Thursday, August 28, 2014

Catching Up

Well I didn’t really mean to disappear for 14 months.  I meant to just back off for a while and then pick back up once I wasn’t busy anymore.  I started realizing that the blog was actually taking up a lot of my time, of which I don’t have much.  In addition to posting regularly, there was the time-consuming task of reading everyone else’s stuff and taking the time to leave comments—which was really important to me because I think, to some extent, that’s why we ALL wound up here…for the support and encouragement.  So I would work all day, then come home and make a healthy meal and do some prep for other meals (because NOTHING CONVENIENT is good for your body.  Like pretty much nothing.  It sucks.), try to get some exercise in, and with any luck still have some time for myself to just unwind and think and maybe watch Top Chef.  And before I knew it the blog became an obligation, an added stress instead of a helpful resource/journal. 

What brought me back?  Something happened at work yesterday that bothered me, and I felt the need to write about it.  It was basically just a journal entry, but then I decided to post it on my lap band blog.  It just felt appropriate.  And now that I’ve actually shown my face round these parts, I’ve started wondering how all of you are doing, and wanting to hear about your struggles and successes and failures and the wonderful meal & snack ideas I used to get here all the time!  So I’m gonna try to ease my way back in.

Since I last posted (with the exception of just a couple hours ago) things have been pretty up and down for me.  After the initial 30-something pounds lost, they just started to creep back on little by little.  And then I’d lose a few and gain 5 more.  And this went on for probably 7 or 8 months.  Finally in April, just over a year after my band surgery, I made an appointment with an endocrinologist.  I just knew there was something wrong on the inside—my body had to be working against me.   At least I hoped that’s what it was…because if not, then it was just me sucking at life.  She seemed to be reading my mind!  I would mention something and she’d finish my sentence for me.  That first day in her office I almost cried.  I thought, I was meant to find you.  She started me on a combination of Metformin and Spironolactone.  That was just over four months ago and I’ve lost 30+ pounds since then.  I’m taking it one day at a time and just trying to appreciate the way my body feels a little stronger each day. 

Oh yeah, I also got engaged.

Ha, that would be great if I just left it at that but I can’t.  We set a date for October 17, 2015.  We both really wanted a fall wedding but this October just isn’t enough time for me to not freak out all over everything trying to plan it.  The ceremony & reception are being held in the same venue, which is an old brewery in my hometown of Washington, MO.  There’s lots of natural stone walls, exposed brick, cedar beams, just tons of great natural elements we’re both super excited about.  Since it’s still over a year off, there’s not a whole lot of planning being done at this point, but over the last week I’ve been working on a game for people to play at their tables during the reception, and it’s a wedding-themed Cards Against Humanity/Apples to Apples type game (less vulgar—more or less suitable for a mixed crowd!).  It’s been a blast coming up with different questions & answers, and fulfills my need for a wedding-related project that I could actually do NOW.

That’s about it for me.  I really am looking forward to seeing how all of you are doing, which ones still post regularly, maybe see some new faces here and there.  Adios for now.


Fat Chicks

So, I know I haven't posted anything in over a year, and it's very possible no one will see this.  But I had something to say, and this seemed the most appropriate place for it.  

Today one of my co-workers told me that my sense of humor reminded him of “that one chick from SNL.”  There are a handful of female cast members, yet I felt certain I knew which one he was talking about.  “The fat one?” I asked.  He got a panicked look in his eye and stammered for a minute before describing some of the recurring sketches she does.  He did I...and he knew that I knew...that he was talking about the fat chick. 

This is NOT the first time this has happened, and I find it pretty convenient that I remind so many of my male friends and co-workers of overweight comediennes.  I myself am overweight and lean heavily on my sense of humor, sometimes to a fault.  But does that make me comparable to every fat female comic?  I'd like to think people see more than that.  When something like this happens it forces me to look at myself the way some people must see me, and it's pretty upsetting.  I accept myself the way I am, though if I'm being totally honest I don't really feel like I belong in this body.  The way I feel inside doesn't match the reflected image in the bathroom mirror, and sometimes I'll catch a sideways glance in the glass of a door or window and have to look twice to convince myself it's really me there.  When that happens I realize how I look through other people's eyes, and I know that there are many who will never really, truly get to know me.  I want to think that I'm wrong about this but it's difficult when, just today, someone who interacts with me every day has basically reduced my personality to "fat funny girl." 

I believe a lot of people are programmed to view overweight women as unappealing, unhealthy; basically the worst thing a woman can be.  We're punchlines, dirty little secrets, worst case scenarios and cautionary tales.  But we're NOT seen as complex individuals.  No one wants to imagine a fat girl as someone who feels complicated emotions or has sexual desires.  Why has society created an environment where it’s totally normal for these women to feel like they’ve done something wrong…is it fair for me to feel as though I’ve let someone down because I’m not the standard of physical beauty?  

Although I truly don't believe he meant to upset me, my coworker found me funny and his instinct was to compare me to another fat girl who is also funny, even though there's very little overlap in our personalities.  And maybe I took it too personally.  Maybe recognizing parallels in character with different types of people is not one of his stronger qualities.  But as a result of what he said, I spent the rest of the day feeling self-conscious, scrutinized and generally not good enough.  It’s something I’m working on; I shouldn’t allow someone to make me feel that way for what is certainly an insecurity of mine…but I’m not going to say the problem only lies with me and others like me.  I don’t see an immediate future where everyone is suddenly sharing messages of body-positivity, but I’m going to do my best to surround myself with people who seek beauty within.  That’s the only beauty that truly means anything.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Recent progress pics

I already updated the Photos page but here are the most recent ones in case anyone's interested.  Still need to take one for this week--I forgot to do that yesterday

Week 9

Week 10

Fill #2

I had my second fill on Friday afternoon (1 CC), and I'm now up to 4 CCs in my band.  I can't tell if I notice a difference or not!  I felt hungrier than ever over the weekend for some reason.  I'm getting a little nervous I think.  I haven't lost in 2 weeks, and in the past (when doing it on my own) I've always hit a wall at right around this point.  No matter what I did, I could never seem to get moving again once the weight loss stopped.  And I'm afraid that's going to happen again.  I was hoping that my band would come and meet me halfway, but I still don't feel any restriction.  Send me some patience!

I wasn't great with my water intake last week so I'm really dedicating myself to that today.  I've gotten about 36 ounces so far, which is helping a bit with my growling tummy.  Lunch is over an hour away still...

I did this cute newspaper-print transfer with my nails last night and I love them!  

You just paint your nails a light color, then one by one, soak each nail in rubbing alcohol for about 5 seconds and press a little scrap of newspaper over it for 15 seconds.  When you pull it away, the ink is left behind.  Seal with top coat, or the ink will smear.

Hope everyone has a great week!!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I'm back! (Lots of pics!)

I feel like I haven't posted in months!  We're finally back from our trip to Philadelphia, which was SO MUCH FUN.  The main reason for the trip was my boyfriend's cousin's wedding.  She's always been more like a sister to him; she lived with his family for a long period of time in their teens.  So the wedding was a really big deal to Charles, who also officiated the ceremony.  It had also been 9 years since he'd been back to Philly, which is where he grew up.  When we weren't busy with wedding stuff, we drove around his old neighborhood & took pictures, ate at the diner his grandma used to take him to when he was little, and walked around at a local nature reserve.  Oh, and I ate terribly the entire time I was gone!  Cheese steaks, pizza, pancakes, booze, all the stuff I shouldn't eat.  Luckily I only gained a must have been all that dancing I did at the wedding.  Joking around with Charles, I said "well, I learned something from this trip: all I have to do is stuff my face with cheese steaks every time I get the urge and I can maintain my weight!"

The drive was rough, but not nearly as bad as I feared it would be.  On our way there, we drove about 10 hours the first day, then stopped at a hotel for the night (in Wheeling, WV) because it was raining so hard we couldn't see the road.  There were only 2 rooms left, and we got the next to last one.  The guy who walked in behind us got the other one, and it was crazy because we found out he also drove from St. Louis that morning, and he only lives like 2 miles from us!  Uh, small world I guess.  Oh, and he was also on his way to Philly.  We were like, "are you sure you're not going to Shannon's wedding???"  All they had left were suites so we wound up spending way more than we wanted to, but that's the price you pay for just driving until you can't anymore...oh well.

The next day we got up and did the last 6 hours of the journey, which were the worst.  Pennsylvania is LONG, and once you get through the mountains, the turnpike is pretty boring.  For the last 2 hours of the trip I was squirming in my seat constantly.  On the plus side, our rental car was nice and I like it a lot--it was a Nissan Rogue, which is nice and roomy without feeling huge.  I hated to drop it off this morning!  

The ride back was better.  We did the whole 950 miles in one day, leaving Philly at 9am and getting home at midnight (luckily we gained an hour on the way back!).  We wound up stopping a little more often than we did on the way there so as to not push ourselves too far.  We also occupied ourselves by listening to The Shining on audiobook, which I admit scared the CRAP out of me in the middle of Illinois in the dark.  It was late late late when we got home, but we decided for some odd reason that we wanted to watch Arrested Development and have some drinks.  We actually made it through 2 episodes, but we were drunk after a few sips of our drinks!  I guess that's what a long road trip will do.

Here are some pics...

On the way there--western Pennsylvania is so beautiful!!!  I loved the mountain tunnels  :)

Cheeks bulging with delicious cheese steak!
Post-shower after the long ride--a very happy girl

Charles' boyhood home!!!!

While Charles was in the shower, I looked up how to tie a tie on the internet and practiced on myself  :)

Charles' youngest brother Luke, Charles, me, cousin Mike & his girlfriend Heather

Photo bombed by brother in law Lucas

With the bride
My sweetie performing the service

Hanging out at Churchville Nature Center (beautiful!!)

After the 16-hour drive home (and a beer & a half)

And some from the photo booth  :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013


My name is Monica and I love Unjury protein powder.

(hi, Monica...)

I know, I about being late to the party.  I've been hearing most of you talk about how great Unjury is for months now and thinking to myself "I should try some of that..." and then just never did.  And now I feel like some lame-o who interrupts someone's conversation with "Oh my god, have you seen that show Friends!?!  Now THAT is a good show!!!"

But oh well...I'm just glad I finally found a protein shake that I not only tolerate, but actually really like.  Unjury Chocolate Splendor:

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

2 months

Well I realized in the middle of emailing my boss this morning that today is my 2-month bandiversary!  And since it's a special occasion, I guess I'll post an updated weigh-in:

Starting weight:  342.0
Day of surgery:  329.6
Current weight:  309.4

Total loss:  32.6 pounds

Things I've noticed:

My pants are looser.  I've been wearing skirts more often because all of my pants (which didn't fit well to begin with...snug at the waist, too loose in the thighs) are hanging off me even worse than usual.  For work dress, it's just not very professional.  I figure I'll wait a bit longer, then buy like 2 pairs of pants that are a little tight...eventually they'll fit right, then be too loose, then the whole thing over again  :)  Shirts are easier to wear when loose, so I'm okay in that department for a bit.

I'm feeling more flexible...I can reach further and bend more.  This is particularly noticeable in the shower and when painting my toenails  :)

I have more stamina...I'm no longer exhausted when I get home to the point of only wanting to collapse on the couch and turn on the TV.  These days I totally have the energy to make dinner, do the dishes, then prep for the next night's meal.

I'm less grouchy...I'm normally the kind of person who gets easily irritated with things.  People annoy the crap out of me on a regular basis.  Not that I'm suddenly Mary Poppins or anything, but I notice myself feeling a bit more tolerant.  And actually, more positive in general.  I even procrastinate less...some, of course...but not as much.  I think that says that I'm working on not shying away from facing things.

Confidence...little by little, I notice myself paying less attention to whether or not people are staring at me, and I find that I don't really care as much.  Normally I would always be on alert and trying to make myself as unnoticeable as possible.  And lately I'm feeling a little more pride in the way I carry myself.  A pretty alien concept!!

I sometimes wonder what it would take for me to completely screw things up, go off plan for "just a day" which turns into a week, which turns into me giving up completely.  I've decided it's not worth thinking about.  At this point, the 32 pounds I've lost are proving to be great motivators.  And it helps me when I think about it this way: I'm not perfect...but I don't have to be.  I'm not doing this for anyone other than ME.  Also just taking it one day at a time keeps me from feeling overwhelmed.  Today I did great, I plan to do great tomorrow too...can't wait for tomorrow!!!