29 July 2007

Post-party picture

So this was me today after coming back from a wild and crazy lunch with some very wonderful DSers and their family & friends. First let's look at my hair...wrong on so many levels, I must do something with it and soon. In my defense, however, I did have a lampshade on my head ... don't ask. And then there's my giant head. Since when did I have such a ginormous noggin?!? Good grief. And finally, my clothes. Sigh. I try, I really do, but the clothes thing just escapes me. I do not know how to put it all together and then they are perpetually ill-fitting. I promise you, I bought those shorts like 3-4 weeks ago and and they did fit perfectly. So here I am in all my glory... crazy hair, giant head, poorly fitted clothes BUT despite all this, my friends, I think I kinda look pretty good ... I think this DS thing is working out for me a little bit. :)

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One more day....

Boy, I haven't had a day like yesterday. I thought I was back to normal, but I so was not. I must have slept most of the day away. I think it was a combination of the after-effects of the anesthesia and being dehydrated and not getting enough protein in the day before. Today I actually feel like a normal human being.

Gonna go hang out with a bunch of DSers this afternoon...woo-hoo! Needless to say, I am excited and will be taking a ton of pictures and I promise to be in at least a couple of them!

This morning, I weighed in at 307.8 lbs which puts me at a 17.4 lbs so far with one day left in my 11th month and a grand total of 208.8 lbs loss. This month has just been wild, so many ups and downs, but each month I learn a whole lot about myself and my body. If there is one myth about WLS that I can happily dispell is the one that says all you have to do is get the surgery and everything will work out on it's own. Oh, how very wrong that is. This is hard work, all you pre-ops out there be warned, vigilance and compliance are mandatory. I considered myself pretty well-informed before my surgery, but honestly, I had no freakin' idea. It's hard to conceptualize not being able to eat certain foods (that you used to like) that now cause you much pain and aggravation when you have no problems now. It's hard to imagine how distressing crazy poop is until you have day after day of crazy poop. I remember reading about a lady's struggle with getting her water in and I couldn't fathom what that was like, until I had my surgery and found myself in her shoes wondering how I'd ever get it done. I don't want to scare anyone, I just want anyone who is considering WLS, especially the DS, to realize and understand that it's not all rose petals, butterflies and rainbows. It can be tough, but it is BY FAR, the best thing I ever did for myself, without question.

On the Duodenal Switch Suport Forum there is a section called "Cautionary Tales: Lessons I Have Learned." My three favorite threads are Start as you intend to finish, What I lacked in brains, I'm making up with effort and You Don't Need to Be Perfect -- Just Do Something.

Sorry about the semi-rant, just want to be as realistic about my own experience as possible and show that you can learn a great deal about other people's trials and tribulations. Anyway, gonna try some scrambled eggs and hopefully they will sit well in my tummy and then maybe I can have a normal meal at lunch today!

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28 July 2007

Almost forgot!

Couple of quick things that made my smile on the inside yesterday. Since they had me hooked up to all kinds of monitoring equipment, I got to see my blood pressure readings and they were all in the 110-122/59-75 range. Pretty awesome. Then my resting heart rate is crazy low like low 40's and a couple of times it dipped to 40 which set off the beeping. I don't know if a low heart rate like that is good or not (I'll have to look that up), but my blood oxidation was good, in the 97-99 range. And my most favorite thing, the nurse had no problem finding a good vein in my hand so there was little to no pain. Yea!


Out from the fog...

Now that I no longer feel like a total zombie and have had a little time to process this, I feel much better about this whole thing than before. My initial thoughts upon hearing the initial results from the doctor was relief. I honestly thought there was something dire going on in my abdomen. H. Pylori (potentially) and an ulcer seem entirely treatable and manageable to me. My understanding is I will probably need to take the Protonix and a course of antibiotics to get rid of the H. Pylori and heal the ulcer. Once the antibiotics are done, I should just continue the Protonix, for how long, I don't know, but I suspect for a good while. The doctor did mention the S-word (surgery), specifically he said that if I did need surgery he wasn't sure that the doctor who has experience in my surgery would be willing to operate. I knew instantly who he was talking about, Dr. Dennis Smith, one of the top DS surgeons on the planet (and my initial first choice) is right here in GA, however he does not accept other doctor's patients, so that might leave me in a quandry if it ever came to that. I am hoping that it won't.

Again, I won't get the results back about the biopsy or confirmation that I do have H. Pylori or the final report until sometime next week, but this is the scenario that makes the most sense. I think the H. Pylori -> ulcer which is causing irritation and causing slow digestion. I have a ton of things I need to figure out. Like will I need to change my diet? If I do, for how long? Until the ulcer heals or forever? What changes to my diet do I need to make? Will proton pump inhibitors slow down my weight loss or improve it? I will be contacting Dr. Marchesini about all this as soon as I get everything in.

I took my first Protonix pill a few minutes ago and am hoping for the best. I am going to stay on a pretty mild diet for the next few days and will continue to drink at least 3 protein shakes. I won't get the calories in like I normally do, but the protein will certainly be there. This morning I weighed in at 307.0 lbs. That ain't gonna last! It'll probably rebound a bit after I've had a good solid day of nutrition -- but I'll take it! Yesterday, it was hard not eating or drinking anything and frankly, I am surprised I didn't pass out at any point considering.

Today, I feel okay, although I do feel a tad sluggish, like I could go back to sleep for a couple of hours although I did try, but just ended up laying there. My throat is much sorer than I thought so that's not fun. I am going to take it easy and just relax. Tomorrow I am meeting a bunch of post-op and at least one pre-op DSers for lunch and festivities for Anne (the pre-op). She traveled all the way to Marietta to have surgery with Dr. Smith. She's been here a day or so and has already met a few folks so tomorrow I get to meet her as well as a few others. Should be fun!


27 July 2007

What's a fundus?

Apparently, I have an ulcer. The paperwork they gave me says the following:

During the procedure we found the following:

- Ulcer in the fundus (biopsy)
- Otherwise normal EGD to second part of the duodenum

Our recommendations are as follows:
- Resume taking your current medications
- Maintain a high fiber diet
- Call the office in seven days to obtain your biopsy reports
- PPI therapy and antibiotics if H. Pylori positive

The doc gave me a prescription for Protonix. I haven't had time nor the mental acumen to process all this right now -- I am surprisingly (at least to me) sleepy and am going to take it easy and see how many protein drinks I can swallow in the next 2-3 hours. I am starving. More coherent thoughts tomorrow.

Thanks to all who have been thinking about me!

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I bought some new toys for my camera. I bought a Nikon SB-600 Speedlight Flash, Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce Flash Diffuser and a Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens. Combined with the camera itself (Nikon D80) and my two lenses (18-135mm & 70-300mm) I think this will work well for the different types of photography I like to do. I am especially happy about the flash. Flash photography is my weakest skill by far so I want to get better before my friend's wedding in October. I am not the photographer, but I'd love to see how well I can do on my own.

As I sit and wait to leave to go to my endoscopy later this afternoon, I just realized I crossed the 200 lbs loss mark from my surgery weight. The difference between my highest weight and my surgery weight is 6.6 lbs. Unfortunately I do not know how much I weighed on the day of surgery because I actually weighed like 5 days before. I did weighed before I left Brazil and somehow lost weight by the time I got there. I think much of that was stress related. The trip over sucked big time. Long story, short I should have gotten the wheelchair service. Anyway, I weighed 510.0 lbs at Dr. Marchesini's clinic the day after I arrived and today I weighed in at 309.6 lbs. Woo-hoo! Buh-bye 310's.

Anywho, assuming I'm coherent at all, I will hopefully get some meaningful info from the doc about the endoscopy and pass it on. I will certainly let y'all know!

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26 July 2007


311.8 lbs this morning. Got a call from the doc's office, endoscopy tomorrow afternoon. A little worried. Not too keen on tiny camera going down my throat. Keeping fingers crossed.

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25 July 2007

Goal Weight

I guess it's one of those days when I feel like blogging (rambling) a lot.

I've been thinking about goal weight. According to Dr. Marchesini, it's 250 lbs and with plastics, I'd probably end up in the 200-225 range. I think I have a lot of excess skin. That would mean, I am also about 60 lbs away from that goal which would also mean I've lost 77% of my excess weight so far. Right now I am about an 18 on top and a 26 on bottom. 60lbs from now, I'm not sure where I'd end up. At one point, I had said my goal was 175 lbs, but I have pretty much tossed that out. That is probably way too low for me I think, especially considering my height and bone structure. It would give me a normal weight BMI, but I'm not sure that is healthy. Right now I think I've settled on 199.8 lbs, which puts me at I think around 65% EWL. I am cool with that plus it puts me solidly in the overweight BMI category, at 250 lbs, I'd still be considered obese. I do believe those 25 lbs make a big difference and most importantly, I have to see onderland. I've heard so many tales of how wonderful it is there, I'd like to see for myself. An acceptable compromise would be around 225 lbs pre-plastics. I know I'd have 20+ lbs of skin, at least, and after all is said and done, I'd be stable in the 200 lbs range anyway.

When I think about it, there are a few more milestones for me before I hit goal, special weights that when I hit will mean something. The most immediate one is 299. I was probably 18 years old the last time I weighed 299. Then there's 257, the weight I weighed when I left for college when I was at the doctor's office trying every trick I could think of to manipulate his scale. Then there's 216 lbs so that I might say I've lost an even 300 and the last one is 199.8 itself.

I know I will need plastic surgery. Looking at my arms and thighs, I know by the time I hit goal, it'll be necessary, but honestly, I'm in no rush to have surgery again AND from what I hear it's like 10 times more painful. Truth be told, the only thing that sucked about the DS surgery was getting up and out of bed, but then that was a non issue after awhile. I never had any serious pain.

Size-wise, a dream would be to wear a size 10 jeans, but I'm not sure with my structure (specifically my hips!) that's going to happen. I'd be content in 12/14s. The next several months will tell the tale as far as sizes go. My bottom half has some catching up to do.

Right now I am wearing one of the many company shirts I have kept that I've acquired through the years that I never got to wear. It's an XL and I half can't believe I have it on. It's been almost 11 months and it still boggles the mind. I find myself trying on clothes that have long since become way to big and I try to comprehend that I was that big. What really trips me out is that it's hard to believe that I am as different as the difference really is, if that makes any sense. I look at my favorite shirt that I mentioned a few days ago and it looks like a tarp you'd cover a boat with. It's just absolutely insane...

Yeah well, hump-day is nearly over so only a couple more days of massive boredom and it's the weekend. Maybe if I am lucky the doctor's office will call and schedule my endoscopy for Friday so I won't have to go to work!

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I must change mine. I don't like it any more. In the past 6 months it has thinned out a good bit and I don't think it looks all that good. All the volume is gone and it's just limp and lame. If my sister is reading this now then I know she is rolling her eyes, she is well-versed in long history of my hair issues. Anywho, I may have to go the short route. I had short hair for years, here is a picture, in fact:

This had to be 2002 or 2003 and I probably weighed around 380-390 lbs, I think. I'm not sure. Anyway, hair this length was great, I've had much shorter hair and I loved that too, but this length was perfect. Right now, the front and sides are the thinnest and combing and curling it everyday at it's current length is not so good. The other option is to go shorter such that I won't have to curl anymore.

The other option is some kind of weave ... I'm not sure that is for me AND I'm not convinced that doesn't do more harm that good. Me thinks it's time to consult a stylist of some sort. This is Atlanta and there are like a million of them which was the problem the last time I decided to find one, so if by chance anyone out there in Internet land knows a good stylist in the ATL area that is well experienced in African American hair, then please let me know! Bonus points if this person has experience with post-ops!

That shirt I am wearing in the picture is a 4X, it was a shirt I absolutely loved and never wore in public because at that time it was too small. I've had that shirt for probably 8-9 years. That shirt now is WAY too big and is now in the pile of clothes I don't even try to fool myself into thinking that it's still okay to wear. Amazing...



So, I go to the gastroenterologist's office this afternoon and give him the rundown. I told him about Brazil and he seemed very interested in the whole thing even to go so far as to ask me how much the whole she-bang cost. Anyway, I told him what my symptoms were and he poked around some and said that he wasn't sure exactly what the issue is but he's scheduling me for an endoscopy and his scheduler will give me a call to set that up. Ugh. Something is definitely going on and it's much different than my issues at the end of May/beginning of June. Since yesterday, eating solid food is rough. I mean it hurts. I can actually feel it, this started after I was eating ham yesterday so I cut dinner in half and finished the day off with a protein shake. This morning I had a protein shake which was a little rough going down, but actually not that bad so later that morning I figured how bad could scrambled eggs be. Geez! The first bite felt like I was swallowing a rock but subsequent bites went down alright although I was only able to eat 2/3 of it and that has been the only solid food I have had today. It kinda feels like whatever I ate yesterday is slowly making it's way through my system and leaving irritated bowels along the way. And let's not talk about the burping... It's been protein drinks since the scrambled egg fiasco for me. It's weird because it's always the first bite or drink that is the most uncomfortable and then things are okay, but I am filling up way faster than normal. Good grief... and then, of course, my poop pattern changes. No 10:30-11:30 AM poop, so that's not good. AND to top it all off, weighed in at 312.8 lbs this morning.

I'm not sure what triggered all this, maybe the ham is stuck or something. The doc suggested bland soft foods for the next few days. That really translates to lots and lots of protein drinks. Or I have to regress back to my first post-op days and do the dreaded pureed food deal. Boooooooo. Hissssss. Boooooooo.

Oh well, if that is the case then I'm inclined to go get myself some grits and mashed potatoes and have at it. Getting in the protein won't be a problem, 5 shakes and I am there, but the calories will definitely be.

Sigh. Oh well, just another little bump in the road.

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24 July 2007

Yawnfest 2007

I've been dreading broaching this subject just because what I think I want is not what I know a lot of people don't want to hear from me... I don't ...really ... like ... my job ... that much anymore. It's in the city, the location is great, I've some cool people, it's nice to be out and about, but out of the 40 hours in any given week, I am doing actual work for maybe 8-10which means the majority of my time is spent doing not zip, zero... nada. I am bored and I HATE being bored. Believe you me, I have tried all kinds of stuff, from asking my supervisors to walking around to see if anyone needs help, from reading the company intranet I don't know how many times to just sitting there trying not to spend too much time surfin' the net. I'm not sure what to do and the powers that be don't seem to be concerned at all. The nature of my job is feast or famine, but good grief, I don't see it changing anytime soon and I don't know if I want to keep doing this. As luck would have it, things with my business are getting more interesting...I haven't been full time with it since February and had always looked at the time away as just a break and maybe not something fulltime. I don't know, there are pros and cons to either situation. New job is in town, lots of folks my same age, education and experience, but the commute sucks, the work is boring and I don't necessarily see myself learning much of anything any time soon. My business is challenging at times, I get to work from home and my time is my own (if I want to work from 4pm to midnight, I can), but BP gets on my nerves a lot, I wouldn't be taking home as much money and ... it can be isolating. I'm not sure what to do. The whole "my time is my own" thing is quite compelling for me, turns out my friend is getting married and Barbados and my best friend and I are planning on making it a week long vacation, then there's the trip to Savannah in August, my alma mater in September, St. Louis in November and home to Texas for Christmas. I am going to sleep on it for a couple of weeks and make a decision.

Tomorrow I have my appointment with the gastroenterologist. Things seem to be normal for the past couple of weeks although since yesterday, I've noticed my poop has been a medium grey color and I have been having a little stomach discomfort so I will bring that up. I have the hiccups and it feels like my food is stuck at the top of my stomach, almost like a good strong hiccup will bring it all up.... I also sometimes get a little lightheaded if I get up real quick, but that could mean I should visit my PCP in regard to my blood pressure meds, it may be time to get off them completely. Ugh. I am bringing all my medical info from the past year with me so that he will be well-informed. If I had a "before" picture, I'd bring it with me. I will let y'all know how it goes.

I weighed in at 310.8 lbs this morning so the steady loss continues. Woo-hoo! Incremental progress ... that's all I ever wanted!

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23 July 2007

Lots of steps

I'm "working" from home today and decided to go out and do my walk while the park was probably mostly empty versus trying to go after "work" when everybody and their cousin would be out there. The weather was wonderful, low 80's with a wonderfully intermittent breeze. I could have stayed out there all day. Couple of things I noticed, first... I'm a little rusty. I could feel it in my hips the first 1/2 mile, but things settled down. Two, I can walk much faster than I could a few months ago WITHOUT doing a lot of heavin'. Pretty cool, and lastly, I need to make up my mind and get some tennis shoes already. I just can't make up my mind...I went to all these running sites (like I'm gonna run anytime soon...heh) and from what I can glean I am a flat-footer who over-pronates and so I need good motion control shoes. I pooh-poohed this idea but now I think there might actually be something to it. Imagine that.

I started to get some ankle pain about a mile and a half into my walk and by the time I was done, it ached a little, but I didn't give too much worry to it. I got in my car and drove to the grocery store and when I stepped out I felt a pop in the arch of my left foot. I've had that happen before, but not as painful as this time around. It took a good 20-25 steps before it worked itself out and now it's fine. I'm guessing that with the weight loss the pressure on my arch is not as great and there are just some adjustments that need to take place in my foot. I took the soles out of my current tennis shoes long ago so I either have to try to remember where I put them, buy some new soles or get some new shoes. Hopefully that will solve the problem, but besides that I did my 2 mile walk in around 38 minutes without really getting a good sweat. The first mile I did in 18 mins, the second in 20. I am hoping to be able to do 3 miles in a hour by the next week or so. My modest goal is to walk the 10K in under 3 hours. I know that sounds generous, but we are talking about some serious hills here...

I weighed in at 311.2 lbs this morning for a total loss of 205.4 lbs. I ate pretty well yesterday, 2700+ calories, 177g fat, 63g carbs and 208g protein. I do have a confession to make... I treated myself to a slice of cheese yesterday. I scrambled it up with two eggs for a midday meal. Yummmmm and I did pay for it later am paying for it still, but it was sooo worth it.

Okay, completely random thing: I am really enjoying crossing my legs. It's a marker of womanhood that for years I never had the joy of claiming. Stuff like that not only makes me feel human, but a woman indeed!!!

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22 July 2007

"...the unbeautiful, boring shite..."

Definitely one of the best descriptions of how I feel about this weight loss journey I am on:
It's all about the small. Which I hate, frankly. I'm a gal of the big gesture, the one-call-that-does-it-all. And life is so not like that. It's about those "small, stupidly repetitive steps". Like not drinking milk, hopethinking that the lactose sensitivity has worn off. Like not putting off writing on a daily basis when the stove is really, really, really grotty. Like not screwing up the swimming days, begging off on a Thursday cos you think it's the deep-water which stresses the hernia. It's all about the unbeautiful, boring shite that you have to go through to get where you are going. The real trick is to try and find something enjoyable about the small steps. But even if you can't, not finding fun isn't reason enough to not take them.
-- *S*, Less Flab, More Fab

Amen, sister...amen! Sometimes the big stuff is easier to manage -- the surgery, the recovery, the initial quick/fast weight loss, the big wows. I am absolutely convinced that success is built upon all those small things -- things that in and of themselves might seem minor, but are vital parts of a big picture.



Spent all day yesterday through late last night working on business stuff. Don't really want to do that today, but it's drizzlin' and it makes me want to go back to bed. Bummer. Hopefully it will clear up.

Weighed in at 312.6 lbs this morning. Yea!

Eating is getting so much more tedious because of the sheer volume alone. It is not really that enjoyable right now. I like shakes, but I gotta find more calorie dense yet low sugar varieties. Love my Nectar, but two scoops is only 180 calories. There has gotta be something out there that doesn't have lactose or require milk to boost the calories and fat. The search begins.

Tomorrow I start training for my 10K in six weeks. I'm pretty excited. I will probably have to add another shake to my daily routine to make up for the extra calories burned. I'm not sure, we'll see how it goes.

Ok, I give up. I'm going back to bed... will get up later, do my grocery shopping, go try to (finally) find a good pair of shoes, some good socks and get a transfer cable for my computers.


20 July 2007

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

The Good:

Support Group meeting last night was awesome, as usual and I guess the word is getting out as the Thursday night meetings are getting fuller and fuller which is great! This meeting we have several of our success stories, including m'girl Kim, give short talks about their own personal stories and journeys. It was really good, especially for people like me, newbies and pre-ops because we get to see what the end of the tunnel looks like. I will probably start going to the Tuesday or Saturday morning one as well. I weighed in this morning at 313.8 lbs. Woo-hoo!

The whole lunch thing with my business partner and the girl from the other company was much ado about nothing. She wants to leave her company and join ours. She has to be at least the 7th or 8th person from that company that has attempted to do so.

Kim, Nick and I are committed to running a 10K race on Labor Day and I'm going tomorrow to find someplace to get some good running/walking shoes and at least a couple pairs of good exercise shorts. I am pretty sure I can walk the whole thing and I may entertain thought of breaking out into small short jogs every now and again...downhill. I'm pretty excited about that and I am going to do my research today and see if I can come up with a strategy for training for the next 6 weeks.

The Bad:

Usually after the support group meeting a lot of us hang around and chit chat until the building security kicks us out and we move our socializing to the parking lot. So we're out there talking, people are slowly leaving and it's just me and Kim and our friend Nick. We are usually the last ones to leave. So we're standing out there by Kim's car and we're talking and I start feeling a little warm and start getting a little woozy so I know that I need to cut things short. I tell them I gotta go and I start walking to my car and I am feeling like I can barely make it! I get to my car and I start looking for my keys and at some point, I feel the darkness come on and I just hold on to my car. Luckily Nick and Kim see this and next thing I know, I'm sitting in Kim's car eating a protein bar and drinking water. I hear them speaking to me and in my mind I feel like I am thinking rationally, but I can't get the words out. After 10-15 minutes, 8 oz of water and 2 protein bars, I feel back to normal and am okay to go home with a promise to pick up some food on the way home and to call Kim to let her know I made it back in one piece.

The Ugly:

So after assuring them both, I stand up out of her car and that's when I realize I will be needing to take a long hot shower and do a load of laundry when I get home. I guess at some point, the poop came out. That's so freakin' gross, but it happened. I read a few tales about the exact same thing happening to a few other DSers and I guess it was my turn. Luckily I only pooped my undergarments and not my car or Kim's car. I have never passed out before in my life (or ever gotten close) and I am left feeling a little worried, a little embarassed, a bit scared and completely fascinated by the whole experience. I couldn't even sleep all that great last night and it preoccupies my thoughts this morning.

Lessons Learned:

I kept thinking about all things that transpired that day that contributed to this episode and of course, like the overanalytica maniac that I have come up with the following things that did or did not happen and signs that I ignored or didn't give them their just due.

1. I said this a few times before but one of my biggest challenges is trying to keep up with nutrition/supplements/water when I have to go outside of my daily routine. Lately I have been eating 7-9 times a day every hour and a half or so. I knew that I'd be home at around 5:00 so I had planned to get home, eat a bowl of chili and take 2 protein bars with me since odds were that I would not be home til after 9:00 PM. So I did that, I ate my bowl of chili and took the bars with me, what I didn't do was eat the dang things during the meeting. I usually sit in the back but the meeting was so crowded, I sat in the front and felt subconscious about eating so I didn't.

I should have eaten both bars and not worried about it, in fact, I should have brought more substantial nutrition.

2. At one point toward the end of the meeting, I got that familiar gurgling in my stomach signaling that I need to probably poop. I ignored it because I was caught up in conversation with a couple of folks and figured I could hold it til I got home.

I should have pooped when I first got the hint to.

3. Since I do typically sit in the back, I'm pretty close to the cooler so I usually drink one bottle of Crystal Light and a water. Since I was in the front, I only had a small 8 oz bottle of water and I had only drank four ounces. It was also unusually warm in there, I typically have to wear a sweater, it's so cold, but not tonight. I was dehydrated and hadn't had enough fluid.

I should have drank more, in fact, I should have brought my 32 oz water bottle with me and I should from now on.

I had the Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch and I weigh 200 lbs lighter. Despite what I may sometimes think, I am not the same person I was 11 months ago and need to be more mindful of that. It was made abundantly clear to me yesterday that I am more "fragile" (although I don't like that description), if you will, than my previous self. I have to be compliant and vigilant not just because I want to lose weight faster, but because my health and well-being require it.

I tell ya, I learned my freaking lesson(s). I don't want to go through that again. This morning I feel fine and you bet your butt, I am not going to let anything interfere with me getting my food & water in again.

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19 July 2007


So yesterday, my business partner informs me that someone we used to work with at another company emailed her asking to go to lunch. I was like "wha-?" Let me paint the picture. BP and I started our business in early 2005 after we both left the same company. She had been there 3 months, me two years and had endured a crapload of agony and distress from the biggest jerk of an asshole rat bastard CEO ever. He is one of the most morally corrupt human beings I have ever come across.

While I was at a doctor's appt, he fired a bunch of people and a few that I hired in my department and of course I heard about this while I was out. When I got there, he basically said that I had to kiss his ass in order to keep my job. After enduring a bunch of crap from him for over a year and finally standing my ground a little bit the previous couple of months, he didn't like it and so tried to make me "beg" for my job. Needless to say, in polite terms I told him to !@#$-off and I left and never looked back. BP was super-pissed, more than me and she only had to deal with him for 3 months, I had two years of that crap. I was done and I am at the point that seeing him doesn't even bother me. I've seen him, in fact, at a couple of trade shows and it did not bother me at all, I don't want to waste a millisecond of my life on his butt anymore.

BP and I started our company from scratch, in the same industry, and for a good 6-8 months he waged a campaign against us, threatening to sue, badmouthing us to our mutual vendors to try to stop them from working with us, all kinds of stuff. We made the decision from the get-go to take the high road and do everything by the book which paid off because all his ranting and raving was for naught. Fast forward to yesterday, come to find out Asshole (as we refer to him as) has gotten das boot and is no longer in the company ... whoa ... a company he started. I have no idea how that happened and I'm not sure I cares.

What it looks like is happening is that the company got some new investors in and had heard about what transpired back in 2005 and I suspect that the lunch with BP and our former colleague is a fishing expedition. I don't believe for one second, that this is just a friendly lunch between "friends" all of a sudden since we hadn't heard from this girl since we left. So, I'm really REALLY curious about how this lunch thing is going to go. I think Asshole didn't believe we would be successful, I don't think any of those folks did, yet here we are.

So anyway, my mind is flooded with all kinds of scenarios about what this lunch means. It could be completely innocuous, I have no idea, I guess I will find out in a couple of hours.

Moving on... my nutrition yesterday sucked since my little world was all abuzz with the news about Asshole and the lunch request, I didn't eat as much as I normally do. I ended up with around 2000 calories and 155g of protein, today, however will be better. This morning I weighed in at 314.4 lbs. Woo-hoo!

Tonight is support group! Yea!!! So excited!

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17 July 2007

Worried parents

Sunday night during like the 15 minutes my dad wasn't at church, I told him, with much joy about me reaching the 200 lb loss mark. He expressed happiness like I expected him to but then he switched to "concerned father" mode when he asked me if I was done losing weight. I wanted to say "Uh...no, I still have 100 more lbs to go!" but I played coy and said "I don't know... maybe a few more." My dad doesn't know what my starting weight was so he has no frame of reference so hearing "200 lbs" sets him in panic mode. Actually, this raises an issue I have been thinking about. There are very few people in my day to day life who know what my start weight was and as my weight loss continues, I feel less and less comfortable spouting numbers. I know my dad is worried, my mom too (they both don't know where I started) so I may have to start being a little vague with them and most people for that matter. I don't know...

Anyway, thank you all so much for showing me the love! This blog, meeting so many wonderful people online and at support group have really saved me, I really truly feel blessed and humbled. I'm so used to operating in obscurity that it's nice to be out there and share and learn and grow with a group of wonderful people who are on the same journey as me. Much love, y'all, much love!!!

The last two days nutrition-wise was right on track:
M1: Isopure RTD (40g)
M2: Scrambled egg & w/sausage in 1TB butter (31g)
M3: Atkins Granola bar (17g)
M4: South Beach Meal replacement bar (19g)
M5: Beef hotdogs - natural (24g)
M6: Ham steak (26g)
M7: Homemade chili (35g)
M8: Isopure RTD (40g)

Totals: 2886 calories, 184g fat, 77g carbs, 232g protein.

That looks like a lot, and it is, but two of those "meals" were protein drinks and another two were protein bars.

M1: Isopure RTD (40g)
M2: Scrambled egg & w/sausage in 1TB butter (31g)
M3: Atkins Double Crunch bar (11g)
M4: Bratwurst (20g)
M5: Beef hotdogs - natural (24g)
M6: Atkins Granola bar (17g)
M7: Bratwurst (20g)
M8: Isopure RTD (40g)

Totals: 2656 cals, 183g fat, 56g carbs, 203g protein.

I am finishing up my Isopure then it's back to Nectar Roadside Lemonade. I also probably need a little more veggies in my diet...ugh.

Yesterday I weighed in at 315.8 lbs and today, I weighed in at 315.2 lbs. Things seem to have slowed down, which is absolutely fine with me, as long as there is a trend downward, I am happy.

I have a friend who, last I heard is getting married in Barbados in mid-October. I haven't gotten an announcement in the mail yet nor have I talked to the friend in a couple of months. Something tells me that the wedding might be a no-go. I'm not sure and I'm trying to find a gracefully way to broach the subject with him given that I am not sure the wedding is still on because I would love to go to Barbados. I have never been to the Caribbean nor does he have any clue that I had surgery so it would be good times all around! We'll see...


15 July 2007

Holy Mary, Mother of GOD!!!

Yesterday, I fried me up a center-cut ham steak. Yum. It was delicious, very tender but a little salty. I thought for sure it would clog me up or make me retain water and I had zero expectations about losing weight today, so much to my surprise after my rapid-fire poops this morning, I weighed in at 316.4 lbs. What does that mean? Well boys and girls, it means I am down 3.2lbs since yesterday and have lost a total of 200.2 lbs from my highest ... holy crap. I don't want to get too excited ... but pardon me while I dance a little jig in the privacy of my own home ...

Ok then ...

In over a year of keeping this blog, I don't think I ever talked much about the entire experience in Brazil. A few of you may have gotten my semi-daily updates while I was there, but I don't think I have ever really described the whole experience. I am going to make a point of doing that fairly soon. In the meantime, J, asked about my costs for going to Brazil to have surgery with Dr. Marchesini, so here they are:

Passports & Visas: I think we paid a total of about $1100 for 2 passports and 3 Brazilian Visas and we expedited it all so that was extra. We did it all in about 4 weeks. If you apply for your passport and visa early enough, you can probably get it all taken care of for like $200-$250 or less, I think.

Plane Ticket(s): $2100. I had to buy two tickets as there was no way I could manage fitting in one seat. It still wasn't all that comfortable, but it was better than trying to squeeze into one seat going from Atlanta to Miami, then Miami to San Paolo and finally San Paolo to Curitiba and THEN doing the reverse on the way home. My two friends traveled on buddy passes so they paid like $350 each for their own flights.

Hospital Fees: $5500 - At the time I had my surgery, this covered the typical 3-4 day stay in the hospital and up to two weeks if there were complications. I know Dr. M is operating out of a different hospital now, but I am sure this fee covers the normal hospital stay. You may have to contact him about fees associated with complications.

Medical fees: $4,500 which includes Dr. M and any other staff related to the surgery.

Private Nurse: $300 This pays for Durval who is like Dr. M's right hand man. Some people need him more than others, but he takes care of you as needed pre- and post-surgery from pickup and dropoff from the airport, taking you to any pre-op tests, picking up your prescriptions, tightening your binder, picking up and dropping of laundry, etc.

Pre-Op Testing: $250-300. I did most of my testing in Brazil. I had a chest X-Ray, an abdominal ultrasound, EKG, an endoscopy and a psych eval. It was just easier and crazy cheap. My two sets of pre-op X-Rays cost me a whopping $32 US, for example.

Hotel, Meals, Taxis, Souvenirs: $1700-2000. Typically this won't cost the average person this much. During my 3 week stay in Brazil, there were three people in my room for a week which cost me more than if there were 1-2 people in the room. I think the rate went from 150R (Brazilian Reals) for one person per night to 200R for three. Between the Brazilian BBQ place we went to twice to room service and a couple trips to the store for protein drinks, etc it added up. Plus we went out shopping a couple of times for gifts to take home and you really can't go anywhere without taking a cab. A single person can probably get away with $1200-1300 or so.

In total that's around $14,500 I paid which again, is more than the average person. I think if a patient were to travel with a companion, they could probably do it for probably $13,000 or so depending.

Now, I am not sure what the going rate is but I think Dr. M's, the hospital's and the private nurse's and pre-op testing fees are the same. Everything else might vary because it depends on the conversion rate between the US dollar and the Brazilian Real. When I was there it was like 1 US dollar to 2.10 Brazilian Real. As a comparison, it would have cost me over $40,000 to have the surgery here in Atlanta with NO cap. A friend of mine's surgery came out to over $70K because he had some complications.

Anyway, I am a happy camper right now, but cautiously so. Needless to say, I have no plans to deviate in the slightest from my current nutritional plan.

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14 July 2007

Twoterville...not too far away.

So I got my music going in the background and I start daydreaming while I'm sorting and folding mounds of clothes I haven't seen in two years and it occurs to me that I'm 19.8 lbs away from being under 300 lbs and I kid you not, I had a moment of panic. Does that make any kind of sense? I think ....*think* I was under 300 when I left for college in 1992, but I am not sure...I vaguely remember seeing 257 at the doctor's office the summer before I left for school. I don't know, it's just hard to imagine. I've been thinking a lot about goal weight (NOT when I hit goal weight, but the actual weight whenever that happens) and it's all very abstract to me. I say I want to be under 200 lbs but the reality of that is something I can't get my head around. I am having a difficult time accepting that I might actually be able to say I lost 200 lbs at some point in the (near?) future. I keep thinking about how I tell my mom when it actually happens "Guess what, mom? I LOST 200 POUNDS!!!" I don't feel like I lost nearly 200 lbs. My business partner is prone to ask me if I "feel better". I don't know...sometimes I want to choke her for asking me that all the time, but honestly, I feel about the same as I have the past 100 lbs. It's all incremental changes from here on out. I'm slowly shrinking and the only real reminder is the freakin scale and my clothes. It's difficult to step back three months and say X, Y and Z are so much more better/easier/more pleasant.

Let me just say, that I am ecstatic to be closing in on the number. No doubt. I came across the pictures I took with Dr. Marchesini and Kevin, my switch buddy, on the day of our post-surgery followup. I must have stared at that picture for five full minutes. I have a folder on my computer titled "Untold Horror" with the few, and I mean few, pictures of me taken during the past 3-4 years. There is one in particular that really pushed me over the edge. Anyway, the journey just trips me out sometimes and other times I forget that I look helluva lot different than I used to.

Here is my food for the day:

M1: Isopure (40g)
M2: 2 eggs, one sausage and 1 TB butter, scrambled (31g)
M3: Atkins granola bar (17g)
M4: Oscar Meyer Natural Beef Hot Dogs (24g)
M5: Atkins Double Crunch bar (11g)
M6: Smoked Ham (26g)
M7: Isopure RTD (40g)
M8: Homemade Chili (35g)

Grand Totals: 2816 cals, 184g fat, 69g carbs, 224g protein. I ditched the chicken, can't do it.

Gonna take my evening vits and watch Babel.

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Mmmm.... Food Log

Got an email asking what I'm eating throughout the day so I will try to add a food log. I eat all day long. Yesterday looked like this:

M1: Isopure Shake (40g protein)
M2: Two (jumbo) eggs scrambled with italian sausage & 1 TB butter (31g)
M3: Homemade "chili" w/ ground beef, ground pork, sausage, onions, peppers & chunky spaghetti sauce (35g protein)
M4: SB Meal Replacement bar (19g)
M5: Two eggs scrambled in 1TB butter (16g)
M6: Isopure Shake (40g)
M7: 3 Oscar Meyer Natural Hot Dogs (24g)

You'll notice a lack of veggies. I am consuming something soon after I wakeup to about an hour before I go to sleep. Today will be very similar except for the protein bar will likely be replaced with some leftover chicken and green beans.


Progress is good

Today I am going to try to do something about all the clothes I can no longer wear because they are now taking up massive amounts of room in my closet. I was feeling a little chilly last night and I went in my closet and grabbed my absolute favorite shirt. It's a grey pullover I bought 6 or 7 years ago that I toss over whatever I am wearing as an extra layer of clothing. I love this thing, but when I put it on last night, oh my goodness, I was swimming in it. I was so bummed. I wore it for a good hour before it became just too big for me to feel comfortable in so I took it off knowing I will never wear it again. I can't be the only person to mourn items of clothing like that. I will be keeping it however along with one pair of jeans from my pre-surgery days to remind me of where I've come.

I tried a new protein bar yesterday, the South Beach Diet Meal Replacement Bar - Cinnamon Creme. Delicious. It was like a dessert. 220 calories, 19 grams of protein, 7 grams of fat and 26 grams of carbs of which 6 were fiber and something like 17g of sugar alcohol. Not the greatest carb numbers, but sugar alcohols are pretty benign right? Well...I did have some gas issues, but nothing major. I think I will probably buy one or two in the future if I ever crave something dessert-y, but I am not going to make them a part of my daily routine.

This morning I weighed in at 319.6 lbs, that's a 3 lb loss since yesterday, 5.6 for the month for a total loss of 197.0 lbs exactly. I am closing in on two big milestones, one the 200 lb loss mark and two, my one year anniversary. I am really looking forward to doing my one year before and after photos and just really enjoying the day.

I am trying really REALLY hard to not make any date specific weight loss goals, but it is so easy to fall into the mode. I am going to focus more on other numbers - protein/carbs/fat/calories/water -- they are a lot more tenable. Yesterday I had 2665 calories, 166g fat, 67g carbs and 228g of protein.

I'm off to go run some errands before I tackle my freakin' closet....ugh. Do I dare say buh-bye to the 320's??? We will see what tomorrow brings.

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13 July 2007

Good Friday?

322.6 lbs. :) This is the first time this month that I have weighed less than what I started the month at (325.2). Since Monday, I have averaged 2655 calories, 174 grams of fat, 71 grams of carbs (including fiber) and 208 grams of protein. It has not been easy, but I think I have found some strategies that help me get it all in.

Needless to say I am extremely cautiously happy that hopefully things are moving in the right direction again. Whew! I found myself having those thoughts about whether or not I could be happy if this was as good as it gets. I don't like having those thoughts, but it's something I can't completely ignore. Not everybody gets to goal. I am going to try my darnedest to, but not everyone gets there. I have to be happy or at least learn to be content with who I am at any given moment.

That is going to take some work, but I am getting there.

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12 July 2007


Around 10:30 AM it hits me like a giant wave. I gotta go and I gotta go NOW. So very unusual for me. I did the deed, was washing my hands then same feeling but 10 times more urgent. Thank God I was still in the bathroom. I'm not sure what's going on with my innards, but boy oh boy, are they keeping me on my toes.

This morning weighed in at exactly 327.0 lbs which was disappointing but after my mid morning episode, I'm not too worried about it anymore. I haven't been able to get in the calories that I have been getting in the last few days, but I should be okay on protein. As of right now, I am at around 1900 calories, 210 grams of protein (80g from two Isopure Zero Carb drinks), 96g of fat and 48g carbs. I am about to make a batch of my favorite DS-friendly chili and if I have a cup of that, then those numbers will certainly rise. It's been a protein drink heavy day for me since I had to do a bit more running around than I usually do. I also had two Muscle Milks. This won't be a pattern, just one of those days.

I never thought of myself as stubborn, but I am having a hard time convincing myself that I need to really severely limit chicken in my diet. I can eat beef, pork, turkey, sausages, all kinds of stuff and it not give me issues like chicken does and I'm not talking about dry chicken breast. I'm talking juicy dark meat, I can't do it anymore, but damnit, it's freakin delicious. I hate having to give up a food. I gave up cheese for months, then reintroduced it this week and now it's needs to go as well. Sucks. Same thing with wheat based products. I bought a loaf of Nature's Own Double Fiber Wheat - has 5grams of fiber per slice. I figured I could have a slice of toast and one slice a cheese a day and be okay. I don't think so...I was eating it early in the AM and then by 2:30ish, major stinky gas. It's just not working out. This is something all DSers go through and I'm no different. For posterity's sake here are the food or food groups I have to stay away from:

1. All dairy except for butter. The biggest offenders are milk & cream. Effect on the system: Diarrhea, severe bloating, malaise and gas. I can't bring myself to exclude butter. Butter goes with everything!
2. Chicken. Effect: Constipation.
3. Gluten based products, doesn't matter if it is whole grain or not. It's all off limits. Effect: Gas and bloating.
4. Sugar. Effect: Gas and bloating.

I almost had to pull over today in my car this morning. First time I noticed that my hips do not touch the car door. I fit in the seat like a normal person! Woo-hoo!!!

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11 July 2007

So I was at the local GNC today looking to pick up some probiotics, just like the kind I first bought before this last batch which turned out to be way to potent. I'm talking to the nice lady and she's explaining the different types of probiotics and I reach for a particular bottle to see how potent it is and I totally don't recognize my own hand for a split second. I immediately thought "whose almost feminine, not too pudgy hand is this?" Lo and behold, it was mine. Craziness.

Congrats and a big woo-hoo go out to m'girl Kim. Tomorrow marks two years for her since her surgery and she has done fabulously. Kim is my hero and inspiration and role model and friend. She kicks major ass and she has helped me tremendously. People come into your life for a reason and I'm so very glad she's in mine!

I'm sitting here in a black two piece skirt and blouse my mom ordered from QVC. My mom is so cute sometimes. In the past I would have been bitter about the whole thing and probably ranted about how she's trying to control me and my life, but the truth is, she's just being my mom and she bought me something she thought I would like. It's a 2X which is cool on so many levels and it fits perfect. I am happy.

Well, it looks like I am going to end the day at around 2700 calories, 220 grams of protein (I drank an Isopure Zero Carb shake today), 175 grams of fat and 66 grams of carbs, at least 10-15 grams of fiber. I just took my last batch of supplements for the night and am about to crawl in bed and read my book before I drift off into slumber dreaming about walking up some crazy ass hill in the middle of my 1st 10K. God help me ;)

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In the comments from yesterday's post, Kim suggests I do a local 10K on Labor Day. That's like 7 weeks away, ain't it? I think I just might. Several months ago I had wanted to do the Peachtree Road Race, but that didn't happen. I was also probably like 100 lbs heavier when I made the pronouncement. The route is crazy hilly and it'll be hot as hell, but Kim is right, what an accomplishment that will be. I will be walking it, of course, but still. I just need to figure out how to train for it. I can probably walk a 4 level miles with no problem. I need to work up to doing 5 or 6 hilly ones. Getting a little excited... I need to get some proper sneakers.

Yesterday, I ate almost 2800 calories, 181 grams of protein, 194 grams of fat and 89 grams of carbs, I'm not sure how much of that was fiber. I weighed in this morning at 326.0 lbs. Funny thing is, I probably could have eaten more yesterday, but I didn't want to have something heavy sitting in my stomach so late in the evening. I should be getting my Nectar and other goodness hopefully today. I also bought some Atkins Granola Bars which will replace the South Beach Cereal Bars I've been having. Between swapping the Muscle Milk for Nectar and South Beach bars for Atkins, that should reduce the carb count significantly.

With this 10K notion in my head, I'm wondering what other adjustments I will need to make. We'll see.

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09 July 2007

Moving Along....

For the past several weeks, actually more like the past few months, I have been enjoying a morning cup of coffee during the work week. One cup of whatever has been brewed, Splenda and some lactose-free creamer. Prior to this, I was not much of a coffee drinker, I was never known to buy it, brew it or desire it at all, but when I started working a real job, I figured, what the hey. Part of that was it was mid winter and a nice cup of coffee after coming in from the cold was nice. This week, I've given up coffee (in my efforts to get my nutrition in order) and boy, I was feeling it this afternoon...I have been seriously dragging. This is my theory, of course, if it's not the lack of caffeine and something else more serious, I will be pissed.

More poop talk. My poop pattern has done a complete 180. It's unbelievable. Transit time is like a day instead of 4 or 5. I don't know if that is a good thing or not. I am going 3-4 times in rapid succession in the morning then maybe 2-4 times throughout the rest of the day. What worries me is that things might be going through me too fast, y'know? I don't know, I am giving myself a week to see how things go.

I've been consuming food like a mad woman. I'll end the day today at around 2500 calories, 180+ grams of protein, 165+ grams of fat and around 80 grams of carbs, 25-30 grams of that fiber. It wasn't that difficult to do, but I am anxiously awaiting my Nectar as it makes getting protein shakes in much easier. I bought a couple of things of Muscle Milk which has 22g of protein per bottle. I've had 2 so far to day and will have the last one in about an hour or so to round out the day. I do like they have a good amount of protein and they taste okay, but they also taste very sweet, at least to me and my sense of what is sweet is skewed and has been since surgery. I think going forward I will do 2 shakes a day + three regular meals. Just thinking about it makes me feel better. I can't even imagine what it would be like trying to consistently get in what I need to get in by food alone. Ugh, that would suck.

Weighed in at 328.4 lbs this morning which is to be expected. For the first several days after really increasing my intake, the scale climbs, but I am hoping that it will start to drop off soon. We'll see.

Counting the days til I see the gastroenterologist.....

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08 July 2007

Sunday Randomness

6/30 - 325.2
7/1 - 326.2
7/2 - 328.8
7/3 - 328.2
7/4 - 328.4
7/5 - 329.4
7/6 - 328.8
7/7 - 327.8
7/8 - 327.6

Obviously, not too happy about that right now. I find myself feeling like I'm really tired of all the "dieting". Been doing it for over 10 months and how I wish I could be normal and not sweat it. The non-weight loss is not helping to squash those feelings and actually are probably the root cause of them. I don't know. My appt with gastroenterologist is a good two weeks away. Lately, I've had the opposite of constipation which is a significant change for me. I'm going several times in the morning and then maybe 2-3 times the rest of the day. Things seem to be going through me pretty fast, within 12-24 hours versus 4-5 days. I think it's probably due to me stopping the probiotics. I've ordered a couple of bottles of less potent pills.

As if I haven't agonized over and over-analyzed this enough lately (and I'm sure y'all love reading all about it), I think my problem (outside of something going wrong with my internal plumbing) is twofold and therefore that presents me two opportunities to change my approach. The first is something that I know Deluzy has mentioned this to me twice and for some reason it wasn't sticking enough -- eat more. I've been through months and months of my Fitday food logs and have noticed that when I eat over 2000+ calories and over 140+ grams of protein, the weight comes off, when I eat in the 1100-1300 calorie range for a few days, inevitably the weight loss stalls out. This was during the time I started a new job back in late February through mid May. I lost 45 lbs in those 3 months BUT I wasn't exercising much at all (no extra calories burned). I abandoned walking every day because I had to be at work early in the morning and wasn't doing much of anything afterwards. In short, I am going to be consuming more.

Since I started the new new job, my hours have been insane. Since I live in suburbia, I have to get up at 4:30 AM to catch a 6:15 bus to get me in town by 7:15 AM. I have a 15 min walk to my place of work. At 4:00 PM, I leave work and take 15-20 min walk to the bus stop and then have an hour ride to the Park & Ride lot near my house. WIth 1/2 way decent traffic, I am home by 5:30 PM and try to get to bed by 10:30 PM. Now, my first meal of the day is after I get to work around 8:00 AM. I have a mid morning snack at 10:30, lunch around 12:30, another mid-afternoon snack and I don't have dinner til round 7:00 PM. Anyway, I have noticed that since I started this job, I am eating a lot more solid food than I did before and I haven't been consistently eating more protein/calories to account for the increase in physical activity (walking to and from the bus stop). I also have been averaging like 1300-1400 calories and between 90-110 grams of protein, mostly all food and not shakes. My perception is that I am eating a lot more, but in reality I really wasn't. I used to start my day off with a 46 gram protein shake before I even left the house or within a 1/2 hour of getting to work, but now, my first meal of the day is solid food and I rarely have shakes anymore. I think the increase in solid food was a shock to my system which caused a lot of the problems I have been having with constipation, yellow poop, etc. In short, I am going to back off on eating so much solid food and go back to 1-2 protein shakes a day like I had done for months. I placed an order online for two containers of good old Nectar Roadside Lemonade. So, that is what I am going to do. I'm fairly confident that I have found the issue. We'll see. I know it seems like I am manic about this, but it drives me nuts to not know what the real issue is. I'm all about routine so if I can just nail down the right routine I need to follow, my mind will be at ease and I can't stop obsessing about this.

Yeah well, enough of that crap. I went to the bookstore (actually two) 4th of July and couldn't help myself and bought a slew of books and Moleskines. I took advantage of bargain tables and a couple "Buy X and get 1 free" promotions. You don't want to know how much I spent, but it was a good bit, not so much on the books, but on the Moleskines. I freakin' love those things. I highly, HIGHLY recommend them to anyone who is into journaling or anyone who is in search of a good notebook. They are a little pricey, but the large notebooks last me several months. I have one for notes for work, one for a personal journal, small ones for tracking to-do lists and for keeping favorite quotes, poems, favorite words, etc. I'm one of those types that are very particular about my writing materials so once I nail down something that works for me, I am all about it!

Anyway, a couple of the books I picked up I am really looking forward to reading. Unfortunately this past trip to the bookstore was unplanned so I didn't have any specific books in mind so I just browsed around and picked up a few that I had heard about in passing. I got "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy which I've already finished. Great book, very depressing (and nightmare inducing), but well worth the read. I plan on picking up McCarthy's other books as soon as I finish my current batch. I also picked up "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides who also wrote "The Virgin Suicides". I have seen the movie, but now want to read the book. I just started this book. Next in line are "The Tenth Circle" by Jodi Picoult and "The Memory of Running" by Ron McLarty. Before "The Road" I had been reading "Getting Things Done" by David Allen, a book I most certainly needed to read. I don't think I have ever mentioned this here before, but I was diagnosed with ADD back in my college years and was actually prescribed Ritalin, I stopped taking it within a couple of months, I didn't like how it made me feel (rapid heart rate) however I loved how it seemed to bring my life into focus. Ever since then, it's been a constant struggle to find strategies that I can employ in my life that help me stay focused. That's why I like writing/journaling so much and why I am a copious note-taker. My mind can wander within seconds, but if I wrote the shit down, I won't forget where I was before my mind wandered onto a totally different subject. Anyway, I think I may have found some gems in this book.

I love reading and it's something I picked up from my mom, she is a big reader and my youngest brother and I picked up on that a good bit, actually, I think many of my siblings have, now that I think about it. Mom reads close to a book a day. I am nowhere near that. I went to Oprah's website and printed out a list of all her Book Club books and I have read around 10 or so already. I am going to try to get through that list and then I'll try to find another to work off of. BTW, I am open to any recommendations.

It occurred to me this week that I have been writing this blog for over a year. Geez, it's hard to believe it's been that long. How times flies...

You know what my favorite days are? Grocery shopping day! Lame, I know, but I love the feeling of looking at a stocked refrigerator filled with with DS goodness, especially when there are a few new/different things. Yesterday I went grocery shopping and took my time for a change. I usually have a list that I work off of, but yesterday I went there and walked down every single aisle except for the obvious crap ones (cookies, cereal, etc.). I spent maybe $70 which is right on par for me which should last a good week and a half.

Well, today promises to be a laid back one, I picked up a couple of movies last night and am going to veg out and enjoy spending the day on my couch splitting my time between a movie or two and my books. Last couple of weeks have been crazy and I need to take it down a notch for at least a day.

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