The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

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

Friday, July 28, 2006

Is It Really Friday?

I thought Friday would never get here. It's been a hell of a week on all fronts so I am really looking forward to the end of the day.

Work has just kicked my butt. I have had meetings and trainings and deadlines all week. The trainings have been very good, including a full day of training on Situational Leadership, which I know sounds like a bunch of corporate speak but it's a pretty good philosophy and I'm excited to put it into practice. It's just hard right now as I do two jobs (my old one and my new one) plus try and cover for the one scheduler we lost and the one who is out on maternity leave (having her baby today, I think!!) and back-up my boss who is on vacation. Although I'm not doing all the work, I am responsible for reporting updates and making sure those who are doing the job are not overwhelmed and meeting their deadlines.

I also haven't been sleeping very well. I think it's partially due to the heat - it makes me restless and the dogs restless. I was up this morning tossing and turning from 3:00 AM to about 4:45 AM. My alarm was due to go off at about 4:55 AM so I could do time on the treadmill and some yoga but I pushed it back to 5:45. I did get a little more rest and can do the treadmill this afternoon. I did make it onto the treadmill once this week before 5:00 AM - I did 30 minutes with 6 minutes of running at 5 mph sprinkled in. I then did 30 minutes of yoga. We get Discovery's Fit TV channel and they have a 30-minute show called Nameste Yoga. I TiVO it and have been doing some of the sessions since I'm on hiatus from yoga until the fall sessions start. I've never been very good at doing exercise tapes but this is pretty good and because it's slower paced than an aerobic-type show I can follow along without feeling like I'm falling behind.

With everything that's been going on, I haven't been completely focused on my weight. I've been bouncing between 196.0 and 197.8 for the last 2 weeks and finally this morning the scale read 195.8. I know that as I continue to expand my foods, both in types and amounts, my body will need time to adjust which means slower weight loss. I'd really love to be at 185 by my 1-year check in on October 11. Granted, I only have 10.8 pounds to lose but if it's going to be this slow, I'll really need that time. Of course if I was really agressive, I might actually be able to hit my personal goal by then. That would mean actually getting up before 5:00 AM to get on the treadmill instead of just talking about it.

Don begins covering training camp today. He'll be making the long drive (about 1 hour each way) daily for about 2 1/2 weeks. Since he'll be away all day Saturday and Sunday I figure that will be a good time to work in the yard. We've kind of let it go a bit so some of the beds are being overrun with vines and unidentified plants. Hopefully it won't be too hot out.

I did get my dress for my reunion - and it's too big!! I had to order a size 10/12 and hope that it gets here on time. I still need shoes but I'm less worried about the shoes than the dress.

Well, off to get my day started. I have about 100 things on my To Do list to finish before 4:00 today...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Down, But Not Out

I'm feeling much better physically, using the weekend to recover from whatever malaise was kicking my butt. Emotionally I'm still scrambled but I can deal with that. I never did make it into the gym, but I did yoga on Saturday morning (with "help" from the dogs) and that did get me centered a bit.

I know I still have photos to post. I took well over 300 photos between 2 cameras. I did get them loaded on to the computer last night and edited most of them. Now I just have to organize and upload to an album. I'm hoping to work on that maybe tonight.

The weekend was nice. On Saturday I met my friend Jen for coffee and then a little bead shopping (yes, I'm still addicted). I ended up making 2 necklaces of my own design - one with turquoise and silver and one with glass. I have several more stones to use and I have some ideas - I just need to start a design book. I also went to Target for some organizational supplies so all my beads are now in a rolling cart rather than spread all over the kitchen table.

We went to go see Wicked Saturday night. I was not really excited to see it - I couldn't finish the book and I thought I wouldn't enjoy the show. Plus, everyone had built it up so much I didn't think it could live up to expectations. Boy, was I wrong. The story was great, the music was wonderful. If you have the chance to see it, I would highly recommend it. I would love to go see it again, maybe next time on Broadway.

Before the show, we had dinner at Solera, a Spanish tapas restaurant. It's the perfect format for me - a lot of small dishes so I can just take a taste. We had 8 different items, ranging from a golden beet salad with goat cheese and walnuts to seared salmon with a tomato relish. They only have Spanish wines, and that's fun for me since I get to get out of my usual California-only wines. We had a really nice rose, which is a real reach for me since I don't drink pink for the most part. I get to go back in 2 weeks for a business dinner, so I'll get to try a few things I wasn't able to on Saturday.

We had our second big clothing swap on Sunday at a local park. I couldn't stay very long since this was my last weekend with Don home for awhile. I only picked up a few sweaters which I won't even be able to wear until winter. I'm in a weird place with my size right now. I went to Lane Bryant on Friday to check what size pants I was wearing because all week I had to use binder clips to hold up my pants. I can actually get into a size 14. I ended up buying two pairs of jeans even though I can't wear them to work. I also went through my "magic" drawer and found a few more items I can now wear. I also found 3 skirts at Target on sale for 50% off, so I picked those up. The hardest thing is knowing that I have such a wide range of choices now. It used to be I could shop at one or two stores. Now, I can actually go into The Gap or Banana Republic or Old Navy. It's almost like I have too many choices. I did realize that I can convert all of our AMEX points into gift cards to several retailers so once I get to my final size I think I'll do that. Right now we have almost enough to get a $500.00 gift card and that will come in handy as I try to rebuild my wardrobe.

That's my life in a nutshell. Work is going to be a little hectic this week. I have some new leader training plus my boss is out so I'm covering a few meetings for him. After work is going to be really busy - gym, two support group meetings, a recognition dinner and then Don starts covering training camp on Friday. That's going to mean some long commutes and late nights for him. It's only for 3 weeks and then the regular season schedule starts. Man, this summer has gone by fast...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Out of the Groove

I think that the post-vacation depression, sticky weather and my period are throwing me way out of whack. I just want to stay in bed and let the world roll by. Being back in California, especially in such optimal conditions, made me realize just how much I missed living there and being close to my friends and family. It's been especially hard with my parents going through some of their medical issues with me so far away. I know alot of my melencholy is because of my raging hormones right now, so I'm not putting too much stock into this funk.

I had my nine month check in with my bariatric nurse. She is really impressed with my progress and success. Although they don't measure everything, I am officially down 133 pounds per their scale (doesn't take into account that I was weighing mid-afternoon with clothes on and after eating lunch plus any water weight gain from "that time"); I've lost 14 inches from my waist and 17 inches off my hips; my blood pressure is 100/68. If you take all the inches I have lost, I've lost 90.5 inches off my frame. That's pretty amazing when I see it in writing like that.

Work is busy, as usual. I will have 2 positions to fill (my former position plus one woman left) and, since we'll be taking on a new group, I will be adding one more scheduler. That means I'll have 9 schedulers under me. I did start some "new leader" training this week. So far, nothing I did know from when I managed my teams in travel. Until I get to fill my positions, I won't be able to give up my group I schedule for, so I'm kind of pulling double-duty. No wonder I'm tired!

It's going to continue to be crazy busy, too. Besides work, Don starts covering training camp next week which will mean a 90 minute drive each way every day for 2 1/2 weeks. I fly back to LA the first weekend in August for my (gasp) 20 year high school reunion. I do have a few "at home" days off scheduled in August and September so that should help with just getting things done around the house. I do have a clothing swap this Sunday, plus Don and I are going to see "Wicked" on Saturday (with dinner at Solera, a tapas restaurant next door).

What I need to do is recover from whatever malaise is getting me down (methinks my iron might be low, which should reverse itself as soon as "that time" is over in a day or so) and get my rear back in the gym. I've been crashing so hard after work and sleeping the sleep of the dead. I'm hoping to get back into the groove tomorrow or Saturday at the latest. Food is going OK. Today kind of sucked but my tummy feels better now so I should be fine tomorrow. But I think some popcorn is in order now...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Vacation Shannin is Back

We actually got back at about 11:45 PM on Saturday but it's taken me a few days to get reacclimated to real life. I wasn't ready to come back to the real world, but I've packed vacation Shannin away until next year.

The drive home was uneventful. We did stop in Las Vegas to have lunch with my brother and his family. That was really nice, and reminds me I need to see them more often as the boys are just growing like weeds. We drove from Santa Barbara to Parachute, CO (between Grand Junction and Rifle for those in the know) on day one and then from Parachute to home on day two. The second day was the longest - we started at about 6:30 AM and got home at 11:45 PM. Even with the time change, we still drove 16 hours. Plus, it was hotter than hot everywhere along the drive. The only pleasant temps were in the Rockies at 7 in the morning.

Our time in Santa Barbara was wonderful. I read 7 books, beat Don in Scrabble, took long beach walks with the dogs, swam, did the crossword and Suduko puzzles every day. Our anniversary dinner (a few days early) at the Wine Cask was great. We sat outside near their fountain and just really revelled in the beauty. It was the perfect capper to our 2 weeks. The massage was equally as wonderful. If you've never had a hot stone massage, I would highly recommend it.

We did get back home just in time to experience 90+ degree temps with 79% humidity. Gross. At least it was only 90 degrees and 45% humidity yesterday, and it's supposed to be cooler today. The worst part was our AC wasn't on so we came home to a house that was 90 degrees on the inside at 11:00 at night. Not what you want after 16 hours in a car. We were so tired though it didn't matter, although the dogs might disagree.

One funny thing - on Sunday, I needed to run to the grocery store. I decided to go to Trader Joe's first and then to the regular grocery store to get whatever I couldn't find at TJ's. I got in the car and headed out - and forgot how to get to Trader Joe's!!!. I really had to think about where it was. Guess I wasn't really ready to come back...

Don took me to dinner last night to celebrate our 7 year anniversary. It was the last hurrah before getting back on track with the exercise and foods. I guess the good thing is that any weight gain was really negligible. I weighed on my scale 199 before we left and 198.4 when I weighed on Monday morning (it's now down to 197.6). On my nutritionist's scale, I was down to 196 but I know his scale is different from mine. Plus, it looks like my period is starting today so I don't know if I actually gained anything on vacation. This, in spite of no formal exercise and grazing throughout the day rather than planned meals. The one telling sign - my size 18 dress slacks are being held up by two binder clips today. Seriously.

Anyway, work is calling. I have a ton of photos to post, updated measurements, more thoughts on driving across country and such but it will all have to wait until later this week... In the meantime, I have a lot of blog catching up to do!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Livin' the Life

Do you think I could contact work and see if they would let me do my job from the cabana? I mean, I have not slept this well and felt so relaxed in a long, long time. And we haven't even had our couples hot stone massage (that's today at 5:00).

We have had a wonderful time so far. Our typical day is get up at 6:00 AM, feed the dogs, have coffee, read the paper, do the crossword, mosey out to the pool, read, swim, read, swim, play Scrabble, shower, eat dinner. We did go see "Pirates" on Monday and went wine tasting on Saturday. The weather has been perfect. Even on the few mornings we've had fog, it's cleared out by 11:00 AM. The temps have been in the low 70s with no humidity and gentle breezes. There is something to be said about waking up to a view of the ocean every morning, that's for sure.

I have been a little lax with my foods - not really sticking to the 3 meal plan but kind of letting myself graze a bit. I haven't stepped on a scale so I can only hope I'm keeping it under 200. We have done some nice walks, especially the long ones on the beach. The dogs love those - Baja keeps trying to chew on the seaweed and Jager just wants to chase the sandpipers.

I can't believe that it's almost time to go. We are having our massage this afternoon and will wrap up our stay with dinner at The Wine Cask (we go every year since they catered our wedding). We'll leave early on Friday and swing through Vegas to have lunch with my brother and his family. We're hoping to get home before midnight on Saturday. We'll take it easy on Sunday - a few loads of laundry, grocery shop, get the cars gassed and washed. And then it's back to work for me...

Maybe next year I can take three weeks off...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Nine Month Update from California

We arrived here safely... after a pretty uneventful cross-country drive. We spent the first night in Eagle, CO after driving about 15 hours and then got into Los Angeles at about 7:30 PM the following day. It would have been closer to 6:30 PM if there hadn't been a huge accident between Baker and Barstow that caused an hour delay. The dogs did surprisingly well, but I think they were relieved when they didn't have to get into the car any longer. We got up to Santa Barbara on Tuesday afternoon and have pretty much vegged out ever since. I think we might be up to doing something other than crashing by or in the pool today...

I met with both my nutritionist and chiropractor on Monday. My chiro, Jay, said he could really tell the difference the weight loss was having on my back/joint health. When he adjusts me now, there is very little movement which means I am not contorting myself to compensate for carrying an extra 140 pounds on my frame. I know I don't have the back/hip/knee/ankle/foot pain I used to, that's for sure.

My nutritionist, Phil, and I discussed numbers and goals. He thinks that I can get down to about 170 and 20% body fat before any kind of plastic surgery. I would have to maintain that weight for a year before I can even think of getting a consult, which is fine since my body can still firm up. Phil thinks that post-PS I could easily see 160 and 18% body fat. Now that I'm under the 200 mark, I can really see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Yesterday was 9 months since my surgery way back on Oct. 5. I know I have said it before, but this surgery is amazing. My number one reason for having the surgery was for my health, but I have constant reminders of other areas of my life it affects. For instance, Baja loves to be chased - one of his favorite things. The last time the 4 of us were up here (July, 2004) I could barely run down the length of the pool which wasn't much of a chase. Yesterday, I chased him around the pool, up a flight of stairs, around the table a few times and back down the stairs. And I wasn't even out of breath. I was able to get on a raft without capsizing it. I don't feel like I'm going to bust the lounge chair (which I have done...) everytime I get on or off it. I know that the long ride out here would have been much more uncomfortable if I was 140 pounds heavier.

I feel amazingly lucky I haven't had any issues - physical or mental. I don't feel cheated when I eat out with others. I'm able to be satisfied with a taste of something I crave - I don't feel like I need more. Don has been craving ice cream lately. When I went to the store yesterday I picked up some sorbet - not as "bad" as ice cream and a little more satisfying than sugar free popcicles. When I served myself, I used a melon-baller to scoop my portion out. And that was perfect. I think that's one thing that still amazes me - that I can be full/sated by 3-4 bites of something.

I think I eat about as normal as I can. My daily meal plan is:

Breakfast: Skim latte and a protein shake -or- Skim latte, 3 oz. FF Greek yogurt, 1/4 c. mixed berries, 1/4 c. (probably less) granola

Snack: Fruit (if I feel hungry - often I don't)

Lunch: 2-3 oz. protein (usually leftovers from the previous evening), veggies (4-5 broccoli florets), 1 red potato or 1/4 c. mashed potatoes

Snack: 1/4 c. nuts, fruit (1 small peach, canned peaches, 1/4 c. berries) -or- 1 oz. cheese, 2-4 crackers

Dinner: 3-4 oz. protein, veggies, starch (often corn)

I don't think there is anything I cannot eat. Of course, it's all in moderation.

I love to feel my body move. When the pool guy was here yesterday and we had to go inside (the dogs would have tried to help otherwise), I worked with some weights doing curls, tricep presses, chest presses, etc. On one of my many excursions into the pool, I did 15-20 minutes of water aerobics. We had planned on taking the dogs for a beach walk at the end of the day but they were crashed.

Here are the numbers:

Starting weight (9/1/05): 336.6
Day of surgery weight (10/5/05): 321.8
Weight today (7/6/06): 196.0

Total lost: 140.6
Since surgery: 125.8

To surgeon's goal: 11 more to lose
To my goal (pre-PS): 26 more to lose

I'm averaging about 14 pounds per month, so there is a very good chance I will be at my surgeon's goal by August and my own goal by September. I think, though, I will set my next goal at being 185 (my surgeon's goal) by 9/5 (my birthday & 11 month anniversary).

Inches and photo updates will have to wait until I'm back home on my own computer.

Off to tackle today's crossword puzzle (my daily mental exercise) and read the paper. Here's to another day in paradise!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Onward & Downward & Heading West

OK, the bad news first - I woke up this morning, probably around 3:00 AM or so, freezing cold and achy. I could not get warm. Mind you, it was 90+ degrees yesterday and we did have the AC on but not that high. I finally was able to get out of bed and take my temp and I'm running a 101.4 degree fever. Lovely. After a shower I am starting to feel better so I'm hoping some more cold water and some Advil (yes, I know WLS patients are not supposed to take Advil but it works on fevers faster so I'll take my chances) I will be rarin' to go.

The good news, and this is what Don would call "burying my lede," I am officially under 200 pounds. Barely - 199.6 - but the first number of my weight does not start with a 2 or a 3. I am about 9 pounds away from being "just overweight" instead of obese.

Anyway, I must finish packing but I could not leave without posting the great news!!

BTW, the title is courtesy of John - and I am Onward and Downward!!