The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

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

Sunday, April 29, 2007


What a gorgeous weekend! I've been able to spend a lot of time outside, really enjoying the warm weather, the breeze, no humidity or bugs. I grilled rib eye steaks on Friday since I knew Don and I wouldn't get to spend a lot of time together this weekend. He was gone from 10:00 AM to 10:30 PM yesterday. It shouldn't be as long of a day today, but he'll still get home around 7:00 or so. Part of me wishes it was a crappy weekend so he didn't feel like he missed anything, but there are more nice weekends to come, I'm sure.

I went to Macy's yesterday at Mall of America. They were offering free knife sharpening and my knives were in desperate need of that. I also went spring/summer clothing shopping to use up the remaining balance on my gift cards from Christmas. As I lost weight, I would sometimes freak out about clothes shopping. For those who have never had a weight issue, this might seem odd, but there is nothing like the feeling of going into a dressing room and not have anything fit or look right.

When I was at my heaviest, I could pretty much shop at one store, and I knew I just had to find their largest size. My choices were somewhat limited, and I knew exactly what size I was - 26/28. Even as I was losing weight, I was worried about buying smaller sizes since part of me wondered if I would actually get to that size. Even when I knew the surgery was working, I never imagined that I would be in single-digit sizes, and the choices could be overwhelming.

Now, when I go shopping, I have to remember that sizes don't always transfer from brand to brand. My size 14 jeans from Lane Bryant fit the same as my size 12 jeans from Eddie Bauer. I can wear either a size 8 or size 10 skirt. There are still size 14/16 shirts I can wear along side size 10 shirts. I always have to take in a large and a medium shirt into the dressing room, because, depending on the cut, I can wear both.

When I went to Macy's yesterday, with the goal of adding to my depleted spring/summer wardrobe, I had the mindset that I could not pay attention to the size number on the clothes. I had to buy what fit right, which could mean anything between an 8 or a 12, a medium or a large. I ended up with 3 skirts, a dress, 4 tops, and 2 pairs of pants.

The other thing I need to "get over" are the stores I can shop in. I had limited myself to one - Lane Bryant. I felt OK in Macy's and Target, but some boutique stores still scared me. I felt like an imposture, way out of my league. Stores like Gap, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, etc. intimidated me. I didn't feel like I belonged. I mean, in my mind, there is no way I could fit into "regular" sizes.

Imagine my surprise when I was able to walk into a Ann Taylor Loft store and fit into a size! I even picked out a large sweater and a size 12 skirt. The sweater was way too big and the skirt was easily a size too big. In the end I purchased a size 10 skirt for 60% off. I still can't imagine I can go into a "normal" store and find clothes.

It's really easy to determine who we are by size. I have found that is not an accurate determination of who we are. We are more than that, although I know it's hard to always realize that. We want to be a "Size 8", but most aren't. Men, for the most part, are not defined by size, but women are. It's not fair, but it is what it is.

Right now, I can honestly say I am a size 8, or a size 14, depending on the cut.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

TGI Thursday!

Can I just say how much I love three-day weekends? I have tomorrow off and am looking forward to the long weekend with sunny skies and warm temps. It's going to be a great weekend to be outside. I do have some gardening to do, but plan to spend most of the time out on the deck with a book and the dogs. Don will be at the Vikings' facility monitoring the very long, very boring draft. He'll have to be there about 8-9 hours, along side crazy fans clad in purple and gold. I do not envy him, that's for sure!

Other than relaxing in the sun, I do have some general housecleaning to do (in the AM before the sun hits the deck!) as well as a few errands - car wash, manicure, Trader Joe's. I was supposed to hang out Sunday with a friend but she has to work so I think we'll just meet for breakfast. We went out this past weekend and had a nice time - had breakfast, drove up the riverbank into St. Paul, stopped at a few really cool stores including the Midtown Global Market and then went to Trader Joe's. I had wanted to get home in time to spend a few hours outside, but the weather turned and it rained pretty much the remainder of Sunday.

Everything seems to be pretty much status quo. I think I'm finally in a comfortable place with my foods, and I have been eating 3 meals plus 2 snacks pretty consistently lately. I haven't been doing anything to try and lose weight and I seem to be maintaining pretty easily. I could probably be eating more if I would get back into an exercise routine, but this seems to be working for me and I can stay right around the 164 mark. I've actually looked in the mirror a few times this week and I think I can finally see it. So often I catch a glimpse of myself and still see all the flaws instead of all the progress. In fact, I was in the lunchroom today getting water, and the TV was running a Nutrisystem commercial and the guys says, "I lost 50 pounds!" and in my response (in my head) was, "Yeah, I wish I could lose 50 pounds." What? I really had to catch myself and wonder where that thinking was coming from. I mean, I could lose another 5-10 pounds pretty safely, but there is no reason to need or want to lose 50 more pounds.

I think that just comes from the many, many years of being in the "losing" mind set. This is just one reason why I'm trying to keep my weight stable rather than continuing to lose. It's a weird place to be in, especially after living in the "always needing to lose" neighborhood. I told my bariatric nurse that I did not want to be one of those people who constantly whined about losing these "last 5 pounds." At some point, I am going to have to learn to be happy with my body no matter the number on the scale.

I'm late night leader at work, so I'm here for another 64 minutes (not that I'm counting or anything!). Off to do some catch up reading!

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Arrival of Spring & Allergies

Spring is officially here in all her glory with longer days, crisp mornings, chirping birds, bunnies in the front yard, blooming trees, scratchy eyes and sore throats! I woke up this morning with bleary eyes and a head so stuffed it feels like I ate every cotton ball in the house.

I ended up calling in sick since I didn't get a lick of sleep and I still can't breathe. I really didn't want to take a sick day since I am planning on taking next Friday off, but I'd be SFB today, plus I don't know if I have anything to wear that wouldn't clash with the red in my eyes.

I have my 18-month follow up with the bariatric clinic at 3:30 this afternoon. I'll meet with my nurse and have my blood work drawn. The only thing I have going on physically are some ulcers that I will need scoped to see their severity and figure out if I need something other than Prilosec.

I am pretty pleased with my progress. I have been able to maintain weight for the past few months - keeping it between 163 and 167 without too much work. I think my surgeon will be happy with where I am, especially since I'm below his goal of 185. I think I'm working the tool well. I have some emotional issues to deal with, but those have always been there, just hidden away.

It's supposed to be nice this weekend with some chance of early evening thunderstorms. Typical Minnesota spring. Just as long as the days are nice so we can do some hikes with the dogs and spend some time on the deck. I just love being outside this time of year, allergies notwithstanding.

Since I'm home, I guess I can be helpful around the house - laundry, dishes and the like. And a nap. Definitely a nap.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Where Is Spring?

I am going to gripe about the weather - again! It's mid-April and we have 2 inches of snow on the ground. WTF? Where do I live? Hell frozen over? I am so ready for spring, sunny skies, warm breezes, grass between my toes, colors other than brown and grey, sleeping with open windows, a tan. We're supposed to get a warming trend starting this weekend and the 10-day forecast has some low-60s and mostly sunny skies. All I have to say is that it's about freakin' time.

Everything else seems to be going along smoothly. Don and I got our financing stuff approved, so we're just waiting for the final paperwork to come through. That will be a relief once that is completed. This will help with some big things coming up like lovely property taxes and car leases expiring. Speaking of which, we have two Hondas - a 2-door Civic and a CRV. We were thinking of upgrading to a 4-door Civic and another CRV. Our previous cars were a Civic and an Accord, so we've been driving Hondas for the last several years and haven't had a lick of trouble with them. I had a Toyota Camry prior to the Accord and had so many issues with the car and with Toyota in general. Any thoughts on cars we should consider? My commute is currently 20 miles one way, so I like the idea of a small-ish sedan, but I really want a 4-door. We also like having a small SUV in case of really bad snow as well as our yearly drive to California with the dogs.

And while we're on the topic of reader recommendations, Bath & Body Works has discontinued their line of face cleansers, lotions and scrubs I was using and now I need to find something else. Gah! I currently use a face wash for oily skin and an exfoliating scrub in the shower. I then use an astringent from Clinique followed by a fine-line or anti-aging serum and a moisturizer for oily skin. Any thoughts on a good line of facial products? I certainly don't need anything like La Mer (please, $100 an ounce?), but I am almost 40 so I do need to take care of my poor skin.

The depression doesn't seem as crushing as before. I still have my moments, but I feel like I can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak (I'm pretty confident it's not an oncoming train, either). The meds certainly seem to be working and I haven't had a panic attack since I started carrying the Ativan. I still haven't gotten into a good sleep pattern and I don't want to add a Tylenol PM on top of the anti-depressant. I may look at switching the meds to the AM to see if that helps my sleep at all.

No big plans on tap for the weekend. Now that we've let our cleaners go, I know part of the weekend will be spent doing some cleaning around the house. It's also the last Saturday our office is open for Tax Season, so I will probably come in for a few hours in support. We have a few supply drawers that are in serious need of cleaning. I mean, we have more 3-ring binders than a Staples store. It's amazing how certain areas just become dumping grounds for unwanted supplies. Of course, no one can find anything so we end up ordering more of something we already have a boatload of. I mean, how many thumbtacks or boxes of staples does our department of 20 really need?

A hike or two with the dogs is in order. They have been cooped up since last weekend because of the weather, and I'm sure they're driving poor Don nuts while he works from home. They want out, they want in, they want back out. We should teach them how to open and close the door! I also need to get into the gym both days for some strength training - upper body on Saturday, lower body on Sunday. If I'm really on the ball, I might even make the water aerobics class on Saturday morning (at 8:15 AM!!!) before coming into work.

Other than that, I'd like to get some reading in and I have several TiVO'd shows I need to catch up on before I run out of disk space.

What I really need is about 6 more hours in the day!

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Winter, Part II

I am not dealing with this drastic change in weather very well. My mind and body are ready and expecting spring-like temps, but we're getting mid-30s with wind chills in the single digits. I mean, 3 degrees at 6:30 AM in April? What kind of hell am I living in? At least we're not getting snow. Some northern MN cities got 8 - 12 inches while we just got a dusting that didn't stick around past sunrise. Mentally I have already put my winter gear away, and I have a hard time remembering how to dress for these kinds of temps. I guess the good news is that I still have more winter clothes than spring/summer wear, so I have more couture options.

It's supposed to be a quiet day at work with the financial markets closed. I have a few things to finish, but no meetings and not too much to do other than manage the real time capacity. It will be a nice day to get some things cleaned up and filed - a little spring cleaning around the desk. It's amazing how dusty an enclosed office can get. It seems like I just wiped down all of my desk surfaces a few weeks ago, and now they are all covered in a fine dust.

No big plans for the weekend - a possible appearance at coffee tomorrow after a much-needed visit to the gym. Not sure what we may do with the dogs. If it's warm enough, I'd love to do a hike around the lake at least one day. The funny thing is that a hike used to sap all their energy for at least the rest of the day, if not into the next day. Now, it just seems to get them more revved up! I keep telling Don we need to try for two laps (5.5 - 6 miles) but I worry that half way through the second lap, Jager's leg would start giving her trouble and we'd end up carrying her the rest of the way. Trust me, the last thing either of us needs is to carry a 50-pound dog half way around a lake.

I seem to be feeling a difference after a week on the anti-depressants. It doesn't seem like the world is shrinking around me and I don't feel like there is a black cloud over my head 24/7. I think I'm finally getting some good sleep, which also helps my overall mood. I wish I didn't need drugs to help me feel normal, but it's nice to not to have the overall anxious/panicky feeling all the time. Tasks don't seem so overwhelming and I actually feel like I can get things accomplished without worrying about what isn't done yet.

That's about all from here. Just trying to stay warm and stop thinking about spring!!

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Back to Work

It was a sad day at our house on Sunday as both Don and I wrapped up our week of vacation. He's back monitioring Vikings news and I'm back in the office. It was tough getting up at 5:30 AM yesterday, but I'm feeling pretty good today and back in the swing of things.

I had a great week - we got a lot accomplished. We met with our financial advisor and worked out a plan to consolidate the debt with a much lower monthly payment and know about tracking every penny that passes through our hands and making neccesary cuts. I know it's just for the short term until we get things squared away, so no yoga, but continuing our gym membership; getting manicures but no pedicures; cutting out wine clubs and the housecleaning services. I feel a lot less anxious about the financial stuff now that Don and I are working on it together.

My follow-up meeting with my PCP went well. She has me on Celexa (anti-depressant) and Ativan (anti-anxiety, taken as needed). I'm not sure if it's just the Celexa, but I do feel calmer and less anxious. It's almost like I'm more focused. I'm still working on sleeping through the night. One of the side effects is either causing drowsiness or hyper-activity, so I started out taking my daily dose at night but I seem to wake up around midnight and toss and turn for a few hours, although last night didn't seem as bad. I didn't want to start taking it in the morning and falling asleep at my desk. I'll continue with taking it at night for another week and see how I do.

I did weigh in on Sunday and saw my lowest weight to date - 162.8. I have now lost more weight (178.3 pounds) than what I currently weigh. I'm still working on just maintaining my weight, and I haven't really skipped a lot of meals, so I guess my body is still shedding a few more pounds on its own. I did do a lot of walking while I was off - we took the dogs for a hike or a walk almost every day. Now that I'm back to work, though, I am going to try and get into a better gym routine - 4 days a week in addition to walks with the dogs.

One of my big To Dos over the week was to get a new driver's license photo. I was getting tired of the double-takes and questions. The guy taking my photo was very nice - he even let me do my first one over since I looked startled. Now if I can just convince work security to let me take a new one I might actually wear my ID badge in the office (I usually stuff it in my desk even though we're supposed to wear it).

Other than that, I finished the first two books of the Fantasy Challenge (see below) and started the third. I had coffee with some friends on Saturday and then went to the Minneapolis Institute of Art which was a lot of fun. I can't believe I've been here 2.5 years and this was my first museum trip in the city. Sunday was spent mostly complaining about the weather (rainy and gloomy) and going back to work.

Speaking of weather - last Monday we were at 81 and yesterday it barely made it to 50. Supposedly we're getting 1-3 inches of snow (!!) today, and some lows will dip into the teens over the next few days. What happened to spring? We even broke out the deck chairs!!

Off to get this day started.

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