The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

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

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Liquid Diet Redux

So I have been experiencing some pretty major abdominal discomfort over the last few days. It finally got bad enough to call my nurse at the bariatric clinic who recommended that I go to Urgent Care.

After 4 hours, 2 x-rays, blood work and reading bad magazines (Western Horseman, Catholic Digest), the doctor told me that I had what looked like a partial blockage of my intestines. This is somewhat common among those who have had surgery since we have such a protein-focused diet and we don’t get a lot of fiber. Further, many programs require iron and calcium (milk, cheese), both of which can cause constipation.

The doctor recommended some magnesium citrate, Milk of Magnesia, stool softeners, enemas, etc. as well as a 3-day liquid diet. I got some of the mag citrate and drank that around 9:00 last night. When I’ve taken it in the past, it kicks in within about 30 minutes, but this didn’t start things, um, moving until about 3:00 this morning. Yeah, not a real fun night.

However, despite a lack of sleep, the results have been good and I don’t feel bloated and I’m not in pain, so I’ll take that. The liquid diet won’t be fun, but it’s the best thing for my system right now and as long as things keep moving, I figure I can have real food as early as Friday lunch.

The funny thing is, while I was in the waiting room reading December’s issue of Esquire, there was a bit in there about how magnesium can really enhance your dreams. I made a comment to Don, since I have really weird dreams to begin with, the last thing I would need was to mag load before bed. It didn’t even cross my mind as I was drinking the mag citrate that it might cause some wacky dreams. Let me tell you, this took it to a whole new level. I remembered more of the dream (pretty amazing since I can usually recall things like the color of the carpet or what book a person was reading) and the dreams seemed longer. And a lot weirder, too. Pretty cool…

I did get a citation for “inattentive driving” to the tune of $146.00. Guess I will be fighting that in court. Still no news from my insurance company, so I will just sit back and let that run its course. The police report did show that both of our accounts were the same, so at least there’s no question as to what happened. I’m hoping the judge will see that her stopping once she pulled into traffic was as much of an issue as me taking my eyes off the car in front of me to look for traffic.

How’s this for excitement… As I came out of a meeting this afternoon, the intercom in the office was going off with Security saying to stay where you are and that this alarm did not affect our area. I went into our Command Center where we watch all the calls coming in and the associates who are logged on and there was some confusion as to what was happening. First, only the second floor was being evacuated. Then, it was the eighth floor. We called Security and they would not confirm what floors were or were not being asked to leave the building. Finally, we were told all floors.

In my area, this means we need to stay back and make sure all the incoming calls are routed to virtual or off-shore agents. We also need to put messaging out so when people call in they know why there may be a delay in getting their call answered. The majority of the building was either all the way out or in the stairwells when we got the all clear. For those on the stairs, it was easy enough to turn around and walk back to your floor. For those who were already through our security checkpoint on the first floor, it was a bit more complicated. We have turnstiles that not only read our security badge but also our fingerprint. Of course, that system crashed and Security was trying to let people in one by one so their badge could be checked. In the end, they just opened the gates so people could get back to work.

I was really torn between getting the hell out of Dodge or staying back and doing my job. My thoughts went immediately to 9/11. I’m sure there were people there who hung back to complete their jobs figuring they’d get out in time. This incident really shines a bright light on maybe a little something I need to work on in therapy…
Back to work. I just had some veggie soup and if it stops snowing soon, I may brave the teen temps and go get a latte to warm my afternoon.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Crash, Minnesota-Style

I was involved in, what many would call, a minor fender-bender yesterday. We have a stop sign at the end of our street before merging onto a street without a stop sign. The woman in front of me turned, from the stop sign, onto the street and suddenly stopped. I had lifted my foot off the brake and rear-ended her. I was looking the other way for traffic and didn't expect her to stop. There is no damage to my car and only minor damage to her rear bumper. Regardless, she felt the need to call the cops. Initially, he wasn't going to write a report since there was so little damage, but she and her husband (who was a passenger) are claiming neck & back injuries. Give me a break - I hit her at less than 5 MPH! I'm annoyed and pissed - not only at myself for hitting her (ACCIDENTALLY), but for her and her husband for using a minor accident to financially cash in.

Anyway, I called in sick to work since I didn't get any sleep, my throat is sore and I was running a low-grade fever. Obviously, I'm a bit stressed but my great insurance company (Ameriprise) is clued into the fact the husband claimed he's had back/neck pain in the past. In California, the cops will only respond if there is more than $500 in damage or physical injuries. Since they insisted the cops respond, he not only had to write up a report, but he has to cite me as an "inattentive driver." Now, I have to fight that in court (or pay a fine).

No big plans for the weekend - maybe a movie, the gym, errands, etc. Both cars are in serious need of washing, we're running low on food supplies and I need a few frames to finish some photo projects. The dogs are in a sore need of a walk or a hike. I could use some serious down time to make sure I don't fully come down with the flu that seems to be going through our office (we're averaging 25+ people out sick a day). I am getting caught up on my Young & The Restless and bad daytime TV. Off to play sick patient and see if Don will wait on me hand & foot...

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Walk of Shame

shame noun, verb, shamed, sham·ing.
–noun 1. the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another: She was overcome with shame.

Shame was the topic of last night's discussion with Laurie, my therapist. My feeling of general shame for who I am and what I'm doing. We're not sure where this is coming from, or at least I don't yet. I have been feeling shame about needing to have the surgery, being successful with the surgery, feeling shame when I'm hungry, feeling shame when I don't eat. I feel shame for needed professional help about feeling all this shame. I get embarrassed when people congratulate me on my success - and not just the losing weight. Any success I have - personal or professional - seems to cause me great discomfort. I don't know where I get this feeling like I don't deserve any of what I have, but I'm sure that will be part of my long-term goals in therapy.

Having said all of that, it's with mixed emotions that I saw I'm down to my new lowest weight - 166.0. I almost wrote, "I've really been trying to stay between 167 - 170," but that is totally not true. I have skipped dinner the last 3 nights and really started to watch my carbs to make sure I don't go over 60 grams per day, despite not needing to. I also slipped back into recording calories and doing my damnedest to keep them under 1000 per day even though I am not supposed to. Where the hell is this all coming from?

So here was my internal conversation this morning when I saw 166 on the scale - "Woo-hoo! Down to a new low. Maybe I can get down to 159. No, wait, 159 is not my goal - 167 is. I need to eat more to get back up to 167. But I don't want to eat more, I want to weigh less. I know that for formerly morbidly obese people, their BMI just needs to be below 29 and this makes my BMI 25.9 - that's low enough. No one wants you to lose any more weight. But I do want to lose more weight. I want to be skinny."

And so it goes...

I have eaten a Special K bar this morning and am thinking about getting some eggs, but the last two times I've eaten eggs they've made me want to throw up, so I'm not real excited about repeating that experience. I forgot to bring my normal snacks - protein shake, fruit, cheese - although I have applesauce, crackers and nuts in my desk drawer (OK, I feel shamed into eating an applesauce...).

I know I should be happy and proud and excited about my success. I want to feel these things that all of my family and friends feel for me. I really do. I just don't. Yet.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Catching Some Zzzzs

Sleep continues to be a wacky mix of sleeping through the night or waking up at 3:00 AM and not falling back to sleep. At least now it seems to alternate nights, so I am getting more sleep, despite not sleeping every night. I think part of the mix is that my body seems awfully out of synch, especially with some of the activities I have after work nowadays. Even though the days are getting longer, I am still at work before the sun rises and am getting home way after the sun sets, so I never see daylight. I mean, I do sit near a window, but it's behind me and I have been so busy at work that I don't get out much or spend a lot of time gazing out the window.

I guess the good news is, despite the cold (they call 19 here a "warming trend") and everyone else's illnesses, I have yet to get sick. I'm pushing the water hard, keeping up with exercise (I believe that sweat helps get the crap out of your system) and trying to eat more fruit and veggies. I may still be tired but at least I'm healthy in most other ways!

I had my second Ashtanga yoga class last night. The instructor commented on how well I was doing and was surprised when I briefly told her my story. She said she never would have guessed that I was ever that heavy. I'm feeling pretty great that I can keep up with the class and get into some of the deeper poses. I'm not lay-my-face-on-my-thighs flexible yet, but getting there. I also was up this morning and on the treadmill for 30 minutes. Since I have some later evening appointments, I'm trying to come into the office later rather than work 6:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Yes, it's all part of taking care of my mental well-being and having a better work/life balance.

No matter what I seem to eat, I am sticking right in between 167 and 170 - even after eating 2 slices of pizza, a full diet coke and candy on Monday. Ugh. No wonder I was feeling bloated. For the most part, I am doing exactly what I need to do to stay on track and continue to maintain my current weight. I am definitely not hungry (physically, anyway - head hunger is another matter at times). I have been pretty good about recording my food, taking my supplements, drinking my water, etc. so I am happy about that. I did pick up a Brita water filtered pitcher over the weekend and I think the water tastes pretty darn good. We have decent tap water here in the Twin Cities, but I like my water cold and this does take some of the aftertaste away. This should also cut down on the number of empty bottles that fill up our recycle bin every week (more room for wine bottles that way...).

On Saturday, Don and I are going to see comedian Lewis Black. We both find him hilarious and we're excited to see him live. We'll have dinner at Solera, one of my favorite downtown restaurants. It's all tapas, which makes it perfect for my eating habits, plus I get to taste a lot of different things. I thought about trying a new restaurant but this is so convenient to the theater (right next door), so we can valet park just once. The other option was to try the new restaurant at the Chambers Hotel, which is across the street, but they didn't have any good times (well, 6:00, but the show is at 8:00 and it won't take us 2 hours to eat). We may try there on Valentine's Day since it's mid-week.

I did book us a couples hot stone massage for the Saturday after V-Day. That should be really nice, especially because Don will be leaving the following week for several days (to exciting Indianapolis) so we'll get some couple time before he departs. The next few months are going to be busy - between our trips to California and Cleveland, his business trip to Indy and my business trip to Las Vegas we'll be racking up the miles!

Off to a support group for those who are a year or more out from surgery. I am kind of needing a more long-term perspective now that I am at goal and working on maintaining what I've lost.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


I have actually slept through the night the last two nights. I can't tell you what a difference a few good nights' sleep make. I rested in bed until 7:00 each morning and feel wonderful.

I also finally got a proper office desk (on sale from Target, purchased with gift cards!) and put that together today. It looks great. We had been using a long, folding buffet table but the computer sat right on the fold, and the keyboard was never sitting flush. It's a smaller workspace, which might make it harder when I bring my work laptop home, but that's so rare. I purchased the hutch and the printer fits right up there. The funny thing is that I decided to buy this on Friday after work - the coldest day here in I don't know how long. And I was driving the 2-door Civic. Luckily, two Target workers took pity on me and helped me (well, I stood there and lost feeling in my fingers) load the 2 huge boxes into the car. It looks great in the office, so it was worth the temporary frostbite.

We have an appointment with our real estate agent who helped us purchase this house to discuss refinancing options and the possibility of selling now without doing any major upgrades and moving into something closer to work and smaller. For those in the area, we're thinking St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Edina and Golden Valley - maybe West Bloomington. I would love to have a smaller house (2000 sq. feet vs. the 3000+ we have here) with a similar sized yard (fenced!!). We'll see... it may only be refinancing and then some upgrades and sitting here for another 1-2 years, but we'll see. I do love the area - I would miss my gym, the grocery store, the Eden Prairie mall (movies, Target), restaurants (Redstone, Campiello's). But it makes so much sense - financially, environmentally, commute-wise, comfort, etc. to get a house that we would actually use. There are rooms (yes, plural) that I don't need to go in for months on end. The only reason why I've been in the basement is to break out the Christmas decorations and to use the treadmill. The two guest rooms are just fancy storage areas for crap.

Yesterday was Stock Up Saturday - Trader Joe's, CostCo, Kowalski's (grocery). We now have enough oatmeal, Splenda, toilet paper, paper towels and dishwasher soap to launch an invasion. I also gassed up at CostCo - for $1.92 a gallon! Wow - I can afford the 20-mile commute to work now. I also invested in a Brita water filter. The tap water here is pretty good and I figure we don't need to drink bottle water all the time and have the waste to deal with (half of our recyclables are empty water bottles).

Despite it being a holiday tomorrow, I have to work. At least I can wear blue jeans and don't need to be in until 8:00, so I can get on the treadmill here for a quick workout. It's actually a good thing - I have a mini-project I'm working on and I'll have the time to complete it tomorrow. Plus, this means I get an extra day of vacation down the road.

I did make a kick-ass chicken white chili last night. It was so good - and easy to boot:

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large (or 2 small) yellow bell peppers
1 medium white or yellow onion
1-2 jalepeno peppers
3-4 cloves of garlic (I used a whole head - about 10 cloves)
2 15-oz. cans of navy beans, drained & rinsed
2 15 oz. cans of creamed corn
1 small can diced chilies
2 cups (plus) whole milk
Cumin, salt, pepper, red chili flakes - to taste
1 store-bought rotisserie chicken, meat removed and shredded (bones/skin discarded)

Roughly chop the bell pepper & onion. Finely dice the jalepeno and garlic. Heat the olive oil over high heat, add veggies and cook until soft. Reduce heat to medium. Add beans, canned chilies, corn and milk. Bring to a boil. Add 1-2 tbsp. of cumin, salt and pepper to taste and a pinch (or more!!) of chili flakes. Add in chicken and heat through.

Top with sharp white cheddar cheese, sour cream, green or red onions, cilantro, etc. Serve with tortilla chips, crusty bread, croutons, etc.

Yum. And perfect for this cold snap we're in. Such as it is...

Tonight is an Asian-flavored pork loin, peanut noodles and roasted asparagus. It almost makes me want to eat.


Friday, January 12, 2007

Beauty Sleep

For some reason, I have woken up almost every morning at 3:00 AM and have not been able to get back to sleep. I've tried a glass of wine (or two), Tylenol PM, etc. with no results. I've only slept once through the night and that was Wednesday night. I was able to sleep right up until the alarm went off at 6:00 AM and got my butt in gear and did 45 minutes on the treadmill before work. I thought my sleeping travails were over, but I was up again at 3:00 this morning and never did go back to sleep, finally getting out of bed at 5:45. Ugh. At least on weekends I can stay in bed until about 6:30 or 7:00.

The weather has finally taken a temp dip - a whopping 7 degrees this morning. Because we have an attached garage and because I park in my building's underground parking, I will, on occassion, leave the house without a proper jacket. I am wearing a suede blazer, but that does not count as a jacket. This is the second time in two weeks I've done that. Hopefully my car won't break down or anything on my way home this afternoon...

I started a 12-week Ashtanga yoga course, which just kicked my ass on Tuesday. I've only done Big A$$ yoga and gentle yoga, and this one is all about flowing from one position into the next. It's pretty much constant movement. After our first 4 or 5 sun salutions ending in downward dog, my arms and legs were shaking so badly, but I hung with the pose. I was happy I was able to keep up and not break any poses and the instructor only needed to correct two positions. We did some twists so my obliques are pretty sore, but in a good way. Since the class is only once a week, I am going to supplement with a gym yoga class on Saturdays. It's Yoga for Fitness, but at least I will keep up with the stretching. I am also hoping to start going to a Pilates for Fitness class on Thursdays.

I should get to the gym, or at least on my own treadmill, today for an hour. I don't want to slack off on that. We have dinner reservations at 7:00 tonight so I should have plenty of time, especially if I can get off work at 3:30. I have two projects I'm working on but both are about half way complete and they aren't due until Monday.

No big plans for the weekend - gym, errand, chores, football - the usual. Depending on the weather, we'll take the dogs for a walk at least once, but if it remains below freezing, it's probably healthier to find some indoor activities. I'd love to go see a movie as well - maybe the Pursuit of Happyness or Night at the Museum.

I'm doing pretty well on all my 2007 goals. I haven't really wasted any money, although I am sipping on a second coffee instead of water ($1.76, but well worth it!!). I did go to dinner with some WLS friends on Wednesday after support group. We ended up at Granite City Brewery, which was good, but the portions were huge - even for a "normal" person. Most ordered the meatloaf, which would have been about 5 meals for me. I stuck with an appetizer which wasn't what I expected (I thought it was going to be a tostada-type thing with Ceaser salad but it was more like nachos with salad).

The one exciting thing is that I was given authorization to go to a vendor's conference in Las Vegas in March! That totally works since I can go in a day or two early to spend some time with my brother and his family and the airfare is the same. We also made plans to visit Los Angeles/Santa Barbara in February. The only other pending trip is to Cleveland in March to see Don's side of the family. Racking up those miles!!

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Monday, January 08, 2007


OK, a week late, HERE. Pretty aggressive, but all doable. And not one mention of losing weight (well, one, but not in the sense of me losing body weight).

I've gotten some good feedback from those who read the article about my blog. Some work people I didn't expect to see the article did, but it's all good. I've gotten a few e-mails about WLS, so that's good to be able to help those who are looking for information.

It's going to be a busy week. I have my new yoga 12-week class starting tomorrow, a support group meeting Wednesday, psych appointment on Thursday, plus I need to get in at least 2-3 trips to the gym (or the basement treadmill) this week. Plus, I am trying hard to make sure I am packing my lunch and snacks and getting my gym bag ready the night before so I'm not running around in the morning, especially at 6:00 AM!

So a week in to 2007 I'm actually doing pretty good with keeping track of all of my finances and recording my food. I'm still watching too much TV but I'll get better at that. I've even taken all my supps 5 out of 7 days (weekend suck for keeping on track). Food continue to go well, although I still have unscheduled snacking I need to work on. I did a lot of de-cluttering over the holiday, but I need to bag or box it and then contact someone to pick it all up. It's just so nice to feel like I'm going in the right direction with getting rid of stuff I don't use and don't need. I still need to get into the basement to see if there is anything there that can go. It's too bad I'm not an eBay whiz so I can sell some of it, but I just want to get rid of it.

It looks like we're finally getting a cold snap where temps will actually be in the 20s. Still no snow, which means we will probably get hit in March or April. I know it's not good for the environment, but I would love if it was 72 degrees here in January!


Friday, January 05, 2007

It's Just A Number

I have pretty much come to accept that my weight, for the time being anyway, is going to fluctuate between 167 and 172. And that my BMI is going to remain around 26 (a "normal" BMI is 25 or less, which would be 159 pounds). My body has pretty much stopped losing inches, although my arms did go down another half inch or so.

But it's hard not to contain my excitement when I saw this number - 21%.

I asked one of the trainers to do my body fat while I was at the gym on Wednesday. I had it done back in July and I was pretty sure I couldn't be much below 25 - 26%. When he told me it was 21% I nearly wept. That means, at my current body weight, I only have 35 pounds of fat. Compare that to 164 of fat pounds prior to surgery. I almost weigh that now - total body weight - and that's what I used to carry around on my back and hips and knees of fat alone. So you must understand my excitement...

My eating has gotten a lot better, although hardly perfect. I am getting in 4 meals a day, and often 5 (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner). I am getting 100+ ounces of water in every day. I've remembered to take all of my supps (with the exception of calcium last night).

Not to toot my own horn, but the local paper, Eden Prairie News ran an article about me and my blog... Very cool, but hopefully not too many people I know will stumble upon it...

Off to play a rousing game of Super Scrabble with Don. He'll probably kick my ass, but it should be fun nonetheless.

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Monday, January 01, 2007

Ringing In The New

Today is the last day of my 10-day vacation and I'm both excited to get back to work and a little bummed I don't have more time off.

The good news is that I did get a ton of stuff done around the house. I de-cluttered the heck out of pretty much every room, although I didn't touch the basement. I still have to box/bag it and call Salvation Army (the only organization which still picks up goods). I figure I can get that done this week. All in all, it will be about 5-6 boxes and probably 5-6 trash bags. I could probably stand to de-clutter even more, but this is a good first step.

Of course, I wish I could have done more on my To Do list, but all in all it was a productive, relaxing week. Most of the Christmas decorations are down and on the dining room table. We still need to dismantle the tree and pack everything away.

After a very dry and (relatively, by Minnesotan standards) warm winter, we were finally hit with 6.5 inches of snow yesterday. It had been raining straight for the last few days and it turned to snow around noon yesterday. It stopped just in time for Don to have to make the drive from downtown home. The roads weren't too bad, he said, but mixing fresh snow, slippery conditions and New Year's (read: Drunk Drivers) and there will be plenty of spin outs, fender benders and crashes. I was glad when he got home safely.

I did make New Year's Eve dinner - Honeybaked Ham (OK, I didn't make that), corn pudding, roasted Brussels sprouts, and mashed potatoes with spinach. We didn't make it to midnight, so I figure we can have a champagne toast tonight with the leftovers.

The rest of the day will be spent watching the Rose Bowl (Go, Trojans!!), finishing laundry (it's dry, just needs to be put away) and maybe playing a game of Scrabble.

Like everyone else, I do have a list of resolutions, however I think I am going to tweak it a bit and follow Cark's lead and come up with an Uberlist for 2007. I know things like spend more time reading (less time watching TV), getting healthy emotionally and financially, continue eating and exercising according to plan, etc. I just want to make it more specific.

Only 12 more hours of Vacation Shannin, and then it's back to the real world. Sure hope the roads are clear!!

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