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Everything posted by Jen581791

  1. How fun! Glad you got a chance to meet up. Looking lovely, @GAviv.
  2. Hi @Eboni, I think you're looking at two different issues here: 1) will potato chips and spaghetti hurt your stomach (probably not? although the oil in the chips may make you pretty sick), and 2) will eating potato chips and spaghetti help you get to your goal weight. I'm pretty sure you know the answer to number 2: these are foods that, as a recent WLS patient, aren't going to give you any nutritional benefit, but they will crowd out the nutrients you need right now (mostly protein), leaving you less stomach space for those because you're filling yourself with refined carbs, which have little nutritional value. I'm guessing that potato chips and spaghetti might be comfort foods for you. This is probably a good time to think about different ways to approach your relationship with food so that you can make it a healthier relationship going forward. For me, those are two kinds of food that I have great difficulty eating in very small portions, so I'm not eating them at all until I'm at my goal weight, and after that, I'll re-evaluate (but probably not eat them much, if at all). I'm also still working very hard every day to make sure I get my protein in - I don't have room for "entertainment" food in my diet. Your best bet if you're not sure is to talk to your nutritionist - he or she may have some advice for you on this subject. In the meantime, prioritizing protein seems like the best way to get you where you want to be!
  3. There's definitely a line between loving concern and concern trolling. With the actual concerned people (your mom), it's easy to be annoyed, but at the end of the day, she's worried about you because she loves you. She's just seeing a big difference and it's a shock to a mother's watchful eyes. With concern trolls, I suppose it's just a matter of time before they give up and realize that you're happy and healthy and are just thinner than you were - and that it's nothing to concern themselves with. Humans are pretty nosy creatures, and when you add some possible jealousy in there, it's a bubbling stew of "concern" that isn't pleasant to be on the receiving end of. Eventually they will grow tired of speculating and go back to being all wrapped up in their own business - self-centeredness being another thing humans are are good at. I hope the concerned voices grow much quieter very quickly, for your sake. Did I mention that it's very convenient to move to the other side of the planet where you know no one during this process? Blank slate, baby.
  4. Good for you! Mine has gone from not close to fitting to loose. Going to need to either visit a jeweler or come up with one of those rubber thingamajigs that help rings stay on soon. Very pleasant tasks to have!
  5. Hi Kio - Glad things are still going well. I'm a dress kind of gal (more when I'm overweight as a way to camouflage the problem areas, but even in general I like them), but pants are something I'm going back to now after losing some weight, so I appreciate your branching out - I'm going in the reverse direction as you, but it does feel strange to wear something you're not used to. An idea for your tuna: use a cheese grater with little teeny holes (like for parmesan) to grate some pickle, onion, and celery into your tuna - it should eliminate the fibrous bits and mostly add some of the juice and pulp for flavor. Then, no worrying about whether it will cause problems or not. I think it's very reasonable of you to want to wait until you're eating more substantial food to go back to work. I know I felt a whole lot more "normal" after I started eating real stuff. I don't know if it was a mental thing or a physical thing, but it did make a difference to me. Funny how different foods affect different people differently: shrimp has been my go-to protein source since I was about one month out. It always goes down well and never causes problems. Others report it takes a long time to be able to eat shrimp. Your new life of experimenting with what works for you is just around the corner: good luck trying new things and don't be afraid to go back to "easier" stages if you have issues.
  6. I hope you're feeling reassured! I know it's easy to get in a panic when you're in the early days - it feels like anything you do might be the thing that causes failure. My surgeon also has no rules about caffeine or straws. I think surgeons tend to use some caution when giving post-op advice to their patients - probably a good idea, but it can cause some to feel afraid if they feel they've broken a golden rule.
  7. @Aussie H, you're always so level-headed and reassuring Glad to have you here with us. @Readytobeme - it's a very good idea to get your surgeon's complications numbers as well as the number of surgeries they have done. Surgeons who have done lots of surgeries have better success rates (surprisingly unsurprising, I guess). In general, the odds of having something bad happen are quite low.
  8. Eggface's ricotta bake! Her blog has tons of recipes for every stage. You're sure to find something you like.
  9. I'm glad to see an update from you, but sad you have had such a scary experience. I think @Aussie H has great advice - take the best possible care of yourself while assuming you'll go ahead with WLS, but wait before making any serious decisions. Then, whether you do or you don't, you'll be healthier. Best wishes on your recovery. Take it easy.
  10. Life doesn't stop for surgery! Glad you've been really successful in your losses and are feeling good, but the hectic nature of your job sounds tough. Keep taking care of yourself by hitting those goals - you're well on your way to goal! 18 more pounds until -100
  11. Thanks, @Dragonfly111! Glad you found the blogs - I was so inspired by so many who went before me and documented it. I hope you find something here that speaks to you.
  12. Six months! I can't believe it. It's both flown by and dragged by, depending on my mood at the moment. Me six months ago seems like me in another life. I have lost 99.2 pounds since my pre-op diet started, one month before surgery. I have lost 80 pounds since surgery (come on, scale, can't you give me one more little pound so I can have a round number?). In the back of my head, I had a fantasy that I dared not speak of... to lose 100 pounds by my six month mark. Looks like I failed. (JUST KIDDING, I PROMISE!) I am pretty much pinching myself every day now, and not just to check on my loose skin. I'm still about 40 pounds from my stated goal weight, which I reserve the right to alter as I approach it, but that seems like a totally doable thing. I just need to keep doing what I'm doing. My size has decreased pretty dramatically - I am getting used to looking in the mirror and being OK with what I look like for the first time in a long time. I have a bunch of new clothes that actually fit me and aren't baggy to hide my silhouette, and they look pretty good! I'm shopping in the straight size stores with no problems at all, including some medium tops and large bottoms, with 14 mostly working. As a pear shaped person, that's to be expected. My boobs have decreased to a more reasonable size that doesn't much interfere with clothing purchases or vigorous exercise, so that's good. I'm starting to see a bit of loose skin, with flappy arms and jiggly thighs, but I would trade 10x worse loose skin for the weight loss I've had so far. I can always wear compression-y things. Depending on how things go, I could see some plastics at some point in the future, but I'm not really thinking about that yet. I can move better and more easily. Walking fast up hills or stairs is no problem. Getting up from the floor is easy. Getting in and out of small places is a breeze. Crossing my legs is comfortable. Heck, just standing and sitting are more comfortable. Everything just seems a little easier and more comfortable. *yay* I'm averaging about 700 calories a day right now, and I hit my protein goal of 65g per day about 95% of the time. Vitamins every day (I forget now and then but not often). Water is no problem for me, so I drink about 12 glasses a day or more. I've tried a few brands of protein shakes, and Syntrax Nectar (the first one I tried) is the one that tastes the best to me (best is relative here, though - sicky sweet protein drinks are not my fav). I eat a boatload of Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, plus veggie fake meats and some fish and quite a bit of shrimp. I'm coming around to eggs (not their taste -yuk!) and can eat about 1 1/2 if I really try. I haven't really eaten anything I shouldn't yet - I mean, I've had like three french fries, five tortilla chips, and one tiny handful of popcorn over the last six months, really just to taste it. I haven't had any sweets or real junk food. I haven't had any real dumping episodes, but several fish-related very uncomfortable periods followed by losing the fish, which hasn't really been that terrible, just painful beforehand. Vomiting post-op is really more like when babies spit up milk - quick and not too gross, without the acid and nastiness. My exercise has primarily been walking. I'm getting an average of 10,000 steps a day right now, including days when I'm in the car all day or whatever. I do some squats and modified push-ups and other stuff around the house. I'm waiting until after I move to join a gym - that'll be in less than 10 days (!!!). Due to weather constraints on the Arabian Peninsula (it's hotter than a [fill in your region's idiom of choice] until October/November), my outdoor walking will probably not continue. My whole decision to move back to the other side of the world is really its own NSV. My husband and I have had rather bad luck in finding jobs we like here in the good ol' US of A, and we actually really enjoyed living in Dubai while we were there. However, at a higher weight, and hey, if we're being honest with each other, in the last few years there when the scale numbers were drifting ever higher, just the idea of having to sit on a plane for almost 20 hours was enough to kill my desire to go back to the Middle East. In fact, being so much heavier, I was really mentally suffering with the idea of looking for jobs at all - my self-esteem was low and getting lower. The svelter me is actually excited to start a new job and is not really worried about sitting on a plane. I mean, it'll be awful, but not like "I'd rather jump out the window than sit here for another 15 hours" awful. So, my six monthaversary weekend: I drove to visit old friends in Seattle. We had a great weekend, catching up and chatting. I did not tell them about WLS. They are nice and would undoubtedly have been supportive, but they are thin, from families of thin people, and would not have understood. So I was just "doing low-carb" and "not very hungry." They've seen me lose and gain before, so they politely didn't even say anything beyond, "You look good." I wore great clothes, I walked around in a skirt without shorts things on underneath to prevent chafing (thigh gap is not a realistic goal for me, I think, but less thigh chafing? definitely), I felt confident seeing old friends, I was happy to meet new people, I had an evening out with a large group with no alcohol but a nice cheese plate, I walked and walked and walked and didn't get tired or out of breath, and I came prepared with all my gear to make sure I got my protein in (shakes and bars and string cheese and almonds). I am handling it The one bad moment was a pretty bad one, though. My friend, bless her soul, has never been on a diet in her life, and has only a very general idea of what low-carb might mean. I offered to take them out to dinner (where I could order something appropriate), but she insisted on cooking. Too late I discovered that most of the dinner would be pretty carby, and served over white rice (?!). "Well," I thought, "I'll just dish up the other stuff and not take any rice and mutter something about carbs." Nope, I got to the table and discovered the dinner already there, plated nicely. Huge pile of white rice with carby stuff on top. "Wow," she said, "I think I dished up too much stuff! Those plates are really full!" "Yes they are," I replied out loud while shrieking silently in my head. It was enough for me for like three days. And that would be if it was low carb stuff. White rice? That might ball up in my stomach and get stuck for a month. I smiled and sat down. My husband was making concerned eyebrows at me. I just gave it my all. I didn't try any of the rice, but I ate as much of the stuff off the top as I could. I ate until I couldn't, in a way that I never do now. It was really pitiful how small a dent it put in my plate of food. My friend was worried that I didn't like it, of course, which is basically how I played it off (well, politely saying that it was really good but still not eating much comes off that way pretty naturally, I guess). It was horrifying. I was really embarrassed. She was really embarrassed. The only good thing I can take away from this is: next time she'll let me take her out. It was a bad end to a good weekend, and it got me thinking about what to do in the future if this happens. I'm a bit at a loss. Any helpful tips, people who've been there? I did run across this the other day, for situations where you get called out about weight loss if you're not open about it. It's pretty funny, if you haven't seen Clusie L's stuff before. There's also this one, S#!T people say to bariatric patients. If you're ever feeling that those around you are not sensitive to your situation, this may be for you: I'll leave it right there, since Clusie L is just a whole lot funnier than I am. Please be kind with the photos - I am so freaking nervous to post these here.
  13. So, I'm living in a new place and having to make new friends, and no one here knows anything at all about me, let alone that I have become the world's pickiest eater and only eat like 4oz. at a time, anyway. Luckily or unluckily, people have been friendly, so now I'm invited to someone's house for dinner this weekend... The last time I was invited for dinner, back at home, I just could NOT eat more than a few bites of what was served, although it tasted good. I tried to play it off like I wasn't that hungry, but I'm 100% certain that my friend thought I didn't like it. It was OK, though, because I've known her for 20 years and one bad dinner experience is not the end of anything. Now, however, I will be going to someone's house that I really don't know at all, other than a quick introduction at work. There will be other work people there, too, so if I come off as a pain in the a$$, it will probably make the rounds pretty quickly. I replied in the invitation that we're vegetarians, but eat seafood, and apologized for being high maintenance, but I'm worried that that will just be the tip of the iceberg. I'm stressing out about having to fake my way around not really eating much. I'm totally willing to eat some things I shouldn't, just to not look like the world's pickiest eater, but the whole 4oz thing: that's hard to get around. Of course, I have no idea what will be served, so I can't plan for anything. Restaurants I'm doing OK with because I can order whatever I like, but this seems tougher. Any help, people who've been there? Or people who are just better are strategic social planning than I am? Short of sneaking food into my handbag throughout the meal, I just don't know what to do. OK, wait a minute, that's a possibility. No, no, not a good idea. It would be hard to explain if I got caught.
  14. This post is the follow-up to my post asking for advice earlier this week - A few days ago, I starting really worrying about a dinner party I was invited to and asked for advice. I got lots of good pointers, mostly along the lines of “don’t get so worked up over this - people won’t care/notice.” Well, last night was the dinner party, so here I am for a post-party postmortem. Before the party, I had emailed the hostess to say that I was a vegetarian-who-now-eats-fish (a category I once derided as “fake-atarian” but must now dignify with the name of “pescatarian” I guess). I was happy to hear that the hostess also falls into this category, as does another guest (whew! I wouldn’t be arriving at a lamb-roast! that’s a good start!). I loaded up on protein early in the day just in case, and determined to do my best to eat a little bit of whatever was served. I was also praying for salad, since I can do a pretty decent job of taking out some green leafy vegetables without getting too full. Or maybe a buffet-style thing where I could just take tiny bits of things. I arrived to find that there were only 5 of us, total (alarm bells!) and that the hosts are sort of famous for their cooking (more alarm bells!). However, they are also very very very fit and health conscious people, so I was still holding out for something other than a giant plate of carbs. I had some wine before dinner and some veggies and hummus, which was a great option. Then, the baked brie topped with fruit and nuts and maple syrup (Canadians!! grr!) came out of the oven, and a loaded up cracker was thrust at me. “This,” I thought briefly, “would be a bad time to find out that I dump from sugar.” You see, dear reader, I have had no sugar, other than the stuff naturally occurring in dairy, fruit, and veggies, in 8 months, so I had no idea whether this would be the end of the world or no big deal. (I maybe should have experimented beforehand.) I ate the cracker with the stuff on top, and the maple syrup definitely wasn’t a selling point in my opinion, but it went down and stayed down, and I felt OK. As a non-Canadian, I do like maple syrup in theory, but do not enjoy the liberal use of it that Canadian expats seem to enjoy. Then, to table. Out come pre-plated dinners (worst case scenario!). They served seared tuna and grilled vegetables and grilled halloumi (an excellent firm salty Middle Eastern cheese, best eaten grilled or fried, doesn’t melt, just gets crispy). Yes! I can eat all of those things! I skipped the bread (and actually the salad, too, no room with this giant plate of normal sized portions!), and attacked the tuna, which was delicious. I ate really really slowly and drank wine while eating (please just wash some of this food through so I can eat more!) and managed to eat about half of the tuna, all of the halloumi and some of the veggies. I mumbled some things about low carb and how delicious everything was - it was actually really delicious. At a certain point, I was admonished to stop eating if I was full and not worry about it, since of course I was the last one eating and the only one who didn’t clean her plate I gave up at that point. Then, the hostess disappeared into the kitchen to get dessert. Which came back to the table already plated (small voice inside making strangling sounds). It was sitting in front of me before there was any possible way I could have politely declined or even asked for a smaller piece. These are people I don’t know at all, remember, and who are being very nice to me and my husband as new people, to invite us over for dinner - so I can’t really be rude here. It’s super ultra rich chocolate cake and ice cream (small voice takes on new urgency, sort of quietly screaming). I’m pretty sure I looked a little like a deer in the headlights, but I tried to be calm, really I did. I skipped the ice cream and got some tsk tsks for that, but I ate a lot (for me) of the cake. I maneuvered around the frosting and got only the cake itself, to minimize the dumping risk. I ate super slowly. I tried to refuse the fancy Italian chocolate liqueur that was served with it, and was allowed to share one with my husband (I took fake sips). The cake was good. I’m not really a chocolate person (sounds crazy, I know, but I don’t love it, and since my sense of smell went haywire last winter, it just tastes sort of bitter to me), so it wouldn’t be my thing in the best of scenarios, but at this point, I’m just eating slowly and hoping that I’m not going to have a dumping episode right here at these fine people’s house. I did not. I got a bit hot and sweaty, but nothing other than that. I’m glad I didn’t push my luck with the ice cream. I was fine. After we left, I was like “Woo hoo! I made it through being invited to someone’s house for dinner and I did OK! I ate like half of everything! I ate cake! I made it!!!!!!” I think I’ve just established myself as a person who doesn’t eat much or maybe a picky eater, which is fine. I guess that both of those things describe me now, so that’s probably a good thing. “Hi, I’m Jen, and I’m a picky eater who doesn’t eat much.” BUT, I’m a picky eater who doesn’t eat much who can go to dinner at someone’s house and not die! I did my MFP food diary when I got home (gee, I’m so fun), and I only had about 1100 calories total for the day, even including the two glasses of wine and the cake. I guess there’s only so much damage you can do if you’re eating tiny quantities. Good to keep in mind while focusing on keeping the quantities of suboptimal things small. I think this dinner was the signal to me that I need to experiment a bit more and figure out some more coping strategies for dealing with being served things that are less than ideal for my way of eating. Living the life of an expat in this part of the world means eating dinner at other people’s houses pretty frequently, as that’s a major portion of the social entertainment available. Since we’ve just arrived, I think there will be a good number of these kinds of things as people get to know us, and I’m hoping they all go as smoothly, despite my fears, as this one went. I’m about 28 pounds from GW right now, so at some point in the foreseeable future, I’m going to have to learn how to maintain, which will require learning to deal with the normal everyday food challenges presented as I go through my life. Up to this point, I’ve been narrowly focused on eating *perfectly* and this has served me well, but my strategy will have to change a bit. In general in life, I find it much easier to be an “all or nothing” kind of person - I can do *perfect* perfectly, for a while, until I can’t. I have a hard time going back to something like *perfect* after falling off the wagon, or making periodic allowances that disrupt *perfect*. This is something I need to work on. The cake didn’t kill me. The maple syrup didn’t even kill me. Today I can eat whatever I like, which in this post-WLS iteration of my life means greek yogurt and protein shakes and cheese and shrimp, and I don’t have to feel bad or guilty or anything negative at all about what I ate last night. In fact, I can feel good about it. I was flexible and I ate both to sustain my health and to perform a social function, and both of those things are important in life. And they liked us enough to invite us camping next weekend, so I guess we passed the test. I’ll make sure to bring some protein bars.
  15. I totally hear you on the day after thing. This relates to my comment to Carina, actually. My favorite thing to do the day after I had hosted a party was to go to the kitchen and make snacks out of leftovers - like all day long. I suspect I ate more the day after than the day of many times. Carbs -> carbs -> carbs -> carbs...
  16. Hi Carina, I know you've had issues with feeling hungry, and that sounds tough. I've been fortunate in not feeling hungry very often, which is probably down to luck of the draw in how my body reacted to surgery, but just in case my behavior and/or thinking has had anything at all to do with it, here's what I've done/thought. Warning: this is LONG!! I really put some thought into it. It may not be pertinent at all to your case, and I don't want to dismiss your hunger as "in your head" or "fixable" because I'm not in your head, and I don't know how you feel, and everyone is different. This is just my way of thinking about myself, and it seems to help. TL;DR - Carbs make me hungry and crave more carbs, so I avoid them as much as possible. When carbs make me feel hungry and crave more carbs, I tell my stomach to shut up and stop lying to me. These two things seem to have worked pretty well for me so far. 1. I stick to low-carb/high fat almost all of the time, usually 30g or fewer carbs, 99% of the time 40g or fewer. I know from pre-op that this leads to me feeling less hunger - it was the only way I could eat less before surgery without feeling like I was starving to death. I really like carbs, like to a problematic degree, and I know how they make me feel: they make me crave more of them. It's not just a craving thing, though. It's that stomach rumbling, "I gotta eat something right now!" sort of feeling. Like a few hours after eating a carby meal (pancake breakfast, big plate of pasta, Asian food with lots of white rice, candy, cookies, whatever), I feel ravenous. If I don't eat that stuff, that stomach rumbling ravenous feeling doesn't happen. This is me, and as I'm sure you know from reading this forum ad nauseam, everyone's reactions to everything seem to vary quite a lot, so no guarantee that's what happens to you, or really anyone else. But I know that it happens to me. 2. Knowing that this rumbling stomach feeling is because of how my digestive hormones are reacting to too many carbs, I have committed myself to very purposefully forcing my brain to reassign that feeling to "reaction to carbs" (insulin, ghrelin, leptin, who knows what else) rather than to "hunger". It's not hunger. It happens a couple of hours after I eat carbs, when I shouldn't feel hungry if things are working correctly. Previously, I always interpreted it as actual hunger, and proceeded to eat something to make it go away (which works! for a while). If I was being smart, I would eat something with protein, and the feeling would go away. If I was being stupid, I would eat more carbs, what my body was screaming for, and the feeling would go away, only to rear its ugly head again pretty soon after, triggering a spiral of eat/"hunger"/eat/"hunger" that would sometimes last for days. It's not REAL hunger - that feels like being empty, low on energy, light headed, or whatever else accompanies low blood sugar due to needing to eat. It's also not hedonic hunger, I think, because it's not just my brain wanting something to satisfy its habit of turning to food for pleasure, entertainment, comfort, etc. It's something different. It feels like a drive to eat, like "I feel this gnawing feeling in my stomach, and if I put some food in there it will go away" *quiet whisper* "it will go away better if it's crackers or cookies or chips or pizza or ice cream or pasta or..." SO, after thinking long and hard about this, and also watching my favorite hot bariatric surgeon, Dr. Matthew Weiner, talk about this in his video about head hunger, I decided to re-name that rumbling stomach, drive to eat something feeling as "reaction to carbs." I had it a fair bit in the first couple of weeks after surgery when I was drinking watered down juice and applesauce and stuff (sugar), but every time it happened, I just told myself, "That's your body having a reaction to carbs. You're not hungry." I drank some water or herbal tea or whatever, and the feeling generally went away pretty quickly. It does come back every time I eat too many carbs - like after the dinner party - but calling it by the better descriptor, rather than hunger, has made it so that I don't want food when it happens. What I want is for the feeling to go away! So, instead, I drink some water, eat some protein, or go for a walk, and it does. Then, I think about what caused it, and try to avoid that in the future. That's why I take giant horse pill calcium instead of delicious calcium chews - the chews have just enough carbs to trigger that feeling, and I hate that feeling. Fruit doesn't do it, maybe because the sugar is bundled with fiber, so I eat some fruit. Dairy doesn't seem to do it, either, so I eat a ton of yogurt and milk and cheese. That's basically where all my carbs come from, though, besides beans, which I eat in small quantities, too. Fake sugar often sets off this reaction in me, too, which means that living where I do now and not having access to very much fake sugar stuff is probably very good for me. Wow, talk about a long answer to a short question...
  17. Data = control = success for me, too; too bad it doesn't work that way in every aspect of life. At the same time, I log the h3ll out of what I eat so I can analyze later if things go sideways for some reason. I want to know all the things. Yes, other things will happen later, but fish as a goal is a good one right now Moist and not well-done is key! Sauce helps. I found tuna mixed with liberal amounts of mayo or greek yogurt to be a good way to dip my toe in the water on that front.
  18. It sounds like you're doing great. Figuring out how to keep up your protein and fluids while out and about a tricky and takes practice. I still mess up from time to time. The projections on how much you "should lose," or really how much people lose on average by certain points in time, really messed with my head in the first few months. I was undershooting all of them. My speed of losses picked up, though, and now I'm overshooting all of them, so take those with a grain of salt. Don't let them determine your sense of accomplishment. You don't need the people at the doctor's office to say nice things about how you're doing, silly! That's what we're for!!! Nice job! You're doing so well! Way to go for planning a meal out! That takes courage but can make you feel so much more normal and in control. I hope you have a fun time.
  19. Good for you for letting your life experiences motivate you to make changes based on long-term outcomes! That's a hard thing to do as a human. Congrats on working on your AA.
  20. Actually, no. I mean, the maple syrup and the chocolate cake were the only things I really wouldn't normally eat - thank goodness for a menu planned by extremely fit, health-conscious people! I woke up with a bit of a weird food-craving feeling in my stomach (what I used to think was hunger but now I know it's some kind of hormonal response to carbs I guess) and I fed it some greek yogurt, and was all good. Pretty glad about that! We were gifted some banana bread by someone yesterday, and although it smelled delightful, I haven't been motivated to check it out. My husband will polish it off before I know it, so I think I'm all good as far as cravings go. I know that in my former life, it would be haunting me until I had some, so the feeling of control over that kind of thinking (or compulsion, let's call it what it is) is great.
  21. 11

    Congrats on breaking your contract to stay stable ! Hard to know what's going to nudge the needle a little lower, but it seems to be stuff like that (or buying a bunch of new clothes) for me... Your guinea pig experience sounds really interesting. Keep us updated. I'd love to know that kind of thing about myself. Your walk looks very pretty - and with excellent weather. It's so nice to be able to walk outside in a lovely place. Watch out for the bison Getting close now. A few more classes and you'll be there!
  22. @Trish13 I love that you were able to feel free of the "need" to eat what everyone else was, even when you were the one who baked the cupcakes and organized all the food. Your strategy of making sure something was available for your needs was a good one!
  23. Don't diminish you achievements just because your starting point was a bit lower than average. You just got there more quickly - you still had to take the plunge and you still have to follow all the same rules. You just got it under control before your situation got worse (wish I had). I think "comfortable in your own skin" is sort of a far-off goal for many if not most. Bodily self-awareness is so hard-wired into our brains that it will take a lot of input in a variety of situations before our brains really *get* that we're smaller. Maybe you should go buy some really tight skinny jeans and try to accelerate the process
  24. Great to hear you're doing so well! A pound a day is cray-mazing. Keep up your hard work including exercise - it will make you feel better and better. Valentine's Day is my surgiversary, so we can both post about our amazing progress that day!
  25. @Dunndeal Wow, you look great! What a fun measurement tool!