Category Archives: skinny

Let The Games Begin!

My month of blogging has begun.

I had a lot of great suggestions from people on topics, so I think I will have a lot to write about. Everything from talking about the emotional journey, the physical procedure and the aftermath, and recipes.

My posts are going to be a little bit more organized. Sundays will be my week wrap-up and planning for the week ahead. Monday and Wednesday will be about food, meals, and recipes. Tuesdays I will write about the physical aspect of things, from the surgery itself to changes in my body. Thursdays will be about my emotional journey, the ups and downs, and how things have changed. Fridays will be about the different kinds of exercises I am doing. Saturdays I think I’m going to keep kind of random. I want to do book reviews and talk about health, food, and weight in general. That will also be the day I will keep open to answer questions people may have.

I am doing two other things in June apart from this daily blogging. I am participating in a wellness activity at work. I am doing the walking challenge. They gave us all free pedometers. Here is mine:

pedometer

I am also doing a postaday challenge with WordPress.  They are supposed to send us prompts to use, but I may or may not follow their prescribed format. Depends on what I feel like writing that day. I’m a rebel like that.

So, here are updates for today and what I am doing this coming week. Today I walked all over DC with my brother and his little girl. Instead of doing our usual museum circuit, we went to some monuments.

We walked to the Lincoln Memorial, the MLK Memorial, the FDR Memorial, and the WWII Memorial. My walking through DC was 5192 steps which is about 2.5 miles. I also bought the first bathing suit I have had in 14 years and went swimming for about an hour. Now I’m completely exhausted.

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I used to love swimming when I was younger, but I haven’t been swimming in more than 10 years. I am actually a very good swimmer. I feel very natural in the water and once I’m swimming, I completely forget to be worried about what I look like in a bathing suit. When I lived in Phoenix, I would swim in my cousin’s pool, or in the pool in my apartment complex, but it’s been a very long time. I’m glad to be swimming again.

I’m going to the beach the week of the 4th of July with my friends. I want to be practiced in swimming again before I get there. I probably will not do a lot of swimming in the ocean. I’ll probably mostly bounce around in the waves or do the boogie board. But still, I want to strengthen my swimming muscles and get used to wearing my bathing suit in public.

This week, I am taking a couple of vacation days. I have friends visiting from Phoenix and I am going to do some sightseeing with them. That will be a lot more walking. I am also going to change my commute a little. I normally take a bus and then the metro. Then walk 1/2 mile to the office. This week, I am going to take the bus all the way into the city and then walk 1.5 miles to the office. I am also going to continue doing my lunchtime walks. I can usually get 1.5 miles in at lunch as well. That will help me boost my pedometer steps for the work challenge.

So, to recap, this is what you can expect from my blog for June. If this format works, I may try to keep it going as long as I can.

  • Monday and Wednesday – Food & Recipes
  • Tuesday – Physical aspect of surgery, body changes, body image
  • Thursday – Emotional journey
  • Friday – Exercise
  • Saturday  – Random & Questions
  • Sunday – Weekly recap and prep for week ahead

As always, I will always answer any of your questions, even if it is a repeat of a previous blog post. Let the fun begin!

On The Move

So many things have changed for over the last year and a half, I’ve lost count. One of the biggest changes, however, is yet to come. I am moving in two weeks!

I was not originally planning this, but the opportunity presented itself. I have been renting a large studio apartment for the past five years. I love this apartment. It has been very good to me. But I have outgrown it and I’ve known this for a while.

In November, my apartment building informed everyone that if we wanted to continue renting month-to-month, which I have been for four years now, they would charge us a penalty. They were encouraging everyone to sign a new lease. I do not mind signing a new lease, but I was thinking that maybe some time in June I might consider upgrading to a one bedroom apartment. I did not want to be tied into another lease just yet. So, I complained.

When I complained to the leasing manager, she told me that they had a glut of one bedroom apartments on the market and they were anxious to move them as soon as possible. She told me that instead of upgrading in June, which is peak moving time for this area, I should consider upgrading now as she could probably give me a very good price. She was right. I am only going to be paying $60 more for the one bedroom than I would be for the studio. And, as a bonus, the apartment I am moving into will be completely renovated from top to bottom, new walls, new carpet, new appliances. I am so excited.

I was supposed to move in February, but the apartment was not ready. So, I have agreed to move in March instead, not that I had much choice.

I have been wildly packing and consolidating. I have taken this time to throw out a bunch of stuff I have been holding onto for no discernible reason whatsoever. I have donated a lot of stuff. And I found a bunch more clothes I need to donate. Last year, when I finally got down to a 1x in pants, I bought a bunch of yoga pants and stretch pants. I have finally accepted the fact that they are all too big for me now. I put on the yoga pants this weekend and could not keep them up.

As I was packing my clothes, I am really surprised by how few clothes I actually have left. I have a ton of dishes, pots, pans, books, bookshelves, etc., but the clothing supply is severely diminished since my last move.

When I moved into this apartment, I had a lot of clothes. Most of the clothes I held onto for years even though they were too small for me. As I lost weight, I was glad that I saved them. I have since purged my wardrobe several times as I lost weight. Once I am finally moved and settled, I will have to start working on rebuilding my clothing supply. I have many empty hangers to fill.

I am very happy about this move. It has taken it’s toll though. It is very emotional going through everything you own. I have felt for a while now like I have been living my life backwards through clothes. Now that I am packing up and looking at everything I own, all of those emotions are resurfacing.

I have been struggling a bit with my emotions, but I feel certain that I can work through them. This downturn of emotions has been unexpected. I’m not sure if it is the winter weather or if the enormity of all of the changes I have been through these last two years, but I feel like I have been reeling. I know in the long run I will be OK, but I feel as if I have been completely caught off guard by this.

My biggest fear is that I will let this go on too long and start going backwards. I really do not want that to happen. I think once I’m moved and settled, and spring shows up, I’ll start feeling better.

On a brighter note…

I am making one other change apart from my move. I have decided to adopt a pet, specifically, a cat. I am working through an organization called Homeward Trails. They take in rescues and save pets from kill shelters. A friend of mine volunteers for them from time to time. He advised me to go to them. I filled out their application and met a kitty this weekend.

I had my phone interview yesterday. They want to do a home inspection once I move. After that, I should be able to bring my new kitty cat home. I’m including a picture of the cat that I met. Her name is Naomi. She is so precious.

She was not my first choice initially. Then I met her! OMG she’s awesome. I am hoping she’s the cat that I end up with. They cannot promise she will still be available in two weeks, but they said they will do what they can. In the meantime, here are some pics of her.

She’s so smart and loves to explore. She’s also very amenable to petting and just being chill, which is good. She was apparently found with a litter of kittens. All of her babies have found homes. I would be so happy to take her in. Wish me luck.

kttykitty2

The Anti-Reunion

In a previous post, I mentioned that I was going to Pittsburgh for Christmas and while I was here I was meeting with some of my high school friends for a sort of anti-reunion.  Well, it happened.  I went. Here’s the proof:

1984

They scheduled the event for a Friday night, which made it a little difficult to get to. I worked on Friday morning then took the rest of the day as a vacation day.  I drove the 4.5 hours to Pittsburgh then had to change clothes quickly.  My best friend from high school was meeting me at my mother’s house.  We had plans for dinner and then we were going to the casino together to meet our classmates.

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Now, I graduated from high school 29 years ago.  I find that so hard to believe.  Yes, I know I’m 47, but it feels like the years have just flown by.  My friend Carolyn showed up a little late for dinner, but I didn’t care.  I just had more time to prettify myself, and trust me, I needed it.  Carolyn has not changed at all.  She looks slightly older, but that’s it.  She pretty much looks exactly the same.  The years have definitely been kind to her.

Sophomore hs

Sophomore hs

Talking to her really felt like coming home.  It was amazing.  I haven’t seen her for many years, but we talked as if we have talked to each other every day since high school.  We just picked right back up where we left off.  I felt the way I did when I met up with some of my grade school friends a few years ago…that I had found something I had been missing for years.  It was like finding the missing part of myself that I had forgotten about.

We showed up at the casino fashionably late.  We walked right past our high school friends.  Then we heard them calling our names.  They probably recognized me right away from all of the pictures of myself that I put online.  And of course Carolyn has not changed at all.  And the fact that we were together, the way we always were in high school, of course they recognized us.

I had trouble recognizing people.  My one friend, I was in the band with him, I just walked up to him and another guy and asked them their names.  I’m friends with him on Facebook for crying out loud.  He just looked at me and said, “You know me, Colleen.”  What an idiot I am.  As soon as he spoke and smiled, I knew.  Then I recognized the other guy with him.  He was in the band too.

Now, you would think that I would have thought to pull out my yearbook and look up the people who RSVP’d to this thing.  No.  Not that smart apparently.  So, instead of making an ass of myself, I just started asking the people I knew who some of the other people were.  By the time the evening was over, I was able to place everyone.

Now, none of these people knew me when I was fat.  In high school, my weight ranged between 120-135 depending on the year.  I think my lowest weight was about 120-121, but that did not last long.  Most of the time, I weighed between 125-130.  I spent a brief stint in my freshman year weighing 135.

So, for them to see me at 171, I had definitely gained weight since high school.  Still, I think I look pretty good.  Most of the people who were there are friends with me on Facebook and some of them read this blog.  Not all of them.  Now I’m sure many of them will at least read this post.  (hello guys!)  Some of them have seen the pictures of me at 300 pounds.  Most of them have not.

After most people had left, me, my best friend, and two of the other girls had a very long talk about weight.  We all laughed at how when we were young we thought we were fat.  I know.  We were not.  Carolyn and I weighed roughly the same weight in high school.  Funny thing is, we weigh about the same now.  Still, we were always dieting, and we always thought we were so fat.  Clearly, we were not.

It’s really a shame, because we were all beautiful, but none of us felt it.  We were always so consumed with how the other girls looked, the fact that some of them were so skinny.  When I look back, I realized that they were unhealthily skinny in many cases.  Yet, we felt so inferior to them.  Why, I do not know.  Some of the girls we were so jealous of, that we thought were so perfect were no different and no prettier than we were.

What I wouldn’t give to go back and talk to my younger self and tell her not to take it all so seriously.  That in the end, none of it mattered.  None of it defined who I am.  I defined myself.  The number on the scale didn’t matter.  Not to people who were truly my friends.

At some point during the evening, we appointed someone to organize an official 30th reunion, since 2014 will be 30 years since we graduated high school.  We are having an official reunion over Thanksgiving weekend next year.  Plans have been made, date set, location secured, Facebook page created, ticket prices established.  They apparently put the right person in charge.

Where The Heck Have I Been?

No, I have not abandoned this blog, although it may seem that way.  I have just been super busy.  Some good things have happened recently, and I just wanted to take a moment to share.

1. Work has suddenly become much more manageable.  I have been through an extremely busy period for the last few months, but with the holidays comes the traditional slow-down.  I have also been permitted to actually hire someone, so when the busy season hits again in January, I won’t be so overwhelmed…hopefully!

2.  I took vacation Thanksgiving week.  I was also very busy that week.  I had a friend visit me, and we spent that time running around visiting family and friends.  I had a blast.  We saw some friends that I haven’t seen since the surgery and a couple of friends who I have not seen since January.

As a funny aside, my friend Marianne’s son told me he did not recognize me with my glasses.  Everyone thought that was funny.  Not that he didn’t recognize me because the last time he saw me I weighed 298 pounds…it was the glasses that threw him off.  I told him it’s because I’m secretly a super-hero and with glasses I’m like Clark Kent.  Did I say he’s 10?

3.  I finally dumped the tea party guy.  Oh I know…I said I was dumping him a month ago.  I tried to.  But we still went out a couple more times.  Then things just got weird.  Not that him being a tea partier wasn’t weird enough.

He stopped calling and said work was crazy busy.  I thought it was pretty much over.  Then the texts and phone calls started again.  “I miss you.” “I need to see you.”  So, we planned a couple more dates, all of which he cancelled, promising to reschedule “soon.”  Finally, I just sent him an email and ended it.  I told him that I want someone who is excited to see me and makes me a priority in his life and I didn’t feel I was getting that from him.

A friend of mine told me that maybe I scared him off by telling him this.  I thought that was a nutty response.  Maybe I did scare him off by telling him that, but if being honest is enough to make him run, then it’s better that he goes.  That’s not the kind of relationship I want.  I want to be able to be honest with someone, and I want them to be honest with me.  Tell me what you want.  I’ll tell you what I want.  We can build from there.  Anything short of that is a lie and won’t work.

Here’s the thing.  When I weighed 300 pounds I didn’t put up with that kind of crap.  Granted, I had fewer options, but I still did not settle for less than what I wanted just to have a guy in my life.  So, when I have more options why on earth would I start to settle for less?

I was disappointed to see it end.  We actually did have a good time when we were together.  We had a lot in common, apart from politics.  He also had the gastric by-pass surgery and had lost a lot of weight.  We had many great conversations.  But, he was never going to be anyone I would be terribly serious about.

4.  I also posted a new recipe.  This is one that I created myself.  I wanted a yummy pumpkin flavored dessert that was not too sugary.  I think I came up with a pretty good option.  Click on this picture to get to the recipe:

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5.  I also “finished” my children’s novel.  I say “finished” because I did get all of the major plot points down on paper, and I have written about 55K words, but it is quite a mess.  I still have a lot more writing ahead of me in the form of re-writes.  I’m not going to look at it until January, however.

That is pretty much it.  I have not lost any more weight.  I have also not gained any weight.  I am not going to weigh myself until after the holidays.  I am watching what I eat, definitely.  I still log my food on myfitnesspal.com.  I have had a few bad days, but overall, I’m sticking to the plan.  I want to get back to the gym now that things have kind of slowed down in my life.  I’m hoping that will kickstart the weight loss again.

I promise to keep up on this blog more often.  I have a lot planned for the holidays, but I will have time to get a few more posts in.  And in January, I will post my weight to let you know how I fared through the crazy holiday feasting season!

My New Active Life & Dating Update

Wow, I have been busy.  I have so many things that I want to do that requires that I plant my butt in a chair and do, but I have become so active.  Friday night, my 5 year niece called me to make plans for the weekend.  Actually, my brother called and put her on the phone.  She wanted to invite me to go to the mountains with them and to go see the museums in the city.

So, Saturday morning, I drove out to their house and we drove out to Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Mountains.  I have never been there.  We took a very short hike through the woods.  It was kind of cold and starting to get late by the time we found a good place to stop and hike.  But we had a blast.  My brother took this picture of me and my niece, but I chopped her out of the pic out of respect for them.  I wanted to post this picture because I thought it was a pretty good picture of me.Me at Shenandoah Mountains

We also saw some bears in tress eating acorns.  That was pretty darn cool.  A little scary, but cool.  People kept pulling over on the side of the road to get their pictures.  We did as well, obviously.  All the time, I was thinking to myself, if these bears come down out of the trees, we are screwed!  Still, it was fun and my niece was completely entranced by the bears in the trees. 

bears

I love that I can get up and just head out into the world to do what I want, hiking, walking around museums, try to keep up with my niece.  This is the life I have wanted to have for so long.  Now, thanks to my gastric by-pass surgery and 127 pound weight loss, I am living it.    Update on the dating front: I have gone out on some more dates with a couple of guys.  Nothing really to write home or blog about.  I am absolutely amazed by the men who invite me back to their place, or request an invitation to mine after having met me for 5 minutes.  I want to say to them, “Dudes, I’m not 20 anymore, and even when I was 20, I never went home with  a guy after a few minutes.” Yes, I guess I’m kind of high maintenance.  You need to get to know me, spend some time with me, invest a bit of your time and energy in wooing me, but dammit, I deserve that.  If you’re not willing to man up and put forth some effort, you’re not worth my time. I have gone out with the crazy Tea Party guy a couple of times.  I know that relationship probably has no real future, especially since he clearly lives in fantasy land. Still, we do get along.  He’s a funny guy, and when it comes to most things, he’s actually kind of smart.  We just cannot talk about politics.  I’m supposed to see him tonight, so we shall see.  I haven’t really told him that I have met other people, but until I decide whether the relationship is something I want to be serious about, I don’t really see the need, especially since none of the other “dates” really have panned out to be anything other than complete duds.   Well, that’s pretty much what I have been up to lately.  Work has been keeping me busy, although not as busy as it was earlier this summer.  I am taking some time off for Thanksgiving.  I am also going to work on an experimental cookie recipe today.  It will be with pumpkin, oatmeal, and honey.  No sugar added, so it should be something I can eat a little bit of for the holidays.  If it turns out to be good, I will post the recipe here.