Monthly Archives: November 2012

A New Low

So, I weighed myself today and I hit a new milestone.  I’m down 40 pounds.  I was a little bit pleasantly surprised.  It has been more than a week since I lost anything and it seems as if my weightloss has slowed down.

I think some of the slow down is natural.  I also think some of it had to do with the return of my period.  So, now that I have completed my cycle, I decided to see if there was any difference today, and there was.  Today, I weighed in at 258 pounds.

Tomorrow I go to the doctor and will get an official doctor’s office weigh-in so, I would say that this number is tentative until I am weighed on the doctor’s scale.

I’ll take it anyway, though!  🙂

To Youtube or Not

So, I started a new Youtube channel and made one video.  I have not uploaded it yet.  I’m not sure I want to do videos.  Part of my fear is that I will have to do videos all of the time.  I’m also not sure I want to see myself in videos all of the time.  Yet another part of me wonders what will happen to writing blog entries.  Will I become too dependent on videos and stop writing?

I enjoy these blog posts.  I think writing posts is fun.  I don’t know.  I’m on the fence.  What do you guys think?   Do you want to see me add videos as part of this blog?

I Can’t Believe I Did It!

I know for most people walking is not such a big deal.  I’ve written about this before.  Walking is reflexive for most people.  You want to go somewhere, you get up and walk.  No big deal.

Well, for the past few years or so, walking has been very difficult for me.  My back hurts a lot, my feet hurt, and I have asthma caused by my obesity.  I have to stop to take frequent breaks and walking is very difficult and close to impossible for me.  Until recently that is.

Since my surgery, I have been told that I must exercise.  I cannot do any strenuous exercise yet, but I have been advised to walk as much as possible.  Usually, I have been going to malls or stores and walking around.  Now with the Christmas shopping season upon us, going to Target or the Mall is just a crazy thought.  Any walking to be done will be mostly pushing and shoving or standing around waiting to walk through aisles due to the throngs of people clogging up the place.  So, I have been walking down the hallways of my apartment building mostly.

Since the surgery, walking has become a bit easier.  I’m breathing better, my back hurts a lot less.  My feet still hurt, but I can usually go quite a distance before they start bothering me.

Today I was sitting around my apartment listening to music and reading a book.  It was getting close to the time where I should start walking through my apartment building.  I was really dreading it.  I did not want to go shopping, but I did feel like leaving my apartment.  I really needed a change of scenery.

I wanted to go down the street to where the shops are and walk around.  The problem is, how would I get there.  I live at the midway point up a very large hill.  I do not own a car. I don’t live far from the shops, but since walking has been difficult, I was a little bit apprehensive about walking there.  Normally, I would take a cab, which is really kind of ridiculous.  There is also a bus, but the shops are one stop away and that also seemed a little silly.  Plus another bus was not due for an hour.

I decided to suck it up and try to walk down to the shops.  I had been doing much better now that I’ve lost some weight.  Plus, I figured if I had too much difficulty, I could always pick up some groceries at the supermarket and take a cab back.  So, I bundled up and put on my walking shoes and started my trek.

Walking down the hill was surprisingly easy.  I had no problems whatsoever.  I was cold, but I was not out of breath and my back was not bothering me.  I rewarded myself with a steaming hot cup of decaf coffee at the coffee shop.  I continued reading my book, (yes an actual book with pages bound together), and enjoyed the warmth of the overcrowded sole coffee shop in this part of town.

Once I had read a few more chapters and drank as much of the coffee as I could, I donned my hat, coat, gloves, and scarf and headed back out into the cold.  I walked around for a little bit, passing all of my favorite restaurants enjoying the smells of the different foods.  I thought the smell of the indian food would make me crazy, but what did me in tonight was the smell of bread and oil coming from the newest italian/pizza place.  I wanted the fresh hot bread dipped in olive oil so bad! OMG it smelled good.  But I kept on walking until I reached the bus station.  All that was left was to decide how I was getting back up the hill.

I checked the Next Bus app on my phone and there wasn’t a bus due for a long time.  Walking down the hill was easy.  Walking up the hill, I was a little bit worried about.  I decided that I could wait an hour or so for a bus so that I could go one entire stop, try to hail a cab, or just tough it out and walk up the hill.  I decided to walk.

There is a bench about midway before the entrance to my apartment building.  I did stop and rest there, not really because I was tired or needed a break, but because I was afraid of how I would feel by the time I reached my building if I didn’t stop.  When I did reach my building, I did have to stop to catch my breath.  Walking up hill is much harder than walking down.  I did not have to stop for long, though.

Now that it is done, I feel great!  One month and 38 pounds ago, I could not have done this.  I never would even have attempted to walk down to the shops let alone walk back up!  I really feel like I have regained a bit of my own independence.  I’ve hated the limitations that being so heavy has placed on me.  Being able to walk to the village and back makes me feel like I really will be able to get my life back!  Yay me!

Today’s picture is a piece of art work from one of my friends in my writer’s group.  Her name is Sushmita Mazumdar.  She’s an artist and a writer.  She writes children’s stories mostly based on her own life in India, which she then makes into hand-made books.  All of her stories are true stories, although sometimes the main character will have a fictional name.  She also makes all kinds of art, much of which is made to represent a story book she has written.  She recently had a show at Glen Echo Park in Maryland, which I went to see.  This painting is about a story about a kite.  This is my favorite painting of hers.

If you’re interested in supporting artists or into shopping local for the holidays, check out some of her books and artwork.

A Quick Note About Thanksgiving Dinner

I decided to spend the day with my brother and his in-laws.  I think I posted that before.

They were so nice about meeting my new diet requirements.  I brought the Baby Bullet with me to do any necessary pureeing.  There was some confusion over what I wanted to drink during dinner.  I had to remind them a couple of times that I cannot eat and drink at the same time.  No biggie, that all worked out just fine.

I pureed my turkey.  I had sweet potatoes and asparagus as well.  I did not need to puree the sweet potatoes nor the asparagus. The asparagus was quite mushy so I just mushed them up some more before eating them.  I added a little bit of gravy to the turkey before I pureed it.  I stuck to the plan, two tablespoons of turkey, one tablespoon of sweet potatoes and one table-spoon of asparagus.  I slowly ate and took the full 30 minutes to complete my meal.

The stuffing, one of my all time favorite foods, stayed at the other end of the table away from me.  I do not know if that was by design or if it was a happy coincidence.  If  I had stuffing sitting in front of me for 30 minutes, I’m not sure how well my self-control would have fared.  Alas, I did not have to test my will as the stuffing stayed safely far away from me.

I felt quite satisfied that I had a good holiday meal and I was full and not craving anything too dangerous by the end of it.  Not to mention, I had a great time visiting with my niece and her cousins.

At one point my niece and little Georgie were pretending that I was a dragon they had to kill.  George poked me in the stomach and I had to nicely tell him that for now, they had to stay away from my tummy.  My niece interjected by saying, “Yeah, Aunt Colleen has a really big boo-boo on her tummy.”  The conversation quickly devolved into a discussion on how big the boo-boo was with each of them trying to out do the other.  I ended it by saying in an animated fashion, “It’s the biggest boo-boo you have ever seen, George!”  They both fell down laughing and continued with their game slaying the giant Aunt Colleen dragon.

They were very cute.  Little baby Ollie who is two and not one, is just adorable.  He’s definitely the strong silent type.  I can see his little mind going as he tries to figure out a different way to get around his parents and the other adults in the room.  George and my niece are loud and a bit chaotic.  While adults are trying to settle those two, little Ollie is silently doing something he knows he should not do.

Example:  The adults are corralling Georgie and my niece back to the table with their cupcakes so that they do not drag cake throughout the house.  Also, to teach them that we eat at the table not while playing with toys.  Ollie took advantage of the distraction and silently slid under the table, cupcake clenched in both fists, and slipped away into the other room with the toys before anyone noticed he was gone.

The kids were so cute.  Of course, I can say that being safely ensconced in the Auntie arena since I do not have to take them home at all!

One another note, I do have a tree.  I bought a pre-lit tree at Target for $50.  It’s a six-foot tree, which is bigger than I wanted, but it’s narrow and does not take up too much space.  I like it.  I bought some extra lights and I have it decorated already.  I am done shopping for my niece.  I did not go to any stores on the dreaded day after Thanksgiving shopping day.  I did however, do some shopping online and I am having presents sent to me at no additional cost.  I am excited about the holidays this year.  So, bring on Christmas!

(presents under tree are simulated through decorative boxes and one toy bear. no actual presents were used in the creation of this photo)

 

 

The Return Of The Cycle

OK, so some people may find this post gross, but I’m going to do it anyway, so consider yourself warned.

For the past 7 years or so, my monthly cycle has been slowing down.  I’m getting close to that age where these things happen naturally in women.  I think it was accelerated a bit by my obesity and the doctor thinks so too.  I still have one or maybe two cycles during the year and it always catches me off guard.  On the whole, however, I do not have to worry about buying pads or tampons on a regular basis.

Fortunately, I keep a small supply of pads on hand just in case.  It has proved to be a wise thing to do, especially if one of my friend’s are visiting and I hear them say, “Oh no!” from the bathroom followed by the inevitable, “Um, Colleen…”  I can then tell them with confidence, “Under the sink on the left!”  But primarily I keep a supply on hand in case I need them once or twice a year.

Before the gastric by-pass surgery the nurse asked me about my cycle and I told her I had not had one in a while.  She then told me that they may start-up again when I start losing weight.  She said that young women often get pregnant a year or so after the surgery because their bodies become more fertile again.  I was not really ready for that possibility as I long ago gave up the notion of having children.  I was a little bit shocked to hear that my periods may return.

Well, it has been one month and one day since the surgery and I woke up to a little surprise visitor this am.  I honestly thought that I would have to lose a lot more weight before my cycle started up again.  I was a little bit shocked to see evidence of it so soon.  I do not know at this point if this is a yearly or bi-yearly event or if this is a return to pre-obese normalcy.

I am not sure what to expect at this point, but I feel the need to go and stock up on supplies just in case!

The Big Turkey Day

Thanksgiving is usually a day that I love to spend cooking.  Even if I am going to someone else’s house for dinner, I make a dish to bring with me.  This year, I am not cooking at all.

I am going with my brother and his family to his wife’s parent’s house.  They often invite me over for holiday meals.  They are so nice to include me to make sure that I have somewhere to go on holidays.

I am really happy to spend the day with my niece and her little cousins as well.  They make the holidays so much more fun.  I even get to meet the newest cousin.  I think he’s over a year old and I have not met him yet.  The last time I saw his mother, (my sister-in-laws brother’s wife), she was pregnant with him.  I cannot wait.

I will be taking my baby bullet blender with me so that I can puree some turkey.  I also plan on having some sweet potatoes and some green beans if they’re not baked in a casserole.

I was so happy today.  I pulled out a dress pants suit that I have not worn in forever.  When I bought it, it was kind of snug.  I had to wear spanx under then to get them buttoned and they were still very snug.  I’ve only worn the outfit twice.  I put it on today and the pants fit me perfectly with a little room even sans spanx.  The jacket also fits me perfectly.  The blouse is a little snug, but only because I am still wearing a support garment under my clothes.  The garment is kind of bulky so it is hard to judge just how my shirts fit unless I put them on without it.

I have really been struggling with my protein shakes.  I do not like the soy shakes at all.  I have tried using brewers yeast, which works well in chicken broth, but I still do not like it.  I’ve made the decision to try the protein shakes with the milk protein.  Trader Joe’s has a great chocolate shake.  The vanilla one was too sweet for me.  I had some dumping after drinking it.  I also bought a chicken soup protein drink made by Unjury.  I keep plenty of Zyrtec and Benedryl handy just in case of a reaction.  I do still some of the soy drinks and Brewers Yeast during the week, but I’m mixing in the Trader Joe’s and Unjury shakes as well.

I am really concerned about not getting enough protein.  I do not want to lose my hair.  Yes, I want to be healthy and all that, blah, blah, blah…but I am kind of vain about my hair.  I was born on a good hair day.  My hair texture is fine, but it is thick.  It doesn’t look thick until you try brush it.  Hair dressers love to work with my hair.  I am always getting a free style when I go get my hair done.  As they are working on it, or drying it, they often say, “I want to try something different, do you mind?”  Sometimes I go get my hair trimmed just to get it styled.  I’ll take a picture the next time I go to the beautician and show you how great my hair looks after I go.  Can’t wear a bikini, have great hair.  It’s the one good thing I have.  I really do not want to lose it.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.  I know I will, even though I cannot pig out this year.  I still have a lot to be thankful for.  I have great family and friends.  The best ever!  I have received so much love and support this past year I know that I am blessed and lucky to have them in my life.  I am also thankful for all of the support and well wishes I have received from the readers of my blog!  It feels so good to have strangers reach out to you and be supportive of what I am doing.  Thanks everyone and enjoy the big feast today!

 

Home At Last

So, I convinced my sister to bring me home yesterday.  I was just getting too antsy not being at home.  I am doing a lot better.  I still cannot do anything strenuous, bend over too much, or lift anything over 5 pounds, but I was ready to come home.  It was so nice to sleep in my own bed.

I will not be alone for long.  My friend is coming into town this weekend.  He will be here Saturday morning.  We went to college together a million years ago.  My niece calls him Uncle Junkle.  Well, OK she called him that once when she was about 1 1/2 or 2 years old.  Now WE call him Uncle Junkle.  She varies between calling him Uncle Jerry or Uncle Junkle.  She loves him because he gives her piggy-back rides and is entirely too silly.  Oh to be 4 years old.

I weighed myself again and I am down to 265 as of yesterday am.  I did not weigh myself today.  I cannot get into the habit of weighing myself every day because I just get too crazy about the numbers on the scale.  I have to concentrate on other things.  I am feeling better and moving around easier.

I started to get some of my Christmas decorations out today and got caught up in cleaning my closet.  I didn’t lift anything, I just ended up sitting on the floor with a garbage bag in hand cleaning out boxes and throwing things away.  I threw out the cardboard boxes, but I’m leaving the bags of trash for Uncle Junkle to take down to the trash room for me since I’m not supposed to lift them.  He doesn’t know it yet, but I have many projects for him when he gets here.  Hey, we single girls gotta put those guy friends to work, right?

I got the Christmas decorations out though and I’ve started wiping them off so that I can put them out for the holiday.  Most of them probably won’t make it up until after Thanksgiving, which is good.  I generally do not start getting things ready until after T Day, but I figure since I’m home alone with nothing to do, I might as well do something.  I think this year I’m going to buy a small sparkly tree.  I haven’t had a tree or lights in years.  I want something festive this year and I think a nice sparkly tree will do the trick quite nicely.

 

What do you think?  Yes?