Tag Archives: skinny girl

The Choices We Make

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I have a co-worker, a young millennial who has a loud vibrant personality. She is brash, unapologetic, and funny. I wouldn’t have her any other way. She recently moved offices and I miss the energy she brought to an otherwise mundane job.

Every day as she breezed out of the office, she would mockingly say over her shoulder, “Make good choices!” And we would all laugh.

Recently, I was part of a pilot group with my therapist. If I had  not written this before, I am seeing someone to help me with my binge eating. She is writing a book about how to lose weight and keep it off forever.

The group I was a part of has been reviewing her book and launching a kind of support group where we read chapters of her book and discuss the ideas in that chapter. We were her beta readers/guinea pigs. This past weekend, we all met in person to discuss what we thought of the book and make suggestions for the support system she wants to create. I am so glad to have been a part of that group.

The book is very interesting. The book is less about what we eat and more about why we eat what we eat. She really encouraged us to explore the reasons behind our eating habits.

Of course she thinks the best diet for weight loss is low carb, high protein focusing on eating fresh meats and fish, high protein vegetarian options, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Very similar to any good bariatric diet, right?

So, why can’t we stick to it? Why do we constantly sabotage our diet plans? Why do we make choices we know will not help us on our path to a healthy weight and relationship to food?

Those are the questions through both my sessions with her and the book she’s working to address.

For me, a lot of my bad choices have to do with my inability to deal with stress and toxic people. I get very stressed out when I think about the toxic people in my life, and there have been several who have entered and left my world. Some stay longer than others. It has taken me a long time to realize their behavior is about them and not me and to create a distance between me and them, even if that barrier is just a mental one.

I also suffer from a low self-image and self-confidence. Many people who know me would certainly be surprised to know this. I hide it well most of the time. It is hard for me to find good things about myself.

After I had lost about 130 pounds, a guy I am friends with complimented me on a shirt I was wearing. He said something like, “That green color looks very good on you.”

I immediately replied with how much more weight I needed to lose, my hair looked awful, pick any one of the myriad of negative thoughts inside my head.

A female friend standing nearby turned to me and said, “No! Stop, Colleen. He complimented you. Your answer is, ‘Thank you!'”

She knew what I was doing. I was not used to being complimented about my appearance. She knew this. And she put the brakes on my negative thought train. At least the verbalization of my negative thoughts.

So, I have been exploring my insecurities. My inability to deal with stress and toxic people. My negative thoughts. And why I look for solace in food.

It is hard to constantly stop myself before I make a bad food decision and analyze the why. In the past, I’ve made a decision about what I wanted to eat and then just ate it. Even if I did not eat it to excess, I still often made very bad food choices.

So, this is what I do when I want to eat the cheesy poofs or whatever food I am craving at the moment. I stop and ask myself some questions.

  • Do I need this to feel full and meet my nutritional goals? (Is this choice a need or a want?)
  • Why do I want to eat the cheesy poofs?
  • What is going on? Am I stressed out? I am feeling bad?
  • What happened today, last night, yesterday to make me feel this way?
  • Will eating this particular food help me achieve my weight loss/health goals?
  • What impact will this choice have on my calories, protein, carb intake for the day?
  • What can I eat that I like that will keep me on track?
  • What other choice can I make?

 

Sometimes I even stop and pull out my phone and enter the cheesy poofs into myfitnesspal.com just to see what that choice will do to my daily goals.

I am successful in making better choices probably 95% of the time. Do I slip? Sure. One example, I had an extra slice of toast one day. Normally, that is enough to send me into a tailspin and think the whole day is lost. But the next day, I entered everything into myfitnesspal.com, and I was only a couple of points high on my carbs. I met my protein goals and calorie goals.

So, great choice? No. Diet-killer? Not even close. I was still on track.

Another thing I do is I try not to think of my entire weight loss goal every time I eat. I do keep that goal in mind every day, yes. But for each meal or snack, I think only of that meal or snack. I might think of how it fits into my daily goals, but in the moment, I do not think too much beyond that.

I chose that approach because sometimes thinking of the entire goal is too overwhelming and seems unattainable. Today, this moment, this meal, that is a doable goal.

I get weighed every two weeks, and in that moment, I only think of my bi-monthly goals. I do sit down with the doctor afterwards and talk about long-term goals, but only a month out. Most importantly, I’m not weighing myself every day and stressing out about the numbers on the scale.

Biking and exercising also helps. I have been biking quite a bit, although the impending snow storm in our area has really put a damper on that recently. But biking takes my mind off the stress of the day, releases endorphins, and generally makes me feel better. Not to mention, it is great exercise for a weight loss plan.

The result is, of the 58 pounds of regain, I’m down 18 pounds. And my overall goal is now lower as well. So, now instead of needing to lose 94 pounds, I only need to lose 76 pounds.

So, good news all around. I am working on improving my mental health and making better choices. I’m also losing weight, exercising, and feeling better!

Will I always make good choices? No, definitely not. No one is perfect, and I know I am not. But I know that if I stay focused, I can make much better choices moving forward.

I’ll just keep my co-workers voice in my head every time I reach for those cheesy poofs reminding me to stop and “Make Good Choices!”

 

 

Looking Back

Two years ago today, I weighed 298 pounds and was in the hospital. I had my gastric by-pass surgery October 24, 2012. It’s amazing how my life has changed! I’m not quite at my goal weight yet, but I know I will never weigh 300 pounds again!

BEFORE AFTER

I feel so much better and my life, which was once so lonely, is very full. I am happy with the new direction my life has taken. I know a lot of people look down on bariatric surgeries. I know I did for a long time. Many people think this is the easy way out. For me, where I was in my life, it felt like the only choice. I have no regrets. I am not looking back!

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Here is a brief list of the many positive changes

  • I can walk without pain.
  • Breathing is easier.
  • I can walk and breathe at the same time!
  • I feel very self-aware.
  • I am no longer invisible.
  • I am no longer invisible to men. (!!)
  • I feel more confident.
  • My blood pressure is normal without medication.
  • My blood sugar is normal.
  • My triglycerides are normal.
  • My heart rate is normal.
  • I don’t have to shop at plus-sized stores any more!
  • My grocery bills have gone way down.
  • My overall health is right on target!
  • I have a whole new wardrobe!
  • I got rid of all of my fat girl clothes.
  • I can use a small suitcase as my clothes do not take up so much room.
  • I am very active.
  • Because of my improved health, I can go to all kinds of fairs and festivals!
  • For the first time in a long time, I really see a future for myself.
  • I look cute in clothes!
  • There is room between me and the steering wheel of my car.
  • I can fit comfortably in most airline seats (as comfortable as one can get in those).
  • I can run a little bit.
  • I re-discovered just how awesome my friends and family are!

Sometimes this journey is still hard. I will always have challenges, and I will always fight this fight. But for the first time in my life, I feel like I am winning!

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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!

An Open Letter to Fat-Shaming ND Woman

Dear Fat-Shaming ND Woman,

I understand your concern about the health of American children and childhood obesity.  I understand that you feel you need to take a stand on a holiday that is all about the candy.  Having struggled with obesity all of my life, I really wish that I had learned and appreciated the benefits of healthy eating and the dangers of fat, sugar, and salt earlier in my life.  I disagree, however, with your fat-shaming tactic.

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Handing out candy to some children, the thinner, and in your estimation, more deserving children while handing out fat-shaming letters to children you alone determine are carrying a bit too much weight, is absolutely disgraceful.  You should be ashamed of yourself.  Does it make you feel better about yourself to pick on children you view as moderately obese?   What have they done to earn your ire?  I have to wonder what is wrong with a person who has to make themselves feel superior by picking on children?

I think it would be one thing if you refused to hand out candy to all of the children, but by choosing to hand it out to some and not to others because they are what you view as moderately obese, is wrong.  Are you a medical professional?  Are you a nutritionist?

It is people like you who have gone out of their way to make me feel bad about myself my entire life.  Don’t you think that overweight children feel badly enough about themselves without being singled out by you?

You do not know a particular child’s situation.  Maybe the child you view as obese has another medical problem and candy has nothing to do with it. Maybe they will simply grow out of it.  Maybe that child has recently lost weight and their parents are trying to teach them to be responsible about candy and other treats.  Having the treats around and learning eat them sparingly and in moderation is a good lesson to learn.  Who are you to try to supersede a decision a parent might make about their child?

There are many ways to attack childhood obesity without attacking the child or their family.  I will give you some positive suggestions that can encourage good food behavior instead of attacking children with your divisive fat-shaming letter.

  • Do not hand out candy at all.  Keep your door shut and do not give candy to any kids.
  • Work with a local farmers market to hand out a coupon for a piece of fruit.  You pay for the coupons and hand them out to kids in lieu of candy.
  • Hand out silly, cheap toys instead.  Buy a big bag of plastic spiders or something.
  • Hand out tiny boxes of raisins.
  • Hand out pencils.
  • Hand out erasers in fun shapes.
  • Hand out Playdoh.
  • Hand out glow in the dark sticks – kids love these!
  • Hand out balloons.
  • Hand out fun cards with puzzles or pictures that they can color in.
  • Hand out crayons.

You can do any number of things that does not involve handing out candy laden with sugar and fat, and does not include a fat-shaming letter.  You can then feel secure that you are doing your part to combat childhood obesity by not handing out fattening treats.  You will also have the added benefit of not being viewed as an evil, horrible, judgemental, self-righteous witch that the village now wants to burn at the stake.

Happy Halloween!

Sincerely,

The Skinny Girl Inside.

The Challenges Of WLS – Keeping Inspired & Staying Focused Pt. 2

As promised, here is Part 2 of The Challengers of WLS – Keeping Inspired & Staying Focused.

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This is the post where I discuss what helps me stay inspired  and keeps me focused on staying the course.

First, I want to say that this past year has been absolutely amazing.  The changes that have happened to my body, my health, and my life have been many.  People think losing weight through bariatric surgery is the easy way out.  Nothing could be further from the truth, and yet at the same time, it has sometimes been easy.

I have really ridden the emotional roller coaster from the moment I started this journey.  I had a lot ups and downs.  I dealt with a lot of very strong emotions before I had the surgery, and many of them were amplified after the surgery.  It was a difficult decision for me decide to have surgery.  I resisted it for many years even though friends suggested it and family begged me to consider it.  Once I made the decision to have surgery, I had no idea what I was in for.  I knew that through the surgery, I would lose a lot of weight, but I had no idea where the journey would take me, and the emotional ups and downs I would experience. This has been a hell of a journey, and although I’m not done yet, I have no regrets.

That said, how do I stay focused and keep inspired?  Here are some of the things that have inspired me over the last year. The first part of the list will be the people who have supported and inspired me over the past year.  They say when you face adversity, you really learn who your friends are, and I believe that is true.  The second part of this list will be the changes I have made and other things in my life that keeps me inspired.

  • My niece – I have to put this at the top of my list since she is, in part, the reason I wanted to take steps to drastically improve my life.  I have written in the past about how I have wanted to improve my health so that I could keep up with her and be there to watch her grow up and experience life.  That little girl has changed our entire family, not just my life.  She’s the first child that any of us had.  She is our next generation, the future of our family.  She turned this motley collection of adults into a family the day she was born.  She loves the new Auntie Colleen.  In fact, I don’t think she even remembers the old, pre-surgery Auntie Colleen. We go to museums together and hang out all of the time.  I love experiencing the world through her eyes. It’s like living life for the first time.  To think that I would miss watching her grow into a child, teenager, young woman because of my addiction to food broke my heart.
  • My sister Sandy– I have the greatest sisters.  I really do.  My sister Sandy lives about 20 miles from me.  She has been the greatest inspiration.  She changed her own life by changing the decisions that she was making.  She has her own incredible story.  But she also helped me change mine.  She confronted me about my health and my weight and begged me to do something.  Once I made the decision to have the surgery, she stood by me 100%.  She helped me with the many Dr. appointments. I stayed with her for a month after the surgery.  She bought me new clothes after I lost 100 pounds.  She writes my new weight and total weight loss on the wipe-erase board on her refrigerator.  She’s amazing.
  • My sister Jenny – Jenny is an incredible young woman.  I have seen her take terrible situations in her own life and completely turn it around.  She is another woman who has an incredible story of triumph over adversity.  But she has also been there cheering me on through mine.  When I tried out for The Biggest Loser show on TV, she drove to Richmond, VA with me and sat out all night on the sidewalk waiting for me to have an interview for the show.  She could not be here physically the way Sandy was because Jenny lives in Minnesota, but she texted me words of inspiration. We had many tearful phone calls as she talked me through some pretty difficult times.  She reads my blog all of the time, comments, sends me emails.  I know she reads my posts to her husband, (Hi Dean!!).  They are both wonderfully supportive.  She even cut, styled, and colored my hair for me for free.  I couldn’t have done all of this without her.
  • My brother & his wife – They have been so supportive of everything I have done.  While everyone else was cheering my decision to have the surgery early on, my brother was the voice of reason.  He expressed his concerns about the surgery and asked me some very difficult questions, making sure that I had truly considered all of the consequences of the surgery.  He was definitely worried.  He wanted me to improve my health, yes, but he also knew that this surgery can have complications. He was worried.  His wife was wonderful as well.  She helped me get a Baby Bullet so that I could puree my food.  She cheered me on and celebrated all of my changes with me.  And she’s always included me on every celebration with her own family.
  • My mom – My mom was so happy when I decided to have the surgery.  She was one of the people who had been asking me for years to consider wls.  She came here for my surgery and has celebrated all of my successes.  She also helps me keep things real when she thinks I might be falling off the wagon.  She knows how sick I was and does not want me to go backwards.
  • My friends – I really do have the greatest friends.  My best friend Jerry came to stay with me for a week a month after my surgery.  He helped me get my apartment set up after the surgery so that I wouldn’t have to exert too much energy to live my daily life while I healed.  He’s also been one of my biggest emotional supporters through this whole thing.  My friend Sushmita has also been a source of inspiration.  I have never met a more positive, energetic, happy person.  She inspires me.  My friends Lisa, Vicky, Jennifer, Joanna, & Lauren (hello my RHLS friends!) have also been hugely supportive; reading my blog; listening to me tell my weight loss stories; celebrating my successes; telling me how great I look, which I can never hear enough.
  • The Arlington Writer’s Group – Some of the people I mentioned above are members of the AWG, but I still have to make a special mention of this group of people.  The group has a whole has been supportive and celebrated my decision.  The day of my surgery last year, they had a writing session dedicated just to me.  They took words that described me and used them as inspirations for a writing exercise.  Then they mailed me the stories to read while I recuperated.  They have all also cheered on my successes.  Every week, they tell me how great I look; ask how much I have lost; given me exercise suggestions; the list of the support I have received from them is endless. I am so lucky to have them in my life.
  • My former & current co-workers – The day of my surgery, all of my co-workers at the time called all day to check up on me.  They came to see me while I recuperated.  They really cheered me on.  When I saw my former co-workers a few weeks ago, they all cheered on how well I have done.  My current co-workers also congratulate me on all of my success.  When I show them pictures of what I looked like before the surgery, they cannot believe it.  They all also comment on the weight I have lost since I started working there.

Those are many of the people in my life who keep me inspired focused.  Here are the other abstract things that keep me inspired and focused.

  • Pictures of myself – I can really see the difference in the before Colleen and the after Colleen.  I have never been able to see that in previous weight loss journeys.  I think that is pretty remarkable especially since the weight has come off relatively quickly. That is a huge change from my previous attempts to lose weight.
  • My breathing – I can breathe!  I have struggled with asthma since I put on so much weight.  I really had difficulty walking and moving because of that asthma.  That has mostly cleared up.  I know I still struggle a little with asthma, but it’s nothing like it was before.
  • Back pain – My back pain is nearly gone.  I could barely stand or walk because of back pain before the surgery.  Now, this does not bother me very much at all.  It’s still there a little bit, but it does not prevent me from doing what I want.
  • Walking – I can walk!  I can walk for miles and miles if I want.  Before I could barely make it a block before I had to stop and rest my back and catch my breath.  I do not have to stop for that anymore. Whenever I feel frustrated with my weight loss, I just talk a walk and revel in the fact that I can do it so effortlessly.
  • Clothes – I know this is shallow, but still, it is important.  I look good in clothes for the first time in a very long time.  I love that.
  • Cheese – I can each cheese again!  OK, I know this is a crazy thing to include, but it’s important to me.  I was allergic to milk and cheese for a very long time.  Some time shortly after the surgery, I started including milk products into my diet in an attempt to try to get some protein.  My allergies have apparently gone away for the most part.  That alone makes the changes I’ve made worth it.
  • Attention/Being Visible – OK, I admit it, I’m an attention seeker.  I have written posts in the past about the invisibility that comes along with being obese.  This is very isolating and lonely.  Now people see me.  I see men looking at me, which is  crazy to me.  Before men did not really talk to me much.  Now random men strike up a conversation with me.  One gentleman a few weeks ago talked to me in Starbucks for almost an hour continually looking for reasons to interrupt my writing and ask me questions.  Then later when he saw me in Trader Joe’s, he came running up to say, “Hey! I just saw you in Starbucks!”  And the whole online dating thing has been interesting as well.  So many of the men tell me how pretty I am.  I’ve never really had that much in the past, certainly not while I was obese.  Even if I never actually meet a man that way, but having the ones who see my picture tell me how pretty I am is a huge ego boost.
  • How incredible my life has become – I know this sounds vain, but it really has.  I am having so much fun.  My life has become so busy that I can barely keep up.  I am out all of the time.  Yesterday, I did some campaigning for the guy running for governor here in VA. Then I went to a political rally where Hillary Clinton (omfg!) was speaking. Then I went to my friend’s art gallery where I was one of the people speaking.  Every weekend is like that now. OK, maybe every weekend I don’t go see extremely famous politicos, but I am always out and about doing stuff.  I barely have time to clean my apartment and do laundry; or write in this blog.

OK this post is getting very long.  But I think you get the point.  My life has changed in incredible ways.  I have wonderful people in my life.  Nothing is better than seeing the joy in their eyes when they see how well I am doing.  I am doing incredible things with my life.  Even the simplest tasks that took so much effort before are a joy and inspiration.

I never want to be the girl who could not walk and breathe again.  I never want to look in the mirror and see the 300 pound person that I was staring back at me.   I never want to look in the eyes of the people who I love and who have supported me only to see their disappointment reflected back to me because I went backwards and gained the weight back.

I want to make the people around me happy.  I want to see my niece grow into a beautiful woman.  I want to be an inspiration for her to emulate.  I want to live each day to the fullest. I want to be open to whatever good things life has in store for me, for however much time I have left in this world.  I want to make it difficult for death to find take me from this world.  I will not go quietly from this life.  I want to spend the rest of my days raging against the dying of the light.

The fact that I see that as a possibility now, is the biggest inspiration of all.

Mid-Life Dating 101

In one of my recent posts, I indicated that I may have met a semi-normal man through a dating website.  I was wrong.  I had not met him at that point, and I can tell you now, I never will.

I try to be open-minded, and trust me, I know everyone has problems in their life.  At this point in my life, I’m not expecting perfection from a man.  But seriously, I am not 20 anymore.  I expect a man in my age range, mid 40s, to have some semblance of stability to his life.  I’m not saying he has to be rich, just maybe a job, a stable place to live.  A working car.  A valid driver’s license.  It became clear this week that the cat who wanted to meet me does not meet these basic requirements.

Let me explain.

We were making plans to meet, hopefully this last weekend, when he tells me he cannot come to Arlington to meet me because he received a letter from the DMV.  His license has been suspended and he does not know why, so he cannot drive.  Now he lives about 18 miles from me, so not being able to drive is a problem.

Furthermore, I call bullshit.

I have never known the DMV to be vague.  When they suspend your license, they tell you precisely why they are doing so.  Plus, it’s usually not a surprise to the suspendee that their license was revoked.  It could be something simple like an unpaid traffic ticket.  That’s easy enough to resolve. Pay the ticket.  Pay whatever fine the DMV has imposed.  Done.  It’s not what you want to hear from a potential suitor, but it’s an understandable enough mistake.  Forgiven.  Forgotten.  Let’s move on.

The fact that he’s too ashamed to tell me why it was suspended, leads me to believe the worst case scenario.  My mind goes immediately to a DUI or some drug related bust.

On top of that, he just lied to me.  I have not even met him, and he’s lying to me.  There is no way he does not know why the DMV suspended his license.  I just don’t buy it.  That is a lie and you are busted.

Let me give you men a piece of advice.  Free of charge.  If you’re wooing a woman – and let’s be clear about this, I do expect some wooing – and you’re going to lie to her before you’ve even met, make it something innocuous.  “I cannot meet you this weekend.  Something’s come up at work and I have to go out-of-town for a week.  I’ll call you when I get back.”  Then go and get your shit together and come back to her on some stable footing.

Not that I’m condoning lying.  I am not.  But I understand that everyone’s life has problems and at the beginning of a relationship, you are sending in your best representative.  You want to look good to a potential partner.  Everyone does that.  You don’t exactly lie, but you don’t exactly tell the whole truth either.  You want to get them hooked on you before all of your peccadilloes start leaking out.  I understand that, really I do.  But the half truth, half lie scenario above?  Unacceptable.

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I am generally a very nice and understanding person.  But when a guy hands me a line of BS, I have to ask, do I look like a stupid woman?  I put pictures on the website, so you know what I look like.  Did I have “sucker” stamped across my forward and somehow I missed it?  Or did you just assume that I will put up with anything because I’m a mid 40s woman looking for a relationship and therefore desperate?

Allow me to disabuse you of that notion now.  I have been alone for a very long time.  Mostly because of obesity, but partly because even as a fat woman, I had a low tolerance for BS.  I have no fear of being by myself.  I would like to meet someone with whom I could share my life, but I’m not so desperate to do so that I will take on any loser that crosses my path.  Know this, being alone for so long has taught me to enjoy my own company.  My life is pretty good.  If the choice is being alone or sacrificing my own dignity to be with you, I would rather be alone. You need more than a Y chromosome and your mere presence to make it worth my while.  Bring something to the table.  Start with honesty and we can go from there.

I know I sound kind of heartless, or like I belong to the She-Woman’s-Man-Haters-Club.  I am just disgusted and disappointed.  I was kind of hopeful that I might be meeting someone nice and it could be an interesting adventure.  But now it is clear that is not the case.  I am a very loving and caring person.  I just happen to have a low tolerance for nonsense.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do on the dating front for now.  I still think I might check out Match.com.  My sister thinks I should steer away from dating sites.  She thinks that now that I am so active and going out all of the time, that I will meet someone through all of my many activities.   That has not been my experience.  But, we shall see.

I promise to keep you posted.

Something I Have Always Wanted

So, my life has been just super busy recently.  I seem to be doing something every day and nearly every night.  I cannot remember the last time my life was so full.  I just love it.

Friday, a friend of mine from Arizona was in town on business.  I lived in Phoenix from 2000-2004.  I also have a cousin, Dan, who lives there as well.  He’s still there.  I left and moved back to the DC area in 2004 because, let’s face it, I’m an east coast city chick at heart.  Well, Jeff is friends with my cousin and I met him through Dan.

We went to dinner Friday night.  It was so much fun.  Jeff told me he’s not a big dinner out kind of person, and I told him that’s perfect, because I am not a big eater, anymore.  Now, Jeff and I became Facebook friends a while back and we have sort of followed each other’s lives, ups and downs, etc via FB.  He knows all about my surgery and the changes I have made in my life since he last knew me in Phoenix.

We chose to go to Cheesetique since we could just nibble on a cheese platter and not feel pressured to get a big meal that neither of us would eat.  Jeff had never been to a place like this and didn’t know quite how to order a cheese plate.  I totally love Cheesetique because it’s really kind of perfect for me.  I can get little pieces of cheese and small portions of veggies and I love it.  So, he very kindly permitted me to order for both of us.

Truth be told, I’m a take charge kind of girl.  You give me the power to make all of the decision, and I will.  The server came to the table and I very decisively ordered, “Yes, we’ll have te six cheese platter with the brie, the blue cheese, the Swiss, and the pumpkin cheese, and these two meats.  On the side we’ll have olives and the spiced Greek figs.  Thanks!”

Jeff was like, “Well, OK then!”

It was awesome, I have to say.  It was nice to just nibble on our snacks and catch up on old times.

Saturday, a friend of mine from my writer’s group had a picnic at her new house.  She moved to far away Maryland, (really only about 1 1/2 hours from here), and bought a house in the mountains.  Actually, it’s more of a compound as the house has about 4 buildings.  It’s gorgeous!  Here is the view from one of the buildings:

wendys

I know!  Hard life she has, right?

It was a great day.  I am happy that they bought this place and are happy there.  She and her husband have three kids and this place is pretty perfect for them.  They all live in the main house, but the kids can go and have their own private time in one of the other buildings. And my friend has her own little writing house.

Then last night, my former work colleagues had one of their twice yearly meetings/dinners.  The team all works remotely, and they have these meetings to bring everyone together, meet with the client, each other, and just have fun.  Well, they called me and asked me if I would like to meet them after for drinks, which I did.  I haven’t seen them since January.

I still worked with them in January, but in February, I started a new job.  I have changed a lot since then, obviously.  So, I made sure that I got all dolled up and did my hair, make-up, etc. I wanted to look good.

I was meeting them at the Grant Hyatt in Washington.  I walked in, and they were all gathered in the lobby waiting for me and our friend Greg.  Greg gave me a ride as he lives about 2 miles from me.

First, let me start with Mario.  Mario was waiting outside the hotel for a friend of his.  He’s grown a beard since the last time I saw him, and I didn’t recognize him.  He didn’t recognize me either.  The look on his face was priceless.  He was like, “Oh my God, Colleen! You look so different!”  We exchanged hugs, and I went into the hotel.

I saw them in the lobby so I waved to them.  A couple of them looked at me and then looked away.  I kept waving as I walked towards them and then finally someone recognized me.  The oohs and aahs started as each of them in turned hugged me and told me how great I looked. I have to say, it was quite awesome.  They were all so happy for me, which was nice.

We had a great time and hung around in the bar of the hotel until about 1230am.  Just FYI…no alcohol for me.  I did have a cafe Americano and some water.  It was so nice to see everyone again, but I have to say, I am glad that I changed jobs.  I miss the client, I miss my friends, but I am glad that I expanded my horizons and tried something new.

On a side note, I wanted to update my experience with the dating site I signed up for.  A guy who is seemingly, somewhat normal contacted me.  He lives in this area, a bit far out in the boonies for my tastes, but still, in Virginia.  We exchanged emails on the website and he gave me his phone number and asked me to call him.

I called him this am.  He sounds relatively normal.  I gave him my number and are planning to meet one day this week, or maybe next weekend to talk some more.  He asked me what I was looking for in a relationship.  I hate that kind of question, really, but I guess it’s kind of natural when you’re looking for a date.

I really have no preconceived notions of where any of this may take me, and I told him that.  I told him that I am open to whatever possibilities may lie ahead, but I don’t believe in setting false expectations and trying to mold the relationship into something it may not be.  I just said that my goal is to meet someone, talk, get to know them, and just see how things develop.  If it turns into something, great, if not, then, whatever.  These things need to develop organically, in their own time.

He seemed OK with that.

I have to admit, I’m a bit nervous about dating after such a long time not having that kind of relationship.  I’m in no rush.

I did tell him about my weight loss and what I have been doing for the past two years.  I also told him that I have not reached my goal, but I am close.  He was not put off by that at all.

One thing I have noticed recently is that I am not quite as focused on my weight as I used to be.  I mean, I am paying attention to what I eat.  I exercise.  I walk.  I am taking care of myself, definitely.  But I am not quite so focused on the scale so much anymore.  I will definitely continue to try to lose the additional 46 pounds to reach my goal, but it’s not the main focus of my life anymore.

I am living my life.  I am going out and having fun.  I am busy.  I am enjoying my friends and all of the new possibilities this new life has opened up for me.  That is all I have ever really wanted.  If I only measured my weight loss success by that marker, I have already achieved my goal!