Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WLS Lifestyles Magazine

When I first saw a blurb about this magazine on the website, I thought the WLS in the title was the acronym for Weight-Loss Surgery, as it often seems to be, and thought, "Wow, there's a whole magazine devoted to bariatric surgery patients?" However, it stands for Weight-Loss SUCCESS Lifestyles!

This is a quarterly magazine geared toward anyone trying to lose weight and live a healthier life, whatever the method. While weight-loss surgery and its concerns are a healthy portion (har) of the magazine, there are all kinds of other subjects addressed within as well. Looking at the two issues I've received for fall 2009 and winter 2010, there are articles on corporate weight-loss strategies at work, the Mediterranean path to wellness, the relationship between physical pain and diet, how to make weight loss last, heart healthy foods and more. There are a lot of positive articles on how to take care of the inside of a person as well as the outside and features on actual doctors and medical facilities that are making strides to address obesity. The advertisements are good for post-WLS people, as they show products that address the specific nutritional needs of bariatric patients.

A friend who specifically wanted to do something for me to support the choice I'd made gave me the subscription as a gift, which I thought was extremely thoughtful--and it's actually something I can use. Things like post-WLS regain and other common concerns seem to be touched on at least once in every issue, and I can just flip through it at my leisure or go back to it when needed.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rick Astley

This is one of the funniest things I've seen in a while. I have fond memories of this song, many involving a lovely boy who was a sweet soul--sadly, long since passed away--but who adored it and sang it often back then, beaming his beautiful smile.

Apparently the pie chart is part of a phenomena I didn't know existed, but a friend I emailed it to schooled me:

The '80s never really die...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Saturday 9: I Want to Hold Your Hand

1. What do you notice about other people's hands?

Everything--I love hands. I love the dimpled softness of a child's hands; I love seeing rough hands or beautifully manicured hands. Older hands are amazing. I have taken some great hand photos, and my favorite photo from my wedding is probably the one of our rings and the bouquet. I love graceful hands.

2. If someone was nosing around your house, what would you hope they wouldn't see?

How much cat hair and dust there is.

3. Do you think that the more stuff you own enhances your life or adds to your burden?

Adds to the burden.

4. What was the last movie you saw in the theatre?

"Alice in Wonderland", which was just okay. I'm one of the only people in America who isn't enamored of 3-D. It actually annoys me and makes me nauseous.

5. What do you have under your bed?

Dust, a backscratcher, and some Rubbermaid totes full of sweaters and purses.

6. What do you think your s/o or best friend would say about what makes you unique?

Mr. Salted says I'm the nicest person he's ever met. I've also been told that I was a better friend than most--both the best compliments I can imagine.

7. What's your current favorite TV commercial?

It sounds weird, but I like the PSA types that pack a punch. The one that comes to mind is a progression of mug shots of a young woman who uses meth that shows how much she deteriorates physically in a short period of time. The music in the background is "lullaby and good night" and it sounds like it's being played on a child's mobile. There is no voice-over, just the anti-drug message at the end on a black screen with white letters. It's very powerful.

Traditional advertising tends to be so manipulative as to make me want to scream, especially if you watch it with the sound off. I'm not saying the PSA isn't manipulative too, but at least its message is valuable and not just "buy more stuff and you'll be a better/prettier/skinnier/younger/more sexually desirable/wealthier/cooler person".

8. Who do you owe a phone call to?

My former in-laws. I need to call them TODAY!

Cardio happens!

I bought a new workout DVD on Friday. (I have a bathing suit that fits now, but since I don't know where I'll be working in relation to where classes are geographically speaking, I hesitate to join a gym or pool yet--and walking just plain hurts too much. I haven't found any affordable membership that isn't specific to the workout facility where one joins.) The DVD I got is a Dancing With the Stars thing called "Retro and Latin Mix". (I don't watch the show, but it sounded fun.) There is a lot of hip action with any Latin dancing, and I have bursitis in mine, so it's a challenge--but I really like this workout (despite the perky thin people on it--I've learned to accept that I am of a different species, besides being middle-aged, so who cares?). I did the Latin/Retro warm-up part and the Retro/Disco part and worked up a good sweat--I feel great and so far, my ankle doesn't hurt. (We'll see how it feels tonight! Maybe a carpeted floor makes all the difference.) I've always wanted to learn to salsa dance and really want to try it someday when I lose more weight. (I'm only waiting to lose more weight before I try it because it moves quickly and I'm still not as light on my feet as I'd like to be, even while doing this workout. Besides, I can fit into slinkier dresses if I wait a bit, but I'm still and always wearing flats. The athletes and acrobats can have the heels.)

This is how I feel: if I keep moving, cardio happens. I currently have two complementary mottos: "At least I'm doing something" and "Doing something is better than doing nothing." I think of it as the Good Enough For Me Method of Living a Healthier Life.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

down in the dumps

I applied for five jobs today. Today, I also found out my unemployment went through--a huge relief. I have to go to a mandatory job-search workshop next week that I'm sure will be simply delightful. I fully expect to have a headache afterward. Speaking of which...

I've been fighting a migraine this week and have just been down in the dumps. (I'm not sure why, I had a really nice weekend getaway with Mr. Salted.) All day yesterday, I couldn't make myself do anything but stare at TV I didn't care about in a dark room and eat too much (a relative amount, considering I can't eat all that much, but it still concerns me). Today, I'm trying to drink tea instead.

I have to start keeping chocolate completely out of my house. I knew this in my logical mind, but old habits die hard. It's one of my tests--I thought this surgery would just make me get sick when I ate any, but it doesn't. I can feel a little ooky, maybe get a little headache, but I rarely eat enough for that to happen. I live and die by the serving size.

My ankle is hurting a lot (the weather keeps changing) and I haven't felt like exercising this week. Last night, I took two Advil PM just so I would sleep through the night and not have the ankle wake me up as it has been every night about 2-3 AM. I made it to 5 AM.

A couple of days ago, I went to the closest Y, found out it was $100 to join and $55 a month, which I would call steep, especially since I just wanted to use the pool--and because I have a sneaking suspicion the $100 gets coughed up again if the monthly dues should lapse. It's $10 per use if you just pay as you go, which is just plain crazy. I need to check around some more. I finally got a bathing suit that works, which is good. I've thought about checking into gyms, but the smug, healthy people who frequent them tend to induce (my) vomiting. The Y has Silver Sneakers programs for seniors--they need to have WOG (Women of Girth, a term we coined in my support group) programs. (MOGs also welcome.) I've also heard us called "men/women of size", which seems goofy--everyone is of one size or another.

I have my advising appointment at the college tomorrow, and I'm hoping that gets me fired up again.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Career laxative

I may have found an effective one--the informational seminar last night was great! After my initial fubar (driving down 405 in rush hour traffic, skipping an entire Mapquest step, realizing I was in the wrong city, turning back around and just barely making it on time), I felt really good being there, maybe even like I belonged there and this all might be happening for a reason. The material was interesting--from the nuts and bolts of their specific program to the history of the field to the occupational outlook to where the field might go in the future. I sat there and thought, "I think I could do this--I could be good at it and actually do this for a living for the rest of my working life." I've never thought that before, not once--not in any class, not in any interview or seminar or training I've attended. It made me--dare I say--hopeful. I was neither the oldest nor the youngest person there, and there were several people present who appeared to be more lost than I. I really liked the advisor, who was the main speaker, and I scheduled an appointment with her for next week. She helps the student plan the program and signs off on the completed certificate when the time comes to do so. The certificate can be done in a couple of quarters if you push it, but I'm going to try to do it in three or four. You don't get graded--you get evaluated, and much of the coursework involves building a portfolio so you go out into the workforce with that ready to go as your calling card. I'm excited--I want to start summer quarter if I can, and I see no reason why I can't. It will be tough on us because I won't have an income, but it seems like a really good investment. The projected job growth in the field is 18% between 2008 and 2018.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cover letters and other lies

I have applied for at least twenty jobs in the last couple of weeks. My neighbor is a writer and he asked me yesterday if I was doing any writing. I told him only if cover letters count, and they should--they drain my creative juices in a big way. (They make me feel cheap and dirty, too, but that's another issue--I never have liked the whole "sell yourself" paradigm.)

The job I've wanted the most thus far got a cover letter I would be forced to deem a masterpiece. After its completion, I made my Facebook status "if I believe the cover letter I just wrote about myself, I would not only hire me, I would marry me, clone me and leave me everything in the will."

My initial unemployment claim was denied because I didn't have enough hours in the base year. (The base year was funky and took place between 2008 and 2009. I don't get how they determine the base years and I'm not going to try--I get enough headaches as it is.) I have a pending appeal using an alternate, more recent base year. I'm keeping detailed records--the required job logs, printouts of job descriptions, etc. I spent $10.89 today to send a long-distance fax at Kinko's--it seemed a little steep, but I guess they have rent to pay, too. I haven't had any more interviews since the one I went on before my job ended, but I have found a few nice things to wear to interviews, which will definitely help with my confidence when I am called for another one.

This evening is the information session about the technical writing program I plan to attend. I'm trying not to be intimidated or freaked out, but I am a little of each. What if I go and I don't want to do it? Then, of course, there is everyone's favorite old friend--The Fear of Failure. I think the worst part of not working is that I have far too much time to sit around and ruminate. I have gotten a lot of home organization and important errands done and can come up with several other projects that need doing, but there's an awful lot of time left over to think. I hate feeling so adrift in my life.

I'm not gaining weight, but my ankle has been giving me fits so I haven't walked since last week. I did do part of an exercise DVD yesterday; I have a number of them, from Richard Simmons to Hip Hop Abs and a couple I got at Target that prominently feature perky women wearing bronzer. Richard Simmons is over the top, but I can't help but like him; people who knock him should try one of his workouts (I have no opinion about his infomercials, I have never watched them or bought those products). (As an unrelated side note, his appearance on "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" was one of my favorite episodes of that show.) I'm still trying to find a bathing suit I can live with and have yet another one en route from Ebay--I think I have to get in a pool because every other kind of exercise just ends up hurting too much. A long walk feels great when I'm doing it, but then I wake up in excruciating pain during the night for the next week--it just isn't worth it. Mr. Salted and I have come to the conclusion that we will find the money for me to exercise in a pool, whether I have an income or not. I hope this suit works. I do miss, even enjoy, being in the water. (I will enjoy it even more now that I've had Lasik and won't be floundering around blind!) Before and after actually I'm in the water, that's what isn't so easy.

My third wedding anniversary was yesterday. Mr. Salted and I went to our favorite getaway last weekend, or tried to--we got there and discovered the reservations were for this coming weekend and that we had messed up the dates. It is a long drive both ways, so we decided to get a cheap room at the local Econolodge and just go back again this weekend and have two getaways instead of one. He is so supportive, steady, loving, unwavering--just an incredible gift in my life, for which I am extremely thankful.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I am losing weight again!

I saw 205.0 today on the scale--in the middle of the day, even. I may just see the 100s yet; I had just about given up, and the half-price Easter candy has been taunting me. It was especially gratifying because I weighed myself after a two-mile walk I had to force myself to go on in the cold wind. I've found a nearby park with a paved trail--it has distance markers and is mostly level, so I'm sold. There were, of course, lots of healthy hotshot types out there--woo and also hoo--but I try not to actively (ha) hate them because they're "beautiful"--it isn't any better than them hating me because I'm "not". I was quite annoyed, however, by some old guy (he resembled Moses, beard and all) that rode his bike past me slowly, physically brushing me when he had plenty of room to go around. He then doubled back, rode by and said something to me when I was on my way back to my car, which I couldn't make out--the music was up loud, and I flat refused eye contact. (I wear sunglasses whenever possible, but it was raining on and off today.) I freely acknowledge that I am easily irritated, especially when exercising (I'm sure that completely shocks anyone who has been paying attention) and/or having my dance space invaded (ditto). I also managed to organize my clothes and accessories, find a sports bra that fit at Target (it cost about 25% of what I've usually had to pay--go figure!), get laundry done, apply for a job, and talk to the unemployment people on the phone. They don't know if I'm going to qualify yet. I go to that informational evening class about the technical writing certificate next week, which also marks my third anniversary with Mr. Salted. I love losing weight!!!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Everything, all the time

My job ended. My grandmother got moved, and it sounds like it was a really tough experience for her, but that she is bouncing back a bit now. At any rate, she has a lot of support around her where she is, and it's a relief to know that. I didn't get the job I interviewed for, but they asked if they could keep my contact information for one they may have coming up. I spent my first day unemployed doing a lot of laundry, then attending a singalong showing of "Purple Rain" with a childhood friend. The movie was even worse than I remembered--but the music is, of course, amazing. It was a lot of fun. I also indulged in a little retail therapy with my last full paycheck. I went to Torrid and was pleasantly surprised that I'm now wearing size 18 in their pants, rather than straddling the barbed-wire fence between 18 and 20. I got a great pair of black Bermuda shorts with a big sugar skull design on one leg that I l-o-v-e. I had my picture taken with the Easter bunny for the first time, just for the hell of it.

I still need to apply for unemployment, but I think right now I'm just having the letdown period where I want to lay low and regroup--so I'll do it Monday.

Saturday 9: Hurts So Good

1. Tell us about the last time you really got hurt.

Physically? Emotionally? By someone else, or myself? It sounds like a copout, but I need more specifics.

2. What's your oldest possession?

A couple of antique brooches and family photos.

3. Do you have any phobias?

Dolls, bees, and fire. I'm claustrophobic to an extent--hate tunnels. A lot.

4. What values did your parents instill in you?

I didn't have parents, but positive things that have been instilled along the way include: it feels good to do things for other people and be thoughtful, say please and thank you, work hard, appreciate what you have, and tell people you love them.

5. What are your plans for Easter?

Don't have any.

6. I like sun more than snow.

Not particularly true for me.

7. Tell us about 3 fads from your teenage years.
Swatch watches (never had one), huge perms (had too many), and way too many pastels, not to mention Bon Jovi.

8. Tell us what is the most important attribute in a lover.

Kindness. True kindness.

9. What new piece of technology have you resisted buying and what would it take for you to change your mind?

A plasma TV. I'll get one when the regular TV dies.

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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