The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

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

Monday, January 30, 2006

What Plateau?

I'm down a total of 4 pounds this week, so it seems that the 3 month plateau which happens to a lot of WLS patients is finally over. I might pull off a 15 pound total loss for the month, but seeing as how TOM started today, it might just be 12 or 13 pounds. The silly thing is that, prior to surgery, I would have been doing a jig if I lost 12 pounds in a month. Now, I get disappointed I didn't lose more. The really great news is that I should reach 236.6 sometime in February, which would be down 100 pounds from my highest weight in 2005. That's kind of a cool goal to reach.

Since I have reached my goal of 250, I will be rewarding myself, but I'm not sure if I am going to be able to swing the Canon digital camera. A lot will depend on my bonus, which I should know this week. I'd love to be able to get the camera, but I may opt for another massage instead.

We got our Valentine's Day gifts over the weekend. Last year, we got a treadmill. This year it was new furniture for the family room. We currently have a U-shaped couch that's too big for the room and it's kind of broken down and threadbare. We opted for a new microsuede couch and two recliners. It will open up the room a bit. We also took a chair and ottoman from the living room and moved that into the bedroom and got a great deal on a new chair. It's a little smaller, so there is more room in the living room now.

I also invested in a new pair of gym shoes. The ones I had been using are too big, unless I wear thick socks. Those will now be my "walk the dogs" shoes. I can't believe I have to pretty much replace my entire shoe wardrobe. I can get away with some of the shoes being a 1/2 size too big, but several pairs will have to be donated or tossed. Like everything else, I will get as much wear out of them as possible, but when you walk out of your shoes, it may be time to get a new pair.

We did get to the gym on Saturday and then walked two levels of Mall of America plus took the dogs for a walk on Sunday (each level of MOA is .57 miles and our standard walk for the dogs is 1 mile, so a total of 2.14 miles). The funny thing is that I am having a harder and harder time getting my heart rate up. It used to be I could do 15 minutes on the treadmill at 2.7 MPH and no incline. On Saturday, I was at 3.5 MPH and a 3% incline and my heart rate would not get into the lowest zone. I guess that's a good thing - increasing my stamina and all. I have a training session on Wednesday to do an age fitness assessment. That should be interesting.

I will talk to my nutritionist in Los Angeles this afternoon. I'm curious as to his input on my BMR and lean body mass results from last weekend. I will probably have a better food and workout plan - at least one that is more focused. I continue to battle with my non hunger (I don't even know what to call it) so I skip meals without even realizing it. My pouch is holding more, and I should be up to 1/3 of a cup of food per meal now.

Sunday will be 4 months since surgery, so new photos and new measurements. I know I didn't lose a lot of weight, but I am excited to see what the inches lost are going to be.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The New Look

Welcome to the new look of my blog. Originally when I thought about a new look, I leaned toward something like a butterfly theme - symbolic of transformation. I decided on the wolf theme because the wolf is my spiritual totem, and I am going through some spiritual growth along with physical changes.

The wolf totem represents stamina, family, teamwork, loyalty, fidelity. They are considered teachers and pathfinders, meaning they are able to appear in our lives when we need guidance and they can show us how to balance commitments with keeping our individuality.

During this time of learning about myself, stepping in to a teacher role for others and focusing on my strengths, I felt that I wanted something symbolic of this journey represnted here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wild Winds, Wild Dreams

For whatever reason, I have very bizarre, very vivid dreams. They tend to be even more intense during full moons, Santa Ana winds, and when I'm sick. We've been having very weird weather here in Minnesota lately - warm (for MN in January) winds, rain/snow/grapple (tiny little ice pellets), temps that are 20+ degrees over normal. For the last two nights, we had howling winds. They didn't keep me up, but I was very much aware of them.

Normally I don't tell anyone my dreams because I'm sure most people would wonder why I haven't been institutionalized. Seriously. As Don would say, my dreams are like Fellini. Fellini on drugs. One of my dreams last night was that Judge Alito (yes, the guy getting confirmed to the Supreme Court) was hanging out a tree that used to be in the front yard of the house I grew up in. He wouldn't come down, so I had to shoot him. Not sure what that is supposed to mean or symbolize, but Don said it's a good thing I'm not voting on his confirmation.

Anyway, thanks for all the great comments on my hair. I love it. I grew up with short hair and on occassion grow it out. Then I chop it off and remember how easy it is to care for and wonder why I grew it long in the first place. It takes about 5 minutes to blow dry and about 1 minute to style. Can't beat that. With the short 'do I can spend about 15 more minutes in bed in the morning, which is huge when I have to get out of the house by 6:15 AM.

The testing on Sunday was really interesting. The first thing I did was my basal metabolic rate. I laid down for about 10 minutes in a darkened room. I then was hooked up to a machine that would measure my oxygen levels. This was slightly uncomfortable - I had a nose clip on to ensure I was breathing through my mouth and I had a mouthpiece with a tube attached which dried out my mouth a bit. After 10 more minutes, we let the computer do its calculations while I went to the pool. I had heard that this was the hard part but I didn't find it to be too difficult. I sat on a metal "chair" so the water came up about shoulder high. I had to take a breath, try and touch my nose to my knees, blow out all the air in my lungs and hold it for a count of 3. We did this 4 times to average the weight. The first time I took too big of a breath and had a hard time blowing it all out before I had to come up for air. The next three were much easier.

The results weren't too bad. My BMR is 1711 currently, and if I get to my ideal weight, it will be closer to 1646. That means, if I did nothing but lay in bed all day, I would burn 1711 calories. By actually getting daily movement in, I probably add about 500 calories to my total. Add in any deliberate exercise, and I'd add maybe 500 more. Technically this would mean that I could consume 2200 calories and maintain my weight. This should help me work with my nutritionist and figure out how best to distribute my caloric intake.

The lean body mass vs. body fat results were less encouraging. Currently, at my weight of 255 (although I am down 3 pounds since Sunday), I was coming in at 130 pounds of lean body mass and 125 pounds of fat. Ugh. Talk about a wake up call. That means I am at 49% body fat. I am going to have to focus on increasing my lean body mass with diet and exercise and (obviously) decreasing my body fat. The doctor who did the test believes my goal weight should be 160 with a body fat percentage of about 30%.

In light of that, I have changed my goal on my ticker above to reflect the new goal of 160. That's 30 pounds less than what I had as my goal. I will also discuss with my surgeon's office when I have my 6 month check in to see how they feel about it and with my nutritionist. I mean, it's only 90 more pounds (HA!), and I've already lost 84.6 pounds in 3 1/2 months. Even with the slow down, I could probably lose that in the next 6 - 8 months.

There will be some visual changes on this blog over the next few days, so don't worry if you stop by for a visit and the look has changed. I've seen the mock up, and it's going to be great - a completely different look.

Monday, January 23, 2006

New 'Do

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What do y'all think?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Busy Weekend

I have so much on tap this weekend. I really need to hit the gym, the dogs need walking, I have to get a mani/pedi, we have plans to go to the movies tonight, I have an appointment to get my basal metabolic rate and body fat measured. Don is fighting a pretty bad chest cold, so I don't know how much he is going to be up for. Plus he's on call for work in case the Vikings do something stupid newsworthy.

My big accomplishment yesterday was cleaning out my bathroom cabinets. We don't have a medicine cabinet in any of our bathrooms, and in the master bath, we have a floor-to-ceiling shelf unit. It's really deep, so things tend to get lost. When I cleaned it out last night, I found more body wash, lotions, potions, face masks, oils, chapstick than what any one person needs. I told Don that I would need to shower twice a day to use everything up. I did toss a lot of half opened bottles and old products so the cabinet actually looks clean and organized.

Despite my doctor's office suggestion of not having protein shakes, I had one this morning, and it tasted so good - plus it's 22 grams of protein! Almost half my daily goal. I mixed it with water, frozen peaches and raspberries, peanut butter and some Splenda. It's 240 calories, 9.5 grams of fat and 21.5 grams of carbs. It's pretty filling and satisfying so I know I'm good until lunch. The pressure is on with the weight loss - I am 14 pounds from being the same weight as Don. I don't know the last time I weighed less than he did. Of course, he is losing weight as well so it's not going to be easy to catch him.

The closets need another culling. I also have to try on some of the clothes I've been given to see if anything fits. On Friday, I wore a new blazer I got on sale ($13) in a size 20. My closet still has sizes 28 - 20 in it. Some of my size 24 jeans are still wearable, as long as I have a belt on or a sweater tucked in. I can still wear the larger shirts, especially when they are layered. I'm trying to make do with what I have, but I know I will need a few more pieces to get me through. I haven't tried any of the consignment shops yet, but that might be the next step.

Tomorrow morning, bright and early (7:30 AM!!), I am going to meet with a doctor at one of the local universities to have my basal metabolic rate and lean body mass measured. For the BMR, he will have me lay down for about 10 minutes while breathing into a machine that will analyze the oxygen my body uses at rest which will calculate how many calories I burn per day. This should give me an idea of the minimum number of calories I should be consuming. The second test is where he will measure me underwater four times to get my lean body mass and body fat content. This will give me a better idea of what my goal weight should be. Coupled with the knowledge of my caloric intake, I hope to come up with a better long-term plan.

Better get this day rolling. I'm still in my PJs and it's 10:00!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Back Home Safely

I had a wonderful long weekend in Los Angeles. I got to see pretty much everyone I wanted to, spend some time with my parents and friends and just enjoy being back in my old surroundings. The weather was great. It did rain for a little bit on Saturday, but nothing too bad for my drive from LA down to Orange County. Most of the time I was able to drive with the sunroof open and take in the warm sun.

The flight wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. It was packed, cramped and hot, but I can now fit in the seat with relative ease and get the seatbelt on with even room to spare. It's easier to get down the aisles - even with bags! I did fly first class back, which was even better just because of the leg room. I could even fit an 800 page book between the seat arm and my leg when the food came. I also was able to put the tray table down and it didn't rest at an angle on my stomach. Flying still isn't my favorite thing to do, but being 80 pounds lighter does make it a little easier.

Even though my parents had seen photos, they were amazed with the real life results, I think. I did see a few people who didn't know I had surgery, and they were just shocked at how I looked. I did tell them, even though I wasn't sure I was going to. There is always a chance someone will take a negative view of the surgery, but after the success I've seen, I feel ready to take those naysayers on. Anyway, everyone was very supportive and even a few that I hadn't planned on telling but did were very interested in it since they've been thinking about it themselves.

I also had great visits with my chiropractor, nutritionist and hairdresser. I will have to post photos this weekend, but I got my hair cut really short. It's great - it takes a fraction of the time to get ready in the morning. It will be a nice change for awhile.

On the weight front, I finally saw a decent week loss - 4 pounds from last Wednesday. I was a little worried since I did eat more than usual over the weekend. It still wasn't a lot of food - for instance, we went to my favorite Mexican restaurant where my normal order would have been a combo platter plus chips & salsa, tortillas, guacamole and a margarita or two. I orders a cheese enchilada with rice and beans. I finished 1/3 of the enchilada, three bites of beans, two bites of rice and 2 chips with salsa. At PF Changs, I had one lettuce wrap (with the excess lettuce torn off), one wonton (just the filled part), one shrimp and 2 pea pods. I'm still amazed that I can sit at a table chock-full of food and not want to eat everything in sight. I was very satisfied with my portions and just enjoyed the company and the conversation.

So, back to the grind now. I talked about going to the gym but got to work and realized I forgot my gym bag. I'll probably just go home and do the treadmill tonight. I have a better workout plan after talking to my nutritionist - lifting first, then cardio. I think I still have to do some cardio at the beginning just to get my heart rate up. He's also sending me some of his protein powder so I can try shakes in the morning, just to help get my protein in.

Speaking of protein, better go eat my breakfast. I promised no skipping meals - one of my really bad habits over the last several weeks. It's pretty funny that my new mantra is, "Must eat."

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I Have A Secret

I was in the travel industry for about 15 years. I think it would surprise most people that I hate to fly. I'm not afraid to fly, mind you. I just do not like to. I don't like the crowds in the airport, the cramped quarters on the planes, the restrictions (physical and otherwise). It's only gotten worse after 9/11. About the only good thing that's happened post-9/11 is the fact that only ticketed passengers are allowed past security.

My "phobia," if one wants to call it that, has only become more intense. Given the choice between staying at home with my husband and jetting off somewhere by myself, I would have to think long and hard about my decision. I seem to do better when I travel with someone, but I really loathe traveling by myself.

Part of it is that flying at 300+ pounds is a dicey proposition at best. Often it's a long walk to the gate and, with luggage (because who wants to check bags nowadays?), can seem like miles. Obese people don't do well in crowded situations - for me, it was about invading other peoples' spaces. I was always afraid that airline personal would ask me to buy two seats or deny me boarding because of my weight. Most of the time, seat belts did not fit and often I would fly without putting one on. I tend to be claustraphobic, and putting me on a crowded, overheated plane is probably not the best thing.

Anyway, I am hoping, now that I am down about 80 pounds since I flew last, some of the physical discomfort won't be as bad. I'm still not looking forward to four (plus) hours crammed into a seat with 100 other people. But I have high hopes that I won't walk away with seat arm indentations on my sides and bruises on my hips.

Down a little more this morning - I didn't make goal, but only missed by a few pounds. I guess I can live with that. Probably won't get a lot of real exercise in this weekend, and I'm not going to freak out about that. Heck, I didn't have room in my suitcase for another outfit!

See y'all on Tuesday!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Back In The Saddle

Finally off the plateau - kind of. I think my body is finally rebelling against the extreme measures and has slipped into what is known as "starvation mode." This happens often around month 3 or 4, around the same time as vitamin deficencies can show up and hair loss begins. To combat it, I actually have to eat more (ugh) and do more cardio and less weights. It's not the end of the world, but I'm a little mad that I won't be down to 255 when I leave tomorrow for Los Angeles. Close, but no cigar. I may be down a total of 80 pounds, though, and I can live with that. I still have to really work at getting down to 240 by my 4 month anniversary. Originally my goal was 235, but I've revised that because of the way my body is reacting.

The hardest part remains the food. I continue not to be hungry and I get full so quickly, it seems. I really can't have more than 2 ounces of food at one time, unless it's soup. I mean, even things I love I can't eat. I should be up to 1/3 of a cup of food and I'm still closer to 1/4 cup for the most part. I am thinking about going against my surgeon's recommendations and seeing if I can supplement my current diet with a protein shake or two. Those sound much more appealing than solid food.

My closet continues to be in a state of shock as well. I tried on a pair of slacks this morning thinking I could get one more wear out of them and they fell off when I was drying my hair. As I was packing for my trip, I realized I don't have any warm weather clothes. Hopefully it won't get too much above 70 degrees. Luckily, I have been able to score some clothes from others who have lost weight. I am using two hugh closets - one to hold the clothes that currently fit and one to hold the clothes that are waiting in the wings. I have everything from a size 26 to a size 16 in my closets and drawers. For someone who is not a clothes horse, I certainly have become one out of necessity.

The other funny thing is my wedding ring is huge. It spins as I type. I ordered a
ring from QVC to be a stand in until I could get my real one sized, and it's too big! I had to send it back and order a smaller size. Until then, I'll just have to be very careful with my real one.

I should be able to update before I leave tomorrow, but I probably won't have a chance once I'm in LA.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

A Real Plateau

How is it that my body knows that the last two weeks have been super important to me to lose weight to be close to my goal before I leave for L.A.? I have been stuck between 260.8 and 260.2 since last Sunday! Piss me off. I have increased protein, increased fluids, increased my exercise and nothing, nada, zilch.

It is "That Time" but it usually only affects me for 1-2 days. We're now on day 7. Between my 1.5 mile walk with the dogs, the treadmill and the weightlifting yesterday, I burned over 600 calories. I ate less than 500 calories. I actually gained .2 pounds. WTF?

I don't want to let it get me down, but it's discouraging to do everything right and not see any reward. I'd be OK if I knew I ate the wrong thing or didn't exercise. I will re-work my meal plan for this week. Exercise will be less certain because I leave for Los Angeles Thursday night and won't have access to a gym. I will do plenty of walking, so that's at least something. I will go to the gym here on Monday and Tuesday and probably do the treadmill on Wednesday.

Of course, what I should do is not weigh myself until Thursday, but I don't think I can do that. At this point, I'd be happy to be under 260 by then, although my goal is 255.

Most of my chores and errands are done for the weekend. I still need to make things for breakfast and lunch, pay a few bills and do 1 load of laundry. I also need to figure out what I am going to take to Los Angeles - I want to pack light. I will have to take my new boots. They are very comfy and look great with jeans.

It's kind of an icky day out. Typical January grey day, I guess. Perfect for curling up in front of the fire with a book...

Saturday, January 07, 2006

5 Weird Habits

I was tagged by Uisce to list 5 weird habits:

1) I talk and sing to my dogs all the time. I mean, I have full on conversations with them - about politics, current events, sports.
2) My CDs are alphabatized and I get stressed if they get messed up.
3) I cannot go face first into the shower when I wash my hair. I have to have my back to the water.
4) I rub my dogs butts for luck. We call them The Lucky Puppy Butts.
5) I won't watch unhappy endings if I know they are coming - Moulin Rouge, City of Angels, etc.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Photos Posted

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Three Month Update

Sometimes I can't decide if time is moving quickly or slowly. Often it feels like only yesterday I was on my way to the hospital and at others it feels like it's been an eternity since surgery.

Since surgery, I have lost 61.6 pounds and am down 76.6 pounds from my highest weight this year. I only did a few measurements before surgery, but I am down a total of 36.5 inches since surgery and 19.5 of those have been lost in the last month. My biggest decline has been 8 inches in both my hips and waist. I have gone from a tight size 28 to a size 24. I have given away pounds and pounds of clothes that are now too big.

It has been a frustrating last few days as I have stayed between 260.8 and 260.2, despite upping my protein and water. It can be discouraging to eat 500 - 700 calories, do exercise and not lose weight. How can that even be possible? It does seem like at the beginning of each month, my body revolts for a few days and I know that's just it adjusting still. Probably in the next day or two I'll hop on the scale and be pleasantly surprised at the results. At least I can hope!

Photos will be posted by this weekend. I'd actually like Don to take some tonight since I am actually wearing my shirt tucked in today.

My three month progress is right in line with what my surgeon's office expected. I had hoped for a little more, since my goal was to be 250 by 1/12, but that probably won't happen until the end of the month. They do say that the weight loss slows after 3 months, so I'll have to accept no more 20 pounds losses per month. I'm also starting to lose my hair, which bothers me, but I have such thick hair it shouldn't be too noticable. Good thing I invested in some super-sized Liquid Plummer.

I should go to the gym tonight after work, but I'm tempted to blow it off and go tomorrow instead. Not the mindset of a champion, I know, but my back has been sore the last few days (from the weekend mega-organizing) and a bath is sounding much more inviting than 20 minutes on the treadmill...

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year!

It didn't feel like the offical new year until I could watch The Rose Parade. It's something I've done since I was a kid. We grew up within miles of the parade route, and I was lucky enough to go a handful of times. While I'm not a parade fanatic, the Rose was always amazing to me. Partly because it was practically in my backyard, but mostly because the floats are wonderful. I also loved the mix of marching bands, equestrian units and floats. They never have it on a Sunday, so it was delayed until today. Not sure if that was a good idea - it's pouring there now. It's a long parade - well over 5 miles - so I really feel for all the bands and horseriders. Hope none of them come down with a cold!

I was lucky enough to attend at different stages, so I could experience the parade from the viewpoint of a child as well as a hungover college student. I even spent the night a few times along the route, which was always fun. In all my years of watching the parade, I have never seen it rain. The big local joke was that we always wished for rain on the parade and game because there were usually thousands of visitors from one of the Big 10 schools in for the Rose Bowl Game and they would want to stay if the weather was too nice. Living in Minnesota, I fully understand!

The weather here is kind of a cold, icy rain. The road are slick, the moisture that has fallen is turning into ice. Even the dogs don't want to go out. I really want to get to Target to get a few things, but I may just wait until later in the week.

I have posted my Resolutions, which can be found under The Plan to the left. These are things I should be doing anyway, I just put it in writing to remind myself from time to time. I tend to forget things like taking my meds every day or getting up from my desk at work to take a break.

We've been busy the last few days. We de-Christmased the house and stored everything. I got some shelves for the basement and some Rubbermaid containers, so now it's not a hodgepodge of things crammed into the corner of the basement. I'm still doing some organizing down there with craft supplies and such, and moving some stuff from upstairs to the basement (I mean, what will I do with a breadmaker now?) to make some room for other things. I still have a ton of stuff to do upstairs, but at least the main floor and the basement are looking pretty good.

The best thing that happened this weekend, is that we got our new fridge! It's beautiful:

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It's really sad how excited I get over appliances.

Hope everyone had a safe and sane New Year's Eve, and there weren't too many hangovers out there!