on my foobs.  I have a shirt that says "Of course they're fake, the real ones tried to kill me!"  Other than wearing it all the time, I don't know how to address this.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I needed to push myself out of this comfortable cocoon of a home and go out in public again.  And from that I realized that I need to push myself out of my comfort zone with my weight again.  And by the end of the day I had an action plan.

Action Plan

Goal:  I want a TV that costs about $150 for my office/our second bedroom.

Plan:  I'm hanging a list of things to do each day and each thing I do is a $1 toward to TV Fund.  It's up to mw to chose how many, if any, I do each day.  I take the lead and I need to live up to my expectations and no one else's.

Items: So far, my list includes this following items.  But, I reserve the right to add things along the way.
  • Workout at the gym for at least 30 minutes
  • Be outside in the sun for at least 1 hour.
  • Spend 15 minutes meditating.
  • Shower & be presentable for company.
  • Drink at least 80 ounces of water a day
  • Wash and moisturize my face twice a day.
  • Eat at least 3 servings of vegetables a day.
  • Spend 30 minutes reading.
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep a day.
  • Eat 3 meals a day with 2 planned snacks.
  • Spend 30 minutes cleaning a room in the house.
  • Eat at least 3 servings of fruit a day.
  • Spend at least 30 minutes walking Nico.
  • No added sugar treats for the day (chocolate, cake, ice cream...)
  • Make a new recipe or try a new vegetable/fruit/grain/food item.
  • Do at least 1 out of the house errand.
I printed out a calendar for August and September and hung the list next to them.  This action plan starts now.  Every Monday I'll share my results and how it feels and if it's prompted any changes.

I feel stronger, somehow better, just knowing that I have a plan.  I feel like I moved back into living in grace; being kinder to myself and loving myself by flying back out of the nest.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I haven't been weighing myself daily.  Truth is that I've been afraid to step on the scale.

This morning I knew that I had to do it.  I needed the accountability of the number.


No way to sugar coat that is there?  I worked so flipping hard to get out of the 200's and into onederland.  I vowed never to return to the 2s. But, here I am.

Partially I think that I'm experiencing a bit of situational depression.  I spend all flipping day with myself.  I've stopped reading and I mostly watch reality TV.  I haven't been walking and my attempt at the gym hurt.  I eat things like: Pizza Ranch pizza, chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate Chex Mix, smoked mozzarella pasta, Nutter Butters, grilled cheese sandwiches, ice cream sandwiches...  Essentially crap food.

Truth is that the food is filling the void of work, human interaction and something to do.  Truth is that I'm eating when I'm bored.  Truth is that I'm sitting in my chair instead of getting outside and working off the crappy food that I eat.  Truth is that I can't do the fun things that I want to, so I eat. 

Truth is that I'm a bit depressed about it all. 

Truth is that the person that I would usually tell all this to is Pete and I don't want to burden him with it.  He already feels guilty for leaving the house and doing things, I can't make him feel more guilty, I just can't.

Truth is that I keep walking up everyday hoping that there is some spark that turns this lonely car of one back around and in the right direction.

Monday, August 19, 2013

???: Monday, Another Day Recovering

Let's recap, shall we?

Thursday I got up and went to the gym.  Yay Me!  I walked for 30 minutes at a 3-3.5 with an incline of 1.  Then I walked 5 minutes at a 2.5 with an incline of 7.  Burned 250 calories and felt great.  I came home, ate lunch and went to the doctor.  I'm progressing exactly as I should.  I have a spot under my left foob that isn't healing, but it's ok.  I have the lump above my left foob that isn't getting better; in fact he still thinks it's a blood clot because if it was inflamed tissue and fat it would have gone away by now.  And my foobs are lopsided; lefty is hanging a little low.  But, all of this will be cleared up in 4 weeks when I go in for my fake nipples; which shall be known as fipples from here on out.  This surgery is about 2 hours in length and will be a same day surgery.  It should happen 3 days after I'm scheduled to return to work full time.

After he doctor, I hung out in the area and waited for the Farmers Market to open.  I got some German pretzels for Pete, some heirloom cherry tomatoes, basil bunch, heirloom colored beans, local sweet corn and local/single source honey.  That honey?  Oh My Gosh.  Buckwheat, full flavor, nutty, intense honey.  I've been putting it on everything and mixing it in everything I can think of.  I'll definitely be going back for more.

Friday.  Friday sucked.  I used the heart rate monitor and a sports bra when I was at the gym.  The ribs under my foobs felt like they were being poked all.the.time.  I forget that they took parts of ky ribs out when they did surgery for blood supply.  And that's the day I noticed lots of little ends of stitches poking out everywhere.  I have about 5 of them between my foobs.  They get caught on things and poke my skin.  I was sore and ended up doing much of nothing.

Saturday a friend picked me up to take me to where Pete was camping with our motorcycle club.  We left about 11 am and didn't get home until 8pm.  I was exhausted, tired, sore and worn out.  I loved being in public and with friends and getting out of the house.  But it just knocked me out.  I'm still tired today and I did nothing Sunday other than relax and rest.

Sunday I watched all 3 Toy Story movies.  I'm 43 and I still love those movies!

Today?  Monday?  I'm a slug again.  I have no energy and I'm just tired.  I think being outside all day on Saturday got my allergies in high gear and my throat is sore.  I'm still trying to recover physically.  Mentally I want ot be back out in the community, doing things again.  I want to head back to the gym and be active and start losing weight again. 

I have high hopes for Tuesday....

Thursday, August 15, 2013

198; Motivation & Support From Strangers

When I was called for additional mammogram images in April (post here), my life changed forever.  Scratch that, my life seemed to stop.  Everything went along in slow motion, as though the film reel of my life was stuck somewhere.  I made the decision to blog about it, mostly so I could get these swirling, overwhelming feelings and thoughts out of my head and into the world; to lighten my load by sharing it.

I posted some questions on some of the message boards that I belong to, on my blog and in real life.  I read online articles, other women's blogs and books on the subject.  I kept a big notebook with information about what I learned, lists of questions for doctors, and lists for myself.

But along the way I was given beautiful people.  Women who contacted me after reading my message board posts or blog entries and offered support.  It was beautiful.  It lifted me up when I needed it.  It allowed me to ask the delicate questions that no one else could answer.  It let me vent when I needed it.

One of the women is:

She sent me a comment that was so supportive and understanding and ENCOURAGING.  It brought me to tears and made such an impact in the days leading up to my surgery.

5 weeks post bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction, I still struggle with how to describe what I've been going through.  I've had people ask me in stores if I was ok because of the slow walking and difficultly in lifting.  I tell them that I had a mastectomy and they tell me they're sorry about my cancer.  Only I didn't have cancer; the pathology was negative.  I tried explaining once and then I started just nodding and now I just tell people that I had breast cancer surgery.  It's confusing at times for me, so I can only imagine how confusing it is for others.

So today, I am sending you to Gayle's series on Life As a Previvor.  She explains how she left, the steps she took and her outcome in a several part series.  It's not all posted yet, but I encourage anyone who doesn't understand the thought process, the choices to be made and what life is like afterwards to please read this.  She does a great job explaining it all.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

197.2; Why Did You Start Losing Weight?

I was trying to find a quote on Pinterest that I've decided was only a figment of the Dilauid/Morphine I was given in the hospital.  It's no where on Pinterest or the web.  But while searching, I found this:
"Reality check: you can never, ever, use weight loss to solve problems that are not related to your weight. At your goal weight or not, you still have to live with yourself and deal with your problems. You will still have the same husband, the same job, the same kids, and the same life. Losing weight is not a cure for life." ~ Dr Phil
Holy Buckets!  Yes.

I'll admit that part of what I wanted to do by losing weight, was make my life better.  Be more powerful, more in control, happier.  And while that's occurred, life is not perfect.  That's ok.  I don't want to sail through life without challenges or issues, because it would be pretty boring and I really believe that those lows make the highs so much better.

The issues surrounding my weight gain are still there.  The difference is that I believe I know what they are and I can deal with them. The emotional eating, the comfort eating, the lonely's still there.  But I know a bit more on how to deal with it. 

So did you think life was going to change with the pounds shedding?  Did you learn something new about yourself?  Do you have more awareness of what may have caused your weight gain?

It's weigh in Wednesday.  I talk a lot about needing to find motivation in various places.  The internet is one of them.  So click the picture and find some motivation in other people who are in your shoes!

Weigh In Wedneday

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

196; My Back To School Shopping

I went shopping yesterday.  Kind of like back to school shopping.  I used to love back to school shopping.  All those new clothes and office supplies.  Shiny and new and mine.  It was my favorite part of the year! A few pieces of clothing that could be worn while I work from home, wear to the office and wear out when Pete and I go do things.

I think I spent 2 hours in Kohls pushing around the shopping cart and adding things.  It was difficult, both physically and mentally.  Physically I ended up going back to the carts and getting one with 4 wheels so I wasn't using so much effort to push that cart around.  Mentally.  Well mentally I was all over the place.

I feel like I disliked my body and the way it felt to be in it so I went on this long journey to lose weight.  I lost almost 100 pounds and had this new body.  It took me a while to get used to it.  To learn the curves and the angles.  To learn how to dress this new body.  I finally become used to this body and my new life and again I have changes.  I have this surgery that changes my waist, hips and abdomen. 

So here I am again, trying to learn this body.  I'm trying to learn the curves again.  And once again I'm left wondering if the size that I'm at now will be the size that I remain?  I'm in medium shirts for the most part; still the same shirt size.  But pants?  Boy this is gonna be a ride.  At this point I still have to wear this binder while I'm awake.  It's about 10 inches wide of elastic and Velcro.  I wrap it around my waist and hips as tightly as I can and put clothes over it.  It does add bulk.

I tried on 2 paid of pants; a khaki stretchy jean and blue jeans.  The jeans I couldn't get zipped and they didn't come over my thighs all the way  So I just put those back and bought a size up; size 16.  For the other jeans, I fit into my 14.  But at this point, it['s not pretty.  The thighs are tight, but because of how the pants are made, the waist is snug (with the binder).  I bought them and I'm going to keep them in the closet with the receipt to think about.  The jeans that I bought?  Well, when I got home they fit in the thighs nicely.  But, they gap in the waist; my usual problem.  So they are going back.

I feel somewhat like I am back in the same place as I was a year ago, frustrated with my new body and trying to figure it out.  At times I want to give up and go back.  At times I wish that I hadn't rocked the cart, so to speak.  But logically I know that this is but a bump in my journey to get where I want to and I just need to keep moving forward.

Monday, August 12, 2013

195.8: Balancing Back to Normal

Last Wednesday (8/7) was 4 weeks since surgery.  Last Monday (8/5), my supervisor called asking when I thought I'd be back.  I had to take a pause.  My doctor's note indicates 6-8 weeks with an additional 2 weeks of part time before I transition back to full time.

I told him that I honestly didn't know.  There are hours where I think, hey I could do that computer stuff and work.  And there are several days like this previous weekend, when I'm not sleeping and in pain and trying to sleep every few hours.  I have no idea where I'll be in 4 weeks.  I may need some additional time or additional part time to be able to return.

On Friday Pete and I went to my Grandma's house, a place of comfort and caring, so he could help her with a new computer.  In the 4 hours that we were there, I fell asleep twice for about 30 minutes each.  When we got home at 3pm, I fell asleep almost instantly and slept hard for 3 hours.  Clearly, I'm currently in no shape for lengthy trips out of the house.

The fallout of course, is that my need for sleep to recover is really screwing with my insomnia that I normally suffer with.  So I slept on Friday afternoon because my body obviously needed it.  In return I slept 11 hours over the weekend with no naps.  My insomnia flared and I ended up having to take Ambien last night to get a full night's sleep.

So I need to rethink this plan of mine for recovery.  I need to start shooting for balancing my recovery needs with my usual needs and strive for "normal" again.  I'm finding it's not so easy.

Friday, August 09, 2013

196.6; Friday Five, Photo Edition

Crochet:  I have a nice pile of nubby cloths.  I'm going to keep going to about 20 in various colors.  Then I'm going to find some small bars of soap and give a cloth & soap as a little gift for Christmas.
My Nook:  I've read "For the Sins of My Father by Albert DeMao, The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel, Beyond Belief by Jenny Miscavige Hill, Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum and now I'm onto Damascus Countdown by Joel Rosenberg.

Moisture:  These are my favorite things for moisturizing my hands.  I love them!

My chair:  They came to pick it up on Monday.  It's definitely a bit more difficult.  I can't sleep inn the chair that usually goes in our living room.  The couch isn't comfortable.  And I have issues sleep in bed still.  But I'm making the best of it. 

My new maxi dress:  The first time I felt beautiful again after surgery.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 08, 2013

197.2: Medical Updates

Bump Watch 2013:

I detailed how the doctor thought I may have a blood clot in this post.  After an ultrasound, they believe that it's some inflamed tissue and dying fat.  The doctor prefers to leave it and see if my body will just absorb the dying fat and the tissue will settle down.  Now as gross as all this sounds, the dying fat is normal.  They expect some of this.  the doctor has said all along that it's likely that they would have to go back in and do some additional liposuction to even out my breasts and that some of the fat may die and that also can be corrected.

So I've been living with this.  But currently, we are on Bump Watch 2013.  Over last weekend I was sweeping (I know!  I know I shouldn't be doing it.) and then the area around the bump was more sore than usual.  A few hours later, I moved my left arm and a pain shot through my chest by the bump.  Since that time, when I move, there are random times that I feel the same pain.  Monday night it happened when took something from the table next to me and moved it laterally towards me.  Ouch.  Then it reoccurred in bed.  After a couple times of it happening, I tend to hold my arm against me when I walk and stop using my arm.  I turned to the right to grab something off my nightstand and then back to the left to talk to Pete and the searing pain shot through my chest and up my neck.  So we started Bump Watch 2013:

It's about 3 inches around and very hard at night.  It's decreased in pain, size and not as hard in the morning.  I know that I need to ask about when to do something and what would happen with this bump.  It's prohibiting me from doing things like exercising my shoulders/arms, showering, writing/typing, etc.

Dead Skin Watch 2013:

So, I have a patch of skin under my left breast that is dying.  Again, it's something that they expect.  As long as it's not spreading/growing, it's ok.  I've been watching it for the last week.  When it started, it was the size of a nickel.  Now, it's the size of a pencil eraser.  But it's getting better.

Gastric Band Update:

I went from 10.15cc to 8.15cc prior to surgery.  I didn't want any food sticking to issues with possible nausea while recovering.  In the hospital there were times that I had dry heaves the night after surgery.  It was horrible.  Not only did it hurt my abdomen and chest to have to flex the muscles, but it would have been much worse if there were issues with my band while that was happening. 

I went back Wednesday and had my band doctor put more back in the band.  I'm over eating because I know that I can and I need that fill to remind me to STOP.  So she put 2 of the 3cc back in.  I feel less hungry already and less interested in food again.  I ate less for dinner and breakfast.  Whether it's purely in my head or not, I have no idea.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

197.4; Dear People Who've Noticed Me...

A friend of mine writes this blog:  My Eclectic Mess.  She's funny, sarcastic, but honest.

Last week she wrote this post:Dear Men Who Just Noticed Me Since I Lost Weight...  Go read it.  I'll wait here.

Did you read it?  By the end of it were you saying, "Yes.  Yes!" ?

I was.  I've talked before about how it's weird to have men notice me now.  How opening a door seems like so much more than just a door.  Before it felt like men did it out of sympathy or because someone else was around.  Now it happens much more frequently and I see them checking me out while they do it.  I've talked about how strangers are nicer to me by offering advice in stores, both men and women.  Before I could have stared at that shelf of light bulbs forever, now I have 3 staff and one customer giving me suggestions. 

At times I want to yell to these people, "Why didn't you show me the same attention when I was overweight?  I was still a consumer; still a PERSON."  I mean, talk about screwing with not only your body image, but your head!  It's as though the world is telling me that I'm a more interesting person, the thinner I get.  And despite trying to ignore it, this is reinforced publicly about once a week.

It's frustrating.  I'm still the same person I was when I was overweight.  Mostly.  The only thing that's changed, is that I force myself to engage these people now when they do this.  Whereas before, I would have shied away, lowered my head and left as soon as possible.

When Beth posted her blog last week I posted this on Facebook: 
The thing is, Pete loved me when I was overweight and I loved him likewise.  Pete supported me while I lost weight, and I supported him likewise.  Pete loves me and pays attention to me now that I'm skinny(er), and I do the same to him.  I am thankful EVERYDAY that I found a man who loves me for me.  Part of my vows to him included that he loved me for me as I am, not who I was or who I may become.  He loves me for me, here and now.

I appreciate being noticed every once and a while.  Let's be honest, it's sometimes a boost to your confidence to feel noticed.  However, most times, I don't know how to handle these situations because I spent 30 years trying to be invisible and I have no practice at it.  I leave the situation, a bit unsure of myself and how I handled it because I don't ant to encourage men; I love Pete and only Pete. 

Have you noticed people treating you differently as you lost weight?  How do you deal with it?

Weigh In Wedneday

It's weigh in Wednesday!  Go check out some new blogs for some new inspiration on your journey!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

198.2; Just Keep Swimming

Yesterday I put my plan in place.  I knew it was going to get steamy hot and possibly rain in the afternoon.  So about 9am I got ready to do my 30 minutes walking.

I put the heart rate monitor on.  But it felt weird, tight.  I obviously have numbness in my chest and abdomen.  But I couldn't tell if the strap on my chest felt weird because of the numbness or because it was really too tight?  I loosened it a bit and put the watch on.

I got dressed, but this too was strange.  I only have these little Coobie Bras because I can't wear underwires or molded cups or more supportive bras yet.  I'm used to compression bras to help prevent jiggling.  I usually wear compression shorts under my pants/capris, but can't put those on yet either.

After getting dressed, I grabbed my phone and earbuds, a hat and glasses.  Then I felt guilty about leaving the dog at home when he really loves walking.  So I strapped him in his harness and we started out.

But it wasn't anything like I expected.  Nico kept randomly stopping and pulling while walking.  My heart rate monitor wouldn't sync with the watch because it's getting pretty old and the strap is coming apart.

 I kept telling myself to just keep going and it would get better.  But it never really did.  I ended up cutting the walk short and we headed home to only complete 23 minutes. 

My lesson in all of this?
1.  I tried.  Really gave it a try and didn't quit before I even started.  I can do anything for 15 minutes and if I'm not into it, then I can stop.
2.  I need a new heart rate monitor.  I'm looking at this H7 so that I can use it not only with gym equipment, but with the app on my phone.
3.  It's ok to stop.  It's not worth hurting myself at this point by toughing it out with the dog pulling/stopping.
4.  I'm not ready to walk with the dog yet.
5.  I have a whole new day today to try again!

PS.  I'm totally taking the 1 pound loss for my 23 minutes walking.

Monday, August 05, 2013

199.0; I Don't Believe In Myself

When I was big/fat/overweight, I used to look longingly at those who ran.  I'd wonder why they did it, because it's surely not fun.  But there was this mystique about running and what happens when you run.  I'd wonder if I could do it, this running.  And soon it became something I was wanting to do.

As I got thinner, I pushed myself on that treadmill.  2 miles, 3 miles and soon I was running 7 and not even thinking about it.  Then I ran the 5K outside with Pete timing me and realized that I can run.

For the last two years I've told people I'm going to run the Women Who Rock 10K. 

Last year I printed out the training schedule and started doing it.  I got into week 2 and sort of stopped.  then my family decided to go on vacation the week prior to this.  I'd be returning the day of the race.  So I stopped training and made excuses.  I made excuses to everyone, including my gastric band doctor.

Earlier this year I talked to some women who had run it and some who had run other races.  They all told me that the way I was running already meant that I could run it.  They encouraged me to do it.  So again at the beginning of the year I started planning and looking at training schedules.  Then I had the abnormal biopsy, surgery and running is out of the question for the immediate future.

Whew.  Whew?  Really?

I watch Extreme Weight Loss, Biggest Loser and other weight loss shows and see how everyone runs not just 5K/10K or even half marathons, but full marathons.  And it's now occurred to me that I don't yet believe in myself.  I don't think that I can run that.  Even though I've run more than 10K on the treadmill many times. 

I don't believe in myself.  It's a slap inn the face.  It's a barrier to moving on in weight loss.  It's a hurdle that I need to overcome to keep going.  I think this surgery was somehow meant for me to start over with gaining strength and learning to do cardio again.  Learning to set goals, meet goals and push myself within reason.  I want to use this surgery to reenergize the working out and being healthy and losing more weight.

So I've upped my walking.  And starting today I'll be wearing the Polar HRM and walking outside for 30 minutes each day.  I'll increase the time by 15 minutes every other week. 

Friday, August 02, 2013

196.6; Friday Fives - BBQ Sauce Recipe Edition

1.  The days are getting monotonous.  But it's amazing what tires me out.  Just a 30 minute ride in the car with a couple of errands results in a nap.  I've been sleeping in bed this week.  It's frustratingly hard to do and I wake up sore and uncomfortable after about 5-6 hours. 

2.  I've been doing more and more myself.  But I have to be resourceful.  I used the  BBQ tongs to reach down and get my clothes out of the washer to get them into the dryer.  I swear I washed them afterwards.

3.  I've been almost totally off the pain meds (other than a few here and there) for a week.  It's a good thing.

4.  I have this urge to drive.  This is the longest I've not driven a vehicle since probably I was in college and didn't have a car.  I have the clearance from the doctor to drive short distances, maybe 15-20 minutes.  But I swear Pete's about ready to hide the car keys at the mere mention of me driving.

5.  BBQ Sauce Recipe.  I make my own so that I can tweak it how I want it.

1/2 cup Chili Sauce
3/4 cup ketchup (find one without HFCS)
2/3 cup molasses
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 T worcestershire sauce
3 teaspoons ground, dry mustard
3 teaspoons Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon powdered garlic
1 teaspoon powdered black pepper
1/2 teaspoon siracha sauce

This is a cold processed  sauce, meaning you don't cook it.  I mix it all in a medium bowl with a whisk.  Then I put it into the squeeze bottles and let it sit on the counter.  As it sits at room temp, the flavors blend and give it a wonderful sweet start and spicy/warm finish.  I adapted the sauce from here.  Pete and I usually use this up in a couple of weeks and we keep it in the fridge after the first use.  Couple of hints:  1. Use any spices to flavor it differently - for a Mexican flare, add cumin and chili powder - for Asian, replace the vinegar with rice wine vinegar and the worcestershire with soy.  2.  Any dry spices need to be powdered or blended in the blender/stick blender so that they fit through the spout of the squeeze bottle.  Or it's very frustrating. 3.  Try to find the sauces used that have less ingredients, no HFCS and more organic.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

197.2; My QVC Addiction

I'm just gonna say it, I've been with QVC since the beginning of time.  I once left work on a lunch break to come home, watch a show and order a piece of jewelry.  Of course this was before the internet was an ordinary thing and when my job was temporary and I could schedule this.  Oh, and I lived like five minutes from work.

My Mom however, is a true addict.  It started, interestingly enough, when she had her mastectomy and was at home.  She spent the better part of that year doing chemo treatments every 3 weeks.  She couldn't leave the house, other than work, so that she didn't get sick.  She watched a lot of TV.  And shopped.  On QVC.  I think most of what we got for Christmas that year was from QVC.

I've had periods where I watch a lot of it and order a fair number of things.  I did it when Bare Escentuals was new and I couldn't get it in stores.  I LOVED the scents they used to produce and wore the perfume for about 10 years.  I bought some clothes when plus sizes were hard to find and when they were the same price as regular sizes and looked the same.  I bought jewelry with my aquamarine birthstone when it was hard to find around here (although it still is).

So since I've had surgery, I've bought a initial necklace, some Tarte BB Cream and Philosophy Total Mattness Duo.  The BB cream and the mattness duo I could have bought in stores near me.  But I got the brush with the cream and thought it was a good deal.  The mattness duo I did check out in stores.  It's $45 for just the primer and another $25 for the cleanser.  So that is a great deal and it's on auto delivery to keep shipping for a maximum of 2 years. 

But I've also found myself checking out clothes.  And I get all set to order things and then I remember:  1.  I no longer have to go to work every day so I don't need lots of work clothes.  2.  I have NO IDEA what my body will look like in 30 days, 60 days or this winter.  Two valid reasons why I need to refrain from buying clothes right now. 

So, all this to say that I keep the drone of QVC on the TV when I'm reading and might steal a glance every once and a while.  And I seem to be a walking/writing advertisement for QVC lately...