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My Weightloss Journey

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Thoughts along the way.....

Feb 13, 2011
I've been yo-yoing forever, it seems.  At my all time low I was 202 lbs, then went up and down for MONTHS.  It was very frustrating.  All the goodies at mom's house over the Christmas holidays didn't help.  Also, I find I can tolerate sugar pretty well without a problem.  This is not really good news.  It means I can eat sweets without getting sick as long as I don't eat too much.  So, the temptation to nibble on sweets is hard to overcome when I'm tempted.  Sometimes I'm strong and I can pass it by.  Sometimes I just take a bite.  Every now and then I have several bites though.  *sigh*  So, my weightloss has come to a standstill.  I've also been under a lot of stress with my job this school year, so much so, I've nearly quit several times.  In fact, at least half the staff at my school feel the same way.  The stress and sense of oppression sent me into a depression, for which I'm now medicated, but it only helps a little.  I am working on a career change now.  Lastly, today I hit an all time low with my weight!  Today I was 201.8, which is only 2/10 of a pound below my all time low, but that's okay.  It means the scale is headed in the right direction!

Nov 7, 2010
I hit a milestone today!!  I've lost over half my starting weight.  In other words, I'm HALF the woman I was!  LOL!  My BMI is almost below 30 and I've almost broken into the 100s.  I hope to be there by Thanksgiving!  Still working the plan.  Need to exercise more.  My job has me hopping so much this school year I am physically and mentally exhausted when I get home these days.  A LOT of stress!  I'm thinking it may be time for a career change.  I'm working on that.

Oct 28, 2010
It's been quite a while since I posted.  I have a bad sore throat at the moment and I'm having chronic fatigue.  I've lost my voice too.  The good news is that the scale went DOWN again tonight!  I was 207.4 tonight, which is an all-time post-surgery low!  WOO HOO!  My job is stressing me out, bit time though.  I truly think I need to leave my job if I am to have a shred of sanity left.  Gotta go, need more medicine!

July 4, 2010
I feel a bit guilty that I haven't been posting to my journal.  I guess I've been too busy living to dwell on my weight loss all the time.  I suppose that's not a bad thing.  Today is a big milestone though:  I've now lost 200 lbs!  WOO HOO!  I have really enjoyed shopping for new clothes.  I had to start all over again with a new wardrobe and the stylist helped me think outside my "box" to pick out things I wouldn't normally choose for myself.  Plus, she gave me confidence in my own choices too.  I learned I look best in V-necks and that I look good in capris.  I love all the compliments I've received.  It feels so good and I love my new life!  **grin**

March 21, 2010
Wow, I can't believe how the scale is moving these days!  I was on a wicked plateau for 2.5 months.  PATIENCE is the name of this game, for sure!!  And the hard work is paying off.  Paul and I went walking around the neighborhood yesterday afternoon.  It felt good to get out.  It's been a long winter!!  And the best part was that my hip didn't hurt when I walked.  It was a long road to recovery from that hip replacement but now I can walk normally. 
Now to the next issue:  I have NOTHING in my closet to wear that's appropriate for spring and summer!  EVERYTHING is way too big for me.  I need new clothes in the worst way.  It occured to me that I really don't know how to fit my new shape.  I have no experience fitting this shape.  I've always been VERY heavy and that was easy to fit:  just think TENT.  LOL!  I don't know where to begin to find the right size, fit, and styles appropriate for my new shape that are career appropriate, age appropriate, fashionable, and most of all flattering.  I joked to my coworker on Friday that I'm afraid if I went shopping without some guidance I'd end up coming to school looking like a Motley Crue groupie.  LOL!!  Just kidding.  So, I think I've decided I need to find a professional STYLIST!  If it's not too outrageoulsy expensive, I think this is exactly what I need.

March 4, 2010
Yeah, I know.  It's been a long time since I did an entry.  Sometimes I don't feel like I have anything to say and sometimes there's just too much to say.  My weight went down to a (231) low on Dec 17th while I was at my mom's house recuperating from hip replacement.  Then I spent the holidays at mom's house nibbling on rich foods, so I GAINED weight!  Well, that all went away and now the scale is below my lowest recorded weight again 229!  Woo Hoo!  I am now 3/4 to goal and wearing a size 1X.  I never thought I'd see the day!

October 24, 2009
After much consideration and consultation with Dr. Chapman I have changed my target goal weight from 155 to 170.  Dr. Chapmas said 185 should be my goal weight, but I picked 170 as a compromise. 
I've been on a wicked plateau for a MONTH now.  Today the scale went down a little, but I'm not holding my breath.  This may just be a hiccup in my plateau.  **sigh**

Oct 17, 2009
Okay, so it's been a LONG, LONG time since I last posted something here.  I've been on a month-long plateau.  But today the scale started it's long-awaited decent again.  Thank goodness!!  This was the longest plateau I've been on yet.  At this rate I may not make my weightloss goal by my one-year "surgiversary." 
I have been overwhelmed lately by my hubby's difficulties, major renovations here at the house, school work, and acute chronic hip pain from osteoarthritis.  There haven't been enough hours in the day to accomplish all that I need to get done.  And at the moment I'm battling a cold too.  It's not been too bad, so I've been able to get by, but I don't feel good and can't get much done when I feel this way.

Sept 1, 2009
I've been on another 3-week plateau, but today I broke through it and the scale moved down again.  I don't understand why I'm having these long plateaus when I'm so far from goal!  I've just taught my first full week of classes.  I feel very tired at the end of the day, but I'm not sore.  I think I just need to get more sleep.  One thing I've been quite amazed at was the speed and ease with which I set up my classroom at the beginning of the school year this year.  I had so much energy!

Aug 18, 2009
The scale dropped again today!  I wonder how long it'll drop this time before I hit another plateau!  Tomorrow I start school again.  It's the first "optional work day" for teachers.  I'm sure my work collegues will be asking me at every turn how much weight I've lost.  I'm guessing I'll have to answer that question at least 10 times tomorrow.  And I'm prepared to grin every time!  I wish I could stay at home another 2-3 weeks though.  There so much more I wanna do at home with the re-organizing and remodeling going on at my house right now.  I'm so excited about my new guest bathroom.  My first attempt at faux painting turned out so good I love going in there to pat myself on the back and admire my handiwork.  My contractor was so impressed with my work he very kindly said, "You're wasting your time teaching."  As great as it turned out, I'm not sure I wanna do it again any time soon.  WHEW!  And you'd have to pay me a pretty penny to do it professionally!  It took me 13 hours total to do that little bathroom.  I'm sure I couldn't have done this a year ago, which was also 155 lbs ago!  I'm quite interested to see how my energy holds out this year with all this weight gone.  I hope to have a LOT more energy and stamina as well as a much more positive outlook with much greater self-esteem!!

Aug 13, 2009
I'm having a great time with my bathroom remodel project.  Today I tried my hand at faux painting on several boards to practice some different techniques and try out some different ways to layer the colors.  It was so much fun!!  Yesterday a professional organizer came over and gave us lots of suggestions on how to get our house in order, esp. to help Paul get a handle on all his clutter.  He is drowning in clutter and he has no idea what to do with it.  He loses things daily.  He hasn't seen his keys in over a week.  His memory is so poor he has no idea when or where the keys may have gone.
I haven't been very hungry in the past couple of days.  I guess I'm so excited about school starting soon, my bathroom project, and reorganizing my house, there's little time to think about eating.  So, I am truly eating to live now insteading of living to eat.  YAY!!  The lifestyle change is really taking hold.  I never thought it would be possible. 
Paul is at his level 3 diet, so he's able to add beans and seafood this week.  I made sauteed shrimp tonight with garlic and herb seasoning, but I think the shrimp must not have been all that good.  When I thawed it out it didn't look that great.  It was bitter and tough.  I ate a few, but didn't want anymore.  It's 10:00 at night and all I've had all day is a cheese stick with a little deli turkey wrapped around it and about 6 shrimp.  I'm really not hungry at the moment though.

Aug 10, 2009
Today is the first day available for teachers to get into their classrooms to start setting up.  I am not ready or anxious to get back into my classroom.  I am quite happy at home overseeing my bathroom renovation, playing with my kitties, and sleeping in.  I am still walking on a cloud over my milestones yesterday!! 
I haven't journaled in a while so I need to add the GREAT time I had this past weekend, Aug 7th and 8th at my 30-year high school reunion!!  I bought some beautiful dresses at Catherine's in size 2X, with a 1X little jacket for one of them.  I looked HOT.  And my self-esteem soared!!  I swear, one of the guys there was flirting with me big time!  I saw people that weekend I hadn't seen in what seemed forever which was great, except I didn't recognize many of them after all these years.  Many of the men are gray or BALD!  Many of the women looked recognizable.  Our old buddy Heron was the MC and he was such a hoot.  He kept us in stitches the whole night.  The music, much to my surprise, was actually quite fun.  It wasn't all disco.  I wish I could have stayed longer, but Paul didn't feel good and wanted to leave.  I felt GREAT!!  I could have danced all night.  Alas, I did ONE group line dance and that was it.  But I did get to talk to a lot of wonderful people and hopefully we can stay in touch, particularly my old friends Monica, Chris Nobles, and Johnny Beacham.  Hopefully I'll post some pics from the even on my photos page eventually.

Aug 9, 2009
Well, after a plateau of nearly a month, the scale finally moved again and I've now hit the 150 lbs lost mark.  This is truly a milestone!! 

July 16, 2009
Now that hubby is on his liquid diet and having his RNY next week, I thought is was high time I went through ALL our food to get rid of the carb-laden and sugary stuff.  I threw out some old stuff, but I gave away about 3 boxes of food to my housekeeper, Charlene, including:  rice (plain and flavored boxed types), cereal, jellies and jams, pasta, regular hot cocoa mix, canned fruit in syrup, regular pudding mix, regular jello mix, cookie mix, honey, frozen Stoffer's lasagna and mac & cheese dinners, hot dog buns, English muffins, etc.  It's all GONE now!!!!  I feel so liberated!!!!  It's going to be so much easier when both of us are on the same eating plan.  (I don't like to use the "D" word.  The "D" word is a four-letter word that means I'm shackled with a ball and chain and I can't wait to escape.  I am NOT on a DIET!  This is just the way I eat and the way I live!!!   )

Now, hmmm, what am I going to use the bread box for?

July 12, 2009
I arrived home today from my long trip to Minneapolis to see my sister.  Before I finished unpacking I had to WEIGH!!  It had been a long time since I'd been on a scale and I was suffering from severe scale withdrawal.  I'm happy to report that I lost a total of NINE POUNDS during my vacation!!!    WOO HOO!!!  I LOVE MY RNY!!  I'm a bit surprised.  There were many times during my 16-day time away that I was faced with limited choices and ended up eating fried chicken tenders or nuggets.  And I indulged a few times too:  5 spoonfuls of no-sugar-added frozen custard, tiny square of fresh Italian bread with whipped herb butter, 2 M&Ms, things like that. 

It took me and my mother over 3 days to make the drive from Minneapolis to New Bern.  The interstate driving was the worst part:  white knuckle driving at 70 mph in heavy traffic with 18-wheelers bearing down on you.  Very stressful!  Glad to be home and glad to be able to sleep in my own bed for a change!! 

July 6, 2009
Today I had a close encounter with sugar and it was a little scarey!!!  I have not dumped (yet) and I try to be very careful.  Today as I was browsing around the BIG "Mall of America" here in Minneapolis enjoying "retail therapy" during my vacation ,  I went into a specialty tea shop.  I LOVE hot tea!!  They had thermal dispensers with free samples of their exotic teas.  I drank 2 little two ounce plastic cups of the hot teas.  As I took the last gulp of my second cup I suddenly realized, 'This tea has been sweetened, WITH SUGAR!!'  I panicked and ran back to the dispensers to see if it was labeled and sure enough, there it was in the fine print on the dispenser, "lightly sweetened."  The second cup was a bit more than "lightly" sweetened though.  There I was in a big city, hundreds of miles from my NC home, in a strange mall, and I had no idea where the nearest bathrooms were.  I felt like a ticking time bomb, esp. since it had been several hours since I'd eaten, so I'm sure my little pouch was empty!  I waited and waited, but it didn't happen.  I didn't dump!!!!!  I sure did feel like I dodged a bullet though!!  (Dumping is a horrible reaction to eating too much, eating too many carbs, or eating something sugary.  Click the word above to find out more.)

July 5, 2009
I'm really having a fun and relaxing time on vacation visiting my sister up here in Minneapolis, but the food we've been eating has not been the best for me.  Luckily I have not had any problems (yet) but I'm eating stuff that I would not normally choose, esp. when we go out for dinner or we're at a dinner party, or whatever.  A couple of times I could tell my tummy was saying, "What the HELL what THAT you just put in me?!?"  I'd reply, "Uh, I didn't know what it was when I ordered it off the menu from the Polish place, or Thai place, or Greek place, or whatever."  I still haven't been nauseous and haven't thrown up though.  I think my tummy will be glad when we head back home.  I am getting a very good, protein packed b'fast every day though.  And I bought several good choices to keep on hand for snacking:  nuts, sf jello, sf popsicles, yogurt, and cheese.  It's going out to dinner at these exotic restaurants that's putting a kink in my plan.

June 29, 2009
I'm on the road, traveling, on vacation to see my sister up in Minneapolis.  I'm staying the night near Madison, Wisconsin.  For dinner I stopped in at a locally owned family restaurant and ordered "roasted chicken."  When it came I was surprised to find that it was FRIED, NOT ROASTED.  Being from the South (North Carolina), my first thought was, 'Hmm, maybe roasted is what they call fried chicken up here in Wisconsin?!?'  Has this ever happened to anyone else?  Wisconsin people, can you please comment?

Also, when I ordered, the waitress said potatoes came with it, so I asked her if there was a lower carb option to the potatoes.  She suggested RICE!  **UGH**  I smiled and said, in my sweet Southern drawl, "Honey, that's a carb too."  She then suggested carrots, which would have been okay, then she suggested steamed broccoli, which I chose.  I'm still early out and supposed to be eating 80% protein at this point on my surgeon's plan.

So, tell me Wisconsin people and others who live in this part of the country.  Are "roasted" and "fried" synonymous up here?  And are many Wisconsin people really that out-of-touch with the whole carb conscious thing?  The waitress said she was originally from northern Wisconsin, near Canada.

June 28, 2009
I'm still on the road and enjoying my vacation.  My mom and I are on the way up to Minneapolis to see my sister.   Today we covered over 500 miles and stopped at TWO different Cracker Barrel restaurants along the way.  The first time I noted the "Kid's Menu" said it was for "Kids of All Ages" which I thought was awesome!!  So I ordered the 2 grilled chicken tenderloins and some green beans.  I also noted the menu featured almost a whole page of  Low Carb Options.  But those meals looked so big and I knew I couldn't eat that much.  The kids plate was PERFECT!!  On the second stop I didn't see anything else on the kids menu that looked that great except for the shrimp and I had the feeling the shrimp was probably cooked from frozen.  I'm picky about my shrimp, so I went for some BBQ pork with 2 sides (green beans and cabbage, which I ate very little of).  There was a family sitting across the restaurant with a screeching 3 year-old who would NOT stop screaming and screeching.  It went on and on.....   It hurt my ears and was so grating my mom and I literally got up and walked OUT!  We weren't even halfway finished with our meal.  We told the manager we could not and WOULD not put up with that.  The manager was very nice and apologized.  That's the second time I walked out of a restaurant because of out-of-control children who ruined my dinner.   When we checked into a motel I had a box of South Beach Diet protein bars.  It was great!  That's the first protein bar I've had since my surgery.  Oh yeah, the motel has an exercise room with a nice scale - the kind like a doctor's office has.  So, I got on and I was FOUR pounds down from my last weighing.  I'll take it!!  WOO HOO!!

June 27, 2009
I've been eating in restaurants a bit more lately, with company visiting and going on vaction (still having my "scale withdrawal").  I have noted that most bring hot, fresh bread or rolls and butter to the table before the meal.  **sigh**  I NEVER partake, but I wish they wouldn't do that.  It smells so good and looks so good.  Our world is flooded with carbs, isn't it?  When I walk down isles at grocery stores I see carbs everywhere I look.  It's no wonder Americans are so overweight!!!  I really don't feel deprived and I don't ever use the "D" word (DIET), since I look at this as a lifestyle change and NOT a diet, but looking at that bread at every meal makes wanna pout a bit.  I could probably have some and not blow it too badly, but I'm only about 6 months out and I'm supposed to stay away from stuff like that.  At this point I'm trying to limit my carbs to a bite of fruit, veg, or an occasional low fat cracker with cheese or peanut butter.  Those hot rolls are haunting me though!!!

June 26, 2009
Today I started a two-week vacation to visit relatives, so I'm on the road now.  I have been weighing myself at home at least once a day since surgery, but now I won't be able to weigh every day!!! I just left home this morning and this if my first night in a motel, but I'm already having scale withdrawal!!!!  OMG!!!  Somebody help me!!!    Do you think I could randomly drop into doctors' offices along the way and say, "Can I use your scale?"  Do you think they'd think I was crazy?

June 20, 2009
Today was a big day!  The scale moved down again, for one thing.  Susan and Allen arrived last night.  We had dinner together at mom's house:  deli meat, deviled eggs, potato salad, cheeses, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, fruit salad.  I had half a turkey and cheese wrap, a deviled egg, and a little fruit salad.  Today we got together around lunch and went to the Cow Cafe downtown.  I ordered the chicken salad sandwich with cole slaw, but didn't eat the bread.  It was okay, but I wasn't that impressed with the chicken salad.  It tasted a bit too sweet, as if it was loaded with too much sweet relish or something.  After that Paul and I went to Tryon Palace with Susan and Allen.  The tour was lovely.  Susan couldn't get her scooter upstairs, but they provided her with a personal pictoral tour when the rest of us were upstairs.  When we toured the kitchen and stable areas I ran into an old high school friend of mine from my drama club days.  His name is something like Herron Beatty.  I think he convinced me to attend this coming high school reunion.  It'll be our 30 year reunion.  That makes me feel OLD!  After my chat with my old friend, we toured the gardens and it was HOT!  The mosquitoes were after me too!!  I was wilting in the heat, so we went back to the car, drank some water, and went on a car tour of downtown New Bern.  We ended our car tour at the Country Club where we met mom.  We found a terrific, scenic spot to sit and sip tea on the porch facing the water.  Around 6:00 we adjourned to the casual dining room and had a nice dinner.  I got my favorite:  fried shrimp with low carb veggie medley.  I ate almost half the shrimp and a few bites of the veggies.  I didn't have room for the salad.  When the hot, fresh, crusty rolls and butter were brought out my heart sank.  It looked and smelled sooooooo good, but I didn't have any.  I gave Paul my roll.  He ate his AND mine.  Paul is still eating too fast and takes huge bites.  If I try to remind him to slow down he just gets mad.  I am convinced he is NOT READY for his gastric bypass surgery.  I do not think he will be willing to comply with what the surgeon requires.  Time will tell.  I digress.  Tonight we played Catopoly.  Well, "we" means me, Susan, and Allen.  Paul and mom konked out.

June 19, 2009
Yesterday I went for my 6-month check-up with my surgeon in Greenville.  I'm on track and doing great.  I hugged him when he walked into my examination room!  He said my next goal will be to lose 25 more lbs. by my 9-month appointment.  So, my total pounds lost should be at 158 by my September appointment.  He also told me I'm going to have a lot of loose skin around my tummy.  Only plastic surgery can remove this, but that's another bridge to cross down the road.  I noted when I weighed myself at the surgeon's office I weighed about 2 lbs heavier, but the nurse assured me that's because of my clothes.  Dad's cousin Susan and her husband Allen are coming to visit today.  I'm not sure when they'll get here.  I really slept late today.  I'm in my summer night owl mode now.

June 14, 2009
It's been a while since I made an entry here.  School is out now and I'm relishing my freedom.  I have been on a 3-week long plateau or "stall" as some call it.  But the stall is over now and the scale is moving again.  Looking back at my weight loss history I see it's taken me a little over a month to lose 10 lbs.  That may sound good to a "normal" person, but to me that seems painfully slow. It appears that "patience" is the name of this game, but it's a hard lesson to learn. 
I had a "wow" moment not long ago.  During our school awards ceremony I was sitting, waiting for my turn to present my awards, holding my certificates in my hand.  As awards were given out we all applauded.  I set my awards down in MY LAP so I could applaud too!  I suddenly looked down and noted "I HAVE A LAP."  Oh my goodness!!!  Unless you've been a big person without a lap you just don't realize what a wow moment that is. 
My mom and I are looking forward to our upcoming trip to see Buddy and Jean in Charlotte and our trip to see Heather after that.  I'm off to bed.

May 9, 2009
It's Saturday morning.  I had a very good night's sleep.  And the scale moved again!!  WOO HOO!!  I've lost about 11 lbs in 10 days!  I guess I'm making up for that evil plateau I was on for 3 weeks.  I was a bit constipated last night and this morning, very common after weight loss surgery, but a cup of coffee this morning took care of that!  I really do need to make sure I get my Benefiber and plenty of water during the day.  I am not drinking all the water I need.  I forget.  That's something I need to work on.  I had a great time at mom's house last night with the "Friday Girls" cocktail hour.  All I had was Crystal Light, by the way.  Everyone remarked that I looked so good.  It's about time for me to update my "before and after" page with some new pictures since I've now lost about 126 lbs!

May 7, 2009
I was on a plateau from April 8-30.  But since April 30th, the scale has started moving again, big time!  I've lost 9 lbs in the last week I think!!  WOW!  I can hardly believe it!!  And my blood pressure looks good too.  I went back on my blood pressure medicine, although I'm on the low dose right now.  We've had LOTS of rain in the past few days.  Tonight there are severe storms and tornados all around our area, but not here in New Bern, at least, not yet.  **fingers crossed**  The flowers and tomatoes I planted on my deck two Sundays ago are so happy I swear I think I can hear them singing!!  They tomatoes plants have tripled in size and the flowers are blooming up a storm!  My big spring music program was April 30th.  It was a HUGE hit!  My principal went on and on about how wonderful the music was.  The children behaved very well on the stage too.  They knew exactly what to do for each song.  It went off like a well-oiled machine.  I was very pleased.  It's all due to a LOT of practicing though!  **whew**  Now that the show is over I sort of feel like my summer vacation has already started!

April 26, 2009
A few days ago I went for my 3rd IV iron infusion.  I love that place!  So peaceful and it's so quick.  I really don't mind going at all.  While I was there I asked the nurse if she would mind taking my blood pressure, since I'd been off my blood pressure meds for several days.  My blood pressure was UP!  I was shocked, so as soon as I left I called my doctor's office, which was only about 2 blocks away to see if I could come in for a few minutes to get it checked again and see if I might need to go back on my blood pressure meds.  So, I dropped by, they checked it, it was indeed up, and they told me to go back on my meds.  I'm supposed to go back to see Dr. McQuade to get it checked again tomorrow, but my time is going to be way to tight tomorrow, so I'll put it off.  In the meantime, I'm back on my blood pressure meds and I'll see if our school nurse can take my blood pressure tomorrow.  I'm sure she won't mind.  I'm feeling fine!  As for the scale, I'd gained almost five pounds since April 8th, but I've lost 2 now, so I'm headed back in the right direction.  My period is due so I'm sure I'm just bloated.  I'm not worried.

April 22, 2009
I am still feeling very tired this week.  AND the scale still hasn't moved.  **sigh**  This school feels like it'll never end!  Paul went for his psych eval and nutritionist appointments today, so he's one more step closer to his own weight loss surgery.

April 20, 2009
Today was a banner day!!  I've been feeling very fatigued, so I went to see my doctor today, thinking I had some nutrient deficiency issue.  My blood work showed otherwise.  In fact, my blood work results were very good, better than my last blood work results.  It turns out my blood pressure was too low!  So, my doctor told me to stop taking my blood pressure medicine.  Apparently, I no longer have high blood pressure!!  This is a big milestone!

April 19, 2009
The scale hasn't moved since August 9th.  **sigh**  This is very frustrating!  I must be snacking too much or something.  Of course, it could also be the sugar-free Easter candy my sweet husband bought me.  It's sugar-free, but it's NOT calorie free!  I've also been enjoying the sugar-free Edy's popsicles.  They're only 30 calories, but they're very, very flavorful and I often eat several a day.  The Popsicle brand sugar-free popsicles are also good, but only have 15 calories each.  They're not as fruitful and flavorful though.  At any rate, I think I've been snacking too much on these things, and nuts too, esp. at night.  I've been very good at keeping my protein intake up, eating a good breakfast, making good meal choices, and taking my vitamins.  I still have no problems with nausea and I've still never thrown up.  I've also never had a problem with "dumping," but I attribute that to staying away from the high carb and sugary foods.  Well, the Easter candy is now gone.  It took me a week to eat it.  So, hopefully I'll be back on track now. 
Today was a beautiful day and I sat out on the porch as I drank my tea and read the paper.  I also sat in the sun for a little while to soak up the vitamin D my regular doctor suggested I needed.  After only a few minutes I could feel the burn of the sun on my fair skin and I had to come inside the screened porch. 

Apr 11, 2009
There's only today and tomorrow left of my Spring Break.  It's been nice taking it easy, lounging around, and doing as little as possible.  Today Paul and I are out on the deck cleaning the pollen off things and cleaning out Truffle's crate.  It was very stinky!  I noticed that I've been leaning over, standing, walking around, etc. with no foot pain, no knee pain, no hip pain, and I'm not tired at all!!  I love my new life and I'm not even halfway to goal weight!!  It's afternoon now, but I'm still sipping on my morning tea.  I guess that's because I slept so late!  **he he**  I love vacation time!  Tomorrow Angie is supposed to come up to visit with the boys, Cooper and Spencer.  Paul went out and bought them some Easter Goodies.

Apr 8, 2009
Today the scale moved again.  YAY!  Mom and I spent the day at the spa to celebrate me losing 100 lbs.  That was about a month ago and I've lost 15 MORE pounds!  WOO HOO!  The spa was wonderful.  We had a neck and back massage, facial, manicure, pedicure, then had our hair shampooed and styled.  It was almost 6 hours.  We took a break for lunch and went down the road to Ham's.  If I could choose just one thing to do again it would be the pedicure.  I will definitely go back for more!! 

April 5, 2009
After nearly a week at the same weight the scale moved again today.  I hope my patience can hold out.  Yesterday I had a great time at the Greenville gathering of weight loss surgery patients.  It was fun meeting and chatting with those great folks.  They are an inspiration.  I stayed up late last night working on the yearbook and finally finished it!  YAY!!!  One more thing I can mark off my list of major obligations this school year!!!  Yesterday when I got back from Greenville I took a pound of hamburger and made one of my old favorites: beeferoni.  I used macaroni with extra protein, but used less of it and more meat, then added lots of cheese.  It was very beefy, cheesy, and delicious!  I probably ate more of it than I should have over the course of the evening, little by little.  YUM!  I'm looking forward to my Spring Break this week!!

Mar 29, 2009
Well, I finally broke into the 200s!!  WOO HOO!!  That's the good news.  The bad news is that I've had a horrible cold for the past several days.  I've had to break out the prescription Tussionex cough medicine to battle the horrendous cough that came with my cold this time.  It's been a year since I needed something that strong.  For two days I've been running a fever too, but today I think I'm okay.  My gut muscles are sore from all the coughing though.  I had hoped to work on the school yearbook this weekend, but I've felt so bad I haven't been able to do anything.  I even took this past Friday off work, hoping to work on the yearbook, but I was too sick to do anything.

Mar 22, 2009
I decided to wait on weighing and finally weighed this evening.  I am right at 300 tonight!  I was hesitant to record it because I think it's a fluke.  Why don't I belive my scales?  Because sometimes I weigh, then the next I weigh two lbs heavier for no known reason. We'll see what the scale says tomorrow.  I'm trying to get the yearbook done for our school.  At this rate I feel like I'll be up every night for the next two weeks finishing it!

Mar 20, 2009
Yesterday was my 3-month check-up.  Dr. Chapman and his team seemed very pleased with my weight loss progress.  They said I was right on track.  After my appointment I went shopping for clothes at Catherine's in Greenville.  I had to keep trying on smaller and smaller sizes until I finally found something that fit.  I had no idea I'd lost that many sizes.  I'd been wearing 6X drawstring pants (size 42-44).  Yesterday I got into a size 26 pants!  That's EIGHT sizes smaller!! OMG!! I bought one 3-piece outfit, a shirt, a pair of khaki pants, and two bras. 

Mar 17, 2009
Today was All-County Chorus.  I spent the whole day and this evening with children.  The pace for the whole day was so hectic I thought I would lose my mind!  It was very tough staying hydrated.  I had bottles of water with me and did manage to drink 2 cups of tea and about 2 bottles of water, but I was very thirsty by the evening.  I did, however, take my medicine as well as my vitamins!  I am so exhausted.  I sure with I had tomorrow off.  I'm at 105 lbs lost as of today! 

Mar 15, 2009
It's a gray, chilly, rainy day, but on the upside, I've lost a little more weight.  I've also calculated that I'm still losing at a good rate:  about .6 lbs a day.  The weight loss has slowed down a bit, but that's normal.  Despite a few short plateaus the average rate of weight loss per day is good.  I'm pleased with the progress so far.  As for the hip, I am feeling very good today despite spending all day with children on a field trip yesterday.

Mar 14, 2009
Today I took some students on a Saturday field trip to Raleigh see the NC Symphony.  I always dread sitting down in an auditorium seat.  I'm never comfortable and it is sometimes even painful.  NOT TODAY!  I slid down in the seat very easily and I was very comfortable!!!  WOO HOO!!!  As of today I'm down 104 lbs!!  Before my trip today I had to go over to mom's last night to raid her closet to find something suitable to wear that would FIT.  I finally came up with something.  And it looked great.  I think the jacket was a little big and I had to insert a drawstring in the pants so they wouldn't fall off, but I think the outfit looked good.

Mar 7, 2009
AT LAST!!  I finally hit the "century mark," i.e., 100 lbs lost!!  It took me a month to lose 15 lbs.  Geez.  I guess I'm impatient.  I really shouldn't complain.  A half pound a day is not a bad rate.  I was really enjoying losing at 2/3 lb a day though. I expected my loss to slow down a bit, but I didn't expect it to slow down this soon.  I guess it's because the hip pain has been keeping me so inactive.  As of today however I've hardly had any pain at all.  I guess the cortisone shot I got on Monday is finally kicking in. 

Mar 4, '09
I was really tired when I came home, so I took a long nap.  My hip pain was bad this morning until the Ultracet kicked in, then felt bad again when I got home.  After my nap it hurt badly too.  The good news is that I'm now only ONE pound from the "century" mark, 100 lbs!  I'm so close!!  If I could exercise I could lose this weight so much quicker!!!  I can hardly move though.  The pain is incredible.  At best it's a nagging ache and at worst it's the worst pain I've ever felt in my life.  I have so much school related work to do when I get home, but all I want to do is get that pain medicine in my as quickly as I can.  When the medicine kicks in it knocks me out and I can't do anything.

Mar 2, '09
We had freezing rain this morning and snow this evening.  Right now we have a dusting of snow.  School is on a 2-hour delay tomorrow right now, but if the roads are bad in the morning school will probably be cancelled.  It's going to be super cold tomorrow!!  Today I had a steroid injection in my hip that will hopefully help with the intense pain I've been experiencing.  The nurse who walked me through the whole thing is a parent of a former student of mine.  She was terrific.  When it came time for the needle to probe my hip she kept my mind off of it by chatting with me about school and her daughter, who was in my All-County Chorus when she was at Bangert.  I was told that the shot would not fully take effect for 1-2 weeks.  Until then I have to put up with the pain.  It got bad late this afternoon.  A few minutes ago I finally took some Hydrocodone, which I hesitate to take unless the pain gets really bad.  The good news is that the scale crept a bit lower today!!  Yay!!  Maybe my week-long plateau is over.  I can almost taste that 100 lb lost mark.  I'm so close!!

Feb 26, '09
I started using a cane to walk yesterday.  It really helps.  My hip is a lot less painful, however my arm is sore from using the cane.  The teachers at school have been super helpful bringing my classes to me.  I've managed to keep my walking to a minimum, but I still have to go into the building to eat, put stuff in the fridge, do email, check my box, run copies, etc.  I'm seriously considering putting a little fridge back in my classroom as my collegues have urged me to do.  That alone will save me many steps!!  I now have an appointment to get a steroid injection in my hip on Monday under x-ray.  I'm hoping that will help with the pain.  I hate to have to get a sub for my classes though.  I am so bummed that my weight has held steady for the past several days.  Not getting any exercise is going to put a big dent in my weight loss.  I'm going to have to bite the bullet and go to the pool like my surgeon suggested.  Getting in and out of there in the cold is going to be hard.  Maybe, if I can keep my hair dry, it won't be so bad.  Having to blow dry my chlorine soaked hair in a cold locker room at Courts Plus doesn't appeal to me.  It's too dern cold outside to drive home with a wet head too.  I'm not even sure that bathing suit I bought fits!  It may be too big now!

Feb 24, '09
I'm so bummed.  Ever since my surgery I have been off my NSAIDs for my hip arthritis.  I've been surviving since December on Ultracet (an acetaminophen based pain reliever), but the pain has become worse.  With ever step I take it feels like a jagged knife jabbing in my hip.  Sometimes if I move a little bit one way or another the pain is so bad I scream.  That happens several times a day now.  Even taking Hydrocodone I still have pain, esp. if I move around.  By about 2:00 pm I can hardly walk the pain is so intense.  So, today I went to the orthopedic surgeon to be reassessed.  After looking at my x-rays he told me to get a cane, keep taking the Hydrocodone, and get in a pool and walk around for exercise.  As soon as I get my weight down he said we'd talk about hip replacement, but I still have a lot of weight to lose before then.  He said I'm still way too heavy for a hip replacement to be successful.  Now, here's my dilemma:  how the heck and I gonna continue to exercise and lose all the weight I need to lose if I'm in intense pain every time I move?   Walking around in a pool is not a lot of exercise!  Until about 3 weeks ago I've been working out at least twice a week.  Now I can hardly move.  I'm only 48 years old, but to see me walk right now you'd think I was 100!!!    I'm even afraid I won't be able to work through the rest of the school year I'm in so much pain.  I never dreamed it would get this bad!!! 

Feb 22, '09
It's Sunday night.  I brought home gobs of school work to do this weekend and I didn't do a single bit of it.  I guess I felt like I needed the break.  My hip pain has been horrible this weekend despite taking it easy this weekend.  I need to sit down with Kim, my principal, as soon as possible to talk about what accomodations my school can make for me to help me manage my pain and stay on the job.  I don't want to take an extended leave of absence for disability, but if I can't get this pain under control that's what I may have to do until I can get a hip replacement.  I was hoping to wait until all my weight came off to do a hip replacement, but I may have to do something about it this summer.  I don't think I can wait anymore.  I need to call the orthopedic doctor tomorrow.  Maybe he can give me a cortisone injection or something.  I can't stand the pain and I don't want to be hooked on a narcotic pain killer.

Feb 21, '09
I woke up during the night coughing.  I've had this same cough, sore throat, runny nose, and tightness in my chest for at least 3 weeks now.  It's not a cold though.  It must be allergies, despite the allergy medicine I'm taking I'm still really bothered by this.  I've spoken to several who have the same thing.  The scale is creeping closer and closer to the century mark.  I've been trying to think of ways to reward myself that won't cost so much money.  My hip pain has been exceptionally bad this week.  I think I may have to approach my principal and talk about some alternative duty for me.  I just can't stand for 30 minutes every day, every other week like this at carpool.  And I need a parking place closer to my trailer.  There is a slot near my trailer, although I hesitate to ask to park there.  I need to save those steps if I'm going to survive the pain for the rest of the year.  Dr. McQuade said the strongest medicine he can give me, besides morphine, is the Hydrocodone which is the medicine my surgeon sent me home with for pain after my surgery.  It's got a narcotic in it and if I start taking it regularly I could become adicted to it.  I don't want to get hooked on pain medicine!!  I'm hoping I can get an orthopedic guy to give me a cortisone injection directly in my hip.  I bet that won't feel good, but maybe it would give me some relief.  As soon as more of this weight is off I can get a hip replacement, until then I just hope I can hold on and endure the pain.
I weighed this afternoon and the scale jumped big time!  Woo Hoo!  I'm getting closer and closer to that "century" mark.  Only a few pounds to go! 

Feb 18, '09
I woke up this morning and the scale has moved again!. Woo Hoo!  I wish I were feeling better though.  My throat is still sore, I'm coughing, my nose is runny, and my hip is sore still, but not as bad as last night.  I need to find a way, in my very tight teaching schedule today, to stay off my feet when possible today!  Unfortunately, I have 30 solid minutes on my feet every morning this week at carpool duty.  Not good.  But somebody's got to do it.

Feb 17, '09
The scale inched down a bit more today.  I love it!  My hip pain is only slightly better.  I called my doctor here in New Bern, Dr. McQuade, to see if he could give me a stronger medicine.  He is not sure what medicines I can take now, so has asked me to contact Dr. Chapman in Greenville to see what I can take.  I wonder if I could get a cortisone injection to help with the pain.  I bet a shot like that is very painful to get, but I bet the relief would be worth it!  My hip aches right now just sitting in this chair!  Tonight mom came over for dinner.  We had baked pork loin.  Paul made asparagus and mom brought homemade macaroni and cheese casserole.  I just ate the pork, but I did get a tiny nibble of asparagus and a tiny bit of the macaroni, well, mostly the cheese, which I can have.  As much as I love meat, I will enjoy getting to have more vegetables later on. 

Feb 16, '09
The scale only moved a tiny, tiny bit today.  ho hum.  The arthritis in my hip is hurting really badly tonight.  It's hard to walk in the house.  Luckily, when I sit down it doesn't hurt too much, if at all.  It was hurting so much though I've decided to take some of the strong pain medicine I was given when I left the hospital.  I used so little of it I still have a lot left.  I hope it doesn't knock me out too much since I still have to shower and get ready for bed.  Tonight I made myself a nice dinner.  I thawed out a boneless, skinless chicken breast and pan-fried it with some Pam and a tiny bip of onion.  When it was about half done I deglazed the pan with a little canned chicken broth, then added about two tablespoons of Hot Pepper Pineapple Grilling Sauce that I bought from Target.  I put a lid on it, turned it to low and let it cook.  It was really good!!  I ate about half the chicken breast, then I cut up the rest into bite-sized pieces, put it in a little container and poured the sauce on top.  That'll either be dinner tomorrow night of lunch.  I've already made a container of a few cooked shrimp and cocktail sauce for lunch tomorrow.  My throat hurts.  I thought my throat was hurting from allergies, but I can feel some tightness in my chest now.  I hope this doesn't turn into a vicious cold.

Feb 15, '09
The scale moved again today!!  I am really looking forward to reaching 100 lbs. lost.  Today I had lunch with my mother and husband at the Country Club.  It was a very expensive buffet with lots of really delicious food available.  I chose a few bits of beef tips in a brothy pepper sauce and couldn't finish it.  It looked very tender, which is why I chose it.  It was delicious too!  The folks at the Country Club were very nice and only charged us the salad bar only price, which was less than half the regular buffet price.  They even gave me a container to bring home the leftovers.  I had it for dinner tonight.
I spent the rest of the day with mom at Lowes picking out the details for her new sun room that's being built.  I came home and spent the rest of the evening at home on school work. 

Feb 14, '09
Happy Valentine's Day!  Paul gave me a basket of nice smelling lotions and soaps.  I gave him a gift bag full of gourmet coffees, cheese straws, and nuts.  Today the scale finally moved after a week-long plateau!  I'm back on the downward slope.  Those plateaus are very frustrating, esp. considering how little I'm eating.  Today I tried on another pair of jeans and discovered they're too big.  I've been keeping several pairs of jeans in my closet over the years thinking I'd get back into them one day.  I'm afraid they may all be too big now!  I really need to go through more of my clothes to see what else needs to go.  Mom gave me a shrit of hers thinking I was small enough for it now.  It's actually a bit too big for me too, but not too bad.  I need to try to get as much wear out of clothes as I can before I can no longer wear them. 
I spent part of the day with another music teacher working on music for the upcoming Orff element of All-County Chorus.  I have noticed that when I'm with other people like this working on something I feel I have more confidence in myself.  I feel more comfortable in my own skin as well as my clothes.  I'm looking forward to my next big milestone:  100 lbs., the "century mark," as I've heard it called.

Feb 13, '09
I've been holding steady on the same weight, more or less, (more) for about a week I think.  I'd hoped to make the 100 lb. mark by tomorrow, but I've still got 14 lbs to go.  I've done a bit of hormonal nibbling the last few days.  Luckily, no matter how hungry I feel I can't eat that much.  I'm still doing great as far as potential problems or complications.  I've had none. 
I'm super tired at the moment.  It's been a long week and I'm exhausted.  I worked out twice this week, and made popcorn on my feet for 3 solid hours at Bingo Night for school last night too.  I'm gearing up to do the yearbook at school.  My 3rd grade show is in the early stages and Alll-County Chorus is in the works too.  Spring semester is such a busy time for me.  It's no wonder I'm so tired!  I know it's only 4:45 pm, but I just got home from school a little while ago, it's Friday, and I'm just too tired and sleepy to do another thing.  I'm off to bed..........

Jan 28, '09
I'm finally off the little plateau I was on.  It's so frustrating when you eat right and you're "good", but don't lose any weight.  It happens to the best of us though.   Tomorrow I'm going to the Elks Club dinner, but I'm not sure what I'm going to wear.  I plan to go over to mom's house to see if she has anything I can borrow.  I had almost half a porkchop for dinner tonight.  I cut up the rest in small pieces and poured Worchestershire and Bessinger's BBQ sauce on it to take to lunch tomorrow.  It's so great that I can eat any protein.  I hear so many stories from gastric bypass patients who get sick all the time or nauseous when they eat certin things.  I never have any problems.  I think it's because I had a GREAT surgeon!

Jan 24, '09
Tonight is the Scottish Heritage Society's Robert Burns Night at the Chelsea downtown.  I'm not sure what's going to fit me and look good.  When I looked in a big mirror on Friday I noticed that my clothes looked very baggy.  I thought baggy would be okay until I saw how bad it looked in that mirror.  I don't know how much longer I can go without needing new clothes.

Jan 21, 2009
It snowed yesterday!!  We had a snow day off from school yesterday and today!  I feel like a little kid!  Last night before bed I made SNOW CREAM!!  It's one of my favorite things:  snow, Lactaid milk, vanilla, and Splenda.  I only made about 1/2 cup but it was delicious!  Today about half the snow is melted, but there may be enough on the deck to make another batch today, if I hurry.  Tomorrow it's back to work, but it's a teacher work day.  I asked my husband to bring home a steak for supper.  I've been craving steak.  I haven't had any steak since before my surgery.  I told Paul to ask the butcher for the tenderest cut, like a tenderloin or ribeye.  I have to be careful not to eat tough meat.  It could get stuck and I could throw up.  That's only happened to me once with overcooked shrimp.  It wasn't fun!

Jan 19, 2009
I should have started a journal about my "journey" a long time ago, but there's no time like the present to start.  Last night I made my first batch of "protein ice cream," based on ideas I read online.  I used Jello sugar-free/fat-free chocolate pudding, Lactaid milk, Unjury protein powder, and some Benefiber, which I seem to need these days!  I used my new Cuisanart ice cream maker.  It was good!  I even put some sugar-free Cool Whip on top. 
I have a cold and now the coughing has started.  Luckily no congestion to speak of, just a nagging cold.  It might snow tonight so I'm looking forward to a possible 2-hour delay at work tomorrow.  Today I must sit down and make my decision for who's going to be in All-County Chorus.  I've never had so many great singers among my 4th and 5th graders to choose from.  They are really nice, sweet kids too.  Next year I think I've decided I won't let students do All-County Chorus who've done it the previous year.  This will give more students the chance to participate. 

Jan 14, 2009
I'm almost 5 weeks out now and doing super great!  No side effects, no complications.  I can easily tolerate all the foods on my surgeon's diet, no problem.  My discomfort is completely gone too.  I've not had any major nausea to speak of either.  In every way I'd say I'm completely recovered, but my energy level is still not what it could be.  At night on a "school night" I feel like I could fall over from exhaustion by 9:00.  I used to be a night owl!!  Now I'm fighting the urge to climb in bed at 8:00.  I've had my blood checked recently and my iron was okay. 

Jan 10, 2009
I just got back from the grocery store and found a wonderful thing:  Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds.  They're encrusted with dark cocoa powder.  (I'm so glad I can have nuts on my level 3 diet and my nutritionist says they're a great snack choice!)  I compared the nutrition info to that of regular roasted almonds.  Almost no difference, except these had fewer calories per serving.  They're tasty too.  The chocolate flavor is subtle.

Jan 6, 2009
My regular doctor did blood work recently and discovered I'm vitamin D deficient.  He perscribed cod liver oil liquid.  I'm less than a month out from surgery, so I'm still crushing my pills, chewing my pills or taking my medicine in liquid form.  So, that's why I'm doing the cod liver oil as a liquid.  It is so disgusting though!  My husband said his mom gave it to him as a punishment when he was a kid!  I've tried chasing it with various things to get the taste out of my mouth, but it lingers like a unwelcome house guest! 

Jan 5, 2009
I'm about 3 1/2 week post-op and haven't had any problems until today.  Today was my first day back at work and I didn't have much time to eat.  I think my shrimp was either overcooked or I ate too fast.  Whatever the cause, it's stuck and I'm miserable.
It took about 7 hours for that pain to go away.  I ended up sipping a teaspoon of meat tenderizer stirred into a cup of hot water.  It worked.

Jan 1, 2009
I am almost 3 weeks out from surgery.  When I came home from the hospital I noticed a mild itch below my incisions.  One of the itchy spots is right above my belly button, just below one of my incisions.  The other itchy spot is larger and to the left of my belly button.  Both areas are red, and a little inflammed.  This itch seems to have gotten worse as the weeks have gone on.  I have been putting Cortisone cream on the spots, which helps, but only temporarily.
At my next follow up my surgeon said it was likely a reaction to the Lovenox injections I gave myself the first two weeks after surgery.

Dec 24, 2008

Not Christmas turkey, not Christmas ham, YES, it' the year of the Christmas QUICHE! 

Yesterday I went to see my surgeon for my follow up and he said I'm ready for the (his) Level 2 diet, which is essentially eggs, cheese, yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, peanut butter.  After looking at the list my husband asked, "What's in quiche?"  I said, "Well, it's basically eggs, cream, and usually cheese, plus whatever else you wanna put in it."  So, we went to Harris Teeter and got me a quiche to have for Christmas dinner while the rest of my family eats their turkey dinner.  We found a quiche with no meat in it, since I'm not supposed to "go there" yet.  I'll either skip the crust or just have a little bite of it.

So, this will forever be the year of the "Christmas QUICHE." 

I can see me now, as I take a bite of the quiche and say, "Good white meat."  Then take another bite and say, "Nice gravy, mom."  etc.

Dec 15, 2008
Funny things that happened to me in the hospital:
1) My surgery was not long before Christmas.  So, when I woke up in recovery, they say I was singing Christmas carols!    I don't have much of a memory of that.  As an elementary school Music teacher I'd been teaching Christmas carols to the children all that week before.  I guess you can take the teacher out of the school, but you can't take the school out of the teacher! 

2) It seemed very funny to me that EVERY hospital staff person who came to my bedside the whole time I was in the hospial asked the same question: "How do you feel?"  I guess they're supposed to do that, but I thought it was a hoot.  So, one time when one of the bariatric surgeons on duty came to see me, I answered, "Fabulous, let's go dancing!!"

3)  Right before I was wheeled into the operating room my surgeon came by my wheelie bed to see me, check my paperwork, etc.  I asked him, "You're going to make me look like Heidi Klum, right?"  He chuckled, then we chatted a bit.  Before he walked away he called me "Heidi." 

4) When I was wheeled into the operating room I was still awake.  I had to scoot my body from the wheelie bed I was on onto the very narrow operating table.  I swear, it had to be less than 2 feet wide.  My eyes popped open and my mouth dropped.  I said, "You want me to get my big ol' butt on that skinny little table??!!"  "The operating room nurse said, "Honey, we've had bigger butts than yours on this table today.  Come on!" 

It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change!!!