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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holiday Hustle

Back to the grind at work today, but I have absolutely no focus. Mom's visit was great! Friday's trip to Palestine, TX to ride the Polar Express was fantastic and worth every second of the 6 hours it took (round-trip) to get there and back. My eyes well-ed up with tears when my Daughter was just so excited she could hardly contain herself. Pictures will follow.

I'm good. Family is great. Will update with pictures later.

Happy holidays friends!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tuesday

First off, I want to note a new product: IDS Multi Pro Whey Isolate Protein Vanilla Cinnamon. I've always had a problem eating first thing in the morning, but I think I found something that will work for me. This Cinnamon Vanilla flavor is awesome, and I actually mixed a scoop of it with my coffee this morning, instead of creamer, and it was surprisingly good. One of my other faves has been adding protein to her coffee for a while, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I'm glad I did! It mixes easily too. It was almost (not quite) like a cinnamon dolce latte from 'Bucks. It's whey protein isolate, the easiest to digest, so a good product for us post-ops -- that is if you're into protein. It's sweetened with Sucralose (Splenda).

Yesterday I had a training session and all the odds were against me. I got there late and after talking about my nutrition, we had less than 30 minutes. We only did 2 exercise, but after looking at the calories burned on my heart rate monitor, it was 400+ calories -- a pretty good return. :)

Leg Press 145 lbs. x 20
Stationery Lunges on Right with 35 lbs. x 20
Stationery Lunges on Left with 35 lbs. x 20
Rest 1:30
Leg Press 415 lbs. x 18
Stationery Lunges on Right with 2 35 lb. weights x 18
Stationery Lunges on Left with 2 35 lb. weights x 18
Rest 2:00
Leg Press 595 lbs x 10
Leg Press 505 lbs. x 10
Leg Press 415 lbs x 12
Leg Press 325 lbs x 12
Leg Press 235 lbs x 15
Leg Press 145 lbs x 15
Leg Press 55 lbs. x 20 (no plates)

Of course he is still evaluating me, but he told me yesterday that I've impressed him with my strength on more than several occasion's. I mean, I know I'm strong, but I didn't think I would exceed his expectations. It feels good, and I guess I feel like my efforts are validated, even if they are not reflected on the scale. I'm really optimistic that we're going to make some great progress.

Just to note... even though the scale isn't really moving, 18's are definitely history and I'm wearing 16 W's more than comfortably and actually saw the inside of a 14W! I can wear some Misses 16's, but the Misses 18's are mostly too big -- I'm right on the line; "Mannus the Pannus" seems to be my body challenge. Ugh. Misses XL tops fit fine -- even some L's too. If it's a button-up blouse though, the "girls" keep it from closing properly. I'll get there. For now I'll just relish in the fact that I"m not wearing a 26/28 anymore.
Mom is coming into town on Friday. I think I'm just as happy to see her as Cassie is. The last time I saw her it was not a quality visit. We were just getting the new dance studio ready to open. We're picking her up then making a 2+ hour drive to ride the Polar Express train in Palestine, TX -- Cassie is going to love it. She finally watched the Polar Express movie, and actually has sat through it in its entirety several times.

Speaking of my "Cass-a-frass" she had a great visit; she said she was "brave like Chicken Little, Mom!" That she was. Oh, and her new word is "Actually", as in "Actually Mom, I'd rather have Shrek Yogurt" LOL She uses it in proper context every time. It just kills me. She can't say the color yellow ("yeddow") but she can say "Actually".

That's all for now -- probably won't be posting much through the holiday. Here's hoping that whatever you celebrate, however your celebrate, yours is a season of joy. Here's just one last picture -- my family, elfinized....

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday's Beating

Press and Curl Circuit (1 minute recovery between sets):
Dumbell overhead press 15 lbs. x 15
Barbell curl-to-overhead press 20 lbs. x 15
Barbell bicep curl 30lbs. x 15

Dumbell overhead press 15 lbs. x 15
Barbell curl-to-overhead press 20 lbs. x 15
Barbell bicep curl 30lbs. x 15

Dumbell overhead press 10 lbs. x 15
Barbell clean-and-press 20 lbs. x 15
Barbell bicep curl 20lbs. x 15


Lat and Tricep Ciruite (45 seconds recovery):
Lat Pull-down 70 lbs. x 15
Tricep Pull-down 40 lbs. x15

Lat Pull-down 90 lbs. x 15
Tricep Pull-down 40 lbs. x15

Lat Pull-down 100 lbs. x 12
Tricep Pull-down 40 lbs. x12


Chest/Lunge/Squat Circuit (45 seconds recovery):
barbell chest press (no plates) 55 lbs. x 15
20 push-ups

barbell chest press (no plates) 55 lbs. x 15
15 push-ups

barbell chest press (no plates) 55 lbs. x 10
10 push-ups


Lunge/Squat Circuit (30 seconds recovery):
Traveling lunges w/ 35 lb. ball 20 x2
Side-step traveling squates w/ 35 lbs. ball 20 x2

Traveling lunges w/ 35 lb. ball 20 x2
Side-step traveling squates w/ 35 lbs. ball 20 x2

Traveling lunges w/ 35 lb. ball 20 x2
Side-step traveling squates w/ 35 lbs. ball 20 x2

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Training Session - Tuesday

Leg Press / Lunge Circuit
20 reps - Leg Press - no plates (both legs)
15 reps - Leg Press - 100 lbs. right leg only
15 reps - Leg Press - 100 lbs. left leg only

Traveling Lunges 2 x 20

15 reps - Leg Press 145 lbs. right leg only
15 reps - Leg Press 145 lbs. left leg only

Traveling Lunges 2 x 20 (w/2 25 lb. weights)

12 reps - Leg Press 190 lbs. right leg only
12 reps - Leg Press 190 lbs. left leg only

Stationery Lunges 20 (w/35 lb. weights)

Squat Circuit
I'm not sure what to call this one type of squat, but my trainer has me stand on a stack of 5 weights (under each foot) on the side of a bench and squat until my butt touches the bench and come right back up (no sitting on the job). I'll call them elevated bench squats.

Then we also do the same kind of squat, on one leg, not elevated. I'll call those single leg squats. I've always considered myself a good squatter, but damn, these are more than just squatting. It was a challenge just to squeak out 10 of them. Humbling to say the least. :)

20 elevated bench squats
10 single-leg squats - right
10 single-leg squats - left
20 elevated bench squats with 25 lb. weight
10 single-leg squats - right
10 single-leg squats - left
20 elevated bench squats with 35 lbs. weight
10 single-leg squats - right
10 single-leg squats - left

Leg Curl / Dead Lift Circuit
15 Seated Leg Curl 55 lbs.
15 stiff-legged barbell dead lift 30 lbs
15 Seated Leg Curl 70 lbs.
15 stiff-legged barbell dead lift 60 lbs.
15 seated Leg Curl 70 lbs.
15 stiff-legged barbell dead lift 80 lbs.

Let's just say that today, I feel like some is driving a stake into each of my buttocks. Suffice it to say I love the new trainer. He's tough, challenging, encouraging, smart and motivating. We get a long great. I am quite proud, as he has commented several times on my good form (which he credits to both my effort and my former trainer) and my strength. By the time I got to the last circuit, my legs were like mush. Seriously, I went to pick up my leg and it just wouldn't move right away -- it was like a delayed response! LOL

He sure knows how to make an hour fly by!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Empower by Choice

So I was reading this e-zine article by an RD who seems to write things that really resonate with me. She's not just an RD, she's also an emotional healer -- getting to the root of the problem. Long before I ever had RNY, I was following her articles, and more often than not drew some kind of motivation from them. It is like they bring me to place, even if just for a moment, where I am really ready to heal.

Today I still read her articles, and one of them in particular hit me the other day. She talks about "should" statements, and how they create self-loathing and hatred.

"I should be eating healthy."
"I should be doing this..."
"I should be doing that..."
"I should be exercising more."

It works with everything -- it doesn't even have to be weight loss related.

These "should" statements imply there are a set of rules that make demands how your behavior, choices, or actions are supposed to be; not necessarily rules you want to follow, but rather rules you should be following. Choice is replaced by obligation. I know that obligation leaves me feeling resentful and then defiant.

When we say we "should" do this and "should do that, it eliminates the opportunity to connect with the idea that we have the independence of choice. We should feel joy when we make choices that ultimately help us achieve our goals.

So here's what she suggests: "Become aware of what you really want, as opposed to doing what you think you should be doing. Every time you hear yourself saying, "I should . . .", replace your statement with a conscious choice and say "I choose to . . ." or, "I choose not to . . ." Be responsible to yourself for your choices and you'll feel a ton better. Creating distinctions in the subtleties of your language can lead to a major shift in inspired, energetic, and long-term motivation!"

So for the last few days I've been doing this, and really it has felt empowering. There are so many challenges during the holidays, so many things that create pressure. I mean, challenges that extend beyond diet and exercise. For instance, I knew I "should" get my poinsettia garland and lights on my stairs... I've been saying it for two weeks now. Finally, I just decided that you know what? It's okay if it doesn't get up this year. In the big picture it doesn't make a difference; our holidays will still be great. Telling myself I "choose" not to do it really did take the guilt out of it for me.

So every time I "choose" the outcome of a challenge I will be tracking it with a star. I know... seems silly, but I'm just curious to see how the success of making choices improves motivation and eliminates guilt.

I chose to share this information which might seem like tree-huggin' hippie crap to some, but for me writing it down turns words into action.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Friday...

I'm excited. I train today. :) To that end, I'm trying to bump-up my calories to fuel my activity.

Early AM
1 hard boiled egg

Morning
6 oz. Fage FF Yogurt
1/2 C. Blueberries
1/4 C. Organic Granola

Mid Morning
Snackin' Flax
Hard Boiled Egg

Lunch
Lean Cuisine Panini

Mid Afternoon
4 oz. 2% Cottage Cheese
1 C. Grapes

Evening (this is my plan, but I'm working late -- might be leftover soup instead)
6 oz. Sweet Sue Chicken Breast
Steamed Broccoli

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

So I met with Freddy. After talking for about an hour, he's pretty much the way I perceived him to be. You can tell he knows his stuff, and it seems he might be more knowledgeable in the are of nutrition vs. my former trainer. He's going to let me do my thing for a couple weeks then review my food log, and adjust from there. He already knows there will be a challenge with calorie consumption, but he's ready for it.

My goals (as we outlined them):

- Get below 200 by March 1 (doable, if my body would cooperate!)
- Maintain and build (NOT LOSE) Lean muscle mass/strength
- Improve overall endurance
- Add focus on muscle groups used for swimming (for the Disney Tri)

He's a tough trainer and admits it. He said the only recovery we'll get in the hour we train is walking from one station to another. He said, "You can grunt and groan all you want as long as you do what I say." "I'll smile and laugh because I know I'm doing my job."

I like his approach and his honesty. He's a trainer in high demand, so I'm reallllly lucky I got in with him. He said, that had Jimmy not persuaded him to take me, he wouldn't have, as he has a full list of clients. I told him, "I guess you're lucky then! You probably need a new challenge."

Dag: Here I thought I was tough pushing over 700 lbs. on the leg press, but he has 4 other women who push over 800 lbs.! Can you believe it? He loves the leg-press and squats of all kinds. LOL

It will, indeed, be a happly Friday for me - -I can't wait.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

New Trainer

Kinda psyched; I start with a new trainer today. I think I mentioned my former trainer has left my gym. I hate that he did because he "got" me. Now I'll have to break someone else in to believing I'm not some soccer Mom just looking to firm up my buttocks.

Before Jimmy left, he tagged two of the master trainers for me. 1 of them has just been promoted to Manager, so for obvious reasons can't accept any new clients right now. The other, Freddy, is the one I really want anyway. He's built like a brick shit-house and I've seen him train others. I like what I see.

My husband casually introduced himself to Freddy the other day. Freddy told him that "your wife probably won't like me the first few sessions." Hmph! I'm not sure he understands how I am yet. I want the challenge, so bring it on!

Will let you know how it goes :)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

All dressed up with Somewhere to go!

Darren and I went to my company's holiday dinner last night -- we both got a little dressed up :)

And just for comparison's sake: Me today and Me 13 months ago...


Thursday, November 29, 2007

First, I just want to say thanks, but I have to credit one of my favorite bloggers for really giving me the courage to really own my truths -- and if someone else can learn from what I'm going through, then I guess that's the real silver lining. It's just daunting trying to point out and recognize your own shortcomings.

I tell myself all the time, that it is a process. If I can keep myself from being on the next episode of Oprah featuring WLS post-ops with transference issues, that would be a good thing! :)

In the last 8 years of really dealing with my weight, I've been nothing short of tenacious. Yes, there are those cyclical times where I just had enough of what seemed like trying-for-nothing, only to find motivation in sometimes the smallest of things -- but at least it is found, and have always stood back up. Failure is not an option here.

As hoakie as it sounds, I know I just need to stay in that place in my head where I can actually believe that I care about myself as much as I might others. Self-loathing is not productive -- my perceived self-worth needs to be appropriate. And as one noter pointed out, I need to keep my own words in front of me; if it is good enough advice for a friend, it should be good enough for me.

I have to admit that since acknowledging I needed help via the WLS, things have not been the same with my Sister. Some of you might remember way back, when on a family vacation we were at odds with one another. I had yet to share my decision with my family because I had not been approved yet. When the vacation became a physical challenge to me, my attitude essentially went in the shitter, as did hers, and we were at odds non-stop throughout the family vacation; it was ruined.

When it all came out that it was my weight bothering me, and it was weight that was creating physical limitations for me, my Sister essentially felt I was using my weight as an excuse -- and told me so outright. She said that in all her life I always seemed happy... that she never felt like I felt less because I was/am obese.

I tried to explain that all my life I hid those feelings. I didn't want people to think I was physically limited, so I worked extra hard to beat their expectations. I didn't want to acknowledge just how big a problem my weight was, so I felt if I could keep going and wasn't limited, then there really wasn't a problem. In short, she thought it was a "crock" and we just agreed to disagree -- but it wasn't important for her to even try to understand it. I guess that still bothers me to some small degree.

Ever since July we've been disconnected. Any initiation of contact on my behalf feels un-natural, or I feel like she'll know it's forced. We really have nothing in common, except the same mother. We never really bonded as friends because when I left home she was just becoming old enough where we might have developed a friendship. Of course I love her and would die for her, but honestly, her friends and my Mom know her better than I do.

We talked once about really trying to have some kind of ongoing communication to maybe help develop our friendship, but it never took off. I called her a few times; she's so busy that she just doesn't have the time to call back. Admittedly, her life is somewhat frenzied, but I feel like if something is important enough, you make the time. That's what my Mom always said, and now she's even making excuses for my Sister. It's obvious that it is not important to my Sister, so I have to be careful not to let her lack of attentiveness to our relationship become a way to decrease my self-worth.

Ugh... enough of this stuff. Not sure where it came from, but it is good.

I think I'm going to try Yoga on Saturday morning. The idea of giving myself permission to have 60 minutes of peace sounds kinda nice. I've been meaning to do this for a while now :)

Early Morning (20 g. protein)
Venti NF Latte

Morning (16 g. protein)
6 oz. FF Fage Yogurt
1/2 C. Pumpkin
3 T. Granola

AM Snack (10 g. protein)
2% Cottage Cheese

Lunch (29 g. protein)
2 oz. Lean Ham
1 C. Raw Spinach
1/2 C. Diced Mozzarella
Balsamic Vinegar

PM Snack (10 g. protein)
2% Cottage Cheese

Dinner (24 g. protein)
2 pcs. Wasa Light Cracker Bread
2 C. Beef Vegetable Soup

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Today's Plan

After work, I'm off to the gym for strength training and cardio.

Early Morning (13 g. Protein)

2 oz. Boar's Head Turkey (no skin)

Breakfast: (28 g. Protein)
Venti Nonfat Latte
4 oz. Fage FF Yogurt
1/4 C. Pumpkin

AM Snack (10 g. Protein):
4 oz. 2% Cottage Cheese
1/2 Apple

Lunch (18 g. Protein):
1 c. Raw Spinach
1/2 C. Grape Tomatoes
1/2 C. Diced Mozzarella
Balsamic vinegar

PM Snack (5 g.. Protein):
2 Wasa Multi Grain Crackers
2 T. Whipped Cream Cheese

Dinner (5g. Protein)
Asian Chicken Breast w/Broccoli



Monday, November 26, 2007

Time for Some Truth

I have been struggling some lately, and I need to come clean.

I have noticed some possible transferrence issues. They all seem to revolve around the fact that I haven't lost a large number of pounds... in fact, it's hitting me harder than I care to admit - but I have to, before it turns into something worse.

So here's the deal. When the scale doesn't drop, the one way I found to make me feel good (since I can't eat!) is to buy new clothing. In the last three months, when I've been feeling most down about my perceived lack of achievement, and have spent waaaay more than I should have. It all came to light reviewing our family budget -- in fact I didn't even realize it. It was hard to see in black and white; there was no denying it.

Now it's not like our house is going into foreclosure or our cars repossesd, but I've probably spent more than $2K in the last 3 to 4 months -- that's not good.

The good thing is that I see it, and I've identified the problem and am committed to fixing it.

I have my 1 year labs to tend to and I don't want to do it. I still can't believe that after 1 year I've dropped 90 lbs, compared to my peers who are more than 150+ down in most cases. I know that going from a 26 to a 14/16 should make me happy (and it does, but apparently not enough). The fact that I've been able to maintain muscle and lost only 1.5 lbs of it post-op is an achievement too -- but it's obviously it's not satiating my desire for acheivement.

I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I sometimes wish I didn't workout to the degree that I did, and maybe it was a mistake to go gung-ho so soon. Maybe I should have been stripped of the pounds first and then tended to the muscle improvement -- at least then I wouldn't have felt like I re-routed my plumbing for nothing.

I just can't believe that the same thing that was happening to me pre-op is happening post-op. Who has surgery and doesn't lose 100 lbs. in the first year if they're over 300 lbs. to start?

My hospital's dietician seems to think I don't eat enouhg to fuel my activity; this is the same problem I had pre-op, when I was exercising intensely at 300+ lbs.

Logic does set in. I know that I'm healthier than I've ever been and that getting thin is just a side-affect. I know that the changes I have made in my life are permanent. I know that I'm living life with more vitality than ever. I am ever so thankful for those things and feel blessed.

Even in light of these achievements, there is a cloud over all of it.

There is so much of my future tied-in to my success with this tool and my fitness. I really feel inside that what I'm passionate about is teaching others to be fit -- I could never do it though, until I succeed myself. Ugh -- gets so frustrating when I think about it.

In any case I'm not looking for solutions from anyone -- I know what I need to do. I'm just exercising my right to be honest and open... that's a start.

On Family...

Our "Black Friday" was spent at the Christmas tree Farm...
47 degrees in Houston actually made it good tree huntin' weather! :)
Cassie having some fun hiding in the trees...


Me and Daddy on Thanksgiving...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sophie So Divine


One of my best friends became a Mom for the first-time! After many years of trying to have a baby, she was blessed with the arrival of....

Sophia Danielle
6 lbs., 10 oz.
18.25" long

Mom and baby are doing wonderfully!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Year Ago

I can't believe how the time has just flown.

This time last year I was laying on in the hospital, getting ready to say "night-night" for my 8am surgery to begin.

Later today, will be 1 year since I took the first steps out of my hospital bed and put myself on the path to better health. At the same time, one year later, I'll be enjoying a Turkey Day party at my Daughter's daycare, because I won't be secretly embarrassed to be seen by the other parents.

I have my health back, better self-esteem and am able to live my life more closely to how I've always envisioned I should be living it. To no longer be plagued by pain, physical challenges, needing to use the C-Pap or being Diabetic, is plenty enough to be thankful for.

Never mind mentioning (but I will anyway) that I no longer have to pretend with everyone my weight didn't bother or limit me. And while I am an over-achiever by nature (because I always had to work harder to prove myself in light of my obesity), I can still strive for excellence in all that I do, but I not feel like I have to prove myself over, and over, and over again. Initially derived perceptions of me are no longer quite as negative since people no longer see a 347 pound woman.

As much as I have gained from losing, there is still work to be done. I need to work on the head issues and self-esteem issues. I need to remember that my while my weight/body doesn't define who I am, I do deserve to take care of me in the way I take care of those I love.

This will all come one step-at-a-time -- just like the first steps from the recovery bed. It is all necessary for long-term success.

Thanks also to those who support and encourage all of us to be better than we already are.


"There is a voice inside which speaks and says:
"This is the real me!"

William James - (1842-1910) American philosopher and psychologist

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

2nd day of Life at 40 :)

Clearly, my co-workers had very little to do while I was out... I arrived this morning to find this on my office window and door....



Vegas Baby!

Vegas was great. The Canyon Ranch spa was ridiculously overpriced, but every second was worth it. It was nice to be pampered. Here are just a few pictures from the trip.


Beth, Jenn and Me at Tao, Las Vegas
View of Tao from Mezzanine
(check out the size of it, relative to the people eating around it)

Uh, here we are again... still at Tao

Just me...

Happy Halloween!


"I'm hot... you're not."
Introducing the "Prison Princess"
(who is named after a a city in Frnace and a large hotel chain)

We had a costume day in celebration of Halloween. Please note my details: "diamond" Chanel earrings, super-swank-bling-bling sunglasses, and the obligatory doggie-in-a-purse. Oh! and my un-designer prison jumpsuit. :)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Well, the countdown for the "40 and Fab" tour is T-4 days. I leave at 7:15 am on Friday morning for Vegas. Should be tons of fun, a weekend with the girls.

Things were pretty hectic these last few weeks. Darren has been traveling, and when he's not been traveling I've been getting things... if it's not one thing, it's another. After Vegas though that's it! Just the regular holiday bustle, which is more than enough. .

This past weekend I co-hosted a baby shower for one of my best friends. Melissa is due early December. She's a diva, in the so-much-of-a-girly-girl sense, and we expect that she'll teach Sophia Danielle to be the same. The shower's theme was a leopard/animal print and Hello Kitty Mix.

I tried my hand at making a diaper cake. Yes, you read it right. A cake made of Diapers. I actually came out great!

Here is a pic of me and the Mommy-to-Be... She's glowing! I told you I'd get a picture in there somewhere!


That's it for now. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thoughts/Quotes

"You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection." ~ Buddha ~

"There is a voice inside which speaks and says: “This is the real me!”
~ William James ~ (1842-1910) American philosopher and psychologist

Friday, October 19, 2007

What a Difference a Year Makes

It's been 1 year since I started with my trainer -- and next month will be my 1 year anniversary of my surgery. Admittedly I am a little embarassed to post this progress update because I, well, just havent lost as much as others! That being said, I haven't gone one month without losing inches somewhere; I've gone from a size 26 to a 16 -- and can even wear 18's in the Misses Department! I no longer take Diabetes Meds and no longer need to use a C-Pap machine!

My high weight was 347 lbs. My Pre-op weight was 307. This brings my total weight loss to 123 lbs., 84 of it from surgery.

I work extremely hard and do the right thing. Inevitably someone will think, "she's slackin'", which is the farthest from the truth. The thought of that makes me sick, probably because I've spent my entire life proving that I'm a hard worker, in spite of others' perceptions, that sometimes I feel like I just continue that behavior. It needs to change. I know. This is just on area I know I need some help in, and plan to seek out some help.

That being said, I am proud I have lost what I have. The fact that I've been able to maintain so much muscle mass in the last year is an achievement in itself, even with a 3% margin for human error on measurements.

It should also be noted that I was too large for calipers to begin with, so fat mass was calculated from measurements. The most recent fat mass numbers are measured with calipers.

Oh, and as far the battle of me vs. the Candy Corn? I'm totally winning this battle. :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

SignGurl and I Will Conquer Candy Corn!

I haven't had one niblet... and won't!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Oiy!

My abs are killing me today. Jimmy took and pounded my tranverse abdominal muscle to death! He said if I have 1 weak muscle, it's this one... and not to worry, "because after today it will never hurt as much again."

"The transverse abdominal muscle is the deepest of the 6 abdominal muscles. It extends between the ribs and the hips. The transverse abdominal muscle wraps around the center of the trunk from front to back; therefore, it contains and supports the organs located there. The fibers of this muscle run horizontally, just like a back support belt would be worn.The transverse abdominal muscle is a breathing muscle, assisting the exhalation by bringing the bottom of the ribcage closer to the spine, which forces air out of the lungs.The transverse abdominal muscle provides stability to the trunk and the organs located there. It also provides stability to the trunk during lateral flexion.

In the front the transverse abdominal muscle attaches to the linea alba. The linea alba tends to lose its strength during pregnancy. Strengthening the transverse abdominal muscle after the baby is born may be a good way to restore integrity to the linea alba. Also, when the linea alba is weak, lordosis is increased."

So there... Abdominals 101. :)


Breakfast
1/2 whole Wheat Bagel
1 T. Whipped Cream Cheese
2 oz. Smoked Sockeye Salmon
1/4 c. FF 1/2-n-1/2 for Coffee

AM Snack
Mini Egg Beater Quiches

Lunch
2 Slices Double Fiber Bread
3 oz. Turkey Breast
1 slice Colby Jack

PM Snack
4 oz. 2% Cottage Cheese
1/2 C. Light Peaches
Fiber 1 Bar

Dinner
1 C. Chicken, Artichokes, Tomatoes & Asparagus (Recipe)
1/2 c. Broccoli


Thursday, October 11, 2007

I am feeling bummed -- I am having my last training session with Jimmy today, but excited at the opportunity to train with one of the master trainers. :) I don't know what my training session will entail today, but I do know I'll be running afterwards.

One of my associates is serves in the Air Force reserves. She's 55 and has to take her annual PT test. She shared with me the components and scoring for the test along with the goals. So, my new goal is to run 1.5 miles in less than 12 minutes, 30 seconds. I can do 1 mile in under 15 minutes now, but adding another half mile with less time will be a challenge. Something to shoot for, I guess.

The smarty pants that she is, she printed out the 34 - 39 age chart... 30 seconds later she said, "this is only good for a few more weeks *laugh*." "Here's what you'll need next" as she handed me the 40+ chart! :) I chuckled.

I didn't feel this good back in my twentie -- so the whole turning 40 thing isn't phasing me. OMG 23 days until Vegas. :) Can't freakin' wait!!

Journaling my food has really given me more confidence in my choices this week. I was getting a little worried that I was either a) eating too much, or b) not making the right choices. I promise this won't become a daily food blog, but I wanted to share for a while, just to see where I stand against other post-op friends who are at around the same point as me.

Breakfast:
Egg Beater Mini Quiches
FF 1/2 n 1/2
4 oz 2% Cottage Cheese

AM Snack:
2 oz. turkey breast
Fiber One Bar

Lunch:
1 C. Chicken w/Aspargus, Artichokes & Tomatoes (Leftovers)

PM Snack:
Apple (honeycrisp apples rock!)
2 T. Skippy Natural

Dinner:
4 oz Canned Tuna in Water
1 C. Raw Spinach
2 T. Newman's Own Light Balsamic



Just came across this quote in a e-newsletter I receive and it hit me on a personal level...

"It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it… and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied… and it is all one."
~ M.F.K. Fisher, from The Art of Eating

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Yesterday's workout was great. I modified it slightly, replacing prisoner squats with bent-over 17.5 dumbbell rows, eliminated the ball crunches, but increased my hanging knee raises to 12 per set.

Today will be strictly cardio in the form of running. My goal is to run 1.5 miles in under 12:30 -- if it's good enough goal for our military, it's good enough for me! :)

Today's meal breakdown -- Ireally need to work harder on getting more fiber in. I think the recommended requirement is 35 grams a day!...


Overall, I'm pleased that I manage to get my protein from food, and rarely rely on protein shakes and protein bars. Some of my favorite proteins are lowfat cheeses, 2% cottage cheese, turkey breast, smoked salmon and tuna. Of course when I want some protein and good fat, I opt for some natural peanut butter.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Today's Plan

So today is a day unsupervised training. Here's the plan, taking into account I will not try to do as much weight as I do when my trainer is with me.

I have one more session with Jimmy on Thursday, then he is gone. *sniff* He promised to write down a couple of routines I can follow until I am training regularly with Freddy or Brandon.

Cardio Warm-up -
Treadmill 10 mins.
Lat Pull-down - 3 sets of 12 @ 70lbs.
1 Legged Single Lat Cable Row - 3 sets of 12 @ 40 lbs.
Prisoner Squats - 3 sets of 12
Leg Press- 3 sets of 12 @ 540 lbs.
Walking Lunges - 3 sets of 24
barbell Chest Press - 3 sets of 12 @ 75 lbs.
Dumbbell Chest Press - 3 sets of 12 with 17.5 weights
Hanging Knee Raises - 3 sets of 12
Ball Crunches - 3 sets of 12
Plank - 3 times @ 45 - 60 Seconds (to failure)
Spin Class OR Running Intervals
-- Depends on energy level


I heard a great quote -- it's not like I didn't know this, but it's easy to remember when I feel tempted by something...

"The moment you eat sugar, you are no longer burning fat."


Monday, October 08, 2007

"So, what CAN you eat?"

I get asked that all the time. I still journal my food, albeit on an off, because it helps to control grazing. It also helps to see I am doing whats right -- even if I have to enter the *bad* stuff, which thankfully isn't very often. Although I do have a problem trying to figure out how to journal a couple bites of birthday cake, no icing. :)

So here's a typical day for me. I can actually get as high a 1500 calories, but that's reserved only for days where I know I'm training for something specific. While I do eat within the guidelines my surgeon provides, I do feel like I eat a ton of food, so I'd be curious to see what other post-ops are eating a year out.

Vitamins (2x a Day):
Flinstone's Complete Chewable Multi-vitamin w/Iron (Surgeon Recommended!)
2 - 3 Hours later: Calcium Citrate with Vitamin D & Magnesium
CLA
Fish Oil
Sublingual B-12
Biotin

Morning (About 5:30 - 6:00 am):
2 - 3 Cups of Coffee w/FF Half-and-Half
3/4 C. Fage FF Yogurt
1/2 C. Frozen Cherries

AM Snack (9:00)
1 Svg. Kashi TLC Whole Grain Crackers
4 oz. 2% Cottage Cheese

Lunch (12:30 0 1:00)
4 oz. Turkey Breast
1/2 C. Raw Spinach
1/2 T. Mayo
2 Slices 100% Whole Wheat Bread

PM Snack (3:00 - 4:00)
1 C. Grapes
1 oz. Cheddar Cheese

Dinner (6:30 - 7:00)
1 C. Diced, skinless Chicken (Seasoned From Recipe)
1/2 c. Broccoli

Here's what it looks like in nutritional content:

Friday, October 05, 2007

It's been extremely busy the last few weeks. Between my Daughter's birthday, Mom's visit, my nearly forgotten anniversary, the countless birthday parties for my Daughter's classmates, coupled with my husband traveling and overall craziness at work, everything seems to be getting away from me these days and I can't keep up... I just keep swimming, swimming, swimming and hope it will all pass.

I have been sick the last week with a sinus infection. Went to my doc, he gave me some meds, and finally I feel some relief. Ahhh!

I guess what prompted me to write is that yesterday I found out my trainer is leaving the gym. In fact, he's leaving personal training altogether (he says it, but I don't really beleive it.).

In any case, he's doing right by me (as I thought he would), and has been working with two awesome Trainers to get me into their schedules. It might take a few weeks, but I would rather wait and end-up with one of these guys than a Rookie trainer. I'm sure the Rookies are bright, but I want a seasoned trainer; someone who will take my effort seriously and not treat me like a soccer Mom who is only trying spot reduce.

Next week I should have some progress pictures and measurements to share. We've really been blasting my abs this past month. With that, I've finally conquered the hanging knee raises! It took me some time, but I can finally do 3 sets of 10.


Uhh, that' s NOT me. :)


Tonight we're off to Jumpin' Jungle for the last birthday party on my Daughter's social calendar and then tomorrow we're off to Dewberry Farm for some family Fall season fun. Hopefully we'll get some good pictures.


Speaking of which, I took my Daughter for her 3 year old Birthday photos! The resolution stinks on them... sorry!


Thursday, September 13, 2007

3 Years Ago this Month...

This very month, 3 years ago, one of the biggest reasons to have WLS arrived -- my Daughter, Cassie. It's been a wild ride learning to make time for me, take care of her and my family as a whole. Everyday I'm moving forward. Everyday I'm grateful I have the chance to "Lead" my life, instead of watch it pass me by.

Just for the sake of walking a few laps around memory lane, here's a video of Cassie's first three months. Just a warning, there is about 20 second of her birth-by-c-section. No blood, you just see them futzing around with my belly, then pulling her out -- it's freakin' crazy!




This is my Cass-a-frass today. I think the dancing is in the genes. if you don't know, my family (Mom, Step-dad and Sister) are all dancers. I have never forced dancing on her, but yet she seems to enjoy it! She's a kid... I guess that's reason enough. So, heeeeeerrrreee's Cassie!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Tour de Pink - Done!

The Tour De Pink is over. I completed it this morning. :) I'm glad I went and kept my comitment. My husband and daughter came for support. With 1 mile left it started to lightly rain. Here's a couple pics from before:

Then when I reached the finish line, the arch fell down. Seriously, my husband said it was fine for everyone else. LOL Luckily, he captured video

video

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Retirement News

I just received the news that my bariatric surgeon, Dr. Naaman, is retiring in November. I'm happy that he's getting to retire and relax, but sad for those who will miss him and/or the opportunity to have him touch their lives.

I hate to sound sappy, but this guy, like many other bariatric surgeons, has change the lives of so many people. He's known for taking on the cases that other surgeons won't, so I know that those folks with special needs are really feeling the effects of the announcement.

Ironically his retirement will come the month of my 1 year post-op anniversary.

I'm going to offer to create one of those hard-cover memory books for him, containing pictures and letters from his patients. Hopefully it will serve as a reminder of how he impacted the lives of so many for the better.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

- this title space for rent -

Today I will forgo a title Although, if inspired to do so, please feel free to submit one. :)

I really just have one thing to write about -- I finally got my effin butt in the pool last night. I got in the effin pool and swam laps for 30 minutes. The pool has been my biggest challenge in prepping for the triathlon. I kept putting it off, and putting it off. And you know, that's just not going to get me swimming!

Oddly enough, I enjoyed it and didn't feel near as clumsy as I expected I would -- which is good, because that means I'll go back for more.

For 30 minutes I just kept moving (well for the most part, until I had to share a lane) and focused on alternating sides for breathing. Anyone know anything about lap etiquette in the pool?

Just another challenge from the past, beaten. :)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

9 Months!

I just realized that I'm 9 months out today, and just shy of 90 lbs. gone. I still feel as if it's the best thing I could have done for my self, my health and my family. Like Jenn said, I think "I'd do anything to keep from being fatter again." I just feel so damn good -- but I will feel even better down the road.

I still have so far to go, and feel like my falling short of the average 10 lbs. a month. I didn't lose much in the way of inches last month, so that was disheartening. That being said, someone commented just yesterday that I looked like I was losing weight, so there must be some re-arrangement going on.

My stitches finally came out yesterday, so I'm feeling sooooo much better. Today I'll be back at the gym -- I feel yucky after being "off" a week. LOL

Just a few short months until Vegas. I can't wait. We're booked for the Venetian, a spa package at Bellagio, and we've got tickets to see Jay Leno. As an added bonus, we'll be hitting the Coach outlet to satisfy the purse whore in me.

My daughter is nearly potty trained. Knock on wood veneer (hey, it's all I have right now) she hasn't had an accident in about 2 weeks! Also, she's graduating to the pre-school class starting next week. She's just nearly 3! She's decided she wants a "Dora" party for her 3rd birthday and to be Ariel for Halloween. LOL

In know I've mentioned it, but I come from a family of professional dancers. I grew up taking dance on and off, and obviously never had the body for it. I absolutely loved tap though. God help my Cassie, I've never told her what tap shoes are, but she saw them on TV. Now she wants "tap-tap" shoes. I told her, "Mommy has tap-tap shoes." I pulled them out; you would have thought I hung the moon. She was in awe, feeling the cold metal of the taps. She made me put them on and make some noise. She's been asking for tap shoes for a month now -- my Mom has sent her some. I think there is a "mommy and me" tap class in my future. My mom actually produces children's dance DVDs, so "Mammy" (my Mom) will be able to teach Cassie Tap from the TV!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Bright Sparkles in Life

You know those people -- the kind that add a little *sparkle* to life. The kind that sparkle without even trying. They care. They're sincere. They're genuine. They're the kind of person you meet and think to yourself, "there's a part of me that wants to be like so-and-so."

Last night the Earth is one less sparkle. A former co-worker, Kayrene, finally lost her 13 year long fight to Cancer. And while she didn't have the opportunity to pass at home, she was surrounded by family and friends.

I try to focus on the fact that she had 13 more years to raise her kids and see them through their life events. She had 13 years to LIVE.

Kayrene's passing brings to mind 3 other close friend who also lost the fight, and I celebrate their memories in honor of Kayrene.

Jean, Glioblastoma
LaShanda, Stomach Cancer
Jan, Breast Cancer

Months before Shanda passed, she wrote this poem. She typed it on a card and gave it to me, telling me to "keep it near" always. It made sense when I read it -- but it took on a deeper meaning after she passed away.

A Talk with God
By "Shandayo" 3/15/2001

Why?
I ask.
“Because…
Your Task.”
How?
“My Plan.”
Can I?
“You can; as long as you know, I Am.”

When?
“Show faith.”
Where?
“A state.”
Geographical defined?
“Your mind.”
Can I?
“You can; as long as you know, I am.”

With whom?
“Your Father.”
On Earth?
“Much Farther.”
How High?
“The limit’s the sky.”
Can I?
“You can; as long as you know, I am.”

Any questions?
“Only suggestions.”
The reason?
“Jesus.”
Long as can be?
“Eternity.”
I can!
“You can; as long as you remember who I am.”

Copyright Shandayo 3/1/2001

Implants are Started!

Yesterday was my dental implant surgery and it went well. I got six altogether. Now I just have to wait 2 to 3 months to mke sure everything heals and grows into the bone. Next is the "uncovering" then I get the actual abuttments to recive the teeth! At that point I'll be seeking out a replacment of a filling and veneers on my top teeth. It would be nice to have my teeth completely done by my birthday bash in Vegas.

Right now I'm in a bit of pain. Nothing tht Hydrocodine doesn't take care of, but that stuff in itself makes me feel cruddy. I am "working from home" today.

I've been with my new job about 3 months now. My boss told me they're still thrilled to have me and gave me a big hug (it's nice, but I stil don't get the *hug* thing at work). She said she hoped I was just as happy there. I am :)

My Daugheter is practically potty-trained now (I know a random shift in topic), but it makes me happy.

Our new triathlong team training blog is up: The Race to the Start. Between all of us women we've lost over 700 lbs. Pretty "phat", eh? And all of us met, one way or another, through Weight Watchers. Courtney, Alana and I were the original trio. :) I can't believe I've now them for probably 7 years now.

I hope I'm not too rambly this morning; couldn't sleep. Hurting just a little bit. Seems the pain meds wear-off about 2 hours before they should. LOL. I'm going to take one more dose of the good-stuff, then switch to liquid Tylenol. We'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

If I Could Do Anything...

Someone said, "If you could do anything you wanted for a living, what would it be?"

You know, I really don't know. How bad is that, not to know? Does that mean I'm indifferent to everything or am I just passionate about a lot of different things?

I always grew-up wanting to be a music teacher. I wanted to teach singing. I loved singing... in fact, as a kid you couldn't keep me from singing. I studied voice with profressional coaches on and off for more than 10 years. My Step-dad used to yell at me on car trips because I sang with the radio all the freakin' time!

In fact, when college rolled around I auditioned and received a partial scholarship to Westminster Choir College which I declined. Mom feared I could not make a living at music because of my weight. So I allowed her the power to talk me into doing somehing practical, studying something business related. Mom said,"... if you want to go back to music bad enough later, then you will." It sounded reasonable. In the end I was a marketing major who couldn't stand the likes of the stereotypical consulting salesforce... obviously not a good fit. I never made it back to school for music.

So I find my way into technology. Am I passionate about it? No. Am I pretty good at my job? Yes. I guess the fact that I'm good at what I do, keeps me from trying anything else I might fail at. That being said there are plenty of things, each and every day, that present an opportunity for failure in my job and I have towork to strive for excellence each day.

My return to school is a big deal for me and it's going well. I'm scoring well above the class average, so that feels like progress. Deciding to get a BS in CIS though? Is that the right thing? Just thinking out loud.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Got French?

Received my first foreign language message, but can't find a good translator; anyone know French? LOL

"LE TOUR DE FRANCE CES BEAU MAS BEAUCOUT DE TRISCHEURS IL CES D0P DROGA SALUT DE FRANCE COLUCCIO"

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

2007 Tour de France

The tour is over, and my D-boys did the job. Where they'll be next year, who knows? I still find it hard to believe that Discovery is rumored to be dropping out of the TdF after just a few years of sponsorship. What's the problem though? It only costs $15 mill to staff a team of Discovery's stature. :) The rumors so far have the best team members re-forming under a new team, so all won't be lost.

Contador did awesome and Leipheimer had the best ride of his career. I'm tired of folks saying, the only reason Contador won was because Rasmussen was allegedly doping. Regardless, doping creates a synthetic performance; Contador's performance was natural, thereby warranting him the true winner in every way. Enough said.

My boy George Hincapie, as usual, pulled his weight for the team this year, but I really would have like to see him have a stage win. Hopefully he'll get to experience that again one day.

It still baffles me that some of these guys think they can get past the testing. I mean seriously, coming off one of the most controversial years, with Floyd Landis being (the last TdF Winner) accused of doping, you'd think the offenders would lay low for a year -- but no. They're selfishness obviously supersedes their respect for the sport and those they ride with.

The tour is over... now back to my regularly scheduled TiVo programming.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Spin!

Okay, last night I made my return to spin class. *applause*

I'm not sure I have mentioned just how great it feels to be able to do everything... but it does. It's simply amazing! Of course I have; silly me. Well, you'll have to hear it over, and over, and over again for a while!

I know I worked hard pre-op, but heck, any 300+ lb. person taking spin class does! This just feels different. It's like I can actually feel my body getting stronger. I did damn near every jump, hover run and sprint. For the first time back, that's pretty good.

I will say though, that after class I felt extremely weak, like I never had before. Luckily I was armed with a banana (a good glycemic replenishment), and I felt much better.

Tour de Pink, here I come! By the way, my new boss made a $100 donation! I was floored!!

I have been so fortunate in that I was able to seize the opportunity to have my life back. God, I'm so thankful for having the surgery.

Tonight I have a strength training session. Ever since we changed the way we're training, with higher weight and 4 sets of 6 to 8 reps (to failure) the weight has been coming off. I went almost 2 months without any change in pounds, but still lost inches.

The focus is now on building strength/muscle and cardio, just for the sake of cardio. Before I was doing more of a circuit training with the weight, monitoring my heart rate and recovery, so it was kind of like a cardio combo weight session. In any case, it's working!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Couple Things!

Thanks to all my sassy sisters who helped make a contribution to my Tour de Pink efforts. You gals have character; you walk the walk AND talk the talk. I thankfully accept your donations in celebration of those who have lost the battle to Breast Cancer, and on behalf of all the folks who will benefit from this fundraising effort.

So, to change the subject, guess what I'm wearing today? I'm wearing a size 16! Not just a 16, but a 16 in white. White?!?! Yes, white. :) It's a nice black and white outfit, if I do say so myself. :) The point is, I haven't worn white since my wedding, and before than since my 8th grade graduation! Actually, I think I might be smaller now than I was at my 8th grade graduation!

Oh... and I have my consultation for my implants. Whoopie!

"Implants?" you say.

Yes, but not those kind. I'm talking about DENTAL implants. I started the process right before I got my RNY approval. I thought I'd have a year to finish up, but never even got it started because my approval came through sooner than expected. I have a consultation this week, and I can't wait to get it started.

We'll just call a spade a spade: I have awful teeth. Growing up we didn't have money for regular dental visits, and really only went when there was a problem. Coupled with the fact that I have really soft teeth, my best efforts to take care of them and be pro-active hasn't prevented the loss of some important ones as an adult. The tooth loss has has made it challenging (not impossible) to chew, and you know how important that is post-op. Now that I'm far enough out from my surgery, I can head back down this path. I'll be glad when it's over with! I go on Thursday -- I can't wait.

I have so much to be happy about; I can't wait to be able to smile freely!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Steppin' Out

This past weekend extremely busy, but fun too. :)

On Saturday morning I returned to my former gym and took Step Class. I really missed my old class and decided that if I really like it that much, and it helps to vary my cardio, it's worth the $47 a month. I absolutely adore the teacher. She's challenging, motivating and fun -- and yes, she's the reason I re-joined. The GroupX teachers at my 24 are pansies compared to her.

I just have to say, I HAD SO MUCH FUN! I hopped my way through step like I never did before. Don't get me wrong, my heart rate was hovering between 172 and 178 the whole time, but I felt so accomplished afterwards!

Funny story: a lot of the people at my local "Y" are teachers in CCISD. They all know one another. If you live the the Bay Area and aren't a teacher, then most likely you work for one of the DOD sub-contractors or at NASA. I work at neither so it took some time to make friends and penetrate what I lovingly call the "fitness clique." The clique is just a really commited group of us regulars who work-out together. For a while there, we were even going to dinner once in a while for fun.

Well, when I left the "Y" to go to 24, I didn't really keep in touch with anyone but my step teacher. I e-mailed her a couple times, but she never wrote back. I thought I was blacklisted for leaving to go to another facility. When I came in Saturday morning, none of the regulars said a word to me. No "Hello", not even a poking, "long time no see!" I Really and truly thought I was blacklisted.

It wasn't until my teacher was excited to see me, that I knew it wasn't the case (evidently she changed home e-mail addresses and I didn't have her work address). To the whole class she said, "Donna is back and we're glad to see what's left of her!" After that the regulars recognized me, and the few I was friendly with said hello. I wasn't blacklisted after all; they just really didn't recognize me, which I find odd since we all "stepped" together for 3 years. LOL

Since I've retured to the "Y" I'm also going to take spin class as well! I start on Wednesday. That will really help with my tri training.

Later on Saturday I finished my classwork and got some "Mommy" time to run errands, get a pedi/mani and pickup a birthday gift for a party later that night.

Seems like the scale as been at or around 227 forever now. I think that changing up my resistance training has got things moving again. We'll see next month. But, for the record, size 14/16 tops are fitting now, as well as 95% of 16 pants/jeans. F.U. scale, if you don't want to be a part of my success -- I'll take the inches, thank you. :)

On a real crappy note: I have placement exams this week - bluh.

On a crappier note: Team Discovery is barely present at the Tour de France. There's still some time for them to prove that the "Lance Factor" won't make a difference to their team, but I just don't see the cohesion they once had. Even "Bobke" is far less entertaining this year! Double-bluh.

Monday, July 16, 2007

2007 Tour de France

With all that's going on, I forgot to mention that the Tour de France started last week. They're already in Stage 9 today I believe. Thank goodness for Tivo, or I would never get caught up.

I'm all about rooting for team Discovery, but I am disheartened already. It's a long tour and I know anything is possible -- I'm just waiting for their attack. George Hincapie is my guy to root for. Probably won't win the Yellow, but I'd like to see him win a stage and see the team do well overall without the "Lance" factor.

I know they're focusing on the team time trials (which I always love to watch because that's where you really see the teamwork) and the stages in the Pyrenees.

Go Discovery!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Need Your Help!

Okay, I don't normally solicit anything, but I'm about to do so. I'm currently registered for the Tour de Pink. It's a cycling ride benefiting Breast Cancer. Without going into heart-wrenching stories, I have been touched by 3 women in my life who either died, beat or survived Breast Cancer. What I really need is your help in the form of a contribution to the cure. Please visit my contribution website sponsored by P3=Pedal Pink Power and Compass Bank.

Remember your donations are tax deductible. Your donation doesn't have to be huge -- every couple dollars helps! If you already contribute to another Breast Cancer organization, then thanks a million times over.

Feel free to pass the link to my contribution center on, if you know anyone who is open to the cause: http://www.tourdepink.org/site/TR?px=1078101&pg=personal&fr_id=1060

Please note, if you're using a browser other than IE, you may find that end of the URL may be cut-off -- simply go to the link and copy the URL for my page to pass on. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

There is a woman in my office who in the past struggled to have approval for the surgery -- ironically enough her name is Donna. She didn't know I had the surgery when she started telling me about her experience. I could soooo feel her disappointment. The whole conversation started because during some lunchtime chat I said, "I am no longer Diabetic." She wanted to know how, and my first response was, "I lost weight; I exercise and eat right." Which, of course, is true.

However I felt compelled to tell her the whole truth, but I had no doubt it would be kept in confidence. Sharing my story prompted some questions on her behalf and I could tell she feels some bit of hope... even if she has to self-pay.

It felt good to give her even just a little hope.

Yesterday I had my 6 month (late) post-op follow-up. All labs were fantastic and my weight loss is fine. I had brought with me my charts from my training session that track everything, and of course they explained how while my weight loss is slower now, what I'm doing is helping me for the long-term, and that I will probably continue to lose weight beyondof the so-called "window". It's all good. Not comparing myself to my peers is key. I will say the doctor was surprised to see how many inches I had lost in such a short time. :)

So I had to tell my boss I needed some time to go have the blood work done and then to the doctor for follow-up. She wasn't wanting to pry, but I could tell she was genuinely concerned. When I came back from the appointment yesterday she came right to me and asked if all was okay. Since I know I'm going to have to go back, I decided to tell her. I did, and the sun still set today. Amazing.

I guess, finally, I'm embracing this tool and feel more proud than feel like a failure.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Progress and Stuff

First thanks goes to JenO for her recommendation of PB2! I love this stuff, and have shared the good news with other fellow peanut butter lovers. :) Seriously, my trainer is diggin' on it, as well as members of my surgeon's support group! They're even giving it away as door prizes!

I've been watching Big Medicine, mostly because I know a couple of people profiled, since they film it here in Houston. Tesha was my roomie for the Austin event and I've met Ramon via the OH Texas Message Board gatherings. Both are most excellent people, and I'm so proud of them for sharing their stories. Incidentally, while at the conference someone asked me if I was Tesha's MOTHER! Holy sh*t! Do I look old enough to have a 25 year old daughter? Never mind, don't answer that!

Also on the Big Medicine link is a question and answer section by Dr. Mary Jo Rapini -- she has some great books listed for self-help issues with food addiction. I love her attitude towards accountability and taking responsibility.

The "40 and Fab" tour is still on for my birthday weekend. Looks like we're going to do the Venetian in Vegas! I just have this personal goal of losing 100 lbs by birthday -- I'm about 20 lbs away, depending on the day (grrrrr!). If my weight loss would wake-the-hell-up, maybe I have a chance!

My trainer is helping me to that end though, and has decided to start training me for strength; perhaps the change will tweak things for me. Right now, we do more circuit type training, but that's all about to change! It's kind of cool because now Hubs and I are in friendly competition -- I'm beating his butt on the leg press (I can press 500 lbs. 3 sets of 12 reps), but he gets me on dead lifts -- it makes it fun. My trainer also showed me the only other woman I am in competition with the be the strongest woman in training, at the gym. She's muscular, but not overly so; nice and toned. A nice balance of athletic and feminine.

I haven't posted progress pictures in a while, so here we go. First my most recent measurements:


Now for the pics... The first pic is the morning of my surgery, the second, well, its from yesterday! One day I'll have some normal, not-before-the-gym, pics to post!







I'm not sure what's going on with the back of my arms and that flap o' skin

That's it for now; being summoned by Cass-a-frass!

Monday, June 25, 2007

2007 OH Conference in Austin

This past weekend I had Hubby was nice enough to pull some extra "Daddy Duty" so that I could go attend the Obesity Help Conference in Austin. I love Austin, so I figured, if the conference was boring, at least I'd be in Austin -- a Win-win situation for me.

Luckily as it turned out, for the most part, the conference was pretty good (I do have some feedback for OH though). Lots of room for improvement, and rumor say that most conferences are 2 days, whereas Austin was just one. There were three things/people who really "hit" different spots for me. One was a post-op who described his story, the other was a Dr. MaryJo Rapini, a psychotherapist, and the emcee of the event Jackie Guerra. Of course props go to the others who were there donating their time, but I got the most from these three people.

With regard to my recent inner-conflict (or whatever the heck you call it) I decided I am going to get some help. There is that, as well as some other issues I have uncovered (which are not for sharing here), but need to be addressed with a professional. Dr. Rapini's no-nonsense attitude is exactly what I want from a therapist -- I don't want/need coddling. I need someone to candidly point me in the right direction. Make Sense?

I learned a lot about post-op plastics from Dr. Lomonaco; now I see why the post-ops love him. :) Okay, and it has to be said, he's pretty easy-on the eyes too. LOL He has a great attitude and seems very sincere in his efforts to help "restore normalcy" to a post-op's body. He has some really great ideas that support the post-op effort, that if they come to fruition, would be really helpful for full recovery.

Jeremy Gentile, the exercise physiologist from OH, was also there. He did a great presentation on fitness. I have to e-mail him to get the slide presentation, but he cited a lot of studies done with various bariatric patients and the results from doing cardio only, resistance training only and a combination of both. It was great stuff; unfortunately I think it might have been over the heads of most of the audience. I got to talk to him one-on-one about my fitness effort and got some pretty good information.

I can't say enough about Jackie Guerra though! I'll be honest, when first saw her face on OH, I was like, okay she looks familiar -- but I really couldn't place her. Then when I got to the conference, I heard about who she was and what she's done. Among other things, the was in the movie Selena, as was a friend of mine, and I totally forgot to ask her if she knew her!

Putting aside the fact that she's "famous", you can tell she is simply a good person -- she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside! The way she talked to everyone at the conference left feeling you feeling like you made a friend. The way she just have one-on-one attention to those who wanted it. The way she showed empathy for those on their journey.... she was just beautiful! Overall she was very inspiring and so open about her own story, not to mention hilarious.

Currently she's devoting her time to the weigh loss surgery effort. She recently authored a book "Under Construction" which she was selling at the conference and the proceeds from conference sales are going to a fund to help others who need WLS and can't afford it. She also has a syndicated show on XM Radio (Air America, channel 167) , and in July will be focusing on WLS.

That's it... more later.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Pictures!



Here's me... beyond fat, and miserable...
around 347 lbs. in 2000





Here's me today... Pretty damn happy!

(pictured with Jackie Guerra at the Austin OH Conference)

227 lbs.










Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Post-Op Head Games

So I have the surgery; my health is improved. Not only that, my confidence and general attitude are definitely better. Still a little shy, I think from some residual confidence issues, but overall so much better. I'm living my life now, instead of living vicariously through others. In fact, just last weekend I physically showed my daughter how to use a slip-n-slide! I have returned to school and I feel fantastic about LEADING my life.

I look in the mirror I see improvement. I don't see perfection, but that's OK because perfection is not what I'm looking for. I watch for changes that will motivate me. I take time to notice them and I enjoy wearing flattering clothes, the freedom of movement and every single "WOW" moment I experience. Those are the things that keep me going.

Here's where I seem to have a problem, and I know this is going to sound crazy... but I guess this is part of the post-op head game.

If I look in the mirror and I say, "Hey, you look good, you're feeling good and you've come such a long way." that's fine. But why is it when other people say, "Hey you look amazing!" or just *gasp* when they see me, I get very, very uncomfortable. In particular, I get mad with my family, especially my Mother, when they make such a fuss. I literally just cringe inside when anyone says anything overly positive or are overly animated about my progress.

I know I have such a long way to go to yet, so I thought, "Well, maybe that's why it bothers me"; since I'm still so far from a healthy goal weight.

Of course with my Mother, I figured it was resentment after all those years of telling me how fat I was and how I needed to lose weight. But I really thought I got past that when I learned my weight didn't define who I am as a person. Unless I just don't really believe it in my heart.

I see other post-ops who seem to enjoy and just bask in the glory of their success. Make no mistake, I'm extremely glad I had the surgery and got my life back. But in some form I feel like a farce when people say, "What are you doing to lose weight?" and I reply "..eat right and exercise". I don't want to be known as "Donna, that girl who had RNY", so I don't really share it day-to-day. I don't hesitate to share with someone who brings up the option of surgery, but I just don't bring it up as part of casual conversation.

I know the discomfort does nott stem from thinking "Well I was still me even when I was fatter... why didn't they see ME then." - I know a lot of post-ops who anguish over that. I do smile and say thank you to each and every compliment, but regardless I still cringe inside and it is still painful. Makes me wonder, perhaps, that while I felt I deserved this second chance to live my life, do I really feel like I deserve the success? It goes back to feeling like a farce. Of course I know I am not -- this is by far the hardest thing I've ever done!

I bring this up because I'm going back to NJ to visit my family the end of June, and they haven't seen me since I was 2 weeks post-op -- I've gone from a size 26 to a 16/18, so there is a noticeable physical change.. I love my family and I don't want to hurt their feelings and crush the excitement they feel for me. In a way I don't want to be selfish and say "Hey, don't share your happiness with me, it hurts." Especially when I can't define why it makes me hurt.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

80 lbs. Gone!

This week I hit 80 lbs. lost. I do my best not to compare, but it seems others who had surgery the same month as me are losing way faster. I know I'm doing it all right; eating, exercising. I suppose I get somewhat envious when the weight just falls off others without very much effort or regard for the "rules" of post-op life. Also too, my stalls remind me of my weight loss efforts (failures) pre-op. I'm not even 7 months out yet... I still have at least 11 more until the mal-absorbtion period ends.

It seems I lose like 8 to 10 lbs. then nothing for like 4 to 6 weeks; it's so maddening. Even though I know better, I have to vent about it.

I started buying some 16's and can actually wear some of the XL's in the Misses department -- just that alone opens a whole new world for me!

As for the new job, it is excellent. Surprisingly it is turning out to be what I was looking for if I stayed in technology -- still in technology but not support (or at least a ton of it). My boss, one of the co-owners, is great to work for. Although I don't have a bad thing to say about anyone there really :) they have all been more than welcoming.

The biggest deal is I got my butt back to school -- I'm going part-time online, but I'm doing it. At the same time I was struggling with the career thing, my husband's company offered and education discount to families. It's a small group of traditional universities who banded together to offer a center for online learning, the University Alliance. So I'm officially enrolled at St. Leo's University. I can even graduate on campus, if I want! I won't be easy, but I have the support of my Husband/family, so the only thing that would stop me is me.

I'm almost certain that a month has not past that I thought about how much I regretted quit college back in 1993. At some point, every month, I am reminded of that CHOICE I made. Ugh; just makes me mad. But no more... I'm changing all of it. The University thinks I can be done in less than 3 years because I may be able to test-out of some classes. That would be nice!

I'm hoping to win a scholarship from Talbot's next school year. Although I am not an awesome writer, I know I could write a killer essay about my life and my choice and what ultimately led me back to school.

That's about it for now. As usual I have been horrible about blogging these days. Seems I can't find much time! I'm going to take a quick trip to NJ to see my family 6/30 through he 4th. I absolutely cannot wait. Just to get away for a few days will be so very nice.