Welcome to my less than perfect life!

Embracing the imperfections that make my life practically perfect in every way.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Change

First I want to thank everyone for their kind comments and encouragement.  Me being the technical genius that I am, I was writing replies to comments from my email to each of you.  But, it seems I can't do that.  So  just know that I had really kind and thoughtful things to say and so appreciate many of you sharing your own stories with me.

I had surgery on Wednesday and today is Sunday.  My wounds are healing at a championship rate and I am planning to return to work tomorrow.  Physically, I am surprised at how unbelievably I am doing.

Mentally, well, that's a bit of a different story.  I'm not going to lie to you folks.  Change.  Is.  Hard.  I mean, it's HARD hard.  There's a part of me, and luckily right now that part does not make up over fifty percent of me, that would have this stupid band yanked in five seconds flat if I could just for the love of all that is holy eat some freaking food and have a carbonated beverage.  Oh, Diet Coke, why have you forsaken me???

I am trying, really, really trying to trust in the process, though.  These first few weeks are the hardest, when it's all liquids and protein shakes and no chewing anything but gum.  In a few days, I'll be able to eat cottage cheese.  After that, I get to work in more and more regular foods.  I am planning to attend support group next week in hopes that some other people who have been successful will be there to remind me that I can make it through this.  That my tummy will not always feel so uncomfortable after drinking an ounce of water.  That my temper will not always be so short with my family because I AM FREAKING STARVING ON 300 CALORIES A DAY AND MY ONLY COPING MECHANISM HAS BEEN TAKEN AWAY.  That I will look up, sooner than I think, and be 25 pounds down and counting.

The inability to eat, however, has really helped me put into context how intrinsically linked food had become to my every activity.  The Mister and I have gone to a couple of movies which I felt only half hearted about because I couldn't have popcorn and diet coke.  We all went on a family outing today and I found myself trying to think of where we could go for lunch.  Even thinking about getting a sitter for the weekend, I can't help but wonder what we will DO if we can't eat out.

I guess what I am saying is if even one of you validates that I should just stay fat, I'm going for it!

Okay, maybe not, but I'm floundering a bit here.  I'm alive, but I'm floundering.  I'm trying...and, for now, succeeding.  Floundering, but doing it.  Staying on the wagon.  That's me.

All pats on the back welcome and I will be sure to return them once I emerge from sucking my thumb in the corner.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Anasthesia

Today is the day.  I am heading into surgery in a few short hours.  This is the first time I have been under anesthesia since I was a teenager.  I have had two c-sections, but I was wide awake and anxiously awaiting the babies that followed.  This time, I will be asleep.  And, with that, comes a slightly higher level of risk.

I fretted all night.  Not because I don't trust my surgeon (who, in case you are wondering, has never lost a patient), not because I don't think I'm doing the right thing, but because of that little sliver of a chance that something could go wrong and I never come back.  It's just that I've never had so much to lose.  This beautiful family... I couldn't bear to leave them.

I wrote The Mister a "just in case" email yesterday.  In it, I outlined my insurance coverage (in my house, I'm the one who keeps track of this stuff) and how I feel it would be wise to spend it.  I reminded him of what I would want, medically, in case of emergency and who to consult if he needs guidance.

I found that those topics weren't quite enough to satisfy my need to share information.  I needed him to know what I would want for him, for The Nugget.  And this is how I found myself crying big, fat tears in front of my computer screen at work.  The thought of him living a life in which I am not his wife, in which I am not The Nugget's mother,  it's more than I can bear.  Which, really, is why I am going under the knife in the first place.

But all of that is just in case, and I am planning on status quo.  And so, I'll see you on the other side.  Good energy, wishes of luck and prayers are welcome, though, to help ferry me over!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Elevensies

I have decided to tag myself from the great and wise Lucy the Valiant (who gave us permission to tag ourselves as she magnanimously decided to decline picking favorites and/or potentially annoying people).  If you don't know Lucy, you really should.  Go visit her site now.  This post can wait.  Because she?  Is awesome.  Kind and smart and funny and real.  You will love her.  I promise.

Okay, you back?  Well, then, let's begin, shall we?

The Rules

1. Post the rules.
2. Post 11 things about you.

3. Answer the questions the tagger asked you.
4. Write 11 new questions for those you tag.

11 things about me


1.  I met The Mister at the wedding of one of our dear friends.  We were set up by the bride and her      mother.  We will be married 11 years this Spring and I knew from the first day that he would be my husband; my only task was to convince him it was true.  Thankfully, I am very convincing.

2.  I have a tatoo of a peace sign on my right big toe.  I wish I could have it removed because I am convinced that one day my child will be covered in tatoos directly as a result of seeing this tatoo on me.

3.  I love to cook and clean.  Just not after working a full time job.  Generous benefactors welcome.

4.  I traveled to 11 countries in Europe over the course of one month after I completed graduate school.  I would SO love to go back.  It was such a long, relaxing time and such a wonderful learning experience.

5.  I can curl my tongue.

6.  I grew up on a hobby farm with some pigs, sheep, a turkey, some ducks, one horse, many rabbits, several cats and dogs.  I feel a nursery rhyme somewhere in there.  I loved the animals and talked to them all of the time.

7.  I have co-written a children's book which, in my free time, I need to try and get published.

8.  I was a vegetarian for many years.  Part of what influenced that was number 6 up there.  I can still remember the day when I was eating some sausage and the light bulb came on in my head - this is OSCAR!  He was our first pig who some friend of the family got won at a bar (?) and my family then inherited.  He lived in a dog house until he was too big.  He was my friend and we ATE him.

9.  I used to love Ben and Jerry's Peanut Butter and Jelly ice cream.  They haven't made it for years.  I still mourn.

10.  I have been at my current job for seven and a half years.  It's the longest I have held any job and quite a surprise to most everyone, including me.

11.  I alwasy make a wish at 11:11.  It's the same wish every time.  I wish for a long, happy, healthy life for me and my family.


11 Questions For Me



1. How many siblings do you have?  I have three step brothers and two half brothers.
 2. Coke or Pepsi? Regular or diet?  Anyone who knows me can tell you that I have a slight obsession with Diet Coke.  Best out of a fountain.  Next out of a glass bottle.  Finally out of a can.  Plastic bottle?  Not so much.
 3. What are you 3 favorite candies? Twix caramel candy bars, homemade buckeyes, Dots
 4. Are you a pessimist or an optimist? I used to be a pessimist but somehow, through all I have experienced in life, I have decided that optimist is really the only way to go.

5. If you went on Fear Factor would you rather eat blended cockroaches and stink bugs or lay in a coffin full of snakes? I guess I have to pick the snakes because I would know they aren't poinsonous and they are far preferable to eating any of the nasty stuff on those shows!
6. What is your biggest regret in your life so far?  This is a pretty heavy hitter, but, if I tell you my true heart, it is that I couldn't stay pregnant long enough to help my son grow and develop and become strong enough to stay with us once he was born.
7. The best concert you have ever been to?  The Mister and I like to go to DMB every year and it is always awesome.  We also saw Tom Petty once in a terrific thunderstorm and it was pretty amazing.
 8. What do you normally eat for breakfast?  Diet Coke and sausage biscuit from McDonald's.  But all of that has changed because I am currently on a liquid diet in preparation for Lap Band surgery to help with weight loss (and preparing to say goodbye forever to Diet Coke).
 9. Would you rather have a massage or a facial if you could only choose one?  Oh, massage.  I love them so much.  But, in fairness, I've never had a facial.
 10. Have you ever ordered something off an infomercial?  Yes.  Once I was at a conference in Park City, Utah.  I was sitting in the hotel room at night and saw some commercial for a bunch of exercise videos that I was sure would change my life.  I called and forked over the cash right then.  I used them a couple of times... 
 11. Which subject in school did you hate the most?  I hate to be cliche here, but math.  More specifically, Algebra.  I was not good at it.  I was in accelerated classes where it seemed all of my peers caught on easily which only made me feel worse.  I regret it, but once I was done with Geometry in 10th grade, I never took another math class!

11 Questions For You


As it turns out, I just realized I screwed up and answered the questions directed at Lucy and not the ones she directed at me.  I have granted myself, therefore, permission to cheat and pass the questions intended for me on to you!

1. If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?


2. What's your favorite smell?


3. If you had to choose 3 bands to listen to for the rest of your life, who would they be?


4. Chocolate Frosty or Vanilla Frosty?


5. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?


6. Ice or no ice in your drink?


7. If they were to make a movie of your life, who would play you?


8. Guilty pleasure food?


9. If you had to choose between having perfect health for the rest of your life or having an unlimited supply of money, which would you choose?


10. How would you describe yourself in 3 words.


11. Most important accomplishment you have done thus far in life.

I Tag

 
You!  If you're reading this, consider having a run at it.  It's pretty fun and makes for an easy and pleasant blog post.  And it's fun to find out these kind of random details about one another.













Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Heavy

In my mind I can still hear my step-father singing, a distant memory but sharp and clear, "Fatty, fatty two by four, can't get through the bedroom door!" while my cheeks blush red and tears sting at the corners of my eyes.  I want to ride on the bottom of the grocery cart.  Mommy always lets me.

"You're too big!" he says angrily, shoving the cart so that I hit my head on the underside of the basket.  I hold in the tears and climb off.  Abruptly, it seems, I am not a little girl anymore.  Nobody's pet or baby.  Just a fat...thing.  Not to be loved or held or cuddled, but to be ridiculed and teased and left out.

I was five.

My mother used to say it was baby fat.  "Leave her alone.  It's just baby fat.  She'll grow out of it."  Her words didn't matter, he teased me mercilessly.  I learned that eating was something that, though it felt good, I should be ashamed of.  Food became my shame, my friend, my foe.  My addiction.  I learned to hide it.

When I see pictures of myself at that age, I want to go back and pick up that little girl, barely rounded in the cheeks, and tell her that she is beautiful.  Not as a favor, but because she is.  Because she deserves to know that she is loved and that she should be loved.  And that, whether or not she is or will be overweight, she deserves the best that life that has to offer.

I see my step father differently now.  In his crude way, I really believe he thought he was helping me.  What he didn't realize was that he was taking an awkward phase of childhood and blowing it totally out of proportion.  That he took my self esteem and pushed and pulled and punched at it until it was so thin that the slightest touch could burst it like a bubble in the summer air.

To be clear, I don't blame him because of my weight.  That relationship was just the first knot in the string of bad experiences, poor choices and reinforcers of my negative self-image.

Thirty two years later, I still have the same twisted relationship with food.  I have a twisted relationship with my body.  I have said, jokingly, it might be easier if I were addicted to something like heroin.  I could quit it altogether and never look back.  Learning to moderate an addiction, well that is something different entirely.  When I was five, I was maybe 5 pounds overweight.  At age 37, I am 150 pounds overweight.

I can look at thin people and understand the biology of losing weight.  I know what healthy foods are.  I know what exercise is.  I even like these things.  What I don't understand is feeling full.  I don't understand a life in which food is not the constant background noise to my every waking moment.

I rarely eat out of hunger.  I eat almost purely from emotion, the equation going something like this:

I am angry = I need to eat
I am sad = I need to eat
I am happy = I deserve to eat
I feel uncertain = I need to eat

Next week, I am going to try and break the cycle.  I will go to a surgeon and he will place a band on my stomach.  He will build in the stop mechanism that I no longer have.  I will do this not because I want designer jeans or because I want to look prettier, though those will be happy side effects.  I will do it because that five year old girl deserves to live a long, happy, healthy life.  I will do it because her daughter deserves to have a mother who lives into old age.  I will do it because my knees hurt and my back hurts and my pride hurts every time I move. 

I will do it because I am worth it.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Few of my Favorite Things

To continue the theme of counting my blessing, I have received some wonderful gifts this Christmas season!  I thought, in case you needed to spend some cash, you might want to see what I found most worthwhile:

1.  Roomba - I love clean carpet.  I have two hairy dogs, two cats and a toddler.  Clean carpet is hard to come by.  When my husband cleans this guy out, I can just hit the button on the way out the door for work in the morning.  Voila!  Continuously clean carpet.  My feminist, 18-year old self would probably punch me in the eye for wanting this gift.  The pushing-40 version of me LOVES it.


2.  Dansko Clogs - here's something else the 18-year old me would probably hate.  The pushing-40 me needs some comfortable shoes because her dogs are barking!  These are the best. shoes. ever.

3.  A crock pot that can travel!  Okay, I am only on number three and realize that I am old and boring.  I might need to spice it up a bit in 2012.  Anyway...my old crock pot broke, otherwise I would never have replaced it because I am cheap.  However, since it broke, I decided to spring for the version with clamp-down handles which makes for easy traveling.  The crock pot is the hinge pin of my cooking.  I love being at work while a healthy, home made dinner cooks for the family.



4.  A beautiful Christmas flower arrangement sent by my mother and father in-law.  It doesn't matter how old I get, I still love getting flowers.  They are frivilous and a ridiculous waist of money and I love them.  And this came with such a beautiful "vase", a sleigh that we can keep and use year after year in our decorating.  Nailed it with this one, Mum!  Love it!
5.  Mac Mini.  We have needed a new computer for a long time.  We have I Phones that will hold music but have never been able to access this feature because our computer was too old (this irks me, it's true, because six years is not old in the life of anything but technology).  So we pooled some resources (thank you, parental units) and sprung for it.  It's beautiful.  Side note: while we were there, I told the Mac Genius guy that we needed a new mouse.  He tells me mice are soon to be obsolete and that we need a touch pad.  We got one.  I feel all super fly AND intimidated all at once.  Side note two: the Mac Genius guy was all, "are you ready for the new version with no disc drive?" and The Mister and I froze up and were all like, "No."  The Mister sheepishly tried to hide the fact that he had literally just spent the entire day backing up photos of The Nugget onto discs because he feared my wrath if the Apple Store did not seamlessly transfer everything from one computer to the next.  So, really, we are not super fly.  Not at all.


I'll leave it at those five for now.  I am blessed.  I hope you have been too!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Counting my Blessings

I am back.  I have weathered the storm.  I faked my way through Christmas and am feeling better this 2012.  I could dwell on the details of all of that, but I prefer to do as the Cole Porter suggests right now.  I have good health, a beautiful family, a warm home and plenty of food.  I am grateful that my problems are third-world problems, that I have climbed Maslow's rungs to the point that I have the luxury to worry about things other than where my next meal will come from, how I will stay safe tonight, how I will keep my family safe.

In that spirit, I am posting a link to this lovely song and will be back to write more soon:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeftvZPsXeY