The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

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

Friday, June 30, 2006

At This Time Tomorrow...

We will hopefully be in Iowa (boy, I never thought I'd type that sentence!!)

Anyway, I have a few loose ends to tie up at work before going to see Linda in the hospital (her WLS was at 7:00 AM, and I just heard from her husband she did wonderfully!!). We're going to take the dogs for a walk this evening rather than first thing in the morning since we want to be on the road fairly early. I still have to finish packing and gathering stuff together for the drive. I've already stocked the car with utensils, paper towels, etc. We'll have a small cooler as well as a bag of "safe" food to eat (jerky, dried fruit, nuts). Don can eat at fast food places, but I think I'll steer clear since I haven't really tried anything like that and no matter how you ask for it to be prepared I can't guarantee the chicken isn't cooked with a lot of oil (even "bare" breasted chicken could be trouble). The last place I want to be sick is on the road, especially when we're trying to get through as quickly (but safely!) as possible.

So the big news I was waiting to hear at work was finally announced - I've been promoted! I will be managing a team of 8 schedulers. It's a great opportunity for me, and I'm really excited about working with the other new manager who was announced at the same time. Some of the excitement was tempered by the fact I know at least one person in the group also applied for the position and she's not exactly enthused about me being promoted over her. Out of the 8 positions, I will be filling 1 for sure (my former position) and possibly two others as people defect. I can take comfort in the knowledge that the other two are openings that may have happened even if I wasn't the one promoted to their manager.

Down to 201.4 this morning. I'm getting so close I can almost taste the 190s! I don't know if I'll make it by tomorrow morning, but when I checked my weight chart, I realized my goal was for 199 by July 5, which is my 9 month anniversary. At that point, I am a mere 14 pounds away from my surgeon's goal. I am going to see my nutritionist when I'm in Los Angeles and come up with a more firm goal for me. I've been using 160 but not sure if I can get that with the excess skin, which could be up to 10 pounds. I don't want to kill myself trying to get to a number on the scale that is not attainable in my current condition.

I will post once we get to California, with photos of our cross-country road trip!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Let The Crazy Week Commence!

This is going to be one busy week. I have something after work every single day, plus I still have packing to do AND work is soooo busy. I will probably be putting in at least 10 hours almost every day. Well, except for Friday when I'm going to try and get out of here early to see Linda in recovery and then go to a work function at the Twins' game. The plan was to get up early and hit our treadmill since I will not get to the gym at all this week. However, I got to bed late last night and when the alarm went off at 5:00 AM I just couldn't do it. Regardless of my lack of exercise, I was down to 202.4 this morning. I'll get to bed earlier tonight and try to get it in the rest of the week. I also have yoga tonight so it's not like I'm not doing anything today...

I made a few more pieces of jewelry yesterday. I was working on a bracelet for one of the women at work but I picked out the wrong letter so I have to go back and exchange the "M" for an "E." I think I'll probably put that away until we're back from vacation. I thought about hauling the bag to California, but it's not like I can bead in the car. Plus, how many more anklets, bracelets or necklaces to I possibly need?

At least I got some packing done yesterday. I'll try and get a little more done each day so I'm not running around (per usual) at the last minute trying not to forget anything. I know I can get some clothes packed tonight. I packed books, games, cameras, and toiletries yesterday. I can also get some of the dog stuff packed - toys, treats, food. The funny thing is that half of what we'll bring we won't even use. Hey, how much more do you really need in Santa Barbara other than shorts, a swimsuit and sandals?

Of course today is as crazy as it can get - I was out Friday and came in to 45 e-mails. My boss is out sick so still no announcement on the position (well, at least official word). We have two employees out that I need to help cover for. And I have to do major preparation for the two weeks I'm out. I wonder if my cube is big enough for a bed...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Vacation Countdown

It's great to know that a week from today we should be leaving the lovely state of Colorado and heading west toward Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Of course, I've done absolutely nothing to prepare for the trip. I do have a few tidbits in the guest room but I really need to get some clothing, toiletries, dogs stuff, etc. packed so I'm not rushing around at the last minute.

I had a crappy workout yesterday. I couldn't get my heartrate up, I wasn't feeling strong, I couldn't get into the groove. I am blowing off the gym this morning (cramps) but I am meeting my friend, Linda, for a mall walk. I'm hoping to do 6 laps (3.42 miles) and then do a little shopping. I don't need any more clothes plus I'm tired of wasting money on clothes that I wear for 2 weeks. (Don just told me I was too skinny for Lane Bryant!!) And, just when I thought it was safe, it seems my feet have shrunk again. I thought I had bottomed out at 8.5 but my fairly new Nikes are rubbing the backs of my heels when I'm on the treadmill. I'll put of buying a new pair until after I'm back from vacation.

The baby shower yesterday was a lot of fun. There were some women from work and then some of the Mom-to-be's relatives and friends. The food was great - kabobs, hummus, pitas and lo-carb cheesecake. Even though it was a bit of a hike, I enjoyed the drive and going to a part of the city I hadn't been to before. It's in the general area we might look to move if the Vikings end up moving their HQ.

In case you didn't notice, I did get Don to break out the scale. I'm down to 203.8, so just 4 pounds away until I'm under 200. I'd love to hit that number by Saturday morning so I can leave for California in the 190s but I'm not going to worry that much about it. Four pounds in a week at this stage is a lot plus my period started this morning so I'm feeling bloated as it is.

Well, better get my face washed and teeth brushed so I'm at least somewhat presentable...

Friday, June 23, 2006

Keeping It Real

So the first three days on the new plan went fine - I kept up with my exercise plan, at my planned meals, kept my protein at 10% of my calories (1000 calories = 100 g. protein), drank all my water. Then Thursday happened...

I didn't pack my breakfast and lunch. My computer kept crashing while I was trying to produce my weekly report so I never got around to getting lunch or anything to eat other than what I had stocked in my desk (1 oz. of pretzels). I then went to a happy hour to say good-bye to one of the leaders who is moving out of state. There was a lot of alcohol and not a lot of food AND someone kept refilling my glass. I don't know how much I drank, but it was more than I should have, especially on an empty stomach. So, calorie-wise I probably was OK, but it was not the right kind of calories. Trust me, there is no protein in a martini.

I can't see how much damage was done since Don is still hiding the scale, which probably is a good thing. I didn't do yoga as planned last night, but I will go to the gym today and, since we're both off today, take the dogs for the 2.5 mile hike around the lake. I do have a hair appointment with a new girl. My trusted hairdresser has the gall to get married and move out of state. The nerve! I'm a little nervous since I was so lucky with finding Rebecca when I first moved here after going to the same guy for 6 years. I can't even remember this new girl's name!

This weekend is going to be our last in town before we leave for California. I have a baby shower for one of the women at work, so I need to shop for that. I know one of the things I want to get her and I'm thinking of making a bracelet with the baby's name on it so I need material for that. We're taking the pups to the vet for a check-up and to get some doggie downers for the car trip. And I'm meeting my friend Linda for a walk around the Mall of America on Sunday morning. She's scheduled for surgery next Friday and is in the middle of her 10 day liquid diet.

Next week is going to be busy - yoga (Monday), support groups (Tuesday & Wednesday), visiting Linda after her surgery (Friday), work outing to the Twins game (Friday), lab work (Friday before work). We'll have to pack, clean out the fridge, get the car washed, get supplies for the road trip, make sure the iPod is uploaded with all my music... Speaking of which, what songs/albums would you have to have on a long road trip? I have about 6000 songs, although I'll be taking some off because they aren't road trip material (classical).

Please feel free to suggest any kind of music with the exception of rap!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Horray for Mondays!

OK, so the last post was a bit whiny. They do say that this is surgery on our stomachs not on our heads, meaning I will forever live with these hang-ups about food, weight, scales. I hate that I am so obsessed with the weight when I've done so well and seen so many positive changes. I'm not giving my body a break for making all these drastic changes in such a short amount of time. I set such high goals and really beat myself up for not reaching them. To kind of get myself out of this rut of thinking I'm doing really well with my food and exercise and then bumming when I get on the scale, I am having Don hide the evil scale until June 30. I don't know if that will work or not, but I'm willing to give it a try. I just cannot obsess about every flippin' ounce every day.

To help me through this, I am going to focus on recording my foods. I've been doing it off and on since surgery but I think I need to stop estimating my caloric and protein intake and put it on paper (well, on-line actually). My focus will be on getting in 100+ ounces of protein per day, limiting my fat and carbs, getting my 100+ ounces of liquid in, eating 2 servings each of fruit and veggies. Finally, I need to limit my snacking to one scheduled high protein snack per day.

UPDATE: I just had a group lunch and ate 1 skinless chicken breast, 1/2 c. coleslaw, about 1 c. of honeydew/cantaloupe melon and 3 large strawberries.

I also need to be a little more consistent with my exercise routine. Trying to cram it all into 3 days isn't working for me. So, here is the plan for the next week:

Monday - Yoga
Tuesday - Weight lift (shoulders, back), cardio
Wednesday - OFF
Thursday - Core training, cardio
Friday - Yoga
Saturday - Weight lift (chest, arms), cardio
Sunday - Weight lift (legs), cardio

With the cardio I'd like to get in a mix of classes (Basic Training, Aqua) and either the treadmill or elliptical. Right now, I will try anything to shake things up a bit.

No word on the work stuff and that's stressing me out a bit. The announcement is supposed to be by Friday, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. It's not the biggest disappointment in the world if I don't get it, but I just want to know. I feel like I'm in a bit of a holding pattern until this is announced, one way or another.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Is It Monday Yet?

I thought weekends were supposed to be relaxing. I'm actually looking forward to Monday just to get out of this funk that is this weekend.

Things started off well enough - we went to dinner at a new restaurant and had a very nice meal. This is despite arriving in the middle of a torental rainstorm and getting my feet soaked walking from the car to the door. I looked cute in a new outfit from Coldwater Creek (size Large no less) and was feeling good. I had a great workout, burning about 650 calories between the weight-lifting and cardio.

I woke up early Saturday and got to the gym, burning 775 calories this time. I then met some WLS friends for coffee, picked up my re-sized wedding ring, a few CDs and books (I had a B&N gift card so I felt OK about breaking my ban on book buying). I picked up some Chipotle for lunch (one burrito is 4-5 meals for me) and came home. It was really hot - 90+ and 70% humidity so I just wanted to sit in the air conditioned house and veg.

I decided to do some banking and logged on to our account and saw our balance and nearly had a heart attack. My first thought was that someone had gotten into our account somehow, but when I looked at the detail I realized what had happened. When I went to make a payment on one of our credit cards, I entered the wrong amount. By a lot. I flip-flopped my numbers and made a payment 5x what I needed to, thus depleting our account. Yikes. We get paid on Friday and we don't have anything due or outstanding, but we like a little more cushion. Luckily we can move money around but I hate having this sick feeling in my stomach. Don was understanding about the mistake, even though I am still mentally beating myself up.

To top it all off, Jager woke up Saturday morning hacking like she was going to cough up a hairball. This continued off and on throughout the day, coupled with obsessive licking and scratching. She was really lethargic and had a hard time getting comfortable. We kind of wrote it off to the heat, but her restlessness continued throughout the night - she'd get in bed, she'd get out of bed, she'd scratch and lick for several minutes, she even needed to go outside at 2:45 AM. She got sick (nothing like cleaning up dog barf at 3:00 AM). I didn't get any sleep it seems, so I woke up achy (from the two workouts) and tired.

I gave her some ear drops since she seems focused on scratching her ear and gave both dogs their monthly dose of flea medication. They are both crashed and Jager seems less interested in scratching and licking but I'll keep an eye on her the rest of the day to make sure she's OK.

But the real kick in the gut was weighing myself this morning and seeing a 2 pound gain! WTF??? My basal metabolic rate is 1700 calories. If I add the 700 I burned, I should maintain with a 2400 caloric intake. I am only eating about 1000 calories a day, and I'm getting my protein and water in. How can I possibly have GAINED 2 pounds with all that exercise? Gah!! OK, I know it's too early to sound the alarm and fall into the "this surgery is not going to work for me!" but it's still frustrating that I do everything right and still gain weight. I know, I know - I'm gaining muscle that weighs more than fat and all that crap. But, man, I'm really trying to get under the 200 mark by July 1 and it just pisses me off that 1) I'm not losing weight when I do what I'm supposed to do and 2) that I get mad when I don't lose weight.

Don is actually at the gym, where I should have joined him, even if it was for just some cardio (way too sore to lift today). We're going to a late brunch and then coming home to hang out in the backyard. We're having fish tacos tonight with broccoli so that will be easy. I have some yard lights I'd like to get put out and some reading to catch up on. My only errand will be a grocery run for the week. I'm trying not to stock up on too many things since we're leaving in 2 weeks but we do need a few essentials.

Anyway, enough moaning and groaning. I think I'll hop on our treadmill to get some exercise in, just to send the message to the Scale God I don't care what he throws at me, I am not going to give up.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Beads Gone Made

Ummm, yeah... about the new bead "hobby." Since Saturday I have made 4 bracelets, 5 necklaces and an ankelet and enough material to make several more items. My kitchen table has become my workspace and I have baggies and tubes of beads, crystals, charms and wire all over. A few of the items I've made are from the kits but I've created a few of my own creations. I'm going to try and use up all the stuff I have now before I go back, which will be hard since every time I go in I get ideas.

Anyway, to answer a few comments I got on the last post...

I tan very easily, and always have. I do like to sit in the sun but I've gotten a lot more careful about using SPF, especially on my face (hey, I am almost 40!!). I can sit on the deck at 4:00 PM for a half hour and get tan. When I was much younger and a lot stupider, I used to lay out slathered in baby oil. Ahhh, the ignorance of youth.

As far as seeing myself, it's been a weird trip. There are times when I see the same person in the mirror as I did in October. I have to see the progression photos side-by-side to see the change. There are other times, and these are becoming more frequent, when I can see what everyone else sees. Before surgery, I never looked below my chin when I looked in the mirror. I'd check outfits in the full-length mirror in the closet, but that was mostly to make sure I didn't have the back of my skirt stuck in my underwear or a big stain on my clothes. Now I can actually see the entire package. I know that boot-cut pants make my legs look slender and that knee-length skirts paired with heels make my legs look really long. I can see the curve of my waist. I never looked for these things because my shape was defined. I still don't love everything about my body - like my upper arms - but even those I cam look at without totally hating myself.

We had dinner on Monday night with my new friend Linda. She is having surgery with the same group I did, and she met her surgeon and got her date so we took her and her husband out to celebrate. I met Linda through this blog - one of my links is The Amazing Shrinking Man. Tom had WLS and blogs about that and his biking. He wrote about a woman who posted to a cycling board asking about having WLS and still being able to cycle. Some of the responses were a little ignorant("Why not just diet," "Can't you eat less?") and I felt that I needed to put things into perspective. When I went to see if there was an e-mail address, I noticed she was in Minnesota - even more reason to respond. I sent her a short note since I didn't want to offer unsolicited advice, but she wrote back and we ended up meeting at one of the Saturday coffee meetings I go to. So, call it kismet, serendipity, fate, God's will, because of this blog I have a new friend...

No big plans for the weekend. I know I'll hit the gym. I'd like to take the dogs for a hike around the same lake we went around last weekend. I'm taking Don out for Father's Day brunch on Sunday. I'm not sure what else we're going to do. I am sure beading will be a part of my weekend...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Photo Tuesday

Progress photos have been posted HERE.

Not much time for an update - it's past my bedtime...

Here is my excuse for not being able to get to the gym on Sunday. She was so tired from our hike on Saturday and she curled up in my lap while I read the paper...

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Here is my latest obesession - beading. I tried beading several years ago, but it was working with wires and I could never get the crystals hanging right. This is more threading beads and I've got some good ideas of what else I can do. These two are from kits from The Bead Monkey. I made another one tonight and have one more to make.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

More tomorrow...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Eight Month Update

The days are flying by so quickly I didn't even take a moment to celebrate my 8 month surgiversary, which was last Monday!

For a quick recap, I am down a total of 128.8 pounds from my highest weight and 114 pounds since the day of surgery. I am a mere 22.8 pounds away from my surgeon's goal of 185, and 47.8 pounds from my personal goal. I have lost 10 inches from around my waist, 14 inches from my hips, 10 inches from each thigh and 5 inches from each bicep.

My Body Mass Index is currently at 32.4, which is still in the Obese category but I am only about 17 pounds away from being in the Overweight category. Right now, at this weight, I would not qualify for surgery (most insurance carriers require a BMI of over 40 or over 35 with co-morbidities). My BMI before surgery was 52.6 which is in the Super Morbidly Obese category.

I've lost weight in the most unusual places. My shoe size is down about a half size. My ring size is down from a 7.5 to a 6.75. I don't need extenders on necklaces. In fact, some necklaces that I had been wearing as chokers can now be worn as actual necklaces. I've actually had to take in prescription glasses to get them refit so they don't slide off my head.

Of course, the physical changes are only part of the transformation. The emotional and mental changes are sometimes overwhelming as well. I have become more social - I attend 1-2 support groups a month plus usually 2 informal coffee klatches. I have hung out with Jen for a day while she gave me the cook's tour of Minneapolis. I am meeting a couple for dinner tonight. I accept invitations for sales parties. I'm going to the Twins' game with a group from work. These are all things I wouldn't have done pre-op. I am still uncomfortable about reaching out to people to do things, but I'm getting better at it. I do feel more confident and I think that shows, especially at work. I feel like people actually listen to me, and often look to me as a leader.

I am still doing remarkably well with my foods. I can pretty much eat anything I please, although the portions are still tiny, especially compared to what I used to be able to eat. For instance, dinner last night was about 3 ounces of rib eye steak, 3 whole fingerling potatoes and 1 ear of corn. I rarely have hunger pangs although I battle boredom eating, even if I can't eat that much. I do still snack, which I have to watch out for, but instead of a whole bag of chips, I am satisfied with an ounce of nuts or a handful of pretzels. I am able to eat out without too much stressing over what I am going to have. My eyes are still bigger than my pouch, and I often over order, so we take lots of leftovers home (much to the pleasure of the dogs). I don't have a problem sitting in front of a plate of doughnuts (no desire to even try them) and I can leave mounds of mashed potatoes on my plate without a second thought.

I still push the boundaries, which means I often make mistakes. For instance, I was able to eat a serving of kettle corn (2 cups) without an issue, but I think it was because I had already eaten lunch that I didn't dump on the sugars. The last 2-3 times I've tried to eat the same amount on an empty stomach, I've dumped. (FYI - throwing up usually is not involved in dumping. The "dump" is from the body dumping insulin to deal with the sugars flooding the blood stream.) Dumping is not a pleasant sensation - you get light-headed, flushed, hot & cold at the same time, nauseous. It's almost like you've had too much to drink, and depending on how serious the dump is, the room can feel like it's spinning.

The good thing is that I don't find myself pining for food. I never went through a mourning period like some do because I knew, from everything I had heard and read, that I'd be able to eat my favorite foods eventually. It would never be the same amount, but I could still get tastes. The funny thing is that there isn't anything that I've been dying for. And if I do crave something, like ice cream, a bite satisfies me. More often than not, I really have to force myself to eat just because of the lack of hunger.

On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most satisfied, I'd have to say the surgery was a 5+. I would do it again in a heartbeat and my only regret is that I waited so long to do it.

Eight month photos will be posted sometime tomorrow. I'm wearing a pretty cute outfit today so I'll have Don snap some photos. We're having dinner with a woman I met through another blog who met with her surgeon today and her husband, so I won't be able to post them tonight. Details tomorrow...

On to a weekend update - the weather was crappy until about 1:00 PM on Sunday and by then we had already decided to go see a movie (X-Men 3). I got my errands done on Friday, we took the dogs for a 2.5 mile hike around a lake on Saturday, I got my nails done, and we watched some of the World Cup. I also walked into a bead store and found a new source of crack. I needed to make an extender for an anklet and end up buying some beading kits. I've already made one of the necklaces - now I want to go back and get the supplies to do more in different colors. Just what I need - a new time-waster.

Friday, June 09, 2006

TGIF, Baby!

I have the day off, and plan on taking advantage of it. It's supposed to be cool and rainy all day, so I have a lot of indoor plans - I have new contacts to pick up, prescription glasses that need to be fitted, my wedding ring to be resized, etc. I also need to get my ass into the gym. I have been so focused on work that I've really let my exercise go by the wayside.

The big work news is still brewing. I did interview for the position and should hear something next week, and although nothing is 100% guaranteed I am feeling pretty confident. It's a big step, and it would be managing people which brings its own issues, but I'm excited about the possibilities. The funny thing is that even if I don't get the position, I think the direction the department is going is the right one and that there will be other opportunities down the road.

Of course, to make myself look attractive to the hiring manager, I've been staying late and taking on more projects which means there is less time to get to the gym. It's no excuse not to at least take a walk when I get home but 10+ hours at the office plus a longer commute (due to hitting drive time) causes me to get home and crash. Once the announcement is made, no matter which way it goes, I should have a more consistent schedule.

The weight loss has slowed, but I'm still losing and am down to 209.6 as of this morning. I'd love to be under 200 by the time I leave for California, so getting back into a workout routine is key. I think I have the food part of the equation down, so now it's all about the activity. My trainer I had been using has moved back to Dallas so I don't have that incentive to get into the gym. Ideally, my routine would be yoga on Monday and gym on the weekends plus 1-2 days during the week. I just know I can't lose these last 49 pounds by just focusing on my food.

The good thing is that I am seeing some changes in my physique. There is still the issue of excess skin, and I still won't wear tank tops out of the house. I'm hoping that will continue to improve. I am exercising certain areas (triceps, abs, calves) where I think I have the most issues but that will only get me so far. I've resorted to using different lotions, scrubs, oils, etc. but I don't know if they are making any difference.

Despite having the day off, we were up early and I don't want this day to go to waste, so I better get ready for the gym. I figure the morning pre-work crowd should be cleared out in the next hour or so. I think it's a shoulder/back plus cardio day. Of course, at this point, any activity would be a bonus...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Catching Up

Man, did last week go by quickly, or what? I can't believe it's almost already Monday again. Why does time seems to speed up when the days get longer?

A pretty uneventful week. I didn't make it into the gym, but I think I needed a bit of a break. I'll get back into the groove next week with yoga on Monday. I have Friday off, so that will be a gym day as well. The weight is going OK - I'm up 2 pounds because of TTM. It seems worse this month than in the past, but I'm starting to feel less crampy and achy.

I have discovered my new favorite breakfast - Greek yogurt (fat free - 80 calories, 6 g. carbs, 13 g. protein for 5.3 oz.) mixed with berries and some low fat granola. Probably about 230 - 250 calories but really filling and satisfying. It's a good amount of protein as well. Greek yogurt is much more tart and thick than American yogurt, and it doesn't taste like paste. Mixed with really ripe berries adds just enough sweetness.

Yesterday was very mellow - I atteneded Blond Girl's Longaberger Basket party yesterday. That was a lot of fun... I spent the rest of the day reading on the deck and then grilled up some carne asada for dinner. I had my first full night's sleep in what seems like a week, and actually feel very rested. We don't have anything planned for today - we've already taken the dogs for a walk. The sun is about to hit the deck, so I'll be out there shortly to read. I'm uploading a few CDs and trying to organize my iTunes and my iPod. Overall, a pretty mellow day which is just what the doctor ordered.

Work is only going to get more hectic. There are a lot of projects to be completed and the final step of reorganization, which will hopefully affect me in a positive way. I don't want to say too much just yet but think good thoughts for me. This would be a major step in my career.

Not a very exciting update, but it's all I've got for now. My brain is on weekend mode, that's for sure. Hope everyone is able to have a lazy, relaxing day...