The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

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

Thursday, August 31, 2006

These Are the Days of Our Lives?

Damn, more work drama. The person causing me grief from the previous post is at it again. Earlier this week, I worked out new schedules for two teams. Their leaders agreed to the start date, the start date was on the information sheet and I verified the start date with one of the leaders before tearing up several people's schedules and rebuilding the new ones. Granted, it wasn't a lot of work and not that many people were involved, but I did it in a rush as a favor to the leaders. Well, there seems to be a rule that if someone's schedule changes by more than 2 hours they need a 2 week notice. I didn't know that and the two team leaders didn't know that. When one leader mentioned it, I reworked the schedules that were affected - no big deal, right? Well, Little Miss Nosy decided to take it upon herself and contact my boss to let him know I was "forcing" people into new schedules and "demanding" that they move to their new schedules before the 2 week rule. Say what?

Luckily, my boss knows me and knows my work style. He also spoke to one of the team leaders who said that it was a simple miss by both sides and that I was re-working the schedules. In the end, it was no big deal to the people who really count and a bit baffling to us all why she felt the need to get involved. Both my leader and the team leader were a bit pissed at her for stirring the pot. I'm just pissed that she tries to act so self-important when she can barely do the minimum of her own job and thinks she can do mine. It's also a good thing that her two current bosses like me and I know whose side they would come down on if the chips were down.

As if I don't have enough to worry about. My average work day begins at 6:30 AM, which means I am up at 5:30 and out of the house by 6:00. Lately, I've been getting home after 5:00 and some days as late as 6:30. When I'm at work, I eat lunch at my desk, rarely even remember to go to the restroom and pretty much keep my nose to the grindstone. As you can tell from my infrequent postings and visits to other blogs, I'm not surfing the net on company time (OK, I am today, but just between running reports). My constant companion is a very long To Do list and my daily calendar because I can barely remember where I'm supposed to be and when.

I'm glad to have a 4-day weekend coming up, and my birthday is Tuesday so I'm looking forward to a bit of a break. I have a few things scheduled - chiro appointment, going to the fair one day, coffee on Saturday, getting my hair colored, weekend BBQ. The weather isn't supposed to be great but if I can get a few long dog walks in, a trip (or 3) to the gym and some down time with Don, I'll be happy.

In the meantime, I'm going to keep my nose to the grindstone and let those with rope hang themselves. In this case, I know she doesn't need help from me.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Relaxing Sunday

What a great 3-day weekend! I got a lot done - not as much as I would have liked - but enough, plus I needed to take it easy on my poor shoulder. I finally broke down and went to a new chiropractor who diagnosed me with tendonitis/bursitis in my right shoulder. Taking a shirt off was painful, much less trying to lift, push, pull anything. We got our ducts sucked, replaced the air filter (didn't know we had to do that - oops!), grilled some kick ass rib-eyes with a new potato salad recipe, took 2 hikes with the dogs, went to the gym, got a massage (hey, doctor's orders!). The garage didn't get swept and my shelves didn't get hung, but I can do that all next weekend - a 4-day weekend!

I think we're actually planning on going to The Great Minnesota Get Together. I don't think I've ever been to a state fair, so it should be fun. I know there are rides, crafts, animals, exhibitions, food on a stick. I mean, who can pass up Hot Dish on a Stick? OK, I don't know what that is either, but it's one of the hottest new foods being offered at the fair. I think I'll stick to what I know I can eat.

Work should start to get easier. I made two offers on Thursday and just waiting to work out the details on one before I can make the official announcements. There is some drama, however. The woman who replaced me in my former position is messing up left and right and spreading the blame. I guess she tried to tell the VP the reason why she didn't get a report to him on time was because I took the staplers. Um, hello? You're an admin - order one! Oh, wait, that's right, in the 7+ months you've been there you haven't ordered any supplies - you rely on one of the other admins to do it for you! After getting tired of being in the middle of the drama (the leaders she supports and who I used to support and the other 2 admins have been coming to me for weeks to vent) I had a long talk with my former boss about what I was seeing and hearing. We'll see if anything changes (early indication is NO). I don't like to get into petty crap, but don't blame me for something I have nothing to do with.

I'm a little disappointed in the weight loss right now. The scale dipped down to 186 and then has bounced between 186 and 1-flippin'-89. I know it's almost "that time" so I can't worry about it too much, but I'm so close to my surgeon's goal, I just want to get under 185 and work from there. I did buy a size 12 skirt at Target (50% off, baby!) and it fits - I might actually take it back to see if there is a size 10. The suit jacket is still a 16, but that's because of my shoulders and chest. A size 14 did fit but it was tight across the bust if I wanted to button it.

Despite this, I am staying on track with my foods, although probably not eating enough. I'm going to try a new fish recipe tomorrow with a spicy Asian coleslaw. I got some beautiful sea bass fillets and can't wait to try cooking them. I'm glad to be back cooking different things. Even though I can only eat a few bites, I love being able to get tastes of really good and tasty food.

Off to finish making lunch (leftover steak wrap, marinated green beans) and to get dinner ready (leftovers - no cooking!). I think we're going to watch the season finale of Deadwood on HBO and finish off the weekend relaxing...

Monday, August 21, 2006

Feeling Better

What getting a little weight off your chest will do for your sleep is amazing. After the post Friday night, I've actually slept the best I have since being in Santa Barbara. Yes, the problems and stress are still there but it's out in the open and I'm sharing the pain.

I will be looking at finding a professional to discuss some of the issues with - body image, self-sabatoge, addiction transference, etc. That might take a week or two but I know that there are several great therapists in the area that deal specifically with WLS patients. Some are even connected to my surgeon's office so that might be a good place to start.

So, one milestone reached and one within reach: I have officially lost 150 pounds from my highest weight last year. Sometimes I don't even know what to make of that. Should I be proud that I've accomplished this, or pissed that I ever got to that point to begin with? I am 1.6 pounds away from reaching my surgeon's goal he set for me of 185 pounds. That's 85% of my excess weight. My personal goal is still 170 (95% of my excess weight) prior to thinking about plastic surgery. Of course, it's only 10 more pounds to reach 100% of my excess weight, so once I hit 170, I might try and lose the extra 10, even though it would seem that those 10 pounds are actually excess skin. The real test will be when I re-do my body fat to see where that is. I'd love it to be in the mid-20s or so (it was 30% in late June).

Part of me is ready for a rest - physically and emotionally. Once I don't have a goal to work towards, I'm hoping some of the pressure is off of trying to overachieve. Of course, the one thing that has kept me going is the mini goals I set for myself and keeping my eye on the final goal. Part of me won't know what to do with myself if I'm not trying to lose weight. I know that the goal then will be maintaining my weight and losing body fat/building muscle mass. It's just a foreign idea to me.

I have my last interview to hold today and then I should be able to announce my new hires late this week. The hard part will be working out the transition since at least one is on a phone queue. Hopefully it won't be too long. I'm working with two of my associates, one senior and one newbie, to help develop the training for them. I'm also going to work with my counterpart in the other part of our group to get them some experience in that area so they can see their job from different sides. I'm really excited about bringing some new blood into the group.

I had a very nice weekend. I, of course, had a list a mile long of things to do, but after meeting friends for coffee and talking to them about my head case, decided to take it a little easier on myself. I did some small projects - framed a few photos, started to clean off my dining room table, cleaned the 4 kitchen drawers (who needs 5 spatulas, 2 nutcrackers, 2 garlic presses and 38 wine corks?), did laundry, cooked. Even though I've had surgery, I love cooking. I don't even have to modify recipes that much. I did roasted chicken two ways, and both came out terrific. I still enjoy eating - I just have 1 thigh instead of a thigh, leg and wing. I have 1 roasted potato and a spoonful of veggies rather than an entire plateful. The most impressive thing was making a sauce to go with one of the chickens. I usually suck at making sauces and gravies, but this one came out perfect. A little on the rich side, but since I'm only having about a teaspoonful, I am not going to worry about it.

I figure I just need to take some of the bigger projects on my To Do list and break them down into more manageable tasks. Yes, I need to clean the kitchen, but I don't need to do it all in one day. I've already done the drawers, maybe the pantry is next. I also think as I start to de-clutter things won't seem as piled up as they have been.

My crazy Monday just got a bit easier - one meeting cancelled, one shortened from 2 hours to 1, one interview moved to a better time and one meeting moved to tomorrow. I might actually be out of here before 5:00 (hey, I was in before 7:00 AM). I don't mind the long hours as long as I am feeling like I've accomplished something and I see progress. It's all about keeping focused.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Inbetween Two Worlds

I know the impetus of the insomina - stress. From work, from home, from me. I'm in a world of chaos on so many levels. I can't control anything, it seems, and I can't fall into a comfort zone of epicurian bliss. What used to offer comfort - fast food, Mexican, Kraft Mac & Cheese, baked potato (see the carb pattern?) - makes me sick to eat more than a few bites, so there is no reason to go there. Right now, I feel empty physically and emotionally.

The good news is that I am close to filling my two open positions. I still have two more interviews but the few I've interviewed so far have offered some great candidates. I know they can't hit the ground running, but moving anything off my plate will help. The multiple demands are really wearing on me. I want to do so much in my new role with my staff, but my old role has so many things going on - new staff hires, shift changes, training, new hires. It's hard to keep it all in order.

I want to find my center, my inner peace. I am feeling a bit adrift. The range of emotions of one "event" is staggering. For instance, I'm wearing a pair of size 16 jeans. When they are belted (tightly), I actually feel OK in them. Once the belt comes off, I feel like I have a load in my pants, and I feel frumpy and like I have a load in my back end. I can see how fat my thighs still are, plus (despite losing 10 inches in each thigh) I know they look like elephant legs (wrinkley, saggy). My breasts look like oranges stuffed in tube socks. I will only wear 3/4 length sleeves or longer since my upper arms are gross.

Granted, many, many inches bigger these body parts are hardly appealing. I know, deep in my heart, I look a thousand times better than I did 150 pounds ago. I look in the mirror and see the faults. I cringe when people tell me how good I look, how pretty I am, how sexy I am (OK, the last one is from Don, but I still feel the same way). I try and accept the compliments as they come, but the internal conversation is the same = "How can they say that? I am still so fat! I'm wearing a size 16 for Christ's sake! That's hardly skinny/sexy!! Don't you see the saggy skin? The fat?"

I know I need professional help. Many of us who have had surgery do. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin. I am acting out in ways I shouldn't (addiction transference) by trying to fill the void food used to. I don't want to give up how good I feel outside, but I want to feel as good inside.

Some may think I am thinking too much. Granted, I have a tendency to do so and that's part of my nature. I should be grateful for what this surgery has given me - more energy, better health, more confidence, better self-esteem. But, when I'm stressed/depressed/angry/scared I don't have anything (e.g., FOOD) to turn to.

OK, enough of this personal pity party. I don't even know if I will post this. It's just emotional vomit I need to get out...

Thursday, August 17, 2006


For about 4 weeks running I cannot sleep through the night. I wake up between 1:00 and 3:00 and don't fall back to sleep until 4:00 or 5:00. I toss and turn, think about work, think about bills, think about everything I'm not doing and I just hate it. I never feel rested and it's starting to affect my overall well-being. Of two nights I have been able to sleep through, one was because of Tylenol PM, and I really don't want to go down that path.

The good news is that Don's last day of covering training camp is tomorrow. It hasn't been that bad, but it will be so much easier when he's only 15 minutes away instead of 75. Plus, with him leaving at 7:00 AM, I usually have to rush home to let the dogs out. Once he's back up here, he won't have to leave as early and I'll actually be able to get to the gym after work.

I think that may be playing a part of my insomina - just not getting enough consistent exercise. I should be able to go Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this week. Don's traveling to Cleveland and Pittsburgh to cover the Vikings at the Steelers (flying in to CLE to see his family) so I am flying solo this weekend. I have some stuff to do around here - my dining room looks like a storage area. I mean, I still have my winter runner on my table - with the spring one lying next to it. I ordered some photos that need to be framed and organized. Both dogs have a vet appointment on Saturday for a follow up visit. Taking them both in by myself should be fun... I do have coffee with the girls Saturday morning, and I'm really looking forward to that.

Despite not getting good, consistent exercise in, I'm still seeing smaller numbers on the scale. My inches seem to have leveled off a bit - I'm losing in the waist and arms. Now if I could just get my thighs to shrink just a little more. The size 18 pants I bought from Old Navy are already a bit too big, and I've only worn them twice. I asked my parents for gift cards from clothing stores since I will have to essentially purchase an entire new winter wardrobe. Just making a list of what I will need is overwhelming for me. If I could just wear blue jeans to the office, my life would be so much easier!

I left the dogs upstairs with Don while I came down to blog and play on the computer figuring they all would sleep, but it sounds like the dogs are up so I better go calm them down before they wake up Don. He was up late doing a radio gig and has to be on the road early. Now if I could just fall asleep!!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Late Start = Time to Catch Up

This has been a kick ass week in so many areas. I got in late on Sunday from Los Angeles, got into the office and was catching up and got a phone call that our dogs had been involved in an incident at the kennel and they were taking Baja to the vet. No one was watching them so they don't know the details but both dogs had wounds that needed to be treated. They are OK, but it was not how I needed to start the week.

Plus it was another week of craming 80 hours of work into 3 1/2 days. I do really love my job, and I have such great support. I just am feeling a bit overwhelmed with holding down two jobs, trying to interview for 2 open positions, taking on projects, continuing my training, etc. It's no wonder I'm ready for bed at 8:00 at night. Granted, I've been sleeping like crap as well - up at 3:00 AM almost every morning, tossing and turning until 4:45 and sleeping fitfully until 5:30.

At least it should be a low key weekend. I'm doing Let's Dish on Saturday and then planning on doing some housecleaning. Don will be down at training camp on Saturday but has Sunday off (his first day off since July 25) so we'll take the dogs for a hike. I need to go to the gym both days - I'm really missing it and the treadmill alone isn't doing it - I need some weights!

The reunion was fun. I really enjoyed catching up with my friends I haven't seen in awhile, but it got old quickly with the same conversation over and over again, "Hi! You look great! Where are you living? What are you doing? Married? Kids?" It was nice to hear that most people said I looked the same. Granted, I am about the same weight I was at my 10 year reunion and only one person saw the weight gain and weight loss. It was amazing to see how little we've changed - at least most of us. A few of the guys were grey or balding, a few people put on weight, but for the most part I recognized pretty much everyone. In retrospect, I don't know if it was worth it but I'm glad I got to spend some time with my parents and see a few people.

Here is a photo of me and my friends Patty and Christina. Patty was my maid of honor and Christina was a friend who moved to NYC while I lived there.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Of course, I'm just glad I got home before this whole terrorist thing. It will be interesting to see how things are going to change for flying. I mean, we're still taking off our frickin' shoes because of the one guy. There were stories of people dumping wine from their trips to Napa ad giving away $125 (per ounce!) bottles of LA Mer face cream. Will I always have to check my body wash or leave it at home? When can I bring my iPod on board? These are burning questions because I have a trip to Seattle in October (and will see Swankette and TRP) and I was just invited to my friend's 40th birthday celebration in London over Thanksgiving weekend. I haven't seen Sally since November, 2003 and this is my first chance to get to London since I moved to Minnesota.

The weight thing is going well. I'm officially down to "overweight" on the BMI scale. I'm just 4 pounds away from my surgeon's goal and 19 pounds away from my own goal weight. It's going to be weird trying to maintain a weight rather than trying to lose it. At least I'll be able to actually keep clothes in my closet for longer than a month. I could actually be in a size 10 by the time I hit 170 - un-freakin-believable. At this time last year I was in a size 28 and I'm currently in a 14/16 on the bottom and a 12/14 on top. The only things that fit me at Lane Bryant are their earrings - even their rings and bracelets are too big!

Finally, I have updated my photo page HERE

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Like A Bad Slideshow

Go here here
to see vacation photos. And to think this is only about half of what I took. Shutterbug, indeed...

There are over 100 photos, but if you want to see my reunion photos, skip to the last 10 or so. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Westward, Ho!

I'm off to Los Angeles in a few hours. As excited as I am about seeing everyone I really detest traveling, especially by myself. I am bringing 3 books and my iPod as well as a few magazines, which should keep me busy. Flying first class helps, even if on these flights they don't serve warm nuts a la American Airlines.

The plan is to have dinner with my parents and a family friend tonight, lunch with two former co-workers tomorrow, pre-reunion dinner tomorrow night and then the reunion on Saturday. I'm hoping I can get my mom to take me to Pepe's - a local Mexican joint - for lunch on Saturday. Hardly "on plan" but I haven't had Mexican food since January, which just might be a record for me. Bad Mexican food that I get here is hardly worth the calories and we didn't have anything other than a taco when I was back in July. I think this journey would be much more difficult if I had still been living across the street from Paco's Tacos in Los Angeles.

I have actually lost more weight in the last week than I did in the month of July. I'm not sure exactly what that means. I have changed my diet to actually get more calories and more types of calories (fiber, fruit) and healthier fats (nuts) but I've been exercising less. No excuse for that other than too much work and not enough time in the day. I'm hoping to hold steady for the next 4 days and kick it in to gear - diet AND exercise - on Monday.

The dogs will be staying at the Hound Dog Pet Hotel & Spa for the next few days. Don will stay down in Mankato covering the Vikings. I hate leaving the dogs but they seem to really love the kennel and they are always pooped when they get home. The best part is we don't pay for the last day if we get them groomed so they'll come home smelling great. I guess it's like sending your kids off to day camp - you know they'll have fun but you still miss them like crazy.

At least the weather is supposed to be nicer - both here in Minnesota and in California. And some say there isn't global warming. Tell that to me when it's 85+ degrees at 6:30 AM.

Off to shower and make sure I haven't forgotten anything. I was able to confine everything to one small suitcase and a large Coach bag. That's another nice thing about losing weight - my clothes are smaller so I can fit more into a suitcase.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Where Does The Time Go?

Once again I am trying to cram 5 days worth of work into 3, making for some long days and even longer nights. Because I am stressed about everything getting done, I wake up at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning and toss and turn until I eventually fall asleep at 4:30 or 5:00. That means I'm not getting workouts in and I'm not getting a lot of shut eye.

The smaller dress arrived on Monday and it fits perfectly. I found a decent pair of shoes to wear and feel like at least that part has come together. I still need to do laundry and pack tonight, get the dogs' stuff ready for the kennel and try and spend a little bit of time with Don. He actually got home at a decent hour last night but I had not done well at dinner (didn't chew something well enough that forced everything back up - ugh) and I felt better lying down. I do need to show him the dress with the shoes and I'm sure we all know where that will probably lead (wink, wink).

Weight has finally started going down again. I'm a little bummed about only losing 3 pounds last month but between 2 weeks of vacation and 1 week of a horrid period I figure being down anything is a good sign. I'm only 2 pounds away from being "overweight" on the BMI chart and 8 pounds from being at my surgeon's goal for me. Of course the real battle begins once I hit goal - maintaining. That's something I don't have a lot of practice at - I've always been either gaining weight or trying to lose weight.

I've been following a kind of Glycemic Index diet, which I really credit with getting the scale moving again. Although I've increased my daily calories, I've also increase the types of food I'm eating and I think my body is much happier with a more balanced (rather than so protein focused) diet. My two favorite things right now is lightly steamed asparagus with Paul Newman's light balsamic vinegar dressing and a lo-carb flatbread I found at CostCo (spread with chicken salad, toasted almonds and romaine lettuce - yum!). I'm still getting in 90 grams of protein but I've added some healthier carbs (fruit, veggies, whole grains). I'm feeling a lot more satisfied. Now if I could just add a few hours to the day so I could get in a decent workout.

I leave tomorrow for Los Angeles. I used my miles to upgrade to first class round-trip so that will be nice. As easy as it is for me to fly coach now, I'd still rather fly first just because of the ability to find overhead space and be the first off the plane. I'll get in around lunchtime and then head to my dad's. Plans for Friday are still in the air - I don't know if I'm going to meet friends from my old work for dinner or go to Pasadena and have my mom come with me to an informal pre-reunion dinner. I think that would be fun, especially for her so she could see some of her old students. On Sunday my mom and I are going to go to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to see a glasswork exhibit. I'll be home late Sunday night but at least the following week should be a little easier at work.

A few more hours of craziness before I can feel like I have a handle on everything. At least packing should be easy...