Sunday, January 24, 2010

Comment Link Fixed

I recently found out, thanks to a kind reader who e-mailed me, that the comment link on my page was not working correctly.  I believe I have fixed the problem, so please feel free to leave comments.  I look forward to hearing from all of you!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I Really Don't Condone Torturing Children

I am now three weeks into my fitness journey.  Although everything has pretty much been at a standstill for the last two weeks, I went ahead and weighed myself this morning and was ecstatic to find that I haven't gained any weight back.  I am still at exactly 310.6 lbs.  I have a follow-up appointment on Monday with my surgeon to make sure I'm healing up fine after my gallbladder surgery, so I will probably be able to start working out this coming week.

I was trying to find a "before picture" of myself to post, and realized I actually have almost no photos of myself.  Big surprise, since I can't stand any pictures of myself.  I always think I look horrible.  I was forced to take a family photo this Christmas with my in-laws.  I told them I shouldn't be in the picture since I wasn't a blood relative, but my evil mother-in-law insisted.  (In case she ever finds and reads this, I do not really think my MIL is evil).

(Clockwise from top left:  My hubby Adam, Me, FIL Dan, MIL Bev, BIL Ambro, my son Chris, and my daughter Sammy)

It was the end of a very long Christmas day, so I was not looking my best.  Anyway, there is my before picture.  I think I will post another picture in about two months to show what progress I have made, if any.  By the way, aren't my kids adorable?  That's just my completely unbiased opinion.  Although that is not their best picture either.  My son was badly in need of a haircut and my daughter is in the process of growing her hair back out.

Speaking of children, Adam recently found a new way to torture them that he finds absolutely hilarious.  My hubby has a Palm Pre, which is currently his favorite toy in the whole world.  He is constantly playing games and other apps with it.  In fact, a few nights ago I asked him to play Skip-Bo with me, and about halfway through the game I noticed that he was playing poker on his phone at the same time!  Anyway, he found this new app for his phone called Mosquito Tones that plays a high-pitched sound at different frequencies from about 10 kHz to 20 kHz.  From about 16 kHz up adults can't even hear the sound anymore, but kids still can.  And it drives my kids absolutely nuts!  For seemingly no reason my kids start screaming, "Turn it off!"  I turn my head and see Adam just cracking up, and then I realize he's playing with that stupid app again!  Seriously, my husband will never grow up!

We had another fun incident this week.  My mom, sister, brother-in law, and two nephews came over for dinner and games one night this week.  My nephew, Kellen, is about a month old, and my other nephew, Quinn, will be two in March.  Quinn had a blast playing with his cousins most of the night while the adults got to play a dice game called 10,000 and then Rummy, a card game.  It was getting close to my kids' bedtime so we had them do their usual nightly bedtime routine, brush their teeth, put on PJs, etc.  We watched Quinn follow Sammy down the hallway towards her room and thought he stayed there with her, but about ten minutes later realized he wasn't back there anymore.  Ben, my brother-in-law, found Quinn in the laundry room, where we also keep the cat box and animals' water dish.  Quinn had been playing in the water and his pants and shoes were soaked.  Then, he had decided to scoop cat poop (with his bare hands) out of the litter box and put it into the dogs' food bowl.  Ewwww!!!  Needless to say, that pretty much put an end to the games for the night, since Quinn had to be cleaned up and changed.  Kids are so much fun!!!

I've been meaning to take more pictures to put in each post to liven them up a little, but keep forgetting.  So I will leave you with this cute picture of our newest kitty, Cody, which is completely unrelated to anything in this post.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hiccups from Hell

I decided to skip my weigh-in Saturday.  I knew I hadn't lost any weight last week due to having surgery and not being able to work out (or even move much at all).  I am happy to report I am feeling much better.  I have been having much less pain and all the incisions are healing well.  The incision in my upper abdomen has been the slowest to heal, but all in all it is doing much better.  Although a few days ago I got the hiccups from hell that just would not stop.

I literally had the hiccups for two hours.  My hiccups can get painful as it is, but it was ten times worse when each hiccup felt like I was going to rip the incision in my stomach back open.  So after two hours of torture my hiccups had finally gone away, when my oh-so-considerate husband got home from work and decided to sneak in the back door and scare me to death.  I screamed and jumped a couple feet back, wrenching my stomach muscles and further aggravating the pain.  I asked (screamed at) my husband what the hell was he thinking scaring me like that?  He whined that he was only trying to help me get rid of my hiccups.

Monday night we had bowling.  I didn't bowl, but went anyway just to get out of the house and watched my team bowl.  My husband has the very bad habit of trying to kiss me and be all cuddly when we are at the bowling alley, even though he knows my very strict policy against PDA.  I'm just not comfortable with being all kissy in public, but to make matters even worse my husband and I both have red hair, so everyone who sees us together always automatically assumes we are brother and sister.  In high school my best friend had red hair and then I started dating hubby who also has red hair, and people would always say, "Oh, I saw you with your brother and sister the other day."  My brother and sister both had blond hair and are 5 and 9 years younger than me.  Just because two people have red hair does not mean they are related in any way.  I see married couples all the time who both have brown hair, I don't assume they are brother and sister (although there was one couple I saw recently who looked so much alike I swore they could have been).  Our hair isn't even the same shade of red.  My hair is dark (Auburn) and my husband's is lighter.

So I half-jokingly told my husband that if he wants me to lighten up on my no-PDA policy, then I was going to dye my hair so people wouldn't think I was kissing my brother.  I told him I would like to dye my hair black with teal highlights.  I think that would look really cool, but I'm not sure if I am brave enough to ever actually do it.  The next day I got a little ad in the mail from The Hamilton Collection for this fairy from artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith.

Isn't that awesome looking?  And what a weird coincidence!

Friday, January 15, 2010


Ouch!  That has been my first thought every morning since I had my gallbladder removed Monday.  That is what goes through my head every time I try to get up or sit back down.  All in all, it hasn't been too painful.  I have a total of four little incisions, one just above my belly button, two on my right side near my ribs, and one in my upper abdomen.  The incision in my upper abdomen is the only one that has really been bothering me.  I keep swelling around this incision and it is extremely tender.  Yesterday I felt nauseous all day and it got really bad last night and I started gagging.  OUCH!!!  I think I tore back open any healing that incision had managed.

I have to say that this experience has made me realize how much I take for granted being able to get around on my own every day.  I didn't realize how blessed I was just for the simple act of getting out of bed in the morning to go to the bathroom.  I know this wasn't major surgery or anything, but it has made me realize how important my health is.  As I get older I want to be able to continue getting around by myself and taking care of myself.  I want to be able to do things, like bowl or run around with my kids.  I am so incredibly bored after a week of not being able to do anything but watch TV and read.  I thought this would be a nice relaxing week and I'd finally catch up on some reading, and in a way it has been nice, but I'm over it.

I was watching the news with my hubby last night.  I haven't watched the news for a while.  I know, I'm bad.  I should be more concerned about what is going on in the world.  Last night was a reminder of why I stopped watching the news.  I'm going to need to get a prescription for Prozac if I keep watching it.  Seriously, that stuff is depressing!

Well, just wanted to post a quick update.  I haven't been watching my diet this week.  With hubby in charge of the cooking, that hasn't really been possible.  I've had a lot of jello and soup.  Hubby brought home Chinese last night.  I've been bad, plus my tummy is still a little swollen from the surgery.  I know tomorrow's weigh-in is not going to be good.  I'm just going to focus on healing and then I will finally be able to get to the gym.  I figure we all have our setbacks.  Don't worry, I'm not going to let this stop me though.  I am going to recover from this surgery and then I am going to buckle down.  I won't let my faithful readers down, all five of them!

I am going to go lie down now.  I am feeling a bit loopy!  The doctor gave me some good drugs!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

First Weigh-In!!!

Wow, one week down.  Only about a gazillion more to go!  Okay, maybe not quite that many.  It has been a very tiring week.  I have done more chopping and cooking than I would care to do in a month, or even a year!  Have I mentioned before that I really don't like to cook?  Every once in a while I get the urge to try something fancy, and about halfway through making it I think to myself, "What was I thinking?  I know better!!!"  I vow never to try anything so fancy again, and a few months later I find myself doing the same thing!  Cooking must be like childbirth, I forget about how painful it is until I'm going through it again.

Yesterday was Saturday, my self-appointed weigh-in day.  I really was not feeling optimistic about this weigh-in, for several reasons.  First, I did not exercise at all the first week.  Second, the dreaded visitor, Aunt Flo, dropped in Thursday night.  So of course for my very first weigh-in I was feeling completely bloated!  Sorry if that's TMI, but I did try to be tactful about it.  I did say "Aunt Flo," instead of something like, "I was bleeding like a stuck pig!"  Oops, sorry.

Well, to get back to the point.  I wasn't feeling very optimistic about the weigh-in, but I got up Saturday morning and got on the scale anyway.  I was pleasantly surprised with the result.

Hurrah!!! I actually lost a few pounds!  Ignore the ugly feet.  Every time I stepped off the scale the numbers disappeared just as the camera took the picture.  Technically, my last weight was 313.2, so I lost a total of 2.6 pounds.  Pretty good for not exercising, plus having the previously mentioned female problems!

So tomorrow is the dreaded surgery.  I know it won't be too bad, but this is my first surgery so I tend to imagine the worst-case scenario.  Have you ever read or seen on TV stories about when doctors think the patient is completely under anesthesia and can't feel a thing, but in reality the patient is just paralyzed but can feel EVERY SINGLE THING?  They are screaming inside their heads, but can't move or alert the doctor in any way?  Yeah, that is my biggest nightmare.  My second biggest fear is that I'll go to sleep expecting to have laparoscopic surgery, but when I wake up I find that the doctor had cut me open from breastbone to pelvis.  This might not be as outrageous a fear as you think, cause this actually happened to my mother about 20 years ago.  Yeah, she found out later that her doctor had the reputation of being a butcher.  I remember watching her get dressed when I was little, and marveling at the long scar running down her stomach.  I always thought that was from when she had me and my siblings, but it was actually from her gallbladder surgery.  Hey, I was a kid.  I didn't realize a C-section scar is down low and runs horizontal, not vertical.  (She also happens to have a c-section scar by the way.  Not surprising since I weighed 10 lbs 6 oz at birth.)  So those are my two biggest fears.  Of course I know better, but I still can't get those thoughts out of my head.

Since my surgery is on Monday, I had to go to the hospital Thursday to pre-register and to get some blood work done.  They also require a pregnancy test, so I had to give a urine sample.  The nurse in registration couldn't find my vein (this is a common problem, apparently I have "deep" veins), so she had to send me to the lab.  She walked me over and told me to go ahead and pee in the cup and then someone from the lab would take my blood.  So when I got out of the restroom I was told to put my urine sample (which was sealed in a plastic bag) on the table next to the chair where they would take my blood.  I dutifully followed directions and sat in the chair waiting for someone from the lab.  After a few minutes in walks this young, hot phlebotomist (technical term for a person who is paid to stab you with a needle and take your blood).  He decides to try to make small talk while pulling out the needle and preparing to stab me (can you tell I don't like needles?), and I try to be sociable and polite, but I find it rather distracting/embarrassing to talk to a cute guy when a bottle of my pee is sitting on the counter right next to him!

I doubt I will be getting any exercise this week, as I will be recovering from the surgery.  But I did manage to get a nice long walk yesterday evening.  My son was invited to a friend's birthday party.  Since my husband was at work when the party started, we were lucky enough that his friend only lives about a mile from us.  So I had the privilege of walking my son to the party.  My daughter was staying over at her friend's house, so my son and I had a nice quiet walk together.  And then I had an even quieter walk home alone.  It really was very peaceful, although a bit cold.

I even saw a little cottontail bunny!  I tried to get a picture of the bunny with my phone, but couldn't get close enough before it hopped away.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Week of Mii Characters, Bowling, and Cooking

Here it is Friday, almost a week into my journey, and I have yet to get a workout in.  Well, unless you count bowling.  My husband begged and pleaded me to join a bowling league with him.  I finally caved, even though I am socially inept and horribly shy and self-conscious.  I hadn't bowled very much in my life, so I was certain that everyone would be laughing behind my back at how horrible I was.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  Although I'm one of the worst bowlers there, I actually have fun and everyone we bowl with is great.  I've been averaging about a 130, which is better than the 106 I thought I was going to average.  So although I don't think bowling really counts as a workout, at least I got some physical activity in this week after sitting at a desk all day every day.

My son recently went on a Mii making spree on our Nintendo Wii.  He made about 20 new Mii's and decided that he just had to make his own Mom Mii (get it, Mom Mii ... mommy!  Lame, I know!).  Although I already have my own Mii character, he decided he should make a more accurate version.

Ouch!  Although I would have to disagree that looks anything like me!  Ah, children, they really know how to make you feel good about yourself!  My younger brother used to call our mom "Hippomomatus."  We all used to laugh about it at the time, but now I realize how hurtful that must have been.

So far I have done pretty well with the diet.  I haven't caved in to my cravings and run out to get Taco Bell or Arby's.  I've only been drinking coffee, water, and the occasional glass of 2% milk (although I did allow myself to cheat on Monday while bowling and have a Pepsi).  Soda is my biggest weakness.  I am literally addicted to it.  When I stop drinking it I get horrible headaches and I know my husband would claim that I get extremely irritable, but I don't know what he is talking about!  So, I think I have done pretty well in regards to the soda consumption.  All of my meals have been healthy (I think).  I do need to drink more water.  I've only been drinking 3-4 glasses of water a day.  I think at least 6 glasses a day would be better.

I think I was feeling a little overambitious when I started this diet, so I will try to simplify my meal plan in the coming weeks.  Made a creamy broccoli soup to go along with a salad for my lunches from my Flat Belly Diet Cookbook.  I would say the soup is not very creamy.  To me, it's basically pureed broccoli.  Okay, it's not quite that bad, but nowhere near as yummy as the cookbook makes it sound.

Looks appetizing, doesn't it?  I have found a few surprisingly yummy healthy recipes.  Wednesday's dinner was Chicken Piccata with zucchini and carrots with pine nuts, two more recipes from my Flat Belly Diet Cookbook.  Even the kids liked it, which gives it an extra two stars.  Although my deranged husband, who doesn't like nuts of any kind (because of the texture, he says) ate the veggies without the pine nuts.

Doesn't that look amazing?  Almost looks like a real chef made it!  And last night we had The Best Grilled Chicken Breast, another recipe from the same cookbook, served with broccoli.  Yummy!  It is basically grilled chicken and you serve it with a "balsamico sauce" spooned over it.  So good!  And the kids absolutely loved it!  They told me I should make it more often.  You can't get better reviews than that!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day One!

As you know from my previous posts, if anybody is actually reading this, yesterday was the first day of my journey to lose weight.  I weighed myself in the morning to get my starting weight, which is 313 lbs.  I am horrified as I type this and deeply embarrassed that someone may actually be reading this, but I have resolved to be completely open and honest, so there it is.  I am tall (5'11") and am not a petite person, so I have decided that my ultimate goal is to get down to 180 lbs.  That means I have to lose *gasp* 133 lbs!

Since it was my first day I wanted to get off to a great start with breakfast.  Neither my husband nor I had a chance to get the grocery shopping done for the week, so the night before I sent my husband to the store after he got home from work, just to pick up a few things to get us through the next day.  I handed him a short grocery list as he was about to leave, but he called me ten minutes after he left to tell me he had forgotten the list and would I please text it to him, which I did (muttering under my breath the entire time that men are just completely useless).  Finally hubby gets home with all the groceries (or so I thought). 

Anyway, back to breakfast.  I had decided to make a strawberry oatmeal recipe from my The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook.  Simple enough, just boil some water with a pinch of salt, add the oatmeal (not the yummy sugar-infused instant variety) and cook for about 5 minutes, then stir in some vanilla extract and then some strawberry preserves.  Everything was going smoothly, until I went to add the vanilla extract.  I looked in the cupboard where we would usually keep it, in the pantry, then on the counter thinking maybe it decided to hide the night before when I was putting the groceries away.  I finally gave up and texted hubby, "Did you get the vanilla extract?"  He texts me back, "Oops."  Great, no vanilla extract.  I really wanted everything to be perfect, but now I would have to improvise.  I searched through the cupboard trying to find something that would add some flavor to blah old fashioned oatmeal, decided on some cinnamon, and added about 1 tsp to the oatmeal and stirred in the strawberry preserves.  Ok, oatmeal was ready, so I went to the cupboard to get a coffee mug and got a little surprise!

Apparently, not only did my lovable freak of a cat decide to get into the cupboard and make himself comfortable, but he also wanted some privacy and somehow shut the cupboard door after climbing in!

Eventually I was ready to sit down and enjoy my healthy breakfast.  The oatmeal wasn't bad, but it sure wasn't as good as the instant Maple & Brown Sugar oatmeal either.  I actually could only finish about half the oatmeal before I was too full to take another bite.

All in all, breakfast didn't completely go as planned, but it worked out all right.  My midmorning snack went as planned.  I hadn't really planned out my lunch, but managed to throw something fairly healthy together.  Then it was time for the last meal of the day. 

We had set out a turkey for the day before, but it hadn't quite thawed out in time so Friday night I put it in the fridge and planned to make it for dinner Saturday.  So I pulled the roasting pan out of the pantry and found that the last person who had washed it (hubby) had done a crappy job.  Just what I love before cooking dinner, washing the pans needed to cook dinner.  I got the pan clean, turned the oven on to preheat, and pulled out the roasting bag to cook the turkey in and coated it with flour.  I pulled out the spices to flavor the turkey with and mixed them together in a bowl so I could just rub them all over that sucker!  This was going to be one flavorful turkey!  I pulled the turkey out of the fridge and set it in the sink.  I was about to cut away the plastic around the turkey when I noticed a big chunk of ice sticking to part of it.  Oh, no!  No, no, no! 

Yep, the damn turkey was even more frozen than when I put it in the fridge the night before!  Well, so much for that!  I called hubby who was just getting off work to tell him we were going to have to figure out something else for dinner.  Hubby brought home dinner from Boston Market.  Hey, we still had poultry for dinner!  We had chicken with steamed veggies and red potatoes.  And yes, I ate the damn cornbread too!  So, it wasn't exactly the healthy dinner I had planned, but I figure it was just the first day and I obviously have some kinks that I need to work out.  Of course, by the time hubby got home and we finally ate, it was a bit late and I was much too tired to go to the gym.  I can't allow myself these excuses anymore though.  I definitely have got to work out an exercise schedule. 

All in all, the first day of my weight loss journey was a series of small disasters.  But I haven't given up yet!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Speed Bumps

Tomorrow is the big day, the day I try to completely overhaul my lifestyle.  I haven't even started yet and I've already hit a few speed bumps.  Sunday night I had a gallbladder attack, which I have been getting off and on for years, but lately these attacks have been getting more frequent and more intense.  I was never diagnosed with gallbladder disease, but I was pretty sure that was what it was.  I have talked to doctors in the past about it, but they pretty much blew me off without even trying to diagnose the problem.

Anyway, Sunday night I suddenly got the familiar pain in the center of my upper abdomen that seemed to go straight through to my back.  Usually it goes away after a few hours, so I went to bed hoping it would pass.  Around 2:30 in the morning the pain got really intense and I woke up my husband to ask him to get me some water and some Tylenol.  Tylenol doesn't usually help, but at this point I was desperate.  Finally my husband convinced me to go to the emergency room, which is about an hours drive from our house.  Reluctantly, I agreed, fearing that it would just be a waste of time and money.  Our daughter was staying over at a friend's house, so we woke up our son and piled into the car.  I was in pain the entire drive to the hospital, but literally the second we pulled into the hospital parking lot the pain suddenly went away.  Against my better judgement, I went into the emergency room anyway.  When the doctor saw me I told him what was going on and he said since I wasn't in pain any longer he was going to send me home.  I told him where I had driven in from and he decided that since I lived so far from the hospital he would go ahead and take some blood.  I agreed, although I wasn't feeling very optimistic at this point that a blood test was going to do any good.  When he got the results he came back and told me, "Well, I'm actually glad I ordered the blood test, it showed that your gallbladder is probably inflamed."  So they did an ultrasound, which showed a gallstone partially blocking a duct.  The doctor talked to the surgeon on-call and they decided that I would see the surgeon the next day and schedule a cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) in the next one to two weeks.

So, I saw the surgeon and my surgery is scheduled for Monday afternoon, January 11th.  That is going to put a bit of a kink in my diet and exercise plan, but hopefully this will make me feel better and help me lose more weight in the long run.  Since my last gallbladder attack I have been feeling a little nauseous and just tired with no energy.

Of course yesterday (New Year's Eve) I started feeling like I was coming down with a cold or flu.  Then in the early evening I started feeling really crappy.  My head was killing me, my nose was plugged up, my joints were aching, and even though I didn't have a fever I was really cold and could just not warm up.  Took a nap and then got up to watch the new Terminator movie with my husband and the kids.  Of course, my husband fell asleep during the movie and just would not wake up.  He does this every time we rent a movie, he is absolutely hopeless.  Then the movie ended just in time for us to watch the New Year's celebrations on TV.

Well, after everything that's been happening this week, I still have not made out a meal plan or gotten the needed groceries.  So I will be working on that this afternoon and will then have to send hubby to the store when he gets off work.  I would go myself, but that's a bit hard to do when I don't have a vehicle.  We are hoping that we will get a good tax return this year so we can pay off some bills and start saving up for another car.  Of course, trips to the emergency room and surgery co-pays don't really help.