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I'm writing a LAP BAND BOOK!!!


Saturday, February 28, 2009

2/28/09 60 Days Until 50

*NOTE: Well, now it’s 58 days actually. I've tried posting this the last two nights and gave up trying to get access, but that’s another post entirely.

If you don’t know yet, I’m turning 49 7/8 this year. I’ve promised to work my way up to calling it, what it is, by my birthday. See? There in the title? That’s a huge step in the right direction, right? Well, if I say it’s a huge step, it is!

I’m not sure why 40 didn’t bother me, I thought it would, but it didn’t. I’m not one to hide my age either (I’m stating the obvious here again, aren’t I?). But this one is FREAKING ME OUT!!! What’s so scary about 5-0?…it’s a milestone, a landmark, the BIG 5-0, half a CENTURY for crying out loud, you’re definitely on the downward spiral of life even if you do make it to that Willard Scott Smuckers birthday, it’s midlife (you hope), and don’t you remember when your parents turned 50, and how OLD you thought they were? Let’s face it, when AARP sends you more mail then Victoria’s Secret you’re on your way out. Can I just say here, STOP SENDING ME MAIL AARP!!! I’LL LET YOU KNOW WHEN I’M READY TO JOIN!!!!

I had pretty much decided that I was NOT going to turn ‘that age’ this year. I’m not 5-0 in my head, so what’s the point. I certainly don’t act like I’m 5-0. But lately, my body is starting to act like it is. The past few years I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said that I felt like I was circling the drain. I was feeling, well, OLD!

I’d been puzzling over this attitude for awhile now, because it’s not like me. What’s up with me? I’m definitely a ‘cup half full’ person. DH calls me the eternal optimist. After pondering some more, I think I’m figuring this out. You know why? Because things ARE changing. I see that I was feeling bad about my age, because I was FEELING it. After my ‘Moment’ (don’t think I’ve shared that one here yet, but I’ll save that for another blog)…you know that moment when you decided that you were actually going to at least ‘look’ at that ‘extreme thing’ called WLS?...Then I decided on the LB, and that was a HUGE change in the right direction. I decided that this year was going to be about ME for a change. I’ve never put myself at the top of the list, let’s face it, I’ve never even put myself ON the list. I decided to make this my year for getting healthy. I made a pack with myself to do this to my best ability and see what happens. My year of taking care of me…so it’s a birthday present for myself, of the best kind.

It hasn’t been easy to do actually, and that part surprised me. I’ve always been know as a person who embraces change…in business, I was know as a ‘change agent’ and it was something I was very good at. It’s easy to feel optimistic about everything else in life, but yourself?...when you’re feeling sick, tired, and old?...but I kept to my promise to myself…it certainly hasn’t been without major moments of guilt for putting myself first…and I’m sure there’s much more of that to come. I’ve made myself re-look at my surgeries that failed that I’d given up on (shhh…stress incontinence…bladder sling and hysterectomy) and even knowing I’m the only one my doc has ‘ever had the surgery fail for’; now I’ve gone through re-testing and am scheduled to see another specialist in March. I’ve made myself ask for help about my osteoarthritis that has given me constant pain for the past 10 years, and doctors have told me “it’s age”; so I thought there was nothing that could help; and now Physical Therapy is actually helping me. I’ve chosen to get the Lapp Band and now, by many unforeseen circumstances, it’s looking like it’s going to happen within a week of my birthday. Coincidence?

I’m seeing changes that I thought would never happen. So now I have new hope. I’m already not feeling as old anymore. If I can make changes I thought would never happen, then maybe the LB will work for me and make more changes I thought could never happen. So maybe turning the BIG ONE this year won’t be so bad after all. It might be a year to celebrate! …baby steps…I’m getting there.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

2/25/09 Smoke and Mirrors

I’m always amazed by what I start off thinking I’m going to write and then what I end up writing about here. It’s the thing I like best about blogging…not only do you get your feelings/questions out, but it’s often a total surprise. Today was no exception. I started off wanting to explore something that came up in my last blog…the fact that at the same time I hate to look at my current self in the mirror, I don’t feel fat…in my head…and how could I still be constantly surprised by photos of me? ‘Nuff said about that!!! As I went looking for a photo of a fun house mirror (to illustrate my body dysmorphic disorder...or maybe it’s just my split personalities) I found this out:

DRESSING ROOMS AROUND THE COUNTRY HAVE ‘SKINNY’ MIRRORS!!! Oh yes!! They’re scamming us!!! I finally am having a good day clothes shopping! I look like a size 16 in my size 22 jeans at the store, so as I’m skipping happily around the dressing room I decide to buy 3 pair, and come home to find my size 22 butt looks like an elephant wearing dolls clothes.

Here’s how they do it…tip a mirror forward and you look short and fat, tip it backward (even slightly) and you look taller and thinner. And to make it worse, some stores even use slightly curved mirrors…oh yea, just like the FUN HOUSE ones! It’s all an illusion…it’s a house of mirrors!! Is it illegal…no…they make no promises that you’ll look the same at home as you do in their dressing room.

I’m sure I’m the last one on Earth to find this out. As I found article upon article upon this I was finding an increased hatred of dressing rooms. Remember my ‘love’ of dressing rooms anyway (one word…sportsbra…or maybe that’s two words); then I also found the results of a study on women and dressing rooms:
64 percent said trying on clothes in public lowers their self confidence
10 percent have cried in dressing rooms about the way they look
40 percent of the women have bought something that was too small, hoping it would look good once they lost weight
14 percent of the women have refused sales help so they wouldn't have to reveal their size
41 percent have started working out after a shopping trip
and the best one of all…
15 percent have accidentally ripped or gotten stuck in a garment that was too small
I’m just glad I’m not alone…and I’m staying OUT of dressing rooms for awhile…at least until I KNOW I’m skinnier…I have enough body distortion issues.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2/24/09 It's Fat Tuesday!

Is it a holiday for fat people like me? Well, kinda...coming from my Catholic upbringing, I can tell you it's all about the last indulgence before abstinence and fasting...Fat Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. All of you Lap Banders who have participated in a "Last Supper" or better yet a whole "Bucket List" of special meals before banding should be able to relate. "Fat Tuesday" translates to "Mardi Gras" in French and is the last day of Carnival (it's also called Shrove Tuesday and Pancake Day). So party it up...just don't indulge too much...or there'll have to be more abstinence and penance! Now where's that King Cake?

King Cake: As part of the celebration of Mardi Gras, it is traditional to bake an oval cake in honor of the three kings - the King Cake. The shape of a King Cake symbolizes the unity of faiths. Each cake is made from twisted strands of cinnamon dough, topped with icing decorated in the traditional Mardi Gras colors: purple represents justice, green represents faith and gold represents power. A small baby, symbolizing the baby Jesus, is baked into each cake and whoever finds the baby (like the Kings) is rewarded with good luck.

2/24/09 Hospital Packing List

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Sunday, February 22, 2009

2/22/09 Scale Whore

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

2/21/09 Potty Humor

*NOTE: I don't know how to move the potty pics over, so this won't make much sense:

DH wasn't feeling great last night...stomachache. So we went to bed last night around 11pm as I was started to get a stomachache too. Then the abdominal cramps started and they kept me awake. About midnight I ran to the bathroom (Master Bath, connected to our bedroom...this will be important later, so pay attention) and it felt like it was this far away..

...dear Lord the seat is up and I almost fell in (again)!!! Sometimes I hate living with 3 boys in the house!!! Let's just say I was sitting on the throne and barfing into the trashcan (I'm good at multi-tasking) for at least an hour...and I used this much toilet paper...

and after awhile it felt like this (sandpaper)...

Let me preface this next part by telling you that I have given birth to three children and only with the last one did I take anything...an epidural (yes, it took me until the third to get smart, I'm stupid that way). I never came close to screaming or even complaining giving birth. I think I have a pretty high threshold of pain. Now, last night the abdominal cramps got so bad at one point that I was literally screaming at the top of my lungs.

I seriously thought I needed to go to the hospital, and I said so, LOUDLY...VERY LOUDLY...it hurt that bad. I'm sure my neighbors next door heard me...but did DH sleeping just beyond the bathroom door (remember, it's connected to our bedroom) hear me...nope...he snores that loudly.

I think we (I use that term 'we' very loosely since I didn't see anyone else up last night) got food poisoning from the pizza DH picked up at Costco. I've been recovering today. The 'bad' news is I lost a ton of weight with my 'colon cleansing'...bad because I'm now below my minimum BMI...and you all know what that means for me...Ah well, I'm an expert at gaining (as you well remember).

Yes, I got lots of "I didn't even hear you!" this morning...glad I wasn't actually dying. I'm now getting these stickers for my toilet...

NO, make that one of these...

and definitely one or two of these...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

2/20/09 Collections

We’re collectors; rusty antiques mostly. I blame my sickness on my parents (I just reminded Mom recently that everything’s their fault…my kids will blame me for whatever they want, so they’re fair game for me…LOL). But really, my parents drug us to antique stores and shows from the time I was little. I remember one particular trip to my Aunt/Uncle’s in New York where Mom and Dad hit the mother-load. We returned home in our station wagon with Mom, Dad, we five children, and a car load so full my youngest sister (little enough) sat with her head under the Grandmother clock, and my oldest sister and I took turns sitting with our heads through the rungs of the legs of a chair. We didn’t have seatbelts then…I don’t even want to think about what would have happened in an accident. See, it’s a serious contagious illness.

I always loved the Flea Markets and sometimes even the occasional Garage Sale. When DH and I started dating I introduced him to his first flea market…a big one…every Saturday morning in the summer at a local Drive-In Theater. He was hooked, so I guess he can blame me.

We didn’t have “2 nickels to rub together” so we started collecting things that were cheap and available. I took a liking to red-wooden handled kitchen tools from the 40’s-50’s (usually about 50 cents or more...I call it my 'rust collection') and DH gravitated to glass telephone insulators (his friend had a small collection), also about $1. It gave us something to ‘hunt’ for, which made it fun. Since those early years (I have several hundred tools hanging/on shelves in my kitchen…I do enjoy having my collections around me), I’ve moved on to other collections. I’m a gal who embraces change. I’ve collected baking pans, graniteware, wooden spools from mills, stoneware crocks, wooden typeset letters, and metal pie pans. I finally scored the elusive Frisbee pie pan a year ago….yes, that’s how Frisbees were invented; by the pie co. employees on their lunch hour in their parking lot.

For some strange reason I now like tiny wooden German figures and tiny houses/castle blocks. I think it has something to do with my love of Christmas melded with the fact that DH grew up (on an Army base) in Germany. I can’t wait to set them up someday under a tiny tree at Christmas. I’ve even moved on to some new (not antique) items…Polish pottery is my newest love.

DH has stuck by his beloved insulators…he’s now up to about 600 (yea, that's what I said). He’s dabbled in a few others…coins in his youth, bottle openers, rock/mineral specimens (he’s a geologist, no longer working in that field). But he’s always stuck by his insulators. I admire his tenacity (I'm fickle). Do you know there’s actually regional and national shows for insulator collectors? I know, I thought the same thing...it sounds like one step from a Star Wars convention (and don’t tell my boys they have these as my oldest loves his collection of Star Wars toys), but interestingly (to me it was), it’s not a nerdfest…there’s a cross-section of America/the World actually collecting everything. We’ve also filled our home with inexpensive primitive antique furniture and have stripped and refinished more furniture than anyone should in a lifetime. When we moved here my youngest was in Kindergarten and brought home a project the first week with a picture he’d drawn of our brand new home…his sentence below described our house as ‘Old Fashioned’ LOL.

My kids are now hooked too (yes, they’ll all blame me). When we took our family trip to Paris last year (DD studying abroad), we took them to an enormous flea market. The boys had a blast trying to make their purchases with the few French phrases they’d learned, and DD helping. I even found some red-handled kitchen tools, a piece of wooden typeset, and yes, DH found a glass insulator. We had the best time watching the kids and talking to the locals.

I swear there’s someone out there who collects anything you can possibly think of. Old bedpans?…I’m sure someone collects them…just check eBay. You see, it’s not as much about the collection as it is about the hunt (although it helps if you like what you’re collecting). You rarely find anyone who collects the same thing that you do, and you're probably better friends that way...especially when shopping, but the fact that you've found another 'collector' makes a bond all by itself. I’ve found you’re either a collector or you’re not, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s something new or old, it’s the hunt that draws us…those of us that live with this dreaded illness understand.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

2/19/09 None Upon Thars

I want a Star-Belly, and I want it NOW!!!

I’m getting impatient…yes, again. Patience has never been one of my virtues. This 6 month time warp in super slow-mo is starting to feel like Groundhog Day (and I’m in PA, so I should know). I’ve done my research and I feel prepared, I’ve chosen my type of band, and even my port site (sounds like I’m going on a cruise…I wish), I’m done with all the pre-op doc visits, and yet I’ve got 6 weeks left before I can even ‘submit for approval’ (at least that sounds like an optimistic phrase).

Maybe it’s this gloomy time of year…I wake up every day enthusiastic and ready and yet…no band…like I said, Groundhog Day. Can I just say for the 248th time…insurance rules are diabolical…DIABOLICAL I tell you!!!

I’m jealous of those with Stars upon thars…you Star-Bellies…now where’s that Sylvester McMonkey McBean and his very peculiar machine?!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

2/18/09 Twins?

Sorry I’ve been offline…life, ya know. I’ve been in more re-injury pain from my ‘dressing room incident’ but it’s finally getting a little better (PT is helping). DH is now going to PT three times a week also for his arm/neck (ice on the driveway fall). We’ve been going at different times and I didn’t see him this morning when he left as I was in the shower.

He came home to change as I was getting ready to head out the door to PT. He points to me and starts laughing hysterically…we had on identical red OSU T-shirts, black sweats, and white tennies. I guess this means we’ve been married too long as we’re starting to dress alike. Well, we were born on the same day, but that’s a story for another time (I'm just sayin'). You know how they say people start to look like their pets the longer they live together (is the same true with spouses)?

…Well...My theory is when you start dressing the same as your spouse it’s time for the old-folks home ('cause you're probably doing it so you can remember who you're married to...or at least who you need to go home with)…and I’m not there yet. I’ll have to watch this as we’re going to start going to PT together Friday (and yes, the guy who greeted me at PT this morning noticed…D*@N, knew I should have run back in and changed my shirt!). Twins?

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In response to Comments:

DH said I should have told the PT guy "We only have one T-shirt...that's why we have to take turns here." See...I knew I married him for his sense of humor!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

2/14/09 Happy Valentine's Day!

OK, what can I give you for Valentine's Day? I already gave you Chocolate Man (the PERFECT man- commercial). Hmmm…I know! The gift of love! Loving yourself that is! Here for your enjoyment is the Virtual You ("MY Virtual Model")! Not only can you see yourself now, but you can see what you’ll look like as you get smaller! I’m telling you even the fat me looks WAY better than the real me (my model has no rolls, dimples or flab)…so she’s easy to love, even at my current fat weight.

OK, some information before you begin…You DON’T have to register to make your models or play with the weights (but you do need to register if you want to save them). I just go and play and turn my models around in their underwear to see me how others do now…and how I will look thinner. It’s men and women but they only go up to 350 and 250 pounds respectively, and the weights don’t change with every pound (changes come about every 10 pounds or so). There is an Adjust My Figure +- tab under personalize that will add some weight.

Click on the Create. Then select the Man or Woman tab. Then try the tabs ontop.
-Personalize: Then you get to play with all the fun stuff. You don’t have to enter your name. You can change your shape, your current weight, face, features, hair (always wanted to try a new hair color/ ‘do’, now you can). It’s like a SIM.
-Dress Up: The site is actually trying to sell you clothing, so you can try all different kinds of outfits on if you want to from different manufacturers (I’d at least change into something besides the ‘granny panties’ the default gives you). If you register you can keep outfits in your Closet, and Send them to others.
-Weight Loss: Now the really fun part…what will I look like when I lose 50#, 100#? Now you can rotate your model (pop ups below model) to see you from all angles. See your butt 100# lighter…Wow!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2/12/09 Writer's Muse

I’m back from my Physical Therapy. I was still so sore from my little ‘incident’ last night that I walked into PT and asked if I could start with the heat and electrical stimulation. I gave my PT a wink as she was working on someone and told her I had a little problem with my neck/shoulder and that I’d tell her later. Got off the heat and after an arm warm up she said she wanted to start (instead of end) with the massage/stretching she does.

She comes running over when I’m back on the table and whispers like a school girl “So what happened?” (must have been something in my face)…I started whispering my sports bra injury story and she was hysterical with laughter. Now, you have to get that all the massage tables are right next to each other along one wall…I certainly don’t mind sharing…not much embarrasses me (yes, you knew that), but I didn’t want to embarrass the dozen or so guys around me…TMI and all that. Well, we were laughing so hard everyone was staring as I whispered my way through the horror of the dressing room.

When I was done I asked “So what’s the weirdest thing someone was injured doing that came to you for PT?” I’m thinking there’s got to be some pretty crazy stuff…I’ve got doctors and nurses for family and friends and they’ve always got the wildest stories about patients, I thought they HAD to see some pretty whacky stuff in PT too, right? Apparently not…or some patients are lying (you know who you are...fess up!). She said “Oh, I could probably write a book, but your sports bra injury would be on page 1- Chapter One!” The guys next to us heard the first part about writing the book and another PT asked “Writing a book on what?” She says “Strange ways people injure themselves.” Here it comes… “Like what?” I turn to him (now the whole area is listening) and (I figure it’s all over at this point anyway) with a really load whisper “Sports Bra Injury!” All the men look confused, but the few women there all start nodding their heads and I get immediate feedback all at once from the gals “Oh, yea!” “ I’ve had that happen!” “Those things are terrible to get off!” “I’ve always wondered why they don’t put hooks on those too!” “Oh, I have to buy them 2 sizes larger just to get them off!” I’m thinking…OK, if this is so common, why didn’t someone warn me ahead of time. Where were you gals when I was walking into the dressing room with two smaller sizes? The guys at this point are all laughing hysterically. Then the women go for after the guys “Yea, you wouldn’t understand!” “You should just try getting one of those things off!” “Yea, buy one for your wife for Valentine’s Day and see how easy it is for her to take it off!” “Better yet, you should try one of hers on and see how hard it is!” At this point I’m picturing that tightly twisted rubber band bra and men’s chest hair…probably the ONLY thing that could make that more painful.

I’m being really careful the next few weeks….don’t want to be Chapter Two.

2/11/09 What kind of CRAZY "Sport" is this?!!

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

2/10/09 Somewhere, Over the Rainbow...

Well as far as I know, as of today I’m now done with all the “other doctors” pre-op stuff. It’s been a ‘long and winding road’ and it’s not quite over yet…I’m still on this yellow brick road to Oz and apparently I’m playing all the parts (that’s OK, I always loved dress-up)!

Remember that Shoe Fairy I put up a wanted sign for? Well she answered and brought me some ruby slippers when I crushed the Wicked BMI/Comorbidity Witch my first weigh in (even if I did pee my pants doing it).

I got my award of courage for making it through that claustrophobic 45 min. closed MRI for my heart…so I’m the not-so-Cowardly Lion!

I just got clearance at my visit with the Cardiologist this afternoon, and my heart MRI from last week and my EKG today were fine. So contrary to my teenagers thoughts sometimes…I do have a heart…I’m the Tin woMan!

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In response to Comments to watch out for the flying monkeys:

'Flying Monkeys'...ooooh, I'm still scared of them...don't worry, we'll get Toto to bite them! ...and those soldiers...I still remember how I felt as a kid when they'd start into that marching song....SCARY...Yoee..O..YO...O!

I found out this fall from the brain MRI for my migraines that I do have a brain…it’s “unremarkable” as the docs report said, but it’s a brain…so I’m the Scarecrow!

If I can make it past the Wicked Witch of Insurance Paperwork with two more monthly visits at my PCP then they’ll send it all in for approval to the Wizard…let’s just hope he’s “Wise and Wonderful”. There’s no place like Bandlandia...

Monday, February 9, 2009

2/9/09 Snooze and Lose!

At one of the three seminars I attended at the beginning of this process, a nutritionist gave out information on a study that was done on successful weight-loss patients. I thought it was interesting to hear that one of the indicators for being successful is getting enough sleep at night, but she didn’t really explain why.

This paragraph is about my sleep, you can skip this and go to the next one to hear about you. I’ve always had a lot of trouble sleeping; takes me a minimum of ½ hour to fall asleep, I have to use a sound machine because I’m such a light sleeper and I wake up during the night several times. Add to that, that I’ve had frequent migraines that usually wake me up in the wee hours of the morning, and I wasn’t getting enough sleep. After having a crippling migraine for three days one week I finally sought help and am now on a medication that has been a miracle for me…and one of the side effects is that you have deeper sleep. I’ve had a few episodes where I’ve woken in the night with the beginnings of a migraine, but then I’ve fallen back to sleep. That NEVER would have happened before. It doesn’t help me to fall asleep, and I wake up groggy, but I’m getting more hours of sleep, which is good. OK, here’s why it’s good.

The Today Show featured a story today where Glamour Magazine looked at all the studies that showed a correlation between lack of sleep and weight gain. People who don’t get enough sleep on average eat 200 calories more per day. Glamour got women to change their sleep to at least 7.5 hours per night…and whataya know…they lost weight (they had more energy during the day to do more...*me*: or maybe just less time to eat). When you don’t get enough sleep the body is under stress and craves carbs and fats as an energy source. When you get enough sleep (called sleep hygiene) the leptin (hormone that regulates how hungry you are) in the brain is kept in balance. Leptin goes down with sleep deprivation, which increases your appetite.

If you Google ‘sleep deprivation and obesity’ you’ll find an avalanche of recent studies on this issue. The obesity epidemic has gone up at the same rate that average amount of sleep has gone down. So get your zzzz’s!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

2/8/09 I Swear it's not a Hickey!

We went out to a nice restaurant with some neighbors this weekend. I’ve been looking forward to this as I’m starting to feel like a shut-in. Well, except for the million or so doctors appointments I’ve been to, between me and the rest of the family, the past few months. As a stay-at-home Mom, with no kids at home during the day anymore, you get a little starved for adult interaction in the wintertime. Top that off with the fact that I am still sorting papers and making new files (my LEAST favorite job…guess that’s why I still have huge piles to go through) and I REALLY was looking forward to going out.

As usual (and all you still-fat peeps…OK anyone who was ever fat will be able to relate), I poured myself into my best black jeans (I was proud I didn’t have to lay flat to zip them up this time) and was greeted by the lovely ‘muffin top’ which is now the opposite of what my waist once was. So into the closet I went after camouflage. After about 20 ‘costume changes’ I finally picked a two layer long, flowing ditty that didn’t make me cringe…it cover the muffin, but my arms felt like they were in sausage casing…sigh. It was getting late, so on to getting beautified. I quickly plugged in my giant curling iron and started my makeup. DD gave me one of those huge barreled curling irons and I swear it can get so hot that your hair is smoking. Uh-Oh, DH is calling me, better hurry! I fly through my hair with the curling iron turned all the way up so it will curl more quickly…then it happened…d@*n! I can’t ever use that thing without burning myself! It’s the same with the glue gun (and as an ex-art teacher I use that a lot too). OWW, OWWWWW! D@*N that hurts! I unplug the stupid iron and run downstairs.

We get to the restaurant a few minutes late and after hugs/kisses all around (did I imagine some strange stares *quickly check my tops for wardrobe malfunctions*), and ordering drinks I excuse myself to the ladies room. As I’m washing my hands I check the mirror…HOLY C#*P! There on my long pasty-white neck are two red hickeys!!...and I left home so fast I forgot my purse and makeup!!! D*@M that curling iron. OK, I’m not 16, surely no one else will think…but d*@n they sure look just like a hickey! I returned to the table with my cheeks bright red and slowly work it into the conversation that I burned my neck with the curling iron…Did I just hear sniggers??!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

2/7/09 They're Back!

Dear Gawd help me! I knew it was inevitable. It comes this time every year, so why wasn’t I prepared? I have no excuse…my DD was a GS, and I was even a leader for a few years…and here’s the kicker…I was the ‘Cookie Mom’ for several years. So why didn’t I see this coming? The doorbell rang and then I heard it from downstairs…”MOM! It’s the Girl Scouts selling cookies!!!”

I froze! I’m a sucker for those GS Cookies and those little cute neighbor Girl Scouts! I always buy several boxes of each person’s favorites, and I’ve got the huge list down pat by now. This year was different though…my heart started palpitating and all I could think of was…Those d*@n cookies are going to arrive right about the time I start my pre-op diet!!! I could barely breath as I pictured those Tag-a-longs and frozen Thin Mints (best served frozen and dipped in milk…and come to think of it THIN MINT? Who ever got Thin eating those??)…AAAHHHH! “MOM!!! I’m picking out my favorites…HURRY UP!!!” Then, I heard it…the garage door going up….deep sigh of relief…breath slowly coming back…I yell down “I’m busy, Dad’s home now, so get him to finish the order please.” I don’t even want to know what they ordered…I’ve just got to focus now and get myself prepared for the smell of Thin Mints while I’m on the pre-op diet…maybe if I start wearing Vicks-Vapo-Rub every day until then I’ll be repulsed by the smell? You see, they say on the pre-op diet that I’ll be so hungry I’ll probably eat my youngest…wait, maybe after he eats a bunch of those cookies he’ll taste like a Thin Mint?!!!

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In response to 5 Comments:

OMG! Did ya have to tell me about the Samoa Ice Cream?!!! Love those Samoa's too...anything with chocolate isn't safe in my house. *Wondering to herself* Do they make it in a SF version? *Sound of bubble popping* -BG

Friday, February 6, 2009

2/6/09 NUT, Pulmonary, PT- Making the Rounds

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Thursday, February 5, 2009

2/5/09 Dear Abby's Daughter

Dear Abby,

I used to read your article as a teen, but you've dissapointed me with this one...this is just so, so wrong. -BG

P.S. I feel a little better now that I figured out that it was actually your daughter who wrote this answer. Tell her she needs to be a better listener...Mini-Me told you she'd preferred not to tell; she did not say she felt ashamed or guilty; and have you seen the size of appetizers lately (OK, maybe this one would help), but if you look for the real question it's there...If I don't want to share everything, what do I SAY that will put others at ease?

DEAR ABBY


Advice
Feb. 5, 2009


DEAR ABBY: I am an obese woman who had the LAP-BAND® procedure done three months ago. I am now able to eat only three or four ounces of food at a time, and I am starting to show some major weight loss.

What do I say to people with whom I go out to eat when they think I am being finicky or snobbish for not eating my entire meal? I have gotten some pretty weird stares, and one of my co-workers believes I have an eating disorder.

Abby, I would prefer not to come out and say that I have had weight-loss surgery, but I don't want people worried about me either. Any suggestions? -- MINI-ME IN TEXAS

DEAR MINI-YOU: So many people in this country have serious weight problems, I see no reason why you shouldn't be frank about what you decided to do about yours. It's not shameful, and it should not be a guilty secret. People who know you well will find out eventually.

However, if you are determined not to reveal that you had the surgery, when you eat out in restaurants, order only an appetizer. That way less food will remain on your plate.

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In response to Comments suggesting other snarky answers:

Now there's a list! ...and I was just thinking she could say 'I'm eating half as much so I can be half as big.' Or 'My doctor has me on a special diet.' (all true) Eating like this won't be any whackier than what I've done on other crazy diets (would they even blink an eye if she ordered only grapefruit every time?)? I'm thinking my REAL friends will be glad for me that I'm eating less and losing weight...and who cares about the others! And if I don't want the appetizer, I'll order what I want, thank you. -BG

2/5/09 Lose a Pound, Gain a Wrinkle!

OK, I’m not a particularly vain person. My primary objective in getting the LAP-BAND® is truly for getting healthy. No, I don’t like what I look like fat, but if I had the health and energy that I did when I was thin and I knew it would stay that way, I’m not positive I’d be doing this.

I might catch some flack for this, but after looking at million before and after pictures, I’ve gotten a little scared. I've looked at several WLS sites photos section…most people look great, fabulous even…some you wouldn’t even know them if they were standing next to their former selves, and so many of them have new hairstyles and sexy clothes, you can tell how this has changed them inside as well. But then there is a group of people, all older, yeah, they’re thin, but they look SO MUCH OLDER! OK, I’ve reasoned this out…maybe it took them years to lose the weight and they ARE older now. Or maybe they’re all RnY patients that lost so fast that their hair thinned and losing so fast was hard on their bodies (no offense RnY’rs, this was just my silly mind talking)…see I’d been reasoning out why I won’t look like that because I’ll be losing slowly with the LAP-BAND®. OK, maybe I’m vainer than I thought, otherwise why would I be ‘reasoning out’ any of this.

But then I saw this story on the ‘Today Show’ yesterday. A study on identical twins and factors for aging…and guess what the conclusion was for weight?! If you’re over 40 don’t lose too much weight or you’ll look older, or as they put it ‘Gain a pound, Lose a Wrinkle’ (so the opposite is true as well). No, they don’t want people to gain weight to look younger, it’s just a conclusion of the study that for people over 40, the extra fat fills out our wrinkles. Remember, I'm turning 49 7/8 this year, and I’ve always been told I look younger than my age (OK, maybe that’s something people tell you when you’re fat…like you have a nice smile), but I really don’t have any wrinkles other than a few crows feet when I smile.

So time to get real about how I’m going to look thin again...yes, I already knew I won’t be going back to that 130# blushing bride…get real…that was 26 years ago…so what is my face going to look like deflated…Like an old deflated balloon? Now ontop of all those other LB diet things (like head hunger/emotions) I have to get real about I've now got to get myself prepared for sudden wrinkles! Fabulous.

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In response to 10 Comments suggesting everything from firming creams to plastic surgery, othes sharing tales of their wrinkles from boobs to knees, and yet others saying 'suck it up...you'll either be old and skinny or old and fat and dead'

Thanks...yep thin, healthy, and wrinkly is better than one foot in the grave with plump skin (and a plumper butt). Can you tell I'm also in denial about turning the big one this year (never had a birthday bother me before)...I'm easing into it so by the time April rolls around I'll finally be able to say it (5 - 0), loud and proud. I plan to grow old with style (think about all the new clothes we're going to HAVE to buy!)...now, does that firming cream come in gallon tubs? -BG


In response to someone welcoming me to the "50's" Club (prematurely I might add):

...CLUB?!!! You mean there's a CLUB? I'm IN! ...fif...fif...fift...fift...fifty. Going to have to get better at that (as I'm sure it's the secret password to get in...right?). Does this club have matching pointy shoes and teeny designer purses (if you tell me matching canes, or walkers, I'm out...and that goes for red hats too)? -BG
PS- Do they serve cosmo's at this club?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

2/4/09 Don't Forget the Lyrics!

I found an old post on another site entitiled “What Song Relates to your WLS Journey” and it got me thinking. There were some great answers. Music is such a part of my life that this answer was easy for me. I keep hearing this song and thinking of this pre-op journey I've started and where it might take me (my post-op journey song might be different). Many of the lines in this, and even individual words in this speak to me; “fork” (no, not the kind for eating…get your mind off the food porn), “time”, "test”, “lesson”, “unpredictable”, “photographs”, "health". And I can only hope “it was worth all the while”. I hope this gets you thinking about songs that mean something to your journey. If you have one, share it with me.

Green Day Time Of Your Life

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

2/3/09 The Shocking PT Club

This morning I started Physical Therapy for the first time ever….all I have to say is WHY OH WHY HAVE YOU PEOPLE BEEN HIDING THIS FROM ME (DH included!)??!! ….and really, why haven’t my past Dr’s ever ordered this for me before?? I’ve had osteoarthritis in my lower back for 10 years now and I’m in constant (albeit minor) pain, but it also rears it’s ugly head about once a month where I’m laying on a heating pad and popping pain relievers. Six years ago I pulled a bunch of muscles (trapezius?) in my upper left back and down my left elbow (lifting a couch…no, I’m not stupid, I was just lifting one end at a time to move it so I could clean). Since then I’ve had constant numbness and tingling in my left hand and occasional flare ups and muscle spasms…I just figured I’d pinched a nerve and was probably going to need shoulder surgery some day. Well let me tell you…Physical Therapy was great…electric stimulation (yes I got SHOCKED), hot pads (I almost fell asleep it was so nice), then some evaluation/range of motion and some exercising. One machine had Atari like games on it were you had to push the sliding board you’re laying on up and down so that the blocks on the screen don’t hit your block…GENIUS…they should have these in every gym class at schools...my boys would love it. It ended with more evaluation that felt more like leg stretches and a neck massage (yes, I’d noticed that lump of muscle between my shoulder and neck...I just thought I was turning into a hunchback…apparently I had a huge ‘knot’ of tight muscle).

My results were that my osteoarthritis in my lower back can be helped by core strengthening, and I do have slight scoliosis and pretty pronounced lordosis (that swayback thing I thought I had) from compensating for my lower back problems...so I'm pretty much shaped like the letter Q. Now I do have some minor problems with my shoulder, but the main issue is with my neck…HUH? who would have known?! So if we can loosen up the muscles that have tightened around the neck and upper spine it should eleviate the pressure on the spine there, which is where the nerves come out of the spine and go down my left arm. Do you have all that…there’s going to be a test. Actually, I just wanted to write it down so I remember…bottom line is, no shoulder surgery and hopefully I can get this all better through PT. I know you people in the PT Club have just been keeping this a secret so you can get in to your PT more easily, well, book your appointments now…the word is out baby…I’ve just joined the club…I’m a card carrying member now…and I’m a blabbermouth about things I like!

2/2/09 Month 4

I had my 4th monthly weigh-in (just 2 more to go!). I have finally won over the Nurse at my PCP’s office (yes, I’ve viewed this as a challenge)...just got her talking about the SB game and how we should have ALL had a 2 hour delay this morning to recover (like the Pittsburgh schools did)…yep, she was tired too (we were chatting like old friends about how tired we were).

I was a little worried about weighing in after the Football Game watching Feastival, so I wore my lightest clothing and shoes (the problem is I’m not a good strategist…scheduling a weigh in the morning after a party, need I say more?). OK, again I screwed myself…my light clothing worked too well…the Nurse weighed me and I lost 4 pounds.

My PCP's CRNP came in and I told her that at my surgeon’s consult I also met with their insurance lady and apparently my insurance is easy to work with and all the extra information and educational stuff we were collecting (you know personal letters, etc.) is needed for everyone else EXCEPT me/my insurance (wish I’d known that BEFORE we started the extra work…sigh, oh well). So we’re now doing just simplified forms with a few check marks and fill in’s…easy-peasy and she insists the insurance company will approve me within 72 hours if we just send these forms…OK, I’m trusting you know best. Now I want you all as witnesses in case I get denied for not collecting enough information…because I WILL be ranting if that happens.

My PCP visit ended with her ordering new x-rays for my shoulder problems and she upped my hypertension meds. as my bottom number is still over 90…apparently not ideal.

Monday, February 2, 2009

2/2/09 Super Six-Pack!

Holy cow Batman!!! What a game! My head still hurts from all the stress …and maybe those Steeler Beers. I have to leave for my 4th monthly weigh-in in a few minutes…great timing, I know…I’m an emotional eater, so what do you think I did last night with all that Steeler food? Well, here’s hoping I don’t show a gain (and thank goodness there will be no breathalyzer test…just kiddin’).

Well this town was rockin’ last night…and this morning…and for the next year!!! What a game…oh, yeah, I said that…but WHAT A GAME!!! DH loves games where they just trounce on the opposition (he can hardly stand watching if we’re losing)…not me…I LOVE games like last night…edge of your seat, heart in your throat, hyperventilating, biting those Steeler fingernail tips off games! So I was in my element last night…Terrible Towels were waving so fast we had ‘liftoff’…or maybe it was that last touchdown that had me off the floor. Can I just say Ben is the Man and Santonio Holmes…well he played at my alma-mater, Ohio State University, so of course he deserved that MVP…what a catch!!! Steelers now have the most Super Bowl wins of any team…goodbye ‘One for the Thumb’…hello ‘Super Six-Pack’!!

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes (L) keeps both feet in the endzone as he beats Arizona Cardinals safety Aaron Francisco to catch the game winning touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter of the NFL's Super Bowl XLIII football game in Tampa, Florida, February 1, 2009.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

2/1/09 Steelers Food Porn

HERE WE GO!!!!

Pittsburgh has many regional foods. Here are just a few of my favorites that will probably show up at the Superbowl Party we’re attending today. Dear Lord, give me strength, did I really have to schedule my 4th monthly weigh-in for tomorrow morning!!!

Perogies with sour cream- They’re on most appetizer menus here due to a strong Polish population.

Wash those down with an Iron City Beer.

Pittsburgh is noted for the all-in one meal. Like the Pittsburghese (smashing all their words together) they enjoy smashing all their food together (hey, it ends up that way anyway, right?). There's the famous steak salad with strips of hot steak and hot fries ontop (sounds weird, tastes delicious, on every menu in Pitttsburgh), and the Primanti Bros. style Sandwich- Stacked High with meat (best with the local Isaly’s Chipped Ham) Coleslaw and fries (yes ON the sandwich...what's not to like about french fries on everything?). Trivia- Both the sandwich with fries and the salad with fries were invented in the 1930’s to make it easier for dock workers and steel factory workers to eat lunch more quickly.

Keilbasa with Heinz Ketchup.

Finish it off with an Eat’nPark Steelers Smiley Cookie (remember, I warned you yesterday about the toothbrush!)

…and a Clark Bar

GO STEELERS!
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