The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

The story of my quest to look good naked -- really good.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Looking Back 2005

1. What did you do in 2005 that you'd never done before?
I had elective surgery on 10/5 - a laparoscopic gastric bypass.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make any next year?
I looked back at my resolutions for 2005 and they were all health related. Although I didn't plan on having surgery at the beginning of the year, the ends do justify the means.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Three people at work and my cousin all had additions to their families.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no.

5. What countries did you visit?
I did not travel very much this year - a trip to Cleveland to see Don's family and a trip to Los Angeles to see my family.

6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?
I got what I asked for last year - less chaos in 2005. This year, I'd like to have more friends in Minnesota.

7. What date from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
October 5 - the day of my surgery, and really the start of my new life.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting through the surgery without complications and getting a promotion at work.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I was disappointed that I was unable to lose weight on my own, although I am thankful for this surgery.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No illness or injury other than surgery.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A pair of size 24 jeans, a new fridge & stove.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Don and my family. They have all been so very supportive throughout my journey.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Where to start? Michael Brown, George Bush, Tom DeLay, the main stream media.

14. Where did most of your money go?
I have no idea - how scary is that?

15. What did you get really excited about?
I love watching the numbers on the scale and tape measure go down.

16. What song will always remind you of 2005?
"Wake Me Up When September Comes" by Green Day

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier.
ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner, by a lot (at least 75 pounds).
iii. richer or poorer? About the same, I'd guess.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
I wish Don and I had done more things locally like going to museums or exploring our new city.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Watching TV.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
We celebrated on Christmas Eve since Don was going to be in Baltimore. We had dinner at Biaggi's, opened gifts and enjoyed each other's company.

22. Did you fall in love in 2005?
I fall in love each and every day.

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
CSI, Lost, Nip/Tuck, Desperate Housewives, House

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't waste time on hate.

26. What was the best book you read?
Philip Pullman's "His Dark Material."

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Leela James, Amos Lee

28. What did you want and get?
A smaller waistline.

29. What did you want and not get?
More of a raise when I got my promotion.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Believe it or not, I can't really think of a great one. I have high hoped for "Brokeback Mountain" and "King Kong."

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
We had dinner at Campiello's during a major hailstorm. I turned 37.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Living closer to my family, making more friends, making better use of my time.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005?
Make do with what is currently fitting. I don't want to spend more money on clothes that won't fit next year.

34. What kept you sane?
Don - who is always there for me. Baja & Jager - they drove me crazy at times, but for the most part they inspire peacefulness.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
No one. OK, if you twist my arm, Pete Carroll the USC Football coach.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath.

37. Who did you miss?
My family and friends back in California.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Several of the men and women I've met through the WLS support groups I attend.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005.
It doesn't mean weakness when you get help you need.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
If you should ever leave me
Though life would still go on, believe me
The world could show nothing to me
So what good would livin' do me
God only knows what I'd be without you

God only knows what I'd be without you

(from "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Half Way to Goal

I am officially half way to my goal of 190. I've lost 73.6 pounds and have 73 to go to my goal of 190. I'm also down 22% of my original weight. I only did a quick measurement, but I am down 7 inches in my hips and 6 inches in my waist. I can feel bones under my skin now - collarbone, ribcage, hips. Don can see definition between my upper and lower body (I think it's called a waistline...). I can start to see definition in my upper arms and my calves.

My goal is going to remain 190 until I reach that. The standard thinking is that most WLS patients lose about 70% of their excess weight (take starting weight, subtract "ideal" weight, multiply by .70, subtract that from your starting weight). That means, if I am the typical WLS patient, I would only reach 223. I figure if I can reach 190, then I can look at 160. At 190, my BMI would still be in the Overweight range. At 160 (actually 159), it would be in the Normal range. Overweight is fine by me, especially when it started at the Super Obese level.

Even though I didn't have surgery solely for the number gratification, it is so rewarding to see the changes in my body. I actually had to order a cubic zirconia ring to replace my wedding ring since it's starting to fall of. My ring size has gone from a 9 to an 8. I'm even down about a half size in shoes - from a 9 to an 8.5. My pants size have gone from a tight 28 to a 24, and my tops from a size 26/28 to a 20/22 (from a 3x/4x to a 2x).

I got a boatload of stuff done yesterday, and I didn't even get to cleaning out my closets (for the third time since surgery). All packing boxes are broken down, 90% of the presents have been put away, I broke in my new espresso maker (yummy soy eggnog cappucino). Today I'm finally making my way to Mall of America. I want to walk at least 3 levels for some good cardio. Then off to find a Coinstar machine to take all the change we've collected in the last year. You can now turn them in for gift card without having to cough up the 10% transaction fee. There is my money saving tip for the day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

If I Still Have Checks, Does That Mean I Still Have Money?

Actually, I did not do too badly at the post-Christmas shopping orgy. I got shelving for the basement to organize the shitload of Rubbermaid containers full of holiday crap. I picked up two things I didn't get for Christmas that I wanted - The Complete Collection of Calvin & Hobbes (weighing in at 22.5 pounds, BTW) and The March of The Penguins.

My biggest purchase was a new
. We currently have a top freezer model which I hate. This one is a stainless steel side-by-side with water & ice in the door. It will be delivered on Saturday, and I am very excited. Our current one has a smell in it I haven't been able to get rid of since we moved in. The ice maker works only when it wants to. My mom and brother got me gift cards for Best Buy so those paid for a good chunk of it.

The purchase that made me the happiest was at Lane Bryant. I wanted a pair of jeans and they were on sale for $19. I grabbed two styles in size 26 - and much to my surprise, they were too big. I am officially in size 24 pants. Holy crap! Where did size 26 go? And here I am worried that the scale isn't moving fast enough. Even if the scale numbers aren't moving, the inches obviously are. I still need to go through my shirts and sweaters in my closet. I was working out at the gym over the weekend and saw that the shoulder seams of my sweatshirt were closer to my elbows than my shoulders. I am really excited to take my monthly measurements next month to see the difference.

I made delicious beef barley soup last night. It came out really well, and the perfect winter dinner. I also made devil eggs as a test to see how I handle those. I need something high in protein for breakfast and plain hard-boiled eggs are a little dry. I have to take my breakfast to work or buy it, and someone suggested devil eggs. They are pretty good, so I hope I don't get too bored with them. I do seem to be getting my cooking mojo back. I lost interest after surgery because I couldn't eat it and in some cases I couldn't even taste it. I am planning on making my chicken corn chowder (actually I stole it from my dad). For some reason, I'm still more comfortable with eating soup than almost anything else.

I'm feeling pretty lazy today, but I better go unpack the car and break up boxes. At least it will look like I accomplished something.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Let The Shopping Begin!

Now that the holidays have past, it's time to hit the mall with all the gift cards and sales incentives. I'm not crazy enough to get up at 6:00 AM, but I will be heading out shortly to go to Home Depot (shelving units for the basement), Target (storage containers), Barnes & Noble (calendar) and Best Buy (fridge). Tomorrow I plan on going to Mall of America since I'm hoping most people are back to work and there will be less of a crowd. It's a great place to walk, and I used to only be able to do about 2 - 2 1/2 floors, but I think I can do all 4 now. Plus, Lane Bryant is having an 80% off sale so I hope to pick up a few pairs of pants since I just pulled 12 pairs out of my closet since they were literally falling off. Also, I want to go to the Apple store and get an arm band for my mini iPod for the gym.

We had a great Christmas. We celebrated on Christmas Eve since Don had to leave at 6:15 AM on Christmas Day for Baltimore to cover the Vikings' game. The only little hiccup was we got a call early Saturday afternoon that the restaurant we were going to have dinner at was cancelling our reservations (they said because of a problem in the kitchen, but I have my doubts). Luckily we were able to find another restaurant who could take us. We opened our gifts and I must have been a very good girl. I got a beautiful silver bracelet from Tiffany's from Don, a gift card for a training session at the gym from the dogs (yes, the dogs give and get gifts...), plus some great stuff from my parents and brother. Don got a lot of clothes as well as seasons 1-5 of "The Sopranos."

I have a ton of cleaning up since all the gifts are pretty much strewn on our living room table. I will probably put off going to the gym since everyone who is off will be in there working off that extra serving of ham or that third glass of eggnog. Also, our garage is under threat of being taken over by shipping boxes, so I need to spend some time getting those broken down and organized. I did take the first step of culling my closet, but I still have skirts and dresses to go through, and then I have to figure out what I am going to do with them.

Better get going before it gets too crazy out there. I do have photos to post - maybe later this afternoon. Hope everyone survived the craziness!!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

May Peace Began With Me

Image hosted by

"O Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is discord, harmony.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sorrow, joy.

Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life."

May each of you have a beautiful and peaceful Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Merry Winter Solstice

Today marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. Winter solstice has been celebrated around the world for eons. It is a time of renewal, celebration, reflection. In ancient times, symbols like candles, evergreen, mistletoe, Yule logs, holly, etc. were used to mark this time of year. Families celebrated with feast and song, decorated trees they brought in to their homes and thanked their gods for returning the sun and longer days. In fact, it was because this was the time of the rebirth of the pagan's Sun God that Emperor Aurelian in 274 A.D. decreed December 25th as the celebration of the nativity of Christ.

One of the celebratory rituals of Winter Solstice is the acceptance of the darkness/night as necessary and celebrating the coming light and longer days. For me, this means tonight once it is dark, I will take a few minutes to sit in a darkened room and meditate on some of the things that have brought darkness to my life. There are two things I want to focus on - my bitterness/anger/resentment of having to move from Los Angeles that I have been carrying for a year and my regrets around a friendship that ended and the sadness of her death before I could come to terms with it. By taking the time to acknowledge these things, my hope is that I can let them go into the dark and they will disappear with the rising sun and the promise of the light to come. The next step is to light candles and meditate on the areas of my life in which I wish light to shine brightly upon in the coming year. This year, I will ask that light continue to shine upon my marriage and my family relations, my health and my career/finances.

The sun is setting now, and the start of longer days and more light is upon us. May the sun shine brightly in your life this coming year.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Freakin' Cold

When the thermometer reads -1 and it feels like -15, don't go outside for any length of time without gloves. Trust me on this.

I cannot believe it's after 2:00 already. I have done nothing today. Well, I caught up on my blog reading, went to the gym, and got gas, but I haven't showered, I need to do at least one load of laundry and I still have to wrap Don's gifts. I was able to get my two boxes of gifts off to my dad's with guaranteed delivery before Christmas. That makes me happy. Don made us reservations for Christmas Eve dinner at Wildfire, so I don't have to cook. There is plenty I can eat, even if it does mean leftovers.

I've had two good workouts this weekend. Gym attendance has been a little spotty because of all that's going on at this time of year, but starting this Friday I have 11 days off in a row (12/24 - 1/2) so I'll be hitting the gym with a little more frequency. I also really want to try one or two classes, specifically yoga and water aerobics. Those should be fun. I'm really liking my heart monitor. It counts calories, minimum and maximum heart rate, average heart rate, time in "zone" and fat percentage burned. I think my body is going to stall for a few days. Not sure why I feel that, but I think it may have to do with the fact I am feeling more confident about trying new foods. That may cause a temporary plateau, but in the long run it's a good thing so I can get some new sources of nutrients. I still have to wait until January before I can have salad, but I'm enjoying my fruit and veggies.

I made cream of tomato soup earlier in the week, so we'll be having that with dinner along with some crab cakes. The soup is great. The secret ingredient is a can of Rotel tomatoes with jalepenos. Oh, and a whole head of garlic (it's a large pot!). It will cure what ails you, that's for sure. It's perfect soup weather. Once we're done with the leftovers of this soup, I'll make chicken corn chowder. Yum!!

The other thing I really need to do after I shower is go through my closet. I put on another pair of pants that are too big. I'm just waiting for the day that I decide I can wear an outfit one more time and the skirt falls off at work. Good thing I always wear clean undies, although some of them are getting a little baggy in the butt.

The best news of the day is that the Vikings are losing. I was getting worried they might make the playoffs which would mean more travel for Don. The worst part is that it's travel in January - the height of winter here in the northern hinterlands. It's bad enough he has to cover a team that has had a player caught with a Whizzinator, several players caught up in the theLove Boat scandal (a sorid tale of strippers, sex toys, lap dances, oral sex contests) and ticket scalping by the coach. I'm hoping for an end to the season on 1/1 and to start 2006 anew - new coaching staff, new owner, new players.

Off to check how poorly my fantasy football team is doing. I had such a good week last week, but I think I'm going down in flames this week.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


It was a pretty uneven week all around. Work, weight loss, accomplishing things.

First work - it's been a long time since I only worked with my peers, and I forgot just how bitchy people can be. My new job is to plan staffing for the upcoming week. Mondays tend to be slow since our department doesn't get the call forecasts until Tuesday. Thursdays are the busiest day since that's when we have all the numbers and we present the staffing plans to our work groups. This past week, partly because I'm new and partly because I know what the expecation is of me from my previous boss, I was doing some things I thought would help with the staff plan for 2006. Apparently this was the wrong thing to do, because while I was running reports and doing some analysis, others in the department were internet shopping, searching for recipes, talking, etc. I asked one of my co-workers for helping on getting a report to run right and she voiced her opinion that I was setting the bar too high and making the rest look bad.

I had gotten the impression that there were a few sour apples in the group during our staff meeting on Monday. A few people don't like when we are asked to take on additional responsibilities and not allowed to get rid of other tasks. Now, when we were down two admins I was asked to take on a ton of stuff and I never asked what could I give up. It also got a bit contentious around the 2006 vacations for our group. Bottom line, I spoke to my new boss and we're on the same page as to who are the slackers and who are willing to go above and beyond. Guess I will have to learn how to play office politics again.

On the weight loss front, I stayed between 270 and 271 until this morning, when the scale finally dipped to 269.2. It seemed like it took forever to get out of the 270s, but I know that the weight loss will continue to come. It's just frustrating when you go up a pound when your caloric intake is less than 500 calories. In my head, I know that my body is adjusting so I can't get to worried over a few days without a loss. I'm just so eager to reach my next milestone of 250. Enough obsessing - at least for today.

The one thing I can't believe is that I put off shopping for Don's Christmas gifts until last week!! Now I am not sure if they will get here on time. Gah!! I also need to wrap a boatload of gifts and packed and sent to Santa Barbara. Hopefully the UPS store won't be too bad. At least I got my Christmas cards out on Monday. All of my other shopping is done, so no more mall crowds.

It seems like every flat surface in the house is covered with something. Laundry needs to get done. The walk and driveway need to be shoveled. The dogs need to be walked. I still have china on my table from Thanksgiving! Better get cracking before I lose any motivation I have right now.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I am sitting at my new desk, looking out at the northern skyline of downtown Minneapolis. My window faces northwest, although more north than west. I have a great view of the Foshay Tower, which is one of the older buildings nestled amongst the newer high rises, and the TCF Bank clock and thermometer (currently 9:09 AM CST, 32 degrees). Too bad this is only temporary. We are "re-stacking" the building so our group will be moving from the 13th floor down to the 5th floor in February. Guess I better take advantage of the views while I can!

Down a few more pounds from this weekend. I might actually be in the 260s by tomorrow. My nurse was very pleased with my progress. In fact, she said I could skip my 3 month appointment and just come in for my 6 month follow-up. She thinks that I could be off my blood pressure medicine by early next year. How great would that be?

By the way - if you've lost 66 pounds don't try and wear pants that used to fit. I did yesterday and spent the entire day hitching up my britches. By the end of the day, they were so baggy, I could pull them off without unbuttoning them - and they don't even have an elastic waist! I'm going to have to go through my closet again and pull things out for donations.

We’re expecting a lot of snow between tonight and Thursday night, although they haven’t said how many inches. All they are reporting is that it will be "plowable." I am not really looking forward to that. I don't mind snow, and I don't even mind a lot of snow, I just prefer it to be on the weekends when I don't have to worry about getting to and from work. Of course, watching a snowstorm from the 13th floor of a high rise isn't a bad way to pass the day.

Christmas shopping is almost done. I have a few more things to do and then it's just a matter of wrapping and getting a box off to Santa Barbara. Our poor UPS and postal carrier - I've have so many boxes delivered over the last few weeks! We are going to finish decorating the tree tonight. Hopefully I can get some good photos to post tomorrow.

Better actually get to work. I don't want them to think all I do is daydream.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

A Watched Scale Never Moves

I didn't make my goal of 275 by Wednesday - I was 275.8 or 276.2 depending on which read I wanted to pay attention to. It stayed that way through Friday. On Saturday it was down to 273.8 and this morning to 271.8. That's close to a total weight loss of 65 pounds. I'm about 22 pounds away from my next goal of 250 by January 12. The next goal is to get below 236.6 by February 5. That would be a total loss of 100 pounds by my 4 month surgiversary. It's pushing it, and well ahead of what the "average" is, but I am very motivated right now.

Some of the little WOW moments I have over the last few weeks:

1. I now have to tuck my shirt into my jeans to keep them from drooping below my underwear line (I still can't pull off the gangsta look).

2. Some of my size 26 items are already too big in the waist.

3. I drive a Honda CRV and the driver's seat has an arm on it. I've had to drive with it up but I could put it down yesterday.

4. Necklaces that used to be too tight now fit, including a gold chain with a pearl on it that Don gave me several years ago.

As great as all this is, I still have moments of buyer's remorse. For instance, at dinner with my boss and the other leaders on Tuesday, I wished I could have had a cocktail and ordered a "normal" dinner. Instead, I drank ice water, had some spinich dip, a piece of calamari and two of my jumbo shrimp. Everything else looked and smelled so good, and part of me missed "The Feast." I missed picking a wine to go with my dinner (although I did help three people order their wine, with full approval from the waiter). No one ordered dessert, so that temptation was removed. Overall, I felt fine about the dinner but there is that bit of melancholy.

It's the same when I think about Christmas Eve dinner. Usually, I would cook dinner - maybe prime rib or a roast with all the sides and dessert. I think we'll probably go out for dinner. We'll actually celebrate Christmas on the 24th since Don will be on a plane at 7:00 AM on Christmas Day, heading to Baltimore for the Vikings' game.

We got the tree up yesterday and the lights on. We also hung icicle lights around the deck. I'll be addressing the Christmas cards later today so those get in the mail tomorrow. I have a few more trimmings to get out and I need to wrap a few gifts. Even though Molly Maids was here on Friday, the kitchen, dining room and living room look like disaster areas. I'd like to get those cleaned up before Don gets home from the game tonight.

When I met with my nutritionist last week, she got on me a bit about not getting my 24 oz. of milk in per day. I discovered eggnog flavored soy milk, and it's actually not too bad. I might need to add a little nutmeg, but overall it's drinkable. Regular milk continues to bother me, and the plain soy didn't sit well but I'm hoping that the flavored soy will do the job.

Better get cracking on those Christmas cards. I have about 35 or so to address and while I can type all day long, actual handwriting is a bit more of a chore.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A Christmas Meme

I believe I am stealing this from Danelle:

1. Name 3 people you absolutely miss right this moment that you haven't seen in some time: My mom and dad who I saw in October and my friend Patty who I haven't seen since I moved to Minnesota. The good news is that I get to see them in January.

2. Name 3 things you miss about home during the holidays (be it people, smells, foods, whatever): I miss having the whole family together. I miss going around the room on Christmas morning and everyone taking a turn opening a gift. I am going to miss having Don home on Christmas since he will be traveling this year.

3. Name 1 holiday memory that you have from childhood that you will never forget: Growing up in Southern California, we weren't even guaranteed a cold winter, much less a white Christmas! One year it was 80 degrees. I remember Dad going downstairs and turning on the air conditioner so we could have a fire Christmas morning.

4. Name at least 1 favorite book or movie that always reminds you of the holidays: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. I used to know it word-for-word. I still try and watch it every year and sing along for the dogs' amusement. I also love reading "'Twas The Night Before Christmas." Again, I used to know all the words by heart.

5. Name your top 4 favorite holiday songs that get you in the mood to celebrate: What Child Is This, Carol of the Bells, Do You Hear What I Hear, Joy To The World

6. If you could go anywhere other than home for the holidays, where would you choose to go and who would you want to bring along: I would love to rent a cabin in the woods on a lake. Don and the dogs would be there. And there would be snow - lots of snow.

7. The Grinch or Rudolph: Rudolph.

8. Formal holiday dinner or casual get-together food: Formal holiday dinner with the good china and courses. But it would have a casual air about it - we'd all be in the kitchen getting dinner ready.

9. Name the best holiday gift you ever received and why: A pair of beautiful emerald and pearl earrings from Don on our first Christmas. He has great taste in jewelry (hint, hint).

10. Describe the funniest holiday moment you've ever had: Don joined me in San Jose at my uncle's house. This was going to be his first Christmas with part of my family - my mom, my brother, my aunt and uncle. We did beer tasting on Christmas Eve, bloody Mary tasting on Christmas morning, chardonnay tasting in the early afternoon and cabernet tasting right before dinner. Needless to say, most had a very pleasant buzz going, some more than others. My uncle proceeded to over salt the French onion soup and then fall asleep in his mashed potatoes. And I haven’t even gotten into the whole penis gourd ornament.

11. Name a holiday memory that truly warmed your heart: I loved helping my dad make cookies. I can't even remember how many kinds of cookies he would make but he would make one kind each night. My favorite was the sugar cookies because we got to choose the cookie cutter shape - bell, tree, star - and then we got to frost them.

12. Name your top 3 favorite TV specials that frequent the airwaves during the holiday season: The Grinch, Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas.

13. Sledding, snowball fight, snow angels or building a snowman: Snowball fight, but Don isn't really into playing in the snow. The dogs love to romp in the snow and have me toss snowballs at them, but I'd win in a snowball fight with them.

14. Eggnog, hot chocolate, or hot cider: All are great, but I love eggnog with brandy. And hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps.

15. Candy canes or fruitcake: I've actually had some really good fruitcakes, but I'd rather have a candy cane.

16. Favorite holiday cookie: My dad's Mexican Wedding Cakes (shortbread crescents with walnuts, rolled in powdered sugar) or my mother-in-law's fudge (she makes it without nuts just for me).

17. Favorite holiday tradition: Trimming the tree while listening to Christmas carols, sipping on eggnog.

18. Do you put out treats for Santa? As a kid, we would put out cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for his reindeer. If I did that now, the dogs would eat them.

19. How do your open your presents? A free-for-all? One at a time? We would go one at a time so my mom could keep a Thank You note list. Also, that way we got to see what everyone else was getting!

20. Tell me about your tree. As a kid, we'd go to a tree farm and chop it down ourselves. Last year, Don and I gave in and got a fake tree. It's just easier. I like multi-colored lights that blink. I have a stash of ornaments, a lot from childhood that hold memories for me. I usually add one or two a year with some meaning. No tinsel - the dogs would probably eat it. Same goes for popcorn and cranberry garlands. We trim the tree two weeks before Christmas and take it down New Year's weekend.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Two Month Updates

New photos HERE. I did wear the same outfit as my one month photos, but I think I may have to retire it. As cute as it is, it is way too big. I had to hike the skirt up all day long!

So, yesterday was my two month anniversary of my surgery. The results have been pretty amazing - down 60.4 pounds since 9/1 and 45.6 since 10/5. Needless to say I'm beginning to see a difference, especially in my face. I guess when I look at myself in the mirror on a daily basis I don't see it but when I look at photos side-by-side I can. My goal is to be 275 by tomorrow but I think it may be the end of the week before the scale agress with me. My reach goal is to be 250 by January 12, which is when I fly to Los Angeles. Twenty-six pounds in 5 weeks? Yes, a stretch but not impossible.

Work continues to be crazy busy. Not only is it year end, so we have reviews, final expense reports, final budgets, attendance reconciliation, etc. but I'm transitioning to a new job so I have to off load all of my duties to two other admins. I'm a little worried about things slipping through the cracks but I really have to let it go. So often, I get caught up in feeling guilty for abandoning people that I end up sacraficing my current job for an old one. I had the same problem when I moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. I'd get caught up in the drama of my old job that I didn't fully pay attention to my new one. That will be harder here since I am such a people pleaser...

I have a big challenge tonight. My boss is taking his leadership team to dinner at McCormick & Schmick's. Everyone on team knows I've had the surgery so that isn't an issue. I just know that I'll get the "Are you sure that's all you're having?" when I order a shrimp cocktail for dinner. I also won't be drinking or having dessert. I don't feel deprived at all, I just feel a bit like an outsider. When I go out to eat with Don, it's different, but in social situations I almost feel like I have to keep up. I know that's all in my head, and that has to change for me to be successful. I find my eyes are (in this case, literally) bigger than my stomach. We had a buffet breakfast yesterday. I can actually eat about 2 tablespoons of eggs and 1 tablespoon of hash browns. I put 1 serving spoon of eggs and hash browns on my plate along with 1 sausage link. I threw most of it away. I did go back later and take 6 cubes of mellon which was sooooo good. How funny is it that I get excited over honeydew and cantalope?

The weather has gotten really cold - it was 9 below on my way into work this morning and with the wind chill it was closer to 20 below. Poor Baja and Jager are having a hard time with the cold getting to their paws. Despite that, they still want to go out and play. It's supposed to "warm" up into the 30s by this weekend so we may see some of the snow disappearing. I'm still trying to keep an eye on the heating bill - I keep the thermostat at 60 during the day and no higher than 64 when we're home. I do crank it up to 68 for the early morning. Since we spend so much time in the family room, I use the gas fireplace to heat that so we aren't heating an entire house. We haven't gotten our first bill yet, so I can only hope I budgeted right. The last thing we need is a multi-hundred dollar heating bill.

I think a large coffee is calling my name...actually what sounds good is a Caribou Coffee's Fa La Latte (with steamed egg nog) but I think I'll have to settle for a plain's too cold to walk across the street to Caribou.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

It's Starting to Look A Lot Like Christmas

Well, while Don's away, Shannin will decorate. I have two garlands up on our front porch, a string of swag lights along our front railing, a wreath on the front door, three wreaths of green/red/silver ornaments hanging from our garage lights and the stockings are hung. I still want to get up the mantle garland, icicle lights on the back deck, the dining room table set and some Christmas-y towels and candles out. I had to come in from outside since I couldn't feel my fingers.

I figure we'll get the tree up next Saturday. Maybe I can find some low-fat egg nog to make it really feel like the holidays. That was one of my favorite memories - decorating the tree. We had the perfect front window in the living room in which to place the tree. My dad would do the lights first, then Gavin and I would do the ornaments. Dad would run outside periodically to make sure all the ornaments were properly spaced. Mom would be in charge of putting the hooks on the ornaments (we'd call her "The Hooker" which, when you're 10, is mighty funny). The tinsel would go on last - and we could only put on a few strands at a time so it wouldn't clump. During this Martha Stewart Moment, we'd drink eggnog and listen to classic Christmas albums - Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby, etc.

Nothing else really planned for today. Maybe some wrapping. I only have a few gifts here. I know what I'm getting everyone; it's just a matter of ordering most of it. I should also spend some time on the treadmill so I can get actual exercise done. I think the cardio is what's helped drop two pounds since last week. I did take my measurements, even though it's a few days early, and from my calculations, I've lost a total of 12 inches since last month. The biggest drop was 4 inches off my waist and 1.5 inches off my hips. I have to remeasure my thighs since that showed an increase, but my arms are down .5 inches and my calves 1 inch each. That's making me feel pretty good, and I still think I can reach 250 pounds by the time I leave for LA.

Better go let the beasts out. Jager is in a very playful mood and I'll need them a little more on the mellow side if I'm going to get everything finished!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Ready for the Weekend

I can't believe it's December already. I am so not ready for the holidays - I don't have Christmas cards, I only have two gifts (although I have ideas!), we have no holiday decorations up. Guess I will be busy this weekend. A Target run is in order!

Today was only a half day for me at work. I got home at 11:30 and haven't done anything! Well, that's not exactly true - I did put a new slipcover on our front sofa and I've been catching up on blog reading. Damn job is interferring with my on-line time! I do need to do some shopping this weekend since everything has to be shipped to California. I also should go to the gym since I haven't been since last weekend. I have crap piled up on every flat surface, I'm sure there is laundry to do, there are dishes in the sink and I haven't been through the mail in three days.

Of course, nothing can get me down as I have entered the 270s - granted, the scale read 279.8 - but it's below 280. It will still be a big push to be 275 by Wednesday, but I'm still going to try. Maybe the gym will win out over a nap this afternoon.

I am wearing a size 2x pants and a 22/24 sweater, so the sizes are starting to drop. I picked up a few items at a clothing exchange this past week - a v-neck sweater, a long-sleeve pullover shirt and a sparkly pink shirt. That one is an 18, so it will be a few more months before I'm in that. I probably need to go through my closet yet again since I am starting to get comments from people at work about how big my clothes are. There is at least 5 or 6 outfits that need to go - including the outfit I was wearing in my 1 month photos!

Foods are going well, and I am so glad I can get all of my water in. I'm still having trouble with chicken breasts - I tried it again last night and my pouch just couldn't tolerate it. Guess I'll stick to dark meat, fish and shellfish. I have two challenges coming up - next week my boss is taking all the leaders out to dinner at McCormick & Schmick. I'm planning on soup to start and shrimp cocktail for the main course. I don't think I want to try oysters just yet. I figure I'll be safe with soup and shrimp. I'm still a little nervous about ordering out and I don't want to order a fish that doesn't sit well. The second challenge is that all the leaders are being asked to bake for a cookie potluck. I refuse to wimp out and not bake, so I'll whip something up, even if I can't have any. Not sure what it will be since my dad is the baker in the family...

Anyway, off to tackle the crap that is taking over my kitchen...