Sunday, February 28, 2010

I am (meme)

I am: always asking questions
I think: I can do a lot more with my life
I know: that I am lucky
I have: a wonderful husband and friends
I dislike: promises
I miss: dreams I used to think were possible
I fear: that I'll never find work that I can stand that pays enough to survive
I feel: that not enough people truly acknowledge how debilitating depression is to live with every day
I hear: myself typing
I smell: red wild cherry tea
I crave: one of those sinless Smoothies from Coldstone that are made with Splenda...had one yesterday...DAMN they are good!
I usually: have what you need in my purse
I search: for meaning
I wonder: if I will ever finish a book
I regret: how I've treated myself
I love: my husband, friends, and animals
I care: more than I wish I did
I am always: the one who says, "Yeah, but what if...?"
I worry: too much
I remember: when you had to put way too much effort into your hair
I dance: solo preferably
I sing: all the time and don't care how I sound
I don’t always: have enough patience ;)
I argue: as little as I can, but I don't just shut up, either.
I write: when I have to
I lose: myself in books and movies
I wish: everyone could be fed, sheltered, and given free medical
I listen: to everything
I don't understand: why I haven't been able to figure out what I want to be when I grow up
I can usually be found: near a computer
I am scared: of health problems
I need: safety and security
I forget: nothing, sometimes unfortunately
I am happy: when I listen to myself and do what I need
I want: what I have with a couple extra things I'm still working on.

"I shouldn't be wearing white, and you can't afford no ring." --Dixie Chicks

Due to my weight loss, my fingers have shrunk. A lot. I used to wear a size 10 ring--now I wear a size 8. My wedding band got so loose it would just fall off and I wouldn't even notice it. I wore it on the middle finger of my left hand until it fell off that one, too.

So, I went without any ring at all for a few weeks. It felt weird. For one thing, I am a compulsive ring-player-wither. I would swear that people looked at me differently, and I didn't care for it. Getting and being married is the most societally acceptable thing I've ever done, and since I have a great husband, I enjoy being societally acceptable for that one small aspect of life (usually I scoff at and rail against such things).

I didn't want to blow a ton of money on an interim ring--who knows, my fingers might shrink some more before all is said and done--so I replaced my favorite ring from the Pyramid Collection in my current size. This is it. It's Victorian vintage-inspired and only $59.99. Right up my alley.

South Beach bars

I love South Beach bars. They have a lot of varieties that have high protein content--from 5 g to 15 g, as far as I know--all under 200 calories. It's a great snack or even a post-WLS meal replacement. I've been test-driving a lot of protein bars since surgery and I've liked all of them, but the ones that can be purchased from specialty bariatric sites or GNC tend to be more expensive than the South Beach bars and the protein content doesn't differ much, if at all. However, the selection of South Beach bars in stores is extremely hit or miss.

So, I got a wild hair the other day and Googled, and lo and behold, you can buy South Beach bars in bulk on! The average price is about 5 boxes for $26-27, which is less than you would pay in a store, even on sale or with a coupon. Buy a couple of boxes and the shipping is free. They also seem to have every variety under the sun, many I'd never seen anywhere. If you are a fan or want to try them out, get thee to Amazon!

Best Picture Showcase--Part One

The AMC theater chain is doing this all over the country. Five of the Best Picture nominees yesterday, five next weekend. We'd never seen any of them. It was great--we want to do it every year, and go to more film festivals in general from now on.

Yesterday, we saw "Avatar", "Up in the Air", "Precious", "The Blind Side", and "Inglourious Basterds". My thoughts--the abridged version:

AVATAR: Visually, very interesting to look at. Plot sucked, and the movie was too long. The denouement fight sequence was like a root canal without nitrous and seemed to last forever. Not "Best Picture" material, IMO. Borrowed liberally from other movies and ideas, and technology shouldn't win Best Picture on its own. Special Effects, Visual Effects, cinematography, editing, sound, but not Best Picture.

Up in the Air: Liked this one a lot. Snappy dialogue. Ran out of gas a little in the last half or third, but I appreciated that it wasn't pat, it kept moving, and that it portrayed human frailty very effectively, though it didn't seem like much of a stretch for its fine actors. Second runner-up for my favorite of the day.

Precious: Absolutely amazing. Courageous. Has my vote for Best Picture so far (and Mr. Salted's!). It's far from comfortable, but these things happen to all kinds of people every day and these stories need to be told--and seen--for exactly those reasons, BECAUSE THEY MATTER. The acting was fabulous. I read the book when it came out in the '90s and wondered if a movie could do it justice. For once, it has. Mr. Salted summed it up perfectly: "A sucker-punch in the complacency." (It made me so proud that he is my husband.)

The Blind Side: good entertainment, way better than average, but still an "uplifting" (and from what I've read, rather sanitized-bordering-on-Hallmark-card) adaptation of a true story. I read an editorial that pointed out part of the value of "Precious" is that the movie presents Precious is worth saving simply because she is a human being, where "The Blind Side" presents Michael as worth saving because he is an exceptional athlete. While this does an injustice to the motives of the family portrayed in the "The Blind Side"--whose motives I believe were positive--the writer's point is well taken. "Precious" is a far better film. "The Blind Side" is definitely worth seeing, and Sandra Bullock (and everyone else) was great, but I don't think it was Best Actress--or Best Picture--material, as heartwarming as it was and as much as I loved all the characters.

Inglourious Basterds: we gave it 45 minutes and walked out. More masturbatory torture porn from Tarantino.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Walking and swimming

I love walking. I only manage a mile twice a week right now because my ankle hurts for the next couple of days, but it feels great to be outside breathing the air, walking at my own pace with my iPod--I love to make special playlists with songs that are the perfect tempo--and my shades on so I don't have to engage with people. It also gets me out of the office, which is great. Sometimes I feel like my energy sinks down along with my posture in that office chair as the work day meanders on. I worked yesterday and had an epic case of the drag-ass, but forced myself to walk about a mile in the middle of my shift. My energy level definitely improved. I was still dragging toward the end of the day, but nowhere near as badly as I would have had I not gone out and walked.

I bought a bathing suit online--it was still a little too small in that annoying way where it fits, but I can't stand the way it looks for another ten pounds or so. (This applies to a lot of my clothes right now!) I'm saving it to use later and shopping for another. I found out I can hit a lap swim on the way to work on weekdays. Actual classes are all inconveniently scheduled, but fortunately, I love to swim laps.

I actually prefer to exercise alone. While I enjoy a nice walk with a friend, I like to set my own pace. I'm my only competition, and if you ask me, that's the way it should be when it comes to this--at least for me.

Saturday 9: Don't Stand So Close to Me

1. Who would you like not to stand so close to you?

This woman I work with--fortunately I don't have to see her often. She makes my teeth itch, reeks like smoke, has an unironic mullet, and has no concept of personal space. She reminds me of a dog or cat that knows you hate it and responds by smothering you with unwanted love. Shudder.

2. Which of the following aspects of your life would you think rates the highest: mind, body or spirit?

Mind, no question. Wouldn't have survived and continue to thrive without it.

3. What is your favorite movie line?

It's a simple one, but "I wasn't even supposed to be here today!" from "Clerks".

4. What is your favorite movie title? I never really thought about it. They don't tend to be as creative as book titles can be.

5. What is something that has happened to you that you would consider a miracle?

My survival.

6. What do you try to stay away from?

#1: Drama, followed closely by bigotry and judgment.

7. What is it too late for?

Becoming a parent. Everything else is still possible.

8. Give someone credit for something and name it if you can.

My dearly departed best friend is almost entirely responsible for me learning that, despite what I experienced from birth through my teens, all men are not a@*holes. I am still extremely grateful to him for that.

9. Would you rather be famous now & forgotten after you die or forgotten now & famous after you die, forever? And why?

I don't think being famous would be all that great, so I guess famous after I die. That way a mythology could build up around my fabulousness. I won't care anymore, but it would be cool to be part of a cultural mythology.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Classifications--who needs 'em?

In my previous post, I neglected to mention part of the conversation with my bariatric surgeon that remains stuck in my craw several days after the fact. I walked right into it, too, by asking him if I was still considered morbidly obese.

"No," he said, looking at his monitor. "Now you're considered 'severely obese'. Then comes 'obese', then 'overweight'."

"What would I be classified as if I reach 150 pounds?" I pressed, a glutton for punishment until the bitter end.

"You'd be considered 'overweight'," he said, adding a little eye roll that did not go unappreciated.

I wish this surprised me, but when I weighed 150 in my teens, people told me I was fat all the time. I'd love to go back in time and smack them all, and sometimes I actually do this in my head--kind of a Wile E. Coyote home movie--to lull me off to sleep instead of counting sheep. (I always sleep better than usual when I use this method of drifting off, too, but I digress.) I know a lot of adult women who would love to weigh 150, and when I look at pictures now, I looked good at that weight--curvy and healthy.

This kind of thing--the classifications of obesity--has historically been the kind of thing that can really trip me up if I let it. Well, I'm not going to let it. I don't know what made me ask the question. If you feel good, if you look good, if you're eating healthy and exercising, who cares what your classification is? I've always been shaped like a freakin' potato, even as a little kid. Such is life.

The more I think about it, the more I see that classifications of any kind aren't anyone's friend. Few are complimentary, much less insightful, in any way--they don't say squat about who a person really is. I could be classified as middle-aged, fat, barren, mentally ill, underemployed, and a host of other things that don't have a whole lot to do with who I really am.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

6-month follow-up with bariatric surgeon

It was today, and it was uneventful. Their scale is five pounds heavier than the one at home, and their new nurse said, "You've lost 45 pounds?" and I refrained from saying, "Re-do the math, Zippy". I've lost about 70, about 90 since my highest weight.

The doc wasn't concerned about my plateau and said I was about where he would want me to be. He also amended his previous statement that I could start planning plastic surgery a year out from the gastric bypass procedure and that he expected it would take me 18 months to two years to lose the optimum amount of weight. That wasn't entirely unexpected, but it made me think I might have to start fixing my career problems or lack thereof sooner rather than later. Sigh.

I had a nice afternoon visiting with an old friend of mine, and we had lunch at a restaurant called California Pizza Kitchen. I must put in a plug for them, as they have a menu of small entrees that are the perfect size for post-WLS folks!! They're very reasonable as well. I had "the Wedge Salad", which was a simple one--lettuce, blue cheese dressing, bacon and tomatoes, and it was only $4.95. The rest of their menu looked great as well. Check them out!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ten Things That Make Me Happy

...just because.

1. The people I love and that love me.

2. My cats--they are sweet, beautiful and funny. I didn't get to have pets growing up, so I really enjoy having them now.

3. Taking pictures.

4. Feeling better all the time now that I'm losing weight.

5. Having a paycheck coming in even though it's not my ideal situation.

6. Traveling, whether it's a road trip or a cruise--I just love going somewhere I want to go.

7. Words, words, words.

8. Music

9. Comedy, whether it comes from me or someone else.

10. Dogs--I can't have one right now, but I hope to someday.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

6-month nutritionist appointment

I had my six-month appointment with the nutritionist a few days ago. I was two pounds lighter at home than I was in their office, which completely annoyed me. If I take the weight I was at home (which I do, dammit), I lost five pounds in the last month, so the plateau I'm on isn't as bad as I thought. Also, slo-w-o-o-o-owly, clothes are still becoming too big, bit by bit. If I take the weight I was at home (which I'm going to, just because--it was 208), I've lost about 70 pounds now.

The nutritionist said I was doing really well. My labs were all good, except my cholesterol remains a little high--but I did just start exercising and the ankle isn't yet tolerating more than once or twice a week. We talked at length about protein, which I am still using in supplement form three times a day. She said, "Maybe you should try to eat more 'real' food."

OK, WTF? I can't exactly eat a lot of 'real' food. I don't cook. I don't have a family to feed, so I can just have a protein bar or bullet or drink for a meal replacement if I want to. If I'm getting in all my vitamins and minerals, losing weight and have good labs, why should she care what I eat? Sometimes I have a couple of bites of my husband's 'real' food, and I try to eat things with protein whenever possible--cheese, chili, etc. Feh.

She was also ruminating about my protein bullets of choice--she is trying to research whether or not they contain the type of protein that actually 'counts'--but my labs had fabulous results for protein. I was happy to discover that my local Wal-Mart carries a protein bullet I can use (and which is almost a dollar cheaper apiece than anywhere else I've seen) in their pharmacy area, but I started buying the Body Choice ones directly from the manufacturer (the ones that used to be at Costco, but that have been recently discontinued). Body Choice also sent me a freebie, a large bottle (a quart or so) of liquid protein that has 20 grams for every six tablespoons. It doesn't taste too bad.

My favorite ready-to-drink remains the Believe drinks--they look like bottled Starbucks Frappuccinos. There is no gritty texture--they are extremely smooth and don't taste like a protein drink. As of now, they come in Italian Cappuccino, Mocha Latte' and Soothing Chai Tea, and they can be ordered from They're not cheap, though, especially when shipping costs are factored in.

I see the bariatric surgeon for the six-month follow-up Tuesday.

About Me

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Seattle, WA, United States
This blog focuses largely on a personal journey to and through weight-loss surgery. It's also about reading, writing, animals, photography, love, humor, music, thinking out loud, and memes. In other
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