Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Today I came upon several revelations that I would like to share with you.

1) What a difference a day – and a haircut and color, plus a manicure – makes. Yesterday I was flustered and pissed off and ready to take on the world, one cupcake at a time. I was determined to drive my non-weight-loss-having ass to Rochester to have a tete-a-tete with my surgeon as I was convinced he missed the mark and shrunk my bladder and not my stomach. The first week I lost almost 17 pounds, then I had my one week checkup and apparently caught some bad juju and for the next 6 days continued to lose nothing. Nada. Zilch. While this may be normal in anyone else’s world, it was just unacceptable in mine. I have no patience for this kind of thing, and I have too much weight to lose and too much pre-surgical smack talk to live up to. It was at that moment I realized why none of the thousand other diets I’ve tried have worked. Not because they set me up to fail or because the world was out to get me, but because I got frustrated while my body took a few days to adjust to the massive change it was undergoing and said screw it. Now that I had no choice but to stick it out, I realized that I was the one self-sabotaging all those years, not the Chips Ahoy or the buttered bananas. Foiled again! I stepped on the scale this morning and my faith was renewed when I saw the number was 3 pounds lighter. And to think I was ready to behead the man who made that happen. Sacrilage!

2) I do not like ankle weights. Period. I bought them with the best of intentions, put them on today, hit the program button on my treadmill and proceeded to walk straight to the gates of Hell where I burned for a full 30 minutes. At the end of my session I was dragging my left leg, hanging half off of the treadmill, drooling like I had a case of Bells Palsy and calling the treadmill names that I am sure are extremely offensive in Gaelic. It was not pretty. And it will never happen again. I will save the ankle weights for walks outside, if for no other reason then I can take them off if I choose and throw them into someone’s shrubbery and tell Tim they fell off and I was too tired to carry them home.

3) Despite my all out hatred for the ankle weights, I did have a revelation. In two weeks I have shed 19 pounds. 19 friggin pounds! That is a one year old. I. shed. a. one. Year. Old. Putting on those 10 pounds worth of ankle weights was eye opening. It finally clicked what it does to your joints when you carry around even that small amount of weight. It didn’t feel good, and it hurt, and I hope to never see the real 10 pounds ever again.

4) Lastly, and most importantly, I have found that when you are, shall we say, less than slender, you tend to rash in places that are not pleasant. I am pretty sure even thin women experience this. I am talking about the rash that occurs on the crease between your upper thigh and your lady space. I realize this is not a pleasant picture but let me paint it anyway. The fiery madness that occurs in this area after hours of walking and sweating is like a vaginal caning that never ends. I swear when I touched it, smoke came off of my flesh. Fear not, my loyal constituents, for after some hydrocortisone cream and a little loss of dignity, I was right as rain and ready to attack the dreaded treadmill once more.

I am proud of myself for making it out of the funk I was in for a few days. A year ago, I would have wallowed in it – and in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey – which I still totally crave – but can live without. But today, I got up off of my funked out ass, took a shower, got my hair did, had a mani where they didn’t burn my cuticles off, and got back to walking off the pounds. If that isn’t a monumental moment than I don’t know what is.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My brain is tired. The kind of morning after tired when you took sleeping pills or OD’d on Benadryl the night before. It’s the kind of tired where everything is hazy, and it is perfectly acceptable to lie on the couch staring at the TV even though you’re not really watching it. I drifted off into a conscious sleep this morning. One minute I was watching Sister, Sister and the next minute The 700 Club. It was like being in alternate universes. It was at that point that I decided to walk the treadmill.

Now, very strange things happen when I am on this thing. First off all, I seem to get all the best ideas for my blogs while walking that thing. And I never want to stop, and very seldom have a pen and paper hanging off the safety string so most of the time they get lost in a puddle of sweat and dignity when my adventure is over. So on this fine morning, I thought to myself, “Self, you have a very expensive gadget, commonly referred to as a cell phone, at your disposal, and it probably has a voice recorder on it. If you use it, you could totally justify the extra $30 a month you pay the man”. Sure enough, there it was, and off I went, rambling non-sensically into my phone making statements, at time leaving tiny synopsis’ like I was a therapist and my puppies were sitting there telling me their deepest, darkest secrets, and eventually I was doing bad impressions. God help me if my neighbor walked by when I was amusing myself because he might have felt the need to call for assistance and then those men in the white scrubs would come and give me one of those lovely jackets that allow me to hug myself all day.

A funny thing happens when you record yourself speaking. The voice that comes back is not AT ALL like the voice you thought was going in. I felt like James Earl Jones in a Verizon commercial when I heard myself talking. I suddenly felt the need to belt out a rendition of “What a Wonderful World” because I had this deep raspy voice that could either be like $2.99/minute sexy, or “I have your child” creepy. It’s a thin line.

The second odd occurrence whenever I am on the treadmill is that I have this completely misconstrued image of what my body looks like. When no one is here I will rock a tank and some yoga pants like it is my job, as opposed to when people are home and I swim in an oversized t-shirt and sweats. When I am going on the treadmill, building up a good sweat, feeling positive and singing out loud, in my head I look like Jillian Michaels, but without the stubby man hands. Then every once in awhile, I catch a glimpse of my actual self in the reflection of the TV, and guess what? So NOT Jillian. More like the fat woman who ATE Jillian, spit her out, covered her in chocolate and ate her again. And then snacked on Bob. Maybe not so over the top, but definitely not like the image I pretend to be when no one is around.

Lastly, using the treadmill always ends in me mopping the kitchen floor. When I am on it I have a clear view of the wooden floor and the sunlight hits it just so and I can see every doggy paw print, scuff mark and footprint, and then my OCD kicks in and I have no choice. The only thing better would be a mop with a handle that extends so I can mop the floor and walk on the treadmill at the same time. Oh, and if I could actually look like Jillian Michaels when I am done, that would super fantabulous too. Please and thank you.

Yesterday, something truly wackadaisical happened when I was walking. Some crazy guy on the radio said that Ricky Martin came out of the sparkly gay closet and totally admitted he likes outties over innies and I thought OMG NO WAY and LOL, didn’t we all know that like 15 years ago? See, strange things happen when lost in the world of walking.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Belly Bombs and Bariatric Booms!

I don’t know what the hell happened Friday but I had my first surgical WTF moment. I had a pretty amazing day before what I like to call “Attack of the Pouch”. I had a great full day of exercise, went through my closet and realized half of it is already too big, and sat down to a lovely dinner of tuna and refried beans. About a half hour later, I realized I was just short of reaching my protein goal for the day, so I had a glass of Skim milk with some sugar-free Hersheys syrup (which is totally on my “food do’s” list). About 20 minutes later, BOOM!!! It was like an all out assault on my gut that rendered me completely helpless, curled into a fetal position on the couch, crying like a little girl and Lamaze breathing. I swear I thought the end result of that immense pain would be me pushing out a 10 pound turd or a three headed alien. And it just wouldn’t friggin’ end!! It came in waves like a recurring tsunami. Every time it subsided and I could breathe again, it would come out of nowhere and devour my insides like a rabid dog with a dead raccoon in its sights.

I have no idea what brought this on. I have followed my diet to the letter, never cheating, never going off course. I measure and weigh and strain my food within an inch of its pathetic life, I take bite sized bites a few minutes apart like a Princess in Training, and I don’t drink 30 minutes before or after a meal. I mean, I am a rule follower for the first time ever, and this is my PUNISHMENT??

I am not a weak willed person, and I have a great tolerance for pain, but if someone asked me to murder their dog to get rid of my pain, I would have given it some serious consideration. Ok, may I wouldn’t have murdered the dog, but I probably would have kicked it and called it a name. And by kick, I mean gently push aside with my foot. Cause I’m a sucker for pups. And a pain pussy apparently. It sucked in ways that my past suckiness had not yet achieved.

I woke up with a pain hangover. It was a dull thudding reminder of the night before that started in my belly button and rose into my chest. I was afraid to eat. Or breathe. Or move. I didn’t want to risk going through that again. Tim spent some time looking up different kinds of pain from bariatric surgery and couldn’t find anything that matched my pain exactly. The only thing I can imagine it to be was “dumping syndrome” but my understanding was that this only comes from overeating or overindulging in food you shouldn’t be eating. And I did NOT do that. However, if that is at all what dumping syndrome feels like, you can be guaranteed, Bariatric Demon, that I will be skinny forever, because there is no chocolate chip cookie or frothy latte worth that kind of pain.

Because of this little episode from hell, I was put on workout hiatus Saturday and I must say, I DID NOT like it. Back in the day, I would have feigned an infected hangnail or imaginary PMS to get out of working out, but now I enjoy it and I have been banned. In my own house. And it sucks. I got up and reorganized the house and moved pictures around and put away winter things, thinking it would cure me of that which ails me – the need for speed. Well, the whole 3mph on the treadmill kind of speed, but still. It sat there and leered at me like a forbidden mistress and I wanted to touch it. I wanted to feel it beneath me as I breathed heavy and sweated and got lost in the lust of the exercise of it all. Dirty treadmill sex, that is what this overweight exercise whore needed.

But like my love affair with all things chocolate, at least for that day, it was not to be. Because my body formed a mutiny attack on me, and I had to lie there and play dead for the day hoping it would sniff me, realize I’m wasn't moving and venture on.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Happy Birthday to Yoooouuuuu!!!!

I would like to wax philosophical for a moment, for today, is a momentus kind of day. My son, my baby, my last child has just turned double digits. The Big 1-0 people. And it makes me feel proud, and sad, and excited all at the same time. My children were born into a tainted marriage, but I have somehow managed to raise them with a filtered love full of possibilities and encouragement. I shield them from the things they are too young to understand, and this gives their hearts room to love unconditionally in all aspects of their lives. I shield them without blocking them, and I love them without impeding them. When they are happy I laugh with them, when they are sad I cry with them and hold them, when they are scared I protect them and when they are disappointed I remind them tomorrow is full of brand new possibilities. When they piss me off I remind them, Because I'm the mom and I said so!

My son, Sam is an incredible kid. He is handsome, first of all. Like, the kind of handsome that you just know could end him up on Sixteen & Pregnant if I’m not really, really careful. And he is smart. Like Rainman-Whoppner-is-on-in-five-minutes-i-don’t-like-Kmart-underwear smart. The kid can add like he sees calculators where most of us see trees. And he enjoys learning, which makes me even more proud as a mom. He is compassionate and kind (most of the time) and although he struggles with ADHD, there are these calm moments when he just looks at you and your heart instantly melts, and you can’t help but to fall in love with him. He is protective of his mama, annoying to his sister, endearing to small children and animals and the best son I ever could have hoped for. He is an athlete, and although he gets easily frustrated when he can’t instantly master something, he keeps going until he knows he is doing his best. Thus far, I have had the honor of watching him play football and basketball, and the intensity and the heart that he puts into it when he is playing is second to none. Oh, and he’s GOOD. Like mama might be able to buy a new house instead of pay for college because he could get a scholarship, good.

Sam is the kind of kid who will frustrate you to the point that you wonder if there is any way any child could possibly have any less common sense. He will leave wrappers and crumbs all over the kitchen no matter how many times you remind him to clean it up. If you ask him to throw something out, he will take it to the next room and leave it just out of your sight. He likes to jump out of dark corners to share the bejesus out of his sister and then laughs. He gets in trouble at school sometimes for the most ridiculous things, like smacking his sister in the back of the head in the lunch line because she told him the 6th grade girl that likes him must be mental. Or he gets in trouble for things like having to be the loudest person in the room and talking over people. I mean, really, he is 10. And a boy. ‘Nuff said. He is dirty, at times smelly, always messy, and always way too loud. But he is MY son. And I love him more than I love to breathe. He is mine.

The aforementioned sister - WORD!

Sam is a child that was never supposed to exist (thanks to Cervical Cancer when I was 22) and he was a child I never knew I wanted. But from the first time I saw his angelic and beautiful face, I couldn’t remember what my life was like before him.

He makes me crazy, and frantic, and happy, and amazed every day. I have no doubt he will grow to be an incredible young man. And if he ever loves another woman even remotely the way he loves his mama, she will be a lucky woman. So, to my amazing son, I love you. Happy 10th Birthday to the most incredible little man I know.

(PS. He probably won’t see this for like, weeks, because mom and Tim got him a PSP for his birthday and he has entered another dimension. Hopefully somewhere in between his MLB virtual playoffs and his NCAA Football game, I can get him to take the earbuds out long enough to read this!)

The Man, The Myth, The Video Game Player - and the Birthday Boy!

Who da man?? I da MAN!! (Well, (wo)man, but still!)

Every morning as I pass the treadmill with my tablespoon of egg white and sad little cup of yogurt, I grimace at the treadmill. I watch the clock intently knowing that soon, very soon, I am going to have to get on that thing and find new and sparkly ways to pass the time spent with that plastic monstrosity. The treadmill is the fat persons version of a dope dealer. You walk up to it carefully, cautiously, and look around to make sure no one is watching as you trepidaciously step onto its rubber mat and reluctantly push START. Your legs start to move and before you know it, you’re smoking a joint…ahem, walking on the treadmill. The first few times, you feel like it’s not a big deal. You could start or stop this at anytime, but then….then… find the program button. Little preset workouts designed to challenge you and kick your ass, and before you know it, you’re on the machine. And you like it. And you don’t care who sees you doing it. There is no turning back.

Throughout the years, I have not been able to master the treadmill. I had never tried a “program” or inclined anything past the “oh shit I’m walking parallel to the wall” phase, but today my friends, I ventured. And it was joyous.

My previous attempts usually involved walking at ground level, no faster than 2.5mph on a good day. Usually about 20 minutes was my ADD max, sometimes 30 if it caught me on a good song or two while listening to the radio. Today however, I decided to try that sneaky little button full of inclines and declines, speed increases and decreases, and for a moment…i. thought. i. would. DIE. But I didn’t. At 3.0mph on a 5.0 incline, my legs started to feel a little shaky, I was sweating in places I was sure I never cleaned, and my ears were ringing. My ass was jiggling so hard I’m sure it looked like it was standing almost still. But then, my calves numbed a little, the sweat started to smell like victory, and as I went faster and higher and my heart beats faster and faster, I am releasing all these crazy things called endorphins, and I realize….I’m happy. Just pure, unadulterated, children on the swings on the playground with the wind in their hair, HAPPY. I finished the entire 30 minute workout. I burned 200 calories, walked 3200 steps, 1.4 miles and I got off of that thing and jumped around in jubilation like Rocky! I realize to avid treadmill enthusiasts this sounds like childs play, but to someone like me, it was like winning the Stanley Cup. Or putting down the Ben & Jerry’s after a spoonful. It was momentus.

I even ran for a short time. Ok, so it was more like a gaited limp, and it only lasted a minute, but it was a run just the same.

And, although I should have collapsed into a heaping mess of sweat and cellulite on the floor, I feel AMAZING. I never thought I would say this, but I can’t wait to do it again.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Don't Rain on My Pureed

My bariatric surgery was not the warm, fuzzy, “I will hold your hand and walk you through this” kind of doctor, and he didn’t have to be, because he was just that good. His reputation and his success rate allowed him to be the coldest, most heartless human being in the universe because his results spoke for themselves. I could totally picture him with perfectly coiffed hair and a bad ass tan, strutting around on Greys Anatomy with his “I am gonna be the new chief, perform all the best surgeries, and bang all the hot young interns” arrogance. The day he came in for the initial consultation, he managed to speak to a room filled with fat people and not once make eye contact. When I went in for my pre-surgical consult, my husband and I sat there in uncomfortable silence as he wrote down pages full of info about me (which I found strangely amusing since he didn’t KNOW me!), tapped on my abdomen a few times, quickly pointed out that the incisions would be here, here, here and here without actually looking at my abdomen and then ran out of the room. I’m pretty sure he a narcissistic sociopath with a genius IQ who still thinks girls have cooties but I didn’t care. He got the job done.

One of the incisions I have is directly below my boob. Anyone that knows me, knows it took some assistance to make this incision. One to hold the boob (what a tough job!) and one to make the incision and insert the scope-like thingamabob. Now, at the the risk of sounding conceited or full of myself, I am just going to take a minute to point out that 35 years, two kids, and extra weight have not diminished the bad assedness of my rack. They are pretty fantastic. Which is WHY I am telling you this story about my surgeon.

The morning after surgery he came in wide eyed, with a grin from ear to ear, to see how I was feeling and I swear on everything holy, he never once looked at my face. He focused intently about 6” south of my eyes the ENTIRE time. It was a little disconcerting and wee bit creepy, yet oddly flattering at the same time.

If I had known all I had to do to get him to warm up and seem mildly approachable all those months before surgery was give him a view of the goods, I would have attended all of my meetings topless.

In any case, I had my one week check on Wednesday and everything went off without a hitch. She said I am rocking the recovery process and far exceeding their expectations. She warned me against overdoing it and burning out, and most importantly (and I never thought I would be happy about this), she told me I could eat pureed foods!! I know that in general it sounds gross, but pureed tuna or chicken is still a cut above protein shakes and pudding cups all day. Plus I can have scrambled egg whites and mashed potatoes and some veggies! It’s food Nirvana for this eating impaired fat girl.

After time, does my food cherry grow back? When my year sentence is up, and I can partake in a lovely cheeseburger or a small order of fries once again, will it hurt? Will I feel dirty after? Do I have to bring protection? It’s been a long time since I’ve been a food virgin. I hope I remember how to do it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

You Drive me Crazy (whoo whoo)

Let me just say, as much as I miss living in the city and being close to stores and my family, I do NOT miss the aggressively driving MORONS on the road. And I have a special burr in my ass today over a very specific driver that brings out the road rage in me like no other. I am talking about the bleached blonde soccer moms in their Lexus and BMW SUV’s who think they own the road. Let me break it down for you.

These Starbucks-venti-non-fat-double-foam-triple-shot-caramel-macchiato drinking, cell phone talking, Juicy pants wearing, oh-so-2008 UGG boot wearing, soccer moms drive with the intelligence of a cracked out monkey in a shit factory. They pay attention to nothing and no one around them and act like our measly American cars are not worthy of being on the road they drive on.

The swerve from lane to lane, don’t realize their mirrors are for anything other than applying lip gloss, and generally assume that we all got the memo that there is a sale at Christopher & Banks or Black & White that they MUST get to, and we should all put our plans on hold until they get to mall, take up two parking spaces, and walk through the stores with their oversized Gucci knock-off sunglasses still on as if they are avoiding the paparazzi.

Most of these women are stay at home moms, with school age children, who spend their days getting mani/pedi’s, have housekeepers, make morning trips to the gym just so they can show off their new Yoga pants, walk the treadmill for 10 minutes and walk out with a protein shake. Not to mention they show up to the gym with fully coiffed hair and a full face of makeup with no intention of breaking a sweat. It’s the N.Y version of the Desperate Housewife. And she pisses me off.

Because generally, when I am on the road, I am a pretty gracious driver. I do the speed limit, I stop fully at stop signs and wave people through if there is any conflict as to who should go, I obey cross walk laws, and when I am on the thruway with a destination in mind, it is with the understanding that all the other drivers on the road have a destination as well and we all want to get there in one piece and not get cut off by some high maintenance house whore on her way to get her eyebrows waxed.

So, SUV driving mom of two with a bad root job and an attitude, let me give you fair warning. When you meet me, I may seem like I am a pleasant person with a sparkly pink aura, but if you cut me off on the I-390 one more time, I swear on everything holy, I will sneak into your bedroom while you sleep, steal all your Juicy Couture, cut up your credit cards, cover your UGG’s in dog shit, and fire your housekeeper. Don’t make me go all inner-city ghetto on your suburban ass.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

So I have apparently pooped out all of the rainbows and sunshine that followed this surgery and now all I am left with is a stinking pile of dung. This “liquid diet” thing sucks. Big time. It’s like a bee sting on your ass when you are in the middle of nowhere and there are only strangers around when you need someone to slap mud on it to draw out the stinger. Yeah, it sucks that bad. The surgery itself - fantastic. The immense weight loss - BONUS! Not being able to eat - Sucky McSuckass. I am at the point where I don’t even want to hear how it will get better or how it will all be worth it. It’s like telling a club hopping drunk who has just left rehab that it will be the bees knees to always be the designated driver. Bullshit.

I will admit I have had a couple “what was I thinking” days. What have I gotten myself into? This isn’t a haircolor I can wash out. This. Is. It. I can’t undo it or change my mind just so I can fill an urge. I can’t wake up one day and say I am going to have a “cheater” day and go out for burgers. This is the real deal. This is food rehab and I am detoxing like a mother fu**er. I lie in bed sometimes CRAVING food that doesn’t come in a bottle and I feel physically ill. And I cry. And I hate myself for having to take such extreme measures. I am overwhelmed and I never anticipated it would be this bad. But it has confirmed that I am, in fact, a food addict. It shames me to even say it out loud. There have even been occasions where I was willing to undergo “dumping syndrome” and deal with the consequences just so I could have some chips or some SOLID FOOD!!!!! I know this won’t last forever. I am not an unintelligent person. I GET that in time things will go back to normal and I will learn to deal with food in moderation, but right now, that day seems unreachable. I keep thinking if I can just get to next week when I can have eggs and tuna again, it will hold me over for awhile until I can move to soft foods. But even that will get old after a week.

If I lived alone, this might be easier. I wouldn’t have to cook meals for my family that I can’t eat and be within inches of the taunting smells of normalcy. I wouldn’t resent my husband and want to punch him in the face everytime he scarfs down two plates full of food at dinner and a late night snack and never gains a pound. They told us before surgery that we will grieve food and it will greatly resemble the Five Stages of Grief. And I remember thinking…um, ok, that’s just pathetic. It’s just food. Well guess what? Color me pathetic, because I am grieving the loss of food. When reading on the five stages of grief it is defined as such:

The grief that follows such a loss can seem unbearable, but grief is actually a healing process. Grief is the emotional suffering we feel after a loss of some kind. The death of a loved one, loss of a limb, even intense disappointment can cause grief.

If that isn’t a feeling I am experiencing, then I am at a loss for any other word to describe it. You don’t think it’s possible to feel something as immense as grief over food, but I let me be the first to tell you, it’s real and true and painful. Find something you love more than anything (in non-human form of course) and just STOP doing it for a week. It sounds easier than it is.

It is said that the first stage of grief is Denial and Isolation. At first, we tend to deny the loss has taken place, and may withdraw from our social contacts. This stage may last a few moments or longer. I’m gonna place my bids on LONGER, thank you very much.

I already find myself wanting to isolate myself from social situations because I feel like everytime someone sees me they are going to expect these extraordinary results. I fear feeling overwhelmed and left out of situations where food and alcohol are involved. I don’t want to be resented for stealing the limelight when other things are going on because people are so curious about how things are going. I want to go into hiding like an ousted constestant from the Biggest Loser and not come out until there is flattering lighting, a makeup artist, a hairstylist and I have lost all my weight.

I deny to myself that I really feel this bad. I mean, no one can be this upset over food, can they? I deny that I am over obsessing about calories and exercise already because I just want to lose this weight already!! I deny my ability to manage my food and my weight once I reach my goal weight and can enter the land of the living again. I find comfort and safety in the borders of this first year because the rules and the lines are very clearly defined by my doctor and the plan I am on. After that, I have to figure out a lifestyle that works for me and we have all seen how well that has worked in the past.

I paddle frantically down this River of de-Nile looking for life, looking for support, hell even looking for a rock to crash into so I can stop paddling and just take a look around. I just need one minute to stop and appreciate the beauty behind what I have done for myself. I need a moment to stop self sabotaging and start loving myself again (if I ever really knew how). Maybe spending all this time harping on these things is helping me realize the issue, deal with the issue and find a solution. Only the last 4 stages of grief will determine that.

So, as my first step, I say to the world….

Hello, my name is Lisa and I am a food addict.

*HI LISA!!!!*

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sleeping with the Frenemy

My anesthesiologist absolutely rocked my world. Not only did he give me happy juice before they sliced and diced me, but he made sure the cocktail he gave me didn’t make me nauseous when I woke up from surgery. He had a nice smile, and a pleasant sense of humor, and he told me the greatest story the day after my surgery. He came in to check on me after the morning of my surgery to see how I was doing.

Anesthesiologist: How are you doing today?

Me: I’m good and you are AMAZING!

Anesthesiologist: That is because you are AMAZING! (See, he knows this already, and this is why we bonded)

Me: I haven’t had any nausea and I don’t know how you did it, but I am totally sending you a Christmas card.

Anesthesiologist: *laughs uncomfortably* So, what is the last thing you remember before surgery?

Me: You telling me you are giving me “happy juice” and me telling you I *heart* happy juice and then I floated off to never, never land where I was the Queen of Sheba and you were all my minions.

Anesthesiologist: You don’t remember the ride to the OR? Or anything about the surgery?

Me: Not at all. Was I awake or something during the surgery? Are you afraid I might sue? Because I can totally come up with false memories like no other.

Anesthesiologist: Not at all. But you were able to get onto the surgical table by yourself, and you were talking to the nurses about your tattoos because they all loved them, and you were telling us all about your kids. You were speaking in full sentences and making total sense.

Me: Damn, I even rock when I am subconsciously unconscious.

Anesthesiologist: Indeed you do.

My awesomeness is now exceeding the limits of rural Perry. How cool is that? If those aren’t the skillz of a true ninja, I don’t know what are.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Everybody Poops (or at least the ones that eat solid food)

I vowed to share the trials and tribulations of this journey in its entirety and with the utmost honesty so bare with me on this embarrassing little field trip.

Picture this….it is 5 days post surgery and I have been devoid of the ability to perform a regulatory function in my life. At the risk of offending anyone, I haven’t “dropped the Cosby kids off at the pool” since the day before surgery and it began to worry me. First I thought, surely it can’t be good to be harboring 5 days worth of poop in your intestines. Second, I wondered how much extra weight I was hauling around in my bloated, extended poop filled belly. Out of pure panic (and a little vanity), I decided to take an Ex-Lax. And it worked. Oh, how it worked.

When I finally took my spot on the pot with a People magazine and a fresh roll of Scott toilet paper, I was ready for some marathon poopin’. I was willing to let my feet go numb, sweat and cry, and push till a staple popped out. When I was barely conscious, and sure I had gotten it all out it was time for the clean up. Therein lied my WTF moment for the day. Don’t you hate when you push and squeeze and sweat and work only to have an entire TURD left in your ass?? And you know what I am talking about. It’s the one that takes an entire roll of Scott 1-Ply 1000 sq ft. roll of TP to clean out. The toilet is exhausted and refusing to flush, you’re getting dizzy from the fumes, and you are pretty sure that one more wipe will ignite your ass crack on fire. Don’t pretend it hasn’t happened to you.

Nevertheless, the deed was done. And I was exhausted. And in need of a pain pill and a nap. Would it be sufficed to say that I was pooped out??? Or that it was a really crappy experience? This gives the phrase “I’m the shit” a whole new meaning. Ok, I’m done.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

You want to stick the thermometer WHERE?

So FYI – I LOVES ME SOME GAYS! I swear I was a lesbian (or at the very least, a super sexy transgender) in another life. My certainty comes from the fact that I am hit on by them all the time. It’s a strange phenomenon, and they seem to flock to me like bees to honey with the intention of converting me. I often wonder, if I ventured to the land of vag, would I be the lipstick lesbian or the don’tfuckwithmywoman lesbian? I think I would have to rock the trend and be the super fem, accessory whore lesbian who can also kick your ass while wearing 6” stilettos. And I’m not talking kick ass like, pull your hair and scream like a 10 year old. I’m talking, punch you in the face and take you out!

When I was in the hospital my “Patient Care Tech” (short for, I was too lazy to actually BECOME a nurse), was a lovely lesbian. She was the butch kind, with the short buzzed hair, tongue ring, bad ass tattoos and gorgeous eyes who started all her sentences with Dude, and I’m-For-Realz. And she liked me. Like, let me take your temperature and blood pressure as often as possible so I can be near you liked me. She kept telling me how pretty my eyes were, and how much she loved my tattoos and about the gay bars she had visited the night before (thank God she wasn’t taking my blood or removing an organ from me!), just so I would know she was indeed, a lesbian. If she could have clothed me in rainbow shirts and got matching BFF bracelets to wear when I left the hospital, she totally would have.

And while I straddle the penis filled side of the fence, it’s always nice to have options. Who doesn’t like to feel pretty, even if the pitcher giving them throws for the other team?

And now, the song on repeat in my head is, I feel pretty, oh so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and GAY!

Dude, that is off the chain – for realz.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The First Cut is the Deepest (baby, I know!)

Sometimes trying to be what everyone expects of you turns out to be the most exhausting task of all. Set aside the months of pre-surgical training, or the surgery itself, I am talking about the expectations I have of myself when that is all over. When I am home and thankful to have made it through, I feel like I owe it to the people that believed in me to give 110% all day, every day. Yesterday I came home and immediately started to pick up around the house. I wiped down counters, put stuff in the dishwasher, emptied my hospital bag, switched the laundry, went through the mail and took a walk with the dogs. When I came home, I napped for a couple of hours, and awoke (very reluctantly) because I felt like I should be doing something else. So I updated my Facebook status, fed my virtual pets, folded a couple loads of laundry and took another walk with the husband and kids. When I came home I showered and it felt wonderful. But then…..then, I just shut down. I was just exhausted. I sat there in my yoga pants and bra with my head in my hands, and had a good cry for a couple of minutes. It was at that moment that I realized I need to work at a pace that I am comfortable with, and stop trying to be super woman. I don’t have to pretend that it doesn’t bother me to watch everyone else eating steak and potatoes while I sip a 4 oz. sugar free meal replacement. I don’t have to make myself do things I’m not ready for just to prove how strong I can be. This is going to be a long journey, and the faster I go, the more behinder I will get. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

It is a little harder than I thought it would be, if I am being perfectly honest. The smell of the food and the sight of people eating food, makes me a little sad. I know in the long run this will all be worth it, but getting through this initial adjustment period is a wee bit o’sucky. My belly feels full very quickly, but my heart still yearns for raisin toast and Whoppers. The surgery is like Ritulin for my Fat Girl ADD. It will take a while to kick in, but I know I can get there….one sugar free pudding cup at a time.

I realize this is a lame entry, and you probably expected some more of my half-witted humor, but unfortunately for you readers, the pain pills not only kill my pain, they dull my sense of humor. I promise to bring the funk and all that junk very shortly. Word to ya mutha.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kiss my fat ass! (Goodbye that is!)

I used to live in an emotional house of insanity and it was an insanity of my own creation, surrounded by vices and regrets. There have more days than I can remember when I felt completely out of control when it came to my mind, my body and my emotions. I secluded myself from a painful reality and often times, I felt very alone. I was getting older and fatter and unhappier and didn’t feel like I had the ability or the courage to change it. Many nights I went to bed hoping to fall into an unending and blissful sleep.

Then one day, I woke up and realized if I wanted my life to change, I would have to be the one to change it. I made a list of things I wanted to remember that would keep me positive so I could make better decisions. I remembered that the fact that I hadn’t given up or taken the eternal dirt nap means I am still here and able to change my course in life. The fact that I get to wake up everyday to watch my beautiful children grow and flourish meant that I should be grateful and remember that there are those who don’t have that opportunity. I have a home to keep me warm, people who love me, children who look up to me and a safe haven in the arms of a man who loves me unconditionally.

So, these are a list of some of the things I want to remember as I enter the hospital:

~ I realize that life is a school and I am here to learn. Problems are simply a part of the curriculum that will appear and fade away; the lessons I learn will last a lifetime.

~Life isn’t always fair, but it’s always good.

~Make peace with my past so it won’t affect my future.

~No one is in charge of my happiness but me!

~However good or bad a situation is, it will get better if you let it.

~Forgive everyone for everything because tomorrows are never promised.

~Remember I am too blessed to be so stressed.

~I vow to start this new chapter of my life as if it’s a clean slate. I will tell those I love how much they mean to me and I will be grateful for the goals I have achieved in the last six months.

For the first time in a long time, I’m not afraid. I made the scary decisions, took previously unwalked steps, and now I am on my way to something (hopefully) better. With the whisperings of a thousand “I love you”s” in my ear and the shoulder of the people I love to lean on, here is where the real journey begins.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm starting with the (wo)man in the mirror....

My ADD has had me asking the wrong questions all along, and this, I am convinced is why I am fat. Instead of asking questions like “what smells so good?”, “how many cookies can I eat without anyone looking?”, “is that a chocolate fountain?” or “why is she wearing those shoes with that dress”? (sorry, ADD moment), I should have been asking, what can I do still be able to love food, but in moderation so I’m not such a fat ass?

Maybe I should ask myself shallow, unimportant questions like:

What do I want?

Other than to be famous, rich and overall fabulous (check that off the list!), I want a great ass in a pair of size 8 jeans and a never drooping rack. I want to be the envy of at least one woman, and I want six pack abs that are used as the inspiration for infomercials.

How can I achieve that?

Gastric Bypass surgery (check), determination (check), plastic surgery, jeans that are a size 14 but have a tag that says they are size 8, a $38.00 wonderbra from Victoria’s Secret, one of those foam ab costumes people use when they want to portray a super hero at Halloween, OH! And a reality check!!

What can I do to maintain success after I have achieved that?
Never wake up apparently because these are things we can only dream of!

These thoughts and this silliness has been provoked by some ridiculous online, self help, get off your ass and do something, article I was reading that said you only have to ask the right questions in order to get the right answers that will lead to success. Well, la dee fucking da, why didn’t I think of this 15 years ago? It’s not like I never looked in a mirror and thought why am I fat? It’s not like I never realized the Cheetos, soda, chocolate and Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfaits were contributing to the ass dimples I was sporting under my Lane Bryant jeans. I wasn’t so blind to the fact that a couple kids, 10 years of depression, an overall state of laziness and idontgiveashit-edness and greasy pizza and wings a couple times a week spurred my never ending 15 year weight gain. It’s not that I didn’t KNOW, I just didn’t CARE. I never took the time to fix me, because let’s face it, sometimes it’s easier to stay broken and be able to whine about it. We all do it, I am just now brave enough to admit it. Had I whined less, ate better and got off my couch to exercise once in awhile I might not be staring down the barrel of a very fat gun, awaiting surgery in the hopes that this time, I WILL know better, and I WILL care enough to make different choices.

While I do realize we need to ask the questions before we can relinquish the answers necessary for success, I think it’s all in the timing and in our ability to see the reasonable results of the actions we take. I don’t expect to come out of this surgery with the body I had when I was 18 because I am pretty sure my 35 year old body ate that body quite some time ago. I realize I will never have flawless skin, free from “ass dimples” or stretch marks. I will never have flat abs or an ass that looks fantastic without the aid of the right jeans to give it a lift. It’s OK, really it is. I will be imperfectly perfect and happy to wear my loose skin on my thinner frame as a badge of honor. While I may be asking the questions a little late, and while I may have to pay a price for doing so, at least I am asking and answering and doing.

At this stage in my life, I will ask these questions again, and answer them with all honesty:

What do I want?

To live to see my children grow up. To decrease my chances of becoming another obese statistic. To lessen my chances of getting diabetes or dying young from a heart attack or stroke relative to my weight. To look in the mirror and be proud that I decided to finally do something for myself.

How can I achieve that?

By never forgetting the decisions I made that got me to this point. To live without regret and be happy with my end results.

What can I do to maintain success after I have achieved that?

Hold myself accountable to these words, these blogs, and these standards I have set for myself.

At the end of the day, it’s all about perspective.

Monday, March 15, 2010

At least he's pretty....

Picture this, it’s a Saturday night, it’s rainy and cold and Tim and I are cuddled on the couch watching a cheesy Jennifer Aniston movie and drinking wine. When the movie is over, and we are fairly intoxicated and weepy, we decide this would be the perfect time to have a heart felt conversation. We talk about life and insecurities and bad marriages and what we want from our future. Or at least, I do. Tim sits there with a sympathetic look on his face nodding in agreement and holding my hand. So I say to him:

Me: Do you have anything you want to say or share?

Tim: I am just letting you talk and listening to what you have to say.

Me: Ok, that’s very sweet of you, and I appreciate that, but do you have anything to add?

Tim: What do you mean?

Me: *an exasperated “are you fucking kidding me” look on my face”*

Tim: I love you.

Me: A conversation is between two people and includes equal dialogue. If the conversation only includes one person they call it schizophrenia and they take you away in a jacket that hugs you all day long and give you happy pills.

Tim: …….

My point exactly. And they wonder why 25% of marriages end in homicide. I don’t want to end up on Snapped in an ugly orange jumpsuit, using melted down pencil lead for eyeliner and raspberry jam for lip gloss. It’s like conversation intercourse, only wearing beer goggles and talking to someone who will not look pretty in the light of day....and sobriety.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

All you need is L.O.V.E

One of the biggest lessons I have learned in the last six months is how similar a motivator love and hate are, regardless of how different they are as an emotion. I find myself equally wanting to move forward to make this change by the people that love and support me as I do by the people who doubt me and want to see me fail. I find validation in the relationships I already knew were strong, and an almost amusing disbelief in the ignorance of people who I thought I could depend on. It amazes me how people react to change. People will say they “love you for you” until you decide that YOU want to change.

With that said, and in this moment of gushy Lifetime movie reflection I want to give a shout out (HOLLA!) to the people in my life who make this all possible:

Mom – I wish the universe were filled with mothers like you. There is nothing I can’t tell you, nothing I can’t come to you with. I feel like I got the best of both worlds when I got a best friend and a mother all mixed into one beautiful woman. You are my strength and my inspiration, the reason I strive to be better, and the one constant in my ever changing life. You give me the courage to make the changes, follow the dreams, and live this life. I love you doesn’t seem like enough, but regardless, I love you in the truest sense of the words.

Tracy – who would have ever thought we would go from fighting over clothes, shoes, hairspray and space to being best friends and sisters. I know that no matter what I do in life you have my back and I have your unconditional support. I love how we have grown together as women, mothers and wives. I love that when I am sad you will cry with me, when I laugh you will laugh with me, and when someone pisses me off you will plot their demise with me. You are a pillar of strength and a sister in the truest sense of the word.

Theresa – my baby sister, my gossip buddy, my stalker and one of the true loves of my life. You are such a beautiful woman and I can’t believe I am lucky enough to be here to watch you blossom and I am blessed that our bond is so strong that you come to me and trust my advice. I love that you are the baby, but when I am feeling down and need reassurance, I can come to you and you always make me smile. I love that when I think of soul mates, I think of my sisters. I love you and all of your quirkiness, your strength, your undying love and your dedication to our relationship.

“My Jenny” – You are my angel. We might as well have been sisters, because that is the bond I feel I share with you. I often wondered how it was that we weren’t close growing up and I think it was all a divine plan. I think God wanted to wait until we could be old enough to really appreciate each other. I hold a spot in my heart so separate and so treasured for you that no one can even come close to touching it. You are one of the most sincere, honest, compassionate, loving women I have ever met and the love I have for you is beyond words.

Jenn and Mel – My girls. My loves. My “chosen” family. Two of the strongest, most loyal and craziest women I know. I feel like we weren’t born to blood ties because what we have is so much stronger. I know that forever and always, you will be a part of my life and I will look to you for strength. I love you so much!

Ninja Wife (AKA Sarah) – what words can spoken for a person who just totally gets you? For someone who you can turn your filter off with and never feel an ounce of shame for the moments you share. Someone who will know when you need a hug without saying a word. Someone you can share your deepest, darkest secrets with and never feel regrets. Someone who understands you spiritually, intellectually and deeply. Someone you just feel cosmically connected to. You are my best friend and I love you for all of your advice, your support, your encouragement and your frequent ass kickings when I wanted to give up on myself.

My Babies – My life is worth nothing without you. You are the reason I get up in the morning and the peaceful dreams I have at night. You are the two best things I ever did with my life, the reason I don’t ever regret my past, and two of the most beautiful human beings ever to inhabit the earth. You make me so proud to be a woman and a mother. You consume my heart and my life and you make me proud everyday. Your unconditional love is unlike any I have ever known. You are my past, my present, my future and everything I hold dear. I love you with a ferocity that is unmatched and I am grateful to God everyday for granting me with your lives and your love.

My Husband – I don’t know what I ever did to deserve you, but the universe definitely rewarded me when it offered me your love and support. Your hand in my hand gives me strength to take each new step. When you look at me, I feel like you see into my soul. I love that you accept me at my best, and love me deeper when I am at my worst. You guide me through this maze with an intensity and a passion that fuels me and I love you for that. If it all fell apart tomorrow and I had nothing left but your love, I would die a happy woman. There are so few men left in this world that embody the generosity and the chivalry and the commitment that you possess and if I had to live every crappy day of my life over again to get to you, I would live it twofold. I love you Timothy Sinclair – Today, Tomorrow and Always.

To all the other key players in this drama that is my life, I don’t love or appreciate you any less if you weren’t listed individually. I just don’t think people want to read a War and Peace lovefest novel that will inevitably make them say AWWW and vomit in the same sentence. Just know that despite time, circumstance, distance or situation, I love you and I appreciate you. No matter what the end result of all of this is, I am sincerely one of the luckiest people I know to have so many people who love me so truly, and who support my dreams and aspirations.

With all of that said, this PSA (Public Service Announcement) was brought to you by my ever turning, emotionally charged, sometimes schizo, often disturbed mind. Thank you and have a nice day.

Full Butted Underwear and Skinny Jeans

I am having a lot of thoughts of how I will cope with not being fat anymore. I have been this person for so long now that it just feels like something I have always been. I don’t remember what it feels like to be thin. I have no recollection of my life before I had to work it around things like fitting into airplane seats, or being able to buckle seat belts, or being to take walks without feeling winded or having to wear full butted underwear. And what if I am one of those people who lose weight and lose their pretty? I am self sabotaging before the thinness has even happened and I hate that. I am spending hours online looking at peoples before and after pictures, wondering which end of the spectrum I will be on. Will I be one of these people with elephant-like loose skin that will require surgery or will I be someone with minimal loose skin that can be lived with for the sake of being thinner? It’s a sick obsession that I can’t walk away from.

I went shopping a couple of days ago and bought two REGULAR size shirts. They didn’t have a 2 in front of the size, there were no X’s on the label and I didn’t need a garbage bag to carry them home in. They were two very lovely, very normal sized cotton shirts that folded into perfect little squares and fit into an adorable little bag. And two of those beautiful, regular shirts cost me less than one of the plus size shirts I was used to buying. The purchase made me very, very happy and the thought of being wear them in the next few months made me realize that whatever happens after this surgery, my mind will adjust along with my body and I will simply make it work.

If I got that excited buying new shirts, can you even imagine (Like OMG, NO WAY!)what I will be like the first time I slip into a non-plus-size pair of JEANS? I mean, could you just die even thinking about it?? I am pretty sure that the day that it happens I am going to have to bring a spare pair of underwear with me (no full butted ones, thank you very much) because I am going to have a denim orgasm. And let’s not even get into talking about the shoes I am going to be able to buy because I’m not sure my heart can handle it. I hope my body is bangin’ after this because I am pretty sure I am going to have to take up stripping to support my shopping habit. I have already decided me and my ninja wife will be setting aside an entire day to go shopping for a dress for my sisters bridal shower. And you can bet my plus sized ass I will be trying on every single dress in the mall, which will be followed by trying on every single pair of shoes in the mall, and spending way too much money on a new purse just to top off the day. She better put on her comfy sneaks, bring a pillow for naps, and be ready for the Mannequin-movie-like parade of insanity!

I have carried around this fat persons persona for so long, and made it so much a part of who I am to myself and other people, that I can’t begin to form an image in my mind of who I want to be when this is all over. One thing I do know is that, despite what changes might occur on the outside, I will still be the crazy, loyal, loving, often too loud, sometimes obscene, trainwreck when I drink, accessory and shoe whoring person I always was on the inside. I will still get on your nerves, hug you a little too long, kiss you inappropriately when we see each other, and make dirty jokes to avoid awkward situations. I will still be me, just in a smaller package.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Skool Is Kewl

The kids are home from school today. It is another one of those “give the teachers off and raise your tax dollars” days that I appreciate so much. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and I kind of enjoy these sporadic days where we can sleep in on a non-weekend day and go out for lunch and watch movies together, but the problem is that these days are no longer sporadic. They seem to happen more and more often. I don’t remember having all of these superindentents-having-coffee-and-donuts days or all of these teachers-having-off-to-fuck-with-the-parents days. Since I’m on an employment hiatus, I don’t mind it so much but when I was a functioning member of society, these little field trip days really put a run in my panty hose. Not only did I have to either take the day off to stay home or find a sitter who could be paid enough to spend 9 hours with my kids, but it costed me more money that I already didn’t have. Teachers nowadays are wussies. You can’t look at them crooked without them thinking you are going to go all rogue on them and stab them in the eye. If kids speak a cross word to each other they act like it’s a homeland security issue. It’s a sign of the times when a good old fashioned ass beating behind the school at 3:00 between the pocket protector wearing nerd and the school bully is now a cause for expulsions and psychiatric reviews. Now I am not of the opinion that things don’t need a more watchful eye after the Columbine shootings and other such unpleasantries, but I AM saying sometimes they just take things completely out of context. But, once again I have rambled off course and I digress.

What I am saying is that education costs more, yet children are learning less. More and more children are dropping out of school, teenage pregnancy is on the rise, and teenage drug use is an epidemic more so now that it was 17 years ago when I was in school. (MAN, I’m old!). My point is that maybe if the kids were in school more and getting less vacation days, snow days, just-because-we-don’t-want-to-look-at-you days, and friggin’ superintendent days they wouldn’t have so much time to get in trouble, knocked up and stoned to the point that they can’t even get the 200 points for spelling their names right on the SAT’s.

This isn’t a we had it so much harder than these whipper snappers stories - I DID NOT walk 5 miles, uphill, in a snow storm with no shoes and the wind always in my face like my fathers before me. I simply went to school. I went with headaches, cramps, stomach aches, the sniffles, and once I am pretty sure I had a case of the swine flu before it was popular. They didn’t close school because of any silly wind chill factors, and unless someone actually got frost bite and lost a limb, they didn’t give a shit how many feet of snow were on the ground. If the bus could make it you, you could make it to school.

Superintendents actually did their jobs during school hours and teachers got this great vacation package called:

~10 days of for Christmas, Hannakuh, or whatever religion prompted 10 days of reflection

~MLK day, Presidents day, Voters day, Labor Day, Memorial Day and Christopher “the world really is round” frigging Columbus day

~Toss in a couple “spring breaks” and we’ve got ourselves a party.

And don’t get me started on the two and a half months of summer vacation.

Teachers and educators, I realize you work hard, regardless of all your Margeritaville Fridays, but if I am paying for these so called “superintendents days” I think I should be in on it or you should refund me some of my tax dollars. I’m just sayin’.

Does this blog make my ass look fat?

I’ve become a blog stalker. Moving from blog to blog, laughing, crying, WTF’ing and sharing the really funny ones with my husband, who has the funny bone of an 80 year old. After reading a particularly funny blog I say to my husband:

Me: This shit is ridiculously funny, don’t you think? (I may have said “ridonkulous” but for all intents and purposes we will pretend I said something less douche-like)

Tim: Yeah, that was a good time (only he didn’t say it quite so cool, but no one wants to be admit their spouse still says things like “rad” or “awesome”)

Me: It makes me rethink the direction of my blog because I want it to be something someone wants to read as much as I want to read these other blogs.

Tim: Your blogs are good. People will read them. (thanks for the enthusiam)

Me: So, you are saying if you were sitting reading my blog and this “Madame X” blog, you would go back and read mine instead of hers tomorrow.

Tim: ……..

Me: ahem, Tim?

Tim: I would read your blog honey.

Translation: I am going to say whatever you want to hear because I really enjoy seeing you naked and I would hate to never touch your boobs again. Isn’t false truths and superficial lies really what marriage is all about anyway? Being the go to person for your spouse when they need an ego boost, or being the person to tell your wife her ass doesn’t look fat in those jeans, or for you to say “of course it’s the biggest I have ever had”. They should switch the wedding vows from “to love, honor and obey” to “to put up with, tell you shut the hell up with love in my eyes, and lie to make you feel better about yourself”. Maybe more marriages would last longer. If I could rewrite my vows now that reality, and the 15 extra after the wedding dress comes off pounds, have set in they would read as such:

"I vow to restrain from punching you in the head when you make a stupid comment about my love for reality TV shows and my ability to score the hot, 20-something year olds on them. I vow to clean the house when I am damn good and ready, wash your skid marked underwear twice a week and occasionally get naked and put out without asking. I promise to laugh at your jokes when you are feeling down, tell you that you are the best I ever had, pretend not to notice when you “readjust” yourself in public and stick up for you even when I know your wrong (so I can hold it over your head later, but still)."

At the end of the day, isn’t this really what love is all about?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Devil is in the details...and the Devil, is chocolate.

The definition of the phrase “the devil is in the details” reads as such: All of the meanings for the term boil down to the fact that it is often the small details of something which make it difficult or challenging. These details can prolong a task, or foil an otherwise straightforward dealing. Like many proverbs which involve the devil, it is meant to sound a note of caution. It may also be used to excuse or explain the obfuscation of an otherwise very simple project or task.

The devil in this scenario – chocolate. The small, inadequate detail that affects me is my inability to stop eating it. It prolongs my quest towards weight loss and non-fatassedness. The note of caution comes by turning it over and reading the caloric intake and inordinate grams of fat in one beautiful, dark, almond (or peanut butter) filled bar of joy. It is a convenient excuse for why I can’t button those pants or wear that shirt. It is my arch nemesis and we have an ongoing love/hate relationship no matter how hard I try to end things. I try to break up with its melting, gooey goodness by telling it hurtful things, like I’m seeing someone else (broccoli) and he is so much better for me (lies) and maybe us ever meeting was a mistake (the only mistake being that we didn’t meet earlier in life). Everytime I break off a square of a Hershey’s bar with almonds and pop it into my mouth, it is like that first kiss with a person you never would have kissed without beer goggles. When the bar is gone and all that is left are tiny slivers of left over shavings on the bossom of my shirt, it’s like the morning after you sleep with someone and instantly regret it. You feel dirty, and bloated and inexplicably in need of a shower. You swear you will never eat (drink) again, but the next night you find yourself shamefully unwrapping the silver foil, promising to eat just one square, and inevitably reliving the Coyote Ugly moment and find yourself waddling the walk of shame as you walk the empty wrapper to the garbage.

Chocolate for me is equivalent to that guy you just know is bad for you, but that you still want to call and hook up with. You know it’s going to end badly, but you want just one more moment together. You will spend days, sometimes weeks, reliving the act and wondering why you are so weak, but when the sugar hangover fades, you find yourself dialing that number again. I can’t prove it in any scientifically relevant way, but I am pretty sure that the really good chocolate (ie. Godiva, Ghirardelli) is laced with cocaine. Nothing that tastes so good and should be eaten in moderation should be so bad for you.

Once the surgery is over and I can no longer eat chocolate, is it going to be that awkward silence that you experience when you run into an ex with his new (hotter) girlfriend? Do we pretend we didn’t see each other and look the other way, or do we say hello and pretend it doesn’t hurt to see someone eating the love of my life. (Man, that sounded wrong on so many levels, but I am going to stay on course with this.) Do we sneak sideways glances at each other and relive better (albeit fatter) days? Or do we just walk away and be happy with the memories of the way things were?

Memories……only chocolate covered memmmmooorrriiieeessss…….sorry, I had to go there. Fat girls ADD and all.

Seven more days to surgery. Seven more days to have my “Fatal Attraction” style romance with my dirty, secretive lover. Seven more days to sneak in one last bar, one last syrupy kiss, and one last wobble of shame. Goodbye chocolate lover, it’s over. I am holding you back from all the other lives you could be ruining. If the phone doesn’t ring after next Wednesday it’s probably me. *whispers I love you* as I walk away…..

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

35 is the new 21, or something like that...

When the reels of the past run through my mind, I have to wonder why I chose to live my life in reverse order. While most people today are just getting married at age 28, I had already been married to my first husband for six years and had two kids. At the age I am now, most women are still considered "new brides" and they are toting diaper bags very much unlike my knock off Coach bag. The old 22 year old me was walking down the aisle in a wedding dress, rather than strutting into the hottest club in a mini dress. I wonder to myself, sometimes out loud in the presence of strangers, what would I do differently? And the real, honest answer is...nothing. Everything from my past brought me to my future, and the place I am now isn't such a bad place to be. I would still have gotten married, because when I made that choice I did it with love and committment. Things may not have turned out the way I had planned, but he was still my best friend and he gave me two beautiful children. I wouldn't go back and have decided to wait to have kids, because if I had I might not have had them. Cancer would have taken them from me, and my life would most certainly be incomplete. I love that I am young enough to enjoy my children and, at the same time, be able to remember the crap I pulled at their age so I am always one step ahead of them. I love that because my first marriage failed, I was able to define what I truly wanted from a spouse, and then I was lucky enough to find it. I love that despite my mistakes I have learned to love myself, and find peace within myself. I love that I learned to forgive. Forgiveness was the hardest and most treasured lesson I learned. I spent a lot of time blaming others for my unhappiness, but when I walked past a mirror and took a good, hard look at myself, I was able to absorb some of the blame and become someone entirely different than I had known.

As I have gotten older I have learned how important it is sometimes to shut your mouth, open you ears, and try to appreciate what someone else has to say even if you don't agree with it. I have learned patience and I have grown a deeper appreciation for the people who have stuck with me through this learning process. I have learned that sometimes the hardest part of letting go of the people who poison your life is because your love for them, and your belief in them, wants to keep holding on.

Most importantly, I have learned to appreciate and understand that you never get everything you want from life because sometimes you're given what you need and that is enough. You learn to love qualities in people that always seemed secondary to the qualities you thought you were looking for. You appreciate simpler things, like waking up to the sun shining on your face, or the unexpected hug from someone you love. I've learned to look at things differently. Every morning I get to open my eyes to the man I love, and kiss the children I've given life to and I feel like the luckiest person on earth.

I've learned not to miss an opportunity to tell the people who mean something to me that I love them, even if it sometimes seems awkward and out of place. I've learned to tell people I appreciate them more and praise them for their efforts rather than defeat them with their mistakes.

I've learned. Everyday I learn more about myself and it helps me to accept my flaws and shortcomings and physical imperfections. I've lived my life in reverse chronological order according to the rules of society, but I believe I have lived it exactly as it was meant to be lived.

Monday, March 8, 2010

You say Goodbye, and I say Hello

Deciding to live differently, eat better and lose old habits is very similar to going through detox and somedays I feel like I have been through the longest intervention ever. I am finding more and more everyday that people who truly love you and support you, will stick around even when you try to become something drastically different than what they are used to. It's one of those "you find out who your friends are" moments and it's something you never forget. I feel no shame in the decisions I have made because I own them. I take accountability for my shortcomings and my indiscretions in all areas of my life. I am a flawed woman, I've traveled down the road less traveled, I've loved and lost and hurt, and then I've picked myself up, dusted myself off and moved on. My heart and my mind will remain strong but my body will change.

I say goodbye and farewell to being the "fat friend", the "pretty face if you would just lose the weight" girl, and the lonely, sad woman who binge eats alone to hide her pain and frustration. Adios to late night ice cream, pants that hurt to sit in, oversized shirts that hide my belly fat, high heel shoes I can't wear because my ankles hurt from balancing my weight on them. Ciao to days spent hating myself and the way I feel, to never wanting to get dressed up to go out because I felt so ugly, to always feeling like the odd man out when out with my thinner, prettier friends. Au revoir to feelings of inadequacy, low self esteem, and ever decreasing self worth.

Bonjour to taking my kids to the beach without fear of being harpooned. Guten tag to chasing my kids around the house without feeling winded and to embracing my husbands hands on my waist, rather than cringing and trying to suck in my gut. Aloha to long walks with the dogs without getting tired after going around the block, to walking up stairs without feeling like I need an inhaler, and to becoming a part of my life again.

To all the boys who thought they were taking one for the team by picking the fat girl, to all the exes who made me feel like I was worth less for being overweight, for all the mean girls and their rude "fat bitch" comments, and mostly to MYSELF for not realizing I was worth more than my outer shell, I give you the one finger salute with one hand and the peace sign with the other.

As I enter into this food rehab, I leave all my old vices, insecurities, jaded perceptions, faulty views and insecurities at the door. It's been a wild ride, but it's time to get out of the passenger seat, get into the drivers seat and take control of my journey.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

If Buttered Banana love is wrong, I don't want to be right. Oh wait, yes I do!

I realize you would never know it to look at me but I have severe food and texture issues. I do not like fish or seafood of any kind. I can’t eat cottage cheese no matter how much crap I add to it, because I cannot get past the fact that it looks like vomit and is essentially curdled milk. I always thought artichokes looked like slimy eyeballs so I never tried spinach and artichoke dip until recently (and we immediately fell in love). I never would have dreamed of someone making buttered bananas covered with Nutella and me falling in love with them, yet that is going to be my last cheater meal before surgery. Maybe this isn’t such a bad thing because it could have resulted in me going into surgery much bigger than I am now, but I think I will miss them most because I didn’t get real quality time with them. We never got any real time to bond and share in the joys of loose flowing shirts and elastic waisted cotton pants. Since I will never be able to eat these things again, I wouldn’t mind coming back as one of them in another life (except the cottage cheese of course).

I find myself obsessing just as equally over the foods I won’t be able to eat as I do about the foods I am going to have to learn to love for the rest of my life. I keep trying to repeat a qoute made by Kate Moss that says “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” but that bitch has obviously never tried a buttered banana/Nutella crepe washed down with a mimosa or two. I look at emaciated people like her and my inner fat girl wants to beat the crap out of her outer skinny girl. I’m just sayin’.

Having this surgery is like looking at a bad marriage and knowing that it is coming to an end, but feeling sad just as much as you feel relieved for it to be over. I will be signing over all parental rights of my plus size jeans and oversized shirts to my ex-fat girl self. I relinquish all visitation to Sunday afternoons spent with bavarian cream donuts and sugary, creamy coffee. We can, however, take 50/50 ownership over my body. I will keep the 50% that will be the thinner me and she can have the 50% of the fatter me. I think it sounds like a fair trade.

Yes, I will miss you buttered bananas, Nutella, spinach artichoke dips and of course, BREAD, but I feel it’s best we don’t see each other anymore. It isn’t you, it’s me. Or something like that.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I am a cleanaholic. I clean to the point of marital discord at times. It is a sickness that is inbred and has formed over previous generations and was reluctantly passed down to me. The older I get, the more I need things to be clean and in order. Now, don’t get me wrong….I’m not like Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets washing-my-hands-10,000-times-a-day crazy, but I may be close. If there was a Nobel Peace Prize for cleanliness as a disorder I would certainly be a front runner. I believe a clean house is a sign of personal pride. You will never visit my house unexpectedly and find it dirty…ever. You might find a couple piles of paper that my clutterbug husband has left laying around that I have yet to throw out without his permission, and occassionally you will find 2 hour dust, but dirty…NEVER.

I clean like most people show emotions. Sometimes I clean to release pent up anger and frustration, sometimes just because the sun is shining and it feels good to blare the radio, crack a window and clean my ass off, sometimes just because it just needs to be done, and sometimes because it’s just fun to dance around the house in my PJ’s dusting to the beat of the music and singing into bottles of Windex. If you were to ask my husband, he would probably say that sometimes I clean just to start an argument. I think his rationale is that I go overboard and clean just so I have a reason to yell at people for not picking up after themselves. If this is the case, couldn’t it also be said that he is trying to start a fight by not picking up his shit when he knows I will go crazy, psycho, PMS, crazy on him if I trip over his shoes one more time or have to scrub the glass rings off the table for the thousandth time? But, I digress.

Cleaning the house keeps my mind uncluttered and free to think of other things. Things like misspelled Craigslist ads that make me and my husband laugh when they say they want people skilled in electricity and “plumbery”, or when I read over his shoulder and mistake the words “bolt cutters” for “butt shackles”. I think about things like stupid girls who drive 88 impalas in the country with signs across their windshield that reads “I am THAT bitch” and it leaves me wondering all day what kind of bitch that might be? I think about people who leave the house to go to lunch wearing pajama pants. Would it have taken that much effort to run a brush through your nappy hair and slap on a pair of jeans? These are just a few of my favorite things…..

I like cleanliness. I like the smell of floor cleaner and furniture polish almost as much as I enjoy the smell of fresh baked apple pie. I have an obsessive personality. I am a perfectionist. I will get off the couch when I am covered up, cozy and dozing off to move a picture half an inch back into place. I realize this has no relevance in anyone elses world, but I enjoy thinking out loud and working through my issues in public. It is part of the insanity that is me, and I am ok with it, just as I am learning to become ok with so many other things about myself. Deal with it because maybe, just maybe I am THAT bitch!

Friday, March 5, 2010

I am irrationally afraid of walking up, down or away from dark staircases. Like, I run screaming under my breath like a nerd being chased across the playground by a fat bully. I usually hop into bed, breathing like a 600 pound sumo wrestler and Tim looks at me wondering what in hell I was just doing in the bathroom. Just for fun, I never tell him.

I have come up with a fool proof plan for never eating junk again. 1) I will somehow form a cult and suck in all the people I love, and brainwash them into thinking junkfood is the devil and if you eat it you will become fat, since no one seems to believe it no matter how big their waistline gets and B) I will hide all the junkfood in my house on a dark staircase since they scare the bejesus out of me and there is no way I would risk getting murdered on a dark staircase in my own house for an Oreo. Problem solved.

I keep trying to think back to where this started and I blame my dad. When I was, oh I don't know, 8 years old my parents let us watch the movie Carrie. In case you are wondering, he won the Parent of the Year award that year. Anyway, when the movie was over and I was pretending I wasn't scared as my bottom lip shook, my dad asked me to go in the DARK kitchen to get him a pack of cigarettes out of the drawer. As I did so, he yelled "WATCH OUT FOR THE HAND" (referencing the corpse hand that pops out of the gravel ground at the end of Carrie), and I jumped so high and screamed so loud that I am convinced it stunted my growth and is the reason I never grew over 5'4". I know, one has absolutely nothing to do with the other, but if I am placing blame, I am throwing in a couple of non-relevant things just for good measure.

When I was probably 11 or so, the Nightmare on Elm Street movies came out and for some inexplicable reason I was allowed to watch this too. To this day, that was still one of the scariest movies I have ever seen and Freddie Krueger still haunts my nightmares (or is it daydreams if we are being movie literate here?). In the house we lived in you had to walk through the entire house to access the back stairway that led to the bedrooms upstairs. There was no hall light, nothing to light the staircase, just pure darkness and you had to go on faith and hope Freddie wasn't coming up behind you. At the top of the stairs there was a wooden railing with a small walkway behind it that led to a door to the attic, and this my friend, was my arch nemesis all the years that I lived in that house. I was utterly convinced that Freddie laid in wait and was going to jump up and grab me with his sharp edged knifgers (knife fingers for those of you not proficient in the absurd). The only bathroom was downstairs which meant every night I would go downstairs, complete my business, walk back up the stairs groggy and shuffling my feet, but then remembered the imaginative serial murdererer hiding behind the railing and I would run up the last 5-6 stairs and haul ass to my bed, where I pulled the covers over my head in hopes that his sharp knifgers couldn't rip threw cheap cotton.

SO, to sum things up, the new plan for success is as such:

1) Form cult where junkfood is banned because ignorance is bliss

B) From here on in junkfood in any place I am in should always be stored in dark stairwells where I will never retrieve it for fear of being captured by the corpse hand in Carrie so Freddie can knife me to death.

Sounds foolproof to me.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I do not have fat person ADD….hey look, a cookie!

I keep trying to define who I am. Who am I aside from a wife, a mother, a friend and a daughter? What do I really want? I feel like making this decision to have weight loss surgery is giving me a clean slate. It is giving me a chance to start over and become something more. What can I contribute to the world? Is there something special about me that I am missing? What journey should I embark upon when I can no longer obsess over this surgery and my fat-ness? Everytime I think I have an answer to even one of these questions I am distracted with possible answers to another question.

For instance, as I type this, deep in thought and contimplation, an Oreo cookie commercial came on where the dad is trying to log onto Facebook to form some group that is “awesomer” than his 12 year old sons, and I stopped typing to watch it. Immediately I thought, “I haven’t had an Oreo in forever. Maybe I should have one before it’s too late.”. See, fat girls ADD. And this is why questions like “What will I be when I grow up?” are replaced with “Should I get dressed and go to the store for Oreos?”. The surgery has only made my food ADD worse because I keep thinking of all the things I may never be able to eat again. Let’s face it, whether you buy into the schtick that obesity is a disease, food to a fat person is nonetheless a lethal drug. No amount of reasoning or weight loss shows will ever fully deflate the urge to splurge. No threats of death or diabetes is enough to make us put down the Hershey’s bar and get on the treadmill. And although I feel the fear and I try really hard to do all the right things, I know that if it weren’t for this surgery, I would inevitably stay just the way I am. And so, with that said, while people think that eventually I will be able to eat sweeties and treaties again, the cold, hard truth is that I will have to abstain like a drunk needs to avoid the drink. Food is my drug, and I have to learn how to make it the thing that simply sustains me. Daily caloric intake for me will be the equivalent of a crack head taking methadone to curb the craving for something far worse. It’s a viscious cycle and it’s like ending a 35 year relationship with someone you loved more than anyone in the world.

Freeing myself from this addiction gives me the opportunity to open myself up to greater things that I could have been all along, had food not taken over every ounce of depression and insecurity in my life. It gives me a chance to answer the questions with honesty and without distraction. Some people think this surgery is the cowards way out, but I say I would only be a coward if I didn’t do it and allow myself to become something far more valuable than I have ever allowed myself to be.