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A daily record of the weird things that only your "inside voice" says...from newbie to new life.

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Since the surgery, I've been reading blogs and just plain feeling GREEN over others' energy bursts. I've moped, I've prayed, I've dragged my sloth self around in my bath robe or sweat pants, trying to spread the day's energy as thinly as I could, just so I could be awake when the sun went down. I've even been putting off my return to the gym, hoping for that sweet, sweet promise of energy to come.....but, digging in my heels hasn't been the least beneficial. All it's won me is a routine of lazy strolls that I've routinely begun to think of as "exercise." Honestly, I didn't even get my heart rate up. What was I thinking? That is NOT a life change. Where was my commitment to myself???

Before the surgery, I was in the gym 5x a week for about 3 years. I begrudgingly went, dragging my gym bag behind me like Linus....but I went. I ventured from the elliptical to the pool to the weights and even tried some classes. I did it because I promised myself I would, not because I had a burning desire to sweat in front of skinny people. There is no such thing as princess perspiration here....I sweat (and smell, I might add) like a dude when I work out. But, with the aide of sweat wick clothing, chlorine-killing shampoo, and clinical strength deodorant, I lived. I got used to it and got results that I was proud of....but I can't say that I was crushed when the doc said that I would have to forgo exercising for several weeks post-op. I actually thought that I heard angels singing.

So, imagine my stunned expression as I write the following sentence: IT FEELS SO INSANELY GOOD to be working out again. This week, I finally ventured from my lazy walking and tried to get back into a gym state of mind. Nothing magical happened, no gnomes or wizards of which I am aware. But, at some point during my elliptical interlude, I began to feel that tell-tale tingle at the base of my scalp and WHOOSH, ....energy....at long, long last. I finished my session with record vigor and then tackled the lower body weight machines with all the vim I could muster. There's no telling what I may have accomplished if the kids' center hadn't been scheduled to close for their afternoon break, darn it! Tomorrow, upper body and laps in the pool. Bring it on! I feel a little more like me, today.


With the craze of trying to catch up from recovering from a surgery, then missing class for an additional week for pleural effusion, I've been bailing water from a near-sinking GPA through the end of the semester. It doesn't need saying that there really hasn't been time for much exercise, other than walking. Thank God that I was able to salvage my 4.0 and finish finals with a bang! Now, however, is when the real work begins.

Beginning tomorrow (one more day to finish recovering from strep throat), my daily grind will consist of 70g of protein minimum, cardio, and strength training. I vow to be rid of these horrid chicken wings before any bouts of clapping send me into the stratosphere, even if it means I end up with guns like those mullet chicks in circa 1980 body building contest posters.

But, that is not all....I am also pledging to keep my house tidy and shave my legs each and every day. There will be no more overflowing laundry baskets....no more end-of-semester-housekeeping, where you're not quite sure if it's safe to sit on the kids' toilet seat and you don't dare look too long or too hard at any crack or cranny lest you find vile dust bunnies or stowaway children. I will finally call an end to Christmas by removing the winter wreath from the front door and turning on the sprinklers so the grass will turn green. Oh, and I will wash my new car weekly.

On a side note: my new car.....Mini Cooper Countryman ALL4..... I'm finally in need of psych meds, maybe...miss-I-have-no-clothing-of-color-in-my-entire-closet...I bought a mini cooper that looks like a bumblebee. Bright custard yellow with black top and bonnet stripes. :) To all of you Brits out there that feel the need to invoke the yellow-mini-spankings....spank away! The drive is worth the smacked hiney, for sure.


Weight loss is fun, but the side effects are quite odd, sometimes. You never really know where the weight will come off first, where things will migrate towards, or what your shape will be until you're finished. I feel a little like a balloon animal that isn't quite twisted tight enough at the joints...(you know, when you squeeze the giraffe's head and the butt gets bigger?) So far, the least ideal place for me to lose weight is the most popular and I'd swear that one of my post-op scars is migrating north. So weird.

It's not a hypothesis, either. I have photographic evidence. Strange things are going on in my "after pictures," which by the way I still cannot upload. Each week, the camera chooses a "featured" body part. This "featured" feature looks WAY bigger than in the picture the week before and everything else looks smaller. The first week, it was my head. Then, my arms. But, this week, it's my nose! (which is more disturbing than the other scenarios by far). I'm beginning to wonder if someone has switched my camera lens with a small version of a circus mirror?????

The body part that is currently setting a shrinking record is my derriere. It will soon disappear altogether and leave me with the very odd (and concave) dilemma of finding non-spandex pants that stay up. Every pair of jeans in my closet are now "hammer pants." Compared to the exponential growth of the extra room in the seat of my pants and the ever lower hanging crotch, the legs now look as if they've been ridiculously tapered, though they weren't purchased as such.

It's kinda hard to be upset about odd-shapes and moving scars, when the changes are due to weight loss, though. So, for now, I'm in total acceptance of my shape-shifting shell and wondering what will be featured in next week's photo.

PS---People are starting to notice that SOMETHING is going on...I've been complimented on my "new hair color" (which is my own color and desperately needs a trim) and my "glowing complexion" (same face, same make-up). Most of the time, though, I get a general, "You look GREAT today." Why, thank you, thank you very much. It's odd, though, that you can lose upwards of 45lbs and people don't know what you're doing differently...maybe no one ever looked below my face at my plumpness??


When I think about losing as much weight as I still have to lose, my patience takes a sabbatical and I kind of turn into a much larger version of Veruca Salt, wanting the world "now." So, I'm taking a cue from veteran TTF-ers :) and chopping up the elephant I have to eat into manageable bites. Today, I'm setting my first goal. I am going to aim for a 50 lb loss by my 2 month mark. Today, I'm 42lbs down and have 19 days to lose 8 more. Feels great to say.

Sorry for such a short blog, but I have major exams tomorrow, then one week until finals....final push time. Have a great one, everybody.


While atop my plateau....things, they are a-changing. My "cozy" pants have gone WAY past elephant skin. Maybe I'm the only one on the planet that would dare keep them, but for some reason, I did. A long while ago I bought pants that started out as my workout pants, until the mere friction of my thighs frantically rubbing together on the elliptical made like a bow and string fire starter and burned holes in the fabric until my fleshy legs were able to touch. Imagining cricket chirping, anyone??

Well, they're almost like trophies, now. My largest pair were velour because you simply can't find exercise pants in size 5x....but I can fit into one leg of them, now. Fun, but not there, yet. So, I figure that it take a LOT of elliptical to burn through the plastic legs....which leads me to the next size down pair of exercise pants that also have holes....etc... Like trophies...they pile in my closet and I only bring them out to do things like boost my ego or bathe the dog.

There's always a set that are in use...because they don't yet have holes. But, I may have to retire this set before they earn their stripes. My SPANDEX is suddenly baggy??!! And, not just to the point where it's no longer uncomfortable to breathe in. And, not just to the point where they no longer compress my belly bumps into sausage-casing smoothness. And, not just to the point where I can bend at the hips. No. They're baggy. I can fit both my kids and maybe the pig (real, not a mean nickname) into them with me. The butt has spandex wings that flap when I walk. That, friends, is PROGRESS, and progress feels pretty super!


I was sooooo excited to go to my surgeon's office yesterday to meet with the PA and the NUT, hoping they would be able to give me some sort of judgment (for lack of a better word) as to my decision-making and give me tips on what I could do better. NOPE. I met with Laurie, who is a woman after my own heart, actually. She is practical, no nonsense, lets-get-down-to-the-business-of-the-day, and more than a little intimidating.

I wouldn't be meeting with the NUT, after all. Instead, they pulled my pre-op labs, and began adjusting my supplements based on results that were BEFORE my surgery???? Um, nope. I'll have my new lab work drawn in 2-4 weeks, then I'll return to the PA to have my supplements adjusted. For now, I've been instructed to double-up on calcium and my multi vitamin, just based on my pre-op labs. I'm not a doctor or anything, but didn't they even peek at the labs that they ordered before the surgery??? hmmmmm We'll see what wondrous things they'll make me inject or chew to correct this mess.

I did bring up my plateau. To keep from sounding like a crazy person, I waited until she mentioned weight loss (I'd lost 9.6 lbs since my 2 week appt), then said, "I am experiencing a plateau that's lasted for some time." And, the look on her face was as if I had said, "The sun rises in the morning." Her response (this is NOT an exaggeration), "Don't worry about it. You'll get over it." Oh, wow. I'll get over it. LOL. As much as I appreciate professionalism in my doctor's office, I do get a kick out professionals letting their pet peeves show. Obviously, I had perfectly targeted her last nerve. So, I mentioned the fact that I was asked to bring my food diary each appointment and she had zero interest. This was the moment that I realized that I was the one being superficial. She had just explained to me that my iron, B12, and calcium were extremely low before the surgery, and I was still fixating on the scale. Yowch. Message received. I'm an obsessive post-op.

From now on, I'll try to keep my surgeon's office compartmentalized. Plateaus and food=nutritionist. Vitamins and lab work=PA.


Dear Skinny-mini in my Chemistry class last night,

I apologize for my behavior. It was very insensitive of me to allow my chin to drop to the floor, then turn my shocked face away to stifle a giggle when you walked in to class wearing spandex bicycle shorts and an exercise bra and high heels. I should never have been so disappointed when you sat beside me, then began applying lipstick. I am ashamed that my only thought was, "I wonder if Mommy and Daddy know how much $$ they're wasting, sending someone to school that doesn't know enough to cover her skin for Chemistry lab." I was equally wrong when I was so entertained by the professor giving you an option to put on the "I've-spilled-chemicals-on-my-own-clothes" pajamas or leave lab. And, I apologize for laughing when you stormed out of lab, refusing to wear the "icky" clothes. I'm sure that you're a lovely person, who will, one day, learn what clothing is appropriate for what situations. Until then, when I see you again.....perhaps in the grocery store in a thong.....I'll be nice and try to remember that you're the future of this nation. (and I'll be praying for the next ice age) Let me say that I understand why you're proud of your well-toned athletic figure. I hope to have one someday, myself. Can I add that well-toned athletic figures look great in all kinds of clothing that do not contain spandex?


PS. Guess what? I have collar bones! :) It's a good day.


Since the surgery, I haven't been a scale-head. I haven't weighed 15 times a day...even managed several days between weigh-ins. But, as the stubborn thing refuses to move lately (2 weeks), I believe I may be trying to squash it into submission with my exact same weight standing on it multiple times a day. And, it's not working....yet.

I have an appointment with my NUT on Monday. Hoping that she'll shed a little light on whether she thinks I'm doing the right things. I think I just need a little push....but not sure what that looks like. Not brokenhearted, yet. But, I do have a growing dislike for that thing taking up residence in my bathroom.....it shall remain nameless. Where's a sledgehammer when you need one? Maybe I should just switch to the metric system to see smaller numbers for a little while, until this goes away?

My only idea is to switch focus for a while. When SFC Hubby and I were trying to get pregnant, the "magic" didn't happen until we gave up. So, let me officially announce that I'm not going to fight the plateau anymore. Did you hear THAT, scale?? :)


What if, like me, you're a historically terrible decision maker?? It's honestly been so long since I truly felt happy, I don't remember when my smiles weren't forced. Lately, my "plan" for happiness is to "wait until_________________." It's never an in-the-moment kind of joy anymore.

In my measly one month post op, I've felt this impatience building.......like that elusive happiness hasn't been pushed out to yet another "tomorrow." It's almost like I'm catching up with it; or at least the hope of catching it is growing stronger.

I remember being younger and impulsive; everything was about happiness in the moment. Every split-second decision was made so I wouldn't miss any opportunities. I wanted to breathe life in, let it fill my lungs until they burst. Every laugh was real.

It makes me wonder what in the world I'm doing nowadays. Is that spirit something I can recapture? And, for that matter, why did I lose it? I know this blog isn't really weight-related, but I can't help but wonder.....what if the land-slide weight gain was simply a symptom of losing myself?

What if happiness really is a series of careful choices?? I'd say that I've averaged a C. Maybe it'd be easier if I was failing miserably and my personal life was horrible.....I'd wipe the slate clean and cry "mulligan." But, my life has, essentially, become milquetoast. It's not happy; it's not sad. It's passionless and bland, but stable. There's a lot to be said for stability, but it's a far cry from where I always saw myself going.

It's not that I believe this surgery will become a time machine; I know that I can't re-do life. I'm afraid, though, that it will wipe away my own excuses for accepting the stagnant parts of my life. My mind, for years, has been plagued with wanderlust. I'd love to be able to type that I hope it doesn't become worse, but .......truthfully, I'm seeing the first hint of horizons expanding and stability isn't feeling so adequate today.


Ladies and Gentlemen, I think I've got it! I remember when I used to browse (aka lurk) the blogs on TTF and wonder WHY people were soooooooo upset with a sudden plateau after having a whopping 30 lb loss within their first month post-op. Now, I have a pretty good guess, and, let me just say that I'm making this guess from the middle of a major plateau.

It almost feels like the surgery never happened. It's kinda like those weird alien/ancient alien/we're not alone/aliens and pyramid shows that come on at 2am when you can't sleep....or, if you just happened to stay up till 2am to catch them (like me)....anyway, you know what I mean. Strange, junkee-looking people swear that they had a tumor, then were abducted by aliens, and voila! it's gone! That's what this plateau almost feels like.....the twilight zone....my surgery was real, right????

Call me a paranoid conspiracy theorist, but I'll say it.....there's part of me that has started to wonder if my highly reputable surgeon decided to perform an experiment......a "placebo" surgery??? What if he merely fixed my hiatal hernia then sewed me back up, without bothering to do the bypass?? And, while I don't really believe it, it IS the kind of thing that you see on the Lifetime Movie Network....some poor lady duped by a phoney surgeon and not knowing it until her first stall....that lasted a year. THAT is my kind of luck, people.

But, until you guys see me turning up on the Lifetime Network in a movie entitled, "Fat Chance: the Nestingdoll Story", and bemoaning said luck, we can just all assume that there actually is an end to this plateau. Not to mention the restoration of my surgeon's unsullied reputation.

So, I'll keep plugging along, until there's a more dire need to dig deeper into the "alien" or "placebo" theories. :) And, hopefully, I'll stop wishing so hard for tomorrow to hurry up and get here. I really need to start enjoying the moment, even in a stall.

Foodnote: I discovered Barilla Plus pasta's protein content today. I gave up white processed flour a couple of years ago, so I actually had this pasta in my cupboard. 1 serving of this loverly whole grain stuff is 17g protein, 3.5g fat, and 7g fiber. I added 91% lean ground beef and some sauteed bell peppers, a dollop of zoi and cajun seasoning.....1/2cup of the yumminess was 234 cal and just under 30g protein. HA HA! I may actually get the hang of this afterall!


So, this morning, I was reading Bugdocmom's blog about dumping at her son's sports field after drinking a protein shake with 7 g of sugar....I happened to be drinking my protein shake so, naturally, I had a "THE SKY IS FALLING" feeling and re-read my own label. 5g in a total 14 oz, of which I was only consuming 6oz. Whew! It shouldn't be a problem, even though it was my very first time having that much of the shake.....I drink it every day, usually in 3 oz. servings. A little more of it shouldn't hurt. I'm supposed to be upping my amounts, now, and according to my food bible, 6 oz is a meal. I'm in the clear. Thank goodness. I decided my falling sky was an acorn, quickly greeted my babysitter and jumped in the car to head to class........and it began.

My tummy started this swirly-whirly, moving at the speed of light, water park kind of sensation. I was officially Mt. Pinatubo, and barely made it to campus without crying out for mercy or having an accident in my car. It's felt like that dizzy, grinding, fast-forward feeling that you get right before you get confirmation (if you know what I mean) that the piece of fish that you had at the lunch buffet really was bad. Oh, oh, like that "Aliens" scene where they clutch their stomachs right before something pops out. I was clutching like that, bent over, trying to beg my intestines into submission or at least trying to squash them until they had no choice but to SLOW DOWN. But, the weirdest, scariest thing was the crazy heart beating in my throat and the sparkly curtain that was dropped in front of my eyes. Very scary. (and I am prone to random drops in blood pressure...I'm used to the floor coming up and smacking me in the face) I did find a restroom, though I will not offend anyone with my description of my public restroom symptoms. Let me just say that the children (college kids) scattered quickly, terrified by inhuman noises that were escaping from both ends. Very scary.

Fortunately, it wasn't a complete KO. It actually ended surprisingly abruptly, though my paranoia continues. Goodbye, Ensure High Protein! Sorry, guys, for the repetition of "very scary," but it really was.

Lingering side effect: the unwavering belief that water is my only friend.

footnote: 97 on my calculus exam...still waiting on chemistry results :) I'll take it!


I so did not expect this. In T minus 25 minutes, I'll be heading to campus to take an exam, and true to form, I'm a ball of nerves. There's a lot riding on my grades, and my brain isn't as young as it used to be. (and I have another one tomorrow morning) Calm isn't really on the menu today.

I've heard of those people that throw up when they get a bit antsy, but I've never been one of them.......that might change this morning. MY POUCH IS ANGRY! Of course, we've all known that the body works in a beautiful symphony,....practically ever since we learned from Elmo and Mr. Rogers that the ankle bone was connected to the foot bone. But, OY that "symphony" is suddenly feeling like every part of my body is linking arms and staging a "heck no, you're gonna blow" rally.

For inquiring minds, it feels almost like I've swallowed a brick, then jumped aboard a Formula 1 car...making every muscle in my tummy have a Charlie horse. I'm not having problems with fluids this morning, so I traded breakfast for an ensure high protein (3 oz). Hope it settles down.

Where is Prince Valium when you need him?

PS: Hope you guys had a great Zombie Jesus day!


DISCLAIMER: the following post does NOT preclude me from seriously whining about the plateau tomorrow. :)

It's kind of amazing the things that stick in your head when you read the blogs and posts on this site. The two major things that I took with me, almost from my first day lurking behind the scenes were 1. I'll be a gassy, gassy lady post-op. and 2. Week 3, I'll have a major plateau. Without divulging too much info, both have come to pass. (no pun intended) Yes, I now have an on board propulsion system that could one day launch me to the moon....and, today, I'm experiencing my very first plateau. I'm trying to analyze my feelings on this one, and I think I may have finally gone 'round the bend. I'm overly positive and not having to search too hard to find the silver lining. Really. Me.

It's post-op day #18 and Day #1 of my first round of weight loss doldrums. But, I'm not really bummed, yet. It's almost like "earning your stripes" or "showing your battle scars"....I'm going through it, too. Yep, this process has a lot of common experiences, which is comforting for someone like me......someone whose medical chart has the same phrase written on each page, "Girl is crazy...we've never seen these lab results before....must be an alien or very large fembot...keep running tests." And they did. I keep warning them that the next set of symptoms that I will present with will be radiation poisoning from all of the contrast, MRI's, X-rays, and CTs. "Perfectly normal and expected" is a white elephant in my life. So, maybe it sounds a bit odd, but I'm completely okay with being just like a lot of folks FOR ONCE!

Maybe next week, I'll freak a bit if the scale doesn't budge, but today:

1. I know I'm following the program.

2. I know that my caloric intake isn't even to the point it should be....no way am I eating too much.

3. Either my body is having "normal" reactions or T-T can even predict the plateaus of extra large fembots. (either way, I'm good.)


Alright, today, I have to admit, was a little rough....STILL. The sleepy-headedness continues to linger like a really dense fog. And, I have lost the ability to understand what the heck my body is trying to tell me. It starts feeling funny, and I have to take a wild shot in the dark as to what I've done wrong/not done right. These days, feeling like I'll soon be ripped in half at the stomach means that I've waited too long to eat. Today, I set the alarm on my cell phone. I don't plan to have that kind of terrifying pain again soon. But, let's be honest for a minute....since the surgery, every inkling of pain is terrifying. I'm scared to death that I'll end up back in ER. *knock on wood and say a quick prayer*

But, I do have good news on this official weigh-in day: Today, I'm 34 lbs less than my surgery-qualifying date. So crazy that this is actually working----even for ME! Yesterday, on my way out of Chemistry lab, the weather was pretty nasty so I was walking pretty fast back to my car across campus. I started feeling this slipping, rolling sensation around my hips, under my ridiculously baggy "IMAGANGSTA-looking" blue jeans (the jeans formerly known as the only jeans that fit "right"). Hands full of books and bags and scarves and gloves and blowing snow, I couldn't exactly brave the spectators and reach down my pants to pull up my underwear, so I had to let them make a run for my ankles. I'm just gonna say it: THANK GOD FOR MY CROTCH. (of my pants, that is) If not for the crotchal-region of my GANGSTA jeans (that happens to now be half-way to my knees), I would've been shackled around the ankles by my own panties, trying to shuffle to the car in the blowing snow. Panty socks, for sure. As it was, I had lacy knee pads. Not cute at all.

So, in my pure excitement that my clothing is getting so big, I put my big old foot directly in my big old mouth. When I got to the car,I called the bald man, and as soon as he answered, I said (very loudly and excitedly), "HONEY, MY PANTIES ARE AROUND MY KNEES." Yeah, he's not one to waste an opportunity....his response I'll keep to myself, but you can just imagine.


Being the skeptic that I am, when I heard my chunky sister's repeated commentary about how "sickly" and "ill" and "grey-skinned" I've been looking lately, I brushed it off. Like water off a duck's back, as my mama would say....but, it's a little harder to ignore today.

My babysitter, a 50-ish lovely woman who actually cleans my house after she puts my midget down for a nap, made a similar comment today. I haven't seen her since the surgery, so I was looking forward to seeing her reaction. Maybe I shouldn't have watched her so hard, but......the expressions that she tried hard to conceal can only be described as "OMG, YOU'RE A ZOMBIE-LOOKING FREAK...WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO YOU." Followed by those maternal words, "Honey, why don't you come with me and sit down for a minute. Are you OK? You look like you're about to keel over." She actually kept her hand on my elbow as she walked me to my own couch, never mind that I would've squished her tiny frame like a bug if I would've actually fallen.

Please tell me that I'm not the only person going through this one....coupled with the weight loss that is now relentless (even in the notoriously plateau-plagued 3rd week), I'm afraid people will think I'm DYING. Any thoughts, guys.....please no jabs about my make-up. I'm even putting on extra blusher these days to keep from looking so, um, fragile. (HA....can't keep a straight face when I type that word to describe myself.....me, a buxom, viking-minus-breastplate kind of gal....who just happens to look like she's about to die)


UGH! I'm soooooooooooooooo behind in my classes, since the pneumonia hospitalization. One of my professors has agreed to let me take my next exam in a few days instead of tomorrow, but I'm not sure how much that will help at this point. I have to keep plugging away at it; I just have to work hard until I catch up. The problem is.....a fluffy pillow and a few hours of a coma-like state sound MUCH better than hours in the lab or doing calculus these days. Thinking I'll take the summer off so I can fully take advantage of my honeymoon phase. There is only one, after all. That way, I won't be behind in my weight loss goals, too.

Speaking of behind.....can I just say that mine is noticeably smaller these days. It's a very odd sensation to watch your body lose weight in fast forward. At the beginning of every diet I've ever been on, I had the desire to push a magic button and propel myself months into the future, just so I could see the outcome of the hard work. This odd carpet ride is a bit like that.....I've never lost weight this fast....ever. I lost 2 lbs a day on Atkins, and never felt this weird euphoria. I'm certain that if I ignored the lure of the pillow and stood in front of the bathroom mirror for several hours, I could watch myself shrink a bit more.....like Eddie Murphy's Nutty Professor character. And, I imagine that the shrinkage comes with it's own rubbery "boing" sound........one that, sadly, is lost in the white noise of calculus and snoring.

Foodnote: I bought several protein bar samples at Walgreen's yesterday, so I can do better about caloric and protein intake. Yesterday, I barely ate 300 calories and 22 g of protein. This morning, for breakfast, I had 180 calories and 19 g of protein. I'd love to say OH YEAH!, but I feel kind of like I swallowed a Chevy. What a crazy learning curve this is! Praying I don't puke.


Ever since she posted that comment on a previous blog, it's merits have been rattling around in this noggin of mine. "Joy comes in the morning." It's particularly appropriate on days like today, when I carefully measure my food, then am only able to eat half of what I measure.

If only I could give you guys a tour of my fridge.....you laugh your skinny or soon to be skinny hind-end parts off. Years ago, I made an obligatory purchase of several 1 cup (graduated) glass bowls with plastic lids at my step-mother-in-law's Pampered Chef party. (Yes, we really are as close as her title indicates.) I envisioned myself dutifully and efficiently chopping my holy trinity (bell peppers, onion, and garlic) every few days and tucking them away so I could provide better tasting home-cooked meals for my family with less preparation. What's that they say about the road to hell.....paved with good intentions. Life's messy, and my uber-efficient dinner pre-prepping intentions just didn't come to fruition. Needless to say, those fancy little bowls collected dust for about 3 years.........

until I had this surgery. It's mighty convenient to have things auto-measured. But, the lid is the handy thing....especially these days when my eyes may literally be larger than my stomach.

But, let me say this, Tutorgirl, your advice is heeded....I will diligently measure and enter into my log everything I consume, because there may be one day when the blissful absence of appetite goes its merry way and leaves me wishing I had formed the habit and avoided my nutritionist's "I told you so." So, I will happily form this habit and look for my joy to come in the morning....the morning after my hunger returns.

Hope everyone is doing well. It's good to be back, even if only for a few minutes a day.


This should've been Thursday's blog, but I apparently traded several hours of daylight each day as my ticket to ride this crazy train.

****Thursdays are my official weigh-in days, and this week (29th) was also my first follow-up with Dr. Ganser. Please prepare yourself for the super-high pitched squeal.....I'VE LOST 18 LBS SINCE SURGERY ON THE 19TH. I've been taking pics every Thursday, but for some reason, I cannot get them to load onto TT. (I finally requested help today.)

Some of my eating adventures (although, due to my naturally paranoid personality, the "adventure" part is a bit of a misnomer).

Wendy's Chili----low in fat, high in protein, and easy to chew the heck out of. Pureed food with some taste. 5 stars.

Bariatric German Pancakes (a whole one would feed about 10 of us, beware):

Melt 2T Smart Balance in pie plate in oven at 450, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup skim milk,1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour. (mix eggs and milk until frothy, then add flour, mix until smooth, pour mixure into pie plate, bake for 15 minutes, top with splenda and lemon juice). I had about 6 bites of the middle, then put the rest in the fridge for the week's breakfast. It's a nice twist on eggs.

(For the most part, though, I've been having my protein shakes and low fat cream of chicken soup.)

Energy/Exercise: The exhaustion comes and goes, but I've, thankfully, not experienced brain death like I did with the pre-op diet. I'm almost completely off of the pain meds; this would've been sooner, except for the pneumonia cough....ouch. Walking is still a bit woozy, but I'm slowly returning to myself and itching to get back to the gym. Still not cleared to do my pool laps....it will be a few more weeks until my incisions fully heal. I haven't experienced this "ENERGY RUSH" that so many of you lucky ones have, but I'm keeping the hope alive. The energy is increasing slightly every day....

Nausea/Gas: Thankfully, the gas has let up, once my Miralax kicked in (I highly recommend this). I've only been getting nauseated if I go too long between nibbles or I don't get enough water in. I really thought the 30-minute wait between food and drink would be misery, but I found out the hard way that the alternative is worse. Advice: don't keep your water bottle beside you while you eat....habits are hard to break. I caught myself too late and brought about terrible stomach cramps.

Supplements: This week was also the beginning of the supplements. I bought cinnamon chewable multi-vitamins and orange calcium supplements. I take B-12 injections, and will soon begin a probiotic. In 3 weeks, my labwork begins, to make sure that my supplements are adequate.

Sex: All I'm gonna say here is....possible but OUCH. (and not in a good way)

Unexpected The heprin (blood thinner) that they gave me while in the hospital has, um, emphasized all of the IV attempts and even the blood pressure cuff area. I've been running around town looking like a victim of domestic violence/junkee. Should've left the hospital bracelet on...Oh well, hind-sight is 20/20.

Social: The inquiry begins for some....how much have you lost now? how fast did your doctor say you were going to lose? Does your stomach look loose like elephant skin, yet? When are you going to get your first plateau? What did you eat today? How much? OY! I offered to make a copy of my WLS info kit, instead of answering all of the crazy. But, for others, WLS continues to be the white elephant in the room. I'm curious to see if my closest sister will ignore this even after I've lost all of the weight.

I'm trying to get back to feeling like myself again, but I still have a way to go....especially with my support system in limbo. Thank God for Sgt. Hubby. Steady as a rock.


Upon seeing my glorious bald man setting up laptop, printer, and carting in my loads of books, I think the doctor took pity on me. There haven't been any real changes in my symptoms. My fever still gets above 101.5 every night, I still get woozy, and I have a the kind of cough that would make you change seats on a plane or cars on a train.....but, at least I'm out (as of last night).

They sent me home with oral antibiotics and strict orders that "if things continue," I should report back to the starvation hospital. Not likely.

You know, the entire time I was there, they NEVER got my food trays correct??? Unacceptable. But, the nurses on my staff were lovely and made copies of my Food Bible to take with them to the next supervisor meeting. They were as frustrated a I was. Maybe there is change on the horizon.

So, today, I actually got to be pampered by that handsome guy. He made me eggs for breakfast. I had a couple of bites. Didn't seem to settle well. Then, for lunch......fat free refried beans with skim mozzarella melted on top, and a tiny dab of ZOI for that sour cream effect. Yep, bariatric pintos and cheese. yummy. 2 bites. The most romantic thing of all? He made me sugar free, skim milk, cheesecake pudding as a welcome home. It's nice to be home again.

One last note: I couldn't help it....I got on the scale this morning. I'm crazy excited but writing it off today. My official weigh in and picture day is THURSDAY each week. I'm poised for an awesome week and hope to be in class tomorrow morning.

Thanks, everyone, for the well-wishing. Feeling the love! I hope to have enough energy to check in on everyone tomorrow.


In the wee hours of Saturday morning, my fever made a marked increase and I returned to the hospital. When I got here, they were concerned about a pulmonary embolism...based on my oxygen saturation and diminished lung sounds. A chest CT and x ray later, I was given keys to the joint for pneumonia. IV antibiotics for two days now and no difference. Trying to keep my chin up, even though spring break ends tomorrow. Hopefully, my 4.0 will not have to be sacrificed? There's still a little bit of time, so all of your prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Here's the thing...I was walking, probably more than I should've been. Heck, I was even using that lung exerciser thingy. Yesterday, they gave me a pneumonia vaccination....sick senses of humor, right? Well, I wanted to pass that nugget of info along.....ask your doc for a pneumonia vaccination before your surgery...doing what you're told Doesn't keep you totally out of the clear. Hope this helps at least one someone out there.

Oh, and speaking of extra protection.....the cafeteria has gotten every tray completely wrong since I've been here. Read the packages...mine had low fat but pure sugar. Then, they gave me a Shasta with straw. Then, they sent in chunky peach full sugar yogurt. If I hadn't known my rules, I'd be screwed. From now on, I'm requesting chicken broth and sugar free jello for every meal.....someone please tell me why they insist upon beef broth? Bleg!

Gonna go get in another catnap, now.

Ps...they weighed me upon admission. Over 5 lbs down and still holding lots of fluid. I can totally deal with 5 lbs a week for a little while.


It's all my fault. I went to the grocery store, and then decided it would be a good idea to walk the majority of the store...after walking to the mailbox (about 6 houses away). So, now I'm on a bit of a set back. Achy and irritible, and still a long way to go before my pain meds catch up. And, I have a low-grade fever. I reported it to the surgeon's office, but they're not overly concerned. The magic number on fever concern is 101.5. I'm still a few points off. But, I promised to be a good girl and stay within my "I know I can" boundaries for the next couple of days. I'm a peach to live with right now. :)

Down to business:

Protein business: 13 grams yesterday, but already at 19 grams today....I have a way to go, but it's my #2 concern.

Water Business: 10+ glasses of chips and sips yesterday and doing just as well today. yippee.

Potty Business: I think that the bowel prep may actually still be in effect...hope it goes away soon.

Women's Business: I actually started my period last night I haven't menstruated since at least November. So odd.

Monkey Business: No one has mentioned sex....what's the skinny? In or out??

Poofy business: can I just say that I'm still the StayPuft Marshmellow Man?? oy! And those sexy stripes that my underwear leaves....if I were to sit on a piece of lace table cloth for 5 minutes, my bare assets would be suitable to grace the back of my mother's sofa for the next couple of years.

Well, that's the end of my business for now....the meds are severe but necessary. Who was it that said, "Better living through modern chemistry??"


I keep waking myself up at night. Not with pain or discomfort....I simply keep hearing my own gas swirling around in my belly. It sounds, literally, like someone moving heavy wooden chairs and tables. Perhaps, soon, the gas-x will kick in and there will be an escape for all of that air. Until then, it has invited a few friends and is moving all of the furniture back for dancing room. I should be a riot in public! Although there's no chance of someone thinking that I had made a crude noise from the rear set of speakers....no chance. It doesn't even sound as if it's from this world! Everyone would be much more likely to search the sky for a tractor beam or unexplained lights.

Right now, I'm just trying to find a happy balance between enough exericse to rid myself of the bloat and not so much that I have to take a full dose of pain meds....second star to the right and straight on till morning.


Day of Surgery:

I checked in at 6am, only to be told that my surgery had been pushed back to 830am, instead of 730am. No biggie...gave me more time with Sgt. Hubby and my 7 year old daughter. The staff at Renown remembered me from my pre-op appointment a couple of weeks ago and were friendly and excited for me....it's nice to have an unexpected cheerleading section. Lovely people. As I have been habitually given a "too small" robe on every spa day and GYN day, I was a bit nervous about robe. But, the nurses gave me a super cozy one...in fact I may have been the only one there that wasn't showing off my J-lo cheeks. And, get this...they hooked my robe up to a blower heater contraption that poofed my robe up with warm air to keep me cozy. Gotta love surprise pampering.

Pretty soon, I was swept into the operating room. Very chilly and nervous in there, but the anesthesiologist snuck up on me from behind and I was loopy before changing tables. They kept me 100% covered until I was out. (This has not always been the case.) When I woke up in recovery, I had a dedicated nurse, whose priority it was to go all Steven Segal on my pain...she was ruthless..I think she even did that signature arm-breaking move on it. And, this lovely woman spoon-fed ice chips from heaven into my icky cotton mouth. I finally got comfy, and she brought me to my room to see my hubby. Already, I felt "new" sensations coming from my stomach. It wasn't "hunger" or "full" or "heartburn".....it wasn't discomfort, just different.

What happened in surgery? They let me know that they did find and fix a hiatal hernia with a few stitches to my diaphragm. Because of this, I was to expect referred pain to my shouders for about a week. They were not wrong about the shouder pain at all! It was worse in the beginning than the tummy....until I began walking. But, they did fail to mention that they installed a duck-call. :) The hiccups from having my diaphragm worked on are pretty hilarious. But, they do serve as an auditory cue that I've taken too big of a sip of water. My bypass went without a hitch, and the doc was very pleased with his work.

Day 1 Post-Op

So, I was walking, having chips of ice and sips of water and feeling pretty great....until my groggy bladder decided it didn't want to wake up. 2 straight caths and 13 hours later, I finally peed and was speeding around the floor, stopping only to cat-nap or blow into that spiro-gyro lung contraption. Smartest thing I brought: the angry bird bari bear.....if you're packing for your own trip to oz, I'd put that under "necessities." Dumbest thing that happened: after clawing my body to death with the morphine, my nurse offered me some sort of Calamine body lotion. It was scented....smelled like the summer pineapple lotion that I buy for my 7 year old at bath and body works....and sent me to pregnancy-like instant nausea. I was out of bed and scrubbing it off of my body at 3am. Itchy is better than nausea for sure!!!

I went home about 1pm the day after surgery. The ride home was a bit ouchy, but with no major incidences. I got home, drugged up, and took a little nap until my munchkins decided it was time to inspect me. Complete with questions like, "how did you cut yourself?" and "silly, mommy, what did you do to get hurt?" my 2 year old was itching to SEE what was going on. After viewing my tummy, she wrote me a prescription for my "polka-dots" and told me I needed to settle down. She's goin g to be a fabulous dictator one day :)

So, after taking the advice of my 2 year old, here I am on the morning of day 2, my only complaints are gassy rumblings and a thirst that won't quit. Things I will do today: switch to low-sodium broth. My doc's office suggested that I drink chicken broth instead of water. Less than 5 cals per serving and a tiny bit of protein will be helpful i healing, but I'm still really poofy from over-zealous IV fluids.

The most amazing thing reared its head last night....the gift. Sgt Hubby spent my recovery hours by shopping for everything that my doc's office suggested for the next few weeks, eventhough I asked him not to get carried away. Last night, he carefully measured 3 T of low-fat cream of chicken soup (sans chicken chunks) into a itsy-bitsy bowl. I got down maybe a T and a half. IF that. All of a sudden, I realized that my graduated stages of hell were finally over. I wasn't hungry AT ALL. I felt like I had just swallowed a T-bone steak and baked potato whole after a couple licks off of a spoon of soup. The next few hours were dinner prep and dinner time for the rest of the family. Get this: It wasn't torture. You couldn't have paid me to eat what they were having. Appetite was nill. I stopped and said a quick prayer for the doc that gave me that gift...it is already a wonder. Then, I went to bed in the recliner.....good choice. Sgt. Hubby poured me an extra med for my bedside, in case I woke in pain, and then set his alarm to make sure I had my 3am dose. Glorious, bald man!

I took pictures of my polka-dots and will be posting them later. Can't believe that the outside of my body, poofy and with a couple tiny bruises actually is actually the same body that underwent a major interior overhaul. For the next few posts, I'll be giving an overview of my outlook, just to keep tabs:

Emotions: Stable for now, grateful for safe passage

Scale Obsession: Not yet, still focused on recovery and feeling a bit fragile

To do: keep up with meds and get my walking in. (woke up a little stiff this am)


I've been waiting so long to write this blog, I almost don't even know how. My surgery is tomorrow morning at 7:30 am. Check-in at 6am. (in about 10 hours)

After the "tortoise-style" marathon of the last few months....you know, where you're giving it all that you have, but you've only moved an inch....but somewhere in the back of your head, you remember Mr. Aesop's tortoise vs. hare story. There's actually a few lines of that story that they left out on the 7 millionth printing....."the race sucked for the tortoise until he crossed the finish line."

Those few omitted words kind of sum up today. :) Dear Inquiring minds, please don't hate me for saying this, but I was completely right about graduated levels of hell climaxing the day before surgery. I began the day with the oh-so-joyful task of what the nurses call "bowel prep" and I call "colon blow." My description, although a tad more intimidating, is MUCH more accurate. I started at 5 am and the "effects" continue to be quite, um, successful.

This day, in Sesame Street style, is brought to you by the word "CLEAR." It describes the kinds of "food" that I am allowed to consume, the liquids that I am allowed to drink, and the signal for the end of my "prep." (I know, crappy joke, right?) Bathroom humor.....yes that is how far I've sunk today. And, if the lingering effects of that mag citrate (TUMMY TNT) continue to linger, tomorrow isn't looking much better. Never thought I'd start thinking that the anesthesia may actually be the cure for my obsession with the throne. (and with insomnia)

Looking forward to my nap tomorrow. Can't wait to come out on the other side, hurting like hell but knowing that I finally punched through the glass ceiling....not to mention seeing those tiny smiles that I'm already missing. My munchkins (my own personal lollipop guild) and that glorious bald man.

Clothes are laid out, bag is packed, hubby has sibling phone number list, meds are out, baby food has been purchased, and my ANGRY BIRDS "bari bear" is getting pretty anxious to go.

(Bringing the ipad with me....forgive me for the next post that I may write....I cannot be responsible for what I write while on a PCA pump full of fuzzy feelings.)

I'm off....wish me luck!


Alright, it's confession time. This weekend, while shopping for some last-minute things for my hospital stay and picking up my Rx's, the cashier at the local Old Navy made some comment about "how comfortable" I was going to be in my new clothes.

Yeowch! "comfortable" isn't a good word when talking about clothes, is it? I'd bawl my eyes out if Sgt. Hubby ever "complimented" me on how comfortable I looked. Seriously. Then, it hit me. I don't remember the last time that I bought clothing that didn't look like other people's pajamas. There aren't any mu mu's in my closet, but since when is THAT the line you don't want to cross?? And, it's not because I never go anywhere. I do. And, people see me wearing an older version of what I bought to wear IN THE HOSPITAL. Gimme a sec......must catch my breath before going over the cliffs of hysteria. Come to think of it....I don't remember the last time I bought COLOR....unless black and brown and gray count as "colors."

What is going on, here, and why hasn't occurred to me before this...or anyone else around me???? If I were a super hero, I'd be Depressed Pajama Girl, able to stun people into submission with how old and ragged I look for my age....complete with "blanket" cape and night cap. (and not the bourbon kind....the ski-hat kind)

Then, from a dark corner of my 10-year-old memory file in my brain came a vision of myself before I got married and became a Mommy. THAT girl had a standing weekly appointment for a mani-pedi at the local salon. THAT girl wouldn't be caught dead in a ski hat and mukluks 6 days of the week. THAT girl collected shoes and purses and lip gloss. In fact, when THAT girl did get married and finally got pregnant, her back killed her so bad because she wasn't used to wearing flats that SHE ended up having to wear heels until her water broke. What the hell happened to her?? I wonder if she still has the same phone number.

Someone needs to call her and remind her to shave her legs DAILY until at least post-menopause. After that, I will have earned my god-given womanly pride, complete with crosses borne and empty nest suffered, and can afford to be a little lax. So, I tried to reach her. No, I didn't try to call the me from a decade ago. I tried to reach her by a different way.....my getting my hair cut and making a nail appointment for tomorrow morning.....oh, and shaving my legs. I am woman, hear me roar!

Finally, a blog that a read this morning suddenly came to mind. It was penned by the one and only Bugdocmom and is entitled "Flirt Much". She discovered and described that "distance" that fat creates between our "inner" person and the world. So much insulation, in fact, that her enchanting, flirty personality was somehow muffled under her fluff, until it was (for lack of a better word) downgraded by the general public as "being nice." Now that she's a more svelte version of her RED HOT Bugdocmom self, however, even her close friend is perhaps reading her enchanting mannerisms as "OPEN FOR BUSINESS" or "Baiting the hook." (as my brother-in-law would say) So, she feels that she must now downgrade her charming nature to keep from being offensive, especially in the professional realm. The journey, for you, dear Bugdocmom, is as different from mine as the sun from the moon. I wish that, somehow, I could dilute some of your ultra-feminine swagger with some of my apparent tendency towards androgyny. What do you think? Fair trade?? :) (Hope you don't downgrade that charm too much.)