Thursday, December 27, 2012

In other news…I have an interview…so…Hose or no hose?


I’m very excited (and nervous) about a job interview with a company where I really, REALLY want to work. I had a phone interview for a position that I truly believe I’m a good fit for and they asked me to come in for an in-person interview on January 4th.  WEEEE!!!!!!
Of course…this meant new clothes were in order. So I have a couple of questions. I believe this company’s office environment dresses in a “business casual” way…so these are the two interview outfits I picked out. I’ve decided on the royal blue one with the belt. Any thoughts? Should I skip the sweater and go back to a traditional button-down blouse?
This is the one I'm fairly certain I'm going to wear.

I bought this one sweater, too....just to have.
 
Most importantly…what in the world is the rule on hose these days? Last time I had an interview with a major corporation where I wore a business suit, hose were a must (this was in 1997). I can’t find anything online to really give a definitive answer on this for today. So let’s assume hose are still a must….would you wear skin color, or black hose with this outfit? If black, should it be hose or tights? I’m probably putting way too much thought into this. I haven’t owned hose in forever! Tights, yes….pantyhose, no. I need guidance.

Just hangin Around


So I cured my own sciatica issue. At least, I believe I have cured it…my doctor is skeptical, but I’m no longer in any pain, so that’s all I care about. A week after that last post the pain was just completely out of control. While watching tv in bed one night (during yet another painful spasm, with my legs elevated on a wedge, narcotics in my system and an ice pack on my back), I watched an infomercial for an inversion table and they suggested that it can resolve back pain issues by releasing some of the pressure compressing the vertebrate. I happen to have 2 friends with inversion tables, so I texted one the next day and asked if I could come give hers a try to see if it helped me at all…I was desperate…willing to try anything anyone suggested at that point.
The next day Scott and I did a bunch of driving/sitting/standing/walking….all the things that trigger the start of the spasms for me. By 6pm that night I was just toast…I had broken down crying while in line at a car place….and then again in my car…and one more time once we got home…it was just agonizing. I had already planned to stop at my friend’s house to try her table so I did.

We started out with just a partial inversion…which actually triggered another spasm to start, so I was not convinced that this thing had any value at all. Just to see if I could do it, we also did a quick full inversion, but I didn’t stay in that position very long since it was my first time. She offered to drive the table over to my house the next day and let me borrow it for a few weeks. I figured it couldn’t hurt.
Partial inversion - This isn't me...just a pic I snagged from google.
 
Full Inversion
 

I drove home, walked in the house and took another hydrocodone as the latest round of spasms seemed to be relentless. As the intensity of the pain started to diminish a little, I emailed my boss and told him I wouldn’t be in to work in the morning as I felt like I needed a whole day of just not moving…just to give myself a break from the emotional toll the pain was taking. I knew I would invoke a spasm every time I got up to go to the bathroom, but the goal was to limit the number of spasms overall. My friends dropped off the inversion table and I did one more inversion before going to bed.
In the morning I got up…went to the bathroom, and got back into bed. No spasm. I stayed in bed most of the day, just getting up to occasionally eat and go to the bathroom…I did not have a single spasm the entire day. I was in heaven! I decided to go to work the next day…accepting that the commute in would start the pain up for sure, but after a day of relief from the pain I was ready to deal with it again. So I went to work the next day….walked into the office building…and just got a minor spasm…where my spasms over the weekend had been at a level 10, I would put this one at a 2, max. I had a couple other minor ones as the day went on…but nothing that bothered me. I did another partial inversion for just a couple of minutes that night.
I have been pain free ever since. In fact, some of the pain that I have lived with in my right hip for years is starting to diminish. This inversion table has changed my life! I never, in a million years, thought I would say that about something I saw on an infomercial!
I have done some research and have read things that go either way with this…some say it has changed their lives, some studies seem to show no significant long term benefits. I don’t really know what to make of it accept to say that my own empirical evidence is that for pain relief, this thing has worked for me.

I had an appointment with a physical medicine doctor for this issue three days after doing my first inversion. I was pain free…so he said there was nothing more he would do at this time. When I scheduled the appointment after meeting with my primary care team I was told to expect we would be discussing pain shots, imaging studies and steroid treatments...scary stuff but when the pain is that bad you are open to whatever works. When I told him I had used an inversion table, he had a VERY skeptical look on his face and suggested that I may have “stretched out some tight muscles” but that it would not likely have any permanent benefits and to call him when I’m in pain again. Fine with me.
So…I’m going to be buying my own inversion table (probably this week) so that my friends can have theirs back. I’m eternally grateful to them for changing my life!
I’m getting back into the swing of things with exercising again…feeling so much stronger since resolving the sciatica…it’s amazing! A couple weeks ago (during the sciatica stuff) my knees buckled on the elliptical at the Y…that was scary. Also, I was trying to walk on the treadmill and just felt unusually weak. I’m happy to say those weird/scary weaknesses are gone. My understanding is that they were related to the nerve issues caused by the disc problems. Now I’m back to doing the elliptical without feeling like my knees are going to buckle again.
For Christmas Scott got me a heavy bag and stand. I CAN’T WAIT to get this set up in my garage and start working out with it. My trainer had introduced me to boxing a few months ago….and I LOVE IT. I am so excited!


 

 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sweet Spot + Sciatica


So the good news is that after another .5 cc’s were put back in my band 12 days ago, I seem to have found a sweet spot again that I’m enjoying. I’m actually spending more time “not hungry” than I have in a long time. It’s a nice feeling.
I actually got the fill Monday before TG…which everyone thought I was crazy. I mean, who gets a fill a few days before the biggest food holiday of the year? But I am not big on TG food…really, I’m not. However…I did go to my sister-in-law’s home in Portland for TG, and her husband makes, by far, the best TG food I’ve ever had in my life. So was it a bad idea to get a fill before TG? Well…I came back from Portland 1 lb lighter and still enjoyed a delightful meal, so I’m going to say no. Man…that food was amazing. That man can cook!

The band also helped me to keep portions small for my bonus-baby’s 4th birthday party, where I whipped up a fabulous Mexican Fiesta for her and the 20 other family members we squeezed into my tiny house. Mexican food…mmmmmm….
I’m happy to say that if I were to sit in my doctor’s office and answer the usual pre-fill questions, I finally would be able to answer them the way one would hope a bandster would:

Are you eating more than ½ to 1 cup of food at meal times? NopeAre you taking 15-30 minutes to eat your meal? YepDo you find yourself searching for food? Mostly no…some head stuff thoughAny problems with vomiting? Nope. Nada. Any acid reflux/heartburn? No wayHow much exercise are you getting per week? Screeeeaaaacchhhhh….

So…yeah…I’m having this little Sciatica problem. Holy Toledo, Batman! This stuff is no joke! I went through a round of PT right after the honeymoon and completely resolved it, till last week…now that little pain in my a** (pun intended!!!) is back! It’s a horribly obnoxious pain that starts in my right booty cheek and goes down the outside of my thigh and then wraps around to the front of my shin, stopping at the top of my foot. UGH! It’s obnoxious! When it’s at its worst I will get the spasm every couple of minutes…when it’s every couple of minutes, it takes both a physical and emotional toll on you. One should not be in that much pain consistently…it just ain’t right.
So with that, and with all the craziness of last week with kids/TG/birthdays/visiting MIL, workouts seriously got back burner-ed. Once the pain started on Friday, there was no way workouts were going to happen. I saw a doctor Monday and am learning to work within the spasm boundaries (that is to say, I now know for sure that going from sitting to standing causes them to start, so I try to stand most of the time when possible), so that last night I was actually able to get a good workout in for the first time in a week. I have an appointment with a physical medicine/spine doctor next week to see if more aggressive action needs to be taken (they are thinking it might be a bulging disk pinching the nerve). In the meantime, I’ve done enough to get the frequency of the spasms down by a LOT…like mostly just after I drive my car. I can stand at the office for long, LONG periods of time…so that’s what I’m doing. I’m also swallowing anti-inflammatories every 8 hours and Tylenol in between with a muscle relaxer at bed time and ice packs every 2 hours. Maybe all these pills are the real reason I’m not hungry???  I’m hopeful that I will get another workout in tonight. Last night I did one of my old-school HIIT sessions…I really miss those and plan on bringing them back into my rotation a lot more often.
I have noticed, though, that with pain comes emotional eating...self pitty eating, I suppose. There is less of it right now because I'm "in the zone" with the band, but the pitty eating "search" still happens...you know, where you open the cabinet looking for something comforting to eat even though you aren't at all hungry. Yeah...I shouldn't do that.
Follow up to the plastic surgeon visit a few weeks ago. As I suspected, this guy won’t do my surgery because of my spinal cord injury history. He only does day surgery out of his office and he believes I need at least one night of hospital stay. I understand his concerns…but I can’t help but be disappointed. A night in the hospital is going to double the cost for any of these surgeries. But, I now know that I would be looking at a tummy tuck with the anchor type incision but would not need muscle tightening (since I never had babies) so that will reduce the discomfort during recovery. I also need a breast reduction/lift, which he advises NOT getting done at the same time as the tummy tuck because a lot of blood flow would be needed for all the incisions and risk, of course, increases if there are multiple incision sites.
So…all that said, I now have to look for someone with hospital privileges…which is going to cost a lot more money. *sigh*…so maybe someday. Probably not any time soon.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Did I mention...

...that I have a plastics consult friday? Yeah...I do. I can't afford surgery now, by any means...but I'm curious about my options, and even if I can continue day-dreaming about affording it. I'm worried that my surgical history makes me a not-so-great candidate to do this. Better for me to find out now than to continue day dreaming only to find out later I'm not going to be allowed to do it.

I'm interested in a tummy tuck and breast lift, while also curious if there is any hope for my inner thighs, and someday I'd like to do something about my turkey neck...but the first two are the most important to me right now. My dangling tummy is never going to shrink so much so as to not dangle...and sure would be nice to have one flat tummy instead of two separate dangling tummies (one upper tummy, one lower tummy).

Alas...this is all probably for nothing...but I'd like to find out my options, and the prices, and see if it's something I can start working towards.

Scott, of course, could care less...this is all for my own vanity sake. It will be interesting to see how this consult goes.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Eek! The holidays are coming!

Well I'm several weeks post-fill now and am so glad to have that 1 oz back. I *think* it might have me at a good fill level. I'm TRYING to pay attention to the signs. The great news is that I have not had any bad things...no pb'ing, no sticking....but I do sometimes wonder if just a skosh more would be prudent. Like I said, I'm trying to pay closer attention to my body cues and use this thing as a tool for satiation instead of a barricade for food entry.

My band, however, does not prevent me from eating bad food...that's still on me....and I ate some bad stuff yesterday...like a bunch of cookies made from my MIL's amazing recipe. Nobody to blame but me...but darn if it wasn't delicious!

On a positive note, this year I opted to not participate in Halloween trick-or-treaters at all because I knew that the leftover candy in my house is just impossible to resist...even when I buy stuff I don't even like. So instead of dealing with candy, I went to the gym. One holiday down...2 months of yummy holiday events to go.

Speaking of Halloween...I did dress up for a costume party. What cracks me up about this outfit is that the only thing I had to actually purchase to complete this look was the earrings...the rest I owned. I'm not sure what that says about me...


You need to see the eyes close up...I think they were a work of art, frankly:


It's hard to tell from this pic, but there is a lot of sparkle happening in the eye region! P.S....glitter kinda hurts feels like sandpaper when removing eye makeup at the end of the night. Just sayin.

Due to a financial setback, I'm back to working out on my own again. No more trainer 2 days a week. Worse yet is that my elliptical is dying a slow, painful death. As a result, I am attempting to take advantage of a YMCA membership we have so the kids can go to gymnastics once a week. I hate...HATE driving so far out of my way for my daily workout, but I'm determined to make this work. However, one issue I'm already having is that the Precor ellipticals at the Y have a different stride than my Nordic Track elliptical has at home, and as a result something bad happens to my knee every time I try to use it. A serious injury to my knee would be very bad, so I'm nervous about moving forward. My physical therapist has advised that I try to work my way up to doing the full time on the Precor instead of jumping right in with 45 minutes like I did the first night. That means trying to find something else to do that gets my heart rate up for 30-45 minutes while I work into this new stride. Given my spinal cord limitations, this might be rough...but I'll figure it out. Walking on a treadmill doesn't pump up my heart rate because I can't go that fast...but I might try to work 3 or so various machines in and see what I can make work. I still have some options at home, too...but the change is going to take a while to embrace. Stupid money...and stupid sub-optimal metabolism that doesn't allow me to eat with reckless abandon....grrrrrrr

Back to work today...I like the food and workout routine that comes with going to work. Routine is good...I apparently need routines.

I claimed this was also a halloween costume...except that I wear it all the time. Yes...I'm "Workout Girl!"


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ooh look, my ankle bones are back!

I sure have missed those. It seems as though some of the water weight is finally shedding...thank goodness!

I've gotten a few solid days of exercise in this week...so I'm on the right track. My elliptical is starting to make some funny noises, but who could blame it after how much I've used it the last 2 years, so I think it is high-time for a tune up...my baby is getting some TLC this Saturday. I hope this takes care of the funny noises because I surely can't afford a new machine right now. I'm already looking at giving up my trainer again...a thought that does not make me happy. :(

My band is doing it's job well the last couple of days. As promised I'm trying to pay more attention to "appetite suppression" and only eating when truly hungry, focusing on proteins, etc...it's working. So far I've broken out of the vicious cycle I had gotten myself into of making bad choices and eating just to be eating. Now to just work this extra weight from that experience off....this is where I have a struggle with "patience".

The shooting pains down my right hip and leg are gone...oh sweet respite! I was in so much pain there for a while. I have to really remember to keep my tailbone "tucked under" and my abs "sucked in" when I work out...it really makes a huge difference and I sure as heck don't want that pain to come back! But all the tail-bone tucking and ab-sucking is really giving my core a workout this week...and I'm feeling it every day. It's good though...much better than being in pain!

Time to go do my Thursday workout!



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ahhhh....I needed that

1 CC put back in yesterday. I am on fluids till tomorrow morning...but I am very hopeful that I will start to feel the positive effects of being banded again soon. I need to...I'm a freakin blimp. My in-office weight yesterday was 191! My previous in-office weight one month ago was 179. UGH!!! I have two perfectly valid excuses for this though that I have to try to keep in mind:

  1. About 5 days ago I read that taking spironolactone was dangerous for a fetus so you need to be off of it if trying to get pregnant. We have been sorta trying to get PG for months but kicked it up a notch last month by taking clomid because my "fertile period" was right during our honeymoon...why not give it the "old college try". I read this info about spironolactone on a PCOS message board for women trying to conceive (I have PCOS). A lot of PCOS women take it for some of their PCOS side effects. I happen to take it as a potassium-sparing water pill in addition to my hydrocholorthiazide. As soon as I read that it was very dangerous for male fetuses I stopped taking it. My scale jumped 3 lbs by the end of the next day.
  2. Yesterday was the first day of my period. That ALONE can account for 5 lbs on me, easily...sometimes more. Obviously, I'm not PG. :(
In the mean time, my clothes are tight, I feel like I look aweful (I'm sure this is just me), I keep getting blisters on my feet from my shoes because my feet are so fat right now....I'm just so over it.

But now I have 1 of my 2 removed CC's back, so hopefully I will feel my appetite start to decrease soon. Thanks to Lap Band Gal for posting this article, which I had read a year or more ago but needed the refresher today.

I'd post my menu for today, but it is woefully boring. Protein Smoothie, followed by a protein shake, then another protein shake...and then maybe a protein shake. On to mushies tomorrow!

Oh...and I have not had a single painful back/leg/hip/whatever you wanna call it spasm in 24 hours now. BLISS!

I'm off to physical therapy.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Before and After Pics...what do you think?

I made these to post on my personal trainer's facebook and yelp pages...what do you think?



Thursday, October 4, 2012

Stupid hip pain

So frustrating to be ready and WANTING to work out regularly again, only to get foiled by my hip. I got on the elliptical last night for about 10 minutes but my hip was just NOT having it. It was a cardio day for me, so I couldn't switch to weights because I had done them the night before and am doing them again tonight. The hip pain the last couple of days has been out of control. I finally have an appointment with a PT office today...hopefully I will have some relief soon.

Today's food plan looks remarkably similar to yesterdays because yesterdays changed after my lunch out so I still had everything all packed up to use for today's meals. I still did well through the rest of the day though, I'm proud to say. I'm back to snacking at bed-time which is a problem...I gotta stop that. Those damn cashews are so good and they just call my name. I suppose it's better than a serving of Doritos, right?


This is how yesterday turned out:



This is the plan for today:



I've already indulged in the zone perfect bar today...those might be too yummy to keep in the rotation. However, with 14 grams of protein, it's not THAT bad. The problem is that I'm eating them for a snack time when I'm not all that hungry, instead of saving them for a later snack when I might need something more filling. That's just silly...self control would be good here.

I learned today that my primary care physician is retiring at the end of the year. I'm happy for her...but nervous for me. I have a ton of issues that she and I have gotten down to a science in the last few years. She has been my doctor since 2002. In that time I've gone from needing monthly office visits to only seeing her every 6 months and that is only because my prescriptions have to be renewed. Things like my hip pain I can just call her and request a PT referral and she will give it to me without requiring me to come in. Other doctors (in the same office) insist on me coming in, even if I'm not asking for pain medication...which I find annoying. This happened yesterday...all I wanted was a referral out to PT to have this pain evaluated and most likely get a manual adjustment to fix it...but because my doctor was out for the day, I couldn't get that. They wanted me to come in, which would entail paying for an office visit, taking 1/2 a day of work and driving the 45 minutes it would take from my office to get there, just so they could hand me a PT referral. Instead of dealing with all that I just suffered through the night with the pain and waited for my doctor to be in today...and of course, as soon as she got my phone message, she faxed me a referral. I just saved myself 4 hours of my life, $20 in gas and the money for an office visit and am still getting into PT today, which is what I would have had to do anyway if I had done all that other stuff for the other doc. I hope the transition to a new Primary Care doc goes well.

Earlier this week I started a new supplement in a last ditch effort to try to get pregnant. I've started taking myo-inositol, which I read about on a fertility message board. It's supposed to help with PCOS and I've read a couple of studies that show some weight loss side effects in obese women with PCOS. It's POSSIBLE this supplement has NOTHING to do with this, but my "level of satiation" the last few days has been very good. It could just be a good time of the month for me (cuz heaven knows I can swing wildly on the hunger spectrum)....but it will be interesting to see if I continue feeling this way on this supplement.

PT this afternoon, then a workout with the trainer tonight. And then it will be friday! YAY!!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Food tracking again...like a good girl

Today's food plan...I packed my food for work and then decided to go to lunch (for my favorite chicken bowl!) with my co-worker, so some adjustments were made. The adjustments fit perfectly...I still get a fair amount of calories, a whole lot of food and a very respectable amount of protein. Also, I plan to do an hour of elliptical when I get home...that will be my 3rd workout this week. Not bad for 3 days back into tracking and working out.  I'm determined to get back to doing what worked the first time.

Good news is that focusing on protein (like I was always supposed to) is already helping my lack of restriction situation. I ate cottage cheese for breakfast 2+ hours ago and have been quite satisfied since. I'm also focusing on water and have 32 ounces in so far for today. I can do this...I know I can.

184.6 on the scale this morning. I love shedding water weight!





Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I'm unfilled, married, and 15 lbs heavier

It's all over...the wedding, the honeymoon, the craziness...it's time to finally find some semblance of "normal" again.

In the last few months I had a fill that I did not seem to tolerate well. About 2 weeks before the wedding I went in to see Kat for an unfill because I was vomiting at least once a week. The issue was weird though...I could eat something with no problem one day, but eat the same thing the next day and get stuck on the second bite. It went on like this for far too long. When I finally went back to my clinic, they insisted that I have an esophagram done to make sure I hadn't slipped. The findings were "interesting". While I haven't slipped, I have a bit of an "anterior tilt" which might explain some of the issues I've been having. The most interesting thing, however, is that my doctor said that I had very little restriction at all (I was at 7 cc's in an 11cc band) and said that I was surprisingly successful considering how easily the contrast moved through. At this point there isn't a real understanding as to why I would have the sticking issues...personally, I think my band or stomach moves and the sticking was probably position-dependent...and the position for the esophagram was perfect to allow free-flow through the stoma. But what do I know...I'm no medical professional. I just say this because sometimes it seemed like standing up would help move things along.

The tilt was not "dangerous" per se but because of that and because I was about to leave the country for my honeymoon and Kat did not want to risk any issues while away, she took 2 cc's out of my band.

Man alive can I tell the difference! It's like I have no band at ALL now. UGH! She said that I could have at least 1 cc put back in when I returned if I thought I still needed it....ummm....yeah....as soon as I started eating solid food again I called and scheduled the re-fill. The 4 weeks with less fluid could possibly have helped the "tilt" issue by allowing the stomach to relax and hopefully put things back where they belonged so it was necessary...but oy, did I learn that I'm not ready to let go of the band yet, that is for sure!

So in the mean time, I'm gaining like a champ!

It's not all fat...I know this just because of simple laws of calorie consumption. But it is NOT fun to see these numbers on the scale again. So I'm back to tracking my calories and upping my protein intake while I wait for my fill which is next week. It doesn't help that I had a wedding and a honeymoon in the last few weeks to properly ply me with plenty of delicious food-type items....and being that I clearly have ZERO self control...

Anyway, here are some pictures from the wedding and honeymoon...I weighed 175 the morning of the wedding, 186 this morning. There is work to be done.



The dress made me feel amazing

With the girls...the littlest wasn't too sure about all this




One of my favorites...I'm using this for the thank you cards


 
This picture makes me cry...the way she is looking up to us during the cremony...she is so beautiful!

The rest of these are from the honeymoon...we went on a cruise to Cabo and Puerto Vallarta.


From the formal night on the cruise

On an excursion to Yelapa

On the beach in Puerto Vallarta

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Where did that month go?

Has it really been a solid month since my last post? I gotta tell ya...time is FLYING by...like at ridiculous warp speed. Once I hit the "less than 100 days till the wedding" mark, I haven't been able to keep up with ANYTHING!

For the record...there are 50 days left. 50!

The last 4-5 weeks have been insane. First, I went to Washington DC for the first time, which was amazing. I really enjoyed that trip. I got there a week after the horrible weather and truly lucked out. It was hot, but not humid. the only weather problem I had was a freak rain storm I got caught in while exploring the sites the first evening I was there. I was literally trapped under the eves of an information center for an hour before finally deciding to make a break for it to find a taxi. Once in a taxi I STILL couldn't get back to the hotel because the streets were flooded. Can you believe it! It was the craziest thing.

That's me in front of the White House - before the freak rain storm

While in DC I walked a TON...and I also managed to get 2 workouts in at the hotel gym. I ate "ok"...not fantastic but no damage done.

Then the week after I returned from DC was my 20 year high school reunion. I'm glad I went. It was a crazy action/food/alcohol packed weekend. I'm proud to say that my weight is right back where it likes to stay...181. Could be worse after that level of craziness.

My 10 year reunion was just a couple months after becoming paralyzed...so I was there in a wheelchair, weighing about 300 lbs. In high school I hit 215 as a freshman and just went up from there...so to show up at the reunion walking with a crutch and weighing only 181 was a big deal to me. And I think I looked pretty darn good. Here is a photo from the formal reunion event night. There were some less formal events that led up to this as well.


I got a ton of compliments about looking good...but what was weird was that nobody wanted to talk about the fact that I'm walking...which to me is a greater accomplishment. I feel kinda weird that weight loss is "ok" to cover but learning to walk again is somewhat taboo...is it just me, or is that weird? Or maybe it's my greatest fear of all...maybe everybody thought I was in the wheelchair because of my weight. This has always been the thing that freaked me out the most...the judgement of people assuming that I was in a chair/scooter/walker, etc, because I was overweight, not because I had a physiological issue. I guess I'll never know what people thought was going on. 


I am learning...or my body is changing...not sure which...that my band can be really tight in the morning. I'm not sure I ever really noticed this before because I usually drink a protein shake on the way to work. But I found recently...when trying to eat solid food in the first few hours of the day, that I sometimes can't really get it down. I went out to breakfast with Scott and my dad one morning and literally took 2 bites of a fried egg, and about a tablespoon of hash browns and got stuck....for like 20 minutes. I didn't PB...though I wanted to...but I sat there looking miserable for a while. Once it cleared all was well...but I'm finding this more and more, that the first few bites of solid food in the morning just don't agree with me.

Of course this is becoming an issue NOW as I'm trying to eat more solid foods (again) and rely less on supplements (again), because apparently I don't learn lessons the first time around. This week I've been concentrating on eating a full solid breakfast every morning...no protein shakes AT ALL, and for the most part it makes me less hungry throughout the day. Pretty sure I've blogged about this before, but somehow I lose site of this magic in the glory of the "30 grams of protein for only 180 calories" shake. It's a band basic...eat solid food to feel full...yet somehow I keep forgetting it and getting trapped in the "keep calories low, protein high" mindset of a dieter. Bad bandster!

One more thing real quick, then I have to get back to work (because I'm actually AT THE OFFICE on a Saturday due to some horrid deadlines I'm up against!). Scott was looking through a friends FB photo album the other day and specifically looking at a trip he knew I had gone one. He said he flew right past all the pictures of me, not recognizing me at all, only later realizing it was me because my crutch was next to me. I looked at the picture and have to say...he's right. It's weird. I'm not at goal, but WOW...I don't look the same at all. See for yourself...here's one of the photo's he cruised past without realizing it was me until he saw my crutch:


For the record...I'm the one in white. Wow...I look so different!

Ok...gotta run. Hopefully I will post again super soon! And hopefully it won't be as rushed as this one!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ten Things Thursday

I want to try to get in on this every week...here's my first attempt:

  1. I'm not sure how I feel about this new blogger interface. I'm sure everyone else dealt with it some time ago...but since I'm a bad blogger, I'm just now getting around to noticing the changes. In general I like to think I'm a "go with the flow" kind of person...but I think the reality is that sometimes it takes me a while to adjust to the flow.
  2. I just polished off 2 servings of chicken PLUS a cup of broccoli. I bet I would have been ok with 1 serving of chicken. Why can't I get my brain to comprehend that even now?
  3. A dear friend is in the hospital. She lost site in one eye and it has since been discovered that it was caused by a blockage in her carotid artery that is now dissecting. I'm very concerned for her. She is only 50 years old, has 6 children and 3 grandchildren. I hope she will be ok.
  4. Scott comes back from his business trip in Philly tomorrow. So I have one more night to sprawl out like a bed-hog and enjoy the quiet in the house. The dogs whine in the mornings because Scott lets them sleep on the bed with him after I leave for work. Yeah...the dogs don't whine when he's not there. I guess they know that it won't get them anywhere with me. I so LOVE sleeping in without the incessant whining! I miss Scott...but I'm really going to miss the peace and quiet when he comes back.
  5. I leave for Washington DC in 2 weeks. Excited! I've always wanted to go there. It looks like it's going to be hot as hell though!
  6. I took 2 of the dogs for a lap around the park yesterday...and then didn't do the elliptical. :( I failed, again.
  7. Whenever Scott goes on a business trip he eats crap...and then the day before he comes home he professes that the exercise must start immediately upon his return. I got that text again today...I told him he needs to commit and not just say he wants to do it. Here's hoping we find a way to do this together!
  8. Planning a wedding without your mom is hard, emotionally. It's not impossible...but I do wish she were here to be a part of it.
  9. There is a desert social at my office today at 3pm...I plan on leaving at 3pm to visit my friend in the hospital. I think this is a much better use of my time and calories.
  10. We actually had 3 consecutive days of spring-like weather. Too bad it's summer. Too bad, also, that the rain is supposed to start again tomorrow. *sigh*

There's my 10. And...here's my food log for the day. I have a workout session with Mark tonight...thank heavens!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bathing Suit Shopping

I did well with the motivation to work out last week...and lost it again this week. I will (if it kills me) do at least 30 minutes on the elliptical tonight, and then tomorrow I have an after-work session with Mark (thank goodness he is back!) so hopefully I will get moving the right direction again. Only 4 more days left of the month to get some more pink dots on my calendar! I gotta work it!!!!


Food wise, now that my period is over, things are going soooo much better. I can say that I have made some relatively good food choices in the last week, and even indulged a couple times without going "crazy"...like enjoying a single fast food burrito. I'm sure the taco bell people think I'm crazy when I come through and order only one item for 99 cents. I also enjoyed some chips and salsa from my favorite restaurant, where I managed to not eat the entire basket! That same day I enjoyed a 1/2 of a hot fudge sunday with my 4 year old step-daughter. When I was done I pushed it away and she asked why I didn't finish it and I told her because my belly was full and I didn't want any more. She looked at me like I'd lost my mind...how could someone push away icecream, after all??? I've only had one stuck incident in the last week, and it was totally my fault for eating something bread-related too fast. With hormones out of the way, I think I can finally say I'm at a good fill level.

Friday I decided it was time to buy a couple of swimsuits for my upcoming cruise. I wanted to buy now while there is still a lot to choose from because they will be off the sales floor within the next couple months. So...mentally, was I prepared for this? Eh...hard to say. I can say that I fit into size 12 suits. I can also say that I DESPERATELY need some surgeries (breast lift and a tummy tuck/lower body lift)...and there may be absolutely no hope for my thighs....but all in all, it could have been worse. I even took a couple pictures that I'm sharing here to show what I look like...35 pounds from goal. It's not great...and I know I have no business wearing a bikini top...but I think I will on the cruise. After all, do I give a crap what others think of my stretch marks and saggy upper tummy? Nope...really don't.





I definitely could look better...and really, REALLY need some surgical intervention...but all in all, I'm proud of how far I've come. Of these pictures, I only bought the little black skirt. Although I'm not hating the pink top so much. Anyway...I have 2.5 months to work a little more on my flabby abs...the flab will still be there, but I'd like to minimize the side fat a little more before cruise time. Oooh...that reminds me....I just ordered Jillian Michaels Body Revolution. I think it's similar to my current workouts, but I can't wait to try it out!


One more pic...just cuz it's cute. This is my 4 year old bonus-baby eating an ice cream sunday with me....but she is wearing my workout jacket with the thumbholes in it...and she has her little thumbs through the thumbholes...which for some reason I just thought was the cutest thing ever! I think it was because she was essentially mimicking me...I don't know what this was so heartwarming but it was. She wore my jacket the whole rest of the day while I froze my booty off.



Here's another one of her...just being plane cute eating her "orange rice"...which is what she calls Spanish Rice at the mexican restaurant. I had my favorite bowl of Chicken Tortilla soup, of course.



And finally...here's my food plan for today. Just finished my Chili....delicious!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fail

Well, first weekend attempting new “take back my time” was an epic fail. I will try again next weekend. My excuse is uber-crankyness and serious cramps due to my period…I’m sticking with that story. I’m just now emerging from my serious funk. I'm hoping for a better week but work is bringing me down lower. I need to snap out of this.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

SparkPeople chicken count too good to be true?


The Teriyaki Chicken Hot Bowl of goodness!
Today I actually went through the effort of weighing out the chicken that comes in my hot bowl because I wanted to make sure I was accounting for it correctly in my food log. Turns out that I had actually over-estimated the weight. I thought I was eating 200 grams but it's really only 170. Anyway, I was feeling pretty good about this till I started poking around on the interwebs and found SEVERAL different answers for how many calories in 170 grams of chicken. Now I'm confused and don't know what to believe. I hope SparkPeople is correct...because if that is wrong (and this is not an "end user entry" item), then I'm left to doubt all other entries. Bah!

Here's a picture of what my food log looks like for today. The snacks are divied up between meals. My surgeon has us eating 6 meals a day. I'm not sure how people that do only 3 times a day do it to be honest...except on days where I eat a BIG meal (like the chicken bowl days), I'm ready for a light snack 2-3 hours after a meal. And I actually don't ALWAYS eat everything in my plan...I play it by ear. I start the day by entering my "plan" into the nutrition tracker...and sometimes I will skip a piece of cheese or something, usually to save calories for my taco-time with Scott. In any case...this is the plan for today, and if I cut anything it will be the cheese, and maybe the laughing cow cheese/crackers, and possibly the pudding and Kashi (which I mix together and is delicious!)...seriously, this chicken bowl is so filling. I'm not sure WHEN I'll be hungry again!

If all is correct on this, I should get 122-136 grams of protein in today....not bad I think. I've been trying to get about this much for the last week or so.

Scale dipped it's toe below 180 today...not sure if I can count it just yet. My period is due today...but it's toying with me. The next few days on the scale should be fun. I did NOT get up to work out this morning as I had planned, and the kids will be dropped off at the house at 7pm at which time we pretty much promptly start "bedtime routine"...so I may have to wait to workout after Scott comes home tonight. That will suck, but I don't want to lose the streak I have going on right now.

That's it for now...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Refocusing


I really enjoyed going to the support group last night and am looking forward to going again in two months. Unfortunately I just realized that I can’t go next month because I’m flying to Washington DC that day for a work conference. POO!!!!

 
Last night at the support group I set 2 goals for myself to work on in the next month. I’m adding a third here today:

 
  1. Make my home “safe”. I’m having big issues right now with buying foods that I think I can eat “in moderation” and then binging on them. I need to just not buy them, period. So that is my first goal…not allowing the problem food into my home.
  2. Take my weekends back. Since I started dating Scott, my weekends have been consumed with bonding with the girls, entertaining the girls, giving quality time to the girls. I’ve lost giving myself that one hour of quality time, except for the occasional Saturday training session with Mark. Raising kids is absolutely exhausting work…and I only do it 2-3 days a week. But I need to take those 1-2 hours for myself back on weekend days so that I can bring up the number of days in total I’m working out each week.
  3. I need to blog at least once a week. I lost ground here. My future step kids, my future husband, my upcoming wedding…it has all been a lot to work into my schedule. Things got dropped. But I need the accountability. I need to post my silly pictures of my workout log for the month, and my lunch box for the day. I need to participate in this process again. So…here we are in June…this is blog number 2. No more of this 1 blog a month crap….it’s time to step it up.

So…just to get things kicked off in the right direction. Today is Wednesday…I have successfully worked out 3 days in a row this week. My weight is down to 180.2, even after dining out at a Thai restaurant and enjoying a very small piece of chocolate cake yesterday. My meal breakdown was like this:

 
Breakfast: Protein shake (30)

Snack: ½ cup Cottage cheese (14)

Lunch: 3 chicken skewers with Thai Peanut Sauce and one very small slice of chocolate cake (24)

Snack: String cheese (6)

Dinner: Protein Shake and Broccoli Salad (35)

Snack: 4 bites of Scott’s steak taco (8ish?)

Indulgence: Single Reese’s PB Cup

 
Total calories for the day 1400 (I might have counted the chicken skewers too high though), total protein, around 117 (I’m actually getting a higher reading on sparkpeople, but their broccoli salad count is wrong and again, I think I counted the chicken skewers too high). Incidently, the reason for 2 protein shakes is not at all because of any tightness issues...it's because I'm actually trying to keep my protein counts relatively high, so I'm using them as a supplement. They also make packing my lunch VERY easy.

 

The 4 bites of Scott’s steak taco thing is becoming a nightly tradition. Early on in our relationship he got hooked on my “chicken quesadilla’s”…which I just couldn’t keep doing because that was a lot of calories to budget in each day. He is currently doing his version of low carbing, which he does with the occasional use of this product:

 

Personally…I think this product is “too good to be true”. I mean, a full size tortilla for only 71 calories, with 17 grams of carb and 12 grams of fiber? Come on…can’t be! I’m waiting to learn that this has been grossly mislabeled. But in the meantime, I’ll enjoy our nightly ritual. The taco consists of the wrap, some carne asada that we buy frozen at walmart, some shredded cheddar cheese and hot sauce. This crap is delicious. I don’t know what my 4-5 bites are costing me exactly…but I save a couple hundred calories for the end of the day to enjoy this with him. For what it’s worth, this is the meat we are using and it’s nutrition info:
 


 

 

 
Today I started marking my workout days in my calendar again…so hopefully I will have a June full of pink dots. We are 13 days in and I already have 8ish (one day I sorta counted because I walked around some trails for an hour or two…not really a workout, but I wasn’t sitting still, so I’ll count it.) I have a big weekend coming up that will have its own challenges. In order to give the kids’ mom a chance to leave town for a camping trip early, I have agreed to watch the kids on my own all day Friday while Scott is at work. Finding the time to work out on this day might be extra challenging…but we’ll see. Saturday we have the kids’ first Gymnastics class and then we are taking them to a friend’s house for a BBQ…so I gotta not only find time to squeeze a workout in, but also have the added challenge of BBQ food. I will try to keep the calories low in the early part of the day so that I can enjoy a little food at the party that night. Sunday being father’s day…well…we’ll see.

 
One week from Friday I’m having a “wedding dress foundation garment fitting”…so I need to not mess around right now. I can’t spend a bunch of money on a bra I’m only going to wear 1 time only to have it not fit. No pressure, right? Oy.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bring on the spicy food?


I don’t know when it happened…but lately I’m in love with spicy food. I discovered the “hot chicken bowl” at the local teriyaki joint, which has spicy chicken over steamed vegetables (hold the rice), and that started my downhill role into this new addiction. Scott makes a simple “steak and cheese taco” on a low carb shell that includes hot sauce…and lets me take a few bites to feed my desire. I can’t do a whole taco myself because the low carb tortilla gets stuck, but a few meaty bites go down ok. Then…this last weekend, he made a sausage and egg breakfast burrito on a low carb tortilla which I took one bite of and announced that it needed hot sauce. WTH? Who is this person? I never liked hot sauce before!

My weight is holding steady between 181 and 182. But my biceps look fantastic! And the abs that are still covered by my protective layer of fat…well…they would look great too, if you could see them.

The wedding is 97 days away. My 20 year high school reunion is a mere 29 days away…I’m probably slightly more concerned about that. I’m already 30 lbs lighter than I was as a freshman…but I wouldn’t mind being even smaller. However, my head seems barely in this game anymore. I’m still struggling to get 4 days of exercise in per week, but I am at least getting the 4. Food is an issue. My latest band fill is quite adequate to restrict to much of anything and just a bit of some things like dry chicken, steak and most bread related items…but I still can tend to choose things that go down just fine…like cake or chocolate. I don’t know WHY I’m choosing these things. I’m sure it all goes back to whatever caused me to be overweight my whole life to begin with. To give an idea of what’s going on, I can eat a normal 1 cup serving of pretty much anything just fine…I’m not “too tight”…but I find myself craving milk shakes and ice cream and cookies and things…all the while thinking that I can get a LOT down without problem. So it’s not that I want it because it’s a slider food and nothing else is going down…I seem to want to eat in quantity in general "just because". That is why I’m saying this has something to do with old behaviors…the urge to binge…It has reared it’s very ugly head.

I am planning on attending a gastric banding support group tomorrow evening for the first time since being banded a year and a half ago. I think I need it now to get my head back in the game. Could I be happy at 180 forever? Probably…but I really want to try to get to 160…I really, really do.

The stuck issues are very frequent nown (once a week). At some point I might have to ask for a slight un-fill if I can’t get my head to stop either eating too fast or eating things I know I shouldn’t eat. But I have a conundrum in that there are some meals that go down fine that I think I should easily get stuck on (6 oz’s of spicy chicken PLUS 1 cup of steamed cabbage goes down without sticking at all…that is way too much food!), and other meals that get stuck that don’t make as much sense (4 bites of steak? Really?). So it’s almost Russian roulette of seeing how each meal will go.

For lunch today I had a protein shake and, of course, broccoli slaw. Nothing got stuck, but I got my “uncomfortably full” signal (of course 20 minutes AFTER I was done eating…that’s of no help). That didn’t even make sense to me. I had the protein shake first, which theoretically should have slid right on through the band, and then topped off with my veggies (the broccoli slaw), which was limited to ½ cup, and THAT made me feel full? How? I just don’t get it. How can it be explained that I enjoyed pasta with meat sauce last night, had a 1 cup serving and felt just fine?

My sister got an un-fill right before her wedding so that she could enjoy her reception without as much restriction. Lately I’ve been wondering if I should do that…mostly because I’m worried about PB’ing in front of every friend and family member I have in my beautiful white dress. Ugh…and then on the cruise a week later? Oh no…I just can’t decide. Most of me wants to work within the band limitations like I should without getting an un-fill at all…but I guess I will have to decide as I get closer to the event. Incidentally, 3 weeks before the wedding, my fiancĂ© and I are being treated to a dinner at the Metropolitan in Seattle. The same part of me that wants and un-fill for the wedding would like to schedule an un-fill prior to this blessed event…because whenever, in my life, am I ever going to get the chance to eat a $50 steak again???? But if I get the un-fill for that, it would need to be the week before, which would be 4 weeks before the wedding….what are the odds that I would still fit into the wedding dress by the end of the 4th week? Yeah…not great.

It’s all a mind game that I’m losing right now. Fortunately you can’t tell by my weight…I mean at least at this moment it is not going up…but think how much better I would be if I were doing everything correctly. That thought just ticks me off worse. I don’t know how to fix my brain! UGH!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Broccoli, fills, and ships, oh my!

  • My future mother in law has gotten me addicted to broccoli slaw from Costco. There could be worse things to be addicted to, I suppose.  
  • My current band fill level is either too full or just right…I am not entirely sure which. 
  • I just booked a honeymoon cruise to Mexico…so plenty of incentive to really keep up the sculpting exercises!

Have I mentioned the broccoli slaw before? It’s from Costco…shredded broccoli with a slaw dressing that has a hint of onion to it, cran-raisins and cashews and bacon bits. Karen, Scott’s mom, made it as a side with dinner the first night I met her. I love this stuff…but I have a couple beefs with the Costco version, as fantastically delicious as it is. First, the package includes florets, which are fine, but this salad tastes better without them in my opinion.

 
Second, Costco being Costco…sometimes it’s not there when I want it. This happened a couple months ago, so I was forced to come up with a replacement. This process had its advantages in the calorie department though. I never fully understood how much SUGAR goes into slaw dressing…holy cow! So I’ve since modified my recipe with Splenda instead with very satisfactory results. Unfortunately, my recipe is not yet sugar free because I also add a little Vidalia onion dressing to the mix (which contains sugar), but I’m working on it.

 
Third, since I’m not buying the package from Costco anymore, I can go for a bag of straight shreds from the grocery store, which makes me happy. Finally, I found that you don’t really “need” the bacon bits, so I saved a few calories there. My version is not necessarily cheaper than the Costco version though, when it comes to dollar bills, I do think it is a little healthier.

 
I can admit that this doesn’t do much in the protein department…but it’s so delicious, and filling…and somehow keeps me satiated for long periods of time…so I’m ok with this addiction. Once a day isn’t going to kill me. I’m eating it now as I type this blog over my lunch hour. Mmmmm….broccoli slaw….

 
3 weeks out from my last fill and I’m not entirely sure what to think. I get stuck now…frequently…at least this has been the case over the last week. However, I’m getting stuck on things I know FULL WELL I should not be eating…like breaded chicken, or pasta, or any other bread-related item. Yes…I’m finally bread intolerant. Every time I go in for a band fill I get asked “can you tolerate bread” and my answer has historically been yes. Well…not anymore.

 
Does this mean Frito Bandito is too full? Well…I don’t think so. I think it means I’m where I’m supposed to be, but I’m still allowing myself to break the band rules…so getting stuck is MY fault, not the fault of the fill. I’m learning. My menu today does not include bread at all. Yesterday after eating breakfast (one where I didn’t get stuck at all), I didn’t hunt for food or get hungry again till much later in the day. I’m hopefully that I have truly just re-discovered my green zone. Today my hunger seems to be at bay as well, though I am still sticking to eating my allotted meals every 2.5 hours. At least I’m not hungry every hour anymore!

 
And finally…we booked a cruise for our honeymoon! September 23rd I will be sailing out of Long Beach to Mexico! Can’t wait!!!! I’ve been really focusing on sculpting exercises lately as part of my preparation for wearing a strapless wedding dress…so now I just have to keep that up. Sadly, since I don’t really lose “2 lbs a week” anymore, my goal of 160 by the wedding is no longer in site…but I’m ok with whatever number I’m at, as long as it is lower than today.

 
Onward and downward…I hope!

 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

*burp*....oh....excuse me

All filled up and frankly a little nervous. I mean…the restriction feels great, but I don’t usually “notice” a fill for a couple weeks. I just had my fill yesterday morning, and I am already noticing that I can no longer inhale large quantities of water like I used to. Plus…I’m very burpy. This is going to be interesting to when I finally go back on solid foods.


This is what I wanted though…I need a period of time where I’m a little more forced into taking smaller bites and eating smaller quantities. But if Frito Bandito holds true to form and really kicks in hardcore in 2-3 weeks, I might be in for a world of hurt. Nothing left to do but wait I guess.

On the bright side, the scale at my doctor’s office was only up 4 lbs since January (that is when I had my 1 year check-up, my last fill was November 28th). Kat was very pleased with my progress, even being up 4 lbs, so that made me feel good. I also saw staff from other parts of the clinic that I go to that were extremely complimentary. Then I came to work and continued to get MORE compliments from random people…so maybe I should wear this outfit more often?

Kat wanted to go “aggressive” with this fill, but I said I just needed a smidge, knowing that I can still manage to get myself into stuck situations. We went with 1/2 cc, putting me at I think 7.5 cc in my 11 cc band. I don’t want to get to a point where I’m completely cutting out food groups…my intent all along was to attempt to eat as normal a diet as possible for as long as possible. I don’t want to be doing shakes and mushies for the rest of my life…I want to eat. Just maybe not so much and definitely not so often. Man, last Thursday was INSANE…I managed to eat my ½ cup serving of lunch, my mid-day snack, my ½ cup serving of dinner and my evening snack, all before dinner time…I felt ravenous. All of those meals were very high protein, so it was ridiculous to be feeling that way. I’m looking forward to some more stable times in the coming weeks.

I’m getting back to basics. I plan on following the guidelines like I should have been all along:

• ½ cup food per meal, no seconds
• Protein first (I had been experimenting with eating fruit…I think that was causing me serious hunger issues. Time to cut that out again for a while)
• Small bites, take ½ hour to complete a meal
• At least 90 grams of protein a day

I’m back in the saddle again…shooting for the green zone.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I need a fill

I've given in and have scheduled a fill appointment for next week.

I'm back to exercising 5-6 days a week, but diet wise...I can eat too much and am hungry a lot and have lost every bit of willpower I've enjoyed in the last year. I'm still hovering around 185 for months now...and worst of all, I've been contemplating "crash diets", which this whole band thing was supposed to STOP me from doing. So yes...I think it's time for a fill.

My last fill appears to have been November 28th...at least from what I can tell on my calendar, since I apparently didn't blog about it. So…4.5 months….that’s not too bad. The thing that is getting me right now is that I do occasionally get stuck…but when I really break down the behavior that is causing that to happen, it points back around to me needing a fill. The problem is that I can eat too much food right now, and I get really, REALLY hungry…so the combination of knowing I can eat more than I should and being really hungry can occasionally cause me to eat too much too fast. That is usually when the stuckness happens.

My hope with this fill is that I will be restricted to the point of a) not being really hungry all the time (right now I’m searching for food every 1.5 hours) and b) taking smaller bites and eating slowly because I have little choice to do otherwise. As it is right now, I can down 2 cake donuts in 5 minutes…yes, I know I shouldn’t be eating donuts…but right now I’m struggling with willpower like you would not believe…but I REALLY would love it if I could stop at ½ of one donut and be done. I’d like it better if I didn’t want the dang donut at all…I’m hoping those days come back around. I miss them. *sigh*

I’m sitting here in my size 12 jeans…so proud to be in them, yet so disgusted with the fact that I ate two freakin donuts today. I just can’t wrap my head around this form of self-sabotage.

In other news…

Wedding planning is in full effect. I’m very excited by how “do it yourself” it is and how much my friends and family are participating in making it wonderful. My budget is somewhere around $6000ish (minus the rings/honeymoon) and it seems to all be coming together. I have stuff on loan, and home-made stuff, and DIY stuff that otherwise cost a fortune (e.g., Scott REALLY wanted a photo booth…so I found a way to give him one without spending $800-$1200 that those services seem to be asking). I have friends of friends doing photos and DJing and found a super-cost effective alternative to the caterer we wanted, all for a fraction of the going rate.

I hope you all won’t mind me sharing my pictures of the whole thing in September. It will NOT be a low calorie event, so if food porn is a trigger for you, you might not want to look at the photos. I’m planning comfort food and a desert buffet for goodness sake! I hope Frito Bandito holds me together that day for my own sake! (On a side note, my sister had all the fluid removed from her band for her wedding day…and then never had it re-filled….I’m currently NOT intending on making that same mistake).

Regarding wedding dresses, I already have one from my sister that is gorgeous, but I still wanted the chance to try on dresses because this is the only time in my life I’ll get that opportunity…so I did. Man…that was fun and yet a big fat bummer at the same time. I say this because while MOST of my body is a wedding dress size 14…my chest is apparently still a 14W. So I tried on a bunch, but the 14’s made my chest look bad (or wouldn’t close) and the 14Ws were too big in the waist. That was annoying…but I still had fun making myself look like a big puffy cupcake. :) See, look!















I rehired Mark, my personal trainer, to get me back on track with exercise. I’m seeing him 2 days a week for the last month or so now…so glad I did that. I wish I could always afford to have a drill sergeant by my side. But I’m happy to be back in the swing of things again. The surgery I had in January threw me off track so bad. UGH! I don’t want that to happen again!

The bonus-mom thing…well as much as I adore the kids, we have our moments. I do love them…but whining and tantrums…oy vey…please tell me this is a phase that will end sooner rather than later??? I hope. My weekends are SWALLOWED up by kid-time activities now. I have occasionally scheduled a training session with Mark for first thing Saturday morning just to have an excuse to GET OUT of the house and get the workout done. It is soooo much easier to do that then to go do an hour on the elliptical when the kids are tugging on you for one reason or another. I justify this by reminding myself that my time for self-improvement IS important…and I’m worth it.

Here’s some more photo’s, just for the heck of it.



This is from date night last friday


The girls drawing on me with chalk


I now own a tutu...I love it!


I love this picture of Nev, even though it was on accident
I'll strive to be a better blogger...
Till next time!