30 November 2008

Random Sunday Stuff

I am turning into my mother's child! I went shopping yet again today, Lane Bryant was having a sale and as much as I would like to not have to shop there, their pants - specifically the Right Fit Blue 2's - fit me perfectly and flawlessly. The sale was Buy One Get One Free, so I ended up buying 2 pairs of jeans, a pair of khaki pants, a pair of black pants and two shirts, all for about $100. Awesomeness. My previous shopping trip and this current one have earned me $175 in Lane Bryant dollars or whatever they're called so I have those to spend in the next two weeks. I think I am going to focus on undergarments next time around.

I am really intent on looking good at work and whenever I go out. Looking good makes me feel good and certainly makes me feel more confident. I hardly ever felt that way before I lost all the weight.

I must have been more tired than I thought because I laid down in my bed last night around 7:30 thinking I'd watch one of the late football games all comfy in my bed, then probably go to bed around 10, but that didn't happen, not even close. I think I conked out around 8-8:15 PM and woke up around 8:30 this morning. Goodness! I haven't slept like that in ages. It was great although by 1PM, I felt like I could take another nap. Sometimes too much sleep ain't good, believe it or not!

My sister, S, called me this afternoon to talk about our older sister, L. Another sister, C, called S earlier and told her that L had "taken" something of our mother's without her knowledge and obviously not her permission. This pisses me off to no end. Right now, I feel like I want to throttle L. How dare she! L is somewhat of an anomaly in our family because she is, by far, the most morally corrupt of us all. I don't get it. For the longest time, she was our mother's favorite child - by far - and so was probably spoiled more than the others (I have no idea about this because L was in her 20's by the time I was born). I do know she is incredbly selfish and conniving and I don't trust her AT ALL. I just infuriates me that she feels it is okay to completely take advantage of mom and dad like that. I truly hate to say this about a sibling of mine, but I absolutely do NOT like her. None of us are perfect and we all have our own issues, God knows I have mine, but one thing that we do in our family is we respect each other and we especially respect our elders. We don't cuss each other out, we don't call each other out our names and we don't talk back or disrespect our elders. This doesn't mean we can't disagree and voice our opinions and push back when we need to, we just don't act a fool. L, did exactly that which was completely unheard of in our family. All this concerns me because my parents have greatly slowed down and are somewhat fragile and I do not like the idea that L has access to their house and I don't trust her to not act selfish and potentially criminally if something should happen to them. I just don't trust her. I'm going to have to keep my eye on her. I hate that it has to come to this, but it is what it is.

Anyway, back to the grind tomorrow. Haven't been to work in a week and am not really looking forward to it. Texas was so relaxing, but being back means that I need to get things going with my new venture. This stuff excites me so I don't mind that so much. I have a couple of meetings over the next couple of weeks and now have plenty of professional stuff to wear. Now is the time to sort of re-introduce myself to the tech community here in Atlanta which is a scary thing, to put your name out there and I have to make sure my name and who I am and what I am about is completely positive. I think I am ready for it. People who've known me for years know I'm all good and I have a good reputation, now is the time to really spread my wings and extend outside of my small little circle of friends and colleagues. The tail end of 2008 and all of 2009 are going to be significant for me. It'll be amazing, I know.

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28 November 2008


Thanksgiving was awesome! This holiday is mostly about the food, and at my parent's house, there was plenty of it. We had the usual fare with a few southern staples like collard greens w/ neck bones and baked mac & cheese. There was plenty of dessert as well, sweet potato pie, pecan pie, lemon meringue pie, chocolate chip pie and chocolate cake. I was all ready to be a total pig yesterday, I had it all planned out. Instead of one big meal - which is impossible for me now post-surgery - I was gonna pace myself and enjoy a steady, well paced of small meals. Instead of having 5 or 6 different things on my plate, I was going to eat 2 things at a time, with a small dessert every 2 hours or so. My first small meal consisted of my two favorites ham and mac & cheese! YUM! BTW, I made the mac & cheese myself with Dreamfield's pasta and people loved it and no one could tell it was low carb.

Anyway, so I eat the first meal and then dig into some lemon meringue pie. It was delish, but about an hour later - I wasn't feeling so great. My stomach started doing cartwheels and rumbling like crazy. The gas was out of control. It took some Mylanta and another four hours of pooting billowing clouds of gas before I felt okay enough to try to eat again. So, on that front, it was a bit of a disappointment. I didn't get to eat like how I envisioned, but I guess that's why Thanksgiving is on a Thursday so you have Friday to phase II! The funny thing is, I'm more interested in eating more ham & turkey than I am in the leftover desserts which is definitely odd for me.

Besides the food issue, I had fun with my family. We are a large and boisterous bunch so it's always a crazy time when we get together. The kids surely had a great time, by 4pm they were hopped up on so much sugar and the excitement of being around their cousins that they were literally running around the house screaming and laughing. Hilarious - and it was nice to do a little running around with them. This is one of the many unexpected benefits of surgery and losing the weight. It seemed like my nieces and nephews were always sort of skeptical or wary of me when I was 500+ lbs, they definitely kinda stayed away, I was sort of the freak of the family. Honestly, they probably didn't know what to do with me. Now, it's so different, I get plenty of hugs and we joke and play and run around, I definitely have much better relationships with them. It's so nice and SO much fun!

On a side note, one my sisters doesn't like to drive so I had to pick up her and her two sons and bring them to the house for dinner. This is a sister that I am seriously concerned about because in the last 10 years, she has probably gained 200 lbs, and honestly, probably like 100 within the last 3 years. If I had to guess, she is over 400 lbs and is having major issues with her knees. I'm really afraid for her because she smokes a lot, drinks probably 2-3 times a week, eats like crap and gets zero exercise. In some ways she isn't as bad off as I was when I weighed 500+ lbs, but in many ways she definitely is. At my highest, I was still able to do what I need to do, even though it wasn't easy. She has two kids who do a lot of the running around for her so she gets to offload a lot of that on them. Sigh. I honestly feel she is an ideal candidate for the Duodenal Switch, but approaching her about it is a delicate thing. We have talked extensively about low carbing and I have been doing my best to be as thorough as I can about it and offering up all the tips, advice and even websites that I can so that she can be as successful as possible, but who are we kidding, the odds of her losing 200+ lbs low carbing are slim and even if she does, she'll have to work miracles to keep it off long term. She wants surgery on her knees, but they will never do it at her weight. The only thing I can think to do is be as supportive and go hung as I can about low carbing with her and plant the surgery seed and nurturing it.

I'm headed back to Georgia tomorrow and find that I wish I could stay a few more days in Texas. My parents are getting along well and there really wasn't much for me to do for them while I was here. I setup a webcam & Skype for my dad and he LOVES it. We'll be able to use it frequently and will give us plenty of opportunities to stay close. My mom has mentioned to me, a few times, that she doesn't think I need to lose any more weight or get any smaller. I kinda just said "ok" and left it at that. I know better! My weight isn't changing that much, but it seems like maybe it's shifting or something because clothes are fitting differently and I'm slowly slimming down. I'm not going to kid myself and think that my eating this month is going to be stellar, nearly impossible this time of year, but I am going to make sure that no matter what, I will be getting in at least 2 protein shakes, if not three. I may not be able to attain perfection, but I know I'll be able to consistently set my nutritional foundation every day.

Today is going to be a lazy one. It's almost noon here so the plan for the day is to go get some Mexican food and maybe do a little shopping. I'm then going to just relax, spend some alone time with mom & dad separately and start packing. Thank goodness I have Sunday to recover and then it's back to the grind on Monday.

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19 November 2008

Yes, I'm still alive

Life is crazy nowadays. Things at my full-time gig are getting a little weird. I'm contracting at the moment, but it looks like they will be offering all us contractors full time positions. I'm not sure I want to go that route, there are still quite a few things up in the air. Oh well, we'll see.

Tomorrow is support group, but also a meeting of a very popular web-based entrepreneurial group that I have been looking forward to. It only occurred to me Monday that they fall on the same day. Sigh. Looks like I will be missing support group meeting because I have been looking forward to getting involved with this other group for over a month. Given that I eventually want to start my own business again, I feel like I need to do the ground work, kinda start from scratch and completely get rid of all the bad ju-ju from my previous experience and start anew. Speaking of, my old business partner is trippin'. From what I hear, she's in full on crazy mode, driving everyone around her nuts. I feel a tiny bit bad but ultimately it ain't my problem. She still feels the need to email me about stuff and I ignore her, you'd think after 5 months she'd catch the drift. She must be dense or determined, one of the two.

I'm really enjoying the clothes I bought a few weeks ago and I'm especially enjoying the new wool trench-style coat I bought. If ever there was a style of coat that was made for me, this is it. I gotta say, I look awfully cute in it. Tomorrow, I will be sure to take a picture. This is so significant for me because for years and years I didn't have a coat or jacket because (1) I was always too big to find anything that looked remotely fashionable (2) the idea of wearing a bulky coat when I was already 500+ lbs wasn't exactly appealing to me. I didn't hardly want to look bigger than I already was and (3) frankly, I had a lot of insulation (read fat) and wasn't in dire need of one. When I wear my new coat and I'm walking in the morning on my way to work, I feel like a normal person and it's so cool. One weird thing though, is that my self-perception is starting to get a little flaky. It is often the case lately that I feel downright fat. After I got to work and took my coat off and went to the ladies room to wash my hands, I examined myself in the full length mirror and flat out just thought I looked fat. I don't know what it is. I'm wearing smaller clothes. I fit in any normal seat, no longer spilling out, I don't get it. The same weekend I went to Lane Bryant, I had also picked up several shirts from Old Navy, size XL. I was dumbfounded that I was able to do that and if not for the excessive flab on my stomach, I could fit a Large. I was psyched about that, but I guess maybe the problem is that I am still a pronounced pear, maybe even more so. I am a solid 12/14 on top, but a 16 on bottom and my hips look wider than they used to. Ugh, my mind is messing with me.

I'm wrapping up my 27th month and I still surprise myself sometimes. Last night I was sitting on my bed when I drew up my knees to my chest and completely wrapped my arms underneath my thighs and with each arm I could touch the opposite arms' elbow. It was like I was giving myself a hug with my arms wrapped around my legs. I amazed myself. Stuff like that catches me off guard and forces me remember that yeah, Tia, you did lose a lot of weight. I often feel like that on the tennis court when I chase down balls I never thought I could. I knew the mind games would be a trip, but I guess I figured I would be past most of it by this far out.

Anyway, I am off to Texas next week, gonna spend the holiday with my parents & the rest of the crew back home. It should be fun. I am helping my mom cook Thanksgiving dinner and so I promptly bought a box of Dreamfield's macaroni to take with me so that I can make some baked mac & cheese. I couldn't find the stuff back home the last time I looked. I'm also going to make my green beans and probably a dessert of some kind. I'm really looking forward to spending time with ma & pa. The last time I was there it was such a stressful time, I'm hoping to just relax and chill out and eat lots of Mexican food. I tell ya, this time of year is cursed! I'm supposed to be trying to reach goal, but there is freakin' holiday food EVERYWHERE!

08 November 2008

Give hope a chance

What a historic week this has been. I'm finally fully recovered from election night and a long night it was. I think I maybe got 2 hours of sleep that night. Best part of it was talking to my parents, 76 and 79 years old. They have always been good citizens, they've been voting diligently for as long as they could. They are of a generation who have endured so much, I can't even imagine and much of it, too painful to talk about, especially my father and the 25+ years he spent serving in the army during a time when he was considered less than. I am 100% excited about our new president. I think with his leadership and a lot of citizen power, good progress can be made in our country. Having volunteered with the campaign over the last 18 months, I got to see first hand what an incredible amount of work that gets accomplished by so many anonymous folks, it's amazing. That is what gives me so much hope. I have yet to come across anyone with any pie in the sky ideas about what Obama can and can not do. I think the tone and tenor of this acceptance speech indicated that clearly, it was hardly celebratory. There is a crap-load of hard work to be done and dare I say most of it will fall on everyday Americans. I'm okay with that. We have to do our part too. It's that whole "ask not what your country can do for you" kind of thing.

In college I was a student activist for most of the time I was there. It was a lot of work and incredibly emotionally draining, but I truly believed in the work I was doing. It's tough fighting for people and causes where there isn't a lot of acknowledgment nor glory. No one really pats you on the back and you never really get any kudos and by the time you leave school, you either feel like you've accomplished something and are ready for the world or you are like me, totally burned out and incredibly cynical. For years afterwards, I thought I wasted a lot of time, but it wasn't until 4 or 5 years later when I started hearing from a few of those who where 2-3 years behind me talk about how I inspired them or they looked up to me and how I was someone they wanted to emulate. I was flat out shocked, because I didn't think anyone really noticed much. The thing, for me, was to leave the school in a better place than what I found it. I really feel like I did that. The kids now going to my alma mater have it so much easier than we did and I like to think I had a little part of that and it makes me happy. I don't have any delusions about what Obama can and can't do, he was right when he said, his election isn't the change we need, it's only the chance to make it happen. I for one, will continue to be involved because I believe in hope. I learned that from my family history and my culture early on. It's sooooo not about me, but those who will follow.

Anyway, I had an opportunity to wear some of my new clothes and it felt great. I felt like I took things up a notch. I wore a pair of size 16 pants with confidence and I think I am officially done with Lane Bryant as far as tops go. The smallest size is 14/16 and that's just too big. The sweaters I bought are fine as I am layering them over blouses, but I'm just wasting money if I continue to buy tops there as I can find a ton of things for much less money at "normal" stores.

I have a couple of tough decisions to make. Right now I am technically a contract at my current gig which is nice, the hourly rate is awesome, especially since I still get benefits, etc. The interesting thing is that I think they are going to offer me a fulltime job at the beginning of the year. The place I work has top notch perks, I mean, it's crazy, the #1 reason why they have so many long-term folks there, BUT they tend to not pay as much as far as industry standards go so potentially, I might be taking home a little less than what I have been. The other thing is that my job isn't all that challenging really. I like the environment and the people I work with, I like going to work there, I like being in the city and dressing up for work, I like the whole lifestyle of it, BUT I don't really enjoy the work, it's kind of mundane, I'm used to more rewarding work, I'm used to the work I do having a big impact. Such is not the case at this gig. The business that I am starting interests me 100 times more, but it'll be a while til I have a beta up and running and probably another 6 months until I have enough clients to support myself comfortably. The next 3-6 months will tell the tale and set the stage for how things go.

This weekend has been lazy. I am going to Starbucks @ Barnes & Noble in the morning to sort of mellow out and pick up a few books. I also have heard about Starbuck's salted caramel hot chocolate. I think I may need to try a small one. I then have tennis at 1PM and will probably just run a few errands after that. Tonight, it's football and working on my business plan and budget. Since I am starting this business on my own, I want to have all my ducks in a row.

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02 November 2008

Big things on the horizon.

I've had one hell of a week, a good one, but it's been crazy. The biggest thing is that I've decided to start working toward starting a business - again. I've had a couple of opportunities fall in my lap this week AND I've had one of the vendors I used to work with at my old company practically begging me to develop a new version of the software I wrote so that they can offer it to their customers. I had been slowing working toward making the decision to get back into the game but the developments of the past week really solidified it for me. This time around, the business will be completely on my terms, no more crazy business partners to deal with. Speaking of, I hear things aren't going so well with the company now that I'm gone. Big shock ... not. One of the three programmers that were hired is threatening to bolt. Sigh. She has managed to drive him absolutely crazy in a little over 3 months. What a mess. I am soooo glad I have nothing to do with that crap.

I engaged in some serious retail therapy Friday. I was lacking in the fall/winter clothing department and desperately needed to stock the closet which also means I had to empty it out of the latest batch of clothes that don't fit anymore. Craziness. I am now comfortably in size 16's pants. I picked up quite a few sweaters and shirts from Old Navy. I then went to Lane Bryant and picked up a few more things. This is the most I've spent on clothes in a long, long time. Part of the reason is because I feel like I need to dress the part. The idea of getting back to what I love - starting/running my own business - is envigorating and now that the opportunity is right at my feet and now that I feel so much more confident about myself, I want to look the part. I want to look and feel like a CEO. I worked hard to get myself into and graduate from a top 20 school and I've worked hard to be good at what I do and to try to learn as much as I can and build good relationships so I just feel like all these little things in my life are coming together. I just want to look on the outside, how I feel on the inside. Here are some pics of some of the outfits (Note: my head looks enormous):

I voted Friday as well, took three hours, but I'm glad I got it done, now I can spend Tuesday freaking out without the added pressure of actually having to go wait probably like 5 hours to go vote.

I forgot to give an update of Month 26, but I ended up at 231.4 lbs. For a total loss of 285.2 lbs. Not as much as I wanted, but I am dealing with the Big C (still) and some water retention issues. I've been a little lax with the 3 protein shakes a day, been only getting 2 so I'm going to put more effort in making sure I get that third one in.

This week I have training at work Tuesday-Thursday and I'm a little worried about getting my food in, there are long periods of lectures and group work, I can't exactly chug down a protein shake in the middle of it. I'll just have to be sure that pre- and post- training and during lunch, I get my protein in.

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